Shooting The Bird


cjones03192017

While the Trump boys, Eric and Donald Jr., display their manly courage by having a tour guide take them by their hands to shoot fenced-in big game animals, Daddy Trump prefers bigger game.

Trump unveiled his proposed budget and it contains $54 billion in cuts all across the federal government to make up for increases mostly in defense spending. There’s also increases in Homeland Protection and Veteran Affairs.

What does he plan to cut? The State department (28%) and Environment Protection Agency (31%) will see huge cuts. There will be further cuts in HUD (13%), Transportation (12%), Health & Human Services (16%), Education (13%), Labor (20%), Agriculture (20%), Army Corps of Engineers (16%), Institute of Health (20%), Commerce (15%), and Interior (11%).

It also eliminates further programs in Waste & Water, Education, Science, NASA, FEMA, Affordable Housing, and payments to the United Nations’ climate change programs. Amtrak will also suffer. There will be decreased support to the World Bank and it cuts funding to the Clean Power Plan entirely.

It also eliminates ALL federal funding for Meals on Wheels (it does have other funding that’s not from the government), PBS, African Development, Appalachian Commission, before-and after-school programs, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Chesapeake Bay funding (hope you don’t like oysters or it shucks for you), Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, NASA’s Office of Education, and a hell of a lot of other programs. How long do you want this blog?

Basically the United States will get dumber, poor kids will get hungrier, and the Earth will get dirtier. But hey, our depleted military will finally be rebuilt.

Wait. What? Depleted military? I’m getting tired of hearing Trump and other Republicans bemoan our “depleted” military. Our military is the largest on the planet. In 2014 our nation spent $610 billion on defense. That’s 34% of what the rest of the world spends on their military. That’s nearly three times higher than China, the second-highest nation with an estimated $216 billion in defense spending.

The United States has 19 aircraft carriers (though the military says only 12 count as carriers). The rest of the world combined has nine and most of those aren’t close to American quality. Do you think Thailand’s one aircraft carrier scares the U.S. Navy?

There’s a lot of stuff that can be cut in the federal budget. Most of those departments targeted by Trump could probably do with some cuts. But to wipe out education, science, diplomacy (cuts to security for embassies and consulates, you know…kind of like the one that was in Benghazi), and even funding to the NYPD which is facing brutal costs protecting Melania while she stays in Trump Tower, is just ridiculous. It’s especially absurd to choose walls over books, food, clean air, science, stuff like that.

A lot of this spending will go toward Trump’s stupid border wall that will be soundly defeated by immigrants with shovels and ladders.

Trump and Republicans will focus on making America dumb again (dumber which will probably be more beneficial to their reelections than gerrymandering) and more polluted, but we’ll have the biggest guns in the world. Our military will also continue to have $38 screws, $7,600 coffee pots, $640 toilet seats, etc. Take that, Thailand!

Creative note: You have to extend me some creative license here. I know Big Bird and the rest of his Sesame Street cohorts are on HBO now and are no longer with PBS. But their image still represents educational programming as they were on public broadcasting for over 45 years.

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Blocking Bigoted Brackets


cjones03182017

No matter how much Trump and his band of goons adjust and modify their bigotry, federal courts continue to deny them from making their hatred U.S. law.

After No. 45’s first ban on Muslims from select countries was knocked down by federal courts, he went back to the drawing board. This time he put a smiley face on it.

His first argument for the travel ban was that we’re facing such a dangerous threat from Muslims that the ban can’t wait. Then he made the ban wait so it wouldn’t distract from a speech where he used coherent sentences.

His second argument is that it’s NOT a ban against Muslims. He and his people are using this argument despite the fact Rudy Giuliani said Trump called him and asked how they can create a ban on Muslims and do it legally, and that Trump said he was calling for a “ban on Muslims entering the United States,” and that other time where he said “Islam hated the United States.”

Hawaii saw Trump’s newest ban and instead of saying “mahalo” they said “aloha.” Aloha as in goodbye. While English speakers use “aloha” to say hello and goodbye, in the Hawaiian language it means peace, affection, compassion, and mercy. Each of those components are missing from Trump’s Muslim ban so it’s no wonder Hawaii’s attorney general took it to court, and the court put a temporary restraining order on it.

Trump said the judge was “overreaching,” and 45 is a man who knows all about reaching and grabbing the wrong places.

It’s no wonder Hawaii would want to reject a ban on a class of people. Japanese-Americans make up around 30% of the state’s population and they’re well aware of this nation’s history of reactionary executive orders that discriminate against certain groups of people. During World War II the government decided that people of Japanese descent in the United States could not be trusted, so they interned them in camps like prisoners of war. Men, women, and children were locked behind fences. Homes and businesses were lost. It has become one of the greatest failings of the United States and it shouldn’t be forgotten.

Hawaii is rejecting Trump’s bigotry. I stand with Hawaii, my former home for a year.

To Hawaii, I say “mahalo.”

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Your Health Care Enhancement


cjones03172017

Instead of falling for the distraction of a “leaked” copy of Trump’s tax returns from over a decade ago, I decided to focus on the impending disaster of TrumpCare.

The Congressional Budget Office, which is non-partisan, released their report on TrumpCare and was immediately criticized by the Trump team.

The CBO report says the new plan will leave 24 million without insurance. Republicans who love to cite CBO reports when they agree with them, attacked this report with a lot of “nuh-uhs.” Paul Ryan however was excited that the report says the plan will save $337 billion from the budget.

Ryan, who is supposedly a policy wonk, has the impression that insurance companies will compete to insure sick people.

Republicans were expecting a bleak report from the CBO and Trump has insisted that he doesn’t want this health plan to be named after him. He already has that disaster named Donald Jr to make excuses for. He shot a what this time?

Much like the broken promise of releasing his tax returns, Trump’s promise of “something better” replacing Obamacare is turning out to be another lie.

Currently a 64-year-old who makes $26,500 a year has to pay $1,700 of their premium under Obamacare. With the “something better” plan that same person’s premium cost rises to $14,600.

Every single state that voted for Trump will see their premium tax credits drop.  Individual enrollee’s tax credit in North Carolina, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Alabama, Nebraska, and Wyoming would decrease by more than $4,000 on average. Alaska gets it worse where it will decrease by $10, 243.

Trump suckers may still support No. 45 if he shot a man on Fifth Avenue, but we’ll see how they feel about him when his “something better” cuts into their bank accounts.

That’s what happens when you let the boobs take over.

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Weathering Your Bracket


cjones03162017

I hate weather cartoons. I’m also not crazy about March Madness cartoons as everybody incorporates a bracket into some political issue. I’ve been guilty of that in the past but I stopped doing those after I was no longer being paid for an editor to bark at me.

But, newspaper editors LOVE weather cartoons about as much as they’re afraid of Trump cartoons. And since I got this feeling that I’m going to be doing a LOT of Trump cartoons this week, I took one for the team.

I’m not going to complain about this winter storm a week before Spring begins. We’ve been lucky this winter. I also don’t want August weather in May, so let it snow. I have seen a serious drop in “oh no it’s snowing so global warming can’t exist” cartoons this year by conservatives.

I don’t follow basketball very well but this year I’ll be pulling for UVA (Virginia) once again while also having a soft spot for Gonzaga. Google how to pronounce “Gonzaga.” I found out this week that I’ve been mispronouncing it throughout my entire life…or at least since I found out that school existed about two decades ago.

I’m officially three days ahead with cartoons right now. This cartoonist needs sleep.

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Racist Baby Talk


cjones03152017

Congress’ most cuddly racist Steve King from Iowa (who “used” to keep a Confederate flag on his desk) was at it again Monday. He tweeted support for a xenophobic politician in the Netherlands with “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

King was backing Geert Wilders, a far-right Dutch parliamentarian who has called for shutting down mosques in his country.

While many of King’s supporters are defending him from accusations of racism, the man who once proclaimed that Mexicans with “calves the size of cantaloupes” were hauling drugs across the border, was being cheered on by David Duke and The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website. Yeah, that’s who you want supporting your political positions. Grand wizards and Nazis. You go, boy.

While the Republican party defends itself from attracting fringe racists like Duke, other KKK members, Nazis, Duck Dynasty goobers, and Ted Nugent, Steve King is an actual congressman. Conservative voters elected him to represent them. What the F, Iowa? Even Louisiana rejected David Duke and he went to the trouble to get a face lift to make himself appear less menacing.

King does not believe in the American melting pot and once said “It is time to speak with a common voice. The argument that diversity is our strength has really never been backed up by logic.” He’s advocated for a border fence long before Trump entered politics and suggested that it be electrified as he compared immigrants to cattle and dogs. While Obama was a U.S. senator he referred to him as a “very, very urban senator.” He nearly had an anxiety attack over Harriet Tubman replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.

King doubled down on his “somebody else’s babies” when he told CNN “I meant exactly what I said,” adding that he would “like to see an America that’s just so homogeneous that we look a lot the same, from that.”

That’s a statement from someone who cares about the color of his neighbors. When someone makes a statement about us all looking alike, the word they’re looking for is “white.”

King and his supporters worry about our culture. Keep an ear out for that word, “culture.” It’s one of many dog whistles racists use today. Others being “urban,” “inner cities,” “states’ rights,” law and order,” “Sharia law,” “radical Islam,” and “thug.”

People like King worry about the day when white people no longer make up the majority of Americans. They’re terrified of different cultures entering our nation. I got some news for those people. Their culture is our culture.

America works on diversity. It was built on it and its greatness is defined by it. When people argue that we’re the greatest nation on the planet, it’s our diversity that comes closest to making that true. I like knowing people with different backgrounds and outlooks. It makes life more interesting. Wonder Bread is boring.

Here’s a tip on dealing with people of a different race, religion, color, culture, etc. Treat them like people. And don’t send people like Steve King to represent you in Congress.

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Cooking With Kellyanne


cjones03142017

Malfunctioning Trump spokesperson Kellyanne Conway said she saw reports of the government being able to spy on you through your microwave.

No, Kellyanne. That was a political cartoon I drew last week.

When Trump tweeted that Obama had wiretapped him, he specifically mentioned “Obama.” He referred to the former president as “sick.” Over the weekend and today his staff was trying to twist Trump’s tweet, that he meant the Obama administration, or the government.

They’re trying to move the goalposts. They’re ignoring the part of the tweets where Trump mentioned Obama personally having Trump Tower bugged. Never mind the fact that Trump tweeted these allegations three times. They’re even trying to change the definition of “wiretapping.”

That’s what’s wrong with these people. They tell lies. They get busted. Instead of apologizing or correcting themselves, they invent more bullshit until they finally get to the point where they act like it wasn’t ever said at all.

Personally I think Kellyanne’s brain has been overcooked.

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Sunshine Week 2017


cjones03132017

Sunshine Week is a national initiative by the America Society of News Editors. It started in Florida and went national in 2005 and is recognized for a week every March. It coincides with James Madison’s birthday.

Freedom of information and access to open government is crucial to have a free nation. It’s a constant fight for the press from your hometown weekly to The New York Times. Politicians from each party attempt to conceal information from the public. These perpetrators are on city councils, county supervisors, legislatures (general assembly in Virginia), to the United States Congress to presidents. There are a lot of people in government who don’t want you knowing what they’re doing.

We’re at a point where it’s more crucial and threatened than ever. We have a president who can’t tell the truth. He is a man who promised to reveal his tax returns before the election and has yet to do so. Releasing tax returns is not a requirement, but it sure would be nice to know who he’s in debt to.

This president has also referred to the press as “fake news” and an enemy of the American people. Donald Trump wants you to believe lies and deny the truth.

If you’re fine with Trump’s attacks on the media and his attempts to destroy a free press, ask yourself these questions: How are you informed? Do you like facts and information? Maybe you’re fine with the press shutting down because you don’t believe them anyway, which usually just means you don’t like what you’re hearing. Do you trust politicians to be the only source of everything you need to know?

If you get all your information from sources like Breitbart and InfoWars, then you’re not informed. You’re choosing ignorance and dumbing down. Those are not news organizations. They’re propaganda.

A free press isn’t just important to people like me, who make fun of politicians, and it’s not just important to those who report on politicians. It’s important to you whether you like it or not.

To quote Hannah Arendt, a German-American theorist, who said in 1974 “The moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen. What makes it possible for a totalitarian or any other dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed? If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer.” Gee, that sounds like she’s describing someone we all know today.

If she’s not smart enough for you then maybe you should listen to Thomas Jefferson. He’s smarter than all of us. He said “The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

I’ll stand with Tom over Donald. How about you?

Did you like this cartoon? Want to help a cartoonist make a living? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. I need to buy pens, paper, sandwiches, etc.. The starving cartoonist appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!