Mona Charen from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Wed, 04 Aug 2021 22:35:58 -0700 Mona Charen from Creators Syndicate 17c6f0943ed0ff93f84c1decd2e6e285 Cheney and Kinzinger May Be Too Late for 07/30/2021 Fri, 30 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>I wish I could be a Cheney fan. I really do. Rep. Liz Cheney has conducted herself honorably for the past nine months. Her courage in telling the truth about the election and the insurrection of Jan. 6 has been punished by the Republican conference, which booted her from leadership and replaced her with the lying, scheming Trumpist, Rep. Elise Stefanik. Former President Donald Trump is apparently working feverishly to unseat Cheney from Congress altogether, and his lickspittle lieutenants are joining the effort.</p> <p>The invertebrate minority leader, Kevin McCarthy &#8212; who, let's recall, declared on Jan. 13 that "the president bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Congress by mob rioters" &#8212; has long since scurried back under Trump's skirts, from whence he issues barbs against the few remaining Republicans who still have some principles. McCarthy sniped that Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, the other Republican appointed to the Jan. 6 committee over the objections of party leadership, are "Pelosi Republicans."</p> <p>The opening segments of the Jan. 6 committee were another fine moment for Cheney. She began by thanking the police officers who testified about their experiences defending the Capitol that day:<p>Updated: Fri Jul 30, 2021</p> 61e26480ebdbb4ae94c7e14ae60fb83b Can National Solidarity Solve Our Race Problems? for 07/23/2021 Fri, 23 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>On Oct. 16, 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington to dine at the White House. As Edmund Morris relates in "Theodore Rex," many Americans were pleased with this precedent-shattering dinner. But not all. Definitely not all. In the South, disgust and vitriol shook the rafters. A sample of headlines: "Roosevelt Dines a Darkey" and "Our Coon-Flavored President."</p> <p>Sen. Benjamin Tillman of South Carolina said, "The action of President Roosevelt in entertaining that n&#8212;&#8212;- will necessitate our killing a thousand n&#8212;&#8212;- in the South before they will learn their place again." </p> <p>In 1918, Will and Annie Johnson, young, Black sharecroppers in Marlboro County, South Carolina, would name their son Theodore Roosevelt Johnson to honor the 26th president. <span class="column--highlighted-text">They could have chosen to honor Washington, but as their great-grandson Theodore R. Johnson writes in his new book "When the Stars Begin to Fall," by choosing the president's name, they were making a "bold proclamation about who could be truly American."</span><p>Updated: Fri Jul 23, 2021</p> 19bfc7f79d998598b755e3ee54c693e0 What We Lost When We Won the Cold War for 07/09/2021 Fri, 09 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Almost exactly 60 years ago, the newly appointed Chadian ambassador to the United States, Adam Malick Sow, was heading south on Maryland's Route 40 toward Washington, D.C. He stopped at the Bonnie Brae diner and asked for a menu. The owner, Mrs. Leroy Merritt, sneered, "We don't serve n&#8212;&#8212;-s here," and threw him out.</p> <p>The same thing happened to other African diplomats at other Maryland establishments, and it became an international embarrassment. President John F. Kennedy worried that this treatment of diplomats from Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Congo and other newly independent African nations would harm U.S. efforts to limit Soviet influence in Africa. </p> <p>The story, recounted in Ted Johnson's exploration of race and history, "When the Stars Begin to Fall," illustrates something that's worth pondering: How much did Cold War competition spur us toward fulfilling our national ideals?<p>Updated: Fri Jul 09, 2021</p> f6eb0287790967bb03928722eba4f82c Decency RIP for 07/02/2021 Fri, 02 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Sen. Mitt Romney appeared on Jake Tapper's CNN show last weekend, and for a few brief minutes, I felt transported to a saner world. Asked about the gross things some on the right are saying about Gen. Mark Milley, he responded that "Gen. Milley is a person of extraordinary accomplishment and personal character and a brilliant man." Asked about continuing allegations from the former president and his enablers that the election was stolen, Romney didn't hesitate to call it "the big lie." </p> <p>On substance, Romney was rock solid. He opposes government efforts to dictate what is taught in schools. He supports spending $1.2 trillion on roads, bridges, rail, air, water pipes, broadband and more, but when Tapper noted that the American Society of Civil Engineers wants to spend an additional $800 billion, Romney responded politely but deftly: "Well, I must admit that I do pay a lot of attention to the engineers, but, of course, they're paid based upon how much we spend in their arena." Spoken like someone who wasn't born yesterday.</p> <p>Romney knew the infrastructure bill in detail. He praised President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. He differed with Democrats about social spending and taxes. He stated unequivocally that the election was free and fair. In short, he was completely out of step with modern "conservatism" and the GOP. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 02, 2021</p> 853088fc9a4f52737352989b0868b3b0 The Difference a Father Makes for 06/25/2021 Fri, 25 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>There was a Father's Day parade in Washington, D.C., last week that warmed my family-obsessed heart. It was called the Black Fathers Matter motorcade, and it featured silver and black balloons, a band serenading the crowd aboard a flatbed truck, kids singing their dads' praises, community leaders, politicians and at the end, a pop-up tent to provide COVID-19 vaccines for those who needed them. </p> <p>Boy, do we need more celebrations like that! Black fathers &#8212; all fathers &#8212; need a helluva lot more appreciation because they are so crucial to children's well-being, and they rarely get the recognition they deserve. A new survey adds bricks to the huge wall of evidence that dads are important to children's welfare.</p> <p>Though you might get the impression from certain quarters that no Black kids come from intact families these days, that's an exaggeration. According to the Census Bureau, 41.3% of African American children are being raised by their biological moms and dads (37.9% married, 3.4% unmarried); 50.8% are living with a single parent (4.5% with fathers); and 8% live with a nonparent. For the population at large, a little over 70% of children live with their biological parents; 21% live with their mothers alone; 4.5% live with their fathers alone; and 4% live with someone other than a parent.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 25, 2021</p> 94dae69219d6f70eb82a1e7225114770 America's Next Noble Act for 06/18/2021 Fri, 18 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Speaking to the Munich Security Conference in February, President Joe Biden proclaimed that "America is back." It's a pleasing sentiment, but our allies as well as our adversaries can be forgiven for taking a wait-and-see attitude.</p> <p>America's approach to the world has gyrated over the past two decades from George W. Bush's assertive interventionism to Barack Obama's lead-from-behind modesty. Donald Trump's "America First" posture was a mixture of obsequiousness toward dictators and truculence toward traditional allies.</p> <p>Biden attempted to reify the "America is Back" slogan by urging a unified G-7 position toward China. He hoped for a unanimous declaration condemning China's use of forced labor, and while Canada, Britain and France were ready to sign on, others demurred. It seems likely that the Biden administration will continue to press allies on taking a hard line toward Beijing. He has repeatedly emphasized that confronting China is a defining challenge of his presidency. "This is a battle between the utility of democracies in the 21st century and autocracies," he told reporters at his first news conference as president. "We've got to prove democracy works."<p>Updated: Fri Jun 18, 2021</p> 348b39bf4c0d814c029b840f55c7267d Don't Cry for H.R.1 for 06/11/2021 Fri, 11 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>When Sen. Joe Manchin announced he would oppose the For the People Act, Steve Benen of MSNBC spoke for many Democrats when he declared that "Joe Manchin is prepared to be remembered by history as the senator who did little more than hope as his country's democracy unraveled."</p> <p>One can share Democrats' alarm about the state of our democracy without concluding that the For the People Act was the answer. </p> <p>H.R. 1 is a mashup of sound ideas (requiring a paper record of each vote) with outdated and arguably unconstitutional measures &#8212; banning so-called dark money at a time when small-dollar donations are more important; and limiting speech, which the American Civil Liberties Union, among others, opposes.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 11, 2021</p> e4498f13d1e6e0e667c68f37084b3fb2 Communist China's Family Values for 06/04/2021 Fri, 04 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The Chinese communist government is going to permit three children per family. How nice. Here's how The New York Times put it: "The announcement by the ruling Communist Party represents an acknowledgment that its limits on reproduction, the world's toughest, have jeopardized the country's future."</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">To describe China's "one child policy" as "limits on reproduction" is like calling Jim Crow laws "limits on political participation."</span> The Times account, which at least used the word "brutal" after the jump, also featured a sidebar timeline of China's population policies that was even more anodyne. In 1978, it informs readers, the central government "approves a proposal in which family planning offices encourage couples to have one child, or at most two."<p>Updated: Fri Jun 04, 2021</p> 477b60838919ca9b9df41b2f1ed26e73 Inflation and Crime Threaten Democrats for 05/28/2021 Fri, 28 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The economy is reviving. On the East Coast, the cicadas are singing their love songs. There's a supermoon on the West Coast. We are at peace (at least with other nations). And yet President Joe Biden's approval rating remains almost precisely where it was in the first week of his presidency &#8212; 55%. </p> <p>We are so trapped in negative partisanship that the actual performance of the duties of president simply does not matter to most of the electorate. The vast majority of Democrats will support Biden no matter what, and Republicans will oppose him. From 1948 to 1992, The Wall Street Journal reports, about 18% of voters said they voted for candidates of different parties in different years. Today, fewer than 10% do. Those voters hold the fate of the nation in their hands.<p>Updated: Fri May 28, 2021</p> ec9215de9efc800862db7308a816ffc6 What If Roe Is Overturned? for 05/21/2021 Fri, 21 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>As soon as the Supreme Court granted cert in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, I rushed online to see the anticipated outcry. More on that in a moment.</p> <p>The case challenges the constitutionality of Mississippi's gestational age law that barred abortions past 15 weeks except in exceptional circumstances. This is a significant moment because the Court did not need to take this case. There was no circuit split to resolve. And if the justices had no intention to change the lower court's reading of applicable precedents, they could have let the appeals court's ruling stand. Though only Clarence Thomas has stated his desire to reverse the abortion precedent, five other justices have signaled, at various times in their careers, that they might be open to it.<p>Updated: Fri May 21, 2021</p> f3c77cc940d9b36345e9e808747a7217 The Real Steal Is Coming for 05/11/2021 Tue, 11 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><i>War is peace. </i></p><i> <p>Freedom is slavery. <p>Updated: Tue May 11, 2021</p> b38a2a7c407507bbf388b5580abc3af1 Who Could Possibly Oppose Universal Pre-K? for 05/06/2021 Thu, 06 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Subsidized day care and universal pre-K are goals that sound so wholesome only a ghoul could oppose them. Especially in an era when Democrats and Republicans have achieved consensus that money grows on trees, who could possibly object to spending a few hundred billion or so, as Biden has proposed with his American Families Plan, to ensure that kids get the best start in life?</p> <p>My hand is up. Here is a partial list of reasons:</p> <p>1. It's not what parents prefer.<p>Updated: Thu May 06, 2021</p> 289c26193e5c49a2039b8550f3e7c84c Biden Could Do More to Unify the Country for 04/30/2021 Fri, 30 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Among right-wingers, there has been some delight about polls showing that Joe Biden's popularity at the 100-day mark is the lowest of any president since World War II. Oh, if you exclude Donald Trump. Undaunted by this detail, they note with satisfaction that Biden's approval rating, according to multiple polls, is somewhere between 52 and 57%. At this point in his presidency, Trump's approval was 40%.</p> <p>Americans were far less partisan in the era of Eisenhower, Reagan, Bush and even Clinton than they are now. Large numbers of Democrats were willing to give high marks to Eisenhower when the economy was thriving, or to George H.W. Bush when we had just won a quick war, and a not insignificant number of Republicans approved of Clinton when we enjoyed balanced budgets and booming markets. But in recent years, negative partisanship has curdled our perceptions. One symptom of negative partisanship is the sharp decline in ticket-splitting. As the Cook Political Report's Amy Walter noted:</p> <p>"After the 1992 election, for example, there were 103 split-ticket House seats; 53 that voted for George HW Bush and a Democratic member of Congress, and 50 that voted for Bill Clinton and a Republican member of the House ... Post-2020, there are only 17, or just four percent of the House."<p>Updated: Fri Apr 30, 2021</p> 046fab3085c9eee99dd57eb8951865ef COVID-19's Silver Linings for 04/23/2021 Fri, 23 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>As of this week, more than 40% of Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and 26% are fully vaccinated. Though it wasn't planned this way, more normal human life is returning just as the redbuds, azaleas, magnolias and tulips are performing their gorgeous annual affirmation of renewal. Fears of catastrophic depression, widespread shortages and massive civil unrest are receding.</p> <p>Hundreds of thousands of American families and millions worldwide are bereaved, and nearly everyone has experienced some form of disruption, pain or trauma during the past year. But not everything changed for the worse. <p>Updated: Fri Apr 23, 2021</p> f5eca825dd5339984a95bceeffd490cf Not Every Tragedy Is a Racial Lesson for 04/16/2021 Fri, 16 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Reliving the awful details of George Floyd's slow suffocation is brutal and emotionally draining. As always in matters touching on race, the thrum of ethnic hostilities is the background noise. Some have been eager, since the trial began, to cite George Floyd's drug use or heart trouble as the true cause of death (arguments the prosecution has effectively debunked). Others have argued that if Floyd had simply agreed to enter the squad car, he would be alive today &#8212; as if that exonerates the officers.</p> <p>But it seems that the shadow of Derek Chauvin is obscuring our ability to make distinctions and respond rationally to other, similar cases.</p> <p>Similar is the operative word. In the space of a few days, we've seen a police officer shoot and kill Daunte Wright in Minnesota and learned of a December case in which two police officers pointed guns at and pepper-sprayed Army Lt. Caron Nazario. They may be similar on the surface, but they are quite different in the details.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 16, 2021</p> 9089c8c3f14b5b07164fa2665b4a6fcd Are We Doing Our Best for Trans Kids? for 04/08/2021 Thu, 08 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Seventeen legislatures are considering laws that would dictate how medical personnel can treat transgender youth &#8212; the latest flash point in the culture war. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson surprised observers this week when he vetoed one of those bills. It would have outlawed puberty blockers, cross-sex hormone treatment and "gender affirming" surgeries for children.</p> <p>The Arkansas legislature and 16 others are attempting to big foot a complex issue. With rare exceptions (such as limitations on assisted suicide and abortion), legislatures are not the best place for decision-making about medical issues. But in our hyper-hysterical culture, it's becoming less and less possible to engage in these debates where they belong &#8212; in the realm of science and journalism. Questions about how best to treat children with gender dysphoria surely belong in the evidence-based world of medical science, psychology and psychiatry, and in the journals, newspapers, books and websites that test ideas for reliability and truth. Jonathan Rauch's new book, "The Constitution of Knowledge," is a brilliant meditation on how the mechanisms of truth-testing have evolved over the centuries.</p> <p>Conservatives are attempting to use government power to shut down an argument; progressives are attempting to use intimidation and shaming. Amazon recently stopped selling Ryan T. Anderson's 2018 book "When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment."<p>Updated: Thu Apr 08, 2021</p> 8e91ba98632c3a3c4be3fa036d6001a5 What We Can Learn from Asian Americans for 04/02/2021 Fri, 02 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>This much can be said without fear of contradiction: There has been a spike in disgusting crimes against Asian Americans during the past year. One analysis of 16 of the country's largest cities found that acts of anti-Asian bias, not just crimes, increased by 145% between 2019 and 2020, even as other hate crimes declined. They range from vile insults hurled at subway riders in New York ("Get the f&#8212;- out of NYC"), to violent assaults. </p> <p>Is the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes a symptom of white supremacy? Most left-of-center outlets interpret it that way. It's certainly possible that many of the crimes were expressions of white supremacy. But how do we categorize the anti-Asian attacks committed by African Americans and Hispanics? Voice of America looked at some of the data:<p>Updated: Fri Apr 02, 2021</p> 556a7a8ed2214683a12e94635b1e82fe Sidney Powell Admits It Was All a Lie for 03/25/2021 Thu, 25 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The Big Lie is starting to unravel. One of Donald Trump's disinformation stars, Sidney Powell, is backing down. But while we're considering the matter of truth and lies, let's recall when conservatives cared about truth (or seemed to). </p> <p>In the 1990s, Guatemalan activist Rigoberta Menchu was a phenomenon. Of Mayan descent, she offered harrowing testimony about the conduct of the Guatemalan military during that country's civil war. Her 1983 as-told-to memoir, "I Rigoberta Menchu," was a sensation. In 1992, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.<p>Updated: Thu Mar 25, 2021</p> 39dc07126651eb55bd0bb4f9a90bdfc1 J.D. Vance Joins the Jackals for 03/19/2021 Fri, 19 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The question of what will become of the Republican Party in the post-Trump era seems to be on everyone's lips. A New York Times survey found that Republicans themselves have five distinct views of Donald Trump, including 35% who are either "Never Trump" or "Post Trump." But 65% fall into the "Die-hard" camp (27%), the "Trump Booster" faction (28%), or the "InfoWars" segment (10%).</p> <p>Whatever the future of the Republican Party will be, the shape-shifting J.D. Vance sheds light on the dynamics of how we got here and where the Republican Party is headed. This week, billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel announced that he is donating $10 million to a super PAC supporting Vance's potential run for the United States Senate seat from Ohio. <p>Updated: Fri Mar 19, 2021</p> 8046fae68dd1f771d8986eb894a8752b COVID-19's Big Fat Non-Surprise for 03/12/2021 Fri, 12 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>"A Covid Mystery" proclaimed a New York Times newsletter. "Why has the death toll been relatively low across much of Africa and Asia?" Like a know-it-all kid in 7th grade, I thought: "Call on me! I know this!" and clicked on the item. But to my surprise, the account that followed completely failed to mention what I thought was the obvious answer.</p> <p>David Leonhardt's piece notes the fact that, against all expectations dating from the early stages of this pandemic, poorer countries of Africa and Asia have suffered only a small fraction of the death rates from the coronavirus that wealthier nations have experienced. In the U.S., we've had 1,580 deaths per million inhabitants. Italy has had 1,651, whereas Egypt has had 109, and Nigeria 10. <p>Updated: Fri Mar 12, 2021</p>