Somewhat buried in the news last week, amidst stories about Ebola and ISIS, was the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling on Ohio’s early voting period. The predictable majority sided with Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted, allowing him to delay early voting by a week. This first week is known as the “Golden Week” because people can still register to vote in the same period. The extreme Supremes reversed the rulings of lower courts that sided with plaintiffs who claimed this will disproportionately affect African-American voters, many of whom take advantage of early voting.
Ohio officials have failed to offer a compelling reason why the cutbacks in early voting are so important. Why would they spend so much effort on this, taking the fight all the way to the Supreme Court? Two year ago, The Nation reported on a moment of candor from a GOP elections official:
Franklin County (Columbus) GOP Chair Doug Preisse gave a surprisingly blunt answer to the Columbus Dispatch on Sunday: “I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban—read African-American—voter-turnout machine.” Preisse is not some rogue operative but the chairman of the Republican Party in Ohio’s second-largest county and a close adviser to Ohio Governor John Kasich.
Maybe we should take a cue from the protesters in Hong Kong clamoring for democracy and express more outrage at what’s happening to our own.
Seeing the People’s Climate March reminded me of the global protests against the Iraq War in 2003. People protested on every continent, including Antarctica, in an effort to stop the invasion. It was a rare feat of organization and international unity — and it was largely ignored. I drew a cartoon at the time pointing out that heavy snowstorms received more prominent coverage on the front page of the Washington Post than the protests.
When I see ISIS rampaging through Iraq and Syria, butchering people and displacing families, I think about how intelligent people around the world did everything they could to prevent the colossal humanitarian disaster of the past eleven years that is still unfolding. I think protesting is our ethical obligation, but the sense of coming up against an immutable force is familiar.
Alternate strip titles included: “History Re-heats Itself”; “Between Iraq and a Hot Place”; and “Worst Learning Curve Ever.”
I was humbled to be included in this photo of a rare multi-generational gathering of alt-weekly cartoonists (click to enlarge):
Here’s a nice shot of Lynda Barry and me laughing at the fact that my phone started taking a million pictures of us. Next in the sequence is me holding out my hand and saying “STOP!” (not shown).
I apologize for being a little bit of an e-hole myself, not updating my site until today. I was in DC at the Small Press Expo this past weekend, and came down with a nasty cold toward the end despite my prodigious use of Purell. Still feeling under the weather, although I seem to be improving slightly. On the plus side, I had an incredible time getting to rub elbows with some cartooning legends as well as hang with longtime pals, and will try to post some photos here soon.
This cartoon is from five years ago — but the message about texting while driving bears repeating.
A pre-emptive alert for the satire-challenged: this strip is obviously not endorsing violence against bankers. It IS saying that many in the financial world are real thugs who are never treated the way police often treat black citizens in Ferguson and many other places. The devastation caused by white-collar criminals — the loss of so many people’s homes and life savings, leading to broken families, poor health, depression, and suicide, has caused suffering on an immense scale. Yet bankers have to try very, very hard to get themselves arrested, and even then they usually aren’t successful.
With this cartoon, I am also trying to show just how annoying and unreasonable Ferguson cops must seem to people who live there.
I will almost certainly vote for whoever the Democratic candidate is in the next presidential election because I like having health insurance, and there’s that Supreme Court thing — but I think there might be a better, and more electable, candidate out there. Hillary’s recent comments on foreign policy reinforce her neocon credentials at a time when nothing has been more discredited than neocondom. Let’s not get too attached — or should I say resigned — to her too soon. We need to consider other people for this all-important job.
This comic is based on something I read on Daily Kos about the Longmont fracking ban ruling. The phrase “sincerely held beliefs” caught my eye, since that’s been in the news a lot lately, thanks to the Hobby Lobby ruling. While the judge in the fracking case cited a conflict between the local ban and state law and opened the door to further appeals, it seems like Longmont’s concerns about the health effects of fracking go beyond mere “beliefs.” You’d think such concerns might be accorded more gravitas than Hobby Lobby’s pre-Enlightenment worldview, if a corporate charter can indeed be said to have a cosmology. It is frightening how little power communities seem to have to decide very basic public safety issues when they come up against energy interests.
On an unrelated note, Hobby Lobby really needs a better logo. The Lord hath created an abundance of attractive fonts. Go forth and use one!