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Crossposted at Docudharma and The Stars Hollow Gazette

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

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?
2. Does the cartoonist have any obvious biases that distort reality?
3. Is the cartoonist reflecting prevailing public opinion or trying to shape it?

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

:: ::

Matt Bors
TEAchers Party by Matt Bors, Comics.com (Idiot Box), see reader comments on the Bors Blog
The right’s bizarre affinity for anti-Sharia legislation could be used to unite them with the public workers unions...

Not only will Sharia never be instituted here, but it would be wildly unconstitutional, making these local and state laws unnecessary.  Their purpose is to stir up the natives.

There is a more practical concern, which is under the more strictly worded versions of these bills actually ban Muslims who personally practice Sharia in their homes from doing so, which targets a specific group and prevents religious freedom so it violates the constitution the Tea Party loves twice over.

-- Bors unveils a diabolical plan to win over wingnuts in support of labor unions


Jeff Darcy, Cleveland Plain-Dealer, Buy this cartoon

Bill Day
Bill Day, Comics.com (Memphis Commercial-Appeal)


The Arab Revolution by Patrick Chappatte, Le Temps (Switzerland), Buy this cartoon

Bruce Beattie
Bruce Beattie, Comics.com (Daytona Beach News-Journal)

Jerry Holbert
Jerry Holbert, Comics.com (Boston Herald)


Winning!!! by Clay Jones, Freelance-Star (Fredericksburg, VA), Buy this cartoon

If you want a gajillion followers on Twitter, just start tweeting non-sensical stuff.   Just ask Sarah Palin.  Got to celebrate it!  Usually, I like to root for the underdog.  I can see why nobody would have had faith in Charlie Sheen in the past, yet he’s proven everyone wrong and his career has risen to unexpected and unexplainable heights.  But I’m not  ready to follow this underdog as I like my underdogs to have a functioning brain.  I think I’ll root for the underdogs in Libya, who’s fighting against someone else who’s full frontal lobe isn’t fully functioning.

-- Jones has a suggestion for how the rebels in Libya can attract more attention


Khadafi Oscar by David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Star, Buy this cartoon


Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer, Buy this cartoon

Steve Kelley
Steve Kelley, Comics.com (New Orleans Times-Picayune)


Generalissimo Walker by Phil Hands, see reader comments in the Wisconsin State Journal
(click this link to enlarge cartoon)

Rob Rogers
Free The Oil by Rob Rogers, Comics.com, see reader comments in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

With all of the democracy protests erupting in the Middle East, let's not forget that the U.S. has always been interested in the safety and security of certain Middle East residents.  No, I don't mean Iraqis, Egyptians or Libyans.  I mean barrels of oil.

-- Rogers stating rather bluntly what has been clear for decades to critics of American foreign policy towards the Middle East

Steve Benson
Steve Benson, Comics.com (Arizona Republic)


Letter to the People of Egypt by RJ Matson, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

INTRODUCTION


Lloyd Dangle, Troubletown, Buy this cartoon
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win -- Mahatma Gandhi, Indian Philosopher, internationally esteemed for his doctrine of nonviolent protest
Standing Up for Their Political Principles in Wisconsin

Paul Szep

Count me as one of those thoroughly impressed with the steadfastness of elected Democratic legislators from the State of Wisconsin as well as with important constituencies of the party.  

Over the past month, their resolute and unified display of solidarity with the state's working classes and sticking to their political principles offers an important lesson to national Democrats.  It simply means that if you stand up for principles of social and economic justice that have long defined the Democratic Party, your political base will not only stand behind you but, also, enthusiastically offer its support.  And if you do not, then, we all are very familiar with what happened in the November 2010 Elections.  (Paul Szep, Comics.com)

The courageous Democrats of Wisconsin have put the national Republican party on the political defensive and exposed them as surrogates for privileged economic elites.

Political discourse should be about competing ideas and not just about shady behavior and the corrupting influence of money in politics.  If that were the case -- and given unlimited amounts of corporate money behind their scheming ways -- the Wisconsin Republicans would have coasted to an easy victory.  As Rachel Maddow explained it so well on her MSNBC Show this past Tuesday night, they didn't. What this tells us more than anything else is that there definitely is space in our national politics for vigorous and principled debate.  (Fat Cats Charles and David Koch by Jim Day, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Buy this cartoon)

The Koch Brothers may fancy themselves as kingmakers in the Republican Party and their money may well help the GOP win a battle or two in this fight.  But make no mistake.  They are losing the war of public opinion.  Who's winning the fight over public-employee unions?  The unions are according to polls conducted by Pew Research

Public attitudes about labor unions have been largely stable since the start of the battles in Wisconsin and other states.  A Pew Research poll last week found favorable opinions of unions outnumbering unfavorable opinions by a 47%-to-39% margin, essentially unchanged from a poll conducted in early February.  But the battles have energized union households and liberal Democrats.  Among both groups, very favorable attitudes about unions jumped sharply in the past few weeks.

Most polls have found majorities opposed to recent efforts to limit or eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employees.  A late February Pew Research poll about the Wisconsin dispute found 42% siding more with the public-employee unions than with the governor (31%).  Despite recent Republican criticism of public-sector unions, Pew Research's polling has found little difference in opinions about public-sector vs. private-sector unions.

Earlier this week, Rachel Maddow emphatically said that the working classes were winning this prolonged fight in Wisconsin.  What these protests have shown is that America's workers are mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore.  They believe in "shared sacrifice" so long as it is fair and equitable.  

This is what effective organization looks like.  This has been one hell of an impressive display by people truly committed to the preservation of real democracy in this country.  There is a lesson for Washington Democrats too: the activist base of the Democratic Party is not asking for the moon but we definitely want our elected leaders to fight on our behalf -- win or lose -- and show some backbone.  It's not that complicated.  

:: ::

Steve Benson

This diary has several other cartoons about the turmoil in Libya. With concern rising over higher oil prices, many editorial cartoonists are urging the country to take a good, long hard look at itself in the mirror and re-evaluate its wasteful ways in terms of consuming energy. Gaddafi's future in Libya may be uncertain but what is evident is that the country's long-term energy policies -- and its fragile "economic recovery" -- should not be held hostage by external events.
(Steve Benson, Comics.com (Arizona Republic)

Additionally, you find editorial cartoons about the anti-gay protests by members of the Westboro Baptist Church, Republican Party shenanigans, hostility towards women's issues, and a number of other events in the news.

I may post some more cartoons in the body of the diary.  Hope you like this edition.  Comments are encouraged.

:: ::

1. Cartoons of the Week


Secret GOP/Big Business Meetings by Monte Wolverton, Cagle Cartoons, Buy this cartoon
The Eyes of the Nation Are on Wisconsin


Kap, La Vanguardia and Mundo Deportivo (Spain), Buy this cartoon

Don Wright
Don Wright, Comics.com (Tribune Media Services)

Anarchy in Libya


Tim Eagan, Deep Cover, Buy this cartoon


Ghaddafi Sailing in a Barrel by Riber Hansson (Sweden), Buy this cartoon

Oil - America's Drug of Choice


RJ Matson, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Buy this cartoon

Steve Benson
Steve Benson, Comics.com (Arizona Republic)

The GOP - Nation Destroyers, Not Builders


Tea Party Barbarian by Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune, Buy this cartoon

Matt Bors
Boob Fight by Matt Bors, Comics.com (Idiot Box), see reader comments on the Bors Blog

Michelle Obama was out advocating for breastfeeding, so Palin and Bachmann attacked her like a hungry infant attacks a milk laden tit -- except for the part where they shut the fuck up for a minute after latching on.

-- Bors clearly sees the irrationality in the attacks on Michelle Obama


Primitive Baptist Preachers


Mike Scott, NewJerseyNewsroom.com, Buy this cartoon


Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer, Buy this cartoon

The 2012 Silver Medalists

Jerry Holbert
Jerry Holbert, Comics.com (Boston Herald)


Will Gingrich Run? by Mike Keefe, Denver Post, Buy this cartoon

NPR - Stung By Conservatives


Conservative Gotcha by Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune, Buy this cartoon


John Sherffius, Boulder Daily Camera, Buy this cartoon

Leave Big Bird Alone


Proposed Cuts to PBS by Daryl Cagle, MSNBC.com, Buy this cartoon


GOP Trophies by Milt Priggee, www.miltpriggee.com, Buy this cartoon

The King of Kings


The Kings Speech Wins the Oscar by Randall Enos, Cagle Cartoons, Buy this cartoon

Jack Ohman
Jack Ohman, Comics.com (Portland Oregonian)

Peter King - The King of Paranoia and Xenophobia


Hearings on Muslim Extremism by Jimmy Margulies, New Jersey Record, Buy this cartoon

Steve Breen
Steve Breen, Comics.com (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Is This the Beginning of the End for DOMA?

Drew Sheneman
Drew Sheneman, Comics.com (Newark Star-Ledger)

Walt Handelsman
Walt Handelsman, Comics.com (Newsday)

Tragedy in Japan


Earthquake in Japan by Aislin, Montreal Gazette, Buy this cartoon


Nuclear Drama in Japan by Peter Broelman (Australia), Buy this cartoon

2. America Held Hostage By Middle East Oil

Chan Lowe
Chan Lowe, Comics.com, see reader comments on Lowe's blog in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

:: ::

Lowe thinks it is sheer madness that we haven't developed an effective strategy for alternative fuels and as great as this country is, its future and economy is hardly independent of foreign events.  It need not be that way

Gadhafi and Fuel Prices

We like to think of ourselves as the most powerful nation on earth, yet our fragile economic recovery risks being strangled by, of all things, the reluctance of a semi-obscure North African madman to vacate his seat of power.  Every day that he counterattacks and digs in is an extra day of turbulence and uncertainly in the world’s oil futures markets, with direct consequences to the prices of everything we consume here at home.

One could not blame the average American taxpayer for questioning the expenditure of so much of our treasure on the greatest defense machine in the history of mankind if we remain so vulnerable to discrete events in far-flung places.  One way out of this mess is to begin thinking of "national defense spending" as something other than a series of jobs programs for defense workers scattered throughout a collection of congressional districts.

Hard as it might be for our representatives in Washington to get their minds around this, the fact is that every dollar spent on energy independence is a dollar we don’t have to spend worrying about keeping our oil supply lines open.  It’s up to us to educate our politicians that a salary earned by a voter manufacturing, say, photovoltaic cells consists of the same legal tender as a salary earned building tanks or bombers.


Unravelling by Brian Adcock, The Scotland, Buy this cartoon


Cal Grondahl, Utah Standard Examiner, Buy this cartoon

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


Cry for Help by Joep Bertrams (The Netherlands), Buy this cartoon


Martyr by Cam Cardow, Ottawa Citizen, Buy this cartoon

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

Rob Rogers
Rob Rogers, Comics.com, see reader comments in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  

Dependence

Dependence on foreign oil often means dependence on Arab regimes.  It should be interesting to see how Americans embrace democracy in the Middle East when it means they'll be paying more for gas.

-- Rogers wonders if most Americans would support the spread of democracy in the Middle East if it meant that their own pocketbooks would be negatively affected by it


Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

3. Protesting for Fairness and Equality


Jen Sorensen, Slowpoke, see reader comments on Sorensen's blog, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

Sorensen reminds us why unions are important and is optimistic about the final outcome in Wisconsin and ramifications for workers

Union Envy

As unions grow less and less powerful in the US, it seems we're losing our collective memory of why they are important, and also of what a decent job looks like...

I empathize with anyone trying to support a family on crap jobs like that -- but this also illustrates how the working class plays right into the hands of the very elites who want to do away with unions.  First, eliminate the good jobs that allow workers their fair share of the nation's wealth; next watch them turn against each other...

Fortunately, polls show a majority of Americans support workers keeping their bargaining rights -- so our case of crabs is not an epidemic, as some billionaires might have you believe.

Read her complete comment

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


Walker - Union Buster by John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Buy this cartoon


CEO Pay by Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune, Buy this cartoon


Stuart Carlson, carlsontoons/Universal Press Syndicate
(click link to enlarge cartoon)

We in Wisconsin are all expected to share in budget cuts and sacrifices, some more than others.

-- Carlson explaining the above cartoon

Steve Breen
Steve Breen, Comics.com (San Diego Union-Tribune)


Former Democratic Governor by Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette, Buy this cartoon


GOP and Civil Servant Pensions by Daryl Cagle, MSNBC.com, Buy this cartoon


Hat tip - Political Gates

Clay Bennett
Teachers by Clay Bennett, Comics.com, see the large number of reader comments in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

:: ::

4. Westboro Baptist Church: Exploiting the 1st Amendment

Chan Lowe
Chan Lowe, Comics.com, see reader comments on Lowe's blog in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

:: ::

Just like the vast majority of editorial cartoonists -- be they of the liberal, moderate, or conservative persuasion --  Lowe cannot stand the despicable behavior exhibited by members of the Westboro Baptish Church.  But, he also has respect for the rule of law and the First Amendment of the United States Constitution that protects free speech, even if it is offensive to most people

Anti-Gay Funeral Protests

What the Westboro Baptist Church people are doing is so repugnant, so outside the bounds of human decency, that many of us hoped the Supreme Court would blow them out of the water.

Surely, we thought, their vicious hate spoeech and bizarre antics at military funerals -- mocking the idea of military service to one's nation and subjecting the families of the dead to further misery -- constitute an abuse of the First Amendment...

Navigating their way through this fog of anger, however, eight justices of the Court realized that the beauty of the First Amendment lies in the fact that it can’t be abused. Other than crying "Fire!" in a crowded theater or inciting to riot, just about anything goes.  They made a compelling argument, too, as to why Westboro’s right to spew its ugliness is just as precious as Martin Luther King’s right to give his "Dream" speech on the National Mall: The church members are addressing an issue in the national discourse, and they are doing it in a place that enjoys a particularly sacred status in the Constitution... the public street...

We can love the First Amendment or hate it, depending on the circumstances, but it’s ours.  The inherent and inviolate broadness of the protection it provides is one of the many things that continue to make our country the envy of the world.

Robert Ariail
Robert Arial, Comics.com (formerly of The State, SC)


Phelps and the First Amendment by Mike Keefe, Denver Post, Buy this cartoon


Mark Streeter, Savannah Morning News, Buy this cartoon


Milt Priggee, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon


Rick McKee, Augusta Chronicle (GA), Buy this cartoon


Jeff Koterba, Omaha World Herald, Buy this cartoon

Jeff Stahler
Jeff Stahler, Comics.com (Columbus Dispatch)

Steve Sack
Steve Sack, Comics.com (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

:: ::

5. 2011 International Women's Day


Jen Sorensen, Slowpoke, see reader comments on her blog, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

Sorensen points out that choices are shrinking for women given the overtly hostile attitude of most Republican elected officials towards issues of concern to women

Unplanned Parenthood

As you may have heard, House Republicans are looking to solve our nation's economic problems (not) by defunding Planned Parenthood.  What you may not know is that there are currently over 4,000 anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" around the country, more than five times the number of abortion providers.  These largely "faith-based" operations, known for disseminating medically-dubious advice, received at least $60 million under the Bush administration. (You'll recall the many Republicans who howled about that instance of deficit spending, no? Hmm... neither do I.)  So, in a sense, Unplanned Parenthood already exists, and this cartoon is merely absurdist exaggeration.  I hope.

Paul Szep
Paul Szep, Comics.com


Bring it on Home by David Cohen, Asheville Citizen-Times
(click link to enlarge cartoon)


Huckabee Family Values by Taylor Jones, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon

Bill Day
Bill Day, Comics.com (Memphis Commercial-Appeal)


Sex War by Petar Pismestrovic, Kleine Zeitung (Austria), Buy this cartoon


Joel Pett, McLatchy Cartoons/Lexington Herald-Leader
(click link to enlarge cartoon)

Bill Day
Bill Day, Comics.com (Memphis Commercial-Appeal)


Lalo Alcaraz, LA Weekly, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

6. RIP Frank Buckles, Jane Russell, and David Broder


Vic Harville, Stephens Media Group (Little Rock, AR), Buy this cartoon


Last US WWI Veteran by Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon


Washington Doughboys by John Cole, Scranton Times-Tribune, Buy this cartoon


Mark Streeter, Savannah Morning News, Buy this cartoon

Jeff Stahler
Jeff Stahler, Comics.com (Columbus Dispatch)

:: ::

7. Final Thoughts


LA Bikeways by Monte Wolverton, Cagle Cartoons, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

Finally, are you an outdoorsy kind of person?  If so, do you like to bike or do you always rely on your car, bus, train, or subway for transportation?  Where you live, how clean is the air and is air quality there better than in Los Angeles, California?

:: ::

A Note About the Diary Poll

Mike Luckovich
Mike Luckovich, Comics.com (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
:: ::

What do you think of the (almost) month-long protests against the Republican Party in Wisconsin?  Do you feel encouraged, discouraged, or are indifferent to this political uprising?

Will these protests revive the labor movement, put the GOP on the political defensive, and result in long-term gains for the working classes?  With recall elections in the works for WI state legislative seats and a real possibility that even the Governor of Wisconsin may be recalled in 2012, what does this mean for the Democratic Party and the Progressive Movement?

Share your thought in the comments section and don't forget to take the diary poll.  Thanks.

:: ::

Update #1

8. The GOP 2012 Presidential Field: Not a Contender Among Them


Mike Huckabee by Bob Englehart, Hartford Courant, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

Englehart is not at all impressed with either Mike Huckabee or Newt Gingrich as potential Republican candidates for 2012

The trouble with politicians like Mike Huckabee is that they are surrounded by toadies who tell them how right they are.  Good politicians have someone in the organization who can tell them no and make the boss think.  Huckabee doesn't have a prayer to be elected president of the United States. Well, he has a prayer, but that's all he has.

It's good fun to watch and listen to these early candidates make fools of themselves.  I can't wait until Newt makes an announcement.  He has more baggage than a 747 on the way to Australia.


Newt Gingrich for President 2012 by Jimmy Margulies, New Jersey Record, Buy this cartoon


Newt Gingrich's Pick Up Lines For Cheaters by RJ Matson, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Buy this cartoon


Pat Oliphant, Yahoo Cartoons/Universal Press Syndicate
(click link to enlarge cartoon)

Mike Luckovich
Mike Luckovich, Comics.com (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Jack Ohman
Jack Ohman, Comics.com (Portland Oregonian)

:: ::

Update #2

9. Sports Talk: March Can Be Maddening


March Madness and Bosses by Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon

Drew Litton
Drew Litton, Comics.com

Drew Litton
Drew Litton, Comics.com


Clay Jones, Freelance-Star (Fredericksburg, VA), Buy this cartoon


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

Drew Litton
Drew Litton, Comics.com

Drew Litton
Drew Litton, Comics.com

Originally posted to JekyllnHyde on Sat Mar 12, 2011 at 11:10 PM PST.

Also republished by J Town.

Poll

What is Your Opinion on These Massive Political Protests in Wisconsin?

5%6 votes
9%10 votes
24%27 votes
48%53 votes
4%5 votes
3%4 votes
3%4 votes
0%0 votes

| 109 votes | Vote | Results

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