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THE WEEK IN EDITORIAL CARTOONS

This weekly diary takes a look at the past week's important news stories from the perspective of our leading editorial cartoonists (including a few foreign ones) with analysis and commentary added in by me.

When evaluating a cartoon, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Does a cartoon add to my existing knowledge base and help crystallize my thinking about the issue depicted?
  1. Does the cartoonist have any obvious biases that distort reality?
  1. Is the cartoonist reflecting prevailing public opinion or trying to shape it?

The answers will help determine the effectiveness of the cartoonist's message.

:: ::

Steve Sack
Steve Sack, Comics.com

1. CARTOONS OF THE WEEK

As a brief introduction, this diary contains about 90 editorial cartoons in the main text and by the time I post them, a few more (as usual) in the comments section.

The issue that drew the ire of most cartoonists was the outdated policy of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and one which prohibits gays from serving honorably in the military since 1993.  The crazy wingnuts and birthers attending the tea party convention were portrayed as, well, a bizarre group whose political future is yet to be determined.  By the way, I was wondering as to what kind of tea do they drink... Twinings China Oolong?  Democrats didn't fare much better as their agenda seems to be stalled for now unless something happens soon with respect to Healthcare Reform.

The troubles of Toyota resulted in few gleeful cartoons even though its problems have a direct bearing on jobs in this country.  The lack of jobs and persistent unemployment remain high on the list of most cartoonists.  The New Orleans Saints were celebrated as "America's Team."  Congratulations to the team and the people of New Orleans for their first ever Super Bowl win.  Next year, it'll be my Washington Redskins!

Finally, two giants left this world in the past few days, Professor Howard Zinn and Author J.D. Salinger. Last week was also the 3rd anniversary of Molly Ivins' passing in 2007.  They were all models of decorum and decency and their unique contributions to our culture deepened our understanding of the human condition.  The cartoonists pay their tributes in Section 16 and, if I may, I think that might be the best section of this diary.

Hope you like this week's collection of editorial cartoons and the accompanying commentary and analysis.

MIke Thompson
Mike Thompson, Comics.com, see reader comments in the Detroit Free Press

:: ::

The Detroit Free Press's Editorial Cartoonist Mike Thompson offers some straight talk on an outdated policy that needs to be repealed

There is no logical argument against allowing gays to openly serve in the military.  On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates trotted out a plan to study the issue and devise a strategy to allow gays to openly serve in the military.  Gays are already serving in the military; gays have served in the military since the birth of this country, so why do we need a commission to study whether they should do so openly?  Congress can simply lift the ban based on the simple fact that being gay has nothing to do with one’s ability to serve in the armed forces.

Opponents of integrating the military offer only bigotry and ridiculous stereotypes of gays as arguments for their cause.  The issue needs no further study - scrap the current policy now.

Senator John McCain's (R-AZ) and the Republican Party's collective neanderthal response (with some exceptions) to ending the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy and allowing gays to serve in the military follows


Andy Singer, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon


Manny Francisco, Manila Times, (The Philippines), Buy this cartoon

:: ::

You may have noticed that in recent days, news about the tragedy in Haiti has slipped off of the front pages of most newspapers.  That is most certainly not the case here on Daily Kos.  Largely through the dedicated efforts of a wonderful group of our community members, diaries about Haiti are still being well-received and your generous contributions are not only making a real difference but also saving lives in this poor country.  Please keep recommending regular diaries like these -- here, here, and here -- until such time Haiti gets through the worst of it.

The diligent and persistent efforts of our own TexMex were recognized recently (Note: the updated totals include (almost) 125 shelter boxes for 1250 people)

ShelterBox USA Embraces New Age of Donations

Thanks to these creative fundraising opportunities, now it takes less than a second to spread the word about an organization’s latest need.  One email blast from a supporter of ShelterBox constituted a $23,000 donation from her friends, and more than $10,000 was garnered on a single Twitter comment.

Elsa Cade, a reader of the blog DailyKos.com under the name TexMex, spurred the blogosphere to focus on ShelterBox and their urgent need to send shelter and life-saving equipment to Haiti.  The blog has already raised $100,000 to help 1,000 disaster survivors in just a matter of days. "ShelterBox is such an ideal project for what is happening in Haiti.  The product is something our readers are willing to invest in because it gives tangible results," Cade said.  "People can visualize that a simple $100 donation can house one person for up to a year."


Christo Komarnitski, Sega (Sofia, Bulgaria), Buy this cartoon

Paul Szep
Foreign First Amendment Freedom by Paul Szep, Comics.com

:: ::

As Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wrote in a diary earlier this week -- Undoing the damage of the Citizens United decision -- the Supreme Court of the United States rendered a legal decision that was, well, supremely foolish

Further, the Court’s ruling has greatly increased the risk of foreign influence in our elections.  The decision left a monstrous loophole that could empower the deep-pocketed regimes in the Persian Gulf or the Chinese government to wield unprecedented sway in U.S. politics.

Domestic subsidiaries of Chinese firms and foreign leaders such as Hugo Chavez could funnel money into U.S. elections to punish candidates who threaten their interests.


Corporate Money by Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette, Buy this cartoon


Behind Enemy Lines by John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

President Barack Obama's recent foray into the so-called "lion's den" was one for the ages.  He made the GOP members of the U.S. House of Representatives look foolish, ill-informed, and petty.  If it were a football game, the score would be Obama - 52, GOP - 3.  Talk about a rout of epic proportions.

Taegan Goddard of Political Wire describes this historic encounter  

President Obama answered questions from House Republicans at their retreat this afternoon.  It's the closest thing to having "question time" like they do in the British parliament.

It was the most compelling political television I've seen in a long, long time.  It should be required...

If you missed it, watch the C-SPAN video of the event. It's really worth the time.


Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon

Clay Bennett
Clay Bennett, Comics.com , see reader comments in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

:: ::

The New York Times reports that the tea partiers are aiming to go mainstream.  Unlike European parliamentary systems of government -- where proportional representation takes care of the concerns of smaller parties or disgruntled groups -- it is all but inevitable that this group will eventually be fully incorporated into the Republican Party, no matter their criticism  of big government even under previous Republican leadership and all the "evil" it represents.  The White House is keeping a close watch on these developments

Organizers said that anyone "looking too crazy" would have been tossed out.  They had a goal that turned out to be shared by pretty much everyone here: to turn the Tea Party into a serious political force, rather than the angry fringe group they say it had been branded as...

The goal is a electing a conservative Congress in 2010 and a conservative president in 2012.  To that end, organizers announced the formation of a political action committee that they say could steer $10 million to conservative challengers this year.


Tea Party Profits by Jeff Parker, Florida Today, Buy this cartoon


J.D. Crow, Mobile Register, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

Crow, the Mobile Register's Editorial Cartoonist, has this wish for the people of the City of New Orleans

It's a great story that the Saints' road to the Super Bowl rolls over Mississippi native Brett Favre and now confronts New Orleans' favorite son Archie Manning's eldest son, Peyton Manning.

Bring out the voodoo dolls for that game.

Regardless of who wins, Super Bowl XLIV is a dance with destiny.  And the city of New Orleans will enjoy every drop of the good side of 100 proof destiny.

Geaux Saints.

:: ::

Drew Litton
Drew Litton, Comics.com

:: ::

2. Super Bowl XLIV and Commercials: Who Dat?


J.D. Crowe, Mobile Register, Buy this cartoon

Steve Kelley
Steve Kelley, Comics.com

Bruce Beattie
Bruce Beattie, Comics.com

Marshall Ramsey
Marshall Ramsey, Comics.com


Mike Keefe, Denver Post, Buy this cartoon

Rob Rogers
Rob Rogers, Comics.com

:: ::

3. The GOP: Mad Tea Partiers and Phobias


Chris MacNeil, cmacneil.com/polit.html, cartoon forwarded by Renee, the artist posts here at Daily Kos under CMacNeil


GOP Rides the Tea Party by Taylor Jones, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon


David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Star, Buy this cartoon

Jeff Stahler
Jeff Stahler, Comics.com


Monte Wolverton, Cagle Cartoons, Buy this cartoon


Matt Wuerker, Politico


Nate Beeler, Washington Examiner, Buy this cartoons

:: ::

4. After the SOTU Speech, 'Question Time' in the Lion's Den

Jump Start
Ed Stein
Ed Stein, Comics.com

:: ::

As usual, Freelance Cartoonist Ed Stein provides much-needed perspective on the state of political affairs in the country

I thought President Obama got it exactly right in his State of the Union address last night, chiding both Democrats and Republicans for their inability to solve any of the daunting problems facing the country.  The Democrats are tied in knots, unwilling to wield the power the voters gave them a year ago, and the Republicans are living up to their reputation as the party of "no," opposing anything before them now that they are in the minority.  It remains to be seen if this is the emergence of a new, more aggressive Obama, who sat on the sidelines and failed to speak for his agenda for far too long while Congress dithered and the public burned.

:: ::

Note: If you missed it, I wrote this diary last week on the SOTU Speech which has some wonderful editorial cartoons -- The SOTU Speech as Seen by Editorial Cartoonists


Dan Wasserman, Boston Globe


Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon

Steve Sack
Steve Sack, Comics.com


Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

Political analyst David Corn summarizes Obama's visit to the House Republican Caucus this way

It just so happened that Obama cleaned the clocks of the GOPers, referring to them repeatedly as "you guys," while they called him "Mr. President."  ("Interesting session," Republican leader John Boehner tweeted afterward.)  Consequently, Republicans may want to think twice before providing Obama another opportunity.  Yet this was a good moment for the republic.

Journalists and citizens watching the event Twittered their amazement. At one point, I sent out a tweet noting that reporters and voters should ask the White House and the GOPers to commit to holding such a session on a regular basis.  I suggested that White House and Capitol Hill reporters immediately question Obama aides and Republican leader John Boehner about their willingness to do so, adding that C-SPAN head Brian Lamb ought to quickly dispatch a letter to both sides. C-SPAN tweeted back, "We're on it!"


David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Star, Buy this cartoon

Nick Anderson
Nick Anderson, Comics.com, see reader comments in the Houston Chronicle

:: ::

5. SCOTUS: Supremely Political


John Trever, Albuquerque Journal, Buy this cartoon


Larry Wright, Detroit News, Buy this cartoon


Tim Eagan, Deep Cover, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

6. The Fate of Healthcare Reform

Steve Benson
Steve Benson, Comics.com

:: ::

Hendrik Hertzberg of the New Yorker magazine is being realistic about the prospects of Healthcare Reform being signed into law

If the President and the Democrats of Congress fail to enact health-care reform while they still have a real chance to do so, it’s hard to see how they will be able to do anything else.  The damage to their ability to govern—the damage to the ability of the country to govern itself—will be severe.  "I would remind you," the President said Wednesday night, admonishing the members of his own party, "that we still have the largest majority in decades, and the people expect us to solve problems, not run for the hills."  The President made stirring music on Capitol Hill, but those other hills are alive with the sound of doom.


Larry Wright, Detroit News, Buy this cartoon


Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette, Buy this cartoon

Scott Stantis
Scott Stantis, Comics.com

Paul Szep
Paul Szep, Comics.com

:: ::

7. President Barack Obama and the Democrats

Ed Stein
Ed Stein, Comics.com

:: ::

Political scientist Norm Ornstein wrote convincingly (I thought) in the Washington Post that contrary to public perceptions and despite very low approval ratings, this Congress has not only been successful but spectacularly so in historical terms.  But perception is reality in politics.  

Why does this gap exist between perception and reality?  Freelance editorial cartoonist Ed Stein (formerly of the Rocky Mountain News) provides the answer below and states what's been on the minds of most people on this blog for months now

Toyota’s reputation for quality has been severely damaged by the latest problems with their cars.  After decades of gridlock and the resulting inability to accomplish anything, the reputation of Congress can hardly be damaged further.  At this point, it looks as though the Democrats, who failed utterly to use the power handed to them a year ago, face a humiliating defeat at the polls next November, probably on a scale to match the humiliating defeat the Republicans deservedly were handed last year.  Meanwhile, the country’s problems mount, with no end to this absurd merry-go-round in sight.


Dan Wasserman, see reader comments in the Boston Globe


Bill Schorr, Cagle Cartoons, Buy this cartoon

Matt Bors
Matt Bors, Comics.com

:: ::

8. Economy: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!

Party On, Wayne!
Ed Stein
Ed Stein, Comics.com

:: ::

Oh, man.  I really miss Wayne's World from Saturday Night Live.'  Both Wayne Campbell (played by Mike Myers) and Garth Algar (Dana Carvey) were terrific in those sketches

Medical marijuana shops are cropping up all over the place.  We all know, of course, that this is a total sham; it’s a way to legalize marijuana while pretending that we’re doing it for purely ethical reasons.  We won’t admit that the prohibition of ganja was as effective as the prohibition of alcohol, so we save face this way.  But why stop there?  There are equally good uses for dope, and times like these call for a little creativity.  Here’s one way to expand the use of marijuana, also for humanitarian purposes.

Clay Bennett
Clay Bennett, Comics.com , see reader comments in the Chattanooga Times Free Press


Monte Wolverton, Cagle Cartoons, Buy this cartoon


Turning Around the Banking Industry by Mike Keefe, Denver Post, Buy this cartoon


Christo Komarnitski, Sega (Sofia, Bulgaria), Buy this cartoon


Lloyd Dangle, Troubletown, Buy this cartoon

Jeff Stahler
Jeff Stahler, Comics.com

:: ::

9. Don't Ask, Don't Tell: It's Time to Tell


Tom Toles, Washington Post

Steve Sack
Steve Sack, Comics.com

Rob Rogers
Rob Rogers, Comics.com


Jimmy Margulies, New Jersey Record, Buy this cartoon

Mike Luckovich
Mike Luckovich, Comics.com

Matt Bors
Matt Bors, Comics.com

Clay Bennett
Clay Bennett, Comics.com , see reader comments in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

:: ::

10. Terrorist Trials, Climate Change, and Experts

Innocent Until Proven Guilty?

Bob Englehart, Hartford Courant, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

Englehart, the Hartford Courant's Editorial Cartoonist, does not agree with the Obama Administration's policy of trying terrorist suspects in a civilian court.  Why?  It's because he suggests that it would be impossible to select an impartial jury and conduct a trial worthy of our civilian judicial system

As far as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is concerned, Obama's people have already made a mockery of the civilian judicial system by assuring us he'll be found guilty and punished, "meet his maker" I believe was the term they used.  OK, why have a trial?  It's the old cowboy joke about Western justice, "We're gonna give him a fair trial and then we're gonna to hang him."  Well, it's no joke.  Mohammed is not going to get a fair trial and the essence of any trial in a civilian court is that it be fair.  Let the military take care of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.  They'll know what to do.


Bruce Plante, Tulsa World, Buy this cartoon


Mark Streeter, Savannah Morning News, Buy this cartoon


David Horsey, Seattle Post-Intelligencer


Stephane Peray, The Nation (Bangkok, Thailand), Buy this cartoon

:: ::

11. NASA: Fly Me to the Moon


Olle Johansson, Freelance Cartoonist (Stockholm, Sweden), Buy this cartoon

:: ::

The new federal budget proposed by the Obama Administration eliminates manned missions to the moon.  Upon hearing the news, all NASA astronauts broke out in a song about dreaming of going to the moon.  Will Congress listen and restore the program?  

Fly me to the moon
Let me play among the stars
Let me see what spring is like
On a-Jupiter and Mars

Frank Sinatra, Fly Me To The Moon

:: ::

President Obama is calling on NASA to cancel the program that was to return humans to the Moon by 2020, and focus instead on radically new space technologies.

Mr. Obama’s 2010 budget proposal for NASA asks for $18 billion over five years for fueling spacecraft in orbit, new types of engines to accelerate spacecraft through space and robotic factories that could churn soil on the Moon — and eventually Mars — into rocket fuel.

Gary Markstein
Gary Markstein, Comics.com


Mike Peters, Dayton Daily News

:: ::

12. Putting the Brakes On Toyota

Steve Breen
Steve Breen, Comics.com

Rob Rogers
Rob Rogers, Comics.com


David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Star, Buy this cartoon


Gary Markstein, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Buy this cartoon

Mike Luckovich
Mike Luckovich, Comics.com

:: ::

13. iPad: Of Geeks and Gadgets

Generational Reality

David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Star, Buy this cartoon

Steve Sack
Steve Sack, Comics.com

Rob Rogers
Rob Rogers, Comics.com

:: ::

14. Texting: Keep On (Just) Truckin'


Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon


Randy Bish, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

15. Academy Awards Nominations: Aliens Rule


Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune, Buy this cartoon


Stephane Peray, The Nation (Bangkok, Thailand), Buy this cartoon


Manny Francisco, Manila Times (Philippines), Buy this cartoon

:: ::

16. Gone But Not Forgotten: Howard Zinn, J.D. Salinger, and Molly Ivins, RIP


2nd Lieut. Howard Zinn, bombardier,
Army Air Force in England, 1945

:: ::

Professor Howard Zinn (1922-2010) was a man of uncommon decency, integrity, and principle.  A bombardier in World War II, he came to detest war and killing.  Though his passing wasn't mentioned as much as it should have been in the MSM, he was a giant of a man whose contributions did not go unnoticed on these pages.  I also wrote this diary on July 4, 2007 -- Howard Zinn - Nationalism Run Amok in America -- which discusses his take on nationalism as presented in an article in the Progressive magazine.

Columnist Bob Herbert of the New York Times called Zinn a radical treasure.  Chris Matthews, the host of MSNBC's 'Hardball,' remembered Zinn for his outstanding contributions to our country

Before break, we learned yesterday that Howard Zinn died.  A lot of people loved reading this guy.  He was a leading political activist of the 20th century, a crusader for civil rights in this country, and a prominent opponent of the war in Vietnam.  If you want to read some history from a left-wing point of view—and you ought to he hear things from all points of view—he was great.  He wrote in his autobiography that he wanted his students to be more prepared to relinquish the safety of silence, more prepared to speak up, to act against injustice, wherever they saw it, a great lesson.  Howard Zinn was 87.

:: ::


Mark Streeter, Savannah Morning News, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

Author J.D. Salinger was a well-known recluse and famous for his 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye.  His life story reminds us that practicing reticence and trying to restrain oneself from saying every darn thing that crosses our minds is an admirable trait.  A lesson perhaps for bloggers too.

Kathleen Parker wrote this marvelous tribute to Salinger in the Richmond Times-Dispatch in which she wonders why many authors today aren't content to just be rather than constantly trying to achieve fame and direct attention towards themselves

In the days since Salinger's death at age 91, much has been written about all we didn't know about him.  So mysterious was he that at times during his 30-year silence, it was easy to wonder whether he was still alive.  Given the breathless pace of breaking news, we scarcely have time to note a death, much less to mourn the loss.  There's something awry in the rat race when one wonders two days after a fact whether it's too late to write about it...

Still, how far we have come from the days of admiring a reclusive writer who sought shelter from the corrosive effects of fame to celebrating a typist -- as Truman Capote once described On the Road author Jack Kerouac -- whose motives are only fame, the attendant lucre, and, increasingly, political status...

As we mourn the death of an author who prized personal space above fame and fortune, we might also mourn the dearth of enigma.  Ultimately, respecting another's privacy is an act of self-respect, of which we have too little.  Alas, for good reason.  

Jeff Stahler
Jeff Stahler, Comics.com

Steve Breen
Steve Breen, Comics.com

John Sherffius
John Sherffius, Comics.com


Jen Sorensen, Slowpoke, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

Molly Ivins was a national treasure and perhaps the Mark Twain of our age.  A graduate of Smith College and Columbia University, she was a brilliant writer and political satirist, on par with (as the above cartoon shows) the likes of Art Buchwald, Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce, and Twain.  In the tradition of feisty Texas women like Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, and Linda Ellerbee, she could produce a zinger in her calm, cheerful demeanor that one would only marvel at.  

On the occasion of the 3rd anniversary of her death, 'Top Comments' diarist asimbagirl wrote this wonderful tribute -- Top Comments: Celebrating (and missing) Molly Ivins -- in which she listed several great quotes from Ivins.  You should all read it

After a few moments of wondering who this woman was, and upon inspecting the jacket, why I should care about a columnist from a Texas newspaper, I figured that my stepmom was (still is) one of the smartest people I knew, and that was reason enough to read the book.  And thus I was introduced to the incredible wit, wisdom and talent that was Molly Ivins.  She played no small part in keeping me sane during the horrendous and dark Bush years.

:: ::


Mike Lane, Cagle Cartoons, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

17. Final Thoughts


Chris Slane, Freelance Cartoonist (New Zealand), Buy this cartoon

:: ::

The English language is always evolving.  As George Orwell wrote in 1946 in 'Politics and the English Language'

Orwell said that political prose was formed "to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."  Orwell believed that, because this writing was intended to hide the truth rather than express it, the language used was necessarily vague or meaningless.  This unclear prose was a "contagion" which had spread even to those who had no intent to hide the truth, and it concealed a writer's thoughts from himself and others.

:: ::

A Note About the Diary Poll

Drew Litton
Drew Litton, Comics.com

:: ::

The 2009-2010 NFL Season, alas, ended tonight.  This year's Super Bowl featured two of the very best quarterbacks in the game today, the Saints' Drew Brees and the Colts' Peyton Manning.  

Congratulations to the New Orlean Saints for winning their first ever Super Bowl and Vince Lombardi trophy.

It will be a fun night on Bourbon Street in N'awhlins.


The Jamaican bobsled team inspired the 1993 movie, 'Cool Runnings' with its first Olympic trip in 1988.  Will they be at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics?

How much will you miss the football season?  Will you now move to other sports such as basketball or ice hockey?  Or, will you await the beginning of spring training and return of baseball?  Perhaps you also like other sports and welcome this respite from football.

Don't forget to take the poll.

:: ::

Crossposted at Docudharma

Originally posted to JekyllnHyde on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 11:15 PM PST.

Poll

With the Football Season Over, How Much Will You Miss Watching Football?

5%22 votes
10%42 votes
5%23 votes
3%12 votes
11%45 votes
4%16 votes
0%2 votes
11%44 votes
1%5 votes
0%1 votes
4%18 votes
6%25 votes
20%82 votes
11%45 votes
3%12 votes

| 394 votes | Vote | Results

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