Wisconsin

The 49th Earth Day: The Attack By Scott Pruitt And Ryan Zinke In Full Swing

Today, April 22, is the 49th Earth Day, first declared by Richard Nixon in 1970, although earlier promoted by Wisconsin Democratic Senator Gaylord Nelson, considered the true “founder” of the modern environmental movement.

We have come a long way in the movement to preserve our environment, with many heroes in that movement,

We can look back to Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot, John Muir and many others at the beginning of the 20th century.

We can look forward to such people as Ralph Nader, Jimmy Carter, Cecil Andrus, Al Gore, Bruce Babbitt, and a multitude of others who deserve praise.

But we also have the enemies of the environmental movement, from the time of Ronald Reagan onward, and including many Republican senators over the years.

And now, we have the Donald Trump Presidency, and the evil being done every day by Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and by Ryan Zinke, the Secretary of the Interior, who are trying to destroy all efforts at protecting us from climate change, global warming, and the damage to wildlife and to our national park and national monument system.

The fight for the environment must be fought against all enemies, as it is the future of the planet at stake!

The Odyssey Of Donald Trump: From Roy Cohn To Michael Cohen, 1973-2018

Donald Trump first became a public figure in 1973 when he defended his father’s discrimination against African American tenants in his real estate projects in Queens County, New York. He utilized infamous attorney Roy Cohn, who had been the major figure assisting the despicable Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy in his tirade against those in government and academia, who he labeled as being Communists, “Reds”, a danger to the American people, all part of his “Red Scare”, also known as “McCarthyism”.

Cohn well knew the falsehoods of Joseph McCarthy, but he played “hardball”, while living a very corrupt life long after McCarthy had fallen from power, and died in 1957.

Cohn connected with Organized Crime interests and led a lascivious lifestyle, including being openly gay, while denying and condemning gays and lesbians, a true hypocrite, and at the end, he died of the effects of AIDS.

But he became after 1973 an adviser to young Trump, and Trump has said that Cohn was a shaping force in his life.

And now, Donald Trump has been very close to his attorney, Michael Cohen, who has done all kinds of “good deeds” for him, including dealing with Trump’s love life scandals, and after the raid on his home, hotel room and offices, apparently was enmeshed in scandalous activities that may help to bring Donald Trump down, and cause Cohen to face prison time.

So Donald Trump’s odyssey has been to go from the disgraced Roy Cohn to the newly disgraced Michael Cohen over 45 years. The present situation may lead to the removal of Donald Trump from office, and even with potential pardons in the offing, Trump and Cohen and others, in regards to their business and love life dealings, may still be prosecuted in New York State, and would not be covered by the pardon power of the Presidency.

Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan: A Failed And Disgraceful Figure In American Political History, And Total Sham!

Back in 2012, when Paul Ryan was chosen by Mitt Romney to be his Vice Presidential running mate, this author made clear his total distaste of the Wisconsin Congressman, who had made his career on balancing budgets, and cutting social programs from the New Deal on through the Great Society. He has now proved once again that he is a failed and disgraceful figure in American political history, and is a total sham!

It was made clear that Ryan was a disgraceful choice to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency, had Mitt Romney won the Presidential Election of 2012.

As a result of my harsh criticism, I was bitterly attacked by the right wing, in a very vicious manner.

But I was correct in my assessment then, and since, and now, Paul Ryan is quitting Congress, and leaving the Speakership of the House of Representatives, at a time when he was facing a major challenge from Democrat Randy Bryce, an iron worker, who was totally disgusted by the hypocrisy and self serving of Ryan over his 20 year Congressional career.

Ryan set out from a young age, based on his Ayn Rand philosophy, to destroy the Social Safety Net of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, and other programs to help the millions of poor, disabled, sick, children, and elderly in our society. And yet, when his father died when Paul Ryan was not yet an adult, he received Social Security benefits, but now wishes to destroy FDR’s signature program!

At the same time, his goal was to cut taxes dramatically for the wealthy, and he succeeded under Donald Trump, blowing a massive hole in the budget, and now creating a $1 trillion increase in the national debt by so doing.

Ryan has done more to harm the future of the nation economically than just about anyone, and he has been unwilling to take a strong stand, or any stand, against Donald Trump’s abuse of power.

It almost seems as if he gets sexual thrills from hurting people, and yet, he claims to be a “good Catholic”, which most decent Catholics would totally disagree with.

The best response to Ryan leaving is “good riddance”!

Is Presidential Race Of 2020 Beginning Early? Rumors About Mitt Romney And Joe Biden Emerge

Hard to believe, but on the 13 month anniversary today of Donald Trump’s inauguration, rumors and gossip are spreading about the Presidential race of 2020 beginning early.

Early speculation talks about former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican Presidential nominee, now running for the open Senate seat in Utah, being vacated by Senator Orrin Hatch, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, leaving after 7 terms and 42 years of service. Rumors have it that Romney is positioning himself for another Presidential run against Donald Trump or if he leaves office, Vice President Mike Pence, in two years.

Of course, Romney denies such rumors, but it is said that many mainstream conservatives want Romney to run, and possibly Trump realizes that potential, as he has now come to endorse Romney for the Senate, after having encouraged Hatch not to retire,

Romney is well known for his bitter denunciation of Trump’s candidacy in 2016, and then being manipulated by Trump for the possible post of Secretary of State, but passing him by for that position, so this will be something to watch, if Romney decides to challenge Trump or Pence.

Also, former Vice President Joe Biden, ahead in early polls for the Democratic Presidential nomination, over both Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Oprah Winfrey, is making clear through friends that he is seriously considering another run for President, as he is well aware that many have said had he run in 2016, and been the Democratic Presidential nominee, that he would have won the working class white vote in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, and defeated Trump. Of course, the tragic death of son Beau Biden prevented that, and is seen by many as a tragic turning point in American history.

Realize, however, that were Romney and Biden to be their party nominees, we would have a candidate who would reach 74 after two months in office (Romney), and a candidate who would reach 78 two weeks after the election in 2020.

Either would be the oldest Presidential first term winner in American history, and once again, despite loyalty of many to both Romney and Biden, as being “Presidential”, one has to wonder if younger voters would be turned off by two “Grandpa” candidates, rather than moving toward supporting nominees in their 40s, 50, or early 60s, as preferable.

There is a long list of such potential nominees, and this will all be explored over time, but for now, the “Old Guard” is in the forefront of speculation.

Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan A Total Disaster, Caving In To Donald Trump, And Undermining Congressional Authority Against Presidents

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has become a total disaster, caving in to Donald Trump, and undermining Congressional authority against Presidential abuses.

Ryan has helped to undermine the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian collusion, abuse of power, obstruction of justice, money laundering, violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, and sexual harassment and abuse by President Trump.

There are rumors that he plans to retire from Congress this year, and not too soon, as he has failed to play the role of a Speaker who puts the good of the nation ahead of politics.

He also is despicable in his craving for cutting the Social Safety Net of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, as well as cutting back on essential regulations of labor conditions, the environment, health care, and education.

He is presiding over a House of Representatives which is way out of the norm of American politics, caving in to religious extremists and the Freedom Caucus, which is anarchistic in its hatred of the federal government.

This author and blogger condemned Ryan back in 2012 when he was Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential running mate, and his position on Ryan has not changed.

By comparison, John Boehner, with all his shortcomings, was nowhere as horrible as Ryan has been.

Randy Bryce is running as the Democrat trying to unseat Ryan from his Wisconsin Congressional seat, if he chooses to run, and whether Ryan runs or not, hopefully, Randy Bryce can be part of the expected Democratic “Blue” wave coming in November 2018. Bryce is an Army veteran, a cancer survivor, and iron worker running to give American workers in the First Congressional District of Wisconsin an opportunity to have one of their own background representing them in Washington, DC.

American History Since The Civil War: President’s Party Loses 32 House Seats And 2 Senate Seats In First Midterm Election

American history tells us that the party of the President regularly loses seats in the first, and all but once in the second (when it occurs) Presidential term of office.

The one major exception was 1934, when in the midst of the Great Depression, and FDR’s New Deal programs, the Democratic party gained 9 seats in the Senate and 9 seats in the House of Representatives.

Also, in 2002, after September 11, George W. Bush and the Republican Party gained 2 seats in the Senate and 8 in the House of Representatives.

And Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party, in the second term midterm election in 1998, gained 5 House seats, with no change in the US Senate.

That is the total historical record since the Civil War, more than 150 years, so it is clear that the Democrats will gain seats in the midterm elections of 2018.

The average since the Civil War is 32 House seats and 2 Senate seats, and if that happens precisely, the Democrats will have gained the House, needing only 24 seats, and the average historically being 23 seats, when one includes both first and second term midterm elections of a President.

But also, if the Senate were to see just the 2 seat gain as the average, then the Democrats would have the majority with 51 seats, which can be brought about by gaining the contested seats of Arizona, where Jeff Flake is retiring, and Nevada, where Dean Heller is seen as the most endangered Republican in 2018.

But to accomplish that, the Democrats must produce, miraculously. the retention of Senate seats in 10 Trump states in 2016–Missouri, North Dakota, Indiana, Montana, West Virginia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio, and also retain the Minnesota seat recently vacated by Al Franken, and the New Jersey Senate seat of Bob Menendez, who faces another criminal trial after a hung jury. That will be a tall order for sure!

Stephen Miller Needs To Be Kicked Out Of Trump Administration And Face Investigation, As He Is Most Dangerous Person Around Trump!

Who would think a 32 year old bully, racist, white supremacist, and nativist, with the credentials of having been on the staff of former Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, and former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, would end up becoming in many ways the most dangerous person around Donald Trump?

This blogger and author is referring to Stephen Miller, a disgrace to the Jewish people and religion, who has somehow become the center of the debate over immigration, and is helping to push the President toward extremism on many issues, including immigration and civil rights.

Miller was brought up in a liberal leaning Jewish family in Santa Monica, California, with his mother’s family having escaped from Belarus in the early 20th century, coming to America as non English speaking immigrants who achieved the “American Dream”, that now Miller wishes to deny immigrants from Latin America and from the Middle Eastern nations, including Muslims, and Africa.

In high school, Miller showed intolerance, as he promoted right wing conservatism, including the extremism of National Rifle Association spokesman Wayne La Pierre, and spoke on right wing talk radio as young as 16 years of age. He stirred controversy as he promoted white supremacist views in high school and at Duke University. He had a constant confrontational attitude, and befriended white supremacist Richard Spencer and right wing propagandist David Horowitz, another Jewish public figure who had once been on the left, and then became connected to the Far Right, and has promoted attacks on academic freedom of left leaning college professors.

Miller helped future Virginia Congressman David Brat defeat House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in 2014, and went to work for the Trump campaign early in 2016, and became the warmup speaker for many Trump campaign rallies, and helped to write Trump’s speech accepting the Republican National Convention nomination for President. He became a senior adviser to the White House, connecting himself closely to Stephen Bannon, but has lately separated himself from Bannon, since Bannon left the White House staff and was shown to have given ammunition against Trump in the recently published Michael Wolff blockbuster book, FIRE AND FURY, which has become a best seller. Miller remains closely allied with Trump son in law Jared Kushner, who also looks more outrageous and objectionable on a daily basis, and may be involved in Trump Administration corruption.

Miller helped to write the controversial Inauguration speech of Donald Trump, and has made controversial and confrontational statements on various Sunday news shows, including that the President had absolute authority and “will not be questioned”. He confronted Jim Acosta of CNN about immigration, at a White House appearance in which Miller defended travel bans against Muslims and the promotion of limiting immigration from various parts of the world, against many nations. Most recently, he became combative against Jake Tapper of CNN, and was cut off by the host, and then refused to leave, and was escorted out by security guards.

Stephen Miller is a racist, nativist, white supremacist, all despite the fact of his Jewish heritage, and he is a disgrace, and needs to be kicked out of the Trump Administration and face investigation in the Trump scandals, as Robert Mueller is in the process of doing.

He is clearly the most dangerous person around Trump now, influencing Trump to the point of the present government shutdown, preventing any protection of “Dreamers”, the immigrant children who were protected under the DACA program, but now face deportation to nations they know nothing about, but where they were born before being brought to America as children.

Miller is a peddler of hate, who needs his comeuppance, and should never again be allowed to be interviewed on any news program, unless and until he apologizes for his misbehavior, which most assuredly will never happen.

The thought that comes to mind is that Stephen Miller is the equivalent of Roy Cohn to Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, infamous for the Red Scare of the 1950s, or Rasputin, the adviser to Czar Nicholas II of Russia, before the Russian Revolution of 1917. In other words, Miller is an evil and dangerous force, who needs to have his rapid gaining of power taken away from him now!

Time To Move Against Electoral College Distorting Popular Vote, Through National Popular Vote Interstate Compact Agreement

The issue of the Electoral College having failed to elect the popular vote winner of the Presidency for a total of five times now, and twice in the last 16 years, continues to plague us, particularly when the present incumbent of the White House lost the popular vote by the biggest margin yet, 2.85 million votes.

There is no other political election in America where the person with the most popular votes is not the winner of the election.

The Founding Fathers might have seen the Electoral College as a necessary bulwark against mass popular control at the time, but once we began having popular votes in the 1824 Presidential election, it was an advancement of democracy, and the idea that a popular vote loser would win the Presidency was appalling.

It happened in 1824 in a four person race, but then, it occurred in 1876 with a two person race, and then in 1888, again with a two person race.

Since it did not happen again for more than a century, it was assumed to be flukes that would not happen again, and over the years of my teaching career, I was often asked whether it would happen again, and I responded, that while it could happen, it was highly unlikely that it would.

And then came the Presidential Election of 2000, where George W. Bush won with Supreme Court intervention stopping the recount in the state of Florida, winning that state over Al Gore by 537 votes out of six million cast, and therefore barely winning the Electoral College, despite a 540,000 popular vote lead nationally of Al Gore.

In 2016, the situation was even worse, as Donald Trump won by very small margins in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, and lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton nationally by 2.85 million popular votes, so five and a half times the popular vote lead for Clinton over Trump as compared to Gore over Bush in 2000, but Trump winning the Electoral College, but only 12 national elections with a smaller electoral vote majority out of a total number of 58 national elections.

The problem is trying to end the Electoral College by constitutional amendment is dead upon arrival, as it requires a two thirds vote of the House of Representatives and a two thirds vote of the Senate, followed by a majority vote in both houses of state legislatures (except in the one house of Nebraska) in three fourths of the states (38 out of 50). Clearly, that will never happen, particularly with Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, and four of the five times that the Electoral College failed, the ultimate winner was a Republican, and the loser each time was a Democrat.

But the alternative is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact Agreement, developed in recent years, with 10 states and Washington DC with 165 electoral votes agreeing by legislation that they would support the popular vote winner nationally, instructing their electors to do so. The problem is that the 10 states and DC are clearly, at this point, Democratic or “Blue” states—California, DC, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington State.

Once states with 105 additional electoral votes agree to pass such legislation, it would go into effect, but that is the more difficult matter. At this point, 12 states with 96 electoral votes have had one house of the state legislature agree to such a law—Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma,and Oregon. Also, two other states have had committees in the state legislature approve it unanimously, with these two states—Georgia and Missouri—having 27 additional electoral votes.

So if all these states that have taken partial action completed the process in the next few years, we would have 24 states and DC, with a majority of the total popular vote and population, being capable of awarding the Presidency to the winner of the national popular vote, and this would end the idea of a popular vote loser becoming President.

Republican reliable states—Arkansas, Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Missouri—are part of this group, but the question is whether they will take the steps to put it into effect.

While there is no certainty this will ever happen, there is optimism that it will eventually occur, as otherwise, the possibility of a return of 2000 and 2016 is highly likely in the future, and not just once.

If this were to occur, it would promote a truly national Presidential campaign, instead of the present focus in recent decades on 12-15 states, and ignoring the clear cut “Blue” and “Red” states in favor of the “Purple” or “Swing” states alone.

How The Republican Majority Supreme Court Has Promoted Corporate Control And Voter Suppression, And Undermined American Democracy

Citizens United V. Federal Election Commission (2010) and Shelby County V. Holder (2013) are the two decisions of the majority Supreme Court in the last decade which have destroyed the concept of fair and free elections in America.

Those cases, and Bush V Gore (2000) have done everything possible to undermine the majority of the people in Presidential elections, as well as other elections in states, which should have favored the Democratic Party.

And now, with a new right wing Supreme Court Justice, Neil Gorsuch, possibly more extremist than Clarence Thomas or Samuel Alito on the Court since April, the future is very gloomy for progressive values and beliefs.

Realize that the Democrats have won the popular vote in Presidential elections six of the last seven times, from 1992 to 2016, only losing to George W. Bush in 2004.

But the Supreme Court Republican majority has allowed corporations to be seen as people, and this has led to extreme abuse by many wealthy corporate special interests, and individual millionaires and billionaires, to put excessive amounts of funding into negative campaigns against liberals and Democrats, and to fund right wing extremist campaigns for legislation they want, and for conservative candidates they desire.

And loosening the enforcement of voting rights by states has allowed many states to place new voter restrictions on poor people, minorities, young people, and the elderly, making voting an onerous process, and in effect, working for voter suppression, which apparently had an effect in the 2016 Presidential election in some states, and for sure, in Wisconsin, one of the crucial states that gave Donald Trump the victory by a very small margin of votes.

The undermining of American democracy is in full swing, and the fear is that we have just seen the tip of the iceberg in regards to Republican and conservative repression of much of the law and legislation, and the election process itself, in the future, with the ability of Donald Trump and the Republican Party to “fix” the future, one of moving backwards by a century or more in so many respects.

Republican Senators Who Can Stop Tax Legislation, Which Is Fraudulent For The Middle Class Future In America

Once again, a few courageous and principled Republican Senators have an opportunity to stop fraudulent tax legislation, which will dramatically undermine the middle class, and only be a massive tax cut for millionaires and billionaires, including Donald Trump and his family, despite the crooked President’s denials.

A few Republican Senators stood in the way of destroying ObamaCare without any replacement, and this legislation on taxes also is another attempt to destroy ObamaCare without any alternative for millions of Americans.

So one can hope that Senator John McCain of Arizona, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, and Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska will stand strong.

But additionally, there is hope that Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, and Senator Dean Heller Of Nevada may also fight the legislation, with the first two not running for reelection in 2018, so free to be independent, and Heller, the most endangered Republican Senator running in 2018, under great pressure to oppose legislation that will harm most of his constituents.

Also, on different motivations, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin could vote against the legislation.

All that is needed is three Senators, and the tax plan fails, and IF Doug Jones wins the Alabama Senate seat on December 12, then only two Senators on the Republican side are needed to derail the legislation, and cause a massive defeat for Donald Trump, who will have accomplished nothing by legislation in Congress in his first year, making him a total failure in that regard.