The Sorensen Monologues

Archive for February, 2020

Trumping Our Safety 2020

Pretty straightforward one this week. I wanted to show the absurdity of Trump unfairly demonizing immigrants at the same time that he (and the GOP) are undermining so many other aspects of public safety, such as our ability to respond to the coronavirus. As this Foreign Policy article notes, “In 2018, the Trump administration fired the government’s entire pandemic response chain of command, including the White House management infrastructure.” They also slashed the CDC’s meager budget for work on global health, leading Bill Gates to beg H.R. McMaster and John Bolton to reconsider, apparently unsuccessfully.

The pardoned criminal with mob ties in the fourth panel is former NYC police commissioner and Giuliani pal Bernard Kerik, whose shady dealings you can read about here

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Billionaire Buttinsky 2: Bloomberg Boogaloo

I haven’t been doing many strips about the candidates lately, partly because I’ve grown weary of the circular firing squad. But I feel compelled to address Bloomberg. Questionable record of stop-and-frisk aside, I do not think he’s as electable as some people think he is. Politics is largely a personality contest based on perceived charisma. I’ve always liked Molly Ivins’ theory that a candidate needs to have at least a little Elvis. He or she needs to inspire people in an authentic way. Let’s just say Bloomberg is appallingly bereft of Elvis.

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Selfie Surveillance

Burbling in the background of election and impeachment news have been disturbing revelations about a company called Clearview AI, which has been hoovering up photos people post to social media and selling them as part of a 3 billion-image facial recognition database to police departments. While the company currently does business in the US and Canada, Buzzfeed reported that it’s seeking to go global, which would entail working with governments known for human rights abuses.

Then there’s Amazon’s Ring, which shares doorbell camera images with police departments. Ring also has a platform for sharing the videos online with neighbors

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Who’s Going to Save Us?

In an interview with Bloomberg News, Joni Ernst said “I think this door of impeachable whatever has been opened… Joe Biden should be very careful what he’s asking for because, you know, we can have a situation where if it should ever be President Biden, that immediately, people, right the day after he would be elected would be saying, ‘Well, we’re going to impeach him.'” When asked what he would be impeached for, she replied “for being assigned to take on Ukrainian corruption yet turning a blind eye to Burisma because his son was on the board making over a million dollars a year.” As the article notes, this claim has been debunked. Since then, Ernst has tried to walk back her comments as “hypothetical,” but it’s clear that she believes in a conspiracy theory and her comments were threatening, whether she intended them to be or not.

Jen Sorensen is a cartoonist for Daily Kos, The Nation, In These Times, Politico and other publications throughout the US. She received the 2023 Berryman Award for Editorial Cartooning from the National Press Foundation, and is a recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. She is also a Pulitzer Finalist.



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