Friday, May 25, 2018

Honesty


The Great Orange Negotiator Has Failed Again

(Cartoon image is by Marian Kamensky at cagle.com.)

The tiny black hearts of Trump supporters across the nation are broken today. They had a vision that their orange demagogue would ride into Singapore on a white horse and convince Kim Jong-Un, through force of personality and great negotiating skills, to give up all his nuclear weapons. Then Trump would fly to Scandinavia to receive his Nobel Prize -- assuring a Republican landslide in November and Trump's re-election in 2020. It was a sure thing.

Only it wasn't. Trump finally realized that he was being played (out-negotiated) by Kim Jong-Un, and cancelled the Singapore summit. His excuse was the "tremendous anger and open hostility" of a recent statement by North Korea. What was their statement? They called Pence a "political dummy". And they were right! Pence had warned that North Korea could go the way of Libya (be forced to give up a nuclear weapons program and have their leader deposed and killed). It was an incredibly stupid remark for Pence.

The cancellation of the meeting comes as no surprise to most of us. Any person with half a brain knew North Korea was not going to give up their nuclear weapons. Did they say they were willing to discuss denuclearization? Yes. But they NEVER said they would be willing to unilaterally give up their nuclear weapons. Only Trump, and his ignorant base, were dumb enough to believe that might happen.

Donald Trump failed to get anything out of the North Korea situation. The only winner was North Korea. They wanted to be viewed (at least in North Korea) as being important enough to have a one-on-one meeting with the most powerful leader in the world -- the United States president. They got that. Trump got nothing but an embarrassing failure.

This shouldn't surprise anyone. During the campaign, Trump said he was a "great negotiator" -- the best negotiator -- and that he would personally negotiate great deals for the American people -- so many that they would be tired of winning all the time. The truth is that he has had nothing but a string of failures.

Trump promised to negotiate a better deal for the United States in the TPP after dropping out of it. But no better deal has happened. The other nations just completed the deal without the U.S., and China is left as the dominant economic power of the Pacific Rim.

Trump promised to negotiate a better deal with Canada and Mexico on NAFTA. That has not happened. Negotiations have failed because Canada and Mexico have the strange notion that it should be fair to all three nations (and not just the U.S.).

Trump promised to repeal Obamacare and negotiate a replacement that would cover all Americans with cheaper insurance prices. That did not happen. He just damaged Obamacare -- leaving millions more Americans without insurance and higher insurance premiums for everyone else.

Trump dropped out of the Paris Accords, saying he would negotiate a better deal for the United States. No better deal has been negotiated, and since the U.S. produces more greenhouse gases than almost any other nation, the fight against global climate change has been seriously hurt.

Trump said he would build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, and negotiate a way for Mexico to pay for that wall. There is no wall, and Mexico has been adamant that they will not pay a penny for any wall.

Trump dropped out of the Iran Agreement, and imposed new sanctions on Iran that he said would make them negotiate a better deal. That won't happen. All he did was set up a coming economic fight with our European allies (who stayed in the agreement).

Trump bragged that he saved 200 American jobs by negotiating with Carrier. Carrier got about$7 million in tax breaks, then shipped those jobs out of the country a few months later anyway. It was another negotiating failure for Trump.

Trump threatened tariffs against China to negotiate a better trade deal. China won that battle by showing they can hurt the U.S. economy as much (and probably more) than Trump could hurt their economy.

After bragging about his great negotiating skills, Trump has scored a string of failures -- and no successes. He is probably the worst negotiator to ever occupy the White House.

Trump Caves

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

Another Idiotic Idea From Trump - Tariffs On Autos

(Cartoon image is by Sally Edelstein at Envisioning The American Dream.)

Donald Trump's pea-sized brain has come up with another brilliant (not) idea. Now he wants to impose a tariff on foreign autos and trucks entering the United States. It was enough to punish our allies with tariffs on steel and aluminum -- now he wants to do the same with automobiles.

Trump obviously has no idea of just how complicated the automobile industry actually is. Many of the automobiles sold in the United States by foreign manufacturers are made in the United States by U.S. workers. And many of the cars/trucks sold by American manufacturers are made in other countries. And just to confuse matters a bit more, many of those autos made in other countries use parts (from engines to interiors) that are made in the United States.

In other words, Trump's proposed auto tariffs are just as likely to hurt American car manufacturers and American parts manufacturers as it is to hurt foreign car manufacturers. It will raise the prices of many cars (which consumers can't afford), and it could cost many American jobs.

Where does Trump get these crazy ideas? And out of all the CEOs, and lobbyists in his administration, isn't there one smart enough to explain this to Trump? I shudder to think what he will come up with next!

Best Ever

Political Cartoon is by Stuart Carlson at carlsontoons.com.

Trump Has The Least Ethical Presidential Administration


Donald Trump likes to brag about himself and the people he's hired to run his administration. He claims they are the "best" people. The American public disagrees. They see his administration as being the least ethical of the last six administrations.

Only 37% of the public views the Trump administration as being ethical, while a substantial 59% says his administration is not ethical. Only one other president, Bill Clinton, has experienced a time when his administration was viewed as ethical by less than 50%. His number in January of 1994 was 43% (still 6 points higher than Trump), and he rebounded to 57% in March of that year.

The sad fact (for Trump) is that the public doesn't like him, doesn't approve of his job performance, thinks he is dishonest, and thinks his administration is generally unethical.

This chart was made using information contained in a new Gallup Poll -- done between May 1st and 10th of a national sample of 1,024 adults, with a 4 point margin of error.

Not Enough

Political Cartoon is by Clay Bennett in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Trump's Racism Has Made Racists Bolder Across U.S.

(Cartoon image is by Matt Davies in Newsday.)

When Barack Obama was elected president, some people foolishly thought the United States was entering a "post-racial" period, and our worst racial problems were behind us. It was not true. The election of the first Black president brought racists back out from under their rocks, and displayed for all to see that racism is still a problem in this country.

But the racism displayed while Obama was president pales in comparison to the current level under Donald Trump. The racists and white supremacists watched Trump's obvious display of racism during his campaign, and have been gratified by it since he was sworn in. They celebrated his calling them "nice people". Now they have been emboldened, and are committing vicious acts of racism across the country -- assured that they are just doing what Trump wants them to do.

It is time for decent Americans to take a public stand against this racist activity, which continues to grow with each day Trump is in office.

Frank Vyan Walton at Daily Kos has given us a list of some of the most egregious racist actions since Trump became president -- actions Trump has not spoken or tweeted against.

Racist Gathering

Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at claytoonz.com.

It's Never The Victim's Fault


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Poverty Is Man-Made


67% Of Americans Agree With Legal Same-Sex Marriage



The Supreme Court has settled the marriage situation. They have ruled that all Americans have the right to marry the person of their choice, including members of the LGBT community.

But it's still good to see charts like those above. They show that 67% (two out of every three adults) support the right of LGBT citizens to marry the person they love. And that includes 83% of Democrats, 71% of Independents, and 44% of Republicans.

Evangelicals, especially white evangelicals, are still trying to throw this country back to the 1950's -- a time when discrimination against the LGBT community (and minorities and women) was commonplace. But Americans are not having it. American society is growing up and acting like decent adults. They are rejecting discrimination -- and that's a very good thing.

These charts are from a recent Gallup Poll -- done between May 1st and 10th of a national sample of 1,024 adults, with a margin of error of 4 points.

Gullible

Political Cartoon is by Tom Tales in The Washington Post.

Trump Couldn't Win Re-Election If The Election Was Now


We still have a couple of years to go before Donald Trump runs for re-election, but he's got a lot of ground to make up in that time. If the election was today, he would probably not win. About 44% say they would vote for an unnamed Democrat, while 36% say they would vote for Trump (and 20% say they are unsure, wouldn't vote, or would vote for someone else).

These numbers come from a new Politico / Morning Consult Poll -- done between May 17th and 19th of a national sample of 1,990 registered voters, with a 2 point margin of error.

Unless

Political Cartoon is by Steve Greenberg at steve@greenberg-art.com.

German Public Says U.S. Is NOT A Reliable Partner


This poll illustrates just how badly Donald Trump has damaged the reputation of the United States. After withdrawing from the Paris Accords and violating the Iran Agreement, many of our best allies simply no longer trust us. Only 14% of the German public thinks the United States is a reliable partner, while an overwhelming 82% say it is not. That's a huge 68 point gap.

Even Russia gets better numbers than the United States does. About 36% said Russia was a reliable partner, while 64% said they were not -- a negative gap of 28 points. You know the reputation of the United States is terrible when Russia's is higher.

This is from a ZDF TV / Mannheim Research Poll -- done between May 15th and 17th of a random sample of 1,200 German adults.

Made It Out

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

The Statewide Slate Of Texas Democratic Candidates

Beto O’Rourke
Democratic Nominee for U.S. Senator

Beto O’Rourke is a fourth-generation Texan, born and raised in El Paso. He ran for El Paso City Council in 2005 and served for two terms before running for U.S. Congress in 2012, taking on an eight-term incumbent and winning. In Congress, Beto serves on the House Committees for Armed Services and Veterans Affairs. He has made it a priority to work across the aisle to secure bipartisan support for his legislation, because Beto knows our country is at its best when we can put party aside to work together, build consensus and find common ground.

Lupe Valdez
Democratic Nominee for Governor

The daughter of migrant farmworkers and the youngest child in a family of ten — Lupe Valdez learned the value of a strong work ethic and the opportunity that comes with education. With these values, she later on became a Sheriff of Dallas County as the only Latina sheriff in the United States and one of very few LGBTQ Americans serving in public office. In 2004, Lupe Valdez shook the political establishment in Dallas County, becoming one of the first Democrats elected countywide in many years.

Mike Collier
Democratic Nominee for Lieutenant Governor

Mike Collier has built a reputation for rigorous financial analysis, independent decision-making, and a commitment to telling the truth, no matter what. If we’re going to hold politicians accountable, that’s exactly what Texas needs right now.

Justin Nelson
Democratic Nominee for Attorney General

Justin was born and raised in Houston. He took the values he learned from his time in the Houston public school system with him to clerk for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor at the United States Supreme Court, and practices these same values every day in service of Texans like you.

Joi Chevalier
Democratic Nominee for Texas Comptroller

Joi Chevalier’s background in corporate and civic work is quite extensive, often focusing on innovative and first-time technologies, programs, and boards serving large, underserved constituencies. She speaks regularly on entrepreneurship, food+tech, product management, and the opportunity for women and African-Americans in technology and through food entrepreneurship.

Miguel Suazo
Democratic Nominee for Texas Land Commissioner

As a businessman and an attorney specializing in energy and natural resources, Miguel Suazo will use his expertise in business and law to bring professionalism and pride to the General Land Office while protecting the land that we love. His experience includes working as an energy attorney in Houston and in policy, having previously served as a staff member to U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) who served on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Kim Olson
Democratic Nominee for Texas Agriculture Commissioner

Retired Air Force Colonel, one of the first female pilots, and a fourth-generation farmer Kim Olson is exceptionally equipped to lead the economic engine that is Texas agriculture. She’s heard from farmers, ranchers, educators, and every day people who shop at the local co-op, farmers market, and grocery store.

Roman McAllen
Democratic Nominee for Railroad Commissioner

Roman McAllen was born and raised in Houston, who is using his career in both law and design and architecture to preserve our historic resources in Texas. From working for the City of Brownsville in planning and historic preservation to working as the preservation officer to the City of Denton. Roman McAllen believes it’s up to us to conserve our beautiful state.

Reacting To Inaction

Political Cartoon is by Daryl Cagle at cagle.com.

Hypocrisy


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Fears Or Dreams ?


Sanders Still Using The Democratic Party (But Won't Join It)

Bernie Sanders has officially announced that he is running for re-election to the United States Senate. And he is placing his name on the Democratic Party primary ballot.

Has he joined the Democratic Party? NO. He is just playing political games with the process of the Democratic Party. His campaign spokesperson, Arianna Jones, said after he wins the Democratic nomination he will "respectfully" decline their nomination and run as an Independent. In fact, he has already started the process of getting enough signatures to get his name on the ballot as an Independent.

He's just playing political games with the Democratic Party. He has never been a Democrat, and still claims he is not a Democrat. Why run in the Democratic Party's primary then? To keep a REAL Democrat off the ballot in November -- someone who might drain enough Democratic votes to cost Sanders the election.

This is nothing less than a slap in the face to Democrats -- and Democrats need to remember it in case Sanders tries to run on the party's ticket in 2020. Do Democrats really want a person who refuses to join the party or wear its label to be elected as the leader of the party? I don't think so.

If Sanders wants to run for president in 2020, he should do so as an Independent.

Thoughts - Prayers

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

More U.S. Adults Now Identify As Being LGBT


I found these Gallup Poll numbers interesting. It seems that the percentage of United States adults that identify themselves as members of the LGBT community has risen each year since 2012. In 2012, the percentage was about 3.5%. In 2017, only five years later, the percentage had climbed to 4.5%.

This does not mean more people are becoming homosexual. That is not a choice. It is something you are born with or without. So, why is the percentage climbing? It's because the larger society has changed to accept the LGBT community more -- and that has caused many people to feel comfortable enough to come out of the closet.

I think that 4.5% is likely still too low. Many think the actual percentage of LGBT citizens is closer to 10%. But it is good that more people are able to express their true selves.

The chart below shows the demographic breakdown. It compares 2012 to 2017 for each group. Note that only one group (the Silent Generation) has not shown an percentage increase. Evidently, they are still locked into a past societal view.

The 2017 numbers come from Gallup Poll samples taken between January and December of 2017 of 340,604 adults, and has only a negligible 0.1 point margin of error. The same size and margin of error are similar for 2012 through 2016.


Automatic

Political Cartoon is by Robert Ariail in The State.

Public Does NOT Back Planned Parenthood Funding Ban


One of Donald Trump's latest proposals is to block federal funding for any entity that performs, supports, or even tells people about an option of abortion. This proposal is obviously aimed at Planned Parenthood (an obvious effort to please Trump's evangelical supporters), but could even prevent doctors and others from discussing abortion with their patients.

It is already against federal law to use federal government funding to provide abortions. This purely political proposal would instead dent the many other women's health functions of Planned Parenthood, which makes up about 95% of their spending. It is a mean-spirited proposal that would do nothing but harm the ability of millions of women to get health care.

And most Americans don't support it. Only 34% of the public supports Trump's hardhearted proposal -- about the same as the percentage of his base supporters. Meanwhile, a plurality of 47% opposes the proposal. This is not going to bring new voters to support the Republicans in November.

The chart reflects the results of a new Rasmussen Poll -- done on May 20th and 21st of a national sample of 1,000 likely voters, with a 3 point margin of error.

New Jobs

Political Cartoon is by Dave Granlund at davegranlund.com.

The U.S. Provides Military Aid To 3/4 Of World's Dictators

(Cartoon image is by Peter Brookes in The Times.)

Politicians of both political parties in the United States love to brag about how the U.S. is a force for democracy and human rights around the world. Unfortunately, that rhetoric doesn't match the actions of those same politicians.

The truth is that the United States prefers governments that support the United States over democratic governments. That's why they provide military aid to nearly three-quarters of the world's dictators -- military aid that is used to keep those dictatorships in power and to deny human rights in those dictatorships.

This is nothing new. The U.S. has been doing this for decades, and has even gone so far as to help dictators overthrow a democratically-elected government (Iran and Chile are two examples of this).

The following is part of an article by Whitney Webb at Mint Press News:

About three-quarters of the world’s dictatorships currently receive military assistance from the United States. This is a strange record for a nation that consistently justifies its sweeping foreign interventions as aimed at “promoting democracy” and “thwarting evil dictatorships.”
In the Cold War it was “He may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.” Current analysis shows the U.S. militarily assisting dictators the world over, calling it “promoting democracy,” and disingenuously wondering why it’s all going so badly.
For much of its history, the United States government has explained or defended its intervention in the affairs of other nations by framing such behavior as necessary to “promote democracy” abroad and to thwart the advance of “evil dictators.” While the use of those phrases has hardly dwindled over the years, establishment figures have been forced to admit in recent years that the U.S.’ democracy promotion efforts haven’t gone quite as planned.
For instance, last year, Foreign Policy published an article headlined “Why is America So Bad at Promoting Democracy in Other Countries?” There, Harvard professor Stephen M. Walt noted that most of the U.S.’ democracy promotion efforts abroad end in failure, with nearly a quarter of the world’s democracies having been degraded in the past 30 years. Though Walt blames the U.S.’ muddled history of military interventions for failing to spread democracy, a new analysis suggests that the reason for this troubling trend is not that democracy wasn’t promoted the “right” way, but rather that democracy was never meant to be promoted at all.
Rich Whitney, an attorney and writer, sought to compare Freedom House’s rating system of political rights for 2015 to the U.S. government’s provision of military assistance – military training, military aid and weapons sales – to foreign nations that same year. Whitney’s stated goal was to determine whether the U.S. government actually opposes dictatorships and champions democracy at a global level, as is often claimed. His independent analysis found that the U.S. has actually manifested the opposite of its stated intention, by providing military assistance to 36 of the world’s 49 dictatorships. In other words, more than 73% of the world’s dictatorships currently receive military assistance from the United States.
For his analysis, Whitney used a commonly accepted definition of dictatorship: “a system of government in which one person or a small group possesses absolute state power, thereby directing all national policies and major acts — leaving the people powerless to alter those decisions or replace those in power by any method short of revolution or coup.” He chose Freedom House’s Freedom in the World annual reports, citing it as the best source for a comprehensive list of dictatorships and “free” societies. Whitney, however, noted that the ostensibly independent organization has a “decidedly pro-US-ruling-class bias.”
Freedom House’s bias makes the results of Whitney’s analysis even more damning. The organization is funded by a combination of Western government and nongovernmental-organization sources, including the George Soros-funded Open Society Foundations. Thus, its categorization of nations as dictatorships or as free societies is largely analogous to how the U.S. State Department classifies such nations — meaning that U.S. monetary support of such dictatorships is a knowing and willful repudiation of democracy promotion abroad. . . .
Though this analysis of the government’s own data and data from a pro-Western think tank has revealed the U.S.’ far-reaching support for dictatorships around the world, such a revelation is unlikely to change anything about the U.S.’ long-standing modus operandi. For of course U.S. support for dictators is nothing new: many Cold War-era dictators, particularly in Latin America and Asia, were installed and backed with full U.S. government support despite their despotism, in order to allow the U.S. to “contain” communism and Soviet influence.
Ultimately, “democracy promotion” was never the true intent, but instead the disguise to mask the imperial conquest of nations that refused to acquiesce to U.S. government demands.

He Cannot Tell The Truth

Political Cartoon is by Matt Wuerker at Politico.com.

We Must remember Our History


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Prison State


Public Resoundingly Says NO To A Nobel Prize For Trump


I thought it was a joke when I first heard it, but some Republicans in the 115th Congress are actually trying to nominate Donald Trump for a Nobel Peace Prize. I don't know what they are thinking, but Trump hasn't done anything that would warrant giving him the Nobel Prize. And the American public agrees with me.

Only 24% of registered voters want Trump to be awarded a Nobel Prize, while 61% say that should not happen. That's a negative gap of 37 points. And that view is shared by both genders, all age groups, all race/ethnicities, all types of communities, all regions of the country, and most political groups.

Only one political group thinks he should get the Nobel Prize -- Republicans by 50% to 32%. That just exemplifies how far the Republican Party has drifted from mainstream America.

I'm sure the orange narcissist living in the White House would love to get that prize, and he's probably pinning his hopes on talking North Korea into giving up their nuclear weapons. It ain't going to happen. North Korea is not going to give up their nuclear weapons, and the Nobel committee is not going to give Trump anything.

The chart above was made using information in a new Politico / Morning Consult Poll -- done between May 10th and 14th of a national sample of 1,993 registered voters, with a 2 point margin of error.

Fortunate Cookies

Political Cartoon is by Matt Wuerker at Politico.com.

U.N. General Assembly Rebukes Trump's Jerusalem Action


Since World War II, the United States has been the leader of the free world. It had strong allies, and nations of all sizes looked to the U.S. for direction and help. Sadly, that is no longer true.

Donald Trump has shown the world that the United States can no longer be trusted to keep its word and abide by agreements it has entered into (TPP, Paris Accords, Iran Agreement, NAFTA). By violating these agreements, Trump has angered even our most reliable allies. And he is making this country a pariah among nations -- a nation that cannot be trusted to do what is best on the world stage.

This was never more clear than in Trump's decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. The move made the Mid-East a more volatile place, threatening the peace, and making it clear to the world that the United States cannot act as an impartial party to bring a solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Recently, the United Nations General Assembly voted on a resolution to condemn the United States Jerusalem action. The United States had vetoed such a resolution in the Security Council, but the General Assembly gives all nations a vote and none a veto.

Using the only tool in the Trump administration diplomatic pouch, the United States tried to threaten the nations of the world into voting against. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley to the nations before the vote:

"The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation." 
"We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world's largest contribution to the United Nations. And we will remember it when so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit."
That threat didn't have the desired effect. Only eight nations (Israel, Honduras, Guatemala, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, and Togo) voted with the United States against the resolution. Another 35 refused to cast a vote. But the overwhelming number of nations voted for the resolution condemning the United States -- 128 nations, including all of our best allies (United Kingdom, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Saudi Arabia, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Italy, France, Sweden, Switzerland, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, etc.).

The resolution can't force the United States to change its position, but it does make it very clear that the world is not going to blindly follow Trump down a road to disaster. Trump is making the world a more dangerous place for everyone -- and the nations of the world know that.

The era of U.S. leadership is over. That is not good for the U.S. or the world.

The Whiner

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

It's Undeniable That Donald Trump Is A Racist

(Cartoon image is by Chris Britt in the Illinois Times.)

Trump supporters will deny that he is a racist. But they are ignoring an avalanche of facts to believe that. Trump was a racist as a young man, when he violated federal law by discriminating against minorities by barring them from his properties. The statements during his campaign, and the statements and actions while president, have made his racism undeniable. Here is an op-ed by Michael A Cohen in the Boston Globe on this subject:

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump said the following: “We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — we’re stopping a lot of them. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people, these are animals.”
Trump’s comments came during a White House meeting about sanctuary city laws, and since then there have been several days of controversy as to whether Trump was referring to all immigrants or speaking specifically about the MS-13 gang, which has become a regular punching bag of the president. To be sure, calling any group of people “animals,” even criminals and gang members, is dehumanizing and gross and worthy of condemnation. . . .
Here’s some context on the president’s words.
When Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president, he called Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists.
He complained that a judge hearing a case related to Trump University was of Mexican heritage and thus could not be expected to treat him fairly.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump regularly highlighted crimes committed by undocumented immigrants to make the case for restrictive immigration laws, mass deportations of undocumented immigrants, and building a wall along the country’s southern border.
After a mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., by a husband and wife who had pledged fealty to ISIS, Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” — not just ones that had been accused of or suspected of having ties to terrorist organizations. Since then Trump regularly highlights incidents of terrorism committed by Muslims on Twitter while often ignoring violent acts by non-Muslims.
As president, Trump tried to enact a ban on Muslims entering the country from a host of predominately Muslim countries and has drastically reduced the number of Syrian refugees entering the country. In both cases, Trump’s justification was the threat of Islamic terrorism.
Trum used crude words to describe sub-Saharan African and Caribbean nations and said that he’d prefer higher rates of immigration from countries like Norway.
He said that immigrants from Haiti “all have AIDS” and that those from Nigeria should “go back to their huts.”
The president’s chief of staff was recently quoted as saying that undocumented immigrants from Mexico are “not people that would easily assimilate into the United States.” He said they are “overwhelmingly rural,” have poor education, don’t speak English, don’t have useful skills and “don’t integrate well.”
The Trump administration has taken away temporary protection status for hundreds of thousands of immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Haiti.
Earlier this month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, boasted of a policy – strongly pushed for by President Trump – that would forcibly separate parents from their children if they try to enter the country illegally. 
In addition to all this, Trump has referred to white supremacists as “very fine people.” He’s questioned whether President Obama was born in the United States. He pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had been held in criminal contempt by a federal court for unlawfully targeting and racially profiling Hispanics.
I could go on, but you get the idea.
The context for Trump’s comments is actually quite clear: The president is a vile bigot. He regularly demonizes and scapegoats immigrants and persons of color. He uses isolated examples of crime committed by immigrants and Muslims to justify racist policies that seek to limit nonwhite Americans from entering the country – and deport those who are already here. He’s done this repeatedly since he announced his candidacy for president, in June 2015.
His most adamant supporters will complain that the president, who struggles to speak in complete and coherent sentences and regularly uses out-of-context statements from his rivals to demonize and attack them, is being unfairly criticized for his “animals” comment. But these supporters are enablers and sycophants, who put tribal loyalty and partisanship ahead of truth and should not be taken seriously. 
We know exactly who this president is and what he believes. Let’s not waste any more time trying to parse his words or give him the benefit of the doubt. He’s a racist. Period.

Student Pleas

Political Cartoon is by Rob Rogers in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette.