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Ted Rall, a political cartoonist, is the author of "The Anti-American Manifesto." He was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1963, raised in Kettering, Ohio and graduated from Fairmont West High School in 1981. His first cartoons were published in the Kettering-Oakwood (OH) Times.
He majored in physics at Columbia University's School of Engineering from 1981 until 1984, where he drew cartoons for the Columbia Daily Spectator, Barnard Bulletin and The Jester humor magazine. He was expelled in 1984, between his junior and senior years, for academic and disciplinary reasons. Ted Rall is the author of "Bernie," a biography written with the cooperation of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. "Bernie" is now on sale online and at all good bookstores.
Why Trump is Right About Newspaper Libel Laws
California is one of 28 states to have an "anti-SLAPP" law. According to proponents, there are wealthy individuals and companies who file nuisance lawsuits against defendants, not to win but to tie the poor defendants up in court and force them to hire expensive lawyers to defend themselves.
Tuesday, January 9, 2018(3 comments)
"The Post"? No Way Would Jeff Bezos Publish the Pentagon Papers
Steven Spielberg's new movie "The Post" depicts a newspaper's decision to defy the government, risk its financial health and imprisonment of its editors in order to report a hard truth and defend the press' First Amendment rights by publishing the Pentagon Papers.
Monday, January 8, 2018(14 comments)
Voters Drafted a Reluctant Trump Because They Hated Hillary That Much
Trump may be America's first certifiably insane president. He is probably the most ignorant -- and we've had some doozies. He is certainly the first without any political or high-level military experience whatsoever. What we now know is at least as remarkable as those bulletpoints: Trump is effectively the first president drafted into the position.
Sunday, December 31, 2017(12 comments)
Democrats Will Fix It
Donald Trump is pushing through radical right policies, including a tax revamp and a crackdown against immigrants. But Democrats could reverse all that if and when they retake power. So everything will be just fine. Right?
Thursday, December 7, 2017(7 comments)
Will President Trump Last Another Year?
Trump is more likely to give away his fortune to charity than slink away in a Nixonian resignation. His ego is too big; he's too pugnacious. He'd rather get dragged out kicking and screaming -- unless it's part of a deal with Mueller or other feds to avoid prosecution. So impeachment it would need to be.
Thursday, November 23, 2017(3 comments)
Sexual Harassment and the End of Team Politics
Until the 1990s, American electoral politics were divided ideologically, between the opposing ideas of liberalism and conservatism. Now we have Team Politics: Democrat versus Republican, my party right or wrong. Americans back their party the same way they back their favorite sports team -- with automatic, stupid loyalty.
Friday, November 17, 2017(1 comments)
How Society Makes Victimhood a No-Win Proposition
Society doesn't like victims. Victims make us uncomfortable. It's probably a vestige of our Darwinian instinct for survival: the monkey clan prospers when its members are healthy and lucky, but finds life perilous around those who are sick and unfortunate. We turn away from the unlucky, the homeless man, the woman whose face bears burn scars, the black guy getting choked to death by cops -- not our problem.
Friday, November 10, 2017(1 comments)
Call H.R.? Why Not the Cops? The Weird Politics of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassers and assaulters should face prison time. So should false accusers. But bosses need to mind their own business -- at their own business. As far as Spacey goes, is it ethical to take money out of his pocket over an accusation that has never been tried, much less proven, by a judge or jury?
Thursday, November 9, 2017(1 comments)
NYC Attack Highlights Need to Protect Cyclists
Bike paths running adjacent to traffic should be separated by solid concrete or metal barriers between intersections. At intersections, a series of metal bars wide enough to allow bikes to pass through but too narrow for cars, and solid enough to stop one traveling fast, should be installed.
Saturday, November 4, 2017(3 comments)
NYC Attack: Another Reason to Protect Bicycle and Pedestrian Paths
The biggest issue raised by the New York attack is the one we're not talking about: the need to protect bicyclists from cars and trucks on public roadways. You can't protect everyone. You can't anticipate every nefarious plot. But disasters that are predictable, easy to avoid or mitigate, and relatively inexpensive are a no-brainer.
Thursday, October 19, 2017(6 comments)
Why Girls in the Boy Scouts Feels Weird
The idea of girl Boy Scouts is novel -- and it required a smooth rollout preceded by careful explanation of the pros and cons for all kids and for both organizations. Instead, a big change was dropped on our laps without any preparation or the cooperation of the girls' organization. The end result comes off as unwarranted, motivated by ill will and just plain silly.
Saturday, October 14, 2017(1 comments)
What Would the U.S. Look Like If We Built It From Scratch?
It's time to shed the illusion of the U.S. as some cute wet-behind-the-ears nation-come-lately. The frontier has been conquered. Even though 97% of Puerto Ricans want in, there will be no new states. In spirit and by chronology we are old, old as the hills, old like Old Europe, and we've gotten stuck in our ways.
Thursday, October 5, 2017(3 comments)
Hugh Hefner Said His Critics Were Prudes and Puritans. The Negative Obits Prove Him Right.
Hugh Hefner's death didn't move me. Penthouse was my print media stimulus of choice. I only read Playboy after the magazine's late delightful cartoons director Michelle Urry commissioned some samples during her campaign to update the magazine's hoary cartoon section with edgier, more political work. (Alas, those weird Marxist sex cartoons are lost to history.)
Thursday, September 28, 2017(7 comments)
The Pledge of Allegiance is anti-American
The U.S. and Canada are the only countries on earth where national anthems are played at the start of sporting events. Even in many authoritarian states, the requirement that children (and athletes) swear fealty to the nation (or, as here, its flag) would be considered too creepy to contemplate.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017(1 comments)
No Man is Above the Law -- Except on College Campuses
The weird alternative universe of law on campus is in the headlines again due to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' announcement that the Trump Administration plans to rewrite Obama-era Title IX rules to give male students accused of rape on college campuses more rights to defend themselves.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017(13 comments)
Want Real Political Change? Hit the Streets -- And Don't Promise to be Nonviolent
Doing something effective requires you to become a clear and present danger to the system and the people who run it. Doing something that might change the fundamental nature of the system requires you to risk prison, injury and death. Doing something demands that you operate outside the system. It means taking it to the streets. Power never yields unless it's scared.
Wednesday, September 6, 2017(5 comments)
Obama Screwed the DACA Dreamers Before Trump Did
First Obama came to deport the children who knew no home other than the United States, but we said nothing because they had criminal records (even if they weren't a big deal). Then Trump came for the kids with no criminal record at all, but we said jack because they didn't happen to have the right immigration documents.
By the time they come for U.S. citizens -- you know the rest...
Wednesday, August 30, 2017(5 comments)
Progressive, Heal Thyself
Trump wasn't a surprise. He wasn't an anomaly. American politics won't get nicer or smarter after he's gone. He's crazy and mean and dangerous -- but he's not a bizarre departure from the American norm.
Tuesday, August 22, 2017(5 comments)
Why Trump is Doomed (It's Not the Nazi Thing)
Trump is too tacky, high-strung and unpredictable for the business class. America's ruling elites like their racism served up quietly in a well-tailored suit, under a tight helmet of elder-statesman hair, delivered calmly and slowly, so bland that no one pays attention. This is where Mike Pence comes in.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017(6 comments)
After Charlottesville: If You Fire a Fascist, You Are a Fascist
The upsides of free expression are intangible while the downside risks are terrifyingly brutal. A 2016 Harris poll found that 33% of U.S. employees are afraid to talk about politics at work. Increasingly workers have to worry about losing their jobs as the result of talking about politics outside of work too.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017(2 comments)
Our Obsession with Trump Shows Authoritarianism Has Arrived
There are indeed reasons to worry that civilian and constitutional rule are giving way to institutional post-democracy. Trump's cabinet and top White House staff contain enough military generals to give Pakistan a run for its money. Trump's party controls both the House and Senate yet the president prefers to dash off executive orders rather than making the necessary effort to shepherd legislation through Congress.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017(11 comments)
How I Found Out That the Courts Are Off-Limits to the 99%
Deep-pocketed defendants like the Times -- owned by a corporation with the weird name Tronc and a market capitalization in excess of $400 million -- are taking advantage of America's collapsing court system to turn justice on its head. In worn-out Trump-era America, the corruption and confusion that used to be associated with the developing world has been normalized.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017(2 comments)
Democrats Want to Lose the 2020 Election
espite leading the party to defeat, the centrist-Third-Way-DLC-Hillary Clinton wing of the party still runs the DNC and the state apparatuses. They've never made nice with Bernie Sanders or his leftist-progressives -- the party's base and its most committed ideologues -- after repeatedly insulting and marginalizing them during the campaign.
Wednesday, June 14, 2017(4 comments)
Democrats' Obsession with Russian Election Hacking Makes Them Look Dumb
As the Dems deRp around deep in the weeds of their confused and confusing Russia hacking narrative, they're neglecting the much tastier, low-hanging impeachment fruit they could easily use to hasten the day when D.C. Metro cops frogmarch The Donald out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: straightforward corruption.
Friday, June 9, 2017(1 comments)
Donald Trump's Other Lies: His Campaign Promises
Trump has governed to the far right. In fact, on just about every issue you can think of, Donald Trump has governed as the most extreme far-right politician of our lifetimes, and possibly in the history of the Republican Party.
Thursday, June 1, 2017(37 comments)
Military Spending is the Biggest Scam in American Politics
Military spending is the biggest waste of federal tax dollars ever. Both political parties are equally complicit.
The militarism scam is the best-kept secret in American politics.
When you think about it -- but no one in the halls of Congress ever does -- it's hard to think of a country that has less to fear than the United States.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017(5 comments)
Five Things the Democrats Could Do to Save Their Party (But Probably Won't)
Democrats need to stop disappearing between elections. Campaigns are exhausting and it's natural to want to catch one's breath and conduct a postmortem to determine what went well and wrong. But it's gotten to the point that the only time left-of-center voters hear from the Democratic Party is the year of a major election, for the most part only a few months before November and then only to ask for money.
Why Trump Continues to Beat the Democrats
Asking the media to throw shade on PhoneTapGate is insane. Interest in our wild and crazy president is Making the Media Great Again! Newspaper circulation is up for the first time in decades! So are broadcast ratings -- because TV cable news covers stuff like this. There's only one way to beat crazy: with more crazy.
Sunday, February 26, 2017(7 comments)
Republicans May Impeach Trump
Trump-haters want Democrats to push for impeachment. Setting aside the Dems' congenital cowardice and the arithmetic -- a minority party can't impeach anyone -- the real danger to Trump is his nominal Republican allies. The Donald struts the marbled corridors of the capital, his head held high like Caesar. Beneath their togas, the senators' sharp knives await.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017(8 comments)
Sue the Bastards? It's Harder Than You Think
Are you one of those Americans who say it's too easy to file a lawsuit? As I can tell you from personal experience, it's anything but. The canard that U.S. courts are jammed up by litigious jerks is based on anecdotes spread by corporate propaganda. We do need "tort reform" -- but we should make it easier to sue, not harder.
Sunday, February 19, 2017(17 comments)
Why Won't Democrats Kick Trump While He's Down?
Pushing for Trump's impeachment now would position Democrats as forward-looking thinkers who had it right before anyone else. Moral authority matters.
Oh, and if you don't do it, the Republicans will steal the moral high ground by doing it themselves. Ryan 2020!
Friday, February 10, 2017(33 comments)
How I'll Know It's Time To Flee Trump's America
Trump's relentless beating up on the press makes me incredibly nervous. What will this guy do when the new Left gears up with big-ass protests later this year? Isolated from the rallies from whence he drew his strength, Boy Trump in the Beltway Bubble spells trouble. If you're not scared, you're not paying attention.
Wednesday, February 1, 2017(8 comments)
The Case for Left Nationalism
t's good for Americans, and for decency, when wages of workers in other nations increase -- there are fewer wars and more consumers. As things stand today, however, nation-states are here to stay. In fact, there are more of them than ever before. A left unable to appeal to nationalism has no future.
Sunday, January 15, 2017(2 comments)
The 3 Rules of Resistance to Donald Trump
We Americans may not be familiar with them, but there are standards. Everything does not go. There are clear rights and wrongs. Now, as we plunge into the moral abyss, it is important to learn, spread and enforce the Rules of Resistance for people who want to be able to hold their heads high when their children ask "what did you do during the war, daddy/mommy?"
Saturday, January 14, 2017(3 comments)
Life Under Trump -- What Happens Now?
At this point, probably the only thing that would save the system would be for the Republican-controlled Congress to impeach Trump. (This would also have the effect of saving the Republican Party.) This would have to happen in relatively short order, no longer than in a year or two.
Wednesday, January 4, 2017(9 comments)
Why Useless Impotent Democrats Will Not Lift a Finger to Fight Trump
Democratic impotence is nothing new; since the 1970s leaders have pushed the party's ideology to the right while abandoning every pretense of resistance to the expansion of the corporate gangster capitalism that grinds up working and middle-class people's hopes and aspirations. Screw the Dems. You are your only salvation.
Wednesday, December 28, 2016(15 comments)
Please Stop the Fear and Loathing of 2017
Trump was born in Queens. But it helps to think of him as an invader. His mish-mash protofascism, ferocious gracelessness and aversion to linear thinking or consistency are foreign to American politics and culture. He doesn't belong here. He's un- and anti-American. He's got to go. We must stop staring down the barrel of 2017 with fear and loathing. It's time to start planning.
Friday, December 23, 2016(7 comments)
Russian Hacking: Where's the Evidence?
As if this "Russia hacked the election" episode wasn't enough to showcase the intellectual bankruptcy of America's state-controlled news media, the stenographers are ignoring a far more credible explanation for how WikiLeaks got the Podesta/DNC emails: they were leaked, not hacked. The moral midgets of American corporate media don't have the slightest interest in uncovering the truth.
Thursday, December 8, 2016(4 comments)
The United States has always been corrupt, savage and brutal. It has always been wildly dysfunctional and hypocritical. But now, thanks to a president-elect who is loudly ignorant and utterly devoid of impulse control, the mask is off. The horrible truth about the United States can no longer be denied. Trump epitomizes truth in advertising. We're a nasty, crappy country.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016(2 comments)
Hillary Lost. Should We Care?
Hillary fans can credibly argue that she would not have made things worse, or at least not as bad as they will be under Trump. By objective standards, however, it defies reason to claim that she would have presided over a halcyon era of progress. At best, President Clinton II would have held the line against Republican attacks. As we know, however, voters are not in the mood for more of the same.
Thursday, November 24, 2016(54 comments)
Now, A Postmortem By Someone Who Actually Saw Trump's Win Coming
Trump's "surprise" win wasn't shocking to people who were paying attention. Throughout the primary and general election, the DNC brushed off head-to-head tracking polls that showed that Hillary Clinton never enjoyed a commanding lead over, and sometimes fell behind, Donald Trump. Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, consistently held a double-digit lead, sometimes as high as 20 percent, over Trump.
Friday, November 18, 2016(3 comments)
Trump's Fascism Picks Up Where Obama's Left Off
From what we know of Trump's likely cabinet appointments, the next few years promise to devolve into a dystopian nightmare of authoritarian repression the likes of which few Americans ever imagined possible. Fascism under Trump will merely continue Obama's fascism with a smiley face -- a fascism that we let him get away with for far too long.
Friday, November 11, 2016
Here Comes the Rise of the Anti-Trump Left
The devastating defeat of Hillary Clinton, the ultimate candidate of the neo-conservative Democratic center-right, has discredited her patrons, the pro-globalization elites. The election of Donald Trump sets the stage for a civil war within the party in which its liberal progressive wing is likely to emerge victorious, dominating electoral politics within the mainstream left for the foreseeable future.
Friday, November 4, 2016(13 comments)
Win or Lose, Hillary is Finished
Even if she wins next Tuesday, a second Clinton Administration will begin with zero mandate other than to be Not Trump. And there's a serious risk Republicans will begin impeachment proceedings within her first year. And she could easily lose -- which would put American democracy in grave peril. Heckuva job, Hillary!
Tuesday, October 18, 2016(3 comments)
The 4 Things Hillary Could Do To Close the Deal Against Trump
Hillary Clinton, probably like you and definitely like me, can't do anything about her personality. At 68, that stuff is baked in. Still, there's a lot she could do to close the deal against Donald Trump -- to widen her within-the-margin-of-statistical-error lead to a chasm, the insurmountable landslide that her institutional and other advantages would have guaranteed a better candidate.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016(1 comments)
Trump's Guerilla Politics Are Here To Stay
Hillary Clinton delivers a cut-and-paste stump speech at every appearance. Trump, meanwhile, performs jazz. He extemporizes. No one, including him, knows what he's going to say. So every rally gets covered live. How can she compete? No matter what happens in November, the guerilla politics pioneered by Trump are here to stay.
Tuesday, October 4, 2016(11 comments)
Hey, Clintonoids, Stop Bullying Me About My Vote
I'm not going to vote for Donald Trump. I agree with the mainstream liberal consensus that he should never hold political power, much less control over nuclear launch codes. He's dangerous and scary. But that doesn't mean I have to vote for Hillary Clinton. So I won't.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016(2 comments)
The Thrilla at Hofstra: How Trump Won the Debate
All things being equal, I would agree with the corporate media consensus that Hillary won. But that's the thing -- things are far from equal. Hillary Clinton is a pro. She should have wiped the floor with Trump. Instead, she delivered a performance on the line between a B+ and an A-. Trump gets closer to a C-. That's much closer than it ought to have been.
Thursday, September 22, 2016(9 comments)
It's Political Malpractice, Stupid
Democrats are wallowing in the Anger stage of the Kubler-Ross model of grief. How on earth, they howl on op-ed pages and cable-news talking-head shows, can this be? Why doesn't the electorate--that useless "basket of deplorables"--not see what is plain for all to see, that Hillary possesses more qualifications for the nation's highest political office in her tiniest pinkie toe than The Donald has in his whole 267-pound body.
Wednesday, September 7, 2016(2 comments)
What Obama Doesn't Want You to Know About Uzbekistan
It would be nice to hope that the flowers of democracy will sprout in the soil of the dictator's grave. But years of suppression have destroyed the opposition groups that might have been able to step into power as part of a post-Karimov transition. Acting Uzbek president Nigmatulla Yuldashev will no doubt call for another of the country's sham elections, which a hand-selected member of the ruling elite is predestined to win.
Friday, September 2, 2016(2 comments)
At the Clinton Foundation, Access Equals Corruption
Access should be, has to be in a democracy, determined solely by meritocratic criteria. Political leaders like Hillary Clinton need to be meeting with people who can offer them the best advice and who need the most help -- not those who bought their way in. Anyone who doesn't understand that access always equals corruption, even when access doesn't result in favors, doesn't deserve to hold political office.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016(1 comments)
Trump vs. Clinton: It's All About the Debates
Trump knows all the tricks: how to deploy comical facial expressions as well as Jim Carrey, how to dominate others using body language, a laser-like ability to identify an opponent's weaknesses and reduce them to rubble via ridicule ("Little Marco"). In an American presidential debate, 15-point white papers don't count for jack. The best entertainer always wins.
Tuesday, August 2, 2016(3 comments)
Khizr Khan and The Triumph of Democratic Militarism
Corporate media gatekeepers managed to transform the Democratic National Committee internal emails released by WikiLeaks from what it really was -- scandalous proof that Bernie Sanders and his supporters were right when they said the Democratic leadership was biased and had rigged the primaries against them, and that the system is corrupt.
Monday, July 25, 2016(12 comments)
Hillary's Strategy: Snub Liberal Democrats, Move Right to Nab Anti-Trump Republicans
To those of us who have been paying attention, Clinton's post-primary migration toward conservatism comes as no surprise. There's a reason her campaign appealed to progressives primarily by referencing her work for the Children's Defense Fund in the 1970s, when David Bowie was an up-and-coming glam rocker. Team Clinton had to go that far back to find evidence of her supposed liberalism.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016(9 comments)
How to Fix the Broken Relationship Between the People and the Police
When the police are charged with wrongdoing against civilians, the odds are that they will get away with it. In fact, the odds are that they will never face an indictment. In 2015, 85% of police shootings were handled by DAs who work closely with the officer's own department.
Saturday, July 9, 2016(1 comments)
Violent, Racist Cops Protect a Violent, Racist System
One possible place to start is the reaction of many people to the Dallas sniper attack. Like 9/11, it was shocking. Like 9/11, it also wasn't surprising. You can't go on acting like a bully forever. The powers that be can't pressure their victims forever. Eventually the prey strike back. No, it isn't justified. Nor is it right. But it is chickens coming home to roost.
Monday, July 4, 2016(13 comments)
To most people, "cheating" means breaking the rules of a contest. By this standard definition, there's no doubt that the Clinton campaign, its political allies and the Democratic National Committee cheated in favor of Clinton and against Sanders. They broke the law. They disenfranchised voters. If the rules had been followed, Bernie Sanders would be the nominee.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016(1 comments)
Who's Really To Blame for Brexit (and Trump)
Nativism and racism played a role in the Brexit vote. England is an island nation with an island mentality. Though only a few thousand Syrians entered the UK last year, with nary a passport check, images of refugees riding the roof of trains from France through the Chunnel felt like an invasion to some Britons.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016(8 comments)
Mass Shootings Are The New Normal. Get Over It.
This ship sailed back in 2004 when Congress allowed the federal ban on assault weapons to expire without being renewed. Congress's failure to act over the last 12 years has transformed the United States into a nation awash in military hardware. Mass shootings are the new normal. Get over it. Let's stop focusing on problems we can't do anything about and work on those we still can.