Status Quo Joe

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U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is in Beijing this week, to give Chinese leaders a tongue lashing, and to extol the United States's commitment to democracy and free speech.

Meanwhile, whistleblower Edward Snowden is enjoying the change of seasons in Moscow.


Got Milk?

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U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is in Tokyo today. And met Japanese Deputy Prime Minister (and former Prime Minister) Taro Aso. Who is not a tall man. Though he is extremely dapper.


"... does not play nicely with others."

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China has demarcated an "air-defence identification zone" over an area of the East China Sea, covering islands that are also claimed by Japan.

China's defence ministry said aircraft entering the zone must obey its rules or face "emergency defensive measures".

The islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, are a source of rising tension between the countries.

In its statement, the Chinese defence ministry said aircraft must report a flight plan, "maintain two-way radio communications", and "respond in a timely and accurate manner" to identification inquiries.

"China's armed forces will adopt defensive emergency measures to respond to aircraft that do not co-operate in the identification or refuse to follow the instructions," said the statement.

Perhaps needless to say, Japan, the United States and every other country in East and Southeast Asia with Pacific Ocean coastline are not impressed.


It's Over

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A comic for TucsonSentinel.com, about local politics.

Down 10,000 votes with 6,000 ballots yet to be counted, Republican City Council candidate Ben Buehler-Garcia said, "It isn't over until it's over."

Good thing you weren't running for comptroller, Ben. The margin might have been even greater.


It's ... okay

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Another in the Khao Yai jungle trek series. This one starring your fearless ("He'll eat anything!") cartoonist.

"Pretty tame"

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Another personal comic from the trek in Thailand's Khao Yai National Park, a few hours from Bangkok. Arranged the trek through a small company called Khao Yai and Beyond. As in the "jungle blend" comic below, I have made up the entire text, not least because Lam the park ranger (in camouflage, carrying the shotgun) does not speak much, if any, English. This comic also stars an old friend, who like me, was making his jungle trekking debut.


Jungle Blend

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A personal comic.

Made this after a three-day trek in Thailand's Khao Yai National Park, a few hours from Bangkok. Arranged the trek through a small company called Khao Yai and Beyond, which works with experienced park rangers such as Lam, pictured in this comic.

I have made up the entire text, not least because Lam does not speak much, if any, English (one of the owners of Khao Yai and Beyond, Deaw, trekked with us, so there was no communication problem).

It was a great trek, and highly recommended as an easy-to-access jungle adventure. In three days we did not see another human being (though we saw plenty of evidence of poachers), and did not hear a human made sound except the engines of high-flying airliners.

Once you've had jungle coffee, you won't want Starbucks again ...


Small Government, Lots of Guns

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According to House Speaker John Boehner, "smaller government is what America wants."

Well, he and his G.O.P. colleagues have certainly given America smaller government. And because Somalia, the previous "small government" champion, installed a federal government in August of last year, the United States has just become the world's least governed place.

At least we've still got a "well-regulated militia".


A well-armed militia, anyway.



Let the Games Begin

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A comic that expresses my cynicism about the Olympic selection process (and the suggestion that the Japanese prime minister has any intention of reforming Japan's sclerotic and corrupt business practices).

Let the Games begin!


Poker Face

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Senator John McCain was caught playing poker on his phone during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on military intervention in Syria.


Forty-seven Percent Negro

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Oh, Arizona ...

Speaking at Desert Vista High School in Arizona on Tuesday, President Obama was serenaded by protesters singing “Bye Bye Black Sheep”, an apparent reference to the president's race. Though one protester classified the president as "47% Negro", an apparent reference to 2012 Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's leaked reference to "the 47 percent [of Americans] who are with [Obama], who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims ..."

According to a report in the Arizona Republic, protester Judy Burris said she blames Obama for racism in America reaching heights not seen since the 1960s Civil-Rights Era. “We have gone back so many years,” she was quoted saying. “He’s divided all the races. I hate him for that.”



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How disappointed is The White House in Russia's decision to offer temporary asylum to NSA leaker/whistleblower Edward Snowden?

Extremely disappointed.


"... and a large Coke."

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This is one for the New Yorkers. Those who know Mayor Mike Bloomberg has worked during his three (!) terms in office to get New Yorkers to live healthier.

New York's nanny-in-chief has banned smoking in restaurants (yay!), ordered fast food restaurants to post calorie counts on menus, and most recently, tried (unsuccessfully) to limit the size of sodas New Yorkers can purchase.

What the mayor thought of Joey Chestnut's recent consumption of 20,000 calories worth of hot dogs (and buns) in ten minutes, history has not recorded.


The Art of Diplomacy

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"Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions."

– Winston Churchill


Edward Snowden's Worst Nightmare

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NSA leaker Edward Snowden has left Hong Kong and is reported en route to Venezuela. Or Cuba. Or Iceland. Or Ecuador (or Ecuador's London embassy ... see above).

Anyway, he's not in Hong Kong anymore. Probably.


A Cunning Plan

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The Supreme Court has ruled that states cannot require would-be voters to prove they are U.S. citizens, voting 7-2 to throw out Arizona's voter-approved requirement that prospective voters document their U.S. citizenship. Somewhat surprisingly, arch-conservative Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the majority opinion.


Johnny Peacemaker

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Senator John McCain visited Syria from Turkey earlier this week to meet rebel leaders including General Salim Idris, chief of staff of the rebel Free Syrian Army, according to Sen. McCain's office and Gen. Idris.

Sen. McCain has advocated stronger U.S. support for the rebels, including the provision of weapons.


The Diplomat

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Hard to imagine a better and more diplomatically savvy foreign envoy than former prime minister and current deputy prime minister Taro Aso.

Pictured here with Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh. Who is not a Muslim, Governor Inose.
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Politicomix by Roberto De Vido is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License