Today’s editorial cartoons on Trump

Today’s Trump Editorial Cartoons. Click on thumbnail to view cartoon.

J.D. Crowe
Alabama Media Group
May 10, 2017
David Horsey
Los Angeles Times
May 10, 2017
Kevin Siers
Charlotte Observer
May 10, 2017

 

 

The New Yorker’s David Remnick on the dangers of normalizing Donald Trump – video

David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker, discusses the dangers of normalizing a Donald Trump presidency during a live chat hosted by the Columbia Journalism Review, in partnership with the Guardian and Reuters. The event, titled ‘Covering Trump: what happens when journalism, politics and fake news collide’, was held at the Columbia Journalism School in New York.

Source: The Guardian newspaper post.

Americans more likely to be killed by cows than immigrant terrorists

Flickr/Amanda Parsons

Flickr/Amanda Parsons

Americans are vastly more likely to find employment with a Muslim refugee than to be killed by one. They are in fact much likelier to be killed by cows, fireworks and malfunctioning elevators than an immigrant terrorist.

Cows kill 20 Americans every year on average. (Source) Yes, cows are twenty times more lethal than sharks, bears, or alligators. In 2015 toddlers in the U.S. killed more Americans than foreign terrorists.(Source) There were 301,797 firearm-related deaths in the past decade, compared to 71 deaths from domestic acts of terrorism. (Source) As a means of keeping Americans safe, Mr Trump’s order is almost worthless.

The reputational damage done to America by Mr Trump’s action will be dangerous, as well as large. The attributes that make America attractive to migrants—its openness, fairness and opportunity—are also among its most effective security mechanisms. They help explain why America is at once the most desirable destination for migrants and less prone to jihadist violence than almost any other country with a large Muslim population. By singling out Muslims for discrimination—including a group currently detained at John F. Kennedy airport in New York who had risked their lives working with Americans in Iraq—Mr Trump’s order is a repudiation of these American strengths.

Worsening the damage, he also signalled, in an interview with a Christian television channel, that the ban would not apply to Christians. Syrian Christians, claimed Mr Trump, were “horribly treated” by his predecessor. “If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible,” he said. “I thought it was very, very unfair. So we are going to help them.” This was not merely incendiary but untrue: last year America accepted 37,521 Christian refugees and 38,901 Muslims.

Senator Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska, suggested the ban went too far: “If we send a signal to the Middle East that the US sees all Muslims as jihadis, the terrorist recruiters win.” But this was a rare exception. Most Republicans have either stayed silent or welcomed the ban. Paul Ryan, the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, was among its fans: “We are a compassionate nation, and I support the refugee resettlement programme, but it’s time to reevaluate and strengthen the visa vetting process,” he said. This is a bad moment for America.

Trump is proof evident of the old joke about politicians. “When do you know a politician is lying? When he’s lips are moving!”

Spinning Hillary: a history of America and Russia’s mutual meddling

A mural in Vilnius depicting Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photograph: Petras Malukas/AFP/Getty Images

A mural in Vilnius depicting Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photograph: Petras Malukas/AFP/Getty Images

A Guardian article writes – Donald Trump once again shocked Americans when he appeared to call on Russia to hack and release Hillary Clinton’s emails from the personal server she used while she was secretary of state.

His comments came as allegations swirled that Russian authorities had hacked the Democratic National Committee’s emails in an attempt to sabotage Clinton.

This isn’t even the first time the US and Russia have interfered in each other’s presidential campaigns. In a little-known quirk of post-cold war history, the 1996 re-election campaign of Putin’s mentor, Boris Yeltsin, was secretly managed by three American political consultants who on more than one occasion allegedly received direct assistance from Bill Clinton’s White House.

There’s even a movie about it.

The 2003 comedy film Spinning Boris dramatises the true story of three American consultants who were hired to manage Yeltsin’s 1996 re-election campaign. The film stars Liev Schreiber as Joe Shumate, a Republican data analysis expert, Jeff Goldblum as George Gorton (who later became the campaign manager for Arnold Schwarzenegger), and Anthony LaPaglia as Richard “Dick” Dresner, a highly skilled political consultant who in the early 1980s helped elect Bill Clinton governor of Arkansas.

Indeed, Spinning Boris, while ostensibly a film about the Russian presidential election, is actually about how in a globalised world, unshielded by Iron curtains, it should come as no surprise that Russia and the United States have a vested interest in one another’s political elections and, to quote a Russian expression, dirty politics “has no nationality”.

For this reason, the continued outrage over Donald Trump’s ties to Russia rings hollow to anyone willing to recognise some fundamental truths about the way foreign policy really works. Outside intervention in domestic politics is as old as politics itself. Maybe Putin does want Trump to be President, maybe he doesn’t. The only real question is – who’s going to play them in the movie?

Read the complete article on The Guardian web site here.

Economic facts fail Harper’s boasting of economy

Stephen Harper and his Conservatives are running the most poorly performing economy the country has seen since the end of the Second World War according to a new report by Unifor, Canada’s largest private union.

Stephen Harper has been boasting publicly of how well his government has controlled the economy. Such ads on TV are a regular staple and just one example of Harper misleading the Canadian public during his stay in politics.

The Conservatives are pinning their re-election bets on selling Harper’s reputation as a strong fiscal manager, but the latest economic indicators show the Canadian economy contracted in the first quarter of 2015.

Nonetheless, the prime minister says Canadians have a “very simple choice” when they head to the polls on Oct. 19.

He said “instability in the world” is no reason to ditch an economic plan that he insists is working.

“Analysts are predicting good growth for this economy into the future as long as we stay on track,” he said.

“It is a time to stick to our plan, make wise investments, control our spending, lower taxes and make sure our fiscal situation is balanced and strong.” (quoted from CTV news at http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/harper-still-optimistic-economy-will-rebound-1.2500089  )

Never one to let the facts get in the way of a good political line, Harper’s boasting bubble pops when punctured with truth about his economic governance.

Harper loses econony

The report examined 16 indicators of economic progress, including job creation, real GDP growth, export growth, household debt and real personal incomes.

“The Harper government ranked last or second last in 13 of the 16 indicators,” Stanford said.

He said when all the categories are added up to give a cumulative score, Harper grabbed an 8.05 out of nine. Nine is the worst possible score.

Brennan and Stanford included extensive lists of data used for their rankings, so skeptics can see the information for themselves.

Economist Mike Moffatt of Ontario’s Mowat Centre, an independent think tank, reviewed the report and said it holds up to scrutiny.

Moffatt said the figures in the report are accurate, but more context would help explain why the economy has performed poorly.

“They were kind of selective in what they chose to report,” Moffatt said, suggesting the authors could have analyzed more categories favourable towards the government, like household wealth. “That’s a mild issue with it, but overall a lot of the more obvious economic indicators have been rather poor over the last eight or nine years, which this report points out.”

Moffatt added the number crunching and raw data in the report was “fantastic.”

Read full article here.

 

How to destroy the future. Noam Chomsky.

Noam Chomsky, the man who brought us “Manufacturing Consent”, wrote a piece for the Guardian titled “How to destroy the future”. I felt it was worthwhile sharing the link with you.

I was in Broadcast Journalism in the 1980’s when Noam Chomsky wrote “Manufacturing Consent”. When I attended the next Radio/Television News Directors Association convention (in Kansas City?) I had to purchase a t-shirt for a publishing friend of mine to go along with Chomsky’s book I was giving him. The t-shirt was inscribed “Freedom of the Press belongs to those who own one”. I got him three t’s. He loved them all; the t’s and the book.

For readers unfamiliar with Noam’s credentials: Noam is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, historian, political critic, and activist. According to Wikipedia (yeah, I know about the reliability of Wikipedia), He is an Institute Professor and Professor (Emeritus) in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years. In addition to his work in linguistics, he has written on war, politics, and mass media, and is the author of over 100 books. According to the Arts and Humanities Citation Index in 1992, Chomsky was cited as a source more often than any other living scholar from 1980 to 1992, and was the eighth most cited source overall. He has been described as a prominent cultural figure, and he was voted the “world’s top public intellectual” in a 2005 poll.

In the Guardian article Noam writes about political willingness to race towards destruction. You may read the article here.

U.S. political debate stuck in the past.

Excerpts from an article by Chrystia Freeland in the Globe & Mail.

In choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney swapped his Massachusetts pragmatism for a proudly ideological commitment to limited government. The Democrats, by contrast, believe in the essential role government plays, and are willing to raise taxes, at least on the rich, to pay for it.

Thanks to smart machines and global trade, the well-paying, middle-class jobs that were the backbone of Western democracies are vanishing. The paradoxical driver of this middle-class squeeze is not some villainous force – it is, rather, the success of the world’s best companies, many of them American.

It took more than the spinning jenny or the steam engine to transform local, agrarian, family-based communities into national, urban, individualistic ones. New political and social institutions will be needed to midwife the latest shift into global and virtual communities. Inventing those institutions is difficult, and talking about them can be frightening, but that is the political conversation the Western world should be having.

Read the full article here.

Governments, lotteries, hypocrisy.

dunce-punzhu puzzles

Does the government think we're stupid?

Politicians must think the voting public is either stupid or gullible. Each election the opposition party promises to give the voters everything under the sun, and blame the current governing party for everything wrong.

Let’s look at budgets, whether here in Canada, the United States, or anywhere else.

Let’s look at voters as a lottery group, who each year elect a group to buy lottery tickets and manage the voters money.

Okay, so the people who manage a lottery group usually don’t get fat pensions, fat paychecks and fat perks, don’t often get arrested or thrown in jail, and don’t usually make promises they know they can’t keep. But other than that, let’s say for this instance only, the managers of a lottery group act somewhat like a group of elected politicians running a government in that they take your money and spend it then ask for more money because they lost it all.

If you are breathing then you probably have or soon will have a budget. A budget helps you plan, and explain, how and where your money comes from and how and where your money is spent.

If you spend more than you bring in, as many people do and almost all governments do, then you have a budget problem and you are in debt.

Governments are often comprised of people who have been elected through some voting process. This means that those who are elected want to be re-elected so they may continue to serve “the public good”, which in most governments means getting fat paychecks and pensions and doing things which all too often get them in the newspapers and sometimes in jail.

Let’s compare a country to a group of 100 lottery ticket holders which, like most lottery groups, seldom wins a lottery or wins enough to recover what they have spent over the months and years of buying lottery tickets.

Let’s call these lottery ticket holders “voters” and have them elect three people who’ll buy the lottery tickets for one year. This “elected” group will have the ultimate right to decide how the lottery ticket money is spent, but the “elected” group promises to do so wisely and with all the good intentions of any politician.

As is wont with lotteries, there are occasions where a particular lottery has a very large payout and the elected group decides to roll most of the bundle on that particular lottery. Let’s call one of these lotteries “war”, wherein you try to get seven oil wells in seven countries out of a total of 149 countries. Win the lottery and your group gets oil and gas for free for life.

Unfortunately, no one wins the lottery this time around, and so the lottery is run again. This time the group gets 3 oil wells in 3 countries and wins a chance to keep those oil wells if no one wins the same three oil wells in the same three countries during the next three lotteries. The group loses everything on the next “war” lottery.

But the elected official spent all the groups money on the “war” lottery and some other lotteries, and now has to go to the group and ask for more money just like a government does at times when it plans its budget.

So the lottery group gives the elected  group more money to spend on lotteries, and what do you know, a new lottery comes up where you can win a car a year for life and all the gas you need and never ever have to pay a parking ticket or speeding ticket again. Let’s call this lottery the “transportation” lottery. They group loses on both the “transportation” lottery and the “war” lottery.

During the whole year the “elected” group buys lottery tickets every day and they never win once. The lottery group decides to throw the bums out and holds another election to choose a group to win the jackpot this time and to spend their money wisely.

The first thing the “elected” group does is ask the lottery members to cough up more money. The elected group argues it needs to buy additional lottery tickets in order to not only try and recover the original amount lost by the first “elected” group, but to spread the chance of winning across a wider field by buying more and different lottery tickets and putting some of the lottery money into something safer like bonds or in banks to earn interest or health insurance policies for the group.

But the lottery members object, claiming this is irresponsible budget management. The main objectors to this request for new funds are the same 3 people who were voted out because they spent too much and won nothing.

The three former “elected” lottery members stir up the other lottery members, using lies and denials and false accusations, and the lottery group decides not to use any funds for safe keeping or safe investments or health insurance.

The newly elected group, shackled by the lack of funds to provide a safety-net in the form of safer investments or health insurance for its members, is forced to do with less than their budget requires. The newly elected group is forced to cut back on the lotteries it can invest it and forced to forgo any alternative forms of investment.

The newly elected group of managers fails to do any better than the previous group, due to the former elected members bad management while in office and their behavior once pushed out of office, and the lottery group losses again.

The former management group, having proof now that the present group has failed to live up to its promises, gets the present group thrown out and themselves elected back in solely by reiterating over and over and over that the present group failed to deliver what it promised.

In the U.S. the Republicans and the “Tea Party” people seem to forget it was their group that created all the problems and failed to ever have a balanced budget in the last sixty years.

The hypocrisy with many politicians is that they create the problems then blame the opposition for the very same problems they themselves created.

It’s sort of like children answering a mother when asked who stole the cookie from the cookie jar. The guilty one often is first to point to the other child.