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CSotD: Desperate Times, Desperate Measures

Steve Brodner (Ind) starts us off with the State of the Disunion.

It’s a touchy situation, because, on the one hand, people still need to show up and vote or we’re back where we landed in 2016.

On the other hand, it’s encouraging and uplifting to see how the people appear to be rising up against the corruption we’ve endured.

The professional fundraisers on social media, mind you, continue to hang crepe and assure us that we’re on the brink of defeat if 37 people don’t donate by midnight tonight, and you may notice that the number of people needed never changes nor does the deadline ever pass.

And, despite the name on the posting, that’s no more Joe Biden or Kamala Harris reaching out to you than it is Ulysses S. Grant or Pippi Longstocking.

Brodner, however, has it right: Barring some astonishing collapse of effort and anger in the next two weeks, Trump is toast.

As Charlie Sykes, one of the Lincoln Project/Bulwark principals, wrote in the NY Daily News, it’s becoming so bad that GOP stalwarts are starting to back away from Dear Leader, and they’re probably already too late to save their own skins.

The increasing desperation, the increasingly unhinged grasping at straws, makes it feel a bit like watching a prize fight where your man is winning but you sort of feel like maybe the ref should step in and stop the fight.

But this is a street fight, not a boxing match, and one thing we’ve learned in the last half century is that Democrats aren’t at their best in the alleys where there are no judges scoring, no ref to enforce the rules and no rules to enforce anyway.

 

 

Think of the Lincoln Project as the Sundance Kid, watching over that guy who does too much thinkin’

 

Conservative cartoonists continue to accuse Twitter and Facebook of suppressing the NY Post’s story about Hunter Biden’s laptop, which is being investigated as Russian disinformation, for which I’m spotlighting Gary Varvel (Creators) because this cartoon appeared even after the cracks had begun to appear in the story.

The most impressive takedown of the alleged scoop is by the NY Times, which reports that Post editors had trouble finding reporters who would allow their bylines to appear on such a flimsy story. They finally settled on a rookie for whom it was her first byline ever, and a second reporter who didn’t know her name was on the story until it appeared in the paper.

The Times story reports

Mr. Giuliani said he chose The Post because “either nobody else would take it, or if they took it, they would spend all the time they could to try to contradict it before they put it out.”

Which seems a lot like saying that the Post would pass it on without fact-checking the preposterous story of Biden Hunter dropping off three laptops at a repair shop and then forgetting them there, the proprietor taking the time to read the emails on it and of him then passing it on to Giuliani, who just happens to be suspected of being a tool of Russian election tampering efforts.

Though the real desperation comes from rightwing cartoonists and commentators who are focused on the idea that, because Hunter Biden is a recovering addict, his father is unfit for public office.

Do they know how many voters have kids in recovery?

 

While, as Dave Whamond (Cagle) points out, Bill Barr’s grand investigation of the plot to reveal Obama/Biden corrupt revelation of secret agents’ identities wound up exonerating them instead, and his report on how Democrats invented the Russian interference hoax isn’t ready for primetime.

Absurd as this is, it doesn’t negate the need for a massive voter turnout, in part because we can anticipate challenges to votes that will narrow the gap and in part because it is going to require a landslide of epic proportions to offset the likelihood that Deplorables will refuse to accept the results.

Trump is toast.

But not if you assume he is.

 

And now for something completely different

A pair of graphic novels for middle-school readers

If you’ve got any middle-schoolers in your circle, or just like to indulge in some fun, easy reading on your own, here’s a pair of good choices by artists you may recognize from the funny pages:

 

If you miss the original version of “Heart of the City,” you’ll find some solace in Mark Tatulli’s “The Big Break,” which echoes the fascination with fantasy and geeky stuff that made Dean such a delight.

Here, however, the story revolves around a pair of geek buddies at the point where one if them is starting to grow into adolescence while the other is still basically a kid, a set-up complicated by a budding, uncertain pre-pubescent romance over a girl who is equally talented and perhaps a bit geeky herself.

The pacing bothered me at first, because the dialogue is hyper-realistic, which is to say, it feels slow and unfocused until you get into it. However, you will get into it, and it’s how kids in Tatulli’s target audience talk. It’s also necessary to recreate the bittersweet process of trying to grow up without outgrowing your sense of imagination, and of self.

“The Big Break” will take you back to those days, or delight a kid who is living them now.

 

“No Place For Monsters,” by “Lost Side of Suburbia” creator Kory Merritt, is more challenging and certainly less comforting. A hybrid rather than a pure graphic novel, it mixes light text with solid art to create a contemporary gothic horror story that will inspire thought, imagination and likely some dreams well beyond the book itself.

Kids are disappearing from a normal little town, and nobody even remembers that they existed, except for Levi and Kat, a pair of unlikely friends united mostly by their being different, the most important part of which is their slight, undependable immunity to the horror happening around them.

It’s complex, best perhaps for the Harry Potter but not quite Katniss Everdeen age group, and, like those novels, fun stuff for parents as well.

As long as they haven’t let themselves grow old.

 

Community Comments

#1 David Spitko
October/19/2020
@ 6:32 am

It appears to me that Dave Whamond’s cartoon is a reference to a series of cartoons from the 1950 starring “Michael J. Frog.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan_J._Frog

#2 phil von neupert
October/19/2020
@ 7:18 am

I think it’s a reference to the Warner Bros. “Singing Frog” cartoon, probably from the 40’s.

#3 Steve Herberger
October/19/2020
@ 7:31 am

Yep. Michigan J. Frog — Warner Animation still influences today.

Do you suppose croaking Bill Barr will be buried in a cornerstone time capsule in the last scene?

#4 Brad Walker
October/19/2020
@ 10:25 am

Not not to be that guy, but Michigan J. Frog wasn’t in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. More accurate to say Chuck Jones, or perhaps Looney Tunes. Michigan (named for the one original song in that cartoon, “The Michigan Rag”) appeared once in the Golden Age of LT, twice in Tiny Toons, once in Animaniacs, and for a short time served as mascot for the WB Network.

#5 Louis Richards
October/19/2020
@ 4:51 pm

Yes, Brad. Technically Michigan J. Frog’s first appearance was in a Merrie Melodies cartoon. ‘One Froggy Evening’ (1955)

But those of us in a certain range of ages first saw the Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes in either or both of ‘The Bugs Bunny Show’, or ‘The Bugs Bunny, Road Runner Hour’ on Saturday mornings in the early/mid 70s.
Thus we immediately think of them as ‘Bugs Bunny Cartoons’.

#6 phil von neupert
October/19/2020
@ 6:25 pm

Yes, thank you, Louis. Warner Bros. cartoons originally appeared as short subject films in theaters, beginning in the late ’30’s. I saw them on TV the early ’70’s, as a kid. According to Wikipedia, the name “Michigan” wasn’t even given him until the 70’s. We always referred to him as “The Singing Frog.”

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