Saturday, January 16, 2021

Rioters Intended To Assassinate Elected Officials

 

Public Overwhelmingly Supports An Additional Stimulus Bill


 The chart above is from the Politico / Morning Consult Poll -- done between January 8th and 11th of a nationwide sample of 1,996 registered voters, with a 2 point margin of error.

It shows that Joe Biden is on solid ground with his new stimulus proposal. About 84% of registered voters support an additional stimulus (64% strongly and 20% somewhat). Only 11% are opposed (5% strongly).

Breaking Democracy

Political Cartoon is by Matt Wuerker at Politico.com.
 

Most Don't Want Trump To Remain A Major Political Figure


 


The three charts above are from the nonpartisan Pew Research Center. They questioned 5,360 adults nationwide between January 8th and 12th, and the survey has a 1.9 point margin of error.

It shows Donald Trump has a record 39 point net negative job approval (29% approve to 68% disapprove). It also shows that about 75% say Trump has at least some responsibility for the riot at the Capitol (53% a lot and 23% some). And 68% say they don't want to see Trump remain an important political figure in the future.

Trump's actions since the election have seriously damaged his political future.

No More Comparisons

Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at claytoonz.com.
 

U.S. Leadership Approval Is Very Low Around The World


 

The charts above are from the Gallup Poll. Gallup questioned people in 60 countries, asking them if they approved of the leadership job being done by the United States. Only 9 of the 60 countries had 50% approval of U.S. leadership or more. The other 51 countries had less than 50% approval -- most of them far less.

Before the Trump administration came to power, most of those countries would have had faith in U.S. leadership. In only one term, Trump destroyed faith in U.S. leadership around the world.

White Privilege

 Political Cartoon is by Dave Whamond at Cagle.com.

Trump Refuses To Resign - Doesn't Trust Pence To Pardon

I have said on this blog that the smart move for Trump would be to resign, and let Pence pardon him. That is not going to happen.

I think the main reason is Trump's rampant narcissism. He cannot be seen as giving in to his enemies or being weak. But their has emerged another reason. He doesn't trust Mike Pence to pardon him!

Frankly, I don't blame him. The way he has treated Pence in the last couple of weeks could well encourage the Vice-President to withhold a pardon.

Trump tried to pressure Pence to break the law and throw out electors from states that voted against Trump. When Pence said he could not legally do that, Trump bad mouthed him to his MAGA followers. Then sent them to Capitol Hill together Pence, and the rioters could be heard chanting "Hang Pence".

Why should Pence pardon a seditionist who put his life in danger?

Here's a tiny part of how CNN.com is covering Trump's last few days in office.

Trump has been consumed by the unraveling of his presidency during his last days in office, according to people around him, which included a casual discussion among advisers recently about a possible resignation.

Trump shut the idea down almost immediately. And he has made clear to aides in separate conversations that mere mention of President Richard Nixon, the last president to resign, was banned.

He told one adviser during an expletive-laden conversation recently never to bring up the ex-president ever again. During the passing mention of resigning this week, Trump told people he couldn't count on Vice President Mike Pence to pardon him like Gerald Ford did Nixon, anyway.

Eager for a final taste of the pomp of being president, Trump has asked for a major send-off on Inauguration Day next week, according to people familiar with the matter, before one last presidential flight to Palm Beach.

But the signs of his impending departure are everywhere -- including right outside his window. Workers hung bunting Thursday that read "2021 Biden-Harris Inauguration" from temporary stands across from the White House North Portico. It was visible from his third-story residence.

Inside the building, Trump has been weathering a second impeachment and growing isolation from his onetime allies in sullen desolation. He has grown more and more worried about what legal or financial calamities may await him when he is no longer president, people who have spoken to him said, fueled by warnings from lawyers and advisers. He is weighing pardons, including for himself and his family, as he attempts to muster a legal team for another impeachment trial. And he is resentful of Republicans who he feels abandoned him in his hour of need, including the GOP leaders of the House and Senate.

Aides have pleaded with Trump to deliver some type of farewell address, either live or taped, that would tick through his accomplishments in office. But he has appeared disinterested and noncommittal.

Healing Without Accountability?

Political Cartoon is by Drew Sheneman in the New Jersey Star-Ledger.
 

Trump Is Responsible For Deaths Of Thousands In The U.S.


 

Friday, January 15, 2021

A Sad Fact!


 

Most Agree The Economy Is Unfair - Rigged To Benefit Rich


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.

A Dubious Accomplishment


 Political Cartoon is by J.D. Crowe for the Alabama Media Group.

Public Is Split On Pence, Pelosi, Romney - But Not Others


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. 

Beware!


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

Nearly A Million Workers Filed For Unemployment Last Week


 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.

Brainwashed

 Political Cartoon is by Ed Hall at Artizans.com.

Those Who Sponsored The Sedition Must Be Punished


 The following post is by former Labor Secretary Robert Reich on his own blog. I agree with every word he has written!

Call me old-fashioned, but when the president of the United States encourages armed insurgents to breach the Capitol and threaten the physical safety of Congress, in order to remain in power, I call it an attempted coup.

Last week’ rampage left five dead, including a Capitol Hill police officer who was injured when he tangled with the pro-Trump mob. We’re fortunate the carnage wasn’t greater.

That the attempted coup failed shouldn’t blind us to its significance or the stain it has left on America. Nor to the importance of holding those responsible fully accountable. 

Trump’s culpability is beyond dispute. “There’s no question the president formed the mob, the president incited the mob, the president addressed the mob. He lit the flame,” said Rep. Elizabeth Cheney, the third-highest ranking Republican in the House.

He should be impeached, convicted, and removed from office – immediately.  

To let the clock run out on his presidency and allow Trump to seek the presidency again would signal that attempted coups are part of the American system. If Senate Republicans can install a new Supreme Court justice in eight days, Trump can be removed from office within ten. 

He should then be arrested and tried for inciting violence and sedition (along with Trump Jr. and Rudy “trial-by-combat” Giuliani).

Those who attacked the Capitol should also be prosecuted. They have no First Amendment right to try to overthrow the U.S. government. 

Trump’s accomplices on Capitol Hill, most notably Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, should be forced to resign. Knowing Trump’s allegations of voting fraud were false, Cruz and Hawley nonetheless led an attempt to exclude Biden electors, even after the storming of the Capitol. 

The United States Constitution says that “no Person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress” who “shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against" the Constitution, “or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.“

Both Cruz and Hawley are eyeing runs for the presidency in 2024. They should be barred from running. 

Other abettors are now trying to distance themselves, but their conversions come too late. 

Senator Lindsey Graham now says Trump must “understand that his actions were the problem, not the solution,” and criticizes the White House for making “accusations that cannot be proven.”

Graham had been one of Trump’s key attack dogs, even bullying state election officials to change voting tallies. If Graham is not forced to resign, he should at least be censured and stripped of his ranking membership on the Senate Judiciary Committee.   

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Michael Pence finally broke with Trump, but only after remaining mute as Trump lied and bullied his way through the last eight weeks, thereby signaling agreement with his preposterous claims. 

McConnell should also resign or be censured and stripped of committee assignments. Pence should be barred from any future public office. 

Some administration officials have already resigned in response to the attempted coup. Transportation secretary Elaine Chao said it was “entirely avoidable,” and education secretary Betsy DeVos told Trump there was “no mistake the impact your rhetoric had.” Other Trumpers are reportedly jumping ship, too. 

Yet before Wednesday most of them defended Trump’s antics, lavished him with praise, and willingly did his dirty work. Their complicity should forever haunt their reputations and consciences. 

Other accessories are Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, and Sundar Pichai,CEO of Alphabet, YouTube’s parent company. 

For four years, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have functioned as Trump’s megaphones, amplifying his every lie and rant. When pressured to remove Trump’s fabrications about the election, they labeled them “disputed.”  

Twitter has now permanently suspended Trump, preventing him from sending messages to his more than 88 million followers “due to the risk of further incitement for violence.” Facebook has banned him indefinitely. YouTube should be next. 

But why did it take an attempted coup for them to act? 

Many business leaders who are now denouncing the violence enthusiastically bankrolled Trump’s re-election campaign, knowing full well who he was and what he was capable of doing. And they’ve had no qualms about advertising on his largest megaphones, including Fox News. All are complicit because they knew Trump would stop at nothing. 

Fox News’s mendacious hosts and producers have no excuse. After repeatedly telling Trump supporters the election was stolen, they’re now saying the attempted coup was “understandable” because Trump supporters believed the election was stolen. Morally, if not legally, they share responsibility for this travesty. 

All are all part of the ecosystem that led to Trump’s sedition. That ecosystem is still in place. 

Those who say we should “look forward” to a new administration and forget or dismiss what occurred last week are delusional. Unless all who participated in or abetted the attempted overthrow of the United States government are held accountable, it will happen again. Next time it may succeed. 

Worst President Ever!


 Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at claytoonz.com.

Members Of Congress Helped Plan The Sedition Of Jan. 6


 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Economic Inequality Leads To Corruption


 

Most People Wanted Trump Impeached & The House Did It


 

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!

Sorry Only For Himself


 Political Cartoon is by Steve Sack in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Donald Trump's Job Approval Is Dropping Like A Rock


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. 

Cruz Is Crapping On Democracy


 Political Cartoon is by Daryl Cagle at Cagle.com.

The Resegregation Of Schools In The United States


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."

Cruz's Deplorables


Political Cartoon is by John Branch in the Houston Chronicle

The Unclassified Memo Sent By The Joint Chiefs Of Staff


 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Just A Few More Days!


 

The Smart Move For Trump Would Be To Resign

I know that Donald Trump is not very smart. I know that he is a raging narcissist. And I know that he is desperately trying to hold on to power. Those things together make it very unlikely that he would resign his office.

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.

Turning The Hate Loose


 Political Cartoon is by Ed Hall at Artizans.com.

Trump Job Approval Drops 5 Points After The Capitol Riot


 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.

Patriot (Not!)


 Political Cartoon is by Christopher Weyant in The Boston Globe.

He Didn't Make U.S. "Great" - He Leaves It In Terrible Shape

When he was running for office, Donald Trump promised to make this country great. That became his slogan -- Make America Great Again.

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.

Leading Them Off The Cliff


 Political Cartoon is by Chris Britt at Creators.com.

Trump Suffers Another Stinging Rebuke


 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Speaker Pelosi Is Right!


 

The Political Ideology Of Adults In The United States


 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.

Trump's Mask


 Political Cartoon is by Steve Sack in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Supreme Court Refuses To Fast-Track Trump's Appeals

Donald Trump is the biggest sore loser in presidential election history. He and his supporters have filed more than 60 lawsuits to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

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.

Child Abuse

 Political Cartoon is by Jimmy Margulies at jimmymargulies.com.

Opposition Grows For Lawmakers Voting Against Election

Several senators and more than a hundred House members voted against certifying the Electoral College results after rioters broke into the Capitol Building and desecrated the building -- putting lives in danger.

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.

Trying To Duck Responsibility

 Political Cartoon is by Daryl Cagle at Cagle.com.

Impeach Him!