2014 will be like 2013

Domestic, International, Uncategorized, Writing

The unsolved problems that have dominated the national discourse this year will only intensify as we make our way into another election year.

2013 was the first year that I kept a consistent schedule, working with The Gabbler’s editors to pitch ideas and angles for cartoons. Again and again, I found myself focusing on certain themes: the intimate relationship between moneyed interests and the government; technology and the perpetually-multiplying powers of the executive branch; and political events that are shaping the direction of the world.

The closeness between the government and moneyed interests is clearly on display in the legal treatment of banks for their far-reaching crimes. My first cartoon this year – an admittedly conventional and unimpressive illustration of an unidentified character shouting at the DOJ’s Lanny Breuer and an oversized personification of HSBC – was a reaction to small fines for heinous money laundering practices. This topic came up again in October, when J.P. Morgan Chase and their acquisitions WaMu and Bear Sternes also avoided criminal charges for recklessly tanking the economy.

This theme will likely be even more pronounced in 2014, as corporations continue to shape our government by blatantly using massive amounts of money to choose who gets elected, and the gap between the rich and poor widens. 

What Went Wrong With Healthcare.gov?

Domestic

What went wrong with Healthcare

There is a lot I tried to reference in this cartoon, because asking  what went wrong with a government website can lead in a lot of different directions. I found the contracting process the most interesting . In sum, only certain well-connected companies with the proper certifications can be awarded these kind of  IT contracts. This means that behemoths like CGI, and even contractors that traditionally deal in defense projects like Northrop Grumman, Booz Allen Hamilton, and General Dynamics were picked to work on the Obamacare Exchange, instead of  more agile and appropriate firms.

CGI Federal, which is a subsidiary of a the Canadian Firm CGI Group, has many more projects in the pipeline. According to the Washington Post, that’s an 8 billion dollar pipeline of future orders that includes $871 Million for the Defense Information Systems Agency, $143 Million for visa processing in China, and a five year “indefinite quantity” contract with Homeland Security and the Coast Guard.

The Government Shutdown is Over!

Domestic, Writing

I wrote a piece for the Gabbler today on Obamacare and the government shutdown:

Accepting Compromise, Congress Repeals Obamacare, Leaves Affordable Care Act in Place

After the first day of the government shutdown, Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives agreed on a compromise to refund the federal government by repealing Obamacare, but allowing the Affordable Care Act to be implemented as planned by law.. (read more)