Jim Hightower from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Wed, 30 Sep 2020 13:43:35 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Jim Hightower from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/jim-hightower-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower afab64adf70d0c2bbe3867831e397598 Trump's Rule of Lies and Partisan Judges for 09/30/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/09/20/trumps-rule-of-lies-and-partisan-judges Wed, 30 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Shortly after taking office, President Donald Trump puffed himself up in full Trumpian pomposity to proclaim to us rubes: "We will honor the American people with the truth, and nothing else." </p> <p>Well, "nothing else" ... unless you count a record-shattering number of more than 20,000 documented lies that this huckster has uttered in only three-and-a-half years, making dishonesty the cornerstone of his corrupt administration. He's now spewing a furious torrent of lies, insisting that a tsunami of voter fraud is about to hit our land and deny him reelection. He practically shrieks like Chicken Little, claiming that Democrats are meeting in secret cabals across America to pervert millions of ballots and steal the White House from him (as though it's one of his personal properties). <p>Updated: Wed Sep 30, 2020</p> 1cfda42aaaa2cd28bd834d7880053842 How the Right Rigs Elections for 09/23/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/09/20/how-the-right-rigs-elections Wed, 23 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Is it really so hard? Voting, I mean &#8212; smooth democratic elections with all citizens able to easily cast their ballots and with every ballot fairly counted. Is that too much for people to ask?</p> <p>After all, the mechanisms for assuring universal suffrage are well known, and the logistics are not exactly rocket science. Speaking of which, modern technologies could be our friend here &#8212; helping us vote by mail, or even by email. That's what David Wolf did back in 1997 when he became the first astronaut to upload a secure email ballot from space to Mission Control in Houston, which passed it to his local election officials. Hello ... if astronauts can express their democratic choices while whizzing around Earth, shouldn't the rest of us be able to have our say in neighborhood polling places or, if we choose, from our own homes?<p>Updated: Wed Sep 23, 2020</p> 4eb2a96e6e08542e5d9cf0e4919acc56 Pandemic in the Plants for 09/16/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/09/20/pandemic-in-the-plants Wed, 16 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Until recently, few people considered the sources of their meat. Then, a coronavirus walked into one after another of Meat Inc.'s humongous rural factories, where more than 90% of U.S. bacon, hamburger, chops, wings and other animal parts are processed. Within weeks, the industry's business model &#8212; immense plants, side-by-side congestion, worker powerlessness and profit-driven executive suite carelessness &#8212; had created hotbeds of contagion. Although the toll is undoubtedly higher, 494 meat factories have acknowledged coronavirus outbreaks that have infected at least 42,534 workers and killed 203.</p> <p>In counties with few doctors and often no hospitals, bodies piled up; workers were refusing to show up; plants were forced to shut down; supermarkets and restaurants across the country rationed meat sales; and &#8212; worst of all in the corporate view &#8212; profits plummeted. <i> What to do? </i><p>Updated: Wed Sep 16, 2020</p> aa3fd94f50a6422878560523ead8b116 Something Is Rotten at Big Meat Inc. for 09/09/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/09/20/something-is-rotten-at-big-meat-inc Wed, 09 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Upton Sinclair's landmark 1905 book, "The Jungle," exposed the food contamination and worker exploitation hidden in the fetid stockyards and meatpacking plants of Chicago and other major American cities. The muckraking journalist dubbed the nasty and brutish meat factories "a monster ... the Great Butcher ... the spirit of capitalism made flesh."</p> <p>The nauseating details of worker and consumer abuses that Sinclair exposed were so horrific that the ensuing public revulsion and outrage were transformative. Congress quickly passed a food purity law (the 1906 Federal Meat Inspection Act), and union organizing drives sparked nationwide contract bargaining that eventually gave long-oppressed meatpacking workers the clout to improve factory conditions and pay. Indeed, by 1970, the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and the United Packinghouse Union had won enforceable safety rules and solid middle-class wages &#8212; about $25 an hour in today's dollars. Now the median wage for hourly workers in meatpacking plants is down to about half that &#8212; $13.23 per hour &#8212; some 30% less than production workers in other manufacturing jobs.<p>Updated: Wed Sep 09, 2020</p> fa05a0c4342eb0992ad0c94ff4896eed The Dow Jones v. the Doug Jones for 09/02/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/09/20/the-dow-jones-v-the-doug-jones Wed, 02 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Wow, how about that Dow?</p> <p>The Dow Jones Industrial Average, I mean, Wall Street's up-to-the-minute report on whether corporate stock prices are going up, down or sideways. It's the one economic indicator that our nation's media and political establishment watch religiously, claiming it tells them how our national economy is performing. <p>Updated: Wed Sep 02, 2020</p> 94954bcd41a31ac2c13dd652226ea267 Where Did the Republican Party Go? for 08/26/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/08/20/where-did-the-republican-party-go Wed, 26 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Wow, what a surprise! Have you seen the Republican Party's official platform? </p> <p>Perhaps, like me, you would have expected it to be a mishmash of Trumpian miasma, laissezfairyland corporate economics, QAnon lunacy, police state authoritarianism and all the other wackiness that today's GOP has been embracing. But, no. Astonishingly, this 18-page policy statement flat-out rejects the elitism, knownothingism and nutballism coming out of the White House and the mouths of nearly every Republican Congress critter.<p>Updated: Wed Aug 26, 2020</p> 68824c1492e61afc27c768a94b8f2c98 Trump's Bass-Ackward Government for 08/19/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/08/20/trumps-bass-ackward-government Wed, 19 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Gosh, President Donald Trump has really been busy lately: busy assailing Sen. Kamala Harris as "nasty;" busy choosing a new pandemic adviser, whose only qualification is that he praises Trump on Fox News; and busy dissing and dismantling our post offices.</p> <p>But, instead of all this Trumpian political stuff, shouldn't a president be, you know, running the government? Nah ... that bores him. Besides, that's why he packed his Cabinet with all those corporate lobbyists and ideologues who've spent their lives trying to rig our government to serve the moneyed elites. Now, empowered by Trump, these special interests <i> are </i> our government, literally setting and running America's economic, environmental, labor, health, education, financial and other public policies. And what a job they're doing &#8212; on us! <p>Updated: Wed Aug 19, 2020</p> f1b4139099d55b6f55c7fac6180fa0d8 Get Into 'Good Trouble': Save Our Post Office ... and Our Right to Vote for 08/12/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/08/20/get-into-good-trouble-save-our-post-office-and-our-right-to-vote Wed, 12 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Every now and then, an enormously beneficial soul comes along &#8212; someone whose work is so productive, honest and inspirational that he or she ought not be allowed to die. That's how I felt last month when I heard that John Lewis had slipped away from us.</p> <p>Since the late 1980s, it had been my good fortune to have known, admired and learned from this civil rights icon and U.S. representative from Georgia. Throughout his exemplary life of progressive activism, Lewis hurled his heart, soul and head (literally!) into fighting the Powers That Be to gain and protect the voting rights of all Americans. As a young movement leader in 1965, he was with Martin Luther King Jr. among the marchers on the front line in Selma, Alabama, who had their heads busted by state troopers for daring to insist that African Americans be allowed to vote.<p>Updated: Wed Aug 12, 2020</p> 78ecc16dc445a926268530a6aea68881 Showing Patriotism in a Time of Chaos for 08/05/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/08/20/showing-patriotism-in-a-time-of-chaos Wed, 05 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I'm flying a flag these days. The Stars and Stripes, Old Glory, America's flag, OUR flag! I've strapped it to my 2011 made-in the-USA Ford Fiesta, and I'm zipping around town as proudly as anyone else in the red, white and blue Bubbaland of South Austin, like some modern-day Patrick Henry on wheels. As with so many others, I'm flying our flag out of an assertive, perhaps defiant pride. For I am proud, damned proud, to be an American citizen. And in this time of true woe and deep national divide, I'll be damned to hell before I meekly sit by and allow this symbol of our nation's founding ideals ... liberty and justice for all ... to be captured and defiled by reactionary autocrats, theocrats, xenophobic haters, warmongers, America Firsters, corporatists, militarists, fearmongers, political weasels and other rank opportunists.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Our flag is no piece of sheeting for authoritarians to hide behind as they rend our hard-won liberties in the name of President Donald Trump.</span> Nor is our flag some bloody rag to be waved by politicians hoping to whip us into such an outrage that they can turn our people's republic into a garrisoned state, armed to the teeth and mired in fear and hatred.<p>Updated: Wed Aug 05, 2020</p> 2f4f82211be6a8266032778e6724ea6c Crime in the Suites for 07/29/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/07/20/crime-in-the-suites Wed, 29 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>There's a crime wave underway in America, but the Powers That Be are getting sore necks from looking the other way. I'm talking about corporate crime. When it comes to robbing us blind, the Armani-clad criminals in corporate boardrooms have it all over the hoods on the street. The FBI reckons that property crime cost U.S. taxpayers $16 billion in 2018. Securities traders alone cream four times that amount from their clients in fraudulent deals every year. And as far as white-collar crime goes, securities fraud is small potatoes. From oil spills to price fixing to peddling defective or dangerous products, corporations are responsible for the costliest and deadliest crimes in this country.</p> <p>Yet <span class="column--highlighted-text">when it comes to enforcing the law and meting out punishment, corporations get treated with kid gloves so soft only their CEOs could afford them</span>. They're all but immune to the criminal penalties applied to regular citizens. Even when a corporation gets caught by its own egregiousness, committing acts so outrageous and heinous and on such a scale that the authorities grudgingly have to haul them into court, they're usually subject to no more than civil penalties and fines. (Can you imagine some CEO getting dragged through grimy precinct hallways, fingerprinted and thrown into a cell to wait for a frantic loved one to scrape together bail?)<p>Updated: Wed Jul 29, 2020</p> 7aecb960079f290653109589867439b6 The Exceptional Greed of Health Care Executives for 07/22/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/07/20/the-exceptional-greed-of-health-care-executives Wed, 22 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Sometimes I don't know whether to weep uncontrollably, laugh hysterically or just throw up.</p> <p>I recently did all three when I came across yet another outbreak of sickening greed pouring out of America's corporate executive suites during today's raging health crisis. What made this one especially nauseating was that the perpetrators are honchos of major health care corporations!<p>Updated: Wed Jul 22, 2020</p> 0757e47c6d23ade81b0fd4e41ba2f47d Spinning Around on Trump's Money-Go-Round for 07/15/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/07/20/spinning-around-on-trumps-money-go-round Wed, 15 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The Donald is in a funk. He's been outsmarted by an inert virus. His poll numbers are tanking, and even his demagogic pep rallies are falling flat.</p> <p>So, who to turn to for political comfort? Why, of course, Trump's true loyalists: his diehard cadre of Washington's corporate lobbyists. I don't merely mean those elites of K-Street and Wall Street who dominate his Cabinet, constituting the official Trump government of, by, and for corporate greed. He also has a "kitchen cabinet." Operating out of public view, it's an unofficial collection of highly paid influence peddlers who're still practicing the dark art of bending government power to the wishes of selfish corporate interests. Each of them is paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year by brand-name clients &#8212; from Amazon to Walgreens &#8212; to get favors from Trump. In turn, these little-known lobbyists have now adopted The Donald as their chief client, funneling millions of special-interest dollars into his reelection campaign with the understanding that he'll keep channeling tax breaks, regulatory exemptions and public dollars to the corporate donors. It's the Washington money-go-round, merrily corrupting our government.</p> <p>Who are these no-name corrupters? David Urban is one, considered the best-connected corporate huckster in the Trump swamp. He's an old college pal of both Pentagon chief Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Moreover, he's become such a close buddy of Donald himself that he's known as a "Trump Whisperer," able to work around the furies that rage in that strange orange head. <p>Updated: Wed Jul 15, 2020</p> 612800ce4c1ac3144f256f2bf2e5341c Sacrificing People to Corporate Profit for 07/08/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/07/20/sacrificing-people-to-corporate-profit Wed, 08 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I think I've figured out the real reason President Donald Trump refuses to wear a coronavirus mask: He realizes that we'd all recognize him as the masked robber who has been moving furtively behind the scenes during the pandemic to rig the rules against workaday folks in order to further enrich corporate elites.</p> <p>With media attention riveted by COVID-19 body counts and political flare-ups over mask wearing, Trump & Co. have felt free to monkey-wrench labor laws, dynamite environmental regulations, jiggle open the locks on corporate profiteering, manipulate the tax code and generally burglarize our people's commitment to the Common Good. It's like Robin Hood and his Merry Band &#8212; only in reverse, stealing from the many to give more to the rich few.<p>Updated: Wed Jul 08, 2020</p> 45acbb75ad3b246f73d87d9d5b0c5d64 The GOP's Grotesque Plan to Cope With COVID-19 for 07/01/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/06/20/the-gops-grotesque-plan-to-cope-with-covid-19 Wed, 01 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Harking back to the embarrassing days of Gov. Rick "Oops" Perry, my state of Texas is once again saddled with a Republican gubernatorial goober. Greg Abbott is this guy's name, and he's another incompetent right-wing ideologue whose botched handling of our state's COVID-19 crisis makes President Donald Trump look like a master administrator of public health.</p> <p>Unfortunately for you non-Texans, Gov. Abbott's extreme gooberness is now surging across our borders to afflict people in your state. Before we go there, though, ponder his slapstick performance here, where he's been swatting futilely at the fast-moving coronavirus.<p>Updated: Wed Jul 01, 2020</p> 4f742bf9936aadadc0c2ac8e2516f539 Moving Forward During the COVID Crisis for 06/24/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/06/20/moving-forward-during-the-covid-crisis Wed, 24 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In February and March primary elections, a cabal of backroom political geniuses rushed out a coordinated campaign, screeching that impending doom would await the Democratic Party if it were to actually run on democratic ideas like Medicare for All, paid sick leave, universal basic income and expanded unemployment aid. Too bold, they wailed, too socialistic-y-sounding ... too <i> scary </i>! Clueless billionaire Mike Bloomberg actually hurled the "communism" smear at Sen. Bernie Sanders' policy ideas. Better to go slow with Joe, they warbled, for he's the safe choice &#8212; a trusted lifelong insider who'll excite voters with his unexciting, steady-as-she-goes conventionality.</p> <p>Then, KABLOOEY! In a flash, conventionality started coughing, gasping and dying. Instantly, the public was clamoring for (and even the GOP-controlled Senate was voting for) the very remedies that Biden & Co. were so loudly decrying as extremist. <p>Updated: Wed Jun 24, 2020</p> b1ef666c49043c3d5f043910f65448a9 COVID-19 Is Prompting a Societywide Recalculation for 06/17/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/06/20/covid-19-is-prompting-a-societywide-recalculation Wed, 17 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Laissez-faire ideologue Ronald Reagan used to delight in mocking the very idea that government should provide health protection, food aid, income support or other public assistance to people in need. The Gipper derided "big government" as both a hopeless bungler and an insatiable beast that devours individual freedom, quipping that, "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help." The line was a sure-fire crowd pleaser, winning applause and guffaws from those who bought into his demagogic warnings about "creeping socialism."</p> <p>However, then came COVID-19, and those guffawing at stale jokes about big, bad government have suddenly been drowned out by anxious and angry cries bursting out of practically every ZIP code in our land: "Where the hell is our government?!" It turns out that the right-wing's socialist boogeyman is far less terrifying, even to right-wingers, than the absence of actual socialism when you need it.<p>Updated: Wed Jun 17, 2020</p> ae984ce545d0c5f18970ec6733d461fe George Floyd, Me, You ... and a Donald Trump Coup! for 06/10/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/06/20/george-floyd-me-you-and-a-donald-trump-coup Wed, 10 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Viewing the video of George Floyd's gruesome murder, one word in particular from him stuck in my head, one painful human utterance that conveys the horror of it all. "Mama," Floyd cried out in desperation and disbelief as his life was cruelly and senselessly suffocated in yet another brutal white-on-black slaying by so-called officers of the law.</p> <p>This can't be America. Can it? <p>Updated: Wed Jun 10, 2020</p> 1d3ba25dc5fe1d04f6106cc500fa282f The Militarization of 'Officer Friendly' for 06/03/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/06/20/the-militarization-of-officer-friendly-8bbfc Wed, 03 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>From 1776 forward, Americans have opposed having soldiers do police work on our soil, but in recent years, Pentagon chiefs have teamed up with police chiefs to circumvent that prohibition. How? Simply by militarizing police departments.</p> <p>Through the little-known 1033 program, the Pentagon has been shipping massive amounts of surplus war equipment to our local gendarmes. This reflects a fundamental rewiring of the mindset now guiding neighborhood policing. Police chiefs commonly send out squads brandishing heavy arms and garbed in riot gear for peaceful situations. Recruiting videos feature clips of SWAT team officers dressed in black, hurling smoke grenades into homes and then storming them, firing automatic weapons. Who wants anyone recruited by that video working their neighborhood? <p>Updated: Wed Jun 03, 2020</p> 129ce8c8edb94dbfa11e24aba90fe943 What's Behind a Mask? for 05/27/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/05/20/whats-behind-a-mask Wed, 27 May 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><span style="background-color: initial;">For future historians and artists who'll chronicle today's health and economic crisis, one humble item will stand out as the chief cultural emblem of the times: wearing a mask. Or not.</span><br></p> <p>These low-tech, low-cost, high-impact coverings for the nose and mouth are so simple and effective at helping reduce the COVID-19 infection rate that our top political leaders' failure to produce, distribute and require them en masse when the pandemic first spread ranks somewhere between stupid and criminal. Yet, following the visual example set by doctors, nurses and other health professionals (including morticians!), the people themselves took the lead, rapidly making homemade masks a booming cottage industry and a charitable act. Artists quickly chipped in with creative designs. Impish youngsters put masks on public statues. Cartoonists masked their characters. And, of course, satirists produced photos of President Donald Trump wearing a mask ... over his eyes.<p>Updated: Wed May 27, 2020</p> 185bdb3fbe3ec624b0161f8f7fb5c6d3 What Is for 05/20/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/05/20/what-is-iyyikowa-and-why-do-we-need-more-of-it Wed, 20 May 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Charles Dickens, writing about the inequality and social turmoil leading to the French Revolution, noted, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."</p> <p>So it is today, with the horrific COVID-19 killer both ravaging the globe and intensifying the inequality that was already rending social unity. Consider the experiences of one especially hard-hit group in our country: Native Americans. The Navajo Nation alone has become one of the worst of America's COVID hotspots, with a higher death rate than all but four states. Yet, in an example of the worst of times, Trump & Co. delayed disbursement of $8 billion in coronavirus relief funds that Congress had set aside for tribal governments. The disease raged through Indian Country for six crucial weeks while Trump officials sat on the money. People died.<p>Updated: Wed May 20, 2020</p>