Mona Charen from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Mon, 25 Sep 2017 18:50:44 -0700 Mona Charen from Creators Syndicate eefb8e70199e9b29d1532bdcf948a9e6 Appreciating John McCain for 09/20/2017 Wed, 20 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>For many years, conservatives were ideological zealots. Like Spanish inquisitors, they were on guard for the slightest indications of heresy. Talk radio gurus in particular were punctilious keepers of the flame. If a Republican figure was thought to be "squishy" on any matter &#8212; guns, spending, immigration, or anything else &#8212; he or she was reviled. Jim DeMint, the former South Carolina senator who headed the Heritage Foundation for a time, said in 2009 that he'd rather have 30 conservative purists in the Senate than 60 Republicans of varying hues.</p> <p>Now the Republican Party is led by a man who donated to Democrats, promised never to reform entitlements, insisted more than once that we should "take the oil" from the Middle East and spewed more apostasy in five minutes than most Republicans could manage in a lifetime. Accordingly, we are told that personality is more important than substance. <p>Updated: Wed Sep 20, 2017</p> 6752fce58c9fb21aa8099fe1a574a2df Do Conservatives Take Rape Seriously? for 09/15/2017 Fri, 15 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Have conservatives forsaken rape victims? That's one of the more challenging questions posed following the furor over Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' announcement that her department will revise the Obama-era guidance on how sexual assault allegations are to be handled by universities. Because we live in an age of rage, the move sparked some overheated commentary ("making campuses safer for rapists"), along with several thoughtful essays on what it all means about our ailing culture. New York Times columnist Bret Stephens offered support for DeVos, but then devoted another column to a contrary view &#8212; a letter from a young reader who had herself been raped.</p> <p>Her experience &#8212; all too common &#8212; was terrible. She was traumatized, awoke in cold sweats, lost 30 pounds and considered suicide. She didn't file a police report because there were no witnesses, she had been drunk, and she didn't understand until later that incapacitated people cannot give consent. "I hate having to use my own life as an example," she wrote. "But honestly, so many of the conservative men in my life won't listen to me on this argument until I tell them my story."<p>Updated: Fri Sep 15, 2017</p> 25926fc3b0973647057165b824532160 Poking the Beehive for 09/07/2017 Thu, 07 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Professor Amy Wax of the University of Pennsylvania School of Law has poked a stick into a beehive. Tenure is liberating that way. In an op-ed for, she argued, with Larry Alexander, a law professor at the University of San Diego, that the decline of "bourgeois values" since the 1950s has contributed to a host of social ills. Male labor-force participation rates are down to Depression-era levels. Opioid abuse is epidemic. Half of all children are born to single mothers, and many college students lack basic skills.</p> <p>This is right out of the Charen hymnbook. Behavioral standards that were nearly universal in the 1950s, they contend &#8212; such as stigmatizing idleness, getting married before having children and remaining married afterward, "going the extra mile" for employers or clients, eschewing substance abuse and crime and upholding an ethic of self-control and delayed gratification &#8212; reigned from the 1940s to the 1960s, and contributed to economic growth, social cohesion and educational gains.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 07, 2017</p> ca724bc368f3bc14fc8408e2406c0ae7 Is the Party of Lincoln Now the Party of Lee? for 08/18/2017 Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>This year will mark my 30th anniversary as a syndicated columnist. During these years, I have written more words than I would have preferred about race. But race is America's great moral stain and unending challenge. I've tackled school choice, affirmative action, transracial adoption, crime, police conduct, family structure, poverty, free-enterprise zones and more. </p> <p>Some of those columns took the left to task for maliciously accusing Republicans of racism. A missive on "JournoList," an online forum of left-leaning journalists started in 2007, plotted strategy for how to defend Barack Obama from the taint of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Spencer Ackerman advised, "If the right forces us to either defend Wright or tear him down ... we lose the game they've put upon us. Instead, take one of them &#8212; Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares &#8212; and call them racists." <p>Updated: Fri Aug 18, 2017</p> 915c5e7cdae9df69151320a3fdc027e7 Google Burns a Heretic for 08/08/2017 Tue, 08 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>James Damore is fortunate that we don't burn heretics at the stake, because he has blasphemed. </p> <p>The fired Google engineer might as well have been writing a script designed to prove that one of the world's largest companies embodies every left-wing stereotype imaginable &#8212; blinkered, intolerant and authoritarian. Damore's memo alleged that one problem with Google's corporate culture is that people feel "shamed into silence" on important questions, and, bam, they fired him. Hollywood might have rejected such a script, on the grounds that Google would never do something that so confirms people's suspicions about the left. These are supposed to be the smartest people, right?</p> <p>Damore told the truth. This is not to endorse every word of his memo, but he was completely right that the subject of innate differences between men and women has become taboo. He pointed out, fairly, that whereas some on the right reject science on questions of climate change and evolution, some (many?) on the left resist science on issues of biological differences between men and women. Among left-leaning intellectuals, and that includes the types who run Google, it is not only assumed that all observed differences in traits, interests and choices between the sexes are the result of oppression (or are "socially constructed"); it is heresy to question this view.<p>Updated: Tue Aug 08, 2017</p> 9374a82e0890faa6df3dad3bd1c093ed Mattress Girl Discredited for 08/04/2017 Fri, 04 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>If you haven't heard of the "mattress girl," it's not for lack of trying among liberal opinion-shapers. Emma Sulkowicz, who dragged a blue mattress around Columbia University's campus in 2014 to dramatize her plight as a rape victim, was profiled sympathetically in New York magazine, The New York Times and other publications. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, invited her to attend one of President Barack Obama's State of the Union speeches. Artnet pronounced her mattress stunt (for which Columbia awarded her course credit as an art project) "one of the most important art works of the year," and she was honored by the Feminist Majority Foundation and other groups.</p> <p>Her story is this: A consensual sexual encounter with a male student named Paul Nungesser suddenly turned violent. Without warning, he choked her, struck her, and anally penetrated her while she cried out in pain.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 04, 2017</p> fbf8dae56f29a6287609141b633941ff Demoralized for 07/28/2017 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway, perhaps attempting to curry favor with this week's court favorite, Anthony Scaramucci (who &#8212; stay with me here &#8212; had just accused the president's chief of staff of a felony), popped up on "Fox and Friends" to suggest that it is "demoralizing" to fill out all the forms required for government service. She's worried that "paperwork" is keeping many qualified men and women from joining the administration.</p> <p>Right. It's the paperwork. Scaramucci, Donald Trump's Mini-Me, who has barely had a chance to find the West Wing's bathroom, is angling to push Reince Priebus out the door, while President Trump does the same to his attorney general. You want to talk about demoralization, let's talk. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 28, 2017</p> d068ada430a12d42afb204adfda2f799 Why Would You Want Putin as a Friend? for 07/21/2017 Fri, 21 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Leaving aside the question as to whether there was actual collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 election, it is undisputed that candidate Donald Trump was eager for a friendship between our two nations. The most recent accounts of the president seeking out more one-on-one time with Putin at the G-20 dinner &#8212; using only a Russian translator &#8212; is the latest evidence that this enthusiasm is undiminished.</p> <p>President Trump has offered scores of comments about Vladimir Putin over the past four years, many times leaning over backward to doubt whether Putin was really guilty of assassinating reporters and opposition figures. Had Putin "been found guilty," Trump demanded. On many occasions, Trump gushed that Putin was "very nice" to him, and praised the dictator's "strength." On May 5, 2016, he told Fox News' Bret Baier, "I know Russia well. I had a major event in Russia two or three years ago &#8212; Miss Universe contest &#8212; which is a big, incredible event, and incredible success ... And you know what? They want to be friendly with the United States. Wouldn't it be nice if we actually got (along) with somebody?"<p>Updated: Fri Jul 21, 2017</p> 7816f59a3e40b19ba10235f5a1cf2b29 The 16 Things You Must Believe If the 'Witch Hunt' Accusation Is True for 07/14/2017 Fri, 14 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>One column cannot accommodate the list of things you must believe if you trust that Donald Trump is truly the victim of a baseless witch hunt. Consider this a mere stab.</p> <p>1) Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner did nothing wrong by meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian offering dirt on Hillary Clinton. The emails requesting the meeting specifically mentioned a "Russian government attorney" and added that the requested meeting concerned "very high level and sensitive information" ... that "is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." That doesn't prove a willingness to collude.<p>Updated: Fri Jul 14, 2017</p> 4083cba4da1c32fe4e4f1206823c85b2 CNN Hurt Its Credibility for 07/06/2017 Thu, 06 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>CNN is not wrong that the president of the United States ought to stop behaving like a clown. But they overshot this week.</p> <p>As someone who has about the lowest possible tolerance for Trumpian vulgarity, I thought the imbroglio over the CNN logo gif was overwrought. This was an invitation to violence? Look, we know that Trump is not above stoking violence. He encouraged it more than once at his rallies. But the GIF? The original WWE clip was a joke. Superimposing the CNN logo on the face of Vince McMahon was a joke on top of a joke. It was bad taste, but not incitement. <p>Updated: Thu Jul 06, 2017</p> a527477056722d91d1beb8ea47097266 Republicans Are Big-Government Party Too for 06/30/2017 Fri, 30 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>We now have the answer to a question that has hung in the air for months: Why did the Republican leadership not have an Obamacare repeal-and-replace plan on the shelf and ready to go the minute the election went their way? Why didn't they use the time since the law's 2010 passage to craft the Republican alternative? </p> <p>The charitable answer would be: Because vetoes are daunting, big policy changes are difficult, big parties have incompatible factions and presidential leadership is critical. The real answer is that Republicans were bluffing. Like the Democrats, they are a big-government party &#8212; just less honest about it.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 30, 2017</p> eec4930bfd7318281f34bc5aec35a990 Puberty Suppression and FGM for 06/23/2017 Fri, 23 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Michigan is set to become the 26TH American state to join the federal government in criminalizing female genital mutilation, even as two Detroit area doctors and one of their wives await trial for inflicting the procedure on a number of young girls. FGM, which is common in some parts of Africa and the Middle East, involves using a razor to remove all or part of a girl's clitoris and parts of the vulva. </p> <p>By Western standards, this amounts to child abuse and criminal assault. FGM defenders claim that the practice makes girls feel "clean;" that it helps them to fit into their subculture; and that it promotes good marriages.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 23, 2017</p> f6a575cb942cad35e823b5a05023b466 Honor Thy Father for 06/16/2017 Fri, 16 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>We make a big fuss about mothers in our culture. Think of how often politicians offer sympathy to "heroic" single moms who are doing such an amazing job. Many do, and of course, their lives are extremely hard and they deserve sympathy. As a mother of three sons, I cannot imagine how I would have managed alone. <span class="column--highlighted-text">That much having been said, this Father's Day is a good time to remember that fathers are crucial to their children's happiness and success.</span></p> <p>Here is a small sample of what good husbands/fathers do for their relations: 1) Their wives are healthier, wealthier and happier than single or divorced women; 2) their daughters are less likely to have eating disorders, be dissatisfied with their appearance, have behavior problems, have a child out of wedlock or suffer from depression; 3) their sons are less likely to drop out of high school, get in trouble with the law or drink to excess.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 16, 2017</p> 167685e417addf3cab313ec096d4c189 Thinking About Incitement for 06/15/2017 Thu, 15 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"He was hunting us." Those were the words of Republican Congressman Mike Bishop describing the depraved gun assault on members of Congress while they were innocently fielding ground balls and practicing base hits on a suburban Virginia field. The politics of personal destruction became literal.</p> <p>Within a few hours, the president and congressional leadership put aside bitter partisanship and spoke of what unites us a nation. President Donald Trump noted, "We may have our differences, but we do well in times like these to remember that everyone who serves in our nation's capital is here because, above all, they love our country" and that "our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace and that we are strongest when we are unified and when we work together for the common good."<p>Updated: Thu Jun 15, 2017</p> d63e44fec0bafed621ad622e06fbc9d4 I Alone Can Fix for 06/09/2017 Fri, 09 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>It began as a rumble and has swelled to a chorus. Anonymous White House aides, outside well-wishers and Republican apparatchiks are all begging President Donald Trump to stop tweeting. The Wall Street Journal editorial page, which has performed acrobatic contortions attempting to coax normality and actual results from the current president, erupted with frustration at what it called the "cycle of Twitter outbursts and pointless personal feuding that may damage his agenda and the powers of the Presidency." </p> <p>George Conway, a Republican lawyer and Kellyanne's husband, noted that Trump's tweets undermined his own case for the "travel ban."</p> <p>Remember Tom Barrack, the friend who called Trump the "jeweler" who would "polish America" at the Republican National Convention? He's had it. "The tweeting makes everybody crazy," he told a Bloomberg conference in New York. "There's just no gain in doing it." <p>Updated: Fri Jun 09, 2017</p> d8bff13d35ef905440025d8afe3d39ff The Kids Are Not All Right for 06/02/2017 Fri, 02 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>More than 36 percent of teenaged girls in America are depressed or have suffered a recent major depressive episode, according to a study published in Translational Psychiatry. For boys, the rate is 13.6 percent. What are we doing to the kids?</p> <p>It isn't just one study. Research throughout the last several decades has shown a consistent pattern of rising anxiety, depression, suicide and suicide attempts among American adolescents. A 2001 paper published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis found that the suicide rate tripled between 1950 and 1990. <p>Updated: Fri Jun 02, 2017</p> 9295c997c5275fe8f2369c104fae700c Assault Is Wrong for 05/26/2017 Fri, 26 May 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The first question you have to wonder about concerning the assault and battery allegedly committed by Montana congressional candidate Greg Gianforte is: How could he possibly have put out a miserable, lying cover story when there were at least four witnesses in the room? The second question is: <span class="column--highlighted-text">Do you regret early voting yet?</span></p> <p>Here's the account from Greg Gianforte's press aide Shane Scanlon:<p>Updated: Fri May 26, 2017</p> 4ac16965c9a182a65f1f71c574c1c082 Anger Games for 05/19/2017 Fri, 19 May 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>"Hate is a more powerful motivator than love." According to the new Netflix documentary "Get Me Roger Stone," that is one of the "rules" the self-described Republican "agent provocateur" has lived by. Stone, of course, is a showman. The "evil political operator" pose is to some degree an artifice &#8212; a brand he's selling. Still, his style of politics has now moved from the wings to center stage. We're engaged in an experiment to see how much damage we can do to our society by adopting Stone's rules.</p> <p>The new Stone documentary (clearly produced by left-leaning filmmakers) forms a precise bookend to the 2016 documentary "Weiner" that followed former Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner throughout his pyrotechnic downfall. Weiner's bid for the mayoralty of New York City &#8212; for those lucky enough to have forgotten the details &#8212; was derailed by revelations that he had not put his addiction to sexting with strangers behind him. To watch the cringe-inducing Anthony Weiner (estranged husband of Hillary Clinton's "body man" Huma Abedin) permit cameras to record not just mortifying encounters with his wife but also the candidate spinning lies for public consumption is to see the peculiarly 21st century disease of narcissism at a high water mark. Not even when the most humiliating details of his behavior were being ogled by the whole world did Weiner consider telling the trailing documentarians to turn off the cameras.</p> <p>The Weiner saga bubbled back to the surface, like a herpes outbreak, in October 2016, when the FBI found that Huma Abedin had apparently forwarded emails to Weiner's laptop, thus potentially passing national secrets to an unsecure device, and James Comey announced that the investigation into the Clinton emails was back on. <p>Updated: Fri May 19, 2017</p> f5d195991fb816f8eb1faaf609011ca7 Trump's Escape From Comey Mess for 05/12/2017 Fri, 12 May 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>President Donald Trump has obeyed the law since taking the oath of office. That is a better record than some feared. It is a better record than he himself promised many times during the campaign. In addition to expressing contempt for a sitting federal judge due to his ethnicity (which Trump stooped to because the judge issued a ruling against him personally), he also volunteered that he would order the U.S. military to torture suspects. Told that this would be asking servicemen to violate the law, he scoffed, "They won't refuse. They're not gonna refuse me. Believe me." He lauded tyrants and strongmen. He encouraged violence at campaign rallies. And he refused to say that he would accept the legitimacy of the vote if it went against him.</p> <p>So, when he made a number of solid appointments, chose a stellar Supreme Court justice, and &#8212; most importantly &#8212; acquiesced to the rulings of federal courts (however much he may have found their reasoning flawed), fears of a lawless presidency eased. <p>Updated: Fri May 12, 2017</p> 959cbcd79f2b39ee3195b62d077cdc0b The Hillary Interview: Cold Porridge for 05/05/2017 Fri, 05 May 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Watching Hillary Clinton answer questions from Christiane Amanpour for 44 minutes is not exactly torture; it's more like being forced to swallow a gallon of cold porridge. </p> <p>Let's leave personalities aside. Clinton's is not very appealing to me (nor is Donald Trump's). But let's pull back the lens and consider what, if anything, is to be learned about the current state of progressivism from this chat between two left-leaning women.</p> <p>The setting was a conference sponsored by Women for Women International, a charity founded to help women survivors of war. It gets three out of four stars on Charity Navigator, and doubtless does some good (though people truly interested in doing the most good for impoverished and war-ravaged people might want to study William Easterly's cautionary books, including "The Tyranny of Experts"). When Hillary Clinton made some stock comments about women's rights around the world being "central to democracy" and all other good things, the audience vibrated its approval.<p>Updated: Fri May 05, 2017</p>