Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

The No-Compromise Compromise, or, 3-D Chess finally works out

Spock/Obama wins a 3-D chess match

Chief Science Officer Obama's 3-D chess playing pays off -- Fascinating.

How often have we heard the following statement about President Obama: “Oh, you don’t understand–he’s playing a 3-D chess game. You couldn’t possibly follow his strategy!” If you were a progressive (or, in hushed whispered tones, a “l-i-b-e-r-a-l”), probably a lot. Why was single payer health insurance taken off the table before the negotiations even began? 3-D chess move! Why no public option? 3-D chess move! Why no investigation into the Bush era torture policies? 3-D chess move! Bank investigations? 3-D chess move! Fascinating!

An astute observer might have noticed that all these 3-D chess moves appeared to variations on the Nimzovich strategies–instead of fighting for the center of the chess board, you concede it and allow your opponent to get overconfident so you can rush in and take advantage of his over-extended supply lines! Of course, it’s hard to overextend your supply lines on an 8×8 chess board so these openings seem to have fallen into obscurity. Nonetheless, our chessplayer-in-chief appears to be devoted to showing that they can work.

The only problem was, while Spock was playing 3-D chess, the Klingons were playing poker. Ah-HAH! I take your knight! Big deal, Full House beats one of a kind! Whoopsies!

However, we’ve finally had a situation where Obama’s chess playing has finally paid off. The brouhaha about Obamacare forcing poor religious zealots from denying women the choice of contraception. Why that’s against the freedom of religions to force their moral standards on people who need not even be members of said religions. Specifically, Catholics, the largest single church in the US–who usually vote Democratic. How quickly the Republicans rushed to their defense! I wonder how quickly they’d rush to the defense of Muslims objecting to universal health care based on Shariah law?

So Obama compromised. The church run hospitals would not have to provide contraception coverage. The health care companies would do it instead. GREET! Oops, many Catholic hospitals are self-insured! Too bad!

Mitch McConnell is furious and threatens a vote … on something. Problem is–the Catholic BISHOPS are against the idea, but Catholic women seem to applaud it. Oh, well. It gets interesting, don’t it?

On personal notes: I will be running an artists alley table at Katsucon at the Gaylord at National Harbor Friday through Sunday this coming weekend. And being as it’s a Monday holiday, there will be no cartoon until the next week. My dental problem is in the middle of recovery (I needed an extraction and implant) and it’s good not to feel the pain that has been with me for many months now. And finally, there is a very sweet kitty cat who is very ill and needs your best wishes. Thanks :)

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Democracy? Good luck with that, Egypt!

[irony]So glad we live in America where we don''t have to fight for equality.[/irony]

Don't you know that you can count me out/in?

So the Egyptians managed to throw that poor old man Mubarak out into the cold (figuratively speaking) and get themselves a can of whup-ass democracy? Well, thank God. Now we don’t have to watch all those shots of them shaking their fists in the public square on the teevee and get back to what matters most in America–looking for the jobs that we’ve sent abroad!

Democracy! Good luck with that, Egypt! We’ve had it here for over 200 years and people have gotten sick of it. Too much effort. I mean, there we had the most perfect Articles of Confederation that we made even more perfect in the Constitution and what happened? We had to fight a war 85 years later because some silly liberals thought we couldn’t own slaves! And then they went and said that women could vote just as intelligently as men! And just because the stock market slipped a few points and good business required a few layoffs, that Commie Roosevelt started regulating banks and the stock market and putting in “safety nets” for people who were just too lazy to pull on their bootstraps and get rich parents! Then along come that Kennedy and Johnson and we start talking about civil rights for black people–and brown people–and Spanish speaking people–and women–and now even ho-mo-sex-uals! Goddammit–pretty soon there won’t be anyone left to make fun of!

No, we’re tired of all that equality. Let’s turn the clock back to the original Constitution (minus all amendments but the second–after all, Ann Coulter thinks we need more jailed journalists). Thank God for Ronnie Reagan who boldly said to our oppressors, “Tear down these regulations, Mr. Roosevelt!” It’s taken 30 years, but by gum, Ronnie would be proud on his 100th birthday, if he were alive and not chewing on the bedlinens. We’re almost back to where we should be! With the rich running things and the poor on nice clean heating grates in the sidewalk. And the rest of us with the SuperBowl and Dancing with the Stars on, eating our meat and potatos–or at least fries and Taco Bell–with mom and dad working 3 jobs between them so Grandma doesn’t have to make her “Salmon and Ocean Whitefish Feast–F L A K E D–Casserole.” After all, we have a roof over our heads, at least for the next 90 days. Just don’t get sick, kids, we hear they’re starting Debtor’s Prisons and we can’t afford an emergency room visit.

As Justice John Roberts said, (and Clarence Thomas didn’t), “Plutocracy, here we come!”
__________

Note to ANIME FANS! I will be in Artist’s Alley at KATSUCON this weekend at the Gaylord at Washington Harbor, where I’ll be hawking Part One of my anime/manga parody, BLECCH! (Guess what manga/anime I’m lampooning!) Stop by and say hi, but if you can’t make it, check out its listing at Indy Planet. CU SOON!

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We’re Back (Hopefully) And Watching the Bill-Barry Sparring Match

A diminutive Bill O'Reilly tries to

Lilliputian Attack Dogs

Well, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks. I took off Martin Luther King Day weekend and the following weekend because I was going to be doing Artist Alley at Setsucon in State College PA, but I was also in the middle of finishing a manga parody that I wanted to have printed so I could sell it at Katsucon down here at Washington Harbor in February. Now, if you’ve ever done a publication, you KNOW that in the last week or so you’re doing nothing else but finishing things you forgot you hadn’t finished or had left for the end and FINDING PROBLEMS with the pages you thought you were already done with before you commit the whole damn thing to posterity. So, I’m running on 3 hours of sleep every night and get the mess to Ka-Blam in time to pack for Setsucon, when (ahem) KA-BLAM! another attack of whatever stomach ailment laid me up in December threw me onto a bed of pain for the day I was supposed to drive up to State College. Although the con lasted two days, it wouldn’t make much sense to drive up the next day since I’d get there in time for maybe 2 hours before I had to close the table for the day, so I sadly cancelled my plans.

BUT THE GOOD NEWS–BLECCH! Part One, will be on sale at Katsucon (manga and anime lovers can probably guess which manga/anime is the main focus of my parody :D ) Along with my book of reprints from my Bush era cartoons: BUSHWHACKED–The Wurst of HAIL DUBYUS! For those who aren’t going to be at Katsucon, you can get both of these at IndyPlanett, or rather BUSHWHACKED now and BLECCH! when it is finished printing.

However, it looks as if I have a LOT of catching up to do. Tea party representatives coming to free us from socialist government health care at the same time as demanding their socialist government health care. A state of the union address with Republican/Democratic mixed seating (oh, the shame! what will their parents say!). Keith Olbermann–quitting or fired? An uprising in Tunisia and *drumroll* another one in EGYPT! We’re really caught between a pillow and a mattress there–on the one hand, we have our favorite Middle Eastern dictator, the only person the US has been able to trust near not-so-shrinking violet Israel for the past 30 years, and on the other, a populist democratic uprising against the tyranny he’s unleashed against his own people. Wow, smothered with kindness–do we back the devil or the deep blue sea?

As much as we want to plant democracy in the rest of the world to make the world safe for democracy, we’ve discovered that unless we’re sitting in a country with an army of 100,000 or so, elections don’t always go the way we’d like them to. The “soon to be canonized in honor of his 100th birthday” Ronald Reagan found that out in South America where people actually voted in governments that were interested in people instead of profits–so he ignored the elections and sent in the CIA to provide money and other care packages to right wing goon squads to protect American commercial interests. More recently, we found that out in Palestine and Lebanon. And right now, Fox News is creaming in their jeans about the possibility of The Islamic Brotherhood–their current bugaboo version of the Si-Fan–turning Egypt into an anti-American/anti-Israel haven, delaying the apocalypse for a few more weeks. Or bringing it forward. Or something. In any case, as always on Fox News, it’s Obama’s fault.

With that in mind, and trying to start out to slowly figure out where the world is after my illness and publication cramola, I turned to Bill O’Reilly’s interview with our President before the that icon to American excess, the SuperBowl. Barry grants an interview to whatever network is hosting the game, so this year was Fox’s turn, so they sent over the only potty-trained member of their attack dog squad to perform the interrogation. Bill O started off by playing nice and thanking Obama for helping to get Fox News’s reporters out of perilous peril in Egypt and Obama replied that that was his job. Then the gloves came off. O’Reilly came in with, not fair but tough questions, but questions worded and designed to tempt Obama into pique or anger, for example, when O’Reilly called the Health Care package by the politically loaded monicker Obamacare. This maneuvering didn’t do O’Reilly much good against the King of Cool. Trying to bait Obama by practically being insulting to his face–at several points, O’Reilly literally tried to shut Barry up by cutting him off (I thought he was going to yell at his engineers, “I’ve had it with this pinhead, shut off his mike.”)–but the President kept it together and brought things back to what he was saying like a patient parent faced with a child who hadn’t taken his Ritalin. For Several Days.

Big O almost lost control of his narrative at one point. Explaining that he was faced with a disaster in the first two years of office, he described those years AS a disaster. One can imagine what the RW blogosphere is doing with that one! But beyond that, Bill never managed to nudge him into a shouting match, despite trying to play gotcha on health care, on the fact that people HATE YOU (They don’t hate me, Bill, they hate a funhouse mirror image of me–a nice way to describe the workings of Roger Ailes’ pet network). Finally, Bill got to the SuperBowl and asked who Obama wanted to win–of course, since the Chicago Bears weren’t playing, Obama really couldn’t care less, but he phrased it nicer. “AH-HAH!” cried O’Reilly, “you don’t care who wins the SUPERBOWL?” Finally he had it on record, Obama saying the most un-American thing short of “Jesus Christ’s mom made lousy apple pie.” Could he really be Kenyan? But Barry brought it back and said that there were two great teams and he wanted to see a great game. Offered to let Bill come and watch with him. But Bill said no, “I wouldn’t want to spoil anyone’s fun,” as he thought:

“The way you just spoiled mine.”

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What Would It Take For A President to Say “The State of the Union Ain’t Very Strong”?

Two Hookers critique the state of the union address: Good oral, now let's see a little bump and thrust.

Or maybe a little slap-and-tickle on the right side of the aisle?

I mean seriously, what WOULD it take for the President to start out, “The State of the Union isn’t very strong”? Massive depression? Naw, even Herbert Hoover said the SOTU was strong. Open rebellion? I bet even Abe Lincoln said the state of the union was strong. And it was, if you didn’t count the 11 states that up and left when he was elected. Perhaps alien invasion? “Let me remind you, you still have two out of three branches of the federal government and that ain’t bad,” as the President said in MARS ATTACKS. Actual unemployment and underemployment is around 20%, we’re in debt up to our yinyangs to China because of a double recession during the Bush presidency, two wars that we shouldn’t have been in in the first place, tax cuts for the people who didn’t need them and a massive bailout of banks that had been holding a craps game with our money, credit card companies charging 30% interest, 30 million people without health insurance, BUT–The State of the Union is strong.
We did get one moment of high comedy tho–thanks to Chris Matthews of MSNBC. Forgot he was black for an hour, Chris? Way to GO! Only one month into 2010 and you already have the gaffe of the year! But wait–maybe you can outdo yourself–you have 11 more months to do it in!
President Obama gave himself a number of pats on the back, waved his finger at the right side of the aisle and outlined an ambitious agenda to get us back on track–well, not all that ambitious, there were a lot of half-measures–i.e., we need to increase jobs, but we need to keep the budget under control, so hey, let’s just do a little of both. He pointed the finger at the Bush administration for getting us into this mess more forcefully than he had since…his inauguration. You told Justice Roberts where to get off (and Stephen Colbert brought up a great point about how Roberts is willing to overturn precedent if he has only two dissents to do it on–and just where WERE Scalia and Thomas last night anway?). And he wants to see things on his desk! Well, Barry, let’s hope that you tell people exactly what you want on your desk this time around the calendar and that you knock some heads together to do it.
The problem is that we’ve heard all this before and we haven’t seen enough action on it. As my hookers say in the cartoon, you’re good at oral, now let’s see a little bump and thrust. You told us bank presidents weren’t going to get away with things and then you turn around and let them get away without showing up for their meeting with you. LEAD! Stop taking things off the table before you start negotiating. Get rid of your bad advisers. Rely more on Joe Biden than on Rahm Emanuel–Emanuel’s been advising you to give away the farm for nominal victories but Biden knows where the bodies are buried. Get rid of the financial cronies and slap around those bank presidents like you did the auto manufacturers. And for god’s sake, stop going on expensive dates with Michele while your middle class is going down with the ship–at least look like you have a bit of empathy. You said you’d rather be a good one-term president than a poor two-term one. Well, we don’t want you to be a good one-term president–we thought we were voting for a GREAT president. So stop futzing around and be what you promised.

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Cojones! Get your Hot Cojones Heah!

Democrats are amazed at the sack that Alan Grayson has with him, since theirs are empty.

Finally!

Well, it seems Congressman Alan Grayson has breached the unwritten law of modern parliamentary procedure–he told the truth! He said it bluntly and with nary an “Esteemed Colleagues” either. Well, not the whole truth–he did say that the Republican Health Plan was “Don’t get sick, but if you do, die quickly.” He forgot the part about “Work when you should take sick leave or we’ll dock your pay.” I know about that part, I once worked at a company that told that to someone who had flu and then DIED. Quickly, I might add.
This isn’t merely amazing Democrats, but it’s absolutely infuriating Republicans. According to The Nation, NRCC spokesman Ken Spain called it pathological behavior, and Congressman Tom Price of Georgia has introduced a resolution accusing Grayson of “a breach of decorum and (degrading) the integrity and proceedings of the House.” Wow. He should read some of the antics that went on in the 20th century (or is that too retro?)! Hell, he should turn on C-Span and watch one of the debates in Parliament! Hey, Tom! This isn’t the Senate, this is the House! The People’s Chamber! You’re allowed not to wear a gray suit–and you get much less under-the-table to boot!
Grayson was given a chance for a mea culpa on Wolf Blitzer where he offered an apology–not to the Republicans who demanded it, but to the 44,000 people who die each year under our current excuse for health care. At the suggestion that he was as bad as Joe Wilson–naturally the Republicans didn’t actually call Joe BAD–Grayson patiently explained the difference between telling the truth and publicly calling the President a liar–to his face–in front of millions of people when Wilson himself didn’t even have the facts straight. Personally, I think Wilson jumped his cue–which was why the handsitting members of his party gave him dirty looks–it wasn’t the point where they had expected to leap from their chairs and cry “Woot!” But like I said, Alan even amazed Democratic strategist James Carville–never exactly known for being a shrinking violet himself–who, although he admired Grayson’s courage, said he would have called the Republicans “regressive” instead of “knuckle-dragging Neanderthals“. I might be forced to agree with Jim–calling this bunch of obstructionists Neanderthals does a disservice to cavemen everywhere–despite how bad their TV show was! The cavemen’s, not the Republicans’.
While Republicans are united in their own lack of cojones–as long as we all agree to say no, who needs them?–the Democrats DO have another guy with brass ones–I’m referring to Senator Baucus, who presided over the voting down of the public options amendments–the option that most Americans want and 3 out of 4 doctors recommend!–explaining that he didn’t think they would be able to get 60 votes. Max–it takes only 51 votes to pass a bill, it only needs 60 when you’re trying to get it to a vote against a filibuster threat. Thanks for telling us that not only would you not vote for real healthcare reform, but you’d side with those who didn’t even want it to be voted on! Man, the health care lobby has gotten its money’s worth from YOU!
But the one person in the Democratic Party who SHOULD be showing some nads is the one who’s showing them the least–the ostensible head of the Party–yes I mean you, Barry (not that you read any blogs anymore). I know you’d rather be having photo ops with cute kids and HuffPost readers, but dammit, campaigning ended almost a year ago–it’s time to be fulfilling some of that hope oil you sold us! I mean, even Netanyahu knows you’d never DO anything to back up your pursed lips. Take a stand on this and ACT on it. The time for inspiring words alone is passed. Otherwise, your party’s leadership is going to pass to a freshman Congressman who actually has the steel ones to stand up for what he says instead of just playing pocket billiards.
Rack ‘em up again, boys, we got a live one.

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