Tuesday Reads: Enemies of the People (Trump, Barr, and the NYT)

Good Morning!!

The New York Times has really bitten the dust this time. Yesterday they announced they will no longer run any political cartoons. Not only are NYT editors terrified of offending Trump and his base, but also they clearly have no sense of humor.

Chapette reacted to his firing at his personal website: The end of political cartoons at The New York Times.

All my professional life, I have been driven by the conviction that the unique freedom of political cartooning entails a great sense of responsibility.

In 20-plus years of delivering a twice-weekly cartoon for the International Herald Tribune first, and then The New York Times, and after receiving three OPC awards in that category, I thought the case for political cartoons had been made (in a newspaper that was notoriously reluctant to the form in past history.) But something happened. In April 2019, a Netanyahu caricature from syndication reprinted in the international editions triggered widespread outrage, a Times apology and the termination of syndicated cartoons. Last week, my employers told me they’ll be ending in-house political cartoons as well by July. I’m putting down my pen, with a sigh: that’s a lot of years of work undone by a single cartoon – not even mine – that should never have run in the best newspaper of the world.

I’m afraid this is not just about cartoons, but about journalism and opinion in general. We are in a world where moralistic mobs gather on social media and rise like a storm, falling upon newsrooms in an overwhelming blow. This requires immediate counter-measures by publishers, leaving no room for ponderation or meaningful discussions. Twitter is a place for furor, not debate. The most outraged voices tend to define the conversation, and the angry crowd follows in.

Cartoon by Chappette

In 1995, at twenty-something, I moved to New York with a crazy dream: I would convince the New York Times to have political cartoons. An art director told me: “We never had political cartoons and we will never have any.“ But I was stubborn. For years, I did illustrations for NYT Opinion and the Book Review, then I persuaded the Paris-based International Herald Tribune (a NYT-Washington Post joint venture) to hire an in-house editorial cartoonist. By 2013, when the NYT had fully incorporated the IHT, there I was: featured on the NYT website, on its social media and in its international print editions. In 2018, we started translating my cartoons on the NYT Chinese and Spanish websites. The U.S. paper edition remained the last frontier. Gone out the door, I had come back through the window. And proven that art director wrong: The New York Times did have in-house political cartoons. For a while in history, they dared.

Along with The Economist, featuring the excellent Kal, The New York Times was one of the last venues for international political cartooning – for a U.S. newspaper aiming to have a meaningful impact worldwide, it made sense. Cartoons can jump over borders. Who will show the emperor Erdogan that he has no clothes, when Turkish cartoonists can’t do it ? – one of them, our friend Musa Kart, is now in jail. Cartoonists from Venezuela, Nicaragua and Russia were forced into exile. Over the last years, some of the very best cartoonists in the U.S., like Nick Anderson and Rob Rogers, lost their positions because their publishers found their work too critical of Trump. Maybe we should start worrying. And pushing back. Political cartoons were born with democracy. And they are challenged when freedom is.

I agree that this isn’t just about cartoons. Trump is succeeding in his war against the press, and the editors of the New York Times are helping him. Twitter commentary from two cartoonists:

Thread from Pat Bagley. More tweets on Twitter

Continuing on the subject of press freedom, CNN’s Jim Acosta has a book out: The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America. Sam Donaldson reviewed the book at CNN:

Reading Jim Acosta’s new book “Enemy of the People” is like watching a train wreck in progress, with passengers bracing for the inevitable crash.

Friends and critics agree we have never seen a president like Donald J. Trump, whose disdain, even contempt and apparent hatred for many members of the press is almost daily on display.
Acosta cites instance after instance when this President and many of his staff show that they are bent on interfering with the ability of reporters to bring the public an accurate account of the administration’s stewardship.

For most of his adult life, President Trump courted the press, lived for its attention, even for a time pretended he was someone else when calling reporters to sing Trump’s praises. Whether now he truly believes that the mainstream press, as he says, reports “fake” news and is the “enemy of the American people,” or that such language is simply part of a tactic meant to stoke the anger of his “base” while escaping an objective accounting of his actions doesn’t matter. The effect is to undermine the credibility of the media, leaving him free to pursue policies that harm us at home and abroad….

History shows that tyrants and would-be tyrants always attempt to destroy a free press. And that is why the First Amendment to our Constitution specifically forbids government from interfering with the work of the press.

Read the rest at CNN. I don’t know if I’ll read Acosta’s book, but what Donaldson has to say is vitally important.

I’m feeling so discouraged about the Democratic primary. There are far too many candidates and the ones leading the pack are pathetic. Biden, Buttigieg and Sanders? Please. At this point, I think Trump will win a second term unless his dementia gets so bad the press finally has to begin writing about it.

Eugene Robinson writes at The Washington Post: We don’t need 23 presidential candidates. There’s another important role to fill.

Dear Democratic presidential candidates: I know all 23 of you want to run against President Trump, but only one will get that opportunity. If you truly believe your own righteous rhetoric, some of you ought to be spending your time and energy in another vital pursuit — winning control of the Senate.

I’m talking to you, John Hickenlooper of Colorado, who would have a good chance of beating incumbent Republican Cory Gardner. I’m talking to you, Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana, who could knock off GOP incumbent Steve Daines. I’m even talking to you, Beto O’Rourke, who would have a better chance than any other Texas Democrat against veteran Republican John Cornyn.

And I’m talking to you, too, Stacey Abrams of Georgia, even though you haven’t jumped in. You came within a whisker of being elected governor, and you have a national profile that would bring in a tsunami of campaign funds. You could beat Republican David Perdue — and acquire real power to translate your stirring eloquence into concrete action.

I agree that we absolutely need Senate candidates, but the even greater problem is the candidates that are topping the polls. Biden, Sanders, and even Warren are too old. Biden and Sanders have far too many negatives in their past histories. Buttigieg is too inexperienced, and can you really imagine him beating Trump? More from Robinson on the importance of winning the Senate:

As the Republican Party has long understood, it’s all about power. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) could not care less about lofty words and high ideals. Coldly and methodically, he has used his power to block widely supported progressive measures such as gun control, to enact a trickle-down economic agenda that favors the wealthy and to pack the federal bench with right-wing judges whom we’ll be stuck with for decades.

We all remember how McConnell refused even to schedule hearings for President Barack Obama’s final Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, ostensibly because the vacancy occurred during an election year. Were you surprised when he said recently that if a seat were to come open in 2020, he would hasten to confirm a replacement? I wasn’t. That’s how McConnell rolls. He exercises his power to its full extent and is not bothered by what you or I or anyone else might think. Charges of hypocrisy do not trouble his sweet slumber.

McConnell is not going to be reasoned, harangued or shamed into behaving differently. The only way to stop him is to take his power away, and the only way to do that is for Democrats to win the Senate.

Another danger we face is Cover-Up General Barr’s hostile takeover of the Justice Department. NBC News reports: New details of Barr’s far-reaching probe into ‘spying’ on Trump 2016 campaign.

The Justice Department on Monday offered new insight into what it called a “broad” and “multifaceted” review of the origins of the Russia investigation, and sought to assure lawmakers that the probe ordered by President Donald Trump would work to protect sensitive intelligence at the heart of it.

In a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd said the investigation — referred to throughout as a “review” — would evaluate whether the counterintelligence investigation launched in 2016 into potential contacts between foreign entities and individuals associated with Donald Trump’s campaign “complied with applicable policies and laws.”

“There remain open questions relating to the origins of this counterintelligence investigation and the U.S. and foreign intelligence activities that took place prior to and during that investigation. The purpose of the Review is to more fully understand the efficacy and propriety of those steps and to answer, to the satisfaction of the Attorney General, those open questions,” Boyd wrote.

DOJ announced in May that Attorney Gen. William Barr had assigned John Durham, the U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut, to oversee a review long called for by Trump into whether the Russia probe, launched in the heat of the presidential campaign, was influenced by politics and whether established protocols were followed involving the surveillance of Trump campaign officials.

A counterpoint from former CIA Chief of Station John Sipher at The Washington Post: Trump’s conspiracy theories about intelligence will make the CIA’s job harder.

President Trump’s attempts to craft a public narrative that a government conspiracy was aimed at his presidential campaign moved off Twitter and into the real world of official documents last month. Trump issued a directive assigning Attorney General William P. Barr to probe the origins of the Russia investigation, giving Barr the authority to declassify secret intelligence. As the president stated, “We’re exposing everything.”

The order directly undercuts Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, who is responsible for both protecting and potentially releasing intelligence. And it suggests that Trump is still disputing the fact that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

The president hardly needs to create a public furor to determine what the intelligence community knew about Russian interference, when they knew it or how they learned it. The CIA would gladly provide detailed briefings to him, the attorney general or anyone Trump might request one for. There are well-established means of sharing information within the executive branch. If the president wants to see the specific intelligence, he can.

But that’s not what Trump wants, is it?

But a private inquiry would not provide Trump with the political weapon of a public scapegoat. If he’s looking to discredit the intelligence behind the unanimous assessment by U.S. agencies in 2016 — since affirmed by the Mueller report, numerous indictments and no shortage of public evidence — he seems to want someone to blame. The recent directive hints at Trump’s eagerness to find a CIA version of his favorite targets at the FBI: James B. Comey, Peter Strzok, Bruce Ohr, Andrew McCabe or Robert S. Mueller III’s “angry Democrats.”

Creating a boogeyman inside the CIA is probably an effective tool if Trump’s goal is to persuade voters that he faced a “coup” and that the Russian attack was a “hoax,” as he has claimed. The necessary secrecy of the CIA’s activities makes it easy to spin a conspiracy and scare the public. A weaponized charge can appear simple and compelling, while the CIA’s ability to respond is limited; the issues involved are complicated and hard to explain in the length of a tweet. It is not hard to whip up fear and assume the worst of a powerful and shadowy secret agency if the most powerful man in the world is willing to deceive the public in the process.

That’s it for me today. What stories have you been following?

Wednesday Reads: Irma the Sweet

HURRICANE IRMA  : 11am update

When I used to hear the name Irma, I would immediately think of Irma la Dulce.

Not anymore.

There is an Irma spinning her wheel out there in the Caribbean now…and she is anything but sweet.

Then you have some asshole spreading this kind of shit all over his radio show:


At least most of the people in Florida are not paying attention to Limbaugh:



With all these disasters, and I am including tRump in that mix, I think we all should be given our own escape pod:



Now the Cartoons:












DACA: 09/06/2017 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - DACA

09/06/2017 Cartoon by David Horsey

Cartoon by David Horsey -

09/04/2017 Cartoon by David Horsey

Cartoon by David Horsey -

Hurricane Dance: 09/06/2017 Cartoon by J.D. Crowe

Cartoon by J.D. Crowe - Hurricane Dance

09/06/2017 Cartoon by MStreeter

Cartoon by MStreeter -

Come on…we all know tRump has NO heart!

This is an open thread.

Friday Nite Lite: No pit stop for you!

aadeedbb8d5ac9ec03ba161f6ceaa824Good Evening

Have you heard the latest crazy ass ridiculous scheme going on the voter disenfranchised movement?

I think the best way to bring it to you tonight is to give it to ya via List of X:

10 Reasons Why Florida Will Ban Voters From Using Bathrooms | List of X

If you thought voting was hard, especially in places like Florida where during the 2012 election many voters had to wait in line for several hours, then Florida’s most populous county Miami-Dade just made it even harder. In future elections, voters standing in lines will not be allowed to use the polling place’s bathrooms while waiting for their turn to perform their civil duty. (Yes, I said “duty”.)  Here are 10 reasons why Miami-Dade county has banned voters from using the restrooms.

That list is great, which goes hand in hand with this one: 10 Reactions To Supreme Court Decision on Campaign Finance | List of X

Alright, now for the cartoons.

Mass Stabbing by Political Cartoonist Adam Zyglis

147017 600 Mass Stabbing cartoons


Equal Pay by Political Cartoonist Jeff Darcy

146997 600 Equal Pay cartoons


Stephen Colbert to replace Letterman by Political Cartoonist Taylor Jones

147002 600 Stephen Colbert to replace Letterman cartoons



Secretary Sebelius Resigns by Political Cartoonist Daryl Cagle

147003 600 Secretary Sebelius Resigns cartoons


Nick Anderson: Equal Rights – Nick Anderson – Truthdig

AAEC – Political Cartoon by John Cole, Scranton Times/Tribune – 04/11/2014

Cartoon by John Cole -

LBJ – Political Cartoon by Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – 04/11/2014

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - LBJ

Plane Game by Political Cartoonist Steve Sack

146879 600 Plane Game cartoons

AAEC – Political Cartoon by David Horsey, Los Angeles Times – 04/09/2014

Cartoon by David Horsey -

MINIMUM WAGE by Political Cartoonist Patrick Chappatte

146890 600 MINIMUM WAGE cartoons


AAEC – Political Cartoon by Joel Pett, Lexington Herald-Leader – 04/09/2014

Cartoon by Joel Pett -


I always love the way the following cartoonist draws his figures: WINDFARM BUFFER ZONES FOR SCOTLAND AGAINST SPIN by Political Cartoonist Iain Green


Innit that fat cat awesome?

wage transparency by Political Cartoonist David Fitzsimmons

146910 600 wage transparency cartoons


EQUAL PAY by Political Cartoonist Bill Day

146946 600 EQUAL PAY cartoons


The Koch head by Political Cartoonist John Cole

146954 600 The Koch head cartoons


Tree For The Forest by Political Cartoonist Christopher Weyant

146957 600 Tree For The Forest cartoons


AAEC – Political Cartoon by Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune – 04/10/2014

Cartoon by Pat Bagley -

Equal pay for equal work by Political Cartoonist Dave Granlund

146977 600 Equal pay for equal work cartoons


Nick Anderson: Equal Pay – Nick Anderson – Truthdig


just one more by Political Cartoonist Tom Janssen

146852 600 just one more cartoons

Charter Schools by Political Cartoonist Rob Tornoe

146854 600 Charter Schools cartoons

Collection Agency for overdue school lunch money – Political Cartoon by Don Landgren Jr., TelegramTowns – 04/04/2014

Cartoon by Don Landgren Jr. - Collection Agency for overdue school lunch money

PAYCHECK FAIRNESS ACT – Political Cartoon by Deb Milbrath, Cartoon Movement – 04/11/2014

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - PAYCHECK FAIRNESS ACT

AAEC – Political Cartoon by Paul Fell, Artizans Syndicate – 04/11/2014

Cartoon by Paul Fell -


AAEC – Political Cartoon by Paul Fell, Artizans Syndicate – 04/10/2014

Cartoon by Paul Fell -

AAEC – Political Cartoon by Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune – 04/09/2014

Cartoon by Pat Bagley -


Mickey Rooney by Political Cartoonist Joe Heller

146860 600 Mickey Rooney cartoons


This is an open thread…

Friday Nite Lite: Cartoons

Good Evening

It’s Friday Night! Tomorrow will be an exciting day, I’m going down to Atlanta to meet my blogging sister Mona for lunch. It’s a big deal, I even shaved my legs. My daughter is coming as well, she is looking forward to it…she gets to enjoy spending time with a group of intelligent educated women…I think it will be an inspiring day for her.

Here are the cartoons for you this evening.

GOV. MCDONNELL – Political Cartoon by Deb Milbrath, Cartoon Movement – 07/18/2013

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - GOV. MCDONNELL

AAEC – Political Cartoon by Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune – 07/17/2013

Cartoon by Pat Bagley -

Clay Bennett editorial cartoon – Political Cartoon by Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press – 07/16/2013

Cartoon by Clay Bennett - Clay Bennett editorial cartoon

AAEC – Political Cartoon by Gustavo Rodriguez, El Nuevo Herald – 07/18/2013

Cartoon by Gustavo Rodriguez -

AAEC – Political Cartoon by Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette – 07/17/2013

Cartoon by Joe Heller -

AAEC – Political Cartoon by Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette – 07/10/2013

Cartoon by Joe Heller -

AAEC – Political Cartoon by Randy Bish, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review – 07/18/2013

Cartoon by Randy Bish -

THE RETURN OF TWINKIES by Political Cartoonist Randy Bish

134581 600 THE RETURN OF TWINKIES cartoons

7/19 Luckovich cartoon: How can we spin this? | Mike Luckovich


uncivil rights by Political Cartoonist Bill Schorr

134793 600 uncivil rights cartoons

Nuclear Option – Political Cartoon by Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – 07/18/2013

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Nuclear Option

This is an open thread.

Tuesday Morning Open Thread

Uncle Voyeur

Good Morning Sky Dancers!!

Sorry I’m a little late this morning. I’m working on a post that I should have up soon. Meanwhile here’s a fresh thread to discuss the day’s news.