CSotD: Catching up on the news

(Matt Davies)


(Mike Luckovich)


(Bill Bramhall)

This is an intriguing Juxtaposition because of the breadth contained in it.

Davies expresses the frustration many people — especially his Newsday audience in New York — feel over appeals for federal help from Ron DeSantis, who, as a congressional representative, voted against federal aid for Superstorm Sandy. He also tosses in the Florida governor’s general hatred for the federal government, though I think Texas has been more vocal about wanting to secede.


It’s hard not to wish both states would leave, if only to see how they get through hurricane seasons on their own, but it’s only fair to note that they aren’t the most dependent on federal dollars, based on taxes paid vs spending received, though it’s a question that can be asked and answered many ways.

I’m pretty sure this accounting is for regular budgeting and doesn’t include special funding for disaster relief.

And I’m very sure that, as Luckovich suggests, the people who bitch and moan the loudest will not stop because Uncle Sam has come to their aid.

The division in our country that they represent is not based on facts but on team loyalty and, to repeat Dean Swift’s quote yet again, “Reasoning will never make a man correct an ill opinion, which by reasoning he never acquired: for in the course of things, men always grow vicious before they become unbelievers.”

But however strong the urge for vengeance, or at least to give karma a helping hand, Luckovich is right that Uncle Sam will take on the burden despite the abuse given, while Bramhall goes further and reflects on how class shows itself at such moments.

Bramhall even adding a quiet acknowledgment that the nation is helping without re-enacting a particularly cynical, heartless piece of performative cruelty.

That point stands out because several cartoonists have drawn pieces in which DeSantis is advised to send the hurricane to Martha’s Vineyard, while Bramhall offers a more gentle answer.


In the other major news of the day, Ann Telnaes combines Putin’s phony referenda, which he is using as a pretext to annex Ukrainian territory to Russia, with his botched conscription, which even he has admitted contained a few errors.

None of them his, of course, and, in verifying that Jonathan Swift quote above, I also found this one, which has Putin’s face all over it: “There are few, very few, that will own themselves in a mistake, though all the World sees them to be in downright nonsense.”

No problem, Voloshka. Guy Venables is perfectly willing to mock your mistakes on behalf of the World.

There are several elements at work in this mashup of Big Lies, beginning with, as Venables suggests, the foolish expectation that unfit, unqualified, unwilling soldiers are more likely to stand their ground than have the nominally more motivated cannon fodder Putin sent in to begin with.

But it may well be that Putin isn’t expecting victory so much as hoping more sacrifice can harden his people to accept the “military operation” as justified, heroic and worthy of revenge once more Russian blood has been spilled.

Perhaps. But, while he can fill Red Square with supporters who will cheer the war and accept the nonsensical results of his referenda, it’s a stretch to think they represent a majority of the Russian people. 

That link is very much worth clicking on, but here’s the main point:

The more frightening element is that, having declared the battlefield no longer Ukrainian but Russian territory, Putin can then justify use of tactical nuclear weapons against the “invaders.”

However, aside from the worldwide condemnation of his absurd, fraudulent annexation, it seems unlikely that Putin would irradiate “his own” territory, much less release such toxicity within drift of areas that are indisputably Russia. It is also a near certainty that use of a nuclear weapon would bring NATO more directly into the war, while costing Moscow what remains of its alliances with China.

And, while Putin has largely gelded the Politburo in favor of his oligarch buddies, the stakes are rising even for them. If Putin is serious about unleashing a nuclear war, he’d be well-advised to stay away from open windows.


Meanwhile, still on the topic of transparent farce, Deb Milbrath points out the one being played out on the American stage, in which, having appointed a special master approved by Trump, Trump’s hand-picked Judge Cannon has overruled him for doing what she told him to do instead of what she wanted him to do.

As that Esquire piece notes, the ruling has drawn more than a little criticism, including from former Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Weissmann, criticizing her overruling of her own instructions:

Which Laurence Tribe promptly retweeted, adding his own comment:

Not that any of this will matter to voters in the end, given that we’re dealing with loyalties and not with facts.


Speaking of pro-fascist voters, the recent election in Italy reminded a lot of cartoonists that Italy is shaped like a boot, but it reminded Paul Berge that cartoonists have always known this, as seen in this Dorman Smith cartoon from almost exactly a century ago, and he’s reproduced a number of cartoons from that moment in history.

Or you can just wait around for (ahem) the reboot.


Finally, social media, having tired of complaining about people complaining about mermaids, has turned to complaining about people complaining about Lizzo and the flute, yet another Very Important Matter that I wouldn’t have heard about if people weren’t complaining about the complaining.

I’ve curated my feed to eliminate racists and haters. However, despite Donald Trump being kicked off Facebook and Twitter, I get to read every precious word he spouts, because people who hate him reproduce everything he says. So, too, I get to hear about Lizzo and the flute not from the haters, but from the hater-haters.

But it’s not all bad: I immediately recognized Lar Desouza’s commentary and was delighted that he’s taking the whole thing as seriously as I am.

I was also delighted to be reminded of the days when we didn’t have to give our children acid because they had the Kroffts.


4 thoughts on “CSotD: Catching up on the news

  1. Fixed, thx. Lidsville made me wonder how many lids the writers were going through. And there was Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, too. But you had to take it in context with Land of the Lost and the New Zoo Revue, not to mention the animations in the early years of Sesame Street.

    Made Yellow Submarine look like the Magnificent Ambersons.

  2. Mike, I wonder if DC and MD are skewed high on that chart because so many government agencies are in the states? I mean the Pentagon is in VA, not DC, after all.

  3. Makes sense to me. I also wondered what Texas and Florida would look like if they seceded and lost all those military bases plus NASA HQ and the Cape.

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