I'm using a Robert Airial cartoon from a few days ago in lieu of violating the Prime Directive and showing all the knee-jerk, anti-Obama panels that were drawn before last night's address. (Which, by the way, was available on both the Plattsburgh NY and Boston affiliates of NBC, though not with Brian Williams.)
There have been progressive cartoons that specifically pointed out how Republicans have refused to act on immigration, but that's not quite where I want to go with this, though it is something the president noted in his speech.
(L)ast year, 68 Democrats, Republicans, and independents came together to pass a bipartisan bill in the Senate. It wasn’t perfect. It was a compromise. But it reflected common sense. It would have doubled the number of border patrol agents while giving undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship if they paid a fine, started paying their taxes, and went to the back of the line. And independent experts said that it would help grow our economy and shrink our deficits.
Had the House of Representatives allowed that kind of bill a simple yes-or-no vote, it would have passed with support from both parties, and today it would be the law. But for a year and a half now, Republican leaders in the House have refused to allow that simple vote.
But, as said, that's not my point, except to the extent that what he proposed last night is pretty much what Congress has said they want to see happen.
What bothers me is the "Don't confuse me with the facts" approach, in which the president is attacked for what cartoonists assume he will say or do and for who he is rather than for what he says or does.
Do both sides do that? Well, there are some knee-jerk, unthinking leftwing cartoonists and news services. A couple. They don't get a lot of attention, however, and it seems contradictory to say "See? MSNBC does the same thing!" with one breath and then gleefully point out their low ratings with the next.
Sort of comes across as, "They both do it, but only we line up to swallow it."
In any case, the amount of evidence-free, idea-free vitriol being slung around is depressing, and the latest fact-free-denial came yesterday with an admission from Boehner that, yes, other presidents have issued executive orders, but they weren't like this president's executive orders.
Anyway, here's an interesting piece from USA Today comparing Obama's remarks last night with a 2006 presidential speech on the same topic, which -- according to the writer -- the Obama speechwriters analyzed for the purpose of lining up with established GOP principles.
It's worth reading the whole piece, but here's an example:
Bush, 2006: "Some in this country argue that the solution is to deport every illegal immigrant and that any proposal short of this amounts to amnesty. I disagree."
Obama, 2014: "I know some of the critics of this action call it amnesty. Well, it's not."
I will expect a flood of cartoons to appear in the coming days that will respond to what the President proposed in terms of how it actually lines up with or differs from previously expressed Republican plans.
Juxtaposition of the Holiday
The current Non Sequitur arc on health and nutrition (which starts here) led me to drop an email to Wiley checking to make sure he wasn't riffing on a recent cardiac adventure of his own.
He's not, he said, but he has recently re-arranged his diet, dropped a ton of weight and is feeling great, inspired by a documentary called "Forks Over Knives," which can be streamed on Netflix.
So I had a look, and part of the theory is that appetite is largely regulated by a feeling of fullness, such that eating 500 calories worth of low-fat, low-calorie vegetables and grains will fill you up and satiate your receptors, while 500 calories of sweet or fatty foods will barely register as enough mass because it won't be.
And once you do reach that mass with those foods, the caloric count will be ... see today's "Middletons."
They could probably go through that lane with one of those snub-nosed carts we empty-nesters use and still qualify.
Juxtaposition aside, Wiley's okay and, more important, he assures me that, having addressed the topic in his current arc, he is henceforth on guard against the most pernicious side-effect of such a change, that of becoming a self-righteous jackass. (I'm not adding any links to that phrase. I'm sure you have your own collection.)
'Reality Check' Indeed
Dave Whamond hits on one of those stab-in-the-dark moments of relevance with this amusing but non-topical "Reality Check" panel just as this not-at-all amusing scandal has gone from simmering to boiling over.
Talk about crushing dreams: The exploitation of ragged little kids by dubious charities is a tradition we could do without, and this particular one is an historically offensive throwback to the Indian agents who handed out maggoty beef and short rations to the people on the Rez and pocketed the skimmed-off profits.
But, good lord, you could at least find some for-real ragged little kids instead of simply inventing them.
Incidentally, the dreamcatchers being sent out by that charity were made in China. If you want authentic ones, here's a website with some listings as well as a brief discussion of "authenticity."
According to that site, they are traditional in Chippewa/Ojibwe culture but have spread to others, so they're not traditional everywhere but they're relatively authentic.
As noted there, "Some Indians think dream-catchers are a sweet and loving little tradition, others consider them a symbol of native unity, and still others think of them as sort of the Indian equivalent of a tacky plastic Jesus hanging in your truck."
So there ya go and you can decide where you fall on that scale.
I hope he had the check for $65 all made out
I loved "The Graduate" and "Catch-22" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," but, honestly, when I heard that Mike Nichols died yesterday, this was what I thought of. I don't think he'd mind: