CSotD: Monday Mental Workout

This is going to be a grumpy day, but let’s start with Jimmy Margulies (KFS)‘s commentary on Mike Johnson’s ascension to the speakership, because at least it made me laugh.

Granted, as the emperor in this Oren Bernstein cartoon notes, humor isn’t necessarily a great weapon and it’s not at all required in political cartooning, but when you find yourself in as dire a situation as our current political chaos and division, laughter can at least lighten the load.

But I laughed at Margulies’s cartoon because the parallel between overwrought complaints about Biden’s dog were, indeed, so quickly followed by passive acceptance of Trump’s attack animal.

Susan Collins admitted she had to Google Mike Johnson to find out who he was, but, as a Senator, she didn’t have to vote on his nomination. It leaves open the question of how many of her Republican colleagues in the House obediently voted for him without knowing who he was or what he stood for.

As it turns out, Ann Telnaes discovered, he favors a federal law prohibiting all abortion, which he not only says is a cause of school shootings but robs America of able-bodied workers, the former theory being pure idiocy, the latter sounding like something lifted from Brave New World by someone who didn’t understand that Huxley was not writing a recommendation.

There might be some grim humor in there some place if he had no power, but, as it is, next November, we’re going to see who gets what may indeed prove to be the last laugh.

Speaking of which, Mara Liasson, NPR reporter and Fox News contributor, reported on Dean Philips’ decision to enter the Democratic Presidential Primary by pointing out that no incumbent president challenged in a primary has won re-election.

She said it on the radio, so you couldn’t see which of her two hats she was wearing at the time.

No such confusion with Steve Kelley (Creators)‘s Halloween cartoon. He’d have included a Trump costume among the trick-or-treaters, but the golf cart wouldn’t climb the curb and the kid couldn’t waddle to the door without it.

Fortunately, the prediction for Halloween night in Washington is for no rain, so any kids who dress as Trump won’t have to worry about getting their hair wet.

Michael Ramirez (Creators) is harder to parse, because it’s fair commentary to point out that an improving economy doesn’t solve all our problems.

However, you could make an interesting quiz by asking people to identify which of those bits of rubble are Biden’s fault, which are remains of the Trump presidency and which ones qualify as such vague jargon as to be meaningless.

Constant Readers will know that I generally agree with Bill Bramhall‘s take on things, but I’m not crazy about this one for a couple of reasons. I assume he’s calling for red flag laws, given that Maine doesn’t have one, which might have disarmed the shooter. Fair enough.

But putting it in a gun shop assumes the guy purchased his guns after having been institutionalized, and I haven’t seen any reports saying that. It’s entirely possible that he obtained his guns before he began having mental issues.

If so, even universal background checks wouldn’t have helped.

We need both background checks and red flag laws because, no, it’s rarely this obvious.

Anyway, Mike Luckovich gets it right. We’re back in another cycle of hand-wringing, in which calls to ban assault-style rifles are met with milquetoast mumbling from those who have the power, but not the guts, to do something about it.

And who speak forcefully only to condemn the question of why people in other developed countries don’t slaughter each other with the regularity that we do.

I’m also going to nit-pick Phil Hands‘s piece, assuming by “Uncle Sam” he is suggesting that the Second Amendment itself is the issue.

The Second and Third amendments were colonial reactions to the experience of having England’s standing army in our streets, and both soon became irrelevant, vestigial and largely ignored until some 200 years later, when the Second was resuscitated and reinterpreted by a rightwing Supreme Court.

The Founders weren’t perfect, but this one isn’t on them, nor is it on a vague “all of us.”

It’s on a cabal of ammosexual extremists, though it’s our fault, granted, that we put them in power.

And then there’s this

If Steve Breen (Creators) is commenting on the NFL’s ghastly exploitation of one of its star players’ personal lives, I’m on his side.

But the notion that Taylor Swift is someone new is stunningly clueless, as is the outsized attention being paid to her relationship with Travis Kelce. It reminds me of the lame long-hair jokes that old farts like Bob Hope told during Beatlemania.

Tank McNamara (AMS) kids about it, but, really, how much more successful do either of these people need to be? Kelce has nearly as many honors as a player can gather and is a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame, and Swift just broke the billion-dollar mark.

There’s no “kinda” about it, Tank.

More to the point, there’s also not much doubt that, when you are in the spotlight, it’s hard to manage your personal life.

When JJ Watt began dating Kealia Ohai, they had the advantage, first of all, of being professional athletes, giving them plenty in common.

But they also had the dubious advantage that, while Watt was a superstar, women’s professional soccer doesn’t have a major following, so their pairing pleased their fans and colleagues but didn’t raise a national ruckus. Their courtship was public, but not insanely so.

No such luck for Kelce and Swift. Here is NBC with what is beyond doubt the stupidest sports story I’ve ever seen. After everyone has sought ratings by showing her at every game, when she goes out on tour they blame her absence for the Chief’s loss.

Seriously? Shouldn’t you be writing for Tiger Beat?

At least Tiger Beat wouldn’t act as if Taylor Swift were the newest flavor-of-the-month. Where have these people been?

One of my young reporters covered her Fearless Tour appearance in Denver in 2010, which, by my math, was 13 freaking years ago.

And five long years ago, another of my reporters covered her Reputation Tour appearance, shortly before he interviewed Broncos linebacker Von Miller, which I think covers the issue of broadening anybody’s demographic appeal.

If your children ever find out how lame you really are, they’ll murder you in your sleep.” — Frank Zappa

8 thoughts on “CSotD: Monday Mental Workout

  1. I live across the DC line, in Jamie Raskin’s district. I don’t think we’ll be getting a lot of trick-or-treaters dressing up as Donald Trump. Just a hunch.

    1. I live in Jaime Raskin’s District as well. Of course, for pure evil on Halloween you can’t beat the Orange One- although you might want to beat him!

  2. I will never understand people who get so obsessed over celebrity romances, especially since they’re always so ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ in nature. Even if it does work out I’m sure you won’t be invited to the wedding.

    Pretty sure that the vast majority of people (like myself) have never heard of Travis Kelce before, but to act like Taylor Swift is some new phenomena only reveals just how badly our media is being run by out-of-touch fossils. She’s been in the public eye for the last decade and a half at the least.

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