Monday, May 29, 2017

This Week's Sneak Peek

It's Memorial Day here in the United States. See you on the other side.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

School's Out for Summer

As I look out upon the sea of youthful faces ready to take on the world with determination, dedication, hope, and mountain ranges of student debt, I am reminded of the words of countless commencement speakers from years, decades and centuries past.
"Look to the future, blah blah blah, something about challenges lying ahead, blah blah blah, commencement is not an end but a beginning, blah blah blah, follow your dreams, yada yada yada."
So herewith I present to you, the graduating class of 2017, a couple of full-page cartoons I drew back when I was following my dream of becoming the oldest college newspaper editorial cartoonist in the western hemisphere. This one is from 1993:
You may be too young to remember this, O class of MMXVII, but there used to be this thing called a newspaper, and it used to have a dozen pages of what were called Classified Ads, which was where you would look for jobs if you hadn't spent your undergraduate years currying favor with employers in your field. There was an internet, sure, but the only jobs on the internet were jobs making the dial-up noise sound less like Godzillas mating. And the only people interested in those jobs were geeky bespectacled nerds who spent every Friday and Saturday night hunched over their computer screens.

Which is even more depressing than you think, because this is what passed for internet porn in those days:
(•) (•)
) . (
(  v  )

Of course, those geeky bespectacled nerds are now richer than Croesus, and I use that expression because this graduation ceremony is the only place where anybody will know who the hell Croesus was.

But all was not necessarily doom and gloom as the Twentieth Century began to wane. In the year previous to the above UWM Post issue, I had drawn a more optimistic cover cartoon about the end of the school year.
Of course, that cartoon was about underclassmen, and has no relevance to you, O graduating seniors of Twenty and Seventeen.

Because you have one thing that they haven't got! A diploma! Hie thee hence from these hallowed halls of academe armed with your Th.D. in Thinkology, and go thither into the world to think deep thoughts. Just like Jack Handey.

Why, look at me. Yes, even I eventually took my leave from illustrating the editorial pages of the free campus paper and have since become a moderately, or to put a finer point on it, nearly successful cartoonist, wit, and bon vivant. But I never forgot where I came from.

Nor should you, O graduating class of the square root of 4,068,289. Remember where you came from, because you just might need to go back.

But call first to make sure your folks haven't converted your room into a home office.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Here's a Saudi Do

Donald Joffrey Trump's first foreign trip abroad, surprisingly, was not to Russia. Can you believe it?

No, his first stop was the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where he somehow managed to go the entire trip without tweeting that his hosts were fostering Radical Islamic Terrorism. Trump did advise the Saudis and an auditorium full of leaders of Islamic nations that they needed to drive the terrorists out of their countries. (Just don't drive them into ours.)

It is hard to see how these Islamic countries are to make any headway in stopping terrorism if their rulers do not lead by example. Their state-sponsored terrorism includes the persecution of their own LGBTQ citizens. Arrest, public whipping, torture, and execution -- whether by the state itself or the state encouraging family members to handle it -- is meant to terrorize the LGBTQ out of existence.

We know that Egyptian President Sisi was in the audience, since he was in that bizarre photo with Trump, King Salman touching the Glowing Orb. I don't know if Indonesian president Widodo, or Afghanistan's President Ghani, or Pakistani President Hussain, or Chechen President Kadyrov were there. We do know that newly reelected Iranian President Rouhani was not present.

It's not just a Muslim thing, of course. Antigay state-sponsored terrorism is practiced and in Nigeria and several other African countries. And, it has to be noted, Trump's BFF Putin was persecuting LGBTQs in Russia well before Mr. Kadyrov took up the cudgel.

Monday, May 22, 2017

This Week's Sneak Peek

A reader commented on yesterday's cartoon of Sheriff Clarke, asking whether I were "Planning on a follow-up, celebrating Clarke's 'masterful' plagiarism."

CNN reported that Clarke plagiarized portions of his 2013 masters thesis on US security, but the charge itself is rather wonky.
Clarke lifts language from sources and credits them with a footnote, but does not indicate with quotation marks that he is taking the words verbatim.
According to guidelines on plagiarism posted on the Naval Postgraduate School's website, "If a passage is quoted verbatim, it must be set off with quotation marks (or, if it is a longer passage, presented as indented text), and followed by a properly formulated citation. The length of the phrase does not matter. If someone else's words are sufficiently significant to be worth quoting, then accurate quotation followed by a correct citation is essential, even if only a few words are involved."
So in answer to the question, I'll keep this in mind, but failure to use quotation marks isn't likely to make me rush to the drawing board. There are plenty of worse things in Clarke's record.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sheriff David Clarke

Here in the Milwaukee media market, we're watching a little drama surrounding our local mini-Trump, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.

Unless you watched his speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention, you might not know much about Mr. Clarke. Nominally a Democrat, he was appointed Milwaukee County Sheriff by Republican Acting Governor Scott McCallum in 2002; while the Democrats were figuring out that he wasn't really one of them, Republicans with no local races of their own have been free to cross over to make sure he won every primary since then.

He has spent his tenure attacking every other elected Democratic official and endorsing Republican ones. Clarke hasn't been in town much lately; tired of just being the darling of Milwaukee AM radio, he's been working hard to take his shtick national. (There's also the pesky matter of inquests into some deaths including one of a newborn infant in his prison, which he has been happy to escape. The inquests, I mean, not the prison.)

And now he says he's been named Department of Homeland Security’s liaison to state and local authorities although that's news that DHS and the guy currently in that position haven't heard from the White House.

Twitterer Charles Clymer, a genderqueer army veteran, and writer, noticed that the pins and medals festooning Sheriff Clarke's uniform when he appears in public were not ones that he had earned.
“Look at this fucking guy’s uniform,” Clymer said, in the second of a long string of tweets on the subject. “You see all that shit pinned all over his dress uniform jacket? That’s not supposed to be there.” Clymer went on to break down each individual medal, their placement and their apparently spurious provenance. Clymer acknowledged that legitimate medals are earned, and should be worn with pride, but accuses Clarke of “stolen valor” and calls Clarke’s collection, “a sloppy assortment of badge replicas arranged neatly, [that] looks imposing.” 
Clymer's not the only one noticing that Clarke's medals aren't exactly, shall we say, kosher.
Clymer’s Twitter rant led Daniel Sieradski (a former JTA staffer) to review Clarke’s photos. He found one where the sheriff is sporting the insignia of Israel’s traffic police. ...
Clarke may have received the pin when he toured Israel and Russia in 2015, in what the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported was a trip funded by the National Rifle Association.
Okay, it’s possible. But it makes one wonder: Did he earn the pin? If so, how? Did he head off a battle royale on the notoriously clogged road straddling Jerusalem’s Old City and Sultan’s Pool? Did he avert a crisis on the LaGuardia ramp into Tel Aviv? Did he bring peace, love and understanding to the hot, messy hell that is the Checkpost road, connecting Haifa with its northern suburbs?
We asked Clarke for background on the pin. He has yet to reply.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

We Awl Want to Change the World

I had many more cartoons about Russia's political turmoil in May, 1917 than I could use last week; so Surplusback Saturday picks up the story in a multi-ethnic mode.
"Scraps from the Master's Table" by Leon Israel in Der Groyser Kundes, New York, April or May, 1917
Der Groyser Kundes ("The Big Stick") was a socialist-leaning Yiddish publication in New York City from 1909 to 1927. Leon Israel (1887-1955), who cartooned under the pen name "Lola," emigrated from Pinsk (now in Belarus) to the U.S. in 1905. There was no love lost between Russian Jews and the deposed czarist regime, so the depiction here of Nicholas Romanov having to settle for the refuse from the plate of a Russian peasant (or could that even be Marx?) is meant to be gleeful.

Israel's Jewish readership would have recognized this scene of a Passover Seder; the rabbi appears to be reading a haggadah open to the words "we were slaves." Christians might also recall the reference to the story of Jesus and the Syrophoenician or Canaanite woman. The folk maxims in that exchange about feeding dogs from one's table no doubt have a Hebrew origin and might explain why Moses outside the window appears to be horrified. Or perhaps that's Elijah, miffed because there's no chair for him.

(Thank you to David Benkov and Yosef Landa for help with the Ashkenazi/Yiddish translations.)
"Will He Blow Out the Gas?" by Rollin Kirby in New York World, May, 1917
Rollin Kirby's (1875-1952) cartoon needed no explanation to a 1917 audience, a good many of whom still lit their rooms with gas flame, and understood that blowing out the flame did not necessarily stop the flow of gas out from the light fixture.
"Samson and Delilah" by Pierre-Georges Jeanniot in Le Rire, Paris, May or June, 1917
Turning to cartoons from overseas, Pierre-Georges Jeanniot (1848-1934) references another biblical story to warn "Moujik" (a French spelling of a word for a Russian peasant) against succumbing to the charms of a licentious temptress armed with a pair of scissors. A friend of Edgar Degas and Édouard Manet, Jeanniot's talents extended to painting, engraving, and lithography.

"A Poison Gas Attack on New Russia" by Louis Raemaekers for International News Service, May or June, 1917
The Dutch cartoonist Louis Raemaekers (1869-1956) doesn't bother with allegory or subtlety here, and unlike Jeanniot's cartoon, his Russian woman is as innocent as her Russian beau. Poison gas was the WMD that came of age with World War I, and wielded here by "anarchy."

It's worth noting that when Raemaekers visited the U.S. in 1917, he signed a contract with William Randolph Hearst's International News Service in spite of its reputation for antipathy toward the Allies. Raemaekers explained that Hearst's readership was "the most important target group because the readers are poisoned daily by tendentious articles."
"Shake Hands, Brother..." by cartoonist in Novy Satirikon, Petrograd, May or June, 1917
Russian cartoonists — at least the ones reprinted in allied newspapers and magazines — inveighed against letting down their country's guard against Germany. Such was still the official policy of the Russian government.

One Russian democrat, a Professor B.E. Shatsky, seeking to reassure the Allies that Russia would commit to the war effort, acknowledged the peaceniks in his country, but discounted their influence:
There is no doubt that among the Socialist elements in Russia there is a certain group which is working for "peace at any price." This group is represented by its leader, Nicholas Lennin. The cables from Copenhagen and Stockholm exaggerate Lennin's power and influence. The greatest Socialist leaders in Russia, such men as George Plekhanoff, Prince Kropotkin, and Vladimir Bourtzeff, have indorsed the war on the side of the Allies since its beginning, and are indorsing it most sincerely now that Russian despotism is overthrown and the nature of the war as a fight between democratic and autocratic principles is clearly seen by the entire world.
Russian Social Democrats led by George Plekhanoff, Russian Socialist revolutionists under the leadership of Mr. Avkxentieff, [and] the Russian labor group led by Mr. Kerenski, are indorsing the war and are very successfully combating the small group of Russian Socialists represented by Mr. Lennin. This latter group does not comprise more than five per cent of Russian workingmen and peasants, and its propaganda is almost negligible and of no consequence in Russia's fight, together with the Allies,  for liberty and democracy in Europe. 
 "Lenin - Proletarian, or an Awl in a Sack," possibly by A. Lebedev, in Стрекоза (Dragonfly) magazine, Petrograd, № 30, 1917
On the topic of Russian collusion, this last cartoon accuses Lenin of being in the pay of the Kaiser, and refers to a Russian proverb that "you cannot hide an awl in a sack," or, as its English equivalent puts it, "The truth will out."

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Q Toon: Must've Déjà Vu TV

NBC is indeed bringing back "Will & Grace" in the fall, resurrecting the 1998-2006 situation comedy, along with the network's 1980's slogan, "Must See TV."

"Will & Grace," in case you've forgotten, centered on Will, a gay lawyer; Grace, his best friend; Jack, his best gay friend; and Karen, an idle rich woman who hung around with them for no apparent reason. Together, they tossed bons mots about whatever was current in popular culture and ... well, I watched the show, and I guess they did sitcom stuff. Will and Grace had jobs and parents, Grace had boyfriends, Jack turned 30, and Karen could hold her liquor. That's pretty much the whole story.

Still, the show and each of its stars won Emmys the first time around. You can't knock success.

It was a groundbreaking show, in that a gay man was a central character. He wasn't closeted, and he wasn't insecure about it, even if he didn't get around to dating anyone until late in the series. The show wasn't about HIV/AIDS or hate crimes or antigay preachers or gays in the military or marriage equality, any of the Big Issues Of The Day. In a way, it was a show about nothing, although not quite as edgy as "Seinfeld." There definitely was no talk about who could be masters of their domain.

NBC executives obviously want to offer their audience something comfortable and familiar — and the fact that what was once groundbreaking is now comfortably familiar is something of an achievement in and of itself. But if the characters are still stuck exactly where they were in 2006, I doubt viewers will stick with the show.

Jack has hit 40, after all. The bloom is off the rose, and if he hasn't found independent means of support by now and is still leeching off of Will, there's no way Will can have held onto any self-respecting boyfriend this long. Karen may have hired Grace to remodel her office yet again (what ever does Karen do there?), but she's not a simpleton and would surely have become bored with Jack, if not Will and Grace as well.

Well, we'll leave it to the writers to figure that all out. This isn't Tristram Shandy, after all. There are plenty of fresh new pop cultural references with which to pepper their scripts.

If they are successful, we can look forward to the return of "Friends," "Malcolm in the Middle," "Desperate Housewives," and "Veronica's Closet."

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Glad Syttende Mai

It has been 190 days since we've flown a flag in front of our house.

We put a flagpole up back when we built this house over a decade ago, and regularly flew the American flag every day the weather allowed. (We get a lot of wind here; we've had to replace the flagpole twice after winds snapped it apart.) Before that, we flew a flag at my husband's old house.

But ever since a blustery con artist utterly unfit for the job proved he was able to fool enough of the people enough of the time to elect him President of the United States, we just haven't been able to bring ourselves to fly the stars and stripes. We took down the pole and put a solar light in the post.

We've agreed that we'll fly the American flag on national holidays, so it will finally go back up on Memorial Day, weather permitting. And the solar light will return until June 14.

But for now, it's Norwegian Independence Day. Fram! Fram! Fram!

Monday, May 15, 2017

This Week's Sneak Peek

We're all set for some Must See Cartooning later this week!

Be sure to set your TiVo.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

You Say You Wanted Revolution

At this point in 1917, it was dawning on the rest of the world that all was not blinis and Faberge eggs in suddenly democratic Russia. So Steppeback Saturday presents a series of cartoons about the souring situation there—and not a single nesting doll in the bunch!
Nebelspalter, Zurich, May, 1917
Competing factions in Russia were the liberal provisional government, the Socialist Petrograd Soviet, and the Bolshevik Communists. The provisional government lost public support in April with the revelation of a letter from its Foreign Minister Milyukov pledging Russia's participation in World War I until "its glorious end"; as a result, Milyukov and War Minister Guchkov resigned and six members of the Petrograd Soviet, among them Alexander Kerensky, joined an unstable coalition government.

The Swiss satirical magazine Nebelspalter had pro-German sympathies during the First World War, so one might expect them to sit back and enjoy the Russian political infighting. That is not at all the attitude of Russia's allies, as expressed by American cartoonists:
"A Bad Time to Be Taken with a Stomachache" by Jay "Ding" Darling in New York Herald, May 9, 1917

"When Two Heads Are Not Better Than One" by Nelson Harding in Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May, 1917
Naturally, there was suspicion that Germany was doing more than just taking advantage of the political situation in Russia. In particular, that Germany and Russia would settle a separate peace agreement. The Milyukov letter had been an attempt to assuage those fears, but Lenin's Bolsheviks and the more radical of the Petrograd Soviet argued in favor of withdrawal from the war.
"Poison" by Nelson Harding in Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 7, 1917
As the war on the Western Front ground on and on and on with little progress made by either side, the U.S. and other Entente powers were counting on Russia to keep German forces occupied on the Eastern Front.
"Working for Wilhelm" by Rollin Kirby for New York World, May, 1917
The first two hanged figures in the following German cartoon might be King Nikola I Petrović-Njegoš of Montenegro (who had fled to France in January), and Peter I Karađorđević of Serbia, then the nominal head of the Serbian government in exile on Corfu. The hat of the third should be a giveaway, but I'm afraid I haven't figured out which of the Allied leaders that might be. (The face bears little resemblance to the precariously crowned heads of state of Romania, Greece or Spain. France had replaced General Robert Nivelle as Commander-in-Chief of its armies after 55 divisions mutinied in May, so perhaps it's him.)
"The European Punch and Judy Show" in Der Brummer, Berlin, May or June, 1917
On May 15, President Wilson named Elihu Root, a former Senator, Secretary of State and Secretary of War, to head a delegation to Russia to offer American aid provided that the new coalition government remain committed to the war effort, in spite of that commitment having led to the collapse of its immediate predecessor.
"Our Russian Mission" by Wm. Sykes in Philadelphia Evening Ledger,  1917
Anticipating Led Zeppelin by half a century, Root assessed the Russians he met as "sincerely, kindly, good people, but confused and dazed."

"After Elihu Root Gets Through with Russia" by E. Gminska in The Masses,  July, 1917
American Socialists were none too impressed with the New York Republican, as shown by these two cartoons. Ryan Walker's "Adventures of Henry Dubb" was a daily feature of the Socialist New York Evening Call, in which the title character, representing subservient, easily duped American laborers (ancestors of our Trump voters), gratuitously announced his name in every final panel.
"Adventures of Henry Dubb" by Ryan Walker in New York Evening Call, May 17, 1917
(Find some other cartoons of Senator Root in previous Saturday posts here and here.)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Q Toon: Houses of Baloney

With the firing of James Comey the other day, it seems like ages ago that Donald Joffrey Trump issued his executive order on "religious liberty." Leading up to the signing, everyone expected the order to fulfill the theocratic right's wish list:  undermining marriage equality by creating a right for governmental officials, commercial entrepreneurs, landlords and anyone else to refuse service to same-sex couples; and allowing religious institutions to become a pitch-black money funding conduit for the Republican party.

What the theocrats got instead was a promise to get rid of the 1954 "Johnson Amendment" (named for then-Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson, not the Johnson that Johnson complained was restricted by pants with too tight a crotch). Under the amendment, churches and other tax-exempt nonprofit organizations "are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office,"

The theocrats were greatly disappointed.
Here is the translation: religious leaders speaking from the pulpit have nothing to fear from the IRS if they speak about political issues unless they specifically endorse or oppose particular political candidates. Like all non-profit organizations with tax-exempt status, religious entities aren’t allowed to speak well or ill of individuals running for office. But the Johnson amendment precludes only this kind of talk; it does not bar preachers from holding forth on moral issues of the day. That has been the rule for decades. Mr Trump’s executive order merely repeats it.
So your pastor can preach the Gospel According to Making America Great Again all he wants; he just isn't supposed to preach the Gospel According to the Committee to Reelect Trump.

Big whoop, said culture warrior Mark Movsesian at First Things:
In fact, the IRS has given churches a lot of leeway when it comes to speaking out on political issues. As Ross Douthat tweeted last week, one could have followed law-and-religion debates for years and not heard a single complaint from conservatives about the unfair application of the Johnson Amendment, or an argument for removing the restriction on churches’ electioneering. It’s not an issue anyone was talking about.
Or, in the words of Princeton University Professor Robert P. George, the Johnson Amendment is "irrelevant, it’s offensive, it’s ignored by churches anyway."

Furthermore, the Johnson Amendment is an act of Congress, and as such can't be willed away by an executive order anyway. Not that the current Republican Congress wouldn't gladly revoke it: they could easily make sure that the Sierra Club or ACLU still had to obey the rule, but they might find it more difficult to keep the rule in effect for Black churches, liberal synagogues, and mosques of all stripes.

Monday, May 8, 2017

This Week's Sneak Peek

As a rule, I dislike having to draw a lot of architecture.

But that's pretty much where I went with this week's cartoon. See you in a couple days.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The First Casualty of War

Censorback Saturday today notes the centennial of the Espionage Act of 1917. The House passed President Wilson's bill on May 4, 1917, and the Senate followed suit on May 14. It would be challenged in court, and ultimately was upheld in a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court in Schenk v. United States in 1919. It has become the foundation of every law seeking to limit freedom of the press ever since.
"The Light That Must Not Fail" by Harry Murphy for Chicago Examiner, May 5, 1917
On its face, most of the law would only be in effect during wartime. The Espionage Act made it a crime to convey information with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the armed forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies; to promote the success of its enemies when the United States is at war; to cause or attempt to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States; or to willfully obstruct the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States.  The Act also gave the Postmaster General authority to impound publications that he determined to be in violation of the Act.
"That Wooden One" by Nelson Harding in Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 5, 1917
A number of publishers and cartoonists recognized the threat posed to a free press. William Hearst published an almost daily torrent of editorials — some of them taking up an entire page — such as this excerpt:
President Wilson, who has been right in so many things of late, is singularly wrong in his advocacy of this bill to suppress free speech and free publication.
He says that he can be trusted not to misuse the extraordinary powers which this bill confers. Possibly he can be so trusted, but why should any American President desire to see the provisions of the American Constitution violated in order to secure despotic powers which are essentially unAmerican as well as unconstitutional?
"Transplanting the Czar" by Oscar Cesare in New York Evening Post, May 4, 1917
Why should an American President, even though he might be as great as any American President we have ever had, desire to set an example in autocracy, and create a precedent which would surely be abused by some less able or less loyal chief executive elected at some future period?
100 years later, we have a permanent state of war, and a congenital liar as our greatly less able, less loyal chief executive who openly advocates punishment for anyone in the media who dares to contradict him (and a Justice Department that has prosecuted and convicted a woman for laughing at the Attorney General)... but I digress.

"All Ready to Fight of Liberty" by Boardman Robinson in The Masses, June, 1917
The socialist monthly The Masses likewise warned against the proposed censorship rules, and with good reason. The magazine would be prosecuted and put out of business for its antiwar articles and even an Art Young cartoon. (In case it's difficult to see on your screen, Uncle Sam is handcuffed by "censorship" in Boardman Robinson's cartoon above.)
The Masses is throwing all its weight against militarism and nationalistic prejudice. It is attempting to minimize the effect on public opinion of a press dominated by military expediency and patriotic emotionalism. It is trying to think clearly and tell the truth without patriotic hatred and without patriotic sentimentality.
Ours is a difficult task.
"The Prisoner" by George Bellows in The Masses, July, 1917; earlier in The Blast.
Others, however, were perfectly willing to grant the government whatever power it might wish to have to lock up any perceived threat to the nation. Suspicion of hyphenated-Americans was not about to go away any time soon.
"Jail Them" by Sidney Greene in New York Evening Telegram, May 4, 1917
By the way, I see that Mark Green, Trump's second nominee for Secretary of the Army and the subject of the cartoon I posted here on Thursday, withdrew his name from consideration on Friday. I guess I don't know my own strength.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Pepe, Meet President Frog

There's been a new frog meme going around this week:

Credit artist Mike Mitchell, who tweeted the first pictures of a frog painted on Trump's face, which Mitchell called "Trump’s newest cabinet member."

So, if I may add my own two cents:

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Backward Christian Soldiers

Donald Joffrey Trump's nominee for Secretary of the Army is a Tennessee state legislator named Mark Green (R-Clarksville). Where Barack Obama opened the U.S. military to LGBTQ service members and appointed Eric Fanning to be the first openly gay head of any branch of the U.S. military, it is clear that Trump is issuing the military an about-face.

Green is a lead sponsor of a bill guaranteeing educators a right to discriminate against LGBTQ persons, and backs another bill allowing mental health practitioners to refuse to treat LGBTQ patients. The West Point graduate sponsored a Tennessee "bathroom bill," and another bill prohibiting local governments from enforcing antidiscrimination policies protecting LGBTQ citizens.

Green's bigotry comes cloaked in religiosity. He told a radio interviewer that because of St. Paul's letter to the Romans:
" a state senator, my responsibility very clearly in Romans 13 is to create an environment where people who do right are rewarded, and people who do wrong are crushed. Evil is crushed. And so I'm going to protect women in their bathrooms, and I'm going to protect our state against potential infiltration by Syrian ISIS people through a  refugee program." 
Speaking to a Tea Party Koffee Klatch in Chattanooga, Green said transgender persons are mentally diseased, deriding them as "guys and gals with question marks." He also told the group that legalized same-sex marriage might lead to using taxpayer dollars for infanticide.

His animus is by no means limited to gays, lesbian, and transgender persons. At that same Koffee Klatch, he enthusiastically supported a variety of other tenets of Tea Partisan faith:
To a questioner who worried about armed insurrection by people who “don’t belong here, like Muslims in the United States,” Green said it was a “great question.” Referring to the “Muslim horde” that sacked Constantinople five centuries ago, Green agreed that we must “take a stand on the indoctrination of Islam in our public schools”—even as he vowed to spread the Christian light into the military and the culture as he had as a young missionary in a Muslim section of Toronto.
Green agreed with a questioner that President Obama is not a citizen and he refused to answer whether the former president is really a Muslim. Asked what could account for a mysterious rise in Latinos registering to vote in Tennessee, Green theorized they were “being bused here probably.”
Green's confirmation is not a sure thing, given skepticism expressed by Senate Armed Services Chair John McCain and others.
“The statements he has made on a number of fronts — in particular to the LGBT community, to different minority groups, different religious groups — are a great, great concern toward military readiness,” said [Iraq War verteran Daniel] Feehan, who served as principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for readiness from 2015 until earlier this year.
It’s already hard enough to recruit a talented, diverse military to accomplish critical missions, Feehan said. Green’s record and public statements will make that job even more difficult by creating an environment in which potential recruits might feel unwelcome, Feehan said.
On the list of organizations opposed to Green's nomination are GLAAD, Outserve-SLDN, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Human Rights Campaign, the American Military Partner Association, and the Truman National Security Project, the last of which wrote:
"As every military leader knows, unit readiness at every level is built on mutual trust, often referred to as unit cohesion. When leaders denigrate service members on the basis of their personal characteristics, it undermines that essential trust. As several of you know firsthand, that can be the difference success and failure on the battlefield."
Reports earlier this week that Green might withdraw his nomination are so far being denied. If those reports prove correct, Green would be Trump's second Army Secretary nominee to pull out; billionaire Vincent Viola withdrew his nomination on the grounds that he couldn't extricate himself from several conflicts of interest with his family businesses. (Trump’s pick for Navy Secretary, financier Philip Bilden, also dropped out of consideration, citing similar business conflicts. President Trump Inc. could learn a thing or two from Viola and Bilden.)

Yet Republicans have been more than happy to stock all branches of government with reactionary right-wing apparatchiks, and party leadership is likely to pressure its wavering members to fall in line and approve whomever Trump wants. There is nothing the GOP values more highly than partisan unity.

Reversing any and all progress made by the Obama administration, however, ranks a very close second.

Monday, May 1, 2017

This Week's Sneak Peek

This week's sneak peek has been edited in observance of Un Día Sin Latinxs today.