Friday Follies: Let’s Do the Numbers

• 24% = 24%. This week Team TRUMP sent me the following email:

Friend, CNN is at it again. Their latest phony poll claims that 64% of Americans have less confidence in President Trump than they did one year ago. Yet of more than 1,000 people interviewed, just 24% were Republicans.

That seemed very unfair. So I checked the latest Gallup numbers, and the percentage of those who identified as Republican was – would you believe it? – 24%. (By comparison, Democrats were 31%, Independents 42%.)

• We’re #1. President Trump has been lambasted for tweeting out condolences about the wrong mass shooting this week. It’s an understandable mistake because, according to data compiled by, so far this year there have been 391 mass shootings (defined as four or more casualties), which have left 554 people dead and 1,866 wounded. Yet there has not been a single word about restraining any of the guns involved. “If you compare us to other well-off countries,” Ali Mokdad of the University of Washington’s Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation told NPR, “we really stand out.”

And now there are 8 (I think, although I’m losing count of the women who have accused Roy Moore of being a sexual predator). On the 44th anniversary of Richard Nixon declaring, “I am not a crook,” it is clearer than ever that creepy behavior is both non-partisan and no barrier to election to the U.S. Senate or even the presidency. So instead of concentrating only on why Moore – who still goes by the title Judge although he was twice removed from the bench – might pose a threat to Senate pages, let’s focus on why a politician who seems to have stepped straight out of the Spanish Inquisition is a danger to all of us.

James G. Blaine

About James G. Blaine

Most of us undervalue what seem our tiny contributions to our communities and the world. As a result, we feel powerless, even victimized. But, like the butterfly effect in science, the lives we lead with our families, in our communities, and at work – all the so-called little things we do – collectively change the world. As I grow older, my ambition grows more modest but not less important: to participate fully and to contribute what I can. That’s my goal with this blog.