CSotD: Not with a bang, but a bicker

Bill Bramhall starts us off with a bit of optimism, and he’s correct that a lot of people are fed up with the anti-vaxxers who refuse to accept the normal responsibilities of living in society.

The problem is that it really doesn’t matter how many actual, real people want the crybabies to shut up, get vaccinated and help us dig out of this pandemic, as long as there is a loud and well-financed coterie of politicians and political commentators with an interest in keeping things ginned up.

And nothing will improve as long as they have a collection of petty grievances to advance and are determined to promote them.


Although, as Steve Breen (Creators) notes, the recall effort in California ended in farce, the Republicans only hope having been that a huge number of Democrats, knowing they had an insurmountable majority, might stay home assuming other people would carry the day for them.

Such dreams are only sensible when margins are close, as in the 2016 presidential elections here, or the Brexit referendum in the UK.

In the case of California, Breen chose the right parallel: That coyote was never going to win, and nothing from the Acme Company was going to change his chances.


Steve Greenberg points out that, however much the coyote spent, the only outcome was a nearly 2-to-1 loss, a lousy T-shirt and a yah-hoo-hoo-hoo-hee trip to the canyon floor.

Jennifer Rubin noted on Twitter that the election also cost the state of California quite a bit of money, and, while she was, no doubt, being facetious in suggesting that those who demand recalls and fail should pay the costs, Democrats might do well to remind California taxpayers how much they paid for this preposterous folly.


Though “preposterous” is becoming hard to define. The perpetually flummoxed Tucker Carlson, as part of his continuing effort to prolong the pandemic, reports that Nicki Minaj — an unimpeachable source since you can’t impeach someone who has never held public office — says her cousin’s friend got the vaccine and his testicles swelled up to the point where her cousin’s friend’s fiancee had to cancel their wedding.

This is presumably the same cousin’s friend who came home from Lover’s Lane and discovered a hook hanging from the car door, whose dog choked on the fingers of a hidden murderer and who loaned a girl his sweater, only to find it folded atop her gravestone the next morning.

Yo, Tuck! The phone call is coming from inside the house!


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Clay Jones)


(Ben Jennings)


(Gary Varvel – Creators)

Meanwhile, back in the real world, AOC was invited to a posh charity event in her congressional district or nearby, and trolled the upper crust with a dress from a friend whose company donates 15% of their profits to the poor.

Jennings and Jones got the gag and applied their own twists, Jennings repurposing for the UK and Jones adding one of his delightfully passionate essays, in which he points out

AOC has responded to her critics saying that, yes, she was a guest, and that “Tax the Rich” applies not to the upper middleclass, but to the super-rich millionaires and billionaires who evade the system.

Republicans are launching an ethics probe, accusing her of going past the $200 gift limit by accepting a free ticket to the $30,000 a plate affair, since no Republican has apparently ever been to such an event and, despite, as Jones notes, the open fact that AOC wasn’t the only elected official present.

Meanwhile, Varvel resorts to the playground taunt of “I know you are but what am I?” a fit of whataboutism that might be more effective if, in fact, Biden were advocating open borders, if he had anything to do with gas prices, if his trillions in spending were in effect, if the arms currently held by the Taliban hands hadn’t been handed over to them by the Afghan army . . . well, you get the idea.



Meanwhile . . .

Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Matt Wuerker – Politico)

(Ann Telnaes)


(Marc Murphy)

Wuerker gets the lead-off position in this collection because he not only sets up the premise — Amy Coney Barrett’s defensive claim — but notes the doubly absurd setting in which she insulted our intelligence.

I like Telnaes’s take because, in contrast to Wuerker’s more detailed cartoon, she strips matters down to the very basic of Justice Barrett’s good-little-girl, compliant, unquestioning nature, the opposite of what is required in a judge.

And then Murphy combines the two, with less detail in his critique than Wuerker but a more specific accusation than Telnaes.

Murphy, Barrett and I are all products of Notre Dame, which might be mere coincidence except that it has, in recent decades, shifted far from the thoughtful, civil-rights bearing of Father Hesburgh and the church/state separation advocated there by Mario Cuomo, settling instead into a reactionary old-school orientation that is, as the saying goes, “More Catholic than the Pope.”


Unlike Clay Jones, Murphy doesn’t add essays to his cartoons, but he did tweet this observation, which is, on the one hand, snide, but, on the other hand, a trenchant observation about the tone-deaf, thought-free blinders with which such compliant Good Little Girls operate.

At least she didn’t wear the headgear, which, I understand, her charismatic congregation, the People of Praise, does not make mandatory.

It would be laughable if, like Marjorie Taylor Greene or Lauren Boebert, she were simply one odd duck in a large flock, but she represents one-ninth of an entire branch of government.

It’s as if the House of Representatives had 48 such members.

Okay, stop counting. I’m not sure, either.


But Pat Bagley makes the vital point that the Republicans are not even pretending at honesty and fair play and clearly have no intention in that direction. McConnell’s blatant lack of ethics would need a fully-extended ladder to rise to the level of hypocrisy.


And all the time, as Jen Sorensen points out, people who purportedly support democracy, the Constitution and good governance have been sitting back passively waiting for things to magically improve.

If it were only Roe v Wade at stake!

Never mind. We’ll deal with General Milley tomorrow.

Y’know, if there is one.


4 thoughts on “CSotD: Not with a bang, but a bicker

  1. “The essence of the Met Gala is that ultra-rich people pay huge sums to meet and be photographed with celebrities … and then deduct their night out from their taxes. Why has no one pointed out that Alexandria Ocasio Cortez wore a “tax the rich” dress *to a tax shelter*? -Megan McArdle /WAPO

  2. Perhaps because it’s obvious? Because that’s where the evaders of taxes would be hanging out? Why do fishermen keep throwing their bait in the water?

    I read McArdle’s piece and I don’t get her point, except that she doesn’t like progressives and she doesn’t know much about tax law:

    “Ironically, that meeting is subsidized by taxpayers. If a rich person wanted to pay about $35,000 for an ultra-exclusive opportunity to hobnob with stars and be photographed doing so . . . well, she’d be out $35,000.”

    No, she would call it a business gathering and write it off. McArdle has far too naive and trusting a view of the ultra-wealthy that (honors econ graduate) AOC accuses of tax avoidance.

    In fact, that’s why conservatives call it “subsidized by taxpayers” — because the rich can write it off, and whether as a “charitable contribution” or a “business event” is a distinction without a difference, except that they’ll get a little better write off calling it business, since they can include the meal.

    Here’s how that works:

    For anyone who wants to take a crack at McArdle’s piece:

  3. I love Breen’s cartoon, but it ignores the fact that the Coyote will be back, like a Hydra. Constant vigilance isn’t enough – the GOP has the Dems hopping, always reacting. Grabbing the lead is essential, but how?

  4. The quote I saw from Barrrett’s speech was “My goal today is to convince you that this court is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks”.

    That’s subtly different than had she said “we are not partisan hacks” or that “the Court is not partison.” Instead, it’s an admission that she wants her audience to *believe* the Court isn’t hacks. Whether it is or isn’t.

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