Mar 30, 2012

Don't Retreat -- Reload!

Glenn McCoy, 3/29/12:
Yes, lefties like Al Sharpton are advocating violence and armed rebellion, calling for "those good Second Amendment remedies" and in general trying to foment violence against their enemies, while right-wingers are calling for restrictions on weaponry and that murderers are brougth to justice.

Or do I have that backwards?

I Prefer Carnac the Magnificent

Jimmy Margulies, 3/29/12:
Gas in the US is so expensive...


It's so expensive that it's almost half as much as most Europeans pay!

Or, as my fourteen-year-old likes to say, "Suck it up, you big babies!"

Banana Republic

Ann Cleaves, 3/29/12:
Somewhere in the world, possibly near a jungle, there are some poor people, and also some heavily-armed types.

Cleaves is so non-specific here that I can't even tell if those are meant to be evil government soldiers (of whatever ideological persuasion), sinister private security forces (of the Blackwater type), or just good ol' all-American gun sellers. But, clearly, somewhere in the world is a thing that she doesn't like.

Boo! Hiss! Bad, bad thing Ann Cleaves doesn't like!

Let's Twist Again!

Bob Gorrell, 3/29/12:
Gorrell is deeply annoyed that Obama has moved so far to the right as President, what with the assassination of bin Laden (and the declaration that he has the right to assassinate anyone he wants), the continued operation of Guantanamo, and the essentially Republican health care plan.

Presumably, he's annoyed about all of these things because they make it very difficult to argue that Obama is a secret Marxist Kenyan sleep agent, which Gorrell would prefer.

She Is Like a Woman Rising From the Tomb

Pat Oliphant, 3/29/12:
So...Ron Paul has realized that his only chance of getting the nomination is to go all John the Baptist on his rivals?

Or is Oliphant implying that Obama has already been visited by the Spirit of Politics Past and still has one more apparition yet to come, after which he'll throw open his window, demand a passing urchin buy him a goose, and declare himself in love with politics?

TL; DR Version: What is this I don't even.

Did a Doughy White-Haired Famous Guy Just Die?

Charlie Daniel, 3/29/12:
I presume that this is commentary on the various voter ID laws that have been passed by Republicans this year -- which, of course, have nothing to do with making it more difficult for traditionally Democratic constituencies to vote -- but, if so, Daniel kinda punted it by making his main figure a middle-aged white guy.

Mar 29, 2012

They Tried to Kill Him With a Forklift (Ahem, Wheelchair)

Adam Zyglis, 3/28/12:
Yes, the opposition to Obamacare is primarily driven by paraplegic uninsured middle-aged men, who were given their mechanized wheelchairs by the Wheelchair Fairy, and prefer to cover their crushing medical costs by running over the poor, helpless insured.

What the hell? Is Zyglis channeling Kelly all of a sudden?

Baby, That Was Money! Tell Me That Wasn't Money!

Jerry Holbert, 3/28/12:
So, is this a generic "Obama is running up the national debt" cartoon, a specific "the White House spends too much money" cartoon based on a news story I missed, or a really generic "those gol-durn guv'ment types wipe their asses on money, 'cause they're so high 'n' mighty" cartoon?

I mean, either way it's pretty flabby, but I'd kinda like to know what kind of flabby.

Proposed: Government Cannot Force You to Wear Clothes

Bob Gorrell, 3/28/12:
Is your car insured? For that matter, does it have a seatbelt?

Clearly the Shallow End of the Pool

Kate Palmer, 3/28/12:
Because, as we all know, it's horrible to allow people in their early 20s to have health insurance provided by family members, and preventative care only keeps peasants from dying young like they're supposed to.

Wouldn't They Go See the RULING, Instead?

Jeff Koterba, 3/27/12:
So the Founding Fathers -- source of America's purest religious fervor -- spend all of their time in their time machine going to the future to see Supreme Court arguments...and then don't change the Constitution, one way or the other, to make their intentions clear?

Is Koterba trying to imply that they're stupid, or just trolls?

Cold Spaghetti?

John R. Rose, 3/28/12:
The Supreme Court is reluctant to rule on controversial subjects, such as Obamacare, which is why they denied certiorari and aren't hearing the....

What? Three days of arguments this week and a ruling expected well before the election? Um, well, then perhaps Rose has a different definition of "hot potato" than I do.

Mar 28, 2012

Congress Shall Make No Law.

Michael Ramirez, 3/27/12:
Remember: there's absolutely nothing that the US government can force you to do, or not do, since that would be an unconstitutional imposition on the rights of sovereign citizens.

Just a Dirty Little Village in the Middle of Nowhere

Dick Locher, 3/27/12:
Yes, the GOP is a TV camera -- symbolizing the liberal control of media, I suppose -- and it's calling out Sheriff Obama to perform better in his "next term."

Did Locher just admit that whoever wins the current Republican demolition derby doesn't have a chance? Or is this just another confused, and confusing, Locher cartoon?

You Fasten All the Triggers for the Others to Fire

Mike Lester, 3/27/12:
Now that Dick Cheney finally has a heart, can we start saving up to buy one for Lester?

Because the only way this cartoon makes sense is if Lester literally can't conceive of why people would be upset about an armed vigilante stalking and murdering a Skittles-toting young man in the gated community where his father lives.

Ebony and Ivory

Bob Gorrell, 3/27/12:
It's true: American is entirely divided between young innocent black men and the racist thugs who shoot them.

I suppose we should give Gorrell half-credit for trying to come up with a "can't we all just get along" cartoon, and not just demonizing Trayvon Martin like some of his compatriots.

Mar 27, 2012

Lake Michigan Has a Real Nice Pull

Bill Day, 3/23/12:
We've seen Florida as a gun -- both with the muzzle in the panhandle and pointing south from Miami -- and the whole US as a gun, or collection of guns. Now we see the US as the trigger guard of a gun -- implying, what, that we keep Canada from accidentally going off when it's stuck in a pocket? - and Trayvon Martin is a spot on the Florida-shaped bit of that trigger guard.

This, my friends, is what we call a muddled cartoon. Day wanted to do an "American is nuts about guns" cartoon, but his fellow cartoonists had gotten to all of the good ideas first, and this is all that was left at the bottom of the barrel.

Corporations of the World, Unite!

Rob Smith, Jr., 3/23/12:
If you don't let corporations do every last thing they want to do, you're a dirty stinking Commie!

Also, nothing in the world is allowed to have the same initials as anything else.

Have a Healthy Birthday!

Nate Beeler, 3/24/12:
So, if Obamacare is a person, then wouldn't Obama be his father? And is that really what Obama's son would look like?

And is Beeler implying that any legislation that anyone fights in court is clownish? Or is that only legislation that reaches the Supreme Court? (Because the SC has a pretty full docket every single year, and the decisions are often surprising.)

Or is Beeler just indulging in the lazy cartoonist's friend, the "just enough confused metaphor to make my tee-time" cartoon?

Unless It's Kicks, Man

Chuck Asay, 3/26/12:
So Obama kicked the debt can so far down the road's not noticeable anymore? And that's a bad thing because...Asay says so?

Chuck, if the can is "debt" in your metaphor, then if you want to show that "debt" is really important, you can't have it disappear off-panel; it needs to get bigger or heaver, or, in some obvious way, actually do something. This has been your Cartooning 101 lesson for the day.

Mar 26, 2012

Admittedly a Ballsy Take For Someone With Employment As Shaky As a Newspaper Cartoonist

Bob Gorrell, 3/26/12:
Look, you liberals try to deny it, but it's right in the Constitution: "Congress shall make no law impeding the right of Insurance Companies to determine who shall live or die, or to regulate the profits of those Companies."

Oh, Section IV somewhere -- do I have to do everything for you?

A Spectre Is Haunting Florida

Terry Wise, 3/25/12:
Wise is usually on the right-ish side, but I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt -- and a possibly ambiguous sign on ol' Death, up there in his cartoon -- and declare that he's worried about African American men being murdered, as Trayvon Martin was, and not, y'know, trying to muddy up the waters by implying that young black men are all killers anyway.

But, if so, is this cartoon implying that it's futile to investigate any one murder, since there are so many of them? Or that it's just futile to worry about murders when a young black man is killed?

Mar 23, 2012

Oil Is Thicker Than Brains

Chuck Asay, 3/22/12 -- yes, again!:
Gosh, it couldn't have anything to do with the fact that petroleum products are sold on a global market, and other countries are buying them as well, could it?

Nah, must be the black guy's fault!


Peter Evans, 3/22/12:
It must be because those godless heathens just unblessed the roads!

Meanwhile, On Earth-237

Chuck Asay, 3/22/12:
In case you didn't notice, women are just flocking to the Republican party, because they want their employers to be able to deny them health care at will and they all secretly yearn to be violated by a vaginal ultrasound wand.

In other news from Asay World, the sky is still green.

Daisey, Daisey, Give Me Your Answer Do

John Cole, 3/22/12:
Anyone else wonder if this was a half-baked Limbaugh cartoon that Cole back-burnered last week when it didn't quite gel, and then quickly updated?

Also, note that the old cartoon shorthand, fat = evil.

He's Got Crazy Flipper Fingers

Dick Locher, 3/22/12:
Now, I could be wrong here, but...isn't all of the criticism of Obama not fulfilling his promises -- and thus "flip-flopping" -- from his left?

I have a hard time seeing Locher complaining about Guantanamo not being closed and the gleeful declaration that we can assassinate target American citizens anywhere in the world.

Mar 22, 2012

They're Biting Early This Year

Scott Stantis, 3/21/12:
Pro Tip: If you want your cartoon to stand alone without a caption, it's best not to have a character standing in a prominent spot with his mouth open.

I Usually Spell "Wakka" With Two Ks

Pat Bagley, 3/21/12:
Bagley has just invented the generic editorial cartoon, suitable for absolutely any occasion: panel one shows the politician you don't like, saying something about his policy, and then...WAKA WAKA WAKA!

Try it out: it works on anything!

Mar 21, 2012

Where Are the Other Five Blind Men?

Tom Toles, 3/20/12:
Don't believe the evidence of your eyes -- that's not an elephant, it's a car carrier!

And I assume there's a "let Detroit go bankrupt" joke lurking somewhere in there, but I'm damned if I can find it.

Every Single One of the 100,000 Civilian Deaths In Iraq Was a Regrettable Accident

Ken Catalino, 3/20/12:
When one of our highly-trained killers goes bananas and slaughters a dozen or so people, it's purely because his poetic soul has been irrevocably damaged by the horrors of fighting swarthy people around the globe.

When they kill our people, on the other hand, it's because they're evil bloodthirsty barbarians.

(Assignments of "us" and "them" subject to local variation.)

Note How Incredibly Specific He Is

Bob Gorrell, 3/20/12:
Sure thing! How about we start with the bloated military budget? It's vastly larger than that of any other advanced economy, and nearly equal to what the rest of the world spends combined.

Mar 20, 2012

If You Want Three Opinions, Ask Two Doctors

Tom Toles, 3/19/12:
This cartoon would make sense -- this is my fervent hope -- if only we knew who "they" are. Is it Obama and his people? Is it the Republicans? Is it the public at large?

The cartoon seems to be saying it's the GOP seeking that "third opinion," but that echo of doctors and hoped-for miracle cures doesn't fit at all with their hopes for "Obamacare." Once you've got the body in the coffin, you stop asking doctors -- and they want that body in the coffin.

I suspect there might be a better, but more blasphemous, cartoon coming on this topic in a few weeks, when Easter rolls around.

Speaking of Swallowing Something....

Tim Campbell, 3/16/12:
Try not to notice that they're not the same ten years, or that a law that takes a few years to phase in will naturally cost more in those later years, when it's fully in force. (Or that the new estimate conspicuously omits expected savings in other areas.)

I'd Like to Poison Your Mind With Wrong Ideas That Appeal to You

Matt Bors, 3/19/12:
A former political leader -- who relinquished power at the end of his democratically-elected term -- who fought "bad" wars in "bad" ways is exactly the same as a genocidal warlord, and anyone who disagrees is insufficiently morally pure.

Mar 19, 2012

Ignorance *IS* Strength!

Rob Smith, Jr., 3/17/12:
What you don't know can't hurt you.

And Smith means that literally -- that people will only get upset, or sick, or injured, by things that they know about. So that means, logically, that if we teach our kids only about abstinence, they physically can't get pregnant, and if we ignore all emissions controls, our air will never make anyone sick.

Mar 16, 2012

Riding...with DEATH!

Kirk Walters, 3/16/12:
All hitchhikers will cause your immediate death -- no exceptions.

And How About a Little "Literacy Test," Too?

Ed Gamble, 3/16/12:
There are no situations where a government has higher responsibilities, and more concern over the rights of citizens, than a private business does.

For example, when we talk about the right of free speech, that means that not only can't the government stop you from speaking, ABC is required to give you TV time!

All Cowboys Ain't Dumb

Dick Locher, 3/16/12:
So Super PAC Money is bucking Elections off of itself? And then Elections will fall, face-first, onto the Hard Concrete Floor of the Electorate?

Can anyone make any sense of this metaphor?

Mar 15, 2012

You Might Be a Redneck

Bruce Plante, 3/14/12:
Ha ha! All of those people look the same, right?!

Mar 14, 2012


Ken Catalino, 3/13/12:
Ah, a cartoon with the crisp clarity of a Yield sign: New Stimulus Spending Proposals -- not their actual enactment as law, or anything, just the proposals -- will utterly destroy Long-Term Growth. Forever, presumably.

Well, since those proposals already exist, I suppose we're screwed -- all long-term growth, everywhere, has just stopped.

You're It!

Dick Locher, 3/13/12:
Obama's presidential campaign -- note the "2012" on his shirt -- is trying to hand off the entire economy to a reluctant, spastic runner who represents the Nixon-era "silent majority."


And, seriously, has anyone talked about the Silent Majority seriously since Spiro Agnew shuffled off this mortal coil?

When in Doubt, Double Down on Piety

Lisa Benson, 3/13/12:
Exactly! When you deny women healthcare coverage that includes contraception, you're naturally going to see an increase in the number of abortions, right?

Somehow, I don't think that's what Benson meant to say.

Mar 13, 2012

Lucian Freud, We Hardly Knew Ye

Dwayne Booth, 3/10/12:
Ooooh, now here's a strong frontrunner for Worst Cartoon of the Year, and it's only mid-March.

Let's count the ways:
  • no discernible point other than unearned scorn
  • ugly, ugly drawing
  • text is difficult to read
  • no joke whatsoever
  • takes my home state's majestic icon, the Jersey Devil, in vain

Where's Buddy Rich When You Need Him?

Who would have expected two "drums of war" cartoons on March 12th, of all days?

But we got them, from R.J. Matson:

And from Adam Zyglis:

Luckily, they have different drums being beaten, so they don't get the dreaded "great minds think alike" tag.

Mar 12, 2012

With Luck, The Very Last "Super Tuesday" Cartoon

John R. Rose, 3/9/12:
That is the absolutely worst caricature of Santorum that I've ever seen -- it doesn't look like him at all.

Would it have killed Rose to at least put him in a sweater vest?

Didn't Even Try To Work in a Solyndra Reference, Tsk-Tsk

Rob Smith, Jr., 3/10/12:
Smith really, really hates Obama, and projects his feelings of overwhelming anger onto how he wishes the President would react to things.

I haven't found any news story of Obama even mentioning the flares, though several satire sites say that the Republican candidates are blaming him for them.

Also: is Obama a world-devouring giant, or does he have teeny-tiny staffers?

Red In Tooth and Claw

Terry Wise, 3/10/12:
The poor are like predators: if you feed them, they'll get fat and unable to go out and kill for their own sustenance.

But if you don't feed them, conversely, they will kill and eat you.

(I'm not sure this metaphor makes the case Wise wants it to.)

Climbing Out of a Strip-Mine

Lisa Benson, 3/11/12:
No energy source other than fossil fuels has ever been, or will ever be, any good for anyone, anywhere in the world.

We just need to drill aggressively everywhere until the oil runs out, and then hope the Underpants Gnomes will save us.