Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

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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The Other Day At #OccupyDC

I WILL BE POSTING A NEW CARTOON ON TUESDAY OCT 18, TO RECOVER FROM THE NEW YORK COMIC CON.

No cartoon this week because it is the October 12th holiday (celebrated on October 10 this year). It’s not very PC to like Columbus Day anymore and for some very good reasons, like celebrating the introduction of slavery and genocide to the New World. On the other hand, it is the official start of Western civilization in the Western Hemisphere and that, for good or for ill, is something worth remembering. In the interests of full disclosure, I must admit that I have an emotional attachment to the holiday since it is my birthday and I LOVE to get a day off for my birthday, even if the actual date falls on a Monday only once out of every seven years–3 out of 7 if you include the weekend. Nevertheless, I do not have any emotional attachment to Columbus himself, since he seems to have been something of a jerk, so I would not be adverse to anyone changing the celebratory intent of the holiday. Unfortunately, no one is going to call it Greg Day, so let’s call it American Culture Day. Just leave it in the second week of October, thank you. I don’t want to have to go changing my birth records to make my birthday July the 4th–you not only get a day off ON the day, but you get fireworks too! And Happy Birthday to all the other October 12ers out there–you’re special people since you partake in MY DAY!

Anyway, since I knew I was going to take some time off today, I decided belatedly to try to find out what was happening at #OccupyDC sometime BEFORE whatever it was they were going to do got done so I could actually get down there and do it with them. #OccupyDC is our local version of the #OccupyFillInTheBlank movement that is slowly gathering momentum throughout the country. The most well-known of these is, of course, #OccupyWallStreet which was finally discovered by the mainstream news the other week when some cop decided to randomly pepperspray some of the protestors on camera and then several days later when 700 people were induced to take paddywagon rides at the City’s expense. I have mentioned OWS a few times in here, but well, quite frankly I was kind of unaware of the DC branch until it had been in existence for a few weeks. This is what I get for getting so much of my news from the Huffington Post–there weren’t any Kardashians taking part in it so it never made the Front Page (THX Arianna for selling out to AOL).

Anyway, I made my way over to McPherson Square on Friday where the Washington Post had said a march to the IMF building was to start. There was a small crowd there, since, I was told, the MAIN group which was actually starting the demonstration was at “Liberty Plaza”, a place I had no idea existed, unless he meant Liberty Square in Manhattan. Which I later found out was actually “Freedom Plaza”, a place I had actually heard about in my 40-odd years in the DC area. We really need some originality in naming our landmarks and parks. What the heck, since it was starting down there, I had time to get new batteries for my camera and a chili dog–it’s my only weakness. Anyway, a few minutes after the introduction of food to my digestive system, the main group arrived and the forces swelled to about 300-400 people and off we went, alternately chanting “Occupy Wall Street, Occupy K Street,” and singing “This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land.” It almost felt like the 70s–well, a hallucinogenically-deprived version thereof.

We had a big police escort–something like a dozen police cruisers and a few dozen officers on foot or bicycle. But it was not an NYPD situation–there was a respect between the protestors and the police. Partially because the group has not hit the size necessary for over-reacting and partially because, I suspect, many of the police unofficially sympathized with what the protest was about. Besides, most of the bigwigs at IMF had already absconded for the weekend, rather than face all those “people.”

Despite the snide remarks of some of the pundits and professional pooh-poohers, it is not unknown what the demands of the #Occupiers are. Pace President Obama, we are not frustrated with a system that doesn’t seem to work, we are DISGUSTED with one that only DOES work for the top 1%. We are disgusted that the banks which caused the economic mess the entire world is in because of their greed were deemed too important to allow them to bear the brunt of their sins. That they were bailed out to the tune of 3/4 of a trillion dollars while the victims of their greed were allowed to go bust and get thrown out of their homes. We are disgusted that we, the taxpayers, had to bear the brunt of this cost while the banksters themselves were not only not punished, but rewarded themselves with billions of dollars in “bonuses” and didn’t even get their taxes raised or even get regulations prohibiting their worst activities. We are disgusted with “corporate personhood” which has enshrined political dependency on corporate largess. We are disgusted that corporations are so much more important than people that so-called health care reform was formulated around the institutionalization of parasitical health insurance companies. We are disgusted that so much importance is laid on the deficit at a time when government spending is needed for the American people that important job supporting programs like rebuilding the infrastructure and education are being cut left and right to satisfy a small bunch of yahoos who want to “drown government in the bathtub.” And we are disgusted that so much of our resources are being wasted by wars that we seem to be fighting solely so that we “don’t lose.” And finally, but most of all, we are disgusted that no one is listening to us.

Anyway, here’s a few of the pictures I took while on the march. You can see the entire album at my Flickr pages. Have a great holiday and happy birthday to all my astrotwins out there!
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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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Weinergate, Schmeinergate, Why Does Anyone Take Andrew Breitbart Seriously? [Updated]

cartoon of Anthony's Wiener stand. The 50th time I was asked today.

The Weiner-Wiener jokes go on longer and longer and never seem to come to a climax.

UPDATE: Well well well, looks like Andy BB actually got one right. One out of four is a good record–for HIM. A shame about Weiner’s taste in underwear, though. Should he resign? I don’t know, last time I looked, stupidity wasn’t illegal, and we just finished 8 years of a stupid President to prove it. Immoral? That’s between him and his wife–and the voters of his district. Anyone remember the old saw about being a liberal or a conservative? If a liberal makes a mistake and does something bad, everyone says, “See, the hero has feet of clay.” But if a conservative makes a mistake and does something GOOD, everyone says, “Hey, he wasn’t such a bastard after all!”

I STILL say it’s meant to distract us from the DEATH VOUCHERS, though.

ORIGINAL POST:
You all know what happened. For the benefit of search engines, Andrew Breitbart got a tip about a photo some college girl received ostensibly from a tweet by Anthony Weiner, congressman from New York. Actually, I’m not sure WHAT happened–the story, which I tried to get straight before writing this–has gone through several convolutions, none of which really make any sense. I mean, if he mailed it to the girl, why was the Twitter feed so important? I mean, did he tweet that picture? Or did someone tweet it to him? If he tweeted it, why did only one person of his 180 some followers get the picture? Did he Twitpic the pic? or was it a link to a pic already on the web? If it was already on the web, was it really Weiner’s wiener to begin with? And why doesn’t Anthony Weiner know if that’s his underwear? Is his taste in underwear THAT GQ?

I guess it makes sense to someone. Andrew Breitbart. You know, the guy who uploaded the severely edited video of Shirley Sherrod that made her sound like an anti-white bigot, when she was telling a story about how some farmer’s case PREVENTED her from being an anti-white bigot. The same Andrew Breitbart that web-published James O’Keefe’s creatively edited video of his interviews in ACORN offices, where he inserted clips of himself and Hannah Giles dressed as pimp and prostitute (or is that prostitute and prostitute?) supposedly getting help from ACORN hiding their income from the IRS and their activities from other agencies. You know, the James O’Keefe who was busted trying to surreptitiously sneak a microphone into Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu’s office?

Why does anyone take Breitbart seriously? Everyone already knows that he won’t question a source as long as it makes Democrats or liberals look bad. See? I didn’t call him a sneaking liar! I wouldn’t say that about him because the news media has guaranteed that he doesn’t and will not ever sneak. Stinking maybe, but not sneaking! It must be the silly season already–anything to keep our minds off the DEATH VOUCHERS that Paul Ryan is trying to replace Medicare with. That’s right Democrats, be creative for a change! The Republicans renamed your end-of-life counseling sessions to DEATH PANELS. Call this “modification” to Medicare DEATH VOUCHERS. OK, maybe someone will say, copycat, copycat, but at least they’ll be focused on it.

Anyway, I no longer want to hear about Weiner’s weiner. Let this come to a climax already. I know it’s a slow season for news and reporters are hard up for copy. But Anthony Weiner has always been a standup guy. I mean, it’s not like the story’s going to come to a head and explode in anyone’s face. Nobody was playing hide the salami.

Although the salami does look kind of hidden. (Ahem!) :D

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Wikileaking all over Secrecy (Shhhh, be vewwy quiet, we’we hunting wabbits!)

November 22 has been declared Guy Fawkes Day in the USA

And if nobody in the government accesses Wikileaks, it will just disappear...


This will be my last cartoon for 2010–I will start up again on January 17, although I’ll probably post an off-schedule Christmas cartoon. I’ll be devoting my time to completing a parody manga that I will announce in these pages when it is ready for public consumption!

My final entry is devoted to Julian Assange, who is currently running for “Vilest Man in Both Hemispheres.” Governments, newspapers, cable news networks and people with bigger mouths than brains have been calling for his assassination. A few others have been defending him on journalistic grounds, but make no mistake. Julian Assange is not a journalist.

No, journalism abrogated its investigative function, at least in the free press of these United States, beginning sometime back in the 90s when they became cheerleaders in the relentless fight to try to prove Bill Clinton guilty of SOMETHING and completing the task in the 00′s when they became stenographers whose only task was to report what the gummint said, without checking to see if it was even remotely factual or not. THAT task they left to Jon Stewart and Bill Maher and a handful of treasonous, i.e., “liberal” blogs.

NASA just made a big brouhaha out of discovering a bacterium that lives on arsenic. Therefore, it should come as no shock when any vacuum formed by an ecological void becomes filled by some odd form of life. And that’s Julian Assange for you! Assange is not a journalist, even in the old, pre-stenographic age. He’s something else, a rogue data-miner whose purpose is to give a public platform to whistleblowers of all stripes. Just look at the Wikipedia “Wikileaks” entry and you will quickly discover that the United States of America is not the only target of the leaks published by Assange and his co-workers. In fact, Assange had been rewarded by the Index on Censorship and Amnesty International for his work in bringing to light crimes and other misdeeds.

But that was up until he started “attacking” Big Dog. It was all right as long as he was merely publicizing the wrongs of third world countries that no one (with the possible exception of their residents) really cared about. But NOW, after revealing that our wars-for-profit in Iraq and Afghanistan are as misguided as they are cruel, NOW that he revealed that our diplomats are willing to mumble in private that Berlusconi farts in public and that Prince Charles is a well-meaning featherhead, everyone is up in arms, demanding he be hanged, drawn-and-quartered, or at least be incarcerated in Sweden for having sex without a condom.

Not surprisingly, JOURNALISTS are leading the fray with incendiary editorials calling him a traitor (ummmm–he ain’t a US citizen), spy, rapist, everything short of child molester. Why? Because he points out their sins of omission. Because he shows how much they are controlled not just by governments but by the corporations that own their souls. But Assange is not a journalist. A journalist’s job is to sift through the data to find the truth and publicize it. No, Assange is a shamus, the guy who finds the data, the sexton who cleans out the synagogue. And like most fictional shamuses, he’s going to be roughed up in the process to show he’s getting closer and closer to the truth.

And like his fictional counterparts, Assange is the detective who will “shame us” by showing us just what has been painted over instead of cleaned.

(Since I sometimes need footnotes, the rhyme in the cartoon is a take-off on the Guy Fawkes chant, appropriated by the mask-wearing “terrorist” in “V for Vendetta”, another so-called anarchist whose goal is to bring down corrupt government.)

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