Scott Rasmussen from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sun, 22 Apr 2018 00:32:19 -0700 Scott Rasmussen from Creators Syndicate d1f538bd825d901b92adf0424771a3a9 Politics Polarize; Community Unites for 04/19/2018 Thu, 19 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>News outlets are routinely filled with commentary and analysis suggesting that 21st-century America is a deeply polarized nation. Countless stories are presented as a battle between conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats, private sector and public.</p> <p>Political activists fan the flames with talking points "proving" that they hold the moral and rational high ground. They convey a sense that anybody who disagrees with them is either stupid or corrupt.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 19, 2018</p> 1313145840584d15ba050f01320f458f An Epic Power Struggle: Government Fights Tech Industry for 04/12/2018 Thu, 12 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's testimony on Capitol Hill is merely the latest round in an ongoing power struggle between official Washington and the tech industry. </p> <p>It's a struggle that stems from a core reality identified years ago by Harvard's Nicco Mele. "The devices and connectivity so essential to modern life put unprecedented power in the hands of every individual." Empowering individuals is great for everyone except for those elite officials who used to wield more power over the rest of us. "Radical connectivity is toxic to traditional power structures."<p>Updated: Thu Apr 12, 2018</p> 7344bb24618c724c16cdf7dec03738da Iowa Leads the Way on Obamacare Reform for 04/05/2018 Thu, 05 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Lawmakers and bureaucrats in official Washington often act as if their decisions lead the nation forward. News from Iowa this week, however, shows once again that the culture leads and politicians lag behind.</p> <p>Kim Reynolds became Iowa's Governor last May when her predecessor (Terry Branstad) resigned to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to China. Reynolds is now running for her own full term in a state where the average Obamacare premiums jumped 57 percent. "Many Iowans faced a choice of going broke or going without insurance," according to Reynolds. "And that's really not a real choice."<p>Updated: Thu Apr 05, 2018</p> 99c65560928f65c1b3ef97aa8c876da4 Republican House Seats Potentially At Risk for 03/22/2018 Thu, 22 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Democrats must pick up 23 seats to win a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives this November. They have plenty of openings since 68 seats currently held by Republicans are at varying levels of risk. </p> <p>A race-by-race analysis at shows that 28 of these Republican seats are at a high level of risk (Democrat favored, Toss-Up, Tilt Republican). Fourteen more are modestly competitive while leaning in the GOP direction. Finally, 26 others might be at risk depending upon the political environment this fall.</p> <p>Seven Republican seats are already tilting or leaning to the Democrats. These are races where Republican incumbents like Frank LoBiondo (NJ-2) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27) retired.<p>Updated: Thu Mar 22, 2018</p> b0bf9f2b49161726e7262d9f8a0f1952 Dems Get Good News, But There's a Long Way to Go for 03/15/2018 Thu, 15 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Just over a week ago, turnout in the Texas primary raised serious questions about how big the Democratic wave could grow by November. This week, however, Connor Lamb won a narrow special victory in a Pennsylvania district that President Trump had carried by 20 points. Democratic spirits soared and some began dreaming that 100 or more Republican House seats could be at risk.</p> <p>It's natural for political types to overstate the importance of the most recent election or the one that's coming up next. After all, convincing voters that the fate of the world hinges on the results is a key part of getting them out to vote. In reality, however, the events of the last two weeks are just early signs of what might happen rather than what will happen. It's important to keep things in perspective.</p> <p>The good news for Democrats from both Texas and Pennsylvania is that President Trump has energized the opposition. The early results confirm polling and anecdotal evidence that Democratic voters are more excited about voting this cycle than Republicans. It's almost a mirror image of what happened in 2010 when President Obama energized his opposition party.<p>Updated: Thu Mar 15, 2018</p> a7d707a79141578b49eb775bab59609f The Most Important Demographic for Election 2018 for 03/08/2018 Thu, 08 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>The election season got started this past Tuesday in Texas, and the primary results are being analyzed for clues about what they mean for November.</p> <p>The results confirmed that the Democratic enthusiasm is real, but it's probably not strong enough to turn Texas blue. The number of votes cast in Democratic primaries nearly doubled those from four years ago. However, the 1,037,779 Democratic voters fell half a million short of the GOP's 1,543,674 votes. Primary votes don't translate directly into general election results, but there's nothing in the data to suggest a big blue wave sweeping over Texas. </p> <p>However, not all of America is like Texas. The Democratic enthusiasm on display in Texas could easily be enough to give Democrats control of Congress and make Nancy Pelosi the Speaker of the House. Texas results confirmed the conventional wisdom that millions of Democrats can't wait to express their displeasure with President Donald Trump at the polls. <p>Updated: Thu Mar 08, 2018</p> bfa7a6beb14191845ef6952dcee5e9fc Cultural Nuances of the Gun Debate for 03/01/2018 Thu, 01 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>A recent Politico headline shouted a message that liberal Democrats were longing to hear: "Gun control support surges in polls." Given the fact that Republicans are generally opposed to strict gun controls, that seems like it should be a boost for the Democrats in the midterm election.</p> <p>Despite that, many Democratic strategists worry that the gun control issue could backfire. Part of this concern stems from the fact that many Senate races are being held this year in GOP friendly states like West Virginia, Indiana, Missouri and North Dakota. Democrats talking gun control in those states could hand victories to the other team.</p> <p>But, even beyond certain states, buried in the Politico article is the fact that voters trust Republicans more than Democrats on the gun issue. Forty-one percent trust the GOP while 37 percent prefer the Dems. That may seem odd given apparent support for increased gun control, but the polling also showed that a plurality of Americans believes protecting the right of citizens to own guns is more important than limiting gun ownership.<p>Updated: Thu Mar 01, 2018</p> 222a7c25f047595bc5fd3afe49ab6189 Time to Change the Election Game for 02/22/2018 Thu, 22 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>For political junkies, Monday's release of a new map for Pennsylvania's Congressional Districts was one of the biggest news events of the 2018 midterm elections. The State Supreme Court imposed new District boundaries for every single district in the state and created more opportunities for Democrats.</p> <p>The impact of this ruling has national implications. Prior to the new Pennsylvania map, the projections at showed that even with a decent midterm turnout for the Democrats, the GOP might cling to a narrow 219-216 majority in the House of Representatives. With the new map, the same projections show the Democrats picking up three more seats and winning control of Congress.</p> <p>Of course, there's a long way to go until November and the battle for control of Congress may not end up as close as it appears today. But the fact that a court ruling in a single state could alter control of Congress reveals a much deeper problem with American politics. Rob Richie, Executive Director of FairVote has spent years stating the uncomfortable truth that "American voters don't select their Representatives, the Representatives select the voters."<p>Updated: Thu Feb 22, 2018</p> 601aa42ad7243cbfa5110a2bd35ba910 The Constitution is Not The Problem for 02/15/2018 Thu, 15 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Writing for The Week, Ryan Cooper made his case that "America's Constitution is terrible. Let's throw it out and start over."</p> <p>While most Americans revere the document that created our government, Cooper is not alone in his disdain for it. Law professors Adrian Vermeule and Eric Posner expressed their opposition in a book that dreamed of doing away with checks and balances and Constitutional limits on the president. The opposition even includes Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who has stated that the U.S. Constitution is not a good model for other nations to follow. </p> <p>Why do they oppose the Constitution? Cooper says "the major problem... is that it creates a system in which elections generally do not produce functioning governments." He worries that even when one party is completely in charge, only "one big law per year" can get passed. Others express similar concerns about the difficulty political leaders face trying to implement their agenda and guide the nation.<p>Updated: Thu Feb 15, 2018</p> 48410a9eddcae5fd7f71a0e8310c07e3 One Major Difference Between 2010 and 2018 for 02/08/2018 Thu, 08 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Republicans are understandably nervous about the parallels between the 2010 midterm elections that brought them to power and the 2018 midterms where Democrats envision a return to power.</p> <p>Eight years ago, a polarizing new president was facing his first midterm election. Progressives and conservatives offered wildly different interpretations of his every word. Despite polls showing his major legislative dream was unpopular, that president relentlessly pursued it. His efforts inspired a resistance known as the Tea Party.</p> <p>On top of that, unnerving interim elections rattled the president's party. A Republican won the Governorship in New Jersey, which was about as unusual as a Democrat winning a 2017 Senate race in Alabama. And, of course, there was the real shock of Scott Brown's upset victory in Massachusetts. If a Republican could win Ted Kennedy's old seat in a wave year, it's certainly easy to imagine Democrats winning 2018 Senate races in states like Missouri, Indiana and West Virginia.<p>Updated: Thu Feb 08, 2018</p> 90e52663f73484a8f8e01c368f250bc4 The President Presses His Advantage on Immigration for 02/01/2018 Thu, 01 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Last week, I noted that President Trump won the shutdown because he instinctively understood the strategic situation far better than Senate Democrats, establishment Republicans, and his other beltway critics. He knew he had a stronger position than the Democrats and used that understanding to his advantage.</p> <p>This week, in his State-of-the-Union Address, the president showed that he intends to press that advantage in ways that will help Republicans on Election Day. That was especially clear in his most memorable line, "Americans are Dreamers, too."</p> <p>In just four words, a president not known for his eloquence turned years of Democratic branding and messaging against them. Trump brazenly and succinctly re-defined the public imagery surrounding the term Dreamers in a way that infuriated the political left. Topher Spiro of the liberal Center for American Progress, called it "intentionally divisive." CNN reported that others thought the line "marginalized immigrants." <p>Updated: Thu Feb 01, 2018</p> a5873487f890108a2ff803a4ed54d710 The Art of the Shutdown for 01/25/2018 Thu, 25 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>President Trump didn't respond to the so-called shutdown of the federal government in the way that the political class thought he should. He didn't get personally involved in detailed negotiations to end the impasse and didn't convey a sense of crisis to the American people.</p> <p>When all was said and done, this skirmish showed the dangers of underestimating President Trump and his ability to connect with voters on issues the political elites ignore. His approach worked because he instinctively understood the strategic situation far better than Senate Democrats, establishment Republicans and his other beltway critics. </p> <p>First, the president recognized that the term "shutdown" is a dramatic overstatement of what really was going on. It's true that the budget dispute created stress for government employees who were to be furloughed, but the overwhelming majority of government services continued uninterrupted. In fact, outside of the DC area, nobody really noticed any impact.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 25, 2018</p> d170564354685c77c589d6fa9c43a5b6 Where to Look for the Wave for 01/18/2018 Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>It's normal for the party out of power to gain ground in a midterm election. The big question in 2018 is whether the Democrats will gain enough ground to win a majority in the House of Representatives. </p> <p>While the political winds currently favor the Democrats, 390 of the 435 House races are pretty well locked in for one party or the other. Only 45 out of 435 races are even somewhat competitive. Still, a race-by-race analysis on suggests that a normal midterm gain would get the Democrats very close to their goal. </p> <p>The starting point is 187 races that are rated as either Strong or Likely Democratic and nine more tilting or leaning in that direction. With decent midterm turnout, the Democrats would win all of these races bringing their total to 196.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 18, 2018</p> 01cff15ef24ce987390acb754d892fda Election 2018 Scoreboards: Who's Up and Who's Down? for 01/11/2018 Thu, 11 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Looking ahead to Election 2018, the numbers are close enough for either party to end up in control of the House, the Senate or both. The final outcome will be determined by a combination of the races in play, the fundamentals in each race, and the strength of the political winds in November.</p> <p>To track all of this, I've rolled out a new service at that will provide constantly updated Scoreboards for the Senate, House and Governor's races. In addition to the overall scoreboards, we provide a status and background page for each and every race. </p> <p>Currently, the Senate Scoreboard shows that if the Democrats get good turnout on Election Day, they could end up with a 51-49 majority by picking up Republican held seats in Nevada and Arizona.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 11, 2018</p> cad5e334f88e6e0d24cca6b6b1d11cca The Ground is Shifting Under Obamacare for 01/04/2018 Thu, 04 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>President Trump has perfected the art of antagonizing his opponents with provocative tweets. He demonstrated this skill recently in declaring that the tax reform act, by repealing the Obamacare mandate, had effectively repealed Obamacare.</p> <p>This generated a number of stories from left-leaning pundits pointing out that there's a lot more to Obamacare than the mandate. Sarah Kliff, writing for, noted that many Republican voters believed the president and hoped that would bring an end to efforts to undo the rest of Obamacare. </p> <p>But many Republicans in Congress seem intent on continuing to fight for repeal of the controversial law. A skeptical report in The Hill noted that the GOP had tried and failed to accomplish that goal in 2017. In their view, "nothing significant has changed since then that would now make the path easier. In fact, the obstacles appear even greater now that Democrat Doug Jones has been elected to the Senate from Alabama."<p>Updated: Thu Jan 04, 2018</p> 8daafb43043be0444db6ba0216b19b33 A Viewer's Guide to the Midterm Elections for 12/28/2017 Thu, 28 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Forget the Super Bowl! For millions of Americans, the biggest spectator sport of 2018 will be the midterm elections. The political winds currently favor the Democrats, but it's impossible to know how strong they'll be blowing come November. Five key races can give casual fans a good sense of what to expect.</p> <p>In the Senate, the races to watch will be held in Nevada, Indiana and Missouri. Nevada's Dean Heller is the only Republican seeking re-election in a state won by Hillary Clinton. Indiana's Joe Donnelly and Missouri's Claire McCaskill are Democrats fighting to keep their job in states that President Trump carried by nearly 20 points.</p> <p>These three are must-win states for the Democrats. If they win all three, a series of other close races could very well break their way to give Democrats majority control of the Senate. <p>Updated: Thu Dec 28, 2017</p> 7f809d4976d034a55201360e4762982c Politics of Tax Reform Depends Upon Salesmanship of President Trump for 12/21/2017 Thu, 21 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Many Democratic political leaders have convinced themselves that the Republican tax reform bill will be a great boost for the Democrats in next year's midterm elections. They could be right, but the outcome is far from certain. Instead, the political implications will be determined by how the economy performs and President Trump's salesmanship.</p> <p>The economy matters most of all. If it sputters or tanks in 2018, nothing will save the Republican majorities in Congress. But if the economy keeps improving, President Trump will have a chance to turn tax reform into a political windfall for his party.</p> <p>Presidential salesmanship has always had a big electoral impact. In 2002, Democrats thought that the Bush tax cuts and the president's drive to invade Iraq would doom the GOP. Instead, the president campaigned aggressively on his agenda to help his party regain control of the U.S. Senate.<p>Updated: Thu Dec 21, 2017</p> 4e109bc146834f6db72a53a3905dca4a Republican Civil War Could Hand Senate to Democrats for 12/14/2017 Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>With Doug Jones' victory in Alabama, Democrats now have at least a plausible path to winning control of the U.S. Senate in the 2018 elections. It's a difficult path to be sure, but it could happen.</p> <p>The first step will be for Democrats to successfully defend all of their Senate incumbents next November. That's not going to be easy because the list includes 10 running in states that voted for Donald Trump. But, the results from Alabama suggest that it could happen. If it does, all Democrats would need to win the Senate is to pick up a pair of GOP seats. And they definitely have a chance to do so in Arizona and Nevada. </p> <p>The Alabama results indicate that Democrats might be positioned for a very strong midterm election. Especially notable was the strong African-American turnout that lifted Jones to victory. If minority voters remain engaged at similar levels next November, Republicans will have an enormous challenge on their hands.<p>Updated: Thu Dec 14, 2017</p> a6a20fd90caf7b227136fcacea72b45b It Was A Woman Who First Addressed the Nation About Pearl Harbor for 12/07/2017 Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>There are events in history that no one alive will ever forget. But time moves on and those who will never forget eventually leave this earth. The rest of us know it only from the history books.</p> <p>One of those events was the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Only a handful of Americans alive today actually remember the day President Franklin Roosevelt said would forever live in infamy. Even fewer remember that the first Administration spokesperson to address the nation that day was not the president, but First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.<p>Updated: Thu Dec 07, 2017</p> 744f4b285eaf42fc0f454909e34e0c4c What If Roy Moore Wins? for 11/23/2017 Thu, 23 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>When Donald Trump appointed Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to serve as Attorney General, it was widely assumed that his permanent replacement would be a Republican. But the scandals and allegations surrounding Republican nominee Roy Moore have challenged that assumption.</p> <p>It would be a stunning turn of events for a Democrat to win in a state Donald Trump won by 28 percentage points. If that happens, as I noted last week, Democrats might win control of the Senate in 2018.</p> <p>But what would it mean if Roy Moore wins?<p>Updated: Thu Nov 23, 2017</p>