Joe Conason from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sat, 24 Oct 2020 04:55:45 -0700 Joe Conason from Creators Syndicate be6c3228273daf91e33355d0b412ba33 Those Biden Smears Collapse for 10/22/2020 Thu, 22 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>If you were a Trump supporter anticipating a ruinous assault on Joe Biden's integrity during that final debate, too bad. What you got instead was a series of incomprehensible outbursts from President Donald Trump, who seems to assume that everybody believes whatever nonsense they hear on Fox News, just like he does.</p> <p>The day after the debate was even more disappointing. The Wall Street Journal, owned by Fox News chairman Rupert Murdoch himself, dropped a front-page investigative report that directly contradicted Trump's accusations about Biden and China. The only candidate with unseemly business over there is Trump himself, whose secret account in a Chinese bank was just exposed. </p> <p>For months, Trump and his minions have hyped allegations of financial corruption against Biden and his son Hunter Biden. Trump got himself impeached, with the help of legal genius Rudy Giuliani, over his attempt to force Ukraine's president to open a fake corruption probe of the former vice president and Burisma, the energy firm that once employed Hunter. Their deception collapsed when Trump and Obama administration officials testified &#8212; with ample documentary evidence &#8212; that Biden had done nothing to protect Burisma and only carried out United States and European initiatives against corruption in Ukraine.<p>Updated: Fri Oct 23, 2020</p> ff10fa8b46156b3429369cbe66f3f1c4 Are Biden Emails Just 'Fake News'? for 10/15/2020 Thu, 15 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>What a stroke of luck for Donald Trump, just when the president's election prospects look irretrievably bleak: A trove of incriminating emails has turned up that supposedly connect Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden to a dubious businessman in Ukraine. Uncovered by the president's own intrepid lawyer Rudy Giuliani and his former adviser Steve Bannon, the newly discovered emails suggest that Biden is as corrupt as they've been saying for months.</p> <p>Supposedly sent by Vadym Pozharskyi, a consultant for Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that paid the younger Biden to join its board of directors, the emails thank him for making an introduction to his father, then the vice president of the United States. If that actually happened, then the Democratic presidential nominee lied about distancing himself from his son's business activities. Trump himself bellowed about the "smoking gun" emails at his Iowa rally on Wednesday evening, saying, "Joe Biden has been blatantly lying about his involvement in his son's corrupt business dealings!"<p>Updated: Thu Oct 15, 2020</p> 0a7b67d0a01c8ee850d7ab4d13a12852 The White House Under a Black Sky for 10/01/2020 Thu, 01 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>After months of unscientific experimentation, the president of the United States has completed his transformation into a biological weapon. </p> <p>Infected with the coronavirus because he rejected the advice of government experts, Donald Trump can no longer evade the consequences of the policy and political choices he has made since last winter. With every wrong move, he brought himself and the country closer to this fateful moment. How many lives his terrible exercise in deception and self-deception will cost remains to be seen, but we now know that he does not hesitate to endanger even those closest to him.<p>Updated: Fri Oct 02, 2020</p> 38071b34bd66a65c2e60c0f6917adf80 Hands Off Those Military Ballots for 09/24/2020 Thu, 24 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>When President Donald Trump demands that we "get rid of the ballots," everyone knows exactly what he means. Since last spring, the aspiring tinpot dictator in the White House has spit out daily tweets full of falsehoods about mail ballots, which he calls "awful," "terrible" and "ripe for FRAUD." He pretends to draw a distinction between mail-in ballots and absentee ballots &#8212; the method used by him and many others in the White House to vote &#8212; but in actual practice, there is no such difference.</p> <p>Among the malignant effects of that Trump dictate would be the disenfranchisement of millions of American soldiers, their families and other military personnel when the time comes to vote.<p>Updated: Fri Sep 25, 2020</p> 77af4277c0529f3caf041a5e75487502 The Cult That's Eating the GOP for 09/10/2020 Thu, 10 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>For a certain kind of Republican, it is hard to imagine anything worse than the party founded by Abraham Lincoln transmogrified into the party of Donald Trump. Some of those Republicans have openly abandoned the once Grand Old Party, while others quietly await a reform or restoration. Only a few have acknowledged so far that the authoritarian and racist trends in their party cannot be blamed on Trump alone and were visible well before he took over.</p> <p>Yet as awful and dangerous as Trump undeniably is, there may be something worse ahead for Republicans. That thing is called QAnon, the online phenomenon that has declared war on an international conspiracy of elitist pedophiles and cannibals, which, of course, doesn't exist.<p>Updated: Fri Sep 11, 2020</p> e407aea2c895944d9fd80d49b77377fd A Duty To Speak Up for 09/03/2020 Thu, 03 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>So far, nobody in the United States military, including those retired from service, has expressed great surprise over President Donald Trump's alleged remarks about soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. Anger and disgust, yes, but not surprise.</p> <p>Given his record of disrespect toward those who have worn the uniform, the comments reported in The Atlantic magazine are no longer surprising. Despite his responsibilities as commander in chief, Trump has never spared the armed services or their officers from his narcissistic bile.</p> <p>Poisonous vanity &#8212; and deep insecurity &#8212; form the core of Trump's being, which is why he regards soldiers who are captured, tortured or die in combat as "suckers" and "losers" rather than heroes. He cannot imagine sacrificing anything for others, let alone his country. He fraudulently avoided military service as a son of privilege and scorns those who either couldn't or didn't do likewise. As for those who stepped forward to volunteer and shed blood in America's defense, he has one question: "What was in it for them?"<p>Updated: Fri Sep 04, 2020</p> 31c99ccdf117052719ed3c5a23d19e62 Neither Law nor Order but Bloody Chaos for 08/27/2020 Thu, 27 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>On the eve of her departure from the White House, after the arrest of a 17-year-old "militia" gunman for a double homicide, Kellyanne Conway blurted a gloating observation: "The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who's best on public safety and law and order."</p> <p>To anyone familiar with the methods of fascism, the Trump adviser's ugly boast was telling. Authoritarian parties and regimes, dating from the era of the Reichstag fire and Kristallnacht, have always covertly encouraged violent disorders to justify their own repressive acts. Beneath President Donald Trump's rhetoric of "law and order" lies not only the notorious lawlessness of the president and his cronies but also his incessant instigation of crime and brutality on the far right. He is assuredly not the choice of anyone who hopes to improve the nation's security.</p> <p>Before Trump, no modern president had ever encouraged his followers to consider their fellow citizens as enemies who pose a threat to the nation and must be somehow extirpated. By repeatedly tweeting outrageous calumnies against his political adversaries &#8212; claiming that Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, George Soros and many others committed "treason" &#8212; he has provoked violent plots against them. By shrieking false alarms about "invading immigrants" and "election fraud," he has driven his armed followers to imagine that America is on the verge of civil war. And with his constant drone of white resentment, he has assisted recruiting neo-Nazi extremists, even as he pretends not to know who they are.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 28, 2020</p> b84fba089c579cc3dafe0874e946c67b How the Clinton Diversion Shields Trump for 08/20/2020 Thu, 20 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Only hours before Bill Clinton addressed the Democratic National Convention on Aug. 18, a strange thing happened. The tabloids published newly discovered photos of the former president receiving a neck massage from a young woman. The pictures were allegedly taken in 2002 during a Clinton Foundation trip to Africa on the jet owned by Jeffrey Epstein, who was revealed years later to be a rapist, thug and serial exploiter of young women. The woman in those photos is Chauntae Davies, then 22 years old and a massage therapist employed by Epstein. She accused him many years later of having raped and mistreated her. </p> <p>But the story didn't support the sensational headlines &#8212; "Photos Show Clinton Getting Massage From Epstein Accuser" &#8212; because Davies has told every journalist or lawyer who has asked that Clinton's behavior on that trip was always perfectly appropriate, including when she tried to soothe his aching neck. (She wasn't an "Epstein accuser" when she met Clinton, because there weren't any Epstein accusers until at least three years later.) <p>Updated: Thu Aug 20, 2020</p> b934427ea9ca7ebc646a8aeb2117d9eb Kamala Reaction Reveals Republican Pathologies for 08/13/2020 Thu, 13 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>What was for most Americans a moment of inspiration &#8212; the ascent of Sen. Kamala Harris, a woman of African and Indian descent, to a national party ticket &#8212; has instead provoked paranoia and rage on the Republican right. Along with the usual petty insults spat by President Donald Trump, his minions in the media are returning to their habitual obsessions of nativism, racism and misogyny.</p> <p>It is a repellent and buffoonish spectacle, but it is unlikely to make any impression on voters who don't already share Trump's narrow and delusional worldview.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 13, 2020</p> 9e3436dd7da40ac0bd8754510332b830 Ripping Down Trump's 'Treason' Conspiracy for 08/06/2020 Thu, 06 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>History matters, especially when an unscrupulous president constantly seeks to revise and distort fundamental facts as events unfold. This week, a courageous law enforcement official stepped forward to correct the record at last, and under oath.</p> <p>Over the past two years, as the Russia and Ukraine investigations unfolded, President Donald Trump has tried repeatedly to turn the expanding indictment of his own criminal misconduct into a case against his political adversaries. "Treason!" he tweets every few days, punctuating his outlandish claim that the investigations of sleazy and potentially unlawful behavior by him, members of his family, his campaign aides and his appointees represented a nefarious "deep state" conspiracy.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 06, 2020</p> 6fd8be0b2eb6cf76ffc9b7be6ef33851 Republicans Skirmish Aboard Their Sinking Ship for 07/23/2020 Thu, 23 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Even if November's electoral tsunami is still just a rumor on the horizon, that big blue wave already is rocking Republican boats. We can sense something different in the distance, not only because the polls say so but because political journalism has departed from its banal narrative.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Instead of the repetitious dullness of "Democrats in disarray," there is the freshly entertaining spectacle of "Republican civil war."</span><p>Updated: Thu Jul 23, 2020</p> 105a5f60c68ca9a5e4d4ac7537dab1c6 Biden Seizes Our Last Chance for 07/16/2020 Thu, 16 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>One of the worst failings of political journalism in our time was just illustrated again. When Joe Biden delivered a path-breaking address on climate change, he drew less media coverage than a rumored shakeup in the Trump campaign. Do you care more about the fate of Republican grifters &#8212; or the fate of the Earth?</p> <p>Even reporters who prefer process over substance could find an angle in Biden's speech, because it represented such a clear break with his own past positioning on the climate issue. In a radical departure from his "moderate" stance during the Democratic primaries, the former vice president is proposing a far more intense program, on a faster schedule that will cost a lot more money.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 16, 2020</p> c7d417bbecfef7ebdca94fda07eb48df Let's Not Kill Our Heroes for 07/09/2020 Thu, 09 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Among the lessons taught by the pandemic is to value the people who make life possible in this country. They are hospital employees, ambulance drivers, cops and firefighters, of course, but also delivery workers, grocery clerks, utility workers, mail carriers and a panoply of others who confronted danger every day for months and still do. Most of us didn't notice how routinely they were overlooked, underpaid, dismissed and even disparaged until they helped us survive a lockdown.</p> <p>Millions of parents have lately discovered, if they didn't already know, that teachers are among the most undervalued professionals in America. Trying to wrangle children at home every day, let alone induce them to learn, has schooled anyone who might have felt that our educators make more money than they deserve. So if we've discovered how essential these workers truly are, shouldn't we treat them as we would hope to be treated ourselves? And if we're committed to redressing fundamental inequities, shouldn't we start now &#8212; not wait until some distant day when the crisis is over?<p>Updated: Thu Jul 09, 2020</p> 77fc740b71467ed6a9d4c676c21749d4 What No Patriot Would Ever Do for 07/02/2020 Thu, 02 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"Performative patriotism" is a fancy way of describing what my father &#8212; a veteran of World War II who rarely spoke about his service &#8212; called "jelly-bellied flag flappers." Dad always laughed at those phonies, but we now suffer a president who is exactly that type, only worse. And Donald Trump's flag-flapping fakery is no joke.</p> <p>A performative patriot is someone who, like Trump, oversells his supposed love of country, his reverence for the Stars and Stripes and, especially, his indignation at those whom he suspects of lacking his deep fervor. Such a figure will, like Trump, attempt to market these counterfeit emotions for his own benefit. And like Trump, that loud jingo is someone whose character will lead to a betrayal of American values.<p>Updated: Fri Jul 03, 2020</p> eb3841948faa8b77d98f61a68666c2f8 A Contrast So Stark for 06/25/2020 Thu, 25 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><span style="background-color: initial;">Protecting the lives and health of citizens ought to be the most basic duty of any government. But the Trump administration, abnormal and toxic, is evidently determined to inflict illness and death on as many Americans as possible.</span><br></p> <p>Consider what President Donald Trump and his minions have done over the past few days (not to mention the past several months). Owing to their feckless insistence on reopening the economy, the coronavirus has again surged across the country, from Florida to Texas to California, infecting tens of thousands &#8212; many of whom will soon need care in overburdened hospitals. Yet the federal government has simultaneously announced a drastic cutback in testing funds. They're suppressing the numbers rather than the disease.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 26, 2020</p> 02e1ff75cdbb3a347a1cae932e288801 What Bolton's Memoir Tells Us for 06/18/2020 Thu, 18 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>What can we learn from John Bolton's new memoir? History will not absolve him, his execrable ex-boss Donald Trump or the Republican political apparatus that has enabled the toxic Trump regime.</p> <p>Well before Bolton's book arrived, we already knew the single most important fact about the Trump presidency and Trump himself: He and the Republicans who surround him are willing to sacrifice tens of thousands of American lives if their deaths might somehow promote his reelection.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 19, 2020</p> 86386649408ca1206051b6ff82b724e7 Tearing Down the Symbols of Slavery for 06/11/2020 Thu, 11 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Suddenly confronted with the enduring realities of racism in our time, white Americans are looking back at the history we have too often forgotten &#8212; and the ways that our amnesia has distorted the nation's culture. Now we have arrived at a time for remembrance, and reckoning.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Perhaps the most damning proof of our neglect over the past century or more are the flags, monuments and other remnants of the old Confederacy displayed all over the country.</span> While the pressure of the moment is prompting institutions as diverse as universities, city governments and even NASCAR to remove those stains from our public life, the usual suspects are defending them, led by President Donald Trump, the clown who proclaims his superiority to Abraham Lincoln.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 12, 2020</p> 2f72a2e01460fdfcc8701be0de3509ab A Timely Warning From the Generals for 06/04/2020 Thu, 04 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Under ordinary circumstances, open dissent from high-ranking military officials, retired and active, against the actions of civilian political leaders would signal a danger familiar to other countries. Such rumblings from the military often indicate that constitutional freedoms are in jeopardy and that martial law, or even a coup d'etat, may be on the horizon.</p> <p>In these extraordinary circumstances, however, all expectations are reversed &#8212; and the usual order of things is turned upside down.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 04, 2020</p> 15abc58970d0e0b274d6c20a0b28ba3b A Case of Negligent Homicide for 05/28/2020 Thu, 28 May 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>A normal president of either political party would have read by now the dark milestone that the country passed this week, when American deaths from coronavirus passed 100,000 in a space of three months. A normal president would have felt compelled to face up to this terrible reality in a spirit of unity and compassion, speaking to us from the Oval Office or a house of worship. A normal president would not brush aside those deaths with a perfunctory tweet, wedged with minimal sincerity into his daily outpouring of poison.</p> <p>But Donald Trump isn't a normal president. He is a perpetrator. And he cannot respond appropriately to this monumental tragedy &#8212; he must instead do anything he can to distract us &#8212; because he is conscious of his own guilt. <p>Updated: Fri May 29, 2020</p> 81f570fefa24ce37e1833aca0288533d The First Scandal of Campaign 2024 for 05/21/2020 Thu, 21 May 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Do you remember Mike Pompeo?</p> <p>Not the Pompeo who now serves as secretary of state, and who liked to boast that he had restored the "swagger" of the diplomatic corps (even as he served up his own Ukraine ambassador to a White House smear campaign). And no, not the sleazy character who induced the firing of the State Department's inspector general in order to bury an investigation of his own misconduct. This Secretary Pompeo is a flunky of President Donald Trump who lives happily inside the president's ethical vacuum.<p>Updated: Fri May 22, 2020</p>