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Polarization on polarization The Daily Cartoonist


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CSotD: Bias on Bias

I was surprised to hear yesterday’s news about declining NAEP reading and math scores over the past year, not because of the decline itself, but because it was being talked about as if there was something surprising about it.

Anyone who thought you could get the same results with 30 kids on Zoom that you would get with 30 kids sitting in front of you is downright foolish. That’s not to say you should put those 30 kids at risk from covid by having in-person classes, nor does that mean you should give up trying to hold the line with some sort of distance learning .

But you shouldn’t need to be a teacher to know that holding the line was the best we could hope for and that we’re doing just fine for not seeing things get worse.

And like Matt Davis points out, we’ve seen much more troubling declines – I use the term wisely – over the same period.

Whatever you think of the NAEP tests, the response to Biden’s national address demonstrates an inability not only to read – and knowledgeable journalists know how quickly whitehouse.gov publishes transcripts for their benefit – but apparently an inability to understand when read aloud by the president.

Or perhaps a reluctance to listen.

Davies also pulled some humor from the pearl clutch that followed the address. There are reasons to criticize Biden’s use of Independence Hall and his Marine guard as a backdrop, but again Republicans fell silent when Trump broke precedent by staging a political speech outside the House. Blanche and all sorts of presidents have employed the military. as a substantive audience for speeches.

A Republican president even landed on an aircraft carrier in a military plane and gave a nationally televised speech on deck, surrounded by jubilant sailors and in front of a banner reading ‘Mission Accomplished’, five weeks after the start of an eight-year war.

He was criticized by the opposition for his demagoguery, and the resulting contortions to justify the move were magnificent.

This time around, right-wingers have gone nuts decrying the speech without, apparently, having heard or read it, perhaps relying on reports from Trump lickers — including Gym Jordan and Marsha Blackburn — who flooded Twitter and Facebook with the kind of misleading remarks that Dear Leader is no longer allowed to make there.

Dana Summersfor example, totally missed, or deliberately ignores, a point that Biden raised and underlined in just 450 words in a 3,000-word speech:

Leaving open the question of whether Summers is more determined to attack the president or deny the existence of moderate Republicans.

On the other hand, even Andy Marlette (Creators)The full throat attack on crackpots, fanatics and crackpots is clearly aimed at them and not normal conservative voters.

But even when Biden clarified the plain language of his speech, the curator NY Post instead reported that he was “going back” on his remarks.

“Do you consider all Trump supporters a threat to this country? a reporter asked Biden at the end of his only scheduled public remarks for the day.
“Come on, listen, you guys keep trying to make this case. I don’t see any Trump supporter as a threat to the country,” Biden said. “I think anyone who calls for the use of violence, doesn’t condemn violence when it’s used, refuses to acknowledge when an election has been won, insists on changing the way they can count votes, that’s a threat to democracy.”

Fairly clear distinction, unless you are absolutely determined to misunderstand it.

juxtaposition of the day

(Dr. MacLeod)

(Gary Varvel)

The contrast between MacLeod’s and Varvel’s visions of division is both stark and revealing. Like Marlette, MacLeod is careful to define the people targeted by the president’s criticisms, while Varvel tours the wagons in solidarity with extremists, perhaps obeying the slogan “Where we go one, we all go.”

Solidarity has its limits, even if it may just be me.

Juxtaposition of the day #2

(Ann Telnaes)

(Ruben Bolling)

Ann Telnaes notes not only the presence of classified documents at Mar A Lago but Trump’s persistent refusal to tell the truth, replaying his denial of responsibility for hundreds of thousands of covid deaths.

This time around, his shifting explanations seem more damaging than the obvious fact that he wasn’t legally allowed to have any in the first place. One of his lawyers compared the stolen documents to overdue library booksbut it is as if he had brought home not only reference books, which are not allowed to be borrowed, but documents from special collections, which must be handled with white gloves under supervision.

Taking classified documents is clearly illegal, and Trump would not be the first person charged with the offensealthough the outcome may depend on the degree of cooperation he has shown, which so far is not at all, more a bunch of help from denial, obstruction and false statements.

While some highly classified documents appeared in his boxes, the question remains whether he also kept empty folders as keepsakes or if they weren’t empty when he packed them up and took them home.

Tom the Dancing Bug is jumping the evidence gun by accusing Trump of acting like a real spy, and if Varvel can be criticized for his blanket accusation, perhaps Bolling should be held accountable as well.

On the other hand, Varvel doesn’t offer a wink to sweeten his article, while Bolling is clearly making an outrageous joke, backed only by Trump’s story of pass Top Secret information to Russian authorities and otherwise release classified documents against the will of the intelligence community and the best interests of the nation.

It’s all in the attitude: in the virginianthe main character ignores his buddy Steve calling him a son of a bitch, but notoriously refuses to take him to Trampas:

You can’t get much more All-American than the classic novel that defined the western.

And it’s true that you can get away with very offensive language, if you smile when you say it.

It is also true that this is not the only wisdom in this book.