Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Repeal Republicans

Trump Supporters Don't Want Offensive Comments Covered

The top chart shows that the supporters of Donald Trump know his offensive statements are hurting him in this election. Less than half of them want the media to emphasize the offensive statements made by a candidate. Clinton supporters and all voters disagree. About 72% of Clinton supporters want the offensive comments by a candidate emphasized, and 60% of all voters (general public) agree.

Oddly enough though, Trump supporters (71%) agree with Clinton supporters (83%) and all voters (77%) that the media should emphasize inaccurate statements. They don't seem to realize that Trump is the king of liars -- making statements that don't even have a passing relationship with accuracy or truth.

These charts are from a new Pew Research Center survey -- done between September 27th and October 10th of a random national sample of 4,132 voters, with a margin of error of 2.8 points. 1,396 Trump supporters were questioned (moe 4.7 points) and 1,775 Clinton supporters were questioned (moe 4.2 points).

Trump Train

Political Cartoon is by Pat Bagley in the Salt Lake Tribune.

Gender Wage Gap Has Narrowed, But Not Nearly Enough

These charts are from the Economic Policy Institute. They show the gender wage gap between men and women in the United States. The top chart shows the wage gap from about 1979 until the present. In 1979, women only made about 62.4 cents for every dollar a man made doing equal work.

That has gotten a little bit better now, with women making 82.7 cents for every dollar a man makes. Part of the decrease in the gap is because women are paid a bit more now, but sadly, part is also because the wages for men have decreased.

The second chart shows that the wage gap exists among all income levels. In fact, it is a little less among the lowest 20% of the population -- mostly because the minimum wage applies equally to men and women.

The other three charts show that the gender wage gap persists among all ages, education levels, and races/ethnicities.

This must be fixed. There is no legitimate reason why women should be paid less than men for equal work. Unfortunately, it won't be fixed as long as the Republicans stay in power in the Congress. They have killed every effort to establish equal pay in the past, and are sure to do it in the future.

On the other hand, the Democrats have tried for years to pass laws to abolish the gender wage gap. And if they are able to control Congress after this election, you can be sure that they, in conjunction with President-to-be Clinton, will fix this inequality.

Election Influence

Political Cartoon is by Joe Heller in The Christian Science Monitor.

Early Voting In Texas

Early voting has started in Texas, and will go through November 4th. The map above is of the early voting locations here in Potter County. Here is the schedule for the sites:

Main Location: Santa Fe Building, 900 S. Polk
• Oct. 24-28             8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
• Oct. 29                   7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
• Oct. 30                   12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
• Oct. 31-Nov. 4      7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. 
Branch Hours:
• Oct. 24-28             12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
• Oct. 29                    12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
• Oct. 30                   12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
• Oct. 31-Nov. 4      12:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Mobile Voting:
• Oct. 31, 12:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.     Bivins Village, 3201 Tee Anchor Blvd.
• Nov. 1, 12:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.     Canyons Retirement, 2200 SW 7th    
• Nov. 2, 12:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.     Park Central, 1300 S. Harrison
• Nov. 3, 12:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.     The Craig, 5500 SW 9th
NOTE -- If any of you Potter County voters would like to meet me, I will be working the Coffee Memorial Blood Bank voting site October 28th through November 4th.

The Blamer

Political Cartoon is by Tome Tales in The Washington Post.

Outside Money Favors Clinton Over Trump By A 2-1 Margin

(The cartoon image above was found at progressive.org.)

When the misguided Citizens United vs FEC decision came out of the Supreme Court a few years ago, Democrats were horrified. They had visions of Wall Street bankers and corporate moguls pouring huge sums of money into national elections to give the Republicans an advantage. But that is not what happened this year. In 2016, the outside money has favored Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by a 2 to 1 margin. It looks like Trump scares the wealthy donors (or they see him as having no chance to win).

Here's part of a New York Times article on the subject by Nicholas Confessore and Rachel Shorey:

Six years after a Supreme Court decision opened vast new channels for money to flow into national elections, Democrats have built the largest and best-coordinated apparatus of outside groups operating in the 2016 presidential campaign, defying expectations that conservative and corporate wealth would dominate the race.
A dozen different organizations raised over $200 million through the beginning of October and since May have spent more than $110 million on television, digital, and radio ads in support of Hillary Clinton, according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission through Thursday.
The handful of organizations backing Donald J. Trump have raised less than half that amount, a steep dive from four years ago, when wealthy Republicans poured hundreds of millions of dollars into groups backing the Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
The Democrats’ success this year reflects, in part, Mrs. Clinton’s close personal ties to her party’s elite donors and her allies’ willingness to exploit the 2010 ruling in the Citizens United case far more aggressively than President Obama did.
But the Democrats are also deeply indebted to one man: Mr. Trump, whose provocations and tirades — along with a loud crusade against his own party’s donors — have virtually shut off what once promised to be a half-billion-dollar spigot of outside money.
“Everyone thought that we would be outspent, that there would be significant operations built at the presidential level for the other candidate,” said Guy Cecil, a former Clinton aide who heads Priorities USA Action, the main hub of big Democratic giving. “That obviously hasn’t happened.”
The biggest groups set up or expanded by conservatives since Citizens United — including American Crossroads, founded by Karl Rove, and the network overseen by Charles G. and David H. Koch — are absent from the presidential campaign, focusing instead on protecting Republicans in Congress.

Kiss And Yell

Political Cartoon is by Jen Sorensen at jensorensen.com.

What Are We defending ?

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Right Choice

New ABC Poll Has Clinton 12 Points Ahead Of Trump

This chart reflects the results of ABC Polls since August. It shows that Hillary Clinton's lead over Donald Trump is growing, and right now she has a 12 point lead (50% to 38%). The ABC News Poll was last done between October 20th and 22nd of a random national sample of 874 likely voters, and has a margin of error of 3.5 points.

Non-Rapid Rapids

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

Registered Voters CAN Vote In Texas Without Photo ID

There has been a lot of confusion about whether a photo ID is required to vote in the state of Texas. Let me try to explain the situation.

Previously, no one could vote in Texas without presenting a valid photo ID. But a federal judge ruled that was unconstitutional, since it discriminated against minorities, and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that judges decision. This did not mean the Voter ID law was completely invalid, and that no voter needed to show an ID. But it did mean that those who do not have, or could not get a photo ID, can still vote.

If you have a photo ID, then you will be required to show it when you go to vote. Excuses like "I left it at home" will not work. You will either have to go home and get it, or cast a provisional ballot (which will only be counted if you show up at the office of the county elections administrator within a few days after the election).

That has not changed. The following forms of photo ID are acceptable (and must not have expired more than four years ago):

1. Texas Drivers License (issued by DPS)
2. Texas Identification Card (issued by DPS)
3. Texas Election Identification Certificate (issued by DPS)
4. Texas Handgun License (issued by DPS)
5. U.S. Military Identification Card (with photo)
6. U.S. Citizenship Certificate (with a photo)
7. United States Passport

The change comes when a person tell the election worker that he/she does not have a photo ID. In the past, this would have meant the person could not vote. That is NOT true any longer.

A person who does not have a photo ID can vote if they are on the official voter registration rolls, and present some kind of ID showing they are the person listed on the registration rolls. That ID can be one of the following:

* Valid Voter Registration Certificate
* Certified Birth Certificate
* Copy or original of current utility bill
* Copy or original of bank statement
* Copy or original government check
* Copy or original paycheck (not pay stub)
* Copy or original of other government document with voter's name and address

If the voter is on the registration rolls and presents one of these alternate forms of ID, they will then be asked to fill out a "Reasonable Impediment Declaration". This is a simple form (pictured above) that says the voter could not reasonably get a photo ID. On the form, the voters will be asked to check a box detailing why they could not get a photo ID. Those reasons are:

* Lack of transportation
* Disability or illness
* Lack of birth certificate or other documents that are necessary to get photo ID
* Work schedule
* Family responsibilities
* Lost or stolen photo ID
* Photo ID applied for but not received
* Other ________________

Once the voter has filled out and signed this form, he or she CAN VOTE A REGULAR BALLOT!

Don't let anyone tell you that you cannot vote without a photo ID if you are registered. If you do not have a photo ID, you can still vote by completing a simple form. Please vote! It is both your right and your duty.

Snipe Hunt

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

Texas Is A Purple State In The 2016 Presidential Election

The chart above reflects the results of a new CBS News / YouGov Poll. It was done on October 20th and 21st of a random sample of 1,031 likely Texas voters, and has a margin of error of 4.4 points.

Like two other recent Texas polls, it shows the presidential race in Texas is very close. Hillary Clinton is only 3 points behind Donald Trump -- within the margin of error of the poll.

Texas is no longer a bright red state (at least for this presidential election). It is currently a nice shade of purple. The winner in Texas will depend on whether Clinton or Trump does a better job of getting out their voters.

This is exciting. It's been a long time since a Democratic presidential candidate had any chance of carrying Texas.


Political Cartoon is by David Horsey in the Los Angeles Times.

Reuters / Ipsos Electoral College Prediction

This electoral college map is from reuters.com.

Very Tiny

Political Cartoon is by Lee Judge in the Kansas City Star.

Dem./Rep. Donors Disagree On Campaign Money Reform

From Paul Hiebert at YouGov.com:

To many Americans, the idea of restricting the role of money in political campaigns is an appealing one. Indeed, after the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision, which relaxed spending regulations, the push for reform has only grown in prominence, as both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have repeatedly addressed the problem in their own way while touring the country.
New data shows that, unlike most issues, the majority of Democrats and Republicans agree on campaign finance reform, with 77% of Democrats and 60% of Republicans supporting more regulation.
There’s some discord, however, between each party’s donors and their voters. Among Democrats who've contributed money to a political candidate in the last four years, 88% want more government regulation, compared to just 47% of Republicans who've contributed within the same time frame.
Perhaps because they're more politically engaged and therefore more ideologically aligned with the party’s position on the issue (the 2016 Republican platform called for the elimination of almost all campaign finance laws), Republican campaign donors are also less likely than Republicans in general to demand more regulation. As the data shows, Republican donors are the only group whose support for campaign finance reform doesn't exceed 50%, as 22% think the current system is adequate and 27% want even less regulation.
Despite their differences on the issue, each party's donors share similar demographics. The majority of Democrats and Republicans who've contributed money in the past four years, for example, are 50 years old and up. Most are also male. When it comes to personal income, 37% of Democratic donors make $60,000 or more per year, while the same is true for 42% of Republican donors.

The GOP And Women

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

Why No Paid Family Leave ?

Sunday, October 23, 2016

What Makes You Different ?

Religion And Same-Sex Marriage - Should Officials Follow The Law When It Violates Their Religious Principles?

It's been more than a year now since the Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional for states to deny same-sex couples the right to marry. At that time, many religious Americans, especially the born-again evangelicals, were horrified and urged public officials to refuse to perform those marriages -- and in a few states (Kentucky, Texas, etc.) some officials did try to refuse. They were slapped down by the courts, and now same-sex couples are able to get a marriage license all across the country.

With a year behind the Supreme Court decision, the Reuters / Ipsos Poll queried Americans on whether they now thought public officials should issue same-sex licenses when it violated their religious principles. They questioned 7,987 adults between June 30th and September 30th, and the results are shown in the chart above.

They found that overall about 56% of Americans said those officials should obey the law and issue the licenses, while only 31% thought they shouldn't. Most religious groups agreed -- including Methodists (+15), Baptists (+1), Presbyterians (+22), Lutherans (+4), Catholics (+38), Mormons (+2), Jews (+24), other religions (+17), and those with no religion (+60). The only group disagreeing were the "born-again" christians (-17).

It looks like most Americans have gotten used to the new reality, and want their officials to follow the law -- including most religious people.

Circus Train Headed For Disaster

Political Cartoon is by Nick Anderson in the Houston Chronicle.

Media Trust And The 2016 Presidential Election

The Economist / YouGov Poll asked respondents if they trusted the political media. Their survey was done between October 15th and 18th of a random national sample of 1,300 voters, and has a 3.9 point margin of error.

The least trusted media was Breitbart (a right-wing web site), which had a -11 trust rating. Next was Fox News, which had an even split between those trusting and distrusting it. The most trusted were -- Wall Street Journal (+20), New York Times (+13), Washington Post (+12), CNN (+7), Huffington Post (+6), and MSNBC (+2).

But none of those political news entities was trusted by a majority of Americans (50% or more). None was able to get more than 44% of the people's trust.

Making matters worse for the media is the fact that most people thinking they've done a pretty poor job of covering this year's presidential election. About 55% say they've done a worse job than in past elections, while only 11% say they've done a better job. And that attitude crosses party lines -- with a plurality of Democrats (37%), a majority of Independents (57%), and a majority of Republicans (75%) all saying that.

Oddly enough though, while the public doesn't have a lot of trust in the media and think they've done a poor job of covering the election, most believe the media when they fact-check the statements and claims of politicians (55% of public believes this). It is only the Republicans that don't believe the fact-checkers. That's no surprise, since their presidential candidate tells more lies and makes more outrageous claims than any other candidate in the election.

Her Donald

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

Electoral College Maps Are Still Favoring Hillary Clinton

From Fivethirtyeight.com

 From University of Virginia Center for Politics

From NPR.com

They Built It

Political Cartoon is by Mike Luckovich in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Says No To Donald Trump

The parade of conservative newspapers abandoning the Republican presidential candidate continues. This time it's the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Their editorial board stops short of endorsing Hillary Clinton, but they do ask their readers to NOT vote for Donald Trump. The editorial board writes:

The dominating image and personality of Republican nominee Donald Trump have defined the 2016 presidential race, and for some of what he has shown us we should be thankful.
The fact that millions of Americans have joined his anti-establishment, anti-government, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-free-trade, anti-news media message must open our eyes to how truly unhappy many of our neighbors are.
Many sincerely believe our economy and our leaders have not and will not treat them fairly. They are angry. Our next president, no matter who it is, must change that.
Still, most of what Trump has shown us has been so dark, so negative, so lacking in the knowledge and demeanor essential in our president that we must urge our readers to reject him.
He has said and done so many things during the course of his campaign, from outright bullying his GOP rivals (“little Marco” and “lyin’ Ted”) to fanning the flames of bigotry (“rapist” Mexicans) to truly repugnant comments about women, that we have taken his measure and found it not only lacking in moral standards but profoundly dangerous to our nation and its highest office.
Should his mouth, so unfettered by reason or humility, be loosed on the world with the power of the Oval Office behind it, we could hardly blame friendly nations for withholding trust or unfriendly ones for raising their guard.
We should have known. It’s not like Trump’s TV reality show personality has changed. We just didn’t think it would get this far – and clearly, the Republican Party didn’t either.
Trump announced his candidacy on June 16, 2015. Before the year was out he would sayMexican immigrants are criminals, that John McCain is not a war hero because he was captured and that he knows more about ISIS than our generals. He mocked a handicapped reporter, called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” and aligned himself with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
He was just getting started.
In the next few months he would favor torture, comment on the size of his genitals on national TV, demean the wife of Sen. Ted Cruz, insult the president and people of Mexico by insisting they would pay for a wall between our two countries despite their objection, cast doubt on our NATO commitments, lashed out at the parents of a Muslim U.S. soldier killed in Iraq, hinted that “Second Amendment people” could eliminate Hillary Clinton and, as we all know, was exposed as bragging about assaulting women.
There’s a reason the real issues about running our country have taken a back seat in this election campaign.
It’s Trump’s inability to devote more than brief and shallow attention to those issues before diverting the conversation to absurdity — like saying if he wins Clinton will be jailed or claiming the election is rigged and balking when asked whether he will accept its ultimate result.
Trump may say this election is about “America First,” and we all must learn from that. We must pay attention to the millions of Americans who have rallied to that message.
But we need a president who is more than a slogan. We need a leader.
Many of his followers say they like Trump because he makes no attempt to be “politically correct.” In a troubled world, a troubled economy and a nation that needs sound domestic policy, Trump is not correct for anything.
The Star-Telegram Editorial Board recommends rejecting Donald Trump for president.

Rigging Expert

Political Cartoon is by Mike Stanfill at ragingpencils.com.


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Choose Hope Over Fear

President Obama's Job Approval Is 52% And Growing

The charts above were made from a recent Gallup Poll -- done between July 20th and October 19th of a random national sample of 44,728 adults, with a 1 point margin of error. It shows that President Obama has a job approval rating of 52% ( more than half of the population) and it has been climbing for at least the last four quarters.

Obama's job approval rating compares very favorably to that of several past president's -- Eisenhower (61.3%), Reagan (53.5%), and Clinton (59.1%).

This does not guarantee the election of Hillary Clinton, but it certainly doesn't hurt her chances either. Trump has been campaigning on the idea that a Clinton presidency would be a continuation of Obama's presidency. It looks like that is not an idea that upsets a majority of voters.

The fact is that the public is a lot happier with President Obama than they are with the Republican Congress (whose job approval remains below 20%).


Political Cartoon is by Pat Bagley in the Salt Lake Tribune.

Latest Poll Averages In Battleground States Favor Clinton

The chart shows the average of the latest polls in 13 battleground states from RealClearPolitics. Ten of those states were expected to be close, but another three has been added to the list (Arizona, Georgia, Texas) because they are no longer a sure thing for the Republican nominee.

For Donald Trump to have much chance to win the White House, he needs to carry most (if not all) of these states, but that isn't happening. Currently, Clinton leads in 9 of the thirteen states, while Trump leads in the other four. Trump has a lot of ground to make up in the next 17 days.

Scorched Earth Policy

Political Cartoon is by Jim Morin in The Miami Herald.

Electoral Map (If Only Certain Groups Voted)

From pbs.twimg.com/media.

Mopping The Floor

Political Cartoon is by Mike Luckovich in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Dan Rather's Commentary On The Final Presidential Debate

The photo (of Dan Rather with Willie Nelson) and the following commentary about the last presidential debate are from the Facebook page of Mr. Rather. He writes:

I suspect the headline out of tonight may very well be Donald Trump’s refusal to guarantee that he will accept the decision of the voters on November 8. It is a horrifying and destabilizing betrayal of the norms of American politics. But it was just one part of the final debate in a campaign that seems to be firmly in the Twilight Zone. This is not what our democracy should be, but it is where we are today. I wonder if many minds were changed. I doubt it. 
Hillary Clinton has been judged the winner of the first two debates. Tonight, many felt Trump needed a knockout to get back in the race. But I think this was Clinton’s best performance - perhaps by far. I think she wanted this to be a preview of her presidency. Her tone was the most straightforward and direct I have yet seen. She didn’t try to run away from her policy expertise. She embraced it. It was as if she was saying, “I am here. I am smart. I am qualified. I will not be intimidated or silenced. And I am ready to be president.” 
The format of tonight’s debate favored depth over breadth on the number of topics. This meant that a lot of important issues (climate change?) were left unquestioned, but the benefit was that the able moderator Chris Wallace could drill down to real policy with the most important quality of an interviewer - the follow up question. And he used it to good effect. 
There has been a silly trope floating around the coverage of the Clinton campaign about "likeability". Many critics have claimed that the very notion is sexist. I agree. Yet tonight, Clinton seemed to throw those worries aside. There were fewer anecdotal flights of storytelling about her interactions with "average families" that you often hear about on the stump. Clinton was steely, determined, forceful. I think this will be the tone of her presidential face, and I think it is one she wears well and naturally. 
Clinton hit Trump hard on issue after issue with knowledge and facts - on Russia, the Supreme Court, nuclear weapons, immigration, and the list goes on. You could disagree with her on policy, but you can’t question whether she knows what she’s talking about. One big line that I think will play on was in the dust up over Russia. Who would have thought that years after the end of the Cold War the specter of Russia would loom over an American presidential campaign? But there you have it. When the discussion turned to Wikileaks and who was responsible for the hack, Trump, disagreeing with the assessment of the U.S. intelligence agencies, said we don’t know who is behind it. Clinton fired back - He would rather believe Vladimir Putin than the military professionals and intelligence officials. It’s a line you could expect from Ronald Reagan. 
By contrast, Trump has been skating through the campaign on buzzwords and applause lines that fire up his base. Tonight the format asked for more substance and he struggled. He often left topics dangling, meandered through head-scratching sentences, and fumbled with thoughts that went nowhere - all lines of thoughts wavering in the wind. Often his most cogent statements were cheap shots. When he would stop talking, I sometimes had to ask myself what was he talking about?
Trump’s millions of eager followers will continue to cheer as the majority of Americans seem to be turning the page on this ugly campaign. They have seen all they need from Trump and they have had enough. There were many lines from this debate that could make for powerful Clinton campaign ads. But I am not sure she will need them. 
Trump may not agree to abide by the results of the election. But hopefully the rest of the country can act with a bit more maturity and decency.