CSotD: Recalculating

Ann Telnaes is hardly the only cartoonist to show people — particularly Republican politicians — wearing their covid masks over their eyes, but she does some of the best caricatures in the business and keeps up with Who’s Who in Washington.

And she doesn’t insult your intelligence with labels. She assumes you keep up with the news.

Which, I would add, can be a flaw when you draw a local cartoon and then release it nationally, because we don’t all track how Rep. Dick Dorkbladder (R-East Overshoe) voted and we can’t all necessarily recognize him, either.

Anyway, Scalise, McCarthy, Stefanik. Obviously.


RJ Matson did provide a small label on this shot of Kevin McCarthy, one of several GOP turncoats who once declared January 6 a riot if not an actual coup attempt, but is now not just reversing fields but pretending he never said it.

The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. — Kevin McCarthy, Jan 13

But now McCarthy says Donald J. Trump is the only person in America who didn’t see the riots live on television and should get credit for putting out a video a few hours later to stop the insurrection.

That would be the video where Dear Leader harshly condemned the rioters, telling them “We love you. You’re very special.”

Now McCarthy is, as Matson puts it, sweeping the whole thing under the rug, with a preposterous demand that Congressional hearings also include an investigation into Black Lives Matter, Antifa, the Sinking of USS Maine and the attack on Fort Sumter.

I may have invented those last two.


What I didn’t invent was that this terrified man, racing to help brace a door shut in the middle of a riot, bears a striking resemblance to Congressman Andrew Clyde, who later insisted it was like any other day in which peaceful tourists visited the Capitol.

I guess “The Whole World Is Watching” is a vestige of the Olden Days, when truth was considered to be a thing.

The latest development in this flexible reality of ours is that the Southern District of New York is investigating the Trump Organization as a criminal enterprise, but even if they convict the whole gang from top to bottom, it won’t move the needle.

William Barr will simply find a Justice Department memo that says a presidential candidate must be released from prison in order to campaign, and we’ll all throw our hands up and say, “Well, there you have it.”

There is this brightish note: Joe Manchin, Democratic roadblock to progressive legislation in the Senate, has joined Lisa Murkowski, noted for occasionally greasing the skids for bipartisan action, in calling for reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act.

This would be a good move, though it’s not clear they are behind the John Lewis Act that would actually block a great deal of voter suppression, or simply re-upping the 1965 act, which might not undo all the damage being done in GOP-dominated states around the country.

The value of the latter depending, I suppose, on whether you’d rather have half a loaf or proudly starve.

Which in turn depends on whether you trust the McConnell Court to even let you have half a loaf if it’s offered.


Now, here’s a little PeP talk

Patrick Chappatte suggests a different change in viewpoint, this one coming in the form of pushback against Israeli actions and against the popular “Progressive Except Palestine” approach.

As noted here before, Biden has said both that Israel has a right to defend itself and that Arabs have rights, too, though pro-Israel hawks played up that first statement and ignored the second.

The issue now being whether we can have an “on the one hand, but then on the other” foreign policy.


An immediate indicator being in the arms deal that has surfaced, as seen in this Steve Sack cartoon.

There may be an element of turning the tanker involved, in that the deal was put into motion before the latest burst of violence, but it feels a lot like “on the one hand, but then on the other” reasoning as well.

We generally reserve our arms deals for governments who murder journalists and chop them up with bone saws, after all, not for ones that simply fire rockets into their office buildings.


Jen Sorensen (AMS) goes after the PeP Movement with a plainspoken cartoon. She does some of her most powerful work when she simply lays things out rather than exaggerating for comic/satiric effect, and this is pretty stark.

I’m particularly struck by the second panel, and the friend who seems reluctant to press the point even when she knows better, because even her lukewarm pushback spurred Sorensen to dig further.

And healthy curiosity is different from kneejerk skepticism.

You must dig: We get enough “parachute journalism” from the networks, where low staffing means star reporters pop in to a country, file a superficial report and go home.

By backing her limited, distant experience with Sacco’s more definitive, in-depth work, Sorensen puts herself in the moral position of any responsible American who wants to find the story behind the story.


While, on the other side of the globe, Cathy Wilcox invokes a peculiarly Australian term that helps focus something I’ve been tossing around in my head.

I don’t know if “terra nullius” qualifies as an actual policy or is simply a term, but it translates as “nobody’s land” and is the principle under which colonizers in Australia felt entitled to land they saw as unoccupied, despite the clear presence of aboriginal people.

It’s more starkly racist than in this country, where European culture similarly assumed that undeveloped land was going to waste, because we at least recognized the existence of functioning, sovereign native governments, even if the treaties we made with them were broken nearly before the ink had dried.

Anyway, it seems to me that, by the 1940s, we’d have all become enlightened enough that, if you immigrated somewhere, you’d find a place to live among the people there by arranging some sort of mutually acceptable real estate deal with them.

Fair’s fair.


2 thoughts on “CSotD: Recalculating

  1. “RJ Matson did provide a small label on this shot of Kevin McCarthy, one of several GOP turncoats who once declared January 6 a riot if not an actual coup attempt, but is now not just reversing fields but pretending he never said it.”

    This sort of thing makes me wish for something out of the scene from The Prisoner television episode where Patrick McGoohan is trying to speak to the court and whenever he says the word “I”, everyone in the courtroom says it over and over so you can’t hear what else Patrick is saying (I believe you may have had a link to this recently).

    When a politician is speaking in public and says something that completely opposite of what they said previously (like Mr. McCarthy has done repeatedly), someone should be in the audience with a megaphone and a recording of the original statement, and play it over and over into the megaphone while the politician is contradicting themselves. If enough people would do something like this in public enough times, maybe things would someday change (or at least we can get rid of the liars easily).

  2. Sorensen read the racist Joe Sacco’s racist propaganda. Umma supremacy is just like white.supremacy.. The only difference is that the Palestinian leadership wants it’s people.to suffer amd.die

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