Thursday, August 17, 2017

Own That Decision


Yes - Honoring A Heritage Of Hate Makes You A Racist

The photo at left is of a statue honoring Confederate soldiers in the city I grew up in -- Vernon, Texas. I never understood why that statue was there -- of a soldier who fought against the United States and for the institution of slavery. But it is there, and probably will be for a long time to come (the county voted 77.1% Republican in the last election).

This is not an anomaly in Texas or the rest of the Confederate states. There are more than 1,500 statues similar to it dotted throughout these states.

Finally, there is a movement to remove the statues, and some cities (like New Orleans) have already done it. But that movement infuriates others. They claim these statues just honor their heritage, and should remain standing.

Heritage? Just what kind of heritage is it honoring? Every one of the Confederate soldiers, from the lowest private to the generals, fought against the United States of America and killed American soldiers trying to defend the Union. And they did that to make sure the rich planters in their state could continue the institution of slavery. They, and their officials, were convinced that White people were superior to Black people.

It is not uncommon to hear those who defend the statues (and the flying of a rebel flag) say they are not racists, but just want to honor their heritage. They don't seem to understand that racism is not determined by what is claimed, but by the actions of those making the claim. And if you defend and honor a heritage like this, then you are a racist (whether you want to admit it or not).

You may be a closet racist -- one who would not march with the KKK, the white supremacists, and the nazis, or openly display your feelings. But if you honor and defend the Confederacy, your actions in doing so do make you a racist. You simply cannot defend and honor those who fought to maintain slavery and white supremacy, and not be a racist.

The statues should be removed. Put them in a museum, so we can always remember this shameful chapter of our history and never repeat it -- but they don't belong in the public square. They are just reminders that we have not yet rid ourselves of the disease of racism. They are symbols of hate.

Heritage ?

Political Cartoon is by Dave Granlund at davegranlund.com.

New Poll Has Trump's Job Approval At 35%



These are the new Marist Poll results -- done between August 8th and 12th of a random national sample of 1,009 adults, with a margin of error of 3.1 points.

They show that Trump is still having a problem with the American public. Only 35% approve of the job he's doing, while 55% disapproves. And 37% think he's honest and trustworthy, while 60% don't believe that. These numbers were taken before he sided with the racists, white supremacists, and nazis on Tuesday. Will that drive his numbers even lower? It should.

The Conversation (We're Doing It Wrong)

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

Trump Has Shown Us What He Is (Un-American)

(Cartoon image is by Andy Marlette in the Pensacola News-Journal.)

The following is by Paul Krugman in the New York Times:

For Donald Trump’s refusal to condemn the murderous white supremacists in Charlottesville finally confirms what has become increasingly obvious: The current president of the United States isn’t a real American.

Real Americans understand that our nation is built around values, not the “blood and soil” of the marchers’ chants; what makes you an American is your attempt to live up to those values, not the place or race your ancestors came from. And when we fall short in our effort to live up to our ideals, as we all too often do, at least we realize and acknowledge our failure.

But the man who began his political ascent by falsely questioning Barack Obama’s place of birth — a blood-and-soil argument if ever there was one — clearly cares nothing about the openness and inclusiveness that have always been essential parts of who we are as a nation.

Real Americans understand that our nation was born in a rebellion against tyranny. They feel an instinctive aversion to tyrants everywhere, and an underlying sympathy for democratic regimes, even those with whom we may currently have disputes.

But the present occupant of the White House has made no secret of preferring the company, not of democratic leaders, but of authoritarian rulers — not just Vladimir Putin, but people like Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan or Rodrigo Duterte, the homicidal leader of the Philippines. When Trump visited Saudi Arabia, his commerce secretary exulted in the absence of hostile demonstrations, an absence ensured by the repressiveness of the regime.

Real Americans expect public officials to be humbled by the responsibility that comes with the job. They’re not supposed to be boastful blowhards, constantly claiming credit for things they haven’t done — like Trump bragging about job creation that has continued at more or less the same pace as under his predecessor — or which never even happened, like his mythical victory in the popular vote.

Real Americans understand that being a powerful public figure means facing criticism. That comes with the job, and you’re supposed to tolerate that criticism even if you feel it’s unfair. Foreign autocrats may rage against unflattering news reports, threaten to inflict financial harm on publications they dislike, talk about imprisoning journalists; American leaders aren’t supposed to sound like that.

Finally, real Americans who manage to achieve high office realize that they are servants of the people, meant to use their position for the public good. In practice, human nature being what it is, many officials have in fact taken financial advantage of their office. But we’ve always understood that this was wrong — and presidents, in particular, are supposed to be above such things. Now we have a leader who is transparently exploiting his office for personal enrichment, in ways that all too obviously amount in practice to influence-buying by domestic malefactors and foreign governments alike.

In short, these days we have a president who is really, truly, deeply un-American, someone who doesn't share the values and ideals that made this country special.

In fact, he’s so deeply alienated from the American idea that he can’t even bring himself to fake it. We all know that Trump feels comfortable with white supremacists, but it’s amazing that he won’t even give them a light tap on the wrist. We all know that Putin is Trump’s kind of guy, but it’s remarkable that Trump won’t even pretend to be outraged at Putin’s meddling with our election. . . .

Whatever role foreign influence may have played and may still be playing, however, we don’t need to wonder whether an anti-American cabal, hostile to everything we stand for, determined to undermine everything that truly makes this country great, has seized power in Washington. It has: it’s called the Trump administration.

Trump's "Tent"

Political Cartoon is by Chan Lowe at the Tribune Content Agency.

Racism Is Evil - End Of Story


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Group That's Destroying America


Trump Walks Back His Condemnation Of Racists/Nazis

(Cartoon is by Randall Enos at cagle.com.)

Last Saturday, Donald Trump disappointed most Americans when he failed to condemn racists, white supremacists, and Nazis who had gathered in Charlottesville Virginia. Instead, he spoke of many groups -- as though the hate groups were just one of many ordinary political groups in this country.

He was wrong. Racists like the KKK are evil. White supremacists are evil. Nazis are evil. And their political views are all unacceptable in this diverse nation of immigrants. Their views are anathema to a nation built on equality and rule of law -- because they want to put one group above all others. That is simply un-American, and it should have been an easy call for any president to condemn them.

It took a couple of days, but his aides in the White House finally convinced him he had not done enough, and that he needed to specifically condemn racists, white supremacists, and nazis. On Monday, he grudgingly did that -- and many, including leaders in his own party, breathed a sigh of relief.

But Trump's conversion didn't last long. In a short press conference on Tuesday, he walked back his Monday comments. Once again, he said there were good (and bad) people on both sides in Charlottesville. In other words, the racists and nazis were just as good as those who oppose racism and fascism. That's a shocking idea, especially coming from the country's leader.

Why would Trump do this? Why would he help the alt-right (the racists, nazis, white supremacists, etc.)? He did it because he agrees with them. He wants the same thing they want -- an authoritarian government and society controlled by whites. He will deny it, but all racists deny they are racist. They know that is not an acceptable label in this country. But claims don't make a person what they are -- actions do.

And Trump has a clear history of racism and bigotry -- from his banning Blacks from his real estate ventures to his speeches against groups during his campaign (Mexicans, muslims, etc.). He has not changed since becoming president. That was shown by his appointing several white supremacists to his White House staff (Bannon, Gorka, Miller) and appointing a known racist to be Attorney General.

Trump's actions show he is a racist and a bigot, and his words on Tuesday were taken by the alt-right as legitimizing their sick movement. Here's what racist David Dukes said after listening to Trump on Tuesday:


On Tuesday, Donald Trump gave away what little moral authority he had left. He has made it clear where he stands -- against common decency, equality, and the United States Constitution.

Un-American

Political Cartoon is by Rick McKee in The Augusta Chronicle.

Most People Say Trump Is Not "Draining The Swamp"


During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised to "drain the swamp" in Washington once elected. Has he done that? Most Americans say NO. About 65% say he is not draining the swamp (with 39% saying it has stayed the same and 26% saying he has made it worse). Only 25% think he has made progress in draining the swamp.

The chart above was made from information in a new Monmouth University Poll -- done between August 10th and 14th of a random national sample of 805 adults, with a margin of error of 3.5 points.

Feeding The Dragon

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

Are We Winning The War In Afghanistan ?


A couple of weeks ago, when the generals finally got Trump to listen to a full assessment of what is happening in Afghanistan, Trump was shocked. He told them -- We're not winning - We're losing! I don't know why that was a shock to him. We've been there nearly 16 years (the longest war in U.S. history) and still haven't accomplished any of our goals there -- and there's no reason to believe that will change any time soon.

The public wasn't surprised though. Most of them that have an opinion on the war know we are losing it. Only 23% believe we are winning it, while 38% say we are losing.

The chart is from a new Politico / Morning Consult Poll -- done between August 3rd and 6th of a random national sample of 1,992 registered voters, with a 2 point margin of error.

Many Sides ?

Political Cartoon is by Lalo Alcaraz.

5 Psychological Traits Of Trump's Base (The True-Believers)

(Caricature of Donald Trump is by DonkeyHotey.)

How can people still be supporting Donald Trump? Can't they see through his lies, excuses, and broken promises? Well, no. It seems that they are not like the rest of us -- psychologically. The following is part of an article by Bobby Azarian (who has a PhD in neuroscience) at Raw Story. It details the 5 psycholigal traits of Trump's true believers.

In a recent review paper published in the Journal of Social and Political Psychology, Psychologist and UC Santa Cruz professor Thomas Pettigrew argues that five major psychological phenomena can help explain this exceptional political event.


1.     Authoritarian Personality Syndrome
Authoritarianism refers to the advocacy or enforcement of strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom, and is commonly associated with a lack of concern for the opinions or needs of others. Authoritarian personality syndrome—a well-studied and globally-prevalent condition—is a state of mind that is characterized by belief in total and complete obedience to one’s authority. Those with the syndrome often display aggression toward outgroup members, submissiveness to authority, resistance to new experiences, and a rigid hierarchical view of society. The syndrome is often triggered by fear, making it easy for leaders who exaggerate threat or fear monger to gain their allegiance. . . .
President Trump’s speeches, which are laced with absolutist terms like “losers” and “complete disasters,” are naturally appealing to those with the syndrome. . . .
2.     Social dominance orientation
Social dominance orientation (SDO)—which is distinct but related to authoritarian personality syndrome—refers to people who have a preference for the societal hierarchy of groups, specifically with a structure in which the high-status groups have dominance over the low-status ones. Those with SDO are typically dominant, tough-minded, and driven by self-interest.
In Trump’s speeches, he appeals to those with SDO by repeatedly making a clear distinction between groups that have a generally higher status in society (White), and those groups that are typically thought of as belonging to a lower status (immigrants and minorities). . . .
3.     Prejudice
It would be grossly unfair and inaccurate to say that every one of Trump’s supporters have prejudice against ethnic and religious minorities, but it would be equally inaccurate to say that many do not. It is a well-known fact that the Republican party, going at least as far back to Richard Nixon’s “southern strategy,” used strategies that appealed to bigotry, such as lacing speeches with “dog whistles”—code words that signaled prejudice toward minorities that were designed to be heard by racists but no one else.
While the dog whistles of the past were more subtle, Trump’s are sometimes shockingly direct. There’s no denying that he routinely appeals to bigoted supporters when he calls Muslims “dangerous” and Mexican immigrants “rapists” and “murderers,” often in a blanketed fashion. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a new study has shown that support for Trump is correlated with a standard scale of modern racism.
4.     Intergroup contact
Intergroup contact refers to contact with members of groups that are outside one’s own, which has been experimentally shown to reduce prejudice. As such, it’s important to note that there is growing evidence that Trump’s white supporters have experienced significantly less contact with minorities than other Americans. For example, a 2016 study found that “…the racial and ethnic isolation of Whites at the zip-code level is one of the strongest predictors of Trump support.” This correlation persisted while controlling for dozens of other variables. In agreement with this finding, the same researchers found that support for Trump increased with the voters’ physical distance from the Mexican border.
5.     Relative deprivation
Relative deprivation refers to the experience of being deprived of something to which one believes they are entitled. It is the discontent felt when one compares their position in life to others who they feel are equal or inferior but have unfairly had more success than them.
Common explanations for Trump’s popularity among non-bigoted voters involve economics. There is no doubt that some Trump supporters are simply angry that American jobs are being lost to Mexico and China, which is certainly understandable, although these loyalists often ignore the fact that some of these careers are actually being lost due to the accelerating pace of automation.
These Trump supporters are experiencing relative deprivation, and are common among the swing states like Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. This kind of deprivation is specifically referred to as “relative,” as opposed to “absolute,” because the feeling is often based on a skewed perception of what one is entitled to. For example, an analysis conducted by FiveThirtyEight estimated that the median annual income of Trump supporters was $72,000.
If such data is accurate, the portrayal of most Trump supporters as “working class” citizens rebelling against Republican elites may be more myth than fact.

Trump Lovers

Political Cartoon is by Darrin Bell at darrinbell.com.

No Root, No Fruit


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Obama's Aides Didn't Need A Lawyer


Trump's Job Approval Is Still Sinking



These charts are from RealClearPolitics. The top chart shows the latest major polls on Trump's job approval, along with the RCP average of those polls. The latest average is 37.4% approval of the job Trump is doing, and 57.4% disapproval. The bottom chart shows the average approval over time.

Trump's job approval is still going down, and the difference between those who approve and those who disapprove continues to grow larger (now a negative 20 points).

Made In America

Political Cartoon is by Jonathan Schmock at jonathanschmock.com.

There Is No Middle Ground On Racism And Bigotry


Last Saturday, we were reminded that racism and bigotry is still a big problem in this country as hundreds of KKK members, Nazis, white supremacists, and other bigots gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia. Reporters are saying they were there to oppose the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee -- but that was just a pretense. They were there to proudly display their hate and bigotry.

One might think the leader of this country would be quick to condemn these bigots as un-American and evil. I think any of our past presidents (of either party) would have quickly done that. Donald Trump did not. He said some vague statement about groups that promote violence, but refused to specifically call out the white supremacists, nazis, KKK, and other racist groups -- even when given the chance to do so by reporters.

On Monday, he finally spoke out against those groups (but still linked his opposition to them committing violence -- as though the racists and bigots were acceptable if they were not violent). It was too little, too late. I had the impression he was like a naughty child being dragged kicking and screaming to be forced to make an apology he didn't mean and didn't want to make.

Trump seems to want to occupy some kind of middle ground on the issue -- calling out hate to please the vast majority of Americans, while doing so in an obviously grudging manner so he doesn't lose the support of racists and bigots. He doesn't understand that there is no middle ground when it comes to racism and bigotry.

You't can't be neutral when it comes to racism and other forms of bigotry (misogyny, homophobia, religious hatred, etc.). You are either racist or not. You are either misogynistic or not. You are either a homophobe or not. And you either believe in religious freedom or not. There is no middle ground, and silence is equal to siding with evil. If you do not oppose racism/bigotry, then you support racism/bigotry.

Trump's failure to immediately oppose racism and bigotry is a failure of leadership, and shows us which side he is really on.

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor” – Desmond Tutu

“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented” – Elie Wiesel

“Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral ” – Paulo Freire

“The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict…[an individual] who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Top Of The (GOP) World

Political Cartoon is by Mike Stanfill at ragingpencils.com.

Barbra Streisand Blasts Our "Fake President"

(This photo of the incomparable Barbra Streisand is from imdb.com.)

Barbra Streisand wrote an article for The Huffington Post , giving her opinion of Donald Trump -- and she minced no words. Here is part of that wonderful article:

There’s a narcissistic fraud in the White House. An angry, hollow, vindictive man is running the country. What bottomless emotional need does he have for acclaim? It is hard to know where his rampant narcissism ends and serious mental problems ensue. He lies prodigiously and for no reason except he obviously has an unclear vision of what the truth is. 
Is his narcissism the driving force behind his lies? Look no further than the lobbies at seven of his golf courses, where he has hung fake Time Magazine covers with made-up headlines of effusive praise for himself. What a bizarre intersection between vanity and fraud. That is a president whose cabinet officials obsequiously offer tribute to his greatness while cameras roll. What is next, Dear Leader... a new haircut? 
Trump has lied so much there was a New York Times article listing just the lies he’s told since taking the oath of office. This is to say nothing of the lies told repeatedly on the campaign trail and the ones he used to sell investors before bankrupting six business deals. He tells us he is very rich, but disregards the Constitution to enrich himself and his family. The chief government ethics officer just quit over it.
Trump continues to lie about the number of people at his inauguration. Why is that so important to him? Is he so obsessed with losing the popular vote by 3 million that he established a partisan, taxpayer-funded commission to search for non-existent voter fraud? A Stanford analysis of what Trump’s “voter fraud” panel would do, shows how devastating it would be to legitimate voters, “For every one case of double voting the program identified, it yielded 200 false positives that would purge the registrations of people legitimately eligible to vote.” Luckily, 44 states (as of July 5th) have refused to fully comply and hand over the invasive partisan information requested by the commission. Business Insider pointed out the Department of Homeland Security doesn’t even intend to investigate whether voting machines were hacked in November, and the commission is not bothering to investigate Russian interference. As I write this, it is being reported that Trump has accepted, despite our intelligence community’s unanimous finding otherwise, Putin’s denial that Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election. . . .
Residents of the world have taken note. According to a recent Pew Research Poll, international faith in the president of the United States to respond well to global crises is 22 percent. This is down from 64 percent when President Obama was in office.
Keith Olbermann has taken to calling our Commander in Chief, #FakePresident. One could almost hear his unrequited search for legitimacy when he said, “I’m president and you’re not” to the media. You can hear the singsong of a child saying, “lalalalala!” There was also his stunt for WWE when he faked a body slam, which of course was later repurposed into a tweet he shared with a CNN logo over his opponent’s face. While he fit quite nicely into this WWE world of fake entertainment, what case of arrested development is it to retweet this? Is he 12? 
This is the Trump presidency. He will not grow in the office. Does his vindictiveness stem from Obama teasing him at the White House Correspondents Dinner over the “birther” insanity? As Charles Blow so perfectly put it, “Trump wants to be Obama — held in high esteem. But, alas, Trump is Trump.” His approval rating is underwater. A full 20 percent of his first five months in office has been spent golfing instead of learning about policy. He watches cable TV and then tweets in a rage. He lacks the temperament to fulfill his role. For all his ranting about fake news and fake media... the truth is, he is the fake president.

Blood On His Hands

Political Cartoon is by Kevin Karstens.

Don't Be


Monday, August 14, 2017

Harry


The Charlottesville Murder Was A TERRORIST ACT!

The vile person pictured here is James Alex Fields, Jr.

He is not a muslim (and probably claims to be christian). He is not an Arab (but a White person). He is not a foreigner (but was raised in Kentucky and now lives in Ohio).

But one thing we do know about him -- he is a terrorist! He intentionally killed and wounded people to further his vile political cause (white supremacy) -- and that is terrorism.

The question I have, and it's an important one for this country, is why Donald Trump refuses to call it terrorism. When muslims did the same thing (drove a car into a crowd) in Paris and London, Trump was quick to label it as terrorism. Why is he so silent about this terrorist act? Is it because it was done by a white male, a registered Republican, and a racist white supremacist -- like many others in his base of voters?

Is Trump afraid he'll lose votes by calling out the racism and hate displayed by Fields, or is he sympathetic to those racist views? Is it both?

Trump has been uncharacteristically silent about this act of domestic terrorism. Until he corrects this, it will be a dismal (and un-American) failure of leadership. The truth is that Americans have much more to fear from domestic terrorists like Fields than any foreign muslim terrorists. Trump's ignoring of that fact, and failure to call out this domestic terrorism, says a lot about his character (and that of his administration).

Give Him A Chance ?

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

Some Facts About Muslims In The United States





There is a movement in this country to demonize muslims, led by the Republican in the White House (and many in his political party). That is clearly an un-American movement. Our Founding Fathers made it clear that they were trying to establish a secular democracy -- one that would allow all religions to flourish (and allow citizens to choose to have no religion at all). They thought this was so important that they included it in the First Amendment to our Constitution.

There are currently about 3.35 million muslims in the United States, and that figure is only going to grow in the future. They are good citizens, and love this country as much as any non-muslims. Just as racism, misogyny, and homophobic are evils that this country must get rid of, so is the bigotry against muslims (and other non-christians).

I found the charts above from the Pew Research Center interesting, and thought you might also.

Diplomats ?

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

U.S. Corporations Do NOT Pay The World's Highest Taxes

(Image was found at the blog of Montreal Simon.)

Donald Trump, and his Republican accomplices in Congress, want you to believe that American corporations are forced to pay the highest taxes in the world. They are lying to you! About 20% of profitable American corporations pay no taxes at all, and the rest pay between 12.5% and 19% -- far below the 35% the Republicans want you to think they pay. And the percentage of U.S. taxes paid by corporations has dropped from 33% in 1952 to only about 10% currently.

The truth is that American corporations are NOT overtaxed. A tax cut would be good for the economy, but it should be a cut for the working and middle classes -- not for corporations (or the richest Americans).

Here is how Hunter Blair at the Economic Policy Institute describes the corporate tax issue:

As the GOP push to pass “tax reform” starts to heat up, policymakers will debate whether the corporate tax rate is too high or too low. A standard but misleading talking point for those wishing to give more tax breaks to corporations is that the United States has one of the highest statutory rates in the world at 35 percent. This is misleading because what corporations actually pay (their effective rate) is far lower. The corporate tax code is riddled with loopholes, most notably the deferral loophole which allows large multinational corporations to avoid paying their taxes indefinitely on profits they make offshore. And despite some recent claims to the contrary, a recent CBO report doesn’t overturn, but rather bolsters the research showing that corporations pay less than a 35 percent tax rate.

Due to data limitations, it’s hard to come up with one conclusive rate. But multiple studies with distinct methodologies have found effective federal corporate tax rates that range between 13 and 19 percent— far smaller than the rate corporations are supposed to pay.

Real tax reform would close the deferral loophole and ensure that large multinational corporations cannot continue to dodge the taxes they owe. Instead, the Trump administration has reversed its position on commitments to close the deferral loophole, and their most recent proposal followed congressional Republicans’ plans to institute a territorial tax system, which would no longer tax multinational corporations’ offshore profits at all. At its core, a territorial tax system makes the deferral loophole permanent.

This would cause an enormous revenue loss. In hopes that Congress would pass a repatriation tax “holiday” (as happened in 2004), large multinational corporations have used the current deferral loophole to book $2.6 trillion in profits offshore. The corporate tax base is likely to erode far more if this deferral loophole were made permanent.

The United States could benefit from real tax reform that clawed back the taxes that large multinational corporations have been dodging. Instead, the Trump administration is offering to make the deferral loophole permanent and to open up new loopholes for the rich. If policymakers wanted to help working people through tax reform, they would broaden the tax base by closing loophole and make corporations pay their fair share.


Angry Birds (With Nukes)

Political Cartoon is by Randy Bush at bishtoons.com.

Not My Business (Or Yours)


Sunday, August 13, 2017

A Time To Pause


The Public's Opinion Of The 115th Congress


The chart above reflects info in the latest Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between August 6th and 8th of a random national sample of 1,500 adults (including 1,303 registered voters), with a margin of error of 3.1 points.

It shows the public still has a very low opinion of the 115th Congress (only 11% view it favorably). And the view of the political parties in that Congress is not great either -- with the Republicans being viewed favorably by 23% and the Democrats by 33%.

A Nasty Odor

Political Cartoon is by Adam Zyglis in The Buffalo News.

Why Won't Trump Specifically Denounce Racism ?

(Cartoon image is by David Fitzsimmons in the Arizona Daily Star.)

Hundreds of white supremacists and other racists took to the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday. It was the largest turnout in favor of racism in decades in this country -- and shows the racists are becoming much bolder since the election of Trump.

There was violence, and at least one terrorist act (as a racist barreled his car into anti-racist demonstrators). Donald Trump, after waiting most of the day, finally made some remarks generally condemning "hate" and "violence". What he did not do was to specifically condemn racism or the burgeoning white supremacist movement, or even mention the terrorist act. And because of that, I believe he fell far short of what he needed to do as the country's leader.

His failure to speak out boldly against racism, either during his campaign or after becoming president, has encouraged the white supremacists to once again take their sick message to the streets. And his picking a white supremacist to be a close advisor, and picking a known racist to be Attorney General, have given the racists even more encouragement. They believe they have a friend in the White House, and that there perverted view of how things should be might once again become the predominant view in this country.

I think they are wrong, but Trump's failure to condemn racism has made it harder for decent Americans to help the country to progress. Why won't he condemn racism? Is it because of his own racist past? Is he still a closet racist? Does he approve of the growing white supremacist movement?

I think the answer to those questions has to sadly be YES. We have a racist inhabiting the White House. I wish it wasn't true, but I have seen no evidence to the contrary.

Dangerous "Game"

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

Over Half Of GOP Respect Neither Truth Nor Democracy

(The GOP symbol at left is by DonkeyHotey.)

If you needed more proof that the current Republican Party's base is disconnected from reality and doesn't really care about our democracy, just look at this recent poll from the Washington Post. They write:

The survey interviewed a sample of 1,325 Americans from June 5 through 20. Respondents were recruited from the Qualtrics online panel who had previously reported identifying with or leaning toward one of the two major parties. We focus on the 650 respondents who identify with or lean toward the Republican Party. The sample has been weighted to match the population in terms of sex, age, race and education.

After a series of initial questions, respondents were asked whether Trump won the popular vote, whether millions of illegal immigrants voted, and how often voter fraud occurs. These questions evoke arguments frequently made by Trump and others about the integrity of the 2016 election.
Then the survey asked two questions about postponing the 2020 election.
  • If Donald Trump were to say that the 2020 presidential election should be postponed until the country can make sure that only eligible American citizens can vote, would you support or oppose postponing the election?
  • If Donald Trump were to say that the 2020 presidential election should be postponed until the country can make sure that only eligible American citizens can vote, would you support or oppose postponing the election?
Nearly half of Republicans (47 percent) believe that Trump won the popular vote, which is similar to this finding. Larger fractions believe that millions of illegal immigrants voted (68 percent) and that voter fraud happens somewhat or very often (73 percent). Again, this is similar to previous polls.

Moreover, 52 percent said that they would support postponing the 2020 election, and 56 percent said they would do so if both Trump and Republicans in Congress proposed this.

Defusing

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

Charlottesville Shows Racists In U.S. Are Getting Bolder


On Friday night, and again on Saturday morning, hundreds of KKK members, White Supremacists, militia members, and other racists gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia. It was the largest gathering of racists in decades -- and shows that perverse movement is still large and is getting bolder.

Why are they now coming out from under their rocks and are no longer ashamed to openly spread their hate? It's because they believe they have a friend in the White House -- and that his election means a lot of Americans agree with them. They are wrong, and it's time for decent Americans to stand up and say so.

Perhaps the best article on the sick racists that showed up to spread hate in Virginia was written by John Pavlovitz on his own blog. I believe what he has written deserves as wide a readership as possible, so I repost it below.

As a writer and pastor, my job is to weave together words so that those words will hopefully reach people in their deepest places; to frame the experience of this life in a way that is somehow compelling or creative or interesting, causing them to engage with the world differently than before.
But there are times when to do this would be actually be a disservice to reality, when any clever wordplay would only soften the jagged, sickening truth; when clever turns of phrase might succeed in obscuring the horrid ugliness in front of us.
Sometimes we just need to say it without adornment or finessing.
  
 
This is racism.






 
    
   
 
So I’m saying it.
We are not with you, torch-bearers, in Charlottesville or anywhere.
We do no consent to this.

 
So you can kiss our diverse, unified, multi-colored behinds because your racism and your terrorism will not win the day.
Believe it.