Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

A Tiger and his Woods

Santa gives Tiger Woods a lift so he can visit all his paramours on Christmas Eve--after all, they have the same sponsors.

And through the magic of Christmas, Tiger Woods visits all his girlfriends all over the world in a single night...

My readers will be happy to learn that I am finally on the mend–and none too soon considering how fast Christmas will be upon us. And I’ve got shopping to do! As I announced last week, Thursday’s cartoon will be my last of the year, and we’ll pick up again on January 11 and believe me, the break will be much appreciated!
For this next-to-the-last outing of this very disappointing year of 2009, let us turn to the disappointment engendered by that sterling idol of millions, Tiger Woods, turning out to be a mere human after all. Tiger, otherwise known as Mr. Clean, seems to have had a veritable stable of mistresses and when Mrs. Woods found out about one of them, she took one of his irons and started to take some practice swings at his head. Fortunately for Tiger, there was a car windshield between them. Since then, hardly a day has gone past without yet another mistress emerging from the woodwork. The first few all seemed to be cookie cutter blondes, like his wife, which I was tempted to lampoon, but since then, we’ve found mistresses of many more flavors and now I understand there are plans underway for a new reality TV show, “The Real Paramours of Tiger Woods.”
Now frankly, if I were a young, pretty, superstar athlete, I’d probably be tapping as many kegs as I could fit into the PGA tour schedule, but then again, I’d probably have a sleazier image than Tiger Woods to begin with. But there are two problems with Tiger doing it–first of all, he IS married–with a child to an extraordinarily beautiful woman, who deserves a little more than sloppy seconds. And then there is that image of perfection that he displays–the aura of good sportsmanship, unflappability, moral upstandingness–Mr. Clean. In some way, it really negates that image to be a serial adulterer with enough girlfriends to fill an entire TV season. Now, I suspect most of his fans are highly titillated by these circumstances, but some are mighty disappointed. Particularly those fans who pay him large sums of money for product endorsements. Now you could say, “why are you disappointed–he’s just a man, after all. It’s your fault if you can’t accept that.” But I would counter that he’s a man who worked very hard to project the image of rectitude than is now crashing in flames around him. In other words, if his fans had unreal expectations of him, Tiger himself was responsible for it to a large degree because that was the kind of image that he wanted.
Which brings me to another person who has been disappointing his legions of fans, though not through any actions worthy of the tabloids. I’m referring to the Great Mocha Hope himself, President Obama. Throughout his campaign for the presidency, Obama pushed the idea that we could change the direction our country was going in through the mismanagement of Bush, Cheney, & Co.. He offered us hope that we could make the country a better place with the rallying cry of “Yes we can.” But after almost a full year in office, those hopes have turned to disappointment for many. In some ways, yes, change has taken place, but in so many others, we seem to be continuing the policies of the prior eight years, and in other ways, real accomplishments have been compromised further and further away and the status quo has been cemented more solidly in place. Now, many apologists have said, “What are you disappointed about? Obama has never been a progressive, he’s always been a centrist. He’s not doing anything that he didn’t say he was going to do.” And to this I say, BULL! According to the National Journal, Obama was the 16th most liberal senator in 2005, the 10th most liberal in 2006 and in 2007, he was the MOST liberal senator. That’s not exactly what I’d call centrism. That’s what I’d call a trend to more and more liberal as we got closer and closer to the 2008 election. And when you speak so much about change and hope in the wake of a disastrous rightwing administration, a mere return to the center could not possibly negate any of the excesses that had been committed–the pendulum has to swing in the other direction to correct the injustices, not just merely stop them. Just as Tiger Woods worked hard to burnish his image of perfection, Obama and his team worked hard to present him AS the liberal/progressive choice. And it is disingenuous at best to claim now that all that had been promised was a return to the center.

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Is this really to protect the troops or to protect the people who gave the orders to them?

President Obama tries to convince the public that not releasing the torture photos will protect the troops.

Would you like maple syrup or strawberries and whipped cream? Oh, no, not ze whip!

Poor President Obama. He’d REALLY like to get past this little torture problem that the Bush administration dumped like a load of crap on the Oval Office rug. But it just keeps coming back. Now the claim is, that in spite of his campaign promises of transparency, he will oppose releasing the torture photographs and that this will somehow protect the troops. There’s a possibility that this is true, but this writer believes that the president is being disingenuous. What not releasing the photographs is going to do is protect the president from having to do something about the perpetrators of these crimes. And I don’t mean the grunts and CIA operatives who actually performed the “enhanced interrogations” but the chain of command that issued the orders, back to and including former President Fratboy–I mean, Bush.
There is a long-standing tradition of treating previous administrations and their officials with kid gloves. You publicly give them the respect of having done whatever they did for the best reasons and especially, if there was anything fishy about it, you treat it as a hands off situation. The time to have done something was while the administration was in office–and that means use of the constitutional impeachment procedures. The problem is that the Bush administration committed high crimes and misdemeanors. They broke our laws against torture and international treaties against it. Yet, back in 2006, Nancy Pelosi took the impeachment process off the table, effectively leaving only one course of action, investigation and possible charges only after the change of administration.
Now the Democrats have been acting as if they were complete innocents in the matter. But it seems that Speaker Pelosi had been informed about the use of torture, and tacitly supported it by not doing a goddam thing about it. Nancy is also being disingenuous and trying to say that congressional leaders had only been informed about the possibililty of the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques”, in other words, she knew that torture MIGHT be used, but not that torture actually WAS being used. Come on, now, Nancy, if a CIA spook tells you he might have to do something, chances are he’s already doing it. But this goes to the heart of the matter. Maybe the Bush administration is directly culpable for this crap, as former VP Dick Cheney is proud to admit, but there are a lot of people who are complicit in that they didn’t DO ANYTHING to stop it even though they were in a position to object or, if their voices were overborne by the “soft on terrorism” rhetoric of the time, leaked it to the news media.
Which brings us to another complicit group. The news media were cheerleaders for the so-called War on Terror. At some point in time, if there had been rumors that we were practicing torture, and there had, the news either suppressed the stories or said, so what, these were the people who attacked America. It wasn’t until the Abu Ghraib photographs started showing up on the internet that they were forced to break the story. Now the line many editors are taking is that we are ALL complicit because 100% of the American people were behind Bush’s war and nobody cared if we stepped on a few innocent Iraqi toes if it meant making America safer. What these apologists are forgetting is that a substantial portion of the American people were not gung ho about invading a country that had nothing to do with 9-11 and which did not have any weapons of mass destruction to threaten us with. But these people, through the complicity of the news media were marginalized and vilified as traitors, commies, anarchists, cowards, surrender monkeys or Frenchmen.
So this is the problem that Obama faces. If he allows the release of the photographs, they are probably so awful that the clamor to do something will be tremendous. But this will open a can of worms that will not just affect the former administration, but also members of his own party, journalists and god knows how many others who had the power to do something but stood by and did nothing.
But some of us didn’t.
See: How Americans Came to Support Torture, in Five Steps
Analysis: Obama revives old arguments on photos
Lawyers scoff at W.H. photo claim
Babes in TortureLand: Media Torture

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