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CSotD: Long Divisions

Hard on the heels of Friday’s discussion of hourly v flat rate payment for freelancers, Pajama Diaries reminds me of why it’s worth putting up with late pay and low pay and picky people.

And the robe is only a symbol. It’s also the ability to slip out to soccer games without having to explain that you came in early to clear that extra hour. It’s having a crockpot full of something perking away in the next room but not having to eat out of a crockpot because you can also simply cook if you want to.

It’s basically the right to be as eccentric as you want to be, which brings us to our

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Arlo and Janis)


Which reminds me of the old Irish story of Michael and Kathleen, who’d been walking out together for years, and so one night they stop on the bridge and are looking down at the river, and Kathleen says, “Do you know it’s 15 years we’ve been walking out together?”

And Michael says, “Yes. How the time goes by!”

“Well,” says she, “don’t you think it’s time we thought about getting married?”

“True, girl, we should,” he says, and then he looks down at the river for a bit and gives a deep sigh.  “But who’d have us now?”


Which also reminds me

Too late for cartoonists, but the rest of yez should take notice. There’s no St. Patty in Ireland. There just isn’t.

And one of the first things you learn as a writer — freelance or deskbound, journalist or commercial — is to that you can say anything you want about someone but ferchrissake spell their name right.

“Paddy” from “Padraig” and the point is made every year and every year some fool gets it wrong anyway.

And, yes, I do wish that that were the biggest travesty of the day.

Why do they hate Catholics? Which is my clever intro to this more substantive topic:


There are half a dozen cartoons floating around with a pantomime horse labeled as the Democratic Party, with one end headed one direction and the other going the other way.

Some are affectionate in tone, others dismissive, but I like Bill Bramhall‘s better because it’s more focused on the battle ahead and the question of whether the party is harming itself by not taking a single approach.

Personally, I think halfway through the term is an excellent time to ease up on party discipline and let the mid-term rookies do more than fetch coffee for the old-timers.

Particularly since “party discipline” crushed meaningful competition and debate in the lead up to 2016.

There are also cartoons making fun of the number of Democrats seeking the presidential nomination, but it’s better than having too few. QED.

Ted Rall criticizes those who would tamp down differences within the party, though I think the problem here is not how the Democratic Party leadership dealt with the issue internally but how they allowed themselves to be bullied into dealing with it publicly.

Part of it is that age-old issue in which “we” welcome black, female and other newcomers, but base their acceptance on their willingness to act exactly like “us.”

When they die, everyone salutes them for their bravery and their courage in bucking the system, but while they are still alive and happen to pipe up in a meeting or, god knows, on the floor of Congress, everybody wishes they’d shut up and go with the flow.

And if the people — damn their hides — elect a plain-spoken refugee from Somalia, it’s entirely possible that she will advocate on behalf of displaced people elsewhere in the world.

Which would be just fine if the Democrats were willing to keep to their initial plan of taking her aside and saying, “Yes, but you can’t talk about money itself. You have to find another way to suggest that contributions influence political positions.”

Unfortunately, like Hilary’s alleged missteps in Bengazi or her email or whatever other tin cans got tied to her tail, the rightwingers are maintaining a compulsive, out-of-perspective focus on Omar’s unfortunate phrasing to create a major crisis where there is none.


Gary Varvel is relatively gentle in his suggestion that Omar is, in fact, Anti-Semitic and that Pelosi is simply ignoring it.

It’s pure spin, of course, because it ignores the aforesaid conversations about how you phrase certain things in dealing with certain people, but it’s fair spin.

However, it doesn’t take much digging to find other cartoons based on outright lies about what Omar said and how the Democrats are dealing with it.

It’s not “spin” to make things up, though I realize most of these cartoonists are not “making things up” themselves, but simply illustrating and spreading the malignant, hateful fantasies of talkshow lunatics.

Which is incompetent and irresponsible and suggests that bringing back the “Fairness Doctrine” might turn out to be as important as election finance reform.

(FWIW, most of the bad cartooning I see from the left is a result of having no idea how the system can possibly work. Getting things wrong is different than illustrating purposeful lies.)


Mike Thompson suggests a possible change in weather, given that some Republicans crossed party lines to agree that there is no “emergency” on the southern border.

There’s safety in voting the way the folks back home want you to, knowing that your president will veto the bill anyway.

And the midterms did signal at least some change in public attitude, and, except in places that are GOP strongholds, we may start seeing legislators beginning to defy party unity.

Good. Party unity is Un-American.

When the “originalists” out there get tired of parsing the Second Amendment, they might glance at the rest of the conversations around the creation of the Constitution.

The Founders had the example of Britain’s Parliamentary System in front of them. If they’d wanted a country in which party discipline is cherished, they could have cloned what they had, instead of taking up arms against it.



Community Comments

#1 Lisa Pardy
@ 9:23 am

Your musings on Ilhan Omar are very interesting to me in light of the SNC Lavelin affair going on up here. It’s a little bit different because Trudeau intentionally hand-picked a diverse cabinet, while the Democrats sort of had Omar “thrust upon them” by her voters. So perhaps it is even more ironic that Trudeau named an aboriginal woman Justice Minister and Attorney General, and then (allegedly, allegedly) grew increasingly frustrated when she didn’t play ball the old boys’ way.

He then tried to “manage” her by moving her out of Justice and into a “plum” Ministry – Aboriginal Affairs – perhaps being the only person in Ottawa that didn’t realize that someone who had spent her career fighting against the Indian Act was not about to start administering it.

So, yes, when it comes to diversity and representation, be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.

#2 Dewey
@ 12:55 pm

Mike, I think you’ll find that the cartoon symbol for the Democratic party is the Jackass or donkey, not a horse.

Other than that nitpick, I love your insights and opinions.

#3 Mike Peterson
@ 3:52 pm

Ah, but when’s the last time you priced a pantomime donkey costume? They’re custom. I went with the horse.

#4 Craig L
@ 3:52 pm

Of course, the Democratic party mascot of the Donkey (or even worse, Jackass) has always had a more negative connotation than the Republican Elephant (even more so with the Dumbo remake about to come out). I wouldn’t mind a changeover to the Horse, since we’ll have many famous horses to choose from, including Mister Ed, The Black Stallion, and Gumby’s pal Pokey.
(And with every election lost, we can haul out the “Why the long face?” joke.)

But also, I think there is one part of Ms.Omar’s controversial tweets that has been overlooked by everybody: “All about the Benjamins” isn’t just about money, since the PM of Israel is named…Benjamin Netanyahu. I suspect she may have been guilty of being too clever by half, always a capital offense in Washington.

#5 Craig L
@ 4:01 pm

BTW, I always celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the most Irish Fast Food place, McDonald’s; with a Shamrock Shake and two all-beef patties…

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