Joe Conason from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Fri, 14 Aug 2020 15:21:45 -0700 Joe Conason from Creators Syndicate 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> 2c1eed1f4bc7a7b97484aa7821f0753a A Prescription for a Sick Country for 05/14/2020 Thu, 14 May 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Before June 1, we will almost certainly have lost 100,000 Americans to the coronavirus, along with 25 million jobs. Without powerful government action, this national catastrophe, unlike anything seen here for a hundred years, will continue to ravage the United States. And there is every reason to fear that we will see yet more pandemic disease as this century unfolds. </p> <p>Yet there is still no sign that the Trump administration is prepared to act with the determination, skill and urgency that the hour demands. Instead, the president consistently demonstrates his mental and moral unfitness to lead &#8212; as he did again this week when he idiotically declared that we have so many COVID-19 cases because we have done so many tests.<p>Updated: Fri May 15, 2020</p> fb8336f57d32597745d3df06670dc043 The Travel Ban That Wasn't for 05/07/2020 Thu, 07 May 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Now that President Donald Trump has surrendered the United States to the coronavirus &#8212; without much available testing, except for himself and his White House cronies &#8212; the toll of illness and death is sure to explode. As America counts the cost of their horrific incompetence, in the midst of his reelection campaign, the president will trumpet his sole attempt to stem the looming pandemic: his closing of the nation's borders to China and later Europe.</p> <p>"I put the ban on China, as you know," he said at a press briefing on April 20, uttering the defensive mantra he repeats whenever anyone mentions his refusal to do anything useful. Lately, he has congratulated himself that way at least once a day. It's an essential element of the administration's policy of deflecting blame toward Beijing. Sometimes he mentions that he "put a ban on Europe" and even says that his courageous actions "saved many lives."<p>Updated: Thu May 07, 2020</p> 1863d6447b254afdb0aa5e99b3867cad Bless Their Hearts for 04/30/2020 Thu, 30 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Nothing angers Andrew Cuomo more than the notion that taxpayers in "red states" should resent or resist assistance for "blue states" struggling against the coronavirus. Hearing that message from Senate Republicans provoked the Democratic New York governor to remind the nation several times of the gross disparity between what his state remits to the Treasury and what their states reclaim in federal benefits.</p> <p>Cuomo noted acidly that New York pays $116 billion more than it gets back annually, while lucky Kentucky, the home of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, gets $148 billion more than it pays. By that reckoning, New York has kicked in far more over the past few decades than any of the states whose Republican leaders criticize supposed liberal profligacy.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 30, 2020</p> ec4d92fa27281e579517a43cf247bb2f Mitch McConnell's True Colors for 04/23/2020 Thu, 23 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>If you're listening to politicians, you hear them sing bipartisan praise for the heroes who march bravely into the viral storm every day. They constantly eulogize doctors and nurses, cops and firefighters, but also those who maintain essential services amid the coronavirus catastrophe &#8212; from grocery clerks to delivery drivers to sanitation workers, train conductors and traffic engineers. Suddenly, we have all realized that those good people, whose thankless toil we took for granted, deserve our gratitude and respect.</p> <p>Or so it seemed until Mitch McConnell opened his mouth and proved that, to him at least, those civic accolades mean nothing.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 24, 2020</p> e0e2da2d06c1ac07effd0a043c1ff2e3 There Is Nobody Else to Blame for 04/16/2020 Thu, 16 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>When he isn't watching Fox News or tweeting insults at his perceived enemies, President Donald Trump spends a lot of time hunting scapegoats. Always preoccupied with escaping responsibility, Trump's lifelong delinquency is suddenly a matter of life and death, as coronavirus claims thousands of American lives on his presidential watch. And as it becomes clearer that the United States might have easily avoided the worst consequences of the pandemic &#8212; and failed because of federal inaction &#8212; it is Trump whose historic reputation will plummet.</p> <p>So will his chances of reelection. The latest Gallup poll shows his approval rating, now mired in the low 40s, has slid six points during the past month.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 16, 2020</p> 689a37e57c8cee636a97afa2df9dcce6 Correcting Trump's Lies in Real Time for 04/09/2020 Thu, 09 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><span style="background-color: initial;">For weeks now, the nation's broadcasters have faced a moral dilemma every time President Donald Trump mounts the White House podium to deliver his "coronavirus briefing." While ordinary journalistic standards compel coverage of any president's remarks &#8212; especially during a national crisis &#8212; this president's relentless utterance of falsehoods, propaganda points and potentially deadly disinformation mocks those same standards.</span><br></p> <p>Should media outlets meekly give Trump hours of free airtime to mislead and misinform their audiences? Can they cut short or even ignore his destructive rants without violating their own principles? When the president's speech poses a daily menace to human health and American democracy, how should responsible TV networks present him? <p>Updated: Fri Apr 10, 2020</p> 73eecf41f90ec00e60e8e21bf8870201 We Need a 9/11 Commission to Probe Coronavirus for 04/02/2020 Thu, 02 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Americans are now living &#8212; and many, many are dying &#8212; with the consequences of a truly historic governmental failure. The administration of President Donald Trump, which bears all the responsibility it is trying to escape, has collapsed in the face of a global pandemic that scientists have long warned would someday arrive. Now it is here, threatening to kill hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions. </p> <p>Sooner, rather than later, we must learn why this catastrophe occurred, why the United States government neglected to anticipate and prepare for it, and how the nation can prevent or at least mitigate its recurrence. That's why we will need a coronavirus commission to provide answers, along with the same kind of deep and thorough investigation performed by the 9/11 Commission after that disaster.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 02, 2020</p> 8de9a1a4c0ecb8fa82bca26e5d72c157 The Virtues of Andrew Cuomo for 03/26/2020 Thu, 26 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><span style="background-color: initial;">Every day, as the novel coronavirus spreads lethally across the nation, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is conducting a televised master class in government that has drawn a wide and admiring audience. Lauded for his elevated and candid leadership, he is underlining the absence of any such qualities in the president of the United States right when they are needed most.</span><br></p> <p>Where President Donald Trump so often sounds feckless, egomaniacal and terribly uninformed, Cuomo appears serious, determined and fully in command of the facts. While Trump dithers and tries to escape responsibility, Cuomo asserts his authority and then accepts the inevitable blame for wrenching decisions. It is all too obvious which one is the adult in the room. Trump boasts of his phony greatness, while Cuomo can rattle off a long list of real achievements.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 27, 2020</p>