Cartoon Round-Up

I’ve been drawing a bunch of comics for different places and haven’t kept up with posting links here, so I’m gonna take a massive link dump right now on the blog.

From the Desk of President Obama

From the Desk of President Obama

click to read at The New York Times

Obama’s State of the Union speech was a boring dud. It took him 5 years to realize Congress doesn’t like him, so now he’s starting to rely on executive orders. He’s way behind most other presidents.

The Climate Change Winter Games

The Climate Change Winter Games

click to read at Daily Kos

The winter Olympics are about to begin, and the terrible winter we’ve been having has brought out the climate change deniers in full force.

The Super Bowl of Public Service Announcements

Super Bowl PSAs

Click to read at Medium

The Super Bowl was as boring as Obama’s SOTU, but these PSAs at least made it watchable.

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.

Travel Advisories from the Secretary of State

Travel Advisories

click for comic

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 U.S. Government’s Incredible Threats

Incredible Threats

click for comic

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.

Journalism Summer Camp

Journalism Summer Camp

click for comic

The media’s mostly treating Edward Snowden like he’s Lindsay Lohan, rather than focusing on the contents of his NSA leaks. There are obviously good journalists out there, and occasionally some even show up on TV. But in general, US journalism is a shit-show of lowest common denominator hackery. Of course, you could say the same about editorial cartoons and you wouldn’t be wrong.

The media elites have been extremely deferential to the Bush and Obama Administrations with anything that involves terrorism. I think that’s because the rich and powerful are so comfortable and secure, terrorism is the only thing that scares them. No pundit has to personally worry about hunger, poverty, gun violence, flooding or the other disasters that routinely destroy the lives of us lowly plebes, but the unlikely prospect of being blowed-up in a random act turns them into scared little pants-pissers.

There’s also the threat of losing their precious “access” and getting disinvited to Beltway cocktail parties that keeps them from becoming the adversaries of government that they’re supposed to be. But I’m not old enough to remember when that was ever the case.

Bors and I Chit-Chat of the Week

We talked about the NSA some more, the scourge of masturbating fetuses and the media picking on Miss Utah for not winning the Nobel Prize in economics.

Speaking of Utah, we’ll be in Salt Lake City next week for the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) convention next week. If we can get our hotel wifi situation figured out, we’ll try to do a Hangout from the road. They use Mountain Time out there, so who knows when we’ll be doing it. Probably “Bear O’Clock.”

If you’re reading this from SLC, a bunch of the convention is open to the public. So come by if you’re not offended by my very un-Mormon tendency to swear all the fucking time.

One Nation, Under Surveillance

One Nation, Under Surveillance

click for comic

I generally try to avoid doing consecutive comics about the same topic, but last week, a few polls taken after Snowden’s NSA whistleblowing show that Americans support the snooping, especially when it’s falsely framed against terrorism.

The same country that accepts thousands of gun and traffic deaths, for the sake of personal freedom, cowers in a corner, pisses their pants, and hands over their privacy whenever the authorities whisper “terrorism” into their precious little ears.

Fifty years or so from now, when books are written about us, we’ll be labeled “The Scaredest Generation,” if books are still around in 2063.

Secret Agent Smartphone

Secret Agent Smartphone

click for comic

Last week, Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden confirmed that the NSA is running a gigantic domestic surveillance program. So much has been written and said about it that I don’t have much to add except that I agree with what Matt Bors said.

Besides the actual spying, the people defending it are the most noxious. From Dianne Feinstein, who presumably knows a lot about the program(s) as Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to the general public, who are still pissing their pants nearly 12 years after 9/11, this country’s still in the throes of an epic freakout over terrorists.

If terrorists killed 30,000+ Americans a year, I MIGHT be inclined to think this program was anywhere near justifiable, but that’s guns. Guns kill 30,000+ Americans a year, and we can’t even collect data on who’s buying them. Our security priorities: They’re fucked up and bullshit.