Friday, November 28, 2008

Barack Obama calligraphy portrait

(November 2008) My calligraphy portrait of
President-elect Barack Obama is the latest in a series of unique calligraphy portraits that I've done over the years. Obama's own words, from his eloquent keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, rendered by hand in calligraphy, actually form his portrait! An absolutely unique work of art. Nobody else in the world creates anything like my unique calligraphy portraits. Others in the series are Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Mary McLeod Bethune. Prints are available. Great for presents! Also great for school groups. For an individual 11 by 14 inch print on fine parchment, suitable for framing, just $25 each. For large orders of 20 or more prints, just $10 each. Send a check or money order to: Jerry Breen, 816A Cinnamon Ridge Place, Cockeysville, MD 21030. - Jerry Breen

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Obama Star Trek Book?

This is the cover art for a forthcoming project I'm working on. It's a book called "Dreams from My Sa-Mekh: A Story of Space and Inheritance". The title may remind you of a current best-seller. (Hint: "Sa-Mekh" is the Vulcan word for "father".) It's written by a certain half-Vulcan/half-human Starfleet officer, known only as "(asterisk)". (You couldn't pronounce his real name.) Like Spock, he has always been conflicted about his multiracial ancestry. In this poignant memoir, he confronts these issues and, possibly, goes where no Vulcan has gone before. Faithfully translated from the original Vulcan and profusely illustrated. Coming soon from Alpha Quadrant Press (site of the Breen Homeworld). For news on future developments, just send your email address to and we'll send updates right to your tricorder. Live Long and Hope! - Jerry Breen

Monday, November 10, 2008

President Obama Portrait Painting

(November 2008) The election is over and the people have spoken.
Perhaps my misgivings about Obama are unfounded and, as my friend cartoonist Tom Chalkley believes, Obama will surprise me and govern like a conventional Democratic administration. I certainly hope that he has a successful term of office, because that's best for the country. This painting of President Obama is the latest addition to my "Gallery of Heroes" at Gerstell Academy in Finksburg, Maryland. President Obama's portrait joins over 175 others in the hallways of the school founded by Dr. Fred Smith. It's possibly the largest collection of portrait paintings by one artist in one place. - Jerry Breen (Portrait of President Obama (c) 2008 Fred Smith & Jerry Breen)

Obama & ACORN

(Oct. 23, 2008) My last political cartoon published before the election.
Someone asked me "You can't really hold Obama responsible for ACORN, can you?" More like the other way around - ACORN created Obama, in a way. Part of the "community organizing" of which Obama boasted was for ACORN. He also represented ACORN in court as an attorney. For years, he volunteered as a trainer for ACORN's voter registration workers. When he ran for the Illinois State Senate in 1996, Obama was a member of a fringe political party, the New Party, which was co-founded by ACORN. Obama's Presidential campaign hired a division of the "non-partisan" ACORN to "get out the vote" in the Democratic primaries. The new director of "non-partisan" ACORN officially endorsed Obama for President! (How non-partisan can you get?) - Jerry Breen

Cap'n McCain of the Titanic!

(Oct. 6, 2008) This cartoon refers to John McCain's unfortunate first take on the banking crisis (which ultimately sank his Presidential campaign). It sounded a bit too much like Herbert Hoover's futile predictions that "Prosperity is just around the corner" in the depths of the Great Depression. Fortunately, this time around, noone is proposing anything like the disastrous Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act, which was enacted following the 1929 stock market crash. (It was the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act that actually caused the Depression, not the crash. There was a bigger stock market crash in the 1980's, but no depression followed, because noone panicked and the economy quickly recovered.) - Jerry Breen

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Men Behind Obama

(September 2008) In this cartoon, I tried to give brief summaries of some of the key formative figures in Barack Obama's background. Quite a group. And I didn't even have room for the Reverend Wright. But you know about him. These guys are much less well known, but they all played a key role in making Obama what he is today. Easily the most objectionable is the unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers. Tony Rezko is just another one of those leeches that have infested American politics since Andy Jackson invented the political campaign, campaign donors and the "spoils system" to pay back political donors, way back in the 1820's. Virtually every American politician has connections to people like him. But his presence in Obama's inner circle belies the notion that Obama is a "new kind of politician". The little-known but sinister Khalid al-Mansour is a surprising acquaintance that recently came to light. The venerable long-time New York City Democratic Party stalwart and broadcasting entrepreneur Percy Sutton recently revealed that al-Mansour solicited Sutton's support in helping young Obama gain admittance to the prestigious Harvard Law School back in the 1980's. Both Sutton and Donald Warden (aka al-Mansour) are originally from Texas. Sutton's story is plausible. But it's a little unsettling that someone like al-Mansour would want to sponsor Obama. The least known (and least objectionable) of these people is certainly Frank Marshall Davis. A crusading black journalist who fought against discrimination, segregation and lynching back in the 1940's, he took the 5th before Congress in the 1950's about his Communist Party USA membership and retired to Hawaii. It's typical of Obama's evasiveness about his background that he referred to Davis only as "Frank" and left out the unpleasant Communist business. - Jerry Breen

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Hillary the Prom Queen

Here's my take on the "Democratic" Party's decidedly un-Democratic nominating process. Hillary Clinton got 18 million votes in the primaries - more than any Presidential candidate in American history - but she "lost" the nomination to Barack Obama! How? Well, Hillary got 85% of her delegates in primary elections, while Obama got 60% of his delegates in caucuses. For some odd reason, Texas held both a primary and a caucus. Strangely, Hillary won the election by 4% and Obama won the caucus by 12%. How can the same voters in the same state choose 2 different candidates? Simply put, a primary election with the secret ballot is a safe, secure way of voting, while a caucus is a free-for-all, easily subject to fraud, coercion and mob rule. All of which the Obama camp used to their advantage. Even in the primaries, the Democratic Party had a peculiar method of allocating delegates that favored Obama. The apportioning of delegates was not in direct proportion to the votes cast. Election districts that usually voted Democratic in general elections were awarded more delegates than districts that usually voted Republican in general elections. Since inner-city, mostly-black districts (which favored Obama) fit this criteria while suburban districts (which favored Hillary) did not, Obama was awarded a disproportionate share of delegates in state after state! The result was a travesty and an injustice. The Democratic Party should either fix their nominating process or change their name. To call it the Democratic Party is false advertising. (Sept. 6, 2008) - Jerry Breen

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

McCain Cartoon - "The Hat Trick"

By choosing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, John McCain clearly hopes to attract disaffected Democrats who feel that Obama stole the nomination from Hillary Clinton (more on that subject in my next post.) The Republicans actually registered the domain name "" a few weeks ago, as some clever websurfers discovered. (Sept. 2, 2008) - Jerry Breen

Friday, August 15, 2008

Obama cartoon - Obamaman's Secret Identity !

(August 2008) As far back as July 2007, in my most popular Obama cartoon "Obama Been Lyin' ", I wondered why Obama was so evasive and misleading about his childhood in Indonesia. For example, all his childhood friends remember young "Barry" as a practicing Muslim, although he disputes that fact. His records at 2 schools support his friends' memories. So why lie? What was he hiding? Well, now we know! Obamaman was hiding his Secret Identity - as meek, mild-mannered Indonesian citizen Barry Soetoro! - Jerry Breen

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Political Cartoons of the 70's, part 3 - Ford

In 1975, after years of fiscal mismanagement under Mayor Lindsay's City Comptroller Abe Beame, New York City went bankrupt under new Mayor Abe Beame. (Yes, he inherited the mess that he created.) City officials begged the federal government to bail them out. President Gerald Ford initially resisted. The New York Daily News summed it up very succinctly (but not very accurately) in a famous banner headline: "FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD". Eventually, the federal government did extend aid to NYC (with strings attached). But most political observers credit that headline with making Ford lose New York State (and the 1976 election) to Jimmy Carter. This was my take on New Yorkers' view of Ford at the time - as a football-helmeted King Kong terrorizing the metropolis. (Note to "The New Yorker": This is how you do a cartoon lampooning how a politician's enemies depict him. The trick is - it's got to be FUNNY. If there's no humor, then there's no satire and no irony.) - Jerry Breen

Saturday, July 19, 2008

"John McCain - What's on Your iPod?"

Day in and day out, there's one burning question that reporters pose to every newsmaker - politicians included. That question is - "What's on your iPod?" Surprisingly, most of them, including Obama and even old fogey George W., do have one and they recite a list of their favorite tracks. All except John McCain. Truly a relic from another era, McCain actually grew up in the golden age of radio and admits that he never touches a computer keyboard. So I tried to imagine his answer to the Question of Our Times..... (July 19, 2008) - Jerry Breen

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Political Cartoons of the 70's - Part 2 - Nixon!

Nixon in the Dog House! My all-time favorite political cartoon, from around the time of Nixon's resignation from the Presidency in 1974, following the "Watergate" scandal. It refers to another scandal earlier in his career that was resolved by Nixon's famous "Checkers" speech. Briefly - In 1952, when Senator Richard Nixon was running for Vice-President on Eisenhower's ticket, reporters revealed that the candidate had a secret "slush" fund. In a nationally televised speech, Nixon insisted that the money was used strictly for legitimate travel and campaign expenses, never for personal expenses. However, he did admit to receiving one personal gift from an admirer - not money, but a cute black-&-white cocker spaniel named "Checkers". Nixon's little daughters loved the dog, and he swore that under no circumstances would he return it. A silly ploy, but effective. The public response was sympathetic and Ike and Nixon were elected in a landslide. When the Watergate cover-up unraveled, "Tricky Dick" failed to come up with another trick like the "Checkers Speech". Interestingly, Nixon was very affectionate and loyal to the dog that saved his career. In later years, people would often see Nixon spending time with his pet in New York's Central Park. - Jerry Breen

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Political Cartoons of the 70's - Part 1, HHH

Hubert Horatio Humphrey, for those of you too young to remember, was a man before he was a Metrodome. A former pharmacist, he became a longtime liberal Democratic Senator from Minnesota, LBJ's Vice-President, the unsuccessful Democratic Presidential nominee in 1968 and mentor to Minnesota's junior Senator (and later U.S. Vice-President) Walter Mondale. This cartoon is from his unsuccessful run for another Presidential nomination in 1972. He lost in '68 because he couldn't disassociate himself from LBJ's disastrous Vietnam War. By '72, after four years of Nixon, we were still stuck in Vietnam, and Humphrey tried to recast himself as an antiwar candidate. But the public didn't buy it. - Jerry Breen

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Political Cartoons of the 60's, part 2 - LBJ

This is an abridged version of the episode of my college comic strip "Jasperman" in which the caricature of LBJ appeared. LBJ, in my opinion, is one of the most unfairly maligned U.S. Presidents. Lyndon Johnson 's presidency is remembered by history as a failure because of our disastrous involvement in the Vietnam war. Johnson inherited the quagmire of Vietnam from a series of mistakes by the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations and never found a way out of it. (Neither could Nixon.) On the other hand, LBJ was a courageous longtime supporter of civil rights for blacks - highly unusual for a Southern Democrat in that period. The Democratic Party, in partnership with the Ku Klux Klan, had been openly persecuting African-Americans in the South-eastern U.S for the first 60 years of the 20th Century. Remember, the Democratic Party (which in the 1800's was the pro-slavery party, in contrast with the anti-slavery Whigs and Republicans) invented segregation. The Democratic President Woodrow Wilson segregated Washington, D.C. by executive order, segregated all the departments of the federal government and fired every single black Post Office worker in the Southern states. (Earlier, as President of Princeton University, he had barred any black students from entering the University.) Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt refused to support anti-lynching bills introduced in Congress, as well as Civil Rights legislation. Why? Because he wanted the support of the "Solid South" in Presidential elections. That's why Adlai Stevenson chose the segregationist Southern Democrat John Sparkman as his running-mate in 1952. And that's why John F. Kennedy voted against the 1957 Civil Rights Act! Ironically, only Harry Truman - from the border state of Missouri- and LBJ from the Deep South state of Texas had the courage to oppose the segregationists. Johnson supported Eisenhower's 1957 Civil Rights Act, and refused to sign the 1956 "Southern Manifesto" in support of segregation in the South. As President, LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. As a result, blacks (who had historically been Republicans) flocked to the Democratic Party. Where would the Democratic Party be today without this key voting bloc? Probably, out of business. How often today do we hear Jack Kennedy hailed as a Civil Rights hero, and hear LBJ reviled? History can be very unkind. And unfair. - Jerry Breen

Political cartoons of the 60's - LBJ

Let's start this Political cartoon blog at the beginning, by offering some of my early classics featuring some of the giants of that era. We begin with the great LBJ himself, Lyndon Baines Johnson of Texas, a President (I think) unfairly maligned by history. This caricature was not a direct political cartoon. LBJ appeared in an episode of my college comic strip "Jasperman" in 1969, playing the role of a besieged college bureaucrat "Dean Rust" (a pun referring to LBJ's Secretary of State Dean Rusk). - Jerry Breen