Clay Jones

Crocky Costa Rican Chompers


crsta06292018

For last week’s cartoon for The Costa Rica Star, we decided to take a short break from politics and get a little goofy.

Did you know there’s tourism dentistry in Costa Rica? A lot of people from the U.S. will combine their vacation with getting some dental work and save a few bucks. It might be a good idea, but you will want to research and read reviews to check out the type of dentist you’ve made a schedule with.

Check out this week’s cartoon for The Star, which I’ll post here next Sunday (if I remember).

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!

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Trump Baby


cjones07102018

 

For the first time in my life, I think I feel sorry for the Queen of England.

At some point between meeting Prime Minster Theresa May, Boris Johnson, listening to bagpipes, golf in Scotland, lots of executive time, and avoiding protesters, Donald Trump will meet Queen Elizabeth. God help the Queen.

It’s the protests that may be the most interesting. Over one million people signed a petition to ban Trump from visiting the United Kingdom. It worked for a while as Trump canceled a previously planned trip. He blamed the excessive cost of the American embassy and blamed Obama, despite the embassy being planned during the second Bush administration.

Street protests against America’s wannabe fascist are expected to draw over 100,000 people in London, which Trump plans to mostly avoid. The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who Trump has feuded with, says Trump is not welcome in his city. He’s even gone so far as to approve a permit for a giant Trump baby balloon to float above the Palace of Westminster.

Trump Baby is a cartoonish depiction of Trump as an infant (about the same age as migrant children he’s been throwing into baby prisons). The floating caricature looks angry, is wearing diapers, and holding a cell phone. Organizers set a fundraising goal of $20,000 for the Trump Baby, which they surpassed. Apparently, more people in London want to see Trump Baby than the real man baby.

Some people in the UK don’t like it. UKIP leader Nigel Farage said the plan was “the biggest insult to a sitting US President ever.” Maybe he’s not a history buff and is unaware of the time Britain literally burned down the White House.

Though Trump Baby has been approved by the mayor’s office, it still needs permits from the National Air Traffic Service and the Metropolitan Police.

According to people close to Trump who like to leak embarrassing details about their boss, he really hates being called or treated like a baby, which is really odd because he expects to be coddled everywhere he goes. He’s even planning some alone coddling time with Vladimir Putin during their summit in Finland next week. Maybe they can get a honeymoon suite at the Helsinki Hilton.

Since the organizers exceeded their fundraising goal, they plan to send Trump Baby on a world tour. The plan is to have the balloon haunt Trump wherever he goes. I think Tom Steyer, the impeach Trump guy, should spend his billions on funding Trump Baby’s journey. It’d be a more effective way of trolling Trump than those commercials, and funnier too.  Perhaps your city could float its own Trump Baby as a Trump deterrent.

It may also keep scarecrows out of your cornfields.

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!

Pruitt Gets Bounced


cjones07092018

One of the arguments in favor of the richest cabinet in American history is; they’re already rich, so we don’t have to worry about them fleecing us. That’s a horrible argument. Are they telling us that if they weren’t wealthy then they’d be dishonest, untrustworthy, and a gang of thieves? As it turns out, that’s what they are anyway. Maybe it’s how they got rich in the first place. I own five guitars, but I’d like to think that if I didn’t own any that I wouldn’t go out stealing guitars.

Last week, California representative Maxine Waters called upon the public to harass and get in the face of Trump’s cabinet members in public and tell them how the administration is destroying America. Immediately, Trump accused her of calling for violence against his team (which she wasn’t) and hinted that violence would happen to her. She was painted as the crazy face of the Democratic Party (they were ignoring their own Jim Jordan). Even a lot of Democrats distanced themselves from her. As it turns out, her strategy is working.

For months, everyone in Washington, even Republicans, have wondered out loud how in the hell EPA chief Scott Pruitt still has a job. There are at least 14 current investigations into the guy’s corruption. For a president who ran on “drain the swamp,” Pruitt was the very definition of Swamp Thing. Other cabinet members had been fired for less while Trump continued to lavish praise on Pruitt. And then, a video went viral of one mom confronting Pruitt in public and that’s all she wrote. Maxine is looking less crazy now.

Kristin Mink, a teacher in Washington, D.C. confronted Pruitt while he was having lunch in a D.C. restaurant. While holding her two-year-old son, Mink calmly said to Pruitt, “This is my son. He loves animals. He loves clean air. He loves clean water. Meanwhile, you’re slashing strong fuel standards for cars and trucks for the benefit of big corporations. We deserve to have somebody at the EPA who actually does protect our environment, somebody who believes in climate change and takes it seriously for the benefit of all of us, including our children. I would urge you to resign before your scandals push you out.”

Is it crazy to think that after months of intense investigative journalism and even an Oval Office campaign from Chief of Staff John Kelly to get rid of Pruitt, that one mom’s criticism of Pruitt is what did the job? Not at all. This is a president who works on optics. The rest of Trump’s cabinet may wanna start bagging their lunch and eating at their desk. I’m looking at you Betsy DeVos, Ryan Zinke, and Ben Carson. You never see Ivanka and Jared at Ben’s Chili Bowl.

Trump Baby’s Swamp Baby has been a very selfish, greedy, and petty little boy. The man seemingly engaged in one corrupt act after another to see how far he could push it and what he could get away with.

He is being investigated for travel, using first-class flights when it’s not necessary and viewing his office as a means to visit as many exotic locations as possible. He argued he couldn’t fly coach as people would tell him he sucked (which was true). He even traveled to pitch for corporations he was supposed to be regulating.

He rented a condo from a lobbyist at a sweetheart deal. As it turns out, despite the cheap rent in an expensive area of D.C., he was lousy at paying his rent.

He required round-the-clock security and even needed them on trips to the Rose Bowl and a trip to Disneyland. There were a lot of questions regarding how much of our money he was spending on his security. He spent $43,000 on a soundproof phone booth for his office. He paid a business partner of his top bodyguard $3,000 to sweep his office for listening devices.

He instructed staffers to help his wife get a six-figure job, a Chick-fil-A franchise, and to run out to expensive hotels to purchase him fancy schmancy hand lotion. He even had one attempt to buy him a used mattress from the Washington Trump Hotel. He’s also had them pay for his hotel rooms with their personal money and later refused to pay them back.

Over White House objections, he gave pay raises worth tens of thousands of dollars to two buddies he hired. Staff members who spoke up about Pruitt’s actions were harassed, punished, reassigned, or demoted.

On top of all this, he was using multiple email accounts. I do recall something during the campaign, and non-stop ever since, about “her emails.” It turns out, he was keeping a secret schedule from the public, scrubbing controversial events from his calendar. There are also multiple inquiries into violating lobbying laws.

Pruitt’s shenanigans ranged from the petty to the ridiculous. He was even asked to stop eating at the White House Mess so often. The biggest reason he kept his job for so long was that he was still doing the job exactly the way Trump wanted him to, other than the negative headlines.

In his resignation letter, Pruitt blamed “the unrelenting attacks” on himself and his family, which “have taken a sizable toll on all of us.” White Christian men are always the most victimized people in this nation. Can’t a guy buy a used mattress from his boss and expensive hand lotion from D.C. hotels without getting so much flack? The investigations won’t end with his resignation.

Pruitt had asked his security detail to use their sirens to run red lights, so he could get to expensive French restaurants quicker. Let’s hope he hits every red light on his way back to Oklahoma.

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!

SCOTUS Chicks


cjones07082018

Donald Trump plans to make his horrible selection for the Supreme Court either today or tomorrow. Because he takes the responsibility of a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the last about as seriously as he takes firing Gary Busey, he plans to make the announcement Monday during prime time.

Staunch conservatives are bickering over some of Trump’s candidates as they’re afraid one or two aren’t adequately terrifying. They don’t want Trump to make the mistakes of past presidential appointments where a justice becomes an independent thinker. They want a candidate who will overturn Roe v. Wade, rule in favor of big business every time, suppress minorities, and restrict voting rights as much as possible. Another interest for Trump will be a justice who will stand up for him in case any part of the Russia investigation lands before the court.

Trump says he hasn’t asked any of the candidates if they’ll ban abortion, but he’s probably asked each of them for their personal loyalty.

While there’s speculation he may appoint a woman, there’s no mystery if the nominee will be white.

We’re about to have a second justice placed on the Supreme Court by a guy who shouldn’t be allowed to pick his own nose. Whether it’s a man or a woman, this person will work with four other justices to set this nation as far backward as possible. We’ll be cleaning up after Donald Trump long after he’s left the Oval Office, but the court will be a reflection of Trumpism for decades to come.

Half of Trump’s judicial nominees have refused to say if they agree with the Supreme Court’s decision to end racial discrimination in public schools. Trump has also promised to get the 14th Amendment, guaranteeing birthright citizenship, “amended” out of the Constitution by his second term.

Republicans like to say they’re against activist judges except when they’re their activists judges. A Republican Senate will select any activist judge Trump sends them. Trump and the GOP stole his first selection from Obama and Democrats don’t have the numbers to stop his second.

This is why Republicans are subservient to Trump. They’ll tolerate and ignore his lies, accept hits on the economy from his trade war, turn a blind eye to bad deals with North Korea while he tears apart our alliances, and help him obstruct investigations into his debt to Vladimir Putin. Even if Trump destroys the Republican Party, they’ll pay the cost for owning the Supreme Court.

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!

Feliz Dia De La Independencia


cjones07072018

I find today very ironic and hypocritical. We celebrate a holiday that commemorates our freedom and Independence while our nation separates families, throws children in detention centers, and holds them hostage for the parents to choose between their legal rights to seek asylum or being reunited.

I’m a glass-is-a-little-less-than-half-empty kind of person. It’s really hard for me to feel optimism and pride in my nation while we engage in policies that will make future readers of history books shake their heads. While a majority of Americans believe the president of the United States is a racist and bases his policies on his racism, a large contingent still support him.

President Obama said with Trump’s presidency, “we’re about to find out just how resilient our institutions are, at home and around the world.” But, what if they’re not really that resilient? Our institutions lie within the people, but what if the people support a racist madman who cares more about crowd sizes, ratings, and who gets the most scoops of ice cream than he does about policy or people?

I have an inability to refrain from pointing out the negative while people celebrate the positive. Instead of joining with the shiny happy people, I tend to focus on the serious, like the Supreme Court influenced by Trump for decades, to his baby prisons, to the petty stuff, like I’m going to see someone put ketchup on a hot dog today. Turbulent times, indeed.

It’s probably why I’m not invited to a lot of holiday parties.

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!

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!

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!