Saturday, March 31, 2018

Socialism For The Rich

What The Hell Is Wrong With Baby Boomers ?

The chart above reflects the results of the newest Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between March 25th and 27th of a random national sample of 1,500 adults, with a margin of error of 3.4 points.

The chart shows the Democratic advantage right now when voters are asked what party they will vote for in their own congressional district. Among the general public, Democrats hold a 7 point advantage, and that advantage holds for three of the four age groups -- 18 to 29 (26 points), 30 to 44 (23 points), and 45 to 64 (5 points). All margins exceed the poll's margin of error.

The only age group that supports Republicans more than Democrats is the 65 and older group -- made up mainly of Baby Boomers and the remnants of the Silent generation. This age group gave Republicans a 12 point advantage.

I am amazed by this result. Although I am a Baby Boomer myself, I'm left to wonder -- What the hell is wrong with the Baby Boomers (and Silents)? Why would they vote against their own interest? Are too many of them just not very bright?

Most of this group is receiving Social Security benefits, and the rest will soon be doing that. They also get their medical care through Medicare. And frankly, a majority of those 65 and older need those benefits.

Which leads me to ask another question -- have they been listening to what congressional Republicans are saying? Both McConnell and Ryan (the Senate and House GOP leaders) have said that the next thing they want to do is take on the "entitlements". That's the Republican word for Social Security and Medicare, and other congressional Republicans agree with them. They don't want to increase those programs -- they want to cut them (or privatize them). If the Republicans get what they want, benefits will be cut, the cost-of-living adjustment will be lowered, the benefit age will be raised -- and possibly the programs will be eliminated.

Why would seniors vote for people who want to do that? Republicans say that must be done to balance the budget. That's a lie! Social Security has never added a penny to either the deficit or the national debt, and most of Medicare is also paid for through payroll deductions. The only way Social Security affects the deficit or debt is because Congress has borrowed billions from the Social Security Trust Fund (so they wouldn't have to tax the rich), and it must now be paid back. But they don't want to pay it back, and if they cut benefits they can take longer to pay it back. In other words. they want to pay for tax cuts to the rich with cuts to benefits for seniors.

And seniors seem to be willing to let them do it. Why? Some may tell you that it wouldn't affect them, but the changes would only affect future generations. I think that makes it worse. It makes Baby Boomers look like they only care for themselves, and are willing to screw their children and grandchildren. What kind of sick person thinks that way?

I'm very disappointed in my generation.


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

The Youth Movement Should Scare Republican Candidates

These charts show the results of a recent AP / NORC Poll -- done between February 22nd and March 9th of a national sample of 1,027 young people between the ages of 15 and 34. The margin of error is about 4.2 points.

I think this poll should scare Republican candidates running for office. They already have a serious problem with women and minorities, and now it looks like they also have a serious problem with young people.

Young people equate the Republican Party with Donald Trump. By a 21 point margin, they say Trump represents the current Republican Party. That's not good, because they also have a low opinion of Trump.

By a 34 point margin, they disapprove of the job Trump is doing. By a 33 point margin, they say Trump is not "making America great again". By a 45 point margin, they say Trump does not represent  their values. By a 22 point margin, they say Trump is not mentally fit to be president. By a 25 point margin, they say Trump is not honest. And by a 27 point margin, they believe Trump is a racist.

Those are not the numbers a Republican should want for the leader of their party. Those are numbers they will rub off on them. And it gets worse. Note the chart below, which shows the young people don't just dislike Trump. They also favor many policies that congressional Republicans oppose.

In the past, this might not have been terrible for Republicans, because young people haven't voted in as large numbers as other age groups. But there has recently been a political awakening among young people. And after their march on the 24th of this month, they have gotten a taste of the power they hold. It is very likely they will take this new passion for politics into the voting booth next November.

Combined with the vote of women and minorities, that could spell disaster for Republicans.

Cranky Old NRA

Political Cartoon is by J.D. Crowe in The Mobile Register.

Trump Is Marching The U.S. Toward A New War

This chart shows the results of the newest Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between March 25th and 27th of a random national sample of 1,500 adults (including 1,330 registered voters), with a margin of error of 3.4 points for all adults and 2.8 points for registered voters.

It shows that most voters think Donald Trump is likely to start a new war. I think it is more than likely -- it is a probability. His latest firings and hirings are a clear indication of this.

Why would he start a new war? Two reasons. First, he is a fool who thinks a war could be easily won -- ignoring the lessons from our ventures into Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria (and Vietnam). Second, he thinks a war would unify the public behind him, and save his deeply troubled presidency.

I'm not the only one who believes Trump is preparing for war. The following is part of an op-ed by Katrina vanden Heuvel in The Chicago Tribune:

With the appointment of John Bolton as national security adviser, President Donald Trump has put the finishing touches on his war Cabinet, with bellicose Mike Pompeo heading the State Department and Gina Haspel, who ran a torture site under President George W. Bush, heading the CIA. With Bolton's appointment, Trump has broken another campaign promise — and it is surely his most dangerous betrayal yet. The candidate who promised to get us out of stupid wars is now loading up for war. With Congress having surrendered its national security responsibilities, the United States, already mired in endless wars across the broad Middle East, seems on the verge of even greater military catastrophe.
Bolton, who will be the last one in the room to whisper in Trump's ear and the first one in the morning (along with "Fox & Friends") to frame the news, proudly made his name as a warmonger, never seeing a war that he wouldn't promote (nor one that he would fight in). Under Bush, he cooked intelligence to fit the case for the Iraq War. He still defends what was the greatest foreign policy debacle since Vietnam. He has advocated "preventive war" — a euphemism for an illegal war of aggression — against both Iran and North Korea. He has also urged ramping up the pressure on Russia in Ukraine and China in the South China Sea. He believes U.S. military might entitles the United States to dictate terms in every corner of the world. . . .
Bolton wants to tear up the Iran deal, despite the fact that this historic, multilateral deal is working, and is strongly supported by U.S. allies, to be followed by an Israeli or U.S. attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. He has consistently dismissed negotiations with North Korea as a waste of time. He already has outlined how Trump's meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un can serve as "diplomatic shock and awe" to set the stage for attacking that country.

It's a far cry from the foreign policy Trump claimed to support during the campaign. He claimed — dishonestly — that he opposed the Iraq invasion from the beginning. He scorned "nonsense" wars without victory. He charged that "the people opposing us are the same people — and think of this — who've wasted $6 trillion on wars in the Middle East — we could have rebuilt our country twice — that have produced only more terrorism, more death and more suffering. Imagine if that money had been spent at home."
Upon taking office, he abandoned these populist postures. Trump sent more troops to both Afghanistan, sustaining the United States' longest war into its 17th year, and Syria, with the Pentagon announcing that they would stay even after the Islamic State was defeated. He doubled down on U.S. support in Saudi Arabia's criminal assault on Yemen, while increasing the pace of drone bombings.
And now he has brought the most extreme and unreconstructed of hawks into the White House. New and more dangerous wars of aggression seem virtually inescapable. . . .
With this appointment and the consolidation of the war Cabinet, Trump's presidency has taken a foreboding turn — from madcap farce and unending melodrama toward grim tragedy.

Three Branches Of Government

Political Cartoon is by Mike Keefe in The Colorado Independent.


Friday, March 30, 2018

The Rent You Owe

Public Sentiment Is Still Very Strong Against Congress

Congress remains extremely unpopular with the American public. They don't think Congress is doing a good job, and they're not real happy with either political party. But as these charts show, the Republicans are taking the brunt of the blame.

The public approves of Democrats over Republicans by a 10 point margin, and Democrats have a 7 point lead right now in the generic ballot. If the Democrats can get their voters to the polls this November, I still think they can flip the House -- and maybe even the Senate.

These charts reflect results of a new Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between March 23rd and 25th of a random national sample of 1,500 adults (including 1,330 registered voters). The margin of error for adults is 3.4 points, and for registered voters is 2.8 points.

Boomer Failure

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

Public Doesn't Like Direction Trump Is Taking The Country

These charts show the results in a new Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between March 25th and 27th of a random national sample of 1,500 adults, with a margin of error of 3.4 points.

This does not bode well for the Republicans who control the government.

Art of Gerrymandering

Political Cartoon is by Dave Granlund at

Hiring Bolton Is The Biggest Mistake Trump Has Made

(This cartoon image of John Bolton is by Carlos Latuff at

Does Donald Trump want a war? I believe he does. He wants a war he can call his own, and he wants to use it to save his own butt from being impeached. There's no other reason why he would hire someone like John Bolton to be his national security advisor (one of the closest aides to the president). Bolton is a war lover, and is not even opposed to using nuclear weapons -- and he's been very open about it.

I'm convinced that Trump's hiring of Bolton is just another step toward a war.

Here are five reasons why Bolton is not fit to be the national security advisor. It is from an article in 2016 on his being unfit to be Secretary of State, but it applies equally well to his new job. It was written by Eric Boehm and appeared in Newsweek.

1. Bolton was a primary cheerleader of the Iraq War and stands for everything Americans rejected about the Bush administration's foreign policy.

2. Bolton wanted the U.S. to go to war with Cuba over WMDs that also didn't exist.

3. Bolton really, really wants to bomb Iran. 

4. President Barack Obama followed Bolton's terrible advice about Libya, and then Bolton blamed Obama for the resulting mess. 

5. Bolton suggested Israel should unleash nuclear weapons against Iran. 

Social Media Privacy

Political Cartoon is by Patrick Chappate in the New York Times.


Thursday, March 29, 2018

See The Inequality

Voting Machines MUST Generate A Paper Ballot

The voting machine pictured here is the Ivotronic. It is a touch screen voting machine that's very easy to use (even for a first-time voter), and it allows poll workers to report voting results very quickly after the polls close.

I am very familiar with the machine -- both as a voter and a poll worker. However, I was disappointed when I recently moved to a new county in Texas, and found my new county was also using this same machine (as are thousands of counties across this nation).

Why was I disappointed? Because the machine has a fatal flaw in my opinion. It does not generate a paper readout that shows the voter how their vote was counted. The voter just has to hope their vote was counted and reported correctly.

This is bad for several reasons. 1) It wouldn't be known if a crooked election judge or worker tampered with the machine to miscount votes. 2) Machines do make mistakes. 3) It is impossible to do a recount in a close election, because no matter how many times you ask it, the machine will spit out the same numbers.

Now, there is another reason to mistrust the machine's results -- the interference by another nation in our electoral system (Russia). We now know that Russians hacked into the electoral systems of at least 21 states in the 2016 election. It is believed that they only got into voter rolls and were not able to change any vote totals. But will they be better at their hacking in 2018 or 2020? Will they then have the ability to alter vote totals to suit themselves?

Some are calling for a return to paper ballots that are hand-counted. I wouldn't like to see that. I worked at the polls when paper ballots were used, and counting them took forever. It was a rural precinct that had only a few hundred ballots, and it still took until about 3 am before the ballots were counted and ready to be reported. I can imagine it would be a nightmare for a urban or suburban precinct with a few thousand voters.

There is another solution. Make sure all machines print a paper ballot that can be saved and recounted if there is a question of the validity of the originally reported results. This can be done in two ways.

1) Voters could vote on a paper ballot that is then fed into an electronic counter. Those paper ballots could always be recounted by hand if there is any question.

2) Make sure all electronic voting machines print out a record of how the voter cast his/her vote. The voter could check the printout, make sure it's correct, and then put it in a locked ballot box. Those paper printouts could be hand-counted if there is any question.

It doesn't matter which way is chosen by county governments. Both would work. But it is now imperative that all electronic voting machines print out the results. It is the only way to insure our electoral system is correct, and the only way to restore voters faith in our electoral system -- especially in light of Russian electoral hacking, and a president that refuses to acknowledge the hacking even took place.

His Preference

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

GOP Stands Alone In Denying Global Climate Change

Donald Trump doesn't think Global Climate Change (commonly called global warming) is real. He's called it a Chinese hoax, and has even pulled this country out of the Paris Accords (an agreement by the world's countries to reduce/stop global warming). And the congressional Republicans agree with him. Even the few who will admit that it's happening, refuse to believe it's caused by human activity. They are just reflecting the beliefs of their base voters.

But that puts them in opposition to the beliefs of most Americans -- the general public, Independents, and Democrats. They all have substantial majorities that say scientists agree that global warming is real, that global warming is currently happening, and that it is caused by human activity (the overuse or misuse of carbon-based fuels).

It is just one more issue on which the Republicans disagree with the rest of America -- and it is one more reason why they should be voted out of power as soon as possible. Reasonable environmental policies can't be enacted until that happens.

The charts above use information contained in a recent Gallup Poll -- done between March 1st and 8th of a random national sample of 1,041 adults, with a 4 point margin of error.


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

Percentage Of Gun Ownership In The 50 States

The chart above is from a study done in 2015 called "Gun Ownership And Social Gun Culture". It shows the percentage of each states population that are gun owners. As you can see, there is a wide variety of ownership among the individual states. Some states have a large percentage of gun owners and others have a very low percentage.

It is not my purpose to judge any state on its ownership percentage, and I am not calling for the banning of all guns anywhere. As long as we have the Second Amendment, Americans will have the right to own a gun.

I would like to feel that all of those gun owners were decent and law-abiding citizens. Unfortunately, with the laxity of gun laws in many of our states, we cannot know that. It is just too easy for dangerous people to buy any kind of gun they want because our background check law has enormous loopholes in it -- loopholes that allow about 40% of gun buyers each year to avoid a background check.

It simply makes sense that every person wanting to buy a gun should be required to undergo a background check. And I'm not alone in that view. About 85% to 90% of all Americans agree.

Some will tell you that if a person can't buy a gun legally, they will just go to the black market to buy it. Let me make a couple of points about that. First, it's not as easy to go to that black market as some seem to think. You have to know someone in it and they have to trust you (since law enforcement does a pretty good job of finding and arresting those selling guns illegally). Second, most of the guns flowing into the black market were bought legally (from a lax gun law state and without a background check). Plugging the holes in our background check law would seriously restrict the flow of guns into the black market.

An effective background check law (including guns sold at gun shows, over the internet, and among private individuals) would go a long way toward keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people (through both legal and black market means) -- and it would NOT violate the right of any law-abiding citizen to own a gun.

That is the very least we could do to reduce the number of gun deaths in this country each year.

It's Coming

Political Cartoon is by Robert Ariail in The State.

Isn't It Time To Admit The Concept Of "Race" Is A Lie ?

The United States has had a problem with "race" since its inception -- and it still does. But that concept is not a scientific one. It is a myth invented by Whites a few centuries ago to justify theft, subjugation, and slavery. It's time to put that concept into the trash bin of history and recognize a simple fact. There is only one race -- the human race.

The following is part of an excellent article by Robert Wald Sussman in Newsweek:

In 1950, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) issued a statement asserting that all humans belong to the same species and that “race” is not a biological reality but a myth. This was a summary of the findings of an international panel of anthropologists, geneticists, sociologists, and psychologists.
A great deal of evidence had accumulated by that time to support this conclusion, and the scientists involved were those who were conducting research and were most knowledgeable about the topic of human variation. Since that time similar statements have been published by the American Anthropological Association and the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, and an enormous amount of modern scientific data has been gathered to justify this conclusion. 
Today the vast majority of those involved in research on human variation would agree that biological races do not exist among humans. Among those who study the subject, who use and accept modern scientific techniques and logic, this scientific fact is as valid and true as the fact that the earth is round and revolves around the sun. . . .
Unfortunately, along with the belief in the reality of biologically based human races, racism still abounds in the United States and Western Europe. How can this be when there is so much scientific evidence against it? 
Most educated people would accept the facts that the earth is not flat and that it revolves around the sun. However, it is much more difficult for them to accept modern science concerning human variation. Why is this so? 
It seems that the belief in human races, carrying along with it the prejudice and hatred of “racism,” is so embedded in our culture and has been an integral part of our worldview for so long that many of us assume that it just must be true. . . .
For the past 500 years, people have been taught how to interpret and understand racism. We have been told that there are very specific things that relate to race, such as intelligence, sexual behavior, birth rates, infant care, work ethics and abilities, personal restraint, lifespan, law-abidingness, aggression, altruism, economic and business practices, family cohesion, and even brain size. 
We have learned that races are structured in a hierarchical order and that some races are better than others. Even if you are not a racist, your life is affected by this ordered structure. We are born into a racist society.
What many people do not realize is that this racial structure is not based on reality. Anthropologists have shown for many years now that there is no biological reality to human race. There are no major complex behaviors that directly correlate with what might be considered human “racial” characteristics. 
There is no inherent relationship between intelligence, law- abidingness, or economic practices and race, just as there is no relationship between nose size, height, blood group, or skin color and any set of complex human behaviors. . . .
Thus, given current scientific data, biological races do not exist among modern humans today, and they have never existed in the past. Given such clear scientific evidence as this and the research data of so many other biologists, anthropologists, and geneticists that demonstrate the nonexistence of biological races among humans, how can the “myth” of human races still persist? 
If races do not exist as a biological reality, why do so many people still believe that they do? In fact, even though biological races do not exist, the concept of race obviously is still a reality, as is racism. These are prevalent and persistent elements of our everyday lives and generally accepted aspects of our culture. 
Thus, the concept of human races is real. It is not a biological reality, however, but a cultural one. Race is not a part of our biology, but it is definitely a part of our culture. Race and racism are deeply ingrained in our history.

Bolton Gets To Work

Political Cartoon is by Matt Boss at


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Tell The Truth

Americans Split On Whether Trump Should Be Impeached

This chart reflects the results of a new Public Policy Polling survey -- done between March 23rd and 25th of a random national sample of 846 registered voters, with a 3.4 point margin of error. It tells me the Trump presidency is still in deep trouble.


Political Cartoon is by Dan Wasserman in The Boston Globe.

Public Opposes The GOP/NRA Position On Gun Violence

The congressional Republicans and the NRA are hoping the desire of the public to see stricter gun laws will cool off as it has in the past. They are counting on that. But this time feels different. After the enormously successful march by high school and middle school students last Saturday, the anti-gun violence movement has seen that they have more power than they knew, and for the first time they now believe they can win this fight.

That could be disastrous for Republicans this Fall, no matter how much money the NRA provides them. The public is angry and they don't like the intransigence of the GOP-controlled Congress. They want something done to curb the gun violence. That has been shown by poll after poll. And this new poll just verifies what all the other polls have shown.

The charts above are from the new Public Policy Polling survey -- done between March 23rd and 25th of a random national sample of 846 registered voters, with a 3.4 point margin of error.

By a 22 point margin, the public likes the bravery and passion shown by the students who marched and spoke, and they support them. And by a 5 point margin, the public opposes the NRA. By a 28 point margin, the public wants to see stricter gun laws. By a whopping 79 point margin, the public wants to see ALL gun buyers have to go through a background check. By a 38 point margin, the public wants the sale of military-style assault weapons banned. And by an 18 point margin, the public opposes the arming of school teachers and other school employees.

Those are some pretty strong numbers. I could be wrong, but I don't think this sentiment will die down, and I think a lot of voters are going to carry this into the voting booth in November. I certainly hope so.

Another Spanking Coming

Political Cartoon is by Kevin Siers in The Charlotte Observer.

New Polls Show Trump Is Deeply Unpopular

The Public Policy Polling survey was done between March 23rd and 25th of a random national sample of 846 registered voters, with a 3.4 point margin of error.

The CNN / SSRS Poll was done between March 22nd and 25th of a random national sample of 1,014 adults, with a 3.7 point margin of error.

Both polls show Trump still remains deeply unpopular, as the public continues to believe he is not doing a good job. The PPP survey shows him with a 15 deficit on job approval, and the CNN poll has that deficit at 12 points.

The PPP survey asked a rather humorous question that showed the depth of anti-Trump feeling. They asked if he ran against Stephanie Clifford in 2020, who would you vote for? Ms. Clifford won 42% to 41%. Then they used Clifford's stage name (Stormy Daniels), and her vote dropped to 32% -- but Trump's remained at 41%. It seems that a lot of people dislike Trump enough to vote for someone they don't even know, and after finding out she was a porn star, 32% would still vote for her over Trump.

The CNN poll also asked an interesting question. They asked about respondent's opinion of the cabinet in the Trump administration. It seems that the public has as low an opinion of Trump's cabinet members as they do of Trump himself.

The public is also not buying Trump's claims of innocence about his sexual liaisons outside of his marriage. By a 42 point gap, the public believes the women instead of Trump.