Government Train Wreck

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A reporter blamed the tragic Amtrak train wreck in Philadelphia on not enough government spending on infrastructure. House Speaker John Boehner said the train wrecked because it was going 106 mph in a 50 mph zone. This may be just the sort of thinking President Obama wants Boehner to change.

Obama Poverty Panel

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The president’s lecture at a Georgetown panel on poverty didn’t sit well with Joe Scarborough. His intolerance for those who disagree with him isn’t going over so well with Democrats either.

And changing the minds of Boehner, McConnell, and the media are not enough. Hillary says deep seated cultural codes and religious beliefs have to be changed.

Government Email Hackers

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Or should I say “hacks”? A federal judge on Friday reopened a lawsuit to force Hillary to turn over more government email from her secret stash. Two weeks ago 6,400 missing emails turned up from Lois Lerner’s crashed computer at IRS.

Cartoon Punch Down

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If somebody tells you you can’t draw something, the proper response of any self-respecting cartoonist is to draw that thing. Bosch Fawstin did exactly that and won first prize in the “Draw Mohammad” contest a week ago. In his cartoon a sword wielding Mohammad says, “You can’t draw me”, to which Fawstin responds, “That’s why I draw you.”

He also drew a response. Two heavily armed would be jihadis were gunned down by a cop with a pistol as they tried to turn “Draw Mohammad” into a “Charlie Hebdo” style massacre.

Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau’s approach is different from the Fawstin way. He explained it in his acceptance speech for a Polk lifetime achievement award  last month. It’s the punching bag theory of cartooning. He says that satire must always punch up at the powerful and never punch down at the powerless.

Now they tell me. There are rules for satire.

I like Doonesbury but haven’t liked its politics ever since the entire cast cheered Nixon’s wage/price controls back in the early 70’s. But that’s no reason to not appreciate a good cartoon. Doonesbury has been like an ongoing play with well developed characters who grow over time. It’s witty too. Most of the time.

Steyn Punch Down

Mark Steyn, on the other hand, hates Trudeau’s guts. So I picked out some of the good stuff from his column A Contemptible Man Strikes Down:

“The Polk Award is named after a journalist shot dead at point-blank range in 1948 while covering the Greek civil war. So you might have thought it would be in ever so mildly bad taste to use the opportunity of a Polk acceptance speech to piss on the graves of a group of journalists similarly murdered. Nevertheless, that’s what Mr Trudeau did:

Charlie Hebdo, which always maintained it was attacking Islamic fanatics, not the general population, has succeeded in provoking many Muslims throughout France to make common cause with its most violent outliers. This is a bitter harvest.

Ah, so Charlie Hebdo is to blame for provoking ordinary, peaceful, moderate Muslims into supporting the Allahu Akbar guys who killed them.

Traditionally, satire has comforted the afflicted while afflicting the comfortable. Satire punches up, against authority of all kinds, the little guy against the powerful. Great French satirists like Molière and Daumier always punched up, holding up the self-satisfied and hypocritical to ridicule. Ridiculing the non-privileged is almost never funny—it’s just mean.

 

Brady Balls

150507-brady-ballsThe NFL says Tom Brady cheated his way to the Super Bowl by using deflated balls. He has thrown a record 12 touchdown passes in his Super Bowl career. Now Brady is throwing the guys who deflated the balls for him under the bus.

Update: NFL suspended Brady 4 games. His agent will appeal.