Linda Chavez from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sun, 20 Aug 2017 08:09:20 -0700 Linda Chavez from Creators Syndicate 6979d95abfc777ee52e77174f91c1ca6 Unfit to Lead for 08/18/2017 Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle." &#8212; Edmund Burke, "Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents"</p> <p>Edmund Burke's admonition in 1770 should be taken as a warning to us today. The president of the United States this week came to the defense of torch-carrying white-shirts, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members who marched last weekend on the campus of the University of Virginia. There were two white supremacist marches in Charlottesville &#8212; one at a park on Saturday, which ended in the killing of one woman and the injury of 19 others, and one Friday night at UVA, the one the president referred to when he said at a Trump Tower news conference, "You take a look, the night before, they were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee." The president babbled on at length, referring repeatedly to the "fine people" who marched on the UVA campus: "I looked the night before. If you look, they were people protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue."<p>Updated: Fri Aug 18, 2017</p> 3993dc22d4aad6c17179f8957118363e The President Is Provoking His Own Crisis for 08/11/2017 Fri, 11 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Donald Trump assured us during his campaign, "I know words. I have the best words." But are "fire and fury" and "locked and loaded" really the best words for a president to use in an increasingly volatile international crisis involving nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles? No question, North Korea precipitated this crisis with its aggressive pursuit and testing of a nuclear delivery system capable of reaching not only America's allies but also our very shores. Kim Jong Un's bellicose threats (that he would "blow the U.S. from this planet," and other such claims) upped the ante, but should the president be responding in kind?</p> <p>U.S. policy toward the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has been a failure for decades, under both Republican and Democrat presidents. Neither diplomacy nor economic sanctions have deterred North Korea from building and testing nuclear weapons &#8212; and, most recently, miniaturizing a nuclear warhead &#8212; or the missiles to deliver them. Even former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice admits that U.S. efforts to denuclearize North Korea have failed &#8212; though her advice is to learn to tolerate a nuclear-armed North Korea. <p>Updated: Fri Aug 11, 2017</p> 981f7672a8296ba1bfc351f939cd55fb Immigrants a Convenient Scapegoat for 08/04/2017 Fri, 04 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The administration rolled out its new immigration policy at the White House Wednesday during a week when nothing has gone well for the president. President Donald Trump has failed at health care reform. His poll numbers have slipped to 33 percent approval in a new Quinnipiac poll and 36 percent in Gallup's latest. And Congress forced the president to do something he's been avoiding for months: punish Russia for its meddling in last year's presidential election by sending him a veto-proof Russia sanctions bill. No wonder the president tried to change the subject by trotting out his favorite scapegoat. </p> <p>Immigrants make easy scapegoats, a truth the president exploited all the way from Trump Tower to the Oval Office. First, it was illegal immigrants, whom the president blamed for a nonexistent spike in violent crime in the United States. Now it is the legal immigration system in general, which the administration is blaming for lowering wages for American workers and burdening the welfare system. But immigrants, especially those here legally, aren't the problem, and cutting their numbers in half will do great harm to the economy. <p>Updated: Fri Aug 04, 2017</p> 3ff74d1cd88f9f66d86d0db939c805fa Twitter No Way to Issue Orders for Commander in Chief for 07/28/2017 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Serving in the U.S. military is a privilege, not a right. Not everyone who wishes to serve can be allowed to do so, for a variety of reasons &#8212; age, physical and mental fitness, education, and legal status, to name a few. The purpose of the military is not to advance a social or political agenda but to defend the nation. These simple truths seem to be lost in the debate stirred by President Donald Trump's clumsy and ill-timed announcement via Twitter that transgender individuals are no longer allowed to serve in the U.S. armed forces.</p> <p>The decision to allow transgender people to serve in the military in the first place was barely 2 years old &#8212; unthinkable even a decade ago. In 2015, President Barack Obama's secretary of defense, Ashton Carter, announced that the Pentagon would move to allow transgender individuals to serve openly in the military. But perhaps the most controversial aspect of the Obama administration's stance was the announcement in June 2016 that the military would provide medical treatment for those service members seeking hormone treatment and plastic surgery to change their sex.<p>Updated: Fri Jul 28, 2017</p> 5f3d545c52cd9cbe2476c7d36c810a71 The 'Recognizing America's Children' Act for 07/21/2017 Fri, 21 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>President Donald Trump may not yet have built his "big, beautiful wall" along the southern border or figured out a way to make Mexico pay for it, but immigration is one area where the president seems committed to keeping his campaign promises. Illegal immigration, which was already at a 40-plus-year low when the president was sworn in, has fallen even further in his first six months in office. The administration has stepped up immigration arrests, averaging over 13,000 a month since February, abandoning the policy in effect under several previous presidents that concentrated on rounding up criminals and recent arrivals. And the administration is intent on punishing cities and states that are insufficiently cooperative on immigration enforcement, though its efforts to withhold federal funds from such jurisdictions is being challenged in the courts. </p> <p>You'd think this would be enough to satisfy immigration hard-liners, but some are still grousing that President Trump has yet to pull the plug on the Barack Obama-backed program that gave temporary protection from deportation to illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children or young teens. The so-called "dreamers" seem to be the only foreign-born residents for whom President Trump has a soft spot (save his wives and seasonal visa holders on the payroll at Mar-a-Lago). The president has, so far, refused to rescind the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, but now several states are threatening to sue if he doesn't suspend the program, which currently gives some 800,000 dreamers the right to live and work in the U.S. provided they are enrolled in college or serve in the military, pass a background check and have no criminal record. What President Trump should do instead is get behind legislation introduced by Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla.: the Recognizing America's Children Act, which currently has 17 Republican co-sponsors in the House. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 21, 2017</p> e8fe4853919829588426a0e601fcb3f9 Trump Jr. May Have Killed Tax and Health Care Reform for 07/14/2017 Fri, 14 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In a week in which all political eyes should be focused on health care reform, the Trumps dropped another bombshell. First son Donald Trump Jr.'s release of emails between himself and a go-between for a Russian operative seeking access to the campaign, ostensibly to deliver dirt on Hillary Clinton, in July 2016 definitely puts lie to repeated denials by President Donald Trump and his operatives that Russia was interfering in our election. The Russia story is not "fake news." Russia attempted to influence the outcome of a U.S. presidential election by hacking state voting systems, by releasing damaging emails from Hillary Clinton's private server and her close associate John Podesta and by a sophisticated targeting of social media with disinformation on Clinton. Russia may well have done more &#8212; or tried to, at least &#8212; and Trump Jr.'s emails show that he was eager to receive anything damaging to Clinton, even from a foreign adversary. </p> <p>Trump and company have tried to defend the meeting between a Russian lawyer with close Kremlin ties and Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and then-campaign manager Paul Manafort as politics-as-usual. "Obviously I'm the first person on a campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent... went nowhere but had to listen," Trump Jr. tweeted. Really? The emails show not only that he was willing to listen; he was eager: "If it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer." <p>Updated: Fri Jul 14, 2017</p> 2668a37cc899361eb257721ddf2423a8 Voter Integrity or Intrusion? for 07/07/2017 Fri, 07 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>President Donald Trump's obsession with proving he won the election has gone from the slightly ridiculous to the dangerous. Rankled that he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, Trump decided that only massive voter fraud could explain why reliably liberal California would tally 3.4 million more Democratic than Republican votes &#8212; and, he would assert on the basis of no evidence, many of those voters must have been immigrants here illegally. Now he has appointed a special commission to try to uncover the evidence to prove his paranoia. But in the process, he is asking states to turn over information on individual voters that could become an unprecedented trove of personal data subject to potential widespread abuse. Paradoxically, <span class="column--highlighted-text">some of the same people who balk at the idea of a federal registry of gun owners have no problem with the federal government's compiling information on their voting habits</span>.</p> <p>Former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff warned this week in a column for The Washington Post that collecting names, birthdates, places of birth, addresses, party affiliation, voting history and the last four digits of voters' Social Security numbers in one location poses a national security risk. "We know that a database of personal information from all voting Americans would be attractive not only to adversaries seeking to affect voting but to criminals who could use the identifying information as a wedge into identity theft. We also know that foreign intelligence agencies seek large databases on Americans for intelligence and counterintelligence purposes," Chertoff wrote. While President Trump downplays Russia's meddling in the election, he can't deny that hackers intruded into voting systems in as many as 39 states. In large part because our system is so diffuse, hackers most likely were unable to do harm in the actual vote tally &#8212; but imagine what havoc they could wreak with all the data in one place.</p> <p>Many states, including those that voted for Trump, are refusing or limiting the information they give to the new commission. Ironically, the commission's vice chair, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, cannot by state law provide all the information he is seeking from other states. But the real issue is, what is the point of this exercise?<p>Updated: Fri Jul 07, 2017</p> 86d9f88a51c0aad78d342ba97352b659 A New Iran Policy for 06/30/2017 Fri, 30 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Five-plus months into the Trump administration, the outlines of a new foreign policy remain unclear. One of Donald Trump's frequent applause lines when he was a candidate was his promise to "rip up" the Iranian nuclear agreement, which Trump and other critics claimed was one-sided because it lifted crippling economic sanctions yet allowed too much room for Iran to pursue development of nuclear weapons. In April, the Trump administration certified that Iran was narrowly living up to the agreement to halt the development of nuclear weapons, but the administration nonetheless slapped new sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile program and state-sponsored support for terrorism. This new approach might not be so aggressive as hard-line opponents of the Iranian nuclear deal hoped for, but it does deliver a needed shot across the bow to an Iranian regime that continues to threaten regional peace and suppress its people.</p> <p>But what happens next? Iran continues to play an important and destructive role in Syria, backing the Assad regime in its murderous campaign against its own people. This week, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley warned in congressional testimony that Syria's apparent preparation for another chemical attack could have grave consequences. "The goal is, at this point, not just to send Assad a message but to send Russia and Iran a message," Haley said: "If this happens again, we are putting you on notice." She continued, "My hope is that the president's warning will certainly get Russia and Iran to take a second look, and I hope that it will caution Assad." But if the U.S. response were to be another limited attack on a Syrian airfield, that message would most likely be ignored.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 30, 2017</p> 86c3a745908687bdf92a877fa71ac767 Stopping Kim Jong Un for 06/23/2017 Fri, 23 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Otto Warmbier's death is one of hundreds of thousands at the hands of the most brutal regime in the world, North Korea's. The American student went to North Korea on a tour in 2016 and did something foolish: He tried to steal a propaganda poster from the wall of his hotel, an act captured on surveillance cameras. For his "crime," the North Koreans sentenced him to 15 years of hard labor. The scene of his tearful confession in his sham trial is the last picture we have of Warmbier alive. We will probably never know exactly what happened to him, but we do know that the healthy young man lapsed into a coma shortly after his trial and that his brain slowly died. By the time the North Koreans shipped him home, his brain was so damaged he would never recover, and he died within days.</p> <p>But what happened to Warmbier happens every day in North Korea. The cameras that captured him ripping a penny poster from a wall are everywhere, as are government loudspeakers in every apartment, house and building, part of a surveillance and communication system intended to keep tabs on every one of North Korea's 25 million people. For "crimes" as innocent as commenting on the health of any member of the Kim dynasty, which has ruled the country for almost 70 years, one can end up in a political prison camp. Once in the camp, starvation rations, torture and brutal physical labor &#8212; as much as 16 hours a day &#8212; quickly kill off most prisoners.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 23, 2017</p> b2b512cfebbb62e60c3617d6676e5feb Ballots, Not Bullets for 06/16/2017 Fri, 16 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>This week's shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and three others at an Alexandria, Virginia, baseball field where dozens of Republican members of Congress and staff were attending a practice for a congressional benefit game shocked the nation. Even more horrifying was the nature of the assault. This was a targeted, ideologically motivated assassination attempt on Republican members of Congress by a deranged fanatic who planned his mission over days and weeks.</p> <p>It is hard not to conclude that the current political divide is at least partly to blame. The bitter irony for Scalise (who at this writing remains in critical condition) was that had he not been there, the shooting would have turned into a killing field. Because he is a member of the House leadership, Scalise was accompanied by a small Capitol Police security detail. Two of these officers were also shot when they engaged and helped bring down the assailant, who later died of his injuries. Without the presence of these armed officers from the Capitol Police, the shooter could have mowed down everyone present.</p> <p>How have we come to this? Has American politics become so toxic that some decide now to settle their differences with bullets? This is a problem that affects the left every bit as much as it does the right. The shooter in this incident was an outspoken progressive who posted regularly on social media his hatred for Republicans. He volunteered in Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign last year, prompting the senator from Vermont to issue a statement from the Senate floor condemning what he called a "despicable act."<p>Updated: Fri Jun 16, 2017</p> 4638502dc978788ec9d44e64e43a6757 Political Cynicism and Religious Hypocrisy for 06/09/2017 Fri, 09 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>While most eyes in the nation were focused on former FBI Director James Comey's testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, some 1,500 evangelical Christian activists gathered in a Washington, D.C., hotel ballroom to listen to President Donald Trump tell them, "We are under siege." It was Trump's way of keeping his most loyal supporters fired up to fight the "forces of evil" that many of them believe are trying to take him down. One YouTube viewer commented online after the speech, "And the winner is: Our Glorious President Trump! with God's help."</p> <p>In a lifetime in politics, I can't recall a more disturbing display of political cynicism and religious hypocrisy. How is it that a man who is a walking advertisement of the seven deadly sins &#8212; pride, anger, lust, covetousness, envy, gluttony and even sloth, when it comes to learning what he needs to know to govern &#8212; is a hero to those who consider themselves devout Christians? <span class="column--highlighted-text">And how can these acolytes follow a man who lies as easily as most men breathe?</span><p>Updated: Fri Jun 09, 2017</p> 0e50987aea3e076956c5c44596829c88 Clinton's Tin Ear for 06/02/2017 Fri, 02 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Hillary Clinton may be the most tone-deaf politician in modern history. Repeatedly over the course of a 41-year career as a political wife, candidate and appointee, she's said and done things that alienated voters. Who can forget her acerbic comments during the 1992 presidential race? "I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas," she told one reporter on the campaign trail in describing her decision to continue her legal career while first lady of Arkansas. And then there was her response in defending her husband from allegations of extramarital affairs: "You know, I'm not sitting here, some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette." More recently, there was her testimony in front of the committee investigating the attacks on a U.S. post in Libya that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador: "Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?" And of course, there was this infamous claim during the presidential campaign: "You could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables." She described these people as irredeemable, "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic &#8212; you name it."</p> <p>But Clinton's tin ear hasn't improved with age or experience. This week, she told a California audience, "I take responsibility for every decision I made &#8212; but that's not why I lost (the presidential election)." She went on to blame the Democratic National Committee, saying that after she became the party's nominee, she inherited nothing from the Democratic Party: "It was bankrupt. It was on the verge of insolvency. Its data was mediocre to poor, nonexistent, wrong. I had to inject money into it to keep it going." She didn't bother to mention that DNC operatives were alleged to have helped her secure the nomination in the first place. She portrayed herself as a victim, even using the word to describe why the assumption she was going to win hurt her. And of course, she blamed the Russians &#8212; not without some justification, given their alleged role in hacking her emails and using WikiLeaks to dump them at the height of the election &#8212; and former FBI Director James Comey's investigation of her private email servers.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 02, 2017</p> 79fcee28b292114d72906662df6c0bf8 When Beating Up the Press Gets Physical for 05/26/2017 Fri, 26 May 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>By the time this column appears, the voters of Montana will have decided the fate of GOP candidate Greg Gianforte in his quest to become a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, but Gianforte's alleged physical assault on a reporter the night before the election should concern all of us, regardless of the outcome. Witnesses and an audio recording depict Gianforte assaulting a reporter who was asking a legitimate question about the candidate's stance on the American Health Care Act, which was recently passed by the House. As reporters do when a politician evades answering, The Guardian's Ben Jacobs asked the question a second time. Jacobs' tone was respectful, not badgering as Gianforte's campaign suggested in its statement about the incident. In response to the question, Gianforte, according to witnesses from Fox News Channel, put his hands around the reporter's neck and threw him to the ground, punching at him.</p> <p>The audio recording refutes the campaign's insistence that the reporter was asked to lower his phone recorder and that he was asked prior to the alleged assault to leave the room. Instead, what we hear is a scuffle and the reporter saying he's been "body-slammed" and his glasses broken and Gianforte screaming, "I'm sick and tired of you guys!" Gianforte then repeatedly told Jacobs to "get the hell out of" there while the reporter, according to the witnesses, was struggling to his knees. What makes this case more than a one-off by a perhaps unhinged candidate is that it has occurred at a time of unrelenting hostility toward the press by the right, exemplified and encouraged by the president. This is unhealthy for democracy and an attack on our civic institutions &#8212; the kind of thing you'd expect in Venezuela or Russia or Turkey, but not in the United States.<p>Updated: Fri May 26, 2017</p> 6aced409b13ae1acb647df2d9ecbd8a5 The World Is Watching for 05/19/2017 Fri, 19 May 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I take no glee in the appointment of a special counsel to investigate whether the Trump campaign had ties to Russia &#8212; and I say that as a consistent critic of Donald Trump's from the day he announced his quest for the presidency. I have watched too many of these investigations, of both Democrats and Republicans, go bad. Whitewater, which started out as an inquiry into whether the Clintons had received improper financial favors in a land deal, morphed into inquiries into the president's sexual behavior with Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky, which resulted in the impeachment of Bill Clinton, though he was not convicted. The Iran-Contra affair began as an inquiry into whether Oliver North, a midlevel National Security Council staffer in the Reagan White House, had facilitated arms sales to the Iranians as part of an effort to release American hostages and then used funds from the sale to finance the anti-communist guerillas fighting in Nicaragua; it ended with indictments of officials who had little or nothing to do with the scheme and the overturning of North's convictions because he had been given immunity by Congress to testify on the issue.</p> <p>Who knows how Russiagate will turn out? No one. But it will damage this White House, impede the president's agenda and sully everyone it touches. The only hope is that the investigation can be concluded quickly, but that hope is slender. This is a complex investigation &#8212; perhaps the most complex we've ever seen &#8212; because of the man at the center of the inquiry. Donald Trump's empire is built on secrecy, properties, assets and partnerships shielded in layers of limited liability corporations whose finances are likely to be anything but transparent, even if we had Trump's tax records (which special counsel Robert Mueller may subpoena). The best forensic accountants will have trouble following the money trail, even if some paths lead to Russian oligarchs and financial institutions.<p>Updated: Fri May 19, 2017</p> 973e33bdd349380aad20d90ba20e5e0b Shut Up and Govern for 05/12/2017 Fri, 12 May 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The comparisons between the investigation into Russia's nefarious involvement in the 2016 presidential election and Watergate aren't perfect, but there are important lessons Republicans can learn from the latter. We don't yet know whether anyone in the Trump campaign, knowingly or unknowingly, assisted the Russians in their effort to disrupt the democratic process, but we do know that President Donald Trump is obsessed with stopping a thorough investigation into the matter. His latest ham-fisted effort was to fire FBI Director James Comey a week after Comey testified on the matter.</p> <p>Trump apparently thought Comey's firing would be greeted with applause from both sides of the political aisle. He was disastrously wrong. Whether his actions were motivated by an intent to cover up wrongdoing or simply to get an unflattering story about his campaign off the front pages, we don't yet know. But even the more generous interpretation should set off alarms in GOP circles. The road to Watergate started with a presidential preoccupation with bad news coverage and ended up with obstruction of justice.<p>Updated: Fri May 12, 2017</p> 23e2c67cebbd15349db8510336a622c4 Health Care Promises Will Be Hard to Keep for 05/05/2017 Fri, 05 May 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>President Donald Trump has achieved his first major legislative success this week with the passage of health care reform in the House. The bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate and is no one's idea of a perfect solution to repealing and replacing Obamacare. But it's a start. The biggest challenge to actually getting a law in place, however, may be the president, who keeps promising more than he can deliver. Like President Barack Obama's promise to Americans in 2010 &#8212; "If you've got a doctor that you like, you will be able to keep your doctor" &#8212; President Trump's assurance that coverage for pre-existing conditions in the GOP bill will ensure that no one gets knocked off the rolls is a bit of a stretch. Yes, pre-existing conditions will be eligible for coverage, but not necessarily at the same price those with current individual coverage now pay.</p> <p>The laws of economics &#8212; not necessarily the GOP &#8212; are the problem. Republicans aren't being honest and upfront. They need to explain why no law could fix the current problems with Obamacare without allowing insurers to adjust premiums to recognize that some individuals are more expensive to insure than others. Will fewer people end up uninsured under the GOP proposal as it stands? Probably, though over time the hope is that as the insurance market adjusts, more options will be available for plans that cover at least costs for catastrophic events at a price individuals can afford.<p>Updated: Fri May 05, 2017</p> 2e00a05063965aea823760842b7c7fe8 The President Needs to Focus for 04/28/2017 Fri, 28 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Donald Trump wants to have it both ways: He has had the most successful first 100 days as president in the history of the republic (or at least since FDR, depending on which day he makes the claim); or the 100-day standard is more media-concocted fake news, and we shouldn't even be looking at it. </p> <p>In fact, the 100-day test is mostly meaningless, but that doesn't mean that we don't have some sense at this point about the way President Trump governs, and on that score, the results are decidedly mixed. <p>Updated: Fri Apr 28, 2017</p> 0be5fa0af86332a4f9061ed36b0744ac Fox's Sex Appeal Problem for 04/21/2017 Fri, 21 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Bill O'Reilly's downfall has led to plenty of schadenfreude in the media, but I'm not sure the right lessons will be learned out of this sad episode. First, I should mention that I appeared on O'Reilly's show dozens of times over the 15 years I was a Fox News Channel contributor, and he was always respectful and professional. Obviously, he wasn't always on such good behavior, as attested to by the many complaints of sexual harassment over which he and the network settled in the past number of years. But one thing became clear to me over the many years I was on FNC: Looks mattered. A lot. The emphasis on glamor and a certain look at FNC grew obsessively over time. And the standard applied exclusively to female on-air personalities.</p> <p>I started doing television back in the early '80s, appearing regularly on cable and broadcast news as a guest, as a commentator and occasionally as a host on CNN's "Crossfire" and on FNC's old "Hannity & Colmes" show. Getting to the studio early enough for makeup was always important, but the dress code was strictly business back then &#8212; a suit, preferably (so that technicians could attach a mic to the lapel), and solid colors that wouldn't make the cameras go haywire. Jewelry was always understated &#8212; no dangling earrings that would move as you talked, nothing too big or clunky that might bump the mic. Hair was to be well-coiffed but not too long. And there were as many brunettes as blondes on-air.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 21, 2017</p> c4e09306f05453a2584e537a38a834c2 No to a Deportation Force for 04/14/2017 Fri, 14 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>President Donald Trump has been flip-flopping right and left recently &#8212; much of it for the good. He's abandoned his promises to label China a currency manipulator, withdraw from NAFTA, repeal Obamacare and stay out of Syria. But he seems to be digging in on his pledge to create a deportation force to rid the country of people who are illegally here. A decision memo leaked this week to The Washington Post outlines the administration's plans to hire new Customs and Border Protection officers quickly by abandoning the usual safeguards, such as polygraphs and physical fitness tests, in some instances and deploying local police to enforce immigration laws through agreements with dozens of cooperative police departments. The memo also says that the Department of Homeland Security has found some 33,000 beds to supplement its detention facilities.</p> <p>If ever a policy deserved reversing, this is it. But will Trump have the courage to change course? Immigration hard-liners in and out of the administration are counting on an anti-immigrant backlash to stiffen the president's resolve, but when the roundups start, a far different backlash is likely to occur. The majority of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. have lived among us for more than a decade, are in families that include American citizens, work at jobs that are vital to the economy, pay taxes and spend their incomes in communities, which depend on their contributions. The idea that we can round up 11 million people &#8212; or even a fraction of that number &#8212; without harming American citizens is a pipe dream.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 14, 2017</p> 125a96fe21720149327289b6179a3b74 End of Filibuster Not Good for Either Party for 04/07/2017 Fri, 07 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Back when I was a young staffer in the House of Representatives, we viewed the Senate with some disdain. Senators &#8212; and more so their staffs &#8212; were imperious. They viewed themselves as being in the higher chamber and employed arcane rules, most notoriously the filibuster, to block actions they didn't like. But I've learned a thing or two in the more than 40 years since I left my job on the House Judiciary Committee, and I've changed my mind about those Senate rules. Sometimes we need a brake, judiciously applied, to give politicians and the country the time to come together.</p> <p>I was still in high school when Democrats filibustered the 1964 Civil Rights Act for 60 days, but I remember it as an ugly affair that nonetheless couldn't stop the U.S. Senate from doing what was right. In the end, the Senate mustered the votes of two-thirds of the chamber to move the landmark bill forward, but not before Sens. Robert Byrd, Strom Thurmond, Sam Ervin, Richard Russell and William Fulbright (some of whom later became liberal icons for other reasons) talked around the clock to try to kill the legislation.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 07, 2017</p>