Thursday, June 21, 2018

Science


It's Convention Time For Texas Democrats


I am heading to the state convention of the Texas Democratic Party today in Fort Worth. It's something I look forward to every two years. Living in a red state is tough, and it will feel good just to be surrounded by several thousand good Democrats.

I will do my best to keep posting as I enjoy the convention, and I hope to bring you some pictures and news from the convention.

Political Pawn

Political Cartoon is by Bill Day at cagle.com.

Could Your Immigrant Ancestors Pass A "Merit" Test?


The following poem is on the base of our Statue of Liberty:

 "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"


Donald Trump wants to change our immigration laws. He wants to allow only immigrants that can pass a Merit Test -- people that are wealthy, educated, or have marketable skills (and probably White). His merit-based immigration plan violates the spirit of the Emma Lazarus poem -- that America was a second chance for people who could not find jobs or get an education or feed their families in the country they immigrated from.

I doubt that my ancestor could have passed a merit-based test for immigration. While I have not studied my ancestry in detail, I suspect that most were Irish immigrants trying to escape the potato blight that killed millions of their fellow countrymen. They were likely not educated or skilled, and undoubtably were poor. But the United States accepted them anyway -- and through hard work, they made a better life for their children and descendants.

Could your immigrant ancestors have passed a merit-based test? I doubt it. The rich, educated, and skilled people did not come as immigrants. They were doing well where they were. America got the people who were not doing well -- the people who needed a second chance, and were willing to work hard for that second chance.

I suspect if most Americans were honest, they would admit that their own ancestors could not have passed Trump's merit test. Their ancestors, like mine, would have been rejected and sent back to a land where they had no chance to succeed or to feed and house themselves and their families. Their descendants would not be successful and thriving American citizens today.

Trump's idiotic immigration idea is a violation of the American Dream. America was not founded and maintained as a haven for the rich and powerful. It has grown and thrived because it accepted the poor and the disadvantaged, and gave them the chance they needed to better themselves.

Merit-based immigration is a terrible idea, and it is un-American. We must not let it become the law.

Following Orders

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

Trump Gives In To Public Pressure - Changes Border Policy

 Cartoon image is by Lalo Alcaraz.

Chart reflects the results in the new Economist / YouGov Poll done between June 17th and 19th of a national sample of 1,272 registered voters, with a 2.9 point margin of error.

Last Friday, Donald Trump was adamant about his policy of separating immigrant parents and children and sending children to detention facilities. He was beginning to realize that the policy was very unpopular with the public, and tried to pass off his horrendous policy as just following a federal law that had been passed by Democrats. He even said he could not change the policy -- even with a presidential executive order.

Of course, he was lying. There was no law (passed by Democrats or anyone else) mandating the separation of immigrant parents and children. The new policy had been ordered by Trump and carried out by Sessions -- and Trump could have rescinded it with just a simple phone call.

On Tuesday night, Trump met with congressional Republicans, and he evidently got an earful from them. They were horrified at having to run for re-election with the inhumane border policy in effect. It became clear finally that while many in Trump's base liked the horrific policy, most Americans did not (and that included congressional Republicans).

So, on Wednesday, Donald Trump did something he had never done before -- he knuckled under. He gave in to public pressure and rescinded his policy of separating immigrant parents and children at the border. He still didn't want to admit that it was his policy and a simple phone call would have changed it. Instead, he took the unnecessary step of issuing an executive order (which he had said was impossible just five days earlier).

He continued to lie even as he signed the executive order, claiming he was changing a policy that had been in effect for over 60 years. The inference was that other presidents had also separated parents and children at the border. NOT TRUE. If they were separated in the past (under both Republican and Democratic presidents), it was rare, unintentional, and immediately rectified.

The truth is that this inhumane policy was Donald Trump's, and his alone -- and the outrage of decent and caring Americans forced him to rescind it.

NOTE -- This is not necessarily over yet. The parents and children have not yet been reunited. And Trump's executive order is just temporary (meaning he could go back to separating parents and children). We must be vigilant, demanding reunification of those families, and insuring this policy doesn't happen again.

In A Perfect World

Political Cartoon is by Steve Nease at neasecartoons.com.

Trump Threatens To Shut Down The Government

(Caricature of Donald Trump is by DonkeyHotey.)

Donald Trump wants his ridiculous (and unneeded) border wall -- and he doesn't care who he has to hurt to get it. He tried to separate immigrant children and hold them hostage to get Congress to fund his wall. That just upset Americans, and it looks like he is rescinding that horrible policy.

He has tried the same thing with the Dreamers, saying he would protect them if Congress gave him his wall. But Congress has been unable to agree on immigration reform, and that won't happen before the November elections (if at all).

Now he wants the full funding (about $25 billion) in the budget that must be approved by the end of September. Upon learning that is not at all likely to happen, he is now threatening to shut down the government by refusing to sign the new budget (if it doesn't have full funding for the wall). He doesn't seem to care who would be hurt by a shut down (including Republicans running for re-election).

Here is how Burgess Everett at Politico describes it:

In a private meeting regarding the wall Monday, Trump fumed at senators and his own staff about the $1.6 billion the Senate is planning to send him this fall, according to two people familiar with the meeting. Trump wants the full $25 billion upfront and doesn’t understand why Congress is going to supply him funds in a piecemeal fashion — even though that’s how the spending process typically works. . . .

The president said at the meeting that if Congress doesn’t give him the resources he needs for border security, he will shut down the government in September, according to one of the people familiar with the meeting. He did not give a specific number, but has been fixated on getting the $25 billion in a lump sum. . . .

Senate Democrats offered to provide $25 billion in border wall funding earlier this year in return for giving 1.8 million young undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship. But Trump and most Republicans rebuffed that proposal to salvage the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Democrats are unlikely to provide $25 billion for Trump's wall absent a much broader immigration deal. . . .

On Monday, GOP Sens. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Shelby both tried to explain to Trump that the Senate is merely meeting Mulvaney’s request and has to cut a bipartisan deal with Democrats. The Senate needs 60 votes to pass a spending bill, so Republicans would have to find at least nine Democratic votes. . . .

But Trump has not been mollified. He raised his voice several times in Monday's meeting with Mulvaney, White House staffers and the senators, insisting he needs the full $25 billion — an unlikely outcome in the narrowly divided Senate.

Space Patrol

Political Cartoon is by Bruce Plante in Tulsa World.

A History Of Hatred


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Challenge The Wrongs


U.S. Is Well Down The Road To Becoming A Rogue Nation


The United States has never been perfect. But it has been a beacon in the world for freedom, democracy, equal rights, and human rights. It has been a leader among nations in fighting for those ideals, and it has led by example. Unfortunately, that is no longer true. The United States is now on the road to becoming a rogue nation -- a nation that does not respect other nations or even care for human rights anymore.

Donald Trump started the move toward becoming a rogue nation shortly after being sworn into office. He has made it clear that the United States no longer respects agreements it has made with other countries, and doesn't care how violating those agreements affects other nations. He calls it "America First" -- a misnomer, since the violations don't just hurt other nations, but also hurts U.S. citizens and damages the reputation of this country.

Trump has:

* Withdrawn from the TPP.

* Has tried to re-negotiate NAFTA to favor the U.S., and failing that, says he would withdraw from it.

* Withdrawn from the Paris Accords on global climate change.

* Banned refugees (especially muslims), even though U.S. economic and military action created many of those refugees.

* Announced the U.S. would violate the terms of the Iran Nuclear Agreement (and imposed new sanctions on Iran than would affect many other nations).

* Damaging our relations with U.S. allies, and glorifying dictators (North Korea, Turkey, Russia, etc.).

* Placing tariffs on the products of other nations (Canada, Mexico, China, the European Union).

* Destroying any hope of Mid-East peace by moving U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem

* Announcing the U.S. would withdraw from the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

That last is because that commission had spoken up against Trump's deplorable policy of tearing children away from immigrant parents (both economic immigrants and asylum-seeking refugees) at the border and sending those children to detention facilities (or a tent city in the Texas desert).

This is just the latest human rights abomination by Trump. He has also rescinded protection for "Dreamers" (those brought to the U.S. as children, and have received an education here and also obeyed all U.S. laws -- many even serving in the u.S. military), making those young people subject to deportation from the only country they have really known.

He has also banned refugees, and wants to stop immigration from places he calls "shit hole countries" (African and Latin American countries).

He has called for harsher criminal penalties, even though the U.S. already has 25% of the world's total prison population.

Refused to keep his promise to provide all Americans with decent and affordable health insurance, and has actually taken actions that resulting in millions more people without any insurance at all.

Refuses to raise the minimum wage (currently $7.25 an hour), which keeps hard-working people in poverty.

Americans have always prided themselves on living in the best nation in the world. Is that still true? Only if you're looking through rose-colored glasses with blinders on. We are on the road to becoming a third-world style rogue nation, and Trump takes us farther down that road with each passing month.

It doesn't have to be this way. We have the power to make a change with our right to vote. But we cannot make that change by refusing to exercise that right. Make your voice heard this November -- by casting a vote for common sense economics, decency, and human rights. Cast out the Trump-supporting Republican officials.

"Legal" Child Abuse

Political Cartoon is by the inimitable Lalo Alcaraz.

Public Does NOT Support Trump's Inhumane Border Policy




Donald Trump's new policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border, and confining those children indefinitely in detention facilities, is not going over well with the American public. This is clearly shown in three new polls.

In the Quinnipiac poll, the public opposed the policy by 39 points. In the CNN poll, the opposition was by 39 points. And in the CBS News poll, the opposition was by 50 points. Those are some pretty overwhelming numbers.

In the three polls, about 36% to 58% of Republicans approved of the policy. That's not enough to offset the overwhelming disapproval of Independents (66% to 68%) and Democrats (90% to 92%) -- and it could signal a real problem for Republicans in the coming election.

In spite of the intense public backlash, Trump has made it clear he's not going to change the policy. And so far, only a few Republicans have said they disapproved of the policy and none have said they would support a law changing that policy. If the policy is still in effect in November, it could turn the blue wave into a blue tsunami -- and sweep many Republicans out of office.

The Quinnipiac University Poll was done between June 14th and 17th of a national sample of 905 voters, with a margin of error of 3.9 points.

The CNN / SSRS Poll was done between June 14th and 17th of a national sample of 1,012 adults, with a margin of error of 3.7 points.

The CBS News Poll was done between June 14th and 17th of a national sample of 1,100 adults, with a margin of error of 3 points.

Naming The Evil

Political Cartoon is by Jimmy Margulies at jimmymargulies.com.

Monmouth Poll Shows A Blue Wave Is Still Likely




These chart reflect the results contained in a new Monmouth University Poll -- done on June 13th and 14th of a national sample of 806 adults, with a 3.5 point margin of error.

It shows that Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing by 48 points. And by 7 points, they disapprove of the tax reform plan passed by the Republican Congress. That tells me that the predicted "blue wave" is still very likely to happen. The third chart supports that view -- with the public preferring Democrats by a 7 point margin.

Hearts / Souls Not Needed

Political Cartoon is by Matt Wuerker at Politico.com.

Commander-In-Chief "Bone Spurs" Wants A Space Army

(Image is from Facebook. I don't know who created it.)

Donald Trump has announced that he wants (and has asked our military to create) a new division of the military -- separate from the Navy, Marines, Army, Air Force, and Coast Guard. He didn't go into detail, and left many questions unanswered about this proposed branch of the military.

Alex Ward (with his tongue planted firmly in cheek) has enumerated 25 of the questions needing answers in a post at Vox.com:

  1. Can Trump unilaterally create a space force?
  2. ... Or does he need congressional authorization, as experts say?
  3. Will Trump ever wear a spacesuit?
  4. Would lawmakers approve a new space force?
  5. What will the military equipment look like? Rockets? Lightsabers?
  6. Who will pay for the space force?
  7. Did Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis know about Trump’s decision, even though he’s against a space force?
  8. Did the Air Force know about Trump’s decision, even though it’s against a space force?
  9. Will the training facilities for space force troops be called a “space camp”? Please let that be a thing.
  10. Can the US set up a base on the moon? Newt Gingrich promised one.
  11. What will the space force uniforms look like?
  12. Who will write the official space force song?
  13. What will a space force challenge coin look like?
  14. Where will the headquarters for the space force be?
  15. Did Trump get this idea from Star WarsStar TrekStarship Troopers, or some combination of the three?
  16. When will the US send its first space force member go to space?
  17. People who serve in the Army are soldiers. People who serve in the Navy are sailors. People who serve in the Marines are Marines. People who serve in the Air Force are airmen. But what will we call people who serve in the space force — space cadets?
  18. Will troops in the new service wear space helmets?
  19. Will there be a separate department for the space force, or will it fall under another service (like how the Marine Corps falls under the Department of the Navy)?
  20. Trump has yet to visit American troops in Iraq or Afghanistan. Will he visit troops in space?
  21. How will the space force interact with NASA?
  22. Whom should I call to answer all my questions? Seriously: The Pentagon and Air Force are barely answering any questions.
  23. What should we call the military official in charge of the space force? The Space Commander? Master Space? Supreme Space Leader? Darth Commander? Master Jedi? El Jefe del Espacio?
  24. What will be the first space force acquisition project to go completely over budget and take forever to be used? My guess is an X-wing-style fighter.
  25. Does Trump want a Death Star? He totally wants a Death Star. You know he does.

Processing Center

Political Cartoon is by Matt Davies in Newsday.

A Shameful Period Of History


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Laura Bush Speaks Out On Trump's Border Policy


A Plurality Of GOP Supports Taking Children From Parents


Donald Trump has instituted a new policy that mandates separating children from their parents at the border, and locks the children up in detention facilities -- some of them in tents in the Texas desert under temperatures that exceed 100 degrees. Why is he doing this? To play to his deplorable base and to use those children as hostages to get the unneeded border wall he promised that base.

The American people are not happy about Trump's policy to abuse immigrant children as a political ploy. The general public opposes the policy by 28 points, Independents oppose it by 27 points, and Democrats oppose it by 61 points. Only Republicans have more supporting the policy than opposing it. They support the policy to abuse immigrant children by 14 points.

I don't know how they justify supporting the horrendous policy. Trump doesn't have a conscience, but the Republican base has always claimed that they are the defender of family values. They seem to have abandoned those values. When has separating children from their parents and causing them psychological trauma been a family value?

The Republican base (and their elected officials) have only two values today -- justifying greed, and promoting hate against those who do not look and think like them. Morality is not a consideration.

Republicans must be voted out of power in November -- and they must be kept out of power until they somehow develop a moral compass.

The chart above shows the results of a new Daily Beast / Ipsos Poll -- done on June 14th and 15th of a national sample of 1,000 adults, with a margin of error of 3.5 points.

A Religious LIE

Political Cartoon is by Mike Keefe in The Colorado Independent.

Public Knows The Economy Is Rigged To Favor The Rich


The United States currently has the largest gap in income and wealth between the richest Americans and the rest of the country since before the Great Depression. And the new Republican tax law will only make that gap much bigger at an accelerated pace. It is beyond any doubt that the American economy is rigged to favor the rich to the detriment of working and middle class Americans. And the public is beginning to realize that.

About 71 of the public now agrees with that (including 84% of Democrats, 80% of Independents, and 50% of Republicans). Only 13% disagree that the economy is rigged. That's a huge gap of 58 points.

What can we do about that? The only solution is to vote the Republicans out of power. It is their "trickle-down" economic policy that has created this problem -- a policy that says giving more to the rich will benefit everyone. But it doesn't -- it benefits only the rich. And the Republicans refuse to change that policy. They simply don't care about anyone that is not rich.

The chart reflects a result from the new Daily Beast / Ipsos Poll -- done on June 14th and 15th of a national sample of 1,000 adults, with a margin of error of 3.5 points.

New Friends And Enemies For Trump

Political Cartoon is by Jeff Darcy at cleveland.com.

Once Again, The Texas GOP Platform Is Ridiculous


Texas Republicans had their state convention this last weekend. In that convention, they produced a 30 page platform -- and as usual many planks in that platform would make Texas a much worse place to live if they are realized. Here are just a few of the terrible planks in their platform.

Carbon Tax: We oppose all efforts to classify carbon dioxide as a pollutant. We further urge the US Senate to defeat the “Cap-and-Trade” legislation, as it is outside the authority of the US Constitution.
Environment: We oppose environmentalism that obstructs legitimate business interests and private property use, including the regulatory taking of property by governmental agencies. We oppose the abuse of the Endangered Species Act to confiscate and limit the use of personal property and infringement on a property owner’s livelihood. “Climate change” is a political agenda promoted to control every aspect of our lives. We support the defunding of “climate justice” initiatives and the abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency and repeal of the Endangered Species Act.
International Organizations: We support United States withdrawal from the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, and the World Bank. 
Minimum Wage: We believe the Minimum Wage Law should be repealed.
Prevailing Wage: We oppose prevailing wage laws.​ 
Dodd-Frank: We support the immediate repeal of Dodd-Frank legislation.
Social Security Opt-Out: ​We support reform to Social Security that allows people to opt out.
Trade AgreementsWe support free trade as a necessary component of American capitalism and of the United States’ influence in the world. We strongly oppose the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA), and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). We demand the immediate withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). We demand the repeal of the current Fast Track Authority/TPA.
Vehicle Inspection: No non-commercial vehicles should be required to obtain a state safety inspection.
United States Senators: We support the repeal of the 17th Amendment of the United States Constitution and the appointment of United States Senators by the state legislatures.
Executive Orders: We call upon the President of the United States to revoke all of President Obama’s executive orders that violate our platform.
Flag Desecration: We call for a constitutional amendment banning desecration of the flag.
No Taxes for UN: We condemn any mechanism that allows US citizens to be taxed in order to fund the UN.
Constitutional Carry: We support constitutional carry legislation through any legislative means so law-abiding citizens may carry any legally owned guns openly or concealed while maintaining the option of a permit for reciprocity purposes only.
Gun-Free Zones: We oppose governmental prohibitions on citizens who have a constitutional right to own and carry firearms and knives from doing so. We oppose state-mandated location restrictions, the Federal Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990, and the National Firearms Act.
Firearms Storage: We oppose mandates on personal firearms storage, maintaining that it is the responsibility of an individual to safely store his or her firearms and choose responsibly when and how to make them available to minors.
Weapons Restrictions: We support all legislation and policies that reduce restrictions on legal gun owners to purchase, own, or carry any type of gun, ammunition, accessory, knife, or other weapon, and oppose all that hinder the same.
Abortion Homicide Exemption: We support repeal of the physician homicide exemption of the Texas Penal Code Section 19.06 unless it is absolutely required to save the life of the mother.
Hate Crimes: We urge the complete repeal of the Hate Crimes Law since ample laws are currently in effect to punish criminal behavior towards other persons.
Unborn Child ProtectionWe believe that a person who injures or kills an unborn child should be subject to criminal and civil litigation.
Abolish Department of EducationSince education is not an enumerated power of the federal government, we believe the Department of Education should be abolished, and prohibit the transfer of any of its functions to any other federal agency.
Sexual Education: We demand the state legislature pass a law prohibiting the teaching of sex education, sexual health, or sexual choice, or identity in any public school in any grade whatsoever, or disseminating or permitting the dissemination by any party of any material regarding the same. All school districts, individual schools, or charter schools are prohibited from contracting with or making any payment to any third party for material concerning any of the above topics. Until this prohibition goes into effect, sexual education shall only utilize sexual risk avoidance programs and promote abstinence outside of marriage.
School Security: The Texas Legislature shall pass a statute that allows Texas school teachers, or other school employees, who are certified and insured, to be authorized to carry a concealed gun on the premises of their assigned school for security and protection purposes. The Texas Republican Party supports teachers and staff, who obtain concealed carry licenses, and obtain additional training required by the district, to have the right to carry firearms on school premises.
Voter RegistrationWe support restoring integrity to the voter registration rolls and reducing voter fraud. We support the repeal of all motor voter laws, re-registering voters every four years, requiring photo ID of all registrants, proof of residency and citizenship, along with voter registration application, retention of the 30-day registration deadline, and requiring that a list of certified deaths be provided to the Secretary of State in order that the names of deceased voters be removed from the list of registered voters. We should give the Secretary of State enforcement authority to ensure county registrar compliance with Secretary of State directives. Revise the Title 19 funding to avoid incentivizing retention of ineligible voters.
English Only Ballots: English, and only English, shall appear on any ballot for any election in the United States of America and in the State of Texas.
UN Treaty on the Rights of Child: We unequivocally oppose the United States Senate’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Closed PrimaryWe support protecting the integrity of the Republican primary election by requiring a closed primary system in Texas.
Federal Welfare Programs: We support the abolition of all federal welfare programs, as they are not an appropriate role of the Federal Government.
Gender Identity: We oppose all efforts to validate transgender identity.
Medicaid ReformWe support Medicaid block grants to the states and returning Medicaid to its original purpose to be a temporary assistance. We oppose any further expansion of Medicaid.
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”)We demand the immediate repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which we believe to be unconstitutional.
Planned Parenthood: We support completely eliminating public funding for Planned Parenthood and any other abortion providers and all their affiliates, and we oppose their digital or physical presence in our schools and other public institutions. We also support elimination of public funding for embryonic stem cell research, research on fetal tissue, or human cloning.
Abolish Refugee Resettlement Program: We call for the abolition of the refugee resettlement program.
Citizenship Qualification: We call on the United States Congress to pass a constitutional amendment that defines citizenship as those born to a citizen of the United States or through naturalization.

Not A Crook ?

Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at claytoonz.com.

Capitalism


Monday, June 18, 2018

Reinventing Evil


Trump & Sessions Have Painted Themselves Into A Corner

 (These caricatures of Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions are by DonkeyHotey.)

One of Donald Trump's biggest promises to his xenophobic base was to build a war between the United States and Mexico. But he has been unable to get Congress to fund the unneeded $25 billion dollar wall.

So Trump decided to change U.S. policy. He told Attorney General Sessions to start separating children from their parents at the border -- for both economic immigrants and asylum-seeking refugees. And Sessions happily complied. In effect, he is now holding these children as hostages to force Congress to give him his wall. And many of those children he is abusing are now being kept in a tent camp in the Texas desert under 100 degree temperatures (making his actions even more inhumane than it already was).

But Trump and Sessions miscalculated. They vastly underestimated the anger that ripping children away from their parents would create among the American public.

Trump has tried to mollify the public anger by claiming he is just following the law -- a law passed by Democrats. But that lie has been exposed by the media across the country (except for Fox News). There is no such law -- passed by Democrats or anyone else. If there was, past presidents would have had to separate children from parents, but none of them did. The barbaric action is not by law, but is a policy initiated by the Trump administration.

Sessions also lied about just following the law, and tried to hide behind religion by quoting the Bible. That outraged many religious leaders (including evangelicals). They made it clear that the Bible could not be used to justify the Trump administrations abuse of children.

By trying to blame Democrats for a nonexistent law and claiming to have god's support for their action, Trump and Sessions have waited themselves into a corner. They have put themselves between a rock and a hard place.

If they continue the horrific policy of separating children from their parents, they run the real risk of turning a November blue wave into a blue tsunami.

If they stop the policy, it would be an admission that they have been lying to the American people.

Trump (and his racist lackey) have done many horrible things since being sworn into office, but this abuse of children may be the worst -- the stupidest and most immoral.

I.C.E.-Cold

Political Cartoon is by Adam Zyglis in The Buffalo News.

American Public Still Wants To See Trump's Tax Returns


A few days ago, the financial statements of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump were released. They showed the couple had made $82 million last year (while serving as employees of the Trump administration). That has made many start to wonder -- how much money did Donald Trump make, and how much of that was due to his being president.

The only real way for us to know about Trump's finances are for him to release his tax returns for the last few years. That would answer many questions about where his money comes from (and whether he is beholden to other countries).

Trump promised to release those returns when he was campaigning in 2016, but decided not to keep that promise after being elected. But the public still wants to see those returns. About 57% say he should release them, while only 35% say he should not. These percentages have remained steady since he took office.

The chart above uses information from a new Public Policy Polling survey -- done between June 8th and 10th of a national sample of 679 registered voters, with a margin of error of 3.8 points.

Trump's New Enemy

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

Public Says Trump Differs W/Them On Friends And Enemies



As these charts show, the public doesn't think Donald Trump shares their views on who is a friend and who is an enemy of the United States. Trump is perceived as having a lower opinion of our friends and a higher opinion of our enemies than the American public does. And Trump's recent blasting of our allies at the G-7 combined with his embracing of North Korea's dictator has done nothing to change that perception.

The charts were made using information in the latest Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between June 10th and 12th of a national sample of 1,500 adults, with a margin of error of 3.2 points.

Huddled Masses

Political Cartoon is by Robert Ariail in The State.

Living In Donald Trump's Delusional World

(Caricature of Donald "Delusional" Trump is by DonkeyHotey.)

It has become obvious to anyone with a functioning brain that Donald Trump doesn't live in the real world. And since he took office, we are all living more and more in Trump's delusional world. It's a frightening place where truth is whatever Trump wants it to be, and facts have no place.

The following is just part of an excellent op-ed by Andrew Sullivan in New York Magazine:

It seems so long ago now. Almost immediately after Trump took office, the denial of reality began. The president’s and his spokesperson’s insistence that his inauguration crowd was the biggest in history — and certainly bigger than Obama’s — belied what everyone could see with their bare, lyin’ eyes. At the time, I wonderedwhether the president was psychologically unwell. Three thousand lies later, we have a fuller picture.
The president believes what he wants to believe, creates a reality that fits his delusions, and then insists, with extraordinary energy and stamina, that his delusions are the truth. His psychological illness, moreover, is capable of outlasting anyone else’s mental health. Objective reality that contradicts his delusions is discounted as “fake news” propagated by “our country’s greatest enemy,” i.e., reporters. If someone behaved like this in my actual life, if someone kept insisting that the sea was red and the sky green, I’d assume they were a few sandwiches short of a picnic. It’s vital for us to remember this every day: Almost no one else in public life is so openly living in his own disturbed world. . . .
This, in fact, is the poignant and quite bonkers script in Trump’s head: that the economy was in free-fall until he took office, after which it soared; that he alone has brought black and Hispanic unemployment down; that his administration has accomplished more than any other at this point in its term; that the Democrats colluded with the Kremlin to try to rig the election; that Robert Mueller is a closet Democrat; that climate change is a hoax; that the American-created international trading system was designed to hurt the U.S.; that you can borrow over a trillion dollars in a full employment economy with no consequences in inflation or debt; and that sabotaging the ACA will lead to lower premiums, greater choice, and better health outcomes for all. Each one of these assertions is what he wants to be true. And so they are true. As the chairwoman of the GOP just explained to any skeptics left in the formerly conservative party: “Anyone that does not embrace the Donald Trump agenda of making America great again will be making a mistake.”
The bad news is that a vast chunk of the American public wants all this to be true as well. If you had any doubts that the GOP is now a cult, this week’s primary results should put them to rest. Republican voters have decided that they will follow their leader no matter what he says, and if that means changing their minds on a dime, so be it. Take Canada. Not so long ago, it was funny to attack our benevolent neighbor to the north. Countless episodes of South Park wouldn’t have worked without the baseline of reality that Canada is about as good and boring a neighbor as you can possibly imagine. But Trump has the power to change minds instantly. So in February this year, 94 percent had a favorable view of Canada. Now, only 66 percent have a favorable view, with 13 in opposition and 22 percent suddenly unsure. Only two years ago, free trade was as solid a shibboleth for the GOP as it gets; now, it’s anathema, even for Larry Kudlow! And watching every Republican senator, apart from McCain, Flake, and Corker (all retiring), stay utterly silent after their president praised a mass-murdering dictator and gave him a global PR coup … well, it’s no longer surprising, but it should remain shocking. . . .
We live in a lie now, perpetrated from the very top, enhanced by relentless propaganda, and designed to shore up what is a cult. It is growing in strength. It is precisely now that we must manage at every moment to dispel it. And then to vote, en masse, for its extinction.

Trump's New World Order

Political Cartoon is by Jen Sorensen at jensorensen.com.

"Just Following Orders" Is No Excuse


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Cut The Strings


New GQR Poll Has O'Rourke Within 6 Points Of Cruz


Greenberg-Quinlan-Rosner Research recently did a survey of 1,000 likely voters in Texas between May 29th and June 5th. They found the senate race between Democrat Beto O'Rourke and Republican Ted Cruz to be in single digits -- with O'Rourke trailing Cruz by only 6 points (43% to 49%).

That's the closest Democrats have been in a senate race in more than two decades, and makes me think this race is winnable. Texans know Cruz, and he can't get a majority. If O'Rourke, who's a good campaigner, can get his message to Texas voters in the next four months, we could see a minor miracle happen in Texas.

America Under Trump

Political Cartoon is by Chris Britt in the Illinois Times.

Majority Of The Public Trusts Media More Than Trump


Donald Trump has done his best to cover his misdeeds and lies by attacking the media. He has hoped these attack will confuse the public and let him off the hook. But his campaign against the media is not succeeding. A majority of the public still trusts most media outlets more than they trust Trump.

The public trusts CNN more than Trump by a 15 point margin, NBC by a 14 point margin, ABC by a 14 point margin, CBS by a 14 point margin, New York Times by a 14 point margin, and the Washington Post by a 13 point margin.

The only news outlet that didn't score a majority against Trump was Fox News, where a plurality of 41% was unsure which to trust more. That's understandable, since both Trump and Fox spout the same lies and propaganda.

The chart above reflects the results of the latest Public Policy Polling survey -- done between June 8th and 10th of a national sample of 679 registered voters, with a 3.8 point margin of error.

Fashion By Ivanka

Political Cartoon is by Lalo Alcaraz.