From my days with the Business Journal of Greater Milwaukee:
|in Business Journal, February 28, 2003|
|by Tom Toles in Buffalo News, September 27, 1984|
|in Buffalo News, June 21, 1984|
|in Buffalo News, March, 1983|
|in Washington Post, November 14, 2002|
|in Buffalo News, July, 1990|
|in Buffalo News, May 14, 1993|
|in Buffalo News, ca. June, 1986|
|in Buffalo News, September 8, 1994|
There were a lot of plaudits from religious liberals for Pope Francis last week after he gave his blessing for civil unions for same-sex couples.
Subtitles in the documentary "Francesco," premiered at the Rome Film Festival, translate the Pope's comments as: “Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it. What we have to have is a civil union law—that way they are legally covered. I supported that.”
This is a reiteration of his previously offered opinion on the topic, although some conservatives quibble that "civil union" is an inaccurate translation of his phrase, "convivencia civil"; they claim he merely referred to "civil cohabitation," whatever difference that makes in the context of having a law about it.
Here in the United States, marriage equality has been the law of the land since the Supreme Court's 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, but two, perhaps now three, of the Justices are eager to overturn that ruling. The others in the Court's right-wing majority might have been less inclined to annul over half a million marriages overnight, but they might be amenable to taking Pope Francis's cue by floating the possibility of foisting something less than marriage upon us as a consolation prize.
My husband and I got married shortly after the ruling in Obergefell came down, having gotten a civil union six years earlier. The two are not the same thing: there is no federal law recognizing civil unions; the IRS has no provision for couples civilly unioned filing jointly. (See, there isn't even a verb for it!) Hospitals, especially those with a faith-based affiliation, are free to interpret HIPAA laws to exclude non-married couples.
It's no just a question of having to deal with bakers and florists who believe in being assholes for the Lord.
Well, anyway, kudos to Pope Francis for being more enlightened than your immediate predecessor.
I just wish we didn't have Supreme Court justices heading us back to the Dark Ages.
The Supreme Court ruled against Mr. Barr in the employment case above, but that is likely to become a short-lived victory. Senate Republicans refused to consider one Supreme Court nomination and 110 lower court nominations during Barack Obama's presidency so that they could pack the courts with doctrinaire, activists right-wingers during Mr. Trump's. Trump has thus been privileged to add three such Justices to the three put on the Supreme Court by the Bushes.
In case you have somehow not made up your mind about how to vote this year, I will point out one more time that Justice Stephen Breyer is 82 years old.
Not that you could rely on anything coming out of Mr. Trump's mouth in this crisis being any more truthful than anything he had said before.
As risky as it is to predict what might happen during tonight's Presidential So-Called Debate, I decided at the drawing board Sunday night that a moment like this was more likely than not. It might not be about antifa; Donald Joffrey Trump already tried the "Why Don't You Ask Joe" tack during last week's dueling Town Halls, only to have Savannah Guthrie answer "Because you're here before me."
It might not be whatabout antifa this week; it could be whatabout Hunter Biden, or whatabout something Joe Biden said about busing in 1972, or whatabout Jeffrey Toobin jerking off on Zoom. Or whatabout all three.
Unless he storms offstage early to go sulk on Twitter.
In case you get all your news from Catholic News Service, the New Yorker suspended legal analyst talking head Jeffrey Toobin for masturbating during a Zoom call with other New Yorker staffers and a New York radio station. Nobody is quite sure what was so arousing about the election simulation that was the focus of the call, in which Toobin was supposed to represent the U.S. judicial system.
Perhaps he was fantasizing about Amy Coney Barrett.
Anyway, cartoonists joke about being able to replace the captions of New Yorker cartoons with random lines, "Christ, what an asshole" being the classic example.
My offering here would have worked better by putting the caption in the future tense, but that would be breaking the rules of the game.
But if you want to get all meta about it, James Stevenson drew this cartoon in 1968, when neither he nor his fortune teller would have had any clue what Jeffrey Toobin or Zoom calls are.
Through it all, Trump has behaved like a petty dictator, which explains his affinity for dictators abroad. He has been assisted by the Republican politburo in the House and Senate, and their mission to pack the courts with right-wing activists (which we discussed here more fully on Thursday).
Amy Coney Barrett has been spending this week telling a Senate panel that as a nominee to the highest court in the land, she can't imagine how she might rule in cases involving abortion rights, gun control, the Affordable Care Act, or marriage equality, or any of the other hot-button issues she has written about — not even whether Donald Trump can unilaterally postpone a federal election fergawdsake! — because the role of a Supreme Court Justice is not to prejudge cases before they come before the Court.
I've tended to fall back on the heavy-rimmed glasses that Clarence Thomas wore during his confirmation hearings in 1991, but I notice that he never wears them in photographs taken recently. People do get contacts, and even if they don't nearly everybody who wears glasses has to replace them every few years with something that might be more fashionable.
It's also difficult to tell in his photographs whether Thomas has kept his moustache. If so, it has certainly gone gray and thinned out over the years.
I hate to speak ill of a fellow cartoonist, but let me put it this way: if you find yourself in a rut, it's time to get out and stretch your legs a bit.