Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

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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Returning from the turkey to get the bird

Crony capitalism and cracking down on peaceful protest--Quo vadis, America?

A double helping of caffeine today...quo vadis, America?

So, after finally having digested ALL of the Thanksgiving turkey, we turn once again to a much less edible bird. Earlier this week, we found out that Henry Paulson–you know, former CEO of Vampire-Squid–while he was Secretary of the Treasury–wandered into a meeting with hedge fund managers and told them what Treasury was going to do about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. SAY WHAT? Umm, Hank, that was supposed to be a secret until it happened! Did it not occur to you that someone might possibly engage in some insider trading on the basis of WHAT YOU #$%^&* JUST TOLD THEM? Oh, but these are my buddies–they’d never do anything so illegal, unethical and immoral. Well, most of them anyway.

There we have it, the essence of what ^&*(#$%^& went wrong with our system. We used to think that the Grant and Harding administrations were the poster children for corruption. Well, Bush II certainly gave them a run for their money (so to speak) and the Obama administration is coming up fast along the far turn. Here, pack of foxes, please take care of the hen house–we know that ace chicken stealers are going to be the best as keeping predators away! Other predators, that is!

With that shocking bit of news, did it really come as any surprise when we found out the REAL scale of the bailout? That the Fed SECRETLY loaned banks 7.7 TRILLION DOLLARS at interest rates even lower than they pay their mom and pop customers on bank deposits? And that these banks loaned it back to the government to make a profit on it? Not to worry, they only realized 0.17% profit on it. Right–only 13 BILLION dollars.

And while we found all this out, the cops of various cities have been coordinating attacks on those dirty hippies, rapists, thieves and murderers, as Fox and Friends would have it, at the same time as the Egyptian military has been attacking “pro-democracy demonstrators” in Cairo. You’ve seen the pictures…can you tell the difference? YES–tanks! You’re welcome!

This has gotten the reactionary forces in Congress to get the knickers in a knot. Hey–if the Egyptians can use tanks against their own citizens, WHY CAN’T WE? Why not indeed! So they included in the Defense Authorization bill language authorizing the military to detain terrorist suspects on native soil. Now a lot of people have gotten upset that American citizens might be incarcerated by the military, thrown in some brig and held indefinitely, but let’s ask another question. If the military can go after terrorists–how’s it going to get them? Are Navy SEALS going to be attacking terrorist cells run by my next-door neighbor? What happens if it’s decided that the attack might be too dangerous? Is that a drone I see flying THROUGH MY LIVING ROOM?

Now you might think that this is just paranoia, but consider this: 60 senators thought that this was a $%^&*#$ GOOD IDEA. It was originally 61, but one of them decided it really looked bad. President Obama has threatened a veto. That would make this his 3rd–an average of one a year–tied with Herbert Hoover. You know, the guy who let the banks tell him what to do during the Great Depression.

Why does that give me a headache?

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First, an earthquake, then, a hurricane, then, a Deluge …

The author after the Deluge.

Damn, that iBook works underwater (don't try this at home)

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am sharing my studio/office with three industrial blowers and a matching dehumidifier. My wife is trying to say something to me from the stairway … WAYYYYYYY over there … I can barely hear a word. HUH? I yell. She takes a few steps closer. Now I can actually hear a stream of unintelligible wife sounds. HUH? Finally, she gets next to me and I can finally hear her question. I just can’t understand it because there’s too much @#$%^&*( noise to THINK!

Ahhhh, the last few weeks. An earthquake, a hurricane–and then a deluge. The earthquake was relatively fun for me. I’d never been in one before and I was taking a nap for a headache on a bed with one of those memory foam mattress pads. Suddenly, I awoke to find myself on a huge square of Jell-O. As consciousness seeped into my brain, I wondered if it was an explosion–nope, lasting too long, OMG is THIS what an earthquake feels like? Should I get up and stand under a doorwa…whoops, it’s over. I understand it was scary if you were in one of the highrises in the area or one of the areas with a nuclear plant, but from my vantage, it was a very brief theme park ride. Whheeeeee!

The hurricane was more serious for more people, but again, we had it easy this far inland. Over-prepared. Took more time to undo the storm preparations than the storm actually lasted. But last Sunday, the start of the Deluge from the storm in the Gulf. FOUR DAYS of torrential rain and on Wednesday night, the drain in the back stairs silted up and the water started coming into my basement–where my office is. It’s Nowell’s flood. Whose?? You’ve heard of Noe’s flood–well, this one’s Nowell’s.

Now, some people will tell you that I am all wet anyway. And I don’t wish to dampen any opinions of my work, but this week I will throw a sop to my critics and admit that my wit is not very dry at the moment. The plumber came quickly and re-opened the drain, but my new roommates have been going full blast all weekend. It sounds like an airplane hangar.

Obama gave a speech about doing something to create jobs. I’m afraid I didn’t listen because I was in the middle of flood recovery at the time. Not to worry, Eric Cantor said they would only pass the parts that our corporate overlords liked. That should really help things. That is, if you really want an unemployment rate above 10%–which the Republican party wants because they think it will all be blamed on the Democrats–and especially Obama–and more people will be willing to take jobs at ridiculously low wages–which they won’t get because those have all been sent to India. This is because the Republican Party loves America.

Speaking of loving America, we’ve just had the 10th anniversary of the horrible event that caused ten years of national insanity. For a week, everyone wrote about 9/11. We’re still fighting two wars, neither of which were particularly useful in solving the cause of 9/11. And both of which actually made our reputation worse. We’ll probably be throwing money away on both of them for the next decade. We’re still taking our shoes off to get on an airplane. Which means we’re still #$%^&*( insane.

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May 9, 2011: Osama Still Dead! Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due…

Not to mention 6 years of birthday greetings to all 26 of his children, all ending with 'And Death to America'

Not to mention 6 years of birthday greetings to all 26 of his children, all ending with 'And Death to America'

Well, a week later and no Osama doubles have shown up, which is probably a good thing. Pakistan has been alternating between blustery protests of “You shouldn’t have done that,” and hiding behind the egg on their faces. The people on Osama’s block have collectively said, “Really, they seemed so quiet, we just thought they were very religious.” Rush Limbaugh was forced to choke out credit to President Obama, but he recovered quickly. We also discovered that the only things we really knew about the mission is that it was in Pakistan and bin Laden was shot–everything we’d been told on the first night EXCEPT President Obama’s announcement turned out to be pure fantasy.

Now Obama offered former President Bush an invitation for them both to appear at “Ground Zero,” but George declined because, at least we were told, he didn’t think he was getting enough credit for his effort in trying to capture bin Laden. One commentator said, this was kind of like the guy who didn’t open the jar saying he loosened it when you opened the top. But this isn’t quite accurate. Bush is the guy who screwed it down too tight in the first place and THEN couldn’t open the jar and needed someone else’s help.

What can we credit Bush with? Ignoring Clinton’s outgoing advice that al-Qaeda was the biggest threat we were facing? Ignoring Richard Clarke’s warnings when he was head of Cybersecurity? Ignoring the CIA memo that bin Laden was intent on striking within the US and dismissing it as covering their asses? Flying around the country in a panic on 9/11 thinking the terrorists were after him after Ari Fleischer tried to convince us that we had “credible intelligence” that the White House was the other target within hours of our being caught flat-footed? Perhaps turning down the Taliban’s offer to hand Osama over (if we gave them the evidence of his involvement which we didn’t have until he kindly took credit for it a few years later) because they didn’t say “Mother, may I?” Giving up the search in Tora Bora yards from bin Laden’s hideout because it was time to invade Iraq and deal with the REAL threat (koff!) How about seven years of “not finding him” because it wasn’t particularly important and bin Laden had been marginalized, hiding out in some cave in the mountains of Afghanistan–when he was really living in a Pakistan suburb?

You’re right. I think President Bush deserves credit for all of those things.

Michael Moore and several others, on the other hand, have been complaining about the lack of due process and how we should have brought bin Laden to trial to show the world something or other about justice. Oh hogwash, Michael, it wasn’t a strictly legal mission to begin with. You know, something about not respecting Pakistan’s sovereign territory (like Shep Smith was ignored about). What would holding a trial have accomplished–shown the world that we can hold a kangaroo court as well as anyone else? I mean seriously, even if his defensive team included Abe Lincoln, Clarence Darrow, Johnny Cochran, F Lee Bailey AND Perry Mason, there was a snowball’s chance in hell that a jury could be convinced there was a reasonable doubt that he’d authorized the 9/11 attacks and isn’t that REALLY the purpose of a trial? Did he need a forum to present his side? It wasn’t as if he hadn’t had nearly 9 years of issuing pronouncements that gave the justification for the attack. I agree, in the best of all possible worlds, it would have been a good idea to put him on trial and give al-Qaeda the present of a ceremonial execution or a living martyr in a US prison to inspire them. But we live in this one and a trial would have just been a theatre piece, a ritual piece of mumbo-jumbo to keep the bad mojo off our actions, an anticlimactic last reel that would only have made sense if bin Laden leaped up out of Silver Lake wearing a hockey mask.

Be thankful that this part is over. Now we can get back to the REAL problem–getting the hell out of two wars we shouldn’t have been in in the first place.

Oh, yes. Thanks, President Bush.

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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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