I don’t check political cartoons on Friday, so I don’t know if this exploded over the past 24 or 48 hours, but suddenly a bunch of conservative cartoonists like Gary Varvel (Creators) are worried that Joe Biden will hand us all over to Communist China.
“Communist China” being a term suddenly come into vogue after several decades absence.
Before Richard Nixon opened relations with Beijing, back when it was Peking, there were two Chinas. There was Red China, aka Communist China, run by Mao Tse Tung, and there was Nationalist China, run by Chiang Kai-Shek. And there was Hong Kong, run by, I dunno, Harold Wilson or somebody.
But once we had played ping-pong and begun opening trade, Red China/Communist China became just “China,” and Nationalist China became “Taiwan.”
And Hong Kong just hunkered down and hoped nobody would notice when the UK’s lease ran out.
Republicans have now gone back to saying “Communist China,” though they haven’t begun calling Taiwan “Capitalist China,” which would frame things nicely.
And they’re accusing Biden of something or other. I went to Google News and all I found were stories about hopes that Biden would be tough and pieces about his plans to bolster the World Trade Organization, which might reverse Trump’s trade war, which has cost US importers $73 billion in tariffs, which the Wizard of Wharton continues to think China is paying.
So I went over to OANN — where the real news is — and found a whole passle of scary stories about Communist China, mostly about Hunter Biden having done some trade there. I didn’t get into the details, but I suppose he was having them make handbags and dresses, or perhaps red baseball caps.
Which would tide him over until he can set up a shell company and siphon off $170 million in campaign contributions for himself and his siblings.
And then there’s the issue Pat Bagley (SLC Trib) brings up, which is the contrast between a president who blows off briefings about the current situation in the US and a president who doesn’t.
I don’t know where Xi Jinping gets his information, though OANN is pretty sure it’s from that low-level operative who sort of almost had maybe an affair with a California congressional rep and hauled some mayoral ashes in the Midwest, as discussed here Tuesday.
Putin gets his from a major hack by Russia of our governmental computers while somebody was playing golf.
And who, even now, as Bill Bramhall (NYDN) points out, is busy whining and grousing and promoting preposterous conspiracy theories instead of doing what even Democrats agree is, for the moment, his job.
I like that, instead of an empty desk, he drew an empty suit. Be specific!
Juxtaposition of the Day
Though, to be fair, Trump isn’t the only empty suit in DC, and our congresscritters have apparently been sitting on a cushion while their constituents suffer from a bad case of sustained reality.
It is reported that Trump’s staff talked him out of issuing $2,000 stimulus checks and it’s not clear how much anyone will be getting, though Robert Reich says the fat cats could send us each a check for three grand and still have more money than they did when the lockdown began.
Nor — as noted in Handelsman’s cartoon — is it just individuals who need this help, and it would be nice if whatever aid is offered to help avoid layoffs were spread a bit more evenly than the last time around, when it was reported that large companies with buddy-buddy relationships at major banks siphoned off the lion’s share, leaving mom-and-pops to lay off staff and perhaps go out of business entirely.
Other Juxtaposition of the Day
The issue of shopping locally rather than on-line has come up in years past, but it’s more fraught this time around, in part because local stores are in worse shape than before, but also because supply lines remain messed up and you can’t always find things locally.
And not just exotic Christmas presents, but very basic items, which emphasizes Heller’s point that failure to address the crisis has put local businesses, at best, in a bind and, at worst, out of business entirely.
To which I would add that going to the local Wal-Mart or Rite-Aid does not qualify as “shopping locally.” You may be keeping a stock clerk employed, but the real profit on the sale is headed for Bentonville, while on-line shopping supports postal workers and UPS drivers.
Anyway, one of the higher-end presents I bought on line was from a mom-and-pop company in Idaho, so there’s that.
MacKay’s point is more interesting. I might have avoided the red kettle, since Sally Ann gets criticized for mixing religion and charity, but it’s a recognizable symbol and the point remains that, if you can buy for your friends and family, you can help those without either.
Our co-op has a “round up” program where you can round your grocery bill to the next whole dollar and they raise about a quarter million for local food banks each year.
Unsurprisingly, I suppose, I’ve been in line behind people with an $18.15 tab who rounded up to $19, and I was behind someone with a tab of $143.87 who declined to toss in that additional 13 cents.
It’s not the size of your wallet. It’s the size of your heart.
But it’s not just us. Back in the country that gave us Ebenezer Scrooge, House of Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg came out against UNICEF’s distribution of food aid in Britain, and Peter Brookes (London Times) sums it up pretty well.
Also, PM Boris Johnson announced eased restrictions for family gatherings at Christmas, which was nice but raised questions about why restrictions weren’t eased for Eid, Diwali or the Sikh festival of Vaisakhi.
Just kidding. Everybody knows why.
Your tax dollars at play
Finally, if you come up with something this blazingly stupid, for god’s sake don’t tell us how many hours and how many people it took.
Because it will trigger an extended Twitter thread of giggles and pictures of raccoons.