Mona Charen from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Mon, 23 Sep 2019 04:13:07 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Mona Charen from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/mona-charen-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen ede1a916f0d29cf1141bd8a953a6f118 Why Reparations Talk Is Harmful for 09/20/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/09/19/why-reparations-talk-is-harmful Fri, 20 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Three Democratic candidates for president, Julian Castro, Cory Booker and Marianne Williamson, have declared support for the idea of slavery reparations. A number of others have said they'd vote for a bill sponsored by Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee to create a Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals For African-Americans Act. Still other candidates have been vague (Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Beto O'Rourke), while Elizabeth Warren has called for a "national, full-blown conversation about reparations in this country." Oh, a conversation.</p> <p>A Washington Post piece examining the tensions among black Americans on the question offers a glimpse of why this idea is terrible. It's a profile of William A. "Sandy" Darity, a professor of economics at Duke, and leader of the "Planning Committee for Reparations," a group of academics who are attempting to create a program to implement reparations. They envision a plan that would offer cash payments to all African Americans who can 1) prove that they are descended from someone enslaved in the United States, and 2) have identified as black in public documents for at least 10 years. <p>Updated: Fri Sep 20, 2019</p> c2ab5f0aff80243bd78500c86bc95e24 Jews, Israel and Loyalty for 08/23/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/08/19/jews-israel-and-loyalty Fri, 23 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>President Donald Trump has opined that Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats &#8212; as 79% did in the 2018 midterms &#8212; are demonstrating "either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty." At first, he didn't say to whom. An eager Trump explainer, Matt Brooks of the Republican Jewish Coalition, leapt to clarify. The president wasn't accusing Jews of disloyalty to America, he said, nor to Trump himself, but rather "to themselves."</p> <p>That's artful. Look, lots of people think other people don't have a good grasp on their own self-interest (see, for example, "What's the Matter with Kansas?"). I have often expressed frustration about the political leanings of my co-religionists. But it's never a good idea for a Jewish leader like Brooks to accept the framing of the matter as one of loyalty when we are speaking of Jews. (It doesn't help that Trump later said American Jews were being disloyal to Israel.) Jewish Americans are free to vote with an eye toward Israel's welfare or to ignore it altogether. They can be religious or secular, liberal or conservative, and, as George Washington promised in 1790, there "shall be none to make (them) afraid." <span class="column--highlighted-text">You can write whole books about why many Jews are liberals without suggesting for a moment that this reflects disloyalty to anyone or anything.</span> Just say you think they're wrong, because the accusation of disloyalty has a long and ugly history, as Brooks is well aware. And ironically, it's the very thing Rep. Ilhan Omar has been trafficking in.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 23, 2019</p> 7e1565ef0cb6df9c3c7dbdb6d681cc24 What Hong Kong Means for 08/16/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/08/19/what-hong-kong-means Fri, 16 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The protests in Hong Kong are heartbreaking to witness. I recall the gloom that accompanied the handover of sovereignty ceremony in 1997. Prince Charles was there. So was Tony Blair. Only eight years had passed since the communist Chinese government had mowed down an estimated 10,000 democracy demonstrators in and around Tiananmen Square. And while China had since begun to liberalize its economy, the communist party maintained its totalitarian grip on political power, news and information, travel, family life, religion and the arts.</p> <p>As the band played "God Save the Queen" for the last time, there were the usual soothing promises. According to the Sino-British Joint Declaration, dubbed "one country, two systems," Beijing pledged that Hong Kong would continue to enjoy the economic and political liberties it had known under British rule for 50 years. Hong Kong would remain free until at least 2047. Many imagined that by then, the communist government in Beijing would be gone.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 16, 2019</p> 02474637db1b4de5210d2c9657d8ab3a A Cosmetic Proposal on Guns for 08/09/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/08/19/a-cosmetic-proposal-on-guns Fri, 09 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>It seems necessary to begin every discussion in America today with a reminder to show a little charity. If you oppose gun control, don't assume that those proposing restrictions on gun purchases are merely using the latest atrocity as an excuse for confiscation. Likewise, gun opponents should rid themselves of the notion that, but for the evil machinations of the NRA, common sense gun control would have been enacted long ago and would have prevented the loss of many lives. Show some good faith. Both gun controllers and gun advocates grieve at mass murders and wish there were a simple solution. </p> <p>Though I am a lifelong conservative, I have always been open to the idea of (constitutional) gun control. But some of the proposals that surface after each mass shooting seem not so much unconstitutional as ineffectual. Consider universal background checks. <p>Updated: Fri Aug 09, 2019</p> 150910ceb9d34806309e249851218e2f So, You Want Canadian Health Care? for 08/02/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/08/19/so-you-want-canadian-health-care Fri, 02 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>These "debates" are to serious policy discussions as a kazoo is to an orchestra. You can say a kazoo is an instrument, and you can say that these truncated thoughts are proposals, but you'll invite smirks.</p> <p>This is not a slam on Democrats. The Republican "debates" in 2016 were no better. When a stage is sardined with candidates, there is no alternative to keeping answers short. If the voters had longer attention spans, we could arrange four or five nights of less manic encounters, which would give candidates the chance to explain themselves. But since we don't, we have unedifying and demeaning soundbite pingpong matches. <p>Updated: Fri Aug 02, 2019</p> eab9e86a866e7b8787fa127cd1e9603b False Racism Accusations Don't Excuse the Real Thing for 07/19/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/07/19/false-racism-accusations-dont-excuse-the-real-thing Fri, 19 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>On a high wall overlooking the central court of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., the words of novelist James Baldwin are etched in stone: "The great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it ... History is literally present in all that we do."</p> <p>Baldwin's words are particularly apt this week, as our leaders, for the millionth time, use and abuse race for their own purposes, committing sins against the past and the present.<p>Updated: Fri Jul 19, 2019</p> 651b7dc0a8414a1bf30257fc489e5352 Claremont Would Make Founders Weep for 07/12/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/07/19/claremont-would-make-founders-weep Fri, 12 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The Claremont Institute was part of the flowering of intellectual conservatism that graced America in the 1970s and '80s. Founded by students of Lincoln scholar Harry Jaffa, the California think tank was devoted to teaching "the principles of the American Founding to the future thinkers and statesmen of America." Through their various programs, they aimed to "educate the best and most promising young writers, lawyers, activists, academics, entrepreneurs, and public servants." Among the outstanding past fellows were former George W. Bush administration official Tevi Troy, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, and social conservative writer Ryan Anderson. </p> <p>After the announcement of the 2019 Claremont Lincoln fellowships, it is safe to say that the flowering has gone to seed.<p>Updated: Fri Jul 12, 2019</p> e581e0312a29db5aec4ffad5029b58e8 Joe Biden's Vulnerability or the Democrats'? for 07/05/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/07/19/joe-bidens-vulnerability-or-the-democrats Fri, 05 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Sen. Kamala Harris demonstrated rare skill during the debate &#8212; managing to shiv Joe Biden and look nice doing it. By adopting the language of "hurt" instead of anger, she finessed the problem that usually attends launching an unprovoked attack: that it may harm the perpetrator as much as the target &#8212; think Chris Christie and Marco Rubio in 2016. Harris' pose of wounded disappointment shielded her &#8212; at least until her rollout of $35 T-shirts the following morning, featuring the image of herself as a child. That revealed, shall we say, a certain calculation.</p> <p>Still, Harris' maneuver achieved its purpose, vaulting her into the top tier of Democratic candidates. The price will come later. Many on the left are now combing over Biden's record on busing and crime, mining it for nuggets that can make him seem if not quite racist, then insufficiently sensitive for the 21st century. Harris demanded that Biden acknowledge it was a mistake to oppose busing in the 1970s and '80s. And <span class="column--highlighted-text">Cory Booker, no doubt cursing fate that he was slotted in the first debate and thus missed his chance to be the black candidate who could skewer the front-runner, has issued post-hoc fighting words: "I think Joe Biden is going to have to talk a lot about his record during this election, and I think it's only right that he talk about everything from his support of the 1994 crime bill ... all the way to his stance on busing."</span><p>Updated: Fri Jul 05, 2019</p> b6e0c75295a401478b3c1204ece3d79d Please, Raise My Taxes? for 06/28/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/06/19/please-raise-my-taxes Fri, 28 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>With metronomic regularity, some well-motivated billionaire announces that he wishes the government would increase his taxes. The latest entrant is Eli Broad. Writing in The New York Times, Broad praises private philanthropy and the capitalist system "that's yielded some of the greatest gains in prosperity and innovation in human history." Still, he concludes, "I simply believe it's time for those of us with great wealth to commit to reducing income inequality, starting with the demand to be taxed at a higher rate than everyone else."</p> <p>Some pundits might mock Broad, pointing out that nothing is preventing him from sending bigger checks to Uncle Sam than current law requires. Or they might protest that the super-rich can well afford to say "raise my taxes" &#8212; they'd never feel it &#8212; whereas the comfortable but not quite rich might get caught in the net.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 28, 2019</p> c77c2e7137ec7c32414c8d13a7b7d90c Elizabeth Warren's Terrible Plans for 06/21/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/06/19/elizabeth-warrens-terrible-plans Fri, 21 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Senator Elizabeth Warren is being lauded as the serious candidate in the race. Her motto, "I have a plan for that," is accepted as proof that she is thoughtful and conscientious. That's too generous. </p> <p>One should expect a grown-up to evaluate costs and benefits, to understand tradeoffs, and to pay for what they propose. By that standard, Warren's big plans fail spectacularly. What Warren has done is engage in magic wand politics. Wouldn't it be great if college were free and everyone got subsidized child care? ) (No.) Wouldn't life be grand if everyone's rent were reduced by 10%? If wishes were horses... <p>Updated: Fri Jun 21, 2019</p> c8ea49b46d40db7b61543a6df0231765 Extirpating Whiteness for 06/14/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/06/19/extirpating-whiteness Fri, 14 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who, like nearly everyone, is running for president, presides over the largest and most media-centric city in America. His national name recognition is respectable, but his support is undetectable. Literally. He's at 0%, lagging behind such Democratic titans as Tim Ryan, Andrew Yang and John Delaney &#8212; all of whom garnered 1% support in a June Morning Consult poll.</p> <p>It isn't so much that people have never heard of de Blasio; it's that those who are aware of him don't like what they've heard. He has the highest unfavorables of any candidate. Even in New York State, only 29% of respondents think well of him compared with 53% who don't. He's underwater with Democrats as well as Republicans. That makes him nearly as unpopular with New Yorkers as Donald Trump. <p>Updated: Fri Jun 14, 2019</p> 69df5c05a1027c447c93eec5c844161e Lessons of Chernobyl for 06/07/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/06/19/lessons-of-chernobyl Fri, 07 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>On the morning of April 28, 1986, an employee of the Forsmark nuclear power plant an hour north of Stockholm was returning from a restroom break when his shoes set off the radiation alarm. Soon klaxons were sounding everywhere. Technicians scoured the plant. No leak. After performing chemical and other analysis, they determined that the radiation wasn't coming from Forsmark. It wasn't even coming from Sweden. It was fallout from Chernobyl, 700 miles away. </p> <p>The excellent HBO series "Chernobyl" offers an overdue glimpse into the leviathan of lies that was the Soviet system. Some have nitpicked that a composite character was created or that the trial scene at the end wasn't historically accurate, but these exercises in poetic license don't detract from the overall impact, and are, in any case, openly acknowledged, not concealed.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 07, 2019</p> 689af4351cbb8cdc196ca7ffe0e6e633 Remove Children from Sex Offender Registries for 05/31/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/05/19/remove-children-from-sex-offender-registries Fri, 31 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>With several septuagenarians competing for the presidency, the ghost of the 1990s looms over the 2020 race. Joe Biden has faced criticism for his sponsorship of the 1994 crime bill. President Donald Trump tweeted, "Anyone associated with the 1994 Crime Bill will not have a chance of being elected." </p> <p>Here's some context. Violent crime rates in the United States began a steep climb in the mid-1960s and reached their peak in the early 1990s. Americans were extremely worried. Donald Trump, for example, recommended bringing back New York's death penalty in response to a much-publicized Central Park attack. Politicians listened. Many states passed tough anti-crime measures and in 1994, the federal government got into the act. Though Republicans criticized the federal crime bill for gun restrictions and what they called "pork," the measure passed the House on a voice vote and the Senate by 61-38 with many Republican votes. <p>Updated: Fri May 31, 2019</p> 677991ed71ae64111b8a0cf03a6cbb8b What's Missing from Trump's China Policy for 05/24/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/05/19/whats-missing-from-trumps-china-policy Fri, 24 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The Dow plunged 450 points on the opening bell May 6 in response to this presidential tweet: "The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No! The 10% will go up to 25% on Friday." Economists eye this brinkmanship fearfully. Bank of America/Merrill Lynch's global research team, among many others, has warned that a trade war could cause a global recession. Desmond Lachman of AEI notes that there are splash back effects of imposing harsh tariffs. They may succeed in weakening China, but any "marked slowing in the Chinese economy is bound to have spillover effects on those economies with strong trade links to that country." </p> <p>Among those countries with "strong trade links" to China would be ours. Lachman is warning that Trump's policies may be undermining the strong economy, and that this should worry him looking at 2020. But before we get there, spare a moment to savor the irony of what Trump's policies have so far achieved on one of his favorite 2016 hobbyhorses &#8212; the trade deficit. In 2016, the goods and services trade deficit with China stood at $309 billion (which Trump frequently exaggerated to $500 billion). As of March 2019, the trade deficit with China was $379 billion &#8212; a 23 percent increase.<p>Updated: Fri May 24, 2019</p> be2a2f14f631147a3028b4027df3a43c White Males and Abortion for 05/17/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/05/19/white-males-and-abortion Fri, 17 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., tweeted in response to anti-abortion legislation passed by the Alabama legislature: "I refuse to believe that these Republican men represent the views of most Alabamians. Their action is both unconstitutional and shameful. The people of Alabama deserve to be on the #rightsideofhistory &#8212; not the side of extremists. Women deserve better."</p> <p>It seems much more likely that Jones is the one who is out of step. A 2014 Pew poll found that Alabama is among the most "pro-life" states in the country, with 58 percent saying the procedure should be illegal in "all or most cases." It's possible that among the 58 percent who oppose abortion in Alabama, some will find the legislation passed this week to be too extreme, but don't count on it. Just last year, voters approved a state constitutional amendment declaring that it is "the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children." Fifty-nine percent of voters voted in favor. <p>Updated: Fri May 17, 2019</p> a8168eb466681c9347d763a0dc61d7b7 Should Democrats Avoid Female Candidates? for 05/10/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/05/19/should-democrats-avoid-female-candidates Fri, 10 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Many Democratic voters are worried that a female candidate cannot win the presidency in 2020. "I don't think they're strong enough to carry it for themselves," an Iowa voter told The Washington Post. Amber Phillips reports that "female politicians are held by voters to a much higher standard than men," and points to polls showing that today's support for Elizabeth Warren (12 percent) and Kamala Harris (8 percent) drops to low single digits when voters are asked who is likely to defeat President Donald Trump.</p> <p>Without denying that some people may harbor misogynistic feelings, and that many Democrats may indeed fear, as Phillips reported, that while they personally would happily vote for a woman for president, their neighbors might not, this doesn't prove that women are held to a higher standard. The evidence is mixed. It's never possible to know with certainty what motivates voters. Could Mitt Romney's religion have decided the 2012 race? It's possible. <p>Updated: Fri May 10, 2019</p> 95ed6a7215712dcc4a889c61fdc0b314 A Tale of Two Obstructions for 05/03/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/05/19/a-tale-of-two-obstructions Fri, 03 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Every Republican remembers with disgust the video of Bill Clinton glowering into the camera and declaring: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time; never. These allegations are false." </p> <p>It's worth revisiting why that statement was so infuriating. It wasn't because we &#8212; well, let me speak for myself, I &#8212; was outraged at the idea of a president having an affair with a young intern (though that was part of it). No, it was the lying. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Clinton lied and lied and lied. He even lied under oath. </span>Lying is cheating. Lying displays contempt for other people.</p> <p>Today, the attorney general of the United States asserts, in terms that should make Clinton smile, that because the president of the United States was "frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents, and fueled by illegal leaks," he could not be considered guilty of obstruction of justice.<p>Updated: Fri May 03, 2019</p> 4305bec5a2a389ac117a5bd8f43b5c20 Will Conservatives Give Russia a Pass? for 04/26/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/04/19/will-conservatives-give-russia-a-pass Fri, 26 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The conservative media world, along with all but a few Republican members of Congress, are in the process of handing Vladimir Putin his greatest victory yet. They are ignoring the copious evidence in the Mueller report that Russia interfered in our election &#8212; and continues to do so. Pace Jared Kushner, it was a whole lot more sinister than a "couple of Facebook ads."</p> <p>The narrative has now taken hold that the Mueller investigation originated with the Steele dossier. On Fox News, Ed Henry said that the FBI relied on the dossier to "get this whole thing going." Breitbart referred to the debunked "Russia hoax," and a Wall Street Journal editorial demanded to know how "the partisan propaganda known as the Steele dossier become the basis for an unprecedented FBI probe of a presidential campaign..."</p> <p>As the Mueller report makes clear, and as even the infamous "Nunes memo" of 2018 conceded, the investigation did not begin with the dossier. It began when a foreign government (believed to be Australia) "informed the FBI about its May 2016 interaction with (George) Papadopoulos and his statement that the Russian government could assist the Trump Campaign." <p>Updated: Fri Apr 26, 2019</p> 80b87a48d413d65927562c3521a1b6a1 Did Bernie Sanders Steal His Wealth? for 04/17/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/04/19/did-bernie-sanders-steal-his-wealth Wed, 17 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In 2016 and 2017, Bernie Sanders raked in over a million bucks. Last year, his gross income was down to $561, 293 &#8212; still not too shabby. The point is not to rib the senator about his membership in the top 1 percent, though that's tempting. Nor is it to chide him for his relatively paltry charitable donations. His contributions to charity represented only 3.4 percent of his income, it's true. But compared with some of his competitors in the Democratic field, that was generous. Beto O'Rourke reportedly contributed only one-third of 1 percent of his 2017 income ($370,412), and he may have underpaid his taxes by $4,000 by taking medical deductions in excess of the permitted amount. Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillebrand all gave less than 2 percent of their incomes away. Cory Booker and Pete Buttigieg have yet to release their tax returns, and of course, President Donald Trump is hiding behind a spectral audit (still not complete, three years on?) that in any case would present no legal obstacle to disclosure. Why he is hiding his "beautiful" tax returns is up to the imagination.</p> <p>The question for Bernie Sanders is: How can you sleep at night knowing that you became rich at the expense of the middle class and the poor? <p>Updated: Wed Apr 17, 2019</p> 7c51972a2e8384bdc5dd62669cb8ee79 Twitter Ain't America for 04/12/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/mona-charen/04/19/twitter-aint-america Fri, 12 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>An appropriately Twitteresque meme circulated recently on that platform: Write a sad story in just three words. This was an homage to Ernest Hemingway, who, challenged to write a sad story in only six words, grabbed the nearest blank paper and scrawled: "For sale: baby shoes. Never worn." Or so the story goes. It's too good to check. Responses to the three-word challenge ran the gamut from "People trust CNN," to "Trump elected again." I suggested, "Twitter represents America."</p> <p>It would be a sad story if it were true, but there are many reasons to doubt that Twitter represents anything other than a cacophony of curmudgeons. <p>Updated: Fri Apr 12, 2019</p>