Friday, November 30, 2018

The Demagogue's Secret

An Incredibly Productive "Witch Hunt"

The chart above is from the New York Times. It shows everyone who has been charged and those convicted of crimes due to the Mueller investigation (commonly referred to by Trump as a "witch hunt").

The investigation has already been very successful at rooting out criminals, and it's far from over. I think the biggest "witches" are still to come.

The only modern administration to have more charges and convictions is the Nixon administration. But before Mueller and his team are done, the Trump administration could rival that.

Trump And GM

Political Cartoon is by Jimmy Margulies at

Number Of Uninsured Children Rose In 2017 Under Trump

Throughout the years of the Obama administration, the number of uninsured children steadily declined -- from 7.6 million in 2008 to 3.6 million in 2016. This was largely due to the passage of Obamacare, the expansion of Medicaid in many states, and the protection and funding of the CHIP program.

There was no reason why that decline shouldn't have continued. Unfortunately, it did not. In the first year of the Trump administration the number of uninsured children rose significantly -- from 3.6 million to 3.9 million (from 4.7% to 5% of this nation's children). No state had a decline in the number of uninsured children, and three quarters of the increase in uninsured children came in states that have not expanded Medicaid.

The state with the most uninsured children is Texas. Currently 10.7% of Texas children do not have health insurance -- growing by 83,000 in 2017 to a total of about 835,000 children. That's 21% of the nation's total uninsured children -- far more than any other state. Florida and California had 8% each, and Georgia had 5%.

These numbers are from a new report by the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute. Why the rise in uninsured children? here's what they said:

The most likely culprits, per the report: 

Ignoring Real Danger

Political Cartoon is by Monte Wolverton at

We Are Being Ruled By Trump's Enormous Gut

(This image was found on Facebook.)

Have you wondered why Trump, claiming to be a genius, makes so many bad decisions? Well, he has told us. It seems that he prefers to listen to his enormous gut instead of his tiny brain. This shouldn't surprise us, since He made it clear in the campaign that size matters to him (remember his bragging about his "large" hands).

Here is part of what Dana Milbank has to say about Trump relying on his gut rather than his brain. He finds it both humorous and terrifying.

It should go down in history as the “I Have a Gut” speech.
President Trump, asked Tuesday by The Post’s Philip Rucker and Josh Dawsey about the Fed’s interest-rate hikes, gave a gastrointestinal response.
“They’re making a mistake,” he said, “because I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.”
And what a prodigious and extraordinary gut he has!
Trump’s gut does amazing things. Last week, he said there was no need to prepare for trade negotiations with the Chinese president because “I know it better than anybody knows it, and my gut has always been right.”
He told the Daily Caller that his decisions about which candidates to endorse are based on “very much my gut instinct.” He told the Washington Examiner his 2016 campaign strategy came from multiple locations in his torso. “Yeah, gut,” he said, but also “from my heart.”
He said in 2011 that “my gut tells me” President Barack Obama’s birth certificate may have been forged. His gut also told him to do “The Apprentice.” He has over the years been a veritable fortune cookie on the primacy of gut: “Go with your gut. . . . You have to follow your gut. . . . Develop your gut instincts and act on them. . . . I’ve seen people that are super genius, but they don’t have that gut feeling.”
Obama, during a moment of adversity in his presidency, remarked: “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone.” Now, in a similar moment, Trump has an equally felicitous phrase: I’ve got a gut. And it thinks better than some brains! No wonder his primary physician before coming to the White House — the one who pronounced all Trump’s test results “positive” — was a gastroenterologist. A great gut needs great care.
There are, of course, other life forms that do their “thinking” with parts other than brains, but these tend to be sponges, scallops and the slime mold that re-created a map of the Tokyo subway system — not exactly a desirable cohort in which the president has placed himself. . . .
Bandy X. Lee, the Yale University psychiatrist who has sounded the alarm about the president’s mental functioning, thinks Trump’s preference for his gut is a rare moment of self-awareness. When Trump talks about his gut, she says, he’s really referring to his “primitive brain” — from which a rush of emotion is “overcoming him so he’s not able to access his actual intellect.”
“For people who are cognitively impaired, they use what we call our ‘gut,’ but it is really their primitive mind,” she says. “It takes over and can defeat those operations in the cognitive and rational realm.”
This appears to be what’s going on with climate change, for example, where Trump’s views are contradicted even by his own administration’s findings. Trump says he doesn’t believe his administration’s report despite being one of those with “very high levels of intelligence.”
“His thoughts are in conflict with his emotions,” Lee diagnoses, and “in order to eliminate that conflict and pain, he aligns himself with the primitive part of the psyche.”
Trump’s emotional gut, in other words, dominates the rational part of his brain.

Making It Impossible

Political Cartoon is by Gary Huck at

I Do Not Like

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Toxic And Pathological Cult

Will Trump Shut Down Government Over His Wall?

The funding for seven areas of government will expire on December 7th. Most of the federal budget for next year has been passed, but these seven ares remain. They are:

1. Agriculture
2. Commerce, Justice, Science
3. Financial Services & General Government
4. Homeland Security
5. Interior, Environment
6. State, Foreign Operations
7. HUD, Transportation

Donald Trump is threatening to refuse to sign a budget for these seven areas if that budget doesn't contain at least $5 billion to start his wall. Currently, Congress has only agreed to about $1.6 billion.

There's no doubt that the House (still controlled by Republicans) would give Trump the $5 billion. The fly in the ointment is the Senate. The Senate GOP would need 60 votes to pass a bill with wall funding -- and the Democrats could prevent them from getting to 60 (to kill a Democratic filibuster).

That means Trump will not get his $5 billion for the wall -- unless he gives the Democrats some things they want -- like a law protecting DACA Dreamers, taking the citizenship question off the census form, and protecting the Mueller investigation. Trump opposes all three of those things.

Another problem for Trump is shown in the chart above (from a Morning Consult Poll done between November 15th and 18th of 1,957 registered voters, with a 2 point margin of error). About 55% of the public says the war is not worth shutting down the government (including 34% of Republicans, 61% of Independents, and 74% of Democrats). Trump is already very popular, and shutting the government down over his desire for a wall will not help him all.

Then there's a study by the Pew Research Center showing the wall is probably not needed anyway. These charts show that the number of undocumented immigrants in the country has dropped, and most of the ones still living here had been doing so for a long time (averaging nearly 15 years)

There is no massive invasion, as Trump would have you believe.

Terrifying Report

Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at

People Are Not Satisfied With Health Care In The U.S.

These charts are from a recent Gallup Poll -- done between November 1st and 11th of a national sample of 1,037 adults, with a 4 point margin of error.

They show that Americans are not happy with the health care system in this country.

It's not necessarily the quality of health care offered, although I would have expected more than 55% to be satisfied with that quality.

The two biggest concerns are the cost of health care and the access to that health care. Only 20% are satisfied with the cost, while a whopping 79% are not -- and sadly, that cost continues to rise faster than the cost of other necessities. Only 34% rate the coverage (access) to health care as good or excellent. Too many people have no insurance, and many other have policies that still leave them in danger of bankruptcy if a major event happens.

Obamacare didn't solve either of those problems (cost or access for all), and the Republicans have made it even worse (while offering no solutions).

The best answer to these problems would be a single-payer Medicare-For-All health care system with the authority to negotiate prices with drug companies and health care providers. But with Trump in the White House and the Republicans still controlling the Senate, that is not going to happen.

The Democrats in the next Congress will try to patch up Obamacare to make it work a little better, but the Senate will probably kill anything that offers real change (since Senate Republicans don't think health care is a right -- just a product to be sold to those who can afford it).

I doubt that either the cost or access problems will be fixed in the next couple of years. That makes it very important to put a Democrat in the White House, and Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, in 2020.  Until that happens, no real substantive changes will be made.

Stuck In The 19th Century

Political Cartoon is by Darrin Bell at

Voters Didn't Think Congress Cared About Needs Of Most

Many Pundits have tried to explain why Americans voted against the Republicans in the recent election. Donald Trump said it was because the Republicans who lost didn't embrace him enough. Others saw it as a vote against Trump. But perhaps the most cogent explanation is illustrated in the chart above.

The voters just did not think the GOP-controlled Congress had their best interests at heart. They believed that Congress protected only a few groups, while ignoring the needs of most Americans.

They did think Congress cared about the interests of men (by a 20 point margin), cared about the interests of Whites (by an 18 point margin), and cared about the wealthy (by a 49 point margin).

But they said the GOP Congress did not care about the interests of people like them (by a 37 point margin), of women (by a 24 point margin), of Blacks (by a 27 point margin), of Hispanics (by a 24 point margin), of the working class (by a 41 point margin), or the middle class (by a 38 point margin).

They are right, of course. The congressional Republicans care only about protecting the rich, White patriarchy. They really don't care about the plight of other Americans.

The Republicans have two years to change that perception by adopting policies fair to all Americans. But I seriously doubt they will do it. There base won't let them do it. That base cares more for Trump and his divisive policies than they do for the Republican Party -- and that spells doom for the GOP in 2020.

The chart above reflects the results of the new Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between November 25th and 27th of a national sample of 1,500 adults, with a margin of error of 3.1 points.

Selling Out

Political Cartoon is by Matt Wuerker at

Could Beto O'Rourke Be The 2020 Democratic Nominee?

(This photo of Beto O'Rourke was found at

Could the Texas Senate candidate (Beto O'Rourke) who lost to Ted Cruz in the 2018 election be a viable candidate for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president? Is O'Rourke interested in pursuing that nomination? The answer to both of those questions is a resounding "Maybe".

The day after the election, O'Rourke told the media that he was not interested in running for president in 2020. But it seems he may have changed his mind. After reflecting and noticing that there does seem to be some interest in him running, he recently told reporters:

“Amy and I made a decision not to rule anything out.”

And there does seem to be some interest among Democrats outside of Texas. Right after the election, Des Moines Democrats invited O'Rourke to visit them. They want to meet him and decide for themselves if he could be a viable candidate.

And The Hill is reporting that many Obama aides and allies are excited about the possibility of an O'Rourke candidacy, and say they would support him. They point out the similarities between Barack Obama and Beto O'Rourke.

Both are political upstarts with unusual names who seemingly came out of nowhere and inspired thousands upon thousands of people to be part of a movement.

In many ways, say the Obama supporters, O’Rourke is a 2020 version of their former boss.

“That ability to make people feel invested in his campaign and his story does remind me of Obama ‘08,” said David Litt, who served as a speechwriter in the Obama White House. “You see the crowds and the enthusiasm, the kind of movement that isn’t about me but about us.” 

Litt, the author of “Thanks, Obama: My Hopey Changey White House Years,” said O’Rourke, like Obama, is the kind of candidate that inspirers staffers to go the extra mile. 

“They wanted to put in an extra shift or make a dozen phone calls on his behalf or talk to their neighbors because they really believe in him,” he said. “And even when he came up short, everyone felt like they had achieved something great. There are very few people who can inspire that kind of sentiment.” 

Another former Obama aide said O’Rourke, even after losing his Senate bid, has energized the party like no one since the former president. 

“The party hasn’t seen this kind of enthusiasm since Obama,” the aide said. “There isn’t one other potential candidate out there that has people buzzing. And that’s exactly why people supported Obama and why they’ll support Beto.” 

And Dan Pfeiffer at gives four reasons why an O'Rourke candidacy might be just what the Democrats need:

First, the best campaigns marry enthusiasm and organization. Any smart campaign with competent staff can build a top-flight organization, but enthusiasm is not something that can be engineered in a lab. It is spontaneous and only a few candidates are able to inspire it. Enthusiasm means more volunteers, more first time voters, and more grassroots donations.
I have never seen a Senate candidate—including Obama in 2004—inspire the sort of enthusiasm that Beto did in his race. This is about more than Lebron wearing a Beto hat, or Beyonce sporting one on Instagram. It’s about the people all over the country with no connection to Texas with signs in their yards and stickers on their cars. It’s about the hundreds of thousands of people across the country who gave small dollar donations because they were inspired by his candidacy and moved by his pledge not to take PAC money. It’s about the crowds of thousands in small towns that would turn out to hear him speak on rainy weeknights. It’s about the passionate army of volunteers who knocked doors, made calls, and sent text messages. He built a national grassroots movement for change and many of those people are waiting to be called into duty and head to Iowa and New Hampshire. The enthusiasm is real and matters. If Beto were to go to Iowa City next week, I am confident he would draw a crowd three times larger than any candidate has since Obama first stumped there.
Second, despite losing his Senate race, Beto has a very strong case to make that he can put together a winning coalition. Democrats are engaged in a never-ending, emphatically stupid, ill-informed debate about whether the party should appeal to a growing base or try to court more moderate independent voters. This is a false choice—up until the moment the electoral college is abolished, the only way a Democrat can piece together the 270 votes necessary to win the White House is do both. Our nominee needs to be able to excite first time and periodic voters to turn out AND win over independent voters, particularly in the exurban and rural counties that turned Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania from Obama blue to Trump red. This was the formula Beto used to do better than any Democrat has done in Texas in decades. According to exit polls, first time voters made up one-fifth of the electorate and went for Beto by 14 points. Beto’s successful progressive appeal to the base didn’t turn off the middle—he did 12 points better with independents than Hillary Clinton did in 2016. That wasn’t enough to win in Texas, but if he even came close to repeating that performance nation-wide, he would deliver every state Obama won in 2012, and could make Arizona, North Carolina, and Georgia competitive.
Third, the DNC has played with the primary calendar multiple ways this century and yet Iowa is still kingmaker. Victory in Iowa propelled Al Gore, John Kerry, Obama, and Hillary Clinton to their nominations, and Beto seems tailor-made for the state. The O’Rourke campaign in Texas was essentially an Iowa Caucus campaign on a grander scale. He visited every one of Texas’s 254 counties. He held town halls every night and seemed to enjoy the back and forth with voters that is key to a successful Iowa campaign. If you can win in Iowa, you can win the White House, and Beto just proved he has what it takes to win in Iowa.
Finally, Democrats have fallen behind Republicans on the campaign-innovation curve—it’s a key reason we lost in 2016. But a Beto O’Rourke presidential campaign has the potential to change this. Like Obama’s 2008 campaign, Beto’s Senate campaign felt different because it was different. He didn’t hire a pollster. He spoke like an actual human instead of an AI-generated amalgamation of focus grouped talking points and consultant approved buzzwords like “fight” and “everyday Americans.” He spent his money on digital advertising rather than dump it into the black hole of TV ads that fatten consultant pockets more than they inform voters; and he communicated with voters in innovative ways. By live-streaming so much content, Beto was able to tell his own story directly to the voters without filtering it through the funhouse mirrors of the legacy media. Tens of millions of people watched Beto’s impassioned defense of NFL players exercising their right to protest, taking his message directly to the people, instead of relying on the mainstream media or political Twitter to do the job for him. If Democrats run the same old campaign, using the same tired and outdated tactics, we will certainly lose to Trump. Our nominee must have the courage to run a different kind of campaign. Beto has demonstrated that courage.

The Denier

Political Cartoon is by Julius Hansen at


Wednesday, November 28, 2018


Mississippi Whites Shame Their State And This Country

(Photo of Cindy Hyde-Smith is from

Cindy Hyde-Smith is a racist, and that was obvious to Mississippi voters (and the nation).

Her remark about happily sitting on the front row of a public hanging made that clear (in a state with a long and sick history of lynching Blacks). She did later say she was sorry that people were offended by her remark, but never apologized for making the remark -- a dog whistle to racist voters that she was one of them.

She also had her picture taken wearing a Confederate cap, and called the Confederacy the brightest period in Mississippi's history.

And she attended a segregated private school, and sent her child to a segregated private school.

There is no doubt of her racist leanings. On Tuesday, a significant majority of whites in Mississippi elected her to represent them in the U.S. Senate.

I'm sure many of those who voted for her will deny they are racists. They are wrong. Actions speak louder that weak protestations. And anyone who votes for a candidate that is racist, is a racist.

The white voters in Mississippi made it clear that racism is alive and well in the United States. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Still Racist

Political Cartoon is by Benjamin Slyngstad at

Trump Has Lied Repeatedly About Refugees At The Border

(Photo of Central American refugees being gassed at the border, from Business Insider, is by Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters).

Donald Trump continues to try and scare Americans into supporting his immigration measures. He wants Americans to believe these people pose a danger -- probably thinking this will get people to support his needless and expensive border wall. But to do that, he has told a number of lies.

He has said these people are dangerous (criminals, gang members, terrorists). There is absolutely no proof that is true. These are people trying to escape a dangerous situation in their own country, or trying to find a decent future for their families.

He has said the refugees had to be tear-gassed because they were throwing rocks/bottles at immigration officer, and had seriously injured some officers. Not true. Those officers wore helmets, jackets, and carried shields. None received any serious injury.

He has said the immigration officials used a weaker type of tear gas against the refugees, and it posed no danger. Not true. The immigration officials only have one type of tear gas, and it can pose a danger to people -- especially young children (and there were children being gassed).

But perhaps the biggest lie he's told is that these refugees were trying to enter the United States illegally. That lie ignores U.S. law. It is NOT illegal to enter the United States and request refugee status -- and that is exactly what these people were doing. They were not trying to sneak into the country, but going to an official border crossing to turn themselves in and ask for asylum. That is their right, and that request should be decided by an immigration judge.

Trump is just demonstrating his desire for a white America. Note that this kind of action is not taken against white individuals from Canada or Europe (even those who enter to stay without the required documentation). Trump's lies about these refugees just expose him for what he is -- a racist.


Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at

Public Says Trump Has Divided U.S. & 2019 Won't Improve

These charts reflect the results of a recent Monmouth University Poll -- done between November 9th and 12th of a national sample of 802 adults, with a margin of error of 3.5 points.

Is Donald Trump the "great uniter" that he promised to be in the 2016 campaign? Most Americans say NO! About 62% of adults say the country has become more divided under Trump, while only 11% say it's become more united.

And they don't think it will get any better in the coming year. About 74% say it won't get better in 2019 (with 34% saying it will get even worse, while 40% say nothing will change). Only 21% thinks the country will become more united next year.


Political Cartoon is by Gary Huck at

Economy Is Not Good For Most -- And Soon Could Get Worse

Trump and the Republicans were perplexed when American voters rejected them in the recent election. They bragged about the "great economy", and were sure that the economy would save them in the election. They were obviously wrong (since over 53% voted for Democrats, and only 45% for Republicans). Why did this happen? After all, a good and growing economy normally helps the party in power in elections.

The reason is that the "great economy" was only helping a small percentage of Americans -- the rich. Most Americans are not getting a share of the growing economy -- and they know it. The charts above can help explain what is happening.

The top chart shows the growth of weekly worker wages (in constant dollars). Note that while the rich and corporations are enjoying record incomes and profits, it is not being shared with workers. In the last decade, worker wages have barely risen. And the second chart shows that the gain in wages is is not real. Although the wages rose somewhat, the amount of goods and services that wage will buy has not risen. In other words, workers are no better off than they were many years ago. The third chart shows where the money is going. While the workers share of the nation's income has dropped sharply, the business share of that income has risen. Increased productivity is not being shared with workers (as it once was).

This is due to the Republican economic policy which favors the rich. They still seem to believe that if the rich are given more (as in the recent tax cut), that will benefit everyone. It doesn't. Nothing "trickles down" from the rich to everyone else.

But it gets worse. Not only does the failed GOP policy benefit only the rich, but it sets the economy up for disaster. These same policies led to the Great Depression, and the Great Recession -- and it soon could lead to another economic crash (at least as bad as the one in 2007, and maybe as bad as 1929).

Here is how former Labor Secretary Robert Reich describes it on his blog:

Sorry to deliver the news, but it’s time to worry about the next crash. 
The combination of stagnant wages with most economic gains going to the top is once again endangering the economy.  
Most Americans are still living in the shadow of the Great Recession that started in December 2007 and officially ended in June 2009. More have jobs, to be sure. But they haven’t seen any rise in their wages, adjusted for inflation.
Many are worse off due to the escalating costs of housing, healthcare, and education. And the value of whatever assets they own is less than in 2007.Which suggests we’re careening toward the same sort of crash we had then, and possibly as bad as 1929.
Clear away the financial rubble from those two former crashes and you’d see they both followed upon widening imbalances between the capacity of most people to buy, and what they as workers could produce. Each of these imbalances finally tipped the economy over.
The same imbalance has been growing again. The richest 1 percent of Americans now takes home about 20 percent of total income, and owns over 40 percent of the nation’s wealth.
These are close to the peaks of 1928 and 2007. 
The underlying problem isn’t that Americans have been living beyond their means. It’s that their means haven’t been keeping up with the growing economy. Most gains have gone to the top.
But the rich only spend a small fraction of what they earn. The economy depends on the spending of middle and working class families.
By the first quarter of this year, household debt was at an all-time high of $13.2 trillion. Almost 80 percent of Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck. 
It was similar in the years leading up to the crash of 2007. Between 1983 and 2007, household debt soared while most economic gains went to the top. If the majority of households had taken home a larger share, they wouldn’t have needed to go so deeply into debt.
Similarly, between 1913 and 1928, the ratio of personal debt to the total national economy nearly doubled. After the 1929 crash, the government invented new ways to boost wages – Social Security, unemployment insurance, overtime pay, a minimum wage, the requirement that employers bargain with labor unions, and, finally, a full-employment program called World War II.
After the 2007 crash, the government bailed out the banks and pumped enough money into the economy to contain the slide. But apart from the Affordable Care Act, nothing was done to address the underlying problem of stagnant wages.
Trump and his Republican enablers are now reversing regulations put in place to stop Wall Street’s excessively risky lending.
But Trump’s real contributions to the next crash are his sabotage of the Affordable Care Act, rollback of overtime pay, burdens on labor organizing, tax reductions for corporations and the wealthy but not for most workers, cuts in programs for the poor, and proposed cuts in Medicare and Medicaid – all of which put more stress on the paychecks of most Americans.
Ten years after the start of the Great Recession, it’s important to understand that the real root of the collapse wasn’t a banking crisis. It was the growing imbalance between consumer spending and total output – brought on by stagnant wages and widening inequality.
That imbalance is back. Watch your wallets. 

No Way To Win

Political Cartoon is by David Horsey at The Seattle Times.

Trump Is Enabling Murderers

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Silence = Betrayal

Ball Is Back In Abbott's Court On Racist Capitol Plaque

(This photo is by John Jordan for The Texas Tribune.)

The plaque above has been prominently displayed in the Texas State Capitol for the last six decades. It should be removed. First, because it contains at least two obvious lies -- that the Civil War was not a rebellion (it clearly was), and that it was not fought to sustain slavery (it clearly was). Second, because the obviously racist plaque is offensive to many Texans (and visitors to the state) -- not just minorities, but all people who believe in equality and diversity.

But the Texas governor (Gregg Abbott) and the Texas Legislature (mostly Republican) have been playing a political game over who has the authority to remove the plaque. Abbott says it must be done by a vote in the legislature. The legislature says Abbott must remove it through the Texas State Preservation Board (which he controls).

Neither Abbott nor the Republican-controlled legislature wants to offend the racists in their party's base. The 2018 election scared them, and they don't want to run off any voters they might need to fend off the growing electoral power of Democrats in Texas.

A ruling by the state's Attorney General seems to have put the ball back in Abbott's court. The Attorney General published a ruling last Wednesday that said Abbott's Preservation Board has the authority to remove the plaque without legislative action.

The truth is that either Abbott or the legislature could remove the plaque -- and should do so as soon as possible. Will either do it? I doubt it. They love racist votes more than they honor truth and decency.

How much longer will decent Texans be shamed by that vile and odious plaque?

The Wall

Political Cartoon is by Marian Kamensky at

Public Doesn't Expect Trump And Democrats To Cooperate

Americans voted overwhelmingly for Democrats in the congressional races -- with about 9 million more votes for Democrats than Republicans (53.2% for Democrats to 45.1% for Republicans). Knowing that a Republican will be in the White House until the next election, it is clear that the voters opted for a divided government.

Why? Part of it is that they just didn't like Trump or his agenda. Another part is the abject failure of congressional Republicans to rein in the worst of Trump's actions and rhetoric.

But the voters didn't elect the Democrats to encourage cooperation between Trump and Congress. They would like to see some compromise for the good of the country, but they don't expect it. Only 33% say Trump will cooperate with Democrats, and only 28% say Democrats will cooperate with Trump. Americans expect two years of gridlock, and evidently finds that preferable to allowing Trump to have free rein for two more years.

Things were much different back in 2006, when George W. Bush faced an influx of Democrats in Congress. Things were not quite so rabidly partisan then. About 52% said Bush would cooperate with Democrats and 48% said Democrats would cooperate with Bush.

The charts above reflect the results of a recent Gallup Poll -- done between November 13th and 18th of a national sample of 1,499 adults, with a 3 point margin of error.


From the Cook Report:

Public Hanging

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

Right-Wing Terrorist Violence Is Increasing In The U.S.

Terrorist violence is wrong -- no matter who does it. Republicans would like people to believe that terrorism is done by muslim extremists and left-wing radicals. They are amazingly silent about the terrorist acts of right-wingers.

They refuse to even use the word terrorism when it comes to right-wingers doing the violence -- instead blaming mental illness.

I understand why they do this. It's because those right-wingers are in the Republican base -- and they (and their friends) vote for Republicans. In fact, a large portion of the GOP base has racist tendencies, and GOP officials don't want to anger them.

But whether Republicans want to admit it or not, the truth is that right-wing terrorist violence is growing in the United States -- and growing faster than either left-wing or muslim violence.

Here is the truth about the growing right-wing violence, in part of an article by Wesley Lowery, Kimberly Kindy, and Andrew Ba Tran in The Washington Post.

Over the past decade, attackers motivated by right-wing political ideologies have committed dozens of shootings, bombings and other acts of violence, far more than any other category of domestic extremist, according to a Washington Post analysis of data on global terrorism. While the data show a decades-long drop-off in violence by left-wing groups, violence by white supremacists and other far-right attackers has been on the rise since Barack Obama’s presidency — and has surged since President Trump took office.

This year has been especially deadly.Just last month, 13 people died in two incidents: AKentucky gunman attempted to enter a historically black church, police say, then shot and killed two black patrons in a nearby grocery store. And an anti-Semitic loner who had expressed anger about a caravan of Central American refugees that Trump termed an “invasion” has been charged with gunning down 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue, the deadliest act of anti-Semitic violence in U.S. history.

This month brought two more bodies: A military veteran who had railed online against women and blacks opened fire in a Tallahassee yoga studio, killing two women and wounding five. All told, researchers say at least 20 people have died this year in suspected right-wing attacks. . . .

The uptick in right-wing terrorism comes amid a renewed national focus on hate-driven violence. The Anti-Defamation League documented a 57 percent surge in anti-Semitic incidents in 2017, especially at schools and on college campuses. Meanwhile, FBI statistics released this monthshow reported hate crimes jumped 17 percent last year.

Among them was the vehicle attack in August 2017 that killed one person and injured 35 others protesting a rally by white supremacists in Charlottesville. The accused driver, James Alex Fields Jr., 21, faces up to life in prison for multiple charges in a trial set to beginMonday.

Terrorism researchers say right-wing violence sprouted alongside white anxiety about Obama’s presidency and has accelerated in the Trump era. Trump and his aides have continuously denied that he has contributed to the rise in violence. But experts say right-wing extremists perceive the president as offering them tacit support for their cause.

After the violence in Charlottesville, for example, Trump asserted that “both sides” were equally to blame and that there were “some very fine people” among the far-right demonstrators, many of whom wore “Make America Great Again” caps while chanting racist and anti-Semitic slogans.

More recently, Trump rallied crowds in the run-up to the Nov. 6 midterm elections with incendiary rhetoric about Muslims and immigrants, terming a caravan of Central American refugees an “invasion” and ordering active-duty troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.

“If you have politicians saying things like our nation is under attack, that there are these marauding bands of immigrants coming into the country, that plays into this right-wing narrative. They begin to think it’s okay to use violence,” said Gary LaFree, criminology chairman at the University of Maryland and founding director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, or START.

Frank Figliuzzi, a former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence, said political leaders, “from the White House down, used to serve as a check on conduct and speech that was abhorrent to most people. I see that eroding.”
“The current political rhetoric is at least enabling, and certainly not discouraging, violence,” Figliuzzi said. . . .
Of 263 incidents of domestic terrorism between 2010 and the end of 2017, a third — 92 — were committed by right-wing attackers, according to The Post’s analysis. Another third were committed by attackers whose motives were either unknown or not clearly political.
Islamist terrorists committed 38 attacks. And left-wing attackers were responsible for 34 attacks — about 13 percent.