CSotD: Weekend Wrap-up

We’ll end the week with a bit of politics, as Gary Clement (Cartoon Arts) hits with one of the first cartoons to shift from war to cease-fire in the Middle East.

I found it particularly interesting because I stumbled onto the press conference the White House scheduled with the President Biden and South Korean President Moon Jae-in yesterday, in which Mr. Nice Guy let the mask slip a little, perhaps justifying those casts Clement has drawn on Netanyahu’s arms.

You have to read between the lines:

I take Bibi Netanyahu at his word when he gives me his word; he has never broken his word to me. What I made clear is that it is essential that the Palestinians on the West Bank be secured, that Abbas be recognized as a leader of the Palestinian people, which he is. Hamas is a terrorist organization; we recognize that. That does not mean we should not be in Gaza rebuilding for all of those innocent people who have been hurt and who have been collateral damage, including loss of homes and a range of other things, as well as insisting that Israeli citizens, whether they are Arab or Jew, are treated equally as Israeli citizens. … By the way, I wasn’t the only one who spoke to him. We have every major player on my team, from the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State all the way down the line, our National Security Advisor, in constant contact with their counterparts in Israel, in Egypt and throughout the Middle East. This was not something that was just done with a casual conversation between myself and Bibi. I think I have a great team, and I spent a lot of time talking with al-Sisi in Egypt, and they have done a commendable job of bringing Hamas to the table and getting them to agree to a cease-fire as well.

His repeated use of “Bibi” reminds us that this isn’t his first time dealing with the Middle East, while the way he frames things makes us think at first glance, golly, everyone just agreed to agree and isn’t that nice!

But while Joe Biden is a nice guy and LBJ was a sonofabitch, there’s more than a hint of the same behind-the-scenes way of getting hearts and minds to follow.

Now if only he could get a similar grip on Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy.


Juxtaposition of the Day #1

(Steve Kelley – Creators)


(Tom the Dancing Bug – AMS)

My first reaction to Kelley’s cartoon was to immediately move to Pittsburgh. I already like the place, but, if waiters at Denny’s work under contract instead of at-will, it must be a very fine place indeed.

Of course, he’s kidding, simply satirizing the extreme lengths to which employers are going to attract workers. The problem is, I’m not seeing it.

Sure, we’ve all seen claims, but look again: “Details when applying.”

Not to be cynical, but I’m guessing Average Schmo Off the Street isn’t starting at $18 an hour.

This website tried to track it down but couldn’t, suggesting that perhaps they meant “if you are hired as a shift leader,” which goes along with my suspicion that the pay cited isn’t for a job that involves wielding a spatula.

The other recent Mc-Uh-Oh is that McDonald’s announced new pay rates but, then again, they own something like five percent of their restaurants, and the other 95% would not be bound by those lofty ideals.

Lucky Ducky is equally fictional, however, because, while it’s true that CEOs get to bargain for their pay and mop jockeys do not, the only time you’d find Mr. Hound and Lucky Ducky in the same room might be in a swanky men’s lavatory, where Lucky Ducky would be handing out fresh towels.

At $9 an hour.


Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Non Sequitur – AMS)


(Bliss – AMS)

A more stunning Juxtaposition hit the funny pages yesterday, and when I got to Bliss I had to scroll back up to make sure I hadn’t just read it.

Some Juxtapositions, like our first today, are chances to see the same issue through different eyes.

Others, like this one, are more in the realm of Great Minds Think Alike.

Not every coincidence is worth noting: Gags about Cinderella, for example, are a dime a dozen and the shared gag would have to line up pretty closely for it to qualify.

No argument about this pair.


Still on the topic of dogs, Ben (AMS) reminds me of some bit of toddler wisdom my sister and I picked up, I think, from Lassie, which was that, if you’re lost in the woods, offer any berries you find to the dog as a way of finding out if they’re poisonous.

Decades later, I had a dog who would gently pick raspberries to avoid the stickers but would turn up his nose at blueberries, but, by then my woodscraft was updated to the Jefferson Airplane approach of “been eating them for six or seven weeks now; haven’t got sick once.”

Relevant to this strip, dogs have a turbo-charged acidic digestion system that — their three-parts-per-million noses notwithstanding — allows them to digest stuff you couldn’t stand to be in the same room with.

Though it’s not faultless. My dogs and I have always had a rule: I don’t micromanage what they do with what they find, but, if it goes down, it has to stay down.


Timing is everything, and this David Horsey cartoon hit the morning after I went to the local Farmer’s Market and realized I was the only person there not wearing a mask, despite it being outdoors and my certainly not being the only double-shotted person there.

So I put one on.

Wotthehell, the pollen has been killing me this spring, and the stupid mask does help with that.

Plus the “not being mistaken for a Nazi” thingie.


And this Next Door Neighbors (AMS) is a reminder to me to be a good citizen.

Monday, I’ll be getting a stimulus check, but our governor is halting distribution of the $300 federal unemployment benefit, so I’ll be sure not to spend any of my stimulus in-state.

Who am I to undermine his economic policy?



3 thoughts on “CSotD: Weekend Wrap-up

  1. Daughter-mine is a shift manager at a locally-owned McDonalds. Lately, she has been getting raises because they are paying more to starting workers, and *her* manager wants her to be making more than the people she’s managing.

    From what she’s said, the “details” include shift availability: the hiree has to be willing to work any shift assigned, including overnight. The details may also include the willingness to work at any store: Some franchisees own more than one store in a market.

    Her store is not open all 24 hours, but it is still understaffed.

  2. A lot of “availability” depends on scheduling practices, which is to say, workers like to know when they’re going to be called in.

    Tough for parents of small kids if shifts aren’t handed out a week in advance to arrange for childcare and potentially out of the question for students if they can’t turn down a shift that overlaps a class without being penalized for being uncooperative.

    The person who can pick up the phone and say “Yes” at the last minute is going to be prized and paid, but a lot of people simply can’t do that.

    On a somewhat different but related level, a nurse was telling me that travelers and per-diems have been really making good money during the pandemic. “But,” she added, “they’re also getting double lung transplants.”

  3. NPR had a story yesterday afternoon about how Biden and Bibi’s personal relationship goes all the way back to 1973. It included an anecdote about how, when Biden was on a state visit to Jerusalem during the Obama administration, the State Dept. advised him to leave ahead of a state dinner because Obama was preparing a rebuke to the Netanyahu government. Biden chose to remain for the dinner so that he could convey the Obama administration policy personally (and with a spoonful of sugar).

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