Note: I will get back to the election but have a few other topics I would like to discuss.
It is no secret that California Governor Jerry Brown hates President Trump with a white-hot passion. Like anyone else, he has the right to say what he wants. Depending on how a person interprets some recent remarks, he may have gone way over the line.
Recently he was speaking to Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC. Needles to say, he was really tearing into Trump. Then he said “something’s got to happen to this guy, because if we don’t get rid of him, he’s going to undermine America and even the world.”
There are three ways to remove a president from office. He can be impeached and convicted. Many people misuse the word impeachment. It is an indictment drawn up by the House. The Senate holds a trial and it takes a 2/3 vote to remove the president from office. Jerry Brown is a smart man. He has to realize there is no way 67 senators will vote that way, barring something far more serious than that what has come out so far.
Adopted in 1967, the Twenty-fifth Amendment provides another way. The vice president and a majority of the cabinet (or another body chosen by Congress) must declare the president is unable to perform his duties. If the president says is able to, it takes a 2/3 majority of both houses to remove him. This is tougher standard than impeachment and conviction.
The third way has been successful four times. It was the method chosen by John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald. Brown certainly didn’t call for it. I am not a mind reader so have no idea what he was thinking. Even so, I find the possibility that the governor of our largest state might have been thinking about the third way to be quite disturbing.
We certainly don’t need to respect any president. However, we should respect the office. Whenever I write about a president, the first reference includes the title and the name.
The primaries are over so we know who will be running in November. The Republicans currently have a 51-49 advantage so the Democrats need to pick up two seats to gain control. They are eying five possible seats. I will discuss them in order of likelihood of going Democratic.
Nevada – Incumbent Dean Heller is the only Republican running in a state won by Hillary Clinton. His opponent is a Jacky Rosen, a one term Congresswoman. She has led in most of the polls but by a small margin. Fox News has the race leaning Democrat. All others call it a toss-up. Demographics favor her as Las Vegas continues to grow. I predict that Rosen will win.
Arizona – Republican Jeff Flake retired. Martha McSally, a two-term congresswoman, is trying to keep the seat for the GOP. She was the first woman to fly in combat and lead a fighter squadron. Kyrsten Sinema is a centrist Democrat with three terms in Congress. Sinema had been consistently leading in the polls but McSally has won two recent polls. Last time I picked Sinema. I believe the race is moving in McSally’s favor and she will end up with the victory.
Tennessee – Republican Bob Corker is retiring. The GOP is pinning their hopes on eight-term Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn. Her opponent, Phil Bredesen, is a former governor and mayor of Nashville. He is widely respected but hasn’t run for office in eleven years and, if victorious, would be 75 when sworn in. The experts are split between calling it a toss-up and leaning Republican. It should be close but I’ll give Blackburn the edge.
Texas – Ted Cruz is running for a second term. His opponent is two-term Congressman Robert “Beto” O’Rourke. The polls have been very close but Cruz has led every single one. I think he will be reelected.
Mississippi – There is both a regular and a special election this year. Some Democrats consider this seat in the special election winnable. The only chance I see is if the GOP candidate is another Roy Moore.
If I am right, the Democrats will only pick up one seat. That would mean there would be no chance of them controlling the Senate. Since I am sometimes wrong (I predicted an easy Clinton win in 2016), I will look at the seats in which the Democrats are vulnerable next time.
There aren’t many times in our history when the world changes in one day. Yesterday was the 18th anniversary of one such day. A bunch of terrorists killed more people than the Japanese navy did at Pearl Harbor. Each year the memory of it seems to fade a little further. The vast majority of today’s college students have no direct memory at all.
The phrase “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance” goes back to something an Irish politician said in 1790. We face dangers that nobody could have conceived back then. We still have to be concerned with terrorism. North Korea continues to work on building atomic weapons and rockets than can reach us. Russia will likely continue to tamper with elections. China will do what it can to steal intellectual property. This is by no means a complete list.
We must meet all of these challenges. However, we must do it in a way that doesn’t harm our democracy or the constitutional freedoms so many have died to secure.
I can never recall a president publicly attacking a member of his cabinet. President Trump has been going after Attorney General Jeff Sessions for over a year.
Attorney general is unlike any other cabinet post. While there are some areas in which politics may play a part, it has no place at all in the administration of justice. Unfortunately for Sessions, Donald Trump doesn’t seem to care about justice. He clearly wants a political fixer that will give Republicans a pass and go after Democrats. Trump made this very clear in a recent tweet claiming Sessions is hurting the GOP’s chances in the midterm election.
A person would sure understand if Sessions decided to leave. A number of people, including some Republican senators, are urging him to stay.
One of the key points in Trump’s presidential campaign was Jeff Sessions’ endorsement. He was the first senator to do so. With friends like Trump he sure doesn’t need any enemies.
We heard a lot of talk about the blue wave earlier this year. Much of it was based on polls asking people which party they prefer. Democrats had a big lead and then it got closer. Now it is moving back in their direction.
Today I would like to take a look at factors that favor the Democrats and those that are against them. Later this month I will update my predictions for both the House and the Senate.
There are several reasons for Democrats to be hopeful:
1. Midterm elections almost always favor the party out of power.
2. They have been able to generate more enthusiasm than the Republicans.
3. Most of the seats in the House that are up for grabs are currently being held by Republicans. Of course, they hold most of the vulnerable seats in the Senate.
Here are some reasons for them to be concerned:
1. A stronger economy and the tax cuts favor the GOP.
2. Too many Democrats are pushing the theme that Republicans are evil. It didn’t work in 2016 and it won’t work now.
3. The party is moving dramatically to the left. Right now, Democrat Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is getting more publicity than anyone else. Getting rid of capitalism is definitely not a mainstream issue.
4. They are losing touch with the ordinary person. Bill Clinton talked about feeling their pain. Hillary Clinton says they vote Republican because they are racist and women are afraid to stand up to the men in their lives.
5. People pay less attention to ideology when voting for members of Congress. They often vote for the person, not the party.
The election is still over two months away. A lot can happen between now and then.
The word “hero” is thrown around much too easily. In John McCain’s case, it is richly deserved. He is a true American hero who devoted his life to serving his country. It certainly ran in the family. Both his father and grandfather were admirals. His father was in command of all forces in the Pacific theater, including Vietnam.
He graduated from Annapolis and became a naval aviator. He was flying missions in North Vietnam from an aircraft carrier. His plane was shot down and he was seriously injured. When his captors learned who his father was, they offered to release him. He refused. After over five years of brutal treatment, he was finally released. He remained in the Navy until 1981.
Serving as a liaison to the Senate gave him an interest in politics. He was elected to the House in 1986. He continued to rise in stature yet gained a reputation as a maverick. He was willing to work with both sides of the aisle. He tried for the presidential nomination in 2000 and, of course, won it in 2008.
We live in an era where political expediency often supersedes personal conviction. He was willing to risk the wrath of others to do what he thought was right.
He will be missed.
I couldn’t imagine anything more ridiculous than firing a man because of a word he used thirty-five years ago. Now it has happened.
Lilly Diabetes announced that it has pulled its sponsorship of Derek Daly’s son Conor’s NSCAR racer. I can’t possibly see why the son should be held responsible for something his father said. Conor wasn’t even born yet.
To make matters worse, Conor suffers from Type 1 diabetes. They care more about some silly controversy that will soon be forgotten than being part of his inspirational story.
The company said “We remain committed to our mission of supporting people with diabetes”. It looks to me that they are committed to positive PR and a fat profit. Their action is a slap in the face to all diabetics.
Hatred of anyone because they are in a particular subset of the population is definitely contrary to our 21st century values. Certainly, no organization would want someone like that representing them to the public. However, we have seen political correctness run amok.
Derek Daly is a retired car racer. After achieving success in Europe, he came to America to race Indy cars. He had been employed by an Indianapolis television station but was recently fired. The station justified this because he used the N word thirty-five years ago. He had been in the US for just a short time and may not have understood how offensive the word was to many.
This sets a dangerous precedent. Anybody can now destroy someone’s career. All they have to do is find some a person from their past to claim they once used a bad word.
As a people, we believe in fairness. Firing someone for something they said decades ago is definitely not fair.
Immigration is a very hot political topic these days. As on many issues, I believe both sides are wrong. This is especially true as both parties move further away from the center. Today I would like to outline what I believe to be some basic truths about illegal immigration.
We need to control our borders – It is not economically feasible to allow millions of people to enter the country and be provided with social welfare benefits. Some of the people coming across the border are dangerous. We need to do what we can to keep terrorists, gang members and drug rings out of the country.
That doesn’t mean we need a wall – I am not an expert on border security. Neither is Donald Trump. His push to build a wall is purely political. We should listen to the experts. Perhaps a wall is necessary in some locations.
Felons who are here illegally should be deported after serving their sentence – I cannot understand why some politicians want to go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that criminals should be kept here regardless of the law. They are putting their interests ahead of the safety of American citizens.
The vast majority of immigrants are good, decent people. It was despicable that Donald Trump called them rapists and drug dealers. If someone here illegally commits a heinous crime, it will be used to denigrate all illegal aliens. I am a serious birdwatcher and know of two birdwatchers that have killed people. That says nothing about the rest of us. The effort to increase hatred should end.
We need to keep ICE – They have many functions including going after terrorists, drug dealers, smugglers and others.
The current system is not working – It is based on strict quotas. There should be a way for more people able to legally obtain work permits.
There should not be an automatic path to citizenship – Some Democrats want millions of people to quickly become citizens and vote their way. It would cost untold billions in government benefits to do so.
We don’t need to treat them like criminals – Not having the right paperwork does not compare to robbery, assault, rape and murder. I support the Dream Act but it should be legislation, not an executive order. If someone is working hard and not causing trouble, there should be a way for them to get work permits.
I wish Congress and the President would work together to arrive at a practical solution. Unfortunately, both sides are more interested in throwing raw meat to their base and fighting the opposition than actually accomplishing something.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made headlines when he said America “was never that great”. He has been trying to take it back ever since.
It is certainly not that uncommon for a politician to misspeak. Just look at President Trump and Joe Biden. However, I find it hard to believe this was an accident. The line fit perfectly with what he said afterwards.
This is part of a pattern some Democrats have been using. It started with the Obamas. They spent twenty years listening to a minister preaching hate. She said his election would finally give her a reason to be proud of America.
Some have set upon to strategy to appeal only to leftists, women and minority groups. Bashing America has been part of that strategy. It has brought the party to its lowest ebb in decades.
America’s greatness does not depend on who occupies the White House. Democrats are just as patriotic as Republicans. It was despicable that some tried to paint George W. Bush as more patriotic serving in the National Guard than John Kerry was serving in Vietnam.
The First Amendment gives us freedom of speech. People have the right to say whatever they want about the country. However, it is an idiotic political strategy.