Friday, August 31, 2007

Senator Larry Craig Sex Scandal: Today's Cartoon

It might be hard to believe, but by the way things appear in Washington these day, it may not be President Bush who "screws" his party out of power in 2008, but the Republicans that literally do it to themselves.

Accused of trying to solicit sex from an undercover police officer in an airport men's room, Senator Larry Craig is just the latest in what seems to be a disturbing trend of Republican lawmakers doing what they do best, bringing attention to "family values" issues in the United States... by being exposed as total hypocrites.

The way I see it, in a country that is so limited by it's political options, it is no wonder that Washington has become a mess with partisan bickering. Just look at the sort of ongoing nonsense that these politicians are forced to contend with... and you'll understand their constant need to protect it, by diverting attention back onto the opposition before they can Foley... I mean "fully" take advantage of it.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Moqtada al-Sadr Announces Iraq Ceasefire: Today's Cartoon

It appears that some "overly enthusiastic" members of Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army are giving the militia a bad reputation, even by Iraqi standards. So bad in fact that the radical cleric has decided to take radical measures, by grounding his entire organization; meaning no TV, no telephone and no targeting American soldiers for an entire six months.

During the ceasefire, al-Sadr has expressed plans to restructure his army, by removing its "bad members" before resuming hostilities against coalition forces, just in time for Valentines Day. Yet if you ask me, it would seem that the U.S. will be the ones doing most of the housecleaning for him, as anyone who breaks the ceasefire will undoubtedly be considered a "rogue" militant by Sadr loyalists and target practice by the Americans.

You know, if such a arrangement can work so effectively in war, isn't it a shame that it doesn't carry over into peace?

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Owen Wilson Hospitalized: Today's Cartoon

Regardless of the individual or the situation, the decision by someone to take their own life (for whatever reason) is an extremely serious matter that obviously needs be addressed with the utmost care and consideration... that is unless the attempt fails; in which case, you hope for a speedy recovery, at least until they are well enough to be given the riot act, for the anguish they have caused the people around them.

Now, despite what some people may think, there is absolutely no justification in my mind for anyone, especially a Hollywood star, to jump the line and cut in front of the terminally ill and ridiculously old who are mere moments away from paradise. The way I see it, these poor souls have waited a lifetime to earned their spot and the last thing they need is some dopey celebrity, distraught over his spectacular love life, shoving them aside while trying to bribe the doorman with slit wrists and a belly full of sleeping pills.

It's R.I.P. not V.I.P. Now wait your turn, like the rest of us puny mortals ;)

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Alberto Gonzales Resigns: Today's Cartoon

The resignation of yet another high-ranking White House official amid controversy appears to give new meaning to the term "doing the RIGHT thing", as embattled U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is just the latest Bush loyalist to step down under pressure from critics and into the pages of history, as an integral part of perhaps the worst administration in United States history.

For his part, Gonzales' involvement in the politically motivated firing of eight federal prosecutors will more than likely overshadow the fact the nation's first Latino Attorney General... but one the bright side, it may also eclipse many of his controversial policies, like the ones permitting torture against detainees and warrantless wiretapping against American citizens.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Greek Wildfires Spark National Emergency: Today's Cartoon

Much to my surprise Greece's worst forest fires in living memory was not the result of climate change or an angry Hephaestus, but the work of arsonists. I mean, who knew that the Greeks were such pyromaniacs? Then again this IS the country that gave us the Olympic torch relay.

You know, it's situations like this when people are caught in the path of nature's fury that I begin to question the need to worry so much about global warming... when apparently our neighbors seem far more likely to do us in, before the planet gets around to it.

The way I see, despite the complex challenges we encounter as an "advanced" civilization, the greatest problem we face today is the same one that has plagued us throughout the ages and that is nothing threatens to our way of life more, than fire in the hands of Neanderthals. Now, wouldn't you love to see Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio do a documentary about that?

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Bush Compares Iraq Withdrawal to Vietnam: Today's Cartoon

The way I see it, President Bush's assessment that an Iraq withdrawal would result in the same loss of life that followed America's departure from Vietnam only proves how destabilizing U.S. intervention has been in that country and in no way does it justify prolonging it... especially since history has already told us what the outcome is going to be.

While it may be true that countless thousands were maimed and executed following the Vietnam war, there was really nothing that the United States could have done to prevent it. Even if they had stayed in the region, they were too bogged down in Vietnam to intervene in Laos and Cambodia; and even if they could, troop morale and public support were at such a low point that the result would have been an even greater disaster (and larger loss of life).

Wow... I guess when President Bush was told that he didn't have to serve in Vietnam, someone must have said that he didn't have to pay attention either.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Alleged Police Provocateurs at Montebello Summit: Today's Cartoon

Judging by the video taken by demonstrators at the recent "Three Amigos" summit in Montebello Quebec, either the three suspected "agent provocateurs" were indeed undercover police officers or they were the lamest Anarchists that I have ever seen. I mean, did you see how quickly they surrendered to riot cops after scurrying behind the police barrier, to avoid protesters removing their bandannas? You know, for rock-wielding goons set on having a confrontation with authorities, they sure didn't put up much of a fight.

Of course, the RCMP and the Quebec Provincial Police have both flatly denied the use of uncover agents at the summit; which should seem fairly obvious, since admitting to such allegations would sort of negate the need for being so sneaky in the first place. Yet even in denial, the police do not appear to rule out the possibility that the three individuals were indeed provocateurs... just that they didn't originate from their department.

But, as anyone who has ever seen an episode of "The Sopranos" can probably tell you, whenever a dirty deed is needed to be done, it is always best to hire someone outside of the crew to do it. That way if anything goes wrong, it can't be linked back to the family... even if the whole thing was caught on video and posted on Youtube ;)

*Update* BUSTED! The police now admit that they were indeed undercover cops... this is going to be interesting.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

CIA Criticizes George Tenet Over 9/11: Today's Cartoon

Hmm... I wonder why the CIA deemed it necessary in the first place to classify a report that basically states the obvious, that former agency chief George Tenet had no clue how to predict or prevent the 9/11 attacks. I mean, not only does that seem fairly apparent after the fact, but it was pretty much a foregone conclusion when it happened, six years ago.

While the findings of this report will no doubt infuriate many people, there is at least some comfort to be found in the belief that George Tenet was SO incredibly incompetent (according to the CIA) that anyone who even cared even slightly about terrorism could have prevented the attacks from taking place; which means that the chances of another 9/11 occurring should be practically non-existent at this point... Right?

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Leona Helmsley 1920 -2007: Today's Cartoon

Eccentric billionaire hotelier Leona Helmsley was dubbed the "Queen of Mean" for her reputation of being unrealistically demanding, with a proneness to firing employees on the spot. She was also a convicted tax-cheat who was once quoted as saying that only the "little people" paid taxes. In other words... she was a cultural icon who came to symbolize much of the greed and excess that seemingly defined the 1980's.

If articles written on Helmsley's excessive temper are accurate, then the fact that she succumbed to "heart failure" should really come as no surprise to anyone; except perhaps those who believed that she never had one to begin with. Yet, for all the negative reporting about the life of Leona Helmsley, something positive that can be said about the 87 year-old heiress is that unlike her younger counterparts, at least she was coherent enough to have a demanding attitude... and kind enough not to leave the public with any sex tapes to remember her by.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Hurricane Dean Threatens Gulf Oil Industry: Today's Cartoon

Hurricane Katrina not only revealed the vulnerabilities of the levees in New Orleans, but it also open many people's eyes to just how easily susceptible the oil industry in the Gulf of Mexico is, to acts of god... and greedy business owners.

2005 was considered the most active hurricane seasons on record; yet for the major oil companies, the huge winds quickly translated into giant windfalls, in the form in the form of record profits (along with accusations of price gouging).

Fast forwards two years later and the advance of Hurricane Dean towards the Gulf region at near category 5 capacity once again has the energy sector nervously tracking the storm's activity, in anticipation of another "record-breaking" Atlantic Hurricane season.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Jose Padilla Convicted of Terrorism Support: Today's Cartoon

The conviction of "enemy combatant" Jose Padilla is a clear victory for President Bush, who ordered him detained as a enemy combatant, on suspicion of plotting a "dirty bomb" attack in the United States in 2002.

For three and a half years, Padilla was held in isolation, without charge; until finally, the U.S. government was pressured into prosecuting him in a federal court... for lesser crimes. Yet fortunately, the Bush Administration was able to obtain a conviction on those weaker charges, and thus were able to justify their initial detainment of Padilla, for the far more serious (and possibly made-up) offense.

Because President Bush has the executive authority to designate and detain any American citizen as an "enemy combatant" and hold them without charge, he could (theoretically, of course) use this power to create the appearance that he is defending the homeland against domestic super-villains, when all he is really trying to do is bolster his image at the publics expense.

It really wouldn't be all that difficult for him to do... First detain a "suspect" on suspicion of something really awful and then figure out what the real charges are after that; that way, even if its takes years and the conviction is for something far less serious, the fact they are guilty of ANYTHING clearly justifies their incarceration in the first place, and makes the President and his "anti-terrorism" policies appear more effective and trust-worthy than they actually are.

Well, good thing this administration is not the habit of deceiving the American public; or else this might actually be something to think about ;)

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

U.S. To Name Iran's Guard Terrorists: Today's Cartoon

Betcha' the White House is kicking itself for not doing the same thing to Saddam's Republican Guard, before they invaded Iraq.

Learning from it's mistakes, it appears that the United States government may have figured out a better way to use its "Global War on Terror" to justify the invasion of other nations... by designating that country's official army as a "terrorist organization".

Iran's continued defiance towards the Bush Administration has earned it's Revolutionary Guard a spot on America's list of recognized terrorist groups. And while claims of Tehran's desire for nuclear weapons and its involvement in Iraq's violence are disputed, one thing that is certain is that Iran frustrates the heck out of Neo-cons hawks, who are determined to find a reason to go to war with them... which ironically, may be the only justification they actually need.

The way I see it, if "frustration" is viewed as a "terrorist" tactic, then EVERY cute girl I meet at a club or in a pub must be working for Al Qaeda.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mattel Orders Mass Chinese Toy Recall: Today's Cartoon

With the announcement of yet another huge toy recall by Mattel over health and safety concerns of it's Chinese-made products, it is starting to appear as though China is fast becoming the real-world equivalent to the ACME Corporation... minus the Earthquake pills and the Do-It-Yourself Rocket-Sled Kit.

As more focus and scrutiny is being placed upon imported Chinese-made items, it seems that more tainted products are being discovered; which is good to know, if it weren't for the facts that China pretty much manufactures EVERYTHING we buy nowadays. So, I guess in the end consumers do end up paying a higher price for all that cheap labor, after all.

Well, say what you might about standard and quality of Chinese-made imports, but if they didn't cut a few corners to meet demands, then how else could Santa be ready in time for Christmas?

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Karl Rove Resigns: Today's Cartoon

The way I see it, Karl Rove's resignation as President Bush's Senior political strategist could mean that either the Bush Administration has officially run out of ideas and is basically running out the clock until they leave Washington; or... they've got something so huge cooked-up that not even "Turd Blossom" can give it a rosy scent. Either way, it would appear that the White House is no longer in the business of "selling" its policy to the American public.

In retrospect, I would say that Karl Rove proved himself to be a brilliant peddler of faulty products; and like any good salesmen, had the ability to get his foot in the door, from Washington or Baghdad. Unfortunately, these "must-have" items he so effectively marketed ended up working about as well as a tube of Chinese toothpaste.

But what does he care? For Karl Rove, his legacy is linked directly to the successful "promotion" of Bush's policies, not their disastrous consequences; for which he offers no regrets, no apologies and absolutely no refunds.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Merv Griffin 1925-2007: Today's Cartoon

I think out of all of his accomplishments and contributions to popular culture, probably the greatest achievement of Merv Griffin's life was not just creating the game show "Jeopardy", but writing its instantly recognizable theme song that is impossible to get out of your head, no matter how man times you bang it against the wall.

Much like the "answers" on Jeopardy, Merv Griffin's legacy has a tendency to make others feel somewhat less about themselves. And while you should never fault someone for overachieving, if there is anything positive to be said about the passing of this multi-talented, entertainment-industry giant it's that he knew how to make the most out of life... both his and apparently everyone else's too ;)

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Rice Phones Musharraf Over Emergency Fears: Today's Cartoon

Just because the U.S. State Department refused to give details of a phone conversation between Condoleezza Rice and Pervez Musharraf over the ongoing political situation in Pakistan, doesn't mean we can't speculate as to what was said to convince the General not to declare a state of emergency... My guess would be the same thing Condi tells President Bush during his morning briefings.

One might think that with all of her diplomatic fumbles in the Middle East as Secretary of State, the U.S. government would be more eager to highlight Rice's success at averting a larger crisis in Pakistan, to prove that she can actually be effective in the region (just over the phone and not in person).

Then again, how difficult is it really for the Bush administration to get President Musharraf to listen to them, when all it took the last time was a simple threat to bomb Pakistan back to the "stone age"?

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Barry Bonds Breaks Home Run Record: Today's Cartoon

If Barry Bonds used steroids to help him break Hanks Aaron's all-time career home run record, then instead of an asterisks beside the statistic, I think there should probably be a giant question mark next to it, as if to say "So what, he got away with it, didn't he?"

Assuming that Bonds did take performance enhancing drugs (I know, hard to believe) then who is really the most at fault for that, the player or the league, for enabling him to do it through their non-existent drug testing policy? As far as I can tell, "cheating" would indicate a clear violation of the rules (where they exist); and yet despite serious suspicions about his performance, the league has never proven that Barry Bonds committed an infraction, which means that (like it or not) the record should count.

Now, many fans critical of Bonds' accomplishment will view this as a black-eye for the sport of baseball; but personally, I think it's one that it needs to have in order to start cleaning-up its act.
Hopefully the lose of one of its most treasured statistics through the (suspected) use of drugs will motivate players try to surpass Bonds' accomplishment "cleanly" and bring respectability back to the home run record... and the game itself.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Russia Accused Of Georgian Missile Strike: Today's Cartoon

I got to admit that when I first heard that Georgians were accusing Russia of a missile strike, my initial reaction was like any North American, to speculate as to the amount of moonshine consumed prior to the outhouse exploding. Of course, the "Georgia" being referred to here is not the American state, but rather the former Soviet republic and Russian neighbor.

In recent weeks, Russia has managed to get itself into more "rows" with other countries than a Viking ship on a pillaging expedition. It seems that with the world's attention focused squarely on the Middle East, the former Superpower and Cold War participant has begun to assert itself more in the absence of an effective U.S. foreign policy.

Yet for its part, the Kremlin has denied any involvement in the botched missile-strike against its neighbor; which regardless of being true or not, makes perfect strategic sense. You see, by making the world think it is crazy, the less likely any nation will want to mess with Russia; but that can only succeed if no one thinks they fire duds.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Karzai Calls Taliban Defeated: Today's Cartoon

According to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, not only has the Taliban been defeated, but they don't even pose a threat to his leadership, despite mounting civilian casualties.

Now, for someone's whose influence hardly extends past the checkpoints surrounding the capital city, Karzai's bold claim that his government cannot be touch by the rising violence and instability in Afghanistan merely plays to the critics who claim that the "Mayor of Kabul" is too withdrawn and isolated from the rest of his country, to govern it effectively.

During his visit to Washington, Hamid Karzai and President Bush accused the Taliban of using "human shields"; which judging by the mass casualties, must be an indication of the their presence (and influence) among the Afghan people. Thus not only has the Karzai government failed to assert its authority, by preventing the Taliban from using these civilians as shields, but it has also failed to inspire the rest of the population to rise up and resist their former rulers.

By failing to extend itself past the city of Kabul, the Karzai government has seemingly enclosed itself within a lawless nation, and basically allowed for the same conditions that brought the Taliban into power, in the first place.

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Monday, August 06, 2007

Foot-and-Mouth Outbreak Hits Britain: Today's Cartoon

It's a cruel irony that a research lab specializing in Foot and Mouth disease may have caused an outbreak of it, through the development of a vaccine.

In 2001, Britain's livestock industry was decimated by a widespread epidemic of the disease; and while images of Prince Charles being forced to disinfect his feet before entering Canada was sort of amusing, the effects of the pandemic on the British economy were not. Which is why officials are not taking any chances this time, by acting more promptly and culling entire herds of cattle in the proximity of the initial outbreak.

Now, if the key to any business is to create a demand for the service or the product, then I guess the same could apply to research labs in the "business" of making cow vaccines. Of course, that's just me being cynical (as usual); but seriously, what better way to promote a new cure than by "accidentally" letting the specimen run amok in public?

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Russia Claims The North Pole: Today's Cartoon

I guess Russia's controversial claim to the untapped resources of the North Pole means that climate change isn't as big of a concern for them as it is for everyone else, since these energy riches are only accessible due to the rise in global warming.

Now, despite the Kremlin's symbolic effort, everyone knows that the North Pole already belongs to Canada and has been Canadian territory since 1983, when Canada Post issued Santa Claus with his own CANADIAN postal code so children could send him their Christmas lists. I mean c'mon, if Moscow really had any sort of claim to the North Pole then "naughty" kids around the world would be receiving polonium in their stockings while the rest of them got vodka and pregnant :P

Unfortunately it appears that Putin's claim to the high arctic will likely result in similar declarations by the leaders of Canada, Norway, Denmark and the United States; resulting in a tense stand-off at the top of the world. So the way I see it, rather than thaw out the Cold War, the best way to resolve this territorial dispute over the North Pole and its resources, is to reverse the effects of global warming; and once again cut them off to everyone.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Rumsfeld Denies Tillman Cover-up: Today's Cartoon

I must admit, it was GREAT to see Donald Rumsfeld again; because quite frankly, whenever I don't for a while, I begin to get nervous. Now, say what you will about the former U.S. Defense Secretary, but the way I see it, the more Rumsfeld is in the public-eye denying cover-ups that may have occurred during his tenure at the Pentagon, the less likely he can cover-up anything new.

The controversy surrounding the "friendly-fire" incident that took the life of former NFL star-turned-soldier Pat Tillman lead many to believe that the Department of Defense had deliberately withheld information in order to preserve the reputation of the United States military; however, further investigation into the shooting has recently revealed evidence to suggest something much more sinister.

So disturbing in fact are these inconsistencies that it brought Donald Rumsfeld out of hiding and before a House Oversight Committee, to address questions about the case and to once again remind the public that when there's smoke... there's Rummy, trying to blow it in their face.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

UN Approves Darfur Peacekeeping Force: Today's Cartoon

Better late than never I guess... After four years of fighting and over 200 thousand lives lost, the United Nations has finally approved a peacekeeping mission for the war-torn region of Darfur.

The objective of this mission is to quell the violence between rebel tribes and the Sudanese government and to protect the millions of displaced and starving civilians that have resulted from this conflict; and yet with a force of only 26 000 (mostly African) peacekeepers to enact this optimistic agenda, one might suspect that Donald Rumsfeld was working for the United Nations.

While the operation to Darfur has been hailed as the largest peacekeeping effort in the world, all anyone has to do is look at the lack of effort everywhere else to realize that this distinction practically given by default. And while I am certainly hopeful that peace can be achieved in the Sudan, I think the only way the U.N. can enforce a ceasefire in that part of Africa is to commit a larger multinational peacekeeping force to the region, while threatening to impose sanctions if Sudan fails to cooperate.

Failing that, they could always just make it a part of the Middle East and slowly back away.

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