CSotD: Weekend Addition (mostly Division)

It’s always good to start with a joke, and today’s In the Bleachers (AMS) made me redouble my search for a half-remembered golf joke, which I eventually came up with:

A golfer is about to tee off when he sees a long funeral procession on the road next to the course. He stops in mid-swing, takes off his golf cap, closes his eyes, and bows his head. One of the other players says: “Wow! That is the most thoughtful and touching thing I have ever seen. You are truly a kind man.” The fellow replies, “Yeah, well, we were married for 35 years.”

The other thing that had me trying to remember that joke was learning that Ivana Trump was buried just off the first tee at Bedminster, which reminded me of a four-year-long joke I’d been trying to forget.


All sorts of dead bodies were buried this past week at Trump National Golf Club, as Michael de Adder reminds us.

I didn’t know how the place qualified as a “national golf club” and thought maybe it meant Canadians weren’t allowed to play there, but obviously Saudis are, so I poked around and found out that there are at least 11 Trump National Golf Clubs, including one on Jupiter, which seemed pretty exciting, though it would be hard to score a hole in one with the increased gravity.

Turns out it’s in Jupiter, Florida, so the whole thing is kind of a franchise, like a Chuck E. Cheese but with presumably less tasteful decor.


In any case, our stable genius, as Clay Jones points out, has forgotten watching the Towers fall, seeing Arabs cheer and helping to clean up the debris — perhaps because he made all that stuff up — and has now remembered that he doesn’t know anything about 9/11 after all, which cleared him to pocket the greens fees from his Saudi friends and not only host but participate in their sportswashing event.

And let’s note that, while Biden’s visit to Jedda seems to have included release of Saudi oil to help ease the impact of the Russian cutoff to Europe, some easing of relations between the Saudis and Israel, and confirmation of a ceasefire in the bloody war in Yemen, the rightwing remains so torqued over that fist-bump that they haven’t even had time to discuss LIV golf and TFG’s eager participation in it.


Then again, Mike Luckovich reminds us, the GOP, having spent four years telling us to pay no attention to the man behind that curtain, are horrified that people dare to wake up to reality, and they have turned the concept into an insult.

Though I suppose, under the journalistic rule of “On this hand, but then again on the other,” we shouldn’t suggest that people who are awake are any better than those who remain blissfully asleep.


As Pat Bagley demonstrates, the important point is to remain on message, no matter what the message, as long as you’re saying what your voters want to hear.


In the “Sauce for the Goose Won’t Work for the Gander” category, Kirk Walters (KFS) reminds us that economists have not all run restaurants or hardware stores.

I’ll grant you that, when I was a business reporter, it helped that I was, on the one hand, writing about international trade agreements and the stock market while, on the other, I was profiling local small businesses.

But, if experience in the business world is what qualifies you to analyze the economy, I guess I’d have to ask if that applies to political cartoonists, who seem to have no hesitation in laying out the economic failures of the administration and who, unlike a whole lot of actual economists, are not reluctant to apply the simplest definition of “recession” to the current situation rather than analyze the wider factors that can go into making the call.

There is, of course, that old joke that, if you laid all the economists end to end, they wouldn’t reach a conclusion.

But there’s also a saying among cartoonists that, if everyone is mad at you, you must have gotten it right. Fact is, if they’re all mad, it usually means you totally f*ed up.

Meanwhile, Wikipedia has had to lock the page on recession because of all the volunteer experts who keep re-editing the definition.


I’d say that, if a cartoonist is going to comment on economic issues, he should do it with the wit of Ben Jennings.

An overall comment on oil company profits wouldn’t have half the impact of singling out the world’s most hated oil company to make a joke involving shells, while linking it not to an impersonal corporation but to the shareholders emphasizes the class inequity at work.

I don’t know if gas prices are falling as rapidly in the UK as they are here, but Jennings gets additional points for commenting on the quarterly reports rather than tying the gag entirely to price-at-the-pump. Their profiteering is not an issue that should fade from view as prices tumble.

Though I haven’t heard that anyone in Parliament has voted against limiting gas company profiteering the way Republicans did in this country.

Which bring us to this

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Ann Telnaes)


(Nick Anderson – Counterpoint)


(Benjamin Slyngstad)

I have to wonder how many times the elephant can get away with stepping on its own trunk before some message hits the pain center and makes it stop.

Besides voting against gas company profiteering at a time people were screaming at high gas prices, the GOP has imposed forced-birth laws that victimize rape victims and threaten the lives of other women, and has gone on record against birth control, and, most recently, against veterans exposed to toxic chemicals.

It’s one thing to nitpick the precise definition of a recession, and to cherry-pick a few unqualified scientists to help defy the spectre of climate change. It’s not honest, but it’s how the game’s played.

But it takes years of convincing your supporters not to look behind that curtain in order to get away with the abject cruelty of these latest moves.

Still, if you put enough effort into turning people against each other, then “the cruelty is the point” becomes strategy.

And we know it works.


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