Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The New Court

The biggest decision so far to break along anticipated lines appears to be an important one, scaling back the First Amendment rights of government whistleblowers, but awkwardly differentiating between employees who are speaking out in an official capacity and those who are doing so outside their job descriptions:
So, it appears that if one's duties are to expose wrongdoing in the workplace, such exposure is entitled to no constitutional protection, but that if an employee whose duties do not involve such whistleblowing makes the exact same complaint, then Pickering/Connick analysis still applies. A somewhat odd result, at least on first glance.

The overall feeling seems to be that the decision will effectively discourage whistleblowing of any kind... which is quite obviously a victory for the Bush administration. And a defeat for the rest of us.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

More on New Orleans...

Check out articles by Mike Davis in The Nation on the federal government's neglect of New Orleans (what Barney Frank has called "a policy of ethnic cleansing by inaction"), Noah Leavitt on why the flawed federal response to Katrina should be considered a violation of international human rights laws, and Tom D'Antoni on the anger and sorrow expressed by local musicians during Jazzfest.

On the other side, if you can stomach it, check out an article that got me riled up to do this cartoon, from a Newsday commentator (or science-fiction writer, perhaps) who claims that the media portrayed the Katrina response as a disaster to satisfy its liberal agenda, and that everything in New Orleans was just DANDY after the storm hit. Or if it wasn't, it certainly wasn't dear leader's fault (revealed at the end to be the true purpose of the article, to absolve Bush of any responsibility for Katrina response).

Monday, May 29, 2006

5/29/06 Cartoon

"George W. Bush Conversation With God: Accountability Moments"...

Previous episodes here, here, and here!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

It's nice to have connections...

A quick news blurb that caught my eye in the Nation, since I haven't posted much this week...

Are you a college dropout with no prospects and low standards? Don't worry -- YOU TOO can be accepted to Harvard Business School!! All you have to do is date Jenna Bush, dog-sit for the president's Scottish terriers Barney and Miss Beazley, and serve as the president's breath-mint-courier...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

In Stores NOW!!

Attitude 3 is now in stores everywhere!! So head on down to your local Barnes & Noble and grab a copy of the book that is leaving readers "knocked out by the breadth of creativity reflected in these pages." Aside from Fighting Words, you'll get Matt Bors' Idiot Box and Brian McFadden's Big Fat Whale (both linked to the right), as well as some of my personal favorites Nicholas Gurewitch, August Pollak, Eric Millikin, Steven L. Cloud, and Mark Fiore. ALL the entries in the book are thoroughly enjoyable reads, though.

If you don't see the book on the shelf, you can still get it from Amazon... or, very soon, I will have a spot on my Store page where you can get signed copies from me! While my autograph may very well lower the overall value of the book, I promise it will be done tastefully.

...and MORE: nice words from a reader on the Comics Journal message board (via Eric Millikin's site, linked above).

UPDATE #2: ... it appears that fellow contributor M.e. Cohen has scored a gig as the editorial cartoonist at The Montclair Times in New Jersey. Congrats to him!

More on the Media

See a post by Carpetbagger on indications that the NSA is monitoring certain journalists like Christiane Amanpour, and Robert Parry, John Dean, and Glenn Greenwald on the Administration's threats to prosecute reporters under the Espionage Act of 1917, for writing Pulitzer-Prize-winning articles that are critical of the Administration's various illegal and/or immoral acts. That sound you hear is totalitarianism a-knockin' at the door.

My other source for this week was (again) Manufacturing Consent, on the mainstream media's self-imposed boundaries of discussion, which keep the audience from knowing enough truth on an issue so as to reflect the consensus of the elite in society, and to preserve their interests. Which means that the Administration's recent threats will only serve to chill every last whisper of dissent and make the the media even worse than they were before...

Monday, May 22, 2006

5/22/06 Cartoon

"Drunk Local News Two!"...

See the previous episode here.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Fighting Words Comics on Television!

Nothing gives an artist more of a sense of pride than seeing his creative ideas come to life.

CNN executives are apparently big fans of Fighting Words, especially the recurring series Republican Scholar Roundtable. They like it so much that, after Bush's speech on immigration the other night, they aired a special edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight which featured a roundtable discussion that consisted of five white guys and NO LATINOS. CNN strayed from the cartoon's discussion format a little, though, as they decided not to bother with a "token Lib"... or women, or Democrats.

I'm so proud.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

More on NSA...

If you haven't seen it yet, the article from USA Today (America's new leader in investigative journalism) is here. See also a Washington Post article that finally gives the caveat that I've been longing for in a report on a Bush declarative talking point (emphasis mine):
Bush made an unscheduled appearance before White House reporters and sought to shape perceptions about the surveillance while declining to acknowledge that it is taking place. He said that "the intelligence activities I authorized are lawful," but specified no source of statutory or constitutional authority.
Some other articles that I found valuable in my cartoon research this week: E&P on newspaper editorials slamming the NSA program, John Dean on the flaws in arguments in favor of Bush's exercise of expanded presidential powers, and James Risen and James Bamford give some inside details and historical background on the NSA and their domestic surveillance activities.

Finally, overall public opinion on the NSA program is apparently not so good after all for the folks who love Big Brother.

Monday, May 15, 2006

5/15/06 Cartoon

"Fuzzy Feds"... it's cartoon #150!

More soon...

Friday, May 12, 2006


Harris poll.

But we're not going to try to impeach him or anything.

Gutless losers.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

60 Minutes, Woodward & Bernstein, and...

USA Today?

CJR Daily asks how it is that America's newspaper for children (or adults with child-like attention spans) could beat out an "institution" like the NY Times on the new wiretapping revelations (via Cursor).

And, speaking of USA Today, check out Matt Bors' latest.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


No, Lou's not all bad. He's one of the few bobble-heads at CNN who will actually give a nod to logic and acknowledge the utter absurdity of Bush's policies on, for example, the war in Iraq.

The problem is that the bulk of the coverage on Lou Dobbs Tonight is not given to Iraq, or to other vital issues like New Orleans or illegal wiretapping, but rather is reserved for Dobbs' pet subjects. His obsession with immigration and corporate globalization, while clothed in a populist concern for America's middle-class, does not jive with his record as a corporate lackey for much of his career, nor his background as a "lifelong Republican." And his show certainly has no place in the middle of CNN's daily lineup, in the guise of a news show with a basis in solid journalism.

His bizarre rants have become parodies of themselves; for example, he ridiculed the ACLU and Southern Poverty Law Center for suggesting that the hillbilly vigilante "Minutemen" are perhaps motivated in some way by racism, calling any such claim "mind-boggling." It never occurs to Lou that there may be a disturbing historical context affecting the social relationships at the heart of the immigration debate, or that there may be a dubious morality to the world's richest country locking out the world's poor immigrants, or that there are a significant number of innocent people who will be affected by H.R. 4437.

Monday, May 08, 2006

5/8/06 Cartoon

"Republican Scholar Round Table: Immigration"... previous episodes here and here.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Never Drinkin' Rum Again...

This sounds like it may be a fake story, but it takes an iron stomach to read it anyway. Yeeee...

(thanks to Myia)


I remember an early episode of the West Wing, where the characters talk about "taking stories out with the trash." Apparently, this is a common practice in Washington, as stories that look bad for certain individuals are released to the public on Fridays (because they think fewer people will read and care about it with the weekend right around the corner), and the story gets defused. Of course, with this practice about 80% of the news that comes out of this administration would have to be released on Friday. However, I have noticed that they often make use of this practice, and we got another one today. Here's a possible reason why.


It's so nice that we're getting back to REAL scandals after all these years of silly stories about "torture gulags" and "crimes against the Constitution" and "wars"...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

N.O. Update

RWOnline (via Cursor) has a great article on WWOZ's mission to preserve New Orleans' cultural heritage.

See also a terrific piece in the Austin Chronicle on Cyril Neville, who tells the brutal truth about corporate imperialism in an American city.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


If you haven't seen this yet, Stephen Colbert is now officially a legend...

(via Atrios; see also Crooks and Liars via Tom Tomorrow)