Blog Archives

Cartoon(s) of the Week – Does Big Bird sum up the Debate?

 

Jeff Danziger in the L. A. Times:

So what is memorable from the debate?

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Robert McKee in the Augusta Chronicle:

Are the issues food or labor?

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Nick Anderson in the Houston Chronicle:

Did you see them serve up their achievements or potentials?

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Clay bennet in the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

As displayed by his announcement to cure the deficit by dropping PBS and Big Bird.

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Gary McCoy for Universal Press Syndicate:

Oh well… Halloween is coming. Do you think we can forget politics for a while?

Cartoon(s) of the Week – Moving backward in the 21st Century

Matt Bors in The Village Voice:

,,, and the circle goes ’round…

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Mike Thompson in the Detroit Free Press:

… get used to it.

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Rob Rogers in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Meanwhile, we abandon our intelligence…

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Nick Anderson in the Houston Chronicle:

…and without intelligence we’ll believe anything…

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Jim Morin in the Miami Herald:

… even when presented with the truth.

 

Cartoon(s) of the Week – Who really controls the Republican economic policy?

Note: I’ve been doing Cartoon(s) of the Week for a number of years now and I know many of my readers look forward to it every Sunday (or when I get to it late or early.) I’m also very pleased that several of you have sent me your favorite cartoons on many weeks, or send me e-mail comments on my selections.

If you have a cartoon on any week that you want to send me, please attach it to an e-mail and get it to me on Thursday at the latest. I’ll be glad to consider it. Just click on the mailbox.

Now for this week’s selections.

Nick Anderson in the Houston Chronicle:

Who is not elected but has a firm control on Republican abilities to compromise? (note: same name as a Sesame Street character… not Big Bird, but close.)

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M. Wuerker of Politico:

What happens to the health of the country when its processes are blocked? (hint: what fills intestines?)

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Jeff Danziger in the L. A. Tribune:

What causes disbelief in the vast republic for which Congress stands? ( hint: It has to do with a complicity with the top 1%.)

Cartoon(s) of the Week – Short looks at long problems…

Steve Greenberg in the Ventura County Star:

Ventriloquism…..

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David Horsey in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Focus on the issues…

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Nick Anders0n in the Houston Chronicle:

Hope it’s all over soon…

Another reason why Governor Perry does not deserve our respect…

Perry Event 2/1/2010

Mr. Death Penalty

From The Nation (these are exerpts…please read the whole article here):

Is Rick Perry Ready to Execute an Innocent Man?

As soon as Rick Perry threw his hat into the 2012 electoral ring, anti–death penalty critics brought up his staggering execution record as governor of Texas: 234 prisoners have been put to death under Perry’s watch, a number of whom had serious innocence claims. Most famous among them is Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in 2004 and whose case opened up an investigation that Perry has taken aggressive—and largely successful—measures to squash. But a lesser-known case could also haunt the governor if it reaches his desk: that of Larry Swearingen, convicted and sent to death row for the kidnapping, rape and murder of a 19-year-old college freshman named Melissa Trotter in 1998. Like Willingham, Swearingen was convicted largely on circumstantial evidence and a history of run-ins with the law. But Willingham was convicted based on the inexact science of arson investigations, whose flawed assumptions have been slow to evolve. The scientific evidence in Swearingen’s case, medical experts say, is beyond dispute—and it proves his innocence.

There’s another difference: Swearingen is still alive.

Swearingen was scheduled to die on August 18. But his execution was stayed in late July by the state’s highest criminal court, the notoriously pro-prosecution Court of Criminal Appeals, in order to have the trial court consider new evidence: Histological samples of Trotter’s cardiac, lung and vascular tissue that a growing number of doctors, including well-respected Texas pathologists, say show conclusively that Swearingen could not have killed Trotter.

But is that enough? The Swearingen case has raised questions about the intersection of science and the law: how courts and cops view science, and how decisions are made about what kind of scientific proof is “good enough” to override the type of circumstantial evidence that lends itself to the finality of conviction that Texas courts crave—especially in death penalty cases.

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Three days after Trotter disappeared, police arrested Swearingen on outstanding warrants. After her body was found, Swearingen was charged with capital murder—according to the state, Swearingen kidnapped, raped and then murdered Trotter by strangling her with a single leg of pantyhose, cut from a pair, before dumping her body in the forest. Prosecutors sought, and got, the death penalty.

Yet Swearingen maintains his innocence, and his date with death has been postponed three times by the courts. At issue is the science surrounding Trotter’s death, specifically, the science of decomposition. Doctors say the histological evidence shows conclusively that Trotter had not been dead for twenty-five days when her body was found. Samples of Trotter’s tissue—taken almost three weeks after Swearingen was locked up—are consistent with that of a person dead less than a week. Despite doctors’ insistence that Trotter could not have been dead and her body left outside for nearly a month, Texas authorities remain unconvinced that this proves Swearingen’s innocence. Trotter’s parents, too, remain certain that Swearingen killed their daughter. “How long can they examine this evidence?” Sandra Trotter asked in the Houston Chronicle this summer. “From the victims’ rights view, when does this end?”

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Courts in Texas have proven on numerous occasions that they do not consider scientific evidence as representing a gold standard for reliability. This has happened, infamously, in DNA cases; DNA science is considered so reliable that courts rely on it in the face of whatever circumstantial or eyewitness evidence would contradict it. In Texas, that has led so far to the exonerations of forty-four men, most convicted of sexual assaults—and more than one who had been sentenced to death.

The doctors in the Swearingen case are adamant that the science in question—histology and gross anatomy, the basic building blocks for modern medicine—cannot be dismissed. If the court rejects this evidence, they argue, they are turning their backs on the basic work done by the state’s forensic pathologists, tasked with determining both cause and manner of death, in thousands of cases each year.

So where does that leave Perry? If it turns out the man is innocent but is executed, Governor Perry looks bad, and if he’s guilty (which doesn’t seem likely) and is executed,  President Obama gets the benefit of votes from people who oppose the death penalty.

Even if Perry does stop the execution, death penalty opponents will accuse him of almost executing an innocent man.

An execution could be used to make Governor Perry look tough, or he could grant clemency to court the moderate vote… all his other executions ensure that he has the pro-death penalty vote. If he was going to grant clemency, though, he would have done it by now… and made it a big public relations event.

Cartoon(s) of the Week – Solving our problems won’t be easy…

Hey… sorry I missed CotW last weekend… got caught up in a number of activities and only realized on Tuesday that it hadn’t been done. But…We’re BAAAAACK!

Nick Anderson in the Houston Chronicle:

The Deficit Committee sure looks unpromising…

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Dana Summers in the Orlando Sentinel:

Warren Buffett doesn’t seem to be convincing other rich folk to do their share…

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Tom Toles in The Washington Post:

Not everyone’s goal is PREVENTING disaster…

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Lee Judge in the Kansas City Star:

But there’s so much to keep Political Cartoonists busy…

Cartoon(s) of the Week – It doesn’t matter which Party… there are things we need to know.

Clay Bennett in the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

It’s time to reevaluate our elected officials and figure out who they work for…

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Signe Wilkinson at Philly.com:

… or think of what they could be spending our tax money on… things we need…

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Pat Oliphant in the Washington Post:

… and what about those who are trying to get into office… will they bring us back to our earlier evil?

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Nick Anderson in the Houston Chronicle:

Why can’t the media spend it’s time on important things instead of sensation?

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Tony Auth in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

…And, above all, when will parties ignore their competitive idiocy and evaluate policy by seeing what really works?