Monday, February 29, 2016

Nonsensical Spending Priorities

Not Likely

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

Southern "Super Tuesday" States Solidly Behind Clinton

Tomorrow, the Super Tuesday states will vote for their presidential choice. And just like in South Carolina, the Southern states voting tomorrow are solidly behind Hillary Clinton's candidacy for the Democratic nomination. She has a 26 point lead in Tennessee, a 20 point lead in Virginia, a 28-34 point lead in Georgia, and a 21-24 point lead in Texas. That's what the two latest polls of those states shows.

The NBC News / Wall Street Journal / Marist Poll:

Texas (Feb 18-23) 381 likely voters (5.0 point moe)

Georgia (Feb 18-23) 461 likely voters (4.6 point moe)

Tennessee (Feb 22-25) 405 likely voters (4.9 point moe)

The CBS News / YouGov Battleground Poll:

Texas (Feb 22-26) 750 likely voters

Georgia (Feb 22-26) 492 likely voters

Virginia (Feb 22-26) 471 likely voters

Too Quiet

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

Public Approves Of Obama's Cuba Trip (& Lifting Embargo)

A few days ago, I brought you the results of a new Gallup Poll that showed a majority of Americans now view Cuba favorably. Now there is a new YouGov Poll (done between February 19th and 22nd of a random national sample of 1,000 adults, with a margin of error of 4.1 points) that shows the public also approves of President Obama's impending trip to Cuba.

A majority of Americans (and most demographic groups) think it's a good thing for the president to visit Cuba -- the first trip to that island nation by an American president in nearly nine decades. While 51% approve, only 34% disapprove of the trip.

Perhaps even more important, a solid plurality of Americans (48% to 22%) now think its time for Congress to lift the failed embargo against Cuba. They are right. Most other nations are no longer cooperating with the embargo, and are freely trading with Cuba. The embargo has accomplished nothing, and lifting it would help many American businesses.

Teabagger Thinking

Political Cartoon is by Bruce Plante in the Tulsa World.

Perception Of Fox News Drops Among Right-Wingers

It seems that Fox News is not immune to criticism from its core of right-wingers after all. The perception of Fox among those right-wingers has dropped precipitously lately. What has caused this? It seems that while those right-wingers are willing to accept almost any lie Fox tells them, there is one thing they won't accept -- criticism of their new demigod, Donald Trump. It seems that Fox is paying a price for its "war" with the Donald.

Here is how the YouGov Poll describes this phenomena:

Since the first GOP presidential debate last August, Fox News Channel seems to have lost its perception mojo with its core right-leaning audience.
By mid February, FNC’s perception by Republican adults 18 and over had reached its lowest point in more than three years, and has declined by approximately 50% since January of this year.
Coinciding with Trump’s rise to front-runner in the GOP presidential race, Fox News Channel has seen its perception by Republicans slide. In early August 2015, right after the first GOP debate aired on Fox News Channel,Trump went on a Twitter war with moderator Megyn Kelly, saying she “bombed” and calling her “a lightweight reporter.”
The picture hasn’t been rosy in terms of the general population either: since last May, Fox News Channel’s perception levels with adults 18+ have uncharacteristically been drawing significantly more negative feedback than positive. At this point, both FNC and CNN are scoring at similar perception levels and they are both negative.
To measure perception of the two networks, YouGov BrandIndex used its Buzz score, which asks respondents: "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?" A score can range from 100 to -100 with a zero score equaling a neutral position.
On January 1, 2013, Fox News Channel’s Buzz score with Republican adults 18 and over was 49. By the first GOP debate last August, the score had dropped to 38. The downward momentum accelerated earlier this year when Fox News Channel’s score dropped from 36 on January 18th to 14 on February 12th. Trump declined to participate in FNC’s sanctioned GOP debate on January 28th. Fox News Channel’s current Buzz score is 17.

Bigotry And Cowardice

Political Cartoon is by Mike Stanfill at

Hillary Clinton's Stand On Labor Issues

(Photo of Hillary Clinton is by Kat Kane at


“If we want to get serious about raising incomes, we have to get serious about supporting union workers.”

Labor unions helped build America’s middle class, and organized labor remains critical to fulfilling America’s basic bargain: If you work hard and do your part, you should be able to get ahead and stay ahead. Hillary believes we need to protect and strengthen America’s workforce by: 
  • Raising incomes for hardworking Americans. Raising incomes so that hardworking Americans can afford to live a middle-class life is the defining economic challenge of our time. Hillary believes that our success as a nation should be measured by whether American families get ahead. She has proposed an economic plan to get it done.
  • Restoring union collective bargaining rights. Hillary was an original co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act. Hillary will fight to strengthen the labor movement and to protect worker bargaining power. She will continue to stand up against attacks on collective bargaining and work to strengthen workers’ voices.
  • Raising the minimum wage and strengthening overtime rules. Hillary believes we are long overdue in raising the minimum wage. She has supported raising the federal minimum wage to $12, and believes that we should go further than the federal minimum through state and local efforts, and workers organizing and bargaining for higher wages, such as the Fight for 15 and recent efforts in Los Angeles and New York to raise their minimum wage to $15. She also supports the Obama Administration’s expansion of overtime rules to millions more workers.
  • Investments that create good jobs and build up workers’ skills. Hillary supports expanding investments in our infrastructure to create good jobs and union jobs. And she has proposed rewarding high-quality training and apprenticeships—which unions have established for decades—and are proven to raise wages for workers.
  • Protecting workers from exploitation. Hillary believes we need to protect workers against employer misclassification, wage theft, and other forms of exploitation.
  • Supporting working families. Equal pay, paid family leave, earned sick days, fair schedules, and quality affordable child care aren’t luxuries—they’re necessities for families. Hillary will fight for workplace policies that will help more Americans enter the workforce and succeed there.
  • Protecting retirement security. After working hard for years, Americans deserve a secure and comfortable retirement. Hillary will fight to protect retirement security, enhance—not privatize—Social Security, and push back against any effort to undermine retirement benefits.

We Have A Winner

Political Cartoon is by Lalo Alcaraz.

Decline Of Unions (And The Middle Class)

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Just Following Orders

Hillary Clinton Wins In South Carolina By A Huge 48 Points!

(This graphic image is by DonkeyHotey.)

Bernie Sanders' "revolution" voters must have marked the wrong day on their calendars, because they sure didn't show up for Saturday's Democratic primary in South Carolina. Hillary Clinton didn't just win that primary -- she thrashed Sanders by a whopping 48 point margin. Nearly three out of every four Democratic voters in South Carolina voted for Clinton.  Here are the results:

SOUTH CAROLINA (99% reporting)

Hillary Clinton...............271,367 (74%)
Bernie Sanders...............95,840 (26%)

And here are the current delegates overall:

Hillary Clinton...............542
Bernie Sanders...............85

And to give you an idea of how Clinton achieved this overwhelming victory, here are the exit poll results for South Carolina:

Spreading Out

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

Hispanics Show Strong Support For Democrats (And Clinton)

These charts were made from information in a recent Washington Post / Univision Poll -- done between February 11th and 18th of a random national sample of 1,200 Hispanic voters, with a 3 point margin of error.

As the top chart shows, about 51% of Hispanics are definitely planning to vote for Democrats in November, while only 14% are planning to definitely vote for Republicans. The sad part for the Republicans is that there are 32% of Hispanics saying they are unsure, because by nominating an extremist candidate (which is all of the candidates in their primary), they are throwing away the opportunity to get a significant portion of the Hispanic vote. With Hispanics expected to be a larger percentage of voters this year, that could turn out to be a big mistake (especially in the presidential race).

The issues chart above shows why this is true. Hispanics simply prefer the stand of Democrats on the issues over the stand of Republicans.

So, who will the Hispanics vote for in the primaries? Those voting in the Democratic primary (the majority) prefer Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders by a 29 point margin (57% to 28%). For the few Hispanic Republicans, Rubio outdistances Trump by 12 points, and Cruz by 13 points.

But while Hispanics prefer Clinton to Sanders, the bottom chart shows that either of the Democratic candidates would do very well with Hispanics if they got the nomination -- easily beating any of the possible GOP nominees. Rubio does the best -- losing to Clinton by only 30 points, and to Sanders by 24 points. Trump does the worst -- losing to Clinton by 57 points, and to Sanders by 56 points.

Trump has said that Hispanics love him. This poll shows that is simply not true.

Endorsement Hypocrisy

Political Cartoon is by Darrin Bell at

Texas Early Voting Turnout Is Way Down In 2016

We know that the turnout in the first three Democratic primaries/caucus (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada) was down significantly from the figures in the last contested year (2008). Now it looks like the same thing is happening in Texas -- if early voting is an indicator (and I believe it is).

In 2008, 890,188 Democrats voted early, but this year only 448,863 Democrats have voted early (numbers are for the 15 largest Texas counties). That's only 50.4% of the 2008 turnout for 2016 -- a drop of nearly half.

Where is the infamous Sanders revolution -- a revolution that was supposed to bring many new voters to the polls? If he can't even boost Democratic turnout, how are we to believe he will do that in the general election?

The numbers above are from the office of the Texas Secretary of State.

Embracing Ignorance

Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at

Political Preference Of U.S. Religious Groups

From the Religious Landscape Study of the Pew Research Center.

The Party Of NO

Political Cartoon is by Stuart Carlson at

The Major Newspapers In Texas Endorse Hillary Clinton

(Photo of Hillary Clinton is from

San Antonio Express-News (February 13, 2016) 
“But most important, as first lady, a U.S. senator from New York and secretary of state, Clinton has demonstrated a broader sense of proportion, pragmatism and accomplishment than has Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist. Moreover, all the key issues Sanders says require remedy, from income inequality to Wall Street abuses, are those that Clinton would also target. It is largely a matter of fantasy versus reality. Though, on guns, she has a far better record.”
Houston Chronicle (February 13, 2016) 
“Clinton, 68, was elected twice as senator from New York and served for five years as secretary of state under President Barack Obama. Throughout these roles, and even in her unofficial role as first lady, Clinton has proven herself a steely leader and well-informed policy wonk. If elected, we believe she will continue the balanced priorities of an Obama administration that's overseen steady economic growth, a 5 percent unemployment rate and 17 million people with health insurance who didn't have it before. […] Like on so many issues, Clinton espouses a well-studied energy policy while Sanders aims for the unattainable and undesirable.”
Dallas Morning News (February 13, 2016) 
“She’s better because over her lifetime, Clinton has learned to temper her idealism without losing it. She’s learned to advance her agenda even when it means letting others advance too. She’s cultivated allies. […]  As president, she’d push a mostly liberal agenda, as Sanders would. But her passion for change is leavened by a pragmatism — and a recognition of costs — his lacks. […] But in the half century since she traveled Texas for McGovern, Clinton has shown persistence beyond measure. That has given her time to learn the value of compromise. That’s why she’s the best choice for Democrats.”
Corpus Christi Caller-Times (February 21, 2016)
“In the much more policy-oriented and less personality-conflicted Democratic race, the weight of Clinton's résumé alone should crush Sanders. The Vermont senator can talk about universal health care but Clinton stands alone in having tried valiantly — and unsuccessfully — to achieve it and to have learned from defeat. Her ability to wake up, smell the coffee and work within the confines of the much less ambitious Affordable Care Act should be a plus, not a minus.”
Fort Worth Star-Telegram (February 26, 2016)
“At some point, Sanders’ ideas of forcing radical change in the U.S. financial system and economy must give way to recognition of the full load of responsibilities a president must bear, the variety of challenges and duties that Clinton is uniquely qualified to handle. For the sake of the nation, Democrats must give greater weight to Clinton’s experience for their presidential nominee... Fitting for a public servant of her tenure, Clinton has a long list of sound policy proposals, from aiming for a cure for Alzheimer’s to campaign finance reform, climate change, early education, higher education, the economy, gun violence, immigration, racial justice, Social Security, veterans, workforce skills and more. And, yes, should she gain the Democratic nomination and be elected in November, Clinton would be our first female president. There are better reasons to vote for her, but that one’s cool, too.”  

Improving Flower Sales

Political Cartoon is by Mike Stanfill at

Answering Pascal's Wager

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Legality And Justice Are Not The Same

Net Favorability Rises For Clinton And Falls For Sanders

It looks like Bernie Sanders may have peaked in popularity with Democrats, while Hillary Clinton is seeing a resurgence in her popularity. Here is how the Gallup Poll describes the results of their polling on the net favorability (favorable minus unfavorable) of the two candidates:

These results come from Gallup Daily tracking of the images of main presidential candidates, which began in July 2015. The Feb. 18-24 results mark the first time that Gallup is reporting the data using one-week rather than two-week rolling averages.
In recent weeks, Clinton's campaign entered something of a rough patch -- though not her first of the cycle -- as she was unable to pull out a decisive win in the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1 and was pummeled in the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9. Sanders, initially seen as a fringe candidate by many political analysts, suddenly became more popular than Clinton, a stark reversal of his 28-point deficit in net favorable scores he held in July 2015.
However, after Sanders' image reached its high mark in late January/early February, it has fallen steadily. His current net favorable is his lowest since late December, a time when Sanders was comparatively less known to many Democrats. Clinton has now taken back her title as the most popular presidential candidate with Democrats, and with her predicted victory in the South Carolina primary Saturday, she appears to be back on a winning trajectory.

Toxic Filth

Political Cartoon is by Nick Anderson in the Houston Chronicle.

All The February Polls Of South Carolina Democrats

South Carolina's Democrats go to the polls today to make their choice in the presidential race -- and by late tonight, we should know the results from that primary. I thought you might like to see the ten polls taken during February in South Carolina. The RCP average on the far right is the RealClearPolitics average of the ten polls. That average, which is usually pretty accurate, shows Hillary Clinton with a 24.6 point lead over Bernie Sanders.

Save Gitmo

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

New Dem Polls: Georgia, Massachusetts, Virginia, & Florida

Georgia, Massachusetts, and Virginia will all vote in three days (March 1st). Florida will vote two weeks later (March 15). These are the latest polls on the Democratic presidential nominating race in those four states.

Georgia - WABE Poll (Feb 22-24) 400 likely voters (4.1 point moe).

Massachusetts - WBUR Poll (Feb 21-23) 418 likely voters (4.9 point moe).

Virginia - Roanoke College Poll (Feb 16-24) 415 likely voters (4.8 point moe).

Florida - Quinnipiac University Poll (Feb 21-24) 476 likely voters (4.5 point moe).

Florida - Public Policy Polling (Feb 24-25) 388 likely voters (5.0 point moe).

Massachusetts is the real surprise. Hillary Clinton has had large leads in Georgia, Virginia, and Florida for quite a while. But a couple of weeks ago, Bernie Sanders was leading Massachusetts. It now looks like Clinton may be turning the tide in that state. It would be devastating for Sanders to lose Massachusetts.

The Talk

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

Hillary Clinton's Plan To Lower College Cost For Students

(Photo of Hillary Clinton is by Kat Kane at


“We need to make a quality education affordable and available to everyone willing to work for it, without saddling them with decades of debt.”

Here’s what every student and family should expect under Hillary’s plan: 

Costs won't be a barrier.
  • Students should never have to borrow to pay for tuition, books, and fees to attend a four-year public college in their state under the New College Compact. Pell Grants are not included in the calculation of no-debt-tuition, so Pell recipients will be able to use their grants fully for living expenses. Students at community college will receive free tuition. 
  • Students will do their part by contributing their earnings from working 10 hours a week.
  • Families will do their part by making an affordable and realistic family contribution.
  • The federal government will make a major investment in the New College Compact by providing grants to states that commit to these goals, and by cutting interest rates on loans.
  • States will have to step up and meet their obligation to invest in higher education by maintaining current levels of higher education funding and reinvesting over time.
  • Colleges and universities will be accountable for improving outcomes and controlling costs to ensure that tuition is affordable and that students who invest in college leave with a degree.
  • We will encourage innovators who design imaginative new ways of providing a valuable college education to students—while cracking down on abusive practices that burden students with debt without value.
  • A $25 billion fund will support HBCUs, HSIs, and other MSIs serving a high percentage of Pell Grant recipients to help lower the cost of attendance and improve student outcomes at low-cost, modest-endowment nonprofit private schools.

An Evolution

Political Cartoon is by Tom Stiglich at

Americans Want Background Checks

Friday, February 26, 2016

Liberals / Conservatives

Four More Texas Polls Show Clinton With A Big Lead

Texas holds its primary less than a week from now -- on March 1st. I have already brought you three Texas polls (PPP, UT/TT, Emerson) showing Clinton holds a big lead in Texas. Now four more Texas polls have been released, and they all verify that. They show her lead at between 29 and 40 points. Here are those polls:

Monmouth University Poll (Feb 22-24) 304 likely voters (5.6 point moe).

Tegna Texas / SurveyUSA Poll (Feb 21-22) 569 likely voters (4.1 point moe).

KTVT-CBS 11 / Dixie Strategies Poll (Feb 22) 675 likely voters (3.8 point moe).

Texas Pulse / Austin American-Statesman Poll (Feb 19-22) 411 likely voters (5 point moe).

Radical Group Seizes Federal Property

Political Cartoon is by Matt Wuerker at

Hillary Clinton Is The Favorite Of Virginia Democrats

Virginia also holds its primary on March 1st -- and this new poll from Monmouth University shows that could be a very good night for Hillary Clinton in that state. Clinton holds a 27 point advantage over Bernie Sanders.

The Monmouth University Poll was done between February 22nd and 24th of a random sample of 302 likely Democratic voters, and has a margin of error of 5.6 points.

The Owner

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

Hillary Clinton's Stand On Climate Change And Energy

(This photo of Hillary Clinton is from


Hillary’s plan is designed to deliver on the pledge President Obama made at the Paris climate conference last December—without relying on climate deniers in Congress to pass new legislation. Her plan will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30 percent in 2025 relative to 2005 levels and put the country on a path to cut emissions more than 80 percent by 2050. Her approach will catalyze new investment and economic opportunity across the country, create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, reduce energy bills and save families money, make our country more secure, and protect our families and communities from pollution.
As president, Hillary will:
  • Defend, implement, and extend smart pollution and efficiency standards,including the Clean Power Plan, which will prevent 3,600 premature deaths and 90,000 asthma attacks annually, and efficiency standards for cars, trucks and appliances that are already reducing energy costs for American households and businesses by over $75 billion per year.
  • Launch a $60 billion Clean Energy Challenge to partner with states, cities, and rural communities and give them the tools and resources they need to go beyond federal standards in cutting carbon pollution and expanding clean energy. The Clean Energy Challenge will also help ensure all Americans share in the benefits of a clean energy economy by encouraging solar and energy efficiency investments in low-income communities.
  • Invest in clean energy infrastructure, innovation, manufacturing and workforce development to make the U.S. economy more competitive and create good paying jobs and careers. Hillary has a comprehensive plan for making existing energy infrastructure cleaner and safer, unlocking new investment, and forging a climate compact with Canada and Mexico to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate clean energy deployment across the continent.
  • Ensure safe and responsible energy production. As we transition to a clean energy economy, we must ensure that the fossil fuel production taking place today is safe and responsible and that areas too sensitive for energy production are taken off the table. Hillary knows there are some places where we should keep fossil fuels in the ground or under the ocean.
  • Reform leasing on public lands. As president, Hillary would reform fossil fuel leasing and significantly expand clean energy production on public lands, from wind in Wyoming to solar in Nevada.
  • End wasteful tax subsidies for oil and gas companies. Oil and gas companies have enjoyed billions in tax breaks for decades. Hillary would end those wasteful subsidies and invest in clean energy.
  • Cut methane emissions across the economy. Hillary would cut emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, by 40-45 percent and put in place strong standards for reducing leaks from both new and existing sources.
  • Revitalize coal communities. Building a 21st century clean energy economy will create new jobs and industries, protect public health, and reduce carbon pollution. But we can’t ignore the impact this transition is already having on coal communities. Hillary’s $30 billion plan to revitalize coal communities will ensure coal miners, power plant operators, transportation workers, and their families get the respect they deserve and the benefits they have earned; invest in economic diversification and job creation; and make coal communities an engine of US economic growth in the 21st century, as they have been for generations.
"In spite of the strongest possible scientific consensus about what climate change means for our environment, economy, health, and future, there are still some who deny the facts. They’re intent on obstructing progress. We can’t let them win this fight. We have no choice. There is no Planet B."

Opting For Hate & Fear

Political Cartoon is by Darrin Bell at

Inequality Is Dangerous

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Molly Nailed It

A Third Texas Poll Shows Hillary Clinton In A Strong Position

It's just five more days until Texas Democrats vote in their primary, and another poll is showing Hillary Clinton has a substantial lead in this important state (which has 251 delegates).

This time it's the Emerson College Poll -- done between February 21st and 23rd of a random sample of 328 likely Texas Democratic primary voters, with a 5.4 point margin of error.

Delegates in Texas will be awarded according to how well a candidate does in the primary. Right now, it looks like Clinton will win a clear majority of Texas delegates.