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Shkreli Slimes Through Congress


cjones02052016

On Thursday, Martin Shkreli, the pharma bro who jacked up the price of a potentially life-saving drug percent, testified before the Congressional House Oversight Committee.

Before doing so Shkreli boasted “I would love to talk to Congress. I would berate them. I would insult them.” Shkreli got his change and totally clammed up.

For each question, other than how to pronounce his name, he pleaded the fifth. He wouldn’t even answer a question about his purchasing the only copy of the infamous Wu Tang Clan album.

Chairman Jason Chafettz and fellow Republican Trey Gowdy usually have little agreement with the leading Democrat on the committee, Elijah Cummings, but they all seemed to share a distaste for the most hated man in America as he smirked at them.

And smirked away he did. Cummings pleaded with him to “to use any remaining influence you have over your former company to press them to lower the prices of these drugs.” Shkreli continued to smirk, looking away, as if he couldn’t care less about scalping the terminally ill. And he doesn’t.

This guy might possibly make Ted Cruz appear cuddly. OK. He’s not that slimy, but close.

Shkreli is under investigation for securities fraud unrelated to the price-gouging. Maybe in the future he’ll face karma, whether he decides to talk or not.

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A Climate To Talk About Climate


cjones12272015

I really enjoyed not wearing a jacket in Northern Virginia on Christmas day. It was nice but I know we’ll pay for it down the road…or the next generation will.

I dedicate this cartoon to all my conservative cartooning colleagues who love to draw anti-Climate Change cartoons every time it snows in Buffalo in January. I feel bad for them as they have to wait longer this year to draw their traditional “it’s cold so Global Warming doesn’t exist” cartoons. How many more Hillary email server cartoons came they come up with until then?

I hope everyone enjoyed Christmas but I am really glad it’s over. No more Christmas music or whining about people saying “happy holidays.” In less than a week 2016 will be here, and it feels like 2015 was just getting started. Now things will heat up. The presidential campaign will get more heated and more ridiculous. Obama will spend his last year trying to prove he’s not a lame duck. The NFL playoffs are about to start. There may be a two or three ethnic groups Donald Trump hasn’t insulted yet (look out, Eskimos!). Plus, January is a busy time for cartoonists as we have to put contest submissions together which is a huge distracting chore. I will probably start finding my groove in February.

I had difficulty staying away from my drawing board for three days, so you got this on a Saturday night.

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!!!

Operation Racial Slur


cjones11122015

Is the inclusion of a racial slur in this cartoon offensive? Well it’s not as offensive as the United States government.

In the 1940’s the U.S. government deported Mexican immigrants in a program officially titled “Operation Wetback.” Mexico was a huge part of it.

During World War II the U.S. suffered from a labor shortage. Rosie The Riveter couldn’t compensate for the entire workforce. So in an arrangement with the United States Mexico sent workers to the U.S. in what was called the “Bracero Program” which allowed 4.6 million Mexicans to enter the U.S. legally (many still entered illegally as there were hefty fees involved). It was their contribution to the Allied effort to defeat the Axis and it helped Mexico not put any fighters or money into the effort. A few years after the war Mexico wanted those workers back, we wanted them gone, and a lot of them didn’t want to go. Thus the inspiration for Operation Wetback.

The program was initiated in President Eisenhower’s administration and it was a huge disaster. After being deported many immigrants just walked back. The Border Patrol started shaving immigrants’ heads before deportation so they’d know if they were repeat offenders.

It was a disaster. Estimates put the number of deportations at 250,000. Many immigrants were beaten and abused. Many were simply dropped into a desert, without food or water, and without knowing where they were or how to get home (imagine being from the U.S. East Coast and being dropped off in the Nevada Desert. Good luck getting home). One incident resulted in 88 immigrants’ death from heat stroke after being dropped off in the desert. A Mexican labor leader reported that Braceros were brought into Mexico like cows on trucks and unloaded fifteen miles down the highway from the border, in the desert. Others were deported on ships where a congressional investigation compared the conditions on the ships to that of an “eighteenth century slave ship.

During the fourth Republican debate Donald trump expressed he wants to emulate the program. Trump said Eisenhower “moved immigrants just beyond the border; they came back. Moved them again beyond the border; they came back. Didn’t like it. Moved them way south; they never came back. Dwight Eisenhower. You don’t get nicer, you don’t get friendlier.”

Trump’s inspiration is one of America’s greatest sins that’s comparable to the government’s internment of Japanese Americans, which a lot of people still say was the right thing to do.

This is where the blog gets long so I don’t blame you if you quit reading here…or start here. I don’t care.

I took a lot from the debate from Trump saying Americans are paid too much, Rubio saying Welders make more than philosophers, Carson’s claim that every time the minimum wage is increased that we lose jobs (and every candidate opposing a minimum wage increase). Dr. Carson, where I come from that’s called a lie.

Carly Fiorina jabbed at Trump, saying she too has met Vladimir Putin except it wasn’t in a green room. Actually it was in a green room. She also has some really dumb ideas to deal with Putin like putting missiles in Poland, conducting military exercises in the Balkans, and increasing our troops strength in Germany (like a few thousand more will make an impression), and never ever ever returning his phone calls. What’s scariest though is she wants to shoot down Russian jets. She said no one should tell America when and where it can fly, but thinks the U.S. can tell others when and where to fly. Fiorina also asked at one point “Can I say something as a chief executive who’s saved jobs and created jobs?” No. She can’t.

Marco Rubio really wants to go to war. First thing, Marco, we’re not in danger of being defeated by ISIS. In fact, ISIS is not a major threat to the United States. I know many people believe that’s a bold statement but I’m dealing with reality. He also wants to rebuild the military which makes me wonder what’s wrong with it now? We have the world’s strongest and largest military. We spend more than the next ten countries combined (Rand Paul pointed that out and it’s true). I really don’t want this 44-year-old guy who’s never served sending our people overseas into a war zone because he’s played Call Of Duty too many times. It also shows he really doesn’t care about spending. When Rand Paul questioned Rubio’s conservatism over his willingness to spend on wars, Rubio answered with “Murica!!!”. Pretty much.

Other takes are: Jeb Bush didn’t hurt himself this time. He didn’t help himself either but at least he didn’t set up a Rubio mic drop. Unfortunately, he wasn’t asked any questions about what babies he’d like to kill, other than Baby Hitler, while time traveling.

Ben Carson was difficult to comprehend and reminded me of the aliens in The Simpson’s running for president when one said “we must move forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!” His policy on Syria, for example, was to make the Jihadists “look like losers” and “we’ll win.” I think he should get a “gotcha” question and be asked to locate Syria on a map, or the Middle East, or his ass. He claims his plan will work because he’s talked to generals. I wonder if it’s the same general who offered him a scholarship at West Point.

Bobby Jindal really thinks he’s been good for Louisiana. Huckabee is scary. Ted Cruz is scarier and really creepy and for Republicans that’s a really good thing. The guy, along with Jindal and Huckabee, is fresh returned from a I-Hate-Gays rally, hosted by a pastor who’s advocated the merely “politically-incorrect” stance that we should copy Uganda’s kill-gay-people policy. Cruz is that guy waiting for the girl to get her heart broken by the good looking guy (which compared to Cruz could be anyone) and cry on his shoulder while realizing she should just settle for Cruz. And he’ll never cheat on her with Kim Davis…probably. He’ll also eliminate the Commerce Department twice.

Most pundits believe Rubio and Cruz won the debate. Has anyone but me noticed Rubio gives a stern, stubborn, serious look with each answer and talks down condescendingly as if he’s the only one who loves America? Just me? OK then, am I the only one wonder how much product is in his hair?

John Kasich gave another great audition for the V.P. slot.

Rand Paul was actually honest and said a few things the red meat craving audience didn’t like. He opposed senseless wars and a bloated defense budget. He’s totally screwed.

Obvious my biggest takeaway was Trump’s enthusiasm for hating Mexicans. He should look into that.

Blazing Paranoia


cjones11052015

Earlier this week a fan on social media shared one of my cartoons and said it was “Monty Pythonesque.” That’s high praise.  Today I decided to steal from Mel Brooks’ movie Blazing Saddles. A true classic.

Obama wants to reform the judicial system. He’s not the only one. A lot of Republicans want to also, though they might want to go about it differently.

The president has ordered the release of 6,000 non-violent prisoners convicted of drug charges. Releasing 6,000 will not make much of a dent in our prison population. And despite the fears of a lot of conservatives like Bill O’Reilly, it’s not a threat to society.

The United States has the largest prison population in the world. Many of those are non-violent drug users. This is insane. Rehabilitation for many of these prisoners would be a lot more cost effective, and better suited for prisoners and society, than sitting in a cell.

We do need to reform our judicial system. There are three parts I believe in.

We need to legalize marijuana. It’s no more of a threat than alcohol and it’s not a gateway drug or something that kills people or ruin lives.

We need to end mandatory sentencing. Judging should be left to judges, not legislators.

We need to end private prisons. No one should be making a profit in punishing people. What’s next? For profit executions?

Back to this prisoner release: Some of them will end up back in prison. You can’t have a group of 6,000 of group without someone getting in trouble. It’s going to happen and then look for the likes of Bill O’Reilly to paint it as a Willie Horton situation.

O’Reilly played the race card. He says there’s a racial component for Obama to release these prisoners. On a recent show of his he said this is driven by race with Barack Obama. I know it is. I know it’s race: The cops are huntin’ down inner-city black dealers. They don’t care about the white collar dealers. That’s what’s motivating this.

This is why everyone who watches Fox News is angry. They need to stop scaring old white people like that.

Here’s a couple of roughs I played around with before I settled on my final idea.

WP_20151103_001 WP_20151104_001

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Support For Unqualified Candidates


cjones10292015

For months Donald Trump has been running around bragging about polls. He loved them. In fact it was all he talked when he wasn’t insulting somebody, and sometimes he incorporated them into his insults.

Now he thinks there’s something wrong with them. Ben Carson is on top of Trump in Iowa…and while Trump was recovering from that information it was revealed that Carson now leads nationally. Trump is confused.

Trump wonders why would voters want a candidate without a political record, no experience, says crazy things, doesn’t present any specific plans and comes off as kinda stupid.

Hey, Donald. It’s not a new thing.

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McSpooky


utah10242015

I drew this for The Independent in St. George, Utah.

I like McDonald’s fair enough. I can’t eat their stuff as often as I could when I was younger. I have walked into the place over the past couple years and changed my mind from the grease smell. Other times I’ve chowed down on a Big Mac. I still love their fries…if I can get them fresh. I’m pretty psyched I can get a McGriddle now after 11:00 AM. I don’t know if I’ll ever do but I like knowing I can.

I don’t kid myself. McDonald’s is not healthy food. Those salads are just for show. It’s definitely not something you want to get your children hooked on. I know as a parent I fed my son way too much of it, but to be honest, he just wanted the toy and would ignore his Happy Meal.

Having a contest to see which kid can gorge himself the most and the fastest isn’t just stupid, it’s destructive. It’s a contest to see which child they can encourage to slowly kill himself.

To be honest, after drawing this I kinda want a Big Mac. Just one. It’s not a contest.

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Saving Speaker Ryan


cjones10222015 Paul Ryan told his Republican colleagues that he will be Speaker of the House if they all get along, don’t challenge him, elect him unanimously, kiss his butt, stop being such turds in general, act like adults, make every Tuesday spaghetti Tuesday, make Talk Like A Pirate Day a national holiday, and abide by the often ignored rule that if you bring bubble gum then you better bring enough bubble gum for everybody.

Then he rode off on a great white Unicorn.

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Jim Webb Kills His Campaign


cjones10212015

I get the irony in drawing this cartoon. I’m saying nobody really cares about Jim Webb’s candidacy, yet I care enough to draw a cartoon about it. I felt a little obligated since he was my state’s senator (that would be Virginia for those who are thinking “he was a senator?”). Hopefully I won’t be required to draw a cartoon on Jim Gilmore (former Virginia governor).

My biggest issue with Webb running for president is that he was delusional enough to run for president. Jim Webb has always given the impression he doesn’t get along with a lot of people. He served as Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration which he resigned. Reagan wrote in his diaries “I don’t think the Navy was sorry to see him go.”

Soon after being elected to the U.S. Senate (from Virginia, in case you already forgot), he went to the White House and made an effort to brush off the president. President Bush (W.) asked Webb about his son who was currently serving in Iraq and Webb stated that it wasn’t the president’s business. Ouch. I’m not a fan of Bush but there’s still a level of respect to give toward the president. I don’t understand accepting an invitation to his house, making the effort to go and then dis the guy when he’s trying to make small talk. It never occurred to me to reply to someone who asked about my son to tell them to go suck on a lemon.

Now Webb says the parties are terrible and we shouldn’t live in an atmosphere where the other party is our enemy. I agree with that. Hillary Clinton laughed while stating the GOP is her enemy. The Republicans have a lot of members who truly believe Obama is determined to ruin the United States and he’s supporting terrorists. Go read the comments at the Daily Caller and Breitbart. They’re out there.

At the debate each candidate was asked about enemies they had created through their political careers. Each candidate stated a special interest lobby such as the coal lobby or the NRA. Webb said the guy he killed in Vietnam, and who had tried to kill him, was probably his biggest enemy. Several conservatives lapped that up and criticized the Democratic audience for not applauding in hysterics. Here’s the thing about: His service is great. But he was asked about politics. The man couldn’t name one special interesting he fought against, or fought for. Stating he killed a guy wouldn’t be such a big deal, except he volunteered the information and then gave a smile for it. My father fought in Vietnam. He told me that he had killed enemy soldiers but he never changed the subject of any conversation with “oh by the way, I killed a guy and here’s the potatoes you asked me to pass.”

Jim Webb is that guy that was at the party nobody noticed. You’ll go up to him the next day and tell him that he missed a great party. He’ll then tell you that he was at the party. He was the first one there. He was the last to leave. He brought snicker doodles. You had a conversation with him. He parked your car for you. He made a run for ice. He’s that guy.

Now he’s kinda sorta threatening to run an independent campaign for the presidency because being ignored by just one party wasn’t enough. Many will speculate which party his candidacy will hurt. I don’t think it will hurt either and I doubt he’d be on the ballot in every state.

A friend of mine I was in a band with (bass player) was the body guy for Webb’s senate campaign. That makes sense a bass player would work for Webb because nobody notices them either. He’s a great guy. He worked for Webb after he won the Senate race. He was later arrested for carrying Webb’s gun into the U.S. Capitol. The charges were dropped. I drew a cartoon on it and I left the original on his door. Later he called and said “hey, Ass. Thanks for the cartoon.” He always called me “Ass.”

Safer With Trump?


cjones10192015

I don’t think it’s fair to blame George W. Bush for 9/11. It’s not that I don’t think he could or couldn’t have prevented the terrorist attack. We don’t know if it could have been prevented. Bush should have paid more attention to reports on an impending attack, but we don’t know that if he did that it wouldn’t have still happened.

Now Donald Trump says if he had been president he would have prevented 9/11. Presidents have more information than you or I or Donald Trump. So it’s kind of something a jerk would say. Kinda like Ben Carson saying he would have rushed a shooter, had he been at a mass shooting.

I don’t have much faith Trump could have prevented 9/11. He couldn’t stop Rosie O’Donnell. But he can protect us from one potential tragedy. Drop out, Donald, so we don’t have to suffer a Trump presidency.

And if you’re into anything on that list, then you suck.

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Debate Demands


cjones10182015

Donald Trump and Ben Carson wrote a letter together. That way they could put their heads together and include a lot of big and hard-to-spell words. The letter was for CNBC, which is hosting the next debate. CarsonTrump is threatening to ditch the debate and go bowling if their demands are not met. They don’t want another three hour debate and opening/closing statements are to be excluded. CNBC, after wetting themselves, has reportedly met their demands. I think CNBC should have called their bluff. Trump folds for Fox News breaking his weekly vows of never appearing on their network ever again. CNBC should have stood their ground just so CarsonTrump can’t succeed at being bullies. The risk to CNBC is that CarsonTrump won’t show up and their ratings dive into a cellar and resembles their usual nightly ratings. The risk for CarsonTrump is that there’s a bunch of cameras on their opponents and they’re not there to soak up the attention. Now that that’s out of the way, CarsonTrump is right. A three hour debate, which might be necessary when you have eleven candidates, is too long. I’m sure it’s brutal for the candidates but it’s a special unique form of torture to the viewers. While the top tier candidates receive most of the air time, half of it’s wasted on people we forgot were in the race. We don’t need opening and closing statements either. Candidates usually avoid most of the questions anyway and that’s where they can put insert their life stories. Brown M&M’s. What’s that about? I did this for myself. I’m sure it’s going to fly over most heads, unless the reader is wise to rock and roll folklore. When bands play a concert (and other appearance), they have a rider which is a list of requirements the promoter has to meet. There can be some crazy stuff in a rider, which a lot of gets ignored. Johnny Cash included an American flag in view of every audience member. Marilyn Manson demanded Haribo gummi bears and a toothless hooker. Seriously. Motley Crue required a 12-foot Boa Constrictor and Grey Poupon mustard. The Rolling Stones demands a snooker table. What the Hell is Snooker? Hank Williams III demanded a Great White shark and the Bloodhound Gang always wanted a Rhesus monkey. Axl Rose demanded a melon and an Italian leather sofa where he would sit to eat the melon. Britney Spears needed a photo of Princess Diana and McDonald’s hamburgers without buns. Queen Latifah wanted condoms and a bucket of KFC. Katy Perry demands that no one make eye contact with her. Most would require types of food, water, drinks, scented candles, type of rugs, etc. Some bands have recently demanded that all leftover food to be given to a homeless shelter. That’s nice. Right now some homeless guy in Akron might be eating an unfinished sandwich left by the Goo Goo Dolls. The band that started it all was Van Halen. Van Halen had serious pull during the late 70’s and 80’s as well they should. They rocked with a swagger other bands could only copy. Their most famous demand was no brown M&M’s. Why would they make that strange weird demand? Should we debate whether or not all M&M’s taste the same, no matter which colored candy shell you get? These riders could get really thick. So thick most promoters didn’t bother reading them all. Tell Marilyn Manson to find his own toothless hooker. But in addition to Boas, monkeys, Eminem’s Koi Gold fish, and Prince’s sandwiches wrapped in clear plastic that only he could unwrap, there were actually some serious stuff in these riders. A lot dealt with safety requirements so a roadie wouldn’t get electrocuted, get hurt loading in or fall of a rafter. So Van Halen included the no Brown M&M’s clause. If they found Brown in their candy then they knew the promoter didn’t read the entire rider and may have ignored a more serious demand. Or the promoter didn’t give a rat’s ass about their M&M’s demand. Anyway, the more you know, right? Now I really want some M&M’s. 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. The starving cartoonist appreciates it.