Proposal 1 Is Harshing My Summer Mellow

Proposal 1 Is Harshing My Summer Mellow

Originally published in the Ann Arbor News, Bay City Times, Flint Journal, Grand Rapids Press, Jackson Citizen Patriot, Kalamazoo Gazette, Muskegon Chronicle, Saginaw News
July 27, 2014

Not much to add to this one really. Tax structures, local revenue stabilization, business equipment values — it’s quite a lot to have to think about during the few weeks of nice weather we get here in Michigan. Except that it didn’t get out of the 60s yesterday. *sigh*

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Central Americans in Vassar, Michigan

Central Americans in Vassar Michigan

Originally published in the Ann Arbor News, Bay City Times, Flint Journal, Grand Rapids Press, Jackson Citizen Patriot, Kalamazoo Gazette, Muskegon Chronicle, Saginaw News
July 20, 2014

Last week there was a protest in the small town of Vassar in Michigan’s thumb about US immigration policy. That seems a curious place to have such a protest, but there were two main reasons. One, there was a possibility that some of the Central American children who have been entering the United States illegally in this recent wave of desperate refugees would be brought to Vassar temporarily to be processed. Two, fear.

And so in a very human and historically American reaction to fear, some folks grabbed flags and weapons and marched around with angry faces, blamed others for the situation, and offered emotionally satisfying but completely unworkable solutions for fixing everything. (The one that always gets me: build a wall with Mexico. The border distance of the Gaza Strip with Israel and Egypt is about 40 miles and obviously cannot be sealed. The US/Mexico border is almost 2000 miles. Uh-huh.)

It’s a tough problem with real human beings that will need thoughtful solutions and money to manage. It will also be helpful for folks in Vassar and the rest of the US to think about what is driving those kids north. As Bob Dylan said, “When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.”

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A Valuable Lesson …We’ll Have to Charge You for That

A Valuable Lesson ...We'll Have to Charge You for That

Originally published in the Ann Arbor News, Bay City Times, Flint Journal, Grand Rapids Press, Jackson Citizen Patriot, Kalamazoo Gazette, Muskegon Chronicle, Saginaw News
July 13, 2014

Can you tell I have one kid graduated from college, one in college, and one nearly there? Can you tell I’m a little bitter about a few things?

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At Least There Is One Thing We Can All Agree On

At Least There Is One Thing We Can All Agree On

Originally published in the Ann Arbor News, Bay City Times, Flint Journal, Grand Rapids Press, Jackson Citizen Patriot, Kalamazoo Gazette, Muskegon Chronicle, Saginaw News
July 6, 2014

My little inside joke here is the guy wearing the American flag shirt with “Bud” on it — the parent company that makes Budweiser and Bud Light is actually Belgian.

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Our Transparent Governor Snyder

Our Transparent Governor Snyder

Originally published in the Ann Arbor News, Bay City Times, Flint Journal, Grand Rapids Press, Jackson Citizen Patriot, Kalamazoo Gazette, Muskegon Chronicle, Saginaw News
June 29, 2014

In general, I’ve given Governor Snyder more slack than an editorial cartoonist probably should in his approach to staying on task with his agenda and trying to stay out of the quagmire of day-to-day politics. But he is the governor after all, and it’s not wrong to expect a certain level of accountability (or, heck, even feigned interest) in a topic that is important despite not being at the top of his list. Last week when presented with some evidence that certain charter schools have not been the best stewards of our public money, Snyder came back with what I paraphrased in panel #2. Which sounded to me like what he says in panel #3. It was a condescending dodge one would expect from a slick politician. I feel the slack tightening….

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Potholes!

Potholes!

Originally published in the Ann Arbor News, Bay City Times, Flint Journal, Grand Rapids Press, Jackson Citizen Patriot, Kalamazoo Gazette, Muskegon Chronicle, Saginaw News
June 22, 2014

After Michiganders have clearly and repeatedly made it known that getting a long-term solution in place to fix our roads is our number one priority, the legislature managed to adjourn for summer vacation without actually doing it. A pox of mosquitos upon them.

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Congress Is Concerned About Your Safety. Well, Mostly…

Congress is Concerned About Your Safety. Well, Mostly...

Originally published in the Ann Arbor News, Bay City Times, Flint Journal, Grand Rapids Press, Jackson Citizen Patriot, Kalamazoo Gazette, Muskegon Chronicle, Saginaw News
June 15, 2014

General Motors CEO Mary Barra goes back to Washington DC this week to testify before Congress. She is to deliver a more detailed explanation of what went wrong with the faulty ignition switches that has been attributed to a dozen deaths in the United States. Of course there will be some grandstanding and some faux righteous indignation from members of Congress, but by and large the process works the way it should work: the American public has a vested interest in the reasonably safe operation of motor vehicles and over the past few decades our government has acted accordingly — passing laws, enforcing laws, and when necessary asking some deeper questions. The result? Driving is much, much safer than it was 50 years ago. Sure, a good deal of this was private market innovation. But let’s not kid ourselves, especially those of us from Michigan. We know how hard the industry fought seat belts and air bags. In the end, though, seat belts and air bags have become selling features.

Americans have a similar vested interest in gun safety and the prevention of gun violence. And yet, we cannot seem to get our crap together on this one — the American public or our government. Sure, other countries deal with high rates of weapons-related deaths and injuries, but those situations are called “civil wars.” Here, it’s just a macabrely acceptable status quo. “Well, that’s just America. We’re unique.” That’s true, we are unique. We grew up from a vast and open land; we have a fierce independence; we have a constitutional amendment about militias and bearing arms. I get all that. (Please, please don’t feel the need to explain.) But we as a Americans also have this amazing ability to get results from our sometimes frustrating system. It’s working for highway safety, why not gun safety?

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Dysfunctionally Functional?

Dysfunctionally Functional?

Originally published in the Ann Arbor News, Bay City Times, Flint Journal, Grand Rapids Press, Jackson Citizen Patriot, Kalamazoo Gazette, Muskegon Chronicle, Saginaw News
June 8, 2014

Recently the Michigan legislature had a sudden burst of civility and compromised on legislation to increase the minimum wage and to fund a large portion of the grand compromise to protect Detroit pensioners. It looked like that might carry over to getting a real solution to fixing the roads, but as of now the Republicans and Democrats are back at each other’s throats. It reminded me a bit of the old “Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog” Warner Brothers cartoons. You guys remember those?

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The Lane is Going to End!

The Lane is Going to End!

Originally published in the Ann Arbor News, Bay City Times, Flint Journal, Grand Rapids Press, Jackson Citizen Patriot, Kalamazoo Gazette, Muskegon Chronicle, Saginaw News
June 1, 2014

I don’t often do a cartoon that is a variation on the same theme. But there is lots of material to work with here. (And I can’t promise that I won’t do it again….)

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I Probably Shouldn’t Mess Like That with Politicians

I Probably Shouldn't Mess Like That with Politicians

Originally published in the Ann Arbor News, Bay City Times, Flint Journal, Grand Rapids Press, Jackson Citizen Patriot, Kalamazoo Gazette, Muskegon Chronicle, Saginaw News
May 25, 2014

In Michigan, our legislature is finally, finally putting together a serious long term plan to fix our awful roads. I have harped on this for many years and pleased that we are all finally taking a mature approach. After starving funding for road repairs for more than a decade, it only makes sense that an increase will be needed. And it only makes sense for at least part of that funding to come through higher gas taxes. Well… up until the point when I have to buy gas.

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