CSotD: And in other news …

I had no intention of highlighting any more Kissinger cartoons, since they have all been pretty much the same, and, as I noted in yesterday’s round-up, he was Jewish and therefore would have barely expected to appear before the Pearly Gates at all, and certainly not in front of St. Peter.

But Peter Brookes manages to combine Kissinger’s dubious legacy with the current situation in Gaza to come up with a relevant, timely piece.

As for whataboutism, I’ve seen arguments about Dresden, and, despite being a rail and highway junction, it was largely a civilian target. I’ve also seen comparisons to American genocide against Indians, which is even less easy to explain, much less defend.

But we also have a history of having held slaves in the past. It doesn’t mean we ought to tolerate it in other countries today. Past performance is no guarantee of future morality.

If anything, we might behave like recovering alcoholics or former smokers: More adamant in our condemnation, though perhaps more likely to love the sinner while still hating the sin.

Hence Lisa Benson (Counterpoint) — who I suspect would come out in favor of cancer if the Biden administration found a cure for it — scores something of an own-goal in noting that whatever restraint the IDF is showing seems largely due to pressure from Biden and Blinken.

Pretty sure that wasn’t her intent, particularly since real men wear military helmets and only girly-men wear bike helmets and carry backpacks. Or drink coffee, I guess.

Still on the topic of own-goals, Nick Anderson points out the latest suicidal idiocy from Elon Musk, who seems determined to destroy his newest toy. For those who missed it, that’s a direct quote, flung specifically at Disney CEO Bob Iger but intended for all advertisers who pulled their sponsorship because of Elon’s antisemitic and antidemocratic tirades.

He already paid more for Twitter than it was worth in the first place, a judgment not only by independent analysts but one he admitted at the time. Now he’s whittled it down to a nub, and a nub with substantial debt service attached.

There’s some mystery in how long he can keep the thing going, but if he wants to shovel more money down the rat hole, he’s certainly got it, plus the hubris to keep going.

The real mystery is how his CEO, Linda Yaccarino, manages to put her makeup on in the morning, since she surely can’t bear to look at her face in the mirror. (That’s not sexist; if she were a guy, I’d have said “shave.”)

At least Tom the Dancing Bug is able to get some good sarcastic humor out of the bizarre situation.

People are beginning to compare Musk to another uber-wealthy deranged oddball, Howard Hughes, but I disagree. Hughes was so embarrassed by “The Conqueror,” which he had financed, that he pulled it from distribution after its initial run and it remained locked up for a decade and a half.

The critics raved, and Hughes responded by hiding the horrible thing.

Musk would have told them what he told Bob Iger.

Advertisers may have gotten off the Xitter, but, Jack Ohman (Tribune) notes, plenty of politicians, including its critics, continue to make use of the platform.

It’s not an easy transition. I’m winding down my own use, posting only once a day this week to let occasional users know where to find me, and they haven’t.

After three weeks, my Bluesky followers are not quite 2% of what I had amassed on Twitter over a dozen years, which is hardly surprising but not a glide path you want to follow if you’re up for re-election anytime soon.

Still, if you lie down with the dogs, you get up with the fleas, and musk-laden fleas carry the plague.

Mind you, there aren’t a lot of Profiles in Courage being acted out on Capitol Hill these days, and those that exist are mostly noted by their absence. The GOP was quick to discard Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger but just couldn’t quit George Santos.

That might change as early as today, but, as Lee Judge points out, they’re still standing by Donald Trump, who makes George Santos look like George Washington, a paragon of honesty and candor.

Well, as LBJ learned from his mentor, Sam Rayburn, “If you want to get along, go along.” The Republican Party is willing to go along with Trump if that’s the key to getting along with a growing public appetite for dictatorship rather than honesty.

But you don’t have to be entirely admirable in order to have doubts, which brings us to our

Juxtaposition of the Day

Jeff Danziger — Counterpoint

Steve Breen — Creators

The surviving Koch brother has endorsed, and pledged his money and political organizers, to Nikki Haley.

You can wish that the kind of money behind Americans For Prosperity were not allowed to be spent on political races, but it is, and, as Danziger points out, Koch knows what he expects to buy with it.

Breen depicts it as a blow to De Santis, but that ship was already sinking, Haley was catching up to him and if Charlie Koch wanted to bet on a loser, he’d still be backing Donald Trump.

Trump continues to lead in the polls, but polls aren’t elections and Koch isn’t the only megadonor who has doubts about the Donald’s ability to beat Biden and who sees Haley as the most promising challenger both to Trump and, later, to Biden.

I’m not a big fan of Nikki Haley — okay, not a fan of her at all — but if I were a betting man, I’d put a few bucks on her making it to the White House before I risked anything on Trump or De Santis.

A Trump/Biden race might energize the anti-Trump crowd, which is Koch’s apparent theory, while a De Santis/Biden contest would (A) put people to sleep and (B) reveal just how little poise and charisma Ron De Santis possesses.

Haley/Biden gives the GOP its best chance, and if winning is what matters, that’s where you place your chips.

Okay, Koch’s betting doesn’t rise to Rick Blaine’s level, or even come close. Still, there are several parallels, beginning with the balance of the wheel and the goal of foiling a cad.

6 thoughts on “CSotD: And in other news …

  1. One of my favorite scenes from my favorite movie of all time.

    The Peter Brooks comic hits way better than the inevitable “in front of the Pearly Gates” cartoon. Which I do not want to see regarding Kissinger unless St. Peter is booting him down to the other place.

  2. “The critics raved,” I think you mean panned. Rave review usually means that the writer loved it.

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