Sunday, July 31, 2016


Do Women Have The Same Job Opportunities As Men ?

The chart above shows the results of a recent Gallup Poll -- done between June 7th and July 1st of a random national sample of 3,270 adults, with a margin of error of 3 points. Some 1,513 women were surveyed for a 5 point m.o.e., and 1,755 men for a 4 point m.o.e.

It turns out that only 52% of the general public believes women have the same job opportunities as men have. There is a big 18 point difference in what men and women think. Only 43% of women think they have the same job opportunities, while 61% of men believe that.

I think men are denying the obvious (much like Whites do when asked if Blacks are treated equally). Women have never been treated equally in the U.S. job market, and still aren't (in either job availability or job pay). There has been improvement, but we are still far from equal treatment.


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

Clinton Gets "Bump" From A Great Democratic Convention

Donald Trump got a small bump from the Republican convention, and it helped him to get close to Hillary Clinton in many national polls. But it looks like Hillary Clinton will get an even larger bump from the better organized and produced Democratic convention.

The chart above shows the results of a new RABA Research Poll. It is the first poll done after the Democratic convention was over, and it shows Clinton with a very nice 15 point lead over Trump nationally. The survey was taken on July 29th of a random national sample of 956 voters, and has a margin of error of 3.2 points.

Historic Moment

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

The Houston Chronicle Has Endorsed Hillary Clinton

(Photo of Hillary Clinton is from

In an unusual move for a large Texas newspaper, the Houston Chronicle has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. Here is what the editorial staff had to say:

On Nov. 8, 2016, the American people will decide between two presidential contenders who represent the starkest political choice in living memory. They will choose between one candidate with vast experience and a lifelong dedication to public service and another totally lacking in qualifications to be president. They will decide whether they prefer someone deeply familiar with the issues that are important to this nation or a person whose paper-thin, bumper-sticker proposals would be dangerous to the nation and the world if somehow they were enacted.

Her opponent
The Chronicle editorial page does not typically endorse early in an election cycle; we prefer waiting for the campaign to play out and for issues to emerge and be addressed. We make an exception in the 2016 presidential race, because the choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is not merely political. It is something much more basic than party preference.
An election between the Democrat Clinton and, let's say, the Republican Jeb Bush or John Kasich or Marco Rubio, even the hyper-ideological Ted Cruz, would spark a much-needed debate about the role of government and the nation's future, about each candidate's experience and abilities. But those Republican hopefuls have been vanquished. To choose the candidate who defeated them - fairly and decisively, we should point out - is to repudiate the most basic notions of competence and capability.
Any one of Trump's less-than-sterling qualities - his erratic temperament, his dodgy business practices, his racism, his Putin-like strongman inclinations and faux-populist demagoguery, his contempt for the rule of law, his ignorance - is enough to be disqualifying. His convention-speech comment, "I alone can fix it," should make every American shudder. He is, we believe, a danger to the Republic.
It's telling that so many Republicans have distanced themselves from their party's nominee. That sizeable list includes a number of prominent Texans, Bush family members foremost among them, as well as Sen. Cruz and House Speaker Joe Straus. These stalwart Republicans are concerned not only about the future of their party (and, with the exception of the two Bush presidents, their own political careers), but, more important, they're concerned about the future of this nation.
It would not be surprising to discover that these experienced politicians and public servants share the existential concern that first lady Michelle Obama raised in her powerful speech on behalf of Clinton at the party convention in Philadelphia: "Because when you have the nuclear codes at your fingertips and the military at your command, you can't make snap decisions. You can't have a thin skin or a tendency to lash out. You need to be steady and measured and well-informed."
Americans know Hillary Clinton; post-Philadelphia, they're even better acquainted with "the real Hillary Clinton," as her husband phrased it. After her quarter century and more in the public eye, they know her strengths and her weaknesses. Anyone who has paid even a modicum of attention to her experience as first lady, as U.S. senator, as secretary of state and as candidate for president will have at least a general notion of her positions on the issues. As President Obama noted, she's the most qualified person in years to serve as president - "and that includes Bill and me." The only candidate to come close is George H.W. Bush.
Whether voters like her personally is almost irrelevant at this "moment of reckoning," to use Clinton's words. She herself concedes that she's not a natural campaigner. She lacks Obama's oratorical gifts or her husband's folksy ability to connect with crowds. Too often she comes across as calculated, inauthentic. We're confident that she is, indeed, "steady and measured and well-informed" and that she would be a much better president than a presidential candidate.
The issues
On the issues, there's no comparison in terms of thoughtfulness, thoroughness and practicality. Acknowledging the influence of erstwhile competitor Bernie Sanders, for example, she will focus as president on repairing an economy that has left many working people behind and struggling. She will address income inequality and wage stagnation and will work to create jobs. She'll work with Congress to end tax loopholes, noting as she did on CBS's "Sixty Minutes" last weekend that an executive shouldn't be paying the same tax rate as his secretary. She also will push for equal pay for women, increasing the minimum wage and expanding tax credits for poorer families.
Immigration reform 
Rejecting the ridiculous border-wall notion her opponent famously touts, she'll push for comprehensive immigration reform, building on a sensible plan that passed the U.S. Senate three years ago, only to be held hostage by a rump group of tea-party opponents in the House. She has said she intends within the first 100 days of her administration to introduce a path for the undocumented among us to earn citizenship.
Health care 
Health care has been a decades-long issue for Clinton, at least since her days as the first lady of her adopted state of Arkansas. As first lady in the White House a few years later, her failed health initiative led to the creation of CHIP, the immensely successful children's health insurance program. She will work to improve the Affordable Care Act, not abolish it.
On energy, an issue of importance to Houston, she acknowledges the seriousness of climate change, the most "consequential, urgent, sweeping" problem the world faces. She has said she wants the United States to be the "clean energy superpower of the 21st century."
She also acknowledges that clean-energy reforms will result in economic casualties, among them the coal industry. She has proposed a $30 billion plan to revitalize communities where coal production is in decline and, as Bill Clinton mentioned in his convention speech last week, she intends to dispatch him to West Virginia to help struggling families and communities build a viable economic future.
Hillary Clinton has said she sees natural gas as a bridge fuel and foresees a new economy built on rapidly increasing shares of renewable energy. She has a record of supporting fracking, and she supports the Paris agreement on climate change.
Foreign affairs 
On trade, another vital Houston issue, we have our differences with the Democrat. Although she now says she opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal we support, we're confident she will be adept at negotiating deals that would grow wages and jobs and that would protect American workers. Despite his vaunted deal-making claims, her opponent, we suspect, would be lost at sea trying to meet the nation's trade goals.
On foreign affairs, the former secretary of state is knowledgeable, dependable and trusted worldwide, unlike her blusterous opponent whose outrageous remarks last week about Russia were merely the most recent bizarre outburst to unsettle our allies. Needless to say, Clinton supports NATO, unlike Trump who, in the words of columnist Timothy Egan, "now stands ready to repudiate nearly 70 years of security for our European allies under an 'America First' banner. ."
We could go on with issues, including her plans for sensible gun safety and for combatting terrorism - her policy positions are laid out in detail on her campaign web site - but issues in this election are almost secondary to questions of character and trustworthiness. We reject the "cartoon version" of Hillary Clinton (again to borrow her husband's phrase) in favor of a presidential candidate who has the temperament, the ability and the experience to lead this nation.
These are unsettling times, even if they're not the dark, dystopian end times that Trump lays out. They require a steady hand. That's not Donald Trump.
The times also require a person who envisions a hopeful future for this nation, a person who has faith in the strong, prosperous and confident America we hope to bequeath our children and grandchildren, as first lady Michelle Obama so eloquently envisioned in Philadelphia. That's not Donald Trump's America.
It is Hillary Clinton's, who reminded her listeners Thursday night that "When there are no ceilings, the sky's the limit."
America's first female president would be in the Oval Office more than a century and a half after a determined group of women launched the women's suffrage movement, almost a century after women in this country won the right to vote. It's a milestone, to be sure. Few could have imagined it would be so consequential.

The Donald

Political Cartoon is by Mike Stanfill at

It Started With Politicians

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Jefferson On Banks

Why Russia's Putin Has Acted To Support Donald Trump

(Cartoon image is by Dave Granlund at

On the eve of the Democratic National Convention, a series of e-mails from the Democratic National Committee was publicly released. They showed no wrong-doing by the committee, but did contain some stupidly embarrassing e-mails from some committee members (especially one from the chief financial officer). The release was obviously designed to hurt the candidacy of the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.

We now know those e-mails were discovered when Russians hacked into the DNC computer. The question that brings up is -- why would the Russians want to hurt Clinton? Why would they want to interfere in the United States election? The obvious answer is they were trying to boost the candidacy of Donald Trump.

Some people posed that they wanted to help Trump because Trump has significant holdings in Russia, or that Russian investors have significant money invested with Trump in this country. The Trump campaign was quick to deny that. Personally, I think that was a straw man argument (probably designed by Trump supporters). If Trump does have holdings in Russia or Russian investors, I doubt making him president would help that (because he would need to divorce himself from his business interests if elected).

But that doesn't mean Russia doesn't have an interest in seeing Trump elected president. For one thing, Trump has expressed his admiration for Putin. It would not be wrong for Putin to think he could get along with Trump (and use him) better than he could with Hillary Clinton (who would continue the foreign policy of Barack Obama).

But perhaps the most important reason is Trump's attacks on NATO. Trump has said NATO is outdated, and even suggested that he would not act to defend some NATO countries (who he claims are not paying their share of the burden). That had to be music to Putin's ears.

NATO is the primary defense of Europe against Russian aggression, and Europe depends on the United States keeping its word and honoring the treaty. Hillary Clinton would do that. Donald Trump has said he might not. Donald Trump would make NATO weaker, and maybe useless.

That's the real reason Russia would act to help Trump -- because Trump admires Putin and does not believe in NATO. Trump would put Europe at the mercy of Russia.

Demanding Entrance

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

Should Police Officers Be Required To Wear Body Cameras ?

The chart above is from a recent Rasmussen Poll -- done on July 24th and 25th of a random national sample of 1,000 adults, and has a margin of error of 3 points.

It shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans (70%) think police officers should be required to wear body cameras when on duty. This has been suggested to correct perceived police abuse. But an interesting part of this poll is that a majority thinks this will help protect the police more than it would help victims of police abuse.

Endorsement Hugs

Political Cartoon is by Kevin Siers in The Charlotte Observer.

Registered Voters Prefer Clinton By A Small Margin

This Reuters/Ipsos Poll was done between July 25th and 29th of a random national sample of 1,788 registered voters, and has a margin of error of about 2.6 points. It shows Hillary Clinton with a small lead over Donald Trump (barely exceeding the margin of error).

But we must remember that the poll was taken after the GOP convention (which produced a small bounce for Trump) and during the Democratic convention (so probably doesn't include the bounce Clinton will probably get from the convention). It will be interesting to see what the polls show a week or two from now.

Busy ?

Political Cartoon is by Paul Fell at

The Most Powerful Speech At The Democratic Convention

There were many great speeches given at the Democratic National Convention. President Obama, Michelle Obama, Vice-President Biden, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bloomberg, and many other politicians gave memorable speeches.

But for me, the most powerful speech of the convention was given by a non-politician, and was also one of the shortest speeches. It was given by a muslim immigrant from Pakistan -- Khizr Khan, who lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, and works as a legal advisor. He and his wife (pictured here in a photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images, and found at immigrated to the United States in the 1970's.

Khan's son was a U.S. Army Captain, who lost his life saving his fellow soldiers in Iraq (and was awarded the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart). He was an American hero, and one of many muslims who died protecting this country.

Mr. Khan said:

Tonight, we are honored to stand here as the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan, and as patriotic American Muslims with undivided loyalty to our country.
Like many immigrants, we came to this country empty-handed. We believed in American democracy — that with hard work and the goodness of this country, we could share in and contribute to its blessings.
We were blessed to raise our three sons in a nation where they were free to be themselves and follow their dreams.
Our son, Humayun, had dreams of being a military lawyer. But he put those dreams aside the day he sacrificed his life to save his fellow soldiers.
Hillary Clinton was right when she called my son "the best of America."
If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America.
Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He disrespects other minorities, women, judges, even his own party leadership. He vows to build walls and ban us from this country.
Donald Trump, you are asking Americans to trust you with our future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the U.S. Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words "liberty" and "equal protection of law."
Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America — you will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities.
You have sacrificed nothing and no one.
We can't solve our problems by building walls and sowing division.
We are Stronger Together.
And we will keep getting stronger when Hillary Clinton becomes our next President.

(NOTE -- Mr. Khan had no prepared speech. He just spoke from his heart.)

Opposite Views

Political Cartoon is by Joe Heller at

Simple Math

Friday, July 29, 2016

Finding America

Democrats Show America How To Have A Great Convention

(Photos in this post are from the Democratic Convention Flickr page.)

It looked for a while that the Democratic Convention would get off to a rocky start. That's no surprise. There were two good candidates running for the presidential nomination, and like it or not, democracy is a messy business. But Democrats surprised the media (who were talking only about party divisions) and actually came together during the 4 day convention.

Part of that was due to the respect the convention organizers gave to both Bernie Sanders and his supporters. Unlike at last week's GOP convention, the Democrats gave Bernie Sanders a prime speaking slot on the opening night of the convention, and on the second night, allowed his name to be put into nomination and all of his delegates the right to cast their vote. For his part, Sanders asked the convention to then nominate Hillary Clinton by acclamation -- and he made it clear that she has his full support. It was a lesson in both democracy and unity -- and one that all Democrats can be proud of.

And the American people seemed to appreciate that. On the first two nights of the convention, millions more Americans tuned in to watch than on the first two nights of the GOP convention. And there is no doubt that the same will be true for the last two nights of the convention.

Why is that true? Why did more Americans watch the Democratic Convention? I believe there are several reasons. First, while the big celebrity of the GOP convention was Scott Baio, the Democrats had a long list of celebrities there to help (like Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver, Paul Simon. Alicia Keys, Lenny Kravitz, Mary Steenburgen, Eva Longoria, Rosie Perez, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Carole King, Katie Perry, a stage full of Broadway stars, and many more).

And while many of the GOP's political heavy-hitters stayed at home (George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, John McClain, Marco Rubio, John Kasich), the turnout of Democratic political stars was huge -- with the likes of President Obama, Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Mikulski, John Lewis, Jesse Jackson, Al Franken, Sherrod Brown, Xavier Becerra, and dozens more Democratic officials at all levels all showing up.

But it was more than just celebrity and political star power that made it a great convention. Perhaps the biggest reason was the tone of the convention and its attendees. The GOP convention seemed to be centered only on two things -- attacking Hillary Clinton and scaring the hell out of American voters. This was summed up by a very dark and divisive speech by their nominee -- Donald Trump.

The Democratic convention speakers took some swipes at Trump, but most of their speeches were about what they, and their nominee could do to make a better more hopeful future for all Americans. They countered the GOP's dark vision with a vision of hope, justice, equality, and economic opportunity for all Americans. This vision was then cemented with a great acceptance speech from the presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton.

The Democrats showed Americans what a great political convention looks like. It made me very proud to be a Democrat.

The Votes That Count

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

How Do We Treat Minorities And Immigrants In The U.S. ?

To me, one of the most important issues we face in this election year (and in every election year) is how are people being treated in this country. Do they have equal opportunities for jobs, housing, and education? Do they get equal treatment in our justice system? if any group is not treated equally, then we are failing in our duty to uphold the Constitution and further the American Dream.

To be truthful, we have never truly lived up to that dream of equality in the United States. But, to our credit, we have a history of making progress. That progress has not been easy because there have always been those who prefer discrimination, but progress has been made because in the final analysis, most people are decent.

That does not mean that there is not more to be done. There is much more to be done, and the fight to do it will be just as difficult as in the past. That's because too many refuse to see discrimination, preferring to keep the privileges they have over others. But I am an optimist, and I believe the finger of history is moving in the right direction.

I found this new Gallup Poll interesting. It shows what all adults (and the sub-groups of Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics) think of how minorities and immigrants are treated in this country. The chart above shows the percentage who are satisfied with the treatment these groups get. Note that far too many don't see the discrimination that still exists for Asians, Women, Hispanics, Blacks, Arabs, and Immigrants.

The Gallup Poll was done between June 7th and July 1st of this year of a random national sample of 3,270 adults. The margin of error for all adults is 3 points (and for the sub-groups is 4-5 points).

Endorsements (And Promises)

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

Bloomberg Gives Dems An Independent's View Of Election

(Photo of Michael Bloomberg addressing the Democratic Convention is from

There have been many wonderful and inspiring speeches from Democrats at the convention in Philadelphia, and I have enjoyed them all. Today, I thought I'd bring you something a little different -- a speech given to the convention by someone who was not a Democrat. It is Independent Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City. While he's not a Democrat, he gave a great speech to us Democrats -- supporting the nominee of our party.

Bloomberg said:

Let me thank all of you for welcoming an outsider here to deliver what will be an unconventional convention speech.
Now, I'm not here as a member of any party, or to endorse any party platform. I am here for one reason, and one reason only: to explain why I believe it is my imperative that we elect Hillary Clinton as the next president of the United States. And to ask you to join with me in supporting her this November.
When the Founding Fathers arrived here in Philadelphia to forge a new nation, they didn't come as Democrats or Republicans, or to nominate a presidential candidate. They came as patriots who feared party politics. I know how they felt. I've been a Democrat, I've been a Republican, and I eventually became an independent because I don't believe either party has a monopoly on good ideas or strong leadership.
When I enter the voting booth each time, I look at the candidate, not the party label. I have supported elected officials from both sides of the aisle. Probably not many people in this room can say that, but I know there are many watching at home who can. And now, they are carefully weighing their choices. I understand their dilemma.
I know what it's like to have neither party fully represent my views or values. Too many Republicans wrongly blame immigrants for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on climate change and gun violence. Meanwhile, many Democrats wrongly blame the private sector for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on education reform and deficit reduction.
There are times when I disagree with Hillary. But whatever our disagreements may be, I've come here to say: We must put them aside for the good of our country. And we must united around the candidate who can defeat a dangerous demagogue.
I believe it's the duty of all American citizens to make our voices heard by voting in this election. And, if you're not yet registered to vote, go online. Do it now. It's just too important to sit this out.
Now, we've heard a lot of talk in this campaign about needing a leader who understands business. I couldn't agree more. I've built a business and I didn't start it with a million-dollar check from my father. Because of my success in the private sector, I had the chance to run America's largest city for 12 years, governing in the wake of its greatest tragedy.
Today, as an independent, an entrepreneur, and a former mayor, I believe we need a president who is a problem solver, not a bomb thrower. Someone who can bring members of Congress together, to get things done. And I know Hillary Clinton can do that because I saw it firsthand.
I was elected mayor two months after 9/11, as a Republican — and I saw how Hillary Clinton worked with Republicans in Washington to ensure that New York got the help it needed to recover and rebuild. Throughout her time in the Senate, we didn't always agree 
— but she always listened. And that's the kind of approach we need in Washington today, and it just has to start in the White House.
Given my background, I've often encouraged business leaders to run for office because many of them share that same pragmatic approach to building consensus, but not all. Most of us who have created a business know that we're only as good as the way our employees, clients, and partners view us. Most of us don't pretend that we're smart enough to make every big decision by ourselves. And most of us who have our names on the door know that we're only as good as our word. But not Donald Trump.
Throughout his career, Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits, angry shareholders, and contractors who feel cheated, and disillusioned customers who feel ripped off. Trump says he wants to run the nation like he's run his business. God help us.
I'm a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one! Trump says he'll punish manufacturers that move to Mexico or China, but the clothes he sells are made overseas in low-wage factories. He says he wants to put Americans back to work, but he games the US visa system so he can hire temporary foreign workers at low wages. He says he wants to deport 11 million undocumented people, but he seems to have no problem in hiring them. What'd I miss here?!
Truth be told, the richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy. He wants you to believe that we can solve our biggest problems by deporting Mexicans and shutting out Muslims. He wants you to believe that erecting trade barriers will bring back good jobs. He's wrong on both counts.
We can only solve our biggest problems if we come together and embrace the freedoms that our Founding Fathers established right here in Philadelphia, which permitted our ancestors to create the great American exceptionalism that all of us now enjoy. Donald Trump doesn't understand that. Hillary Clinton does. And we can only create good jobs if we make smarter investments in infrastructure and do more to support small businesses. Not stiff them. Donald Trump doesn't understand that. Hillary Clinton does.
I understand the appeal of a businessman president. But Trump's business plan is a disaster in the making. He would make it harder for small businesses to compete, do great damage to our economy, threaten the retirement savings of millions of Americans, lead to greater debt and more unemployment, erode our influence in the world, and make our communities less safe.
The bottom line is: Trump is a risky, reckless, and radical choice. And we can't afford to make that choice.
Now, I know Hillary Clinton is not flawless; no candidate is. But she is the right choice — and the responsible choice — in this election. No matter what you may think about her politics or her record, Hillary Clinton understands that this is not reality television; this is reality. She understands the job of president. It involves finding solutions, not pointing fingers, and offering hope, not stoking fear.
Over the course of our country's proud history, we have faced our share of grave challenges, but we have never retreated in fear. Never. Not here in Philadelphia in 1776, not at Gettysburg in 1863, not through two World Wars and a Great Depression, not at Selma or Stonewall, and not after 9/11 — and we must not start now. 
America is the greatest country on Earth — and when people vote with their feet, they come here. The presidency of the United States is the most powerful office in the world, and so I say to my fellow independents: Your vote matters now. Your vote will determine the future of your job, your business, and our future together as a country.
To me, this election is not a choice between a Democrat and a Republican. It's a choice about who is better to lead our country right now: better for our economy, better for our security, better for our freedom, and better for our future.
There is no doubt in my mind that Hillary Clinton is the right choice this November. So tonight, as an independent, I am asking you to join with me — not out of party loyalty but out of love of country. And together, let's elect Hillary Clinton as the next president of the greatest country in the world, the United States of America.
Thank you.


Political Cartoon is by Mike Stanfill at

FDR On Minimum Wage

Thursday, July 28, 2016

This Just Ain't Right

Obama Passes The Baton In A Great Convention Speech

(Photo of Obama and Clinton is from

I was already feeling pretty good about how the Democratic National Convention was going, but Wednesday night put it on a new and higher level -- and it made a comparison with last week's GOP convention very stark. And it was due to a great speech delivered by President Obama.

The president once again proved that he is one of the great speech writers and deliverers of our time. And Hillary Clinton couldn't have been given a better kick-off to her campaign. Obama delivered a hopeful vision of America and its future, and enumerated the reasons why only Hillary Clinton can lead us to that future. In effect, he passed the presidential baton to Hillary Clinton.

Then, immediately after the speech (which had the convention on its feet and cheering) Hillary Clinton made a surprise appearance to hug the president and walk arm-in-arm with him. It was a powerful visual to top off the president's powerful speech.

Now the only thing left is for Hillary to accept the nomination tomorrow night in what is hopefully another good speech. I see no reason why Democrats shouldn't now leave Philadelphia feeling that had a very good convention. And I believe Hillary Clinton should get a very good bump in the polls because of this successful convention.

Bernie Explains

Political Cartoon is by David Horsey in the Los Angeles Times.

Tim Kaine Is An Unknown Commodity To Most Americans

The Democratic Party has nominated Senator Tim Kaine to share the ticket with presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. But while most people know Hillary Clinton, a majority of Americans don't really have a clue as to who Tim Kaine is, or what he stands for.

This is clearly illustrated in the newest YouGov Poll -- done on July 23rd and 24th of a random national sample of 1,300 adults, with a margin of error of 4.2 points. They asked Americans to give a favorable or unfavorable rating to Tim Kaine, but 53% were unable to do so because they didn't know enough about him. And that feeling is shared by both genders, all ages, and all racial groups.

Obviously Tim Kaine has some work to do. He needs to get out and introduce himself to the American voters. I think he could help Democrats in this election -- but he can't do that until the American people know who he is.


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

Michelle Is Most Popular Of All Dem. Convention Speakers

I thought these two polls were interesting. They show the pre-convention popularity of the six major Democratic convention speakers. Note that Michelle Obama is the most popular with the general public, with a favorability rating of 58% in both polls. I'm sure she didn't hurt that rating at all with the great speech she gave on Monday night.

The Gallup Poll was done between July 13th and 17th of a random national sample of 1,023 adults, with a margin of error of 4 points.

The YouGov Poll was done on July 23rd and 24th of a random national sample of 1,300 adults, with a margin of error of 4.2 points.

Performance Enhancer

Political Cartoon is by Adam Zyglis in The Buffalo News.

Hillary Clinton's Story (As Told By Her Husband Bill)

(Photos of Hillary Clinton, above and below, are from

On Tuesday night, Bill Clinton gave a great speech to the Democratic National Convention. The subject of his speech was his wife (and 2016 nominee for president by the Democratic Party -- Hillary Clinton. Here is what he had to say:

In the spring of 1971 I met a girl.

The first time I saw her we were, appropriately enough, in a class on political and civil rights. She had thick blond hair, big glasses, wore no makeup, and she had a sense of strength and self- possession that I found magnetic. After the class I followed her out, intending to introduce myself. I got close enough to touch her back, but I couldn’t do it. Somehow I knew this would not be just another tap on the shoulder, that I might be starting something I couldn’t stop.

And I saw her several more times in the next few days, but I still didn’t speak to her. Then one night I was in the law library talking to a classmate who wanted me to join the Yale Law Journal. He said it would guarantee me a job in a big firm or a clerkship with a federal judge. I really wasn’t interested, I just wanted to go home to Arkansas.

Then I saw the girl again, standing at the opposite end of that long room. Finally she was staring back at me, so I watched her. She closed her book, put it down and started walking toward me. She walked the whole length of the library, came up to me and said, look, if you’re going to keep staring at me…

…and now I’m staring back, we at least ought to know each other’s name. I’m Hillary Rodham, who are you?

I was so impressed and surprised that, whether you believe it or not, momentarily I was speechless.

Finally, I sort of blurted out my name and we exchanged a few words and then she went away.

Well, I didn’t join the Law Review, but I did leave that library with a whole new goal in mind.

A couple of days later, I saw her again. I remember, she was wearing a long, white, flowery skirt. And I went up to her and she said she was going to register for classes for the next term. And I said I’d go, too. And we stood in line and talked — you had to do that to register back then — and I thought I was doing pretty well until we got to the front of the line and the registrar looked up and said, Bill, what are you doing here, you registered morning?

I turned red and she laughed that big laugh of hers. And I thought, well, heck, since my cover’s been blown I just went ahead and asked her to take a walk down to the art museum.

We’ve been walking and talking and laughing together ever since.

And we’ve done it in good times and bad, through joy and heartbreak. We cried together this morning on the news that our good friend and a lot of your good friend, Mark Weiner, passed away early this morning.

We’ve built up a lifetime of memories. After the first month and that first walk, I actually drove her home to Park Ridge, Illinois…

…to meet her family and see the town where she grew up, a perfect example of post World War II middle-class America, street after street of nice houses, great schools, good parks, a big public swimming pool, and almost all white.

I really liked her family. Her crusty, conservative father, her rambunctious brothers, all extolling the virtues of rooting for the Bears and the Cuba.

And for the people from Illinois here, they even told me what “waiting for next year” meant.

It could be next year, guys.

Now, her mother was different. She was more liberal than the boys. And she had a childhood that made mine look like a piece of cake. She was easy to underestimate with her soft manner and she reminded me all over again of the truth of that old saying you should never judge a book by its covers. Knowing her was one of the greatest gifts Hillary ever gave me.

I learned that Hillary got her introduction to social justice through her Methodist youth minister, Don Jones. He took her downtown to Chicago to hear Dr. Martin Luther King speak and he remained her friend for the rest of his life. This will be the only campaign of hers he ever missed.

When she got to college, her support for civil rights, her opposition to the Vietnam War compelled her to change party, to become a Democrat.

And then between college and law school on a total lark she went alone to Alaska and spent some time sliming fish.

More to the point, by the time I met her she had already been involved in the law school’s legal services project and she had been influenced by Marian Wright Edelman.

She took a summer internship interviewing workers in migrant camps for Senator Walter Mondale’s subcommittee.

She had also begun working in the Yale New Haven Hospital to develop procedures to handle suspected child abuse cases. She got so involved in children’s issues that she actually took an extra year in law school working at the child studies center to learn what more could be done to improve the lives and the futures of poor children.

So she was already determined to figure out how to make things better.

Hillary opened my eyes to a whole new world of public service by private citizens. In the summer of 1972, she went to Dothan, Alabama to visit one of those segregated academies that then enrolled over half-a-million white kids in the South. The only way the economics worked is if they claimed federal tax exemptions to which they were not legally entitled. She got sent to prove they weren’t.

So she sauntered into one of these academies all by herself, pretending to be a housewife that had just moved to town and needed to find a school for her son. And they exchanged pleasantries and finally she said, look, let’s just get to the bottom line here, if I enroll my son in this school will he be in a segregated school, yes or know? And the guy said absolutely. She had him!

I’ve seen it a thousand times since. And she went back and her encounter was part of a report that gave Marian Marian Wright Edelman the ammunition she needed to keep working to force the Nixon administration to take those tax exemptions away and give our kids access to an equal education.

Then she went down to south Texas where she met…

…she met one of the nicest fellows I ever met, the wonderful union leader Franklin Garcia, and he helped her register Mexican- American voters. I think some of them are still around to vote for her in 2016.

Then in our last year in law school, Hillary kept up this work. She went to South Carolina to see why so many young…

…she went to South Carolina to see why so many young African- American boys, I mean, young teenagers, were being jailed for years with adults in men’s prisons. And she filed a report on that, which led to some changes, too. Always making things better.

Now, meanwhile, let’s get back to business. I was trying to convince her to marry me.

I first proposed to her on a trip to Great Britain, the first time she had been overseas. And we were on the shoreline of this wonderful little lake, Lake Ennerdale. I asked her to marry me and she said I can’t do it.

So in 1974 I went home to teach in the law school and Hillary moved to Massachusetts…

…to keep working on children’s issues. This time trying to figure out why so many kids counted in the Census weren’t enrolled in school. She found one of them sitting alone on her porch in a wheelchair. Once more, she filed a report about these kids, and that helped influence ultimately the Congress to adopt the proposition that children with disabilities, physical or otherwise, should have equal access to public education.

You saw the results of that last night when Anastasia Somoza talked.

She never made fun of people with disabilities; she tried to empower them based on their abilities.

Meanwhile, I was still trying to get her to marry me.

So the second time I tried a different tack. I said I really want you to marry me, but you shouldn’t do it.

And she smiled and looked at me, like, what is this boy up to? She said that is not a very good sales pitch. I said I know, but it’s true. And I meant it, it was true.

I said I know most of the young Democrats our age who want to go into politics, they mean well and they speak well, but none of them is as good as you are at actually doing things to make positive changes in people’s lives. 

So I suggested she go home to Illinois or move to New York and look for a chance to run for office. She just laughed and said, are you out of you mind, nobody would ever vote for me.

So I finally got her to visit me in Arkansas.

And when she did, the people at the law school were so impressed they offered a teaching position. And she decided to take a huge chance. She moved to a strange place, more rural, more culturally conservative than anyplace she had ever been, where she knew good and well people would wonder what in the world she was like and whether they could or should accept her.

Didn’t take them long to find out what she was like. She loved her teaching and she got frustrated when one of her students said, well, what do you expect, I’m just from Arkansas. She said, don’t tell me that, you’re as smart as anybody, you’ve just got to believe in yourself and work hard and set high goals. She believed that anybody could make it.

She also started the first legal aid clinic in northwest Arkansas, providing legal aid services to poor people who couldn’t pay for them. And one day I was driving her to the airport to fly back to Chicago when we passed this little brick house that had a for sale sign on it. And she said, boy, that’s a pretty house. It had 1,100 square feet, an attic, fan and no air conditioner in hot Arkansas, and a screened-in porch.

Hillary commented on what a uniquely designed and beautiful house it was. So I took a big chance. I bought the house. My mortgage was $175 a month.

When she came back, I picked up her up and I said, you remember that house you liked? She said yeah. I said, while you were gone I bought it, you have to marry me now.

The third time was the charm.

We were married in that little house on October the 11th, 1975. I married my best friend. I was still in awe after more than four years of being around her at how smart and strong and loving and caring she was. And I really hoped that her choosing me and rejecting my advice to pursue her own career was a decision she would never regret.

A little over a year later we moved to Little Rock when I became attorney general and she joined the oldest law firm west of the Mississippi. Soon after, she started a group called the Arkansas Advocates for Families and Children.

It’s a group, as you can hear, is still active today.

In 1979, just after I became governor, I asked Hillary to chair a rural health committee to help expand health care to isolated farm and mountain areas. They recommended to do that partly by deploying trained nurse practitioners in places with no doctors to provide primary care they were trained to provide. It was a big deal then, highly controversial and very important.

And I got the feeling that what she did for the rest of her life she was doing there. She just went out and figured out what needed to be done and what made the most sense and what would help the most people. And then if it was controversial she’d just try to persuade people it was the right thing to do.

It wasn’t the only big thing that happened that spring my first year as governor. We found out we were going to be parents.

And time passed. On February 27th, 1980, 15 minutes after I got home from the National Governors Conference in Washington, Hillary’s water broke and off we went to the hospital. Chelsea was born just before midnight.

And it was the greatest moment of my life. The miracle of a new beginning. The hole it filled for me because my own father died before I was born, and the absolute conviction that my daughter had the best mother in the whole world.

For the next 17 years, through nursing school, Montessori, kindergarten, through T-ball, softball, soccer, volleyball and her passion for ballet, through sleepovers, summer camps, family vacations and Chelsea’s own very ambitious excursions, from Halloween parties in the neighborhood, to a Viennese waltz gala in the White House, Hillary first and foremost was a mother.

She became, as she often said, our family’s designated worrier, born with an extra responsibility gene. The truth is we rarely disagreed on parenting, although she did believe that I had gone a little over the top when I took a couple of days off with Chelsea to watch all six “Police Academy” movies back-to-back.

When Chelsea was 9 months old, I was defeated for reelection in the Reagan landslide. And I became overnight, I think, the youngest former governor in the history of the country. We only had two-year terms back then.

Hillary was great. Immediately she said, OK, what are we going to do? Here’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to get a house, you’re going to get a job, we’re going to enjoy being Chelsea’s parents. And if you really want to run again, you’ve got to go out and talk to people and figure out why you lost, tell people you got the message and show them you’ve still got good ideas.

I followed her advice. Within two days we had a house, I soon had a job. We had two fabulous years with Chelsea. And in 1982, I became the first governor in the history of our state to be elected, defeated and elected again.

I think my experience is it’s a pretty good thing to follow her advice. The rest of the decade sort of flew by as our lives settled into a rhythm of family and work and friends.

In 1983, Hillary chaired a committee to recommend new education standards for us as a part of and in response to a court order to equalize school funding and a report by a national expert that said our woefully underfunded schools were the worst in America.

Typical Hillary, she held listening tours in all 75 counties with our committee. She came up with really ambitious recommendations. For example, that we be the first state in America to require elementary counselors in every school because so many kids were having trouble at home and they needed it.

So I called the legislature into session hoping to pass the standards, pass a pay raise for teachers and raise the sales tax to pay for it all. I knew it would be hard to pass, but it got easier after Hillary testified before the education committee and the chairman, a plainspoken farmer, said looks to me like we elected the wrong Clinton.

Well, by the time I ran for president nine years later, the same expert who said that we had the worst schools in America said that our state was one of the two most improved states in America. And that’s because of those standards that Hillary developed.

 Now, two years later, Hillary told me about a preschool program developed in Israel called HIPPY, Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters. The idea was to teach low-income parents, even those that couldn’t read, to be their children’s first teachers.

She said she thought it would work in Arkansas. I said that’s great, what are we going to do about it? She said, oh, I already did it. I called the woman who started the program in Israel, she’ll be here in about 10 days and help us get started.

Next thing you know I’m being dragged around to all these little preschool graduations. Now, keep in mind, this was before any state even had universal kindergarten and I’m being dragged to preschool graduations watching these poor parents with tears in their eyes because they never thought they’d be able to help their kids learn.

Now, 20 years of research has shown how well this program works to improve readiness for school and academic achievement. There are a lot of young adults in America who have no idea Hillary had anything to do with it who are enjoying better lives because they were in that program.

She did all this while being a full-time worker, a mother and enjoying our life. Why? Well, she’s insatiably curious, she’s a natural leader, she’s a good organizer, and she’s the best darn change-maker I ever met in my entire life.

Look, this is a really important point. This is a really important point for you to take out of this convention. If you believe in making change from the bottom up, if you believe the measure of change is how many people’s lives are better, you know it’s hard and some people think it’s boring. Speeches like this are fun.

Actually doing the work is hard. So people say, well, we need to change. She’s been around a long time, she sure has, and she’s sure been worth every single year she’s put into making people’s lives better.

I can tell you this. If you were sitting where I’m sitting and you heard what I have heard at every dinner conversation, every lunch conversation, on every lone walk, you would say this woman has never been satisfied with the status quo in anything. She always wants to move the ball forward. That is just who she is.

When I became president with a commitment to reform health care, Hillary was a natural to head the health care task force. You all know we failed because we couldn’t break a Senate filibuster. Hillary immediately went to work on solving the problems the bill sought to address one by one. The most important goal was to get more children with health insurance.

In 1997, Congress passed the Children’s Health Insurance Program, still an important part of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. It insures more than 8 million kids. There are a lot of other things in that bill that she got done piece by piece, pushing that rock up the hill.

In 1997, she also teamed with the House Minority Leader Tom DeLay, who maybe disliked me more than any of Newt Gingrich’s crowd. They worked on a bill together to increase adoptions of children under foster care. She wanted to do it because she knew that Tom DeLay, for all of our differences, was an adoptive parent and she honored him for doing that.

Now, the bill they worked on, which passed with an overwhelming bipartisan majority, led to a big increase in the adoption of children out of foster care, including non-infant kids and special-needs kids. It made life better because she’s a change-maker, that’s what she does.

Now, when you’re doing all this, real life doesn’t stop. 1997 was the year Chelsea finished high school and went to college. We were happy for her, but sad for us to see her go. I’ll never forget moving her into her dorm room at Stanford. It would have been a great little reality flick. There I was in a trance just staring out the window trying not to cry, and there was Hillary on her hands and knees desperately looking for one more drawer to put that liner paper in.

Finally, Chelsea took charge and told us ever so gently that it was time for us to go. So we closed a big chapter in the most important work of our lives. As you’ll see Thursday night when Chelsea speaks, Hillary’s done a pretty fine job of being a mother.

And as you saw last night, beyond a shadow of a doubt so has Michelle Obama.

Now, fast forward. In 1999, Congressman Charlie Rangel and other New York Democrats urged Hillary…

…urged Hillary to run for the seat of retiring Senator Pat Moynihan. We had always intended to go to New York after I left office and commute to Arkansas, but this had never occurred to either one of us. Hillary had never run for office before, but she decided to give it a try.

She began her campaign the way she always does new things, by listening and and learning. And after a tough battle, New York elected her to the seat once held by another outsider, Robert Kennedy.

And she didn’t let him down. Her early years were dominated by 9/11, by working to fund the recovery, then monitoring the health and providing compensation to victims and first and second responders. She and Senator Schumer were tireless and so were our House members.

And she didn’t let him down. Her early years were dominated by 9/11, by working to fund the recovery, then monitoring the health and providing compensation to victims and first and second responders. She and Senator Schumer were tireless and so were our House members.

So she tried to make sure people on the battlefield had proper equipment. She tried to expand and did expand health care coverage to Reservists and members of the National Guard. She got longer family leave, working with Senator Dodd, for people caring for wounded service members.

And she worked for more extensive care for people with traumatic brain injury. She also served on a special Pentagon commission to propose changes necessary to meet our new security challenges. Newt Gingrich was on that commission, he told me what a good job she had done.

I say that because nobody who has seriously dealt with the men and women in today’s military believes they are a disaster. They are a national treasure of all races, all religions, all walks of life.

Now, meanwhile, she compiled a really solid record, totally progressive on economic and social issues. She voted for and against some proposed trade deals. She became the de facto economic development officer for the area of New York outside the ambit of New York City.

She worked for farmers, for winemakers, for small businesses and manufacturers, for upstate cities in rural areas who needed more ideas and more new investment to create good jobs, something we have to do again in small-town and rural America, in neighborhoods that have been left behind in our cities and Indian country and, yes, in coal country.

When she lost a hard-fought contest to President Obama in 2008, she worked for his election hard. But she hesitated to say yes when he asked her to join his Cabinet because she so loved being a senator from New York.

So like me, in a different context, he had to keep asking.

But as we all saw and heard from Madeleine Albright, it was worth the effort and worth the wait.

As secretary of state, she worked hard to get strong sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program. And in what The Wall Street Journal no less called a half-court shot at the buzzer, she got Russia and China to support them. Her team negotiated the New START Treaty with Russia to reduce nuclear weapons and reestablish inspections. And she got enough Republican support to get two-thirds of the Senate, the vote necessary to ratify the treaty.

She flew all night long from Cambodia to the Middle East to get a cease-fire that would avoid a full-out shooting war between Hamas and Israel in Gaza to protect the peace of the region.

She backed President Obama’s decision to go after Osama bin Laden.

She launched a team, this is really important today, she launched a team to fight back against terrorists online and built a new global counterterrorism effort.

We’ve got to win this battle in the mind field.

She put climate change at the center of our foreign policy.

She negotiated the first agreement ever — ever — where China and India officially committed to reduce their emissions. And as she had been doing since she went to Beijing in 1995 and said women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights…

…she worked to empower women and girls around the world and to make the same exact declaration on behalf of the LGBT community in America and around the world.

And nobody ever talks about this much, nobody ever talks about this much, but it’s important to me. She tripled the number of people with AIDS in poor countries whose lives are being saved with your tax dollars, most of them in Africa, going from 1.7 million lives to 5.1 million lives and it didn’t cost you any more money. She just bought available FDA-approved generic drugs, something we need to do for the American people more.

Now, you don’t know any of these people. You don’t know any of those 3.4 million people, but I’ll guarantee you they know you. They know you because they see you as thinking their lives matter. They know you and that’s one reason the approval of the United States was 20 points higher when she left the secretary of state’s office than when she took it.

Now, how does this square? How did this square with the things that you heard at the Republican convention? What’s the difference in what I told you and what they said? How do you square it? You can’t. One is real, the other is made up.

You just have to decide. You just have to decide which is which, my fellow Americans.

The real one had done more positive change-making before she was 30 than many public officials do in a lifetime in office.

The real one, if you saw her friend Betsy Ebeling vote for Illinois today…

…has friends from childhood through Arkansas, where she has not lived in more than 20 years, who have gone all across America at their own expense to fight for the person they know.

The real one has earned the loyalty, the respect and the fervent support of people who have worked with her in every stage of her life, including leaders around the world who know her to be able, straightforward and completely trustworthy.

The real one calls you when you’re sick, when your kid’s in trouble or when there’s a death in the family.

The real one repeatedly drew praise from prominent Republicans when she was a senator and secretary of state.

So what’s up with it? Well, if you win elections on the theory that government is always bad and will mess up a two-car parade…

…a real change-maker represents a real threat.

So your only option is to create a cartoon, a cartoon alternative, then run against the cartoon. Cartoons are two- dimensional, they’re easy to absorb. Life in the real world is complicated and real change is hard. And a lot of people even think it’s boring.

Good for you, because earlier today you nominated the real one.

When I was president, I worked hard to give you more peace and shared prosperity, to give you an America where nobody is invisible or counted out.

But for this time, Hillary is uniquely qualified to seize the opportunities and reduce the risks we face. And she is still the best darn change-maker I have ever known.

You could drop her into any trouble spot, pick one, come back in a month and somehow, some way she will have made it better. That is just who she is.

There are clear, achievable, affordable responses to our challenges. But we won’t get to them if America makes the wrong choice in this election. That’s why you should elect her. And you should elect her because she’ll never quit when the going gets tough. She’ll never quit on you.

She sent me in this primary to West Virginia where she knew we were going to lose, to look those coal miners in the eye and say I’m down here because Hillary sent me to tell you that if you really think you can get the economy back you had 50 years ago, have at it, vote for whoever you want to. But if she wins, she is coming back for you to take you along on the ride to America’s future.

And so I say to you, if you love this country, you’re working hard, you’re paying taxes and you’re obeying the law and you’d like to become a citizen, you should choose immigration reform over somebody that wants to send you back.

If you’re a Muslim and you love America and freedom and you hate terror, stay here and help us win and make a future together. We want you.

If you’re a young African American disillusioned and afraid, we saw in Dallas how great our police officers can be, help us build a future where nobody is afraid to walk outside, including the people that wear blue to protect our future.

Hillary will make us stronger together. You know it because she’s spent a lifetime doing it. I hope you will do it. I hope you will elect her. Those of us who have more yesterdays than tomorrows tend to care more about our children and grandchildren. The reason you should elect her is that in the greatest country on earth we have always been about tomorrow. You children and grandchildren will bless you forever if you do.
God bless you. Thank you.