The Week’s Best Cartoons 2/27

This week the cartoonists certainly had plenty of material to work with, from Ted Cruz’ trip to Cancún, to the bigotry of Marjorie Greene to states’ renewed attempts at voter suppression to CPAC and more.  They didn’t let us down, and as she does every week, our friend TokyoSand managed to find the best of the lot!  Thanks, TS … you’re the best!

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See All The ‘Toons!

Lookin’ Good, Merrick Garland!

Merrick-GarlandYesterday was the first of the two-day confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland, President Biden’s choice to head the Department of Justice.  I have felt for weeks that Garland would be confirmed by the Senate, for he is both liked and respected by those on both sides of the aisle.  According to an article in The Washington Post …

“… there was little acrimony and many Democrats and Republicans on the panel appeared to treat his confirmation almost as a foregone conclusion.”

Several Republicans seem certain that Garland will be confirmed …

“I believe so. There were people that weren’t totally satisfied with his answers, but i didn’t hear anybody get really irritated. … For the most part, he answered pretty well.” – Senator Chuck Grassley (republican) from Iowa

“That certainly seems likely. I thought he did fine. It was frustrating in that he answered very few questions. He approached it more like a judicial nominee dodging every question.” – Senator Ted Cruz (republican) from Texas

“Judge Garland is about as sure a bet as you can have in the Congress these days that he will be confirmed. He has navigated these questions with extraordinary adroitness and aplomb.” – Senator Richard Blumenthal (democrat) from Connecticut

To be sure, there were contentious lines of questioning, especially from the likes of Senator John Neeley Kennedy, a republican from Louisiana, and the ignoble Josh Hawley who cheered the attackers on January 6th, and did everything in his power to try to overturn our votes on that day.  But, Garland remained cool and his answers brought no rebuttal.  For example, Hawley arrogantly twirled his pencil while attempting to goad Garland into a conversation on defunding the police, and on what constitutes ‘domestic terrorism’.

Garland, who prosecuted the Oklahoma City bombing perpetrators before becoming a federal judge,  looked Hawley straight in the eye and responded …

“As you no doubt know, President Biden has said he does not support defunding the police, and neither do I. We saw how difficult the lives of police officers were in the body-cam videos we saw when they were defending the Capitol.  The use of violence or threats of violence in an attempt to disrupt democratic processes.  So an attack on a courthouse while in operation trying to prevent judges from deciding cases, that plainly is domestic extremism, domestic terrorism.”

Lindsey Graham, who would not allow Garland’s hearing to take place earlier this month, reared his typically ugly head, quizzed Garland on whether he thought James Comey, who was fired by the former guy early in his administration, was a good FBI Director.  Garland calmly replied that the question was not useful and that he didn’t intend to get into critiquing other directors.  Then Graham responded churlishly with …

“Well, you’ve been very political, and appropriately so, at times. I just find it pretty stunning that you can’t say, in my view, that he was a terrible FBI director.”

However, at the end of the day, Lindsey told Garland, “I think you’re a very good pick for this job.”  Even Senator Kennedy, one of the more obnoxious among republican senators, said “You’ll be a good attorney general.”

Perhaps Garland’s most powerful statement, at least in my eyes, was when he said …

“I am not the president’s lawyer, I am the United States’ lawyer.”

Quite the contrast from previous Attorney General William Barr who saw himself and the entire Department of Justice as tools at the former guy’s disposal.

No doubt there will be some Republicans who will oppose the nomination, likely Tom Cotton, Mike Lee, and Josh Hawley among them, but the general consensus is that Garland will win senate confirmation when the vote is taken on March 1st.  Score one for justice.

Don’t Mess With Texas?

I’ve put off writing about the current situation in Texas, and Ted Cruz’ ignoble trip to Cancun to avoid the cold that his constituents were dying in, but Jeff has done a terrific job of covering the highlights. Thanks, Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

Former Mayor of San Antonio and Barack Obama’s Secretary of HUD Julian Castro put it best on Chris Hayes’ show on MSNBC the other day: “We need to stop electing people who don’t believe in government, to political positions in the government.”

I wonder how the people of Texas are feeling about their elected GOP leaders these days. Millions are freezing their asses off, being told to boil water, standing in line for groceries and propane, and seeing their neighbors dying after being forced into unsafe acts to stay warm. Is this what they signed up for?

One would think that this might be the final straw. After decades of corporate hack GOP leadership and deregulation on steroids, the state now resembles a failed third-world dictatorship. What more will it take for Texas citizens to throw these idiots out of office and try something different?

They had a chance in…

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We Will NOT Forget!

In case you didn’t notice, there is a trial of some importance taking place this week in Washington, D.C.  Now, I used to watch Perry Mason, and a number of other courtroom dramas, the names of which elude me at the moment, so I have an idea how a trial is supposed to be conducted, how lawyers, defendants, and jurors are supposed to act, but this trial is like nothing I have ever seen before.

First, the defendant is nowhere to be seen.  He decided that it was too cold up north to leave his Florida resort, and besides, he had a golf game scheduled for yesterday.  But what really blows my mind is the jurors!  Have you ever seen a trial where the jurors, rather than being bothered with listening to the evidence being presented by the prosecution, got up and walked around, texted on their phones … about breast milk, for some strange reason?

Worse yet, can you imagine a murder trial where three of the jurors have a closed-door session with the defense attorneys???  NO, just NO … this is illegal, immoral, unconscionable, and a number of other adjectives I can think of once the steam stops coming out of my ears!

House impeachment managers, the prosecution, were presenting compelling evidence of the attack on Congress and the Capitol and the defendant’s involvement in said attack on Wednesday afternoon, but Ted Cruz and several other Republican senators were apparently bored watching themselves narrowly escape the violence on January 6th and instead sought other distractions, such as shuffling papers, or playing on their cell phones like Teddy was doing.

Under absolutely no circumstances, in a trial, are the lawyers on either side allowed to meet in private with jurors.  That is called tampering with the jury, it is illegal.  Period.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  Trump’s legal team and the three Republican senators, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, and Mike Lee are all in violation of the law for their little tête-à-tête .  They are attempting to turn this trial into a sham, but all they are doing is further destroying their reputations and that of the Republican Party, for they are proving with every passing minute that there is no collective conscience.  The Republican Party has decided that they don’t need to represent the will of the people, but instead will do whatever they damn well please, and force us to continue to pay their salaries.

“We were discussing their legal strategy and sharing our thoughts,” said Cruz.  No, jackass … you are not a member of the legal team … you are the jury!  Your job is to listen to both sides and decide which has merit, not collude with one side against the other.  You are the damn jurors in this case!  In a normal trial, the judge would at this point likely declare a mistrial and schedule a new trial, else dismiss the jurors and call for a new selection.  But this is an impeachment trial and apparently the Republicans in Congress are allowed to make and break the rules with impunity. Imagine if the Democrats tried that!

The public has heard the evidence, and while the corruption is so rampant in the Republican Party that the senators will allow a conman, a man guilty of plotting murder free to incite further violence, to kill again, We the People know that he is guilty.  We weren’t playing on our cell phones while the evidence was being presented, and we did not collude with the lawyers for the defense.  We saw the evidence, we know Donald Trump is guilty, and we will never again trust him or those senators who refused to perform their duty, to uphold their oaths.  We Will Not Forget. Ever.

Wiser Words Than Mine

I find myself tonight in a strange place, a place where I can find no words.  I have much I would like to say, but I cannot get the words to move from my brain to my fingers.  My head and heart are still reeling from the dark chasm into which I was forced to look on Wednesday, and when I try to write my thoughts, no words will come.

Fortunately, not everyone has been struck silent in the wake of Wednesday’s terrible tragedy, and New York Times columnist David Brooks has written my post for me tonight, far better than I could have done even were I at my best.


This Is When the Fever Breaks

Wednesday was a moral exposure, and a turning point.

david-brooks-thumbLarge-v2By David Brooks

Opinion Columnist

Awe and reverence. I remember the first time I entered the U.S. Capitol. I was 14 or so. I came down from Pennsylvania by train, and I was overwhelmed by the glory of the place. This was where Lincoln and Henry Clay had worked. This was where the 13th Amendment was passed, the Land Grant College Act, the New Deal, the Civil Rights Act. It was such a beautiful building, I was stunned.

I got inside, found the tunnels and explored the complex. I figured if I walked really fast, people would think I belonged there, so I trucked along as fast as my little legs would carry me — heart racing and imagination aflame.

It’s decades later. I live a few blocks from the building now and have been inside thousands of times. The awe and reverence have never diminished an iota.

The people who work there have their human frailties, but at moments of great crisis, like 9/11 or Wednesday’s mob rampage, most of them show a devotion to our common enterprise that makes me cry with admiration.

Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio once took me on the Senate floor and showed me how generations of senators had carved their names in the drawers of the desks — ancient hands with their penknives scratching away in the wood, a centuries-long parade of lives dedicated in their imperfect ways to our country.

That is why the Capitol, not the White House, is the altar of our democracy, the sacred gathering spot of those who served, strove and died building this nation.

One day in 2013 a freshman senator named Ted Cruz shut down the government. He was months into his first term, a time when his eyes should have been wide with wonder and his heart full of humility. Instead, he co-opted the Senate, with no realistic prospect of serving any cause, but simply for the purpose of making Ted Cruz famous. He gave a 21-hour filibuster speech on the Senate floor that riveted right-wing media for a news cycle.

I was in the Senate Dining Room shortly afterward when he walked in. The emotional temperature plummeted. Everybody, of both parties, despised Cruz for putting himself above the Senate, for his own arrogance and narcissism.

But it worked. Cruz became a prominent G.O.P. figure, a fund-raising machine. The model of being a Republican lawmaker changed. It was no longer somebody who passes legislation; it was someone who pulls a publicity stunt that owns the libs. Millions of Americans felt scorned by a cultural and media elite. They were willing to follow anybody who could make himself despised by the people they felt despised them.

Donald Trump came in the wake of that. And then, this week, Josh Hawley. As of Wednesday morning, Hawley was the model of what a Republican senator was going to look like in the post-Trump era. He cannily understood what the party faithful wanted. Publicity stunts. Owning the libs.

But there are dark specters running through our nation — beasts with shaggy manes and feral teeth. They have the stench of Know-Nothingism, the hot blood of the lynchers, and they ride the winds of nihilistic fury.

Read the history books. They have always been lurking in the shadows of our nation’s greatness. Hawley didn’t just own the libs, he gave permission to dark forces he is too childish, privileged and self-absorbed to understand. Hawley sold his soul to all that is ugly for the sake of his own personal celebrity.

Human beings exist at moral dimensions both too lofty and more savage than the contemporary American mind normally considers. The mob that invaded that building Wednesday exposed the abyss. This week wasn’t just an atrocity, it was a glimpse into an atavistic nativism that always threatens to grip the American soul. And it wasn’t just the mob that exposed this. The rampage reminded us that if Black people had done this, the hallways would be red with their blood.

We are a flawed and humiliated nation, but when well led, we can be more self-sacrificial than we have any right to expect. I despised the sight of the Confederate flags being paraded through Capitol halls, but I loved everything Mitt Romney said and did on Wednesday. Romney showed what moral leadership looks like, and how just a few voices can shift a herd.

Leadership matters. Character matters. The thousands of people who work in the Capitol complex were chased from their chambers or barricaded in their offices by the furies that are ravaging this nation. The shock of this atrocity is bound to have a sobering effect.

I’m among those who think this is an inflection point, a step back from madness. We’re a divided nation, but we don’t need to be a nation engulfed in lies, lawlessness and demagogic incitement.

We look to you, our 535 representatives, to simply do the people’s business, to cut deals so people can stock their pantries and school their kids, and so that a 14-year-old, or a 59-year-old, can enter your building with eyes of wonder, awe and devotion.

Who’s Surprised?

Jeff is as angry as I am tonight … he and I, along with many others have predicted this for some time. It was right in front of our eyes, but apparently the media, Congress, and others couldn’t see it. Remember, my friends, the lunatic who created today’s madness also has access to the nuclear codes …

On The Fence Voters

None of what’s happening at the U.S Capitol today should surprise any of us. At least not those who’ve actually been warning what might happen were the Mad King to lose the election. Now we’re seeing in real time the disintegration of democracy playing out on our television screens for all of the world to see.

The crazies are making their last stand, at the behest of their dear leader. He’s been egging them on for months now; told them to “stand down and standby.” They all knew what he meant. They’ve been plotting this insurrection ever since. The real question right now is, how in the hell was this allowed to happen? How could there not have been National Guard stationed and surrounding the Capitol, days before in anticipation of today’s certification proceedings?

People will have to be held to account and I don’t just mean those in law…

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A Response …

Yesterday morning I contacted my Republican representative, Warren Davis and Republican senator, Rob Portman, sending both the following short email …

As a representative of the district (state) in which I live and pay taxes, I expect you to support the will of the people.  Joe Biden won the office of president on November 3rd in a fair and honest election.  Donald Trump’s claims of voter fraud are lies and are in themselves fraudulent.  Joe Biden will take the Oath of Office on 20 January, and I fully expect you, Mr. Davidson (Mr. Portman), to vote to certify the electoral results on Wednesday.  If you do not, then you are trying to undermine democratic processes and take away the people’s right to choose their leaders.  Think about that and think about your responsibility to We the People.

Just as I call out these same people when they act in ways that are unconscionable, I thought it only fair to commend them when they do their job and actually represent We the People.  I share a portion of the response I received later that afternoon from Senator Portman …

In accordance with the Constitution and federal law, the Electoral College cast their votes for President on December 14, 2020. I think we need to respect this process the Founding Fathers established, and we must respect the will of the voters.

The orderly transfer of power is a hallmark of our democracy, and although I supported President Trump, the Electoral College vote makes clear that Joe Biden is now President-Elect.

The presidential election was contentious and hard fought. Roughly half of America was bound to be disappointed with the outcome. My hope is that all of us, as Americans, regardless of who we supported in the campaign, will be willing to accept the result because a thorough process was followed, and the final vote count was clear.

Our country faces serious challenges, from the public health and economic crises brought on by COVID-19, to an epidemic of drug addiction, to our growing national security threats. To solve these problems, we need to come together and rise above the dysfunction in Washington. I know if we work together, we can deliver results and make a real difference in the lives of Ohioans and all Americans.

Though I quite often disagree with Senator Portman, I greatly appreciate his views on the election certification, and he has gained a bit of respect in my eyes.  Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Ron Johnson, Marsha Blackburn and many others could take a lesson from Senator Portman.  As of this writing, I have not had a response from Warren Davidson, which is fairly typical … perhaps he only responds to favourable comments.

The Sedition Continues

Never in my wildest imaginings could I have thought how terribly inhumane, corrupt, and unconscionable an entire half of the United States, including the entirety of the Republican Party, could become. I am sickened and disgusted by every single Republican in Congress today, and also by the 74 million people who apparently would prefer to chant “Heil Trump” than to have a real president. Jeff tells of some of the absolute inanity the “GOP” is attempting to take away the right to vote and have our vote tallied. He, like myself, is sick and damn tired of all the shenanigans. Thanks, Jeff, for this heartfelt post … I share your every thought on this.

On The Fence Voters

So another 11 senators signed on to the ridiculous challenge of what used to be a mere formality counting of certified state elector ballots on January 5, joining seditious and treason-like Senator Josh Hawley from Missouri.

Of course, this buffoonery follows on the heels of the idiotic Supreme Court challenge signed by 126 Republican House members that were utterly and swiftly dismissed a few weeks ago. You can now increase that list of treacherous scoundrels to 140, as that’s how many who are now saying they’ll also challenge the certification process.

Oh, and we might as well mention imbecilic Rep. Louis Gohmert’s lawsuit against Mike Pence, trying to force him into accepting other illegitimate elector’s ballots from rogue radicals in some of the swing states like Pennsylvania and Arizona. That one didn’t go anywhere either.

Once again, in the United States of America, we have a group of Republican lawmakers…

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Snarky Snippets For A Dreary Grey Day

Okay, folks, the holidays are over and I for one am more than ready to return to my normal routine.  Let’s get the tree down, pack those decorations away, finish all those leftovers, and get back to whatever passes for ‘normal’ in your household!  My psyche doesn’t handle disruptions well at all.


Sorry, Louie, but the answer is ‘NO’

I told you earlier this week about a lawsuit filed by the ignoble representative from Texas, Louie Gohmert and others, that sought to attempt to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the results of the election.  The suit was a bad joke, for there were no grounds whatsoever for it, and most every political analyst and constitutional law expert said it was doomed to fail.

Well, fail it did.  Yesterday, Judge Jeremy D. Kernodle of the Eastern District of Texas ruled that Gohmert and other republican lawmakers lacked the proper standing to sue Mr. Pence in the matter.  The real kicker in this ruling, though, is the fact that Judge Kernodle was appointed by Trump himself!  And, to heap insult onto injury in the eyes of Trump, the Department of Justice, representing Pence, had asked the Judge to reject the lawsuit.  I hear that Trump is not a happy camper about these latest developments, and Gohmert claims he intends to appeal, but with only five days before Congress meets to certify Joe Biden’s electoral win, I doubt there is time, nor is there willingness on the part of any judges to open themselves to what would follow if Pence were forced to take away the people’s will.

Score one for justice.toon-2


They never give up, do they?

This just in, as I was writing the above snippet – several republican senators, led by Ted Cruz of Texas, have signed a statement saying that they will refuse to certify the electoral votes for Joe Biden unless a ten-day audit is performed.

good grief

More grandstanding, and a move that is destined to fail, for frankly the votes of these idiots are not requisite for a majority vote to certify the results of the Electoral College.  The democrats have a majority in the House of Representatives, and in the Senate, a number of republicans have already acknowledged Joe Biden’s win and will not align themselves with these spoiled brats.  The ones who have signed the statement are:

  • Ted Cruz – Texas
  • Ron Johnson – Wisconsin
  • James Lankford – Oklahoma
  • Steve Daines – Montana
  • John Kennedy – Louisiana
  • Marsha Blackburn – Tennessee
  • Mike Braun – Indiana
  • Cynthia Lummis – Wyoming (senator-elect)
  • Roger Marshall – Kansas (senator-elect)
  • Bill Hagerty – Tennessee (senator-elect)
  • Tommy Tuberville – Alabama (senator-elect)

And, of course, good ol’ Josh Hawley from Missouri said last week that he intends to contest the results.  These people make me literally sick.  They are elected to do what is in the best interest of the people of this country, not to kiss the ass of the idiot-child trying to hold on to the Oval Office by lying, cheating, and bullying.  They are perfectly willing to say to us … “you do not matter, your vote does not matter, we don’t feel one whit of responsibility to you”, for that is exactly what they are telling us!

Their efforts will fail, on Wednesday, January 6th, Joe Biden’s electoral win will be certified and two weeks later, on January 20th, Joe Biden will be inaugurated the 46th President of the United States.  However, what they ARE doing is demoralizing us, keeping our angst stirred, and slapping us repeatedly in the face.  They are putting their own desires and fortunes ahead of ours, and THAT is simply wrong!  I hope the people of those states begin demanding that they be held accountable, either through impeachment or other means.


He’s stabbing his own in the back

As you all know, the Georgia runoff races for the U.S. Senate are in just three days.  Polling is erratic, but one thing is for certain, that both races are looking to be remarkably close.  So, what does Trump do to help his side?  He basically tells republican voters not to bother, that the elections are “illegal and invalid”.  This is one time that I’m applauding his false claims, for if he convinces republicans to stay home on Tuesday, so much the better for the nation.

In addition, he has been verbally attacking Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, both republicans, for the past month over their honesty in certifying the election in Georgia.  He claims they owe it to him to overturn the voice of the people, but both Kemp and Raffensperger remember that their loyalty is to the people of Georgia, not a two-bit madman who is attempting to hijack the election.

Last month, Trump attended a rally in Georgia (did he do any real work in 2020?) where he proceeded to spend most of his time lamenting his own situation, making his tiresome false claims about voter fraud, and yadda yadda yadda.  He did Loeffler and Perdue, the two republican candidates, no favours then, and he is doing them none now.  He’s scheduled to attend another rally on Monday, the day before the elections, where he is likely to further hurt their cause.  I suppose we ought to thank him for the help he is giving the two democrats, Warnock and Ossoff!