claytoonz.com

Obama’s Afghanistan


cjones10172015

On Thursday Obama officially gave up ending the war in Afghanistan. It was something he vowed to do before he was elected. This has to be a huge disappointment for the president.

Despite killing Osama bin Laden and other terrorists, mostly through the controversial drone program, most people (not just Republicans) give the president low marks in foreign policy. I think the president realized people are going to remember Iraq and Afghanistan more than his other foreign policy endeavors.

The bad part is Iraq and Afghanistan were inherited from the previous administration. Hopefully it won’t be leftover again after the next. I also hope the candidates vying for the job will start talking about Afghanistan.

I know it’s a bold prediction drawing the future administration here. But I believe that if Malia becomes president she’ll have the same color drapes in the Oval Office as her father.

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.

The Last Centerfold


cjones10162015

There’s very few reasons to actually read Playboy. You might want to read the short stories, cartoons, or interviews. The magazine was truly great in those areas.

Another reason to read Playboy is if you’re a 15-year-old boy in 1981, before the internet, and you’ve yet to touch a real live girl.

I really wasn’t interested in drawing a cartoon about Playboy discontinuing their monthly centerfold. I don’t care. Playboy has good features in their magazines which the naked photoshopped ladies brought readers to. But seriously, there’s like three naked ladies in each issue. You find that many naked people on a daily basis on the internet by accident. Can the magazine still sell copies without nudity? How much does it cost now? I’m guessing around six to seven bucks a copy. One thing is for sure, if they don’t have bunnies the parties at Hugh’s mansion might be a lot less interesting.

I saw a bunch of cartoons on this. I thought they were all boring. I didn’t want to touch it unless I could point out a real issue. Donald Trump’s exposure is a significant issue.

Trump is going to host Saturday Night Live. Oh sure. Other politicians will do a skit. Hillary Clinton recently did one. But that’s not hosting. Every single other candidate is going to complain about the free air time Trump is getting. They will each have a point.

Trump doesn’t have to advertise. Yesterday, after the debate, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton each held a rally. So did Trump. Guess which one was carried live by CNN.

Now if Playboy did put The Donald in their final centerfold that would at least make sure nobody would miss the feature.

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.

Democrats Debate


cjones10152015

I’m not a team player. I’m not a Democrat. Their greatest virtue is that they’re obstacles preventing Republicans from taking this country backwards.

I had several angles I could have gone with for my cartoon on the Democratic Debate. I could have gone with Sanders slapping down talking about Hillary Clinton’s email. Or I could have gone with Sanders providing his definition of a Democratic Socialist, which was very interesting. But I think the biggest take away from the debate was the stark contrast between it and the four Republican debates held so far.

The two debates for the low-polling Republicans were often referred as the “kids’ table.” Compared to the Democrats, all four GOP debates were the kid’s table.

The Democrats talked about issues. Actual issues. They talked about the threat of Climate Change, guns, foreign policy, race relations, domestic financial policy, and the business of running government. The GOP held four events focused on racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, hatred, xenophobia, denials of science and personal insults. I was watching Fox News afterward to get their take and they were bored. Sean Hannity referred to it as a snoozefest.

While I didn’t agree with John McCain or Mitt Romney on most issues, I couldn’t deny there were serious candidates. They were qualified for the presidency and were presidential with their campaigns (despite Sarah Palin being a part of one of them).

Sometimes, I wonder if the Republicans aren’t serious yet and right now they just want to be entertained. Their top three candidates are not serious nor are they presidential. Their top guy, Trump, is a reality show maven. He’s not a great businessman. He’s a great marketer. There’s a difference. Their number two guy, Ben Carson, doesn’t understand history, science or even how the debt ceiling works. Their third candidate, Fiorina, biggest qualification is that she’s a failed CEO. Anyone who believes any of these three candidates is presidential doesn’t have the mental capabilities to understand the Democratic Debate.

Republicans like to point out they have a deep bench. It’s an argument of quantity over quality. It’s a deep bench of lower tier candidates. If they had a genuinely formidable candidate they too, like the Democratic Party, would only have four or five candidates.

Here’s a contrast for you between the parties: While the Democrats were talking policy and real issues, GOP candidate Mike Huckabee sent out a racist tweet about Asians eating dogs. That really sums up the differences between the parties.

Other take aways from the debate: Bernie Sanders won. He didn’t introduce himself as much as he introduced what he stands for. That was a success. His only weakness came for his support of the NRA. His defense is that he’s from a rural state. He’s not running for the presidency of a rural state.

Sanders winning the debate will actually help Hillary win the nomination. She’s still in the lead and probably too far ahead for Sanders to catch. Hillary was confidant and didn’t hurt herself. She may have even helped herself. Most voters don’t think Clinton is trustworthy. That’s not gonna be important. Her husband, Bill Clinton, was nicknamed “Slick Willy.” Nobody ever had the delusion Richard Nixon was an honest person. Nixon and Bill Clinton both won the presidency twice despite those red flags.

Martin O’Malley helped himself, but not enough. He might score a cabinet position.

Jim Webb was out of place. The candidates were asked which special interest hated them the most. Hillary said Republicans. Sanders said Wall Street. Jim Webb said the guy who lobbed a grenade at him during his tour of duty in the Vietnam War. Webb is the only veteran running for president and his service is commendable. But when given the opportunity to name a special interest you fought again, you should probably be able to name one.

If it’s possible for Lincoln Chafee to bury himself deeper, that’s exactly what he did. When asked about voting for Glass-Steagall, he didn’t defend it. He didn’t say he was wrong. His excuse was he was new to the Senate and his father had just died. Admitting you’re wrong, that you made a mistake and you learned from it is a lot better than saying you were confused or you didn’t know what you doing.

The final takeaway is talk of Joe Biden entering the race. They can stop talking about it now. I’m making a not-so-bold prediction and that is Biden is not going to enter the race. I’m glad he’s not. He would make the race much more dramatic and interesting but I’d hate to see him tarnish his legacy. I believe his time has passed and it’s time for him to ride off into the sunset and enjoy being an elder statesman.

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.

I RAN From Jounalism


cjones10142015

It would have been nice if part of the nuclear deal the United States  five other countries recently struck with Iran included the release of Washington Post reporter Jason Reziain and other Americans currently detained in Iran. However, I realize the nuclear deal is important and is a totally separate situation than anyone arrested and detained by the Iranian government.

This is not the Iranian Hostage crisis which gripped the nation from 1979 to 1981 and helped destroy the Jimmy Carter administration.

Washington Post reporter Jason Reziain was arrested by the Iranian government on charges of espionage and other crimes. One of the charges is that he identified companies that may have evaded U.S. sanctions against Iran.

In a secret trial in Iran, Reziain has been convicted of crimes that haven’t been explained by the government, nor is has his sentence been revealed. The government doesn’t have any evidence that the journalist is guilty of anything other than doing his job.

Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron said in a statement “Iran has behaved unconscionably throughout this case, but never more so than with this indefensible decision by a Revolutionary Court to convict an innocent journalist of serious crimes after a proceeding that unfolded in secret, with no evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoing,” They plan to appeal.

Iran will now try to swing a separate deal for Reziain and other Americans, hoping to get Iranians held by the United States released. The other Americans are Amir Hekmati, a former Marine sentenced to death in January 2012 for espionage, and Saeed Abedini, a pastor detained in Iran in 2012 and sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of attempting to undermine the government.

Every single person I have ever met from Iran has been extremely kind. They are some of the nicest and warmest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I have never met anyone from the Iranian government.

In November a few of my cartoons, along with hundreds from other professional cartoonists, will be auctioned at an event called Cartoons & Cocktails at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The funds will go towards supporting cartoonists detained, arrested, tortured and oppressed in countries that don’t allow a free press. Support for a free press in other nations should be important to every American journalist.

I realize that my drawing funny pictures of government officials is something that would have made me disappear a long time ago if I wasn’t fortunate enough to be doing it in a free nation.

If you’ll be in the area, I highly recommend attending the event in D.C.

Skippy’s Got A Gun


cjones10132015

Obama promised to deliver executive orders to decrease gun violence. Guess what wasn’t in any of it? Taking away your guns.

Obama is not coming to take your guns. There’s been this narrative for seven years he’s coming for them, yet you still have your guns. If he’s coming for your guns, he better get busy because he’s running out of time. In fact, he hasn’t even talked about taking away guns.

Last Friday in Oregon protesters lined the streets to scream at Obama not to take their guns. OK. He’s not taking your guns.

Sometimes when it comes to criticizing Obama logic and facts is not applied.

At what point will you believe he’s not coming to take your guns? Will you still believe it when he’s out of office?

I don’t know if we’ll ever have gun control in this country. Here’s a fact: We will never round up guns. Right wingers say there are too many and they’re right. There are too many guns and they’re in the hands of the few. But we can’t round them up.

We do need strict regulation. Regulation gun lovers will hate. We need legislation that tracks every single gun sale. Every single one. No sales without background checks. No sales of ammunition without a background check. There should be a limit on amount of ammunition.

You should be required to possess a license to own a gun. You should have to renew your license. Yes, the second amendment gives you the right to own guns. It doesn’t say it can’t be regulated. It doesn’t say you shouldn’t be held unaccountable.

Will this regulation stop gun violence? Not immediately. But eventually it will decrease and the amount of illegal guns out there will rise to the surface, unfortunately through crime.

This country is insane for guns. We don’t make much sense when it comes to ownership. It doesn’t make much sense to have such a blind devotion to it. Personally, I think people who are nuts about guns are overcompensating. Personally, I don’t need a gun to feel like a man.

It’s time for us to adopt a culture that when it comes to guns, we start making sense.

I drew this cartoon very early Tuesday morning. I finished coloring it Tuesday night. The last thing I put into the cartoon was the father’s name. I toyed with making it a conservative cartoonist’s name, but I couldn’t decide which one, and then I decided not to. I figured some would think it was a shot across the bow when I was actually just trying to have fun. Plus, I couldn’t think of any that deserved the attention and it would go to his or her head.

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.

Update: Here’s the rough. I had a very hard time getting the angles the way I wanted.

WP_20151012_002

And this was my view while drawing.

WP_20151012_001

Politicize This


cjones10122015

President Obama visited families of the victims of the Oregon shooting last Friday. There were protest. Why would anyone protest the president visiting families to express his condolences? Why indeed? Because they’re mad the president wants to take away their guns.

The protesters speak of their gun and killing furry animals culture and they believe Obama wants to end that. Obama has actually voiced support for their hunting culture. Usually when one hunts (animals), the weapons of choice are shotguns, rifles, or a bow of some sort, not semi-automatic weapons, so hunters are safe from the prez taking their guns. The president isn’t even trying to take away their semi-automatics.

Yet, they believe the president is coming for their guns. These people are probably the Alabama of Oregon. They’re also upset the president would politicize the shootings, so they stand at the airport and along the road with signs, protesting the politicizing. That’s a head scratcher. Many of the signs also said he needs to go home and back to Kenya. I’m really glad they’re taking a stand on politicizing a crisis. During Friday’s news coverage of the protests, including many interviews, I didn’t see anyone from Fox News, CNN, or MSNBC say “oh by the way, that taking your guns away thing…not happening.”

Meanwhile in Washington, D.C., more fun from the Select Committee on Benghazi. Republican representative Kevin McCarthy swears it’s not a political witch hunt, after he blurbed out it was a political witch hunt designed to destroy Hillary Clinton.

Now a fired investigator for the committee is spilling the beans that it is indeed designed only to destroy Clinton. Many say you can’t take his word because fired people are always upset and try to drag down those who fired him. True. But he is a Republican.

The investigation into Benghazi has so far costs $4.6 million.

The attack on Benghazi resulted in the death of an ambassador, U.S. Foreign Service Information Officer Sean Smith, and two private CIA contractors. Do you know how many private contractors died in Iraq? As of June 20, 2012, 1,569 American contractors have died in Iraq. Where is the outrage? Where are the investigations? Why aren’t we looking for scapegoats?

The president admits he is politicizing gun deaths. He wants change to current gun laws so there will be fewer gun deaths. Will the Benghazi investigation prevent more deaths of Americans on foreign soil? Or is it just designed to destroy one politician the opposing party dislikes?

Conservatives, you have Fox News to assist in your take down of Hillary Clinton. You have Breitbart (if you have a hankering for some racist comments from right wing trolls read the comments under any Breitbart article). You even have that One America Now network (I know nobody watches it but you should visit it one late night for hours of stupid). If nothing else, there’s a gazillion right wing racist trolls on social media to help you. So take the advice from The New York Times editorial page and end your stupid committee. Plus, if Hillary is such an awful candidate, who can’t be elected, who you’ll beat so easily, who’ll eventually destroy herself because she’s untrustworthy, then you don’t need to spend $4.6 million of our money to destroy her.

 

Iron County Steering Committee


utah10112015

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

From the article: Local towing companies, including Cedar City-based All Ways Towing and Mountain Towing, are concerned with what they call “steering.” They allege they are losing business and money to other tow companies and car dealerships in the area because of inappropriate practices of favoritism by law enforcement and the dispatch center. The alleged problem has been occurring over the last 10 years or longer.

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.

 

More Logic From Dr. Carson


cjones10112015

Dr. Ben Carson is making some people think that maybe brain surgery really isn’t that difficult.

Earlier in the week he said he wouldn’t have cooperated with the shooter responsible for the carnage in Oregon. He said he would have said “c’mon, everybody. He can’t shoot us all. Let’s rush him.” Never mind the fact that guns are now manufactured where the user can shoot everybody and the shooter may not have waited while Carson formed a committee to rush him.

Carson spoke of a time when he did have a gun stuck in his ribs. He was at a Popeye’s when a robber came in, stuck the gun at him and Dr. Carson replied, probably in his calm and sleepy demeanor, “you don’t want me. You want the guy behind the counter.” To which the gunman replied “Oh OK.” Sounds like Dr. Carson cooperated. He could have rushed the robber or even squirted Louisiana Hot Sauce in his eyes (which is available at Popeye’s). Instead he pointed the gunman in the direction of the person behind the counter selling fried chicken and that stuff that’s an insult to jumbalaya.

Just in case anyone had any confidence in Carson’s intelligence, he doubled down later when he said the Holocaust could have been prevented if the Jews had guns. I think the doctor should crack open a history book and not one of those Texas history books. Germany only controlled Germany before the war. The death of over 6 million Jews did not include only Jews from Germany. Perhaps someone should inform him of the Warsaw uprising.

He also said if he was president he would enact a no-fly zone over Turkey to keep Russia from flying over that nation’s airspace. You can’t enact a no-fly zone over a sovereign nation by yourself. In addition to that, you don’t need one over Turkey. Turkey is a sovereign nation. Russia is not supposed to fly into their airspace now.

Dr. Carson also talked about the debt ceiling. He said if he is elected president he won’t have any problems with the debt ceiling. For once he’s right. He won’t have any problems with the debt ceiling if he’s president because Republicans in Congress have never refused to raise the debt ceiling while they had a Republican president. They never question it. Then Carson said he wouldn’t raise the debt limit because he wouldn’t authorize new spending. When he’s done with that history book he should probably read one on civics. Raising the debt limit does not authorize new spending. It does not increase the budget and if you don’t sign it then the United States defaults.

Republicans seriously think this man is qualified to be president. He’s not qualified to tutor anyone on government or foreign policy. He may not be qualified to order for himself from the menu at Ihop.

Anyone who wants Dr. Ben Carson elected to the presidency probably needs brain surgery.

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.

House Of Chaos


cjones10102015

There has been no shortage of cartoon issues this week. Between Russia in Syria, Hillary taking a position, Ben Carson’s stupidity and Thursday Congressman Kevin McCarthy surprised everyone by removing himself from becoming Speaker of the House.

The crazies that make up the Teapublican wing of the party in Congress has made the Speaker job a position no rational person wants to deal with. Congress needs someone who can do the business of government but the Tea Party wackos truly want someone who will disrupt government, make politics out of every issue and refuse to work with the president. These are the people who want to shut down the government.

They don’t make up the majority of the party but they are enough of them to disrupt the government, and curtail a rational person from getting enough vote from becoming Speaker.

There is speculation the real reason McCarthy stepped aside is because he has been having an affair with a fellow member of Congress. Since the affair is only speculation I don’t want to contribute to rumors that McCarthy, who’s married, has been having an affair with a female member of Congress, who’s also married, thus making it an affair. So let’s not speak of this affair business anymore. Though earlier this week another Republican Congressman wrote a letter to the GOP conference chairman that any member who’s done any misdeeds, like having an affair, since becoming a member of Congress, thus embarrassing themselves (with an affair), should not run for Speaker. That would cover something like an affair. But again, let’s not speculate on anyone having an affair.

The Republicans will find someone willing to take the job. The trick is to find someone smart enough not to take the job, but guilt him into taking the job anyway. Jason Chaffetz, the guy who embarrassed himself and got his butt handed to him at the hearing over Planned Parenthood, wants the job. That guy can’t even read a graph correctly or validate it’s authenticity. Sure, he should be in charge. The Democrats are loving this.

As a citizen I want this to settle down. I want Congress to select a rational speaker who will conduct the business of government and finds common ground with the president and the opposing party in Congress (even Gingrich did that). As a cartoons I want them to select the craziest bomb thrower there is that goes so bad it taints the GOP’s presidential aspirations. What a cartoonist wants is never good for anybody.

I have drawn my share of holiday-cliche cartoons throughout my 25-year career. The past few years I’ve done a good job of avoiding them. It’s my attempt to be original, irreverent, interesting…not boring. I am bored with drawing Cupids, Santas, Christmas trees and turkeys. You always see a thousand cartoons of sitting on Santa’s lap, a turkey about to get his head chopped off, the Ground Hog, and trick er treaters. Halloween is a lot harder to avoid because the imagery is a lot more fun than other holidays. So I gave you a few treaters today but I think I made up for it by throwing in a Wookie.

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.

Alabama Martian


cjones10092015

If you are an African American and you do not live in Alabama, Congratulations.

Alabama, like other Southern red states, has strict ID Voter Laws. On the record, these laws are designed to prevent voter fraud. Since voter fraud doesn’t really exist, then off the record they’re designed to prevent minority voting. That isn’t voter fraud but a Republican chicanery that goes along with their efforts to prevent minority voting through redistricting.

In Alabama the Republican state legislature has cut spending which will greatly reduce the number of offices where one can acquire an identification. Most of the offices closing are in the most isolated areas. That is, every county where black voters comprise 75% of voters and the communities that overwhelmingly voted for Obama in  2012 will see those offices closed. That is 28 out of 67 counties. Eight of the 10 counties with the largest non-white populations will be without a place to get an ID.

So if you’re in Alabama and you don’t have an ID and you want to vote and you don’t have transportation then like Forrest you’re gonna have ruuuuuuuun.

Republicans always win Alabama and they’re still cheating. Isn’t it nice that when Republicans do govern, they legislate ways to increase their political advantage?

African Americans comprise 26% of the state’s population. Out of seven congressional seats only one is represented by an African-American who is also a Democrat. The GOP holds the other six.

Just like Matt Damon in the film The Martian, African Americans are being left behind in Alabama. The difference is this is intentional.

Changing gears now: I saw a funny tweet the other day I wish I had created. It said something like “between The Martian, Interstellar, and Saving Private Ryan, our government has spent a ridiculous amount of money retrieving Matt Damon.” I couldn’t have written it because I never saw Interstellar. I haven’t seen The Martian yet either.

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.