Travel Advisories from the Secretary of State

Travel Advisories

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International news is horrible, always. I like to make jokes, so I don’t cover it as often as I should. The travel advisories and embassy closings issued by the government a couple weeks ago have lapsed, presumably because terrorists can’t quickly adjust their schedules.

Despite all this international turmoil, the NSA continues to waste its time creepily looking inward, spying on imagined threats from within the United States.

The Disenfranchising Team

The Disenfranchising Team

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North Carolina passed an expansive voter suppression bill last week. Other states began moving forward with their own bills immediately after the Roberts’ Court gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in June. They claim it’s to stop voter fraud, but when there are other verifiable, more pressing problems with our elections, it’s a convenient excuse to disenfranchise minorities and the poor.

This isn’t new; many GOP-led states tried the same shenanigans during the 2012 election, but were often stopped by the now extinct preclearance conditions in the VRA. It’s the hail Mary pass of a party that knows it has lost minorities and the young and has no idea to win national elections any more.

The U.S. Government’s Incredible Threats

Incredible Threats

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Citing “credible threats,” the government closed a bunch of embassies last week. Presumably based on information gathered while monitoring an Al Qaeda conference call. That’s all fine and good, as there’s a reason to monitor everything they do.

But there’s no reason to apply the same scrutiny to all American citizens, who’ve done nothing suspicious except exist on the same planet as terrorists. Despite their earlier denials, the content of Americans’ email is being monitored and searched for mentions of “targets.” If you believe this only applies to email sent overseas … YOUR NAIVETE IS ADORABLE!

If you missed it last month, Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki’s grandfather wrote an op-ed. It’s depressing, and infuriating. Depruriating.

Brood CXIII Congress

 

Brood CXIII

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The current Congress, especially the GOP-led House, is one of the least productive ones in history. And now they’re on a five week vacation. At least I think it’s a vacation. I haven’t had any vacation experience myself, so I can’t recognize one.

When they get back, they’ll treat us to the same budget  brinkmanship and general obstruction (That’s a cool wrestling name, BTW.) that’s been the norm since 2010. Then they’ll switch to campaign mode for the midterm elections and get even less done. If that’s even possible.