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Barrie Antoinette: “Let Them Eat Catfood…”

7:10 am in Uncategorized by GregoriusU

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  • “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!”

Greg Uchrin is a satirist, cartoonist and professional cynic in Alexandria VA. This diary is cross-posted to his blog Intravenous Caffeine, the post-Bush era successor to HAIL DUBYUS.

Happy Holidays? Let’s hope they’re better than the run-up…

7:38 am in Uncategorized by GregoriusU

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Bert was not thrilled with being decorated for the holidays…(For the anime-impaired, “Kawaii” means “cute”.)

I was all set to write a nice silly piece about Mitch McConnell, AKA Yertle the Turtle, managing to outsmart himself into filibustering his own legislation. Then the Sandy Hook school massacre took place…

According to the Small Arms Survey of 2007, there were 88.8 guns per 100 persons in the United States. That’s a disputed estimate, but according to the FBI, there were over 137 million background checks performed for gun purchases between 1999 and 2011. The population of the U.S. is 314,953,000 (as of 12/1/2012). We’re beyond the tipping point. Even if we were to ban the sale of guns outright, we could still go on shooting each other unabated for the next century.

We are constantly told after each of these “incidents” that it is “too soon” to discuss what should be done about them. Too soon? With those statistics, it’s probably too late! What has to be done? I don’t know–I’m not smart enough to figure out the answer. But damn, something has to be done.

You know what I want for Christmas–I’d like one year without any shooting massacres. Especially of school children. Who weren’t old enough to have anyone hate them. I grieve with their families and friends, and with the families and friends of the teachers and principal who tried to protect them.

May all my readers have happier holidays, whatever holidays you celebrate. Even if you don’t celebrate any, may you have nice “days off” while everyone else is in church, or being forced to endure the relatives discussing the dreary events of the family for the past year. Intravenous Caffeine will be on winter hiatus and will return on January 21.

Greg Uchrin is a satirist, cartoonist and professional cynic in Alexandria VA. This diary is cross-posted to his blog Intravenous Caffeine, the post-Bush era successor to HAIL DUBYUS.

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

7:05 am in Uncategorized by GregoriusU

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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 :)

Greg Uchrin is a satirist, cartoonist and professional cynic in Alexandria VA. This diary is cross-posted to his blog Intravenous Caffeine, the post-Bush era successor to HAIL DUBYUS.

This is just political theatre–is C-Span getting my angle right?

6:46 am in Uncategorized by GregoriusU

Friends, Romans, Republicans, lend me your ears, I come to bury health care, not to phrase it...

I love drawing Mitch McConnell, he has such IN-teresting LIE-ins. I was saying to my friend Sadie the other day, I said, Sadie, you know Sadie, she works in the parlour down the street, Sadie, I said, I hope Mitch McConnell comes in today, he has such IN-teresting LIE-ins, and Sadie says to me, I know, I KNOW, such IN-teresting LIE-ins, and now here he comes in because of this health care thingie and how it’s going to be on C-Span and EV-erything and how I have to make him just as PRETTY as possible because he’s going to be the star of the show and just make a fool of that Obama person. Oh, Mr. McConnell, I said, you have nothing to worry about, you have such IN-teresting LIE-ins. If I had my way, I’d just be listening to your LYin’s all day!

Of course, the damn thing IS just political theatre, but not for the reasons the Republicans are saying–so much of what could be called REAL Health Care Reform has already been bartered away. As Miles Mogulescu noticed in the Huffington Post:

"On August 13, The Times reported that while President Obama had presented himself as ‘aloof from the legislative fray,’ particularly in connection with the public option, ‘Behind the scenes, however, Mr. Obama and advisors have been…negotiating deals with a degree of cold-eyed political realism potentially at odds with the president’s rhetoric.’ One of the deals reported in The Times article was the Pharma deal. The other was a deal with the for-profit hospital lobby to limit its cost reductions to $155 billion over 10 years in exchange for a White House promise that there would be no meaningful public option."

Wonder WHY Obama has been so pessimistic on the public option he promised during the campaign but almost immediately reneged on and why everyone keeps saying we don’t have 60 votes when it should take only 51? It’s because they don’t want a public option at all. What do the Republicans have to scuttle? The Democrats have already stove a hole in the hull.

Have your day in the spotlight, Mitch, at least the public will get the chance to see you baling water in instead of baling it out. But the ship’s already sinking without you.


Greg Uchrin is a satirist, cartoonist and professional cynic in Alexandria VA. This diary is cross-posted to his blog Intravenous Caffeine, the post-Bush era successor to HAIL DUBYUS!

Health Care Reform, Season II: Defecate or Decamp

6:51 am in Uncategorized by GregoriusU

I hear Health Care III will be a riot ...

Now that the basic idea of health care reform has finally limped across the finish line with both the House and the Senate having voted for different seriously damaged versions of what the public actually wants, Republicans have started crying, "But we never had a chance for any input!" And President Obama, bless his pointy little head, decided to have a televised love fest where the official protectors of business will get a chance to show how little they think of the bill, whether accurate or not, and give Obama the chance to magically make everyone happy by his words.

BULL! The Republicans had ample chance to influence what was in the bill, had they not been sitting on their hands and saying that they were going to make health care Obama’s Waterloo. They didn’t give a snap of the fingers what was or what wasn’t in the bill until it actually passed and there appeared some glimmer of hope that the most expensive health care system in the world might actually become the fifteenth best instead of down in the dismal 30s somewhere. Now that the train has left the station, like the villains in an antique horse opera, it’s time to ride hellbent for leather over to Perilous Chasm with dynamite to wreck the train. Obama’s not going to give them the dynamite tho’, no sir, he just runs the livery stable to give the boys a good start trying to get to the chasm before the train does.

I’m not sold on the present form of health care reform: in fact, I think it kinda sux. It isn’t single payer, the only SENSIBLE alternative to what we have; it has no public option, its limpwristed cousin, even if there’s still a pulse in that supine body; and it includes a mandate forcing everyone in the United States to make the health insurance vampires richer. But would somebody please explain to me Obama’s sick fetish with bipartisanship? As Arianna Huffington pointed out the other day, slavery wasn’t repealed with a bipartisan compromise, it took a @#$%^&* war. And Americans are being forced into an economic servitude where they do not have health insurance, they are OWNED by the insurance companies and dare not move from the one they are subject to lest they lose coverage over a pre-existing condition. Sounds to me like an unfree condition.

Not only that, but health care is driving our economy into the crapper. As costs for medicine, health care insurance rise and rise, it’s become one of the major facets of the American economy. That’s just crazy! Communism didn’t bury us, but we need to get a handle on health care before we’re buried by our own Capitalism. The health care bill isn’t going to reverse this, but at least it will slow it down. So I have one thing to say to Obama. Tell the Republicans to defecate or decamp. Don’t compromise this thing any further if you don’t want PASSING health care reform to become your Water "loo".


Greg Uchrin is a satirist, cartoonist and professional cynic in Alexandria VA. This diary is cross-posted to his blog Intravenous Caffeine, the post-Bush era successor to HAIL DUBYUS!