Steve Chapman from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Mon, 24 Sep 2018 13:54:47 -0700 Steve Chapman from Creators Syndicate 2ef18f1ba5d103d4b1d914740d2e02d2 A Polarized America? Not Quite for 09/23/2018 Sun, 23 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Modern America is sharply polarized, battered by political furies and divided as never before. Moderation is disappearing, we are told, as Americans increasingly shun people of different views. We are split between hostile groups, each with its own TV networks, fast-food chains and sporting apparel &#8212; Fox News vs. MSNBC, Chick-fil-A vs. Chipotle, Under Armour vs. Nike.</p> <p>Donald Trump exploits this growing political and cultural separation. Extreme, vocal ideologues are gaining ground on both the right and the left. One-third of likely voters, a poll found, think we are on the verge on civil war.</p> <p>Or maybe not. That's one picture of the nation in 2018, which fits many surface indicators. But it's an image from a fun-house mirror, composed of misleading distortions. The reality is reassuring.<p>Updated: Sun Sep 23, 2018</p> 78722c3f836dda17e02cb0120c4d7b63 On Kavanaugh, Does the Senate Want the Truth? for 09/20/2018 Thu, 20 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>How would the Senate proceed if its highest priority were establishing the truth? That objective should be paramount with regard to the allegation that Brett Kavanaugh, at age 17, tried to rape a 15-year-old girl. Getting the truth is the most important thing for Christine Blasey Ford, the alleged victim, but also for Kavanaugh.</p> <p>Unless, of course, he is guilty. In that case, the best outcome for the nominee is a quick, minimal inquiry that lets him skate past the charges and onto the Supreme Court. The way Senate Republicans are handling the matter suggests they are afraid of what they will learn if the digging goes too deep.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 20, 2018</p> d937ec436754ebab92ac01a2fbd2e5f7 Casualties of Trump's Trade War for 09/16/2018 Sun, 16 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p></p><p>When White House economic adviser Gary Cohn showed up in the Oval Office earlier this year to give Donald Trump news of an excellent jobs report, the president's keen grasp of economics and policy instantly came into play. "It's all because of my tariffs," he replied, according to Bob Woodward's new book, "Fear." Cohn had to inform him that the tariffs were not yet in effect.<p>Updated: Sun Sep 16, 2018</p> 85d546967914e54da2da4a8539adc712 Zinke to Migratory Birds: Drop Dead for 09/13/2018 Thu, 13 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>On April 20, 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 workers and unleashed the biggest oil spill in history. Soaked in stinking goo, a million birds also perished &#8212; quadruple the toll from the infamous 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska.</p> <p>For the humans killed in the Deepwater Horizon accident, BP pleaded guilty to 11 felonies and paid $4 billion. The deceased birds cost it $100 million, money that was used to restore wetlands and conserve other bird habitats.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 13, 2018</p> b8330caef9ec4c7f3016add851a87dc7 Trump Confronts the Enemy Within for 09/09/2018 Sun, 09 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Deep in the White House, someone is acting to subvert Donald Trump's policies, thwart his desires and generally sabotage his presidency. No, not the anonymous "senior official" who wrote an op-ed for The New York Times. The name of the person making a relentless effort to keep the president from achieving his goals is well-known: Donald Trump.</p> <p>Other presidents have occasionally shot themselves in the foot. Trump's lower limbs are riddled with new bullet holes every day. He campaigned as though he didn't want to win, and he governs &#8212; "governs," rather &#8212; as though he doesn't want a second term, or maybe even a full first term.<p>Updated: Sun Sep 09, 2018</p> e0737cc5886063d3775f60cfdac3bd43 Kaepernick and Nike Show the Morality of Capitalism for 09/06/2018 Thu, 06 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In many ways, the 2016 election was a victory for capitalism, with an allegedly socialist intellectual president giving way to a real estate mogul whose understanding of business would unleash prosperity. The economy and the stock market are indeed doing well. But though Donald Trump's administration may be good for capitalists, capitalists are not necessarily good for him.</p> <p>Many a conservative has been inspired by the hero of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged," a brilliant businessman and a model of what she called "the man of violent energy and passionate ambition, the man of achievement, lighted by the flame of his success." House Speaker Paul Ryan professed to regularly giving the book as a Christmas present and making his interns read it to learn the "morality of capitalism."<p>Updated: Thu Sep 06, 2018</p> 4554786c76414d58d9108252ef039240 How to Prevent Overdose Deaths -- and How Not To for 09/02/2018 Sun, 02 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In the next 24 hours, we can expect that some 200 Americans will die of drug overdoses. The relentless toll is the equivalent of the 9/11 attacks occurring every 15 days. Drug laws and enforcement have proved spectacularly ineffectual at saving lives.</p> <p>So the Trump administration has a novel idea: Do more of what hasn't worked. It's reminiscent of the old line: "The floggings will continue until morale improves."<p>Updated: Sun Sep 02, 2018</p> 7ad80673eb08158b28d867494242547b How McCain Paved the Way for Trump for 08/29/2018 Wed, 29 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>John McCain held Donald Trump in deserved contempt, and Trump mocked and detested him in return. But in a sense, Trump is one of the best things that ever happened to McCain. He gave the senator from Arizona so many chances to display his admirable qualities that you could forget he had others.</p> <p>There is no denying McCain's sterling virtues: bravery, service to his country, bipartisan spirit, candor, indomitability and more. His 2008 campaign yielded two moments that showed him at his best. The first was when he corrected a woman who told him Barack Obama is "an Arab." The second was his gracious concession speech on election night.</p> <p>But overall, his time as the Republican nominee exposed a different side of McCain that should not be forgotten, even as the nation mourns his passing. Often his campaign was nasty, dishonest and irresponsible. Worse, it helped turn the Republican Party into a vehicle that could be commandeered by Donald Trump.<p>Updated: Wed Aug 29, 2018</p> 8eedaa58b6d37fd928609f2eeb43ea13 Kavanaugh, Roe and 'Settled Law' for 08/26/2018 Sun, 26 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>After meeting with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Sen. Susan Collins emerged to announce that he regards the Roe v. Wade decision as "settled law." This comes as an apparent relief to the Maine Republican, who favors abortion rights. But those who hope the court will uphold Roe would be rash to assume it would be safe with Justice Kavanaugh.</p> <p>"Settled law" sounds solid, but like ice, it's a substance that can quickly turn to vapor. Roe is "settled" in the sense that it has survived for 45 years and the court has passed up opportunities to ditch it. But being settled doesn't mean its survival is assured, under the court of 2019 or 2029.</p> <p>The pertinent question for the nominee is whether Roe is entitled to be treated as not merely a precedent, which the court should not lightly reverse, but a "super-precedent," which the court should not reverse, period.<p>Updated: Sun Aug 26, 2018</p> b12bd723297e13f94d6dce17996af49c The Unindicted Co-conspirator in the Oval Office for 08/23/2018 Thu, 23 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit." &#8212; Matthew 7:17</p> <p>There is one apparent reason the president of the United States was not indicted Tuesday in the same case that yielded a guilty plea from his longtime personal lawyer. It's not because prosecutors think he is innocent. It's because he is president.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 23, 2018</p> a17e2b34005e86184920f197167d4318 The Truth Behind Chicago's Violence for 08/12/2018 Sun, 12 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The bloodletting in Chicago last weekend, with 74 people shot, 12 fatally, was enough to horrify even locals, who are relatively inured to chronic slaughter at the hands of gun-wielding felons. "Unbelievable," said state Rep. La Shawn Ford, a black Chicago Democrat who went so far as to call on President Donald Trump for help.</p> <p>The shock was also evident beyond Chicago. Rudy Giuliani blamed Democrats in general and Mayor Rahm Emanuel in particular. The mayor's legacy, he tweeted, is "more murders in his city than ever before." Everywhere, there was agreement that the city's mayhem is out of control and in urgent need of measures to contain it.<p>Updated: Sun Aug 12, 2018</p> 28fe17b8b9be9460da7a3cced6484027 The Trump Administration Is a Sinkhole of Sleaze for 08/09/2018 Thu, 09 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The State Dining Room in the White House is adorned with a quotation from John Adams: "May none but Honest and Wise Men ever rule under This Roof." His wish has often gone unfulfilled.</p> <p>"Under Grant's two administrations, there flapped through the national capital a whole phantasmagoria of insolent fraud," wrote Edmund Wilson in his book "Patriotic Gore." Americans who remember nothing else about Warren G. Harding can name the scandal that engulfed his administration: Teapot Dome. Richard Nixon resigned for crimes that would have gotten him prison time had he not been pardoned.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 09, 2018</p> 68ebf04675682b888f5c0753bd13cfb7 Has Trump Become a Free Trader? for 08/05/2018 Sun, 05 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The Trump administration has a new agenda: bringing about a new world of free, robust and unfettered trade. After his July meeting with the head of the European Union, the president was pleased to announce, "We agreed today, first of all, to work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods."</p> <p>White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said that Trump "wants to have no tariffs" because "he's a free trader." Yes, he is. And I'm Reese Witherspoon.<p>Updated: Sun Aug 05, 2018</p> 3dd85cbe502bc3f8ee1f29471d945033 Rename Austin Over Slavery? How About Washington? for 08/02/2018 Thu, 02 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I grew up in Austin, Texas. At least that's what we called it then. I've often said that after all the growth it has experienced, I barely recognize the city I once called home. If a new proposal goes anywhere, though, I won't be able to call it home or Austin.</p> <p>The Austin Equity Office, you see, recently published a report on Confederate monuments. It compiled a list of parks, streets and facilities named for slaveholders, Confederate veterans and other symbols of the antebellum South, and it provided cost estimates for changing names and removing statues.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 02, 2018</p> 13f7522e4eb38469d722ddd7a020e2a0 On North Korea and Iran, Trump is Deluding Himself for 07/29/2018 Sun, 29 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Take a tough Republican president, a Chinese government committed to help us and a North Korean government faced with demands for denuclearization, and what do you get? It sounds like breaking news. But the scene comes from 2007, when the Bush administration thought it had achieved a historic breakthrough with North Korea. It was mistaken.</p> <p>So, it appears, is Donald Trump. In June, he emerged from a summit with Kim Jong Un and tweeted that "everybody can now feel much safer" because there is "no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea." He could have been accused of putting the cart before the horse, if there were a cart, or a horse.<p>Updated: Sun Jul 29, 2018</p> 01f0d40e9602491e1a44d4a0f1acd8f7 Why Trump Supporters will Regret his Trade War for 07/26/2018 Thu, 26 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Donald Trump, who assembled a winning coalition that included manufacturing workers, farmers, ranchers, people who ride Harleys and capitalists resentful of Barack Obama, is now doing his best to turn them all against him. His insistence on levying tariffs on a wide range of products is perfectly designed to inflict pain on those who voted for him, along with everyone else.</p> <p>On Tuesday, the administration unveiled a plan to provide $12 billion in aid to farmers who are or will be hurt by the tariffs imposed by our trading partners in retaliation for Trump's. It was an admission that his trade war will be harder and more expensive than he had made it sound.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 26, 2018</p> 616e6f6a2aef0d01b4a772e3c281359d Even if You Live Inland, Hurricanes Put You in Jeopardy for 07/22/2018 Sun, 22 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In 1967, Pete Seeger composed a protest song that said: "We're waist deep in the Big Muddy, and the big fool says to push on." It was a poke at President Lyndon Johnson, in an allegory about Vietnam. That war is long past. But Johnson led us into another, more literal Big Muddy that we have yet to escape.</p> <p>Hurricane season is underway in North America, with the worst storms likely between August and October. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Americans who live inland may think they have nothing to worry about, because their homes will not be drowned in salt water.</span> But they are at high risk anyway.<p>Updated: Sun Jul 22, 2018</p> e9cf72601e085c81e2d606c3a2677ec7 Trump and Putin vs. America for 07/18/2018 Wed, 18 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><i> Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,</i></p><i> </i><p><i>In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side. </i><p>Updated: Wed Jul 18, 2018</p> b25cbb078c17c8e22759580b3fd466a2 Kavanaugh's Soft Spot for Police Abuses for 07/15/2018 Sun, 15 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The history of liberty in America features an endless battle over the rights of individuals versus the powers of police. The Constitution was written with the intent of protecting citizens and controlling cops. But that's not quite in keeping with the preferences of Brett Kavanaugh.</p> <p>Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee made his views clear in a lecture paying tribute to the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist, delivered last year. What Rehnquist saw as one of his biggest achievements, Kavanaugh noted, was freeing law enforcement from the annoying restrictions placed on it in the 1960s and '70s. And Kavanaugh was there to second the motion.<p>Updated: Sun Jul 15, 2018</p> 8e138b0f2924bb3b161efac82d6327fe Kavanaugh and the Myth of Strict Construction for 07/12/2018 Thu, 12 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>When Donald Trump announced his nominee for the Supreme Court on Monday, he said he wanted someone who could set aside his political views "to do what the law and the Constitution require." Brett Kavanaugh followed by saying a judge "must interpret the law, not make the law."</p> <p>It's a classic conservative approach. <span class="column--highlighted-text">You read the law and the Constitution, and then you follow them to the letter. Call it strict construction, judicial restraint or originalism. It's as easy as following the directions on a Duncan Hines cake mix.</span><p>Updated: Thu Jul 12, 2018</p>