Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi–Wait, Is Anyone Listening?

With all due respect, Senator, while the sun isn't shining over there, that is a hole in the ground your head is in...

Senator Johnson doesn't know his what from a hole in the ground?

Benghazi. We got caught with our pants down and four Americans were killed. Why? We didn’t know when it happened–except that we didn’t have enough security after Congress voted down the State Department request for more funds for security. Now everyone agrees it was al-Qaeda.

But the grandstanding goes on. First, the Republican Party, also known as Fox News, tried and tried and tried again to embarrass President Obama with it during the election. Why didn’t he know it was an orchestrated terrorist attack five minutes after it occurred? After all, the Bush Administration knew who committed the 9/11 attacks–they had all these memos they’d been ignoring since Georgie was in office. Evidently, they’ve never heard of the word “investigation” before. When you don’t know what happened, you have to spend a little time trying to find out what did. You don’t, say, blame it on Saddam Hussein when he had nothing to do with it, do you?

Well, that didn’t get any traction because nobody thought Mitt Romney would have any more of a clue (and probably less). But that hasn’t stopped the grandstanding. It rolled off Obama’s back, let’s see if we can land it on Hillary.

Ahhh, Hillary Clinton, don’t mess with her boys–she takes no prisoners. Her testimony delayed by a concussion and blood clot near the brain–which the noise machine tried to get people to believe was faked–she testified last week and wiped the floor with Senators Johnson and McCain. Poor Ron Johnson, not only was he smacked down by Hillary, but he tried to call her emotional response faked and got smacked down by Soledad O’Brien! McCain used his five minutes of “questioning” to be the querolous old man he’s become. Hillary smacked him down by smacking down Congress for NOT providing the security funds that were needed, effectively tossing the hot potato back at him.

That’s Republican obstructionism in a nutshell–prevent the Obama administration from doing something that needs getting done. Then, when the consequences of not getting it done come home to roost–blame it on Obama.

The right has gotten one win out of this–they forced the withdrawal of Susan Rice from consideration as the new Secretary of State so that John Kerry could be persuaded to withdraw from his seat in the Senate, a strategically bad move for the Democrats.

But what gets me in all this is that the one word the media uses consistently to describe Hillary Clinton is “polarizing”. A poll recently put her favorable rating at 65% and unfavorable rating at 29%–very close to the same percentage of people who consistently supported George Bush. In other words, Republicans. Republicans hate Hillary. Republicans hate Obama. The media intones that Obama is the most polarizing President in U.S. history. Why doesn’t the media get a clue? It’s the Republican party that is the polarizing element in America because they hate anyone who isn’t one of them. And these so-called patriots are going to cause the country they claim to love to crash and burn.

And what will they do? Blame it on somebody else.

Like usual.

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Escape from New York

The politicians: Attack or Co-opt Instinct

The politicians: Attack or Co-opt Instinct

So, the #Occupy Movement decided to hold a world-wide demonstration on the weekend of the New York Comic Con. AAAaaaauuuuggghhhh! as Charlie Brown would have said. Or as Dick Cheney said, other priorities. I’d already spent mucho bucks not just for the convention tickets, but add in train fare to and hotel in New York City and oops, sorry, I have to be a cartoonist this weekend, not an activist. Please don’t hold anything important on the weekend of AnimeUSA, thank you.

I’m not sure NYCC was worth it tho. There were so many people there, it’s a wonder I found anyone I knew, let alone make any contacts–which, besides seeing the new Makoto Shinkai anime, was the reason I went for. One woman I heard talking was saying she had a panic attack from the crowd and I believe her. The convention now takes the entire Javits Center and was completely filled, wall-to-wall, with people in or out of costume. Not to mention so many exhibitors that I don’t think you could have seen all of them if you’d been there for the entire 4 days–not if you had any other things to do–like eat. Shoutouts to my friends Brad Guigar, Murder Nurse and Moxiecat–and if anyone else was there that I know: What? didn’t you see me wave?

Now, the last time I’d been to New York for any time over a hour had been 2 and a half years ago. I grew up in New Jersey. I KNEW New York was expensive. I knew what the hotel cost. I knew what the train cost. But I had no idea HOW expensive it had become until I actually arrived there. You can’t take a step outside the hotel without spending five dollars. Seriously, a little man comes up to you and collects a “breathing charge.” If you actually do anything–like buy a hot dog–you’re out 10. Down here, panhandlers come up to you and ask for a couple of bucks because they need busfare. One came up to me outside Penn Station and asked for $20 for the train.

The reason, I think, has something to do with trickle-down. All the money in the world has trickled down–to the southern tip of Manhattan. And just like in a gold rush, the closer you get to the mother lode, the more expensive things get, just because they can, because that’s where the money is. One politician said recently that $150K a year in New York wasn’t wealthy because of the expenses. It’s true. And at the same time, that’s just f#$%^& insane. He has my sympathy. But I have no sympathy for the conditions that make that true.

The Occupy Movement has reached an extremely crucial stage–it’s been going on so long and has achieved world-wide status that the politicians can no longer afford to ignore it. The robber barons and their Republican minions have started attacking the protesters as unwashed hippies, college students looking for a thrill, commies and socialists. This kind of thing is un-American (not like the Boston Tea Party). The Democrats are now trying to co-opt the movement so they can lead from behind in the hope that this will result in votes. But what they don’t get is that this isn’t about politics as they are in the US. This is about a totally corrupt culture where money talks and both political parties jump. The Republicans may be the primary abettors, but the Democrats are the enablers. After all, when the Supreme Court decided that money was speech and that corporations could not be fettered in their exercise of free speech, they legalized bribery–as long as it was disguised as a campaign contribution.

In 1984, Orwell predicted perpetual warfare. What he didn’t foresee was the perpetual election, a feature peculiar to these United States. In the UK. a national election can be held within a month of its necessity. Here, the campaign for the next election begins the day after the voting. The need for campaign contributions doesn’t end, but like a junkie’s addiction, grows as the amounts needed for campaigning grow less effective, so that you need more and more, until the purpose for holding office and the need to raise cash for it are indistinguishable. Politicians are addicted to the process and the only cure is cold turkey.

And that’s why we need to Occupy Wall Street. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the YouTube of Sgt. Shamar Thomas at Times Square, scolding the NYPD for their lack of honor :

[Occupytimessquare] 1 Marine vs. 30 Cops (Marine Wins)

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Hey, Wall Street, We’re Fed Up With Your Bull!

The Wall Street Bull drops a load on America as the NYPD line up to protect the bankers and brokers from peaceful protesters.

Errrr, not exactly trickle down is it?

Well, I’m more or less recovered from InterventionCon over the weekend. Thanks to Onezumi Hartstein and James Harknell for their work in creating this fun convention. Shoutouts to Ari Pramagioulis of Success Communications Group, Murder Nurse, Moxie Cat and all the other great people of Cosplay Burlesque. Congratulations Mookie, creator of Dominic Deegan on your impending doom, err, I mean marriage. Fellow artists Elaine Corvidae of Rivensol, Jennie Breeden of the Devils Panties, the gang at Interrobang Studios, my next table neighbors from Singed Cat and other studios. Good luck to First Law of Mad Science and Ninjas versus Vampires. Hi Andi from a table whose weblink I can’t find. And thanks to all the people who attended and especially those of you who bought something from me!

Now, back to business. I thought I might do something about the incredibly tacky game show beauty pageant known as the second Republican Debate last week with Wolf Blitzer seemingly oblivious to his role as successor to Bert Parks (There they are–the next US Presidents!) Bob Barker or Monty Hall. Was that a debate? Then I thought, oooooooo the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, a much more IMPORTANT thing to celebrate. Darn, we finally will let patriotic Americans fight for their country without prying into their private lives! But then something that seemed to be slipping through the cracks came to my attention. SOMEONE FINALLY decided to protest against WALL STREET.

Due to getting ready for three conventions on three successive weekends, plus the disaster of the basement deluge (not to mention the death of my printer), the knowledge of the existence of OCCUPY WALL STREET seems to have slipped past me. As well as most of the mainstream news! As anyone with any common sense has realized, Wall Street went through a recovery after the banking bailout, but Main Street never did. That’s because Wall Street has usurped the reins of power in the United States and the common people no longer have a voice. President Obama promised to be a force for change, but his moneyed advisors led him by the nose to ignore the plight of the people. The Republican Party fights tooth and nail to protect each and every dollar of them, their true constituency, calling tax hikes on the luckiest of us “class warfare” when the REAL class warfare has been waged on the American middle-class since the days of plaster saint Ronald Reagan. The Democrats are little better, since our endless campaign season requires them to be funded by the money boys. Too long have the media paid attention to the faux populism of the Tea Party which is more intent on punishing their neighbors for a crust of bread than taking it from the bankers who have repossessed the bakery!

I am not anti-capitalist. Bankers and brokers–like the bacteria that live in the body and are necessary to digestion–they are a good thing when regulated. They provide the grease that the wheels of commerce need to turn. But when unregulated they turn into a cancer that sucks the life from the body, from the hearts and minds and hands of the American people. And that’s where we are today, and we’re dragging the rest of the world down with us. It’s about time to stop, to re-regulate commerce, to prosecute the miscreants for the crimes they have committed, to return power to the “little people” like you and me. Whether or not you agree with me, I urge you all to watch what is happening on the streets of New York.

But you might have to really look for it–it ain’t making front page. The money boys don’t want it there.

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First, an earthquake, then, a hurricane, then, a Deluge …

The author after the Deluge.

Damn, that iBook works underwater (don't try this at home)

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am sharing my studio/office with three industrial blowers and a matching dehumidifier. My wife is trying to say something to me from the stairway … WAYYYYYYY over there … I can barely hear a word. HUH? I yell. She takes a few steps closer. Now I can actually hear a stream of unintelligible wife sounds. HUH? Finally, she gets next to me and I can finally hear her question. I just can’t understand it because there’s too much @#$%^&*( noise to THINK!

Ahhhh, the last few weeks. An earthquake, a hurricane–and then a deluge. The earthquake was relatively fun for me. I’d never been in one before and I was taking a nap for a headache on a bed with one of those memory foam mattress pads. Suddenly, I awoke to find myself on a huge square of Jell-O. As consciousness seeped into my brain, I wondered if it was an explosion–nope, lasting too long, OMG is THIS what an earthquake feels like? Should I get up and stand under a doorwa…whoops, it’s over. I understand it was scary if you were in one of the highrises in the area or one of the areas with a nuclear plant, but from my vantage, it was a very brief theme park ride. Whheeeeee!

The hurricane was more serious for more people, but again, we had it easy this far inland. Over-prepared. Took more time to undo the storm preparations than the storm actually lasted. But last Sunday, the start of the Deluge from the storm in the Gulf. FOUR DAYS of torrential rain and on Wednesday night, the drain in the back stairs silted up and the water started coming into my basement–where my office is. It’s Nowell’s flood. Whose?? You’ve heard of Noe’s flood–well, this one’s Nowell’s.

Now, some people will tell you that I am all wet anyway. And I don’t wish to dampen any opinions of my work, but this week I will throw a sop to my critics and admit that my wit is not very dry at the moment. The plumber came quickly and re-opened the drain, but my new roommates have been going full blast all weekend. It sounds like an airplane hangar.

Obama gave a speech about doing something to create jobs. I’m afraid I didn’t listen because I was in the middle of flood recovery at the time. Not to worry, Eric Cantor said they would only pass the parts that our corporate overlords liked. That should really help things. That is, if you really want an unemployment rate above 10%–which the Republican party wants because they think it will all be blamed on the Democrats–and especially Obama–and more people will be willing to take jobs at ridiculously low wages–which they won’t get because those have all been sent to India. This is because the Republican Party loves America.

Speaking of loving America, we’ve just had the 10th anniversary of the horrible event that caused ten years of national insanity. For a week, everyone wrote about 9/11. We’re still fighting two wars, neither of which were particularly useful in solving the cause of 9/11. And both of which actually made our reputation worse. We’ll probably be throwing money away on both of them for the next decade. We’re still taking our shoes off to get on an airplane. Which means we’re still #$%^&*( insane.

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Raise High The Debt Ceiling, Carpenter…

A chocolate Easter Bunny loses its ears by running them against the debt ceiling.

So I've got a bunny fixation this week...


To our Christian friends, Happy Easter! To our Jewish friends, next year–in Jerusalem! To our pagan friends, Happy Easter too! And to our atheist friends …

So what’s the next crisis threatening our Republic? Oh, the debt ceiling? AH! the debt ceiling! WTF is a debt ceiling? Supposedly it is the limit beyond which we as a nation cannot, statutorily, owe any more money. Theoretically, that’s the point where we have to either stop spending, or, as the Teaparticans hope, default on our debts and bring the whole castle built on sand crashing down. If we do that, then the whole world economy crashes with it and we hope you’ve been investing short.

This isn’t the first time, we’ve hit the debt ceiling–it’s a fairly regular occurrence. What happens? We raise the debt ceiling and the world’s economy goes on truckin’ along as usual. After all, none of this money is real anyway, just zeros written on paper (and since the arrival of the electronic transfer, in electrons) and the world economy is built on the agreement that these zeros really do exist and say it really loudly or Tinkerbell will not get better, “I DO believe in dollars”.

Funny thing, our 21st century nation doesn’t seem to work anymore. Instead of working together, every issue becomes a crisis, a major battle which must be fought between the powers of good and evil. It wasn’t always like this. When I was a lad, Republicans and Democrats could actually work together. To go back to the religious theme of the first paragraph, they were not like two religions duking it out, but more like two congregations of the same religion having a joint Memorial Day picnic playing … a softball game. Okay, maybe one was High Church and one was Low Church, they agreed on most of the same things, they just disagreed on the mumbo-jumbo needed to get there. It’s different today. About the only things our elected representatives and senators and President can agree on is, don’t upset the banks because we need their campaign contributions and the only action you can take on our War Machine is keep feeding it more and more money. Everything else can get thrown under the bus.

And that’s where we are today. So Happy Easter, Chag Sameach, Happy Easter and …. Let’s join together in a vast chocolate and sugar high and try to forget that we’re no longer on the sidewalk…

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