CSotD: Random Roundup

Let’s start with some good news and a laugh, as RJ Matson notes the emergence of forged elector ballots, and we learn that the January 6 Committee has subpoenaed Rudy Giuliani and several others connected to the attempt.

It’s not the White House tapes in which we heard Nixon actively plotting to pay off the Watergate burglars, but it’s physical evidence with the potential to lead to the top.

Matson manages to celebrate the emergence of this evidence with a joke, proving that, while political cartoons don’t have to be funny, it’s okay if they are.


Before we get too giddy, however, we should remember that times have changed.

In 1974, the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that Nixon must release those tapes, but SCOTUS only turned down Trump’s efforts to shield his papers 8-1, the dissenting vote coming from Mr. Virginia Thomas, as seen in this Chris Britt (Creators) cartoon.

Jane Mayer has an article in the current New Yorker headlined Is Ginni Thomas a Threat to the Supreme Court?” in which she outlines the activist conservative and her ties to extremist groups, as well as this jaw-dropper from subpoenaed former Trump Chief-of-Staff Mark Meadows, as he accepted an award from her for his leadership in the House:

Ginni was talking about how we ‘team up,’ and we actually have teamed up. And I’m going to give you something you won’t hear anywhere else—we worked through the first five days of the impeachment hearings.

So it’s not just what she believes, or even with whom she consorts. It’s what she does, including signing a letter pressuring Kevin McCarthy to expel Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger from the Republican Party for serving on the Jan 6 Committee.

Mayer gives recent examples of how other justices and their spouses — including Ginsburg and Roberts — have worked to avoid conflicts of interest, but then notes that times have changed, and that Justice Scalia refused to recuse himself from a case involving his duck-hunting buddy, Dick Cheney.

The New Yorker has a generous paywall, but if you’ve used up your freebies there, Mayer was interviewed on Fresh Air two days ago. It’s worth a listen.


In other tests of conflicting interests, if you have a strong ability to turn your head, Michael de Adder provides this reminder that the Beijing Winter Olympics are coming up. Personally, I’ll be too busy doing something I haven’t decided on yet.

They had to stop selling tickets because of the persistence of covid in Beijing and the surrounding area, but I have a solution for that: During covid lockdowns here, NFL teams filled empty stadium seats with cutout posters of spectators, bought by fans with the proceeds going to charity.

I think they should run a similar promotion and fill those seats with cardboard images celebrating a great Chinese athlete.

I’d buy one.


Still on the topic of two-dimensional images, Steve Breen (AMS) reminds us that healthy fetuses are a wonderful thing, though he takes a lot of artistic license here. The ultrasound images I’ve seen leave me scratching my head over what goes where, and they certainly don’t have this sort of fine detail.

But I’m going to do my own interpretation of an unclear image: Thumbsucking begins at about 10 to 12 weeks and is considered a strong indication of a healthy fetus.

I agree that it’s a great, great thing that you can get this strong hint of a wonderful life to come in the first trimester, a point when you might also get the tragic, crushing news that it’s not going to be a wonderful life by any measure, and perhaps even a threat to life at all.

At which point you may have an extremely tough decision to make.

Unless you live in Texas.


This Bill Bramhall cartoon gives me a chuckle and is a good relief from the relentless Biden-bashing coming from both sides of the aisle.

Even before Manchin and Sinema predictably shot down the BBB package, I thought it made sense to feed the parts through one-by-one, so I was pleased when he announced at his press conference plans to do just that.

Okay, as Bramhall suggests, he wasn’t left much of a choice. And I suspect that the GOP’s Wall of Failure will stand strong, even against things their constituents want.

But at least they’ll be on the record for having opposed pre-K, affordable housing, expanded health care and shifting the tax burden from the serfs to the nobles.

Then, in the midterms, we’ll learn how much voters want those things versus how much they just want to put the GOP back in the drivers seat.


As Drew Sheneman (AMS) warns, it might be our last chance to make our opinions matter before the 2024 Presidential Election.


Sources, please

I’m thrilled that, in accordance with some of yesterday’s predictions, the removal of Maus from an eighth grade Holocaust curriculum has resulted in boosting retail sales of the book. As noted, I’ve given it to my grandkids; perhaps the news was a reminder to other parents and grandparents of its brilliance and importance.

Perhaps it also spurred sales to first-time readers. That’s excellent news, particularly given the rise of white supremacy and even neo-Nazism in this country and in Western Europe.

However, I’d like to know Andy Marlette (Creators)’s source for declaring the Tennessee school board Nazis, given that, for all the poking around I’ve done, I have found absolutely nothing indicating that they oppose, or even question, continued teaching of the school’s Holocaust module.

Myself, I’d have waited to find out what book is chosen as a substitute.

Also in need of a source is Jeff Danziger (WPWG)’s implication that NATO is planning, or even threatening, to invade Russia.

Everything I’ve read is about avoiding conflict, assisting Ukraine if there is an invasion, and shoring up their own borders just in case.

For that matter, a lot of what I’ve read has been that NATO doesn’t know what they want to do, but I’d bet a whole lot that “Invading Russia” is nowhere on their list of options.

Though perhaps it depends on how you define the Crimea, where winning can still be damned costly.


9 thoughts on “CSotD: Random Roundup

  1. The problem with the Bramhall cartoon so that it blames Sinema & Manchin. As much as they deserve the anger being thrown at them, the GQP deserves far more of the blame. The media need to stop portraying this a failure of Machin & Sinema and one as the repugnant GQP refusing to help people. Shoot, Manchin & Sinema probably love this sort of attention.

  2. Paul bullseyes an annoyance of mine as well. Media focus on Manchin and Sinema, and while Sinema is a surprise I’d expect nothing more or less from Manchin. Meanwhile, there are 50 Republican Senators, including some who like to be painted as country-over-party patriots like Murkowski, Collins and Romney, voting in lockstep with their dons and taking no heat at all. It’s not even a question, just “What else would you expect? Duh!” Just statistically, you’d think one or two of them would occasionally experience a pang of conscience or principle that would push back on their party a wee bit, but no. Disappointed but not surprised.

  3. Like being the honor kid who gets caught along with his buddies egging the principal’s house: “I expect this kind of thing from them, but YOU?? I’m so disappointed!”

  4. re. “I have found absolutely nothing indicating that they oppose, or even question, continued teaching of the school’s Holocaust module.” ¶ one board member, contending that “the entire curriculum is developed to normalize sexuality, normalize nudity, and normalize vulgar language” ~ “I think we need to relook at the entire curriculum.” another member, re. if they can’t find a good substitute to anchor the Holocaust module ~ “It would probably mean we would have to move on to another module.” ¶ file under: kids mature enough to be taught about the Holocaust but not mature enough to handle some swear words and a cartoon drawing of a naked woman. good grief.

  5. addendum, from another board member, re. teaching about the Holocaust: “Being in the schools, educators and stuff, we don’t need to enable or somewhat promote this stuff. It shows people hanging, it shows them killing kids. Why does the educational system promote this kind of stuff. It is not wise or healthy,”

  6. Key is “if we can’t find another book.” There are other places where board members indicate interest in preserving the Holocaust module, just without adult language and dead naked (human) women.

    I find it interesting that they’re purchasing prefab curricula rather than having teachers create their own and that this was apparently the first year they’d used this module. Add in that there isn’t a crowd of teachers or parents protesting the board’s move.

    All in all, I’m sticking with my contention that this is a very poor example of a board overriding teachers or of censorship. It’s more like a shakedown cruise that had failures.

    But it’s unfair to contend that the board wants to abandon teaching the topic of the Holocaust — some probably do, but didn’t quite say so, some clearly don’t and said as much.

    Again — a lousy example of an important problem.

  7. I believe you are mistaken in stating that Steve Breen “took a lot of artistic license” in showing a detailed, sepia-toned ultrasound. Perhaps you haven’t had occasion to see a 3D ultrasound; his depiction of a 3D ultrasound is quite similar to ones I have seen and to images of 3D ultrasounds available on the internet.

    Also, Steve Breen’s cartoon seems to depict a fetus that is well past 12 weeks’ gestation, because of both the level of development of facial features and the size of the mother’s uterus, even while horizontal.

    I enjoy reading your commentaries even when I disagree with your conclusions.

  8. Jennifer: the point is that the anti-abortion message the cartoon intends to send falls flat when you consider that the pictured fetus has developed past the point at which the vast majority of abortions would ever need to take place. It’s playing on human emotions by using an image that is far more recognizably baby-shaped than what would realistically be the case in a situation where abortion would be considered.

  9. Nicholas: I agree that the cartoon depicts a time well past the time when an abortion would likely take place (and a time at which an abortion would probably already be illegal) – so much so that I am not sure it is an anti-abortion cartoon at all.

    However, Mike‘s commentary about the cartoon addressed unclear ultrasounds and difficult first-trimester decisions, neither of which apply here.

    Your comment would have been more apt for this particular cartoon. Thanks for replying.

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