Friday, May 24, 2019

Emma Goldman


How Many Of The 24 Democrats Have A Chance In 2020?


The chart above is from RealClearPolitics. It shows (in the yellow line) the average of the last six polls for the leading 13 Democratic contenders for the party's 2020 presidential nomination.

There are officially 24 candidates who have declared they are seeking the nomination. Do they all have a chance to succeed, and actually get the nomination? No! Right now, I count only 8 of the candidates that have a real chance -- Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O'Rourke, Cory Booker, and Amy Klobuchar. I see the rest as dreamers and wannabes that are wasting their time and money.

I'm not saying the bottom 16 candidates should drop out yet. Let them have their moment. There's even an outside chance that one or two of them could break through in the June debate and join the aforementioned 8 leaders.

But by September, most of those candidates probably need to drop out so the Democratic voters can seriously consider someone with a chance to be nominated. I'm particularly talking about candidates who still couldn't get above 2% in most polls. And by the end of this year, any candidate not scoring at least 5% in most polls should stop campaigning and drop out of the race.

That may sound harsh, but this is an important election. Democrats must find the best candidate to take on and defeat Trump in 2020 -- and hopefully have enough coattails to flip the Senate and keep the House. This is not the time to sooth egos. Our country is in danger and we cannot afford another four years of Trump (and a Senate controlled by McConnell).

Tantrum

Political Cartoon is by Ann Telnaes in The Washington Post.

The Latest Monmouth Poll Of Democratic Candidates


The chart above reflects the results of the latest Monmouth University Poll -- done between May 16th and 20th of 334 national registered voters who identify themselves as Democrats or Independents leaning toward the Democratic Party. The margin of error is 5.4 points.

The chart above shows the current level of support each candidate has from Democrats and Leaners. The chart below shows the favorable or unfavorable opinion of each candidate among that same sample.


The Comedian

Political Cartoon is by Gary Huck at huckkonopackicartoons.com.

Trump's Not Fit To Lead The Most Powerful Nation On Earth

(The cartoon image above is from friendlystock.com.)

We know Donald Trump is a narcissist. That's not a good quality for a president to have, but if he had the ability to put that aside and run the country in a competent way, it could possibly work. Unfortunately, he doesn't have that ability.

Trump only cares about one thing -- himself.

We knew he wasn't competent when he assumed office. The hope was that he would spend his time listening to career officials and grow into the job. He hasn't even tried to do that. Intelligence officials have had to dumb down their daily briefings, because he doesn't have the interest or attention span to take in the knowledge he needs to do his job.

We now learn from former Secretary of State Tillerson that he went into a conference with Putin (leader of our most powerful enemy) unprepared (while Putin came very well prepared). This is dangerous stuff. We need our leader to be prepared when he meets other leaders -- especially our enemies.

But Trump won't spend the time or make the effort to be prepared on any subject, domestic for foreign. He spends most of his time watching TV and tweeting, and those efforts are aimed at only one thing -- trying to make himself look better.

He's so thin-skinned that he will refuse to meet with legislators to negotiate solutions to national problems, simply because he perceived something someone said as an insult to him. He can't get past the perceived insults and solve problems, because the only problem he sees is how he is being treated by the press or other politicians.

He flies by the seat of his pants (without preparation) -- doing whatever he thinks will make himself look good (and not what is best for the country). And this is the person who control our Armed Forces and has his finger of the nuclear button.

Trump is not fit to be president. The leaders of other nations have already realized that, and they no longer look to the U.S. for leadership. It's time the American people also realized it, and voted him out of office. We cannot afford to give someone as utterly incompetent as Trump another four years.

Going Backwards

Political Cartoon is by Ed Hall at artizans.com.

The American Public Supports Roe Vs. Wade Court Decision


This chart reflects the results of the latest Quinnipiac University Poll -- done between May 16th and 20th of a national sample of 1,078 voters, with a 3.7 point margin of error.

The Republicans (and Trump) have cast their lot with the tiny minority of Americans who want to overturn Roe vs. Wade, and outlaw abortion in this country. They are making a big mistake. An overwhelming majority of Americans (65%) want the Roe vs. Wade decision left in effect. Only 27% wants to see it overturned.

And that is true of both genders, all age groups, and all race & ethnicities.

Space Cadet

Political Cartoon is by Dave Granlund at davegranlund.com.

Extortion


Thursday, May 23, 2019

Traitor In The White House


Trump's Temper Tantrum Shows He's Scared And Desperate

(Image of Trump throwing a temper tantrum is from medium.com.)

Trump called Democrats to the White House on Wednesday. It was so they could negotiate an infrastructure bill and passage of his trade agreement with Canada and Mexico (NAFTA Redux). But that didn't happen.

The Democrats showed up with a 35 page plan for infrastructure to be used as a starting point for negotiations, but it soon became obvious that Trump had no interest in negotiating infrastructure -- or anything else.

Trump first kept the legislators waiting for 15 minutes. Then he came into the room and delivered a 3 minute tirade, saying he would not negotiate on any legislation (infrastructure or anything else) until the Democrats agreed to stop the investigations of him.

In other words, he threw a temper tantrum. Why? It seems that he's feeling the heat, and he's scared of what the investigations will reveal to the public.

Trump has tried everything he can to stop the investigation of his wrongdoing. We know (from the Mueller Report) that he tried to obstruct justice at least eight times during Mueller's investigation. We also know that his campaign officials met with Russians hundreds of times during the campaign, And we know that Trump is in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Is that all that Trump's trying to hide? Or is there more -- like laundering dirty money from Russia? Whatever it is, Trump is trying hard to hide it from the American people. He has ordered his government officials, company officials, and banks to not turn over any documents to House investigators. And he has refused to let any past or present White House employees testify before Congress. He thought he could delay the investigation (perhaps until after the 2020 election) by doing that.

But the courts are not cooperating. A couple of courts have already rules that documents must be turned over to the House committees, and it looks like other cases brought by Democrats may also be fast-tracked. In addition, New York state just passed a law to give state tax returns of Trump to the House investigators, and those state returns will tell Congress a lot about his federal returns (which they are based on).

The walls are starting to close in on Trump as he is running out of option to stop or delay the investigation in his malfeasance. That's why he threw his temper tantrum. It was the only option he had left. But it won't work. There are important things that Congress needs to get done in the next few months (pass a budget, raise the debt ceiling, etc.), and Trump will only hurt himself if he doesn't cooperate. It will be a repeat of his attempt to shut the government down (which didn't work out well for him).

Trump needs to learn that this country has a Constitution -- and that Constitution doesn't allow rule by temper tantrum.

Obstruction

Political Cartoon is by Matt Wuerker at Politico.com.

Public Is Strongly Opposed To Overturning Roe Vs. Wade




Several Republican-controlled states have passed laws recently that would outlaw abortion. These GOP legislators are hoping that with two new Trump appointees, the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn Roe vs Wade (the court decision that legalized abortion -- at least in the first trimester). A tiny minority (using religion as an excuse) has been trying to overturn that court decision for over four decades now, and they think they will finally be able to impose their view on all Americans -- and take away the right of women to control their own bodies.

I don't know if the Supreme Court will overturn Roe vs. Wade, but there is a good chance it could happen. I do think though that the Republicans are making a serious mistake with an important election only about 15 months away.

The public is strongly opposed to doing away with Roe vs. Wade. About two-thirds (67%) don't want it abolished, while only 28% do. This issue was on the back burner until these laws were passed, but now it looks like it will be a major issue in the coming campaign. The Republicans were already doing very poorly with women voters. This won't help, and paired with the health care issue, could be devastating for Republican hopes in 2020.

The charts above are from a new CBS News / SSRS Poll -- done between May 17th and 20th of a national sample of 1,101 adults, with a 4 point margin of error.

Needed In Alabama Legislature

Political Cartoon is by Monte Wolverton at cagle.com.

Donald Trump's Job Approval Is Still Abysmally Low


The Quinnipiac University Poll was done between May 16th and 20th of a national sample of 1,078 voters, with a 3.7 point margin of error.


The Economist / YouGov Poll was done between May 18th and 21st of a national sample of 1,500 adults, with a 2.7 point margin of error.


The Politico / Morning Consult Poll was done between May 17th and 19th of a national sample of 1,995 registered voters, with a 2 point margin of error.

King Travesty

Political Cartoon is by David Fitzsimmons in the Arizona Daily Star.

The Latest Poll Of The Democratic Candidates For President


All of these charts reflect the results of the new Quinnipiac University Poll -- done May 16th and 20th of a national sample of 1,078 voters (including 454 Democrats and Democratic leaners). The margin of error for voters is 3.7 points, and for Democrats/Leaners is 5.6 points.

The chart above shows the current level of support each Democratic candidates has among Democrats and Leaners. Joe Biden continues to lead all others candidates with 35% -- registering more than twice the support of second place finisher, Bernie Sanders (16%). Elizabeth Warren has moved up into third place with 13%. They are the only candidates in double-digits.

The charts below show the favorable/unfavorable rating of each candidate. The first chart (with blue bars) shows the opinion of Democrats and Leaners. The second chart (with purple bars) shows the opinion of all voters.



Legislative Mandate

Political Cartoon is by Nate Beeler in The Columbus Dispatch.

Corporate Media's War Lies


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Fighting Old Battles Won


A Very Disturbing Trend


The chart above is from the Center for Disease Control & Prevention. It shows the suicide rate among the population of the United States (number of suicides per 100,000 people). One would have hoped that the suicide rate would be dropping, but just the opposite has happened. It is rising, and rising significantly. It has risen from 10.7 in 2001 to 14 in 2017 -- a jump of 30.84%.

Laundering The Loot

Political Cartoon is by Bill Bramhall in the New York Daily News.

Biden Looks Strong Among South Carolina Democrats


The chart above reflects the results of the Crantford Research Poll -- done between May 14th and 16th of 381 likely Democratic primary voters in South Carolina. The margin of error is 5 points.

The poll asked Democrats to give their top three choices for the presidential nomination (the black bars), and then their top choice (the blue bars). Joe Biden led in both categories, with Kamala Harris finishing second. Elizabeth Warren was third and Bernie Sanders was fourth.

Black Democrats (expected to be a very large share of the primary vote) had Biden as their first choice (52%), Harris second (11%), and Booker with (5%).

Ignoring The Solutions

Political Cartoon is by Phil Hands in the Wisconsin State Journal.

Does Iran Pose A Terrorist Threat To The United States

Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo, and John Bolton are beating the drums of war against Iran. They call Iran a "bad actor" and a supporter of terrorism. They would have you believe that the danger posed to the United States from terrorism is due to Iranian influence and support. Is that true?

Let's look at all the times Iranian or Iranian-backed terrorists have attacked the United States. Consider this from The New Republic:

For the past twenty years or so, the annual reports of the National Counterterrorism Center have attributed the vast majority of the Islamic terrorist attacks around the world since 2001 to “Sunni extremists”—jihadists inspired by the anti-imperialist Salafist theology of Saudi Arabia. ISIS and other fundamentalist militias fall under this category of Sunni extremism, often funded by wealthy Persian Gulf Arabs. They hate the heretical—as they see them—Shia Muslims of Iran almost as much as they hate the “Crusaders and Jews” of Washington and Tel Aviv. The fanatics behind the attacks of 9/11, Madrid, London, Paris, and San Bernardino were all Sunni extremists. None of the terrorists involved in those bloody attacks was Iranian. . . .

The idea that Tehran was Terror Central originated in 1979 when Iranians held 52 American diplomats hostage for some 400 days. When Iran then used covert operatives and proxy forces to wage war on Western targets after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, the Reagan administration depicted Iran as the biggest state sponsor of terrorism. The charge stuck, even as Iran’s revolutionary fervor cooled and factions within the government pursued better relations with Washington.

Since 9/11, however, Iran’s attacks on Western targets have dwindled while the violence of non-state anti-Iranian terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS has gone global. Read the NCTC reports of the last 20 years, and you will see Iranian/Shiite terrorism is not even a category in U.S. counterterrorism reporting. By any objective measure, it is a much smaller threat to Americans and the world than either Sunni terrorism or white nationalist terrorism.

Looking for specifics, I emailed a couple of experts and asked for their take on the State Department claim. Which Americans were killed by Iran? When?

Bruce Riedel, a former CIA station chief, replied by email, “The best case is in Iraq after 2003 when IRGC supported Iraqis [who] killed US troops.” Bruce Hoffman, counterterrorism expert at Georgetown University, told me via email that the State Department was probably referring “to the intense fighting in Sadr City in Baghdad in 2008 between IRGC and U.S. military forces.”

If so, however, that wouldn’t exactly qualify as terrorism. In Sadr City, the IRGC forces attacked uniformed U.S. military forces that had invaded Iraq on a false pretense—hardly the same as blowing up a civilian airliner or shooting up a rock concert.

Hoffman also emphasized that the IRGC was involved in terror attacks against Americans in the 20th century, which is both indisputably true and a long time ago.

“The IRGC had a role in training Hezbollah and providing logistical assistance for the US embassy bombings in Beirut in 1983 and 1984 and the US Marine barracks at Beirut International Airport also in 1983,” Hoffman wrote. “They were also likely involved in the kidnappings, torture and deaths of CIA Station Chief William Buckley in 1985, of USMC Col William Higgins in 1989.”. . .

The last terror attack on Americans, plausibly linked to Iran or its proxies, was theKhobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 U.S. Air Force personnel. That happened 22 years ago.

Does this add tup to a substantial terror threat from Iran? Note that no attack on U.S. citizens by Iranian-backed terrorists has occurred anywhere for the last 22 years. And no Iranian-backed terrorist attack has ever happened on U.S. soil (except for the 1979 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tehran 40 years ago). Iranian-backed terrorists have never attacked the Continental United States.

Iranians are Shiite muslims. All attacks in the U.S. by muslims have been by Sunni muslims. Iran has fought against the Sunni muslim terrorist groups (like ISIS in Iraq and al-Queda in Yemen).

Don't let Trump and his henchmen convince you that the terrorist attacks in the U.S. have anything to do with Iran. They do not! Using terrorism as an excuse to go to war with Iran is nothing more than an outrageous lie!

Not Gonna Happen

Political Cartoon is by Mike Thompson in USA Today.

It Starts With One


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Congress Vs. Population


It's Time To Start An Impeachment Hearing For Trump


It is time to start impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump!

House Democrats have balked at starting those proceedings because they know that right now there is not a majority of Americans supporting the impeachment and removal of Trump. But there is also not a majority opposing that.


The chart above reflects the results of the latest Economist / YouGov Poll on impeachment -- done between May 12th and 14th of a national sample of 1,500 adults, with a 2.8 point margin of error.

It shows that 36% want Trump impeach while 40% do not. A substantial 24% are unsure about impeachment and removal.

It is a fact that Donald Trump, in multiple instances, did attempt to obstruct justice by trying to stop the investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 election. He was not successful, but not being successful is not a defense. It is a crime to attempt obstruction. Over 1000 former federal prosecutors have signed a petition saying Trump did commit a crime by trying to obstruct justice.

Those prosecutors have read the Mueller Report -- something most citizens have not done. And most people are not going to read the over 400 page report. The public can only be convinced of Trump's criminality through public hearings.

Democrats have wanted to do that through normal committee hearings, and once the public was convinced, then start impeachment proceedings. But Trump has blocked attempts to do that by refusing to turn over documents and refusing to allow people to testify. This is also obstruction, but it could take months of court fighting to get those documents and testimony.

Democrats must realize they have only one good option -- start impeachment proceedings. That would allow them to get the documents and testimony, and it would have a very good chance of changing public opinion (especially among those who are unsure). We must remember that when the impeachment proceeding against Nixon was started, the public also opposed his impeachment and removal. But those televised hearings changed public opinion.

Trump is betting that Democrats don't have the backbone to impeach him, and if they do the Senate Republicans will protect him. The House Democrats need to have the political courage to do the right thing -- start impeachment proceedings. If they are successful in painting a vivid picture of Trump's criminality to the public, the GOP senators might be forced to dump him (just like Nixon). If they don't, they'll be punished at the polls.

It's time for impeachment hearings to be started. No president is above the law, and criminality from the White House cannot be tolerated.

Punishing Women

Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at claytoonz.com.

Six Corporations Supporting The GOP War On Women


Six states have now passed bills that would outlaw all abortions. All those states are GOP-controlled, and the laws were passed by Republicans. Those Republicans know that the laws they passed were unconstitutional, but hope that the Supreme Court (buoyed by Trump new right-wing extremist justices) will overturn Roe vs. Wade (which has been the law for nearly 5 decades now).

Most Americans don't agree with these new laws. A significant majority of Americans support Roe vs. Wade, and want to see it remain the law of this land. The Republicans don't care what most Americans want. They represent only a tiny minority hiding behind religion, and wanting to force their own religious beliefs on everyone else. These laws would once again make women second-class citizens who cannot even make decisions to control their own bodies. It is nothing less than a war on women.

What can decent Americans do? All of the normal things -- write to government officials and newspapers, demonstrate for women's rights, and vote the Republicans out of office. And maybe their is something else. There are six corporations who have donated money to the anti-woman Republican legislators. Make those companies know they should not be a part of the war on women -- and if they don't listen, boycott their products.

Here, from popular.info, are those six corporations:

AT&T: $196,600 across six states

Walmart: $57,700 across six states

Pfizer: $53,650 across six states

Eli Lilly: $66,250 across five states

Coca-Cola: $40,800 across five states

Aetna: $26,600 across four states

Laughing At The Constitution

Political Cartoon is by Gary Huck at huckkonopackicartoons.com.

Note To Republicans


Monday, May 20, 2019

War Is Fought For The Rich To Prosper


Does Sanders Have Overwhelming Support Of Young Voters?



The Hill / HarrisX Poll was done of a national sample of 18-34 year olds of May 3rd and 4th.


The Morning Consult Poll was done of a national sample of 18 to 29 year olds between April 25th and May 10th.

Recently, I had a friend (who keeps up with politics and who I respect) tell me that he thinks young voters will give Bernie Sanders the Democratic nomination. He thought the you voters overwhelmingly supported Sanders, and since other age groups were split among the candidates, that gave Bernie the edge.

I checked on the most recent polls that gave results for younger voters, and I found that was just not true. Those young voters are also split among candidates.

The Morning Consult Poll did have Sanders with 33% among young voters, but that is far from a majority -- and they note that he has fallen from 46% back in February (a drop of 13 points).

The Hill / HarrisX Poll had Bernie Sanders with only 27.2% among 18 to 34 year olds, trailing Biden by 12.4 points.

It's still early, and Sanders may or may not end up with a majority of young voters, but he's not there yet. I don't think he's going to do it. There are just too many other good choices, and young voters want Trump out of the White House as much as older voters do.

The Choice

Political Cartoon is by Walt Handelsman in the New Orleans Advocate.

Carrying Fetal Personhood To Its Logical Conclusion


The map above, from New York Magazine, shows a fact that the right-wing doesn't want to admit -- that a majority in every state supports abortion in at least some cases. Alabama recently passed a law that tries to declare a fetus as being a person (a law that a substantial majority of Alabama citizens oppose).

Is the fetus a person? Does it become a person at the moment of conception? That's what right-to-lifers want you to believe. But strangely, they only want to give the fetus one right (the right not to be aborted). This is illogical. If the fetus is a person with rights, shouldn't they have the same rights as all other persons in the country?

The following is an op-ed from Carliss Chatman in The Washington Post:

Alabama has joined the growing number of states determined to overturn Roe v. Wade by banning abortion from conception forward. The Alabama Human Life Protection Act, as the new statute is called, subjects a doctor who performs an abortion to as many as 99 years in prison. The law, enacted Wednesday, has no exceptions for rape or incest. It redefines an “unborn child, child or person” as “a human being, specifically including an unborn child in utero at any stage of development, regardless of viability.”
We ought to take our laws seriously. Under the laws, people have all sorts of rights and protections. When a state grants full personhood to a fetus, should they not apply equally?
For example, should child support start at conception? Every state permits the custodial parent — who has primary physical custody of the child and is primarily responsible for his or her day-to-day care — to receive child support from the noncustodial parent. Since a fetus resides in its mother, and receives all nutrition and care from its mother’s body, the mother should be eligible for child support as soon as the fetus is declared a person — at conception in Alabama, at six weeks in states that declare personhood at a fetal heartbeat, at eight weeks in Missouri, which was on the way to passing its law on Friday, but at birth in states that have not banned abortion.
And what about deportation? Can a pregnant immigrant who conceived her child in the United States be expelled? Because doing so would require deporting a U.S. citizen. To determine the citizenship of a fetal person requires examination of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment, which declares, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” The word “born” was not defined by the drafters. Presumably, they intended the standard dictionary definition: brought forth by birth. Our dates of birth are traditionally when our lives begin; we do not celebrate our dates of conception or the date of our sixth week in utero. But in states with abortion bans, “born” takes on new meaning. Now legislatures assign an arbitrary time during gestation to indicate when life, personhood and, presumably, the rights that accompany these statuses take hold. This grant of natural personhood at a point before birth brings application of the 14th Amendment into question and may thus give a fetus citizenship rights — but only in those states. There are no laws that allow the United States to deny citizenship rights to a natural-born citizen merely because they reside with, or in, a noncitizen.
Detaining any person without arraignment or trial violates the Constitution and international human rights laws. A fetus has not committed a crime, not been arraigned or charged, not weathered a trial by a jury of its peers, not had the opportunity to confront its accuser. These laws redefining personhood surely mean that a pregnant woman cannot be incarcerated, as doing so requires confining a second person without due process.
If personhood begins in utero, a fetus will need a name and a Social Security number to begin exercising private rights and using public resources. A Social Security number is necessary to claim a child on taxes. It is also a requirement to act on behalf of a child privately, like opening a bank account, buying savings bonds or obtaining insurance coverage. Typically, parents apply for a Social Security number when they obtain a birth certificate, but if states declare that personhood begins at some earlier arbitrary point in time, they will need to provide evidence, perhaps through a life certificate, that this new person exists and resides in their state. Once the life is established, can a mother insure a six-week fetus and collect if she miscarries? Will the tax code be adjusted in these states to allow parents to claim their unborn children as dependents at conception? If so, can a woman who suffers more than one miscarriage in a fiscal year claim all of her children?
Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution requires a census every 10 years to count all persons residing within the United States. If a fetus is granted personhood, it should be included in the count. The census currently asks about the age and date of birth of each household resident. Will it now include the date of conception in select states so that fetuses may be counted? There is the potential to unfairly skew census data and disproportionately apportion representatives and resources to those states.
These questions highlight the unintended and potentially absurd consequences of sweeping abortion bans. At the heart of the issue is how the 14th Amendment’s definitions of personhood and citizenship should be applied. States have been allowed to define the personhood of unnatural creatures — such as corporations — since very early in our nation’s history. In exchange for this freedom, states are not permitted to go back on their deal. In other words, once personhood rights are granted, a state may not deny life, liberty or property without due process, nor may a state deny equal protection under the law. States have never had the right to define the personhood of people. This was a subject — influenced either by place of birth or by complying with immigration and naturalization requirements — for the Constitution and federal law. State grants of natural personhood challenge this norm.
When states define natural personhood with the goal of overturning Roe v. Wade , they are inadvertently creating a system with two-tiered fetal citizenship. This is because Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey create a federal floor for access to the right to choose — a rule that some ability to abort a fetus exists in the United States. If these cases are overturned, that eliminates only the federal right to abortion access. Overturning Roe would not prohibit a state from continuing to allow access. In a post-Roe world, in states like New York that ensure the right to choose through their constitutions and statutes, citizenship will begin at birth. In states that move the line to define life as beginning as early as conception, personhood and citizenship will begin as soon as a woman knows she is pregnant.
Trying to define citizenship and personhood based on the laws of each state creates some far-fetched and even ridiculous scenarios. If we follow that logic, we’ll tie our Constitution into a knot no court can untangle.

Travel Advisory

Political Cartoon is by Ann Telnaes in The Washington Post.

Cruelty, Corruption, And Incompetence