Vermont

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy Will Retire At End Of 2022, After Serving As Third Longest Serving Senator!

Vermont Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy will retire at the end of his 8th Senate term at the end of 2022, after an amazing 48 years in the upper body of Congress!

He will leave office as the third longest serving US Senator in the 234 years of that historic institution, only behind Democrat Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who served 51.5 years, and Democrat Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, who served just short of 50 years.

At the moment, he is fourth longest serving, behind Republican Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who served 47 years and a bit more than 5 months, which Leahy will pass in June 2022.

Leahy just passed Democrat Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts in total service in late October 2021.

Leahy is the last member of Congress elected in 1974, and the only sitting Senator to have served while Gerald Ford was President, and also to have served while Jimmy Carter was President.

Leahy is the only Democrat ever elected to the Senate from Vermont, as Bernie Sanders always ran as an Independent. Leahy is easily the longest serving Vermont Senator as well.

Leahy has been, in his long career, Chairman of the Agriculture, Judiciary, and Appropriations Committees, and is President Pro Tempore of the Senate, third in line of Presidential succession.

Leahy also presided over the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump in 2021.

Had Leahy chosen to run for an unprecedented 9th term, he would easily have been reelected and in 2026, would have become the longest serving US Senator ever!

Leahy is a premier liberal and progressive throughout his career, and will be nearing the age of 83 when he retires at the beginning of 2023.

Leahy is a great figure in the history of the Senate, and will be missed when he leaves office!

Automatic Mail Ballots Should Be Sent By All States To All Voters As A National Law To Insure Voting Rights!

Nine states and Washington, DC send automatic mail ballots to all eligible voters who reside in their states.

These states include:

California
Colorado
Hawaii
Nevada
New Jersey
Oregon
Utah
Vermont
Washington State
Washington, DC

There is no viable reason why voters have to show up in person to vote, as long as they are registered and live in the state they reside in.

Such a system of mail in voting boosts voting, particularly of poor people, racial minorities, the disabled, members of the military, and the elderly.

Voting rights were guaranteed over time, and then added to by the Voting Rights Act of 1965, along with Constitutional amendments 15, 19, 23, 24, and 26, and so therefore, there should be ZERO boundaries for voting!

If we are to remain a democracy, this needs to become a national law that goes into effect by the Presidential Election of 2024, if not earlier with the Midterm Congressional Elections of 2022!

Time For Washington DC To Be The 51st State

Washington DC has more population than two states, Wyoming and Vermont, and not much lower than Alaska and North Dakota.

Washington DC has a higher educational and income level than the above named states.

Washington DC had a proposed statehood amendment passed through Congress in 1978 that failed to be ratified within the seven year limit, only gaining 16 states approval.

The 23rd Amendment, giving DC residents the right to vote for President, and giving DC three electoral votes, was ratified in 1961, and in 1964, for the first time, DC participated in the Presidential Election of 1964.

In a 2016 DC Statehood referendum, 85 percent of the residents in DC supported statehood.

DC would be first in Gross Domestic Product Per Capita (nearly two and a half times the next state), and first in Educational Attainment, with 60 percent having an advanced degree, and 34 percent having a bachelor’s degree.

The 2020 US Census Has Surprises, As Announced Today

It is ironic that this author wrote about the 2020 Census yesterday, not aware that precise information would be given out today, Monday.

And there are a few surprises.

The total population of the US is over 331 million people, up from about 309 million in 2010.

Texas will gain only two seats, not three, and Florida will gain one seat, not two.

Colorado, North Carolina, Oregon and Montana will gain one seat each.

Arizona, thought to be likely to gain a seat, will not do so.

New York loses one seat, but only because of a shortage of population by the small total of 89 people!

Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois, California, and West Virginia will lose one seat for each state, with California losing representation for the first time ever!

Minnesota and Rhode Island, expected to lose one seat each, avoided such a loss.

So now, with Montana gaining a seat, there will only be 6 states with one statewide House member—Alaska, Delaware, Vermont, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

This is the second slowest population growth in US history, after the 1930s.

And the trend of the South and West gaining at the expense of the Northeast and Midwest continues as it has for many decades.

When Census Figures Come Out Later This Year, It Will Affect Multiple States

The 2020 Census figures will come out in a few months, and will affect multiple states in Congressional representation in 2022 and beyond, as well as the Electoral College.

A number of the larger populated states will continue to lose representation and electoral votes, as they have faced for several decades.

This includes New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan, but also California is likely to lose a Congressional seat and an electoral vote for the first time ever in America history. Also, West Virginia, Rhode Island and Minnesota are likely to lose a seat and an electoral vote.

The states which will gain include Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, and Montana, with Texas and Florida gaining the most.

Montana will move from one statewide House seat to two, while Rhode Island will move from two seats to one, so Rhode Island will join Vermont, Delaware, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming as the seven states that have only one House member for each state.

Time For DC Statehood: Long Overdue

The Democratic controlled House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed a Washington DC statehood bill, the first time it has come up for a vote since 1993.

Only a handful of Republicans supported it, and it is clear why that is so. A slight percentage of residents in DC are African American, (47 percent) but whites are 45 percent of the population, and it is likely that a majority in DC in the future will be white, or that the population mix will be the most balanced of any part of the nation.

Right now, it is assured that if Washington DC became a state, it would have two Democratic Senators and one Democratic Congressman or woman.

But that should not be the issue regarding representation, and it only adds to the view that Republicans are unwilling to care about anything affecting African Americans, as they look more than ever as if they are Confederate sympathizers a century and a half after the Civil War.

Donald Trump spends more time defending Confederate statues and monuments than he does working on dealing with the Covid-19 Pandemic, which has killed more American in four months than in World War I, or in the Korean and Vietnam Wars combined.

DC has more population than Wyoming and Vermont, and not much behind Alaska and North Dakota, and it deserves to have proper representation for its citizens.

Hopefully, with a Democratic President and Democratic controlled Congress next year, we might see DC become a state!

Does Elizabeth Warren Neutralize Bernie Sanders As A Presidential Candidate?

It could be that Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren might neutralize Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders as a Presidential candidate.

After the first set of debates, Warren has surged in support, and is expressing much of the same message as Sanders.

In the first polls coming out after the debates, she has been shown to be ahead of Sanders in several polls.

The fact that she is younger by eight years, and comes across to many as much more pleasant and cordial and sincere than Sanders does, is a major problem for the Vermont Senator.

One gets the sense that Bernie Sanders may have reached his peak, and may be on the decline, and not just temporarily, but time will tell.

The Best 14 Potential Democratic Presidential Candidates For 2020

As one looks ahead to 2020, this author and blogger wishes to indicate who he considers to be the 14 best potential Democratic Presidential candidates for 2020.

There are an estimated 30 or more potential candidates who might announce for President, but many of them seem wanting in many respects, and as stated by this author yesterday, having more than about a dozen would be counterproductive.

Of course, individual politicians who wish to run are not going to concern themselves with numbers, but I wish to indicate the list that I feel is the most legitimate, and most likely, that we will see the final few Presidential contenders emerging  as  serious possibilities.

So in no special order, except by geographical sections, here goes:

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts

Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey

Former Vice President Joe Biden of Delaware

Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota

Former San Antonio Mayor and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro of Texas

Former Congressman Robert Francis (Beto) O’Rourke of Texas

Governor Steve Bullock of Montana

Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon

Senator Kamala Harris of California

Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles

Congressman Eric Swalwell of California

So the list includes 8 Senators, 2 House members past or present, three Mayors past or present, 1 Governor, and 1 former Vice President of the United State, who served in the Senate for 36 years..

It is an impressive list, heavily weighted toward US Senators, but with some alternatives from elsewhere, and some from farther left and others more toward the moderate center, with the question being what is the best strategy for the Democrats for the Presidential campaign of 2020.

Final Projection On The 2018 Midterm Elections: Democratic House And Senate, And Massive Gain In Democratic Governors

The time has come, the day before the Midterm Elections of 2018, to come up with a final projection on the results.

The sense is that the Democrats are in better shape than many polls indicate, although it might be seen by many as fanciful thinking on my part.

But I sense that the Democrats will do very well on Tuesday, as the first time, other than special elections, to register the people’s view on Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

Yes, there is the loyal base, but that is below 40 percent of the nation.

It seems clear that Independents, Suburban men and women, millennials of both genders, African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, the Jewish community, and Social Justice Catholics are united in their disgust at the behavior, policies, and corruption of Donald Trump and his administration.

The American people are a good people overall, and one must remember that Donald Trump lost the popular vote massively, but now all that matters is winning more votes than any opponent, and in that regard, Trump and the Republicans who refused to take a stand against him, are on the way to a massive repudiation by the voters.

That does not mean that every nasty Republican will lose or every Democrat that many would wish elected will be successful.

And it could be that, as in 2016, this blogger and author could be way off in his assessment, and I am prepared for that, as much as one can be.

But my inner being tells me the following:

There are so many Republican seats in play in the House of Representatives, including those that Hillary Clinton won in 2016, that one has to believe that many are turning Democratic in this election—including in upstate New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Texas, and California. So expect that while in theory there could be as many as maybe 71 or as few as 15 gains by the Democrats, my feeling is that a safe number is 40-45 seats, which if 45, would make for about 240 Democrats to 195 Republicans, basically a switch from what it is now.

In the US Senate, the Democrats would have to win a net gain of two seats, which now seems attainable. This blogger senses a gain of four Republican seats—Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, and even Texas with Beto O’Rourke, but with a loss of two seats, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota and Joe Donnelly in Indiana. But that means Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Jon Tester in Montana, and Bill Nelson in Florida would retain their seats, as all three are tough political leaders. So if this all happened, a bit of a miracle, there would be 51 Democrats and 49 Republicans, so the Democrats would control and organize the Senate. This prognosis also means the three leading politicians who this author has placed on his “Dream List” of those he wanted defeated, would be—-Ted Cruz, Rick Scott, and Marsha Blackburn.

As far as Governorships, the Democrats have 16 right now, and my projection is that they would gain the Midwest states of Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Kansas, along with Southern states Florida and Georgia, along with New Mexico, Nevada, and New England states Maine and Vermont, giving them a total of 28 states under Democratic control. This also means that Scott Walker and Kris Kobach would not be elected in Wisconsin and Kansas, making my “Dream List” fulfilled for the first five on the list.

On the other hand, it is likely that Steve King will win in Iowa for his Congressional seat, although this blogger believes David Brat in his Richmond, Virginia Congressional seat, will lose.

So overall, all but Steve King on my “Dream List” to defeat would lose, while all five of my “Dream List” to win—Beto O’Rourke, Andrew Gillum, Stacey Abrams, Richard Cordray, and Gavin Newsom, would be triumphant.

This blogger and author may look silly two or three days from now, but that is my final projection, and we shall see!

A Nightmare Thought: What If America Ends Up With A 218-217 GOP House And A 50-50 GOP Senate For The 116th Congress?

With the midterm election only three weeks away, all kinds of scenarios are developing in the minds of political junkies, such as this author.

What if the House of Representatives ends up with a 218-217 majority held by the Republicans, meaning the Democrats only gain 22 seats in the lower chamber, rather than the 23 or more needed to control?

And what if miraculously, the Democrats gain one seat in the Senate, such as Arizona or Nevada, but lose two seats, such as North Dakota and Florida, and end up in a 50-50 tie, meaning Vice President Mike Pence organizes a Senate perfectly divided, and keeps the Senate Republican?

The question arises, have these scenarios ever occurred before in Congressional history, and the answer is YES in both houses of Congress, with twice in the House of Representatives.

In 1917-1919, the Republicans had a 215-214 margin, and third parties and Independents having 6 seats.

Also in 1931-1933, the Republicans had a 218-216 margin, and one third party seat.

In the Senate’s history, there have been eight such cases as follows:

In 1881-1883, there were 37 Republicans and 37 Democrats and two Independents.

In 1883-1885, there were 38 Republicans, 36 Democrats, and two Independents.

In 1893-1895, there were 44 Democrats, 40 Republicans, and four Independents.

In 1931-1933, there were 48 Republicans, 47 Democrats, and one Independent.

In 1953-1955, there were 48 Republicans, 47 Democrats, and one Independent.

In 1955-1957, there were 48 Democrats, 47 Republicans, and one Independent.

In 2001-2003, there were four switches of majority–From January 1-20, Democrat; from January 20 to June 6, Republican; from June 6, 2001 to November 12, 2002, Democratic; and then from November 12, 2002 to January 3, 2003 Republican. This was due to the switch of party and Vice President from Al Gore to Dick Cheney; the switch of Jim Jeffords of Vermont from Republican to Democratic; and the election of a new Senator from Missouri of the opposition party taking the oath of office before the new Senate of 2003 was organized.

Finally, in 2007-2009, there were 49 Democrats, 49 Republicans, and two Independents.