Weekly Toon …

It's one of those rare toofers :-)

I was looking for a cartoon this week that would provide some commentary on Trump’s first hundred days in office. I found this one, our runner up for the week, which sums up the man pretty well.

But in the end it was impossible to resist the one I finally selected above from Bill Bramhall, the editorial cartoonist for the New York Daily News. You can find more of his work featured here.

What I like about this cartoon is that you get two for the price of one. On the one hand, it’s a quiet commentary on who will benefit from Trump’s tax plan. But it’s also an incisive take on the all too pervasive tendency of politicians, whatever their stripe, to cash in once they leave office.

Yeah, sure, Wall Street may not be buying very much since Obama will never hold office again. But don’t kid yourself. By accepting an obscene sum of money for a speech, Obama debases the office he once held and sets a terrible example for anyone considering public service.

Public service is about serving, not using what you learned while serving to cash in. Or perhaps I should say that’s what public service should be about, not what it apparently is.

Collecting royalties for a book you wrote is one thing; and I might have considered cutting Obama a break if the money for his speech was being donated to charity. But that’s not the case. This is Obama showing he’s just like most politicians, all too willing to cash in on the office he held for his own personal benefit.


Kit barfs.


The White House Grifters …

the three pigs ...

April 28, 2017 Update

They dress nice and probably smell good and most of them don’t even muss the furniture. Wealth gives them the patina of respectability — the American reflex of deference to the rich. But make no mistake: The Trump family and assorted cronies are using the highest office in the land to stuff their pockets.

That’s how a column by Timothy Egan I read today in the New York Times begins. The column, entitled White House of Grifters, made me laugh because it makes many of the same arguments I did in this post, but probably in a somewhat more thoughtful way.

In any event, I thought I would pass it along. It’s well worth reading; and since I’m back here posting today, I thought I would toss in this Tom Toles cartoon from the Washington Post as well. I thought it sums things up pretty well.

Isn't that the truth?

April 27, 2017 Original Posting

As a rule, Republican presidents like offering tax cuts, and President Trump is no different. But the skimpy one-page tax proposal his administration released on Wednesday is, by any historical standard, a laughable stunt by a gang of plutocrats looking to enrich themselves at the expense of the country’s future.

You can read more of this New York Times editorial here.

In their infinite wisdom, enough people in enough states put Donald Trump in the White House last year. And because the man has no shame, no ethical standards, and is perfectly fine with nepotism, he brought his daughter and son-in-law along as well.

Without a doubt, the Trumps are the most shameless and corrupt family to ever occupy the White House. Unlike the Clintons or Obama, who waited until they had left office to cash in, Trump and his family are determined to extract every filthy dime they can from their time in office.

Ivanka Trump wins three new trademark rights for her line of handbags, jewelry and spa services from China on April 6, the very day she and her husband, Jared Kushner, sat next to Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife at dinner at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Just coincidence? Only an idiot would believe that.

Scores of other trademarks from which she will personally benefit are pending for her company in at least 23 other countries, including China, Canada, Mexico, Russia and Australia. Want to take a bet on how many will be approved? And this is a woman who goes around pretending to be a public servant? She’s a greedy joke.

Jared Kushner reportedly owns or has a stake in nearly 300 different assets or companies collectively worth hundreds of millions of dollars that classify as pass-through businesses; businesses that would benefit greatly from the tax reductions the Administration outlined yesterday. Another coincidence? Give me a break!

And what about the Donald himself?

We won’t know for sure because the man refuses to release his tax returns and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, another Goldman Sachs plutocrat, now says he never will. So much for the pretense that withholding his returns had something to do with being audited; apparently it doesn’t.

Like I said, without seeing those returns, we may never know the full extent of the personal greed and rapaciousness that will be served by the tax bill he plans to send to Congress.

But we know the man is already profiting from the Presidency as foreign potentates line up to visit his hotel in Washington, his resort in Florida, and the many other properties he should have divested himself from completely before taking office.

We know his tax plan would eliminate one provision without which Trump would have paid less than 4 percent in taxes in 2005. With it, he paid 25 percent.

And we also know that he will benefit personally a lot more than you will from his tax plan because that plan is an irresponsible, shameless, budget-busting gift to plutocrats like himself.

Is any of this illegal? Who knows? But don’t expect the Justice Department to go after Donald, Ivanka, and Jared any time soon. They work for the man, not for you. For what it’s worth, however, the man they work for and his spawn are pigs in my opinion; pigs who deserve the contempt of the American people.

But instead it’s likely Americans will stand by like the sheep they are while Trump, his family, and other plutocrats rape the U.S. Treasury and the American taxpayer for every dime they can extract. That may be all well and good for them.

But it doesn’t change the fact that the Trumps are a family of grifters and you’re the people they’re raping.

Weekly Toon …

And now playing in the White House itself ...
“I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.” Donald Trump in an interview with The New York Times, April 5, 2017

We’re back once again with a cartoon from Pat Bagley, the editorial cartoonist for the Salt Lake Tribune whose work we’ve featured previously. You can view more of Bagley’s cartoons here.

Not suprising, I suppose, that Bill O’Reilly would get an endorsement from Donald Trump, a man caught on tape saying things like the following.

  • “I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married.”

  • “I did try and fuck her. She was married.”

  • “Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”

  • “Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”

Of course, we have to cut Trump a break because the man is a genuine American patriot as this week’s runner-up cartoon from Mike Luckovitch captured so well.

What a splendid example the man set for all those kids at the Easter Egg Roll. Republicans would have lynched Obama if he ever did something like that, but that’s what makes hypocrisy so much fun.

Weekly Toon …

Click to enlarge

Lots of excellent cartoons focused on United Airlines this week including this one by Rob Rogers, the editorial cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

But I decided to go with the one above from Tom Tomorrow that more fully explains U.S. policy toward Syria for those of you who may be wondering about that. You can click to enlarge it.

Tom Tomorrow is the pen name of editorial cartoonist Dan Perkins. His weekly comic strip, This Modern World, appears online at The Nation, Daily Kos, and The Nib, and also in approximately 80 papers across the country.

He is a 2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist and the 2013 Herblock Prize winner. He was awarded the first place Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for Cartooning in 1998 and again in 2003, among other honors.

He is the author of ten cartoon anthologies and one children’s book. In 2009 he collaborated with the band Pearl Jam to create the artwork for their album, Backspacer.

Weekly Toon …

Truly a wretched human being ...

If they gave lifetime achievement awards for being a wretched human being, Mitch McConnell would certainly be one of the finalists.

As one columnist for the Washington Post put it recently: “By rights, McConnell’s tombstone should say that he presided over the end of the Senate. And I’d add a second line: “He broke America.” No man has done more in recent years to undermine the functioning of U.S. government. His has been the epitome of unprincipled leadership, the triumph of tactics in service of short-term power.”

Mild criticism indeed for such an obnoxious cancer on the American body politic, but feel free to read the full article here if you wish.

Pat Bagley, whose toon we feature this week, is the editorial cartoonist for the Salt Lake Tribune. He was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Editorial Cartooning and was awarded the 2009 Herblock Prize for editorial cartooning by a unanimous panel of judges that included Garry Trudeau and Jules Feiffer.

You can view more of his cartoons here.

A step forward, a step back …

One step forward, one step back ...

“In a significant victory for gay rights, a federal appeals court in Chicago ruled Tuesday that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay workers from job discrimination, expanding workplace protections in the landmark law to include sexual orientation.”

“The decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the highest federal court yet to grant such employment protections, raises the chances that the politically charged issue may ultimately be resolved by the Supreme Court.”

Read more here and here; and you can read the actual decision here if you want.

This ruling has the potential to be a major landmark in the fight against discrimination. But keep in mind that every Federal appeals court to consider whether gay employees are entitled to non-discrimination protection has ruled in the past that we are not protected.

Just last month, for example, a Federal appeals panel in Atlanta reached the opposite conclusion by a 2 to 1 vote.

In addition, Congress has repeatedly refused to extend employment nondiscrimination protections to members of the LGBTQ community.

Whether that will change anytime soon will ultimately depend on whether the issue reaches the Supreme Court, which seems likely in some form; whether Neil Gorsuch is confirmed and participates in any future ruling, which also seems likely; and whether Anthony Kennedy, often friendly to gay rights issues in the past, is willing to break from his Republican colleagues.

That’s far from certain.

In the meantime, what we know for sure is that two big athletic conferences, the NCAA and the ACC, have voted to sell out gay and transgendered people in North Carolina and thus heightened the risk that other states, like Texas, will soon join North Carolina in promoting bigotry against their citizens.

As one article put it, “it’s a wake-up call to all of us about just how fragile rights for LGBTQ people are in a time when the White House, congressional majorities and the current Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, are hostile to our rights and, more importantly, supportive of religious conservatives who are trying to take them away.”

You can read more about all of this here.

Weekly Toon …

And let's help it die quicker by denying reality ...

Devin Nunes or climate change were our finalists this week. It was a tough choice, but political hacks like Nunes are a dime a dozen. We’ve only got one planet on the other hand and this toon captures what’s at stake a lot more succinctly than articles like this.

We’ve featured Tom Tole, the editorial cartoonist for the Washington Post before, but he’s one of the very best in my opinion. I’m not going to talk about this issue very much. If straight people don’t care enough about the world their kids and grandkids will be growing up in, why should I?

Sorry for being so cynical and jaded, but it was a long week and there are only so many causes one can champion.