Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

Barrie Antoinette: “Let Them Eat Catfood…”

L'Ancien Régime. "Let them eat catfood."

"Life Among the Nobililty: The Swing" by Gregonard...

Well, Barrie Antoinette–excuse me, President Barry Obama, delivered his proposal for a budget and yes, indeed-y, there was the much hated-by-the-constituency-but-loved-by-Wall-Street “chained CPI”. According to one writer, Barry has called the Republican bluff–they have said they will brook no tax increases unless something is done about “entitlements”–you know, the money you’re entitled to because, well, you GAVE it to the Fed to invest throughout your working career! Well, the Prez has proposed chained CPI–the cost of living mal-adjustment that assumes that if you can’t afford steak, you’ll buy chicken and everything is still jake. Or if you can’t afford Chicken of the Sea, you’ll buy canned skipjack mackerel. And if you can’t afford canned mackerel, you’ll just go to Friskies.

The theory is that the Republicans will be so scared of losing their seats that they will do anything to avoid agreeing to this proposal. Except for one thing–who’s REALLY gonna get the blame for this? Why, the guy who proposed it, of course. President Obama. You know, the guy who DOESN’T HAVE TO RUN FOR ELECTION AGAIN?

Why all this “save Social Security” nonsense when it is solvent for the next 30 years? Why all this “entitlement reform” bullshit when Social Security has nothing to do with the budget? For that, we have to go back eight years (and actually more) to when President BUSH proposed “privatizing Social Security.” That’s right, this one has a long history–and the reason for privatizing SS was? So the money boys, the banks, the oligarchy, the plutocracy, could get their hands on that money and drain it from our senior citizens faster than any drug addict by stealing your Grandma’s Social Security check.

But wait–how does the chained CPI do THAT? Remember back then–the seniors, the AARP, everybody and their brother decided that the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) was good enough to keep them going so please do not do us the favor of letting us make bad investments, please. So the money boys–whom Barack Obama is as beholden to as any Republican, any blue dog Democrat, hell, almost every “progressive” Democrat as well–said to themselves, “If the COLA is good enough, then let’s screw the COLA. Then they’ll be clamoring to let us invest the money for them.”

And that, kiddies, is how the sky turned blue. So remember, when Grandma, when Ma and Pa, when YOU start having to eat catfood, it wasn’t just Congress, it wasn’t just Obama…

It was the banks, too big to fail, too big to jail, who wanted your money.

“Allons enfants de la Patrie, le jour de gloire est arrivé!”

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Portman Switches Chained CPI Stance: “I just found out my parents are old!”

Grandpa says, 'It's MY turn for the Fancy Feast.'

On the table again--tip--invest in Mars, Nestle and Colgate-Palmolive--that's right, they make most of the cat food

Senator Rob Portman has announced that he no longer supports chained CPI as a means of saving Social Security. Ohio’s junior senator said that his change of heart came from a personal discovery.

“I found out over the weekend,” Portman explained, “that my parents are old. I did not realize that they were on Social Security.”

Portman recently changed his stance on gay marriage about a year after his son came out. “I would have changed my stance sooner, but I had been hoping that Mitt Romney would tap me for his VP running mate. Fat chance–that asshole suggested we send my son to Tuvalu until the election was over. Tuvalu? That place is under 2 feet of water these days!”

“I always believed that all old people had socked it away and were taken endless Royal Caribbean cruises in their twilight years. And then when they couldn’t get on the boats anymore without vomiting, it was the fiscally responsible thing for their children to loot their bank accounts and put them into a home so they’d be covered 100% by Medicare and Medicaid.”

“But the parent-child relationship doesn’t exist for most Republicans. After mating, the female lays 1000 eggs and after spawning, the young eat each other to ensure survival of the greediest. They never know their mother, let alone who their father is. What happens to the mating pair with no children to put them into the nursing home? They’re left to fend for themselves. And I’ve seen a recently made study that shows that at the present rate of inflation, the price of filet mignon today will be the price of Companion cat food in five years time.”

Senator Portman added, “If this passes, I’d invest in Mars, Nestle and Colgate-Palmolive. Pet food stocks are sure to go through the roof.”
_________

Too late to do anything with: Run on the banks in Cyprus over the weekend? Only seeing news about it now that the European stocks have been affected? Tut-tut, America, that’s a little country–it’ll never happen here…

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The Undeserving Poor–That’s Right, You and Me

Orrin Hatch is late for the tea party...

Orrin Hatch is late for the tea party...

Last weekend, we hit the 235th birthday of our country. July the 2nd. Not July the 4th. July the 2nd was when the Congress voted to accept the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. July the 4th was when they skipped town because the darn thing was being printed in the Philadelphia newspapers. And man, if you thought the British were coming when Paul Revere made his famous ride, as Sarah Palin recently revealed to us, to warn the British that the British were coming, boy, you could imagine the British were coming NOW.

In any case, after 235 years of this noble experiment in the belief that “all men are created equal” (except slaves which were only 60% equal), we have finally accepted the proposition that some people are more equal than others. It all depends on how much money you have. After all, corporations have been considered persons since the end of the 19th century. And now, the Roberts court has decided that corporations should not have any limit on what they will contribute to election campaigns because that would limit their free speech. Therefore, it stands to reason that corporations ought to have more rights than ordinary mortals. After all, they pay more taxes, don’t they?

And that’s the beautiful truth of these United States in the 21st century. “You GET what you PAY for.” Stirring words! My coffee dissolves sugar just thinking about them! Not only corporations, but rich individuals as well. Not only can they incorporate themselves to avail themselves of the enormous benefit of buying senators, congressmen, supreme court justices, and, dare I say, Presidents? But because they pay so much more in taxes than you or I, they deserve better attention from the government.

Let us ignore the fact that most of the biggest corporations are multi-national and hide their profits off-shore so that they have no obligation to pay federal taxes. Or that CEOs usually pay less in taxes than their secretaries because so much of their pay is actually capital gains. You get what you pay for! And believe me, someone who makes tens of millions of dollars a year can pay for a whole lot more than you or I can.

Which makes us, like Alfred Doolittle, part of the Undeserving Poor. As Orrin Hatch said, like Doolittle, we don’t do our share. And yet, we expect things like being paid the Social Security benefits–THAT WE PAID FOR. We expect the Medicare and Medicaid that our tax dollars have paid into. So, now that President Obama is preparing to throw these under the bus (and we shall see how far in the next few weeks) to get the Republicans to agree to raise the debt ceiling–which they won’t unless he throws it far enough AND without any tax increase to the deserving rich.

We have no one to blame but ourselves because we just haven’t done our fair share. Simple economics.

Long live the best democracy money can buy. Now excuse me, I have to follow that White Rabbit to the Tea Party.

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‘The Aristocrats’, Take Deux–Oddly apropos after the past week.

A new punchline for The Aristocrats ... the Ryan Plan?

A new punchline for the world's most ummm anticlimactic joke--and I do mean anticlimactic

I prepared this cartoon the other week before Anthony Weiner’s little, errrrrr, big? ummmmm, well, let’s just say his problem was uncovered (ahem), knowing I’d be at AnimeNext in NJ this weekend. And oddly enough, it’s still appropriate. The real thing that people should be worried about which has taken a backseat to a more lurid and titillating story is, of course, the Republican plan to DRIVE AMERICANS TO THE POOR HOUSE to pay for Granny’s health care. Otherwise known as the Ryan Plan. Budget isn’t the biggest problem facing the country. Unemployment is. But the budget is being used as a means to undermine the social safety net in a cynical masquerade called “austerity.” Austerity is what YOU have to do without, not what WE have to do without, after all. And you have to do without social security, medicare and medicaid so we can keep troops in Afghanistan to protect Chinese mineral rights… I mean, make Afghanistan safe for democracy.

But the Koch Brothers-run Tea Party, the Republican party, and the big money-owned media don’t care about rising tides that float all boats. They only care about floating their own boats. But hell, even Europe is under the spell of this “austerity,” which is an attempt to drive out of a skid by yanking the steering wheel 90 degrees away from it to allow the natural braking effect of the trees to stop the car. But thinking about that is too depressing, Weiner’s wiener is much better to think about. Well, not really think about. Oh, god, I need to clorox my eyeballs to get rid of THOSE images!

Anyway, the Ryan plan forms an excellent ending for a certain misleadingly named world’s dirtiest (insert verbiage to separate the words so they don’t come together in search engines) joke. I say “misleadingly named” because it’s not a joke. It’s the SETUP for a joke. Why? Because there is no punchline.

That’s right. Joke analyzers have thought hard (ahem again) about “The Aristocrats” and wondered in what “context” the line, “We’re the Aristocrats,” is actually funny. Well, it’s not funny. What was funny was what went on before the line, and the stupid look on the audience/victim’s face when it goes from laughing like an idiot to “Huh?” What I’m saying is that if “The Aristocrats” ever really WAS a joke instead of an act of sadism on the part of the comedian then, somewhere along the line, the actual ending was dropped for the endingless ending. What is needed for it to be a real joke is a straightline followed by an actual punchline. In other words, “The Aristocrats? Why the Aristocrats?” followed by the badumbum line, “Because only Aristocrats could behave like this and still keep their dayjobs” or something like it (badumbum!). Which isn’t very funny–or probably wasn’t very funny once the immediate context–some particularly juicy bit of aristos acting badly in the news–was lost. But since it was a great excuse for coming up with the dirtiest story ever told, the hell with the punchline, I’ve got to get a look at the guy’s face when I tell it to him.

So I’m supplying a straightline/punchline combo which, once again, will not be very funny at all once the “Budget Crisis” is over. Either we forget the Ryan Plan like it deserves, or it actually becomes the basis for the US Budget. And one thing is clear. Once we screw up Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for the sake of “tightening YOUR belts”, no one will be laughing. Except the sadists who decided it would be a good idea.

And shoutouts to Alicia/Dokudel and her bf Jean-Luc, Jasmine, Onezumi (whom I missed but whom I will see at Intervention Con which anyone into webcomics, gaming and all that other good stuff should check out September 16-18 2011, at the Hilton Washington DC/Rockville) and all the other people I met this weekend at AnimeNext. And a safe trip back to Japan to Japan’s ambassador of KAWAII Yu Kimura–loved hearing you and meeting you! And check out the rock band UZUHI–they ROCK!

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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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