Tag Archive for photo-toon

Rewind: Lil’ DubToons

2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the BilgeBucket Gazette. Our first issue was on May 19, 2003 and we’ve been shoveling it to the public, just like the corporate media, ever since. We changed our format to a WordPress blog in 2011 so all of our earlier material was archived. We’ve been reposting many of those archived articles, headlines, photo-toons, BilgeBucket Lists and other content over the past twelve years. In honor of our 20th, and because we’re sick of the current state of affairs in the world, we’ll be reposting more items from 2003 through 2009 throughout this year.

Starting in December 2005, we reformatted our look and feel trying to make our webzine look more like a newspaper. So we introduced a three column layout under our banner with headlines, photo-toon links and other material in the left column, articles in the main center column and external links, ads and little cartoons highlighting the hypocrisy of the Bush Administration and Republicans in the right column. We called these tiny photo-toons Lil’ DubToons and we enjoyed the hell out of ’em. We’ll be reposting several of them in celebration of our 20th anniversary.

Here’s a pic of our April 10, 2006 issue featuring our changed format and the corresponding DubToon displayed in the upper right hand corner right below a corresponding quote relating the Republican hypocrisy of the week. At that time, it was reported that disgraced aide Scooter Libby said Bush and Dick Cheney were responsible for disclosing classified intelligence information as part of a counterattack against critics of the Bush Administration’s disastrous Iraq War policy. Of course, ol’ Dubya channels Alfred E. Neuman attitude in response knowing that in 2003 he was acting all tough on finding out and punishing the leakers. Well, Bush said he’d take of the leakers and he’s taking really good care of himself ever since.

A screenshot of the April 10, 2006 featuring a new format and the awesome Lil' DubToon in the upper right hand corner.
A screenshot of the April 10, 2006 featuring a new format and the awesome Lil’ DubToon in the upper right hand corner.
“And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of.”
George W. Bush
9-30-2003
Dubya does his best Alfred E. Neuman impersonation deflecting criticism about leaks in his administration.
“What? Me Worry?”

Rewind: The First Photo-Toons

2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the BilgeBucket Gazette. Our first issue was on May 19, 2003 and we’ve been shoveling it to the public, just like the corporate media, ever since. We changed our format to a WordPress blog in 2011 so all of our earlier material was archived. We’ve been reposting many of those archived articles, headlines, photo-toons, BilgeBucket Lists and other content over the past twelve years. In honor of our 20th, and because we’re sick of the current state of affairs in the world, we’ll be reposting more items from 2003 through 2009 throughout this year.

Our first post in our retrospective features our first two photo-toons from 2003. If you remember, we had just invaded and taken over Iraq. Saddam Hussein had eluded American forces and was on the run. On the legal front, the Patriot Act had been passed after 9/11 and was threatening all sorts of freedoms in the name of national security. The first toon from our June 19, 2003 issue features former Attorney General from the Bush era, authoritarian bible-thumper and Patriot Act cheerleader John Ashcroft showing off a proud purchase he made on that new website called E-bay. The second from our July 3, 2003 issue features former President and super sleuth George W. Bush boldly stating that he’ll leave no stone unturned in pursuit of Saddam Hussein, at least as long as Iraq’s leader isn’t in the same room. As you can see, our first photo-toons were simple photoshop jobbies with no word bubbles and basic, mildly humorous jabs. We’ve come a long ways since then.

Attorney General and bible thumper extraordinaire John Ashcroft shows off the Vintage 1973 Playboy he won on eBay.
Attorney General and bible thumper extraordinaire John Ashcroft shows off the Vintage 1973 Playboy he won on eBay.
President Bush vows to leave no stone unturned in his quest to find Saddam Hussein.
President Bush vows to leave no stone unturned in his quest to find Saddam Hussein.

20 Years Of Shoveling It To The Public

The new year has started and already the Republicans have restored dysfunction to the House of Representatives. We’re actually getting sick of pointing out the stupidity of the GOP because we’ve been doing it for the past twenty years. That’s right, folks. The Bilge Bucket Gazette, the site that shovels it to the public just like the regular corporate media, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Of course, back when we started on May 19, 2003 (or aught 3 as old codger staff member Chester Einstein puts it) it was Dubya, Uncle Dick, Rummy and their cast of greedy, neoconservative corporate lackeys who were causing the chaos on the world stage by setting America up for the quagmire in Afghanistan and the clusterf*ck known as the Iraq War while simultaneously helping bring about the Great Recession with little to no opposition from the Democrats. Since then, Republicans have lurched so far to the right that they brag about being fascist, are open in their admiration of Nazis and have openly tried to overturn legitimate democratic elections. We’ve made many a satirical photo-toon over the years blasting them about their greed, corporatism, racism, fascism, white christian nationalism and now they’re exposed, openly proud of the fact they want to rid America of democracy. They have truly broken satire.

When we first started out we wanted to be a poor man’s Onion. We wanted to be a web site that offered a wide spectrum of irreverent social, corporate, political, sports, religion and celebrity satire and humor that would be, as editor Dex Rexter put it, “1/20th as funny as the Onion”. But the Republicans were so bad that we morphed into being mostly an anti-Republican, anti-conservative, anti-religion, anti-racist and anti-fascist web site.

Since we’re sick of the current asshole Republicans, the Democrats seem to be letting the GOP getting away with overturning democracy and it’s our 20th anniversary, we’ve decided that in the coming months we’d retrospectively look at the spectacular debacle that was the Dubya years – the disastrous administration that started the Republican’s slide into insanity. We’re also going to honor our original humble intentions and repost some our non- political articles, photo-toons, polls, lists and other scchhttufffff. Back in aught 3, we had a basic html site as you can see by our posted screenshot below (there’s elegance in simplicity). The first two issues were only articles and headlines – our first photo-toon didn’t appear until our third issue. We also released more regularly, mostly on an every other week basis. We changed the look-and-feel in late 2005. After Obama won in 2008, we took a two year hiatus starting in June 2009. Then in July 2011 we converted everything to a much more convenient WordPress blog format that we still have today. But our original material was archived and we’ve only reposted selected articles, headlines, photo-toons and other material from the early years since then. We’ve also had staff come and go and we’ll repost some of their articles and contributions as well.

So, let’s enjoy the trip down memory lane as we look back at the Dubya years (2003-2009) on the 20th anniversary of the Bilge Bucket Gazette.

Behold! A screenshot of the very first issue of the BilgeBucket Gazette on May 19, 2003 - a day that will live in infamy.
Behold! A screenshot of the very first issue of the BilgeBucket Gazette on May 19, 2003 – a day that will live in infamy.

Karipatra: Queen Of Denial

If you’re a fan of democracy then the results for the 2022 midterm elections are encouraging. We’ve waited until after the Georgia runoff election, which was fortunately won by Rafael Warnock, to comment because mostly it’s given us time to relax from the non-stop electioneering and also to see how the Republicans would react to the results. But the Democrats managed to not only keep control of the Senate but expand its influence with a 51-49 majority. The Republicans control the House but by only a few seats. The red wave that the main stream corporate media bloviated about before the election never materialized much to the embarrassment of the propagandists at Fox News, a.k.a. the Republican Propaganda Network. It looks like Kevin McCarthy will have his hands full trying to control the House and most pundits are doubting the GOP will do anything except investigate the nothing burger that is Hunter Biden’s laptop.

More importantly, many Trump humping, election denier candidates across the country got beat including the Big Three here in Arizona, Blake Masters, Mark Finchem and Kari Lake. Generally speaking, Democrats performed pretty well here in AZ. One notable exception is the U.S. House of Representatives. Arizona had five democratic Congressional representatives in the 2020 election but thanks to redrawn districts from the census favoring Republicans, the GOP now has six seats compared to three for Democrats. There were some very tight races which have gone into recount, but overall, the Dems held the line. Democracy has been saved . . . for now.

Of course, Ms. Lake, in true Trumpian fashion, has refused to concede and has commenced to whining, promising law suits of election fraud. We’re so sick of this former newsreader. She should just move into Mar-a-lago so she can be with her crush 24/7. We’re sure Melania won’t mind. We saw a funny meme online about the loony Ms. Lake and decided to duplicate it using our own graphics. From now on, Kari Lake will be known as Karipatra, the Queen of Denial.

In true Trumpian fashion, Arizona's failed governor candidate Kari Lake has claimed election fraud and has transformed herself into Karipatra - the Queen of Denial.
In true Trumpian fashion, Arizona’s failed governor candidate Kari Lake has claimed election fraud and has transformed herself into Karipatra – the Queen of Denial.

Rewind: Reality Check

The election season is driving us crazy so this post deals with something remarkable thanks to the scientists at NASA. Recently, NASA’s spacecraft Lucy sent back stunning photos of the Earth and the Moon from about a million miles and half a million miles away that reminds us how insignificant we are in the universe. It’s not the first to show the Earth and moon together but it’s probably one of the best.

We’re reposting a pic from July 26, 2013 when the Cassini spacecraft was still operational. That probe sent back an astonishing photo of the pale blue dot through Saturn’s rings. We thought it appropriate to add a little notation as a reality check to the denizens of planet Earth that God and all the other mythical gods were created on that insignificant speck by the species of animal known as homo sapiens. That’s right, folks: God didn’t create man; man created God.

The people of Earth created God not the other way around
The Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn sends a reality check to all religious people on the pale blue dot called Earth.

Walker: Georgia Danger

Let’s face it, folks: the 2022 Republican candidates are bat shit insane. One of the biggest examples of this insanity is former football star Herschel Walker who is running for Senator in Georgia against Democrat Raphael Warnock. Walker has been making a lot of false claims (imagine that – just like his idol TFG). Some of his more egregious lies are: that he’s a police officer, a member of the FBI, valedictorian of his class and probably his most ridiculous – that TFG never claimed the 2020 election was stolen. Walker originally pulled out a prop honorary badge during a recent debate with Warnock and keeps doubling down on his lie insisting the badge is real.

Walker has a troubled history that includes a bout with mental illness and anger management issues. He has prevaricated on how many children he has. He even has claimed that he is pro-life even when he’s paid for a former girlfriend’s abortion and then offered to pay for a second with the same woman. So basically this man is a pathological liar which makes him a perfect candidate for today’s GOP.

Shockingly, the Georgia Senate race like all others featuring looney tunes MAGA Moron Republicans is tight. Warnock, who is a reverend for Pete’s sake, is clearly the best choice but Republicans, who are supposedly the party of moral superiority, are completely backing Walker. We’re pretty sure the FBI badge he has is probably a Federal Boob Inspector prop job which he probably uses to pick up all the women he gets.

Georgia Senate candidate and christian pillar of morality Herschel Walker whips out his FBI (Federal Boob Inspector) badge to try and impress another unsuspecting female.
Georgia Senate candidate and christian pillar of morality Herschel Walker whips out his FBI (Federal Boob Inspector) badge to try and impress another unsuspecting female.

GOP: Iron Fist Fascism Rule

We’ve noted with alarm over the last twenty years the Republican party’s slide to authoritarian fascism and yes it started during the Bush administration. Remember after 9/11, Press Secretary Ari Fleischer spewed forth these chilling words that all Americans need to “watch what they say, watch what they do”, forgetting about free speech and stepping toward a big brother-esque society. The the Patriot Act was passed as if to provide an exclamation point. Of course, the crowning point of the Dubya and Dick Cheney’s presidency was the clusterf*ck quagmire in Iraq which was shoved down American’s throat with gusto by the corporate media costing us trillions of dollars over the long haul. So yeah — the Republicans have been at this kind of iron-fisted power grab for some time now.

This coming election is startling and the most dangerous of the 21st century. There are 299 out of 569 Republicans running for office who are fully on board with the Big Lie pushed by the twice impeached, classified document stealer TFG. Many of these people are guaranteed to win because of the districts, counties and states where they live. If this happens, then democracy is doomed in these places because these fascists will never allow a non-conservative, non-Republican to ever win an election again. Period. This is why we’ve highlighted the important races of Senator, Governor and Secretary of State here in Arizona, our home state. These QAnon loving loons are drunk with the Trump Kool-Aid and will no doubt push their agenda with an iron fist backed by TFG and his MAGA Moron militias, not to mention his enablers in Congress.

Republicans don't want to govern, they want to rule with an iron fist.
Republicans don’t want to govern, they want to rule with an iron fist.

Finchem’s Fascist Farce

It’s time to get back to our final review of Arizona GOP whack-a-doodle candidates. We’ve already mentioned fluff-brained gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and plutocrat butt kisser senatorial candidate Blake Masters. We focus in this post on perhaps the most insidious and dangerous of the Trumphumpers, Mark Finchem, who is running for Secretary of State. In Arizona, the Secretary of State is second in command since there is no Lieutenant Governor. The Secretary of State is also in charge of certifying election results and keeping records of campaign finances. This is why Finchem is dangerous – he is an election denier and has openly stated that he would have overturned the 2020 election in favor of TFG despite there being absolutely no evidence of voter fraud. He’s also stated that if he loses the upcoming election he will not concede, just like Trump.

But first, who is Mark Finchem? The way he dresses and acts, you’d think he’s a native Arizonan. But he was born and Michigan and moved to AZ and adopted the garb and persona of a rough and ready, independent Arizonan. Basically, he’s a poser. But the conservative rubes eat it up which is why he was elected as a state representative for Legislative District 11 which represents about 225,000 Arizonans in Pinal and Pima counties which covers the northwestern parts of the Tucson metropolitan area up to Casa Grande and Maricopa. Finchem’s been married four times, so he’s got TFG beat there. Other Arizona Republicans have called Finchem a “political gadfly” and “one of the dumbest” members of the state legislature.

Why is Finchem so dangerous? Wow, where do we start? First of all, Finchem is a QAnon true believer and a 9/11 truther. He attended the Capitol riots on January 6th which should disqualify him completely from running for office. But he stated that he didn’t go inside and was just a witness which apparently makes everything square in his fevered mind. He is an Oath Keeper, which is a far right wing, anti-government, extremist militia group and has kept ‘treason watchlists’. He’s a supporter of TFG’s Big Lie and said fraud was rampant in Arizona despite several audits saying there was no voter fraud. We repeat: NO VOTER FRAUD!!! His opponent in the Sec. of State race Democrat and native Arizonan Adrian Fontes is a former Maricopa County Recorder and lost his re-election race in 2020. We would think if there was fraud Fontes would arranged for his own re-election but that didn’t happen. Even his Republican opponent in the Recorder race Stephen Richer said there was no fraud. But does that matter to these MAGA Morons? Not one bit. They’ve drank the Trump kool-aid and plan to use every one of his vile obstruction tactics including not conceding and contesting any results they don’t like.

Finchem debated Fontes this past week and according to most reviews, Fontes owned the Republican screwball. Finchem acted unhinged for most the thirty minutes doubling down on his debunked conspiracy theories while Fontes remained calm, cool and collected answering in even measured responses. Among his most egregious assertions, Finchem cited the discredited “2000 Mules” movie, which made unproven claims about widespread ballot harvesting in the 2020 election. The two sparred on many issues including mail-in ballots which Finchem wants to eliminate. Finchem is also in favor of letting the state legislature select the Senator instead of letting the people. Apparently, Finchem has conveniently forgotten the Seventeenth Amendment which guarantees the citizens the direct vote of Senators. Like with the mail-in ballots, Fontes pressed Finchem to admit he favors taking away the vote from the people, but the loony wingnut kept hemming and hawing and dodging the question because he knows that his position is colossally undemocratic and would expose him for the fascist he is.

The bottom line is this, folks: Mark Finchem is a bat shit insane, QAnon, Oath Keeper, fascist nutcase and is an absolute danger to Democracy. If he is elected Secretary of State, he will guarantee that only Republicans will win key offices in upcoming elections which is not only undemocratic but out and out fascism. We Arizonans need to make sure to vote him out this November 8th or we will never have fair elections in this state again and it might start an unfortunate trend that goes nationwide.

Update 9/26/22: Here are a couple more links to stories about Finchem.

Finchem Falsely Claims That Then-Vice President Mike Pence “seized power” from President Donald Trump and undertook “a coup” when he called on federal agencies to stop the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Finchem Embraces QAnon and 9/11 Truthers.

Oath Keeper, QAnon whackadoodle and supporter of Trumps Big Lie, Mark Finchem, guarantees that if elected he will ensure fair and balanced elections where no Democrats will ever hold elective office again but is in no way fascist.
Oath Keeper, QAnon whackadoodle and supporter of Trumps Big Lie, Mark Finchem, guarantees that if elected he will ensure fair and balanced elections where no Democrats will ever hold elective office again but is in no way fascist.

Cannon Misfires

We’re taking another brief interlude from our coverage of whack job Arizona GOP candidates to post about the absolutely unscrupulous and feckless U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon, who was confirmed in the waning days of the Trump administration and nominated by the twice impeached megalomaniac man child himself and is also a member of the right wing conservative Federalist Society.

It appears that Cannon is staying loyal to her master by agreeing that a special master be chosen to review the classified documents retrieved by the FBI at TFG’s palatial estate Mar-a-lago in August which is precisely what Trump wanted. Then she appointed Raymond Dearie as the special master who is also one of the judges Trump wanted. Hmmmmm. See a pattern here? Can you say corrupt? Both Democrats and Republicans say that Dearle is honorable and above reproach so we’ll wait and see what happens in the coming weeks. But given that Trump always seems to get his way, we’re incredibly skeptical that justice will prevail.

Anyway judicial pundits have jumped all over Cannon and her fealty to her special master Trump essentially granting him the delay he wanted. These are ultra classified documents that Trump should not have. Those documents belong to the people of the United States not Donald Trump. Doesn’t the national security of 332 million Americans come before Trump’s reputation or feelings? Apparently not, as Cannon, in her briefing, basically stated that the reputation of TFG is paramount and that she doesn’t believe the FBI and the DOJ when they say the documents were classified. The FBI took pictures of the documents! They were classified! This is not a witch hunt! Trump took classified documents and his appointed lackey judge is trying to cover it up. Judge Cannon is utterly corrupt! She should be removed from office and barred from practicing law in the United States! Maybe she could move to Russia? Putin could use a good sycophant to support his crimes these days.

Corrupt Trump appointee Judge Aileen Cannon has decided that twice impeached former President Donald Trump's feelings are more important than the national security of 332 million Americans.
Corrupt Trump appointee Judge Aileen Cannon has decided that twice impeached former President Donald Trump’s feelings are more important than the national security of 332 million Americans.

Rewind: Fascist Checklist

We’re taking another brief detour from our review of insane, Arizona GOP, Trumphumper candidates to talk about President Biden’s recent speech on the MAGA Republicans embracing ‘semi-fascism’. We thought it was mostly correct but ‘semi-fascism’? Really? Because the Republicans have been embracing full on fascism for some time now. And now they’ve been openly proving it every day since TFG took office in 2017 and then incited an insurrection on Jan. 6th 2021 because they didn’t win. In their typical whiny, cry-baby manner, Republicans wailed that Biden was being divisive while forgetting about how Trump vilified anyone who disagreed with him during his excruciating tenure as CEO/Dictator.

We also thought it was interesting that no major networks like ABC, NBC or CBS covered Biden’s important speech. This reminds us of other occasions like when Obama gave a speech about his executive order on immigration in December 2014 and nobody bothered to cover it. If the media were truly liberal like the conservative Republicans always claim, then all those networks would have covered Biden’s speech. Liberal Media My Ass!!! It’s just more hypocrisy and deception from the well funded propaganda machine operated by corporate conservative Republicans.

As a courtesy we’re reposting a photo-toon from December 15, 2015 post which depicts a checklist comparing the fascists of the NSDAP(Nazis) party of 1930’s Germany and the 21st century Republican party (or more appropriately, crime syndicate!). As you can see, there’s not much difference and hey, looky there . . . both had a well funded propaganda machine. So if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck . . . We repeat folks; the Republicans are full on fascists and every TFG enabler running for office needs to be voted out of office or we will lose our democracy just like Germany lost theirs in the 1930s!

The Republican Party has some eerie similarities to a certain right wing conservative fascist party from 20th century Germany.