Monday, May 15, 2017

Tic,Tic, Tic: Another Lie!

The usual e-mail message from Tom Tomorrow (Dan Perkins) accompanied today's 'toon:

As somebody said on my Twitter feed, what a year this week has been. Even as you’re reading these words, it has been less than a week since Comey was fired. Here you have yet another example of a cartoon written and updated in real time. I had an earlier draft mostly written on Thursday night,and went to bed thinking I’d just finish up the art on Friday and then take care of unanswered email and so on. But then on Friday morning he dropped this utterly bizarre tweet:

James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" before he starts leaking to the press!

I understood the implications as soon as I saw it — the President of the United States was threatening the former director of the FBI (and current private citizen) with the implication that conversations in the White House are secretly recorded. So I had to tear up the last panel of the cartoon and rewrite it to incorporate this, because it was clearly too absurd to ignore. The last panel previously had the line in which the man-baby admits that the firing was “totally” about Russia, as well as a small closing bit about how he gets two scoops of ice cream while everyone else gets one — a true fact, from the Time magazine profile of life in the White House that came out last week. I hated losing that, as perfect as it was for the character, but there just wasn’t room. I also would have liked to have emphasized the Watergate parallels more — we’re really living through a first-time-as-tragedy-second-time-as-farce moment here — but there will be many further opportunities to do that.

Who knows what’s coming next week, or even tomorrow morning. With a normal administration, you can lift a wet finger to the wind and have a general sense of the direction in which things are likely to move. As a cartoonist, I could write about Obama a week or two in advance, and be reasonably certain that the cartoon wasn’t going to be rendered obsolete by some random comment that he made. There’s always breaking news, of course — I’ve spent more than a few weekends writing about various unfolding tragedies and outrages. But generally, I could plan out my schedule with reasonable confidence. These days, I’m doing my best just to keep my head above water.

Because with Trump, it’s hard to even imagine a scenario that’s too absurd. I tend to think the “pee tape” is mythical, but if it were released on YouTube tomorrow morning, I’d be unfazed. More realistically, Trump has been making shady deals for his entire adult life, working in construction and casinos, and there are certainly bodies buried as a result, whether literal or metaphorical. Or maybe someone will step forward with a signed and notarized letter in which Trump admits collusion with Vladimir Putin. Okay that’s kind of a joke, and as the first panel hopefully indicates, I don’t believe that he’s under Putin’s literal control, but there are clearly a lot of weird coincidences involving Russians, so who knows what we might eventually learn.

Anyway, it’s been a long week. I need to hit “send” on this and take a little downtime with the family. Speaking of which, happy Mother’s Day to my amazing wife [Yale history professor Beverly Gage] (who just had a piece in the NY Times about the current echoes of J. Edgar Hoover), and to all of the mothers reading this.

Until next time,

Dan (aka Tom)

So, there you have it, gentle readers. The son-of-the-beach (Mar-a-Lago) in the Oval Office is contstantly "priming the pump" of stupidity. The SOB in the Oval Office has the ignorant version of Tourette syndrome and cannot control his propensity to babble nonsense. If this is (fair & balanced) quack neurology, so be it.

The Week That Was
By Tom Tomorrow (Dan Perkins)

Tom Tomorrow/Dan Perkins

[Dan Perkins is an editorial cartoonist better known by the pen name "Tom Tomorrow." His weekly comic strip, "This Modern World," which comments on current events from a strong liberal perspective, appears regularly in approximately 150 papers across the U.S., as well as on Daily Kos. The strip debuted in 1990 in SF Weekly. Perkins, a long time resident of Brooklyn, New York, currently lives in Connecticut. He received the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Journalism in both 1998 and 2002. When he is not working on projects related to his comic strip, Perkins writes a daily political blog, also entitled "This Modern World," which he began in December 2001. More recently, Dan Perkins, pen name Tom Tomorrow, was named the winner of the 2013 Herblock Prize for editorial cartooning. Even more recently, Dan Perkins was a runner-up for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning.]

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