I mean, where do we even start?
There's Fred Phelps, who took time out from insisting the only purpose of the First Amendment is to create a Christian theocratic government in the US to insist that the only purpose of the First Amendment is to let him spew more anti-gay, anti-troop poison. (The First Amendment won, but unfortunately so did Phelps.)
There's Wisconson's Governor Scott Walker, whose popularity is circling the drain even as his assault on unions seems to be cracking at the edges (to mix my metaphors).
There's Muammar Gadhafi, who clearly doesn't quite get which way the wind is blowing in north Africa.
There's Newt Gingrich, who may or may not launch a (wildly unsuccessful) bid for the 2012 GOP nomination, as he's threatened to do every four years since 1996.
There's the Congress, that has managed to postpone a full-blown federal shutdown -- for a couple of weeks.
There's the onset of the NCAA basketball tournament.
And, of course, there's Charlie Sheen just being Charlie Sheen, only a little more so.
Today's selections were chosen by a complex, computer-generated series of brackets, weightings, and rankings from this week's political cartoon pages at Slate, Time, Mario Piperni, About.com, and Daryl Cagle:
p3 Picks of the Week: Mike Luckovich, R. J. Matson, Mike Keefe, John Darkow, Jerry Holbert, Stuart Carlson, Nick Anderson, Mike Thompson, Steve Sack, and Monte Wolverton.
p3 Best Toon in All Creation (this week): John Darkow.
p3 Best of Show: Pat Bagley.
p3 Naked Truth Award: Jim Morin.
p3 Certificate of Massive Harmonic Toon Convergence: Cam Cardow, David Fitzsimmons, John Cole, John Darkow, Dave Granlund, Chris Britt, Bob Gorrell, Steve Kelly, and John Koterba. (And there's more -- keep reading!)
p3 World Toon Review: Tom Trouw (Netherlands), Patrick Chappatte (Switzerland), Ingrid Rice (Canada), Victor Ndula (Kenya), Cam Cardow (Canada), and Pavel Constantin (Romania).
Ann Telnaes detects a rare instance of the GOP remembering a lesson from history. (Hey, WaPo: I get that you have to have ads, but is it too much to ask that the ad not be twice as long as the Telnaes animation? Hm?)
Mark Fiore brings us Susie Newsykins and what she learned about budget cutting. Ponies: yes! Broccoli: No!
Taiwan's Next Media Animation has some recommendations concerning the launch of the iPad 2.
Love among the sea cows: I can't explain exactly why this Bizarro comic is so funny, but it is.
Hey, look over there! In today's America, says Tom Tomorrow, it's all you need to know.
Keith Knight gets his p3 Massive Harmonic Toon Convergence Certificate a little late, but it's still from the heart.
Tom the Dancing Bug presents Hollywood Tales. (Spoiler alert: TtDB comes very close to getting a piece of the p3 Massive Harmonic Toon Convergence for himself this week, too, but at the last minutes the p3 judges ruled against it.)
The Father of the Graphic Novel.
Johnny Depp has been calling it "the worst regional theater we could possibly be doing" -- and he means it in a good way! Comic Riffs has the scoop on why Rango could be the cool animated film of the season without making you pay an extra eight bucks for throw-away glasses. (Also, Roger Ebert likes it a lot, and you should read why.)
At Red Meat, Milk Man Dan multitasks. (Warning: Don't read this while you're drinking milk, but not for the usual reason you're probably thinking.)
The "scourge of mef" has come to Hootin' Holler, and The Comic Curmudgeon brings you the sordid details.
Frank Rich is off this week at the NYTimes, so there's no Barry Blitt illustration to upstage it. While we're waiting for things to get back on track there, I urge you in the strongest possible terms to go to Blitt's web site, click Whatnot, and find his multilevel-funny New Yorker cover from October 6, 2008.
Portland homeboy Jack Ohman reminds us that political extremism can be a complicated business.
Another age, when the performance-enhancing substance of choice in baseball was spinach: Here's Popeye's baseball story (apparently obligatory for all cartoon stars at the time), the 1937 "The Twisker Pitcher," directed by Seymour Kneitel. (Hey, why don't Bluto's arms do strange morphing things after he eats the spinach?) [Update: Link fixed to correct video clip. Sorry.]
(Note to Facebook friends: If you're reading this in FB Notes, you'll need to click View Original Post, below, to see the video.)
p3 Bonus Toon: Jesse Springer starts here:
News Item: Because global climate change has made winters shorter and warmer, the Western Bark Beetle is surviving each year in greater numbers, decimating stands of forests across the west. Scientists predict that the lodgepole pine could be completely gone by 2080.
. . . and ends up here:
Test your toon-captioning kung fu at The New Yorker's weekly caption-the-cartoon contest. (Rules here.)