CSotD: Pen-demic

This gig is often a case of chicken one day and feathers the next, and this is the former: The cartoonists have been sharpening their pens.

Let’s start things off with

Juxtaposition of the Day #1

(Steve Breen)


(Adam Zyglis)


(Chris Britt)

Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) put a snippet from a blistering Senate speech on both Facebook and Twitter that is worth the click and the minute-forty-three, calling out his Republican colleagues for their privileged, ivory-tower attitude towards those suffering from the economic devastation.

But without meaningful action from across the aisle, it changes nothing, and the GOP is determined to play politics, holding up the relief bill to … well, let’s let Jen Sorensen explain what’s going on …


It’s hard to prove intentional evil, but Brown’s accusation that millionaires can’t see the people below them, added to the anger of Breen, Zyglis and Britt’s cartoons and the cold fury of Sorensen’s analysis add up to a pretty clear indictment.

They’re supposed to represent us, and they’ve never even met us.

Yes, a few of those millionaires rose from humble beginnings, but hence the expression that there are no rearview mirrors in Cadillacs.

You wish they would come try to live on the bottom floor, just to see what it’s like to see payday two weeks away, the larder empty and the landlord at the door.


But, as Preston Sturges brilliantly captured in Sullivan’s Travels, such well-intentioned gestures are more absurd than revealing.

(The twist that makes the film work is that the ridiculous, pampered Sullivan accidentally loses contact with his staff and resources and finds he truly has to deal with reality, without being able to tap out when it stops being fun.)

While history — and Keith Olbermann — tell us that we live in Lotto Nation where a whole lot of people who ought to be raising hell instead expect — not hope, but expect — to strike it rich, and that the first thing they plan to do is tear the rearview mirrors out of their new Cadillacs.


Meanwhile, it’s a chicken in every pot (you furnish the pot, and the chicken) and every man a king (someday) and — as Keith Knight demonstrates — trust the man who promises us all that, despite his never having handed out anything but promises.

Historic note: It turns out Mussolini didn’t really make the trains run on time after all. Italy lost roughly half a million lives in the war he masterminded.

Oh well. It is what it is.

Which reminds me:


Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Ann Telnaes)


(Clay Jones)

In that ghastly, unwatchable Axios interview, Dear Leader said of the six-figure total of dead in the pandemic, “It is what it is.”

Telnaes takes advantage of the odd fact that Trump always sits as if he were on the toilet to subconsciously suggest his attitude towards those dead, while Jones puts his words in Death’s mouth, and follows that jab with a right hook, an essay in which he dissects the utter depravity of shrugging it off.

Donald Trump can’t bring back the dead, though his supporters might argue he can while walking on water, but when he says, “It is what it is” about 156,000 people dead, he’s saying, “F*** it. I don’t care. I can’t learn from it. Oh well…what’s for dinner?”


We might gain some comfort in knowing that people in other countries are seeing the same thing we’re seeing, as Welsh cartoonist Mumph mocks the way the head of our government waved his irrelevant, off-topic graphs in the face of an incredulous interviewer.

The most frightening part of that interview being that it didn’t seem Trump was trying to fool anyone. It was much more as if he truly didn’t understand that his grade-school graphs didn’t address the issue and that his answers to the questions were not answers to those questions.

And that Wharton School of Business’s prize pupil still believes tariffs are paid by the exporter rather than the purchaser.

Just as he is somehow convinced that, if Microsoft acquires the American branch of TikTok, someone is going to dump money into the US Treasury.

The expert quoted in that BBC article is not the only one who thought Trump’s attempted shakedown of Microsoft or TikTok or the Chinese government or all of the above sounded like the Mafia, which brings us to


Juxtaposition of the Day #3

(Signe Wilkinson)


(Peter Brookes)

Though I’d be inclined to alter that quote to “I’ll make them an offer I can’t understand.”

Even conservative Republican who openly despise Trump feel he’s right about TikTok’s ability to gather and transmit information to Beijing, if that’s his point.

But maybe he just hates Sarah Cooper, or is still mad at the kids who ordered massive numbers of tickets for his Tulsa rally, which, by the way, he still thinks brought in 12,000 people while many others were blocked by a huge throng of BLM terrorists.

In any case, his idea that he’s going to get some kind of finder’s fee for bringing Microsoft and TikTok to a table at which they were already sitting seems both sad and scary.

And stupid, yes.

It reminds me of an Emergency! episode in which a young woman called Squad 51 for her unconscious date, who had planned to drug her and then accidentally drank from the vessel with the pestle rather than the chalice from the palace.

Trump thinks he is pulling off some major business plan, but, oh by the way, Deutsche Bank is currently looking into his past triumphs.

As are those nice folks at the Southern District of New York.

Poor fella can’t even get a break at the Supreme Court.

Dude is gaslighting himself.


Which may explain why the Republicans are hoping to avoid anyone pointing out their folly. As Jeff Danziger points out, they’re planning to get through the sordid matter of restoring the clown to his throne with as little audience as possible.

Who can blame them?

Though we should be asking that old legal question, “Cui bono?


To which Pat Bagley ventures an answer.


3 thoughts on “CSotD: Pen-demic

  1. Isn’t it wonderful that our millionaire senators are such experts in how poor people should live!

  2. Exactly, Fred.
    “Let them eat cake” might be apocryphal, but it is being lived out out on live TV in 2020.

  3. My problem with blaming “Congress’ is that’s it’s not Congress, it’s Mitch McConnell and the republican Senate leadership. The House passed its part back in May. Senate republican leadership won’t even bring it to a vote.

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