I'm still hoping, of course, that it will go viral.
Monday, November 30, 2020
Saturday, November 28, 2020
|Detail from cartoon in Manitou Messenger, St. Olaf College, Northfield MN, Oct. 23, 1980|
|Unpublished, February, 1987|
|Unpublished, February, 1987|
In Through the Looking Glass, Alice encounters Humpty Dumpty, who sermonizes on his idiosyncratic definition of the word "glory."
|in NorthCountry Journal, Poynette WI, April, 1988|
|in Business Journal of Greater Milwaukee, October, 1997|
|Q Syndicate, March, 2011|
Finally, I made use of Carroll's "Jabberwocky" a couple of times this year, in the background of a pair of cartoons about the presidential and vice presidential debates.
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
June of 2017 is when I started drawing him with a pig's snout, and I am eagerly looking forward to retiring the leitmotif. And everything else about him.
As one after another of Trump's frivolous lawsuits and recounts fail him, The Corrupt Trump Administration finally gave up his obstinate refusal to begin the transition process to the new Biden administration late Monday. Recounts in Wisconsin's Milwaukee and Dane Counties continue, however, in the GOP's on-going effort to disenfranchise people of color, students, and others who have the effrontery to live in urban centers — the GOP's desperate effort to, in fact, steal the election.
And Trump himself still refuses to concede, which we've known for the past four years that he could never bring himself to do.
In this cartoon, I am, of course, anticipating the day when Trump's official presidential portrait is unveiled in a White House ceremony. It is a traditional honor every American president has afforded to his predecessor since 1978, a tradition broken by Trump himself. (Former President Jimmy Carter declined having a ceremonial unveiling of his own portrait, but other than that, the tradition has stood.)
Now I suppose it's unlikely that Soon To Be Former President Trump will commission a portrait of himself as the Pig Baby from Alice in Wonderland. His official portrait is more likely to come from the guy who cranks out hagiographic paintings of Trump wrapped in an American flag and shaking Jesus's hand while walking on water.
Either way, he's unlikely to show up for the official unveiling. Unless that's the only way he can get anyone to pay attention to him any more by then.
Monday, November 23, 2020
Saturday, November 21, 2020
|in UWM Post (Milwaukee, Wis.), Nov. 13, 1990|
|in UW-Parkside Ranger (Kenosha, Wis.), Nov. 15, 1990|
|in UWM Post, Nov. 15, 1990|
Diplomatic pressure on Iraq yielded only defiance from Hussein.
|in Journal Times, Racine, Wis., Nov. 23, 1990|
|in UW-Parkside Ranger, Nov. 29, 1990|
Thursday, November 19, 2020
... even suggesting that the pressure Christians face surrounding their religious beliefs is akin to the strictures the U.S. placed on Germany and Japan after World War II.“Is our country going to follow that course?” Alito asked. “For many today, religious liberty is not a cherished freedom. It’s often just an excuse for bigotry and can’t be tolerated, even when there is no evidence that anybody has been harmed. ... The question we face is whether our society will be inclusive enough to tolerate people with unpopular religious beliefs.”
Alito offered as a case in point marriage equality, which he believes victimizes people who believe in opposite-sex marriage supremacy.
The Gays aren't the only ones assaulting religious liberty, he said. Governmental attempts to stem the spread of COVID-19 also have Alito fuming: “Think of worship services! Churches closed on Easter Sunday, synagogues closed for Passover in Yom Kippur!”
As the present "third wave" of the disease dwarfs the first and second waves in this country, he's not going to like the looks of Christmas this year, either.
But it's not as if the coronavirus is ignoring secular holidays such as Black Friday, New Year's Eve, or Superbowl Sunday, either.
Some legal scholars seemed surprised by Alito's brazenly political speech. In one lawyer's tweet,
“This speech is like I woke up from a vampire dream,” University of Baltimore law professor and former federal prosecutor Kim Wehle wrote. “Unscrupulously biased, political, and even angry. I can’t imagine why Alito did this publicly. Totally inappropriate and damaging to the Supreme Court.”
I'm not sure why this should come as a shock to anyone. After all, Alito is the Supreme Court Justice caught shaking his head and clearly mouthing "Not true!" at Barack Obama during the then-President's 2010 State of the Union address. (Obama was criticizing the Court's Citizens United ruling.) While that's not quite in the same league as shouting "You lie!" or tearing up one's copy of the speech, the people who did those things were members of Congress — politicians — and I guess we've come to expect that behavior from the House and Senate. The other Justices present during Obama's address sat dispassionately throughout.
In another speech to the Federalist Society four years ago, Alito bemoaned the liberal "campus culture" at some colleges and universities that supposedly stifles conservatives' free speech. Maybe so. Alito might be afraid to speak on liberal campuses of higher learning, but he is right at home bravely speaking to right-wing and libertarian septic think tanks.
None of the views Alito expressed are likely to shock those who have read his legal opinions or other public statements, [University of Massachusetts School of Law professor John T.] Rice said, but their public airing flies in the face of Chief Justice John Roberts’s efforts to keep the court above the political fray.
“Is there a rule that Justice Alito violated? Is there any recourse against him? No,” Rice said. “But was it wise? No.”
Monday, November 16, 2020
Dr. Scott Atlas, the White House’s controversial coronavirus adviser, encouraged an insurrection on Sunday against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) over Michigan’s new COVID-19 safety protocols meant to curb the state’s skyrocketing infection rates.
The remarks by Atlas, who is a neuroradiologist with no formal training in treating infectious diseases, came in response to the Democratic governor announcing an epidemic order starting Wednesday for at least three weeks. The new Michigan Department of Health and Human Services regulations halt in-person learning for high schools and colleges, indoor dining, theaters, stadiums, organized sports, casinos and group exercise classes."
“The only way this stops is if people rise up,” the Trump adviser tweeted in response to the new regulations. “You get what you accept.
Saturday, November 14, 2020
|"The King Is Dead..." by Paul Conrad in Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1974|
|"'By the Dawn's Early Light'" by Eric Smith in Capital Gazette, Annapolis MD, Aug. 9, 1974|
As we look forward to the end of one long national nightmare 68 days from now, Siricaback Saturday looks backward 46 years to the end of another. Facing certain impeachment in the House of Representatives and calls from leading Republican senators to resign, President Richard M. Nixon finally accepted the inevitable on August 8, 1974.
|"Because I Have Lost the Support of the Crew..." by Bill Sanders in Milwaukee Journal, Aug. 9, 1974|
|No caption, by Leonard Borozinski in Wisconsin State Journal (Madison), Aug. 9, 1974|
|"Well, Let's Go At It" by Bill Sanders in Milwaukee Journal, Aug. 11, 1974|
|No caption, by Dick Locher in Chicago Tribune, Aug. 17, 1974|
|No caption, by Pat Oliphant in Denver Post, Aug. 7, 1974|
A day before Nixon's resignation, Pat Oliphant drew Vice President Ford opening a White House closet to find the cobweb-ridden sign that had supposedly been carried by 13-year-old Vicki Lynne Cole at a 1968 Nixon for President rally in Deshler, Ohio. (Parts of the story may be apocryphal.) A friend of Nixon's had told his speechwriters about having seen the sign, and the phrase became a slogan for the campaign. It also figured prominently in Nixon's Election Night victory speech.
|"I'll Try, Honey..." by Hugh Haynie in Louisville Courier-Journal, August, 1974|
Thursday, November 12, 2020
Anyone expecting the "blue wave" pollsters were predicting before November 3 is by now profoundly underwhelmed. Suburban housewives, we were told, were repelled by Trump's misogyny and the bad example he continually sets for the nation's children. People of color were motivated against him by his racist, fascist policies. Voters inclined to give him a try four years ago were dismayed by his feckless response to COVID-19 and empty promises on health care reform. Republican candidates were starting to distance themselves from him.
Even Texas was supposed to be in play!
Then came November 3, 2020, and it looked like Election Night 2016 all over again.
It has taken days for the massive numbers of early and absentee votes to be counted; they each have to be removed from envelopes, unfolded, checked for witness signatures and so forth, and that takes time. But they have turned the tide for Joe Biden. Hooray for that.
"The fact is we are, perhaps more than any time since the late 1850s, a divided country—divided not only by ideology and policy preferences (that’s normal; it’s what elections are supposed to decide) but also by the way we see the world. The two sides seem to occupy different universes. One universe observes facts, respects science, and values at least the goals of democracy and civility; the other universe does not. And the two view each other with seething contempt. Trump may wind up defeated, but Trumpism very much endures."
Looking back, Dear Misleader found support in the polls from that hard-core base of his: the people who took time from their busy day to swarm the freeways in their Trump-flag-waving pick-ups and SUVs, to sink their pleasure boats in Trump flotillas, or, like one home we passed on our way home from vacation this week, to festoon its yard with upwards of fifty Trump Pence signs.
His poll numbers should have included all the people for whom criminalizing abortion is the one and only issue at all times. In September, when Biden came to the church where I work, for a community discussion of race and policing after the Jacob Blake shooting, comments from the anti-abortion zealots flooded the church's Facebook page and website, and the phone rang off the hook with their calls. Not all, but many of their irate messages were about abortion and nothing else.
To the hard-core Trumpsters and the anti-abortion zealots were added on Election Day a great many voters who told pollsters that they were "undecided." They may not have been Trumpsters loud and proud, but they saw him as a protector against the scary-looking rioters setting cities on fire, marauding through residential neighborhoods, and shooting police officers.
I know these people. The church where I work filled with the smell of smoke from the surrounding business district in the days after Jacob Blake was shot. Opportunistic thugs speeding through a suburban neighborhood the first night of the riots wrecked their car right outside the house of my in-laws. The Trump and America First ads on radio and television linking Biden, Kamala Harris, and every possible down-ballot Democrat to the burning and looting proved more effective around here than those clever ads from the Lincoln Project.
Sure, Biden eked out a victory in Wisconsin, but our well-gerrymandered Republicans in the legislature and Congress fared better in this general election year than they did in 2018.
Besides, as far as down-ballot races were concerned, did you really think those dismayed Republican housewives, even if they broke for Biden, were going to vote a straight ticket?
I predict that the Lincoln Projectors will turn against Biden in a heartbeat come January 20. But they may not be exactly welcomed back into the Grand Old Party they forsook. Trumpsters are in charge there now, they ain't leaving, and they ain't the forgiving type.
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
My husband and I just returned home from an extended weekend in Galena, Illinois to celebrate our anniversary and a birthday with a zero in it. We have usually taken a trip abroad when either of us has a decade birthday, but COVID-19 kept us downsizing our plans again and again this year.
At least we hadn't continued planning, as we had been at one point, on driving down to central Florida. Last week's record-breaking mild weather in the Midwest was far and away better than what Hurricane Eta was affording Floridians.
Galena is a peculiar little town folded in among gullies and ravines on the steep valley walls of the Galena River, which used to be called Fever River, but 19th Century civic leaders decided that its name wasn't a particularly effective selling point for the place. It's the hometown of General and President Ulysses S. Grant, so you can visit his home, and a museum where there is a painting by Thomas Nast of General Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox.
You can also browse a Main Street crowded with shops selling all manner of bric-a-brac. I found a used book of editorial cartoons by Frank Miller, culled from his entire career's output by his Des Moines Register editors after he died in 1983. I look forward to reading it.
Galena, population somewhere around 3,500, seems to have escaped the attentions of U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. It has two post offices, the same number that remain within the city limits of the burg of 78,000 where I was raised. We also came across those blue mailboxes in several places around Galena; where I live, you can only find those boxes at the Post Office.
This post comes as a way of explaining, or perhaps excusing, tomorrow's cartoon.
The birthday of my better half comes early in November, which coincides with regularly scheduled elections. For a political cartoonist, taking vacations in early November is like a tax attorney closing shop for the first half of April. But we do it anyway.
As we were about to leave for Puerto Vallarta in November, 2000, I proposed to my editor that I leave him two cartoons: one for use if George W. Bush won the election, and another for use if Al Gore won. He told me to come up with something else, and it's a good thing he did. That election had still not been decided by the time we returned home.
Tomorrow's cartoon was drawn after this year's ballots had been cast, but while only Donald Tommy Flanagan Trump was projecting any winner. I kept to my former editor's advice, and drew a cartoon that would reflect my views, whether the election would have been won by Trump, Joe Biden, or a player to be named later.
Anywho, it's good to be home again, to our own bed, to our own kitchen, and to a television that isn't programmed to tune in to Fox News every time we turn it on.
Monday, November 9, 2020
Saturday, November 7, 2020
|"The Favorite Son Rise" by Nelson Harding in Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Nov. 3, 1920|
In celebration of America's exercise in democracy this week, Settleback Saturday recalls the election 100 years ago of the second most corrupt president in U.S. history.
But we're not here to talk about current events today.
|"Thumbs Up Or Thumbs Down?" by Jay N. "Ding" Darling in Collier's, Nov. 6, 1920|
Nelson Harding (no relation to the winner) may have had the cartoon at the top of today's post ready before the election results were final for the day-after-Election-Day newspaper but for the face; both candidates happened to be from Ohio. But as shown by Ding Darling's cartoon for Collier's weekly, published well before the votes were in, the outcome was never really in doubt. Cox carried only Virginia, Kentucky, the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas.
Darling, a Republican through and through, disagreed strongly with Warren Harding's stand against the League of Nations; he was also disappointed by Democrat James Cox's petty campaign that was less about what a Cox administration would do than about leveling charges of financial irregularities against the Republican Party.
|"It's A Great Day for America" by Albert T. Reid in National Republican, ca. Nov. 3, 1920|
|"The Birthday Gift" by Clifford Berryman in Washington Evening Star, Nov. 3, 1920|
|"Victory" by Raymond O. Evans (Sr.) for National Welfare Union, Nov. 3, 1920|
|"Now for the House Cleaning," unsigned, for National Welfare Union, Nov. 3, 1920|
|"Der Kampf um den Völkerbund" by Arthur Johnson in Kladderadatsch, Berlin, Nov. 21, 1920|
|"Wilsons Abschied" by Ernst Schilling in Simplicissimus, Munich, Nov. 24, 1920|
|"A New Front Porch" by Nelson Harding in Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Nov. 5, 1920|
Thursday, November 5, 2020
What can I say?
The coronacrisis has been with us for over eight months. We have known since the outset that wearing face masks in public cuts down the virus's opportunity to spread.
We have also had a president who thinks he's smarter than all the people who have actual education and experience in virology. Who knew since January that COVID-19 is more serious than the flu, but didn't want to panic the stock markets. (He doesn't give a rat's ass about panicking the American public. He has been spreading panic about everything from Mexican immigrants to transgender Americans for over four years.)
We also have a sizeable portion of the populace who revel in their own ignorance, getting all their information from Qrackpots on the internet, AM radio, and Fox News. People who have developed a contempt for the greater society, seeing all social programs as evil socialism. People who think tearing down the Great Society will Make America Great Again.
And who have convinced themselves, egged on by His Crapulence, that having to wear a mask just because there's a deadly disease on the loose is exactly the kind of totalitarian tyranny that their pilgrim ancestors overthrew British Czar George Stalin III and his redcoats to prevent. They look to Dear Misleader's example and are convinced that if they do happen to catch COVID, they can just hop Air Force 1 over to Walter Reed for a couple days and then get right home again in time for Sunday's Game of the Week.
And if their carelessness infects others around them, tough. Don't say they never gave you nothin'.
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Monday, November 2, 2020
Election week is always a challenge.
I have to draw a cartoon by Monday morning that won't appear in client publications until after Election Day. It helps when there are other news items that aren't dependent on knowing whether anyone will have won by the end of the week.