Wednesday, January 31, 2018


Trump's Job Approval/Disapproval In Each Of The States

The charts above use information from a recently released Gallup Poll. They show the average job approval for Donald Trump in 2017 in each of the states (and the District of Columbia). Gallup questioned 171,469 adults between January 20th and December 30th of 2017. The margin of error for the entire sample is 1 point, and for each state is about 4 points.

For the whole nation, Trump had an average job approval in 2017 of 38% and disapproval of 56%. There were 12 states that showed significant job approval for Trump, while 32 states showed significant disapproval. The other states had approval/disapproval within the margins of error.

Hindering Justice

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

Trump Bows To Russia Again - Will Not Impose Sanctions

The charts above reflect the results of a recent Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between January 21st and 23rd of a random national sample of 1,500 adults, with a margin of error of 3.1 points.

It shows that the beliefs of a vast majority of Americans are at odds with the perception of Donald Trump when it comes to Russia. Americans consider Russia to be more an enemy than a friend by a huge 51 point margin. But they don't think Donald Trump agrees with them. By a 15 point margin, the public thinks Trump views Russia as a friend -- not an enemy.

That perception is not without merit. Immediately upon being sworn in, Trump tried to remove sanctions on Russia and return property to them that had been seized by the U.S. government. He did this in spite of his own intelligence agencies telling him that Russia had interfered with the 2016 election. It is without doubt that Russia hacked Democratic e-mails and provided that information to the Trump campaign, Russia also hacked into the voter rolls of more than half of the states (although it is not known whether they were able to alter any of those voter rolls). It took the U.S. Congress to stop Trump's unwarranted giveaway to Russia.

While Republican members of Congress still won't admit the Trump administration colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election, they agree with Democrats that Russia did try to affect the 2016 election -- and that they should be punished for that (to protect the sanctity of U.S. elections). That's why both the House (419 to 3) and the Senate (98 to 2) voted overwhelmingly to impose new sanctions on Russia.

Trump complained about the new sanctions, but did finally sign the bill. However, after several months, his administration still had not levied those new sanctions against Russia. And this week, Trump said he would NOT be imposing those sanctions. He said that just the threat of the sanctions had deterred Russia, and it was not necessary to actually impose the sanctions.

That is a ludicrous assertion. The Russians have not been deterred at all, and now thanks to Trump, they won't be punished either. Members of Trump's own administration know this. His CIA director, Mike Pompeo, said he expects the Russians to try to interfere in the coming elections. He said: 

“I have every expectation that they will continue to try and do that. . . .
“This threat is not going to go away. The Russians have been at this a long time, and I fully expect they'll continue to be at it.”
The sad fact is that Donald Trump has once again bowed to Russia -- without any justification (and in opposition to the wishes of Congress). Why is he doing this? 
Is he really too ignorant to understand that Russia is not our friend, and that they are playing him for a fool?
Is he afraid that if he opposes Russia's wishes, they will cut off the funding for his business enterprises and call in his debts (which would bring his "empire" crashing down)?
Do the Russians have evidence of criminal wrongdoing by Trump, or of his perverted play with Russian prostitutes -- evidence they are using to blackmail him?
If even one of those reasons is true, that should concern the citizens of this country -- because it poses a danger to the country. Personally, I'm beginning to believe all three are true.


Political Cartoon is by Kevin Siers in The Charlotte Observer.

Dems Could Flip The House In 2018 - The Senate Is Tougher

These charts are from Bloomberg News. They show why pundits are saying that the control of the House of Representatives could flip to the Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections. The Democrats need to win 24 seats to regain control of the House, and presidents with less than 50% job approval have lost an average of 33 seats for their party. Trump's approval is less than 40%.

The last chart shows that flipping the Senate would be more difficult. That's because 26 Democrats are up for re-election and only 8 Republicans. It would take a massive turnout for Democrats to flip the Senate. It could happen, but the chances of flipping the Senate will be much better in 2o2o, when 21 Republicans are up for re-election and only 12 Democrats -- especially if Trump heads the GOP ticket in 2020.

State Of The Union

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

The Republican Party Is Now A "Conspiracy Of Dunces"

(Caricature is by the inimitable DonkeyHotey.)

Donald Trump, Fox News, and other right-wingers have transformed the Republican Party. It is no longer a respectable proponent of conservative economics. It is now a clownish and conspiracy-driven collection of nuts, for whom the truth has no value at all.

Rick Wilson has written an excellent op-ed for The Daily Beast on this transformation of the Republican Party into a "conspiracy of dunces". Here is just part of what he wrote:

Secret societies, government agents of dubious loyalties, dark cabals who work from shadowy bureaucracies seeking to overthrow the president of the United States, sinister masterminds exercising fell powers to serve a diabolical conspiracy, occult powers that shift the levers of control in mysterious ways—no, it’s not X-Files fan fiction or some modern-day Lovecraft reboot. It’s today’s GOP. 
The Republican Party’s head-first dive into breathless conspiratorial fantasies in defense of Donald Trump is a brand-defining moment as the Party of Lincoln morphs into the Party of LaRouche. Listening as members of Congress, the Fox News/talk-radio world and the constellation of batshit-crazy people drawn to Esoteric Trumpism adopt increasingly baroque theories to protect The Donald isn’t just depressing; it’s tragic. A diseased slurry of fake news, post-Truth Trumpism, and Russkie agitprop infects the Republican Party. It’s an ebola of wild-eyed MK-ULTRA paranoiac raving, spreading to every organ of the Republican body politic.
This loon-centric new world of crazy talk has dissolved the old ideological skeleton of the GOP and reduced it from the Conservative Party of Ideas to the Crackpot Party of Infowars. Covering up the connections among Donald Trump, his campaign officials, and family members with Russia, and this president’s efforts to obstruct justice and derail special counsel Robert Mueller will come at a still-untallied cost to our nation, our institutions, and the dignity and reputation of the GOP. It’s going to get worse as Mueller closes in. 
Last week, the ridiculous memo crafted by Fredo Nunes (R-Clownshow) and his staffers (is that you, Ezra Cohen-Watnick?) was the subject of hyperventilating conspiracy headlines across right-wing media. While breathless Republicans like Matt Gaetz (R-The Narcissus of Fox News) raced for the cameras screaming that this is a “worse than Watergate” bombshell, this fetid, steaming shitheap of lies, cherry-picked outrage-bait for the Fox booboisie, and crayon-scribble was full of tells that it was all Trump, and little truth. . . .
Make no mistake, Nunes and his co-conspirators don’t believe there’s an actual Deep State conspiracy at the FBI or the intelligence agencies. This boundlessly cynical plot is an attempt to shield Donald Trump not just from Bob Mueller’s Russia investigation, but from any form of accountability or oversight. I have to give them credit their brazen effort. The coordination between Fox News, the Trump Uber Alles caucus in the House, talk radio, and the online Cray Vortex is rather impressive. In the Best Supporting Hackers role, the Russians chimed in right on cue to amplify the GOP’s message. Call me old fashioned, but I remember when working hand-in-hand with a hostile foreign government to undermine American institutions was called “treason.” . . .
Nunes, Meadows, Gaetz, et al. aren’t agents of Russia, though you can’t definitively say that of Dana Rohrabacher. They’re simply protecting Russia’s most precious asset, and are perfectly content to let Russia continue its slow-motion efforts to disrupt our government, our democracy, and our values. They’ll take all the help they can get from the Russians if it helps destroy any system of checks and balances that could trouble Trump. It’s an effort to make the firing of Mueller palatable to the nation, to give Trump a get-out-of-jail-free card on obstruction of justice, and to nudge us one step closer to having a strongman, not a president. If our national capacity for outrage wasn’t already spread painfully thin, there would be a run on pitchforks and torches. . . .
The Fox News problem is rich with irony. It turns out Republicans don’t mind partisan, agenda-driven journalism. They just want it to be their partisan, agenda-driven journalism. The cynical men in Washington and Moscow who are feeding the crazy-eyed, conspiratorial imaginings of the Republican Party base under Donald Trump know what they’re doing. The cynical media outlets profiting from this campaign of disinformation and dishonesty also know what they’re doing. The men in the Kremlin backing up these efforts with an army of electronic warriors and legions of bots know exactly what they’re doing. 
And the Republican base, fed on a diet of weapons-grade conspiracy theories, day-drinking rage, 8chan trolling, and blind defense of Trump? They know the truth, man. They’re woke. They know that all opposition to Trump comes from George Soros, the shape-shifting reptilians, the Deep State, the Illuminati, zombie Bin Laden, the Gnomes of Zurich, and the Freemasons. They know that Bob Mueller is an alien sent from the Sharia-compliant future to impose the New World Order by asking Donald Trump tough questions. Oh, and implanting them all with a brain chip to control their thoughts. #QAnon say so.

Shootings (Just Running In Place)

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


Tuesday, January 30, 2018


Generic Ballot Still Favors The Democratic Party

Like other polls, this Rasmussen Poll shows the Democrats have an 8 point edge on the generic congressional ballot. There's still plenty of time for that to change, but this is significant -- coming from a poll that is normally kind to Republicans. It was done on January 24th and 25th of a random national sample of 1,000 likely voters, with a 3 point margin of error.

About Mueller

Political Cartoon is by Mark Streeter in the Savannah Morning News.

Republicans Are In Trouble With Young Voters (18-34)

These charts were made using results from a recent NBC News / GenForward - University of Chicago Survey -- done between January 3rd and 16th of a random national sample of 1,844 millennials (between 18 and 34), and the entire poll has a margin of error of 3.95 points.

It shows that the Republican Party has a significant problem with young voters. They disapprove of the job Trump is doing by 44 points, and they disapprove of the job the GOP-led Congress is doing by an even larger 49 points. They also think the country is on the wrong track by 45 points. In other words, they are currently very unhappy with our national government.

And things are nearly as bad when the two major parties are considered by young voters. They have a more favorable view of the Democratic Party over the Republican Party by 20 points. They think the Democratic Party cares for for them by 26 points. And they consider themselves members of (or leaning toward) the Democratic Party by 26 points.

Will these young voters show up at the polls in large numbers next November? I believe they will. They have been energized (like their older peers) by the hateful agenda of Trump and the Republican Party, and November will be their chance to display their displeasure.

State Of The Union

Political Cartoon is by Bill Day at

O'Rourke Outraises Cruz But Still Trails In Cash On Hand

The chart above shows the money raised by the leading senate candidates in Texas for the last three quarters of 2017. Those candidates are Beto O'Rourke (Democrat) and Ted Cruz (Republican). Cruz is the incumbent.

Since entering the race, O'Rourke has raised more than Cruz in two of the three quarters of 2017 (the second and fourth quarters). O'Rourke raised $2.1 million in the second quarter, $1.7 million in the third quarter, and $2.4 million in the fourth quarter -- for a total in 2017 of $6.2 million.

Cruz raised $1.6 million in the second quarter, $2 million in the third quarter, and $1.9 million in the fourth quarter -- for a total in 2017 of $5.5 million.

Cruz accepts corporate and PAC money, but O'Rourke does not.

Even though O'Rourke raised $700,000 more than Cruz in 2017, he still trails Cruz in the amount of cash on hand. That's because Cruz already had money on hand when O'Rourke entered the race and began raising funds.

Making Americans Sick

Political Cartoon is by Jimmy Margulies at

Trump Is The Least Ethical President In Modern History

From the website of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW):

In his first year in office, President Trump racked up more than 500 potential conflicts of interest, according to a report released today by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
CREW researchers spent a year tracking every known interaction between the Trump administration and the Trump Organization in a daily timeline. Here’s what they found:
  • President Trump spent a full third of his first year in office—122 days—visiting his commercial properties.
  • Seventy executive branch officials, more than 30 members of Congress and more than a dozen state officials visited Trump Organization properties during the first year of the Trump administration.
  • President Trump and his White House staff promoted the Trump brand by mentioning or referring to one of the president’s private businesses on at least 35 different occasions during the president’s first year in office.
  • There have been more than 40 instances of special interest groups holding events at Trump properties since January 20, 2017.
  • At least eleven foreign governments paid Trump-owned entities during the president’s first year in office, and at least six foreign government officials have made appearances at Trump Organization properties.
  • Political groups spent more than $1.2 million at Trump properties during the president’s first year in office. Prior to President Trump’s 2016 campaign, annual spending by political committees at Trump properties had never exceeded $100,000 in any given year going back to at least 2002.
“Every decision President Trump makes in the course of his job is followed by the specter of corruption,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said. “Because of his steady stream of conflicts, we have to question whether each decision he makes was made in the best interest of the American people or the best interest of his bottom line.”
During President Trump’s first year in office, CREW worked to monitor, log and categorize every instance in which government and special interests interacted with the president’s private businesses on the Trump Inc. timeline. Taken together, the 500+ entries present a clear picture of a presidency being used to turn a profit and the president’s businesses serving as points of access to the corridors of power.
“Just as we feared, President Trump is not only making money in spite of his official position, in many cases, he’s making money because of it,” Bookbinder said. “This is the least ethical first year of any presidential administration in modern history.”

Not Racist ?

Political Cartoon is by Barry Deutsch at

Deliberate Cruelty

Monday, January 29, 2018


It's Time To Make Puerto Rico A State (Or Cut It Loose)

Puerto Rico has been an American territory since the Treaty of Paris in 1899 (as a direct result of the Spanish-American War). And it's 3.5 million inhabitants have been American citizens since 1917 (when the Jones-Shafroth Act gave citizenship to all those born after 1898).

But while they have been American citizens for over 100 years now, they still do not have the same rights as other American citizens. They have no voting representation in Congress, and they cannot vote for the U.S. president. They have no voice in how their own federal government makes decisions that affect them.

That is unconscionable. It is time to give them the rights they so richly deserve. The U.S. government should either make Puerto Rico a state, or cut them loose to form their own country (with that decision being made by the citizens of that island in a fair vote). I believe they would choose statehood -- and I believe most Americans would happily welcome them into the roll of states.

The chart below shows American attitudes toward making Puerto Rico a state. In the last year, there has been movement toward statehood -- with 47% now favoring that, and only 34% opposing it. Last year, it was 40% favoring and 39% opposed.

The most recent Rasmussen Poll was done between January 18th and 21st of a random national sample of 1,000 likely voters, with a margin of error of 3 points.

Evangelical Hypocrisy

Political Cartoon is by Scott Stantis in the Chicago Tribune.

Americans Believe Donald Trump Is A Dishonest Person

Donald Trump has had a problem getting the American people to support him. He seems to think if he just tells enough lies they will eventually trust him. But that's not working. All it has done is convince the public that they have a dishonest person living in the White House -- a person that cannot be trusted.

The two charts above are from different polls, but they say the same thing. Americans simply don't trust Donald Trump -- and that is true of both genders, most age groups, and all races. And his approval numbers will not significantly improve until people trust him (which is very unlikely, considering the amount of lies he tells -- an average of 5 every day).

The Quinnipiac University Poll was done between January 19th and 23rd of a random national sample of 1,245 voters, with a 3.3 point margin of error.

The Economist / YouGov Poll was done between January 21st and 23rd of a random national sample of 1,500 adults, with a margin of error of 3.1 points.


Political cartoon is by Matt Wuerker at

Trump's Immigration Proposal Is Draconian & Un-American

(This cartoon about Trump's immigration wishes is by Lalo Alcaraz at

Donald Trump tells us he wants to "fix" the problems with immigration. But his proposals will just make our immigration problems worse.

Here is what Daniel Costa at the Economic Policy Institute had to say about the changes to immigration policy that Trump wants:

Yesterday the White House one-page framework for a legislative deal to provide a permanent immigration status to DACA recipients was made public, which is in addition to the four-page memo released on January 9 that included the Department of Homeland Security’s priorities for an “immigration deal.” The new one-page memo includes a long list of far-reaching demands to “reform” the immigration system, in exchange for remedying the crisis that President Trump himself imposed on the nearly 700,000 immigrants who were brought to the United States as children by their parents, and who voluntarily availed themselves to the U.S. government after they were promised that they would be protected and not deported by the Obama administration.
President Trump’s latest demands for major changes to the U.S. immigration system include additional legal authority to deport unauthorized immigrants, $25 billion in new funding for more border security and immigration enforcement agents, an end to the diversity visa program, and cuts to permanent immigrant visas for family reunification, among other things. All of this would be in exchange for putting up to 1.8 million DACA recipients and DREAM Act-eligible immigrants on a path to citizenship.
It is notable that the Trump administration is willing to extend the possibility of legalization and citizenship beyond just the current 700,000 DACA recipients, but doing so would still only legalize 16 percent of the total unauthorized immigrant population (1.8 million out of 11.3 million). DACA recipients and potential DREAMers themselves have made it clear that they reject a path to citizenship if it means that their parents and the millions of unauthorized immigrants left behind will be terrorized through a vastly expanded national deportation apparatus and additional border militarization, plus sharp cuts to future immigration levels.
Many of President Trump’s demands are bad ideas, rooted in racism and xenophobia, which will keep immigrants in fear and negatively impact the labor market. Including them in the context of urgently necessary legislation to protect DACA recipients—which should be clean and narrow—and after only a few weeks of negotiations, makes little sense. After making the ill-advised decision to end DACA without a permanent solution from Congress, the most pressing priority for all humane policymakers should be ensuring that DACA recipients do not become deportable or lose their ability to work and go to school. In addition, any proposal to reform the immigration system that is as broad and sweeping as president Trump’s should include legalization and a path to citizenship for all 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants.
DACA has been important to the recipients whose lives have been transformed for the better—by allowing them to attend universities, work, and live without fear of being ripped apart from their families and sent out of the country they have always considered their home. And by bringing DACA recipients into the formal labor market—granting them access to labor and employment law protections, and thereby raising their wages dramaticallyand resulting in new contributions to public coffers—DACA has also improved labor standards and increased social safety net funding for all workers. At a time when the Trump administration’s new worksite raids are disempowering immigrant workers by pushing them into the informal labor market, failing to legalize DACA recipients will have the effect of adding 700,000 exploitable workers to the U.S. labor market.
The Trump administration intentionally created a crisis by ending DACA as a way to achieve their immigration policy goals in exchange for ending the crisis they created. Congress should not reward president Trump for this by adopting his cruel and draconian policy preferences. Members of Congress should instead pass a clean DREAM Act that puts DACA recipients on a quick path to citizenship. A clean DREAM Act would represent sound moral and economic policy, and it’s what the vast majority of Americans support.

Revolutionary Devices

Political Cartoon is by Mike Stanfill at

The Racist Origin Of Marijuana Laws

Sunday, January 28, 2018


2018 Is The "Year Of The Woman" In Politics

According to NBC News, 2016 was a high-water mark for women running for political office. It had 16 women running for the Senate and 167 running for the House of Representatives. But 2018 has made those numbers look small.

In 2018, there are 397 women running for the House of Representatives (230 more than in 2016), and 50 women running for the Senate (34 more than in 2016). And most of the women running for both are running as  Democrats.

There are 317 women running for the House in the Democratic primaries, and 80 women running in the Republican primaries. For the Senate, 31 women are running as Democrats and 19 as Republicans.

This is a good thing. Women are the majority group, and they need a bigger voice in our government. Hopefully, if a lot of them get elected, they can straighten out the government mess men have created.

Immigration "Unifier"

Political Cartoon is by Rick McKee in The Augusta Chronicle.

Are Trump And GOP Sowing The Seeds Of A Blue Wave ?

These charts are from a new Quinnipiac University Poll -- done between January 19th and 23rd of a random national sample of 1,245 voters, with a margin of error of 3.3 points. They show the job approval numbers of Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress.

Trump's numbers are upside down, and have been since he was sworn in -- and they don't seem to be improving any at all. He currently has a negative approval gap of 22 points. But Trump's numbers, as bad as they are, actually look good when compared to the job approval of the congressional Republicans. They have a whopping negative approval gap of 46 points!

It is normal for the party of a sitting president to lose some seats in Congress in a mid-year election like the one coming this November. But that, combined with the terrible job approval numbers of both Trump and the congressional Republicans, could combine to make this a wave election -- an election that flips control of Congress.

A Blue Wave is coming -- and the seeds of that growing wave have been sown by Trump and the Republicans. Americans are not happy with them, and they could boot the GOP out and replace them with Democrats (in the hope that Dems will rein in the excesses of Donald Trump).