Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pay Attention

Another Sign Of Voter Unhappiness With Congress

Tax day has arrived, and most Americans have filed their taxes (or filed for an extension) -- and I think the overwhelming majority of people have honestly paid the taxes they owe. But a majority of Americans (52%) don't think most of the members of Congress do the same. They think those members of Congress use some sneaky (and probably underhanded) method to avoid paying the income taxes they should be paying.

This is one more example of just how angry the general public is with the current members of Congress. They are angry about their inability to compromise for the good of the country -- and that anger has morphed into a belief that Congress members are incompetent, and don't deserve to be re-elected (as several polls have shown). Now that anger has gone even further, so that a majority now think they are also tax evaders.

All the signs are still in place for a voter revolt against incumbents this November -- and since the Republicans have the House majority, that revolt will hurt them the most.

The chart above was made from results of a recent Rasmussen Poll (done on April 7th and 8th of a national sample of 1,000 likely voters, with a 3 point margin of error).

And lest you think the poll's respondents think that people in general cheat on their taxes, just look at the chart below. Most people think the huge majority of Americans pay their taxes honestly.

B/S excuse

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

CBO Projects Obamacare Will Cost Less, Cover More People Than Expected & Reduce The Budget Deficit

I've been posting about the number of people who now have insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and it turns out to be millions of Americans -- even more than was originally predicted by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Now there's more good news about Obamacare numbers, and this time those numbers involve the costs of the program.

Back in February, the CBO projected that Obamacare would cost about $1.487 trillion between 2015 and 2024. Now the CBO has revised that estimate -- downward. They now say the program will cost only $1.383 trillion during that 10 year period. That's about $104 billion less than their previous estimate.

Now you may be asking yourself -- how can Obamacare be covering more people with health insurance than expected and still cost less money than expected. The main reason is that the insurance premiums have cost less than the CBO had thought they would cost, so the subsidies needed to help many of those who bought private policies aren't costing as much as expected.

And the good news doesn't end there. Both the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) agree that the provisions of the Affordable Care Act "will reduce federal budget deficits by $152 billion over the 2015-2024 period".

So, to summarize -- Obamacare has provided health insurance for more people than expected, will cost less than expected while providing better insurance, and will actually reduce the budget deficit. It seems that the right-wing Republicans were wrong about all of these things. And that's not a Democratic opinion -- but the opinions of the bipartisan CBO and JCT.

Obamacare has not solved all of the problems of our health care system, and it has not covered all American with health insurance -- but it is a big improvement, and it has done exactly what the president promised it would do. By any measure, Obamacare is a huge success.

Science Skeptics

Political Cartoon is by Adam Zyglis in The Buffalo News.

Texas Governor Race - Early Poll

This chart was made from the newly released Public Policy Polling survey of 559 registered Texas voters between April 10th and 13th (with a margin of error of about 4.1 points). I wish PPP had surveyed a larger sample, since only 599 voters is pretty small for a state the size of Texas -- but I don't really doubt this early result. Texas is a red state, and it would be silly for anyone to think the Republican wouldn't start the race with a nice lead.

But the campaigns haven't really started yet, and the campaigns haven't really spent any money yet on advertising (although I would recommend that Davis get started now, since she's the one with ground to make up).

There are a couple of bright points in the survey for Democrats. While voters over 45 prefer Abbott, the voters under that age prefer Davis by a pretty significant margin -- and the same can be said about Blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities. If these groups turn out in large numbers on election night, while Republicans stay at home thinking they have already won, then anything could happen. It's also a good sign that Independents are split right down the middle (40% to 40%), with 20% still undecided.

The biggest disappointment in the survey is that it shows women preferring Abbott by an 8 point margin. This should be Davis' natural constituency, and she will need to hit hard on women's issues to change those numbers.

I may be crazy, but I still think this race is winnable. It won't be easy, and it'll take a lot of hard work, but it can be done.


Political Cartoon is by David Fitzsimmons in the Arizona Daily Star.

You're Paying Wal-Mart - Even If You Don't Shop There

Wal-Mart may well have the best scam of any of the giant corporations. They not only have have the lawyers to help them take advantage of many tax loopholes (so they pay very little in taxes), but by paying their employees poverty level wages they rope the American taxpayer into subsidizing the salaries of those workers (through food stamps and other government programs paid for by taxpayers).

And it doesn't matter whether you ever set foot in a Wal-Mart store or buy anything from one of those stores -- you are still, through your tax dollars, paying a substantial share of worker wages and contributing to the profits of that giant corporation. And the crazy part is that it's unnecessary. Wal-Mart could afford to pay its workers a livable wage and pay its full share of taxes, and still wind up with billions of dollars of profit.

How much are they soaking the American taxpayers for? Well, the Americans for Tax Fairness just did a study into that question, and they found that the taxpayers are providing billions in extra profits for Wal-Mart. Here is the summary of that report:

On tax day, when millions of American taxpayers and small businesses pay their fair share to support critical public services and the economy, they will also get stuck with a multi-billion dollar tax bill to cover the massive subsidies and tax breaks that benefit the country’s largest employer and richest family.

Walmart is the largest private employer in the United States, with 1.4 million employees. The company, which is number one on the Fortune 500 in 2013 and number two on the Global 500, had $16 billion in profits last year on revenues of $473 billion. The Walton family, which owns more than 50 percent of Walmart shares, reaps billions in annual dividends from the company. The six Walton heirs are the wealthiest family in America, with a net worth of $148.8 billion. Collectively, these six Waltons have more wealth than 49 million American families combined.

This report finds that the American public is providing enormous tax breaks and tax subsidies to Walmart and the Walton family, further boosting corporate profits and the family’s already massive wealth at everyone else’s expense. Specifically, our analysis shows that:

Walmart and the Walton family receive tax breaks and taxpayer subsidies estimated at more than $7.8 billion a year – that is enough money to hire 105,000 new public school teachers.

The annual subsidies and tax breaks to Walmart and the Waltons include the following:
  • Walmart receives an estimated $6.2 billion annually in mostly federal taxpayer subsi- dies. The reason: Walmart pays its employees so little that many of them rely on food stamps, healthcare and other taxpayer-funded programs.

  • Walmart avoids an estimated $1 billion in federal taxes each year. The reason: Walmart uses tax breaks and loopholes, including a strategy known as accelerated depreciation that allows it to write off capital investments considerably faster than the assets actually wear out.

  • The Waltons avoid an estimated $607 million in federal taxes on their Walmart div- idends. The reason: income from investments is taxed at a much lower tax rate than income from salaries and wages.

    In addition to the $7.8 billion in annual subsidies and tax breaks, the Walton family is avoid- ing an estimated $3 billion in taxes by using specialized trusts to dodge estate taxes – and this number could increase by tens of billions of dollars.

    Walmart also benefits significantly from taxpayer-funded public assistance programs that pump up the retailer’s sales. For example, Walmart had an estimated $13.5 billion in food stamp sales last year

Blood Moon

Political Cartoon is by Joe Heller in the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

Not Worthy Of Respect

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Reason

Public's View On Income Tax Levels In The United States

It's income tax time in the United States, and therefore a very good time to look at what the public thinks about tax levels. And the good folks at the Gallup Poll have questioned Americans about their views on that subject. The survey was done between April 3rd and 6th of a random sample of 1,026 nationwide adults, and has a margin of error of about 4 points.

The views are not too surprising, but they should be worrisome to elected Republicans in Washington -- since they are the opposite of what those GOP officials have been trying to do. The Republicans say the rich and the corporations pay too much in taxes (even though they are making record incomes and profits), and they want to cut taxes for both. The people disagree. About 66% of the public thinks corporations don't pay enough in taxes, while only 8% think they pay too much. And the numbers are similar for the rich -- with 61% saying they don't pay enough, while only 13% say they pay too much.

And for middle and lower income Americans, who the Republicans want to burden with more taxes and less benefits, the public also disagrees. A plurality of Americans think those groups already pay too much in taxes.

The Democrats need to take every possible opportunity to remind voters of the GOP tax policies between now and November. They are out of step with most Americans.

Mission Statement

Political Cartoon is by Stuart Carlson at carlsontoons.com.

Obamacare Insurance Sales Creeping Close To 8 Million

When the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was passed, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted that about 7 million private insurance policies would be purchased by the end of March of this year. But after the program got off to a weak start last October (due to computer problems), the CBO revised their estimate down to 6 million -- and the Republicans predicted that the 6 million figure would not even be reached.

Both the Republicans and the CBO were wrong -- by a significant amount. It now looks like the figure for the end of March was about 7.21 million purchases. And since the program deadline was extended for those who had trouble getting access to the exchanges, another 570,000 policies have been purchased. That brings the current total to about 7.78 million -- and it is not inconceivable that the final total will reach 8 million.

And that doesn't even count the millions who are now on their parents' policies or the millions who have qualified for Medicaid. Obamacare didn't solve all the problems facing of our health care system, but any honest person will have to admit it has been a huge success.

Why ?

Political Cartoon is by Rob Rogers in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

A Majority Of Older Americans Are Now On The Internet

Maybe it's because I am a Baby Boomer myself, but I found these figures on internet use by older Americans fairly interesting. It seems that you can teach an old dog new tricks, because a significant majority of Americans over 65 years-old (59%) now use the internet (and 71% of those using the internet do so daily). That's pretty good for a group of people who were well into their adult years before home computers were even available to the public.

But while a majority of those seniors are online (using e-mail and searching the internet), only about a quarter of those over 65 use social network sites (Google+, Facebook, etc.), while about 90% of younger Americans do so.

I also found it interesting that there are three factors that influence whether a senior will use the internet or not. Note that those who are the youngest seniors, those with the most education, and those with the highest incomes, have the highest rate of internet use -- while the opposite is true of the oldest seniors, the least educated, and those with the lowest incomes.

These figures come from a Pew Research Center survey done between July 18th and September 30th of 2013. The survey questioned 1,526 people over 65, and has a margin of error of 2.9 points.


Political Cartoon is by Nick Anderson in the Houston Chronicle.

The Court

Monday, April 14, 2014


Anti-Incumbent Mood Is Still Strong In The United States

A new Rasmussen Poll (conducted on April 9th and 10th of 1,000 likely nationwide voters, with a margin of error of about 3 points) shows that the anti-incumbent feeling in the American public is not lessening any. In fact it may be growing. Nearly one out of every four Americans now say that most (or all) members of Congress do not deserve to be re-elected.

Now we know that all members of Congress will not be defeated this coming November. There are districts in both parties that are safe, and will return the incumbent to Washington. It is among the competitive districts where this anti-incumbent feeling is most likely to show up -- and there are two things about this that should worry incumbent Republicans.

First, several polls have shown that the Democrats are happier with their elected officials than the Republicans are. That means some currently held GOP seats could be won in a primary by a right-wing teabagger, and that would put that seat in danger in the general election. Second, the Republicans currently hold more of these competitive seats than the Democrats do.

I could be wrong (it wouldn't be the first time), but I still think the Democrats have a good shot at flipping the House of Representatives in the coming election.

Playing Politics

Political Cartoon is by Jim Morin in The Miami Herald.

The Weapon Does Matter - Guns Make Killing Easier

One of the favorite sayings of the NRA crowd is that "guns don't kill people - people kill people". The idea is that if someone wants to commit a murder, then they can do so with a wide array of weapons. There is a grain of truth in that, but only a grain.

These people want to put all weapons on the same level, and that is simply not a valid argument. The fact is that some weapons are easier to use to kill someone than others, and if you want to kill more than one person at a time then the obvious weapon of choice is a firearm. It is easy to kill many people in a very short period of time with a gun -- far easier than using a weapon like a knife.

The choice of weapon does matter. That point is brought out in an excellent article for CNN by Professor Philip J. Cook and Assistant Professor Kristin A. Goss (both of the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy).  Here is part of that article:

It rarely makes sense to draw big conclusions or make public policy on the basis of anecdotes. But the plural of "anecdote" is data, and sometimes one-off events are useful in crystallizing lessons to guide policymakers and inform the public.

So it was with the Pittsburgh-area rampage this week in which a teenager bearing two kitchen knives is accused of injuring 21 high school classmates and a security guard -- but none of them were killed. It's hard to imagine an anecdote that better illustrates what decades of data show: that for purposes of life and death, the weapon matters. . .

The idea that the weapon matters emerges in studies of robberies and assaults. When committed with a gun, these crimes are far more likely to result in the victim's death than are similar violent crimes committed without a gun. For example, the likelihood that a victim will die when robbed by a firearm-wielding attacker is three times as high as when the victim faces an attacker bearing a knife and 10 times as high as when the attacker has another type of weapon. For victims injured in an assault, the likelihood of death is also greater when a gun is involved, especially in cases of domestic violence. . .

Adding more evidence to the case that the weapon matters, Zimring and Gordon Hawkins later demonstratedthat overall crime rates aren't that much higher in American cities than in comparable cities in other developed countries. We just have higher rates of homicide, and that is because our criminals are more likely to be armed with guns and thus their attacks are more likely to end in the victim's death.

The most important and interesting implication of the instrumentality effect is that if public policy could reduce gun use in crime, the murder rate would go down -- even if the overall crime rate did not. As it turns out, about half of American states have enacted policies that add prison time to felons who use a gun when committing their crimes.

These so-called sentencing enhancements, most of which were adopted in the 1970s and 1980s, were intended to reduce the use of guns in violent acts. Scholarly evaluations based on data, not anecdotes, offer some evidence that these policy innovations have been effective.

This week's tragedy can't help but invoke memories of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School some 16 months ago. The difference today is that, because the Murrysville, Pennsylvania, perpetrator chose to use knives, victims' families can look forward to a future with their loved ones -- instead of planning their funerals.

Pay Disparity

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

House Republicans Are Playing With Fire

These charts were made from information provided by the Pew Research Center's report titled The Next America.

Last week, the Republicans in the House of Representatives passed Rep. Ryan's new budget plan -- a plan that is even more hard-hearted than his previous plan. It would devastate the poor by slashing funding from all social programs, including an additional $125 billion cut in the SNAP Program (food stamps). And it would slash funding for education (the best road out of poverty for many), including a $125 billion cut in college Pell Grants (putting college out of reach for many poor and working class students).

But perhaps most egregious is what the plan wants from this nation's elderly. The plan would eliminate the Medicare program -- a program that insures that all of the nation's elderly have health insurance coverage. They want to replace it with government subsidies to help the elderly buy private insurance. This would mean some elderly Americans would not have insurance coverage, since they would be unable to buy it even with a subsidy -- and it would mean all of the elderly would have to pay more in medical costs (to cover what the private insurance plans didn't pay). It would be a step backward in time -- to a time when this country didn't protect its elderly citizens from medical problems.

And they want to cut Social Security also. While the plan didn't specify what cuts they wanted from Social Security, it did say that action would be taken to "save" Social Security. Now you know they don't want that action to be a raising or elimination of the cap on income subject to FICA taxes, because that would mean the rich might have to pay the same percentage that working Americans now pay (and the Republicans always oppose taxing the rich).

That leaves only a direct cut to benefits, a change in the way cost-of-living-adjustemtnts are made from using the CPI to going to a chained CPI (a lower figure that represents a backdoor way to cut benefits), or a raising of the age to qualify for Social Security benefits (why would deny earned benefits to many Americans who spent their lives doing hard physical labor, and cannot keep working to the higher age limit).

The truth is that the Republicans have always hated both Medicare and Social Security. They voted against the establishment of both, and they take every opportunity they have to damage or eliminate both programs (in spite of the fact that these programs have worked as intended, and lowered poverty among the elderly from 50% to about 10%). This newest budget plan is just more of the same old war against Medicare and Social Security (and other help for hurting Americans).

But as the charts above show, the Republicans are playing with fire in their desire to eliminate or cut benefits for the elderly through Medicare and Social Security. These programs not only work, but they are very popular with the American public. And the Republican effort to convince younger Americans that both programs would not be there when they retire has failed. It is a lie and the people know it. Note that support for both programs is about the same in all generations (more than 8 out of 10 Americans across the generations).

The Republicans are playing with fire in their efforts to damage these programs -- and the Democrats need to make sure the American people know what the Ryan budget seeks to do before the vote in November. This is a budget that could (and should) come back to bite the GOP in the butt.

Still Life Painting

Political Cartoon is by Jack Ohman in the Sacramento Bee.


(This illustration is by Sidney Paget and appeared in an 1891 edition of Strand Magazine.)

By Brian McLaughlin

The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention. ~Oscar Wilde~

He asked for some food
from out of the gutter
I was already late
and began to stutter

Said I'll be back
but he'd heard that before
he just looked away
yeah, he knew the score

I meant to help
I really did
but then somehow
his life took a skid

Slipping away
he no longer had hope
to rise once again
he could no longer cope

Life itself
had become way too much
but my hesitation
stole his last crutch

For there in the gutter
he'd just given up
I was his last hope
and I'd not filled his cup

Oh what I'd give
to go back in time
and help that poor soul
up out of the grime

The morgue truck came
and took him away

“How the hell was I to know
this was his last day”

Increase In BS

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

Justice Stevens

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Religion: Force For Good Or Protector Of The Status Quo ?

(The cartoon above is by David Hayward & can be found at his website called nakedpastor.)

The other day Jim DeMint, head of the right-wing Heritage Foundation, said something particularly ignorant -- that slavery wasn't ended by government, but by "a growing movement among the people, particularly people of faith, that this was wrong". This is revisionist history at its worst. While there were some people, including religious people, who had fought for many years to end slavery (they were called abolitionists), it was the government (by raising an army and fighting a bloody war) that actually ended slavery.

But DeMint's ridiculous statement got me thinking about religion -- particularly the christian church. I was raised in a fundamentalist church, and taught that religion was a force for good in the world. And I venture to say that I think most, if not all christians, were taught that (and may even believe it). But, is it true. Is the church a force for good?

I think a good case can be made that it is not. That doesn't mean that all christians are bad people. Some actually try to follow the teachings of their "savior" -- and like the abolitionists before the Civil War, try to make the changes in our society to make it better for everyone. But let's be honest. The abolitionists were a minority, and they were outnumbered by "christians" who either believed slavery was right (and what god wanted) or by churches that didn't want to rock the boat by taking a stand on the issue.

And even after slavery was ended, did the churches step up and demand that African-Americans be treated equally? A few did, but the majority treated the issue the same way they did with slavery. They either believed and defended segregation and other forms of Jim Crowism were right (and what god wanted) or they again didn't want to rock the vote by bringing the issue up for debate. It took government, not religion, to end Jim Crow and guarantee equal rights under the law for African-Americans.

And it has not changed today. Most churches either oppose equal rights for the LGBT community, or don't want to rock the boat by pressing the issue. And most churches, while proclaiming women have equal rights, refuse to actually grant them those rights (whether in pay, control of their own bodies, or leadership positions).

In the 19th Century, Karl Marx wrote that religion was the "opiate of the masses" -- that by keeping people's attention on the next world, leaders were able to keep them from demanding justice and equality in this world. He was right (whether you agree with his economic theories or not).

The truth is that most churches, and therefore most religious people, are not a force for good. They are a force mainly used to protect the status quo -- because regardless of what religion may teach, people are afraid of change (afraid they might lose some privilege they currently enjoy) and they will oppose change even if that change would help others. And the churches they inhabit follow them, instead of leading them (because those churches are as afraid of change as their members).

I wish churches were a force for good in our society (and the world). If they were, we would probably live in a much better world. But sadly, except for a tiny minority, they are not. Most exist to protect the status quo (even to the point of protecting and trying to justify the bigotry of their members). It takes courage and the willingness to take chances to be a force for good -- and those are qualities that most churches, church leaders, and church members just don't have.


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

Comparing Job Approval Numbers

There is a theme running through the discussions of political pundits that I'm getting more than a bit tired of -- because it makes no sense. It is that the Republicans will win the mid-term elections this year, and maintain control of the House, because the president's job approval numbers are too low.

This election is not on the presidency. That was decided a couple of years ago, when people overwhelmingly re-elected President Obama. This year's election is on Congress -- an extremely unpopular Congress. A Congress that is much more unpopular, and has a much worse job approval rating than the president.

The two charts above are from RealClearPolitics, and they show what all the recent polls say about the job approval of both Congress and the president. And the opinions of the public on the president and on Congress are not even close. In fact, I'd venture to say that Congress would probably love to have the president's approval numbers.

The public is mad at everyone in Washington, but they are much madder at Congress than they are at the president -- and the people they are most mad at are the Republicans (who control the House, and have enough members in the Senate to obstruct any bill they want). If anyone needs to be worried this year about the coming election, I believe it is the Republicans.

The president will still be president after the November election is over. But if there is a voter revolt, which the extremely low numbers for Congress would suggest, then there may be a significant number of Congress members that will be looking for a job next year.

And here is one more chart, this time from the Rasmussen Poll, that shows just how angry the public is with Congress:

Tree / Forest

Political Cartoon is by Christopher Weyant at cagle.com.

The Right-Wing's Leadership Myth (Lie)

The far-right-wingers, especially those in Congress, love to whine about how President Obama has taken the good international reputation of this country and destroyed it. They would have us believe that the people of the world no longer respect the United States because of the president's poor leadership. That is either wishful-thinking or outright lying.

The Gallup Poll has been surveying people in other nations for a few years now, and one of the questions they ask is whether those people approve or disapprove of the leadership of various countries. The chart above shows how the people have answered that question since 2007. Approximately 1,000 people were queried in 150 countries, and the survey has a margin of error of about 2.2 points.

If anything, the president has done just the opposite of what the right-wingers accuse him -- he has restored the world's opinion of leadership in the United States. Note that during the Bush administration (when the right-wing ruled ) the world opinion of U.S. leadership had dropped precipitously to only about 33% or 34% -- which meant that Germany, the entire European Union, and even China were respected more than the United States. But with the election of President Obama, the respect for U.S. leadership began to rebound and now leads those other nations at 46%.

The racist right may hate President Obama, but he's restored the respect for U.S. leadership that their last president damaged. But it's no surprise that they are once again shown to be lying. It's the one thing they are very good at.


Political Cartoon is by Bob Englehart in The Hartford Courant.

10 Commandments

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Brown Starts Off Behind Shaheen In New Hampshire

It's official. Scott Brown couldn't get elected in Massachusetts, so he's going to be a carpetbagger and run for the Senate in New Hampshire. And the New Hampshire Republicans will probably nominate him, since they were looking for a high-profile candidate to run against Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen. But Brown has his work cut out for him. He trails Shaheen in both voter preference and approval rating.

Shaheen has an approval rating of 47% to 46% (about even). That could be better, but it looks great when compared to Brown's approval rating of 35% to 49% (a negative gap of 14 points). Two separate polls show Shaheen with a nice lead over Brown in voter preference at this time. They are the Public Policy Polling survey (which questioned 1,034 New Hampshire voters on April 7th and 8th) and the WMUR Granite State Poll (which questioned 507 New Hampshire adults between April 1st and 9th).

The PPP survey shows Shaheen with an 8 point lead, while the WMUR Poll showed she had a 6 point lead. The WMUR Poll has a margin of error of 4.4 points, and the PPP survey's margin is slightly less than 4 points.

Gender Gap

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

This Trend Should Scare The Pants Off Right-Wingers

Right-wingers, especially those on the far right fringe, don't seem to want to accept reality. They still long for the days when this country was ruled by and for white men -- and they think they can return the country to those days. As these charts made from information in The Next America (a report by the Pew Research Center) shows, that right-wing dream is about as realistic as a hunt for pink unicorns.

The charts show the demographic population trend in the United States (from 1960 through 2060). Note that each 10 year period has shown a smaller percentage of the population being made up by Whites, and a larger percentage being made up by minorities. And around 2040, Whites will no longer make up the majority of the population in the United States -- and that will come much sooner in some states like Texas (where the school population already shows Whites in the minority).

This is especially true of Hispanics, who make up the fastest growing portion of the population. Right-wingers have deluded themselves into thinking that this can be countered by voter suppression efforts and a denial of immigration reform. But at best, that will only put off the inevitable by a short time. Most of the Hispanic growth is not from immigration, but from native-born Hispanics -- and Democrats are now making a concerted effort to get those Hispanics registered and to the polls.

The truth is that the Republicans could save their party by tossing out the racist teabaggers, and moderating their policies toward minorities and immigration. But the very idea of that is anathema to the right-wingers, and the party is controlled in too many states by those same racist teabaggers. It will be a long struggle to wrest control of the party back from those teabaggers, if it can be done at all. But if it is not done, the GOP will join the party they replaced (the Whigs) as existing only in the pages of American history books.

And here is one more trend that will only exacerbate this demographic problem for the Republicans (see chart below). The percentage of new marriages involving interracial couples is growing, and that trend is also destined to continue. And most of these interracial marriages involve Whites (the one group the GOP is counting on to save them).

Minority voters are not stupid. They understand that Republican policies work against them, and because of that, those voting percentages from the 2012 election are not likely to get any better (and might get even worse).