claytoonz

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.

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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!

Face Punching Civility


cjones06302018

Sometimes an angry conservative reader will tell me that I’m adding to the discourse in American politics and society. My response to that is always, yep. It’s what political cartoonists do, even the ones you agree with. It’s not new. Thomas Nast did it back in the 1800s. But we don’t create it. We’re just riding it.

Republicans and Trump supporters, who often call liberals “snowflakes,” make themselves out to be the most persecuted and victimized people in society. They cry about all the negativity Donald Trump is receiving. They have very short memories.

During the 1990s, a millionaire newspaper owner in Pennsylvania funded investigations into President Bill Clinton’s sex life. Newt Gingrich engineered the GOP takeover of the House in 1992 on a campaign that if Democrats retained control, Clinton would swing by your house, fondle your wife, impregnate your daughter, and his wife, who didn’t know her place, would force health care upon your family. They eventually impeached Clinton because he received oral sex in the Oval Office. They had to go through two GOP speakers during the impeachment proceedings before they got one who hadn’t committed adultery. Of course, we all found out later that Republican was a pedophile.

During the Obama era, they attempted to de-legitimize him by saying he wasn’t born in this country. Ted Nugent, who Donald Trump has hosted in the White House, said Obama was a mongrel and made comments about shooting him. A congressman yelled “you lie” during a State of the Union speech. They freaked out over the president wearing a tan suit and putting mustard on a cheeseburger. They totally lost their minds when Michelle went sleeveless and said kids should eat more vegetables. You would have thought these Democrats were inviting Russians into the Oval Office and giving them classified information given to us by our Israeli allies.

During the 2016 campaign, Republicans claimed Clinton was operating a child-sex-slave ring in the basement of a Washington pizza parlor that didn’t even have a basement. They also told us Clinton was dying, yet she’s still here.

A few weeks ago at an awards show, Robert De Niro said “F Trump,” except he didn’t say “F.” He said the full word. There wasn’t any context to it. Just the “F” thing.

Last week, actor Peter Fonda surprised everyone who thought he was dead by saying Barron Trump should be taken away from his parents and put into a cage with pedophiles. Since Trump has bragged about walking in on teen girls undressing, Fonda could have just wished Barron had to go to that Washington pizza place with his dad.

Also, last week, several people within the Trump administration were either heckled, yelled at, or told to leave while out dining. For two of those, it was their own damn fault for selecting Mexican restaurants during Traumatize A Hispanic Migrant Child week.

Over the weekend, Congresswoman Maxine Waters latched onto the restaurant protests and said, “If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. You push back on them. Tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere!”

De Niro’s comments were ugly. Fonda’s comments were horrible and not accepted by anyone, and it got him reported to the Secret Service. Waters’ comment, meh. I don’t really have a problem with anything Waters said, only that she said it. I don’t think I could stop myself from telling a Cabinet member the administration is killing America if I ran into one. That probably won’t happen unless they start patronizing the Wawa up the street since that’s the only place I ever go lately. It’s Hoagiefest.

Fonda should be shamed for his comments. Even before you get to the context of his statement, it was bad to bring Barron Trump into his argument. I get his point, but no.

At the very worst, Waters’ comment gave Trump and company ammunition. They were already playing the victim game over the restaurants and had even used the government positions to slander the Red Hen Restaurant in Lexington, Virginia.

Trump attacked Waters, said she has a low IQ, and that she called for harm to Trump supporters. Then, he said she needs to be careful with what she wishes for. Basically, he’s complaining about the lack of civility, insults Waters, and lies about what she said, and then wishes harm to her. He did everything he accused Waters of doing. Can he get away with that? Yes, he can.

On the campaign trail, Trump encouraged his supporters to beat up protesters and even offered to pay their legal fees for assault. Many of them did assault protesters, though Trump never paid for their legal fees. Why should he? He doesn’t pay his own legal fees.

He said the 2nd Amendment people might have a solution to prevent a President Hillary Clinton from appointing Supreme Court Justices.

Let’s not forget how many women Trump has attacked and all the people who he’s given juvenile nicknames to.

And then there was the time Nazis killed a woman and Trump praised them.

Instead of encouraging violence, one Congressional candidate, Greg Gianforte, physically assaulted a reporter. That Republican is now a Congressman who won by aligning himself with Trump. Donald Trump Jr. was campaigning with Gianforte last week.

The sad thing about this is the messaging from conservatives about uncivil and violent Democrats will work with Republicans. Never mind the hypocrisy. These are rules they expect you to abide, but don’t apply to them. It’s the new New.

Waters did not wish violence or harm on Trump supporters. The worst she did was to call for people to call them out, which I guess is a horrible thing for a Trump supporter. Facts are an assault on their senses and everything they stand for. Go to your crazy uncle’s most recent Facebook post and type “Snopes” and watch the reaction.

I’m not making an argument that Democrats aren’t adding to the discourse, but I will argue they’re not as bad, or ugly as Republicans.  Besides, you really don’t have to wish harm on Trump supporters. Isn’t it bad enough for them that they have to live with whatever it is that’s afflicting their brains? Plus, they’re gonna have to clean up the mess Trump leaves behind.

Who am I kidding? They’re gonna leave that for us to clean, and they’ll blame a Democrat for making it.

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!

R U Being Served?


cjones06292018

Last week during a trip to Texas for a photo-op at a detention center holding migrant children the Trump administration separated from their parents, Melania Trump wore her now infamous “I REALLY DON’T CARE. DO U?” jacket.

Melania’s spokesperson issued a statement that the First Lady wasn’t sending a message despite the fact there was a literal message on the jacket. Then, the president undercut Melania’s team by saying it was a message to the “lying” media, and that Melania doesn’t care what they say.

Whether Melania was sending a message to the media, her husband, or on the issue, “I really don’t care” sums up the Trump administrations’ attitude toward human rights. In fact, the United States pulled out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Commission last week citing the abysmal human rights records of many of its members. Now, on the issue of human rights, the U.S. is becoming a pariah throughout the world…and in fine dining establishments in the Washington Beltway.

After lying to the nation that there was not a policy separating migrant families, Homeland Security Director Kirstjen Nielsen was booed out of a Washington Mexican restaurant. A few days earlier, the architect of the racist policy, White House adviser Stephen Miller was also heckled at a Mexican restaurant. Inflicting lifelong trauma on migrant children must make one acquire a hankering for tacos. If Hillary was elected, these ghouls wouldn’t need to hunt down Mexican restaurants as there’d be a taco truck on every corner.

White House spokesgoon Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia over the weekend. One of the owners said Sanders works in an “inhumane and unethical” administration. That point was proven on the ethics part after Sanders used her government Twitter account to smear the establishment. Sander wrote, “I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so,” which is a lie. It’s not with respect when she lies to the nation and insults members of the media for asking questions she refuses to answer, like saying some sentences are too big for Jim Acosta at CNN.

Sanders was upset about being kicked out because she works for Trump, which highlights why she was kicked out. She doesn’t work for Trump. She works for you and me. We pay her, Trump doesn’t. How does she do the job we’re paying her for? She lies and supports an administration that is tearing our nation apart.

Trump jumped in to smear the restaurant Monday morning with a tweet of his own. The guy can’t say anything slightly critical of dictators, but he’s one step away from writing Yelp reviews. Not only did the president’s spokesperson attack a private business because of a personal grudge, so did the president of the United States. Kids in cages and baby prisons aren’t nearly as upsetting as Sarah not being able to get a churro.

Trump’s supporters, white Christians who claim they’re the most persecuted people ever in the existence of the Earth, attacked the Red Hen by writing nasty reviews online, forgetting the celebrations they recently had over an Indiana bakery being able to refuse to make gay wedding cakes.

A restaurant can’t refuse service based on religion, sexual orientation, or the color of your skin. But they can kick you out if they think you’re a jerk. Years ago, a restaurant asked O.J. Simpson to leave because they didn’t want to serve a man many people believe is a murderer. Recently, a court in New York ruled that a bar can refuse service to a man wearing a MAGA hat. The court said political viewpoints are not protected from discrimination.

I saw a cartoon recently of a maître d’ telling a couple, “I’m afraid we can’t allow two fat ugly bastards like you to have a window table.” Maybe some restaurants don’t want to be known for serving bastards who work in a racist, stupid, lying, corrupt administration.

Trump has taken this opportunity with the Red Hen to turn it into a red herring. He tweeted, “The Red Hen Restaurant should focus more on cleaning its filthy canopies, doors and windows (badly needs a paint job) rather than refusing to serve a fine person like Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I always had a rule, if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside!”

I have the same rule toward politicians. If a politician has a ridiculous comb-over, fake spray tan, and can’t find a suit that fits thus looking like a jackass, then he’s probably a jackass.

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!