So here's the state of play at the federal wildlife facility near Burns, Oregon: First, the local ranchers whose sentencing for committing arson on federal property was notionally the excuse for the occupation repeatedly urged the Bundys to call it off and go home; they didn't.
Then, after a month-long exchange of non-negotiable demands and Clif Bars, the two Bundy brothers (who, with their deadbeat father in Nevada, are apparently the militia movement's answer to Hank and Rusty Venture and their father) were captured, along with several of their fellow seditionists, while on a field trip and are being held without bail. In the process, their comrade-in-arms LaVoy Finicum achieved his boyhood ambition of suicide by cop.
Next, four holdouts continuing to occupy the federal facility insisted that they wouldn't leave until authorities agree to drop all charges against themselves and everyone else involved – thus providing a more win-win updating of Patrick Henry's famous challenge: Give me Liberty, or Give me a Full and Complete Pardon for my Actions!
Then, from inside a different kind of government facility, the Bundy brothers repeatedly (through their lawyer) urged the four holdouts still in the federal facility to stand down; they didn't. (Meanwhile, down in Nevada, safely away from the flying lead, their deadbeat father insists that Finicum was murdered, and is helpfully urging escalation rather than peaceful resolution.)
Most recently, the FBI has released this video, apparently captured by security cameras inside the facility, showing part of the debate among the holdouts.
And as for the vaunted first-in-the-nation caucus and primary, both coming up in the next week or so, I'm not saying that rise of the self-funded billionaire candidate (or the dark money-funded candidate), or the fact that the institutional leadership of the GOP, one of the only two national political parties we have, has lost control of its own process and is currently flailing around on the ground like a Merganser with a wing full of buckshot, is a good thing. Not a good thing as such. I just happen to enjoy one of the unexpected side-effects of it. Remember, America: Nothing's over until Iowa and New Hampshire decide it is!
(Note that if you did a variation on the "empty Trump podium" theme this week – and there were quite a few – it had to be pretty good to make the cut.)
And not to forget the other bit of stage-managed, over-hyped competition coming up on the horizon, one that will also be picked over forever by mathematically- and historically-inclined nerds but soon forgotten by many of the rest of us, I'm told there's some sort of football championship thingy scheduled for next weekend.
Today's toons were selected, by a seven-hour process conducted last night at the Leedy Grange 339 in Cedar Mill OR, 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 toony goodness.
p3 Picks of the week: Mike Luckovich, Jeff Danziger, Matt Davies, Clay Jones, Steve Kelley, Mike Lester, Stuart Carlson, Bob Englehart, and Monte Wolverton.
p3 Best of Show: Tom Toles.
p3 Mixed Metaphor Medal: Matt Wuerker.
p3 Award for Best Adaptation From Another Medium: Jeff Stahler.
p3 Certificate of Appreciation for Even Noticing The Topic This Week: Chan Lowe, Lisa Benson, and Arend van Dam.
p3 Mandatory "Acknowledgement of the Return of Our Favorite Show" Commendation: Jerry Holbert.
Ann Telnaes sketches last week's Iowa GOP debates.
What would be even yooger and classier than the Sarah Palin endorsement? Mark Fiore knows.
Tom Tomorrow poses a riddle: Why is America like little Carol Anne in "Poltergeist"? (Answer: Because both should fear the light.)
Keith Knight explains why simply not littering ain't gonna get you into heaven anymore.
Reuben Bolling presents Lucky Ducky: The Formative Years. (Reminder: Here's the origin of Lucky Ducky.)
And Red Meat's Bug-Eyed Earl – what was he thinking?
The Comic Strip Curmudgeon offers a riddle, too: What do Jeffy of The Family Circus and George W. Bush have in common?
Comic Strip of the Day offers a meditation on this unfortunate truth: You can't make someone clueful.
Twenty years of coconuts! Ah cain't stand coconuts! And there, in a nutshell as it were, is the McGuffin that drives "Rabbitson Crusoe" a mainly-Yosemite Sam short directed by Chuck Jones in 1956. Bugs doesn't even appear until after the 2:30 mark, but he does get to sing "Secret Love," written for the 1953 musical Calamity Jane, starring Doris Day. Watch "Rabbitson Crusoe" at eBaum's World. And if you're in the mood for something special, you can also watch it dubbed in Italian at Vimeo. The voice work in the latter isn't by Portland's Own Mel Blanc, of course, but it's still pretty funny; and if , like me, you don't speak Italian it's arguably even funnier. Although I do wonder how the translation handled Sam's signature western idioms. I mean, what's Italian for "long-eared galoot"?
The Adequately Sized (for now) Oregon Toon Block:
Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman shares some Great Moments.
If Technically Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen got this posted before the damning emails dropped – and the dates indicate she did – she's a by-god clairvoyant.
Matt Bors asks: Who better to design a killer app than an unindicted war criminal?
While my preferred method of handling the Bundy putsch has generally tended toward ridicule followed by more ridicule, Jesse Springer is inclined toward at least a little more sympathy. One of the occupiers is dead, after all. It's just that he's dead for a cause that deserves ridicule.
Test your toon captioning Force 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.