Steve Chapman from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Wed, 23 Jan 2019 16:24:56 -0800 Steve Chapman from Creators Syndicate 72ef6385f8c9d30f89dc2c3b0958e335 A Victory for the Chicago Police Code of Silence for 01/20/2019 Sun, 20 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>When Chicago police fatally shot a 17-year-old boy on a Southwest Side street in October 2014, the slaying was a small local story that hardly anyone noticed. It gained national attention only the next year, after the release of dashcam video showing a cop abruptly shooting Laquan McDonald as he walked away, riddling him with 16 rounds.</p> <p>The evidence from that night was in many ways a credit to the police officers, several of whom had dutifully followed McDonald as he walked down the street holding a knife. Even when he stabbed the tire of a police car, these officers held their fire, striving to contain the offender without harm to anyone. Their conduct was a model of responsible, restrained policing.<p>Updated: Sun Jan 20, 2019</p> 6da5ddf4d4d567cf9b4c708c6daf89ce Trump Wants to Leave NATO? It's Not a Bad Idea for 01/17/2019 Thu, 17 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>In our personal lives, we know that many important ties are not necessarily permanent. Friendships end; marriages break up; once-loyal consumers stop shopping at one store in favor of a different one. If a relationship no longer serves the needs of one or more parties, it usually makes sense to move on.</p> <p>That logic holds for partnerships among nations. The 19th-century British prime minister Lord Palmerston said, "Nations have no permanent friends or allies; they only have permanent interests." But the United States government has often behaved as though our membership in NATO should be eternal.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 17, 2019</p> fa1f287962ef8ba205a6c63afe8a4a38 A National Emergency Might Backfire on Trump for 01/13/2019 Sun, 13 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>If you can't stop someone from doing something you dislike, you can always hope he or she will eventually overdo it. Icarus fell out of the sky not because he flew but because he disregarded a warning not to get too close to the sun.</p> <p>Donald Trump may not be familiar with the lesson of that story. He has raised the real possibility that, denied funds by Congress to build his border wall, he will declare a national emergency to do it anyway. On Thursday, he said, "If this doesn't work out, probably I will do it. I would almost say definitely."<p>Updated: Sun Jan 13, 2019</p> ed1809c48fb182ed251c8169bc94df7e On the Border, Trump Builds a Wall of Lies for 01/10/2019 Thu, 10 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Donald Trump's insistence that the nation faces a crisis of illegal immigration that requires a wall sealing off our southern border is notable for being false not only overall but in every particular. It brings to mind Voltaire's remark that the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.</p> <p>The president's Oval Office address Tuesday was the latest confirmation that on immigration, even more than on other topics, truth is his mortal foe. He doesn't contribute to the public debate; he pollutes it.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 10, 2019</p> 9f1e23f0f7f0efacef9b35fd08bcebca Elizabeth Warren and the 2020 Uncertainties for 01/03/2019 Thu, 03 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Elizabeth Warren's announcement that she will enter the 2020 presidential race evokes both hope and dread &#8212; hope that the campaign will deliver a better president than the incumbent and dread at the lengthy political ordeal that lies before us.</p> <p>The prospect is something like preparing for knee replacement surgery. It may deliver joy in time, but only after months of pain and tedium. As with knee replacements, a happy outcome is not guaranteed.</p> <p>Warren has assets that may serve her well, being a sharp-witted populist and a woman in a party whose voters are mostly women. It's easy to make the case that she's as likely a nominee as anyone.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 03, 2019</p> 7d73f5d73cfa367b7de0a695696bcda2 Trump's Incurable Incompetence for 12/30/2018 Sun, 30 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>In May 2017, Donald Trump met in the Oval Office with the Russian ambassador and the Russian foreign minister and did something appalling: He tossed out highly classified details about an Islamic State plot provided by Israeli intelligence, which could have revealed the source of the information and how it was obtained.</p> <p>It was a major blunder, the product of a new president's bravado and unfamiliarity with the need to protect secrets. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said, "There's some alignments that need to take place over there, and I think they're fully aware of that." The Israelis downplayed the leak. It was easy to see this as a rookie mistake that Trump would learn from.<p>Updated: Sun Dec 30, 2018</p> e49e84ca8643ba215f7290b2b1edaf59 On the Economy, Trump Is His Own Worst Enemy for 12/27/2018 Thu, 27 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>It was a long, slow climb from the depths of the Great Recession to the sunny meadows of prosperity, but in 2018, the U.S. economy reached it. A rare combination of strong growth, full employment, low inflation and rising wages combined to create a blissful sense of security and optimism.</p> <p>"Sweet spot" is the term that fit the moment. Through the course of the year, consumer confidence was the highest it had been since 2000. Businesses were making money; the stock market was soaring; taxes were down; and workers were finally getting raises. "We are the hottest economy in the world right now," exulted chief White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow in October. "We are crushing it."<p>Updated: Thu Dec 27, 2018</p> 380e3e80d2b6da1593da8534979598a5 Leaving Syria Beats the Alternative for 12/23/2018 Sun, 23 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>There are two established rules for withdrawing American troops from foreign conflicts. The first is: Don't do it now. The second is: Don't do it later.</p> <p>Donald Trump's reasoning and strategy in demanding a pullout of our forces from Syria suffer from his usual decision-making flaw: lacking both reasoning and strategy. The timing is also questionable. He says now is the right time because the Islamic State has been defeated, a judgment that is premature at best. And he disregarded the advice of Defense Secretary James Mattis, who promptly resigned.<p>Updated: Sun Dec 23, 2018</p> e5a35f8441709f342d785b97c66d4598 Kirsten Gillibrand Faces the Al Franken Backlash for 12/20/2018 Thu, 20 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>On Nov. 15, 2017, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand spoke at a news conference about a bill to reform the handling of sexual harassment allegations from Capitol Hill staffers. "There is a serious sexual harassment problem in Congress, and too many congressional offices are not taking this problem seriously at all," said the New York Democrat.</p> <p>The next day, she was faced with an authentic come-to-Jesus moment. Her Democratic colleague Al Franken was accused of forcibly kissing a woman during a USO tour in 2006. Over the next couple of weeks, several women came forward to say the second-term senator from Minnesota had groped or kissed them without their consent.<p>Updated: Thu Dec 20, 2018</p> 108c570c7badafa6a81cb7c0313c11bd The Surprising Truth About 'Gun Deaths' for 12/16/2018 Sun, 16 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>If you're thinking of venturing outside your home today, the news may change your mind. "Gun deaths in US reach highest level in nearly 40 years, CDC data reveal," blared Thursday's headline on A press release from Everytown for Gun Safety noted that "39,773 people were killed by gun violence in 2017 &#8212; approximately 1,100 more than were killed by motor vehicle accidents."</p> <p>The picture these announcements evoke is of mass shootings and random gun crimes that pose a mortal danger to every American. But that image is not quite accurate. The number of homicides actually declined last year &#8212; and is believed to have fallen again this year. Our streets have gotten safer.<p>Updated: Sun Dec 16, 2018</p> 6af256ff50d4a9a614be44fc8cfc8e6c How to Solve the Brexit Dilemma for 12/13/2018 Thu, 13 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>We've all had the experience of getting something we want and soon realizing that we really didn't want it. Maybe it was the dress that looked so much better in the store than at home, the car that kept breaking down or the treadmill that was never trod. It's called buyer's remorse. In the modern age, we can usually return any item we find disappointing.</p> <p>Could someone tell the Brits? In 2016, <span class="column--highlighted-text">they voted to abandon the European Union, taking their bangers and mash and retreating to splendid isolation</span>. But they have yet to decide how to do that. On Monday, Prime Minister Theresa May backed off from a pending vote on the deal she had reached with the EU. She then survived a no-confidence vote forced by rebels in her own party, but the future of Brexit remains murky.<p>Updated: Thu Dec 13, 2018</p> 87dcdba3c4761a4295484f498b8d9f69 Trump's Meddling Sows Economic Trouble for 12/09/2018 Sun, 09 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>One crucial test of leadership is knowing when to leave well enough alone. Fixing things that are going badly can be hard. What is easy is not screwing up things that are doing fine without your help.</p> <p>These are among the many presidential lessons that Donald Trump didn't learn before taking office and has ignored ever since. The virtues of silence and restraint are lost on him.<p>Updated: Sun Dec 09, 2018</p> 34fd8f09784a531f2f716318d75ce148 The Growing Republican Resistance to Trump for 12/06/2018 Thu, 06 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Congressional Republicans were once noted for their defiance of the executive branch, mobilizing regularly to block presidential proposals. But that was when Barack Obama occupied the White House. They changed with the arrival of Donald Trump, who had his own definition of Republicanism and induced GOP officeholders to alter theirs.</p> <p>Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan often evoke Winston Churchill's description of Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald as the "Boneless Wonder." But lately, some Republican members of Congress have given evidence of spines that they are capable of stiffening.<p>Updated: Thu Dec 06, 2018</p> bceae90fec5187edc3831673fb5055dc Trump's For-Profit Presidency for 12/02/2018 Sun, 02 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Some types of sharks have to swim continuously to keep oxygen coming in; to be still is to perish. Donald Trump is similar, except his unceasing drive is trying to make money. He could no more stop merely because he's running for president or serving as president than he could take a sabbatical from breathing.</p> <p>The charges unveiled Thursday against his former fixer, Michael Cohen, suggest just how irrepressible his avarice is. Trump had sought real estate and other deals in Russia for three decades, and he had long wanted to put up a signature building in Moscow. "TRUMP TOWER-MOSCOW is next," he tweeted after a 2013 visit there.<p>Updated: Sun Dec 02, 2018</p> e2278e7bf947cbca9e99b9331ccd73bb Why Are We Still in Afghanistan? for 11/29/2018 Thu, 29 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The old peacenik slogan was, "What if they gave a war and nobody came?" Today, the question is, "What if they gave a war and nobody noticed?" <span class="column--highlighted-text">The American mission in Afghanistan has borrowed a page from Harry Potter, draping itself in a cloak of invisibility.</span></p> <p>Our war has lasted 17 years and cost upward of $1 trillion, including $45 billion this year. It has killed more than 2,300 Americans and wounded more than 20,000. Yet we recently completed an election campaign in which the conflict was rarely mentioned, much less debated. From a political point of view, this war is about as important as storms on Saturn.<p>Updated: Thu Nov 29, 2018</p> 250954ed295fa12a3920146f6bd3640a Letting Felons Vote Is Cause for Thanks for 11/22/2018 Thu, 22 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>For anyone who cares about politics and government, it is easier to find reasons to complain than to give thanks this year. The Republicans have to deal with losing the House of Representatives. Democrats have to deal with the continued presence of Donald Trump. Independents have to deal with Republicans and Democrats.</p> <p>But there is a powerful glimmer of light. On one important matter, Americans have grown more unified, less partisan, more farsighted and more humane. The latest proof came on Election Day in Florida, when 65 percent of the state's voters approved a measure to let felons vote.<p>Updated: Thu Nov 22, 2018</p> e5e412658c951314815ec068e0c52654 A Yale Football Player Quits to Save His Brain for 11/18/2018 Sun, 18 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Andrew Grinde was not just another football player. As a running back at C.M. Russell High School in Great Falls, Montana, he rushed for 2,180 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2014, leading the Rustlers to the state title game, and was named Montana Gatorade Football Player of the Year.</p> <p>Swift, stocky, powerful and fearless, he outran some defenders and bowled others over. His highlight video is worth watching (<a href="" target="_blank"></a>).<p>Updated: Sun Nov 18, 2018</p> 87071598bdc79f478aebb9bf0ddf1f93 Why Would Anyone Join the Trump Administration Now? for 11/15/2018 Thu, 15 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The Trump administration resembles a blender with the lid off: frequent moments of noisy, furious churning, often leaving a mess. Donald Trump, who is chronically critical of almost everyone but himself, said before the midterm elections that personnel changes were coming. In a departure from his usual practice, he was telling the truth.</p> <p>The president demanded his attorney general's resignation as soon as the voting was over. Likely to also walk the plank is Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who might be followed by White House chief of staff John Kelly. Trump may have to find a replacement for Jeff Sessions' replacement because Matthew Whitaker's appointment may have been illegal.<p>Updated: Thu Nov 15, 2018</p> 78cda8fe16c24ec4ff11e19cd8a594ca A Democratic House Will Mean More Fiscal Discipline for 11/11/2018 Sun, 11 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Are you ready for some stalemate? Over the next two years, Washington deliberations will resemble one of those 1960s-era football games in which moving the ball was hard and touchdowns were rare. This will not be the irresistible force meeting the immovable object. It will be two immovable objects.</p> <p>The old maxim says the best government is the least government. Whether that's true or not, I no longer harbor innocent dreams of best government. I will settle for least bad government, and that generally means divided government.<p>Updated: Sun Nov 11, 2018</p> fbf90926407ddca8b4642c445220566f The Growing Consensus for Legalizing Marijuana for 11/08/2018 Thu, 08 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The United States remains starkly divided between red and blue, with Republicans and Democrats each registering some gains and some setbacks in the elections. But on one important issue, a national consensus is emerging that transcends party and ideology. America is becoming Weed Nation.</p> <p>On Tuesday, Michigan became the 10th state, along with the District of Columbia, to decide to legalize marijuana for purely recreational use. A quarter of Americans will live in states that let them get stoned without fear of the constable.<p>Updated: Thu Nov 08, 2018</p>