Fun with Corporate Conscience Clauses

Fun with Corporate Conscience Clauses

Read at the NYTimes

The Supreme Court heard the Hobby Lobby Case last week. Hobby Lobby has been very vocal about their opposition to the birth control mandate ever since the Affordable Care Act became law. I drew another cartoon about that over two years ago.

A for-profit company that employs the general public has no business imposing its owners’ religious beliefs onto its employees. But the Supreme Court loves corporate persons more than flesh and blood persons, so Hobby Lobby’s employees should probably read up on the rhythm method.

Handbook for Homophobes

Handbook for Homophobes

click to read at the New York Times

Arizona’s terrible anti-gay discrimination bill was vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer, and now homophobes need all the help they can get.

Massachusetts might’ve been at the forefront of marriage equality, but anti-gay discrimination is still making news in our more regressive enclaves. Like almost everything in Southie, South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is run by terrible monsters. The dumb fucks are finally letting a few gays march in their celebration of day-drinking, but with this caveat:

The group, MassEquality, could not wear T-shirts or hold signs that include the word gay or refer to sexual orientation.

Presumably, attendees to the parade will still be permitted to wear their precious “Fuck Me, I’m Irish” t-shirts while shouting homophobic things about Derek Jeter. You know, “traditional Boston revelry.”

All-American Winter Games

All-American Winter Games

Click to read at the New York Times, or on The Nib

I haven’t caught Olympic fever, but this winter has brought on a major case of cabin fever to everyone in the northeast. Complaining about the weather is a tradition even older than the Olympics, so I figured I’d join in.

Apparently other parts of the country/world are experiencing different weather abnormalities, but I don’t have to walk on their unshoveled sidewalks, so who cares?

Unlikely 2014 Headlines

Unlikely 2014 Headlines

Read at the New York Times

Hey, it’s a new year! I’m not a psychic, but I guarantee you that the news will be unpleasant, infuriating and terrible throughout.

Not mentioned in this comic is that there will be another manufactured budget crisis, the economy will remain stalled, and tens of thousands of Americans will die at the end of a gun. Happy 2014!

Santa’s Intelligence Task Force

Santa's Intelligence Task Force

Read at the New York Times

A panel appointed by the White House after Edward Snowden’s leaks offered up some token reforms for the NSA. Along with the recent court ruling that the sweeping data collection is unconstitutional, a lot of folks are hailing it as the end of of the intrusive police state.

I’m not that optimistic. The panel’s proposals are minor, and more of the CYA variety than real reform. The DC circuit’s opinion will go all the way to the Supreme Court, where the odds of a shitty decision in favor of the NSA are quite high.

I also have another Christmas-themed comic up on Medium. There’s pooping in it.

The Incredible Volcker

The Incredible Volcker

Read at the New York Times

It’s been over three years since the Dodd-Frank Act became law, although most of its regulations were left to be written into it at a later date. So it was just last week that the much-vaunted Volcker Rule was codified and included in the law.

Bankers and their lobbyists are freaking out about it, which means it must be doing at least some good. But it’s really just a minor provision. Anything but the return of Glass-Steagall only tackles a few symptoms of the financial sector’s hold on the economy at large.

There were multiple people who did not get why Elizabeth Warren is wearing an eye patch. I overestimated the number of readers who saw those indie films from the small art-house studio called Disney-Marvel, including their little-known cult hit, “The Avengers.”

Amazon’s Free Publicity Party

Amazon's Free Publicity Party

click to read at the New York Times

The media spent last week gushing over a drone delivery program that exists only in Jeff Bezos’ imagination. All while ignoring the terrible conditions its pickers endure as they fulfill our orders for cheap shit we don’t need.

I’m a hypocrite and occasionally use Amazon’s services. It’s too convenient, but I would gladly pay more to avoid the guilt that comes whenever a package arrives filled with the sobs of their minimum wage employees.

Walmart Cares

Walmart Cares

Full comic at the New York Times

Last week was littered with news about Walmart being terrible, so it was pretty much like any other week. The Waltons may be the most egregious offenders, but most companies treat their employees like shit because it’s profitable, and there aren’t enough regulations to prevent them from being shitty.

If I could, I do all my shopping at Costco, which seems to be relatively decent. But I’m a poor freelancer and can’t afford to be ethical all the time. I’m sure my budgetary constraints have helped close mom and pop stores, and continue to contribute to the poor conditions of Amazon’s warehouse employees. I’m a monster.

Unbridled consumerism is a year-round problem, but if you know anyone who’ll be shopping on Thanksgiving Day, make that asshole sit in a bathtub full of gravy until they reconsider their priorities.

Cholesterol Overhaul

Cholesterol Overhaul

Read The Strip at the NYTimes

Last week the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology issued new guidelines for cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. Those guidelines direct doctors to prescribe the drugs to millions of patients who previously didn’t need them.

Most statins are generic now, and some have argued that because of that, the new guidelines can’t be a pharmaceutical cash grab. I’m no math whiz (Brockton High Mathlete, 1994-1997), but if their margins are small, a way to boost profit out of a generic drug would be to increase the volume sold, perhaps by expanding the patient pool by a couple million or so. I was only med-school adjacent in college, but it turns out that these guidelines also set off doctors’ bullshit detectors over the weekend.

I’m not doubting the efficacy of statin drugs for those who truly need them. Like all medications, they come with benefits and side effects that should be carefully considered by patients and their doctors. Since we live in a world where most of us can’t afford to eat healthy or have the time to exercise, pharmaceuticals may be the only way we can combat heart disease until society starts to value our health over our productivity and contributions to GDP.