West Virginia

The Urgency Of The Democratic Party Taking Back The House Of Representatives, And State Governorships And Legislatures In 2018

Jon Ossoff, the Democratic front runner in the 6th Congressional District of Georgia (Atlanta suburbs), fell just short of the 50 percent needed to win that seat in the House of Representatives, and avoid a runoff.

Now he will face Republican Karen Handel on June 20, and it will be more difficult to gain the seat, a traditionally GOP district in the past 38 years since Newt Gingrich won the seat in 1979, followed up by Tom Price, the Health and Human Services Secretary, who vacated the seat to become part of Donald Trump’s cabinet.

One can be assured massive amounts of money will be spent on both sides of this race, which, if Ossoff wins, would be a major blow to Donald Trump and his agenda.

The 24 point swing in Kansas’s special election for the House, and now the 10 point swing in Georgia, in the first round, are signs that the Democrats COULD regain the majority in the House of Representatives in 2018, after eight years in the “wilderness”.

It is simply a sign of the reality that the Democratic Party, at a low point, having lost so many seats in both houses of Congress in the Barack Obama era, along with governorships and state legislatures, have the urgency to work very hard to start their revival.

The average number of seats gained by the “out” party in the midterm elections is 23 in the House of Representatives, and right now, the Democrats need 24 seats to regain control, so it is within potential gains that one might expect.

The US Senate will be nearly impossible to win seats, however, as only 8 Republicans are up for reelection in 2018, as against 25 Democrats.

Looking at the GOP held seats, the only possible gains, and not easily, might be Jeff Flake’s seat in Arizona, and Dean Heller’s seat in Nevada. The only other possible hope would be if somehow Ted Cruz could be unseated in Texas, but that is highly unlikely. So at this point, the most that could be expected is a 50-50 tie in the Senate, with Vice President Mike Pence able to use his vote in a tied Senate.

One must realize that while many of the 25 Democratic seats are seen as safe, a large number are not so, including Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Jon Tester in Montana, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, Joe Manchin in West Virginia, Joe Donnelly in Indiana, Bill Nelson in Florida, and Bob Casey in Pennsylvania. Note that Heitkamp, Manchin, and Donnelly tried to protect their flank by voting for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, but McCaskill, Tester, Nelson and Casey did not do so.

But beyond Congress, it is urgent that state governorships be gained, as well as control of more state legislatures, all in planning for the next census of 2020 and the redistricting of House seats and state legislative seats that will come after 2020, with the evil reality of gerrymandering affecting the next decade.

War On The Working Class, Which Helped To Elect Donald Trump: A Major Turning Point Against The Republican Future

The Republican Party seemed in an ideal position after the Presidential Election of 2016, as they had control of the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the White House.

But having Donald Trump as their President was not the same, as say for instance, John Kasich or Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio would have been in the White House.

Donald Trump is a loose cannon, a reckless man who owes no allegiance to anyone, and he is unpredictable and dangerous for the long term future of the Republican Party.

Choosing to pursue health care, by destroying Obama Care completely, now seems a like a gigantic mistake, and even Trump seems ready to abandon the party and Speaker Paul Ryan on this, and move on.

But the image has been left that the GOP has declared war on the working class of America, ready to take away their health care without any concern, as to how it affects the white working class that put him in office, due to small margins in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

The Republican Party has decided that single mothers and their children, the elderly, and disabled also do not deserve health care, and their lack of concern about what many consider a basic human right, will reverberate against them and insure a return to the Democratic Party in power.

So many people who were against Obama Care were not against the Affordable Care Act, not realizing it is the same legislation, so it is clear what the Republicans did was promote racism against the “black man”, Barack Obama, who had promoted the law.

Now, however, many white working class people realize their own ignorance, and how it has now come back to bite them, and the racial appeal will no longer work among many of them.

States like Kentucky, West Virginia, Arizona and many others, who have benefited from Obama Care, will start to turn against the party which manipulated them, and the GOP will suffer long term.

And if that does not happen, by some pure stupidity of the white working class, then what happens to them is the proper punishment because of their prejudice and narrow mindedness, and with no sympathy to be offered.

Republican “Firewall”, Added To Democratic Opposition In US Senate, Gives Some Hope To Control Trump Appointments And Initiatives

Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona
Cory Gardner of Colorado
Marco Rubio of Florida
Rand Paul of Kentucky
Susan Collins of Maine
Ben Sasse of Nebraska
Dean Heller of Nevada
Rob Portman of Ohio
Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
Lamar Alexander of Tennessee
Mike Lee of Utah
Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia

We must realize that Donald Trump is not really a Republican or a conservative, and is impossible to figure out what his agenda is, so that means that there will be a “firewall” of Republicans in the US Senate, who at least in some cases, can be added to Democratic opposition in the Senate, and give some hope that there will be control over Trump appointments and initiatives over the next few years.

Not all of the above list will cooperate and collaborate together on all issues, but they all seem to be likely to fight Trump on some issues, and if three or four work together with a united Democratic Party in the Senate, Trump will be unable to accomplish all his goals, and he is likely to bitterly denounce these Republicans, and cause, by his language, more stalemate and gridlock, and prevent the most grievous nominees and parts of his agenda.

The most likely to oppose Trump are the following: Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Jeff Flake, and Rob Portman in that order.

However, Ben Sasse and Mike Lee, as strong conservatives, are also likely to try to limit Trump Administration goals if they find them objectionable.

The others–Dan Sullivan, Cory Gardner, Dean Heller, Pat Toomey, Lamar Alexander, and Shelley Moore Capito–may, occasionally, join with the members of this group.

Remember that seven of this group—Murkowski, McCain, Rubio, Paul, Portman, Toomey, and Lee have a new six year term, so are not threatened by Trump as far as their Senate seat is concerned.

Only Flake and Heller face election contests in 2018, while the other seven –Sullivan, Gardner, Collins, Sasse, Graham, Alexander, and Capito face election in 2020.

So 16 Senators out of 52 Republicans, fully one third, could stand in the way of Donald Trump, and if he went too far in abuse of his powers, could, potentially, join in a possible move to promote impeachment, although even if all 48 Democrats joined in, would still fall short of the 67 needed to convict and remove him by three votes.

The South’s Continuing Impact On Impeding Democracy With Voter Restriction Laws

The South lost the Civil War, but they continue to dominate American politics.

It used to be that the South was Democratic, and that they promoted slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and lynching.

Then, we had a Southern President, Lyndon B. Johnson, who accomplished the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, with the Southern wing of Democrats in Congress bitterly opposing it, and many of them, plus much of their population, abandoning the party and going to the Republicans.

Under Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, they found a home, and worked to undermine voting rights and civil rights, often with the support of those Presidents.

The state governors and legislatures became Republican controlled, and worked to limit civil rights and voting rights, and the Republican majority Supreme Court in 2013 cut back on enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.

As a result, Southern states and many midwestern and mountain states under Republican governors and legislatures started to pass new restrictive laws designed to undermine voting of minorities, particularly African Americans and Hispanics-Latinos.

This led to law suits and now decisions by federal circuit courts in North Carolina, Wisconsin, Kansas, and earlier, Texas, to declare such restrictive laws unconstitutional, a major victory which could affect the Presidential Election of 2016.

There will likely be an appeal to the Supreme Court, a clear cut reason to make sure that the Democrats win the White House and the US Senate, as the outcome for this election is uncertain, and the future of the Court and voting rights in the future hangs in the balance.

It seems likely that the present Court might split 4-4 without Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February, and that would uphold the lower court decisions declaring such laws to be unconstitutional, but no certainly of that.

The South is crucial in our nation’s politics as they hold 22 seats in the US Senate, 31 percent of the seats in the House of Representatives (138 out 435), and 162 electoral votes in the Presidential race. And this does not include the Border states such as Kentucky, West Virginia, Missouri, and Oklahoma, which tend to the same politics of exclusion toward minorities and voting rights.

No Comparison Between David Duke And Robert Byrd! Or For That Matter, Hugo Black, George C. Wallace, Or Strom Thurmond!

A massive controversy has arisen over the initial refusal of Donald Trump to repudiate the support of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke of Louisiana, who ran for Governor 25 years ago, and later for the US Senate as a Republican, losing both times, and being denounced by President George H. W. Bush and other reputable Republican leaders in the 1990s.

Those defending Trump’s hesitation are now comparing the despicable hate monger David Duke, who is not only a racist but also an anti Semite of a major order, to the late Democratic US Senator Robert Byrd, who served longer in the Senate than anyone in American history (from 1959 to his death in 2010).

No one is saying that Byrd cannot be criticized, as he was a youthful member of the Klan in West Virginia, and opposed the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s.  But over time, he evolved, and repudiated his despicable past, and even supported Barack Obama in 2008 for the nomination and election as President, and helped to make ObamaCare make a successful journey through the legislative process, including being brought in a wheel chair to cast votes for the legislation, in his last months of life.

David Duke has never done anything to repudiate his past record, and is still defiant as a racist and anti Semite, unlike Byrd.

Also, former Alabama Senator Hugo Black sat on the Supreme Court for 34 years (1937-1971), repudiating by his words and actions the fact that he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan in his youth.

Also, Alabama Governor George C. Wallace, after running racist campaigns for President in 1968 and 1972, repudiated his past and apologized, although he was never, actually, a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Even Strom Thurmond, who ran as  a racist for President in 1948, and served in the US Senate from South Carolina from 1954-2003,  later modified his views, even if not formally apologizing for his earlier behavior and statements.

No one is saying that we cannot criticize Byrd, Black, Wallace, and Thurmond, but none of them were on the level lifetime on racism and anti Semitism of David Duke, so the comparison is preposterous!

It Has Finally Happened: Florida Surpasses New York To Become Number Three State In Population!

What has been predicted for a few years has finally happened! The Census Bureau announced new population figures yesterday,

Florida, the Sunshine State, has finally surpassed New York as the number three state in population!

Florida in July 2014 had 19.9 million residents to New York’s 19.7 million people, behind California with 38.8 million and Texas with 27 million.

Overall, the population of the nation increased to about 319 million.

803 residents are being added daily to Florida, while six states–Illinois, West Virginia, Connecticut, New Mexico, Alaska and Vermont—actually lost population.

The top ten states in growth were all Sunbelt states, except for North Dakota, gaining population because of the oil boom in that state.

2.4 million people were added to the population from the previous year.

The power of the Sun Belt continues to grow, while the top four states now have a combined population of 105.4 million, about one third of the entire nation!

This means that the top four states with one third of the people have only eight Senators, while the remaining 46 states have the other 92 Senators, an extremely undemocratic situation, something that the Founding Fathers could not have imagined when they created the Constitution and set up the US Senate as a government institution!

Three Outstanding U.S. Senators Retiring: A Loss To The Institution

As the 113th Congress nears its end, setting a record as the worst, most unproductive Congress in modern history, it is time to reflect on the loss of three outstanding US Senators who are retiring, after decades of exceptional service.

Those three Senators are:

Tom Harkin of Iowa
Carl Levin of Michigan
Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia

Harkin and Rockefeller served 30 years in the Senate, while Levin served 36 years.

All were principled men who stood up for the middle class and promoted progressive values and principles in their years in the Senate.

All three were men of conscience who worked against right wing attacks on the Democratic Party and its constituents, and added dignity to the Senate.

All three will be greatly missed, but will go down in the annals of Senate history, as having been among the greats in its history.

Family Names May Not Help Democratic Senators In Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, But Senate Will Remain Democratic With Margin of 53-47 Or 52-48!

Three Democratic Senators with famous family names and moderate conservative records in office seem likely to be victims of the Republican opposition, and to lose their seats in November.

Mark Begich’s father was a Congressman from Alaska, but Begich seems likely to lose his seat to Dan Sullivan, the GOP nominee for his seat.

Mark Pryor’s father was a Senator from Arkansas, but Pryor seems likely to lose his seat to Republican Congressman Tom Cotton.

Mary Landrieu’s father and brother were Mayors of New Orleans, but although she is known for winning tight races, it seems likely she will lose her seat in the Senate to Republican Congressman Bill Cassidy.

However, these losses are likely to be matched by victories in Kentucky, Georgia, and Kansas, which will make it an even balance, and Virginia, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, Colorado, and Oregon are highly likely to remain Democratic. It is also clear that Montana and West Virginia are likely to switch from Democratic to Republican.

So the one seat left to be mentioned is South Dakota, with its four way race of Republican former Governor Mike Rounds; former Republican, now Independent Larry Pressler; and Democrat Rick Weiland, with even a fourth candidate, another Independent, Gordon Howie, making it highly likely that either Weiland or Pressler (who voted for Barack Obama twice despite his earlier GOP service in the Senate) might win this donnybrook of a race and join the Democratic caucus in the US Senate.

So this blogger predicts a final Senate of either 52 or 53 Democrats and Independents, and 47 or 48 Republicans, depending on South Dakota’s final results. That would be a 2 to 3 seat gain in the Senate for the GOP, but control of the Senate continuing for the Democrats!

Washington Post 95% In Belief Republicans Will Win Senate In November: Totally A Delusion!

It is amazing that the Washington Post is predicting by a percentage of 95 percent that the Republicans will win the six seats needed to control the US Senate in 2015-2016.

Even if they do, which is highly unlikely, with two thirds of the seats in 2016 having incumbent Republicans, it is certain that the Democrats, if they lose control will regain it with a major margin in 2016!

But to believe that the Republicans will gain six seats is belied by the likely defeat of Pat Roberts in Kansas and Mike Rounds in South Dakota, both which no one had thought possible to go to the Democrats.

And those who think Mary Landrieu is not going to win her seat in Louisiana forget her ability to survive, as the only sane major figure in a state which includes Bobby Jindal and David Vitter, both disgraces in every possible manner!

And Mitch McConnell in Kentucky is not going to win his seat this time around against Allison Lundergan Grimes, and Georgia will go Democratic as well with Michelle Nunn, which means even if the Republicans win six seats, they will lose three in those those two states and Kansas, and will not win one of the so called three “guaranteed” states of South Dakota, Montana, and West Virginia!

North Carolina with Kay Hagan seems safe, while admittedly, Arkansas, with Mark Pryor, is in more danger.

Expect overall a three seat Senate gain for the Republicans, with the Senate going from 55-45 to 52-48, including a likely four independents, from Maine, Vermont, South Dakota (or Democrat Rick Weiland winning instead of Independent Larry Pressler), and Kansas!

The Democrats’ Secret Weapon: Young And Single Women, And Excellent Women Candidates!

The Democratic Party has a secret weapon: Young and Single Women, and Excellent Senate candidates and Gubernatorial candidates!

Polls show that young and single women in many states are clearly angered by Republicans working to take away their rights, and will come out in large numbers to back Democrats in the midterm elections.

The margin of support for Democrats in many state polls is as high as thirty percent in some, and polls clearly indicate widespread support among young and single women in such states as North Carolina, Georgia, Iowa, Colorado, and Kentucky, among others!

Why not? Republicans want to take away the right of abortion; the right to use contraceptives; the right of a woman to equal pay; the right of women to have more unemployment compensation; the right of women to have an increase in the minimum wage; the right of women to know that politicians do not blame them for campus rapes and military rapes; the right of women to have more available and quality child care; the right of women to expect decent health care from government, or their corporations, such as Walmart; the right of women not be insulted about their weight and figure; and the right of women to reject women Republican candidates who do not care about anyone but their own futures, and sell out to male chauvinists in the Republican Party.

So therefore, Michele Nunn of Georgia; Allison Lundergan Grimes of Kentucky; Mary Landrieu of Louisiana; Kay Hagan of North Carolina; Shanna Bellows of Maine; Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire; and Natalie Tennant of West Virginia (all Senators or running for the Senate); and Wendy Davis of Texas and Mary Burke of Wisconsin (running for Governor) stand out, as does Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire; and many are likely to win their races, and make 2014, the Year of the Democratic Woman, a lot due to young and single women voting in droves!

Meanwhile, Republican women running are sounding like they are from outer space, including Senate candidates Joni Ernst of Iowa; Terri Lynn Land of Michigan; Monica Wehby of Oregon; and Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia; and women Governors Mary Fallin of Oklahoma; Susana Martinez of New Mexico; and Nikki Haley of South Carolina.