Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

A Tiger and his Woods

Santa gives Tiger Woods a lift so he can visit all his paramours on Christmas Eve--after all, they have the same sponsors.

And through the magic of Christmas, Tiger Woods visits all his girlfriends all over the world in a single night...

My readers will be happy to learn that I am finally on the mend–and none too soon considering how fast Christmas will be upon us. And I’ve got shopping to do! As I announced last week, Thursday’s cartoon will be my last of the year, and we’ll pick up again on January 11 and believe me, the break will be much appreciated!
For this next-to-the-last outing of this very disappointing year of 2009, let us turn to the disappointment engendered by that sterling idol of millions, Tiger Woods, turning out to be a mere human after all. Tiger, otherwise known as Mr. Clean, seems to have had a veritable stable of mistresses and when Mrs. Woods found out about one of them, she took one of his irons and started to take some practice swings at his head. Fortunately for Tiger, there was a car windshield between them. Since then, hardly a day has gone past without yet another mistress emerging from the woodwork. The first few all seemed to be cookie cutter blondes, like his wife, which I was tempted to lampoon, but since then, we’ve found mistresses of many more flavors and now I understand there are plans underway for a new reality TV show, “The Real Paramours of Tiger Woods.”
Now frankly, if I were a young, pretty, superstar athlete, I’d probably be tapping as many kegs as I could fit into the PGA tour schedule, but then again, I’d probably have a sleazier image than Tiger Woods to begin with. But there are two problems with Tiger doing it–first of all, he IS married–with a child to an extraordinarily beautiful woman, who deserves a little more than sloppy seconds. And then there is that image of perfection that he displays–the aura of good sportsmanship, unflappability, moral upstandingness–Mr. Clean. In some way, it really negates that image to be a serial adulterer with enough girlfriends to fill an entire TV season. Now, I suspect most of his fans are highly titillated by these circumstances, but some are mighty disappointed. Particularly those fans who pay him large sums of money for product endorsements. Now you could say, “why are you disappointed–he’s just a man, after all. It’s your fault if you can’t accept that.” But I would counter that he’s a man who worked very hard to project the image of rectitude than is now crashing in flames around him. In other words, if his fans had unreal expectations of him, Tiger himself was responsible for it to a large degree because that was the kind of image that he wanted.
Which brings me to another person who has been disappointing his legions of fans, though not through any actions worthy of the tabloids. I’m referring to the Great Mocha Hope himself, President Obama. Throughout his campaign for the presidency, Obama pushed the idea that we could change the direction our country was going in through the mismanagement of Bush, Cheney, & Co.. He offered us hope that we could make the country a better place with the rallying cry of “Yes we can.” But after almost a full year in office, those hopes have turned to disappointment for many. In some ways, yes, change has taken place, but in so many others, we seem to be continuing the policies of the prior eight years, and in other ways, real accomplishments have been compromised further and further away and the status quo has been cemented more solidly in place. Now, many apologists have said, “What are you disappointed about? Obama has never been a progressive, he’s always been a centrist. He’s not doing anything that he didn’t say he was going to do.” And to this I say, BULL! According to the National Journal, Obama was the 16th most liberal senator in 2005, the 10th most liberal in 2006 and in 2007, he was the MOST liberal senator. That’s not exactly what I’d call centrism. That’s what I’d call a trend to more and more liberal as we got closer and closer to the 2008 election. And when you speak so much about change and hope in the wake of a disastrous rightwing administration, a mere return to the center could not possibly negate any of the excesses that had been committed–the pendulum has to swing in the other direction to correct the injustices, not just merely stop them. Just as Tiger Woods worked hard to burnish his image of perfection, Obama and his team worked hard to present him AS the liberal/progressive choice. And it is disingenuous at best to claim now that all that had been promised was a return to the center.

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Afghanistan: As Obama will say, the Surge is Working … Hmmmmmmm

The last two al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, Bilal and Yussuf, discuss Obama's Afghan strategy and how they'd be happy to leave for $10 billion dollars and we wouldn't even have to send in 30000 troops.

Afghanistan-Pakistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan--it's getting so they're not even unpacking anymore

Well, the root canal is still a bit sore but the stomach virus has, shall we say, eliminated itself, so we are back here a day late. Obama’s speech to West Point–which Mr. Matthews stupidly characterized as “the enemy”–has already passed out of the news to give way to more important rumors about Tiger Woods and his many woods…which appear to be quite a few more than he carries in his sack. President Obama has, as was expected, elected to escalate whatever it is we’re doing in Afghanistan. I mean, what ARE we doing there? Is it a war? I thought that was over eight years ago. Is it a mission? If it is, I’d like to know what the mission is. Or was.Or will be. Because the only way you can end a mission is by accomplishing something and after 8 years of being in charge, we haven’t seemed to have accomplished much. Was it to catch Osama bin Laden? That’s what the advertising was back after 9/11. Well, hell, we let him escape to Pakistan. That’s one mission UNaccomplished. Was it to eliminate the drug trade? Hell, there are only two industries IN Afghanistan, rugmaking and opium poppies, and opium poppies is the one that brings the most cash into the country. Besides, if that was our goal, we should have just left the Taliban in charge–they’d brought opium production down to a minute fraction of what it had been. What’s 18 months gonna do that the last 8 years hasn’t?
To be fair, back during the election, Obama kept saying that Afghanistan was the GOOD war and Iraq was the BAD one and he was going to do something about it. But lots of us must have figured that was just to impress Fox News. And as it turns out, this is one of the few things he wasn’t blowing smoke about. Gays? Wait around. Patriot Act? You know, there are some awfully good things in there. Secrecy in government? Shhhhhhhh, let’s not talk too much about that one. Single Payer? Why, that would destroy our health insurance industry! So I can’t blame progressives for being surprised that he IS keeping his promise about this one. But, if we haven’t accomplished our mission yet, just WTF is it?
FOX NEWS knows what our mission is–since they seem to have become the fourth branch of government since Dick Cheney abdicated–it’s to “WIN”. That’s one word we didn’t hear in Obama’s speech, Fox newsies said with stuck record regularity, WIN! Well, Fox–and its subsidiary, the Republican Party–has always had a football game mentality to both war and politics, which I suspect are the same thing to them. No such thing as a draw, only winners and losers in their books, so if you didn’t win, you’re a loser. But — we won. We did that eight years ago. What we’ve been trying to do for the last eight years is figure out what the hell it was we DID win. True, we got rid of the oppressive Taliban government, but what did the Afghani get in return? Karzai–and his brother, Mr. Opium King? Who managed to hold an election in which hundreds of thousands of votes were cast in non-existent polling stations? I’m no fan of the Taliban but Cheeses and Crackers, couldn’t we have done a little better than Hamid Soprano?
Winning, as far as I can see, consists simply of keeping al-Qaeda and the Taliban out. Well, the Taliban, there’s only about 100 al-Qaeda left in Afghanistan at the most generous estimate, see Bilal and Yussuf in the illustration, but we always have to say “al-Qaeda and the Taliban” so that our “mission” looks like it still has something to do with 9/11. Where did al-Qaeda go? To the hills of our “ally” Pakistan. So why are we in Afghanistan? To keep them from coming back in. WTF would they go back to Afghanistan when they have a safe haven in Pakistan? I mean, it’s not like it’s their ancestral homeland. They have just as miserable conditions in Pakistan as they had in Afghanistan. Well, we have to stay to keep the Taliban out. What for? To keep up the opium trade? To prop up a government that is so corrupt it even makes the Bush administration look beige? We’ve had eight years to Kabul together a government in our own image and likeness and all we did was screw around. We ain’t gonna do it by getting serious for another 18 months.
But I think Fox News has a point, one that they don’t even understand–which isn’t saying a lot, since understanding things is less important to them than having an opinion. We have to have a surge to make it look like we’re taking some kind of action. Then we’ve got 18 months to figure out what we can say we accomplished so we can declare our mission “WON”. Then we can “draw down” before the ’012 election. Mostly. Like Iraq, we’ll be keeping a significant garrison in place because the only way to keep the Taliban out is to stay fighting them. And, like Iraq, where we still have 50,000 troops, we’ll be there for some time to come. At a million dollars a year per man because that’s what it costs to keep troops occupying another country. Just think what we could do HERE with a million bucks! Never mind we, think of what I could do with a million bucks. Hey, doesn’t the USA qualify for “too big to fail?”
Which brings me to my final point. The Soviet Union was only in Afghanistan for 10 years and that little adventure is credited with its downfall. We’ll be hitting OUR tenth anniversary in 2011 and remember, the tenth anniversary is TIN!

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