Jill Lawrence from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/jill-lawrence Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Tue, 07 Jul 2020 18:24:55 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Jill Lawrence from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/jill-lawrence-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/jill-lawrence 35ed2ad4a7ea3742851552677a2caabd The Republican Brand Is Tea Party for 10/01/2015 https://www.creators.com/read/jill-lawrence/09/15/the-republican-brand-is-tea-party Thu, 01 Oct 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>House Republicans will hold their leadership elections next week and all signs point to them remaining more interested in appeasing a narrow base than governing a diverse country.</p> <p>Consider: The only woman positioned to run for majority leader, Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, decided not to make a bid. The two men competing for the job are conservatives from the Deep South. The favorite for speaker, Kevin McCarthy of California, is less experienced than John Boehner, less accomplished, and &#8212; if he follows through on private promises &#8212; more confrontational. </p> <p>McCarthy has already signaled with a potentially costly gaffe that he may not be ready for prime time. It came when he boasted to Sean Hannity on Fox News that the House investigation of the 2012 murders of Americans in Benghazi has done serious damage to Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 01, 2015</p> 23e6ac9ff61b35418ef71dd76c7d4057 How to Get Sicker, Die Sooner and Pay More For It for 09/24/2015 https://www.creators.com/read/jill-lawrence/09/15/how-to-get-sicker-die-sooner-and-pay-more-for-it Thu, 24 Sep 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>It is painful that five years after passage of the Affordable Care Act, 19 states still have not taken advantage of its option to expand Medicaid. It becomes more so with each new report on the deeply flawed U.S. health system.</p> <p>The latest, from the National Academy of Sciences, finds that rich people live about 13 years longer than poor people. The researchers note that consequently, rich people end up getting the lion's share of Social Security benefits. Such inequity should be attacked at its root. At the very least, we could use available tools to help low-income people get health insurance.</p> <p>The NAS report is far from the first to highlight problems in our approach and results. The Commonwealth Fund last year examined health systems in 11 western industrialized nations. For the fourth time in a decade, the United States system placed first in cost and last in what it delivers. Our system is less fair, less efficient, makes us less healthy and gives us shorter lives. All that for an average of $8,508 per person, way more than second-place Norway at $5,669. In case you were wondering, Britain's socialized National Health Service was No. 1 at less than half the U.S. cost.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 24, 2015</p> 560217ab44e005d341223ad782a229c5 Surrender on Guns Is Not an Option for 09/16/2015 https://www.creators.com/read/jill-lawrence/09/15/surrender-on-guns-is-not-an-option Wed, 16 Sep 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The anguish of Richard Martinez in the wake of the Santa Barbara, California, shootings that killed his 20-year-old son last year was almost unbearable. Now he is an old hand. "You are not alone," Martinez told Andy Parker, father of slain Virginia journalist Alison Parker, in a recent USA Today column. "Welcome to the heartbreaking club that no one wants to be a part of."</p> <p>If only we could fix this by keeping better tabs on disturbed young men and erratic co-workers. If only we could avoid more daunting political warfare over guns.</p> <p>But let's get real. There isn't enough money in the world to train every cop, teacher, social worker and family member in America to detect mental illness and predict its course. And cash is the least of the problem.<p>Updated: Wed Sep 16, 2015</p> e6be78659f7966fa2ed565c92d116ec9 Kim Davis and the Iowa-or-Bust Syndrome for 09/10/2015 https://www.creators.com/read/jill-lawrence/09/15/kim-davis-and-the-iowa-or-bust-syndrome Thu, 10 Sep 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Watching Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz compete to make a martyr out of Kim Davis makes me wonder if it's finally time send Iowa toward the back of the line in the presidential nominating process. And while we're at it, maybe South Carolina should head in that direction, too.</p> <p>Huckabee won the leadoff Iowa caucuses in 2008, the last time he ran. If he doesn't win them this year, his quest for the Republican presidential nomination will be finished practically before it starts. What does he have to do to win? Christian conservatives are the most dominant group in Iowa's GOP caucuses. Thus, the crazy contest to champion the Kentucky county clerk who, adhering to "God's authority" rather than a Supreme Court ruling and a federal judge's order, went to jail rather than issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.</p> <p>The unquestioned victor of this round was Huckabee. Upon her release from jail, he not only walked Davis from the jailhouse to the waiting crowd, she stood between Huckabee and Mat Staver, her lawyer, as Staver addressed the media at length. You know what that meant. Huckabee was "in the shot." With his arm around her. While he spoke his piece to the cameras.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 10, 2015</p> 35cbbfbffd848ff0c6611181fc131561 The Four-Time Bride Who Won't Let Gays Get Married for 09/03/2015 https://www.creators.com/read/jill-lawrence/09/15/the-four-time-bride-who-wont-let-gays-get-married Thu, 03 Sep 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>If ever there was an argument to make teenagers take citizenship exams before they can get a high school diploma, it's the Kentucky clerk who won't issue marriage licenses to gay couples, and her all too supportive husband. Make that fourth husband.</p> <p>"They want us to accept their beliefs and their ways. But they won't accept our beliefs and our ways," Joe Davis said of gay protesters at the Rowan County Courthouse, The Associated Press reported. "Their beliefs and their ways" is a reference to gay people who are trying to take advantage of the Supreme Court's June ruling that they have a constitutional right to marry. "Our beliefs and our ways" refers to his wife Kim's contention that she has the right to ignore the high court in favor of "God's authority."</p> <p>That authority apparently includes godly approval to marry four times in a life so wildly imperfect that U.S. News & World Report could write this paragraph: "She gave birth to twins five months after divorcing her first husband. They were fathered by her third husband but adopted by her second." All is now cool, though. According to her lawyer, Davis converted to Christianity a few years ago and her slate was wiped clean.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 03, 2015</p> 399b7c2c4b02cf388edbe233ca5ab3e0 Could Pope Francis Be Donald Trump's Undoing? for 08/27/2015 https://www.creators.com/read/jill-lawrence/08/15/could-pope-francis-be-donald-trumps-undoing Thu, 27 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>If he hasn't faded from the news in a few weeks, Donald Trump will have some serious competition for headlines from a person who represents everything he does not. That would be Pope Francis, who arrives in Washington Sept. 22 for a six-day visit to America.</p> <p>The pope's schedule &#8212; a meeting at the White House, a service at the World Trade Center, addresses to a joint session of Congress and the United Nations General Assembly &#8212; is world class, as Trump might put it. The pope himself is, in Trumpspeak, yuge. He is also a living reproach to Trump, raising the enticing possibility that his visit &#8212; just six days after the next Republican debate &#8212; will prompt reconsideration of Trump in a new context.</p> <p>Both men are celebrities and both like to be provocative. But no one is lifting the political dialogue higher than Pope Francis, and no one is driving it lower than Trump. <p>Updated: Thu Aug 27, 2015</p> f23e6b07d66090ed1e86868aea7f4815 Republicans Aim for Their Own Feet for 08/20/2015 https://www.creators.com/read/jill-lawrence/08/15/republicans-aim-for-their-own-feet Thu, 20 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>What do women want? Republicans are trying to answer that question and, as usual, they are getting it wrong.</p> <p>The party has an unerring genius for alienating exactly the demographics it needs to win the White House. Republicans have made it harder for students, urbanites and minorities to vote. Many of their presidential candidates are competing over who can deport the most immigrants and build the best border wall. Why should the GOP approach to women be any different?</p> <p>Donald Trump, who has been flamboyantly insulting to immigrants, isn't helping Republicans with women, either. His history of crude insults about female appearances led NBC's Chuck Todd to ask him, "Why do looks matter to you so much?" He still talks in weird generalizations and 1950s stereotypes about women (see: "I cherish women" or "women love me" or "I understand the importance of women"). <p>Updated: Thu Aug 20, 2015</p> 22b907c6eaab4e85b79421df71122b12 Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush and Ignoring the Past for 08/13/2015 https://www.creators.com/read/jill-lawrence/08/15/hillary-clinton-jeb-bush-and-ignoring-the-past- Thu, 13 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>At least we'd know what to expect from them. That's the cheeriest way to cast the latest in presidential dynasty news.</p> <p>Hillary Clinton lived up (or should we say down?) to past patterns and current expectations by proposing an ambitious college affordability plan one day, then &#8212; after stalling for months &#8212; agreeing the next day to give the FBI the private server she used for all her emails while she was secretary of state.</p> <p>Jeb Bush, meanwhile, gave a foreign policy address in which he downplayed his brother's epic mistake of invading Iraq and blamed Clinton and President Obama for the chaos and tragedy now plaguing the region. We should have stayed longer and done more, he says. Sound familiar?<p>Updated: Thu Aug 13, 2015</p> 46a0fb3c1290cc0863d0f116e13410e5 The 45th President Will Owe Obama Big Time for 08/06/2015 https://www.creators.com/read/jill-lawrence/08/15/the-45th-president-will-owe-obama-big-time Thu, 06 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>For more than six years, as conservatives have stewed and raged and taken their spoils in midterm elections, liberals have been living through a relatively golden age. By that I mean they know they will wake up to a president who doesn't make them want to put their fist through a wall. Most days.</p> <p>It is still some 18 months before President Obama leaves office, an eternity if you have been gritting your teeth since January 2009 but a blink in time for those of us who liked many of his ideas back then, and still do. This sense of a fleeting moment was driven home to me as I listened to Obama make his case Wednesday at American University for the Iran nuclear deal.</p> <p>What a balm it was to hear him suggest, amid bellicose 2016 rhetoric, that Americans "worry less about being labeled weak, worry more about getting it right." To hear him say that "a nuclear-armed Iran is far more dangerous ... than an Iran that benefits from sanctions relief." That the Iran deal is less risky than the Kennedy and Reagan deals with the Soviet Union, which put constraints on the U.S. arsenal, and that "our military remains the ultimate backstop" to any diplomatic agreement.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 06, 2015</p> b4cfd3727fb3f8f2158925663a99b6e7 A Roiling Republican Party Is Ready for Its Close-Up for 07/30/2015 https://www.creators.com/read/jill-lawrence/07/15/a-roiling-republican-party-is-ready-for-its-close-up Thu, 30 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>You've got to stay alert these days if you want to keep up with the Republican Party. Actually, make that Republican parties.</p> <p>The GOP is proceeding along two tracks &#8212; the headline track and the governing track. Which party will show up Aug. 6 for the first presidential debate? Or will both of them be onstage?</p> <p>The headline track is driven largely by Donald Trump and the 2016 contestants trying to escape his shadow. It's not pretty but from their standpoint it is necessary. They can't afford to be subtle when there are 17 candidates (the tally as of Wednesday, when former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore filed his paperwork) and Fox News has decreed the first debate will be limited to the top-10 in national polls.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 30, 2015</p> 1b63ff05fcc35820ffaefc641ff40217 Too Late for the New, Improved Clinton and Perry? for 07/23/2015 https://www.creators.com/read/jill-lawrence/07/15/too-late-for-the-new-improved-clinton-and-perry Thu, 23 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Amid a presidential field so large you'd need 10 fingers, 10 toes and an extra hand or foot to count them, two contenders stand out as most improved. Hillary Clinton and Rick Perry are better candidates now than they were in their first tries for national office.</p> <p>Unfortunately for them, their paths to the Oval Office are much more complicated now than they would have been, in 2008 for Clinton or 2012 for Perry. They squandered their best opportunities in those earlier races, and now have much steeper hills to climb.</p> <p>Clinton's challenges are in part a function of timing. It will be harder for a Democrat to win after two terms of a Democratic president than it would have been after two terms of Republican George W. Bush. But her most serious problems are self-inflicted, stemming from her secretive email system as secretary of state and the intertwining of her work and donations to the Clinton Foundation. <p>Updated: Thu Jul 23, 2015</p> 97a65c014ebd83c01826b096ab08a4df Obama's Best Iran Role Model Is the First President Bush for 07/16/2015 https://www.creators.com/read/jill-lawrence/07/15/obamas-best-iran-role-model-is-the-first-president-bush- Thu, 16 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Richard Nixon won a Senate seat after implying his "pink lady" opponent was a communist, but went on to open relations with "Red China" in the 1970s. Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union the "evil empire," then negotiated nuclear arms reduction agreements with his Soviet counterpart.</p> <p>President Obama is comparing himself to those two Republican presidents as he seeks support for the new international deal to limit Iran's nuclear program. But he should add at least one more. George H.W. Bush sent U.S. troops to end the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, forced Iraqi troops to withdraw, and called it a victory. He defined a narrow mission and achieved it &#8212; which is exactly what Obama is attempting on Iran.</p> <p>Bush's success was immediately apparent, both on the ground in the Middle East and in public opinion polls at the time. In February 1991, as the combat phase of the Persian Gulf War ended, Gallup pegged his job approval rating at 89 percent. Clearly the country did not expect or particularly want him to storm Baghdad and oust Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 16, 2015</p> 14d43ecbbea790c3feaf37eeccde39c2 What Democrats Should Fear Most About Scott Walker for 07/09/2015 https://www.creators.com/read/jill-lawrence/07/15/what-democrats-should-fear-most-about-scott-walker Thu, 09 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Before there were public employee unions, there was Tonette. </p> <p>"Unintimidated" is the title of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's book, the title of his super PAC, and the thematic spine of his presidential campaign. It is of course a reference to his knock-down, drag-out fight with state worker unions, and his subsequent triumphs in politics and policy.</p> <p>The protracted showdown over collective bargaining rights revealed the small-town pastor's son with the low-key manner to be unusually audacious and persistent, as well as undeterred by custom or convention. None of that would have surprised anyone familiar with the story of his marriage &#8212; a revelatory tale that should make smart Democrats nervous about Mr. Unintimidated.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 09, 2015</p> 25c2624c31720b30f7ace75fad77948c The Year of Telling It Like It Is for 07/02/2015 https://www.creators.com/read/jill-lawrence/07/15/the-year-of-telling-it-like-it-is Thu, 02 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Less than 24 hours after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie embarked on a long-shot campaign for the Republican presidential nomination under the banner of "Telling It Like It Is," Vermont senator and aspiring Democratic nominee Bernie Sanders tweeted, "What this campaign is about is a very radical idea: we're going to tell the truth."</p> <p>Not so radical, actually, in the 2016 race. Practically everybody's "telling it like it is." It's a theme with endless subtextual variations, starting with "Telling It Like I Want It To Be." "Telling It Like Primary Voters Think It Is." "Telling It Like A Future Fox News Host." </p> <p>Christie's main claims to this slogan are his blustery persona and call to curb entitlement programs. But that is hardly enough to stand out in a year like this. There are about 20 candidates and many have unfiltered personalities, nothing to lose, or both. <p>Updated: Thu Jul 02, 2015</p> 4f86d021a65ad7db114366c5d5dcf69f The Confederacy Crashes In a Week. It Only Took 150 years. for 06/25/2015 https://www.creators.com/read/jill-lawrence/06/15/the-confederacy-crashes-in-a-week-it-only-took-150-years Thu, 25 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The rush to ditch the Confederate battle flag is making the country's shift in favor of gay marriage look like slow motion. A groundbreaking 2003 ruling from the highest court in Massachusetts was the first to legalize same-sex marriage. In 2011, Gallup reported another first: Gay marriage now had majority support.</p> <p>If eight years is a sea change in the blink of an eye, the sprint away from the Rebel flag by politicians and CEOs qualifies as whiplash. It was at full speed less than a week after the Emanuel AME church tragedy in which a white supremacist shooter apparently took succor and affirmation from the flag as he laid his plans to murder nine people. "The flag now is owned by him. It's the flag of the murderer in our time," South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a GOP presidential candidate, told CBS.</p> <p>Everything that has been said about the flag in the past week has been true for the past 150 years. It represents treason and brutality, white supremacy and black bondage. So how much credit should today's "leaders" get for their sudden bid for distance from Dylann Roof and that flag?<p>Updated: Thu Jun 25, 2015</p> c27dcc052c217fd5dd1a5e150962e3da Blame Congress if Obamacare Subsidies Die for 06/18/2015 https://www.creators.com/read/jill-lawrence/06/15/blame-congress-if-obamacare-subsidies-die Thu, 18 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>When the Supreme Court rules on the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act, I'm hoping the justices will say the intent of the law is crystal-clear, uphold the subsidies that help people pay for health insurance, and spend at least a few pages reaming out Congress for not doing its job. Twice.</p> <p>Democrats' harried search for a way to pass the ACA, after slow-walking through 2009 and losing their filibuster-proof majority in early 2010, will not soon be forgotten by anyone who followed the rock-strewn path to enactment. Still, that's no excuse for "established by the State" &#8212; the phrase that has thrown into question whether residents of states with federal rather than state insurance marketplaces are eligible for the subsidies that make coverage affordable. Think of all the time and energy that lawyers, politicians, judges, lobbyists and health policy analysts could have devoted to more productive pursuits had just one Democrat on Capitol Hill noticed that sentence and tacked on "or the federal government." </p> <p>Even worse, think of how easy it would have been for Congress to fix the problem once it became known. Congressional Republicans despise the law so deeply, or at least profess to, that nearly every single one of them ran on vows to repeal it. But they are having tremendous difficulty coming up with an alternative to Obamacare. They can't even agree on whether or how to simply preserve subsidies for a while should the Supreme Court strike them down in King v. Burwell, a decision expected within the next couple of weeks. <p>Updated: Thu Jun 18, 2015</p> b7466ac4576e33e7c108dd05ab6aca16 Chris Christie Is No John McCain for 06/11/2015 https://www.creators.com/read/jill-lawrence/06/15/chris-christie-is-no-john-mccain Thu, 11 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>It's no surprise that Chris Christie has adopted the straight-talk strategy that carried John McCain to a huge upset victory over George W. Bush in the 2000 New Hampshire primary and helped him win the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. It's a natural fit given the New Jersey governor's blunt, outspoken personality. </p> <p>Yet McCain was in first or second place in polls of New Hampshire at this point both times he ran. Christie is in single digits, and as far back as ninth in one poll of the large Republican pack.</p> <p>There's a reason it's not working. There's no way to break this gently: Chris Christie is no John McCain.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 11, 2015</p> ec2fd5cc6ec44e485f9eaad4dd0257be Scott Walker and the GOP Are Wrong About the Safety Net for 06/04/2015 https://www.creators.com/read/jill-lawrence/06/15/scott-walker-and-the-gop-are-wrong-about-the-safety-net Thu, 04 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>It's back and Democrats are going to have to deal with it. I'm talking about the political argument that they want to lure as many people as possible into government dependency.</p> <p>This is a staple of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's incipient presidential campaign, and he frames it as simple common sense. "Oftentimes when I think about the president and people like Hillary Clinton, I hear people who I think measure success in government by how many people are dependent on the government. By how many people are on food stamps and Medicaid and unemployment," he said this week at the Florida Economic Growth Summit in Orlando. "I don't know about all of you, but my belief in America is that we should measure success by just the opposite."</p> <p>Walker added: "I don't remember any of my classmates saying to me 'Hey, Scott, someday when I grow up, I want to become dependent on the government.' Nobody signed my yearbook 'Dear Scott, Good luck becoming dependent on the government.'"<p>Updated: Thu Jun 04, 2015</p> 306c92bdac981390000aba5d04bfeb5c The Trouble With the Huge Republican Field for 05/28/2015 https://www.creators.com/read/jill-lawrence/05/15/the-trouble-with-the-huge-republican-field- Thu, 28 May 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The Republican presidential field is like the broom that keeps endlessly splitting into more brooms in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" section of "Fantasia." By this time next week, there will likely be 10 officially declared candidates &#8212; and that doesn't even include the sitting governors of Wisconsin, Ohio, Louisiana and New Jersey, the former governor of Florida, or Donald Trump.</p> <p>Many Democrats would give their eyeteeth for even a fraction of the credible contenders in this crowd. All joking about "Hollywood Squares" aside, how to handle debates when you've got a field nearly the size of two baseball teams is a good problem to have. </p> <p>But does quantity equal quality and an advantage in a general election? Or does it mean endless coverage of positions that could hurt the eventual nominee?<p>Updated: Thu May 28, 2015</p> dbcf36a7299fafbeccbe0e84c6e20872 A Future for Unions, If They Can Keep It for 05/21/2015 https://www.creators.com/read/jill-lawrence/05/15/a-future-for-unions-if-they-can-keep-it Thu, 21 May 2015 00:00:00 -0700 <p>In the space of one day, the Los Angeles City Council votes to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2020 and Philadelphia Democrats nominate a mayoral candidate who ran on a platform of raising wages. Are unions on a roll?</p> <p>When it comes to lifting the earnings of low-income workers, the answer is a definite yes. Last year, voters approved ballot measures to raise the minimum wage in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and the California cities of San Francisco and Oakland. In 10 other states, as well as Chicago and the District of Columbia, lawmakers enacted raises. This year, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is pushing for a $15 minimum wage and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he will use executive authority to raise the wages of fast-food workers. Wal-Mart and McDonald's are voluntarily increasing pay to some workers. </p> <p>The income issue is moving so fast that President Obama's call last year to raise the $7.25 federal minimum wage to $10.10 already seems outdated; congressional Democrats recently introduced a bill to push it to $12. The Obama administration, meanwhile, is expected to announce an update in overtime rules that will give millions of workers a raise. <p>Updated: Thu May 21, 2015</p>