Mona Charen from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Tue, 19 Jan 2021 07:04:29 -0800 Mona Charen from Creators Syndicate 9712b42e22de63f17df224b33c7f7910 Republicans Must Confess Complicity in the Big Lie for 01/19/2021 Tue, 19 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>If you missed the retraction from the right-wing online magazine The American Thinker, it's one for the ages. Noting that they had received a warning from lawyers for Dominion Voting Systems, the editors admitted that they had published pieces that "relied on discredited sources who have peddled debunked theories ... These statements are completely false and have no basis in fact. ... We apologize to Dominion for all of the harm this caused them and their employees. We also apologize to our readers for abandoning 9 journalistic principles and misrepresenting Dominion's track record and its limited role in tabulating votes for the November 2020 election. We regret this grave error."</p> <p>Fox News has issued similar retractions. This is the beginning, not the end, of the story. Dominion has sent letters to 20 other entities and individuals, including One American News Network, Newsmax, Lin Wood, White House Counsel Pat Cippolone and Rudy Giuliani. Sidney Powell, the "Kraken" lawyer in Donald Trump's orbit, got more than a warning. She was slapped with a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit for her outrageous and outlandish claims including that Dominion's voting machines were designed by Hugo Chavez to help him rig elections; that the machines contained secret algorithms to change Donald Trump votes into Joe Biden votes; that Dominion had bribed Georgia officials to obtain its contract with the state; and that she had a video showing the company's founder bragging that his system "could easily change a million votes, no problem." <p>Updated: Tue Jan 19, 2021</p> 869b7a844213660c920bb6fb6a8ebd2c Trump Always Had a Whiff of Fascism for 01/15/2021 Fri, 15 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Throngs of self-styled conservatives and Republicans have now reached the thunderous realization that Donald Trump is not just a harmless clown. Former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney acknowledged to Chuck Todd that Trump's rhetoric was incendiary, but insisted that this kind of incitement was par for the course in politics, and he was shocked that people took Trump literally.</p> <p>It seems we have an entire party stocked with Captain Renaults.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 15, 2021</p> cd0d337076bc408f58daa9e9ce946182 The Wall Street Journal Epitomizes the Failure of Elite Conservatism for 01/06/2021 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>The Wall Street Journal editorial page is probably the most influential elite conservative outlet in the country. Fox News, talk radio and the rest may hold more sway with the grassroots, but the Journal has always been the gold standard for educated opinion shapers. Millions of busy people who may not follow politics closely rely on the Journal to provide a sober voice of informed conservatism to balance or rebut the editorial page of The New York Times.</p> <p>In the Trump era, the Journal's editorial board has betrayed its readers. It has trimmed and hemmed and to-be-sured its way through the most sustained assault on truth and the American political order of our lifetime. Every now and then &#8212; usually on textbook economic matters like tariffs &#8212; the board has issued stern rebukes of the president's policies. But rarely. For the most part, it has retreated into anti-anti-Trumpism, averting its gaze from the president and focusing disproportionately on his opponents. Some columnists have become outright cheerleaders for the Russia hoax narrative.</p> <p>Their Jan. 3 editorial is a classic of the genre. They began with both sidesism:<p>Updated: Wed Jan 06, 2021</p> 28f7fba8145cc73c7eab6fd8c457af85 Our Merciless Culture for 12/31/2020 Thu, 31 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>When did we become so merciless? I'm not talking about the 18-year-old kid, featured in a New York Times article, who elected to torpedo a fellow student over a three-year-old video clip &#8212; though what he did was cruel. No, I'm talking about all of the supposed adults who created the world these kids navigate through. </p> <p>The outline of the story is as follows: Mimi Groves, a 15-year-old high school freshman in Leesburg, Virginia, posted a Snapchat video when she got her learner's permit. Speaking into the camera, she said, "I can drive, n&#8212;&#8212;-."</p> <p>Whoa. Who uses the N-word like that? We'll come to that. The video circulated among a few people and was forgotten. Three years later, it surfaced again, this time coming to the attention of a classmate, Jimmy Galligan, who filed it away. Later, after Mimi Groves had been accepted to her dream college, the University of Tennessee, and welcomed onto the cheerleading team (apparently the national champion), Galligan released the three-second video.<p>Updated: Thu Dec 31, 2020</p> 2671cb015f64c69a9a04445766c8eaee Even Trump's Pardons Are Selfish for 12/23/2020 Wed, 23 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The list of President Donald Trump's pardons and clemencies so far looks a lot like a supermarket tabloid: In other words, a lot like Trump's life itself. There's Rod Blagojevich with his saucy smile, and there's smug Joe Arpaio. Every president's pardon list contains some self-serving or controversial picks; think of then-President Bill Clinton's pardon for Marc Rich or former President Barack Obama's commutation of Chelsea Manning's sentence to time served.</p> <p>But every other president in American history has chosen some worthy recipients of executive clemency as well, some reformed souls whose cases sang out for pardons. That's because every other American president has been a more or less normal human being. And normal human beings have some concept of justice.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 23, 2020</p> 12a5a91a8a9fd5c3831900729b3b6b59 Lou Dobbs Debunks Himself for 12/22/2020 Tue, 22 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Two news organizations issued corrections recently. One was The New York Times. The other was Fox Business. One concerned an honest mistake. The Times admitted to having been scammed by the subject of one of its podcast series. Fox Business did not admit to anything but instead ran an interview that directly contradicted some &#8212; actually a small fraction &#8212; of the false, hysterical and malevolent conspiracy theories about election fraud the network has been pushing.</p> <p>If you were watching "Lou Dobbs Tonight" on Dec. 18, you saw something jarring &#8212; a dose of reality. Dobbs has been peddling outright disinformation for a very long time. Before he moved to Fox, he was a fixture on CNN, where he reported, falsely, that immigrants were causing a huge spike of leprosy cases. Dobbs has a perhaps sincere, but nonetheless maniacal, fear and hatred of immigrants. He pumped out baseless allegations that the LDS church was purposely violating immigration laws to smuggle Mexicans into the country, and said that one-third of prison inmates were illegal aliens (not even close). But nothing has topped his recent fulminations about the election. When Attorney General William Barr said he had not seen evidence of voter fraud significant enough to affect the outcome of the election, Dobbs sailed off the rationality cliff altogether. "For the attorney general to make that statement, he is either a liar or a fool or both," said Dobbs. "He may be, perhaps, compromised." <p>Updated: Tue Dec 22, 2020</p> e3c553b2470343db961eca88706898a0 Bye-Bye William Barr for 12/16/2020 Wed, 16 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Some heads snapped when Attorney General William Barr told the truth on Dec. 1. "To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election." This was not the Bill Barr we had come to expect. We were surprised again when we learned that Hunter Biden has been under federal investigation for some months, that this was known to Barr, and that he didn't disclose it to President Donald Trump for use in the campaign. These are damning facts &#8212; if you're working for America's most corrupt president. Contradicting Trump's wild, absurdist fantasy of a Hugo-Chavez-orchestrated/hammer-and-scorecard/Dominion plot to steal the election that Trump had "won by a landslide" was bound to be a poker in the eye for the chief executive. And to think that Barr had incriminating information about Hunter Biden &#8212; the sort of thing Trump had gotten himself impeached attempting to extort &#8212; and kept it under wraps? Well, Barr's days were numbered.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Barr should be grateful that he was offered the chance to submit a letter of resignation rather than be fired by tweet </span>(though, of course, there was a tweet). And, frankly, it's hard to feel sympathy for the guy. Yes, those last two unexpected spasms of basic ethics must be weighed in the balance when considering his tenure, but Barr has much to answer for.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 16, 2020</p> f6efcfa2ca9d76c32e7d9658ef1ec61a Trumpism Triumphant -- Even in Defeat for 12/09/2020 Wed, 09 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Off and on for 25 years, I participated in National Review cruises as a speaker. I met lots of wonderful people who were intelligent, curious and great company &#8212; but there were always cranks and conspiracy theorists, too. Once, during the Clinton administration, people at my dinner table were repeating the story that Hillary Clinton had killed Vince Foster. I choked down my bite of chicken Kiev and responded, as equably as possible, "Well, for that to be true, she would also have had to transport his body to Fort Marcy Park without the Secret Service or anyone else noticing." Several people at the table blinked back at me. <i> Yeah? So? </i></p> <p>In later years, I noticed that cruisers weren't citing mainstream publications for their information. They were getting their news from email lists and subscription newsletters. <p>Updated: Wed Dec 09, 2020</p> 9569d8739c2987789ef45eb7391af73a Trump's First Victim -- Truth for 12/04/2020 Fri, 04 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The photo looks faked. It's so heavy-handed. A grinning Australian soldier, his insignia clear as day on his helmet and arm, stands on the Australian flag holding a small, barefoot Afghan child in front of him. He grasps a bloody knife to the child's throat. The caption reads "Don't be afraid, we are coming to bring you peace!"</p> <p>This not particularly well-disguised piece of propaganda (it's the work of Chinese graphic artist Fu Yu, aka Qilin) was posted to Twitter by the government of China, part of a broad-based campaign China is waging against Australia. Why? Simple: Australia has told the truth.<p>Updated: Fri Dec 04, 2020</p> a62a742aa8bba6deaf14ec30a24350dc There Is No Return to Normalcy for 11/13/2020 Fri, 13 Nov 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The day after the secretary of defense was fired is not a great time for the secretary of state to joke about a transition to a "second Trump administration." If he was, in fact, joking. </p> <p>I've had conversations in the past few days with people who disliked Trump enough to pull the lever for Biden but still believe that the Republican Party is sound and will snap back to normal now that Trump is defeated.<p>Updated: Fri Nov 13, 2020</p> 200895fa4b3caa5a7668cdf746d8f9fb Does This Election Tell Us Something About Men? for 11/05/2020 Thu, 05 Nov 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>As I write, the outcome of the 2020 presidential race remains in doubt, though it seems very likely that Joe Biden will squeeze out a victory. This is a stunning departure from the resounding repudiation of Donald Trump that we had been hoping for. Here are a few groggy, morning after reflections.</p> <p>1) There is something wrong with polling in this country. <p>Updated: Thu Nov 05, 2020</p> 10445441ae4352735871b5c8a1350e14 Weak Excuses to Vote for Trump for 10/29/2020 Thu, 29 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"Man is not a rational animal; he is a rationalizing animal." &#8212; Robert Heinlein</p> <p>Among many lessons learned over the last excruciating four years is this: Partisanship is a more potent drug than heroin. I consider myself to be in recovery but by no means cured. After decades of Republican loyalty, I now devoutly desire a Republican loss.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 29, 2020</p> 5bc0812d661462ae5f122adb3de35c29 Don't Let Trump Discredit Patriotism for 10/22/2020 Thu, 22 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Donald Trump has a documented history of driving Americans away from the policies he favors. This is both good and bad.</p> <p>As Catherine Rampell noted, the president has moved American public opinion toward greater approval of immigration. The percentage of Americans who said that immigration is good for the country bounced around in the 50s and 60s in the first decade and a half of this century. But since 2016, the trend has been up sharply. In 2020, 77% of Americans told Gallup that they think immigration is good for the country. Similarly, the percentage who believe that accepting refugees fleeing war or persecution should be a priority has increased from 62% in 2016 to 73% in 2019. <p>Updated: Thu Oct 22, 2020</p> 48644bd002eb9b910fb9874e382a52a5 Breaking News: Not Everything Is Terrible for 10/15/2020 Thu, 15 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>We devote a lot of mental energy to things that are going wrong or could go wrong. It's human nature. As the sociobiologists teach us, our ancestors were not the ones who heard a rustling in the grass and figured, "Eh, it's probably nothing." We are descended from the ones who said: "What the hell was that? Could be a cobra. Better run the other way." Vigilance is our default mode.</p> <p>But seven months after the start of this plague, we shouldn't lose sight of the things that went more right than we expected. <p>Updated: Thu Oct 15, 2020</p> c3af4e25bf7142422c8bf43d297af023 Trump's Republican Party for 10/08/2020 Thu, 08 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Kelly Loeffler looked like a standard-issue Republican when she was appointed senator from Georgia in December 2019. She came from a super-rich family (like plenty of Democrats as well), she was pro-gun, anti-immigration and pro-business. Originally pro-choice, her position on abortion evolved in time for her to be accepted by pro-life gatekeepers.</p> <p>Once in Washington, D.C., though, Loeffler quickly got with the program. She described the impeachment of the president as a "circus" and lambasted Mitt Romney for even voting to call witnesses, whom she was sure would "slander @realDonald Trump." Now, she's encouraging hero worship of Trump, tweeting: "COVID stood NO chance against @realDonaldTrump."<p>Updated: Thu Oct 08, 2020</p> 8dbe656b17aff475897cabd93800d228 The World's Brokest Billionaire for 10/01/2020 Thu, 01 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Seated at the breakfast table, scanning The New York Times story on Trump's taxes, I said to my husband, "We have a greater net worth than Donald Trump." He knitted his brow.</p> <p>I was thinking of a story that Ivanka Trump shared a while back: <p>Updated: Thu Oct 01, 2020</p> 497a24918b595cde4bc41dbcedae8798 It's Not About Principles for 09/24/2020 Thu, 24 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them, I have others." &#8212; Groucho Marx</p> <p>Senator Mitch McConnell, seeking a new fig leaf to disguise the spectacle of hypocrisy that Republicans are presenting regarding the "advice and consent" clause, is sputtering that there really is a principle involved and there is no inconsistency. In order to reach that conclusion, you must contort yourself into a pretzel, so limber up.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 24, 2020</p> e3bf4a4cb8af2ac088af73a71df98d02 Flight 93 Forever for 09/18/2020 Fri, 18 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Danielle Pletka, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, has announced that while she never considered voting for Donald Trump in 2016, she may well do so this year. She is being driven to this extremity, she says, by the "hard left ideologues" of the Democratic Party.</p> <p>Judging by chatter on the right, this rationalization &#8212; so redolent of the Flight 93 argument from 2016 &#8212; is somewhat popular. So, let's take a closer look.<p>Updated: Fri Sep 18, 2020</p> 5a3aa0b961d5921b0778cbcc07435448 Who Will Speak for the Uighurs? for 09/10/2020 Thu, 10 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>According to John Bolton, when Xi Jinping told Donald Trump that he was putting Uighurs in camps, Trump said he was doing "exactly the right thing." Of course, Xi's depiction was pure agitprop. China is not targeting Uighurs who have shown terrorist tendencies, it is crushing an entire ethno/religious minority in brutal fashion. Even if he only selectively scans newspapers looking for mentions of his own name, Trump must have been told this at some point during a briefing. Then again, he has a tendency to believe strong men more than American officials. </p> <p>This drone footage showing hundreds of blindfolded and shackled Uighur men being boarded onto trains is reminiscent of World War II. The so-called reeducation camps are, in reality, concentration camps, holding up to a million men, women and children. Last week, Chinese officials brazenly insisted that these camps are "vocational education schools," no different from those in western nations. Except for all that barbed wire, those guard towers and the massive concrete walls. The Uighurs' supposed "terrorist" activities? Praying at the mosque too often. Refusing to watch state television. Growing a beard. Simply being a minority (ethnic Kazakhs are also targeted). While imprisoned, the Economist reports, inmates are forced to "criticize Islam, shave off their beards, eat pork, speak Mandarin instead of their own Turkic tongues and praise Mr. Xi." Escapees tell of mistreatment, beatings and torture. </p> <p>Now comes news that in addition to all of the above, China is engaged in a policy of forced abortion and sterilization against Uighur women. A Uighur doctor who escaped to Turkey told iTV that she had performed up to 600 forced abortions and removal of wombs. In one case, she said, the baby was still moving when it was dropped in the trash. The policy is working. The Han Chinese population of Xinjiang province is growing, while the Uighur birthrate has plummeted by 60%. <p>Updated: Thu Sep 10, 2020</p> 2a97d47af3f90d6cdd8213e5ce94872f Broken Windows Presidency for 09/04/2020 Fri, 04 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>President Donald Trump is a broken windows president. </p> <p>Let me explain. In 1982, the Atlantic published an article that became legendary in conservative circles. Authored by George Kelling and the late James Q. Wilson, "Broken Windows" argued for better community policing. Police walking a beat, they urged, tended to reduce the quality of life crimes that degrade city life &#8212; public urination, aggressive panhandling, turnstile jumping. "Disorder and crime are usually inextricably linked," they wrote, "if a window in a building is broken and is left unrepaired, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken."<p>Updated: Fri Sep 04, 2020</p>