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Category: Politics

Roger That
Roger Stone is one of those people, like the Orange Jaundice himself, who is better left ignored. But now, here he is at the center of the Mueller investigation. It appears that Roger may have been up to something treasonish with our president and his Russian rooting section. So we really should pay attention, even if that’s what he seems to want most.

He got a particularly big dose of attention last Friday morning. Twenty-plus federal agents arrived just before dawn by land, sea, and air at his villa in South Florida. He was cuffed, his property was seized, and he was hauled off to jail. Mr. Stone later said that he had been treated “worse than Osama Bin Laden.” To be clear, though, he was not deep-sixed at a secret spot at the bottom of the Indian Ocean.

Nope, he’s still up and around… and still running his dandy gangsta act for whoever will listen. The act, however, seems to have lost some of its panache. As he came out of the federal court in Fort Lauderdale after making bail, he raised his arms to give the Nixon double-V-for-victory salute. Sadly, the gesture revealed a wide swath of fish-belly under his polo shirt. It wouldn’t have been a good look even if his gut had been spray-tanned like the rest of him. His hair, usually a perfect rug, appeared to have been attached upside down. His mouth worked like an organic taffy-puller to keep his dentures under control, and despite the victory sign, he looked weak and disoriented. Perhaps the crowds chanting “Lock him up!” threw him off his game. The whole scene belied his dapper bad boy pose and revealed the ghoulish bottom-feeder underneath.

It is worth noting that at least some of the FBI agents who nabbed Stone and sifted through his possessions were working without pay at the time. One can only imagine the rush to volunteer that must have followed the call for agents for this operation. He is just the kind of guy that any straight-laced lawman would love to collar. He flouts the law. He badmouths the cops. He lies about everything. He revels in his reputation as a dirty trickster who makes his own rules. Do I want in? Are you kidding me? Furlough schmurlough...just tell me what time I’m supposed to be there!

I’m not sure what the motivation might have been for sending in an armed regiment of agents to nab Stone. Maybe the shock and awe was a message to Stone and his co-conspirators. Maybe there are as-yet-unknown charges whose seriousness merits this kind of muscle. Or maybe Mueller was just being extra careful about a poisonous rot that is threatening the health of our republic.

Whatever it was, the big bust gave at least one group of federal workers a chance to clap back at a president who had dissed them repeatedly and questioned their patriotism. Better yet, it was their job to do it. And yes, they will even get paid to rattle his cage. Eventually, anyway.
The MF-Word
By which I mean “motherfucker.” It was recently dropped by new Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib as a character assessment of our president. I may be revealing my own sexism, racism, ageism, and religious intolerance all at once. but it surprised me to hear this word issuing from the lips of a middle-aged, Muslim, mother of two.

My first take was, as Nancy Pelosi later referred to her own reaction, generational. I may use the word fuck more than I used to, but motherfucker seems like a curse too far for public discourse. Fucking, after all, is a perfectly respectable human activity. Motherfucking is unlikely to ever attain that status. There’s nothing wrong with cocksucker, either, even though it’s a tad harsher than fuck. The honorable Representative from Michigan, however, skipped over both of these lesser obscenities to go for maximum effect. That said, the more I have thought about this issue, the less objection I have to her usage.

Members of Tlaib’s democratic socialist cohort had already come to her defense. The irrepressible Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez declared “I got your back,” and went on to call out the “faux outrage” that was frothing up among the GOP bros. Pelosi herself pointed out that it was nothing worse than the President himself had said and went on to say that she was “not in the censorship business.” I’m liking Nancy more and more these days.

Kim Campbell, another politician in her 70s — and the first female prime minister of Canada — also showed her solidarity with Tlaib by tweeting yesterday that “he really IS a motherfucker!” We should also note that Campbell is a member of Canada’s Progressive Conservative Party. Snoop Dogg chimed in with a motherfucker of his own, and this morning Samuel L. Jackson did the same. Who am I to buck the tide?

I guess you might say that our dialogue has coarsened, that manners and decency have now given way to vitriol and recrimination. Or, you could look at it a different way. You could say that the terms of our dialogue have simply evolved to meet the new reality. What if, let’s imagine, our president is a serial money launderer? What if he abuses his power and violates the Constitution to enrich himself? What if he has jeopardized just one citizen’s well-being so he can protect his own sorry ass? What if he’s a fucking traitor? I can imagine all of these possibilities being true, but even if only one is, then the word motherfucker is not nearly strong enough as an epithet.

So yes, I too say motherfucker. In fact, the more motherfuckers the better. After all, it’s not as if we are saying something that isn’t true. To quote Canada’s first female Prime Minister. “he really IS a motherfucker!”
The Future Felon
I am certainly no expert at reading tea leaves. For one thing, I rarely drink tea. For another, it’s damn near impossible when they put them in those little bags. I don’t know, maybe I’m doing something wrong.


Anyway, I also have problems with my political predictions because I tend to let my personal feelings get in the way. One needs detachment to make sound judgments about the future. The leaves I am trying to read here are those that pertain to the future of the current resident of the White House. I am way too emotionally involved with this topic. It’s so bad, I can’t even stand to speak his name, much less forecast the exact date of his eviction.

For a while, like most people, I was basing my projections on his actions. Ever since he entered presidential politics and began doing the unthinkable, I and everyone else have been predicting his fall. But each time, no matter what the offense, he has escaped and moved on, seemingly unscathed. And so we see that none of those outrages-of-the-day has been any help in our political prognostication. So now I intend to focus on the words and actions of other people. Is there something in their response to He-who-must-not-be-named that might somehow hint at our future?

Again, let me stress that I’ve had very little success with this kind of fortune telling. Not only can I not bear to speak his name, the mere thought of it summons the taste of bile in my mouth. It clouds my thinking. For a while, I was projecting that he’d be out by Washington’s Birthday, 2018. Even though that was only a joke designed to get a rise out of people, I was genuinely crushed when it didn’t happen.

But that was before. This time, I am trying to leave my feelings (and any direct thoughts about him) out of it. Instead, I will go with an evidence-based approach. Scientific leaf reading, if you like. Let me give you an example: just today, Judge Andrew Napolitano — on Fox and Friends, of all places — suggested that Goldfungus may in fact be guilty of a felony for authorizing that hush money for Stormy Daniels. For a regular talking head over at Fox News, this would ordinarily amount to heresy.

Fox’s Laura Ingraham, lantern-jawed defender of the Orange Julius Caesar, dared to disagree with his recent assertion that The Wall has already been partly built. Though she didn’t say so, she was siding with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on that one. When was the last time something like that happened? Tucker Carlson has been tough on the president for over a year now (mainly because he wasn’t rabid enough about immigrants), but recently Tucker has added such jibes as “unfocused” and “boastful” (gosh, really?) to his list of complaints.

I don’t want to make too much of these examples. Fox remains, after all, the main megaphone for White House apologists and conspiracy mongers. Still, I see a trend. Michael Ramirez, a prominent right-wing colleague of mine (strong art, at least) produced a cartoon last week depicting T.Reeks as repellently ugly and even a tad cray-cray. That is unprecedented ink, coming from that pen.

And then there are all the people who decided not to take the job of White House Chief of Staff. That’s a rough total of 7.7 billion people (minus Mean Mick Mulvaney, who will soon join me in regretting the day he was born). That’s a lot of tea leaves, and they all seem to be saying that no sane person wants to get anywhere near the Cheeto-in-Chief.

And, lastly, there are ex-pals Michael Cohen and David Pecker (look it up in the dictionary — that’s his picture you see). They have both turned against the Bellowing Tangelo in a big way, transforming their undying support into dead weights around his bloated, bottle-bronze neck.

The Big Bag of Leaves is the Senate Republicans. I don’t see any of those leaves turning quite yet. Still, you hear plenty of scuttlebutt about deep dissatisfaction among these G.O.P. poohbahs. That disgruntlement will only go public once we get the long-awaited report from Robert Swan Mueller III. That may well be the biggest tea leaf of all, but it’s still not here. If the trend continues, however, the end may well be near.

And it will continue. My scientific leaf reading confirms that it wilI. What it doesn’t confirm is when, so I guess we’ll just have to be patient. Sometime, maybe even sooner than we think, the season will be over for the Golden Hate Warrior.

Okay, I know that prediction sucks. We’d all prefer to know exactly when it’s going to happen. As you know, however, tea leaves can be very evasive. They are certain of one thing, though: the Ochre Ogre will go down.
No More Excuses
I want to be fair to my fellow citizens. I know that not everyone pays attention to the news. Most people turn off the political noise and just try to keep up with the ordinary demands of everyday life. Unless you’re obsessed with this stuff, you might skip over some of the details of what is happening in our country — or even miss the big picture entirely. I get that, so I have learned to accept that good people can make bad decisions in the voting booth and fall prey to misunderstandings about what is true and what is not.

Now that we approach the two-year mark of the Trump era, however, I am dropping that disclaimer. If you still think that Donald Trump is a good guy and a great president, then I am holding you responsible for all the bad stuff that’s happening. Not Fox News, not InfoWars, not the morally corrupt “leaders” populating the political right, not even Drump himself. You.

For starters, you are charged with the responsibility of knowing that the President lies all the time. His lies are now your lies.

You should have realized by now that he doesn’t know jack about public policy, either foreign or domestic. His ignorance is yours, too.

He clearly doesn’t care about anyone but himself. His manifest lack of compassion and simple decency are now ascribed to you as well.

Do you think his stoking of hate and fear make him at least partly to blame for the sharp rise in hate crimes during his tenure in power? Even if you answered “maybe” to that question, then the blood is on your hands.

And if all of that weren’t bad enough, there is also the cruelty. It’s key to the Trump brand. Cruelty toward enemies, toward The Other, toward the vulnerable. If you are a passenger on the Trump train, then you are a partner in his cruelty. And if you find yourself enjoying the ride, if you are getting off on dehumanizing your fellow human beings, then it is time to check yourself, citizen.

I’m not saying you’re a bad person. That’s for you to decide. But if you are dancing to the music, my friend, then you are part of the show. And that is 100% your fault. Ask whoever you want: Jesus, Buddha, Yoda, Mr. Rogers, Jiminy Cricket. These are the kinds of impulses you’re supposed to fight. If you fail, it’s not because the Devil made you do it, it’s because you let him. Again, it’s all on you.

I’d like to see you come back to your humanity. Let go of the lies, the ignorance, the hate, and cross back over. Like I said, I want to be fair. Bring your boneheaded political views if you must. We’ll be able to work things out somehow.

But please, leave the cruelty behind.
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Trump supporters are people who know what they believe.
~ JC, Bonny Doon