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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Capitol Nonsense

I don't know about you, but I am getting a little weary of the so-called Fiscal Cliff "crisis," which clearly is nothing more than a media event manufactured by career politicians seeking to justify their existence. A few words of advice: shut up, suit up and show up and just sort this out between you like grown men and women.

To the Republicans, you lost. Get over it. Give Obama what he campaigned for - a restoration of Clinton era tax rates, which won't hurt anyone, never mind "kill jobs." Don't worry, your corporate underwriters will still love you.

To the Democrats, you won. Now get over yourselves. You're only marginally better than the GOP, and your political cowardice knows no bounds. Get this vote done and then go out and actually do something of substance, you spineless hacks.

A pox on both their houses.


Wayne's World

I know I'm a bit late with this post; the NRA's press conference was last week, but I couldn't resist posting this one anyway. It had already been crystal clear to me that the NRA is nothing more than a front for the arms manufacturers, dealers and retailers, but Wayne LaPierre's borderline psychotic rant certainly confirmed my suspicions.

If anyone is unconvinced how else can one explain Wayne-o's brutally callous, clueless nonsenses even as the survivors and families of the victims of the Newton, Conn. massacre had only just begun to bury their loved ones. If it were up to me, I would round'em all up, teabaggers, sister-shaggers, card-carrying cold dead handers and dead-enders, and seal them in reinforced concrete bunkers where they could wait out the rest of their days, fuming at the imminent UN invasion while rotting their puny, feeble brains on Velveeta cheese product and Ritz crackers.


John E. Boehner, Genius

Growing up I loved watching Looney Tunes cartoons, and while the Road Runner may never have been my favorite - I usually sympathized with Wiley E. Coyote - it certainly was an excellent depiction of hubris. In this situation, the so-called "Fiscal Cliff," I'm not sure if hubris is really the right word to describe the mule-headed stubbornness of the Republicans to stick to their caveman conservative fanaticism.

What I am certain about is that the Republicans have mostly themselves to blame for getting themselves into this political pickle, and it appears that Americans will hold mostly them responsible for whatever consequences might arise as a result of the budget cuts. It's frustrating, yes, the whole political gridlock, but I'd rather see the Republicans face the music...those looney tunes.

We Do

Phew - it has been another long hiatus but now I feel revitalized after a few days off for the holidays. Obviously there have been two big issues of late, and with this and the next few posts I'm hammering away at 'em: the aftermath of the Newton massacre and the so-called Fiscal Cliff. First up, an ode to political cowardice and amorality, something that is most definitely a bipartisan defect.

Nothing dulls one's moral compass, one's sense of right and wrong like a little campaign cash, and Democrats are just as guilty as Republicans for their spineless kowtowing to the NRA. All their blather about yet another national "conversation" is just an evasive maneuver to avoid accountability for their own significant contribution to yet another massacre of innocents.

Monday, November 12, 2012

SOSDD

Remember the ancient parable of the wise men? They are all blindfolded and asked to guess at the identity of the proverbial elephant in the middle of the room. Each feels a different part of the creature, coming up with a different answer...But in 2012, we're talking about the Republicans. Whether in victory or defeat, they are always in lock (goose?) step with each other, even if it's to take us straight over the (fiscal?) cliff.

I'm enjoying all of the GOP's post-election ruminations. Some are claiming that they've learned their lessons, leaping to reverse public positions on the racist policies they've touted for decades. Others are holding firm, claiming that they and Romney weren't conservative enough during the election, urging the party faithful to stick with...the same racist policies they've touted for decades.

Maybe the two factions will settle the matter through something competitive, like mud wrestling. Or better yet, some grand old elephant poop. That would make them the GOEP.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Before the Big Storm

My heart goes out to all those who perished in this year's "perfect storm," the combination of Hurricane Sandy, the jet stream cold front and the full moon, among others. What angers me is the decision by politicians to remain silent about the role climate change most likely played in this record-setting climate "event." I am by no means a scientist but I remember hearing about the threats to coastal communities and island nations 20 years ago when working for one of the bigger environmental NGOs in Washington, DC. So the recent event should have by no means been seen as a surprise. It was always a matter of not if, but when, and yet with the politicians and policy makers bought and paid for by the carbon-fuel industry lobby, there has been very little progress to prepare for never mind prevent this very kind of calamity.

At what point does their refusal to take action make them responsible for the deaths and losses suffered by innocents? Who will hold them accountable? Er, uhm, hmmm....guess that would be us.

Frankenstorm

While hunkered down in my home during Hurricane Sandy, towels laid out to absorb our weeping walls, I drew inspiration from the listening to the news coverage. The comparisons between the Bush administration's "response" to Hurricane Katrina and the current administration's preparations and response to Hurricane Sandy were stunning. It's too bad it's not "cricket" for the members of the current administration to underscore the obvious: what was missing 7 years ago in the Gulf is what they're bringing now to the mid-Atlantic: a competent federal government effort that is saving lives. It would probably be too much to expect the tinfoil hat wearing flat-earther types to recognize that maybe we should not be privatizing all of the government's core functions. Instead, I'll just spank'em with this lil' 'toon. Stay dry!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Deliverance in Indiana

Just when Mitt thought his rhetorical karma sutra and sprint to the political center had expunged the memories of Todd Akin from everyone's memories, Richard Mourdock had to open up his big fat filthy pie hole. Thank G-d, who must have a wicked sense of humor and who isn't about to let misogynist Neaderthals, aka Republicans, get away with their vile campaign to bring us back to caveman times with their social policy. Maybe "Dick" needs to take himself on a little floatin' trip in backwoods Georgia to get a better "feel" for just how wrong he is by saying in any way that rape is G-d's will. I can almost here the dueling banjos a-playin' now.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The 3 R's

Just in time for tonight's debate, here's the latest on why Obama has to stick it to Rombo one more time. Romney suffers not only from "Romnesia" but a whole host of other symptoms of his pathological, narcissistic pursuit of the Oval Office. Of course he doesn't actually suffer from his ailment, as in consequences for his miserable, despicable behavior. No. We do.

Sorta like the financial crash: he reaps the private gain from his vicious behavior, and we pay the social cost for the consequences. To be fair, and I always strive to be just that, Romney is just a more extreme version of most political actors, hopped up on the steroids of his massive wealth and that of his vulture-funded, vampire-squid tentacled plutocratic financial backers.

So let's keep our fingers crossed that Obama brings his A-game and shows a little moxie tonight. Even if he cannot land a knockout, he still needs to land a few good punches - just be careful of Romney's glass square jaw and that silver spoon sticking out of his mouth.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

3 Big Lies

Ay Carrumba - It's been nearly two months since my last post, and this the prime time of the electoral campaign season. Maybe I was just too overwhelmed by the blizzard of lies emanating from the nether parts of the Republican Party's bowels...yeah, that's it. That's the ticket.

So after last night's (second) presidential debate, I figured I would try to illustrate the three biggest whoppers that were alluded to if not underscored by Romney's pathological allergy to the truth. This is not to say either Obama or the Dems are innocent of twisting the truth, but let's face it: lying is the Republicans' (and Romney's) M.O. I truly hope and pray that we Americans aren't too stupid and lazy to realize that we are now being subjected to the mother of all snow jobs, but then we also elected George W. Bush, his pappy, Ronald Reagan, Gerry Ford, Richard Nixon, and...oh boy this doesn't look good. I guess the best I can say is that when the snow job becomes a blizzard of colonic origins and proportions, even I can understand the desire to want to curl up in a fetal position and hide.

Here's the 'toon:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Sucker Born Every Day

Much has already been written, exposing the machinations of the multibillionaire Koch brothers. To be fair, they're only two among several plutocrats who are hellbent on remaking America into a social Darwinist dystopia. And, my point is...? I don't care how many there are; there are too many. The most infuriating thing is their cowardice, hiding their identities behind "social welfare organizations," which appear to have as much if not more influence in the current campaign than Super PACs. How convenient to maintain a public persona of being philanthropists while bombing America's social fabric into the Stone Age.

As for the teabaggers who love them, I think there needs to be a sequel to Thomas Frank's What's the Matter With Kansas? to explain how these six-fingered, knuckle-dragging, sister-loving crimes of humanity willingly choose to participate in their own economic self-destruction. Given the demographics of the teabag "movement," the good news is that in a few years most of them will be locked up in nursing homes, left to waste away in their right-wing dementia. Until then I'll look forward to the day when I can happily tell them, "So long, sucker."

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mittbull - Inherently Dangerous

I watched Romney go on the attack during his recent stump speeches, and it has been interesting to watch how he is trying to come across as being tough, aggressive, etc., etc., etc. What I see mostly is nothing new, namely his willingness to say or do anything, truth be damned, to get himself elected. True, all politicians will do that...to a degree, but Romney has taken it to a new, lower level. Why the pitbull reference? Besides being one of the more aggressive breeds, it is now being considered in some localities, such as my home state of Maryland, to be "inherently dangerous," just like Romney and the GOP's retrogressive agenda for America.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

OG in the (White) House

The recent "leaks" of President Obama's deep involvement in selecting drone targets have resulted in most of the media focusing on the administration's pursuit of the leakers rather than any kind of analysis of the consequences of the policy. There have been some good op-eds, which is encouraging, but I'm struck how the Obama administration seems hell-bent on outdoing the Bush administration not only in its use of drone attacks (5 times as many in half the amount of time) but also by the energy and vigor with which they're attempt to construct a legal defense for it. The Bush administration was a bunch of amateurs compared to this group. I guess when the do something (wrong), they really do it right.

That's change we can believe in. <sigh....> Here's the 'toon:

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Pain in Spain

I think Paul Krugman's column today in the NY Times captured best the lunacy and viciousness of the European Central Bank's monetary policy. They are all for bailing out the banks, the very criminals who got Spain into this pickle, but won't lift a finger for the working women and men who were and are the innocent victims of the crisis. Instead the technocrats and plutocrats who love them patronizingly talk of the need for the peones to embrace austerity as if its the path to spiritual transformation.

What's next? They bring back Torquemada and Spanish Inquisition to torture the Spaniards into see the light? I'm sure the Republican-dominated US Congress won't be far behind, and poor Barack Obama will be forced to sell another piece of his ever-dwindling soul to hop on that band wagon.



Monday, June 4, 2012

The butcher Assad has been slaughtering women, children and men for the past year and a half, and the Western powers are only now expressing outrage? But do not fear; Kofi Annan, the great enabler of the Rwandan genocide of 1994, is in on the spot, and his peace plan is working by golly. We've reached, and I quote, a "tipping point."

I've heard all of the geo-political arguments why military intervention in Syria is a non-starter and I understand that arming the wrong rebels (read: terrorists, aka, "the bad guys") might only make things worse. Here's what I don't get. The only thing stopping the UN Security Council from doing anything other than giving Syria another feeble wrist slap is Russia. I can understand if we've lost all leverage with the Assad regime, but have no more strings to pull with Moscow? That's pathetic. Now is the time to go from wrist slap to bitch slap. But I digress...here's the 'toon:

Monday, May 21, 2012

Taking Concrete Steps

I guess I'm a sucker for wordplay but the tag line for this cartoon was, sadly, only all too self-evident. Over the weekend we saw a DVD on the very same subject, and it may have inspired me a little, but I doubt it.

More likely I think I'm just not patient enough to tolerate these diplomatic gabfests where the world's "leaders" enjoy a few ostentatious days living large to address the world's most pressing issues. I'm pretty sure the idea of being in solidarity with those whom they serve never really enters their heads. And it's probably too much to expect that they achieve anything meaningful in the interest of those with the least voice, power, etc. I just wish they'd drop the pretense that they are actually concerned about poverty and get out of the way and let the more serious, competent folks do what's necessary.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Tuck and Get Rolled

Surprise, surprise. The latest employment figures show less private sector job creation, more public sector layoffs and less workers bothering to even bother...And with this being an election year I'm sure Obama and the Democrats will be even less willing to do anything to actually solve the problems confronting this country. Even this morning I heard on the radio another shameless example of Obamian spinelessness.

"Campaign operatives" scrambled after Joe Biden, who has taken on the mantle of the administration's only straight-shooter, had audacity (remember that word?) to say, "I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don't see much of a distinction -- beyond that."

Good grief. Obama feels compelled to back off of THAT?! Basic civil rights??? Beyond pathetic...

Workers of the world...ah, never mind. Go back to the breadline.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Let My People Go

OK - this is a shameless reprint, but it's oh so timely. This is another local, Baltimore issue, which has gotten some national press due to the Trayvon Martin case. There have been parallels drawn between the two cases, but I'd like to point out two that Dan Rodricks, whose columns I believe are regularly on point, failed to miss: racism and vigilantism. Here's the link to his op-ed today on the case:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bal-columnist-rodricks,0,7089843.columnist

In the Shomrim case, the two members of the "neighborhood patrol," who were both Jewish, told a African-American teenager that he "didn't belong (in the neighborhood." Last time I checked, unless the community is a gated one, anyone has the right to freedom of movement on public sidewalks and roads, anywhere anytime. How sick and racist was that? I'm surprised they didn't tell him, "Show me your papers..."

Second, as other columnists have pointed out both in this and the Trayvon Martin case, the two neighborhood patrolmen crossed the line to vigilantism when they got out of their car to confront the young man. All they had to do and should have done was call 911 to ask for police assistance, even if as it turned out the young man was simply walking to meet his mother at a nearby bus stop.

I'm just disturbed by the continued breakdown of bonds within and between communities. Everyone seems to be in a rush to be able to use and justify the use of violence. It's like people are actually spoiling for a fight. I think we need to get these would be vigilantes off the streets. THEY are the real hoodlums, and I hope that the young man whom they assaulted finds justice.

Doomsday Budget Bunker

I've decided to go local on this 'toon. Secret Service ho' benders and GSA toga parties don't hold a candle to this...Baltimore City School System's Chief Information Technology Officer taking scarce resources from a cash-strapped school system and using it for his own office makeover. Here's the link to the article from earlier this week in the Baltimore Sun:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/breaking/bs-md-ci-north-avenue-renovations-20120426,0,4904915.story

If I were still cartooning for the Sun I would have submitted this cartoon, which about says it all: self-serving, total disregard for the welfare of the children this dude, Jerome Oberlton, is supposed to serve. I'm surprised he didn't build a mini-bar into his new suite. Nothing like a few dry martinis to get the wheels a turning.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Stand Your Ground

I've always wondered when and how (not if) people of color in the United States, especially African-Americans and Hispanics, might one day say, "You know what. We've had it. We tried to play by the 'rules," but those rules have never been fair. To hell with it and to hell with you." There have been a few recent examples of such uprisings, in Los Angeles after the Rodney King trial, but our militarized state has been as adept at "keeping the peace" at home as it has waging pointless, unjust wars abroad.

For me, the Trayvon Martin case has brought home this issue, underscoring that we remain a nation that maintains separate and unequal systems of justice, depending on the color of one's skin. It was gratifying to see the million hoodie march but there needs to be a real transformation in these unjust systems and structures. When are all people of all races, ethnicities and classes going to put down their hot pocket, turn off the iPad-streaming video and say "Enough!"

Monday, March 19, 2012

This horrible tragedy should give President Obama the Amityville Horror moment he needs to realize it's now long past time to "Get OUT!" of Afghanistan. The original mission of defeating Al Qaeda and chasing off the Taliban was achieved by the end of 2001. We haven't had mission creep, we've had "mission of the month." What the hell is this? Baskin Robins?

Why on earth are we still there? Doesn't Obama give a damn about the innocent Afghans he has killed with his policy? Does he lose any sleep at night after sending all of the American men and women to fight in Afghanistan for no real measurable gain in U.S. security or national interest? Maybe the real reason is that his fragile ego and nervousness over re-election lead him to want to show the world that he can man up with the hawks in both political parties.

Meanwhile Leon Panetta should be forced to apologize personally to each and everyone of the people harmed by this tragedy: to the Afghan families who lost their loved ones and continue to suffer from the trauma of this massacre as well as to all of the soldiers whose sacrifice he minimized by glibly uttering this trite cliche. What a putz. Shame on him.

What senseless, unjust loss of human lives.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Grumpy Old Rush

Some of you might think this 'toon to be a bit harsh, but Rush's brutish behavior and "foibles" are all there on public record: his periodic pill-poppin' binges to the Caribbean and anywhere else where he can take a vacation from stomping the moral high ground into a field of cow pies. His hypocrisy reveals just how deeply sick he really is, which is maybe why 15-20 million fellow hatred-junkies tune into his show daily.

There are programs for people like him, and I hope one day he chooses to sober up. But even once he finally puts that bottle down, he'll still have to face himself in the mirror and account for all of the hatred and mean-spiritedness he has spread in the world in his 20+ years of broadcasting.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Barefoot in a Burka

Medieval and misogynistic - how else can you describe the Republicans' all-out assault on half the population? Supported by their pedophilic, homophobic brethren among religious "leaders," these vile, hateful little men are trying place us on a backsliding course to reverse history's trend towards greater equality, tolerance, and acceptance.

What would Jesus do? Shake his head in disgust, and being a good carpenter take a hammer and try to knock some sense into these knuckleheads.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Pimp-Daddy in the Caddy

As an editorial cartoonist you always strive to keep up with themost current news, what's hot in the latest news cycle. And while Mitt Money's line on his two-caddy driving spouse is still getting play, he's gone on to spout some more from-manor-born nonsense - he doesn't follow NASCAR but he has a couple of friends who are NASCAR owners. And he wonders why he can't connect with the common folk. It reminds me of that great line from History of the World Part I, "Subjects? I love my subjects. Pull!"

I don't know which is worse, Romney's clear lack of any sensitivity or empathy for most Americans or his bizarre attempts to try to connect anyway, twisting himself up in knots to show he's "down" with all that. Hence today's cartoon. I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Inside the Borscht Beltway

Another budget showdown? Stop already, I'm getting all ferklempt over here. I love this joke, taken from a Woody Allen monologue in Annie Hall. One of the classic Jewish jokes, and oh so fitting for the (mishu)gas that passes (excuse me) for serious debate in Washington these days. It gives me such tsorres in the kishkes, this mishu-gas. Oy. Oy gevault.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Vulture Capitalism

It's delightful to watch the remaining Republican presidential candidates tear into Mitt on his previous incarnation as a vulture capitalist. All of a sudden these otherwise uber Social Darwinists take issue with the lack of virtue in big fish gobbling up little fish. Watching this fratricide unfold, so we're told, is a great gift to the Democrats and Obama, who will be able to take the moral high ground in advocating their version of capitalism for the 21st century. The only problem is they take money from the same vested interests and have about as little regard for the poor and working class. I almost put Obama in the 'toon as a vulture, asking Romney, "What took you so long? There's plenty to go around." Maybe I'll save that for the general election campaign...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Flip-Floppin' Mitt

It seems inevitable to me that politicians, with all of their twisting, turning and wiggling, wind up "assuming the position." Poor Mitt is just a bit more egregious than most. There's nothing wrong with changing one's views, especially if the change is a result of some reflection and learning. Somehow, though, I'm not sure those are two words in Mitt's vocabulary. Sorry for the long hiatus. Holidays kept me very busy padding my waistline and catching up on much needed sleep. Hope everyone has a joyous New Year. Looks to be a good one for cartoonists as the politicians race for the "bottom" in their ongoing crusade to dumb down our civic culture.