Author: clayjonz

I draw political cartoons which are published in newspapers across the country. I also play guitar.

Alvaradomania


crsta02092018

If you’re a betting person, you’ll put your money on Alvarado winning the presidency in Costa Rica.

The run-off pits Fabricio Alvarado against Carlos Alvarado. Fabricio is the religious zealot from the National Restoration Party, that only holds one seat in the National Assembly, which is held by Fabricio. Carlos is from the center/left Citizen Action Party, which currently holds the presidency of a government that’s in a financial crisis.

Do you vote the guy from the party that hurt the nation’s economy, or do you vote the guy who only cares about fighting against same-sex marriage? Decisions, decisions. It would be a pretty simple choice for me.

You vote for Carlos, the guy who at least has a clue on how government and the economy works against. You don’t want to put a religious bigot in charge of your nation. Costa Ricans only have to look north to see how that works out.

This cartoon ran last Friday for The Costa Rica Star. There’s a new cartoon up for this week, which I’ll post here next week.

I want to thank everyone who has donated in the past. Your support helps me continue creating cartoons and columns with a little less stress in my life. Between competing syndicates with much larger resources, timid editors, and Trump supporters who attempt to intimidate the editors who do publish anything that criticizes their idol, it’s a challenge to make a career out of this. So your support (if you can) is appreciated. Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing (pissing off conservatives)? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through PayPal. Every $40 donation will receive a signed print (please specify which print you want or I won’t mail one). All donations will receive my eternal gratitude

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Thirteen Russians


cjones02192018

If there’s one thing we should all be sure of, Hillary Clinton was the best presidential candidate because Vladimir Putin wanted us to elect Donald Trump.

On Friday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted thirteen Russians. Donald Trump FINALLY admitted Russia meddled in our election in a statement that was focused, surprise, entirely on himself. Trump believes the indictments are vindication that there was no collusion with his campaign. No, it doesn’t. Mueller isn’t done. What the details of the indictments do confirm is that Donald Trump would not be president without the help of Vladimir Putin and Russian meddlers. It’s time to ditch the idea that Russia had no effect on the outcome of our election.

The Russians didn’t just post a few memes with outrageous conspiracy theories for your gullible right-wing friends to share on Facebook. They ran a third presidential campaign. While the campaign was designed to make the worst human being possible the president of the United States, its higher objective was to derail Hillary Clinton and throw our government into chaos. Part of that strategy was to support, not just Trump, but Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein.

Trump’s margin of victory in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan was smaller than the votes Stein received in each of those states. Russians focused on those states by purchasing pro-Stein ads on Facebook. Trump would not have won the presidency without Stein’s performance.

Jill Stein is not the spoiler or scapegoat. It’s Vladimir Putin.

The Russians posed as Americans to coordinate and infiltrate political activities. They organized grassroots rallies. They paid for a cage large enough to hold an actress impersonating Clinton in a prison uniform. They stoked racial tensions and sowed social discord. They had a troll farm with a budget of over $1 million a month.

Trump has spent over a year denying the Russians meddled in our election, and he’s called it “fake news” and a hoax. This was not a hoax.

Trump has done nothing to punish Russia and his inaction has only encouraged them to continue their attacks on our nation. He has never convened a Cabinet-level meeting on Russian interference and has even refused to enact sanctions on Russia passed by Congress that he himself signed. During the transition period, Obama leveled sanctions against Russia and seized two of their compounds in the U.S. Trump’s people were telling the Russians not to retaliate because the new president would take care of it.

Vladimir Putin wanted Donald Trump to be our president. Putin does not want what’s best for the United States. No American should want our president to be the person Putin picks. Our president is a Russian troll, and he has proved Clinton right. He’s Putin’s puppet.

Right-wing fanatics always claimed Obama is a traitor, hated America and sought to destroy it. How ironic they’ve given us a president who actually fits that description.

One of the most damning aspects of this indictment is the revelation (though many of us already knew) that Russians recruited Americans to help them subvert our Democracy. They had Americans help spread propaganda, “fake news,” and conspiracy theories. They coordinated with members of the Trump campaign (which we’ll be hearing more about in the future from the Special Counsel). They even paid Americans to dress as Hillary Clinton in prison garb at rallies.

Turn on the TV and you’ll see and hear conservatives echo Trump’s talking points of no collusion or that the dossier is fake and evidence of Clinton’s collusion with Russia. Go to social media and you’ll see posts by idiots echoing the same points. Look at Congress and you’ll see Republicans writing fake memos in order to subvert Mueller’s investigation. Talk to your crazy uncle and he’s talking about Hillary’s Russian uranium deal.

The Russian’s attack against our nation isn’t over and it continues today. What is also continuing is that many Americans are still helping them.

Here’s the video. 

I want to thank everyone who has donated in the past. Your support helps me continue creating cartoons and columns with a little less stress in my life. Between competing syndicates with much larger resources, timid editors, and Trump supporters who attempt to intimidate the editors who do publish anything that criticizes their idol, it’s a challenge to make a career out of this. So your support (if you can) is appreciated. Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing (pissing off conservatives)? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through PayPal. Every $40 donation will receive a signed print (please specify which print you want or I won’t mail one). All donations will receive my eternal gratitude

Skanking With The NRA


cjones02182018

As predictable as conservative political cartoonists drawing crying Uncle Sams after this week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Republicans tweeted out “thoughts and prayers.”

Thoughts and prayers are very nice. I’m not against thoughts and prayers. I am against only offering thoughts and prayers. Republicans are bad about offering thoughts and prayers while aiding a lobbying organization that opposes all methods of gun control, or even gun sense.

After the Las Vegas shooting, we were told it was too soon to talk about it. But, there was talk of ending the sale of bump stocks, a device that basically turns a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon. It’s been five months since the Vegas massacre, but I guess it’s still too soon because we’ve yet to see any effort in ending the sales of bump stocks.

Incredulity has been expressed at the fact a 19-year-old can’t buy a drink, can’t buy a handgun, but in Florida, he can purchase a semi-automatic AR-15, the gun of choice for mass shooters. That’s the law and there’s nothing illegal about it until he starts shooting his former classmates. Will we see Republicans, who control the House, Senate, Presidency, and even the governorship in Florida, do anything about this? Looking at the financial contributions from the NRA to Republicans, all we can expect are more thoughts and prayers while creating laws that make it as easy as possible to kill dozens of people in a manner of minutes.

While Trump’s lawyer pays off porn stars to shut up, the NRA pays of Republicans to tell us to shut up about gun control. The porn star was a lot cheaper and has higher principles.

Senator John McCain is the granddaddy of receiving money from the NRA. He’s taken $7,740,521. But, he did offer thoughts and prayers.

Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina has accepted $6, 986,620 from the NRA. He also offered thoughts and prayers.

Roy Blunt, Senator from Missouri, got $4,551,146. He too offered thoughts and prayers.

Cory Gardner, Senator from Colorado, got $3,879,064. He sent his thoughts and prayers.

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst took $3,124,273 and gave us thoughts and prayers.

Indiana’s Todd Young got $2,896,732 and gave thoughts and prayers.

Louisiana’s Bill Cassidy received $2,861,047 and also gave thoughts and prayers.

Those numbers are just from the Senate. I didn’t include contributions to the House. But you can check out the list at The New York Times. Among the highest recipients of NRA funds in the House, 95 out of 100 are Republican. The top two Democrats in the Senate are Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who rank 52nd and 53rd — behind every Republican but Dan Sullivan of Alaska.

The NRA spent over $50 million to elect Trump, and there are questions about some of that money coming from Russia.

In Florida, Senator Marco Rubio has received $3,303,355, and Governor Rick Scott, along with Rubio, has an A+ rating from the NRA, which means they belong to the NRA.

When asked about gun control, Rubio said it was too soon to talk about it after the Parkland shooting “because people don’t know how this happened.” Yes, we do, Marco. A kid bought a semi-automatic weapon, which is legal because politicians like you allow it, and he took it to a school and shot 17 people. That’s what happened.

Don’t expect solutions from these people. Do not expect gun sense, common sense, or any sense. Do not expect results.

But they will give you lots of thoughts and prayers.

Here’s the video.

I want to thank everyone who has donated in the past. Your support helps me continue creating cartoons and columns with a little less stress in my life. Between competing syndicates with much larger resources, timid editors, and Trump supporters who attempt to intimidate the editors who do publish anything that criticizes their idol, it’s a challenge to make a career out of this. So your support (if you can) is appreciated. Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing (pissing off conservatives)? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through PayPal. Every $40 donation will receive a signed print (please specify which print you want or I won’t mail one). All donations will receive my eternal gratitude

Big Box O’ Welfare


cjones02172018

Republicans love to bash people who receive government assistance. It’s red meat for the hater crowd. It’s always a veiled way to tell your right-wing voters that you share their racist sentiments and all the problems in this nation are the cause of minorities. Hey, it worked for Hitler.

In 1976, presidential candidate Ronald Reagan used the bully pulpit and attacked people on government assistance by describing a “welfare queen” who, according to Reagan, she “used 80 names, 30 addresses, 15 telephone numbers to collect food stamps, Social Security, veterans’ benefits for four nonexistent deceased veteran husbands, as well as welfare. Her tax-free cash income alone has been running $150,000 a year.”

Newt Gingrich, former Republican Speaker of the House, once told a tale of a welfare recipient who used her benefits to fly to Hawaii.

The “welfare queen,” as she was originally dubbed by The Chicago Tribune, really did exist. But she was an extreme example Reagan used to cast all welfare recipients as villains, and by the way, she was probably black. As for flying to Hawaii on food stamps, I’m not sure how that’s done since you can’t use them to even purchase diapers.

Fox News likes to run stories about people using food stamps to purchase lobsters (when I Googled stories about people using welfare to buy lobsters, I got a bunch of results about the welfare of lobsters).

Republicans in several states enacted laws to drug test recipients of welfare. Altogether, they’ve spent millions testing and have had positive results come back from around eight percent of recipients. Most states have discovered drug usage among welfare recipients to be less than one percent. Still, Republicans in other states, ignoring it’s a failed and wasteful system, keep proposing they implement it too. I have a family member on welfare, whose husband refuses to work, who complains about black people on welfare.

The percentage of drug usage in the general population is around nine percent, which is higher than those on welfare. If you listen to Republicans, the percentage of drug users on welfare rivals the percentage of drug users in Aerosmith.

Most welfare recipients work. The majority of welfare recipients are white. Republican-voting states receive the most federal assistance, nine out of ten of the poorest states are red, and 97 of the poorest counties are in red states. If this tells us only one thing, it’s that stupid Republican ideas, like drug testing welfare recipients, are not helping anyone rise up out of poverty.

It doesn’t matter to them if drug testing is a failed policy, or it’s accompanied by the irony that it’s more financially wasteful than people on food stamps purchasing lobsters. A dumb idea is a good political idea if it scapegoats minorites (agh! Illegal immigrants on welfare!). Which brings us to welfare in a box.

The Trump administration is proposing welfare in a box, which Budget Director Mike Mulvaney is calling “America’s Harvest Box.” This stupid plan has stuck in my head the Lonely Island song “Dick In A Box.” The song is less offensive than the Trump policy.

The idea is apparently the brainchild of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, and the administration says it’ll be a lot cheaper to send rice and beans to welfare recipients than allowing them to make their own dietary decisions. The idea is so great, they hid it at the bottom of the budget hoping no one would see it. Dick in a box, indeed.

There are questions. How will the boxes be delivered? How will recipients without addresses receive their boxes? How will it deal with perishables? Even Amazon isn’t shipping celery for a good reason. How will lawmakers deal with outraged grocery stores who will lose millions, maybe billions, from customers?

This idea is as dead in the water as the future career prospects for current Trump appointees. Then again, why are we so eager to go after welfare when there are better targets in the federal and state budgets?

There’s more than one government program for the needy, but SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) is less than two percent of the federal budget. Feeding the poor costs every American family about $36 a year. If it means a child eats, even with my unemployed racist inlaw buying shellfish, I’ll write you a check right now.

Meanwhile, corporate welfare receives much more. The Cato Institute estimates that the federal government spends over $100 billion a year on corporate welfare. Sixty three billion of that goes to Fortune 500 companies. Boeing receives $13 billion. Oil companies receive around $4 billion. Berkshire Hathaway (which owns my former employer, The Free Lance Star), a company with $485 billion in assets, with over $20 billion in profits, and an owner, Warren Buffett, who is worth about $58 billion, gets a billion a year from me and you. I don’t hear any lawmakers screaming for Mr. Buffett to pee in a cup, though his fake-cousin may fail a margarita test.

We get upset over spending $36 a year on feeding people. What doesn’t bother anyone is taking $870 from each family a year to give to corporations. Aren’t we already willfully giving enough of our money to Walmart and Amazon without the federal government tapping us for more? Where is the outrage? Where are the demands for scalps of those receiving millions in corporate bonuses while their companies suck at the government teat? Where’s the outrage at Walmart for receiving federal welfare while not paying their employees enough to get off social welfare? Nobody’s demanding the Walton family to subsist on baloney and government cheese.

This isn’t so much about welfare in a box as it it’s all a bag of….well, you know.

Here’s the video.

I want to thank everyone who has donated in the past. Your support helps me continue creating cartoons and columns with a little less stress in my life. Between competing syndicates with much larger resources, timid editors, and Trump supporters who attempt to intimidate the editors who do publish anything that criticizes their idol, it’s a challenge to make a career out of this. So your support (if you can) is appreciated. Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing (pissing off conservatives)? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through PayPal. Every $40 donation will receive a signed print (please specify which print you want or I won’t mail one). All donations will receive my eternal gratitude

And Another School Shooting


cjones02162018

I’m too exasperated over this happening again and again to columnize about it today. What else is there to say about it anyway? You know the drill. Brown guy, we gotta change policy with something racist. White guy, thoughts and prayers.

The thoughts-and-prayers people are totally thoughtless.

Here’s the video.

I want to thank everyone who has donated in the past. Your support helps me continue creating cartoons and columns with a little less stress in my life. Between competing syndicates with much larger resources, timid editors, and Trump supporters who attempt to intimidate the editors who do publish anything that criticizes their idol, it’s a challenge to make a career out of this. So your support (if you can) is appreciated. Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing (pissing off conservatives)? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through PayPal. Every $40 donation will receive a signed print (please specify which print you want or I won’t mail one). All donations will receive my eternal gratitude

A Blart On The Background


cjones02152018

During the presidential campaign, and repeated as a deflection from Trump corruption ever since, Republicans argued that Hillary Clinton wasn’t fit to be president because she potentially exposed classified information on her email server. This week, the what-about-her-emails crowd has more complaints about the Obama portraits than the lackadaisical attitude Donald Trump has toward classified information.

We knew for a while that Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and unqualified to do any job in the White House, has yet to be cleared for a security clearance. What was revealed from the Rob Porter scandal, other than Trump and John Kelly don’t take domestic violence seriously, is that there are many people working in the White House without a “permanent” security clearance.

First, there isn’t an actual permanent clearance. Every individual is subject to continuous evaluation and some clearances expire depending on the level. The FBI conducts the background checks. For secret and top-secret clearances, the White House has its own Office of Security that makes the decision on who gets clearance. For access to what is called Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI), which is the highest level of classified information, that is done by one or more of the intelligence agencies, and usually, it’s the CIA with the White House. The White House Office of Security is run by career staff and not by political appointees. Jared has access to the highest level of classified info.

Sometimes, a clearance isn’t given because the FBI is having trouble finding information, and they believe there are holes, or they’re finding a lot of sketchy and questionable stuff, like wife-beating or in Jared’s case, lying on his forms.

How does a White House staffer keep his job with access to classified information without a clean report from the FBI? The Office of Security may grant temporary clearance, as they’re probably doing in the over 40 cases in the White House right now, or the president can use his Constitutional authority to order them to grant clearance (and we don’t know if that’s happened), or the White House may just ignore it altogether. That’s what’s happening in this case, and after it’s exposed, they lie and blame the FBI.

Tuesday, FBI director Christopher Wray told Congress that the FBI completed Rob Porter’s background investigation last July and closed it in January. As we know, Porter continued to work in the White House. Sarah Huckabee Sanders had claimed that they first learned of the accusations against Porter last week and that White House Counsel Don McGahn and Chief of Staff John Kelly were not informed previously. She also said that “the White House had not received any specific papers regarding the completion of that background check” by the time of Porter’s resignation. She said the White House Security Office felt the FBI’s report required more field investigation, though the FBI had closed its background check on Porter. Sanders was caught lying. I’m not sure she’s aware of that yet.

Trump promised us he’d hire the best people. He hasn’t even hired a Spokesgoon smart enough to know that you don’t lie about the FBI the day the FBI Director is testifying in front of Congress.

Trump also defended Porter and said he, and every man accused of beating a woman, deserves “due process.” I think a year-long background investigation by the FBI, who then reports that the guy is a wife beater, can be considered due process.

Trump campaigned arguing that we couldn’t trust our nation’s secrets with Hillary Clinton. After he won the election, the Obama administration was concerned about how much to tell Trump and his transition team because our intelligence sources knew there were Russian moles in the Trump campaign.

Obama warned Trump not to hire Michael Flynn. Trump hired Michael Flynn. Obama’s National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, had to find a way to work around providing information to her successor while knowing he was corrupted by the Russians.

After he became president, Trump invited the Russian ambassador, foreign minister, and their camera team into the Oval Office because Putin told him to. During that visit, Trump revealed classified information to them that was provided by an ally.

Then, Trump released the Nunes FISA memo over the objections of the Justice Department and the FBI.

Finally, Trump has unverified people working with classified information in the White House. Some of these people are susceptible to blackmail.

Congress needs a hearing to find out why so many people are working in the White House without clearances, who they are, and what level of classified information they have been granted access to. The Bush and Obama administrations didn’t suffer from these scandals, but then again, they didn’t staff their administrations with a bunch of wife-beaters and loan sharks.

The problem starts at the top. Donald Trump doesn’t hire the best people. In fact, he hires the worst people. The fact is we elected a guy who couldn’t pass the FBI background check.

The real problem is we elected the worst person.

Today’s video.

I want to thank everyone who has donated in the past. Your support helps me continue creating cartoons and columns with a little less stress in my life. Between competing syndicates with much larger resources, timid editors, and Trump supporters who attempt to intimidate the editors who do publish anything that criticizes their idol, it’s a challenge to make a career out of this. So your support (if you can) is appreciated. Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing (pissing off conservatives)? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through PayPal. Every $40 donation will receive a signed print (please specify which print you want or I won’t mail one). All donations will receive my eternal gratitude

From Trump World To Wally World


cjones02142018

Rachel Brand is not stupid.

Brand is the Associate Attorney General and the third-ranking official in the Trump/Sessions Justice Department. That means, if Trump gets rid of Rod Rosenstein then Brand would take oversight of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Dealing with the Special Counsel is one thing. Dealing with Donald Trump’s public bullying, threats, and temper tantrums is another. Brand is saying no thank you and she’s out the door. Where is she going? She’s going to Walmart.

While it is speculation her resignation is due to the danger of Rosenstein being fired giving her the oversight, there are sources who claim that’s the very reason she’s leaving.

Brand is a career public servant. She is a Republican who has worked in very high positions at the Justice Department during the George W. Bush and Obama administrations. She was appointed as Associate Attorney General by Trump just nine months ago.

Sources say Brand grew frustrated by vacancies at the department and feared she would be asked to oversee the Russia investigation.

While professionals like Brand are bailing, Trump still has the “best people” he promised to hire which consists of an assortment of clueless family members, former glamour models, and wife beaters.

The Justice Department claims the rumors aren’t true that Brand is leaving because of Trump and that it’s just too good of an opportunity to turn down. An opportunity at Walmart.

Sure, she won’t actually be a greeter and will assume a very high-paying position with the company. But someone with a resume like Brand’s probably receives offers from the private sector on a frequent basis. Wouldn’t you assume upon taking a position at the Justice Department that you’re making a commitment that no high-paying job offer could break? At the very least, you wouldn’t plan on bailing in nine months.

What is a fact is that Trump is beating up on the FBI and Justice Department. The Republican Congress has joined in. The ridiculous memo crafted by Devin Nunes attacks five top law enforcement officials who signed off on the allegedly abusive monitoring of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, and four of them are no longer in the same positions. Only Rosenstein remains…for now.

My mother would have been super proud if I took a high-paying job at Walmart. She would have thought it was a step up from the Justice Department. My mother loved Walmart. When I lived in Hawaii, every time she called me she asked if I had found “the” Walmart yet. It was never “Walmart.” It was always “THE Walmart.” Screw the weather, volcanoes, Waikiki, and the North Shore. Had I found THE Walmart? If my mother had visited me, we would have had to go to Walmart straight from the airport. That’s what we did when she visited me in Virginia…and where we went the next day, and the next, and the next. I went to Walmart every day for two weeks. Not everyone shares my mom’s enthusiasm for Walmart.

Some people are taking issue with Brand’s departure. Matthew Miller, former spokesperson for the department during the Obama administration tweeted, “I admire Brand, but this doesn’t speak well of her. If she sees trouble coming for Mueller, the responsible course of action would be to stay and stand up for him. Country needs patriots in times like this.”

He also tweeted, “as a former DOJ colleague said to me, you take these jobs expecting them to be tough. You don’t leave just because they turn out to be.”

It is tough. Trump has made Jeff Sessions’ life a living hell since the Attorney General recused himself from the Russia investigation. He’s done the same to Rosenstein, James Comey, and Andrew McCabe. Trump is a horrible person to work for as he demands loyalty and for those in law enforcement to defy their oath to be his personal protection service. Even Trump’s longtime personal bodyguard has quit.

I agree with Miller. Now is the time we need good and decent people to stand between us and Trump and his sycophants trying to circumvent the rule of law and allow Russia to threaten this nation.

This nation needs people like Brand to protect it. Walmart can wait.

Today’s video. I had a horrible time creating this cartoon and you’re gonna wanna hear about it.

I want to thank everyone who has donated in the past. Your support helps me continue creating cartoons and columns with a little less stress in my life. Between competing syndicates with much larger resources, timid editors, and Trump supporters who attempt to intimidate the editors who do publish anything that criticizes their idol, it’s a challenge to make a career out of this. So your support (if you can) is appreciated. Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing (pissing off conservatives)? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through PayPal. Every $40 donation will receive a signed print (please specify which print you want or I won’t mail one). All donations will receive my eternal gratitude