Friday night brought a break in the heat wave here in Oregon – it'd been running for over two weeks – and I woke up Saturday morning with sinuses the size of track shoes, post-nasal drip, and the general feeling that someone had hit me hard with the stupid stick. Several of my friends have surreptitiously offered to slip me some "real Sudafed" smuggled back from lawless lands like Arizona and Washington (as part of its battle against meth cookers, Oregon has the strictest prescription-only limits in the country on its accessibility). Hence the enormous pile of used paper tissues beside me as I write.
Therefore I make no promises about today's post.
Just to get things moving, let's start with a trope we haven't used in a while: Good News/Bad News!
The good news: The GOP establishment is trying to rein in short-fingered vulgarian Donald Trump before he does any more harm to the party's reputation, to say nothing of its chances in the 2016 election.
The bad news: That's pretty much impossible because there is no GOP establishment anymore. There are a collection of privately funded candidates who need nothing from the party except the calender of primaries. Trump is the Republican party at this point.
The good news: The European Union is apparently not going to let Greece fall backwards off the economic cliff.
The bad news: They're going to force Greece to march off the cliff facing forward.
The good news: We're probably not going to hear Bill Cosby doing his Angry Old Man routine about everything that's wrong with African-American families.
The bad news: He's got problems closer to home.
The good news: Jeb(!) Bush's claim that working Americans just need to work more hours to make America the economic marvel of the industrialized world was greeted from every corner by the scorn and derision it deserved.
The bad news: Bush is looking for a full-time job for next few years.
The good news: The confederate battle flag no longer flies in front of the capitol in Raleigh SC.
The bad news: That flag, and all manner of lost cause and rebel imagery, from mascots to fight songs to uniforms, are in half the high schools across the south. And every one of those communities is likely to play the anti-PC, reverse-discrimination, victim, and heritage cards for all they're worth. You think the lost-cause dead-enders are reacting badly now?
Today's toons were selected using an elaborate system involving political polling during July and the marketing division of Fox News, from the week's offerings at McClatchy DC, Cartoon Movement, Go Comics, Politico's Cartoon Gallery, Daryl Cagle's Political Cartoons, About.com, and other fine sources of cartoon goodness.
p3 Picks of the week: Signe Wilkinson, Jeff Danziger, Joe Heller, Clay Jones, Ted Rall, Pat Bagley, Mike Keefe, Taylor Jones, Rebecca Hendin, Matt Wuerker, and Monte Wolverton.
p3 Best of Show: Chan Lowe.
Ann Telnaes wonders if it's a better deal to be a man and go out in the first round.
Mark Fiore identifies "selective hearing." Although one could wish his second sentence was a little less tone deaf: "Never did I think that beautiful spot would become such fertile ground for campaign demagoguery." Well, yes, but under the circumstances I expected that sentence to end with "for pointless and cold-blooded murder." Fiore gets to that, shortly thereafter, to be sure. But as disgusting as the cheap demogoguery is (and boy, did I have to wade through a lot of it from the usual suspects while putting this review together), mentioning it first, before the part about the tragic death, seems to suggest a certain lack of proportion.
Tom Tomorrow invites us to gaze in horror at a world gone (almost but not quite) completely mad.
Keith Knight discovers the one thing worse than that other thing.
Reuben Bolling presents the return of that two-fisted hero of Constitutional Originalism. Zok! Pow!
Red Meat's Bug Eyed Earl has the usual business traveler's problem.
The Comic Strip Curmudgeon reminds readers of the importance of the serial comma (he prefers to call it the Oxford comma): There are far more times when removing the comma creates ambiguity than there are times when adding the comma creates ambiguity.
Comic Strip of the Day shares some of his peeves.
Hubba-hubba! Whoo! What a physical phenonemum! There was a period in my childhood when it seemed like "All's Fair at the Fair," a 1947 Popeye short directed by Seymour Kneitel in 1947, was the only cartoon to be found anywhere on television. Seemed like everytime I switched on the TV, there it was. I haven't seen it in years now, so I've got some distance, and since state fairs were a regular part of my childhood, and the season's coming up, let's take this one out for a spin. Uncredited voice work: Jack Mercer (Popeye), Mae Questel (the Slender One), and Jackson Beck (Bluto). "But-but-but Olive! I can explain everything!" Like we've never heard that one before. Presented in glorious Cinecolor.
The Big, And Getting Bigger Since We Welcomed Back The Departed, Oregon Toon Block:
Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman gives us an image I'm not going to be able to un-see anytime soon.
Rumored Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen has a serious case of the optimisms, and we wish her well.
Matt Bors wonders if, in the current vogue of cleaning up the history books a little, it might be time to revise General U. S. Grant's nickname.
Jesse Springer is off this week. Perhaps he's at ComicCon. Perhaps he's prepping for the Oregon State Fair.
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.
The p3 Sunday Comics Read-Along: Pearls Before Swine, Doonesbury, Rhymes with Orange, Zits, Adam @ Home, Mutts, Over the Hedge, Get Fuzzy, Prince Valiant, Blondie, Bizarro, Mother Goose & Grimm, Rose is Rose, Luann, Hagar the Horrible, Pickles, Rubes, Grand Avenue, Freshly Squeezed, The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee, and Jumble.