published Sunday, September 6th, 2009

The Cookout

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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rotinomsc said...

At least they all have a bun!

September 6, 2009 at 12:22 a.m.
JohnnyRingo said...

A "wish sandwich".

It gives me the blues, brother, to admit that things have gotten so bad all over, and It takes a lot of soul, man, to keep looking for a job you know isn't there anymore.

How much longer must we hear "lagging indicator" before we suspect that recovery is meant only for those least acquanted with suffering?

September 6, 2009 at 2:08 a.m.
nucanuck said...

Could it be possible that population growth,the number we and the world can feed and employ,has a limit?

September 6, 2009 at 3:07 a.m.
SeaSmokie59er said...

I was taught that jobs were infinite, because needs are infinite.

September 6, 2009 at 7:40 a.m.
woody said...

I am reminded of a famous line, "...I once complained of having sore feet and then met a man who had none at all...."

I see several hot dog buns and only one 'dog' on the grill. That does indicate hard times, to say the least. However, as someone mentioned earlier, at least they all have buns. Which is to say, or possibly allude to, shouldn't we be thankful for what we do have and not dwell on what we do not have.

We are going through some hard times right now, but no harder by any measure than what some of our parents and grandparents went through in the 1930s. Most of them not only made it through "The Great Depression" but actually came out stronger, in most cases, because of it.

After working hard all of my life, at various jobs, I found myself out of work for several years. I recently returned to the workforce and am a happier man than I have ever been. Mostly because of my 'support staff'. My wife, and kids, and grandkids.

Even with life's little (and not so little)ups and downs, and the occasional political argument here and there, it really is "A Wonderful Life." (Cue the music)

Thank you for your time and attention, Woody

September 6, 2009 at 7:41 a.m.
rolando said...

We are in full agreement, woody. Yes, I too am in shock.

Well said, if I may be so bold...

September 6, 2009 at 8:47 a.m.
rolando said...

SeaSmokie59er --

There is no extreme shortage of jobs out there...they just aren't in this country.

Countries with a high population density are seemingly doing fine -- China, Korea, India, etc. Our habit of buying from every country but our own -- and giving them the jobs -- is coming home to roost.

Burger, anyone?

September 6, 2009 at 8:53 a.m.
rolando said...

Clay --

This is the second or third Milquetoast-ish 'toon in a row.

Was it something we said?

What have you done with Clay Bennett?

September 6, 2009 at 8:55 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

Aww, maybe he's expanding his repertoire. Good thing for an artist to do. If he cares to expand his idea repertoire, we libertarian Christians have plenty for him to explore. Picture eight hungry politicians standing around tax dollars. Picture eight hungry bureaucratic regulators standing around 'misbehavior' they shouldn't have made illegal in the first place. Picture eight politicians hungry for power--picture eight bare feet standing around a jackboot, as we saw in A.D. 2008. Luke 22:25!
We'd have more jobs, real productive jobs, if the government wasn't doing that kind of thing, stifling competitive production. Republicans tend to be less bad than Democrats, but not much less bad; President Bush didn't cut spending, nor cut regulations, nor keep the budget balanced. Both sides offer Mr Bennett plenty of targets.

September 6, 2009 at 10:01 a.m.
ricardo said...

They all have buns? What a ridiculous comment. That's like saying 'At least they all have bills to pay.'

September 6, 2009 at 10:02 a.m.
Humphrey said...

the problem is, you can't buy a grill like that one made in America unless you can spend a fortune for the highest-quality top-of-the line grills. If you go to home depot or walmart etc. all the grills are cheap hunks of pig iron made by labor camps in China. And the same is true of toasters, clothes, toys, electronics, etc. So if we don't make anything we don't have any jobs.

September 6, 2009 at 10:21 a.m.
nucanuck said...

Decades of mindless consumption have created 'jobs lite' which are going away fast.Personal trainers,tanning salons,pedicures,T-shirt shops...walk around a mall and count the number of stores that sell things you have to have.You won't find many.

A poorly educated,overfed populace is not likely to out compete other countries for cutting edge jobs.There is a trend here for all to see and it is not pretty.

So what do we do about it? We look for somebody to blame.

September 6, 2009 at 11:30 a.m.
woody said...

Yes, ricardo, they all have buns. That is to say, they all have something. Something, after all is better than nothing. At least in my realm of thinking.

And, even though that only means they have bills to pay, believe it or not, it still gives their lives 'worth'.

Sorry, I am a 'half full glass' person even though I too have lived through some tough times. Still am, until all those overdue bills are paid, but happy nonetheless.

And if all that weren't enough, Rolando and I agreed on something, if only for a 'nanosecond'. Don't try to tell me there ain't no Santa Claus.

Thanks again for your time and attention, Woody

September 6, 2009 at 11:32 a.m.
claybennett said...

Rolando writes, "Clay -This is the second or third Milquetoast-ish 'toon in a row. Was it something we said? What have you done with Clay Bennett?"

Not to worry, Rolando, I'm still out here.

I hope it's the subject matter, and not the cartoons themselves that are (as you put it) Milquetoast-ish. Although cartoons on swine flu, the start of the NCAA football season, and the high unemployment rate may not stir heated debate, I hope they still may strike a chord with some readers.

You may find this hard to believe, Rolando, but I never draw a cartoon merely to tick off someone. My goal has always been to simply express my opinions on issues and events in a creative or humorous way. If those opinions happen to tick off some (which is often the case with my views), well, so be it.

Anyway, I'm sorry to have disappointed you (or anyone else here) with my offerings over the past several days. I try my best to mix it up a bit, but doing that can sometimes lead you to addressing less controversial subject matter.

Unfortunately, this cartoon will have to do until next Wednesday. I, like many of you, will be taking off Labor Day. Maybe an extra day of rest will inspire some cartoons that will stimulate more debate.

As always, I want to thank all of you who regularly post here. No matter what the topic, the arguments are usually substantial, and the tone of the debate is usually respectful. Considering the toxic atmosphere of our current political environment, this country could learn a thing or two from all of you.

I hope you all have a great Labor Day, and I'll see you back here on Wednesday!

Your cartoonist, Clay

September 6, 2009 at 12:13 p.m.
alprova said...

Woody, I want to congratulate you on the most profound comment I have read in years.

"We are going through some hard times right now, but no harder by any measure than what some of our parents and grandparents went through in the 1930s. Most of them not only made it through "The Great Depression" but actually came out stronger, in most cases, because of it."

That says it all.

I've been through a great deal, but I never let it get me down nor do I ever feel sorry for myself. I know for a fact that there are people out there much worse off than we are.

I am very thankful for all the positive things that we have going for us at the moment.

My only regret, if I have one, is that I wish that I had learned some severe survival instincts from my Grandparents before they passed away. I own acres of land, but admittedly couldn't farm it if my life depended on it.

Next year, I am going to take a stab at planting a garden. I can do it now where I couldn't before, because I am home every day for the first time in many, many years.

September 6, 2009 at 5:01 p.m.
nucanuck said...


Last year at age 67 my wife and I started our first garden.We enlarged it this year and planted two walnut trees and three apple trees.Harvesting our own vegetables has been quite rewarding.Next spring we plan to add blue berries and gogi berries.We're never too old until we are.

September 6, 2009 at 8:23 p.m.
EaTn said...

Clay, I find it refreshing to read your toon and following comments that are not so political, although the comments are more sparse. Lately, we have been swamped with partisan news to the point I've resigned to watching Andy of Mayberry and other similar oldies to avoid all the bickering and divisiveness.

September 6, 2009 at 9:09 p.m.
rolando said...

On the other hand, EaTn, I enjoy the "bickering and divisiveness" long as they are not the Same-Oh Same-Oh arguments over and over again.

Fresh ideas and new inputs keep the discussion interesting.

Clay -- Your cartoons, including the teeth-gnashing ones, are always welcome. We recognize your political leanings and respect them; you are on the "left" editorial page after all. [Unless you are on pages 1 or 2.]

September 6, 2009 at 9:38 p.m.
Jhenry said...

Guess there weren't any jobs saved or created down at the hot dog factory.

September 7, 2009 at 12:09 a.m.
Lightnup said...

Funny, but I remember Obama promising us all a big old fat juicy job situation with enough meat to go around for everybody's buns. Remember "create or save 3.5 million jobs?" Yeah, right.

Did he mean in addition to adding czars to the Federal payroll or will there be 3.5 million of those by the time he's done?

September 7, 2009 at 1:40 a.m.
rolando said...

I suspect it is the latter, Lightnup.

September 7, 2009 at 9:53 a.m.
OllieH said...

OMG, not the CZAR argument. I detect a Glenn Beck disciple.

You guys really need to turn off that lunatic. Here's one of my favorite segments in recent weeks where Glenn tries (and fails) to spell Oligarchy.

Oh well, at least he didn't start crying this time. What a putz!

September 7, 2009 at 10:19 a.m.
woody said...

Thank you, Alprova. While I may, or may not, always 'hold my own' in a political argument with some of this sites' best, I always try to look at everything as positively as possible. Granted, this isn't always possible or easy, but as my mom would have said, "If it needs doing, do it. If it isn't easy, that just means it really needs doing now."

And, I too wish I could have learned more from my grandparents before their time was over. They were some of the 'spunkiest' folk I have ever met...all four of them.

Thanks again for your time and attention, Woody

September 7, 2009 at 10:27 a.m.
Lightnup said...

OllieH - With the ever eloquent Joe Biden on your side, and a President who can't speak without a teleprompter, I wouldn't spend too much time pointing out other's gaffes if I were you. For example:

Of course you would think I'm a Beck disciple over the czar issue. Why? Because the only media you apparently watch has completely ignored/buried the entire story. A self-avowed communist, racist and 911 truther goes to work in the White House and your biggest complaint is that Glenn Beck spelled a word wrong? Get your priorities straight.

September 7, 2009 at 10:53 a.m.
OllieH said...

Wow! First the czar argument and now the teleprompter line!

If that last post was supposed to convince me of your free-thinking... think again.

Do you guys EVER go off your taking points?

September 7, 2009 at 11:11 a.m.
OllieH said...

Here's another example of the always persuasive Glenn Beck, in one of his more lucid moments.

Please, somebody get this guy back on his meds.

September 7, 2009 at 11:22 a.m.
rolando said...

Do you, OllieH? That's the Same-Oh Same-Oh I mentioned to EaTn up there somewhere.

I may as well mention the guy whose leg tingles every time he hears Dear Leader speak or something. Or the has-been/wannabe with the suspenders...

September 7, 2009 at 11:28 a.m.
Lightnup said...

No OllieH, that last post was to point out that highlighting Glenn Beck spelling a word wrong is pretty childish when your own President can't express himself well without having the words written out for him in advance and your Vice President makes Homer Simpson look like a genius. Something about glass houses.

But I'll give you credit for using the standard, dare-I-say, Alinsky tactic of marginalizing and ridiculing the topics instead of discussing them. By your standards, the health care argument is merely a Democratic talking point. The "czar argument" is a valid issue that needs airing whether you want to dismiss it as a talking point or not.

September 7, 2009 at 11:42 a.m.
OllieH said...

Rolando, I will give you some credit. I've not heard anyone but you put forward the story that President Obama only takes prescreened questions.

At least you make up you own fiction, instead of simply repeating the lies of others.

September 7, 2009 at 11:43 a.m.
MickeyWhite said...

There is no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. Both vote for Bigger Government.

September 7, 2009 at 11:44 a.m.
Lightnup said...

By the way OllieH, you completely ignored my mention of the Community Organizer in Chief's false promise of 3.5 million jobs saved or created. Oh wait, let me fill in the Democratic talking point/excuse for you: "We inherited the worst economy since the great depression, blah, blah, blah...therefore we can make any ridiculous promise we want because we can always go back and blame Bush for it not coming true."

September 7, 2009 at 11:48 a.m.
OllieH said...

So, what is the czar argument, Lightnup?

September 7, 2009 at 11:52 a.m.
OllieH said...

Lightnup writes, "By the way OllieH, you completely ignored my mention of the Community Organizer in Chief's false promise of 3.5 million jobs saved or created."

I would say that the hemorrhaging of jobs has slowed substantially since January. So, the 'saving' jobs part of the promise might well be underway. As for Obama's promise to 'create' jobs, well, that was on a 2011 deadline, so my argument would be- it's only 2009.

September 7, 2009 at noon
Lightnup said...

OllieH asked: "So, what is the czar argument, Lightnup?"

Beats me Ollie, you're the one who called it an argument. I called it a story, one that should have been but, like so much else, wasn't covered by the so-called journalists in the main stream media. They'd rather report on some stupid utterings of Sarah Palin's ex-potential son-in-law than pay attention to and report on what's actually going on in the White House.

The story is that our Community Organizer in Chief is loading his staff of advisors with many (not all) people who have questionable, radical backgrounds that, had they been subject to Congressional oversight and a strict vetting process, would never have gotten clearance to be working in the White House. That's the story. But, of course, you might not have known about any of that if you only watch MSNBC.

September 7, 2009 at 12:12 p.m.
nucanuck said...

While you boys are saddleing up your Blame Posse focusing on Bush or Obama,the Wall Street bandidos that corrupted our markets and our politicians are living large.Until and unless the financial sector's out-of-control use of leverage,debt and market manipulation are brought under control,this country will continue downward.

Yes,our politicians have been corrupted by the money,but they are not the root of the problem,it's the Big Banksters,who have brought us low.

So far,they are winning and we are losing.If we don't identify and address the root of the problem,it's just rinse and repeat.

September 7, 2009 at 12:21 p.m.
una61 said...

Change "Hot Dog" to my future "TVA Retirement Benefits", "Social Security Benefits", and "Health Care Benefits". Oh, well, the Tide came in and UTK won their scrimmage but the Braves and Cubs have tanked. Good day for reading Dickens.

September 7, 2009 at 12:31 p.m.
alprova said...

nucanuck, thank you for the words of encouragement. I plan to follow in your footsteps for sure.

September 7, 2009 at 12:38 p.m.
alprova said...

Okay, this is going overboard.

President Obama never promised to "create 3.5 millions job," That is a complete distortion of what the man said. When he pushed for the latest stimulus package, his statement was that it would create and "SAVE 3.5 million dollars between THIS year AND 2011." Some of you are being extremely short sighted, for the sake of your own arguing points, and I'm very sorry, but it is absolute dishonesty on your part to offer such arguments, especially when the afformentioned time has not come to pass.

I don't care what your stance happens to be on the subject, there are facts in play every day of the week, yet some of you are in complete ignorance of those facts. Jobs have been preserved. Jobs have been created. Even with the latest unemployment figure of 9.7%, the fact is that this country is STILL humming along in spite of that figure. Inflation is not a factor. Those on unemployment are receiving more than they ever have during any time prior to this recession. The housing market IS starting to rebound.

While a very minimal amount of progress has been made, we all know that we have a very long way to go. It took a decade and a half to get here, and it's not going to be reversed overnight. Forgive my being blunt, but only an idiot would think otherwise.

Whether or not some of you care to admit it, the fact is that President Obama DID inherit this horrible economy, and despite all the charges to the contrary, any increase in unemployment at THIS point and time was very much expected, predicted, and conveyed by the man in charge. He said more than once since taking office a mere EIGHT AND A HALF MONTHS ago, that it would "get worse before it would start getting better."

It's meaningless for anyone to engage some of you in serious debate, because no matter what the facts are, you would rather embrace the lies being spewed out there. Whether it's because you dislike the President for his politics, for his alliance with associates who are part of some imaginary group attempting to take over a nation and convert it to communism, or because his skin color differs from your own, it's clear that you have no intention of supporting the man.

Why be dishonest? Why distort the man's words? And why hold him to a far different standard than the man who preceded him?

Why not drop all the lies and semantics and try to support the man's efforts in saving a nation? His success could very well determine your own.

I know why. Because GWB was a Republican and Obama is not. GWB was a capitalist who loved corporations and Obama does not. GWB was lily white and Obama is not. A Democrat is in the Oval Office and a Republican is not.

Take your pick. One of them is true enough, if some of you were being honest with yourself.

September 7, 2009 at 1:18 p.m.
OllieH said...

This has been an issue since Andrew Jackson established his famous 'kitchen cabinet' back in the 1830s.

The constitutionality of appointing these so-called 'czars' falls under Article II, Section 2 which reads:

“He (the President) shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consults, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein provided for, and which shall be established by law; but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.”

The clause “established by law” is the key. So, appointments of the directors or secretaries of departments or agencies that were established by Congress would obviously qualify, and would require Senate confirmation.

But do these 'czar' positions qualify as ones that are 'established by law'? I think not. These, to my way of thinking, would be ranked as 'inferior officers'.

But that doesn't always seem to be the case. One of the most important positions in the White House, the National Security Advisor, doesn't even require Senate confirmation and never has.

This complaint could have been registered about almost any president in the past 50 years, I suppose. The Bush administration, for instance, made more of these appointments than the Obama White House has. So, the fact that this issue has reached such a fevered pitch now, makes me think it's just another byproduct of Obamaphobia.

September 7, 2009 at 1:26 p.m.
alprova said...

Ollie, you're on a roll today.

That was a fantastic debunking of mindless protestations regarding this latest issue that has been raised by those who have not a clue.

My only criticism is of the word itself. I absolutely think that the word "Czar" incites negative connotations in and of itself, and that a better descriptive word for these posts could and should have been chosen.

September 7, 2009 at 2:36 p.m.
OllieH said...

You're right, alprova, but it's their word, not mine. I don't believe any of these titles actually have the word 'czar' attached to them, but whatever.

The odd thing is, the Obamaphobes somehow equate these 'czars' with socialism, when the exact opposite should be true. After all, it was socialist Bolsheviks who executed the last real Czar I can remember.

September 7, 2009 at 3:42 p.m.
InspectorBucket said...

This Land Is Your Land (W. Guthrie, 1940/1944)

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.

As I went walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway
I saw below me that golden valley
This land was made for you and me.

I roamed and I rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
While all around me a voice was sounding
Saying this land was made for you and me.

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
A voice was chanting, As the fog was lifting,
This land was made for you and me.

There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me;
Sign was painted, it said private property;
But on the back side it didn't say nothing;
That side was made for you and me.

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.

In the squares of the city, In the shadow of a steeple;
By the relief office, I'd seen my people.
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking,
Is this land made for you and me?

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.
September 7, 2009 at 3:47 p.m.
alprova said...

Ollie, I knew it wasn't your word. Sorry for any confusion.

You raise a good point. I'm so used to seeing it, that it never occurred to me that it could very well be another Republican manifestation.

I'm going to dig into that one a little.

September 7, 2009 at 3:58 p.m.
alprova said...

It does indeed go back to Andrew Jackson's Presidency, just as you stated. It was first coined by those opposed to his selection of advisors, just as it is today.

Someone may correct me, but I don't recall so many people being referred by that connotation until this year. It also appears that the press is the one who exploded in using the word to describe low level appointees, despite it's long history.

I also think I know why. Previous administrations were not as open about those they appointed to director positions. It was done with little, if any fanfare.

While we are on the subject, Van Jones should never have been appointed. His controversial past was just too recent, and it went too far off the scale. From all that I have read on the man, he would have been brilliant in the position he was appointed to, but he made some very bad choices to align himself with people who are just too radical in their criticisms of our government.

To further digress, for which I apologize for in advance, I've reviewed quite a bit of the theories offered on 9/11. I think that there are indeed some questions surrounding the events, but I simply cannot believe that any group of people could have conspired to commit those events from the inside and get away clean. I don't want to believe that there are that many people in high places with absolutely no semblance of a conscience.

If there are, God help us all. Unemployment would then be the least of our concerns.

The most puzzling issue that has nagged me for years has to do with the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. It does seem very weird that there was so little debris recovered from that site.

Maybe someone here can shed some light on that, because to date, I've not read anything that convinces me that I should not find the lack of very much debris to be very strange.

September 7, 2009 at 4:32 p.m.
Lightnup said...

Alprova totally lied and tried to rewrite history when he wrote: "President Obama never promised to "create 3.5 millions job," That is a complete distortion of what the man said. When he pushed for the latest stimulus package, his statement was that it would create and "SAVE 3.5 million dollars between THIS year AND 2011." you are factually incorrect.

Here is a direct quote from the Community Organizer in Chief's February 14, 2009 address to the nation: "Congress has passed my economic recovery plan – an ambitious plan at a time we badly need it. It will save or create more than 3.5 million jobs over the next two years..."

Get your facts straight Alprova. Otherwise it makes everything else you say completely suspect.

September 7, 2009 at 4:34 p.m.
Lightnup said...

OllieH opined: "The Bush administration, for instance, made more of these appointments than the Obama White House has. So, the fact that this issue has reached such a fevered pitch now, makes me think it's just another byproduct of Obamaphobia."

Wonder how many of the Bush appointments were self-avowed Communists? The majority of people in Obama's academic, political and career past are anti-American radicals bent on turning this country into something our founding fathers never envisioned, and you'd rather make fun of those who bring it to your attention than consider whether it might actually be the truth. Sad.

September 7, 2009 at 4:54 p.m.
una61 said...

I think we've become the "Where's Mine?" generation.

September 7, 2009 at 5:14 p.m.
alprova said...

Oops...I posted the word "dollars" instead of "jobs." That was an unintentional goof. I of course, meant to use the word "jobs."

My point was to illustrate that the word "save(d)" was a very important distinction to note. He never stated that 3.5 million JOBS would be strictly CREATED through the stimulus package, or under his administration.

My goof aside, you're like all the others who condemn the man's words, because you expect miracle jobs to be created or saved out of thin air, or with the stroke of a pen, I suppose.

The only jobs that our Government can "create" are Government jobs. I'm sure you know this, because it has been an arguing point used by Republicans for decades. I find it hilarious that it suddenly has taken on a whole new meaning for some who are firmly planted in the far right hand corner at the moment, and that it is now being spun 180 degrees.

Eight months. That's all the time the man has had to reverse what took more than a decade to produce. It's ludicrous for you or anyone else to expect any President to wave a magic wand and make everything right in a few months.

I hate to keep bringing this up, but former President Ronald Reagan, a man that I still admire for his leadership abilities, took seven and a half YEARS to bring unemployment down to normal levels, following the recession that dogged him for most of his eight years in office.

Why are you holding President Obama to a higher or a different standard? Why are his words more damnable, dishonest, or deemed betrayals of the truth, because any desired results by some, are not appearing in a timeline of THEIR choosing?

I do deal in facts, Sir. I just mistype every once in awhile, just like everyone else. That was a terrible goof and I understand why you challenged me on it too.

Now that the one word typo now stands corrected and there does not appear to be any differences to argue about, I stand by the rest of my proofread and applicable statements in that post.

September 7, 2009 at 5:16 p.m.
OllieH said...

Lightnup writes, "The majority of people in Obama's academic, political and career past are anti-American radicals bent on turning this country into something our founding fathers never envisioned"

A majority, Lightnup? I think you're channeling Glenn Beck again. But just for fits and giggles, why don't you go down your McCarthyesque list of known communist and anti-American radicals that the president has appointed. You can leave off Van Jones. Unfortunately, the smear campaign against him worked. Yesterday, he resigned his position promoting Green jobs. I say unfortunately because he was really a brilliant guy whose past associations and rebelliousness came back to haunt him. The best-selling author of 'The Green Collar Economy', was recognized by such Marxist publications as TIME magazine as one of its 'Environmental Heroes' in 2008, and was listed by 'Fast Company' magazine as one of the '12 Most Creative Minds of 2008'.

Yeah boy, let's certainly run off someone like him. We can't have someone like THAT involved in governmental policy. So, besides Van Jones, who are these known communists and anti-American radicals of which you speak?

And just for a counterpoint, couldn't the term 'anti-American' also apply to a pro-free enterprise, right-winger who puts his (or her) own business interests above what's best for the country. How about someone who undermines America's reputation and respect in the world by promoting torture? Couldn't that be seen as anti-American? It certainly is in my book.

And as for someone turning this country into something our founding fathers never envisioned, how about the institution of the Patriot Act or the NSA's domestic surveillance over the past eight years. How about the violations of Habeas corpus laws or the imprisonment of people without criminal charges, legal council or trials? Those might qualify as things our founding fathers never envisioned this country doing.

be careful when you start throwing around the term 'anti-American', because it cuts both ways, Lightnup. You may defend what this country does. I choose to defend what this country stands for.

September 7, 2009 at 6:33 p.m.
rolando said...

alprova: "Oops...I posted the word 'dollars' instead of 'jobs'."

al, baby, that was some spin. You have surpassed yourself. Great for a laugh and a head shake, though. Thanks. Dare I call it a Freudian Slip, perhaps? LOL. Forget the spell checker, do a proof-read.

September 7, 2009 at 6:51 p.m.
Lightnup said...

You're right OllieH. When we want to protect our country from further terrorist attacks (ooops, I meant to say the more politically correct human-caused disasters), we shouldn't be mean those darn terrorists (er, insurgents). Instead, we should get really mad and have the Attorney General try to go after those who said it was okay to blow smoke in an al Qaeda member's face. Oh, how barbaric we have become. Next thing you know, we'll be allowing unborn babies to be killed as a matter of course. Wait, you think that's a good thing, right?

September 7, 2009 at 7:33 p.m.
alprova said...

Rolando, I appreciate the poke and I am pleased as punch to read that you are amused by something in life, but in the interest of not wanting you to feel as if you got somethin' over on me, I have to laugh out loud at your insinuation that I spun my mistake to save face.

As you should be keenly aware, the misused word, "dollars", was spelled quite correctly, thus not something that spell-checking would have shown to been in error. Can you look in the mirror and say Oops?!!

Please understand that I am an accountant, and as such, I work in dollars and cents all day long.

I assure you that it was not a conspiracy to throw any self-identifying Republican off their tracks, but rather my misuse of the word "dollars" was an error, plain and simple.

I have a program that spell-checks automatically when I type into any text box, so I rarely misspell a word. I know of no program on earth that would have caught my mis-quoting the word "dollars" for "jobs", following the phrase "3.5 million."

Do you? I didn't think so.

September 7, 2009 at 7:34 p.m.
Lightnup said...

Alprova said: "Eight months. That's all the time the man has had to reverse what took more than a decade to produce. It's ludicrous for you or anyone else to expect any President to wave a magic wand and make everything right in a few months."

Obama could have improved the situation much faster by lowering taxes and putting real economic stimulus to work. Instead, he jumped on huge spending programs, increased taxes, a MONSTER deficit, a wholesale gutting of the healthcare system and the promise of the largest tax increase in U.S. History (Cap & Trade) in the guise of an environmental bill. Employers and consumers alike are scared sh*tless of what all this will do and it has put a wet blanket on the jobs situation of immense proportions.

Most of the stimulus program has gone to beefing up government employment or short-term, temporary jobs to do things like build turtle crossings and install skylights in government buildings, neither of which stimulate the economy. Magic wand? Hardly. He's waving an economic club of disaster.

September 7, 2009 at 7:46 p.m.
alprova said...

Lightnup, you're downplaying very severely, the types of behavior that has led to inquiries into the borderline or actual instances of torturing detainees.

No one cares about "smoke being blown into the faces" of detainees. They are concerned about the dead bodies that have come from Guantanamo, accidentally or intentionally killed during interogations.

They are concerned with controversial techniques of waterboarding men to coerce answers from them. Dick Cheney has as much as admitted that he likes the idea. He probably ordered performed on detainees as well.

They are concerned with the putting of loaded guns to a detainee's head and threatening to blow their brains out, or the intentional discharging of that gun right next to the ear of a hooded detainee, claiming to have just killed a fellow detainee.

You may be fine with any and all of those methods, but I am not. I'm not convinced to any degree that they have produced anything of value in terms of advancing the cause of putting a stop to terrorism either. Had that been the case, we'd have found Bin Laden by now.

Two wrongs will never make a right, and there's no way around that simple and undeniable fact.

I know that many of our people have been treated far worse, or suffered horrible deaths by the opposition, but that is no excuse for violating rules that we agreed to live by decades ago, is it?

I'm asking the wrong guy that question.

September 7, 2009 at 7:50 p.m.
rolando said...

You're still spinning, alprova. Never said you misspelled anything up there. I don't worry about piddly things like that so long as I can understand what is said.

But you are a stickler for spelling errors, that's anal attentive if I recall correctly, and often suggest using a checker. If not, never mind. But if the shoe fits...

Also, regarding your denial of an attempt to save face, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it sure ain't no swan.

You also THINK wrongly...there IS a program that would have caught your Freudian slip, had you used it. Most every Republican is well aware of it and is rather proficient in its use. It is rather easily produced although Democrats sometimes haven't a clue as to where to start or even use it once created. They also tend to destroy it once it is under construction. It is called the human brain/eye interface coupled with simple programing called proof-reading. It takes the place of and out-performs the machine-oriented spell checker you so heavily depend upon. Try it, you may like it. Or not.

September 7, 2009 at 8:47 p.m.
alprova said...

Do you know the difference between you and I Rolando?

When I make a mistake, I own up to it. When someone asks me to cite a source, I provide it. Not once have I ever been caught lying to a soul in this forum. You, on the other hand, have been called on the carpet many times for introducing lies.

I need not further defend my error, nor respond to a thing you have to say on the subject. I think anyone, outside yourself that is, knows that it was nothing more than a simple typo.

I've never claimed to be perfect. I'm human.

September 7, 2009 at 9:02 p.m.
SCOTTYM said...

The light shining upon Van Jones's history was not a "smear campaign". The exposition of his problematic history was fully substantiated, and the use of the phrase "smear campaign" is calculated to make it seem to be untrue.

September 7, 2009 at 9:21 p.m.
alprova said...

Lightnup wrote: "Obama could have improved the situation much faster by lowering taxes and putting real economic stimulus to work."

There is absolutely no evidence at all to suggest that lowering taxes on a soul magically makes employers start hiring people. It's a complete myth and one repeatedly cited by the right.

The height of employment and the lowest unemployment rates in this nation occurred during the sixties, when the top tax rates were in the 50 cents of every dollar earned.

Top tax rates have been eleven to sixteen percent lower since Reagan was in office, and we had second lowest unemployment rates when Clinton was in office. When he left office, the rates began climbing steadily, even after the Bush tax cuts.

"Instead, he jumped on huge spending programs, increased taxes, a MONSTER deficit, a wholesale gutting of the healthcare system and the promise of the largest tax increase in U.S. History (Cap & Trade) in the guise of an environmental bill."

20% of the current deficit is all that can be laid at Obama's feet. The rest, he inherited, and that documented fact comes straight from the Congressional Budget Office.

Thus far, no tax increases have taken place. Thus far, no health care reform has taken place. Any monetary effect from Cap and Trade will take no less than a decade to appear, if it ever does. Read up on it. It's nowhere near the demon some make it out to be. Now if you live in an area (we don't) where utility companies are adamant about hanging onto outmoded sources of of fuel used to produce energy, then yes, it's gonna sting. People in Kentucky are going to pay through the nose for power.

"Employers and consumers alike are scared sh*tless of what all this will do and it has put a wet blanket on the jobs situation of immense proportions."

Pure bunk, and more right wing rhetoric. Jobs are suffering because consumers are paying off debt, for the first time in years. Sales are down. Yes...people are out of jobs. 90% of us are carrying on as we always have been.

If there are people out there who are actually "scared," then I dare say it is due to the repeating of the very kind of statements that you just wrote up there.

Thank goodness most people are able to sift through the rhetoric and decide that it is bunk. I'm not downplaying a thing that shows that our economy is down, but it is on the rebound, and won't THAT upset all the Republicans who have been expressing doom and gloom since Obama took office.

September 7, 2009 at 9:30 p.m.
alprova said...

Scotty, in a perfect world, and in a perfect United States, people would choose to evaluate people by their most recent acts. They would not look for historical atrocities to use against them.

Van Jones is a brilliant man, but he, like many people, love conspiracy theories, and there are still plenty of people around who feel that 9/11 was an inside job. It's unfortunate, for him, that he made some errant choices to buy into that particular conspiracy, rather than to have asked himself first if it made any sense.

I no more believe that it was an inside job, than I do that Obama is attempting to sign this country over to China. But how many people are expressing that thought at the moment? I truly wish that everyone would take a chill pill AND a deep breath. All of this hyperventilating is depleting the ozone layer.

How many people are up in arms and claiming "indoctrination" over a speech he has planned to give the children of America, in spite of the fact that most all of our modern day Presidents have done the same doggone thing?

Has anyone taken a peek at the speech the President is going to give the tots this week? It's soooooo full of subliminal messages. Our kids will be in a stupor for a month, IF they are subjected to it. Not. I'm sorry, but the right wingers in this country are very quickly attaining the status as raving lunatics -- afraid of their own shadows. Everyone is conspiring against them. I hear that lithium does wonders to alleviate paranoia.

And I hope they keep it up. I'm going to encourage it. It's going to cause them to lose more seats next November. I doubly hope that they pin their hopes for a resurrection on Sailin' Palin.

I'm starting a betting pool the minute she announces her candidacy to allow people to pick the date she quits when those flames are turned up on her again.

Ugh...maybe I shouldn't have announced that publicly. I think that is illegal. But since it is a form of capitalism, I'm sure that it'll be a-okay.

September 7, 2009 at 9:56 p.m.
Lightnup said...

Alprova - dead bodies from Guantanamo? Gimme a break. Heck, the police in Chattanooga have killed more people than the guards at Gitmo.

I have no problem with waterboarding, threatening to kill or pretending to kill someone who would, given the chance, whack my head off with a sword and laugh while doing it, if there's the slightest chance that it would generate information to keep this country safe. If only Jack Bauer was a real person and not a character on TV.

The "rules" you speak of apply to a uniformed enemy army. These people know no rules and have no uniforms other than the hatred on their faces. But, fortunately for them, they now have a new best friend in the White House and the Attorney General's office. Maybe we should expect to see a Gitmo detainee appointed as Be-nice-to-Muslim-Prisoners Czar pretty soon.

September 7, 2009 at 9:57 p.m.
rolando said...

That's better, alprova. Much better. No spin at all. Try staying there for a while. People do err...most are strightforward about it from the get go...others twist and turn and hem and haw until called on it and finally pinned which time they admit it.

Lies take many forms; you are a master of them all. One must almost stand in awe of you at times...but laugh at all the rest.

September 7, 2009 at 10:13 p.m.
rolando said...

InspectorBucket -- Need it be pointed out that Guthrie the Elder was an avowed socialist and near communist? Dear Leader is following in their footsteps.

September 7, 2009 at 10:16 p.m.
Lightnup said...

Personally, I don't have a problem with Obama speaking to the school kids - assuming, of course, it's strictly an education speech.

The problem as I see it is one of timing. Congress is coming back from a very contentious recess, Obama's girding for the biggest challenge to his #1 initiative this month, he's in campaign mode, there are tea parties and marches on Washington and he chooses THIS WEEK to address all of the schoolchildren in the country? The day before he's addressing both houses with a "major" speech on his health care agenda? Who WOULDN'T immediately think that his reason is to sway the school kids?

I guess we'll never know for sure, but I'd be willing to bet that the originally planned Obama speech to the kids has been watered waaaaay down in its rhetoric as a result of the backlash.

September 7, 2009 at 10:21 p.m.
nucanuck said...

Brighten up Lightenup.Tax cuts helped create this mess.Obama was handed the front end of a depression with the world economy on the verge of freezing up.Ramping up spending may have prevented an immediate meltdown even if it didn't meet your definition real stimulus.We are in a position where there are no good answers,only less bad.

The Chinese are threatening to cut off our credit;our banks and the Fed are insolvent if they mark their assets to market, and we have armchair economists like you telling us what should be done.Give us a break.

President Obama knows the US is faced with some form of default.His job is to smooth the ineviteable rough ride down to the degree possible.Previous presidents have been reluctant to tackle long term problems that undermine our nation's long term economic strength.Nothing could be more important than working toward reduced energy dependence and reforming a health care system that under performs our competetors.

President Obama has had the courage to step into the breach on those issues and is being hit with a maelstrom of partisan criticism from the very people who failed to address these problems in the past.Cap and trade is one way to equate oil energy costs with non-polluting renewables.It can be structured to be revenue nuetral.Basic universal health coverage doesn't have to be more expensive,but some corporate interests would be losers.

You may favor continued dependence on Middle East oil thinking it will cost less in the short run.You may favor health care that leaves 50 million of your neighbors without coverage,but I say it's time to let a decent and capable president try to make needed changes without so many pot shots from the cheap seats.

September 8, 2009 at 12:53 a.m.
alprova said...

I honestly cannot fathom why some people think that to have allowed our entire financial sector to completely collapse, would have been a far better strategy than to have salvaged as much of it as possible.

Had that been allowed to happen, how many people would have had all of their investments wiped out? How many regulars who frequent this forum are participants in 401-K's, profit sharing plans, Roth's, etc.? I can tell you without any doubt whatsoever, that had both GWB and our current President NOT have stepped in and fed money to the financial sector, this country would have revolted, because half of all the plans out there would have disappeared in a matter of weeks had the Government simply stood back and watched.

A hundred thousand jobs could have been wiped out in the same period of time. Business loans would have been called in. Credit card accounts for millions would have been completely severed and outstanding balances demanded from consumers.

All of the above would have been preferable to some, given the fact that no one to date has had to fork over a dime in additional taxes? Correct me if I am wrong, but I have failed to see so much as once cent in taxes raised for anyone.

It's clear to me that despite all efforts to convey the dire necessity to have done what was done, it just hasn't sunk into some people's heads just how serious all this had become by the end of the third quarter in 2008. Had those lifelines not been extended, we'd be talking about unemployment rates of 30% or more, rather than a moderate 9.7%.

Saving the jobs has allowed some of the revenue to keep flowing in, because people are having taxes taken out of their checks and they are not defaulting on debt.

Imagine being broke and the alternator goes out on your car. You need to get by somehow for a few days until payday because you have no way to come up with the money until then to buy an alternator. You have a battery charger in your garage. So you charge up the battery each day after you get home until you have the money to replace the alternator.

That's what this country is doing financially at the moment.

We could have just let the banks and investment firms failed, and let the cards to have fallen where they would have, and I assure you that we would have all been directly affected by it. You have no idea how many employers borrow money on a short term basis, in order to make sure that your paychecks are good, each and every week. When receivables come in, they settle up.

That lifeline for many of our employers could have disappeared as well, had the Government sat back and done nothing. How many more would have been added to the unemployment lines?

When the alternator on our economy is replaced, and people start spending again for the services and products, a great deal of the debt that people are currently focusing on will be erased, because revenue will start flowing in again.

Enough with the rhetoric.

September 8, 2009 at 6:18 a.m.
Lightnup said...

nucanuck wrote: "...You may favor continued dependence on Middle East oil thinking it will cost less in the short run..."

Can you say ANWAR and offshore drilling? Nancy Pelosi can't.

"...You may favor health care that leaves 50 million of your neighbors without coverage..."

Now it's 50 million? Why not just claim 100 million? It's more like 15 million chronically uninsured. Regardless, a plan to get those folks covered makes a lot more sense than an overthrow of the entire system just so the government can run it, i.e. public option - government run.

"....and reforming a health care system that under performs our competetors....."

Oh, you've bought into the World Health Organization's cockeyed ratings? Too bad. You should check out the criteria used to reach their goofy conclusions.

"....Previous presidents have been reluctant to tackle long term problems that undermine our nation's long term economic strength....."

You mean like Clinton's CRA, forcing banks to give home loans to people who clearly could not pay for them, and the Bush administration trying to head off the resulting housing market disaster but Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and Maxine Waters instead protecting their friends at Fannie & Freddie and claiming that there's no danger? Please.

Cap & Trade's a huge tax increase and a job killer. Period. Even Obama admits our electric bills will skyrocket.

"...I say it's time to let a decent and capable president try to make needed changes..."

I agree...perhaps we should try to find one.

September 8, 2009 at 7:24 a.m.
Lightnup said...

Alprova wrote: ..."You have no idea how many employers borrow money on a short term basis, in order to make sure that your paychecks are good, each and every week..."

Which is why it's such a shame that the Feds can't even get their act together on a simple, straight-forward Cash for Clunkers program and get the dealers paid. They have been waiting and waiting on what was a promised 10-day payout. Now, they are hearing "maybe" by the end of September.

"You gotta spend more money to avoid going bankrupt." - Joe Biden, brilliant economist

September 8, 2009 at 7:33 a.m.
EPD1979 said...

I AGREE WITH COMMENT #1, AT LEAST THEY HAVE A BUN. BE THANKFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE; Ricardo, you may not have bills to pay, but the majority of us as US citizens do. That was a thoughtless and arrogent comment on your behalf to all Americans!

September 8, 2009 at 8:18 a.m.
aces25 said...


Look at a WSJ article and tell us again how Cap & Trade will not hurt the taxpayer. The CBO's analysis has more than enough criticisms.

The income of the taxpayer is what helps fuel the economy. The more they have to hold on to, the more they spend or save as they wish. It means a greater ability to pay down debts owed or purchase higher priced consumer items without it being repo'd later. The farther the government shoves its hand in the cookie jar, the more the consumer is choked off from being able to participate in the economy. The money doesn't go as far to buy goods and services, industries feel the pain and cut costs (usually jobs), and the spiral continues. That's not high end thinking, that's economics 101.

Taxes are necessary to provide an infrastructure that is otherwise difficult to set up privately. It is money we pay so the government ensures our liberty so we can attempt to achieve whatever it is we choose. Regulation is necessary to ensure the industries established do not attempt to exploit, manipulate, or otherwise destroy someone's attempt at that achievement. Utilized correctly in conjunction, a basis for sustaining a free market economy is formed.

September 8, 2009 at 8:48 a.m.
aces25 said...

(continued from previous comment)

Any abuse on taxes or regulation from any source, such as the government, corporation/industry, interest group, and individuals, puts risk into the hands of the taxpayer.

An easy example is health care and obesity. Many health problems stem from obesity, yet obesity is easily thwarted by maintaining a good diet and being active. Even still, people choose to be obese, have health problems, then pass that onto their health insurance provider. The provider, accounting for all projected costs due to obesity, raises premiums or lowers coverage to remain in business. The cost is passed onto others who do not have health issues related to obesity because they choose not to be obese. But in another scenario, a government-run health care option would also have to cover those who choose to be obese. The taxpayer will foot the bill to cover those premiums. However, the biggest difference between the first and second scenarios is that the taxpayer does not have to pay for private insurance if they choose not to, but will (in some form or another) pay to cover those choosing to be obese and increase their health risks.

Both situations are still an abuse of the health care system, but the biggest difference between the two is choice. Personally, I don't mind paying my insurance premiums knowing that many abuse the system because I do not want to take that risk. However, there are those who willfully choose not to be insured for their own reasons, thus keeping their money to use as they see fit.

The point is that both taxes and regulation are necessities. Any excesses on either end of spectrum (either too much or too little) simply cost us more money to clean up the problems they cause.

September 8, 2009 at 8:49 a.m.
nucanuck said...


ANWAR and offshore drilling can't even come close to fulfilling our long term energy needs.To throw those out as a solution is a canard of false hope.Your President is way ahead of you on that one.

Costs and greed in our private sector corporate health care give capitalism a bad name.Insurance and drug company cost growth far outstrips the cost of inflation and without justification.Do you believe that 26 other countries can deliver universal health care for 8-11% of GDP and the US can't? Do you lack faith in the USA?

Cap and Trade will raise prices on carbon energy,but suggested tax off-sets could easily make it revenue nuetral.There may be better ways to stabilize investment in renewables and grow our energy independence,but Cap and Trade is among the contenders.

Even in your disdain for our President,you seem to concede we should "try" to find someone more capable.Do you have someone in mind? Jindhal? Palin? McCain? Give us a name and tell us about their talents.

September 8, 2009 at 9:27 a.m.
aces25 said...


The gap to renewable resource energy is too large to ignore offshore drilling. It should be explored as bridge to renewables, but not a means to an end. The infrastructure is already set up fossil fuels, so a bridged transition not only deflects shocks to the energy sector, but every other industry that relies on fossil fuels as well (which is just about every industry).

One big point cap and trade ignores is the increase in energy consumption within the next 20-30 years. The bill has good intentions, but doesn't not leave much room should things not go as planned.

I lack the faith the USA will enforce the proper use of a government-run health care program. Abuse of power and personal agendas are too rampant.

Neither presidential choice last fall was good. But it already concerns me who Obama has chosen to surround himself with. Interest groups will always try to invade the White House, but individuals with radical pasts (Van Jones)? Obama said to judge him by who he surrounds himself with.

September 8, 2009 at 9:59 a.m.
nucanuck said...


We mostly agree,but with 61% of existing oil fields in decline and discoveries lagging badly,with developing countries demand soaring,we in the US are going on a fossil fuel diet no matter what we want to do.The US is almost assuredly going to experience energy contraction and all that implies.

Your point on health care is well taken,but it seems to me that we must try.

In spite of what detractors say,Obama is a centrist.He is smart,selfless,broadly knowledgeable,and potentially a good President.I had hoped he would be a stronger leader,maybe that will come with time.But I'm not sure he has much time.Economic disparity combined with a rising misery index is creating anger that may be hard to control.I can't imagine he would be re-electsd or that his successor would be better able to deal with the issues before us.

Maybe there have been more difficlt times in American history,but this has to be near the top of the list.

September 8, 2009 at 11:07 a.m.
Clara said...

Again, my telephone and therefore my computer was out for a week.

I'm amazed at how the submissions, no matter what the cartoon content, always appear with a partisan slant.

Alprova, In addition to your own garden, you might offer small plots at $10.00 a year.

I used to be able to apade up a garden about 15X20 but now I would require a tiller, which would cost more than a garden that size would produce in food. Perhaps you could offer the use of a tiller for an extra $10.00?

September 8, 2009 at 1:17 p.m.
Lightnup said...

Nucanuck unbelievably wrote: "In spite of what detractors say,Obama is a centrist."

Of all the messages on all of these forums, this is by far the most ridiculous statement I have ever seen posted.

September 8, 2009 at 6:12 p.m.
nucanuck said...


How far to the right do you think a centrist should be?

September 8, 2009 at 8:27 p.m.
Lightnup said...

nucanuck: "How far to the right do you think a centrist should be?"

Not as far to the right as Obama is to the left.

September 8, 2009 at 9:09 p.m.

Lightnup is a lamp in the darkness.

Clay thinks these posts are mostly "respectful" and that he just tries to "mix it up" with his cartoons. HA! Clay should read the comments after a couple of days.

Nothing could be more unobjective and partisan as these little, innocuous 'cartoons'. Like many of the commentators.

nn and alp should go back to digging up the dirt in their gardens. Clears the sinuses.

Just to change the subject-did any of you read the letter to the ed about their friends who live in Montana and were there for the WH staged TH meeting? fascinating...especially the part where SEIU organizers unloaded cases of poor little, squirming lobsters to feed the Obama horde. Priceless...let them eat poor slobs.

September 9, 2009 at 3:36 a.m.
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