Monday, June 26, 2017
These days it seems like there's a hiring boom going on everywhere but at the White House. Trump seems content to let his feebleminded son-in-law handle little matters like the relationship between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Countries like Denmark literally have no idea who they should be speaking to about anything, because the State Department offices are, five months into the new administration's tenure, emptier than an illegal roadside fireworks merchant on July 5th. Hey, maybe deep down Trump knows that he's not going to hold this office for much longer, so why bother? We can only hope.
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Can we all just agree that the senate GOP healthcare overhaul is a shitty fucking deal for the many, many Americans who aren't nearly as rich as the people who lavish campaign contributions on those same GOP senators who wrote it?And while we're at it, can we just stop referring to it as the senate's healthcare bill, since it is in fact not really any different form the cruel abomination that is the GOP House's healthcare bill? And that in fact the GOP is utterly incapable of crafting a reasonable, compassionate healthcare bill? And can we all not forget this when the 2018 midterms roll around?
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Friday, June 23, 2017
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Happy first day of summer! That exuberant, fleshy visage belongs to newly minted congresswoman Karen Handel, the Republican who just barely beat John Ossoff in a special election runoff to see who would win Tom Price's seat. A disappointment, for sure, but this is not the big prize. That, as I'm sure we're all aware, is the 2018 midterms. So, you know, learn from your mistakes, Democrats. Hell, I should add, "learn from your mistakes, Republicans," as well, but I know they don't and/or won't. How's that Healthcare legislation coming along?
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Despite the half-naked skiers slaloming above the fold, the front page positively reeked of death today, both the literal kind---Carrie Fisher, the unfortunate soul at the mosque in London, Otto Warmbier (remember him? He was the kid who stole a poster from a North Korean hotel room while on vacation there and was sentenced to 15 years in prison for it. Last week North Korea sent him back here in a coma and he died shortly after.)---and the metaphorical variety, i.e., the death of democracy via gerrymandering. And of course the skiers represent the death of proper seasonal attire. And that last sentence might just be the death of humor, but hey, you'll live.
Monday, June 19, 2017
Happy Juneteenth, everybody! Today's A1 seemed to be mostly focused on disenfranchisement, be it in the form of the thousands of children kidnapped by Boko Haram, Homeless Korean immigrants here in our fair city, or factory workers in Grand Rapids, Michigan trying to keep a family afloat on a low-wage job. Still, I don't feel discouraged. There's ways to fix these things (or prevent them from happening in the first place), but it's not gonna happen when we're doing things like letting GOP Senators write sweeping healthcare legislation in secret. We can all agree that that's a shitty idea, right? How much longer is it until the 2018 midterms?
Sunday, June 18, 2017
Seriously, LA Times? On father's day you put Bill Cosby on the front page? I mean, I know that news is news and you have to report on whatever is going on at the time, but damn. Clearly I decided not to include him in today's drawing, but now I'm remembering all kinds of stuff from his show, like that Cliff Huxtable was a gynecologist, and that look he would give Claire when he was feeling a little randy, and the whole thing is starting to feel like a network-funded personal freak show. Alright, I think we're done here. Tomorrow I imagine our focus will shift back to London.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Sometimes the bar graph for one thing can perfectly describe an entirely different set of things. For instance, the graph on today's front page that began life as a description of the stock valuations of various grocery store chains after the announcement that Amazon was buying Whole Foods works perfectly well as a visual indicator of Trump's level of enthusiasm for things that he's encountering in a typical day. And if you're unsure about what any of these things are on this revised graph, or why they're at the level they're at---man, you should go read a newspaper or something.
Friday, June 16, 2017
Whatever else you might think about this police cruiser planted firmly in the wall of a mini mart somewhere in South Los Angeles, at least it's not parked in the red. This tableau of unintentional hilarity is brought to you courtesy of a teen enrolled in the LAPD cadet program who stole this particular cruiser, then led actual police officers on a chase, and then crashed it. The kid gets points for pure chutzpah, but in every other sense they're pretty much screwed.
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Well, I think this is the first mass shooting that's elicited a response from our country's NRA-funded politicians that's more than just offering an absent-minded "thoughts and prayers" between meetings. I mean the shooting that happened on the baseball field, clearly, and not the shooting that resulted in four fatalities at a UPS facility in San Francisco, which also happened on Wednesday. I imagine they haven't thought about that one at all.
It's getting pretty late, so let's sum this up quickly. That scary matryoshka doll is composed entirely of the dead-eyed gaze of alt-right lawn jockey Jeff Sessions, who testified before Congress yesterday, had his fragile little feelings hurt, refused to answer many questions because, well, we don't really know why, he didn't offer any rational explanation for the refusal, and then he acted shocked---shocked!---that anybody would find it even the least bit suspicious that he had all sorts of secret meetings with Russian government officials that he then didn't tell the Senate about during his confirmation hearings. Oh, and this morally bankrupt nitwit also thinks that marijuana is a tool of the devil. So, you know, classy guy all around.
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Apparently a couple of hack right wing news sites got their tighty-whiteys in a bunch over a production of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" because the guy playing Caesar was made up to resemble Trump. I know, it's terrible. The right wing media already has so much to deal with---transgender bathroom usage, the war on christmas, statues of slave owners being dismantled in the South---and collectively they have the emotional control of a three-year-old, and now we're asking them not to freak out over this nonissue. It's our fault, really. We all should've known better.
Monday, June 12, 2017
Sunday, June 11, 2017
I don't know if it's a sign that summer has officially begun or we've just hit upon a natural ebb in this year's relentless, churning news cycle, but today's front page offered something like a breather from the near-constant state of high anxiety that has existed, it seems, since January 20. Mostly we were given the science (still respected in some quarters!) of snow pack measurements and an architecture piece on Frank Lloyd Wright's pre-Columbian LA houses. I mean, there was terrorism and "Trump is an idiot" stuff, but it was kind of off to the side, as if the front page was like, "You know what? It's Sunday morning. Grab a cup of coffee, maybe a second danish, and read some shit that'll make you feel, for at least a little while, like you don't live in secular humanist End Times." And, you know, if that's not your bag, then you probably went to #ResistMarch today. Either way, I hope you had that second danish. #priorities
Saturday, June 10, 2017
The front page was a hot mess of hot messes today. I mean, it doesn't get much more gross than the mention of both Trump and Roman Polanski on the same page. All I could think was, "If only there was a weird, musical, multisyllabic word that could sum up all these shitty news items. And maybe give them a veneer of fun while we're at it." And so we have what you're looking at. Not quite a spoonful of sugar, but it'll get us through the night.
Friday, June 9, 2017
I know we all have Comey fever right now, but we also need to acknowledge the elephant in the room. A shitty, backstabbing elephant no less, in the form of the House Republicans passing a bill on Thursday that would repeal vital parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Remember that bill? That's the one that was passed after the great financial clusterfuck of 2008, in order to prevent banks from behaving like reckless, profit-driven idiots. It also set up a consumer protection bureau, which has been responsible for recouping billions of dollars in refunds for consumers who were screwed by shady bank practices. So, you know, totally not doing anybody any good.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
How about that Comey testimony (or, as I like to call it, "testicomey")? It's like that gold coin nailed to the mast in "Moby Dick": there seem to be as many interpretations of it as there are political affiliations. Still, we all want to know one thing: does it help move us closer to impeachment? Lordy, I hope it does.
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
For all you courtroom watching types out there, today was an embarrassment of riches. You had your choice of the Senate Intelligence Committee hearings on the "Russia Thing," as certain parties are calling it, or the newest episode of the Cosby trial, wherein Theo learns a very special lesson about not drugging and sexually assaulting women. These are two very different inquiries, although they are both examples of people in positions of authority abusing their power, an activity which is fast replacing baseball as our national pastime.
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Because the Middle East just hasn't been destabilized enough, a bunch of Arab states decided to cut diplomatic ties with and form a blockade against Qatar (which a little google bird told me can be pronounced either "kuh-TAR" or "cutter," although the latter is much more in vogue these days. The more you know!), who are more politically allied with Iran then the Saudi contingent. Apparently this move is thought to have been spurred on by Trump's call for the Arab States to be more proactive in fighting terrorism. Diplomacy!
Monday, June 5, 2017
I think we can all agree that the vaquita porpoise is pretty damn adorable. Unfortunately, we can't all agree on whether it should be allowed to exist. I mean, given that we're a species that seems to not give much thought to our own long-term survival, we are at least consistent in our outlook.
Sunday, June 4, 2017
The Sunday Edition cleared out a corner in the top right for the London terror attacks (and considering how late that story broke, it's amazing it made it on there at all). The rest of A1 was the Cosby trial (not as heartwarming as The Cosby Show), migrant workers, Venezuela, and an ode to the movie theater (i.e., company town boosterism). That's all I got. We're done here. Go enjoy your evening. Just be careful where you point those bananas, kid.
Saturday, June 3, 2017
Before we all turn our attention away from Trump's cowardly retreat from the Paris accord and onto London, where some terrible shit went down tonight (and which we will no doubt be addressing tomorrow), I would like to talk about today's front page as if it weren't already yesterday's news. In particular, two shout outs need to be, well, shouted out: first, to the many cities and states (four of which are pictured above---house points will be awarded if you can identify any or all of the states) who are basically telling Trump, "no matter what you do or say, we're going to continue to work on fixing climate change, and you can go skullfuck yourself with a lump of flaming coal." To them I say "bravo." Also, "nicely worded!" Second, to the Los Angeles Times front page itself, who paired the headline, "Trump begins resizing U.S. role on world stage" with a photo of Trump using the distance between his thumb and forefinger to describe a very small distance. It's hilarious. Congrats to all involved in putting that beauty together.
Friday, June 2, 2017
The above quote was said by Donna Parker, who, at the age of 15, became the organist at Dodger's stadium for the summer of 1972. By all accounts, Donna performed her duties at the stadium quite well, despite her young age. Which should be unsurprising, because it's not like she had never played the organ before being hired for such a big gig. I mean, that would be crazy, right? Hiring someone with no skill or practice or experience to do a job that requires at least two out of three of those things? But hey, who the hell would ever do such an idiotic thing?
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Oh, Kathy Griffin. There's already so much comedic material to mine when dealing with Trump---the idiotic tweeting, the fanatical devotion to lying about everything, the cronies, the shitty business deals, the lechery, i mean the list literally never ends, and there are fresh humiliations being added to it every day (hello, covfefe!)---that there's no need to resort to violence. We don't want to kill him; we want him, through the combination of his incompetence and criminal proclivities, to get fired. And then maybe thrown in jail. So don't distract, and don't give him reason to create distractions from the task at hand. We'll all have a good laugh when it's over.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
If i had to pick a theme for today's front page, I'd have to say it was reversals of fortune. From a high-falutin' developer being brought to his knees by his own hubris to LAPD finding a promising lead in a couple of cold murder cases, changes in direction big and small were all over A1 today. Not to belabor the point, but LAT readers were also treated to a black and white image of Manuel Noriega, speaking of reversals of fortune. He died recently. When, exactly? Who the fuck cares, this is Noriega we're talking about. But you know what we can talk about? His hat. That is one jaunty chapeau de guerre.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
What better way to shake you out of your 3-day weekend torpor than the threat of nuclear annihilation? It's not enough to merely have the KGB back on the scene as the moustache-twirling villains du jour. To get the full-on cold war experience, you need a good old-fashioned nuclear arms race. Anyway, even while the North Koreans are trying their damnedest to get a functioning ICBM into the mix, we (and by "we," I mean our military folk and congresspersons) are debating whether we should keep our land-based nuclear arsenal or let all those warheads hang out on air force bombers and submarines. You know, I don't really have a dog in that particular fight, so my vote is for whatever scenario leads to the smallest chance of anybody actually using these unholy devices.
Monday, May 29, 2017
Clearly the front page knows what you're all doing with your time off this Memorial Day: A1 was dominated by articles about weed, Netflix, and doughnuts. I mean, that last one was technically about the boxes that the doughnuts are sold in, but you get the point. Anyhow, let's all take the rest of the day off from the really grim stuff (North Korea missile launches, Jared Kushner's sleazy backroom dealings with Russia), because it'll all be waiting for us tomorrow.
Sunday, May 28, 2017
Yes, that is my poor attempt at Gregg Allman, who died on Saturday, tucked in among all those heads of cauliflower. If you don't know who Gregg Allman is, or why you should care, go listen to this version of Whipping Post they did at the Fillmore East. And then go listen to this 23 minute version of Whipping Post that appeared on the live album made from that series of concerts. And then, I don't know, go enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.
Saturday, May 27, 2017
Sometimes the best part of an article is a minor detail embedded within the larger story. In the story about the Islamic state's use of drones in combat, there's a paragraph describing a variety of measures the good guys are undertaking to foil their use since they are notoriously difficult to shoot out of the sky in a normal fashion. Among the more prosaic solutions mentioned was a scheme to train eagles to hunt drones. Which, I don't know about you, but the idea of eagles flying around beating the shit out terrorist drones sounds like something from an Archer episode, i.e., it's something i think we all need to see via goPro strapped to said Eagles of Drone Death. The focus of today's mixed media daily drawing is not that story, however. There were some domestic developments to consider/get very angry about. More details of Trump's "make America fucked again" budget are emerging, and among the many, many items under the axe are California's and Alaska's early warning earthquake system, warning systems for tornados, and an array of DART buoys stationed in all bodies of water surrounding our once-great nation that can detect tsunamis. So never mind early warning for normal, non-Trump citizens, but make sure there's plenty on money to keep melania in New York City. That's your president's priorities. He's happy to watch all of you die so that he does not have to live in the same house as his wife.
Friday, May 26, 2017
You can just see the second panel, can't you? Where she's pouring that big glass of Chardonnay or whatever the fuck it is all over tiny sleazy trump's tiny toupee (or whatever the fuck it is), because of the Manchester leaks or the shitty attitude at the NATO meeting or just because he's exactly the kind of douchebag that needs a tall glass of something thrown on him once in a while, just to keep him in line. Of course, British Prime Minister Theresa May did not pour a drink on Trump's head, but if she did I bet the rest of NATO would throw her a goddamn ticker tape parade. Especially this guy.
Thursday, May 25, 2017
I felt a little bad that the last time I drew Pope Francis his face was obscured by one half of a pair of dice, so I made sure to include him today. We can hope that some of his kinder, gentler papal wisdom rubbed off on national embarrassment Donald J. Trump when the two met, but let's be real: Trump is a raging narcissist and an utter fool, and his only thought on meeting anybody is how he can use that person for his own gain. I imagine it was all just a fabulous photo op for him. I wonder if somewhere in Trump's dim, flickering synapses he was able to realize, when he came face to face with the pontiff, that this is as close to heaven as he will ever get.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
England would have been the focus today regardless, but Roger Moore's improbable appearance on the front page (he died recently) sort of put a weird spin on the whole thing. With everything that's going on in the world, the romanticization of National spy organizations and their stateless supervillain nemeses really feels like something from the most bygone of eras.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
All eyes are on Manchester today, of course, because some lowlife zealot decided that god wanted him to blow up children. Despite ISIS' best efforts to be the biggest asshole on the front page today, a photo of Trump touching the Western Wall is what appeared above the fold. I guess ancient masonry can't jerk its hand away when you reach out for a little suggestive rub, so it makes for a somewhat normal official photo. Oh yeah, and the White House released something it thinks is a budget today, but it's actually just a whole lot of wishful conservative thinking swaddled in incorrect math. In other words, it's one ugly baby.
Monday, May 22, 2017
Sometimes the front page gets all Hometown Buffet on you--you get a little medical marijuana, a little Femi Kuti, an unappetizing dollop of Trump--and it's hard to know where the focus of the drawing should be. And then you read Frank Shyong's article about Lai Hang (I'm not even going to get into it here; just go read it), and it's so heavy and heartbreaking that you're just like, "fuck it, we're going with a guy wearing a hazmat mask and rocking the mic."
Sunday, May 21, 2017
I didn't have anything as splashy as a glowing orb to work with when figuring out today's drawing, but hey, cannibalism is always a crowd pleaser, right? I don't know if Trump's overseas trip to Saudi Arabia even qualifies as a political event. Isn't it just two filthy rich families getting together to figure out how to get more money for themselves and their friends?
Saturday, May 20, 2017
After yesterday's Roger Ailes drawing you might think today's doodle is merely extending that theme. Alas it is not (exactly). That's Donald and Melania up there, emphatically not letting their hands touch as they walk side by side on the White House grounds, mentally preparing themselves to spend a long time on an airplane together.. On the rare occasions where these two are actually in the same space, their body language is completely hilarious. Fake marriage. Sad!
Friday, May 19, 2017
Drawing Roger Ailes isn't exactly my idea of a rip-roarin' Friday night, but the news is the news is the news (I think Gertrude Stein said that), and draw it I must. I mean, look at this pig. This is the scumbag who engineered a bullshit news station that steadily poisoned journalism and American political discourse for a generation, culminating in our current disastrous, inept, criminal presidency, an administration which might, even if it does not serve for one full term, do enough damage to the American experiment that another generation might come and go before that damage is repaired. Oh, also Roger died recently. See how I turned it all around at the end of the piece? That's quality news delivery; take note, Fox and Friends.
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Say hello to former FBI chief Robert Mueller, the guy chosen by Asst. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to act as independent counsel for the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. All we're hearing from anybody---Republican or Democrat---about Mueller is that he's a take-no-shit, law abiding kind of guy. Those are pretty great qualities! I think we can move the national mood-o-meter up to "cautiously optimistic." For now. Go get 'em Bob.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Which Trump scandal are we all focusing on today? Is it Comey? Russia? Flynn? It's so damn hard to keep up. Anyway, let's take a break from cataloguing Trump's fuckups and pour a little out for Brad Grey, who passed away Sunday evening. If you don't know who that is, well, there's no reason you should if you don't work in entertainment. He ran Paramount for the past dozen years, but more important, he's the guy who brought The Sopranos to HBO. Now there's a man who contributed something to this crazy world. Thanks, Brad, and rest in peace.
Monday, May 15, 2017
An Aleppo not being bombed around the clock, Trump walking back some of his genuinely insane ideas about foreign policy, and refugees settling into American life in deep-red Idaho? It's like a paper from another world. Not that I feel any better. There's still plenty of stupid shit happening in the world (that Syrian war is far from over, for instance). But if we're occasionally gifted with a news cycle that's not across-the-board grim, that's....something?
Sunday, May 14, 2017
It's Mother's Day, but hey, it's also 2017 so I'm drawing these fucking asshats. The entire front page, in fact, was hilariously male: There was the pack of GOP politicians (the photo was from their "celebration" in the Rose Garden after they squeezed the universally maligned AHCA through the House, a bill that explicitly defunds planned parenthood and offers up the possibility of pregnancy as a pre-existing condition for which women could be denied coverage. But hey, Happy Mother's Day!), the gruff, gettin'-shit-done miners who dig tunnels for urban infrastructure (a legitimately interesting read, if only for the descriptions of the equipment they use to dig these tunnels), and a photo of the Secretary of the Interior on a fucking horse wearing a goddamned cowboy hat. It was a real Marlboro Man day at LAT. To be fair, there were pockets of gender-neutral reportage on A1 today. The piece about the total solar eclipse that's happening later this year, for instance. I mean an actual solar eclipse, not the metaphorical eclipse of American intellectualism and decency that has kept us fumbling in the dark since January 20. Although maybe I mean that too; it's so hard to tell these days.
Saturday, May 13, 2017
Lee Baca's career seems to have finally reached its dire, sad conclusion, where he will sit in a jail cell for the next few years as Alzheimer's robs him of the only thing that actually matters. I get that the charges of which he's been convicted are really fucking serious, but damn, I can't help feeling a little sorry for the guy; that's a shitty way to spend your winter years. But that's the price you pay when you fuck with the FBI. I mean, what person in a position of privilege and power would be stupid enough to fuck with an FBI investigation?
This week began and ended as a hot mess. I'm not going to try to unpack it here. I am, however, going to draw a diminutive Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein submerged in a cocktail-sized ice bath, because that's pretty much where he landed after the White House fucked him over. But it's cool. Rod's coming to the Senate next week to talk about Comey's firing. Hey, what's Trump doing this weekend? Working hard, I bet, in the Oval Office on all that legislation to help the poor, rural constituents who voted for him. Ha! I'm kidding, Trump is never in the Oval Office on the weekends. Also, he really doesn't give a shit about any of the poor people who voted for him. The weekends are his time to pretend he knows how to play golf. That's way more important to him than whatever poor people are dealing with.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Who's that fellow up there pulling the strings of that puppet president? That's Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister who made a visit to the White House the day after Trump fired Comey. The Los Angeles Times featured a photo of the pair's meeting on A1, but they didn't have a staff photographer on hand to shoot the occasion. No, they had to procure this photo from the Russian Foreign Ministry, because no American news outlet was granted access for this visit. Only the Russian Foreign Ministry. Still, as crazy as that little nugget is, it's hardly the most insane thing to happen in Washington in the past 48 hours. I'm not entirely sure what the craziest thing would be, at this point---Spicer hiding from the press in the bushes? Trump contradicting two solid days of spin issued by White House flunkies and the VP about why Comey was fired? Lavrov joking about Comey's ouster? Take your pick, I guess. It's nonstop crazytown over there, and there doesn't appear to be an end in sight.
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
I guess there was little chance that I wouldn't be drawing James Comey tonight. I mean, he was literally the only picture on the front page of the Los Angeles Times, so I really didn't have a choice. Not that I would've selected anything else in lieu of our freshly minted ex-FBI chief. I'm sure tomorrow I'll be drawing a selection of the traitors and scumbags who fired him. Anyway, there you go. My gut feeling is that we haven't seen the last of Comey. He is (was?) scheduled to testify before Congress in a few days. I don't know if his firing changes that, but I don't see any practical reason why it should. And if Congress doesn't want to hear from Comey anymore, you know who does? The rest of America. Don't be shy, Comey. Tell us what's on your mind.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Sally Yates's testimony that she did in fact tell the White House---twice!---about exactly how deep Michael Flynn moral cretinism ran was some pretty bombshell stuff. Of course Trump's own brand of moral cretinism is in a class by itself, and thus he pushed his way into the news cycle with the spectacularly stupid decision to fire James Comey, the FBI director, today (I don't want to say I called, because I totally didn't, but I would like to officially declare my May 4 drawing as some sort of bizarre precognitive act). Nothing quite screams "I am guilty as fuck!" like firing, for the flimsiest of manufactured reasons, the very person who is investigating your alleged crimes, thus allowing yourself the opportunity to appoint one of your spineless flunkies to the newly vacated post. We are in serious trouble as a nation if we don't get a special independent prosecutor on this mess pronto.
Monday, May 8, 2017
I know, politics weighs heavily on your mind these days, but clear a little corner for the demise of net neutrality, would you? Because it might happen under this regime. Ajit Pai, the current FCC chair, wants to eliminate net neutrality protections put in place by the Obama Administration. So, once more, and I'm sure not for the last time, we have an appointee hostile to the ideals of the department they are tasked to oversee spending their time there effectively neutering said department. That's all for tonight. Go on back to your surfing or googling or trolling or whatever it is you do on the internet while you still have bandwidth to do so.