The Week in Editorial Cartoons – International and Domestic Wingnuts

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Crossposted from Daily Kos

THE WEEK IN EDITORIAL CARTOONS

This weekly diary takes a look at the past week’s important news stories from the perspective of our leading editorial cartoonists (including a few foreign ones) with analysis and commentary added in by me.

When evaluating a cartoon, ask yourself these questions:

1. Does a cartoon add to my existing knowledge base and help crystallize my thinking about the issue depicted?

2. Does the cartoonist have any obvious biases that distort reality?

3. Is the cartoonist reflecting prevailing public opinion or trying to shape it?

The answers will help determine the effectiveness of the cartoonist’s message.

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Mahmoud, Hugo, and Muammar… Meet Rush, Glenn, and Sean



Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

Introduction

The annual United Nations General Assembly Meeting in New York City, the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh, and a meeting to advance the Middle East Peace Process produced a very high number of editorial cartoons this past week.

The UN Meeting is never devoid of theatrics.  See this list of the ten wackiest speeches at the UN.  It includes memorable moments courtesy of Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, and Venezuela’s theatrical president, Hugo Chavez.  This year, relief came for the cartoonists from two old reliable friends: Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  Their speeches produced some hilarious cartoons. In fact, some compared them to our own, home-grown wingnuts like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.



Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution



Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



Tony Auth, Philadelphia Inquirer

A president’s in-box is never empty.  If the editorial cartoonists’ interests are any indication, the next major issue to dominate their minds — and the Obama Administration’s — is the increased focus on the growing American role in shaping the future of Afghanistan.  Already, the war there has exceeded the amount of time spent by this country in both World War I and World War II combined.  



Jeff Parker, Florida Today

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Parker reviews the state of that war-torn country in his blog

A spike in U.S. military casualties, the recent crooked Afghan elections and Americans’ sinking support for the war, has President Obama re-thinking a major troop increase he outlined in March, despite a recent assessment calling for more troops by Obama’s new commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal.

There are plenty of opinions about how to proceed with the war: from pouring more troops and treasure into a country that for centuries has gnawed on empires; to a force shift that would instead scale back American forces and focus on rooting out Al Qaida there and in Pakistan.

While substantive issues such as the global economy, nuclear proliferation, Climate Change, and Middle East Peace were discussed at these three meetings, the G-20 Summit also produced a rare treat: a wonderful exhibition featuring 40 international cartoonists and illustrators.  I have included the slide show of the entire collection which was made available by Rob Rogers, Editorial Cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Additionally this past week, wingnuts were mocked endlessly, Tom Delay ridiculed, the ACORN situation clarified and put into perspective, and no one liked the Baucus Bill, introduced in Congress to a great deal of skepticism from all sides.  

Health Care Frankenstein



Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

Finally, President Barack Obama’s increased media presence last week resulted in some wonderful cartoons amidst reports that the American public thinks he is not being overexposed by his staff.

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1. CARTOONS OF THE WEEK: Linking Domestic Clowns (FOX News, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck et al) with International Clowns (Muammar Gaddafi, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad et al).



Tom Tomorrow, This Modern World, see Letters to the Editor in Salon magazine



Nick Anderson, Houston Chronicle, see reader comments in the newspaper



Jim Morin, Miami Herald



Mike Keefe, Denver Post

Watching Fox TV News



Paul Szep, Daily Szep



Bill Day, Memphis Commercial Appeal



Mike Keefe, Denver Post



Bill Day, Memphis Commercial Appeal



Jeff Danziger, New York Times Syndicate



Steve Breen, San Diego Union-Tribune



David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Star



Paul Szep, Daily Szep, Huffington Post



Tony Auth, Philadelphia Inquirer



Matt Wuerker, Politico



Daryl Cagle, MSNBC.com



Chip Bok, Akron Beacon Journal  

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2. Certified Domestic Wingnuts in Full Bloom



Tom Toles, Washington Post

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Historian Thomas Frank — the author of What’s the Matter With Kansas? — thinks the Republicans were quite successful this past summer in painting government as the enemy of, well, everything.  Still, he thinks there is an opportunity for liberal activists to assert themselves.  Is he correct?

In truth, there has been no better time for a vindication of activist, Rooseveltian government since the 1930s.  The laissez-faire faith lies in pieces around us.  Conservative dogmatism lay behind many of the Bush administration’s worst blunders, including some of the monumental screw-ups to which conservative pundits point when denouncing government generally.

But that is not how the Democrats have chosen to respond.  Instead, they pine for civility, pretending that the argument comes down to the scary rhetoric issuing from the right.

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Andy Singer, Politicalcartoons.com



Garry Trudeau, Doonesbury



Dwane Powell, Raleigh News and Observer



Ron Rogers, South Bend Tribune



Don Wright, Freelance Cartoonist



Chris Britt, State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL)



Jim Day, Las Vegas Review Journal



Steve Benson, Arizona Republic

3. Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: Two of a Kind



Henry Payne, Detroit News



Tim Goheen, McClatchy Newspapers



David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Star



Mike Keefe, Denver Post



Vic Harville, Stephens Media Group (Little Rock, AR)



John Sherffius, Boulder Daily Camera



Dana Summers, Orlando Sentinel



Steve Greenberg, Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles



R.J. Matson, St. Louis Post Dispatch



Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com



Tim Goheen, McClatchy Newspapers



Rex Babin, Sacramento Bee



David Horsey, Seattle Post-Intelligencer



John Cole, Scranton Times-Tribune

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4. Healthcare Reform: It’s Crunch Time!



Nick Anderson, Houston Chronicle



Drew Sheneman, Newark Star-Ledger



Bob Englehart, Hartford Courant



R.J. Matson, St. Louis Post Dispatch



Jim Morin, Miami Herald



Tom Meyer, San Francisco Chronicle



Lalo Alcaraz, LA Weekly  



Jeff Danziger, New York Times Syndicate



Paul Szep, Daily Szep, Huffington Post  



Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press, see reader comments in the newspaper

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5. The Republicans: A Party Without a Platform



R.J. Matson, Roll Call

:: ::

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows that the public will largely blame the Republican Party if Healthcare Reform fails on Capitol Hill.  Moreover, does it stand for anything?    

The GOP is still shell-shocked.  After the collapse of the Bush presidency and the Democratic victories of 2006 and 2008 — especially the improbable, to their minds likely inconceivable, ascendancy of Barack Obama — the Republicans have dug themselves in behind the barricades of a nihilistic right-wing populism.  They apparently think it’s a position to fight back from — not just in the rhetorically heated summer of 2009 but in the cooler Novembers of 2010 and 2012.

As events unfold, Republicans are likely to discover that they’ve dug themselves deeper into a hole, leaving them bereft of positive ideas to offer voters an alternative, appealing conservative vision of the future. Quick: Think of a big idea — any bold initiative — that the present GOP stands for.  It is a party without a platform.



Nick Anderson, Houston Chronicle, see reader comments in the newspaper



Michael Garman, garmancartoons.com



Steve Sack, Minneapolis Star-Tribune



R.J. Matson, Roll Call

Preparing for Another Shoe-Throwing at a Bush Event?



Vic Harville, Stephens Media Group (Little Rock, AR)

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6. Is President Barack Obama Overexposed in the Media?



Tom Toles, Washington Post

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After appearing on a number of network and cable shows last weekend, several commentators questioned if the president was overexposed in the media.  A new poll does not show that.  Moreover, his appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman resulted in that show’s highest ratings in four years

Americans Still Like Seeing Obama

According to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, most Americans don’t think Obama makes too many media appearances.

Just 34% say they see and hear Obama too much, while 9% say they see/hear him too little and 54% say it’s the right amount.



Mark Streeter, Savannah Morning News



David Cohen, main.nc.us/cartoons



Jimmy Margulies, New Jersey Record



R.J. Matson, St. Louis Post Dispatch



Matt Wuerker, Politico



R.J. Matson, Roll Call



Bob Englehart, Hartford Courant, see reader comments in the newspaper

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Englehart would like to see Obama on television even more so

If President Reagan was “The Great Communicator” then President Obama is “The Constant Communicator.”  More recently, we’ve gone from an inarticulate president who rarely spoke to the nation, thank God, to an articulate president who can’t stop talking.  I’m not sure which I like better.  Well, OK. I know.  Give me a president who talks to the population any day.



Garry Trudeau, Doonesbury

7. Barack Obama and the Democratic Party



Jimmy Margulies, New Jersey Record

:: ::

The Obama White House is actively involved in a number of statewide races this year as well as in 2010.  A new poll shows Democrats leading in a Congressional preference poll.  The White House is also keenly watching two gubernatorial races in November 2009.  Both John Corzine in New Jersey and Creigh Deeds in Virginia are closing in on their Republican opponents after trailing badly this summer

While there is nothing unusual about a sitting president and top members of his staff becoming involved in state-level elections, Obama and his advisers have unapologetically embraced politics since the president took office.  At the same time, they have taken some real risks, both by getting involved in Democratic primaries and, in the case of New York, doing so even when it will not directly affect the balance of power in Washington.

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Jimmy Margulies, New Jersey Record



Taylor Jones, Politicalcartoons.com



R.J. Matson, New York Observer



Lloyd Dangle, Troubletown

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8. The Economy: The Recession’s Over, Didn’t You Know?



Mike Thompson, Detroit Free Press, see reader comments in the newspaper

Note – FLASH PLAYER REQUIRED TO VIEW THE BELOW



Ruben Bolling, Tom the Dancing Bug, read Letters to the Editor in Salon magazine



Stuart Carlson, Universal Press Syndicate



Steve Sack, Minneapolis Star-Tribune



Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution



Ted Rall, Universal Press Syndicate



Steve Sack, Minneapolis Star-Tribune



Matt Wuerker, Politico

9. The Environment: Climate Change Gets its Day in the Sun

Ghostbusters



Petar Pismestrovic, Kleine Zeitung (Austria)



Adam Zyglis, Buffalo News

Hangman



Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press, see reader comments in the newspaper



Olle Johansson, Norra Vasterbotten (Sweden)



David Cohen, main.nc.us/cartoons



Jeff Danziger, New York Times Syndicate



Stephane Peray, The Nation (Bangkok, Thailand)



Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette



Cam Cardow, Ottawa Citizen

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10. Afghanistan: The Graveyard of Empires



Chan Lowe, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

:: ::

Lowe thinks that Afghanistan is an awful mess for the Obama Administration and that it should pay particular attention to the country’s history

Americans have never been much for learning the lessons of history.

Part of it is that America is so different from other nations, founded on principle rather than ethnicity or geography.

A corollary to this is the myth of American exceptionalism, which, loosely translated, means: “Others failed in the past because they did it wrong. When we do things our way, we succeed.  Plus, we’ve got God on our side.”

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Steve Breen, San Diego Union-Tribune



Dwane Powell, Raleigh News and Observer



Jeff Danziger, New York Times Syndicate



Robert Ariail, robertariail.com



Stuart Carlson, Universal Press Syndicate



Paul Szep, Daily Szep, Huffington Post



Ron Rogers, South Bend Tribune



Jeff Stahler, Columbus Dispatch



Vic Harville, Stephens Media Group (Little Rock, AR)



Tim Egan, Deep Cover



Ed Stein, edsteinink.com

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Stein advises Obama to choose carefully when it comes to picking from several bad options in Afghanistan

President Obama announced the other day that he is still studying his options before committing more troops to the war in Afghanistan.  None of his options are all that appealing.  Afghanistan is starting to look eerily like Vietnam: a weak, corrupt government, an entrenched and resolute enemy, difficult terrain, and a lack of popular support both in Afghanistan and in the United States for what looks to be a long and potentially unwinnable war.  Choose carefully, Mr. President.

11. The Middle East Peace Process: Reluctantly Moving Forward



Mike Thompson, Detroit Free Press, see reader comments in the newspaper

:: ::

Jonathan Freedland writes in the Guardian newspaper that the Middle East Peace Process is in a rut but there was no choice for leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority but to meet and he cautions not to write off Obama as yet

How had it come about that, in the words of the Israeli columnist Nahum Barnea, the Americans had “discovered that they want an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement more than the Israelis and the Palestinians want it”?  The narrow answer is the usual one, that the local politics on both sides of the conflict has made inaction a safer bet than action. Netanyahu sits atop a coalition that is perfectly stable — just so long as he doesn’t do anything.  Were he so much as to hint at taking any of the steps necessary for a peace deal, coalition partners would start breaking off like aeroplane wings in an ice storm.  As for Abbas, he has finally acquired some political strength, removing potential rivals from within his own Fatah faction while all trace of Hamas has been eradicated from the West Bank.  As one Fatah insider puts it: “Abbas is now at the peak of his powers.”  All that could damage him are the accusations of treachery that would instantly follow any compromise with Israel.

:: ::



Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com



Gary Markstein, Copley News Service



Matt Davies, New York Journal News



Dan Wasserman, Boston Globe



Mike Peters, Dayton Daily News



Ed Stein, edsteinink.com

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12. The United Nations General Assembly: A Good Beginning for Obama



Bruce Plante, Tulsa World, see the large number of reader comments in the newspaper

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In an editorial, the New York Times applauded Barack Obama’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly in what the paper considered “another step toward repairing America’s battered image.”  The missing ingredient: no mention of the Afghanistan War which Obama himself had described in the past as a “war of necessity.”  Michael Tomasky in the Guardian newspaper characterized Obama’s proposals as being reasonably bold, wishing, though, that Obama had been more forceful in pursuing his global agenda.  Yet, he thinks the speech was a success

Barack Obama’s four-point agenda in his speech to the UN general assembly today was unobjectionable — well, to most people — and laudable: vast nuclear arms reductions, promotion of peace in the Middle East and elsewhere, new efforts on climate change and common resolve on global economic problems.

Fair enough.  But the four “pillars”, as he called them, weren’t really his strongest selling points.  To a UN crowd, those were two: the fact of his not being George Bush, and the fact of his race.

In politics, leaders’ moral authority is often derived not as much from what they say or do, but simply by virtue of who they are.



Gary Varvel, Indianapolis Star



Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com



Mike Peters, Dayton Daily News



Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press, see reader comments in the newspaper



Jeff Koterba, Omaha World Herald



Signe Wilkinson, Philadelphia Daily News



Kevin Kallaugher (KAL), The Economist (U.K.)  



David Cohen, main.nc.us/cartoons



Jeff Danziger, Creators and Writers Syndicate



Patrick Corrigan, Toronto Star

13. G-20 Summit: Revamping the Global Economic System

G-20 Cartoon Slide Show – FLASH PLAYER REQUIRED TO VIEW

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Editorial Cartoonist Rob Rogers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette worked hard to arrange Drawn to the Summit, an exhibit of 70 editorial cartoons by over 40 cartoonists from each of the participating countries.  See more of his cartoons in his special G-20 Sketch Blog that he drew during Summit Week

The only way I know how to describe the overkill of security at the G-20 is to compare it to a little animated film called “Bambi Meets Godzilla.”  In the film Bambi is frolicking in the field … only to be squashed by Godzilla. There were way too many police with way too much equipment.  The protesters seemed small in comparison.  With the big lockdown, visitors had to squint through barbed wire to get a look at the city.

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Bambi Meets Godzilla



Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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What exactly was achieved at the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh, PA?

One year after a financial crisis that began in the United States tipped the world into a severe recession, leaders from both rich countries and fast-growing powerhouses like China agreed on Friday to a far-reaching effort to revamp the economic system.

The agreements, if carried out by national governments, would lead to much tighter regulation over financial institutions, complex financial instruments and executive pay.  They could also lead to big changes and more outside scrutiny over the economic strategies of individual countries, including the United States

The United States will be expected to increase its savings rate, reduce its trade deficit and address its huge budget deficit.  Countries like China, Japan and Germany will be expected to reduce their dependence on exports by promoting more consumer spending and investment at home.



Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



Matt Davies, New York Journal News



Patrick Chappatte, International Herald Tribune



Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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14. Paul Kirk: Senator Ted Kennedy’s Replacement



Dave Granlund, davegranlund.com

:: ::

The Boston Globe finds former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and Kennedy staffer Paul Kirk as a capable interim appointee until a permanent, elected U.S. Senator succeeds Kirk in January 2010

An important part of Senator Edward Kennedy’s preeminence in the Senate was his outstanding staff.  For eight years, Paul Kirk Jr., the 71-year-old attorney chosen by Governor Patrick yesterday to be the state’s interim US senator, was part of the deep bench Kennedy had behind him as he fought his signature battles for health care, education, and better working conditions…

The Legislature and the governor have acted sensibly, and with commendable dispatch, in making sure that Kennedy’s death did not leave the state with just one vote in the Senate as it takes on momentous issues like health care reform and climate change.

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15. ACORN: Much Better Than Wingnuts



Dwane Powell, Raleigh News and Observer

:: ::

Harold Meyerson takes the mainstream media to task for ignoring the real work being done by ACORN.  In addition to its voter registration drives to increase minority participation in elections, he points out the following

What are the projects on which all these staffers and members work? Raising the minimum wage, for one.  ACORN conceived and led the successful initiative campaign to raise the wage in Florida in 2004 and in four more states in 2006.  In the past four years, it successfully pressured seven legislatures in other states to raise their minimum wage as well.

Another major campaign has been to limit the interest and fees that banks charge homeowners.  In the 1990s, ACORN spearheaded a number of legal actions, often joined by states’ attorneys general, that compelled such lenders as Citigroup to change many of their practices. The group has led successful drives to outlaw the most egregious predatory lending in nine states.  It also counsels thousands of inner-city homeowners and home buyers.

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Also see this excellent diary by BooMan23 in which he recounts his experiences working for ACORN in Philadelphia, PA and argues strongly for continued federal funding for the organization.



Mark Streeter, Savannah Morning News



David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Star

ACORN Overreaction



Jimmy Margulies, New Jersey Record



Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer

Big Game Hunter



R.J. Matson, Roll Call



Matt Bors, Idiot Box

:: ::

Indie Cartoonist Matt Bors criticizes the Republicans for not being concerned about massive fraud and corruption amongst U.S. private contractors like Blackwater in Iraq and wonders why they haven’t been investigated so far  

The funny thing is how important ACORN is to conservatives.  I’m pretty sure it’s one of the top Communist cells in Obama’s Secret Agenda that Glenn Beck made up in his head.  To others it does boring grunt work involving poor people that they never heard about until this year.  Any chance of getting that idiotic fake pimp over to Iraq to ask questions of Blackwater employees?  Apparently, that’s the only way Congress will pull their funding.

Adding: An interesting development brought to my attention by August (J. Pollak, another indie cartoonist).

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16. Moscow on the Hudson: No Yakov Smirnoff Joke



Jimmy Margulies, New Jersey Record

:: ::

The National Basketball Association may soon have a first — a professional sports team in America owned by a foreign investor.  The richest man in Russia, Mikhail Prokhorov, has offered to build a new basketball arena for the New Jersey Nets and to buy the team.  Will he succeed?  Some are unsure as to how he made his billions.  The deal is pending approval by the NBA

Writing on his blog, Prokhorov claimed that, if his bid for the Nets were accepted, it would be the first time a foreigner had gained full control of a US major National Basketball Association (NBA) club — albeit one stumbling along at the bottom of the league.  Chinese investors took a minority stake in the Cleveland Cavaliers last May.

Wide Receiver Plaxico Burress of the New York Giants begins his two-year jail term for weapons conviction



Drew Litton, drewlitton

The Detroit Lions beat my team, the Washington Redskins, to win for the first time since late 2007!, read the gloating comments in the newspaper by Lions fans 🙁



Mike Thompson, Detroit Free Press



Drew Litton, drewlitton

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17. Final Thoughts

Finally, what does it mean to become an American?  Editorial Cartoonist Chan Lowe of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel explains

A close friend of mine just sent me this photo of his daughter-in-law, who celebrated becoming an American citizen the other day.

Looking at the sheer exuberance in this young woman’s face as she proudly waves her new flag, I was struck that even though we call each other names, accuse one another of being unpatriotic, and attack our leaders on a regular basis (all quintessentially American activities, by the way), there are still people who admire what we are so much that they passionately want to be one of us



Chan Lowe, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, see reader comments in the newspaper

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A couple of days ago, this young lady was a Filipina.  Then, she raised her hand and took an oath of allegiance.  Now, she is one of us.  No hyphens, just an American — free to complain, along with the rest of us, about everything she thinks is wrong with this country.

When you put it that way, who wouldn’t want to be an American?

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A Note About the Diary Poll

The Next Hill



R.J. Matson, St. Louis Post Dispatch

:: ::

What will Afghanistan look like in ten years?  Will there be more U.S. troops in the country?  Will there be any Allied troops assisting American forces?  Will their government be more stable with a functioning army and police force?  Will Al Qaeda’s presence be significantly diminished?  Will the Taliban still terrorize much of the country or simply fade into  the tribal areas of Pakistan?

The answers are awfully difficult to predict.  But, choose you must.

[poll id=”

966

“]

6 comments

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  1. :: ::

    Tips, recommends, and the like here.  I encourage your comments, feedback, and suggestions.  It allows me to keep improving the diary’s format and content from week to week.

    I typically look at 500-700 cartoons from a variety of sources during the week.  If you have any suggestions, please email your cartoons to me and I’ll certainly try my best to include as many as possible in my weekly roundup.

    Thanks.

  2. …We definitely need a few good laughs. What a prodigious effort you put out here.  

  3. … for promoting my essay to the front page.

    I’ve missed Docudharma and hope to contribute here more frequently.  I don’t have any ponies to give ya but…

    :: ::



    Cam Cardow, Ottawa Citizen

    • TMC on September 29, 2009 at 2:48 am

    for posting this here. I often miss your great round ups at DK since diaries move very fast there. I should just bookmark your diary list.  

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