In the aftermath of the death of former U.S. President George H. W Bush, editorial cartoonists are creating obit cartoons and reposting old cartoons from when he was president from 1989 to 1993. While a few of my drawings (here and here) included Bush Sr. in editorial cartoons during his son’s Presidency, I was a university student at the time when he was at the helm, and submitting cartoons to campus newspaper, The Fulcrum. Back then my political cartooning was in the form of a wordy, densely illustrated weekly comic strip called Alas & Alack. In November 1989, Bush had been President for less than a year, leading in the shadow of his predecessor, Ronald Reagan, at a time monumental changes were happening in the world, among them the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the cold war. At the time the President seemed desperate to put his own mark on history. With references to Ronald Reagan, Leonid Breshnev, JFK, and even Donald Trump.
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday November 11, 2016
Obama’s legacy is on the line with Trump’s win
President Obama urged the country to unify Wednesday and pledged to work with President-elect Donald Trump, a candidate who for months he blasted as unfit to lead the country and who will now be succeeding him in office.
“It is no secret that the president-elect and I have had some pretty significant differences,” Obama said of Trump in a Rose Garden address. “One thing you realize in this job is that the presidency and the vice presidency is bigger than any of us.”
Obama likened the presidency to a relay race, telling the hundreds of exhausted and emotionally shaken White House staffers who packed the Rose Garden that they were leaving the country in a better position than it was eight years ago.
But for Obama, the election of Trump and the Republicans’ control of Congress puts at risk many of his signature policies over the past eight years. At the core of Trump’s campaign was a promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act and to scrap Obama’s executive actions on immigration and climate change. Trump also has promised to undo the president’s deal to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, the biggest foreign policy achievement of Obama’s second term.
Many of the changes to Obama’s signature programs could happen quickly. Trump has vowed to pull out of the Paris Agreement to curb greenhouse gases and has promised to cancel an Environmental Protection Agency power-plant rule that is intended to cut emissions by about 30 percent over the next nine years, compared with 2005 levels.
On immigration, Trump vowed to overturn Obama’s executive actions to grant work permits to millions of undocumented immigrants, including more than 700,000 younger immigrants already benefiting from the program. A Trump administration could also drop the government’s defense of legal challenges to his executive actions on immigration.
Obama’s push to persuade Congress to ratify the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, a massive trade deal that Trump savaged on the campaign trail, now looks dead. Trump has vowed to renegotiate other existing deals that are already in place. (Continued: Washington Post)
By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, Tuesday July 17, 2012
The Condi Distraction
If Team Romney’s leak that the candidate is considering Condoleezza Rice as a running mate was an effort to change the subject after a tough week on the campaign trail, it wasn’t very successful.
Mitt Romney spent last week being booed by the NAACP when he wasn’t being hounded by the Obama campaign over his tenure at Bain Capital and his refusal to release more tax returns. On Thursday night, the Drudge Report said that the former secretary of state was on Mr. Romney’s short list of VP choices.
Several Republican women like the idea of Ms. Rice joining the ticket. “Condoleezza Rice is an incredible choice, incredibly qualified with her foreign policy experience,” said Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, expressing a sentiment echoed by Sarah Palin and others. But social conservatives and pundits were skeptical, noting that Ms. Rice is pro-choice and not popular among foreign policy hawks.
A Romney-Rice ticket “would deactivate the base,” Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention told The Wall Street Journal. “It will turn some serious contributors and activists into just voters, and some voters into fishermen.” Commentator George Will was even more direct. Mr. Romney “would lose 40 states,” he said Sunday on “This Week.”
Moreover, the VP talk has not stopped the political press from focusing primarily on Bain and Mr. Romney’s tax records. The Obama campaign believes that attacking Mr. Romney’s private equity background can lure white working class voters in politically important Rust Belt states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania, even though people like Cory Booker and Steve Rattner have taken exception to the tactic. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, Wednesday May 2, 2012
‘Even Jimmy Carter would have killed Osama bin Laden’, says Mitt Romney
With the Americans remembering the anniversary of the Obama-authorised US military raid in Pakistan that ended with bin Laden’s death, campaign adviser Robert Gibbs said on Sunday that it was unclear whether Mr Romney would have made the same decision as Obama.
“Look, just a few years ago, President Obama – then a candidate – said in a speech that if we had actionable intelligence of a high-value target in Pakistan, we’d go in and get that high value target,” Mr Gibbs said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Mitt Romney said that was foolish. He wouldn’t do such a thing. That he wouldn’t move heaven and earth to get Osama bin Laden.”
Speaking in New Hampshire on Monday, Mr Romney said he would have made the same decision.
“Of course. Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order,” Romney said.
Many Americans remember Mr Carter’s foreign policy record as weak, primarily because of his inability to win the release of the Americans who were taken hostage in Iran and held for 444 days during his 1977-81 presidency.
Mr Romney has scheduled an appearance Tuesday in New York City with firefighters and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani to mark the anniversary of the killing of bin Laden, who was responsible for the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Last week, Mr Obama’s campaign released a video featuring former President Bill Clinton that sought to reinforce Mr Gibbs’ doubts about Romney. “Which path would Mitt Romney have taken?” the video asks. (Source: The Telegraph)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, Thursday April 12, 2012
Mac should set the standard on openness
Universities play an important role in the fabric of democratic societies.
They are guardians of academic freedom, and carry the responsibility of instilling into their students important ideas and enduring values of our society.
A couple of those ideas are the openness and accountability of public institutions in a democracy and the right of the public to know how its money is being spent.
In that context, McMaster University’s determined struggle to keep secret the details of the financial affairs of former president Peter George is particularly disappointing. The approach to accountability, transparency and disclosure displayed over a course of years leaves the university with a black eye of its own making.
This isn’t just about McMaster. In an era of increasing public demand for open data, the lack of openness displayed is far too common among leading public institutions spending public money and acting on our behalf. We have seen it with the province’s Ornge scandal, with the city’s debate about open police budgets, with executive salaries at Ontario Hydro, and more.
As detailed in Wednesday’s Spectator, this newspaper engaged in a six-year struggle with the university over the release of documents. Every step of the way, the university has fought the release, sought to prevent the former president’s contract and his expenses from being disclosed.
Universities were made subject to freedom of information laws in June of 2006. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)