Froma Harrop from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sun, 01 Aug 2021 10:03:06 -0700 Froma Harrop from Creators Syndicate 903e7d412a8cd66fdfd84c63fe1923c4 Are We Canceling Summer Again? for 07/29/2021 Thu, 29 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>This is becoming another summer that didn't quite happen. It follows the bum summer of 2020, which was canceled by COVID-19.</p> <p>In the West this year, summer is literally going up in smoke. Wildfires from Southern California to Washington state are burning out of control and clouding skies as far away as New England. The West Coast is seeing extreme drought, extreme flooding and extreme heat. But isn't that everywhere, to some extent?</p> <p>The carefree days of frolicking outside have been revoked throughout the country's midsection as horrid heat descends from the Northern Rockies through the Deep South. Arizona turns ovenlike in a typical summer, but this one is so hot that a high school football camp had to move its activities indoors.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 29, 2021</p> f6d898f493bf31da84283805458057ea Any Idea How Sexist Short Shorts Are? for 07/27/2021 Tue, 27 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In the summer, boys dress for the warm weather, but girls dress hardly at all. Most high school guys are in baggy shorts, while many of the girls are wearing shorts so short that parts of their rear end remain exposed. The "distressed" versions &#8212; with rips and ragged hems &#8212; are often called Daisy Dukes, after a sexy character who wore them in "The Dukes of Hazzard" TV series (backstory to follow). They're not a great look even beside a swimming pool, but girls are wearing them on downtown streets.</p> <p>No matter how fine the girl's character or perfect her figure, the effect is trashy, hollering sexual availability. That the boys checking out the half-naked girls are themselves well covered confers on them superior status. (Do note that I am writing from a hetero point of view.)<p>Updated: Tue Jul 27, 2021</p> 86638fddc20e978ca0fdbfa2c2924bdc The Pandemic Won Many Over to the Cosmetic Surgery Knife for 07/22/2021 Thu, 22 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Many of us spent the pandemic months obsessing over how our mug looked on Zoom and other video-chatting services. Poor lighting was a torment, and the lack of sunshine and exercise produced what's been dubbed "lockdown face." </p> <p>At in-person meetings, we see only the people we're talking to. Video calls &#8212; be it via Zoom, Skype, Google Meet or some other platform &#8212; confront us with a square on the screen reserved for our own kisser. This is typically a close-up showing fine lines and droopy eyelids. </p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Many of us didn't like what we saw, and something had to be done. Often, that something was cosmetic surgery. </span><p>Updated: Thu Jul 22, 2021</p> 2715abc14fc26134d4a8492ef9597b9d Mental Distress Fuels Crime and Extreme Politics for 07/20/2021 Tue, 20 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Antisocial behavior has reached pandemic levels. Disruptive airline passengers are punching flight attendants. Thugs are attacking Asians, gays and other minority groups. Criminals have grown more brazen in bringing violence to the streets and into American politics as seen in the savage invasion of the Capitol on Jan. 6. </p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Mental illness clearly underlies a lot of these disturbing trends, with the cracks widening during the COVID-19 scourge. The pandemic deprived many of community, personal interaction and, for those on the edge of psychic breakdown, the in-person mental health services they relied on or need. </span></p> <p>America's system for supporting good mental health has never been strong to begin with. The 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act did help expand coverage, but getting insurance to pay for treatment of serious psychiatric problems remains problematic.<p>Updated: Tue Jul 20, 2021</p> b988cff208371872c4e63017086b6fc6 Not Getting Your Shot Can Cost You Your Job for 07/15/2021 Thu, 15 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The CEO of Morgan Stanley wants all the boys and girls back in the financial giant's Times Square office by Labor Day. "If you can go to a restaurant in New York City," James Gorman told them, "you can come into the office. And we want you in the office."</p> <p>Gorman added: "If you want to get paid New York rates, you work in New York. None of this 'I'm in Colorado ... and getting paid like I'm sitting in New York City." Clearly, the time employees may happily Zoom in from a lakeside cabin or suburban sunroom is drawing to a close.</p> <p>This is a sentiment less colorfully shared by other captains of Wall Street finance, where group effort is often required. <p>Updated: Thu Jul 15, 2021</p> 214622f0f4d944c49218b8c59b818127 The 2 Americas of COVID-19 for 07/13/2021 Tue, 13 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Saturday night in Branson, Missouri, and Manhattan, New York, was a time of summer celebration. People were jamming in restaurants and out to hear music with few wearing masks. Both places were in a partying mood to celebrate what appeared to be the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.</p> <p>But there was a big difference: The virus scourge was winding down in Manhattan but exploding in Branson, a lively center of Ozark tourism. In Manhattan, 65% of the residents are fully vaccinated. In Greene County, just north of Branson and home to the area's major medical centers, only 39% are. Branson's mayor ran against mask mandates. </p> <p>Hospitals there are alarmed at the waves of COVID-19 patients, forcing them to borrow ventilators and beg respiratory therapists to come and help. Mercy Hospital reports that 95% of COVID-19 hospitalizations are people who had not gotten their shots. The highly contagious delta variant is driving the rise of cases.<p>Updated: Tue Jul 13, 2021</p> 64bd6537ff7f37681eb5180df88f249f Is Naomi Osaka Brave or a Publicity Hog? for 07/08/2021 Thu, 08 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka is the world's best-paid female athlete. She made an estimated $60 million last year. The 23-year-old is on top of the tennis world, but is her refusal to honor the rules set by that world justified?</p> <p>Osaka recently declined to attend a post-game news conference as required by the French Open. She said it would be bad for her mental health and paid a mandatory $15,000 fine. </p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Osaka is entirely within her rights to give a lot or no access to sports journalists. But then the French Open and the other three Grand Slam tournaments are within their rights to ban her for not meeting the terms of the contracts she signs. </span><p>Updated: Thu Jul 08, 2021</p> d8a1b81b6d0438be29e8633eeec83b24 On the Economy, Texas Should Not Mess With California for 07/01/2021 Thu, 01 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>A funny thing happened on the way to California's collapse. It didn't happen. </p> <p>We keep hearing that the Golden State is going down, down, down. Last year, it suffered the first drop in population since records have been kept. And there's that parade of natural plagues &#8212; the droughts, catastrophic wildfires and infernal heat. </p> <p>A largely hostile right-leaning media go on and on about California's high taxes and various liberal excesses. Californians, their story goes, are leaving in droves for low-tax, lax-regulation places like Texas. And it's true that some big California names &#8212; Oracle, Charles Schwab, Hewlett Packard and Tesla CEO Elon Musk &#8212; have moved their headquarters there.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 01, 2021</p> 6aa9428b471a398e98dc0b6912075478 Black Democrats Save the Party Once Again for 06/29/2021 Tue, 29 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>How often do African Americans have to save the Democratic Party from its left wing? With Black voters having just thrust a moderate ex-cop to the head of the pack in New York City's mayoral race, it's the second time in just over a year they've done it. </p> <p>Making Brooklyn Borough President and former police captain Eric Adams the next mayor of liberal New York propels public safety toward the top of Democrats' priority list. And it takes air out of the politically poisonous "defund the police" nonsense floated by a few on the left. </p> <p>"I don't hate police departments," Adams, an African American who says he was beaten by police in his youth, said. "I hate abusive policing, and that's what people mix up."<p>Updated: Tue Jun 29, 2021</p> 18dbb047bc7d300654a2ac81dbeab22e Taxes Are for Raising Revenues, Not Punishing Rich People for 06/24/2021 Thu, 24 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Taxes are how we raise the money needed to run government. The rich have the wherewithal to bear most of those costs. These points are especially connected at a time when the rich have gotten so much richer and the government needs to do so much more.</p> <p>But in making the case to raise taxes on the wealthy, it is counterproductive to portray such a scenario as a kind of just punishment for those who have accumulated wealth. Many on the left can't stop themselves from hurting their cause.</p> <p>It's true that America's billionaires added $1 trillion to their pile during President Donald Trump's four years. But though the 2017 tax cuts mostly benefited the richest investors, a growing concentration of wealth has been going on for decades. So, raise taxes on these guys because they have the money and not because they are supposedly greedy or otherwise in need of moral teachings.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 24, 2021</p> e7a6965ecf6cbf91843e2117c3737983 Republicans Fail to Destroy Obamacare, Lucky for Them for 06/22/2021 Tue, 22 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>They tried. Oh, they tried. Republicans spent a decade bashing and voting to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. And what did they get for all their trouble? A 7-2 ruling by a conservative Supreme Court to uphold the health insurance program also known as "Obamacare." </p> <p>For that, Republicans should thank their lucky stars. There would have been unlovely consequences had they succeeded in killing a government program that secured health coverage for 23 million Americans. </p> <p>Could it be that their attacks and thrusts to repeal the ACA were really just an act? Republicans passed several bills to do in the ACA during the Obama administration, resting assured that the former president would veto them. <p>Updated: Tue Jun 22, 2021</p> 7e8ba1d1ebf4e352ff6ecf255401ecb6 America Leaps Into China's Way of Competing for 06/17/2021 Thu, 17 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>China is America's economic rival. The way capitalists deal with rivals is to compete. President Joe Biden vows to compete with this rival on the rival's terms. He calls it "extreme competition."</p> <p>China has built a massive semiconductor industry with massive government spending. It is about to send another $200 billion to its semiconductor sector through 2025. </p> <p>The U.S. Senate, in a fit of bipartisanship, just approved spending up to about $250 billion for science research, subsidizing computer chip makers here and expanding the National Science Foundation. Europe is also spending big.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 17, 2021</p> 1798ef77870f9a460eea6c7676c6557b The Right's Real Problem With Dr. Anthony Fauci for 06/15/2021 Tue, 15 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Donald Trump is no longer president. COVID-19 is no longer the threat it was. And Dr. Anthony Fauci, America's top infectious disease expert, is back to more routine briefings on vaccination rates and such. So why does Fauci remain so much in the news? </p> <p>Because the Trump camp can't stop bashing him. And why is that? Why does the right continue to portray this mild-mannered public official as the enemy? </p> <p>It may be that Fauci publicly refuted some of Trump's ignorant musings during that presidency, but that's not really it. Republicans such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz hit at Trump in the past. During the 2016 campaign, Cruz called Trump a "sniveling coward." <p>Updated: Tue Jun 15, 2021</p> 1666039e3a1455c34eaea75d9fb32374 The American Dream Can Be Rented for 06/10/2021 Thu, 10 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>As lockdowns sent city dwellers "fleeing" to the suburbs for more space, the prices of homes offering that space took off. To play in the bidding wars, homebuyers had to cough up big money and chain themselves to giant mortgages. This painful scenario led many to choose renting over buying, and that's not a bad thing.</p> <p>Why can't the American dream of a detached house with a family room be rented instead, like an apartment? Actually, it can. Houses have been available for rent forever, but now real estate investors are building entire subdivisions for the purpose of renting, not selling, the homes. </p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">For generations, the real estate industry has promoted a cult of homeownership, portraying it as a rite of passage for the upwardly mobile. Realtors pushed it. Lenders pushed it. Developers pushed it. And so did the government, with easy mortgages. </span><p>Updated: Thu Jun 10, 2021</p> cddec2eb1782e50b66570a3250599c43 Must We Care If You Don't Get the Shot? for 06/08/2021 Tue, 08 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>I'm fully vaccinated, and so is just about everyone I know. We feel mostly protected against COVID-19. And so if others don't want to get the shot for political reasons or out of ignorance, must we care? </p> <p>We read that many Republicans are refusing to get the coronavirus vaccine, while most Democrats are all in. The reasoning on the right seems to be that President Joe Biden wants us all to get vaccinated, therefore they won't. Do these folks think that they are somehow offending or frustrating the opposition?</p> <p>They're definitely astounding the opposition and also some on their side. Right-wingers rejecting efforts to get them vaccinated are more likely to come down with a virus that could kill or leave them with long-term disabilities. <p>Updated: Tue Jun 08, 2021</p> b9c426b3f30fd1d0d76dd2de80e1d7af Rethinking the Land of Plenty for 06/03/2021 Thu, 03 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Not that long ago, American shoppers cleaned store shelves of toilet paper. Pandemic panic had fueled the run on toilet paper, the point of it never clear. </p> <p>The bicycle shortage, on the other hand, made some sense. With the lockdown forcing millions to stay at home, bikes offered exercise, safe outdoor activity. Many stores used to display every bicycle size, color, use and price range right on the sales floor. That wide practice has disappeared. <p>Updated: Thu Jun 03, 2021</p> 6be67ce764b44e1e85e7d4c6076cdb62 Preserving Dignity in City Culture for 06/01/2021 Tue, 01 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Palm Springs, California, has a world-class art museum. And the museum building is itself a world-class example of midcentury modern architecture.</p> <p>Thus, it was understandable that a group of Palm Springs residents would object to placing a kitschy 26-foot statue of Marilyn Monroe right in the museum sightlines. The "artwork" reproduces the famous scene in "The Seven Year Itch" in which Marilyn walks over a sidewalk grate and the rising air lifts her skirt way high. She's seen bending over as she unsuccessfully tries to hold down her skirt. <p>Updated: Tue Jun 01, 2021</p> f446b1ccc38bbe7d3e74677c6f13420e Republicans Actually Need the Jan. 6 Commission for 05/27/2021 Thu, 27 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>It's been a given that Democrats would benefit from an official probe into the Jan. 6 rampage on the Capitol and Republicans would not. The thinking goes that Democrats would use a commission report to bash Republicans in the 2022 midterm elections. It would certainly detail how former President Donald Trump incited his supporters to commit the outrage.</p> <p>Where Republicans err is believing that without a report, Democrats won't have the ammo to bash them effectively. But the trauma of that day is already seared in the American brain. <p>Updated: Thu May 27, 2021</p> 2d03bfee19950049eaa0a116e156abe7 Law and Order Should Not Be Political for 05/25/2021 Tue, 25 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The conversation started on a long Uber ride. The driver, originally from Colombia, said he knows a lot of Colombians living in the U.S. "without papers." He argued that they are good people paying taxes and should be left alone. I responded that I believe they are good people paying taxes but our immigration laws should be respected.</p> <p>He then said, to my surprise, "I kind of like Donald Trump." Why, I asked. He went on heatedly about the riots that followed the killing of George Floyd. He thought Trump was more serious about restoring order.<p>Updated: Tue May 25, 2021</p> c7692e016d0ab6cda9f72d0ab75cd34c The 2022 Midterms Might Surprise Us for 05/20/2021 Thu, 20 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Tradition tells us that, come the midterms, the president's party loses seats in the House. If this tradition holds in 2022, that could be bad news for Democrats, whose House majority now stands at only nine seats. </p> <p>But history of late doesn't seem to be commandeering the driver's seat. Right after Joe Biden turned Georgia blue, Politico confidently stated that to win the state's two Senate runoffs on Jan. 5, "the Democratic Party will have to defy a long track record of failure in overtime elections." So everyone believed, Democrats included. "Everyone" was wrong.<p>Updated: Thu May 20, 2021</p>