Scott Rasmussen from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Tue, 18 Sep 2018 17:29:50 -0700 Scott Rasmussen from Creators Syndicate 8d93db8ee366e406768dc6791a077879 Not Every Problem Needs a Federal Solution for 09/13/2018 Thu, 13 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Fifty-five percent of voters believe that Facebook has too much power. Forty-seven percent believe the same about Twitter. For those in the political world, such numbers represent an obvious call for government action.</p> <p>But voters disagree. Just 21 percent want the federal government to regulate social media giants.</p> <p>That gap is partly due to general skepticism about the government. Only 18 percent trust the gang in D.C. to do the right thing most of the time. Most (55 percent) believe government regulators would be even more biased than the social media companies they're supposed to regulate.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 13, 2018</p> 0176f16327965da04ee40c41cc4df2e5 Protesting During the National Anthem, Freedom of Speech and Justice for 09/06/2018 Thu, 06 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Sixty-nine percent of voters nationwide believe freedom of speech is "absolutely essential." Another 23 percent believe it is "very important." In a deeply polarized political era, it's encouraging &#8212; and amazing &#8212; to find that 9 in 10 Americans recognize this basic freedom as being so important.</p> <p>However, agreeing that free speech is important doesn't mean agreeing with the way others use that freedom. A prime example of this in today's world has been the intense debate about NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 06, 2018</p> 1125ec3209020d9b6b9abe5b9cdd2862 Most Recognize That Tech Titans Have Bigger Impact Than Presidents for 08/30/2018 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Following the national news about the upcoming midterm elections, it's easy to believe that the future of the United States is on the line. The nation's political junkies get so caught up in the game that they forget there is much more to governing society than government.</p> <p>The reality is that culture and technology lead the nation forward; politics and politicians lag behind. Fortunately, most Americans recognize this reality and have a much healthier perspective on the nation's future.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 30, 2018</p> 83cac673abec0d1e095b4044391d52a9 Contrary to Media Coverage, Most Americans Aren't That Into Politics for 08/29/2018 Wed, 29 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>For many obsessed with politics, the upcoming midterm elections are perceived as a fight between good and evil that will determine the fate of the nation. In the narrative framed by true believers and much media coverage, it's a fight between those who are convinced that President Donald Trump can make America great and those who dream of a socialist future.</p> <p>Fifty-four percent of Americans don't fit into that narrative. Just 27 percent strongly disapprove of the president and believe things would have been better if Hillary Clinton had been elected. On the other side, 19 percent strongly approve of the president and believe things would be worse if Hillary Clinton were living in the White House today. The rest have more mixed views.<p>Updated: Wed Aug 29, 2018</p> 3a97b6f6db2b1ca75880f7f2a1ba01ee On the Eve of the Fall Campaign Season for 08/23/2018 Thu, 23 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>While political activists have been caught up in the 2018 midterm elections for most of the past two years, most Americans haven't been paying attention. That will begin to change after Labor Day as people who don't obsess about politics begin to consider the choices before them.</p> <p>Because so many people are just starting to get engaged, it's challenging to predict what the results will look like when the votes are finally counted in November. However, as the summer winds down, it is clear that Republicans face an uphill battle to maintain control of the House. As for the Senate, it's the Democrats who face a difficult environment.</p> <p>In the House of Representatives, Democrats need to pick up a net of 23 seats to gain control. Race-by-race projections at show that 8 Republican House seats are already projected to flip to the Democrats. No Democratic seats are projected to flip the other way.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 24, 2018</p> 09f731b4f53ace115e7193cab2c360c4 The Senate Protects Our Freedoms for 07/19/2018 Thu, 19 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Based upon census bureau projections, 69 percent of all Americans are projected to live in the 16 largest states. Given the uncertainties of predicting how people will live in an era of self-driving cars and other cultural changes, the precise numbers may be a bit off. But, it is certainly true that a handful of large states will hold the bulk of the population. That's the way it's always been and probably always will be.</p> <p>These states will dominate the House of Representatives. If they have 69 percent of the population, they will have roughly 69 percent of the seats in Congress.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 19, 2018</p> 626378ccbef8e8f4f60e2a1c5e06e661 The Culture Leads, Not the Supreme Court for 07/12/2018 Thu, 12 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Just about every American election year is peppered with quotes from seemingly very serious people claiming that, for some reason, this is the most important election of our lifetime. This year, we're also being told that the political battle to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy may be the most important confirmation vote of all time. News stories are littered with references to how it will change the direction of the court and the country for a generation or more.</p> <p>Such rhetoric misses the important reality that we live in a land where the culture leads and politics lag behind. Yes, elections are important. They have consequences. Yes, it matters who serves on the Supreme Court. That, too, has consequences.</p> <p>But elected politicians and appointed Supreme Court Justices do not lead the nation. They follow.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 12, 2018</p> a7ef3d50041a3a89927c0ce7e918834a Is Populism a Blessing or Curse? for 07/05/2018 Thu, 05 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>As we celebrate our nation's 242nd birthday, America is caught up in a populist moment. Whether this is a good thing or not depends largely upon how you define populism.</p> <p>For some, populism is nothing more than a belief that, in America, the people are supposed to be in charge. It's reminding government officials of the timeless principles eloquently expressed in the Declaration of Independence: governments derive their only just powers from the consent of the governed. All of us are created equal with an unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.</p> <p>If that's what populism is all about, it's a real blessing.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 05, 2018</p> 411ec673eab07389e0eb4f386cf7e49c The Immigration Mess for 06/28/2018 Thu, 28 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Problems with U.S. immigration policy played a big role in the 2016 presidential election and are likely to do so in election after election until significant changes are made. It's a serious issue worthy of substantial public debate. However, what passes for a public dialogue on the issue is anything but serious.</p> <p>It is, for example, heartbreaking to hear about and see pictures of young children separated from their parents at the U.S. border. According to a CBS poll, only 4 percent of Americans support that approach for dealing with families who enter the country illegally. But beyond that, there's not a clear consensus on what should be done.</p> <p>Under the Obama Administration, families who entered the country illegally were released into the United States and required to report back for a hearing on their status at a later date. Not surprisingly, many failed to report as promised. Also not surprising is the fact that only 21 percent of Americans support that policy.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 28, 2018</p> edff0f6af604f4a47c7f396fa59fab96 Politicians Learn How Governments Are Held Accountable for 06/14/2018 Thu, 14 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Political leaders often talk as if the right to vote is our most powerful tool for holding government accountable. Voting is important, but its impact is limited by an electoral process that protects incumbents and offers voters few meaningful options. </p> <p>Fortunately, as the Seattle City Council learned recently, there are other ways to hold politicians and governments accountable.</p> <p>The Seattle politicians passed a law requiring big companies to pay a special tax for every person on the payroll. This "head tax" was the brainchild of a socialist council member Kshama Sawant. She apparently reasoned that big companies like Amazon had enough money and should be forced to kick in a bit more for the good of the city. <p>Updated: Thu Jun 14, 2018</p> 127886fb77ed0abd89f224d1586df476 Let's End Official White House Visits for Sports Champions for 06/07/2018 Thu, 07 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>One of this week's silliest news "controversies" swirled around the Philadelphia Eagles' cancelled visit to the White House. Pundits on the right were offended that many players refused the honor of a White House invitation just because they don't like the president. On the left, CNN's Chris Cillizza was deeply offended by President Trump's decision to rescind the invite and his "appalling" statement about it.</p> <p>In other words, the entire episode was simply a Rorschach test that provided a platform for partisans on both sides to voice entirely predictable opinions. If the president said his favorite color was yellow, some would hail the wisdom of the choice while others would find evidence of corruption. That's just the way things work in politics today.</p> <p>But this incident reveals a deeper rot in the entire political process. Both sides in the partisan sniping implicitly assume that the president should act like royalty and treat the White House like a palace. It's part of a larger attitude pretending that the president's every utterance is of supreme importance and that he must express an opinion on just about everything.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 07, 2018</p> e917409a136094f10aba6d85e4e1e08e Republicans Poised to Gain Senate Seats in 2018 for 05/31/2018 Thu, 31 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Last December, Democrat Doug Jones won a Senate race in Alabama by defeating a horribly flawed Republican candidate Roy Moore. For the first time, it appeared that the Democrats had a plausible path to winning control of the U.S. Senate in 2018. The Republican advantage was trimmed to a 51-49 margin and a net change of two seats would make New York Senator Chuck Schumer the new Senate Majority leader.</p> <p>To win the Senate, all the Democrats had to do was win GOP seats in Arizona and Nevada and successfully defend all of their incumbents. At the time, the Democrats had a double-digit lead on the Generic Congressional Ballot and being opposed to President Trump seemed to be all that was needed. It looked like the Democrats were poised to ride a blue wave back to power.</p> <p>My, how times have changed!<p>Updated: Thu May 31, 2018</p> f1873366cb933ee63c5fed9eda2b9514 The Fundamental Reason President Trump Will Not Be Impeached for 05/24/2018 Thu, 24 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>President Trump is in no danger of being impeached and removed from office. I say this with confidence despite having no knowledge of what Special Counsel Mueller and his team may find.</p> <p>That's because impeachment is a political process rather than a legal process. As a result, things that happen outside the world of government matter far more than the things official Washington obsesses about.<p>Updated: Thu May 24, 2018</p> d6cca2881c6ff78ae604161fc1a6cfef State of the Midterms for 05/17/2018 Thu, 17 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Last December, the midterm outlook looked bleak for Republicans. With the Democrats enjoying a 13-point lead on the Generic Ballot, pundits talked of a "big blue wave." The question was not whether the Democrats would win the two dozen seats needed to gain control of the House, but whether they might win 40-50 seats in a landslide approaching the Republican gains in 2010.</p> <p>Since then, Republicans passed a tax cut, eliminated the Obamacare mandate and took other steps to reduce the regulatory burden. The economy took off, people are feeling better about how things are going in the nation, and recent primaries suggest that the enthusiasm of Republican voters is higher than expected.</p> <p>As a result, the Democratic lead on the Generic Ballot is down to five points. At that level, control of the House is close to a toss up. Those with Nancy Pelosi's party may be slight favorites to win the 23 additional House seats they need, but they could easily fall short. While seeking to navigate this newly treacherous electoral landscape, the Democrats are dealing with the reality that the enthusiasm of the progressive base can be a double-edged sword. It could help with turnout, but may also create electoral headaches.<p>Updated: Thu May 17, 2018</p> a29b05f6fae37856750b370de4fe3b4d Was The Blankenship Momentum Real? for 05/10/2018 Thu, 10 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In the final days before the West Virginia primary, breathless media coverage suggested that businessman Don Blankenship was gaining ground rapidly and had a real shot at winning the Republican Senate nomination. ABC News quoted a "national Republican operative" who said it's "down to the wire" and it wouldn't be a surprise if the controversial candidate won.</p> <p>All this concern even prompted President Trump to tweet that Blankenship "can't win the General Election" and encouraging West Virginia voters to cast their ballots for someone else.<p>Updated: Thu May 10, 2018</p> 8778645f46640bae553068a28c5d53db The Primary Season Has Arrived for 05/03/2018 Thu, 03 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>After months of speculation and shifting expectations, the midterm elections will start to really take shape in the coming two months. A dozen states will host primaries in May and a dozen and a half more in June.</p> <p>In the battle for control of the U.S. Senate, we currently know both parties' nominees in three of the GOP's best pickup opportunities: Republican Governor Rick Scott is challenging Democratic Senator Bill Nelson in Florida; Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley is taking on Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill in Missouri; and, Republican Congressman Kevin Cramer is challenging Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota.<p>Updated: Thu May 03, 2018</p> be515865069fad2e8125d84456b510eb Microtrends, Not Politics, Lead the Nation for 04/26/2018 Thu, 26 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>If you want to understand where America is heading, a good place to start is with Mark Penn's new book, "Microtrends Squared." Penn came to fame in the 1990s as a pollster in the Clinton White House, later served as chief strategy officer for Microsoft, and is now chairman of the Harris Poll.</p> <p>One of the most valuable parts of the book is its recognition that the culture leads and politicians lag behind. Of the 50 microtrends identified by Penn, only seven deal with politics. That ratio seems about right. The other 43 highlight trends involving love and relationships, health and diet, technology lifestyle, and work and business.</p> <p>Penn sees these microtrends as "dots on a global impressionist painting that comes to life when you step back and look at it holistically." He correctly believes they have already "started to upend society."<p>Updated: Thu Apr 26, 2018</p> d1f538bd825d901b92adf0424771a3a9 Politics Polarize; Community Unites for 04/19/2018 Thu, 19 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>News outlets are routinely filled with commentary and analysis suggesting that 21st-century America is a deeply polarized nation. Countless stories are presented as a battle between conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats, private sector and public.</p> <p>Political activists fan the flames with talking points "proving" that they hold the moral and rational high ground. They convey a sense that anybody who disagrees with them is either stupid or corrupt.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 19, 2018</p> 1313145840584d15ba050f01320f458f An Epic Power Struggle: Government Fights Tech Industry for 04/12/2018 Thu, 12 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's testimony on Capitol Hill is merely the latest round in an ongoing power struggle between official Washington and the tech industry. </p> <p>It's a struggle that stems from a core reality identified years ago by Harvard's Nicco Mele. "The devices and connectivity so essential to modern life put unprecedented power in the hands of every individual." Empowering individuals is great for everyone except for those elite officials who used to wield more power over the rest of us. "Radical connectivity is toxic to traditional power structures."<p>Updated: Thu Apr 12, 2018</p> 7344bb24618c724c16cdf7dec03738da Iowa Leads the Way on Obamacare Reform for 04/05/2018 Thu, 05 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Lawmakers and bureaucrats in official Washington often act as if their decisions lead the nation forward. News from Iowa this week, however, shows once again that the culture leads and politicians lag behind.</p> <p>Kim Reynolds became Iowa's Governor last May when her predecessor (Terry Branstad) resigned to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to China. Reynolds is now running for her own full term in a state where the average Obamacare premiums jumped 57 percent. "Many Iowans faced a choice of going broke or going without insurance," according to Reynolds. "And that's really not a real choice."<p>Updated: Thu Apr 05, 2018</p>