Archive for May, 2008

Obama and Edwards Sitting in a Tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, May 19, 2008

As it happens, John Edwards came to a Barack Obama rally in downtown Grand Rapids to announce his endorsement of Candidate Obama. It was a big, big deal …for maybe a day or two and then on to the next news cycle. That’s the way it is. Nobody really cares anymore. I mean, honestly, right now, two weeks later, do you care what John Edwards thinks? So I had to come up with a comic that could live beyond a 24-hour expiration date.

Fortunately for me, racism and homophobia have a shelf life measured by carbon dating. (Just goes to prove that editorial cartoonists sometimes have a very twisted view of what “fortunate” is.) And while it is true that West Michigan has historically been inhospitable territory for the Democratic Party, the current Republican Party has screwed up conservatism so badly in this century that this might not be recognized as true come the fall elections. So I was compelled to trot out this generally held belief before it gets taken away from me.

Gotta run. Lots of work to do before the Pistons game tonight. I hate the Boston Celtics. At least I’ll always have that….

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Michigan Economics: And So It Goes…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, May 12, 2008

Enough words already in this week’s comic. No need to add more here. Anyway, it’s about the sad state of Michigan economics. We all — sigh — know the drill….


Mission Accomplished? Not So Much…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, May 5, 2008

At certain points in my life I’ve been absolutely positive that I would never like girls, eat a tomato, or carry a cell phone. I’ve been convinced that the NBA would never let the Detroit Pistons beat their precious Celtics and Lakers to win a championship. I’ve thought a Democrat would never be elected President (think Mondale/Dukakis years). I truly believed the band Wild Cherry had something going with that “Play That Funky Music” hit and were really going places. I thought Three’s Company to be a better quality show than M*A*S*H (although, in my defense, it was the later years of M*A*S*H and I had gotten over the idea of never liking girls — or at least their jiggly parts). And I was without doubt that I was lookin’ tasty when I went off to an 8th grade dance at Holy Redeemer in a silk shirt, platform shoes, and polyester slacks pulled tight with an extra wide belt to my barely 20-inch waist. I could go on. But the common thread here is that I stated these beliefs publicly, and I was wrong. Embarrassingly wrong.

For a different kind of wrong (let’s call this one “tragically”), this week’s comic was timed to the five year anniversary of President Bush’s infamous landing and speech on the USS Abraham Lincoln under the “Mission Accomplished” banner. As much as the administration has tried to weasil out the intentions of the banner (“We intended it only to mean this particular ship’s mission.” Riiiight.), it was clear it meant, “this Iraq thing is over, let’s throw an oil party.”

Similarly, our Michigan state government thought it had solved our business tax issue last fall when it killed the hated Single Business Tax and then scrambled with unnecessary haste because of political brinksmanship to come up with the Michigan Business Tax. Done! And there was much rejoicing. But wait, as taxes came due this year, some business’s taxes went up. Government officials were shocked, shocked! and proceeded to promise hearings to look into the matter …and there has been no more talk of having the issue solved.

Well this has been very therapeutic. I don’t feel nearly as embarrassed about myself — except for the cell phone thing. What certitudes have you proclaimed and later regretted?…


Economic Stimulus …Borrowed from the Future…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, April 28, 2008

As you can see from the first panel, I think there are much better ways to help our economy in the long-term than sending us all welfare checks. As you can see in the second panel, I am as susceptible as any other American consumer to the siren call of flat-panel television technology. Not that we’ve bought one, but I am keenly aware of how to get one…..

Oh, and in the “do something long enough and you start repeating yourself category,” I submit the comic below. I knew I had done a government welfare check comic before. It was published in May of 2001. As you may recall, the government was sending us deficit money back then, too, and encouraging us to buy something — ANYTHING!!! It struck me that that might be a tough sell to the notoriously thrifty Dutch descendents who populate West Michigan:



Doodle Day…


What the Northwest/Delta Merger Means to You…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, April 21, 2008

And I am quite sure that there have been airplane passengers who have complained to their friends after having shared a seat next to me: “He was all arms and legs and constantly working to get a piece of the arm rest! He was chomping Good & Plentys and the black licorice juice ran out of the corners on his mouth and dried there like some erstwhile Alice Cooper! And he kept his nose in a book the whole time pretending like he didn’t want to talk about my Franklin Mint collectables or marital issues!”

As for the comic itself, Northwest already dominates our local airport like an extremely large person can dominate a row of aircraft seats. The merger with Delta will only make them larger. Could end up being okay if some competition shows up, but in the meantime we may have no choice but to squeeze into the window seat….


Play the Classics!…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Family magazine, April 2008