Cartoon roundup

Luojie, China Daily, China

I was working in the lab, late one night, when my eyes beheld an eerie sight. … Something evil’s lurking in the dark. You try to scream, but terror takes the sound before you make it. You start to freeze as horror looks you right between the eyes. You’re paralyzed. … It’s astounding. Time is fleeting. Madness takes its toll. … Tell me who’s watching. Who’s watching me? I always feel like somebody’s watching me. And I have no privacy. … This is Halloween. Everybody make a scene.

Pavel Constantin, Romania
October 31, 2014
Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News
Eric Allie,
The Scream by Edvard Munch, 1893
Cam Cardow, Cagle Cartoons
RJ Matson, Roll Call

The scatological protest for gender equality in the bathroom

A few students at San Diego State University think gender inequality has gotta go. Literally.

Student activists at SDSU staged an outdoor “shit-in” (we’ll let that sink in for a second) last week to draw attention to their belief in the need for greater gender inclusiveness inside restrooms across campus. They planted toilets — hopefully used only for visual effect — at an outdoor campus hub, pulled down their pants and remained seated on their dubious statement thrones for the duration of the event.

What grievance did they have? That the university’s already-progressive gender-inclusive policy on campus restrooms (there are reportedly at least 10 “gender-neutral” facilities at SDSU) be expanded to every building on campus. And they want the changes to be reflected on campus maps.

According to a story (with photos!) at Campus Reform, the protesters said “the goal was to update UO campus maps to show where the nearest two gender inclusive bathrooms are at any given location. They also hope to install a gender inclusive bathroom in every building on campus and make all single-stall facilities gender inclusive.”

Does this qualify as a First World problem?

Ralph Nader: Hillary Clinton ‘a menace to the United States of America’

Wikipedia Commons

In an interview with We Are Change’s Luke Rudowski, five-time failed presidential candidate Ralph Nader called potential 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton a “menace” to the nation because of her “corporatist” and “militarist” views.

“Well, Hillary [Clinton] is a corporatist and a militarist,” he said. “Do we want another corporatist and militarist? She thinks Obama is too weak. He doesn’t kill enough people overseas. So she’s a menace to the United States of America.”

“What we need is people — regardless of whether they are libertarians or not — that pull back on the empire and make Wall Street subordinate to Main Street. People have got to start thinking, doing their homework, become informed voters and not coronate another corporatist and militarist.”

Asked about potential GOP presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Nader said that the lawmaker is too shifty on many of his views.

“He’s like his father Ron Paul,” Nader said. “He is against militarism, against the bloated military budget, against empire, and against these foreign military unconstitutional adventures — but Rand Paul is changing by the month as he wants the White House. He is beginning to say, ‘Well, what if we give more aid to Israel? The militarism there. Why don’t we keep this part of the military budget that has jobs in Kentucky.’

“So he is beginning to change. You can see him in just one year — he’s not going to go on the floor and filibuster again, the way he did courageously,” he continued. “That’s what blind ambition does. That’s what political power does. So what he ought to do is go back to his father, sit on his knee and become more like Ron Paul.”

Democrats continue to claim GOP worse than Ebola, terrorists

Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” over the weekend, Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz insisted that Americans ought to be more afraid of the GOP than the Ebola virus or Islamic State terrorism.

CNN host Candy Crowley asked Schultz about a Democratic campaign ad attacking Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner as “too extreme for Colorado.”

“So we’ve heard this in previous elections, too extreme, too extreme their Tea Party, we can’t work with them,” Crowley said. “So, it seems that the Democrats’ overall message is: Yes, ISIS is scary. Yes, Ebola is scary. But Republicans are a lot scarier.”

“Well, that’s right,” Schultz replied, before discussing Gardner’s anti-abortion stance and GOP efforts to shrink the size of government.

What is going on with Truthy (the government-funded site that claims it no longer monitors conservative ‘social pollution’)?

Following an August report on the existence of Truthy, a strange university research project that uses computer algorithms to track Internet memes and Twitter trends, the FCC’s conservative representative began warning that the project amounted to an Orwellian attempt by the government to define and do something about the spread of misinformation.

Now Truthy has changed its focus, deleting the part of its site that formerly purported to track political themes in social media. Up until that time, the #tcot Twitter hashtag had reportedly been the most active of all the politically inclined Internet signifiers the project had been monitoring.

The Washington Free Beacon, which first reported on the existence of the Truthy project in late August, wrote Friday that Truthy hasn’t just deleted (from public view, anyway) the fruits of its political tracking, but that its researchers have also decided they won’t be talking to The Washington Free Beacon anymore.

From Friday’s report:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) project designed to track “misinformation” on Twitter has removed portions of its website that monitored political users, including conservatives who used the “tcot” hashtag.

… Screenshots taken by the Free Beacon in August show the site in its previous form, where it monitored hundreds of conservative Twitter users when they used #tcot. The site recorded the number of retweets, mentions, partisanship of the user, “sentiment,” and language of the tweets.

… The Free Beacon asked Truthy’s head researcher Filippo Menczer, a professor of Informatics and Computer Science at Indiana University, why these portions have been deleted. Menczer first said that is not the Truthy project website, and the changes were a result of updates that happen from “time to time.”

… The Free Beacon also asked Menczer why detecting “hate speech” was included in the original grant proposal, and how he defines the term. Menczer declined to offer his definition.

“You are referring to a sentence from the broader impact section of the abstract of the grant proposal submitted to NSF in 2010,” he said. “Taken out of its proper context, that sentence can be quite misleading. That passage refers to a proposed public and open web service to allow anyone to access information and visualizations about how memes propagate through social media.”

Menczer said the detecting hate speech line originates from when they were applying for the grant and the NSF asked the researchers to speculate potential uses for the project.

… After sending additional follow up questions as to why the site was only recently changed given that Menczer said the research was conducted four years ago, the university said that they will no longer be taking inquiries from the Free Beacon.

… “I also wanted to let you know that we will have no further comment to you on this project or the work of our faculty members in this area,” [Mark] Land [the Associate Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations at Indiana University] said.

If all that sounds convoluted, it is. There’s no way to know whether the government-funded researchers are still tracking the (conservative-dominated) political Internet for evidence of hate speech or “social pollution” — only that it has removed any evidence of such monitoring from its public Web pages.

It’s also interesting to note that researchers saw the value of pursuing online “hate speech” — speech it never bothers to define — as a decisive factor in enticing the government to award the project nearly $1 million in grant funds.

For much more, visit the story at The Washington Free Beacon.

Watch: Democratic candidate says Obama is his biggest enemy

Missouri State Representative Ed Schieffer, a Democrat running for a state Senate seat, recently said that President Barack Obama is a bigger political enemy to him than his opponent in the race.

The comment came during an address to the Lincoln County Tea Party. He explained to attendees that he may not always vote the way they wanted, but he also wouldn’t be taking orders from party leaders.

“My biggest enemy in my election is not Jeanie Riddle. My biggest enemy is the President of the United States. My eighth grade educated father knew that. He said, ‘Eddie, you don’t have to worry too much about the lady running against you. You need to worry about the liberal, overly liberal, President and Congress we have. That’s what you have to worry about.’

“Almost sounds like you’re not talking to a Democrat, doesn’t it?”

HT: The Missouri Torch

Cartoon roundup

Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant

In Quebec Monday, a radicalized Muslim ran down two Canadian soldiers with his car. One of the soldiers died. In Ottawa Wednesday, a man who reportedly held extremist Islamist beliefs shot and killed a Canadian soldier at the National War Memorial and then rampaged through the Canadian parliament building. In the United States Thursday, a doctor in New York tested positive for Ebola. It’s a scary time to be in North America. At least it is for everybody except for President Obama, whose nonchalance regarding anything and everything except for golf has Democratic candidates keeping their distance from him.

Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle
Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch
Milt Priggee,
Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle
Taylor Jones, El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico
Daryl Cagle,
John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune
John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri

On video: Colorado Democratic operatives allegedly complicit in undercover mail-in ballot fraud scheme

James O’Keefe has done this kind of thing before, so he’s begun using subtle disguises when he ventures into hostile political territory to uncover evidence of corruption and fraud.

In his latest video, which finds him pretending to join forces with unsuspecting Democratic Party operatives in Colorado, the mustachioed whistleblower catches representatives of three progressive organizations in the act of instigating voter fraud by abusing the state’s mail-in ballot system.

O’Keefe plays the role of co-instigator, but some of these people need little help in following him down a very illegal rabbit hole. When he suggests a phony scheme to snap up unused mail-in ballots and fill them out for Democratic candidates like Sen. Mark Udall, one staffer at a Democrat-funded political group not only embraces the idea, but offers him a job on the spot.

“That is not even like lying or something — if someone throws out a ballot, like, if you want to fill it out, you should do it!” gushes Meredith Hicks, the director of Work for Progress.

Hicks also coaxes a Greenpeace representative to help him locate an area of Aurora where politically disinterested people are more likely to throw their unused ballots in the household trash. Why? So he can swoop in, fish them out of the garbage, and use them to cast duplicate votes for Democrats.

“Ghetto Aurora, like north Aurora — because south is like, yuppieville,” Greenpeace’s Christina Topping helpfully offers. But where is that, exactly?

“Sixth and Belmar Circle is a good one!”

Well OK, then.

Shake it off: How the Obama administration handles scandals and scares

Whether it’s scandal (Benghazi, the IRS, Fast and Furious, Veterans Affairs) or scare (ISIS, Ebola), the Obama administration has pretty successfully deflected attention and blame — thanks in no small part to a pliable mainstream press.

Here’s Reason TV’s Remy, back again with another lampooning of the president’s go-to PR tactic.

Sure, it’s set to a tune from Taylor Swift, but the guy has a point to make. Cut him some slack.

Feds paid thousands of workers to stay home

Over the course of three years, the federal government paid workers about $775 million to stay home, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office.

The GAO report reveals that 57,000 federal workers were paid not to work for a month or longer between October 2010 and September 2013. Aside from receiving pay, the sidelined workers continued to accrue pensions, time off and opportunities for pay scale increases.

Via The Washington Post, which originally obtained the forthcoming GAO report:

The GAO report almost certainly understates the extent and cost of administrative leave because the figures examined by the auditors were incomplete. Not all government agencies keep track of the practice, and those reviewed account for only about three-fifths of the federal workforce.

The Office of Personnel Management rule book lists dozens of reasons for allowing paid leave, such as donating an organ, house-hunting before a job transfer, and attending the funeral of a relative in the military. Snow days also are permitted.

But these require only a few hours or days — not the months and years that GAO discovered are common at more than 100 federal agencies including the Defense and Treasury departments.


Cartoon roundup

Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Ebola! Ebola. Ebola. Ebola. Ebola. Ebola. That’s all anybody seems to be talking about these days. The wall-to-wall Ebola coverage might cause people to think that’s the only newsworthy item in the United States. But if you pay very close attention, you’ll find out there’s more. Ebola, blah, blah, blah, Ebola, blah, blah, blah, midterm elections, blah, blah, blah, Ebola, blah, blah, blah, Obama administration resignations, blah, blah blah, Ebola. Don’t let yourself get so distracted by Ebola that you forget to pay attention to our government and its dubious actions. Oh, and did we mention the midterms are just two and half weeks away?

Manny Francisco, Manila, The Phillippines
Cam Cardow, Cagle Cartoons
Milt Priggee,
Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant
John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri
October 15, 2014
Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News
Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch
Patrick Chappatte, The International New York Times
Mike Keefe, Cagle Cartoons
John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune
RJ Matson, Roll Call