Solidarity Forever!

Just recently, I was checking out some video footage of the Oakland police attacking the Occupy Oakland camp along with some footage of the Egyptian police attacking Tahrir Square, and for a moment or two there, I almost couldn’t tell the difference… and that isn’t good. I’ve seen good before, and that isn’t it.

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Suppression of the Left: Union Made

As most of you know, the recent West Coast port shutdowns were a butt-kicking success, especially in Oakland. The minor downside was that it was carried out over the objections of the longshoremen’s union “leadership”. Yeah, that’s right, a labor union got its panties in a twist over a militant mass action on behalf of the rights of workers. In fact, this cartoon was inspired in large part by the craven tap-dancing of the “leadership” of the ILWU. Here’s their poobah, Bob McEllrath:

“The ILWU has a long history of democracy, Part of that historic democracy is the hard-won right to chart our own course to victory.”

What victory, Bob? The only course I see modern union “leadership” charting these days is straight down the goddamn’ toilet.

But let’s move on, now, to our so-called comrades at the AFSCME, who recently endorsed Barack “Drone Strike” Obama for another term as El Presidente. AFSCME plans to scarf workers’ dues to the tune of $100 million to help re-”elect” a bloody-handed Wall Street stooge who plans to sign legislation giving the military the right to snatch and detain indefinitely anybody they damn’ well feel like. Here’s what their honcho, Gerald McEntee, has to say for himself:

“President Obama is the only choice for the 99 percent.”

He’s pulling our leg, right? Barack “Bailout” Obama, water boy for bankers, is the only choice for the underpaid, unemployed and foreclosed? Excuse me while I have myself a nice big Technicolor Yawn…

…ahh, that was satisfying. Now, let’s check out the NEA, representing our nation’s teachers, the men and women who bring out the spirit of curiosity, creativity and wonder in our children and crush it to death. They’ve also recently endorsed Obummer, in spite of the rank and file’s dissatisfaction with his cheerleading for charter schools and the corporatization of public education. Here’s the spin from their “leader”, Dennis Van Roekel:

“He (Obama) has never wavered from talking about the importance of education or his dedication to a vibrant middle class…”

…yeah, except when he’s sitting on his ass allowing the middle class to be thrown out of work and thrown out of their homes.

But, wait; it gets worse. The SEIU also recently declared its endorsement for Barack “The Assassin” Obama without even allowing its members to vote — and, adding insult to injury, the “leadership” of the SEIU co-opted the language of the Occupy Movement with this steaming heap of smarm:

“We need a leader willing to fight for the needs of the 99 percent … Our economy and democracy have been taken over by the wealthiest one percent.”

Yeah, and that leader isn’t going to be Barack “Sparkle Pony” Obama, a guy whose nose is so far up Wall Street’s ass that it’s a wonder he can even breathe. You’ll pardon my laughing until I piss myself.

Saving the worst for last, we finish up with the venerable AFL-CIO. As anyone with a long-term memory longer than that of a housefly will recall, the AFL-CIO was pretty much caught red-handed funneling cash — via the ironically-named National Endowment for Democracy and equally-ironically-named Solidarity Center — to Venezuelan rightists plotting a coup against President Hugo Chavez back in 2002. In addition, the AFL-CIO’s Solidarity Center (spit) is still active in efforts to destabilize popular, democratically-elected leaders in Venezuela and Colombia, using money from Federal grants via the State Department, USAID, and the NED. No wonder so many people call them the AFL-CIA.

So, given that the “leadership” of the ILWU, AFSCME, NEA, SEIU and AFL-CIO are endorsing Barack Obama despite his cozy relationship with Wall Street, corporate and banking interests, despite his obstruction of efforts to bring the Bush Mob to justice for their crimes, despite his warmongering in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, despite his horrendous civili liberties record, and despite his disregard for working people, am I still the only one here who thinks that the biggest obstacle to the struggle for workers’ rights is the goddamn’ unions — or, more accurately, the craven, hidebound union “leaders” who are in perpetual retreat and who identify more with the needs of corporations and political parties than with the needs of workers?

I’m no expert, but I think that any successful workers’ struggle in this country is going to be won in spite of the mainstream unions, not because of them.

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He Sees You When You're Sleeping...!

Occupy is coming to town!

Join OccupyDC as they visit the US Chamber Of Commerce with caroling and holiday cheer on the occasion of the Chamber's annual Christmas party for the Republican National Committee.

04 min. 18 sec.

OccupyDC Visits the US Chamber of Commerce, 12.15.11 from Mike Flugennock on Vimeo.


Housing For All!

Not a whole lot to say about this one — just a solidarity shout-out to all my comrades down at Occupy DC, a salute to their efforts to build a General Assembly hall at the McPherson Square camp for use as an assembly hall and as a symbol of the need for affordable housing in the midst of rampant foreclosures and escalating homelessness.

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Images via OccupyDC streaming video feed.Images via OccupyDC streaming video feed.

“A Day In The Life Of The People’s Pentagon”, at OccupyDC.org. (Skip the comments; it’s the usual right-wing trollage and attendant flamefest)


#OccupyDC Visits Democratic Party Fundraiser

Dough Nation

Last night's fundraising dinner for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, held at the offices of the investment firm of Folger, Nolan, Fleming and Douglas, had a minimum contribution of $5000, and a maximum of $75,000. Make no mistake -- the Democrats are One Percenters all the way. So, Occupy DC decided to pay them a visit for a little Mic Check action. Let's join the fun...�


Obama "Supports" #OWS

If the news of Wall Street stooge Barack Obama voicing his mealy-mouthed, tepid “support” for Occupy Wall Street wasn’t enough to make you blow your lunch, perhaps the news that the nationwide raids on Occupy Movement encampments were coordinated by the Feds and Obama’s DHS might induce a Technicolor Yawn.

So, next time you’re at an Occupy protest and the pigs get squirrely and start pepper-spraying and clubbing people, just remember that these police riots were coordinated by Federal authorities under the administration of Barack Obama, and that it’s just as if President Sparkle Pony himself were spraying and clubbing you.

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Support OUR Troops!

Well, at long frickin’ last, the media have finally gotten around to realizing that there’s a class war on, and have finally gotten up the cajones to actually use the term “class war”. What’s even more heartening to me is that at last our side has finally gotten off the deck and is fighting back.

So, gang, seeing as how we’re in a class war, that can mean only one thing: it’s time to Support Our Troops!

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Solidarity, from McPherson to Tahrir

Still walking like an Egyptian!

OccupyDC, the Freedom Plaza Occupiers, and local Egyptian-American activists joined up today to march in solidarity with the revolutionaries at Tahrir Square, Cairo, visiting the downtown HQ of the Egyptian Defense Office. Marchers demanded the release of 12,000 citizens and activists held by the Egyptian SCAF (Supreme Council of the Armed Forces) junta, an end to military trials for civilians, and a proper trial for ex-dictator Mubarak as opposed to “a theatrical irony”.



After a decade of observing police thuggery against protests in Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York City along with the recent police attacks on unarmed protesters at Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Oakland, and comparing it against similar scenes I witnessed in video from Athens, Bahrain and Cairo, I can’t help but conclude that Nonviolence™ is an ideological luxury affordable only to the cushy-living white middle-class activists of the United States.

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For your further enjoyment:
Ward Churchill’s Pacifism As Pathology (pdf).
Review of Ward Churchill’s Pacifism As Pathology.
Review of Peter Gelderloos’ How Nonviolence Protects The State.

Oakland police raid Occupy Oakland, 10.25.11, 5am:

Oakland riot police turn Occupy Oakland scene into war zone:

More video of Oakland police attack on Occupy Oakland here.



The consensus over here on the Left is that there is a danger to the Occupy Movement far greater than any amount of pepper spray, mace, tear gas or blunt force trauma that could be dished out by various metropolitan police departments, or any amount of buffoonish insults crapped out by Fox News — and that is the danger of being co-opted by the Democratic Party in the form of its various front groups. On the upside, though, this generation of dissidents seems less likely to fall for Democratic Party snake oil, unlike their older comrades who came out of Seattle/WTO, “A16″, and the early ’00s peace movement.

The Democrats’ co-optation attempts are especially galling in the context of the latest news of the Obama re-election campaign fundraising efforts. They’re continuing the pace set during the ‘08 campaign, when the Democrats first surged ahead of the GOP in the amount of campaign cash coming from Wall Street and the banksters.

Not only that, but it’s right out in the open, butt-assed naked, reported on the front page of this past Thursday’s Washington Post. The real “money shot” comes eight paragraphs deep:

Obama’s ties to Wall Street donors could complicate Democratic plans to paint Republicans as puppets of the financial industry, particularly in light of the Occupy Wall Street protests that have gone global over the past week.

“Could complicate Democratic plans”? No shit, Sherlock.

Of course, this inconvenient truth won’t stop the likes of Michael Moore, the AFL-CIO, MoveOn and the Progressive Democrats Of America from trying to weasel their way in and divert the movement’s energy down the Democratic Electoral Black Hole anyway, because that’s just the way they are — exploitive, manipulative, parasitic, amoral.

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We Are The 1%

As if the celebrities and Liberal politicians barging in on the Occupy Movement aren’t bad enough, now the movement’s having to contend with Mr. Wall Street Water Boy himself, President Barack Sparkle Pony Obama, claiming support for the protests, although in classic Obama fashion, he waters it down by pleading with them to not “demonize” the banksters and brokers. Yes, the man who pushed the Democrats ahead of the GOP in the Wall Street Campaign Donations Department in 2008, whose Treasury Department maintains a revolving door with Goldman Sachs and who, in this year’s Presidential campaign, has already set a record at shuffling for investment bankers and stock brokerages, has sent a shout-out to Occupy Wall Street. What’s worse is that despite Obama’s obvious, shallow election-cycle pandering to the Left and his ongoing brown-nosing of Wall Street and the bankster scum, the Tea Party crowd still insists on claiming that he sincerely supports the Occupiers — and, of course, that he’s a Marxist.

With that in mind, here’s a little bit of ammo for you to use on those Teabagger nutcakes who try to connect President Sparkle Pony to the Occupy Movement, even though anyone who didn’t ride the short bus to school knows he’s been Wall Street’s boy for years, and is simply trying to pander to the movement and exploit it in classic Democratic Party fashion.

Americans for Campaign Reform: Both parties profit from Wall Street
Sourcewatch: 2008 Obama campaign financing: more donations from investment banks, hedge funds, and Wall Street
Obama Taps Wall Street for Dollars, Washington Post 07.16.07

Just a little reminder that the Democratic Party is no more a friend of the workers than the GOP. Black Agenda Report’s Margaret Kimberly had it totally nailed down when she tweeted a warning to the Occupy Movement to “don’t let the Dems in”.

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Occupy DC: Spank Of America!

Dupont Circle branch of Bank Of America wussies out, closes ahead of protest visit “due to circumstances beyond our control”


"Occupy" Movement: Beware the Vampire!

Oh, hot damn! Here's the Democratic Party back again, to suck all the oxygen out of the room!

So, a couple of weeks into the Wall Street occupation, I read that Michael Moore and Roseanne Barr had stopped by, and immediately I thought oh, great, here come the goddamn’ celebrities to glom onto the movement. As if that wasn’t bad enough, a little while after that, I read where MoveOn and the Working Families Party had both glommed on at the same time, and my first thought was holy shit, here comes real trouble!

For those of you who’ve been living in a cave for the past decade or so, MoveOn is the liberal astroturf outfit formed in 1999 to shill for Bill Clinton during his impeachment trial for personal malfeasance, under the banal slogan “Censure, And Move On”. Since then, they’ve been responsible for the co-opting, bloodsucking and destruction of more popular peoples’ movements in this country than you can shake a stick at — such as the antiglobalization movement and the peace movement, just to name a couple. Now these vampires have set their sights on the “Occupy” Movement, no doubt claiming all up and down that they’re there to “support” them.

Luckily, most of the folks in the movement are hip to MoveOn’s bullshit, as we can see in the vast majority of comments in this discussion on Facebook:

The other evening, I stuck my head into the bedroom — where my wife was camped in front of the TV, as usual — for a moment, just in time to hear Chris Matthews (aka The Baby Eater) asking if the Occupy Movement could be “harnessed” to help Obama win re-election? Luckily, I hadn’t eaten yet, or else I’d have been projectile vomiting all over the carpet. Seriously, these TV howlers just kill my ass dead. I swear, they couldn’t find a clue with a goddamn’ map. Sometimes I think the news networks could just bring in an ape and let it howl and fling its own shit around the studio for an hour, and it would still be better-informed commentary than that of Baby Eater Matthews.

The Occupy Movement isn’t here to be “harnessed”, it’s here to give a voice to the 99% of the people in this country who’ve lost their homes and jobs, who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and feed their families if they do have jobs, and pay most of the taxes while the 1% doesn’t contribute jack shit and gets away with thievery and murder. The Occupy Movement is about social and economic justice and freedom — not about helping to prop up the Democratic Party and re-elect Barack Fucking Obama.

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DC Is Occupied, At Last!

The "Occupy" Movement: now with 95% more "nyan"!


It was mostly the usual suspects, for sure, but it was still great to see Our Side finally get off its ass and into the streets again. Despite all the talk about Teabaggers beginning to get involved, I only saw the usual smattering of LaRouchies and Paultards, who were largely ignored except by those in need of cheap laffs. Also, much to my delight, I spotted one — count ‘em, one — 9/11 Tr00th freak in the crowd, his sign still demanding that someone “Investigate WTC 7".



While scrolling through my Twitter feed this week, I came upon the latest reports of vicious and abusive police behavior at the Occupy Wall Street protest camp in NYC. A crowd of about 80 marchers were surrounded by police and “kettled” with a bunch of dayglow orange plastic netting and kept corralled while being maced and pepper-sprayed prior to their arrest.

About the same time, though, I caught the heartening news that the Occupy Wall Street protests had expanded to Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles and Dallas (there may have been more since this cartoon was done, but I haven’t heard yet).

So, here’s one in solidarity with the gang at Occupy Wall Street in NYC and elsewhere!

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Follow Occupy Wall Street on Twitter here, and on the Web here.


Never Forget

Never forget how the State used the attacks of September 11, 2001 as a pretext to shred the Constitution and encourage the escalation of police thuggery against citizens.

Never forget how the State used September 11 to encourage profiteering in the “defense” and “security” industries at the expense of citizens.

Never forget how the State used September 11 as a pretext for illegal wars and military occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Never forget how the State used September 11 as a pretext for illegal imprisonment, secret courts and torture.

Never forget that the atmosphere of oppression, suspicion, paranoia and racism which has taken root in this country since September 11, 2001 has been fostered and maintained by both Republican and Democratic governments.

And last, but certainly not least…

Never forget how you, the American people, rolled over and allowed yourselves to be bullied and cowed into silence by the likes of Bush, Cheney, Obama, Ridge, Chertoff, Napolitano, Clinton, and Lieberman while they waged wars of aggression, built a gulag, committed genocide and torture and stripped away your liberty and dignity.

Never forget.
Happy Anniversary.

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The 9/11 Conspiracists: Vindicated After All These Years? by Alexander Cockburn at CounterPunch.



A victory for the Libyan people? D’ah ha ha ha ha ha hah, nahh, I’m just givin’ y’all some shit. Of course not. Gadhafi is claiming that the US, NATO, and their proxy “rebel” armies in Libya are still in for a “long war” and I, for one, hope he’s right — not because I don’t think that Gadhafi is a rat bastard, but because it would mean that Obama and the Cruise Missile Liberals would finally get their very own “Mission Accomplished” albatross hung on them.

Maximilian C. Forte writes in CounterPunch:

Since Colonel Gaddafi has lost his military hold in the war against NATO and the insurgents/rebels/new regime, numerous talking heads have taken to celebrating this war as a “success”. They believe this is a “victory of the Libyan people” and that we should all be celebrating. Others proclaim victory for the “responsibility to protect,” for “humanitarian interventionism,” and condemn the “anti-imperialist left”. Some of those who claim to be “revolutionaries,” or believe they support the “Arab revolution,” somehow find it possible to sideline NATO’s role in the war, instead extolling the democratic virtues of the insurgents, glorifying their martyrdom, and magnifying their role until everything else is pushed from view. I wish to dissent from this circle of acclamation, and remind readers of the role of ideologically-motivated fabrications of “truth” that were used to justify, enable, enhance, and motivate the war against Libya—and to emphasize how damaging the practical effects of those myths have been to Libyans, and to all those who favoured peaceful, non-militarist solutions… >more here.

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Band Of Rebels

Here’s a fun game you can play while reading or watching the “news”: every time you see a report from Libya and hear the phrase “Libyan rebels”, insert the phrase “supported by US and NATO airstrikes” after it, to get a more accurate picture of what’s going on.

Then, when you get bored with that, ask yourself this question: why is the US so gung-ho to intervene in Libya while totally ignoring an equally vicious and horrific regime in Syria? Here’s a hint: it’s got three letters, it’s black and goopy, and there’s a whole goddamn’ lot of it under the ground in Libya… and it sure as hell isn’t freedom.

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We Are All Ferzat

Whenever political dissidents anywhere are disappeared, imprisoned, tortured or murdered, it affects me personally — but nothing has affected me quite as personally as the kidnapping and torture of Ali Ferzat, well-known Syrian cartoonist, by agents of the Syrian regime. This cartoon is in solidarity with Ferzat, standing with all of my comrades at Cartoon Movement and with artists around the world who put themselves on the line to speak truth and challenge authoritarian rule.(Pictured at left: Ali Ferzat recuperates in a Damascus hospital; foto via CNN)

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What Was That – An Earthquake?

OK, kiddies, time for some more of that good old-fashioned old-skool editorial cartooning.

So, early this past Tuesday morning, while poring over the news, I found the report that shows President Sparkle Pony’s approval rating at an all-time low of 38%. The 5.9 tremor hit at around 1pm-ish, and later that evening, a 4.0 aftershock was reported, although we didn’t feel it here in DC. At around 10pm, as our cat finally decided to come out from under our bed, my mind began to wander from the wretched network TV “coverage” of the quake and back to President Carebear’s tanking approval rating, and reports that he received the news of the quake while playing golf near Martha’s Vineyard, where they presumably couldn’t feel it.

Yesterday morning on MSNBC’s horrid Morning Joe shitfest, they were doing the early segment where they read the op-eds to us on the air, and the morning’s featured op-ed was Thomas Friedman’s latest bilge in the New York Times, this one using a golf analogy, including references to Tiger Woods. They followed up with an interview with Democratic Party punching bag Screamin’ Howard Dean, who pilloried Friedman’s spewage six ways from Sunday. While it was true that yesterday’s Friedman column in the NYT was the lamest piece of crap ever, what was even lamer was The Screamin’ One’s excuse-making and apologia for President Hope, containing all the usual clownshit, such as that people expect the President to be able to solve the problem all by himself, and the all-time classic — Obama inherited this mess from George W. Bush. Yeah, that’s right, here we are going on three years into the Hope’n'Change Administration, and Screamin’ Howard is still blaming everything on the GOP.

Consider this cartoon to be the second aftershock.

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Walk Like An Egyptian – Bash Back Like A Brit

I really can’t come up with any words this time to go with this one; everything I’ve got to say about the uprisings in London and across Britain I’ve already said in this cartoon.

So, instead, I’ll just throw it over to Daniel Hind, writing at Al Jazeera in an op-ed entitled Nothing “Mindless” About Rioters:

Civil disturbances never have a single, simple meaning. When the Bastille was being stormed the thieves of Paris doubtless took advantage of the mayhem to rob houses and waylay unlucky revolutionaries. Sometimes the thieves were revolutionaries. Sometimes the revolutionaries were thieves. And it is reckless to start making confident claims about events that are spread across the country and that have many different elements. In Britain over the past few days there have been clashes between the police and young people. Crowds have set buildings, cars and buses on fire. Shops have been looted and passersby have been attacked. Only a fool would announce what it all means…

We can dispense with some mistakes, though. It is wrong to say that the riots are apolitical. The trouble began on Saturday night when protesters gathered at Tottenham police station to demand that the police explain the circumstances in which a local man, Mark Duggan, had been shot dead by the police. The death of a Londoner, another black Londoner, at the hands of the police has a gruesome significance. The police are employed to keep the peace and the police shot someone dead. This is a deeply political matter. Besides, it is conventional to say how much policing in London has changed since the Brixton riots of the early eighties – but not many people mouthing the conventional wisdom have much firsthand experience of being young and poor in Britain’s inner cities.

More broadly, any breakdown of civil order is inescapably political. Quite large numbers of mostly young people have decided that, on balance, they want to take to the streets and attack the forces of law and order, damage property or steal goods. Their motives may differ – they are bound to differ. But their actions can only be understood adequately in political terms. While the recklessness of adrenaline has something to do with what is happening, the willingness to act is something to be explained. We should perhaps ask them what they were thinking before reaching for phrases like “mindless violence”. We might actually learn something…

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Standard And Poor

After years of sucking up to Wall Street and giving out AAA ratings as if they were Cracker Jack prizes — becoming an accomplice in the United States’ economic meltdown — Standard & Poor’s suddenly turns around and knocks an “A” off the United States’ AAA debt rating after the recent debt ceiling pro wrestling match on Capitol Hill. Who’da thunk it?

Am I the only one here who thinks that outfit should change its name to Substandard & Piss-Poor?

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Chef Barack's Democratic Diner

Come join the winner of the 2009 Nobel “Iron Chef” Prize on a culinary review of three years of the Hope’n'Change Administration. Bon Appetit!

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Outside spread, 664kb

Assembly instructions:
1. Print two-sided on 11×17 “full-bleed” color printer.
2. Fold in thirds so that the panel with the old Metro car and the title “Chef Barack’s Famous Democratic Diner” shows as the front cover.
3. Et voila!


...because Ideas Are Bulletproof!

This past week the FBI, in a nationwide sweep, arrested 16 members of Anonymous in connection with the famous DDoS of PayPal (yeah, fuck PayPal) in solidarity with Wikileaks — including a 13 year-old boy whose family was terrorized at gunpoint while agents searched their house and siezed computer equipment. Shortly after the arrests, the National Lawyers Guild responded with an offer of defense and other legal resources to the arrested Anons.

This cartoon is in solidarity with the arrested Anons in the USA and with Anons worldwide… because ideas are bulletproof.

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Keep up with the news from Anonymous freedom-fighters world wide at the AnonOps Communications blog, and on their Twitter feed.


It's Always the GOP's Fault

Interesting how, whenever you look at the news, it’s the Democratic Party that’s bitching the loudest about the influence of big money in politics — even as Barack Obama’s latest re-election fundraising efforts set all-time records, with $86 million raised in the second quarter of this year alone. In fact, Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, reports that the Obamabots are “back, they’re energized” — although his Wall Street masters don’t seem quite as energized as last time. They’re apparently still feeling all butthurt from Obama calling them “fat cats”.

Word has it that the Obama campaign could end up raising at least a billion dollars before the campaign is over. That’s right, ONE BILLION DOLLARS. Who the hell ever thought that one day someone would spend a billion dollars to have himself elected President? No wonder hardly anybody bothers to vote in this country anymore.


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Special thanks to my Twitter comrade @KenBias for suggesting this gag line in a tweet he posted the other day.


The Three Seasons

When the shit hits the fan,
you’ll be sittin’ on the can
when the whip comes down!

–rolling stones.

Right now, in Egypt, Cairo’s fabled Tahrir Square is packed full of people protesting the continuing military police state, protesting the release of police charged with crimes of brutality and military trials for civilians.

Right now, in Greece, newly-enacted harsh economic austerity measures have brought students and workers into the streets by the thousands in protest.

Meanwhile, right now, in the Bad Old USA, the Obama Administration has extended the infamous Patriot Act and is preparing to gut Medicare and Social Security as part of a harsh economic austerity program. So, how are Americans responding to this? Why, they’re slobbed out on their apathetic fat asses, falling asleep watching the latest news on Casey Anthony.

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Like Generations Before...

Yeah, uh huh… like in Vietnam. And Nicaragua. And Iraq.

This was my other favorite quote from Obama’s Afghanistan speech, a crass naked appeal to American conceit. Matthew Rothschild writes in The Progressive:

Our war president promised more war. While he trumpeted his big Afghanistan speech as the first step in ending that war, Barack Obama essentially told the American people that tens of thousands of our soldiers would still be fighting there for at least three more years.

A year from now, Obama said all the additional “surge” troops will be back home. But the U.S. will still have close to 70,000 troops in Afghanistan, twice the number that were there when Obama took office.

Only “by 2014,” he said, will the Afghan people “be responsible for their own security.”

And even then, Obama appears to have left himself an out. “We’ll have to do the hard work of keeping the gains that we made,” he said. But what if those “gains” aren’t kept? Would he reverse course and keep more troops there…?

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The Tide of War

So, apparently, Obama gave a speech the other day about Afghanistan. Mind you, I haven’t watched a single Obama speech ever since the ‘04 Democratic Convention keynote and the Inauguration. That was pretty much all I could stand; since then, about all I could handle was the occasional video clip on TV, or the transcripts posted on the Web. From all accounts, it was classic Obama, a rehash of the Iraq “withdrawal” announcement: out of all the clips and reports I saw, two “money quotes” really stuck in my craw, and one of them was that “the tide of war is receding” — and just in time for next year’s election. Who’da thunk it?

It’s reported that our Boy Emperor is bringing home the troops he sent when he first escalated the slaughter in Afghanistan, leaving 70,000 still there, plus leaving himself an out — of course! — allowing him to stick around if things aren’t working out for the Empire. All told, this “withdrawal” means a continuation of the war until at least 2014 — conveniently, a year into the incoming GOP administration, at which point the Liberals and Progressives will have miraculously rediscovered their anti-war voices and be cynically filling the streets again.

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Don't Call Us – We'll Call You

Sorry I’m bit late with this one; I’d originally planned to do this about a week or so ago, except the Bahrain Grand Prix story got really hot and shoved everything else out of the way.

Anyway… as you’ll recall, Obama got himself “elected” in ‘08 by pandering to Liberals and Progressives with a lot of big talk about the “fat cats” in the banks and on Wall Street – even as the Democrats were beating out the GOP in donations from Wall Street. Then, as you’ll also recall, Obama spent the next two years alienating Progressives by pandering to the banks and Wall Street, and appeasing the rightists.

So, then, a week or so back, Obama called together a bunch of the aforementioned financial industry “fat cats” to spend some time shuffling for dollars for his re-election campaign. The banksters, needless to say, felt rather alienated by all his anti-bank and anti-Wall Street rhetoric he dished out while pandering to the Progressives and many ‘08 donors were none too keen on the idea of supplying more cash for Obama’s ‘12 campaign.

Oh, well, Mr. Obama… as they say, “that’s show biz”.

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DC Flag Day, In The Flesh!

The weather was iffy all day, swinging back and forth from perfect to looking like a downpour from one minute to the next. Still, by the time showtime rolled around, it had finally settled down to something unseasonably comfortable, and the gathered crowd of DC Statehood activists and supporting citizens finally got down to celebrating Flag Day by showing off a wide variety of DC flag-based tattoos.

"In The Flesh", photographed and edited by Mike Flugennock, 04:32

And now, to augment your Flag Day Experience, here's a little trip to Song Poem Hell, with the perversely legendary Gary Roberts -- in his own inimitably atonal fashion -- crooning "Our Flag":


Death Race 2011: The Sequel

Well, here’s a shred of good news from the Arab Revolution front: after a week’s worth of hell-raising, the Bahrain Grand Prix organizers have backed off and cancelled the race. Interviewed on Al Jazeera, Bahrain International Circuit Chairman Zayed “Stability” Alzayani was spinning furiously, hemming and hawing about a positive and constructive role in Formula One, assiduously avoiding any mention of the bloody suppression of the peoples’ uprisings in Bahrain, choosing to focus on the logistical issues posed by a postponement of the race. Hey, Zayed, if that’s your story and you’re sticking to it, that’s cool, we can work with that.

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Death Race 2011

My Cartoon Movement comrades from outside the USA can certainly be forgiven for being so caught up in the recent FIFA bribery scandal that they may have missed this bit of even more appalling news from Bahrain concerning FIA, the governing body for Formula One racing, and its recent decision to go ahead with the Bahrain Grand Prix, which had been cancelled in March owing to a problem with widespread mass peoples’ uprisings.

Even more galling was a gleeful Bahraini racing officlal quoted by Al Jazeera as saying that “stability has returned” after the uprisings had been brutally crushed, and was practically wetting his pants with delight to hear FIA’s decision.

That’s right, folks — mass popular uprisings in Bahrain have finally been violently suppressed by the Bahraini police and military with the help of Saudi troops using weapons sold to them by Barack Obama, and now that that unpleasantness is out of the way… gentlemen, start your engines!*

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*Yeah, yeah, I know…they don’t say “gentlemen, start your engines” in Formula One. Just a bit of artistic license. Gimme a break.


Sarah Palin: Rolling Blunder

Normally, lately, I’ve avoided doing cartoons about the current crop of GOP politicians because I think people like Sarah Palin are a distraction and a sideshow, and because I think the Democratic Party is the more serious threat to the Left in this country and thus far more deserving of a good skewering. Still, when Sarah Palin kicked off her Making Up My Mind Whether Or Not To Run For President Tour by barging in on the annual Memorial Day “Rolling Thunder” right-wing biker gang convention in DC, it was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up.

Palin’s appearance at Rolling Blunder… uh, Rolling Thunder… was comical if anything; here was this squeaky-clean ex-beauty queen showing up in a brand-new leather jacket and a brand-new helmet and brand-new sunglasses and expecting us to believe she was a real “biker mama”. That day, she rivaled Jesse Jackson in her abilities as a media-attention-sucking cosmic vortex. Born to be wild? Born to be mild, more like.

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Come into my parlor...

...said the spider to the elephant.

Lately, the US media have developed an annoying habit of declaring every damn’ two-bit rinky-dink Congressional election a Referendum On (Insert Issue Here). This time, though — in the same manner that a thousand monkeys on a thousand keyboards could write a Shakespeare play given enough time — the media managed to get it right by stating that the victory of underdog Democrat Kathy Hochul over GOP screecher Jane Corwin in a special election in New York is, in fact, a referendum on the GOP’s Medicare/Medicaid “reform” proposals.

While the GOP’s “reforms” tanked in the Senate, most Republicans there are still clinging to it like the Raft Of The Medusa, although the Washington Post — in its classically understated fashion — refers to Senate Republicans as “uneasy”, although a more accurate characterization would be “pissing their pants”. As ol’ Jerry Garcia said, The Wheel’s turnin’ and you can’t slow down, can’t let go and you can’t hold on… They’re stuck where they are, like the mutant fly with the human head in that old Grade “B” horror movie, able to do nothing but give out with desperate, hopeless, tiny shrieks for someone to “Help mee-eeeee… HELLLLP MEEEEEEEE…!”

Mind you, these days, I’ve never been the type to believe that this country’s problems will be solved through an ethically bankrupt two-party system or an electoral system that’s broken beyond repair — or through elections at all, for that matter — but, still, I can’t resist the urge to do the Happy Dance after seeing a nasty rich old howler like Jane Corwin having her ass greased by a rookie Democrat.

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Obama AIPAC Speech, Condensed

On the Al Jazeera English Live Twitter feed, I followed Sunday’s wet, sloppy blowjob — uh, that is, speech — by Barack Obama to the annual AIPAC bribefest down at the Convention Center. You know it’s campaign season again when AIPAC hits town and the parade of Washington toadies forms a line from the Capitol and the White House to the DC Convention Center

If you wanted to find out what Israel and the USA are guilty of, just check out Obama’s AIPAC speech and see what he accuses the Palestinians of doing. The hypocrisy, groveling, pandering and doubletalk were nothing short of breathtaking. Israel demands the recognition of their Right To Exist™, but they want to deny Palestine’s right to exist, except as an open-air prison. Israel demands the right to defend itself — while Palestine must sit still and be brutalized, and any act to defend itself is “terrorism”. Of course, the USA is ready to defend Israel’s record of oppression and brutality at the United Nations and elsewhere because… well, we’re all they’ve got. (Wasn’t that an old Cars song?)

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Off your ass, America–time to get your Greek on!

Y’know, I really am jealous of the Greeks – not because of the shape their economy’s in, nor because of the corruption of their government and its servility to capital, nor because of the state-imposed “austerity” programs they struggle against. I’m jealous of the Greeks and other Europeans because they haven’t forgotten how to fight in the streets – unlike US activists, for whom “direct action” these days means standing around, waving signs or holding candles in front of the White House in the dark.

In Greece right now, unionists, students and anarchists are taking on the police, kicking ass and taking names in the streets. They aren’t taking “austerity” lying down. They’ve made the country virtually ungovernable. Meanwhile, in the bad old USA, “progressives” are “fighting” the imminent loss of hard-won social safety nets by waving signs, having vegan potluck dinners and teach-ins, and voting Democratic – in spite of the mountain of evidence that the Democratic Party doesn’t give a rat’s ass about them today (as if they ever did).

I was inspired to do this cartoon after seeing a recent article on Al Jazeera, as well as a large piece in the Washington Post, detailing the extent of the Greek uprising currently going on, as well as the extensive involvement of militant anarchist youth.

C’mon, Americans – off your asses and into the streets. It’s time to get your Greek on!

The Washington Post, 05.14.11, “Into The Arms Of Anarchy”, page A1
The Washington Post, 05.14.11, “Into The Arms Of Anarchy”, continues page A5.

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Show us your tats, for DC Statehood!

Hey now, DCers! Time to show off your DC Flag tattoos at the Statehood Rally at Dupont Circle on June 14 from 6 to 8pm! Let Congress know where you stand! Bring it on down, and let’s see that ink!

In the meantime, why not download this invigorating art for your leafletting and wheatpasting pleasure in two convenient sizes.

Find out more about DC’s struggle for liberation against the slavemasters on Capitol Hill, and get info on upcoming protests for DC Statehood and voting rights here and here!

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Awright! Got Him!

Welcome, folks, to Day One of Obama’s second term.

Well, hot damn, America, you finally got Bin Laden. So… how many innocents did you have to slaughter, maim, torture and unjustly imprison; how many of your own citizens were stripped of their basic liberties, their privacy and their dignity; how many inconvenient truths did you have to suppress to accomplish the symbolic goal of nailing Osama Bin Laden?

Then again, what the hell; in the end, it was all OK for people like Bush, Cheney, Obama, Clinton, Yoo, Holder and Murdoch. Go ahead, America, throw yourselves a goddamn’ party. Enjoy it while you can, before you wake up and realize you’ve still got no job, your house is about to be foreclosed, and you’re about to lose your Medicare and Social Security.

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Obama's Birth Certificate

So, just to recap:

When the Egyptian Revolution broke out, it was weeks before Obama could come up with anything to say about it — and when he finally did, it was a bunch of weak, mumbled platitudes about people wanting “change” in remarks that sounded as if they were meant to be delivered at a Chamber Of Commerce convention.

When the Libyan Revolution escalated into civil war, Obama sat on his ass for at least a month before doing the only thing he knows how to do — and, from all accounts, Obama’s just joined the Bush League over there as well.

Meanwhile, in Syria, where the government has called out the military to crush demonstrations and other popular dissent, Obama’s done nothing but “consider sanctions”. I’m sure Assad’s pissing in his shoes over that news.

In Yemen, the government’s escalated its crackdown on mass demonstrations. Nothing from the White House but the sound of crickets chirping.

In Bahrain, the government is ratcheting up its intimidation of journalists and bloggers. Obama’s got nothin’. He did drop some really good Donald Trump jokes at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, though.

And, speaking of combovers… with the wave of popular uprisings against authoritarian rulers sweeping across North Africa and the Middle East, it’s nice to see that hasn’t distracted Obama’s focus on his all-important birth certificate situation; yessir, folks, he’s totally on top of that issue.

In his short, curt remarks following the long-anticipated release of his long-form birth certificate, Obama commented that he didn’t “…have time for this kind of silliness”. What’s hilarious about this is that in his allowing himself to be baited by Donald Trump, he’s only increased the flow of silliness. In response to the release of Obama’s real, actual birth certificate, proving that he was, in fact, born in Hawaii — which became a state about two years before he was born there — the Birthers still don’t believe he’s a citizen, and are now complaining that he’s still not qualified to hold office because he grew up in “a Muslim country” and didn’t attend a US public school, and any number of other excuses.

In a lot of ways, your Birthers are like your Fake Moon Landing Conspiracy nutjobs — even when presented with absolutely incontrovertible evidence that they’re wrong, their brains are ratcheted so tightly that they can only come up with even more absurd excuses as to why the evidence is faked, or that more evidence is needed. Remember when the Lunar Reconaissance Orbiter transmitted its first set of low-orbit, high-resolution images of the Apollo landing sites, clearly showing Lunar Module Ascent Stages, deployed scientific instruments, parked rovers — and, in some cases, rover tracks and trails worn by the astronauts’ boots on the surface? Most folks thought this would shut the Fake Moon Landing kooks up for good. Huh, some hope. As I’d personally predicted among friends, when the first LRO images of the Apollo sites were released, the very first response from the Fake Moon Landing nuts was that the images were faked with Photoshop.

It’s the same with the Birthers; their first responses were some lame crap about how it’s a “layered” pdf, it’s just a pdf image and we have no physical copy to inspect, it’s a fake, it’s a fake, it’s a fake — and the media’s falling all over themselves to cover this clownshit to the exclusion of everything else, except for the Royal Wedding. Dumbasses. Why am I not surprised?

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Great Seal of the United States, v2.0

I read on the AP wire earlier this week that the recent McDonald’s “Hiring Day” resulted in the hiring of 50,000 new burger-flippers, news that was of course deliriously cheered by the Beltway Insider crowd as part of its collective pants-pissing over the creation of 230,000 new jobs last month — nearly half of which were on the order of Wal-Mart greeters, Home Depot cashiers, the aforementioned burger flippers, and other assorted shit-wage jobs. So, I decided it was time to redesign the Great Seal Of The United States to reflect current American reality.

The news that really grabbed me, however, was a report from a McDonald’s hiring day in Cleveland. At one of many such events designed to portray McDonald’s as a decent place to work, a fight broke out between two women; the fight escalated to the point where one of the women ended up hitting three people with a car before fleeing the scene.

I’m lovin’ it.

Great Seal v2.0 on black t-shirt at CafePress, $20.99.


Under the Bus, no.2

Just the other day, I was rummaging around in the Blogozone in search of inspiration — as per usual, when I found this juicy quote from an Al Schumann article at Stop Me Before I Vote Again:

…it seems far more likely that the Democrats are paying the price, an expected and even welcome price, for demobilizing and demoralizing their base. The Great Liberal Bus is teetering on top of a pile of the people pushed under it. From the very start, the Democrats have fought their activists harder than they’ve fought the Republicans. They’ve had them arrested!

Now, the article itself is about a year and a half old, written during the depths of the healthcare “debate”, but is still amazingly prescient in the context of the intervening two years of inaction, abuse and betrayal by the Democratic Party of its Left/Progressive constituencies, culminating in the recent budget compromise which gave the Rightists in Congress pretty much everything they wanted.

Teetering on top of a pile of the people pushed under it. Jeezus, what an image. Thanks, Schumann.

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Are You In?

You’ve got to hand it to Obummer, his timing’s impeccable. On the anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King — and one day before capitulating to the Rightists and allowing military commission trials of Guantanamo detainees — Obummer rolls out his 2012 re-election campaign, complete with a smarmy, grassrootsy video, and asks, “Are You In?”

“Are You In?” Jeezus, what the hell kind of slogan is that? It sounds like the wrapup for a venture capital pitch, like a question asked by some newly-minted Stanford MBA trying to schmooze a few million for his crappy-assed Internet start-up.

The “official” unemployment rate is nailed at around 10%, the foreclosure rate is climbing, bankers are getting fatter than ever, Bush’s tax cuts for the rich are still in place, the healthcare system is still in the hands of corporations, we’re up to our asses in three wars, the concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay is still open, our civil liberties are in worse shape than ever, Obummer’s just rolled over for John Boehner on the budget deal — and now Obummer’s got the sheer gall to ask me if I’m “in”.

Like hell I’m “in”. Take a goddamn’ hike, piker.

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Sock Puppet Rebels

Late last week, not long after Barack Obummer announced there’d be no US “boots on the ground” in Libya, the New York Times and Los Angeles Times revealed — much to my total lack of surprise — that the US did, in fact, have the proverbial boots on the ground in the form of CIA spooks functioning as “advisors” and gathering intelligence to share with Libya’s “Toyota Tigers”.

Even more interesting was this report on the CIA connections of Libya’s new rebel commander, Khalifa Hifter. Apparently, Mr. Hifter defected from Gadhafi’s army about twenty-five years ago and was living a comfortable life in the suburbs of Washington, DC, until he suddenly felt moved to come to the aid of his motherland in its most desperate hour of need.

“Verr-rrry innn-teresting…!”
– Arte Johnson, as the German soldier on Laugh-In

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Greetings From Afghanistan!

For those of you who were able to tear yourselves away from the tragedy in Japan and the US media’s gushing over Obama’s “humanitarian intervention” in Libya, there was some horrifying news from Afghanistan which underscores Obama’s hypocrisy in the area of human rights and violence: the publication in German publication Der Spiegel of a batch of photographs taken by US soldiers with their “trophies” — the corpses of Afghan civilians murdered by “kill teams” who created artificial “combat situations” in order to hunt human beings for sport.

What especially galled the hell out of me was that President Hope apparently couldn’t be bothered to fly home from his holiday in Brazil to deal with these atrocities. It’s this kind of vile behavior by the US empire around the world that fills me with even more contempt for the “cruise-missile Liberals” who cheer Obama’s attacks on Libya while Saudi and Bahraini security forces murder protesters in Bahraini streets using weapons sold to them by Obama. Never mind all the talk about “freedom” for the Libyans; remember that imperialists will always do only what’s in the best interests of imperialists.

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The New Flag Of Bahrain

OK, gang, let me run through this one more time: President Barack Obama, Nobel Peace Prize winner, quoted by Al Jazeera in a statement as opposing violence against civilians – on the same day that his Predator drones engaged in more slaughter of civilians in Pakistan – has sold a shit-ton of weapons to Saudi Arabia who, in turn, has joined the army of Bahrain in the massacre of unarmed civilian protesters in the streets of Bahrain. Is that pretty much it? Have I missed anything here?

While you chew on that, here's some footage via Russia Today from Bahrain of soldiers using automatic weapons – supplied by the US – to shoot down unarmed civilian protesters in the streets.

And while you digest that, here's a Blast From Yer Past, just to give you a little context: The Color Purple author Alice "In Wonderland" Walker, in the UK Guardian in April of 2008, gushing shamelessly in what can only be termed a love letter to Barack Obama:

He is, in fact, a remarkable human being, not perfect but humanly stunning, like King was and like Mandela is.

Yeah, that's right; Alice Walker compares Barack Obama – hypocrite, warmonger, house slave for the oligarchy – to black resistance heroes Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. Read on for the full load of lulz, if you can stand it. As for myself, I'm taking this occasion to get out of the studio for awhile and catch up on my daytime drinking.

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