Saturday, December 16, 2017

Get Into Politics


Trump Has Record Low Job Approval In Average Of Polls



These charts are from RealClearPolitics. They top one shows the average of all recent polls on Donald Trump's job approval. Note that the polls' average currently has his approval at 37.2% and disapproval at 58.0% -- a negative gap of 20.8 points.

The second chart shows Trump's job approval since he took office. Note that the current approval of 37.2% represents a record low -- and the current disapproval of 58.0% represents a record high. Trump likes to think he is a popular president, but the truth is that his approval is getting worse (not better), and he remains the most unpopular president in the modern era.

This remains a presidential administration in deep trouble.

GOP Hypocrisy

Political Cartoon is by Rob Rogers in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Lies Told By Presidents (Trump Vs. Obama)


Donald Trump has very little regard for the truth. He has told an enormous amount of lies since assuming office. When the New York Times printed a list of his lies, his supporters claimed that all presidents lie and Trump hasn't lied more than other presidents (especially President Obama). The paper investigated that -- and found it simply was not true. Trump has lied far more than Obama.

From the New York Times:

We applied the same conservative standard to Obama and Trump, counting only demonstrably and substantially false statements. The result: Trump is unlike any other modern president. He seems virtually indifferent to reality, often saying whatever helps him make the case he’s trying to make.
In his first 10 months in office, he has told 103 separate untruths, many of them repeatedly. Obama told 18 over his entire eight-year tenure. That’s an average of about two a year for Obama and about 124 a year for Trump.

Abuses Unleashed

Political Cartoon is by Adam Zyglis in The Buffalo News.

Public At Odds With Trump On Dreamers, Wall, And Abortion



President Obama issued an executive order exempting "Dreamers" (undocumented immigrants brought here as children, and who have served in the military or educated themselves, and have no criminal record) from being deported.

As part of his hateful anti-immigrant agenda, Donald Trump nullified that executive order -- putting the dreamers at risk once again of being deported (even though they were raised primarily in the U.S. and are contributing to this country). It was a shameful action, and the Democrats are now trying to pass legislation to protect the "Dreamers".

What does the American public think? Do they agree with Trump or the Democrats? A new poll shows they overwhelmingly agree with the position taken by Democrats. About 77% of the public thinks the "Dreamers" should be allowed to stay here and should be given a path to citizenship. Another 7% would let them stay w/o a path to citizenship, and only 12% wants to see them deported.

And that's not the only immigration issue the public disagrees with Trump on. About 62% oppose his desire to build a wall between the United States and Mexico, while only 36% want that wall to be built.

These charts reflect the results of a new Quinnipiac University Poll -- done between December 6th and 11th of a random national sample of 1,211 voters, with a 3.5 point margin of error.

That same poll showed the public also disagreed with Trump on the issue of abortion. About 60% say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Only 34% wants it illegal in all or most cases.


The Gift For Moore

Political Cartoon is by Mark Streeter in the Savannah Morning News.

M. Bloomberg Says GOP Tax Bill Is "Trillion Dollar Blunder"

Michael Bloomberg (conservative businessman, multi-billionaire, and ex-mayor of New York City) has given us his opinion of the Republican tax reform bill -- and it's not good. He calls the bill a "trillion dollar blunder". Here's much of what he had to say:

Last month a Wall Street Journal editor asked a room full of CEOs to raise their hands if the corporate tax cut being considered in Congress would lead them to invest more. Very few hands went up. Attending was Gary Cohn, President Donald Trump's economic adviser and a friend of mine. He asked: "Why aren't the other hands up?"
Allow me to answer that: We don't need the money.
Corporations are sitting on a record amount of cash reserves: nearly $2.3 trillion. That figure has been climbing steadily since the recession ended in 2009, and it's now double what it was in 2001. The reason CEOs aren't investing more of their liquid assets has little to do with the tax rate.
CEOs aren't waiting on a tax cut to "jump-start the economy" -- a favorite phrase of politicians who have never run a company -- or to hand out raises. It's pure fantasy to think that the tax bill will lead to significantly higher wages and growth, as Republicans have promised. Had Congress actually listened to executives, or economists who study these issues carefully, it might have realized that.
Instead, Congress did what it always does: It put politics first. After spending the first nine months of the year trying to jam through a repeal of Obamacare without holding hearings, heeding independent analysis or seeking Democratic input, Republicans took the same approach to tax "reform" -- and it shows.
The Treasury Department claimed to have more than 100 professional staffers "working around the clock" to analyze the tax cut. If true, their hard work must have been suppressed. The flimsy one-page analysis Treasury released -- which accepts the White House's reality-defying economic projections in order to claim that the tax cuts will pay for themselves and then some -- is a politically driven document that amounts to economic malpractice. So does the bill itself.
The largest economic challenges we face include a skills crisis that our public schools are not addressing, crumbling infrastructure that imperils our global competitiveness, wage stagnation coupled with growing wealth inequality, and rising deficits that will worsen as more baby boomers retire.
The tax bill does nothing to address these challenges. In fact, it makes each of them worse. . . .
In effect, the tax bill achieves four main things:
  • It takes money away from schools and students.
  • It restricts our ability to invest in infrastructure.
  • It does nothing to boost real wages while making health insurance more expensive.
  • It makes it harder to control the costs of Medicare and Social Security without cutting defense and other spending -- or further exploding the deficit.
To what end? To hand corporations big tax cuts they don't need, while lowering the tax rate paid by those of us in the top bracket, and allowing the wealthy to shelter more of their estates. . . .
The tax bill is an economically indefensible blunder that will harm our future.

Would Do ANYTHING

Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at claytoonz.com.

Their Signature Move


Friday, December 15, 2017

Depriving The Vulnerable


Farenthold Won't Seek Re-Election - But He Should Resign

(Photo of Rep. Blake Farenthold is from Crossroads Today at ABC Newscenter 25.)


One of the more egregious sexual harassers in the U.S. Congress is Rep. Blake Farenthold (who represents District 27 in Texas). He was accused by one of his aides of repeated sexual harassment, and when she complained about it, he fired her. The taxpayers wound up paying the woman $84,000 to settle her claim out of court.

Farenthold tried at first to deny that the claims were true. But now other aides have come forward to verify them. It seems that sexual harassment, laced with repeated temper tantrums, were commonplace in Farenthold's office. Farenthold also tried to avoid repercussions by saying he would repay the $84,000, but that just dodges the real issue -- that sexual harassers and abusers have no place in the U.S. Congress.

Now he is trying a different approach. He has announced that he will not seek re-election in the 2018 midterm elections. That is also unacceptable! It means he will continue to serve in the House for more than another year (until his replacement is sworn in January of 2019).

I am not alone in my demand that Farenthold resign. A new poll (see above) shows that 60% of the public thinks he should resign, while only 6% say he should not resign. And that includes 57% of the Republican base believing he should resign. The public doesn't want sex harassers and abuser from either party serving in the United States Congress. And they are right -- allowing these sex offenders to continue to serve puts a black mark on our government, and gives the impression that such behavior is at least somewhat acceptable.

It is time for his Republican cohorts in Congress to speak up and demand his resignation. So far, their silence has been deafening. They were quick to demand the resignation of Democratic Rep. Conyers for similar behavior (and he did resign). Was that just hypocritical party politics? Shouldn't the same rules apply to members of both parties?

The chart above reflects the results of a new Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between December 10th and 12th of a random national sample of 1,500 adults (including 1,338 registered voters), and has a 3.5 point margin of error.

A Sparse Tree For Middle Class

Political Cartoon is by R.J. Matson in Roll Call.

Trump's Still Facing Problems Over Sex Allegations





When he was elected, Donald Trump probably thought the allegations against him by women accusing him of sexual abuse and harassment were over. If so, then he was wrong. Those allegations are alive and well, and a recent poll showed that 70% of Americans want Congress to investigate the allegations.

Part of this is because sexual harassment and abuse have become headline news lately as powerful men in the entertainment, news and political sectors have been accused and lost their jobs. And part is because Trump gleefully jumped into the fray by tweeting about the sexual charges of others (Democrats, media, and entertainment industry). He must have thought the presidency made him immune, even though his sex allegations are as bad or worse than those made against others.

But he is not immune, and the public is still concerned about Trump's sexual crimes. This is verified by two new polls on the subject. They show that between 53% to 58% of the public believes the women making the accusations against Trump. And perhaps even more troubling for Trump, about 53% to to 57% think Trump should resign if those charges are true. The polls are:

Rasmussen Poll -- done on December 12th and 13th of a random national sample of 1,000 likely voters, with a 3 point margin of error.

Public Policy Polling -- done on December 11th and 12th of a random national sample of 862 registered voters, with a 3.3 point margin of error.

A Gift For The Rich

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

The Public Is Not Buying The GOP Lies About Tax Reform



The Republicans seem to think if they repeat the outrageous lie that their tax reform plan is for the middle class, then eventually the public will believe it -- and that once workers see the tiny increase in their pay checks, they will forget the massive tax cuts received by the wealthy and the corporations. In other words, they think the American public is stupid.

They need to listen to the public though, and not just their Trump-loving base. The general public doesn't like the GOP tax reform plan at all. About 55% disapprove of it, while only 26% approve. The public knows who the biggest beneficiaries of the plan are. About 65% say it benefits the wealthy the most -- only 21% say it benefits the middle class and a tiny 4% say it benefits low income workers.

The Republicans may get this odious bill through Congress and signed by Trump, but it won't save them in the 2018 election. It will just convince voters that Republicans care only for the rich and corporations.

The charts above are from the new Quinnipiac University Poll -- done between December 6th and 11th of a random national sample of 1,211 voters, with a 3.5 point margin of error.

Souls Already Sold

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

2018 Is Looking Like A Repeat Of 2010 - Only In Reverse

This image from an 1877 Harper's Weekly seems particularly apropos to the situation Republicans find themselves in today. They are desperately clinging to majorities in the House and Senate which could easily disappear in the midterm elections next year -- and their base keeps nominating extremist and very unsuitable candidates (which the general public doesn't want).

John Bresnahan and Elana Schor have written a great piece at Politico.com on the dilemma the GOP finds itself in. Here is part of what they have written:

A first-term president and unpopular congressional leaders are pushing a controversial legislative agenda that sparks a nationwide movement from the infuriated opposition. Retirements are suddenly putting the majority’s safe seats in play. Party leaders jam major legislation through Congress on a partisan vote, and are in such a hurry to pass it they’re rewriting it by hand hours before a vote. They lose control of their message and can't find an easy way to get back on track.

Then comes a stunning upset in a Senate special election for a seat the majority party had controlled for decades.

That year was 2010, when Republican Scott Brown’s upset win in the Massachusetts' Senate race to succeed the late Sen. Ted Kennedy previewed a tea party-fueled Republican revolution that swept the GOP into power on Capitol Hill.

But after Democrat Doug Jones’ upset in Alabama on Tuesday, it could also describe the political trajectory of 2017 — except with Democrats instead of Republicans on the winning side. . . .

Republicans ended up winning 63 House seats and six Senate seats in 2010, essentially wiping out a Democratic majority on Capitol Hill. It was a stunning result that no one thought possible in 2008, when former President Barack Obama led Democrats to a historic victory.

This year, President Donald Trump — who has the worst poll numbers of any president this early in his term — is leading House and Senate Republicans into a midterm election where their majorities are clearly at play. And Jones’ victory on Tuesday left other Republicans wondering if it’s their turn to get wiped out by an angry electorate fed up with Trump and the GOP. . . .

Trump’s poll numbers are clearly scaring Republicans on Capitol Hill. He has a 24-point negative poll rating (32 favorable, 56 unfavorable), according to the latest Monmouth University poll. Obama never was this far down in the polls, and former President George W. Bush only reached those depths in his second term, amid a barrage of dismal news on the Iraq war and Republican scandals.

But it’s the generic “Republican vs. Democrat” poll that is most concerning for Republicans. Right now, Democrats have a 15-point lead, Monmouth said. For comparison, when Democrats won the House in 2006, they had a 10.5-point lead in the generic poll. . . .

One key similarity between this year’s political landscape and 2010 is the emergence of a network of anti-Trump resistance groups that swarmed GOP town halls earlier this year to fight against the party’s Obamacare repeal plans. Parts of the liberal resistance were consciously modeled on the tea party — but unlike the tea party, Democratic moderates have largely escaped the left’s ire this year.

Partisan Bias

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

The 5 Stages Of Trumpism


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Only The Rich Matter (To Republicans)


Americans Say Trump Belongs On Santa's Naughty List


Thought I would bring you this humorous poll -- although it could be taken as just another opportunity for the public to express their displeasure over Donald Trump. The poll asked respondents whether Santa should put Trump on his naughty or nice list. Except for Republicans and those over 65, Trump didn't do well (with most thinking he should go on the naughty list. Among all people, 35% want him on the nice list and 65% think he belongs on the naughty list. It looks like Trump gets a lump of coal this year!

These results are from the new Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between December 10th and 12th of a random sample of 1,500 adults, with a margin of error of 3.5 points.

Not Enough Coal

Political Cartoon is by John Cole in the Scranton Times-Tribune.

7 Charts Illustrating The Public's Very Low Opinion Of Trump








The charts above are from a new Quinnipiac University Poll -- done between December 6th and 11th of a random national sample of 1,211 voters, with a 3.5 point margin of error.

They paint the portrait of a president in deep trouble -- a man the public doesn't respect or trust.

A Great Wish

Political Cartoon is by Gary Varvel in the Indianapolis Star.

"Rock Bottom Is No Impediment" For Donald Trump


From the USA Today Editorial Board:

With his latest tweet, clearly implying that a United States senator would trade sexual favors for campaign cash, President Trump has shown he is not fit for office. Rock bottom is no impediment for a president who can always find room for a new low.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday dismissed the president's smear as a misunderstanding because he used similar language about men. Of course, words used about men and women are different. When candidate Trump said a journalist was bleeding from her "wherever," he didn't mean her nose.  

And as is the case with all of Trump's digital provocations, the president's words were deliberate. He pours the gasoline of sexist language and lights the match gleefully knowing how it will burst into flame in a country reeling from the #MeToo moment.   

A president who would all but call Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a whore is not fit to clean the toilets in the Barack Obama Presidential Library or to shine the shoes of George W. Bush.  

This isn’t about the policy differences we have with all presidents or our disappointment in some of their decisions. Obama and Bush both failed in many ways. They broke promises and told untruths, but the basic decency of each man was never in doubt.  

Donald Trump, the man, on the other hand, is uniquely awful. His sickening behavior is corrosive to the enterprise of a shared governance based on common values and the consent of the governed. . . 

If recent history is any guide, the unique awfulness of the Trump era in U.S. politics is only going to get worse. Trump’s utter lack of morality, ethics and simple humanity has been underscored during his 11 months in office. . . 

The nation doesn’t seek nor expect perfect presidents, and some have certainly been deeply flawed. But a president who shows such disrespect for the truth, for ethics, for the basic duties of the job and for decency toward others fails at the very essence of what has always made America great.

He Can't Ride That Horse

Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at claytoonz.com.

How Democracy Dies


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Don't Believe The Lie


Alabama Elects Democrat Jones - Rejects GOP Pedophile


I owe many people in Alabama my sincere apology. I was convinced that the very red state would vote to send a pedophile to the United States Senate. They did not!

On Tuesday, in a very close election, the voters in Alabama rejected Republican candidate Roy Moore and elected the Democratic candidate Doug Jones.

How did it happen? Well, we can thank especially two groups. Black voters went to the polls in record numbers for an off-year or special election to reward Jones for his years of fighting for civil rights. Jones only had a 1.5 point winning margin, which could not have happened without the large turnout of Black voters.

And some Republican voters simply could not bring themselves to vote for Moore (because of his many faults), so they cast a write-in vote. There were enough write-in votes that could have caused a Republican victory if a candidate other than Moore had been on the GOP ticket. The difference between Jones and Moore was 20,715 votes, and there were 22,819 write-in votes.

Here is the final tabulation:

Doug Jones (D)...............671,151 (49.9%)
Roy Moore (R)...............650,436 (48.4%)
Write-in votes...............22,819 (1.7%)

THANK YOU, ALABAMA!

Not Mistakes (But Lies!)

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

Trump Wins For "Biggest Lie Of The Year" (Of Course!)


Every year, Politifact asks their readers to vote for the "Biggest Lie Of The Year". The results for this year are in the chart above. It shouldn't surprise anyone that Donald Trump is the winner -- and it wasn't even close! He won for his insistence that the Trump/ Russia collaboration story was fake (and made up by Democrats).

Twelve A Day

Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at claytoonz.com.

Six Charts Showing How Bad The GOP Tax Bill Is For U.S.







The Republicans, and Donald Trump, have been repeatedly lying to Americans about their tax bill. They claim the bill will be good for the middle class and bad for the wealthy. That is just the opposite of the truth.

These six charts from the Center On Budget And Policy Priorities shows the truth. This is a very bad bill for most Americans. It will give the rich massive (and unneeded) tax cuts, while punishing the working and middle classes.