Sunday, March 18, 2018

It's A Requirement

Average Presidential Job Approval After 421 Days In Office

The information for this chart comes from

Walk-Out / Walk-In

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

Trump Is Alienating The Countries We Like The Best

The chart above displays a very troubling thing. It shows the countries viewed most favorably by the citizens of the United States, and along with that, what the citizens of those countries think about U.S. leadership.

Under previous presidents, those countries looked to the United States for leadership -- believing the United States would act for the benefit of all nations -- being a leader for democracy and for human rights around the world. Sadly that is no longer true.

Note that only one of those ten countries currently has a majority viewing U.S. leadership favorably -- Israel. That's understandable, since the United States under Trump has abandoned a nonpartisan effort to establish peace in the Mideast. Trump has made it very clear that the U.S. now supports the Israeli stealing of Palestinian land, and no longer can operate as a fair and impartial guide to negotiations between Israel and Palestine.

All of the other nine countries have less than 40% approval of U.S. leadership under Donald Trump. While coddling Russia, Trump has shown little respect for those countries and their leaders. That's troubling because these are the main countries we depend upon for help in the world. Trump is driving away our best allies and isolating the United States on the world stage.

The chart uses information in a recent Gallup Poll -- done between February 1st and 10th of a random national sample of 1,044 adults, with a four point margin of error. The view from the other countries is from a world poll conducted by Gallup.

NRA Officials

Political Cartoon is by Monte Wolverton at

Trump Exposes Himself As Mean, Petty, And Vindictive

(Caricature of a vicious Donald Trump is by DonkeyHotey.)

What if you had worked for a company for 20 years, and your peers considered you to be an honest and hard worker, but you got a new boss that hated you. He hated you because you knew he had mistreated your fellow workers and fired them without cause. You can't win a battle with him because he's the CEO and you're just a worker, so you announce your retirement. But one day before your retirement takes effect, that boss fires you -- and since he fired you, you will not receive the retirement pension that you worked for more than 20 years. Would you think that was fair?

Well, that is exactly what Donald Trump did to former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe. The actual firing was done by Trump personal hitman, Jeff Sessions, but make no mistake -- this firing has Trump's dirty fingerprints all over it. Trump has shown Americans just how mean, petty, and vindictive he really is by not letting McCabe retire with his pension. And he has used the office of the presidency to do it. It was a shameful act, and one that should anger all decent and hard-working citizens of this country.

All of that would be bad enough, but Trump then compounded his despicable behavior by celebrating it on Twitter. Taking an honorable man's pension for political purposes is something Trump is proud of --

Trump accused McCabe of lying to investigators. That was nonsense. Here is McCabe's statement in defense after the outrageous firing:

I have been an FBI Special Agent for over 21 years. I spent half of that time investigating Russian Organized Crime as a street agent and Supervisor in New York City. I have spent the second half of my career focusing on national security issues and protecting this country from terrorism. I served in some of the most challenging, demanding investigative and leadership roles in the FBI. And I was privileged to serve as Deputy Director during a particularly tough time.
For the last year and a half, my family and I have been the targets of an unrelenting assault on our reputation and my service to this country. Articles too numerous to count have leveled every sort of false, defamatory and degrading allegation against us. The President’s tweets have amplified and exacerbated it all. He called for my firing. He called for me to be stripped of my pension after more than 20 years of service. And all along we have said nothing, never wanting to distract from the mission of the FBI by addressing the lies told and repeated about us.
No more.
The investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) has to be understood in the context of the attacks on my credibility. The investigation flows from my attempt to explain the FBI’s involvement and my supervision of investigations involving Hillary Clinton. I was being portrayed in the media over and over as a political partisan, accused of closing down investigations under political pressure. The FBI was portrayed as caving under that pressure, and making decisions for political rather than law enforcement purposes. Nothing was further from the truth. In fact, this entire investigation stems from my efforts, fully authorized under FBI rules, to set the record straight on behalf of the Bureau, and to make clear that we were continuing an investigation that people in DOJ opposed.
The OIG investigation has focused on information I chose to share with a reporter through my public affairs officer and a legal counselor. As Deputy Director, I was one of only a few people who had the authority to do that. It was not a secret, it took place over several days, and others, including the Director, were aware of the interaction with the reporter. It was the type of exchange with the media that the Deputy Director oversees several times per week. In fact, it was the same type of work that I continued to do under Director Wray, at his request. The investigation subsequently focused on who I talked to, when I talked to them, and so forth. During these inquiries, I answered questions truthfully and as accurately as I could amidst the chaos that surrounded me. And when I thought my answers were misunderstood, I contacted investigators to correct them.
But looking at that in isolation completely misses the big picture. The big picture is a tale of what can happen when law enforcement is politicized, public servants are attacked, and people who are supposed to cherish and protect our institutions become instruments for damaging those institutions and people.
Here is the reality: I am being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey. The release of this report was accelerated only after my testimony to the House Intelligence Committee revealed that I would corroborate former Director Comey’s accounts of his discussions with the President. The OIG’s focus on me and this report became a part of an unprecedented effort by the Administration, driven by the President himself, to remove me from my position, destroy my reputation, and possibly strip me of a pension that I worked 21 years to earn. The accelerated release of the report, and the punitive actions taken in response, make sense only when viewed through this lens. Thursday’s comments from the White House are just the latest example of this.
This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally. It is part of this Administration’s ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel investigation, which continue to this day. Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the Special Counsel’s work.
I have always prided myself on serving my country with distinction and integrity, and I always encouraged those around me to do the same. Just ask them. To have my career end in this way, and to be accused of lacking candor when at worst I was distracted in the midst of chaotic events, is incredibly disappointing and unfair. But it will not erase the important work I was privileged to be a part of, the results of which will in the end be revealed for the country to see.
I have unfailing faith in the men and women of the FBI and I am confident that their efforts to seek justice will not be deterred.

Russian "Take-Out"

Political Cartoon is by Dave Granlund at

Ignorance / Knowledge

Saturday, March 17, 2018


Teachers Say No To Trump's Wish To Arm Them

Right after the Parkland (Florida) shooting that killed 17 people, Donald Trump held a White House meeting. In that meeting he acted like he was listening to those with solutions to gun violence, and promised to be the first president to actually take needed action. Unfortunately, it was just political theater (public relations). He didn't mean it.

The only thing he wants to do is to arm teachers and other school employees with firearms, which incidentally is the only "solution" supported by the NRA. It's a silly and dangerous idea that's not supported by the general public (or most members of Congress). Now we learn that it's not supported by teachers either.

About 73% of k-12 teachers oppose the idea of arming teachers, 71% say it would not be effective in stopping violence, and 58% say it would make schools more dangerous -- not safer.

I agree with the teachers. There are many constitutional actions we could take to reduce gun violence in this country -- but arming teachers is NOT one of them. It's an idea that needs to be quashed right now.

The chart above is from the Gallup Poll. They queried 497 k-12 teachers nationwide between March 5th and 12th. The survey has a 7 point margin of error.

Easy To Do

Political Cartoon is by Mike Smith in the Las Vegas Sun.

Public Disagrees With Trump About Mueller And Russia

Donald Trump has done his best to convince Americans that his campaign did not collude with Russia in the 2016 campaign, and that Robert Mueller is just conducting an unfair "witch hunt". But most Americans aren't buying his "alternate facts" (lies).

It turns out that 58% think the Trump campaign did have improper contact with Russians during the 2016 campaign. And 61% think Robert Mueller is conducting a fair and impartial investigation. Those are not good numbers for Trump. They show that a majority of Americans are likely to believe Mueller if he finds wrongdoing by Trump (and I believe he will find that).

About 55% also think Trump will not seriously try to stop Russian interference in the 2018 campaign.

These charts were made with information from a new Pew Research Center survey -- done between March 7th and 14th of a random national sample of 1,466 adults, with a 3 point margin of error.


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

It Was Race (Not Economics) That Helped Trump Win

The Nation has an excellent article, written by Sean McElwee and Jason McDaniel, on what propelled Donald Trump to his win in the 2016 election. The most common reason given by most political pundits is that it was economics -- because Trump promised jobs. That was wrong. The article concerns a new study that exposes a very troubling thing about the election.

Instead of economics, the biggest thing that drew white voters to support Trump was his racist and anti-immigrant stances. The study further states that this has resulted in a realignment of the two political parties -- with anti-racist and anti-bigotry people moving to the Democratic Party, and racist and bigoted individuals moving to the Republican Party. That defines each party much more than economic policy.

There are those who believe that this nation has nearly solved it's problem with racism. That is far from the truth. If a presidential candidate can win enough votes to tip the scales of the Electoral College, then racism is still a big problem in this country (and the same could be said of other forms of bigotry).

I post just a small part of the article below, but I encourage you to read the whole article. It would be worth your time. McElwee and McDaniel write:

Was Donald Trump elected because of racism or economic anxiety? Few questions about the 2016 election have generated more analysis. As we’ve previously written, it is clear racism propelled Trumpto the Republican nomination. But how did the racial resentment that powered Trump’s ascent differ from the support for Republican candidates in prior elections? And what was the relative importance of economic peril to voting in 2016 compared to several different types of racism and racial animus exhibited by voters?
The answers can be found in the comprehensive American National Election Studies pre- and post-election survey of over 4,000 respondents, which we analyzed to explore the impact of racism and economic peril on 2016 voting behavior. The results are clear, and move a long way towards settling this debate.
Our analysis shows Trump accelerated a realignment in the electorate around racism, across several different measures of racial animus—and that it helped him win. By contrast, we found little evidence to suggest individual economic distress benefited Trump. The American political system is sorting so that racial progressivism and economic progressivism are aligned in the Democratic Party and racial conservatism and economic conservatism are aligned in the Republican Party. . . .
In our models, racial attitudes towards blacks and immigration are the key factors associated with support for Trump. The way that these variables impact Trump support can be seen in the charts below. Both racial resentment and black influence animosity are significant predictors of Trump support among white respondents, independent of partisanship, ideology, education levels, and the other factors included in the model. . . .

The effect of immigration attitudes for white people is even stronger than anti-black attitudes. . . .
Our results also indicate that economic peril was not a significant predictor of voting for Trump once either racial attitudes or immigration attitudes are included in the models. As shown in the chart below, Trump vote probability for an average white person does not change regardless of whether they express high or low levels of economic insecurity.
This result is markedly different in comparison to the 2012 election, when higher levels of economic anxiety was associated with lower levels of support for Mitt Romney among the average white person. . . .
It’s likely that political elites (party leaders, activists, media organizations) will continue on the current path and the issue of identity will fully map onto the current political divides. Economic conservatism and white nationalism will become more fully intertwined for Republicans, as will racial and economic equity for Democrats. Republicans have shown little interest in attempting to hold back Trump’s openly racist rhetoric. On the other side, few Democrats have proposed abandoning civil rights (and those who have metintense backlash). Democrats may press forward with an economic, racial and gender progressive agenda, while Republicans continue to tie economic conservatism to white identity politics.

The Pot At The End Of The Rainbow

Political Cartoon is by Dave Granlund at

Giving You The Corporate View

Friday, March 16, 2018

Nine Would Be Enough

This Blog Is 12 Years Old Today

On March 16th of 2006, I wrote my first post on this blog. That means that today marks the 12th blogiversary for jobsanger. During that time, I have posted over 28,400 times and the blog has received more than 6.6 million page views. That's a far cry from the early days when I was thrilled to see 20 people had read me on a single day.

I want to thank the readers of this blog -- both those who comment from time to time and those who don't. I sincerely appreciate your readership. You keep me energized and wanting to continue.

I still enjoy writing this blog -- on both the good days and the bad days. And I plan to keep on going. I look forward to the blog becoming a teenager next year.

The Cabinet Trump Wants

Political Cartoon is by Robert Ariail in The State.

Trump Was Violating Russian Sanctions While Campaigning

(This caricature of Donald Trump is by DonkeyHotey.)

Although Trump has denied it, we know that his organization has received loans from Russia. This has been verified by both of his sons. And he may even be involved in money laundering for Russian oligarchs. Now we learn he may have violated U.S. sanctions on Russia.

For a long time, Trump has wanted to build a hotel in Moscow. To do that, he needed two things -- money and Putin's permission. Now we learn that since American banks wouldn't loan him the money, Trump's organization was negotiating a huge loan from a Russian bank. That bank was VTB Bank, and Felix Later (an associate of both Trump and Putin) says a line of credit had been arranged for Trump through that bank.

Those negotiations were going on in 2016, while Trump was engaged in a campaign to become president. Normally, negotiating with a foreign bank for business purposes wouldn't be a problem, but VTB Bank is different. It's different because that bank is one of the Russian businesses sanctioned by the United States government. It would be a violation of U.S. law to do business with VTB Bank.

That hotel was not built. Was it not built because Trump realized he was being thoroughly vetted by American reporters and he didn't want them to find out he was attempting to violate the sanctions on Russia? Or did Putin fail to give approval for the hotel because he didn't want a scandal to hurt his favorite candidate's chances to become president? We don't know.

But we do know now that Trump's organization (which he still has ties with) was trying to violate the U.S. sanctions against Russia -- and was doing that for his own greedy purposes. He was willing to violate U.S. law to make himself richer.

Republicans will probably claim that no law was broken since the hotel was not built (and therefore no money changed hands between Trump and VTB Bank). I don't buy that. Failure doesn't excuse him from attempting to violate the law -- and just negotiating with that bank while it was under sanctions may well be a violation. Either way, Trump has shown he has no respect for U.S. law.

This fool needs to be impeached -- NOW!

The Wave

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

Donald Trump Has Ignored The Wishes Of The Public

Since the horrible tragedy in a Parkland High School in Florida, the debate on gun violence (and how to keep it out of our schools) is raging again. The chart above is from a new Gallup Poll -- done between March 5th and 11th of a random national sample of 1,515 adults, with a 3 point margin of error.

The chart shows what a majority of Americans would like to see done (and think would be effective) to lower the incidence of gun violence. They want the holes in the background check law closed (92%), the age for buying guns raised to 21 (68%), and to have assault-style weapons banned (56%). The suggestion to arm teachers and other school employees did not get majority support. Only 42% supported that.

I would also like to point out that even a majority of Republicans supported closing the holes in the background check law (86%) and raising the age to 21 for buying a gun (53%). There can be no excuse for not doing these two things since Republicans, Democrats, and the general public all agree it should be done.

Unfortunately, they won't be done. They won't be done because Donald Trump and his Republican cohorts in Congress don't want it done. They receive their marching orders from the NRA (in the form of campaign support and donations), and they have made the decision that keeping the NRA happy is more important than saving the lives of thousands of American citizens.

When Trump unveiled his plan, he included only one of the things above -- the only one that did not have the support of a majority of Americans. He wants to arm teachers. That also happens to be the only one the NRA supports.

It is shameful for our elected representatives to ignore the wishes of the American public while bending to the will of the NRA -- but that is the situation we find ourselves in. That must be changed, and the only way to do that is to vote the Republicans out of power.

Tightrope Walk

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

Donald Trump Is "Dimmer Than A 5-Watt Bulb"

(Illustration is by Luci Gutierrez in The New Yorker.)

Donald Trump has bragged repeatedly about having a very high IQ. His rampant narcissism demands that he try to get people to believe that. But people who have to tell you they are smart usually aren't, and that is true of Trump. In fact, he may well be the dumbest person ever to live in the White House.

Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune tells it like it is -- that Trump is really not very smart. Here's some of what he has written:

Donald Trump has many serious flaws, including incorrigible dishonesty, rampant narcissism, contempt for women and a fashion sense that makes him think that hairstyle of his is flattering. But nothing compares to his most prominent, crippling and incurable defect: He’s dimmer than a 5-watt bulb.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was reported to have called the president a “moron” — emphasizing that term with an adjective I can’t repeat here. Forced to hold a news conference to praise the president’s intelligence, Tillerson was too honest to deny what he had said.
The late William T. Kelley, who taught Trump at the University of Pennsylvania, said, “Donald Trump was the dumbest goddamn student I ever had.” Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter of “The Art of the Deal,” says Trump had “a stunning level of superficial knowledge and plain ignorance.”. . .
He’s just not bright enough to make connections between his conduct and its consequences. Trump’s travel ban has lost repeatedly in court because he has made clear he has an unconstitutional goal: shutting out Muslims because of their religion. If he had kept quiet, he might have gotten his way.
The evidence of his dimwittedness flows as continuously and voluminously as the Mississippi River. His tweets are studded with misspellings, random capitalizations and mystifying quotation marks.
He taps out tweets that flagrantly contradict what he tweeted when Barack Obama was president, making himself look ridiculous. When he holds forth on policy issues, it’s excruciatingly apparent he has no idea what he’s talking about.
Trump relies on a vocabulary the size of a second-grader’s. To combat opioid abuse among teens, he favors “telling them, ‘No good, really bad for you in every way.’ ” Those paper towels he tossed to a crowd in Puerto Rico were “very good towels.” He wanted to call the tax reform bill “the Cut Cut Cut Act.”
He pretends to be a master negotiator, but he has failed to get the Republican Congress to repeal Obamacare, enact protections for immigrants brought here illegally as children, and fund his border wall.
Trump tries to conceal his intellectual deficiency by insisting how smart he is. “I went to an Ivy League college,” he said last month. “I’m a very intelligent person.” He has to make such affirmations because all the evidence indicates his cranium contains an airless void. . . .
I’m betting Trump will never submit to any process that would document his actual intelligence for the public to see. He’s dumb. But not that dumb.

Never Again

Political Cartoon is by Bill Day in


Thursday, March 15, 2018

He Was Very Special

Is Nancy Pelosi Really A Problem For Democrats ?

I'm not surprised that the Republicans are trying to demonize Rep. Nancy Pelosi. She used to be the Speaker, and Republicans want to convince Americans that somehow she would be terrible for the nation if the Democrats regain the House majority and she were to again become Speaker. That's to be expected, and Democrats return the favor by doing their best to demonize Paul Ryan (the current Republican Speaker).

But I'm hearing more and more from Democrats (mainly those in the party's left wing) that Pelosi is somehow hurting the party and should be replaced if Democrats regain the majority. Is that true? Is Pelosi a drag on the Democratic ticket this year?

For an answer I went to the new Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between March 10th and 13th of a national sample of 1,500 adults, with a margin of error of 3.1 points.

The charts show that Pelosi is no more unpopular with all adults and with Independents than Paul Ryan is, and both are equally popular within their own parties. If Pelosi is a drag on the Democratic ticket, then Ryan is equally a drag on the Republican ticket. And both are more popular than their counterparts in the Senate.

The upshot of this is that those who would vote against a Democrat because of Pelosi is probably a Republican, and wouldn't vote for a Democrat no matter who the prospective Speaker could be. This election is not about Pelosi or Ryan. It is about the direction that Trump and the Republicans are taking this country.

I can understand that the party's leftists would like to see a leftist as Speaker. I wouldn't mind seeing that myself. But the attacks on Pelosi coming from members of her own party are out-of-place at this time. The only important thing right now is for Democrats to unite and unseat as many Republicans as possible -- for the good of the country.

Nancy Pelosi is not the devil incarnate. She actually did a credible job the last time she was Speaker (and was largely responsible for shepherding Obamacare through the House).

If the Democrats elected to the House want to replace Pelosi next January, I don't have a problem with that. If they want to make her Speaker again, I don't mind that either. She has been a loyal Democrat for a long time. But either way, this is not the time to be squabbling over her. This is the time to unite to create a blue wave this November.

Picking A New Liar

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

Doesn't This Look Like The Recipe For A Wave Election ?

Political pundits are predicting a wave election this year (an election that will result in the flipping of control of one or both houses of Congress -- from Republicans to Democrats). I think they are right -- assuming that Democrats and other Americans stay angry and enthusiastic about voting.

The charts above look like a recipe for a wave election to me. The public doesn't approve of the job Trump is doing (by 13 points), doesn't approve of the job the GOP-controlled Congress is doing (by 48 points), and doesn't like the direction of the country (by 20 points). And those numbers have been fairly consistent all year long (note the charts above).

The Republicans have about 8 months to try and turn these numbers around, but so far, they seem incapable of doing that. While these charts go back to the first of the year, the trend is actually much longer for all three (Trump, Congress, Direction). The public seems to have made up their mind about all three.

The Republicans were sure their tax plan would change these numbers (since they called it a benefit for the middle class). But the public wasn't fooled. They saw who got most of the benefits of that tax plan -- the rich and corporations. That ridiculous tax plan has not changed the numbers at all.

What will the GOP do? At this point, I'm not sure there is anything they can do to avoid disaster in November (unless they can somehow convince Democrats and Independents to stay home on election day).

The charts above reflect results from the Economist / YouGov Poll -- the latest being done between March 10th and 13th of a national sample of 1,500 adults, with a margin of error of 3.1 points.


Political cartoon is by Kevin Kallaugher in The Baltimore Sun.

Public Opinion On What Is Moral And What Is Not

I find it interesting to see what my fellow humans consider to be moral and what they consider to be immoral, and how that changes over time. The chart above is from the Economist / YouGov Poll. They take a survey of what the public considers to be moral each year. This latest survey was done between March 10th and 13th of a national sample of 1,500 adults, and has a margin of error of 3.1 points.


Political Cartoon is by Stuart Carlson at

As We Remember Hawking, We Must Heed His Warning

Stephen Hawking has died, and the world will be a little worse for his absence. Fortunately, he left a remarkable body of scientific work. He also warned us about what we are doing to our planet. The following is part of an article at Think Progress by Joe Romm:

Renowned physicist and best-selling author Stephen Hawking died Wednesdaymorning in his Cambridge, England home at the age of 76.
Hawking had become an iconic figure because of his scientific brilliance, his popular writings, and the grace and humor with which he waged a multi-decade fight against ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neuromuscular disease also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
As physicist Michio Kaku, told the New York Times: “Not since Albert Einstein has a scientist so captured the public imagination and endeared himself to tens of millions of people around the world.”
In recent years, Hawking used his status as a legendary scientist to warn the public about the dangers posed by a number of  catastrophic threats to humanity, particularly global climate change.
In 2016, he warned that climate change was the gravest threat facing humanity. That September he also joined 377 members of the National Academy of Sciences in signing an open letter that began, “Human-caused climate change is not a belief, a hoax, or a conspiracy. It is a physical reality.”
The letter warned about a Trump victory, explaining that “it is of great concern that the Republican nominee for President has advocated U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Accord” and that “such a decision would make it far more difficult to develop effective global strategies for mitigating and adapting to climate change.”
In July 2017, Hawking told the BBC that President Trump’s climate policies could permanently destroy the Earth’s livable climate.
“We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible,” he explained. “Trump’s action could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of 250ยบ” Celsius (482°F).
While “climate change is one of the great dangers we face,” the good news, Hawking noted, is that “it’s one we can prevent if we act now.” But the tragedy is that “by denying the evidence for climate change, and pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, Donald Trump will cause avoidable environmental damage to our beautiful planet, endangering the natural world, for us and our children.”. . .
The good news is that the rest of the world is committed to meeting its Paris carbon emission reduction pledges. But we are fast approaching irreversible tipping points, as Hawking warns, so Trump’s pro-pollution policies might well be enough to ensure that we do cross them.
Hawking became famous for his study of the past, and his 1998 book, A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes,” which has sold more than 10 million copies. But it’s his warnings about the future we most need to heed today.


Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at

RIP Stephen - You Made The World Better

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Paid To LIE

Pennsylvania District 18 Results Should Embarrass Trump

Pennsylvania's House District 18 is normally a very Republican district. Donald Trump carried it by 20 points in 2016 -- and Republican House candidates have for several elections carried it by a similar margin.

But enthusiasm by Democrats had the race polling much closer than that, so Trump made a special trip to the district to lend his support to the Republican candidate (Rick Saccone). He thought his visit would be what was needed to push that Republican to a win. Trump even told his supporters in the district that Saccone would easily win.

That didn't happen. Democrats had a good candidate in Conor Lamb (pictured), and the results last night were extremely close. As I write this, Lamb leads by 579 votes (113,111 for Lamb -- 112,532 for Saccone). There are about 1400 absentee ballots still to be counted. Saccone would need to get most of those absentee ballots, which are out in red counties -- but he has not been doing that well tonight and absentee ballots tend to favor Democrats more than election day ballots.

It looks like Lamb might actually squeak out a win in this very red district (although a recount is very likely), and that would be a major embarrassment for Trump (who has already bombed out once by supporting Roy Moore in Alabama). Of course, knowing Trump, he will just claim that Saccone was a weak candidate if he loses -- and if he somehow wins, Trump will claim all the credit.

But the truth of the matter is that Trump has no coattails, and it is doubtful he could actually help any Republican anywhere to win. I'm wondering after tonight if any Republican will even want Trump to come to their district to campaign.

UPDATE -- Conor Lamb pulled off the minor miracle. With all votes counted, the Democrat won by a scant 641 votes. Here are the final totals:

Conor Lamb (Democrat)...............113,720 (49.8%)
Rick Saccone (Republican)...............113,079 (49.6%)
Drew Miller (Libertarian)...............1,378 (0.6%)

Escaping Chaos

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