Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

All you really need is heart…

Dick Cheney wakes up in the hospital to discover a side effect of his transplant--he's suddenly developed a "heart"

"You've got to have heart..."

Two stories of note this week: the shooting of Trayvon Martin–which actually occurred a month ago today–and Dick Cheney’s new bundle of joy. I’ve always found myself to have a reluctance to draw cartoons about things that are sad. Things that make me angry on the other hand are fair game. And the shooting of Trayvon Martin makes me sad. But the reaction of the Fox News types is worth derision.

On one hand, you have Geraldo Rivera admonishing the dead kid about wearing a hoodie because it looks too “gangsta.” And then you have New Gringrich admonishing the President about noticing the kid was black. No two ways, Fox, it’s either racist or it ain’t. Add to this the “stand your ground” fans backing up shooter Zimmerman saying that he was only doing his job–self-appointed and told by the 911 operator not to pursue–and you start to wonder if their heads are in so far, will these guys ever see daylight again?

Fortunately, Melissa Harris-Perry took care of Geraldo, and the electorate looks like it will be taking care of Newt. And Paul Krugman reveals the truth about American Legislative Exchange Council, the corporate shills behind the “stand your ground” laws.

Which leaves us Dick Cheney. The sight of all the people wishing him well with prayers for a speedy recovery—including those who’ve accused him of being a war-profiteer, a war criminal, and responsible for the sinking of the US reputation to historic lows by ‘OK’ing tortures the Japanese were hanged for after WWII—warms my heart. This is the mark of a civil society. We do live by the Golden Rule: Do not do unto the previous Administration as you would not have the next Administration do unto you.

Now a churlish man would be making comments about Mr. Cheney’s heart transplant like “Where’d they find one that small?” Or, “This one is perfect, Igor, MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” Or, “Wow, the old one really was made of stone–this will fetch a high price on EBAY!” But we won’t do so. Instead, we’ve decided to honor Mr. Cheney with some verses of a song:

Dick had to have heart,
Cheney really needed heart.
They kept saying that you didn’t have one.
But here’s one for a fresh start!

You never lost hope,
When they kept on saying nope,
Like with those weapons that could never be found,
Those visions were sound, your critics dopes.

Don’t you think of Halliburton,
And the profits from the war,
You will only feel some hurtin’,
And who knows what you’d outpour
to an enhanced interrogation!

So pick up the phone,
And when you hear the dial tone,
Tell your friend that you are sorry you graced
with buckshot his face,
it wasn’t smart,
Now you’ve finally got heart.

No applause please, the patient is convalescing.

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The New Financial Reform Bill Has the Banks Crying All the Way to the …. Bank

Chris Dodd displays his financial reform package to Batman and Robin, who likens it to Holy Underwear!

Hole-y Reform!

The disaster bubbling up to the surface down in the Gulf is assuming proportions that make the plagues of Egypt look like a teen party that got a little out of control. “Don’t worry. Accidents Happen!” says the new bright star of the Tea Party Brigade, Rand Paul, “it’s un-American to blame BP for being negligent.” After all, there were THREE companies that were negligent down there and one of them was that shining example of patriotic profit-taking, Halliburton! You can’t blame BP for an Act of GOD! Well, I have a question. If these god-fearing jackasses think the destruction of the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi Delta is an Act of God, then WTF do they think God is trying to SAY???

But I digress. My real topic is that other corporate disaster, the Financial Reform Bill. Yup, Chris Dodd has finally achieved his valedictory legislation, a financial reform that is in every way the counterpart of the Health Care and Credit Card Reforms. Like underwear that is so full of holes, the skidmarks get on your pants anyway. Yes, there are some nice new picket fences with signs that say, “Don’t Go Here Or We’ll Slap You,” in place, but by and large, “too big to fail,” has become enshrined by law as the WAY THINGS ARE in the United Corporations of America.

Limiting the size of banks? Perish the thought–just like the US itself is too big to fail, our banks are too big to close. Breaking up some of the companies that were responsible for a worldwide economic collapse? You gotta break some eggs to make an omelet! Caps on credit card interest? We covered THAT back with credit card reform! And what a success THAT has been. And the piece de resistance? The wall between trading and commercial banking that would prevent banks from using our money to buy chips in their own casino? Hahaha you must be joking.

OK there’s a new consumer agency that Elizabeth Warren, darling of the Daily Show, has been pushing. And there’s some new regulation and oversight. But mostly Wall Street is left with the task of policing Wall Street and us chickens know what it means when the fox is guarding the hen house. The Street will still hire its own credit raters, you know, the ones who gave those risky investments AAA ratings? And derivatives will still be sold to hedge risk, thereby allowing risk to be swallowed up in bookkeeping. So in every way, the things that led to the economic collapse of 2009 has been left in place. Anyone want to take bets on another collapse by 2016? How about 2012?

If this is Chris Dodd’s valedictory achievement in the Senate, I’d say his retirement is a very good thing for the American people. But–couldn’t you have left a little quicker, Chris?

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The Real Reason All Those Oil Companies Screwed Up

We'd have been better off if the Three Stooges had been in charge of drilling in the Gulf.

Moe Inc., Larry Inc., and Curly Inc. Woowoowoowoowoooooo!

Well, let’s see, you still need papers in Arizona–finish the danged fence, eh, John McCain? And Elena Kagan is now the darling of Laura Bush–who has started opening her mouth more and more since she doesn’t have to just nod her head and smile–although she does that quite a lot in her new book–the one with the mummy mask on the cover? So it looks like we’re back with the LaGulfa Tar Pit–formerly known as the Gulf of Mexico. Just think, boys and girls, in 50,000 years, people, or whatever intelligent species will be inhabiting this planet, will be able to excavate the Gulf of Mexico and find all sorts of creatures that used to live in the ocean!

We were treated to the spectacle of BP, Transocean and Halliburton all pointing fingers at each other, saying that it was some other guy’s fault that for nearly a month now, crude oil has been gushing into the sea, endangering wildlife, fishing, creating a dead zone far greater than the previous one, and in general, becoming OILMAGEDDON. Really, it looked like a Three Stooges movie. In fact, it probably would have been much more fun for all of us victims to see these three guys slapping each other and poking fingers into eyes!

True, this is probably unfair to Moe, Larry and Curly. They only created disasters on a purely local level. Like leveling a house. It takes an oil executive to create one on a global scale! See what a college education can do for YOU!

The “Drill, Baby, Drill” ideologues have in the meantime weighed in with their peculiar brand of irrationality. Sarah Palin says this is why we shouldn’t trust furriners like BRITISH Petroleum (never mind that TransOcean and Halliburton are American companies). Rush Limbaugh ideates that environmentalists did this to scotch any further offshore drilling–this is the cutting off your nose to spite your face strategy–or maybe Koreans. He’s not sure–he’ll know in another dose of oxycodone. And of course, the pro-drill crowd says this just PROVES we need to do more offshore drilling–look at all the oil we’re losing, we’ve got to make that up SOMEHOW and after all, practice makes perfect!

In the meantime, BP has tried to cap the well with the TOP HAT and the HOT TAP–amazing that the ONLY thing they’ve gotten to work so far is something that allows them to recover some of the spill into a tanker, but in the meantime, we still have the 10 mile long plumes of crude shooting out to sea. And it’s getting near the current that will take it to the Florida Keys. Ernest Hemingway couldn’t do it, hurricanes couldn’t do it, but it looks like good old capitalism will finally shut Sloppy Joe’s down!

And as we watch the death of one of the most important bodies of water in the world, let’s have a drink on that old fisherman and his soon-to-be-vanished marlin. One more for my baby and one more for the road–because it was the road that got us here.

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