West Virginia

The Year Of Democratic Women On The Ballot Coming In 2018: Ten Incumbents And Two Seeking Election To The US Senate

In the midterm Congressional elections of 2018, a total of 12 Democratic women will be on the ballot for the US Senate, with 10 coming up for reelection and two making major challenges against Republicans in Arizona and Nevada.

Altogether, there are 16 Democratic women in the US Senate in 2017, so all but six are facing reelection battles.

This includes women in Trump won states—Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Debbie Stabenow in Michigan, and Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin.

Additionally, in Hillary Clinton won states, the following Democratic women are up for reelection–Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts. Kirsten Gillibrand in New York, Diane Feinstein in California, Mazie Hirono in Hawaii, Maria Cantwell in Washington State, and Amy Klobuchar in Minnesota.

Jacky Rosen is competing for the Nevada Senate seat against most endangered Republican Senator Dean Heller, and Kyrsten Sinema is trying to win the Senate seat of Jeff Flake, who is not running for reelection in Arizona.

The odds for both Rosen and Sinema are seen as good, and could tip the balance of the US Senate, but only if the other women, particularly in Trump won states, are able to overcome their disadvantage.

Therefore, while all of the Democratic women except Heidi Heitkamp are backed by the pro choice Emily’s List organization, it is important NOT to have a litmus test for Heitkamp, who while supportive of Trump about 51 percent of the time, still supports many Democratic Party goals, although she is not truly pro choice on abortion. If we want purity, then the Senate will be lost, as such a Senator as Joe Manchin of West Virginia, also running for reelection, is not any more pro choice than Heitkamp. The party needs to be more inclusive if it is to win and keep control of the US Senate in the future.

Trump Administration Refusal To Make Opioid Crisis A National Emergency An Unconscionable Declaration Of Democide, A Crime Against Humanity!

The Trump Administration has refused to declare the Opioid Crisis a National Emergency, saying it is not necessary.

This is one of the most criminal acts of the Trump Presidency, as about 1,000 people per week are dying from abuse of pain medication, which means we have a September 11 equivalent every three weeks, which also means over 50,000-60,000 people will die in the next year, more than in auto accidents, because of refusal to mobilize resources to fight this epidemic of overdoses and addiction, which is affecting all of the nation, and particularly high rates in New Hampshire, West Virginia, Ohio, Maine, Maryland, and Palm Beach County, Florida, where this blogger lives. High levels of addiction are found in rural areas, and among white working class people, many of whom voted for Donald Trump, but Trump just says one must teach one’s children not to abuse drugs as if a lecture will resolve it, and as more teenagers become victims every week.

Everyone is susceptible to this situation, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has, commendably, brought attention to this crisis, from the time of his Presidential campaign when he spoke about a good friend who died from opioid addiction. It was the most human moment of his failed campaign, but he is still very much involved in trying to promote action on this crisis, which has become one of ethics, and morality.

For Trump to refuse, through his despicable Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, himself a doctor, to address this issue as a national emergency is an unconscionable declaration of democide, a crime against humanity, that should lead to prosecution and imprisonment for Trump, Price, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who instead wants to promote more convictions and imprisonment as punishment for those who are unfortunately addicted to pain medication.

The problem is that opioids are available from overseas nations, including China, via the internet, so it is not just an issue of drugs being brought across the border from Mexico, as is often the assertion we hear from the Trump Administration.

One can wonder if the thought in the Trump Administration is that a good way to get rid of people considered “unproductive” and a burden on society is to let them die, offer no help or assets to deal with the crisis, other than punishment through imprisonment. This may sound crazy to many, but it is clear that Trump has no regard for poor people, elderly people, disabled people, and “unproductive” people, and it would save a large portion of the funding for the “social safety net”.

Three Profiles In Courage: John McCain Of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski Of Alaska, Susan Collins Of Maine

It is appropriate to salute three Republican Senators who stopped the destruction of ObamaCare, due to their feeling that despite the shortcomings of the program, that to just repeal it and leave millions of Americans with no health coverage was intolerable.

Senator John McCain of Arizona, a true independent and maverick, has often exasperated many political observers, and this blogger was upset earlier last week when McCain voted to promote votes on various alternatives, including repeal without replacement, but then voted to kill the idea once there was the opportunity to do so.

We now learn that former Vice President Joe Biden, a good friend, and former Senator Joe Lieberman, the Vice Presidential running mate of Al Gore in 2000, contacted McCain and convinced him that this was the right thing to do.

This kind of bipartisanship is precisely what is needed, and is missing from today’s political scence.

The courage of the two women Senators, who could not have alone stopped the Republican plan to destroy ObamaCare, must also be acknowledged, and sadly, some misogyny was utilized against them by the right wing, but Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska showed how principled and decent they were, and deserve great credit.

Both Collins and Murkowksi are tough, and they are not intimidated, with Collins having always been independent oriented, and Murkowski losing the party primary in 2010, running as a write in Independent candidate, and winning over her Republican and Democratic opponents, and then winning in 2016.

The outrage that the Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, at Donald Trump’s orders, threatened Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, the other Alaska Senator, with cuts in funding for Alaska in the Department budget did not intimidate Murkowski, as she postponed committee hearings and votes in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which she heads. She knows how to play Hardball, and Trump has met his match in her, as well as Collins.

Disappointing, however, was the third woman Senator thought united with them, Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, but caving in to pressure from Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, quite shocking since West Virginia has more people on Medicaid and in poverty than almost all states in America.

Republican Governors John Kasich, Brian Sandoval And Numerous Republican Senators Buck The Party Line On Medicaid, And Trump, Pence, And Republican Leadership Threaten Them!

Republican Party leadership, and President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are using heavy handed tactics to try to force recalcitrant Republicans in the US Senate to vote for a bill that undermines Medicaid dramatically, and ends ObamaCare, even without a replacement.

Up to 33 million people are being told that there is no concern as to what this would do to the health care system, not only to patients, but to hospitals and health professionals affected by these draconian cuts.

This is unconscionable, and will cause the Republicans to suffer at the polls in the midterm Congressional elections in 2018.

But Republican Governors John Kasich of Ohio and Brian Sandoval of Nevada are resisting this, as are Senators such as Rob Portman of Ohio, Dean Heller of Nevada, Susan Collins of Maine, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska; Jeff Flake of Arizona and others.

Already, Trump is trying to encourage opponents in primaries against Senators Heller and Flake, the most endangered Republicans in Senate races in 2018.

Trump and Pence playing hardball will end up backfiring on the administration, as there is no morality or ethics in anyone backing the end of ObamaCare and gutting of Medicaid, and Americans are rising up in large number in opposition to this disgraceful action promoted by Trump, Pence, as well as Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and others who have no concern for the lives and health of millions of Americans!

Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention Anniversary On July 19 A Reminder Of Struggles American Women Still Face In 2017!

On this day in 1848, 169 years ago, the Women’s Rights Convention took place in Seneca Falls, New York, organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, with about 200 women attending.

It was a two day convention to “discuss the social, civil and religious condition and rights of women”.

The convention condemned slavery, and advocated women suffrage, along with property rights, education rights, equality in marriage and over children, and the rights of women to employment at a decent wage, all very advanced ideas for the time.

The idea that a group of women spoke up for their basic human and legal rights was seen at the time as revolutionary, and it would take to 1920 and the 19th Amendment for women to gain the right to vote nationally.

Here we are a century later, and still the fight for women’s equality is far from over, with the clear attack on women’s rights by Donald Trump, Mike Pence, the Republican Party, and right wing Christianity, including on equal pay, sexual harassment and assault, education, and court battles over privacy rights, including abortion rights and the equal treatment of lesbians.

We have an openly sexist and misogynistic President and Vice President, and even within the Republican Party, its women members, particularly in the US Senate, are shown lack of respect and equality in how they are regarded and treated by their male colleagues.

The fact that three women Republican Senators–Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia–helped to kill the attempt to end ObamaCare without protection for constituents on their health care, is leading to Trump being critical of them, and his disrespect for women is legion.

So the battle for women’s rights is suffering from retreat from earlier accomplishments, and the struggle goes on, and both women and men need to work together on fighting for those basic human rights for women, against women such as Ann Coulter, who has advocated repeal of the 19th Amendment, the Woman Suffrage Amendment, as we near a century since its addition to the Constitution.

Republican Effort To End ObamaCare Fails, And Blog Prediction That Three GOP Women Senators Would Take It Down Proved Correct!

The Republican effort to end ObamaCare has failed, and as this blogger predicted on July 5, it was three women Republican Senators–Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia–who did it in, including refusal to repeal without a replacement.

Donald Trump is already blaming these three women for the failure, rather than the party and the President take responsibility for the failure, and for the lie that no one would be hurt or lose their benefits, which millions of people knew otherwise, and used their voices and their writing and their attending forums to make clear that they did not want to lose what they had, and instead wanted something better, not something worse, to replace the shortcomings of ObamaCare.

The seven year plan to repeal ObamaCare was always nasty, mean spirited, and partisan, and without concern for the lives of Republican supporters and all Americans.

The Republican Party has been damaged badly by this desire to worsen the lives of Americans, and they have proved they have no conscience, no morals, no ethics.

The party of so called “Pro Life” is the party of death, willing to sacrifice people’s lives in their ideological and racist struggle against Barack Obama!

They have no problem throwing millions off health care, and they continue to act as if Medicare for All, similar to what other civilized nations have, would be a horror, when it is long overdue that ALL American be insured and entitled to health care, a basic human right!

If Trump supporters and Republicans who are NOT wealthy and need health care choose to ignore reality, and continue to vote in a stupid fashion, then karma will be visited upon them and rightfully, and in the long run of history, these evil, uncaring Republicans will pay the price by being condemned for their lack of concern for thy fellow man and woman!

Strong Likelihood That Three Republican Women Senators Will Block Repeal Of ObamaCare!

The Republican Party is fast learning of vast and vehement opposition by their constituents to the repeal of ObamaCare and the decimation of Hedicaid.

Ordinary citizens are organizing in a manner that stands out as undermining any attempt of Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and other GOP leaders to destroy all of the good that has been done on health care under Barack Obama.

Americans, overwhelmingly, want Preexisting Conditions to remain being covered, and for no lifetime cap on benefits to be continued, as it benefits the millions of Americans who are disabled, elderly, sick, and poor.

There may have been doubt about ObamaCare due to racism, but now many of those who said they were opposed, have come to realize that the Affordable Care Act, the official name for ObamaCare, a term devised by obstructionist Republicans, actually has worked very well for 20-30 million Americans, including the expansion of Medicaid.

So it now seems that there is a strong likelihood that three Republican women Senator, none of whom face election to their seats until 2020, will save the day, and prevent repeal of ObamaCare.

These three women Senators are considered moderates, and represent poor states, which also have major Opioid addiction troubles, which would also be mostly thrown to the side by cuts in the health Care plan, as devised by the Republicans.

Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia are leagued in their recognition of the issues of how many of their constituents would be harmed if the repeal of ObamaCare goes through.

Expect all three to prevent action, and possibly some male Republican Senators too, including Rob Portman of Ohio, Dean Heller of Nevada, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Jeff Flake of Arizona and others, but the three women alone will be enough to derail the despicable legislation.

It would also be nice if the two other Republican women Senators—Joni Ernst of Iowa and Deb Fischer of Nebraska–two other poor states in the Great Plains-Midwest region, were to do the right thing, and if that happened, we would have all 21 women Senators, the 5 Republicans and 16 Democrats united together on a cause worth being unified around.

But that is unlikely to happen, but Collins, Murkowski, and Capito are likely to kill the bill without any help from any other Republican Senators, and if so, they will be applauded for their courage, ethics, and compassion for their constituents!

Donald Trump’s War On The Poor And Disabled Unprecedented In Modern American History!

Donald Trump clearly has no conscience, as he is moving ahead in a war on the poor and disabled, unprecedented in American history.

The Native Americans of such areas as the Pine Ridge Sioux Reservation of South Dakota; the poverty stricken areas of the major cities; the white working class of states such as West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania that is in desperation due to the decline of coal mining; the rural Southern and Midwest towns that have seen the close of factories and decline of agricultural prosperity; and the growing number of elderly and disabled people of all ages, all of which count on such government programs as Medicaid, Food Stamps, and Supplemental Security Income, now face massive cuts in programs, which these groups cannot afford to lose.

They will be unable to have proper nutrition; will be unable to afford visits to doctors or hospitals except in dire emergencies; and will face living out of cars or in homeless shelters; and doing without basic needs met, including dental care, winter heating and summer air conditioning, and ability to plan to send their children to college. They will have no opportunity to plan for a retirement when they are no longer able to work, particularly those with physical jobs, which will render them in a dire financial position in their twilight years.

But to Donald Trump, what really matters is not these “disposable” people, many of whom will most certainly die before their time due to neglect, but rather the additional wealth that will be gained by the elite wealthy from massive tax cuts at the expense of their fellow Americans, and will cause the moral and ethical decline of American society, as the evil aspects of capitalism will run rampant. Excessive greed and emphasis on profits is the priority over basic humanity!

Eight Republican Senators Possible Votes Against House Passed “Health Care” Bill, So Highly Unlikely That “TrumpCare” Will Become Law!

Senator Susan Collins of Maine

Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

Senator Dean Heller of Nevada

Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona

Senator John McCain of Arizona

Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia

Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee

Senator Rob Portman of Ohio

These are the 8 Republican Senators who are seen as likely to vote against the House passed excuse for a “Health Care” bill, making it highly unlikely that “TrumpCare” will become law!

Collins and Murkowski do not want Planned Parenthood defunded, and want to protect Medicaid patients in their states, both states with many poor people.

Heller faces a very tough race for reelection in Nevada, as does Flake in Arizona, and both have a very large senior citizen constituency in their Western states.

McCain, despite his often inconsistent statements and actions, is basically a moderate, certainly as compared to the vast majority of Republicans in the Senate and in Congress.

Capito comes from one of the poorest states of all, West Virginia, and many poor, disabled (such as coal miners), and senior citizens would be harmed by the GOP passed House bill.

Corker is one of the more reasonable Republican Senators, and seems very cautious as to accepting such a radical bill as the House passed.

Portman also comes across as one of the more reasonable Republican Senators, and Ohio is the state of Governor John Kasich, who extended Medicaid, and it is hard to imagine that Portman would wish to harm his state’s disabled, senior citizens and poor, in a state which went for Trump, not realizing that the President would not give a damn about those on Medicaid, and those who were willing to support him with no good reason to do so, except being ignorant of reality about what right wing Republicans would do to destroy the good parts of ObamaCare.

It is hard to imagine that ANY Democratic Senator, not even Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, or Jon Tester of Montanan would support any major change in the Affordable Care Act!

So do NOT expect any kind of legislation anywhere near what the House Freedom Caucus, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, or Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price want, and expect that the American people will react in 2018 by a Democratic takeover of the House, including a move toward impeachment of the most despicable President in American history, bar none, Donald Trump!

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.