The Week in Editorial Cartoons – The Cheney/Halliburton Connection

Crossposted at Daily Kos


This weekly diary takes a look at the past week’s important news stories from the perspective of our leading editorial cartoonists (including a few foreign ones) with analysis and commentary added in by me.

When evaluating a cartoon, ask yourself these questions:

1. Does a cartoon add to my existing knowledge base and help crystallize my thinking about the issue depicted?

2. Does the cartoonist have any obvious biases that distort reality?

3. Is the cartoonist reflecting prevailing public opinion or trying to shape it?

The answers will help determine the effectiveness of the cartoonist’s message.

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Cheney Spews by Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune, Buy this cartoon

PLEASE READ THIS: Because of the length of the diary, I could not post all of the editorial cartoons in the diary itself over at the GOS.  So, if you’re interested, there are another 35-40 cartoons that I posted in the comments section of my diary at Daily Kos.  The additional cartoons are on Facebook privacy, foreign affairs, the Texas School Board, and a number of other issues.  

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The Real Problem: If not us, who?  If not now, when?

What Are You Looking at? by David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Star, Buy this cartoon

Walt Handelsman

Walt Handelsman, (Newsday)

Oily Bird by Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune, Buy this cartoon

Jim Morin, Miami Herald

:: ::


Matt Bors

Matt Bors, (Idiot Box), Bors notes on his blog: “Man, too bad Obama isn’t that radical nut Glenn Beck thinks he is.”

Not long after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, George W. Bush and his advisers determined that they were going to use that tragedy for their own political purposes.  For the remainder of his first term (and even beyond it), Bush exploited it by engaging in the worst kind of fearmongering and political manipulation one can imagine.  That disgraceful strategy paid off in the short term and allowed Bush to get re-elected.  In the long term, lacking any credible evidence and justification for subsequent actions after the attack (including the Iraq War), it was a disaster for the Republican Party and the country.

None of the editorial cartoonists are suggesting that President Barack Obama engage in that kind of demagoguery.  Obviously, the immediate task at hand is to plug this massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico and minimize, to the degree possible, the enormous environmental damage already done. Beyond that goal, what they are urging him to do is to take the lead, expend some political capital, end this cozy relationship between Big Oil and its regulators, re-evaluate this country’s hopeless reliance on fossil fuels, and chart an alternative path to cleaner sources of energy.  Suffice it to say, it will not be an easy task.  This theme of recognizing this emergency and proposing alternative solutions is quite evident in many of the cartoons in this diary.

Obama Cinderella by RJ Matson, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Buy this cartoon

The urgent task for President Obama, as Meteor Blades wrote in his front page post last night, is to emulate President Franklin Roosevelt during the war years from 1940-1945.  The successful mobilization of men and women, materials, and, importantly, minds by FDR led to a complete transformation of the American economy and increased production of wartime machinery which, in turn, ultimately led to the defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.  

Acknowledging the need to wean the country of its chronic dependence upon fossil fuels and acting upon it will require no less a Herculean effort by President Obama — and all of us — to get to the promised land of cleaner energy.  Let’s hope all Americans, leaders as well as followers, are up to the task.  Difficult as it may seem, as FDR showed us many decades ago, it can be done.  

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Do you have any creative solutions to capping this oil leak?  Altie cartoonist Lloyd Dangle (one of my favorites) came up above with a number of innovative, if unorthodox, suggestions in the below cartoon.  I particularly liked using The Dick’s posterior or using Sarah Palin’s beehive to cap the massive leak.  Who knows, it might even work!

Lloyd Dangle, Troubletown, Buy this cartoon

Over the past six weeks, British Petroleum has tried a number of engineering techniques to stop this leakage more than one mile below the water’s surface.  Barring some limited success, none has succeeded as well as everyone had hoped for.  All this has happened while the political opposition and other entrenched interests continue to bask in their neanderthal beliefs with regards to energy consumption.

Bobby Jindal, Tony Hayward, and Sarah Palin by Taylor Jones,, Buy this cartoon

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It goes without saying that the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the great tragedies of our time.  But, even in the most awful of military conflicts, it is essential for Israel to counter with a proportional response when and if provoked by its enemies.  Given the inhumane and untenable conditions of almost 1.5 million people in the Gaza Strip, the recent killing of ten pro-Palestinian activists protesting Israel’s Gaza blockade aboard a Turkish ship en route to Gaza with humanitarian aid was simply inexcusable by a country that heralds itself as the region’s only democracy.  For its brutal response, the editorial cartoonists offered scathing criticism of the authoritarian leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  The Israeli actions were not only indefensible but certainly did not win it any new friends nor sympathies from the world community.  Some cartoonists did, however, offer a more nuanced explanation and provided some context for the (seemingly) unprovoked attack.

Another Slick on the Mediterranean by Peter Broelman, Freelance Cartoonist (Australia), Buy this cartoon

Early last year, and unlike a string of both Democratic and Republican administrations dating back to the Truman Administration in the late 1940’s, the Obama Administration decided to take a different approach to the Middle East.  By appointing special envoys to the Middle East, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, it hoped to strengthen Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s hand in deciding to take an integrated approach to problem solving in the region.  While we aren’t always privy to behind-the-scenes negotiations, it has also become clear that the role of the (largely invisible) Mideast Special Envoy, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, has not evolved into what proponents of peace had hoped for.  Are his considerable talents in conflict resolution being used in appropriate ways?  I’m not sure if they are.  

This article sums up the American role of enabling its ally in the Middle East

Clay Bennett

David & Goliath by Clay Bennett,, see reader comments in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

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“If the soul is left in darkness, sins will be committed.  The guilty one is not he who commits the sin but he who causes the darkness.”  In the late 1960s, when America’s cities burned, Martin Luther King often quoted that line, which he borrowed from Victor Hugo.  But it applies equally well to the catastrophe that occurred yesterday in international waters off the Gaza Strip…

The Gaza embargo — as currently constituted — is indefensible, which is why Israel’s American supporters have not so much defended it as pretended it was something other than what it really is.  In the name of solidarity, we have practiced denial.  In the name of anti-terrorism, we have justified the brutalization of innocents.  Now all of us who enabled Israel’s callous, reckless policy are reaping what we sowed.  Don’t blame the Israeli commandos for what happened yesterday on the high seas; blame us.


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Kossack Sandy on Signal submitted the below cartoon and recently also had the opportunity to host Clay Bennett and his wife to a Derby Party a couple of weeks ago in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Sandy wrote to me that “They are wonderful people.  He’s a riot.”  Without Sandy’s introduction a year ago, I — and I suspect, most of you — never would have become familiar with this brilliantly talented editorial cartoonist.  Thanks, Sandy.

Clay Bennett

Veterans Cemetery by Clay Bennett,, see reader comments in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

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Free Press reader ProgressiveInTN responds to this cartoon by Bennett and articulates the injustice inherent in this ridiculous “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.  The sooner it is repealed and all gays treated equally like the rest of us, the better off the armed services and the country will be.  Why the delay, one might ask?

This perfectly illustrates the injustice in our armed services when it comes to sexual orientation.  Thank you for being brave enough to approach this hot button topic on a related holiday.  I hope it makes some people think – because truly the injustice is as gross and as dishonorable as digging up a grave, carting off the remains of a human being and stripping a life’s work and service for a reason that cannot be logically or morally defended.  Thank you for bringing attention to this issue. Justice passed the House – here’s hoping for the Senate to follow in doing the right thing.  Children will remember this injustice as we remember segregation.  Let’s pray progress is made accordingly.

I’ll probably post another 30+ editorial cartoons in the comments section for a total of 130+ in this diary.  Hope you like this week’s edition.  Thanks.

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Bill Day

Bill Day, (Memphis Commercial-Appeal)

RJ Matson, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Buy this cartoon

BP Fortress by Monte Wolverton, Cagle Cartoons, Buy this cartoon

Angry Sea Party by Mike Keefe, Denver Post, Buy this cartoon

Tim Eagan, Deep Cover, Buy this cartoon

Lloyd Dangle, Troubletown, Buy this cartoon

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Dangle writes on his blog after losing his internet connection and missing a deadline

“Sorry, No Dangle on Deadline this Week!”

I’ve lost the internet at my studio!  Unbelievable!  The internet isn’t automatically coming out of my wall as I’ve come to expect.  Now I’m typing on an insufficient laptop computer that should be thrown in the trash.  Am not sure how I am going to live.  Help.

Israel Battered by Peace Protests by Daryl Cagle,, Buy this cartoon

Mike Luckovich

Mike Luckovich, (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Tim Eagan, Deep Cover, Buy this cartoon

Welcome to Arizona by Monte Wolverton, Cagle Cartoons, Buy this cartoon

America Speaking Out Cafe by RJ Matson, Roll Call, Buy this cartoon

Dont Ask, Dont Tell by Jimmy Margulies, New Jersey Record, Buy this cartoon

Bruce Beattie

Bruce Beattie, (Daytona Beach News-Journal)

Bruce Beattie

Bruce Beattie, (Daytona Beach News-Journal)

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2. Bed Partners (BP): The Oil Industry and Minerals Management Service

Chan Lowe

Oil and the Government by Chan Lowe,, see reader comments in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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Can we expect our political leaders to save us from our own selves?  Not really, says Lowe.  If we are unwilling to make the necessary sacrifices and change our outlook towards energy consumption, change in not in the offing.  Only by pressuring the political class will these changes be enacted but not until we have the courage to do so. It’s really that simple

Had George Bush surrounded himself with advisers of broad vision and foresight, he could have molded the world into an interdependent, terror-proof network.  He could have laid the foundation for a crash program leading to energy independence for America.  Instead, he started a couple of wars…

We as a nation are forced to entrust the rescue and restoration of our environment to the very same soulless private sector whose cutting of corners resulted in its rape.

We are angry at the oil industry, the way a debtor is angry at his loan shark.  We know that the oil companies are exacting what amounts to a national indemnity by providing us what we cannot do without.  We are in their thrall, and we look to our leaders to extricate us.

But we don’t elect leaders anymore; we elect people who tell us what we want to hear.  They reflect us, with all our weaknesses and addictions.  If we can’t do anything ourselves to stop the madness, why should we expect them to?

Jack Ohman

Jack Ohman, (Portland Oregonian)

Nick Anderson

Intense Scrutiny by Nick Anderson,, see reader comments in the Houston Chronicle

The Feds and BP by Jimmy Margulies, New Jersey Record, Buy this cartoon

Chris Britt

More New Ideas for Plugging the Oil Leak by Chris Britt,, see reader comments in the State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL)

Searching for a Solution by Joep Bertrams, Freelance Cartoonist (The Netherlands), Buy this cartoon

Sleeper Cell by Mike Keefe, Denver Post, Buy this cartoon

BP’s Next Move by Stephane Peray, The Nation (Bangkok, Thailand), Buy this cartoon

I Want My Life Back by John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Buy this cartoon

Steve Breen

Steve Breen, (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Rob Rogers

Oil Bailout by Rob Rogers, (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

BP is trying yet another gimmick to stop the oil from gushing out of their damaged offshore well.  Are these guys really as incompetent as they seem?  At this rate, BP’s CEOs will be getting big bonus checks soon — Rob Rogers writing on his blog

Paul Szep

Paul Szep,

BP Spill by Randy Bish, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Buy this cartoon

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3. Oily Mess: When Will it All End?

Ed Stein

Ed Stein, (formerly with the Rocky Mountain News), see reader comments on Stein’s blog

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Stein blames the Bush Administration for its cozy and incestuous relationship with the oil industry but does not absolve the Obama Administration for not delving deeper into the corrupt practices of the Minerals Management Services, whose job it is to provide oversight for and guidance to the oil industry.  In hindsight, given that the Bush regime was headed by two former oilmen — George W. Bush and Dick Cheney — would it not have been reasonable early last year to expect the new, incoming administration to suspect (and vigorously explore) that their predecessors might have showered oil barons with generous regulatory favors over eight long years?  Sometimes — and contrary to President Obama’s stated position of looking forward and not backwards — it is essential to dig into the past to make the present more bearable.  Live and learn!

What’s coming increasingly clear as the Gulf of Mexico turns black, is that the Bush administration’s coziness with the oil industry was worse than incompetent — it was criminal.  The Minerals Management Service, already notorious for being in bed (literally, in some cases) with the industries it supposedly regulates, handed out drilling permits and environmental waivers like candy, in violation of its own rules and environmental law, often against the advice of its own geologists and biologists.

Interior Secretary Salazar supposedly drained that swamp, but it turns out that the Obama administration either underestimated or ignored the degree of corruption, and many of their worst practices have continued. The inevitable result of all this hanky-panky is the worst oil spill and quite possibly the worst man-made environmental disaster in history.  Funny, I don’t hear anybody chanting “Drill baby drill” anymore.

Clay Bennett

Multiple Choice by Clay Bennett,, see reader comments in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

Creature from the Oily Gulf by Taylor Jones,, Buy this cartoon

Clay Bennett

The Surrender by Clay Bennett,, see reader comments in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

Steve Sack

Steve Sack, (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

Jurassic Fuels by Steve Greenberg, Freelance Cartoonist (Los Angeles, CA), Buy this cartoon

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4. The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The Killings Continue…

Ed Stein

Ed Stein,, see reader comments on Stein’s blog

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Stein is not a fan of the heavy-handed tactics historically adopted by various Israeli governments but would like Americans to also be outraged about other atrocities being committed around the world

This cartoon is in no way intended to absolve Israel of its actions. I’ve been a critic of the way Israel deals with the Palestinians for years. Many years ago, when Israel first occupied the West Bank and Gaza, Amos Oz, the great Israeli novelist (and soldier in the ’67 war), realized that the occupation was a huge mistake-that Israel would lose its soul if it became an occupier, that it would not be able to function both as a democracy and as an oppressor.  He was denounced as a traitor, but he was right.  The boarding of the “humanitarian relief” vessels attempting to run the Israeli blockade of Gaza was only the latest in a long series of missteps by Israel as it struggles to maintain its deeply flawed policy…  

All that said, the hypocrisy of many of those who express such concern for the plight of the Palestinians is especially galling given the scant attention those same folks pay to the human rights atrocities committed by other, more malignant states.  Where is the scalding denunciation of North Korea for its torpedoing of the Cheonan and the death of 46 South Korean sailors, the calls for Hamas and Hezbollah to stop lobbing rockets at civilians, the fury over Iran’s routine executions of dissidents?  Who among Israel’s critics also stand against China’s appalling suppression of Tibetan nationalism?  Where are the voices demanding an end to Cuba’s dictatorship?

Thus, this cartoon.

Netanyahu by Rainer Hachfeld, Neues Deutschland (Germany), Buy this cartoon

Boats for Gaza by Frederick Deligne, Nice-Matin (France), Buy this cartoon

Freedom Flotilla by Emad Hajjaj, Freelance Cartoonist (Jordan), Buy this cartoon

Gaza Flotilla Attacked by Patrick Chappatte, Le Temps (Switzerland), Buy this cartoon

Bruce Beattie

Bruce Beattie, (Daytona Beach News-Journal)

Don Wright

Don Wright, (Tribune Media Services)

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5. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: A Relic of the Past

MIke Thompson

Mike Thompson,, see reader comments in the Detroit Free Press

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Considering that the military as an institution has been a good laboratory for social change (the armed services were desegregated long before society accepted racial integration as a workable idea), it is unfathomable that it has taken so long for the military to change its policies about allowing gays to actively serve in it without fear of being outed and discharged.

Characterizing DADT as an outdated policy based on bigotry and discrimination, Thompson is pleased that the real question about this policy is not whether it will be repealed but when.  Let’s hope that this is the last year in which we’ll even have to talk about this stupid policy!  

Adios to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy?

A repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that forces gays into the closet if they wish to serve in the armed forces is one step closer to a well-deserved demise.  Thursday night, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal the policy shortly after the Senate Armed Services Committee also voted for a repeal, according to USA Today.

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” is a policy based on bigotry and ridiculous stereotypes of homosexuals.  A CNN poll found that 78% of Americans have no problem with gays serving in the military.

It’s hard to believe that bigotry is still a basis for military policy.

Repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by Mike Keefe, Denver Post, Buy this cartoon

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Plan by Dave Granlund,, Buy this cartoon

Jeff Stahler

Jeff Stahler, (Columbus Dispatch)

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6. Republicans and Wingnuts: Still Crazy After All These Years

Chan Lowe

The Long Finger of Blame by Chan Lowe,, see reader comments in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Small government, in theory, is an intoxicating idea until you suddenly need the benefits of big government.  Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, who turned down federal stimulus money for his state last year in a fit of partisan pique, is now screaming about how little the feds appear to be doing to save his coastline.  Sarah Palin is out there, too, condemning the Obama administration for its ineptitude…

As for blame — it’s a long bar and plenty of us ought to be bellying up to it.  Every time we hop into the SUV to tootle down to the store when we could have walked or ridden a bike, every time we leave the engine running to keep the AC cool when we duck into the dry cleaners, we stoke the beast’s appetite.  It’s fine to vent our spleen at BP for plowing up the Gulf in search of riches without a disaster plan, and it’s fine to rail at the government for not regulating enough or not enforcing the few regulations we have.

But it’s a lot like the drug trade.  There wouldn’t be the murders, the kidnappings and the cartels if there weren’t a market for the product. Prevention of future disasters must begin at home.

— Lowe writing about our addiction to oil on his blog

Do You Know Corruption by Jeff Parker, Florida Today, Buy this cartoon

Matt Bors

Matt Bors, (Idiot Box)

Robert Ariail

Robert Arial, (formerly of The State, SC)

Rand Paul Politics by Nate Beeler, Washington Examiner, Buy this cartoon

Rand Paul Has a Dream by Mike Keefe, Denver Post, Buy this cartoon

Rand Paul Tea Time by Adam Zyglis, Buffalo News, Buy this cartoon

Take Our Country Back by Jimmy Margulies, New Jersey Record, Buy this cartoon

Rand Paul Tinfoil Hat by John Cole, Scranton Times-Tribune, Buy this cartoon

Ron Paul and Sloppy Rand Paul by Dave Granlund,, Buy this cartoon

The Joker by Clay Bennett,, see reader comments in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

Cup of Tea Party by Taylor Jones, El Nuevo Dia (Puerto Rico), Buy this cartoon

Paul Szep

Paul Szep,

Matt Bors

Matt Bors, (Idiot Box)

MIke Thompson

We hate you. Now, help us. by Mike Thompson,, see reader comments in the Detroit Free Press

Paul Szep

Paul Szep,

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7. Barack Obama and the Democrats: Taking BP Head-on

Drew Sheneman

Drew Sheneman, (Newark Star-Ledger)

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Sheneman points out that BP is running out of options to effectively stop the oil spillage and even the White House is getting pulled in to a degree where all of its energies are being spent in keeping this environmental disaster from becoming worse than it already is.  Will the intense focus on the Gulf of Mexico adversely affect the Obama Agenda on Banking Reform, reviving the economy, re-igniting the Middle East peace process, and a host of other difficult issues?

I read this morning that the feds brought in James Cameron (along with a bunch of other scientists) to see if he had any bright ideas on how to stop the oil leak.  Next week, Spielberg is dropping by to consult on the European debt crisis.

BP, Obama by Rainer Hachfeld, Neues Deutschland (Germany), Buy this cartoon

Chris Britt

The Government’s Response to the Oil Spill by Chris Britt,, see reader comments in the State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL)

Mixing Anger and Blame by Jeff Parker, Florida Today, Buy this cartoon, Parker writes on his blog: “After more than a month of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama begins to find a lot of gunk sticking to him.”

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Paul McCartney Not Singing Blackbird by Jimmy Margulies, New Jersey Record, Buy this cartoon

Nick Anderson

Gusher by Nick Anderson,, see reader comments in the Houston Chronicle

Dan Wasserman

Obama’s Rage by Dan Wasserman,, see reader comments in the Boston Globe

Capping the Well by David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Star, Buy this cartoon

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8. Needed: A New Economic Model to Replace Failed Policies of Decades Past

MIke Thompson

Mike Thompson,, see reader comments in the Detroit Free Press

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Thompson is puzzled as to why we as a country keep trying the same failed economic ideas decade after decade when evidence suggests that these ideas are simply unworkable.  Beginning with Ronald Reagan in the early 1980’s, policies advocating and promoting tax cuts, deregulation, and free trade have not resulted in higher living standards for the middle class.  Clearly, given the tough economic times, a new economic model is needed to stimulate and re-invigorate the economy.  So, he implies, why not try a different set of ideas?  Good question!

More of the Same?

So I have to wonder about America’s inability to abandon the economic principles that have guided us for the past three decades and that have failed us so miserably.  Deregulation?  We’ve deregulated everything from Wall St. to offshore oil drilling.  Tax cuts?  We’ve enacted round after round of corporate tax cuts, slashed taxes for the wealthy and a recent investigation by USA Today revealed that Americans’ tax bills are at the lowest rate since the 1950s.  Free Trade?  Been there, done that.

Republicans embraced these economic principles whole-heartedly.  Even some Democrats like Bill Clinton embraced them to varying degrees. These economic principles were sold to us as the keys to prosperity.

So where’s the prosperity?

Why do we cling to a set of ideas in the face of overwhelming evidence that they haven’t worked?  Why would we think that those who championed these failed ideas could rescue us from the mess they created with another dose of their snake oil?

Bruce Beattie

Bruce Beattie, (Daytona Beach News-Journal)

Job Market by Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette, Buy this cartoon

RJ Matson, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Buy this cartoon

Ed Stein

Ed Stein,, see reader comments on Stein’s blog

:: ::

Since the Rocky Mountain News closed down, I’m a lot closer to living off investments than I expected to be at this stage of my life.  When Bette Davis said that old age isn’t for sissies, I don’t think she had her 401(k) in mind.  Riding the gyrations of the stock market isn’t how I expected to spend my sunset years.  Oh, well, maybe the exertion will keep me young — if it doesn’t kill me.

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9. Immigration Reform: A Thorny Issue

Matt Bors

The Matamorphosis by Matt Bors, (Idiot Box)

Being detained as an illegal immigrant even after you have presented your birth certificate seems like the definition of “Kafkaesque.”  I wish Jan Brewer had the pleasureMatt Bors, imagining what would happen if the shoe were on the other foot.

Matt Bors

Matt Bors, (Idiot Box)

Arizona’s Next Immigration Wave by David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Star, Buy this cartoon

Steve Benson

Steve Benson, (Arizona Republic)

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10. Sports Talk: Goaaaalllllllll! and Perfect Blunder

FIFA World Cup 2010 by Stephane Peray, The Nation (Bangkok, Thailand), Buy this cartoon

NBA Finals Celtics vs Lakers by Dave Granlund,, Buy this cartoon

Imperfect Game by RJ Matson, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Buy this cartoon

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11. Final Thoughts

Jen Sorensen, see reader comments on Slowpoke

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Finally, if you live in the suburbs, are you a perfectionist when it comes to beautifying and mowing your lawn?  If so, you should read this by altie cartoonist Jen Sorensen  

“Backyard Blitz”

I hate leaf blowers.  I think I might hate them even more than Hummers. At least Hummers don’t shriek with the wail of a thousand banshees.  It always strikes me as deeply oxymoronic that people are fastidious about making their lawns look perfect, yet they give not one damn about the noise pollution that turns neighborhoods into deafening hells on earth. Not to mention the use of a stinking combustion engine to do light work at a time when it’s abundantly clear that that’s stupid.  To quote the late actor Peter Graves, Mission: Impossible star and anti-leaf blower activist, “We are all victims of these machines.”

(And yes, I empathize with the low-wage yard workers who find them useful, but you gotta draw the line somewhere.)

Culturally-keen readers will recognize the title of the strip as reference to this song.

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A Note About the Diary Poll

Drew Litton

Drew Litton,, see reader comments on Litton’s blog

:: ::

The talk of the sports world this past week was the blown call by baseball umpire Jim Joyce in a game between the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians.  On what should have been the final out of the game, Joyce called a hitter safe on first base.  By doing so, he deprived Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga from becoming only the 21st player to pitch a perfect game in Major League Baseball history.

Joyce later apologized and acknowledged his mistake but Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig (not known for taking decisive actions) refused to overturn the call and allow Galarraga to bask in his glory.  Litton writes on his blog that major league baseball is losing its integrity

MLB’s Mr. Magoo Moment

It’s now known as the missed call heard round the world.  It will live in infamy for all of the wrong reasons.  In a way it is the simple statement about all that ails America’s pastime.  A game wedded to statistics like none other, no longer seems to care what is true and what isn’t.  It was a PERFECT game.  Naw.  Even if the Ump blew the call.  Bonds holds the home run record even if he did do a bunch of steroids.  Baseball has become a sport devoid of integrity.  In this case, those numbers that baseball clings to, the ones that make their world go round, just don’t add up.

The diary poll is a straightforward question.  It doesn’t list all the great baseball pitchers of the recent past.  I’m a Baltimore Orioles fan and for me it was an easy choice.  Why Jim Palmer?  In his distinguished Hall of Fame career lasting 20 years, he never gave up a grand slam home run nor back-to-back homers!  Quite a remarkable achievement.

So, if your pitcher of choice isn’t listed, mention him in the comments section — without giving me any grief!  🙂

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John Sherffius

John Sherffius, (Boulder Daily Camera)

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  1. Chan Lowe

    Death by Oil by Chan Lowe, (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

    :: ::

    Lowe yearns for decisive political leadership of the kind provided by Prime Minister Winston Churchill when Great Britain was threatened by the Nazi menace in the early 1940’s.  He wonders if our political leadership has a plan to move beyond the immediate task of plugging this massive oil leak, no easy task in itself.  

    President Barack Obama certainly has the political skills and rhetorical capacity to rally the nation to take a good, long, hard look at its self-destructive ways in the mirror and propose a comprehensive long-term plan to replace fossil fuels with cleaner sources of energy.  Can he — or, importantly, will he — do it?  The signs are there that he intends to do just that and if he did, it would be welcomed enthusiastically  by his supporters.  

    But we have to acknowledge that there are inherent risks to drilling four miles beneath the surface of the Earth, and these are risks — these are risks that are bound to increase the harder oil extraction becomes.  We also have to acknowledge that an America run solely on fossil fuels should not be the vision we have for our children and our grandchildren.

    President Barack Obama, Remarks by the President on the Economy at Carnegie Mellon University, June 2, 2010

    The “fierce urgency of now” demands such a response, adds Lowe

    Offshore Drilling by Clay Bennett,, see [reader

    comments… in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

    :: ::

    Winston Churchill, who was known as a superb practitioner of the mother tongue, said the following in his inaugural speech as Prime Minister in 1940: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.  We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind.  We have before us many, many months of struggle and suffering.”

    How well do you think a speech like this would go over in today’s America?  Of course, the British didn’t need to be convinced that crunch time had arrived; the only thing that separated them from the Nazi war was 22 miles of English Channel, and they realized — too late — that they had squandered the previous 20 years in an idealistic fog when they should have been rearming.

    Yet the threat that faces our country today is no less immediate or existential than that which faced England in 1940.  It is a more insidious kind of threat, like the slick of oil that creeps across the surface of our pristine Gulf, enveloping all while we stand as observers, helpless to contain it.  We need a special kind of leadership, the kind that will — without fear of the effects on personal popularity — tell us what we must deny ourselves now so that we may continue to survive as a people.  Our self-indulgent energy consumption only stokes the dependency on oil that will kill us in the end– environmentally, economically, and strategically.

    Sadly, leaders of Churchill’s caliber are all too rare, which is what makes them great. We could use one right now.

    Tips and the like now.  I’ll post the next edition of this diary in two weeks.  Thanks.  

  2. The movie is set mostly in Abu Dhabi.  

    Signe Wilkinson

    Signe Wilkinson, (Philadelphia Daily News)

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    Steve Kelley

    Steve Kelley, (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

  3. An unusually high number of celebrities died during the past couple of weeks.  Read more about the interesting lives of television host Art Linkletter, actors Gary Coleman, Dennis Hopper, and Rue McLanahan as well as legendary basketball coach John Wooden.

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    Bruce Plante, see reader comments in Tulsa World, [Buy this cartoon ]

    Gary Coleman by Peter Broelman, Freelance Cartoonist (Australia), Buy this cartoon

    Easy Hopper by Milt Priggee,, Buy this cartoon

    Rue McClanahan, 1934-2010

    John Wooden by Steve Greenberg, Freelance Cartoonist (Los Angeles, CA), Buy this cartoon

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