Monday, October 31, 2022

Happy Halloween


15.8% Of Voters Have Voted In Texas' First 6 Days Of Voting


Two-Thirds Of Voters Say ALL Government Officials Should Be Banned From Trading Stocks

The chart is from a Politico / Morning Consult Poll -- done between October 21st and 23rd of a nationwide sample of 2,005 registered voters, with a 2 point margin of error. 

Not A Costume

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

The Two Enemies Of Our Democracy

 The following insightful article is by Robert Reich:

The stakes in the midterm election, now just 12 days away, could not be higher. In many ways, these midterms will determine the future of American democracy.

But let’s be clear. There are two enemies of democracy in the upcoming midterms:

Election deniers, undermining Americans' faith that our system is unbiased.

And big money from corporations and the ultra-wealthy, undermining Americans' faith that our system is fair.

We must fight both.

Election deniers are dangerous enough, but big money is also poisoning our politics.

So far, the 50 biggest donors in the midterms have collectively pumped a record $1.1 billion into political committees and other groups supporting candidates. Most of this is going to Republican candidates.

Corporations are also setting contribution records. The total cost of the 2022 midterm elections is projected to exceed $9.3 billion, on track to surpass the inflation-adjusted 2018 midterm record of $7.1 billion.

As political scientists Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page concluded years ago after examining in detail 1,799 policy issues before Congress, “The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically nonsignificant impact upon public policy.”

Why? Because moneyed interests have bribed lawmakers to do their bidding.

Trumpism is a clear and present danger to American democracy -- but so is the corruption of our system by big money. 

And the two are related.

If you’re one of the tens of millions of Americans who are working harder than ever but getting nowhere, and who understand that the political-economic system is rigged against you and in favor of the rich and powerful, what are you going to do?

Hopefully, you’ll reject Trumpism. You’ll see it for the snake oil it is.

But there’s a chance you might just believe Trump’s Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen, and that the system is rigged. And you might just be willing to throw out our current democracy in favor of dictator and his enablers who promise to bring power back to the people.

In other words, the overwhelming dominance of big money has created a deep cynicism about our democracy, which Trump and election-denying Republican candidates are exploiting to the hilt.


Those of us who love democracy must do more than vanquish Trumpism. We must also vanquish the corrupting influence of big money on our system.  

Cognitively Challenged

Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at

Cruelty = Weakness


Sunday, October 30, 2022

"The Killer" Has Died - He Was A Legend


Most Americans Trust Poll Workers


These charts are from the YouGov Poll -- done on October 18th and 19th of a nationwide sample of 7,744 adults.

Herschel's Halloween

 Political Cartoon is by Ed Hall at

Pelosi's Attacker Is A Q-anon Nut, A Bigot, And A Trumper

It should come as no surprise that the man attacking Mr. Pelosi was a right-wing scumbag. Here's some of what the Los Angeles Times says about him:

In the months before police accused him of attacking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Friday morning, David DePape had been drifting further into the world of far-right conspiracies, antisemitism and hate, according to a Times review of his online accounts.

In a personal blog that DePape maintained, posts include such topics as “Manipulation of History,” “Holohoax” and “It’s OK to be white.” He mentioned 4chan, a favorite message board of the far right. He posted videos about conspiracies involving COVID-19 vaccines and the war in Ukraine being a ploy for Jewish people to buy land.

DePape’s screeds included posts about QAnon, an unfounded theory that former President Trump is at war with a cabal of Satan-worshipping elites who run a child sex ring and control the world. In an Aug. 23 entry titled “Q,” DePape wrote: “Either Q is Trump himself or Q is the deepstate moles within Trumps inner circle.”. . .

DePape followed a number of conservative creators online, including Tim Pool, Glenn Beck, DailyWire+ and the Epoch Times. He also followed an account on YouTube called Black Pilled and reposted several of its videos on his blog. “Blackpilling” is internet slang for coming to believe supposedly unacceptable facts about society, and the reposted videos include accusations such as the FBI covering up child rape. . . .

When DePape was sounding off about QAnon, he posted: “Remember when the UK arrested parents for trying to rescue their children from being gang banged at pedo rape parties and f— LET the pedo’s CONTINUE their kiddie rape orgies,” he continued.

Another post referenced “pizzagate,” a bogus conspiracy theory that posited that children were trapped in a sexual abuse ring in a Washington, D.C., pizzeria run by Hillary Clinton and a chief aide.

“Pizza gate is connected to Epstien hahahahha,” a post from Aug. 23 read. “My friends would be like pizza gate was debunked their is NO such thing as elite pedophile sex rings and I’m like HELLO Epstein what planet are you on?”

In another, he called “equity” a leftist dog whistle “for the systematic oppression of white people” and “diversity” a “dog whistle for the genocide of the white race.” In others, he posted separate videos questioning the Holocaust and alleging Jewish bankers were responsible for Hitler’s rise to power. . . .

DePape posted videos to Facebook by MyPillow Chief Executive Mike Lindell saying that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, according to reports.

He also linked to sites with claims about the deadliness of COVID-19 vaccines.

Hanging By A Thread (That GOP Wants To Cut)

 Political Cartoon is by Gary Huck at

Twitter Is NOT Going To Be Better Under Musk


Saturday, October 29, 2022

Threats Against Congress Members Increased Since 2017


New Poll Says 68% Support Marijuana Legalization


These charts are from a new Monmouth University Poll -- done between October 13th and 17th of a nationwide sample of 808 adults, with a 5.2 point margin of error.

Truly Frightening

Political Cartoon is by Christopher Weyant in The Boston Globe.

Most Americans Would Not Be Helped By GOP Economics

Republicans are basing their election hopes on an economic message. They want Americans to believe they are the party that could best run the economy. That is nothing short of a lie! They cling to their failed "trickle-down" theory -- that whatever is good for the rich is good for everyone. That has not worked in the past, and would not work in the future. The truth is that the GOP economic plan would be bad for most Americans.

Republicans will not help the poor.

Republicans still want to cut government spending. And the spending they want to cut is the meager help the government gives to the poor. These people are already struggling to make ends meet, and the Republicans would make their lives much harder.

Republicans will not help the working poor.

Somewhere between 20% and 25% of all workers are making at or close to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. That is a poverty wage that keeps these workers poor, even though they work hard at a full-time job. No one who works a full-time job should have to live in poverty, but the Republicans refuse to raise the minimum wage.

Republicans will not help seniors.

Republicans want to cut funding for Social Security and Medicare, even though they are funded by payroll deductions that workers pay their entire working lives. And Republicans have already said they will refuse to raise the debt limit (and cause the nation to default on its loans) to force cuts to Social Security and Medicare. These cuts will make life harder for seniors -- many of whom depend solely on those programs to stay out of poverty.

Republicans will not help the middle class.

Unions built the middle class in this country. But Republicans oppose unions. They want to make it harder to join a union or form a new union. They know that without unions their corporate masters can keep worker wages below what it should be. In the past, workers shared in productivity gains, but thanks to Republicans the rich corporate owners now hog all those productivity gains. And Republicans will allow that to continue.

Those groups together make up a majority of Americans. To be blunt, the Republicans have no interest in helping a majority of Americans.

So, who would they help. That's easy -- the rich and corporations. They have already come out in favor of making the Trump tax cuts permanent -- tax cuts that went mostly to the rich and corporations.

Don't let the GOP politicians fool you. They are not the party of the poor, the working class, or the middle class. They are the party of the rich. The only thing they offer those who are not rich is just lies!

Spooky, Terrifying, And Not Real

 Political Cartoon is by Phil Hands in the Wisconsin State Journal.

The Republicans Have No Plan To Reduce Inflation

The following is part of an op-ed in The New York Times by Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman:

Republicans have largely given up on the recession story. Instead, their economic attacks, in both debates and campaign ads, have been focused overwhelmingly on inflation, especially gas prices.

It therefore seems worth pointing out that the G.O.P. doesn’t have a plan to fight inflation. Actually, it doesn’t have any coherent economic plan at all. But to the extent that Republicans have laid out what they will try to do if they win the midterms, their policies would make inflation worse, not better.

When pressed about how, exactly, they would reduce inflation, Republicans often fall back on some version of “Gas was only $2 a gallon when Trump left office!” . . .

Despite G.O.P. rhetoric, Biden administration policies have had little impact on gas prices, which have been driven by events affecting world markets — notably Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — and to some extent by bottlenecks in refining, which grew worsefor several weeks starting in mid-September but have eased again.

So what is the Republican plan to bring gas prices down? There isn’t one.

What about inflation more generally? You can make the case that large deficit spending early in the Biden presidency fed inflation (although it had little effect on the most politically salient prices, for energy and food, which have soared around the world).

If you’re worried about the inflationary impact of budget deficits, however, you should know that almost the only concrete economic policy idea we’re hearing from Republicans is that they want to extend the Trump tax cuts, which would … substantially increase the deficit.

It’s true that many Republicans adhere to an economic ideology that doesn’t see deficits caused by tax cuts as a problem, either because they believe — in the teeth of all the evidence — that tax cuts somehow pay for themselves, or because they believe that government spending, not deficits per se, is what causes problems.

But if you believe that cutting taxes without any plausible plan for offsetting spending cuts isn’t a problem even in a time of inflation, markets beg to disagree. Look at what happened to the pound and British interest rates after Liz Truss, the quickly deposed prime minister, announced an economic plan that, broadly speaking, looks a lot like what Republicans are proposing here. (There’s more to it than that, but still.)

The bottom line is that while the G.O.P.’s election strategy is all about blaming the Biden administration for inflation, the Republican Party doesn’t actually have any plan to reduce inflation. To the extent it has an economic plan at all, it would make inflation worse.


Political Cartoon is by Dave Whamond at

Texas Is One Of The Most Restrictive States For Voting


Friday, October 28, 2022

Republicans Won't Make Inflation Better - But WORSE!


About 217,000 Workers Filed For Unemployment Last Week

The Labor Department released its weekly unemployment statistics on Thursday. It showed that about 217,000 workers filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending on October 22nd. Here is the official Labor Department statement:

In the week ending October 22, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 217,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 214,000. The 4-week moving average was 219,000, an increase of 6,750 from the previous week's unrevised average of 212,250. 

The GOP Mantra

 Political Cartoon is by Pat Byrnes at

Republicans Have Told Us Who They Are - BELIEVE THEM!

The following op-ed is by Jennifer Rubin in The Washington Post:

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has shown yet again that Republicans are no longer bothering to disguise their extremism and contempt for voters’ intelligence. He has indicated that ifRepublicans are put in charge, they would be willing to put aid to Ukraine on the chopping block and play a game of chicken with the full faith and credit of the United States.

McCarthy’s candor is not unique. MAGA candidates in debates, interviews and speeches have readily conceded their most extreme views and displayed their worst qualities. Here are six themes that keep popping up:

1 - Republicans want politicians to control women’s pregnancies

Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Mehmet Oz turned himself into a meme when he insisted in his debate with Democratic opponent John Fetterman that women, doctors and “local political leaders” should be making decisions about abortions. Thanks to him, many voters in Pennsylvania and elsewhere will go to the polls thinking of politicians prying into women’s OB/GYN appointments.

Meanwhile, Herschel Walker, the Republican Senate candidate in Georgia, attempted to walk back his extreme position on abortion in a recent debate, arguing that he always supported exceptions to abortion bans for cases of rape or incest or to protect the health of the mother. This is false.

And Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who previously declared that his state’s abortion ban is “not going to be that big a change,” deflected in his debates. Instead, he now supports a state referendum, which Wisconsin Republicans have already rejected.

2 - Republicans won’t hesitate to back former president Donald Trump

It’s true, as the Hill reported, that “Former Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and former Vice President Mike Pence in recent days each indicated they’d rather see someone else on the ballot in the next presidential election.” But none of them are on the ballot. Virtually all those who are refuse to criticize Trump.

Oz declared: “I’ll support whoever the Republican Party puts up. … I would support Donald Trump if he decided to run for president.” Arizona Republican Senate nominee Blake Masters took a call from Trump after a recent debate and dutifully pledged to keep faith with election deniers. “Absolutely, we stay with those people,” Masters replied.

Forget the notion that Republicans would defy Trump if elected or show any resistance to a second term, even if Trump is under indictment. If you like Trump’s views on Ukraine, climate change and health care, you’ll love this crowd.

3 - Republicans will instigate a constitutional crisis if they do not win in 2024

Masters is not alone in embracing election denial. Kari Lake, the Republican nominee for Arizona governor, has repeatedly refused to say she would recognize her opponent, Katie Hobbs, as the winner if the voters chose her. Almost 300 Republican candidateshave at least questioned the 2020 election, some indicating that they would not have certified valid results in their states — and wouldn’t in the future.

If Republican secretaries of state, governors and members of Congress refuse to acknowledge Democratic victories in 2024, we could face a constitutional crisis that will make 2020 seem orderly.

4 - Republicans no longer pretend to support economic populism

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has declared his intention to tax poorer Americans. Meanwhile, The Post reports, “Republicans plan to push to extend key parts of President Donald Trump’s tax cuts if they take control of Congress in this fall’s elections,” thereby doubling down on large tax benefits for the wealthy. Many economists, The Post adds, say this “flies against their promises to fight inflation and reduce the federal deficit.”

Candidates aren’t advancing any anti-working-class friendly economic plans. Johnson has urged the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and has disparaged entitlements such as Social Security, which is sure to alarm the 1.3 million Wisconsinites on Social Security. And a slew of elite-educated Republican millionaires (e.g., Oz, Masters, Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance) have run on reverse-Robin-Hood platforms.

“Populism,” it seems, now amounts to fanning election denial and bullying pregnant women and corporations that decry discrimination.

5 - Republicans have no plan to fight inflation

Republicans propose extending tax cuts, cracking down on immigration and eliminating cost-cutting measures for prescription drug costs. But none of these would address inflation; they would make it worse by increasing the national debt, further tightening the job market and acting as a fiscal stimulus in an already overheated economy. Worse, Republicans are willing to stage a default crisis to demand that Democrats accept cuts to entitlements.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), when pressed on his plan to fight inflation during a recent debate, insisted that the government must stop spending on items such as the American Rescue Plan (which ended last year) and produce more domestic energy (which is largely irrelevant to inflation). Had the media devoted fewer resources to horserace coverage, voters might have a clearer picture of whether Republicans would make inflation better or worse.

6 - Republicans revel in cruelty

Charlie Crist, the Democratic candidate for Florida governor, effectively laid out the cruelty underlying Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s policies in their recent debate. “You don’t have the temperament to be kind and decent to other people who don’t look like you, who don’t act like you and don’t contribute to you,” Crist declared. On DeSantis’s ploy to send asylum seekers to other locales, Crist said: “We have an immigration problem … but it doesn’t mean that you use Florida taxpayers’ dollars to charter jets to go to Texas, lie to people to get them onto planes, fly them up to the northern part of our country.” Crist continued: “It’s not right, and you were inhumane.”

Yet DeSantis, like many other Republicans, seem unbothered to be portrayed as a bully. They show no empathy for women with unwanted pregnancies or who have been traumatized by rape or incest. Indeed, cruel and ignorant rhetoric seems to be the norm in GOP circles.

Republicans are hardly the ideal image of masculine leadership. In many cases, their Democratic opponents have aptly portrayed them as small, groveling men trying to stay in Trump’s good graces. For that, they have no defense.