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Comic Strip of the Day: Truth or Illusion, Martha?

Let’s start with a salute to fortuitous timing by Wiley Miller, whose Non Sequitur by, I assume, happenstance hits the comics pages while Wells Fargo’s incompetence, venality and lousy response is in the rest of the newspaper.

In another bit of interesting timing, NPR has just started a series on the housing crisis with the observation that, even in Boise, Idaho, which isn’t exactly San Francisco or the Hamptons, housing prices are insanely, and unreachably, high, which makes Wells Fargo’s response of $20,000 to everyone they made homeless unacceptable, at least to Liz Warren.

I’m not fond of the binary concept that, if one side is wrong, the other must therefore be right, and the consequent beatification of thugs and psychopaths, but it’s an old tradition and this was a helluva movie, and so, with reservations, a six-gun salute to Wells Fargo:

 

 

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Ann Telnaes)

(Mike Marland)

Telnaes lays it out in a longer piece you should go see, while Marland brings us up to date on the latest lunatic justification for the president’s fear-mongering and lies.

I use the term “lunatic” because I continue to feel that Donald Trump is not self-contained enough to carry out a complex, long-range plot.

The Watergate/Nixon parallels are being drawn, but Nixon really was “Tricky Dick” and not only stepped in to disrupt LBJ’s peace talks, but surrounded himself with a group of self-proclaimed “ratf*ckers” with experience in disrupting elections.

That he went beyond election fraud into a deeper world of deception was more a matter of being cornered, and Herblock’s putting the flag of Nixon above the flag of the United States is metaphor.

Trump, by contrast, has always been about Trump, which is why he continues to have campaign rallies so he can bask in the adulation of the mob. He wanted to be elected a great deal more than he wanted to be president.

Meanwhile, his defenses are a desperate combination of denials, insults and unhinged distractions — his latest being some ridiculous notion that EPA rules have stripped California of the water to fight fires.

Whether or not he plans it, his defense is based on the part of Lincoln’s famous statement where he said “You can fool some of the people all of the time,” or the old joke of which the punchline is “I don’t have to outrun the lion. I only have to outrun you.”

 

Such that, as Clay Jones points out, he can have the entire intelligence community stage a briefing at the White House in which they agree on Russian collusion and interference, then blithely fly off to Ohio to assure the Deplorables that none of it is true.

If this is part of a cunning plan, it’s a cunning plan to trigger the 25th Amendment and get out of the unpleasant business of actually having to be president.

And as long as he can stage campaign rallies full of cheering True Believers, he’s not going to do that.

 

Meanwhile, back at the Vatican

Paul Fell illustrates the looming dilemma faced by Nebraska’s Roman Catholic governor, but there’s a larger application.

Of the remaining eight Supreme Court justices, three — Roberts, Thomas and Sotomayor — are active Catholics, while Gorsuch was raised Catholic and is now Episcopalian. Trump’s proposed justice, Kavanaugh, is also Catholic, and, if you see where those votes tend to cluster on the right/left continuum, you can see that the Pope’s firm condemnation of the death penalty is, well, interesting.

Interesting in light of — as this graphic from that article illustrates — how little Catholics appear to be in line with the Pope’s thinking, if you compare where they live (brown areas) to where executions are most common.

 

True conservative Catholics like Scott Stantis — who greeted the announcement thusly — have always put their opposition to abortion in the same category as the death penalty: Either you are pro-life or you are not.

Moreover, conservative Catholics have a long history of condemning “cafeteria Catholics” who take from doctrine that which they wish to believe and reject that which they do not.

Catholics could respect the wall between Church and State, reasoning on the death penalty as liberal Catholics have about abortion for years, that it should be legal but rare, and focusing on persuading individual judges not to impose death, rather than legislating against it.

But to expect the current Court to rule that way on either issue would be flying in the face of every prognosticator of what will happen the next time Roe v Wade comes before them.

It would be interesting, indeed, to bring a challenge to the death penalty to the Hobby Lobby Court and see how they respond.

 

Juxtaposition of the Day, Apolitical Division

(Big Nate)

(Frazz)

I’m glad Big Nate is further up in my feed, because I was able to appreciate the literary aspects of the gag before the juxtaposition kicked in.

It’s pretty clear that Lincoln Peirce has read him some Harry Potter, because, yes, while someone might want to be a Ravenclaw or Gryffindor, nobody would want to be a Hufflepuff, but, if anyone were born to it, it’s Chad.

The hat operates in a crowd. If the website declared you a Slytherrin, you’d tell people it had called you something else, in order to hide your nefarious intentions.

But to emphasize Ms. Plainwell’s point, that’s why we have a Sorting Hat rather than letting new students simply choose their own house.

The badger/badger juxtaposition is weird, though true Potter fans would be able to discuss at length the capacity of Hufflepuffs to work underground with silence and ferocity.

But it simply made me remember the time at summer camp when Nick Brown’s mother called him “Weasel” in front on a cabin full of 10-year-olds, on Parents’ Weekend which was only halfway through our eight-week stint.

Though I should say “four weeks into,” since I’m sure the next four weeks seemed far, far longer for poor “Weasel.”

I don’t refer to the place as “Camp Lord O’ The Flies” for nothing.

 

 

Community Comments

#1 Sean Martin
August/7/2018
@ 9:04 am

A friend of mine got caught up in an unbelievable swindle that he and I both think was a Wells Fargo inside job. If you go the WF website, you’ll find that, before you even log in to look at your account, you can actually order foreign currency by just using your name and your account number — again, *before* you log in to your WF account. That means anyone who has that information can use it to take money out of your account and have it sent in any currency they want.

The scam was pretty audacious: someone used his name and account number to order twenty grand in Euros, which they then had sent by FedEx to his apartment address. The scammer arranged to have someone there, outside the apartment but pretending to live there, to receive it, and that someone just walked off with twenty K in Euros in cash.

It took Randy weeks to get WF to straighten this mess out. They clearly dodged any responsibility and then turned around and threw up one obstruction after another when he moved his account to a credit union. Randy wound up writing not only the NC State Attorney General, but also the FTC and a few other choice federal agencies — and suddenly, after almost two months of frustration, everything was moved and it was all good.

Now it turns out that this has been going on for years, and WF has sought to cover it over by settling lawsuits out of court so it can plausibly deny responsibility. I dont know what the deal is with that bank, but I would never ever ever recommend it to anyone for any purpose other than getting a twenty broken to two tens. Asking for four fives? I’d check to make sure you got four, not three.

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