Category Archives: News & Comment

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.

Cowardice and Corruption by Politicians Define the ‘Swamp,’ According to New Public Affairs Poll

Image of the capitol illustrates story about Washington as a swamp
credit: Bloomberg

A new Public Affairs Council/Morning Consult poll examines what outrages people most about Washington politics, whether President Trump’s critical tweets change opinions, and how White House policies have affected American businesses.

Among the findings:

• Of the 10 factors rated for contributing to the Washington, D.C., “swamp,” the top four are specific to politicians: politicians too concerned about getting re-elected (72%), politicians using their influence to make money for themselves or their families (69%), intense partisanship (68%) and politicians spending too much time raising money for their campaigns (62%).

• Republicans and Democrats polled found common ground in their frustrations. Seventy-two percent of Republicans and 75% of Democrats blame politicians who put getting re-elected ahead of acting on their principles. Corruption concerns both groups as well, specifically when it comes to using power and influence to make money while in government. Seventy-three percent of Democrats and 67% of Republicans said this is a major problem.

• The two factors on the list considered least problematic were the use of PACs by companies, nonprofits and unions to support candidates (39% concerned); and the fact that not enough good people want to go into politics (48% concerned).

View the full survey results here: pac.org/pulse

Poll: Support for Trump’s Impeachment Higher Than for Nixon, Clinton at Start of Their Inquiries

Axios: “Public support for President Trump’s impeachment is higher than it was for Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton when the House launched impeachment inquiries against them.”

Why it matters: Support for impeachment of Trump is still less than half the country — 44% in the Monmouth University poll shown here; 47% in CNN. And the polling reflects a 50-50 country. But the Ukraine scandal is pushing the numbers up.”

Ask Dr. Democrat: Impeaching Trump

Dear Dr. Democrat,

Should I be worried that the Democrats appear to have gone all-in on impeaching Trump?

Tangled Up in Tucson

Dear Tangled,

I hope they have more than we’ve seen so far. Knowing Trump, they do.

Fortunately, the standard for impeachment is a very low bar: perjury in
a civil lawsuit unrelated to the president’s time in office. That rules
in just about every infraction greater than a parking ticket.

I also think we’re at an advantage now because the Trumpsters have been
blindsided and so haven’t had time to muddy up the charges like they did
on the Russia scandal. You wouldn’t know it today but there were 10 or
so charges of obstruction of justice in the Mueller report, for example,
and obstruction of justice was one of the articles in both the Nixon and
Clinton impeachments.

read more »

Trump Shows Off His Own Circle of Hell

CREDIT: justplainpolitics.com
From McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, by Ella Gale

I’m the first guy to get a whole circle, it’s terrific. They evicted the Kennedys to put it in. Nobody, and I mean nobody else got this much abyss. Moody Judy Iscariot lives in a studio apartment in Satan’s mouth. Sad! Welcome to Mar-a-Lava.

Look at my pit. I have the deepest pit with the sharpest knives. These other guys, they have shallow fork holes, it’s pathetic. You should have seen how many demons came to my desecration. Packed like sardines. The noise was incredible. Biggest horde ever. They all wanted a piece of me. Good thing the pieces grew back. Very powerful agony!

It’ll take us ten minutes to get across the snake field. Huge hassle, but every time I ask for a golf cart a maggot-eyed horror pokes me with a solid gold pitchfork. Watch. Can we get a golf cart? [A moist crunching followed by an agonized shriek]. They have to send [several seconds of gasping] their biggest and strongest demon because gold is so soft and the pitchfork is so heavy.

read more »

Don’t Be Fooled: Evangelicals Don’t Support Israel – They’re Rooting for Its Destruction

Over at Buzzflash, Mark Karlin has an article up that sheds light on the real motivations behind Trump’s embrace of Evangelicals, and vice versa.

Evangelicals’ motives stem from “Revelation,” the last chapter in the New Testament, a bizarre acid trip that prophesies the various stages of the End Times. One element of the prophesy has come true: the reestablishment of the nation of Israel in 1948. During the next phases, however, multi-headed beasts, the four riders of the Apocalypse appear and Israel is destroyed. All nonbelievers on earth must be converted or else face eternal damnation.

So be aware that when Evangelicals root for Israel, they’re really cheering on its destruction and the forced conversion of the Jews to Christianity. In the real world, fortunately, it’s all bunch of hooey. But because Trump, the conman, is determined to appease his Evangelical marks, this dark mythology is shaping our internal politics and our foreign policy toward the Middle East.

For more, read “Christian Zionists Want to Hasten Armageddon. That’s Why Trump Attacked US Jews,” at Buzzflash.

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 »

Good Ol’ Red-White-and-Blue American Democratic Socialism Put Humans on the Moon