Saturday, July 23, 2016
The chart above (from the Gallup Poll) shows the job approval rating of President Obama. It continues to rise, and now (in his 30th quarter in office) stands at 50.9%. That's not only far better than the pathetic job approval of the Republican-controlled Congress, but it breaks a trend among modern two-term presidents. Truman, Eisenhower, Clinton, and Bush all had their numbers go down in their last year in office.
This Gallup Poll was done April 20th and July 19th of a random national sample of 45,229 adults, and has a margin of error of only 1 point.
Bernie Sanders live tweeted as he watched Trump's acceptance speech. Here are some of his tweets:
Those who voted for me will not support Trump who has made bigotry and divisiveness the cornerstone of his campaign.
Trump is wrong. The real cause of instability in the Middle East was the Bush-Cheney invasion of Iraq. By the way, where is President Bush?
Trump’s economic plan: $3.2 trillion in tax breaks for millionaires, cut programs for low-income Americans.
What a hypocrite! If Trump wants to "fix" trade he can start by making his products in the US, not low-wage countries abroad.
Still waiting for a single word about covering the 28 million Americans without health insurance. I guess they don’t matter much to Trump.
Trump: “I alone can fix this.” Is this guy running for president or dictator?
Trump thinks climate change is a “hoax.” My supporters understand that we must move away from fossil fuels, not expand them.
Donald Trump's supporters like the fact that he has no political experience. He has never been elected to any political office at any level, and has never held any public service job. But while the GOP base may consider that an advantage, most Americans don't.
A majority of 55% say they want the next president to have political experience, while only 41% want an outsider with no political experience. That's a significant 14 point gap.
Chart was made with information in a new ABC News / Washington Post Poll -- done between July 11th and 14th of a random national sample of 1,003 adults, with a margin of error of 3.5 points.
I listened to Donald Trump's acceptance speech Thursday night, and I have to say it was one of the most frightening speeches I have ever heard from an American politician -- especially one who wants to be the president of the United States. It seems that he wants to turn the U.S. into a police state -- a police state that would continue the failed "trickle-down" economic policies of the Republican Party.
That's bad enough, but Trump simply doesn't have the temperament to be the person with his finger on the nuclear button. He is far more interested in spreading hate and division than in protecting justice and equality for all Americans.
In an article for Vox.com, Ezra Klein lists some of the traits of Trump that make him unfit to be president:
Friday, July 22, 2016
Trump gave all his opponents in the primaries a chance to speak at the convention -- at least the ones that wanted to be there. And all of them, if not outright endorsing Trump, at least said they would vote for him -- all but one. Ted Cruz jumped on the opportunity to speak at the convention, but made it clear in his speech that he does not endorse Trump, and might not even vote for him. He ended the speech by telling Republicans to vote their consciences (a thinly veiled jab at Trump).
The speech angered the convention-attendees, and they effectively booed Cruz off the stage. The blowback didn't stop there. Both convention delegates and many party officials attacked Cruz for his obviously anti-Trump message in a convention that was supposed to unify the party.
I think Cruz was a bit surprised at the depth of negative feelings brought against him. And he floated an excuse the next morning -- telling the Texas delegation that he could not support anyone who had insulted his wife and father. That was a rather pathetic excuse. Trump, at some time during the campaign, insulted all of his opponents -- but they all put it behind them, understanding that it was just a part of today's negative political campaigning.
I think Cruz also understands that, but was trying to deflect some of the criticism he didn't expect. It was pretty obvious what Cruz was really trying to do with his speech -- position himself as the leading candidate for the 2020 GOP nomination. Cruz expects Trump to lost the 2016 election, and wanted to position himself as the 2020 frontrunner. But he didn't expect the huge negative blowback from his speech.
The real question now is -- has Cruz committed political suicide, or was his speech a smart move? I don't think we know the answer yet. It will depend on how the November election comes out. If Trump is blown out by Hillary Clinton, then the right-wing base of the party might see Cruz as a prophet (and flock to support him). But if Trump loses in a very close election, many in the party base are going to be looking for a scapegoat, and Wednesday's speech makes it likely that Cruz will be that goat.
Cruz made a bold political move with his Wednesday speech. We'll have to wait and see whether that bold move was a smart one or a stupid one.
(NOTE -- The caricature of Tex Cruz above is by DonkeyHotey.)
The chart above is from a recent YouGov Poll -- done between July 15th and 17th of a random national sample of 1,300 adults, and has a margin of error of 4.3 points.
I thought the survey was interesting because it didn't ask who the respondents support for president, but instead it asked who they could consider voting for or never vote for. Make of it what you will.
Note that only one presidential candidate is not upside-down in these numbers. Hillary Clinton is the only candidate to have more people say they could vote for her than say they would not vote for her -- and the only candidate to have at least 50% saying they could vote for her.
This chart was made from results of a new YouGov Poll -- done between July 15th and 17th of a random national sample of 1300 adults, with a 4.3 point margin of error.
YouGov questioned the poll's respondents on a variety of issues. Only six of those issues received the support or opposition of at least 50% of the voters. About 50% opposed an amendment barring same-sex marriage, 50% supported stricter gun laws, 64% supported legal abortion in most cases, 51% supported raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, 65% supported raising taxes on the rich, and 69% believe the economic system in this country is unfair.
All of those issues have one thing in common -- they are the views of the Democratic Party and Democratic candidates, and they are all views opposed by the Republican Party and Republican candidates.
Other issues, whether Democratic or Republican positions, could not reach the 50% level of support or opposition -- such as free college tuition, single-payer health insurance, building a border wall, or free trade agreements.
The following is a poem by my friend Brian McLaughlin.
a polite society
violence on the rise
the more we are armed
more meet their demise
they want open carry
claim it's a right
what it really does
is bring the public more fright
how can we tell
if they're a good guy or bad
more death on the streets
more families grow sad
but we're told
it ain't the guns
it's just fools
then they fight regulation
that the constitution has called for
making the streets that more dangerous
and blood runs up the score
but it's really not about guns
it is stupid people
and there's no cure for stupid
when the NRA is their steeple
Thursday, July 21, 2016
The case has been in the courts for several years now. In 2014, a San Antonio district judge ruled the law invalid. The state of Texas appealed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and a three judge panel of that court upheld the district judge's ruling. Texas then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court did not make a ruling. Instead, they sent the case back to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals for a decision by that full court. The full 5th Circuit court issued their ruling yesterday. But they did not say what should be done since the law was found to be discriminatory. They sent the case back to the district judge in San Antonio to formulate a remedy before the November election.It is not known what that remedy will be. It could be anything from tossing out the requirement for a picture ID to allowing a voter without ID to sign an affidavit and vote.
Texas could once again appeal to the Supreme Court, but they are not likely to get what they want from the eight-member court. The most likely result would be a 4 to 4 tie, which would just uphold the 5th Circuit court's decision.
It's been a long fight, but it looks like the Republican effort to suppress voting in Texas has finally been defeated.