Editorial Cartoons About Kyle Rittenhouse Verdict

The power of these editorial cartoons is obvious. The messages are correctly drawn and presented.

Fallout From Kyle Rittenhouse Verdict, Kenosha Has Race And Vilgante Problems

It was a stunning verdict, at least for the ones still grounded in logic, common sense, and legal reasoning.

A jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse on all counts after deliberating for nearly three and a half days. Jurors in the horrific case found that the then 17-year-old was not guilty of homicide, attempted homicide, or any other charges related to the August 2020 bloodshed and violence in Kenosha.

Much has been written about the foundations Rittenhouse started from that allowed for the teenager to drop out of school, have access to deadly weapons, and clearly not have the reasoning capabilities that many teenage males have at that age. After all, what must have been playing out in Rittenhouse’s thinking process to consider it was a good idea to carry an AR-15 into a city where massive protests were ongoing? Even a weeks-long trial with high-priced defense lawyers could not make that action seem sane to the viewers tuning in around the nation.

Much will be said about the outcome of the trial, the actions of the judge, and yes, the often poorly played hand of the prosecution team. But as civilized citizens, we must accept the verdict, even if we vehemently disagree with it.

As this chapter of Rittenhouse’s life turns a page (pun intended) it seems appropriate to consider another part of this larger story. A part that will find it much harder to pretend everything is back to normal.

I refer to the City of Kenosha.

What started this protracted and bloody story was the afternoon Jacob Blake was shot in the back seven times in Kenosha by a police officer. From that event, we have followed the sadness, anger, simmering resentments, misunderstandings, along with an overall sense of utter frustration that is understandable from within the Black community.   

At the time of the multiple shots fired at Blake, Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes said the police shooting “wasn’t an accident”.

“This wasn’t bad police work. This felt like some sort of vendetta taken out on a member of our community.”

Barnes was correct, as what happened looked like something a rigged police system in some third-rate country would use on some political dissidents.  At the time I stated that It was a ghastly crime that these officers will need to be charged with and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

We know that did not happen as Kenosha officials announced that the officers involved in the shooting would not be charged.

Now, this morning vigilantism was given an absolute pass by a Kenosha jury in the Rittenhouse killings.

The racial split in Kenosha has not mended, and it will be asked in the days to come as a result of today’s verdict, how it is a community can not render appropriate justice for the violent crimes that have consumed it. They seem not to even try.

Meanwhile, the nation is watching Kenosha and asking lots of appropriate questions.

I wonder what the verdict would be in the #RittenhouseTrial if the defendant were a Black seventeen-year-old from another state who killed two people with an illegal assault weapon?” legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin tweeted.

That question just got more biting in light of the verdict.

Meanwhile, at city hall, the question to ponder in light of the events since August 2020 is what new business would wish to locate to a place that defines itself with such low standards?

And so it goes.

Kyle Rittenhouse Editorial Cartoons

Over the past year since Kyle Rittenhouse killed two people and injured a third in Kenosha a number of editorial cartoons have been published in newspapers across the nation. As we await the jury verdict I post some of the drawings which make the best statements about this killer and the partisan culture that has embraced his crimes.

I lead off the following with an editorial cartoon from the Capital Times, which best underscores the national narrative playing out on right-wing media about their new hero. It insults our intelligence to have conservatives attempt to justify the actions of a killer roaming the streets with a deadly gun.

Marquette Law School Poll Finds Strong Support For Roe v. Wade, Reasons For Concern About Chipping Away At Women’s Choice

We can be pleased when a well-respected polling operation in Wisconsin makes national headlines. When its director sits for interviews it is clear why credibility is attached to the poll findings.

Many headlines and news articles are being written today concerning the new poll from Marquette Law School which finds that abortion rights have strong public support. That is not surprising if one has discussions with neighbors and friends or listens to a cross-section of the national dialogue.

To put numbers to that foundation of feeling the poll finds American adults opposed by a more than 2-to-1 margin striking down the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

Charles Franklin, a face that everyone knows by sight when he appears on news programs, will be asked to weigh the results of the polling which showed, in addition, to support for the 1973 court ruling, also some drift towards limiting abortion after a certain time period. That last matter is concerning as the encroachment on the health decisions a woman makes must not be furthered.

The poll found that “more respondents oppose overturning Roe than would like to see the ruling struck down. But, at the same time, more are in favor of a ban on abortions after 15 weeks of a pregnancy than are opposed.”

The Marquette Poll was not the only one this week showing the direction of support for Roe v. Wade. The Washington Post-ABC News poll found much the same.

The polling data is most worthy of our consideration as states continually try to find extra-constitutional avenues to limit the rights of women with this health care decision. We know that states have forced counseling and waiting periods before the procedure. We are aware that health insurance coverage is too often denied for abortion, and we know who that impacts the most. Women of lower economic standing.

While we must be diligent about making sure the soft erosion of abortion rights is limited, we can at the same time be most heartened that these polls find the extreme positions of some conservatives are not shared by a majority of Americans. 

And so it goes.

Inflation Not Issue With Democrats’ Job And Revenue Generating Proposals

The news has lately been filled with stories about price increases from gasoline to beef. But just as many stories have been reported that airlines are selling tickets galore and sales are percolating at stores. This morning the lead story above the fold in The Wall Street Journal was titled Shoppers Increase Spending, Despite Inflation.

U.S. consumers withstood rising inflation to power a burst of shopping ahead of the holiday season, with big retailers reporting higher sales and expectations for a solid finish to the year.

Sales at U.S. retail stores, online sellers, and restaurants rose in October by a seasonally adjusted 1.7% from the previous month, the Commerce Department said.

While it is possible to track the reasons for inflation since the pandemic, the supply chain disruptions, and the unemployment numbers or as it has also been termed the “mass resignations’, it must be noted why we must not throw away the chance to advance our society with policies that have been long sought. We need to understand that these proposed initiatives are not inflation-inducing.

When it comes to the Build Back Better legislation some partisans who desire to undermine President Biden rather than listen to the strong support from the public, as polls show, have used the fear of inflation as their rhetorical tool. But the facts and logic are not on their side.

This week at the signing of the massive and much-needed infrastructure bill Republican Senator Rob Portman spoke words that did not make as much news coverage as they warranted. His message was clear. Investing in jobs and revenue-generating ideas is a path towards a strong US economy.

“It represents a long-term investment in our nation’s hard infrastructure assets that will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, and make us more efficient, more productive and more competitive against other countries like China. Importantly, economists agree that by investing over time in hard assets, it adds to the supply side of the economy, and will be counter-inflationary at a time of rising inflation. And it does all of this without raising taxes on the American economy as we are coming out of the pandemic. In contrast, the partisan tax and spend Build Back Better plan will increase inflation through massive stimulus spending and hurt the economy through massive tax increases.

While it is easy to locate the latest screed from the likes of GOP Senators Ted Cruz or Ron Johnson it obviously makes far more sense to listen to the words of economists and learned individuals. Such as Mark Zandi who for years has been read and heard in this nation about economic matters. He is now the chief economist of Moody’s Analytics.

The hair-on-fire discourse over high inflation is understandable, but it’s overdone. … My inflation outlook could be Pollyannish, but only if inflation expectations — what investors, businesses, consumers and economists think inflation will be in the future — rise. If there is a widespread view that inflation will remain high, workers will demand higher wages to compensate and businesses will ante up, believing they can pass along their higher costs to their customers. This vicious wage-price spiral was behind the persistently high inflation we suffered 30 years ago. But there is no evidence that this is happening today.

All of this refutes the notion that the government spending and tax breaks to support the economy through the pandemic, including the American Rescue Plan this past March, are somehow behind the higher inflation. These factors certainly gave a boost to demand last spring, but that faded when the Delta variant gained momentum this fall. There is also no good way to connect the dots between the Build Back Better agenda, which is currently being debated in Congress, and higher inflation. The legislation provides support for public infrastructure and various social programs, and longer term, it is designed to lift the economy’s growth potential, which will ease inflationary pressures.

The fact is that inflation fears are being used by Republicans to confuse a certain segment of the nation and undermine the sitting president. They are not interested in, or understanding of the popular support for housing programs, climate-change policies, and a plethora of other matters contained in the Build Back Better legislation.

Fear may get them a headline now, but the nation is deserving of progress that history will long record.

And so it goes.

Compromise In Washington Makes Stronger Bridges, Better Roads, Ports Near You

We know what happens when partisan gridlock ties up the governing process making Washington mostly useful as the tool for nighttime comedy writers.

But what happened when 19 Republican Senators joined the majority, or when 13 House Republicans linked votes with their Democratic colleagues on the same congressional bill?

On Monday President Joe Biden signed a truly impressive legislative measure to address infrastructure concerns in the nation. The $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill matters for more than just needed physical improvements. Let me explain.

As a result of Congress earlier this year, and correctly so, pumping over a trillion dollars into the economy due to the pandemic, it might seem massive funding amounts are commonplace in headlines. While that is true, the significance of the new legislation and the dollars pumped into states and communities should not be overlooked. The infrastructure projects will impact each and every American.

There is the essential $110 billion to be spent on roads, bridges, and other major transportation projects. With the President’s signature, $66 billion in freight and passenger rail will be updated. It will direct $39 billion into public transit systems, which will assist local urban centers, such as Madison and Sun Prairie.

This blog has commented on the absolute need for expanding broadband, especially following the educational debacle in some parts of the nation that occurred with long-distance education due to COVID. So I am very pleased with the $65 billion into expanding broadband.

The reason we can applaud these items listed here, and a plethora of others in the measure, is due to the ability of members from both parties to move forward with the primary reason they were sent to Washington. To do the work of the public.

Over the many years when voters were asked what angers them about government, the primary reason can be summed up that the failure to compromise and get bills passed that impacts ‘the folks back home’ is the one that most rankles. 

The all-out ultra-partisanship has been building for decades, and this one glimmer of bipartisanship being sealed into a final package will not allow for everyone to see the light. To feel the art of the possible.

But to not stop and recognize the positive impact of working together on this measure will only allow the continuing rancor that consumes Washington to have won another day.

I can just see some conservative candidates challenge Republican incumbents who stood up and decided that government should act for better roads and bridges. How dare a member of the GOP work with the majority party! We have come to a place in our tribal politics when infrastructure is now viewed, by some, as Red or Blue. It was not so long ago that infrastructure bills were just common-sense measures where every state and congressional district proved to be lifted up and improved.

Every district will win with this funding measure too, but many of the Congressional Republicans will carp for their partisan ends. That is a sad place where our nation has landed.

For the rest of us, therefore, it is important to grasp the value of compromise and bipartisanship. We can see the fruit of such work.

And in the future, we will feel it too as we ride on smoother roads and walk through improved airports.

And so it goes.

Madison Marathon Did Not Use Local Merchant For Participant Shirts, Items “Stuck Out On Port”

It was a cold and blustery day for the runners in this year’s Madison Marathon. The snow that had been predicted did not materialize which allowed for much better running conditions.

This evening as a local news report encapsulated the day’s event a rather concerning comment was made that seemed at odds with making this marathon a local tradition.

Sara Kleme, President of Madison Festivals was interviewed by WKOW 27. She said that the pandemic was not the only obstacle to overcome with this year’s event. She stated the biggest struggle was with supply chain disruptions.

She told the news reporter that “we just got all our participant shirts this week from being stuck out on port”.

That sounded really awful the first time I heard it, and it did not improve when I hit the rewind button on the DVR. Local businesses of every stripe have taken a hit to the bottom line from the pandemic with the loss of workers and customers. So when nearly 5,000 participant shirts were needed for the local marathon the project was sent overseas.

Last year when I needed an order of T-shirts for a group of radio enthusiasts I contacted a local professional businesswoman who creates shirts and does her work in the city. In 10 days I had the transaction concluded. The marathon needed thousands of shirts but the order could have–and should have–been kept in this city. That did not happen.

We all talk about buying local and keeping workers on the job. So it is troubling to learn that Madison Festivals, when having the opportunity to keep cash registers humming locally, gave the work project to a place requiring its return via a port.

And so it goes.

Anger Boils Over At Public Meetings, Elected Officials Should Not Be Threatened

It does not take long after opening the newspapers or turning on the news to read or hear another example of overheated rhetoric and even threats coming from the public who attend local board meetings. As of late, it is school board meetings across the country that have stirred outrage from those who attend and wish to make a political statement. In some cases, it would appear that local elected officials need a security team to drive back home.

The anger and threats are most concerning. Not just for the specific people targeted, but for the larger process of having boards and commissions study and work on public issues, and then take the best path forward. To have competing ideas is one thing, but to bluster about and post online the addresses of elected members so to foment danger is simply not acceptable.

I recall former Wisconsin State Representative Lary Swoboda saying as we drove to a special meeting in Southern Door County that it was likely to be a heated and contentious evening. Property tax increases had caused a spike in anger among many, but especially the farmers in the rural communities.

The large room was filled with people, a fair number wearing workboots and less than warm greetings were offered as we found our place to sit near the front. There were loud exchanges at times, but the mood altered considerably when a farmer stood and in response to the news that a local school would have a dumbwaiter installed to help at lunchtime remarked, “Well, for all the taxes we pay could they not put in a smart waiter?”

Everything need not be a nasty drag-out verbal brawl, and that seemed the intent of that attendee. I recall as we left more handshakes and general banter than vitriol was offered. That is how public meetings should end.

The concerns about an array of issues are most worthy of conversations, and yes, they can and will get frothy and energized. That is the nature of our system. But they need not become threatening or violent. What we have witnessed over the past year, however, should alert us we are not moving in a positive direction when it comes to the handling of our differences.

There is no way to countenance what has happened since 13 Congressional Republicans voted with the Democratic majority for the massive, and much-needed infrastructure bill. A number of Republicans who resent that any member of their party had the temerity to break ranks and vote to make the government operate are now creating an environment where personal safety is very much a concern. The members who voted for the funding have found themselves on the receiving end of threats to their workplaces and homes.

One can look at such events from the school board to the halls of Congress and see some patterns. There are some who stir the pot and create the heat knowing that others in the larger community who are easily led will join in and make the waters roil even higher. Stoking passions over matters such as building bridges or providing vaccines, in and of themselves, are not the central concern of the ones behind the curtain.

The intention of outside players from Russia to China is to inflame tensions on topical issues and severely divide this nation. In so doing the country is weakened at home and abroad.

The New York Times spotlighted the issue of threats towards those elected to do a job.

Yet violent talk has tipped over into actual violence in ways big and small. School board members and public health officials have faced a wave of threats, prompting hundreds to leave their posts. A recent investigation by Reuters documented nearly 800 intimidating messages to election officials in 12 states.

And threats against members of Congress have jumped by 107 percent compared with the same period in 2020, according to the Capitol Police. Lawmakers have been harassed at airports, targeted at their homes and had family members threatened. Some have spent tens of thousands on personal security.

This is not just all an organic development, but rather part of a larger power play at work. So it falls to each one of us to take a stand for a mature and reasoned way forward when dealing with contentious matters in the political arena. The alternative is chaos and a further undermining of the democratic process that is essential to our way of life.

And so it goes.