Author Archives: Trish Ponder

Why Doug Jones will Lose His Senate Seat to a Republican in Alabama

When a less chewed up and spit out Jeff Sessions vacated his Senate seat in 2017 to become Donald Trump’s first U.S. Attorney General, it forced a special election in Alabama to replace him. And that’s about the only way a Democrat like Doug Jones was ever going to win in that state.

The reason is straight ticket voting (STV). Alabama (and six other states)* still offer this option for those who have one concern when casting a ballot: party affiliation.

The trend in recent years has been to eliminate STV, which gives the voter the option to fill in one bubble at the top of the ballot and call it a day. But Alabama isn’t known for following enlightened trends, especially if the current setup gives an advantage to Republicans.

Doug Jones’s seat wasn’t up in 2018, when 65 percent of Alabama voters chose to vote a straight ticket. Predictably, more of them were Republicans.

According to the secretary of state, 661,898 Republicans voted a straight-ticket ballot on Tuesday. For Democrats, there were 460,408 straight-ticket voters.

The special election that Jones won had only one office on the ballot, so the voters who turned out were there to vote for or against him only. That situation won’t be repeated in 2020.

Jeff Sessions will first face several primary candidates that Trump — who railed against Sessions after he recused himself from interfering in the Mueller investigation — will probably back over him. Because of straight ticket voting, one of them is almost guaranteed to head to the Senate after the election, even if Jones is generally liked by his constituents.

* The other states that allow STV are Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah.

We’re Drowning in Guns and Trump Throws Us…Video Games?

This email subject line is the mother of all non-sequiturs
No amount of banned video games or advances in access to mental health treatment could make up for the sheer numbers of guns in America

Reading isn’t Trump’s greatest strength but in his speech addressing the two-for-one mass shootings inspired by his recent campaign trail red meat, he recited the words like a man with a gun to his head. Which is appropriate since, statistically speaking, as an American, he is likelier than citizens from any other country to be near a gun.

But no amount of banned video games or advances in access to mental health treatment (both initiatives which have been blocked repeatedly by conservatives, including Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia) could make up for the sheer numbers of guns in America. Residents of the old Wild West would be afraid to live with what you and I are facing. read more »

Beto O’Rourke Isn’t Afraid to Call Trump Racist

All elected officials need to speak out about Trump’s racist and white supremacist beliefs.

And we wish Beto had run again for senate instead of president. He’s badly needed there.

The King of Debt, as Trump Called Himself, is Earning His Crown

As tempting as it is to tune out news about the debt ceiling and budget deals, it’s time to pay attention. The excellent Daily 202 from James Hohman and the Washington Post breaks down how bad red ink has gotten under Trump.

Estimated deficit for 2019: $1 trillion +
Deficit for 2018: $779 billion
Deficit for 2016: (Obama) $587 billion

National debt as of July, 2019: $22 trillion
National debt at Trump inauguration: $19 trillion

As we remember, Pres. Obama used debt to successfully stimulate an economy that was collapsing as he took office.

Trump used debt to finance a huge tax break for corporations and rich folk, which he and the Republicans said would make things better for us average Joes.

Here’s the full quote: read more »

Who Wore It Best?

Trump managed to do what World War II couldn’t: he aged the queen.

Keep The Story Straight: What Mueller Said Was That It’s Out of His Hands

If you’re already seeing the spin crop up in your friends’ social media posts, keep them straight. Mueller didn’t say what the Trump team claims. He did NOT say, as Sarah Sanders did:

The report was clear—there was no collusion, no conspiracy—and the Department of Justice confirmed there was no obstruction.

Sanders is correct if by, “Department of Justice” you mean only Attorney General William Barr.

What Mueller himself said is that he investigated what he was engaged to look into, and that it’s not his place to indict the president. In fact, only Congress can take action on the misdeeds of a president. And that’s called impeachment.

Improving on the Happy Birthday FLOTUS Pic

The White House’s recent official “Happy birthday FLOTUS” tweet was so bizarre it was hard not to wonder what message it was sending. That Melania is alone? That Melania’s natural expression is just this side of simmering scorn? That Melania really likes to expose her legs and sit down when wearing uncomfortable shoes?

Hard to say. But Photoshop afficionados got right to the next step: making good use of that empty space on the couch.

Here are more great imaginings. read more »

The Very Best Silent Protest of a Trump Nominee Ever

Keep watching.

Rep. Adam Schiff Doesn’t Think the Trump-Russia Connection is OK

So much for “total exoneration.”

Why Are Guns So Far Being Held Blameless in Parkland Teen Suicides?

Guns continue to get off the hook in the deaths of two teens who attended Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Even though drug overdose is the method used in 70 percent of potential suicides, it’s only responsible for about 12 percent of the deaths. Guns are far, far more effective. Of the comparatively smaller 6 percent of people who attempt suicide by using a gun, they find “success” about 82 percent of the time. That makes guns responsible for more than half of our country’s suicides.

The role of guns, and access to them, has so far been ignored in the stories about the two teens at Stoneman Douglas. I have yet to find one that asks, let alone answers, the question of where the guns used by the teens came from. But states with the most guns have the most youth suicides.
read more »