Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

Stop the Presses, Census Worker Murdered–TWO WEEKS AGO???

As a hanged man dangles from a tree, a sheriff explains they think it's probably a suicide, the only question remaining if he wrote OK, I can see how local law enforcement might think the death of Bill Sparkman could be a suicide. After all, with what Michele Bachmann and other wingnuts have been saying about the census, poor Bill could have been so depressed at the thought that he was contributing to the downfall of Western Democracy, Christianity and all that we hold dear so that Kenya could dominate the world in something other than Olympic running, that he scrawled FED on his own chest and hanged himself. That’s one theory. Another theory, just possibly a little more probable, is that Bill was mistaken for a revenooer or a DEA agent or just saw the wrong thing and was eliminated as a witness–with FED scrawled over his chest to alert the FBI that a gang of drug and/or illegal whisky purveyors were hiding out in this vicinity…they obviously wanted the publicity. Or it could have been a result of all the spew from the right wing at how the census will turn these United Statesl into a socialist worker’s paradise, aided by the pimp=and-prostitute loving, false voter registering ACORN. Maybe Glenn Beck even thinks this is crazy stuff, but they don’t think that over on CLEAR CHANNEL where they are advising people not to fill out the census–thus ensuring that their state will not get the representation that its population will deserve.
What gets to me is that with all this talk about the census in the news, the Associated Press really jumped on this story…and buried it for 10 days! Granted that since the days of Ronny Raygun, AP has been drifting starboard (and it’s fascinating to watch how individual stories become more “balanced” as different levels of editors get their hands on an issue to the point where in a recent story birther protests were equated with protests against torture at Abu Ghraib), but what did they think suppressing a story like this was going to achieve? Were they hoping that they could release it at a time when no one would notice? Myself, I’m of the opinion that it took 10 days to find out whether or not Michele Bachmann had an alibi for the date in question–they have such a great research department! But I’d better quit talking about this if I don’t want to get slapped with a plagiarism charge and get sued for violation of copyright because it IS an AP story–and their legal department’s position is that you cannot even CITE an AP story without stepping over the borders of their vast intellectual property domain.
Nancy Pelosi recently invoked the ridicule of the right by suggesting that America was at risk from politics erupting into violence, with House Minority Whip Eric Cantor returning his own opinion that Speaker Pelosi was living in another world. Nancy was either prescient (if she had to wait for the AP story to appear) or better-informed than Cantor who is living in a bubble of mythical America where assassinations, lynchings and mob violence only happen–to someone else. But even POLITICO has discovered that there might be reason to be worried–at least in the opinion of several former CIA, FBI and Secret Service officers. Myself, I HOPE this terrible crime was the fault of drug or alcohol miscreants. But seriously–I have me doubts. Even Bachmann evidently has her doubts, considering the way she cut a reporter who asked for her comment. Michele should realize that those who play with guns sometimes get shot–in their own foot by their own finger. In the meantime, being a census worker has been declared a hazardous occupation and is grounds for cancellation of your health insurance policy. Have a nice day :)
(My condolences to Bill Sparkman’s family–my cartoon is not meant to belittle his unfortunate death but to ridicule the competency with which it is being investigated.)

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Change We Can Believe In–Sure, I Got Four Quarters…

Strangely resembling the Montauk Monster, this creature whose marking resembled the word REFORM was washed up in Panama

The curious markings seemed to spell out REFORM...

(PANAMA CITY, PANAMA) A curious beast was found this weekend on the beach of Panama. Four teenagers first saw it and when the beast appeared to charge them, threw stones at it until it died. Resembling the Montauk Monster or a space alien, the creature had markings that amazingly seemed to spell out the word “REFORM”. “Of course, that is merely an illusion,” Professor Noitall said. “It seems to be some kind of stillborn animal fetus,” he continued in contradiction to the teenagers’ story. While some have suggested that it was the product of a sloth, Professor Noitall opined that it actually came from north of Panama, possibly the United States. “I’ve heard Reform is still-born up there,” he joked.
But it’s no joke for us. President Obama’s change we can believe in appears to be limited to four quarters on a dollar, since a dollar is about all the average citizen has seen from the bank bailout. “We’re going to close the loopholes,” the president said. And as Jon Stewart (congratulations on the two new Emmys) said, “You gave away 700 billion dollars BEFORE you closed the loopholes???” Steve Keen wrote a searching criticism of the bank bailout whose rationale could be summed up as “If the banks have the money to lend, more people will take out loans.” What people? The Unemployed or Underemployed? Fat chance, they only need the money to stay alive, not to run some risky investment scheme, they’ll never get a loan approved. The up-to-their-ears-in-debt middle class? They’re all cutting coupons out of the papers–the last debt they’re going to incur for some time was the New SUV they bought that gets 4 mpg better than the old one so they could take advantage of Cash for Clunkers. And the banks have already started back into the risky portfolios–didn’t Bernanke say that the recession was over? Partay, PAR-TAY! You get a bonus, You get a Bonus–it’s almost like Oprah was giving out new cars!
And what about that new Health Care Plan that Senator Bilkus–I mean Baucus–lobbed at us like a chimpanzee in a zoo? The Republicans don’t like it, the Progressives don’t like it, the only people who DO like it are the Blue Dog Democrats and the Insurance Companies that pay them. Real Reform–i.e., single payer–has been off the table so long it’s growing mold and Baucus even managed to substitute the unworkable cooperative for the best compromise public option–which the White House is still willing to give up for Republican support that it will never get.
I see a different analogy to the Great Depression. Bush wasn’t Hoover–he was Calvin Coolidge, the guy who said and did nothing and so allowed the Depression to get started. Hoover was the one who stayed with the “tried and true” to fix the economy–the things that didn’t work. And after four years, we elected someone who was willing to propose change–and had the balls to carry it out. You talked the talk, Barry–now walk the walk or you may find yourself walking in another 3-1/2 years–away from the White House.

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Joe Wilson–Reloaded (hey, maybe he was loaded the first time around :) )

A Joe Wilson clone attempts to talk a policeman out of arresting him for a traffic accident on the grounds that he apologized once already--tell that to the rolling head.

Can't we just put this whole thing behind us?

Despite treating this earlier this week (and breaking my self-imposed schedule change in the process), I’ve decided that Joe Wilson’s outburst requires one more cartoon. The House, voting mostly along party lines, voted yesterday to give Joe a stern “wag of the finger.” Naughty, naughty Joe. For those of you who have been lost at sea for the last week, Joe, whose name, by the way, isn’t really Joe, but Addison Graves Wilson–and with a moniker like that, I’d tell everyone my name was Joe–interrupted President Obama’s healthcare speech with a shout of “You Lie!”–ummm, what was your name again, Joe?–claiming he was so upset by the prospect that, under the still-in-proposal health care plan, illegal aliens might get free treatment in emergency rooms without being deported, that he burst out with his now famous cry, gaining some truly terrifying looks from Nancy Pelosi and over a million bucks in new campaign contributions. I’d believe him more if he’d said that he was confused and thought he was at a town hall meeting, what with all the protest signs other Republican congressmen were carrying. Of course, he should have known he wasn’t, because no one seemed to be packing heat. I have already said (as did Chris Matthews) that perhaps this wasn’t as spontaneous an eruption of emotion as Addison Graves said it was. But let’s set my misgivings on that point aside for the moment. Joe, when he realized he had not gotten a standing ovation, called the White House after the speech and immediately apologized to Rahm Emanuel. When Rahm relayed the apology to President Obama, that sweet darling nitwit accepted it without a single caveat.
Now if I’d been Obama, I’d have said one thing to Joe. “Public insult–Public apology.” I mean, really, even Kanye West knows THAT one. And for those who have been at sea, when young Taylor Swift won an award for best female video at some awards show that I’d never even heard of before, Kanye leaped onto the stage, grabbed the mike from her and dissed her and the entire awards show by claiming that this award had been stolen from BeyoncĂ©, without considering that BeyoncĂ© might be getting the Best Video of the Year honor. To his credit, Kanye not only apologized to Swift, but also apologized publicly on his blog and on Jay Leno’s new ratings bomb show. And POTUS called HIM a jackass. But obviously , only one private apology is necessary to the President of the United States–he doesn’t have the commercial clout of the young country singer. Joe knows full well that any kind of public apology would totally negate whatever political advantage the incident has gained him. Perhaps he’s seen “She Wore A Yellow Ribbon” once too many times and John Wayne’s “Never apologize, it’s a sign of weakness,” has stuck to him tighter than a vending machine condom during an overdose of Viagra. Because we all know, only total rudeness is seen as strength by the kind of person who tries to drown out the speaker at a public gathering. And that’s the kind of person Joe Wilson wanted to impress. And unfortunately for Joe Wilson, that’s the kind of person he’s become.

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Joe Wilson: Firing Upon Fort Sumter

As he bleeds from a severed hand, a nurse tells a man that he looks Hispanic and thus she will have to check his birth certificate before the hospital can admit him for treatment.

Then they called Maria to clean up this mess...

Of course, the big news all last week was the “emotional outburst” of Joe Wilson, Republican congressman from South Carolina. Briefly, in defiance of congressional protocol, in defiance of military protocol (Joe Wilson is a retired Colonel in the National Guard), and in defiance of what his momma must have taught him was good manners (not that it seems to matter much these days), Joe interrupted President Obama’s speech on health care with the cry of “You Lie!” Besides calling into mind Invader Zim accusing earthling Dib of lying when Dib claims that Zim is…well, an alien invader, it also brings to mind the setting of the argument in that august show–a school playground. Wilson claimed that he was just so overwrought by emotion that the incident just sorta happened and has tried to get away with a private apology to Obama for a rather public insult.
Wilson’s account is disingenuous at best. It’s easier to see in his actions his own little version of General Beauregard opening fire on Fort Sumter, a direct opening salvo in the war against Obama. Joe, confused about the appropriateness of the town hall antics of the summer, fully expected the body of Republican Senators and Representatives to join in on calling Obama a liar and disrupt the speech completely in a chant of liar, liar, pants on fire. They didn’t, and Joe slunk away at the end of the speech, tail between his legs, calling the White House to offer a lame “I’m sowwy–I have kids in the service.” Whatever THAT has to do with it. But Joe’s tail didn’t stay between his legs for long! Not with Michele Malkin and Glenn Beck and the host of other rabblerousers calling him an American hero! Joe’s got his nuts back and he’s refusing to apologize to Congress for a censurable offence when he’s already apologized–in private–to the President. His heart must have leapt when he heard the Taxation Protesters echoing his accusation in chants of “Liar, Liar, pant on fire” this weekend.
Is it really about the prospect of illegally aliens getting free medical services under the still yet undefined Health Care plan? Especially when, as many observers have already pointed out, the proposed bills have language specifically excluding benefits to unofficial immigrants. Especially, as Donny Shaw pointed out on Open Congress, that Joe Wilson himself voted to reimburse hospitals for services rendered to uninsured illegal aliens back in 2003. Aaaaaahhhh, but that was under a REPUBLICAN Administration…with a white President.
I can’t help but think that this whole thing is part and parcel of some crazy-ass pipe dream that when some deluded “patriot” shoots Obama–as some of the crazies who’ve shown up with guns at the town hall meetings seem to be advocating (and many more secretly hoping for it)–he’ll be taken to the local hospital where HE WILL BE DENIED TREATMENT because he doesn’t have a valid HAWAIIAN BIRTH CERTIFICATE! Wouldn’t that be poetic justice for tryin’ to push Commie medicine down our throats and, at the same time, validate our paranoid fantasies? Then God will intervene and install Sarah Palin to her rightful place on the throne.
It’s getting dangerous to be sane.
(Personal note: a quick Hoppy Bird Day to JM ;) )

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The Battle for the Hearts and Minds … of our ALLIES!

No misconduct by the troops--they merely ran through a Swedish run hospital, forcing patients out of beds and tying up the staff.

Thank you and have a nice day...

Back at the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003–was it really over six years ago now? My, how time flies when you’re having fun!–we discovered that there were some interesting wrinkles in our treatment of the local populace. They did not especially like being called “hadjis”, “ragheads”, “towelheads”, or “sand niggers”, and seemed to get upset if they were politely told to “put your face in the ground mother****er or I’ll blow it off!” The effort to get the Iraqis to trust us became known as the “Battle for the Hearts and Minds”–to distinguish it from the “Battle to Bomb Saddam Hussein Back to the Stone Age,” which seemingly was mostly accomplished in three weeks. Although it took several more months to capture Saddam Hussein himself, we could congratulate ourselves on the Stone Age part, especially since parts of Baghdad still do not have 24 hour electricity, seven days a week. The Battle for the Hearts and Minds took a bit longer because even our leadership didn’t understand that breaking the Geneva conventions did not endear us to the populace, saying “Stop” to someone who didn’t understand English doesn’t always give you the right to open fire, and that Blackwater Security was a bunch of trigger-happy psychotics whose boss thought he was on a holy crusade. But I digress.
Now that we are back in Afghanistan, finishing the job that George Bush left against a country that probably shouldn’t have been invaded in the first place (if you remember, we demanded that the Afghans hand over somebody they neither had in custody nor knew where he was, giving us the excuse to invade, overthrow the Taliban government, find Osama bin Laden, and then give up on the 5 yard line so we could play in Iraq), what the media refers to sometimes as the “GOOD war”, destined to become the same quagmire that the British fell into in the 19th century and the Russians in the 20th, yet we still have our image problems. THIS time, it’s with our own allies. After the NATO air strike that killed 70 civilians (who we claim all but five of were insurgents and yes I’m quoting the Washington Times for the irony value), we then turned to a civilian hospital run by a Swedish charity, broke down doors, tied up four of the staff and two innocent bystanders visiting relatives, and forced patients out of beds while we looked for insurgents. Our MEN searched the women’s ward and ordered the staff to report if any insurgents sought medical aid before we gave them permission to treat them. The staff refused. According to Fox News (who else?) U.S. Military Challenge Allegations of Misconduct at Afghan Hospital. Someone who wasn’t there said that no one was tied up and doors were only kicked in with the permission of staff. Since civilian hospitals are supposed to be neutral territory, troops shouldn’t have entered in the first place. I suppose there was no misconduct because we didn’t shoot anyone or tase them, but really, tying up staff and visitors should be left for the BDSM club in Kabul.
In the meantime, we at Intravenous Caffeine have decided to remain on a once a week schedule for a while longer as we prepare a few items for publication. The first is a rendering of Edgar Allan Poe’s THE RAVEN which will be available here and at various conventions that I will be attending. Please see the link for further information and samples!

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