Friday, August 29, 2008

Evacuation Shocker...

Who would've guessed that the private contractor who played such a huge part in screwing up the Katrina evacuation, a busing company called Landstar Systems, would now fail to fulfill its contract to supply buses for a Gustav evacuation!

And, what an incredible surprise that Landstar is politically connected to the Bush administration! Who could've predicted that such people wouldn't really give a shit about the citizens of New Orleans!

I'm shocked! SHOCKED, I tell you!

Holy Crap!

News... overload...

Too... many... cartoon... ideas....

Of course, the only one of these stories that really matters in the immediate future is Gustav. Whether or not it hits New Orleans directly, NOLA is predicting it will be a Cat 4 before it hits land. Perhaps we could finally all agree that global warming might have something to do with it, considering our shores are getting hit by monster 100-year storms about every 3 years now?

Just a thought...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Slowpoke at the DNC...

If you're reading this blog right now... dude, get off the internet and turn on the convention! Actually, better yet, turn on the TV (don't forget to mute the talking heads), stay on the internet, and go to CWA-er Jen Sorensen's live-blog from the festivities. She's got some great observations...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

More on Revisiting Katrina and... uh-oh...

By itself, of course, John McCain's "houses" gaffe is pretty meaningless. It's just another "gotcha" moment that the media loves. I saw a figure somewhere that Theresa Heinz-Kerry is actually worth five times what Cindy McCain is worth... and, as you may recall, we heard a little bit about that one too. What makes this one important is that it reminds (or should remind) everyone about that crazy little thing known as right-wing economic philosophy, of which John McCain is a dutiful follower. You know, that little school of thought that says "greed is good" and dreams of an American plutocracy where 99% of us simply exist to enhance the wealth of the super-rich. And three years later, Katrina is still the issue that exposes Republican economic policy for what it is... a scam.

However, all that really matters at the moment is that there's another hurricane headed into the Gulf with an ominous projected path. Cross your fingers and toes that everybody has learned their lesson... I just saw the embattled Ray Nagin on CNN, who is about to leave the Dem convention to head back to N.O. He didn't blow me away with his optimism...

Articles and stuff for this week's 'toon:
  • On Katrina: Oxfam has released a report that "reveals how little progress has been made."

    From a NOLA resident:
    We normally work a 40-hour workweek, and we go home, and we take a couple of days off, and we go about our business. And that's not the way Katrina has left us all. It was seven days a week, 24 hours a day down here. And people don't understand or appreciate the fact that we're not back. We won't be back for 10 years.
    McCain was asked by a New Orleans reporter why he voted twice against an independent commission to investigate the government’s failings before and after Hurricane Katrina, and he incorrectly stated that he had "voted for every investigation." McCain actually voted twice, in 2005 and 2006, to defeat a Democratic amendment that would have set up an independent commission along the lines of the 9/11 Commission. At the time of the second vote, members of both parties were complaining that the White House was refusing requests by Senate investigators for information.

    Progressive Media USA:
    Friday, September 16, 2005: "Deficit Hawk" McCain was skeptical of federally-funded reconstruction efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, yet he insisted his tax cuts for the wealthy are more important than reducing the deficit.
    ...According to The New Leader, "An objection of a different sort was raised by Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, who is pondering a run for the Presidency in 2008. He maintains conservatives want to "do whatever is necessary to address this national disaster." Then he adds: "We also have to be concerned about future generations of Americans. We're going to end up with the highest deficit, probably, in the history of this country." [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 9/17/05]
    ...During an appearance on ABC's This Week, George Stephanopoulos asked McCain, "If Congress does not give you the spending cuts you say you can get, will you hold off on signing the tax cuts?" McCain said, "No, of course not, because we want to increase people's taxes during a recession?"

    What... a... piece... of... shit.

  • On the McCain economic plan: a great column from Paul Krugman.

    Also Think Progress:
    ...McCain is running a campaign of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich. He recently defined rich as earning $5 million or more and doesn’t know how many houses he owns, and at the same time, McCain is proposing a tax policy that primarily benefits the rich. In fact, under his proposal, McCain himself would receive a $300,000 tax cut, while middle class Americans would receive only a few hundred.
  • On the more humorous topic of McCain's houses, Matthew Yglesias has a list of some of the many amenities offered at one of McCain's more luxurious Phoenix condos. See also two great YouTube clips here and here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

More on McCain Foreign Policy...

For this week's 'toon, I was gonna do something in advance of Obama's VP choice and the Dem convention, but I decided to let the events play out first. My prediction is Obama will pick Bayh... because that's the one that would piss off his base the most and possibly lose the election for him. That seems to be the Obama campaign's standard operating procedure up to this point.

By the way, the joke in the last frame is a reference to obnoxious people who like to quote lines in movies before the characters on the screen actually have a chance to say them. I have a buddy who loves to do this, especially with Dumb and Dumber... hence, "kick his ass, Seabass." Not saying he's like Dubya or anything, but it's still pretty obnoxious...

Articles n' stuff:
  • McCain's pearls of wisdom on the Russia/Georgia conflict:
    "In the 21st Century, nations don’t invade other nations."
    "[The Georgia-Russia war is] the first serious crisis internationally since the end of the Cold War.”
    Dan Eggen and Robert Barnes:
    McCain and his aides say his tough rhetoric on the Georgia crisis, along with his personal familiarity with the region, underscores the foreign policy expertise he would bring to the White House.
    Really, if you're harboring any thoughts at all about voting for McCain, for the love of God watch this compilation of his finest moments on the campaign trail.

  • Paul Rosenberg on McCain "fanning the flames" with the Russia situation:
    Because the neocon adventure in Iraq has turned out so disasterously, most people fail to appreciate that Iraq was supposed to be a cakewalk, and that the neocon's real primary targets are China and Russia. Although not strictly a neocon-his attitudes derive more from the imperialist naval doctrine that animated the birth of America's "Great White Fleet" 100 years ago-McCain has been a neocon darling since 1999-2000 campaign, when he was their favorite far more than George W. Bush.
  • Robert Parry:
    ...the larger reality should be clear: McCain is a hard-line neoconservative who buys into Bush’s “preemptive war” theories abroad and his concept of an all-powerful “unitary executive” at home.
    From McCain’s pre-Iraq invasion speeches to his campaign’s recent embrace of Bush’s imperial presidency, American voters should realize that if they choose John McCain, they will be locking in at least four more years of war with much of the Islamic world while selling out the Founders’ vision of a democratic Republic where no one is above the law.
  • Another McCain "senior moment" on Iraq:
    In a dramatic error yesterday, John McCain told Katie Couric that it’s “just a matter of history” that Bush’s “surge” policy “began the Anbar awakening.” That, of course, is backwards.
    Today, thanks to some efforts by the Obama campaign, the media started picking up on McCain’s bizarre confusion on his signature national security issue, most notably with coverage from the AP and CNN.
    As of this earlier afternoon, the best the McCain campaign could come up with was this: “Democrats can debate whether the awakening would have survived without the surge … but that is nothing more than a transparent effort to minimize the role of our commanders and our troops in defeating the enemy.”
    Got that? If you think 2006 came before 2007, you’re somehow showing disrespect for the troops.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fighting Words News: Animated FW Parts...

So, continuing with my expansion from the ultra-lucrative world of print editorial cartoons into the ultra-ultra-lucrative world of animated editorial cartoons for the web (now there's some bitter sarcasm for you!), you may notice that I am now incorporating more Flash into my weekly cartoon. It's basically the same comic, but with some movin' parts and sound FX (if you can't see it, there's a link there to the static version). Hopefully, I'll be able to do a little something every week...

Anyway, this should give me some valuable extra practice with Flash... and maybe give y'all a little added enner-tainmint.

More on the McCain/Bush Economic Philosophy...

Articles n' stuff for this week's 'toon:
  • David Corn on McCain's now-former (or not-so-now-former?) "economic guru" Phil Gramm:
    Because of the swap-related provisions of Gramm’s [2000 Commodity Futures Modernization Act] — which were supported by Fed chairman Alan Greenspan and Treasury secretary Larry Summers — a $62 trillion market (nearly four times the size of the entire US stock market) remained utterly unregulated, meaning no one made sure the banks and hedge funds had the assets to cover the losses they guaranteed.
    These unregulated swaps have been at “the heart of the subprime meltdown”...

  • Thomas Frank:
    Fantastic misgovernment of the kind we have seen is not an accident, nor is it the work of a few bad individuals. It is the consequence of triumph by a particular philosophy of government, by a movement that understands the liberal state as a perversion and considers the market the ideal nexus of human society. This movement is friendly to industry not just by force of campaign contributions but by conviction; it believes in entrepreneurship not merely in commerce but in politics; and the inevitable results of its ascendance are, first, the capture of the state by business and, second, all that follows: incompetence, graft, and all the other wretched flotsam that we've come to expect from Washington.
    And, yes, there has been greed involved in the effort -- a great deal of greed. Every tax cut, every cleverly engineered regulatory snafu saves industry millions and perhaps even billions of dollars, and so naturally securing those tax cuts and engineering those snafus has become a booming business here in Washington. Conservative rule has made the capital region rich, a showplace of the new plutocratic order. But this greed cannot be dismissed as some personal failing of lobbyist or congressman, some badness-of-apple that can be easily contained. Conservatism, as we know it, is a movement that is about greed, about the "virtue of selfishness" when it acts in the marketplace.

  • Robert Reich:
    Inequality on this scale is bad for many reasons, but it is also bad for the economy. The wealthy devote a smaller percentage of their earnings to buying things than the rest of us because, after all, they're rich. They already have most of what they want. Instead of buying, the very wealthy are more likely to invest their earnings wherever around the world they can get the highest return.
    The only way to keep the economy going over the long run is to increase the real earnings of middle-class and lower-middle-class Americans. The answer is not to protect jobs through trade protection -- that would only drive up the prices of everything purchased from abroad. Most routine jobs are being automated anyway. Nor is the answer to give tax breaks to the very wealthy and to giant corporations in the hope they will trickle down to everyone else. We've tried that, and it hasn't worked. Nothing has trickled down.
  • Andrew Leonard on "Obamanomics":
    Obama ventured into adamantly protectionist territory in his denunciation of NAFTA and other free-trade agreements. Later, having secured the nomination, he admitted that he might have gone just a bit overboard in the heat of the moment. What might that tell us about how he would govern? Economic justice and fairness are undoubtedly central to Obama's worldview, but his liberalism is not necessarily the liberalism of a Bobby Kennedy, or even a John Edwards. His liberalism is pragmatic, detail focused and full of trade-offs.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday, August 04, 2008


No Moron post this week, as the subject matter of this week's 'toon is too stupid to expound upon. However, you can expect a few semi-random observations from me this week...

Such as: with the cancer-related death of Tony Snow and the "dire" prognosis facing Robert Novak, does this mean we can expect a change of heart on and serious push for extensive stem-cell research by right-wing media pundits?

Yeah... I'll be holding my breath...

Fighting Words: 8/4/08 Cartoon...

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