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Preview: Joe Conason from Creators Syndicate

Joe Conason from Creators Syndicate



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



Last Build Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2018 08:13:58 -0800

 



No, 'Both Sides' Don't Smear Prosecutors for 12/19/2017

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800

In American political journalism, the most comforting bit of conventional wisdom, the phrase that signals fairness and objectivity regardless of pesky facts, is "both sides."

So while the Trump administration and its chorus in right-wing media defame special counsel Robert Mueller as a partisan plotter, the Washington press corps endlessly reminds us that Democrats once objected to abuses by Kenneth W. Starr, the independent counsel who spent seven years and $50 million in pursuit of President Bill Clinton. See! Both sides have criticized prosecutors, which makes them equally guilty, or innocent, or something.

Updated: Tue Dec 19, 2017




No 'Privilege' for Trump Jr. for 12/12/2017

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800

Long before Donald Trump Jr. claimed "attorney-client privilege" last week to avoid answering Congressional inquiries, that same claim was tested and wisely rejected by Congress. Junior isn't even the first real estate executive asked to testify about suspected connections to a foreign dictator who tried that gambit to avoid questions in a Capitol Hill hot seat.

Appearing on Dec. 6 before the House Intelligence Committee, the president's eldest son specifically declined to answer questions about a crucial conversation with his father. That chat occurred last July, when the two Dons discussed how they might cope with the release of a series of emails that showed Junior had met with Russians offering "dirt" on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign.

Updated: Tue Dec 12, 2017




Why Trump Must Think Twice Before He Pardons Flynn for 12/02/2017

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800

Ever since Michael Flynn departed the Trump White House under a cloud of disgrace last February, speculation has mounted that the president might pardon his former national security adviser. With Flynn's guilty plea in federal court and disclosure of his cooperation agreement with special counsel Robert Mueller, conjecture about such a pardon is rampant. And for Donald Trump, who clearly assumes that he can get away with anything, the appeal of silencing a potential witness with the pardon power must be almost irresistible.

But he should hesitate before pardoning anyone who might testify about him or members of his family.

Updated: Sat Dec 02, 2017




Why Franken Should Not Resign for 11/27/2017

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800

The chorus of loud demands for Senator Al Franken's resignation began from the moment that Leeann Tweeden accused him of sexual harassment. Those calls intensified after three more women — two of them anonymous — said the Minnesota Democrat had touched them inappropriately. They haven't subsided yet.

Although not all the facts are clear, Franken apologized immediately. Since then, he has admitted that his conduct on some occasions had fallen short of the respect for women he has always professed.

Updated: Mon Nov 27, 2017




When 'Reckoning' With Bill, Try Facts Not Myths for 11/17/2017

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800

Suddenly it has become fashionable again in liberal circles to flay Bill Clinton for his sexual misconduct, whether real, alleged or imagined. Amid the national frenzy swirling around the likes of Harvey Weinstein and Roy Moore, prominent journalists and politicians are competing to display their dudgeon over the former president and things he is said to have done long ago.

On The New York Times op-ed page, new columnist Michelle Goldberg writes that the former president ought to be expelled from "decent society" because of Juanita Broaddrick's allegation that he raped her in 1978, under the headline "I Believe Juanita." In Politico, former ABC correspondent Jeff Greenfield pillories Democrats who supported Clinton for supposedly "brushing aside the serious questions ... of predatory sexual behavior" toward Broaddrick, Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey.

Updated: Fri Nov 17, 2017




An Acid Test for the Self-Righteous Right for 11/13/2017

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800

Whenever a politician insists too much on his own pious morality — and his duty to impose that particular brand of morality on everyone else — the safest prediction is that sooner or later, a scandal will emerge. For Roy Moore, the former judge now running to fill Jeff Session's Senate seat, the revelations about his past remained hidden for decades, while he constantly proclaimed his righteousness from a perch atop the Ten Commandments.

Now we have heard from four Alabama women who say Moore dated them when they were teenagers — in one case, a 14-year-old girl with whom he allegedly initiated sexual contact — and he was an Etowah County assistant district attorney in his thirties. The Republican Senate nominee says it's all just a pack of lies, concocted by the "Democrat Party and The Washington Post," which first reported the women's allegations in a lengthy front-page investigation on Wednesday.

But the highly detailed accounts, by four women who don't know each and whose recollections other sources endorsed on the record, appear more credible than Moore's denial. Wholly apart from his extremist politics, the Post's portrait of Moore is disturbingly creepy, a lawman prowling the local mall in his spare time to meet underage girls. Before he ascended to the Alabama bench — and before a federal court order ousted him for refusing to remove a massive Ten Commandments sculpture from Alabama's Supreme Court building — he may have committed a felony sex offense.

Updated: Mon Nov 13, 2017




Now We Know John Kelly for 10/24/2017

Tue, 24 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0700

After all the sound and fury and infantile tweeting, what have we learned from the controversy over the president's call to Sgt. La David Johnson's widow? We still don't know much about why he and his three fellow Green Berets died or what the U.S. mission may be in Niger. But we again discovered something about Donald Trump that should have been obvious for a long time: Getting too close to him will eventually ruin anybody's good reputation.

In this instance, the permanent damage was done to John Kelly, the retired Marine Corps general who serves as White House chief of staff. Brought in to rescue this debacle of an incompetent and ill-intentioned administration, Kelly was well-respected despite his role in implementing Trump's heartless, bigoted immigration policies at the Department of Homeland Security.

Updated: Tue Oct 24, 2017




Let's Not Neglect the Alpha Creep for 10/13/2017

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0700

The accumulating allegations of sexual assault and harassment raised against Harvey Weinstein in recent days are deeply disturbing, and may well result in criminal prosecution of the Hollywood producer. Beyond Weinstein's own fate, this latest episode in the very old history of women's mistreatment by unscrupulous men seems likely to expose still more perpetrators, in occupations and industries far beyond the movie business. Sexist thugs prey on the defenseless in corporate suites and military bases, from factories and farms to restaurants and retailers.

Yet while media outlets ferret out more alleged villains, as they surely should, let's not forget the alpha creep, who has so far escaped real accountability.

Updated: Fri Oct 13, 2017




We Need More Than 'Thoughts and Prayers' for 10/02/2017

Mon, 02 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0700

Whenever someone commits a heinous gun crime like the massacre in Las Vegas, politicians swiftly assure us that the victims and their families are "in our thoughts and prayers." What these mush-mouthed messages mean, in plain English, is that government, as embodied in those politicians, will do nothing to make the country safer from gun violence. Thoughts and prayers are all we're going to get.

In fact, those same elected officials are almost always poised to rubber-stamp statutes that will make us less safe, such as Congressional Republicans' upcoming proposals to deregulate silencers and expand concealed-carry rights. The Vegas shooter got nearly two dozen weapons into his hotel room at Mandalay Bay, but our brilliant legislators believe it's still too difficult to transport weapons of mass murder.

Updated: Mon Oct 02, 2017




Why Trump Is So Wrong On Iran for 09/22/2017

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0700

The dangers of arrogance and ignorance are nowhere more starkly illustrated than in Donald Trump's Oval Office, where anguished advisers seek constantly to steer a rogue president away from international disaster. And now the stakes of his stubborn stupidity have gone nuclear.

Having disparaged the Iran nuclear deal for years — without actually understanding its provisions or even the process that produced it — Trump now sounds determined to abrogate that agreement. In his dismal address to the United Nations last Tuesday, he repeated his usual sneering refrain: "The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into."

Updated: Fri Sep 22, 2017




Why the Media Want Hillary to Shut Up for 09/11/2017

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0700

There is something slightly strange about the reproachful media response to "What Happened," Hillary Clinton's new book on the 2016 campaign.

Now everyone knows that the Washington press corps dislikes and distrusts the former Democratic nominee. After all, several of its most eminent members have admitted their herd's prejudice against her. But the nearly unanimous demand for her to be silent — often presented in the form of blind quotes from her alleged "friends"— cuts against normal journalistic curiosity, let alone the usual lust for fresh gossip.

Updated: Mon Sep 11, 2017




Trump's Deadly Ego Trip for 08/11/2017

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700

Even before the embarrassing demise of his health care legislation, Donald Trump could no longer claim that he would "take care of everybody" with a "beautiful" new system that insures all Americans, regardless of their ability to pay. Such election-year vows were abandoned months ago, when the Trump White House allowed Republican Congressional leaders to shape the "repeal and replace" bill he had also promised.

The result, as everyone knows, was a series of proposals so "mean" — according to Trump himself — as to end coverage for tens of millions of Americans.

Trump's broken promises of cheaper and better medical care for all, which were surely never sincere, crystallized the intellectual and moral laziness of his presidency. But with this president, bad inexorably becomes worse. And now, following the defeat of his terrible Trumpcare initiative, he is plotting revenge that would gravely harm still more people, many of them in families that supported him.

Updated: Fri Aug 11, 2017




Why Bob Mueller Is No Ken Starr for 07/24/2017

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700

As Robert Mueller pursues a wide-ranging investigation aimed at Donald Trump, members of Trump's family, his appointees and his political associates, the president's legal advisers have answered by attacking the legitimacy and fairness of the special counsel — which may be the prelude to executive action.

The White House complains that Mueller and his staff are "partisan" and biased against Trump. And it is all fair play, according to Trump's friends in right-wing media, because the Clinton White House and its allies criticized independent counsel Kenneth Starr during the Whitewater and Lewinsky investigations.

Updated: Mon Jul 24, 2017




Why Trump Jr. Should Release More Emails for 07/17/2017

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700

For many months, Donald J. Trump and his closest associates have assured Americans that their presidential campaign had "absolutely no contact" with any Russians seeking to influence the course of the 2016 presidential election. Among those who issued the most vehement denials were Paul Manafort, the Washington influence peddler who served as campaign manager, and eldest son Donald J. Trump Jr., who called any such suggestions "disgusting."

Truly disgusting are the brazen lies uttered by these individuals. Everyone now knows about the June 9, 2016 meeting in Trump Tower where Trump Jr., Manafort, and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner hosted Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin.

Considering the history of falsehoods and evasions by Trump Jr., Kushner and Manafort — plus the strong incentive to conceal wrongdoing — their accounts must be treated with profound skepticism. But both Veselnitskaya and Akhmetshin (an immigrant who once served in Russian military intelligence) say that they came to offer "evidence" of alleged offenses by Democratic donors to Clinton.

Updated: Mon Jul 17, 2017




On July Fourth, a Message for Patriots for 07/03/2017

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700

On this Fourth of July, Americans live restlessly under a presidential administration hostile to the ideals embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Most Americans despise the president — a blustering, feckless lout who ignores those documents as he undermines freedom of the press and the free exercise of religion. He has appointed a government of plutocrats, mostly mirroring his own unfitness for office, who appear determined to dismantle the institutions that have made this country humane, strong, prosperous, and respected. Along with his political associates and members of his family, he has encouraged and emboldened the very worst elements in American politics, including so-called white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and neo-Confederates, all echoing his promise to "Make America Great Again."

They cannot make America great again. Anyone who has studied the past should know that those right-wing extremists, always insisting on their supreme patriotism, are traditional enemies of the nation they claim to love. When a demagogue like Donald Trump wraps himself in the Stars and Stripes, he is defiling the flag and denying our history.

Updated: Mon Jul 03, 2017




Why Trump (and Gingrich) Should Stop Whining About Robert Mueller for 06/19/2017

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700

When Newt Gingrich humiliates himself by smearing Special Counsel Robert Mueller, it is all too easy to dismiss the former speaker. As a disgraced politician who left office under an ethical cloud, following a decade spent debasing American discourse, Gingrich has no standing to criticize Mueller, a decorated Vietnam veteran who enjoys broad bipartisan esteem after a lifetime devoted to public service.

But others have seized on the Gingrich theme, complaining of Mueller's supposed bias against Trump, for which the sole evidence appears to be a few donations to Democratic campaigns by lawyers on the special counsel staff. Apparently, the only way to guarantee "fairness" is to appoint a hardcore Republican to every position.

Such deep concern over the partisan affiliation of a special counsel or an independent counsel is something new for the Republicans. None of them voiced any qualms when, under the old Independent Counsel Act, a panel of three Republican judges consistently appointed Republican prosecutors to investigate a Democratic administration, as they did several times when Bill Clinton was president.

Updated: Mon Jun 19, 2017




Why Trump Must Make Putin Smile for 06/06/2017

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700

Whenever Donald Trump gratuitously insults an American ally or casually degrades our country's reputation, it is hard not to wonder what he thinks he is doing. Could the president of the United States perpetrate these damaging stunts, over and over again, merely to massage his own ego? Of all the explanations for Trump's astonishingly destructive behavior, immaturity and narcissism are actually among the more innocent possibilities.

With each episode, the suspicion increasingly arises that Trump's constant undermining of American alliances, credibility and prestige is not simply stupid or petulant but purposeful. And then the question is whose purpose that pattern might serve.

Until the next news cycle, the freshest example is his Twitter assault on London Mayor Sadiq Khan. For no reason at all, Trump falsely claimed — in the wake of last weekend's terror attack in the British capital — that Khan didn't take the horror seriously enough. Even as heads of state from around the world sent messages of support to the great city on the Thames, the president engaged in a petty provocation that predictably infuriated the citizens of America's closest ally. (Imagine the outrage here if the prime minister of a NATO country had chosen Sept. 12, 2001, to insult Rudy Giuliani as a posturing fraud.)

Updated: Tue Jun 06, 2017




Trump's Epic Budget Swindle for 05/27/2017

Sat, 27 May 2017 00:00:00 -0700

Elect a fraudster to the presidency — remember Trump University and the Trump Foundation? — and he will soon deliver a fraudulent budget. What makes this presidential fraudster's first budget so special is the simultaneous perpetration of multiple levels of fraud.

Aside from defense spending, the Trump budget violates nearly every programmatic promise he made to voters last year. And he pretends to fulfill his promise of balancing the budget with fake numbers.

Not only are the numbers phony but also they represent the most audacious mathematical con game in a federal budget in recent memory. It is phonier than the phony budgets cooked up during the Reagan era, when the president's own budget director eventually confessed, "None of us really understands what's going on with all these numbers."

Updated: Sat May 27, 2017




Congress: Demand White House Transcript for 05/16/2017

Tue, 16 May 2017 00:00:00 -0700

If Donald Trump disclosed highly classified state secrets to the Russian ambassador and foreign minister, he may be vulnerable to impeachment — not because he broke the law, which evidently he did not, but because he committed an act that would be considered criminal and perhaps treasonous if perpetrated willfully by any other government official.

Trump is exempt from the criminal statutes governing disclosure of classified information because he can legally declassify anything at will. But whimsical and boastful misuse of that authority, in the presence of an adversary power, is an extremely serious offense that requires immediate Congressional investigation.

Updated: Tue May 16, 2017




Donald Trump's Death Panels for 05/08/2017

Mon, 08 May 2017 00:00:00 -0700

The real death panels are coming.

Back in 2009, during the shrill hours of debate over the Affordable Care Act, Sarah Palin warned us solemnly that defenseless Americans "will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care."

Updated: Mon May 08, 2017