Friday, January 15, 2021
The chart above reflects the results in a new Ipsos Poll -- done between January 11th and 13th of a national sample of 1,019 adults, with a 3.4 point margin of error.
There's a lot of talk in the news lately about how divided the country is. But there is at least one thing that a significant majority of Americans agree on -- regardless of their political affiliation. They agree that the economy is rigged to favor the rich (at the expense of everyone else).
That's the opinion of 76% of adults -- including 89% of Democrats, 79% of Independents, and 58% of Republicans.
The chart above reflects the results of a new Ipsos Poll -- done between January 11th and 13th of a national sample of 1,019 adults, with a 3.4 point margin of error.
The Labor Department released its weekly statistics on Thursday. It showed another 965,000 workers filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending on January 9th. That's the highest number in several months. It shows that the unemployment situation will not get better until the Coronavirus is under control.
Here is the Labor Department's official statement:
In the week ending January 9, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 965,000, an increase of 181,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 3,000 from 787,000 to 784,000. The 4-week moving average was 834,250, an increase of 18,250 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised down by 2,750 from 818,750 to 816,000.
Thursday, January 14, 2021
The bottom image is from the CBS News / YouGov Poll -- done on January 11th and 12th of a national sample of 1,521 adults, with a 2.9 point margin of error. It shows that 55% of the people favored Donald Trump being impeached a second time -- including 88% of Democrats, 54% of Independents, and 15% of Republicans. About 45% opposed impeachment.
The top image shows the final vote on impeaching Trump for a second time. His impeachment was approved on a 232 to 197 vote in the House of Representatives. The 222 Democrats were joined by 10 Republicans in voting for the impeachment. Four Republicans did not vote. The other 197 Republicans dishonored their oath and themselves by voting to keep a seditionist in office.
Trump will now go down in history as the only president to be impeached twice, and it was done during a single term in office. He will be remembered as one of the worst presidents the United States has ever had, and possibly the worst ever!
The chart above is from a new Politico / Morning Consult Poll -- done between January 8th and 11th of a national sample of 1,996 registered voters, with a 2 point margin of error.
It shows Donald Trump's job approval has dropped to only 34%, while his disapproval has risen to 63% -- a negative rating of 29 points.
In the 1950's, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously outlawed the forced segregation of this nation's schools. And our government, through laws and other actions, has tried to enforce that. For a while, we seemed to be making some progress. But recent numbers have shown that progress has stalled, and we seem to be going backwards -- back to a resegregation of our schools. This is not the path to equal rights and opportunity in our society.
The following post by Russell Contreras at Axios.com highlights this failure:
School segregation between Black and white students has returned to 1968 levels, even as the nation grows more diverse.
Why it matters: Black and white school segregation has deepened toward pre-Civil Rights Movement-era numbers despite decades of strides.
- This places Black students into school districts with fewer resources than white students — but in more diverse settings than in 1968, since the percentage of Latino and Asian American students has skyrocketed.
By the numbers: At the peak of desegregation in 1988, around 37% of Black students nationally attended schools with a majority of white students. Only 19% did so in 2018, according to a report from The Civil Rights Project at UCLA.
- In 1968, around 77% of Black students went to predominantly non-white schools. That fell to 63% in 1988, but then rose again and reached 81% in 2018, the report said.
- Among the nation’s 20 largest school districts, Black students today have the least contact with white students in Chicago, Dallas, Miami, and Prince George’s County, Maryland.
- Meanwhile, the percentage of Latino students has gone from less than a percentage point nationally in 1970 to 27.1% of the overall student population in 2018.
Flashback: "Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal," the 1968 Kerner Commission report warned.
- "What white Americans have never fully understood — but what the Negro can never forget — is that white society is deeply implicated in the ghetto. White institutions created it, white institutions maintain it, and white society condones it."
What they’re saying: "Immediately after the Civil Rights Movement, we made progress on every aspect of poverty and racism in the U.S. But today we are moving backward," said former U.S. Sen. Fred Harris, D-Okla., the last surviving member of the Kerner Commission.
Between the lines: Experts say resegregation came after Republican administrations from Richard Nixon to Ronald Reagan fought against urban desegregation efforts from the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling.
- Federal courts didn't defend desegregation plans, and the federal government abolished funds promoting integration.
- White residents are moving further out and away from diverse suburbs and cities.
- The subprime loan crisis also forced Black residents into more segregated communities.
- Today, even in schools where middle-class Black residents make up the majority, the resources follow white students. That fosters more inequality, said Karyn Lacy, a University of Michiganassistant sociology professor.
Yes, but: The resegregation of U.S. schools often doesn't produce all-Black schools as the declining contact with whites has been replaced by growing contact with Latinos, an issue that has received little research.
- The share of Black classmates for Black students has been falling as the Mexican American and Central American student population grows.
- This has created majority-Black-Latino school systems with small white student populations like Boston Public Schools and Aldine Independent School District in Houston.
- Some Black residents also are moving to new Black-majority municipalities by choice and those are more economically and culturally diverse than 50 years ago, said Andre M. Perry, a Metropolitan Policy Program fellow at the Brookings Institute.
- "We're seeing the browning of America. Today I can see a bodega next to a traditional Black barbershop. I think that's beautiful." Perry said.
The intrigue: Lacy said Black residents will continue to adopt "strategic assimilation" — capturing Black middle-class preference for economic success in the white world while socializing in the Black world (social clubs, Black churches, etc.) where Black identities are nurtured and reproduced.
- "Maintaining a connection to the larger black community counters the demands required of them in white, mainstream society."
- Perry said this practice doesn't negate the changes needed to tackle the systemic racism that devalues Black property and allows unequal funding in education.
- "Police reform, housing, jobs, income equality," Harris said. "We know what we need to do. It doesn't take any more studies."
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
But he should. Not because it would be the best thing for the country. He doesn't care about this country or its citizens (except for a few family members and some rich friends). But because it would be in his own best interest.
Trump is in some serious legal trouble. I'm not talking about his Russia problems (although that could still bounce back on him), but his more recent actions -- things he has done after losing the election to Joe Biden. Specifically, trying to pressure election officials and legislatures into overturning the will of the voters, and urging his supporters to attack the Capitol to force lawmakers into keeping him in power (promoting a coup).
These are serious charges, and unless he is given a pardon, could result in years in a federal prison.
It is reported that he is considering many pardons for his family and aides to be announced a day or two before leaving office -- and that one of those pardons would be for himself. That's not going to work.
A self-pardon would be immediately challenged in Court, and likely be voided. Allowing a president to pardon himself would mean he was above the law. No one is above the law in this country. While the president is powerful, and cannot be arrested or charged with a crime while in office (according to a ridiculous Department of Justice ruling), it would be unconstitutional to allow him to be above the law after leaving office.
A self-pardon could also bounce back on him. By pardoning himself, he would be admitting that he thinks he has broken one or more laws -- and that could be used against him at a trial.
He does need a pardon, but there's only one way to get one that wouldn't be overturned by the Supreme Court. He would have to resign, and hope Pence would give him one (like Ford pardoned Nixon). Of course this would mean mending his fences with Pence -- after condemning him for not breaking the law to keep Trump in power, and urging a mob of supporters to go after Pence.
He brought Pence to the White House on Monday, and aides said the two men had a pleasant talk. This makes me think he is trying to get back in good with Pence -- in case he needs him for a pardon.
Will Trump resign? Would Pence pardon him if he did? I don't know, but it is the only path Trump has to get what he needs -- a pardon. We'll have to wait and see if he has enough sense to realize that.
The chart above reflects the results of two Morning Consults Polls -- done on January 3-5 and January 8-10 of a national sample of 14,000 registered voters, with a 1 point margin of error.
But it was a lie! His rich buddies may be in great shape now (after the massive tax cut they got), but most Americans are worse off than they've been in many years.
Instead of making the country great, Trump has come close to destroying it, and has seriously damaged its democratic institutions.
To be blunt: Trump is leaving the country in worse shape than any president in modern history!
Here is part of what Stephen Collins had to say at CNN.com:
President Donald Trump is leaving America in a vortex of violence, sickness and death and more internally estranged than it has been for 150 years.
The disorientating end to his shocking term has the nation reeling from a Washington insurrection. The FBI warned Monday of armed protests by pro-Trump thugs in 50 states, which raise the awful prospect of a domestic insurgency. Lawmakers have been briefed about a plot to surround the US Capitol by extremists inspired by Trump's false and dangerous claims the election was stolen. Health officials fear 5,000 Americans could soon be dying every day from the pandemic Trump ignored. Hospitals are swamped and medical workers are shattered amid a faltering rollout of the vaccine supposed to end the crisis.
It took 200 years for the country to rack up its first two presidential impeachments. Trump's malfeasance has led the country down that awful, divisive path twice in just more than a year. With House Democrats expected to formally impeach the President for inciting a mob assault on Congress on Wednesday, he will rely on the Republican enablers who refused to rein in his lawlessness to save him from conviction again.
Millions of Americans have bought into the delusional, poisoned fiction that an election Trump lost was stolen, and there are signs that some police and military forces have been radicalized by the grievance he stokes.
The city Trump has called home for four years is being turned into an armed camp incongruous with the mood of joy and renewal that pulsates through most inaugurations. In a symbol of a democracy under siege, the people's buildings -- the White House and the US Capitol -- are caged behind ugly iron and cement barriers.
This is the legacy President-elect Joe Biden will inherit in eight days when he swears to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution -- an oath that Trump trampled when inciting the Capitol attack last week from behind a bulletproof screen while buckling the cherished US chain of peaceful transfers of power. . . .
The virus is meanwhile running rampant. Eleven states and Washington, DC, just recorded their highest 7-day average of new cases of Covid-19 since the pandemic began. For the first time, the country is averaging over 3,000 deaths from the pandemic per day. Trump's outgoing head of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Robert Redfield warned in a recent interview with McClatchy newspapers that the pandemic would get worse for the rest of January and parts of February and that the country could see 5,000 deaths a day.
And hopes that the nation could soon turn a corner are being tempered by the glitches in the vaccine roll out. Just as with the early stages of the crisis, poor coordination between federal and local and state authorities and the overall lack of a broader distribution plan are hampering the effort.
Like everything else, it will be up to Biden to fix it.
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
The chart reflects the results of the Gallup Poll. In 2020, they questioned 18,398 adults nationwide -- asking them their political ideology (liberal, moderate, or conservative). The results have a margin of error of 1 point.
He won only one case -- and it didn't change a single vote. It only allowed GOP election watchers to stand closer to those counting the votes.
Only one of those cases made it to the Supreme Court -- Rep. Gohmert's case demanding the election results in four other states be overturned. The Supreme Court dismissed that case without even hearing any arguments. They refused to hear the appeals from other cases.
But Trump is nothing if not obstinate. He has filed a new batch of cases, which have been rejected in lower courts. Now he is trying to appeal these to the Supreme Court, and he has asked the Court to "fast-track" those appeals.
On Monday, the Supreme Court (without comment or dissent) refused to fast-track any of those appeals.
That means they will not hear any of the cases before Joe Biden is inaugurated on January 20th. After that date it is likely the cases will be moot, as the Court is unlikely to hear them at all. This Court has made it clear they are not going to interfere in the presidential election.
This is not being taken well in their home districts and states. Opposition to them is growing, and many of their hometown newspapers are now demanding their resignation.
Here is part of how Jeffrey Collins reports this for AP News:
Republican members of Congress who voted against certifying Joe Biden’s presidential victory, even after a mob broke into the Capitol, are being denounced by critics in their home districts who demand that they resign or be ousted.
Protesters, newspaper editorial boards and local-level Democrats have urged the lawmakers to step down or for their colleagues to kick them out. The House and Senate can remove members with a two-thirds vote or censure or reprimand with a majority. . . .
In St. Louis on Saturday, several hundred people protested against Sen. Josh Hawley, the first-term Missouri Republican who led efforts in the Senate to overturn Biden’s election. The protestors painted “RESIGN HAWLEY” in large yellow letters in the middle of the street.
A caravan of about 40 cars circled Sen. Ron Johnson’s office in Madison, Wisconsin, urging him to resign. Johnson initially supported Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud, but after the riot, he voted in favor of Biden’s win. Johnson condemned the violence but did not back off voter fraud allegations.
The editorial boards of two of Wisconsin’s biggest newspapers called for Johnson to resign, joining with editorials published across the country that targeted GOP politicians.
The Houston Chronicle, long a critic of Sen. Ted Cruz, said in an editorial that the Republican knew exactly what he was doing and what might happen when he took to the Senate floor to dispute the election results.
“Those terrorists wouldn’t have been at the Capitol if you hadn’t staged this absurd challenge to the 2020 results in the first place,” the newspaper wrote.
In Alabama, the Decatur Daily called for local Rep. Mo Brooks to resign. The York Dispatch in Pennsylvania said congressman Scott Perry is “a disgrace to Pennsylvania and our democracy,” and if he still believes Biden’s election is fraudulent, he should resign because that means his election was bogus too. . . .
The Danville Register & Bee in Virginia said its representative, Bob Good, needs to go because his words struck the matches that led to the destructive mobs.
Monday, January 11, 2021
The following is part of an excellent column in The New York Times by Maureen Dowd:
Donald Trump’s inhumanity, his sick torrent of lies and incitement, came to its inevitable, shameful end on Wednesday, when a mob smeared blood, excrement, hate and death all over the Capitol. . . .
Not only was a Capitol policeman killed after being hit by a fire extinguisher, the entire security apparatus meant to protect our democracy failed. Was the pathetic response to the anarchy engineered by Trump? It would not be the first time he sabotaged the government he was running. He was not even moved to protect his own lickspittle, the vice president, who was in the chamber when it was attacked.
In New York, Donald Trump was a corrupt Joker who took cudgels to the historic friezes on Bonwit Teller. In Washington, he became something evil. He took cudgels to history itself, to our institutions, decency and democracy.
He draped his autocratic behavior in the American flag. Surrounded by Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, F.D.R., M.L.K. and monuments to our war dead, this coward whipped up a horde of conspiracists, white supremacists, neo-Nazis and gullible acolytes to try to steal an election for him. He said he would march to the Capitol with them, but he didn’t, of course. He watched his insurrection on TV, like the bum that he is.
Donald Trump is ruined, along with his repellent family. Even Twitter had finally had enough, suspending its leading arsonist after allowing him to fan the flames for years. The House might well impeach him, and he deserves it, though the Senate might not have the time or inclination to toss him out.
Josh Hawley’s political future evaporated in a cloud of tear gas, and Ted Cruz reinforced why everyone hates him. . . .
We will heal, once the rough beast in the White House slouches off. Something wicked this way goes.