CSotD: The Downer Report

Here’s a bit of bad news from Jimmy Margulies (KFS), which doesn’t fit my politics, because I’m far from ready to fly the white flag over this country, but it does fit my current mood, which is decidedly Eeyorean.

It seems Joe Biden took a few minutes to intervene with Russia on behalf of Brittney Griner, and, if that wasn’t bad enough, the sonofabitch called her wife to offer some comfort and assure her that their plight was not forgotten.

And it got worse: Though he couldn’t budge a couple of recalcitrant DINOS to help pass more powerful legislation, he got a modest gun control bill through Congress, he declared an executive order to ease the rightwing pressure on pregnant women, the Supreme Court gave him clearance to end Trump’s “Return to Mexico” policy at the border, gas prices are finally going down and infant formula is mostly back on the shelves.

Shameful, isn’t it?


Even the drop in gas prices are only a reminder of how horrible life is, Marshall Ramsey (Creators) reminds us.

Gas here is about 25 cents a gallon cheaper than it was a week ago, but, dammital, I have a small, fuel-efficient car, and so that only amounts to about $2 a fill up for me.

It’s not enough.


Granted, gas prices here aren’t nearly as bad as they are in most other countries, and my little Honda would get more than 247 miles out of a tankful of gas, though I couldn’t get $40 worth in anymore, thanks to those dropping prices.

But that’s not the point.


The point is that life sucks. I’ll grant that Steve Breen (Creators) is apparently warning America not to support Gavin Newsom’s bid to be the Democratic nominee for president in 2024, but he does make a good point that California really, really sucks and that nobody should want to live there.

Be glad you live in a state with no crime or homelessness!


Better to live in Florida, where the avocados aren’t as good as the ones from California, but the oranges are comparable and, as Andy Marlette (Creators) notes, the governor is working to eliminate unpleasant history.

And sexual dysphoria, which they still have in California.

And meanwhile, over in Texas, they’re not only teaching the upside of slavery, but planning to eliminate the word from their curriculum entirely.


I’m sure they could reprint the textbooks Virginia was using within the past half century, in which cheerful enslaved people arrived dockside clad in European clothing and carrying suitcases, eager to meet their new employers.

Think of it as “Uncritical Race Theory.”

It would perhaps be even more pleasant to live in Ohio, where the Republican legislature is working to ensure that children are taught that some people saw the Holocaust as a good thing.

Happy days are not only here again, but they’re back in olden times, too, by order of the Ministry of Truth.

Like Marlette, Tom Tomorrow is simply depicting, not applauding, our slow slide into misery, and he’s doing it a world in which it is becoming increasingly hard to find sarcasm that outstrips reality.

Not only are we dealing with a metaphorical witch hunt, but Texas is warning private industry that paying for employees to travel for forbidden medical treatment is illegal.

It seems a bit odd that people who scream that health care for children is “socialism” would advance a policy in which governments control industry, which fits the textbook definition of “Communism.”

Though I suppose it depends on the textbooks approved in your state.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Jen Sorensen)


(Ann Telnaes)

I’ve become impatient with people who compare Jan 6 to Watergate but are too young to remember the latter. However, Jen Sorensen nails the difference in how the changes in the way we get information might have impacted that earlier scandal.

She’s right: There were plenty of people making those flimsy whatabout arguments and defending the crimes not only up to but after Nixon’s resignation. The difference is that they were mostly seen as barroom crackpots and not viable, intelligent, responsible commentators.

Though they did manage to turn G. Gordon Liddy into a hero rather than a somewhat psychotic traitor, which was a thread in our nation’s transformation, later seen in the way Oliver North went from shredding documents on the Iran Contra scandal to, like Liddy, being hailed and feted by the same people who currently praise those who obstruct inquiry into Trump’s insurrection.

Which brings us to Benedict Arnold and Telnaes’s comparison of that noted traitor to the current brood of vipers.

First of all, Arnold escaped, and he certainly would have been given a talk show had radio existed then, since there were plenty of loyalists who would have tuned in to hear his views.

But his plan to turn West Point over to the British would not have surfaced had a somewhat thuggish party of Yankee militia not stopped and plundered his co-conspirator, English officer John Andre, discovering the incriminating correspondence in his boots, which they were in the act of stealing.

Andre was hanged, but Briscoe and Logan would have known that such a search wasn’t gonna hold up in court today, and I continue to watch the Jan 6 Committee and Merrick Garland to make sure their cautious, systemic evidence gathering won’t similarly fall apart.

And, by the way, people need to focus less on comparing various witnesses to John Dean. His testimony was foundational, but it wouldn’t have brought Nixon down.

It was Alexander Butterfield who revealed the existence of the White House taping system. If you’re going to compare Cassidy Hutchinson to anyone, she’s more Butterfield than Dean, but we still don’t have those tapes.

And even if we did, Trump himself has said that he could shoot someone on a crowded avenue and it wouldn’t sway his loyalists.

It’s depressing, but I’m not giving up. As Phil Ochs wrote, “This country is too young to die.”


However, if nothing in these real United States seems positive, here’s something encouraging from fictional Canada, as Susan has finally pulled the rip cord in Between Friends (KFS).

Been there, done that, and never regretted it. A brilliant story arc!

Trust those Canadians to brighten a down mood.


8 thoughts on “CSotD: The Downer Report

  1. Please tell me the “Chapter 29” illustration is a spoof. Please. This is not a page from any American textbook, from any century. Is it?

  2. @Mike Corrado- It’s not a spoof as it is from the book in question, but it is not indicative of the bulk of the chapter. The picture illustrates a brief passage in the chapter which states that some enslaved people were able to make enough money to sail back to Africa. Of coure, if this ever happened, it was a rare occasion and I doubt the former slave owner happily saw the grateful family off at the docks.

  3. As a California resident, I can confirm that the entire state really sucks and nobody else should think about coming here. Don’t even consider it. You’ll regret it. Worst decision I ever made was to let my parents move me here as a child and then spend decades as an adult and raise my own family here. And I’m still here! I can’t believe it myself!

    (Phew. That oughtta scare some of them off.)

  4. Especially around the South Lake Tahoe area. My grandparents built a cabin around there about 100 years ago. It’s a terrible area–someone has to go there, and I’m willing to suffer so that others don’t have to.

  5. I read the linked JTA article. All I can say is that at bottom, the idea is that if they can eliminate the idea of a “wrong side of history” they won’t have to worry about being on it.

Comments are closed.