Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Tag:

Danziger: Pound Foolish

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.com.

Danziger: Be Careful What You Wish For, Boris

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.com.

Irish Columnist Offers Scathing Review Of Pence Visit

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Vice President Mike Pence has completed a two-day visit to the Republican of Ireland, where he met with Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, President Michael D. Higgins and other officials. During his visit, Pence (who is Irish-American) spoke in glowing terms about his Irish ancestry. But Miriam Lord, a columnist for the Irish Times, was not impressed — and on Tuesday, she delivered a scathing critique of Pence’s visit to her country.

Ireland is two separate countries: Northern Ireland is part of the U.K., while the Republic of Ireland to the south is not. Residents of Ireland have been worried about how a hard Brexit could affect them, as the Republic of Ireland is on the euro and plans to remain in the European Union (EU).

Lord notes that Pence, like President Donald Trump, is a strong supporter of Brexit and was on his way to meet with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson when he was in Ireland. And in her column, she takes Pence to task for the pro-Johnson comments he made during his meeting with Irish officials.

Lord asserts, “As the air in the steamy ballroom turned decidedly frosty, Pence urged Ireland and the European Union ‘to negotiate in good faith’ with the new British prime minister…. The local crowd raised eyebrows and wondered what he thinks the aforementioned EU has been doing for the last three years, if not negotiating in good faith with the U.K.”

These comments, she said, were so jarring and out of place that it was as if Pence were a house guest who “shat on the new carpet in the spare room.”

The columnist added that Pence’s “Irish hosts, up to their oxters for the last three years in Brexit worry, hoped to impress upon him Ireland’s fears about the consequences of a no-deal Brexit for the country.”

Lord’s sarcasm becomes even more biting, however, when she discusses Pence’s anti-gay history and the fact the Varadkar is gay.

“In the end,” Lord writes, “Pence brought his wife, his mother and his sister to the old country, where it seems a lot of the natives have turned alarmingly heathen in the generations since his ancestors left our shores….. To look at Mike Pence, with all smiles and handshakes, you’d hardly think he isn’t very keen on the gays at all.”

Lord goes on to say that even though Pence embraces a severe form of fundamentalist Christianity, he seems to have no problem with Johnson’s history of infidelity.

“The next prime minister the couple (Pence and his wife, Karen Pence) will meet on their trip will be the serial philander Boris Johnson,” Lord writes.

Lord concludes her column on a snarky note, pointing out how greatly Pence’s Christian fundamentalism contrasts with Trump’s behavior.

Pence’s visit to Ireland, Lord writes, “was a great example of diversity in action. President Trump, who recently visited, is very hands-on with women and likes to grab them in all sorts of places — and his second in command is the opposite. He won’t stay on his own with a woman who isn’t his wife. God bless America.”

British PM Johnson Loses Parliamentary Majority Amid Tory Rebellion

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered a historic defeat on Tuesday when he lost his first vote in Parliament — a humiliation that no prime minister has suffered since 1894 — and watched his razor-thin majority evaporate.

The resounding 328-301 rebel victory advanced a bill designed to block a no-deal Brexit on October 31, by requiring the prime minister to seek a three-month extension if he cannot strike a reworked deal with the European Union. What will come next remains unclear, as Johnson has declared he will now seek a “snap election” in October — but he cannot do so without a two-thirds vote in Parliament that Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labor Party, says will not occur.

During the bitter debate on Tuesday, it became clear that Johnson’s attempt to deprive Parliament of its role in the Brexit debate by suspending its operations had provoked a furious rebellion by members of his own Conservative Party that saw 21 Tories desert him.

Threats by Johnson and his ministers to drive those rebellious members out of the Tory party didn’t intimidate but instead enraged them. Among those who defied the bullying was Sir Nicholas Soames, the grandson of Winston Churchill, on the anniversary of Britain’s entry into World War II.

Indeed, the courage of the Tory rebels in defending British democracy against an incompetent and malevolent authority recalled their predecessors in the prewar years, a small band who stood against conservative appeasement of Fascism and Nazism — and eventually found a leader in Churchill himself.

As explained by Ian Dunt, editor of Politics.co.uk, Johnson’s defeat represented something bigger than the raging debate over Brexit and its unforeseen consequences:

A dangerously populist government had tried to bully parliament into irrelevance. Parliament had fought back. For MPs on the opposition benches, operating in line with their leadership, that will have been relatively easy. But for those 21 Tory rebels, it threatened their career, their party: everything. It required extraordinary bravery.

That sense of rebellion, that willingness to stand firm, was of the utmost historical importance.

IMAGE: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.