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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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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Almost Immoral

Obama and Boehner hold secret White House meetings on the debt ceiling.

Boehner and Obama incognito

I have to run up to Wilmington today for business so I’m keeping this short, but the train trip to Delaware reminds me of SENATOR Joe Biden’s commute back and forth to his home and home state before he became Vice President. Joe was holding meetings with Eric Cantor and John Boehner on the debt ceiling–you know, the ones that Cantor walked out of–and of course, the two evil twins insisted on paying for more tax cuts for the rich by dumping so-called entitlements for the not very rich. You know, Grandma. To quote the AP article: “To ask senior citizens receiving Medicare to pay more in taxes when people earning more than $1 million a year receive a substantial tax cut ‘borders on immoral,’ the vice president said.”

BORDERS ON IMMORAL? That’s kind of like saying the decision to award the burglar damages because he knocked over the candle you’d negligently left burning right where he could run into in on his way to the family silver and sustained injuries WHEN YOUR HOUSE BURNED DOWN “bordered on unjust.” If that’s what “borders on immoral”, I’d hate to find out what actually qualifies as immoral. Besides Weiner’s Wiener.

Let’s see. How about “starting a war against a virtually defenseless country that has been impoverished by economic sanctions because we said they might be thinking about making nuclear weapons in order to get the oil they’re sitting on.” Immoral? Nope–perfectly moral in the 21 century. How about, “selling the oil to China instead of using it to help American industry.” Perfectly moral! “Protesting the war and accusing its proponents of war crimes?” Now THAT’S immoral–AND unpatriotic!

How about “doping yourself with growth hormones so you can win–oh, say, the Tour de France?” Perfectly moral–especially if you’re a cancer survivor. Unless you’re NOT on our team. Then it’s downright flagrant cheating!

“Frequenting a prostitute while holding office?” Fine–as long as you’re not a Democrat–after all, you EXPECT Republicans to be hypocrites. “Holding secret meetings with the Speaker of the House to achieve a compromise on the debt ceiling?” Well, we’ll see how moral THAT one turns out.

Morality is an awful fluid thing where money, politics and sports are involved. Would that it were so in other matters like sex or abortion. And speaking of sex–congratulations to the gay couples of New York State. Now you can go through messy divorces just like the rest of us!

See you next week!

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It was all Boehner could do to stop Mike Pence from holding his breath til he turned blue…

No, that's not a basketball team uniform...

No, that's not a basketball team uniform...

Our country is in a world of hurt. Seriously. In one party, we have a bunch of two-year-olds who demand everything and won’t be satisfied without sugar on top. And on the other hand, we have a chief executive who has the backbone of a sponge. SpongeBarack. He sucks in all this abuse, giggles annoyingly, and then declares it a great accomplishment for the American people. OK, Barry doesn’t giggle annoyingly, but it would be better if he did.

Now I understand narcissism. I was an actor once. And that’s possibly the one profession which is more narcissistic than politics, but it’s a close race between actors, politicians and strippers. Politicians see every deal as an accomplishment–even turds that have been spray-painted gold. And this budget deal is a turd so moist the paint can’t even stick. Yet President Obama goes and describes it as some kind of rosey-hued vision of democracy because “Americans of different beliefs came together,” to avoid a government shutdown–when the tyrannical threat of a shutdown should never have existed in the first place! Then he went to the Lincoln Memorial to celebrate the fact that it was still open, but don’t worry, your tax dollars will help pay for those tax cuts for the upper 1% we caved on back in 2010. My, how long ago was THAT? Oh, by the way, we’ll have to cut out some government jobs–like 100,000! (But the stock market is doing great, isn’t recovery grand?)

And immediately after the deal was struck–we get assholes like Mike Pence intoning that the deal was probably not good enough. Not good enough? According to one Republican, they got 79% of what they wanted. What does Mike Pence want? 100% capitulation, an apology for not surrendering sooner, war reparations and Obama, Reid and Pelosi committing seppuku on the steps of the Capital?

As a wise ‘possum once said, “We have met the enemy and it is us.” God save the United States of America–’cause nobody else is trying.
__________

The awful tragedy in Japan is continuing–hundreds of thousands of people have been homeless for a month now and agriculture in the area–particularly rice farming–is non-existent. Many people kept their money at home rather than the banks, and now are penniless. So a reminder, please give generously for Japan relief in this time of need

Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 from your phone
Text MED to 80888 from any mobile phone to give $10.
Text ‘JAPAN’ or ‘QUAKE’ to 80888 to make a $10 donation or visit SalvationArmyUSA.org.
Also Save the Children
Japan-earthquake-tsunami-relief @ Global Giving
Doctors Without Borders
Americares
Shelter Box
Peace Winds
Operation USA
World Vision

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