Horse-Race Journalism Playbook

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We are now in the phase of the 2012 campaign where it’s all about polls and optics. Maybe some issues will bubble up, but mostly in the form of “what should Candidate X say about Issue Y to increase his standings in the polls?” We get the media we deserve, and apparently this shit generates more pageviews than coverage of the epic downer that is real news.

General Strike of the Unemployed

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For years, after I had a few beers, I’d start rambling about how May Day needed a revival in the United States to anyone who’d listen. Of course, I am all talk and no action. I’m hoping Occupy Wall Street is organized enough to revive the day and itself, but we’ll see.

Also, it’s insane that general strikes are illegal in this country. We only have the right to redress our grievances with the government, not our bosses. That pretty much illustrates who’s really in charge.

Learn How to Combat Climate Change Denial!

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Yesterday was Earth Day, so I was probably going to do something similar to this cartoon anyway, but the release of this poll last week definitely helped nudge me in this direction. Apparently Americans aren’t as dumb as I had expected, but we’ll see if they remember the next time we have a snowy winter.

Rejected Romney Campaign Slogans

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“Believe in America” is the perfectly lame slogan for a perfectly lame candidate. But if Romney wanted to switch it up during this endlessly stupid campaign, he could use any of these.

I really do have health care thanks to ol’ Massachusetts Mittens. The state’s public option is way more robust than the Obama version, but 2013 could be a squeaker for me to re-qualify. So keep your fingers crossed that I Price is Right that shit and my 2012 income is just one dollar below the threshold.

More Billion-Dollar Social Media Start-Ups

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Facebook bought Instagram for a BILLION dollars. I think the math works out to thirty bucks a user or something similar, so it’s not that insane, given that the only product worth anything these days is one with free, user-generated content that shoves ads into those users’ eyeballs.

But I’m not anti-advertising. Those unseemly shill-bucks pay for great TV, and even subsidize what I do. I just want MY billion dollars. I really need a fleet of yachts with shark faces painted on the bows.

Cartoonist Survey

If you’re curious about what I do, and how I got started in this ridiculous career, I answered a few questions over at David Wasting Paper. Here’s an excerpt:

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Groening’s “Life in Hell” will probably be at the top of my list forever. It’s influenced me in so many ways. I didn’t read alt-weeklies until college, so it was the first comic I read that catered to my more irreverent sensibilities. Even “Big Fat Whale’s” square, generally nine-panel format is a direct inspiration (or rip-off) from Groening’s strip. The list of my current faves is too long to list, but if I follow a cartoonist on Twitter, it’s safe to assume I’m eagerly awaiting their next strip.

Read the rest here.

Tax Credits for the 99 Percent

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As a single, self-employed, childless person who rents, I don’t get any tax credits or incentives come tax time. That’s bullshit. I’m poor too, you know.

Adding credits and deductions to the tax code doesn’t really address the underlying causes of income inequality, the largest of which is that wages are too damn low. Another one is that banks get to borrow money from the Fed at a rate that’s essentially zero, while charging us insane interest rates, making profits from nothing. But it keeps inflation down, which keeps our debts up, so it’s cool!

Suspicious White Guy Accessories

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Everyone’s talking about black men and hoodies, but what about all the accessories that make people think white guys are up to no good?

Obviously this cartoon is inspired by the Trayvon Martin killing, but racial profiling happens all the time. Even, and I’d argue especially so, with the cops. If you haven’t seen it already, check out this awful story from White Plains, NY.