Michael Barone from Creators Syndicate http://creators.dev.cre8ors.org/read/michael-barone Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sun, 23 Sep 2018 05:58:06 -0700 http://creators.dev.cre8ors.org/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Michael Barone from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/michael-barone-thumb.jpg http://creators.dev.cre8ors.org/read/michael-barone 7dc12548dcde178f17515aadd358d449 The Air Has Seeped out of the Russia-Collusion Balloon for 09/21/2018 http://creators.dev.cre8ors.org/read/michael-barone/09/18/the-air-has-seeped-out-of-the-russia-collusion-balloon Fri, 21 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>"I did not, and of course I looked for it, looked for it hard." That was Bob Woodward, promoting his book on the Trump White House, "Fear," replying to talk radio host and columnist Hugh Hewitt's question "Did you, Bob Woodward, hear anything in your research, in your interviews, that sounded like espionage or collusion?"</p> <p>"You've seen no collusion?" Hewitt followed up. "I have not," Woodward replied.</p> <p>Can we take this as definitive evidence that there's nothing to the theory, widely bruited these past two years by top intelligence and FBI officials, and by numerous Democrats, that President Trump or his campaign colluded with the Russians? <p>Updated: Fri Sep 21, 2018</p> 92ce1c46d2c17f8930944d19270ae11a A Cold Wind off Lake Michigan -- for Chicago and America for 09/14/2018 http://creators.dev.cre8ors.org/read/michael-barone/09/18/a-cold-wind-off-lake-michigan-for-chicago-and-america Fri, 14 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>"It's the Lord of the Flies on LaSalle Street," wrote columnist John Kass in the Chicago Tribune. In case the references are unclear, whether because high schools haven't been assigning the William Golding novel in the last few decades or because out-of-towners unaccountably don't realize that Chicago's City Hall front is on LaSalle Street, the curmudgeonly Kass was writing about Mayor Rahm Emanuel's announcement that he won't run for a third term as mayor next February.</p> <p>Should readers from outside Chicagoland care? Yes, because Emanuel's surprise exit is a sign of the unworkability of policies that will go national if Resistance Democrats oust Donald Trump, and indeed of some policies embraced by Trump as well.</p> <p>Emanuel will be leaving office as a frustrated and unsuccessful mayor, even though he is one of the great political talents of his generation. Former Clinton fundraiser and White House staffer, Chicago congressman and chairman of House Democrats' campaign committee when they overturned a Republican majority in 2006: He's done it all.<p>Updated: Fri Sep 14, 2018</p> 0b4c73f86966abc1a3f39d4532cd98c4 Democrats' Visions of Hand Signals From White Supremacists for 09/07/2018 http://creators.dev.cre8ors.org/read/michael-barone/09/18/democrats-visions-of-hand-signals-from-white-supremacists Fri, 07 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The highlight, at least for some television watchers, of the first day of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, came when the young woman seated directly behind the nominee rested her right hand on her opposite elbow and pressed her index fingertip against her thumb, forming a kind of circle or OK sign.</p> <p>The meaning of this gesture was not lost on certain alert viewers. "Who is she? What's up with the white power sign?" tweeted one Keith R. Dumas, quoted by the Daily Caller.<p>Updated: Fri Sep 07, 2018</p> 31601f242ccbf3ae5e81329457384183 John McCain: Warm Remembrances of Roads Not Taken, or Taken and Now Abandoned for 08/31/2018 http://creators.dev.cre8ors.org/read/michael-barone/08/18/john-mccain-warm-remembrances-of-roads-not-taken-or-taken-and-now-abandoned Fri, 31 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Warm remembrances of Sen. John McCain have been filling the political air since his death last weekend. They'll continue through his the memorial service in Phoenix, his funeral Saturday at Washington National Cathedral and his interment at the Naval Academy cemetery in Annapolis on Sunday. </p> <p>Praise has been voiced by longtime political foes, admiration from recent detractors and recollections of his (self- and other-) deprecating wit from those long close to him. <p>Updated: Fri Aug 31, 2018</p> f57e6804d8ba913cec8f05a911bde099 Democrats Better off Playing by the Rules Than Denouncing the Rules for 08/24/2018 http://creators.dev.cre8ors.org/read/michael-barone/08/18/democrats-better-off-playing-by-the-rules-than-denouncing-the-rules Fri, 24 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>When you lose a game, particularly a game you had good reason to expect you'd win, do you try to figure out how to play better? Or is your first reaction to demand changes in the rules?</p> <p>In the case of the Democratic Party, it's the latter. Perhaps that comes naturally to a party that takes some pride in having advocated changes in rules that everyone today sees as unfair (even those they enacted themselves, like racial segregation laws). But <span class="column--highlighted-text">sometimes it's wiser to change the way you play than to denounce long-established rules</span>.</p> <p>The Democrats argue that they've been winning more votes but don't control the federal government. They've won a plurality of the popular vote in six of the last seven presidential elections but elected presidents in only four of them. That darn Electoral College &#8212; "land," as one liberal commentator puts it &#8212; gave the presidency to George W. Bush in 2000 and Donald Trump in 2016.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 24, 2018</p> 35a4f73da4e9fe670016d51f00d522a0 Has Trump Delivered on His Economic Promises? for 08/17/2018 http://creators.dev.cre8ors.org/read/michael-barone/08/18/has-trump-delivered-on-his-economic-promises Fri, 17 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Is President Trump fulfilling candidate Trump's promises? </p> <p>You can make a case that he is, based on some surprising and widely unexpected economic developments. Vice President Mike Pence, writing in The Des Moines Register, put it succinctly: "The evidence is clear: America is back." He adds, "It's no accident."<p>Updated: Fri Aug 17, 2018</p> 96d9b7270b5149e04e57306610283585 Clues on Which Party Will Lose the House for 08/10/2018 http://creators.dev.cre8ors.org/read/michael-barone/08/18/clues-on-which-party-will-lose-the-house Fri, 10 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>We're heading into the home stretch in America's unusually lengthy (six months and nine days) primary election season. Some three-quarters of Americans have had a chance to vote for Democratic and Republican candidates for Congress, and state and local offices.</p> <p>Their choices tell us something about the results in November. But not everything, including which party will win the apparently close battle for a majority in the House of Representatives.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 10, 2018</p> 53ee48dc92c2165cdee91bee0ab28638 Liberals Against Freedom of Conscience for 08/03/2018 http://creators.dev.cre8ors.org/read/michael-barone/08/18/liberals-against-freedom-of-conscience Fri, 03 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Why is it considered "liberal" to compel others to say or fund things they don't believe? That's a question raised by three Supreme Court decisions this year. And it's a puzzling development for those of us old enough to remember when liberals championed free speech &#8212; even advocacy of sedition or sodomy &#8212; and conservatives wanted government to restrain or limit it. </p> <p>The three cases dealt with quite different issues. <p>Updated: Fri Aug 03, 2018</p> 77ad33bf238247fa7e73ba1390fc55a2 Will the Trend of Low Birth Rates Be Reversed? for 07/27/2018 http://creators.dev.cre8ors.org/read/michael-barone/07/18/will-the-trend-of-low-birth-rates-be-reversed Fri, 27 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Sometimes a society's values change sharply with almost no one noticing, much less anticipating the consequences. In 1968, according to a Gallup survey, 70 percent of American adults said that a family of three or more children was "ideal" &#8212; about the same number as Gallup surveys starting in 1938. That number helps explain the explosive baby boom after Americans were no longer constrained by depression and world war. </p> <p>Those values and numbers didn't last. By 1978, Gallup reported that only 39 percent considered three or more children "ideal." The numbers have hovered around there ever since, spiking to just 41 percent in the late-1990s tech boom.<p>Updated: Fri Jul 27, 2018</p> 9152ee64caf7f0b071c7107618c20623 Time to Junk Racial Quotas in Higher Education for 07/20/2018 http://creators.dev.cre8ors.org/read/michael-barone/07/18/time-to-junk-racial-quotas-in-higher-education Fri, 20 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"It's time for enlightened America to hit reset on affirmative action once and for all," writes Columbia University linguistics professor John McWhorter in The American Interest. By affirmative action, of course, he means the racial quotas and preferences that most selective college and university admissions departments employ.</p> <p>"The reason America can never truly come together in understanding racial preferences is not benighted racism rearing its head as always," he goes on. "It's because the rationales simply no longer make any damned sense." Forty years ago, they were arguably needed to reverse anti-black discrimination. Today, beneficiaries tend to come from upscale households or immigrant families never subject to discrimination here. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 20, 2018</p> 6d9d06e2287df9bca4f5a2eb897d8ab4 The Kavanaugh Confirmation Kabuki for 07/13/2018 http://creators.dev.cre8ors.org/read/michael-barone/07/18/the-kavanaugh-confirmation-kabuki Fri, 13 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Theater, much like Japan's Kabuki &#8212; that's all the Supreme Court confirmation process is. Donald Trump's presentations of his two nominees, Judge Neil Gorsuch last year and Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Monday, were uncharacteristically graceful &#8212; a worthy theatrical innovation, in the view of even some Trump critics.</p> <p>Now we get to watch clips of Kavanaugh's visits to senators' offices &#8212; where he'll most likely never return to after the playacting is over &#8212; with cordial words from Republicans certain to vote for him and maybe even from Democrats certain to vote against.<p>Updated: Fri Jul 13, 2018</p> 56af57258ac9c595c57ca77b0d938fc2 Will the Odd Couple -- AMLO and Trump -- Narrow the U.S.-Mexico Gap? for 07/06/2018 http://creators.dev.cre8ors.org/read/michael-barone/07/18/will-the-odd-couple-amlo-and-trump-narrow-the-us-mexico-gap Fri, 06 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Will NAFTA survive? Last week, Mexico elected as president longtime NAFTA critic Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (always called "AMLO") by a wide margin. He promptly had a cordial telephone conversation with longtime NAFTA critic President Donald Trump, who remains U.S. president for the next 30 months and, if re-elected, for all of AMLO's six-year term. </p> <p>The cordiality may have just been a ritual. Not since the 1920s have the two neighboring countries had presidents as critical of the other's country as they will have on AMLO's inauguration Dec. 1. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 06, 2018</p> 429a3f5a78a5b10c9cc901c92202621f Justice Kennedy's First Priority: The First Amendment for 06/29/2018 http://creators.dev.cre8ors.org/read/michael-barone/06/18/justice-kennedys-first-priority-the-first-amendment Fri, 29 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>It became official just after lunchtime on Wednesday, just after the Supreme Court announced its final decisions of the term and went into recess. Justice Anthony Kennedy, the 104th person to serve on the court, is retiring, effective just after his 82nd birthday next month, after 30 years of service. </p> <p>Justice Kennedy's decision, announced in a two-paragraph letter to President Donald Trump, has been predicted &#8212; and eagerly anticipated and dreaded &#8212; for years now. He has been the swing vote in several noteworthy &#8212; for some, notorious &#8212; cases going back to the early 1990s, as well as the author of the opinion of the court in many.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 29, 2018</p> b83d9d7272e53dde9e162402d78f4280 The Supreme Court's 'Bartleby' Decision for 06/22/2018 http://creators.dev.cre8ors.org/read/michael-barone/06/18/the-supreme-courts-bartleby-decision Fri, 22 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"I would prefer not to." That was the invariable reply of the title character of Herman Melville's 1853 story "Bartleby, the Scrivener," when asked by his employer to perform a task. </p> <p>It's also a phrase you might use to describe the opinion of the Supreme Court in its latest redistricting &#8212; or gerrymandering &#8212; case, Gill v. Whitford. This was expected to be a closely divided case and one that many observers hoped would establish a clear legal standard to overturn partisan gerrymanders.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 22, 2018</p> 6913ad0c30493564557099e6da52936a Will We Get Tired of So Much Winning? for 06/15/2018 http://creators.dev.cre8ors.org/read/michael-barone/06/18/will-we-get-tired-of-so-much-winning Fri, 15 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>It has been a week full of wins for President Donald Trump &#8212; at least for those who share Trump's view of the way the world works, and perhaps even for some who don't. </p> <p>Exhibit A is Trump's summit meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Singapore. In their self-congratulatory joint statement, they said that North Korea committed to "work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" and the United States agreed to "provide security guarantees" to North Korea. <p>Updated: Fri Jun 15, 2018</p> c6319c9feb47acc934789a58a1c50e35 California Results Suggest Blue Wave Has Crested and Ebbed for 06/08/2018 http://creators.dev.cre8ors.org/read/michael-barone/06/18/california-results-suggest-blue-wave-has-crested-and-ebbed Fri, 08 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The nation is just past halftime in the 2018 primary election cycle. Twenty states &#8212; containing the majority, 228 of 435, of House districts &#8212; have held their primaries, and all but the three with runoffs have chosen their nominees.</p> <p>The latest results, taken together with the generic vote &#8212; polls asking which party's House candidate you'll vote for &#8212; undercut the many gleeful predictions of a blue wave that will produce a big Democratic majority in the House and perhaps the Senate, as well.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 08, 2018</p> 2fe91fd677d02b8afc6dc4d9e6197ac9 Danger of Authoritarianism May Come From the Center, Not the Right for 06/01/2018 http://creators.dev.cre8ors.org/read/michael-barone/05/18/danger-of-authoritarianism-may-come-from-the-center-not-the-right Fri, 01 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"Across Europe and North America, centrists are the least supportive of democracy, the least committed to its institutions and the most supportive of authoritarianism." So wrote political researcher David Adler in The New York Times after analyzing responses to two multi-country surveys on values.</p> <p>Adler found that centrists are less likely to regard democracy as "very good" and to consider free elections and protecting liberties from state oppression "essential" features of democracy. His study is subject to criticism, notably that his classification of centrists is overbroad, but it contains at least a kernel of truth.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 01, 2018</p> 3ef391098e44507a949dc102858940f6 Obama Administration's Spying on Trump a Departure From Norms for 05/25/2018 http://creators.dev.cre8ors.org/read/michael-barone/05/18/obama-administrations-spying-on-trump-a-departure-from-norms Fri, 25 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"F.B.I. Used Informant to Investigate Russia Ties to Campaign, Not to Spy, as Trump Claims," read the headline on a lengthy New York Times story May 18. "The Justice Department used a suspected informant to probe whether Trump campaign aides were making improper contacts with Russia in 2016," read a story in the May 21 edition of The Wall Street Journal.</p> <p>So much for those who dismissed charges of Obama administration infiltration of Donald Trump's campaign as paranoid fantasy. Defenders of the Obama intelligence and law enforcement apparat have had to fall back on the argument that this infiltration was for Trump's &#8212; and the nation's &#8212; own good.<p>Updated: Fri May 25, 2018</p> 895df91b76418ac6536d600ba39c3ffd Democrats' Dangerous Case of Trump Derangement Syndrome for 05/04/2018 http://creators.dev.cre8ors.org/read/michael-barone/05/18/democrats-dangerous-case-of-trump-derangement-syndrome Fri, 04 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Isaac Newton's third law of motion states that for every action in nature, there is an equal and opposite reaction. It can operate in politics, too. For example, Harvard law professor Jack Goldsmith recently wrote, "It is part of Trump's evil genius that he elevates himself by inducing his critics to behave like him."</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Call it Trump derangement syndrome, and recognize it for what it is: something that could end up snatching defeat from the jaws of victory for the Democratic Party once again in 2018 and 2020.</span><p>Updated: Fri May 04, 2018</p> 5dcae05109cebdacee477f9a5df26515 Trump's Saudi Policy Gamble for 04/27/2018 http://creators.dev.cre8ors.org/read/michael-barone/04/18/trumps-saudi-policy-gamble Fri, 27 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Seventy-three years ago, Franklin D. Roosevelt, on his trip back from the Yalta conference with Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin, held his last meeting with foreign leaders, aboard the USS Quincy in the Suez Canal's Great Bitter Lake. One was with the desert warrior king, Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, who sailed in with seven live sheep and a tent to sleep in on deck.</p> <p>The United States had provided almost all of its allies with all the oil they used during World War II. But there were (unfounded) fears that American wells were tapped out, while American geologists produced (well-founded) estimates of giant untapped pools in the Saudi desert. Roosevelt wanted American, not British, firms controlling it.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 27, 2018</p>