Monday, August 31, 2015



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

Is The Media Telling The Truth Or What Will Get Viewers ?

(This caricature of the current Democratic candidates is by DonkeyHotey.)

The Republican race for their presidential nomination has been pretty volatile. There have been several different leaders in the polls. The current flavor of the month is Donald Trump, and he may or may not remain the leader. This is the kind of thing the media loves, because it gets viewers to tune in to see what is happening now in the race.

The Democratic race is far different. Hillary Clinton started out with a huge lead, and she has maintained that huge lead over all her competitors (still with double the national support over her nearest competitor, Bernie Sanders). So why is all we seem to hear from the news networks, especially the cable networks, that Clinton is losing support?

The answer is that the truth (that Clinton maintains a huge lead) is not exciting to them. They don't think it will get them viewers. They don't think people will tune in to hear that a race is static -- and that there has been no real change for several months. And they might be right. But does that give them the right to give viewers an impression that is simply not true?

There was a time in this country when networks didn't expect their news shows to be money-makers. They made their money off their entertainment shows, and considered their news shows to be a community service -- happy if they just came fairly close to breaking even. But that time is gone. Now the networks, both cable and broadcast, expect to make money from every minute of air time.

That is the reason we get less real news and more "fluff" pieces, and it is the reason they are willing to give a false impression to their viewers -- because that is what they think will increase their viewership, and more viewers equals more money.

The truth is that the Democratic race has changed very little over the past few months. Clinton still has around 50% support, while her closest competitor has around 25% -- and if that changes by a point or two from poll to poll, that's not real news. But the networks will jump on every little change, whether it is significant or not, because profits is more important than truth to them (and especially to the giant corporations that own them).

That is not a good thing, but it is a sad reality of how low our news networks have fallen.

Inadequate Response

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

Which Of These Iowa Democratic Polls Is The Outlier ?

All of the cable news networks were talking about the poll represented in the top chart yesterday -- the Des Moines Register / Bloomberg News Poll. It shows Bernie Sanders within 7 points of Hillary Clinton among Iowa Democrats. But these networks seem to have a short memory. Just a couple of days ago, the Suffolk University Poll was released. It shows Clinton with a dominant 34 point lead over Sanders among Iowa Democrats.

Instead of talking about how Sanders is catching Clinton in Iowa, the news networks should have been asking how two polls could be showing such vastly differing results. One of these polls is clearly wrong. Which one is it? This can be accounted for by the margin of error (4.4 points for Suffolk and 4.9 points for DMR/BN). The difference between the two polls is 27 points -- far beyond the margin of errors combined.

Did one poll have a much bigger sample of Democrats? Not really. The DMR/BN poll queried 404 Democrats, while Suffolk questioned 500 Democrats. Those sample sizes are close enough that they can account for the huge difference between them.

Were they taken at different times? Suffolk was done between August 20th and 24th, while DMR/BN was done between August 23rd and 26th. The were done within a couple of days of each other, and nothing significant has happened in those couple of days that would account for a huge movement in support.

I expect the Sanders supporters will believe the DMR/BN poll, while the Clinton supporters will believe the Suffolk poll -- but one of them is wrong. Which one? I honestly don't know. And I hate it when this happens with polls, because it just muddies up the picture of what is happening. We're going to have to wait and see what future polls tell us about Iowa Democrats before we'll know which poll is the outlier (a poll that differs from all others).

The Candidate Of Racists

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

Robert Reich Blasts The Huge Rise In CEO Pay

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich (pictured) thinks the rise in CEO pay since the inception of GOP "trickle-down" economics is outrageous (and I agree). Average CEO compensation in the United States is far higher, compared to the average worker compensation, than in any other developed capitalistic country -- and continues to rise, while worker wages remain stagnant.

Here is what Mr. Reich has to say about it on his own blog (posted on August 9th):

The Securities and Exchange Commission approved a rule last week requiring that large publicly held corporations disclose the ratios of the pay of their top CEOs to the pay of their median workers.
About time.
For the last thirty years almost all incentives operating on American corporations have resulted in lower pay for average workers and higher pay for CEOs and other top executives. 
Consider that in 1965, CEOs of America’s largest corporations were paid, on average, 20 times the pay of average workers. 
Now, the ratio is over 300 to 1
Not only has CEO pay exploded, so has the pay of top executives just below them. 
The share of corporate income devoted to compensating the five highest-paid executives of large corporations ballooned from an average of 5 percent in 1993 to more than 15 percent by 2005 (the latest data available).
Corporations might otherwise have devoted this sizable sum to research and development, additional jobs, higher wages for average workers, or dividends to shareholders – who, not incidentally, are supposed to be the owners of the firm.
Corporate apologists say CEOs and other top executives are worth these amounts because their corporations have performed so well over the last three decades that CEOs are like star baseball players or movie stars. 
Baloney. Most CEOs haven’t done anything special. The entire stock market surged over this time. 
Even if a company’s CEO simply played online solitaire for thirty years, the company’s stock would have ridden the wave.  
Besides, that stock market surge has had less to do with widespread economic gains than with changes in market rules favoring big companies and major banks over average employees, consumers, and taxpayers.
Consider, for example, the stronger and more extensive intellectual-property rights now enjoyed by major corporations, and the far weaker antitrust enforcement against them. 
Add in the rash of taxpayer-funded bailouts, taxpayer-funded subsidies, and bankruptcies favoring big banks and corporations over employees and small borrowers.
Not to mention trade agreements making it easier to outsource American jobs, and state legislation (cynically termed “right-to-work” laws) dramatically reducing the power of unions to bargain for higher wages. 
The result has been higher stock prices but not higher living standards for most Americans.
Which doesn’t justify sky-high CEO pay unless you think some CEOs deserve it for their political prowess in wangling these legal changes through Congress and state legislatures.
It even turns out the higher the CEO pay, the worse the firm does.
Professors Michael J. Cooper of the University of Utah, Huseyin Gulen of Purdue University, and P. Raghavendra Rau of the University of Cambridge, recently found that companies with the highest-paid CEOs returned about 10 percent less to their shareholders than do their industry peers. 
So why aren’t shareholders hollering about CEO pay? Because corporate law in the United States gives shareholders at most an advisory role.
They can holler all they want, but CEOs don’t have to listen. 
Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, received a pay package in 2013 valued at $78.4 million, a sum so stunning that Oracle shareholders rejected it. That made no difference because Ellison controlled the board. 
In Australia, by contrast, shareholders have the right to force an entire corporate board to stand for re-election if 25 percent or more of a company’s shareholders vote against a CEO pay plan two years in a row.
Which is why Australian CEOs are paid an average of only 70 times the pay of the typical Australian worker.
The new SEC rule requiring disclosure of pay ratios could help strengthen the hand of American shareholders.
The rule might generate other reforms as well – such as pegging corporate tax rates to those ratios. 
Under a bill introduced in the California legislature last year, a company whose CEO earns only 25 times the pay of its typical worker would pay a corporate tax rate of only 7 percent, rather than the 8.8 percent rate now applied to all California firms. 
On the other hand, a company whose CEO earns 200 times the pay of its typical employee, would face a 9.5 percent rate. If the CEO earned 400 times, the rate would be 13 percent. 
The bill hasn’t made it through the legislature because business groups call it a “job killer.” 
The reality is the opposite. CEOs don’t create jobs. Their customers create jobs by buying more of what their companies have to sell.
So pushing companies to put less money into the hands of their CEOs and more into the hands of their average employees will create more jobs. 
The SEC’s disclosure rule isn’t perfect. Some corporations could try to game it by contracting out their low-wage jobs. Some industries pay their typical workers higher wages than other industries. 
But the rule marks an important start.

Coverage Goes To The Craziest Candidate

Political Cartoon is by Matt Wuerker at

The Secret Of Freedom

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Religious Freedom - Not Religious Oppression

Clinton & Trump Are Candidates Most Mentioned On News

Publicity is the life-blood of a political campaign, and the more coverage a candidate gets through the news media, the less critical it is to have huge amounts of money to spend on campaign advertising. As the chart above (from Television Campaign Tracker) shows the "winners' of being mentioned by the news media are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Is that really good? Much, if not most, of the mentions have been negative for Clinton and for Trump. Considering that, I think it shows the strength of both candidates that they both still hold large leads in their respective primary races.

Some might say that any mention, even negative ones, are good -- but I'm not at all sure I buy that. There have been times in the past when negative publicity on the news programs have killed campaigns.

Sanders supporters have been complaining loudly that their candidate doesn't get his fair share of coverage. But I wonder if they'd really like to have an enormous amount of negative coverage. I suspect they'd then be complaining about how that large coverage was still unfair.

The charts below show the percentage of news media mentions by each candidate in their own party race.

Real (Bad)

Political Cartoon is by Nate Beeler in The Columbus Dispatch.

Americans Are Split On Whether Churches Should Be Taxed

I have to admit that I was a little surprised at the results of this survey. I had expected that a significant majority of the United States public would think that churches (and other religious organizations) should be exempt from paying taxes (as they currently are. But that is not true. They are split right down the middle on the matter -- with 40% saying they should be taxed and 40% saying they should not be taxed (and 20% who don't know what to think).

I was also surprised by the demographic breakdown of those who believe either way. I had expected men to want them taxed over women, and younger people wanting them taxed more than older people. That was just the opposite of what the survey showed. It turns out that by a small percentage, men support the tax exemption while women support taxing them -- and younger people support exemption while older people support taxation.

I think churches should be taxed. They are exempted because they are considered to be charities, but I don't see them doing that much charitable work (and I don't consider spending money to convince others to accept their particular brand of religion to be charitable work). And I certainly don't see helping a religious leader to live the life of a rich person to be charitable.

I could see allowing churches to get a deduction for true charitable spending that some of them do (such as feeding or housing the poor), but the rest of their income, not spent for that charitable work or to pay their true expenses (such as utilities) should be subject to taxation -- and they should pay property taxes on any property not used for true charitable work.

I see no reason why religion should be given a free ride in this country -- and it looks like 4 out of 10 Americans agree with me (and an equal amount disagree). We have a secular government established by a secular constitution, and those who are not religious should not have to pay more in taxes to make up for what religious organizations do not pay.

These numbers come from a new YouGov Poll -- done between August 24th and 26th of a random national sample of 1,000 adults, and has a margin of error of 4.4 points.

Another interesting question in the survey is illustrated in the charts below. It seems that a significant majority (62%) think it is NOT acceptable for a religious leader to become wealthy through their religious activities (like many preachers, especially the TV preachers, do).

Supporter ?

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

Clinton And Trump Continue To Hold Large Leads

These charts show the latest (August 28th) results of the Reuters/Ipsos Poll. The survey is a rolling average of the last five days for both Republicans and Democrats. Bot Clinton and Trump continue to hold large leads over their respective primary candidates. Clinton leads Sanders by 20.2 points, and Trump leads Huckabee by 20.8 points. It is a small surprise that Huckabee is in second place.

Perfect Recruit

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

New Cancer Breakthrough Stops Growth Of Cancer Cells

(This image of differing types of cancer cells is from

Researchers at Florida's Mayo Clinic has made an astounding discovery. They have discovered a way to stop the growth of cancer cells and turn them into harmless benign cells. Here is how Sarah Knapton, science editor of The Telegraph, describes the new discovery:

Cancer cells have been programmed back to normal by scientists in a breakthrough which could lead to new treatments and even reverse tumour growth. 
For the first time aggressive breast, lung and bladder cancer cells have been turned back into harmless benign cells by restoring the function which prevents them from multiplying excessively and forming dangerous growths. 
Scientists at the Mayo Clinic in Florida, US, said it was like applying the brakes to a speeding car. 
So far it has only been tested on human cells in the lab, but the researchers are hopeful that the technique could one day be used to target tumours so that cancer could be ‘switched off’ without the need for harsh chemotherapy or surgery. 
"We should be able to re-establish the brakes and restore normal cell function,” said Profesor Panos Anastasiadis, of the Department for Cancer Biology. 
“Initial experiments in some aggressive types of cancer are indeed very promising. 
“It represents an unexpected new biology that provides the code, the software for turning off cancer." 
Cells need to divide constantly to replace themselves. But in cancer the cells do not stop dividing leading to huge cell reproduction and tumour growth. 
The scientists discovered that the glue which holds cells together is regulated by biological microprocessors called microRNAs. When everything is working normally the microRNAs instruct the cells to stop dividing when they have replicated sufficiently. They do this by triggering production of a protein called PLEKHA7 which breaks the cell bonds. But in cancer that process does not work. 
Scientists discovered they could switch on cancer in cells by removing the microRNAs from cells and preventing them from producing the protein. 
And, crucially they found that they could reverse the process switching the brakes back on and stopping cancer. MicroRNAs are small molecules which can be delivered directly to cells or tumours so an injection to increase levels could switch off disease.
“We have now done this in very aggressive human cell lines from breast and bladder cancer,” added Dr Anastasiadis. 
“These cells are already missing PLEKHA7. Restoring either PLEKHA7 levels, or the levels of microRNAs in these cells turns them back to a benign state. We are now working on better delivery options.” 
Cancer experts in Britain said the research solved a riddle that biologists had puzzled over for decades, why cells did not naturally prevent the proliferation of cancer. 
“This is an unexpected finding,” said Dr Chris Bakal, a specialist in how cells change shape to become cancerous, at the Institute for Cancer Research in London. 
“We have been trying to work out how normal cells might be suppressing cancer, and stopping dividing when they form contacts with each other, which has been a big mystery. 
“Normal cells touch each other and form junctions then they shut down proliferation. If there is a way to turn that back on then that would be a way to stop tumours from growing. 
“I think in reality it is unlikely that you could reverse tumours by reversing just one mechanism, but it’s a very interesting finding.” 
Henry Scowcroft, Cancer Research UK’s senior science information manager, said: “This important study solves a long-standing biological mystery, but we mustn’t get ahead of ourselves. 
“There’s a long way to go before we know whether these findings, in cells grown in a laboratory, will help treat people with cancer. But it’s a significant step forward in understanding how certain cells in our body know when to grow, and when to stop. Understanding these key concepts is crucial to help continue the encouraging progress against cancer we’ve seen in recent years.” 
The research was published in the journal Nature Cell Biology.

Guns Easily Available

Political Cartoon is by Nick Anderson in the Houston Chronicle.


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Democratic Socialism

The Facts Show We Do Have A Gun Problem In The U.S.

(This cartoon is by Jeff Koterba in the Omaha World-Herald.)

There's a lot of truth in the cartoon above. We have people who want more guns in our society (even though we already have enough to nearly give one to every man, woman, and child), and we have some people who want to take guns away from everyone (in spite of the Second Amendment). I think, and most people would agree, that the solution lies somewhere in the middle.

But before we find that badly needed solution, we have to come to the realization that we do have a gun problem in this country. The NRA (which today is little more than a lobbying organization for gun manufacturers) would have us believe there is no gun problem. That is simply ludicrous. In 2015, we are averaging a mass shooting every single day, and well over 30,000 people are now killed by a gun every year in this country. That's a problem, whether you want to admit it or not, and it's a problem that doesn't exist in any other developed nation.

There is a meme going around social media now that says more people have been killed by guns in the United States since 1968 than were killed in all the wars fought by this country in its history. Sound ridiculous? Well, it's not. Pundit Fact did the research, and they found it's TRUE! Here are the numbers:


Revolutionary War...............4,435
War of 1812...............2,260
Mexican War...............13,283
Civil War...............750,000
Spanish-American War...............2,446
World War I...............116,516
World War II...............405,399
Korean War...............36,574
Vietnam War...............58,220
Persian Gulf War...............383
Afghanistan War...............2,363
Iraq War...............4,492


1968 - 1980...............377,000
1981 - 1998...............620,525
1999 - 2013...............464,033

That's 64,825 more gun deaths in just the last 45 years than soldiers killed in all U.S. wars -- and it doesn't even count the number of gun deaths for 2014 and 2015 (which would add at least 50,000 to the total). How can anyone say this country doesn't have a gun problem?

There is simply no legitimate reason to have this many gun deaths in this country. Can't we at the very least make an attempt to keep those who shouldn't have a gun (terrorists, criminals, the dangerously mentally ill) from legally buying one? Can't we at least make sure that those buying a gun are honest and law-abiding citizens?

Over 80% of Americans (including NRA members) would like to see the loopholes in our background check law closed. They want every person trying to buy a gun to have a background check first. That is not unreasonable or unconstitutional -- and it is inexcusable that our weak-kneed politicians won't do that.


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

Fox News Is The Most Untrustworthy Cable News Network

Pundit Fact (by the Tampa Bay Times) checks the accuracy of statements and claims by the "talking heads" and pundits that appear on the three cable news networks (candidates and government officials are excluded). The then research those claims and rate them as to their truthfulness. Here is their rating system:

TRUE – The statement is accurate and there’s nothing significant missing.
MOSTLY TRUE – The statement is accurate but needs clarification or additional information.
HALF TRUE – The statement is partially accurate but leaves out important details or takes things out of context.
MOSTLY FALSE – The statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression.
FALSE – The statement is not accurate.
PANTS ON FIRE – The statement is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim.
The chart below shows the latest findings of the networks throughout this summer. Once again, Fox News leads all three networks in the false claims they allow, and are last in the claims that were true. CNN has the most true claims and the least false one. MSNBC falls in the middle.

But while Fox News is the worst, none of the three networks are as good as they should be in telling the truth, and in confronting false claims.

Protective Wall

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

Institutional Racism Exists (& Not Just In Justice System)

(Image is from the website called Media Diversified.)

For the last year or so, we've heard a lot about how Blacks (and other minorities) are not treated equally by the police or the courts. And it is true. While much has changed in this country over the last few decades, the sad fact is that institutional racism is alive and well in this country. But it's not just in our justice system. Our schools, especially in the South (the old Confederate states), are also guilty of treating people differently because of their race or color.

The following article by Claudio Sanchez at NPR points out a few facts about this institutional racism:

For years there has been mounting evidence that U.S. schools suspend and expel African-American students at higher rates than white students. A new study by the University of Pennsylvania singles out 13 Southern states where the problem is most dire.
Schools in these states were responsible for more than half of all suspensions and exclusions of black students nationwide.
"Black kids on the whole are suspended for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with safety," says report co-author Shaun Harper of Penn's Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education.
The 13 states named in the study are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.
The researchers examined more than 3,000 school districts in those states. In 132 of those districts, they found, the suspension and expulsion rates of blacks were off the charts, with suspension rates far greater than their representation in the student body.
"Blacks are only 24 percent of students enrolled in public schools in those states, yet they are 48 percent of students suspended, 49 percent of students expelled," Harper says. "There are 84 districts where blacks were 100 percent of students suspended from school."
The new study is not the first to document such disparities. Other researchers have argued that schools use zero-tolerance discipline policies to, in effect, criminalize misdeeds such as dress code violations or talking back to a teacher.
The findings come as no surprise to critics of school discipline policies. Deborah Fowler is with Texas Appleseed, a public-interest law firm that conducted one of the most exhaustive studies of school suspensions and expulsions in Texas.
"In Texas, out-of-school suspensions have decreased by 20 percent over the last few years," she notes, "but as the numbers decrease, the disparities for black students increase."
In Virginia, state Superintendent Steve Staples said educators are working to address the problems.
"We agree the numbers are troubling," he says. Staples added that Virginia is tackling the problem through better training of teachers and administrators.
And, he added, those efforts are showing some results: "We've seen the short-term-suspension numbers drop, the long-term suspensions drop, the referrals to law enforcement drop."


Political Cartoon is by Lalo Alcaraz at Daily Kos.

A Stupid Decision

Friday, August 28, 2015

Wars Are Always Fought For The Rich

Why Do Some Leftists Insist On Repeating Right-Wing Lies?

(This photo of Hillary Clinton is from ABC News.)

Before this campaign for president started, progressives were united in their effort to expose right-wing lies. But it seems that has changed. Now some, many of those who support Bernie Sanders, are perfectly willing to accept right-wing lies about Hillary Clinton -- and even pass them on to their friends (and anyone else who will listen).

Understand, I am NOT accusing Bernie Sanders of this. He (and Clinton) have both kept their campaigns on the issues -- and both are to be congratulated for that. It is refreshing to see that.

But while Sanders has taken the high road, that is sadly not true of too many of his supporters. They seem perfectly willing to pass on right-wing lies about Clinton. I am talking specifically about the so-called "e-mail scandal".  I can understand why the right wants to spread the lie that somehow Clinton has done something wrong by using a private e-mail server. They know they would have little chance to defeat her in a general election, so they are doing everything they can to smear her (which is the normal way of campaigning for the GOP).

But it is disappointing to see progressives engaging in this same kind of campaigning. I had thought my progressive brothers and sisters were better than that. Could it be that they realize that Clinton and Sanders are very close on most issues, and they now think their candidate cannot win on the issues? Do they think, like the Republicans do, that the only way to beat Clinton is to smear her good name by repeating right-wing lies about her?

Let's make one thing very clear. Hillary Clinton did nothing wrong by using a private e-mail server. She did not break any laws (or even any Obama administration rules). She did not expose classified information on the private server. And she did nothing that Secretaries of State have not done in the past.

The truth is that the Democrats have two great progressive candidates -- and both are to be congratulated for running clean campaigns. It is time for their supporters to do the same. Smearing opponents with lies is not a tactic that any Democrat should engage in. It is a tactic that Democrats (and progressives in general) have always opposed. It is time to live up to our principles -- regardless of which candidate we support.

Gun Violence is Much Bigger Than One TV Killing

Political Cartoon is by Nick Anderson in the Houston Chronicle.

Clinton And Trump Maintain Large Leads For President

We are still a little over four months away from the first primaries/caucuses, and things could always change (with several national debates scheduled for both parties). But right now, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the candidates to beat in their respective parties. Both currently have more than double the support of their closest competitor.

Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by 23 points (45% to 22%), and Donald Trump leads Ben Carson by 16 points (28% to 12%). Those are significant gaps, and neither candidate has shown any evidence they will fade -- at least not yet.

These charts were made from the results of a new Quinnipiac University Poll that was done between August 20th and 25th. They queried a random national sample of 666 Republicans and 647 Democrats. The margin of error for Republicans is 3.8 points, and for Democrats is 3.9 points.

Right-Wing Monster

Political Cartoon is by Rob Tornoe at Media Matters for America.

Sec. Vilsack Explains Why He Supports Hillary Clinton

Secretary of Agriculture, and former governor of Iowa, Tom Vilsack (pictured) supports Hillary Clinton for president. He penned the following editorial on August 25th to tell us why he supports Clinton:

On Feb. 1, 2016 I intend to proudly caucus for Hillary Clinton — plain and simple. Hillary Clinton is not new to the fight for middle class families. Throughout her public life she has consistently fought to expand and strengthen the middle class. I have no doubt she will continue that fight as president. 
Expanding and strengthening the middle class starts with quality jobs. Too often the discussion of good jobs fails to include the unique challenges faced by rural Americans. Hillary Clinton understands that some of the deepest and most pronounced poverty exists in rural areas of the country. Her strong support for the Renewable Fuel Standard and bio-based manufacturing as important parts of a revitalized rural economy makes clear she will work hard to promote meaningful economic opportunity throughout the country. 
Hillary knows the economy of the future depends on a well-educated and trained workforce, and she understands the cost of education — from preschool to college and beyond — increasingly strains family budgets with unprecedented debt. That’s why she’s laid out a specific, workable plan to address these strains and make a good education available to all our children.
However, a secure footing requires more than a good paying job and access to education. It means a foundation that cannot be undone by injury or illness. Hillary will preserve those protections gained under the Affordable Care Act instead of putting insurance companies in the driver’s seat, and will look for ways to expand access to affordable health insurance coverage for all Americans and continue to bend the cost curve of health care. 
Every Iowan knows good ideas aren’t enough. We recognize the most successful presidents are those who can both lead and govern, while navigating the toughest job on earth. 
In other words: Leadership inspires. Governance delivers. 
As President, Hillary Clinton will both inspire and deliver results. I know because I have worked with her and called her a friend for nearly two decades.
She leads by example. Her courage in China as First Lady when she declared “women’s rights are human rights” continues to inspire people all over the world to demand equality and freedom. As a twice-elected Senator, she worked with farmers to improve their prosperity in rural New York. And as Secretary of State, she helped to establish a program that delivers food assistance to over 12.5 million hungry children in some of the poorest countries in the world. This just scratches the surface of her career of inspiring and delivering for people around the country and across the globe.
On a personal note, Hillary Clinton is one of the most loyal people I know and that is rare in politics. My relationship with Hillary goes back a long way. Hillary and Tom Bell, my brother-in-law, became friends in 1972 when they worked together as staff members to the Congressional Watergate Hearings — long before she was a household name. When I was elected governor of Iowa in 1998, I met with President Bill Clinton in the Oval Office. In that private meeting, he gave me some very good advice. He encouraged me to stay true and loyal to the ideas I ran on and to the people who had faith in me to govern well. Hillary Clinton is one of those people. 
My election that year was a surprise to many — but not Hillary. Despite the fact that I was way behind in the polls, she encouraged people she knew from all over the country to pitch in when I needed help, especially in the last weeks of the campaign. Without her support I may not have won. 
Why did she do it? Loyalty. 
Many years before I met her and before she was known to Iowans, my brother-in-law told me how much he’d liked and respected Hillary Clinton when they worked together.
Over the past 15 years, I’ve come to like and respect her, too.
That is why I support her.
Hillary Clinton has the right policies to strengthen and expand the middle class, is battle tested, and has the experience and relationships to lead and govern well. For all of those reasons as well as our friendship, I will caucus for Hillary Clinton on Feb. 1, 2016.

Forest "Fire"

Political Cartoon is by Jen Sorensen at

Despite Media Assertions, Clinton's Support Remains Strong

From the Daily Kos website:

It's been inescapable for weeks: Beltway hacks have been braying about Hillary Clinton's "falling poll numbers," eager to fan the flames of Democratic discord and generate column-inches about intra-party conflict where none exists. What's most pathetic about this latest anti-Clinton drumbeat, though, is how it's directly contradicted by, well, the polls.
The chart above shows a combined average of every single national poll taken since March 1 of this year that pits Clinton against the 10 leading Republican candidates—197 matchups in all, courtesy of Huffington Post Pollster. The key takeaway, as you can see from the blue and red trendlines, is that the race has been remarkably static.
In fact, at the beginning of March, Clinton led the GOP field by an average of 50.3 to 42.6, or 7.7 percentage points. Now, in late August, she leads 48.7 to 41.2, or 7.5 percent. Clinton's "collapse," in other words, is 0.2 percent! No serious analyst would consider that anything more than a rounding error. (And we're not cherry-picking the start date, either: The picture is the same if you dial it back to Jan. 1.)

The GOP Base

Political Cartoon is by Nick Anderson in the Houston Chronicle.

A Moral Responsibility

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Rich/Corporations Don't Need Free Stuff

Clinton Still Has Double The Support Of Sanders

This chart was made from the results of a new Rasmussen Poll -- done on August 23rd and 24th of a random national sample of 536 likely Democratic primary voters, and has a margin of error of 4 points. Sanders seems to be having a problem getting more than a quarter of Democrats to support him. That may (or may not) change after the first debate in October. We'll just have to wait and see.


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