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

6:59 am in Uncategorized by GregoriusU

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  • 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.

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.

Martha Raddatz Forces Paul Ryan into a “Bela Lugosi Moment”

5:25 am in Uncategorized by GregoriusU

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  • Paul Ryan does his impression of Dracula being faced down with a crucifix.
  • Everyone was talking last week about the Thursday night smackdown of Paul Ryan … by Martha Raddatz! About this across the board 20% tax cut … do you have the specifics? Do you have the math? Do you even know what you’re doing? (Well, not exactly the last one, but pretty close).

    As Ryan averted his eyes and shielded himself from the glare of intense scrutiny with a more horrified scowl than Dracula being faced with a crucifix, Martha boldly advanced with her Holy Microphone! No No NO! I’m going to try to weasel around with some nonsense about Republicans reaching out for a bi-partisan solution (like THAT’S ever happened in the last 12 years). So Martha delivered the final blow: “Yeah–NO specifics!” BOOM! Score one for an objective TV journalist.

    Joe Biden loved it so much, he laughed through the entire debate. Actually, Joltin’ Joe got enough solid wood on the ball to knock several so far out of the park–and Ryan along with it–that Andy Borowitz quipped that the Democrats now want Biden to take over for Barry in all the rest of the debates. Barry’s response was that he realized he gave a less than stellar performance the first time, and THIS time, he was actually going to prepare for the debate. Good move, Mr. President!

    The Press–you know, the one with the so-called liberal bias–on the other hand, gave bad marks to Joe for laughing and eye-rolling at every one of Ryan’s glossing over of the facts and plain old mendacity. The same press that fell over itself four years ago to praise Sarah Palin’s winken-blinken-and-nod performance–you know, someone SHOULD have criticized her for making fun of the handicapped like that–calling it “fresh and spunky”. I guess the difference between “fresh and spunky” and “angry old man” is about 30 years. This from a press that seems to think “Moon–Green Cheese? Blue Cheese–an alternate viewpoint!” is a solid debate topic.

    Anyway, now the ball is back in the big boy’s court. Let’s hope that President Obama has learned a lesson about not misunderestimating his opponent. Just because he’s a robot with a pretty hair-do for a brain doesn’t mean he can’t pack a wallop in a medium where you win by LOOKING GOOD. And that’s the way it is.

    A sad note this weekend. Arlen Specter, the last Republican with a conscience, passed away after a long battle with cancer. If you want to talk about bi-partisanship, he was one of the last Republicans to believe in it. So much so that his party forced him to seek re-election as a Democrat. I didn’t always like his votes, but I had respect for the man. He–and his kind of politician–will be missed.

    And if you’re wondering about my Dracula references–Hallowe’en IS on the way and my wife got me the Universal Horror Blu-Ray Collection for my birthday. Bela Lugosi is stunning in HD!

    Escape from New York

    7:05 am in Uncategorized by GregoriusU

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    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. Read the rest of this entry →

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

    7:34 am in Uncategorized by GregoriusU

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    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. Read the rest of this entry →

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

    9:02 am in Uncategorized by GregoriusU

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    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. Read the rest of this entry →

    Raise High The Debt Ceiling, Carpenter…

    6:00 am in Uncategorized by GregoriusU

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    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…

    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

    Boehner and the Boehnheads

    6:25 am in Uncategorized by GregoriusU

    -John Boehner turning blue

    Once again, we have one situation that we can’t do a cartoon about, or at least one that we can’t get a funny take on. I’m referring, of course, to those idiots down in Florida who “tried and convicted” a Qu’ran and then burned it at the stake. Ahhh, we’ve come a long way since the Middle Ages. Since this didn’t get enough press and outrage from the Muslims around the world, our pal Hamid Karzai made sure everyone knew about it by rending his garments, pouring ashes on his head and demanding justice for the desecrators. Knowing full well that there is no law they can be charged with and that the US of A was certainly not going to extradite anyone to face “justice” someplace else for something that happened within our own sovereign borders. And of course, another bunch of idiots from the peaceful religion of Islam, having heard what happened via our good pal in Afghanistan, in order to put the lie to Terry Jones’ and company’s “indictment” of the book, have run around rioting and murdering people. There’s nothing I could draw that could outdo the collective idiocy occasioned by this idiotic asshole down in Florida, so I’m not even going to try.

    I’m going to turn to our other good friend, John Boehner. The Republican party, as you know, has nominal control of the House of Representatives, making our national Boehner Speaker of the House. This means that John has the unenviable task of trying to make sure that bills actually get passed by said august body. The problem for John is that the Republican caucus is actually two caucuses: the official Republican one and the Tea Partiers. This means he has almost as big a problem as the Democrats had getting anything done with the Blue Dog caucus in their party voting against anything that wasn’t conservative enough. And boy. are you going to have a problem making something conservative enough for the Tea Party group.

    Seems that most of them are new to this new occupation of politicking and have no idea that it means the art of negotiation and compromise. Now, you could say that about the Republican Party in general–and you’d be right–but most of the real politicians under the tail of the elephant realize that as long as you grandstand about the “big issues”, you can actually get everything else done without a whisper. Not our teabaggers! At least one of them has said that he isn’t gonna vote for any damn budget that doesn’t “defund Obamacare.” And the rest of them have similar demands. And like El-Orans in the desert, they are crying “NO PRISONERS!” as they charge into the august chambers of the august body. And it ain’t even August!

    Now John knows that sooner or later, they need a budget. The WORST thing he could possibly do with the economy in its weak condition, excuse me, robust recovery (at least in the financial sector), is shut down the government. There is no consumer, no single employer more important, and to shut it down for even a few days could create such a downturn that even the wealthy could see a dent in their portfolios. He could pass a budget with enough compromises for some Democrats to come on board–but that would be a sin in the Tea Party’s eyes. He could try to explain to the Tea Party that THEY need to make some compromises…but then he’d be seen as a traitor also. As the saying goes (attributed to Mark Twain), “Never try to teach a pig to dance. It just wastes time and annoys the pig.” So somehow, he’s got to figure out how to pass a budget without Democrats and possibly without a whole buncha nominal Republicans. But a lot of Tea Partiers actually think shutting down the government would be a good thing so John might feel that he’s going to be talking himself blue in the face in the next few days.

    Or maybe just green.

    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

    Blaming the Victims for BP’s Negligence

    7:02 am in Uncategorized by GregoriusU

    Explosion is CG--No Squirrels were hurt in the production of this cartoon...

    Yup, that’s right, it isn’t Biggish Petroleum’s fault that the Gulf of Mexico is turning into La Brea East. After all, they have such a lovely service record with hundreds of safety violations … in the last 2 years! So it couldn’t possibly be THEIR fault for being in such hot … errr … water. How dare President Obama shake them down for damages when it manifestly is not their fault.

    It’s the Democrat’s fault for allowing themselves to be bullied into toothless regulation. It’s the fault of those damn liberals who forced them to drill so far off-shore. It’s the fault of the American people for buying those gas guzzlers and not forcing the auto manufacturers to make electric cars. It’s their fault for not throwing away their incandescent light bulbs and replacing them with mercury-filled CFLs that are 10 times as expensive and require a HAZMAT team to come clean up if one breaks. It’s their fault for keeping on using gas and oil instead of smoke-belching coal, since they don’t have any other viable alternatives. Except ultra-safe nuclear! It’s the fault of the alternative energy folks for not developing their technologies on a shoestring while Congress is giving subsidies to the oil folks who are already making the largest profits in history. It’s the fault of that guy in all the emergency contact documents who had the temerity to die without informing the oil companies of the need to update their plans. It’s the fault of the turtles in the Gulf for being so delicious that they’re endangered.

    Yeah. And as the bank robber said to the security guard:

    Damn you! if you hadn’t gotten untied and started screaming, I wouldn’t have had to shoot you.

    See. It’s YOUR fault.

    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!

    [IRONY ALERT] After 150 Years, We’re Willing to Admit We Were Wrong–Lincoln WAS a Tyrant–Gov. McDonell

    6:41 am in Uncategorized by GregoriusU

    President Lincoln and General Grant discuss the war over a bottle of Grant's favored spirit, Old Varnish.

    Renewing a Virginia tradition that was abandoned during the Occupation of Richmond by the treasonous Democrats, Governor Bob McDonell has declared April to once again be "Confederate History Month" in our fine commonwealth. In his proclamation, Governor McDonell studiously avoided all mention of slavery because the Confederate secession was not about slavery, but about states’ rights, in particular the right of individual states to decide if slavery was to be respected or abolished within its own sovereign borders and not be dictated to by an oppressive Northern government.

    Besides, McDonell said, Confederate History Month was meant to be a celebration of the bravery and courage of those brave Southern boys who risked everything to defend their homes and the Southern way of life, and to mention "slavery" in the context would simply bring up a painful memory for all concerned, the descendants of the slaves and the descendants of the plantation owners who lost all their slaves.

    Governor McDonell was proud of the fact that the Republican party has finally seen the error of its ways and has discredited Lincoln’s brutal insistence on the "sanctity" of the Union as the most arrogant oppression this country has ever seen. Now that 150 years have passed, McDonell said, the Republican Party no longer has to pay lip service to the images of its founders, a bunch of abolitionists and big government fetishists and has seen that the Democrat Party had been right all along.

    "Just think," McDonell added, "in another 150 years, what else will the Republicans support?"

    [/IRONY]


    Due to pressing professional needs, Intravenous Caffeine will only be published on Mondays until further notice.


    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!