The Sorensen Monologues

Archive for November, 2014

Grandpa Perkins’ Thanksgiving Tirade

Everything about the Ferguson decision was bad, including the timing of the announcement, which came just after my cartoon deadline. But you wanted to hear what Grandpa Perkins has to say anyway.

Many people have the feeling that the country has seen better days, that we’ve lost our small town roots and values. But instead of looking to factors like corporate chains replacing local businesses, the spread of low-paying jobs, sprawl, and the sucking sound of Wall Street hoovering up the nation’s wealth, millions of Americans have been led to believe that immigrants are to blame. Then they do their shopping at places like Walmart and the cycle continues.


Life in the Billionaire Bubble

The billionaire in question is one Paul Singer, who wrote an epic screed to his investors about the “fake” economic numbers coming out of Washington. Singer issued the following caveat:

check out London, Manhattan, Aspen and East Hampton real estate prices, as well as high-end art prices, to see what the leading edge of hyperinflation could look like

Now, it seems to me that other factors may be coming into play here. For example, when 1% of the world’s population holds as much wealth as the bottom half, you’re going to see some pressure on those Picasso price points. It’s a clash of the titans — titans with near-infinite resources to spend impressing each other to death!

When you see the price of luxury homes as a more reliable indicator of inflation than the price of milk or gas — or government data showing that inflation is under control — it says more about your limited, paranoid perspective than anything else.


Low-information Nation: Midterm Elections Edition

A couple articles inspired this cartoon. First, this piece from September, about Kentucky voters who love the state’s new health insurance exchange (Kynect) but still disapprove of the Affordable Care act:

“I’m tickled to death with it,” Ms. Evans, 49, said of her new coverage as she walked around the Kentucky State Fair recently with her daughter, who also qualified for Medicaid under the law. “It’s helped me out a bunch.”But Ms. Evans scowled at the mention of President Obama — “Nobody don’t care for nobody no more, and I think he’s got a lot to do with that,” she explained — and said she would vote this fall for Senator Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and minority leader, who is fond of saying the health care law should be “pulled out root and branch.”

Then there was this piece about disillusionment with Washington last Wednesday. It was full of quotes by people angry about gridlock, but not quite grasping its source:

And in Racine, Wis., Jeffrey Kowalczuk, a 56-year-old account representative for a trucking company, seemed no less disillusioned than Ms. Pizarro after voting for Republicans in that critical state.  “I’m just tired of all the fighting and bickering,”  he said. “We’re all Americans. It’s just getting old with all that stuff.”

That would be from a man who ostensibly voted for SCOTT WALKER. The article concluded:

“Obama has not accomplished what he promised to the community,” said Juan Neyra, 69, a retired security guard in Denver. He said he used to vote for Democrats, but this year had voted for the Republican Senate candidate, Representative Cory Gardner, who was challenging Senator Mark Udall, a Democrat. “And Udall supports Obama,” Mr. Neyra said.

Straight outta the GOP playbook.

 


Desperation Nation

Something’s going up for people struggling financially — and it’s not the minimum wage. The low-end consumer loan business is booming, with several states caving in to lobbyists’ efforts to let interest rates go even higher.


Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.

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