Friday, December 30, 2005

NOT Global Warming

Tropical Storm Zeta has formed in the Atlantic, a full month after the official end of hurricane season.

But, of course, we've already established that global warming has absolutely nothing to do with it, you crazy fringe-theorist...

... all normal cycles 'n stuff.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Cases-In-Point, #2, #3 and #4

As the Defense Department makes moves to further centralize power around Rumsfeld loyalists, the Administration throws a hissy-fit over a Fourth Circuit decision on Jose Padilla, citing "profound separation-of-powers concerns" (via Cursor), and another blog post profiles John Yoo, a mid-level lawyer at Justice who has "had a hand in virtually every major legal decision involving the US response to the attacks of September 11," and who apparently believes very strongly in a despotic presidency (both via TBogg).

"It's just a goddamn piece of paper!"

Continuing with the theme of this week's cartoon, those words were apparently uttered recently by the President in reference to the Constitution of the United States.

If true, it is yet more proof that these people are all completely insane.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Greatest Show on Earth

And you thought the California gubernatorial race was fun? The race for governor in Alabama features an indicted former governor, ousted Alabama Chief Justice and religious nutball Roy Moore, and a midget in a bikini.

(via Cursor)

Monday, December 26, 2005

12/26/05 Cartoon

"Alberto the Torture Turtle's Guide to the Constitution"... catch Alberto's previous appearance here, which was part of the Fuzzy Bunny series.

Some good articles this week: Sidney Blumenthal on the Administration's fundamental disrespect for the law and for Tom Paine; Michelle Goldberg on whether we have the political will to impeach Bush (probably not); and Edward Lazarus on the serious threat to the Constitution posed by Bush's wiretapping.

All indications are that this issue (the wiretapping) is going to be the clincher... either we all stand up to them on this, or we can officially kiss our democracy goodbye. As with Watergate and "Plame-gate," though, it may take a while to unfold...

Friday, December 23, 2005

Useless Information Department

Researchers at a London University (via Huffington Post) have released an exhaustive study which concludes that the only sure way to avoid a hangover is not to drink in the first place.

Thanks, jerks.


Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, (R) California, gives us what is now the standard Republican argument for eliminating the Constitution and making George W. Bush king and supreme ruler (via Cursor):


That is all. Please return to your Christmas shopping now. Ignorance is Strength.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

"The breathtaking inanity..."

If you value reductive science and/or the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, do yourself a favor and read the decision in Kitzmiller, or at least read the conclusion. (Thanks to David)

The Washington Post says that this could be a watershed opinion, with regards to future cases that seek to determine whether "intelligent design" can or should be taught in public schools.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Beware of PETA...

What the hell is this thing conservatives have about PETA?

Like they're some shadowy, Freemason-like secret society that is poised to take over the country...

Monday, December 19, 2005

12/19/05 Cartoon

"George W. Bush Conversation With God: The Environment."
Catch Bush's previous conversations with God here and here.

On an unrelated note, I wanted to make a quick comment on the death of The West Wing's John Spencer. The first four seasons of that show (the Aaron Sorkin-penned years) have really had a huge influence on me, as examples of satirical political commentary at its highest level in popular culture. When I'm working on these cartoons, I will often have a DVD of those episodes running in the background, to give me a little inspiration. But, of course, writers don't create the characters all by themselves... I think it can't be done without an extremely talented actor, in a process I can't even begin to comprehend.

Very sad.

Friday, December 16, 2005

A victory!

On another positive note:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate on Friday refused to reauthorize major portions of the USA Patriot Act after critics complained they infringed too much on Americans' privacy and liberty, dealing a huge defeat to the Bush administration and Republican leaders.

I guess they'll just have to be satisfied with violating civil liberties in secret and outside the law, which apparently is something they're completely comfortable doing...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

How about that...

Don't let it be said that I don't take notice when the Bush Administration actually does something right:
Nagin praised Bush's commitment to nearly double an earlier $1.6 billion package for levee repairs and improvements, saying the president had responded to local residents' call for action. "I want to say to all New Orleanians, to all businesses, it's time for you to come home, it's time for you to come back to the Big Easy," Nagin said. "We now have the commitment and the funding for hurricane protection at a level that we have never had before."

Of course, this didn't happen until people screamed at them about their reluctant Katrina response, and it does nothing to address the $14 billion needed to restore barrier islands and coastal wetlands, the "natural levees" that are necessary to protect New Orleans from hurricanes. But it's a nice start.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

m u n k e e . . .

From a recent Bush interview with Brian Williams:
Williams: This says you're in a bubble. You have a very small circle of advisors now. Is that true? Do you feel in a bubble?

President Bush: No, I don't feel in a bubble. I mean, you feel in a bubble in the sense that I can't go walking out the front gate and, you know, go shopping, like I'd love to do for my wife. Although I may, I'm not going to tell you what I'm going to buy her. Look, I feel like I'm getting really good advice from very capable people and that people from all walks of life have informed me and informed those who advise me. And I feel very comfortable that I'm very aware of what's going on.

And later...
Williams: ...Once and for all— and I know you've had some fun with members of the press on this subject how much television news do you watch? How much do you read the morning papers, news magazines? How much do you see in an average week?

President Bush: I don'I see a lot of the news. Every morning I look at the newspaper. I can't say I've read every single article in the newspaper. But I definitely know what's in the news. Occasionally, I watch television. t want to hurt your feelings, but it's occasionally. I'm working at that point, as are you. But I'm very aware of what's in the news. I'm aware because I see clips. I see summaries. I have people on my staff that walk in every morning and say, "This is what's --— this is how I see it. This is what's brewing today," on both the domestic and international side. Frankly, it is probably part of my own fault for needling people, but it's a myth to think I don't know what's going on. And it's a myth to think that I'm not aware that there is opinions that don't agree with mine. Because I'm fully aware of that.

Williams: But you, yourself, said to a reporter, I think it was Brit Hume, that you'd prefer to get the news orally from your aids?

President Bush: Well, that's one way to look at it. I mean, I read the newspaper. I mean, I can tell you what the headlines are. I must confess, if I think the story is, like, not a fair appraisal, I'll move on. But I know what the story's about.

After answers like these, don't we just have to come to a point where we don't really care what he has to say about anything else? He is obviously so disengaged from what is going on, can we reasonably be expected to give any credibility to his comments on Iraq, torture, or Katrina?

It's like going to the zoo and sitting down with the monkey with Tourettes, and then asking him in-depth questions about zoo administration. You know he's going to have no idea what is coming out of his mouth, and at some point he's just going to start slinging around feces...

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

State of California Kills 5-Time Nobel Peace Prize Nominee

We are living in truly prehistoric times. Someday people will look back and be shocked by the things our society did.

Monday, December 12, 2005

12/12/05 Cartoon

"Wild Planet: Animals Using Camouflage"... you can check out the previous episodes here and here.

I thought it was about time I took the Democrats to task a little. Some articles to check out: Thomas Harrison on the "Collapse of the Left" after the 2004 elections; Jeffrey Goldberg in the New Yorker on Joe Biden and the "national-security Democrats;" John Walsh on "The Lies of John Edwards" and other Dems; and Patrick Martin on "What is troubling Joe Lieberman."

Friday, December 09, 2005

Pompeii on the Mississippi

We had to know this was coming. Anybody in the government remember "Katrina?" Ring a bell?

[Of course, since when does knowing in advance that a particular event or decision would turn out badly count for anything in this country? (front pages from Newseum)]

THREE MONTHS after the epic flood, we are specimens of congressional torture. Network celebrities who swept through for disaster backdrops are gone. The suffering in the Superdome and Convention Center is old footage. Torturing a city is tougher coverage for soft newsbodies.
Apathy toward the dying neighborhoods stains the Social Darwinists who run Congress. They wear the masks of prolife Christians. As Nero fiddled while Rome burned, these Jesus-lovers yawn at a city on the rack, their pensions safe in the mammoth debt furnished by the worst US president ever.
President Bush came to Jackson Square in September and promised a sweeping recovery. His backers in Congress recoiled from the cost.
The leadership vacuum from the White House to Baton Rouge to City Hall is frightening. There is no other word for it. Bush makes nebulous remarks about helping ''the people down in Katrina" (we are a new geography), but his priority is counterattacking critics of the Iraq war.

Another article calls for New Orleans to be completely abandoned, simply because the author doesn't forsee Bush ever giving enough of a crap about it to ensure that it is sufficiently protected.
But while encouraging city residents to return home and declaring for the media audience that "we will do whatever it takes" to save the city, the President earlier this month formally refused the one thing New Orleans simply cannot live without: A restored network of barrier islands and coastal wetlands.
How could this administration, found totally unprepared for the first Katrina, not see the obvious action needed to prevent the next one? My theory is that Bush hears "wetlands" and retreats to a blind, ideological aversion to all things "environmental." Which perhaps explains why in multiple speeches given during six photo-op trips to the Gulf since Katrina hit, the President has not one time mentioned the words barrier islands or wetlands. Not once.
"Either they don't get it or they just don't care," said Mark Davis, director of the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana. "But the results are the same: more disaster."
So stop the repairs; put the brooms and chain saws away. Close the few businesses that have re-opened. Leave the levees in their tattered state and get out. Right now. Everybody. It's utterly unsafe to live there.
To encourage people to return to New Orleans, as Bush is doing, without funding the only plan that can save the city from the next Big One, is to commit an act of mass homicide. If, after all the human suffering and expense of this national ordeal, the federal government can't be bothered to spend the cost of a tunnel from Logan Airport to downtown Boston, then the game is truly over.

While I don't agree with any solution that calls for surrendering an entire American city (in this case, a particularly important American city) due to Bush's monumental incompetence, the point is well taken.

As unthinkable as it was that Bush could have done something worse after his illegal war... the Katrina response is the worst crime of the Bush presidency.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

"Black Ink Monday"...

Editorial cartoonists are joining together on Monday, Dec. 12, for a day of cartoons criticizing corporate downsizing in the newspaper industry, which is responsible for staggering job losses among the ranks of editorial cartoonists:

Since Ben Franklin and colonial times, the editorial cartoon has been one of the most visible and popular parts of the daily paper. However, recent changes within the newspaper industry have placed this American institution at risk.

Over the last 20 years, the number of cartoonists on the staff of daily newspapers nationwide has been cut in half. In the last month alone, the Tribune Company (owner of the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and a half-dozen other prominent papers), has forced out well-known and award-winning cartoonists at the LA Times and Baltimore Sun, eliminating their positions entirely.

It occurs to me that, while my style of cartooning would probably be considered an "alternative" to the genre that these guys represent, my art still depends on the existence of their industry (if they went away, who would we be an "alternative" to?). While artists like me can poke them with a stick, and force the industry to stay smart and relevant, the "mainstream" editorial cartoonists are still carrying on the tradition of Thomas Nast and, as noted, Benjamin Franklin. If they disappeared, it seems to me that drawing silly cartoons with political messages would lose much of its meaning.

So, perhaps, it might be nice to pick out a couple of your favorites and send them a note of support.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

As the NYT turns...

From Editor & Publisher:
In a lengthy feature piece on this autumn's Judith Miller saga forthcoming in the January issue of Vanity Fair (on sale Dec. 13), writer Seth Mnookin covers much familiar ground but also reveals new details and complaints from the reporter's colleagues at The New York Times. Publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. also gets a good working-over from unnamed in-house critics.


Elsewhere, Mnookin pulls no punches in stating that over the years Miller "had built a reputation for sleeping with her sources," had dated one of Sulzberger's best friends, Steve Ratner, "and had even, for a time, shared a vacation home with Sulzberger," whatever that means.

Yikes. Is anybody going to take this newspaper seriously again?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The End of O'Reilly...

So, in his deranged campaign against the mad-liberal "war on Christmas," Bill O'Reilly has decided to take on The Daily Show. Dumb, dumb, dumb. In terms of humorist ridicule in popular political commentary, that is like O'Reilly challenging Lennox Lewis to a bare-knuckles street brawl.

If the Daily Show bothers to respond tonight, it should be fun to watch.

[By the way, if you noticed the resemblance... the right-wing alien in this week's 'toon is somewhat of an O'Reilly caricature.]

Monday, December 05, 2005

12/5/05 Cartoon

"Alien Society, #2." You can catch the previous episode here.

A few articles I found interesting in my research this week: Edward Lazarus on the coming battle over government accountability; a blog post by Arthur Silber on the Padilla indictment; and a story in the New Yorker by Jane Mayer, which gives graphic details about the death of a prisoner in CIA custody.

Looks like Tom Tomorrow and Jen Sorensen had similar ideas as I did this week... both made comments on the (apparent) death of reason, logic, and civil dialogue in our society. Both very good cartoons.

Friday, December 02, 2005


Retired three-star general William Odom, one of the "most respected military analysts in Washington," is now calling for a withdrawal from Iraq:
"... Iraq is the worst place to fight a battle for regional stability. Whose interests were best served by the U.S. invasion of Iraq in the first place? It turns out that Iran and al-Qaida benefited the most, and that continues to be true every day U.S. forces remain there."

Of course, this is just another guy "endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic party."

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Time to Move On, Lieberman...

I love this:
The Hartford Courant reports today on how Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) continues to self-servingly pursue an image of Bush administration apologist on the Iraq War. For years, Lieberman has stabbed his party in the back on high-profile issues - but now, finally, Lieberman may have overreached, and might feel some consequences.

The Courtant specifically notes that now openly says it will consider supporting a primary challenge to Lieberman...

After John Kerry faced the most unqualified Presidential incumbant in our history and lost, many like me vowed to never again vote for (or spend so much time and energy working for) a Democrat unless they really deserved it, and not just because they're "ABB." This demonstrates to me that Democratic politicians can still be held accountable by the people whose values they are supposed to be representing in our (supposed) "two-party" system.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Wednesday Comic

Actually, it's from Sunday, but if you missed Doonesbury in your morning paper that day... it was a classic. Garry Trudeau offers a little back-story on why Bush, a classmate of Trudeau's at Yale, might think torture is such a good idea. Trudeau explains to Editor & Publisher that he drew his first editorial cartoon for the Yale Daily News when the incident in question occurred, and that the Bush comment in panel seven was a direct quote.

See, this is why you never piss off a cartoonist. We never forget.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Where's Scotty?

Everybody's all bent out of shape because Scott McClellan hasn't appeared before the press corps in, like, 19 days. Think Progress quotes PR Week:
A White House correspondent, who asked not to be identified, predicts McClellan, who replaced Ari Fleischer as press secretary in summer 2003, will soon be leaving his post. "I’m expecting very big changes," the correspondent says.

Relax. It's probably all just a routine retrofitting/system upgrade. I'm sure the IT guys are all over it...

UPDATE: See, he's back now. Running like a top.

Monday, November 28, 2005

November 28, 2005 Cartoon

"Stuff I'd Rather Do Than Watch That Movie" is now showing on your screen at the Newest 'Toon page. You can check out the previous episodes here and here. My only regret is that I have not yet had a chance to do one on a Paul Walker movie... that guy is one bad actor. He makes Keanu Reeves look like a Rhodes Scholar.

Back to important stuff...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

...that said...

As you start your Christmas shopping, don't forget the folks in New Orleans. My suggestions for your donations: Habitat for Humanity, WWOZ, and Humane Society of Louisiana

Taking a short "blog break" 'til Monday the 28th... happy holiday!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Black is the new black...

Cafe Press now has black T-Shirts, which I have included among the products for my current designs: the Bush n' God 'toon, the Fox News "Remove Your Brain" 'toon, the Bush AWOL 'toon, and the banner design (which actually looks pretty cool in black).

Someday soon, I'll come up with some new designs and put those up. Send me an email ( if you have any suggestions for images from my cartoons or products you'd like to see.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Monday Comix

Matt Bors becomes a victim of the Bush Propaganda Machine...

Keith Knight has another episode of "Life's Little Victories" (I can identify with #78)...

Ann Telnaes has President Doofus eating "Chinese Trip Leftovers"...

Friday, November 18, 2005

Breaking News

The Onion (via Bartcop) reports that a Bush voter actually sat down and had a beer with the President. It did not go well:
"We were sitting there watching the game, and some cheerleaders were up there waving their pompoms," Reinard said. "Then George mentioned that he used to be a cheerleader at Yale. I didn't know what to say to that one, so I just drank the rest of my beer real fast."

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Big Oil and Pharmaceuticals

Perhaps I was wrong this week... the problem isn't getting these corporations to do something "nice" for the rest of us, it's having politicians who won't constantly look for ways to make it easier for them to actively screw us. Observe:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- People injured by a vaccine against bird flu or anthrax would have to prove willful misconduct to bring a claim for damages against drug manufacturers or distributors, according to legislation being drafted behind the scenes by Republicans.
A White House document shows that executives from big oil companies met with Vice President Cheney's energy task force in 2001 -- something long suspected by environmentalists but denied as recently as last week by industry officials testifying before Congress.
One of my "study guides" for this week's 'toon was The Corporation, which talks about the effect of "externalities"... the rule of business which directs a corporation to maximize profits by making others pay for its negative impact. Go rent it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Wednesday Comic

Yet another good one from Luckovich...

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Religion, Buddhism

In the news this weekend (via Cursor): the Dalai Lama addressed a group of scientists in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, and declared that "science and Buddhism share a quest of open investigation into the nature of reality, and science can be a pathway to discovering well-being and happiness."

While I don't consider myself a member of any one religious group, I have found that some of the ideas in Buddhism (and really Eastern philosophy in general) lend clarity and perspective to questions of reality that, in our society, become impossibly bogged down with fanatical Christian dogma. These days, the "fair and balanced" mainstream media is so absolutely terrified of condemning this movement of fanatics as a bad thing, that we the viewing public are endlessly subjected to their exclusionary rantings. For some reason, as Americans, it is automatically presumed that we will afford credibility to fire-breathing maniacs simply because they claim to speak in the name of Christianity.

Right now, I'm reading Zen and the Art of Insight by Thomas Cleary:
For us in the West, who have been exposed to some of the worst religious persecutions in the history of the world, and even today hear of violence for and against all around the globe, it may be emotionally and intellectually difficult even to conceive of religion that is not based on dogma, belief, or worship. Yet that is precisely what we find within Buddhism, which aims for direct perception of truth and reality, not defense of doctrine or destruction of dissenters. (Introduction, IX)
Great book so far... recommended.

Monday, November 14, 2005

11/14/05 Cartoon

If you're interested, you can catch the previous episodes of "The Corporation Guys" here and here.

It occurs to me that I should probably get back to these recurring series' more often than once every 5 or 6 months. I was firing off a "Fuzzy Bunny" cartoon every couple of weeks there for a while, because I was trying to bring that story to some kind of completion to meet a deadline. So, maybe not THAT frequent, but I'm trying to get a regular rotation going...

Friday, November 11, 2005

Friday Comic

Mikhaela B. Reid's new one is a must-see: other problems Dick Cheney can fix with torture...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Greatest of All Time

Was the Champ making a statement here?

Bush, who appeared almost playful, fastened the heavy medal around Muhammad Ali's neck and whispered something in the heavyweight champion's ear. Then, as if to say "bring it on," the president put up his dukes in a mock challenge. Ali, 63, who has Parkinson's disease and moves slowly, looked the president in the eye -- and, finger to head, did the "crazy" twirl for a couple of seconds.

The room of about 200, including Cabinet secretaries, tittered with laughter. Ali, who was then escorted back to his chair, made the twirl again while sitting down. And the president looked visibly taken aback, laughing nervously.

A spokesman for Ali quickly clarified that it was all a joke, but I'd like to think that it may have meant a little more coming from a man who once said this:

Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

My Lifelong Dream...

If I work hard, stay focused, and eat my vegetables, maybe someday I too can have an FBI file and appear on George W. Bush's Enemies List.

(via Cursor)

Monday, November 07, 2005

Monday Comix

Mike Luckovich is a Bad Man (in the Muhammad Ali sense of the term).

Steve Moore ("In the Bleachers"): not political, but I thought it was cute.

Friday, November 04, 2005


Don't forget: Aaron Magruder's Boondocks premiers on Adult Swim Sunday night at 11. Should be cool.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Finally... a little HONESTY

Michael Scanlon on his fellow conservatives:

Consider one memo highlighted in a Capitol Hill hearing Wednesday that Scanlon, a former aide to Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, sent the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana to describe his strategy for protecting the tribe's gambling business. In plain terms, Scanlon confessed the source code of recent Republican electoral victories: target religious conservatives, distract everyone else, and then railroad through complex initiatives.

"The wackos get their information through the Christian right, Christian radio, mail, the internet and telephone trees," Scanlon wrote in the memo, which was read into the public record at a hearing of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. "Simply put, we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them."

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Did You Know...

In the wake of Katrina, Fat-Assed radio host Rush Limbaugh referred to New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin as "Mayor Nagger." Listen and judge for yourself whether it was just a slip of the tongue. And then remember that this is a guy who, according to FAIR:

As a young broadcaster in the 1970s, Limbaugh once told a black caller: "Take that bone out of your nose and call me back." A decade ago, after becoming nationally syndicated, he mused on the air: "Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?"

In 1992, on his now-defunct TV show, Limbaugh expressed his ire when Spike Lee urged that black schoolchildren get off from school to see his film Malcolm X: "Spike, if you're going to do that, let's complete the education experience. You should tell them that they should loot the theater, and then blow it up on their way out."

In a similar vein, here is Limbaugh's mocking take on the NAACP, a group with a ninety-year commitment to nonviolence: "The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies."

When Carol Moseley-Braun (D-IL) was in the U.S. Senate, the first black woman ever elected to that body, Limbaugh would play the "Movin' On Up" theme song from TV's "Jeffersons" when he mentioned her. Limbaugh sometimes still uses mock dialect -- substituting "ax" for "ask"-- when discussing black leaders.

As you may know, this vile piece of human filth has an audience of 15 million weekly listeners, and is heard by our soldiers abroad on taxpayer-funded American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS). Notice that Media Matters provides a link to his syndicate (of course, a subsidiary of Clear Channel), so you can contact them and tell them what you think of this sub-human savage.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Dems Find Cojones

The Democrats ate their Wheaties this morning:
Democrats said that report was a year overdue and vowed to close more sessions to pressure Republicans to produce it. "We're serving notice on them at this moment. Be prepared for this motion every day until you face the reality," said Senate Democratic Whip Richard Durbin of Illinois.

Republicans were outraged.

"The United States Senate has been hijacked by the Democratic leadership," Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee said. "Never have I been slapped in the face with such an affront to the leadership of this grand institution."
He's so mad he thinks he's gonna explode!

Monday, October 31, 2005

10/31/05 Cartoon

I have detected a slight misunderstanding with regards to the point I was trying to make with this 'toon. Yes, the character is a parody of Judith Miller, but it wasn't necessarily meant to be exactly like her. Specifically, I have no evidence that she is an abnormally bubbly or animated person (aside from that giant self-satisfied grin she always seems to have on her face), nor do I know if she actually once did restaurant reviews or interviewed celebrities. Mainly, I was attempting to present a satirical critique of some of the decisions she's made as a journalist, which have been, shall we say, "ill-advised."

Saturday, October 29, 2005


Raw Story is not backing down, and is saying that it is quite possible that Rove will still be indicted next week. The Washington Post agrees that he is still under scrutiny.

Cross your fingers...

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Thursday Comic

Powerful Luckovich 'toon on the 2000th military death in Iraq.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Raw Story (yet again, via Cursor) has it:

Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has asked the grand jury investigating the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson to indict Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and Bush’s Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, lawyers close to the investigation tell RAW STORY.
Fitzgerald has also asked the jury to indict Libby on a second charge: knowingly outing a covert operative, the lawyers said. They said the prosecutor believes that Libby violated a 1982 law that made it illegal to unmask an undercover CIA agent.
NOW we've got a show...

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Cooked Goose?

Lawrence O'Donnell (via Cursor) makes an interesting point about the chances of indictments being issued, should Fitzgerald ask for them:

A typical Washington, D.C. grand jury is about 75% African American. Fitzgerald’s is slightly more than that. This is not the kind of group Karl Rove feels at home with. He has no professional experience trying to appeal to a group like this. He has been so unsuccessful at it that his boss’s job approval rating with African Americans is now 2%, which, factoring in the margin of error, could actually be zero. To make matters statistically and demographically much worse for Rove and Scooter Libby, only 12 of the 23 grand jurors have to agree to indict them.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Monday Comix

Shannon Wheeler has obviously been to downtown Seattle.

Tom Toles on Bush's inner circle.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Friday Comic

Brian McFadden tells the story of another Massachusetts Halloween tradition (the fifth frame gave me a laugh)...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Breakin' th' LAW...

Daily DeLay has a copy of the arrest warrant (via Cursor)...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The World's Top Intellectual

...according to Prospect Magazine, is to no one's surprise, Noam Chomsky. Umberto Eco was second. Coincidentally (or not), I was reading both of them last week while researching cartoon ideas. The "Democra-Bludgeon" is a not-so-veiled reference to Chomsky's quote: "Propaganda is to democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state..."

The validity of the poll as a whole was questionable, though. Christopher Hitchens? Paul Wolfowitz?! Howard Zinn and Arundhati Roy had to be "write-ins?" Give me a break...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

New Patron

Fighting Words is now running on the Opinion pages of Flak Magazine, an online "noncomprehensive guide to everything." Check it out.

Cheney Resigning?

Atrios points us to the existence of rumors of a Cheney resignation over the Plame investigation, as TalkLeft suggests it was Rove that flipped on Cheney. US News says that this would clear the way for Bush to elevate apparently the last black person in America that still supports him to the Vice Presidency.

Of course, Cheney resigning would be a historic development and I would absolutely be doing backflips, but I have to say that I would miss doing Cheney characters... the guy is such an easy target.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Monday Comix

Shannon Wheeler knows my pain.

Mike Luckovich is on quite a roll.

Friday, October 14, 2005


Ah, Scott-Bot... that "asshole" program of yours will not win you any friends in the press corps:

THOMAS: What does the President mean by "total victory" -- that we will never leave Iraq until we have "total victory"? What does that mean?

McCLELLAN: Free and democratic Iraq in the heart of the Middle East, because a free and democratic Iraq in the heart of the Middle East will be a major blow to the ambitions --

THOMAS: If they ask us to leave, then we'll leave?

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm trying to respond. A free and democratic Iraq in the heart of the broader Middle East will be a major blow to the ambitions of al Qaeda and their terrorist associates. They want to establish or impose their rule over the broader Middle East -- we saw that in the Zawahiri letter that was released earlier this week by the intelligence community.

THOMAS: They also know we invaded Iraq.

McCLELLAN: Well, Helen, the President recognizes that we are engaged in a global war on terrorism. And when you're engaged in a war, it's not always pleasant, and it's certainly a last resort. But when you engage in a war, you take the fight to the enemy, you go on the offense. And that's exactly what we are doing. We are fighting them there so that we don't have to fight them here. September 11th taught us --

THOMAS: It has nothing to do with -- Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

McCLELLAN: Well, you have a very different view of the war on terrorism, and I'm sure you're opposed to the broader war on terrorism. The President recognizes this requires a comprehensive strategy, and that this is a broad war, that it is not a law enforcement matter.Terry.

TERRY MORAN: On what basis do you say Helen is opposed to the broader war on terrorism?

McCLELLAN: Well, she certainly expressed her concerns about Afghanistan and Iraq and going into those two countries. I think I can go back and pull up her comments over the course of the past couple of years.

MORAN: And speak for her, which is odd.

McCLELLAN: No, I said she may be, because certainly if you look at her comments over the course of the past couple of years, she's expressed her concerns --

THOMAS: I'm opposed to preemptive war, unprovoked preemptive war.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- she's expressed her concerns.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


I've been getting into a new comic: The Perry Bible Fellowship. Actually, it's not new, I was just never able to access it before because of my pathetically slow internet connection. Don't let the name fool you... it's damn funny.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Right Way to Rebuild...

In researching this week's 'toon, I came across a particularly good article written by Tulane Law Professor David Gelfand:

Recently, The Wall Street Journal chillingly described plans of the "power elite" to rebuild New Orleans "in a completely different way: demographically, geographically, and politically." Unless we insist upon an inclusive, cooperative, localized approach to the planning of restoration of New Orleans, that narrow power elite will have their way. They will do so by conspiring with the companies that currently feed at the federal government's trough with massive, no-bid contracts for "redevelopment" abroad, and which may already have received some contracts for the "new" New Orleans.


(T)he "new" New Orleans should take account of the racial impacts of demolition and reconstruction. A model for this could come from the racial justice movement in the environmental field. Though the movement has typically focused on challenges to the location of undesirable industrial plants in poor and minority neighborhoods, it provides mechanisms for assessing the racial impact of changes - even those deemed "gentrification" by the developers -- on a particular neighborhood.

Unfortunately, I never got the chance to take a class from Gelfand when I was there. I could say that about a lot of the professors, though... I wasn't "there" that much.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Reconstruction Screw-Up

Paul Krugman makes the point better than I did in my cartoon, in his column exploring the ways in which the administration will screw up reconstruction in New Orleans:

Since the administration is already nickel-and-diming Katrina’s victims, it’s a good bet that it will do the same with reconstruction - that is, if reconstruction ever gets started. Nobody thinks that reconstruction should already be under way. But what’s striking to me is that there are no visible signs that the administration has even begun developing a plan. No reconstruction czar has been appointed; no commission has been named. There have been no public hearings. And as far as we can tell, nobody is in charge. Last month The New York Times reported that Karl Rove had been placed in charge of post-Katrina reconstruction. But last week Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, denied that Mr. Rove - who has become a lot less visible lately, as speculation swirls about possible indictments in the Plame case - was ever running reconstruction. So who is in charge? “The president,” said Mr. McClellan.


I’ve been reading “Off Center,” an important new book by Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, political scientists at Yale and Berkeley respectively. Their goal is to explain how Republicans, who face a generally moderate electorate and have won recent national elections by “the slimmest of margins,” have nonetheless been able to advance a radical rightist agenda. One of their “new rules for radicals” is “Don’t just do something, stand there.” Frontal assaults on popular government programs tend to fail, as Mr. Bush learned in his hapless attempt to sell Social Security privatization. But as Mr. Hacker and Mr. Pierson point out, “sometimes decisions not to act can be a powerful means of reshaping the role of government.”

When I suggested that their natural course of action would be to award giant reconstruction contracts to corporate bigwigs, what I didn't specify was that I think this is due as much to pathetically poor planning as it is to blatant patronage.

My general point was that it should no longer come as a surprise to ANYONE when this administration demonstrates yet again just how incompetent they are with regards to governing.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Monday Comix

A couple good ones from today:

Matt Bors came up with a pretty cool format idea for today's 'toon.

Ted Rall has the Generalissimo tapping into the "Strategic Popularity Reserve."

Friday, October 07, 2005


...via Bartcop:

REVISED: someone pointed out to me that I should probably link directly to Luckovich's 'toon on the AJC site rather than just assuming I have permission to reproduce the image. I should know better. Sorry Mike.

...anyway, it's a funny cartoon.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


By the way...

The article by Robert McNamara that was my source for the most recent 'toon is here .

And, of course, if you never got a chance to see The Fog of War, go out and rent it immediately. Outstanding.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

"The Hammer"

How about a break from Katrina posts? The second indictment of DeLay contains a money-laundering charge that carries a penalty of up to life in prison.

I'll wait for you to stop giggling... OK.

Of course, we've already seen him as a mob boss, a pimp, a pro wrestler, and a child bully, so putting him in an orange jumpsuit for the rest of his life should not be too much of a stretch for the imagination.

Monday, October 03, 2005

10/3 cartoon

This is the 'toon I had done several weeks ago, before the storms came.

I've been getting emails from a friend in New Orleans:

I'm sitting in front of a coffee house, (closed on Magazine and Jefferson) right now that has wireless, so I can go on-line. More people are coming home today looks like. We still have an 8p.m. curfew, water is still not drinkable, but .. The colleges look ok from Saint Charles. It's messy, but I'm sure there was a lot cleaned up before we got home.

The areas of the city that are considered most important to the city's economic elite (i.e. Uptown, Downtown, and the French Quarter) all sound like they got slaps on the wrist, comparatively. I wonder if they'll just go back to business as usual, or if they'll take the crisis as a sign that it's time to finally push for a decent levee system?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Fighting Words news

The 'toon I did on New Orleans has been included in a couple of hurricane relief publications:

The Webcomics Hurricane Relief Telethon Book, $11.95 (left). A collection of over 100 comics from The Webcomics Hurricane Relief Telethon. All proceeds from the sales of this compilation will go to the Red Cross to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Also, The Baton Rouge Cartoonists Society has done a Hurricane Relief Anthology that debuted at SPX. Check back to this post; I'll update when I get concrete ordering information.

UPDATE: get the BRCS Relief Anthology here. Ten bucks well spent.

Saturday, September 24, 2005


Interesting how when a hurrcane destroys New Orleans, it takes Bush 4 days to get out of his lawn chair in Crawford and go do a flyover. But when a hurricane "messes with Texas," Flightsuit Boy is there on the ground the NEXT DAY.

Of course, it probably has more to do with timing and political damage-control re: the Katrina response... but who cares. Shouldn't we be long past making excuses for this idiot?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Google joke

Go to Google, type in the word "Failure," and click on "I'm feeling lucky"...

Friday, September 16, 2005

Good to see

Just so I don't leave you on the downer note of the last post...

Kermit's playing again, seen here at a venue in Houston (via

The Rove M.O.

How do we know that ol' Turd Blossum's in charge of the New Orleans situation now? Confronted with a crisis where the administration initially responded with unparalleled incompetence, Rove tries to repair the political damage by having Bush give a nice little speech in an area with a backdrop laden with powerful imagery. Of course, they have neither the ability nor the intent to actually follow through with their promises, and instead Roviavelli simply retreats to what he does best, deflecting attention by smearing a political opponent.

It has been said many times: these people do not govern, they only campaign. The only question is whether America will fall for it yet again.

Hopefully, not this time.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Webcomic Telethon

The first relief project that I'm participating in is up and running, an online "Webcomic Telethon" run by Blank Label Comics. The site is updating with a new cartoon every 20 minutes, through Thursday. Most of the cartoons relate to Katrina in some fashion; the best one I've seen so far is by Tom Stiglich.

So far, the donation totals are way beyond what I thought something like this would bring in. Great job, guys!

UPDATE: here's another good one from Eric F. Myers.

UPDATE II: ...and another one that I like, "Side Order" by Brian Hardison.

UPDATE III: Looks like they're going to extend it through Saturday now... donation total is up to $27, 135!

Monday, September 12, 2005

9/12/05 Cartoon

This one was a rather personal one for me. As I've written before, I lived in New Orleans for 3 years or so when I was in law school (using the term "in law school" loosely), and I really came of age when I was living there. I grew up in Seattle, where people tend to be pretty uptight, either due to the weather or to the pressures of adhering to the latest moronic yuppie trend. I'd never before experienced a place with an atmosphere like New Orleans, where a person finds it hard to do anything but LIVE and BE THEMSELVES. Schedules and "to-do" lists lose their importance. During the work week, people in the downtown business district don't rush around with pained looks on their faces. "Going out" doesn't mean putting on designer clothes and going to some silly dance club to interact with superficial people, and it sure as hell isn't limited to Friday and Saturday nights.

It is a place that compels you to just relax and live "honestly," for better or for worse. It isn't the healthiest place in the world to live... instead of a health-food store on every corner, there is a greasy Po-Boy shop or a bar. "Liquor stores" are basically... everywhere; any place that sells goods of any kind probably also sells booze. And they're often open 24 hours a day, like many of the bars.

Life there just flows. And I loved it.

This 'toon is slated to be included in several hurricane relief projects, with all proceeds going to the Red Cross. I'll post some links once they are confirmed.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Southern racism...

... has once again raised its ugly but ever-present head, as many in the white upper-crust claim they don't want to live with the area's black poor anymore. I had already formed this impression based on some emails I've received from the area, and it has been reinforced by articles like this one from the Wall Street Journal. This O'Dwyer character is a lawyer at the firm at which I used to work.

They seem to have forgotten that New Orleans' economy depends on tourism, and that the area's unique culture is what makes it a place people want to visit. And that we don't live in the nineteenth century anymore.

More NOLA Stories...

Three Duke University sophomores drove to New Orleans, posed as journalists, and smuggled out seven of the city's residents who weren't receiving help from authorities. (thanks Vic for the link)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Jen Sorensen has a great 'toon this week, which uses the Katrina disaster to illustrate how so many Bush policies are just inherently farcical.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


I know there's a lot of places you should donate first, i.e. organizations trying to help out people in need. But if you have the means, and you appreciate this kind of thing, THIS is what New Orleans is all about, for me.

It looks like they're back on the air, too.

Friday, September 02, 2005


The Nagin interview is here, if you haven't heard it (via Atrios).

I have to believe that as bleak as things look down there, some good will come of it nationally. Issues are bubbling to the surface, that seemingly would not have been openly discussed otherwise.

Things are looking a lot rougher locally, though. I have been in indirect contact with some friends in the law enforcement community down there, and it sounds like there's a lot of anger flowing in all directions. It's going to take a lot of time to heal these wounds.

However, another friend (not a cop) is still in New Orleans, and is still out of contact. These are the things that need to remain front and center for the moment.

UPDATE: That friend is O.K. He got his family out to Houston, and just hadn't checked in with my other buddies down there.

Bush's Fault

STILL no help there. No troops. No buses. No trucks with food. People dying. Corpses. Anarchy. Rapes. Explosions now. Fires in the Quarter. Everything's still flooded. Disease coming. 20,000 evacuees still in the convention center. STILL no help.

No metropolitan police force in the country, of proportional size, could handle this. This is WORSE than stuff you see in other countries. Louisiana is still in the union, right? This isn't a foreign country we're giving AIDE to, right?

The violence is not unique to New Orleans, or to a city with a lot of poor people, or to a city with a lot of black people. This would happen in ANY city that didn't get the help it needed from the federal government. People go into survival mode.

We're getting to a point where the responsibility falls completely on Bush's shoulders, as Commander-in-Chief. Every death and rape beyond this point is DIRECTLY ON HIS HEAD, and Mayor Ray Nagin said as much in an interview with WWL-Radio. Or it's on Kathleen Blanco's head, but last I heard the President's authority trumps the Governor of Louisiana's. (Ray Nagin's my new hero, by the way... you HAVE to hear this interview. I'll post a link if I can find it.)

This isn't a "conspiracy theory." This is completely aside from any "political" arguments about Global Warming or the "invisible hand" of capitalism or whatever. Those will come later. This has nothing to do with a difference of opinion on Social Security or flag burning or prayer in school or John Roberts.

It's just his fault now. And we should be ashamed of him.

Two of my Aikido buddies are cops in the area, and I would bet that they are there now, with the rest of the police who are desperately trying to hold the city together on their own. Both are veterans of American wars. If they die now, their deaths will be completely on Bush's head.

As Nagin said, if he doesn't answer for it right now, at least he'll have to answer for in the next life. One way or another, some good WILL come of this.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

More places YOU can help

Billmon has a really well-done list.

Please note especially the Humane Society... not to diminish the human toll, but just because there are always a TON of great pets who were "rescues" down there, including my boy:

Yes, HERE'S where the military is...

There are going to be a lot of angry questions asked in the coming weeks, and many people are already asking them. As soon as I can unglue myself from the television, watching my favorite place in the world get destroyed, I'll get into this too.

Putting the issues of "Global Warming" and "wealth disparities" on hold for a moment, here's a place to start, since it is IMMEDIATELY apparent:

At least one source has the total number of Mississippi and Louisiana Reserves and Guardsmen who could be helping their own people at home right now at 8,902.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


WHERE THE FUCK IS THE MILITARY? Where the hell ARE the "paratroopers on every corner?" There should be an entire freakin' brigade in New Orleans RIGHT NOW. The help's been "on the way" for like 3 days now... are they coming in from Saturn?

Can you imagine the federal government allowing this to happen in New York? In San Francisco? In Seattle? In Washington D.C.?!

This is just surreal.

NOLA stories

Unreal. This is from Some of this occurred in the Uptown area, where I used to live. I used to go to the Maple Leaf and Cooter Brown's frequently. Note in particular the references to the utter incompetence exhibited so far by the federal government.

(this won't appear as a quote because apparently Blogger doesn't work well with Safari)

City a woeful scene
Tuesday, 10:14 p.m.

By Brian Thevenot, Gordon Russell, Keith Spera and Doug MacCash
Staff writers

Sitting on a black barrel amid the muck and stench near the St. Claude Avenue bridge, 52-year-old Daniel Weber broke into a sob, his voice cracking as he recounted how he had watched his wife drown and spent the next 14 hours floating in the polluted flood waters, his only life line a piece of driftwood.


Then, in an evening press conference, Mayor Ray Nagin announced that the already crippled city would take yet another blow: Another surge of water from the failed 17th Street Canal levee that could push an additional 10 feet of water into already waterlogged neighborhoods – and possibly flood the remaining dry sections of Uptown.

The expected surge stems from a failure to execute a plan to dump sandbags via helicopter into the 200 yard wide breach. Nagin offered up no culprit but promised to investigate the matter.

"I thought everyone understood this morning that that was the highest priority," the mayor said. "It didn’t get done. Now there’s nothing to slow down the pace of the water."


Those trapped in the city faced an increasingly lawless environment, as law enforcement agencies found themselves overwhelmed with widespread looting. Looters swarmed the Wal-mart on Tchoupitoulas Street, often bypassing the food and drink section to steal wide-screen TVs, jewelry, bicycles and computers. Watching the sordid display and shaking his head in disgust, one firefighter said of the scene: "It’s a f---- hurricane, what are you do with a basketball goal?"

Police regained control at about 3 p.m., after clearing the store with armed patrol. One shotgun-toting Third District detective described the looting as "ferocious."

"And it’s going to get worse as the days progress," he said.

In Uptown, one the few areas that remained dry, a bearded man patrolled Oak Street near the boarded-up Maple Leaf Bar, a sawed-off shotgun slung over his shoulder. The owners of a hardware store sat in folding chairs, pistols at the ready.

Uptown resident Keith Williams started his own security patrol, driving around in his Ford pickup with his newly purchased handgun. Earlier in the day, Williams said he had seen the body of a gunshot victim near the corner of Leonidas and Hickory streets.

"What I want to know is why we don’t have paratroopers with machine guns on every street," Williams said.

Like-minded Art Depodesta sat on the edge of a picnic table outside Cooter Brown’s Bar, a chrome shotgun at his side loaded with red shells.

"They broke into the Shell station across the street," he said. "I walked over with my 12-gauge and shot a couple into the air."

The looters scattered, but soon after, another man appeared outside the bar in a pickup truck armed with a pistol and threatened Depodesta.

"I told him, ‘Listen, I was in the Army and I will blow your ass off,’" Depodesta said. "We’ve got enough trouble with the flood."

The man sped away.

"You know what sucks," Depodesta said. "The whole U.S. is looking at this city right now, and this is what they see."

In the Bywater, a supply store sported spray-painted signs reading "You Loot, I Shoot" and "You Bein Watched." A man seated nearby with a rifle in his lap suggested it was no idle threat. At the Bywater studio of Dr. Bob, the artist known for handpainted "Be Nice or Leave" signs, a less fanciful sentiment was painted on the wall: "Looters Will Be Shot. Dr. Bob."

As the afternoon faded, aggression filled the air on the neutral ground of Poland Avenue as well, as people grew increasingly frustrated with the rescue effort. Having already survived one nightmare, a woman with five children feared going to go to the Dome, saying that some of the men preparing to board transport vehicles had smuggled razor blades with them.

On the other side of the bridge, rescue boats continued to offload as many as 15 people at a time late into the afternoon, with no end in sight. Some said they had seen dead bodies floating by their boats.

Many stumbled from dehydration as they made their way onto dry land. Several rescue workers said some of the people trapped were so shell-shocked or stubborn they refused to leave their houses. "If you can figure that one out, let me know," said Oscar Dupree, a volunteer who had been trapped on a roof himself and returned to help save others.

The scene called to mind a refugee camp in a Third World nation. Liquor flowed freely and tempers flared amid complaints about the pace of the relief effort, which seemed to overwhelm the agencies involved and the city’s inability to contain flood waters.

As they emerged from rescue boats, at times wobbling and speaking incoherently, many of the rescued seem stunned they had not died. Johnell Johnson of Marais street said she had been trapped on her roof " with a handicapped man with one damn leg." Gerald Wimberly wept as he recounted his unsuccessful effort to help a young girl, who rescuers ultimately saved. Dupree said he had seen a young man he knew drown. "I just couldn’t get to him," he said. "I had to tell his people."

Weber, the man who lost his wife, seemed at the breaking point as he waited, surrounded by anger and filth, for a National Guard truck to ferry him to the Dome. After 14 hours of floating on a piece of wood, volunteers who knew him had fished him out.

"Another hour, I would have just let myself drown," he said.

A moment later, staring ahead to a bleak future without his wife, he said he almost wished he had.

"I’m not going to make it. I know I’m not."

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

More Katrina

Yikes, it's looking bad. It's pretty tough watching all these great places get destroyed, and it's looking like the human toll is going to be terrible.

I'm sure all my friends got out, but a few of them had just bought or built houses, and they must be going crazy (I know at least one of them is, she sent me an email).

I put some updated Red Cross info on the image substituting for a cartoon this week. You can bet that I'll be volunteering.

I've found the best place for news on the N.O. situation is, which is the Times-Picayune's site.

Sunday, August 28, 2005


I had a new cartoon ready, but I decided instead to put up some info on how to help victims of the hurricane. I lived in New Orleans for a few years, and absolutely fell in love with it. When you live there, you hear a lot of talk about how they keep dodging the "big one" that would leave the city under 20 feet of water and kill thousands. It's not looking too good right now, though.

Once I can track down some more specific links on how to help, I'll post them.

I might still put up the new toon this week if the damage doesn't turn out to be so bad, but as you can see on TV, it doesn't look promising.


Bush came out to supposedly talk about the hurricane, but spent most of the time blubbering out his pathetic rhetoric on Iraq. What a piece of shit.

More to come on Katrina.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

How much you'll pay for Iraq

The New York Times says that if the American military presence in Iraq lasts another five years, the total outlay for the war could stretch to more than $1.3 trillion, or $11,300 for every household in the United States.

Monday, August 22, 2005

August 22, 2005 cartoon

Hi, there... long time no blog. Sorry about that...

For some reason, blogger is not letting me post links. When it does, I'll link to some articles on the people I mention in this cartoon.

I did feel that this was an important point to make, about how certain Republican figures, who make their living by employing ignorant and blatantly racist rhetoric that is quite reprehensible by any modern standard, seem to have been given a certain level of credibility in our public discourse that is unacceptable.

However, after I read and write about these people, and draw cartoons featuring them, I feel like I've been swimming in SEWAGE. Seriously.

I'm going to make every effort in the near future to get back to making arguments on substantive issues!

UPDATE: read about Hal Turner, Wes Pruden and the Washington Times, and the Republican Freedom Calendar.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

James Dobson is completely insane

Influential Religious-Right leader James "God Boy" Dobson says that embryonic stem-cell research is comparable to WWII Nazi experiments.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Need more cartoons?

Readers may notice the ad below my newest 'toon this week. After you read Fighting Words every Monday, click on over to Idiot Box by Matt Bors for more edge-of-your-seat political commentary. Idiot Box is one of several cartoons (including, ahem, Fighting Words) that are poised to take over the world as contributors to Ted Rall's Attitude 3, set for release in February of 2006.

Since I've been pretty lazy about updating my Links page lately, here are some of the other Attitude 3 'toons:

Adam's Rust, by Adam Rust
xOverboard, by August Pollack
Big Fat Whale, by Brian McFadden
Cat and Girl, by Dorothy
Diesel Sweeties, by R. Stevens
Dinosaur Comics, by Ryan North
Fetus X, by Eric M.
the ass-kicking Mark Fiore
HumorInk., by M.e. Cohen
I Drew This, by David Craig Simpson
Idleworm, by Dermot and Caragh O'Connor
La Petite Camera, by Garrot Gaston
Making It, by Keith Robinson
Newshounds, by Thomas K. Dye
Ozy & Millie, by David Craig Simpson
PartiallyClips, by Rob T. Balder
The Perry Bible Fellowship, by Nicholas Gurewitch

...and possibly some others that I'm not aware of.

I'm told you can pre-order your copy in November! When I have a link for that, you can bet your ass I'll post it.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Michelle Malkin

Commenting on the Sheehan affair.

Oh, the words to describe Michelle Malkin. A quote from Fight Club comes to mind:

MARLA: She's a monster! She's infectious
human waste! Good luck trying to save her!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

"Bush is No Nixon"

While commenting on the plight of Cindy Sheehan, the mother who has been "made to stand in a ditch" in Crawford while waiting for Bush to simply talk to her about her dead soldier son, William Rivers Pitt says that this presents a distinction between George W. Bush and Richard Nixon:

The Nixon and Bush administrations share a number of fascinating similarities. Both inspired stunning vituperation from those who opposed them. Hunter S. Thompson, avowed life-long foe of Nixon, remembered him this way: "Let there be no mistake in the history books about that. Richard Nixon was an evil man - evil in a way that only those who believe in the physical reality of the Devil can understand it. He was utterly without ethics or morals or any bedrock sense of decency. Nobody trusted him - except maybe the Stalinist Chinese, and honest historians will remember him mainly as a rat who kept scrambling to get back on the ship."


Nixon, on the other hand, went a different way one interesting and significant night. In May of 1970, right after the Kent State shootings, when civil unrest across the nation had reached a fever pitch and opposition to the war had roared again to the forefront, Nixon woke his personal valet in the middle of the night. He grabbed a few Secret Service agents and set off for the Lincoln Memorial. There, he spent an hour talking with a large gathering of war protesters encamped around the monument.

The Time Magazine article from May 18, 1970, recalls the scene this way: "When the conversation turned to the war, Nixon told the students: 'I know you think we are a bunch of so and so's.'" Before he left, Nixon said: 'I know you want to get the war over. Sure you came here to demonstrate and shout your slogans on the ellipse. That's all right. Just keep it peaceful. Have a good time in Washington, and don't go away bitter.' The singular odyssey went on. Nixon and his small contingent wandered through the capital, then drove to the Mayflower Hotel for a breakfast of corned beef hash and eggs - his first restaurant meal in Washington since he assumed power. Then he withdrew to his study in the Executive Office Building to sit out the day of protest."

There will be a large anti-war protest in Washington DC on September 24th. Is it even conceivable that George W. Bush might remove himself from the White House that day to speak with the people who disagree with his leadership? The idea is laughable on its face.

Cindy Sheehan is not in a large crowd in Washington DC. She is not camped on the Lincoln Memorial. She waits for Mr. Bush in a ditch by the side of the road in Crawford, arguably the safest and most comfortable spot in America for this self-styled cowboy. Yet he does not emerge to speak to this woman who lost her son to his war. Somehow, it seems a safe bet that not even Richard Nixon would keep this woman waiting.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Indispensible news sites

There are two websites that I frequent, without which I would be utterly lost in the murky forest of unreliable media outlets. The two sites are Cursor and Media Matters for America. It doesn't take much imagination to envision a future where "broadcast journalism" has completely run itself into the ground, and has been replaced by websites like these as the sources most people trust for their news and current events.

Most likely, if you get any of your news from the web, you already know about these sites. If not, bookmark them immediately, and maybe shell out a few bucks for Cursor when they do their pledge drives.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Ding-dong, the douchebag's dead!

Reaction to CNN's suspension of Robert Novak (via Atrios).

I had a cartoon idea percolating a while ago, that I just never got around to. It would have been a new series, called "People I'd Love to Beat the Living Crap Out Of." In a typical CNN talking-head format, some bloviating pseudo-journalist would come out and spew his wretched propaganda all around, and instead of a response, someone would just slam that guy's head on the desk 8 or 9 times. Novak was to be #1.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Typically, I try to avoid mixing my sports with the "monkeys-throwing-feces" spectacle that is daily politics. I don't like having to start hating a guy who used to be one of my favorite players, just because of his off-the-field political ties.

However... I never really liked Raffy anyway, so I thought this was mentionable:

Chances are that Bush's "good friend" Palmeiro started hitting the needle while a member of the Dubya-owned Texas Rangers, which was reportedly a "crackhouse for juiced players."

Sunday, July 31, 2005

What?! Another stinkin' repeat?

Yeah, sorry. I just finished a rather large project last week, and was out of town over the weekend for a friend's wedding. So, cranking out a new cartoon was simply beyond my capabilities.

The next one will kick ass, I promise.

Monday, July 25, 2005

July 25, 2005 cartoon

The Kirkpatrick Sale article I refer to is here.

Friday, July 22, 2005


I think what I find most concerning about him is not his stance on abortion (which Media Matters points out may not be what the media says it is), it's the fact that he co-wrote the amicus brief on behalf of the government in Lee v. Weisman (1991). Roberts argued that it did not violate the First Amendment's Establishment Clause for a public school to sponsor a prayer at graduation ceremonies, in part because the ceremony was voluntary. The Court disagreed, and correctly found that the prayer was not "voluntary" in any real sense, and that the practice was coercive.

O'Connor sided with the majority opinion, and was a swing vote in that decision.

Bush has given every indication up to this point that he intends to only pick people who will be dutiful soldiers in his Evangelical crusade, who will do whatever it takes to further blur the distinction between our Jeffersonian democracy and government by theocracy.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

"George W. Strangelove"

Dubya's approach to checking nuclear proliferation around the globe? Encouraging it:

President Bush agreed yesterday to share civilian nuclear technology with India, reversing decades of U.S. policies designed to discourage countries from developing nuclear weapons.

Norman Solomon points out that this makes it difficult for us to convincingly question the merits of nuclear fundamentalism in Iran, and reminds us:

A civil atomic pact, signed in 1957, initiated nuclear assistance from the United States to Iran. In 1972, President Richard Nixon urged the Shah to build nuclear power plants. The Shah fell in 1979, but after many delays the Islamic Republic resumed work on the nuclear plant near Bushehr, a project that is currently being denounced in Washington.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Now it gets messy...

While The NY Times reports that it was Novak who told Rove that Plame was with the CIA, and Novak says all his sources came to him, E&P says we are now into "what did the President know and when did he know it" territory.

Of course, we've been there with about 4 or 5 Bush administration scandals already, so who knows if anybody will actually be held accountable.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Mallard Fillmore

Apparently, the creator of this unfunny piece of crap just realized there was a parody of his cartoon in Jon Stewart's book, America, and he's out for payback. His response? Drawing Jon Stewart with a giant Jewish-charicature hook nose.

The kids at Comics Journal Message Board have a pretty good thread going about this.

I wish I could get away with drawing a cute little propaganda-spewing duck over and over, with a lame joke at the end that only a 5 year-old could appreciate... but I guess I have higher expectations of myself.


As the Wall Street Journal dutifully strains to spin the Rove scandal (like a good little mouthpiece), the LA Times reminds us that Rove was fired from George H.W. Bush's second presidential campaign because of suspicions that he leaked information to Robert Novak.

The Times article supplies additional fascinating backstory:
But Rove developed an increasingly close relationship with the president's son George — a relationship that began on a spring day in 1973, when the elder Bush asked Rove to pick up his son at Washington's Union Station to give the visiting Harvard Business School student the keys to the family car. By Rove's own description, young Karl Rove was awed at first sight.
Sometimes these cartoons just write themselves...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Upcoming Pub's

I haven't had a chance to update my "About" information recently, but I've confirmed that Fighting Words will be seen in at least two coming anthologies. The one that will probably appear first is called the "Weird Illustrated" (published by Rubber Chicken Funnies), a collection of comics that are, well, "weird." While I don't consider my cartoons inherently weird, I do think they are subversive, which I suppose is good enough.

The other collection is Ted Rall's third installment of the Attitude series, which should be big for me. I believe the first two installments had a pretty wide circulation, and they featured all the familiar names in alternative political cartooning -- Tom Tomorrow, Jen Sorensen, Lloyd Dangle, Ruben Bolling, Andy Singer, David Rees, Keith Knight, Aaron Magruder... and, of course, Ted himself.

Attitude 3 will probably start appearing on shelves in the Spring of 2006.

Friday, July 08, 2005


Bush, Blair Deadlocked on Global Warming:

Bush today refused to budge, warning that such mandatory standards could cripple the U.S. economy and prove feckless if big polluters like China and India are not included, which they are not under Kyoto.


If a consensus is not reach by 2012, when the Kyoto agreement expires, "then we've got a real problem for the future," Blair warned. The prime minister's decision to talk about concrete solutions next decade represents a setback to Blair and others who believe scientists warning of a dangerous rise in the earth's temperature are right.

Those "others who believe" would be the 94 percent of Americans who say we need to curb greenhouse gas emissions now.

Meanwhile, China and India have lined up behind Kyoto, leaving just us (or rather, just Bush).

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Judith Miller

The judge makes a great point:
(Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan) said Miller was mistaken in her belief that she was defending a free press. He stressed that the government source she "alleges she is protecting" had already waived her promise of confidentiality. He said her source may have been providing information not to shed light on government secrets but to try to discredit an administration critic."This is not a case of a whistle-blower" revealing secret information to Miller about "dangers at a nuclear power plant," Hogan said. "It's a case in which the information she was given and her potential use of it was a crime. . . . This is very different than a whistle-blower outing government misconduct."

Karl Rove (assuming it was him) wasn't doing anything more noble or righteous than engaging in a personal attack against Joe Wilson and his wife. He violated federal law for the purpose of political payback.

So, if a serial killer phones up a reporter, gives his name and address, and says he is about to claim another victim, that reporter can't be expected to divulge his source? I don't think the courts have ever acknowledged that level of professional confidentiality, not even for doctors or lawyers.

Plus, Judith Miller is certainly no paragon of journalistic integrity.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


This has been out for a while, but Seattle-area writer David Neiwert recently did an excellent six-part series, titled "The Rise of Pseudo Fascism."

As I recall, this piece was what originally inspired me to do the "Fuzzy Bunny" series.

Monday, July 04, 2005

July 4, 2005 cartoon

Because my cartoon is so literary, sometimes I get a little nervous about providing sufficient attribution when I directly quote someone else's writing. It is a cartoon, however, so this can be a little difficult. I am usually presenting the quote in the context of a conversation between two characters, which I would like to read and sound... conversational. At the same time, it's not exactly practical to footnote a comic strip.

I'm guessing the blog might be able to help me here, in terms of full disclosure. In today's strip, the "one author" I am referring to is Bill Moyers, of whom I am a huge fan. The Owl character is loosely based on him (I'm hoping he wouldn't be too upset about the word "old"... that doesn't refer specifically to him, it just sounded right for the character). I went to see Moyers speak at the Paramount Theater in Seattle a few weeks ago, and the quotes and basic argument came out of some notes I took. He is an outstanding public speaker... if he is giving a presentation in your area, I highly recommend seeing it.

The idea of "identifying up" came from a good article from a couple weeks ago by Arlie Hochschild.

Friday, July 01, 2005

O'Connor resigning

Slate has a list of possible Bush nominees, while Atrios suggests this guy.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Right... nothing like Vietnam

Bush channels LBJ, circa 1965:
"To abandon this small and brave nation to its enemies, and to the terror that must follow, would be an unforgivable wrong," Johnson said. "To withdraw from one battlefield means only to prepare for the next." At that moment, only 400 American boys had died in the rice paddies.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Good for her

Nancy Pelosi on Bush's contemptible speech last night:
"The president's frequent references to the terrorist attacks of September 11 show the weakness of his arguments," House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said. "He is willing to exploit the sacred ground of 9/11, knowing that there is no connection between 9/11 and the war in Iraq."

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


I thought it was about time I set up an area where I could communicate with the readers of Fighting Words a little, keeping y'all up to date on developments with the cartoon, new clients, publications to watch for, etc.

...also, of course, a place for me to pontificate on the issues like the other 8 billion idiots out there who think people should be interested in what they think!

Actually, I probably won't do much pontificating, but I will post links to articles that I have found interesting, and other good lefty propaganda that I come across in my weekly research for the new 'toons.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Test test test test test test