Thursday, January 30, 2020

Q Toon: Bernie's Brand New Bro

Comedian/podcaster Joe Rogan — depending on your age, you may remember him from News Radio, Fear FactorThe Joe Rogan Experience, or The Fast and the Furious, in which case you're confusing him with Vin Diesel — endorsed Bernie Sanders for president last week.
“I think I'll probably vote for Bernie... He’s been insanely consistent his entire life. He’s basically been saying the same thing, been for the same thing his whole life. And that in and of itself is a very powerful structure to operate from.” 
The Sanders campaign put out a video touting Rogan's rather tepid endorsement, only to receive heated demands from fellow progressives from to the Human Rights Campaign to apologize.
“It's one thing for Joe Rogan to endorse a candidate. It's another for @BernieSanders’ campaign to produce a video bolstering the endorsement of someone known for promoting transphobia, homophobia, Islamophobia, racism and misogyny,” MoveOn tweeted Saturday.
“We urge Sen. Sanders and his campaign to apologize and stop elevating this endorsement. We stand in solidarity with folks hurt by this.”
“Bernie Sanders has run a campaign unabashedly supportive of the rights of LGBTQ people. Rogan, however, has attacked transgender people, gay men, women, people of color and countless marginalized groups at every opportunity,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “Given Rogan’s comments, it is disappointing that the Sanders campaign has accepted and promoted the endorsement.” 
Rogan's fans enjoy his coarse, politically incorrect, blunt, no-holds-barred brand of humor, I presume. I've seen Rogan described as libertarian, which makes his endorsement of a card-carrying socialist all the more bizarre. But he has had a wide variety of guests on his podcast, including Sanders, during which episode I assume Rogan refrained from deliberately misgendering transgender persons, or talking about "walking into Africa" in New York City, or sharing his insights on the history of Islam.

To his credit, Sanders has a history of reaching out to people in settings that most Democrats view as enemy territory, to wit his address to the students of Liberty University in 2015. For that matter, how ballsy is it for a guy to mount a credible run for the Democratic presidential nomination — twice — when he isn't even a Democrat?

In the end, candidates know that there is a risk to associating with others who may support them but may have said or done things with which one might be uncomfortable, whether it's Joe Rogan, or Jane Fonda, or Alec Baldwin, or Bill Maher. It's a question of how publicly and closely one wants to be associated with them. There's no hard and fast rule to this; one can't expect to accept support only from sainted souls pure as the driven snow.

Somewhere between one and thirty-six, however, there is a number of photographs one can be in with Lev Parnas after which one cannot credibly claim not to know him.

Monday, January 27, 2020

This Week's Sneak Peek

Aside from a caricature four years ago, I think this is the first feature length Bernie cartoon I've ever drawn. About time I got around to it, I suppose.

I was replacing more of those defunct links to the old AAEC site the other night and came across one that, unlike every other one I've been replacing, still showed the cartoon thumbnail. 
(Don't bother clicking there to view; the above is just a screen grab, as is this example of what the rest of the defunct links have looked like.)

Like all the rest, the link led to a 404 Page Not Found message at the new AAEC site. It's just odd that the thumbnail still exists somewhere in the cloud or the ether or the wherevernet. There aren't any of my cartoons older than 2010 at the new AAEC site. 

I didn't have the flash drive with 2007 cartoons handy the other night... I'm kind of tempted to keep the defunct link up as a souvenir, though.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Impeach Bill, Volume 1

StarrChamberBack Saturday offers you a break from the impeachment trial of Donald Joffrey Trump. I've already dealt with the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson, and the cartoons I drew about the Nixon impeachment hearings were lost decades ago; so here's the first installment of a two-part reverie on the impeachment of William Jismerson Clinton.
in UW-M Post, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, February 13, 1997
To begin at the beginning: Kenneth Starr had been appointed Independent Counsel by the District of Columbia Circuit Court to continue predecessor Robert Fiske's investigation into the purported "Whitewater Scandal." Bill and Hillary Clinton were accused of some skulduggery in a realty deal back in Arkansas in which they had ended up losing money anyway. While the Fiske-Starr investigation turned up no crime with which either Clinton could be charged, the Independent Counsel's investigation branched out into several unrelated investigations, including the suicide of Vince Foster, the firing of some staffers in the White House Travel office, and a lawsuit by Paula Jones charging Bill Clinton with sexual harassment when he was Governor of Arkansas.
in the UW-M Post, February 12, 1998
In spite of voluminous leaks from Starr's office, most of the investigations went nowhere. The Jones investigation, however, inspired Pentagon employee Linda Tripp to record her phone calls with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky, about the intern's affair with the President, and to turn those tapes over to Starr's office. When Starr's office deposed President Clinton over that affair, Clinton denied under oath ever having had "sexual relations" with Lewinsky.
in UW-M Post, April 23, 1998
Clinton had emphatically made that same claim in a televised speech in January, unaware that Tripp had convinced Lewinsky not to dry-clean a navy blue dress stained with presidential spooge, but to turn it over to Starr's office instead.
Q Syndicate, August, 1998
I had begun drawing cartoons for Q Syndicate the year before this, and for two individual LGBTQ newspapers before that. My cartoons for the national LGBTQ media touched on aspects of news stories that might have been overlooked by the mainstream media.
Q Syndicate, September 1998
The Trump impeachment trial may well be over before next Saturday, but I'll be back with the rest of the Clinton impeachment story anyway. See you then!

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Q Toon: While You Weren't Watching

Not to minimize the importance of the impeachment trial or upcoming elections, but the anti-LGBTQ right is working overtime to get their agenda passed while our attentions are busy elsewhere.

Florida Republicans slipped four anti-LGBTQ bills in under the wire last week, and Tennessee Governor Bill Lee plans to sign a bill passed by the legislature to guarantee funding for adoption agencies that discriminate against LGBTQ families.
"This is the most overtly anti-LGBTQ agenda from the Florida legislature in recent memory,” Equality Florida Public Policy Director Harris Maurer said in a statement. "It runs the gamut from openly hostile legislation that would arrest and imprison doctors for providing medically necessary care, to legislation that would carelessly erase critical local LGBTQ protections."
And, regarding Tennessee's "Slate of Hate,"
In April of last year, 11 companies signed a letter in coalition with the Human Rights Campaign denouncing Tennessee’s anti-LGBTQ legislative momentum, including Nike, Hilton, Lyft, IKEA, Marriott and several others. ... Warby Parker co-founder and co-CEO Dave Gilboa said in an email to CNBC, “Nashville is Warby Parker’s second home, and we want to see the city and state continue to thrive. We strongly urge Governor Lee to reconsider.”
Then there are the Trump Administration's new rules this week amplifying its blessing of anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
“Today’s new regulations proposed by the Trump-Pence White House roll back existing protections for LGBTQ and other people seeking government services and benefits,” said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David. “The right to believe and to exercise one’s faith is a core American value. The right to discriminate with taxpayer dollars is not. These regulations would dismantle meaningful protections for beneficiaries of these federally funded programs and strip away basic notice requirements designed to ensure that beneficiaries know their rights to be free from discrimination and their right to an alternative, non-religious provider. Taxpayer funds should not be used to allow discrimination.”
But, hey, did you see what Hillary Clinton said about what Bernie Sanders said about what Elizabeth Warren said about Alan Dershowitz's defense of abuse of presidential power?

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Concern Noted

Oh, poor Susan Collins, Republican Senator from Maine. She always has such deep concerns for so much of the rank partisanship in the Senate. Whether the issue is health care, Brett Kavanaugh, or having a fair and thorough impeachment trial, she's always concerned.

Then she votes in lockstep with the rest of McConnell's minions anyway.

Ditto Mitt Romney, Republican Senator from MassachUtah.

One wonders why any senators need to be present at the impeachment trial at all. Just let Mitch McConnell cast 53 votes in the record any time a vote is needed.

Monday, January 20, 2020

This Week's Sneak Peek

Well, my husband didn't get last week's syndicated cartoon, either, so I trust that I will have managed to make my intentions clear and obvious this week.

I take solace in the compliments I've gotten on my non-syndicated "McConnell's Rules" cartoon. They are appreciated.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Race Is On

I'm devoting this Starback Saturday to January, 1920 cartoons of the Washington Evening Star's Clifford Berryman. As a cartoonist in the nation's capital, Berryman often turned his attention to the presidential race, which by this point was getting underway in earnest.
"An Idaho Idea of a Happy New Year" by Clifford Berryman in Washington (D.C.) Sunday Star, January 4, 1920
I believe this "Idaho Idea" refers to a letter sent by Senator William Borah (R-ID) to each of his party's presidential candidates demanding their stance on U.S. membership in the League of Nations, a sticking point in American ratification of the Paris peace accords. Senate Republican leaders wanted the League kept alive as an issue in the November elections, since they were successfully chipping away at public support for it. The Republican candidates, some of whose stands on the issue were actually well known (Sen. Hiram Johnson, in the glasses, for example), were quite content to play along.
"Without Relief" by Clifford Berryman in Washington Evening Star, January 13, 1920
Younger readers may not recognize that Uncle Sam is suffering from a toothache in this second cartoon. Also, while the election would have been only eleven months away, the inauguration of the next president wouldn't be until the following March 4.
Given Warren Harding's prominence in our first cartoon today, Berryman appears to have correctly predicted the eventual Republican nominee. In fact, however, the leaders in the Republican race through the primaries and caucuses and into the party's convention were General Leonard Wood and Illinois Governor Lowden; so my guess is that Berryman was singling Harding out as being the most pusillanimous of the bunch.
"All I Said Was Hello" by Clifford Berryman in Washington Evening Star, January 7, 1920
Meanwhile, Democrats had no shortage of ready and willing candidates, but many in the party yearned for someone else to get in the race. Three-time nominee William Jennings Bryan wasn't shy about putting his two cents in, and the press ate it up — even if hardly anyone longed to see the loser of the 1896, 1900 and 1908 elections mount a comeback.
"Just Conversation" by Clifford Berryman in Washington Evening Star, January 20, 1920
Some Democrats wanted their party's nominee to be Herbert Hoover, who remained popular for having kept the country, the troops, and our allies fed during the Great War. While the U.S. was still a declared neutral, he worked 14-hour days as head of the Commission for Relief in Belgium, negotiating with the British and Germans to ensure safety for food shipments. Once America entered the war, President Wilson tapped him to lead the U.S. Food Administration; as "Food Czar," Hoover promoted "Meatless Mondays" and "Wheatless Wednesdays" to prevent rationing, while bringing the federal government into the food marketplace to avoid hoarding and profiteering.
"Hoover's Hint" by Clifford Berryman in Washington Evening Star, January 15, 1920
Hoover's criticism of Attorney General Mitchell Palmer's "Red Scare" raids, and his advocacy of a minimum wage, a 48-hour work week, and banning child labor endeared him to progressives both Republican and Democrat. But he denied any interest in either presidential nomination, claiming that anyone saying the contrary was "fooling with a ouija board."
"Just Can't Help Lookin' at Him" by Clifford Berryman in Washington Evening Star, January 24, 1920
Not that his denials prevented any further speculation, of course.

By the way, since we just passed the 150th anniversary of Thomas Nast's first use of a donkey to represent the Democratic party, I want to point out that the homely spinster in these last two cartoons was an equally recognizable cartoon depiction of the Democrats. Miss Democracy was employed by multiple cartoonists by the dawn of the 20th Century, but had fallen out of favor by the 1960s.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Q Toon: Dey, Dem, Deir

I finally got around to recognizing Merriam Webster's Word of the Year for 2019: "They," used as a third person singular pronoun to refer to someone who doesn't feel themself to be "He" or "She."

Well, to be honest, I have drawn about this already, but it was well before the year "They" was the Word of.

I can be a stickler for traditional language — don't you dare use "literally" figuratively around me — but I'm with the modernists on this one. "They, Them, Their" are already commonly used to refer to any person whose sex is unknown or whose existence is purely hypothetical, replacing the awkward "He/She, Him/Her, His/Her." What is new is using those pronouns to refer to a specified person whose identity, if not their sex, is known.

I'm not sure why or when Gino expects Tex to talk about dem in the third person anyway. Maybe dey is networking. Or dey are. Pronoun-verb agreement rules may still need to be worked out. The point is that it's just as well to announce one's pronouns at the outset and avoid embarrassing corrections later.

If Tex is fine with that, it's just something the rest of us will have to get yoused to.
I'll bet Glenn Miller and the Dorsey Brothers never had to deal wit' dis:

I got word that one of my newspaper editors was puzzled by this week's cartoon, on account of "dey, dem, deir" being the way Jamaicans and Nigerians pronounce "they, them, their."

I had hoped that the New York Jets tattoo on Gino's shoulder would be ample indication that dey hails from Brooklyn, the Bronx, or Queens.

While checking whether residents of those New York boroughs are more likely to be Jets fans or Giants fans, I came across reporting that the "th" (as in "thin") and "dh" (as in "the") sounds are among the last that English-speaking children master. They are completely absent from many languages around the world, not just in Jamaica and Nigeria; many foreigners have as much difficulty pronouncing them as English speakers have with Spanish "ll," German "ch," Khoisan clicks, or the capital of Ukraine.

Non-English speakers often substitute "t" and "d," or "s" and "z," in English "th" words, and I have to wonder whether that means that they are unable to imitate people who lisp. I can't believe that lisping is a strictly Anglophone phenomenon.

At any rate, setting aside the Nigerian question for the moment, the issue of whether Gino might perhaps be Jamaican raises another question: what is the gender-neutral substitute for the Jamaican "mon"?

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

McConnell's Rules

We interrupt our continuing coverage of those Wacky Windsors to check in on how things are going with the impeachment trial of Donald Berzelius Trump.

Ah, yes. Pretty much as we had expected. And now back to "Up the Palace!"

Monday, January 13, 2020

This Week's Sneak Peek

Lycklig Tjugondedag Knut, everyone!

Time to take that Christmas tree out to the curb, or the farm, or the bayou, or whatever the ecologically responsible thing to do with them is in your neck of the woods.

But do check with the local authorities before hauling your tree out to the neck of somebody else's woods.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Late Weather Update

For Thawback Thaturday, how about we check the weather aftcast?

Folks in my neck of the woods may end up snowed in today, but we have had some unusually warm weather around here the past several weeks. By which I mean several days have been above freezing, but not enough that I've been tempted to join the Polar Bear Plunge. Apparently much of the United States enjoyed some balmy weather in January 100 years ago, too.
"The Wrong Pew" by Cyrus Hungerford in Pittsburgh Sun, January, 1920
It has been said that the surest way to tell whether a church is as welcoming as it claims to be is to see what happens when a visitor sits in a pew a longtime member considers private property. Hungerford hits on this phenomenon to comment on spring-like weather visiting a couple months ahead of schedule.

Archibald Chapin compares the weather instead to the many labor strikes shaking up the established order at the time.
"All In Favor of This Strike..." by Archibald Chapin in St. Louis Republic, January, 1920
It's important whenever this sort of thing comes up to distinguish between weather and climate. Every time it snows these days, there are cartoonists who dredge up tired old jokes about how the day's weather disproves global warming.
"Ol' January Thaw" by Magnus Kettner for Western Newspaper Union, January, 1920 
Weather changes all the time, sometimes drastically from day to day, week to week, or year to year. I recall an extraordinarily balmy winter my senior year in college; we were partying outside in Minnesota in our shirtsleeves in January and February. Two years earlier, and again three years later, we had record-breaking cold.

But if you look at long-term records, you can't help but observe that the general trend over the decades has been that the mean global temperature is rising. The Arctic ice cap is melting, and so are glaciers all over the world, to an extent completely unprecedented in recorded history. Australia is not on fire because of a conspiracy of 200 arsonists; but time will tell whether the continent will now suffer an annual fire season that dwarfs the ones we now see every year in California.
"And This!" by William Donahey in Cleveland Plain Dealer, January, 1920
Individual heat waves and cold snaps come and go. So the fact that I'll be starting up the old snowblower later today in no way disproves the theory of global climate change any more than the 50F temperatures earlier this week prove it.


Friday, January 10, 2020

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Q Toon: The Untied Methodist Church

Leaders of what has up to now been the United Methodist Church reached their breaking point this month. Conservatives, largely from Africa, the Philippines, and the southern U.S., have been horrified by acceptance by their liberal peers — mainly from North America and the British Isles — of marriage equality and the ordination of LGBTQ clergy.

A 16-member panel will now draw up a divorce settlement to present to Methodists' General Conference in Minneapolis this May. Conservatives are expected to break away to form their own denomination, taking a $25 million alimony payment on their way out. Everybody gets to keep their own churches, seminaries, ministries and property.

The devil, to coin a phrase, is in the details. Where congregations have a variety of viewpoints in the pews, there are bound to be some nasty fights, hurt feelings, and perhaps a few locks changed. Is Pastor Kim still covered under the old retirement plan? Who gets to keep the paten bought with Aunt Esther's memorial funds?

I'm being facetious when I suggest giving the judgmental, law-centric books of the Old Testament to one side and the Good News, salvation-laden books of the New Testament to the other.

You can think of the Old Testament as the part where God lays down the law and then gets pissed off by the children of Israel and sending plagues and serpents and Persians. Then Jesus shows up in the New Testament and hangs around with prostitutes, tax collectors, and fishermen, and sending them off to run errands on the Sabbath. His disciple Peter, the rock on whom Jesus's church would be built, dreams of eating bacon cheeseburgers and shrimp scampi.

But that's a simplistic summary of the Bible. The New Testament is also dominated by a convert from Judaism, Paul, who writes volumes to haul believers back to the Law of Deuteronomy. Pauline epistles to Timothy and the church in Rome preach against gay sex; Paul would rather that all believers abstain from sex, but he grudgingly cuts heterosexuals some slack.

Instead of divvying up the Bible by Testament, I should have granted the antigay conservatives custody of all the books of the Bible with an "O" in the title. That way, they get Deuteronomy and several of the Pauline epistles, as well as Exodus, Revelation and a smattering of doom-and-gloom prophets.

The liberals, sadly, would lose the Johannine gospel and epistles, but would keep the Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Genesis, Isaiah, and Jeremiah, which are the only books of the Old Testament that get frequent usage in the Western Church anyway.

Perhaps the liberals and conservatives could agree on visitation rights on holidays.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

The Never-Ending Story

Coming soon to Disney+, milking the Star Wars thing for all they've got.

Monday, January 6, 2020

This Week's Sneak Peek

When the President of the United States is committing acts of war against other nations and threatening war crimes if they strike back, it might just be a good time to go to church for some peace and harmony.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Ringing in the 'Twenties

Every New Year is an occasion for editorial cartoonists to crank out a crapload of Old Father Time and New Year Baby cartoons, and 1920 was no exception. Sameoldsameoldback Saturday presents a sampling of a few outliers today, as well as the trite and true.
"The Baby Vamp" by Tom R. Wood in Los Angeles Daily Herald, January 1, 1920
Tom Wood takes the unusual approach of portraying Baby New Year as a female. He could have been making allusion to the fact that women would enjoy suffrage in federal elections for the first time that year, but I doubt it. I suspect that Wood was commenting instead on female fashions, and not entirely favorably. He would surely be shocked by the bobbed hair and flapper skirts in the decade to come.
"Happy Dry Year" by Sidney Joseph Greene in New York Evening Telegram,  January 1, 1920
The new year was not without opportunities for editorial cartoonists to make timely and original comment on the changeover of calendars. The year's first ruling from the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Volstead Act, codifying the Eighteenth Amendment — Prohibition — into federal law.
"This Year, Alas" by Ervine Metzl for Cartoons Magazine, January, 1920
Ervine Metzl drew the cartoon above to illustrate an article in Cartoons Magazine. Some of his poster work for the Chicago Transit Authority in the 1920's is apparently still in use today, and was featured as part of a Field Museum exhibit in 2004. His later work included designs for U.S. postage stamps.
"Passing the Buck" by Nelson Harding in Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 2, 1920
The Supreme Court may have settled the Prohibition question, but that left a host of other issues unresolved. You'd think that after two millennia, we'd have learned how to solve all our problems by December 31. Our great-grandparents hadn't figured it out a century ago, and neither have we.
"Get Busy and Crack These Nuts" by William C. Morris for George Matthew Adams Service, January, 1920
William Morris offers Baby 1920 fewer unsolved problems than Nelson Harding: the higher cost of living, returning management of the railroads to private ownership, industrial unrest, and the continuing problem of Mexican rebels kidnapping Mexican and American citizens for ransom.
"What! You're Still Here" by Clifford Berryman in Washington (D.C.) Evening Star, January 1, 1920
Clifford Berryman finds further unfinished business in the war, thirteen months after armistice was declared, with no likelihood of the U.S. Senate ratifying the peace agreement in a presidential election year.
"Giddap" by Bob Satterfield for Newspaper Enterprise Association, January, 1920
Bob Satterfield appears to have more confidence in Baby 1920's ability to handle the problems left to him than many of his fellow cartoonists had.

"Zoo Logic" by Ben Ryan in New York Evening Telegram, January 1, 1920
On to lighter fare: New Year's Day would seem to be an auspicious day for a cartoonist to launch a new strip on the comics page. Ben Ryan would, however, have difficulty keeping his new year's resolution to "make you laugh every day this year." By the end of 1920, the New York Evening Telegram had dropped its comics page, keeping only a couple comic strips to break up other pages. "Zoo Logic" was not one of them.
"See Who's Here" by C.F. Naughton in Duluth Evening Herald, January 1, 1920
C.F. Naughton opts for a simple graphic in lieu of his daily editorial cartoon. Nobody likes to stay late at their desk over New Year's.
"Here's Hoping" by Fred O. Seibel in Knickerbocker Press, Albany, NY, ca. January, 1920
Fred Seibel offers a preachy version of the tired observation that many New Year's resolutions expire before the eleven pipers piping show up.
"Henry Dubb No Longer" by Ryan Walker in New York Evening Call, January 1, 1920
Finally, on the topic of New Year's resolutions, Ryan Walker at the socialist Call imagines what resolutions the U.S. Postal Service (which would refuse to deliver the Call), the High Cost of Living, a Kept Editor, and "Grabitall" were making, and how the proletariat needed to respond. Walker neglected to consider resolutions by the New York Assembly, which would suspend five duly elected socialist representatives at the commencement of the legislative session in January, and would expel them in April on grounds of "disloyalty."

Friday, January 3, 2020

1989 in Review

Hey, since I devoted several posts last year to cartoons from 1989, here's the photo I took at that year's end of 1989's newspaper headlines.
Careful readers may notice a magazine headline that was repeated in my 2019 photo.
P.S.: I've commented several times about how it is getting more and more difficult to assemble newspapers for these photographs. Today provides a sterling example.

On the morning after the Trump administration intentionally assassinated the top military official of a foreign, sovereign state against whom we have not declared war, while he was in a neighboring country in which we have troops stationed (and what about the Kurds?), without consulting anyone in Congress or any one of our NATO allies, here is the choice of my locally available newspaper front pages:
Only the Chicago Tribune managed to squeeze the story onto Page One.