Thank You, Steve Breen, For Saying It All Without Saying A Word

Did you get the above cartoon the first time you looked at it?

I didn’t, and neither did my husband.

The cartoon was created by the brilliant Steve Breen, the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for the San Diego Union-Tribune since 2001.

The cartoon appeared the day after President Biden’s inauguration.

Breen’s work appears regularly – almost daily – in the Union Tribune, and regularly – almost daily – my husband or I will say, “Great Breen today!”

This time, though, what we thought we were seeing was a figure identified as “Biden” with a paint roller in his hand, covering the Seal of the President of the United States.

Which normally looks like this:

“Why would President Biden,” we wondered, “be painting over the presidential seal?”

We took a closer look…and then…we got it.

President Biden isn’t holding a paint roller.

It’s a squeegee. 

He’s washing off the filth of the past four years.

President Biden has much to clean up, and he can’t do it alone.

But together…

For Sale: One Presidential Medal Of Freedom, Barely Worn

(The following is imaginary – or perhaps not?)

Medal’s Monetary Value:  Unknown.

Medal’s Value to Me:  None.

If only I’d been as brave as Bill Belichick:

But I wasn’t.

Despite the fact that I loathed Trump, I agreed to accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom from him.

It’s heady stuff, being told that a president wants to give you the nation’s highest civilian honor.

I pictured myself in the Oval Office, surrounded by the press, and figured I could – metaphorically – hold my nose while Trump draped the ribbon and medal around my neck.

So I did.  And he did. 

And there were stories all over the media, and I enjoyed reading the coverage and looking at the photos and videos.

And pretending Trump wasn’t in any of them.

Pretending that he was John F. Kennedy, who established the award.  Or Barack Obama – that would have been something.  Or Lyndon Johnson or George W. Bush or…

I confess I’ve shaken my head over some of the various presidents’ choices of recipients, and I expect plenty of people shook their heads when I was a recipient.

I’ll leave that for history to judge.

For now, I’ll judge only myself, for not speaking the truth then:

That I’d be honored to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

But not from Trump’s hands.

I’m reminded of a 2018 book title:  Everything Trump Touches Dies.

He touched me when he put the medal on, and I cringe when I think of it.  Shook my hand, all that stuff.

When I left, I was tempted to stand on the White House steps and ask someone to hose me down with disinfectant.

As for selling the medal…

It’s been sitting in a drawer since the day I received it.  I don’t take it out and look at it, and I sure don’t talk about it.

The medal did have my name engraved on the back, but no worries.

I removed that – it’s gone.

Just like Trump will be gone from office on January 20.

I’ve Got It, And I Know Millions Of Other Americans Do, Too:

I’ve got all the symptoms:

My jaw is constantly bruised because every time Trump opens his mouth, my jaw drops.

My forehead is deeply, permanently creased from my eyebrows constantly raised in disbelief.

I have neck whiplash from so much shaking of my head at one more of Trump lies:

My ears are ringing from the cruel, foul names Trump calls women and men.

My eyes are bleary from seeing nonstop images of Trump’s cruel, foul face:

I didn’t know what was wrong until I called my doctor. 

She said, “You’ve got…

“There’s a lot of it going around,” she added.

I said, “Doctor, is there a cure?”

She said, “Yes!  It’s called January 20, 2020”:

Let’s Just Say “No” To…

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.


I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because they’re a Set-Up-to-Fail.

And setting myself up to fail is no way to start a new year.

For example, there’s the most popular resolution of all:

And there’s a world of “experts” out there, telling us how to do this in 2021, like this one:

And this one:

And this one, in case you want to bring your dog along for the torture:

I find these articles especially loathsome when they include images like these:

Standing on a scale with an apple in one hand and candy in the other?  I say, “Skip the scale, give the apple to the dog, and go for the candy!”

And the other image – two totally buff bodies, one holding a scale which clearly neither ever has, nor ever will, use.

I know from experience that a New Year’s Day resolution to lose weight will last until about 10am or the first football game – whichever comes first – and out come the chips and dips and snacks and whatever else is in the fridge and…


But losing weight isn’t our only Set-Up-to-Fail resolution.  In addition to weight loss, the “experts” also offer lots of other resolutions we can make – and fail to keep:

Gosh – only “55+” ways to fail?

Here are just a few:

Make your bed every morning.  This is a silly suggestion, since I’m going to get back into bed and pull the covers over my head at my first opportunity.

Give yourself more compliments.  This I can do:  “I took a three-hour nap today.  Way to go!”

Take more trips with no destination in mind. We’re already doing that – the entire year of 2020 has felt like a trip with no destination in mind. 

Here’s another one with 55 (what’s with all the number 55 stuff?) resolutions we can fail at:

And here’s a sampling:

Make your bed every morning.  What’s with all the making my bed stuff?

Drink more water.  I will.  I will add one more ice cube to every alcoholic beverage I drink.  Starting with breakfast.

Travel somewhere with no map.  We’re already doing that – for the entire year of 2020 we’ve been traveling somewhere with no map.

I say:   Forget about the weight-loss-list makers and the 55-resolutions-list makers and go for the one New Year’s resolution I did make years ago and have adhered to faithfully:

Pass the snacks, please.