CSotD: Starting with a tribute, ending with theft

David Rowe points out Biden’s success in forcing through his stimulus with the help of a successful vaccine rollout.


As noted in his marginal tip-of-the-hat, it’s a take on W.A. Rogers’ cartoon about Roosevelt, which leaves me wondering if Rowe thinks it’s all such a good thing after all, since the original Big Stick cartoon was about TR’s gunboat diplomacy, with which he assisted Panama in becoming independent from Colombia in order to ram through the US-controlled canal.

TR did a lot of really good things, but most people today shudder over the canal thingie.


And not everyone is happy with the stimulus. Nate Beeler (Counterpoint) objects strenuously to the amount of money being spent, suggesting that Democrats are laughing off the impact on our deficit.

However, when it comes to waste, others like Jeff Danziger (WPWG) are pointing out the money spent on the F-35 fighter that apparently doesn’t work and is neither needed nor wanted.


And, while Dana Summers (AMS) decries the pork in the rescue bill . . .

. . . Andy Marlette (Creators) reminds us that Republicans didn’t object to pork when it was their pork.


Matt Wuerker (Politico) draws the Fat Cats of the 1% who simply don’t get it, despite the profits they ring up when consumers spend money.

Trickle Down has never worked, but Trickle Up does, and while I suppose a lot of people at the bottom of the pyramid, rather than running out to buy new things, will pay off some of the back rent the support bill doesn’t cover, or settle credit card bills, there is very little they can spend their stimulus checks on that won’t stimulate.

In fact, that’s an argument for not means-testing the payouts, since people nearer the middle of the pyramid will be tempted, at least, to spend their checks on consumer goods that will absolutely help create jobs both on the retail level and in production.


John Cole explains it but there’s little likelihood that explaining it will have any impact.

Republicans should think of it as the equivalent of building unwanted, unneeded military weapons, only with the jobs factor spread out a little wider.

But they won’t.

Jesus said, “He who has ears, let him hear,” but simply having ears doesn’t matter if you don’t also have a heart.


Pardon My Planet (KFS) isn’t particularly looking to be political today, but, yes, wouldn’t it be better if those who profess Christianity made an effort to live it?

And if cruelty and heartlessness were as simple a matter as just being off your meds?

Oh well. As Woody Guthrie put it, “Yes, if Jesus was to preach like he preached in Galilee, They would lay Jesus Christ in his grave.”


Meanwhile, some things to go look at


Ann Telnaes (WashPost) has made a collection of favorites from the past year, and it’s lovely stuff, though not necessarily a tiptoe through the tulips.

More like a trip through the roses, complete with thorns, and a great combination of “Ain’t you glad it’s over?” with a taste of “Told you so,” as with, for instance, this August piece.

Hypnotism didn’t work: At that point, 161,470 Americans had died of covid. By the time Trump left office, the virus hadn’t disappeared, but another 235,367 people had.

Go have a look at that, but come back for this

Juxtaposition of the Dog

First Dog on the Moon offers a wonderful rant about our throw-away culture, focusing on how businesses make expensive equipment hard, even illegal, to repair.

Right-to-Repair laws are a solution, but only part of fixing a system in which we’re forced to replace things that ought to last.


Then First Dog brings more hilarious fury to a dissection of Non-Fungible Tokens, an electronic form of Beanie Babies that the hipsters are trading amongst each other.

Perhaps NFTs are a hedge against the day when everyone realizes Bitcoins are kinda bullshit.

If we ever colonize Mars, we should send up the people who believe in all this, because they already have a separate economy going on and I’m sure they could use their experience to come up with virtual oxygen, water and food as well.

I love First Dog. Unlike Major Biden, he never bites anyone unintentionally, and he always breaks the skin.

Click and read the rest of those epic rants!


Graeme MacKay, by contrast, is quite subdued in his discussion of how his cartoon from last year, when the coronavirus was first declared a major health crisis, has been borrowed, modified and simply stolen by cartoonists and meme-makers around the world.

I suppose, having had a year to watch it happen, he’s also had a year to get over it and begin to view the whole thing dispassionately, but I still admire his ability to not froth at the mouth.

He even admits that it was perhaps not a brilliant breakthrough in the first place:

One of editorial cartoondom’s most recognized and overused cliche is the visual of a tsunami or tidal wave about to wreak havoc on humanity. It’s internationally recognized and a winner in the wordless cartoon contest world.

I might argue with his use of the word “cliché,” because, as he notes, it’s a recognizable symbol. When a carpenter reaches for a claw hammer, it’s because, while it’s an old, standard tool, it’s the right one for the task he’s performing.

And MacKay admits that he’s used the tidal wave before.

But there’s a difference between using a familiar symbol and copying someone else’s cartoon, and, while some asked for permission and credited him, others did not.

It’s a common experience for cartoonists in this Ctl-C, Ctl-V world, and MacKay’s analysis is excellent.

And, to personalize the phenomenon, I note that people sometimes snag and repost cartoons from here, without linking back to my blog.

Obviously, I’d like a tip of the hat, but I’m okay with it as long as you credit the cartoonist, and even better if you repeat the link to their work.

Acknowledging, perhaps paying them, for their work is how we keep the medium alive.

Drink all the water you can hold, wash your face, cool your feet
But leave the bottle full for others, thank you kindly, Desert Pete


6 thoughts on “CSotD: Starting with a tribute, ending with theft

  1. “with the help of a successful vaccine rollout.” You’re going to need a time machine to make that true. Joe was vaccinated Dec. 20 took office Jan. 20. But I completely understand: re-writes of history is all the rage.

  2. Now, Lester, you know as well as anyone that it’s possible to benefit from a process you didn’t begin. After all, we still get to see your lovely commentary here every so often.

  3. “it’s possible to benefit from a process you didn’t begin.” No argument. Unfortunately that’s not what Joe said last night (which were someone else’s words) nor is it what Jen Psaki is saying today and most news outlets including the WAPO are pointing that out. That’s not “commentary”.

  4. Oh – I mistook Beeler’s cartoon as depicting the GOP tax cut of several years ago. “I just made you guys a lot of ,money !” as Dear Leader told his friends at Muck-a-Laggard

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