Friday, November 27, 2020

It's Because There Wasn't Any Voter Fraud!

 

Republicans Still Live In Trump's Alternate Reality

 



These charts reflect the results of a new Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between November 21st and 24th of a national sample of 1,500 registered voters, with a 3.2 point margin of error.

They show that Republicans are out of step with the rest of America. While 65% of Americans say Biden will be inaugurated next January, only 32% of Republicans believe that. And while 63% of Americans think Trump should concede defeat in the 2020 election, only 27% of Republicans agree.

Trump created an alternate universe for Republicans, and most of them still live there.

Not His Children

 Political Cartoon is by Mike Thompson in USA Today.

McConnell's Failure To Act Is Harming Millions Of Americans

Donald Trump mishandling of the Coronavirus pandemic has been disastrous for the United States and its citizens. But he is not the only politician to blame. 

Mitch McConnell's action (or rather failure to act) has also caused great harm. And he doesn't seem to be in any hurry to help hurting Americans. He's already given the rich and corporations a giant tax cut, and the a huge bailout after the Coronavirus hit -- and he doesn't see the need to do anything else, even though most Americans are hurting from the combination of the pandemic and the Trump recession.

Here's how Robert Reich describes McConnell's failure:

The Senate adjourned and left town without even trying to pass a COVID disaster relief bill. By the time they return on November 30, based on current trends, an additional estimated 16,000 Americans will have died from COVID-19.

We pay these elected officials to keep us safe, and they’ve failed us. To them I ask: How much death and suffering must the American people endure before you act?

Remember: House Democrats passed a comprehensive relief bill all the way back in May

You, Mitch McConnell, have refused to lift a finger for months, and Senate Republicans have been happy to follow your lead.

Countless Americans are now paying the price for your malicious inaction. 
You should have learned lessons about COVID during its first horrific wave last spring.

First, there’s no tradeoff between COVID and the economy, and no way to get the economy back until COVID is under control. As the virus surges and more shutdowns loom, the millions of jobs we’ve added since April are about to disappear again. I’ve said this since March and I’ll say it again: The only way to get our economy back to full strength is to control the virus.

Second, more shutdowns are necessary. Businesses like Tesla in Alameda County, California, and Tyson meat packing plants in Iowa remained open during previous shutdowns, and both companies suffered COVID outbreaks. No exceptions this time around.

Third, and most importantly, shutdowns are only viable if accompanied by disaster relief so Americans can survive financially.  So pass disaster relief.

Re-up expanded unemployment benefits. The extra $600/week provisioned in the CARES Act expired on July 31st, and all federal relief will expire on December 31st. Expanded unemployment benefits were a financial lifeline for millions during the first and second waves, and must be instituted again to keep millions out of poverty this winter. Don’t listen to people who claim that we have to get people back to work, or keep them working. The best way to stop the spread is to pay people to stay home.

Stop evictions and foreclosures. It would be the height of cruelty to force even more people out onto the streets in the middle of winter as the virus surges. And with more job losses around the corner, we must ensure that a missed rent or mortgage payment isn’t a death sentence.

Distribute another round of Paycheck Protection Program loans to businesses, with strict oversight to ensure the funds actually go to businesses that need them, not massive, publicly-traded companies that have plenty of other options. 

Shore up state and local budgets. State and local governments are facing huge budget shortfalls. Without federal aid, vital public services are on the chopping block – schools, childcare, supplemental nutrition, mental health services, low-income housing, healthcare – when the public needs them more than ever. And local governments need funds to shelter unhoused residents, especially as temperatures drop and COVID intensifies.

Protect essential workers. Tens of thousands of workers on the frontlines have contracted COVID over the past 10 months – including nearly 20,000 Amazon warehouse workers. At a minimum, they need generous hazard pay and paid sick leave.

When the last COVID relief package was passed on March 27th, there were 18,093 new cases that day. Now, there are over 100,000 new cases every day. With hospitalizations lagging behind cases, and deaths lagging behind hospitalizations, it’s clear that this is going to get much, much worse unless people shelter in place. But most Americans can’t do this without relief.

The writing is on the wall. Do your job, Mitch McConnell. Our lives depend on it. 

It's A Long Line

 Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at claytoonz.com.

Biden Tops 80 Million Votes (Leads Trump By Over 6 Million)


 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving


2020 has been a tough year, and many of us will not be able to celebrate this holiday with the family and friends we love. In spite of that, I wish all my readers a very happy and safe Thanksgiving. Take care of yourselves and be thankful. Things will be better next year!

Most In U.S. Are Still In Danger Of Contracting COVID-19


 Nearly 13 million Americans have contracted COVID-19, and nearly 300,000 have died. Some might think we are nearing the end of the pandemic. But that would not be true. The pandemic is worse than ever, and as the map above shows, most Americans are still vulnerable to the virus. On the map, the darker the color, the bigger the percentage of people in that state that have antibodies that would prevent them from getting sick. Even in the best case states, the percentage is only 17%, and in most states, it is much lower. That means from 83% to 99% of the population in the states can still get sick if exposed. We are a long way from "herd Immunity".

The map is from Axios.com.

Still Grifting

 Political Cartoon is by Dave Whamond at Cagle.com.

Another 778,000 Workers Filed For Unemployment Last Week

 

The Labor Department, because of today's holiday, released their weekly statistics a day early. Those statistics show that another 778,000 workers filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending on November 21st. It marks the second week in a row that the number filing for unemployment has risen. The economy, for workers, is not getting better -- it's getting worse.

Here's the official Labor Department announcement:

In the week ending November 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 778,000, an increase of 30,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 6,000 from 742,000 to 748,000. The 4-week moving average was 748,500, an increase of 5,000 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 1,500 from 742,000 to 743,500.

Not All Turkeys

 Political Cartoon is by Matt Wuerker at Politico.com.

Be Thankful For The Unrecognized Heroes Of 2020


2020 has not been a good year for the United States (and the world). Many millions have been struck down by the Coronavirus and many have died -- and sadly, it looks like that will not end until sometime next year. 

But there is a brighter side in the midst of all the suffering. Millions of our fellow citizens have stepped up and, putting themselves in danger, done the essential work to keep the rest of us safe and supplied with the necessities that we needed. They are heroes, and we should be thankful for them.

Megan McArdle writes about these heroes in The Washington Post, including some you may not have considered. Here is much of her excellent article:

Some of those folks are pretty obvious. Health-care workers. Nursing home staff. Delivery drivers. Warehouse stockers. Clerks and cashiers. Line workers at food processing plants. Biomedical researchers who identified the virus, found us better treatments and, eventually, delivered us three potential vaccines with unprecedented speed. Without those folks giving their all for Team Humanity, we’d be in pretty bad shape right now.

People like me, who have been able to work from home, should count the blessings those people have bestowed on us every day — multiple times. More than that, we should be asking what we can do to make life better for them.

But you know all that, so how about a less obvious hero, like — did anyone have “supply-chain managers and operations chiefs” on their list? No? Well I did! Because these individuals have, without much praise and completely invisibly, been making sure that the rest of us had what we needed.

Remember last spring, when toilet paper disappeared from the shelves and flour was suddenly worth almost its weight in gold? That’s because supply chains had been optimized for people leaving their homes a lot — using public restrooms, eating in restaurants, working in large offices. The people who made and distributed that stuff found that suddenly half their customers didn’t need any supplies, and the other half needed twice as much, but not in pallet-sized lots. . . .

Yet somehow they coped. We had shortages of various things throughout the spring, but there was still plenty to eat and drink.

That’s because essential distribution companies such as Walmart and Target and Amazon rejiggered systems to prioritize basic products over “nice but not necessary”; because logistics companies such as UPS and Fedex reorganized their operations to cope with an unprecedented surge in demand for deliveries; and because General Mills and other manufacturers figured out how to fill those trucks and warehouses by squeezing more production out of their existing lines while ramping up new capacity.

Does that not sound like a lot to you? In a steady-but-poky business like food processing, it’s a bloody miracle. But if that doesn’t impress you, consider that everyone managed to get this done at the same time as border closures were disrupting global supply chains they depended on, as key suppliers were shuttered by covid-19 outbreaks, and as they themselves were trying to virus-proof their production lines — spacing out work stations, spraying down surfaces, checking temperatures and staggering shifts.

That feat is somewhat akin to learning to play the trombone while also performing knee surgery. Their incredible versatility is the reason that you and I can sit down on Thursday to a table that is full of food, even if it’s not as full of our loved ones as we’d like. . . .

Be thankful that you live in a time when you didn’t even have to think about it. The silent, unseen labor of people you never met, from shelf-stocker to c-suite, and a system that proved far more resilient than anyone could have dreamed, is the reason that you never even had to seriously worry that the holiday table would be bare. We shouldn’t just offer thanks in gratitude for all they’ve given us; we should bow our heads with a little bit of awe.

Fry That Turkey

Political Cartoon is by Joe Thibodeau on his Facebook page.
 

The Pardons Are Coming For GOP Criminals


 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

With A Whimper And A Tweet

 

Most Republicans Still Don't Accept The Election Results







These charts, which I found interesting, are from the Seven Letter Insight Poll. The survey was done between November 10th and 19th of a national sample of 1,500 voters, with a 2.5 point margin of error.

Conspiracy Theories And Failed Lawsuits

Political Cartoon is by Walt Handelsman in The Times-Picayune.
 

Refreshing! Biden Chooses Only Competent Professionals!

For the last four years we have seen a parade of criminals, grifters, and fanatics appointed to serve in the executive. It looks like those days are over (thank goodness).

Joe Biden has made his first seven picks, including his national security team, and it is a radical change from the Trump administration. There are no family members or criminals or greedy corporatists or conspiracy fanatics -- just competent professionals who have proven their worth through years of dedicated service to this country.

Here part of what Max Boot had to say about Biden's picks in The Washington Post:

After the past four years, it was a disorienting experience to read the rundown of President-elect Joe Biden’s selections for senior national security posts. Where, I wondered, were the unqualified businessmen? The grifters with the FBI hot on their tails? The Twitter trolls? The fanatics? The sycophants? The relatives of the president?

All mercifully missing. Instead, we have a diverse slate of highly competent appointees with decades of relevant experience. Most know each other and Biden well. The backstabbing, extremism and incompetence that were the hallmarks of the Trump administration appear likely to be replaced by professionalism, moderation and collegiality. . . .

All that said, it’s important to keep expectations in check. It’s a vast improvement to get rid of a clueless team that sabotaged the national interest at every turn. But simply because you stop doing the wrong things doesn’t mean that the right approach is obvious or that it will pay off anytime soon.

Trump Is Down To Calling On Crazy Uncles

Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at claytoonz.com.
 

Republicans Are Now Fighting Among Themselves


 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Official U.S. COVID-19 Death Toll Is A Huge Undercount


 

The 117th Congress Will Have A Record Number Of Women


 From CNN:

With races still to be called, at least 141 women will serve in Congress next year, breaking the record of 127 set in 2019, according to data from the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. That includes at least 116 women in the House — smashing the record of 102 also set in 2019 — and 25 in the Senate, although that number could shrink with California Sen. Kamala Harris' ascendancy to the vice presidency. The total in the House includes a woman from Iowa's 2nd District, where two women are running against each other, but because CNN has yet to call the race, it's not known which party will represent the district.

A Big Broom Is Needed


 Political Cartoon is by Mike Smith in the Las Vegas Sun.

COVID-19 Growth In Each State In The Last Week

The numbers show the growth of COVID-19 in each state in the last week -- from 11/14 through 11/21.

These numbers are from The COVID Tracking Project.

Alabama..........215843 -- 230708
Alaska..........22405 -- 26044
Arizona..........273053 -- 295334
Arkansas..........130318 -- 143821
California.........1008377 -- 1087714
Colorado..........154038 -- 194769
Connecticut.........88645 -- 101469
Delaware..........28395 -- 31321
District of Columbia..........18814 -- 19961
Florida..........862990 -- 918240
Georgia..........384997 -- 402435
Hawaii..........16652 -- 17361
Idaho..........79798 -- 89764
Illinois..........562985 -- 646286
Indiana..........244887 -- 289183
Iowa..........163728 -- 184968
Kansas..........115507 -- 134533
Kentucky..........136137 -- 155908
Louisiana..........201981 -- 216709
Maine..........8791 -- 10123
Maryland..........164090 -- 179971
Massachusetts..........186142 -- 204155
Michigan..........275792 -- 329021
Minnesota..........216028 -- 262952
Mississippi..........133340 -- 142401
Missouri..........235722 -- 267312
Montana..........45886 -- 54542
Nebraska..........94922 -- 111661
Nevada..........119006 -- 131733
New Hampshire..........14311 -- 17281
New Jersey..........274736 -- 302039
New Mexico..........62006 -- 79440
New York..........556551 -- 590822
North Carolina..........309118 -- 332261
North Dakota..........62872 -- 71540
Ohio..........290243 -- 343286
Oklahoma..........150205 -- 170924
Oregon..........56018 -- 63668
Pennsylvania..........259938 -- 302564
Rhode Island..........41529 -- 48001
South Carolina..........194014 -- 205018
South Dakota..........64182 -- 72214
Tennessee..........305120 -- 335887
Texas..........1014160 -- 1085524
Utah..........151141 -- 173979
Vermont..........2843 -- 3546
Virginia..........200799 -- 215679
Washington..........125498 -- 139543
West Virginia..........32792 -- 39598
Wisconsin..........323604 -- 372219
Wyoming..........21881 -- 27410

Virgin Islands..........1434 -- 1491
Puerto Rico..........41772 -- 46434
Guam..........5965 -- 6476

Kicked Out


 Political Cartoon is by Ed Hall at Artizans.com.

Biden's First Cabinet-Level Picks Are Announced


 Joe Biden is wasting no time in choosing his cabinet, even though Trump is trying to delay the transition process as long as possible. On Monday, Biden announced his first six picks for cabinet-level posts.

They are (clockwise from the upper left) -- Anthony Blinken (Secretary of State), Alejandro Mayorkas (Secretary of Homeland Security), Linda Thomas-Greenfield (U.N. Ambassador), Jake Sullivan (National Security Advisor), Avril Haines (National Intelligence Director), and John Kerry (Climate Czar).

Unlike Trump, who chose his rich corporate buddies, Biden is choosing competent and professional people to be in his cabinet.

---------------------------------------


Later in the day, it was announced that Janet Yellen would be Biden's choice to be Treasury Secretary. Once again, Biden has chosen a competent professional who can hit the ground running.

The Loser

Political Cartoon is by Keith Knight at keef@kchronicles.com.
 

Trump Has Been Disastrous For The Environment


 

Monday, November 23, 2020

The Riskiest Areas For A Large Thanksgiving Gathering


 

For 3rd Straight Year Hate Crimes Topped 7,000 In U.S.

 







The charts above are from the FBI website. They show the hate crimes committed in the United States in 2019. Those hate crimes topped 7,000 for the third year in a row (7,314 incidents with 8,812 victims -- with 51 fatalities). It was also the third year of the Trump administration. Considering how soft Trump has been of hate groups, I think there is a definite connection.

Desperate Turkey


 Political Cartoon is by Christopher Weyant in The Boston Globe.

Trump To End Birthright Citizenship By Executive Order

Donald Trump has wanted to end birthright citizenship for years -- the idea that anyone born in the United States is automatically a citizen of the U.S., regardless of whether their parents are citizens or not. The idea is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

There is a belief among some on the extreme right that the 14th Amendment was just intended to recognize the citizenship of freed slaves, and does not extend to the children of non-citizen immigrants. Trump is one of those who believe this.

Aides say he is going to issue an executive order before leaving office that will end birthright citizenship. Most in the legal community agree that the order would be unconstitutional, and would be quickly overturned by our courts. But it looks like Trump will try it anyway, hoping that the right-wingers on the court will back him.

Here is part of how Brett Samuels reports this in The Hill:

The Trump administration has revived discussions around taking executive action targeting birthright citizenship in its final weeks before leaving office, according to two people familiar with the discussions.

President Trump has spoken throughout his first term about ending birthright citizenship. Drafts of a possible order have been circulating for some time, and there is now internal discussion about finalizing it before the Biden administration takes over in January, sources said.

The administration is aware the order would be promptly challenged in court, but officials would hope to get a ruling on whether birthright citizenship is protected under the 14th Amendment, according to one source familiar with the plans. Many lawmakers and experts have argued it is protected, but the courts have not definitively ruled on the issue. . . .

The president first proposed ending the practice that grants citizenship to those born in the United States during his 2016 presidential campaign. He revived the idea in 2018 during an Axios interview, saying he would sign an executive order to enact the change.

Trump in August 2019 again said his administration was “very seriously” considering a measure to end birthright citizenship.

In each instance, lawmakers and legal experts have pushed back on the idea and cast doubt on Trump's ability to unilaterally end birthright citizenship. They have asserted that birthright citizenship is protected under the 14th Amendment, which states, in part, that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”. . .

Even if an order targeting birthright citizenship fails on legal grounds as some of his other immigration measures have, or if it is quickly undone by the Biden administration, experts cautioned that it could still have a chilling effect on those seeking to come to the United States.

The Best Offer Trump Will Get


 Political Cartoon is by Mike Stanfill at ragingpencils.com.

Governor Cuomo Will Get An Emmy


 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

GOP Is Making A Mockery Of Free Elections


 

Average Yearly Unemployment Under Presidents Since 1947

 














I just thought some of you might find this interesting. The charts (from the Labor Department) show the average official unemployment rate for each year of a president's term in office.

NOTE -- Trump's rate for 2020 is based on numbers through only October, and when November and December numbers come in could rise or fall.