Monday, July 30, 2007

More on Impeachment, Accountability...

Yeah, that's right... I put Alberto in a pimped out lowrider.

Some articles for this week's 'toon:
  • For info on Harriet Miers' refusal to respond to a subpoena to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, see reporting by Richard B. Schmitt. Long story short, it pays to have friends in high places.

    John Dean also has an excellent column on this. He concludes that the only way this is going to be resolved without making a complete joke out of the Constitution and the institution of Congress (since Republicans don't seem to care much about this), is for the House to exercise it's own "inherent contempt" power to "prosecute contumacious witnesses to require them to comply."

    Yeah, I had to look up "contumacious" too...

  • On Alberto, check out a WaPo editorial that documents a few of his bald-faced lies to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    And, lo and behold, it looks like some House Democrats are now going to introduce a resolution to impeach him.

  • On Evil Dick, check out another good Dean column. Just a few of the laws that the Cheney branch of government doesn't have to follow: the War Powers Act, FISA, the Geneva Conventions, the War Crimes Act, the Presidential Records Act, and Dubya's own Executive Order 12958.

    Perhaps he should be impeached, too. That might be good.

  • On impeachment, Gary Kamiya has an outstanding column on how pursuing the impeachment of Bush would force Americans to confront some unpleasant truths about ourselves:

    The problem is that the American people are not judging Bush by the standards of law.

    This society-wide diminution of respect for law has helped Bush immeasurably. It is not just the law that America has turned away from, but what the law stands for -- accountability, memory, history and logic itself. That anonymous senior Bush advisor who spoke with surreal condescension of "the reality-based community" may have summed up our cultural moment more acutely than anyone else in years. A society without memory, driven by ephemeral emotions, which demands no consistency from its leaders but only gusty patriotism, is a society that is not about to engage in the painful self-examination that impeachment would mean.

    See also Bill Moyers' discussion on the topic of impeachment, Ethan J. Leib and David Ponet's call for ethical training for politicians who refuse to follow the wishes of their constituents on issues like this, and the site, which has lots of pictures showing "the people's impeachment movement."

    What about Russ Feingold's censure proposal? Dave Lindorff is not a big fan of the idea, nor of Feingold for suggesting it. I agree... it would be meaningless.

Oh God Yes...

This story is so delicious, it just has to be fattening...

The Duke Cunningham scandal and Tom Delay scandal and Jack Abramoff scandal and Mark Foley scandal and David Vitter scandal etc. etc. etc. etc. etc...... were all satisfying, but nothing would be quite as scrumptious as seeing Ted Stevens stink up a jail cell with his "old man smell":

...unless he was sharing the cell with Inhofe.

Fighting Words: 7/30/07 Cartoon...

"Rules of the Road"...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Good Toons...

We CWA-ers are always working to come up with new ideas to help enrich the lives of you, the consumer. Jen Sorensen has introduced a great new product... "Neocondoms!" And August Pollak has yet another... "Baby Legos!"

And, since I never got around to making a comment on the whole Vitter scandal, here's Ruben Bolling telling the story of an illegal alien who receives absolution for his crime by asking forgiveness of his wife and God.

More on GOP, Iraq withdrawal...

Of course, this week's 'toon takes place in a fantasy world where Republicans (and many Democrats, for that matter) actually intend to make some kind of effort to END the Iraq War. Many analysts believe (justifiably) that they have no intention of ever leaving Iraq; check out a previous blog post on that. So anyway, back in the real world, the goal of this cartoon was just to try and debunk some of the prevailing myths and flawed arguments about withdrawal from Iraq:
  • First, the myth about the effectiveness of the "surge" (aka "escalation"). Howard Zinn asks an excellent question:
    If our troops are preventing civil war, helping people, controlling violence, then why withdraw at all? If they are in fact doing the opposite—provoking civil war, hurting people, perpetuating violence—they should withdraw as quickly as ships and planes can carry them home.
    The answer is, of course, that logical argument has no meaning for the advocates of this war, who will chug along forever in a world of nonsense. See Bill Kristol, who says that 75% of the population is crazy and that the "surge" (like Bush's presidency) has been a complete success!

  • On the Democrats and politics, here's a question: for as incredibly unpopular as Bush and his war are, why the hell is it that Democrats and the media still allow Bush and his Republican loyalists to frame the terms of the debate on this issue? Why in hell are they afforded any credibility at all?! Tom Engelhardt has a good column on this, and Larry Everest has a take-no-prisoners column on the Dems' imperialist roots.

    So yeah, Joe Lieberman is an asshole. But the truth is that the Democrats are just as beholden to political motivations as the Republicans are. As Robert Parry and Gary Kamiya point out, the proof of this is the simple fact that they are not doing the right thing and cutting of funds for the war and aggressively pursuing impeachment.

  • I don't think it's a huge secret that many in the hard-core neocon gang are stark raving mad, murderous lunatics, but I wanted to stick the thing in about Norman Podhoretz just because I find him so very offensive. Glenn Greenwald has a good profile of him titled "Face of a Psychopath" (check out his eyes -- my caricature was not an accident). See also a blog post by Steve Clemons on Johann Hari's infiltration of the cruise from hell, where great minds like Kristol, Podhoretz, John Bolton, and other dark forces from the netherworld gather aboard a luxury cruise liner to hash out plans like random executions of anti-war liberals to send a message.

    On the myth of "promoting democracy" check out Chris Floyd and Noam Chomsky.
  • On the myths of "emboldening the enemy" and the terrorists "following us home," check out Ivan Eland, who compares the average American's chances of being the victim of a terror attack to the probability that they will be hit by a comet from outer space.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Fighting Words: 7/23/07 Cartoon...

"GOP Filmstrips 2: How To End A War"...

Previous episode:

Saturday, July 21, 2007

That there inter-net sure is fun...

Granted, I'm pretty easily impressed with some of the newfangled stuff there on the World Wide Webs, but I just got my first home high-speed connection so I've been doing some exploring.

This one is just about the coolest thing I've ever seen: if you haven't checked out the Weather Channel interactive map, go see now. If you live in a densely populated area (apparently, anywhere in the world), it allows you to zoom in close enough to see your house, your car parked in the front yard, and maybe even you if you're doing something freaky on the roof. Come to think of it, that's a little disturbing, isn't it? It's all extremely well-labeled, so you know exactly where you're at.

I don't know how many hours I've wasted on this lately, checking out everything from Major League Baseball stadiums, to FEMA trailers still in peoples' front yards in the Lower Ninth in New Orleans, to the canals of Venice, Italy.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

More on Republican Presidential Candidates...

This week's 'toon doubles as both a cartoon and a preview for a line of shirts that may be coming out in the future at Not a Number in Seattle. I did a bunch of designs featuring the usual suspects on the Democrat side, so we figured we should do some of the Republicans too.

  • On McCain: check out a couple of articles that I've linked to previously by Jeffrey St. Clair and Max Blumenthal, which paint a picture of McCain as a hot-tempered hypocrite and (as St. Clair says) "the most fraudulent politician in Washington."

    Of course, this may all be moot, because it looks like his campaign is currently circling the drain.

  • On Romney: I probably could've done something a lot more scathing on Mitt Romney, but I just couldn't make any substantive critiques work here (aside from something on his Michael Vick-like treatment of his dog, which alone should get him a year in Guantanamo).

    Mikhaela Reid has done a good job taking Romney to task over the years. And Ana Marie Cox has a list of his top ten dumb comments.
  • On Rudy: his constant invoking of 9-11 is now well known, but in general, this guy's just a gigantic dweeb who is desperate to make conservatives like him. And he will do or say anything to make it happen. Anything.

    It appears now, though, that the "urban legend" of Rudy's heroism on 9-11 is starting to fade a little.

  • On Hunter: if it's not obvious, I hate this guy more than any of 'em. Check out a couple of previous 'toons on his high-profile support for Guantanamo and war profiteering, as well as a great Daily Show clip on Hunter. Looking at his policy positions, though (particularly on the "surge"), there's not a single issue where he isn't just a typical ultra-conservative knuckle-dragger, and a possibly corrupt one at that.

    And yeah, the line was taken from Silence of the Lambs.

  • On Thompson: aside from the flap over all of his ex-girlfriends and Joe Scarborough's comment about Thompson's hot wife, there's not much to say about Thompson yet. Surely, this is because he has intentionally avoided saying anything of substance in preparation for a presidential run. Still, a lot of people insist on lauding Thompson as the divine resurrection of Reagan because... well, he's on th' teevee! And, some may remember he was minority counsel during the Watergate hearings...

    However, here's one on Hillary criticizing Thompson for suggesting that Cuban immigrants are terrorists.

  • On Paul: granted, the guy's not all great. He has some typically short-sighted libertarian positions on issues like health care and college tuition, and he could possibly have some very disturbing ideas about race relations.

    But, whether you'd vote for him or not, you have to admire the guts of a guy who was against the war from the beginning and wants to shut down Guantanamo, and still puts the "R" next to his name.

Of course, there's no way in hell I was going to vote for a Republican anyway, but at this point, it looks like not many Republicans are either...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Fighting Words: 7/16/07 Cartoon

"The Usual Suspects"...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

chirp... chirp... chirp...

Those are the crickets on my end of the blog. Yeah, it's been a while... and, yeah, the last cartoon was a repeat... (here's my original Moron post for that cartoon). I swear, though, it's not my fault! Honest... I ran out of gas. I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts. IT WASN'T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!!

The AAEC 50th anniversary convention was outstanding. Shook hands with a hero of mine, Helen Thomas, and a guy who ain't gonna be president, Dennis Kucinich. Heard Dana Priest speak during lunch at the Washington Post, and listened to Mark Shields repeatedly praise the courage of Ronald Reagan, which made me want to barf up the crab cakes or whatever the hell we were eating at that meal. Most importantly, though, I feel like I gained a new appreciation for my chosen profession, which I hope will be evident in the growth of my work in the near future. I also gained a broader understanding of the challenges that we face as a group, which are formidable.

Also, our CWA booksigning crowd at the downtown D.C. Borders kicked serious ass. Mikhaela points to an attendee who scanned his autograph page and put it online.

Thanks a bunch to Warren, Matt, and Jim & Karen for giving me places to rest my head last week.

Here are some more upcoming events:

• July 26-29 @ 10am - 7pm | San Diego: Cartoonists with Attitude at San Diego Comic-Con Ted Rall, Keith Knight, Shannon Wheeler and more! (San Diego Convention Center)

• July 27-28 | San Diego: Shannon Wheeler's Too Much Coffee Man Opera Wheeler reprises his hit comic opera for the San Diego Comic-Con crowd. Fri. July 27 at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m.; Sat. July 28 at 2 p.m. and 11 p.m. Evening shows $20, day shows free to Comic-Con attendees.

• September 28 @ 7 pm | Boston: Cartoon Signing and Slideshow with Mikhaela Reid and Masheka Wood (exact location TBA)

• September 29-30 | Portland, OR: Stumptown Comics Fest featuring Ted Rall, Shannon Wheeler, Matt Bors, Stephanie McMillan, Ben Smith and more! (Lloyd Center Doubletree)

• October 12-13 | Bethesda, MD: SPX Ted Rall, Mikhaela Reid, Masheka Wood, Brian McFadden, Jen Sorensen, Stephanie McMillan, August Pollak, and more!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Monday, July 02, 2007

More on Congress' Workload...

One paragraph on this week's 'toon, since I'm getting ready to catch a red-eye to Washington D.C. for the big American Association of Editorial Cartoonists 50th anniversary extravaganza...

The 'toon was motivated mainly by this article in The Hill, regarding a survey that they conducted which indicated that very few Senators actually read the NIE on WMDs before they voted for the AUMF. I remembered reading similar articles about the Patriot Act, and then I remembered articles on Congress' latest pay raise and the "new" 5-day work week (including Jack Kingston's quote about Democrats not caring about families). That was quite enough. An interest group called Downsize DC has proposed a bill that would require members of Congress to actually read these rather important documents before deciding whether they support them or not. I can't say that I agree with this group's broader agenda, but its an interesting concept. If it's just not practical to expect them to know exactly what they're voting on... ummm... shouldn't we change the system so it is practical?

OK, I'm off to our nation's capital. I'll bring you back a snow globe or something...

Fighting Words: 7/2/07 Cartoon

"Club Congress"...