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Preview: Michael Barone from Creators Syndicate

Michael Barone from Creators Syndicate



Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber.



Last Build Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2018 23:18:40 -0700

 



Trump's Saudi Policy Gamble for 04/27/2018

Fri, 27 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700

Seventy-three years ago, Franklin D. Roosevelt, on his trip back from the Yalta conference with Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin, held his last meeting with foreign leaders, aboard the USS Quincy in the Suez Canal's Great Bitter Lake. One was with the desert warrior king, Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, who sailed in with seven live sheep and a tent to sleep in on deck.

The United States had provided almost all of its allies with all the oil they used during World War II. But there were (unfounded) fears that American wells were tapped out, while American geologists produced (well-founded) estimates of giant untapped pools in the Saudi desert. Roosevelt wanted American, not British, firms controlling it.

Updated: Fri Apr 27, 2018




Collusion, Anyone? for 04/20/2018

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700

As the likelihood that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia seems headed toward zero, the likelihood of proof of a different form of collusion seems headed upward toward certainty.

The Russia collusion charge had some initial credibility because of businessman Donald Trump's dealings in Russia and candidate Trump's off-putting praise of Vladimir Putin.

Updated: Fri Apr 20, 2018




Speaker Ryan Follows the Lead of Speaker Reed for 04/13/2018

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700

One hundred nineteen years ago, Speaker of the House Thomas B. Reed announced that he was, after 22 years of service, resigning from Congress. Reed had been one of the most effective speakers ever. Barbara Tuchman's account, in "The Proud Tower," of how he neutered the minority party has entranced readers for decades now. When Democrats tried to prevent the presence of a quorum by refusing to answer roll calls, he defeated their efforts by simply noting their presence from the chair.

In the process, Reed made policy, passing the first billion-dollar budget — which included generous Civil War pensions — the Sherman Antitrust Act and a big budget boost for the Navy. The civil rights bill he got the House to pass — the last such measure for 67 years — was blocked in the Senate.

Updated: Fri Apr 13, 2018




Genetics Is Undercutting the Case for Racial Quotas for 04/06/2018

Fri, 06 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700

"I am worried," writes Harvard geneticist David Reich in The New York Times, "that well-meaning people who deny the possibility of substantial biological differences among human populations are digging themselves into an indefensible position, one that will not survive the onslaught of science."

Reich was responding to anticipated resistance to his forthcoming book, "Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past." The "well-meaning people" Reich references are those who argue that race is a "social construct," that there are no significant genetic differences among people of different racial ancestry. Maybe there are differences in appearance and other physical traits, these people say, but there definitely aren't any in intelligence.

Updated: Fri Apr 06, 2018




Our Time-Tested Parties Aren't About to Fall Apart for 03/30/2018

Fri, 30 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700

Some days, the Republican Party seems on the verge of splitting up. Its congressional majorities couldn't produce a health care bill and passed an omnibus spending bill its president regretted signing. Prominent never-Trumpers call for the creation of a new political party. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who carried seven counties outside his home state in the 2016 Republican primaries, hints at a 2020 independent candidacy.

In special elections, Republican candidates fail to win percentages above President Donald Trump's approval ratings, which nationally is at 42 percent. That makes Republicans fear and Democrats hope that Democrats will capture the House of Representatives in November.

Updated: Fri Mar 30, 2018




Women Against Free Speech? for 03/23/2018

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700

Sometimes, for those of us who are constantly reading statistics and poll results, something that you didn't expect to see stands out — a number that makes you think the future will not be what you have been expecting.

My latest sighting of such a number was in a March 12 New York Times report on a poll of college students sponsored by the American Council on Education, the Charles Koch Foundation and the Stanton Foundation. It asked students about free speech on campus — whether it is allowed and whether it should be.

Updated: Fri Mar 23, 2018




Democrats Can Take the House, if They Just Pick Conor Lamb Over Hillary Clinton for 03/16/2018

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700

What if they held a special election and nobody won? That's more or less what happened in southwestern Pennsylvania, in the special election to fill the vacancy in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District.

Democrat Conor Lamb narrowly defeated Republican Rick Saccone — by 627 votes out of 228,378 counted — in a district held by Republican Tim Murphy since 2003. More to the point, the district was carried by a 20-point margin by Republican Donald Trump in 2016 and by a 58-41 percent margin by Republican Mitt Romney in 2012.

Updated: Fri Mar 16, 2018




Trump on Trade: Better Than Smoot-Hawley? for 03/09/2018

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0800

Donald Trump's announcement that he is imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from other countries has aroused little enthusiasm and much criticism. It evidently prompted the resignation of Gary Cohn as head of his National Economic Council.

It has also prompted free trade-minded Republicans in Congress to propose repealing Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which delegates to the president the power to adjust trade restrictions and impose tariffs.

Updated: Fri Mar 09, 2018




Still Saddled with the Politics of the Seventies for 03/02/2018

Fri, 02 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0800

Not since James Monroe left the presidency in 1825, 48 years after he fought in the Battle of Princeton, has America had political leadership with careers running so far back in the past. Our current government leaders have political pedigrees going back to the 1970s.

Consider the Senate. Democratic leader Chuck Schumer was first elected to the New York Assembly in 1974. Republican leader Mitch McConnell was elected Jefferson County judge — the county administrator for Louisville, Ky. — in 1977.

Updated: Fri Mar 02, 2018




Don't Take The Onion's Pessimism Too Seriously for 02/23/2018

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800

"Study: 90 Percent Of Americans Strongly Opposed To Each Other." That's the headline on a story in what, on some days, seems to be America's most reliable news outlet, The Onion.

We laugh (or at least I did) because it strikes a chord. Americans of many different political outlooks today seem united in believing that we are experiencing the worst times in the nation's history. President Donald Trump's detractors talk about how he's a neurotic neo-Nazi establishing a dictatorship. Trump's fans talk about the existence of a deep state that uses secret protocols to undermine voters' choices.

Updated: Fri Feb 23, 2018




What's Oozing out of Campuses Is Polluting Society for 02/16/2018

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800

In a 1989 article in New Republic, Andrew Sullivan made what he called "a (conservative) case for gay marriage." Today same-sex marriage is legal everywhere in America, supported by majorities of voters and accepted as a part of American life.

Now Sullivan has cast his gaze on what he regards as a disturbing aspect of American life — the extension of speech suppression and "identity politics" from colleges and universities into the larger society. The hothouse plants of campus mores have become invasive species undermining and crowding out the beneficent flora of the larger free democratic society.

Updated: Fri Feb 16, 2018




Gentry Liberals Own the Democratic Party for 02/09/2018

Fri, 09 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800

Amid the brouhahas about the Nunes memo and immigration, an item from Greg Hinz of Crain's Chicago Business caught my eye. Demographers crunching census data estimate that Chicago's black population fell to 842,000, while its white non-Hispanic population increased to 867,000. National political significance: In our three largest cities — New York, Los Angeles and Chicago — gentry liberals have become the dominant political demographic.

That's consistent with election results. Gentry liberals — the term is urban analyst Joel Kotkin's — are the political base of those cities' mayors, Bill de Blasio, Eric Garcetti and Rahm Emanuel. That's something new in American politics. Modest-income Jews used to be the key group in New York. White married homeowners were it in Los Angeles. "Bungalow ward" ethnics dominated in Chicago. In time, they faced challenges from candidates with nonwhite political bases — blacks, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans in New York, Mexicans in Los Angeles, and blacks and Hispanics in Chicago. Now gentry liberals are on top.

Updated: Fri Feb 09, 2018




Toward a Trump Republicanism for 02/02/2018

Fri, 02 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800

Donald Trump's surprisingly good State of the Union speech got a record 70 to 75 percent positive approval rating from those who watched. Even if you discount (as you should) for the Trump haters who can't bear to watch him and chose another of their 100-plus cable channels, that's not chopped liver.

If they'd watched, their reactions would undoubtedly have been as sour as those of the Democrats in the chamber who stayed slouching and frowning in their chairs even after some patriotic lines.

Updated: Fri Feb 02, 2018




Eschewing Euphemisms Frames Immigration Issue Trump's Way for 01/26/2018

Fri, 26 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0800

He who frames the issue tends to determine the outcome of the election. That's an old political consultant's rule, and its application has never been more apt than in the Senate Democrats' failed government shutdown over immigration policy.

Issue framing is especially important on immigration. It's an issue on which small percentages of voters on different sides have very strong views and on which the large majority of voters with less interest have conflicting views.

Euphemism has been the weapon of the liberals on this. You can't say illegal immigrants; you have to say undocumented immigrants. You can't say amnesty; you have to say a path to citizenship. You have to say that for immigration legislation to be considered comprehensive, it must provide a path to citizenship for the bulk of the estimated 11 million immigrants who are here illegally. You have to say that more restrictive plans are hard-line, presumably implying they are undesirable.

Updated: Fri Jan 26, 2018




Tough Road Ahead for Trump in Year 2 for 01/19/2018

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0800

As we reach, gingerly, the anniversary of Donald Trump's inauguration as president, none of the disasters feared by critics has come to pass. The economy has turned at least mildly upward rather than plummet to depression. The executive branch has obeyed court orders. No military disaster has occurred. Fears that seemed plausible to many have proved unjustified.

Updated: Fri Jan 19, 2018




Is 'Fire and Fury' Fizzling? for 01/12/2018

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0800

The most disappointed people in America this past week must be those Trump execrators who opened their Amazon package only to find that the copy of "Fire and Fury" they had ordered was subtitled "The Allied Bombing of Germany, 1942-1945." It's a well-regarded 2009 volume by University of Toronto historian Randall Hansen, who is surely grateful for the unanticipated royalties.

But it's not the red meat the customers were looking forward to consuming. Author Michael Wolff, whose royalties from a million sales in a week are much greater than Hansen's, has made no secret that he expects that his book will "end" the Donald Trump presidency. He apparently thinks his book will reveal to millions of Americans, for the first time, that their emperor has no clothes.

Updated: Fri Jan 12, 2018




The 2010s Look More Like Trump's Ideal America Than Obama's for 01/05/2018

Fri, 05 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0800

One of my favorite Christmastime presents is the Census Bureau's release of its annual population estimates for all of the states. Comparison of the April 1, 2010, Census Bureau enumerations and the June 30, 2017, estimates for the states shows how each state fared in the Obama years, seeing as this period includes 82 of the 96 months of the Obama administration and only five months of Donald Trump's presidency.

Who are the big population gainers? Some small units: the District of Columbia, at 15 percent (big government, gentrification), North Dakota, at 12 percent (fracking, which liberals failed to stop), and Utah, at 12 percent (1950s-style high birthrate).

Updated: Fri Jan 05, 2018




Trying to Take Trump Seriously for 12/29/2017

Fri, 29 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800

2016 turned out to be a year in which it was wise to take Donald Trump as a political candidate seriously but not literally, in the inspired words of syndicated columnist Salena Zito. As 2017 is on the point of vanishing, it's worth asking whether it's time to take Trump seriously, if not literally, as a maker of public policy.

At least that's the approach of two heterodox policy analysts, one a persistent skeptic and the other an early Trump fan.

Updated: Fri Dec 29, 2017




Republicans Have Reformed Taxes; Will They Fix 1970s Budget Rules Next? for 12/22/2017

Fri, 22 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800

The Republicans have passed their tax bill, without a single Democratic vote, despite low to dismal poll ratings. It's reminiscent of the passage by Democrats, without a single Republican vote, of Obamacare in March 2010.

Democrats lost 63 seats and their House majority that fall. Republicans hope they won't follow suit. They argue, accurately, that their bill will lower taxes for almost all taxpayers and that it will stimulate economic growth, which already has risen above the growth in the Obama years.

Updated: Fri Dec 22, 2017




Picking the Lock in Alabama for 12/15/2017

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800

Turnout would be the key to which of the wildly conflicting polls would best presage the result of Alabama's special Senate election, wrote Republican consultant Patrick Ruffini earlier this week.

That proved correct. Statewide, turnout was down 37 percent from November 2016. It was down less, 31 percent, in the five metropolitan counties around Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery and Mobile, with their black communities and most of the state's highly educated whites.

Turnout was down by even less, 28 percent, in the 10 rural counties where the majority of voters are black. But it plunged 42 percent in the remaining 52 small counties. As the returns came in, you could see Republican Roy Moore reaching his target percentages — but not the raw votes he needed. Donald Trump carried those counties by 568,000 votes. Moore did so by only 149,000.

Updated: Fri Dec 15, 2017