Sunday, October 31, 2021

Happy Halloween!

 I hope all my readers have a happy and safe Halloween -- and that you all get the treats you want!

A Valid Question


People Plan To Party Like They Did In 2019 For Halloween

These charts are from a Morning Consult Poll -- done between October 1st and 5th of a national sample of 2,200 adults nationwide, with a 2 point margin of error.


Political Cartoon is by Gary Huck at

The Two Most Selfish Democrats In The U.S. Congress

The following is just part of an op-ed at by Michael Cohen. I think Mr. Cohen may have a valid point:

On Thursday morning, the White House unveiled a framework for the Democrats’ massive budget package, and surprisingly — after months of negotiations that seemed to be going nowhere — it looks pretty good.

Yet, on Friday morning, the bill was still hanging in the balance because of Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, two of the most selfish senators I’ve seen in my decades of following national politics. For months, these two have bullied the White House and progressive Democrats into bending to their will. Key liberal priorities such as paid family leave and medical leave and measures to reduce prescription drug costs, provide two years of free community college and repeal key elements of the Trump tax cuts have been jettisoned. The total cost of the bill has been cut in half — from $3.5 trillion to around $1.75 trillion — all to satisfy Manchin’s and Sinema’s demands.

House progressives have begrudgingly accepted these changes because most seem to understand that even half a loaf is better than none. But they have maintained one unshakable and eminently reasonable demand: They would not vote on the massive infrastructure bill supported by Manchin and Sinema until the two make clear their support for the budget package. Yet, Thursday, Manchin and Sinema were still refusing to make their intentions clear. Seemingly, the two attention-starved senators can’t bear to give up the media spotlight they have hogged unto themselves.

By making it all about them, Manchin and Sinema are making it increasingly difficult for Democrats to focus on what their framework budget agreement would accomplish. . . .

Manchin and Sinema are acting as though they were the ones on the presidential ballot last November. And while the Democrats’ narrow majority in the Senate gives individual senators outsize power, no one else in the caucus is as focused on being pains in the neck like Sinema and Manchin are.

Like many political observers, I’ve given up trying to understand Manchin’s and Sinema’s motivations. From a political perspective, they are undercutting their own party and decreasing the chances that Democrats will be able to hold on to the majority in midterm elections next year. In pushing for the removal of paid leave, tuition-free community college and lower drug prices for seniors, they are taking away winning campaign messages for Democrats in 2022. Sinema’s obstinance has led to a plummeting of her approval ratings in Arizona and an increasingly likely primary challenge. Manchin, who won re-election in 2018 by a mere 3 points is likely a long shot to win again in 2024, no matter how much he tries to distance himself from the party’s liberal wing.

None of those objections makes much sense, unless we accept that both senators have an outsize need to be the center of media attention in Washington. Democrats may get their bill passed in the end, but because of the narcissism displayed by Manchin and Sinema they will be left wondering about what could have been.

Not Impartial

 Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at

White Supremacist Rioters Getting Lenient Sentences


Saturday, October 30, 2021

Threats Are NOT Protected Free Speech


Majority Of Workers Approve Of Employer Vaccine Mandate

 The charts above are from the Gallup Poll. They questioned 4,007 adults nationwide between October 18th and 24th. The poll has a 2 point margin of error.

A Maligned Candy

Political Cartoon is by Dave Whamond at

A Danger To Themselves - And The Public


Police, and their supporters, will be quick to tell you how dangerous their job is. That makes me wonder why then will they not be vaccinated.

It is a fact that the leading cause of death for police officers in the last year was COVID-19 -- far more than any other cause (including be shot). They will wear protective vests to protect themselves, but a significant portion of them still refuse to be vaccinated -- even when mandated to do so.

Don't they realize they are putting themselves in danger unnecessarily? And perhaps more important, they are putting the public in danger. Due to the nature of the job, the public doesn't have a choice in whether they must deal with the police or not. They should not have to worry about whether the officer facing them is vaccinated or not -- and if unvaccinated, possibly carry a disease that could be fatal.

Many of the police who don't want to be vaccinated are saying it is their right to refuse a vaccination. That would be true if they never had to deal with the public, but they do. The vaccine mandates are appropriate, both to protect the public and themselves (and their fellow officers).

I have no sympathy for police (or other workers the public must deal with) who refuse to be vaccinated. They should be fired, because they are a danger to the public.

The police are supposed to protect and serve the public -- not make them sick!

Spinning Gold From Hate

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

The Seven Craziest Lies About The COVID-19 Vaccines

The social medias are rife with lies and conspiracy theories about the vaccines for COVID-19. PolitiFact has gathered (and exposes) the seven craziest bits of misinformation about the vaccines. 

Here’s a look at seven scary things that are not in the vaccines:

1. Aluminum that "will kill" the brain.

Aluminum. They use it in pickup trucks, food containers and antiperspirants. But in the COVID-19 vaccines? No.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that small amounts of aluminum — specifically aluminum salts — have been used in vaccines since the 1930s as an adjuvant, which helps elicit a stronger immune response from the body.

But none of the three COVID-19 vaccines currently being used in the U.S. — Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, all of which have publicly accessible ingredient lists — contain any aluminum.

As for other vaccines, research has shown their levels of aluminum are so low that they can't easily be absorbed by the body, let alone the brain. There has been no evidence of the aluminum in vaccines causing illness or developmental disorders.

2. Nanoparticles that will help people "locate you" via 5G networks.

While your cell phone can help Big Brother, or your mother, locate you via 5G networks, the vaccines cannot. 

Yet some social media users likened the bubbles of fat in the vaccine to the sort of tracking microchips implanted under a pet’s skin. That’s a lot of creepy nonsense.

There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines contain technology similar to pet microchips. The lipid nanoparticles used in some of the vaccines are called "nanoparticles" because they are very, very small. They have nothing to do with 5G networks or tracking technology.

3. "RNA-modifying transhumanism nanotechnology."

This baseless conspiracy theory says that the shots include a technology that changes "what it is to be human." The vaccines don’t contain any such thing.

"None of the vaccines contain nanotechnology of any sort, let alone 'transhumanism nanotechnology,’ which isn’t even a thing," Mark Lynas, a visiting fellow at the Alliance for Science and Cornell University, told PolitiFact. 

"RNA" and the prefix "nano" are valid scientific terms, though. Here’s what they mean:

"RNA" — ribonucleic acid — is a molecule that carries coded genetic information to a cell and a messenger form of RNA is used in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to send information about the coronavirus to the body’s cells to teach the immune system to identify and prepare to fight off a COVID-19 infection. (Spoiler alert:It does not modify a person’s DNA or RNA.) The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a disabled adenovirus to deliver instructions to do the same.

"Nano," as we said earlier, is a term widely used to describe things that are very tiny, and scientists use the prefix more specifically to refer to things on the scale of individual atoms.

4. A "Trypanosoma Parasite" that is one of the causes of AIDS

A chilling, grainy black-and-white image being shared on social media has been described as a "Trypanosoma Parasite" purportedly observed in Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. Several variants of the parasite, internet users claimed, are lethal and are one of many causes of acquired immune deficiency syndrome or AIDS. 

This is erroneous, on all counts.

Dr. Bobbi Pritt, the director of clinical parasitology at the Mayo Clinic, told us the blurry image likely represents an out-of-focus non-cellular component of the vaccine and doesn’t show a Trypanosoma cruzi or any other parasite. 

As for the claim that this particular parasite causes AIDS, that’s also wrong, she said. 

"The only thing that causes AIDS is an infection with the human immunodeficiency virus," she said, "and this cannot be acquired through the Pfizer vaccine." 

5. Living microorganisms that can "germinate to cause sickness" with "all sorts of uncontrollable byproducts."

A popular video claimed that the Pfizer vaccine contains "particles that could germinate and cause illness" — and that vitamin supplements could stop this from happening. You can bet someone is selling those supplements online.

There’s no truth to this one either. The ingredients for Pfizer vaccines are chemical components — not living organisms. 

"Contamination with spores or other microbial material can theoretically happen during production of any biologic, including vaccines," said Volker Mai, associate professor in the epidemiology department at the University of Florida. "However, quality control is extensive and monitoring occurs continuously. Thus, it is highly unlikely that any contaminated batch would make it into the market."

6. Something that makes magnets stick to you

A vaccine turning you into the Marvel villain Magneto? That sounds terrifying (unless that’s what you wanted.) But don’t worry, the COVID-19 vaccines won’t make you more attractive to magnets.

Social media users have shared videos that appear to show magnets sticking to people’s arms where they say they were injected, and claimed this as proof the shots have microchips in them. 

But medical experts called the claim utter nonsense. 

Al Edwards, an associate professor in biomedical technology at the University of Reading in England, told Newsweek that because vaccine’s ingredients are some of the same things that are in the human body, "there is simply no way that injecting a tiny fragment of this material" could make it respond to a magnet. "Most food is made of similar molecules, and eating food doesn’t make people magnetic," he said. 

A similar claim cites a video showing what looks like small balls connecting and growing on their own. The disturbing clip was described as the COVID-19 vaccine’s reaction once it hits the bloodstream. 

That’s wrong. The video was actually from a 2015 science experiment by the Stanford Complexity Group, an initiative to bring complexity science to a wider audience, that shows self-organizing wires, which is still weird. 

One more time for the people in the back: None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips or metals.

7. "Graphene oxide," which is "toxic to the human body and causes a number of problems."

An incendiary video that speaks of murder claims that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is dangerously packed with something called graphene oxide. 

A Pfizer spokesperson told PolitiFact that while graphene oxide — a material made by the oxidation of graphite — is used in some vaccines, it is not used at Pfizer and is not in its COVID-19 vaccine.None of the listed ingredients is another name for graphene oxide, and the material doesn’t appear in ingredient lists for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. 

A Republican Insurrection

 Political Cartoon is by Gary Huck at

An Epic Failure


Friday, October 29, 2021

A Kind Of Prayer


The Latest Vaccine Views From The KFF Poll


The charts above are from the latest Kaiser Family Foundation Poll -- done between October 14th and 24th of a national sample of 1,519 adults, with a 3 point margin of error.

Congressional Traitors

Political Cartoon is by Drew Sheneman in the NJ Star-Ledger.

About 281,000 Workers Filed For Unemployment Last Week


The Labor Department released its weekly unemployment statistics on Thursday. It showed that about 281,000 workers filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending on October 23rd. That's the lowest number since the pandemic began, and is about 10,000 less than last week.

Here is the official Labor Department statement:

In the week ending October 23, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 281,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week's revised level. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020 when it was 256,000. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 290,000 to 291,000. The 4-week moving average was 299,250, a decrease of 20,750 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since March 14, 2020 when it was 225,500. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 319,750 to 320,000.

The Future We Seem To Want

Political Cartoon is by Rob Rogers at

Biden Reveals Framework For His Build Back Better Bill

It looks like Democrats have finally agreed on a framework for President Biden's Build Back Better Bill that could finally pass both houses of Congress. On Thursday, the President met with Democrats to reveal what is in the bill.

The bill is not everything that progressives wanted. It doesn't contain the free community college provision, the expanded Medicare provisions for vision and dental, Medicaid coverage for the poor in states that have not expanded it, family paid leave, and significantly cut the climate change provisions. 

But it is still a good bill. It will help working and middle class Americans, and it will provide a boost to the economy.

But it is just a framework. We'll have to see what the bill looks like after it is written. Hopefully, it will still look good, and have both Manchin and Sinema on board.

Republicans will claim it costs too much, but that will be a lie. The bill is paid for with some new taxes on the rich and corporations, and an enhanced IRS.

Below is what is still included in the bill, and how it is going to be paid for (from The NY Times):

Gun-Lover Hypocrisy

Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at

Congress Is Ineffective Because The GOP Wants It To Be


Thursday, October 28, 2021

Just Old-Time Racism


35% Of Voters Want 2020 Election Results Overturned

The chart above reflects the results of a new Politico / Morning Consult Poll -- done between October 22nd and 24th of a national sample of 1,999 registered voters, with a 2 point margin of error.

It shows that over a third of voters (35%) think the 2020 presidential results should be overturned. They have bought into Trump's "big lie", that he was defeated through massive fraud.

It's both sad and very troubling that this many U.S. voters have an inability to think critically, and are willing to believe this lie with no facts to back it up.


Political Cartoon is by Chris Britt at

Moral Economic Policies Are Good/Effective Policies


The charts above are from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). They show some of the economic problems that have occurred in our economy over the years. These policies created one of the largest inequalities between the rich and the rest of America in this countries history -- resulting in the rich doing extremely well while everyone else struggles just to keep up. This did not happen by accident, but by policies instituted by the Republican-controlled government.

But policies created by the government can also be solved by the government, and we have a moral imperative to do that. The good news is that the moral economic choices are also good economic choices -- choices that would benefit everyone and the economy in general.

Here are some things the EPI thinks should be done. These things are both moral and economically wise:

Transformative policies

Because policy and fiscal choices have been used to perpetuate and deepen inequality, they can also be used to usher in an era of greater equality and equity. Here we offer 10 discrete, ambitious policy changes that would be transformative, especially for the 140 million poor and low-income people who were facing significant challenges even before COVID-19.

1. Prioritize ‘high-pressure’ labor markets

Policymakers must commit to ending recessions and restoring “high-pressure” labor markets (in which unemployment is very low) as quickly as possible. This would represent a fundamental break with decades of past practice, when policymakers’ prime concern was very low inflationary pressures, which led them to engineer (or at least tolerate) excessively high unemployment.57 High-pressure labor markets fundamentally change the bargaining dynamic between workers and employers, forcing employers to go begging for workers and increasing workers’ leverage over wage negotiations.

2. Raise the federal minimum wage

In 1963, the March for Jobs and Freedom (a.k.a. the March on Washington) demanded a federal minimum wage of $2 per hour. Adjusted for inflation, this would be roughly $15 today. Adopting the march’s demand and boosting the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025 would give a raise to 32 million workers, with Black workers and women seeing the greatest gains. If the federal minimum wage had kept up with productivity since its inception, it would be over $23 per hour today. A labor market is only as strong as its floor, and the federal minimum wage needs to be significantly strengthened to bolster this floor.58

3. Uphold the right to form and join unions

We should act to close loopholes in current labor law to protect workers from employers’ anti-union tactics. Passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act would strengthen workers’ rights to form unions and negotiate with their employers for better wages and working conditions. Specifically, it would reform our nation’s labor law so that private-sector employers are no longer able to intimidate workers seeking to unionize or perpetually stall union elections and contract negotiations.59 Further, passage of the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act would give public-sector workers the ability to form unions and engage in collective bargaining on the federal level.60 Currently, more than half of the states in the United States lack comprehensive collective bargaining laws for public-sector workers like teachers.61

4. Reform unemployment insurance

We should follow the lead of other rich countries and greatly expand the share of the unemployed who receive unemployment insurance (UI) benefits in normal times while also making normal UI benefits significantly more generous. A transformed UI system can be a revolutionary change for U.S. workers, significantly blunting the anxiety and deprivation inflicted by even short spells of joblessness.

5. Provide universal health care

The COVID-19 shock has been only the latest crisis highlighting the perversity of tying access to health insurance coverage to specific jobs. Nearly every other rich industrialized nation has delinked health insurance and the labor market and has instead made access to insurance coverage a universal right. The United States should join this community and provide coverage to all—and, more importantly, this coverage should not become degraded or ruinously expensive whenever one loses a job. The steps forward made by the Affordable Care Act have exposed an important truth: we need substantial increases in publicly provided insurance, beginning with the expansion of Medicaid. Universal health care not only would have profound effects on the economic security of households in the United States but also could boost wages and jobs, leading to labor markets that match jobs and workers more efficiently.62

6. Provide universal access to vital goods and services

High-quality child and elder care, and early childhood and higher education, are examples of vital goods and services that are out of reach for too many families. These should also be universally accessible through public programs. The upfront costs of providing these are considerable, but the payoff over time to society is huge.63 Some studies find that investments in top-notch early childhood education, for example, are more than 100 percent self-financing; when the participants reach adulthood, they are more productive, have higher wages, pay higher taxes, and, with a strong early foundation of systemic supports, are less likely to end up in the criminal justice system. High-quality elder care can allow a large expansion in the labor force of adult women. And access to free, or at least more affordable, higher education would produce a better-prepared workforce while reducing student debt.

7. Create a new poverty measure and expand social welfare programs

In order to respond to the changing, post-pandemic economy, we need to have accurate measures of poverty and economic insecurity to inform social welfare programs that truly meet all basic needs. Instead of the current official and supplemental (yet still inadequate) poverty measures, the federal government should establish a new poverty measure that reflects what it takes to have a decent standard of living in the country today. This new measure should provide the basis to expand public benefits, including cash assistance and other programs to guarantee adequate incomes, housing, food, water, and other human needs.

8. Invest in safe communities

Recent years have seen a growing recognition that the brute force model that combines aggressive policing and mass incarceration has failed as a mechanism for guaranteeing public safety. We need a new model that rests on investments in health, education, and opportunity for people in chronically under-resourced neighborhoods. These investments can include pilot programs that give primary responsibility for ensuring public order and safety—and the investment to back it up—to community-based organizations. Many community-based organizations already do much of this work, building safe public spaces and intervention programs to prevent violence or crime. These organizations are forced to do this work on the cheap, but their work is often effective and, if financed publicly, could build trust rather than antagonism between communities and those tasked with providing public safety.

9. Tax the rich and corporations

In the 30 years following World War II, the fruits of economic growth were far more evenly distributed and tax rates for the rich and corporations were substantially higher.64 These higher tax rates provided revenue for needed public spending and reduced the incentive for privileged economic actors to rig the rules of the market to tilt more gains their way. We should raise taxes progressively to help finance needed public investments and safety net spending and to reduce the payoff to exercising market power. This market power should also be confronted directly with legislation and regulation, but as a backstop we should tax its payoff.

10. Protect and expand voting rights

For any of the policies above to be advanced, we must protect and expand voting rights, especially for poor people and poor people of color. A motivating belief of the Poor People’s Campaign is that the votes of poor and low-income Americans can make a difference in our elections. And, in fact, the increase in turnout among these voters in the 2020 presidential election—six million more than in 2016—may have tipped the scales.65 But voter suppression laws continue to proliferate across the states. Pushing back begins with restoring the full power of the Voting Rights Act by updating the preclearance formula to cover all jurisdictions—those with deep-rooted histories of voter suppression as well as those that have more recently passed voter suppression laws or used these tactics. Other key changes include making Election Day a national holiday, establishing a fair redistricting process that eliminates racist and political gerrymandering, increasing polling locations, modernizing voter registration (with online, same-day, and automatic registration), implementing early voting and mail-in voting in every state, and ending felony disenfranchisement.


If America does not address the problem of inequality by making visionary social and economic choices, the health and well-being of the nation will continue to decline. We need long-term policies, enshrined in law, that establish justice, promote the general welfare, reject decades of austerity, and build strong social programs that lift society from below.

Such policies will help us not only live up to the constitutional and moral commitments this country was founded on but also revive our economy. By organizing against the policies that have pushed millions of people out of the political narrative and increasingly out of any economic power, we can begin a path to recovery that will reduce inequality, increase workers’ power, and morally and economically benefit us all.

It Needs More Than A New Name

Political Cartoon is by Jack Ohman in The Sacramento Bee.

Right-Wing Racist Judge Sends Message To The Jury


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Helping The Rich Is Not The Path To A Better Economy


Republicans Are NOT The Fiscally Responsible Party

The chart above shows the federal government's budget deficit in each year for the last seven presidents -- four Republicans and three Democrats. Note that the budget deficit rose during the presidencies of Reagan, Bush I, Bush II, and Trump -- all Republicans. The deficit went down under the presidencies of Clinton, Obama, and Biden -- all Democrats.

The Republicans love to claim they are the fiscally responsible party. This chart shows that is simply not true. The budget deficit (and the economy in general) does better when a Democrat is in the White House. 

Monopoly Man

Political Cartoon is by Bill Day in

The Updated FBI Hate Crime Statistics For 2020

The FBI has updated its hate crime statistics for 2020, and they released the results on October 25th.

Here is that release:

Today the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program released amended 2020 hate crime statistics about bias-motivated incidents throughout the nation. Hate crime statistics for 2020 were originally released in August 2021. Due to a technical issue with submission, only partial Ohio data for 2020 were released. For that reason, modifications were made to Ohio’s hate crime data in the FBI’s database following the release. In turn, these updates affected the national hate crime totals. The updated 2020 data, submitted by 15,138 law enforcement agencies, provide information about the offenses, victims, offenders, and locations of hate crimes.

Law enforcement agencies submitted incident reports involving 8,263 criminal incidents and 11,129 related offenses as being motivated by bias toward race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, and gender identity. Highlights of Hate Crime Statistics, 2020, follow. (Due to rounding, percentage breakdowns may not add to 100%.)

Victims of Hate Crime Incidents

  • There were 8,052 single-bias incidents involving 11,126 victims. A percent distribution of victims by bias type shows that 61.8% of victims were targeted because of the offenders’ race/ethnicity/ancestry bias, 20.0% were victimized because of the offenders’ sexual-orientation bias, 13.3% were targeted because of the offenders’ religious bias, 2.7% were targeted because of the offenders’ gender identity bias, 1.4% were victimized because of the offenders’ disability bias, and 0.7% were victimized because of the offenders’ gender bias.
  • There were 211 multiple-bias hate crime incidents that involved 346 victims.

Offenses by Crime Category

  • Of the 7,750 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against persons in 2020, 53.1% were for intimidation, 27.9% were for simple assault, and 17.9% were for aggravated assault. Twenty-two (22) murders and 21 rapes were reported as hate crimes. The remaining 32 hate crime offenses were reported in the category of other.
  • Of the 3,147 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against property, most (74.1%) were acts of destruction/damage/vandalism. Robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, and other offenses accounted for the remaining 25.9% of crimes against property.
  • Two hundred thirty-two (232) additional offenses were classified as crimes against society. This crime category represents society’s prohibition against engaging in certain types of activity such as gambling, prostitution, and drug violations. These are typically victimless crimes in which property is not the object.

Known Offenders

  • In the UCR Program, the term known offender does not imply that the suspect’s identity is known; rather, the term indicates that some aspect of the suspect was identified, thus distinguishing the suspect from an unknown offender. Law enforcement agencies specify the number of offenders and, when possible, the race of the offender or offenders as a group. Beginning in 2013, law enforcement agencies began reporting whether suspects were juveniles or adults, as well as the suspect’s ethnicity when possible.
    • Of the 6,780 known offenders, 55.1% were white, and 21.2% were Black or African American. Other races accounted for the remaining known offenders: 1.1% were Asian, 1% were American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.5% were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and 5.4% were of a group of multiple races. The race was unknown for 15.7%.
    • Of the 6,169 known offenders for whom ethnicity was reported, 39.3% were Not Hispanic or Latino, 10.2% were Hispanic or Latino, and 2.4% were in a group of multiple ethnicities. Ethnicity was unknown for 48.1% of these offenders.
    • Of the 6,264 known offenders for whom ages were known, 89.1% were 18 years of age or older.

Locations of Hate Crimes

Law enforcement agencies may specify the location of an offense within a hate crime incident as one of 46 location designations. In 2020, most hate crime incidents (28.9%) occurred in or near residences/homes. Nearly 20% (19.9) occurred on highways/roads/alleys/streets/sidewalks, 6.5% happened at parking/drop lots/garages, 4.2% occurred at schools/colleges, 3.6% occurred at parks/playgrounds, and 3.4% took place in churches/synagogues/temples/mosques. The location was reported as other/unknown for 8.6% of hate crime incidents. The remaining 24.8% of hate crime incidents took place at other or multiple locations.

Many Halloweens Ago

 Political Cartoon is by David Fitzsimmons in the Arizona Daily Star.

Texas Gerrymandered To Create 2 New White GOP Districts

When the 2020 census was released, it was announced that the Texas population had grown enough to give the state two new congressional districts.

About 95% of that population growth was among minority populations (Hispanics, Blacks, Asians, etc.). A reasonable person would assume that since the growth was among minorities, the two new districts would be minority districts.

But Texas Republicans are neither rational nor fair. They did some serious gerrymandering, and gave the state two new districts that are predominately white.

That means that of the 38 districts, about 62% are predominately white -- even though whites only make up about 40% of the state population.

This was nothing less than an attack on racial and ethnic voters -- trying to minimize their electoral power in the state.

Here is part of how Dean Obeidallah describes this racist gerrymandering at

Texas has seen first-hand the connection between the state’s changing demographics and voting results. In 2012, presidential nominee Mitt Romney won the Lone Star state by nearly 16 pointsover Barack Obama. In 2016, Donald Trump won, but only by 9 points. Come the 2020 election, Trump’s victory in Texas was barely over 5 percent. You don’t need to have a Ph.D. in mathematics to get that these numbers put Texas Democrats closer to winning statewide elections for the first time since 1994. (The last time a Democratic presidential candidate won Texas was Jimmy Carter in 1976.)

The brutal truth is that the reason Texas and other GOP statesenacted 33 laws in 19 states since January to make it harder to vote was never about Trump’s “big lie.” It was about Trump’s “big loss.” Republicans are freaking out that people who don’t look like most of them could soon be in charge. Consequently, they're apparently using any means to preserve that power. 

The Texas GOP drafted the new voting districts to “shrink the number of districts in which eligible Hispanic and Black voters can realistically sway election outcomes,” as The Texas Tribune noted. By way of “elaborately manipulated lines to create district boundaries,” they reduced from eight to seven the districts that are majority Latino and reduced the districts where Black residents make up the majority of voters from one to zero.

In a central Texas House district in Bell County that had been trending blue (Black and Hispanic populations were nearly equal to the white population there), the district was redesigned into a doughnut-like configuration that effectively “segregated” the Black and Hispanic communities to dilute their political strength.

In the suburbs of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which also has been trending blue in recent years, the party redesigned two congressional districts, creating two new majority white districts designed to more easily elect Republicans to both congressional seats. . . .

The reason the party can be so brazen in its efforts to suppress the vote of people of color is because this is the state's first redistricting since the Voting Rights Act was gutted in 2013 by the Republican-controlled Supreme Court in the infamous Shelby County v. Holderdecision. Ten years ago, the Texas GOP would’ve needed “pre-clearance” before these new voting maps could go into effect — same for its voter suppression measures. But with that key part of the VRA gutted — and with a 6-to-3 Republican majority on the Supreme Court — the GOP is going full throttle in its efforts to maintain white supremacy.