Ben Carson

Paging Dr. Double Stuf


cjones05252019

Seriously. Ben Carson is on the president of the United States’ cabinet. I mean, we all knew his presidential run was a joke…but couldn’t it have stopped there? Of course not because Donald Trump’s campaign and presidency are as much of a joke and one of the proofs of that is the fact Ben Freaking Carson is on his cabinet.

It’s a huge mystery how someone like Ben Carson is a brain surgeon because when you hear the guy talk, you would rather have Charlie Sheen cracking open your head and poking around with a scalpel than Dr. Carson. But from all accounts, he’s a brilliant brain surgeon, which means he’s either the rain man of brain surgery or he got so confident in his ability, that he performed brain surgery on himself.

When not spending his time as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development ordering expensive furniture and an $8,000 dishwasher for his office…yes, a dishwasher…Carson is busy not familiarizing himself with the duties of the HUD director. This was fully evident during his congressional testimony Tuesday before the House Financial Services Committee.

When questioned about the implications of HUD’s proposed budget cuts by Representative Ayanna Pressley, Carson refused to answer. He even got frustrated that Pressley was asking questions from notes and said, “ask me some questions yourself and stop reading.” As you know, Trump cultists are very suspicious of people who read.

When a witness is being difficult and stalling for time, a representative will often “reclaim” their time, as each is only given a few minutes. At one point during the exchange, Carson said he was “reclaiming my time.” What time was Carson reclaiming? Witnesses don’t reclaim time because they don’t have time to reclaim. It’s small wonder he didn’t ask for a lifeline to call a friend. From the portrait in his home that was broadcast through social media, that friend would have been Jesus.

But, the most mind-boggling and disturbing exchange occurred with Representative Katie Porter when she was asking him about foreclosed real estate properties.

Porter asked Carson to explain the disparity in REO rates. As Carson looked confused, well more confused than usual, Porter asked him if he knew what an “REO” was. Carson responded with, “An Oreo?” Yes, Dr. Carson. Because Congress wants you to stand before a committee and talk about cookies.

Porter informed him that an “REO” is an acronym for “Real Estate Owned.” It’s not a cookie or a crappy rock band from the 1980s that specialized in sentimental cheesy pop (Best or worst lyric in rock and roll history, “you laid still in the grass all coiled up and hissing”).

Carson offered to get Porter in touch with “people who do that” (deal with foreclosed properties) at HUD, oblivious to the fact that Porter, before she ran for Congress, was California’s independent monitor of banks in a nationwide $25 billion mortgage settlement.

Carson later tweeted that he was sending some Oreo cookies to Porter, which she confirmed she had received. As to any answers she had requested, those were still in limbo.

Donald Trump proved he doesn’t take the job of president seriously by putting someone like Ben Carson on his cabinet. Granted, Carson is just one of several unqualified and corrupt people on the president’s cabinet, but he’s probably the dumbest.

Granted, you and I probably wouldn’t have known what an “REO” was, but we’re not the HUD director. I’m also pretty sure we wouldn’t have thought it was a cookie.

As for Carson and his Oreos, I do hope he has supervision if he’s dunking in milk. We don’t want him to make a mess or hurt himself.

Be Complicit

What kind of person would want to be part of something that disparages, slanders, and disrespects Dear Leader and his sycophantic followers? Hopefully, you. 
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Ben’s Big Box


cjones05032018

When Shaun Donovan was Obama’s Secretary for Housing and Urban Development, he abandoned the idea of replacing office furniture in his department after learning the price exceeded authorization. Purchases above $5,000 need Congressional approval. He eventually made some upgrades and paid for it out of his own pocket. This was before Trump’s cabinet made corruption the new normal.

Ben Carson took another route. He ignored the law and spent $31,000 on a dining room set for his office. He claimed the furniture was dilapidated and dangerous. He even said some furniture had nails sticking out.

Later, Carson claimed he canceled the order after he discovered the price. Since Carson is a Republican, he was lying.

Emails between Carson’s wife, Candy, and subordinates show they weren’t just aware of the price, but were involved in selecting the furniture. Carson’s staff priced the furniture at $24,666 and spent another $7,000 on who-knows-what.

Later, Carson asked for more money for office portraits of former HUD secretaries and of himself at a cost of $25,000 per portrait. Maybe he can loan out the Buddy Christ portrait hanging in his house.

The good news is they’re buckling down on HUD’s budget. No, they’re not going to exercise thriftiness over where Ben and Candy plant their butts. Carson has proposed tripling the rent for low-income families on government assistance. He also wants to make it easier for housing authorities to raise work requirements. This will be tacked on to Trump’s executive order directing federal agencies to expand work requirements for low-income Americans receiving Medicaid, food stamps, public housing benefits and welfare.

House Republicans also made an increase to work requirements for people receiving welfare as part of their farm bill. The administration has also started allowing states to increase work requirements on residents enrolled for Medicaid.

It’s an asshole agenda.

Carson wants to raise rent for tenants on subsidized housing to 35% of their income. Carson also wants to kill the rules allowing deductions for medical and child-care costs when determining rent. Did I mention it’s an asshole agenda?

This will make you feel better; Sean Hannity, the Fox host who defends, advises, and dines with Trump while giving him policy advice while sharing a crooked lawyer/fixer, bought millions in real estate with mortgages insured by HUD. The properties were bought through 20 shell companies (so he could keep his identity a secret). Basically, Hannity is a welfare queen.

The Trump administration and Republicans gifted the richest one percent a huge tax break. Trump’s children received a huge tax break and relief in the money they’ll inherit from Daddy, and your kids are going to pay for it as it’s increasing the budget deficit by nearly two trillion dollars.

Tax cuts for the rich and corporations, cabinet officials’ swanky travel, Trump’s weekly golf retreats, and snooty office furniture for Ben is just fine as long as people working minimum wage jobs are here to pay for it. The only person receiving welfare who won’t pay for it is Sean Hannity.

They should keep Ben’s old furniture with the nails sticking out. I’d like to tell these Republicans to sit on it.

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Ben, Stop Talking


cjones03082017

When Ben Carson said slaves brought to America from Africa were immigrants I was shocked. I thought to myself “how is it Trump didn’t name him Secretary of Education?”

Carson, who once claimed the Egyptian pyramids were built for storing grain (which were also built by “immigrants) actually said slaves were immigrants with dreams for their children and grandchildren. You wouldn’t think the one member of Trump’s cabinet who needed a course in African-American history the most would be the only African-American among his appointees.

Trump promised us the best people yet he’s given us Ben Carson to head Housing and Urban Development despite Ben himself saying he wasn’t qualified to lead a department. His biggest qualification for the job was that he’s lived in a city.

Trump’s also given us a Secretary of Education who doesn’t know anything about education and never supported public schools in her life. Where Obama appointed a nuclear physicist to the Energy department, and before that a Nobel Prize winner, Trump has given us a contestant from Dancing With The Stars who once couldn’t name the department. We have an Attorney General who doesn’t believe in civil rights, a head of EPA who’s sued the department, and a Secretary of State who’s received awards from Vladimir Putin. On top of all that I suspect the only reason he appointed Linda McMahon to head Small Business is just so he can find out if professional wrestling is real or not.

I made a tweet yesterday (not at 3:00 AM) that slaves were immigrants about as much as zoo animals are hotel guests. Samuel L. Jackson also sent out a tweet regarding Carson’s comment which might have summed it up best for everyone.

Meanwhile the TSA has implemented a new pat-down procedure that is very similar to how Trump once described on a bus how he likes to greet women. It’s a grabby technique.

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Nyet Nyet. Nyet?


cjones01132017

Several weeks ago I had an idea where Trump was asked about his connections to Russia and his response was “nyet.” It wasn’t a good idea and I knew other cartoonists would take similar shots with it. I’ve seen at least three “nyet” cartoons since then. After watching Rex Tillerson’s confirmation hearing it kinda came back to me and I decided to take the obvious idea and put a twist on it.

Rex Tillerson should not be Secretary of State. Marco Rubio has expressed dissatisfaction with the guy’s answers and he may vote against him if he can man up and defy Trump and his supporters. It might be the first good thing Rubio does as a United States senator.

Tillerson is a liar. He claimed he never lobbied against sanctions on Russia. He has. His company has. He’s made phone calls to senators and during his hearing he lied to their face that he had ever done so. He’s also claimed he and Trump haven’t even discussed Russia. If they didn’t talk about Russia then what did they talk about?  Whether they were boob men or butt men? When it comes to wheeling and dealing on a corporation’s behalf and making gobs of money no matter how unethically, Tillerson’s your man. When it comes to diplomacy for a government he’s as clueless as Doctor Dumbass Ben Carson.

Jeff Sessions is not clueless. He may not be a racist either, but he’s exhibited many times in the past that he doesn’t care about race relations, equal rights, or civil rights. He can’t be trusted to pursue the bad guys if the bad guys have oppressed blacks, gays, women, Muslims, Mexicans, basically anyone who is not white. I take it back. He’s racist. He’s also another liar taking credit for desegregation cases he didn’t have anything to do with. He’s also the first senator who supported Trump’s candidacy and that really makes the guy’s judgement and priorities questionable.

Ben Carson shouldn’t be confirmed just because he’s Ben Carson. His only accomplishment during the hearings in that he remained awake through them. He’s already admitted he shouldn’t be running a government agency. On Thursday he couldn’t guarantee Senator Elizabeth Warren that he wouldn’t use the department to put money in the Trump family’s pocket. Watching him in a verbal exchange with Warren was surreal. On one end you have a profound intellectual and on the other…well, Dr. Dumbass. We haven’t seen a disparity like that since the presidential debates.

What really gets me about these nominees is that so many are disagreeing with Trump. They say they consider Russia a threat and they did hack the election. They’re against the wall. They’re against a Muslim ban. They’re against torture. Serious question time: Why the hell do you want to work for Donald Trump?

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Republican Road Rage


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I hate the Clown Car analogy that’s been tossed around to describe the Republican candidates for president. It’s not that I disagree with the description. It’s that it’s a lazy analogy and not creative at all. If Chris Matthews uses it then you shouldn’t (and it’s an analogy he repeats every day). So I may be the only American editorial cartoonist (who’s not a conservative hacker) who has not used that analogy. But after seeing the last Republican debate (I didn’t watch all of it, just the hightlights), it did remind me of family road trips from Hell.

Sorry if this brings up bad memories. I was raised the youngest and had an older brother and sister so I probably can’t complain about them being the pain in the butt…it was me. I also have a younger sister and brother but I wasn’t raised with them. Long story.

I never intended to insert Kasich into this cartoon. As I was lettering the text I thought how funny it would be if he was left at a rest stop (probably in Ohio). There’s always that kid without any charisma that you forget, sometimes because the other kids are competing for attention. At the debate before the New Hampshire primary Kasich was forgotten. It took Chris Christie to remind the moderators that they forgot to introduce Governor Blah.

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Cruzin’ Over Carson


cjones02072016On Monday before the Iowa caucuses got rolling, Ben Carson decided to go home to get fresh clothes. What? Several questions before I get to the part where Ted Cruz is a total sleaze bag.

Why do you fly half way across the country for clothes? Why didn’t he pack enough clothes? Why can’t he do laundry in Iowa? Why can’t he buy new clothes in Iowa? Why can’t someone send him clothes? Do we need to have a clothes drive for Dr. Sleepy as if his house burned down, which celebrities did once for Tom Petty? Maybe Stevie Nicks has something in Ben’s size.

OK, now let’s bash Cruz.

CNN reported that Carson was taking a break from the campaign. In the first tweets from CNN political reporter Chris Moody, he reported that Carson was going home to Florida but he would stay in the race no matter what the Iowa results were.

After that Jake Tapper, Dana Bash, and Wolf Blitzer reported the Carson story and stated it was very unusual. It’s more unusual than the name “Wolf Blitzer.” But they never said he was suspending his campaign. Check it out at Politifact.

At 6:53 PM a Carson spokesperson tweeted that Carson “will be going back to Florida to get fresh clothes b4 heading back out on the campaign trail. Not standing down.” Three minutes later….three minutes, The Cruz campaign sends an email telling supporters, “The press is reporting that Dr. Ben Carson is taking time off from the campaign trail after Iowa and making a big announcement.”

Seven minutes later, the Cruz campaign app (they have an app?) sent a message to supporters that Carson “will stop campaigning after Iowa.” Then Cruz endorser Representative Steve King tweeted that Carson was suspending his campaign. The message on the campaign app told supporters to tell Carson supporters not to waste their vote, and vote for Cruz. And why not? If they want a gay bashing, immigrant hating, Theocracy slug unqualified for the presidency, well you can’t go wrong with Cruz.

Later, Cruz apologized but what happens so often when you lie you end up telling another lie to cover for the lie. Ted Cruz blamed CNN. He says they reported that Carson was suspending his campaign. Either Cruz is a bald-face liar or he lacks the ability to comprehend. Probably both.

It came up again at Saturday night’s debate, after Carson finally made it to the stage. He stopped during his introduction and loitered in the hallway. I thought maybe he fell asleep. That would make me suspect Cruz slipped him a roofie.

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Idiocracy


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The 2006 film Idiocracy is about a future where mankind dumbs down. Society consists of nothing but stupid people. A man from our present is put into a deep sleep and wakes up in this future and he’s persecuted for being smart. Does that sound familiar? Not the waking up in the future part, but the part of being ridiculed for being intelligent.

In this fictional future quantity is placed above quality. Carl’s Jr sells Extra Big Ass Fries and Extra Big Ass Tacos. Entertainment includes an Oscar winning movie titled “Ass”, and that’s all it is. One ass.  The top television show features nothing but hits to the groin (Have you ever seen TruTV? They have shows that revolve around people injuring themselves). People get degrees at Costco (Trump University, anyone?).

Science is disregarded for commerce. A Gator Aid like drink is used to water crops and the government wonders why nothing is growing. Cities suffer massive landslides of garbage.

The film is set hundreds of years in the future but it seems we’re not that far off. We have elected officials that ignore science, even when nearly every scientist in the world tells them Climate Change is a problem. They watch cities and even nations (the Marshall Islands are disappearing) get ravaged by climate and they believe it doesn’t exist because it snows in Buffalo in January. The chairman of the Senate committee of Environment and Public Works is throwing snowballs on the Senate floor. In the movie they don’t want to put water on crops because water is what’s in the toilet.

Republicans refute Bill Nye the Science Guy because his title rhymes with his name and he wears a funny tie. They hate scientist Neil DeGrasse Tyson because he puts science over religion and they consider him a geek. In the film they say of the smart guy “he talks like a fag”.

The one area the future in this film doesn’t exhibit is mass racism, which is something today’s Republican party is inviting.

Today we have candidates who lie, and after being caught, defend the lie and their supporters still believe them. They pander to xenophobia and racists and then wonder why their party is full of so much hatred. The top candidates for the GOP nomination has zero to very little public office experience. The top candidate in the polls is running on a platform of replacing Obamacare with “something better.” Voters who don’t like Obama because he’s an elitist with a high opinion of himself love Donald Trump. People believe the answer to gun violence is more guns, which would be like fighting cancer by introducing more cancer. A town in North Carolina has rejected a solar farm because they believe it will “suck up all the sun’s energy.”

I don’t believe the Republican party is stupid. Not all of it anyway. I don’t think all of the candidates are unintelligent. But they are definitely selling policies to those who are. Fear, hate, and dumb solutions are top sellers. They are all in a contest for the stupid vote.

Maybe this cartoon is stupid. If so, it should be a big hit.

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, and dog food. The starving cartoonist and his Beagle appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!