Thursday, June 29, 2006

Monday, June 26, 2006

Cartoon #270: “Campaign ’06”

Title: Campaign '06; Text: (Carole Strayhorn, Rick Perry, Kinky Friedman, and Chris Bell standing under heading:) Campaing '06-Keeping Austin Weird
Good fortune is smiling on Texas cartoonists. As of last week’s certification by the Texas Secretary of State of voter signatures submitted by two independent candidates, the race for Texas governor officially became a wacky five-person contest between Rick Perry, the Republican incumbent with poor poll ratings but strong party support; Carole Keeton (McClellan, Rylander) Strayhorn (aka “Grandma”), the Republican state comptroller challenging Perry as an independent bypassing the Republican primary; Kinky Friedman, a cigar-chomping, popular fiction writer and country music singer, also running as an independent; Chris Bell, the Democratic Party candidate, facing the difficult task of winning in a strong Republican state; and James Werner (not shown in this cartoon), the Libertarian Party candidate, who has the least chance of garnering “free” media coverage that the other candidates are getting in abundance.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Cartoon #269: “Gas Prices”

Title: Gas Prices; Text: (two car characters from the movie 'Cars' looking at hood ornament logo that reads:) A Disney-Pixar Fantasy - Affordable Gas
As gas prices and concerns about them continued to rise, the Disney/Pixar movie “Cars” generated the most box office sales for two consecutive weekends after its nation-wide release June 9, 2006. But its second weekend percentage drop was one of the highest in Pixar history. Compared to its debut, Cars grossed $31.2 million from 3,988 theaters — a loss of 48%. One reason could be that, as critics pointed out, the story runs out of gas. Still, moviegoers drove to theaters to experience the movie’s escapist fantasy of affordable gas.

Cartoon #268: “2500 Iraq Milestone”

The death toll of U.S. soldiers hit the 2500 milestone last week, while Congress debated withdrawl from Iraq. At a press conference upon his return from a surpirse visit to Baghdad, President Bush again said he disagrees with those who are calling for a timeline for the withdrawl of U.S. troops from Iraq. Last November, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel raised the question: If Iraqis can discuss a date, why can’t we?

Bush is sticking to the same default exit strategy used in Vietnam from 1964 through the end of that undeclared war. The majority of U.S. citizens, however, want a strategy that brings home all of our troops alive, and whole mentally and physically

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Cartoon #267: “Rove Unindicted”

Title: Rove Unindicted; Text: (man in a park looking at large Karl Rove statue inscribed with the words:) Karl Rove, Counselor, Public Servant, Unindicted
After five appearances before the grand jury, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove will not be indicted in the CIA leak investigation, according to a statement his attorney made Tuesday, June 13, 2006. Mainstream news reports claim this decision by Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald signals that his probe is not likely to target any other Bush administration officials.

But according to the alternative news blog The Raw Story, lawyers directly involved in the case told Raw Story that Fitzgerald is extending his probe and pursuing much more serious charges against senior White House officials.

“The lawyers said that in the past month Fitzgerald has obtained explosive information in the case that has enabled him to pursue broader charges such as conspiracy, and civil rights violations against targets like Rove. Rove could also provide information that would allow Fitzgerald to target additional officials,” Raw Story reported.

Whether or not Rove is off the hook, his ultimate legacy will be his role in lowering the bar for occupants of the White House.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Cartoon #266: “Flag Desecration”

Title: Flag Desecration; Text: Heading: 'Flag Desecration' (U.S. flag with stripes representing chart bars pointing downward, labelled:) Bush, Congress, The Economy, The War, Homeland Security, Health Care
The eternal flag desecration proposal is being debated again this week by the U.S. Senate. It is the second of two “wedge issues” debated this month to distract citizens from President Bush’s low approval ratings. A proposed amendment intended to ban same-sex marriage failed last week.

Opponents of the proposed “flag-burning” amendment, including civil liberties groups and first amendment defenders, point out the rarity of flag desecration in the United States, and assert that the proposed amendment is the epitome of “a solution in search of a problem”.

They also say that an amendment making such activity illegal would undermine the very principles for which the flag stands; jailing protesters of dissenting opinion — such as those who burn national flags — is common under authoritarian regimes.

Another argument stems from the fact that groups such as the American Legion and the Boy Scouts of America regularly burn flags as a way to dispose of them in a respectful manner in keeping with the United States Flag Code. According to this argument, the amendment would single out people who committed the same act with different intentions — thus, the amendment would regulate free thought, in contradiction to the First Amendment. Read more.

Cartoon #265: “Unemployment”

Title: Unemployment; Text: (Shopper and checker in grocery store) Shopper: 'My Katrina unemployment benefits just ran out.' Checker: 'My Albertson's unemployment benefits just started.'
Almost a year has passed since Hurricane Katrina, and displaced families are still struggling.

Last Sunday, their unemployment benefits ran out. About 29,000 workers
in Texas got Disaster Unemployment Assistance benefits. Nationally, about 83,000 were cut off. Now it can be said that they are on the “Bush Jobs Program”: pray you’ll find a job soon.

In another story, Albertson’s grocery store chain is closing 10 Central Texas stores. With its purchase by a group of investment firms completed June 2, the
newly formed Albertson’s LLC announced Tuesday it would close 30 stores
described as “under-performing” in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma,
including 10 in Central Texas.

Then there are those with really bad luck — Katrina evacuees who had jobs at Albertson’s.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Cartoon #264: “Inconvenient Truth”

Title: Inconvenient Truth; Text: (Al Gore and John Kerry giving 'thumbs up' sign under heading:) Re-elect Gore-Kerry '08 (and) Another inconvenient truth
When Al Gore’s documentary on global warming, “An Inconvenient Truth”, debuted the weekend of June 2, 2006, media pundits used it not to educate news consumers on weather, but as a forum on whether Al Gore was considering running for president in 2008. The same week, the article by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., “Was the 2004 Election Stolen?”, debuted in Rolling Stone magazine. Kennedy’s article comes on the heals of the book “Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election & Why They'll Steal the Next One Too (Unless We Stop Them)” by Mark Crispin Miller.