Cartoons

Trump Punk’d


cjones07062018

If I was a sycophant and worshiped a leader, then at the very least that leader should possess a mind like a steel trap, and he wouldn’t be anyone’s fool. But then again, I’m not a sycophant because sycophants follow people like Donald Trump who can be bamboozled by a prank phone call perpetuated by a guy named Stuttering John.

Stuttering John is John Melendez, a comedian with a podcast. Last week, he prank-called the White House during his show. The White House is a very busy and important place receiving thousands of calls a day. Naturally, there is a system in place so the crazies never reach the president. Right? Wrong. It’s kinda hard to screen the crazies when there’s a crazy answering the phone.

Melendez posed as an assistant to New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez. Stuttering John ultimately received a call back from Donald Trump from Air Force One. They had a four-minute conversation over immigration reform, the Supreme Court vacancy, and the president congratulated, who he thought was Senator Menendez, on beating an ethics lawsuit. He probably wanted to know how he did it.

Somehow, the comedian’s initial call reached Trump’s son-in-law and wife of favorite offspring Ivanka, who then got Trump to call him back. Melendez told TMZ that if he could fool Jared Trump, then so could the Russians. He also said it was “unbelievable” how easy it was to deceive Donald Trump. “If this stuttering idiot can get through to Donald Trump that quickly, then who else could?”

That’s a very good question. How many people have randomly dialed the White House switchboard to get Trump on the phone to spill national security secrets? No wonder his lawyers don’t want him to talk to Robert Mueller.

Now, Stuttering John has to deal with the Secret Service, and he’s hired Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti to represent him. Basically, Stuttering John is in trouble because the president is a moron.

While the ease of fooling Trump may come as a surprise to the comedian, it’s already a well-known fact used diplomatically by Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, and Kim Jong Un.

Kim Jong Un used Trump’s stupidity to get a summit, appear on the same stage as an American president, and gain legitimacy. He also got Trump to end joint military exercises with South Korea and to consider withdrawing American Troops from the Korean peninsula in exchange for a piece of paper that states North Korea promises to think about making promises.

The document Kim signed with Trump states his nation will work toward the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. That would be like the wording on your car loan stating you intend to make payments.

Trump has declared that North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat while intelligence agencies report they’ve actually been expanding their weapons program. This can’t be true because that would mean Trump got played, and he’s not really smarter than everyone else or a great deal maker. What else would there be to believe in?

I used to think it was a shame the children of today can’t enjoy the silliness of prank phone calls, what with technology like caller ID. It never did occur to me to call the White House and ask Donald Trump if I can talk to I.P Freely.

Watch me draw.

Thank you for your support. Reader contributions really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and the First Amendment, and independent journalism 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!

Advertisements

Dribbling Discourse


cjones07052018

LeBron watch is over and King James is headed for Los Angeles. Of course, he’s not going to the Clippers.

LeBron James is a divisive figure, even though he’s never done anything bad other than win games, fail to win other games, and exercise his options in free agency. We could point at his politics, but hatred for him started before he even joined the NBA when he was a high school player and we didn’t know if he even had any political opinions. The guy even married his high school sweetheart and together they have three kids. What a horrible person.

James was popular in high school. So much so, that many of his high school games were moved to a college arena in his hometown of Akron, Ohio so it could seat more fans. ESPN2 broadcast one of his high school games, and Time Warner offered many of those games on pay-per-view. He was one of the most hyped high school prospects of all time. He was the first overall pick by his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2003 draft.

He was faulted for not winning a championship with Cleveland and in 2013; he chose to leave for the Miami Heat. ESPN aired a special for his announcement. Cleveland fans burned his jerseys. The owner of the Cavs published an open letter criticizing James for leaving. Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson both criticized him for not staying in Cleveland to win a championship as “The Guy,” as he’d be playing with two other superstars, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. “Taking my talents to South Beach” became a mocking phrase. James won two NBA championships with the Heat.

In 2014, all was forgiven in Cleveland as James rejoined the Cavaliers. The rest of the nation, not so much. His critics fumed when he succeeded and celebrated when he failed. He finally brought the NBA title to Cleveland, which was the first professional championship for that city in 52 years. Despite all the hype, James did not become the highest paid player in the league until 2016.

Now, it seems Magic Johnson has forgiven him as he helped sign him to the Lakers, the second most valuable team in the NBA. His contract is reportedly for $154 million, paid over a span of four years.

Over the past few years, James has taken an interest in causes and politics. He’s a huge contributor to charity, even using The Decision, the show that announced his selection of Miami, to raise $2.5 million for the Boys & Girls Club.
He’s taken on such issues as the war in Darfur, the Trayvon Martin Case, Donald Sterling’s racist comments, the Michael Brown verdict, and the death of Eric Garner. He’s donated and raised money for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns.

His home was vandalized with racist graffiti, to which conservatives gave a “womp womp” to. He criticized the racist march in Charlottesville. He said, “It’s sad what’s going on in Charlottesville. Is this the direction our country is heading? Make America Great Again huh?” He later called Donald Trump a “bum” for rescinding a White House invitation to Steph Curry. Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham said he should, “shut up and dribble.”

Yesterday, social media blew up over James’ decision to join the Lakers. Though I didn’t read any comments on his race, it seemed those who had the strongest negative opinions were white conservatives. I wonder why.

I don’t watch much basketball and to me, nobody will ever surpass Michael Jordan. But we’re a nation that debates sports and that’s something we should never become angry about. We’re all partisans. Which is what politics has become. We care less about policy and more about team branding. Donald Trump voters don’t even know what they stand for anymore.

I have never hated LeBron because he never gave me a reason. I have rooted for and against him. But I have always rooted against Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the team she plays for.

If I had a diner, I’d much rather serve LeBron James than Sanders. Is LeBron overpaid for dribbling a basketball? Probably. Is Sanders overpaid for dribbling lies? Most definitely.

Watch me draw.

Thank you for your support. Reader contributions really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and the First Amendment, and independent journalism 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!

Costa Rica Border Defense


crsta06222018

This cartoon was published June 22, 2018, in The Costa Rica Star.

There’s a huge crisis happening in Nicaragua, a nation that borders Costa Rica. There is not a civil war going on, but a civic uprising where the president’s goons have killed more people than the dictator has in Venezuela.

The protests started over increased taxes and decreased benefits in the public pension system, it’s expanded to grievances over the amount of time Daniel Ortega has and will occupy the presidency, in addition to his wife being vice president. Ortega was elected (again) in 2007 and the constitution was amended in 2014 which allowed him to run for a third term in 2016, which he won. His current term ends in 2022.

Sanctions have been placed on Venezuela but the world has been silent over what’s happening in Nicaragua.

I think if you’re fleeing Nicaragua and the dictator posing as a democratically-elected president, then you’re not going to want to cross into another country run by a wannabe dictator.

Watch me draw.

Touched By A President


cjones07042018

I looked up pictures of anatomically correct dolls that are used for victims of child abuse to identify where their attackers touched them. I immediately regretted it.

Can you think of anything more horrifying for a child to be put through after the experience of being abused? What probably comes close is being ripped apart from your family and your parents being forced to choose between you and being deported. Add to that, being forced to appear on your own in a court for a deportation proceeding.

According to attorneys in Washington, D.C., Texas, and California, the Trump administration is forcing children as young as three to do just that.

“We were representing a 3-year-old in court recently who had been separated from the parents. And the child — in the middle of the hearing — started climbing up on the table,” said Lindsay Toczylowski, executive director of Immigrant Defenders Law Center in Los Angeles. “It really highlighted the absurdity of what we’re doing with these kids.”

The director also said, “The parent might be the only one who knows why they fled from the home country, and the child is in a disadvantageous position to defend themselves.”

You may get the perception that with this cartoon I am accusing the president of the United States of America of child abuse.

That’s exactly what I’m doing.

Watch me draw.

Thank you for your support. Reader contributions really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and the First Amendment, and independent journalism 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!

The Accomplice


cjones07032018

Journalists are used to taking hits. Politicians left and right, have always argued and fought with news organizations. There were bumper stickers decades ago that read, “Annoy the media. Vote Republican.” The media even comes in with lower approval ratings than Congress. Most ordinary people have issues with their local newspapers, and you probably know at least one derogatory nickname for your hometown paper.

Republicans and conservatives have especially been harsh on the media over the years. They have always accused the press of having a liberal bias. While we argue against that, we’re used to it. We can take it and we do.

But Donald Trump has turned that criticism into something ugly, hostile, and outright dangerous.

Trump pines for approval from the press, specifically The New York Times. Failing to get that, he refers to them as the “Failing” New York Times. The other top newspaper in the nation is called The “Amazon” Washington Post. You can count the endorsements he received from daily newspapers on one hand and have fingers left.

He pointed out members of the media by name at his rallies, inspiring his sycophants to heckle and jeer reporters simply doing their jobs. Journalists like Katy Tur of MSNBC needed security to get out of the building to keep her safe from a crowd who was told by the candidate he would pay their legal bills if they assaulted anyone. His campaign manager did actually assault a reporter from Breitbart, and that’s an organization friendly to Trump.

A Republican candidate in Montana beat up a reporter from The Guardian. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has turned the White House podium in the press room into a position to insult reporters asking her questions.
Trump refers to news and facts as “fake news,” while he argues that the National Enquirer should have a Pulitzer Prize.

All this has built an atmosphere of animosity. There was a similar atmosphere built by Newt Gingrich and the GOP in 1995 against all things government when a domestic terrorist bombed a government building in Oklahoma City. It was the same feeling put out by Republicans and the Tea Party during Obama’s presidency when a Democratic Congresswoman was shot in the head in Arizona. Sarah Palin had put crosshairs on her congressional district.

The man who killed five at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland yesterday had a long-running feud with the newspaper long before Trump ran for president. But, he did this in an atmosphere where the president labels the media as the “enemy of the American people.” Surely, this shooter didn’t disagree with that. In fact, he made a post on Twitter with a veiled threat toward the Gazette for something they wrote about Trump. Surprise!

Today, Trump offers “thoughts and prayers” to the media, taking a break from his daily offering of lies and condemnations. As a member of the free press, I say no thank you.

Republicans and Trump sycophants will argue this shooter had no connection to Trump and that they only shared a hatred for the news and the people who report it. The man could have walked in wearing a MAGA hat, and they would still fail to see a connection. There’s a connection.

While Republicans are upset that they get heckled and kicked out of restaurants, other Americans are being killed.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters has encouraged people to harass members of Trump’s cabinet and make them aware of their disagreements. Trump has described her comments as encouraging people to assault Republicans. Trump also issued a veiled threat at her over the comments. In the past, he made comments encouraging gun owners to take out Hillary Clinton if she won the election.

If Waters’ comments that you should tell Republicans you disagree with them is a call for violence, then the man who calls reporters “horrible,” “dishonest,” and “the enemy,” is an accomplice to the shooter of the Capital Gazette.

Republicans have been on a tear attacking the media. You can find photos of people at Trump rallies with “lynch the media” shirts. Milo Yiannopoulos, a right-wing troll who was most excellent in Springtime for Hitler, “joked” that journalists should be shot right before journalists were shot. And, the leader of the free world, who should champion liberty and democracy, says the foundation to democracy is the enemy.

Despite all this, the press is doing some of the best work in our nation’s history. The Times, The Post, CNN, NBC, and many others are covering the assaults on our nation by this administration subservient to a Russian autocrat.

Friday morning, the Capital Gazette published a newspaper. Why? Because, that’s what they do. They report the news. Whether you, Trump sycophants or the Trump himself, hates that facts are being reported, they will continue to be reported.

It’s what we do. No gunman or enemy of a free press, who also happens to be president of the United States is capable of stopping us.

Watch me draw.

Thank you for your support. Reader contributions really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and the First Amendment, and independent journalism 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!

Erode Us With SCROTUS


cjones07022018

The stealing of a Supreme Court appointment from President Barack Obama should not have been allowed to happen, because Republicans are hypocrites and liars.

Within the first 24 hours after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he wouldn’t allow a confirmation process for any Obama appointment. He kept the seat open for more than a year on the argument that it was an election year and the people should decide the appointment with their vote. Never mind they had decided in 2012 by giving Obama another four years to fulfill the duties of the executive branch, one of which is appointing Supreme Court justices when there’s a vacancy. McConnell’s job, as a United States Senator, is to advise and consent. He didn’t even hold a hearing.

Yesterday, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement and within hours McConnell said the Senate will vote on Trump’s next nominee this fall. But, it’s an election year with only four months left before Election Day, which is much less time than the vacancy Scalia left and McConnell held open.

If you’re like me, you probably thought we had a new rule that we don’t hold hearings and confirmation votes on new justices during election years. Isn’t that hypocrisy? Yes, it is. Do Republicans care? They do not. Have they explained the hypocrisy? Of course not. They haven’t even tried. Yesterday, McConnell said, “It’s imperative that the president’s nominee be treated fairly.” I hope Obama and Merrick Garland, his nominee, weren’t trying to swallow any fluids when they heard that.

McConnell didn’t just stop at creating a new rule for not holding hearings and a vote. When it came time to finally hold a vote, he changed the rules so there couldn’t be a filibuster and lowered the bar from 60 votes to 50 for a confirmation. Trump’s nominee Neil Gorsuch has asterisks all over him. Democrat’s can’t stop it. They don’t have the votes and they can’t filibuster. The best they can do is appeal to the Republicans’ consciences. I hope you were trying to swallow any fluids when you read that.

Now, Donald Trump, a man who shouldn’t be allowed to make selections off the menu at McDonald’s is going to have at least two picks for the Supreme Court. The first pick wasn’t his as it belonged to Obama. This second pick, it probably shouldn’t be his either since his victory was boosted by Russian interference. If anything, this pick for Kennedy’s replacement is Vladimir Putin’s pick. Maybe that’s what Trump will talk to him about at their upcoming summit.

This is extremely bad for America. Kennedy was a swing vote, who is a conservative but independent enough to side with liberals on issues like abortion and gay marriage. There have been several votes that went 5-4 with Kennedy being the deciding vote. He sided with putting Bush in office, stripping campaign finance limits, crippling unions, and keeping Trump’s Muslim ban. Trump’s choice will not be an independent thinker. We’re going to go from a usual 5-4 to a definite 5-4 on votes that strip liberty and freedom.

There is no telling what sort of maniac Trump will nominate. He has talked about nominating Fox News commentator Jeanine Pirro. Don Jr. said selecting her would be “pretty awesome.” She meets all of Trump’s requirements. She’s a sycophant, on TV, a raving lunatic, not really bright, and least important to Trump, is a former judge.

There may be a blue wave in November, but Republicans are winning. Granted, they have to cheat, but they’re winning. They will take a victory any way they can get it. Hypocrisy? Sure. Russian meddling? You bet. Lying? Get out of here.

During the presidential campaign, Trump said women who get abortions should be punished. After this appointment, they probably will be. In fact, we’ll all be punished.

Watch me draw.

Thank you for your support. Reader contributions really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and the First Amendment, and independent journalism 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!

History With SCOTUS


cjones07012018

We’ve been so consumed with Donald Trump’s racism toward Hispanics that we almost forgot his hatred toward Muslims.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court, in another infamous 5-4 ruling, gave a victory to Trump’s travel ban on people from specific Muslim nations. In doing so, they chose to ignore Trump’s own words about banning Muslims.

During his presidential campaign, Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” He didn’t call for a ban on specific nations or groups. It was directed at all Muslims. He called for a nationwide surveillance of mosques in the United States. He said we needed a national Muslim registry, and that he thinks “Islam hates us.”

That rhetoric was a factor in Trump’s ban being struck down in lower courts. So his legal team reworded it only for to be struck down again. The third attempt was also struck down but made its way to the Supreme Court who upheld it. Would the highest court have upheld either of the first two versions? If not, did they believe Trump’s hateful intention changed with the legal wording or by adding two non-Muslim nations to the list (one of which, North Korea, where no one ever travels to the U.S.).

While upholding Trump’s ban on Muslims, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the court now officially rejects the court’s 1944 decision upholding the internment of Japanese Americans.

In 1942, the United States government, in a grip of fear, racism, and paranoia, ordered the incarceration of 110,000-120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, 62% of who was American citizens. The U.S. did not order the incarceration of Germans or Italians, white Europeans. The only ones we didn’t trust were those of Japanese descent.

Fred Korematsu refused to go. He was born in Oakland, which is not in Honshu, Kyushu, Hokkaido, or Shikoku. He left his job at his family’s flower nursery to become a welder to contribute to the war effort, as the Army had rejected him. Korematsu never broke a law that would send him to jail or a prison camp, but the Supreme Court, on a 6-3 decision, said he had to go. Years later, it was discovered the government argued their case with lies.

Most Americans consider the internment of our fellow citizens as one of the ugliest acts in our nation’s history. At the time, it had broad support. There were editorials in favor of incarcerating innocent civilians and American citizens in The Atlanta Constitution, the Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post. The American Civil Liberties Union argued against the local branch of its organization’s fight for Korematsu’s case. For good measure, check out this Dr. Seuss cartoon, which he professed shame for years later.

John Roberts wrote, “Korematsu was gravely wrong the day it was decided, has been overruled in the court of history, and — to be clear — ‘has no place in law under the Constitution.’ ”

I read a comment a few days ago which went something like, “If you ever wondered what you would have done during Slavery, the Holocaust, Civil Rights Movement…you’re doing it right now.”

The Supreme Court, and so many others are doing it right now. What are you doing?

Watch me draw.

Thank you for your support. Reader contributions really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and the First Amendment, and independent journalism 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!