My kids are always after me to tweet more, post more often on Facebook and use every available social medium much more extensively than I already do. Luddite that I am, I just can’t quite seem to get the hang of it. Most of it is a stubborn refusal on my part to dive in to that world, but at least some of my reluctance comes from the sneaking suspicion that most of what I have to say is mundane, silly and basically useless gum-smacking, much like what most everyone else is posting.
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The NRA yesterday released a genuinely despicable ad featuring Obama’s children. One can only imagine what their next assault on reason and propriety might be:
Video: Spilt screen: Still picture of Malia and Sasha Obama/picture of Secret Service agents
Audio: It’s bad enough that Obama’s children have round the clock protection from armed Secret Service agents, and yours don’t.
Video: Photo of Obama, as the words “ELITIST” and “HYPOCRITE” flash on screen
Video: Children walking down hallway in school building
Audio: Instead of being able to defend themselves openly, your kids have to hide their guns in their lockers at school. That’s bad and it’s wrong, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Video: Policemen hunkered down behind patrol cars, firing guns at unseen felons
Audio: The police carry their firearms right out in the open, and if a bad guy shoots at them, they can shoot back—any time, anywhere. But elitist hypocrites in Washington don’t want you to have the same right. They even want to prosecute brave, patriotic vigilantes who take the law into their own hands. They want you to be totally dependent on trained law enforcement agents to enforce the law.
Video: Photo of White House, as words “ELITIST” and “HYPOCRITE” flash on screen
Video: American Soldiers on patrol in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Audio: Soldiers can carry powerful military weapons anywhere they want, and nobody minds. But elitist hypocrites in Washington don’t want you to be able to defend yourself when Islamist militants attack your home.
Video: Islamic militants firing weapons
Video: Man in gun shop filling out paperwork
Audio: And you can bet our soldiers don’t have to go through background checks and waiting periods before they fire back at the bad guys. And they never have anyone trying to take away their assault weapons and their high-capacity ammunition clips. But you try taking your legally-purchased AR-15 into a movie theater or a school and see what happens. The next thing you know elitist hypocrites in Washington are howling for your guns.
Video: Capitol Building, as words “ELITIST” and HYPOCRITE” flash on screen
Audio: And when the Marxist socialist president…
Video: Photo of Obama, as words “MARXIST” and “SOCIALIST” flash on screen
Video: American soldier aiming gun at camera
Audio: …orders those troops to take away your freedoms and turn your neighborhood into a concentration camp, you won’t be able to do anything about it.
Video: Photo of Siberian prison
Audio: Remember, just because we make absolutely no sense and we’re insanely paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not coming for you. Hahahaha. High-pitched hysterical laughter, drowned out by a machine gun burst.
Video: Fade to black
President Obama, in his inaugural address on Monday, will ask Americans to think small and lower their expectations.
“Our nation faces a series of enormous challenges and great opportunities,” a draft of his proposed remarks, obtained yesterday by this reporter, begins.
“Throughout our glorious history,” Mr. Obama evidently plans to say, “America has always risen to the moment, summoned the courage and the will to answer the challenge of the day, and emerged stronger and more vibrant. Not this time, baby.
“We face a stagnant economy, a growing wealth disparity that’s threatening to destroy our middle class and turn us into a third world country, an enormous deficit, a rising tide of gun violence, and the very real danger of climate change. Time and again, throughout our history, in moments of great crisis, Americans have put aside our differences, rolled up our sleeves, and worked together to solve our problems. Our hard work, our ingenuity, our selfless devotion to our fellow citizens, have made us the strongest, most successful nation in history, and the envy of the world.
“That was then, this is now.
“Let’s face it. The myopic Republican bozos in Congress can’t see past the next debt ceiling fight. My new cabinet is a bunch of party apparatchiks and loyalists from my inner circle with no real agenda but protecting my rear end. If you honestly believe that either group could solve an easy Sudoku puzzle, much less the national debt, I’ve got a solar panel company you can buy cheap.
“I’ve got about a year and a half before I’m a complete lame duck with no clout at all, and it’s pretty clear I’m going to spend that entire time bogged down in endless fights with those morons in the House over a bunch of idiotic self-imposed budgetary crises, with zero chance of addressing important stuff like energy independence, reforming our education system or saving the planet from global warming.
“As you know, I came into this office four years ago with high hopes and grand dreams, hopes and dreams you once shared, but as a very perceptive woman once said, ‘How’s that hopey changey thing working out for ya?’ I think we all know the answer.
“So, today, I ask all Americans, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, whatever your religion or ethnic background, to join with me in forgetting about leaders with vision, a government that actually functions, a Washington that works for you and not just for moneyed interests. Do not dream of a better world, a safer planet, or a brighter future for our children, at least not any time soon.
“Maybe some day, in the distant future, a future we cannot see from here, things will change, and the partisan gridlock that seems permanent now will somehow evaporate and we will magically return to the kind of functioning democracy our founding fathers envisioned. Perhaps Hillary can do something in 2016.
“But it’s probably not going to happen on my watch. Get used to it.
“God bless you, and God bless America.”
This is the last of this week’s series in which Nate worries about the weather and climate change. It’s probably as political as I’m going to get with what is generally a family-oriented comic strip. I’m still surprised by the vehemence of the responses I get when people comment on the GoComics.com website. As an editorial cartoonist I was used to a readership that accepted that they’d read things in the newspaper they disagreed with; comics readers are a different breed; they love you or hate you. To read the entire series (and add your own comment) click here.
The National Agency for Climate Change Denial (NACCD) issued a statement yesterday denouncing the recent report that 2012 was the hottest year on record.
“We categorically reject the assumption that the so-called “record heat” had anything to do with human activity,” the statement read. “This is yet further evidence of the massive global warming fraud being foisted on gullible Americans by evil scientists dedicated to proving their crackpot theories, even if they have to destroy our planet to do it.”
The statement was in response to the release on Tuesday by The National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., of its official tally showing that the average temperate in the United States during 2012 was 55.3 degrees, a full degree warmer than the previous high.
“This has gone beyond being a mere hoax,” a spokesman for the climate denial agency angrily charged. “We now believe that this is a full-fledged international conspiracy.”
The privately-funded agency, staffed by a broad spectrum of global warming skeptics, was established during the second Bush administration by officials alarmed by the growing belief among voters that climate change might be real and that the government might be expected to do something about it.
“Look at the evidence. Climate scientists predict that the temperature is rising, and then they come up with data showing that it’s rising. They predict melting ice caps, and the ice caps melt. They warn that we’ll get more severe storms, and we get killer tornadoes in the South and Midwest and superstorms along the coasts. They say the oceans will rise, and right on schedule, the oceans rise.
“We at the NACCD aren’t scientist—we’re religious fundamentalists, industry mouthpieces and former congressmen entirely beholden to special interests—so we don’t know how they’re doing it. All we know is, these climatologists are extremely dangerous and they must be stopped.
“They’ve already caused massive damage. Dozens dead from tornadoes. Homes and businesses leveled. New Orleans and now New York flooded. Damage in the tens of billions of dollars. Who knows where they’ll strike next in their deranged campaign to persuade people that they’re right about global warming.”
“In the coming days, the agency will issue a number of far-ranging proposals to limit any further damage climate scientists can do. I won’t get into specifics now, but some of the main suggestions will be to stop funding science education in the schools, to make it a crime to collect climate data, and—most important—to refuse to provide disaster funds for any future storm damage caused by these deranged scientists. It’s just bad public policy to continue to reward their recklessness.
“Finally, we ask these self-proclaimed climate experts one question: how stupid do you think we are, anyway? You really try to scare us into believing your scam by claiming that 55 degrees is record heat? Americans aren’t fooled so easily.”
“That’s sweater weather.”
Okay, so my editorializing occasionally creeps into my comic strip. So sue me. This week’s series is in part a recollection of how much the news affected my kids when they were young. Probably because I worked for a newspaper, they were exposed to more hard news at a young age than most, and it sometimes deeply affected them. Not having the seasoned perspective of an adult, stories about war, suicide bombings, school shootings and human-caused disasters (and I include climate change) terrified them. In other words, they were a whole lot more sane than the grownups.
Read the entire series and have the strip emailed to you daily at GoComics.com/freshly squeezed.
Opposition to President Obama’s choice of Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary continued to mount as Republicans and others voiced doubts about the selection. While representatives of Jewish and gay groups expressed concern about previous statements made by Mr. Hagel, the main criticism came from Senate Republicans.
“I’m a Vietnam vet like Chuck,” said John McCain, “I appreciate that he’s the first enlisted man ever to be nominated for this post, that he understands what it’s like to be in combat, that he was wounded twice, that he’s a war hero. That’s exactly why he’s wrong for the job.”
Senator Lindsey Graham echoed those sentiments. “This nation has a long history of old who never saw combat sending other people’s kids to war. Will a guy who actually knows what being under fire is like be willing to use our nation’s youth as cannon fodder in a completely pointless war?”
A former official in the George W. Bush administration, who asked not to be identitifed, added, “While I respect Mr. Graham’s war record, he was one of the first senators to recognize that the war in Iraq was a total sham. And he’s a Republican! The guy just can’t be trusted to get us into the next unnecessary conflict.”
“Our whole bloated defense budget depends on us jumping from one trumped-up war in some failed backwater state to the next so that our defense contractors can keep the assembly lines humming. And those companies are huge campaign contributors,” noted McCain. “I don’t think Chuck gets that.”
Texas Senator John Cornyn was especially blunt. “He’s the worst possible guy for the job. Chuck Hagel doesn’t understand how much of America’s economy depends on putting as many of our young people as possible in harm’s way for the sole reason of enriching mega-corporations like Halliburton.
“Where the heck would this country be today if we’d never invaded Iraq or Afghanistan?”
In a surprise move, the House of Representatives yesterday voted overwhelmingly to secede from the union.
Shortly after taking their oaths of office and posing for ceremonial pictures with House Speaker John Boehner, the newly-installed members of the 113th Congress acted on a bill offered jointly by Chuck Fleischmann, Republican from Tennessee, and Joe Barton of Texas, compelling the House to formally withdraw from the United States of America.
All 233 Republicans voted for the measure, ensuring its passage. Not a single Democrat voted in favor.
Rep. Barton, explaining his reasons for offering the bill, said, “In this last election, the American people spoke loud and clear. They want a Congress that will solve this country’s problems, that will move beyond narrow partisan gridlock, that will take issues like global warming and guns violence seriously. That sure as heck isn’t what we in this chamber want.”
Michele Bachmann, Republican from Minnesota, an early and enthusiastic supporter of the bill, added, “It’s pretty dang clear that America and the House don’t see eye to eye on pretty much anything. Their agenda is so out of whack with ours it’s ridiculous even trying to talk to them. Health care for all, a progressive tax system, putting the interests of the people ahead of our campaign contributors—let’s face it, we have nothing in common with America.”
Speaker Boehner, in a last-minute attempt to stave off the vote, proposed a Plan B in which the House would move to an undisclosed offshore location but remain part of the country, but he was unable to muster enough support in the Republican caucus to bring the measure to the floor.
After the vote, a triumphant Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader, exclaimed, “Let’s see them call us a do-nothing congress after this!”