Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

The National Health Care Soap Opera Hits a Curtain–Intermission or Climax?

Making believe they are the true Amaricans, teabaggers hurl racial and other epithets at the Congress ...

Teabagging's true colors--and I don't mean red, white and blue

After a year of deals, compromises, debates, broken promises, lies, protests, counterprotests, Health Care Reform(?) is passed. With all the incredible rancor and venom, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have to be congratulated for actually getting SOMETHING done. There are about 32 million people who will have them to thank for actually having some kind of health care, and countless others who will not be denied coverage for “pre-existing conditions” or other BS. Is it a perfect bill? Hell, it may not even be all that GOOD a bill. It strengthens the stranglehold of the health insurance industry–that mandate for all citizens to buy health insurance can be seen as nothing less than a bribe to get the parasites to give up denial of coverage and if anyone thinks that the insurers are going to keep rates down and risk lowering executive salaries and bonuses, I’ve still got that bridge in Brooklyn I’m offering on eBay.

But let us be generous and think of it as a first step in what is likely to be an arduous journey. Real Reform for the rest of us lies further ahead. Let us be thankful for the people who won’t be forced to die for lack of medical care.

You would think the votes wouldn’t be so close. But all you have to do is look at the demonstrations over the weekend to see the bitterness that poisoned the hope of better legislation. Teabaggers running through the House offices, banging on doors and shouting. Hurling racial and other insults at Representatives as they prepared to vote. Spitting on them. One person in a wheelchair was mocked and told his “free ride” was over.

It wasn’t because of the sweeping nature of the plan. It kept to guidelines established by Republicans decades ago. This bitterness arose because some people in the US could not abide the thought of a black President and wanted to do anything in their power to destroy his tenure in office. They were whipped into a fury by Fox News and demagogues like Rush Limbaugh. Responsible Republican leadership has been out to lunch. They excuse this behavior instead of telling the teabaggers to stop acting like children. And they did this because the teabaggers were pulling the stunts they themselves knew they couldn’t get away with. Finally, after the vote, Boehner told everyone to start acting like adults.

But the genie’s out of the bottle. This is not the end of the teabaggers, I betcha. I hate to see what will happen next.

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Ron Jeremy Pulls a Sarah Palin–Explanation below!

Ron Jeremy pulls a Sarah Palin and writes script crib notes for a movie where he is sure to be able to read them.

Hey, the man's getting on in years--how do you expect him to remember all that dialog? (Rendered Harmless for your SFW pleasure)

EXCLUSIVE! Ron Jeremy, star of a huge number of adult movies, has been caught by our staff using crib notes. While on the set of “Jurassic Pork III”, Jeremy wrote lines of dialog on his “Ron Jeremy” as an aid to remembering them during shooting. “Hey, I’m not getting any younger and after all the movies I’ve done,” Jeremy said, “I need a little help–so much of the dialog sounds the same. I mean, how the heck AM I going to be able to film Dirty Bob’s Xcellent Adventures 35 when I’ve got the dialog from Dirty Bob’s Xcellent Adventures 29 in hand?”

This stunning revelation follows upon the recent brouhaha concerning Sarah Palin’s use of notes on her “Palm Pilot” while mocking President Obama for using a teleprompter in the same speech. Fox News also produced videotape of Dianne Feinstein for having crib notes written on her hand for a debate in 1990.

Jeremy replied, “Come on, you’re in a smokeless bar and some hot chick gives you her phone number and you’ve got nothing to write it on, what’re ya gonna do? I guess I’m not stupid enough to make fun of somebody else for doing it when I’ve got almost 10 inches of phone numbers on my own!”


REPORT FROM KATSUCON–Katsucon 16 was held this last weekend and your cartoonist was in attendance, ‘tho barely so because of the really cold temperatures in the DC area. Man, that walk from the parking lot got harder and harder every time I made it. I’m still not sure the Gaylord is the proper venue for an anime con, considering that the Gaylord is targeted at upper income levels and the average con-goer is 15-25 years old with little disposable income–especially in THESE times. The lack of public transportation limits local participation to people who can drive or get rides and the price of parking at a “resort” convention facility is rather daunting. Also the dearth of reasonably priced fast-food or family restaurants can really bite into a budget. While there were some preparedness issues (no one on-hand at the hotel to post schedule changes and treating the formal ball as if it was a rave with a dress code), the hotel staff was very helpful, especially the concierge, and despite frozen feet from trudging back and forth to the car, a good time was had by all. Shoutouts to my friends Lori Collins, Tala in blue, Chris Malone from Blue and Blond, Kittyhawk from Valkyrie Yuuki, Mike Terraciano from Dominic Deegan, Oracle for Hire. Only took a few photos (the cold trudge through icy paths from parking bit into my picture taking enthusiasm), but they are posted at my Flickr account, along with some recent pictures of the Blizzard of ’010 near my house.


TAKING OFF THURSDAY FOR CONGRESSIONAL RECESS! YAY!

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STAMPEDE!

Republicans rush from the Obama Q&A with their tails between their legs as Roger Ailes finds something to cut away to...

Roger Ailes must have ended his war on Obama AFTER the GOP Q&A session last week

Feeling a bit achey after shoveling out of this weekend’s snowstorm (and thinking a little global warming would be good right about now), I realized that I’ve been giving President Obama such a hard time lately, I should really celebrate a signal triumph, the GOP Q&A session which has been described as Barry in the Lion’s Den, otherwise known as the GOP strategy conclave. Faced with salivating opposition party members WITHOUT knives and forks, Barry not only managed to hold his own, but did so on LIVE TV! For some reason this has shocked people, in spite of knowing that all Republicans, no matter how otherwise intelligent they might be, have to sign a waiver against the use of their own brains and limit themselves to parroting “talking points” despite how nonsensical it sounds when you play back a montage of Sunday morning talking head bites. Or that Obama can actually think and talk on his feet without benefit of teleprompter. So much for mainstream media propunditry. Congratulations to Virginia Foxx (R-NC) for taking advantage of the situation and getting Barry’s autograph! Way to go, Virginia!
What makes it all worthwhile is that Fox News was so disheartened by the event that they cut away to their own tiny car of clowns to inform the loyal viewership how bad Obama was doing so they couldn’t see for themselves how WELL he was doing. Of course, Fox viewers don’t know what to think unless they’re told, so undoubtedly a poll of viewers would have told us that Obama was soundly defeated by chants of “TAX CUTS.” But no poll was taken as Roger Ailes, Fox News Channel President, declared to “This Week” that he was no longer at war with the Obama White House. Maybe he isn’t, but the information hasn’t yet “trickled-down” to his staff of commentators yet. In any case, he had no ready answer for Arianna Huffington’s asking that if he wasn’t, why the cutaway. At which point he lamely countered that Fox News was the most trusted news in cable, a non sequitur that was no better than if he’d put on a big false nose and got up to hoarsely sing “I did the Strut-A-Way in my Cut-A-Way! Ha-chachachacha!” (OK there’s my age again–Jimmy Durante? Anyone ever hear of him? Sigh, the disadvantages of being 205!)
However, good news for finance–I hear Bernanke’s been re-upped and dear Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs is scheduled for a $100 million dollar bonus. Boy, oh, boy, isn’t recovery sweet? Remind me to celebrate on my way back from the Unemployment Office. Take care!

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Well, It’s a Little Bit Better than ‘The Christmas Pouch’

Next year's extravaganza, Glenn Beck's 'The Christmas Merkin' ... 'You'll cry with joy when it's over'...

Heartwarming ... well, warming something...

Yours truly is as sick as a dog, fortunately having a doctor’s appointment already scheduled for this morning. We’re going to have to keep our normal discussion very minimal. As you may have heard, the mawkish Glenn Beck has risen to a new height of mawkishness with a bathetic barrage called “The Christmas Sweater”, available as a novel, a kid’s picture book, and movie-fied stage show with Glenn acting out all the parts. Supposedly autobiographical, Beck trades in on his mother’s apparent suicide (or accidental drowning) to provide the kind of emotional blackmail which passes for heartwarming, replete with every Christmas cliché and missing none. Sales of the books supposedly made all four of the NY Times bestseller’s lists, while his staged reading managed to only sell handfuls of tickets in the major cities. Audiences were bussed in to make up the difference, while ministers gathered outside to protest Beck’s wrapping himself in the garland of Christmas spirit while his normal persona spews hate, race baiting and wrapping himself in Kleenex and the flag as he cries that he just loves America too much.
We have a modest proposal. We propose that Beck’s next literary effort be a sequel to be titled: “The Christmas Merkin.” Beyond the expected Christmas drear, “The Christmas Merkin” has the advantage of sounding quite patriotic if you say it out loud with a bit of a twang. “The Christmas Merkin” will be sure to warm the cockles of your heart, or something else with a similar name. Not only will Glenn be able to sell multiple versions of this opus, but Christmas Merkins can be sold to exploit the demand. (For those of you unsure what a “merkin” is, Jake Gyllenhaal explained it on Jimmy Kimmel the other night.)

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Afghanistan: As Obama will say, the Surge is Working … Hmmmmmmm

The last two al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, Bilal and Yussuf, discuss Obama's Afghan strategy and how they'd be happy to leave for $10 billion dollars and we wouldn't even have to send in 30000 troops.

Afghanistan-Pakistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan--it's getting so they're not even unpacking anymore

Well, the root canal is still a bit sore but the stomach virus has, shall we say, eliminated itself, so we are back here a day late. Obama’s speech to West Point–which Mr. Matthews stupidly characterized as “the enemy”–has already passed out of the news to give way to more important rumors about Tiger Woods and his many woods…which appear to be quite a few more than he carries in his sack. President Obama has, as was expected, elected to escalate whatever it is we’re doing in Afghanistan. I mean, what ARE we doing there? Is it a war? I thought that was over eight years ago. Is it a mission? If it is, I’d like to know what the mission is. Or was.Or will be. Because the only way you can end a mission is by accomplishing something and after 8 years of being in charge, we haven’t seemed to have accomplished much. Was it to catch Osama bin Laden? That’s what the advertising was back after 9/11. Well, hell, we let him escape to Pakistan. That’s one mission UNaccomplished. Was it to eliminate the drug trade? Hell, there are only two industries IN Afghanistan, rugmaking and opium poppies, and opium poppies is the one that brings the most cash into the country. Besides, if that was our goal, we should have just left the Taliban in charge–they’d brought opium production down to a minute fraction of what it had been. What’s 18 months gonna do that the last 8 years hasn’t?
To be fair, back during the election, Obama kept saying that Afghanistan was the GOOD war and Iraq was the BAD one and he was going to do something about it. But lots of us must have figured that was just to impress Fox News. And as it turns out, this is one of the few things he wasn’t blowing smoke about. Gays? Wait around. Patriot Act? You know, there are some awfully good things in there. Secrecy in government? Shhhhhhhh, let’s not talk too much about that one. Single Payer? Why, that would destroy our health insurance industry! So I can’t blame progressives for being surprised that he IS keeping his promise about this one. But, if we haven’t accomplished our mission yet, just WTF is it?
FOX NEWS knows what our mission is–since they seem to have become the fourth branch of government since Dick Cheney abdicated–it’s to “WIN”. That’s one word we didn’t hear in Obama’s speech, Fox newsies said with stuck record regularity, WIN! Well, Fox–and its subsidiary, the Republican Party–has always had a football game mentality to both war and politics, which I suspect are the same thing to them. No such thing as a draw, only winners and losers in their books, so if you didn’t win, you’re a loser. But — we won. We did that eight years ago. What we’ve been trying to do for the last eight years is figure out what the hell it was we DID win. True, we got rid of the oppressive Taliban government, but what did the Afghani get in return? Karzai–and his brother, Mr. Opium King? Who managed to hold an election in which hundreds of thousands of votes were cast in non-existent polling stations? I’m no fan of the Taliban but Cheeses and Crackers, couldn’t we have done a little better than Hamid Soprano?
Winning, as far as I can see, consists simply of keeping al-Qaeda and the Taliban out. Well, the Taliban, there’s only about 100 al-Qaeda left in Afghanistan at the most generous estimate, see Bilal and Yussuf in the illustration, but we always have to say “al-Qaeda and the Taliban” so that our “mission” looks like it still has something to do with 9/11. Where did al-Qaeda go? To the hills of our “ally” Pakistan. So why are we in Afghanistan? To keep them from coming back in. WTF would they go back to Afghanistan when they have a safe haven in Pakistan? I mean, it’s not like it’s their ancestral homeland. They have just as miserable conditions in Pakistan as they had in Afghanistan. Well, we have to stay to keep the Taliban out. What for? To keep up the opium trade? To prop up a government that is so corrupt it even makes the Bush administration look beige? We’ve had eight years to Kabul together a government in our own image and likeness and all we did was screw around. We ain’t gonna do it by getting serious for another 18 months.
But I think Fox News has a point, one that they don’t even understand–which isn’t saying a lot, since understanding things is less important to them than having an opinion. We have to have a surge to make it look like we’re taking some kind of action. Then we’ve got 18 months to figure out what we can say we accomplished so we can declare our mission “WON”. Then we can “draw down” before the ’012 election. Mostly. Like Iraq, we’ll be keeping a significant garrison in place because the only way to keep the Taliban out is to stay fighting them. And, like Iraq, where we still have 50,000 troops, we’ll be there for some time to come. At a million dollars a year per man because that’s what it costs to keep troops occupying another country. Just think what we could do HERE with a million bucks! Never mind we, think of what I could do with a million bucks. Hey, doesn’t the USA qualify for “too big to fail?”
Which brings me to my final point. The Soviet Union was only in Afghanistan for 10 years and that little adventure is credited with its downfall. We’ll be hitting OUR tenth anniversary in 2011 and remember, the tenth anniversary is TIN!

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