Mar 31, 2011

At Half Mast

Scott Stantis, 3/30/11:
US home prices have not yet recovered all of the ground lost during the recession.

I wonder why?

Interview with The Donald

Jeff Koterba, 3/30/11:
Little-known fact: all other world leaders rule purely on the sufferance and approval of the US President.

We're the only country that counts, you know.

Screw You Guys, I'm Going Home

Joel Pett, 3/30/11:
This has the air of a cartoon that's responding to some very specific news item -- presumably, that Newt Gingrich stole a presidential seal from an inner-city school somewhere, one that's also the alma mater of some NBA star.

Perhaps it's a belated response to Gingrich's criticism of Obama filling out an NCAA bracket, two weeks ago?

The most recent Gingrich news, of course, is that he's worried that the US will become “a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists.” As do we all! But that has little to do with basketball.

Frankly, Editorial Explanations is stumped. Any theories are welcome.

When The President Does It, That Means It's Not Illegal

Randy Bish, 3/30/11:
Nixon was a better President than Obama because you could trust what Nixon said.

(I just translate 'em, folks, I don't make these things up!)

Egg Suicide

Lisa Benson, 3/30/11:
One does not buy a home to live in, or to have more stability than paying rent -- one only buys a house for investment purposes, to cash in later.

This is why retired Americans are so happy when their taxes rise high based on the inflation-inflated values of their homes; it's a sign that they can sell out and move on.

That Small Government Thing Again

Chuck Asay, 3/30/11:
Divorce should be illegal.

The age of consent should be raised to around twenty-two (though not if you're married, I suppose).

Father-daughter incest is currently not illegal.

And gay people should be cursed and driven from the land.

That all clear, now?

Mar 30, 2011

Drop the Bomb

Dick Locher, 3/28/11:
They're called "smart" bombs because they can handle much more complicated sentences these days than "Mojo says hi" or "Hi there!"

But they unfortunately seem to have trouble with the portion of their job that involves blowing up when they reach the target.

One Apple a Day In Exchange For No Quizzes on Fridays -- Deal?

Jeff Stahler, 3/29/11:
Those teachers can sure dish it out -- but can they take it?

Mar 29, 2011

Defending (Someone's) Marriage

John Cole, 3/28/11:
Forget banning gay marriage, let's ban remarriage! If you got divorced once, no more wedding days for you!

(Good thing Liz Taylor didn't live to see this day.)

Bedside Manner

Randy Bish, 3/28/11:
Allowing twenty-somethings to stay on their parents' insurance and giving states the option to extend Medicaid has, inevitably, caused a symbolic representation of the US to die -- and so long ago that the spiders have already gotten to him.

Silly people! Don't you know that government actions always create opposite reactions? Highways make traffic jams, prohibition makes people drink more, and giving people health care kills them!

Get Some of That Tiger Blood, Man!

Bob Gorrell, 3/28/11:
Note the absence of Iraq and Afghanistan, the two war-torn places where the USA actually has soldiers on the ground, dying regularly and doing things generally outside a soldier's duties, like "peace-keeping." This is because those wars were started by a Republican, and thus they're justified ipso facto.

(Also note that Iran and North Korea are magically not problems any more, since they're out of the current news cycle.)

Only The Little People Pay Taxes

Signe Wilkinson, 3/28/11:
In case you didn't hear, GE made $14.2 billion in profits last year, and paid no US taxes -- in fact, it's claiming a $3.2 billion tax benefit. It takes some really fancy tax lawyers to do that -- and probably a Double Irish, or even a Dutch Sandwich, along the way.

Evil Businessmen Are ALWAYS Bald

Paul Fell, 3/28/11:
Regular Americans -- of the god-fearing, blue-collar variety that vote for Republicans most of the time -- are easily-gulled cretins, led around by their base appetites and wrapped around the well-manicured pinky fingers of these slick business types.

Making a Kessel Run

Strange Brew by John Deering, 3/28/11:
I know, I know...but on Tattooine, this is an editorial cartoon!

Time to Start Cursing the Darkness

Monte Wolverton, 3/28/11:
Coal is so much cheaper and safer, right? And no one ever dies from coal mining...and there's no radiation from coal, either!

Uncle Sam Has a Bigger Seat, Too

Jerry Holbert, 3/28/11:
Note that tax-payers are white men in their middle years: not women, not those unpleasant minorities, and certainly not corporations, who must be left unfettered to do whatever it is they do.

Mar 28, 2011

You're Too Late! You'll Never Find it Now!

R.J. Matson, 3/25/11:
Small businesses are powerless to raise prices, which is why staples have nosedived in price so clearly since the recession.

And they're forced at gunpoint to accept debit cards, too.

War Is Not Healthy For Presidents and Other Living Things

Nate Beeler, 3/27/11:
I saw Kinetic Military Action live back in '97 at the Palladium -- that was an awesome show.

And you certainly can't say that the current policy isn't a "change," can you?

Watt Is He Talking About?

Dick Locher, 3/26/11:
A volt is neither a measure of current nor of power, but of electric potential difference.

Locher, though, probably doesn't know that; he's just trying to imply that electric cars can't go very far. This is because he is very old and cranky.

If any Editorial Explanations readers have access to high-powered optical machinery, and can detect an actual joke in this cartoon, please illuminate the rest of us.

Large-Bore Ammo

Dick Locher, 3/25/11:
The Chinese are about to shoot us at someone. From the orientation of the gun -- on the Great Wall -- I assume it's Mongolia.

Mar 27, 2011

Just Be Happy It Doesn't Mention Global Warming

John R. Rose, 3/25/11:
Rose, based in Virginia, is gloating at the rest of us. Are we going to take that from him, I ask you?

Mar 26, 2011

Don't Conservatives LIKE Conquering the World?

Bob Gorrell, 3/25/11:
Black helicopters! One-world government! They're coming to take your guns!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's an impressive thing to see such a fully-functioning dogwhistle as a silent, single image file.

Drown It in the Bathtub

Lisa Benson, 3/25/11:
A US state with an economy large enough to be the seventh-biggest country in the world and population of thirty-seven million should be able to be governed by a few old white men in a smoky room, right? There's no need for all of these fancy "government programs" and "spending," is there?

Those Who Don't Remember the Past Are Free to Make Up Any Stories They Want

Steve Greenberg, 3/25/11:
Greenberg is ridiculously optimistic if he thinks any Republican legislators will read past the word "immigrant."

A Horse Is a Horse

Steve Benson, 3/25/11:
Somewhere, in the fields beyond the ones we know, the gigantic disembodied head of Elizabeth Taylor is riding free.

Ride like the wind, Liz Taylor's Head!

Mar 25, 2011


Chuck Asay, 3/24/11:
Cutting funding for women's health, environmental protection, law enforcement, basic science, and early-childhood education -- though not entitlements or the military -- is the "moral high ground."

Because the moral is "I got mine, Jack."

The Meeting of the Jeweled Ones

Signe Wilkinson, 3/24/11:
Don't worry about doing good deeds in life; if Michael Jackson is in heaven, they'll let anyone in.

And wouldn't Liz be looking forward to seeing one of her eight husband or innumerable paramours more than her friend, the high-voiced man-child with horrible fashion sense?

Mar 24, 2011

A Long-Distance Dedication

Mike Peters, 3/23/11:
This is a special edition of Editorial Explanations: a shout-out from one reader (who may want to remain nameless, so I'll leave it that way) to Mike Peters, cartoonist for the Dayton Daily News and creator of the above cartoon.

I'll paraphrase what my nameless correspondent wrote:
As two minutes of Googling would have shown you, Tim Pawlenty's mother died, of cancer, when he was fifteen.
She's looking remarkably well for a woman dead since 1976, I must say.

Always Remember

John Sherffius, 3/23/11:
Without unions, there would have been a Triangle Shirtwaist Fire every year.

Torches and Pitchforks

Joel Pett, 3/23/11:
Science has utterly failed mankind; nothing it has ever done has helped extend human longevity, or increase our happiness or standard of living, or done anything else useful.

The only possible solution is to immediately all turn to magical thinking and wish that the world would get better.

The Latest Fashions

Bill Day, 3/23/11:
Gadaffi's hat is a barrel of oil that spews blood.

100 points to Day for symbolism, certainly, but no more than 5 or 6 for coherence.

A Cynic's Knowledge of Prices

Steve Kelley, 3/23/11:
Prices for everything -- including whatever Baldy McGlasses there is paid as a salary -- should never increase, but stay precisely the same as they were when we were young and impressionable.

A Zillion, Huh?

Signe Wilkinson, 3/23/11:
Guns will make us strong, but butter will only make us fat.

And who will man our all-volunteer army if we don't get the next crop of high-school droputs?

Mar 23, 2011

Our Nightmarish Future, Once Again

Ed Hall, 3/22/11:
Nuclear power actually works by harnessing powerful spirits from the netherworld, which will be loosed to feast on the souls of the few doomed survivors when the Statue of Liberty is toppled by the inevitable ape takeover of the world.

Or something like that. Just run around in circles, throw your hands up in the year, and scream "DOOOOOOOM!!!!" as loud as you can, and Hall will be satisfied.

Sure It's Not a Broken Umbrella?

Chuck Asay, 3/22/11:

I'm not 100% sure, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this cartoon is about the disaster in Japan. So foreigners are like animals, I guess? Or maybe "bird strikes" from alternative energy used to be much more common, proving that all energy sources are equally deadly?

In any case, it's clear that Asay is saying to the media of the world: whatever it is you're covering right now (Libya, Japan, other pro-democracy protest in the Middle East) is about as important as a dead bird is to a kid.

At Least We Don't See the Single Tear

Bill Day, 3/22/11:
Isn't it awfully late in the hurricane/tsunami/nuclear meltdown news cycle for yet another "a sad thing happened" cartoon?

(Did some new sad thing happen in some Buddhist country I'm forgetting?)

Spot Check

R.J. Matson, 3/21/11:
Fire dogs are effective in direct proportion to how many spots they have -- it's a well-known fact.

He's Despicable

Jerry Holbert, 3/22/11:
Hey! All of the Daffy Duck puns weren't taken, after all!

Anybody want to bet Holbert follows up with a Wabbit Fire reference, using Ahmadinejad as Bugs?

Bitches Ain't Nothin'

Rob Smith, Jr., 3/22/11:
Women are obnoxious henpecking harridans! Especially when they're black, and double especially when their husbands are powerful! Ha. Ha. Ha.

Hair Strike

Mike Luckovich, 3/22/11:
Once you win the Novel Peace Prize, you're peace-bonded from ever taking part in any act of violence ever again. That's why so many Nobelists get mugged.

Mar 22, 2011

A Fiendish Plot

Ted Rall, 3/21/11:
Republicans, surprisingly, didn't invent the "let's do this job so badly that everyone gives up on it" idea -- Greenpeace was there a generation ago.

Tomorrow we'll learn how a cadre of Democratic operatives carried out an operation to "starve the beast" of corporate America by infiltrating major finance firms throughout the early aughts and fomenting a sure-to-burst housing bubble.

Nothing But Net

Mike Keefe, 3/20/11:
The most important burning issue for Keefe of the Denver Post -- the newspaper on top of a mountain, in the middle of a desert -- is overfishing. I think someone's dreaming of his next vacation!


Joel Pett, 3/19/11:
It's almost as if there was some other source of energy -- neither coal, nor oil, nor nuclear -- that human beings could use. Something that comes for free out of the sky. Something that could miraculously cover all of our energy needs forever and forever -- or, at least, for the next several billion pre-red-giant years.

Walkin' the Dog

Daryl Cagle, 3/18/11:
The entire world -- with the country of Libya prominently displayed on it -- is running off for a latte while a Promethean Obama tries to clean up after an almost equally Brobdignagian Gadaffi-dog.

Seriously, Obama's head is nearly the size of the entire earth, and some of Gadaffi-dog's droppings are the equivalent of the continent of Africa. Wherever this is taking place, you want to stay away from there on a dark night.


John Trever, 3/18/11:
The USA was thisclose to converting entirely to nuclear power before the Fukushima Daiichi mishap. No, really! It wasn't just a minor piece of our energy portfolio, mostly ignored or demonized -- there were thousands of plants on the drawing boards.

Mar 21, 2011

All-American Ingenuity at Its Finest

Dick Locher, 3/18/11:
There is no alternative -- fossil fuels, hewn out of the ground by the sweat of manly men is the only possible energy source for a He-man country like America.

And don't you forget it, bub!

Someone's Melting Down....

Jim Morin, 3/18/11:
Nuclear power is an incredibly dangerous way to generate power, killing dozens of workers even in the most modern and safety-conscious mines -- oh, wait, that's coal...

No, nuclear power causes immeasurable ecological damage when one of its units regularly leaks over millions of miles of water -- oh, wait, that's oil...

Um, nukes are bad, OK?

Bigfoot Strikes Again

Clay Bennett, 3/18/11:
It is surprising when a political movement dedicated to smaller government and balanced budgets attempts to cut spending -- perhaps because none of us are used to politicians actually continuing to believe their own campaign rhetoric once in office.

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

Chuck Asay, 3/17/11:
Older workers should be driven from their jobs by force, since they're stuck in their ways and strongly resist new ideas and ways of thinking.

By the way, did you know that Chuck Asay, conservative political cartoonist, is 68 years old and has been cartooning for over fifty years? This fact, of course, is utterly unrelated to the previous point.

And don't conservatives like grumpy, authoritarian teachers who don't "take guff from anyone"?