Washington State’s Special Session


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I drew this for The Seattle Times and it ran in their Sunday edition, last Sunday. I wanted to give them some time for the web hits before posting here.

The state’s legislature is going into their “second” special session to deal with school funding. I received a brand new T-Shirt from my friend and fellow cartoonist Jennifer Miller today that reads “Stop f#ckin’ Around.” That would be a good message for lawmakers in Washington.

Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. Your support contributes to my work and continued existence. The starving cartoonist appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

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Jared’s Back Channel


cjones05302017

Most people would be extremely defensive about being accused of putting the interest of a hostile nation over the United States. They’d be very eager to prove their innocence and erase all doubt. Not these jerks connected to Trump. They’re too busy trying to kill investigations and trying to make deals for immunity.

Is there anyone in the Trump administration or campaign who hasn’t gone on a date with Russian ambassador and renowned spy Sergey Kislyak? Carter Page, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump Jr., Rex Tillerson, Wilbur Ross, J.D. Gordon, Michael Caputo, Rick Gates, Michael Cohen, George Papadopoulos, Erik Prince, and even son-in-law Jared Kushner all have ties to Russia. If you were to count all the people from Team Trump connected to Russia, you’ll need at least three hands.

The latest disturbing revelation came out Friday afternoon when The Washington Post reported that Kushner told Kislyak that the Trump transition team wanted a secret backdoor channel to communicate with the Kremlin. If this is true then nepotism isn’t Trump and Jared’s most flagrant offenses. It’s spying and treason.

The idea of a secret channel is so the U.S. government can’t track the communications. Trump has put a lot of faith into his son-in-law, appointing him as senior adviser and heading up his efforts to bring peace to the Middle East. Jared, who is only 36, has never worked in government and doesn’t have any experience in diplomacy and much has been made of his lack of experience. There’s no better example if the accusations are true that he wanted a secret network with Russia, as the U.S. can track those things. They’d probably also notice Jared going in and out of the Russian embassy. How many times can you use the excuse that you were only there to use the restroom (one Trump ally visited Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for 40 minutes and later said he couldn’t remember why he was there)?

Apparently, the idea is so crazy, as in stupid, that even Kislyak was dismayed by the idea. The government didn’t listen in on the conversation between Kushner and the ambassador, but they heard the ambassador’s report back to Moscow. The Post reports that Jared wanted to use Russia’s facilities and encryption techniques for the clandestine chit-chats. Such a thing wouldn’t be a high risk just for the Trump Team, but also for Russia. Doing so would require Moscow to expose its most sophisticated communications capabilities — which are likely housed in highly secure locations at diplomatic compounds — to an American. They wouldn’t want to do that even with treasonous Americans.

To be a senior adviser, Kushner had to receive a security clearance. He forgot to include his meetings with Russians on his application, which would normally get your clearance revoked.

Malcolm Nance is a retired United States Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer in naval cryptology, author, scholar, and an expert on terrorism and intelligence. He summed it up best in a not-so-subtle manner Friday night to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes.

Nance said “had any individual other than these individuals who worked immediately for President Trump, performed these actions at any time in the SF-86 security clearance process, they would have immediately had their clearances pulled. They would have had their jobs terminated. Some of these contacts are so suspicious that they would have warranted their own counterintelligence investigation. This nation is in a counterintelligence investigation. They are in a spy hunt over at the FBI, and now we have this story—should it prove true—of an American citizen who is the senior adviser to the president of the United States, attempting to establish what we call in the intelligence community ‘covert communications’ with a hostile nation’s potential intelligence agency or senior leadership. That brings you — that crosses the line to the espionage act of 1917. This cannot be explained. Put aside the other 18 contacts with Moscow. This one incident requires Jared Kushner and all of his immediate staff to have their clearances pulled right now and to have the FBI descend on there and to determine whether this is hostile intelligence in the White House one step from the president.”

He’s right. Not only should Jared lose his clearance, he should be fired. He’s actually done worse than Michael Flynn, who was fired…eventually. Daddy-in-law can always give him a pardon later.

In fact, I think I’ll start a pool of how many pardons Trump will eventually dish out to members of his administration.

Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. Your support contributes to my work and continued existence. The starving cartoonist appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

Want a signed copy of this cartoon? Donate at least $50 and I’ll ship it to you. Make sure to mention in the note with your donation which cartoon you want along with the mailing address you need it shipped to. If it’s a gift, make sure to mention the recipient’s name so I can make it out to them.

Romping With Hannity


cjones05292017

Now that Fox News’ Sean Hannity has abandoned his hunt for the “real” story in the murder of Seth Rich, he can apply his amazing journalistic instincts on another matter. Like defending Republicans who beat up journalists.

Hannity spent a week pursuing a story into the death of Rich, a staffer for the Democratic National Committee. It was a story that Fox News retracted and said it didn’t meet their journalistic standards.

The original story published May 16 reported as fact that Rich was actually the person who leaked tens of thousands of emails from the DNC to WikiLeaks and that his murder was tied to that action. Rich was shot and killed last July in Washington in what police describe as a “botched robbery.” There is no public evidence that even suggests he shared DNC emails with Wikileaks. The Rich family pleaded with Fox to stop spreading speculation without facts.

Fox eventually retracted the story, though without an apology. Hannity, however, on his radio show said that he retracts nothing and will continue to push the story. Hannity was relentless in pushing the bogus conspiracy theory and said that he “is not Fox News.” Later, on his TV show, he said that he would stop covering the issue “out of respect for the family’s wishes — for now.” It turns out he IS Fox News. That means his bosses, and probably a few lawyers clamped down on him. Also, advertisers are bailing on his show faster than if he was spotted at Bill O’Reilly’s strip-club-bachelor party.

Sean Hannity is not a real journalist. He was covering for Donald Trump and his Russia connections. It’s a sad state we’re in when the top-viewed news outlet hires hatchet men instead of reporters.

The press has never been popular. Every town’s newspaper has a derogatory nickname for it. But now it’s worse than ever. The president says the press is the “enemy of the American people” and he’s advocated changing the Constitution to change libel laws and imprison journalists. Your crazy uncle believes Breitbart has as much, or more, credibility than The Washington Post and The New York Times. CNN stands for the “Clinton News Network.” Republicans are body-slamming journalists and breaking their glasses.

The freedom the press enjoys is indicative to what sort of nation we live in. A free press means freedom to all. When that’s shut down or infringed upon, your freedom is next. The press’ freedom is your freedom. You need to understand that. It’s not just so Anderson Cooper can run wild and roll his eyes at Kellyanne Conway. It’s so you can live in a free nation where your right to know is not violated….or your right to report.

Apparently, you even have a lot of freedom to report lies. Ask Sean Hannity.

Creative notes: I started this cartoon last night and put it aside to draw my Hulk cartoon. I think I made the right choice but I still wanted to finish this. I called up my former FLS colleague Hilary and asked her where I should put the hyphens in “conspiracy.” Hilary is smarter than I am and she makes me write good (see what I did there? That’ll piss her off to no end).

Men’s rompers were in the news earlier this week. Do you know why? I don’t. If you find out, can you let me know what’s up with men’s rompers? I didn’t care enough to do any actual research into it. I just saw a bunch of posts on Facebook and then I Googled to see how many recent news stories came up. Quite a few. I didn’t read any of them but they were there.

Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. Your support contributes to my work and continued existence. The starving cartoonist appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

Want a signed copy of this cartoon? Donate at least $50 and I’ll ship it to you. Make sure to mention in the note with your donation which cartoon you want along with the mailing address you need it shipped to. If it’s a gift, make sure to mention the recipient’s name so I can make it out to them.

Muscling In Montana


cjones05282017

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has issued their report on the Republican’s tax cut for the rich disguised as a health care plan, and it’s not pretty.

House Republicans were so anxious to repeal Obamacare and pass their joke of a replacement that they didn’t wait for the report on their plans impact. As it turns out, it may leave over 23 million Americans without health insurance. So quite naturally Republicans don’t want to talk about it.

One Republican who is real testy about it is Greg Gianforte. Gianforte is a candidate for Montana’s lone Congressional seat that should be a walk in the park for the GOP. Montana is a red state and when Trump put their congressman in his cabinet along with all the other white guys, the party just assumed it was their seat to keep. Wrong.

With Trump in the White House Americans, even in red-meat eating red states, are realizing the guy is a disaster. With Republicans stealing everyone’s health care to make sure millionaires and billionaires become richer, those seats are getting harder to hang onto. Democrat Rob Quist supports the Second Amendment and he wears a cowboy hat. He has a slim chance of winning the Montana Congressional Seat, especially now that Gianforte is beating up reporters.

Gianforte was giving an interview to a local station when Ben Jacobs, a journalist with The Guardian, interrupted to ask questions about the CBO report, which Gianforte has been ducking. Gianforte’s response, according to several witnesses (some with Fox News even) grabbed Jacobs and body-slammed him against a wall, and broke his glasses. It was also captured on a recording.

The candidate has been charged with a misdemeanor assault. The big question this raises is will it affect the outcome of the election, which is tomorrow (Thursday). The two largest newspapers in Montana, the Missoulian and the Billings Gazette, both retracted their endorsements of Gianforte.

Gianforte’s campaign issued a statement blaming Jacobs for being aggressive and described him as a “liberal journalist.” I suppose assault is bad to Republicans unless you’re assaulting a liberal journalist. After all, Donald Trump has described the press as “enemies of the American people.”

I don’t know if this will change anything. Voters didn’t seem to care that Donald Trump was a bully and encouraged violence and assaults at his rallies. Maybe Montanians will like the idea of a congressman who beats up journalists.

What’s next? Gianforte broke Jacob’s glasses (nerd!). Maybe Republicans will start shoving reporters into lockers and giving them swirlies and wedgies.

Creative note: I was more of a Mad Magazine fan when I was a kid and didn’t read comic books much. The only two I did get into for a while was Spiderman and The Hulk. I think every political cartoonist enjoys drawing Hulk.

I was getting a later start than I had planned last night. I was halfway through my first cartoon when this idea hit me. It was all over the news, especially MSNBC. I bounced it off a friend and former FLS colleague and she thought I should go with it. Around midnight I started all over again.

Clay smash first idea. Clay start over. Clay tired. Clay drink too much coffee.

Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. Your support contributes to my work and continued existence. The starving cartoonist appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

Want a signed copy of this cartoon? Donate at least $50 and I’ll ship it to you. Make sure to mention in the note with your donation which cartoon you want along with the mailing address you need it shipped to. If it’s a gift, make sure to mention the recipient’s name so I can make it out to them.

Classified Pain In The Butt


cjones05272017

I want to play poker with Donald Trump. The man does not have a poker face. He has a Cheeto face, but not a poker face. If you ask him if he wants to call your raise he’d tell you that he doesn’t have a full house.

There’s been a lot of talk in the news how Russian spies can hoodwink Americans to become moles without their ever knowing it. I would be very skeptical of that if we weren’t talking about the sort of people Trump hires, and even Trump himself (who has hired a lawyer to defend him from impeachment and charges of colluding with Russians…who has worked for Russians). Have you seen an interview with Carter Page? That guy couldn’t pick a number between one and three. The Russian spies even described Page as an idiot while they were attempting to recruit him, which is what made him a juicy target.

When news broke that Trump gave highly classified information to the Russians there was speculation that the intel was provided to the United States from Israel. There was concern the Russians could figure that out, and even who the agents are gathering the intelligence. It was never reported that Trump told them it came from Israel.

So naturally while in Israel Trump told the entire world that the intel came from the Israelis. He wasn’t even asked when he told the press that he never mentioned Israel to the Russians. Israeli prime minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu has found himself in the same position as Republicans. He has to smile and support a man to get what he wants while trying to ignore the fact that the man is an idiot.

While on his tour of the Middle East and Europe, foreign leaders and diplomats have been coached to flatter Trump. They’re to compare him favorably to Obama and compliment him on his electoral victory. The man is a pushover.

Donald Trump isn’t just simple-minded enough to manipulate, for our friends and foes alike. He’s not just dangerously insecure and intellectually ill-equipped to do his job. He can’t keep his mouth shut. Along with those high negatives, Trump puts his ego over national security.

Donald Trump is a national security risk and it’s time for America to fold this hand and move on. He’s a pain in the ass. Just ask Bibi.

Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. Your support contributes to my work and continued existence. The starving cartoonist appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

Want a signed copy of this cartoon? Donate at least $50 and I’ll ship it to you. Make sure to mention in the note with your donation which cartoon you want along with the mailing address you need it shipped to. If it’s a gift, make sure to mention the recipient’s name so I can make it out to them.

Radical Nut Job


cjones05252017

Before he was elected president with fewer votes than his female Democratic party opponent, Donald Trump loved to toss around the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” Now that he’s president and visiting Saudi Arabia where the kingdom is praising his narcissism, surrounding him with bright and shiny objects, and they’re all dancing with swords, he’s found substitutes for the term.

Trump criticized Hillary Clinton and President Obama for avoiding the phrase. It takes a complex mind to understand that using that phrasing is describing an entire religion as “radical.” Often times in the past Trump was even blunter by saying “Islam hates us.”

During Trump’s current tour of the Middle East (where he said he just arrived from, while he was in Israel) and during his speech to over 50 leaders from Muslim nations, he used the term “Islamist,” which is accepted as characteristic of the fanatical extremists and violent fringes, such as the Islamic State and al-Qaeda. Referring to a religion as “radical” isn’t friendly, nice, or used by someone who understands complexities. When you put “Islam” before “terrorists,” it’s insulting an entire religion. You never hear conservatives or Republicans refer to a white guy who shoots up a black church or an abortion clinic as a “radical Christian.”

I’m sure conservatives, such as Ted Cruz, who bashed Clinton and Obama for avoiding the phrase will give Trump a pass for doing the same. Now if we can just get these simple minds to understand the difference between “illegal immigrants” and “undocumented workers.”

Trump does enjoy insulting people. He once slammed Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski as “Dumb Mika,” and George Will as “Stupid George Will.” His most famous school-yard bullying insults were “Lyin’ Ted” for Ted Cruz (which is hard to argue with) and “Crooked Hillary” for Hillary Clinton.

The final 6:00 PM breaking news from last week was last Friday when it was reported that Trump called former FBI director Jim Comey a “nut job.” Am I the only one who believes Trump is projecting? He once called Hillary Clinton “Putin’s puppet” and made fun of Rand Paul’s hair.

When Trump insulted Comey he was talking to the Russians in the Oval Office. He was informing them that he was working diligently to cover up their investment in him. It is kinda bizarre that the man who hired the likes of Michael “Lock Her Up” Flynn, and Kellyanne “Microwaves Are Bugging Us” Conway would refer to the director of the FBI as a “nut job.”

No, Mr. President. “Nut jobs” are those people who voted for you and believe all this “Russia stuff” is fake news.

Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. Your support contributes to my work and continued existence. The starving cartoonist appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

Want a signed copy of this cartoon? Donate at least $50 and I’ll ship it to you. Make sure to mention in the note with your donation which cartoon you want along with the mailing address you need it shipped to. If it’s a gift, make sure to mention the recipient’s name so I can make it out to them.