Thursday, July 31, 2008

More on Rove's contempt for everybody...

Real quick Moron post for this week's 'toon, as I've got about eight different (animated) balls in the air...
  • Brave New Films has an entire website devoted to sending old turd blossom to jail.

  • David Iglesias:
    It is unacceptable in a country where the rule of law is the cornerstone of our jurisprudence that a former White House official fail to appear to claim privilege before Congress. Rove should have appeared before Congress and claimed privilege. Rather, he thumbed his nose at a co-equal branch of government and showed his utter disregard for their powers. His actions are contemptuous per se and he should be held in contempt by the House. The language of 18 USC § 1503(a) is broad since it speaks of “influencing” an “officer…of the United States” in the “discharge of his duties” including the “due administration of justice.”
    Applying this test to the allegations concerning the Siegelman matter, for instance, the evidence suggests that Rove influenced a U.S. Attorney in the discharge of her duties. This is a very serious matter and needs to be fully investigated since a non-attorney policy adviser has no business influencing the indictment of an elected official.
  • In case you missed it, the House Judiciary Committee did indeed vote to hold Rove in contempt of Congress. So, this means the Democrats are totally getting serious now and he's gonna be in a jail cell by the end of the week, right?

    Uh huh...

    Pelosi says the full House isn't even going to think about it until September, by which time the Dems will be in full-on election mode. Close Obama adviser Cass Sunstein has already "cautioned against prosecuting criminal conduct from the current administration," or even the "slight appearance" of such attempts.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

GOOD one...

Yeah, that's me being sarcastic... apparently it has to be specified these days.

Vanity Fair clearly does not hire political cartoonists to do their political cartoons. Otherwise, they'd know that their hilarious (sarcastic again) parody of a parody has already been done a few times. Once by a two-time Pulitzer winner.

Good research, guys (sarcasm).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More on... that thing that seems to have gone away...

Very short Moron post for this week's 'toon, as the uproar over the New Yorker cover finally seems to be dying down. In a way, I'd like to see people keep talking about it... I think the more we talk about the farcical fear-mongering over Obama's racial background, the easier it will be to defuse when the real Swift-Boating gets going. This is especially true if people are forced to confront our institutional racist tendencies through satire... good satire will always have the effect of making people stop for a moment to consider the absurdity of some of their most deeply-help social preconceptions.

The part of this debate that I think should go away is the part that is kept alive by commentators (mostly on the left, it seems) who have completely missed the point of the satire. Seriously people... go watch Dr. Strangelove or Spinal Tap. Then get a freakin' clue.

For the folks who fret over the idiots who "won't get" the cartoon, I offer these two tidbits:
  • My favorite quote on the issue, by Derf:
    So many people are misinformed, and you can’t draw to the morons of America. If you don’t know that Obama isn’t a Muslim, we can’t help you.

    ...It’s not up to us to hold people’s hands.

  • My favorite cartoon on the issue (y'know... other than my own), by John Branch:

    John Branch
    San Antonio Express News
    Jul 20, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I opened up accounts on Twitter and Digg, so I'm trying a blog post to see if the little icons show up...

I also set up a page on Photobucket, and watch out for me on Flickr, Friendster, and any other silly social networking site I might come across. Frankly, I just don't see the point of most of these things.

However, if you're really into these sites... then me too! They're the coolest things ever!! If you want to "follow" me or "friend" me or "tweet" me or whatever, then do it, yo...

More on the National Surveillance State...

The reasons for the timing of this week's cartoon are obvious (see the sham FISA "compromise"), but it's really a subject that's been bothering me more than usual lately. There are a disturbing amount of "red light" cameras going up in intersections around Seattle lately, especially in suburban areas. Aside from the questionable effectiveness of "red light" cameras, how do we know that this is the only reason for these cameras? How do we know the FBI or NSA don't have access to these cameras? There are wide swaths of the greater Seattle area where there isn't a square foot of public area that doesn't have a government eye on it. Maybe I'm paranoid, but this really bothers me...

Articles n' stuff:
  • Jack Balkin:
    I have noted previously that we are in the midst of the creation of a National Surveillance State, which is the logical successor to the National Security State. And we have noted that, like the National Security State before it, the construction of this new form of governance will be a joint effort by the two major parties.
    ...We are going to get some form of National Surveillance State. The only question is what kind of state we will get. As of right now, it looks like we will get one that is far less protective of civil liberties than we could have gotten.

  • Predictably, the ACLU website has a lot of good material on this subject, particularly on the high-tech tools available to the watchers and the ways these tools can be used. One piece says plainly, "the fact is, there are no longer any technical barriers to the Big Brother regime portrayed by George Orwell."

    More objectionable examples of our brave new world... first from John Cole:
    A senior government official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has expressed great interest in a so-called safety bracelet that would serve as a stun device, similar to that of a police Taser®. According to this promotional video found at the Lamperd Less Lethal website, the bracelet would be worn by all airline passengers.

    This bracelet would: take the place of an airline boarding pass, contain personal information about the traveler, be able to monitor the whereabouts of each passenger and his/her luggage, [and] shock the wearer on command, completely immobilizing him/her for several minutes

    Juan Cole:
    Till now, DOJ guidelines have required the FBI to have some evidence of wrongdoing before it opens an investigation. The impending new rules, which would be implemented later this summer, allow bureau agents to establish a terrorist profile or pattern of behavior and attributes and, on the basis of that profile, start investigating an individual or group. Agents would be permitted to ask “open-ended questions” concerning the activities of Muslim Americans and Arab-Americans. A person’s travel and occupation, as well as race or ethnicity, could be grounds for opening a national security investigation.
    Tim Shorrock:
    Under a proposal being reviewed by Congress, a National Applications Office (NAO) will be established to coordinate how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and domestic law enforcement and rescue agencies use imagery and communications intelligence picked up by U.S. spy satellites. If the plan goes forward, the NAO will create the legal mechanism for an unprecedented degree of domestic intelligence gathering that would make the U.S. one of the world's most closely monitored nations.

  • Julian Sanchez:
    The original FISA law was passed in 1978 after a thorough congressional investigation headed by Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho) revealed that for decades, intelligence analysts — and the presidents they served — had spied on the letters and phone conversations of union chiefs, civil rights leaders, journalists, antiwar activists, lobbyists, members of Congress, Supreme Court justices — even Eleanor Roosevelt and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The Church Committee reports painstakingly documented how the information obtained was often “collected and disseminated in order to serve the purely political interests of an intelligence agency or the administration, and to influence social policy and political action.”

    ...if you think an executive branch unchecked by courts won’t turn its “national security” surveillance powers to political ends — well, it would be a first.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cartoon Controversy!

Lotta talk today about the cartoon on the cover of the New Yorker. Like many cartoonists whom the New Yorker does not know exist and/or would never publish in a million years, I basically did that same cartoon a few weeks ago (linked below). Anyway, I haven't read anyone else's comments on the subject yet so this may have already been said, but here's my opinion on the "controversy"...

Of course, satire must be done carefully, and the New Yorker illustration may suffer from missing context. However, the Obama campaign's failure to show that they get the point of the joke is yet another missed opportunity to demonstrate a level of intellectual sophistication commensurate with that of his base. The fact that he continues to try to appeal to morons who don't get when they're being made fun of just alienates him further from the people he is supposed to be representing.

Fighting Words: 7/14/08 Cartoon...

"Notice From the National Surveillance State"...

Friday, July 11, 2008

More on Obama's shift to the right...

I've been playing a ton of poker lately, so no matter how much thought I put into this week's 'toon, it was always gonna be about poker. It just so happened to fit what Obama's been doing lately...

Articles n' things:
  • As usual, Glenn Greenwald is spot-on:
    The central problem is that if Democrats embrace the GOP framework of National Security -- that "Strength" means what the GOP says it means -- then that framework gets enforced and perpetuated, and it's a framework within which Democrats can't possibly win, because Republicans will always "out-Strength" Democrats within that framework. It's only by challenging and disputing the underlying premises can Democrats change the way that "strength" and "weakness" are understood.
    Drawing a clear distinction with the deeply unpopular GOP is how Democrats look strong. The advice that they should "move to the center" and copy Republicans is guaranteed to make them look weak -- because it is weak. It's the definition of weakness.
    The most distinctive and potent -- one could even say exciting -- aspect of Obama's campaign had been his aggressive refusal to accept GOP pieties on National Security, his insistence that the GOP would lose -- and should lose -- debates over who is "stronger" and more "patriotic" and who will keep us more safe

  • Makes you wonder if Obama's critics on the left are correct, that his public persona is masking the fact that he's not all that great on the issues after all. In contrast, Ralph Nader is often portrayed in a negative light, but the man is consistent... and he always makes a few good points:
    The corporations are pulling Obama every day, every day, twenty-four/seven, in their direction. If all these liberal groups with all their single issues are not pulling in the other direction, where do you think the Democratic Party and the nominee is going to go? Even if they’re elected, they won’t have any mandate.

  • It's not just what Obama has been saying, but who he's saying it to.

    On late-term abortion:
    In an interview this week with "Relevant," a Christian magazine, Obama said prohibitions on late-term abortions must contain "a strict, well defined exception for the health of the mother." Obama then added: "Now, I don't think that 'mental distress' qualifies as the health of the mother..."
    On free trade:
    Obama's interview with Fortune magazine -- headlined "Obama: NAFTA Not So Bad After All" -- is the best news the McCain camp has received since Mike Huckabee folded his run for the Republican nomination.
    On faith-based initiatives:
    On June 10, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama convened a meeting in a law office in downtown Chicago with a wide array of about thirty evangelical leaders, in an unprecedented effort to win their support.
    How many "liberal" groups or publications has he pandered to lately? Aren't we supposed to be his base or something? And what the hell is up with the timing, here? Don't he and his advisers realize just how fast his base will leave him if he keeps acting like John Kerry?

    The most common reason given for overlooking these betrayals is: we can't afford to have another Republican-appointed member of the Supreme Court. But can we really trust Obama to pick a friendly Justice either? One thing's for sure: he better turn it around quick. His base is paying attention, and they'll desert him in a hurry if he stops representing them on the issues.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Yet again...

Following up on my previous post on the House vote on the FISA "compromise," here's the list of the surveillance-society-loving Senate Democrats to vote against in November, including most of the usual names: Feinstein, Inouye, Rockefeller, Bayh, and... Obama?

Yeah... we should be that pissed at him about this. This could be, in his own words, a "deal breaker." More to come on this soon in my Moron post for this week's 'toon...

There's already an online movement going to punish Democrats for caving on this (via Cursor)...

Monday, July 07, 2008

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Bye Bye Sonics...

Boy am I glad I came to this conclusion a year ago, so I could avoid feeling the sting today. Not so much, though... it still stings.

The interesting thing now is whether the mayor and city counsel are allowed to keep their jobs come election time. I'm betting no... as the Sonics memories come bubbling up, it's going to sink in with even the armchair sports fans just how much the citizens of Seattle got FUCKED.

So bye-bye Greg Nickels... my track record of predictions on this subject has been pretty good.

Hey, the guy had to get home...

Sent to me by friend of mine:

This is only funny 'cuz it sounds like something that people I know would try to do...

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

More on the Death of Impeachment...

Some cartoons have characters that are just damn fun to draw... this week's is one of those cartoons. By the way, that is indeed supposed to be Chief Justice John Roberts at the ripe old age of 95 (or however old he'll be in 2048), presiding over the impeachment proceedings.

Most of what I was going to talk about in this 'toon (like the FISA "compromise" and Obama's toe-dipping in right-wing waters) is getting pushed to next week's 'toon. Here's a couple articles, though:
  • Dennis Kucinich on Democracy Now:
    George Bush has enough time to bomb Iran on another pretext. He has enough time to continue policies of torture. He has enough time to continue policies of eavesdropping and wiretapping. He has enough time to continue to ignore critical science with respect to global climate change. He has enough time to help facilitate more violations of election law for the 2008 election.
    We don’t have enough time. We can’t spend any more time temporizing, while the Constitution, the United States laws, international laws, are being shredded.

    Jason Leopold:
    Kucinich said the articles of impeachment against President Bush are a way for lawmakers to "create an historical record of the misconduct of the Bush administration."

  • Gore Vidal's article of impeachment:
    And as I listened with awe to Kucinich, I realized that no newspaper in the U.S., no broadcast or cable network, would pay much notice to the fact that a highly respected member of Congress was asking for the president and vice president to be tried for crimes which were carefully listed by Kucinich in his articles requesting impeachment. But then I have known for a long time that the media of the U.S. and too many of its elected officials give not a flying fuck for the welfare of this republic...

  • And, in case you missed it (and judging by the crickets coming from the "liberal media," it's entirely possible that you did):
    Ivy Leaguers and other top law students were rejected for plum Justice Department jobs two years ago because of their liberal leanings or objections to Bush administration politics, a government report concluded Tuesday.

    In one case, a Harvard Law student was passed over after criticizing the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. In another, a Georgetown University student who had previously worked for a Democratic senator and congressman didn't make the cut.

    Even senior Justice Department officials flinched at what appeared to be hiring decisions based — improperly and illegally — on politics, according to the internal report.

    I suppose this report will go with the NIE on Iran's nuclear weapons program (or lack thereof), into the mainstream media's circular file cabinet... into a file labeled "Proof That the Bush Administration Lied About Important Stuff," in a redwell called "Stuff That We Will Never, Ever Talk About"...