Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Editorial Cartoon from Steve Benson

Editorial Cartoon from Rob Rogers

Editorial Cartoon from RJ Matson

Editorial Cartoon from Mike Luckovich

Editorial Cartoon from Matt Wuerker

Editorial Cartoon from Kevin Kalluagher

Editorial Cartoon from Jimmy Marguiles

Editorial Cartoon from Clay Bennett

Editorial Cartoon from Adam Zyglis

Nancy Pelosi just showed Democrats can Walk and Chew Gum at the Same Time.

For those who have not been paying attention to current events, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi showed within a period of less than two hours that Democrats can walk and chew gum at the same time.
First, the Pelosi led Democratic House unveiled two Articles of Impeachment against Donald Trump.
Confined to the events surrounding Ukraine, these articles focus on the President’s abuse of power and his obstruction of the congressional oversight process.
Then, less than two hours later, the Pelosi led Democratic House proclaimed a deal with the Trump Administration on a new N.A.F.T.A. trade deal between the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
This new trade deal, endorsed by the powerful AFL-CIO labor union, now contains better worker, pharmaceutical, and environmental protections the Pelosi led House secured from the Administration in order to ensure House passage.
Within the span of these two hours, Nancy Pelosi showed that Democrats can lead on protecting the Constitution from a President consumed with doing anything to get reelected and on advancing critical progressive and trade issues for the American People.
Later this week, the Democratic House will vote on the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019. H.R. 3 that is designed to lower prescription drug costs.
Readers should be reminded that the Pelosi led House has passed 400 bills this year including those on election security, raising the minimum wage act, and renewing the Violence Against Women Act, that Political Prince of Darkness Enemy of the People Senate Majority Leader Moscow Mitch McConnell has put in a legislative graveyard.
It is time to put away the big lie regurgitated by the Liar in Chief that Democrats are not doing anything for the American People.
It is time for the Obstructionist in Chief Senate McConnell to dig up all those House-passed bills out of the graveyard he built and consider them in the United States Senate.
It is what the American People want.


Monday, December 9, 2019

Where is the Inquiry into Trump’s Easily-Tapped Cell Phone Use?

Forty Years Ago, AT&T launched a famous customer outreach campaign called “Reach Out and Touch Someone.”
Well, that phrase has new meaning when you consider the reporting from CNN that Trump has been, despite the urgings of United States security, using his unsecured personal cell phone for years, as the Russians and Chinese listen in.
Unfortunately, this is not news. Individual One, since becoming President, has repeatedly ignored warnings not to use his personal cell phone device.
It has been reported by the New York Times that Chinese and Russian Intelligence has listened in on Trump’s conversations while on his personal cell phone.
Mr. Trump, the person who has lied to the American People over 13,000 times, has denied he is using his personal cell phone.
What makes this more remarkable is that the United States House of Representatives has not launched an investigation into this.
If the President of the United States has actually compromised National Security by ignoring security protocols and continued to use his personal phone where conversations can be listened to by foreign intelligence sources, that should be considered more of a high crime and misdemeanor than the July 25th telephone call with the Ukranian President.
Why have the Democrats not made more of an issue with this?
Why have the Republicans, who blasted Hilary Clinton for using an unsecured email server, not issued the same level of condemnations on Trump?
It is time for the public servants who represent America’s interests to look into this.
If the President did nothing wrong with his personal cell phone, fine.
If he did, then the Congress should consider another Impeachment Inquiry.
This is not about party politics.
This is about protecting the country.


Watch the Impeachment Hearings.


You go Nancy and Joe.

Last week, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and former Vice President Joe Biden showed Democrats how to push back against Republican Talking… lies and disinformation.
First, the Speaker, in a response to Sinclair journalist James Rosen’s question (and popular Republican ) about whether she hated Donald Trump, strongly defended herself and her decision to launch the impeachment inquiry.
The Speaker stated that:
“This is about the Constitution of the United States and the facts that lead to the president’s violation of his oath of office. As a Catholic, I resent your using the word ‘hate’ in a sentence that addresses me. I don’t hate anyone…..So don’t mess with me.”

Later in the day, while campaigning in Iowa. Joe Biden forcefully defended himself and his son when a person at a townhall accused the former Vice President of putting his child in a position to gain access and influence White House Policy.
After the person accused Biden of “selling access to the President,” the former Vice President called the questioner “A damn liar and that’s not true, no ones ever said that and no ones ever proved that….my son hasn’t done anything wrong and I did not on any occasion….”
The day before the Biden campaign, in response to Mr. Trump sulking out of the N.A.T.O. Summit after finding leaders joke about him on vide, put out an ad that effectively showcased the Administrations’s foreign policy shortcomings.
While the former Vice President may have gone a little overboard with the questioner challenging him to a pushup and IQ test, his and Pelosi’s reactions are the way to combat Republican fecal matter.
Voters respect public servants that fight for what they believe in. While facts are important, it is also crucial to see officeholders passionately and accurately champion their positions and proposals.
They do not generally approve of candidates that do not defend their views or what they want to do.
That is why it is important for Democrats, especially in swing districts, to defend their support for the Impeachment process. It is good that they tell voters what legislation they are working on but it is also vital that they follow Nancy and Joe’s example in countering the Republican ad blitz and defend that they are doing their constitutional duty in holding individual One to account.
This is the case where the “best defense is a good offense.”

Thursday, December 5, 2019

You go Nancy Pelosi putting down the question on hatred of Donald Trump.

Editorial Cartoon from Steve Benson

Editorial Cartoon from Rob Rogers

Editorial Cartoon from RJ Matson

Editorial Cartoon from Mike Luckovich

Editorial Cartoon from Matt Wuerker

Editorial Cartoon from Kevin Kallugher

Editorial Cartoon from Jimmy Marguiles

Editorial Cartoon from Clay Bennett

Editorial Cartoon from Patrick Chappatte

Editorial Cartoon from Adam Zyglis

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Watch the House Judiciary Committee


Kerry and Schwarzenegger Launch World War Zero

This is not an article about a Zombie Movie or the latest video game to purchase for the kids during Christmas or Hanukah.
2004 Democratic Presidential Nominee-former Secretary of State-former Senator John Kerry and former California Governor-current Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger have helped to assemble a bipartisan who’s who coalition of scientists, politicians, military leaders, and celebrities, to form a combat climate change and pollution organization called World War Zero.
Speaking on the 12/1/19 broadcast of Meet the Press, Kerry and Schwarzenegger said that climate change “needs to be treated like a war” and this new group would do whatever is needed to bring this issue to the forefront.
While acknowledging there are a variety of plans and ideas that can get to zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, both men cited California as a model state that enacted strong environmental protections while having the fifth largest economy in the world.
Schwarzenegger mentioned that there now more “solar jobs in Bakersfield than oil ones.”
Kerry stated that the “fastest-growing job is solar power technician. The second is wind power technician” and fighting climate change is about “reducing pollution, creating jobs, improving health (like asthma), and improving American security.”
Schwarzenegger went a little further stating that ““we have to convince the whole world and talk about fighting pollution which means more than fighting climate change and think about now with regards to health.”
Both men welcome the opportunity to go to potential climate change-science denying areas like West Virginia and tell the people there about the choices and opportunities they have to transition from coal to clean energy.
World War Zero is not the only action with regard to combatting climate change in the United States.
The House of Representatives is putting forth legislation called the 100 % Clean Economy Act of 2019 to cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.
Unfortunately, the political divide has been noticeable in the House. Looking to Arizona as an example, all the Democratic Representatives have shown full or partial support for the Clean Economy measure while none of the Republicans have voiced enthusiasm for the science of climate change or the potential of shifting to a clean energy economy.
The countries mayors are also taking a stand to combat climate change and pollution.
Again, looking to Arizona as an example, Phoenix and Tucson Mayors Kate Gallego and Regina Romero signed a letter together urging Arizona’s Representatives to back House legislation to stay in the Paris Climate Agreement.
Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans, former Phoenix Mayor (and now Congressional District Eight Representative) Greg Stanton, former Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell, and Bisbee Mayor David Smith had already signaled their support for remaining in the agreement with over 400 more of the Nations Mayors.
There are many plans to combat climate change or fight pollution. Progressives have offered blueprints like the Green New Deal. Conservatives like Senator Lamar Alexander’s have called for A New Manhattan Project for Clean Energy. There are also the various plans from current and former 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates.
All these plans have components that merit consideration. All of them share the same goal to do away with pollution, check the rise of high temperatures, shift to a clean energy economy with high paying jobs, and ensure that the planet’s waters, terrain, and air are safe and clean for all humanity.
It is time, like Secretary Kerry and Governor Schwarzenegger said on Meet the Press, for all sides to come together and forge regional common-sense solutions that save the planet.
Remember there is no Planet B.


Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Republicans did not watch the Hearings they Participated In.

There is a delightful scene in the Star Trek parody movie “Galaxy Quest” when the main characters, who are mistaken for real space explorers by an alien race that has shaped their culture on reruns of their old sci-fi show, encounter a small group of aliens on a mining planet.

The Sigourney Weaver character thinks the aliens are cute and wants to meet with them. The Sam Rockwell character, knowing that no good can come of this from playing a “red shirt” extra that is killed in one of the old episodes,  immediately pulls Weaver back and looks at the other actors asking “Did you guys ever watch the show?”

The Trump Zone Cult Residents masquerading as Republican Committee Members on the House Intelligence Committee demonstrated yesterday (December 2, 2019) that they were not watching or paying attention to the Impeachment Inquiry Hearings they were a part of last month.
They released a 123-page report of their perspective of the hearings and their opinions that peddled the same Big Lies Republicans and Individual One have been regurgitating for months.
They apparently did not consider one actual fact or aspect of witness testimony from the last two weeks.
The current incarnation of the Republican Party, a sorry lot whose members by a majority vote in a recent survey think Mr. Trump is a better President than Lincoln, has shown again that is has deteriorated into an alternative reality cult that one would find in most dictatorships around the world and in history.
Democrats, Independents, and those Republicans that have not drunk the Trump-branded Kool-Aid need to persevere and stand up for the Constitution, the rule of law, the Republic, and the Democratic principles that made this country “the shining city on a hill” for other nations to look to and aspire to be.


Donald Trump would probably say he did not know his own Mother if she had dirt on him.

Has everyone noticed that when someone has negative information regarding Donald Trump’s behavior or is a person that knows Mr. Trump but has come under scrutiny, the President either says “I don’t know them” or minimizes the level of contact he had with them?
The list reported from news outlets like the Washington Post, Axios, and Vice News is full of people from the Trump orbit and Administration that Individual One has tried to disavow, even when there are pictures and footage depicting the contrary. They include:
  • 2016 Campaign Chairman and currently incarcerated Paul Manafort:
“I didn’t know Manafort well. He wasn’t with the campaign long.”
  • Stormy Daniels:
“I had nothing to do with her. So she can lie and she can do whatever she wants to do.”
  • Personal Political Guru and recently convicted Roger Stone:
“Now you know Roger didn’t work for me in the campaign…Roger Stone didn’t work on the campaign, except way, way at the beginning, long before we’re talking about.”
  • Accused sexual predator Prince Andrew:
“I don’t know Prince Andrew…But it’s a tough story, it’s a very tough story.”

During the Impeachment Inquiry
Mr. Trump’s strategy of not knowing people or ascribing ulterior motives to their testimony has extended to the witnesses in the Impeachment Inquiry including his own European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland (Who purchased his ambassadorship with a one million dollar donation to the inauguration.)
The comments include responses to:
* Colonel Alexander Vindman:
“Why are people that I never even heard of testifying about the [July telephone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky].”
Former Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch:
“I’m sure she’s a very fine woman. I just don’t know much about her,” Trump continued.”
This is the person who he referred to as “the woman” and “bad news” in the infamous July 25 phone call with the Ukranian President. Mr. Trump also made the false  (what else is new) charge that Ambassador Yovanovitch refused to hang his picture at the Ukranian Embassy.
* The indicted duo of Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas:
Mr. Trump tries to cover himself in some of these instances by saying there may be pictures or they may be associates/subordinate of an associate/friend/cabinet official. He also tries to label, with no evidence, some of the witnesses as “Never Trumpers.”

One can conclude that Donald Trump would probably say he did not know his own Mother if she had dirt on him.

The people have to consider one of two unfortunate possibilities:

* The President is lying and participating in various cover-ups which would require impeachment and removal.

* The President is mentally incapacitated because he really does not know remember people and the 25th Amendment needs to be applied before he can further harm the country.

Either way, it is unfortunate for the country.


Donald Trump would say he did not know his own mother if she had dirt on him:

It is something for a President who has a reputation for being a deadbeat who has stiffed vendor after vendor talking about N.A.T.O. members not paying their fair share.

Monday, December 2, 2019

What Moron Dreamt up Auschwitz Death Camp Christmas Ornaments?

It takes a special kind of moron to create holiday ornaments or other trinkets that memorialize locations like the death camp at Auschwitz.
Producing these items is extremely bad taste.
Selling them is even more so.
Thankfully, mass outrage persuaded the higher-ups at Amazon to stop selling these nauseating items.

What is more troubling is that the production and selling of these repulsive items proceeded this far before the outrage brought attention to this.
What is more distressing is that these ornaments are still on the non-Amazon Market.
The people that buy these Holocaust-themed products have no conception of what the message of Christmas and the holidays are meant to be.
Hopefully, they will realize the error of their ways.


And Then There Was One.

Earlier today (December 2, 2019) Montana Governor Steve Bullock suspended his campaign for the Democratic Presidential Nomination.
He is the third of four current or former Democratic Governors (John Hickenlooper and Jay Inslee were the others) who tried to garner support for their presidential candidacies this 2020 election cycle.
The fourth, former Massachusetts Governor and late entry Deval Patrick, is still in the running.
It is a pity that these three Governors did not excite the voters.
These are individuals who had solid records as progressive executives of their states, sometimes bringing all sides from the political spectrum together to move their people and states forward.
All of them had compelling success stories to tell and sound pragmatic inclusive progressive programs to offer.
If any of them had secured the nomination, they would have been a strong general election candidate against Mr. Trump, especially in the areas in the middle of the country that the Democrats want to recapture and expand to.
It was not that long ago that being viewed as a successful governor would propel one’s candidacy to serious consideration. Just think of former Governors Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush in recent history.
While not taking anything away from the remaining candidates, it is regrettable for the country that these Governors will not be around to further the debate and present their case.
Maybe Governor Bullock, like Governor Hickenlooper, will eventually decide to run for the Senate.
After defeating Mr. Trump, making sure Political Prince of Darkness, Enemy of the People Obstructionist in Chief Moscow Mitch McConnell is no longer Senate Majority Leader (if he is still there in 2021) should be the highest priority for voters that care for good government.


Democrats Advance the People’s Agenda while Republicans cater to the Russians, Plutocrats and Fringe Right.

Liar in Chief, Popular Vote Loser, KKK Endorsed Candidate, and Individual One Donald Trump and Political Prince of Darkness, Enemy of the People, Obstructionist in Chief Moscow Mitch McConnell have hypercritically accused the Democrats of not governing since they have taken over the House of Representatives.
These are examples of the 400 bills the Democratically-controlled House of Representatives has passed in 2019:
  • Protecting People with Preexisting Health Conditions
  • Lowering Prescription Drugs.
  • Equality Act
  • Paycheck Fairness
  • Bipartisan and Enhanced Background Checks.
  • Banning Offshore Drilling on Atlantic, Pacific, Eastern Gulf, and ANWR Coasts.
  • Climate Action Now Act.
  • Veterans Access to Child Care Act.
  • N.A.T.O. support Act.
  • Violence Against Women Act Renewal.
  • Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act.
  • Secure American Elections.
  • Raising the Minimum Wage.
All of the Democratic Presidential Candidates are running on:
  • Promoting Opportunity for all Americans
  • Lifting people up.
  • Fighting Climate Change.
  • Social Justice like quality and affordable health care, strong public schools from Pre K to College, and Affordable Housing.
  • Keeping the people, workplace, election system, and the country safe.
  • Equality for everyone.
  • Honest and transparent government.
These are agendas to serve all the people in this country to move the nation forward. 
What has the Republicans in the Senate, led by Political Prince of Darkness Mitch McConnell done in response to the many people-centered bills passed in the House or discussed on the campaign trail?
In a word nothing.
Moscow Mitch has built on his Obstructionist in Chief reputation by building what Democrats have called a “legislative graveyard” where the great majority of these forward-thinking bills have been buried.
What do the Republicans led by Trump and McConnell have to brag to the American People as the 2020 Elections approach? They have:
  • Passed tax cuts for the rich who do not need it and running up the nation’s debt to pay for it.
  • Locked migrant children up in cages and taken them away from their parents.
  • Undone environmental regulations that protect our waters, Earth, and air.
  • Approved Judicial nominees whose philosophies suppress women, minorities, and voter rights.
  • Betrayed the people by working to take away their health care and insurance protection.
  • Attacked the poor and most vulnerable of the American People.
  • Not following through on rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure.
  • Hollowing out the various Departments (State, Energy, and Homeland Security)of the Executive Branch.
  • Warred on the mainstream fact-based press and science.
  • Enabled a record-setting legally challenged and authoritarian loving President who has betrayed the Constitution and his oath of office and corrupted the Executive Branch while they appease his conspiracy-minded mentality with supporting debunked fringe theories originated in Russia.
When comparing both agendas, it is not hard to see which group is the one that will promote the current and future interests of the American People.

If people truly want to move the country forward, they have to work hard to make sure voters turn out on November 3, 2020, and select the candidates that will best serve the interests of the public.

One hint to follow. Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are not candidates that will serve the people.


The Public is Ignorant of History as Impeachment Proceeds

Recent polls on where the country stands on the impeachment inquiry process going into the holidays show a very divided country.

While the organization 538 shows that the average of all polls favors the impeachment inquiry by 52 percent to 42 percent margin, the numbers shift to a narrower 48 to 44 division when voters are asked if Mr. Trump should be impeached and removed.

Real Clear Politics showed separate polls averaging a similar 48 to 46 result in favor of impeachment and removal.
Historically, these are bad signs for Individual One.
During the Clinton Impeachment Process, no more than a third of the country favored President Clinton’s impeachment and removal from office.

Furthermore, Trump, after only two months of the impeachment inquiry, is polling just under what Richard Nixon performed at just before he was forced to resign in 1974 after a year and a half of the Watergate Hearings and court fights.
So why is the country polarized after all the hearings with even Republican-friendly witnesses contradicting Administration talking points, the obstruction of Congress by the Administration in withholding witnesses and documents, Mick Mulvaney and Donald Trump’s public statements to the media who were filming them, and the transcript which showed a far from a ‘perfect’ call?
Cynicism and ignorance
Part of the answer to this is the increasing cynicism that has grown since Watergate towards our governing institutions.
Another answer is the proliferation of right-wing media echo chambers like Fox Island, Breibart, and Info Wars where alternative realities spun from the reactionary fringe have brainwashed a significant portion of the American Citizenry.
A final answer, expanding on the foundations of the first two, is that a substantial part of the nation’s populace is dangerously ignorant of United States History and Government.
Unfortunately, this is not news. Since the 1980s with the Nation At Risk Report and the Bradley Commission on History at Schools, public servants have known that students in K-12 and college have not been taking enough history, government, and economics in school.
A recent poll conducted by the Economist/YouGov weekly tracking poll showed that Most Republicans think Donald Trump is a better leader than Abraham Lincoln.
Let that sink in. Most Republicans, probably ignorant of history, think the person endorsed by the KKK and who thrives on division is a better leader than the President who freed the slaves and presided over victory in the American Civil War.
It gets worse.
Recent surveys from both right and left-leaning organizations have shown that students have not improved since their parents in the 1980s.
For example, a 2015 study by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni showed that less than half of college graduates knew:
  • The United States Senate holds the impeachment trial following the House referral.
  • The term lengths of members of Congress.
  • That only Congress has the power to declare war.
  • The Constitutional Amendment Process.
Sadly, almost ten percent of the college graduates thought Judge Judy served on the United States Supreme Court.
A more current 2018 study by the same organization found that:
  • 41% of American citizens did not know Auschwitz was a Nazi Concentration Camp.
  • Half of the respondents thought the Civil War took place before the American Revolution.
  • The people recognize some of Michael Jackson’s songs more than the words from the Bill of Rights.
The American Bar Association conducted a survey in March 2019 and found that:
  • Just under 50 percent of American Citizens knew John Roberts was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
  • Ten percent thought the Declaration of Independence freed the slaves and another ten percent thought the Bill of Rights was the Declaration.
  • Many were unsure of the contents of the Bill of Rights. More than half thought flag burning was not protected expression.
  • Some Americans felt that constitutional protections were only for citizens and that noncitizens did not have to pay taxes.
The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in 2018 organized a survey of American History based on questions asked of immigrants taking the citizenship exam. The results were that only a third of naturalized American citizens would pass the test immigrants need to master in order to become new citizens.
This ignorance of history and basic civics only corrodes our country from within and helps those charlatans and demagogues that profit from it. 
Forgetting the past
While allowing for the inevitably that people will forget facts that they have learned (or memorized for the test) in school, there are structural reasons that people are ignorant in history, civics, and current affairs.
Using Arizona as a quasi case study, high school students are only required to take one year of World History, one year of United States History, and a semester each of Government and Economics.
Consider that World History is supposed to cover all of Human Civilization from Pre History to the present and the United States course probes events starting with the Pre Columbian cultures to the present, is it any wonder that a substantial number of the students, no matter how talented the instructor, is bound not to master all the important historical concepts.
In Arizona’s state college system, students have a choice of fulfilling their general studies’ historical and humanities education requirements. They have a menu of potential selections ranging from general survey history classes to more in-depth topical areas to fulfill their general study requirements. While these classes are undoubtedly very interesting and are taught by talented and inspiring instructors, there is no requirement that students at the college level take one course in general history or government.
Educators and public servants in the State Legislatures across the country should strongly consider increasing requirements in history and government so students can more easily master and retain vital concepts this country needs its active and informed citizens to know if it wants to remain a federal democratic republic.
If not, the danger of falling into an Orwellian pit of doublespeak, conditioning, and propaganda designed to perpetuate control by an oligarchical few, as evidenced by those who have subscribed to the Big Lies espoused by the reactionary fringe during the impeachment inquiry, will prevail.

For the sake of the American Ideal, this cannot be allowed to happen.