Hey, Liberals! Ready for Inauguration Day?

Well, there’s another Inauguration Day coming up soon, and that means upwards of a million of you poor, deluded clowns will be infesting my home town for two or three days.

I just hope that the latest deal Obama’s floating to keep us from going over the phony “fiscal cliff” doesn’t throw any cold water on your festivities. You know which deal I’m talking about here: the one that keeps the tax cuts for the rich in place, and cuts Social Security benefits.

Yeah, that’s right, your glorious hero has sold you all out again, but if I know you, you’ll be bound and determined to not let it keep you from enjoying your big moment — though it might be a good idea to start right away acquiring a taste for cat food:
“While some people have tried to foster a myth of the elderly as a high living population, the facts don’t fit this story. The median income of people over age 65 is less than $20,000 a year. Nearly 70 percent of the elderly rely on Social Security benefits for more than half of their income and nearly 40 percent rely on Social Security for more than 90 percent of their income. These benefits average less than $15,000 a year.”
–Dean Baker, “Is Obama About To Cut Social Security?”, Institute for Public Accuracy, December 18, 2012
Still, I know this is an important day coming up for you, Liberal America, so by all means, have yourselves a time. Enjoy my home town. Enjoy the historic monuments. Enjoy the parties and balls. Enjoy celebrating four more years of Hope And Change.™

Choke on it.

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Supersize The Revolution

Not a whole lot to say about this one, other than here’s a big ol’ steaming slab of solidarity with the strikers at McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King who walked out last week.

While we’re at it, it’s also worth noting that things are really bad here when the Los Angeles Times refers to the strikes at Wal-Mart and fast food joints as “labor unrest”:

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Green Friday

Yesterday morning, an estimated 400 or so union members, activists, students, and just regular old folks visited Wal-Mart stores in Hyattsville and Laurel, Maryland, in surburban DC, to protest in solidarity with Wal-Mart workers striking nationwide over pay, benefits, and the management intimidation of workers speaking out about the issues they face every day while working at Wal-Mart.
Find out more at ForRespect.org.


Star-Spangled Banner

Earlier this week, our Predator drone-wielding Nobel Peace Laureate President, Mitt Obama, took time out from sucking up to Asian dictators to piss and moan about missiles being used against civilians, and to reiterate his support for Israel’s right to defend itself with F-16s, tanks, guided missiles, cluster bombs and tac nukes against people with glorified bottle rockets, truck bombs and automatic rifles.

While utterly disgusting, it’s nonetheless not surprising, when you consider his kiss-up speech to the AIPAC conference early in his 2012 re-election campaign, and his conspicuous silence on earlier Israeli brutality in Gaza while awaiting his coronation in 2009.

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Cliff? What Cliff?

Well, folks, it's time once again for our Crisis Of The Month Club, this month featuring a slab of lame kabuki theater called "The Fiscal Cliff", yet another round of cheap drama to provide cover for the Democrats' and GOP's collusion on the dismantling of Social Security and Medicare. And, of course, you know what this means, everybody -- time to PANIC! GO ON, PANIC! FREAK OUT! CRAP YOUR DRAWERS! SCREAM AND CRY! RUN AROUND LIKE HEADLESS CHICKENS! OH GOD WE'RE GOING OVER THE CLIFF! AAAUUUUUGGGGHHHHHHHHH!

Sigghhh... oh for Christ's sake, get a goddamn' grip, you stupid rubes. It's not a cliff; hell, it's not even an outcropping. Fiscal Cliff? Fiscal Rut, more like. Here, check out this article from the Institute for Public Accuracy, get your facts straight, and calm the hell down already:

“Once again, it’s all about politics, not about the stuff that actually matters — a reality that becomes more obvious with the next two obstacles. There’s a bundle of expiring provisions in the tax code — known esoterically as ‘tax extenders’ and the Alternative Minimum Tax ‘patch’ — that benefit corporations and upper-middle class Americans, respectively. Congress will likely extend these expiring provisions without much discussion, just as they’ve done in the past.

“Next obstacle: health care. The Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — includes a handful of new taxes that will go live in 2013... These taxes will likely go into effect right on schedule, but they’re so small they’ll have next to no discernible impact on the economy..."

Instutute for Public Accuracy: "It's Not A Cliff", November 13, 2012

Now, then... now that you drama queens have gotten your heart rates back down to normal, here's something you really need to get wound up about:

“We all knew the election was a minor diversion because no matter who won, the first order of business would be to gut the social safety net. The ‘fiscal cliff’ was always part of the plot line, to stiffen the will of Democrats to reverse the progressive stance it had taken since the time of Roosevelt. Pete Peterson’s billions bought both parties and now it’s payback time. Don’t be duped by the dopes in Washington — there is no deficit and debt crisis now or looming in the distant future. The electorate must hold the feet of politicians to the fire: keep your darned hands off my Social Security and Medicare...!”

“The president’s own proposed budget cuts of $4 trillion over ten years average out to $400 billion a year. In other words, the Obama Cliff is almost as large as the fiscal cliff that everyone dreads. Whatever the precise mix of tax increases and spending cuts, $4 trillion is too big a cliff..."

Institute for Public Accuracy, "'Cliff' Part of Ploy to Target Social Security and Medicare", November 14, 2012

Now, there's something to get all freaked out about. That ought to be something to get your blood boiling and your lazy asses off the sofa and into the streets -- a real honest-to-god crisis, not some cheesy good cop-bad cop routine with a bunch of politicians on TV hollering "wolf!" and mouthing beat-assed clichés like "kicking the can down the road".

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Kicking The Can Down The Road

 A couple of mornings ago, I heard what had to have been the ten millionth utterance of the phrase "kicking the can down the road", emitted by some hack Congressman being interviewed on MSNBC. It's bad enough that the Donkeycrats and Rethuglicans are contriving these phony crises to provide cover for their collusion on the dismantling of Social Security and Medicare, but do they have to add insult to injury by dragging out these tired, hackneyed clichés and beating them to death on TV?

If I ran the revolution, one of my first acts would be to round up every politician and media pundit who said "kicking the can down the road" so much as a single time, and have them publicly hanged. I realize that my more lenient comrades would prefer to simply imprison them, but only the threat of summary execution can truly deter the surviving politicians and pundits from assaulting the public with shopworn clichés such as this.

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Yer Liberals, Episode 2: "Make Him Do It"

Remember back in school, when the class bully would dump your books, shove you into your locker and try to shake you down for your lunch money, and you'd say "hey, c'mon, quit it!", and the bully would get up in your face and sneer "make me"? Well, that's the mental image I get when I hear Pwogwessives and Liberals talking about what they need to do to get Obama to honor his promises and implement more progressive policies, and they say that they need to "hold his feet to the fire" and "make him do it".

Trouble is, they had their chance to put pressure on Obama and the Donkeycrats, but once again, they pissed it away -- in the recent so-called election, when they could've organized a boycott, withholding their support and sending a message to the Donkeycrats in the only language they understand: defeat at the polls.

Instead, the Pwogs and Liberals spent four years pissing and moaning about how Obama went back on all his promises and pretty much continued all of Bush's policies of warmongering, imperialism and attacks on civil liberties -- and then turned right around and voted for him again. Christ, that's got to be the most retarded thing I've ever heard ot -- real, honest-to-God short-bus-riding, helmet-wearing-in-class, drooling-in-your-lap deep-down retarded.

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At Chris Floyd's Empire Burlesque: Napalm in the Morning (Drones in the Afternoon): The Smell of Victory Stirs Progressives to Action


Occupying the GMO Candidates!

Alright, gang, time for a double-header! Occupy Monsanto yesterday visited the national headquarters of the GOP and the Democrats on Capitol Hill with a little classic biohazard street theater. Visitors called on GOP nominee Barack Romney to deal with the issue of the revolving door between Monsanto and the government, and called on Democratic incumbent Mitt Obama to keep his '08 campaign promises on GMO food labeling.

5 minutes, 40 seconds.



Save Big Bird!

By now, all of you have heard Mittens’ Tourettes outburst about PBS funding at the last debate — you remember, the one where Obummer had his ass handed to him? Mittens commented in one breath that he liked Big Bird and Jim Lehrer, but if he were elected, he’d elminate PBS funding and throw them both out of work.

The Donkeycrats, desperate to make lemonade out of lemons, have taken to using that moment in a new campaign ad mocking Mittens for his popping off about Public Broadcasting — at which point, true to the Donkeycrats’ luck these days, the Sesame Street foundation pitched a fit over the Obummer campaign’s use of Big Bird in a campaign ad. Yeah, when it rains, it pours, huh?

My first thought on hearing Mittens’ little brain fart was “Christ, Mittens, why the hell are you doing handing the Donkeycrats ammunition like that?” Then, after settling down a bit, I realized that Mittens was being crazy like a fox, jerking Liberals’ chains and making them waste their time getting their panties in a twist over petty crap like cutting back PBS funding and endangering Big Bird. Still, this could be a plus for the Donkeycrats as it’ll give them one more way to divert Liberals’ attention from Obummer’s economic policy failures, imperialist adventurism overseas, and destruction of basic liberties at home by keeping them all pissing their pants over yet more meaningless hot-button culture-war bullshit — and to be perfectly frank, I couldn’t be enjoying the whole show more if I tried.

Mind you, though, this whole brouhaha fails to take into consideration the fact that Public Broadcasting has been a corporate whore since the beginning, even back in the days when they actually had decent programming, back when they picked up all those seasons of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers, and Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series, and broadcast the Grateful Dead’s New Year’s Eve show, and all those old Dr. Who episodes. These days they’re even worse, pure desolation for those of us looking for truly progressive viewpoints on the airwaves — infested with corporate apologists and Democratic Party mouthpieces — so I, quite honestly, could give a rat’s ass less about whether PBS is funded or not.

Still, Liberal America’s having a cow. Oh, noes! Wherever will they go to hear banal stories of the trials and foibles of affluent Liberals on This American Life? Wherever will they go to get that feeling of superiority they get from smug inanity like Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me? Wherever will Liberals go for their Democratic Party talking points and thirty-six solid hours of bluegrass? No, not Big Bird! God help ‘em, the End Times are here!

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Middle Class First

“We do best when the middle class is doing well.”
–Barack Obama, Presidential Debate 10.03.2012

So, I’m seeing a lot of footage of Obama rallies on TV lately showing us lots of raving Dembots waving signs reading “Middle Class First”.

Now, on the surface, this sounds really nice and progressive populist and all, until you stop and think of how Obama bailed out the banks and Wall Street and left the foreclosed and unemployed hanging out to dry, and when you think about how the Presidential candidates of both wings of the Party pandered to the middle class while totally ignoring the working class and the poor. In fact, at my count, at last Wednesday night’s “debate”, I heard the phrase “middle class” spoken at least fifteen times in the first half hour — until I had to stop watching because my eyes were glazing and my brain was dribbling out of my ears.

To be honest, I’m actually becoming really annoyed at the amount of fawning and gushing and pandering directed at the Middle Class™ by politicians at the media, even as they display indifference — or, in some cases, flat-out hostility — towards the working class, the poor, and the formerly middle-class who’ve fallen into poverty owing to extended unemployment or foreclosure.

Let’s also not forget that generally, the Middle Class™ is where all the narrow-mindedness, conformity, materialism and selfishness live.They consume the most resources and complain the most about taxes while demanding the best of everything — roads, schools, public services — while joining in the villification of the poor and identifying with the rich, even as the rich continue to screw them royally.

So, perhaps a more accurate slogan for the Obama campaign might be “Middle Class First, And Throw The Poor A Bone If There’s Any Left”.

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Look Out, Bibi's Redlining!

Am I the only one here who saw those fotos of Netanyahu at the UN the other day and wondered "what the hell kind of pointy-haired middle-management dog'n'pony bullshit am I looking at?" Seriously, was the guy smoking crack on the plane to New York, or what?

Oh, and don't forget, folks -- you can't pronounce "Netanyahu" without "yahoo".

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Yer Liberals

The continuing adventures of The Forty-Seven Percent. My follow-up to last week's anatomical chart.
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I Am The 47%

By this time, I trust most of you have seen the infamous Mitt Romney video in which he writes off 47% of the voters -- especially those of you who watch MSNBC, who's been replaying it over and over so many goddamn' times it's turned into pornographic wallpaper. The ironic thing is that Mittens got it right, but for the wrong reasons.

While it's certainly true that at least 47% of voters will vote for Obummer no matter what, it won't be because of the reasons that Mittens cites -- decent healthcare and housing, and such. They'll vote for Obummer in spite of his picking up where Bush left off -- in spite of Obummer's continuing assaults on civil liberties, his attempts to dismantle Social Security and Medicare, his continued mass murder of civilians overseas, and his bailouts of bankers and Wall Street.

No Liberal in this country has to worry about his home being bombed by drones, or being snatched off the street and indefinitely detained because of any threatening dissident activities, or about the lack of a pension or decent health insurance -- so, Liberal America can ignore Obummer's massive crimes at home and abroad and concentrate on your typical standard-issue affluent Liberal issues, such as gay marriage and abortion rights... and, yes, they'll vote for Obummer, no matter what.

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That Old '08 Magic

Ever since the beginning of the current Presidential "election" campaign cycle -- lo, those many eons ago -- the media have been buzzing about the problems the Democrats are facing keeping their supporters energized the way they were in 2008. Endless hours of airtime are packed with hack pundits and party mouthpieces scratching their heads and pretending to have no idea what the problem is when, actually, it's so goddamn' obvious that you just want to reach into your TV set and smack the shit out of those people.

Thankfully -- and, somehow, sadly -- The Onion is providing the most accurate reporting on the Democrats' 2012 campaign. Check it out. You'll laugh, you'll cry.

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Do You Feel Lucky?

The other night, a nasty old man got up in front of the whole country and yelled at a chair for upwards of five minutes. Normally, I’d consider this a new all-time low in American politics, except that the Democratic Convention hasn’t started yet.

This was the first time ever in my entire life that I saw a crazy old man yelling at inanimate objects who wasn’t immediately snatched up by the cops and thrown into a psycho ward.

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When Neil Armstrong died last Saturday, my boyhood finally officially ended.

By all rights, flags all over this country should be lowered to half-staff in honor of one of the last real American heroes, but it would still be meaningless, because no one can lower the one flag that really matters.

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And now, one more time, for all you young'uns out there:


Trader Joe, Say It Ain't So!

This is a public service announcement -- with dubstep!

On a way-too-hot Sunday afternoon, a DC contingent in solidarity with OccupyMonsanto paid a surprise visit to the Trader Joe's on 25th Street NW in Foggy Bottom, "shopping for truth" as they entered the store in a hazmat-suit-wearing conga line. Meanwhile, outside, a spirited dubstep picket educated and entertained paasersby and Trader Joe's customers on mass-produced foods made with ingredients based on genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), and the influence of corporations like Monsanto on US policy and legislation on the labeling of GMO-based food items.

Total running time: 06:55

I Am The Joker

AURORA, Colo. (AP)
- New York City's police commissioner says the gunman in the Colorado movie theater rampage had painted his hair red and called himself the Joker -- the villain from the Batman movies.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Friday that he had been briefed about the shootings that killed 12 and wounded nearly 60 others at a showing of the new Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" at a suburban Denver theater.

In a now-predictable pattern, less than a day after the shootings in a Colorado movie theater screening The Dark Knight Rises, Emperor Barack Obama, who claims the right to assassinate anyone at any time anywhere, who maintains a "kill list" of potential assassination victims, and whose drone strikes have murdered thousands of civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen, delivered the now-standard scripted Tourette's outburst of false compassion and sympathy for murdered civilians in the Denver suburb of Aurora. Also, in a now-predictable pattern, the US news media fawned over the Boy Emperor's gushing unflinchingly, unquestioningly, and without the slightest sense of irony, even as they neglect to report on Obama's assassinations, mass murder, and acts of terror abroad.

As far as I'm concerned, the only difference between Boy Emperor Obama and the deranged college dropout in Colorado is that Obama has billions worth of lethal military hardware capable of killing thousands around the world along with the US mass media at his beck and call, and the deranged college dropout in Colorado had only a couple of pistols, an assault rifle, and a shotgun. For those of you with strong stomachs, here is the complete transcript of Obama's smarmy, hypocritical spewage at a campaign appearance in Florida.

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Based On A True Story

No, really, it is, at least parts of it.

I was on my way downstairs for a sandwich one late morning last week or so, and I passed by the bedroom, where the DW is catching up on some impresario chores on her laptop while the satellite box is nailed down to MSNBC. As aiways, I stop for a minute or two just to check out what they're emitting, and it's some woman who looked as if she were made entirely of plastic babbling an item about Hill leadership's reaction to the discovery that the US Olympic Team's uniforms had been made in China. Faster than you could say "eight percent unemployment", Harry Reid and John Boehner had crapped their drawers loudly while blurting out carefully crafted Tourette's episodes on the subject of the export of US jobs to China. After offering up this news, the anchorbabe said -- for real, I shit you not -- "At last, something that Democrats and Republicans can agree on."

"...along with war, torture, censorship, warrantless surveillance, assassinations, detention without trial..." the anchorbabe neglected to add.

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Hold Your Nose!

I first heard the lame Liberal rationale for voting against their values and interests -- "holding my nose" -- during the infamous "election" of 2000. In the decade or so since then, my reaction to that gutless cop-out has gone from outrage to annoyance to mild amusement to hysterics.

In every instance, my question -- still awaiting an answer -- has always been the same: how much longer are you going to sit still for the Democratic Party's abuse? What are you going to do when the stench gets so bad that holding your nose doesn't work?

The brain-dead philosophy of Liberal America -- "holding your nose" and voting for "the lesser evil" -- has yielded absolute zero in terms of any benefits. In fact, Liberals' continued insistence on voting against their interests pretty much fits the classic definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

So, you can imagine my shock and chagrin when I saw this recent article by Sam Smith -- normally a bastion of sanity and clear, independent thought -- advocating an "Obama One Night Stand" Movement, published at his Progressive Review. I didn't know whether to laugh until I pissed myself, or to go lay down on a railroad track.

If you insist on reading Sam's statement of capitulation to lesser-evilism, I strongly urge you to remove any cups of coffee or sleeping cats from the vicinity of your keyboard -- and if you've just taken a sip of coffee, swallow it immediately. You've been warned.

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Andrew Breitbart: Fight

A couple of weeks ago, my comrade Isis hipped me to this pants-pissing hilarious article in Wonkette about this absurdly overwrought portrait by David Bugnon, glorifying recently-deceased rightist "journalist" Andrew Breitbart as a Nordic knight. Posters and postcards of this hysterical tribute were available for purchase at Patriot Depot, your one-stop shop for all your right-wing drama-queen kitsch needs, for the bargain price of #3999.95. (Such a deal! I'll take two!)

Now, those of you who know me and my work know that there was no way in hell I could ever resist parodying this great heaping sloppy slab of fanboy bilge.

UPDATE: Confirming my suspicions -- along with those of Photoshop artists and computer gamers everywhere -- it's been revealed in a subsequent Wonkette report that the aforementioned glorifying painting was, in fact, a third-rate Photoshop mashup composed of an "official" portrait of Little Andrew, the knight from the computer game Assassin's Creed, and a stock photo of a glowing, leaden sky. This, of course, pushed the whole story from the absurd over the edge into the gloriously batshit.

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La Cage Aux Chanvre

Yesterday morning at Lafayette Square across from the White House, David Bronner, president of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, locked himself into a cage in a civil disobedience protest against US policies on the cultivation of industrial-grade hemp for use in food and fibers. Bronner notes that the US is the biggest market on Earth for industrial hemp products, and yet US farmers are cut out of the market; as a result, his company is forced to buy hemp oil from Canadian outfits to the tune of $100,000 per year.

Bronner also pointed out the hypocrisy of the Obama government in that as an Illinois state senator, Obama voted twice in support of industrial hemp cultivation, but as El Presidente, he has actively interfered in the rights of states to legalize the growing of industrial hemp, including his refusal to to meet with a delegation from North Dakota, whose government -- from the Governor on down -- has signaled its wishes to allow its farmers to cultivate industrial hemp.

From about 8am until the DC Fire Department arrived to cut the locks and bolts holding the cage closed, Bronner harvested some of the half-dozen or so industrial-grade hemp plants he had on hand -- at .06% THC, smoking it would give you nothing but a headache -- sifted the seeds, and used them to demonstrate a hand-cranked seed-oil press.

(Note: Owing to currently-insoluble issues with Vimeo's new uploading system, I'm forced to revert back to YouTube for the foreseeable future... and yeah, it kinda sucks. Apologies.)


The Abyss

I had this flash of inspiration from a post by my comrade Owen Paine, who writes for Stop Me Before I Vote Again, where he quips in his trademark beat poetic fashion:

yes the ever more empty "fatal center"
where all hope plunges down and down toward citizen despair
and corporate joy
If you're like me, you've heard the blabbing heads on TV mention the Democrats "reaching across the aisle" and "moving to the center" so goddamn' many times it makes you want to put your head through a plate-glass window.

If you're also like me, you do a massive facepalm every time the Democrats attempt another ill-advised and entirely lame "reach across the aisle" and end up being screwed, blued and tattooed by the GOP yet again. You'd think by now the Dems would have learned something about how "the Center" is a great bottomless time and energy-sucking maw of Hell, but apparently they have the learning capacity of a housefly -- and if you know anything about houseflies, you know that's damn' near absolute zero.

With that in mind, I present the Democratic Party attempting to "move to the center" and "reach across the aisle" and having what I call a Wile E. Coyote Moment. You know how, in those old cartoons, the coyote is chasing the road runner across the top of a mesa, and the road runner -- traveling at near supersonic speed -- rockets effortlessly over the edge and across the gap to the top of the neighboring mesa while the coyote, recklessly following him, gets about halfway across and suddenly realizes he's way the hell out there in the air all by himself, and right in that moment he thinks to himself "what the fuck am I..." just before he begins that long fall? Well, kind of like that.

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The American Political Spectrum: an Infographic

Anyone out there who's been paying even the slightest bit of attention knows by now that American politics are -- not to be too blunt about it -- really, really fucked up. And, nothing's more fucked up in American politics right now than the way most media hacks and astroturfers define and obsess over "the Center" and whine about "the war on moderates". After the US mid-term elections of 2010, US media pundits spent endless hours discussing how the Democratic Party needed to "move to the Center" -- neglecting to mention, of course, that moving to "the Center" would require them to move to the right. In the wake of the recent elections in Greece and France, the chattering heads on American TV pissed their pants as they desperately asked "will the Center hold?".

 Lost in all of this is the fact that over the past twenty years or so, the "Center" in the US has been moving steadily to the right. President Drone Strike, who's spent his entire term falling all over himself to suck up to right-wing cranks like John Boehner, is persistently labeled a "centrist" by the media. Rightist whackjobs like Sean Hannity label pro-corporate status-quo mouthpieces like CNN and the New York Times "the Leftist media". Bland, toothless institutions like the Democratic Party, MoveOn and the AFL-CIO are tagged as "the Left" by the media and, in the meantime, people and organizations with real, actual Left beliefs and values are... which brings us to the inspiration for this large and extensively-researched infographic.  

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 ...and here's more centrist hilarity from December 2010: "No Labels: Not Left, Not Right, Not Nothing".


Just Married

As I emerged from my REM sleep early last Wednesday morning, the first thing I heard was footage of President Sparkle Pony announcing his "support" for gay marriage on MSNBC's Morning Joe program. Also -- as per usual -- as during the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster two years ago, President Sparkle Pony sat on his ass for weeks before being dragged kicking and screaming into speaking up on the situation. Like his speech on Deepwater Horizon, his day-late-dollar-short announcement on gay marriage was tepid and lukewarm, full of vaporous, non-committal tap dancing -- in other words, classic Obama.

For some otherworldly reason, following President Sparkle Pony's mealy-mouthed announcement, the mainstream media -- along with, of course, vast swaths of Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans/Whatever America -- practically crapped its pants with excitement. This was especially great news for the media, who had a ready-made excuse to spend the next week avoiding all discussion of the economy, the war in Afghanistan, the indefinite detention provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act, the health care debacle, and a host of other more important issues. This was also good news in the context of the current Presidential Freak Circus, as it finally gives the Romney and Obama campaigns something to disagree on. So, I'd like to take this opportunity to offer my heartiest congratulations to GLBTW America, for so cleverly diverting the attention of the People, the ruling class and the media away from far more important issues to your goddamn' lame-assed hot-button bullshit culture-war pissfight.

Next week: flag burning!

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Guest Columnist: DC Has No May Day

At the moment, I'm in the middle of a rather involved piece -- an infographic -- that's going to take a while to draw and lay out, so here's a really excellent article by my friend, comrade, and fellow Town Hell Posse member, "the Cubster", originally posted on his Tumblr site. Sorry about the cursing, and... actually, on second thought, no -- I'm not sorry about the cursing. If you can't handle it, tough. --mf

DC has no May Day
Or, why the Institute for Policy Studies can eat shit.


It’s almost as if all of these events are planned by the same central committee. We’ve long been frustrated and irritated by the presence of 501c(3) non-profit groups— they latch on to every movement and suck the life out of it. Suddenly, every event —no matter how grass-roots its origins— is handled like a goddamned rock concert, with backstage passes and VERY BUSY STAFFERS who are VERY IMPORTANT AND CANT TALK WITH YOU RIGHT NOW WOULD YOU KINDLY STEP AWAY FROM THE SPEAKERS. You have to butter these little shits up, too, or else they’ll do everything in their power to keep you from taking pictures or interviewing people.


So it comes to pass that every activist event ends up following the same fucking script, with people on the street becoming so accustomed to the routine that they block it all out. The people of DC have acquired ninja-like prowess in dodging and brushing off bright, shiny-faced youth with pamphlets, and shitty, squawking bullhorns just blend into the white noise of the city. I know, you’re getting less than minimum wage to hand out fliers for an hour or two and it looks good on your curriculum vitae when you apply to another 501(c)3, but the people who told you to do this have no connection with the worker you’re slowing down who needs to catch the subway or else she’ll lose her minimum wage job.

This is why no one who lives in DC gives two shits about activism anymore, and why no one bothers to start anything. You’d think DC would be alive with political discourse on every corner, but it’s not. Everything has been domesticated. Tamed. Broken. Every movement, no matter what it is, will inevitably be co-opted by a large, well-funded nonprofit who will then move its own people into leadership positions in the original, grass-roots group. Or— as with the case of Occupy DC, where there is no leadership position— the nonprofits will create leadership positions with their own people already in the position; namely, the Institute for Policy Studies’ involvement with Occupy DC. We were looking up info about tomorrow’s May Day event at Malcolm X park, and saw this press release. That’s odd, Occupy is just supposed to DO THINGS, not have press agents and people who live in very expensive apartments in Alexandria.

“Who ARE these people?” “Hmm… they work for something… Institute for Policy Studies?” “INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES?! A FUCKING NON-PROF?!” “Yeah, fuck that shit, I’m not wasting my time on that crap.”

What DOES MayDay DC have planned, anyway? A carnival? A family friendly outing of happy, puffy, safe pablum that completely undercuts the serious nature of the entire goddamned 99% message? The right wing and corporatists are waging a very literal waron working people, dissidents and anyone who doesn’t fit into their narrow “God-Money-Empire” worldview, and the best way to demonstrate this is by having nonprofit staffers dress up in CLOWN COSTUMES for a goddamned PARADE?

The common line of apologist bullshit from non-profits is that without the power of a nonprofit, they wouldn’t be able to pull in notable speakers or professional sound systems— which is probably they’ve had their sights set on Occupy since it first appeared. Think about it— a legitimately grass-roots movement that doesn’t want or need your fucking Genelec monitors that you can’t mix properly, and where speakers like Slavoj Zizek spent their own money to travel to and attend. Hell, DC may actually by a perfect example where right wing media may have had its baseless propaganda finally hit a mark: a rich, well-funded group of flatulent, old “establishment leftists” really have taken over the activist scene in DC.

The major difference between what Institute for Policy Studies does and what Americans for Prosperity does is AFP has the backing of the Koch brothers’ billions, and IPS only has donations from a few well-off people from left-of-center. Either way, both of these abominations are the very definition of astro-turf political movements. Nothing of any journalistic importance will happen at Malcolm X park tomorrow, and I’m certainly not going to risk my brand new camera and lenses to cover a fucking astro-turf event that’s already being photographed by talentless hacks working for a fucking non-profit. Fuck that shit.


Free Mumia, Free 'Em All!

There ain’t no power like the ANSWER speeches
’cause the ANSWER speeches don’t stop!

‘Free Mumia Abu-Jamal’, Wash DC 04.24.12 from Mike Flugennock on Vimeo.
Photographed and edited by Mike Flugennock, 05:48

The birthday of dissident journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, imprisoned on Pennsylvania’s Death Row for 30 years, was marked today by a demonstration in solidiarity with Mumia and with political prisoners all over the United States, and in the US gulag of “black sites” all over the world.

Featured among the four hours’ worth of speakers before the march were noted rappers Chuck D (of Public Enemy) and M1 (of Dead Prez); however, I happily blew off their footage in favor of a live phone call to the rally by Abu-Jamal himself, from prison. Mumia sent greetings of solidarity and delivered a short statement, which is included in its entirety in this newsreel.


Happy Anniversary!

So, here we are two years after the massive oil spill from BP’s Deepwater Horizon offshore rig which devestated ecosystems, fisheries and tourism along the US Gulf Coast. Our Exalted Boy Emperor and Nobel Laureate, Barack Drone Strike Obama, responded by sitting around saying nothing for a couple of weeks before giving a speech so empty and loaded with blue-sky platitudes about our wonderful energy future that he should’ve been wearing a cardigan.

Meanwhile, large numbers of eyeless shrimp and mutated fish are being caught by Gulf Coast fishing boats, Gulf fisheries are in deep decline, and not a single BP executive has served so much as a day of prison time for this crime.

Happy anniversary, everybody! Have some cake.

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…and for those of you with long-term memory issues — or, “looking forward”, as your average Democrat would say — here’s a quick recap of the Gulf Coast oil disaster:

“Spill, Baby, Spill!” 04.30.10
“Climate Change?” 05.12.10
“Plugged, At Last!” 05.29.10
“Nerobama no. 2″ 06.17.10


"99% Spring": 100% Bullshit

Well, folks, it looks like MoveOn and the Democratic Party are at it again. These two have had a long and dirty history of co-opting, subverting and destroying popular democratic movements in this country, and their latest campaign to infiltrate the Occupy Movement, “The 99% Spring”, continues in that sordid traditon.

Here’s Charles M. Young, writing in Counterpunch last week:

…The meeting was a few blocks from where I live. The spam said it was “inspired by Occupy Wall Street.” I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I was vaguely hoping that whatever The 99% Spring was, it would start a chapter of Occupy Wall Street on the Upper West Side, conveniently near my abode, and agitate for the Democrats and MoveOn to move left.

The first clue that my evening might go otherwise was the sign-up table, where there were a bunch of Obama buttons for sale and one sign-up sheet for the oddly named Community Free Democrats (are they free of community?), which is the local Democratic clubhouse. That killed the “inspired by Occupy Wall Street” vibe right there. No piles of literature from a zillion different groups, as there had been in Zuccotti Park. No animated arguments among Marxists, anarchists, progressives, punks, engaged Buddhists, anti-war libertarians and what have you. Just Obama buttons, which didn’t appear to be selling…

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Blankness You Can Believe In!

Remember back during the ‘08 Presidential Freak Circus, when everybody was talking about how Obama was a “blank slate” where his acolytes could project any ideas they had about who they thought Obama was (regardless of what he actually was)? What do you mean, “no, me neither”? C’mon, gang…

Well, aaaaanyway… I’d almost forgotten about that “Obama is a blank slate” business myself, until a couple of weeks or so ago, when one of “Mittens” Romney’s key campaign advisors mentioned that the Romney campaign and his conservative principles were like an Etch-A-Sketch, and that you “…can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.”

So, yeah… Obama’s a blank slate you can put anything on that you want and then erase it, and Romney’s like an Etch-A-Sketch that you can… well, put anything on that you want and then erase it.

Jeezus, I just love the spectacle of American Democracy.

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Hey, gang, check out my new Vimeo channel!

Well, I've decided to make it official – at least inasmuch as anything on this blog is "official" – and replace the link to my YouTube channel with a link to my Vimeo site. I've been contemplating this for the better part of a year, after the YouTube Music Nazis gave me a ration of shit about using The Bangles' "Walk Like An Egyptian" in my Egyptian Embassy solidarity demo piece in January of last year, and they stripped the audio track out of it, leaving my video silent, as if I was engaged in some nefarious scheme to mass-produce DVDs of that protest video and sell them out of the back of a friend's van without paying royalties to The Bangles' record label. So, the very day YouTube pulled that bullshit on me, I set up my Vimeo account, and posted the Egyptian Embassy piece there unmolested.

As many of you who follow my video work might have noticed, I've been using obscure mid '60s garage-rock instrumentals for background music in a lot of my work lately – partially because I've kind of gotten into mid '60s garage these days, but mostly because almost all those tracks are long forgotten, released by long-forgotten bands on long-forgotten regional labels, available only on old 45s, never reissued on CD, and so damned obscure and under-the-radar that I can avoid being jerked around by the YouTube Music Nazis.

Still, on general principle, I've switched my main video link to Vimeo, not only because they don't have Music Nazis harassing people left and right, but also because you can find some pretty good quality work there without having to fight through all the footage of cats falling off tabletops, people throwing slabs of dry ice into swimming pools, and plane-crash porn. In fact, I've accelerated the process of re-posting a lot of my old work on Vimeo as lately I've been pestered a lot by YouTube about music I used in pieces I posted as much as five or six years ago with no problems (at least at the time).

I'm still leaving my YouTube channel active – for those of you linking/embedding my stuff from YouTube – and I'll still be posting pieces there as well, but from here on in, Vimeo will get first priority. Between their cluttered new interface that pushes "featured" and "promoted" videos and other crap I'm not interested in, and their Amazon pop-up ads for the Rolling Stones' Some Girls under my NYC 9/11 Anniversary piece which used "Shattered" (without giving me a share of the ad revenue), and their pestering me about music I used in a piece I posted six years ago, my attitude is pretty much "screw YouTube".


Who's More Progressive?

This piece was inspired by a blog post by Owen Paine, one of my favorite contributors to one of my favorite Leftie blogs, Stop Me Before I Vote Again. He quotes some interesting passages from President Nixon’s 1971 State Of The Union Address in which he mentions the “expansionary” budget he was about to submit to Congress, a “full employment budget”. Here’s The Tricky One’s own words from back in ‘71:

“By spending as if we were at full employment, we will help to bring about full employment”

Now, mind you, I’ve never been a Nixon revisionist, and I wasn’t one of those bonehead Liberals who spent the entirety of the Dubya Administration wishing they had Nixon back, but, still… full-employment budget? Then, I started thinking back some more… EPA? Detente with the Soviets? Healthcare program compromise with Ted Kennedy? Christalmighty, I thought, was Nixon, on balance, more progressive than Barack Obama?

Yeah, sure, Nixon dragged out a pointless war that hardly anybody wanted, bombed civilians at the drop of a hat, surveilled and harassed dissident activists, and sponsored coups and assassinations all over the world, but hasn’t Obama also done these?

Jeeeeeezus… full-employment budget.

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Romney's Dog vs. Obama's Dog

It’s no surprise that the Liberal punditocracy has grabbed hold of the story of Mitt Romney making his dog ride on the roof of his car and jumped on it like… well, like a big dog. Likewise, it’s also no surprise that the same big-shot Liberal pundits have softpedaled the reports of the Obama campaign allowing the formation of a big-money SuperPAC on its behalf — basically condoning the same kind of corporate election-buying that it condemned during the ‘08 campaign.

Granted, Mitt Romney making his dog ride on the roof of his car while the rest of the family rode comfortably inside is a crassly insensitive act — but it’s even more crass and insensitive that the allegedly “progressive” Barack Obama continues to give the cushy ride to bankers and corporate interests while The 99% are forced to ride on the metaphorical roof of Obama’s metaphorical car.

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Occupy CPAC!

The Liberty Lamp reports:
The streets outside the Marriot Wardman Park hotel in Washington DC were alive on Friday, February 10th, 2011, as protestors affiliated with Occupy DC, the SEIU, the AFL-CIO and a host of allied organizations descended on the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, also known as CPAC. Participants traveled from as far away as Pittsburgh and New York City to demonstrate against money in politics, income inequality and a profusion of crimes and abuses perpetrated against the poor, working and middle classes.

CPAC does little to hide the fact that it is a product of and for the elite rich, with a full pass to the conferences costing 200 dollars, a one day pass at 75 dollars and media passes only awarded to a select few that have passed a rigorous background check that would make the FBI jealous…

OCCUPY CPAC! from Wespennest on Vimeo.

…and here’s our coverage of the scene, shot by the Town Hell Posse (including yours truly).


My Little Party

Phew. After doing more cartoons in the past year than I did in the previous ten, I took most of January off while I wrapped up a fistful of freelance projects (hoorah for work!) and then spent the better part of the past two weeks grunting out this monsterpiece.

But, enough.

This one’s a salute to all you surviving Kool-Aid-drinking Obamabots getting ready to soldier on into this year’s Presidential Freak Circus — all you Lefties and Progressives who were willingly, knowingly, happily bamboozled by all the hope’n'change talk four years ago. The slightest bit of research could’ve shown you folks that not only was Obama not a Progressive, but there was no way in Hell you were going to get anything remotely resembling what you all assumed you were going to get once Obama took office — namely, the political equivalent of a pony. You did think Obama was going to get you all ponies, right?

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