Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Experiencing Hate In The United States


Number Willing To Get Vaccine Is Climbing

These charts are from the Gallup Poll. The survey was done between March 15th and 21st of a national sample of 3,905 adults, with a 2 point margin of error.

It shows that the number of people willing to get the COVID-19 vaccine is climbing. Also climbing is satisfaction with the vaccination process.

Riding The Big Lie

Political Cartoon is by Bruce Plante at

11 Charts From Texas Poll On The Electric Grid Failure

These charts are from the University of Houston / YouGov Poll -- done between March 9th and 19th of 1,500 Texas adults, with a 2.5 point margin of error.


Turning Jim Crow Loose

Political Cartoon is by Gary Huck at

Republican Party - The Party Of Bigotry And Autocracy

The Republican Party used to have principles and ideals. I did not agree with much of what they believed, especially when it came to economic policy, but their conservative philosophy made an effective alternative to the progressive policies of the Democratic Party -- and through debate and negotiation, the two parties usually came up with a compromise to move the country forward.

But that is no longer true. The Republicans no longer have an effective conservative philosophy. They have jettisoned those beliefs in favor a bigotry and autocracy. They are now the party of hate, and are unwilling to debate, negotiate, or compromise.

The post below is from former Labor Secretary Robert Reich from his own blog. He writes:

Republicans are outraged – outraged! – at the surge of migrants at the southern border. The House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, declares it a “crisis … created by the presidential policies of this new administration.” The Arizona congressman Andy Biggs claims “we go through some periods where we have these surges, but right now is probably the most dramatic that I’ve seen at the border in my lifetime.”

Donald Trump demands the Biden administration “immediately complete the wall, which can be done in a matter of weeks — they should never have stopped it. They are causing death and human tragedy.” 

“Our country is being destroyed!” he adds. 

In fact, there’s no surge of migrants at the border. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection apprehended 28 percent more migrants from January to February this year than in previous months. But this was largely seasonal. Two years ago, apprehensions increased 31 percent during the same period. Three years ago, it was about 25 percent from February to March. Migrants start coming when winter ends and the weather gets a bit warmer, then stop coming in the hotter summer months when the desert is deadly. 

To be sure, there is a humanitarian crisis of children detained in overcrowded border facilities. And an even worse humanitarian tragedy in the violence and political oppression in Central America, worsened by U.S. policies over the years, that’s driving migration in the first place. 

But the “surge” has been fabricated by Republicans in order to stoke fear – and, not incidentally, to justify changes in laws they say are necessary to prevent non-citizens from voting. 

Republicans continue to allege – without proof – that the 2020 election was rife with fraudulent ballots, many from undocumented immigrants. Over the past six weeks they’ve introduced 250 bills in 43 states designed to make it harder for people to vote – especially the young, the poor, Black people, and Hispanic-Americans, all of whom are likely to vote for Democrats – by eliminating mail-in ballots, reducing times for voting, decreasing the number of drop-off boxes, demanding proof of citizenship, even making it a crime to give water to people waiting in line to vote.

To stop this, Democrats are trying to enact a sweeping voting rights bill called the For the People Act, which protects voting, ends partisan gerrymandering, and keeps dark money out of elections. It already passed the House but Republicans in the Senate are fighting it with more lies. 

On Wednesday, the Texas Republican senator Ted Cruz falsely claimed the new bill would register millions of undocumented immigrants to vote and accused Democrats of wanting the most violent criminals to cast ballots too. 

The core message of the Republican party now consists of lies about a “crisis” of violent immigrants crossing the border, lies that they’re voting illegally, and blatantly anti-democratic restrictions on voting to counter these trumped-up crises. 

The party that once championed lower taxes, smaller government, states’ rights and a strong national defense now has more in common with anti-democratic regimes and racist-nationalist political movements around the world than with America’s avowed ideals of democracy, rule of law, and human rights. 

Donald Trump isn’t single-handedly responsible for this, but he demonstrated to the GOP the political potency of bigotry and the GOP has taken him up on it. 

This transformation in one of America’s two eminent political parties has shocking implications, not just for the future of American democracy but for the future of democracy everywhere.  

“I predict to you, your children or grandchildren are going to be doing their doctoral thesis on the issue of who succeeded: autocracy or democracy?” Joe Biden opined at his news conference on Thursday. 

In his maiden speech at the State Department on March 4, Antony Blinken conceded that the erosion of democracy around the world is “also happening here in the United States.” 

The secretary of state didn’t explicitly talk about the Republican Party, but there was no mistaking his subject. 

“When democracies are weak … they become more vulnerable to extremist movements from the inside and to interference from the outside,” he warned. 

People around the world witnessing the fragility of American democracy “want to see whether our democracy is resilient, whether we can rise to the challenge here at home. That will be the foundation for our legitimacy in defending democracy around the world for years to come.” 

That resilience and legitimacy will depend in large part on whether Republicans or Democrats prevail on voting rights. 

Not since the years leading up to the Civil War has the clash between the nation’s two major parties so clearly defined the core challenge facing American democracy. 

Trained To Kill?

 Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at

It Showed A Callous Disregard For Life - It Was Murder


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

The Filibuster Must Go!


Church Membership Continues To Drop (Now Under 50%)

 The charts above are from the Gallup Poll. The survey was done between 2018 and 2020 of a national sample of 6,117 adults, with a 2 point margin of error. It shows that church membership continues to drop in the United States, and now is below half the population (47%).


Political Cartoon is by Rick McKee at

Firearm Sales Increase In A Nation With Too Many Guns

 The chart above reflects the number of background checks done by the NCIS system for people wanting to buy a gun. It is the best indicator we have on the number of gun sales each month (even though it doesn't include private sale, internet sales, or most gun show sales).

Note that in most moths the checks have increased in the last three years. That means that gun sales are increasing -- even though we already had more guns than citizens. There seems to be no limit to the number of guns owned by individuals in our society.

Donald Has A Suggestion

 Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at

GOP's Proposed Voting Laws Are Based On "The Big Lie"

Republicans have proposed new voting laws in at least 43 states -- laws aimed at reducing the number of people who can vote (especially people of color). They think it will give them a better chance to win when fewer people vote. The excuse they use for these new laws is that the 2020 election was rampant with massive voter fraud.

Of course, that's not even remotely true. The claim is based on the "big lie" told by Donald Trump. He claimed that he actually won the election -- until fraudulent votes were allowed to be counted in many states. The truth is there was virtually no voter fraud in the election, and Trump lost because over 7 million more voters preferred Biden.

That did not keep Republican officials and Trump lawyers from accept Trump's big lie though. They took the lie to court several dozen times (and lost). Now they are using the same lie to pass voter suppression laws. They know the lie is not true, but it doesn't matter. The GOP base believes it, so officials are going to use it for their own advantage.

The following is part of an op-ed in The Hill by Juan Williams:

A joke?

Now she says it was just a joke.

Well then, who is going to tell Republicans?

Last week, lawyers for Sidney Powell, a leading voice claiming November’s election was stolen from former President Trump, said “reasonable people would not accept such statements as fact.”

But polls show most Republicans didn’t get the memo — they still think the election was stolen.

In an ‘Alice In Wonderland’ moment of truth falling through a rabbit hole into a twisted fantasy, Republican politicians now claim that because so many Republicans did take Powell’s joke seriously, they need to act to restore confidence in elections.

To get back to reality, there is no evidence of any election fraud.

But nonsense about restoring trust among people who fell for a joke is being cited in eight states where Republicans hold the majority in legislatures and are pushing new laws to give them control of vote counting.

In the real world, that is called a brazen, partisan power grab to give the GOP the edge in every future election.

The same inane claim to be fixing elections to reassure Republican voters is also being used in 43 states where Republican politicians are acting to cut down on absentee and early voting, and to limit hours for voting on Election Day itself, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.

Those efforts are based on what Powell’s lawyers now dismiss as a joke. And her joke is based on Trump continuing to spout the “Big Lie” that he didn’t lose the presidential election — it was stolen as a result of “large scale election fraud,” after he won by “historic numbers.”

The voter suppression efforts in these state legislatures is “fueled by the Big Lie of widespread voter fraud and often discriminatory in design,” according to the Brennan Center. The attempts “have the potential to dramatically reduce voting access, especially for Black and brown voters.”

In Georgia, the Republican governor signed a bill last week to allow the Republican majority in the legislature to take control of local election boards. It even makes it illegal for a stranger to hand a bottle of water to a person waiting in line to vote.

This sad joke can be heard echoing in Congress, too.

In the Senate, Republicans are fighting to stop a new bill from Democrats that would provide national protection for mail-in voting, early voting and same-day voter registration. The bill would also introduce automatic voter registration across the country. . . .

Trump’s lie and Powell’s joke took a violent turn on Jan. 6. Trump fired up his supporters by telling them “we will stop the steal,” before a mob attacked the Capitol to try to stop Congress from certifying Biden as the winner. People died.

Again, Republicans argue they are taking these steps to protect the integrity of elections without mentioning that those Republicans believe a twisted, baseless message from Trump and his allies, including Powe

Now Powell is saying in court that “reasonable people” knew it was not true.

That’s the real election fraud.

Birds Of A Feather

 Political Cartoon is by Gary Huck at

Biden Infrastructure Bill Would Be Huge Boost For Economy


Monday, March 29, 2021

Birx Says Most COVID-19 Deaths Were Avoidable


63% Of GOP Base Says Whites Are Discriminated Against


The chart above reflects the results of a survey by the Pew Research Center -- done between March 1st and 7th of a national sample of 4,796 Republicans, with a 2.3 point margin of error.

It just shows how out-of-touch with reality most Republicans really are. About 63% say whites are discriminated as much as Blacks in the U.S. -- and more than either Hispanics or Asians. 

That's a ludicrous view to have, but if they believe they are victims then that can justify their failure to attack real discrimination in this country.

Cruz Embarrasses Himself - Again!

Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at

Public's More Worried About Available/Affordable Energy

The carts above are from the Gallup Poll -- done between March 1st and 15th of a national sample of 1,010 adults, with a 4 point margin of error.

Gun Deaths Are Just Political Theater For Republicans

 Political Cartoon is by Kevin Siers in The Charlotte Observer.

Radical Right: From "Stop The Steal" To "Stop The Vaccine"

The radical right loved Donald Trump, because he made them feel it was OK to pour out their hate for this country and many of its citizens. That's why they happily jumped on board to back Trump claim of having the election stolen from him. They happily signed on to the "Stop the Steal" movement, and many of them showed up on January 6th to invade Congress. That didn't work out too well for them. 

President Biden was sworn in as our 46th president, while the rioters went to jail. They could have just admitted they were wrong, but they didn't. They just transferred their hate to a different issue. Now many of them have joined the anti-vaxxers, and they are trying to stop the vaccination of Americans against the Coronavirus. Evidently, they want President Biden to fail to bring the pandemic under control (hoping it will result in the return of their favorite orange demagogue).

The following is part of an article in The New York Times by Neil MacFarquhar:

If the so-called Stop the Steal movement appeared to be chasing a lost cause once President Biden was inaugurated, its supporters among extremist organizations are now adopting a new agenda from the anti-vaccination campaign to try to undermine the government.

Bashing of the safety and efficacy of vaccines is occurring in chatrooms frequented by all manner of right-wing groups including the Proud Boys; the Boogaloo movement, a loose affiliation known for wanting to spark a second Civil War; and various paramilitary organizations.

These groups tend to portray vaccines as a symbol of excessive government control. “If less people get vaccinated then the system will have to use more aggressive force on the rest of us to make us get the shot,” read a recent post on the Telegram social media platform, in a channel linked to members of the Proud Boys charged in storming the Capitol.

The marked focus on vaccines is particularly striking on discussion channels populated by followers of QAnon, who had falsely prophesied that Donald J. Trump would continue as president while his political opponents were marched off to jail.

“They rode the shift in the national conversation away from Trump to what was happening with the massive ramp up in vaccines,” said Devin Burghart, the head of the Seattle-based Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, which monitors far-right movements, referring to followers of QAnon. “It allowed them to pivot away from the failure of their previous prophecy to focus on something else.”

Apocalyptic warnings about the vaccine feed into the far-right narrative that the government cannot be trusted, the sentiment also at the root of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The more vaccine opponents succeed in preventing or at least delaying herd immunity, experts noted, the longer it will take for life to return to normal and that will further undermine faith in the government and its institutions. . . .

In the months since inoculations started in December, the alliance grouping extremist organizations with the anti-vaccination movement has grown larger and more vocal, as conspiracy theories about vaccines proliferated while those about the presidential vote count receded. . . .

The general proliferation of conspiracy theories by QAnon followers for years has helped to create a shared vocabulary among far-right organizations, experts said, which smoothed the way for spreading false information about the vaccines. “The last year with Covid has just been a perfect storm that whatever your crazy conspiracy belief is, there is someone who has a Covid conspiracy to match it,” said Melissa Ryan, chief executive of Card Strategies, a consulting firm that researches disinformation.

Blocking Progress

Political Cartoon is by Matt Davies in Newsday.

Mulvaney Accuses Trump Of Lying


Sunday, March 28, 2021

The Republican Agenda


Only A Minority Want Voting To Be Made Harder In U.S.

The chart above reflects the results of the latest Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between March 19th and 22nd of a national sample of 1,500 adults (including 1,267 registered voters). The margin of error for adults is 2.9 points, and for registered voters is 3.1 points.

Note that the chart shows that only a minority want voting to be made harder to do in this country. The majority either want it made easier or leave it as it currently is. The Republicans are not making any new friends with their efforts to suppress the vote (make it harder to vote).

GOP Plan For Minority Voting

Political Cartoon is by Ed Hall at

Republicans Aren't Even Trying To Hide Their Racism Now


Last week, Georgia Republicans passed a law to suppress the vote of those they expect to vote for Democrats -- primarily voters of color. And the law was signed by the Republican governor in front of a painting of a slave plantation. They aren't even trying to hide their racism anymore. And it's not just in Georgia either -- as racist voter suppression laws have been introduced in many other states.

The post below is much of an op-ed by by Will Bunch in The Philadelphia Inquirer:

Sometimes America’s legacy of white supremacy is hiding in plain sight, literally. When Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a hastily passed voter suppression law that many are calling the new, new Jim Crow on Thursday night, surrounded by a half-dozen white men, he did so in front of a painting of a plantation where more than 100 Black people had been enslaved.

The fitting symbolism is somehow both shocking and unsurprising. In using the antebellum image of the notorious Callaway Plantation — in a region where enslaved Black people seeking freedom were hunted with hounds — in Wilkes County, Ga., as the backdrop for signing a bill that would make it a crime to hand water to a thirsty voter waiting on Georgia’s sometimes hours-long voter lines, the GOP governor was sending a clear message about race and human rights in the American South.

The portrait of the plantation was the starkest reminder of Georgia’s history of white racism that spans slavery, Jim Crow segregation, the rebirth of the modern Ku Klux Klan, and today’s voter purges targeting Black and brown voters — but it wasn’t the only one. At the very moment that Kemp was signing the law with his all-white posse, a Black female Georgia lawmaker — Rep. Park Cannon — who’d knocked on the governor’s door in the hopes of watching the bill signing was instead dragged away and arrested by state troopers, in a scene that probably had the Deep South’s racist sheriffs of yesteryear like Bull Connor or Jim Clark smiling in whatever fiery hellhole they now inhabit.

Indeed, Twitter was on fire Thursday night with posters drawing the straight line from notorious past segregationists like George Wallace to the 2021 actions of Kemp and the GOP-led Georgia Legislature in passing — at great speed and with little debate — a lengthy bill that also limits easy-access drop boxes for ballots and places onerous voter-ID restrictions on voting by mail, and which the New York Times reports “will have an outsized effect on Black voters.”

On one level this new voter-suppression law — “voter integrity,” in the modern GOP’s Orwellian branding — is inspired by the current and possible future events of ex-President Donald Trump’s Big Lie about fraud in the 2020 election, the narrow upset wins in Georgia for President Biden and two new Democratic senators, and the threat that voting icon Stacey Abrams poses to Kemp in the 2022 election. But there’s also a powerful pull back to Georgia past. That link is made clear by the history hanging right behind Kemp on Thursday. . . .

In 2021, it’s tempting to call Kemp signing the bill in front of the plantation painting “ironic,” when in fact it’s all too fitting. Understanding the symbolism here helps us to understand what’s really important, that the voting law is the latest cruel iron link in an unbroken chain of white supremacy that extends all the way back to 1619, when the first slave ship arrived in North American soil. But familiarity shouldn’t deaden our sense of outrage.

If you grew up shocked and angered by the photos of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, of state troopers clubbing John Lewis near the Edmund Pettus Bridge or police torturing young Black marchers with fire hoses in the streets of Birmingham, whatever you would have done back then is what you are doing now to fight this new Jim Crow era today.

In Washington, it’s more imperative than even that the Senate ditch the filibuster to pass the two federal voting laws that could potentially block or roll back suppression efforts not just in Georgia but a number of other GOP-led states with bills in the hopper. As for Georgia, Major League Baseball needs to strip metro Atlanta of the 2021 All-Star Game immediately, and stronger steps — including a boycott — need to be on the table. This is an all-hands-on-deck situation to save democracy and end systemic racism. Brian Kemp has reminded us that — just like in Faulkner’s Mississippi — that “the past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

Republican Rules

Political Cartoon is by Mike Stanfill at

Is This A Smarter Path To "Law And Order"?