Syrian Chemical Attack


cjones04102018

There is not an issue Donald Trump has talked about where he hasn’t expressed opposing viewpoints.

He criticized President Obama for talking about pulling troops out of Iraq, though that was a decision made by the Bush administration. Last week, he expressed his desire to pull U.S. troops out of Syria, thus leaving that nation to the will of Syria’s dictator, Russia, and Iran. He apparently didn’t consult with the Pentagon before voicing this plan. He also froze $200 million to help recovery efforts in Syria.

A few days later, the Syrian military stages a chemical attack on the city of Douma, held by rebel forces fighting the Bashar Assad Regime.

A year ago, Trump bombed a Syrian runway after that nation staged a chemical attack against their citizens. He warned Putin the attack was coming, thus warning Assad. Obviously, it didn’t deter them.

The Russians say claims of the attack are a hoax and a provocation. A missile strike has been conducted against a Syrian airbase used by Iran, and the Russians are blaming Israel. Somehow, Donald Trump has made an already horrible situation even worse.

Senator John McCain says Trump’s talks of pulling out U.S. troops emboldened Assad and Russia. He’s right. Donald Trump isn’t just dangerous for the United States, but people worldwide.

When Donald Trump talks, stock markets crash, internet trolls get dumber, dictators become emboldened, and people die.

Here’s the video.

Please consider making a donation to keep the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. Reader contributions, small and large, really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and liberty while those in power are doing all they can to suppress it. You can also support by purchasing a signed print for $40.00. Just look at the right of this page and click the PayPal button, or you can email and make other arrangements. Thank you!

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Patriot Meets Costa Rica Customs


crsta03282018

This cartoon ran Wednesday, March 28 in The Costa Rica Star.

New England Patriots safety Duron Harmon recently had a very short stay in Costa Rica. The football star who led New England with four interceptions in 2017 was intercepted in customs with about 58 grams of marijuana found inside a can of iced tea, three pipes with cannabis oil, a THC candy, and four glass containers with compressed marijuana that weighed 4.3 grams. Who smuggles marijuana INTO Central America?

Marijuana is not legal in Costa Rica but it’s not a crime that’s heavily prosecuted or pursued. I would think one wouldn’t need to sneak weed on a flight and risk getting caught. Weed is everywhere. If you’re in a new place, like Costa Rica, just ask someone who works at the hotel. Better yet, ask a hooker. Prostitution is legal in Costa Rica.

Harmon wasn’t arrested. Instead, he was sent back immediately to the United States on a flight to Florida. No word yet on punishment from the NFL or the Patriots.

You can visit the Star’s site to see this week’s toon on Fabricio Alvarado’s election loss.

Here’s the video for this cartoon.

Please consider making a donation to keep the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. Reader contributions, small and large, really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and liberty while those in power are doing all they can to suppress it. You can also support by purchasing a signed print for $40.00. Just look at the right of this page and click the PayPal button, or you can email and make other arrangements. Thank you!

Trump Trade War


cjones04092018I watched Anderson Cooper interview Roger Stone last night on CNN, and Stone said that Trump is his own wordsmith. Are you kidding me? Trump can’t even spell “Smith.”

Someone commented on this blog earlier this week and took issue with the first sentence where I wrote about Trump’s stupidity. The reader leaving the comment said I’d probably have more readers if I didn’t start my columns with such a biased statement. That person might want to stop reading today’s entry right now.

Donald Trump is stupid. I don’t think it’s biased to believe he’s stupid. The man doesn’t know the difference between vocational schools and community colleges. He believes there are invisible airplanes. I’m still amazed people can support him, as being dumb is just a part of his collection of horrible traits. When you add corruption, treason, nepotism, lies, self-obsession, thin skin, immaturity, bad taste, and racism, the stupidity just compounds the danger our nation is in. And then, you have the illiteracy.

Donald Trump cannot read. OK, that’s not fair. He can read, but it’s at a third or fourth grade level. We decided to take the issues of national security, the economy, trade, Russia, North Korea, immigration, and hand it off to be solved by a guy who can’t read.

Sycophants support this. They support just about every dumb thing Trump does, and they make excuses for it, lie about it, or rejoice in it. Now, they can excuse, lie, or rejoice in the fact that many of them will be the hardest hit by Trump’s trade war with China.

In retaliation for Trump’s increased tariffs on that nation, China has imposed large sanctions on American products and agriculture. The bulk of these tariffs hit red Trump country. Trump has always complained that China’s leaders were smarter than ours. Well, they are now.

Trump is right that the disparity in trade between us and China is an issue, but he’s not the first politician to notice this. It can’t be dealt with as a challenge to his ego. He claims we’re not in a trade war, while he raises, tariffs, China retaliates by raising tariffs on us, and then he talks about raising them even more. Have you seen the stock market this week?

Trump’s policies are creating a trickle-down that’s going to trickle on all of us. But, it’s not going to be the good kind of trickle. It’ll be more like the kind Trump paid prostitutes for in a Moscow hotel room.

Nobody wins a trade war. Unfortunately, we have a president too stupid to understand that.

Here’s the video.

Please consider making a donation to keep the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. Reader contributions, small and large, really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and liberty while those in power are doing all they can to suppress it. You can also support by purchasing a signed print for $40.00. Just look at the right of this page and click the PayPal button, or you can email and make other arrangements. Thank you!

Teacher Walkout


cjones04082018

Teachers are getting fed up. In Oklahoma, they’re entering their fifth day of a walkout and packing the state capitol building to pressure lawmakers to increase funding for schools.

In Kentucky, teachers are protesting a change to their pension that eliminates the traditional pension and puts teachers into a hybrid cash-balance plan. They’re also upset over new limits on sick days they can put into their retirement. Kentucky just cut taxes for the richest one percent in the state while raising taxes on those who make less than $21,000 a year.

Oklahoma ranks 49th in teacher pay, with only Mississippi and South Dakota behind them. Notice these are all Republican-voting states. Many teachers in Oklahoma have second, and in some cases, three jobs. Some teachers have to rely on food banks to help feed themselves and their families. Many classrooms don’t have enough textbooks for the students, and many of those books are run-down and outdated.

Teachers in Oklahoma are upset over a repeal of a motel and hotel tax which eliminates $42 million in funding. Legislators are considering a bill that will tax third-party retailers selling through internet outlets like Amazon. They’re also considering a new gambling tax. Both measures can bring in $20 million each per year that can go toward education.

There were walkouts in West Virginia last month that led to a five percent pay raise. Teachers also protested in Arizona last week seeking an increase in their funding. Again, red states.

A lot of lawmakers don’t seem to understand that compensating teachers and education makes their state stronger. A strong education system, along with an educated workforce, attracts companies to your state. Paying teachers well attracts the best teachers and encourages students to pursue a career in education. Everyone wins when you properly fund education. Even if you don’t have kids, you benefit from a strong educated system in your state.

Yes, everyone benefits, except maybe Republicans. The higher educated a person becomes, the less likely they’ll be voting Republican.

Oh, look. A video.

Please consider making a donation to keep the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. Reader contributions, small and large, really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and liberty while those in power are doing all they can to suppress it. You can also support by purchasing a signed print for $40.00. Just look at the right of this page and click the PayPal button, or you can email and make other arrangements. Thank you!

Drain The Sewer


cjones04072018

While everyone, including myself, has spent the majority of the Trump era focused on Russia, the real danger for the orange stain on the presidency may be corruption. Make no mistake about it, the Trump administration is corrupt.

Donald Trump refuses to release his taxes, and we can only speculate based on the trails of Russian money and the popularity of his condos with money launderers, where the bulk of his income comes from. He also refuses to relinquish his businesses. Jimmy Carter sold his peanut farm when he sought the presidency in order to avoid the appearance of conflict. Trump is taking money from foreign hotel guests who visit Washington.

The fact is Trump is making money off the presidency. Foreign dignitaries make sure to stay at the Trump Hotel in Washington to curry favor with the administration. Trump rents office space to the Secret Service at his properties, forcing the federal government to pay to protect him. Every time he goes to Mar-a-Lago or another of his resorts, he makes money off employees of the government and foreign dignitaries who rent rooms, purchase meals, rent golf carts, etc. He hosted the leaders of Japan and China at his Florida digs so he could use the ruse of diplomacy to make a buck off his guests. He even charges the Secret Service rental fees for the golf carts they require to follow his chunky ass around on the course. I’m starting to think it’s not really about the golf.

Ivanka’s fashion business has won a lucrative trademark in China, rare for a U.S. Company. Her husband Jared, the most powerful man in the country who can’t obtain a security clearance, is using the White House to negotiate business loans for his debt-heavy NYC properties. He’s attempted to obtain bribes from Qatar, and when that failed our nation initiated a blockade on the Persian Gulf nation.

The precedent for the rest of the administration is set at the top, and slime slimes downhill. Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency has caught heat for his expensive travel and purchasing a secure phone booth in his office that cost $43,000. Pruitt also has an around-the-clock security detail that consists of nearly 30 people, which should finally stop the long history of assassination attempts on EPA chiefs.

One of Pruitt’s excuses for traveling on military and luxury flights, like Emirates which has those snooty Jennifer Aniston commercials, is because when he flies coach other passengers tell him he sucks.

When Pruitt goes home to Tulsa, which is quite often, he charges the government for him staying in his own house. Seriously. Now, it’s come to light that he’s had a sweetheart deal from a lobbyist to rent a Washington, D.C. condo at $50 a night, but just for the nights he stays there. Pruitt’s daughter was allowed to stay for free in the condo less than a block from the Capitol. I’m going to ask my landlord if I can deduct from my rent the nights I’m not home.

The condo is owned by a lobbyist’s wife. This lobbyist has hosted fundraisers for Pruitt in the past and represents companies that need approval from the EPA to poison the environment.┬áThe EPA approved Canadian energy company Enbridge’s plan to expand a pipeline carrying oil to the United States from Canadian tar sands.

Washington is an expensive place to rent. The average rental in the city is $113.00 a night and condos in the same building as the one Pruitt rented go for $5,000 a month.

Pruitt gave an interview to Fox News on Wednesday night. He probably figured it was as safe as a $43,000 phone booth to plead his case to an audience of one to keep his job. As it turns out, Fox’s Ed Henry was actually tough on him.

Pruitt claimed he had just found out about raises totaling over $84,000 that went to two of his friends in his agency, despite the White House declining to authorize the raises. Pruitt said he found out about the raises Tuesday, and he put a stop to it. No answer on who gave the buddies, who followed him from his job as Oklahoma’s attorney general, those big pay bumps.

Pruitt also challenged the host to go on Craigslist to discover his rental price for the condo was in line with D.C. rental prices. Is there an alternate Craigslist out there, because the one I looked at doesn’t list any condos a block from the Capitol for $50 a night? Maybe there’s a special lobbyists Craigslist for corruption. If you stay at a place in Washington for $50 a night, you better enjoy stab wounds.

Trump has been defending Pruitt and even called him to reassure his job was safe. But, a phone call or a promise from Trump can be the kiss of death, especially if he’s made up his mind.

Trump does like the job Pruitt is doing rolling back Obama-era environmental regulations. Plus, you know Trump doesn’t care about corruption. Pruitt may not make it through today, but that would only be because of public pressure.

Scott Pruitt is corrupt. He’s a thief and he’s stealing from us. He has to go. His boss is also stealing from us and he should go too.

The slime runs downhill.

Here’s the video.

Please consider making a donation to keep the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. Reader contributions, small and large, really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and liberty while those in power are doing all they can to suppress it. You can also support by purchasing a signed print for $40.00. Just look at the right of this page and click the PayPal button, or you can email and make other arrangements. Thank you!

Sullying The Office


cjones04062018

Donald Trump is stupid. An excellent example of this is his belief that submitting to an interview with Robert Mueller will clear his name and end the Russia Investigation. Stupid. Perhaps the only people dumber and more gullible than Trump are those who voted for him.

While it’s fun to make light of Trump’s stupidity when he tells us what uranium is, or that healthcare is hard, or about the history of China and Korea, or that nobody knows the difference between community colleges and vocational schools, it is actually dangerous to our nation. It’s especially dangerous when Trump deals with Putin.

Combine Trump’s stupidity with his man-crush for Vladimir Putin, and the next thing you know the Russian dictator will be sitting in the Oval Office with his feet on the Resolute Desk.

Trump claims he’s been tougher on Russia than Obama.

Trump refused to accept our intelligence agencies’ analysis that Russia tampered in our election. He took Putin’s word over the FBI and CIA’s. He’s worked to discredit our Justice Department while they look into his collusion with Russia.

Trump refused to enact sanctions against Russia, and when he finally did it was only because he was forced by our allies when they placed their own sanctions and expelled Russian diplomats after the poisoning in England of a former Russia spy.

Trump talked to Putin after the sanctions were placed, and he failed to mention those or the poisoning, but he did congratulate Putin on winning his sham election.

Shortly after assuming office, Trump had the Russian ambassador and foreign minister in the Oval Office, at the request of Putin. No American press was allowed, but the Russians were able to bring in their photographers and recording equipment. They even told Trump the photos wouldn’t be published. Stupid and gullible. Now, Putin is playing that for his own invite.

Usually, when we discover a new twist in the Trump/Putin relationship, we learn it from Russia. Once again, Russia has reported that Trump invited Putin to the Oval Office during the congratulatory phone call.

You can’t say you’re tough on Russia, place sanctions on them, then invite their leader over for a playdate.

What better photo-op for Putin than from inside the Oval Office? This will be a huge sign to his people, and the world, that he won the American presidency.

Is Trump dumb enough to let Putin sit at the Resolute Desk for a photo? Yes.

Here’s the video.

Please consider making a donation to keep the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. Reader contributions, small and large, really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and liberty while those in power are doing all they can to suppress it. You can also support by purchasing a signed print for $40.00. Just look at the right of this page and click the PayPal button, or you can email and make other arrangements. Thank you!

Ensnared By Sinclair


cjones04052018

I might be biting the hand that feeds me a bit with this cartoon.

Sinclair Broadcast Group made news a few months ago over the way it requires their stations to run opinion pieces in support of Donald Trump. Now, they’re under criticism for forcing their anchors to read scripted material.

Deadspin published a video which has gone viral that shows a collection of anchors across the nation reading the same script, like a bunch of pod people from Invasion of the Body Snatchers, or as one commentator put it, like hostages reading ransom demands.

Most people aren’t aware who owns their local TV stations. They know the faces and think of the anchors as locals reporting on issues in their community along with sports and the weather. Why, those anchors fight the same traffic we do. They’re just like us.

What most don’t realize is that their station is most likely owned by a corporate overlord that owns many other stations. The owners based in Baltimore, like Sinclair, don’t give a rat’s patootie about what’s going down in Madison, Wisconsin, except for the dollars they get out of that location.

Sinclair, which is very close to the Trump administration and orders their stations to run conservative commentaries by a goon who worked in the administration, sent a script for their anchors to read about media bias.

Donald Trump, who’s an avid fan of InfoWars, The National Enquirer, and sets his daily agenda on whatever lunacy is being upchucked by Fox and Friends, tweeted his support of Sinclair and their biased programming. I bet Trump couldn’t tell you what stations are owned by Sinclair. They own a lot of stations.

Sinclair owns 173 stations and they’re about to purchase 42 more. The majority of Americans who view local news will be watching it on a Sinclair-owned station.

It’s not just difficult to find a TV station that is in touch with its community. It’s becoming even rarer to find newspapers that are locally owned.

I search for new clients for my syndication every day. I am often told by editors that they’re not allowed to choose their content, and all decisions on syndication come from corporate. The newspaper overlords don’t care about content, and newspapers are decreasing in size and in local coverage.

Even liberal Warren Buffet’s newspaper company is gutting the newspapers they own. There is little interest from corporate newspaper chains, liberal or conservative, that cares about creating original features.

I know of a few cartoonists who are defending Sinclair, and the way they operate. The irony they don’t get is that they work for a newspaper chain and their jobs are in danger of being eliminated. I know of at least three, two who are very conservative, who are in trouble. But, hey. Keep defending the faceless machine.

It broke my heart to see my former employer, The Free Lance-Star, sold in bankruptcy liquidation after over 100 years of being family-owned. Shortly after that sale, the assets were sold piecemeal and the newspaper was sold again. In the span of a year, the paper went through three owners. Today, it’s a shell of its former self. I have very few friends and colleagues still there as most were either laid off, like myself, or escaped for greener pastures. Most are no longer in the newspaper business.

A lot of readers don’t even notice. Fredericksburg Today, a local news site, runs my cartoons and I’ve seen readers comment there that they’ll never read the newspaper again for running my work, despite the fact Fredericksburg Today doesn’t have anything to do with the newspaper. I don’t even work at FLS anymore and I’m still losing subscriptions for them.

Excellent journalism is still being done today. There are still great reporters at local stations and newspapers. The problem is the owners of the outlets care very little about quality.

Kathleen Parker once wrote that newspapers should hire interesting people and leave them alone. I’ve always liked that philosophy, but it’s rare to see it in practice. In an ideal world, the corporations would leave their outlets alone and let the local people make the decisions on how best to serve their communities.

A threat to journalism and information is a threat to freedom. Before long, the anchors won’t be the only ones sounding like hostages.

Here’s the video.

 

Please consider making a donation to keep the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. Reader contributions, small and large, really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and liberty while those in power are doing all they can to suppress it. You can also support by purchasing a signed print for $40.00. Just look at the right of this page and click the PayPal button, or you can email and make other arrangements. Thank you!