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.

War Hawks Reunion Tour

War Hawks Reunion Tour

click for comic

Another cartoon about yet another poorly thought out run-up to war in the Mideast. I’ve been drawing these things for my entire career. Many lips and typing fingers have been flapped about Syria over the past two weeks, but I have nothing to add besides what’s in my cartoons. Perpetual war tends to dampen my spirits, and I’m not even at risk of getting blown up.

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.

Greetings from Flyover Country

Greetings from Flyover Country

click for comic

President Obama is in the midst of touring the country and giving speeches about the economy. I agree with most of the content of those speeches, but after five years of saying those same things, the economy remains stuck in the shitter for most Americans. The fact that those speeches focus almost entirely on the middle class, and only briefly mention “those willing to work” out of poverty highlights the President’s desire distance himself from those hardest hit by economic inequality, lest he be blamed for catering to his base of “moochers.”

Yes, the obstructionist House is mostly to blame, and I’ll probably go after them in next week’s ‘toon, but thinking a nationwide tour will somehow turn them around this time is a folly. Wall Street and the elite are reaping all the benefits from this anemic “recovery,” but the rest of us remain mired in an economic crisis. Both parties are so far removed from it, they’re not treating it like the disaster it is.

Detroit is an extreme example, but if the status quo remains, its fate could be any city’s.

Obama’s Leak Freakout

Obama's Leak Freakout

click for comic

Of the three “scandals” that involved the White House last week, the AP one is the only one I think has legs. The Benghazi attack has become a sideshow ever since Mitt Romney held that weird press conference immediately blaming Obama for the attacks.

The IRS thing is shitty, but I doubt the Republicans will want to shine too much light on it and risk reintroducing the American public to the damage done by the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision. As Bors’ recent cartoon highlights, the “victims” of the IRS’s keyword targeting are pretty shitty themselves, so it’s hard for me to muster up the outrage to give a fuck.

The Obama Administration has been aggressively going after journalists for years now; indicting more of them than all previous administrations combined. The giant dragnet they used to get two months’ of the AP’s phone records is ridiculous. If sources know their records can be secretly obtained on a government’s whim, they’ll cease to be sources, which is the textbook definition of a chilling effect.

If the DoJ went after financial criminals with the same zeal they use against reporters for simply doing their jobs, the world would be a better place. But reporters aren’t the ones who finance campaigns.

Take an Indefinite Vacation!

Take an Indefinite Vacation!

click for comic

The ongoing hunger strike at Guantánamo Bay has begrudgingly brought our illegal prison back into the public consciousness. A couple months ago I did a cartoon with a panel about the idea of an indefinite vacation, and decided to expand on that idea in The Strip.

This Digby post sums up everything that’s wrong with the rationale behind Gitmo. America turned into a bunch of scared babies after 9/11, and history will forever remember this period as “The Great American Freak Out.” Hopefully history will also remember that we locked up dudes, tortured and never charged them, all because some bad guys turned us into a nation of pants-pissing reactionaries.

The Super-Negotiator

The Super-Negotiator

click for comic

Yesterday’s bombings render my critique of Obama’s terrible negotiating skills rather pointless this week, but I’m sure it’ll be relevant again soon enough. While devouring any scrap of info about the events in Copley Square yesterday, I ran across a few news items showing how immigration reform and gun control are being turned into toothless legislation at this very moment.

I might have more to say about the bombings later, but I have nothing insightful to add. In addition to the first-responders, a hearty thanks to all the Boston area hospitals and their trauma surgeons, nurses, and staff. Without them, the death toll could very likely be much higher.

Unlikey 2013 Headlines/Gun Control Proposals

click for comic

I had the holidays off, and it was difficult getting back into the swing of things. So here are two Strips I’ve drawn since I last posted. However bad this year will be, at least we’re as far from a Presidential election as possible. 2012 kicked my ass, and one party didn’t even have a primary. 2016 should complete the transition of my hair to full-blown gray.

click for comic

Despite the jab at our attention spans in the first cartoon, gun control (or reform, as I think it should be called) is still being talked about weeks after Sandy Hook. I doubt any substantial legislation will come from it, but at least we’re starting to admit that unfettered access to high-capacity guns is fucked up.

And lastly, over the break I talked to Brendan Lynch at WGBH.

The Victims of Federally Legalized Pot

click for comic

Last week Washington became the first state to legalize recreational use of weed. A similar ballot initiative passed in Colorado and it’ll take effect next month. But pot’s still classified as a Schedule 1 drug in the Controlled Substances Act, and will likely stay that way for a long time.