Cagle.com Premium Cartoon News http://www.cagle.com/author/ Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:15:32 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.2 The Dawn of a New Age of Political Lies http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/the-dawn-of-a-new-age-of-political-lies/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/the-dawn-of-a-new-age-of-political-lies/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:15:32 +0000 Jason Stanford http://www.cagle.com/?p=640203 Politicians should have as many words for lying as Inuits have for snow. To tell the truth in politics requires only the inverse of the courtroom oath: I promise to tell some of the truth at least some of the time, so help me Fox News. Now a right-wing political group has asked the Supreme Court to make lying in politics a First Amendment Right. And you thought nothing got done in Washington.

136545 600 The Dawn of a New Age of Political Lies cartoons

Bill Day / Cagle Cartoons

Politicians are already entitled to taxpayer-funded cars, junkets, pensions, and full-time salaries for part-time jobs. Now the Supreme Court is weighing whether politicians are entitled to their own truth as well. No wonder a recent Rasmussen poll measured a puny 6 percent approval rating for Congress.

There’s no crying in baseball, but it’s hard to imagine politics without lying. Denying a politician the pleasure of the dodge, the shade, the evasion, and the verbal wink would be like wanting a world with only one shade of blue. Still, giving political lies constitutional sanction would complete our journey from not being able to lie about chopping down the cherry tree to denying the tree was there in the first place.

Any politician can lie. I once had a client caught in a massage parlor of ill repute. He claimed he was there to interview a witness, admittedly without his pants. In the old days, that was a scandal. These days, that’s amateur hour.

We are at the dawn of a new age of political lie, the falsehood that unashamedly proclaims the ridiculous as self-evident. This next-level lie claims that the smoking gun was just having a cigarette if indeed the gun existed at all. Not just any politician can tell a lie of such towering ambition. Only the most accomplished of the next generation of political prevaricators can even attempt a feat of such daring and skill that it leaves us in gasping admiration.

That is how Texas Republican Greg Abbott makes me feel. In a state over-populated with politicians fluent in hooey, Abbott deserves special acclaim for what he recently did when he rolled out his education plan. It’s actually a privilege to be the one to tell you what he did. It’s that special.

Abbott, who is running for Texas Governor against Wendy Davis, opposes universal pre-K. Instead, he wants to improve early childhood education with what he calls a “gold standard program” that will direct state funding to pre-K programs showing the greatest success.

He ran into a bit of a problem on page 21 of his plan that lists three ways to measure the effectiveness of a pre-K program: having the teacher observe, judging the student by his or her work, and “Direct Assessments, norm referenced standardized tests”.

Texas is where the Education Spring rebellion against high-stakes testing started. A grassroots group of angry mothers known officially as Texans Advocating for Meaningful Assessment and unofficially as Mothers Against Drunk Testing convinced the legislature to roll back the number of tests required to graduate high school from 15 to 5, and a recent poll found that 56 percent of Texans want to get rid of the rest of them. Making kids put down their crayons so they can take standardized tests plays as well in Texas as advocating the abolition of tackle football.

Despite clearly stating in his plan that he wanted “assessments at the beginning and end of the year” for pre-K students who don’t now take standardized tests, Abbott denied that he was advocating increased testing.

“Suggestions to the contrary are absurd,” said his spokesman, whose future in political lore should be secure for then claiming that the proposal that 4-year-olds take “norm referenced standardized tests” was “there for informational purposes only.”

It almost makes one weep with wonder. Claiming that one’s proposals exist without meaning or context brings us closer to a more perfect union. We truly live in the golden age of political deceit, thanks in part to pioneers such as Abbott. With humble respect, I bow down to my betters, and that’s the truth. You can believe me. I’m in politics.

—–

© Copyright 2014 Jason Stanford, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Jason Stanford is a Democratic consultant who writes columns for the Austin American-Statesman and MSNBC. He can be reached at stanford@oppresearch.com and on Twitter @JasStanford.

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Exploiting the American Prom http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/exploiting-the-american-prom/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/exploiting-the-american-prom/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:10:25 +0000 Tom Purcell http://www.cagle.com/?p=640201 Exclusive Excerpt from: “Comical Sense: A Lone Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!” by Tom Purcell

Proms sure have gotten expensive these days.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, high school kids spend nearly $4 billion annually for dresses, accessories, flowers, beauty products, limos and other prom-related items. The average couple spends upward of $1,000 for the one-time event.

131087 600 Exploiting the American Prom cartoons

Joe Heller / Hellertoon.com

That got me thinking about my own prom in 1980.

I didn’t know my date very well. She was in my photography class, pretty and, more important, available. We arranged a pre-prom meeting to get to know each other. We played tennis on a blistering-hot day, then headed back to her house for something cold to drink. After she berated her sister for drinking all the Tang, she turned her turret on me.

“I heard about you, a regular class clown,” she said. “You better not show up in a limo, wear a top hat or cane or do anything else to embarrass me.”

I knew right away things were going to work out fine.

Still, I wanted to impress her. I was running a stone-masonry business in those years and was making a lot of money for a kid.

I figured I’d use some of my dough to impress her.

I bought her the finest corsage in our high school (it cost $45, a lot of money then). I bought a box of frozen steaks, snacks and other refreshments for the after-prom party. But my investments turned out to be bad ones.

On the afternoon of the prom, my friend Gigs and I — we double dated — took a drive to the prom hall to make sure we wouldn’t get lost later. Later that evening, we picked up our girls for photos and false enthusiasm. We were late for dinner (we got lost) and the awful night was under way.

I’m certain my date didn’t spend hundreds of dollars on her dress as girls do now, though I remember she looked great. The truth is, I can’t remember what she was wearing because I hardly saw her all night long. She and the girl Gigs came with spent most of the night in the ladies’ room while Gigs and I counted how many times the hard-rock band played “Cocaine” (nine).

Finally, around 11:30 p.m., the dance was over. Unlike teens these days, we didn’t use our credit cards to retire to the honeymoon suite. We took the girls home. But our suffering was just beginning.

We picked up our dates early the next morning and drove to a country cabin where my friend Cook was having an after-prom party. The cabin was a two-hour drive, but it took us five (we got lost). My date didn’t utter a word until about 2 p.m., when she challenged Gigs and me to a tennis match.

I took it as a good sign. It wasn’t.

Gigs is an outstanding athlete and I’m no slouch myself. Once the game got under way, our testosterone got inflamed. Every time we scored, Gigs and I high-fived each other, laughing loudly. We creamed the girls, and after the match they refused to talk to us.

Gigs and I spent the rest of the day tossing a football and eating the steaks I brought. Around dusk, the girls found us and told us it was time to leave. We got home five hours later (we got lost) and the torturous affair was finally over.

So I have some advice for prom-goers this year: Hold onto your money. Don’t be the unwitting dupes of savvy marketers. They know that kids your age have big allowances and overworked, guilt-riddled parents who will cough up the dough if you ask them.

Through programs and advertisements on MTV, they’ve been rushing you into adulthood for years. They exploit the prom to cash in on your insecurity and peer pressure. They convince you to buy teeth whitener, expensive cosmetics and other unnecessary junk designed to fatten their bottom lines.

But don’t give in. Save your money. Be content that you’re about to experience one of the worst weekends of your life.

©2014 Tom Purcell. Tom Purcell, author of “Misadventures of a 1970′s Childhood” and “Comical Sense: A Lone Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!” is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist and is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. For info on using this column in your publication or website, contact Sales@cagle.com or call (805) 969-2829. Send comments to Tom at Purcell@caglecartoons.com.

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Style and Technique http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/style-and-technique/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/style-and-technique/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:06:43 +0000 Tayo Fatunla http://www.cagle.com/?p=640205 I love black outlines for my drawings using various pens. My desire to use varied styles and techniques has allowed me to arrive at this style of painting, which at first was drawn using outlines. This painting of my mother, Mrs M. Fatunla as a young lady, will be the fourth portrait that I have done using my new found style and technique.

Mummy Fatunla painting Style and Technique cartoons

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Hypocrisy At Its Finest http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/hypocrisy-at-its-finest/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/hypocrisy-at-its-finest/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:05:15 +0000 David Bossie http://www.cagle.com/?p=640204 Time and time again, we hear President Obama and his allies declare that Obamacare is “settled,” that it’s the “law of the land,” and how conservatives should stop litigating his signature piece of legislation. I happen to find this attempt at silencing its critics particularly amusing, seeing as President Obama refuses to stop arguing about our landmark Supreme Court case, Citizens United vs. FEC.

146877 600 Hypocrisy At Its Finest   cartoons

Rick McKee / Augusta Chronicle

Everyone from Harry Reid, Kathleen Sebelius, and the White House’s mainstream media reporter-turned Press Secretary Jay Carney has declared that Obamacare is no longer up for debate. They demand conservatives should stop pointing out the inherent flaws of the failed legislation and how it is wreaking havoc in our nation’s health care system. Yet years after the Supreme Court’s ruling in our favor, in Citizens United vs. FEC, President Obama and his liberal friends cannot move past the decision even though they utilize the benefits ruled by the case while decrying its existence. The duplicity is staggering.

Not only have his friends stood alongside him in slamming our Supreme Court victory years after the fact, they have repeatedly mocked those who seek to undo Obamacare legislatively. The President and his friends in Washington, D.C. have gone to the mainstream media repeatedly to openly criticize attempts by members of the Republican Party to vote to repeal Obamacare. They do this in spite of the fact that President Obama suggested passing an amendment to overturn Citizens United vs. FEC.

It is hypocrisy of the highest order for President Obama to spike the football on Obamacare and declare the law settled when they have controversial enrollment numbers with an unidentifiable number actually paying their premiums, millions losing their health care coverage, state exchange directors from five states resigning over Obamacare rollout failures and with the majority of Americans STILL opposing the law itself.

The First Amendment, being settled law for over two centuries, applies to all facets of American life. Americans have the right to exercise their freedom of speech regarding concerns with legislation just as President Obama is able to exhort his disdain, through the “free” press, toward the Citizens United vs. FEC ruling.  It would be refreshing to see some consistency from the President and his followers. Amidst numerous unilateral modifications made to Obamacare by the current administration the final decision of Citizens United vs. FEC has stayed constant. Citizens United is committed to upholding all constitutional principles without reservation and will continue the fight for liberty.

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VLADCULA http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/vladcula/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/vladcula/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 17:07:38 +0000 Bill Day http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/118/2014/04/22/147484_600.jpg 147484 600 VLADCULA cartoons

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After Earth Day Doldrums http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/after-earth-day-doldrums/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/after-earth-day-doldrums/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 16:37:28 +0000 Steve Sack http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/139/2014/04/22/147482_600.jpg 147482 600 After Earth Day Doldrums cartoons

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Keystone Politics http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/keystone-politics/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/keystone-politics/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 15:09:11 +0000 Rick McKee http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/205/2014/04/22/147479_600.jpg 147479 600 Keystone Politics cartoons

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Putin and Spring in Ukraine http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/putin-and-spring-in-ukraine/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/putin-and-spring-in-ukraine/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 15:04:39 +0000 Joep Bertrams http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/111/2014/04/22/147477_600.jpg 147477 600 Putin and Spring in Ukraine cartoons

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Airline stowaway http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/airline-stowaway/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/airline-stowaway/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:56:52 +0000 Jimmy Margulies http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/46/2014/04/22/147475_600.jpg 147475 600 Airline stowaway cartoons

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Stowaway http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/stowaway-2/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/stowaway-2/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:44:34 +0000 Joe Heller http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/77/2014/04/22/147473_600.jpg 147473 600 Stowaway cartoons

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State Affirmative action bans http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/state-affirmative-action-bans/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/state-affirmative-action-bans/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:24:39 +0000 Dave Granlund http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/95/2014/04/22/147471_600.jpg 147471 600 State Affirmative action bans cartoons

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Earth Day Cleanup http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/earth-day-cleanup/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/earth-day-cleanup/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:47:22 +0000 R.J. Matson http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/73/2014/04/22/147470_600.jpg 147470 600 Earth Day Cleanup cartoons

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Easter Monday http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/easter-monday/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/easter-monday/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:27:53 +0000 Peter Bromhead http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/168/2014/04/22/147468_600.jpg 147468 600 Easter Monday cartoons

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Interrorgation Manual http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/interrorgation-manual/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/interrorgation-manual/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:27:06 +0000 Martin Kozlowski http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/184/2014/04/22/147467_600.jpg 147467 600 Interrorgation Manual cartoons

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Putins Threat http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/putins-threat/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/putins-threat/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:19:20 +0000 Randy Jones http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/187/2014/04/22/147466_600.jpg 147466 600 Putins Threat cartoons

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Gazprom Dealer http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/gazprom-dealer/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/gazprom-dealer/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:15:14 +0000 Marian Kamensky http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/177/2014/04/22/147465_600.jpg 147465 600 Gazprom Dealer cartoons

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Cooking the Books http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/cooking-the-books/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/cooking-the-books/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:12:41 +0000 Tim Eagan http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/108/2014/04/22/147464_600.jpg 147464 600 Cooking the Books cartoons

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Syria Election http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/syria-election/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/syria-election/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:04:35 +0000 Julius Hansen http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/165/2014/04/22/147459_600.jpg 147459 600 Syria Election cartoons

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Obamacare http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/obamacare-2/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/obamacare-2/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:03:53 +0000 Pangli http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/230/2014/04/22/147458_600.jpg 147458 600 Obamacare cartoons

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Whaling Moratorium http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/whaling-moratorium/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/whaling-moratorium/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:02:59 +0000 Pangli http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/230/2014/04/22/147457_600.jpg 147457 600 Whaling Moratorium cartoons

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Passion of the African Christ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/passion-of-the-african-christ/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/passion-of-the-african-christ/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:02:03 +0000 Damien Glez http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/179/2014/04/22/147456_600.jpg 147456 600 Passion of the African Christ cartoons

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Marathon http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/marathon/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/marathon/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:01:16 +0000 Mark Streeter http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/142/2014/04/22/147455_600.jpg 147455 600 Marathon cartoons

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Stowaway http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/stowaway/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/stowaway/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:00:30 +0000 Bob Englehart http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/29/2014/04/22/147454_600.jpg 147454 600 Stowaway cartoons

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Wheel Well Riding http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/wheel-well-riding/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/wheel-well-riding/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 18:31:31 +0000 Mike Keefe http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/56/2014/04/22/147451_600.jpg 147451 600 Wheel Well Riding cartoons

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Masked Russian Troops http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/masked-russian-troops/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/masked-russian-troops/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 10:19:40 +0000 John Darkow http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/47/2014/04/22/147450_600.jpg 147450 600 Masked Russian Troops cartoons

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Stoner Justice http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/stoner-justice/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/stoner-justice/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 10:17:29 +0000 Pat Bagley http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/53/2014/04/22/147448_600.jpg 147448 600 Stoner Justice cartoons

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Obamacare Train Wreck http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/obamacare-train-wreck/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/obamacare-train-wreck/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 09:33:04 +0000 Adam Zyglis http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/82/2014/04/22/147447_600.jpg 147447 600 Obamacare Train Wreck cartoons

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Europe no Superstate http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/europe-no-superstate/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/europe-no-superstate/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 09:31:02 +0000 Arend van Dam http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/107/2014/04/22/147445_600.jpg 147445 600 Europe no Superstate cartoons

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Grandma Hillary http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/grandma-hillary/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/grandma-hillary/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 15:05:05 +0000 Joe Heller http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/77/2014/04/22/147444_600.jpg 147444 600 Grandma Hillary cartoons

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California Geezin’ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/california-geezin/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/california-geezin/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 06:15:51 +0000 Taylor Jones http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/83/2014/04/22/147442_600.jpg 147442 600 California Geezin cartoons

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Vampire Hunters http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/vampire-hunters/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/vampire-hunters/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 05:06:04 +0000 Petar Pismestrovic http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/21/2014/04/22/147440_600.jpg 147440 600 Vampire Hunters cartoons

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We Want Politicians to Lie http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/we-want-politicians-to-lie/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/we-want-politicians-to-lie/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 07:10:31 +0000 Tom Purcell http://www.cagle.com/?p=640141 Get this: The U.S. Supreme Court is about to decide whether false accusations and mudslinging during political campaigns are illegal.

141886 600 We Want Politicians to Lie cartoons

Eric Allie / Cagle Cartoons

As it goes, during the 2010 election in Ohio, an anti-abortion group, the Susan B. Anthony List, sought to launch a billboard campaign that accused then-Rep. Steven Driehaus, a Democrat, of supporting taxpayer-funded abortion — because he backed ObamaCare.

But an Ohio law that makes it illegal to knowingly or recklessly make false statements about an opponent during an election killed the ad. The billboard owner, worried about getting sued, declined to run it.

After the election, the Susan B. Anthony List challenged the Ohio law as unconstitutional — that it infringed on the group’s First Amendment right to free speech. The Supreme Court will decide the case soon, and I surely hope the Ohio law is overturned.

Though a strong argument can be made that ObamaCare will ultimately cause private insurance funds to finance abortion, here’s what is also true: False statements and lies are the bread and butter of American politics.

We want our politicians to lie.

The greatest political yarn spinner in my lifetime was President Bill Clinton. He protected us from boring government stuff. So long as the stock market was high and the budget was in surplus, his antics, and frequent whoppers, were sources of great amusement.

There is a line on acceptable political yarn spinning, however, and Clinton finally did cross it (“I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”). If only he’d heeded the old motto: You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but sooner or later, Hillary is going to find out and throw a lamp at you.

That brings us to President George W. Bush. People kept “misunderestimating” him, unaware of how clever the fellow really was. Take our war with Iraq. Bush said it was about Saddam Hussein flouting U.N. resolutions. He said it was about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, which could have ended up in the hands of terrorists who could really do us harm (though we never found those WMDs).

What he didn’t tell us was the other stuff he and his team were really up to: They wanted to scare the bejeezus out of the other dictators in the Middle East, who respect only force and action, establishing a strong presence there to give us a chokehold on Syria and other terrorism sponsors by cutting off billions in illegal oil dough, and maybe taking a pass through Iran to shut down its nuclear ambitions.

President Obama has been king of the not-so-true. Billions in stimulus money didn’t come close to producing the unemployment reduction he promised. And who can forget his most memorable line of all: “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. Period.”

Of course our politicians conceal, deceive and mislead. They are responding to our cue. We disdain complexity and conflict and punish any politician (think President Jimmy Carter) who doesn’t keep them away from us.

We prefer Santa Claus (Clinton, Obama), not the high school coach who makes us do wind sprints (Mitt Romney). We want more free government goodies and when the rich pay their fair share, we’ll be able to pay for them (Obama).

We want bigger Social Security checks and lower withholding taxes. We want bigger tax cuts and a smaller deficit. And anybody who is dumb enough to tell us we can’t have everything is never going to get elected in this country.

So I hope and pray the Ohio law is overturned by the Supreme Court. Falsehood in politics is one of the few amusements we have to look forward to these days.

©2014 Tom Purcell. Tom Purcell, author of “Misadventures of a 1970′s Childhood” and “Comical Sense: A Lone Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!” is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist and is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. For info on using this column in your publication or website, contact Sales@cagle.com or call (805) 969-2829. Send comments to Tom at Purcell@caglecartoons.com.

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Media Drones http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/media-drones/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/media-drones/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 07:05:27 +0000 Peter Funt http://www.cagle.com/?p=640140 Today I am announcing a new venture to grow aspara-berries. These tasty and nutritious hybrid plants combine the best features of asparagus and strawberries to create a mouthwatering treat.

146876 600 Media Drones cartoons

Adam Zyglis / Buffalo News

While I haven’t produced any aspara-berries yet, I do have a website containing maps of actual acreage where the plants could be grown. I’m also tweeting furiously about how my new business is certain to revolutionize farming. Plus, I’m available for print and television interviews.

That said, I wonder if major news organizations such as CNN, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Huffington Post will cover the aspara-berry story — treating it with all the unequivocal seriosity it clearly deserves?

For the answer, let’s look at the somewhat similar case of Joshua Ziering, 28, a San Francisco entrepreneur with a background in marketing, a fascination with model airplanes and a flair for media manipulation. Mr. Ziering recently dreamed up a company called QuiQui (pronounced “quickie”), and created a cool website.

Rather than having me explain what QuiQui is all about, I refer you to the Huffington Post headline last month: “Drugstore Delivery Drones Are Coming To San Francisco.”

Seems imminent, but is it accurate? Apparently when it comes to today’s “trending” stories, no one really knows, and no one really cares. The Post reporter says she interviewed Mr. Ziering but her story never clarifies that QuiQui is, at best, an idea in search of: funding, a relationship with a pharmacy, clarification of FAA rules and, most importantly, drones.

The article did include a picture of a drone, presumably belonging to Mr. Ziering. But if readers allowed their computer mouse to hover over the image, they would see text explaining that the drone was in fact taking aerial photos in South Africa.

The report does correctly cite Mr. Ziering’s pledge that QuiQui’s deliveries (if there ever are any) will not include medical marijuana. But for some, like the International Business Times, such details spoil a great story. Its headline: ”Medical Marijuana Delivered by Flying Drones: QuiQui Launches San Francisco Prescription Service.”

Much is written about lapses in online reporting, usually placing blame on the 24/7 news cycle and a viral spread of factual errors via social media. But what the QuiQui story underscores is a bigger problem: a cut-and-paste approach by desk-bound writers, so eager to generate click-bait, links and re-tweets that they fail to ask the obvious questions.

I asked Mr. Ziering if he was surprised by such lapses. “I think reporters have a difficult time with highly technical topics,” he said. “So many people are unfamiliar with the state of drone affairs that it probably leads to sensationalism.”

He’s particularly irked that several outlets picked up the erroneous details about marijuana deliveries. “Nobody ever asked me about that,” he stated flatly.

At least the San Francisco Chronicle’s website added a question mark to its otherwise straightforward headline about QuiQui deliveries. But its reporter gave seemingly serious attention to a laughable explanation from Mr. Ziering that, “If a toothbrush falls from 20 feet it won’t hurt anyone.”

A CNN business reporter, Richard Quest, interviewed Mr. Ziering at length and never once asked about QuiQui’s financing or probed into whether the business consisted of anything more than a website and a dream. One of Quest’s questions: “What I don’t understand is, explain what’s the advantage of a drone delivering something versus the mail service?”

I must concede that after speaking with Mr. Ziering at length myself, I’m not sure what to make of his enthusiastic spin on the drone delivery business. All he will say is, “Failure is a completely acceptable outcome, but at least I’ll be the first to do it.”

Clearer than his pie-in-the-sky business plan is the fact that when a story like this comes along, media — particularly online outlets — like to post first and ask questions…well, in this case, never.

——-

Peter Funt is a writer and speaker. His book, “Cautiously Optimistic,” is available at Amazon.com and CandidCamera.com.©2014 Peter Funt. Columns distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper syndicate.

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Congress Turns Deaf Ear, Presses Ahead with Amnesty Bills http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/congress-turns-deaf-ear-presses-ahead-with-amnesty-bills/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/congress-turns-deaf-ear-presses-ahead-with-amnesty-bills/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 07:04:15 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=640142 On Good Friday, seven influential mainstream media outlets published passionate comprehensive immigration reform pleas thinly disguised as news stories. The Wall Street Journal reported that House Speaker John Boehner told a Las Vegas fundraiser crowd that he’s “hell bent” on passing a mass amnesty this year. Earlier, Capitol Hill insiders’ rumored that Boehner would wait until the GOP primary season ended before accelerating his amnesty push.

136275 600 Congress Turns Deaf Ear, Presses Ahead with Amnesty Bills cartoons

Gary McCoy / Cagle Cartoons

The rumors now appear to be true. Suddenly, Republicans are chasing money in Democratic pro-amnesty strongholds. Not only did Boehner travel to Harry Reid territory, last month House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte held a Silicon Valley fundraiser, turf where amnesty advocate extraordinaire, multibillionaire Mark Zuckerberg reigns supreme. The Journal quoted Goodlatte as saying he’s “optimistic” that immigration bills will pass this summer.

The most controversial of Friday’s stories, however, dealt with Jessica Colotl, an employed illegal immigrant, a college graduate arrested for driving without a license. Sent to an Alabama detention center, Colotl’s deportation proceedings were halted after her alma mater’s president intervened. According to journalist Cynthia Tucker, even though Colotl wasn’t and won’t be deported, the administration’s policy is “inhumane.”

Tucker’s conclusion is mystifying. Colotl has committed several crimes. She entered the U.S. illegally, falsified documents, used those fake documents to get a job, and drove illegally. Furthermore, Colotl benefited from a taxpayer funded Kennesaw State University education.
Under the law, Colotl is deportable. Worse, Colotl works for an immigration lawyer, Charles Kuck, who told Tucker that President Obama is “breaking up families,” the popular but tired and untrue old saw that advocates love to use. According to John Sandweg, until recently the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, for a typical illegal immigrant, the odds of getting deported “are close to zero.”

Even atypical criminal aliens are safe. On Obama’s watch, DHS has released 68,000 convicted and deportable jailed aliens back into the general population. Worse, the aliens were released without formal notification to local law enforcement or to the inmates’ victims.

Kuck, for his role in hiring Colotl, should be disbarred. Section 274 of the Immigration and Nationality Act states that any person who encourages or induces an alien to live in the U.S. is subject to fines and potentially five years imprisonment.

As outrageous as Tucker’s story is, of more importance are the readers’ online comments. When I first read them, more than 2,500 had been posted. Not until I reached the 30th did a see any that supported Colotl. As of today, nearly 5,000 have weighed in. More than 80 percent overwhelmingly oppose Colotl, Tucker’s views, illegal immigration, expanding legal immigration and granting more entitlements to illegal immigrants.
The readers’ disappointed, often disgusted tone confirms that no matter what lies the White House or Congress may tell the nation—that immigration reform would improve the economy, create jobs and reduce the deficit are the favorites fibs—Americans don’t buy it. They know that Congress’ immigration bill would immediately add 12 million new workers, the current U.S. alien population unemployable because of their immigration status that would receive employment authorization, and would more than double legal immigration within a decade.

The so called reform that the White House and Congress tout is a terrible deal for Americans. If legislation passes, 20 million unemployed and underemployed Americans would have a tougher job search. Many employed Americans, especially those in blue collar jobs, would be vulnerable to wage undercutting.

But the attitude on Capitol Hill reflects gross indifference to what Americans want, a sad comment on today’s troubling political reality.

Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org 

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Earth Day Debris Field http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/earth-day-debris-field/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/earth-day-debris-field/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 04:01:25 +0000 Jeff Darcy http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/180/2014/04/21/147439_600.jpg 147439 600 Earth Day Debris Field cartoons

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Church Obamacare and Contraceptives http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/church-obamacare-and-contraceptives/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/church-obamacare-and-contraceptives/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:25:22 +0000 Daryl Cagle http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/10/2014/04/21/147438_600.jpg 147438 600 Church Obamacare and Contraceptives cartoons

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Biden Ukraine visit http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/biden-ukraine-visit/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/biden-ukraine-visit/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 14:52:36 +0000 Jimmy Margulies http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/46/2014/04/21/147436_600.jpg 147436 600 Biden Ukraine visit cartoons

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Egg Roll http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/egg-roll/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/egg-roll/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 21:32:59 +0000 Nate Beeler http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/81/2014/04/21/147435_600.jpg 147435 600 Egg Roll cartoons

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Bad year for allergies http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/bad-year-for-allergies/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/bad-year-for-allergies/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 20:52:46 +0000 Dave Granlund http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/95/2014/04/21/147432_600.jpg 147432 600 Bad year for allergies cartoons

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BOSTON STRONG http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/boston-strong/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/boston-strong/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 20:21:04 +0000 Bill Day http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/118/2014/04/21/147429_600.jpg 147429 600 BOSTON STRONG cartoons

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Easter Egg Hunt http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/easter-egg-hunt/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/easter-egg-hunt/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 11:37:24 +0000 Jeff Koterba http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/152/2014/04/21/147428_600.jpg 147428 600 Easter Egg Hunt cartoons

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Spring Golf http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/spring-golf/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/spring-golf/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 11:34:24 +0000 Steve Nease http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/163/2014/04/21/147427_600.jpg 147427 600 Spring Golf cartoons

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Beautiful World http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/beautiful-world/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/beautiful-world/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 11:30:40 +0000 Oguz Gurel http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/162/2014/04/21/147426_600.jpg 147426 600 Beautiful World cartoons

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Dodging a Lemon http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/dodging-a-lemon/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/dodging-a-lemon/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 11:29:59 +0000 Oguz Gurel http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/162/2014/04/21/147425_600.jpg 147425 600 Dodging a Lemon cartoons

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Hiding Justice http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/hiding-justice/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/hiding-justice/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 11:29:17 +0000 Oguz Gurel http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/162/2014/04/21/147424_600.jpg 147424 600 Hiding Justice cartoons

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Disclosure http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/disclosure/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/disclosure/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 11:28:33 +0000 Sergei Tunin http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/183/2014/04/21/147423_600.jpg 147423 600 Disclosure cartoons

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Sagebrush Rebellion http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/sagebrush-rebellion/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/sagebrush-rebellion/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 11:28:07 +0000 Tim Eagan http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/108/2014/04/21/147422_600.jpg 147422 600 Sagebrush Rebellion cartoons

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The End of Europe http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/the-end-of-europe/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/the-end-of-europe/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 11:27:26 +0000 Marian Kamensky http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/177/2014/04/21/147420_600.jpg 147420 600 The End of Europe cartoons

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Collectivists http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/collectivists/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/collectivists/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 11:26:23 +0000 Jen Sorensen http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/106/2014/04/21/147419_600.jpg 147419 600 Collectivists cartoons

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Look For Trouble http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/look-for-trouble/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/look-for-trouble/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 11:19:15 +0000 Pangli http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/230/2014/04/21/147418_600.jpg 147418 600 Look For Trouble cartoons

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Zeus Sorrow http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/zeus-sorrow/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/zeus-sorrow/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 11:17:41 +0000 Pangli http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/230/2014/04/21/147417_600.jpg 147417 600 Zeus Sorrow cartoons

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Spy Sam http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/spy-sam/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/spy-sam/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 11:15:58 +0000 Pangli http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/230/2014/04/21/147416_600.jpg 147416 600 Spy Sam cartoons

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Microbeads http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/microbeads/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/microbeads/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 08:13:17 +0000 Steve Greenberg http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/98/2014/04/21/147414_600.jpg 147414 600 Microbeads cartoons

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LOCAL NC Teachers raises and tax cuts http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/local-nc-teachers-raises-and-tax-cuts/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/local-nc-teachers-raises-and-tax-cuts/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 07:54:51 +0000 John Cole http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/20/2014/04/21/147412_600.jpg 147412 600 LOCAL NC    Teachers raises and tax cuts cartoons

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Presidential elections Syria http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/presidential-elections-syria/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/presidential-elections-syria/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 07:24:42 +0000 Tom Janssen http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/216/2014/04/21/147411_600.jpg 147411 600 Presidential elections Syria cartoons

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Putin in the kitchen http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/putin-in-the-kitchen/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/putin-in-the-kitchen/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 06:59:50 +0000 Rainer Hachfeld http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/58/2014/04/21/147410_600.jpg 147410 600 Putin in the kitchen cartoons

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Common Nighthawk http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/common-nighthawk/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/common-nighthawk/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 06:53:17 +0000 Taylor Jones http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/83/2014/04/21/147409_600.jpg 147409 600 Common Nighthawk cartoons

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Bob Englehart Ditches the Drafting Table for a Racecar http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/bob-englehart-ditches-the-drafting-table-for-a-racecar/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/bob-englehart-ditches-the-drafting-table-for-a-racecar/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 07:30:52 +0000 Daryl Cagle http://www.cagle.com/?p=640129 Most readers of Cagle.com will instantly recognize the cartoons of Bob Englehart, the award-winning cartoonist of the Hartford Courant. What you many not know is Bob is also a talented writer, and just released a new book about his life and how he became the bomb-launching cartoonist we all have come to love.

trackrat Bob Englehart Ditches the Drafting Table for a Racecar  cartoons

Click to buy Bob’s new book

Three words- Short track racing.

Bob has been a fan of a particular brand of racing some call the “real NASCAR” all his life. But his relationship with the sport changed after witnessing a tragic accident at the track.

“In all my life, I’d never seen anyone killed on the track,” Englehart told me. “So when I saw 27 year-old Shane Hammond die in a wreck at Thompson International Speedway in 2008, it was so traumatic I had to make sense of it or give up watching the sport.”

Bob set out on a investigation that lasted three seasons, trying to find out what compels young people to throw heaps of money and risk life and limb to drive a race car 150 miles an hour around a local track for friends and total strangers. During that time, Bob’s wife, Pat, suggested it might be a good idea to write a memoir about his unique childhood and how it led him to his love of the working class heroes that made it to the track every weekend.

“I didn’t have the “All American” childhood,” Bob said. “When I was 6, I spent a year in bed with rheumatic fever drawing and painting racecars, circuses and cowboys and Indians. Later, my parents divorced at a time when divorce was rare. My brother and I came from a “broken home.” We had a stigma in the neighborhood with no dad in the house.”

Bob’s parents eventually re-married and had more children. But through it all, Bob turned to art and his sense of humor to get by. That combination of skills eventually landing Bob into a prolific career as an editorial cartoonist, garnering him tons of awards (including being names a Pulitzer Prize finalist) and the allocates of fans across the country, including myself. But for Bob, it’s all about love of family, in spite of the complexity and confusion if may involve.

He also has a suggestion for all the mom and dads our there with an artistically-inclined kid.

“Parents with children who like to draw might relax a little bit when they see the journey I took.”

bob Bob Englehart Ditches the Drafting Table for a Racecar  cartoons

Bob Englehart getting ready for a quiet, Sunday drive.

Trackrat: Memoir of a fan” is on sale now

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Let’s Get Lethaler http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/lets-get-lethaler/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/lets-get-lethaler/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 07:20:20 +0000 Will Durst http://www.cagle.com/?p=640128 Raging Moderate by Will Durst

You’d think Americans have enough stuff to worry about. Severe drought desiccating a third of the country. A political system whose major talent is demonstrating stasis in action. The rich using the poor as fleshy paving stones for the road to mansions on the hill. Ben Affleck as Batman.

49762 600 Lets Get Lethaler cartoons

Nate Beeler / Columbus Dispatch

But, guess what? Apparently we don’t have enough stuff to worry about, because now we’re running out of ways to kill people. Legally, that is. Accidentally and illegally we’re doing just fine. One might even say it’s become a robust and vigorous pursuit.

I’m talking about carrying out the death penalty, although the word “penalty” always seems to criminally understate the case. Over the years, civilizations have evolved in how to rid themselves of their various nefarious. They cycled through stoning, strangulation, beheading, death by 1000 cuts, hanging, firing squad, guillotine, electric chair, before finally settling on poison, deemed the most humane. First the gas chamber and now, even humaner- lethal injection. So humane, we swab the injection point with alcohol, which is like repainting the shutters before burning down a house.

Problem is, the producer of the go-to lethal injection drug, Thiopental, stopped making it. States have turned to a different drug called Pentobarbital, but the Danish manufacturer didn’t enjoy being associated with executions, and pulled the plug. Now, the states’ Departments of Killing People on Purpose are resorting to unreliable and possibly illegal sources, and refusing to reveal those methods; meaning for all we know, they could be shooting inmates up with Drano flavored Jell-O.

These punishments are being carried out on behalf of We the People: so We the People should have a say in the process. It’s the 21st Century, for crum’s sake. Why not kill the condemned creatively? Film it for pay-per-view. Strike a deal with Amazon Prime and make some coin on the back end. There’s tons of ways to end a miscreant’s life that would be a barrel of fun to watch and still insure justice gets done.

For instance, imagine the merriment to be shared if a convicted man were forced to spend an entire evening in the company of Joan Rivers. Death would not only be instantaneous, it would be hilarious.

Or what if one of the soon-to-be-deceased were dispatched to act as Chris Christie’s pedicab driver when visiting Atlantic City?

Perhaps a position could be arranged as Vladimir Putin’s Ukrainian food taster.

Becoming Barack Obama’s personal pollster would certainly drive any sane man mad.

Sentencing denizens of death row to carry Michael Bloomberg’s ego might be an amusing spectacle. Or would that be considered cruel and unusual?

Assign one as sole salesmen at the only New York City based Foot Locker to distribute the next release of Air Jordan classics.

Forced to endure an entire season on “Dancing With the Stars” as Chelsea Handler’s partner. An excruciating proposition.

Spend the Christmas season in Times Square dressed in the Disney character costume of Iago from “Aladdin.”

I’ve got 3 words for you, people: CSI: Miami binge-a-thon.

And finally, the state could force the reprobate to wear Google Glass into dive bars all over the Mission District of San Francisco. And the beauty of it is: they function as their own cameraman.

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Copyright ©2014, Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate.

Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com to find about more about his new CD, “Elect to Laugh,” a calendar guide to personal appearances and info about the documentary film “3 Still Standing” in which he’s one of the standing 3. Still.

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Is Texas Losing ‘Fertilizer Happens’ Attitude? http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/is-texas-losing-fertilizer-happens-attitude/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/is-texas-losing-fertilizer-happens-attitude/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 07:15:22 +0000 Jason Stanford http://www.cagle.com/?p=640127 The arc of history is long, but it does not always bend towards justice. In Texas, it usually veers off and gets lost. A year ago, 15 people died in the fertilizer plant explosion in West, forcing the Texas legislature to pass regulations, but these new laws had jack squat to do with fertilizer plants. Instead, the legislature passed a bill regulating women’s uteruses.

130633 600 Is Texas Losing Fertilizer Happens Attitude? cartoons

Pat Bagley / Salt Lake Tribune

Even for Texas, which doesn’t so much have a history as a series of cautionary tales, dealing with fertilizer plants that store ammonium nitrate like the one in West should have been easy. That’s the stuff that domestic terrorists used to build the bomb that leveled the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995. Intentionally or not, this stuff kills people wholesale.

But this is Texas, where the State Fire Marshal lacks the power to inspect fertilizer plants unless they feel like letting him in. To store ammonium nitrate, you need to lock it up or put a fence around it, but not both, and a security camera isn’t necessary. You don’t need to install a sprinkler system—which would have contained the damage in West to a relative annoyance—and storing this explosive material in a wooden room is perfectly legal.

The real Texas Miracle is that more fertilizer plants don’t explode. Chris Connealy, the State Fire Marshal, politely asked for permission to inspect Texas’ fertilizer plants and found that 46 store ammonium nitrate in wood-frame buildings. His suggestion to lawmakers that they require plants to store the stuff in stand-alone buildings made of material that won’t burn is a lesson we learned when we read The Three Little Pigs.

But regulations ain’t Texan. The Texas House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee has held three hearings, and there is no consensus that we need new safety regulations. One member, Republican Dan Flynn, cited “old-timers” who stored ammonium nitrate without taking precautions and didn’t want new regulations because so far, nothing has exploded. I’m not making this up.

“We haven’t had that many incidents. What’s kept that from happening — luck?” asked Flynn, who leads the “fertilizer happens” contingent on the committee. In an earlier hearing about the West explosion, he urged lawmakers to “keep it in perspective” and not “paperwork a company to death.”

That’s not to say that Texas is totally opposed to regulation. Progress Texas, a liberal advocacy group dedicated to the proposition that its name is not an unintentionally oxymoronic taunt, pointed out recently that since the West explosion “Texas has done more to regulate women’s bodies than it has to regulate fertilizer plants.”

That isn’t entirely accurate. What the legislature actually did was regulate women’s health care clinics that perform abortions, forcing many to close. The law regulated janitor’s closets, ventilation systems, and the width of hallways in abortion clinics. The legislators swore up and down that they were doing this all in the name of protecting the health and safety of Texas women.

Here’s the funny thing: Getting an abortion is safer than living next door to a fertilizer plant in Texas. (And yes, there are no rules against having a fertilizer plant in a residential neighborhood or next door to a school, just as happened in West.) Getting an abortion is 10 times safer for women than giving birth, according to the Guttmacher Institute. The Texas Tribune reported that the last time a Texas woman died seeking an abortion was 2008, a safety record that the residents of West would probably take.

Joe Pickett, the Democratic chairman who has presided over the hearings, promises to push for regulations next year that will require fertilizer plants to secure ammonium nitrate in rooms made of non-combustible material. He also wants to give the State Fire Marshal the power to inspect and to regulate these plants. All that remains is to name the bill. I propose Demonstrating Understanding of Health, or DUH.

Texas has more than twice as many fertilizer plants with ammonium nitrate than it has abortion clinics. If successful, Pickett’s common-sense reforms would bend the arch of history back toward progress. If not, Texas can go back to regulating lady parts. Republicans like that here.

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© Copyright 2014 Jason Stanford, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Jason Stanford is a Democratic consultant who writes columns for the Austin American-Statesman and MSNBC. He can be reached at stanford@oppresearch.com and on Twitter @JasStanford.

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Time to Get Tough on India Stealing Our Stuff http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/time-to-get-tough-on-india-stealing-our-stuff/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/time-to-get-tough-on-india-stealing-our-stuff/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 07:10:28 +0000 Phil Kerpen http://www.cagle.com/?p=640124 Quite simply, from pharmaceuticals to motion pictures to software, India is stealing our stuff. India ranks dead last among major economies in protection of intellectual property rights, according to a comprehensive analysis by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. And despite lots of talk and visits from Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden last year, India’s respect for property rights has only continued to deteriorate. It’s time for the administration to get tough and designate India as a Priority Foreign Country in its 2014 Special 301 Report, making clear that India will suffer consequences if it continues its present course.

nevaxar Time to Get Tough on India Stealing Our Stuff cartoonsThe need for this move is being urged broadly by all corners of the U.S. business community. In a detailed public comment filing, the U.S. Chamber strongly recommended the designation for India, noting that in the last year, its “environment deteriorated considerably.” A letter filed by more than fifty local business groups along with individual technology and biopharmaceutical companies was even blunter, saying: “We look forward to a Priority Foreign Country designation, India’s systematic discrimination against U.S. innovators and its growing theft of U.S. intellectual capital demand no less.”

They are right.

Starting in March of 2012, India has issued compulsory licenses for drugs under a new policy requiring local manufacturing, a condition which is clearly illegal under international trade law. The first compulsory license was issued on Nexavar, a Bayer cancer drug. Then they began outright revoking patents, starting with Sutent, on which Pfizer has a clearly valid patent recognized in over 90 countries. Similar moves to revoke and deny valid patents followed against Roche’s Tarceva and Novartis’s Glivec — even though Novartis was giving away Glivec for free to 95 percent of the Indian market, laying bare any excuse that these moves to seize U.S. property were justified on humanitarian grounds. In the past two years, India has undermined patent rights on at least fifteen medicines.

India is a market of over a billion people. The total cost of bringing a new drug to market is now $1.2 billion according to the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, in part due to regulatory compliance and litigation expenses. Strong protections for the intellectual property rights of innovators are absolutely critical to raise the capital and justify investing it in developing new cures. The greatest threat to such innovation globally now comes from India’s misguided policies.

The problems are not limited to drug patents. On the copyright side, the Motion Picture Distributors Association lists India as one of the worst havens for distributors of pirated movies, with new movies appearing on the Internet in India an average of 3.15 days after theatrical release. More than half of all “camcording” of feature films in the Asia-Pacific region happens in India.

The music industry estimates that in 2012 about 90 percent of music downloads in India were unlicensed, at a cost of $431 million to the industry and the artists being ripped off. The software industry estimated in 2011 that 63 percent of PC software was pirated to the tune of $2.9 billion. That means higher prices for the rest of the world.

Voice across the political spectrum have long been sounding alarms.

In a stinging bipartisan, bicameral letter the chairman and ranking members of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Way and Means Committee — Max Baucus, Orrin Hatch, Dave Camp, and Sander Levin — stated: “Beyond any particular action India has taken, the government has enunciated a broader policy objective to develop and support Indian domestic industries by forcing foreign firms to use local facilities and suppliers and transfer their intellectual property to Indian entities.”

And ahead of John Kerry’s trip to India last year, 40 senators signed onto a letter by Republican Rob Portman of Ohio and Bob Menendez of New Jersey that urged Kerry to “make clear to your Indian counterparts that the United States will consider all trade tools at its disposal if India does not end its discriminatory practices.”

But diplomatic pressure still hasn’t worked, and it is time to turn up the heat.

Designating Indian as a Priority Foreign Country would lead to a formal investigation by the U.S. Trade Representative and in turn, potentially, to retaliatory sanctions. Nobody wants a trade war with India, of course, but until we show a willingness to get tough, India is unlikely to stop stealing our stuff.

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© Copyright 2014 Phil Kerpen, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Mr. Kerpen is the president of American Commitment and the author of “Democracy Denied.” Kerpen can be reached at phil@americancommitment.org.

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There Are Better Solutions Than Hiring Teachers Who Came To U.S. Illegally http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/there-are-better-solutions-than-hiring-teachers-who-came-to-u-s-illegally/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/there-are-better-solutions-than-hiring-teachers-who-came-to-u-s-illegally/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 07:05:29 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=640123 Recently, the Denver Public School System announced that it would allow illegal immigrants to teach in its classrooms.

Before writing a single additional word, let me clarify two things. First, I’ll address new teachers’ immigration status. They’re aliens who President Obama, through an executive action that was not congressionally approved, granted what is known as deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA). Obama’s policy gives them temporary, two-year legal standing, work authorization and removes them from possible deportation. However, DACA does not put recipients on a path to a green card or to citizenship. Essentially, DACA represents a reprieve from deportation that carries work benefits.

147179 600 There Are Better Solutions Than Hiring Teachers Who Came To U.S. Illegally cartoons

Rick McKee / Augusta Chronicle

In 2012, when much ado accompanied the administration’s unilateral decision to defer young immigrants who allegedly came unknowingly to the U.S. with their parents at an early age, little was written about the important fact that one of the benefits would be work permits. Hiring the Denver teachers and filling other jobs Americans would do was the obvious outcome of issuing work permission to formerly unemployable (because of their immigration status) aliens. According to the most recent U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services report, nearly 600,000 applicants have been approved since 2012.

Second, I’m a retired teacher who spent his career in a California district where the Hispanic enrollment exceeded 40 percent. I know what happens in classrooms heavily populated by limited English speaking students.

On its face, putting the delicate, complex task of educating children in the hands of inexperienced, uncertified personnel like the new Denver teachers is outrageous. Under normal circumstances, it would be unthinkable. But these are different, troubling times. The administration and Congress are determined to expand DACA to exempt from deportation every alien in the U.S. Some observers think that illegal immigrants and their advocates treat alien status as a badge of honor, so blatantly and fearlessly do they flout the law.

As is often the case when immigration laws are bent or broken, excuses that may sound plausible are offered up to defend the indefensible. In this case, DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg said that because the teachers are bi-lingual, they “have a deep personal understanding of the challenges that many of our students who similarly came to this country in undocumented status as young children have.”

Don’t expect that “deep understanding” will automatically be a trait new teachers will have. And speaking a second language, primarily Spanish in Denver’s case, isn’t the driving determinant for teaching skills. I’ve worked with plenty of teachers born and raised in the U.S. whose compassion was boundless. Sadly though, too many of my bilingual teaching colleagues were often inattentive to their tasks.

Better short and long term solutions to educate immigrant students are available. Colorado and other states facing the same academic challenges could allow interested, experienced but retired teachers to return to the classroom without sacrificing any of their pension benefits. Surely, there are enough teachers in the Denver teacher retiree pool who would welcome the extra income. Also, allow professionals with a proven, successful track record in the private or public sector to switch to teaching without burdening them with the same tedious requirements that a newly graduated education major must complete. Let their life skills substitute.

More important is the long term, permanent solution. Of its 87,400 students, one-third are Spanish-speaking, limited English speakers. Without securing the border and returning to internal enforcement, the flow of non-English speakers with their special language requirements will continue. Then, the responsibility to educate them falls, whether they like it or not, to Colorado taxpayers.

In California, Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that allows aliens to practice law. The Denver Public School system just hired illegal immigrant teachers. A well organized, well funded effort to give voting privileges to aliens is underway.

Until checked, illegal immigrant entitlements will snowball until the U.S. is no longer a sovereign nation.

——-

Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org

Joe Guzzardi ©2014 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

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Jefferson on Corporatocracy http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/jefferson-on-corporatocracy/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/jefferson-on-corporatocracy/#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 22:24:18 +0000 Monte Wolverton http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/23/2014/04/20/147404_600.jpg 147404 600 Jefferson on Corporatocracy cartoons

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Limbaugh Loses It http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/limbaugh-loses-it/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/limbaugh-loses-it/#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 17:52:32 +0000 Randall Enos http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/112/2014/04/20/147400_600.jpg 147400 600 Limbaugh Loses It cartoons

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the new middle east http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/the-new-middle-east/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/the-new-middle-east/#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 07:47:49 +0000 Dry Bones http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/49/2014/04/20/147395_600.jpg 147395 600 the new middle east cartoons

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NORMAL POLITICAL PUTIN http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/normal-political-putin/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/normal-political-putin/#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 06:11:38 +0000 Pavel Constantin http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/74/2014/04/20/147394_600.jpg 147394 600 NORMAL POLITICAL PUTIN cartoons "/>

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Big Investors http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/big-investors/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/big-investors/#comments Sat, 19 Apr 2014 12:28:05 +0000 Randall Enos http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/112/2014/04/19/147389_600.jpg 147389 600 Big Investors cartoons

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SANCTIONS http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/sanctions/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/sanctions/#comments Sat, 19 Apr 2014 03:25:50 +0000 Pavel Constantin http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/74/2014/04/19/147370_600.jpg 147370 600 SANCTIONS cartoons

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Sanctions http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/sanctions-2/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/sanctions-2/#comments Sat, 19 Apr 2014 01:22:32 +0000 Luojie http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/103/2014/04/19/147369_600.jpg 147369 600 Sanctions cartoons

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The New Sheriff http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/the-new-sheriff/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/the-new-sheriff/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 21:39:30 +0000 Mark Streeter http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/142/2014/04/18/147368_600.jpg 147368 600 The New Sheriff cartoons

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Barack Enroll http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/barack-enroll/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/barack-enroll/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 21:38:46 +0000 Mark Streeter http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/142/2014/04/18/147367_600.jpg 147367 600 Barack Enroll cartoons

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Important Question for Revenue Canada http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/important-question-for-revenue-canada/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/important-question-for-revenue-canada/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 21:17:31 +0000 Ingrid Rice http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/171/2014/04/18/147366_600.jpg 147366 600 Important Question for Revenue Canada cartoons

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Love and Like http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/love-and-like/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/love-and-like/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 21:16:32 +0000 Pangli http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/230/2014/04/18/147365_600.jpg 147365 600 Love and Like cartoons

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Fighting http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/fighting/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/fighting/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 21:15:51 +0000 Pangli http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/230/2014/04/18/147364_600.jpg 147364 600 Fighting cartoons

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Joyous Easter http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/joyous-easter/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/joyous-easter/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 21:12:46 +0000 Bruce Plante http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/136/2014/04/18/147363_600.jpg 147363 600 Joyous Easter cartoons

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The End is Near http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/the-end-is-near/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/the-end-is-near/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 21:12:12 +0000 Bruce Plante http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/136/2014/04/18/147362_600.jpg 147362 600 The End is Near cartoons

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Snowden Snowed http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/snowden-snowed/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/snowden-snowed/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 21:10:46 +0000 Mark Streeter http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/142/2014/04/18/147361_600.jpg 147361 600 Snowden Snowed cartoons

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Putin Cottontail http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/russian-expansion/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/russian-expansion/#comments Sat, 19 Apr 2014 03:12:29 +0000 Jeff Darcy http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/180/2014/04/18/147360_600.jpg 147360 600 Putin Cottontail cartoons

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Rand Paul Pest Problem http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/pest-problen/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/pest-problen/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 19:39:47 +0000 Bill Schorr http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/100/2014/04/18/147358_600.jpg 147358 600 Rand Paul Pest Problem  cartoons

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Putin Trap http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/putin-trap/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/putin-trap/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 23:31:20 +0000 Steve Sack http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/139/2014/04/18/147355_600.jpg 147355 600 Putin Trap cartoons

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Pot Probs http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/pot-probs/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/pot-probs/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 23:28:36 +0000 Steve Sack http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/139/2014/04/18/147353_600.jpg 147353 600 Pot Probs cartoons

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LOCAL OH CBJ vs Pens http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/local-oh-cbj-vs-pens/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/local-oh-cbj-vs-pens/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:08:37 +0000 Nate Beeler http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/81/2014/04/18/147352_600.jpg 147352 600 LOCAL OH   CBJ vs Pens cartoons

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Obama Approval Rating http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/obama-approval-rating/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/obama-approval-rating/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 22:02:22 +0000 Adam Zyglis http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/82/2014/04/18/147350_600.jpg 147350 600 Obama Approval Rating cartoons

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Chelsea Clinton pregnant http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/chelsea-clinton-pregnant/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/chelsea-clinton-pregnant/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 21:50:23 +0000 Jimmy Margulies http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/46/2014/04/18/147347_600.jpg 147347 600 Chelsea Clinton pregnant cartoons

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New relevant SAT http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/new-relevant-sat/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/new-relevant-sat/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:46:35 +0000 John Cole http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/20/2014/04/18/147345_600.jpg 147345 600 New relevant SAT cartoons

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Obama Keystone quandary repost http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/obama-keystone-quandary-repost/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/obama-keystone-quandary-repost/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 13:32:56 +0000 Taylor Jones http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/83/2014/04/18/147344_600.jpg 147344 600 Obama Keystone quandary   repost cartoons

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Payday Lenders http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/payday-lenders/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/payday-lenders/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 13:20:51 +0000 Pat Bagley http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/53/2014/04/18/147341_600.jpg 147341 600 Payday Lenders cartoons

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Easter Donkey http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/easter-donkey/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/easter-donkey/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 20:19:03 +0000 Rick McKee http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/205/2014/04/18/147340_600.jpg 147340 600 Easter Donkey cartoons

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Repeal Or Cut Bait http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/repeal-or-cut-bait/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/repeal-or-cut-bait/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 13:16:21 +0000 Pat Bagley http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/53/2014/04/18/147337_600.jpg 147337 600 Repeal Or Cut Bait cartoons

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George W Bush the artist http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/george-w-bush-the-artist/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/george-w-bush-the-artist/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 11:57:53 +0000 Dave Granlund http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/95/2014/04/18/147332_600.jpg 147332 600 George W Bush the artist cartoons

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BIDEN’S SELFIE http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/bidens-selfie/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/bidens-selfie/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 11:12:07 +0000 Randy Bish http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/91/2014/04/18/147330_600.jpg 147330 600 BIDENS SELFIE cartoons

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Easter http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/easter-3-2/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/easter-3-2/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:03:33 +0000 Bob Englehart http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/29/2014/04/18/147329_600.jpg 147329 600 Easter cartoons

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Mt Everest Avalanche http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/mt-everest-avalanche/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/mt-everest-avalanche/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 09:49:03 +0000 Milt Priggee http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/16/2014/04/18/147327_600.jpg 147327 600 Mt Everest Avalanche cartoons

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Earth Day http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/earth-day/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/earth-day/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 09:44:38 +0000 Milt Priggee http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/16/2014/04/18/147326_600.jpg 147326 600 Earth Day cartoons

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Living Wage http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/living-wage/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/living-wage/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 09:38:42 +0000 Milt Priggee http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/16/2014/04/18/147325_600.jpg 147325 600 Living Wage cartoons

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Obamacare Easter Egg Hunt http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/obamacare-easter-egg-hunt/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/obamacare-easter-egg-hunt/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:18:17 +0000 R.J. Matson http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/73/2014/04/18/147324_600.jpg 147324 600 Obamacare Easter Egg Hunt cartoons

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LOCAL CA Jerry Brown’s Rainy Day Fund http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/local-ca-jerry-browns-rainy-day-fund/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/local-ca-jerry-browns-rainy-day-fund/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 09:02:16 +0000 Monte Wolverton http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/23/2014/04/18/147322_600.jpg 147322 600 LOCAL CA Jerry Browns Rainy Day Fund cartoons

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Putin and his Oompa Loompas http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/putin-and-his-oompa-loompas/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/putin-and-his-oompa-loompas/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:30:01 +0000 Hajo de Reijger http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/96/2014/04/18/147320_600.jpg 147320 600 Putin and his Oompa Loompas cartoons

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Trump and the Buffalo Bills http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/trump-and-the-buffalo-bills/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/trump-and-the-buffalo-bills/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:27:32 +0000 Adam Zyglis http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/82/2014/04/18/147318_600.jpg 147318 600 Trump and the Buffalo Bills cartoons

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Easter http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/easter-8/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/easter-8/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:45:47 +0000 Rick McKee http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/205/2014/04/18/147316_600.jpg 147316 600 Easter cartoons

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