CSotD: Trying to remember normal

Apparently, Minnesota is where we’re at in New Hampshire, because this Steve Sack (Star-Tribune) cartoon pretty much sums up our world, too.

Despite the horrors that surround us politically and socially, the leaves are lovely, which is almost, as the fellow here says, enough to send you into an Anne Frankian optimistic view of most people being good at heart, except that she died of typhus and our county has had enough of a Covid resurgence that Vermont doesn’t want to talk to us anymore.

Also it’s been raining for about 24 hours, which not only dulls the landscape but deals a setback to housebreaking the new puppy, who may not know much yet but is clear on “coming in out of the rain” and, more specifically, not going out into it in the first place.

That sort of common sense being a reasonable segue to the rest of today’s offerings.


Joe Heller (AMS) has a relatively gentle take on people who remain undecided at this stage.


Gentle, that is, compared to Stephen Collins’ take on the undecideds, of which this is only a snippet, and which is so good that I’m sorely tempted to show it all here but he deserves the clicks on this one, so please go read the whole thing at the Guardian site.

I suspect the so-called Undecideds are like those people who claim to have lost their reading glasses because they’re embarrassed to admit that they are illiterate, but in this case being ashamed to acknowledge their ignorance.

Not so sure about people who believe truly batshit nonsense. Read on.


Bill Bramhall (NYDN) is positioned well to ponder Rudy Giuliani’s October Surprise, since New Yorkers have seen his transition from the inspirational hero of 9/11 and credible challenger in Hillary Clinton’s first Senate race to the strange fellow who suddenly dropped his candidacy and announced his divorce in a press conference before telling his wife about it.

Which might have led to an odd and sheltered life, but here he is, hawking Russian disinformation at a level which has the intelligence community worried, and doing a credible imitation of the crazy friend your crazy uncle gets his ideas from.

So, if Facebook and Twitter refused to pass it along, does that mean they are (as has been repeatedly claimed and repeatedly refuted) censoring conservative news, or does it mean that the story is so ridiculous and patently false that even Facebook and Twitter aren’t falling for it?


Which, by way of this bland-but-insightful John Branch (KFS) cartoon, takes us to our


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Pia Guerra — the Nib)


(Matt Davies — Newsday)

I don’t know if Pia Guerra — an unrepentant Millennial — has seen “The Caine Mutiny,” but she captures Queeg’s frantic fearfulness in that portrait, to the point where the tinfoil hat seems a bit of overkill, though it’s needed to specify that what he promotes and pushes is genuine lunacy and not simply a divergent political viewpoint.

And showing him down on the floor like a five-year-old is infinitely more telling than had she drawn him standing or at his desk. She doesn’t suggest evil so much as simplemindedness, not that the final result is so different.

Davies’ approach is more cartoony, but I think that’s preferable, given that he works for a daily paper and is thus addressing a wider audience. Whether or not his readers require quite that much clarity to get his point, it doesn’t hurt, and he doesn’t extend it to the point of insulting their intelligence — it remains a shared chuckle rather than a lecture.


Meanwhile, out in Buffalo, Adam Zyglis (Cagle) focuses on the Q-Anon group itself, while showing Trump as more of a cheerful supporter, someone who isn’t really one of them but is, as others have noted and as he has repeatedly demonstrated, unwilling to speak ill of any of his supporters.

And I wonder if, for all the blistering criticism of NBC for having given him an hour of free airtime after he chickened out on a second debate, there may have been a bit of a “step into my parlor” thing going on.

Or maybe Savannah Guthrie took it upon herself to accept the assignment and carry it out live and on her own terms, which I guess we’ll know by watching her star rise or fall in the wake of what was a tough and fair interview, despite the weeping and gnashing of teeth from Dear Leader’s peanut gallery.

The Q-Anon question was the focal point, because Trump not only refused to renounce them but acknowledged being familiar with at least some of their off-the-wall theories and admitted to spreading known lies, while being unclear on his grasp of the difference between fact and opinion.

Yesterday, I praised Lafcadio Hearn for “A century of agony crowded into a moment.” This was “Three and a half years of snake oil crowded into a moment.”

Still, it’s not his grasp of reality, but the enablers who empower him that should be at the center of the questions, which leads to our


Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Tom Curry, Big Bend News)


(Ann Telnaes, WashPost)

Last night, Trump told supporters that, if he loses to Biden, he might leave the country, and social media filled with sarcastic cheering.

Jerry Ford pardoned Nixon apparently because a trial would have revealed little we didn’t know, and a conviction would not have convinced his supporters.

But John Mitchell, one of several staffers who went to jail, at least had had the decency to resign as Attorney General before heading Nixon’s corrupt re-election campaign.

William Barr has no such grasp of ethics. He has not simply blurred but erased the line between serving the nation, which is his job, and serving as the president’s lawyer, which is not.

His disingenuous interpretation of the Mueller Report might be political, but acting as attorney in the First Lady’s lawsuit against her unauthorized biographer is so far over the line as to provide an entry point for whatever equivalent of Nuremburg he may, god willing, face.


3 thoughts on “CSotD: Trying to remember normal

  1. “The Caine Mutiny” is a good example, but I’m waiting for a “Lonesome Rhodes” style meltdown, (A Face in the Crowd) after someone keys the Mic and catches Trump revealing what he truly thinks of his supporters. Where’s Patricia Neal when we need her?

  2. And when Facebook took down the NY Post story, my useless lump of a congressman cut & pasted the article onto his (official) FB page after crying censorship. My tax dollars at work.

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