CSotD: What’s the matter, anyway?

There have been additional cartoons about the rewriting of the late Roald Dahl’s books, but, having covered the topic, I’m disinclined to feature anything that doesn’t rise above the norm.

Martin Rowson did just that, blending the revisionist literature with Vladimir Putin’s absurd claim that Ukraine started the war. A pair of rubbish rewrites, indeed.

There have been several cartoons showing Putin putting forth his claim with bloody hands, and they make the point, but, by bringing in the other story, Rowson extends the reach of his argument to those who may have paid more attention to the Dahl matter.

Plus, even on grim topics, adding a touch of ridicule if not laugh-aloud humor is a traditional way to boost the impact of a political cartoon.

By unhappy contrast, I’m giving Peter Brookes a failing grade on this one, in which he contrasts the memorable speeches of Kennedy and Reagan at the Berlin Wall with Biden’s visit to Poland.

I’d agree that the world may not remember his declaration that “Ukraine stands tall,” but, then again, neither JFK nor Reagan offered more than words, though Reagan fans give him credit for the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union, which seems like the rooster taking credit for the sunrise.

But, while Biden is, indeed, hesitating over sending F-16s to Ukraine — a matter people are free to dispute — he has provided significant aid and has rallied NATO members and other nations to do the same, which seems a more significant contribution than coining memorable phrases.

Meanwhile, on this side of the Atlantic, Steve Kelley (Creators) offers a double-whopper, since Biden has absolutely not offered a blank check to Ukraine: In his visit, he specified another $500 million, and it’s easy for anyone who wants to know the total to add it up.

And, BTW, most of what we’ve given is surplus equipment that we’d have scrapped and replaced anyway. It’s not new spending, and results, at worst, in more work for American defense plants.

It’s equally false to say the federal government has spent no money in East Palestine and is leaving them uncovered. First of all, this technical point: It’s not the role of FEMA but of the EPA to assist in this type of incident, and they’re doing that, at, obviously government expense.

Second, the federal government has insisted that Norfolk Southern cover all damages, with a threat of treble-damages should they fail to do so.

To which I would simply add that you don’t often hear conservatives complain that the government isn’t spending enough taxpayer money.

It’s an interesting change from their demand that the president go perform a photo op, which brings us to this

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Matt Wuerker — Politico)

(Kirk Walters — KFS)

(Lalo Alcaraz — AMS)

Wuerker sets the stage, depicting Trump’s visit to East Palestine as a repeat of his ridiculous visit to Puerto Rico as president, when he exhibited his sociopathic lack of empathy by cheerfully tossing rolls of paper towels to his audience.

The gesture became so emblematic of his inability to recognize the moment that I’m marking Walters down half a letter grade for the unnecessary labeling, though I give him very high marks for transposing paper towels with MAGA hats, this having been a blatant campaign stop.

Alcaraz may stretch things by accusing Trump of having caused the derailment by rolling back safety regulations — as Huffpost reports in their coverage of the visit, the rules wouldn’t have applied to this particular train — but there’s an allowance for spin in political cartooning, and, certainly, you can’t be against safety rules as president and then denounce your successor for not having prevented the problem.

And, lord knows, there are plenty of unsubstantiated claims floating around. Accusing Trump of hypocritical cynicism hardly makes a ripple.

The bottom line on all of this is that Trump’s visit accomplished no more and no less than a visit from Biden or Buttigieg would have, but it was more cynical since it was clearly a campaign event.

And then there’s this: When W flew over New Orleans in the wake of Katrina, rather than landing for a photo, his opponents blamed him for failing to care, while others pointed out that first responders were busy enough without having to divert their resources for a POTUS visit.

Criticizing Biden for marking the anniversary of the Russian invasion by attending a mini-summit of NATO allies rather than posing for pictures in Ohio seems like proof that you can’t win, but the response to Trump’s cynical ploy suggests you can lose.

I don’t think Marjorie Taylor Greene is being cynical, because, as Drew Sheneman points out, her call for some kind of mini-secession makes no sense, given that the most hard-core red states receive more federal aid than they pay in federal taxes.

She’s not being cynical. She’s being stupid.

Not that it will cost her politically: Stupid people vote, and there are millions of voters who believe the same Q-Anon idiocy that brought MTG to prominence.

Consider, for instance, this memorable gem about the gummint’s spying on you:

When she advocates a form of secession, she hasn’t considered how these red states would pay for their political independence, or how to work out the blue areas in those red states, but she’s not actually plowing any new ground.

In the prelude to the Civil War, those who wanted to extend slavery to new states promoted much the same idea: Popular sovereignty would mean that the first settlers to flood in could decide, despite several major laws limiting slavery in new states above a certain latitude.

One result was massive voter fraud — the real kind — in Kansas, which led to Bloody Kansas and, ultimately, some 750,000 being killed in the war that followed.

But before that, the Know-Nothing Party proposed that anyone moving into one of the new, pro-slavery states would be forbidden to vote for several years. Marjie suggests five.

One more reason for her pals to stop calling themselves “the Party of Lincoln.”

Though many of her fellow Republicans have taken up Russia as a favored ally, despite still accusing their opponents of being socialists and communists.

One of Buchanan’s failures in the days leading up to the Civil War was not removing military equipment from the seceding states, and wouldn’t it be interesting if, as Marjie’s red states break ranks with Washington, they lost their military bases and other federal resources?

Instead, as Michael de Adder notes, the Speaker of the House has given access to the full video footage of the Jan 6 attempted coup — including footage the 1/6 Committee didn’t release for security reasons — to Tucker Carlson, who admits to siding with Russia and has been shown to deliberately lie to his viewers.

And that’s what’s the matter.

11 thoughts on “CSotD: What’s the matter, anyway?

  1. Kirk’s red hats are labelled ME, and the meaning of that seems obvious.
    But on some the date is 2004. A reference to the apparently refuted allegation about the stale-dated water?

    1. First rule of proofreading: love is blind. Never proof your own work, as I demonstrated a while back. Remember back in the days when newspapers and syndicates had proofreaders?

      1. Yeah. Used to do that, along with editing copy.

        Being trained to see mistakes can be a curse.

  2. In the mid-1980s I did proofreading and typesetting. Now whenever I see a PowerPoint or similar I’m looking at bad bullet alignment, double spaces within sentences, etc.

    If you haven’t already, look up xkcd and kerning.

    1. I know exactly what you mean!

      Should we tell Mike about the misplaced comma in his text today?

      1. Ooh, ooh (apologies to Arnold Horshack) – Where can I get a copy of the CSotD Style Manual?

  3. Section 23(c)3.2: Regarding the distinction between a comma which has been placed incorrectly or is one of an intended pair of commas where the other has been lost. See also section 18(e)1.4: Regarding the use of a comma after a preposition or similar word.

  4. By the way, the CSotD Style Manual also requires that I tell you how much I appreciate your work.

    It’s my little ten o’clock treat, every morning without fail.

  5. I don’t know about the gummint and your bathroom visits, but there seems to be some interest in Florida about tracking menstrual cycles…which of course only applies to another “minority majority” group.

    As Mike cites with GW Bush in NewOrleans, the mayor of East Palestine originally told Biden his coming and the necessary security would only stress already stressed community resources…enter Trumpkin and the mayor whistles a new tune.Welcome to my native state, Ahia,where we luv big bidness and the color red.

Comments are closed.