Thursday, January 29, 2015

Q Toon: Contempt of Court

In discussing last week's "Ground Hog Day" cartoon, I mentioned that state lawmakers were proposing new anti-marriage laws in anticipation of the Supreme Court ruling for marriage equality.

The Texas legislature is considering a bill by Rep. Cecil Bell (R-Waller Co.) to garnish the salary of any government official who issues a marriage license to a same sex couple or in any way respects the rights of such a couple married out of state.

In Oklahoma, well-known homophobe Sally Kern (R-Oklahoma City) has vomited forth bills that states that“No employee of this state and no employee of any local governmental entity shall officially recognize, grant or enforce a same-sex marriage license and continue to receive a salary, pension or other employee benefit at the expense of taxpayers of this state.”

Kern's bills are on such constitutionally shaky ground that they include a provision demanding that state courts automatically dismiss any legal challenge to them. (Why, if only Obamacare or McCain-Feingold had had such a provision!)
Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
Jan 29, 2015
When I initially proposed this cartoon idea to the editors at Q Syndicate, I had the TV host wondering whether there was something unconstitutional about the laws proposed by my fictional state lawmaker, Jim Beautron (R-Menda City). I realized that I needed to take a different tack when I read that Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is pushing a constitutional amendment prohibiting American courts from overturning anti-marriage laws.

Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA) likes Cruz's idea. On the flip side of the coin, presidential aspirant Mike Huckabee (R-AR) thinks states should just give American courts the finger and ignore any ruling that they don't like. I guess if you think that the Constitution is irrelevant, why bother amending it?

Of course, I know that these elected officials (R-Wherever) don't think the Constitution is irrelevant. They still believe that the Constitution explicitly prohibits whatever President Obama does from the milk he pours on his breakfast cereal to the pajamas he wears to bed. And it will be no different if Hilary Clinton is president.

But these you-can't-challenge-my-law provisions and let's-pretend-courts-don't-matter arguments are pretty clear signs that the Republicans making them know they don't have a legal leg to stand on.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Because It Is There

As we approach the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, I've been posting some cartoons from A Bird's Eye View of the Postwar World from 1945.

Kay Kato's heroine in this cartoon is enjoying her leisurely ascent of El Capitan. And while she didn't have to coat her hands with superglue or mess with pick axes and crampons, she appears to be completely oblivious to the fact that the blades atop her helicopter have stopped spinning.

Monday, January 26, 2015

This Week's Sneak Peek

I usually try to avoid drawing two cartoons in a row for Q Syndicate on the same topic; but if you read all the way through my commentary on last week's cartoon, you will see that I've broken with that habit this week.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

What Color Is Your Parachute?

It has been a while since I posted anything from A Bird's-Eye View of the Postwar World (Consolidated Book Publishers, Chicago, 1945).

The conceit of several of the cartoons was that air travel would be an everyday way for the average citizen to get around, even just across town. Here's an example by Will Johnson which fails to anticipate how this Acme salesman is supposed to get home.

Perhaps he has to wait at the airbus stop with all the other commuters, but he still has to lug that parachute with him around the neighborhood.

The cartoonists also assume, rather quaintly, that all those Rosies the Riveters would return to their housekeeping -- which, after all, was the Ozzie & Harriet model for the 1950's. The only working women in the entire book are one secretary and one hat saleslady.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Q Toon: Phil? Hey, Phil? Phil! Phil Connors?

Last year, the Supreme Court surprised everyone by declining to hear a marriage equality case. Without explanation, the court decided to ignore appeals from Republican state Attorneys General who were trying to overturn marriage equality rulings in Wisconsin, Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah and Virginia.

Suddenly, marriage equality was the law of the land!

Well, no, not quite.

The court's non-ruling came about because after it had found the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional (U.S. v. Windsor, 2013), all lower courts had consistently ruled in favor of marriage equality. Then, the contrarian Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the same-sex-marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
✒Jan 22, 2015

And the issue came right back to the highest court in the nation. The Supremes now have a chance to decide this issue once and for all!

Again, no, not quite.

If they rule to uphold the Sixth Circuit decision, it could throw the marriages of those of us who got married in Wisconsin, Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah and Virginia into legal limbo. At the very least, marriages from any of the 36 states where they are now legal would be nullified any time we'd move to or even travel through marriage discrimination states.

And if they overturn the Sixth Circuit decision, several Republican state legislatures have proposed or passed "religious liberty" laws creating a "right" for employers, insurers, municipal clerks, hospital employees and whoever else feels like it to treat married couples as unrelated strangers.

Texas is even considering a law, House Bill 623, that says, "State or local taxpayer funds or governmental salaries may not be used for an activity that includes the licensing or support of same-sex marriage" -- meaning that even a gay-friendly clerk who issues a marriage license to a same-sex couple is in danger of losing her job.

So sit back and wait to see how this issue eventually turns out. The Supremes have plenty of time to learn how to play the piano, carve ice, and recite French poetry.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WisToon: Six Degrees of Scott Walker

The other day, Mark E. Andersen posted a blog entry on Daily Kos titled "Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Claims to Have a Master's Degree." Some of my liberal friends were quickly offended by what appears at first glance to be yet another example of college drop-out Walker fabricating fictitious facts -- it's kind of like politicians who pretend to be war veterans, isn't it?

I obviously have no sympathy for Darth Snotwalker, but if you read what he actually said -- copied right there in Andersen's post -- you can easily tell that his ersatz master's degree was not so much a lie as it was as a metaphor:
"I've got a master's degree in taking on the big government special interests, and I think that is worth more than anything else that anybody can point to."
 Still and all, I think there's plenty of room left to lampoon Master Walker for this claim.
Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
✒Jan 21, 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015

This Week's Sneak Peek

Yeah, I know.

I can't believe the Packers let that one slip through their fingers, either.