Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Trump Is Becoming More Vulnerable


 

We Could Have Avoided This Measles Outbreak

 

The following is part of an article in The Washington Post:

This year is not yet one-third over, yet measles cases in the United States are on track to be the worst since a massive outbreak in 2019. At the same time, anti-vaccine activists are recklessly sowing doubts and encouraging vaccine hesitancy. Parents who leave their children unvaccinated are risking not only their health but also the well-being of those around them.

Measles is one of the most contagious human viruses — more so than the coronavirus — and is spread through direct or airborne contact when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes. The virus can hang in the air for up to two hours after an infected person has left an area. It can cause serious complications, including pneumonia, encephalitis and death, especially in unvaccinated people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one person infected with measles can infect 9 out of 10 unvaccinated individuals with whom they come in close contact.

But measles can be prevented with the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine; two doses are 97 percent effective. When 95 percent or more of a community is vaccinated, herd immunity protects the whole. Unfortunately, vaccination rates are falling. . . .

 Vaccination coverage among U.S. kindergartners has slipped from 95.2 percent during the 2019-2020 school year to 93.1 percent in the 2022-2023 school year, according to the CDC, leaving approximately 250,000 kindergartners at risk each year over the past three years. . . .

The CDC reports that, in the decade before the measles vaccine became available in 1963, the disease killed 400 to 500 people, hospitalized 48,000 and gave 1,000 people encephalitis in the United States every year — and that was just among reported cases. The elimination of measles in the United States in 2000, driven by a safe and effective vaccine, was a major public health success. Although the elimination status still holds, the U.S. situation has deteriorated. The nation has been below 95 percent two-dose coverage for three consecutive years, and 12 states and the District below 90 percent.

The Chasm Just Narrowed

Political Cartoon is by Joe Heller at hellertoon.com.
 

Trump Tax Policy Versus Rational Tax Policy

 

More and more of the super-rich are deciding that they will support Donald Trump. Many of them know he won't be a good president, but they also know he will make sure they get more tax cuts - and those tax cuts are more important to them than what happens to this country.

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich gives us the facts about Trump's last tax cut:


And then tells us about a rational tax policy that should be pursued instead of extending the Trump cuts:


Just Another Trump Ass-Kisser

Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at claytoonz.com.
 

Trump's Manhattan Trial Begins - It Should Be A Fair Trial


 Donald Trump's first trial officially began yesterday in Manhattan with jury selection. 

A large part of the population loves Trump. An equally large part hates him. Trump's lawyers will try to make sure no rabid Trump haters make it onto the jury. The prosecution will be equally diligent in trying to keep Trump cult members (Q-Anon, Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, etc.) off the jury.

I hope both sides are successful in that endeavor. The trial is not about Trump's popularity or unpopularity, and that should not even enter juror minds. The trial is about only one thing - did Donald Trump commit the crime he has been accused of (committing business fraud to further election fraud).

If jurors believe he committed the crime, he should be convicted. If they believe he did not commit the crime, he should be found not guilty.

Regardless of the jury decision, millions of Americans will be unhappy. That does not matter. The jury decision could also affect the upcoming presidential election. That does not matter.

The only thing that matters at this point is that he receive a fair trial. I trust that will happen.

The Monster Turns On Its Creator

Political Cartoon is by Rick McKee at Cagle.com.
 

Trump's Re-Election Would Result In Ukraine's Defeat


 

Monday, April 15, 2024

Robert Kennedy, Jr Is Not Qualified To Be President


Michael A. Cohen (MSNBC) doesn't think Robert Kennedy, Jr is qualified to serve as president of the United States. Here's part of what he writes

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has all the trappings of a legitimate third-party presidential candidate. He’s raised more than $70 million, he’s named a running mate, and his supporters are working to get him on the ballot in all 50 states.

But there’s one major aspect lacking from Kennedy’s presidential campaign — any rational reason as to why he should be president of the United States.

It’s not just that Kennedy has never held elected office and has none of the experience necessary to steward a nation of 330 million people. It’s not just that his campaign has stepped on a disproportionate number of rakes — most recently firing a staffer who said defeating President Joe Biden was her “No. 1 priority.”

I’m not even talking about his devotion to tin foil-hatted conspiracy theories, including claims that vaccines cause autism, that Covid was “targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people,” that China is developing bioweapons “to attack people of certain racial types” or that 5G wireless technology is part of a government plot to “to harvest our data and control our behavior.”

It’s that in intellect and demeanor, he’s remarkably unqualified for the job he is seeking. It would be bad enough if Kennedy were running for the House or Senate, but there’s only so much harm he could do in Congress. But unfit presidents can do real and enduring damage.

What defines Kennedy’s views on practically every public policy issue is a childlike aversion to generally accepted truths. If the world zigs, then Kennedy must zag. . . .

Some will argue that he is an iconoclastic thinker willing to challenge conventional wisdom. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with challenging authority and accepted truths. It can often be a laudable pursuit. But as is the case with another know-nothing presidential candidate, in Kennedy’s hands, it’s little more than oppositional hardheadedness with which the parents of young children are all too familiar.

Kennedy’s worldview — and that of those who embrace his campaign for president — is emblematic of a strain of pseudointellectualism that confuses a refusal to accept facts with intellectual courage. In reality, moronic conspiracy theories are often just that: moronic conspiracy theories. 

But it’s also a byproduct of extreme privilege and arrogance. Being the son of Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy has gifted him a platform, resources and prominence. If his last name were Johnson or Smith, he’d just be another crank with a dozen followers on Twitter and a YouTube channel that nobody watches. . . .

Unfortunately, because Kennedy is getting a not-insubstantial share of the vote in presidential polls, we have to pay attention to him. Fortunately, like all third-party candidates, it’s likely that these numbers will drop as we get closer to the November election.

But make no mistake, Kennedy is completely out of his depth in running for president and has neither the smarts nor the temperament to do the job. The only thing more embarrassing than his bid for the White House is that so many of his fellow citizens are willing to embrace it.

The Republican View

Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at claytoonz.com.
 

The Five Women Living Rent-Free In Trump's Mind


 

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Trump Compares Himself To Lincoln


 

Most Voters Think Trump Committed Serious Criminal Acts

 




The charts above reflect the results of the New York Times / Siena College Poll -- done between April 7th and 11th of a nationwide sample of 1,059 registered voters, with a 3.3 point margin of error.

Political Adultry

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

GOP Candidates Trying To Hide/Change Their Abortion Views


Nearly half a century ago, when the Supreme Court legalized abortion in Roe v. Wade, Republican officials were quick to take the anti-abortion side of the issue. They knew they couldn't do anything about it, but it gave them the opportunity to solidify the votes of anti-abortion voters in their corner. 

They claimed it was a moral principle to oppose abortion, because a human was created at the moment of conception - that meant abortion was killing a "person".

But an unexpected thing happened. A Republican president was installed in the White House, and he was able to appoint several Supreme Court justices. These new justices, combined with some right-wingers already on the court, overturned Roe v. Wade

That's when big troubles began for Republican candidates. They had not thought their stance through or realized how it would affect their party.

It turns out that the people they made happy by banning abortion were just a minority. Most Americans were happy with the Roe v. Wade decision and wanted to keep abortion legal. They believed abortion was a women's rights issue, and banning it put many women in danger medically.

Republicans were expecting a huge red wave in the 2022 election, but it didn't happen. Many Republicans were defeated because of the party's anti-abortion views. And several red states held votes on propositions that would legalize abortion, and those propositions won every time!

Then it got worse. The Alabama Supreme Court, acting on the GOP belief that life began at conception, riled that embryos in an IVF clinic could not be destroyed (even though they would never be implanted or born). That cast a chill on IVF, and many clinics stopped offering the procedure. The procedure is extremely popular with the public.

Now, facing another election where they stand opposed to abortion (and thereby IVF), many GOP candidates are either changing or trying to hide their views. It seems their "moral principle" is no longer valid when it threatens their election to office.

Many are now trying to find a middle ground, offering abortions legal until 6, 15, or 16 weeks. That makes no sense. Life either begins at conception or at birth (or viability), but it is not something that happens on a sliding scale of a certain number of weeks. They are now trying to compromise on an issue they once claimed could not be compromised.

It's one more principle that GOP candidates have abandoned. They are left with only two "principles" - more tax cuts for the rich and whatever Donald Trump wants. It's pathetic!

Donald Trump's Wake Up Call

Political Cartoon is by Ann Telnaes in The Washington Post

What The 2024 Election Is About


 

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Republicans Want To Outlaw Something That's Already Illegal

 

Women Are Time Travelers - But Only Backwards (SATIRE)


The best satire is based in truth. That is the case with this satire written by Alexandra Petri in The Washington Post:

“Before you get too attached to me,” the woman said, “I must tell you my horrible secret: I can travel through time.”


“Forward?” her husband asked. “Everyone can.”


“No,” she said. “Well, not just forward. I thought it was just forward for a long time. That would make sense. But after 2022, it stopped being just forward.”


“How does it work?” he asked.


“It’s a curse,” she said.


“What caused it?”


“The Supreme Court,” she said. “The judiciary, generally. One afternoon in June of 2022, I discovered it was actually 1973. At best.”


He looked worried.


The woman had not had the power for as long as she could remember, she explained. Just since 2022. Specifically, June of 2022. Indeed, for most of her life she had thought of herself as a normal citizen of the 21st-century United States, endowed with the same rights and privileges as anyone else, and certainly not possessed of any special capacity for time travel.


But it turned out that such gifts could be bestowed at any time. This one was a gift of the Supreme Court. Now she, and millions of others around the country, could travel back in time at will. Not even at her own will. Sometimes it would just be the will of a particularly gerrymandered state legislature. It was a terrible way to spend a Tuesday, worrying that without warning you were going to be thrust back in time.


All across the country it was different. She was not the only person traveling like this. Almost everyone with a uterus was experiencing some form of temporal displacement. Some found themselves hurled back to the 19th century, others just to the mid-20th. Some felt no disturbance at all unless they moved closer to their respective state lines.


The odd thing about these powers, they were quick to notice, was that they brought no benefits whatsoever. “Can you hear ragtime music?” people would ask, when a woman discovered that she was being taken back to the dawn of the 20th century. “Can you see the stars without satellite interference? Is the rainwater potable?”


“No,” she would answer. “No, everything is the same, except, for some reason, the laws governing my body.”


“Did you feel that?” the woman asked her husband. He had been supportive, if confused, since she had begun time traveling. She knew something was amiss. She felt the vertiginous sensation that always accompanied one of these jumps through time.


“What year is it?” she asked, worried.


“It’s 2024,” her husband said. “We’re in Arizona. Why?”


She shook her head. “Not where I am.”


He checked the news. And sure enough: Her body was in the 19th century again. “1864,” he said. “Why would it be 1864?”


“No good reason,” she said. “The state supreme court.”

“Can you see a herd of buffalo, at least?” he asked. “If you’re in 1864 now? Moving thickly over the plain?”


“I don’t think that modifier is in the right place,” she replied. “And, no. Everything looks the same.”


“Are you wearing a crinoline?”


“I am obviously not.”


“Then how can you be sure?”


“The laws governing my body,” she said grimly. “Just watch me try getting some routine 21st-century medical care without my doctor facing the loss of their license.”

Sure enough, she couldn’t.


“It’s ridiculous!” he fumed. She could still hear him, even across the gap of time. “Why would they want to return you to a time before women could vote, when maternal mortality was still sky-high? Do they think this is a game? People will have their lives ruined. People will die.”

She was glad he was so upset on her behalf. She had worried that the power she now possessed might alienate him.


“It’s not a power at all!” he shouted. He looked helplessly at her. She was wearing wide-legged jeans like it was 2024 or 2005, but he knew that inside the jeans, she was stuck far in the past.


“Can you change anything?” he asked. “While you’re back there?”


She shook her head. “Ironically, no,” she said. “We searched high and low for Anthony Comstock to ask who hurt him, but to no avail.”


“Could you bend the arc of history, or something?”


“No. It turns out we have to keep pushing at the arc all the time or it snaps right back into place. It seems we’ll have to travel forward.”


“Forward?”


“To November. We just have to hold on until November.”


Maybe if they could just hold on long enough to get to a voting booth, she would have rights again, instead of this mysterious power. Maybe, if they pushed hard enough at the arc, they could get back to where they had been in the past, instead of where they were in the present.

Trump's New Stance On Abortion

Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at claytoonz.com.
 

Republicans Created Their Own Abortion Problems


 

Friday, April 12, 2024

Property Tax Favors The Wealthy / Punishes Poor Communities


 

64% Of Voters Say Trump's Manhattan Trial Is Serious

 

The chart above reflects the results of a new Reuters / Ipsos Poll -- done between April 4th and 8th of a nationwide sample of 833 registered voters, with a 4 point margin of error.

Arizona GOP Marches The State Back To 1864

Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at claytoonz.com.
 

About 211,000 Workers Filed For Unemployment Last Week


The Labor Department released its weekly unemployment report on Thursday. It showed that about 211,000 workers filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending on April 6th. Here is the official Labor Department statement:

In the week ending April 6, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 211,000, a decrease of 11,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 221,000 to 222,000. The 4-week moving average was 214,250, a decrease of 250 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 214,250 to 214,500.

He Did That!

Political Cartoon is by Nick Anderson in RA News.
 

Most Americans Agree About These Six Things

 





These charts reflect the results of the NPR / PBS NewsHour / Marist Poll -- done between March 25th and 28th of a nationwide sample of 1,305 adults, with a 3.5 point margin of error.

Not Easy To Run On

Political Cartoon is by Gary Huck at huckkonopackicartoons.com.
 

This Is Not The Time For Political Games


 

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Abortion Bans Are A Violation Of Religious Freedom For Some


 

A Plurality In U.S. Support Decreasing Military Aid To Israel

 

The chart above reflects the result of the new Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between April 6th and 9th of a nationwide sample of 1,795 adults (including 1,583 registered voters). The margin of error for adults is 3.1 points and for registered voters is 2.9 points.

MTG Finds More Signs From God

Political Cartoon is by Monte Wolverton at Cagle.com.
 

Trump's Manhattan Trial Is More Serious Than Many Think

 

I am a little irritated by a lot of the media coverage about Trump's trial in Manhattan, which is set to start in just a few days. It is commonly referred to as the "hush money to a porn star" case, making it seem as though it's not a very serious matter. But it is far more serious than that.

And Donald Trump knows it is a serious matter. That's why he has tried so hard to get it dismissed or delayed.

It started when Trump paid off a porn star (Stormy Daniels) to keep quiet about their sexual encounter. Paying her off would not be a crime. But he tried to hide the payoff by making numerous small payments to his attorney (to reimburse him for making the payoff). Hiding the payoff in this way was business fraud.
Hiding the payoff in this way would normally be a misdemeanor, but it became a felony because the intent was to cover another crime (election fraud). Trying to cover election fraud made each of the payments a felony - 34 in all.

Each count could carry a 4 year prison sentence, and if made consecutive could total as much as 136 years in prison. It is doubtful he would get a long prison sentence. More like, he would get probation (because he has not been convicted of a previous criminal act, and he is a rich man running for president). 
But even a guilty verdict resulting in probation would make him a convicted criminal.

And being a convicted criminal could seriously affect his chances to be elected president.

This is a serious matter, and Trump knows it (even if many in the public don't).

Grifter Takes Advantage Of Circus Atmosphere

Political Cartoon is by Jimmy Margulies at jimmymargulies.com.
 

President Biden's Reaction To Arizona Approval Of 1864 Law



 

The House GOP's Ridiculous Carnival Game

Political Cartoon is by Matt Wuerker at Politico.com.
 

Recent Immigrants Have Been A Huge Boost For Economy


 

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Judge Approves 42 Questions For Jurors In Trump's N.Y. Trial

To see all 42 juror questions, you can go here

Trump Has Been All Over The Map On Abortion


Last week, Donald Trump said he would announce his stand on abortion. But he really didn't take a stand. He said he thinks it should just be left as it is - with the decision left up to each individual state. He's trying to take a middle of the road position that won't anger either side of the issue. It won't work. The pro-choice side is unhappy with the current situation, and so is the anti-abortion side (who want a ban in all states).

It shouldn't surprise us that Trump doesn't know what stand to take. He's been on both sides of the issue.

NBC News lays out Trump's many different positions on abortion: 

October 1999: 'I am very pro-choice'

In an interview on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” Trump said, “I am very pro-choice. I hate the concept of abortion. ... I just believe in choice. Again, it may be a little bit of a New York background, because there is some different attitude in some different parts of the country. ... I was raised in New York and grew up and worked and everything else in New York City. But I am strongly pro-choice."

Asked whether he would ban any abortion, including “partial-birth” abortion, Trump said: “No. I am pro-choice in every respect in as far as it goes. But I just hate it.”

February 2011: 'I am pro-life'

In a speech before the Conservative Political Action Conference while considering a 2012 run for the White House, Trump laid out his positions, including a new posture on abortion. 

I am pro-life," he said. "Against gun control. ... I will fight to end Obamacare and replace it with something that makes sense to people in business and not bankrupt the country.” 

August 2015: Divided over defunding Planned Parenthood

In an interview with CNN, Trump said: “I would look at the good aspects of it, and I would also look because I’m sure they do some things properly and good, good for women, and I would look at that.”

February 2016: Says he'll defund Planned Parenthood — while also praising the group

Trump in a 2016 debate said he would cut off federal funding to Planned Parenthood while offering the marquee abortion rights organization a compliment. 

“Millions of millions of women — cervical cancer, breast cancer — are helped by Planned Parenthood,” Trump said. “I would defund it because I’m pro-life, but millions of women are helped by Planned Parenthood.”

March 2016: 'Some form of punishment' for women who seek abortions 

While he was still a GOP candidate for president, Trump said those who seek abortions should be subject to "some form of punishment." Asked in an MSNBC town hall whether there should be punishment, Trump said: “The answer is that there has to be some form of punishment.” 

“For the woman?” host Chris Matthews asked Trump.

“Yes,” Trump replied.

October 2016: Trump vows to overturn Roe v. Wade 

Trump said he would appoint the number of justices necessary to the Supreme Court to overturn Roe. v. Wade

January 2017: Trump nominates Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court

At his confirmation hearing, Gorsuch referred to "settled" precedenton abortion. 

“Once a case is settled, that adds to the determinacy of the law. What was once a hotly contested issue is no longer a hotly contested issue. We move forward,” Gorsuch said.

October 2017: House passes 20-week abortion ban with Trump's support

The House passed legislation to ban abortions in most cases. At the time, Trump's White House said it “strongly supports” the bill “and applauds the House of Representatives for continuing its efforts to secure critical pro-life protections.”

January-May 2018: Trump advocates for a 20-week national abortion ban

Trump called on the Senate to approve the House's 20-week ban bill and vowed to sign it if it landed on his desk. (It never did)

July 2018: Trump nominee Brett Kavanaugh assures skeptics Roe v. Wade is 'settled' 

firestorm erupted over Kavanaugh's nomination. Among the concerns: that he'd be hostile to Roe v. Wade. At his confirmation hearing, Kavanaugh said that Roe “has been reaffirmed many times over the past 45 years” and that the most prominent and most important case was Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992. Hillary Clinton at the time warned Kavanaugh would one day vote to overturn Roe.

October 2020: Senate confirms Amy Coney Barrett 

About a week before the 2020 election, Trump’s third conservative Supreme Court justice was confirmed to the court.

June 2022: 'God made the decision' to overturn Roe v. Wade

The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, with the three justices Trump appointed voting to void it – including Kavanaugh. At the time, Trump told Fox News that “God made the decision” when he was asked how he felt about playing a role in appointing the three conservative justices who made up the majority in the landmark reversal. 

“I think, in the end, this is something that will work out for everybody," Trump said. He added: “This brings everything back to the states, where it has always belonged."

November 2022: Republican midterm losses

In a surprise, the GOP suffered losses in the midterm elections at a time when that the party should have swept seats, following tradition of the opposing party in the White House doing well in the midterms. Instead, Democrats held the Senate.

December 2022: McConnell blames Trump

In an NBC News interview, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. blamed those losses on Trump.

January 2023: Trump blames abortion for the midterm losses 

“It wasn’t my fault that the Republicans didn’t live up to expectations in the MidTerms,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “It was the ‘abortion issue,’ poorly handled by many Republicans, especially those that firmly insisted on No Exceptions, even in the case of Rape, Incest, or Life of the Mother, that lost large numbers of Voters.”

September 2023: Trump makes vague promises about an abortion compromise 

In an interview on NBC News’ “Meet the Press," Trump said he would be a voice of consensus on abortion — but didn’t specify how. “Let me just tell you what I’d do,” he said. “I’m going to come together with all groups, and we’re going to have something that’s acceptable.”

February-March 2024: Trump flirts with a national abortion ban

After reports surfaced that he told others he was considering a federal abortion ban at 16 weeks, his campaign dismissed them as “fake news.” Soon after, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told NBC News that “Trump is warming up to 16 weeks.” And then Trump himself in an interview suggested he’d support a 15-week ban

April 2: Trump avoids answering on Florida's six-week abortion ban

At a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Trump said his campaign would be “making a statement next week on abortion” after he was asked whether he supported a six-week abortion ban that the Florida Supreme Court just upheld.

April 8: Trump says abortion should go back to the states 

Despite having teased otherwise, Trump didn’t announce support for a federal abortion ban. Trump released a video on Truth Social saying the abortion issue is appropriately handled by individual states. He didn’t say, however, what he would do if he won the presidency and Congress sent him a national ban.

“My view is, now that we have abortion where everybody wanted it from a legal standpoint, the states will determine by vote or legislation, or perhaps both, and whatever they decide must be the law of the land,” Trump said.