Posts Tagged ‘Ted Rall’

Ted Rall on the death of Uzbekistan’s tyrant

September 7, 2016

Ted Rall, who has traveled in Central Asia, had this to say about the death of Uzbekistan’s ruler Islam Karimov.

uzbekistan-C-Asia-MAPGiven Uzbekistan’s tremendous oil, gas and mineral wealth and its geographically and geopolitically strategic importance, its citizens ought to enjoy a high standard of living.  Instead, the average Uzbek subsists on $3 to $8 per day.

Where does all that energy wealth go? Karimov, his family and cronies steal it.  Gulnara Karimova, the deceased despot’s flamboyant chanteuse daughter, is accused of breaking in over $1 billion in bribes from telecommunications companies seeking permits to do business.  Another daughter, Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva, is linked to shell companies that own gaudy multimillion estates in the U.S.  [snip]

Uzbekistan is routinely awarded the world’s “Worst of the Worst” status for its extreme corruption and violations of fundamental human rights.  Phones are tapped and militsia goons shake down motorists at innumerable checkpoints.  Print and broadcast media are completely state-controlled. There’s a zero tolerance policy toward political opposition.  [snip]

At least 10,000 political prisoners are rotting in the nation’s prisons. Torture is standard and endemic; Team Karimov landed a rare spot in the news for boiling dissidents to death.  In 2005, President Karimov asked security forces confronting protesters in the southern city of Andijon to wait for his arrival from the capital of Tashkent so he could personally witness and coordinate their massacre.  An estimated 700 to 1200 Uzbeks were slaughtered.  “People have less freedom here than under Brezhnev,” a U.S. official admitted.  [snip]


Violence has no place in politics

June 10, 2016

political violence6-7-16-1

Via Ted Rall’s Rallblog.

The difference a woman President would make

April 15, 2016


Source: Ted Rall’s Rallblog.

Backers of Hillary Clinton don’t know her record

March 10, 2016

Cartoonist Ted Rall writes in his syndicated column that Democrats who support Hillary Clinton don’t know her record.

Bill and Hill have raked in $153 million in speaking fees since 2001. Which is more than the GDP of three countries.  But how many Democratic primary voters know that she is one of the most personally corrupt leaders ever, or that the Clintons have probably sold more political access to corporations than all other American politicians in history combined?

Based on tracking polls and her current delegate lead, roughly the same number of Democrats is aware of Hillary’s record as Republicans who believe in science. 

Hillary's Campaign in Crisis AgainGranted, the fix is in for Hillary. The DNC scheduled debates at times when no one would get to see Bernie.  The wildly antidemocratic super-delegate system designed to prevent progressives from getting nominated has been working perfectly.  Super Tuesday, another scheme to conservatize races by front-loading southern states, went to her.  And corporate media doesn’t cover him.

Given the obstacles, he’s kicking ass.  Nevertheless, watching Hillary’s tortured defense of her indefensible refusal to cough up her Wall Street transcripts the other night, I was struck by how easily a voter who comes to Clinton v. Sanders cold, ignorant of the two candidates’ records, could conclude that she’s more qualified for the presidency.

She’s great — if you don’t know your stuff.  Judging from the results so far, many Democratic voters are voting based on vague impressions rather than the hard facts — which makes them no smarter than the conservative evangelists backing the vulgar, thrice-married, breast-ogling Trump.

Read the whole thing.

Hat tip to Spread an Idea.

Bernie grew up poor, Hillary didn’t: It matters

February 18, 2016

The cartoonist and writer Ted Rall, author of a new biography of Bernie Sanders, wrote a good article about how the political differences between Sanders and Hillary Clinton can be explained by the fact that Sanders grew up poor whereas Clinton didn’t.

One of the differences between people who grow up poor vs. people who grow up middle class is that the latter on average are better able to delay gratification in anticipation of future gains.

Bernie0.tedrallMiddle class moralists like to say this is because poor people lack strength of character.  I say the difference is that is hard to take the long-range view when you’re not sure week-to-week whether you will have food on the table or be able to pay the rent.

Psychological tests show that middle-class children on average are more likely than poor children to refrain from eating a marshmallow if they are promised a second marshmallow in return.

Middle class moralists say this is because middle class families have better moral values.  I say the difference is that it is easier to delay gratification if your life experience is that people keep promises and that nobody will snatch away what you have.

Bernie Sanders grew up in a home in which his parents lived paycheck to paycheck and never could be certain of the future even on a month-by-month basis.

Hillary Clinton never experienced anything like this.  She and her husband said they exited the White House $10 million in debt, but there never was any danger they would have to live on Ramen noodles or live in a homeless shelter.

So Sanders is passionate about immediate and drastic reforms of the economic system, and Clinton tells working people and the unemployed to be realistic and settle for tiny incremental improvements.


For Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, Politics Is Personal by Ted Rall via Counterpunch.

Trump is only slightly more crazy than the others

December 31, 2015


I confess that I never thought Donald Trump would get as far as he has.  I thought he would crash and burn, like so many of the Republican candidates in 2012.  I thought Hillary Clinton was the inevitable Democratic candidate, and that Scott Walker might take the Republican nomination away from Jeb Bush.

I did not think that somebody as sleazy as him would be taken seriously by the mass of ordinary Americans.

I kept waiting for Donald Trump to say something so outrageous and stupid that his candidacy would fail.  But here he is, stronger than ever – as Thoreau of Unqualified Offerings says, something like The Mule in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series.

I still don’t think Trump will be nominated, and, if he is, I don’t think he will be elected.  I most certainly wouldn’t vote for him.

But I don’t see that he is that much crazier than the mainstream Republican candidates or Hillary Clinton.

Muslim-bashing is bad, immigrant-bashing is bad, and “roughing up” black protesters is truly vicious.  But it is just as badworse to accept perpetual war as normal, economic decline as inevitable, and financial fraud as something you can’t do anything about, which is what almost all the so-called mainstream candidates do.


Eight Things About Donald Trump by John Scalzi on his Whatever blog.

How Republicans and Polls Enable Donald Trump by Nate Silver for FiveThirtyEight.

Six Crazy Things Trump Says That Are Spot On by Ted Rall for Japan Times.

Good sense (relatively) from Cruz and Trump

December 16, 2015

I wouldn’t vote for Ted Cruz or Donald Trump, but they advocate a less dangerous foreign policy than Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush or even Hillary Clinton.

TedNRCover-775x1024They both recognize that U.S. military interventions in the Middle East have been disasters and that further military intervention is unlikely to produce any better result.   They both think that the best way to fight ISIS is to get out of the way of the enemies of ISIS – Russia, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah.

[Update 12/17/2015.  On the other hand, Ted Cruz thinks carpet bombing is the route to victory over ISIS, which cancels out any seemingly sensible thing  he might have said.  See the new Juan Cole link below. ]

That makes them significantly different from Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, who want to send ground troops to the Middle East.

The problem with Cruz and Trump is that, while reluctant to increase the number of America’s foreign enemies, they are eager to wage political war against domestic enemies.

trumpweb21n-1-webFor Cruz, these are atheists, secularists, abortionists and gays.  For Trump, these are Mexicans, Muslims and the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

This is in contrast to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who seek harmony at home while treating the lives of foreigners in majority-Muslim countries as expendable.

I don’t see why Trump, who wants to bar Muslims from the United States, is morally worse than Rubio, Bush or Clinton, who support aggressive wars resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Muslim bystanders.


The passing scene – August 17, 2015

August 17, 2015

Seven Myths about the Greek Debt Crisis by Stergios Skaperdas, a University of California economics professor.  (Hat tip to naked capitalism).

An economist argues that (1) default would not be the worst outcome for Greece, (2) the troika (European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund, European Commission) is not trying to rescue Greece, (3) Greece’s problems are not caused by corruption and bad policy, (4) no Greek government could have carried out the troika’s policies, (5) the troika’s policies would not have benefited Greece, (6) exiting the Eurozone would not be catastrophic for Greece and (7) the Greek government in fact does have bargaining power.

Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Care That Much About Abortion Rights by Ted Rall for Counterpunch.

Instead of trying to persuade judges that abortion is a constitutional right, why don’t Hillary Clinton and other liberal Democrats support legislation to guarantee abortion rights?  Ted Rall thinks Democrats hold back because they cynically want to keep abortion alive as a issue.  But maybe they’re just timid.

Clown Genius by Scott Adams.   (Hat tip to Rod Dreher)

The creator of the Dilbert cartoons thinks most people probably would buy a used car from Donald Trump because his campaign demonstrates mastery of the classic techniques of salesmanship.


The passing scene – August 14, 2015

August 14, 2015

Will Trans Pacific trade deal go up in smoke over anti-tobacco proposal? by Adam Beshudi for POLITICO.

The latest word is that Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiators have agreed to exclude the tobacco industry from provisions giving corporations the right to sue governments before private tribunals.  Tobacco companies have successfully sued countries under other trade agreements over restrictions on cigarette sales and advertising.  This is a deal-killer for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and others from tobacco-growing states.

Torturing Chelsea Manning in Prison by Stephen Lendman for Counterpunch.

The imprisoned whistle-blower is being repeatedly put in indefinite solitary confinement.  His offenses include using a tube of toothpaste past its expiration date.

The 10 Trump Rules by Barry Lefsetz for The Big Picture.

Donald Trump understands how American politics has changed, and the other candidates don’t.


Truth and lies in journalism and law enforcement

August 2, 2015

Ted Rall , one of my favorite cartoonists, was fired last Monday from his job at the Los Angeles Times after somebody produced an audiotape indicating he had lied in a column his bad treatment by a Los Angeles police officer when arrested for jaywalking in 2001.

Ted Rall

Ted Rall

He said the tape consisted of about 20 minutes of talk and 6 minutes of unintelligible noise, so he asked an audio technician to try to restore the original tape.  Lo and behold! – the tape indicated that Rall was telling the truth.

He was charged with the worst offense that a professional journalist can commit.  To be caught lying in print or on the air will not only cost you your job, but make you unemployable.   At least this was true during the 40 years I worked on newspapers, and I assume the same is true in the respectable non-Murdoch press and broadcasters.

The Los Angeles Times should either reinstate Rall or have the honesty to say they don’t want to use his cartoons for whatever political or other reason.

What about police?  Don’t they have an equal obligation with journalists to tell the truth?  Suppose it is proved that the tape was doctored.  Shouldn’t falsifying evidence make a police officer unemployed and unemployable?


A note to readers by the Los Angeles Times.

How the LAPD Conspired to Get Me Fired From the LA Times — And How I Proved They Lied by Ted Rall on RallBlog.

Ted Rall LAPD Scandal: Rall Vindicated, LAPD Under Fire by Tom Ewing for A New Domain.


Why is Dayton, Ohio, demolishing its past?

January 27, 2015

Cartoonist Ted Rall wondered why his home town of Dayton, Ohio, is demolishing buildings that are architecturally and historically valuable.  These are the buildings he remembers from his childhood that give the city its character.

He was told that the likely reason is to reduce the city’s vacancy rate, which is an important factor that out-of town banks consider when deciding whether to make loans.  The fewer the buildings, the lower the percentage of vacant buildings.

I’d guess that another reason is to lower property taxes.  Unimproved real estate (land with no buildings) has a lower assessed value than improved real estate (land with buildings).

He’s probably right to say that the Dayton city fathers should exercise some judgment and think about re-purposing its valuable old buildings instead of treating them the same way they treat rat-infested fire hazards.

The basic problem is that nowadays decisions about local communities are made by powerful people far away who don’t understand local conditions.  And there are local people who think of the powerful people far away as god-like “job creators” who must be catered to and not questioned.


The Gutting of Dayton: Why My City Is Gone by Ted Rall for A New Domain.

Afghans unaware U.S. invasion sparked by 9/11

September 15, 2014

When the United States invaded Afghanistan, I thought that at least the invasion would be an object lesson to any government who thought of harboring terrorists who attacked the United States.

But Ted Rall, a writer and cartoonist who has visited and toured Afghanistan twice without protection of the U.S. military, said no such lesson was ever learned.   In an interview with Salon about his new book, After We Kill You, We Will Welcome You Back as Honored Guests: Unembedded in Afghanistan, Rall said this:

I’ve never met a single Afghan who had any understanding of the relationship between 9/11 and the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. 

In fact, I’ve never met a single Afghan who even understood what happened on 9/11, understood the scale of it.

SONY DSCI was repeatedly having to explain it to people, having to explain these buildings and how big they were and how many people were in them and how it affected the American psyche and so on.

Whenever you asked [Afghans], regardless of their age or their politics or their tribal affiliation, they’d all say the same thing: The only reason the U.S. was in Afghanistan was because the U.S. was the dominant superpower in the world; and from their point of view, whoever is the dominant superpower in the world at any given time invades Afghanistan.

So we’re just there because we could — they all think that.

If Americans think Afghans understand that whatever suffering they’re going through is somehow tied to 9/11, no; they should be disabused of that, because Afghans just don’t think that.  That’s just universally true.

They think we’re there because we hate Islam or because we want to steal Afghanistan’s natural resources or because it’s strategically important or “I don’t know, but they’re here, and I just have to deal with them!”

… … They always call us “the foreigners,” which just refers to the inevitable foreign presence that’s always there, whether it’s Soviet advisers in the 1960s and ’70s or the Red Army in the ’80s or whatever it is.

“There’s always foreigners here. We’re a weak country. We can’t defend our borders.  The foreigners come and go; we shoot a lot of them, and then they leave.”

Black humor is absolutely a huge survival tool for people who live in stressful circumstances — and Afghans are very, very funny people.

via Ted Rall’s “uncomfortable truths” –


The right to be forgotten.

June 16, 2014

The great dream of John Perry Barlow and other Internet pioneers back in the 1990s was that it would become a force for human freedom—that government and corporations would become transparent, and that individuals, through the power of cryptography, would be empowered to act freely and anonymously.

Instead individuals are becoming more and more transparent not only to police and spy agencies, but to employers, lenders, credit rating agencies and advertisers.   The fact that the information is not necessarily accurate or complete makes the situation worse.

It is corporations and government agencies that have the power to alter records and send embarrassing facts down the memory hole, as Winston Smith did in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.  

This is not a question of technology, or at least not exclusively a question of technology.  It is a question of whether we the people have the power and the will to set legal limits to power and enforce those limits.

We should start by insisting on transparency of government.  We can’t protect our privacy until we have the means of knowing what is done to invade or privacy.   And we can’t rely on government to protect us from corporate exploitation if its operations are hidden from us.


Yes, Jimmy Wales, There Is a Right to Be Forgotten by Ted Rall for PandoDaily.

The Internet With a Human Face by Maciej Ceglowski at the Beyond Tellerand 2014 Conference in Dusseldorf, Germany.

What Hillary Clinton would do for women

January 24, 2014

Ready for HillaryWhat's Not Happening In Hillary's MeetingsClick on Huge ‘Super PAC’ Is Moving Early to Back Clinton for background by Nicholas Confessore in the New York Times.

Click on How Big Money Keeps Populism at Bay for more background by Thomas Ferguson, Paul Jorgensen and Jie Chen on AlterNet.

Click on Ted Rall’s Rallblog for more cartoons.

The not-so-Affordable Care Act

October 15, 2013

Double click to enlarge.

The cartoon tells how the Affordable Care Act is supposed to work.  Insurance companies are mandated to give health insurance to everybody who needs it.  Everybody is mandated to sign up for health insurance rather than waiting until they are sick.  The government will subsidize insurance for those who can’t afford it.

The problem is that Mr. Insurance Company can game the system.  He can raise premiums on Bob, Sam, Dave and Mary.  If premiums are limited, he can raise the deductible or restrict coverage—following the principle of raising the price of cereal by putting less cereal in the box.

Instead of shutting down much of the government, Congressional Republicans who oppose Obamacare would have been better advised to let it take its course.

The rollout of Obamacare has been a mess, but, because of the shutdown crisis, this has received little news coverage.  Cartoonist Ted Rall wrote last week in his syndicated column about his six-hour struggle to sign up for Obamacare on-line.   But the real problem was the Exchange’s menu of choices.

Talk about sticker shock.

NOT affordable.  Not, as Obama said, lower than your cellphone bill.

For this 50-year-old nonsmoker, New York State’s healthcare plans range from Fidelis Care’s “Bronze” plan at $810.84 per month to $2554.71 per month.  I didn’t bother to look up the $2554.71 one because if I had $2554.71 a month lying around, I’d buy a doctor.

$810.84 per month. $10,000 a year.  After taxes.  Where I live, you have to earn $15,000 to keep $10,000.

Not affordable.  Did I mention that?

The plans offered by New York State do not allow you to go “out of network” for healthcare.  In other words, you have to use a doctor in each private insurer’s list, or they don’t pay a cent of reimbursement.

Even worse, the plan “deductibles” — the amount you pay out of pocket each year before your insurer has to cover you for anything at all — are outrageously high.

Fidelis Care Bronze has a $3000/year deductible per person.  I’m in pretty good health; it’s a rare year I spend that much on doctors.  This is what used to be known as a catastrophic plan: OK if you get hit by a bus but useless for most people living typical lives.

After the $3000/year deductible, Fidelis would pay 50% of your bills. So if you rack up $5000/year in medical bills, you pay $4000 and they pay $1000. Crappy.

via Ted Rall’s Rallblog.

One good part of Obamacare was the expansion of Medicaid, the government health insurance program that serves poor people.  But because of a decision by the Roberts Supreme Court, conservative state governments are in a position to block implementation to those who need it most.

Medicare works.  It delivers health insurance for less overhead than for-profit plans.  If it were up to me, I would replace Obamacare with Medicare for everyone (a single-payer plan).  If that wasn’t feasible, I’d lower Medicare’s age limits year by year.

But one of President Obama’s stated goals is to cut spending on Medicare, as well as on Social Security.  The net result is leave patients even more at the mercy of the for-profit insurance industry.


Surveillance, corporate and governmental

September 25, 2013

fact.terroristClick on Ted Rall’s Rallblog for more from this cartoonist.

The election cycle

May 30, 2013

Can't Act

Click on Ted Rall’s Rallblog for more cartoons like this.

The Republicans have lost the culture war

February 28, 2013


In 1968, when George Wallace ran for President on the American Independent Party ticket, he accused Democrats and liberals of selling out God-fearing working people to what he called “the exotics”—draft dodgers, feminists, homosexuals, marijuana smokers, atheists, coddled criminals, lazy welfare recipients and bizarre minority groups.   He attracted enough of the Democratic vote to give the victory to Richard M. Nixon and the Republicans.

Benajamin J. Wattenberg and Richard M. Scammon, in their 1970 book The Real Majority, said Lyndon Johnson may have been a great poverty-fighter and civil rights advocate, they wrote, but the majority of Americans were, in their phrase un-young, un-poor and un-black.

They imagined a statistically average American voter as a 47-year-old white machinists’ wife living in Dayton, Ohio.  Her main concern was what Watternberg and Scammon called the Social Issue, which consisted of fears of crime, racial conflict and a crumbling social order.  The housewife might have fled a neighborhood that is in the process of becoming all black, and worried that she could not afford to move again.   She might have a brother-in-law who is a policeman, and might be worried that her son is attending a community college where LSD was found on campus.   The Democrats would lose, they said, unless they could find a way to address her fears.

In 1972, Nixon won a landslide against George McGovern, who was labeled the candidate of “amnesty (for draft dodgers), acid and abortion.”  For nearly 40 years, the Republicans played variations on this theme, and it worked.  The only successful Democratic Presidential candidates between 1968 and 2008 were two white Southerners, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, who presented themselves as different from the other Democrats.

But over time the country changed.  By 2008 and 2012, the un-young, un-poor and un-black no longer added up to a majority.   A white machinists’ wife in Dayton would probably be working outside the home out of financial necessity.  Her husband would likely be laid off from his machinist’s job, and be either unemployed or underemployed.   She might have relatives who were openly gay, or who had black or Hispanic spouses, or who had had abortions.   What do the Republicans have to say to her now?


Which side is playing the race card?

October 8, 2012

Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic Monthly wrote:

Since 2009 there’s been a conservative obsession with proving that the real Obama is a black radical who has it in for white people.  That intention runs through the conspiracy theories that Michelle Obama was caught on tape talking about “whitey;” the story about Obama hugging a critical race theorist while in law school; Newt Gingrich’s demagoguery during the Trayvon Martin case; Rush Limbaugh’s insistence that in Obama’s America it’s permissible for blacks to beat up whites on school buses; Dinesh D’Souza’s insistence that Obama is a Kenyan anti-colonialist; and other stories too.

These conservatives don’t care that President Obama’s actual record on racial matters is anything but radical.  Nor do they care that his reelection poses zero threat to white people as a class.

It isn’t any proposed policy change that gets them going.  There isn’t any sound, substantive reason that they focus on racial controversy.  They’re just race obsessed.  Racial angles are constantly emphasized in right-leaning media because that’s what the conservative audience wants, every bit as much as the average New York Times reader wants a very different sort of race-focused journalism.

On the right, ethnic studies is treated as an illegitimate discipline for the race-obsessed; but positing that Americans are supporting Obama’s reelection because of a psychological aversion to black people failing?  That is totally acceptable speculative commentary.

“This guy is whipping up race hatred and fear,” Tucker Carlson of The Daily Caller said on Fox News.  So according to Carlson, Obama said some stuff in 2007 that should totally shock us because nothing like it has been part of his rhetoric as president; those words would remain totally obscure if not for Carlson; but it’s Obama who is “whipping up race hatred and fear,” for telling a black audience that the federal government did less for Katrina victims than other natural disaster victims, in part because they were poor and black.

For conservatives, complaining that college administrators do less to accommodate students because they’re white is perfectly respectable commentary, and anyone who says otherwise is enforcing political correctness; but a specific critique of disaster relief dollars shortchanging blacks is “whipping up race hatred,” and labeling it beyond the pale isn’t political correctness run amok at all.

That’s completely right.  If anything, President Obama is more fearful than a white President would be of doing anything that might be interpreted as favoring black people over white people.  Obama is not a secret black nationalist, or a secret Muslim, or a secret radical socialist.  Nor is he a mediocrity elevated by black solidarity and white liberal guilt.  He is a highly gifted politician who is a brilliant and effective defender of the status quo (which is why I do not intend to vote for him).

Trying to stir up racial antagonism is harmful to American society.  The use of racial antagonism by the right wing is a red herring to divert the attention of the American public from the fact that Governor Romney is just like Obama, or worse, on all the issues that matter.

Click on The Daily Caller Video, President Obama and the Race-Obsessed Right for Conor Friedersdorf’s full post.

Click on Fear of a Black President for Ta-Nehisi Coates’ thoughts about President Obama and American attitudes about race.

Click on President Obama and the race card for my earlier thoughts.

Click on Ted Rall’s Rallblog for more from this cartoonist.

This was edited slightly on Oct. 9.

Quebec’s not-so-quiet revolution

September 19, 2012

Double click to enlarge.

The cartoonist Ted Rall, working as the equivalent of a photojournalist, recently went to Montreal to observe the protest movement there.

I had been vaguely aware of an ongoing student protest there, but, until I read Rall’s report, I hadn’t been aware that the protests drew hundreds of thousands of people, including students, the unemployed, blue-collar workers, advocates of Quebec independence, anti-capitalist radicals and others discontented with the system.

It began with college students protesting increases in tuition rates.  The Quebec government responded with a law that outlawed large protests.  The students did not back down, and their movement grew larger and more militant.

The Classé Quebec protest movement is harder-edged than the Occupy Wall Street movement, Rall reports.   Instead of consensus, they decide by majority vote.  Instead of acting spontaneously, they plan strategy, sometimes years ahead.  Instead of a do-your-own-thing ethos, they have a hierarchical structure and follow leaders.  Instead of nonviolent resistance, they actively confront police, and sometimes intimidate police into backing down.

I’m not sure what to make of the Quebec protest movement, and don’t know where it will lead, but I do see that it is important.

Click on Quebec’s Not-so-Quiet Revolution for Ted Rall’s full 10-page report on Cartoon Movement.


A pragmatic case for voting for Obama

September 10, 2012

Click to enlarge.

Click on Ted Rall’s Rallblog for more cartoons.

Hat tip to AZspot.

Today is Grumble About Obama Day

May 2, 2012

American Extremists - Positively negative

The Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy web site has designated May 2 as Grumble About Obama Day, a day for liberals to vent their frustrations about President Obama before they go back to supporting him.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012 is Grumble About Obama Day—a day of deliberately ineffectual venting!

President Barack Obama’s flagrant disregard for progressive values and interests has led to bottled-up frustration for some in his party’s liberal base.

On GAOD, Democratic partisans will be allowed to (softly) complain about Obama’s endlessly growing list of conservative deeds.

Grumble About Obama Day is an unprecedented chance to give voice to concerns which its participants have no interest whatsoever in addressing… even with so small a gesture as supporting a primary challenge or a third-party alternative.

The second of May is the ideal day to feign that you may not vote for Obama’s second term. Afterwards, you can stand tall, knowing you’ve role-played a toothless “make me do it” scenario without the fuss and muss of actually standing up about issues that once seemed important to you.

Observers of Grumble About Obama Day are urged to wear anything but 2L4O: Too Left for Obama or Too Liberal for Obama t-shirts.

Some may choose to mark the day by wearing nothing at all, in honor of the Obama DOJ’s advocacy for the recent Supreme Court ruling on strip searches.

If, like many Democrats, you think everything Obama does is eleven-dimensionally brilliant, or at the very least justified, don’t feel obligated to grumble at all. You can spend the day doubting the integrity and sanity of those who do, just like on any other day.

Early in 2008, I said I would vote for any Presidential candidate who was a bipedal, carbon-based life form who was not George W. Bush.  I voted for Barack Obama with great enthusiasm, but, unfortunately, his policies turned out to be as bad as or worse than Bush’s policies.

The most important duty of a President is to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.  President Obama has gone beyond President Bush in asserting unconstitutional powers in regard to habeas corpus, extraordinary renditions, torture, assassinations, warrantless wiretapping, state secrets, prosecution of whistle-blowers and committing acts of war without congressional authorization.

Likewise he has bailed out the Wall Street banking establishment and protected them from prosecution for financial fraud.  A couple of years ago, I thought the problem with President Obama was that he was weak, naive and overly willing to seek compromise from people who weren’t interested in compromise.  I no longer think this.  I think President Obama is a master politician.  It is just that he is not on my side, nor on the side of the people who supported him.

President Obama did not have to offer to cut Social Security.   His administration did not have to block state attorneys-general from prosecuting financial fraud.   There was no political gain.  The only reason for taking such actions was that this is what he believes in.   The President is not weak.  He is tough when it comes to protecting the military-intelligence establishment or the Wall Street financial establishment for oversight.

Click on Little Hope for Change: A Summary of the Bush-Obama Legacy for a thorough rundown comparing Bush’s actions, Obama’s words and Obama’s actions across a whole range of issues.

Click on What If Bush Had Done That? for the perspective of the libertarian Reason magazine.

Click on When It Looks and Feels Like Totalitarianism for a report by Jemima Pierre of the Black Agenda report on laws that give the federal executive the power to arrest on suspicion and suppress protest.  She wrote that the government is acting as if it is getting ready to suppress an uprising.

Click on Obama Worse than Bush on Civil Liberties – Romney No Different from Obama for a libertarian conservative perspective.

Click on Why Obama’s “targeted killing” is worse than Bush’s torture for a British view – which is based on the questionable assumption that torture has ended under President Obama.

Click on NSA whistle-blower: Obama “worse than Bush” for a report on the price an honest man paid for revealing corruption.

Click on Growth of Income Inequality Is Worse Under Obama Than Bush for a comment by Matt Stoller of the Roosevelt Institute.   Stoller said that the continuing upward redistribution of income isn’t necessarily the fault of President Obama, but that it is obvious that the President’s priority is to preserve the capital structure of the major banks rather than to help homeowners, debtors or workers.

American Extremists - Positively negative

Click on American Extremists for more cartoons.

Waiting for Obama

April 12, 2012

Ted Rall drew this cartoon in 2009.   He wouldn’t have to change anything if he drew it today.

Click on Ted Rall’s Rallblog for his current cartoons and commentary.

And let the bad guys win?

April 5, 2012

The Democratic lady and her friend

February 29, 2012

Click on Ted Rall’s Rallblog for his web site and latest cartoon.

Click on Photo gallery: Ted Rall Cartoons for a selection of his cartoons from the Los Angeles Times.