Item: In one of the slickest operational ploys since the Greeks built that big wooden horse, this week President Obama gave a speech to both houses of Congress, the Joint Chiefs, the Supreme Court, and the Cabinet -- simply to create a diversion while Navy SEALs rescued hostages from Somali pirates.
Item: Mitt Romney released two years' worth of tax returns, which generated so much bad press for him that most people now assum that whatever's in the prior years' returns, the ones he refuses to disclose, must be politically horrendous.
Item: After 68 years of faithfulness to planet Earth, Newt Gingrich has announced that he wants permission to start seeing the Moon on the side.
Today's selections have been selected by unnamed multimillion-dollar political donors from week's political cartoon pages at Slate, Time, Mario Piperni, About.com, and Daryl Cagle:
p3 Picks of the Week: Mike Luckovich, John Cole, Paul Fell, Deb Milbrath, Tom Toles, Nick Anderson, Stuart Carlson, Daryl Cagle, R. J. Matson, Randy Bish, Jimmy Margulies, Steve Sack, and Monte Wolverton.
p3 Best of Show: Clay Bennett.
p3 "Great Premise, But That Should Probably Be 'Lynyrd Skynyrd' Rather Than 'Beatles'" Award: Steve Benson.
p3 "I Won't Be Ignored!" Medal: Dave Fitzsimmons.
p3 World Toon Review: Cam Cardow (Canada), Patrick Chappatte (Switzerland), Paresh Nath (India), and Ingrid Rice (Canada).
Ann Telnaes captures Newt just being Newt. Is that supposed to be his fault?
Mark Fiore looks at the SOTU and sees the same old socialist claptrap. (See how far into it you get into it before you figure out what's going on. It's choice.)
Taiwan's Next Media Animation gives you a crash course in the history of game consoles, and it all leads up to the Wii U, which a lot of people thought was an Abbot and Costello routine at first.
The Oregon Cartoon Institute is holding a public meeting at the 5th Avenue Cinemas on Sunday, February 12th. Topics include an update on the Mel Blanc Project.
The John Carter movie that never was: The story is told by animator Bob Clampett, whose shameless self-promotion was legendary. (He openly credited himself with creating Bugs Bunny while at Warner Bros., although it was a team effort in which Tex Avery probably stood as first among equals. Clampett actually got his name and animated face into the opening theme for the Beany and Cecil Show. And notice his remark about Donald Duck in the clip below.) Nevertheless, there's pretty good evidence behind his story that, with Edgar Rice Burroughs' support, Clampett pitched the idea of a feature-length “John Carter of Mars” animated film to MGM in 1936. MGM liked the idea at first, but pulled the plug when they decided it might be too weird for American audiences. All that survived are some fascinating bits of animated test footage used to make the MGM pitch. That's Bob Clampett narrating, by the way.
The Simpsons? And fine art? Together? Actually, yes.
Tom Tomorrow reminds readers that the East Haven (CT) police department, four members of which were taken down by the FBI last week for racial profiling and worse, didn't just get into the “bad actor” thing recently. There's a long, ugly history.
Keith Knight celebrates Gingrich Values. It's almost too easy.
Tom the Dancing Bug brings us the latest adventures of Lucky Duck, the poor little duck who's rich in luck. (Readers who may not remember the source of the “Lucky Duck” meme should go here.)
Comic Riffs has the story: DC is launching a “two-year, multi-platform, multimillion-dollar campaign” to promote awareness and relief for the hunger crises in the Horn of Africa, dubbed We Can Be Heroes. The campaign, featuring the full cast of Justice Leaguers, will work with the International Rescue Committee, Save the Children, and p3 favorite Mercy Corps.
Red Meat's Ted Johnson is in search of his past.
Hard to believe he wouldn't have swabbed the deck with Jeff Tweedy: But I suppose that when you pay for your own video, you get to make up your own rules. Just for grins and giggles, here's Wilco's “Dawned on Me” (2012), featuring cameos by Popeye, Bluto, Olive Oyl, J. Wellington Wimpy, and Swee' Pea, directed by Darren Romanelli. It's the first hand-drawn Popeye toon in 30 years. The plot features a romantic four-way (take that, Newt!) in which Popeye and Bluto compete with the Wilco frontman for Olive's always-erratic attention.
If your browser won't display the embedded version, click here.
The p3 Big Oregon Toon Block:
Jack Ohman chronicles the latest painfully unsuccessful attempt by Mitt Romney to demonstrate that he gets it.
Matt Bors presents $#*! Mitt Romney doesn't say.
Alexis Kellum nicely captures the essence of Oregon.
Jesse Springer notes Oregon's arrival at Number 43 (yes, out of 50) on Education Week's “Quality Counts” annual report on education in the US:
Test your toon-captioning kung fu at The New Yorker's weekly caption-the-cartoon contest. (Rules here.)