The Sorensen Monologues

Archive for April, 2014

Society of Professional Journalists Award

Well, I’m having a good year. I’ve been named a winner of the SPJ’s Sigma Delta Chi Award, along with my colleague Angelo Lopez. Angelo is a talented cartoonist, and I encourage you to check out his work.


Let’s Talk About Checks

The Paycheck Fairness Act, recently torpedoed in the Senate, addressed some glaring problems that have generated less discussion than they should. This useful post (“Why Do Bosses Want Their Employees’ Salaries to be Secret?”) by Michelle Chen on The Nation  explains the need for protections for workers who discuss their salaries:

Lily Ledbetter had been a loyal employee of Goodyear Tires for nearly two decades before she discovered she had been underpaid for years. What angered her most wasn’t the lost pay but the betrayal of her economic dignity.“When I was hired they let me know that if I discussed my pay, I wouldn’t have a job. So I had no way to know,” she said in a 2012 interview on One Thing New. When the 60-year-old Alabama mother realized (thanks to an anonymous tip) that she had been paid less as a plant supervisor than male coworkers, she recalled, “I felt devastated. Humiliated…. It just really made me sort of sick that all this time I had been getting awards and being told I was doing a great job, and no one had ever said I wasn’t making what I should be. I had no idea how much less.”

The struggle for fair pay isn’t captured in wage statistics; it’s part of a struggle against the asymmetry of knowledge that divides management and labor—and fundamentally, a struggle for a democratic workplace.

Well-said, and remarkable that so many Americans accept this asymmetry so unquestioningly.

The National Women’s Law Center has a handy PDF about what the Paycheck Fairness Act would actually do.


Tyranny of the Collectivists

The “collectivists promise heaven, but deliver hell” quote is taken from that recent Charles Koch editorial in the Wall Street Journal. It’s time to think outside the Cold War box and consider the threat posed by corporate collectivism against the individual.


Get Your Words’ Worth

There were so many mind-blowingly illogical quotes in Roberts’ McCutcheon v. FEC opinion, it was hard to pick just one for the cartoon. Another classic:

“[Many people] would be delighted to see fewer television commercials touting a candidate’s accomplishments or disparaging an opponent’s character,” he wrote. “Money in politics may at times seem repugnant to some, but so, too, does much of what the First Amendment vigorously protects. If the First Amendment protects flag burning, funeral protests and Nazi parades — despite the profound offense such spectacles cause — it surely protects political campaign speech despite popular opposition.”

Way to confuse the content of the political ads, which no one is objecting to on free speech grounds, with how they are funded!


Additional thoughts on Obamacare comic

I’ve appended some follow-up thoughts on my Kaiser Health News comic to this week’s cartoon, below. (Posting this to cycle it into the blog section of the front page).


Jen Sorensen is a nationally-syndicated political cartoonist whose work has appeared in The Progressive, The Nation, Daily Kos, Austin Chronicle, NPR, Ms., Politico, and many other publications. The recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, she tweets at @JenSorensen.

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