Steve Chapman from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sat, 19 Sep 2020 20:44:46 -0700 Steve Chapman from Creators Syndicate 1204f53dd28b555ad15530c506957463 Americans Like Free Trade. Trump and Biden Don't. for 09/17/2020 Thu, 17 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>President John F. Kennedy once noted, "There's an old saying that victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan." But in the case of free trade, the opposite is true. It's been a great success as a policy, but one neither Donald Trump nor Joe Biden is willing to claim ownership.</p> <p>Trump is an outspoken protectionist, regarding imports as bad and domestic production as good. As part of his "America First" agenda, he made a grand promise to "end our chronic trade deficits." (In fact, they've gotten bigger.) He slapped tariffs on China, South Korea, the European Union, Mexico, India and more. He sees every dollar spent on imported products as a dollar lit on fire.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 17, 2020</p> bc8cd0288502d12ba71184ad24eda826 Pence Debases the Vice Presidency for 08/30/2020 Sun, 30 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Loyalty to Donald Trump demands more than many people can muster. One Cabinet officer and high-level aide after another has repeatedly endured ill treatment only to finally leave rather than accept further indignities. But no subservience is too much for Mike Pence.</p> <p>His Wednesday night speech to the Republican National Convention confirmed that the vice president is prepared to say anything to celebrate his boss &#8212; and the more absurd the statement, the more resolutely he utters it.<p>Updated: Sun Aug 30, 2020</p> 41629bc660717554fc6d57388da0e6be Trump Doesn't Know How to Bring Back Prosperity for 08/27/2020 Thu, 27 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Whenever the oil business hits one of its periodic slumps, the joke heard in petroleum-rich areas is: "Please, God, grant me one more boom, and this time I promise not to screw it up." It makes a good bumper sticker, but Donald Trump is using it as a campaign theme.</p> <p>The middle of a horrendous recession is an odd time to boast about your stewardship of the economy. But it fits with Trump's habit of taking credit for anything that goes right while taking no responsibility for any bad news.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 27, 2020</p> 058fd32791e87b313be975cfd94ef7f7 The Improbable Rise of Joe Biden for 08/20/2020 Thu, 20 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Donald Trump may have won the most unlikely presidential election victory in U.S. history. But no one has ever taken a longer, more treacherous road to the White House than Joe Biden. If he should win, he will confirm that in American politics, nothing is ever final.</p> <p>He arrived in the U.S. Senate barely old enough to meet the constitutional age requirement of 30. He had eked out a long-shot victory over an incumbent Republican in 1972, even as the GOP presidential nominee, Richard Nixon, carried 49 states. <p>Updated: Thu Aug 20, 2020</p> 454266787586c3d8de5be1ffb510ffc7 Can Kamala Harris Get Joe Biden to Push for Legalizing Pot? for 08/16/2020 Sun, 16 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>A vice president has to defer to the president's decisions on policy, but vice presidents can also help shape it. Dick Cheney pushed George W. Bush to invade Iraq, and Joe Biden gave Barack Obama a nudge to endorse same-sex marriage. Maybe Kamala Harris will convince Biden to push for legalizing marijuana.</p> <p>There are reasons to think so. One was her laughing reply last year when an interviewer asked if she had ever smoked cannabis: "Half my family's from Jamaica. Are you kidding me?" Another is that as attorney general of California, she endorsed legalization of recreational weed, which the state's voters approved in 2016. <p>Updated: Sun Aug 16, 2020</p> a3f62d4358a32a656b244d8354774a10 The Complicated Truth About Chicago Crime for 08/13/2020 Thu, 13 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Chicago, which was already in the midst of a spike in murderous conduct, has also seen violent demonstrations that included clashes between police and protesters. If those weren't enough, it suffered looting sprees that culminated in mass destruction and larceny downtown early Monday morning. And anytime there are outbreaks of violence, glib explanations are never far behind.</p> <p>Donald Trump blames Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot for the wave of crime. She and her police superintendent pointed the finger at prosecutors and judges for going easy on offenders. John Catanzara, head of the Chicago police union, puts the blame on anti-police sentiment, which has allegedly sapped officers' morale.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 13, 2020</p> ab2722f1dd4cb286da68e5035a45fd95 National Political Conventions Are Worth Keeping for 08/09/2020 Sun, 09 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Joe Biden won't be showing up in Milwaukee for the Democratic Convention. Donald Trump may give his acceptance speech from the White House instead of before cheering delegates in Charlotte, North Carolina. Without the customary galas, this presidential campaign will be the equivalent of a birthday celebration without a cake.</p> <p>Not that it really matters, because the conventions, forced to downsize by the pandemic, will barely be recognizable. Instead of crowded, boisterous affairs that lift the participants' spirits, they will be sparsely attended, dull and generally ignored.<p>Updated: Sun Aug 09, 2020</p> 2a6dee9b293c54594443c0d7798298b0 The Deadly Consequences of a Clueless President for 08/06/2020 Thu, 06 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>In 2016, the libertarian magazine Reason polled a few dozen staff, contributors and allies on who would get their votes for president. Almost all planned to cast a ballot for Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson. I was alone in stating a firm intention to vote for Hillary Clinton, for three simple reasons: "She's sane, informed and competent."</p> <p>There is nothing like a deadly pandemic to remind us that these qualities are not dispensable in a president. They are literally a matter of life and death.</p> <p>In a normal presidential election, uttering such faint praise as I offered Clinton would be the equivalent of calling, "Nice swing!" to a Little Leaguer who has just struck out. But in 2016, the Democratic nominee had a monopoly on the critical virtues, and the Republican had none of them.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 06, 2020</p> bf0a910780752c4928354a2b7ca41b58 Biden's Modest Health Care Plans vs. Trump's Imaginary Ones for 07/30/2020 Thu, 30 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Health care policy has been a major issue for a long time. It played a big role in Barack Obama's 2008 election victory, his entire presidency and the 2010 GOP takeover of the House of Representatives. Repealing Obamacare was a Republican priority before and after Donald Trump became president. The debate on "Medicare for All" dominated the 2020 Democratic primaries.</p> <p>Now, in the middle of the nation's worst pandemic in 100 years, you would think health care policy would be the object of obsession among politicians and voters. Instead, the issue has gone missing.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 30, 2020</p> 5ca4ce6fb004f4ac8c12fe3bd4512478 Would Joe Biden Destroy the Suburbs? for 07/26/2020 Sun, 26 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>A majority of Americans live in suburban areas, but not for long. No, they won't be moving. But the places where they live will cease to be suburbs. At least that's what a certain fear-mongering president would have them believe.</p> <p>Donald Trump has said that Joe Biden's housing plans would "totally destroy the beautiful suburbs." On Thursday, the president announced he was scrapping an Obama-era rule that, he said, would "eliminate single-family zoning, bringing who knows into your suburbs, so your communities will be unsafe and your housing values will go down." <p>Updated: Sun Jul 26, 2020</p> 9aa74f3a98f5f0540584c78dc1ca0fcd Trump Should Let Cities Police Themselves for 07/23/2020 Thu, 23 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Not long ago, President Donald Trump was talking about sending active-duty military troops to suppress riots in American cities. That threat brought not only criticism from retired generals but resistance from his defense secretary, Mark Esper. But Trump has found another way to bring the hammer down.</p> <p>Last week, federal law enforcement agents who looked like soldiers geared for battle showed up in Portland, Oregon, where they used tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets against protesters, grabbed people and took them away in unmarked vans, and beat a Navy veteran who was a model of nonviolence. On Monday, Trump vowed to send federal agents to Chicago and possibly other cities as well.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 23, 2020</p> cd8d3fa3a9b9ca0564565f8f41969e04 The Shortsighted Rush to Reopen Schools for 07/19/2020 Sun, 19 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Let me get a show of hands: How many of you do <i>not</i> want schools back in session for in-person classes as soon as it's safe? How many of you think exclusive remote learning is by far the best way to educate kids? How many of you would rather keep teachers and students home for a long time to come?</p> <p>Hmm. I'm not seeing any hands. That's odd, because Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, among others, seems to think that the only thing standing in the way of getting America's schools back to normal operations is that some people prefer to keep them closed.<p>Updated: Sun Jul 19, 2020</p> 5218197cd5e2d03f236584dd1a13f0e6 Trump's False Optimism Won't Stop the Pandemic or Fix the Economy for 07/16/2020 Thu, 16 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I have some bad news for anyone concerned about the economy. Very bad news. Donald Trump tweeted Monday, "The Economy is coming back fast!" Tuesday, he proclaimed: "Things are coming back, and they're coming back very rapidly. A lot sooner than people thought."</p> <p>This is an unmistakable signal that the economy is not coming back rapidly and may not be coming back at all. Whenever Trump boasts of something happening soon, it's time to settle in for a good, long wait, or maybe just give up hope entirely.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 16, 2020</p> 1c5d24e6338d4de2656de45d19ea6fce Call Off College Football for 07/12/2020 Sun, 12 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>If you are not a regular watcher of the Tennis Channel, it may surprise you to learn that the sport is back. Reruns of prehistoric Grand Slam finals have given way to live coverage of top professionals in exhibition tournaments that none of the players seem to treat as mere exhibitions.</p> <p>Did I say top professionals? A June team event in Charleston included this year's Australian Open winner, Sofia Kenin, and 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Monica Puig. A recent all-Czech tournament in Prague was won by Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion.<p>Updated: Sun Jul 12, 2020</p> b3e7ad34fdae47555057e04500039587 How Police and Prisons Blocked Black Progress for 07/09/2020 Thu, 09 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Thirty years ago, African Americans were on a trajectory toward equality with whites. Civil rights laws had broken down barriers that had impeded Black people. Their educational attainments were on the rise. The racial wage gap had shrunk. It was reasonable to expect that by 2020, something close to economic and social parity would be achieved.</p> <p>It wasn't. Since then, in one realm after another, African Americans as a group have seen their progress stall or reverse. The problems that apparently were being solved have persisted. In 2018, the poverty rate among Black Americans was 20.8%, not much better than the 22.1% of 2000 &#8212; and more than 2 1/2 times higher than the rate among non-Hispanic whites. </p> <p>The effects on Black America are obvious: large pockets of intense destitution, blighted neighborhoods, disproportionate amounts of violent crime and widespread loss of hope. The chronic bloodshed in parts of Chicago is one especially grim consequence.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 09, 2020</p> 6c0069bf3ce6dc1aa7b075112ded93ca No, Susan Rice Did Not Support the Iraq War for 07/05/2020 Sun, 05 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>If Joe Biden takes my advice and chooses Susan Rice to be his running mate, then there will be criticism from people who opposed the Iraq War. That's because if you Google "Susan Rice" and "Iraq War," you will find several sources, including Wikipedia, that say she supported it. Let me try to save critics and journalists from that error by setting the record straight.</p> <p>From everything I've been able to find, Rice did not support the Iraq War. She opposed it, in a show of wise and independent judgment.<p>Updated: Sun Jul 05, 2020</p> 8c872a3d1accec7ae761fb6586de8891 Will John Roberts Be the Savior of Abortion Rights? for 07/02/2020 Thu, 02 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Liberals got a big victory on abortion rights Monday thanks to Chief Justice John Roberts, but don't think they're not ungrateful. "John Roberts is not your friend," announced the leftist weekly The Nation. "No one should be fooled," huffed a New York Times editorial. "The current court is as hostile to reproductive freedom as it ever was."</p> <p>He's not getting any love from conservatives, either. "He has sided with abortion extremists who care more about providing abortion-on-demand than protecting women's health," charged Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. This alleged shift makes a fool of Cruz, who endorsed Roberts' 2005 nomination, calling him "a principled conservative" who would continue "carefully, faithfully applying the Constitution and legal precedent."<p>Updated: Thu Jul 02, 2020</p> 6e3e4c2642e0d87bb6dd4f5bce233c19 Losing the Fight Against the Coronavirus for 06/28/2020 Sun, 28 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In the category of "famous last words," my favorite has always been what Union Army Gen. John Sedgwick said when urged to take cover from Confederate sharpshooters. "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance," he replied, and then fell dead from a rifle shot.</p> <p>Mike Pence is guilty of a similar miscalculation. Writing in The Wall Street Journal on June 16, he boasted of the administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic: "We are winning the fight against the invisible enemy."<p>Updated: Sun Jun 28, 2020</p> c7e4ff760985a9643a6873d95bae1824 Biden's Best Option for VP? Susan Rice for 06/25/2020 Thu, 25 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In the history of political campaigns, no topic has a higher ratio of punditry to significance as the choice of running mates. It provides a refreshing break after the long race for the presidential nomination; it typically features many possible contenders; and it fills airtime on news and talk shows.</p> <p>For all the attention it gets, the decision usually makes no difference. Paul Ryan was the dream 2012 running mate for Mitt Romney, for all the good it did him. Dick Cheney added zero political value, which didn't stop George W. Bush from winning in 2000. Jack Kemp, Dan Quayle, Geraldine Ferraro &#8212; none of them mattered at the polls.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 25, 2020</p> a0ef119aba1f5420c7c983f2194dc893 How Trump Got Scammed by North Korea for 06/21/2020 Sun, 21 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Donald Trump had a bad week. He went to West Point to make himself look like a strong leader but raised doubts about his health when he struggled drinking water and descending a ramp. His first Supreme Court appointee wrote the opinion in a case upholding gay and transgender rights.</p> <p>The court also struck down Trump's effort to deport undocumented foreigners brought here as children. His former national security advisor wrote a book painting the world's most powerful person as an ignorant sleazebag who was guilty of the impeachment charges and more.<p>Updated: Sun Jun 21, 2020</p>