Friday, March 23, 2018

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Lalo Alcaraz, via

(Jim Morin, Miami Herald)

(Darrin Bell, Washington Post Writers Group)

(Stuart Carlson, via

(Steve Breen, San Diego Union-Tribune)

Tweet Of The Day -- Only The Best

Oh, did we mention Bolton's nuts?

Weekend Music To Accompany Spring

We're a little late in posting this music (but, then, so is Spring in most parts of the country). It's our (almost) annual seasonal tradition -- Franz Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony Number 8 in B Minor, Second Movement, played by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. It was one of the first pieces of classical music we owned (the version we had was by Fritz Reiner's Chicago Symphony Orchestra), and we've always associated it with the coming of Spring. Please take 12 minutes of your day and listen to some truly gorgeous art, and think "Spring."

March For Our Lives Video

Here's the real deal:

"Saving Our Country So You Don't Have To"

This spoof ad from "Late Night with Seth Meyers" speaks for itself:

We hope those of us who are older and perhaps not feeling as exposed or empowered as these young citizens will stand up and show our solidarity with them on Saturday (and beyond).  They're trying to change the country in a way that, frankly, those of us who came before have failed to do. March For Our Lives.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Peter Kuper, The New Yorker)

(Drew Sheneman, The Star-Ledger, Newark, NJ)

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)

Only The Best (Cont.)

The revolving door of Chaos, ladies and gentlemen.

John Dowd resigned Thursday as President Donald Trump’s lead attorney assigned to deal with the Russia probe, Jay Sekulow, one of Trump’s personal lawyers, confirmed to HuffPost. [snip] 
Dowd felt Trump was increasingly ignoring his advice on how to deal with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russia, sources told The New York Times and The Washington Post.  [snip]
Trump was “pleased” with Dowd’s decision to step down, according to the Times and Post. He had been upset with Dowd’s media appearances over the weekend in which he called on the Justice Department to end the special counsel’s investigation. Dowd initially said he was speaking on behalf of Trump, but later backtracked and said he was only speaking for himself. (our emphasis)
#2 (literally)
Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the battle-tested Army officer tapped as President Trump’s national security adviser last year to stabilize a turbulent foreign policy operation, will resign and be replaced by John R. Bolton, a hard-line former United States ambassador to the United Nations, White House officials said Thursday. 
Bolton was nearly nominated to be Secretary of State in November 2016.  We thought we dodged a bullet when he was passed over, because he's (to put it bluntly) a nut.  One of the reasons he purportedly wasn't nominated to State was because Rump didn't like his mustache (!!!). Maybe Rump's undergone mustache de-sensitivity therapy since then. Oh, did we mention he's a nut?

Bolton also has a "special relationship" with Putin's Russia and the NRA, so he and Putin's useful idiot will have a lot in common:
Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton recorded a video used by the Russian gun rights group The Right to Bear Arms in 2013 to encourage the Russian government to loosen gun laws. 
The episode, which has not been previously reported, illustrates the common cause that Russian and American gun rights groups were forming in the years leading up to the 2016 election through former National Rifle Association president David Keene. Keene appointed Bolton to the NRA's international affairs subcommittee in 2011. 
Russian politician Alexander Torshin helped establish The Right to Bear Arms and cultivate ties with American gun rights groups including the NRA. As a Putin ally, Torshin served as the deputy speaker of Russia's parliament for more than a decade, and also spent time on Russia's National Anti-Terrorism Committee, a state body that includes the director of Russia's internal security service.
This should work out well, like everything else with this clown show.

Obamas To Parkland Students: "You've Helped Awaken The Conscience Of The Nation"

On March 10, Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama (how bittersweet that sounds every time we hear it!) wrote a letter to the students of Parkland, Florida, where the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre took place on February 14.  Here's a copy of the letter, via Mic:

The text of the letter reads:  
10 March 2018 
To the students of Parkland — 
We wanted to let you know how inspired we have been by the resilience, resolve and solidarity that you have all shown in the wake of unspeakable tragedy. 
Not only have you supported and comforted each other, but you’ve helped awaken the conscience of the nation, and challenged decision-makers to make the safety of our children the country’s top priority. 
Throughout our history, young people like you have led the way in making America better. There may be setbacks; you may sometimes feel like progress is too slow in coming. But we have no doubt you are going to make an enormous difference in the days and years to come, and we will be there for you. 
Barack Obama Michelle Obama
Another reminder of the humane, hopeful leadership our country is now missing.

The March For Our Lives is this Saturday in Washington, DC, and in cities around the nation.

BONUSBalloon Juice has links to poster suggestions for the marches.

The Pocket Princeling

It would appear that Trump crime family princeling Jared "Mr. Ivanka Trump" Kushner has a cozy new address (allegedly!):
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly bragged about having White House senior counsel Jared Kushner “in his pocket” and may have used highly sensitive intelligence from the President’s Daily Briefing in his violent crackdown on dissent in Saudi Arabia, The Intercept reported Wednesday. 
Three sources told The Intercept that Kushner had revealed names of Saudis disloyal to the crown prince. 
“The Saudi figures named in the President’s Daily Brief were among those rounded up; at least one was reportedly tortured,” The Intercept explained. 
Mohammed bin Salman also was said to have told UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed that Kushner was “in his pocket.” 
Kushner communicates with both the Saudi and Emirati crown princes via Whats-App. A source claims that Kushner’s lawyers have since told him not to use the app for government business.  (our emphasis)
The crime family's callow princeling's main charge from his dimbulb father- in- law has been to "bring peace to the Middle East." How living in the pocket of a Saudi despot achieves that remains to be seen. But it certainly would make sense if your main purpose was to advance business opportunities for your family ("pay for peace"?).

Kushner reportedly also maintains residences in the pockets of Russian thug Vladimir Putin and Israel's kindred Trumper Bibi Netanyahu.

We eagerly await Special Counsel Robert Mueller lowering the boom on the princeling for his involvement in Russian cyber meddling in the 2016 election, though if he ends up in Mueller's pocket, it would be as a cooperating witness.

BONUS:  Retired Army four star Gen. Barry McCaffrey no doubt reflects the views of many in the diplomatic corps:
“Putting Jared Kushner, a 30-something person with no foreign policy experience or defense policy experience, as a leading representative of the United States is simply outrageous,” McCaffrey told MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes.” [snip] 
“It just has no precedent, in my view, in American government in modern times,” McCaffrey added. “This is the personalization of a family business dealing with U.S. policy.”
Enlisting the U.S. Government in developing your crime family business might not turn out to be such a good career move, eh?

(Photo:  The princeling and his host)

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Today's All-Luckovich Cartoon Twofer

(click on images to enlarge)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Tweet Of The Day -- Fail On So Many Levels

Mid-Week Music

R&B and soul legend Otis Redding had his only number one song 50 years ago this week, "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay."  What made it unusual was that it was the first posthumous single to reach the top of the charts (Redding and all but one of his band, The Bar-Kays, died in a plane crash several months earlier, on December 10, 1967, in Madison, WI, where we happened to be students at the time). Co- written with guitar great Steve Cropper, Redding began jotting down the first verse of the song while looking out at San Francisco Bay from a houseboat in Sausalito. We featured this a few years ago, but it's always worth remembering how great Redding was and what a loss the music world suffered.  Hope you enjoy.

Model Stormy Summer Weather Trifecta

It's a dirty job, but someone has to keep up with the Donald "Rump" Trump sexcapades:

-- Stormy Daniels kept the receipts:
Adult film actress Stormy Daniels underwent a polygraph exam in 2011 about her relationship with Donald Trump, and the examiner found there was a more than 99 percent probability she told the truth when she said they had unprotected sex in 2006, according to a copy of the report obtained by NBC News Tuesday.
-- Move over Stormy:
A former Playboy model who claimed she had an affair with Donald J. Trump sued on Tuesday to be released from a 2016 legal agreement restricting her ability to speak, becoming the second woman this month to challenge Trump allies’ efforts during the presidential campaign to bury stories about extramarital relationships. 
The model, Karen McDougal, is suing The National Enquirer’s parent company, which paid her $150,000 and whose chief executive is a friend of President Trump’s. The other woman, the adult entertainment star Stephanie Clifford, better known as Stormy Daniels, was paid $130,000 to stay quiet by the president’s personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen. She filed a lawsuit earlier this month.
-- It's taken just over 21 years, but the Republican pursuit of Bill Clinton's private parts has come back to haunt their Very Stable Genius leader:
A judge in New York ruled on Tuesday that Clinton v. Jones, a unanimous Supreme Court ruling that established that a sitting president was not “absolutely immune” from civil lawsuits over actions he took before he was president, applies with equal force to a case brought by Summer Zervos, a former Apprentice contestant who is accusing Trump of defaming her during the presidential campaign. “No one is above the law,” wrote Judge Jennifer Schecter in a brisk, 18-page ruling in which she declined to dismiss the lawsuit.
One way or another, as we've said for some time, it will be women who will rid us of this corrupt, cancerous, colluding clod.

(As always, your optional musical accompaniment.)

Letters We Wish We'd Written Dept.

In today's Washington Post:
Paul Kane’s March 18 @PKCapitol column,“Retirement frees congressional Republicans to break with Trump-era party,” said that retiring gives Republican Reps. Thomas J. Rooney of Florida and Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania and Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona “the freedom to speak their minds, about Trump and their congressional leaders.” They and the rest of the GOP have always had that freedom. They have just chosen to keep quiet so as not to jeopardize their reelections. For them, it’s party first and the American people second. 
We should not congratulate these retirees for their honesty. Nor should we forget the complicity Republicans and their leaders have exercised in turning a convenient blind eye to the destruction of the American ideal. The poor and middle class are being hurt by the actions of the Trump administration, to say nothing of the disenfranchised. This sad period of history will eventually end. But we won’t forget when that day of reckoning is upon us.  
Jeff Gates, Silver Spring
They're a party of cowards and collaborators.  Never forget that.


There's this extra bit of information to add to what we know about Putin puppet Donald "Rump" Trump's congratulatory phone call to the home office yesterday:
The Washington Post is reporting that Trump was given key talking points for his call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday and that he disregarded just about all of them. He was not supposed to congratulate Putin on his allegedly unfair and undemocratic reelection win — his notes even had “DO NOT CONGRATULATE” in all caps — and yet he did. And he was supposed to condemn Russia’s alleged role in the nerve-agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain, and yet he did not.
Let the memes begin! (h/t HuffPo)

We have a bold suggestion.  Someone sneak this into Rump's next intel briefing: DO NOT RESIGN!