CSotD: Quick takes (I hope)

So this greeted me at Twitter this morning, and refreshing, or coming back later, didn’t help, but logging out and signing back in restored things, whatever that portends.

Mostly, it was a clue as to where to start, which is with this

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Graeme Keyes)

(Jeremy Banx)

Two takes on roughly the same concept, but with enough difference between them that they’re each both pointed and funny, but not the same.

The distinction is enough that I could put Keyes first and Banx second based on the flow of time; Carlos will shift from one panel to the other in 24 hours.

This morning’s technical hiccup came as I’d been noticing, amid the jumble of supportive bots and shameless ass-kissers on Elon’s feed, a fair number who assert that his cutting back of staff is a sign of wise management, their proof being that Twitter is still up and running and so none of those people were really necessary after all.

It reminded me of moving my stepdaughter from Boston to the North Shore a few decades ago. I was driving my loaded car behind the loaded car of her erstwhile roommate, because she knew where we were going.

Or where we would have been going, if her car hadn’t suddenly made some loud banging noises and pulled over with a blown engine.

Up until that moment, it had been running just fine, despite the fact that she’d never checked her oil level and the crankcase was apparently running dry.

We shall see. But, yeah, so far, Twitter is running just fine. Let’s just ignore that momentary glitch, because I got back on line pretty easily.


Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Jeff Danziger — AMS)


(Patrick Chappatte)

Here are two cartoonists whose work I greatly admire and with whom I’m going to quibble.

My problem with Danziger is lack of clarity. There are enough America Firsters demanding we stop supporting Ukraine that any apparent reference to throwing gasoline on the fire is suspect, but siding with them seems incompatible with his previous positions.

The label on the Molotov Cocktail reads “155 mm guns,” an apparent reference to artillery we and others gave the Ukrainians a few months ago, the latest news being our search for more ammunition for them.

This could be a positive response to our adding to their capability, with perhaps a wink to the derivation of the term “Molotov cocktail,” because the improvised weapon was named for the Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs when the Finns were successfully resisting Soviet aggression in 1939.

My difference with Chappatte is more substantive, because General Winter has been Russia’s defense against invasion, first against Napoleon and then again against Hitler. Kutuzov made greater use of it in 1812, by retreating, destroying supplies and allowing the French army to outrun its own supply lines, but it also served to double the impact of Russia’s human wave defenses in WWII.

General Winter, however, is purely a defensive genius. I strongly suspect he will once more provide the advantage to the defenders against an ill-supplied army that already has morale issues.


Still on the topic of how to screw up an invasion, Jack Ohman (AMS) illustrates an issue that has come up here and in several other places, which is that the Republican majority in the house is so slim that what I’ve heard called “The Crazy Caucus” is going to force the Speaker — McCarthy or whoever — to piss away time on performative impeachments and hearings about Hunter Biden’s laptop rather than putting that effort into accomplishing anything serious.


Paul Fell suggests that, at some point, their supporters will wonder about all the campaign rhetoric concerning inflation and cost of living, and I wish I agreed, but the GOP doesn’t have to do anything about those issues, as long as they continue to preach divisive emotionalism while blaming Biden for everything substantive that goes wrong.


For instance, Bob Gorrell (Creators) condemns the easing of sanctions against Venezuela, which aren’t dramatic but include letting Chevron drill as long as the proceeds pay off Venezuela’s creditors.

It’s a mashup of blaming Biden for oil prices, without getting into the facts of current domestic production policies, as well as a chance to raise the bugbear of the Commies.

Philip Bump tackled that latter roadblock with a solid argument the other day, suggesting that Florida is such a lost cause for Democrats that there’s no point in attempting to please the state’s Cuban and Venezuelan exiles, and that Biden should, instead, go ahead and impose a sensible foreign policy without fretting over that former swing-state.


And, yes, I’m old enough to remember when even Republican presidents were willing to buck the “Better dead than red” fringe in formulating policy.


On the other hand, as David Horsey points out, it’s not a strategy of offering sensible policies, but one of enforcing team loyalty.

A failing shared by Biden, by Obama, by Jimmy Carter and possibly even by Thomas Jefferson was expecting that voters would listen, ponder and make sensible choices. But even before talk radio and Fox News, people enjoyed comforting myths and Orwellian calls to loyalty and had little time for discussions that went beyond catchy slogans.


Marc Murphy goes further than Horsey, not simply suggesting that people would rather listen to Hannity but that they never even hear any dissenting voices, that “team loyalty” has become so pronounced as to no longer be neither a choice nor an echo but simply a fact.

It hardly helps that Elon Musk is working to convert Twitter into yet another misinformation bubble, allowing liars, bigots, white supremacists and hatemongers back aboard in the name of “free speech,” while apparently de-platforming their most vocal critics.

There is hope: We’ve seen Alex Jones brought to heel, the Red Tsunami was barely a breeze and now the GOP is splitting between Trump and De Santis. None of this will disturb the people in the bubble, but it might inspire others to challenge the status quo.

The key, however, is to find new voters rather than to try to deprogram the True Believers.

They are indeed a lost cause. This sad movie remains true, six years later.

Here’s the trailer; the full documentary is here.



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