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Getting the Business

I love it when Republicans try to get the Hispanic vote.

In a political ad run by Florida Governor Rick Scott, small businessman Maikel Duarte-Torres gives the gov a hug and says:

Four years ago, the economy was very bad. Rick Scott helped Florida’s economy and you can see the difference. He’s created jobs. That’s why I support Rick Scott. I’m just like him. I’m like the American Dream.

There’s just one problem. Four years ago, Cuban-born Duarte-Torres was convicted of attempting to smuggle Cubans from St. Maarten to Miami. He was the alleged mastermind of the human smuggling ring that operated in several Caribbean islands. Although he was sentenced to two years in jail, he was released after serving only two days because of a lack of room in the local prison.

Yup, that’s the American Dream!


Late Night Political Humor

“President Obama went to the beach yesterday while he’s vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard. Which got weird when he took out his metal detector to search for $16 trillion in quarters.” – Jimmy Fallon

“During a fundraiser last night, President Obama suggested that one or more Supreme Court justices may retire soon. Which got awkward when Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, ‘You can have this gavel when you pry it out of my even colder, deader fingers.’” – Jimmy Fallon

“Since January, Colorado has made nearly $30 million in taxes from marijuana sales. That’s in addition to the $40 million they made taxing Doritos. It goes hand-in-hand.” – Conan O’Brien

“Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said that he is still sober and he’ll never be caught doing anything illegal ever again. Then he said, ‘Unless someone’s taping me. Then I’ll get caught probably.’” – Jimmy Fallon

“Rob Ford also said that he is committed to living a healthier life, and his days of going to the liquor store are over. Which would be great, if he weren’t addicted to crack.” – Jimmy Fallon


The Enemy

Jon Kudelka
© Jon Kudelka

Can you tell if this comic is set in Fallujah or Ferguson?

Believe it or not, this comic is actually from 2004, and was depicting a war zone. I guess we brought the war home.


How to make a person

Ruben Bolling
© Ruben Bolling

The Supreme Court makes Pinocchio due for a rewrite, now that the easiest way to create a real person is to incorporate. Of course, in the fairy tale, greedy and bad boys are turned into donkeys on Pleasure Island. Too bad that doesn’t happen in real life, or we would have a lot less problems with greedy corporations, especially those that go “offshore” to avoid taxes.


Late Night Political Humor

“Former Congressman Anthony Weiner is back. He’s opening a new restaurant that will specialize in healthy local food. It’s the first restaurant with a sign on the door that reads: ‘No Shoes, No Shirt, No Pants, No Underwear, No Hats …’ It just keeps going. It’s a long list.” – Jimmy Fallon

“Former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner is planning to open a new farm-to-table restaurant in Queens. So, whatever you do, don’t ask to see the special.” – Seth Meyers

“Hillary Clinton has been calling President Obama’s foreign policy a failure. She either wants to be a president or a Fox News anchor. We’re not sure.” – Conan O’Brien

“President Obama announced last Thursday night that the U.S. would begin air strikes in Iraq. So in a way, it was the ultimate throwback Thursday. ” – Seth Meyers

“The U.S. Postal service has lost $2 billion this spring. Postal officials are busy emailing each other wondering how this could happen.” – Conan O’Brien



When you hear the exact same warning from people as divergent as Rand Paul and the CATO Institute, Glenn Greenwald and the ACLU, and even nonpolitical sources like Popular Mechanics, you suspect that you should take the problem seriously.

The problem? The escalating militarization of police departments across the country. Do police still protect citizens, or are they acting more like occupying forces? These people see the police action that is happening in Ferguson MO as frighteningly similar to military action like in Iraq or Afghanistan.

How did this happen? The recent escalation was caused by the post-911 “War on Terror”, which threw advanced military equipment at local police forces, including machine guns, silencers, flash-bang grenades, and even tanks and aircraft. But it had its roots in earlier faux wars, like the “War on Drugs”, the creation of SWAT teams and the introduction of military tactics to routine policing.

A side effect of this, as we are seeing in Ferguson is that police increasingly treat the media as an enemy. This is a recipe for tragedy.

Indeed, even other police chiefs have criticized the aggressive police response in Ferguson, saying “you always have to be careful to walk a fine line not to over-react. Sometimes a big show of force in the beginning may not be the proper way to deal with it.” “Suiting up in riot gear and tossing tear gas is probably the worst way to deal with civil unrest.”

Invariably, escalation on one side invariably leads to escalation on the other. Indeed, Palestinian citizens have been tweeting messages of support to the protestors in Ferguson, including tips on how to deal with tear gas.

There has been some political response, such as a bill to curb the transfer of surplus military equipment to local law enforcement agencies for free, but with arms manufacturers (who have lots of lobbyists) making lots of money from this, it is doubtful anything will happen.

Another problem is the almost complete lack of police accountability. A Wisconsin man whose handcuffed son was shot point-blank in the head by police in front of his wife and daughter reports that the officer who killed his son was cleared of any wrongdoing in 48 hours, without taking statements from eyewitnesses. He also found that “In 129 years since police and fire commissions were created in the state of Wisconsin, we could not find a single ruling by a police department, an inquest or a police commission that a shooting was unjustified.”

UPDATE: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has a powerful essay about what is going on, and what needs to be done: “The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race”.


Late Night Political Humor

“President Obama is planning to break up his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard by returning to D.C. for two days for meetings. Yeah, two days away from his family vacation – or as that’s also known, a ‘vacation’. If you’ve been on vacation, then you know.” – Jimmy Fallon

“President Obama’s approval rating is now at an all-time low. It’s so bad that last night he gave his daughter Sasha a ride to a friend’s house and she asked him to drop her off two blocks away.” – Seth Meyers

“A new poll found that President Obama’s approval rating has hit a new low of just 40 percent. Or as Obama put it, ’60 under par!’” – Jimmy Fallon

“Last week it was revealed the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is the committee that’s supposed to supervise the CIA. Who do these people think they are? Facebook?” – Jimmy Kimmel

“The Russian government said Edward Snowden can stay for three more years. Or as Obama put it, ‘Eh, that was gonna be his prison sentence, anyway.’” – Jimmy Fallon

“While speaking at an African leadership summit yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden accidentally referred to Africa as a country instead of a continent. To be fair, most of what he knows about Africa is based on ‘The Lion King’.” – Jimmy Fallon

“A Republican congressman has accused Democrats of waging a war on whites. As proof, he pointed to the recent bombing of the kale aisle at a Trader Joe’s.” – Conan O’Brien

“Officials from Hamas and Israel have agreed to a 72-hour cease-fire. Of course, we won’t have true peace in the Middle East until there’s a cease-fire that lasts longer than a mattress sale.” – Seth Meyers

“Welcome to those who are visiting LA. We’re going to have a good time in beautiful Los Angeles, which has just been named the 16th coolest city in America by Forbes magazine. We finally tied San Jose.” – Jimmy Kimmel

“You know what city Forbes says is the coolest? The No. 1 coolest city in America is Washington, D.C. How did that happen? Did Obama start smoking again?” – Jimmy Kimmel

“Forbes bases its rankings on factors like how many entertainment options a city has. Makes sense. In Washington, between Joe Biden and John Boehner alone, it’s like a nonstop Burning Man festival.” – Jimmy Kimmel


Political Humor from Robin Williams

“Politics: ‘Poli’, a Latin word meaning ‘many’ and ‘tics’ meaning ‘bloodsucking creatures’.”

“Politicians are a lot like diapers. They should be changed frequently — and for the same reasons.”

“The Second Amendment: It says you have the right to bear arms, or the right to arm bears, whatever the hell you want to do!”

“You could talk about same-sex marriage, but people who have been married say, ‘It’s the same sex all the time.’”

(On Canada) “You are a big country. You are the kindest country in the world. You are like a really nice apartment over a meth lab.”

“If women ran the world we wouldn’t have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days.”

“A woman would never make a nuclear bomb. They would never make a weapon that kills. They’d make a weapon that makes you feel bad for a while.”

“Obama, which is an old Kenyan word for Kennedy, God bless us.”

“Where did they get Sarah Palin? . . . Did Ronald Reagan have a kid with Posh Spice? It’s like she came from some reality show — ‘Project Running Mate’.”

(On George W. Bush) “People say satire is dead. It’s not dead; it’s alive and living in the White House.”

On the end of the George Bush presidency: “It’s the end of the reign of George the Second. The reign of error is over. America is officially out of rehab.”

(On immigration after Sept 11) “The Statue of Liberty is no longer saying, ‘Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses.’ She’s got a baseball bat and yelling, ‘You want a piece of me?’”

(On the American economy) “And you can’t blame the economy on [George W. Bush]. They say the economy is essentially sound because people are considering buying things. That’s like saying fat people are healthy because they might exercise.”

(On Osama bin Laden) “We can’t find him, but he’s a 6-foot-5 Arab on dialysis. Call me crazy, but look for a guy connected to his luggage.”

“My only hope is when those terrorists get to heaven, they meet up with the kind of virgins we had in Catholic school: Sister Mike Ditka from Our Mother of Eternal Retribution.”

“When the media ask George W. Bush a question, he answers, “Can I use a lifeline?”

“You’ll notice that Bush never speaks when Cheney is drinking water.”

“Having George W. Bush giving a lecture on business ethics is like having a leper give you a facial, it just doesn’t work!

[Thanks to Daniel Kurtzman at]



About the time that Jonathan Saenz became the president of Texas Values, he was going through a divorce. But court documents from the divorce have now become public, which may explain why Saenz became one of the most active lobbyists against gay rights (endorsing gay conversion therapy and even siding against anti-gay bullying victims).

According to the court records, Saenz’ wife left him for a woman.

This would be hilarious, except that there are children involved, and Saenz has joint custody with his wife. You gotta feel sorry for those kids. Saenz has attempted multiple times to bar his ex-wife’s girlfriend from being in the presence of the children, but those attempts have all been unsuccessful.



A state-of-the-union curse? Hundreds of microwaves from Walmart used to make health supplements out of tobacco? Snake oil? Corruption? Influence peddling? Affairs? Nut bags?

Indeed, in politics, truth is often stranger than any fiction.


Revenge of the Brownshirts

Last week, I posted about governor Sam Brownback, and how his conservative revolution in Kansas has left the state a mess.

Well, this week a new poll is showing that support for Brownback’s challenger has surged, giving Democrat Paul Davis a 10-point lead.


Who Ya Gonna Call?

Ruben Bolling
© Ruben Bolling


Statute of Limitations

I guess it is official now. On a radio show on Sunday, former Veep Dick Cheney declared “They can’t blame George Bush anymore“. From now on, everything that goes wrong in this country is the fault of Barack Obama.

In fact, Cheney says that he traces “most” of the problems in Washington to the current administration, and added “I think he’s been a failure as a president.”

Now what I find really ironic is that Cheney says is the worst thing Obama has done is “dramatically cutting back the defense budget, year after year after year.” His evidence? “I just read a piece this morning in the Stars and Stripes that they’re getting ready to lay off 500 majors in the U.S. army. Not long ago they did the same thing with a large group of captains.” Even though we still spend more on our military than the next largest fifty countries combined.

And as some readers have pointed out, is Cheney just pretending to be ignorant of the fact that the budget for the military is set by Congress, not the president?

Also, Cheney seems to be still fighting the wars from 50 years ago, and doesn’t seem to understand that the world has changed. Sending a bunch of troops into Iraq after 9/11 and toppling Saddam Hussein seems to have made things much much worse there, not better. And hasn’t done much good in Afghanistan either.

Did Cheney and Bush manage to take out Osama bin Laden? I guess they needed more majors and captains.


Second Amendment Silliness

Shannon Wheeler
© Shannon Wheeler

After all, the second amendment doesn’t specifically exclude nuclear weapons. So don’t I have a constitutionally guaranteed right to build one?


First Amendment Follies

Jen Sorensen
© Jen Sorensen

Hey you, citizen, shut up!