Michael Barone from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Fri, 25 Jun 2021 02:23:07 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Michael Barone from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/michael-barone-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone feeb932889b19c41342a22b891d56ada Charles Murray's Two Uncomfortable Truths and His Not Bad Advice for 06/25/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/06/21/charles-murrays-two-uncomfortable-truths-and-his-not-bad-advice Fri, 25 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Give Charles Murray, longtime scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, credit for courage. Again and again, despite outrageously unfair attacks, he has returned to the public arena and persisted in telling unwelcome truths. In his meticulous prose, with charts and tables so elegant as to betray an aesthetic bent, he makes his points with precision and clarity. </p> <p>Murray's 1994 book "The Bell Curve," co-authored with Harvard psychologist Richard Herrnstein, evoked furious and undeserved denunciation. It will be interesting to see whether there is a similar reaction to his latest and much shorter book, "Facing Reality: Two Truths About Race in America." </p> <p>His first truth is that "American Whites, Blacks, Latinos, and Asians, <i>as groups,</i> have different means and distributions of cognitive abilities." Murray makes mincemeat of arguments against IQ tests and shows that they're highly correlated with achievement in schools and in later life. Asians have the highest average scores, followed by Whites, Latinos and Blacks.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 25, 2021</p> 1a81250b7c9ee64774fee7bd99e64ebf This Juneteenth, Remember Americans Who Put Slavery on the Path to Extinction for 06/18/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/06/21/this-juneteenth-remember-americans-who-put-slavery-on-the-path-to-extinction Fri, 18 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>This week, the Senate unanimously passed a bill declaring Juneteenth a national holiday, commemorating June 19, 1865, when a Union general informed the last enslaved people in Texas that, thanks to the 13th Amendment, they were free. This was the denouement of a long process, begun more than four score years before and cruelly delayed for many decades.</p> <p>There was virtually no articulate opposition to slavery, except among Quakers, in the North American colonies that rebelled against British rule in the 1770s. But there was an obvious tension between slavery and American assertions of individual rights, encapsulated in Thomas Jefferson's phrase "all men are created equal." Revolutionaries were uncomfortably aware of the great English writer and lexicographer Samuel Johnson's remark, "How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?" <p>Updated: Fri Jun 18, 2021</p> 957253d7fd0c87a9c842b649811930ed Adolescents Need Constraints, Not Indulgence for 06/11/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/06/21/adolescents-need-constraints-not-indulgence Fri, 11 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>"Letting adolescents have their way." That's one way to describe two public policies, advocated vociferously by woke liberals, opposed surely by most. One primarily affects young men, the other primarily young women.</p> <p>The policy primarily affecting young men can be summed up as "de-policing." It's a direct response to &#8212; one might say a total surrender to &#8212; the Black Lives Matter group that sparked protests after the death of one police suspect in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014 and sparked many more after the death of another in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in May 2020.</p> <p>It has many versions. "Defunding the police" was an initial Black Lives Matter demand. Democrats running city governments from Los Angeles to Minneapolis to New York acquiesced to it. Democratic political consultants seem to have convinced all but the most impenetrable-minded clients that defunding is political poison. The same mayors and council members who decreed defunding a year ago are now scampering to reverse course.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 11, 2021</p> 029e50b1608399ae9b60e34720d976a9 Facebook's Speech Suppression Argues for Repeal of Section 230 and a Facebook Stock Price of Zero for 06/04/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/06/21/facebooks-speech-suppression-argues-for-repeal-of-section-230-and-a-facebook-stock-price-of-zero Fri, 04 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>"A lot of people have egg on their face" for dismissing the COVID-19 lab leak theory, tweeted ABC News ' Jonathan Karl this week. "Some things may be true even if Donald Trump said them." </p> <p>Or if Arkansas Tom Cotton did. "We still don't know where coronavirus originated. Could have been a market, a farm, a food processing company," he said in January 2020. "I would note that Wuhan has China's only biosafety level-four super laboratory that works with the world's most deadly pathogens to include, yes, coronavirus."</p> <p>Cotton never said he was certain the virus came from a lab leak and never suggested a leak was deliberate. But as a Trump supporter, he was quickly smeared, as liberal writer Matthew Yglesias shows in a painstaking analysis &#8212; for pushing "conspiracy theories" (CBS News), "spreading rumors that were easily debunked" (Politico), "repeating a coronavirus conspiracy theory that was already debunked" (Washington Post), and "repeat(ing) fringe theory of coronavirus origins" (New York Times). <p>Updated: Fri Jun 04, 2021</p> 150de9feebe7ced94d6dde42fa77eb05 Reform Prosecutors May Hang on, but National Democrats May Not for 05/21/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/05/21/reform-prosecutors-may-hang-on-but-national-democrats-may-not Fri, 21 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>This week's Democratic primary election for Philadelphia district attorney could presage outcomes in the 2022 and 2024 elections, but not in the way the winner would like. </p> <p>Foreigners are often surprised that Americans elect most of their local prosecutors &#8212; and that these prosecutors can become major forces in public force. But we do and they can. <p>Updated: Fri May 21, 2021</p> 60e5236bf684a9ead6f2e3830f6bb8d7 British Labour's Problems Could Hurt Democrats, Too for 05/14/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/05/21/british-labours-problems-could-hurt-democrats-too Fri, 14 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Five years ago next month, British voters, in the largest turnout ever, voted to leave the European Union by a 52% to 48% margin. It was an unexpected result, and a harbinger of Donald Trump's even more unexpected election as president five months later.</p> <p>In both countries, key votes were cast by white non-college graduates. In the U.S., blue-collar Democrats in Pennsylvania and the Midwest switched to Trump. In the U.K., working-class voters long loyal to Labour joined leading Conservatives in supporting Brexit. <p>Updated: Fri May 14, 2021</p> 9f44cc8d83d19e52d6b9339c1549fbad Some Rotten Underpinnings of Biden's Positive Rating for 05/07/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/05/21/some-rotten-underpinnings-of-bidens-positive-rating Fri, 07 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>On the surface, Joe Biden seems to be doing pretty well. But underneath, there are signs of problems, areas where partisan overstretch threatens the underpinnings of what some are hailing as the new order of things.</p> <p>Joe Biden enjoys a 54% average job approval rating, a good mark for a president midterm or facing reelection but below the 100-day numbers of every post-World War II president except Donald Trump. Biden's 42% disapproval is higher than theirs and about equal to Trump's. That may understate things if, as The Cook Political Report's Amy Walter suggests, polls are undersampling Republican voters. <p>Updated: Fri May 07, 2021</p> 6a33d1b2f6875b0b5a40b39b53492993 The 2020 Census: Small Republican Gains in a Nation Hunkered Down for 04/30/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/04/21/the-2020-census-small-republican-gains-in-a-nation-hunkered-down Fri, 30 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The COVID-delayed results of the 2020 census are finally in, with totals for the 50 states and the District of Columbia at nearly one-third of a billion &#8212; 331,449,281 &#8212; and with surprises having to do with the short run and what French historians call the "longue duree." </p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">The short-term news revolves around the function for which the framers of the Constitution mandated the world's first regularly scheduled census</span>: the reapportionment of seats of the House of Representatives among the states. That's done according to a 1941 statutory formula that the Census Bureau conveniently applies.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 30, 2021</p> fd5f5a14ba564d529ee5704b4ad77066 The Ebbing of 'the Misperception That Bigotry Is Everywhere' for 04/23/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/04/21/the-ebbing-of-the-misperception-that-bigotry-is-everywhere Fri, 23 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>How will future historians explain this? From 2001 to 2014, majorities of Americans, including supermajorities of blacks and non-Hispanic whites, told Gallup pollsters that "race relations" were either very or somewhat good. </p> <p>Then, after the election and reelection of the first American president of African descent, each case with majorities of the popular vote and electoral votes, perceptions suddenly plunged.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 23, 2021</p> ce7c0e961ce0be93cdf400257e26edd8 Workers Don't Share Democrats' Nostalgia for Unions for 04/16/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/04/21/workers-dont-share-democrats-nostalgia-for-unions Fri, 16 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>It wasn't even close. The final count was 1,798 against and 738 for, 71% to 29%. </p> <p>The issue in question was whether the employees at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, wanted to be represented by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. Not, as The Washington Post, owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, put it: a contest of "Big Tech vs. its workers." <p>Updated: Fri Apr 16, 2021</p> 3a44866457c1fbe1d1f48d7e42ef2f67 Will Joe Biden's Jim Crow Big Lie Boomerang? for 04/09/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/04/21/will-joe-bidens-jim-crow-big-lie-boomerang Fri, 09 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The big lie works &#8212; until it doesn't.</p> <p>The big lie in this case is Joe Biden's charge that the changes in Georgia election law passed by the majority-Republican legislature and signed by Republican Governor Brian Kemp on April 1 being are "Jim Crow on steroids." This was doubling down on his March 25 press conference statement that the law "makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle." </p> <p>This isn't the first time Biden has charged Republicans with racism. During the 2012 campaign, he told a predominantly black audience that Mitt Romney "wants to put y'all back in chains." <p>Updated: Fri Apr 09, 2021</p> 39b943fb2193aa43d2f8333514ee7f5e Too Much Risk Aversion Is Too Risky for 04/02/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/04/21/too-much-risk-aversion-is-too-risky Fri, 02 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p></p><p>"This is not politics," President Joe Biden said last week. "Reinstate the mandate if you let it down." Give him credit for consistency: When Gov. Greg Abbott ended Texas' mask mandate last month, Biden called it "Neanderthal thinking." <p>Updated: Fri Apr 02, 2021</p> 3e5382d80a20c2daa45302a1634c6f62 Can the Biden Administration Stop China? for 03/26/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/03/21/can-the-biden-administration-stop-china Fri, 26 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The acrid atmosphere last week at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska, with its vivid murals of the 18th-century British seafarer James Cook's discoveries throughout the Pacific, sounds very much like the acrid atmosphere almost exactly 60 years ago in the Beaux-Arts American and Soviet embassies in Vienna: grim, at least for the United States.</p> <p>Vienna was where the 42-year-old President John Kennedy met the 67-year-old Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, who, as Kennedy, told The New York Times' James Reston immediately afterward, "beat the hell" out of him. <p>Updated: Fri Mar 26, 2021</p> 96e7377ad7a46c63d5ad520ada0d144b What Explains Biden's Chameleonlike Transformation? for 03/19/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/03/21/what-explains-bidens-chameleonlike-transformation Fri, 19 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>How to explain Joe Biden's ideological transformation over the years? Perhaps it's the same as the explanation of why the chameleon's complexion changes when he moves from desert to forest: adaptation to local terrain. </p> <p>About the Biden transformation there can be no question. The senator who opposed government financing of abortions for 30-some years now supports it &#8212; and up through the ninth month of pregnancy. <p>Updated: Fri Mar 19, 2021</p> f608eaed6959e24d0be85ec3ea68698f Biden Moves Forward With Open-Doors Immigration Policy. Why? for 03/12/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/03/21/biden-moves-forward-with-open-doors-immigration-policy-why Fri, 12 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>"BIDEN," say the young demonstrators' T-shirts, imitating his campaign logo, "PLEASE LET US IN!" The picture ran in The New York Times, but one wonders whether whoever paid for the tees got his money's worth, for <span class="column--highlighted-text">President Joe Biden's administration seems determined to let in as many immigrants as want to come.</span> </p> <p>The numbers are daunting. About 80,000 people tried to cross the southern border this January &#8212; about double the number in January 2020. That number could easily balloon this spring, traditionally the peak migration season, with fewer COVID-19 restrictions in place. <p>Updated: Fri Mar 12, 2021</p> a2b0e2629b6edf1f912c0e03790cdaac Is There Any Reason to Think This Time Will Be Different? for 03/05/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/03/21/is-there-any-reason-to-think-this-time-will-be-different Fri, 05 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>When public policies have produced disastrous results, and when alternative policies have resulted in immediate, seemingly miraculous improvement, why would anyone want to go back to the earlier policies? Is there any reason to suppose that this time will be different?</p> <p>Not that I can see. The earlier policies &#8212; a pullback from active policing and certain punishment, an open-handed welfare system providing income for single mothers &#8212; were put in place in the 1960s, within living memory of some of us. The intentions were good. It was a time of high hopefulness that America's shameful history of racial discrimination and mistreatment were over.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 05, 2021</p> 28fab4ecbe43e57eae729a4106968a3f Partisan Strife Produces High Voter Turnout -- and No Big Boost for Either Party for 02/26/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/02/21/partisan-strife-produces-high-voter-turnout-and-no-big-boost-for-either-party Fri, 26 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The last decade has seen a boom in voter turnout &#8212; for both parties. Between the 2012 and 2020 presidential elections, total voter turnout rose 23%, with Democratic turnout up 23% and Republican turnout up 22%. </p> <p>Yet, because of the changing distribution of votes, the results were significantly different. The 2012 election was not a close thing: Mitt Romney could not have reversed the Electoral College result without erasing Barack Obama's margins of 481,806 votes in four states (Florida Iowa, Ohio, Virginia). By comparison, Donald Trump won in 2016 thanks to a margin of only 77,736 votes in three states (Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin), and Joe Biden owes his 2020 victory to an even smaller margin of 42,918 votes in three states (Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin).<p>Updated: Fri Feb 26, 2021</p> 1aa658f207ffa74e37728ff46a122b63 Will Biden Payoff to Teachers Unions Repeal Suburban Parents? for 02/19/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/02/21/will-biden-payoff-to-teachers-unions-repeal-suburban-parents Fri, 19 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p></p><p>You expect a certain number of stumbles from a new administration. President Joe Biden's incoming team professed dismay at having to create a coronavirus vaccine distribution program "from scratch," due to its predecessor's handling of the situation, and this week, Biden complained that "we didn't have" a vaccine when he "came into office." He promised to deliver over 1 million a day.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 19, 2021</p> d43cee99dab44f1a4b9984c3f3712d9a The Republican Party Won't Fall Apart This Time Either for 02/12/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/02/21/the-republican-party-wont-fall-apart-this-time-either Fri, 12 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p></p><p>When you've been consuming and producing political commentary for many years, you get used to certain recurring themes. One is the imminent disappearance or relegation to permanent minority status of the Republican Party. <p>Updated: Fri Feb 12, 2021</p> 3d9df20988e3dc1fdbb6b7c606f104b5 'Mostly Peaceful' Violence and Dueling Double Standards for 02/05/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/michael-barone/02/21/mostly-peaceful-violence-and-dueling-double-standards Fri, 05 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p></p><p>Pictures matter. Images convey truths &#8212; and falsehoods &#8212; with an emotional impact that can amplify and sometimes completely overwhelm the messages imparted by words. <p>Updated: Fri Feb 05, 2021</p>