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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!

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

    5:52 am in Uncategorized by GregoriusU

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    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.

    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 land is mine…” Bite me, Scott Walker

    7:28 am in Uncategorized by GregoriusU

    110222-wisconsin-protest

    Despite an auspicious opening for my manga parody BLECCH! at Katsucon this weekend, this old man has to admit that the con played knick-knack paddywhack on his whole body and that he needs his head examined for taking on the grueling task of convention sales when he’s at an age when most people are thinking of doing nothing for the rest of their lives. I’m fighting off the con crud–that odd disease you get from being in close proximity to thousands of similarly under-rested people for 3 straight days–and I’m looking out at a dusting of snow here in Alexandria VA and hoping it melts before I need to go out for anything (let alone shovel it). So I’m going to be brief today so I can go hide under the covers in the hope of staving off what seems like the start of a sinus infection.

    But I can’t go without expressing solidarity and support for the civil servants, the state employees, police officers, teachers, firemen and everyone else who are in danger of being totally shafted by that A–hole of a novice governor out in Wisconsin. On a personal level, my dad was a civil servant in DOD his entire career, and my wife is a recently retired one. So I have witnessed government workers being dumped on for every government shortfall and seen their cost of living increases and benefits slashed all my life as if paying them a decent wage was responsible for the national debt, instead of wars that didn’t have to be fought, paying for jet fighters that didn’t have to be made, bailing out banks that posted record-breaking profits within months of the supposed emergencies, etc., etc..

    In case you didn’t know it, Rick Ungar and Mother Jones News are reporting that the infamous Koch brothers are behind the effort to destroy the bargaining power of public sector unions. Daily Kos seems to have their finger on the Koch pulse in order for THIS to get passed:

    SECTION 44. 16.896 of the statutes is created to read: 16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state−owned heating, cooling, and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state.

    Naturally the rightwing rearguard has been trying to cover-up the fact that the only budget shortfall in Wisconsin was created by Scott Walker’s tax decrease and has been trying to stir up non-civil servants against civil servants, but no one’s buying it, thank God. I hope the democratic legislators who’ve fled to Illinois can hang tough. In my humble effort to help, I am publishing my graphic today without the ironic quotes over here so anyone who wants to use it for posters or anything else can do so. Just click on the small embedded image for the larger version. You may have to click on THAT image for the full size one depending on your browser.

    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

    Giffords Shooting Prompts Reactions From Around the Web

    5:47 pm in Uncategorized by GregoriusU

    CrosshairsAnimation

    Various reactions to the attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords from around the web:

    Sarah Palin: Well, ya never thought anyone but a lunatic would take me seriously, you betcha.

    Sharron Angle: You can’t blame me for what happened in Arizona!

    John Boehner: SOB!

    John McCain: BUILD THE DAMN FENCE!

    Wayne LePierre, EVP, NRA: It would be a tragedy to use this isolated incident by an obviously deranged lunatic to impair the rights of ordinary citizens to semi-automatic weaponry.

    Heinrich von Grammarrecht: Obviously insane, he used imply when he meant … WTF did he mean?

    Gilbert Gottfried: A funny thing happened on my way through Arizona. A congresswoman got sh … what, too soon? OK–this family walks into a talent agent’s office. He says I don’t do family acts. The father says “Wait’ll you see this one!”

    Anne Coulter: I can hear all the liberals whining now…

    Glenn Beck: Is it possible this liberal got herself shot to help in her future run for the Senate? I’m only asking the question.

    Wolf Blitzer: Some people are suggesting Congresswoman Giffords got herself shot to help in her future run for the Senate.

    New York Times: . . . although, according to some commentators, it’s possible Congresswoman Giffords got herself shot to help in her future run for the Senate.

    Rush Limbaugh: Congresswoman Giffords got herself shot to help in her future run for the Senate. It said so in the New York Times.

    FoxNews: Communist baby-killer Congresswoman provokes citizen to defend himself.

    Tucker Carlson: They should just take him out and hang him… oh, no, wait a minute, no, they shouldn’t…
    __________

    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

    I Need to Scream!

    6:55 am in Uncategorized by GregoriusU

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    Before I launch into today’s rant, I want to thank everyone who commented on my post last week. WOW! 18 Comments! All very thoughtful and very generous to my drawing :) Thenkyewthenkyewthenkyew!

    Well, what with Glenn Beck’s 9-12 movement, you’d think he’d have used THAT day to present his plan for America. But you’d be wrong. You see, Glenn has discovered that God is big bucks, and Glenn certainly wouldn’t want people to be working on the Sabbath. He’s right about that. Listening to Glenn Beck is HARD @#$%^& WORK!

    So Glenn looked about for another day to hold his political rally–errr religious revival? And lo and behold, God made him chose the very anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s "I have a Dream" speech. Purely by accident–or by the Hand of God. Quite frankly, I think Glenn totally capable of not knowing when MLK gave that speech, considering the mish-mash he makes of American history. But considering the low cunning that usually pervades his work, it’s JUST possible that the choice of date was intentional.

    Anyway, he delivered a plan for America–as short of details as Mr. Beck is short of cards in his deck–with Sarah Palin on hand to rescue the civil rights movement from liberals and black people. Huh? You see, in Mr. Beck’s reformulation of MLK’s dream, Dr. King was fighting for civil rights for ALL people, not just oppressed minorities. He wanted to protect white people’s rights. Like the right of Dr. Laura Schlesinger to say "Nigger nigger nigger" on her radio program. And the right for poor people to stay dirt poor while the rich maintain their right to get filthier rich.

    Glenn even found a niece of MLK who agreed with him–not that anyone ELSE of Dr. King’s family had the wool pulled over their eyes. Al Sharpton held a counter-rally to try to uphold Dr. King’s ORIGINAL dream–you know, the one Beck is trying to rescue from progressives who, consarn it, want to extend civil rights to immigrants and poor people. For a while, we had Dueling Rallies down here in Washington. And not very musical.

    This wasn’t about politics tho. It was about that old time religion that America lost 240 years ago. 240 years ago, that’d be 1770? What happened then? Perhaps he was rounding up the years from the Declaration of Independence…hmmm, I guess that’s when we abandoned God. Or King George. Or the Church of England. Or somebody. I guess that "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness," is too progressive for Mr. Beck.

    After all, this country was founded by the Puritans–so goes the American myth–the most obnoxious bunch of holier-than-thou’s that ever walked the face of the earth. They left England for the freedom to practice their religion–and made other religions illegal the day after they hit Plymouth Rock. Then they outlawed Christmas and burned a few neighbors for firewood on the grounds that they were witches. The Puritans don’t exist today. There’s a good reason for that. Oh yeah, they held a Thanksgiving celebration–the next year they had a war with the Indians who’d helped them.

    See Mr. Beck–you have no monopoly on mish-mashing history!

    Glenn wants us to turn back to religion. He has no interest, he says, in becoming President. NOT THAT ANYONE ASKED! No, he’d rather be seen as one of God’s prophets.

    Only Glenn spells it with an "fi" instead of "phe".
    _____________________

    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!

    Here a Mosque, There a Mosque, Everywhere a Mosque Mosque

    7:12 am in Uncategorized by GregoriusU

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    So a moderate Moslem cleric wants to build a mosque and Islamic center. Where? Two blocks from "Ground Zero." Why? Was this meant as some sort of insult to the victims of 9-11? No, he got a good deal on the property. He’ll be happy to build it someplace else, if a deal can be made.

    The problem is that this has given all the yahoos something to scream about in a month when people should be hiding from the heat. Once again, it has become obvious that the so-called "War on Terror" was understood by all and sundry as some 21st century Crusade redux. Our enemy wasn’t al-Qaeda, the guys who actually carried out the deed, but all of Islam, which is why we attacked Afghanistan, letting al-Qaeda move a couple of miles into Pakistan, and then attacked Iraq, which had nothing to do with anything except we didn’t like Saddam Hussein’s moustache. And we’re still in both places, with Americans fronting the bill for two quagmires that have done nothing but drain our economy and are as much a reason for the Great Recession as the thieving banks were.

    The banks aren’t terrorists. Unless you’ve gotten behind in your mortgage payments, or haven’t opted into overdraft insurance, at which point, you can’t answer your phone in the daylight hours without being attacked by some customer service rep. But all of Islam is, because we are bound and determined to hold a billion people guilty for the work of a handful of crazies. Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin, those paragons of bravery while someone else does the fighting, have been leading the charge. No Mosques at Ground Zero.

    Our fearless leader, of course, has taken a principled stance. Anyone has the constitutional right to build anything anywhere in the United States–he said at a Ramadan dinner with an Islamic group. Then when he heard the howls from the hinterlands–you know, the people who were convinced that Saddam Hussein was going to nuke their local mall on 9-12–President Obama turned around and said he didn’t necessarily think it was a good idea. Despite Fox News having said he’d done the right thing and defended the Constitution. I guess if Fox News says you did something right, it’s best to assume you pulled the biggest boner in creation.

    Well, I happen to believe both statements are right, but, for crying out loud, Barry, can’t you take a stance on anything that doesn’t have a picket fence poking a hole in your ass? I mean, you could’ve said both things at the same time, but no, first you had to play to one audience and then turn around and play to the opinion polls. Leaders lead, they aren’t lead. Not everything has a golden mean of compromise to be found.

    I swear, one day, I’m gonna wake up to read the headline that Barry brokered a deal between God and Satan where Satan accepted a 50% cap on souls he reaped. With a proviso that the terms will not take effect until after 2016.

    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!

    NOTE: Flickr has changed its rules on image sharing–you must use html or BB code that links back to Flickr… at least if I understand them right. Of course, this means I can’t put in one of my snide captions (I think). We shall see.

    Eat Your Heart Out, William Shakespeare!

    7:06 am in Uncategorized by GregoriusU

    Sarah Palin--Poetry in 140 Characters or Less--The William Shakespeare of Our Times

    How does she do it? Cal State–a cash strapped university–in troubled times–having problems meeting its own payroll–decides it has umpty-ump thousand dollars to pay a failed Vice Presidential candidate to mangle English syntax in front of potential donors. That’s right–75,000 dollars! It’s a beautiful day, Mister Rogers. I wish I’d run for Vice President too!

    Presumably, it’s because the fatcats who write out checks for University sports want to hear the next President of the United States speak. What? President Palin? What am I THINKING? That Alaskan state trooper better watch his ass NOW! Hey, Russkies–I have you in my sites–from the ROSE GARDEN! Maybe those college administrators who invited her weren’t so crazy. After all, they raised 60K–no, now they claim it’s really 207K from the event! They must’ve hired someone from Lehman Brothers to do the accounting!

    Sarah’s other workload, as we all know these days, is her work as a poetess in that American haiku form of poetry in 140 characters or less–the Tweet. Sarah is so gifted in this form, she twitters several hundred times each day. And we know it’s really her, no one else could come up with a word like "refudiate". Except George Bush. Oh …. My …. GOD! GMTA Bill. GMTA George!

    Sarah compared herself to Bill Shakespeare–that old dead white guy that used to write plays 800 years ago (Sarah isn’t sure how long ago it was–no one can understand the language he wrote in anymore). After all, he made up words when he wasn’t sure how to spell them either! I say Sarah is better than Willie! He took 14 lines a sonnet to express his thoughts. Sarah has that down to 140 characters!

    I’m announcing right now that I’m a candidate for President in 2012. Let’s start those university fundraisers coming in.

    Oh BTW, BP has capped the well. It may or may not be working. It may or may not have a leak. It may or may not need to come off again because it may or may not need to be put on straight. We may or may not have a Gulf of Mexico by 2020. And the guys who are helping with the clean-up? Their pay will be deducted from any money they’re entitled to from the 20 Billion Dollar kiss off.

    And June was the hottest on record. Haven’t heard anyone talking about global warming fraud since the spring. But like the swallows at Capistrano–who missed their target this year–the deniers will be back next winter! HAPPY SUMMER!

    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 Real Reason All Those Oil Companies Screwed Up

    6:24 am in BP oil disaster, Energy, Politics by GregoriusU

    Moe Inc., Larry Inc., and Curly Inc. Woowoowoowoowoooooo!

    Well, let’s see, you still need papers in Arizona–finish the danged fence, eh, John McCain? And Elena Kagan is now the darling of Laura Bush–who has started opening her mouth more and more since she doesn’t have to just nod her head and smile–although she does that quite a lot in her new book–the one with the mummy mask on the cover? So it looks like we’re back with the LaGulfa Tar Pit–formerly known as the Gulf of Mexico. Just think, boys and girls, in 50,000 years, people, or whatever intelligent species will be inhabiting this planet, will be able to excavate the Gulf of Mexico and find all sorts of creatures that used to live in the ocean!

    We were treated to the spectacle of BP, Transocean and Halliburton all pointing fingers at each other, saying that it was some other guy’s fault that for nearly a month now, crude oil has been gushing into the sea, endangering wildlife, fishing, creating a dead zone far greater than the previous one, and in general, becoming OILMAGEDDON. Really, it looked like a Three Stooges movie. In fact, it probably would have been much more fun for all of us victims to see these three guys slapping each other and poking fingers into eyes!

    True, this is probably unfair to Moe, Larry and Curly. They only created disasters on a purely local level. Like leveling a house. It takes an oil executive to create one on a global scale! See what a college education can do for YOU!

    The "Drill, Baby, Drill" ideologues have in the meantime weighed in with their peculiar brand of irrationality. Sarah Palin says this is why we shouldn’t trust furriners like BRITISH Petroleum (never mind that TransOcean and Halliburton are American companies). Rush Limbaugh ideates that environmentalists did this to scotch any further offshore drilling–this is the cutting off your nose to spite your face strategy–or maybe Koreans. He’s not sure–he’ll know in another dose of oxycodone. And of course, the pro-drill crowd says this just PROVES we need to do more offshore drilling–look at all the oil we’re losing, we’ve got to make that up SOMEHOW and after all, practice makes perfect!

    In the meantime, BP has tried to cap the well with the TOP HAT and the HOT TAP–amazing that the ONLY thing they’ve gotten to work so far is something that allows them to recover some of the spill into a tanker, but in the meantime, we still have the 10 mile long plumes of crude shooting out to sea. And it’s getting near the current that will take it to the Florida Keys. Ernest Hemingway couldn’t do it, hurricanes couldn’t do it, but it looks like good old capitalism will finally shut Sloppy Joe’s down!

    And as we watch the death of one of the most important bodies of water in the world, let’s have a drink on that old fisherman and his soon-to-be-vanished marlin. One more for my baby and one more for the road–because it was the road that got us here.


    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!

    Drill, Baby, Dri … Ooops!

    5:54 am in Uncategorized by GregoriusU

    Hey, it wasn't US, said BP, it's the fault of the contractor.

    Quite frankly I don’t know what to say about this. Watching an oil spill whose size makes the Exxon Valdez accident look like somebody dropped a stick of butter as it gets closer and closer to the shores that still haven’t recovered from the devastation of Katrina is a little like watching a train wreck. A train needs a certain amount of time to brake to a stop–and that means several miles in the case of a heavy freight train or a fast passenger train. Any attempt to stop quicker is just simply not going to work because it’s against the laws of physics. So you step on the brake in the hope of minimizing the damage and wait for the inevitable crash, watching in horrified fascination as the train gets closer and closer.

    In the meantime, the blame game has started. The Obama administration has blamed it on BP. BP has blamed it on the contractors in charge of the drilling and on faulty equipment. Blame the tools! The media and the right wing have begun blaming Obama for not doing enough to stop the crisis, despite the fact that the federal government had offered help, been turned down and told that the situation was being managed. They should have stepped right in and taken over, say the people who normally howl over any sort of government interference. And Sarah Palin has spun on the proverbial dime and has become sooooooo concerned about the environmental issues that you’d think she’d never even heard the phrase, "Drill, Baby, Drill," that she led her supporters in chanting throughout the 2008 presidential campaign.

    Clearly there is more than enough blame to go around, and I’ll not exempt the Obama administration for not acting quickly enough. Sometimes, you need to step up to the plate. Sometimes, acting quickly is more important than making sure all the p’s are p’s and q’s are q’s. But even if it HAD acted faster–is there anything that really could have been done? Or was this truly like the train wreck that no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, no matter how fast you act, that collision is just going to occur and there ain’t nothing you can do about it.

    Obama says that BP is going to pay for it. No. The one certain thing in every disaster that has occurred as long as I can remember is that BP will wriggle out of it and pay off at best a token amount that seems big only if you do not take into account the amount of damage this accident will cause. But it will be paid for… and the people who will pay for it will be? US.


    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!

    And the Winner is…what, Sarah Palin took the envelopes too?

    6:59 am in Uncategorized by GregoriusU

    Fortunately, only Ben Stiller was blue in the face...

    Last night was Hollywood’s annual self-love fest…not that I watched it. I usually have more important things to be doing than spending 3-4 hours of breathless self-congratulatories…but perhaps I’m jaded after so many years of circus antics both on the stage and on the red carpet. There didn’t seem to be many moments of actual tastelessness this year, unless you count Sarah Palin and her entourage swooping down on the hospitality suite earlier this week like a swarm of locusts and carrying off anything that hadn’t been tied down. Silver Spoon (host of the gifting suite) partner Melissa Lemer insists it wasn’t true and published a "debunking" on Conservatives4Palin, but for some reason, this retraction doesn’t appear on the Silver Spoon site itself. The Latimes issued a retraction–believe what you will :)

    Sandra Bullock made history by being the first actress to receive both a Razzie and an Oscar in the same week. She showed up for both awards–way to go, Sandra! Ben Stiller got all blue in the face with a misguided Avatar parody–might have worked better if there was an Avatar sweep. I was kind of surprised that The Hurt Locker swept as much as it did, however. I kept hearing all sorts of divergent opinions on it–that it was too patriotic, not patriotic enough, it was pro-war, it was anti-war–frankly, I thought that the opinions would split the vote. I haven’t seen it yet. I understand it’s an intense experience and when a movie is that intense, I prefer to watch it in the safety of my own home where I can pause it or turn it off if it gets to hard to handle. It’s interesting to read the blogs on the Directing win. You get the feeling that it was more important that a woman won the Directing award than that Kathryn Bigelow had won it for directing the movie. Ah, the burden of being a symbol! Congratulations, Kathryn.

    I did see Avatar, and while there was a lot to admire in it and I enjoyed it a lot, I had to agree that it really wasn’t "Best Picture" material. My big disappointment tho’ was that Coraline did not win the Best Animated Feature, which was won by Up. Up had to win, since it was a Pixar production about an old coot, voiced by an old coot, whom we’d better give a statue to before he dies, whereas Coraline was a dark fantasy that really didn’t leave you feeling warm and fuzzy when it was over.

    Back in the real world, I sort of lost out on Jim Bunning’s holding the unemployed of the United States hostage to his own dark fantasy about balancing a budget that had gone to hell the first year George Bush had entered office and hasn’t seen the light of day since. You would have thought his escapade would have been thoroughly condemned as an act unworthy of a Hall of Famer, but then you’d be reckoning without the Calvinist underbelly of the Republican Party. In this Calvinist reading of the way things are, the rich are rich because they deserve to be and the poor are poor because they deserve to be, this having been pre-ordained by God. It’s very much a "cynical" strain of Stoicism, which I’ve always believed to be the philosophy of the rich and powerful: it is my fate to be on top and your fate to be on the bottom. Tough s**t!

    So instead of condemning the perfect gamer for the perfect asshole that he is, we heard that old refrain about how unemployment insurance ENCOURAGES being unemployed–in an economy where one in six adults is either unemployed, underemployed, or too depressed to find a job when there aren’t any available. Tom Delay even praised Bunning’s action as "brave", showing that he has no conception that there is a difference between bravery and bravado. It might have been a brave stance if Bunning had not already announced his intention to retire as of the end of his term. But it seems that Jim wasn’t putting anything on the line, except the food and shelter of a bunch of OTHER people. As he himself said, "Tough s**t!" A true Stoic!


    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!

    PS: Answer to Margot–yes, all the cartoons in my diary are my own work :)