Froma Harrop from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sun, 26 May 2019 22:17:12 -0700 Froma Harrop from Creators Syndicate 0de3246ccb34adfe33292f514b9b03bc Trump Immigration Policy: Mean but Phony for 05/23/2019 Thu, 23 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>You'd think from all the bombast and military shows at the border that Donald Trump is truly dedicated to ending illegal immigration. His apparent choice of Ken Cuccinelli as immigration "czar" would seem to cement the impression. The immigration hardliner espouses policies that are both cruel &#8212; denying citizenship to American-born children of undocumented immigrants &#8212; and truly stupid &#8212; letting companies fire employees who don't speak English at work. </p> <p>Trump, however, blew his cover following his release of an actually sensible immigration proposal. The plan would scale back family-based immigration in favor of a preference for foreigners with needed skills. Good idea. Canada does it. But something was definitely missing: a means to stop employers from hiring workers without papers. <p>Updated: Thu May 23, 2019</p> 69db07fa3565fb3df4503ff3a31c4e03 A Cap on Interest Rates Charged Consumers? Yes for 05/21/2019 Tue, 21 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><span style="background-color: initial;">The Loan Shark Protection Act would limit the interest charged on credit cards to 15 percent. A 15 percent cap would be too low &#8212; naively too low. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Too bad the bill's sponsors, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, weren't more careful, because their clumsy approach hands ammo to foes of those reining in truly abusive forms of consumer credit, the most obscene example being the payday loan.</span></span><br></p> <p>As the name implies, a payday loan is a quick infusion of cash to tide the borrower over until the next paycheck arrives, when it's paid off. But that's not what usually happens. Here's the usual scenario:<p>Updated: Fri May 24, 2019</p> 1c76084dbcd2c5b07fbea623aff76faf Engineered Babies and Not-So-Good Intentions for 05/16/2019 Thu, 16 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Like the comedian in the first episode of the new "Twilight Zone," Dr. He Jiankui seemed desperate to be famous. And like that comedian, he is confronted with the question "At what cost?"</p> <p>The comedian's stakes were his soul. The stake in Dr. He's actions is the future of the human race. Dr. He (pronounced "huh") broke a hard taboo in bio research. He altered the genes of embryos and then had them implanted in a woman. Changes in embryo genes do not stop at one individual but get passed on from generation to generation. <p>Updated: Thu May 16, 2019</p> df66cb3b3e6f04b8a6cfa34ba697ef06 Political Family Privilege: Let's End It for 05/14/2019 Tue, 14 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The Trump camp is making a very big deal out of Hunter Biden's 2014 gig with a Ukrainian oligarch. This was a time when his father, Joe Biden, Barack Obama's vice president, was pressing Ukraine's leaders to rein in its oligarchs. As it happened, Hunter's membership on the oligarch's board in no way weakened Joe Biden's &#8212; or America's &#8212; anti-corruption message to Ukraine.</p> <p>That didn't make it OK, however. It was another lamentable example of political relatives vacuuming up fast dollars on the assumption that they might influence powerful family members (or those who work for them) on their benefactors' behalf. </p> <p>Now even Rudolph Giuliani sees the insanity of his planned trip to Ukraine to see whether its new leadership might help re-elect Donald Trump by dredging up of more dirt on Hunter. The Mueller report notwithstanding, suspicions that the Trump world worked with foreign adversaries to get the man elected remain very much alive. Giuliani eventually saw the wisdom of canceling the trip. <p>Updated: Wed May 15, 2019</p> f1021f852126fa9b50e2e41db761d0b9 Trump's Economy Is Strong. Obama's Was Better for 05/09/2019 Thu, 09 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>"We're doing trade deals that are going to get you so much business you're not even going to believe it," President Trump told an American Farm Bureau Federation meeting in January. The attendees cheered.</p> <p>Meanwhile, farmer income for the first three months of this year fell almost $12 billion. Farmers account for only 2 percent of all employed Americans, but the drop-off in their income was such that it suppressed the entire nation's personal income growth number for March.</p> <p>I'm convinced that even as Trump recharges the trade war responsible for so much pain, his many fans in agricultural America would still whoop at his punch lines. If they didn't stop long ago as their misery mounted, why would they now? <p>Updated: Thu May 09, 2019</p> 208cd0752a8eff48b8d3ca43f28da123 Everyone Agrees. Robocalls Are a Scourge for 05/07/2019 Tue, 07 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I oversee the care of an ailing man who's pushing 90. When I'm with him, the sound of his phone ringing sends a minor shock to my system. And his phone is ringing all the time.</p> <p>"That's probably a robocall," he says, obviously aware that these autodialed spam and scam calls are usually up to no good. He knows deep down not to give personal information to a stranger on the phone, but sophisticated fraudsters sometimes don't sound like strangers to him. <p>Updated: Tue May 07, 2019</p> 820a6faa90ee6c6dcfcbd26dc169f99d Would Climate Engineering Be Playing God? for 05/02/2019 Thu, 02 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>As climate technology advances, the incredible is becoming creditable. Someday, a guy sitting in a bunker may be able to alter the planet's temperature by fiddling with a cosmic thermostat. But we're getting ahead of ourselves.</p> <p>There are basically two approaches to climate engineering. One is to capture greenhouse gas emissions and bury them. The other, more controversial idea, is to reflect the energy from sunlight back into space. This could be done through ginormous mirrors or by spraying aerosols into the atmosphere to make the Earth shinier (and, therefore, more reflective).<p>Updated: Thu May 02, 2019</p> 39ad896d999e6ae461ae14a8bb567924 The Very Strange Case of Stephen Moore for 04/30/2019 Tue, 30 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>What can you say about Stephen Moore? That his economic views tend toward the nutty, and his research is a slop job? That his juvenile fear of females borders on the pathetic &#8212; and that he didn't find them too embarrassing to air? That he's Donald Trump's pick to serve on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors? Yes, but we repeat ourselves.</p> <p>Fed board members have been liberal, and they have been conservative. Many no doubt harbored sexist views. But there was never a nominee who wrote things like, "No one seems to care much that coed sports is doing irreparable harm to the psyche of America's little boys."<p>Updated: Tue Apr 30, 2019</p> 467b7212848692dc0e8e3044c0d20b89 The Liberal Media Is Not Always the Liberal's Friend for 04/25/2019 Thu, 25 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>So Joe Biden is in. He's not millennial, not female, not a member of a racial minority. That's a problem for him, sayeth much of the so-called liberal media. The problem, however, may be the media. </p> <p>Biden's foothold in the Democratic Party wasn't a problem right after the election of Donald Trump, when Stephen Colbert put Biden on the show to comfort a heartbroken constituency. Colbert's young audience went wild for him as the embodiment of a decent brand of politics. <p>Updated: Thu Apr 25, 2019</p> a43b64f2473c289753388bb3deb17f5d Trees Capture Carbon and Dollars for 04/23/2019 Tue, 23 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><span style="background-color: initial;">The last Friday in April is National Arbor Day. You knew that, didn't you? Born in the Victorian era, Arbor Day began mainly as a gentle reminder to admire trees as things of beauty. As an environmental observance, it has been upstaged by the more comprehensive Earth Day (itself now almost 50 years old). But Arbor Day has been very much updated.</span><br></p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">The status of trees as uniquely important environmental players has risen in recent years. Trees are now on the front lines in the battle against climate change. </span>That's because forests absorb nearly 40 percent of human-made fossil fuel emissions every year. Burning wood and rotting trees release carbon dioxide into the air.<p>Updated: Tue Apr 23, 2019</p> cd3412d38d6488f2d37e6ea83f8045c2 Paris and New York Are United by Urban Horror for 04/18/2019 Thu, 18 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Many of us watching the inferno at Notre Dame de Paris felt that 9/11 dread. This week, as nearly 18 years ago, the news channels kept looping the same horrific video of towers collapsing. At the end, the medieval cathedral remained mostly standing while the twin towers at New York's World Trade Center vanished into a pile of smoking rubble. The outcomes may have been different, but both calamities showed that what we think most permanent may not be.</p> <p>In human terms, the calamity on Sept. 11, 2001, was of an entirely different scale. Thousands died. The conflagration in Paris miraculously cost no lives. <p>Updated: Thu Apr 18, 2019</p> 4ba46ae1d3724285677eaf9dc11827c0 Change Is Coming to Health Care. Vote Wisely for 04/16/2019 Tue, 16 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>It's a solid bet that our health care future won't look quite like the present. Whether the outcome would be good or bad for the average working stiff will depend a great deal on who is president after the 2020 election.</p> <p>If Donald Trump is reelected, we know where health coverage for millions of Americans is probably going. It's going away. For two years, a Republican president, House and Senate all tried to sink the Affordable Care Act. They did manage to punch holes in it, but the thing keeps floating. A reenergized Trump with no voters to face again would undoubtedly redouble his efforts to torpedo the whole law. Per his custom, he's offered zip to replace it. <p>Updated: Tue Apr 16, 2019</p> 700468887770f0cb1d977c60d219f453 Is the U.S. Full? Wrong Question for 04/11/2019 Thu, 11 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"Our country is full," President Trump said in regard to the immigration debate. Is this true? That depends. Some parts seem full, and some parts are definitely not. What the United States does need is a smart conversation on population. </p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Nearly every point made in this "America, full or not?" discussion bears at least one questionable assumption.</span> Here goes:<p>Updated: Thu Apr 11, 2019</p> e1a8a26385f49a5a7e04d34a5823bff3 Bernhardt Would Be Another Disaster at Interior for 04/09/2019 Tue, 09 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Back in 2016, candidate Donald Trump said he opposed a Republican bill designed to grease the wholesale transfer of America's public lands to states. "I don't like the idea because I want to keep the lands great," he told Field & Stream, "and you don't know what the state is going to do."</p> <p>It turned out that, on the contrary, Trump very much liked the idea. He got to work on it in his first month as president. And he named Ryan Zinke, a zealot for privatizing public land, as the head of the Interior Department. The remarkably corrupt Zinke had to resign. Trump now wants Zinke's No. 2, David Bernhardt, to take over Interior and continue the mission.<p>Updated: Tue Apr 09, 2019</p> 5ed9cdb4a2fcfbe9694d574d8edfc3e2 Is Bernie Behind the Attacks on Biden? for 04/04/2019 Thu, 04 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>There was always something fishy about the #MeToo complaint against Joe Biden. Putting hands on Lucy Flores' shoulders and smooching the back of her head is in no way sexual. Even Flores admitted that. </p> <p>Nonetheless, Flores gave a dramatic rendition of the distress it caused her. "I just froze," she said. "I didn't know what to do. Because again the only thing that you're processing is that there is a very powerful man standing next to you ... and you just don't know how to respond."<p>Updated: Thu Apr 04, 2019</p> c359a0fe1ef6210828c751ec6661fd2c The War Against Warming: Why We Must Fight for 04/02/2019 Tue, 02 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Even after Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia and Poland, a strong pacifist movement in Britain opposed a military buildup to confront Nazi Germany. It vilified Winston Churchill as a warmonger for pushing one. </p> <p>"What is it that Britain and France are fighting for?" Churchill asked rhetorically in a March 1940 broadcast. "If we left off fighting you would soon find out." <p>Updated: Tue Apr 02, 2019</p> 2bb2774cb33bd46225103492b14cc742 Mueller Report Is What Democrats Needed for 03/27/2019 Wed, 27 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Many Democrats don't get this, but the Mueller report has done them a great service. Concluding no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia but no exoneration on obstruction of justice hardly takes the president off the hook of possibly criminal behavior. But it does take impeachment off the table. </p> <p>This will help Democrats avoid the political peril of dragging the country through a chaotic partisan fight with the president. They can now work on getting rid of Trump the cleanest way: in an election. They can do that by focusing on the people rather than on him. </p> <p>Sure enough, Democrats have just released a plan for expanding health coverage and restoring the benefits that Trump and allied Republicans have been sabotaging. Trump would much rather rant about the terrible things others are doing to him than about the terrible things he's doing to Americans' health care security.<p>Updated: Wed Mar 27, 2019</p> df87af86035b562ff350d22452d5feae Mayor Pete Will Be President One of These Years for 03/26/2019 Tue, 26 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>What corner of political heaven did Pete Buttigieg fly down from? The 37-year-old Democratic mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has mightily impressed mainstream Democrats with his refreshing common-sense intelligence. And that's won him admiring glances from many Republicans, as well. Buttigieg's last name is pronounced like "boot-a-judge." You can skirt the issue by simply calling him Mayor Pete. And oh, it looks as if he's running for president.</p> <p>Hollywood couldn't script a more appealing political resume. Buttigieg is an Afghanistan War veteran and a Rhodes scholar who studied Arabic and speaks a little Norwegian. He's also an earthbound mayor working on problems in a Rust Belt city. Importantly, he speaks fluent policy in an accessible way. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Though definitely a progressive, he describes his ideas with a Midwestern modesty that doesn't scare moderates.</span><p>Updated: Tue Mar 26, 2019</p> 5a87e99e2248276edf2008d654967e1e Are the Racists on Viral Videos Mentally Ill? for 03/21/2019 Thu, 21 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Most everyone who spends time on social media has come across videos in which a white person is screaming racial insults, usually at a Latino or African-American. A recent example shows a woman at a ShopRite in East Haven, Connecticut, barraging a black man with racist invective.</p> <p>But look more closely at these videos and eyewitness accounts for a fuller idea of what forces are at work. Comments on these videos tend to condemn the perpetrators as evil racists and nothing else. But what should be blazingly obvious to those who watch them carefully is that the assailants are almost always mentally unwell.<p>Updated: Thu Mar 21, 2019</p> 7af612d8c2794ec49e6fac07b7f4166d Democrats Look Forward by Looking Inland for 03/19/2019 Tue, 19 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In Texas, most politicians used to worry only about the primaries. Once they won their party's endorsement, candidates would coast to victory in November. Journalists still refer to Texas as "ruby red," meaning Republicans rule the roost. That is no longer reality. Texas is barely red, and some argue it's already purple. For statewide office, general elections now matter greatly.</p> <p>Small wonder Nancy Pelosi has called Texas "ground zero" for Democratic focus in 2020. Had the Democrats not chosen Milwaukee for their 2020 national convention, they probably would have picked Houston.<p>Updated: Tue Mar 19, 2019</p>