Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

An Anniversary Nobody Really Cheered About

Well, at least we kept Peoria from being nuked by Saddam Hussein...

Please Note: the Anniversary Cake is Yellow

Last week, we saw the passing of the 10th Anniversary of the Iraq war—ooops, excuse me, Congress never declared war, so, ummmm, what do we call it?

When the airplanes struck the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, somewhere amid the horror of what I was seeing rose an additional realization, “Oh, my God, we’ve just had our Reichstag Fire.” I could see with horrifying clarity that this would be the defining moment that turned the United States from its democratic principles to something totally antithetical to the dreams of our nation’s Fathers. We have resisted the impulse of creating concentration camps for Moslems–we incarcerated many, but mostly exiled them for visa transgressions. We have created gulags where we gathered a mostly hapless group of alleged terrorists whose major crime seems to have been being in the wrong place at the wrong time when the wrong person wanted to collect a reward. We HAVE built massive PRISONS, but these are privately run camps to provide slave labor and corporate profit and anyone can enter. We passed the grossly obscene “Patriot” act through which almost any crime can be considered to be an act of terrorism–when the need arises.

Our incursion into Afghanistan almost looked legitimate. We claimed the head of, what was his name, Osama bin Laden? Yes, he was there, later on he claimed credit for “9/11″, which our government was already doing within minutes of the tower falls–since it had pointedly ignored the warnings from the intelligence community of terrorist actions inside the US. He was there, but the Taliban government had the nerve to ask for evidence before they would consider handing him over. So like a western posse, we went in and cleaned up the corruption in Rock Ridge and hunted down bin Laden until we were just yards from his hiding place in the mountains when…

Wait, what? The real danger is from Iraq? The country which had been under UN sanctions for a decade? Whose dictator, Saddam Hussein, couldn’t even afford to buy shoes for his army? HE had weapons of mass destruction? Yes, we had the ominous YELLOW CAKE requests–which turned out to be forgeries. We had George Bush and Tony Blair smirking their way into war. We had Dick Cheney and Condi Rice promising us mushroom clouds of doom if nothing was done immediately. We had a mountain of evidence that Colin Powell presented at the UN. I remember listening to him and being absolutely convinced by the man’s sense of sincerity… until the next morning, when I realized that all that evidence had no context. That if you believed it was something bad it was, but those conversations about hiding things could have just as easily been hiding the porn when the inspectors arrived.

And so we went off and destroyed a country within weeks. Killed several thousand Americans and maimed 10s of thousands. Killed 100s of thousands Iraqis and destroyed the infrastructure of the country. Wasted around two trillion dollars (when asked about the loss of a trillion dollars from the Pentagon budgets, Donald Rumsfeld remarked, “I’ll have to look into that,” and didn’t) which the Tea Party is now trying to collect from the poorest among us. For which sinful errors of judgment or outright acts of war-mongering for profit no one has been held accountable.

Many of us felt powerless to do anything to stop it. Only after the deed was done did I decide that I could do a political cartoon series against these criminals. I was scared too–protesting the war COULD have been considered an act of terrorism according to the Patriot Act.

HAPPY F$%^&*G ANNIVERSARY.

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FINALLY!

A tank leaves Iraq--a little bit more peace on earth.

Going home--now let's wind up Afghanistan

Four score minus 72 years ago–the length only SEEMS Lincolnian–eight, nearly nine years, to be exact, the United States armed forces gave up the hunt for bin Laden when only a football field away from his cave to go into Iraq and do–something. It was never too clear what that something was. It was supposed to be to disarm and save the world Saddam Hussein, the mad dictator who possessed thousands of WMDs in a country that had been under UN economic sanctions for over ten years. The world was treated to visions of mushroom clouds, dancing over their heads, if this action wasn’t taken. For some reason, the French, Russians and Chinese weren’t impressed. We focused our indignation on the French and named them “surrender monkeys,” and without imprimatur of UN resolutions, blitzkrieged our way to Baghdad.

Funny thing, turns out the French were right. No WMDs. That’s OK, they’re still surrender monkeys to the vast numbers of Americans who were convinced that Saddam Hussein was going to nuke their mall in days if we didn’t invade. Turns out the country was broke–that decade of economic sanctions had done its work. The troops who faced the American-led onslaught barely had shoes, let alone WMDs. The country was SO broke in fact, that Saddam Hussein was using his reputation for insanity and for once having WMDs to protect his country from being attacked by one of his neighbors! Talk about a strategy being too successful!

The war, we were told, would pay for itself. The oil that we’d get first crack at would lower the energy bills for the United States 10 times over. Hmmmm, I wonder how THAT worked out. Forty-five bucks to fill the tank of a Honda CIVIC??? We were also told the war would be so cheap that it wasn’t worth putting on the budget. Nearly a trillion dollars later we can chalk that up as another miscalculation.

Lives? Only about 5000 American, British and “coalition of the blackmailed”. But over 100,000 Iraqi lives. The wounded figures are far greater and the wounds they suffered are far more severe because we can save lives better than we can save limbs or protect heads from explosions. The number of Americans with PTSD number in the hundreds of thousands.

A little over 8 years ago, I began a cartoon series, Hail Dubyus! lampooning the Bush administration in the hope of being even a small voice of sanity. Like the WMDs, my influence was vastly over-rated :D When the Bush era finally ended and the new era of hope began, I changed the name of my cartoon. I was under no illusion that things would be immediately better. In some significant ways, they are. In others, we’re in worse shape than we were before, mostly due to Congressional obstruction and economic advisors whose loyalty to Wall Street has been greater than their concern for Main Street, a chief executive who thought that good faith negotiations were possible with people who have pledged themselves to his destruction, and a Supreme Court that thinks that while all men are created equal, dollar for dollar they’re not quite as equal as corporations. On top of that, as our troops finally leave Iraq in accordance with our word to the government that we set up, these same Congressional obstructionists ask if we shouldn’t stay there a little longer to better fulfill our goals.

WHAT GOALS?

I lift my voice in thanksgiving that some of our forces will be home for Christmas, Chanukah, Yule, Kwanzaa, Saturnalia, Solstice and whatever other year end celebrations they will be able to partake of without being shot at. Happiest of holidays for them and their families! My wish for the New Year is that soon we will be able to finish whatever it is we started in Afghanistan and bring those troops home as well. And so we shall be able to say ourselves, as GIR observed when Invader ZIM told him that he could now self-destruct:

FINALLY!

Happy Holidays to Everyone. We shall take a winter break until January 23 to have time to update the website and work on other projects and get fat on Christmas cookies.

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FOX NEWS Reports: Obama Bin Laden Dead–oops, we mean OSAMA

Donald Trump takes credit for Obama's ordering the successful attack on Osama bin Laden.

Donald Trump's hair takes credit for the successful Navy SEAL attack on bin Laden...

TRUMP DECLARES: I WOULDA DONE IT YEARS AGO

Well, well, well, ding dong the witch is dead–we finally seem to have gotten Osama bin Laden. I am loathe to actually draw bin Laden. The last time I did it, I received an email from a gentleman of rather poor English skills suggesting that the rest of the accursed Western cartoonists and I should stop making fun of Mohammed (blessings and peace be on his name) if we wished to remain healthy. Only not quite as nicely. While my cartoon was definitely NOT mocking Mohammed, I guess if you don’t write English that well, you don’t read it much better and any protestations on my part that he may have misinterpreted my work would probably not have mattered that much anyway. Sorry, I can’t afford a 24-hour guard on my house. So no drawings of bin Laden.

Besides, how could I adequately satirize a man who single-handedly (well, OK, with a handful of followers) perpetrated an act which set the American people on a crazy ass course where they willingly gave up freedoms that the terrorists were jealous of, started two wars that had nothing to do with revenge for the events that inspired them, but which cost hundreds of billions of dollars per year for nearly 10 years, materially aiding greatly to the destruction of the American treasury? Osama never dreamed that his airplane hijackings would actually manage to bring down the Twin Towers–similarly he probably never dreamed that one act of terrorism could cause the American dream to self-implode. President Obama is to be lauded for finally terminating the proximate cause of our national misery. But the national misery continues since we are still dealing with those two wars, which will not be ended if our military has its way. Nor will the Treasury be repaired, since far more damage was done by continuing idiot tax cuts as we doubled our expenditures and since the economy of THE ENTIRE WORLD was broken by the greed of our bankers–who have been punished by smaller bonuses for that year. So the burden has been placed on the people responsible for … not protesting the idiot actions that others perpetrated and soon we will be destroying Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and the rest of the social safety net to pay for the tribute we owe the ruling class. Land of the free market and home of the gravy.

One Fox News affiliate managed to mangle the news: tumblr_lkjtt3zwto1qacgh3o1_500 But while this was defended as an unavoidable typo (unavoidable by IDIOTS that is), the standard Republican boilerplate response has been to universally applaud President BUSH for his great efforts in avoiding finding bin Laden for seven years as the reason for Obama’s successful effort a mere two years and a few months into his presidency. Thanks to the troops and oh, yeah, you too, President Obama.

At least we were able to watch ALL of Celebrity Apprentice before the news. Otherwise, after the reception he’d gotten at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, we’d have to face the wrath of the Donald’s hair turning rabid…

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The Decider’s Decision Points: How I Flushed the Greatest Nation Down the Toilet

George Bush takes credit for his memoir as he holds up the trophy of his presidency, a bass fish he caught.

George W. Bush relives the proudest moment of his Presidency...

Georgie Bush, our own beloved sociopathic Alfred E. Newman, has been seen sneaking out from whatever rock he’s been hiding under for the last two years several times in the last few weeks, a sighting that could mean only one thing: his ghost writers have finished authorizating his rememboirs. Last week, the book finally emerged onto bookstore shelves and boosted onto the best-seller lists by the right wing book buying machine.

It comes as no surprise that George has no regrets about any policy decisions he’d made. The invasion of Iraq? Oh that was faulty intelligence–someone ELSE’s fault (which someone else, George Tenet, was awarded the Medal of Freedom for taking the fall for cooking the dumbass intelligence the way this dumbass president wanted). His main regrets appear to be public relations errors, Mission Accomplished (Great Job or something) and that stupid photograph of him looking out the airplane over sunken New Orleans. His worst moment? Kanye West calling him a racist. Because it forced a moment of self-reflection upon him? Au contraire–because it was so “disgusting” for Kanye West to say such a thing.

Kanye has become used to apologizing for things, so naturally he has now apologized to Bush. And well he should have. Bush isn’t a racist–it’s poor people he doesn’t like. Poor people exist to be exploited–white, black, yellow, brown, red, doesn’t matter–he’s an equal opportunity exploiter.

But what did we expect from Bush? Introspection? Precise delineation of how a person who rules from his gut came to gut decisions? We chronicled the Bush years after 2003 in HAIL DUBYUS! (when I finally decided to let loose my satiric skills–see my Best of Hail Dubyus and Best Of Page 2 pages) and in all that time, it was never clear whether Bush was an idiot, a lunatic, or just plain evil. His book does not elucidate that question any further. Most probably all three. But his book does show a fourth side of Bush–a lazy sumbitch who wasn’t even content to let someone else write his memoirs, but had to plagiarize other books about him by his advisors. Just think of it–we got into two wars and a near depression (which may still become a depression if the deficit hawks have their way) because this man was too goddam lazy to think about alternatative strategeries.

Speaking of my best of pages, you can get real printed copies of 70-some of my favorite Bush era cartoons at IndyPlanet, in all their 300 dpi glory. Look for Bushwhacked: The Wurst of Hail Dubyus and contribute to a noble cause: ME! (Seriously, I don’t get paid by anyone for creating these cartoons. I do it for the satisfaction of contributing SOMETHING to the universe to help hold us back from the cliff the Lemming States of America is rushing towards. But a few bucks would be helpful.)

In other news, AnimeUSA was this past weekend and later this week, photos of cosplayers will be up on my Flickr account. So anyone that I took photos of, be sure to check that link on Thursday or Friday, by which the pics will be uploaded.

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What Would It Take For A President to Say “The State of the Union Ain’t Very Strong”?

Two Hookers critique the state of the union address: Good oral, now let's see a little bump and thrust.

Or maybe a little slap-and-tickle on the right side of the aisle?

I mean seriously, what WOULD it take for the President to start out, “The State of the Union isn’t very strong”? Massive depression? Naw, even Herbert Hoover said the SOTU was strong. Open rebellion? I bet even Abe Lincoln said the state of the union was strong. And it was, if you didn’t count the 11 states that up and left when he was elected. Perhaps alien invasion? “Let me remind you, you still have two out of three branches of the federal government and that ain’t bad,” as the President said in MARS ATTACKS. Actual unemployment and underemployment is around 20%, we’re in debt up to our yinyangs to China because of a double recession during the Bush presidency, two wars that we shouldn’t have been in in the first place, tax cuts for the people who didn’t need them and a massive bailout of banks that had been holding a craps game with our money, credit card companies charging 30% interest, 30 million people without health insurance, BUT–The State of the Union is strong.
We did get one moment of high comedy tho–thanks to Chris Matthews of MSNBC. Forgot he was black for an hour, Chris? Way to GO! Only one month into 2010 and you already have the gaffe of the year! But wait–maybe you can outdo yourself–you have 11 more months to do it in!
President Obama gave himself a number of pats on the back, waved his finger at the right side of the aisle and outlined an ambitious agenda to get us back on track–well, not all that ambitious, there were a lot of half-measures–i.e., we need to increase jobs, but we need to keep the budget under control, so hey, let’s just do a little of both. He pointed the finger at the Bush administration for getting us into this mess more forcefully than he had since…his inauguration. You told Justice Roberts where to get off (and Stephen Colbert brought up a great point about how Roberts is willing to overturn precedent if he has only two dissents to do it on–and just where WERE Scalia and Thomas last night anway?). And he wants to see things on his desk! Well, Barry, let’s hope that you tell people exactly what you want on your desk this time around the calendar and that you knock some heads together to do it.
The problem is that we’ve heard all this before and we haven’t seen enough action on it. As my hookers say in the cartoon, you’re good at oral, now let’s see a little bump and thrust. You told us bank presidents weren’t going to get away with things and then you turn around and let them get away without showing up for their meeting with you. LEAD! Stop taking things off the table before you start negotiating. Get rid of your bad advisers. Rely more on Joe Biden than on Rahm Emanuel–Emanuel’s been advising you to give away the farm for nominal victories but Biden knows where the bodies are buried. Get rid of the financial cronies and slap around those bank presidents like you did the auto manufacturers. And for god’s sake, stop going on expensive dates with Michele while your middle class is going down with the ship–at least look like you have a bit of empathy. You said you’d rather be a good one-term president than a poor two-term one. Well, we don’t want you to be a good one-term president–we thought we were voting for a GREAT president. So stop futzing around and be what you promised.

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