2016: An unfunny news year through the eyes of cartoonist Mike Keefe

In a few days, we’ll bid adieu to 2016, a year that seemed to bring decidedly un-amusing waves of violence, turmoil and political unrest. Pulitzer-winning political cartoonist Mike Keefe’s sharp pencils and wit captured the twists and turns brilliantly. Here are his takes on some of the year’s defining moments.

 

Jan. 6, 2016

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Armed militants occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge from Jan. 2 to Feb. 11, 2016. Seven occupiers, including brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy, were acquitted of all charges in October.

Jan. 27, 2016

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By late January, Donald Trump had already emerged as the frontrunner for the GOP Primary. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio had fallen in the polls to a “distant third.”

Feb. 3, 2016

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The Center for Disease Control confirmed the first United States case of Zika in a non-traveler. On November 18, the World Health Organization announced the end of the Zika epidemic, saying that the disease no longer poses an international emergency.

Feb. 17, 2016

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President-elect Donald Trump is set to inherit control over not only the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia, but also an estimated 103 judicial vacancies which President Barack Obama was prevented from filling during his term.

March 16, 2016

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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announced a new statewide climate plan in autumn 2015. The plan was criticized by many environmental groups for its failure to include any measurable goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions or reduce carbon output.

March 22, 2016

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President Obama’s visit to Cuba in March marked the first such visit by a sitting U.S. president since 1928. The president later lifted the longstanding ban on imports of Cuban rum and cigars, and in October, for the first time ever, the U.S. chose to abstain from — rather than oppose  — a U.N. vote to end the U.S.-Cuban embargo.

 

May 3, 2016

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The Colorado Supreme Court ruled in May that voters cannot enact local bans on fracking. The decision overturned voter-approved bans in Longmont and Fort Collins.

May 16, 2016

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In November, Colorado voters passed Amendment 71, also known as “Raise the Bar,” which will increase the requirements to place proposed constitutional changes on the state ballot.

 

July 8, 2016

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On July 7, five Dallas police officers were killed by a sniper during what began as a peaceful demonstration against police violence.  Just over a month earlier, 49 people were killed in a deadly attack on Orlando’s Pulse nightclub.

Aug. 22, 2016

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The Beaver Creek Fire, which burned more than 38,000 acres near Walden, Colorado and into Wyoming, ultimately cost about $30 million to contain. Most of the area burned contained beetle-kill timber.

Aug. 25, 2016

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In late August, figures from the Department of Defense reveal it costs millions of dollars per year to house each inmate in the Guantanamo Bay U.S. military prison in Cuba.

Sept. 1, 2016

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Donald Trump doubled down on his promise to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico following a visit with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Sept. 6, 2016

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Classes began on college campuses in Texas, where public universities allowed the concealed carry of handguns to anyone with a license. The decision spurred much debate nationwide.

Sept. 21, 2016

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saw her poll numbers rise after each of three debates against President-elect Donald Trump. All her preparation wasn’t enough.

Nov. 9, 2016

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In the early morning hours of Nov. 9, 2016, Republican Donald Trump beat Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton to become the next president-elect of the United States.

 

Keefe: The aftermath

Keefe: The aftermath

Keefe: Dual-purpose voting booth

Keefe: Dual-purpose voting booth

Keefe: An election made for snark

This has been a crazy election cycle, and political cartoonist Mike Keefe has loved every minute of it. Here are his best cartoons about a presidential race especially worthy of satire.

Keefe: An election made for snark

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Everywhere you go this week, people are grumbling about the circus that has been the 2016 president race. But what depresses most folks, Mike Keefe finds motivating. He’s weird that way. The crazier the twists in the race for the White House, the sharper Keefe’s pencils – and wit.

Colorado’s only Pulitzer-winning political cartoonist has given The Colorado Independent and our readers a year of graphic satire about an election cycle that has inspired a level of snark that, even in these cynical times, is unprecedented. Keefe’s work pushes our most tender buttons. It makes us at once laugh and cringe. It’s that ability to meld the funny with the unfunny that fuels great political commentary – an art that’s dying all too fast.

In our book, Mike is one of the very best still ‘tooning for regular publication. We’re lucky to have him. And, as you’ll see in this slideshow, so are you.

 

Keefe: Dual-purpose voting booth

Keefe: Dual-purpose voting booth