Dec 30, 2011

Is There Some Connection Between Tattoos and the Draft I'm Missing?

Don Wright, 12/28/11:
Unless that guy is substantially older than he should be (to have a teenage son) -- since conscription in the US ended in 1973, 38 years ago -- he's a gigantic hypocrite.

If he's older than that, the odds are he's still a gigantic hypocrite, since young men in the '60s were not notably thrilled to be grabbed by the government to be sent to fight and die in a war they didn't necessarily agree with.

(What is that thing people say about history repeating?)

Take His Wife -- Please!

Dana Summers, 12/28/11:
Ha ha HA! Get it! Kid! those kids do!

Oh, I'm rolling on the ground here!

Let's Ignore K-Mart While We're At It

Ross Gosse, 12/27/11:
Sears' real woes are entirely because they have focused on selling outdoor grill apparatus in recent years, and has nothing to do with a wider shift in retail sales (or with the problems of mature businesses in highly competitive categories).

Only Store Credit Without a Receipt

Bruce Plante, 12/27/11:
Speaker Boehner has utter control of his caucus -- House Republicans move in lock-step to do whatever he demands at every turn, so that he can crush the rest of the US government to his will.

Dec 27, 2011

Unexpected Subtext

Terry Wise, 12/26/11:
...and if you can't trust someone who draws himself as a cartoon rat, who can you trust?

Dec 26, 2011

Missing, Presumed Mallbound

Dick Locher, 12/22/11:
So many questions, so little time:

1) Is that guy supposed to be Locher himself? If not, who is he?

2) Is this cartoon supposed to be a comment on renewed consumer economic activity? Or is just another old sexist "those girls, you know they love to shop!" wheeze?

3) Is there any reason why we should care that this guy calls them "stealth shoppers"?

4) Come to think of it, why on earth would he call them stealth shoppers?

Yes, Virginia, There WAS a Santa Claus

Clay Bennett, 12/23/11:
Santa Claus was burned to death in this fireplace -- and, as we can clearly see, this happened before the current log went on the fire, since the ashes are entirely underneath it.

So the timeline is at least slightly muddy, and the connection to the stockings -- which demand "jobs," and apparently this now-dead Santa was able to deliver worthwhile employment as well as physical objects -- is not as clear as it could be, either.

Dec 23, 2011

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out, Kid!

Gary Varvel, 12/22/11:
Of all the people that aren't going to get to be President next year, is there any reason -- besides pure hometown pride -- for Varvel, or anyone, to focus on Mitch Daniels, who didn't even bother to run?

Bizarre Comparisons Theatre Presents

Jeff Koterba, 12/22/11:
A single human being is precisely analogous to an online social network.

News Flash: Christmas is Not a Holiday to the Entire World

Ross Gosse, 12/21/11:
Kim Jong Il is the grinchiest Grinch of all because...he's dead, and the Grinch can't steal his Christmas presents?

Because he was a dirty atheist Commie to begin with, and so didn't celebrate Christmas?

Because he's Korean, and so would have been more likely to be a Buddhist in the first place?

I'm so confused....

Dec 22, 2011

Facile Comparisons, #2741

Chuck Asay, 12/20/11:
The lesson is clear: make sure those lesser races are really conquered, and never, ever bring troops home.

Because those WWII soldiers are all still in Berlin and Tokyo, right? And we didn't conquer Iraq and Afghanistan?

Slip and Fall Injury

V.C. Rogers, 12/21/11:
In this week's aggressively local story, Durham, NC novelist Michael Peterson has just gotten a new trial in the 2001 death of his wife, due to the evidence-tampering of state investigator Duane Deaver.

And I bet at least half of the locals wouldn't be able to puzzle that out from this confusing cartoon with teeny-tiny, enigmatic labels, so plus ten points to Rogers for obscurity.

Dec 21, 2011

On the Road Again

Terry Wise, 12/20/11:
Actually, as of this summer, Obama had taken 61 vacation days in his first 31 months in office. His predecessor, GW Bush, had spent 180 days at his ranch by the same point his his administration, and Reagan had spent 112 vacation days.

So, actually, Obama does have a vacation deficit -- he's nearly half a year behind Bush at this point. But Wise does not seem to be in favor of having Obama catch up.

Which leads to a meta-question: why do cartoonists who hate everything someone does also desperately want that person to work harder?

Not to Be Confused with the Terror DOME

Deb Milbrath, 12/20/11:
So...Santa has his elves working on a toy called a "terror globe," and it came out a little too realistic? Is that what this cartoon is about?

May I possibly ask what that has to do with anything, and how, in any way, this cartoon could remotely be construed as a commentary on any thing in the real world -- even a strained metaphor comparing the "war on Christmas" to the war on terror would be welcome.

Because I got nothing.

The Cultural Imperialism of Laziness

Jeff Danzinger, 12/20/11:
So Muammar Gaddafi -- a Muslim -- and Kim Jong-Il -- an atheist -- are rooming together in the Christian Hell?

Every nice dead person must meet someone who vaguely resembles Saint Peter, and every naughty dead person must be welcomed by Old Scratch. It's one of the rules of editorial cartooning. Don't bother to consider the religious -- or any other -- beliefs of the dead people; just shove 'em into that same old cartoon you always do!

Dec 20, 2011

Things Are Tough All Over

Paul Fell, 12/19/11:
No, actually there are 50 million Americans below the official poverty line -- about 1/6th of the population -- and another 100 million that are above it, but don't make more than 200% of poverty-level income.

Those people are "near poor," or "not very well off," or "struggling," or "one paycheck away from disaster", or whatever else you'd like to call them -- but, by the definition of the term, they're not "poor" in the same way the 50 million people below the line are.

When the Last Editor Is Fired...

Deb Milbrath, 12/19/11:
I'm desperately hoping Milbrath is deliberately making a point about the importance of education -- and knocking the Republicans for not supporting it as she would prefer -- with the shaky grammar of "stop anything Obama" and the pure error of "heros."

Will you join me in that hope, or cynically make a different explanation?

Dec 19, 2011

Gee Our Old LaSalle Ran Great

Joel Pett, 12/17/11:
Pett was vastly more satisfied with his job when he utterly loathed the current President, and still yearns for those simpler, more carefree days.

Dec 18, 2011

Paging Francis Fukuyama

J.D. Crowe, 12/16/11:
Premise: The soldier is handing over "Iraq" -- the entire country -- to Father Time, implying that the US has done all it can to end history there.

Stipulated: History is the record of what human beings do.

Conclusion: The US did its best to kill every person in Iraq, and is leaving now that it has ended several thousand years of local history.

Crowe didn't mean to say that...did he?

Dec 17, 2011

Take Off and Nuke the Site from Orbit

Ted Rall, 12/16/11:
Rall is suggesting that people unhappy with the American military should become suicide bombers, and take as many soldiers as possible with them into death.

No, literally, that's what he's suggesting in the last pane.

You Can Have My Cellphone When You Pry It From My Cold Dead Hands

John R. Rose, 12/16/11:
It is every American's god-given right to do whatever the hell he wants while in his own personal automobile, and don't you forget it!

Dec 16, 2011

Call Him George!

Eric Allie, 12/14/11:
One might think that unchecked big business would be more likely to inadvertently kill people -- through lax safety standards, or lackadaisical treatment of toxic waste, or just plain unwillingness to spend an extra couple of pennies -- but Allie wants you to know you are completely wrong.

Big government kills bunnies just by existing -- so drown it in a bathtub today, to save the bunnies!

Locking Horns

Clay Bennett, 12/15/11:
Obama is exactly like Santa Claus: if only he could get Congress to just do what he says, he'd shower us with whatever we want for absolutely free.

He Is Large; He Contains Multitudes

Jeff Koterba, 12/15/11:
Putin actually contains -- like some kind of H.R. Giger alien -- the forces of revolution that will tear him, and possibly Russia, apart.

Also, matryoshka dolls don't work like that.

Dec 15, 2011

In MY Day, We Used Smoke Signals And LIKED It!

Dick Locher, 12/14/11:
I know, I know. But if cellphones had been invented in the 1950s, there totally would have been a company named Text Messaging Corp., and their boardroom would have looked exactly like this.

(Though that woman would have been a secretary, of course.)

Monkeybone, Monkeyphone

Dick Locher, 12/13/11:
Never would've thought of Locher as an Android man, did you?

Also, all you lousy kids need to pull up your pants, stop listening to that damn rap music, and get a job shining shoes for a nickel.

Compare and Contrast

Chuck Asay, 12/13/11:
If only there were a strong government oversight agency that could impose adequate working conditions and fair pay scales for underage drug runners, Asay would be completely happy.

(Potentially related: farm death rates jump in 2010; "The 40 percent of agricultural work-related fatalities accounted for by minors far outweighs the small percentage of minors in agriculture, 8 percent.")

Carolling, Kvetching

Tim Campbell, 12/13/11:
Campbell has two points here, corresponding to the two verses of his tune:
  • First, that there's no reason why wives of politicians should ever get any security -- they're just girls, right? Nothing ever happens to girls.
  • Second, that "he'd rather play golf" is not just an insult but a universal one -- that everyone in the world is shocked and appalled by the idea of someone having free time and using it to whack a little white ball with a club.

Dec 13, 2011

Dumbo -- Is That YOU?!?

Bill Day, 12/12/11:
Important pro cartoonist tip: if there's no specific news story to comment on, and you still need to turn in a cartoon to get your paycheck, just do a really over-the-top caricature of whoever you hate the most at the moment.

It's almost the same as a real editorial cartoon!

Dec 12, 2011

When It Absolutely, Positively Has To Be There Someday

Dave Granlund, 12/9/11:
It's true, the US Postal Service doesn't have any services that guarantee delivery within specific timeframes. Pity -- that's a service you'd think that people would like.

Dec 11, 2011

Bah Humbug?

Ann Cleaves, 12/10/11:
Unless that fellow is a particularly young and bright-eyed Ebeneezer Scrooge, I got nothin'.

Dec 10, 2011

Protesting Too Much

Phil Hands, 12/9/11:
No other state -- let alone the federal government! -- would ever dream of requiring a permit for a demonstration, or requiring groups to do anything other than show up wherever they want and start screaming.

A Big Desk To FIll

Joel Pett, 12/9/11:
Pett is trying to tentatively note that the facts from the first six panels of his cartoon will have no effect on the campaign envisioned in the last one.

But I'm more concerned about Kathleen Sebelius -- assuming that's meant to be her -- since she's barely able to see over her desk. Is she a particularly tiny person, or does the HHS have outlandishly large office furniture?

Another Head-Scratcher

Gustavo Rodriguez, 12/9/11:
I have only a few questions:
  • Who is that witchy-looking woman supposed to be? Is she and her cohort supposed to be the flotilla?
  • Who is she talking to? He's in drab green, so does that make him the Army or government or something?
  • What on earth does the drawing have to do with anything?
  • Is there some secret metaphorical meaning hidden in this cartoon, or is it just Rodriguez's pat question stuck onto whatever he felt like drawing that day?

Dec 9, 2011

Untangle That Metaphor!

Rick McKee, 12/7/11:
Obama's very power of rhetoric is the thing that will destroy the middle class.

Because why, that's why!

(Oh, yeah, and he's a commie Kenyan sleeper agent, too!)

Dec 8, 2011

One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

Matt Bors, 12/7/11:
No, no! He's not implying that Newt Gingrich molests underage boys. Perish the thought! It's just two completely unrelated things that just happen to be in the same cartoon.

(wanders off, whistling jauntily)

Today's Your Turn in the Barrel

John Branch, 12/7/11:
Aw, c'mon, Santorum and Huntsman haven't had their chances to be frontrunners yet! And Ricky S. is just as nutty as Bachmann or Cain -- he just hasn't been given his chance to shine.

(I note, also, that this seems to be the very first John Branch cartoon featured on Editorial Explanations, after nine months of intensive, daily mischief-making. His cartoons have consistently defied my efforts to make fun of them, so I must salute him for that -- of course, he only does one or two a week, which limits the number of potential targets.)

Selective Memory

Randy Bish, 12/7/11:
...because there's only a couple of dozen of them left, they're all grandfatherly guys, and Social Security is taking care of them, anyway.

But, whatever you, do, be sure to Forget  Disregard  Ignore the soldiers currently fighting in our ongoing wars, and particularly the many injured veterans of those conflicts.

One Toke Over the Line

Ted Rall, 12/7/11:
Dude! The world would be, like, so totally rad if herb was legal 'n shit! Everyone would be so mellow, and no bad stuff would ever happen again, man!

Dec 6, 2011

Is That Stack of Paper All of the Bills Congress Refuses To Pass?

Gary Varvel, 12/4/11:
The job of POTUS is highly site-specific; it simply cannot be done anywhere else, so the office-holder must be physically present in the Oval Office for eight hours a day just to perform his minimum functions.

Also, no sitting president before Obama ever sullied himself with raising money for his re-election!

He Consented -- What Else Do You Want?

Steve Kelley, 12/4/11:
Rich, powerful guys always do seem to think that it's consensual when they burst out naked from a bathroom and surprise a low-status woman with sex. It would be endearing if it weren't so evil and creepy.

Sure, that has nothing to do with Kelley's cartoon, here, but it's one of his patented "a couple with unlikely noses look at a newspaper while sitting on the couch" cartoons -- he probably has a template in his computer, so he can crank them out in three minutes.

Dec 5, 2011

Testing the Winds

Chuck Asay, 12/3/11:
"But, Chuck," you might say, "Surely you realize that every reputable scientist in climate science knows that all of the evidence -- and even a skeptical study funded by those well-known right-wing fossil fuel magnates the Koches -- has shows that climate change is really happening, and that mitigating it is the most important thing for the long-term health of the human race?"

Br'er Chuck, he don't say nothing.

"But, Chuck," you might say," What is this cartoon even about? Are you trying to say that all science is wasteful and useless?"

Br'er Chuck, he don't say nothing.

"But, Chuck," you might say," What on earth is that guy doing? And why are none of those poor black folks trying to grab the money he's throwing away?"

Br'er Chuck, he don't say nothing.

Gerrymandering Run Wild

Dick Locher, 12/2/11:
Every so often, I just post a Dick Locher cartoon -- not to explain it, because no merely mortal man can do that, but to stand back and bask in the glow of its bizarre lunacy.

Today is one of those days.

The Family of Nations?

John Cole, 12/2/11:
Because this family wants their financial troubles to be in the newspaper, like Europe's are?

Because they hope that will make Germany swoop in and help them out, too?

Or is this just a confused way of saying "times are tough all over"?

A Lie Told Often Enough Becomes the Truth

Chuck Asay, 12/2/11:
Taxes on jobs -- such as the social security tax paid by both employees and employers -- have, wait, down over the past year.

So Obama is stealing money from "the Hiring Class" by nastily lowering their taxes?

Not the "Pure Evil" Cain You Were Expecting

Ted Rall, 12/2/11:
Having a simplistic plan to change this country's tax structure and being badly prepped on foreign-policy questions is exactly the same as "pure evil."

Also, Darth Vader works for Cain -- so there!

Dec 2, 2011

A Wonderful, Awful Idea

Charlie Daniel, 12/1/11:
I assume that this cartoon is saying that, given the recent flood of statistics about the poor and near-poor in the US, this goonish-looking fellow is going to steal Christmas even before the Grinch could.

And that, of course, would completely ignore the actual message of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," viz., that Christmas is not a thing that can be stolen in the first place.

So let's hope Daniel had some other message, though I have no clue what that might be.

Dec 1, 2011

Zeno's Paradise

Tom Toles, 11/30/11:
This cartoon raises the unexpected thought: If "Europe" consisted only of Germany, as it seems to do here, how would it be in financial trouble?

I Refuse To Be Healthy If the Government Wants Me To!

Paul Fell, 11/20/11:
That's a totally bogus comparison: everyone knows that cars are far more important than people!

As Always, a Payne Cartoon Has an Impressive Car In It

Henry Payne, 11/29/11:
Every single "occupy" protestor who doesn't immediately move to Alabama and a take a minimum-wage back-breaking job is nothing but a poser.

Bet'cha thought Payne had forgotten about the dirty hippies, didn't ya?