Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Wisdom From Mandela

About 51% of Voters Say Donald Trump Is A Racist

This chart reflects the results of the new Quinnipiac University Poll -- done between July 25th and 28th of a national sample of 1,306 voters, with a margin of error of 3.4 points.

Personally, I am shocked that it's only 51% of voters that think Donald Trump is a racist. He doesn't even seriously try to hide it anymore. His policies, tweets, and speeches leave no doubt of his racism.

He seems to think that racist voters and voters willing to put up with racism (which actually makes them racists also) will flock to the polls and re-elect him. I think he's wrong, and I hope decent people will make sure he doesn't get a second term.

Are you happy having a racist occupying our White House? If not, then it is your duty to make sure you vote in November of 2020. Evict the racist!

The Accomplice

Political Cartoon is by Gary Huck at

Trump Is The Most Unpopular Of The Modern Presidents

The popularity of American presidents goes up and down with what happens during their term (and how they deal with it). For instance, Jimmy Carter started as a very popular president, but gas prices and the Iran hostage situation took their toll. And George W. Bush started with very tenuous approval, but 9/11 and his handling of it made him very popular (at least for a while -- before the recession tanked his approval).

But here's an interesting fact. Every modern president (those holding office since World War II) has enjoyed majority job approval at some point of his presidency. That is, every president but one -- Donald Trump. Donald Trump has never enjoyed a single day of majority job approval from the public. He is, to put it bluntly, the most unpopular of all the modern presidents.

The Fourth Little Pig

Political Cartoon is by Mike Stanfill at

Acting Racist While Denying Racism Is An American Tradition

Donald Trump says he is not a racist -- doesn't have a racist bone in his body. Republicans say they are not racist, and neither is their party. It doesn't stop there. The Ku Klux Klan says it is not racist. White supremacists say they are not racist.

Of course, none of them are telling the truth. It's just how racism has always been done in the United States. And it's especially true today. Racists know their sick and perverted belief is not popular with decent people, so they couch it in other terms and deny the reality. But that changes nothing. Anyone who speaks and acts like a racist, or supports racists, is a racist -- no matter what they might claim.

Racists denying their racism is an American tradition. It's as American as baseball and apple pie. Here is part of an article on this by Michael Tesler in The Washington Post:

To understand this debate about Trump and racism, it’s important to put it in historical perspective. It is but one episode in a long history of American denials of the extent and consequences of prejudice, racial discrimination, segregation, disenfranchisement and persecution. Whites have done so even when the racism was virtually undeniable. . . .

The Jim Crow era, from the 1870s through the 1950s, was a period of explicit, legally sanctioned racism. Racial segregation was enforced by law for decades. Black people were subjected to systematic discrimination, property deprivation, disenfranchisement and even violent death at the hands of Southern racists.

But remarkably, when pollsters asked white Americans about the situation of blacks, most still thought that African Americans were being treated fairly. In 1944, 1946 and 1956, the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) asked Americans, “Do you think most [N]egroes in the United States are being treated fairly or unfairly?” The graph below shows that at least 60 percent of whites said that most blacks were treated fairly.

By contrast, only 11 percent of African Americans said that blacks were treated fairly in 1956.

How could so many white people think this? One simple reason is that most whites at that time had racist attitudes themselves, such as opposing interracial marriage. The most prejudiced whites have always been the least likely to acknowledge the harmful effects of racism and discrimination against African Americans. This is exemplified in a figure like former Alabama governor George Wallace, who once infamously proclaimed, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever” — and didn’t even considerhimself racist in the 1960s. (He would later reject this view and apologize.)

The pattern of prejudiced whites denying racism is still true today. In a 2018 Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES) survey, 53 percent of whites said that blacks didn’t face a lot of discrimination. Once again, this attitude is especially prevalent among those with more prejudiced attitudes toward black people.

In this survey, whites who said they would prefer to see their close relatives marry other whites, as well as whites who rated whites more favorably than blacks, were much less likely to say that there is a lot of discrimination against African Americans.

Of course, many things have changed since Jim Crow. One especially important difference is that hostility toward African Americans and the denial of racial discrimination was distributed across both parties in the 1950s. In the South, most whites were Democrats, after all.

Over time, however, and particularly in the past several years, Democrats and Republicans have moved further apart on questions of race. This gap is visible in how Democrats and Republicans think about racism as well.

Take one other seemingly clear-cut example of racism: the use of the n-word to describe African Americans. Polls show that Democrats and Republicans increasingly disagree on whether the n-word is offensive. Indeed, the percentage of Republicans who consider the word offensive or unacceptable has actually declined in recent years.

As of 2018, only 33 percent of self-reported Trump voters said that it was racist for whites to use the n-word, compared to 86 percent of Clinton voters.

We find this same partisan divide about other racial issues, including interracial marriage. In the 2018 CCES survey, only 23 percent of Trump voters disagreed with the statement, “I prefer my close relatives marry spouses of their same race,” compared to 63 percent of Clinton voters.

These gaps help explain why, overall, Trump voters think that discrimination against whites is more pervasive in the U.S. than discrimination against blacks.

To be sure, thinking that African Americans don’t face a lot of discrimination today, or saying that Trump’s racist tweets have nothing to do with race, is not the same as believing blacks were treated fairly in the Jim Crow era. But prejudiced whites have always denied the effects of racism and discrimination to justify and legitimize pervasive racial inequality — and this pattern holds today.

Failure To Assimilate

Political Cartoon is by Jen Sorensen at

A Reminder

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Another Lie About Marijuana Exposed

The Last Poll Before The Second Round Of Debates

This chart reflects the results of the latest Quinnipiac University Poll. It was done between July 25th and 28th of a national sample of 579 Democrats and Democratic Leaners, and has a margin of error of 5.1 points.

It shows Joe Biden continues to have a large lead over the field of candidates. He is 19 points over second place Elizabeth Warren, 22 points over Kamala Harris, and 23 points over Bernie Sanders.

Most interesting is the race between Warren and Sanders. Sanders has slipped down to fourth, while Warren has clawed her way up into second place.

How important is this second debate? Probably not real important for the leaders (Biden, Warren, Harris, Sanders, and Buttigieg). They will have other debates and plenty of time to try and make the case for their candidacy.

But it is critically important for the other 20 candidates. They are fighting tooth-and-nail just to keep their campaigns alive -- and if they don't break out in this second debate (pull themselves up among the leaders), they may not even be participating in the third debate. This is make or break time for them, and it wouldn't surprise me if the field started to shrink pretty soon. I think at least a dozen or more of these candidates will be out before the end of September.

NOTE -- the zeros beside some of the candidates means they did not get enough support to register as at least 1%.

Racist Tweeter

Political Cartoon is by Michael de Adder at

The Mass Shootings Continue As Congress Does Nothing

The photo at right is from It is of Santino William Legan -- the young white supremacist sympathizer who shot up the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California. He killed three people -- a six year old boy, a thirteen year old girl, and a 22 year old man. Several more people were injured.

It was the 245th mass shooting in the United States this year -- and one more (in D.C.) has occurred since then, raising the total to 246. Since we are only 210 days into this year, that means there are more than one mass shooting every day. (With a mass shooting being defined as at least four people being shot.)

Will Congress spring into action? Once again, they are sending thoughts and prayers. In other words, they don't plan on doing anything at all to stop the epidemic of gun violence in this country. I'm talking about the congressional Republicans. Democrats would like to pass some sensible and constitutional gun laws, and they've started. The Democratic House passed a bill to plug the holes in the background check law for gun purchases, but the Republican Senate refuses to debate or vote on the bill.

This is not political cowardice. The voting public wants some sensible restrictions. A significant majority supports banning assault-style weapons (which the Gilroy shooter used, buying it in Nevada on July 9th), and an overwhelming majority (about 90%) supports requiring a background check on all gun sales (including sales between private individuals). No, the GOP is just worried they will lose the campaign money coming from the NRA and gun manufacturers.

So, the deaths from guns will continue unabated. There will likely be around 400 mass shootings by the end of this year, and about 40,000 gun deaths. Many of those shootings and deaths don't have to happen. They will happen because Congress won't do anything to stop them.

But Congress will send thoughts and prayers -- neither of which will do the victims (or future victims) any good at all.

Racist Orange Pig

Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at

Trump Has Made It Very Clear - He Is A RACIST!

Donald Trump has recently denied his racism -- saying he doesn't have a racist bone in his body. It was a lie, but one we hear from nearly all racists. Racists know that decent people abhor their sick ideology, so they deny it and try to couch it in more acceptable terms. But disguised racism is still racism.

I don't know why Trump even bothers to deny it anymore. His latest tweets and actions, combined with those in the past, have removed all doubt -- and a majority of American are now convinced he is a racist (as has been shown in several respectable polls).

Charles M. Blow has written an excellent piece on Trump's racism in The New York Times. Here is some of what he wrote:

It seems maddeningly repetitive to have to return time and again to the fact that Donald Trump is a racist, but it must be done. It must be done because it is a foundational character issue, one that supersedes and informs many others, in much the same way that his sexism and xenophobia does.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted that Representative Elijah Cummings’s district “is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess,” a “very dangerous & filthy place” and “No human being would want to live there.” Cummings is black, as are most people in his district.
This talk of infestation is telling, because he only seems to apply it to issues concerning black and brown people. He has sniped about the “Ebola infested areas of Africa.” He has called Congressman John Lewis’s Atlanta district “crime infested” as well as telling him to focus on “the burning and crime infested inner-cities of the U.S.” He has called sanctuary cities a “crime infested & breeding concept.” He has talked about how “illegal immigrants” will “pour into and infest our Country.” He has called the presence of the MS-13 gang members “in certain parts of our country” an “infestation.”
None of this is about crime as a discrete phenomenon, but rather about inextricably linking criminality to blackness. White supremacy isn’t necessarily about rendering white people as superhuman; it is just as often about rendering nonwhite people as subhuman. Either way the hierarchy is established, with whiteness assuming the superior position.

A survey of Trump’s tweets reveals that his attachment of criminality to populations is almost exclusively to black and brown people and to “inner cities,” an urban euphemism for black and brown neighborhoods.

Trump has repeatedly made clear his view, from the Central Park Five case to a series of tweets he published in 2013, writing: “Sadly, the overwhelming amount of violent crime in our major cities is committed by blacks and hispanics — a tough subject — must be discussed.”. . .
Furthermore, there is nothing benign in Trump’s language. Infestations justify exterminations. There is a reason that Martin Luther King Jr. said, “In the final analysis, racism is evil because its ultimate logic is genocide.” The mouth that demeans may not always be attached to the hand that destroys, but they are most assuredly connected in spirit and in spite.
It would be easy to prosecute a case against Trump on policy, but policies are not at the center of the creature. White supremacy, white nationalism and white patriarchy are.
The core of this man is racist in a way that is so fused to his sense of the world that he is incapable of seeing it as racist. It is instinctual for him to attack people of color. It is instinctual for him to denigrate the places they live and the countries to which they trace their heritage.
He has so bought into the white supremacist narrative that his ideology no longer requires, in his own thinking, a label. For him, this lie of it is just the truth of it, and what is “right” can’t be racist.
This is a means by which racists have operated throughout history, to rescue themselves from association with those who flayed the flesh of the enslaved, who raped the women and sold the children, who released the dogs and aimed the water cannons, who noosed the necks and set ablaze the crosses.
Those demonstrative few, those consumed by hatred and sadism, those were the racists. Not the exponentially larger groups who swallowed and regurgitated a warped view of the world, a doctored view of history, and supposedly damning “facts” without contextualization.
Trump is a racist. Say that out loud. Say it with the profundity that it deserves. That to me is the beginning and the ending of the rationale I need to stand steadfast in my resistance.


Political Cartoon is by Gary Huck at

The Party Of Racism

Monday, July 29, 2019

One Million Individual Donors

Voters Still Have A Very Poor Opinion Of Congress

These charts show the results of the latest Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between July 21st and 23rd of a national sample of 1,212 registered voters, with a margin of error of 2.9 points.

The fact is that voters remain very disappointed in the U.S. Congress. Only about 15% approve of the job Congress is doing, while a whopping 64% disapprove. But those voters don't blame the two parties equally.

While about half disapprove of both parties, the Democrats are viewed more favorably by a larger percentage than the Republicans. About 44% of voters approve of the Democrats in Congress, while only 33% approve of congressional Republicans -- an 11 point difference.

That 11 points is a significant difference, and could be setting up a repeat of the 2018 election (which was disastrous for Republicans) -- especially with a very unpopular president at the top of their ticket.

Whitewash Willie - The Fixer

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

Public: Trump Uses Bad Judgement & Won't Be Re-elected

The charts above reflect the results of the latest Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between July 21st and 23rd of a national sample of 1,500 adults (including 1,212 registered voters). The margin of error for adults is 2.7 points, and for registered voters is 2.9 points.

There are a lot of reasons not to re-elect Donald Trump in 2020, but one of the best can be seen in the top chart -- he exercises mostly bad judgement in the decisions he makes. That's the verdict of both adults and registered voters -- adults by 13 points and registered voters by 11 points. And that perception is shared by every demographic group. None of them have good judgement getting a bigger percentage than bad judgement.

That's probably why all those groups say it is not likely that Trump will be re-elected in 2020 -- including adults by 6 points and registered voters by 10 points.

Racist Wannabe Dictator

Political Cartoon is by Randall Enos at

The Baltimore Sun Reacts To Trump's Racist Slur

(Cartoon image is by Gary Huck at

Donald Trump is a disgusting racist. That's just a fact, and he continues to prove it with racist tweets. His latest victims are Rep. Elijah Cummings and the city of Baltimore. The Baltimore Sun did not take kindly to Trump's racist slur. Here is their scathing editorial in response:

In case anyone missed it, the president of the United States had some choice words to describe Maryland’s 7th congressional district on Saturday morning. Here are the key phrases: “no human being would want to live there,” it is a “very dangerous & filthy place,” “Worst in the USA” and, our personal favorite: It is a “rat and rodent infested mess.” He wasn’t really speaking of the 7th as a whole. He failed to mention Ellicott City, for example, or Baldwin or Monkton or Prettyboy, all of which are contained in the sprawling yet oddly-shaped district that runs from western Howard County to southern Harford County. No, Donald Trump’s wrath was directed at Baltimore and specifically at Rep. Elijah Cummings, the 68-year-old son of a former South Carolina sharecropper who has represented the district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1996.

It’s not hard to see what’s going on here. The congressman has been a thorn in this president’s side, and Mr. Trump sees attacking African American members of Congress as good politics, as it both warms the cockles of the white supremacists who love him and causes so many of the thoughtful people who don’t to scream. President Trump bad-mouthed Baltimore in order to make a point that the border camps are “clean, efficient & well run," which, of course, they are not — unless you are fine with all the overcrowding, squalor, cages and deprivation to be found in what the Department of Homeland Security’s own inspector-general recently called “a ticking time bomb."

In pointing to the 7th, the president wasn’t hoping his supporters would recognize landmarks like Johns Hopkins Hospital, perhaps the nation’s leading medical center. He wasn’t conjuring images of the U.S. Social Security Administration, where they write the checks that so many retired and disabled Americans depend upon. It wasn’t about the beauty of the Inner Harbor or the proud history of Fort McHenry. And it surely wasn’t about the economic standing of a district where the median income is actually above the national average. No, he was returning to an old standby of attacking an African American lawmaker from a majority black district on the most emotional and bigoted of arguments. It was only surprising that there wasn’t room for a few classic phrases like “you people” or “welfare queens” or “crime-ridden ghettos” or a suggestion that the congressman “go back” to where he came from.

This is a president who will happily debase himself at the slightest provocation. And given Mr. Cummings’ criticisms of U.S. border policy, the various investigations he has launched as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, his willingness to call Mr. Trump a racist for his recent attacks on the freshmen congresswomen, and the fact that “Fox & Friends” had recently aired a segment critical of the city, slamming Baltimore must have been irresistible in a Pavlovian way. Fox News rang the bell, the president salivated and his thumbs moved across his cell phone into action.

As heartening as it has been to witness public figures rise to Charm City’s defense on Saturday, from native daughter House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, we would above all remind Mr. Trump that the 7th District, Baltimore included, is part of the United States that he is supposedly governing. The White House has far more power to effect change in this city, for good or ill, than any single member of Congress including Mr. Cummings. If there are problems here, rodents included, they are as much his responsibility as anyone’s, perhaps more because he holds the most powerful office in the land.

Finally, while we would not sink to name-calling in the Trumpian manner — or ruefully point out that he failed to spell the congressman’s name correctly (it’s Cummings, not Cumming) — we would tell the most dishonest man to ever occupy the Oval Office, the mocker of war heroes, the gleeful grabber of women’s private parts, the serial bankrupter of businesses, the useful idiot of Vladimir Putin and the guy who insisted there are “good people” among murderous neo-Nazis that he’s still not fooling most Americans into believing he’s even slightly competent in his current post. Or that he possesses a scintilla of integrity. Better to have some vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one.

Feeding The Pig

Political Cartoon is by John Darkow in the Columbia Missourian.

Moscow Mitch

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Religion Doesn't Make You Good

Is It Time For Medicare-For-All Or A Public Option?

There is currently a debate about whether this country should go to a Medicare-For-All health insurance system (eliminating private insurance and putting everyone on the government program)? And it's not just Bernie Sanders pushing the idea this year. Several other Democratic presidential candidates have also jumped on board. Some though want to go slower, creating a public option for health insurance and giving citizens a choice of whether to sign up for it or purchase private insurance (or get private insurance through their employer).

I personally believe this country, hopefully not too far down the road, will finally wind up with a single-payer, government-run health insurance system (like a Medicare-For-All system). It the only program that would solve the problems with our health care system -- especially cost and coverage for everyone.

But I'm also realistic, and I understand the majority of Americans are not yet ready to completely do away with private insurance -- especially those getting insurance through their employer. And until a significant majority wants Medicare-For-All, it's not going to happen. Currently a majority of registered voters (54%) and Independents (55%) are opposed to Medicare-For-All, and until those groups are on board, it's useless to try and pass such a program.

Progressives should be exasperated though. The public is on board with passing a public option, and giving Americans a choice of the government program or private insurance. And that's halfway to our goal. It probably wouldn't be totally effective in controlling costs, but it could be designed to cover all Americans with health insurance.

If this public option is designed properly, it will become as popular as Medicare currently is. And as many see they can save money with the public option (including employers), the nation will move toward a true Medicare-For-All.

American voters are notoriously moderate for the most part. They want progress, but they want it in steps (so they can be sure it works before going further). Creating a public option for insurance is a step the country is ready for, so that is what should be done right now. It just makes sense.

The charts above reflect the results of a recent NPR / PBS NewsHour / Marist Poll -- done between July 15th and 17th of a national sample of 1,346 registered voters. The margin of error for that sample is 3 points (and for the sub-groups is about 5.4 points).

On 5th Avenue

Political Cartoon is by Gary Huck at

Trump Is Upset That Fox Won't Fake A Poll For Him

The latest Fox News Poll -- done July 21-23 of 1,004 registered voters with a 3 point margin of error -- has Joe Biden beating Trump right now by about 10 points. Trump hit the roof when he saw that, and tweeted his displeasure with Fox News. Evidently, he thinks since Fox News is happy to lie for him on a daily basis, they should also be willing to produce a false poll that makes him happy. He can't stomach reality.

What he doesn't understand is that while Fox News can bend the truth on their broadcasts, they don't control the results of the polling they pay for. The poll is not actually done by Fox News. The actual polling is done by Braun Research, Inc. of New Jersey. And that company, like other respected polling organizations, is not about to destroy their reputation (and their business) just to keep Trump happy.

The truth, whether he likes it or not, is that most Americans don't like him (and want him out of office). If they show up at the polls, and I believe they will, he's going to be out.

Moscow Mitch

Political Cartoon is by Benjamin Slyngstad at

Historical White American Christianity Is Not Biblical

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am an open atheist, and I have been for more than four decades. But it was not always so. I was raised in a fundamentalist christian church, and actually want to a religious college to become a minister. But the more I studied that religion, the less I could believe it, and making things worse was the fact that many (if not most) christians did not follow biblical teachings. Instead they perverted them to justify their own bigotry and beliefs.

And since the election of Donald Trump, it has become even worse. Christians, especially fundamentalists, praise Trump -- a man who has broken nearly every christian value and teaching. The church has been taken over by right-wing politics, and values those politics over biblical values.

Sadly though, as I learned as a young man, this is not new. While it may have become worse with Trump, too many American christians (especially whites) have used their religion to justify their bigotry.

The following is an excellent examination of the failure of white American christians. It was written by Stephen Mattson at Sojourner. It's worth reading.

Following Jesus is political by nature, but maybe no religious group has been more influenced — and co-opted — by political power than white, conservative Christians in America. It’s no surprise that a ruling government set up by and for white Christians retains much of the religion that helped put it into power, but the extremes to which the “Christianity” of white Americans has transformed into a political mouthpiece is alarming.
Although Christians across the political spectrum have all committed wrongdoings, much of conservative white American Christianity has reached a point where the pastors, theologians, and leaders are mercilessly opposed to helping refugees, immigrants, Muslims, women, children, the sick, the poor, LGBTQ individuals, and those suffering in other countries — all for the sake of political control. The apathy, opposition, and even aggressive attacks are an abandonment of Jesus’s commands.
This is not entirely new. During the brutal colonization of this land, most white people who claimed Christianity ruthlessly enforced their power using violence and dehumanization, politically and spiritually rationalizing everything as part of “manifest destiny.”
Later, slave owners would manipulate the Bible to mandate subservience, and white Christendom would continue to apply a mixture of scripture and theology — heavily reinforced with brutality — to maintain control of their financial, political, and social rule.
We don’t need more evidence that shows white conservative Christendom — especially the kind that is built on nationalistic and patriarchal structures — is oppressive. It attacks, silences, and diminishes opposing opinions while simultaneously promoting a nationalistic type of Christianity. White conservative Christianity selfishly prioritizes partisan platforms that favor an oppressive agenda over following Jesus. They forget that Christianity isn’t meant to be exclusively white, male, or American.
“Christian America” was established by those who were almost exclusively white, male, and Christian. It was simultaneously used as a tool to eliminate and subjugate people of color and those who were not white, male, American, or Christian.
Although there were a few exceptions, this kind of Christianity was used as a weapon to maintain dominance over anyone who attempted to upset the status quo. In this way, their Christianity maintained a white supremacist view of humanity where white people were set up to rule.
Hate and racism were so embedded within this religion that the KKK was marketed as a Christian institution, and segregation was endorsed by countless white pastors and their congregations. It’s still so prevalent within white Christianity today that many still refuse to acknowledge systemic racism as a problem. They happily support a president who continually spews racist and xenophobic vitriol, and support policies that continue to be racist and evil.
This false and idolatrous narrative of “American Christianity” is still prevalent today. But the good news is that American white males don’t own Christianity and never will. The message of Jesus — an ethnic minority who was unfairly arrested, incarcerated, and murdered by a ruling empire — is that the love and power of Christ is meant for everyone.
This is why throughout history, despite the horrors committed in Christ’s name, people of every race, gender, and creed have emulated the life of Jesus by loving those around them, freeing them from bondage, righting injustice, empowering the downtrodden, and loving their neighbor as themselves. This is the very essence of Christianity that Westernized Christendom has utterly failed at: loving your neighbor.

Racism Rises Again

Political Cartoon is by Bill Day at


Saturday, July 27, 2019

Teddy Nails It

Voter Perception Of Who The Two Parties Represent

This chart reflects the results of the latest Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between July 21st and 23rd of a national sample of 1,212 registered voters, with a 2.9 point margin of error.

The poll's respondents were asked which party best represents each of several groups. It looks to me like the Democratic Party fared better, and is probably the reason they are favored in electoral polls.

The Republicans were seen as caring more for corporations, rich people, Whites, and men.

The Democrats were seen as caring more for "people like me", workers, families, legal immigrants, undocumented immigrants, the middle class, poor people, Blacks, Hispanics, and women.


Political Cartoon is by Dave Granlund at

Biden Holds His Lead Prior To Second Round Of Debates

This chart reflects the results of the latest Fox News Poll. They question about 450 Democrats and Leaners between July 21st and 23rd. The margin of error was about 4.5 points.

The poll has Joe Biden with a huge lead over other Democrats -- 18 points over Sanders (who was second in support).

Will the debates on July 30th and 31st change these numbers? We shall see.

The Russians Are Coming

Political Cartoon is by Darrin Bell at

Joe Biden Has A Huge Lead In South Carolina

This chart reflects the results of the latest Monmouth University Poll. They questioned 405 South Carolina voters likely to participate in the Democratic primary, and the poll has a margin of error of 4.9 points.

In South Carolina, Joe Biden currently enjoys a massive lead of more than 3 times the support of his closest competitor (Kamala Harris). Biden has the support of 39% of voters, while Harris has 12%, Sanders has 10%, Warren has 9%, and Buttigieg has 5%. No other candidate could top 2%.

The Hater

Political Cartoon is by Joel Pete in the Lexington Herald-Leader.

2016 Russian Hacking Was Far More Pervasive Than Thought

The Senate Intelligence Committee has released the first volume of its report on Russian interference in the 2016 election -- and it found that it was far worse than had been thought. It wasn't just some states that the Russians hacked -- it was all 50 states. And the voting machines used were vulnerable. They don't think actually vote totals were changed, but the Russians continue to interfere, and they might be able to do that in 2020, because most states are still using the same vulnerable election processes.

And sadly, the Republicans in Congress (especially Majority Leader McConnell) is blocking all attempts to enhance the election security.

Here is how Leigh Ann Caldwell, Heidi Przybyla, and Kyle Stewart reported the committee's findings for NBC News:

The Senate Intelligence Committee released abipartisan report Thursday on Russian election interference that found the U.S. election infrastructure was unprepared to combat “extensive activity” by Russia that began in 2014 and carried on at least into 2017.
The report was issued just one day after former special counsel Robert Mueller warned U.S. lawmakers that he believes Russia will seek to interfere again in the 2020 campaign and that “many more countries” are also developing similar capabilities.
“In 2016, the U.S. was unprepared at all levels of government for a concerted attack from a determined foreign adversary on our election infrastructure,” Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement.
The 61-page report — based on interviews with state election officials, Obama administration officials and government and intelligence community officials — is just the first volume of the findings of the committee's investigation. It includes eight pages of recommendations to shore up the country’s election infrastructure to prevent future interference.
The report found that the Russians took advantage of the nation's decentralized voting system, “exploiting seams” between federal oversight and state election systems. It also found that election cybersecurity was “sorely lacking” in 2016 and that federal attempts to warn states about potential security breaches "did not provide enough information or go to the appropriate people."
Election databases weren’t as secure as they should be, according to the report, and aging voting machines with no paper trail were vulnerable.
For instance, in one state, which was not named but identified as “state 7,” the password to the machine was as simple as “ABC123” and the people testing the machines could easily switch the machines into supervisor mode and tamper with the votes to “call the results into question.”
The communication between the Department of Homeland Security to the states in 2016 was insufficient and lacked context, the report notes. Twenty-one states said they found out about possible interference from the media or the Intelligence Committee’s hearing on the topic in 2017. . . .
The committee recommends that states purchase more secure voting machines, including voting machines with a paper trail. It recommends audits of voting machines and security audits.
It also suggests that election cybersecurity needs to be a bigger national priority and that the United States should communicate to other world leaders that an attack on U.S. elections would be seen as a hostile act. . . .
The subsequent volumes of the committee’s investigation will cover the intelligence agencies’ assessment of Russian interference, the Obama administration’s response and the role of social media disinformation campaigns.