Friday, February 23, 2007

Guess the missing last panel

Because the ellipsis at the end of the current last panel indicates that it does continue.

I'm guessing that the final punchline to what Ryan Phillipe Dennis Hopper is saying is that the boomers didn't have real jobs because between Bush and Reagan, they were downsized, outsourced and just plain laid off out those jobs.

In googlebombing news, What's wrong with Mallard Fillmore is now #17 in the results for "Mallard Fillmore" and #39 for "Bruce Tinsley" up by 2 and 3 spots respectively). Here's your cut and paste googlebombing code if you haven't already put it in your blog.

<a href="">Mallard Fillmore</a>
<a href="">Bruce Tinsley</a>

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Thursday, February 22, 2007

So here's a question

If the bow-tied bald-headed bespectactled liberal doesn't know any conservatives and is completely mystified by them, why is he pouring out his heart to a conservative duck?

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I've got nothing here

Bruce has apparently learned that it's easier to have a joke if you have dialog, although there's a tendency to have the words REALLY HUGE not realizing that it's the pictures as much as the text that make for a comic strip. And there's nothing factually incorrect about a child going to college and coming back conservative (although this is worth remembering in August/September when Bruce will go off on one of his America's colleges are dens of liberal indoctrination rants). They also sometimes come back as Hare Krishnas, alcoholics and/or prostitutes.

And I guess there's something to be said about panel two, after all, I didn't realize that conservatives ate children. I think, though, that they only think they're eating endangered species.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Because, you see, Bruce Tinsley lives in libertarian wonderland

We've also determined that he lives in some sort of time warp. I actually had yesterday off (my wife too). And the Federal Employee that comes to our door most days, aka the mailman, was missed (OK, so it was because of netflix mostly). And apparently Bruce forgot about the government shutdown orchestrated by the republicans back in the late 90s. And like Bruce, they underestimated the extent to which people do notice and appreciate the role of government in their lives.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Monday, February 19, 2007

Who's a good president

Sure, the duck is entitled to have a favorite president, even if he can't draw him very well (I'm assuming that it's supposed to be the right wing's minor deity, Ronald Reagan). Not much very funny there though.

I suppose that I could point out that the reason no mail came today is because this is the federal holiday called Washington's Birthday (no matter what cartoon ducks or matress salesmen will tell you). I am, after all, here to educate.

Or better still, I can point out the reason why Reagan is such a demigod among the right wingers. It's because he managed in his second term (but not his first) to have the first Republican administration since Harding-Coolidge to manage to have job growth exceed population growth. I mean sure, every single democratic administration (except for one term of Roosevelt, when the country was in the grips of the Great Depression and Europe was sliding into World War II) managed the feet, even Jimmy Carter's administration. So I suppose I could educate people a bit more by pointing out that on every measure of economic well-being and controlling for anything you want Democratic presidencies do a better job of managing the economy than Republican presidencies do, but then I'd have to provide a disclaimer:
Update: Speaking of blown opportunities, Prickly City reminds us that it's two weeks since the astronaut story and Candorville adds that it's two weeks since Anna Nicole Smith. Mallard Fillmore squanders his short lead time by reminding us that it's been one-hundred and forty-two weeks since Ronald Reagan died. And 932 weeks since he left office.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Are conservatives more generous?

OK, so I managed to find the Jonah Goldberg column. Read it. Marvel at Bruce Tinsley's lack of reading comprehension. Jonah Goldberg in fact, explicitly warns at making precisely the claim that Tinsley does.

And let's note that the Goldberg column is referring to the same study in his second footnote that Goldberg is in his column. So we get two citations out of one study. And as any good social scientist knows, a single study, taken in isolation isn't particularly useful, especially when the study doesn't really compare what you think it does (note that Goldberg has to take the route charitable giving ➝ religiousness ➝ political conservatism). It's been years since I've had access to GSS data and the tools to analyze it, but I'd imagine that one could check the strength of this correlation with the questioning in that survey). I would argue that that last correlation is probably the weakest of the lot and one that's already beginning to break down as religious folk begin to realize that political conservatism is, in fact, generally the direct opposite of what their religious tradition teaches (or so says the devout Catholic who's never intentionally voted for a Republican in his life).

It is worth noting that the most charitable are the working poor (in terms of percentage of their income) while the middle-class are the least charitable. But I think that there's a lot to be said about having disposable income as a factor in giving and the fact that working poor incomes are so low that even a widow's mite of a contribution can be a larger fraction of their income than is the largesse of the wealthy (many of whom donate for the explicit reason of tax avoidance).

But that said, my cursory search found nothing but commentary on the Brooks study, most of which seemed to be of the flavor: See, I told you those damned secular liberals weren't giving their money away.

Having said all of this about charity, let me point you at one that is worth giving to, regardless of your political affiliation: My friend Camilo is doing the AIDS LifeCycle challenge. He's supposed to raise a total of $2500 for the ride and is just one tenth of the way there. So follow the link there, put a donation on your credit card (tack on an $.07 if you're conservative, $.11 if you're liberal, and let's see who's more generous). I'm already in for $100 (donated before the liberal/conservative challenge went into effect).

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The bad poetry continues

Continued evidence that Bruce Tinsley's love life must be awful. I know commenters have pointed out that his biography says that he's married with kids, but I don't believe it. The bio I sent my high school reunion organizers says that I won the Nobel Peace Prize (I sent it before I one Time's person of the year).

Sentiment aside, the scansion continues to be awful in Bruce's poetry although the inner couplet cold have been easily fixed:

So why are you irate...
That Because this card is late
(the strike out and bold shows the edit). Perhaps Bruce needs a new way to sublimate those frustrated desires.

And since it's Saturday, let me point out my advertiser in the left corner and the fact that there are ostensibly related objects of crass commercialism that you can buy from amazon at the bottom of the page (actually, the links at the bottom of the page seem to also be influenced by what you've looked at on amazon as well, and occasionally are just plain random).

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Friday, February 16, 2007

After a flashback to 1998, I guess this is timely

We know that the duck has a two-week lead time, same as Doonesbury. So how come the Doonesbury strips on Rosie vs Trump are already a distant memory? How long has it been since this whole dust-up? I did a quick look in the Doonesbury archives to see when his strips on the topic took place. It's been over two weeks, so at least Bruce didn't just look at Doonesbury and try to make a lame joke.

I can't wait until June when we'll be treated to some witty humor on the death of Anna Nicole Smith, the people's playmate.

In the google-bombing progress report, I've moved up from number 24 to number 19 on the search results for "Mallard Fillmore." For "Bruce Tinsley" I'm at 42, which is higher than somewhere in who-knows-where last time I checked. If you want to contribute to What's wrong with Mallard Fillmore being the number one site when people search for "Mallard Fillmore" or "Bruce Tinsley, instructions are here. If you don't have a blog, the other thing you can do is to a google search on mallard fillmore or bruce tinsley, dig through the results until you find "What's Wrong with Mallard Fillmore". I'm not entirely sure that this amounts to anything, but since Google owns blogger maybe it does affect the ratings.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Oh God, PLEASE make it stop

The cardinal rule of comics is that once the holiday's over, you move on to another topic for jokes. Unless, of course you're Bruce Tinsley and you're so busy supporting the troops you forget Veteran's Day (even though it's always November 11th), or you decide that your "wit" demands that you continue your "Mallentines" on the 15th and beyond.

Because, gee, there's nothing funnier than Bill Clinton is promiscuous jokes.

And I thought that Bill was supposed to be responsible for her career, and not her baggage. Bruce, you only get to have it one way.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Bruce Tinsley admits it.

It turns out that all of my speculation about his love life is true (read the strip). Gee Bruce, maybe if you weren't such a racist misogynist, you'd be able to get a date.

In the Walter Williams watch category, there's another article. Well, not an article actually, more an opinion piece by a Wall Street Journal guy, well not really an opinion piece, more a bit of lame reportage to fill the contracted number of column inches.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Because it's all about Hillary vs Obama

One of the recurring features of Mallard Fillmore is the misogyny which is barely concealed beneath the surface. In a lot of ways, Bruce Tinsley is the classic movie serial-killer: He hates women because he ain't getting any (it would explain the whole drunk driving thing too).

Let's see what's wrong today. At this point, there's not much pointing out the complete lack of scansion (although at least he does get AABBA right). But there is the standard-issue viewpoint that the dem primary is pure Barack vs. Clinton (never mind that Edwards has strong support, Clark and Gore aren't officially in (yet), and it's all a year away. Heck in November of 2003, I boldly predicted that John Kerry was going to be the first to drop out of the dem primary, an outcome which turned out to be far from the truth).

Then there's the claim that Hillary Clinton married her way to the spotlight. See, there's why I brought up the misogyny. Any serious observer of politics has to recognize that in fact, Hillary's marriage was the exact opposite of that: By marrying Bill, she ended up putting her own political career on hold for decades, and while it's certainly true that without the name she wouldn't have been a serious contender in New York in 2000, it's also certainly true, that without the marriage, she wouldn't have needed the name because she would have had a long serious political career of her own. She's far from my first choice in the dem primary, but she sure ain't the K-Fed of politics.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Monday, February 12, 2007

Wrong in so many ways

Of course there's the formal things: Like something that I suppose is maybe a really weak attempt at a limerick, although usually Bruce at least gets the rhyme scheme and here we have something like ?ABBA.

Or "Mallentine" which I suppose is supposed to be Mallard+Valentine and rhyme with Valentine, but the double-L makes it seem like it's an ode to indoor retailing.

Or #23, which implies, that there are 22 more of these in the Bruce Tinsley archives.

How about the substance? Dude, nobody offers a rival a cabinet position as a consolation prize. VP maybe (unless you have Dick Cheney search the country for the best VP candidate), but not cabinet. And while I'm sure that every candidate would like every other candidate to drop out, this sort of deal-making just doesn't happen.

It does, I suppose, give Bruce a chance to draw a poor charicature of Hillary.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Things I learned from today's Mallard Fillmore

  • Bruce Tinsley ain't getting any
  • Bruce Tinsley ain't ever getting any.
Because, after all, nothing says romance like, honey I'm so cheap I'll write up a poem that doesn't scan which promises you a gift the day after Valentine's day with the lame excuse that I don't want to spend a lot of money on you.

As for the blue-haired dark-skinned woman (I'm assuming she's African-American), perhaps this is the real reason behind the whole Walter Williams thing: He's trying to impress some black chick and thought that if he endorsed a black guy it'd give him some cred.

Because, after all, black women are totally into middle-aged white alcoholics who support right-wing black crackpots.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Maybe he thinks one article is victory

Guess what! There's actually media coverage of the Walter Williams-Mallard Fillmore thing.

OK, it's the Washington Times, but it is at least a newspaper, sort of. You can read the article here along with commentary here, here, here and here. I wouldn't bother though, here's the short and easy-to-digest version: Walter Williams isn't running because Mrs Williams won't let him. He's received "hundreds" of supportive e-mails, almost as many e-mails supporting him running as offering to sell him v!agra without a prescription.

As for today's strip, come on, everybody who follows politics (including the media folks), knows at least one prominent black conservative.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Friday, February 9, 2007

Maybe he doesn't know what "threaten" means

Anyone remember way back when, the duck saying that he was "going to threaten an African-American"?

Then he went on to write:

I think it's high time you were reviled, vilified, slurred, demonized and discriminated against by the media!
I demand that you run for president!!

That's not a threat. Not even close.

There's no outrage because (a) you didn't make a threat and (2) you're a cartoon duck! With random italicization and too many exclamation points!!

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Maybe Bruce doesn't know that Barack smokes too

Or at least he did until recently.

But of course, since Bruce Tinsley seems to take the stance that he's for all evil, I half expect him to claim that smoking doesn't cause cancer and that the tobacco companies are poor persecuted companies which are selling a harmless product..

We already know what Walter Williams thinks on the subject.

Personally, I find Christopher Buckley's take on the subject to be one of the best one.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Maybe trying to do a week of headlines with the same first word isn't a good idea

I mentioned global warming yesterday and I feel compelled to note this factoid courtesy of Kevin Drum. It's not just Walter Williams. It's a large and growing fraction of Republicans who insist that global warming isn't real.

As for today's strip, let me point you at Brendan Calling for a good response to the strip. I did try and see if Walter Williams said anything offensive about slavery, and while I'm sure he did, the best I could find was that Abraham Lincoln was a bad man who cared more about building a strong central government than about ending slavery. Oh, and that despite all evidence to the contrary, economics and the free market would have brought about an end to slavery on its own. Because, as we all know, slavery is economically unviable in today's economy.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Maybe it's Groundhog Day over and over and over...

So the Walter Williams/Howard Dean nonsense continues from Bruce Tinsley. Oh so much wrong. And yet there's also so much right: With a paper-trail like Walter Williams has, he will never have to worry about being elected president.

When I was in college (and I'm sure it's still the case), there were groups of kids who read Atlas Shrugged or some other piece of dreck and decided that they liked the idea that selfishness was good and went about spreading their newfound faith with the zealoutry of Jehovah's Witnesses. Most of them grew out of it. Walter Williams appears to be one of the ones who didn't.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Monday, February 5, 2007

Maybe the earth will be wiped out by an asteroid

Because at least that would put an end to this Walter Williams stuff. I did another quick check to see if I was premature about the groundswell when I checked on Saturday (if only I had saved that for today, but I thought for sure that Bruce Tinsley would have moved on to ranting about something else by now). Nope. Although a date-sorted google news search on "Walter Williams" (and also "Walter E Williams"), reveals that Mr Williams is one of the last people on earth to still think that global warming isn't real. Yeah, that's just what we need in the 2008 election cycle.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Maybe it's better when he doesn't try for the joke

I admit it. I've got nothing here. They keep pushing the super bowl back, and maybe someday it'll happen on Valentine's Day.

Which would be a good set-up for a joke, rather than a punch-line. Picture, say Mrs Williams griping at Walter E for spending the fortnight leading up to valentine's day worrying about the Super Bowl big game instead of finding her some nice lingerie or something. Now that could be a funny strip.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Saturday, February 3, 2007

When in doubt, just make things up

So today, Bruce asserts, "The media keep saying that we're 'not yet ready for an African-American president'."

We'll let the google link speak for itself.

Ok, how about not ready for an African-American president? Nope, no go there either. We've got three stories. The Chicago Defender, a black paper which quotes Sam Greenlee indirectly as stating that America is not ready for an African-American president, but who then goes on to say that Obama should run anyway (and that he would vote for him).

From the University of Nevada Las Vegas' The Rebel Yell, we have the words not appearing in a quote (direct, or indirect). Ooh, they're named The Rebel Yell. Good ol' boys, pick-up trucks and confederate flags. This should be good, right?

Some claim that the United States is not ready for an African American president, but this can be played off as simple generalizing buggery. While many still hold certain racial stereotypes as true, the number of minority candidates elected to large offices has increased by leaps and bounds in recent years.
Curses, foiled again.

We have a quote from the Daily Southtown of "Jan" who's afraid that racism will result in even further attacks on Obama along the lines of the cocaine "story" and presumably, although she doesn't mention it, the Madrassa story. I'm sure that Monday's rant will be a take-down of the Washington Times and Fox News for pushing that garbage.

The duck goes on to claim that he's never met a single person who wouldn't vote for a black candidate. And yet, one out of three Iowans are willing to say that they believe that America isn't ready for an African-American president (the numbers are even worse for women and Hispanics). Apparently Indiana is a lot more progressive than Iowa.

Oh, and since it's Saturday, let me point your attention at our current sponsor (until someone raises the bid), Neon Hearts. Not a web comic, but rather an on-line bookstore, with a unique twist: They use a simplistic method for calculating postage for shipping your order, but if your postage is less than that number, they'll give you that much as a credit on your next order. It's all used and often obscure, but there may be something you'll like there.

Update: Speaking of things the media hasn't talked about, I tried doing google news searches on "walter williams mallard" and "walter williams tinsley" to see if there was any media coverage of Bruce's efforts this week. Nothing. Not even a letter to the editor.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Friday, February 2, 2007

He's not even trying to make it funny anymore

Not that he ever was. I could comment about the bizarre belief that a ranting comic duck would ever do anything more than fill up the RNC and Walter Williams e-mail boxes with crank letters.

So let me talk about this article from last year (and whence came the illustration above). Clif has already commented on the substance of the quote and the pretentiousness of Williams's use of the word "fortnight" (yeah, who does use that these days?). I'll instead note that Walter Williams refers to his wife as "Mrs. Williams." That must be some interesting home life.

One more thing: Many of you have blogs or websites of your own. I'm thinking that it would be fun if google searches for "Mallard Fillmore" and "Bruce Tinsley" came here as the first option. Here's how a googlebombing on these terms works. Paste the following into a blog posting (or a web page)

<a href="">Mallard Fillmore</a>
<a href="">Bruce Tinsley</a>
and that's it.

No need to do it more than once, and it's important that the text that's part of the link be those words. With enough links, this blog can be the top search result on "Mallard Fillmore" and "Bruce Tinsley."

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Thursday, February 1, 2007

All of the time = not as often as you might think

In Ventury County (California), there's someone who thinks that Mallard Fillmore is "entirely factual, complete with citations from current news sources."

Oh dear.

But that's what I do every day, show that it's not entirely factual.

Let's take today's assertion, that Walter Williams is "speaking all of the time on college campuses", and offers the handy "citation" of So I check the site. Let's see, in the current events calendar, Dr Williams is scheduled to speak, um, once.

OK, but they just might not have put up all his speaking engagements yet. How about the past events calendar? He's listed seven times. Well that's a lot better. Until you realize that the calendar goes back to January 2001, with Williams's first appearance in the spring of 2003. So he's been averaging just over two speaking engagements a year. And at $10,000-15,000 per appearance, that's not really fundraising money either.

I wonder if Dr Williams is embarrassed about this whole thing? He doesn't mention it on his home page which is full of typical right-wing spew (ooh, Canadian health care rations care--no mention of how American insurers will just deny it outright or come up with bureaucratic hoops whose whole purpose is to discourage seeking healthcare; pacifists are causing the war against radical islam to drag out--never mind that the neocons have been working to expand it as much as possible). So I'm guessing that maybe he his embarrassed. Unless, as that page seems to indicate, he's incapable of embarrassment.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip