Steve Chapman from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Fri, 26 Feb 2021 22:27:05 -0800 Steve Chapman from Creators Syndicate 1deaaed2b80b6206777bc11a5de9ce61 A Frozen Texas and the Perils of Denial for 02/21/2021 Sun, 21 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>In an era of global climate change, Texas has retained an unshakable allegiance to fossil fuel production and use. It brings to mind the joke about the man who tells his psychiatrist that his brother thinks he's a chicken. The psychiatrist asks why the family hasn't gotten him help. "We need the eggs," the man replies.</p> <p>Texas has long been vulnerable to climate change. It's always been hot: Gen. Philip Sheridan said that if he owned hell and Texas, he'd rent out Texas and live in hell. It's always been prone to drought. It's always gotten hit by hurricanes.</p> <p>Texans may have figured that at least global warming would mean pleasantly milder winters. But this winter, millions of them have been freezing in the dark.<p>Updated: Sun Feb 21, 2021</p> ff3fbb332f3624c424e1895036f766d2 The Downsides of Raising the Minimum Wage for 02/18/2021 Thu, 18 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>For most Americans, being asked if they favor a higher minimum wage is like asking if they like sunshine and ice cream. What's not to like about increasing the rewards for low-paid workers &#8212; especially for anyone who has ever been a low-paid worker?</p> <p>This is one of those ideas that you might think would generate disagreement along partisan lines. President Joe Biden wants to increase the national minimum wage to $15 an hour, up from $7.25. It's no surprise that 87% of Democrats support the idea. The surprise is that 62% of Republicans agree. Empathy for essential workers during the pandemic has only made the idea more appealing.</p> <p>But just because an idea is popular doesn't mean it's wise. What economics teaches is that no government intervention in the economy comes without costs, some of which greatly outweigh benefits. This one has major flaws.<p>Updated: Thu Feb 18, 2021</p> 18e7876831e4d948f6acf401c8ad06ea The Impeachment Acquittal Does Profound Damage to Our Democracy for 02/15/2021 Mon, 15 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>One of the most familiar lessons of the Donald Trump era is that no matter how bad today is, tomorrow can always be worse. We learned over and over that there is no bottom to his capacity for outrageous conduct, and there is no limit to his party's tolerance for it.</p> <p>Jan. 6 was one of the greatest catastrophes in the history of the American republic. An incumbent president who had decisively lost his reelection roused his deranged disciples to launch a massive attack on the U.S. Capitol in an effort to keep him in office. It was an attempted coup, nothing less. Lives were lost; members of Congress and their aides were traumatized; and the president who instigated the attack took pleasure in it.</p> <p>But Saturday's Senate vote to acquit Trump in his impeachment trial was worse. Forty-three duly elected representatives of the people of their states chose to ignore or rationalize his shocking blitzkrieg. They repudiated their sworn duty to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic."<p>Updated: Mon Feb 15, 2021</p> 12c9c8f5c4af80fa1397ef2f5f42e99d Mike Pence Could Turn the Impeachment Trial Around for 02/14/2021 Sun, 14 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Over many years, Mike Pence compiled a stellar record as a conservative Republican, most recently as a faithful servant of former President Donald Trump. When he refused to try to block Congress from certifying President Joe Biden's election victory, his decision was bound to alienate many former allies. But it did more than that. It provoked some of them to thoughts of murder.</p> <p>When armed insurrectionists stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, they saw Pence as the enemy. They had set up a gallows outside the Capitol. Fighting with cops, they swarmed through the building chanting, "Hang Mike Pence!"</p> <p>Had a few things gone differently, they might have done it. Pence lived through a trauma that is bound to haunt him &#8212; one provoked by his own boss. You would think what he went through might prompt Pence to repay Trump's betrayal in the most dramatic and effective way possible.<p>Updated: Sun Feb 14, 2021</p> 41a9b892faa836773f228ad56baf4e66 Trump Can't Take Refuge in the First Amendment for 02/11/2021 Thu, 11 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>When the mob of Donald Trump fanatics invaded the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, one of them carved a vivid message into a door: "Murder the media." So, it is only fitting that the former president's lawyers are defending him in his Senate impeachment trial by claiming the protection of ... the First Amendment. You know, the one that protects the media.</p> <p>That provision bars the government from "abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." The framers placed a high value on ensuring that newspapers and pamphleteers could operate without getting permission from the government or anyone else.</p> <p>But MAGA nation is openly hostile to any journalists who don't champion its cause. At the Capitol, participants harassed, threatened and assaulted reporters. One group of people screamed, "CNN sucks!" as they smashed an Associated Press crew's cameras and other equipment.<p>Updated: Thu Feb 11, 2021</p> 23fe56e846cd0d488d7c211e1dda1def The Conservative Virtues of Romney's Child Allowance for 02/07/2021 Sun, 07 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>The United States has a vast array of government programs that are meant to alleviate poverty, from food stamps to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Yet these efforts don't actually solve the problem they address. In terms of poverty, the United States ranks at or near the worst among developed countries.</p> <p>One reason for that failure is that we keep avoiding the obvious solution: If people are poor, give them money. But Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, is not avoiding that solution any longer.</p> <p>He has unveiled a major proposal to provide $350 per month ($4,200 per year) to every child in America up to the age of 6, as well as $250 per month ($3,000 per year) to every child age 6 to 17. Each family would be limited to a maximum of $1,250 per month ($15,000 per year). The program would be a model of simplicity, with the Social Security Administration mailing out checks every month. That's a big difference from the Earned Income Tax Credit, which typically provides cash only in one lump sum after the tax year ends. <p>Updated: Sun Feb 07, 2021</p> 28973fbc1d4993af987cb6a30df6736b A Barrier to Abortion Can Be Deadly in a Pandemic for 02/04/2021 Thu, 04 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>The COVID-19 pandemic has given a big boost to methods of bringing health care to people remotely, known as "telemedicine." If there's a lethal contagion going around, a doctor's office is one obvious place to avoid, if at all possible, and virtual visits make that option more feasible.</p> <p>So, last year, the federal government took steps to spare Americans from risking their health in pursuit of treatment. The Department of Health and Human Services allowed Medicare to cover more remote services while letting physicians prescribe controlled substances without examining the patient in the flesh. </p> <p>The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages doctors to use telemedicine and advises patients to get prescriptions delivered. "We are empowering medical providers to serve patients wherever they are during this national public health emergency," said an HHS official.<p>Updated: Thu Feb 04, 2021</p> cc769f0f0aa31796ee701e8cb9654390 Impeachment Will Fail, but There's Another Way To Punish Trump for 01/31/2021 Sun, 31 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Trying to persuade Republican senators to convict former President Donald Trump in an impeachment trial is like trying to sell tickets for a trip on the Titanic after it sank. There is no more Titanic, and you wouldn't want to be on it anyway. They can't remove Trump from office now, and they wouldn't if they could.</p> <p>Even Republican senators who are still suffering panic attacks about the Capitol violence must wonder if there is any point to impeaching the president who lit a fire under the mob.</p> <p>Why vote to evict a president who is already gone? Why spend precious time debating the misdeeds of someone whom the American people have disowned? Why give Trump more time and attention?<p>Updated: Sun Jan 31, 2021</p> 0a2e3a1d56f82503afa3db1fdbc738d6 Wasting Money Is a Bad Idea, Even in a Crisis for 01/28/2021 Thu, 28 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Last spring, the Treasury Department sent out "economic impact payments" to some 160 million people, in the amount of $1,200 for each adult who qualified. In September, exhibiting a sense of humor not normally associated with pollsters, Gallup asked people if they would like the government to give them more money.</p> <p>Lo and behold, 70% of them said yes. Only 17% said no &#8212; a group possibly dominated by those who didn't qualify the first time and were seething with resentment.</p> <p>In December, when President Donald Trump proposed to distribute another round of checks of $2,000 per person, he again found a receptive audience. Two-thirds of Americans were prepared to shoulder their patriotic duty to accept more money. But in the end, Congress agreed to payments of just $600.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 28, 2021</p> 3137dfad2953c3dfbad3de26b44228c7 The Folly of the Eviction Moratorium for 01/24/2021 Sun, 24 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>On his first day as president, Joe Biden reversed a raft of Donald Trump's ill-conceived policies &#8212; and then adopted one of them as his very own. He extended the federal moratorium on evictions.</p> <p>The purpose was commendable: to prevent renters from losing shelter amid a pandemic. Tossing families onto the street and packing them into shelters would be a boon to COVID-19. Workers who have lost jobs in the crisis can hardly be blamed if they lack the money to keep a roof over their heads. The moratorium blocks landlords from banishing tenants for not paying rent, though the renters are not relieved of what they owe.<p>Updated: Sun Jan 24, 2021</p> 682cc93e7145761cdb68c84b19a81d76 Don't Put Capitol Rioters on the No-Fly List for 01/21/2021 Thu, 21 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>If you've seen videos of people who took part in the U.S. Capitol riot weeping in shock after being barred from boarding their flights home, you may feel as Oscar Wilde did upon reading a tragic passage from a Charles Dickens novel: "One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing." But schadenfreude is not a good basis for government policy.</p> <p>In the aftermath of the horrifying Jan. 6 rampage, the Transportation Security Administration said it was "processing hundreds of names with law enforcement agencies for a thorough risk assessment," with an eye toward putting some of them on the federal no-fly list. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer thinks anyone who was inside the Capitol building should be kept off of airliners. "We cannot allow these same insurrectionists to get on a plane and cause more violence and more damage," he said.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 21, 2021</p> 07a9d21740ef87c9eb2c171075b16f2a The Time for Healing Is After the Cancer of Trumpism Has Been Removed for 01/17/2021 Sun, 17 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Emotions were raw during Wednesday's House impeachment debate, but Republicans were in a conciliatory mood. That is, they were in the mood for Democrats to conciliate them, Donald Trump and his aggrieved followers.</p> <p>A group of House Republicans signed a letter opposing impeachment "in the spirit of healing." Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, worried that it was "not healthy for the nation." Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., warned that the effort to remove Trump could "further divide and inflame our nation."<p>Updated: Sun Jan 17, 2021</p> 427e768e67ca48c603c7169747dca990 A Trump Self-Pardon Could Be a Service to the Nation for 01/14/2021 Thu, 14 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>For the past four years, Donald Trump has regularly flouted the Constitution, laws and basic norms of presidential behavior, and he has gotten away with it. He has acted in faithful conformity to an inviolable principle: Anything he does is fine. As he said last year, "When somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total." </p> <p>His incendiary speech last week before an angry crowd of delusional disciples in Washington is only the newest example of his self-proclaimed infallibility. "People thought what I said was totally appropriate," he said Tuesday, hearing things that are audible only to him.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 14, 2021</p> 1bad3db2dac9e35ddcdcab8e1ae8ff3f Mike Pence Needs to Save the Country from Trump for 01/10/2021 Sun, 10 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>After three years and 50 weeks of meekly deferring to Donald Trump, Mike Pence finally ran out of patience Tuesday. Trump demanded that the vice president block Congress' certification of Joe Biden's election victory, and Pence gave his answer: No.</p> <p>That refusal so infuriated Trump that he appeared at a rally in Washington, castigated his long-suffering subordinate and urged followers to march on the U.S. Capitol. "You'll never take back our country with weakness," he bellowed. Soon after, a mob was smashing windows, attacking police and invading the Senate chamber, forcing Pence and others to seek safety.<p>Updated: Sun Jan 10, 2021</p> 848a0b528542d4abe09f9165c9ecb457 Georgia Delivers a Victory for Moderation for 01/07/2021 Thu, 07 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>In recent years, the American political system has featured a clash of extremes. Republicans moved so sharply to the right that even past presidential nominees Mitt Romney and John McCain no longer fit in, and Donald Trump stoked the ire of the sort of people who stormed the Capitol building yesterday. Meanwhile, leftists such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have gained greater influence over Democratic policies.</p> <p>But Tuesday's election in Georgia was a thumping victory for moderation. How so? First, because voters rejected the candidates endorsed by Donald Trump even as he strove to overturn Georgia's presidential vote. Second, because both Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue emphasized their allegiance to Trump at his most outrageous.</p> <p>The president is very good at revving up the base of the Republican Party. He got 11 million more votes in 2020 than in 2016 election. The problem for him and his party is that he's even better at mobilizing Democrats. Joe Biden outdid Hillary Clinton by more than 15 million votes. <p>Updated: Thu Jan 07, 2021</p> dcc736c79c83c15f107f4afb8effba1e The Pandemic Is a National Test that We Failed for 12/31/2020 Thu, 31 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Over the past century, there have been times when Americans showed they can unite to overcome formidable challenges: winning World II, sending men to the moon, bringing down Soviet communism. The coronavirus pandemic will not be remembered as one of them.</p> <p>It's fair to say that we have done many things right, individually and collectively. Most Americans, most of the time, have abided by the counsel of public health experts that we wear masks, socially distance and avoid large indoor gatherings. Most governors and mayors have taken prudent steps to curb transmission of the virus. In all, we've done pretty well.</p> <p>But pretty well is not good enough. On a final exam, getting most of the answers right can mean an F. Reality doesn't grade on a curve.<p>Updated: Thu Dec 31, 2020</p> 38ceb38bde7770fa178ce9e38443802b The Dreamers Are Still Waiting for Their Nightmare to End for 12/27/2020 Sun, 27 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>In 2001, two U.S. senators introduced the DREAM Act, to let immigrants brought here without authorization as children remain in the country. Democrat Dick Durbin of Illinois and Republican Orrin Hatch of Utah didn't know how fitting the name would be. Today, the idea of granting legal status to these innocents is just that &#8212; a dream.</p> <p>This is legislation that both parties should be able to agree on &#8212; and, to some extent, have. It would be an act of compassion for people who have grown up to be Americans, despite the accident of their foreign birth, and become productive members of our society. It would also be a service to everyone else, by ensuring the continuation of their valuable contributions &#8212; as doctors, nurses, teachers, construction workers and more &#8212; while opening up wider opportunities for them to contribute.<p>Updated: Sun Dec 27, 2020</p> b6d8544d4c4b6c032f7d3ba5c14c0396 How America Shaped Christmas, and How Christmas Shapes America for 12/24/2020 Thu, 24 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>With its gaudy displays, rampant excess, celebratory spirit and high price tag, Christmas is a thoroughly American holiday. But it could also be called an un-American holiday that thoroughly infiltrated our culture - and transformed it.</p> <p>This year, because of the pandemic, most Americans have had to change how they observe the season. Holiday parties are scarce. Far more shopping was done online. Many churches have suspended in-person services. Relatives will be less inclined to gather together. Christmas Day will be more subdued than usual. It's a major change, and a melancholy one.<p>Updated: Thu Dec 24, 2020</p> a0a18121902a73c72eec6aaa3f1538a1 What's Wrong with Biden's 'Identity Politics'? for 12/20/2020 Sun, 20 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>In 1980, a presidential candidate pledged to appoint the first woman to the Supreme Court. "It is time for a woman to sit among our highest jurists," said Ronald Reagan, and in 1981, he kept his promise by nominating Sandra Day O'Connor.</p> <p>In 2008, John McCain made history by choosing the party's first female vice presidential candidate. Announcing his choice of Sarah Palin, he said he was "especially proud to say in the week we celebrate the anniversary of women's suffrage" that she was "a devoted wife and a mother of five." <p>Updated: Sun Dec 20, 2020</p> b05e3597dcc7f9bf817966673bab6cb0 White Supremacists Deserve First Amendment Protection for 12/17/2020 Thu, 17 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The advantage of living under the First Amendment is that it allows you to speak, write and worship as you please. But there's also a problem with living under the First Amendment: Sooner or later, it's going to protect someone you detest.</p> <p>Some conservative Christian towns don't want mosques. Some liberals wouldn't mind blocking the Westboro Baptist Church's anti-gay demonstrations. Some whites regard Black Lives Matter protesters as dangerous extremists. Anti-Trump Americans see MAGA crowds the same way.<p>Updated: Thu Dec 17, 2020</p>