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.

Theft

Political Cartoon is by Joe Heller at hellertoon.com.

Trump Will Allow Employers To Steal Worker's Tips

(Caricature of Donald Trump us by DonkeyHotey.)

Donald Trump has his products made in other countries that abuse workers with low wages, has imported workers for his U.S. entities to avoid pay decent wages, has stiffed many contractors that did work for him, and has conned many out of thousands of dollars with a fake "university". His moral compass points in only one direction -- toward greed! It shouldn't surprise us then that he now wants to allow employer's to steal the tips of their workers.

From the Economic Policy Institute:

Today (12/4/2017) the Trump administration took their first major step towards allowing employers to legally take tips earned by the workers they employ. The Department of Labor released a proposed rule rescinding portions of its tip regulations, including current restrictions on “tip pooling”—which would mean that, for example, restaurants would be able to pool the tips servers receive and share them with untipped employees such as cooks and dishwashers. But, crucially, the rule doesn’t actually require that employers distribute pooled tips to workers. Under the administration’s proposed rule, as long as the tipped workers earn minimum wage, the employer can legally pocket those tips.
And what we know for sure is that, often, they will do just that. Recent researchsuggests that the total wages stolen from workers due to minimum wage violations exceeds $15 billion each year, and workers in restaurants and bars are much more likely to suffer minimum wage violations than workers in other industries. With that much illegal wage theft currently taking place, it seems obvious that when employers can legally pocket the tips earned by their employees, many will do so.
It is worth noting how deeply unusual it is that there are no actual estimates in the proposal of the amount of money that would be shifted from workers to employers as a result of the rule, even though data that researchers use all the time are available to produce them. The requirements that agencies must follow during the rulemaking process are very clear, and among them is that agencies must assess all quantifiable costs and benefits “to the fullest extent that these can be usefully estimated.” When there is uncertainty about a quantifiable cost or benefit, agencies typically do something like provide a range—they don’t forgo providing an estimate altogether. It is obvious why the department left out the required estimate: this rule is bad for workers, and any estimate would have made that crystal clear.
Make no mistake: as a result of this rule, workers will take home less, and their loss will be employers’ gain. And Trump’s DOL is willing to break the requirements of the rulemaking process to attempt to hide that fact.

Evidence ?

Political Cartoon is by Barry Deutsch at patreon.com/barry.

Never


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Firearms Not Needed


Moral Choice For Alabama Republicans - Stay Home Today


Many decent Republicans in Alabama have a dilemma facing them today. They are die-hard Republicans, who have never voted for a Democrat and cannot bring themselves to do so -- but they have a pedophile (who doesn't believe in the Constitution) running on the Republican ticket. What are they to do?

I understand the dilemma. I am a die-hard Democrat, who has never voted for a Republican (and never will). What would I do if a truly despicable person was the Democratic candidate in a race? I could not vote Republican, but I would not vote for that Democrat either. In an election with other races to be determined, I would leave that race unmarked on my ballot -- and if that was the only race on the ballot, I would stay home. Morality would demand that.

And morality demands the same from die-hard Alabama Republicans today. If you can't bring yourself to vote for the Democrat, I understand. Don't do it. But if you really have the values you claim to have, you shouldn't be able to vote for the pedophile who would trash our Constitution either. You should just sty home today. Isn't that the only moral and decent choice.

Meanwhile, it's becoming impossible to predict what will happen in the Alabama senate race. The polls are all over the place. Three new polls have been released (see below). Two predict a win for Moore, while the third predicts Jones will win. It's anyone's guess as to what will happen.

The Gravis Marketing Poll was done between December 5th and 8th of a random sample of 1,254 Alabama likely voters, with a 2.8 point margin of error.

The Trafalgar Group Poll was done on December 6th and 7th of a random sample of 1,419 likely Alabama voters, and has a margin of error of 3.12 points.

The Fox News Poll was done between December 7th and 10th of a random sample of 1,408 registered Alabama voters, with a margin of error of 2.5 points (including 1,127 likely voters with a margin of error of 3 points).




On The Taxpayer's Tab

Political Cartoon is by Rick McKee in The Augusta Chronicle.

Public Is Not Fooled By GOP Lies About Their Tax Bill


Donald Trump and his Republican congressional cohorts have repeatedly claimed their tax reform bill would benefit the middle class the most, and would not benefit the wealthy. It's a lie, and the American people know that. About 64% say it benefits the wealthy the most, while only 17% think it benefits the middle class -- a huge gap of 47 points!

Protecting The Wolf

Political Cartoon is by Signe Wilkinson at philly.com.

Republicans And Trump Voters Still Believe The "Birther" Lie


This is both amazing and shocking to me. And it shows just how far the Republican Party has moved from reality. We have seen President Obama's birth certificate (both short and long forms), read the newspaper announcement of his birth, and had Hawaii officials assure us that he was born in their state. His American birth (and citizenship) has been proven beyond doubt.

But many Republicans still prefer to believe the "birther" lies that claim he was born in Kenya. That's the belief of 51% of Republicans -- and of 57% of Trump voters. Reality and facts mean nothing to these people. They believe what they want to believe.

The chart above was made from a recent Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between December 3rd and 5th of a random national sample of 1,500 adults, with a margin of error of 3.4 points.

Pointing

Political Cartoon is by Stuart Carlson at carlsontoons.com.

Why The Corporate Tax Cuts Won't Help American Workers

The biggest lie Republicans tell about their tax reform plan is that it will help American workers (because corporations will raise worker wages and create new jobs). That has never been true of tax cuts in the past, and it is not true of the proposed massive corporate tax cut being considered. While the rich will benefit (both American and foreign investors), the workers will not.

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich (pictured) explains why this is true:

Trump and congressional Republicans are engineering the largest corporate tax cut in history in order “to restore our competitive edge,” as Trump says.
Our competitive edge? Who’s us
Most American corporations – especially big ones that would get most of the planned corporate tax cuts – have no particular allegiance to America. Their only allegiance is to their shareholders. 
So restoring their “competitive edge” has little or nothing to do with helping American workers. 
For years they’ve been cutting the jobs and wages of American workers in order to generate larger profits and higher share prices. 
Some of these jobs have gone abroad or been outsourced to lower-paid contractors in America. Others have been automated. Most of the remaining jobs pay no more than they did four decades ago, adjusted for inflation. 
When GM went public again in 2010 after being bailed out by American taxpayers, it boasted of making 43 percent of its cars in places where labor is less than $15 an hour – often outside the United States. And it got its American unions to agree that new hires would be paid half the wages and benefits of its old workers. 
Capital is global. Big American corporations are “American” only because they’re headquartered and legally incorporated in the United States. But they could (and sometimes do) leave at a moment’s notice. They employ or contract with workers all over the world. 
And they’re owned by shareholders all over the world.  
According to research by the Tax Policy Center’s Steven Rosenthal, about 35 percent of stock in U.S. corporations is now held by foreign investors. 
So when taxes of “American” corporations are cut – as the Trump-Republican tax bill seeks to do – foreign investors get a windfall. 
The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimates that the Senate majority’s tax bill would give foreign investors a tax cut of $31 billion in 2019. The House bill would give them $50.4 billion. 
That’s money that foreign investors would otherwise be paying into the U.S. Treasury. 
By way of comparison, the combined tax cuts for families in the bottom 80 percent of the income distribution in the 30 states won by President Donald Trump comes to just $39.4 billion. That’s far less than the House bill gives away to foreign investors. 
I’m not blaming American corporations. They’re in business to make profits and maximize their share prices, not to serve America.
I’m blaming politicians like Trump and the Republicans who are trying to persuade Americans that tax cuts on American corporations will be good for Americans. 
It’s different for many corporations headquartered in Europe or Canada. Big corporations headquartered there are far more responsible for the well-being of the people living in those nations. That’s mainly because labor unions there are typically stronger there than they are here – able to exert pressure both at the company level and nationally.
As a result, American corporations distribute a smaller share of their earnings to their workers than do European or Canadian-based corporations. And top American executives make far more money than their counterparts in other wealthy countries.
Governments in other rich nations often devise laws through bargains involving big corporations and organized labor. This process further binds their corporations to their nations.
But in America, lawmakers respond almost exclusively to the demands of big corporations and of wealthy individuals (typically corporate executives and Wall Street moguls) with the most lobbying prowess and deepest pockets to bankroll campaigns. Meanwhile, unions are weak here, and “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a miniscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy,” according to researchers.
Which is one reason why most Europeans and Canadians receive essentially free health care, generous unemployment benefits, paid medical leave, and  an average of five weeks paid vacation.  
So it shouldn’t be surprising that even though U.S. economy is doing well by most measures, and American-based corporations are overflowing with profits, the benefits are not trickling down to most Americans.
Given the dominance of American corporations on American politics, combined with their singular concern for share prices rather than the well-being of Americans, it’s folly to think they’ll turn tax cuts into good American jobs. 
The tax bills big corporations are pushing through Congress are designed for one thing: to boost their share prices, not to boost the vast majority of Americans. 

The Big Giveaway

Political Cartoon is by Adam Zyglis in The Buffalo News.

No Respect For Trump


Monday, December 11, 2017

Peace Requires Justice


Public's Not Happy With How Sexual Misconduct Is Handled


Poll after poll has shown that the general public thinks sexual harassment, abuse, and assault are serious problems in the United States -- and too many men in power are abusing their power to make sexual demands. They want the problem dealt with.

How are the entities where sexual misconduct has been discovered dealt with it? Not too well, according to the public.

The news media has done the best. They have 48% approval for their actions and 42% disapproval -- a net approval gap of 6 points. No one else comes close to that. The entertainment industry has a negative 13 point net approval gap. The Democratic Party has a negative 22 point net approval gap. The Republican Party has a negative 39 point net approval gap. And Donald Trump has a negative 41 point net approval gap.

Those are some pretty bad numbers -- especially for the politicians, who have an election coming up in less than a year.

The chart above uses numbers from a new Quinnipiac University Poll -- done between November 29th and December 4th of a random national sample of 1,747 adults, with a 2.8 point margin of error.

Trump Tree Ornament

Political Cartoon is by Neils Bo Bojeson at cagle.com.

A Record Number Of Women To Run For Congress In 2018



The charts above are from Axios.com. It shows that as of December 7th, about 410 women have said they will be running for Congress in 2018 (369 for the House of Representatives and 41 for the Senate) -- and most of them are Democrats. It could be more than that, since filing deadlines are still months away.

This is a good thing. That's because Trump's unpopularity and the public's unhappiness with men abusing their power by sexually harassing/abusing women could make 2018 the "Year of the Woman".

Men certainly haven't had a very good record lately. Maybe it's time for women to step up and show how this country should be governed.

Flynn Piranha

Political Cartoon is by Joe Bertrams at cagle.com.