Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Birds Of A Feather!


Vaccine Skeptics Trust Trump More Than CDC Or Fauci


The charts above are from the most recent Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between April 3rd and 6th of 1,500 adults nationwide, with a 2.8 point margin of error. It shows that vaccine skeptics (those who won't take the vaccine) don't trust Dr. Fauci, the CDC, or President Biden nearly as much as the trust Donald Trump. Trump's lies have put many people in danger.

Reality Bites

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

Can Biden Transform The Country Like Roosevelt Did?

Franklin Roosevelt became president when the country was in trouble, and he was able to pass huge reforms that made the country better and fairer for all its citizens.

Joe Biden also became president in a time of trouble for the country. The nation needs bold leadership and action to conquer the coronavirus and rescue the economy.

Biden got a massive rescue/stimulus bill through Congress, and is now working on a massive infrastructure bill. That infrastructure bill would bring the type of change and reform the country hasn't seen in decades.

The truth is that no president since the end of World War II has been in a position of being able to make huge (and badly needed) changes to the country and its economy. Biden is in such a position.

The following is part of a thought-provoking op-ed by Jonathan Alter in The New York Times. He compares the experiences and opportunities that Roosevelt and Biden share.

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it sometimes rhymes,” Mark Twain (supposedly) said. If so, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. could be a couplet. With a few breaks and the skillful execution of what seems to be a smart legislative strategy, President Biden is poised to match F.D.R.’s stunning debut in office. 

That doesn’t require Mr. Biden to transform the country before May 1, the end of his first 100 days, the handy if arbitrary marker that Mr. Roosevelt (to the irritation of his successors) laid down in 1933. But for America to “own the future,” as the president promised last month, he needs to do amid the pandemic what Mr. Roosevelt did amid the Depression: restore faith that the long-distrusted federal government can deliver rapid, tangible achievements.

With one of the biggest and fastest vaccination campaigns in the world and the signing of a $1.9 trillion dollar Covid relief package, the president has made a good start at that. His larger aim is to change the country by changing the terms of the debate.

Just as Mr. Roosevelt understood that the laissez-faire philosophy of the 1920s wasn’t working anymore to build the nation, Mr. Biden sees that Reagan-era market capitalism cannot alone rebuild it. . . .

Mr. Roosevelt had it easier on Capitol Hill, with big Democratic majorities in both houses. But it’s a myth that Congress, even in Mr. Roosevelt’s first 100 days, gave him a rubber stamp. Southern Democrats were the Mitch McConnells of their day, forcing Mr. Roosevelt to take half a loaf or less on many bills. . . .

A few days after taking office, Mr. Roosevelt attended retired Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’s 92nd birthday party. After the new president left, Mr. Holmes remarked: “Second-class intellect, first-class temperament.”

The same can be said of Mr. Biden. At 78 (Mr. Roosevelt was 51 when he took office), his persona more snugly resembles grandfatherly Dwight Eisenhower or Ronald Reagan, whose minor verbal slips were also indulged. He is less devious and manipulative than Mr. Roosevelt, and hardly to the manner born. Otherwise they share many traits.

Both men were ennobled by suffering (Mr. Roosevelt’s polio forced him into a wheelchair; Mr. Biden lost his first wife and, over time, two children), which deepened their empathy and connection to people. Before the presidency, both were repeatedly derided as long-winded lightweights destined to sell out liberal principles for votes. Both were seen as too infirm to be nominated by the Democrats, and won in large part because of disgust with their Republican predecessors — Herbert Hoover and Donald Trump, respectively — who mismanaged the crisis of the day.

Both came to office when democracy was at grave risk (many Americans wanted a dictator in 1933) and saw themselves as called to bolster it. As canny politicians with good relationships on Capitol Hill, both learned to surround themselves with smarter people dedicated to making them look good. Up close, both proved hard to dislike. Meeting Mr. Roosevelt was like, as Winston Churchill said, “opening your first bottle of champagne”; meeting Mr. Biden is like one’s first encounter with a tail-wagging therapy dog.

Mr. Roosevelt essentially invented intimacy in mass communications. When he described those listening on the radio as “my friends” and adopted a conversational (as opposed to the usual stentorian) tone, he did for public speaking what Bing Crosby and other crooners did for singing. . . .

Mr. Biden is no great communicator, but his national bedside manner resembles that of “Old Doc Roosevelt.” In his first prime-time address on March 11, he leaned forward as if comforting a patient, shattering any ice of indifference. . . .

Whatever the future holds, Mr. Biden and Mr. Roosevelt are now fused in history by the size and breadth of their progressive ambitions. Jimmy Carter took office when liberalism was fatigued; Bill Clinton said “the era of Big Government is over”; Barack Obama was forced to conform to the mantra of deficit hawks. Mr. Biden was lucky enough to have been elected when what the historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. called “the cycles of American history” are spinning left. He is the first president since Lyndon Johnson who can rightly be called F.D.R.’s heir. Soon we’ll know if he squanders that legacy — or builds on it.


Political Cartoon is by Ed Hall at Artizans.com

Dragging The GOP Down


Monday, April 12, 2021

It's Over


President Biden's Average Job Approval Remains Strong

 The chart above shows President Biden's job approval in the five most recent polls. His average job approval in the polls is 55.2%. Disapproval is only 39.6%.

Too Soon

Political Cartoon is by Daryl Cagle at Cagle.com.

Asians Are The Fastest Growing Portion Of U.S. Population


The charts above are from the Pew Research Center.

Shameless Creep

Political Cartoon is by Jack Ohman in The Sacramento Bee.

College Alone Will Not Solve The Racial Wealth Gap

There is a huge gap between the wealth of White families and Black families. One fairly simple solution offered was to just admit more Blacks to colleges. But like with most simple solutions, it turns out the problem is more complicated. 

Dorothy A. Brown explains those complications in an excellent article in The Washington Post. I urge you to read the whole article, but here is a part of it:

Higher education is supposedly the ticket to a better future, and it usually translates to a larger salary regardless of race, according to a 2011 study from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. But college does not pay off for Black students the way it does for White students. At virtually every step — from taking out loans to facing a racist job market to dealing with repayment plans — Black students and their families have disadvantages. As a result, the Black-White wealth gap widens.

Black college graduates have higher debt loads, on average, than White college graduates. Black debt rises over time, White debt diminishes. Upon graduation, the average Black graduate owes $23,400 vs. the White graduate’s $16,000, according to the Brookings Institution. Four years later, the gap triples. Even at the top end of the income spec­trum, Black students have higher student loans ($4,643, on average) than White students ($3,835), and Black parents take out larger loans to help pay for college ($3,303 vs. $1,903).

What accounts for that difference? First, it’s the schools students attend. Wealthier colleges, which can afford to award financial aid and scholarships, disproportionately admit White students: White students are almost five timesas likely to go to a selective university than Black students, even when controlling for income. Meanwhile, a higher share (12 percent) of Black students attend for-profit colleges than very selective universities (9 percent), because online and part-time features allow them to work while getting their degrees. These schools usually do not award any financial aid and are in effect extremely expensive, given their low graduation rates.

Another factor is the wealth disparity between Black and White families. Black college students are less likely than their White peers to receive tax-free gifts from their parents and grandparents. A study examining financial transfers of at least $10,000 in Black and White families between 1989 and 2013 found that only 9 percent of Black households received such a gift, compared with 32 percent of White ones. And the scale of the gifts was remarkably modest: “White college-educated families received $55,419 at the median and $235,353 at the mean, while their Black counterparts received $36,260 and $65,755, respectively.”

But even parental wealth cannot fully protect Black students from higher debt loads. Black parents hold their assets differently than White parents: They are tied more heavily to homeownership than to the stock market, which makes them illiquid. Research that compared Black and White parents in the highest wealth quintile showed that White parents had $81,827 in financial assets such as stock, but Black parents had just $46,579. White parents had $154,627 in home equity, but Black ones had just $92,555. As a result, even Black students whose families are well-off on paper usually do not have resources readily available to support them. . . .

When a Black student, through herculean efforts, actually obtains a college degree, he or she faces a racist labor market that makes it harder to pay down debt and build wealth. A 2014 study showed that a Black Harvard graduate had to send out eight résumés before getting an interview offer, while a White one had to send out only six. As the selectivity decreased, the disparity increased: For example, with a University of Massachusetts at Amherst degree, White graduates submitted nine résumés before getting an interview offer, while Black graduates had to send out 15. This suggests that, while the credential makes a huge difference for a Black applicant, White students can afford to go to less-prestigious (and generally less-expensive) institutions and receive roughly similar rewards from the labor market. Worse, that same study showed that Black applicants — but not the White ones — were asked to interview for lower-paying jobs than those they applied to. . . .

Layered on top of all of these inequities is our tax code. Within four years of graduation, average Black debt is $53,000 and White debt is $28,000. The tax implications help White graduates and harm Black ones. The deduction for student loan interest, capped at only $2,500 a year, does little to help the average Black borrower, who has higher debt and more interest; the average White borrower, meanwhile, can deduct all of their student loan interest in their first year. (God forbid two Black college graduates get married, since their maximum deduction, combined, remains $2,500.) Meanwhile, when (mostly White) families help pay for children and grandchildren’s educations, those gifts are tax-free.

All of this student debt widens the overall Black-White wealth gap. In 1989, college-educated White households had roughly five times greater wealth than their Black peers. By 2013, that gap had tri­pled. Student debt represents roughly 10 percent of the racial wealth gap when a college graduate is 25 years old, according to professors Fenaba R. Addo and Jason Houle. By age 30-35, it explains about 25 percent of the gap.

Republican Math

Political Cartoon is by Darrin Bell at darrinbell.com.

And It's Still True


Saturday, April 10, 2021



Public Does NOT See Marijuana As A Gateway Drug

This chart is from the new Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between April 3rd and 6th of 1,500 adults, with a 2.8 point margin of error.

Too Many of Both

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

57% Say Chauvin Is Guilty - Only 40% Say Jury Will Convict

The charts above reflect the results of the new Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between April 3rd and 6th of a national sample of 1,500 adults (including 1,243 registered voters). The margin of error for adults is 2.8 points, and for registered voters is 3 points.

A significant majority of Americans (57% of adults and 58% of registered voters) believe Derek Chauvin should be convicted of the murder of George Floyd.

However, being aware of other trials of policeman, less than a majority believe that will happen --only 40% of adults and 42% of registered voters.

Dragging The GOP Along

Political Cartoon is by Daryl Cagle at Cagle.com.

"Leprechaun Economics" And The Failure Of 2017 Tax Cut

When Republicans passed the 2017 tax cut, which lowered the corporate tax rate to 21%, they promised that it would bring corporations back to America (which would create new jobs and raise worker wages). None of that happened.

Nobel Prize economist Paul Krugman explains why in his New York Times column:

In the summer of 2016, Ireland’s Central Statistical Office reported something astonishing: The small nation’s gross domestic product had risen 26 percent in the previous year (a number that would later be revised upward). It would have been an amazing achievement if the growth had actually happened.

But it hadn’t, as government officials acknowledged from the beginning. It was, instead, an illusion created by corporate tax games. At the time, I dubbed it “leprechaun economics,” a coinage that has stuck; luckily, the Irish have a sense of humor about themselves.

What really happened? Ireland is a tax haven, with a very low tax rate on corporate profits. This gives multinational corporations an incentive to create Irish subsidiaries, then use creative accounting to ensure that a large share of their reported global profits accrue to those subsidiaries.

In 2015 a few big companies appear to have gotten even more aggressive about their profit-shifting, which led to a surge in the value of production they reported doing in Ireland — a surge that didn’t correspond to anything real.

To understand the big corporate tax reform proposed by the Biden administration, what you need to know is that it’s all about the leprechauns.

One way to think about the huge corporate tax cut Republicans rammed through in 2017 is that its underlying premise was that the leprechauns were real. That is, the tax cut’s architects insisted that corporations had been moving operations abroad to avoid U.S. taxes, and that slashing those taxes would bring millions of jobs back home.

It didn’t happen. In fact, the tax cut had no visible effect on business investment, probably because it was addressing a fake problem. U.S. corporations hadn’t been moving jobs overseas to avoid taxes; they had just been avoiding taxes.

The true impact — or actually lack of impact — of profit taxes on business decisions becomes obvious if you look at where corporations report big overseas earnings.

If they were truly responding to taxes by making large foreign investments that eliminated American jobs, we’d expect to see a lot of their profits coming from major production centers like Germany or China. Instead, more than half of the profits U.S. corporations report from overseas investments come from tiny tax havens, including places like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands where they have no real business at all.

By the way, this isn’t just an American problem. The International Monetary Fund estimates that about 40 percent of the world’s foreign direct investment — basically corporate cross-border investment, as opposed to “portfolio” purchases of stocks and bonds — is “phantom” investment, accounting fictions set up to avoid taxes. That’s why on paper Luxembourg, with just 600,000 people, hosts more foreign investment than the United States does.

So the real problem with U.S. corporate tax policy isn’t loss of jobs, it’s loss of revenue — and the Trump tax cut made that problem worse.

For the most part the Biden administration’s Made in America Tax Plan is an effort to reclaim the revenue lost both as a result of profit-shifting and as a result of the Trump tax cut, in order to help pay for large-scale public investment.

As the plan’s name suggests, the administration’s experts — at this point it’s hard to find a tax expert who hasn’t joined the Biden team — do believe that there are aspects of the U.S. tax code that have created an incentive to move jobs abroad. But they see the problem as the consequence of details of the tax code rather than the overall burden of taxation.

And while they believe that tax reform can improve incentives to invest in America, the main focus of the plan — even of things like the proposal for a 21 percent minimum tax rate on overseas profits, emphasized by Janet Yellen, the Treasury secretary — isn’t on these incentives so much as on increasing revenue from the corporate profits tax, which falls mainly on the wealthy and on foreigners, and is at a historical low as a percentage of G.D.P.

What about warnings from corporate groups that raising taxes on corporations would have dire economic consequences? Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they? And if raising taxes would have such a negative effect, why did cutting taxes fail to produce any visible positive results?

The corporate tax plan, then, looks like a really good idea. In part that’s because President Biden, unlike his predecessor, has hired people who know what they’re talking about. And it also marks a welcome break with the ideology that says that the only way we can help American workers is indirect action: cutting taxes on corporations and the wealthy in the hope that they’ll somehow deliver a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

What the Biden team seems to have concluded, instead, is that the way to create jobs is to create jobs, mainly through public investment, rather than by chasing unicorns and leprechauns. To the (partial) extent that direct job creation must be paid for with new taxes, the new taxes should be imposed on those who can afford to pay.

Refreshing, isn’t it?

Make The Deposits - No Statements

Political Cartoon is by Don Landgren at donlandgren.com.

Boehner Regrets Supporting Clinton Impeachment


Friday, April 09, 2021

The Republicans Have Closed And Locked That Door


744,000 Workers Filed For Unemployment Benefits Last Week


The Labor Department released their weekly unemployment statistics on Thursday. It showed that another 744,000 workers applied for unemployment benefits in the week ending on April 3rd. That shows the recession is still raging, as three times the numbers of workers are filing than in a normal economy. Hopefully, the virus will be brought under control soon, as more people are vaccinated. The economy cannot recover until that happens.

Here is the official Labor Department statement:

In the week ending April 3, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 744,000, an increase of 16,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 9,000 from 719,000 to 728,000. The 4-week moving average was 723,750, an increase of 2,500 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 2,250 from 719,000 to 721,250.

Tax Cheat

Political Cartoon is by Gary Huck at huckkonopackicartoons.com.

President Acts On Gun Reform & Wants Congress To Act

The epidemic of gun violence in the United States continues unabated -- with the nation averaging more than one mass shooting every day, and on track to have more than 40,000 gun deaths for the second year in a row. 

There is a lot that could be done without violating the Constitution's Second Amendment, but Congress is still refusing to act. At least the Republicans in Congress refuse to act. The house has passed a bill that would plug the holes in the background check law -- requiring all gun buyers, including those buying at gun shows or from a private seller, to first have a background check. Unfortunately, it looks like it will be killed by a Republican filibuster in the Senate. It seems likely that Congress will accomplish nothing to curb the epidemic of gun violence.

That's not good enough for President Biden. On Thursday, he issued some executive orders. They won't solve the problem completely (or even largely), but at least he is trying to do something. And he urged Congress to try and do something also.

Here, from Mother Jones, is what President Biden did:

Less than a month after mass shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, and Boulder, Colorado, left 18 people dead, President Biden called gun violence an “international embarrassment,” called for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and announced a series of executive actions aimed at restricting access to firearms.

“Enough prayers,” he said in the Rose Garden Thursday. “Time for some action.”

Biden insisted that none of his executive actions violate the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms, noting that even the First Amendment has its limitations. He called on Congress to pass a national extreme risk protection order law, or “red flag” law, and announced an executive action directing the Justice Department to draft model legislation that would make it easier for states to pass such laws, meant to bar people from accessing firearms if they pose a threat to themselves or others.

Other aspects of Biden’s order are aimed at stopping the proliferation of homemade “ghost guns” that lack serial numbers, investing in community-based violence mitigation, and ensuring that the Justice Department publishes an annual report on firearms trafficking. 


Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at claytoonz.com.

This Polling Data Shows The GOP Has A Serious Problem


The charts above are from the Gallup Poll.

The following article is by Chris Cillizza at CNN.com:

As the Republican Party continues to figure out what it looks like -- and what it believes -- in the wake of four years of the most radical president in modern memory, new data suggests that the outlook is dire.

Gallup polling for the first three months of 2021 shows that 49% of the public identify as Democrats or Democratic-leaners, while just 40% call themselves Republicans or say they lean toward the GOP.

That's the largest gap between Democrats and Republicans in Gallup's quarterly study of party identification in nearly a decade. The last time Democrats had a larger lead on party ID was early 2009.

Now, that piece of data -- in and of itself -- is not disastrous for Republicans. After all, Democrats typically enjoy a low- to mid-single-digit edge on party ID. As Gallup's Jeffrey Jones notes: 

"Republican advantages have generally been rare and short-lived, but occurred when Americans rallied around incumbent Republican presidents George H.W. Bush after the 1991 U.S. victory in the Gulf War and George W. Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The GOP also had brief leads in party affiliation in the periods surrounding Republican electoral successes in the 1994, 2010 and 2014 midterm elections."

But it's not just the party ID gap that stands out in Gallup's first-quarter polling. It's this: Just 25% of the public calls themselves Republicans -- close to the lowest (22%) that Gallup has ever measured since it started doing telephone-based polling. (Another 15% say they lean to Republicans.)

When you combine those two data points, you get this: Not many people want to be a Republican at the moment. The party's brand is quite clearly damaged after four years of Donald Trump seeking to break every political norm possible.

The Point: Smart GOP strategists look at these numbers and know the best strategy is to immediately start charting a course away from Trump. The problem? The party base still loves the former President -- and has no plans on abandoning him.

Cruising For Minors

 Political Cartoon is by Lalo Alcaraz at Pocho.com.

This Right-Wing Dream Is Stupid And Unconstitutional!


Thursday, April 08, 2021

The Minimum Wage Should Be $15 An Hour By 2025


Poll Shows Public Generally Supports Democratic Positions


The charts above reflect the results of the new Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between April 3rd and 6th of a national sample of 1,500 adults (including 1,243 registered voters). The margin of error for adults is 2.8 points, and for registered voters is 3 points.

The Name Matters

Political Cartoon is by Ed Hall at Artizans.com.

The Pandemic's Effect On Global GDP

 This chart of global GDP after a year of the pandemic is from Axios.com.

Just Shut Up And Send Money

Political Cartoon is by Kevin Siers in The Charlotte Observer.

A Huge Increase In Corporate Power Has Hurt U.S. Workers


The following perceptive op-ed is from former Labor Secretary Robert Reich:

The most dramatic change in the system over the last half-century has been the emergence of corporate giants like Amazon and the shrinkage of labor unions.

The resulting power imbalance has spawned near-record inequalities of income and wealth, corruption of democracy by big money, and the abandonment of the working class.

Fifty years ago, General Motors was the largest employer in America. The typical GM worker earned $35 an hour in today’s dollars and had a major say over working conditions. 

Today’s largest employers are Amazon and Walmart, each paying far less per hour and routinely exploiting their workers, who have little recourse.

The typical GM worker wasn’t “worth” so much more than today’s Amazon or Walmart worker and didn’t have more valuable insights about working conditions. 

The difference is those GM workers had a strong union. They were backed by the collective bargaining power of more than a third of the entire American workforce. 

Today, most workers are on their own. Only 6.4% of America’s private-sector workers are unionized, providing little collective pressure on Amazon, Walmart, or other major employers to treat their workers any better.

Fifty years ago, the labor movement had enough political clout to ensure labor laws were enforced and that the government pushed giant firms like GM to sustain the middle class.

Today, organized labor’s political clout is minuscule by comparison. 

The biggest political players are giant corporations like Amazon. They’ve used that political muscle to back “right-to-work” laws, whittle down federal labor protections, and keep the National Labor Relations Board understaffed and overburdened, allowing them to get away with egregious union-busting tactics.

They’ve also impelled government to lower their taxesextorted states to provide them tax breaks as a condition for locating facilities there; bullied cities where they’re headquartered; and wangled trade treaties allowing them to outsource so many jobs that blue-collar workers in America have little choice but to take low-paying, high-stress warehouse and delivery gigs. 

Oh, and they’ve neutered antitrust laws, which in an earlier era would have had companies like Amazon in their crosshairs.

This decades-long power shift – the ascent of corporate leviathans and the demise of labor unions – has resulted in a massive upward redistribution of income and wealth. The richest 0.1% of Americans now have almost as much wealth as the bottom 90% put together.

The power shift can be reversed – but only with stronger labor laws resulting in more unions, tougher trade deals, and a renewed commitment to antitrust.

The Biden administration and congressional Democrats appear willing. The House has just passed the toughest labor reforms in more than a generation. Biden’s new trade representative, promises trade deals will protect American workers rather than exporters. And Biden is putting trustbusters in critical positionsat the Federal Trade Commission and in the White House.

And across the country, labor activism has surged – from the Amazon union effort, to frontline workers walking out and striking to demand better pay, benefits, and safety protections.

I’d like to think America is at a tipping point similar to where it was some 120 years ago, when the ravages and excesses of the Gilded Age precipitated what became known as the Progressive Era. Then, reformers reined in the unfettered greed and inequalities of the day and made the system work for the many rather than the few.

It’s no exaggeration to say that we’re now living in a Second Gilded Age. And today’s progressive activists may be on the verge of ushering us into a Second Progressive Era. They need all the support we can give them.

Trump-Style Voting

 Political Cartoon is by Gary Huck at huckkonopackicartoons.com.

A Strange Alliance For A Good Cause


Wednesday, April 07, 2021

The Republican Party Is The Party Of Racism And Autocracy


Bipartisanship Is Dead In This Congress - And That's OK

When President Biden was elected, he called for bipartisanship to solve the country's problems. And in the spirit of bipartisanship, the first group from Congress invited to the White House was a group of Republicans. President Biden wanted their help to pass a COVID relief bill -- to stimulate the economy and help hurting Americans.

He did not get that help from Republicans. They made it clear that their version of "bipartisanship" involved nothing less than Democrats surrendering to Republican demands. There would be no negotiating. It was the GOP way or no way at all.

The bill was passed, but without any Republican help. And Republicans didn't stop there. They have made it clear they won't negotiate on any bill Democrats (and President Biden) want to pass.

To be blunt -- bipartisanship is dead in the 117th Congress. The Republicans have killed any chance for it. So, what can President Biden and the Democrats do?

Here's a novel concept -- do what a clear majority of the American people want done. Let the Republicans oppose that at their own peril. And when the 2022 elections roll around, remind voters endlessly of which party supported their wishes and which party opposed them'

What does a clear majority of Americans want? Here are a few things:

* A majority wants the minimum wage raised to a livable wage.

* A majority wants the rich and corporations to pay their fair share of taxes.

* A majority wants all Americans to have decent health insurance (and a public option covering those who can't afford private insurance is supported by most).

* A majority wants all gun buyers to have to pass a background check.

* A majority want voting made easier for citizens -- not harder.

* A majority wants DACA "dreamers" protected and offered a path to citizenship.

These are just a few of the things that the American public would like for the government to accomplish. And Democrats should do their best to get them done. Let the Republicans oppose these things if they want. The public will support them -- and punish Republicans for opposing them.

Maybe bipartisanship can be re-established in a future Congress. I hope so. But for now, it is dead. Just do what the public wants done and don't worry about it.