Steve Chapman from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sat, 28 Mar 2020 07:37:26 -0700 Steve Chapman from Creators Syndicate 90886a9d925afb1da3aa535a53ebe7c3 Why Trump Can't Restart the Economy for 03/26/2020 Thu, 26 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The federal government's effort to combat the new coronavirus carries an economic price that is getting higher every day &#8212; too high, it appears, for President Donald Trump and some of his advisers. They fear a sharp, brutal downturn that could boost unemployment into double-digits, litter the landscape with bankruptcies and doom his reelection bid.</p> <p>On Monday, the president expressed impatience: "America will, again, and soon, be open for business. Very soon." His reason: "We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself." On Tuesday, he said he "would love to have the country opened up, and just raring to go, by Easter" &#8212; April 12.<p>Updated: Thu Mar 26, 2020</p> d78aa817b195ac761ffe8b2bf632d3a4 Trump and the Perils of Being a Wartime President for 03/22/2020 Sun, 22 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The new coronavirus has been one of the worst moments of Donald Trump's presidency. A crisis erupted, and he spent weeks downplaying and dismissing before finally conceding the urgent need for action. If things go badly, he will get a lot of the blame for his tardy, ineffectual response.</p> <p>But in some ways, the pandemic puts him in the position he always imagined the office would be. He gets to stand in front of the cameras every day, issuing directives, invoking emergency powers and commanding a platoon of subordinates who praise his inspiring leadership. It's a Hollywood image of a president in action.<p>Updated: Sun Mar 22, 2020</p> c7e05528320d9c87fb21b2c10f5c1308 How to Relieve the Growing Economic Pain -- and How Not To for 03/19/2020 Thu, 19 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In normal times, we expect the people who make economic policy to do everything possible to avoid a recession. But with the new coronavirus, that's not an option. The steps needed to cope with the epidemic virtually guarantee a painful contraction. And that's a price we should be willing to pay, because there is no good alternative.</p> <p>Donald Trump has done a lot of things wrong, but he made the right point Tuesday about the sinking stock market. "For the markets, for everything," he said, "the best thing we can do is get rid of the virus." <p>Updated: Thu Mar 19, 2020</p> b595ffc7c48bb0718e793eaeee1d9cb4 What Makes the Coronavirus Crisis Different for 03/15/2020 Sun, 15 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The coronavirus pandemic is hardly the first national crisis that Americans have faced in this century. But it's different from the previous ones, and we are not ready for it. </p> <p>What sets it apart from the 9/11 attacks, the wars in Afghanistan and the Great Recession is that it will require us to make unwanted sacrifices. Absorbing that stark necessity has taken time and sapped our willingness to act.<p>Updated: Sun Mar 15, 2020</p> 5a10f464c7744ccb9332b02a967c9b71 Dangerous Complacency About Coronavirus for 03/12/2020 Thu, 12 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In a moment of looming crisis, there are two reactions that should be avoided. The first is panic. The second is complacency. Faced with the coronavirus epidemic, the president, many other officials and the general public are avoiding the first mistake by falling into the second.</p> <p>A look elsewhere shows the folly of relying on hope as a strategy. <span class="column--highlighted-text">On Jan. 31, Italy had two confirmed cases of COVID-19. By Tuesday, it had more than 10,000.</span> South Korea has gone from one on Jan. 20 to more than 7,700. The disease, once it emerges, spreads rapidly, even in the face of efforts to contain it. And the efforts to contain it in this country have been tardy and feeble.<p>Updated: Thu Mar 12, 2020</p> 854bd99cf4e044d9b7c7aa2f68d6daa1 Chuck Schumer, the Supreme Court and an Abortion Menace for 03/08/2020 Sun, 08 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh certainly have grounds to feel threatened and aggrieved by Sen. Charles Schumer's warning that they "will pay the price" for any "awful decisions" they bring about. It was an irresponsibly worded comment, as Schumer himself later conceded. I can just imagine what anxiety they must have suffered.</p> <p>But in our concern for the emotional health and physical well-being of these justices, let's save a bit of sympathy for a much larger group of people who face something considerably more dire &#8212; which may come from the Supreme Court.<p>Updated: Sun Mar 08, 2020</p> 6de3bc9f3f6028c783f477adfe41d6ce The Coronavirus Carries a Big Risk of Recession for 03/05/2020 Thu, 05 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>If you see a fleet of fire trucks go by with sirens blaring, you can take it as good news. All those firefighters and all that equipment are available and ready to do the job they exist for. But it's really the bad news that is more relevant. They wouldn't be racing out if there weren't a big, destructive fire blazing.</p> <p>The Federal Reserve's decision Tuesday to slash interest rates by half a point is likewise a very mixed blessing. It's good that the Fed is acting quickly and decisively to mitigate the effects of the growing coronavirus epidemic. But it is acting only because the danger is large and immediate.<p>Updated: Thu Mar 05, 2020</p> 55075b76ae91441d003acb7d76b8b825 Sanders and Bloomberg Both Want to Run Your Life for 02/27/2020 Thu, 27 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The Democratic primary battle between Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg could be easily resolved if they would realize how much they have in common. In fact, they would make a great ticket. Imagine the slogan: "Sanders-Bloomberg: Because you're tired of running your own life."</p> <p>Being a moderate libertarian &#8212; or a libertarian moderate, I'm not quite sure &#8212; I'm partial to those passages in the Constitution that say, "Congress shall make no law." I have a high regard for both free markets and civil liberties, for both abortion rights and gun rights, for a humane safety net and fiscal prudence. The best government is one that performs only clearly essential functions and performs those well &#8212; while recognizing its limits not only at home but also abroad.<p>Updated: Thu Feb 27, 2020</p> 3c38e0eef77b48f39179dcbd862f0215 Will Utah Decriminalize Polygamy? for 02/23/2020 Sun, 23 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>In modern America, sex is pretty much a government-free zone. It's been a long time since we treated fornication and adultery as crimes. The Supreme Court struck down state laws banning homosexual acts. Nudity is common on mainstream TV platforms, and pornography is available in every home.</p> <p>Most Americans, if not all, have made peace with the idea that what consenting adults do to satisfy their carnal appetites is nobody's business but their own. But there is one major exception: polygamy. When it comes to marriage, our laws stipulate that two is company and three's a crowd.</p> <p>The ban survives mainly because it affects so few of us. Most people would no more want multiple spouses than they would want multiple heads. But for the small subset of the population that feels differently, the law creates a danger and a stigma &#8212; and for no defensible reason.<p>Updated: Sun Feb 23, 2020</p> 49b34e3e4a7c78f468104cf6eb746f92 Under Trump, Crooked Big Shots Get a Break for 02/20/2020 Thu, 20 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Irving Kristol, a New York intellectual and youthful communist who became a guru of the American right, once defined a neoconservative as "a liberal who has been mugged by reality." Thanks to Donald Trump, we have a new definition of a criminal justice reformer: a rich person who is shocked to see his felonious friends punished as though they were poor.</p> <p>Sorting out the motives behind the president's sudden slew of clemency actions for people he knows and likes is not terribly difficult. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Trump is a monumental sleazeball who is comfortable with other sleazeballs, provided they are people of means and fame.</span> It also helps if they are willing to play the role of toady because Trump likes to see people grovel before him.<p>Updated: Thu Feb 20, 2020</p> aafe0069c7596030315840a666c9b748 The Astros' Apology? Not Accepted for 02/16/2020 Sun, 16 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The Houston Astros have gotten a lot of criticism lately, but they may also have a business opportunity. They could work out a marketing promotion with Reese's, maker of those peanut butter cups, whose ad slogan is: "Not sorry." </p> <p>Oh, they say they're sorry, just as losing Academy Award nominees force themselves to smile and applaud for the winners. But <span class="column--highlighted-text">their contrition is about as convincing as Pete Rose's hair dye. </span>When Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman stepped forward to apologize at a Thursday press conference, they looked as though they were making a hostage video.<p>Updated: Sun Feb 16, 2020</p> e6549eaec21f193f1c4254f950e2e3d8 On Foreign Policy, Bernie Sanders Shines for 02/13/2020 Thu, 13 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Bernie Sanders is a strident ideologue with immovable convictions that defy conventional Democratic thinking and haven't changed in more than half a century. When it comes to foreign policy, however, he may be exactly what we need.</p> <p>I am no fan of Sanders' domestic policy agenda, which shows an undue faith in the wisdom and competence of the federal government to reshape our economic lives. But his approach to international affairs indicates a humility and restraint that has long been absent from the halls of power.<p>Updated: Thu Feb 13, 2020</p> 7f5e4793958735bc976cefd862dd06db Trump's Surprising Outreach to Black Voters for 02/09/2020 Sun, 09 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>At times during his State of the Union address, Donald Trump seemed to be running for president &#8212; of the NAACP. In 2016, he asked black voters, "What the hell do you have to lose?" This year, his message amounts to, "You never had it so good."</p> <p>In his State of the Union address, Trump boasted that the black unemployment is the lowest ever. He cited his signing of a criminal justice reform law. He celebrated "opportunity zones" in poor areas and told a black child in the audience that she would be getting an "opportunity scholarship" to attend a new school.<p>Updated: Sun Feb 09, 2020</p> cf17efe0044835cc19b2db3520f49026 After the Iowa Caucuses Disaster, Let's Bring Back the Smoke-Filled Room for 02/06/2020 Thu, 06 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>This year's Iowa caucuses were a pratfall shackled to a debacle and wrapped inside a horror. The failure of organizers to get and report results promptly has provoked demands for change: Scrap the format, change the way results are tabulated, or cancel Iowa's first place on the calendar. But the spectacle was a distraction from the graver defect, which is an overdose of democracy.</p> <p>The caucuses were once an exercise in irrelevance, and presidential primaries were only slightly more than that. In 1968, Hubert Humphrey won the Democratic nomination without entering a single primary. Party officials made the decision. But afterward, Democrats led by Sen. George McGovern changed the rules to give ordinary voters a bigger say. <p>Updated: Thu Feb 06, 2020</p> 8c83d216e0f6202858ab4f414617e194 A Helping Hand for Ex-Offenders Is Holding Them Back for 01/26/2020 Sun, 26 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The United States leads the world in many categories that evoke pride and one that should not: We lock people up at a higher rate than any other country. We also have a lot of ex-offenders who have a hard time finding legitimate work. And an ex-offender with no job and no money is a crime waiting to happen.</p> <p>But a few years back, we came up with a remedy for that problem: forbidding employers from asking applicants about their criminal records at the start of the hiring process. Only after candidates have been found qualified and offered interviews may the employer request this information. <p>Updated: Sun Jan 26, 2020</p> 261b1eac1dc50023175b25b9454aa125 Trump's Supporters and the Denial of Reality for 01/23/2020 Thu, 23 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>There was a time when I was unconvinced of the case that greenhouse gases were causing the planet to warm and that action was needed to curb them. I'm not one to jump to conclusions on such an important matter. But over time, I noticed something fishy. The people who began by rejecting the case kept changing their story.</p> <p>First, they said the planet was not getting hotter. Then they said it might be getting hotter but not because of carbon dioxide. Then they said that maybe the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was causing it but that it was a good thing. Then they said that even if it's a bad thing, it would be costly or futile to take remedial action. At each stage, they devised a new argument.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 23, 2020</p> 54bd96ab9205a5660e513cc9eca28e1c Warren and Sanders and the Wealth Tax Folly for 01/19/2020 Sun, 19 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>For any problem you can think of, Elizabeth Warren has a plan &#8212; usually an expensive one. She promises universal child care, universal pre-K, the elimination of student loan debt, rural broadband, "Medicare for All" and more. She's of the "go big or go home" school.</p> <p>There was a time when Democrats like Bill Clinton recognized that Washington can't do everything. Not Warren. "I am so tired of hearing what the richest country on the face of the earth just can't afford to do," she says. And: "I don't understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running to be the president of the United States to talk about what we really can't do."<p>Updated: Sun Jan 19, 2020</p> 31d817d4053d348cf967793606230149 Trump's Phony Love of the Military for 01/16/2020 Thu, 16 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Many women are acquainted with a certain type of boyfriend. He's generous with gifts, meals and compliments. In public, he's the picture of devotion. But when you need him, he's not there. When you have a problem, it's your fault. Eventually, you have to accept: He's just not that into you.</p> <p>For the U.S. military, Donald Trump is that kind of boyfriend. He claims to be their greatest champion. But by now it should be clear he doesn't really love our men and women in uniform. He's merely using them.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 16, 2020</p> 96e8177059ece20c873bd3abfc5d863a Why Elizabeth Warren Is Not So Electable for 01/12/2020 Sun, 12 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The most important consideration for Democratic primary voters this year is not which candidate would make the best president, because the worst of their candidates would be a gargantuan improvement over Donald Trump. The most important consideration is which one gives them the best chance of beating Trump. Everything else is a distraction.</p> <p>Elizabeth Warren presents herself as the most electable contender in the field. "I'm the only person who will be on the debate stage who's beaten a popular incumbent Republican anytime in the last 25 years," she boasted recently in Davenport, Iowa. "In other words, I know how to fight, I know how to win, and that's what I plan to do."<p>Updated: Sun Jan 12, 2020</p> d6988fe593118b3f5195cbf44e90c204 Trump Upholds the Tradition of Lying About War for 01/09/2020 Thu, 09 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Donald Trump's administration has been a fountain of lies from his first day in office. But the U.S. attack that killed a top Iranian commander promises to turn that fountain into a tsunami.</p> <p>Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed the drone strike on the Baghdad airport was urgent because intelligence indicated Qassem Soleimani presented "imminent threats to American lives." But Pompeo was curiously unwilling to supply evidence.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 09, 2020</p>