Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Even more debate thoughts...

I'm going to be hammering on McCain some more in the next 'toon, so I'll document here what's bothering me about Obama's performance last night.

What we have here is a tale of two Obamas. First, we have the Obama who is an electrifying presence and a dynamic public speaker, who energizes his base and motivates people to vote for him because he is Barack Obama. This is the guy we saw during the DNC.

Then we have the Obama who stumbles through his arguments and gets weighed down by figures, who kow-tows to the far right in an effort to ingratiate himself some mythical Democratic notion of the "reg'lar Amer'can," and who makes proud independents ultimately not trust him and feel ambivalent about their choice since they don't really see any difference between the two candidates. This, of course, is the Obama we saw last night, for the most part (congratulating John McCain for his stance on torture? What?! The same guy who voted against the ban on waterboarding?).

This second guy is the type who merely motivates people to vote for him just because... well, he's not quite as bad as the other guy. Ask John Kerry how this guy does in elections that should, by all accounts, be easily winnable.

Personally, I'd like to see the first Obama in the next debate.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Debate "whaaaaaa?"

Did McCain just try to compare Obama to Bush on Iraq at the end there?

That's an impressive little bit of hypocritical bullshit jujitsu to make that argument...

MORE THOUGHTS: Don't get me wrong, here... I wasn't entirely blown away by Obama's performance tonight.

But I did think he landed the zinger of the night when he finally came back at McCain's deranged mocking of the concept of international diplomacy with, "Look, nobody is saying we're gonna sit down and have TEA with these people, you disingenuous piece of shit!!!!"

Obviously, I added a bit there...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Free Palin 'Toon!

After seeing the Katie Couric interview with Sarah Palin, it's becoming clear that this is a person who is totally out of her league. She has no idea what to say beyond campaign slogans and generic talking points, and she even panics a little when pressed to do some critical thinking on rather simple issues:

COURIC: You've said, quote, "John McCain will reform the way Wall Street does business." Other than supporting stricter regulations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago, can you give us any more example of his leading the charge for more oversight?

PALIN: I think that the example that you just cited, with his warnings two years ago about Fannie and Freddie--that, that's paramount. That's more than a heck of a lot of other senators and representatives did for us.

COURIC: But he's been in Congress for 26 years. He's been chairman of the powerful Commerce Committee. And he has almost always sided with less regulation, not more.

PALIN: He's also known as the maverick though. Taking shots from his own party, and certainly taking shots from the other party. Trying to get people to understand what he's been talking about--the need to reform government.

COURIC: I'm just going to ask you one more time, not to belabor the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation?

PALIN: I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them to you.

Makes me think that this week's cartoon should have looked more like this:

In fact, let's do this: if you click on that image above, you'll get a high-resolution JPEG that should print up pretty nicely. I'll do this Trent Reznor-style and say "this one's on me"... feel free to print that up, and fill in the bubbles with anything (words? doodles? photos? loogies?) that you think best represents what the heck Sarah Palin is really trying to say. Put 'em up in your office to annoy your Republican co-workers who are trying desperately to convince themselves that she is actually qualified! Here's a few more to play with, including some in black & white and some with fewer bubbles:

If you make use of these, do me a favor and shoot me an e-mail at nomind (at) fightingwordscomics.com describing what you came up with (or even scan it and send me a copy)... I'd love to see them!

I'll leave these on my server through the election. I took the byline off, but left my copyright on... all I ask is that you not sell it (as in this Creative Commons license).


Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Ed Stein
Rocky Mountain News
Sep 24, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fighting Words: 9/22/08 Cartoon...

"A Self-Explanatory Cartoon"...

Alternate title: "Four Years of Bleeding Ears?"
Alternate title #2: "The Voice of Pa[l]in"...

OK, this one sucks... but my creative tank was on "E" this week.

A lot of people have been telling me that they think Sarah Palin's voice is so annoying that it will soon start causing them to experience seizures. Mostly women... in case anyone wants to accuse me of being sexist...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More on the Palin image...

Stuff for this week's 'toon:
  • This cracks me up:
    Robert Kagan, a foreign policy adviser to McCain, derided criticisms of Palin as elitist.
    “I don’t take this elite foreign policy view that only this anointed class knows everything about the world," he said. "I’m not generally impressed that they are better judges of American foreign policy experience than those who have Palin’s experience.”
    One top conservative foreign policy wonk who declined to be named said he believed some of the questions surrounding Palin’s experience are sexist.
    So many things to say here... but most of them would be better saved for another cartoon. Stay tuned...

  • Juan Cole:
    She knows nothing about how Iran is run, or about Pakistan, or about al-Qaeda, and even is ignorant of the Bush doctrine of preemptive warfare. It was a shockingly bad performance.__She had the hubris to suggest that her lack of knowledge and experience is a virtue. Why Americans, practical people, would fall for this line is beyond me. Would you want your car to be worked on by an inexperienced and ignorant mechanic? Would you want a plumber messing around with your pipes who did not know his way around wrenches?
  • Don Hazen:
    And who is left out of the idyllic, nonexistent vision of "America" so adored by conservatives? Huge numbers of Americans: city dwellers, people of color (who represent 26 percent of eligible voters -- but that's not important to Republicans. As the Washington Post reported, the Republican convention was the whitest in 40 years), homosexuals, millions of creative people whose lifestyles are not in the Palin world view, and of course single people, particularly single women.

    ...and he makes this hilarious point earlier:
    The biggest blow to the idyllic scene was the small fact that her teenage daughter was pregnant and was going to get herself married to the guy right away, even if he doesn't want kids and prefers to be "fuckin' chillin," according to his MySpace page.

  • David Talbot:
    "Her campaign locked her in a closet during the governor's race in 2006 -- and they're doing the same thing now," said one longtime Democratic consultant here, who like many others asked to remain anonymous because "it's a small state and Sarah takes names and numbers."
    "They're setting a trap for the country," he continued. "Keep her away from the press, while they set up these phony 'tests' for her. The first test was her speech before the Republican convention. They spread all this nervous chatter about her -- is she ready for prime time, can she pull it off?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fighting Words: 9/15/08 Cartoon...

"The Joy of Painting With John McCain"...

You may also notice that I've changed the title design, both on the cartoon and on the website pages. I was getting a little tired of the old one, and also I've been seeing that Copperplate font EVERYWHERE these days... businesses, advertisements, websites, television, stadiums (it's the font plastered all over the Seahawks' stadium)...


This week's 'toon is done and up on the AAEC site (link below). I haven't yet posted it on my site as I'm finishing up the animation and a couple other little things...

Abell Smith
Eat the State!
Sep 16, 2008

I had my Sunday knocked out watching the Seahawks lose in embarrassing fashion at Qwest Field. Beautiful day weather-wise, though (probably one of our last of the summer), that could not be spent inside...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More on Palin, RNC...

A couple of things for this week's 'toon:
  • A typically outstanding piece by George Lakoff:
    [T]he Palin nomination changes the game. The initial response has been to try to keep the focus on external realities, the "issues," and differences on the issues. But the Palin nomination is not basically about external realities and what Democrats call "issues," but about the symbolic mechanisms of the political mind -- the worldviews, frames, metaphors, cultural narratives, and stereotypes. The Republicans can't win on realities.
    Just arguing the realities, the issues, the hard truths should be enough in times this bad, but the political mind and its response to symbolism cannot be ignored. The initial Democratic response to Palin -- the response based on realities alone -- indicates that many Democrats have not learned the lessons of the Reagan and Bush years.
  • Paul Krugman:
    [F]undamentalist Christians are sincerely dismayed by Roe v. Wade and evolution in the curriculum. What struck me as I watched the convention speeches, however, is how much of the anger on the right is based not on the claim that Democrats have done bad things, but on the perception — generally based on no evidence whatsoever — that Democrats look down their noses at regular people.
    Thus Mr. Giuliani asserted that Wasilla, Alaska, isn’t “flashy enough” for Mr. Obama, who never said any such thing. And Ms. Palin asserted that Democrats “look down” on small-town mayors — again, without any evidence.
    What the G.O.P. is selling, in other words, is the pure politics of resentment; you’re supposed to vote Republican to stick it to an elite that thinks it’s better than you.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


Obviously, I've got very little in common with Chuck Asay ideologically, but I've always respected his cartooning style, and it's hard to begrudge another cartoonist his or her own editorial slant...

However, I would like to ask him just what the heck he's trying to say with this cartoon:

Chuck Asay
Creators Syndicate Inc.
Sep 5, 2008

Friday, September 05, 2008

Call for complaints...

I've been getting a few reports that the Flash versions of my recent comics aren't working right for some people. If you're having problems (or even if they work perfectly for you), please send me an email at nomind (at) fightingwordscomics.com and give me an earful...

Really... it's the only way I'll learn...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

More on Conventions...

No Moron post for this week's 'toon on the media and the DNC... cuz... well... I don't feel like it.

However, here are some videos from the RNC that totally blew me away... it's highly probable that you've seen some of these already:
  • I first saw the video of Amy Goodman getting arrested for being a journalist when Jen linked to it. Here's another one from after her release. Glenn Greenwald also has a ton of video links.

    Yeah, thank God the cops were able to subdue that frightening menace to public safety, Amy Goodman (who can't weigh more than 100 pounds). She was about to go Godzilla on that street! Amy Goodman SMASH!!!

    The fact of the matter is that this is about as egregious a violation of the First Amendment as you will ever see caught on video. One would hope the St. Paul police department will be facing some serious legal consequences.

  • This is close to the most hilarious thing I've ever seen. Fox News is now officially something out of a Paul Verhoeven movie. They apparently just don't care that they have completely turned into a giant parody of themselves.

  • Here's a video of Rage at the RNC, doing Bulls On Parade and Killing in the Name Of (without instruments).

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


As with Katrina, I was pretty much glued to the television over the weekend watching hurricane coverage. I just realized that DirectTV has been airing coverage by WDSU, which is the local NBC affiliate in N.O. So all this time, I could've been watching people who actually care about giving out substantive information on what is happening to their region, instead of relentlessly forcing the "story" angle down our throats...

Mainly, though, I could've spared myself the pain of watching cringe-worthy anchoring by CNN's Rick Sanchez and MSNBC's Dan Abrams.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Fighting Words: 9/1/08

"The Li'l TV Journalist Kit!"...

Hurricane coverage...

First really shitty moment of the coverage:

CNN just cut off the president of Plaquemines Parish, who is on the scene fighting a levee breach south of New Orleans (with peoples' homes at risk), to go to Laura Bush speaking at the Republican Convention...

Are you kidding me?

...and HOLY SHIT. They just did it again for Cindy McCain!