I just returned from participating on a cartoonists panel looking back at the George W Bush presidency at Hofstra University in Long Island, NY. Our moderator was Roslyn Mazer, a great supporter of cartoonists’ free speech rights who represented the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists in an amicus brief for the famous Hustler v Falwell case in 1987. The other cartoonists on the panel were Mike Peters from the Dayton Daily News, Steve Breen from the San Diego Times Union-Tribune, and Mike Luckovich from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It’s always fun to get together with my colleagues and this particular group had me laughing most of the time. Especially Mike Peters. The evening before our panel Roslyn herded us to a local Italian restaurant (think The Sopranos) and watching Mike interact with our waiter was priceless.
The next day while we waited in the hospitality room before our panel I mentioned to Mike that the former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden was sitting over at the next table. Without missing a beat Mike rushed over to his table, introduced himself, and proceeded to ask the creator of the NSA warrantless surveillance program to “just forget” hearing that obscene phone call he had with his wife.
A sketch from another panel at the Hofstra presidential conference, “The Constitution, Executive Power and National Security Post-9/11. If you put everything Michael Hayden said during the discussion into one sentence it would be: The Obama administration is doing the same bad stuff we did.