Monday, December 08, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

A new day in America

I grew up as a young boy where water fountains were for "Whites Only".
I went to schools that were for "Whites Only".
I sat in movie seats that were for "Whites Only".
The first political cartoon I drew for the Greensboro (N.C.) Daily News was about a Governor who stood in the doorway of a University and announced it was for "Whites Only."
I was seated at the lunch counter of Woolworth in Greensboro when five African American university students were told it was for "Whites Only".
Election night, I watched American voters remove that sign from above the entrance to the office of President that read "Whites Only".
Wednesday I awoke to a better country and to a world that will be better for it.
Bill Sanders

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Saturday, September 06, 2008

84,000 jobs lost in August

GOP Convention tidbits

Watching interviews with female delegates was interesting in that when asked how they felt about Governor Palin , they were enthusiastic about nominee's personality and her story---their response echoing the party line almost verbatim---which is to be expected. However, every one of the delegates interviewed expressed admiration that Sarah Palin demonstrated her strength of conviction by choosing to have a baby after being advised it would have down syndrome---which was true. However, the irony of that observation was completely lost on the interviewee as well as the media interviewer. If Vice President Palin had her way, no other women in America would have a choice.

The McCain-Palin ethics crusade and straight talk express got off to a shakey start. First, Governor Palin described how she disposed of previous governor's corporate jet, saying, "That luxury jet was over the top. I put it on e-Bay", clearly implying she sold the plane that way. Straight shooter McCain told a Cedarburg, Wis. audience his favorite convention story saying, "You know what I enjoyed the most, she took the luxury jet bought by her predecessor and sold it on e-Bay----for a profit!!" Great story, except it is not true. The jet was put on e-Bay, got no takers and was sold later to one of Palin's campaign contributors for a $600,000.00 loss.

In the story that reported Palin's fraudulent assertion, her spokeswoman, Maria Comella, insited that Palin had indeed sold the plane on e-Bay. Rudy Giuliani repeated the story in his prepared speech at the convention and the video tribute to Palin included the statement that she "auctioned the governor's jet on e-Bay." A campaign spokesman finally acknowledged the plane was not sold on e-Bay but "it was a symbol of corruption" and Palin's actions "sent a strong message...". That's true! You can't trust what either Palin or McCain say.

Governor Palin also repeats the mantra that she opposed the bridge to nowhere, saying "thanks but no thanks" to Congress. We now know that she campaigned supporting the bridge and only abandoned that position under the heat of publicity. She ultimately took the millions in pork barrel money for the project and spent it elsewhere---she who is going to reform Congress of its "big spending" habits. No wonder the McCain straight talk express is not going to allow his dynamic running mate to submit to being interviewed by any media types ---with the possible exception of Bill O'Riley or Rush Limbaugh.

What is with these righteous evangelicals anyway? Fellow traveler, Mike Huckabee said with a straight face that Governor Palin received more votes for the Mayor of Wasilla than Joe Biden did in the presidential primaries. Good line---got a lot of cheers. The problem is Joe Biden received 79,754 votes and Palin received 909. Shame on you Mike. Don't you know lying is considered a sin in some quarters?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The 2008 Republican Convention

The morning after Sarah Palin’s speech and her acceptance of the number two spot on the Republican ticket, the associated press reported that a chunk of ice the size of Manhattan had broken away from the northern arctic. Scientists described it as a "shocking event that underscores the rapidity"of the effects of global warming.

The story is a prefect metaphor for where the Republican Party is in relation to reality and the 21st century.

If this convention is a precursor to the future of the Grand Old Party, it is destined to be one made up of predominately white males and evangelical fervored women with a radical right wing social agenda. Delegates were 93% male, 5% Hispanic and 2% black. With higher numbers than the last two conventions, 2008 completes the morphing process that began with the Barry Goldwater candidacy.

The 2008 Vice Presidential nominee is absolutely perfect for her constituency and John McCain. She denies global warming. She opposes abortion under any circumstances----no exceptions. She would ban books that she deems unsuitable from libraries and would fire librarians who balk at her judgement. She opposes sex education in schools and believes that the Iraq war is "a task of God."

The convention speeches on John McCain’s treatment as a prisoner in North Vietnam were emotionally wrenching in their tragic details. Ironically, that treatment, as horrible and repulsive as it was---- would not rise to the level of torture under the legal advice solicited by George W. Bush concerning the treatment of "enemy combatants".

Advised that he was not bound by the Geneva Convention, Bush was also advised that interrogation techniques that did not result in death should not be considered torture. The Vietnamese might well have been using the same "play book" for interrogation as the U.S. has been using on detainees----a verbatim copy of one written by Communist China and used by North Korea during that war.

Interestingly, the only voice present at the Republican Convention that has spoken out against the interrogation techniques of Guantanamo and foreign "retention" prisons was that of John McCain.

We heard a lot of stirring patriotic speeches and viewed a waving sea of "country first" signs. Implicit in its tone was that Obama democrats do not put their country first, nor share the patriotic imperative of republicans. Sarah Palin smirked that "unlike some" (presumably Obama), John McCain "chose to fight" in Vietnam. One must wonder if she is aware that Barack Obama was about seven years old when McCain "chose to fight"?

Meanwhile, as cheering McCain-Palin patriots wrapped themselves in the American flag, millions of Americans were wondering if they could scrape up enough money to pay this month’s mortgage or buy a tank of gas----much less afford an American flag.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

McCain's judgement?

What does the disclosure by Gov. Sarah Palin that her 17 year old, unmarried daughter is five months pregnant, have to do with the price of political eggs? The answer is both nothing and everything--- depending on the context.

Barrack Obama responded that it is a private family matter and urged the media keep it off limits in the political discussion—which generally speaking is the correct position.

The problem is that in the George W. Bush era, social conservative morality is firmly entrenched as a political criterion---- thanks to its proponents, the evangelical right. Therefore, judgement of familial moral turpitude is, by their terms, a legitimate target in accessing a political aspirant.

The irony of the situation for Sarah Pain and evangelicals lies in the rigid values they embrace and wish to force by political means on the rest of us. For example, they would eliminate abortion as a medical choice, under any circumstances.

In Sarah Palin’s political agenda, sex education would be against the law in public schools.

The double irony, here, is the rational for opposing sex education----i.e. it’s specificity encourages lax sexual behavior----that somehow, specific enlightenment about sexual mechanics will give legitimacy to immoral behavior and will thus contribute to the problem of unwanted pregnancies. Hence, evangelicals (and Sarah Pain) believe only they have the proper solution to "the problem"—and that is abstinence, taught and inculcated by and within the family.

When a sixteen year old has sex and is five months pregnant into her 17th year, is that some sort of failure in parenting? Sarah Pain’s social conservatism is her political philosophy. Therefore, is asking that question sociological or political?

I believe, as does Barrack Obama , that such a questions are only relevant in the sociological context—in spite of evangelical’s success in framing them within their political agenda. Those questions have no place in politics.

However, the legitimate question in the wake of Sarah Palin being the chosen one for Vice President is what does it say about John McCain’s judgement? .

Thwarted by Republican leaders in his desire to choose Senator Joe Lieberman, or Gov. Tom Ridge, McCain chose Gov. Palin after a 15 minute phone conversation and no vetting process whatsoever. By way of contrast, Mitt Romney and Gov. Tom Pawlenty underwent two months of scrutiny. Choosing someone to stand a heartbeat away from the presidency, is the most important decision a candidate can make. John McCain made it with a gut, kneejerk reaction rather than careful consideration and thoughtful process.

. This is not a characteristic we need in a President.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Real McCain Revealed

John McCain’s "Straight Talk Express" has long since jumped off the track as has his "what you see is what you get" persona. His double talk and position reversals are well documented. But all that is just political grist that comes with the territory of a presidential campaign–and is but one element of a composite picture that is forged on the anvil of intense national scrutiny.

John McCain has often recited the mantra that he puts his country first above political considerations ("I’d rather lose an election than a war!")--- and has often implied that Barrack Obama does not.

After months of campaigning on the theme that Obama does not have the experience and does not have the good judgement to be President, McCain chooses as his Vice Presidential running mate a former beauty queen who has been mayor of a town with a population of 9,000 and first term governor of a state with almost as many polar bears as people. A woman who pronounces "nuclear" as "nookular"—and who’s selection is already being compared to that of Dan Quayle. She is a woman with zero life experience out side of Alaska whom he would have stand a heartbeat away from the Presidency

This from John McCain who has repeatedly asserted that his "key criteria" for a running mate would be someone "who is ready to take my place at a moment’s notice—you know, immediately."

Sarah Palin does walk comfortably in the footprints of President Bush and McCain where big oil interests are concerned. She doesn’t share the "green" view of global warming and the fate of polar bears. She does oppose abortion--- no exceptions for rape or incest.

I don’t know how much thought Sara Palin has given to the war in Iraq, Iran’s nuclear capabilities, global economic depression or Russia"s incursion into Georgia. I do know she has not been a voice among those fighting for women’s health care, equal pay and economic security.

John McCain’s "country first"—has become "political expediency first".

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

Some not so "puzzled"!

Dana Perino, White House Press Secretary is puzzled.

Ari Fleischer, former White House Press flack is puzzled.

Dan Bartlett, Counselor to the President is puzzled.

Karl Rove is puzzled.

They are all “puzzled” over former White House Press puppet, Scott McClellan’s epiphany that the Bush Administration is, at its core, a bunch of insular, conniving serial liars who took us to war under false pretenses—and are incompetent to boot.

Well, let me introduce you to some who are not “puzzled”:

Richard Clark, President Bush’s former terrorism czar, who also served Presidents Reagan, George H. Bush, and Bill Clinton. Clark warned us in 2004 that the Bush-neo-con agenda was to invade Iraq. “So what did we do after 9/11? We invade ...and occupy an oil-rich Arab country which was doing nothing to threaten us. In other words, we stepped right into bin Laden’s propaganda. And the result of that is that al Qaeda and organizations like it, offshoots of it, second-generation al Qadea have greatly strengthened.”

Paul O’Neal, President Bush’s Treasury Secretary said the Iraq war was planned 8 months prior to 9/11—that the Bush neo-cons came into the White House with that agenda in their baggage.

Congressman John Murtha, who served in Vietnam (S-2 Intelligence Section)–who was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts as well as the Navy Distinguished Service Medal. Murtha has said that he did not see any achievable goal or national security interest in the (Iraq) operation and the continued presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is “uniting the enemy against us.”

General Eric Shinseki, former Army Chief of Staff, who was forced out of command and into retirement because of his criticism of the Bush gang’s war planning.

Admiral William Fallon, Chief of U.S. Central Command (General Petraeus’s boss)–who “retired” after publicly ruling out a strike against Iran. He added, “What’s the best and most effective way to combat al Qaeda? We tend to make too much or too little a deal about it. I want a more even keel. I come from the school of walk softly and carry a big stick.”

General Ricardo Sanchez, who was coalition commander in Iraq for two years: The Iraq war is “a nightmare with no end in sight!”

Major General John Batiste, former commander of the First Infantry Division in Iraq and critic of the Bush gang incompetence who spoke out “on behalf of soldiers and their families.”“I had a moral obligation and duty to do so.”

John Dilulio, former head of Bush’s Office of Faith Based Initiatives, in an interview in Esquire magazine, "There is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one; a complete lack of a policy apparatus. What you’ve got is everything—and I mean everything, being run by the political arm. It’s the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis."

While “puzzlement”, “disgruntlement” and the suggestion that McClellan is having an out-of-body experience is just the robotic spin we have come to know and expect from the White House and Fox News—the most hypocritical response is from the mainstream media types who accusingly ask why McClellan didn’t speak out when it would have meant something?

That is a legitimate question—--unless you are among the legion of mainstream media types who never asked that question of Colin Powell. The same Colin Powell who went before the United Nations in February of 2003 to close the deal on invading Iraq. The same Colin Powell who was well aware that the information he was purveying was at worst, flat wrong—and at best, highly questionable. Saddam Hussein has “500 tons” of chemical weapons, was just one of his examples of “solid proof.”

During the run up to the war, the mainstream media did indeed go belly-up in the face of mass patriotic flames being fanned by Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld--and that is a “puzzlement” to me.

Bill Sanders

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Kennedy's legacy and fate

The tragic news of Senator Ted Kennedy’s diagnosis of a malignant brain tumor has resulted in an outpouring of reminiscences about the Kennedy legacy which strike a personal chord in my past experience.

After 18 months as a mortar platoon leader in Korea, and two years as a general assignment (civilian) reporter for Pacific Stars and Stripes in Japan, I returned to the U.S. to work as the political cartoonist for Greensboro Daily News in North Carolina at the beginning of the "Kennedy era".

In addition to drawing opinions about John Kennedy’s nomination and election, I confess to being personally swept along by the exciting sense of something special happening in American politics—a new national awareness that we could shed the albatross of segregation, that we could in fact put a man on the moon, that truly the torch had been passed.

My cartoons were being regularly reprinted in the Washington Post and one day I received a letter from Evelyn Lincoln, President Kennedy’s personal secretary, writing at the behest of the President, informing me that Kennedy would like very much to have the original of a particular cartoon. It was the first of what was to become regular correspondence between Mrs. Lincoln and myself.

In January of 1963, during a trip to Washington, I was invited by Pierre Salinger to come to a White House press briefing. Afterward, he took me down the hall to meet with President Kennedy. As we went through Evelyn Lincoln’s office, I could not stifle a Cheshire cat grin upon seeing one of my cartoons hanging by the doorway into the Oval Office.

The President introduced me to Ted Sorensen, his speech writer and Secretary of State Dean Rust. They left and we were alone for about twenty minutes of conversation ranging from the politics of segregation to what kind of brush I used for drawing with India ink. He joked about finally finding gainful employment for his two brothers through the tried and true route of nepotism.

Upon my return to Greensboro, I received another letter from Evelyn Lincoln, saying that the President wanted to thank me again for the cartoons. She concluded, "It was a pleasure to have you here. Hope you come again sometime."

Months later Lee Harvey Oswald and a bullet aborted the John Kennedy legacy. It is sad that the final chapter of Ted Kennedy’s legacy will be written by a malignant brain tumor.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Caution: Dimwit at work!

If there is “intelligent design” at work in our existence, it is certainly not demonstrated in the person of George W. Bush. His ignorance of history is exceeded only by his hubris.

He has compared the “war on terrorism (Iraq)” to World War II (Hitler)–he has recently resurrected his old slur that if democrats win the White House they will facilitate and ease the way for another terrorist attack on the United States.

His coup de McCathyism was to stand before the Israeli Congress and accuse democrats of appeasement ala Neville Chamberlain to Adolf Hitler, when it comes to terrorists and Iran. Now, let’s see—Neville Chamberlain conceded half of Czechoslovakia to Hitler. What, exactly has Barrack Obama indicated he would concede to Iran or terrorists?

There is apparently no level that is beyond his stooping skill.

Bush has said (with a straight face) his sacrifice to the Iraq war was to give up golf because it just didn’t seem appropriate in the face of young men (over 4,000) dying over there. That must be a huge comfort to grieving mothers, widows and children. Of course, being a serial liar, the President was video recorded playing golf a month later .

Add to that Bush’s statements that it must by “exciting”—even “romantic” to be a young soldier fighting for “freedom” in Iraq. This from the draft-dodger during the Vietnam fight for “Freedom”.

Add to this the damage he has done our constitutional rights, and our economy–not to mention the laws he has violated

What is it that 71% of the American people know about this man--- that 100% of Congressional Democrats apparently don’t know—when it comes to holding Bush accountable?

Can anyone spell impeachment?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Reverend Wright and talking heads

The seemingly endless flap and outrage over the preaching of Reverend Jeremiah Wright is a display of monumental hypocrisy and an example of boundless religious ignorance.

Religious ignorance because, for the most part, we are a nation that is illiterate about the belief to which we pay lip service and which we imply is at the very core of our values. If you lined up ten of Reverend Wright’s critics who expressed outrage over his "blasphemous" use of the Bible to "damn" America, I doubt that you would find two who could pass an eighth grade level test of Biblical Theology. (Who was Hulda—and what was that person’s contribution to what we now claim as "the word of God?")

When the above mentioned ignorance is cupeled with equal denseness about African American religious culture and style—it is recipe for repeated regurgitation by television’s talking heads of Barack Obama’s terrible guilt by association.

Political hypocrisy corrupts nightly television every time the likes of Bill O’Reilly, Lou Dobbs, Chris Mathews, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity. Joe Scarborough, Pat Buchanan and assorted talking heads, ad nauseam, open their mouths. They are shocked—shocked, they tell us—at the hatefulness of this black minister!

Piety and faux-patriotism is most particularly annoying when its purveyors are millionaire TV "stars" posing as journalists—and when they elevate religious nonsense to a serious status of influence on our political future.

Talking heads are equally shocked at the idea that the our government’s past behavior might have been a contributing factor to the rising tide of the radical Islamic extremists.

The silence of these talking heads was defining back when the Reverend Pat Robinson and the Reverend Jerry Falwell blamed the U.S. Supreme Court, abortionists, homosexuals and the ACLU for the attack of 9-11. "God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us what we deserve," said Falwell. (Speaking of being hateful of America!)

Does anyone remember the outrage of the talking heads when straight shooter John McCain (after calling Falwell an agent of intolerance) accepted a speaking invitation to Liberty University–or that McCain sought and is proud of Reverend John Higee’s endorsement after Higee declared Katrina to be God’s punishment for a homosexual parade in New Orleans.

Perhaps if Reverend Wright had delivered his hellfire and damnation brew of black history, liberation and scripture in the soft spoken style of Pat Robinson— words flowing gently through the immobile lips of a pasted on smile—Barack Obama would not be required to march to the nightly drumbeat from on high in television tinsel land.

As for Reverend Wright, he was way off base in his defense of Louis Farrakhan and for not disavowing the internet baloney of Aids created by the government to kill black people. As for his coming across as smug and arrogant, there is no argument there! He almost, but not quite, rivals television’s talking heads when it comes to self serving hubris!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Planet earth to President Bush...

Just when you think George Bush’s hubris has taken him to the pinnacle of dim-witted arrogance and insensitivity, he manages to take another giant step into his make believe world.

Speaking to a video conference of U.S. military and civilian personnel about Afghanistan, Bush said, "I must say, I’m a little envious. If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front line of helping this young democracy succeed."

Then, he added, "It must be exciting for you—in some ways romantic--- in some ways, you know---confronting danger."

Is he so dense—so incredibly venal—as to not realize the stark hypocrisy of a draft dodging little Chicken Hawk speaking in nostalgic context about "confronting danger"? Is he so stupid as not to realize there are those who are well aware of his being jumped ahead of 100 applicants so he could take pilot training and avoid service in Vietnam?

One must assume that Chicken Hawk Bush didn’t find much "exciting" or "romantic" about the prospects of serving in Vietnam when he was stationed in Alabama and skipping his training duties while working for a politician friend of his daddy’s.

Meanwhile, thousands of young men are being killed and maimed while serving second and third tours in the Chicken Hawk’s war in Iraq. Meanwhile Osama bin Laden and Al Quaida enjoy immunity along the Afghan-Pakistan border

Friday, February 29, 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Monday, February 25, 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

It depends on your definition change.

When a female friend recently asked why I preferred Barack Obama, my wife responded, "He just doesn’t like Hillary Clinton!"—relegating me to the cadre of male chauvinist Hillary antagonists. After 50 years of marriage, four daughters, and a United Nations Award for my cartoons supporting the equal rights amendment, she knows better than that—tho our friends may not.

However, gender (and racial)bias is cruising the campaign landscape. A good example is Hardball’s talking head, Chris Mathews who has left a wake of sexist, misogynist comments along his coverage of the campaign trail. (See Media Matters and Daily Kos)

My problem with Hillary Clinton as a candidate for President is that her political genesis is firmly rooted in "beltway" establishment mentality, when this nation desperately needs leadership that does not fear thinking out of the box and speaking frankly.

On the war on Iraq, she first explained her vote----embracing the "Saddam Hussein is a threat" theory of the neo-cons. When the majority of the country finally caught on to the Bush debacle, she embraced the "if I had known then, what I know now" beltway speak. At no time did she look the country in the eye to say she was wrong and that she regretted it. As recently as the Nevada debate, she parsed her explanation by blaming pentagon deception and by accepting Bush’s word that he had no intention of going to war. This at time when most of the Western world knew he was a serial liar!

Robert Johnson, a billionaire supporter of Clintons and founder of Black Entertainment Television -- made a snide allusion to Obama using drugs and compared him to Sydney Poitier in "Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner" during a speech in South Carolina. Johnson then denied the drug allusion.

Tim Russert , read a quote from Hillary Clinton in which she said she would not tolerate inappropriate behavior on the part of her supporters and would get rid of them. Then Russert asked if she planned to distance herself from Mr. Johnson. In a "beltway speak" moment she said that Johnson had explained his remark and she accepted it. Presumably, she "accepted" his denial that he said what everyone heard him say!

After six years of a lying, deceitful administration that has taken us into a unjustified war, that has denounced the Geneva Convention and embraced techniques of torture, that has done serious damage to our constitution and squandered the first budget surplus this nation has had in decades----we need someone who is NOT inherently inclined to triangulation, calculation and equivocation---no matter what their gender or race.

Bill Sanders

Friday, January 04, 2008