Category Archives: Uncategorized

Chart of the day: Depression rates in the U.S.

The latest data in graphic form from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Percentage of persons aged 12 and over with depression, by age and sex: United States, 2009–2012

Percentage of persons aged 12 and over with depression, by age and sex: United States, 2009–2012

Graphic rendition: Trump dumpers depressed

With The Donald increasingly in the lead with each passing primary and caucus, desperation is dominating those sit-downs in those smoke-filled chambers of the Grand Old Party, giving fuel to the fires of the nation’s dwindling ranks of editorial cartoonist.

We begin with this from the artist of the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

Clay Bennett: Batman v. Stuporman

BLOG Bennett

Next up, from the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Steve Sack: He’ll take what he can get


And then there’s this from the Tulsa World:

Bruce Plante: Another GOP endorsement

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And for our final offering we turn to the editorial cartoonist of the Washington Post:

Tome Toles: The Game of [Republican] Life

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Eric J. Garcia: Free Water

From his Tumblr, El Machete Illustrated:

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DroughtWatch: Major decreases in dry zones

The latest report from the United States Drought Monitor reveals the greatest week-on-week reductions in four categories we’ve seen since we’ve been following California’s epochal drought.

For the very worst category, Exceptional drought, 3.74 percent less of California is included in to withering grasp. Even greater declines were reported for the Extreme, Severe, and Moderate Drought categories, although the total area of the state afflicted by one category or another remains unchanged, with 99.57 percent of California considered Abnormally Dry or worse, with only the extreme northwest coastal tip of the state considered normal.

From the United States Drought Monitor:

BLOG Drought

Joel Pett: We have nothing to fear but. . .whaaa?

From the editorial cartoonist of the Lexington Herald-Leader:


Quote of the day II: New York Times gets testy

From their current lead editorial:

The Republicans seem to be reeling, unable or unwilling to comprehend that a shady, bombastic liar is hardening the image of their party as a symbol of intolerance and division.

Last summer, as Mr. Trump began to rise in the polls, party leaders took umbrage at the idea that they’d have to do something to keep the nomination from the likes of him. They stood aside and said, let voters decide. Now voters are deciding. They are leaning, in unbelievable numbers, toward a man whose quest for the presidency revolves around targeting religious and racial minorities and people with disabilities, who flirts with white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan, who ridicules and slanders those who disagree with him.

His opponents, meanwhile, have rushed to adopt his anger-filled message. It’s small wonder that Republican leaders don’t seem to know quite what to say.

Sure, but it’s the policies those neoliberal “Republican leaders” have espoused since the days of Nixon that have created the anger the fuels the rise of Trump, Cruz, and Rubio, each adroit in his own way at pandering to the inchoate rage and frustration that simmers just below the surface of an electorate hungry for simple explanations.

And as their policies saw wealth distributed upward, jobs outsourced first across borders, then across oceans, labor unions destroyed, courts packed, and media consolidated, the dispossessed sought to lay blame for their sense of loss, and those same Republican leaders created scapegoats, folks with more melanin than most of those Republicans, people with a lot less money, people who spoke in languages with more words ending in vowels, and people who prayed and dressed differently.

You folks at the New York Times played the same game, leading the push for one war after another, espousing “reason” and “moderation” in dealing with problems that, to those a their sharpest end, called for more radical responses.

The road to Trump, Cruz, and Rubio was charted long ago, back when Cheney and Rumsfield were toiling in Nixon’s White House and Rupert Murdoch was still earning his spurs as the Dirty Digger.

Jill Stein takes on a deeply corrupt political system

The latest episode of Days of Revolt, Chris Hedges’ weekly series produced by the Real News Network for teleSUR English, is the first of two parts of an interview with Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein.

Their primary focus is the deeply corrupt nature of the American political process, in which any pretense of democracy is sacrificed in the interest of private profit.

Stein, a physician who graduated from Harvard Medical School is calm, lucid, and deeply committed to health of the commonwealth, qualities which relegate her to the margins as a third party candidate.

From teleSUR English:

Days of Revolt: The Problem

From the transcript:

HEDGES: So let’s begin with the nature of what some have called the dark state. How it operates, how it works. Because every facet, whether it’s electoral politics, whether it’s legislation, whether it’s the courts, whether it’s the mass media, has been completely seized by corporate power. And in many ways, a chief executive like Obama is beholden to those interests, has very little influence on them. How do you look at the American political system?

STEIN: It is extremely corrupt. It serves the interests of oligarchy. It puts people, planet, and peace, it subjugates those critical things to profit. We have a political system which is funded and therefore accountable to predatory banks and fossil fuel giants and war profiteers. And those are the interests it serves, those are the policies it creates, and it has, you know, it’s sort of like an amoeba that oozes its way into all aspects of the system. In the words of Chief Justice Louis Brandeis a century ago, you can either have a democracy or you can have vast concentrations of wealth. You can’t have both. And we have a system, whether you call it corporate capitalism or corporatism or just plain greed, whatever you call it we have a system that systematically puts profit over everything else. And it continues to spiral out of balance in a way that now puts us all in the target hairs.

And I think that’s the sort of exciting thing about this moment, that we’ll get to in this, in part two. But it’s reached a level where no one except for really the 1 percent, or perhaps the 5 percent, but no one now is out of danger. We’re imperiled in a very clear and direct way, whether you’re talking about an entire generation of young people who are locked into debt for the foreseeable future, the decline of wages, the true joblessness that actually exists. The foreign policy of total economic and military domination that’s blowing back at us now catastrophically. The immigrant human rights disaster, as 60 million people were forced to migrate over the past year alone. I mean, it’s–and the climate is in meltdown.

So in some ways we’re in this kind of magical moment, it’s an existential moment which is very personal and very real. So it has enormous potential, I think, for transformation. The question is which way is it going to go, and how are we going to make that happen?

HEDGES: Right. But it’s not–. And it’s that old, you know, essay by Rosa Luxembourg, Revolution or Reform. When you have all of the major institutions captured by a tiny elite, power elite, a cabal. Whether that’s an oligarchic cabal or fascist cabal, it doesn’t matter. It essentially shifts the focus of all of those institutions to serving that tiny elite at the expense of the citizenry. And that machinery is key, so that if you’re running elections, in some ways it doesn’t matter because these forces have captured these institutions and systems of control, and because they operate them, they’re beyond the capacity of any particular politician to influence. And that’s what Sheldon Wolin calls inverted totalitarianism, by which he means it’s not classic totalitarianism. It doesn’t find its expression through a demagogue or a charismatic leader, but through the anonymity of the corporate state.

The arms industry–I mean, the whole expansion of NATO is largely to feed the defense contractors. There’s no rational reason why, and we had of course promised Gorbachev with the fall of the wall in Germany that NATO would not be expanded beyond Germany. Now we are pushing it right up to Russia’s borders.

But there’s a perfect example of how rational security interests are sacrificed for profit. You’re a doctor. You understand the disaster of our for-profit healthcare system, including, of course, Obamacare. Everything is commodified within the society.