The Week in Editorial Cartoons – Of Kings and Wingnut Clowns, with Special Comment

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Crossposted at Daily Kos and The Stars Hollow Gazette

John Sherffius

John Sherffius, (Boulder Daily Camera)

When I see a 9/11 victim family on television, or whatever, I’m just like, “Oh shut up” I’m so sick of them because they’re always complaining. — Glenn Beck


Man is man because he is free to operate within the framework of his destiny.  He is free to deliberate, to make decisions, and to choose between alternatives.  He is distinguished from animals by his freedom to do evil or to do good and to walk the high road of beauty or tread the low road of ugly degeneracy. — Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Note: There were an unusually large number of editorial cartoons published over the past week or so.  For obvious reasons, I wanted to focus largely on one dominant issue this week: it’s time for the Democratic Party to wake up from its slumber and fight these Republicans much harder lest it lose the governing majority so many of us worked so hard in recent years to help achieve.

There are about 80 editorial cartoons in this diary and another 20 or so in the comments section of this diary over at the GOS.  I’ll probably due full justice to several issues that I normally would have included in this diary (Iraq, Afghanistan, Heatwave in Russia, Economy, and the like) in my next weekly diary.  Thanks.


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.

Glenn Beck – The Prophesied One by Monte Wolverton, Cagle Cartoons, Buy this cartoon

Al Gore’s not going to be rounding up Jews and exterminating them.  It is the same tactic, however.  The goal is different.  The goal is globalization…And you must silence all dissenting voices.  That’s what Hitler did.  That’s what Al Gore, the U.N., and everybody on the global warming bandwagon (are doing). — Glenn Beck


Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time: the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation.  The foundation of such a method is love. — Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Beck Has a Dream by Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune, Buy this cartoon

This president I think has exposed himself over and over again as a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture….I’m not saying he doesn’t like white people, I’m saying he has a problem.  This guy is, I believe, a racist. — Glenn Beck


Being a Negro in America means trying to smile when you want to cry.  It means trying to hold on to physical life amid psychological death.  It means the pain of watching your children grow up with clouds of inferiority in their mental skies.  It means having your legs cut off, and then being condemned for being a cripple.  It means seeing your mother and father spiritually murdered by the slings and arrows of daily exploitation, and then being hated for being an orphan. — Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tony Auth, Washington Post/Philadelphia Inquirer and Stuart Carlson, Slate/Philadelphia Inquirer

(click link to enlarge cartoon)

I’m thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I’m wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it… No, I think I could.  I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out. — Glenn Beck


Man was born into barbarism when killing his fellow man was a normal condition of existence. He became endowed with a conscience.  And he has now reached the day when violence toward another human being must become as abhorrent as eating another’s flesh. — Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Chris Britt

Glenn Beck Restoring Racial Tensions at the Lincoln Memorial by Chris Britt,, see reader comments in the State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL)

The only (Katrina victims) we’re seeing on television are the scumbags. — Glenn Beck


The curse of poverty has no justification in our age.  It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization, when men ate each other because they had not yet learned to take food from the soil or to consume the abundant animal life around them.  The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty. — Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Glenn Beck by David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Star, Buy this cartoon

So here you have Barack Obama going in and spending the money on embryonic stem cell research. … Eugenics.  In case you don’t know what Eugenics led us to: the Final Solution.  A master race!  A perfect person. … The stuff that we are facing is absolutely frightening. — Glenn Beck


Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.  Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction….The chain reaction of evil — hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation. — Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rotten Egg by Rob Rogers, (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Glenn Beck, Fox News’ popular American history revisionist and bald-faced liar, decided to hold a rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of MLK’s famous “I have a dream” speech.  It is one thing to spew distortions and lies on Fox News, it’s another to defile the memory of a great Civil Rights leader.  Sadly, Beck is one rotten egg that the FDA can’t recall.

Rogers expressing his disgust with the tactics used by Glenn Beck to garner attention

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

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“I Can’t Believe I’m Losing to This Guy”

One of the lasting images of the 1988 Presidential Campaign was a Saturday Night Live skit which featured a debate (read the transcript) between Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis (played by Jon Lovitz) and his Republican opponent Vice President George H.W. Bush (played by Dana Carvey). As historical background, Dukakis had left the 1988 Democratic Convention that year in July with a 17% point lead over Bush in a Gallup Poll.  It would not last very long.  For the remaining weeks of the summer, his overconfident campaign made a fatal mistake by taking the high rational and moral ground and deciding not to respond to personal and racist attacks by the Bush Campaign.  That disgraceful campaign by many Republican operatives like Lee Atwater was eerily reminiscent of Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy from two decades earlier.

As the SNL “debate” progressed, Dukakis got increasingly frustrated by softball questions lobbed at Bush — whose inane answers added to Dukakis being flustered by them — whereas he (Dukakis) had to answer really tough questions about his “technocratic” and detached style of leadership.  At one point during the exchange, Dukakis responds to a Bush answer — in which Bush proved that English was always a second language for the Bush Family and one which made no sense — by muttering to himself, “I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy.”  

In the 2004 Election, a decorated war-hero and one who risked his life to serve in the Vietnam War (John Kerry) was politically torn to shreds by the use of disingenuous tactics by the same people who destroyed Dukakis while defending his opponent, a draft dodger by the name of George W. Bush.  How could this possibly happen?  A group of highly nationalistic Vietnam Veterans — calling themselves Swift Boat Veterans for Truth — disseminated blatant lies about Kerry’s war record and absent a forceful response from the Kerry Campaign for several weeks, the narrative defined Kerry and probably made the difference between winning and losing.

The above episodes highlights an (often) fatal flaw in the Democratic Strategy to counter Republican lies, innuendo, and misinformation — often involving race and the “Un-American” quality of Democratic leaders and candidates.  Instead of fighting these smear campaigns, we Democrats tend to act cool by saying, “Who is going to believe such lies?,”  “The truth will absolve our policy positions,” “We are above responding to slimy tactics like these,” and some such rational nonsense.    

The same negative Republican drumbeat and tactics dominated the Clinton years as the first baby boomer and a political moderate was hounded by his opponents for eight years with phony scandals and, finally, through a mistake of his own (which he had to acknowledge in humiliating fashion), impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives.  Never mind that the U.S. Senate was never going to convict him and remove him from office.

Which brings me to the 2010 Congressional Elections in a little over two months.

(Bill Day, Cagle Cartoons (Memphis Commercial-Appea), Buy this cartoon)

Have we, over the course of the past year, seen a similar “restrained” effort on behalf of the Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats in the face of blistering attacks by the Republican Party?  Instead of effectively countering these blatant lies, I hate to say so but the answer is a resounding yes! Passivity, distraction, complacency, high-mindedness, or some other unknown reason has prevented Democrats from responding effectively to Republican smears which included criticizing President Barack Obama’s religion, citizenship, motives, style of governance, family, and probably even his dog Bo. “Bipartisanship” may well be a worthwhile goal works if the other side expresses an interest in cooperation.  I haven’t seen any signs of that since early last year.  Recent issues such as the New York City mosque controversy, anchor babies and the 14th Amendment, and Glenn Beck’s conspiratorial rants, etc., etc. — aided, abetted, and spread by FOX News have had an effect in bringing down the president’s poll numbers while sowing doubts about his religious affiliation as a recent Pew Research Poll showed.  The entire purpose of this campaign should be obvious to anyone with half a brain.  It is to de-legitimize the president and, by extension, the Democratic Party.  It’s not much more complicated than that.  

It is probably true that given a weak economy, every Obama initiative or enacted policy is probably being seen through the prism of the the fragile economy.  That is a given, but what exactly have the Republicans done to deserve control of the United States Senate or the U.S. House of Representatives?  As Stein explains it

Campaign Slogan

I know people are angry; heck, I’m angry.  It’s an inevitability of American politics that the party in power during bad economies gets punished at the polls, and the Democrats certainly haven’t distinguished themselves with the power we’ve given them.  But I keep coming back to this question-what has the Republican party done to earn our trust? Their unanimous obstruction of any and all proposals has paralyzed Washington, and helped create the climate of voter anger.

To remind you of how extensive this opposition has been, Republicans unanimously (or almost unanimously) opposed the health care bill, the energy bill, the financial reform bill , aid to small businesses, the extension of jobless benefits, the oil spill protection act, and recently and most egregiously, help for 9-11 first responders. More than 120 Obama nominees for important posts and judgeships are still blocked. This is the party we will reward in November, expecting them to do what, exactly? Other than absolute opposition to anything Obama, do they have a plan for getting the nation back to work (other than cutting taxes for the wealthy and cutting Social Security for the rest of us)?  So, is this how we will conduct business from now on?  The minority party, so long as it has at least 41 votes in the Senate, simply filibusters everything, and sweeps to power in the next cycle.  When and if the GOP regains the majority, I can’t wait to hear their furious denunciation of the filibuster they abused to such devastating effect when they were the minority.

(A Not-So-White House by Milt Priggee,, Buy this cartoon)

What, then, is to be done?  Over the weekend, an excellent diary by JCPOK detailed the diarist’s very effective confrontation with a Republican know-nothing who was mouthing the same familiar lies about the president.  I would highly recommend it and, in particular, the many insightful comments on suggestions with how to deal with acquaintances, friends, family members, and co-workers of the Teabagger or undecided variety.  If I were to summarize many of the comments, the common theme would be: “Enough is enough!”  

One other thing.  Constructive criticism of the president’s policies is not only healthy but as historian Howard Zinn implied in this comment, dissent is desirable to maintain a vibrant democracy.  However, is any purpose served by continuously tearing down this Democratic President?  As it is, the Republicans have done a damn good job of doing so.  Highlighting the administration’s accomplishments, too, is also desirable but not without viewing his actions through at least a mildly skeptical prism.  Conformity of thought and uniformity of action should be reserved for totalitarian regimes.  I summarized this ongoing contentious debate in this comment and one which occurs with frequent regularity almost daily on these pages.  As an observation, though, I must say that too often we Democrats are our own worst enemy.  We savagely attack each other, we talk past one other, we question each others’ motives, and in the process, undermine our own interests.  Whether you are enamored with President Obama as a person and think his policies are progressive enough given a very difficult hand or are highly critical of all the unnecessary political compromises he has made to push his policy agenda, I think the time has come to redirect some of this energy — undoubtedly, there’s an abundance of it on this blog — towards the opposition.  No constructive purpose will be served by Republican legislative control after the election.  We already know that.  

As I mentioned in this comment last night in Yosef 52‘s diary, you control the Democrats’ destiny in the November Elections, not some political pundit safely ensconced in a television studio. You can affect the outcome by doing some of the following

1. Treat everyone as an undecided voter from now until election day — be it anyone on this blog or among friends, family, acquaintances, or co-workers.  Insulting people will not win over any votes for Democratic candidates.

2. Don’t lash out at anyone.  If confronting teabaggers, be forceful and persuasive with them.  Try to shame them by arguing facts but with passion.

3. Help your state and local candidates GOTV (Get Out the Vote).

4. Don’t give an inch on issues.  Remind opponents of the hell Bush left for the Obama Administration to resolve.

Like Jon Lovitz in that SNL skit, we sure as hell do not want to wake up the day after the November Elections and say to ourselves, “I can’t believe we lost to these guys.”  You can also help the Democratic Party to achieve its goals by doing what casperr wrote about in this diary only a couple of days ago.

Don’t let this other ignorant, racist, and Know-Nothing Party win this upcoming election.

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1. Cartoons of the Week

Mike Luckovich

Mike Luckovich, (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Glenn Beck – March on Washington by Randall Enos, Cagle Cartoons, Buy this cartoon

Steve Breen

Steve Breen, (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Clay Bennett

The Epidemic by Clay Bennett,, see the large number of reader comments in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

Nick Anderson

Scary by Nick Anderson,, see the large number of reader comments in the Houston Chronicle

Mosque in New York by Aislin, Montreal Gazette, Buy this cartoon

Henry Payne

Henry Payne, (Detroit News)

McCain by David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Star, Buy this cartoon

Aid for Pakistan by Aislin, Montreal Gazette, Buy this cartoon


This is a new Google Group recently formed by LaughingPlanet to assist in efforts to help the 20 million people affected by devastating floods in Pakistan. Anyone who would like to get involved or get alerts when a new HELP PAKISTAN diary is posted, please join the group (it’s very easy to do so) and support this worthwhile effort.  

Note: Please donate generously to help alleviate pain and suffering by millions of displaced persons in Pakistan.  There are many helpful donation links at the end of this diary.  

Slow Aid by Olle Johansson, Freelance Cartoonist (Sweden), Buy this cartoon

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2. At His Beck and Call: Send in the Clowns

Chan Lowe

Chan Lowe,, see reader comments in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Lowe turns the tables on Beck and uses the same reasoning that opponents have used in the New York City mosque “controversy.”  By choosing a date and place — special to many Americans and symbolic of intense struggle and sacrifice during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s — it is utterly hypocritical for clueless people like Beck and Sarah Palin to hold this rally in Washington, D.C and for this display of patriotism mindless nationalism

What does the Glenn Beck rally to reclaim America have in common with the mosque in Lower Manhattan?

Even if you’re willing to give Mr. Beck the benefit of the doubt (and I’m not) that he really, truly, honest to God didn’t know that August 28th happened to be the anniversary of the March On Washington and one of the greatest speeches ever delivered in American history, it would still be appropriate to use his own argument on him…

Neither the date — August 28th, nor the place, the Lincoln Memorial — is sanctified by law.  That combination of date and place, however, is revered and “hallowed,” to use a word that has been slung around a lot lately.

So, just because Mr. Beck can hold his rally in that place and at that time doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do, particularly if it is no more than a thinly disguised attempt to stoke hatred between groups of Americans and to aggrandize his ego.

And then, there’s the possibility that he is doing it on purpose just to stick it to somebody, in which case I wouldn’t want to come anywhere near the bad karma he is surely amassing for himself.

Glenn Beck DC Rally by Dave Granlund,, Buy this cartoon

Glenn Beck, Miracle Worker by Bruce Plante, see the large number of reader comments in Tulsa World, Buy this cartoon

Mike Peters, Dayton Daily News

(click link to enlarge cartoon)

Mark Streeter, Savannah Morning News, Buy this cartoon

Dwarfed by David Cohen, Asheville Citizen-Times

(click link to enlarge cartoon)

Signe Wilkinson

Signe Wilkinson, (Philadelphia Daily News)

Matt Wuerker, Politico

(click link to enlarge cartoon in Wuerker’s archive)

Glenn Beck as MLK by Adam Zyglis, Buffalo News, Buy this cartoon

Glenn Beck Meets Honest Abe by John Cole, Scranton Times-Tribune, Buy this cartoon

Glenn Beck Memorial by Taylor Jones,, Buy this cartoon

I Want My Country Beck by John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Buy this cartoon

Pat Oliphant, Slate/Universal Press Syndicate

(click link to enlarge cartoon)

Beck Throws Stones by Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune, Buy this cartoon

Tom Toles, Slate/Washington Post

(click link to enlarge cartoon)

Beckian Blather by Randall Enos, Cagle Cartoons, Buy this cartoon

MIke Thompson

Mike Thompson,, see the large number of reader comments in the Detroit Free Press

Have you ever noticed that conservatives are particularly good at expropriating the legacy of many past Democratic leaders and icons of the political Left to serve their own convoluted purposes?  I have in mind George Orwell, Thomas Jefferson, Harry Truman, and John F. Kennedy.  They incessantly quote — and mis-quote them out of context — to convey their approval of policies and ideas championed by these leaders.  Well, Thompson wasn’t fooled at all by Glenn Beck trying to restore honor to Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy.  King, after all, had been ferociously opposed by conservatives of all stripes in his day

So, the same folks who have been yelping that a mosque near Ground Zero in New York would be insensitive to the families of 9/11 victims are rallying on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

King’s speech was delivered during the long and ugly fight for civil rights in America. People died during that struggle; people were beaten, shot, abused and forced to endure serious attacks on their personal dignity.  I can imagine that the people who suffered through all that brutality, many of whom are still alive today, aren’t too happy to see the anniversary one of the major events in their struggle politicized by cable TV shills Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and others for political purposes during an election year. Never mind that the views being expressed at the rally run contrary to much of what Dr. King stood for.  That states’ rights are being trumpeted on the anniversary of King’s famous speech is pathetically ironic.

You’d think people who spend so much time lecturing others about sensitivity would understand why their anniversary rally is wrong.

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The Lincoln Memorial by Clay Bennett,, see the large number of reader comments in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

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3. What’s the Big Deal About an Islamic Center?

No Mosque by J.D. Crowe, see reader comments in the Mobile Register, Buy this cartoon

By citing an excellent example of the explosive materials used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh and his kooky nativist friends, Crowe forcefully dismisses arguments made by the Right in opposing the NYC Islamic Center

Until September 11, 2001, the worst act of terrorism on American turf took place April 19, 1995, in Oklahoma City.

Timothy McVeigh and company bought conspicuous loads of fertilizer from farm stores to make the explosives that blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people and injuring 680 others.

Are you or the Oklahoma City victims’ families offended by fertilizer sales in the shadow of the Oklahoma City National Memorial?  A mosque has about as much to do with 9/11 as a farm store had to do with the Oklahoma City bombing.

I can understand the emotional response some are having with the proposed building of a mosque, the Park51 Project, two blocks from Ground Zero. I also understand the predictable knee-jerk politics that’s stirring the pot.  It should be a non-issue.

Lloyd Dangle, Troubletown, Buy this cartoon

Clay Bennett

The Opposition by Clay Bennett,, see the large number of reader comments in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

Robert Ariail

Robert Ariail, (formerly of The State, SC)

Scary Mosque by Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette, Buy this cartoon

Mosque and Bill of Rights by David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Star, Buy this cartoon

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4. Barack Obama’s Religion: A Manufactured “Controversy” to Delegitimize Him

Rob Rogers,, see reader comments in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Religious tolerance and the freedom to practice one’s own religion — or exercise individual choice not to believe in the concept of organized religion at all — was one of the very factors that led to the founding and formation of this country.  If conservatives can’t bother with studying history or reading the United States Constitution, they can at a minimum, suggests Rogers, mind their own damn business!

Obama’s Cross

I wonder if anyone ever accused Abe Lincoln of being a Muslim?  Why is it so important for American Presidents to prove they are good Christians?  It has nothing to do with their ability to govern.  It certainly doesn’t preclude them from scandals.  A recent poll showed that 1 in 5 Americans actually thought that Obama was indeed a Muslim.  Look, people … unless the President of the United States is abusing altar boys or endorsing the stoning of eloping couples, his chosen faith is none of our business.

Obama Not a Muslim and Fox News by Daryl Cagle,, Buy this cartoon

Muslim Obama by Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette, Buy this cartoon

Bill Day

Bill Day, (Memphis Commercial-Appeal)

Some People Will Believe Anything by David Horsey,

see reader comments in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

(click link to enlarge cartoon)

1 in 4 by David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Star, Buy this cartoon

J.D. Crowe, see reader comments in the Mobile Register, Buy this cartoon  

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Factors such as one’s ethnic makeup, family lineage, or nationality — over which a person has no control — do not necessarily define an individual’s identity, argues Crowe. One’s political or religious beliefs are just that: beliefs, that are subject to change over the course of a lifetime.  By deliberately confusing the issue, wingnuts have tried mightily to paint President Obama as a captive of his background — as if that ought to matter!

Obama’s a Muslim. Not

Obama’s a Muslim.  That’s what one in five Amurcans believe, according to a recent poll.

What do one in five dentists believe?  I don’t know.  But I’d guess the one in five Amurcans who believe Obama is a Muslim probably haven’t had a discussion with a dentist about anything recently, much less politics and religion.  

Sadly, the folks who believe President Obama is a Muslim … just because of his name, his non-traditional upbringing, whatever … are probably also the ones who think the word “Muslim” is synonymous with “terrorist.”

You don’t like the president?  That’s fine.  It’s America.  We have the right to not like our leaders.  That’s why we vote.  You don’t like the president’s name or color?  Haven’t had to deal with that before, huh? Don’t make up stuff.

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5. Hate, Incorporated: Dr. Laura and Rightwing Radio

Dr. Laura by Clay Jones, see reader comments in theFreelance-Star (Fredericksburg, VA), Buy this cartoon

Jones takes conservative racists to task for not only their hypocritical behavior but in the case of Dr. Laura Schlessinger — who recently announced her intention to abandon her radio talk show — says that her conduct was blatantly racist, given the repeated use of a word that can have no other meaning but to demean and degrade one’ race

I’ve heard white people make this argument for a long time and countering someone is what gave me the idea to do a cartoon on it.

By now I’m sure you’ve heard of Dr. Laura’s rant and quite frankly I’m shocked… it took this many years for her to screw herself.

Dr. Laura is saying her first amendment rights are being taken away which means MY first amendment rights have never been given to me since nobody’s ever offered me a radio show.  What’s up with that?

As if this isn’t ridiculous enough, here comes Sarah Palin to defend Dr. Laura and her use of the N-word.  Rahm Emanuel angered Palin a few months back for using the word “retard” (which is a no-no) but I’m glad saying the N-word 11 times within five minutes is acceptable for the ex- governor.

Clay Bennett

Dr. Laura by Clay Bennett,, see reader comments in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

No News is Good News by David Cohen, Asheville Citizen-Times

(click link to enlarge cartoon)

Henry Payne

Henry Payne, (Detroit News)

Steve Benson

Steve Benson, (Arizona Republic)

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6. Rupert Murdoch’s $1 Million Donation to the GOP: Fair and Balanced Indeed!

Ed Stein, (formerly of the Rocky Mountain News)

Stein details the real reasons why wealthy wingnuts like Rupert Murdoch support the GOP.  It is definitely not because they think the Republicans will introduce and enact policies that benefit the common good.  Donations are made for one explicit purpose: to protect the obscenely-rich and not for any altruistic reasons


It’s not even a question that the national economic policies of the last few decades have favored the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.  We’ve seen an astonishing increase in income inequality as taxes have become more regressive and the marketplace has been increasingly deregulated.  The percentage of the nation’s wealth controlled by a tiny minority has grown exponentially while the income of lower- and middle -class Americans has stagnated.

I’ve wondered for years how so many people have been persuaded to vote again and again against their own economic self-interest.  A revealing article by Jane Mayer in the August 30 issue of The New Yorker  magazine helps explain it.  Over the years billionaires like Rupert Murdoch and the Koch Brothers have steadily funded operations designed to stoke populist anger against the government and progressive ideas.  The Tea Party, far from being a spontaneous populist movement, has been underwritten with tens of millions of dollars and coordinated through a network of organizations with names like Americans for Prosperity, with the singular goal of creating an angry block of disaffected voters who will unwittingly vote for policies that benefit the very wealthy.

Lurking behind the trumped-up fear of a government takeover of our lives is a desire on the part of these rich funders to force government out of the job of regulating how they do business, protecting workplace safety, defending the environment, overseeing the safety of the food supply, and raising their taxes-in other words, doing anything that might reduce their profits.  That would also include, by the way, paying for the safety net.  How this will be good for the army of middle class Americans they’ve enlisted to fight their battles for them is something I can’t answer, and I suspect the zealous Tea Party devotees can’t either.  But letting out the anger, I guess, feels really good, even if the eventual consequences most certainly won’t.  But, by then, we might have another Democrat in the White House we can blame for our troubles.

Bill Day

Bill Day, (Memphis Commercial-Appeal)

Tony Auth, Yahoo Comics/Philadelphia Inquirer

(click link to enlarge cartoon)

Fox Gives Million to GOP by David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Star, Buy this cartoon

Stuart Carlson, Universal Press Syndicate

(click link to enlarge cartoon)

Tim Eagan, Deep Cover, Buy this cartoon

Jeff Danziger, New York Times Syndicate

(click link to enlarge cartoon)

John Sherffius

John Sherffius, (Boulder Daily Camera)

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7. Teabaggers and Other Wingnutty Ideas

Tea Party Grammar by Randall Enos, Cagle Cartoons, Buy this cartoon

Things That Make Absolutely No Sense by David Horsey, see reader comments in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

(click link to enlarge cartoon)

Ken Catalino, Nationally Syndicated Cartoonist, Buy this cartoon.

Stuart Carlson, Washington Post/Universal Press Syndicate

(click link to enlarge cartoon)

Steve Sack

Steve Sack, (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

Tony Auth, Washington Post/Philadelphia Inquirer

(click link to enlarge cartoon)

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8. Floods in Pakistan: A Desperate Situation

Underwater Homes by Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune, Buy this cartoon

Jeff Danziger, Yahoo Comics/New York Times Press Syndicate

(click link to enlarge cartoon)

Pakistan Aid by Patrick Corrigan, Toronto Star, Buy this cartoon

John Sherffius

John Sherffius, (Boulder Daily Camera)

Pakistan Aid by Cam Cardow, Ottawa Citizen, Buy this cartoon

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9. Final Thoughts

Jen Sorensen, Slowpoke, Buy this cartoon

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Finally, what is your approach when investing in real estate?

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A Note About the Diary Poll

Martin Kozlowski,, Buy this cartoon

Did Climate Change contribute to floods in Pakistan?  This diary by A Siegel suggests that it did

With monumental inaction by the U.S. Senate in the face of devastating climate chaos from flooded Pakistan to smoldering Russian to heat records in many nations and many areas of the United States, the paths forward to effective action to turn the tide away from egregious CO2 emissions seem limited (at best).  With the President (and his Administration) having, to put it politely, flubbed its leadership role on the climate front in terms of getting serious and meaningful action through the U.S. Congress, we have to wonder seriously at the latest action.

Whatever the reason for this calamity, one thing is certain: it is a disaster of historic proportions with close to 20 million people displaced, threatened by spreading disease and in dire straits in a fight for survival.

As noted earlier, a number of our community members are actively engaged in drawing your attention to it.  A new diary posted this afternoon by Clytemnestra has numerous donation links of which I’ve included a few in the diary poll.  Please find it within your heart to contribute as much as you can, even if it is a small amount.  Thanks.

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  1. Lloyd Dangle, Troubletown, Buy this cartoon

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    pro·fess·ional · left, n.

    Etymology: from Medieval Latin professionalus and from pre-Chaucerian Olde English lyft.

    Dates: 1253, 1606, 2010

    Usage: a “term of endearment” first used in August 2010 by an uninformed bloke named Robert Gibbs to describe a group of professional kvetchers who are creating American jobs by the thousands.  To cite British spy novelist John Gardner in The Man From Barbarossa paraphrasing Karl Marx, the ‘Professional Left’ is firmly secure in its belief that if 20th century Communism was the exploitation of man by man, then, surely, 21st century American capitalism is just the opposite.

    Rob Rogers

    Rob Rogers, (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

    All kidding aside, Mr. Gibbs, if in the unlikely event you get a chance to read this, I hope you will consider taking the following actions

    1. Fight Back: As I’ve described in great detail in this diary, it is the Republican Party and its racist allies that have painted this president as racist, socialist, Communist, statist, and a Kenyan witch doctor.  When are you going to launch the political counterattack to negate these scurrilous lies?

    2. Election Strategy: For the next two months, coordinate your election strategy with the DNC, DSCC, and the DCCC.  Send the most effective Democratic pit bulls to cable tv and radio stations to defend the administration’s record.  Be forceful and apologize for nothing.  And, for heaven’s sake, stop pretending that you can achieve this elusive, unattainable, and Middle American goal of “bipartisanship.”  It hasn’t worked for two years and it is not going to over the next two months.

    3. Unleash the Cabinet: This has to be one of the most low-profile cabinets in recent political history.  What exactly are you saving your cabinet members for?  Why aren’t they vigorously defending the president’s policies and initiatives in all sorts of media outlets and deflecting the inevitable criticism that comes in every president’s direction?

    Finally, as a reminder, know who your friends are.  Democrats come in all stripes.  If you launch a counteroffensive, I can assure that all supporters of the Democratic Party — moderates, conservatives, marginals, independents, and, yes, even the so-called “professional left” — will clap loudly.  The cheering may not stop.  

    Tips and the like here.  Thanks.  

  2. Bill Day

    Bill Day, (Memphis Commercial-Appeal)

  3. Cal Grondahl, Utah Standard Examiner, Buy this cartoon

  4. … on the front page, buhdy.  Here’s one on the economy…

    :: ::

    Expendable Work Force by John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Buy this cartoon

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