Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

Barrie Antoinette: “Let Them Eat Catfood…”

L'Ancien Régime. "Let them eat catfood."

"Life Among the Nobililty: The Swing" by Gregonard...

Well, Barrie Antoinette–excuse me, President Barry Obama, delivered his proposal for a budget and yes, indeed-y, there was the much hated-by-the-constituency-but-loved-by-Wall-Street “chained CPI”. According to one writer, Barry has called the Republican bluff–they have said they will brook no tax increases unless something is done about “entitlements”–you know, the money you’re entitled to because, well, you GAVE it to the Fed to invest throughout your working career! Well, the Prez has proposed chained CPI–the cost of living mal-adjustment that assumes that if you can’t afford steak, you’ll buy chicken and everything is still jake. Or if you can’t afford Chicken of the Sea, you’ll buy canned skipjack mackerel. And if you can’t afford canned mackerel, you’ll just go to Friskies.

The theory is that the Republicans will be so scared of losing their seats that they will do anything to avoid agreeing to this proposal. Except for one thing–who’s REALLY gonna get the blame for this? Why, the guy who proposed it, of course. President Obama. You know, the guy who DOESN’T HAVE TO RUN FOR ELECTION AGAIN?

Why all this “save Social Security” nonsense when it is solvent for the next 30 years? Why all this “entitlement reform” bullshit when Social Security has nothing to do with the budget? For that, we have to go back eight years (and actually more) to when President BUSH proposed “privatizing Social Security.” That’s right, this one has a long history–and the reason for privatizing SS was? So the money boys, the banks, the oligarchy, the plutocracy, could get their hands on that money and drain it from our senior citizens faster than any drug addict by stealing your Grandma’s Social Security check.

But wait–how does the chained CPI do THAT? Remember back then–the seniors, the AARP, everybody and their brother decided that the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) was good enough to keep them going so please do not do us the favor of letting us make bad investments, please. So the money boys–whom Barack Obama is as beholden to as any Republican, any blue dog Democrat, hell, almost every “progressive” Democrat as well–said to themselves, “If the COLA is good enough, then let’s screw the COLA. Then they’ll be clamoring to let us invest the money for them.”

And that, kiddies, is how the sky turned blue. So remember, when Grandma, when Ma and Pa, when YOU start having to eat catfood, it wasn’t just Congress, it wasn’t just Obama…

It was the banks, too big to fail, too big to jail, who wanted your money.

“Allons enfants de la Patrie, le jour de gloire est arrivé!”

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Martha Raddatz Forces Paul Ryan into a “Bela Lugosi Moment”

Sacrilege--a moderator who moderates! Show us the math, Paul Ryan.

Paul Ryan does his impression of Dracula being faced down with a crucifix.

Everyone was talking last week about the Thursday night smackdown of Paul Ryan … by Martha Raddatz! About this across the board 20% tax cut … do you have the specifics? Do you have the math? Do you even know what you’re doing? (Well, not exactly the last one, but pretty close).

As Ryan averted his eyes and shielded himself from the glare of intense scrutiny with a more horrified scowl than Dracula being faced with a crucifix, Martha boldly advanced with her Holy Microphone! No No NO! I’m going to try to weasel around with some nonsense about Republicans reaching out for a bi-partisan solution (like THAT’S ever happened in the last 12 years). So Martha delivered the final blow: “Yeah–NO specifics!” BOOM! Score one for an objective TV journalist.

Joe Biden loved it so much, he laughed through the entire debate. Actually, Joltin’ Joe got enough solid wood on the ball to knock several so far out of the park–and Ryan along with it–that Andy Borowitz quipped that the Democrats now want Biden to take over for Barry in all the rest of the debates. Barry’s response was that he realized he gave a less than stellar performance the first time, and THIS time, he was actually going to prepare for the debate. Good move, Mr. President!

The Press–you know, the one with the so-called liberal bias–on the other hand, gave bad marks to Joe for laughing and eye-rolling at every one of Ryan’s glossing over of the facts and plain old mendacity. The same press that fell over itself four years ago to praise Sarah Palin’s winken-blinken-and-nod performance–you know, someone SHOULD have criticized her for making fun of the handicapped like that–calling it “fresh and spunky”. I guess the difference between “fresh and spunky” and “angry old man” is about 30 years. This from a press that seems to think “Moon–Green Cheese? Blue Cheese–an alternate viewpoint!” is a solid debate topic.

Anyway, now the ball is back in the big boy’s court. Let’s hope that President Obama has learned a lesson about not misunderestimating his opponent. Just because he’s a robot with a pretty hair-do for a brain doesn’t mean he can’t pack a wallop in a medium where you win by LOOKING GOOD. And that’s the way it is.

A sad note this weekend. Arlen Specter, the last Republican with a conscience, passed away after a long battle with cancer. If you want to talk about bi-partisanship, he was one of the last Republicans to believe in it. So much so that his party forced him to seek re-election as a Democrat. I didn’t always like his votes, but I had respect for the man. He–and his kind of politician–will be missed.

And if you’re wondering about my Dracula references–Hallowe’en IS on the way and my wife got me the Universal Horror Blu-Ray Collection for my birthday. Bela Lugosi is stunning in HD!

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Has Ann really ever worked a day in her life? Depends on your definition of work.

It's so hard to raise children without a staff of help.

Managing all that staff is so exhausting...

I’m playing catch-up here after losing our furry friend. So forgive me if this brouhaha isn’t really as current as it might be. Hilary Rosen said something that is objectively true, that Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life. It’s true–Ann Romney has never worked a day for wages. Ann Romney countered that she’s performed the most important job there is, being a mother. Huff and Puff! Oh, you horrible person, Hilary, you apologize to her. Even President Obama said so.

Myself, I’m thoroughly sick of this tactic working. One side criticizes something. The other side accuses them of making a totally and deliberately misconstrued slur on mom, apple pie and the flag, forcing them to apologize and delegitimizing the original critique in the first place. It’s time for liberals to STOP APOLOGIZING for things they never said.

Yes, being a mom is the most important job in the world if you don’t count brain surgery, leading a country, or being a professional athlete in the United States. And Ann Romney has certainly borne and raised five children. And five kids is a job and a half. Now we know she didn’t perform a job for wages. But the question is, has she performed the same amount of WORK the rest of you mothers out there have?

Who took the kids to school? Granted most of your kids took the bus, but if the kid got sick in the middle of the day, who had to pick him up? You did. Who did it at the Romney household? Ann? or the chauffeur? Who took the kids to soccer practice, piano lessons, dance class, boy scouts, girl scouts, Tae Kwan frickin’ Do? Ann? or the chauffeur? Who helped with the homework? Ann? or the NANNY? Who cooked and cleaned? Ann? Or the cook? Or the maid? Who shooed religious fanatics who wanted to talk about God from the front door? Ann? or the butler? Who had to keep the budget? Ann? Or the accountant?

Being a mom is a heckuva lot easier a job when you have a staff. In fact, it hardly seems like “work” at all, doesn’t it? The same relationship to real work that being a CEO has. You get the fun parts–playing with the kid, acting proud at graduation. And some of the not-so-fun parts–worrying while they’re sick or have had an accident, grieving if they die. But the day-to-day nitty gritty? Someone else handles that.

So let’s go one more step. Who got a job when her husband’s job wasn’t paying enough for the family, who had to work when he was laid off, who had to make the mortgage payments when he was in Iraq fighting for the country (especially with banks not paying attention to their agreements about military service), who had to support the family when he died? I’m not saying these are the only good reasons for a mom to have to work outside the home, but these are just a few of the “good” reasons even a Rush Limbaugh would accept as legitimate. Come to think of it, Rush wouldn’t. He assumes all single mothers are welfare moms without husbands. But certainly Ann Romney would agree.

How hard a job is being a mom in the real world as opposed to being a mom when you have more money than God? I stand by Hilary Rosen’s statement. Ann Romney HAS never worked a day in her life.

And she knows it. I think the “real” motha’ in all this is the strategist who told Ann what to say.

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Hey, Wall Street, We’re Fed Up With Your Bull!

The Wall Street Bull drops a load on America as the NYPD line up to protect the bankers and brokers from peaceful protesters.

Errrr, not exactly trickle down is it?

Well, I’m more or less recovered from InterventionCon over the weekend. Thanks to Onezumi Hartstein and James Harknell for their work in creating this fun convention. Shoutouts to Ari Pramagioulis of Success Communications Group, Murder Nurse, Moxie Cat and all the other great people of Cosplay Burlesque. Congratulations Mookie, creator of Dominic Deegan on your impending doom, err, I mean marriage. Fellow artists Elaine Corvidae of Rivensol, Jennie Breeden of the Devils Panties, the gang at Interrobang Studios, my next table neighbors from Singed Cat and other studios. Good luck to First Law of Mad Science and Ninjas versus Vampires. Hi Andi from a table whose weblink I can’t find. And thanks to all the people who attended and especially those of you who bought something from me!

Now, back to business. I thought I might do something about the incredibly tacky game show beauty pageant known as the second Republican Debate last week with Wolf Blitzer seemingly oblivious to his role as successor to Bert Parks (There they are–the next US Presidents!) Bob Barker or Monty Hall. Was that a debate? Then I thought, oooooooo the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, a much more IMPORTANT thing to celebrate. Darn, we finally will let patriotic Americans fight for their country without prying into their private lives! But then something that seemed to be slipping through the cracks came to my attention. SOMEONE FINALLY decided to protest against WALL STREET.

Due to getting ready for three conventions on three successive weekends, plus the disaster of the basement deluge (not to mention the death of my printer), the knowledge of the existence of OCCUPY WALL STREET seems to have slipped past me. As well as most of the mainstream news! As anyone with any common sense has realized, Wall Street went through a recovery after the banking bailout, but Main Street never did. That’s because Wall Street has usurped the reins of power in the United States and the common people no longer have a voice. President Obama promised to be a force for change, but his moneyed advisors led him by the nose to ignore the plight of the people. The Republican Party fights tooth and nail to protect each and every dollar of them, their true constituency, calling tax hikes on the luckiest of us “class warfare” when the REAL class warfare has been waged on the American middle-class since the days of plaster saint Ronald Reagan. The Democrats are little better, since our endless campaign season requires them to be funded by the money boys. Too long have the media paid attention to the faux populism of the Tea Party which is more intent on punishing their neighbors for a crust of bread than taking it from the bankers who have repossessed the bakery!

I am not anti-capitalist. Bankers and brokers–like the bacteria that live in the body and are necessary to digestion–they are a good thing when regulated. They provide the grease that the wheels of commerce need to turn. But when unregulated they turn into a cancer that sucks the life from the body, from the hearts and minds and hands of the American people. And that’s where we are today, and we’re dragging the rest of the world down with us. It’s about time to stop, to re-regulate commerce, to prosecute the miscreants for the crimes they have committed, to return power to the “little people” like you and me. Whether or not you agree with me, I urge you all to watch what is happening on the streets of New York.

But you might have to really look for it–it ain’t making front page. The money boys don’t want it there.

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Raise High The Debt Ceiling, Carpenter…

A chocolate Easter Bunny loses its ears by running them against the debt ceiling.

So I've got a bunny fixation this week...


To our Christian friends, Happy Easter! To our Jewish friends, next year–in Jerusalem! To our pagan friends, Happy Easter too! And to our atheist friends …

So what’s the next crisis threatening our Republic? Oh, the debt ceiling? AH! the debt ceiling! WTF is a debt ceiling? Supposedly it is the limit beyond which we as a nation cannot, statutorily, owe any more money. Theoretically, that’s the point where we have to either stop spending, or, as the Teaparticans hope, default on our debts and bring the whole castle built on sand crashing down. If we do that, then the whole world economy crashes with it and we hope you’ve been investing short.

This isn’t the first time, we’ve hit the debt ceiling–it’s a fairly regular occurrence. What happens? We raise the debt ceiling and the world’s economy goes on truckin’ along as usual. After all, none of this money is real anyway, just zeros written on paper (and since the arrival of the electronic transfer, in electrons) and the world economy is built on the agreement that these zeros really do exist and say it really loudly or Tinkerbell will not get better, “I DO believe in dollars”.

Funny thing, our 21st century nation doesn’t seem to work anymore. Instead of working together, every issue becomes a crisis, a major battle which must be fought between the powers of good and evil. It wasn’t always like this. When I was a lad, Republicans and Democrats could actually work together. To go back to the religious theme of the first paragraph, they were not like two religions duking it out, but more like two congregations of the same religion having a joint Memorial Day picnic playing … a softball game. Okay, maybe one was High Church and one was Low Church, they agreed on most of the same things, they just disagreed on the mumbo-jumbo needed to get there. It’s different today. About the only things our elected representatives and senators and President can agree on is, don’t upset the banks because we need their campaign contributions and the only action you can take on our War Machine is keep feeding it more and more money. Everything else can get thrown under the bus.

And that’s where we are today. So Happy Easter, Chag Sameach, Happy Easter and …. Let’s join together in a vast chocolate and sugar high and try to forget that we’re no longer on the sidewalk…

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