Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sunday morning toons: Making the necessary exceptions

If you chortled over the Oregon bakers who had to pay a six-figure damage settlement to the couple who wanted a cake for their same-sex wedding because they refused service (a violation of state and federal law) and then – this was the part that burned them – published the couple's name and address, and went on a regular media/social media tour that gave the couple the gift of unwanted notoriety, but you climbed on the bandwagon to out and shame the vanity-safari dentist who most recently killed a beloved lion in Zimbabwe, you very likely didn't make the cut today. (CSotD spelled out the argument in fine detail here, so I don't have to.) The dentist is a jerk, no question, and the lion should still be alive and doing liony things, but when the social media starts wilding, I get nervous, and so should you. It's not a good idea to rely on this defense.

If you're still humping the original, discredited, and twice-corrected NYTimes story about a supposed criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton regarding her use of email while Secretary of State (especially now that there's some evidence that the bogus story was fed to the Times by Republicans on the House Benghazi Committee) suggesting that, all these years later, the Times still maintains a different definition of "fit to print" when it's a Clinton – you didn't make the cut. Again.

And if you are still trying to get mileage out of the nothing-burger that is the edited Planned Parenthood "documentaries," now being bandied about as reason for congressional Republicans to shut down the federal government yet again (because it worked so well last time), you not only didn't make the cut (again), you probably weren't even allowed into the parking lot outside where the cut was happening.

The rest of the 2016 GOP presidential candidate pool has studied Trump Ascendant and seemed to have learned the lesson that the only way – and I'm not saying they're wrong, mind you – they only way they can guarantee they'll be on the debate stage with him this Thursday is to try and match him outrageous and offensive public statement for outrageous and offensive public statement. (Mike Huckabee, pick up the white courtesy phone. Mike Huckabee, the white courtesy phone please.)

Which reminds me, there was also something about a smashed cell phone. What was that all about? Heh.

Today's toons were selected by some as-yet undisclosed system from the week's offerings at McClatchy DC, Cartoon Movement, Go Comics, Politico's Cartoon Gallery, Daryl Cagle's Political Cartoons,, and other fine sources of toony goodness.

p3 Best of Show: Darrin Bell.

p3 Legion of Merit: Clay Bennett.

p3 Award for Best Adaptation from Another Medium: Chris Britt.

p3 World Toon Review: Corax (Serbia) and Jalal Hajir (Morocco).

Ann Telnaes looks at what you may have to do to get on stage with the short-fingered vulgarian.

Tom Tomorrow should be more grateful, apparently.

Keith Knight finds eight when there were once seven. (And we aren't talking about Santa's reindeer.)

Reuben Bolling has his Shirley Jackson moment. ("It isn't fair!" sobbed Penelope.) And I remind readers once again that Chagrin Falls is a real town in Ohio, and I had a friend in college who was from there.)

Red Meat's Ted Johnson may have some post-legalization issues concerning his stash.

The Comic Strip Curmudgeon presents Dagwood in a little something we like to call Groundhog Day Stew.

Comic Strip of the Day passes a milestone. So to speak.

Aw, now yuh went and hurt muh feelings! When Beaky the Buzzard went up against Bugs Bunny (in "Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid," directed by Bob Clampett in 1942), things didn't go so well for him. He has better luck eight years later – at least for a while – against Leo the Lion in "The Lion's Busy," directed in 1950 by Friz Freleng. He keeps his original musical theme, though: "Arkansas Traveler," but without the lyric he sang in his 1942 debut: "Ah'm gonna catch a bay-bee bumble bee – won't mah momma be so proud of me?") The whole lion thing appearing in this week's p3 toon review is, of course, a complete coincidence.

Value-Sized Oregon Toon Block:

Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman offers a demonstration.

Very Possibly Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen raises an important question.

Matt Bors has one today you really need to stick to the last panel for.

Jesse Springer serves up fried salmon: It's what's for dinner in Oregon.

Test your toon captioning spellcraft at The New Yorker's weekly caption-the-cartoon contest. (Rules here.) And you can browse The New Yorker's cartoon gallery here.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Acknowledgement to the works of Billy Wilder

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is reportedly purchasing $250,000 of advertising time on Fox News in an attempt to help secure a place at the network's August 6 debate. Christie's ad buy is more evidence that Fox News' debate -- the first of the presidential cycle -- is proving lucrative for the network.

In a controversial move, Fox News is using polling to cap the number of debate participants at 10. Super PACs supporting Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry and Marco Rubio have already purchased millions of dollars of ad time on Fox. An adviser to a group of super PACs backing Perry explained to the New York Times that their ad buy on Fox News and other cable channels was intended to raise Perry's national profile in hopes of getting the former Texas governor "on that debate stage."

The Times' Jeremy Peters notes of Christie's ad buy, "Because Fox will use the candidates' standing in national polls to whittle down a field of 16 Republican candidates, the exposure that comes from a national cable television buy is extremely valuable. And while Mr. Christie's standing in the top 10 is fairly sturdy -- but not guaranteed -- this ad buy is aimed to help buttress his standing."

Citizen: You're Chris Christie. You used to be a presidential candidate. You used to be big.

Gov. Christie: I am big. It's the debates that got small.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Quote of the day: Delusional

What I would argue is key to this situation — and, in particular, key to understanding how the conventional wisdom on Trump/McCain went so wrong — is the reality that a lot of people are, in effect, members of a delusional cult that is impervious to logic and evidence, and has lost touch with reality.

I am, of course, talking about pundits who prize themselves for their centrism.

- Paul Krugman, reflecting on Donald Trump's rise in the polls after taking his shot at former POW Senator John McCain, when the best and brightest all predicted it was the beginning of the end for Trump.

It's a shrewd argument, and the article is going on the p3 Readings list.

(Via Driftglass.)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday morning toons: Adjusting to the new realities

So here's the deal:

If all you had to say about the 2016 GOP presidential primary race was, "Yup, Trump was a short fingered vulgarian last week, and an embarrassment to the leaders of his nominal party, and a man with iconic bad hair – and he is this week, too!", you probably didn't make the cut this morning. (Unless you're Matt Bors, below, and you go meta.)

And if you don't trust Iran but the only reason you're really against the nuclear treaty is because Obama's for it, or if you think that the treaty is only between the US and Iran, and that no other countries are involved, you probably didn't make the cut.

And if you perpetuated the bullshit in the doctored documentary on Planned Parenthood – whether you knew it was bullshit or just bought the bullshit and never bothered to find out that it wasn't – you are so far from making the cut that the light rays from making the cut won't make it back to you for thousands of years.

And if the latest mass shooting of Americans by Americans on US soil (but it wasn't an act of domestic terrorism, damnit! – that's commie talk!), or the latest incident of police violence against unarmed civilians, has pretty much exhausted your supply of new ideas for expressing your outrage and dismay, you are most certainly forgiven, but you probably didn't make the cut either.

I'd like to help you out, I really would, but we've got new realities to adjust to around here.

Today's toons were selected by a panel of judges who abruptly found themselves out of work, after NBC dumped both Trump and his Miss USA pageant, from the week's offerings at McClatchy DC, Cartoon Movement, Go Comics, Politico's Cartoon Gallery, Daryl Cagle's Political Cartoons,, and other fine sources of toony goodness.

p3 Certificate of Harmonic Toon Convergence: Clay Jones and Jerry Holbert.

p3 Misguided Science Award: Stuart Carlson. (Pretty sure Trump's ego would have the same mass on a planet twice the size of earth. But it would weigh twice as much.)

p3 "Forgotten But Not Gone" Award: Tom Toles (story here).

Adjusting to the new realities, Part 1: Ann Telnaes watches as America goes dead from the neck up.

Mark Fiore suggests a care-and-feeding regime for The One We Do Not Name.

Adjusting to the new realities, Part 2: Tom Tomorrow marvels at the species that gives up immediately.

Keith Knight conducts yet another thought experiment.

Reuben Bolling brings the 42 episodes you might have missed during those Saturday mornings of your childhood.

Red Meat's Milkman Dan has his moment of self-awareness.

The Comic Strip Curmudgeon brings up an interesting question: How bad at the job does a villain's minion (or henchman, to avoid confusion) have to get before he gets the pink slip?

Comic Strip of the Day revisits the adage about it being what you don't know that gets you.

Adjusting to the new realities, Part 3: In celebration of the New Yorker article this week reporting geological findings that everyone in Oregon and Washington living between I-5 and the coast should head farther inland, here's Superman in "Electric Earthquake," directed in 1947 by Dave Fleischer. Uncredited voice work by Bud Collyer (Clark/Superman), Joan Alexander (Lois), Jackson Beck (also known around here as the voice of Bluto from Paramount's Popeye cartoons, as the world's most polite villain and pretty much everyone else). You can decide for yourself why the villain's lair looks like a coffee percolator of the era, and what Metropolis is doing in Manhattan.

The Technically-Oregon Toon Block:

Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman ponders hot-heads who imagine they're the cooler heads.

Very Likely Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen thinks it's good to be a pundit. (Also, this is the pundit in real life.)

Oregonian Matt Bors struggles against the inevitable.

Adjusting to the new realities, Part 4: The gag in this week's Jesse Springer toon didn't go the direction I thought it thought at first, and now I don't know if I feel sorrier for the fellow in bed or all of us who live west of I-5.

Test your toon captioning powers at The New Yorker's weekly caption-the-cartoon contest. (Rules here.) And you can browse The New Yorker's cartoon gallery here.

Saturday, July 25, 2015


I've been trying to find out why this URL recently began getting hijacked (to MySpace pages, to some gardening page, etc.) while the tab is left open for a while. Apparently, I'm not alone in this. Since the problem is intermittent, it's been a little harder for me to get a bead on it.

My research suggests it may have to do with a SiteMeter widget interacting badly with Blogger accounts, but I haven't been able to track down a fix, including at the SiteMeter web site (where the News and Announcements page was last updated in February 2009, and the link to the SupportCenter page times out without loading -- draw what conclusions you choose from that) or at the Blogger help forum, where the help I've found hasn't been very helpful yet.

If you're having trouble with this, my apologies. If you're a fellow blogger who's experiencing the same problem, my sympathies.

If I find a link to a definite fix, I'll post it here.

Meanwhile, here's a video of a penguin escaping killer whales.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Quote of the day: Subcontracting the wet work

If anything, Donald Atwater Segretti Cheney Trump deserves credit for having the guts to do his own dirty work instead of jobbing it out to professional ratfucking perverts like Karl Rove and Jerome Corsi.

- Driftglass, on the dubious virtue attached to Trump's now-famous attack on John McCain's POW status.

The Short-Fingered Vulgarian probably deserves some sort of credit for the previously unimaginable achievement of making McCain a sympathetic figure again, however briefly. And there was also a short moment when it looked like he'd also given his GOP rivals something they could actually attack him on without shooting themselves in the foot, but as Driftglass and his commenters note, that lasted about a day before fifteen years of Republican history caught up with them.

Hell, it's not even the first time they've pulled something like this on McCain. He should be used to getting pantsed by his fellow GOP candidates by this time.

This probably means I can no longer avoid creating a Trump tag for the blog, but I dread having to go back and find all the previous mentions of him to update them.

[Overhead camera, Nothstine shakes fist in over-the-top rage] Tru-u-u-u-u-u-mp!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday morning toons: A week for the record books

Donald Trump has accomplished two things I wouldn't have thought could be done: He's made John McCain a sympathetic character, and he's handed what remains of the GOP establishment, and rest of the GOP 2016 presidential pack, an issue on which they can finally attack him ethically and with gusto, without worrying that it will boomerang on them. Achieving the impossible. It's what he does.

And I'm old enough to remember when arming Iran, even if – especially if! – you had to violate federal law and the explicit will of Congress to do it, was the thing that sent a tingle down conservatives' legs. How did they make it here in less than 30 years?

And meanwhile, the rest of America is watching with bated breath for the moment when the armed crazies in Texas start shooting each other, in defense against the secret Obama takeover under the guise of Jade Helm 15.

Oh yeah – and if you believed, or pretended to believe, that phony and discredited anti-Planned Parenthood video that made the rounds this week, you had to get your links somewhere else today.

And finally, the sooner the travesty that is Harper Lee's "prequel" to To Kill A Mockingbird and the ghouls who cashed in on it by outlasting Lee's loyal sister and bamboozling the addled Lee herself, despite her constantly-expressed wishes that it never see the light of published day, all drop off the face of the earth, the better. So no links there, either, even if you agree with me.

Today's toons were selected by no obvious criterion except the above, from the week's offerings at McClatchy DC, Cartoon Movement, Go Comics, Politico's Cartoon Gallery, Daryl Cagle's Political Cartoons,, and other fine sources of toony goodness.

p3 Best of Show (tie): Steve Kelley (more for the wonderful image than the opinion) and Jeff Danziger (more for the opinion than the image).

p3 Legion of Merit: Chan Lowe.

p3 "Once For Yourself And Once For Your Dreams" Award: Rebecca Hendon.

p3 Certificate of Harmonic Toon Convergence: Nick Anderson and Pat Bagley.

Ann Telnaes observes the lock-step formation between dishonest anti-abortion provocateurs and congressional Republicans. It's disgusting, but it will keep on keeping on. As always, here is the p3 recommendation for such people.

Mark Fiore lets you help the TSA keep us safe. Can you match their record?

Tom Tomorrow puts Sparky through much the same dream that Jon Stewart didn't wake up from. We sympathize.

Keith Knight undertakes a thought experiment.

Until I saw this Reuben Bolling cartoon, I never considered how much Donald Trump looks like Angela Lansbury. (Also, RB and John Deering came this close to getting a p3 Certificate of Harmonic Toon Convergence!)

Red Meat's Bug-eyed Earl discovers that there are worse things than shooting your eye out.

Comic Strip of the Day reminded me of a taken-for-granted experience from my childhood days on a farm in Indiana. Nowadays I'm grateful just to see Mars or Casseopeia.

Assumption, Reality, Character, Desire, Discipline, Human Behavior, and Logic: Tony Zhou and Every Frame a Painting produced this nice tribute to the art of Chuck Jones, of the p3 pantheon of gods. Props for recognizing the connection of Jones's success to the stories by Michael Maltese and Tedd Pierce.

The Big, And Getting Bigger Since We Welcomed Back The Departed, Oregon Toon Block:

Come for Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman's thoughts on Californians' all-too-typical response to the drought, stay for the Tom Selleck joke.

Very Possibly Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen shares a few of the under-hyped moments you missed at SDCC.

Matt Bors reports on that awkward silence.

Test your toon captioning kung fu at The New Yorker's weekly caption-the-cartoon contest. (Rules here.) And you can browse The New Yorker's cartoon gallery here.