Saturday, August 31, 2019

Satire / Bullying

GOP Must Be Destroyed (To Re-Emerge As A Viable Party)

I am a die-hard Democrat. I have never voted for a Republican, and I probably never will. But that doesn't mean I want a one-party system in this country.

Single-party systems have not worked in other countries, and would not work in the United States. Without an opposition party to keep it honest, any political party will eventually go too far and destroy the democracy they are trying to uphold.

While I disagree with many of their policies (especially economic policies), I freely admit the GOP has a proud history. Even Democrats respect such Republican presidents as Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower. And in the past, they have served well as the loyal opposition during Democratic administrations.

Sadly though, that is no longer true. Today's Republican Party is an organization without any real beliefs and policies. They gave up their beliefs and policies to become a cult of personality -- supporting a greedy, dishonest, immoral, and cruel man who also has no beliefs (other than what is good for himself). They can no longer be trusted, because they support a man who is untrustworthy.

Can the party right itself, and return to its proud past? Probably not. They have fallen into the grip of racists and other deplorables who refuse to abide by principles. There is only one way to save the Republican Party. It must be destroyed. They must be punished so severely in the next election that they cannot continue as they are, but must rethink and re-emerge as a party with principles and beliefs.

Here's how columnist Jennifer Rubin put it in an interview on MSNBC:

"It’s not only that Trump has to lose, but that all his enablers have to lose. We have to collectively, in essence, burn down the Republican Party. We have to level them because if there are survivors, if there are people who weather this storm, they will do it again."

"They will take this as confirmation that, ‘Hey, it just pays to ride the waves — look at me, I’ve made it through.’ ... It is our job to hold them accountable, for the rest of their lives."

"What we should be doing is shunning these people. Shunning, shaming these people is a statement of moral indignation that these people are not fit for polite society."

“I think it’s absolutely abhorrent that any institution of higher learning, any news organization, or any entertainment organization that has a news outlet would hire these people." 

She is RIGHT!


Political Cartoon is by Gary Huck at counterpoint.

Trump Lied To The World Press About China Calling Him

“China called last night our top trade people and said, ‘Let’s get back to the table.’ So we will be getting back to the table and I think they want to do something. They have been hurt very badly but they understand this is the right thing to do and I have great respect for it. This is a very positive development for the world. I think we are going to have a deal.”

Those were Trump's words to the press at his G7 press conference. It didn't just come as a surprise to the reporters present -- China was also surprised! The Chinese Foreign Minister said no such calls were made.

Who was telling the truth -- Donald Trump or the Chinese government? Both have been known to lie when it suits their purpose. Well, unsurprisingly, this time it was Donald Trump. Here's what CNN reported:

Trump flashed signs of optimism this week that the trade war could be resolved, saying he's received calls from Chinese officials saying they wanted to restart talks. Though Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin insisted there had been "communication," aides privately conceded the phone calls Trump described didn't happen they way he said they did.
Instead, two officials said Trump was eager to project optimism that might boost markets.
Why would he lie about this? Because he was listening to the talk of world economies softening, and possibly slipping into recession, due to his trade war with China -- and he perceived that he was being blamed for the economic woes.

So what did he do? He did what he always does when he thinks he's in trouble -- HE LIED!

This should not have come as a surprise to anyone. Trump has lied more than 12,000 times since taking office -- an average of 13 lies for every day in office. The truth means nothing to Trump. He says what he thinks will make him look good, and whether it's factual or truthful is never a consideration.

Trump's G7 press conference was just one more example of his dishonesty!

Relationship Problems

Political Cartoon is by Dave Whamond at

Farmers Are Trump's Biggest Supporters - And Biggest Victims

(Cartoon image is by Dave Granlund at

One of the craziest things about Donald Trump's trade war with China is that it has hurt his best supporters the most (farmers). Here's how Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman explains it in his New York Times column:

Donald Trump is unpopular, but he retains the loyalty of some important groups. Among the most loyal are America’s farmers, who are a tiny minority of the population but exert disproportionate political influence because of our electoral system, which gives 3.2 million Iowans as many senators as almost 40 million Californians. According to one recent poll, 71 percent of farmers approve of Trump’s performance — which is down somewhat from previous polling, but remains far above the national average.

Yet farmers are hurting financially. Investors are worried about a possible recession for the economy as a whole, but the farm recession is already here, with falling incomes, rising delinquency rates and surging bankruptcies. And the farm economy’s troubles stem directly from Trump’s policies.

This apparent contradiction — Trump is inflicting the greatest harm on the people who supported him most — isn’t an accident. Farmers’ past support for Trump was predictable: The demography and culture of (white) rural America make it fertile ground for politicians promising to restore traditional society, and especially traditional racial hierarchy. But farmers’ financial distress should also have been predictable: While rural America may dislike and distrust cosmopolitan elites, the U.S. farm economy is hugely dependent on global markets, and it has inevitably been a major victim of the Trumpian trade war.

The questions, looking forward, are whether farmers understood what they were getting themselves into, whether they understand even now that their distress isn’t likely to end anytime soon, and whether economic pain will shake their support for the man who’s causing it.

At one level, it’s not hard to see why farmers supported Trump. Hostility to nonwhite immigrants was central to his campaign, and such hostility tends to be highest in places where there aren’t actually many immigrants. So rural America, with its still tiny immigrant population, was a receptive audience for his fear-mongering. More generally, Making America Great Again — which was basically about setting back the clock racially and culturally — was a message that played well in places that still tend to think of themselves (and are told by politicians to think of themselves) as the Real America, as opposed to the big metropolitan areas where most Americans actually live.

On the other hand, while farm country may be notably lacking in ethnic diversity and feels generally distrustful of globalists, the farm economy is in fact deeply integrated with and dependent on world markets. On the eve of Trump’s trade war, America exported76 percent of its cotton production, 55 percent of its sorghum, half its soybeans, and 46 percent of its wheat.

Overall, U.S. agricultural exports are almost 40 percent of the value of farm production, up from just 15 percent circa 1970. Globalization hurt some parts of U.S. manufacturing, with particularly harsh effects on some small industrial cities. But the rise of China and the growth of world trade have been nothing but good news for farmers.

And here’s the thing: It shouldn’t have been hard to predict that Trumponomics would be bad for farmers. Trump’s desire for a trade war was out in the open from the beginning; protectionism is right up there with racism and anti-environmentalism as one of his core values. And a trade war was bound to hurt farm exports. Did anyone really imagine that China, an economic superpower with its own fierce nationalism, wouldn’t retaliate against U.S. tariffs?

So what were farmers thinking? My guess is that they let the will to believe override their judgment. Trump seemed like their kind of guy. He certainly seemed to share their dislike for urban elites who, they imagined, looked down on people like them. So they convinced themselves that he knew what he was doing, that he would win his trade war and that they would be among the victors sharing the spoils.

Even now many farmers seem to believe that the pain will end any day now, that Trump will soon announce a deal that restores all the old markets and more.

In short, farmers’ support for Trump should be seen as a form of affinity fraud, in which people fall for a con man whom they imagine to be someone like them.

And as is often the case in such frauds, the con man and his associates actually have contempt for their marks. . . .

So what will happen as the trade war drags on? Don’t expect farmers to suddenly exclaim en masse, “Hey, we’ve been had!” Real life doesn’t work that way. But they have, in fact, been had, and they may finally be starting to realize it.


Political Cartoon is by Kevin Kallaugher (KAL) at Counterpoint.


Friday, August 30, 2019

We Should All Be Terrified

Gillibrand Drops Out (And Others Need To Do The Same)

Slowly but surely, the race for the Democratic presidential nomination is winnowing out the candidates who have no chance at securing the nomination.

Some candidates are whining because they couldn't qualify for the third debate to be held in September. They want to blame the DNC for being unfair to them. That's ridiculous. The qualifications the DNC laid down for that debate are low (2% support I four polls and 130,000 individual donors), and anyone who can't meet that should not be in the race.

The latest casualty is Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. She dropped out on Wednesday, saying without being in the next debate she just didn't see a path to winning. But I give her credit -- she didn't try to blame the DNC for her own failure, saying:

 “I think the D.N.C. did the best they could.”

She also said:

“I think that women have a unique ability to bring people together and heal this country. I think a woman nominee would be inspiring and exciting.”
“I will support whoever the nominee is, and I will do whatever it takes to beat Trump.”

It was time for Gillibrand to go, and there are at least 10 others who need to do the same thing. They have no chance to win, and are just wasting everyone's time and their donor's money.

Puerto Rico

Political Cartoon is by Dave Granlund at

NRA / GOP Officials Are On The Wrong Side Of Gun Issues

These charts reflect the results of a new Quinnipiac University Poll -- done between August 21st and 26th of a national sample of 1,422 registered voters, with a margin of error of 3.1 points.

It shows that the NRA and the recalcitrant GOP members of Congress are on the wrong side of the gun issue. While they want to continue to block all efforts to pass stricter gun laws, that is not what a majority of registered voters want.

60% want stricter gun laws
93% want background checks required on all gun purchases
60% want a ban on the sale of assault weapons
80% support "red flag" laws to allow a judge to take guns away from a violent/dangerous person
82% want a license required to be able to buy a gun

In addition, 72% say Congress is not doing enough to control gun violence in this country.

The public wants action. They are sick of the numbers of mass shootings and gun deaths occurring in the United States -- numbers far greater than in any other developed nation.

Lung Disease

Political Cartoon is by Bruce Plante in Tulsa World.

Nearly Half Of Voters Feel Less Safe With Trump In Office

This chart reflects the results of the new Quinnipiac University Poll -- done between August 21st and 26th of a national sample of 1,422 registered voters, with a margin of error of 3.1 points.

Having Donald Trump in charge of our government scares many Americans. Nearly half (46%) of registered voters say they feel less safe with Trump in the White House, while only 26% say they feel safer.

The Profit

Political Cartoon is by Jimmy Margulies at

Public Says Prejudice/Discrimination Still A Serious Problem

These charts reflect the results in a new Quinnipiac University Poll -- done between August 21st and 26th of a national sample of 1,422 registered voters, with a 3.1 point margin of error.

They are pretty self-explanatory. The public knows that prejudice and discrimination are still a serious problem in this country, and they believe that problem has become worse since Trump entered office.

Honorary Gifts For RBG

Political Cartoon is by Adam Zyglis in The Buffalo News.

They Need To Be Reminded

Thursday, August 29, 2019

NOT Anti-Semitism

New Poll Shows Trump In Deep Trouble Electorally

All of these charts reflect the results of the new Quinnipiac University Poll -- done between August 21st and 26th of a national sample of 1,422 registered voters, with a margin of error of 3.1 points.

The top chart shows how Trump would do against the five leading Democrats right now. It's not good. He would lose to Biden by 16 points, to Sanders by 14 points, to Warren by 12 points, to Harris by 11 points, and to Buttigieg by 9 points -- all beyond the poll's margin of error.

How can this be? Don't we have a good economy? Isn't a good economy supposed to benefit the occupant of the White House?

It is a good economy, if you are rich. It's not so good for most workers, and it looks like they are starting to realize it.

Note the charts below. For the first time in a couple of years, a plurality (37%) see the economy as getting worse -- not better. And about half of Americans (49%) currently disapprove of how Trump is handling the economy.

Those numbers will get even worse if his trade war with China sends the country into a recession -- and that is distinctly possible. The business community is getting worried, and so are investors (which is why the stock market has been so chaotic lately. Now this poll shows a lot of others are also starting to worry.

Trump told the world at the G7 that China had made numerous calls to him wanting to make a deal. That was a lie! China says there were NO calls made. In fact, it is starting to look like China has decided to wait until the next election to see if Trump is replaced by someone easier to deal with -- someone that can be trusted to keep their word.

It is starting to look like the economy is not going to be a help to Trump in the next election.

Nasty Vermin

Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at

3 New Polls Show Biden Still In The Lead Among Democrats

This chart reflects the results of the new Quinnipiac University Poll -- done between August 21st and 26th of a national sample of 648 Democrats and Leaners, with a margin of error of 4.6 points.

This chart reflects the results of a new USA Today / Suffolk University Poll -- done between August 20th and 25th of a national sample of 424 registered voters likely to vote in a Democratic primary or caucus, with a margin of error of 4.76 points.

This chart reflects the results of the new Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between August 24th and 27th of a national sample of 570 Democrats and Leaners. No margin of error for this sample was given.

A couple of days ago, I provided you with a Monmouth University Poll that showed Warren (20%), Sanders (20%), and Biden (19%) in a virtual tie for first place in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. I cautioned my readers at that time that I suspected the poll might not be accurate since it had such a small sample of national Democrats and Leaners (less than 300).

Now it looks like my caution was accurate. The poll looks like an outlier. Three new polls have come out with larger sample, and all three show Biden maintains his lead, and Warren in second place. Biden leads Warren by 13 points in the Quinnipiac poll, by 18 points in the Suffolk poll, and by 4 points in the YouGov poll.

Warren leads Sanders by 4 points in Quinnipiac, by 2 points in Suffolk, and by 6 points in YouGov. Harris finished fourth in all three polls, but was unable to register double-digits in any of them.

NOTE -- I only included candidates that scored at least 2 % in the charts above.

Tweeting Buffoon

Political Cartoon is by Andy Marlette in the Pensacola News Journal.

All Four Leading Democrats Would Beat Trump In Michigan

One of the things that put Trump over the top in 2016 was winning Michigan by a razor thin margin. It doesn't look like that will happen in 2020 -- assuming that Democrats can get their voters to the polls. And I think they will. While too many sat on their hands in 2016 (assuming Clinton would win without them), I think the disastrous Trump administration will bring them out in droves in 2020.

And that would be very good for Democrats. A new poll shows all four leading Democratic presidential candidates would beat Donald Trump -- Joe Biden by 10 points, Elizabeth Warren by 6 points, Bernie Sanders by 4 points, and Kamala Harris by 3 points.

The chart above reflects the results of a new EPIC-MRA / Detroit Free Press Poll -- done between August 17th and 21st of 600 active and likely Michigan voters, with a margin of error of 4 points.

The Negotiating Clown

Political Cartoon is by Kevin Siers in The Charlotte Observer.

Trump's New Policy Takes "Cruel & Inhumane" To New Level

It's been obvious to decent people that Trump's immigration policy is cruel and inhumane -- especially regarding immigrants seeking asylum. He seems to believe that cruelty will convince brown-skinned immigrants to not come to the United States -- even though they are doing so to save their lives in many cases.

Now he has taken that cruel and inhumane treatment to new and dizzying heights. He is deporting immigrants who have come to this country to receive life-saving medical treatment -- treatment they cannot get in their country of origin. That deportation is nothing less than a sentence of death.

That's right -- Trump is now killing people to show his racist base how much he hates brown-skinned people (including children)!

Here is how MSNBC reports Trump latest cruel policy:

On MSNBC Tuesday, Rachel Maddow reported on the Trump administration's abrupt ending of the "medical deferred action" program that allows non-citizens to remain in the U.S. to continue receiving life-saving treatment. Families in this program are now being given 33 days to leave the country.

A growing number of families with sick children are receiving notices from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as part of a recent policy change, attorneys said Monday. They are being told that the agency will no longer renew any applications to stay in the U.S. under the  program.

Maddow profiled at least four children who are relying on U.S. medical care to stay alive, and who now have received letters stating they must voluntarily leave the country within 33 days.

“This is not something the Trump administration announced with great fanfare… they didn't make any public pronouncements about getting rid of this program... [But] they’re singling out the families of sick children to facilitate their deaths by sending them to places they can no longer get treatment," said Maddow.

Jonathan Sanchez, who has been getting treatment for cystic fibrosis in Boston over the past three years, is not sure what he will do if he is forced to return to Honduras. The 16-year-old spoke to radio station WBUR in tears, saying,  “If they deny the program, then I’ll need to go back to my country. I will probably die, because in my country there is no treatment for CF (cystic fibrosis)."

“We’ve reached the most inhumane of all of Donald Trump’s policies,” said  Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) at a briefing about the subject at an immigrant center.  

"This was a program that existed on the assumption there was some humanity left in the U.S. government," said Anthony Marino, immigration legal services director of the Irish International Immigrant Center, on MSNBC.

"I don't know how they expect people to pull children from their hospital beds, pull them from life-saving treatment, and go somewhere where they know the child is going to die… and if they don't, they’ll drag them through deportation proceedings."

Planetary Suicide

Political Cartoon is by Emad Hajjaj at

A Stupid Request

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

An Uncouth & Uncivilized Thug

Trump's Net Approval Has Dropped Sharply In Crucial States

The chart above is from the Morning Consult Poll, and was found at It shows the net approval (approval minus disapproval) in 17 states that are crucial to Donald Trump's re-election chances. Most of these are considered battleground states for the 2020 election.

The numbers on the right are Trump's net approval in those states in January of 2017 (as he took office). The numbers on the left is his net approval in July of 2019. Note that his net approval has dropped sharply in all 17 states. Currently in 15 states, he now has a negative net approval. In only two states, has he maintained a positive net approval.

These are terrible net approval numbers, and if he expects to be re-elected, he's going to have to improve them quite a bit.

NOTE -- You can go here to find the approval numbers in all the states.

China Calls

Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at

The NRA Is Losing Its Influence Over Congress

Back in 2008, the NRA had an iron grip on Congress. They had that by doing two things -- grading each senator and representative on their opposition to gun restrictions (giving them a grade from A to F) and then donating campaign money to those given a A.

The charts above are from The New York Times (and they are accompanied in that paper by a very good article). They illustrate how the NRA is losing its influence over Congress.

The top chart shows the number of A's and F's (and other grades) in both 2008 and 2018. Note that in 2008 a majority of Congress received an A rating. In 2018, a majority receives an F rating.

The second chart shows the change over time in the number of A and F ratings. In 2008, about 52.1% of Congress had an A rating and only 33.8% had an F rating. By 2018, only 43.5% had an A rating, while 52.5 now have an F rating.

An A rating denotes those who can be depended on to tote the NRA line. An F rating denotes those who want sensible gun restrictions.

Most Republicans still get an A from the NRA. The shift has come from Democrats. The third chart shows the number of Democrats with ratings of A through F after elections from 2008 to 2018. In 2008, about 67 Democrats had an A rating and 157 had an F rating. By 2018, only 3 Democrats had an A rating, while 243 had an F rating.

The NRA is clearly losing influence in Congress, and most of it comes from Democrats. The NRA no longer controls the House, but now depends on the Senate to block gun legislation (especially Majority Leader "Moscow" Mitch McConnell). You can bet the NRA will be spending heavily to keep the GOP in control of the Senate in 2020. It's their only hope to retain any control over Congress.

This makes it very important for voters to flip the Senate in 2020 to Democratic control. Until that happens, the NRA will retain its control (and block all reasonable and constitutional gun laws).

He Doesn't Measure Up

Political Cartoon is by Jim Morin in the Miami Herald.

Trump Sets Next G7 Meeting As A Money-Maker For Himself

Past presidents have divested themselves of their business ventures to prevent a violation of the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution. They didn't want even the perception that they might be using their elected office for their own monetary gain.

Donald Trump is different. He has refused to divest himself of his business interests. Even worse, he has made sure his businesses make money off the U.S. government (by taking his vacations and time off at facilities he owns, with the government picking up the tab for him and his family, his aides, and his security).

That's not all. Foreign governments make sure to stay at Trump facilities to incur his favor -- especially his expensive Washington hotel.

Now he has gone a step further. He has set the G7 meeting next year at the Trump Doral golf resort (which he owns). All participants, their aides, and their security details will have to pay Trump to stay at the facility he owns.

He claims he doesn't want to make money off the meeting, and won't make any. He's lying! Of course, he will make money from the meeting. He's the owner, and all profits go to him.

Here's how Bernard Condon and Adriana Gomez Licon report Trump's move for the Associated Press:

President Donald Trump was in full sales mode Monday, doing everything but pass out brochures as he touted the features that would make the Doral golf resort the ideal place for the next G-7 Summit — close to the airport, plenty of hotel rooms, separate buildings for every delegation, even top facilities for the media.
There’s just one detail he left out: He owns the place.
Government ethics watchdogs have long railed against the perils of Trump earning money off the presidency and hosting foreign leaders at his properties. But they say Trump’s proposal to bring world leaders to his Miami-area resort takes the conflict of interest to a whole new level because, unlike stays at his Washington, they would have no choice but to spend money at his property.
“It’s ethics violation squared,” said Kathleen Clark of Washington University School of Law in St. Louis.
Added Larry Noble, a former general counsel at the Federal Election Commission, “This is him making it perfectly mandatory that they stay at his resort.”
Trump’s proposal at the current G-7 Summit in Biarritz, France, portrayed the Doral resort in the most glowing terms, even though he said later he was more interested in logistics for the meeting than making money.
“We have a series of magnificent buildings ... very luxurious rooms,” Trump told reporters. “We have incredible conference rooms, incredible restaurants, it’s like — it’s like such a natural.”
Trump’s pitch comes as several lawsuits accusing the president of violating the U.S. Constitution’s emoluments clause, which bans gifts from foreign governments, wind their way through the courts.
It also comes as Doral, by far the biggest revenue generator among the Trump Organization’s 17 golf properties, appears to have taken a hit from Trump’s move into politics.
The trouble began during soon after Trump announced he was running for the presidency in 2015 with a speech that called Mexican immigrants crossing the border illegally rapists and murders. Businesses started cutting ties to the president. The PGA and NASCAR moved events that used to be booked at Doral elsewhere.
Eric Trump, who is overseeing the business with his older brother, Don Jr., told The Associated Press last year that “the Doral is on fire.” But a financial disclosure report filed with the federal government this year showed revenue at the club has barely been growing — up just $1 million to $76 million.
Trump’s financial disclosure also shows he owes a lot of money to Deutsche Bank for the property, which helped him buy it in 2012. As of the end of last year, Trump had two mortgages on the resort, one for more than $50 million, the other for as much as $25 million. . . .
At Monday’s news conference, Trump spoke as if the idea of making money off the summit never entered his mind. In fact, he said, other people were pushing Doral as a venue — not just him. He said the Secret Service and the military have been visiting various sites and appear to have formed a bit of consensus already.
“They went to places all over the country and they came back and they said, ‘This is where we’d like to be,’” Trump said. “It’s not about me. It’s about getting the right location.”
He then added: “I’m not going to make any money. I don’t want to make money. I don’t care about making money.”

Indefinite Detention

Political Cartoon is by Jimmy Margulies at