Sunday, May 01, 2016

Dangerous Creation


Dallas Cowboys Draft Picks In 2016 NFL Draft

As regular readers of this blog will probably know, I am a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan. I have only missed seeing or hearing one Cowboys game since their inception in 1960. That was when I was having surgery to repair a gunshot wound in 2005 -- and even then, my first question when waking up was "Did the Cowboys win?" (they had not won that one).

So, I hope you'll bear with me as I part with politics for a minute to celebrate the Cowboy's draft picks for this year.

Here are those picks:

4th pick (round 1) -- Ezekiel Elliott, running back, Ohio State (6'0", 225 lbs)

34th pick (round 2) -- Jaylon Smith, linebacker, Notre Dame (6'3", 229 lbs)

67th pick (round 3) -- Maliek Collins, defensive tackle, Nebraska (6'2", 311 lbs)

101st pick (round 4) -- Charles Tapper, defensive end, Oklahoma (6'4", 260 lbs)

135th pick (round 4) -- Dak Prescott, quarterback, Mississippi State (6'2", 226 lbs)

189th pick (round 6) -- Anthony Brown, cornerback, Purdue (5'11", 192 lbs)

212th pick (round 6) -- Kavon Frazier, safety, Central Michigan (6'0", 217 lbs)

216th pick (round 6) -- Darius Jackson, running back, Eastern Michigan (6'0", 221 lbs)

217th pick (round 6) -- Rico Gathers, tight end, Baylor (6'8", 273 lbs)

I have no doubt that Ezekiel Elliott will make an immediate impact, especially running behind the great offensive line of the Cowboys. But this draft will be judged by the players taken after him.

Jaylon Smith was originally projected to be a top five pick in this draft, but then he hurt his knee. He is expected to recuperate fully, but probably will not play until the 2017 season. If he does return to the form he had in college, this this will be remembered as a great pick. He just won't be able to help the team this season.

For me, this draft will be judged as good or bad by how the next four players work out. Can Maliek Collins, Charles Tapper, and Anthony Brown help to improve the defense in the coming season? Will Dak Prescott turn out to be the team's future quarterback (as expected)? Nobody knows, but I hope they are all as good as I think they are. We'll find out when training camp opens in July.

Insulting Lucifer

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

Indiana Democrats Seem To Prefer Clinton Over Sanders


The next state to vote in the Democratic race for the presidential nomination is Indiana. It has 83 delegates that will be allocated next Tuesday (May 3rd). Bernie Sanders is hoping to get back on the winning track in Indiana, but all the polls seem to show Hillary Clinton with a small lead in Indiana.

I think the best that Sanders could do is to split the Indiana delegates with Clinton -- and that wouldn't help him at all. He needs about 80% of those delegates to revive his campaign, and splitting the delegates would do nothing but get Clinton closer to the magic number of 2,383.

The chart above was made from polls listed in RealClearPolitics. They are:

WTHR / Howey Politics Poll (April 18-21) 479 likely voters (4.5 point moe)

Fox News Poll (April 18-21) 603 likely voters (4.0 point moe)

CBS News / YouGov Poll (April 20-22) 439 likely voters (8.2 point moe)

IPFW / Downs Center Poll (April 18-23) 400 likely voters (4.9 point moe)

American Research Group Poll (April 27-28) 400 likely voters (5.0 point moe)

Supporting Trump

Political Cartoon is by Tom Curry in the Big Bend Gazette.

It's Time For Sanders To Admit He Lost Fair And Square

(Caricature of Bernie Sanders is by the inimitable DonkeyHotey.)

The race for the Democratic presidential nomination is as good as over -- and it's time for Bernie Sanders to stop with all the excuses and allegations of unfairness. The rules are fair, and they were followed. He wasn't a victim. He just lost because the majority of Democrats preferred Hillary Clinton to be their nominee.

Melissa McEwan says it best in her post at Blue Nation Review. She writes:

The latest talking point Bernie Sanders, his staff, and his surrogates have been peddling to try to explain why he’s lost, to try to claim the system is rigged, and to try to delegitimize Hillary Clinton’s victory, is that closed primaries are undemocratic—and that if Independent voters had been allowed to participate, he would have won.
Vox crunched the numbers and it turns out that, while Bernie’s fortunes would have been slightly better had Independents been able to participate in the small number of closed primaries so far, he “would have won 41 more delegates than he currently has. Clinton is currently leading Sanders by 293 delegates (without even counting the superdelegates).”
Meanwhile, FiveThirtyEight compares the Republican Primary rules with the Democratic Primary rules, and finds that Hillary’s pledged delegate lead would triple under the GOP rules: “The Democrats’ delegate allocation rules are more ‘fair’ than the GOP’s rules in the sense that vote shares are translated into delegate shares more faithfully and uniformly… If the Democrats used Republican allocation, Clinton would have wrapped up the nomination long, long ago.”
Another talking point bites the dust.
Bernie’s campaign has run out of excuses. The Democratic primary system is not “rigged” in Hillary’s favor. There are no grand conspiracies.
The plain truth is that what happened is the most basic story in politics: Someone wins and someone loses.
Bernie often opens his speeches by recounting how his candidacy was a long shot. How he was the underdog, with very little national name recognition and lacking the powerhouse fundraising capacity of his opponent. He boasts about how they have surpassed all expectations.
All of these things are true. He has had extraordinary success, and congratulations to him for it.
But his ubiquitous tale of his longshot candidacy must now complete its arc with some honesty about how long odds often don’t pay out. It was an uphill battle, and he didn’t quite make it to the zenith.
There’s no shame in that. There is, however, shame in continuing to insist that he is losing for any other reason than because his campaign simply didn’t resonate with as many primary voters.
At this point, Bernie needs to stop making excuses and say these words: Hillary Clinton is beating us fair and square. It’s the right thing to do.

Untrustworthy

Political Cartoon is by Mike Stanfill at ragingpencils.com.

Holy Books ?


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Justice ?


Sanders Has Spent More Money Campaigning Than Others


Ask any Bernie Sanders supporter and they'll tell you that Bernie has received the most money in small donations directly to his campaign than Hillary Clinton (donations directly to a campaign cannot exceed $2700). It is not true. Both candidates have received an almost equal amount donated directly to their campaign -- with Clinton receiving slightly more ($186.7 million to $185.9 million. And more than 90% of that money donated to both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns was in amounts of less than $200.

So both the Democratic campaigns have millions of small donors contributing to them -- and both have received much more money from individuals donating directly to their campaigns than any of the Republican candidates -- with Cruz receiving $79.1 million, Trump receiving $$49.3, and Kasich receiving $16.6 million.

But while Sanders hasn't raised quite as much as Clinton is direct contributions, he has spent more -- about $10.5 million more ($157.8 million for Clinton to $168.3 million for Sanders). And both Democrats have spent more than any of their Republican opponents -- probably because they had raised a lot more money.

It seems that individual donors prefer Democrats (both Clinton and Sanders) over Republicans. But don't feel sorry for the Republicans. Once their nominee is final, you can expect many millions in dark money to be spent supporting their candidate -- corporate money, given in secret.

Sinking Ship

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

Public Views Democrats More Favorably Than Republicans


This chart should make Democrats smile a bit. It shows that the voting public looks more favorably on Democrats than Republicans by a 12 point margin (45% to 33%). And that favorable view holds across all demographic groups (gender, race, age) but one (Whites view them equally at 37%). And although I didn't include it in this chart, all education groups also favor Democrats (HS or less 42% to 36%, Some college 45% to 35%, College grad 47% to 25%, and Postgrad 56% to 26%).

Also significant in this survey was what the members of each party thought of their own party. While 88% of Democrats have a favorable view of their own party, only 68% (about two-thirds) of Republicans view their party favorably.

These numbers are from a new Pew Research Center survey -- done between April 12th and 19th of a random national sample of 2,008 adults, with a 2.5 point margin of error.

Skeptic Shock

Political Cartoon is by Ruben Bolling at Daily Kos.

Trump Is Wrong About Immigration


From Bloomberg Politics:

Donald Trump says a record number of undocumented immigrants are “pouring” over the U.S. border. The latest data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection suggests he’s wrong. Apprehensions at all U.S. borders, a proxy for undocumented immigration attempts, tumbled to about 337,000 in the 2015 budget year, the fewest since at least 2000, as the U.S. ramped up spending on fencing, ground surveillance and unmanned aircraft to more effectively catch potential violators.

Not Better

Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at claytoonz.com.

Creating Terrorists


Friday, April 29, 2016

A Child Who Reads


Cowboys Use #4 Pick To Select Running Back Ezekiel Elliott

The Dallas Cowboys used their number 4 pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft to select Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott.

I was a bit surprised, because I think the Cowboys have more holes on defense than offense -- but Elliott seems to be the consensus best running back in this year's draft. If it takes us back to the type of run offense Dallas had with Emmitt Smith, then I won't complain. And that could happen, since Dallas has one of the best offensive lines in the NFL.

The pick of Elliott could also take some pressure off of quarterback Tony Romo, as defenses will have to respect the run now. And according to the sports pundits, Elliott is also an excellent blocker and pass receiver.

I think this might have been a very good pick -- and I'll like it even better if the Cowboys can get some defensive help in the second and third rounds.

(NOTE -- The "fashion-plate" picture of Elliott is from Newsday. The football photo of Elliott is from WKYC.com.)

Assaulted

Political Cartoon is by Nick Anderson in the Houston Chronicle.

Will Young Voters Abandon Clinton In November ?


It is no secret that a significant majority of young people (voters 18 to 29) have jumped on the Bernie Sanders bandwagon -- and their support of Sanders is passionate. But it is becoming very clear now that Sanders will not be the Democratic nominee. Hillary Clinton will be the nominee.

And social media is full of young people who are saying they will not vote for Clinton. The question is whether this is just a small minority of young voters, or represents the feelings of most of them. Could young people actually abandon Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party in November?

The answer, according to a new Harvard University Youth Poll, is NO. A huge majority of young voters will vote Democratic in November. That poll showed that 61% of young voters preferred the Democratic Party in this election, and only 33% preferred the Republican Party. That an even bigger majority than preferred the Democrats in the Spring of 2015 (when the percentages showed 55% for Democrats and 40% for Republicans).

The chart above, by Daily Kos using Harvard youth poll figures, represents the position of young voters in a Clinton versus Trump race. Note that overall, and in most groups of the young, the figures of those supporting Clinton are pretty overwhelming -- even better than the youth vote for Barack Obama in 2008 (which went overwhelmingly for Obama).

Young people are not stupid. They know this is a very important election. And in a Clinton - Trump race, they will be solidly behind Clinton.

NOTE -- This speaks well for the future of this country also. As political scientists have shown, most people tend to stick with the party they voted for in their youth.

America

Political Cartoon is by Stuart Carlson at carlsontoons.com.

More Republican Voters Dislike Donald Trump Than Democratic Voters Who Dislike Hillary Clinton



It's looking very likely that the Republicans will nominate Donald Trump, and the Democrats will nominate Hillary Clinton. What happens if those are the nominees? Some in both parties are unhappy with that, and are saying they will not vote for the party's nominee.

The Rasmussen Poll did another survey to see which party might be hurt the most if these candidates are the nominees. The survey was done on April 25th and 26th of a random national sample of 1,000 likely voters, and has a margin of error of 3 points.

Their poll showed that about 25% of Democrats say right now that they would not vote for Clinton, while 31% of Republicans say they would not vote for Trump (and another 3% are unsure).

I believe that most of those people will eventually, if grudgingly, fall in line and vote for their party's nominee -- but it is clear that the Republicans have a bigger job to do in winning back voters than the Democrats have.

The Best He Could Do

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

Ted Cruz - "Lucifer In The Flesh"

(Image is from Down With Tyranny.)

Ted Cruz has a small following among the most fundamentalist and bigoted evangelicals, but he is almost universally despised by his colleagues in Washington -- including his Republican colleagues. If you doubt that, just look at what former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner had to say when asked about Cruz last Wednesday:

"Lucifer in the flesh. I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life."

A Match Made In . . .

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

Benghazi


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Protecting (Chinese) Jobs


Looking At The Delegate Math For Democrats

(These caricatures of Sanders and Clinton are by DonkeyHotey.)

Bernie Sanders has run a passionate (and many times negative) campaign, and he has done better than many people (including myself) ever thought he would. And I don't begrudge him continuing that campaign until Democrats in the last 10 states have voted. But, whether his supporters are ready to admit it or not, this race is over -- since he has no chance now to win enough delegates to get the nomination. Last Tuesday night made that a certainty.

Let's just look at the delegate math (from Bloomberg Politics):

Primary/Caucus Delegates
Clinton...............1644
Sanders...............1316
difference...............328

Total Delegates
Clinton...............2164
Sanders...............1355
difference...............809

Hillary Clinton has a 328 delegate lead among the delegates won in primaries and caucuses, having won 56% of those delegates -- while Bernie Sanders won 44%. And when you consider all the delegates pledged to the campaign, Hillary has 809 more delegates, having 61% -- while Sanders has 39%.

There are still 1246 delegates still to be allocated. Clinton just needs to win 219 (or 17.6%) of those delegates to reach the magic number of 2383 delegates. Bernie has an impossible mountain to climb -- needing 1028 (or 82.5%) of the remaining delegates. Is there anyone with half a brain who thinks Clinton can't get 17.6% of the remaining delegates, or that Sanders could get 82.5% of the remaining delegates?

I know that Bernie and his supporters are now pinning their hopes on convincing super delegates to change their minds at the convention. That's a false hope (though I realize it's all that's left now). Why would any super delegates change their mind? Hillary Clinton has won more states, more delegates, and more votes (about 3 million more) than Sanders. By supporting Clinton, those super delegates are just reflecting the will of the majority of voters in their party.

We've still got a little shouting to do before the final states vote, but Hillary Clinton is going to be the Democratic presidential nominee. And that's because a substantial majority of Democrats want her to be the nominee.

Helping The GOP

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

Clinton Smashes The Odious Sanders "Red State" Myth

A couple of weeks ago, Bernie Sanders said the Democratic nominating process was unfair because the primaries had a bunch of "red states" scheduled early, and that Clinton had gotten her lead in both votes and delegates in those red states.

His remark was stupid, and his followers carried it even further by inferring that Clinton could not win "blue states" (states likely to vote Democratic in November) -- and that Bernie should be the nominee (in spite of having fewer votes and delegates) because he did better in those "blue states".

This angered a lot of "red state" Democrats, because it inferred that they shouldn't have a voice in choosing the Democratic presidential nominee. These people don't seem to realize that those "red state" Democrats work as hard for the party (if not harder because of the obstacles they face) as any other Democrats -- and sometimes they are successful. The Bernie supporters putting forth this odious idea are quick to claim to support "one man - one vote", but seem to not want that in red states. Where's the fairness in that?

Fortunately, last Tuesday night, Hillary Clinton smashed that stupid "red state" myth. She won significant victories in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Delaware -- all "blue states". And when you add in the victories in other blue states (like New York, Massachusetts, and Illinois), it becomes clear that Clinton can win in either red or blue states -- and in purple states like Virginia and Ohio.

Hillary Clinton is going to be the Democratic presidential nominee -- and that is true because most Democrats (regardless of the color of their state) want her to be the nominee.

Clearance Sale

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

Ted Cruz Exhibits His Desperation


Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, one of the most disliked politicians in America, has chosen a vice-presidential running mate -- Carly Fiorina. I must admit that I was a bit surprised at the choice. She brings nothing to the campaign, being a loser in both business and politics. Why this choice?

I suppose it could be the old Republican idea that putting a woman on the ticket will make women forget all the anti-woman policies of the party (policies that are wholly supported by Cruz). This same tactic was used by John McCain, who chose a woman so stupid she can't make a coherent speech. I'll give Cruz some credit. The woman he chose can make a coherent speech (even though the point she is usually making is nonsensical).

Republicans don't seem to understand that picking a woman as a token doesn't fool female voters -- especially when those women are as incompetent as Palin or Fiorina. American women (and many men) would like to see more women in positions of power in this country, but they must be competent and intelligent women.

Frankly, I think Cruz just showed his desperation at realizing that whatever slim chance he had to be the GOp nominee was fast slipping away. He just wanted to do something to grab some attention. But what he did just emphasized that he makes poor decisions, and should never be president.

GOP View On Rights

Political Cartoon is by Adam Zyglis in The Buffalo News.

Underpaid


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Slavery


April 26th States Make Their Presidential Preference Known


Yesterday's five-state primary turned out to be a big night for Hillary Clinton, as she won four out of the five states. She won big in Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. She also won a closer victory in Connecticut. Bernie Sanders rather easily won Rhode Island.

Here are the results for each state:

CONNECTICUT
Clinton...............52%
Sanders...............47%

DELAWARE
Clinton...............60%
Sanders...............39%

MARYLAND
Clinton...............63%
Sanders...............33%

PENNSYLVANIA
Clinton...............56%
Sanders...............44%

RHODE ISLAND
Clinton...............43%
Sanders...............55%

But the important part of the night was what happened with the delegate totals. Here is how that stands, with some of Tuesday's delegates still to be determined (according to NBC News):

Primary/Caucus Delegates
Clinton...............1594
Sanders...............1297
difference...............297

Total Delegates
Clinton...............2117
Sanders...............1330
difference...............787

That means Hillary Clinton just needs to get 266 more delegates to win the nomination, while Bernie Sanders needs 1,053 more delegates. There are now 10 states left to vote (plus the District of Columbia, Virgin Islands, Guam, and Puerto Rico).

Anniversary

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

Should Democrats Worry About Non-Support From Sanders ?


The chart above is from The Washington Post concerning a new USA Today / Suffolk University Poll. It shows that currently only about 6 in 10 Sanders supporters say they would vote for Hillary Clinton if she wins the Democratic nomination. The others say they will vote for the GOP candidate, vote third party, or just stay at home. This has many Democrats worried -- and adding to that worry is the fact that Sanders seems to be recently saying that his support will depend on how much he can get from Clinton regarding the platform she will run on.

Should Democrats be worried about this? Would a "sore loser" intransigence from Sanders hurt Democrat's chance to win the White House? I say NO. Here are several reasons why I don't think this is worth worrying about.

1. The Republicans are more split than the Democrats are. And the chances of all Republicans unifying behind either Trump or Cruz is far less than the chance Democrats won't unify.

2. Despite what Sanders and his supporters claim, he and Clinton agree on most issues. There is very little chance the Democratic convention will come up with a platform that Sanders couldn't support.

3. This same thing was feared in 2008, when many supporters of Hillary Clinton said they would not vote for Barack Obama. It was about the same 40%. That didn't happen. When November rolled around, most of them came to their senses and realized they must vote to keep a Republican out of the White House. The same thing will happen this year.

4. Even if Sanders broke his promise to support the Democratic nominee (which I don't think he will), the Democrats have another powerful weapon to bring progressives on board -- Elizabeth Warren. The Massachusetts senator is perhaps even more popular with the progressive element in the Democratic Party than Bernie Sanders -- and was their first choice of candidates they wanted to run. Warren has been neutral during the primary season, but that will end once a nominee is chosen. She will fully support, and work hard for the Democratic nominee (Clinton) -- and she will bring most progressives back into the fold.

Will a few Sanders supporters vote third party or stay home in November? Probably. But it won't be enough to matter for the reasons I give above. It's not worth worrying about.

License To Complain

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

The Troubles Facing The Republican Party

(This caricature of the Republican elephant is by DonkeyHotey.)

The Republican Party faces a bigger crisis than just having to choose between two bad candidates. It also has a growing demographic problem, and finds itself on the wrong side of many issues these days. The following post is by Stuart Rothenberg in Roll Call. He does a very good job of laying out the GOP's dilemma.

Both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have glaring weaknesses as presidential nominees, but that’s only the beginning of the GOP's problems. Just as important, the current mix of top issues is simply terrible for Republicans in general and conservatives in particular.
The country moved noticeably to the right starting in the early 1980s with Ronald Reagan and continuing through the presidency of Bill Clinton (“The era of big government is over”) and even the first years of the George W. Bush administration.
That isn't to say that Republicans always got their way. But issues like taxes, welfare reform, crime, wasteful spending, and national security and foreign policy dominated the national debate. And that gave Republicans the upper hand with an electorate unhappy with President Jimmy Carter’s weak leadership, a Democratic Party held captive by organized labor, and a federal government that had been expanding since the Johnson administration.
Cultural issues also worked to the Republicans’ advantage as many Americans tired of the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s.
Even many Democrats demanded that their party become more pragmatic and responsive to the middle class, and the centrist Democratic Leadership Council aggressively criticized the party of George McGovern, Walter Mondale and Carter.
Today, the national debate sounds very different.
Corporate America is under assault, with income inequality and Wall Street getting more attention than jobs, wages or over-regulation. Many Americans seem hesitant to support a muscular U.S. foreign policy. Democrats are united on immigration reform and campaign finance, while the Republicans are conflicted or divided.
There was once a bipartisan consensus on free trade, but now a majority in the Democratic Party and a significant minority in the GOP oppose it. And politicians from both parties talk more about criminal justice reform than crime.
The debate over cultural issues has also changed over the past few years, fueled by changing attitudes among younger voters.
Not surprisingly, the Pew Research Center found last year that Americans are becoming less religious.
“The falloff in traditional religious beliefs and practices,” noted Pew, “coincides with changes in the religious composition of the U.S. public. A growing share of Americans are religiously unaffiliated, including some who self-identify as atheists or agnostics as well as many who describe their religion as ‘nothing in particular.’ Altogether, the religiously unaffiliated … now account for 23 percent of the adult population, up from 16 percent in 2007.”
The current issue mix strongly favors Democrats and suggests that the party will have momentum beyond the November election, assuming it retains the White House and wins a Senate majority.
This is odd given that a polarizing liberal Democrat is into his eighth year in the White House, and his party is poised to nominate an extremely damaged candidate to succeed him.
True, many of the GOP’s problems can be traced to the fact that Republican voters have been more interested in sending a message of frustration with the party’s current leadership than in selecting a nominee who could both keep the allegiance of the party faithful and attract new supporters.
But the Republicans’ problems go much deeper than their 2016 presidential nominee. The party has failed to dictate much of the national discussion despite opportunities on issues like terrorism, economic growth and government paternalism. Instead, it has preferred to argue with itself about policies, personalities and who is a real Republican.
If you are a Republican and want to blame the media for the party’s problems, go right ahead. But doing so doesn’t change the near-term reality or help the GOP frame the national debate.
None of this means that the Grand Old Party will become irrelevant next year or that the current issue mix will last. Issues come and go, and so will the current ones — though probably not until Hillary Clinton enacts part of her agenda and turns the Supreme Court considerably to the left.
The GOP could very well have a good 2018, since the midterm turnout will likely be more Republican than 2016's and midterms often offer a rebuke to the incumbent president’s party.
But Republicans have plenty of work to do to adapt to the new electorate and to the new issue mix, including looking beyond their own preferences to see what will sell nationally, among all voters.
Temper tantrums of the kind that we are seeing from GOP voters in 2016 may make the Republican rank-and-file feel good for the moment, but they aren’t a sign of seriousness or pragmatism in the adult world.

Tripping Up Trump

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

The Divider


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Fox News


Americans Don't Like Extremists From The Left Or The Right

 Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz are extremists. Their supporters don't like that label, but that doesn't mean it's not true.

Sanders is an extremist of the left, while Cruz is an extremist of the right. Both of them (and their supporters) are convinced that a majority of Americans would agree with their extremist views -- if only the media would help them get their message out. They are both wrong.

There has been plenty enough media coverage of both for the American public to know where they stand on the issues. Americans now know who these candidates are and what they believe. They just don't want what these men are selling.

It is just a fact that the great bulk of American voters are moderates. Extremism scares them -- whether it comes from the right or the left. The country moves slightly to the left or the right at different times, and after a few presidencies, tends to move the other way. But they almost always reject overwhelmingly a candidate of either party that is too extreme. Just look at what happened to Barry Goldwater or George McGovern. Both were viewed as extremists, and both were soundly defeated.

This does not mean that American voters don't want change. They do. They just don't want extreme change. They don't want to upset the apple-cart -- just make that cart a bit better. They understand that the system is out of whack right now, and has been tilted to favor the rich -- but they also understand that the system has been good for this country, and can be made fairer without radical changes. Americans want their change to come in steps, with each step being evaluated before moving to the next. That may not make the extremists in either party happy, but it is the way things are in this country.

And it is not just the general public that feels this way. Note that neither Sanders nor Cruz have been able to outright win the nomination of their respective political parties. The Democratic Party is not an extremist party of the left. It is a moderately progressive party. And while the Republican Party is solidly a right-wing party, it is not an extremist far-right party. That's why both parties have rejected their most extreme candidates (Sanders and Cruz).

This is not to say that Sanders and Cruz don't have their supporters. They do, and those supporters are passionate about their candidate. But those supporters are a minority, and they need to realize that now that the presidential campaigns are winding down. I don't know if they'll stick with the party of their chosen candidate, or vote third party or stay at home on election day. I just know that the American people, as a whole, will vote for the candidate who best represents moderate change in November.

(NOTE -- The caricatures of Sanders and Cruz above are by DonkeyHotey.)

Unifier ?

Political Cartoon is by nick Anderson in the Houston Chronicle.

PPP Survey - Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania, R. Island


Public Policy Polling has released its final surveys of four of the states voting today in Democratic primaries -- Maryland, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. Their numbers, except for Maryland, look a little better for Sanders than some previous polls have shown. They have him four points ahead in Rhode Island, two points behind in Connecticut, and ten points down in Pennsylvania.

That means Sanders could win Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Delaware (which has not been polled). But the victories, if they happen, would just be moral victories -- and he needs to do much better than that. The truth is that to have a shot at the nomination, he needs to win 70% of the delegates in the remaining states -- and he will come far from doing that in any of the April 26th states.

Today's voting will just get Clinton closer to the Democratic nomination, and make it much harder for Sanders to compete.

Taxation W/O Representation

Political Cartoon is by Signe Wilkinson in the Philadelphia Daily News.