If California was as cool as Glee.

Sacramento can’t decide whether we’re more like Junior High or High School, however.

Dems vs the Taxpayer Caucus – RUMBLE!

Oh, I do like the slapfights in California politics. Wisconsin is in it to win; we’re in it to flex our muscle, even without the Governator.

The Taxpayer Caucus is the newest clique. Tony Strickland,  a State Senator who started the caucus, so probably isn’t biased at all, writes about it in the Ventura County Star.

California’s taxes are some of the highest in the nation. We have the highest sales taxes. Our corporate income tax is the highest west of the Mississippi. Our personal income taxes are the third-highest in the nation.

Sadly, all true. The sales tax, especially, puts a little sad face on me. :(

The governor wants to put tax increases — which would amount to more than $50 billion over five years — to a vote of the people in June. I think the people should be given a choice on taxes, but they should be given all the choices. If the governor wants to put tax increases on the ballot, then he needs to put an equal or higher tax cut on the ballot, as well. This is the only way voters will truly have their voices heard.

Read  the Star link further to see who would get the juicy tax cut.

Cartoon Caption: IF CALIFORNIA WAS STILL IN HIGH SCHOOL. Current cool kids (the De

Obama, pedophile priests, political Cartoons for April, 2010.

It’s Sunday, so it must be time for the Los Angeles Times Choice Awards! For editorial cartoons, that is!

I had to wade through a lot of elephants saying no to Obama (for Supreme Court nominees), and a lot of  Tea Party ridiculers, and of course Sarah Palin haters, before I found these gems. (I think Glenn McCoy and I may be the only cartoonists who even attempt to shed light on the liberal wussy left.)

I’ll start off today with a cartoonist who is firmly conservative, however: Lisa Benson from Gocomics.com.

Lisa is very local – lives somewhat to the North of LA, and is the cartoonist for a California paper. She usually attacks Obama, rather than political issues in general, as is true in this cartoon. For instance, one (like me) might target the evil bombing countries, but she prefers to blame the President! I picked this cartoon because the Nuclear Summit was in the news this week, and Obama’s facial expression and casual whistle as he walks away made me smile!

I guess I’m not always the best critic, because at first I thought she was saying Obama did a good job! But since the bomb is National Security, I guess not. Still, good cartoon (even though I don’t agree with the point of view) and she draws a credible Obama. Some other cartoonists might want to practice him, since he’ll be around for a while. :)

I picked almost all captionless cartoons this week. I prefer words, in general – no Wordless Wednesday for me! Also, I’m not a fan of black scratchy pen scrawls in online cartoons. Perhaps it looks better in the paper, which usually pays the bigger cartoonists like Mike Luckovich, so I see why they don’t want to change their style.  But nowadays, most people will see it online.

However, I couldn’t resist this one  of the Pope sweeping the pedophile

Op-Ed cartoons for the LA Times, April, 2010.

It’s Sunday, and time to choose the best cartoons for the LA Times Opinion section! This time, I’ve gone to the well of Political Cartoons, too, known as Cagle Cartoons, owned by Daryl Cagle, a fine cartoonist himself.

As happened last week, as I start going through the week’s cartoons I always start thinking – there aren’t enough good cartoons here. Uh-oh. And by the end I’ve picked more than I can use, and I feel very happy that there are so many great, entertaining cartoons out there! In spite of the economy, the foolish newspapers who have let their Editorial Cartoonist go, or use less cartoons than ever (LA Times, I’m looking at you), cartoonists are like crocuses, popping up even in the snow. Very proud to be part of the gang.

It’s funny, I don’t like foreign movies at all, but I do like some of the international cartoonists very much. Look: I’ve never seen an editorial cartoon that is completely wordless! You could use this for Wordless Wednesday! No labels, perfect.

This cartoon is not only quite charming, in a French 1950’s textbook way –  it explains a complicated, sensitive international news item in a way everyone can appreciate. I can’t speak for the cartoonist, but I read this as Ahmadinejad waiting for scraps to fall from the table of the bombs Obama and Netanyahu? are dismantling.

In Los Angeles, we’re of two minds about cats: we pass laws that they can’t be declawed, but also don’t want feral cats to just die…Anyway, I think it’s usually a dog who waits for scraps from the master’s table, and this looks more like a monkey, but the point is clear. Thanks, Christo!

I thought news teams did a great job this week investigating the Massey scandal of ignoring safety violations in the coal mining disaster in West Virginia. I read one story where one of the men who died, Josh Napper,  had a premonition the weekend before the disaster and wrote letters to his family – perhaps stimulated by gas leaks so bad the day before that the miners got out of work early. UGH to this disgusting company! And I’ll have my own cartoon on coal mining up tomorrow on Slate and Yahoo.

Joel of Goc

Editorial cartoons for the Los Angeles Times Opinion section.

Doesn’t the LA Times have their own cartoons? Not during the week, no. The LA Times is one of the top 3 national papers, but they use hardly any editorial cartoons since they laid off Michael Ramirez. They have less cartoons than any of the top 20 papers in the country.

They do have 3 cartoons on Sunday, however, here and in the paper (tiny). But they’re edited by Joel Pett, a cartoonist in Lexington, KY. Lexington, really?? As far as I know, Joel has never lived here, and is Lexington in any way similar to Los Angeles? Well, they both begin with L, I guess. Anyway, Joel only chooses cartoonists in his particular cartoon group, which leaves out 15 or 20 of the top editorial cartoonists in the country.

I’m the only New Yorker cartoonist who also does editorial cartoons, so I have a good background in both. As an award-winning cartoonist and editor, and since I’ve been a cartoonist for the LA Times for 6 years, and, maybe, most importantly, actually live IN Los Angeles, I decided it’s time I stepped up to do the job myself. :)  Now, let’s pick today’s winners!

Tony Auth on coastal oil drilling

Tony Auth is a great cartoonist. I picked this one for several reasons: he was first out of the gate on this issue,  on the new coastal oil drilling Obama just approved. (boo, hiss, even though I don’t have all the environmental facts yet. Just because I don’t trust Obama.) It seems to be pretty common that editorial cartoonists will pick a name or word and then decorate it like an insane calligrapher. But he did a good job here, and the oil spatters are truly dramatic, spilling over the name itself.

People from other states (like Kentucky) might not realize that in LA oil rigs are common. Not out to sea, but they have baby ones like 12 feet tall in people’s backyards! They call them grasshoppers or some insect, and they are SO CUTE bobbing up and down. I hate driving to the airport, but I take the long way just to watch them.  I love industrial things. (more cartoons below.)

Haiti, this is the first time I ever thought about you.

But now I’ll never forget you. The story and images coming from Haiti after the earthquake were so shocking  and grievous that it didn’t even occur to me to do a cartoon about it. I felt that tragedies like  this couldn’t be summed up in an image or drawing. More importantly, that cartoonists would be respectful of the loss of life.

Maybe I was wrong. And maybe cartoonists can help. I’ve never read editorial cartoons until about a year ago, so I had no experience to draw upon. But cartoonists leaped right into the fray, even as corpses sailed across the tv. In one sense, I guess it was brave of them(the cartoonists.) Here are some cartoons that worked, and some that didn’t. (Cartoons are after the jump.)

Two more cartoons I’m glad I didn’t do.

Both of these cartoons are by Rob Tornoe. Let me start off by saying I LIKE Rob’s cartoons. Didn’t I just link to him in my blogroll? Seems like a good guy, a successful editorial cartoonist, and blogs with Daryl Cagle on Daryl’s popular editorial site, politicalcartoons.com. He’s a friend on Facebook.

I like his drawing style, and he’s certainly a professional, in many more publications, and for many more years than me! He’s one of the biggies, as far as editorial cartoonists go, and also has his own blog. (Very attractive – love the orange background, with the chocolate brown header! But alas, it’s Blogger. As you know, I seldom follow Blogger sites, because Google has that self-serving ME ME ME bar at the top, and also commenting is so difficult there. Why make it difficult for your commenters, Blogger blogs!?)

I disagree with his politics, however (Okay, almost always disagree) and I was certainly offended by these 2 cartoons. They’re both about gay rights. I think it’s quite possible to write about homosexuality without talking about actual sex, don’t you? I’m pretty sure gays have the same modicum and decorum and sensitivity as straight adults.

He linked to this on Facebook last month:

Did Obama help gay rights? Maybe he didn’t do anything really big, but he wasn’t like Bush, who tried to stop it.  And at least President Obama wasn’t as rude and disrespectful as Rob is here, having the office of the President give someone the finger.

The next one is worse, because it’s salacious – oh, hell, it’s ob-scene. I don’t know what No on One is, but Rob does a lot of cartoons for New Jersey, so maybe it was there.