Monday, May 21, 2018

An Unfair Economy

Texas Early Voting - Dem. Run-Off (30 Largest Counties)

The Texas Democratic Party had some run-offs to be settled. Most prominently was in the race for Governor, where Lupe Valdez faced Andrew White. Valdez led in the March primary, but didn't get 50%.

The chart above shows the early voting total for Democrats in the 30 counties with the largest population. The counties are listed in order of their number of registered voters, with the largest number of registered voters at the top (Harris 2,257,546) and the smallest number at the bottom (Randall 85,302).

Run-off early voting was only held for 5 days -- compared to 11 days in the March primary. So it's not surprising to see fewer people voting in a lot of the counties. Also, fewer people tend to vote in run-offs than in the primary. We'll have to see how strong the turnout is on election day -- Tuesday May 22nd.

I don't have a clue as to how the governor's race candidacy will turn out. Fortunately, I like both candidates, and can easily support either in the November election. I urge my fellow Democrats to vote in the run-off. If you didn't vote early, then please do that on Tuesday. It would look good to have a strong showing, plus the fact that Texas Democrats need to get in the habit of voting in EVERY election and run-off.

Too often in the past, Democrats have not bothered to vote because they didn't think we had a chance of winning. Texas is changing though, and this year we do have a chance -- but only if we all make sure to vote!

The early voting numbers in the chart above are from the office of the Texas Secretary of State.

White Evangelicals

Political cartoon is by Clay Bennett in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

School Deaths Outnumber Military Deaths In 2018

The number of school children that have died as a result of being shot is larger than the number of American military personnel killed this year. That is a shocking statement, but it is true -- as the chart above from the Washington Post shows.

As The Hill reports, there have been 29 school children killed while only 13 service members have been killed (8 of them in a single helicopter crash). This doesn't mean it is more dangerous to go to school than serve in the military. But it does mean that going to school is far more dangerous for a child than it should be.

Whether we want to admit it or not, we have a serious problem of gun violence in the United States -- both in our schools and outside of them. I think most Americans are starting to realize that, and they want something done about it. An overwhelming percentage of Americans want the loopholes in the gun background check law closed. And a smaller, but still substantial majority would like for military-style assault weapons to be banned.

Unfortunately, our Republican-controlled Congress doesn't agree. They won't even let any new gun laws be debated in Congress. They seemed to have decided that the money they receive from the NRA and other gun groups is more important than saving the lives of American children (or adults).

We can fix that this coming November. All it will take is for Americans to take a few minutes to vote.

Again And Again And . . .

Political Cartoon is by John Cole in the Scranton Times-Tribune.

Unemployment Rate For Minorities Higher Than For Whites

The latest official unemployment rate for the United States is 3.9%. But that does not mean that is the unemployment rate for all groups. It is much higher for teens (16-19) and for minorities. The charts above, using information from the Economic Policy Institute, shows that the unemployment rate for Blacks in the United States is 2.2 times higher than the rate for White, and for Hispanics it is 1.5 times higher than the rate for Whites.

These charts show the states where the unemployment rate ratio is as high or higher than the average for the country. And there could even be more states, since the EPI did not have a large enough sample in some states to establish a statistically significant ratio, One thing that is for sure though is that for every state with a large enough sample, minorities have a higher unemployment percentage than Whites (even those states falling below the national average).

This tells us two things:
1. Racism is alive and well in the United States.
2. One of the ways that racism shows itself in in economic unfairness.

Man-Made Monster

Political Cartoon is by Robert Ariail in The State.

A Palestinian Tells Us The Truth About Gaza Protests

(This photo of Gaza protests, from the International Business Times, is by Bogdan Cristel / Reuters.)

The Israeli government and the Trump administration would like for you to believe that the Gaza protests are nothing more than an attempt by Hamas to vilify Israel -- and that Israel is not mistreating the Palestinian people living in Gaza. The truth is far different.

The following article is from Think Progress. It is an explanation by a resident of Gaza (Intimaa Alsdudi) of why the people of Gaza are really demonstrating.

 Zaheyya, 70 years old and tired after a long walk from Saladin Road to the “no-go” zone, looked among the huge crowd of protesters for a place to rest as she carried a Palestinian flag and her embroidered bag over her shoulder.
When I approached Zaheyya on Monday and asked if I could interview her to find out why she is participating in the Great Return March in spite of her age and sickness, she replied, “Shame on you, for asking me this question! I will come every day until U.N. Resolution 194 is implemented.”
The resolution Zaheyya recalled was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 1948, and it called for the return of all Palestinian refugees to their lands. It was never adopted by the U.N. Security Council, and so it was never enforced. But Palestinians have not forgotten.
“I am a refugee from Huliqat village that was ethnically cleansed in 1948 by the hands of the Haganah [the Zionist paramilitary organization] and I have the right to go back,” said Zaheyya. “This is our day to show Israel that the old will die, but the young will never forget… Yes, I will join my people and shout with all my strength, move on people, go back to your homeland, the land is waiting for you.”
It was inspiring, but then Zaheyya started shouting something else. “Tear gas, gas, gas! Run people, run!”
Tear gas cans began rolling between us and the crowds. Everyone ran from the area, while Israeli snipers on top of the hills and watchtowers started shooting randomly at the people protesting.  At one point, I lost sight of my mom. I could not see her, because there was dark smoke everywhere. Do you know what that feels like? To not know if your mother is okay as snipers are shooting at you and everyone around you?
It took me half an hour to find her again — when the air cleared out from the tear gas bombs. After we did, my mom, as always, hugged me. “Calm down. I am okay,” she said. We started laughing and cursing the snipers.
Monday was hard, and it was heartbreaking. After a long day, I found out that my brother Mustafa, who is 29 years old, was shot. He was lucky, the bullet that penetrated his leg was not explosive.
At least 62 people were killed that day, and nearly 3,200 wounded, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza. Those injured included journalists, medics, and dozens of women.
Since then, all of the victims have been painted in the international media as martyrs for Hamas. All the protesters – me, my family, Zaheyya, thousands of others like us – have had our demands warped and our voices silenced by others for political purposes.
So let me be clear with you. Gaza is the biggest open-air prison on earth. Nearly two million people are denied the basic freedom of movement. Ninety-seven percent of the water here is undrinkable. The unemployment rate is 44 percent.
We have said over and over again that the right of return is the solution to all of our miserable problems. That is why we protested on Monday. That is why we have been protesting since March 30. Two-thirds of Palestinians in Gaza are refugees from lands stolen by Israel in 1948.
The Great Return March is the first time in my life that I have seen a huge number of people uniting and calling for right of return. It is the decision of ordinary Palestinians in Gaza, and it is the call for everyone who is concerned about humanity. There is only one flag that has been rising up in the marches, carried by kids, the elderly, journalists, nurses, doctors, and teachers. It is Palestine’s.
Issam, a 15 year-old boy from Khan-Younis, was injured with a tear gas canister that was dropped on his head on Monday. He rejoined the march the next day, while his head was still bandaged.
Asked whether he is already healed or still in pain he replied, “I am in pain, but I cannot leave my friends alone today, and we will fly our kites. We spent last night preparing it. We wrote on it: ‘Palestine, we are coming back.’” These are the kites that children fly near the buffer zone, the ones that have been deemed strategic threats by Israel and used as excuses to shoot children.
Last week, my 11-year-old brother Mohammed decided to take his bird to set him free at the buffer zone. He wanted his bird to cross the fence, even when he couldn’t.


Political Cartoon is by Daryl Cagle at

The Hippies Had It Right

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Religious Freedom

Trump Is Guilty Of A Nixon-Like Abuse Of Power

 (The picture of Postmaster General Megan Brennan is from a USPS website. The photos of Trump and Nixon are in the public domain.)

Richard Nixon tried to have an imperial presidency -- taking to himself more power than the Constitution gave him. He tried to obstruct justice by interfering with a government investigation, but went even further.

He abused the power of his presidency by creating an enemies list -- and then tried to use agencies of the federal government (IRS, FBI, Secret Service, Justice Dept., etc.) to damage those he considered to be enemies (Democrats, journalists, etc.). That abuse of power became one of the articles of impeachment lodged against him, and contributed to his being forced to resign.

Donald Trump doesn't learn from history -- either because he is ignorant of that history, or doesn't care about the Constitution or the law. Like Nixon, he is trying to establish an imperial presidency. He wants to have the kind of absolute power enjoyed only by monarchs or tyrants. He thinks he should be able to use the federal government to damage those he sees as an enemy -- and the biggest enemy in Trump's sights is The Washington Post.

The Washington Post has had the temerity to public the truth about Trump (including keeping track of the thousands of lies he tells the American people). He has tried endlessly, through tweets and public statements, to damage the reputation of that newspaper. But he has not succeeded. His loyal trumpista base believes his lies, but no one else does.

So he decided to play a dirtier game. Since Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos also owns Amazon, he decided to use a government agency to hurt Bezos by hurting Amazon. He called Postmaster General Megan Brennan into his office several times (each time in secret, leaving her visit off the official schedule), and asked her to raise the postal rates on Amazon. He had publicly claimed that the U.S. Postal Service was shipping Amazon packages at a loss, and now he asked Brennan to double the cost of Amazon shipping with the Post Office.

It was a lie. The Post Office has given Amazon a good contract to get their business, but the Post Office is NOT losing money on those shipments. That would violate federal law.

Brennan is a trumpista, but she is not stupid enough to break the law so Trump can get back at people he doesn't like. Each time, she explained that the USPS could not arbitrarily raise rates because they had a contract, and that must be reviewed by a regulatory commission. She would be breaking the law to do as Trump asked.

What Trump did is abuse the power of his office. It doesn't matter that Brennan refused to do it. Just asking her to do it was an abuse of power -- and that is an impeachable offense. It wasn't legal for Nixon to do it, and it is not legal for Trump to do it.

How can the Republican Party continue to support and cover for this criminal?

No Signs ?

Political Cartoon is by Lalo Alcaraz.

There Is No Legitimate Excuse To Oppose Background Checks

The chart above is from a survey done by the Pew Research Center in 2017. With the continuation of school and other mass shootings in this country, I seriously doubt that those numbers has decreased since the poll was done. In fact, an overwhelming majority of Americans have been in favor of the closing of loopholes in the background check law for quite a while now -- extending those checks for gun buyers to ALL sales, including those at gun shows and private sales by individuals.

Unfortunately, our current Republican-controlled Congress doesn't care what the public wants. They oppose closing the loopholes in the background check law, even though it allows about 40% of guns to be sold each year without a background check (a loophole that any violent abuser, convicted felon, terrorist, or dangerously mentally ill person can use to buy any kind of gun they want).

When asked, they have two excuses for refusing to even allow a law to improve background checks to be debated or voted on in Congress. First, they claim it would violate the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (which gives Americans the right to own a gun). That argument is rather disingenuous, since the Supreme Court has ruled many times that government can put reasonable restrictions on gun ownership (and restricting ownership by criminals and other violent people is very reasonable).

The second argument is one they use even more frequently -- that it would interfere with the right of a parent or friend to give a gun as a gift. That's also disingenuous. While the giver would need to do a background check (for a modest fee), it would NOT prevent them from giving a firearm as a gift to their children or friends. It would only prevent those gifts to people who have a criminal record (including domestic violence) or have been deemed to be dangerously mentally ill. Isn't that a good thing? Do we want people giving guns to dangerous individuals?

It would do one thing though. If a background check showed a reason to deny the person a gun, and the gun was given anyway, it would make the giver both criminally and civilly liable for any crime or deaths caused by that gun. I think that's also a god thing. Shouldn't any person who knowingly provides a gun to someone who legally can't buy one on their own, be liable for that action?

The American people want everyone who buys (or receives) a gun to first have a background check, and there is no legitimate reason why that should not be required. It's just a common sense and constitutional action that would save many lives.


Political Cartoon is by Jimmy Margulies at

Beto O'Rourke Offers More Than "Thoughts And Prayers"

(Photo of Beto O'Rourke was found at website of KVIA News.)

The United States averages more than one school shooting every week and one mass shooting every day. It also has over 30,000 gun deaths every year. No other developed nation has anywhere near this level of gun violence. Why does the United States? It is because too many in our Congress have been bought by the gun lobby.

One of those who owes the gun lobby is Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. He has received millions from gun rights groups. In 2016 alone, he received $360,727 ($77,900 from the NRA and the rest from other gun groups). He has made it clear that he opposes all new gun laws, including those supported by a substantial majority of Americans.

Fortunately, Texans have an alternative this year. Democrat Beto O'Rourke has taken no money from the NRA or other gun groups -- OR ANY OTHER PAC's. And he supports common sense and constitutional legislation to stem the epidemic of gun violence in this country. The following is what O'Rourke had to say in response to the latest school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas:

My thoughts are with the community of Santa Fe. I'm thinking of the students, teachers, administrators, parents, and law enforcement. I'm deeply sorry that they are experiencing this.

I'm sorry that there are parents, brothers, and sisters who are grieving, who won't see their children and siblings at the next family dinner or baseball game. I'm sorry that there are teachers everywhere worrying about whether their classroom will be next instead of solely focusing on teaching those kids. I'm sorry that some of the students at Santa Fe weren't surprised that this happened because they expected it at some point. I'm sorry that more people have been killed at our schools this year than have been killed while serving in our military.

Either we accept this, and continue to be sorry, and prayerful and thoughtful. Or we act. That's it.

There are 535 members of Congress. Who represent 320 million people. All of us. Each member responsible for representing the interests of this country, of people, of human beings, of kids. Not responsible for PACs or lobbies, corporations or special interests. Not responsible for the next election.

Remembering that, we can meet silence with action. Tragedy with common purpose. The disagreements with compromise and consensus that allow us to do better -- not perfect, not your ideal, not my ideal, but better than what we have today. Shouldn't be too much to ask for the kids who died today, for the kids too scared to go to school on Monday, should it?

What if we required universal background checks to ensure that firearms only get into the hands of those won't harm themselves or someone else. Close all loopholes and exceptions. Every single gun purchase has a background check.

We can stop the new sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines to ensure that firearms designed to kill as effectively and efficiently as possible on the battlefield aren't used in our schools, our streets, our churches, and our concerts.

We can give federal help to local school districts to improve on-campus safety. Local stakeholder solutions with assistance to make the necessary investments.

We can fully support federal research on gun violence so that we can better understand and address its root causes.

We can improve record sharing from the background check system, the ability for law enforcement to more effectively act on information that could help in the prevention of gun sales to those who shouldn't own them or stop those who do and pose a threat.

We can find a way to implement Extreme Risk Protective Order (ERPO) or Red Flag Laws. Successfully implementing these can stop shootings and might have a big impact on the suicides that make up 2/3 of our daily 96 gun deaths.

These are some ideas I've heard from my constituents in El Paso, from students at the town hall I held at Montwood High earlier this year, from those I've met along the road throughout the counties of Texas.

These ideas won't prevent every shooting, won't be perfect, aren't easy conversations to have. And there's no way that I would suggest I have all the answers. No one person does.

But any hesitation I have in stepping forward is overwhelmed by the justice demanded by the daily tragedy of gun violence. Any question on how to lead has been answered by gun violence survivors, young people, high school students who are already leading us (forcing us) towards the difficult, important conversation that this country owes them, owes all of us.

I want to use our proud history of gun ownership, gun rights, gun safety, and gun responsibility in Texas as a place from which to lead. I want to sit down with any person of any party in any place and at any time to figure out how we can make sure that this does not continue to happen.

No Wrong Answer

Political Cartoon is by Mike Stanfill at

Patently Infantile

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Time To March

There Have Been 22 School Shootings (I Blame Congress)

On Friday, there was another school shooting -- this time in a Santa Fe, Texas, high school. Ten people were killed and several wounded. It marks the 22nd school shooting in the United States this year, and the year is only 20 weeks old. That's an average of more than one school shooting every week. And if you look at all mass shootings, the U.S. is averaging about one every single day.

Elected officials (local, state, and national) were quick to send their "thoughts and prayers". Frankly, I'm a little tired of hearing about their "thoughts and prayers". They haven't prevented any school (or mass shootings) in the past, didn't prevent this one, and won't prevent any of the ones in the future. It's time for our politicians to stop the pious posing and actually do something to prevent the more than 30,000 gun deaths in this country every year. We are in the midst of an epidemic, and our elected officials (especially in the U.S. Congress) refuse to do anything about it.

Some will say not is not the time since passions are inflamed over the shooting. That is bullshit! With a school shooting every week and a mass shooting every day, when is the time. The time is NOW!

Some will also claim this epidemic is a mental health problem, and not a gun problem. That's a ridiculous assertion. All developed nations have a problem with mental health, but only one allows the dangerously mentally ill (and criminals and terrorists) to legally buy any kind of gun they desire -- the United States. It is a gun problem.

Some will say we can't do anything because of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That's also ludicrous! Many solutions have been offered that do not violate the Second Amendment, and out Congress won't even discuss them, let alone vote on them.

Some also say there is no "cure-all" that will prevent all mass shooting or gun deaths. That is true. But there are measures that will significantly reduce the number of mass shootings and gun deaths, and actions that would save hundreds or thousands of American lives are well worth doing.

There ar two actions that would significantly reduce gun deaths. We could close the holes in our background check law, and make ALL gun buyers go through a background check (even for purchases from an individual). And we could ban the sale of military-style assault weapons (which are the weapon of choice for most mass shooters). Both actions have been declared constitutional by our Supreme Court.

Some will claim that people will just buy a gun on the black market if they fail a background check. But that's no excuse for letting them legally buy a gun -- and buying from a criminal gun dealer is not as easy as gun nuts would have you believe.

Unfortunately, noting will probably be done (except more thoughts and prayers). That's because too many in Congress are owned by the NRA, and the NRA is owned by the gun manufacturers. Those congressmen have made the decision that the lives of Americans are not as important as getting themselves re-elected. For that reason, I blame Congress for this latest school shooting -- and for the future ones.


Political Cartoon is by Randy Bish in the Pittsburg Tribune-Review.

U.S. Health Care Still Poorest Of The Developed Nations

Republicans will tell you that the United States has the best health care system in the world. If you are a corporate CEO, or you were born into a wealthy family, that might be true. But for most Americans it is NOT true.

Every three years, The Commonwealth Fund does a survey of the health care systems in eleven developed nations (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States). The charts above show the results of the 2017 survey.

As usual, the United States finished last among all of those nations. As the top and bottom charts show, the United States spends the most on medical care (as a percentage of GDP and per capita health spending). But the result of all that spending has it in 11th place out of the eleven nations.

Obamacare had put a band-aid on our system, but did not fix it (failing to control costs or cover all Americans with health insurance). The Republicans said they had a better way, but all they did was damage the little good that Obamacare had done. When it comes to health care for all Americans, we are the laughingstock of the developed world -- and that is not good for most Americans when they must access that health care (something we all must do sooner or later).

Why can't we provide all Americans with adequate health care? The other ten nations do it, and they do it at a lower cost than the U.S. does. Is it greed, political cowardice, or just that we don't care about each other?

The Witch Speaks

Political Cartoon is by Mark Streeter in the Savannah Morning News.

Here's A Big Difference Between O'Rourke And Cruz

 (These caricatures of Senate candidates in Texas, Beto O'Rourke and Ted Cruz, are by DonkeyHotey.)

There are some in our society that say there's no difference between Democrats and Republicans. I don't believe that. And I know there's a huge difference between Beto O'Rourke and Ted Cruz -- the parties' candidates in Texas for the U.S. Senate.

One of the differences between the two is their willingness to meet with the public and answer their questions. After all, what good is an elected official with whom you have no access?

Gaby Diaz is an English teacher in a Houston high school who has written an excellent article for the Houston Chronicle on trying to meet and talk with both Cruz and O'Rourke. The entire article is well worth reading, and I suggest you do that. Here is just a tiny excerpt from the article:

The truth is that Cruz might have attended "seven events" this year where a few people got to ask him some questions, but his office has organized and hosted no town halls, open, closed or over a telephone system. In fact, his federal Senate office has no call-out system.
His campaign, however, does. His Senate and campaign offices said that he does do call outs – but only to his campaign supporters. Catherine Frazier from Cruz's campaign office confirmed that he's been doing them since he started running for office. She emphasized, "He's done two in the last few weeks."
But schedules or instructions for opting in for these telephone town halls are not displayed on Cruz's Senate page or Senate Facebook page. For a man whomocked "coastal elites" for their "safe spaces" in his piece on President Trump in Time, Cruz seems to hide in safe spaces filled exclusively with an echo chamber of his campaign supporters. Why not call out to all Texas constituents?
In contrast – again – O'Rourke's office has hosted 95 open town halls, not counting the quarterly veterans town halls, since he began his first term in the House of Representatives in 2013 – the same year Cruz began his first term.
These monthly town halls are organized by O'Rourke's congressional office. Links to the dates and times of the events are clearly posted on his congressional website and congressional Facebook page. His office explains they call out to constituents before the town halls take place to get the word out. . . .
Besides hosting monthly town halls for his El Paso constituents, through his campaign he has hosted an additional 235 open town halls as he's traveled through 251 of the 254 counties in Texas.

The New (GOP-Style) Segregation

Political Cartoon is by Darrin Bell at

Very Much The Same

Friday, May 18, 2018

The First Victim

Has Trump Made The U.S. More Safe From Terrorism ?

Donald Trump likes to brag that he is making the United States safer from terrorism. He supports fear-based anti-immigrant policies to accomplish that. Are they effective? Does the public think he has been effective in making this country safe from terrorism -- safer than past presidents have?

The answer is NO! Trump may brag, but the public is not buying it -- and they believe he has actually done a worse job than past presidents. Clinton and Bush both had pluralities saying they had no effect on terrorism. Obama had a tie between those saying he made us safer and those saying he made us less safe. Trump is the only president with a plurality (41%) saying he has made the country less safe from terrorism.

The chart above uses information from the latest Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between May 13th and 15th of a random national sample of 1,500 adults, with a 3 point margin of error.

License To Complain

Political Cartoon is by John Cole in the Scranton Times-Tribune.

U.S.: Worse Wealth Distribution Than 3rd World Countries

The United States, in modern times, has prided itself on being a nation that provided a decent living for most of its citizens -- a nation where wealth was fairly distributed to its citizens (unlike many 3rd world countries made up of "haves" and "have-nots"). In the past that was mostly true. But it is not true now.

The chart above shows the distribution of wealth in the United States in 2017. Note that the bottom 70% of Americans own only 6.9% of the nation's wealth. The bottom 40% own no wealth at all (meaning they owe as much as they own), and the bottom 20% have negative wealth (owing more than they own). Meanwhile, the top 20% owns 87% of the nations wealth, the top 10% owns 75%, and the top 1% owns 35.5%.

That's the most unequal distribution of wealth since the days of the "robber barons" -- and it is getting worse with each passing year. Donald Trump and the Republicans were voted into power because they promised to make life better for American workers. They lied.

What they actually did was make things worse by doubling down on their ridiculous "trickle-down" economic policy. They passed a massive tax cut that they said benefitted the middle class. But over 80% of the benefits went to the rich, and corporations made out like bandits. Their actions will make the wealth distribution much worse -- much more unequal!

Thanks to the Republican economic policies, the United States has become a nation of "haves" and "have-nots" -- and is actually much worse than many of the 3rd world countries we used to pity.

The Republican Party is NOT the party of workers. It is the party of the rich and corporations. American voters need to realize that. The economy will not be fixed until they are voted out of power.

Dancing Partners

Political cartoon is by Pierre Ballouhey at

Seven Charts That Should Shame All Americans

The charts below are from Oxfam America. They show the number of Americans living in or near poverty, even though they are working at a full-time job. You can go to the Oxfam website to see the interaction charts, showing the exact figures for each state. On the charts below, the darker colors represent a higher percentage. These charts show the percentages working for less than $12 an hour (a poverty wage), and the percentage without any paid sick leave.

According to Oxfam America:

The federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 an hour for seven years. This is a poverty wage, and has an effect on wages for millions of jobs. Overall, 58.3 million workers (43.7 percent) earn under $15 an hour; 41.7 million (31.3 percent) earn under $12 an hour.

Percentage Making Less Than $12 An Hour

Percentage Of Men Making Under $12 An Hour

Percentage Of Women Making Less Than $12 An Hour

Percentage Of Whites Making Less Than $12 An Hour

Percentage Of Blacks Making Less Than $12 An Hour

Percentage Of Hispanics Making Less Than $12 An Hour

Percentage Of Workers Without Any Paid Sick Leave


Political Cartoon is by Andy Marlette in the Pensacola News Journal.

Tillerson Lobs A Shell Across Trump's Bow

(This caricature of Rex Tillerson is by DonkeyHotey.)

I thought Rex Tillerson was a terrible Secretary of State, and I've seldom agreed with him on anything. He is one of those corporate types that think a corporations bottom line is more important that saving the environment or the planet.

But as they say -- even a broken clock is right twice a day. And Tillerson should be given credit for a moment of truth-telling. I don't know if he did it just to get back at Donald Trump (for ousting him as Secretary of State) or if he just had a moment of intellectual clarity, but he hit the nail on its head when speaking to the graduating class at the Virginia Military Institute.

Here is just a bit of what he said:

"If our leaders seek to conceal the truth or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom." 

"If we do not as Americans confront the crisis of ethics and integrity in our society and among our leaders in both the public and private sector — and regrettably at times even the nonprofit sector — then American democracy as we know it is entering its twilight years." 

"We do not have to look far to find examples of the cost to individuals and to society when integrity is sacrificed for immediate gain or personal achievement."

"Such damage strikes at the very heart of a free society. It undermines the public trust in institutions and the overwhelming number of individuals, organizations who do live and compete by the rules every day."

Poop-ulist Prez

Political Cartoon is by Joel Pett in the Lexington Herald Leader.

It Makes No Sense