Monday, September 30, 2019

Want To Make America Great?

Supporting Trump May Cost Republicans In 2020 Election

These charts are from a new ALG Research / GBAO Strategies Poll -- done on September 26th and 27th of a national sample of 1,013 likely voters in the November 2020 general election, with a margin of error of 3.1 points.

It is very likely that the House of Representatives will impeach Donald Trump soon, and that the Republicans in the Senate will vote to keep him in office. I think that would hurt the Republican chances of keeping control in the Senate in 2020.

This poll seems to agree. About 57% want the House to investigate Trump's Ukrainian misdeeds, and 58% say they would be less likely to vote for a Republican that protected Trump after it was proven that he tried to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate the Bidens (which Trump has already admitted doing).


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

Public Was Not Surprised At Trump's Ukrainian Misdeeds

The charts above are from a new ABC News / Ipsos Poll -- done on September 27th and 28th of a national sample of 504 adults, with a 4.8 point margin of error.

It seems that the public knows Donald Trump is a person that plays fast-and-loose with the law. A whopping 83% said they were not surprised that Trump asked a foreign government (Ukraine) for help in the 2020 election by investigating Democrat Joe Biden and his sone. Only a tiny 17% said they were surprised.

And the public also realizes Trump's action was a serious matter. That's what 63% said, while only 36% said it was not serious.

Trump may really have stepped in some deep crap this time -- especially since he has admitted asking the Ukrainian president for the investigations into the Bidens.

The Hat Doesn't Fit

Political Cartoon is by Gary Huck at

New Democratic Polls For Nevada And South Carolina

This chart reflects the results of the new CNN / SSRS Poll -- done between September 22nd and 26th of 324 voters likely to participate in the Nevada Democratic caucus. The margin of error is 7.1 points.

This chart reflects the results of the new CNN / SSRS Poll -- done between September 22nd and 26th of 406 voters likely to participate in the South Carolina Democratic primary. The margin of error is 5.9 points.

According to this poll, Nevada looks like a free-for-all among the three leading Democrats. While Biden and Sanders lead with 22% each, Warren is close behind at 18% -- and considering the large margin of error, the three are in a virtual tie. Everyone else is far behind.

It is much different in South Carolina. Biden leads with 37% -- 21 points ahead of Warren (16%) and 26 points ahead of Sanders (11%). No one else tops 4%.

NOTE -- The charts include only the candidates able to get at least 1% support.

The GOP's Only Hope

Political Cartoon is by Rex A. Jones at

Democrats Are Better For The Economy Than Republicans

There is a myth in our politics that Republicans are better for the economy. The myth says the Republican Party is the fiscally responsible party, while the Democrats are not. The myth paints Democrats as hurting economic growth with "tax and spend" policies, while Republicans encourage it with laissez faire policies. IT IS NOT TRUE! The fact is that the economy (and citizens) do far better under Democratic administrations than Republican administrations.

Here is part of a thought-provoking article by Adam Hartung at

The common viewpoint is that Republicans are good for business, which is good for the economy.  Republican policies - and the more Adam Smith, invisible hand, limited regulation, lassaiz faire the better - are expected to create a robust, healthy, growing economy.  Meanwhile, the common view of Democrat policies is that they too heavily favor regulation and higher taxes which are economy killers.

Well, for those who feel this way it may be time to review the last 80 years of economic history, Bob Deitrick and Lew Godlfarb have done it in a great, easy to read book; "Bulls, Bears and the Ballot Box" (available at Their heavily researched, and footnoted, text brings forth some serious inconsistency between the common viewpoint of America's dominant parties, and the reality of how America has performed since the start of the Great Depression. . . .
This book's authors are to be commended for spending several years, and many thousands of student research assistant man-days, sorting out economic performance from the common viewpoint - and the broad theories upon which much policy has been based.  Their compendium of economic facts is the most illuminating document on economic performance during different administrations, and policies, than anything previously published.
The authors looked at a range of economic metrics including inflation, unemployment, corporate profit growth, stock market performance, household income growth, economy (GDP) growth, months in recession and others.  To their surprise (I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Goldfarb) they discovered that laissez faire policies had far less benefits than expected, and in fact produced almost universal negative economic outcomes for the nation!
From this book loaded with statistical fact tidbits and comparative charts, here are just a few that caused me to realize that my long-term love affair with Milton Friedman's writing and recommended policies in "Free to Choose" were grounded in a theory I long admired, but that simply have proven to be myths when applied!
  • Personal disposable income has grown nearly 6 timesmore under Democratic presidents
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has grown 7 times more under Democratic presidents
  • Corporate profits have grown over 16% more per yearunder Democratic presidents (they actually declinedunder Republicans by an average of 4.53%/year)
  • Average annual compound return on the stock market has been 18 times greater under Democratic presidents (If you invested $100k for 40 years of Republican administrations you had $126k at the end, if you invested $100k for 40 years of Democrat administrations you had $3.9M at the end)
  • Republican presidents added 2.5 times more to the national debt than Democratic presidents
  • The two times the economy steered into the ditch (Great Depression and Great Recession) were during Republican, laissez faire administrations
The "how and why" of these results is explained in the book.  

Putin's Puppet

Political Cartoon is by Mike Stanfill at

The Goal Is Terror

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Question It

Belief In God In The United States

These charts are from a recent CBS News Poll -- done between September 10th and 15th of a national sample of 1,012 adults, with a margin of error of 3 points. They asked respondents about their belief in god. Overall, about 78% said they believed in god -- about 4 points lower than this same poll in 2006.

As the top chart shows, a belief in god has declined by generation. Only 67% of those 18-34 believe in god -- 18 points lower than those over 55.

The South has the highest percentage believing in god (83%), while the West has the lowest percentage (70%).

Belief also varies by political persuasion. About 86% of conservatives believe in god, while only about 65% of liberals believe.

The Fool Performs

Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at

Another Poll Shows Support Growing For Impeachment

These charts reflect the results of the Civiqs Daily Tracking Poll. The top chart shows the support and opposition to impeachment from May 16, 2017 through September 27, 2019. In that period, they questioned 148,419 registered voters.

Note that for several months the public has opposed impeachment. That changed in just the last few days. Currently, about 49% of registered voters support impeachment while 45% oppose it.

The second chart shows the demographic breakdown of current support and opposition. Six groups (women, 18-34, 35-49, Black, Hispanic, Other race/ethnicity) support impeaching Trump. Four groups (men, 50-64, 65+, Whites) oppose impeachment.

"Foreign" Help Needed

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

Trump Knew About Russia Interference - And Didn't Care

It has bothered Americans that care about our laws and Constitution that Donald Trump didn't believe the Russians interfered in our 2016 presidential election. When he met with Putin, he told the media that he believed Putin's denials of interference -- in spite of every American intelligence service saying the Russians did interfere.

Now we learn that it is much worse than we thought. Trump did know (and accept) that the Russians interfered. He just did not care! When he met with the Russian Foreign Minister and Ambassador in 2017, he told them that he was not concerned with their interference in the 2016 election. That statement gave them the green light to continue their interference in our electoral process.

It has become obvious that Trump only cares about one thing -- Donald Trump. The country, and it's democratic processes, come second to whatever Trump thinks is good for himself. He likes that the Russians helped him to get elected in 2016, and he wants them to do the same in 2020. Our laws forbidding foreign help in our elections means nothing to Trump.

And it's not just the Russians he wants help from. We now know he tried to get the Ukrainian government to help also -- by supplying dirt on Joe Biden (whether true or not).

Trump is not just an ignorant fool. He is a danger to our democracy. He must be IMPEACHED!

Desk Trays

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

More Young Heroes Who Are Leading Change

With each passing day, I become prouder of the young generation. Many of them are stepping up and trying to change our world for the better -- and I think they will succeed. A few days ago, I posted about four of these young leaders (Greta Thunberg, Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Malala Yousafzai). Now brings us three more young heroes we should know about. Here is what they had to say about them:

Autumn Peltier
Autumn Peltier is an internationally recognized Canadian water activist. She is a member of the Wikwemikong First Nation, and has been been fighting for water rights since she was eight years old. The Anishinaabe teen, who is now 15, was inspired by her great aunt Josephine Mandamin, who passionately advocated for the protection of the Great Lakes until her death earlier this year. Autumn has taken over her late aunt’s role as water commissioner and now represents 40 First Nations communities across Canada.
"No one should have to worry if the water is clean or if they will run out of water," Autumn said during her speech to the UN General Assembly in 2018. "No child should grow up not knowing what clean water is, or never know what running water is.”
Mari Copeny
Mari Copeny might be better known by her nickname Little Miss Flint, because of her work bringing attention to Flint, Michigan’s ongoing water crisis. When she was just eight years old, she wrote to President Barack Obama asking if he would come to meet with her and others in her community, who were affected by the contaminated water. The meeting resulted in $100 million in grants to repair the water system.
Now, at 12 years old, Little Miss Flint continues to advocate for her community and the environment. Since 2016, Mari has worked with the nonprofit organization Pack Your Back to help over 25,000 children with donations for everything from school supplies to clean water.
Xiye Bastida
Xiye Bastida is a 17-year-old climate activist based in New York City. Raised in Mexico, Xiye saw first-hand the effects of climate change, as her hometown experienced extreme droughts and flooding. After relocating to New York four years ago and seeing the damage done by Hurricane Sandy, she knew she had to do something. Channeling her indigenous roots, Xiye hopes to inspire others to care for the Earth.
“People say the climate movement started decades ago, but I see it as indigenous people protecting Earth thousands of years ago,” she told PBS . “We need to bring [this philosophy] back and weave it into today’s society. People are here not to take over life, but to take care of it. It shouldn’t be ‘we the people.’ It should be ‘we the planet.’”
Xiye is a leader in the Fridays for Future movement and has worked alongside Greta to mobilize her peers. She continues to speak at town halls and rallies to help inspire her generation and make change happen worldwide.

He Doesn't Measure Up

Political Cartoon is by Jos Collignon at

Atheists / Theists

Saturday, September 28, 2019


American Public Is Moving To Support Impeachment

This chart reflects the results of the Politico / Morning Consult Poll -- done between September 24th and 26th of a national sample of 1,640 registered voters, with a 2 point margin of error.

This chart reflects the results of the NPR / PBS NewsHour / Marist Poll -- done on September 25th of a national sample of 864 adults (including 745 registered voters). The margin of error for adults was 4.6 points, and for registered voters was 5 points.

This chart reflects the results of the YouGov Daily Agenda Poll -- done on September 24th of a national sample of 2,805 adults, with a 2 point margin of error.

All three show the public is moving toward supporting impeachment proceedings for Donald Trump. His actions in trying to get Ukrainian officials to dig up dirt on Joe Biden to help his chances in the 2020 election has made a difference. This is an obvious attempt to subvert the law and cheat -- and the public doesn't like cheating.

The Don

Political Cartoon is by Dave Whamond at

Income Gap Between Rich And The Rest Of Us Still Growing

(Cartoon image is by Steve Sack in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.)

The Republican Party, in the modern era, has clung to the "trickle-down" economic policy -- the idea that giving more to the rich benefits everyone in the country, because much of that money will trickle down to everyone else. It has never worked that way, and it got so bad in the 1920's that it led to the Great Depression.

Democrats took over then and instituted economic policies that were much fairer, and for a few decades the middle class grew and the poor were taken care of through a decent minimum wage and government programs. But the GOP was able to again seize power about 1980, and they immediately went back to their failed trickle-down policies.

Since then, the income gap between the richest Americans and the rest of America has grown substantially. The growth of this income gap was kicked into high gear with the tax cuts initiated by George Bush and Donald Trump. Now a new report shows that gap continues to grow and is once again approaching a dangerous level. The Republicans either are blind to the danger this gap poses or don't care. That is a major reason why they must be voted out of power in 2020.

The following is part of a post by Bill Chappell on the NPR website about the continued growth of the income gap:

The gap between the richest and the poorest U.S. households is now the largest it's been in the past 50 years — despite the median U.S. income hitting a new record in 2018, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
U.S. income inequality was "significantly higher" in 2018 than in 2017, the federal agency says in its latest American Community Survey report. The last time a change in the metric was deemed statistically significant was when it grew from 2012-2013.
While many states didn't see a change in income inequality last year, the income gap grew wider in nine states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Kansas, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Texas and Virginia.
The disparity grew despite a surging national economy that has seen low unemployment and more than 10 years of consecutive GDP growth.
The most troubling thing about the new report, says William M. Rodgers III, a professor of public policy and chief economist at the Heldrich Center at Rutgers University, is that it "clearly illustrates the inability of the current economic expansion, the longest on record, to lessen inequality."When asked why the rising economic tide has raised some boats more than others, Rodgers lists several factors, including the decline of organized labor and competition for jobs from abroad. He also cites tax policies that favor businesses and higher-income families.
Income inequality is measured through the Gini index, which measures how far apart incomes are from each other. To do that, the index assigns a hypothetical score of 0.0 to a population in which incomes are distributed perfectly evenly and a score of 1.0 to a population where only one household gets all of the income.
In the U.S., the Gini index figure had been holding steady for the past several years. But it moved from 0.482 in 2017 to 0.485 in 2018. While that change may seem small, it's statistically significant, the Census Bureau says. The agency notes that back in 2006, the figure stood at 0.464.


Political Cartoon is by Christopher Weyant in The Boston Globe.

Over 300 Former Security Professionals Say Trump's Actions Are A "Profound National Security Concern"

The statement above is from over 300 former U.S. national security and foreign policy officials. These officials worked under both Republican and Democratic administrations. They are not concerned with promoting either political party. Their only concern is the security of the United States.

You can go here to see who these officials are that signed this statement.

Endangered Species

Political Cartoon is by Bruce Plante in Tulsa World.

A Fascist Is . . .

Friday, September 27, 2019

Impeach - Defeat - Convict

Trump Impeaches Himself (& It May Cost GOP The Senate)

Donald Trump (and his lackey, William "Whitewash" Barr) have repeatedly claimed that the Mueller Report cleared Trump of any wrongdoing. Trump claims the report found "no collusion" and "no obstruction".

That is not true. While Mueller claimed he did not have the evidence to prove Trump conspired with Russia to affect the 2016 election, he found over 100 instances in which members of the Trump campaign met with Russians during the campaign. And he also found about half a dozen instances in which Trump actively tried to obstruct justice while being investigated (and the only reason charges were brought was because of a Justice Department policy to not file charges against a sitting president).

Add to this the fact that Trump paid off a woman he had extra-marital sex with to protect his campaign, and it's obvious to those who would look that there were charges to be brought in an impeachment proceeding.

Sadly, a majority of House Democrats (including the Speaker) were too afraid to start those impeachment hearings. They were afraid that impeaching Trump would hurt Democrats in the 2020 election. Frankly, it was beginning to look like Trump would be able to avoid any consequences for his criminal conduct. He could have avoided impeachment through the next election.

Then Trump's rampant narcissism got the best of him. He decided he could not be impeached no matter what he did, and the only way he could be put out of office would be to lose the 2020 election. And he was worried about that (especially if he had to run against Joe Biden). How would he prevent that?

Trump decided that since he was elected with the help of a foreign government in 2016 (and got away with it), then he could use the help of a foreign government to win in 2020. He decided to ask the Ukrainian government to give him some dirt on Joe Biden (or his son) -- or at least initiate an investigation into them, so Trump could claim they were being investigated for corruption. In other words, he asked for campaign help from a foreign government -- a clear violation of U.S. election law.

He thought he could keep his request (or extortion, since he threatened to refuse military aid to Ukraine) a secret. What he did not count on was an honest and courageous intelligence official who filed a whistleblower complaint. After trying to keep the complaint from going to Congress and failing, Trump decided to bluff his way through the scandal -- as he had done before. He actually admitted asking the Ukraine president to investigate Biden and his son, claiming he was just looking for corruption.

Trump and his Republican friends are trying to play off the request as unimportant. But it's very important. It goes straight to the sanctity of our electoral system. We cannot allow foreign powers to interfere with our elections -- and for a president to seek election help from a foreign government is nothing less than an attack on our representative democracy!

Whether Trump used extortion or not (and I think he did) is not the crux of this matter. Republicans are repeatedly saying there was no "quid pro quo". That doesn't matter. Trump has admitted asking a foreign government to give him something of value to help his 2020 campaign -- a investigation of the Bidens. That is not just serious, but impeachable.

Basically, Trump just impeached himself! His admission forced House Democrats off the fence. With him admitting to a serious election violation, they had to start impeachment proceedings -- and they have done that. It is now a foregone conclusion that the House of Representatives will fairly soon vote to impeach Donald Trump.

That throws the ball into Senate hands -- and the Republicans did not want that. It puts Senate Republicans between a rock and a hard place. If they don't vote to protect Trump and keep him in the White House, they will face the rage of Republican primary voters. If they vote to remove Trump from office, they will face the rage of a majority of voters in the 2020 general election. Those from red states may survive, but those in purple states could very well lose to a Democrats. This could well be just what the Democrats needed to flip the Senate.

Trump went too far this time, and Republican officials know it (even if they won't admit it publicly). He has gotten himself impeached, and is doing that, he has knifed his fellow Republicans in the back.


Political Cartoon is by Gary Huck at

Demographic Breakdown Of Support For Leading Dems

This chart reflects the demographic breakdown of the latest Quinnipiac University Poll -- done between September 19th and 23rd of a national sample of 561 Democrats/Leaners, with a 4.9 point margin of error.

This chart reflects the demographic breakdown of the latest Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between September 22nd and 24th of a national sample of 608 Democrats / Leaners. (No margin of error was given for just this group.)

Go Directly To Impeach

Political Cartoon is by Lalo Alcaraz.

The Economy Is NOT As Good As Trump Claims It Is

(Cartoon is by Kevin KAL Kallaugher at International Movement for Monetary Reform.)

Donald Trump loves to brag about the economy. He would have you believe that the current economy is the best this country has ever had. That is not even close to the truth. While corporations and the rich are doing exceptionally well, most other Americans have been left behind. They are struggling just to keep pace with inflation -- and too many are not succeeding.

Here's how former Labor Secretary Robert Reich (pictured) describes what is really happening in the current economy:

Donald Trump and his enablers are hoping that a strong economy will help the American people look past the damage they are doing to the country. That’s why Trump is constantly crowing about job numbers and the stock market in order to paint a rosy picture of the economy.
But when you look closer, the numbers reveal a very different story about Trump’s economy: 
1. Wages are still stuck. The median annual earnings of full-time wage and salaried workers in 1979, in today’s dollars, was $43,680. The median earnings in 2018 was $45,708. So much for the $4,000 pay raise Trump and Republicans in Congress promised when they cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations.  
2. Percent of people with jobs is low. While the unemployment rate is low, employment is not nearly as good as it may look when you consider how many people have given up looking for jobs. The labor-force participation rate – the percent of working-age Americans with jobs – is the lowest it’s been since the late 1970s, when wives and mothers first began streaming into paid work to prop up family incomes.
3. Many people are working part-time jobs. Nearly 4 million Americans are stuck in part-time jobs, unable to find full-time jobs. Many of these part-time gigs are either freelance or contract, offering fewer rights and benefits. In turn, this has increased economic insecurity for millions of families.
4. A growing number of college graduates are overqualified for their current jobs. One in 10 college grads are underemployed, which is much higher than 20 years ago. At the same time, the cost of college has skyrocketed, with students going deeper into debt to pay for their education: 45 million Americans now owe 1.6 trillion in student debt.
6. Housing costs have skyrocketed. Nearly 39 million American households are now paying more than they can afford on housing. And more than one in four renters are spending over half their income on housing.
So is anyone benefiting in Trump’s economy? The wealthy and corporations have never had it this good. In fact, under the Trump-Republican tax cut, 83 percent of the gains will go to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. 
But most Americans are being left behind. 
The next time Trump and his enablers boast about the economy to distract from the damage they’re really doing to America, know the truth. Their failed economic agenda has made Americans poorer and less secure.

Circling The Wagons

Political Cartoon is by Steve Greenberg at

House On Fire

Thursday, September 26, 2019

A Huge Myth

Warren Rises To First Place In Two New National Polls

This chart reflects the results of the latest Quinnipiac University Poll -- done between September 19th and 23rd of a national sample of 561 Democratic and Independent voters, with a 4.9 point margin of error.

This chart reflects the results of the latest Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between September 22nd and 24th of a national sample of 608 Democrats and Leaners. No margin of error for this group was given.

Both polls now show Elizabeth Warren is in first place regarding her percentage of support. In the Quinnipiac poll, she leads Joe Biden by 2 points. In the YouGov poll, she is tied for first with Biden. The margin of error for Quinnipiac is larger than Warren's lead, so it can probably be said that she and Biden are now tied for the lead. Unless something happens to change the dynamic, this is becoming a two-person race between Warren and Biden.

Bernie Sanders is in third, but needs to do better. He trails Warren by 11 points and Biden by 9 points in Quinnipiac, and trails both by 9 points in YouGov. Buttigieg has about 7% support in both polls. And the bottom seems to have fallen out of the Harris campaign. She is fifth in both polls, with 3% in one and 6% in the other.

NOTE -- I included in the charts only the candidates with at least 2% support.

Tramping On The Rule Of Law

Political Cartoon is by Tom Toles in The Washington Post.