Jim Webb Kills His Campaign


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?


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


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.

Obama’s Afghanistan


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.

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The Last Centerfold


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.

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Democrats Debate


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.

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I RAN From Jounalism


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.