Jun 29, 2012

Tsunami or Broccoli?

Paul Fell, 6/27/12:
The falling rate of illegal immigration is the overwhelming issue facing America -- how on earth will Fell get someone to mow his lawn without a steady supply of easily-oppressed brown folks?

Just Fire Up HAARP And It'll Fix Everything!

Chuck Asay, 6/28/12:
Nothing that costs money is worth doing at all -- even if it might mean the utter destruction of a world in which humans can live. (Well, that destruction would be well after Asay dies, mind you.)

Or, alternatively, the message is that nothing that mankind can do will ever affect the natural world one bit -- no dams, no dikes, no toxic wastes, no heat shadows around cities, no rainmaking, no nothin'!

The Common Message: The Current Prez Is a Chump

Bob Gorrell, 6/28/12:
No one was criticizing Obama in 2008, and no one at all supports Romney now -- that's why he's polling at below the margin of error.

No, wait, that's not true.

So is Gorrell just saying that the people who supported Obama don't support Romney? (Duh!)

Or that, sometimes, people are actually discriminating about the kinds of "change" they'd like to see?

Jun 27, 2012

Tickle Monster No More

Tom Stiglich, 6/26/12:
Yes, Jerry Sandusky was the only child molester in the whole wide world, and, now that he's been convicted, we can rest easy that no children will ever be hurt, ever again.

Dial for Fischer!

Henry Payne, 6/26/12:
That is so true! And who hasn't said "dial for Fischer" to their cars! It happens to me every day!

But, seriously, what the hell?

From the Mouths of Babes

Chuck Asay, 6/26/12:
Of course, we all know that politicians can do absolutely nothing right, and only ever make life worse, everywhere in the world.

That's why we need to kill them all as quickly as possible, to pass on to the coming libertarian anarchist utopia.

Jun 26, 2012

The Roar of the Crowd

Ed Gamble, 6/24/12:
So the iconic -- also lumpy, deformed, and hideous, but let's leave that aside for now -- representations of a bunch of countries are...in the stands of a sporting event? Waiting on line for a bus? What are they doing?

Jun 25, 2012

When the Facts Are on Your Side, Pound the Facts

Michael Ramirez, 6/23/12:
Ah, it seems like only yesterday that Ramirez was bitterly complaining that Obama was too "flexible" with Putin, and now he's complaining that Obama is rattling too many sabers (and using a confused '50s-era Khrushchev metaphor along the way).

You know, it's almost as if he's just going to do a cartoon every day complaining about what Obama just did -- no matter what it is Obama actually did!

Are You Sufficiently Scared of Brown People Yet?

Tim Campbell, 6/22/12:
All non-whites are exactly the same, thus young foreign-born students who have spent most of their lives in the US are bandito stereotypes out of the '30s.

Also, "won't be deported for 2 years, as long as they stay out of trouble, and can legally work but not become citizens" is exactly the same as voting fraud, because the GOP is utterly obsessed with (essentially nonexistent) voting fraud.

But one does have to give credit to Campbell: if he had tried a little harder, he could have managed to be racist against Obama as well, so we should be happy he avoided that.

A Reputation for FUN!

Ted Rall, 6/22/12:
What characterizes Heaven most of all is revenge, and thus the righteous dead spend their time not in praising YHVH, as some might have it, but in wallowing in the spites and grievances of their mortal lives.

Game Over -- Insert $100 Million to Continue

Clay Bennett, 6/23/12:
Others may quibble about the fact that this particular game only lets you control Romney -- not that fair (or honest) now, is it?

Or they may wonder about the price tag on these next-gen consoles.

Not me. I just want to know how we managed to go backward to a corded controller.

Unanticipated Consequences Theatre Presents!

Chuck Asay, 6/23/12:
Yes, Chuck, we do personally remember a radio address from early 1933 -- that was only 79 years ago, and we are all as old as you are.

And, since we do remember that personally, we also remember that it was a rhetorical device, specifally aimed at the many voices then -- not unlike your second panel, if you strain your own memory -- who were fear-mongering about at least as many problems as their spiritual descendents do now.

Furthermore, Chuck, do you recall what got the US out of those problems? It was a massive, coordinated program of government spending across many areas -- one might even go so far as to call it "socialism."

And, so, finally, your point is....?

Jun 23, 2012

What If You Can't Afford NOT To?

Larry Wright, 6/20/12:
The poll tax is not unconstitutional, as most of us think -- it's clearly alive and well in wherever Wright thinks he is.

Jun 22, 2012

Check Out the Impressively Small Class SIze!

Chuck Asay, 6/21/12:
Can you spot the old man?

It's the one who thinks that schoolkids even know what a check is.

(And hasn't noted GOP Gov. Walker of Wisconsin just succeeded in turning the checkbooks of teachers into his resource, after the failed recall? Is Asay calling him a liberal?)

Jun 21, 2012

Is Your Chancellor a Goer? Nudge Nudge, Wink Wink?

Christo Komarnitski, 6/20/12:
Editorial Explanations generally avoids cartoons from foreign shores, since what may seem incomprehensible to American eyes is almost certainly clear as spring water to the locals.

But, every once in a while, the policy must bend.

And today is one of those days, because Bulgarian cartoonist Christo Komarnitski has given us the following image, which I will not attempt to describe or explain, but which I will apologize for searing onto your eyeballs forevermore:

Spam Spam Baked Beans Sausage and Spam

Michael Ramirez, 6/20/12:
Government has no right to encourage people to be healthier, or to study what keeps people healthy, or to try to help them out in any way.

That's why cars have no seatbelts or airbags, food is completely unlabeled and unregulated, companies can dump whatever they want into the water and air, and you can smoke as much as you want everywhere in these glorious United States.

Fox News Viewers Discuss How Fair and Balanced They Are

Chuck Asay, 6/20/12:
Asay cartoons from a world where the NRA, the AARP (which snags members at 50), AFL-CIO, ALEC, and a thousand other organizations across the political spectrum don't exist.

And he's pretty smug about that, too.

The Enemy of My Enemy's Enemy Is...What, Exactly?

John Cole, 6/20/12:
When the Muslim Brotherhood threatens to have actual power, they're dangerous Islamist extremists who will plunge Egypt into a new Dark Age.

But when the military picks on them, they're inoffensive, democratic organizers, just trying to move their country to freedom and civilian rule.

Lifting His Lamp Beside the Golden Door

Randy Bish, 6/20/12:
The right to live in the glorious USA is limited, as God intended, to white Christian men of property and their chattels; all those brown kids should be kicked out immediately, and you can just guess what should happen to smug big-eared dark-skinned guys from Chicago who think they call tell red-blooded Amurricans what to do!

Jun 20, 2012

All Those Flat States Are Alike

Jeff Danziger, 6/18/12:
The only states liberals can recognize are New York, Massachusetts, Florida, and California.

Also, people who disagree with Danziger are stupid doody-heads who don't know nothin'!

That's an Awfully Thick Tightrope

Ken Catalino, 6/17/12:
Hey, it's another incomprehensible "tether" cartoon! (See Adam Zyglis's version a couple of days prior.)

Remember, "spending" is a tether to keep government on the tightrope (of what? a balanced budget? fiscal prudence? prosperity?) and not fall into the roiling waters of Debt.


An "Executive Order" is Not a "Rule" -- Discuss

Nate Beeler, 6/19/12:
Romney was thisclose to nailing down the Hispanic vote in the USA -- presumably by actually taking a stand on immigration other than "why don't they all just leave, so I don't have to worry about them" -- when that sneaky Obama did something totally unfair by actually giving them what they wanted.

Jun 18, 2012

The Ol' Ball and Chain

Adam Zyglis, 6/15/12:
Businesses could do so much better if they didn't have to follow all of those pesky laws -- like actually paying their workers, or worrying about safety conditions, or monitoring their output so they don't pollute. And, if you loved America sufficiently, you would immediately dismantle all of those laws and allow American businesses to be competitive with Chinese slave labor again!

Note: Yes it is a double-Zyglis day! Let's celebrate!

Is He Crossing Niagara Falls?

Adam Zyglis, 6/15/12:
Advertisers have to walk the narrow tightrope of Brand Image, it's true -- but, if they fall off, they have the tether of...um, of...I dunno, Corporate Deniability?, Customer Loyalty?, Marketing Power? ... to save them.

Is this cartoon actually about anything? Has there been some big brou-ha-ha about branding up in Buffalo that I didn't hear about?

And is Zyglis aware that he's spinning a tether -- something that saves you from death if you make a mistake -- as a bad thing? Does his metaphor even make any sense to begin with?

Jun 15, 2012

No One Ever Makes Any Judgements of Any Kind These Days, Right?

Chuck Asay, 6/14/12:
Yes, "avoid contact with the tribe across the mountain...they are dangerous." That's the lesson we no longer teach our children: fear and ostracize those not like us, because all those not like us are dangerous.

Either Asay is more aware than he gets credit for and is taunting the rest of us, or he's secretly Kelly from The Onion in disguise.

He Got Passion in His Pants and He Ain't Afraid to Show It

Mike Lester, 6/14/12:
Obama's "private sector is doing fine" comment, rather than being part of a longer, dispassionate explanation of how the economy is doing (not all that well overall, but private jobs are up 3.4 million and public are down 500,000 over the same time period) was actually a cynical, pandering gesture to his fanatical followers, like Madonna's recent boob flash in Turkey.


You Say It's Your Birthday? It's My Birthday Too, Yeah!

Terry Wise, 6/14/12:
Hold on a second -- I thought that the cost of benefits, salary, and pensions for public-sector workers was the single biggest problem facing the American economy.

And what bigger piece of the public-worker pie is there than soldiers?

So isn't Obama just doing his bit -- as conservative commentators keep demanding that he do -- to reduce the deficit?

Is That Andy Capp?

Chuck Asay, 6/14/12:
All health issues are purely the result of bad life choices -- "congenital conditions" and "genetic tendencies" are lies made up by liberal doctors who probably even believe in evolution!

Therefore, anyone sick with anything at all must be left to die on their own, since their sickness is merely the hand of a vengeful God punishing them for their obvious moral faults.

Would You Like to Play a Game?

Ann Cleaves, 6/14/12:
Hackers are friendly, open-faced folks, who gather all of the passwords they can obtain purely to offer them back to the rightful owners in their time of need.

Jun 14, 2012

Your New School -- Brought to You By the Folks Behind Outsourcing

Milt Priggee, 6/13/12:
America's public schools -- all of them, in every state and at every funding level -- are as failed and panicked as the flight from Saigon, and the only hope is the helicopter of Charter Schools.

Which, of course, can only hold a few lucky folks, leaving the rest to be slaughtered and/or enslaved by the hideous Commie hordes breaking down the walls of the US Embassy.

(Yet another metaphor that I suspect got away from its cartoonist.)

Logrolling in Our Time

Dick Locher, 6/13/12:
The GOP is trying to "rollback" every tax they can touch, as part of their sneaky "starve the beast" strategy to topple the entire federal government.

But the courageous Democrats are proudly standing (ah, sitting) firm to stop that.

Jun 13, 2012

How DARE You Be Positive and Optimistic About America!

Eric Allie, 6/12/12:
What he actually said was
The truth of the matter is that, as I said, we created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27 months, over 800,000 just this year alone. The private sector is doing fine. Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government. Often times cuts initiated by, you know, Governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government and who don’t have the same kind of flexibility as the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in.
And that has the advantage of being true -- job creation in the private sector could be better (it always could be better, obviously), but jobs are still being lost due to cost-cutting in the public sector on the local and state levels, which pushes down the overall totals. (And public-sector jobs for things like construction tend to not only keep skilled blue-collar workers employed during tough times, but also has a multiplier effect by updating and strengthening our infrastructure.)

Again, look up what prior Republican Presidents -- Reagan, Bush I, Bush II -- did for local governments during the recessions in their terms, and what Obama's been able to accomplish this time around; the differences are startling. (Call him incompetent if you want -- there's certainly a strong argument to be made that way -- but he's certainly not a huge spender.)

Time Out on Bigotry's Five-Yard Line

Chuck Asay, 6/12/12:
It's absolutely horrible that rednecks can no longer torment and bully gay people they way they used to when Asay was young, and that change means that the world is going entirely to hell.

Also, Hollywood, Academia, and Media are going to force everyone to get gay-married, just you wait!

King Canute of North Carolina

John Cole, 6/12/12:
Yup -- if you pass a law, you can actually directly change the natural world. Which is why it's a crime that the government hasn't just outlawed forest fires, floods, and hurricanes.

(In case it's unclear, I'm actually on Cole's side on this one.)

Smallest Government Growth in Sixty Years, Folks, Look It Up

Lisa Benson, 6/12/12:
That's the bloated public sector -- which has shrunk by over 550,000 jobs -- being supported by the weak and limp private sector, which gained 3.4 million jobs.

Editorial cartooning is easy when you can make up your own facts!

If Only We Could Keep the WRONG People From Ever Voting....

Jake Fuller, 6/12/12:
Democratic politics in the US is run by an utterly corrupt, completely ruthless machine, and we know this because they control the levers of government on all levels and are fanatical about maintaining intra-party unity.

Jun 12, 2012

He's Moderately Neato

John Darkow, 6/11/12:
Sure, the private sector has added 4.3 million jobs over the past 27 months, but that's certainly not "doing fine."

Why, all of those new jobs went to people who expect salaries -- and some of them even get benefits! How can capitalism continue if they actually have to pay people to work?

(The public sector, on the other hand, has lost about 550,000 jobs over the same period -- which means that it's doing just peachy, since the whole point is to drown the government in the bathtub and move into America's rule-by-armed-warlords period.)

Jun 11, 2012

America the Crumbling

Michael Ramirez, 6/8/12:
Yes, the very last category of jobs that can't be offshored to foreign countries -- people actually working, on the ground, for states and municipalities -- are being stripped of the benefits and pay that allow them to stay in the middle class.

And, if you're Ramirez, that counts as a good thing.

Not Suffering Any More

Cameron Cardow, 6/8/12:
Yes, the US economy is completely dead now -- with just a trickle of job creation and uneasy capital markets -- which is much worse than it was this time in 2008.

And, if you believe that, you have such a short memory I can probably sell you the Brooklyn Bridge five or six times before you catch on.

Shouldn't the Elephant be Joffrey?

Ken Catalino, 6/9/12:
Yes, Democrats just can't seem to get the hang of deficit spending -- they keep trying to provide government services, and actually help out the citizens of the country, instead of enriching themselves, starting unnecessary wars, and randomly cutting taxes the way Republicans do.

Only Republicans know how to really spend into a deficit, as proven by our last President.

Is His Doorstep in the Middle of a Ballroom?

Dick Locher, 6/8/12:
Illegal immigration is primarily a matter of poor foreigners leaving their babies on the US's doorstep, ringing the bell, and then running away.

Sadly, the US is hard of hearing, so those babies inevitably die -- and that's why the number of illegal immigrants to the US has dropped substantially in recent years.

(There's a potential expansion of this idea of the US's doorstep, involving flaming bags on unpleasant substances and unfriendly countries, but luckily Locher left that to the imagination.)

Like Everybody Else, I Want to Pay My Dues

Chip Bok, 6/8/12:
Unions, as we all know, are entirely made up of swarthy criminals with Italian names.

But is Bok saying that Walker's changes have made unions stronger? Or is his gut instinct to be racist at every turn just tripping him up once again?

You Can Have My 32-Ounce Soda When You Pry It From My Cold Dead Hands

Bob Gorrell, 5/8/12:
Personal freedom is entirely defined by portion size in America's largest city -- it's a well-known fact.

(And personal freedom took a huge nosedive at the height of those horrible, divisive nouvelle cuisine years, as well.)

If You Don't Lose a Limb, You're Not Playing Hard Enough

Steve Kelley, 6/8/12:
Athletes in professional sports are supposed to ruin their health and shorten their lives for our entertainment -- that's the whole point!

They should just feel lucky that we don't force them to battle to the death.

Jun 8, 2012


There will be no Editorial Explanations today; your humble explainer is on a pilgrimage to the seat of American power -- yes, Washington, DC, itself -- and there chaperoning several busloads of fourteen-year-olds through a whirlwind tour of the highlights of our civilization.

Regular service will definitely return on Monday, and there may be some catch-up posts over the weekend, depending on how egregious Thursday's and Friday's cartoons are.

Jun 7, 2012

All Swarthy People Are Corrupt, Lazy Cretins, Right?

Chip Bok, 6/6/12:
Get it! "Siesta?" Greeks are the Mexicans of Europe!!!

Ho ho ho, Mr. Bok! Lazy and racist, in one neat little package!

Remembering Those Great Days That We Don't Specify

Bob Gorrell, 6/6/12:
How you feel about this cartoon depends on when you think "then" was:
  • Is it the 1890s, when the richest Americans enjoyed low tax rates and extravagant income growth, while most of us got worse and worse off as they got richer?
  • Or is it the post-war era, when a broad base of personal and corporate income taxes kept the differences in wealth between rich and poor from being as stark, and (not coincidentally) the country had a very long period of peace and prosperity?
(Or, perhaps was "then"during, oh, let's say WWII, when it really was "US" vs. "Them"?)

Jun 6, 2012

It Didn't Ding Long

John Cole, 6/5/12:
Fat people aren't allowed to complain about government programs designed to reduce the number of fat people.

(Replacing "fat people" with alternative terms is left as an exercise for the reader.)

Where Stupid Complaints Go To Die

Gary Varvel, 6/5/12:
Let's take those one by one.

Osama bin Laden: check.

Jobs: Well, it's true: after the downturn, public-sector jobs have plummeted, and not come back -- as they usually did during recessions, because of government spending -- so the solution is to spend a lot of government money (which, one might add, has to be approved by the GOP-dominated House) to create those government jobs and make the numbers better.

Deficit Reduction: Well, we did have a surplus under our last Democratic president, but I suppose it's gauche to mention that. And the GOP plans to "fix" this would destroy jobs, so Varvel's putting the two of them together is disingenuous, to say the least.

Consumer Confidence: The President has a button to increase consumer confidence right on his desk in the Oval Office; only a Marxist Kenyan socialist sleeper agent Saul Alinsky puppet would fail to push it repeatedly.

Recovery: Actually, economists will say that we're in a recovery. (Unlike Europe, which has slipped back into recession after enacting the kind of austerity measures the House GOP keeps calling for.) But who cares what economists say? They're only the ones that define recoveries!

Keystone XL Pipeline: Half of it has been approved; the rest wasn't "fast-tracked," but it's still viable -- if that's "dead," then so is Medicare and Medicaid, which will go broke in several decades.

Bipartisanship: The lack of which is the fault of Obama, and not the people who refused to compromise, on anything, with him for the past three years and declared that making him "an one-term president" was their greatest aim.

Business Investment: The button's right next to the one marked "Consumer Confidence"! Are you blind?!

Gov't Transparency: Hey! Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. But it's an awfully goo-goo, lefty complaint for Varvel.

Religious Liberty: Yes, all Americans have been forced to join the official government religion, and are not allowed to follow their own consciences anymore.

Oil Production on Federal Land: Total oil production is up (way up), and federal land under lease for oil drilling is also up. But the total barrels drilled on federal land is down very slightly from its peak...in 2010, under Obama.

After all that, I don't have any energy to complain about this flat, dull cartoon as a cartoon -- it's really just a list of partisan talking points, without any serious artistic, comedic, or other input from Varvel.

Jun 5, 2012

Darn Those Conveniently-Never-Named Policies!

Bob Gorrell, 6/1/12:
Since private sector employment has been (modestly) rising, and it's been the big cuts in public-sector employment -- led by those budget-slashing GOP governors -- that's driven the bad news in recent numbers, it's clear that Gorrell wants Obama to engage in large-scale Keynesian counter-cyclical spending, and transfer billions of dollars to hire more teachers, rebuild our infrastructure, and get Americans back to work.


People Should Never Vote on IMPORTANT Stuff!

Paul Fell, 6/4/12:
Fell, apparently, has forgotten the Nineteeth Amendment, which extended the suffrage to women through popular votes in two-thirds of the states extant at that time.