ABOUT "THE CARTOON"
The Union of Concerned Scientists sponsored an editorial cartoon contest on scientific integrity and the federal government. A panel of four professional cartoonists chose the 12 finalists in the contest. My cartoon (below) was selected as a finalist. The public (i.e., you and I) got to pick the winner. Voting ended at 11:59 pm EST on September 30. I would like to congratulate James MacLeod who won with cartoon #3.
To see all 12 cartoons, (my cartoon is #9) click here. Had I won I would have been pleasantly stunned; after all, none of the other entries required a web page to explain the humor. Given that, I felt honored to make the finals and would like to congratulate the other finalists for a job well done. All 12 cartoons will appear in a 2007 calendar to be published by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
If you don't get the humor, it is probably because you have never heard of a signing statement. When President Bush disagrees with a law or part of a law, rather than veto it he will simply sign it but attach a "signing statement" saying that he will choose to ignore that part (or all) of the law. While other Presidents have used signing statements to explain their interpretations of laws, or even express reservations about parts of some laws, President Bush has effectively turned the practice into a veto that Congress never gets a chance to over ride.
If you doubt what you just read, I don't blame you. After all, we live in a democratic republic with a balance of powers between the three branches of government, don't we? Well, that may be what you learned in school, but I would challenge you to Google "signing statement" and see what is really happening. President Bush has used more than twice as many signing statements as all of the other Presidents combined, but when was the last time you read anything about this in your newspaper, or saw anything about it on TV, or heard anything about it on the radio?
I believe that a good cartoon makes you laugh, a good editorial cartoon also makes you think and a really good editorial cartoon can even help you learn. I like to think that this is a really good editorial carton and I thank everyone who voted for it. I would like to add a special note of thanks to all of you who sent this page on to your friends. Hopefully a few people learned something about signing statements.