Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

And the Magic Word is: al-Qaeda

What? We're still fighting 'al-Qaeda' in Afghanistan?

Say the magic word and we can have troops there until doomsday.

“You Bet Your Life!” “Say the magic woid,” Groucho would say, but our answer today is, “and we can have troops anywhere until doomsday.”

President Obama made a surprise trip to Kabul the other week as part of his up-and-running campaign against the Mittster to emphasize that HE was the one to have success in our Middle Eastern snafu, that the troops supported him and–possibly an afterthought–shore up some agreements about our post-2014-withdrawal presence in Afghanistan. What? you say–we’re going to keep a presence in Afghanistan? You bet your bippy. We still have a “presence” in Italy, Germany and Japan, 67 years after the end of WWII, much to the dismay of the Japanese although, except for the Okinawans, nobody is saying it very loud.

So the issue is, how many troops will we keep in Afghanistan after we remove all our troops from Afghanistan? I bet you thought “removing all our troops” mean “removing all our troops”! How cute! Don’t you know? According to the President, we’re still fighting al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

AHhhh, the magic word! Al-Qaeda! Everything is justified after 9-11 by the use of that name! It justifies almost 11 long hard years of wasting countless dollars and thousands of American lives–not to mention the 100s of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan lives–and is the ne plus ultra raison d’etre for this morass (and I do mean MORE ASS!).

Now you may argue that there’s really only two al-Qaeda operatives IN Afghanistan since almost all of the left for Pakistan. We don’t really know what we know about al-Qaeda levels–it’s one of Mr. Rumsfeld’s unknown knowns. But that’s the way we are. We can’t make war on an ally, so we do the next best thing and make war on their next-door neighbor to prove how tough we are. That doesn’t mean we can’t break the rule sovereignity by pulling an assassination raid in Pakistan to get rid of Osama bin Laden–al-Qaeda again justified it!

Now our friends on the Republican side of the aisle and Fox and Friends have been raising a stink lately (a year later) over whether or not Obama SHOULD have authorized a raid that THEY would have authorized in a New York minute but now have to be critical of since Obama led the charge. AND getting upset that Obama is “spiking the ball” for having accomplished it, forgetting that George W. Bush spiked the ball on first down before we’d gotten anywhere NEAR the endzone. But that’s the way it is. Remember, they were FOR killing Osama before they were against it!

The I Ching says the superior man’s actions are both good AND correct. Unfortunately, superior men seem to be in short supply in politics today.

I will be in the Philadelphia area next weekend for ZENKAIKON, specifically, the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA, May 11-12. I’ll be returning on Sunday, so I won’t be doing a cartoon next weekend, but will return on the 20th. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

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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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Who’d'a Thunk The Belgians Would Be So Creative?

Young Frankenstein homage, exhuming the Belgian archbishop with ties to the child abuse scandal..

The Belgians thought it would be better to hire local labor to exhume the Cardinal...

Well, it has been an eventful week. General MacArthur shot his mouth off again to the press and Harry Truman was forced to sack him. Oooops, I mean General McChrystal shot his mouth off to a reporter from Rolling Stone and Obama, after months of McChrystal’s badmouthing and leaking, was finally forced into firing him. McChrystal’s boss and predecessor, General Petraeus, will take over operations in Afghanistan that, suprise! surprise! we’ve been told will probably take even longer. After all, those 50 al-Qaeda in the mountains need to be kept from rejoining the rest of their crew … in PAKISTAN. Yeah, yeah, I know, we’re trying to keep out the Taliban too so we can keep our friend Karzai in power–who, it has been speculated, has already joined the Taliban. Round and round she goes, where she stops, nobody knows, but the United States will continue to waste money and troops there because we won’t accept defeat in a war that lost its meaning 5 years ago.

Anyway, on to the real story…no, not the one about Fox and Friends wondering what that BP robot was thinking when it accidentally knocked the cap off the Gulf gusher–Jon Stewart already handled that. Hey, guys, The Terminator was just a MOVIE. No, I’m talking about the latest development in the ongoing story of Churchly pederasty. Holy Hercule Poirot! The Belgian fuzz raided church offices to seize evidence about priestly child abuse and its coverup. You gotta hand it to those Belgians. They ain’t sitting on their hands with this one. But the icing on the cake was the opening of two Cardinal’s tombs–what, did they think they were going to catch them in a smoking erection? Evidently, somebody thought that evidence might have been buried with the prelates, instead of being burned like anyone with half a mind would have done. On the other hand, the Church is full of bureaucrats, better photocopy those papers before you burn them, just in case we need them again!

While giving the Belgian police high marks for energy, initiative and creativity, I have to ask what they were smoking. Did someone read/watch The Da Vinci Code one too many times? How about Young Frankenstein? In any case, Our Holy Father is in a state of Righteous Dudgeon–something he forgot about doing while HE was in charge of investigating priestly child abuse–How DARE they act like the Church was full of bankers? I mean, criminals! “Huff! Huff!” he huffed, “Thou Shalt Not Hear the end of this!” And the former Hitlerjugend member from Bavaria (in what was to become WEST Germany) called the Belgian cops worse than Communists!

The Belgian church is now thinking of suing the Belgian police if the Jesuits can torture out a legal basis for the suit.

Finally, as we heard this morning. Robert Byrd, longest serving Senator in US history, passed away last night. Byrd was a living example that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks, having turned from a member of the KKK to one of the most reliably liberal members of the Senate. He will be missed. Our condolences to his family, the Senate and the people of West Virginia.

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