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A fitting cap

By Tom Toles



The wayward forward

Where do conservatives go from here? They simplified their policy menu down to three ideas: cut taxes, reduce regulations and attack yet another foreign country. These ideas have been so successfully implemented that they have nearly finished us off.

Conservatives now have raised the back of their hands to their foreheads, tilted their faces to the heavens, and started a long catlike yowl about the deficits that their former flightsuit-clad hero George W. Bush delivered to the nation, thanks to the very same conservative principles named above. Hence the conservative dilemma. Cut taxes some more now? Oops! Those deficits! Reduce regulations? Oh, let's see if a less-regulated Wall Street can destroy the tax base MORE thoroughly! Attack still ANOTHER country? How much could THAT possibly cost?

There is really only one strategy remaining for conservatives. Prevent an economic recovery while Obama is still president, thereby clearing the way for an anger-filled electorate to lift up a truly crazy candidate, the kind only frighteningly prolonged bad times could reward. Ever wonder what accounts for that smug, knowing look on Sarah Palin's face? Now you know. -- Tom Toles




By Tom Toles  | July 13, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Environment  
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While the energey cartoon is on point in my opinion, your comments seem to reveal only a narrow window view of the panorama of the issues.

The more looming questions needing to be asked appear to be in the realm of how to make the existing agencies more accountable for enforcement of existing policies and laws.

There are already policies, laws and ethics codes which take stands on ethics violations and conflicts of interest.

Our energy policy needs to spend more of its energy implementing effective oversight through checks and balances with meaningful consequences for violations from within.

We, the People, would drink whichever color Kool-Aid before us as long Congress and the Czars drink it first.

Posted by: gotigers1 | July 14, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Your cartoon is spot on, though next time to maximize the LOLz, use Palin instead of generic "Joe". Thanks.

Posted by: bushidollar | July 13, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

One more comment Tom....your cartoon is right on.

"The Department of Energy was formed after the oil crisis on August 4, 1977 in order to end the United States dependence on foreign oil by President Jimmy Carter's signing of legislation, The Department of Energy Organization Act of 1977 (P.L. 95-91, 91 Stat. 565)."

Just think how bad off we would be if we didn't have the Energy Department.

It's not really fair to say that. We have hundreds of other equally inept departments. That's why we need to create more and continue growing the government.

Posted by: avatar666 | July 13, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Here's some advice Tom.....

"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, | the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt.   People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."~ Cicero - 55 BC

Obama and the democrats need to quit blaming others for their failures. It is misguided and foolish to do so.

Posted by: avatar666 | July 13, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

"Yeah, this is all one parties fault. The Democrats weren't even around pushing Freddi and Fanni Mae to give home loans to people who couldn't afford them..."

And yet, recent reports show that the majority of people that have been defaulting on their home loans and going into foreclosure are the *wealthy*! I love how the right-wing blow-hard talking points just keep getting repeated no matter what the evidence.

Tom, thanks for another good cartoon. I hate to be the pessimist, but that dunce cap is going to be on for a while. As long as Americans demand a gazillion cell phones, four or five computers and TVs in every 8,000 sq. ft. home, and SUVs big enough to have their own zip code, no Congress or administration will change US energy policy in any meaningful way. Did you see John Stewart's little montage of presidents talking about "getting us off oil"? Almost 40 years worth, and nothing has changed. It was funny, but quite sad as well. We get the government we deserve.

(For the record, in the modest duplex I rent, I have one TV, one computer, I drive a Civic, and I still don't own a cell phone.)

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | July 13, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Tom, we need effective leaders at all levels and it starts at the top. Would you like someone to look over your shoulder as you write and opine?

Less regulation and more incentive to make Government efficient is needed, i.e., a profit motive resident in Capitalism and Kensyian (sic) economics.

Posted by: dcarro | July 13, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, this is all one parties fault. The Democrats weren't even around pushing Freddi and Fanni Mae to give home loans to people who couldn't afford them... The real problem is that no one in Washington care about this country, they only care about getting re-elected. Vote all of the bums out. Maybe if we clean house (and senate) a few times we can get some decent people in there.

Posted by: phntsm | July 13, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse


spamsux1, you read the chart wrong. That big 2009 spike is the RESULT of Bush's budget.

The article and graphic are from March 2009, about 8 weeks into Obama's administration and BEFORE any of Obama's policies had been passed -- let alone enacted.

Nice try at the typical GOP distortion field, but some of us still know how to use a calendar.


Posted by: egc52556 | July 13, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Toles says this:
"Conservatives now have raised the back of their hands to their foreheads, tilted their faces to the heavens, and started a long catlike yowl about the deficits that their former flightsuit-clad hero George W. Bush delivered to the nation, thanks to the very same conservative principles named above."

I would direct Tom's attention to this graph by the WaPost that shows the deficit during Bush's term and Obama's subsequent credit-card binge.
The graph says at the end of Bush's tenure that the budget deficit was a little over $400 billion. Under Bush the $700 billion TARP was passed and about half was distributed.
Bush signed over the other half even before Obama took office.

Obama has ran that debt through the stratosphere despite objections from the more temperate members of his own party and the Republicans.

The "blame Bush" strategy is becoming like old fish and no one is buying it except starving liberals desperate for any morsels that might avert blame from their chosen one.

Posted by: spamsux1 | July 13, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

That's simply a great cartoon-

Posted by: 9721Norm | July 13, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

The broken down economy is unfix-able under our current financial system. This is due to sabotage just like 9/11 and an oil derrick that explodes and entirely ruins the Gulf of Mexico and it's shorelines. The powers that be seem to want it that way and have methods of using politics and government leaders to assure that they are unaffected themselves by all of this. In their eyes the World consists of not enough resources, of which they have control over and profit from, for an over populated World. They have a deceptive way of bringing about a plan of depopulation and total control over everyone. Democrats/Liberals and Republicans/Conservatives both play major roles in implementing this program. They are chopping US all down through the use of their own criteria or false representations. With a little honest insight into these publicly unexposed programs even a 5th Grader could figure it out.



Posted by: JONAHandtheFISH | July 13, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Where do liberals go from here? Higher and higher taxes, more and more regulation, fewer and fewer jobs and less and less liberals in office, but liberals can still take credit for all those jobs in the dumpster as part of their great dumpster stimulus program.

Posted by: insanecommenter |
For those keeping score not brainwashed by conservative talking heads stimulus provided of 250 billion in tax cuts in addition the the same amount for unemployment, the smallest part was infrastructure/energy jobs. Tax increases so far a SCIPPS cigarette tax of a couple billion and the yet to be paid health bill taxes. That is over 250 billion in tax cuts for those unable to do math. 10% of the deficit comes from new spending, 20% from continuing Dubya's tax cuts and corporate welfare, the rest from an increase in entitlements (medicare/medicaid, SS and unemployment.

Posted by: jameschirico | July 13, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse


Any of us can get out from under the disastrous Republican/Democratic/Wall-Street economics: buy a piece of land (plenty of cheap stuff left in the world), grow/hunt your own food, build your own shelter, make your own entertainment.

Then you won't give a **** who's in office, what their policies are, or what the unemployment rate is, or when the new iPhone will be out.

But of course, then you'd have to have a spine instead of a whine.

BTW, this isn't aimed at Tom Toles; this is aimed at the self-serving know-it-alls who post here.

Including me.


As a half-way solution, start reducing your needs. Learn to love a smaller house, smaller car, older iPhone, more modest vacation. Bit by bit, we can release ourselves from the economic-political traps we put ourselves into.

Posted by: egc52556 | July 13, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Toles- disregard what some of these yahoos say, your blogs and your cartoons are brilliantly insightful. And, right, President Obama has not been able to reverse, in eighteen months, the excesses that his predecessor had eight years to put in place so, yeah, let's vote them back in. In eighteen months President Obama has had to deal with a global financial meltdown that our greediest of the greedy caused, two wars that the last occupant of the oval office started and a huge, man-made disaster that has its roots in the "deregulation", "trickle-down economics" of prior republican administrations. In face of the daily obstruction one sees on the republican side of the hill, President Obama is doing a wonderful job. Now, imagine what benefits the American people could see (new infrastructure, clean energy, etc) if the republicans that you elected to do a job were actually legislating and not obstructing in a transparent attempt to get POWER, and of course the green-backs they so readily reap from that power.

Posted by: dorsyn | July 12, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Where do liberals go from here? Higher and higher taxes, more and more regulation, fewer and fewer jobs and less and less liberals in office, but liberals can still take credit for all those jobs in the dumpster as part of their great dumpster stimulus program.

Posted by: insanecommenter | July 12, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Mr Toles, the incredible devastation wrought upon our country, its people, and its economy by the Bush administration has not been completely reversed yet, even though Obama has been in office for eighteen months. This obviously means it's time to return to republican rule. Everybody knows that. Everybody.

Posted by: Kevin71707 | July 12, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it clear by now that there are no leaders in Washington, Republican or Democrat?

Posted by: mocmao | July 12, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to come up with something all the time, Tom. But if you persevere, something will come to you...just take the bull by the horns.

Posted by: quiensabe | July 12, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Okay, the cartoon. Our energy policy seems to be to reduce American production of oil and become more reliant on foreign supplies. You are right Mr. Toles, President Obama deserves the dunce cap. Last time I checked trucks, trains, cars, and airplanes ran on fuels produced from oil. Tomorrow they will still run on oil, and the next day, and the next day,........

Posted by: bobbo2 | July 12, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

The cartoons are really funny. I recommend sticking to those and restrict the comments to observations about cartoons. Always go with your strengths, funny cartoons.

Posted by: kchses1 | July 12, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Toles I would think that you would have come up with something more original during your vacation than your stock jab at Conservatives. Our dear President, we have a disaster in the Gulf of Mexico with ONE drilling site, inspected and regulated by his government gnomes. His only firm action is to shut down all the wells and put thousands of people out of work. We have an Attorney General who responds to voter intimidation by telling the guy with the baton he can't go to a voting site until the NEXT Presidential election. We have no Leader. The Conservatives had better have learned their lesson come November. They need to stop being like the Left and spend and spend. The Left doesn't know what to do. Their hold on power is slipping away with their only accomplishment a big new federal entitlement in health care. Change is coming Mr. Toles. I hope it is fiscal responsibility and less government. And competence in government. The Obama administration is up to now a failure. We have hard times ahead. We need leadership to make it through. Any suggestions as to a leader?

Posted by: bobbo2 | July 12, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Here’s wishing you a belated congrats in building your own ark/vessel and competition. Simply beautiful! In keeping with the wood theme, I "pined" away for your insight of political satire, wondering if you “wood” return. My comments are not directed at your artistry, sketches or comments, but a happy welcome back. Wishing you a safe voyage in all endeavors.

Posted by: fromthecheapseats | July 12, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

With the Democrats holding the White House and large majorities in both branches of Congress, it is silly to blame the Republicans for the failure of the Obama economic policies. Obama is an ideologue who is in over his head and does not have a clue on how to correct the problem. Unfortunately for the country, “no he can’t”.

Posted by: ronmacr | July 12, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Where do we go from here Tommy ol boy? Hows bout all the way to Washington in November? Hows bout we take that majority in the House and turn it on its head by throwing 80 or 100 democrats out on their cans? Hows bout we take “safe” senate seats like Russ Feingold in Wisconsin and Babs Boxer in California and toss them out on their behinds too, giving us a majority in the Senate as well.

Then hows bout we spend the years 2011 and 2012 looking into things like Obama’s abuse of the voting rights division in the justice department, his firing of Gerald Walpin and all the other micro and macro scandals sure to come up?

Then, this is the best Tommy ol’ boy so you should have a seat, hows bout we elect Sarah Palin to office in 2012?

That’s where we go from here Tommy ol’ boy, so you’d better get used to it. Your messiah and Dear Leader has failed you.

Posted by: SharpshootingPugilist | July 12, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

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