Mona Charen from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sat, 23 Jun 2018 09:54:15 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Mona Charen from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/mona-charen-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen b2f65f50b27d21b9a0e3fdd8babe96a1 Being Decent for 06/22/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/06/18/being-decent Fri, 22 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Not too long ago, I returned to my parked car and found a sheet of paper on the windshield bearing an expletive-laden message. The anonymous poster had obviously gone to some effort to make these flyers on his home computer &#8212; complete with color cartoon figures and such. It let me know what an (obscenity) I was. My sin was having parked my car a tiny bit over the white line. I confess. I'm guilty. The garage was full of empty spaces, mind you, and it was only a few inches, but still, it was wrong. But did it require that response? If he had to vent his rage, couldn't he have left a note saying "It's inconsiderate to park over the white line"? My offense seems to have been merely an excuse. This person, clearly overflowing with hostility toward his fellow men, had preprinted these vulgar missives, and delivered them to everyone who offended him. </p> <p>Is it my imagination, or has the tone of the internet seeped into daily life? People often suggest that Twitter's cruelty and misanthropy are unique to the format. Announcing that he was deleting Twitter from his phone, Andrew Sullivan advised: "Social media has turned journalism into junk, has promoted addictive addlement in our brains, is wrecking our democracy, and slowly replacing life with pseudo-life."<p>Updated: Fri Jun 22, 2018</p> 631805950c38a567826030828c26b126 Historic Snooker for 06/15/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/06/18/historic-snooker Fri, 15 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The headline writers adore the word "historic." It was ubiquitous in reporting on the April meeting between Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in. Kim shook Moon's hand and then guided him over the military demarcation line to step onto North Korean territory. This prompted swoons. What rot. If that was a bona fide gesture of peaceful intent, time will tell. In the meantime, let's assume it was a stunt.</p> <p>So, too, with the summit between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump, though in this case the media hype couldn't compete with Trump's own. He has basked in talk of a Nobel Peace Prize and predicted that he and the butcher of Pyongyang were "going to have a great discussion and a terrific relationship." Obviously panting for a meeting, Trump was reportedly livid with national security adviser John Bolton, whose May comments about a "Libya solution" to the nuclear weapons problem apparently spooked Kim into withdrawing from the summit. Trump insisted that it was he who cancelled, just as he did with the Philadelphia Eagles' White House visit. <p>Updated: Fri Jun 15, 2018</p> 91e03701d1240172425e78d0d96c7f6a Children, 'Animals' and Immigrants for 06/01/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/05/18/children-animals-and-immigrants Fri, 01 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Maybe you've seen the video of the hero the French have dubbed "Spider-Man." When he saw a toddler dangling off a fourth-story balcony, he scaled the exterior of the Paris building in about 30 seconds to save the child. Turns out Mamoudou Gassama was a newly arrived illegal immigrant from Mali. A grateful President Emmanuel Macron made him a French citizen a day later.</p> <p>Or consider the story of Jesus Manuel Cordova. He illegally crossed the border from Mexico into Arizona and came upon a damaged car. Inside was a dead mother and an injured 9-year-old boy. Cordova stayed with the child for hours until help arrived.</p> <p>So, does that mean all illegal immigrants are heroes? Obviously not, no more than the crimes of MS-13 or the murder of Kate Steinle prove that all illegal immigrants are criminals. <p>Updated: Fri Jun 01, 2018</p> da4b14ffd64f789e2675f3169df9f6a7 The Commencement Speech You Never Hear for 05/25/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/05/18/the-commencement-speech-you-never-hear Fri, 25 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>My youngest son's college graduation ceremony was scheduled to be held outdoors. The invitation specified that it would be moved inside to the gym only in the event of "severe" weather. As it turned out, the day was unseasonably cold (low 50s) with occasional drizzle &#8212; probably about as nasty as the weather gets in May without qualifying for severe status. </p> <p>Yet my husband and I huddled together in the stands of Franklin Field and wouldn't have missed it for the world. Ceremonies are important. We need markers for the milestones of our lives. They seal the moment that is both an ending and a beginning. </p> <p>So much changes so fast in our world that it is comforting to settle into honored rituals. As the strains of Edward Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance" pipe through the stadium, you feel a stirring of memory and a sense of peace. It has always been like this. It always will be. Some things are timeless. Or so we hope.<p>Updated: Fri May 25, 2018</p> 0fd3b3e64930ef37936b6606945028e4 Making Sense of Eric Schneiderman for 05/11/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/05/18/making-sense-of-eric-schneiderman Fri, 11 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p></p><p>The former attorney general of the state of New York allegedly had a pattern of slapping and choking women with whom he was intimate. He also spat at them, demanded threesomes, insulted them, threatened them and called one (who had dark skin) his "brown slave," according to recent accusations. One woman claims that without warning he slammed her so hard that he broke her eardrum. Another woman says that his palm left a red welt on her face that remained visible the following day.<p>Updated: Fri May 11, 2018</p> ee36a4d7b60efc28034ed3e4be25745f Nobel Talk for 05/04/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/05/18/nobel-talk Fri, 04 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>If President Donald Trump's incendiary threats have actually frightened the "dear respected comrade" Kim Jong Un into laying down his nuclear arsenal, he will deserve the Nobel Peace Prize his fans are demanding. But the suits in Oslo might want to hold off before awarding another premature Peace Prize to an American leader.</p> <p>One expects the press to swoon whenever a blood-drenched tyrant smiles and shakes hands with a democratic leader, and they played their part this time. After Kim's announcement that he was suspending the nation's nuclear testing, CNN's Will Ripley gushed to Wolf Blitzer: "This is an extraordinarily significant development, and frankly a huge win for President Trump going into these discussions, this potential summit, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un." Trevor Noah softened his anti-Trump tone, saying, "I know our first instinct is to hate, but if it wasn't for his craziness, North Korea would never have come to the table." And Sen. Lindsay Graham enthused that if President Trump "can lead us to ending the Korean War" while "getting North Korea to give up their nuclear program" in a verifiable way, then "he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize and then some." South Korea's president said the same.<p>Updated: Fri May 04, 2018</p> a3351c86dce48eba052c9084698f69c0 Ironic Consequences of Europe's War Guilt for 04/27/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/04/18/ironic-consequences-of-europes-war-guilt Fri, 27 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Adam Armoush is, for the moment, the most famous Jewish victim in the world &#8212; and he's not even Jewish. He's a 21-year-old Israeli Arab who was visiting Berlin with his friends and decided to test their suspicions that it was unsafe to don a kippa (skullcap) in public. Strolling down the street in the Prenzlauer Berg, a gentrified neighborhood, Armoush was attacked and beaten with a belt by a Syrian refugee who shouted, "Yahudi!"</p> <p>Anti-Semitic attacks have become increasingly common in Germany and throughout Europe. The roster of homicides in France, for example, includes the 2015 murders of four shoppers in a Paris kosher supermarket; the 2012 murders of seven, including three children, at a school in Toulouse; and the stabbing and burning of an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor last month, to cite just a few. Jews also suffer nearly daily threats and contempt from their neighbors. Many French Jews have pulled their children from public schools due to harassment by other students.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 27, 2018</p> b066b5036a88db21297346fa2e899489 Playboy Comes to D.C. for 04/20/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/04/18/playboy-comes-to-dc Fri, 20 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Playboy Enterprises just announced that it has purchased a table at this year's White House Correspondents Association dinner. Swell. Just what we need.</p> <p>The dinner, as you've probably heard, is an annual ritual of narcissism in which leading press figures don black tie and hope to see, or better yet, be seen with, Hollywood stars. Like much of politics, much of journalism has become entertainment, and though journalists dub the dinner the "nerd prom," the self-deprecation becomes more strained with each passing year, as journalists themselves have become, literally and otherwise, "beautiful people."<p>Updated: Fri Apr 20, 2018</p> 1611709ee80cb74a9a08a0730798dd90 The Meaning of Ryan's Departure for 04/13/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/04/18/the-meaning-of-ryans-departure Fri, 13 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>I've always felt a kinship with Paul Ryan. Maybe it's the fact that we are both Jack Kemp acolytes. Maybe I have a soft spot for upright family men who are attracted to public policy by the desire to do good. Maybe I love conservative wonks. But Paul Ryan's fate over the past several years is as good an indication as any of how far our politics have fallen.</p> <p>Ryan's departure will not be mourned by Democrats or Trump loyalists. The Democrats caricatured Ryan as the goon throwing Granny in her wheelchair off a cliff. They actually ran TV ads with a Ryan lookalike. Barack Obama singled him out for scorn at a White House meeting, claiming later that he was unaware Ryan was in the front row. </p> <p>You might suppose that that would be enough to make Ryan a conservative hero, but life is often unjust, and when Donald Trump came along, Ryan found himself a sudden symbol of the reviled "Republican establishment." Though the anti-Ryan vitriol faded after Steve Bannon's defenestration, he continued to be viewed with suspicion by the talk radio crowd and other arms of Trump Inc. <p>Updated: Fri Apr 13, 2018</p> 5b5d862fb4544755093bb0f16160b999 When $63 Million Dollars Doesn't Buy Working Toilets for 04/06/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/04/18/when-63-million-dollars-doesnt-buy-working-toilets Fri, 06 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>When 450 students arrived at Anacostia High School in the District of Columbia's southeast neighborhood on April 4, they found that few of the sinks or toilets were functioning and the cafeteria was flooded. They were advised by the Department of General Services to use the facilities at a middle school two blocks away until repairs could be completed.</p> <p>Exasperated teachers organized an impromptu hour-long walkout to protest, which is why this particular dysfunction made the news. A casual reader might note the plumbing fiasco and chalk it up to neglect of poor students and poor neighborhoods. That is the interpretation urged by D.C. Councilman Trayon White Sr., who attended the walkout and declared, "The students and teachers need support from the leaders of the city because of the constant neglect happening at Anacostia." </p> <p>But it's far from so simple. The District of Columbia has one of the worst-performing public school systems in the country. It is also one of the most generously funded. Anacostia High School itself received a $63 million renovation in 2013. According to the D.C. school's website, the project included "full modernization and renovation of the existing high school using an adaptive re-use approach. Modernization ... included ... exterior restoration, roofing, systems replacement, ADA improvements, phased occupancy, technology enhancements, and sustainable design initiatives." But not, it seems, working toilets.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 06, 2018</p> 16efcaef741bb06ada2d92501321c207 This Is What You Call a Conservative Budget? for 03/30/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/03/18/this-is-what-you-call-a-conservative-budget Fri, 30 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Donald Trump woke up on Friday, March 23, and realized that a deficit-ballooning $1.3 trillion "omnibus" spending bill was awaiting his signature. The law increases defense spending but otherwise completely fulfills the spending priorities of the Democratic minority. Some have even said that the omnibus was "Barack Obama's budget." </p> <p>Suddenly distressed by the "crazy" bill (doubtless due to something he saw on television), the president snorted and pawed the ground. He threatened to veto the measure, panicking Washington for a few hours (most members of Congress had already left town for spring recess) until aides were able to summon Defense Secretary James Mattis to talk Trump off the ledge.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 30, 2018</p> e549f156f46014d8ec28d36006c4e698 A Little Too Much Reality in the Show? for 03/21/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/03/18/a-little-too-much-reality-in-the-show Wed, 21 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Watching the parade of porn stars, reality TV contestants and former Playboy models lining up to lambaste the president of the United States, as well as the daily trove of stories of wife beating, naked nepotism, gambling and official corruption among his Cabinet members and White House staff, I was reminded of a story Bill Buckley once told. </p> <p>He had been nominated by the Nixon administration to serve as one of our delegates to the United Nations. The FBI called around to his friends and colleagues, and one, William Rusher, groaned that he had already answered all of their questions when Buckley had been nominated for an earlier assignment. The agent replied: "I know, but it is my duty to ask whether Mr. Buckley might have done anything since 1969 to embarrass the president." The sly Rusher responded, "No, but since 1969 the Nixon administration has done a great deal to embarrass Mr. Buckley."<p>Updated: Wed Mar 21, 2018</p> 0b570ebe72d46d17735344ab603915ba Much More Than Economics for 03/16/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/03/18/much-more-than-economics Fri, 16 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>There are so many things to lament about the modern world &#8212; fracturing families, the rise of authoritarianism, the rage for torn jeans &#8212; but there is also much to celebrate and savor. One is the abundance of great conversation available through podcasts. There's my own, of course, "Need to Know," and then there is the master.</p> <p>If you're not familiar with Russ Roberts' "EconTalk," you are in for a treat. Once a week, for 12 years, Roberts has been taking the dismal out of the dismal science. An economist and fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, Roberts has a knack for identifying the next big thing. I had heard about driverless cars, Bitcoin, and machine learning, for example, long before these developments became widely discussed, because EconTalk had tackled them &#8212; and in the most engaging way.</p> <p>For most of the topics Roberts covers, no specialized knowledge is required. By now, everyone knows that driverless cars are coming. But in one of the first discussions of the technology, EconTalk considered not just how it would affect jobs (an estimated 3.5 million Americans are employed as truck drivers) but how it might change many aspects of life. If everyone had a driverless car, everyone would, in effect, have a chauffeur. Time spent commuting could become much more productive, as people worked on their laptops while being ferried to and from the office. <p>Updated: Fri Mar 16, 2018</p> ba0fee37a63f7f4532c8b9e9e0be31c4 Man of Steel for 03/09/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/03/18/man-of-steel Fri, 09 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>"If you don't have steel, you don't have a country" declared President Donald Trump at a press availability with the Swedish prime minister. He was explaining his decision to impose a tax on steel and aluminum. Why these products? </p> <p>Well, the president had just met with steel executives, who tend to press government officials to spare them from the burden of providing quality products at low prices. But it's probably also traceable to Trump's sentimentality regarding steel. "When I was growing up, U.S. Steel, that was the ultimate company," he said wistfully.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 09, 2018</p> f08843daa21c3ca3f897cb6fcf5e3465 Undrained Swamp for 03/02/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/03/18/undrained-swamp Fri, 02 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>I don't know about you, but when I hear the phrase "drain the swamp," I associate it with clean government, transparency, ethics and such like. In 2016, it became, along with "Lock her up," a favorite Donald Trump campaign slogan. Trump was not the first to use the metaphor. John Kelly traces it back to a 1903 letter to the Daily Northwestern. Winfield R. Gaylord, state organizer of the Socialist Party in Wisconsin, wrote "Socialists are not satisfied with killing a few of the mosquitoes which come from the capittalist (sic) swamp; they want to drain the swamp." </p> <p>One reason Trump enthusiasts chanted "Lock her up" was that Hillary Clinton appeared to have broken the law regarding the handling of classified information (though James Comey claimed that no prosecutor would have brought the case). Another strike against her was the blurring of lines regarding the Clinton Foundation, her family, her public duties as secretary of state and her campaign &#8212; all of which were redolent of corruption, even if nothing was proved.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 02, 2018</p> 414ffd4b3cb2612efef52a0db95ab44a Is Trump Guilty, or Does He Just Look Guilty? for 02/21/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/02/18/is-trump-guilty-or-does-he-just-look-guilty Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>When absorbing news about the Mueller investigation, I can't help thinking of Saddam Hussein. No, I'm not equating our president with the late Iraqi dictator. I'm thinking more about our assumptions regarding Saddam's guilt. In the run-up to the Iraq War, the whole world was asking whether Saddam had a secret program for weapons of mass destruction. The head of our CIA said it was a "slam dunk." Our allies' intelligence agencies agreed. There were good reasons to think it was true.</p> <p>Saddam had used chemical weapons against the Kurds. He had threatened to "burn half of Israel." He had used nerve gas against Iran in the Iran-Iraq war. Following the first Gulf War in 1991, the coalition was surprised to find Iraq's nuclear program quite advanced. Throughout the decade of the 1990s, Saddam thwarted and harassed international weapons inspectors. In 1998, signing the Iraq Liberation Act, President Bill Clinton cited Saddam's long cat-and-mouse game with international inspectors and declared, "It is obvious that there is an attempt here ... to protect whatever remains of his capacity to produce weapons of mass destruction ... (and) the missiles to deliver them."</p> <p>But as we later learned, it was mostly a bluff. During interrogations in 2004, Saddam told the FBI that he had encouraged the world to believe he had WMDs so as to deter Iran. This isn't to say that Saddam's strategy was smart &#8212; he invited a U.S. invasion that could have been avoided if he had come clean &#8212; but it was a strategy. He was acting guilty for a reason other than being guilty. <p>Updated: Wed Feb 21, 2018</p> e7362477cd1d4e1c9a028d25519844ec No Names for 02/16/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/02/18/no-names Fri, 16 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>An orgy of mutual disgust now greets every mass shooting in America. Liberals despise conservatives who, they predict, will offer only insipid "thoughts and prayers" in the face of what they conceive to be preventable massacres. Conservatives scorn liberals who, they believe, will propose "feel-good" gun measures that would have no effect on any mass shooting. </p> <p>But there is something that we can try to prevent these horrific killings. It doesn't require legislation. It won't cost a penny. It doesn't require compromising anyone's gun rights, and it's more concrete than "see something, say something." <p>Updated: Fri Feb 16, 2018</p> f8a4c8a0c2a9b0edbfd3eb2906658b67 The Anti-Porter Conspiracy for 02/09/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/02/18/the-anti-porter-conspiracy Fri, 09 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>I'm having trouble understanding why Rob Porter had to resign his job as White House staff secretary (the person who manages the paper flow in the West Wing). Yes, he was credibly accused of domestic abuse by two ex-wives. One produced a photo of her black eye and bruised cheek; the other had phoned 911 when he allegedly punched through the glass of her front door (they were separated) in an effort to break into her house. She obtained a protective order against him. </p> <p>Well, come on, nobody's perfect. We don't expect saints to work in the White House, do we? He was a staff secretary, not a pastor. It's a tough business. Besides, by all accounts, Porter performed his job very well. Chief of staff John Kelly vouched for him (at first), telling the Daily Mail, "Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor, and I can't say enough good things about him. He is a friend, a confidante and a trusted professional. I am proud to serve alongside him." Sarah Huckabee Sanders was equally effusive: "I have worked directly with Rob Porter nearly every day for the last year, and the person I know is someone of the highest integrity and exemplary character. Those of us who have the privilege of knowing him are better people because of it."</p> <p>I cite these encomia not to point fingers at White House officials for condoning Porter's private behavior. They may in fact have been unaware of the charges against him. Some sources have said that Porter skillfully minimized the accusations when explaining to his colleagues why his security clearance was withheld. After praising him to the skies on Tuesday, Gen. Kelly revised his position on Wednesday, saying that he was "shocked" by the allegations. "There is no place for domestic violence in our society," Kelly added, but "I stand by my previous comments of the Rob Porter that I have come to know since becoming chief of staff, and believe every individual deserves the right to defend their reputation."<p>Updated: Fri Feb 09, 2018</p> a5b929709f5ed4a707b5f40ee985f75d Modesty for 02/01/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/01/18/modesty Thu, 01 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Early in George W. Bush's first term, I was dining with a friend who didn't agree with my worldview. He challenged my certitude, allowing that he wasn't sure about many issues. "Don't you wonder whether you're right?" he asked. "Well," I replied, "if I held an incorrect view, I'd change it to the correct one." </p> <p>It was a joke, obviously, but I've thought of him many times in the intervening years, as my doubts have multiplied about many questions. In that time, I've learned &#8212; slower than I should have, admittedly &#8212; that it's often impossible to know what the "right" view is. The world is complicated, and our capacity to understand, while glorious, remains limited. <p>Updated: Thu Feb 01, 2018</p> e4b562969298295f0f7ed38fff060bbe The Conspiracy Mindset for 01/26/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/01/18/the-conspiracy-mindset Fri, 26 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>I am old enough to remember when conspiracy theories were primarily the province of the left.</p> <p>In the 1990s, the San Jose Mercury News ran a series asserting that the crack epidemic in African-American neighborhoods was a plot orchestrated by the CIA. The tale was satisfying to many who were predisposed to see the CIA as a villain and who were sympathetic to explanations of addiction that excluded human weakness. The Nation of Islam expressed outrage. Sen. Barbara Boxer wrote to the CIA director demanding an explanation. There were Senate hearings and three federal investigations on the topic. No evidence was found of any CIA effort to introduce crack cocaine to American communities.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 26, 2018</p>