CSotD: Six Impossible Things Before November

Bill Bramhall suggests that there may be some logical holes in Trump’s theory of presidential immunity. This cartoon demonstrates how difficult things have become for satirists lately, since Trump has been asked if the president could murder his opponents with impunity. He responded that yes, he could, unless the Senate convicted him for it in an impeachment trial.

Granted, Trump is immune from having to make sense. He’s spoken of British airports during the Revolution, warned that Biden might start World War II, mistaken Biden for Obama and just lately blamed Nikki Haley for failing to call in the troops during his attempted coup.

Now we’re going to have the Supreme Court decide if the president is permitted to commit felonies while in office. We don’t need to learn anything more about Trump but the decision will tell us something important about the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Matt Wuerker (Politico) offers a solid comparison of Joe Biden and Lyndon Johnson, using Gaza as an equivalency to Vietnam. There are substantial differences, starting with the facts that we aren’t sending our boys to Gaza and that LBJ inherited the conflict.

But it’s certainly true that both LBJ and Biden had other major accomplishments, particularly in the domestic sphere. If LBJ is remembered for Vietnam more often than for the Civil Rights Act, it doesn’t bode well for Biden’s legacy, though we’d have to have a substantially greater involvement for the two wars to be congruent.

However, that doesn’t mean Gaza couldn’t drag Biden down, and I don’t see a Bobby Kennedy or Gene McCarthy on the horizon to pick up the pieces, bearing in mind that Hubert Humphrey lost a lot of votes simply for having been Johnson’s VP during the war.

Robert Ariail (AMS) points out that Biden has been trying to restrain Netanyahu, but handing out treats while pulling on the leash doesn’t seem to have been effective. I would suggest that, if Biden wants to avoid LBJ’s fate, he needs to be more open about his attempts to slow things down in Gaza.

Rob Rogers suggests that what regrets and negative feelings Biden has expressed so far simply come across as crocodile tears, or, to take a slightly more positive view, are performative rather than effective. There are complicated reasons the US continues to supply arms to Israel, but they don’t make much difference to the 85% of Gazans who have been displaced or lost family in Israel’s bombings.

The whole world is watching, and while Anthony Blinken is shuttling back and forth between Arab nations seeking at least a release of hostages if not a basis for cease fire, his efforts haven’t impressed David Rowe, who offers this clever and devastating play on the term “secretary,” the In and Out trays being a particularly fine touch.

Australians won’t be voting in November, but the views of our allies certainly contribute to the political damage done by our involvement in Gaza.

As for the loyal opposition …

Nikki Haley offers GOP voters an alternative to Trump, but, as Tim Campbell (Counterpoint) points out, her stances are crumbling, first with her absurd answer to the question of what caused the Civil War and now with her even more ridiculous claim that the United States has never been a racist nation.

It’s hard to tap dance in high heels. Haley’s evasive generalities and lame explanations may play well back in Lost Cause Land, but she’s not running for governor of South Carolina this time around.

Darrin Bell (KFS) points out the difference between turning a blind eye to the obvious racism all around her and totally mangling the history of the nation. Neither is acceptable, but the latter is so completely irrational as to destroy her credibility as a candidate and as a national leader.

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And Clay Jones points out that she doesn’t even have to know what happened in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries to know she’s spouting hogwash. She was born after the Civil Rights Act and the initial turmoil of the movement that produced it, but she’d have to be awfully unobservant not to acknowledge that clear reality, particularly since she speaks of being discriminated against herself.

She explained that we’re not racist because the Declaration of Independence says “all men are created equal.” Just sexist, I guess.

It’s too bad she undermines herself, because she’s got a decent chance in next week’s NH primary. Several thousand Democrats have changed parties to offer an alternative to Trump, who calls that a bad thing, but whoever wins in November is going to be the president of both Republicans and Democrats.

We don’t need Jewish Space Lasers to make our preferences felt, but we do need credible candidates, and Nikki is messing up her own chances.

Not that Trump is smart enough to let her bury herself. His latest ploy, launching an absurd birther claim and calling her by her Indian first name — which he can’t even get right — would erase any doubts about his character, if there were any.

Then again, Jimmy Margulies (KFS) points out, if people can’t figure out where Haley stands, perhaps its because she hasn’t bothered to make it clear. Trump may be doing her a favor by forcing her to distance herself from him.

Juxtaposition of Say What?

I’m pretty sure Gary Varvel (Creators) intended to call Congress a bunch of thieves, and he obviously wanted to play upon the swatting that has been launched against various public figures, most prominently Marjorie Taylor Green.

I’m also pretty sure he missed the part about swatting calls being fraudulent, because the effect of his cartoon is to declare that Congress is totally honest and that their critics are lying. Haven’t heard him suggest that before.

Meanwhile, Chip Bok (Creators) accuses Tesla (their logo is on the hood of the car) of lying about the mileage their cars can get on a gallon of gas.

Or perhaps a gallon of electricity, since Tesla only makes fully-electric vehicles and not even hybrids, as Martin Eberhard, one of the company founders, has explained:

Though to be fair to cartoonists, sometimes the fools, as Alex reminds us, are on the receiving end of a cartoon. Or, to be more accurate, of an economy.

In the words of the Ol’ Perfesser:

10 thoughts on “CSotD: Six Impossible Things Before November

  1. I’ve been coy before but I’ll come clean: I own a Tesla–bought before I knew about Elon–and love it. Bok’s cartoon is nothing but wrong. First, I’ve never owned an easier car to operate and maintain. Never had to read the manual. Yeah, there’s a learning curve, but basically it’s an accelerator and a brake. Compared to the 43,000 moving parts in a regular car, it has like 8 (numbers exaggerated for humorous effect, though I don’t think the “8” is far off). No fluids or oil to change. Someday I’ll need to buy new wiper blades, tires and brake pads. That’s it.

    Bok’s “miles per gallon” proves he has no idea how they run. The car displays a number of how far you can go on the current charge. I’ve found it accurate, but even if it’s off, well, I’ve never achieved the MPG the sticker said I should get from a gas-powered car, either. I think all experienced adults understand that MPG estimates are for driving down a slight incline on a sunny day with the wind at your back, and Tesla’s no worse than others.

    This is already longer than intended, but I get tired of people bagging on EVs. There was a big news story a few days ago about a charging station being out of order in Chicago, somehow “proving” the unreliability of the charging infrastructure and ignoring the hundreds of other working stations in the area. What the critics don’t seem to get is that these are still early days for EVs, so there will be some bumps and rough edges, but they’re just going to get better and cheaper. They’re the future. People don’t have to get on board, but I wish they’d stop throwing themselves on the tracks while guffawing about golf carts.

    1. Brian : I was one of the first people to own the long gone Subaru Justy – “Does it run in batteries ?” Damn right – 12volt just like your Escalade. I’ll never be able to afford an EV and I’m too old to pay one off anyway, but good for you for providing those of us with little or no knowledge on the subject some “true facts.”

  2. I agree with you Mike, that the israeli/palestinian topic is very complicated. But, the moral perspective is clear. Having read a lot of detail about blinkin blinken (discounting the unproven idea high blink rate is related to deception) I must conclude David Rowe has it right. There is a lot of meaningless weasel-wording by this administration that is contradicted by their actions.
    As an ‘old white dude’ who battles against being bigoted every day, I must say that this country is still VERY racist. Just look at all the headlines. Even today: https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2024/01/women-and-minorities-bear-the-brunt-of-medical-misdiagnosis.html
    As I’ve stated before, I admire the original owners and engineers at tesla. I am disgusted by the deterioration caused by the elongated muskrat who just bought tesla and has nearly destroyed it with lies and mandated degradation of the quality and reputation..

  3. What do I see in the Rowe cartoon hanging on the wall? Could it be? A Jewish State from the river to the sea?!?! That’s almost as good as Phil Hands’ showing us that Zionism is the radical notion that a Jew might be on a horse rather than under it!

  4. Rich Furman nailed it! Didn’t the netanyahoo just use that same phrase ‘from the river to the sea’ with impunity, when palestinians and hamas use it and the whole ignorant world condemns them? I try to be honest. But, there is so little accuracy, intelligence and honesty in so many tiny minds. It disgusts me.

    1. Don’t be so swift to praise me. My comment was mostly unironic. “From the river to the sea” was part of God’s description of the Land’s boundaries to Abraham. If I’m feeling generous, I will note that it therefore connotes a land to be shared by the children of Abraham.

      If the terms of the war, however, are “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” read through the lens of Hamas’ charter, that is a call for a Judenrein levant. Such terms of warfare must be met with reciprocity if survival is the goal.

      So I am not feeling generous; if anyone is going to hold that Land from the river to the sea, my preference is that it be my kinfolk.

  5. Dear Rich Furman, thanks for the clarification. I respect your concerns. But, correct me if I’m wrong, aren’t muslims an Abrahamic people, too? And, while I highly respect the accurate historical records of any group, I, and my organization, do not subscribe to flawed humans putting words in the mouth of a deity. As ‘community benefit activists’ (since the 1960s) working with so many different ethnic, national, economic, and other sectors of society, it is in our charter that we desire for ALL peoples to live safe, healthy, prosperous lives without prejudice for or against any ‘group’.

    1. Sherman, see my first paragraph.

      The problem is that the idea that there was to be a zero sum game for exclusive control of the Land emanated from the Arab world. Their response to the two state solution proposed by the UN was to attempt to annihilate the Jewish one of those states. And that position has not much changed.

      Israel fought a number of wars between then and now with the hope of a negotiated two-state solution at the back of their mind. This is why they “occupied” Sinai and the West Bank rather than merely expelling the occupants after 1967.

      It worked in the Sinai. Egypt accepted the territory Israel had won – except for Gaza – back in exchange for normalized relations.

      But afterwards we have not seen any sincere movement. Hamas is like Calvin and Hobbes’ Moe. Clear on what he is, not willing to negotiate. Fatah is like Lucy Van Pelt. When they feel they need moral capital or they have goals they want met, they come to the table. Once those goals are met, they pull the football away.

      For once Israel is fighting the war as the zero sum game that the Arabs have always framed it as. So of course they are charged with Genocide in the ICC.

  6. One more brief comment: In our worldview, looking at humanity with greater breadth and depth, the idealistic, yet practical, Principle that my organization is dedicated to says we should consider ourselves to ALL be kinfolk. I hope that doesn’t offend Rich.

  7. Dear Rich Furman, I read your paragraph carefully and your comment of January 21, 2024 at 10:56 pm. The information you provide is, of course, correct. But, it is in a context limited to the centuries long battles of the powers in that geographic area. The point I was making encompasses a much broader context. The intrinsic human propensity for solving everything with war is the problem. Ideally, the twice attempted and twice failed creation of an objective, international organization empowered to halt these endless wars would stop all this needless, massive death and destruction. The greed and violence of the warmongers will continue. I know from decades of personal experience that there are decent, kind Jewish people. And, I’ve known many decent, kind Muslims. i feel anguish over humanity’s inability to become civilized and enlightened.

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