Elizabeth Warren: The 7 Issues Guide

Today I present to you the fourth in the series by TokyoSand titled The 7 Issues Guide. This time she introduces us to Senator Elizabeth Warren. I’ve always thought that Warren has sound ideas, that she is more about the people of this nation than some. However, I would note that the Senator has a few issues that I believe will make her candidacy very difficult. One of those is the same issue that Hillary Clinton had, that she is not considered to be particularly “personable”. However, she has a solid platform, and that should matter more than personality. Thank you, TokyoSand and your diligent volunteers, for this excellent series, and for your generous permission to share!

Political⚡Charge

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The Democrats have a big field of candidates running for President in 2020. To briefly use a sports analogy, I see our candidates as the starting players on the Blue team, each bringing their own unique strengths to the table in a bid to take our country in a very different direction than the one we’re on today.

But as we well know from 2016, the media (and especially social media) gets fixated on non-substantial issues that take up all the oxygen. Plus, they don’t give the candidates the same treatment or the same amount of airtime.

In order to help voters get to know the Democratic candidates, I’ve enlisted the help of a team of terrific volunteers who have helped gather quotes and information about what the candidates have said or done in regards to the 7 issues that midterm voters identified as the most important. I hope…

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Saturday’s Snarky Snippets

When I wake on Saturday morning to no less than 12 “breaking news” updates on my phone, you know I’m going to be in snarky-mode.  So, here goes …

Another hat in the ring …

Elizabeth-WarrenElizabeth Warren announced her entry into the 2020 presidential campaign this morning.  While I respect Ms. Warren’s political views, believe she is as well-qualified as any, and while a year ago I would have considered her as my choice, I have to wonder at her decision today.  Given the very public controversy that she stirred over her Native American heritage, or lack thereof, she doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the democratic nomination, much less the presidency.  Frankly, I don’t relish the thought of listening to Trump and his faithful followers shrieking “Pocahontas” for the next 21 months! The more candidates who throw their hats into the ring, the more it dilutes the party unity, and that unity is going to be essential to winning an election next year.  I wish Ms. Warren had put country before ego.


He’s baaaaaaack …

roger-stoneLong time ago, July 2016, to be exact, I awarded Trump’s buddy Roger Stone (and his wife) my coveted Idiot of the Week award, and to this day he is still proving worthy of the title.  Stone, who has undoubtedly committed as many crimes as most any man alive, was arrested on January 25th, and indicted by Robert Mueller’s team on seven counts, including obstruction of an official proceeding, witness tampering, and making false statements.  You might think that would take some of the wind out of his sails, that he might ‘sit down and shut up’, right?  But no, this is Roger Stone who, like his buddy Trump, thinks he can do as he pleases and will never suffer the consequences.

Instead of silence, Stone went on a media blitz in a series of television interviews and Instagram posts, decrying the unfairness of his arrest, etc., etc., etc.  Judge Amy Berman Jackson, along with Robert Mueller, is considering placing a gag order on Stone, stopping him from publicly discussing his case.  In the Judge’s words …

“The upshot of treating the pretrial proceedings in this case like a book tour could be that we end up with a much larger percent of the jury pool that’s been tainted by pretrial publicity than we have now, and that’s what it’s my job to balance here.”

Stone’s attorneys argue against it.  On what grounds, you ask?  Because a) Stone doesn’t even have a Twitter account (he was kicked off Twitter more than a year ago for a series of expletive-laden posts aimed at CNN anchors), and b) Kim Kardashian has more followers than Stone.  Is there logic here?  I’m failing to see it.


More bad news …

Dr. Sean Conley, Trump’s physician …

“While the reports and recommendations are being finalized, I am happy to announce the President of the United States is in very good health and I anticipate he will remain so for the duration of his Presidency, and beyond.”


Will any be left standing?

A week or so ago, I read a column by George Will in The Washington Post that posited the most viable candidate in the large field of democrats seeking to unseat Donald Trump was Amy Klobuchar.

Amy-KlobucharHis points made sense, as Will’s points most always do, and I had added her to my list of potentials.  Then today comes the news that Ms. Klobuchar has a history of mistreating her staff.  It is even said it caused such concerns that in 2015, then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid spoke to her privately and told her to change her behavior, though Reid neither confirms nor denies.  Sigh.  Another one bites the dust.  It becomes apparent to me that there will be early and multiple attempts to discredit any and every democrat who plans to run in 2020.  Somebody, republicans and/or Russians, has already begun a concerted campaign to sling as much mud, to dig up as much dirt as possible on every candidate who appears to present a challenge to Trump.  It is gonna be ugly, folks.  I have to wonder if there will be any whose past won’t come back to haunt them over the next 21 months.  Shoot me now.


And on that note, I leave you to enjoy the rest of your weekend.Weekend

The Circus Is Coming To Town …

Yesterday, Senator Elizabeth Warren announced that she will be running for president in 2020.  Well, to be fair, she announced that she has launched a campaign “exploratory committee” to determine whether she has a chance at winning.  Rarely, if ever, has such a committee in modern times concluded that the potential candidate stands no chance and should go back to the farm, so in essence, Senator Warren announced her intent to run.  There are at least 32 others who have either announced their intent or are said to be considering a run, namely …

  • Joe Biden (former Vice President under Obama)
  • Senator Kamala Harris (California)
  • Senator Bernie Sanders (Vermont)
  • John Kerry (former Secretary of State under Obama)
  • Julián Castro (former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under Obama)
  • Senator Cory Booker (New Jersey)
  • Michael Bloomberg (former Mayor of New York)
  • Eric Holder (former Attorney General under Obama)
  • Michael Avenatti (attorney for Stormy Daniels, Trump’s former paramour)
  • Senator Kirsten Gilibrand (New York)
  • Senator Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota)
  • Deval Patrick (former Governor of Massachusetts)
  • Governor Steve Bullock (Montana)
  • Representative John Delaney (Maryland)
  • Beto O’Rourke (former Senate candidate from Texas)
  • Mayor Eric Garcetti (Los Angeles)
  • Senator Sherrod Brown (Ohio)
  • Senator Michael F. Bennet (Colorado)
  • Senator Jeff Merkley (Oregon)
  • Senator Bob Casey (Pennsylvania)
  • Senator Chris Murphy (Connecticut)
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg (South Bend, Indiana)
  • Mark Cuban (owner of the Dallas Mavericks sports team)
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio (New York)
  • Representative Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii)
  • Andrew Gillum (former candidate for Governor of Florida)
  • Governor John Hickenlooper (Colorado)
  • Governor Jay Inslee (Washington)
  • Mitch Landrieu (former Mayor of New Orleans)
  • Terry McAuliffe (former Governor of Virginia)
  • Representative Seth Moulton (Massachusetts)
  • Richard Ojeda (West Virginia State Senator)

And those are just the ones who are already talking the talk.  I actually left a few out, such as Howard Schultz, the former Chairman of Starbucks, and entertainer/philanthropist Oprah Winfrey, for I think they are beyond the realm of what is reasonable.  Then again, I said the same about Donald Trump four years ago.  Sigh. Some even speculate that Hillary Clinton might give it another shot.  Personally, I think (and hope) that she is far smarter than that.

Now think about this.  There is just over 22 months until the 2020 election.  That is 672 days, folks.  672 days of listening to the ranting, the babbling, watching the mud-fest and slinging of dirt.  Donald Trump on one side and all these others on the other side.  Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro will be in their element. For 672 days!  Shoot me now, please. The title of a podcast on The Washington Post yesterday sums it up: “Goodbye, 2018. Hello, 2020.”  In other words, welcome to 2019, the year that wasn’t.

The above list of candidates all have some positive attributes, with the possible exception of Michael Avenatti, who I believe is saying he will run mostly as a publicity stunt anyway.  But along with the positive, each one also carries with him/her some baggage.  Okay, nobody is perfect, but this is the year the democrats really, really need a perfect candidate, one with no skeletons in the closet, no dirt hiding in their past.  Donald Trump’s campaign will be brutal this year and next in digging up dirt and buried skeletons.  They will leave no stone unturned.  And we will have to listen to it all … every day … ad nauseam.  And you thought 2019 would be an improvement over 2018?

Unless I miss my guess, there will likely be somewhere around 25-30 candidates in the running initially.  Some will be weeded out in short order, whittling the list down to around 10-12 by the end of this year.  Folks … Barnum & Bailey might not be around any longer but trust me … a circus is coming to town.

A circus is exactly what we don’t need.  The Democratic Party needs to be the responsible one with candidates who can stand up to close scrutiny and who are focused, who have strong ideologies, well-communicated platforms, and who will not be distracted by mud-slinging and name-calling.  They need to be above the fray of the GOP and not wallow in the hog pen with Donald Trump.

Given that there are 22 months yet until the election, and given the above list of potential candidates, some of whom I’ve never even heard of, and in light of my disastrous predictions in 2016, I make no predictions at this point as to whose name will end up on the ballot by November 3rd, 2020.  I will make one prediction, however, that alcohol and tobacco sales will increase dramatically this year!  It is going to be a looooooong and ugly 22 months.  And I voice a serious hope that whoever ultimately becomes the Democratic candidate can stand firm and defeat either Donald Trump or Michael Pence, whichever name is on the GOP ticket by then.  Welcome to the never-ending election season!

Rainy Day Snarky Snippets

I slept poorly last night, waking about every 20 minutes.  I awoke to a number of unpleasantries, such as a set of dirty sheets in the hallway because Princess Nala had an accident in Miss Goose’s bed, an extra large package weighing about 5,000 pounds being delivered in the rain, and a cat fight.  As such, I am feeling rather snarky this afternoon and so, you know what that means, right?  Snarky Snippets!


heineken-lager-beer-amsterdam-netherlands-10519080A portion of the population in the U.S. and Canada scoff at the notion of climate change.  Rather than believe all of the highly-educated scientists worldwide who have studied the data and done the research, they follow Donald Trump’s lead 🙄 and claim it is a hoax, it is a scam, or that “sure, the weather is changing, but that’s a natural phenomenon – remember the ice age?” No, actually I don’t … it was a bit before my time.  But take heart!  I have found something that is going to make those skeptics sit up and take notice!  Check out this headline from The Guardian

Trouble brewing: climate change to cause ‘dramatic’ beer shortages

Extreme heatwaves and droughts will increasingly damage the global barley crop, meaning a common ingredient of the world’s favourite alcoholic beverage will become scarcer. Key brewing nations are forecast to be among the worst hit, including Belgium, the Czech Republic and Ireland.

The researchers said that compared with life-threatening impacts of global warming such as the floods and storms faced by millions, a beer shortage may seem relatively unimportant. But they said it would affect the quality of life of many people.

“There is little doubt that for millions of people around the world, the climate impacts on beer availability and price will add insult to injury,” said Prof Dabo Guan at the University of East Anglia, one of the research team. “There is something fundamental in the cross-cultural appreciation of beer.

“If you still want to still have a couple of pints of beer while you watch the football, then climate change [action] is the only way out. This is the key message.”

This, even more than food and water shortages, even more than un-breathable air, even more than the threat of extinction, will be a wake-up call to Trump’s base!


I typically think that it is wrong for the media to critique a politician’s family.  Wives, husbands, and children ought to be off-limits, for they are not responsible for what their political spouse or parent says or does.  There are exceptions, however, in the case of either grown children or spouses when they act in ways that seem to invite criticism.  Melania Trump is one such exception.Melania-jacketWhen she went to visit the New Hope Children’s Shelter in McAllen, Texas, on 21 June, wearing a jacket (it was hot that day, no need for a jacket at all) that read, “I really don’t care, do U?” she came under fire by the press, and many of us were seeing red, myself included.  Her staff insisted there was no message intended, but nobody fell for that.  The jacket was ugly, and Melania typically dresses like a high-class call girl, so it was quite outside her ‘norm’.

Now we get the real story.  In an interview with ABC News on Saturday morning, she said …

“It was for the people and for the left-wing media who are criticizing me. I want to show them I don’t care. You could criticize whatever you want to say. But it will not stop me to do what I feel is right. I often asking myself, if I had not worn that jacket, if I will have so much media coverage. I would prefer they would focus on what I do and on my initiatives, than what I wear.”

So, first of all, her ‘initiatives’ amount to nothing.  She is against bullying, but thus far has done next to nothing toward ending bullying, and in truth, she is the exact wrong person to convey that message, for she is married to the biggest bully the world has ever seen.  Secondly, let’s think about something for a minute … she was on her way to visit a detention center where, because of her husband’s actions, 55 immigrant children were being held apart from their parents, and her primary thought is to send a message to the press and by extension, those of us who don’t support her husband.  Okaaaaaayyyy

In the same interview, she claimed that she is the most bullied person in the world.  Back up a minute … Hillary Clinton was slammed by the republicans, most notably Donald Trump, for her husband’s affairs.  It was claimed that she “enabled” him, although I always felt that what was really being said is the same tired old story that if a man cheats, it must surely be because his wife isn’t taking good care of him at home.  But has anybody blamed Melania for Donald’s affairs?  Not that I’ve heard.  Michelle Obama was slammed for wearing a sleeveless dress … a dress that was quite conservative but just happened to be sleeveless.  And yet … Melania, once a nude model, cries because her style of clothing is critiqued?  It sounds to me like somebody has some growing up to do!

As I said, I don’t typically believe in picking on the president’s family, but in this case, Melania is getting exactly what she deserves from the press.


More than once, Donald Trump has belittled Senator Elizabeth Warren for claiming Native American ancestry, even going so far as to routinely refer to her as ‘Pocahontas’.  Nice way for a nation’s leader to behave, right?  He even went so far as to renew his diatribe against her at a November 2017 White House event honoring Navajo code-breakers.Trump-Navajo-code-breakersIn July, Trump again returned to the attack, offering a $1 million personal donation to Warren’s favorite charity if she took a DNA test and it confirmed her Cherokee ancestry.

“I will give you a million dollars to your favorite charity, paid for by Trump, if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian [sic].

This morning, Senator Warren called Trump’s bluff and released a genetic analysis done by Stanford University geneticist Carlos Bustamante who stated that the facts support her claim to Native American ancestry.  So, Trump picked up his pen and wrote a check, right?  Surely you jest.  Kellyanne Conway responded …

“I haven’t looked at the test. I know that everybody likes to pick their junk science or sound science depending on the conclusion it seems some days. But I haven’t looked at the DNA test and it really doesn’t interest me…”

And Trump simply denies he ever said it, despite the fact that his statement, made at one of his annoying rallies, was recorded by none other than Fox News!  Senator Warren has requested that he make the check to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center.  Any bets as to whether the check ever gets written?trump-native-Am-toon


Thus concludes another episode of Filosofa’s Snarky Snippets, as I have sheets to wash.  Have a great week!

Good Things That Have Happened in 2017

My young blogger-friend Anam is wise beyond her years, and on this New Year’s Eve, she has written a most wonderful post that I cannot resist sharing. In this post, Anam reminds us that the outgoing year 2017 was not all bad, that people … just ordinary people … made a difference in whatever way they could. This is the post I wish I could have written, but could not. Please take a few minutes to read the words of this wonderful young woman, for they are inspiring and a perfect antithesis to my typically sardonic posts. My thanks to Anam for such an uplifting post, and for implied permission to share.

Fade Into Oblivion

2017 was a mixed-bag of the year. Our newsfeeds were filled with negative stories and near-apocalypse worthy beef. However, looking beyond the shit-encrusted blinkers, some very good things have happened this year.

  1. Fiona the Hippo
    Born six weeks premature in a Cincinnati zoo, Fiona easily became an internet sensation with many people rooting for her and the Goddess celebrated her first Christmas this month. The Best Part of 2017

    fiona the hippo via CBS News

  2. The Women’s March
    The day after a multiple-times-accused sexual predator Donald Trump was inaugurated as president, millions of women (and men) across the globe took to the streets in protest. An estimated 1 million marchers stood up for women’s rights in Washington, with another estimated 2 to 3 million more around the U.S. By some tallies, the Women’s March was the largest single-day demonstration in recorded U.S. history—but it didn’t end that day, really. The Women’s March ignited the spirit of protest that in no small way helped inspire an unprecedented…

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Senator Warren Told To Shut Up And Sit Down …

Rules of the Senate – Rule XIX:

 2. No Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.

3. No Senator in debate shall refer offensively to any State of the Union.

4. If any Senator, in speaking or otherwise, in the opinion of the Presiding Officer transgress the rules of the Senate the Presiding Officer shall, either on his own motion or at the request of any other Senator, call him to order; and when a Senator shall be called to order he shall take his seat, and may not proceed without leave of the Senate, which, if granted, shall be upon motion that he be allowed to proceed in order, which motion shall be determined without debate. Any Senator directed by the Presiding Officer to take his seat, and any Senator requesting the Presiding Officer to require a Senator to take his seat, may appeal from the ruling of the Chair, which appeal shall be open to debate.

Yesterday I reported on Betsy DeVos’ confirmation by the Senate.  Today, we can expect to hear that Jeff Sessions has been confirmed as Attorney General, a position that he is as unqualified for as DeVos is for Secretary of Education, albeit for different reasons.  There is no doubt in my mind that the proven racist Sessions will be confirmed, but last night, during his final confirmation hearings, an atrocity was committed against Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren.

sessions-1

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III

Senator Warren was doing her job at the time, making her case as to why Sessions should not be confirmed. Remember, if you will, that Jeff Sessions was nominated for a federal court judgeship in 1986, but the Senate then refused to confirm him because of his blatantly racist comments and behaviour.  At that time, the late Senator Edward Kennedy said, “He is, I believe, a disgrace to the Justice Department and he should withdraw his nomination and resign his position.” Those were the words Senator Warren had quoted earlier in the debate, and she was warned by Senator Steve Daines, who was presiding over the senate at that point in time, that the remark using the word ‘disgrace’ was inappropriate in the debate on Sessions.

But that wasn’t the final straw.  The final straw came some 25 minutes later when Senator Warren read the following excerpt from a letter, written by Coretta Scott King, the widow of the late Dr. Martin Luther King.  The portion of the letter she read was:

“Mr. Sessions has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens.”

A true statement by an honourable woman … so what is the problem?  The problem is that it was written about Senator Jeff Sessions, a Republican who has been nominated by Trump for the position of Attorney General.  A man who is supposed to be the subject of the debate about his worthiness for the position for which he was nominated.   Yet, at this point, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took it upon himself to invoke Rule 19, quoted at the beginning of this post, to shut down any negative comments about the nominee. In plain English, Rule 19 is intended to keep debate among senators polite, keep it from becoming a brawl, and if one Senator speaks in a way “unworthy or unbecoming” a Senator, the Presiding Officer, in this case Senator Steve Daines, may order the “offending” senator to sit down and not allow them to speak for the rest of the debate.   But note that Warren was not critiquing Sessions as a fellow senator, but as a candidate for a job.  Rule 19 was never intended to stop honest debate for cabinet nominees! Rule 19 was never intended to stifle one party in favour of the other!  McConnell took liberties when he then called for a vote to shut Senator Warren down for the remainder of the debate, saying, “The senator has impugned the motives and conduct of our colleague from Alabama, as warned by the chair.”  Elizabeth Warren did not ‘impugn’ Sessions … he did that to himself 30 yars ago!!!

mitch-2.jpgThe result of the vote was strictly along party lines … surprise … and resulted in a 49-43 decision to force Senator Warren to take her seat and not be allowed to speak again for the remainder of the debate.  This, folks, is not how the confirmation hearings are supposed to go.  Ms. Warren read passages from two very respectable, highly reliable sources stating true facts, that Jeff Sessions was a racist in 1986.  Just as leopards do not change their spots, racists do not change their ideologies, and it is certain that if this man becomes the next Attorney General, minorities will suffer even more discrimination than they already do, particularly African-Americans. It is clear that what I refer to as The Great Divide, that between Democrats and Republicans both in government and among the citizenry, is destined to remain a part of life in the United States for a long time to come.

This misuse of power by the Republicans in the senate is an atrocity and an affront to the democratic process.  If McConnell’s new rule is that only nice things can be said about the nominee during confirmation hearings, then the confirmation hearings are, in fact, nothing more than a sham. Further, if the Republicans all vote to confirm Sessions without reservation, then in my book, they are, each and every one of them, as much of a racist as Sessions himself.  They do not belong in Congress any more than Sessions belongs in the Attorney General’s office or DeVos belongs in the Department of Education. They are setting up a government by Trump, for Trump and of Trump, rather than one by the people, for the people and of the people.  We the people have no value in their eyes.  Think about it.

Hillary is to Blame for …. WHAT???

In Oregon last Friday night, da trumpeter blew yet another sour note on his horn.  He called Hillary Clinton an “unbelievably nasty, mean enabler” who “‘destroyed’ the lives of her husband’s mistresses.” WHAT???  So, Hillary is somehow responsible for any infidelities Bill Clinton may have done, and Hillary somehow ruined lives?  “She’s been the total enabler. She would go after these women and destroy their lives,” Trump said. “She was an unbelievably nasty, mean enabler, and what she did to a lot of those women is disgraceful.”  Again … WHAT???

This morning (Monday), Chris Cuomo of CNN had a telephone interview with da trumpeter.  Cuomo began the interview by asking Trump about his comments, and noting that the voters “don’t like it. They see it as a distraction, they see it as hypocritical coming from you, and mostly they see it as potential proof that you may have no real ideas to offer as president. What is your thinking on this line of attack?” To which Trump replied: “Well this is a nice way to start off the interview. First of all, you should congratulate me for having won the race. I thought there at least would be a small congratulations. But I’m not surprised with CNN.”  Trump claimed that he discussed many more important issues, such as trade, the military and illegal immigration. I listened to parts of the speech throughout the entire hour and 14 minutes, and found that he did not actually address any serious topic, other than off-the-cuff remarks, such as a reiteration of his intent to ‘build a wall’, etc.  The bulk of his speech was spent doing two things:  tooting his own horn, and putting down everybody else, primarily Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren.

But back to the interview with Cuomo this morning.  After saying that he talked about many more important issues and questioning why Cuomo led off with a question about his Clinton remarks, he said “I spoke very little about that compared to other things. You took a small amount of the speech and you build it up like it’s the biggest thing in the world. But it is a big thing. Look, he was the worst abuser of women.”  Logically, Cuomo replied, “You just said I’m making too much of it, now you say it’s a big thing.” Trump: “Excuse me — as a politician, in the history of our country. He was impeached, and then he lied about it. The guy was impeached for lying.”  Even if this were a true statement (it is only partly true, as I will clarify in a moment), how in the Sam Hell is any of this Hillary Clinton’s fault???  And how does it apply to the current election? I am thoroughly confused at his rationale here, so if anybody understands this, please feel free to comment at the bottom of this post and enlighten me. In fact, if anybody can actually make sense of this, I will send you a free ‘Snoopy for President’ sticker!

William Jefferson Clinton’s ‘impeachment’ has nothing whatsoever to do with Hillary Rodham Clinton’s bid for the presidency this year. In 1998, Bill Clinton was charged in the House of Representatives with perjury and obstruction of justice related to his affair with the infamous Monica Lewinski.  The House voted to impeach, but the Senate did not muster enough votes for an impeachment, and he was thereby acquitted of both charges in 1999.  Some still choose to say he was impeached, but either way, it was not Hillary Clinton’s fault and she was never the one on trial. The fact is that she was more a victim than Monica Lewinsky.

I would argue that Trump’s rants against one person or another, against groups of people, and his braggadocio about his ‘accomplishments’ do not deserve media time and attention.  However, that would, in essence, be denying Trump any of the free advertising he has been getting from the media, since a full 95% of everything he says is just that … rants, lies and bragging.  I concur with what Chris Cuomo said in the beginning, that it is a smokescreen to cover up the fact that Trump has no real agenda, no real ideas of what he foresees as president.  We can only hope that the people of this nation are savvy enough to peer through the smoke and mirrors to the empty shell that is Donald Trump.

vote snoopy2

A Hillary/Warren Ticket … ?

I couldn’t resist; I just had to lead with this:

Trump-plane

All eyes are on Pennsylvania this week, as it is a key state in next Tuesday’s primaries.  But I wonder how Donald Trump will arrive in Pennsylvania?  His plane, you see, has been grounded by the FAA for registration that expired in February!  Registration, by the way, costs $5 for three years.  So, since we know that Trump can afford the price of registering his plane, it can only mean he didn’t pay much attention to details.  But then, are we surprised?  No.  Though it is highly unlikely that the FAA will seek the maximum penalty for the plane having flown with expired registration, the maximum penalty is a criminal fine of up to $250,000 and imprisonment for up to three years.  I imagine at least one head will roll when Mr. Trump yells “You’re Fired!”

 

To date, most of the election news and speculation has been on the Republican candidates and the shenanigans on the campaign trail.  The Democratic race has been simpler, with only two viable candidates from the beginning, and kinder, even in light of the recent sniping between Sanders and Clinton.  Now, however, closer attention is being paid, as more than half the delegates have been selected and with the Clinton win in New York earlier this week, most of the pundits are predicting that Bernie Sanders does not stand a chance.  Rumour has it that Clinton is considering a woman, most likely Elizabeth Warren, as her running mate. On one hand, while I would applaud such a move, the other hand is wagging a finger, saying “no no no.”

The path to the White House for Hillary Clinton has been a long one, more than 200 years, actually.  In the 19th century, it was unthinkable that a woman would ever be president.  Women did not even earn the right to vote until 1920!  In the late 19th century, the Equal Rights Party ran two women, Victoria Woodhull (1872), and Belva Ann Lockwood (1884 & 1888). The first female candidate to run under one of the two major parties was Margaret Chase Smith in 1964, who ran as a Republican, but lost the party nomination to Barry Goldwater.  Hillary Clinton is the first woman to be this close to receiving a major party nomination in the history of the U.S.

This nation has come a long way since the 19th century, and I think most would agree that Hillary Clinton has knowledge and experience that exceed that of any of the other candidates in either party.  That said, there are still prejudices in this country.  I do not agree with those prejudices, but it is wise to acknowledge that they exist.  The circus that has been the GOP campaign for the past year has made it easier for the democratic candidate to win the general election in November.  Easier, but not necessarily a given.  In a recent poll by CNN/ORC, 8 out of 10 Americans say that the country is ready for its first woman president.  In 2006, only 6 out of 10 thought we were ready for a woman president.  However, there is a partisan divide:  90% of democrats, but only 68% of republicans see a female president as a viable option.  Since the only woman in the running is a democrat, perhaps that is to be expected, or perhaps it is the ultra-conservatism that defines the GOP today.

Gender should not matter, just as race or religion should not matter.  But the reality is that they do matter to some.  Consider this:  would Barack Obama have won in 2008 if he had chosen an African-American running mate?  Very doubtful.  It is not right, but it is the way the world is.  We work to change it, and we are succeeding, but change is often slow.  Think how long it took us to abolish slavery, to allow women to vote, and we are still working on racial equality after all these years. We may have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go, and I fear that a ticket with two women might doom the Democrats chances in the long run.

As for a Clinton/Warren ticket, there are some positives, but also some negatives.  On the plus side, Warren shares many of Bernie Sanders’ liberal ideas and would likely be able to rally a portion of his supporters.  Warren, a former Harvard Law professor, is highly qualified in domestic affairs, though she is light on foreign policy experience.  She has been a Democratic Senator from Massachusetts since 2013 and has also served in a number of advisory roles and on several Senate committees.  Interestingly, she has not endorsed Hillary Clinton, and as recently as last month said she was “still cheering Bernie on.”  Another consideration for Clinton is that if Elizabeth Warren were to become her running mate, Massachusetts Governor, Charlie Baker, would get to pick Warren’s replacement until a special election is held, which could take up to six months. Hillary will be reluctant to do anything that could stop Democrats from re-taking the Senate.  And lastly, Warren’s popularity is largely untested and she only won the Senate seat by eight points over Scott Brown.

In September 2015, Rayne Blumenthal, writing for The State Press, opined that while the U.S. may be ready to elect a woman as president, the world is not ready for the U.S. to be represented by a woman.  I have to disagree.  There are more than 175 current heads of state worldwide, 18 of whom are women.  Think Angela Merkel, the well-respected Chancellor of Germany.  Indira Gandhi was Prime Minister of India for a total of 15 years, ending with her assassination in 1984.  Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979-1990.  All respected, though not always liked, leaders of nations.  Blumenthal argues that our diplomatic relations will suffer if Clinton is elected president, but Clinton has, in fact, far more experience in diplomatic relations and is far better known internationally than Sanders, Trump or Cruz.  And most of our allies have clearly stated that they are afraid of a Trump presidency. If you are interested, you can read her column here.

Only Clinton knows, and likely she does not yet know, who she will select as her running mate and potential Vice-President.  In addition to Elizabeth Warren, several names are being bandied about by the pundits, including Secretary of Labour, Tom Perez, and current Vice-President Joe Biden.  It is too early to speculate much beyond that, as there are more than 20 candidates who are likely on the long list.  My personal choice would be a Clinton/Sanders ticket, but the odds of that are between slim and none, so my second choice would likely be Clinton/Biden.  No matter what, it is destined to be a long, hot, albeit interesting summer.