Cagle.com Premium Cartoon News http://www.cagle.com/author/robtornoe/ Rob Tornoe is the sports cartoonist for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philly.com, and a cartoonist for The Press of Atlantic City and WHYY. He writes about the media and the cartoon industry for Editor & Publisher. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:15:32 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.2 Chris Christie’s Problem With Personal Responsibility http://www.cagle.com/2014/03/chris-christies-problem-with-personal-responsibility/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/03/chris-christies-problem-with-personal-responsibility/#comments Fri, 28 Mar 2014 07:05:42 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=639320 Earlier this month, Chris Christie appeared at CPAC, the notorious get together of gun-wielding conservatives angry about Democrats and their do-gooder progressive policies. Amidst the fully expected, tried-and true rhythm of bashing unions and lambasting women’s rights, Christie billed himself as the “Leader in Chief” of a liberal state tamed by his conservative policies.

Christie town hall600 Chris Christies Problem With Personal Responsibility cartoons

Rob Tornoe

“Governors are about getting things done,” Christie said.

Unfortunately, Christie’s ethos of personal responsibility is proving to be as fictionalized as the notion of a traffic study happening on the George Washington Bridge.

Let’s look at the so-called Bridgegate scandal, which has become the defying moment of Christie’s political career. The New York Times has reported that an investigation ordered by Christie himself (conducted by a law firm with close political ties) found that – gasp – Christie had no involvement in the decision to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge.

The internal investigation, which amazingly supports the exact narrative Christie has tried to spin for months, skipped over key figures in the scandal, including Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, Christie’s two top appointees at the Port Authority and Christie’s former campaign manager.

Turns out the buck stops with Christie’s staff. But remind me – is claiming you were completely in the dark about a highly-publicized scheme concocted by your top aides and advisors really the pitch you want to make to voters about why you should be the country’s next president?

I’d say Christie at least showed leadership when it comes to fiscal responsibility, but the $1 million of taxpayer money spent so far on his “comprehensive and exhaustive,” Bridgegate review would seem to speak against that. Considering the fact he spent $12-24 million so he wouldn’t face Cory Booker on a ballot and $25 million to appear in tourism ads during his re-election, being a responsible steward of the people’s money doesn’t seem to fall on Christie’s leadership radar, either.

Neither does taking responsibility. For anything. Ever.

Christie takes every chance he gets in front of his pro-Republican town hall audiences to blame the delay in Hurricane Sandy aid on Obama and Washington. He did it again just this week, blaming the delay on an “ever expanding federal government.” Oddly, going unmentioned was the firing of Hammerman and Gainer, the politically connected contractor hired by Christie to handle the bulk of the state’s Sandy reconstruction work.

In fact, a Rutgers report blasted Christie’s administration when it comes to Sandy aid, noting that the state’s stunning lack of oversight of contractors, like Hammerman and Gainer, was causing the state to fail in “duty of protecting vulnerable citizens from poor service and taxpayers from wasted funds.”

But since it doesn’t fit the narrative, don’t expect to hear about it from Christie’s lips anytime soon.

In another example of Christie’s stunning inability to lead, under directions of his administration, the Motor Vehicle Commission unilaterally banned electric car startup Tesla from selling cars to its customers. Succumbing to the power of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers, Christie managed to anger just about everyone, from tree-hugging progressives to free-market conservatives. Christie’s defense? It’s the legislature’s fault for not handing this issue in the assembly, not the $60,000 in donations made to Christie.

Speaking about the environment, a state appeals court ruled this week that Christie’s administration broke the law after it told power plants not to worry about rules governing carbon dioxide emissions. Christie’s bold leadership gave a victory to fossil fuel lobbyists back in 2011, when Christie unilaterally decided to pull New Jersey out of a Regional Greenhouse Gas initiative supported by nine other states.

By doing so, he left a large chunk of money on the table – money that could’ve been used to invest in renewable energy sources like solar power and wind, and could’ve been used to expand efficiency programs. But you’re talking about the governor who has stolen nearly $1 billion earmarked for homeowner assistance over the last two years and used it to balance his budget. I don’t think leadership on energy and the environment is how Christie rolls.

And on and on. He cuts promised payments into the pension system, then blames unions for unsustainable benefits. Why are schools bad? Not because of bungled leadership leading to the firing of the state’s schools chief – it’s because of dirty, rotten teachers unions. Plummeting poll numbers? It’s not because of his inability to deliver on his campaign promises – it’s the liberal media looking to take down a Republican (you know, the same guy they’ve propped up for years).

Unfortunately for Christie, volume does not equal leadership, especially when so many New Jerseyans seem to be pressing the mute button.

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© Copyright 2014 Rob Tornoe, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Rob Tornoe is a political cartoonist and columnist, and his work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer and NPR-affiliate WHYY. Rob can be reached at RobTornoe@gmail.com.

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One Man is Stopping Gay Marriage in New Jersey http://www.cagle.com/2013/07/one-man-is-stopping-gay-marriage-in-new-jersey/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/07/one-man-is-stopping-gay-marriage-in-new-jersey/#comments Wed, 03 Jul 2013 11:35:08 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=629857 Today, New Jerseyans will look across the Delaware River and see their gay brothers and sisters in the tiny state of Delaware getting married. The people wanted it, the legislature voted for it and Gov. Jack Markell signed it into law. A responsive government at work.

Christie DOMA600 One Man is Stopping Gay Marriage in New Jersey cartoons

Rob Tornoe / PoliticalCartoons.com

In New Jersey, the only response gay marriage advocates have received is a shrug of the shoulder from Gov. Chris Christie, who cares more about impressing big money donors with a backwards view on equality than acting on the will of the individuals he was elected to represent.

Over 60 percent of New Jerseyans want gay marriage, and both the Assembly and state Senate passed a law legalizing it. The only thing standing between same-sex couples in New Jersey and equal rights is Christie’s veto, which he’s been unwilling to relinquish following the U.S.Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on gay rights.

You see, Christie, a Republican, has done enough to anger members of his own party. Merely shaking hands with Obama got former Florida Governor Charlie Crist ex-communicated from the party, so Christie’s full-on bromance with the president in the wake of Hurricane Sandy could really hurt him among the backwards ideologues he’s hoping to woo in Iowa and South Carolina.

Despite living in the “real America” and touting more pro-American “traditional values” hoopla than any sane person can stomach, conservatives don’t want a leader promoting fairness and understanding. They want Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Over the weekend, Putin signed legislation that not only stigmatizes gay people, it prohibits even the discussion of homosexuality and criminalizes gay pride rallies. This coming from a man who just two months ago said “there is no infringement on the rights of sexual minorities” in Russia.

Christie’s said similar things about New Jersey’s civil union law, noting that he is “in favor of making sure that homosexual couples have the same type of legal rights that… that heterosexual couples have.”

Unfortunately, under the state’s civil rights law, they don’t.

Take veterans, another group hard-conservatives like to deify. The Supreme Court’s ruling means that for the first time, same-sex spouses of active-duty military personnel will be able to qualify for the same benefits straight couples have long enjoyed. 

But according to Veterans Affair policy, a vet seeking same-sex benefits has to live in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage. So thanks to Christie, and Christie alone, New Jersey veterans will be discriminated against purely based on their sexual orientation.

The worst part is despite his demonstrated record of cynical political decisions, Christie is still able to maintain the moderate “tell-it-like-it-is” fake Jersey caricature he’s been able to develop with a vacuous national media more interested in catchy sound bites than objective policy.

Take Christie’s response to Hurricane Sandy and his defense of a Muslim judge out of the equation, and you have the record of a conservative, self-serving governor eyeing the next rung up the political latter. Chrisie, who everyone wants to tout as a “moderate,” vetoed funding for Planned Parenthood, equal pay for women and Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. 

He also killed funding for a much-needed tunnel project, took New Jersey out of a regional cap-and-trade agreement, killed the state’s version of the DREAM Act and basically been a spokesperson for the privatization of public schools. Sound like a moderate to you?

The good news is despite the cynical politics of Christie, the groundswell of support for marriage equality in the Garden State won’t be turned back. Gay marriage will become the law soon, either as the result of a lawsuit or through a referendum for a constitutional amendment.

Reminds me of an old Russian slogan that we can now apply to gay rights: Догнать и перегнать Америку! (Catch up and overtake America!)

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Papa John’s and the Politics of Pizza http://www.cagle.com/2012/11/papa-johns-and-the-politics-of-pizza/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/11/papa-johns-and-the-politics-of-pizza/#comments Tue, 13 Nov 2012 14:50:23 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=619776 Originally posted on Newsworks.org

Sometimes, political cartooning is an exercise in venting my frustrations.

Take the reaction to President Obama’s reelection by “the Papa,” Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter. A fervent Mitt Romney supporter, the Papa injected politics into the sauce of his pizza back in August when he complained that due to Obamacare, he would be forced to raise the prices of his pizzas.

122206 600 Papa Johns and the Politics of Pizza cartoons

Rob Tornoe / PoliticalCartoons.com (click to view more cartoons by Tornoe)

Now that Obama has been re-elected, and Mitt Romney is depressingly taking rides up and down on his car elevator, the Papa has doubled down on his threat, warning that his chain may cut his minimum-wage employee’s hours to avoid paying for their healthcare.

It doesn’t anger me that someone like the Papa, who resides in a 40,000 square-foot mansion with its own private golf course and a 22-car garage, would be looking to fill his own pockets before doing right by his employees.

That’s the American Dream. As Mitt Romney said while attending a fundraiser at the Papa’s mansion, “Who would’ve imagined pizza could build this. This is really something. Don’t you love this country? What a home this is, what grounds these are, the pool, the golf course… Republicans come here and say everyone should live like this.” No, what angers me most are people that can’t even criticize this sort-of behavior because of the ideological told-hold the right has on their common sense. The Papa’s big beef, according to a conference call he made to shareholders, was that because his wildly profitable company doesn’t provide health care to its employees, Obamacare would force them to do so, increasing the cost of one of their pizzas by as much as… gasp… 20 cents.

So the rising costs of the old health care system prevented him from giving all his employees health care, and now 20 cents a pizza will do it? The Papa should’t be arguing against Obamacare, he should be making ads for it!

 After all, 20 cents extra a pizza is nothing compared to the cost of adding an extra topping, and more than half the price of an extra garlic sauce. As Amy Bingham from ABC News noted, if you want that piping hot pie delivered, the $2 delivery fee will cost you 10 times more than it would cost the Papa to provide his employees with health care.

Instead of raising the cost of his pizza by the amount most people can find in their sofa, the Papa has chosen instead to punish the same employees that are the backbone of his wealth, simply to make a political statement. 

The Papa is also taking a chance with the business of many Papa John’s franchise owners across the country.

By going so political so publicly, he risks a blow back of angry customers in a market even more saturated than the fat in its products. Think of a state like New Jersey, where 58 percent of voters cast their ballot for Obama. Do you really want to risk making their pizza choices partisan? 

”It felt like sabotage from our own CEO,” said James Applebaum, who worked as a driver at a Papa John’s franchise in Ramsey when the Papa began to speak out against President Obama. “If the company were in financial danger, then I would understand some of what [the Papa] wishes to implement.

The fact that they merely seem to stem from one man’s political views is an outrage. “

So way to go Papa. I’m sure it won’t be hard for New Jerseyans to find another pizza joint to support. After all, there are great Mom and Pop shops on nearly every corner of the state, owned and run by people who live in the community. Their kids probably play with your kids. Sure, they may not have Peyton Manning hawking their pizzas, but at least they’re probably made with fresh dough and handmade sauce.

Better pizza. Better ingredients. Buy local.

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Rob Tornoe is a political cartoonist and a WHYY contributor. See more of his work at RobTornoe.com, and follow him on twitter @RobTornoe.

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Amid disaster, true heroes emerge http://www.cagle.com/2012/10/amid-disaster-true-heroes-emerge/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/10/amid-disaster-true-heroes-emerge/#comments Tue, 30 Oct 2012 16:22:59 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=618473 “Real American Hero” – we salute you, rich celebrity douche-bag…

Picture 3 Amid disaster, true heroes emerge cartoons

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Frankenstorm Threatens to Blow Election Off Course http://www.cagle.com/2012/10/frankenstorm-threatens-to-blow-election-off-course/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/10/frankenstorm-threatens-to-blow-election-off-course/#comments Mon, 29 Oct 2012 14:39:01 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=618400 Originally posted on Newsworks.org

Sandy600 Frankenstorm Threatens to Blow Election Off Course cartoons

Every election cycle, politicians and pundits seem prepared for an October surprise – a news event that has the ability to influence or even change the outcome of an election.

The term originated during the 1972 presidential election, when National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, speaking about negotiations to end the unpopular Vietnam War, announced, “We believe that peace is at hand.” While most experts agree that Republican incumbent Richard Nixon was already on his way to an easy reelection victory against Democrat George McGovern, many feel Kissinger’s “peace is at hand” comment just 12 days before the election sealed it for Nixon.

This year, we have a different kind of October surprise – a monster Frankenstorm that threatens to trample over the North East and wreak havoc among the area’s 50 million residents. At this point, no one really knows how much Hurricane Sandy will impact the election. Both President Obama and Mitt Romney have canceled planned appearances in Virginia and New Hampshire due to the storm, and with harsh conditions threatening to persist for days, it’ll be interesting to see the President’s response, or if Mitt Romney rushes to try and politize it.

Columnist Jan Ting brought up an interesting dilemma – what happens if power outages resulting from the Frankenstorm last beyond Election Day? It would certainly cause problems in Delaware, where all the voting machine are electronic. But we’re not just talking about Election Day – early voting is already underway, and the storm could impede voters’ ability to cast their ballot prior to the election.

“Don’t anticipate that just because the immediate storm has passed that we’re not going to have some potential problems in a lot of these communities going forward through the week,” Obama said on Saturday after visiting the federal government’s storm-response center. 

It brings up an interesting point. We live in the 21st century, right? So why can’t we vote online? Why isn’t voting more convenient? I love casting my vote in person as much as the next person, but with a perfect storm barreling across the most densely populated area of the country, it might be nice to have the option of voting from home.

Some Machiavellian pundits are already trying to figure out how the candidates could benefit from the exact track of the storm. “If Obama were directing the snowstorm it would be in the Shenandoah valley and south-west Virginia as they want as low a turnout as possible in those rural areas,” Virginia University’s Larry Sabato told Talking Points Memo. “If Romney were directing the snowstorm, it would go right down the corridor from Northern Virginia into Richmond, which is where Obama’s votes come from.”

It’s not all bad news. If we do have an extended power-outage, at least we’ll all be spared from the negative attack ads we continue to be barraged by. Since most of us have already made up out minds who we’re voting for, a bit of silence from the endless attacks and mud slinging would be nice.

Although, I fret to think about that poor, undecided voter, alone in a house without power and no access to the internet. Hopefully, he or she remembers back to the 2011 Republican primaries, when Mitt Romney called the debt that resulted from disaster relief “immoral” and indicated his desire to privatize FEMA. 

In all fairness to Mitt Romney, those comments came nearly a year and a half ago, so there’s no telling what he thinks about FEMA and disaster relief now. The only way we’ll truly know is how he responds to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy – or if it somehow threatens Ohio.

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See more of Rob’s work at RobTornoe.com, and follow him on twitter @RobTornoe.

 

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Sesame Street Requests Obama Campaign Take Down Big Bird Ad http://www.cagle.com/2012/10/obama-campaign-going-full-occupy-sesame-street/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/10/obama-campaign-going-full-occupy-sesame-street/#comments Tue, 09 Oct 2012 14:28:33 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=617072 UPDATED: In response to the Sesame Street campaign ad released today by the Obama campaign, Sesame Workshop released the following statement:

“Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns. We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down.”

obama sesame street big bird Sesame Street Requests Obama Campaign Take Down Big Bird Ad cartoons

The Obama campaign is going hard against Mitt Romney for his call to cut funding to PBS, putting together a new television ad mocking the GOP Presidential candidate for going after political red meat, instead of addressing the deficit in a meaningful way.

RELATED: Political Cartoonists weigh in on the proposed cuts to PBS

The president has also been using the PBS angle in his stump speech, telling a rally in Denver last week, “Thank God someone is getting tough on Big Bird. We didn’t know Big Bird was driving the deficit.”

 

The Republican National Committee quickly hit back on the Sesame Street attack line, releasing a graphic showing Obama has mentioned Big Bird and Elmo 13 times since last week’s debate, without a single mention of Libya or his plans to fix the economy.

gop count libya economy big bird Sesame Street Requests Obama Campaign Take Down Big Bird Ad cartoons

So is Big Bird becoming this election season’s Joe the Plumber?

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PBS Fights Back Over Threats to Cut Funding http://www.cagle.com/2012/10/pbs-fights-back-over-threats-to-cut-funding/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/10/pbs-fights-back-over-threats-to-cut-funding/#comments Fri, 05 Oct 2012 15:17:10 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=616933 119829 600 PBS Fights Back Over Threats to Cut Funding cartoons

(Above: John Cole, Scranton Times-Tribune. Click here to view all our PBS Cuts cartoons)

During Wednesday’s Presidential debate, Republican candidate Mitt Romney renewed the call to cut funing to PBS in order to help balance the deficit, despite the fact it only accounts 0.012 percent of the federal budget. In fact, the amount the government spends on public broadcasting wouldn’t even fund the federal government for an hour.

As the Los Angeles Times noted, the battle to defund PBS has a long history, going back to at least the mid-1990s, with critics slamming programs ranging from “NewsHour” to “Teletubbies” as carrying a so-called liberal bias.

In response to Romney’s remarks, specifcally his singling out of Big Bird, PBS issued the following strongly-worded statement:

We are very disappointed that PBS became a political target in the Presidential debate last night. Governor Romney does not understand the value the American people place on public broadcasting and the outstanding return on investment the system delivers to our nation. We think it is important to set the record straight and let the facts speak for themselves.

The federal investment in public broadcasting equals about one one-hundredth of one percent of the federal budget. Elimination of funding would have virtually no impact on the nation’s debt. Yet the loss to the American public would be devastating.

A national survey by the bipartisan research firms of Hart Research and American Viewpoint in 2011 found that over two-thirds of American voters (69%) oppose proposals to eliminate government funding of public broadcasting, with Americans across the political spectrum against such a cut.

As a stated supporter of education, Governor Romney should be a champion of public broadcasting, yet he is willing to wipe out services that reach the vast majority of Americans, including underserved audiences, such as children who cannot attend preschool and citizens living in rural areas.

For more than 40 years, Big Bird has embodied the public broadcasting mission – harnessing the power of media for the good of every citizen, regardless of where they live or their ability to pay. Our system serves as a universally accessible resource for education, history, science, arts and civil discourse.

Over the course of a year, 91% of all U.S. television households tune in to their local PBS station. In fact, our service is watched by 81% of all children between the ages of 2-8.

Each day, the American public receives an enduring and daily return on investment that is heard, seen, read and experienced in public media broadcasts, apps, podcasts and online – all for the cost of about $1.35 per person per year.

Earlier in 2012, a Harris Interactive poll confirmed that Americans consider PBS the most trusted public institution and the second most valuable use of public funds, behind only national defense, for the 9th consecutive year.

A key thing to remember is that public television and radio stations are locally owned and community focused and they are experts in working efficiently to make limited resources produce results. In fact, for every $1.00 of federal funding invested, they raise an additional $6.00 on their own – a highly effective public-private partnership.

Numerous studies — including one requested by Congress earlier this year — have stated categorically that while the federal investment in public broadcasting is relatively modest, the absence of this critical seed money would cripple the system and bring its services to an end.

What do you think – should we be open to cutting funding to NPR and PBS, or should be focus on bigger areas of the pie, like the Defense department and entitlements? Comment below or drop us a line on our Facebook page.

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Al Gore Blames Denver’s Altitude For Obama’s Poor Debate Performance http://www.cagle.com/2012/10/al-gore-blames-denvers-altitude-for-obamas-poor-debate-performance/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/10/al-gore-blames-denvers-altitude-for-obamas-poor-debate-performance/#comments Thu, 04 Oct 2012 15:45:55 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=616858 al gore Al Gore Blames Denvers Altitude For Obamas Poor Debate Performance cartoons

We all know that after every debate, surrogates from both the left and the right will try to spin the debate any way they can to make their guy look good. Just turn on Fox News or CNN today and watch for five minutes.

However, on Current TV last night, former Vice President Al Gore came up with the lamest defense ever for a subpar debate performance – Denver’s high altitude.

“Obama arrived in Denver at 2 PM today. Just a few hours before the debate started,” Gore said last night. “Romney did his debate prep in Denver. When you go to 5,000 feet and you only have a few hours to adjust — I don’t know.”

Here’s the video. Is it just me, or is Current TV’s screen layout terrible? There seems to be more space devoted to a twitter live-feed and other nonsense there there is for the experts you’re supposed to be tuning in to hear.

 

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Todd Akin in 2008: ‘Doctors Give Abortions To Women Who Aren’t Pregnant’ http://www.cagle.com/2012/10/todd-akin-in-2008-doctors-give-abortions-to-women-who-arent-pregnant/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/10/todd-akin-in-2008-doctors-give-abortions-to-women-who-arent-pregnant/#comments Wed, 03 Oct 2012 02:56:04 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=616747 akin movie Todd Akin in 2008: Doctors Give Abortions To Women Who Arent Pregnant cartoons

Things just might have gotten worse for Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin (R). Just days after many GOP leaders did and about-face to support Akin in his U.S. Senate race against current Sen. Claire McCaskill (D), a new video has been unearthed from C-Span that is even more ridiculous than comments Akin made about the body being about to “shut down” a pregnancy that’s the result of a rape.

Don’t miss our collection of Todd Akin cartoons

Speaking on the floor of the House back in January of 2008, Akin calls abortion providers “terrorists” and claims they perform abortions on women who aren’t even pregnant. Yes, you read that right. Here’s the video:

 

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Simpsons Poke Fun at Romney in Opening Credits http://www.cagle.com/2012/10/simpsons-poke-fun-at-romney-in-opening-credits/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/10/simpsons-poke-fun-at-romney-in-opening-credits/#comments Mon, 01 Oct 2012 18:11:12 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=616631 Last night, “The Simpsons” aired the first episode of their jaw-dropping 24th season, and slipped in a not-so-subtle dig at Mitt Romney during the show’s opening credits. Luckily, New York Times reporter Dave Itzkoff was watching and tweeted this image of the gag:

romney bain simpsons Simpsons Poke Fun at Romney in Opening Credits cartoons

This isn’t the first time Romney has been in the sights of “The Simpsons.” Here’s a clip of Homer trying to cast a vote in the upcoming election:

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Chick-fil-A Agrees To End Donations to Anti-Gay Organizations http://www.cagle.com/2012/09/chick-fil-a-agrees-to-end-donations-to-anti-gay-organizations/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/09/chick-fil-a-agrees-to-end-donations-to-anti-gay-organizations/#comments Wed, 19 Sep 2012 15:39:41 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=614595 Our long national nightmare might be over! Despite all those long lines of conservatives seemingly in support of their homophobic policies, it appears Chick-fil-A has buckled under public pressure and reversed course, at least as far as gay rights are concerned.

116341 600 Chick fil A Agrees To End Donations to Anti Gay Organizations cartoons

Adam Zyglis / Buffalo News (click to view all our Chick-fil-A cartoons)

Advocacy group Civil Rights Agenda (CRA), the largest civil rights advocacy organization in Illinois, has released a statement confirming an earlier report on Chicago Phoenix that Chick-fil-A will no longer give donations to anti-gay organizations.

CRA claims the pledge if from a letter Chick-fil-A sent to Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno, who publicly opposed the expansion of Chick-fil-A stores into the city.

The letter promises that WinShape, Chick-fil-A’s non-profit charity, “is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas.”

Earlier today, Tony Merevick over at Chicago Phoenix broke the news that Chick-fil-A had agreed to stop making donations to anti-gay organizations. Chick-fil-A also issued a company-wide internal mandate calling for the equal treatment of all employes and customers, writing that it’s time to “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect-regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation and gender.”

I wonder what this means for all the members of Congress and media figures who took photos of themselves chowing down a deep fried chicken sandwich. Now that Chick-fil-A has switched course, it seems to me that they are now on the hook for pandering to and supporting bigotry.

chick fil a lindsay grahm Chick fil A Agrees To End Donations to Anti Gay Organizations cartoons

Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.)

chick fil a michele bachmann Chick fil A Agrees To End Donations to Anti Gay Organizations cartoons

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn)

chick fil a sarah palin Chick fil A Agrees To End Donations to Anti Gay Organizations cartoons

Sarah Palin (Fox News, former Republican governor of Alaska)

chick fil a mike huckabee Chick fil A Agrees To End Donations to Anti Gay Organizations cartoons

Mike Huckabee (Radio host, former governor Arkansas)

Chick fil a jeff duncan Chick fil A Agrees To End Donations to Anti Gay Organizations cartoons

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.)

 

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History Lesson: Reagan’s Response to Hostage Crisis http://www.cagle.com/2012/09/history-lesson-reagans-response-to-hostage-crisis/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/09/history-lesson-reagans-response-to-hostage-crisis/#comments Thu, 13 Sep 2012 14:30:57 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=614269 romney reagan History Lesson: Reagans Response to Hostage Crisis cartoons

On Tuesday, Mitt Romney baffled many pundits and observers from both sides of the aisle when he politicized the tragedy in Libya (on September 11, of all days) as events were continuing to unfold, eventually  taking the lives of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens (view our Libyan Attacks cartoon collection).

The only pundits to defend Romney’s statements are far-right media figures like Laura Ingram and Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh went so far as to say the Republican Presidential nominee looked “presidential.”

However, we can look back to history during the Presidential election to see how Romney compared to Ronald Reagan, by all accounts the most revered figure in conservative politics. When news broke in April 1980, in the middle of the Presidential campaign, that an attempted to rescue Americans being held hostage at the embassy in Tehran failed, Reagan’s immediate response was one of support, rather than an attempt to score cheap political points:

Reagan told a Los Angeles press conference, “This is a difficult day for all of us Americans. . . . It is time for us . . . to stand united. It is a day for quiet reflection . . . when words should be few and confined essentially to our prayers.”

And even though Reagan went on to criticize Carter’s record on foreign-policy during the campaign, he held back on red-meat rhetoric during his debate with Carter in the fall:

“Your question is difficult to answer,” Reagan said, when the debate moderator asked how he would deal with a similar hostage crisis. “Because, in the situation right now, no one wants to say anything that would inadvertently delay, in any way, the return of those hostages if there is a chance of their coming home soon, or that might cause them harm.”

 

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New York Times, Post Don’t Mention 9/11 Anniversary on Front Page http://www.cagle.com/2012/09/new-york-times-post-dont-mention-9-11-anniversary-on-front-page/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/09/new-york-times-post-dont-mention-9-11-anniversary-on-front-page/#comments Tue, 11 Sep 2012 15:18:40 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=614186 If you picked up your daily newspaper this morning, or logged on to your favorite news web site, you probably experienced prominent coverage of the 11th anniversary of the tragic attacks on 9/11.

However, two prominent New York City newspapers, the New York Times and the New York Post, failed to mention the anniversary at all on their front pages.

According to Margaret Sullivan, the public editor at the New York Times, “The pain, the outrage, the loss – these never fade. The amount of journalism, however, must.” Sullivan also refered to events like this as “anniversary journalism,” and wrote that the commemoration of these types of anniversaries force ”journalists to try to find the right balance between what readers think is appropriate and necessary and the lack of any actual news to drive the coverage.”

All the other major metropolitan newspapers in New York City mentioned 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks prominently on their front pages. Examples include the New York Daily News, Newsday, the Wall Street Journal and am New York, among others.

Here are the front pages of the New York Times and the New York Post. What do you think of their decision to omit the 11th anniversary of the attacks on 9/11 entirely from their front pages? Comment below or drop us a line on our Facebook page.

 New York Times, Post Dont Mention 9/11 Anniversary on Front Page cartoons

 New York Times, Post Dont Mention 9/11 Anniversary on Front Page cartoons

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Five Things You Won’t Hear in Chris Christie’s Keynote Speech http://www.cagle.com/2012/08/five-things-you-wont-hear-in-chris-christies-keynote-speech/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/08/five-things-you-wont-hear-in-chris-christies-keynote-speech/#comments Tue, 28 Aug 2012 14:44:13 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=613421 Anyone interested in all things “Jersey” knows two things by now — Snookie managed to procreate and Chris Christie is set to give the keynote address during the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Tuesday (delayed a day because of Tropical Storm Isaac).

117593 600 Five Things You Wont Hear in Chris Christies Keynote Speech cartoons

Rob Tornoe / Newsworks.org (click to view more cartoons by Tornoe)

I keep reading pundit after pundit trying to predict what Christie is going to say during his speech, as if it’s any big surprise he’s going to promote himself, bring a little “Jersey” to Florida and bash President Obama over jobs. This is a partisan, red-meat munching event, after all.

I’m more interested in what’s going to be left unsaid by conservative’s favorite straight-talking Governor to an expected audience of more than 50 million people across the country.

I’m willing to bet you won’t hear Christie saying…

The Jersey Comeback is going strong!” – In fact, don’t expect any specifics on New Jersey’s economy at all, which current ranks 31st out of 50 states in terms of job creation and is experiencing it’s largest unemployment rate in 35 years. New Jersey’s unemployment rate, now at 9.8 percent, is well below the national unemployment rate every Republican in attendance of the convention, with the exception of Christie, will mention relentlessly.

Global warming is real and manmade.” – For this audience, admitting the overwhelming scientific evidence points to our contribution to global warming would be tantamount to treason, even as Tropical Storm Isaac has thrown a monkey wrench into their convention plans. Yes, I know the gulf deals with hurricane season every year, but it’s also true that climate change is already contributing to an increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, something Christie is willing to admit far away from members of the tea party and GOP microphones.

Being in this country without proper documentation is not a crime.” – While he won’t say anything nice about brown-skinned people at a convention filled with “build a wall” Neanderthals, this is actually an exact quote from a church forum Christie spoke at during his campaign for governor. He also told Politico back in 2010 that America needs to come up with a “clear” path to citizenship. He might as well tell convention goers he hates Ronald Reagan, who coincidentally enough, was also for amnesty for illegal immigrants.

I’m in favor of some gun-control measures.” – In the wake of yet another shooting last week in New York, don’t expect any Republican to speak sensibly about the need for better restrictions when it comes to purchasing guns. But Christie is much more moderate when it comes to guns, telling Sean Hannity that he’s in favor of “common sense” gun control laws. He might as well tell Republicans he’s for the government taking away all guns, arresting hunters and giving a fine to anyone spotted in public wearing camouflage.”

President Obama has been a great ally in reforming education for kids.” — You can fully expect to hear Christie talk about the need to compromise, and his own ability to do so in New Jersey. But when a sizeable portion of Republicans still think Obama hates America and is indoctrinating our kids, don’t expect Christie to go anywhere near the subject of education, unless he’s bashing teacher unions. He even borrowed Obama’s 2008 campaign tagline when he said he aimed to restore “hope” to New Jersey students.

—–

© Copyright 2012 Rob Tornoe, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Rob Tornoe is a political cartoonist and a WHYY contributor. Rob can be reached at RobTornoe@gmail.com.

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Best Tweets About ‘The Newsroom’ Finale http://www.cagle.com/2012/08/best-tweets-about-the-newsroom-finale/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/08/best-tweets-about-the-newsroom-finale/#comments Mon, 27 Aug 2012 04:21:53 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=613337 newsroom will mcavoy Best Tweets About The Newsroom Finale cartoons

It’s almost cool these days to hate on Aaron Sorkin’s popular but reviled HBO show “The Newsroom,” especially if you’ve ever worked in a real newsroom. Cagle.com contributor Justin Jones took the show to task in a recent column, and as I watched Sunday night’s season finale, I thought I’d share some of my favorite tweets:

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Christine O’Donnell Asked To Define the Word ‘Marxist’ http://www.cagle.com/2012/08/christine-odonnell-asked-to-define-the-word-marxist/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/08/christine-odonnell-asked-to-define-the-word-marxist/#comments Thu, 23 Aug 2012 20:04:50 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=613200 odonnell Christine O’Donnell Asked To Define the Word ‘Marxist’ cartoonsAs a Delawarean, non-witch Christine O’Donnell was the fuel behind many of my favorite cartoons from 2010 (check out our Christine O’Donnell cartoons here). Responsible for losing a potential Senate seat for the Republicans, it comes as no surprise that O’Donnell wasn’t invited to this year’s Republican National Convention. Instead, she’s headlining a “Troublemaker Fest” across town in Tampa during the week of the convention

O’Donnell appeared on CNN to promote her appearance when she misused the term “Marxist” in an interview with Soledad O’Brien. Fresh off her takedown of former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu, O’Brien asked O’Donnell give her the defninition of Marxism.

Hilarity ensues. Here’s the video:

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Akin Concedes ‘Rape Can Lead to Pregnancy’ in New Ad http://www.cagle.com/2012/08/akin-concedes-rape-can-lead-to-pregnancy-in-new-ad/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/08/akin-concedes-rape-can-lead-to-pregnancy-in-new-ad/#comments Tue, 21 Aug 2012 16:41:10 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=613059 akin2 Akin Concedes Rape Can Lead to Pregnancy in New Ad cartoonsIt’s been a tough couple of days for Missouri Rep. Todd Akin, who is in the middle of a U.S. Senate run to outst Democrat Claire McCaskill (don’t miss our collection of Todd Akin cartoons). On Sunday, Akin appeared in an interview on a St. Louis TV station, and when asked if he would support abortions for women who have been raped, he awkwardly responded, ”It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

He’s spend the past two days in damage control after losing the financial backing of both the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the American Crossroads Super PAC, run by Karl Rove. Akin’s campaign even put together an ad overnight where he apologizes for his “legitimate rape” comment and concedes that “rape can lead to pregnancy.”

Glad we got that out of the way, although you’d think someone who serves on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology would have already known that.

Here’s the ad. Think voters in Missouri will forgive him?

 

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Introducing Romney Girl http://www.cagle.com/2012/08/introducing-romney-girl/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/08/introducing-romney-girl/#comments Mon, 13 Aug 2012 19:43:59 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=612672 romney girl1 Introducing Romney Girl cartoonsBack during the 2008 campaign, Obama Girl spread across social media like wildfire. As we found out last month, Obama Girl isn’t as excited about Obama this time around, so that left a void to be filled by “Romney Girl,” a bubbly blond mocking Mitt Romney’s offshore accounts to the tune of the 1990s hit “Barbie Girl.”

“Our goal is that we’ll spark people’s interest in understanding more about his taxes,” Erica Payne, president of the Agenda Project Action Fund, a progressive policy organization, told ABC News. “We are obviously not trying to make a serious video, but we felt like sometimes if you have a really serious subject and you need a lot of people to understand it, it could be better to approach it with a non-serious take.”

Here’s the video:

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Millennials to Blame for Colorado Shooting? http://www.cagle.com/2012/07/millennials-to-blame-for-colorado-shooting/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/07/millennials-to-blame-for-colorado-shooting/#comments Mon, 23 Jul 2012 17:51:53 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=611556 In the wake of the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting that left 12 dead, pundits and politicians continue to search for who to blame for such a terrible tragedy (click here to view our collection of Batman Shooting cartoons).

In his cartoon about the subject, two-time Pulitzer prize winner Michael Ramirez, the conservative cartoonist at Investors Business Daily, points the finger at Generation Y and loner kids who lack personal contact facilitated by the rise of social networking and the internet:

115567 600 Millennials to Blame for Colorado Shooting? cartoons

Ramirez writes on his Facebook page about the cartoon:

As our nation mourns another senseless tragedy, now is the time for everyone to say prayers for the lives prematurely taken, and prayers for their families and loved ones. Take the time to reflect on your loved ones, cherish them, love them, hold them close and tell them how much you appreciate them in your life. While it is impossible to define the motives of evil and no one should politicize such a tragedy, these events should be a catalyst for serious introspection. I can’t help but reflect on whether the detachment and inurement of our society, the desensitization of so many of our youth, the lack of real human contact replaced by modern technology and the dissolution of the nuclear family has created a host of new problems for modern America. While these may or may not be factors associated with this specific case, those problems exist today and may herald misfortune tomorrow.

Matt Bors, a syndicated cartoonist and a Pulitzer finalist last year, didn’t take to kindly to Ramirez’s characterteration and went after him in a post on his Facebook page.

Michael Ramirez knows what caused the shooting: Gen Y. We’re all lazy, indifferent, apathetic, detached idiots with cell phones – apparent ready to kill. Hey Mike: Go Fuck Yourself.

I’m so tired this bullshit about Millennials being morons who text too much and can’t get jobs while people with comfortable lives gloat about how entitled or detached we are. We didn’t create this depression – or mass murder. It’s bums like Ramirez, and anyone with his attitude towards young people, who should truly be having trouble searching for work.

Readers comments were mixed about Ramirez’s cartoon:

Jim Rose: Gen Y, playing the parts of anyone other than themselves, instead of becoming the best that they could be! Thanks Hollyweird and shoot `em up game makers!

Kelly Schaefer: Bitter baby boomers. Just don’t forget which generation will be wiping your butts in the nursing homes. I’m sure you’ll conveniently block that out, though. Little rascals.

Kevin Legg: Families have been breaking down for aeons. We’ve been violent toward one another for just as long. This tragic shooting by a disaffected sociopath has about as much to do with him being from “Generation Y” as it has to do with the phases of the moon.

Mike Beckom: Wow. It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen this kinda hate generated by an editorial cartoon. While you may disagree with his message and/or his presentation….his toon did exactly what a good editorial cartoon is SUPPOSED TO DO.

Trevor Bajus: Old Man Yells At Cloud.

Sani Adam: Simply put, Hollywood is responsible for all of these horrific acts of violence. (and they support Obama)

What’s your take? Do you agree with Ramirez that our increasingly-detached culture is contributing to violent episodes like the Aurora shooting, or is Bors correct in his defense of Millennials? I’ve e-mailed Ramirez for his take on Bors’ criticism, and if he responds I’ll post it here.

Comment below, or weigh in on our Facebook page.

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Did Rupert Murdoch Just Call For Tighter Gun Laws? http://www.cagle.com/2012/07/rupert-murdoch-calls-for-gun-control/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/07/rupert-murdoch-calls-for-gun-control/#comments Sun, 22 Jul 2012 19:00:18 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=611526 That sound you hear are the exploding heads of Fox News viewers after reading what Rupert Murdoch said about gun control. The Media baron went to his Twitter account to support the need for stricter gun control laws in the wake of the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting that left 12 people killed:

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ABC Anchor Wrong About Colorado Shooter’s Alleged Tea Party Links http://www.cagle.com/2012/07/abc-anchor-wrong-about-colorado-shooters-alleged-tea-party-links/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/07/abc-anchor-wrong-about-colorado-shooters-alleged-tea-party-links/#comments Fri, 20 Jul 2012 16:00:01 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=611440 brian ross ABC Anchor Wrong About Colorado Shooters Alleged Tea Party Links cartoonsDear Media- can we wait until all the facts are in before assigning blame in last night’s tragic shooting?

On “Good Morning America this morning,” George Stephanopoulos interviewed Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross (who Gawker dubs “America’s Wrongest Reporter) about the deadly shooting in an Aurora, Colorado theater last night that has killed at least 12 people and injured 50. With no verified facts to support his claim, Ross reported there may be a link between the alleged gunman and the Colorado Tea Party.

“There’s a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, page on the Colorado Tea Party site as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year,” Ross said. “Now, we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes. But it’s Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado.”

Didn’t we learned from CNN and Fox News that rushing to a conclusion before the facts are in undermines your credibility as a news source? Sigh… roll the tape:

 


 
To their credit, ABC has issued a correction to the report:

An earlier ABC News broadcast report suggested that a Jim Holmes of a Colorado Tea Party organization might be the suspect, but that report was incorrect. Several other local residents with similar names were also contacted via social media by members of the public who mistook them for the suspect.

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Sports Blogger Killed in Batman Shooting Experienced Toronto Mall Shooting http://www.cagle.com/2012/07/sports-blogger-killed-in-batman-shooting-experienced-toronto-mall-shooting/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/07/sports-blogger-killed-in-batman-shooting-experienced-toronto-mall-shooting/#comments Fri, 20 Jul 2012 15:31:14 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=611430 Jessica Redfield Sports Blogger Killed in Batman Shooting Experienced Toronto Mall Shooting  cartoonsJessica Ghawi, a blogger and aspiring sports reporter who went by the name Jessica Redfield, was among the victims of a tragic shooing that took place during a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colorado.

According to multiple sources, Ghawi relocated to Denver from San Antonio about a year ago to persue her dream of becomg a TV sports reporter. Ghawi, who blogged about hockey for the sports website Busted Coverage and was an intern at 104.3 The Fan in Denver, was tweeting from the theater prior to the start of the movie.

jessica twitter Sports Blogger Killed in Batman Shooting Experienced Toronto Mall Shooting  cartoons

Back in June, Ghawi was in Toronto’s Eaton Center shopping mall when a gunman opened fire, killing one and wounding five. Redfield, who left the food court moments before the shooting, wrote about how the experience changed her:

I was shown how fragile life was on Saturday. I saw the terror on bystanders’ faces. I saw the victims of a senseless crime. I saw lives change. I was reminded that we don’t know when or where our time on Earth will end. When or where we will breathe our last breath. For one man, it was in the middle of a busy food court on a Saturday evening.

I say all the time that every moment we have to live our life is a blessing. So often I have found myself taking it for granted. Every hug from a family member. Every laugh we share with friends. Even the times of solitude are all blessings. Every second of every day is a gift. After Saturday evening, I know I truly understand how blessed I am for each second I am given.

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Conservative Cartoonist Compares Paterno to Bill Clinton http://www.cagle.com/2012/07/conservative-cartoonist-compares-paterno-to-bill-clinton/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/07/conservative-cartoonist-compares-paterno-to-bill-clinton/#comments Fri, 20 Jul 2012 07:55:24 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=611414 Much has already been written about the Freeh report, which shows that Joe Paterno and the head honchos at Penn State knew about the predatory rape being committed by former assistant head coach Jerry Sandusky, and did nothing.

Now, syndicated political cartoonist Glenn McCoy (twin brother of Cagle.com mainstay Gary McCoy) has drawn a cartoon comparing Paterno’s actions to those of Democrats who knew about the dalliances of Bill Clinton:

paterno clinton Conservative Cartoonist Compares Paterno to Bill Clinton cartoons

As you can imagine, this cartoon has caused a torrent of comments from readers:

Josh Cedor: As a parent, it is beyond disturbing that Clinton having sex with a (by all accounts) perfectly willing adult was compared to boys under the age of 10 being molested and having it covered up.

Shana Elizabeth Dennis: The only way McCoy could have compared the two within the same zip code of justifiability is that Clinton abused his position as Lewinsky’s boss, but that STILL is not equivalent to Paterno covering up for a kiddie fiddler because football.

Jeff Kiser: Clinton had several affairs, and he used women who were working for him. That is the classic definition of sexual harrassment. The left, and democrats did wink and smile about it, and NOW simply rolled over like a good dog. This is all true.

Chillbilly: A perfect summary of right-wing sexual mentality: extramarital sex between consenting adults is about the same as an adult authority figure raping children.

Joe Ondrechen: Not only does the cartoon equate child-rape with consensual sex, it’s also not so accurate. I’m pretty sure the cigar in question wasn’t lit.

I asked Glenn to comment on the cartoon. Here’s what he wrote:

It’s hard to specifically respond to the criticism of the cartoon in question when the criticism has been so unspecific. Many “outraged” readers are saying that I’m somehow defending Joe Paterno, a dubious claim seeing how I’ve clearly labeled him a “scumbag”. Others are saying that I’m equating the cover-up of child abuse to extramarital sex between consenting adults. If that were only so, but unfortunately a long line of victims including Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, Elizabeth Gracen and Kathleen Willey have stepped forward to accuse the former president of a list of sexual crimes that were anything but consensual, from exposing his genitals to unwanted groping and even rape. I chose to draw Monica Lewinsky on Clinton’s lap simply because time, space and discretion would not allow me to depict all of the victims the ex-president has left in his choppy wake or the sordid nature of the abuse.

Incidentally, in regards to Miss Lewinsky, during the Clarence Thomas hearings the left was quick to point out that consent cannot exist when someone has more power over the other. Apparently this way of thinking went out of fashion when the most powerful man on the planet became aroused by a 21-year-old intern.

My cartoon is basically about selective outrage and how our society denounces one man who knew of abuse while ignoring the 800-pound, cigar-smoking gorilla in the room. Bill Clinton is still one of the most powerful and respected people in the Democratic Party. He is also a serial sexual predator who gets a free ride for his crimes from his party and the press. For example, hardly any coverage has been given to Clinton’s ties to convicted pedophile billionaire Jeff Epstein. It is my job as an editorial cartoonist to be impolite and point out the fact that the Emperor has no clothes, especially when he’s chasing a screaming woman.

What do you think – fair or foul? Comment below.

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Obituary Cartoons: Getting It Wrong On Paterno http://www.cagle.com/2012/07/obituary-cartoons-getting-it-wrong-on-paterno/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/07/obituary-cartoons-getting-it-wrong-on-paterno/#comments Thu, 19 Jul 2012 07:35:41 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=611328 Political cartoonists have a love/hate relationships with obituary cartoons – the cartoons you see in your newspaper or popping up on your Facebook feed after a famous person has died.

Cartoonists tire quickly of the conventions of obituary cartoons – heaven, St. Peter, the pearly gates – while readers can’t seem to get enough of them.

I enjoy drawing obituary cartoons about famous people, as long as I have something to say or the person was important in my life. When Whitney Houston died, I drew her singing while trapped inside of a prescription pill bottle. When Maurice Sendak passed away, I drew a middle-aged working man rummaging through a box of his childhood dreams.

And when Joe Paterno died, I tapped into the massive amount of sympathy and heartache throughout the region and drew the nice cartoon below for the Philadelphia Inquirer (where I draw sports cartoons) of Paterno sharing space in heaven with legendary Alabama head football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.

104896 600 Obituary Cartoons: Getting It Wrong On Paterno cartoons

The cartoon was enormously popular, and spread across Facebook like a wildfire. My inbox was stuffed with thank you notes and warm wishes from Penn State alums across the country. Someone even printed it out and put it on display next to Paterno’s statue as a tribute. And you know something – I was wrong.

With the release of the Freeh report, it’s clear to anyone but his kids that Paterno, along with other top Penn State officials, covered up the child sex abuse allegations against assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky out of fear of bad publicity.

Covered up child rape. For more than a decade. So it wouldn’t harm the football team. I’m not a religious person, but this man doesn’t belong in heaven.

So I have the opportunity not too many cartoonists are afforded – to redress my mistake, to call myself out for taking part in a pity party for someone who decided that a child’s well being was only valuable if they were wearing his team’s football uniform.

So like Mitt Romney and Bain, I’ve retroactively updated my obituary cartoon for this blog and redrawn it to expel Paterno from paradise and send him plummeting downward. Like Sandusky in prison, Paterno is now in a place that knows how to deal with people who allow children to be raped.

Paterno Obituary Cartoons: Getting It Wrong On Paterno cartoons

If Penn State had any decency, they would immediately tear down Paterno’s famous statue outside of Beaver Stadium, along with the three words that accompany it: Educator, coach and humanitarian. Even Nike finally removed Paterno’s name from their child development center in Oregon.

But judging by their previous decision making, it seems like the folks running things in Happy Valley still have a lot to learn. I’ve made my mistake in cartoon form, and addressed it. It’s time for them to do the same.

Speaking of the statue, here’s my cartoon for Inquirer about tearing it down:

115113 600 Obituary Cartoons: Getting It Wrong On Paterno cartoons

RELATED:

More obituary cartoons of Joe Paterno

Suspend Penn State Football for 14 Years

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Republicans Were Wrong in 1993 On The Effect Of Upper-Income Tax Increases http://www.cagle.com/2012/07/republicans-were-wrong-in-1993-on-the-effect-of-upper-income-tax-increases/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/07/republicans-were-wrong-in-1993-on-the-effect-of-upper-income-tax-increases/#comments Wed, 11 Jul 2012 21:16:51 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=610953 kornacki Republicans Were Wrong in 1993 On The Effect Of Upper Income Tax Increases cartoonsOn his new msnbc show “The Cycle,” my pal Steve Kornacki went into a bit of recent history on tax cuts for the rich. Steve compared Republican’s scare mongering over Obama’s proposed tax increase on upper-income earners today with their counterparts back in 1993.

Republicans in 1993 claimed Bill Clinton’s tax increase on the wealthy would screw the middle class and put people out of work. What happened? The unemployment rate dropped from 6.9% to 3.9%, the deficit fell every year and by the time Clinton left office, we were on track to eliminate the entire national debt.

Here’s the video:

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Video: Romney Praises ObamaCare Mandate, Exchanges, Portability http://www.cagle.com/2012/07/video-romney-praises-obamacare-mandate-exchanges-portability/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/07/video-romney-praises-obamacare-mandate-exchanges-portability/#comments Thu, 05 Jul 2012 15:26:23 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=610667 romney mobie Video: Romney Praises ObamaCare Mandate, Exchanges, Portability  cartoonsAnother day, another piece of damning video that illustrates the verbal gymnastics Mitt Romney has to put himself through in order to criticize President Obama’s health care plan.

In this video from April 2010, Romney praises some of the similarities between Romneycare and Obamacare, including the individual mandate, the portability of the insurance, the requirement that insurers cover people with a preexisting condition, and the similar exchanges.

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Top Romney Adviser: The Individual Mandate Is Not A Tax http://www.cagle.com/2012/07/top-romney-adviser-the-individual-mandate-is-not-a-tax/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/07/top-romney-adviser-the-individual-mandate-is-not-a-tax/#comments Mon, 02 Jul 2012 15:26:23 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=610491 eric Top Romney Adviser: The Individual Mandate Is Not A Tax cartoonsEric Fehrnstrom, the Mitt Romney campaign adviser made famous by his “etch-a-sketch” comments (check our our Romney Etch-a-Sketch cartoons) has done it again.

This morning on The Daily Rundown, Fehrnstrom told Chuck Todd that Romney disagrees with Republicans who claim that the individual mandate in President Obama’s Affordable Care Act is a “tax.”

Here’s the exchange:

TODD: The governor does not believe the mandate is a tax — that’s what you’re saying?

FEHRNSTROM: The governor believes what we put in place in Massachusetts was a penalty and he disagrees with the Court’s ruling that the mandate was a tax. [...]

TODD: So he agrees with the president that it is not — and he believes that you should not call the tax penalty a tax, you should call it a penalty or a fee or a fine?

FEHRNSTROM: That’s correct. But the president also needs to be held accountable for his contradictory statements. He has described it variously as a penalty and as a tax. He needs to reconcile those two very different statements.

 

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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‘Ted’ Creator Seth MacFarlane Accused of Ripping Off A Cartoonist… Again http://www.cagle.com/2012/06/ted%c2%9d-creator-seth-macfarlane-accused-of-ripping-off-a-cartoonist-again/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/06/ted%c2%9d-creator-seth-macfarlane-accused-of-ripping-off-a-cartoonist-again/#comments Fri, 29 Jun 2012 13:24:48 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=610375 ted clovis Ted Creator Seth MacFarlane Accused of Ripping Off A Cartoonist... Again cartoons

By Rob Tornoe, Editor & Publisher

Amid the rise and success of hit TV shows such as “Family Guy” and “American Dad,” animator-turned Hollywood powerhouse Seth MacFarlane has been dogged with accusations of joke-stealing and lack of originality in his work.

Now, cartoonists are pointing out the similarities between his new motion picture “Ted” and popular comic strip “Imagine This.” The strip, created in 2008 by cartoonist Lucas Turnbloom and syndicated by Universal Uclick, centers around a slacker and his foul-mouthed teddy bear sidekick who drinks beer and has anger issues.

ted storyboard Ted Creator Seth MacFarlane Accused of Ripping Off A Cartoonist... Again cartoons

Tall Tale Radio podcaster Tom Racine compared panels from "Imagine THIS" with scenes from "Ted" (click to view more).

“Certainly, the idea of someone talking to a stuffed animal isn’t new,” said Tom Racine, host of Tall Tale Radio, a popular podcast about comics, animation, and movies. “But ‘Ted’ feels like it was just taken directly from ‘Imagine This’ with little or no attempt to change it.”

Racine created a shot-by-shot graphic pairing panels from “Imagine This” and screenshots from “Ted.” In one, both Ted and Turnbloom’s bear character Clovis are leaning back while drinking a beer. In another, both sets of characters sit lazily on the couch eating cereal.

Turnbloom, who has devoted the last five years developing “Imagine This,” said he was devastated when he found out about MacFarlane’s movie.

“Many cartoonists, myself included, hope that their strips might someday be developed into a movie or a TV show,” he said. “I guess ‘Ted’ proves I was right to believe that my strip had cinematic potential.”

There is no evidence that MacFarlane was influenced by “Imagine This,” and the cartoon world (and Hollywood, for that matter) is replete with stories about stolen jokes, reworked gags, and outright theft of ideas, all of which are extremely difficult to prove. Turnbloom himself isn’t pressing the issue or accusing MacFarlane of stealing his work.

ted corrigan Ted Creator Seth MacFarlane Accused of Ripping Off A Cartoonist... Again cartoons

MacFarlane has been accused of stealing the idea for "Family Guy's" Stewie from Chris Ware's "Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth." (click to enlarge)

But John Glynn, vice president of rights and acquisitions at Universal Uclick and gocomics.com, where “Imagine This” runs, said the similarities between the two are too striking to simply shrug off.

“I see lots of similar jokes, concepts, and premises that come through our submissions and editing processes, so I know people can arrive at the same place totally separate of each other,” Glynn said. “In those cases, I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I’d give that benefit to Mr. MacFarlane here, but the similarities are hard to deny.”

This isn’t the first time MacFarlane has been called out for similarities between his creations and comic characters.

When “Family Guy” first aired, comic book fans were angered over the striking similarities between Stewie and Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth, a character from Chris Ware’s popular comic “Acme Novelty Library.” Corrigan, created by Ware in 1991, is an infant with a football-shaped head who fears his mother and invents things to try to escape.

Ware told Entertainment Weekly that the similarities between the two characters were “a little too coincidental to be simply, well, coincidental,” but added, “If I let it get the better of me, I wouldn’t get any work done. I’d just sit around and stew about it.”

“I’m not sure how artists can protect themselves against huge media conglomerates,” Racine said. “I think it’s important for creators to point this sort of thing out, but usually, not much can be done about it.”

Neither Seth MacFarlane nor anyone at his production company, Fuzzy Door Productions, could be reached for comment.

—–

© Copyright 2012 Rob Tornoe, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Rob Tornoe is a cartoonist and columnist for Editor & Publisher. Rob can be reached at RobTornoe@gmail.com..

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Rand Paul’s Reaction to Supreme Court Ruling http://www.cagle.com/2012/06/rand-pauls-reaction-to-supreme-court-ruling/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/06/rand-pauls-reaction-to-supreme-court-ruling/#comments Thu, 28 Jun 2012 17:24:59 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=610333 rand paul Rand Pauls Reaction to Supreme Court Ruling cartoons

We’re recieving reactions from all sides of the political aisle to today’s Supreme Court ruiling to uphold the individual manate in President Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act. While I fully expected the opinion of politicans to break down along party lines, I didn’t expect the reaction (or the exhibition of ignorance) given by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

From a press release from Paul’s office:

“Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so. The whole thing remains unconstitutional. While the court may have erroneously come to the conclusion that the law is allowable, it certainly does nothing to make this mandate or government takeover of our health care right.”

Unfortunately, those “couple people” happen to be Supreme Court justices. You know, the ones who ultimately decide upon the constitutionality of the laws once enacted.

I guess Marbury v. Madison. isn’t required reading for the tea party.

 

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Maurice Sendak Dreamed About Killing Bush, Cheney http://www.cagle.com/2012/06/maurice-sednak-dreamed-about-killing-bush-cheney/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/06/maurice-sednak-dreamed-about-killing-bush-cheney/#comments Wed, 27 Jun 2012 00:16:43 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=610252 sednak Maurice Sendak Dreamed About Killing Bush, Cheney cartoons

Maurice Sednak

Count me alongside everyone who shed a tear after listening to Terry Gross’s interview with Maurice Sendak on NPR, which re-aired following the death of the beloved children’s book author on May 8 at age 83.

(View our collection of Maurice Sendak RIP cartoons

Now, you can count me among the shocked at an excerpt released by The Comics Journal of an interview between Gary Groth and Sendak where the “Where the Wild Things Are” author reveals he thought about assassinating President George W. Bush and Vice President Cheney. He even goes so far to suggest that he would have been willing to take out former First Lady Laura Bush in his imagines suicide bombing.

The controversial exchange:

SENDAK: Bush was president, I thought, “Be brave. Tie a bomb to your shirt. Insist on going to the White House. And I wanna have a big hug with the vice president, definitely. And his wife, and the president, and his wife, and anybody else that can fit into the love hug.”

GROTH: A group hug.

SENDAK: And then we’ll blow ourselves up, and I’d be a hero. [Groth laughs.] To hell with the kiddie books. He killed Bush. He killed the vice president. Oh my God.

GROTH: I would have been willing to forgo this interview. [Sendak laughs.]

SENDAK: You would have forgotten about it. It would have been a very brave and wonderful thing. But I didn’t do it; I didn’t do it.

It’s tough to gauge his tone from the transcript – perhaps he was being flippant or sarcastic. But taken at face value, it’s a shocking statement from one of the country’s most beloved authors.

Eric Reynolds, associate publisher at Fantagraphics Books, where Groth is founder and president, told msnbc.com that he sees these comments as an extension of Sendak’s personality, and not as a serious threat to kill the former president.

“Anyone who has watched Sendak’s infamous interview on the ‘Colbert Report’ (or read his books, for that matter), should recognize that not only was he cranky, he had a razor-sharp wit and a very dark sense of humor,” Reynolds said. “He was 83 years old when he gave this interview [to Groth]. He was at the point in his life where he clearly didn’t give a damn about propriety; he could speak his mind and clearly enjoyed provocation.”

The anti-Bush remarks comes on the heels of an incident involving HBO’s hit TV series “Game of Thrones”, where a replica of Bush’s head was accidentally placed on the head of a pike and appeared in the show. HBO was forced to apologize profusely for the error, and removed it from the show.

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RIP Sports Cartoonist Kevin Weil http://www.cagle.com/2012/06/rip-sports-cartoonist-kevin-weil/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/06/rip-sports-cartoonist-kevin-weil/#comments Tue, 26 Jun 2012 12:56:48 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=610198 Anyone who knows me has to deal with the fact I have an unabiding love for the Buffalo Bills. The team goes back to the 1960s, when they were formed as a charter member of the upstart American Football League.

During that time, Kevin Weil, a sports cartoonist and sales executive, drew program covers for the Bills that were popular among the fans. He died Saturday at home surrounded by family after a lengthy illness. He was 79.

Weil drew the covers for Buffalo Bills games from 1960-1964  for home games in Buffalo’s rugged War Memorial Stadium, and back in 2009 his work found its way back into the spotlight during the 50th anniversary of the AFL at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Here are some of Weil’s covers.

Kevin Weil cover 1 RIP Sports Cartoonist Kevin Weil cartoons

Kevin Weil cover 2 RIP Sports Cartoonist Kevin Weil cartoons

Kevin Weil cover 3 RIP Sports Cartoonist Kevin Weil cartoons

Kevin Weil cover 4 RIP Sports Cartoonist Kevin Weil cartoons

Kevin Weil cover 5 RIP Sports Cartoonist Kevin Weil cartoons

Kevin Weil cover 6 RIP Sports Cartoonist Kevin Weil cartoons

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Supreme Court Reaffirms Citizens United Ruiling http://www.cagle.com/2012/06/supreme-court-reaffirms-citizens-united-ruiling/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/06/supreme-court-reaffirms-citizens-united-ruiling/#comments Mon, 25 Jun 2012 14:41:52 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=610147 98561 600 Supreme Court Reaffirms Citizens United Ruiling cartoons

Cartoon I drew last year about the dwindling rights of the Middle Class (click to enlarge)

While we will have to wait a couple more days for the Supreme Court’s ruling on President Obama’s health care reform, today we found out that the court’s five conservative justices see no problem with unlimited or campaign spending.

The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, struck down Montana’s long-standing ban on corporate money in elections. The decision reversed a ruling by the Montana Supreme Court which had upheld the 1912 law.

As Think Progress notes, the were no oral arguments in the case, meaning that the five conservative justices were not even open to hearing arguments that their election-buying decision in Citizens United might have been wrongly decided.

The ruling forces the 2010 Citizens United decision onto state campaign finance laws, allowing corporations and labor unions the right to spend freely in local elections.

Here’s what it comes down to – the conservatives on the Supreme Court just doubled down on the ability for a single billionaire or corporation to overwhelm the contributions of millions of citizens. Or as Antonin Scalia calls it, “free speech.”

According to NPR, the conservative majority turned away pleas from the court’s liberal justices to give a full hearing to the case because “massive campaign spending since the January 2010 ruling has called into question some of its underpinnings.”

More from NPR:

Montana aggressively defended its 1912 law against a challenge from corporations seeking to be free of spending limits, and the state Supreme Court sided with the state. The state court said a history of corruption showed the need for the limits, even as Justice Anthony Kennedy declared in his Citizens United opinion that independent expenditures by corporations “do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.”

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Obama, D-Day and Faux News http://www.cagle.com/2012/06/obama-d-day-and-faux-news/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/06/obama-d-day-and-faux-news/#comments Wed, 06 Jun 2012 20:57:20 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=609230 obama Obama, D Day and Faux News cartoonsWhen people say Fox News will slam President Obama for anything, they mean anything.

In just the latest example of the conservative media creating a double standard for President Obama, Fox News is slamming him for failing “to mark D-Day in any significant way,” even though President George W. Bush only officially commemorated D-Day twice during his presidency.

Obama’s D-Day commemorations actually mirror those of George W. Bush; both presidents chose to commemorate D-Day on significant anniversaries but not annually.

For example, on the 61st anniversary of D-Day, Bush hosted a concert at the White House to celebrate Black Music Month, and did not significantly recognize D-Day. I don’t recall a Fox News alert slamming President Bush back then.

In fact, White House archives of June 6 for each year President Bush was in office only show Bush commemorating D-Day in 2001 and 2004. In 2001, Bush dedicated a D-Day memorial in Virginia, and in 2004, he went to Normandy to mark the 60th anniversary of D-Day. There are no “news” references to D-Day in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, or 2008.

In addition, conservatives want people to forget that in 2009, Obama traveled to Normandy to take part in a ceremony honoring the 65th anniversary of D-Day. There’s even video of it and everything!

In the past, many Presidents have chosen to issue press releases about D-Day rather than give big speeches about its importance, even on important anniversaries.

Dwight D. Eisenhower issued a brief written statement from the White House on the 10th anniversary of D-Day in 1954. 10 years later, Lyndon Johnson skipped the 20th anniversary celebration entirely because he was caught up in a fight over extending civil rights.

So can we lay off Obama for this one?

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It’s Not a Flip-Flop If You Get It Right http://www.cagle.com/2012/05/its-not-a-flip-flop-if-you-get-it-right/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/05/its-not-a-flip-flop-if-you-get-it-right/#comments Mon, 14 May 2012 13:08:31 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=608056 Obama Gay MArriage 600 Its Not a Flip Flop If You Get It Right cartoons

Originally posted on Newsworks.org

What is the definition of a flip-flopper?

It’s interesting to explore the origin of the term. Famed New York Times columnist William Safire wrote about a U.S. politician in the late 19th century who was refereed to as “the Florida flopper” by an opponent. Safire noted that the “fl” sound appearing twice is an indication of ridicule, which is why “flip-flop” rolls off politicians’ tongues so nicely.

Safire also noted that the doubling of the sound worked well in other two-word phrases used to disparage someone, including “wishy-washy” and “higgledy-piggledy”.

Ironically, those are all words I would have used to describe President Obama’s over-calculated and highly-political stand on Gay Marriage prior to this week. Obama, who once came out in support of gay marriage before deciding to run for the U.S. Senate, had let politics get in the way of his personal beliefs, even as society’s acceptance of same-sex unions has changed drastically.

Leave it to Joe Biden, perceived as a gaffe-prone menace inside the beltway, to be the catalyst for the completion of Obama’s “evolution” on Gay Marriage. If Biden hadn’t gone on “Meet the Press” and told David Gregory he was fine with men marrying men, we probably wouldn’t have heard a peep out of Obama on the issue until well-after the election.

This comes as a small comfort to homosexuals in North Carolina. If Obama had spoken in defense of same-sex marriage earlier, maybe he could have had an effect on a constitutional amendment passed in the state on Tuesday banning marriage (or civil unions for that matter) for anyone other than a man and a woman.

Stepping away from the politics, the President made the right call. It’s wrong to discriminate against gay people just because they are gay. The Declaration of Independence enshrines three basic human rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I don’t recall it being followed by a asterisk noting, “except for gay people.”

Civil unions, like the ones that are available here in Delaware, are a positive step for equal right. But like fountains in the south that spewed the same water, yet acted to separate society, we need to make the marriage of same-sex couples completely equal in every way to the marriage of heterosexual couples.

So I’m sorry conservatives. When you talk about the “tradition” of marriage (which included polygamy in the Bible) and how same-sex couples threaten our society, another disparaging two-word phrase comes to mind – “mumbo-jumbo.”

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Women Get Paid Less Than Men For The Same Work http://www.cagle.com/2012/05/women-get-paid-less-than-men-for-the-same-work/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/05/women-get-paid-less-than-men-for-the-same-work/#comments Fri, 04 May 2012 13:20:04 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=607547 chart Women Get Paid Less Than Men For The Same Work cartoonsHeidi Hartmann, founder of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, joins Rachel Maddow to lay out the factual case that, contrary to the arbitrary beliefs in Republican World, women are indeed paid less than men for the same work in the United States of America.

The facts? In one of 265 job sectors, women make more than men. In that one, they make 2¢ more. Skip ahead to 14:40 to get to the heart of the income inequality between sexes…

 

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Romney: Democrats Don’t Want People To Own Pools Or Golf Courses http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/romney-democrats-dont-want-you-to-own-pools-or-golf-courses/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/romney-democrats-dont-want-you-to-own-pools-or-golf-courses/#comments Mon, 30 Apr 2012 16:37:12 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=607308 romney video Romney: Democrats Dont Want People To Own Pools Or Golf Courses cartoonsWhile attending a $1,000 a plate fundraiser in the luxurious mansion of Papa John’s founder John Schnatter, he told the attendees that Democrats don’t believe anyone should own a golf course or a pool.

“What a home this is, what grounds these are, the pool, the golf course,” he said. “You know, if a Democrat were here he’d look around and say no one should live like this. Republicans come here and say everyone should live like this.”

I don’t know how claiming democrats hate golf courses squares up with constant attacks leveled at President Obama for playing too much golf. Maybe it’s like Romney reading a joke off a teleprompter about Obama using a teleprompter.

Here’s the video:

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Edwards Called Mistress a ‘Crazy Slut’ http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/edwards-called-mistress-as-%e2%80%98crazy-slut%e2%80%99/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/edwards-called-mistress-as-%e2%80%98crazy-slut%e2%80%99/#comments Wed, 25 Apr 2012 13:49:25 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=607082 110442 600 Edwards Called Mistress a ‘Crazy Slut’ cartoons

John Edwards might have turned out to be a terrible husband, but hearing the details emerge from his criminal trial, he would have made a great Secret Service agent.

During the second day of testimony, Andrew Young, Edwards’ former aide and the chief witness in the trial, said the former vice presidential nominee’s intial reaction after learning his mistress Rielle Hunter was pregnant was to dismiss the news outright as the ravings of a “crazy slut,” and told Young to “take care of it.”

More from the AP:

Young said Rielle Hunter told Edwards she was pregnant in June 2007, weeks later than the aide originally claimed in a tell-all book published in 2010. Young said Edwards, told him to “take care of it,” meaning the pregnancy.

“He said she was a crazy slut and there was a 1-in-3 chance that it (the child) was his,” Young testified.

Edwards has pleaded not guilty to six counts related to campaign finance violations involving nearly $1 million in secret payments provided by two wealthy donors to cover up an affair as he sought the White House in 2008.

Related: Five John Edwards cartoons from our archive

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Rob Blagojevich is the Prison Dishwasher http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/rod-blagojevich-is-the-prison-dishwasher/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/rod-blagojevich-is-the-prison-dishwasher/#comments Tue, 24 Apr 2012 15:16:18 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=607037 93740 600 Rob Blagojevich is the Prison Dishwasher cartoons

Randall Enos / Cagle Cartoons

These pots and pans are #@$%ing golden!

Last month, disgraced Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich began serving his 14-year sentence for corruption at Englewood, a low-security prison located outside of Denver. He received a visit from this lawyers on Sunday, the father-son duo Sam Adam Sr. and Sam Adam Jr., who told Fox Chicago News Blago is currently spending his time working in the kitchen scrubbing dishes six days a week.

The lawyers also reported that Blago could soon be teaching Shakespeare and Greek mythology to other inmates.

“All things considered, he looked good, he’s still got a headful of hair, it’s gone from black to brown, not gray, as everyone predicted,” Sam Jr. told Fox Chicago News. “It’s gone from black to brown but he looks good.”

Here’s the video:

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Donald Duck Pays His Taxes http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/donald-duck-pays-his-taxes/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/donald-duck-pays-his-taxes/#comments Thu, 12 Apr 2012 14:22:29 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=604620 donald duck 125 Donald Duck Pays His Taxes cartoonsBeing forced to fill out and pay your taxes is something we all do by instinct now, but back before World War II, most middle-class Americans didn’t have to worry about taxes. The Revenue Act of 1942 made 15 million more people eligible to pay taxes. How could the government urge people to pay these new taxes without angering them and causing them to riot? Cartoons of course!

Just in time for Tax Day, check out this great taxpayer-funded cartoon from 1942 featuring Donald Duck, aimed to encourage every good American to do his “duty” and pay his taxes. Those who didn’t want to pay or didn’t pay it gladly are depicted as friends of Hitler and enemies of liberty and democracy. Funny how times change.

 

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Zimmerman’s Legal Counsel Withdraws From Trayvon Martin Case http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/zimmermans-legal-counsel-withdraws-from-trayvon-martin-case/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/zimmermans-legal-counsel-withdraws-from-trayvon-martin-case/#comments Tue, 10 Apr 2012 20:57:44 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=604487 zimmerman lawyers Zimmermans Legal Counsel Withdraws From Trayvon Martin Case cartoons

Zimmerman attorneys Hal Uhrig, left, and Craig Sonner

The tragic case of the death of Trayvon Martin just took a weird turn of events. Hal Uhrig and Craig Sonner, attorneys for George Zimmerman, have announced they will no longer support their client in the Trayvon Martin case.

[ view our Trayvon Martin cartoons ]

During a national press conference, the lawyers revealed they have lost contact with Zimmerman, who has admitted to fatally shooting unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida. Zimmerman contends the shooting was a result of self-defense, and his attorneys stressed that despite their decision to resign from the case, they still believe Zimmerman was acting in self defense.

Craig Sonner noted that Zimmerman hasn’t returned the lawyers’ calls since Sunday. Part of the puzzle has to do with Zimmerman reaching out to Fox News host Sean Hannity and speaking to the cable host directly, even as his lawyers couldn’t reach him. Uhrig noted a Web site that allows supporters to donate money to Zimmerman had become a point of contention. They also said Zimmerman called the Special Prosecutor in the case, something neither lawyer instructed him to do.

“We were a bit astonished,” Uhrig said.

Just last week, the attorneys came under fire from critics for suggesting Zimmerman may have suffered injuries similar to Shaken Baby Syndrome, a condition that often results in severe brain damage and death.

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SNL Romney: ‘I Want To Be The Cock Fighting President’ http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/snl-romney-i-want-to-be-the-cock-fighting-president/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/snl-romney-i-want-to-be-the-cock-fighting-president/#comments Tue, 10 Apr 2012 14:58:11 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=604467 romney SNL Romney: I Want To Be The Cock Fighting President cartoonsAlthough it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that Mitt Romney will be the Republican Presidential nominee, he still can’t escape the image that he’s a serial pleaser willing to say anything to get a vote.

[ View our collection of Mitt Romney cartoons ]

SNL and Romney-impersonator Jason Sudeikis (who also does a dynamite Joe Biden) put Mitt front-and-center in the show’s opening segment, having Romney spout his love for cat neutering, piercings and even cock fighting.

Watch:

 

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President Reagan Backed The Buffett Rule http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/president-reagan-backs-the-buffett-rule/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/president-reagan-backs-the-buffett-rule/#comments Mon, 09 Apr 2012 21:25:28 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=604404 reagan buffett President Reagan Backed The Buffett Rule cartoonsWith the Senate set to vote next week on the so-called Buffett Rule bill that would forces millionaires and billionaires to pay a minimum tax rate of 30 percent, you can prepare for an onslaught of class warfare attacks from Republicans looking to prevent any potential tax increase from going into effect, no matter how much common sense it makes.

So it’s worth nothing there is one Republican demi-god who actually supports President’s Obama’s plan: Ronald Reagan.

In this video unearthed by the folks at Think Progress, President Reagan describes a letter he received from an executive who wanted to come to Washington and tell Congress why it’s “wrong” that he was able to “take advantage of the present tax code” to pay a lower tax rate than his secretary. Watch it:

 

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Dr. Seuss, Pesticide Pusher? http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/dr-seuss-pesticide-pusher/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/dr-seuss-pesticide-pusher/#comments Mon, 09 Apr 2012 15:10:58 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=604368 dr seuss dragon Dr. Seuss, Pesticide Pusher? cartoons

After Geisel used Flit bug spray in one of his cartoons, Standard Oil hired him to draw ads.

In the wake of the box office success of “The Lorax,” it may comes as a surprise to some devoted Dr. Seuss fans that famed cartoonist Theodor Geisel started his career as a shill for pesticides.

Before Geisel found fame as a beloved children’s book author, he landed his first steady illustration job as a cartoonist for Judge. His cartoon depicting a medieval knight in bed, facing a dragon who entered his room, lamenting “Darn it all, another dragon. And just after I’d sprayed the whole castle with Flit”.

According to an anecdote in Judith and Neil Morgan’s book “Dr. Seuss and Mr. Geisel,” the wife of the ad executive who handled the Standard Oil company’s account (which owned Flit) saw the cartoon, and urged her husband hired the artist. This was the start of a popular 17-year advertising campaign where “Quick, Henry, the Flit!” became a popular catchphrase.

As farmer and author Will Allen noted in his 2007 book “The War on Bugs,” Seuss helped America become friendly with the poison of pesticides and grow comfortable with the myth that pesticides were absolutely necessary. The book’s publisher, Chelsea Green, has made the full chapter of the book available online for a limited time.

As Allen notes, many believe the positive, pro-environmental themes of “The Lorax” actually stemmed from Geisel’s desire to clean-up his legacy of helping to introduce chemicals into the food supply of everyday life.

“Perhaps Dr. Seuss realized his earlier mistakes and indiscretions with Standard Oil’s Flit and tried to make amends with The Lorax,” Allen wrote. “Geisel must have known that Flit’s cartoons and his World War II cartoons for DDT had an enormous impact on the public’s use of pesticides and acceptance of DDT.”

Here are some of the ads:

flit seuss 2 Dr. Seuss, Pesticide Pusher? cartoons

flit seuss Dr. Seuss, Pesticide Pusher? cartoons

flit thesuicide Dr. Seuss, Pesticide Pusher? cartoons

seuss flit 3 Dr. Seuss, Pesticide Pusher? cartoons

seuss flit 4 Dr. Seuss, Pesticide Pusher? cartoons

seuss flit Dr. Seuss, Pesticide Pusher? cartoons

seuss flit 03 Dr. Seuss, Pesticide Pusher? cartoons

seuss flit 04 Dr. Seuss, Pesticide Pusher? cartoons

seuss flit 05 Dr. Seuss, Pesticide Pusher? cartoons

seuss flit 02 Dr. Seuss, Pesticide Pusher? cartoons

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NY Post Jabs Christie Over Weight http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/ny-post-jabs-christie-over-weight/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/ny-post-jabs-christie-over-weight/#comments Fri, 06 Apr 2012 13:40:57 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=604297 New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, rumored to be on Mitt Romney’s short-list as a vice presidential candidate, is in Israel this week in what has become a popular stop for politicians seeking to bolster international street cred and appeal to Jewish constituents.

While Christie certainly expected to be criticized in some quarters as positioning himself for a future run with this trip, he couldn’t forsee how the New York Post would choose to cover his visit to Israel:

whale wall christie NY Post Jabs Christie Over Weight cartoons

Former New Jersey governor and State Senator Dick Codey said the article was not only insulting to Christie, but “it is also a slap in the face to journalists who take their work seriously.” He also noted that the paper should “ashamed” of the headline and other puns included in the story, like Christie making a “huge impression” and bringing his “political heft” to Israel.

According to the Star-Ledger, Christie appreciated Codey’s defense and told reporters from Israel, “It’s unfortunate that the Post decided it wanted to go there. In the end as I’ve told people many times that kind of stuff doesn’t really bother me. If that’s the way they want to sell newspapers that’s up to them. But I can tell you this much: There’s no one over here who hasn’t taken me seriously in every way in terms of the message we brought.”

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Owe the IRS? Don’t Trust TaxMasters http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/owe-the-irs-dont-trust-tax-masters/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/owe-the-irs-dont-trust-tax-masters/#comments Wed, 04 Apr 2012 18:35:25 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=604183 If you watch any of the cable networks during the day, as I do (hey, I’m a cartoonist – it’s OK), you’ve come across one of those low budget TaxMasters ads. You know, the one where the grisly red-bearded sooth sayer offers to stand up to the IRS on your behalf.

taxmasters patrick cox irs tax relief e13036003 Owe the IRS? Dont Trust TaxMasters cartoons

Well, you might want to think twice before seeking tax advice from the equivalent of the ShamWow guy. TaxMasters and its bearded pitchman were convicted this week of defrauding customers and ordered to pay $195 million.

The familiar bearded TV pitchman for TaxMasters – Patrick Cox – is personally on the hook for nearly $46 million. The verdict also included an order for the firm to repay customers more than $113 million, but there’s a snag – TaxMasters filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection one day before the trial was set to begin.

Graduates faced with crushing student loan debt can’t turn to bankruptcy for relief, but crooks like this can?  Just more of that “American Exceptionalism” you hear so much about.

In addition, CNN, msnbc and Fox News, among others, were shafted to the tune of more than $5 million by the huckster. The largest creditor is CNN, which it owes $2.6 million. They owe Fox News nearly $1 million and msnbc $260,000. Others stiffed include History, Discovery and The Weather Channel.

Cox is also major contributor to Gov. Rick Perry, donating $100,000 to the Republican governor’s re-election campaign back in 2010. Oops.

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How Many Women on the Supreme Court? http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/how-many-women-on-the-supreme-court/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/how-many-women-on-the-supreme-court/#comments Mon, 02 Apr 2012 23:08:13 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=604073 chan lowe usa today obamacare How Many Women on the Supreme Court? cartoons

On Friday, USA Today ran a cartoon about the Supreme Court deciding the fate of Obamacare by South Florida Sun-Sentinel cartoonist Chan Lowe. The cartoon features all nine Supreme Court justices along with the text, “The future of Obamacare now lies in the hands of… nine employees covered by the federal health insurance plan.”

Unfortunately, there was snafu that slipped past the editors at the paper – the cartoon only featured two women. Visible in the cartoons are both Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, but Lowe left out Elena Kagan, who took over the seat vacated by John Paul Stevens back in 2010.

I e-mailed Chan about the cartoon, and here is what he told me:

I remembered having drawn the cartoon, dug it out and posted it on our paper’s website last week to illustrate a news story, and suddenly it was being run on sites and blogs all over the Internet. I found that amusing, since it didn’t get picked up all that much when I first posted it a year ago. I guess its moment hadn’t arrived yet.

As for the Kagan snafu, yes-I mistakenly used a reference photo that pre-dated her accession to the court, and what with deadline pressure, it slipped my mind that she had been confirmed. I heard about it from a few people then, and now I’m hearing about it all over again. I particularly hear from people who don’t agree with my politics, the message opening with something like, “Hey, Dummy!” I would have to agree that it was a stupid mistake. Once it’s out there on the Internet, you can’t call it back and correct it.

I suppose I should be pleased that people study cartoons so carefully.

I emailed USA Today editorial page editor Brian Gallagher, but haven’t heard back. I’ll post his reply if he decides to comment.

Correction: In my initial post, I wrote that Chan Lowe is the staff cartoonist for the Orlando Sun Sentinel. Chan Lowe draws cartoons for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. 

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Romney In 2002: My Only Connection To The Republican Party Is My Party Registration http://www.cagle.com/2012/03/romney-in-2002-my-only-connection-to-the-republican-party-is-my-party-registration/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/03/romney-in-2002-my-only-connection-to-the-republican-party-is-my-party-registration/#comments Sun, 25 Mar 2012 03:16:54 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=603329 mitt romney gaffe Romney In 2002: My Only Connection To The Republican Party Is My Party Registration cartoons

Ouch. The folks at Buzzfeed have uncovered a video from Mitt Romney’s 2002 campaign for governor of Massachusetts. The candidate, then trying to distance himself from an unpopular Republican administration, said “the only connection” to the Republican Parts was that “I’m registered as a Republican.”

[ View our complete collection of Mitt Romney cartoons ]

On the heels of a Rick Santorum win in Louisiana, the Mittster might have a hard time shaking away these comments…

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Does MS Patient Deserve Jail For Growing Pot? http://www.cagle.com/2012/03/does-ms-patient-deserve-jail-for-growing-pot/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/03/does-ms-patient-deserve-jail-for-growing-pot/#comments Tue, 13 Mar 2012 07:25:06 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=600969 When it came time to honor Whitney Houston, a noted drug addict who admitted to using cocaine and marijuana, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie defended his decision to fly the flags at half-staff following her death.

 Too bad John Ray Wilson, a Somerset County man who suffers from multiple sclerosis, isn’t a better singer.

If he were, maybe he wouldn’t be in prison right now.

Wilson was arrested when a National Guard helicopter on a training mission skimmed over the suburban houses of Franklin Township and spotted 17 cannabis plants outside his house.

John Ray Wilson600 Does MS Patient Deserve Jail For Growing Pot? cartoons

Rob Tornoe / Newsworks.org (click to view more cartoons by Tornoe)

Wilson has suffered with multiple sclerosis for over a decade. Unable to afford health insurance to cover expensive painkillers, he grew his own pot to ease the chronic pain of his condition.

Nevertheless, the New Jersey criminal justice system went after Wilson as if he were Tony Montana from “Scarface.” He was convicted and an appeals court upheld Wilson’s conviction. The state Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of that ruling, and as a result, Wilson began serving a five-year prison term in January.

Oh, and just to add salt to the wound, during a pre-trial hearing, Superior Court Judge Robert Reed told Wilson he wasn’t allowed to let the jury know that he has MS, or that his use of marijuana was an attempt to treat his disease.

Nice to see the system working to protect the sick and unfortunate.

I bet you’re scratching your head, asking yourself, “Didn’t New Jersey legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes?”

Yes, they did. The Compassionate Care Act allows marijuana to be prescribed to relieve pain from cancer and other debilitating illnesses – such as MS.

The problem is the law isn’t fully implemented, and as a result, there is no state-legal marijuana available. So needy patients are still forced to seek remedies through drug dealers or by growing plants in secret at their home.

Despite all of this, Christie could grant Wilson clemency and remove the prison term if he wanted to act like a compassionate conservative.

But he won’t.

And why won’t he? During his monthly call-in show on NJ 101.5, Christie said he doesn’t believe Wilson grew the pot for medical reasons, despite written pleas from Wilson’s own doctor, the governor, who must have earned a MD without anyone in the media knowing, went on to question if Wilson has MS in the first place, telling listeners, “his diagnosis has been brought into question as to whether he really has MS or not.”

Who has brought it into question exactly? Certainly not his physician, Dr. Jeffrey Pollack, who said after reviewing multiple MRI reports and neurologic consults that Wilson “with a reasonable degree of medical certainty” has multiple sclerosis. Even the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee voted in favor of granting clemency to Wilson and commuting his sentence.

What puts this story over the top on the aggravation scale is the fact the Governor wants to expand a program that would help send nonviolent drug offenders to treatments rather than prison. Christie said his feelings on this issue “come from the heart.” I hold off pondering where his hypocrisy originates.

So, Wilson is basically left to rot in prison for simply providing himself, with no harm to others, an effective and scientifically proven remedy to a debilitating illness, a remedy that is technically legal in New Jersey (as long as you want to spend big bucks to line the pockets of pharmaceutical companies).

Maybe someone should tell Governor Christie that even Pat Robertson came out in support of legalizing marijuana. I know, I know… Christie is a conservative tough guy who wants to be hard on crime, and he can’t have those dirty hippies smoking their weed. 

I just think in this case, he’s the one who’s a bit high.

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Rob Tornoe is a political cartoonist and a WHYY contributor. See more of his work at RobTornoe.com, and follow him on twitter @RobTornoe.

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Snooki and the OB-GOP http://www.cagle.com/2012/03/snooki-and-the-ob-gop/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/03/snooki-and-the-ob-gop/#comments Tue, 06 Mar 2012 14:53:23 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=600463 With all this talk recently about birth control and the miracle of life, the news that Jersey Shore star and resident New Yorker Snooki is pregnant should make the Rush Limbaughs of the world very happy.

I’m just waiting for John McCain’s congratulatory tweet.

107557 600 Snooki and the OB GOP cartoons

Rob Tornoe / PoliticalCartoons.com (click to view more cartoons by Tornoe)

In a world whose population has blown past 7 billion, it’s important to think about pregnancy and procreation in terms of sustainability. We no longer have to deal with the black plague or the rickets when birthing offspring, so birth control and pre-natal care are vital to the sustainability of the planet and its resources, at least in my view.

But conservatives complain about birth control as if it’s the 13th century, and think not enough women are following in the footsteps of Michelle Duggar, who along with her husband Jim Bob are up to 19 children. Michelle used to take birth control, but explained they “decided to allow God to determine the number of children” they would have.

It’s important to note that Jim Bob is the breadwinner of the family, while Michelle literally spends all her time barefoot and pregnant. In the days before contraception, men were able to rule the world while women where forced into domestic duty. During that time, women were greatly outnumbered by men in college, the world of business, in Congress – pretty much everywhere except the kitchen. Or as Republicans call the good’ol days.

“They’re portraying it once again, pregnancy as a disease,” El Rushbo said on his radio program, referring to a Georgetown law student as a “slut” and a “prostitute” for daring to ask for coverage for contraception. It took numerous advertisers pulling out for Rush to issue an apology. Who’s the slut now? 

But it’s not just Rush Limbaugh’s wacky view about birth control. As Democratic strategist James Carville noted on Bill Maher’s show, Republicans no longer just listen to Rush Limbaugh – they’ve become Rush Limbaugh.

A quick look at the GOP’s presidential candidates and their thoughts on birth control speaks louder than a cigar-chomping hypocrite with a taste for Viagra and increasingly younger wives.

Rick Santorum, who once equated homosexuality to bestiality, is not a believer in birth control, and has gone so far to say it’s harmful to women and harmful to our society. He also didn’t think it was something women needed insurance for because it only “costs a few dollars” and is only a “minor expense” for women – like buying sweater vests at Kohls.

Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich called the policy guaranteeing insurance coverage of birth control “the most outrageous assault on religious freedom in American history.” Apparently it takes a man of faith to discuss divorcing your wife while she lies in a hospital bed recovering from tumor surgery.

Even Mitt Romney, who has largely avoided this birth control debate, supported Sen. Roy Blunt’s contraception plan along with Santorum and Gingrich. The amendment (to a highway spending bill) would have given all bosses – including yours – the ability to refuse coverage of any type of health care they considered amoral.

Conservatives think it’s evil when the government gets involved in the health care debate, but when businesses make decisions that potentially harm their employees, it’s just what the founders intended. Just think about your boss for a second – could you imagine if they had complete control of your health care choices?

At least Ron Paul, trained as an obstetrician-gynecologist, had the good sense to call this whole debate “silly.” But then again, he would let an uninsured patient who couldn’t afford treatment die, so that says a lot about the moderation of the Republican presidential candidates.

So let’s recap: Snooki is pregnant, birth control is amoral and Republicans want your supervisor to check off on your gynecological needs. Maybe the Mayans were onto something about the world ending in 2012.

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Rob Tornoe is a political cartoonists and a WHYY contributor. See more of his work at RobTornoe.com, and follow him on Twitter @RobTornoe.

Read more at Newsworks.org.  

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Chris Christie: Less Superman, More Clark Kent http://www.cagle.com/2012/02/chris-christie-less-superman-more-clark-kent/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/02/chris-christie-less-superman-more-clark-kent/#comments Mon, 20 Feb 2012 18:30:18 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=599642 Originally posted on Newsworks

I’ve drawn Chris Christie a lot as Superman. After all, isn’t he the guy who flew into Trenton promising to rid us of public corruption, property taxes and to fight against an oppressive government for the will of the people?

Well, by vetoing a same-sex marriage bill that a majority of New Jerseyans supported, Christie has proven who the true leaders are – Republican party officials that hate the whiff of anything gay.

“Same-sex couples in a civil union deserve the very same rights and benefits enjoyed by married couples – as well as the strict enforcement of those rights and benefits.” That’s what Christie had the audacity to say after vetoing a law that would have granted just that.

action comics600 Chris Christie: Less Superman, More Clark Kent cartoons

You see, once again it all comes down to religion. Well, sort-of. Christie won’t support gay marriage because he believes it’s a sacred institution between one man and one woman – or in Newt Gingrich’s case, one man and one woman at a time.

But Christie is willing to buck his religion when it comes to labeling homosexuality as a sin, telling Piers Morgan in a 2011 interview that he believed people are born with a predisposition to be homosexual.

“It’s very difficult to say then that that’s a sin,” Christie said. “But I understand that my church says that. But for me personally, I don’ t look upon someone who is homosexual as a sinner.”

So, if Christie is able to disagree with his church, and supports giving same-sex couples the very same rights, what’s the problem?

Politics.

For the governor who proclaims himself a bold leader in front of cameras every five minutes, he’s been forced into a corner by knuckle-dragging Republicans who think contraception is bad, rich people are overtaxed and yes – that homosexuals shouldn’t marry.

All this is despite the fact that a clear majority of Americans disagree with all three of those things. Way to position your party for the future – no wonder you’re known as the Grand Old Party.

Christie is a smart guy. He’s bright enough to realize that in order to run for president in 2016, he needs the support of these backwards theocrats who hate Sharia Law, but want to force all Americans to pledge their allegiance to Jesus and the burning bush.

But you can’t call it leadership. You can’t even call it gutsy. It’s simply Christie kissing the ring. Christie is no Superman, he’s simply Clark Kent. And a weak one at that.

Rob Tornoe is a political cartoonist and a WHYY contributor. See more of his work at RobTornoe.com, and follow him on Twitter @RobTornoe

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How the NFL is Like Socialism http://www.cagle.com/2012/02/how-the-nfl-is-like-socialism/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/02/how-the-nfl-is-like-socialism/#comments Thu, 02 Feb 2012 17:12:13 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://www.cagle.com/?p=598686

Check out this cool, completely unofficial video comparing the economics of the NFL and Major League Baseball. It was put together by London-based animator Fraser Davidson, who used a two-minute excerpt from the audio version of Bill Maher’s book “The New New Rules” to narrate his cool animation.

RELATED: Super Bowl cartoons

nfl socialism1 How the NFL is Like Socialism  cartoons

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Perry Goes Home http://www.cagle.com/2012/01/perry-goes-home/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/01/perry-goes-home/#comments Thu, 19 Jan 2012 22:26:14 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/99/2012/01/19/104778_600.jpg 104778 600 Perry Goes Home cartoons

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Media Quiet About SOPA http://www.cagle.com/2012/01/media-quiet-about-sopa/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/01/media-quiet-about-sopa/#comments Thu, 12 Jan 2012 16:37:07 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/99/2012/01/12/104411_600.jpg 104411 600 Media Quiet About SOPA cartoons

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Michael Vick is Sorry http://www.cagle.com/2012/01/michael-vick-is-sorry/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/01/michael-vick-is-sorry/#comments Tue, 03 Jan 2012 21:20:43 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/99/2012/01/03/103917_600.jpg 103917 600 Michael Vick is Sorry cartoons

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Iowa Loves Mitt Romney http://www.cagle.com/2011/12/iowa-loves-mitt-romney/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/12/iowa-loves-mitt-romney/#comments Fri, 30 Dec 2011 16:32:19 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/99/2011/12/30/103784_600.jpg 103784 600 Iowa Loves Mitt Romney cartoons

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The ‘Lessons’ We Never Learned From 9/11 http://www.cagle.com/2011/09/the-%e2%80%98lessons%e2%80%99-we-never-learned-from-911/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/09/the-%e2%80%98lessons%e2%80%99-we-never-learned-from-911/#comments Fri, 09 Sep 2011 03:35:07 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/?p=490639 l tornoe 600 4 The ‘Lessons’ We Never Learned From 9/11 cartoons

It’s hard to take the slogan “never forget” seriously when, as a country, we never learned the true lessons of 9/11 in the first place.

I know it probably makes you angry to read this. After all, it’s a solemn occasion, and as an American, I have a duty to cast aside everything, wrap myself in an American flag and blindly remember the terrible day our nation experienced 10 years ago.

But it makes me angry we are so willfully ignorant of the reasons behind an event that not only claimed 3,000 innocent victims, but due to our “War on Terror” has cost the lives of over 6,000 of our service people, as well as caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians. Wait, I need to be more politically correct… not civilian deaths, “collateral damage.”

Continue Reading on Newsworks.org >>>

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Taiwanese Earthquake Animation http://www.cagle.com/2011/08/taiwanese-earthquake-cartoon/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/08/taiwanese-earthquake-cartoon/#comments Wed, 24 Aug 2011 21:39:00 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/?p=488585 The folks at the Taiwan-based Next Media Animation have done it again. Their latest animated news story pokes fun at the reaction of nearly the entire East Coast as we tweeted the day away about the 5.8-magnitude quake that hit Tuesday afternoon.

They even cracked on people who tweeted Chris Christie jokes. I mean, can’t people show the proper respect?

Picture 9 Taiwanese Earthquake Animation cartoons

RELATED:

East Coast Earthquake Cartoons

Best Deadline Earthquake Cartoons

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Christie and the Media http://www.cagle.com/2011/08/christie-and-the-media/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/08/christie-and-the-media/#comments Tue, 09 Aug 2011 17:33:39 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/?p=475749 Christie Sistine Christie and the Media cartoons

New Jersey governor and GOP darling Chris Christie loves to make fun of politicians posturing on cable television, mainly because they don’t do it as well as he does.

Christie told reporters that he was “relieved” that leaders in Washington had reached a deal on the debt ceiling, but claimed politicians were more interested in posturing for cable television than fixing problems.

I had to chuckle at that sentiment, considering Christie seems to be the poster child of enacting policies and advocating positions a majority of New Jerseyans disagree with, then going on Fox News and msnbc and positioning himself as a budget-busting Republican that all conservatives across the country can love. Increasingly, Christie seems to be speaking exclusively to right-wing audiences in an attempt to give the impression not only is he popular in New Jersey (he isn’t), he should be leading Republicans to the promise land.

If his poll numbers get any worse back home, maybe he will make all the GOP donors happy and jump into the 2012 race. But I doubt it. He’s positioned himself as the Republican kingmaker in 2012, and is in a terrific position to run in 2016.

He’ll certainly have the media contacts he’ll need.

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Those Damn Muhammad Cartoons, Norway Edition http://www.cagle.com/2011/07/those-damn-muhammad-cartoons-norway-edition/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/07/those-damn-muhammad-cartoons-norway-edition/#comments Fri, 22 Jul 2011 18:53:09 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/?p=463800 prophet mohammed Dagbladetuh Those Damn Muhammad Cartoons, Norway Edition cartoons

This photo of a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed led to peaceful protests in Oslo after it appeared on the front-page of a Norwegian tabloid in 2010 (click to view the original story)

Update: Many major news outlets are reporting that  Norwegian national Anders Behring Breivik, has been charged with the attacks in Norway. According to reports, he appears to to have a history of far-right and “Christian fundamentalist” views, and officials all but ruled out involvement by Islamic extremists.

A terror group, Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami (the Helpers of the Global Jihad), issued a statement claiming responsibility for the bombings in the Norwegian capital of Oslo that have killed at least seven people, and injured two more. In the statement, the terrorist organization claims the attack was a response to Norwegian forces’ presence in Afghanistan and to unspecified insults to the Prophet Muhammad.

The “insults” mentioned potentially refer to two instances where Norwegian newspapers upset Muslims by printing cartoon images of the Prophet Muhammad, a an act forbidden by Muslims. Several Norwegian newspapers, including Aftenposten and G Nett, have offices near the explosion and were forced to evacuate.

Back in 2010,  a photo of a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad was printed on the front page of a Norwegian tabloid Dagbladet and led to peaceful protests by thousands of angered Muslims. The photo, which showed the Prophet Muhammad as a pig writing the Koran, drawn by an Israeli West Back settler in the 1990s, was meant to to illustrate a story describing how the Facebook page of the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) linked to pages featuring caricatures of Muhammad.

“It was an illustration to our news story,” Lars Helle, Dagbladet’s acting editor-in-chief at the tome, told Reuters. They have the right to protest, but it was not a provocation, it was not meant as a provocation, it was meant as an illustration to a news story.”

In 2006, three Norwegian newspapers reprinted 12 controversial Danish cartoons that angered Muslims by depicting the Prophet Muhammad in cartoon form. The 12 cartoons were originally published back in 2005 in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten as a way to fight against self-censorship in Europe due to violent threats from groups from the Muslim minority.

I’ll update this as I receive more information. If you have any additional information, email me at rob@cagle.com, or send me a message on Twitter @RobTornoe.

 

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Robert Reich, Cartoonist? http://www.cagle.com/2011/06/robert-reich-cartoonist/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/06/robert-reich-cartoonist/#comments Thu, 16 Jun 2011 21:03:03 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/?p=461006 Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich said he could explain the problems with our economy in a little over two minutes. But who knew he would also draw cartoons to boot.

 

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Chris Christie and The Rapture http://www.cagle.com/2011/05/chris-christie-and-the-rapture/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/05/chris-christie-and-the-rapture/#comments Sat, 21 May 2011 11:53:25 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/?p=458200 So The Rapture failed to materialize, and the world is still here. So when you get a chance, send a “thanks for saving my existence” note to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Just don’t ask him if he’s running for President…

rapture color 600 Chris Christie and The Rapture cartoons

[ View more cartoons about Chris Christie here ]

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Is Chris Christie Running For President? http://www.cagle.com/2011/05/is-chris-christie-running-for-president/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/05/is-chris-christie-running-for-president/#comments Mon, 16 May 2011 12:40:26 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/?p=457605 christie travel 600 Is Chris Christie Running For President? cartoons

Unhappy with the current crop of GOP presidential choices, a group of Iowa’s top Republican campaign contributors are heading to New Jersey this week to try and bend Chris Christie’s arm back to run for the party’s 2012 nomination. I guess Newt Gingrich isn’t exciting enough for them.

Christie has repeatedly and emphatically said no to questions about running for President, however recent trips to The Heritage Foundation and New York City, and his national tour late last year to stump for the likes of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, make it seem otherwise.

Let’s not forget that we’ve heard this song and dance before. Back in 2008, Christie said repeatedly he wasn’t interested in running for Governor. In fact, here’s a cartoon I drew back in September of 2008:

BoltNJ092008 Is Chris Christie Running For President? cartoons

Regardless of his choice, folks in New Jersey don’t want him to run. In a new SurveyUSA poll for WABC-TV, only 15 percent said Christie should run for president and 73 percent said he shouldn’t.

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Huckabee’s Cartoon History Saves America http://www.cagle.com/2011/05/huckabees-cartoon-history-saves-america/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/05/huckabees-cartoon-history-saves-america/#comments Thu, 12 May 2011 13:35:36 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/?p=457284 reagan Huckabees Cartoon History Saves America cartoonsHas a “blame America first” attitude prevented our children from learning the true history of America?

Well, Mike Huckabee is here to save the day! Huckabee has founded LearnOurHistory.com, where for $15 the company will send you a new animated tale of American history each month, told through the eyes of a gang of time-traveling kids .

“They’re teaching with political bias that distorts facts for the sake of political correctness,” the website says of our schools. “As a result, our national pride and patriotism are in jeopardy.”

Here’s a preview of the first video, and predictably, it’s about a man named Ronald Reagan who appeared to bring hope and change to our troubled streets, filled with kids with knives and everything!

 

Other clips are there to let kids know what Reagan was all about. “Reagan believes we can do anything,” one girl says. “We just have to get the government out of the way!”

 

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A View of Editorial Cartooning From 1984 http://www.cagle.com/2011/04/a-view-of-editorial-cartooning-from-1984/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/04/a-view-of-editorial-cartooning-from-1984/#comments Thu, 14 Apr 2011 17:51:47 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/?p=297320 John Cole, the terrific cartoonist for the Scranton Times-Tribune (click to see John’s cartoons here) alerted me to this viewo posted in the C-Span archives. It’s from 1984, and features an interview by Brian Lamb discussing the role of the editorial cartoonist with Jeff MacNelly of the Chicago Tribune, Bill D’oire of the Dallas Morning News, and Lee Judge of the Kansas City Star.

It’s an hour long, but for anyone interested in the craft, it’s definitely worth watching. As a cartoonist and someone who covers the newspaper industry, it’s sort-of bittersweet to watch. The only newspaper of the three that still continues to have a cartoonist on staff is the Chicago Tribune, who hired Scott Stantis in 2009 after MacNelly’s untimely death left the position vacated in 2000.  D’orie lost his job at the Dallas Morning News as part of cutbacks in 2004, while Judge was reduced to a part-timer and continues to draw for the Kansas City Star.

 

Picture 19 A View of Editorial Cartooning From 1984 cartoons

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Civil Unions in Delaware http://www.cagle.com/2011/04/civil-unions-in-delaware/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/04/civil-unions-in-delaware/#comments Thu, 07 Apr 2011 20:47:13 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/?p=233190 Today, Legislative Hall in Dover is packed as the State Senate prepares to vote on a bill that would offer legal recognition same-sex couples in Delaware.

Obviously, I think civil unions are a step up from the status-quo of outright discrimination against gay couples, but I would prefer they be allowed to get married just like everyone else. Here’s my cartoon from The News Journal a couple of weeks back:

civil unions500 Civil Unions in Delaware cartoons

Here are some previous cartoons I’ve drawn on the subject of gay marriage. Honestly, I don’t understand why it’s such a controversial subject, especially for those conservatives who rail against the government’s involvement in our lives.

civil unions old 500 Civil Unions in Delaware cartoons

gay marriage 500 Civil Unions in Delaware cartoons

And lest you think I’m some sort-of partisan o the subject, I think President Obama has done as much to help the cause of gay marriage as George W. Bush:

Obama gay marriage 500 Civil Unions in Delaware cartoons

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RIP David Broder http://www.cagle.com/2011/04/rip-david-broder/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/04/rip-david-broder/#comments Tue, 05 Apr 2011 18:09:59 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/?p=232915 Today there was a memorial service held to celebrate the life of longtime political columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winner David Broder, who died on March 9 after covering national politics for four decades. Here is the cartoon I drew about Broder for Editor & Publisher, the trade magazine of the newspaper industry:

Broder RIP RIP David Broder cartoons

The Washington Post asked politicians to recall their interactions with Broder prior to the service. My favorite of the bunch comes from Ed Rendell, the former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania:

I would see David Broder in person every year at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Convention or the National Governors Association conference. He would call and say, “Let’s get together, catch up and shoot the breeze totally off the record.”

One hour later, I would have invariably disclosed something and, unbelievably, agreed to let him use it. Just as invariably my disclosure would get me in trouble. For example, at the 2008 Democratic convention in Denver, David cajoled me into saying that Candidate Obama reminded me of Adlai Stevenson. Though I meant it as a compliment, the Obama campaign, given that Adlai got trounced twice, went ballistic.

Ah, David. Always getting me in trouble, but I will miss him dearly.

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RIP Geraldine Ferraro http://www.cagle.com/2011/03/rip-geraldine-ferraro/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/03/rip-geraldine-ferraro/#comments Sat, 26 Mar 2011 17:30:07 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/?p=223693 msnbc.com is reporting that Geraldine Ferraro, the Democratic congresswoman who became the first woman on a major party presidential ticket as Walter Mondale’s running mate in 1984, died today at the age of 75.

BoltNA031908 300x221 RIP Geraldine Ferraro cartoons

Click to enlarge

I’ve only ever drawn one political cartoon featuring Ferraro. Back in the 2008 election, she was a member of then-Senator Hillary Clinton’s finance committee, and got into a bit of trouble when she vented some of her frustration with then-Senator Barack Obama’s campaign success to a local California newspaper.

“If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position,” Ferraro told the paper. “And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.”

I drew this cartoon not to let Ferraro off the hook for her comments, but to show some of the hypocrisy in the media. They lambasted her for the comments she made and treated her with righteous indignation, yet her comments conveyed a kernel of truth that the media repeated incessantly during the entire election: that at least part of Barack Obama’s appeal was tied up in the fact that he embodied a transcendence of the country’s racist past.

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Jim Henson’s ‘Wizard if Id’ Test Pilot http://www.cagle.com/2011/03/jim-hensons-wizard-if-id-test-pilot/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/03/jim-hensons-wizard-if-id-test-pilot/#comments Fri, 25 Mar 2011 19:37:16 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/?p=223565 Here’s something cool from the video archives. It’s a 4-minute film test pilot of the popular comic strip “Wizard of Id” produced by Jim Henson, who also contributed the voice of the Wizard.

Check out some of the backstory of the test pilot here.

 

Picture 1 Jim Hensons Wizard if Id Test Pilot cartoons

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NFL Tragedy http://www.cagle.com/2011/03/nfl-tragedy/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/03/nfl-tragedy/#comments Thu, 24 Mar 2011 16:49:00 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/?p=223463 I’m a fan of the NFL, even if my Buffalo Bills haven’t done anything in, say ten years or so (the last time the Bills played in a playoff game was 1999, which they lost due to the Music City Miracle). However, the way I hear people complain and talk incessantly about the NFL season (as if it’s not going to happen) just makes me wonder what we really view as a tragedy, or even news.

tsunami NFL600 NFL Tragedy cartoons

Delaware, where I live, has long had a close relationship with people of Miyagi Prefecture, whom we’ve built lasting and meaningful friendships over the years. Consider contributing to the Delaware Community Foundation to help those affected by the devastating events in Japan in recent weeks.

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Libyan Cartoonist Critical of Gadhafi Still Missing http://www.cagle.com/2011/03/libyan-cartoonist-criticial-of-gadhafi-still-missing/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/03/libyan-cartoonist-criticial-of-gadhafi-still-missing/#comments Tue, 22 Mar 2011 14:15:00 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/?p=223232 Yesterday, news broke that four New York Times journalists in Libya were released six days after they were captured by pro-government forces while covering a rebel uprising in the country’s east.

However, The Committee to Protect Journalists remains concerned about 13 other journalists who are either missing or are reportedly in Libyan government custody, including editorial cartoonist Mohamed al-Amin and five other Libyan journalists.

According to CPJ, the other missing Libyan journalists are reporter Atef al-Atrash, blogger and critical political writer Mohamed al-Sahim, former editor-in-chief of culture magazine Arajin Idris al-Mismar, head of the Libyan Journalists Syndicate Salma al-Shaab and correspondent Suad al-Turabouls.

“We call on Libyan authorities to release those journalists in their custody and to assist in efforts to locate those who are missing,” CPJ executive director Joel Simon said.

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Keefe Wins John Fischetti Award http://www.cagle.com/2011/03/keefe-wins-john-fischetti-award/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/03/keefe-wins-john-fischetti-award/#comments Thu, 17 Mar 2011 17:51:00 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/?p=222883

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Mike Keefe's 2011 Fischetti Award-winning cartoon (click to enlarge)

Denver Post and Cagle Cartoons cartoonist Mike Keefe has been named the winner of the 2011 John Fischetti Editorial Cartoon Competition.

Keefe’s winning cartoon pokes fun at legislation enacted by Arizona last year, the “broadest and strictest in the nation” to curb illegal immigration, according to The New York Times. The cartoon depicts two public safety officers stopping a motorist and comparing his skin tone to a paint swatch before asking him to step out of the car.

“This cartoon embodies the form’s best elements, a fresh visual take on a timely, provocative subject,” said Nancy Day, chair of the Journalism Department at Columbia College Chicago, which coordinates the competition and the event.

Runners-up for the award were Steve Breen of the San Diego Union-Tribune, who drew a dog tag chain outlining Afghanistan, and by Mike Luckovich of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, on a theme similar to Keefe’s, with a Native American asking white legislators for their papers.

Keefe is now a four-time winner of the Fischetti Award, having previously won in 1991, 2001 and 2007.

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Second Foreign Newspaper Apologizes for Tsunami Cartoon http://www.cagle.com/2011/03/second-foreign-newspaper-apologizes-for-tsunami-cartoon/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/03/second-foreign-newspaper-apologizes-for-tsunami-cartoon/#comments Wed, 16 Mar 2011 18:11:00 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/?p=222811

tsunami sumo wrestler 300x224 Second Foreign Newspaper Apologizes for Tsunami Cartoon cartoons

Sherff's cartoon for The Nation depicting a sumo wrestler as the grim reaper surfing on a tsunami wave (click to enlarge)

The Nation, an English-language newspaper from Thailand, issued an apology today for a cartoon they published following an earthquake that sent destructive waves onto Japan’s coast.

The cartoon, drawn by The Nation’s editorial cartoonist Stephen Peray (who goes by the pen name “Sherff”), featured the Grim Reaper as a sumo wrestler surfing on the wave of a tsunami on a surfboard in the shape of Japan.

“The Nation deeply regrets the fact that the cartoon, which followed the artist’s other work in which he shared his grief with the Japanese earthquake and tsunami victims, has offended several readers,” the paper wrote in an editorial on their opinion page.

“The Grim Reaper is not meant to be understood as a humorous character and is often used in editorial cartoons in the West to signify a tragedy involving loss of life,” Stephff wrote in an additional editorial for the paper.  “But I quite agree that on this occasion this cartoon was inappropriate and something softer should have been used.”

Yesterday, the Malaysian daily newspaper Berita Harian apologized for running a cartoon showing the popular Japanese icon Ultraman running away from an oncoming tsunami in their Sunday comment page.

RELATED:

Malaysian Paper Apologizes Over Tsunami Cartoon

Japan Cartoon Yahtzees

Nuclear Crisis Cartoons

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Malaysian Paper Apologizes Over Tsunami Cartoon http://www.cagle.com/2011/03/malaysia-paper-apologises-over-tsunami-cartoon/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/03/malaysia-paper-apologises-over-tsunami-cartoon/#comments Tue, 15 Mar 2011 21:25:00 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/?p=222725
Ultraman Malaysian Paper Apologizes Over Tsunami Cartoon cartoons

Berita Harian, one of Malaysia’s main daily newspapers, apologized Monday after running a cartoon drawn by Mohd Zohri Sukimi (who goes by the pen name “Zoy”) showing the popular Japanese icon Ultraman running away from an oncoming tsunami in their Sunday comment page (featured above).

“We do not intend to be insensitive or to poke fun at last Friday’s incident,” the paper said in a front-page apology Monday, adding that it was “very sympathetic” to the plight of the Japanese people.

Khairy Jamaluddin, leader of the youth wing of the ruling United Malays National Organization, wrote on his Twitter feed that the cartoon was “totally insensitive towards the Japanese people” and asked the paper to say sorry.

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New Jersey Isn’t Wisconsin http://www.cagle.com/2011/03/new-jersey-isnt-wisconsin/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/03/new-jersey-isnt-wisconsin/#comments Mon, 07 Mar 2011 23:24:00 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/?p=222002 Cross-posted at Delaware Punchline

New Jersey police and firefighters protested at the Statehouse on Saturday to show support to their Wisconsin brothers, and to send a message to Gov. Chris Christie that they aren’t the enemy.

While that may be true, New Jersey is not Wisconsin, and too often we read about public safety workers retiring with a $200,000+ sick time payout and a pension bloated by years of overtime abuse.

union protest600 New Jersey Isnt Wisconsin cartoons

Just yesterday, a report by the Press of Atlantic City shows city officials used $2.2 million gained from layoffs of 60 police officers and 30 firefighters last year to help offset $7.1 in terminal leave payments to veteran police and fire employees upon retirement.

One retiring deputy fire chief received more than $272,000, three other public safety workers collected more than $200,000 each and 12 more cleared at least $100,000.

So far, Christie isn’t trying to end collective bargaining the way that is Wisconsin counterpart, Gov. Scott Walker, is. In fact, one measure of Gov. Christie’s “tool kit” to help municipalities better manage their growing financial burdens it to cap sick-leave payouts at $15,000.

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The Seven Year Jihad http://www.cagle.com/2011/03/the-seven-year-jihad/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/03/the-seven-year-jihad/#comments Wed, 02 Mar 2011 23:20:00 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/?p=221602 A buddy of mine, talented cartoonist Karl Savage, recently reminded me of an illustration he did as a project back when we were in class together at the Joe Kubert School. If I remember correctly, it was an assignment in our humor class for former MAD Magazine cartoonist Brian Buniak, and we were supposed to take an iconic image and parody it. I was always fond of what Karl produced, particularly the nice touch of writing “590 Fleurette Jewelry” in Arabic.

Here is Karl’s description of the assignment:

The tragedy in Denmark had just occurred. Muslim extremists were setting off bombs in retaliation of a published newspaper cartoon that depicted Mohammad wearing a bomb as a turban, complete with a burning wick. The parodic opportunities of Islam were making headlines, so I decided I would tap into that.

Teaming it with this iconic Marilyn Monroe pose was a no-brainer. She’s THE sex symbol of the 20th century. Here was the perfect opportunity to tap into that appeal. Muslim women probably have sexy legs, but few men get to see them.

Here’s the illustration. What do you think:

jihad The Seven Year Jihad cartoons

Karl Savage / Karlsavage.com (click to enlarge)

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Poetry In His Fingertips http://www.cagle.com/2011/02/poetry-in-his-fingertips/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/02/poetry-in-his-fingertips/#comments Sat, 26 Feb 2011 14:11:00 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/?p=221202 “I’m here and I’m ready, they’re not. Bring it!” exclaimed television star and hooker-addicted cokehead Charlie Sheen, calling into “The Dan Patrick Show” a couple of weeks ago to let producers know he’s ready to return to filming “Two And A Half Men.”

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Taylor Jones / PoliticalCartoons.com (click to share)

Well, Sheen did a funny thing and decided to call into “The Alex Jones Show” to prove he’s 100 percent clean and ready to go. “Here’s your first pee test, next one goes in your mouth,” Sheen said. “No, you won’t get high.”

I don’t know exactly which part producers of “Two And A Half Men” heard before pulling the plug on the rest of this season’s production. It might have been when he called “Two And A Half Men” creator Chuck Lorre a “clown” and a “turd,” and referred to him as “Chaim Levine,” the Hebrew translation of Lorre’s birth name, causing some to draw comparisons to Hollywood’s favorite anti-semite, Mel Gibson.

The only difference ““ at least Mel didn’t think his rants were public.

“I was referring to Chuck by this real name, because I wanted to address the man, not the bulls**t TV persona,” Sheen told TMZ.com. “So you’re telling me, anytime someone calls me Carlos Estevez, I can claim they are anti-Latino?”

Point Sheen.

Maybe Lorre was really miffed when Sheen proudly scoffed that he “embarrassed [Lorre] in front of his children and the world by healing at a pace that this un-evolved mind cannot process,” and added, “I’ve spent, I think, close to the last decade, I don’t know, effortlessly and magically converting your tin cans into pure gold. And the gratitude I get is this charlatan chose not to do his job, which is to write.”

Or maybe it was when he called TMZ and challenged Lorre to a fight in the octagon.

“If he wins, then he can leave my show,” Sheen said.

Sheen also went on to say he “violently hate[s]” Lorre, whom he called “a stupid, stupid little man” and a “pu**y punk that I’d never want to be like.”

“I wish him nothing but pain in his silly travels, especially if they wind up in my octagon. Clearly, I have defeated this earthworm with my words — imagine what I would have done with my fire breathing fists.”

Sheen’s rant wasn’t just directed at Lorre or his happy Two And A Half-Men family. He went through a litany of items usually reserved for crazy people to write on walls with their own feces.

Sheen referred to Alcoholics Anonymous as a “bootleg cult” founded by an LSD addict who wrote a “book of lies,” and whose success rate is only “five percent,” while his is “one-hundred percent. Do the math!”

“Newsflash,” he added. “I am special and I will never be one of you.”

For the record, Sheen says he cured himself with his own mind, so deal with it. In fact, the only thing he says he’s addicted to right now is “winning.” Wonder how he characterizes his show being canceled.

Changing gears and speaking in a more modest tone, Sheen told Jones that “most of the time””and this includes naps””I’m an F-18, bro, and I will destroy you in the air and deploy my ordnance to the ground.” Not sure if he was referring to his many sexual escapades with heroin-riddled prostitutes or what must be the logical end to the average night for the often-inebriated TV star.

Regardless, Sheen wants everyone to know that he’s not a “soft target,” and characterizes his appearance on “The Alex Jones Show” as not an interview but a “warning,” boasting that he has “an army of assassins” at the ready and “silent secret soldiers all around you.”

In fact, after one rant, Alex Jones told Sheen he sounds like Thomas Jefferson. Charlie’s response, “I’m not Thomas Jefferson. He was a pu***y! But I dare anyone to debate me on things.”

No debate here. I don’t remember reading Jefferson ever referring to John Adams and George Washington as “Vatican assassin warlocks” or “fools and trolls.” But I do know that Sheen would party harder with Sally Hemings than Jefferson could have ever imagined.

I just can’t wait until they start filming “Major League 4.” If he’s this angry about the creator of one of television’s most successful shows, I wonder what Sheen will say about having to work with Corbin Bernsen again.

—–

Rob Tornoe is a cartoonist for The Press of Atlantic City and Editor & Publisher. He’s also the editor of Punchline. Reach him at rob@delawarepunchline.com.

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Big Ears and Monkeys Don’t Make a Cartoon Racist http://www.cagle.com/2011/02/big-ears-and-monkeys-dont-make-a-cartoon-racist/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/02/big-ears-and-monkeys-dont-make-a-cartoon-racist/#comments Fri, 18 Feb 2011 18:07:00 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/?p=220444 delonas Big Ears and Monkeys Dont Make a Cartoon Racist cartoons

This Sean Delonas cartoon made waves when people claimed he depicted Obama as an ape.

I’ve been following this controversy of Lawrence O’Donnell calling out a cartoon on Breitbart’s Web site as a “racist obscenity” because the cartoonist dared to draw Obama with big ears. There are two sides to this issue. Breitbart’s blog is atrocious and hardly deserving of the attention. Just looking back a couple of months at the complete smear of Shirley Sherrod tells you all you need to know about the credibility of his Web site.

On the other side, O’Donnell’s comments about the cartoon being racist are completely ignorant of the profession of editorial cartooning. He claimed the cartoon was in bad taste because President Obama was drawn in a “half man, half animal form.”

It reminded me of an incident that made waves a couple of years ago, when Al Sharpton and many liberals were incensed at a cartoon drawn by Sean Delonas of the New York Post. His offense? Drawing Obama as a dead monkey, a play of a news story at that time concerning a 200-pound chimpanzee who was killed by police after attacking his owner’s friend.

In reality, the only people who were offended by the image of the chimp (who really symbolized lawmakers who passed the stimulus bill and not necessarily Obama) were opportunists.

No one cried “racism” when cartoonists drew Bush in various simian forms over his eight years as president.

53149 600 Big Ears and Monkeys Dont Make a Cartoon Racist cartoons

Davis Fitzsimmons / Arizona Daily Star, PoliticalCartoons.com

18960 600 Big Ears and Monkeys Dont Make a Cartoon Racist cartoons

29672 600 Big Ears and Monkeys Dont Make a Cartoon Racist cartoons

Sandy Huffaker / PoliticalCartoons.com

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Brian Adcock / PoliticalCartoons.com

And when it comes to big ears, cartoonists just draw and exaggerate what’s in front of them. O’Donnell was angry that the Breitbart cartoon featured an Obama with ears “that don’t exist on the homosapien species,” but in reality you see big ears in the political cartoons of many of the nation’s best cartoonists, and not one of them is making any commentary on race. Big ears are funny.

%7Bb889c65c 5aab 4b5a ac76 dad215a9bf4e%7D Big Ears and Monkeys Dont Make a Cartoon Racist cartoons

Eric Allie / Cagle Cartoons

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Randy Bish / Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, PoliticalCartoons.com

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Nate Beeler / Washington Examiner, PoliticalCartoons.com

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Rob Tornoe / Punchline, PoliticalCartoons.com

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Taylor Jones / PoliticalCartoons.com

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John Cole / Scranton Times-Tribune, PoliticalCartoons.com

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Is This Cartoon a ‘Racist Obscenity’? http://www.cagle.com/2011/02/is-this-cartoon-a-racist-obscenity/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/02/is-this-cartoon-a-racist-obscenity/#comments Thu, 17 Feb 2011 06:06:00 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/?p=220334 obama Is This Cartoon a Racist Obscenity? cartoonsA cartoon created by James Hudnall and Batton Lash that first appeared on Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government Web site is making waves for depicting First Lady Michelle Obama as overweight and craving hamburgers.

The cartoon, featured on the right, attempts to spoof the First Lady’s anti-obesity campaign by drawing her overweight and eating a plateful of hamburgers, even as she proudly proclaims her efforts in telling restaurants to lower portion sizes and fat content.

On his Tuesday night show, msnbc.com host Lawrence O’Donnell criticized the cartoon, showing only one panel and refusing to show the rest “because it is a racist obscenity.” O’Donnell’s issue came with the size and style the cartoonists drew Obama’s ears.

“The president is depicted in a half man, half animal form with ears that don’t exist on the homosapien species,” the talk show host opined.

“There is nothing racist about the cartoon,” Hudnall said of the controversy. “Batton Lash merely drew the first couple in caricature, which is what political cartoonists do.”

“Cartooning””specifically political cartooning”“ has always been about exaggeration, whether it was Nixon’s prominent jowls, Carter’s toothy smile, or Bush ll’s beady eyes,” wrote Lash. “If our current president is exempt because of the color of his skin, I think that would be racist. By the way, I didn’t depict the First Lady as fat””just a hearty eater!”

O’Donnell also mentioned that Michelle Obama is the “most famous African American woman in the world, and the most admired.”

Wonder what Oprah thinks of that…

Here is the segment from O’Donnell’s show:

So what do you think of the cartoon? Is it a “racist obscenity” as O’Donnell suggests, or valid criticism of our current president and his first lady?

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Video: Bob Englehart on Fox CT http://www.cagle.com/2011/02/video-bob-englehart-on-fox-ct/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/02/video-bob-englehart-on-fox-ct/#comments Fri, 04 Feb 2011 14:58:00 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/?p=219312 englehart Video: Bob Englehart on Fox CT cartoons

Bob Englehart

Fox CT did a piece on Hartford Courant cartoonist Bob Englehart (view Bob’s cartoons here), who is celebrating 30 years of drawing cartoons at the paper with a new exhibit of his work.

“He’s an icon in Connecticut. You’re not really on the Connecticut map until you’ve been Engleharted,” says Carolyn Lumsden, the opinion editor at the Hartford Courant.

Yes, Bob’s name has become a verb.

“It’s always interesting to me when I criticize someone and I draw them, I make them look like a goofball,” says Englehart. “Then they call up and they say, ‘can I have a copy of that cartoon?’”

Don’t you get it? I’m not on your side!”

Here’s the video:

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Gannett Executives Get Millions While Employees Get the Shaft http://www.cagle.com/2011/02/gannett-executives-get-millions-while-employees-get-the-shaft/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/02/gannett-executives-get-millions-while-employees-get-the-shaft/#comments Thu, 03 Feb 2011 17:01:00 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/?p=219223 Today is the last day for many of Gannett’s New Jersey staff, including Editorial Page Editor Fred Snowflack and half of the entire staff of The Daily Record, the first daily newspaper I ever worked for. In addition to the Daily Record, two other papers, the Courier News and the Home News Tribune, will relocate to the offices of the Asbury Park Press.

In addition, Gannett continued their furlough strategy for the first quarter of this year, forcing all non-union employees to take a week off without pay. Meanwhile, Gannett’s board of directors will likely pay top executives millions of dollars in bonuses this year, in part for making employees take furloughs.

gannett furloughs600 Gannett Executives Get Millions While Employees Get the Shaft cartoons

All this might be necessary for a company trying to stay in the black, but that’s not the case with Gannett. They reported net income of $174 million during its fourth quarter, which amounts to a 30 percent INCREASE from last year. That’s $174 million in profit.

For the full year in 2010, Gannett profited $588 million, up 66 percent from $355 million in 2009.

All on the backs of layoffs, furloughs and pay freezes. Ain’t corporate-owned media grand?

gannett6001 Gannett Executives Get Millions While Employees Get the Shaft cartoons

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Happy New Year 2011 http://www.cagle.com/2010/12/happy-new-year-2011-2/ http://www.cagle.com/2010/12/happy-new-year-2011-2/#comments Fri, 31 Dec 2010 16:16:22 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/news/?p=1594 2010 has been a LONG year for many reasons – unemployment, endless wars, deficits a mile high. So join us in ushering in a Happy New Year 2011 by checking out a collection of fantastic New Years cartoons.

fitzsimmons Happy New Year 2011 cartoons

Click here to view the Happy New Year cartoon collection.

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Happy New Year 2011 http://www.cagle.com/2010/12/happy-new-year-2011/ http://www.cagle.com/2010/12/happy-new-year-2011/#comments Fri, 31 Dec 2010 16:16:00 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://2.1594 2010 has been a LONG year for many reasons – unemployment, endless wars, deficits a mile high. So join us in ushering in a Happy New Year 2011 by checking out a collection of fantastic New Years cartoons.

fitzsimmons Happy New Year 2011 cartoons

Click here to view the Happy New Year cartoon collection.

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Korean Cartoonist Fined for Defaming President http://www.cagle.com/2010/12/korean-cartoonist-fined-for-defaming-president/ http://www.cagle.com/2010/12/korean-cartoonist-fined-for-defaming-president/#comments Thu, 23 Dec 2010 23:06:00 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://2.1590 The Korea Times is reporting that the country’s supreme court upheld a ruling against a cartoonist known as Choi, fining him 3 million won ($2,600) for drawing a cartoon that was considered abusive against South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.

choi Korean Cartoonist Fined for Defaming President cartoons

The phrase "he should be killed" was hidden by the cartoonist in the monument on the left, directed towards South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.

The cartoon, which appeared in the “Happy Wonju” gazette, featured members of a family paying their respects to a monument of a soldier who died defending the country.

On one side of the monument, there are two sentences subtly hidden in the form of patterns. One says “he should be killed.”

The city sued Choi for 120 million won in damages, claiming his cartoon obstructed businesses of the city government as it had to recollect all the papers and make a public apology for printing the controversial cartoon.

A district court then slapped him with a fine of 3 million won, which was upheld by an appellate court.

The cartoonist said at the time that the cartoon was not appropriate for the paper but pointed out that contemporary cartoons were lifeless if they showed only the bright side of society.

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Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Cartoons http://www.cagle.com/2010/12/dont-ask-dont-tell-cartoons-2/ http://www.cagle.com/2010/12/dont-ask-dont-tell-cartoons-2/#comments Sun, 19 Dec 2010 20:05:03 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/news/?p=1579 Years from now we may look back on the repeal of 17-year Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy and wonder why allowing gays to serve openly in the military was so controversial.

But today, it remains a hot topic that cartoonists continue to draw about. Check out our collection of Gay Soldiers cartoons.

dadt cole Dont Ask, Dont Tell Cartoons cartoons

John Cole / Scranton Times-Tribune

Click here to view our Gay Soldiers cartoons.

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Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Cartoons http://www.cagle.com/2010/12/dont-ask-dont-tell-cartoons/ http://www.cagle.com/2010/12/dont-ask-dont-tell-cartoons/#comments Sun, 19 Dec 2010 20:05:00 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://2.1579 Years from now we may look back on the repeal of 17-year Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy and wonder why allowing gays to serve openly in the military was so controversial.

But today, it remains a hot topic that cartoonists continue to draw about. Check out our collection of Gay Soldiers cartoons.

dadt cole Dont Ask, Dont Tell Cartoons cartoons

John Cole / Scranton Times-Tribune

Click here to view our Gay Soldiers cartoons.

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Video: Compiling Sarah Palin’s Enemy List http://www.cagle.com/2010/12/video-compiling-sarah-palin%e2%80%99s-enemy-list-2/ http://www.cagle.com/2010/12/video-compiling-sarah-palin%e2%80%99s-enemy-list-2/#comments Mon, 06 Dec 2010 19:55:14 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/news/?p=1570 While working on a column called “Sarah Palin: America’s Full-Time Professional Duelist,” Cagle Cartoons’ syndicated columnist Tina Dupuy compiled Sarah Palin’s enemies list.

Basically, she wrote down all the people she feuded with over the last 30 months. The list, which includes Karl Rove Gawker owner Nick Denton and Tina Fey, now stands at 70 people… and growing.

View the list of Sarah Palin’s Enemies List here.

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Video: Compiling Sarah Palin’s Enemy List http://www.cagle.com/2010/12/video-compiling-sarah-palin%e2%80%99s-enemy-list/ http://www.cagle.com/2010/12/video-compiling-sarah-palin%e2%80%99s-enemy-list/#comments Mon, 06 Dec 2010 19:55:00 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://2.1570 While working on a column called “Sarah Palin: America’s Full-Time Professional Duelist,” Cagle Cartoons’ syndicated columnist Tina Dupuy compiled Sarah Palin’s enemies list.

Basically, she wrote down all the people she feuded with over the last 30 months. The list, which includes Karl Rove Gawker owner Nick Denton and Tina Fey, now stands at 70 people… and growing.

View the list of Sarah Palin’s Enemies List here.

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Leslie Nielsen RIP Cartoon Template http://www.cagle.com/2010/12/leslie-nielsen-rip-cartoon-template-2/ http://www.cagle.com/2010/12/leslie-nielsen-rip-cartoon-template-2/#comments Thu, 02 Dec 2010 15:19:55 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/news/?p=1565 leslie template Leslie Nielsen RIP Cartoon Template cartoons

Cartoon by Malc McGookin

Yesterday on his msnbc.com blog, Daryl Cagle posted a new “cartoon Yahtzee” featuring five cartoons that all went for the low-hanging “don’t call me Shirley” fruit.

Austrailian cartoonist Malc McGookin has decided to weigh in, and has drawn a “Dead Celebrity Arrives at Paradise Template” featuring the Airplane! and Naked Gun actor.

Malc writes:

Here’s a template for all those who want to re-tread the Leslie-Nielsen-Arrives-At-Heaven-And-Cracks-The-”Surely-You-Can’t-Be-Serious”-Gag-That-Apparently-Defines-His-Whole-F*cking-Career cartoon.

This template will save you hours of time wasted working out how precisely to draw the Pearly Gates and/or clouds and will enable you to concentrate on that bitchin’ gag.

What’s that on the horizon? Smoke signals! There’s Pulitzers a-comin’!

RELATED: Leslie Neilsen Cartoons

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Leslie Nielsen RIP Cartoon Template http://www.cagle.com/2010/12/leslie-nielsen-rip-cartoon-template/ http://www.cagle.com/2010/12/leslie-nielsen-rip-cartoon-template/#comments Thu, 02 Dec 2010 15:19:00 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://2.1565 leslie template Leslie Nielsen RIP Cartoon Template cartoons

Cartoon by Malc McGookin

Yesterday on his msnbc.com blog, Daryl Cagle posted a new “cartoon Yahtzee” featuring five cartoons that all went for the low-hanging “don’t call me Shirley” fruit.

Austrailian cartoonist Malc McGookin has decided to weigh in, and has drawn a “Dead Celebrity Arrives at Paradise Template” featuring the Airplane! and Naked Gun actor.

Malc writes:

Here’s a template for all those who want to re-tread the Leslie-Nielsen-Arrives-At-Heaven-And-Cracks-The-”Surely-You-Can’t-Be-Serious”-Gag-That-Apparently-Defines-His-Whole-F*cking-Career cartoon.

This template will save you hours of time wasted working out how precisely to draw the Pearly Gates and/or clouds and will enable you to concentrate on that bitchin’ gag.

What’s that on the horizon? Smoke signals! There’s Pulitzers a-comin’!

RELATED: Leslie Neilsen Cartoons

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Cartoonist Sheneman Takes Star-Ledger Buyout http://www.cagle.com/2010/11/cartoonist-sheneman-takes-star-ledger-buyout-2/ http://www.cagle.com/2010/11/cartoonist-sheneman-takes-star-ledger-buyout-2/#comments Mon, 29 Nov 2010 04:02:30 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/news/?p=1555 sheeman01 Cartoonist Sheneman Takes Star Ledger Buyout cartoonsDrew Sheneman, the award-winning editorial cartoonist for The Star-Ledger since 1998, opted to take a buyout offer in the wake of possible staff layoffs and salary reductions. He spoke to me about why now was the right time to walk away, and what he thinks the future of the profession will look like.

So you decided to take a buyout from the Star-Ledger. You survived one round of cuts. Why leave now?

It just seemed like the right time. I’m 35 years old and over the past few years it became increasingly obvious that I wasn’t going to make it to retirement as a staff cartoonist. I figured now would be as good a time as any to start reinventing myself and figuring out what’s next.

Will you continue to draw cartoons for The Ledger as a freelancer? Will you still draw for your syndicate?

The Ledger has been extremely generous and offered me the chance to freelance two local cartoons a week. I produce a full page comic strip for our monthly magazine InJersey which I’ll continue, as well. I’m also going to keep syndicating my national cartoons. In reality, my work load won’t change all that much in terms of the number of cartoons I do. What will change, quite drastically, is how and when I do them. No more commuting, no more edit board meetings. If I want flop down at my drawing board in my underoos and bang out three cartoons in a day, freeing up the rest of my week to pursue other work, I can do that. And when I say ‘pursue other work’ I mean playing Xbox.

What will you miss most about the job?

I certainly won’t miss the actual work, because I’m going to keep on doing it. I’ll miss the people. It’s a lot different drawing from home while listening to the Cartalk on iTunes, when you’re used to the sound and feel of the newsroom. It’ll probably take a little while to adjust. On the upside, I don’t have to worry about HR finding out what I’ve been downloading on my computer.

sheneman02 Cartoonist Sheneman Takes Star Ledger Buyout cartoons

What was the most memorable moment during your time at the Ledger?

Memorable moments…hmmm… There was the first time a marching band came through the newsroom towing a six foot hot dog. I say ‘first time’ because it’s now an annual event. There was watching the staff kick into action on 9/11. There was the excitement in the room when the paper won it’s first Pulitzer (photographer Matt Rainey won for his excellent work on “After the Fire” a series about the aftermath of the Seton Hall dorm fire).

But, most memorable was probably the day Governor McGreevey came out on national television. We sat there huddled around televisions and in offices watching this event unfold and no sooner were the words “I am a gay American” out of his mouth that the room kicked into gear and everyone busted there ass covering that story. Another memorable moment was months later when that same staff received the Pulitzer for breaking news coverage of the McGreevey story.

What do you plan on doing next?

I plan on continuing to draw editorial cartoons for as long as someone is willing to print them. Beyond that, there are a number of different fields of illustration I’d love to take a whack at. I’d love to write and illustrate a children’s book, for example. Maybe do some work in animation or film and video game concept art. There are all sort of interesting outlets for an illustrator to express themselves through, it’s convincing someone to pay you that’s the tricky part.

What are your opinions about the future of editorial cartoons? Where do you see the business model going?

First and foremost, the editorial cartoon isn’t going anywhere. It’s been a vital form of opinion and satire for hundreds of years and will continue to be for many, many more. But, we’re back to that convincing someone to pay you thing. In terms of the business model, I think cartoonists will move towards a freelance based economy. To a large extent, that’s already happened. I think editorial cartoons will be one of a variety of things an artist will do to earn a living. Hopefully I’ll be able to figure out a way to make a living that still involves me getting up and drawing everyday. If not I could always become a Somali pirate.

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Cartoonist Sheneman Takes Star-Ledger Buyout http://www.cagle.com/2010/11/cartoonist-sheneman-takes-star-ledger-buyout/ http://www.cagle.com/2010/11/cartoonist-sheneman-takes-star-ledger-buyout/#comments Mon, 29 Nov 2010 04:02:00 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://2.1555 sheeman01 Cartoonist Sheneman Takes Star Ledger Buyout cartoonsDrew Sheneman, the award-winning editorial cartoonist for The Star-Ledger since 1998, opted to take a buyout offer in the wake of possible staff layoffs and salary reductions. He spoke to me about why now was the right time to walk away, and what he thinks the future of the profession will look like.

So you decided to take a buyout from the Star-Ledger. You survived one round of cuts. Why leave now?

It just seemed like the right time. I’m 35 years old and over the past few years it became increasingly obvious that I wasn’t going to make it to retirement as a staff cartoonist. I figured now would be as good a time as any to start reinventing myself and figuring out what’s next.

Will you continue to draw cartoons for The Ledger as a freelancer? Will you still draw for your syndicate?

The Ledger has been extremely generous and offered me the chance to freelance two local cartoons a week. I produce a full page comic strip for our monthly magazine InJersey which I’ll continue, as well. I’m also going to keep syndicating my national cartoons. In reality, my work load won’t change all that much in terms of the number of cartoons I do. What will change, quite drastically, is how and when I do them. No more commuting, no more edit board meetings. If I want flop down at my drawing board in my underoos and bang out three cartoons in a day, freeing up the rest of my week to pursue other work, I can do that. And when I say ‘pursue other work’ I mean playing Xbox.

What will you miss most about the job?

I certainly won’t miss the actual work, because I’m going to keep on doing it. I’ll miss the people. It’s a lot different drawing from home while listening to the Cartalk on iTunes, when you’re used to the sound and feel of the newsroom. It’ll probably take a little while to adjust. On the upside, I don’t have to worry about HR finding out what I’ve been downloading on my computer.

sheneman02 Cartoonist Sheneman Takes Star Ledger Buyout cartoons

What was the most memorable moment during your time at the Ledger?

Memorable moments…hmmm… There was the first time a marching band came through the newsroom towing a six foot hot dog. I say ‘first time’ because it’s now an annual event. There was watching the staff kick into action on 9/11. There was the excitement in the room when the paper won it’s first Pulitzer (photographer Matt Rainey won for his excellent work on “After the Fire” a series about the aftermath of the Seton Hall dorm fire).

But, most memorable was probably the day Governor McGreevey came out on national television. We sat there huddled around televisions and in offices watching this event unfold and no sooner were the words “I am a gay American” out of his mouth that the room kicked into gear and everyone busted there ass covering that story. Another memorable moment was months later when that same staff received the Pulitzer for breaking news coverage of the McGreevey story.

What do you plan on doing next?

I plan on continuing to draw editorial cartoons for as long as someone is willing to print them. Beyond that, there are a number of different fields of illustration I’d love to take a whack at. I’d love to write and illustrate a children’s book, for example. Maybe do some work in animation or film and video game concept art. There are all sort of interesting outlets for an illustrator to express themselves through, it’s convincing someone to pay you that’s the tricky part.

What are your opinions about the future of editorial cartoons? Where do you see the business model going?

First and foremost, the editorial cartoon isn’t going anywhere. It’s been a vital form of opinion and satire for hundreds of years and will continue to be for many, many more. But, we’re back to that convincing someone to pay you thing. In terms of the business model, I think cartoonists will move towards a freelance based economy. To a large extent, that’s already happened. I think editorial cartoons will be one of a variety of things an artist will do to earn a living. Hopefully I’ll be able to figure out a way to make a living that still involves me getting up and drawing everyday. If not I could always become a Somali pirate.

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Read the December Issue of Punchline http://www.cagle.com/2010/11/read-the-december-issue-of-punchline-2/ http://www.cagle.com/2010/11/read-the-december-issue-of-punchline-2/#comments Mon, 29 Nov 2010 03:22:04 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/news/?p=1550 We’re really proud of the December issue of Punchline! It’s filled to the gills with terrific cartoons, funny columns and all sorts of cool stuff. And you can read it now for FREE online!

punchline 600 Read the December Issue of Punchline cartoons

 

Click here to read the entire December issue of Punchline.

Don’t forget to enter our Cartoon Caption Contest. Come up with the funniest caption, and you can wil a $25 Dunkin Donuts gift card!

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Read the December Issue of Punchline http://www.cagle.com/2010/11/read-the-december-issue-of-punchline/ http://www.cagle.com/2010/11/read-the-december-issue-of-punchline/#comments Mon, 29 Nov 2010 03:22:00 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://2.1550 We’re really proud of the December issue of Punchline! It’s filled to the gills with terrific cartoons, funny columns and all sorts of cool stuff. And you can read it now for FREE online!

punchline 600 Read the December Issue of Punchline cartoons

 

Click here to read the entire December issue of Punchline.

Don’t forget to enter our Cartoon Caption Contest. Come up with the funniest caption, and you can wil a $25 Dunkin Donuts gift card!

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Rooting for Michael Vick http://www.cagle.com/2010/11/rooting-for-michael-vick-2/ http://www.cagle.com/2010/11/rooting-for-michael-vick-2/#comments Mon, 22 Nov 2010 17:05:43 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/news/?p=1548 Cross-posted at Punchline.

Quarterback Michael Vick has leapt back from controversy in a remarkable way this season. So far, he’s 5-0 in the games he’s started and finished, hasn’t thrown a single interception and has single-handedly transformed the Philadelphia Eagles into a Super Bowl contender.

vick600 Rooting for Michael Vick cartoons

I have mixed feeling about Vick. On the one hand, the NFL is allowing him to play and he paid whatever price society deemed he deserved for his crimes. On the other, I can’t shake the horrible things that he and his friends did to the dogs in the Bad Newz Kennels, not to mention the gambling aspect that most often gets overlooked.

It’s a shame that someone so talented and unique has to carry all this negative baggage.

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Rooting for Michael Vick http://www.cagle.com/2010/11/rooting-for-michael-vick/ http://www.cagle.com/2010/11/rooting-for-michael-vick/#comments Mon, 22 Nov 2010 17:05:00 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://2.1548 Cross-posted at Punchline.

Quarterback Michael Vick has leapt back from controversy in a remarkable way this season. So far, he’s 5-0 in the games he’s started and finished, hasn’t thrown a single interception and has single-handedly transformed the Philadelphia Eagles into a Super Bowl contender.

vick600 Rooting for Michael Vick cartoons

I have mixed feeling about Vick. On the one hand, the NFL is allowing him to play and he paid whatever price society deemed he deserved for his crimes. On the other, I can’t shake the horrible things that he and his friends did to the dogs in the Bad Newz Kennels, not to mention the gambling aspect that most often gets overlooked.

It’s a shame that someone so talented and unique has to carry all this negative baggage.

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That #&$!ing Cartoonist: Gays in the Military http://www.cagle.com/2010/11/that-ing-cartoonist-gays-in-the-military-2-2/ http://www.cagle.com/2010/11/that-ing-cartoonist-gays-in-the-military-2-2/#comments Tue, 16 Nov 2010 15:56:33 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/news/?p=1545 %7B78c58f87 edda 4a72 b694 a06c07aeeec0%7D That #&$!ing Cartoonist: Gays in the Military cartoons

Cartoon by Mike Keefe, Denver Post

Few debates currently create as many arguments as allowing homosexuals to serve in the United States military. Even President Obama doesn’t seem to know which side of the debate he’s on!

So when cartoonists weigh in on such a controversial subject, as Mike Keefe of the Denver Post did with the cartoon above, you can expect some readers to respond in kind. After seeing the cartoon reprinted in the Commercial Appeal, reader Richard H. Sweat of Germantown, Tennessee wrote in to express his thoughts about such a “left-wing liberal cartoon”:

This cartoon and cartoonist Mike Keefe are a reminder of the ’60s, when ultra-left-wing groups were making statements they claimed were based on “post office surveys” and “government studies” which in fact never existed, but tended to give the appearance of authority and creditability to their propaganda. I recall efforts to “prove” many historical characters as gay, beginning with Jesus Christ, down through George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

Read the entire letter here.

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That #&$!ing Cartoonist: Gays in the Military http://www.cagle.com/2010/11/that-ing-cartoonist-gays-in-the-military-2/ http://www.cagle.com/2010/11/that-ing-cartoonist-gays-in-the-military-2/#comments Tue, 16 Nov 2010 15:56:00 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://2.1545 %7B78c58f87 edda 4a72 b694 a06c07aeeec0%7D That #&$!ing Cartoonist: Gays in the Military cartoons

Cartoon by Mike Keefe, Denver Post

Few debates currently create as many arguments as allowing homosexuals to serve in the United States military. Even President Obama doesn’t seem to know which side of the debate he’s on!

So when cartoonists weigh in on such a controversial subject, as Mike Keefe of the Denver Post did with the cartoon above, you can expect some readers to respond in kind. After seeing the cartoon reprinted in the Commercial Appeal, reader Richard H. Sweat of Germantown, Tennessee wrote in to express his thoughts about such a “left-wing liberal cartoon”:

This cartoon and cartoonist Mike Keefe are a reminder of the ’60s, when ultra-left-wing groups were making statements they claimed were based on “post office surveys” and “government studies” which in fact never existed, but tended to give the appearance of authority and creditability to their propaganda. I recall efforts to “prove” many historical characters as gay, beginning with Jesus Christ, down through George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

Read the entire letter here.

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Christine O’Donnell and Election Night Cartoons http://www.cagle.com/2010/11/christine-odonnell-and-election-night-cartoons-2/ http://www.cagle.com/2010/11/christine-odonnell-and-election-night-cartoons-2/#comments Wed, 03 Nov 2010 14:23:28 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/news/?p=1541  
Cross-posted at Delaware Punchline.

Last night I was invited to take part in WHYY’s live coverage of the Delaware mid-term elections. I was on set for an hour, and was able to pump out three cartoons (to varying degrees of quality).

The first focused on Republican Christine O’Donnell’s predictable loss to Democrat Chris Coons.

Odonnell600 Christine ODonnell and Election Night Cartoons cartoons

Next, I decided to tackle the race for Delaware’s lone congressional seat between Democrat John Carney and Republican Glen Urquhart. There were many angles to explore, but I thought of a funny idea involving the akward relationship between Carney and former governor Ruth Ann Minner.


Carney600 Christine ODonnell and Election Night Cartoons cartoons

Finally, I had about 10 minutes left, so I pumped out my final (and roughest) cartoon of the night, which pretty much summed up my feeling about the evening. Basically, a great night for Democrats, and a bad night for cartoonists (unless Chris Coons suddenly admits a history of witchcraft).

tornoe600 Christine ODonnell and Election Night Cartoons cartoons

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Christine O’Donnell and Election Night Cartoons http://www.cagle.com/2010/11/christine-odonnell-and-election-night-cartoons/ http://www.cagle.com/2010/11/christine-odonnell-and-election-night-cartoons/#comments Wed, 03 Nov 2010 14:23:00 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://2.1541  

Cross-posted at Delaware Punchline.

Last night I was invited to take part in WHYY’s live coverage of the Delaware mid-term elections. I was on set for an hour, and was able to pump out three cartoons (to varying degrees of quality).

The first focused on Republican Christine O’Donnell’s predictable loss to Democrat Chris Coons.

Odonnell600 Christine ODonnell and Election Night Cartoons cartoons

Next, I decided to tackle the race for Delaware’s lone congressional seat between Democrat John Carney and Republican Glen Urquhart. There were many angles to explore, but I thought of a funny idea involving the akward relationship between Carney and former governor Ruth Ann Minner.


Carney600 Christine ODonnell and Election Night Cartoons cartoons

Finally, I had about 10 minutes left, so I pumped out my final (and roughest) cartoon of the night, which pretty much summed up my feeling about the evening. Basically, a great night for Democrats, and a bad night for cartoonists (unless Chris Coons suddenly admits a history of witchcraft).

tornoe600 Christine ODonnell and Election Night Cartoons cartoons

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Read the First Issue of Punchline http://www.cagle.com/2010/10/read-the-first-issue-of-punchline-2/ http://www.cagle.com/2010/10/read-the-first-issue-of-punchline-2/#comments Wed, 27 Oct 2010 15:02:02 +0000 Rob Tornoe http://blog.cagle.com/news/?p=1536 punchline link Read the First Issue of Punchline cartoons

More than ever, people want to take a break and enjoy a nice chuckle. So I’ve decided to launch Punchline, a counter-punch to the bad news that newspapers offer ever day. Punchline is here to help the balance out the gloom and doom with hilarious cartoons, funny stories and a local entertainment section with food, desserts and stuff to do.

Yes, I’ve started a PRINT magazine, not just a web site or an iPad application, a PRINT magazine. Sometimes, it’s nice to just sit down, relax and flip through the best humor columns and cartoons in the state, or check out what’s going on this month in Delaware.

The best part of our magazine… it’s FREE! It’s available to pick up in and around Dover, Delaware. And for those of you that live outside of the great First State, Punchline is also be available to read online for FREE too, just the way it’s laid out in the paper. Hey, we’re taking care to design it nicely, and advertisers are making funny ads, so we don’t want anyone to miss our great content.

You can also follow our antics right here at the Punchline Web site, or go all social networking by following us on Twitter or ‘Liking’ us on Facebook.

If you know a cartoonist, write funny stuff or have a joke or two you’d like to share, drop me a line at rob@delawarepunchline.com.

See you on the funny pages!

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