Dictators

He Said He Didn’t Do It


CNN03032019

While still in Vietnam, Donald Trump said Kim Jong Un told him he felt bad about the death of Otto Warmbier, the American college student the North Koreans imprisoned in good health and returned to the U.S. in a coma. Kim also told Trump he wasn’t aware of the Warmbier situation until after he was returned home. Trump said he believed him. He said North Korea is a big country and Kim couldn’t be aware of everything.

The North Koreans used Warmbier for propaganda. They aired videos of him crying and asking to go home. North Korea has one TV station. Their media is government operated and is not a free press. When Otto Warmbier was used as propaganda, how could Kim Jong Un not only be aware of it but also not be the one approving the tactic?

For Donald Trump, if a friend claims innocence, or says “he didn’t do it,” then we need to believe them. He made that claim for Robert Kraft, Roy Moore, Brett Kavanaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, and himself. He doesn’t do it only for those conservatives accused of sexual abuse. He does it for dictators. He said he believed Vladimir Putin’s denial over that of American intelligence that he meddled in the 2016 presidential election. He said he believed Muhammad Bin Salman’s denial of being involved in the murder of a Washington Post journalist that happened INSIDE their embassy in Turkey. Now, he says he believes Kim Jong Un.

Take note, that Trump also claimed he wasn’t aware of paying off porn stars, which has now become public that he was aware. When someone gives an unbelievable denial, Donald Trump should be an expert at recognizing lies in denials.

Also, during the summit in Hanoi, the Trump administration attempted to remove the press from an event, and not at the request of the North Koreans. We’re supposed to school them on freedom and democracy, not have them school us on propaganda.

It’s not just sickening that Trump, an American president, does this, but that so many Americans support his behavior. Do you?

Nerdy details and a bunch of roughs: After I drew a cartoon for CNN last week, I was hoping for the chance to do it again. I didn’t know it’d come the very next week. This time, I was contacted by the regular editor in charge of their Sunday opinion newsletter, Provoke & Persuade (before the first paragraph in the story, there’s a link to sign up for their weekly email. Do it). I got a little bit more than 24 hours this time too. We talked on the phone Wednesday evening and on Thursday, I sent her eight ideas. Yeah, eight.

As I do with every editor the first time I work with them on an assignment, I explain that my roughs are very rough. My editor, Pat said she liked all of them, but unlike Trump…I’m not entirely sure I can believe her. Maybe she was just being nice. I didn’t like all of them.

After I delivered the cartoon Friday afternoon, she asked me to remove one little detail before she ran it by their standards and practices department. I joked on Twitter that this was my first time to deal with a cable network’s standards and practices, but I have had to deal with it at newspapers. But with newspapers, it’s usually not a department and it’s just one editor who likes to say no a lot. In this case, after we removed the one detail, the department didn’t give us any trouble. Quite frankly, I was shocked in the first week that they didn’t ask me to draw Trump differently, like change his hair, ties, or lips.

Here are all the roughs and you can leave a comment on your favorite.

CNNrough7

This wasn’t my favorite cartoon but I do think it was the best choice for CNN. The Otto Warmbier story was getting bigger at the time it was selected and has only grown since. When they selected this cartoon, they didn’t know I was going to throw in a lot of details for each individual. I also replaced Bill O’Reilly with Putin. There were a lot of candidates. I did tell Pat that I was replacing O’Reilly with Putin, as I felt most people have probably forgotten the O’Reilly thing by now.

CNNrough4

I honestly thought they’d pick this one. Since they didn’t, I drew it for my syndication on Thursday night. You’ve already seen this finished cartoon. You may notice that as I draw many rough ideas, that the quality decreases with each cartoon. I get tired, OK?

CNNrough5

I really liked this one but I didn’t expect them to take it. I didn’t think it was the way to go for the top issue of the week. I felt the summit would take precedence. I don’t know if I’ll draw an official cartoon of this idea as I’ve already covered the subject. I like the simplicity in the drawing.

CNNrough6

I like this one a lot but I’m not sure it works. Maybe I like it because it’s a crowd scene. You know how I loves me some crowd scenes. If working for CNN becomes a regular thing, I need to work in one of my famous crowd scenes for them at some point.

CNNrough8

I like this one while also not being that crazy about it. I felt it was too obvious but I wanted to give it a shot with CNN because maybe they’d prefer something kinda obvious. But, they didn’t. I was fine with not doing this cartoon. Also, it didn’t really address the Warmbier situation as well as the one they chose. I did a cartoon similar to this before the first Trump/Kim summit.

CNNrough9

I didn’t like this one at all. Again, I was giving them something obvious, but I knew another cartoonist would draw this cartoon. I was right. I’ve seen it since I drew this rough. I’d say this was a lazy idea if I hadn’t drawn so many that day. The only excuse I have for this cliche is the change up of Kim asking for the shirt.

CNNrough10

I liked this one. I almost did it for my clients on Thursday night. I like that it shows Trump is not the great negotiator he claims he is. I did something similar with Trump’s head on Pelosi’s wall after the shutdown negotiations, but I was fine with tweaking the idea for a different outlet.

CNNrough11

I thought this was my last idea when I came up with it. I liked it when I thought of it and halfway through drawing it, I started to hate it. When Pat told me she liked all the ideas, I replied, “Even the Rodman one?” I’m so glad she didn’t pick this one. Why do I send editors ideas I don’t like? Scott Stantis (I think it was him), the cartoonist for The Chicago Tribune once told me he’d give an editor several pathetic, crappy, horrid ideas, and one really good one…to make him pick the good one. But, that tactic often burns the cartoonist as an editor is likely to choose one of the horrid, crappy ideas. I have been in the position before of trying to convince an editor that he doesn’t want to use something I thought up.

CNNrough12

After Pat chose her cartoon, I thought of this one. I didn’t intend to show it to her since she had made her choice. But, we were still emailing and I told her, “I actually came up with one more and it’s on the Mark Meadows race thing.” She asked to see it. I think she went from “oooh, I wanna see it” to “ew.” But at the end of the day, it was my very favorite. I waited another day to draw it as I wanted to tackle the summit first for my clients, but on Friday night I drew this one.

So that’s inside of the head of this cartoonist for one day. Now you may need a shower. Thank you for tolerating and patronizing my weirdness.

Be Complicit

What kind of person would want to be part of something that disparages, slanders, and disrespects Dear Leader and his sycophantic followers? Hopefully, you. 
Making a contribution supports my work and keeps the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. My income is from newspapers that subscribe to my work and small contributors. George Soros hasn’t sent me a million dollar check in weeks. Making a contribution of any amount, or buying a print for $40.00, makes you part of this specific resistance, and a member of Team Claytoonz (we’re still working on the name). You are complicit, an accomplice, and in cahoots (and whatever gangster terms we can think of) with this political satire pointing out that the stupid emperor has no clothes. Contributions can be made through PayPal, checks, and wads of cash exchanged in back alleys.
Whether you can help support, can’t, or just choose not to, please continue to enjoy and keep reading my work. Thank you!!! 

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

Watch the video.

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Cheeto Potentate


cjones11272018

Demagoguery comes before fascism. In case you haven’t noticed, Donald Trump has the demagoguery down.

Trump loves him some fascists. He buddies up to the authoritarian leaders of Turkey, the Philippines, Russia, China, North Korea, and even gave the monarchs of Saudi Arabia a pass over murdering a journalist who was a U.S. resident.

He’s speculated that the United States will have a president for life someday, which sounds less like speculation and more like thinking out loud.

He believes elections that don’t produce the results he wants are fraudulent. He’s claimed that counting every vote is cheating.

He’s referred to the media as “fake news” and the “enemy of the people.” He’s attempted to punish journalists by stripping their White House passes. He’s said that it’s a shame people can write and publish whatever they want.

He believes he can change parts of the U.S. Constitution with an executive order.

He’s attacked the courts and said we need to do something about them. He’s accused them of being dangerous to the country.

He wants to prosecute his political enemies, pressuring the Justice Department to go after Hillary Clinton and James Comey. He’s stripped clearance from former officials who have criticized him. He’s fired people from the FBI and Justice Department who have investigated him and has called for their imprisonment.

He tells his followers not to believe everything they see and hear, and it’s working. They don’t believe facts. His sycophants debate his greatness while rarely ever talking policy, because, like their leader, they don’t know policy. When facts are pointed out to them, they say they’re lies. They attack the messenger while ignoring the message. He has a base that puts sycophancy above honesty and patriotism.

He has said he is the only one who can fix America’s problems, even stating at the Republican National Convention, “Only I can fix it.” He tells us that he’s our favorite president. During Thanksgiving, he said he was thankful for himself.

He has used the military for political propaganda, costing us millions.

Donald Trump is not a dictator, but he wants to be. We have a system of checks and balances and Trump is the test that they will work or not. There are three branches of government and one of those branches wants to go unchecked and another has been ignoring its job has spent the past two years protecting the first. Hopefully, the courts won’t protect Trump.

Voters have given the House to Democrats with a mandate. Protect us from Trump and hold him accountable. The majority of Americans don’t want to live under a dictatorship. Trump supporters dream of it.

Trump doesn’t just want to win on policy. He wants full authoritarian power without any checks and balances. He wants to rule, not govern. The warning signs are there. He’s telling us every day what he wants and what he wants to be. It’s not a mystery. When someone tells you who they are, believe them.

People say Donald Trump never really wanted to be president. That’s true. But, it doesn’t mean he never wanted to be the nation’s leader.

Be Complicit

What kind of person would want to be part of something that disparages, slanders, and disrespects Dear Leader and his sycophantic followers? Hopefully, you. 
Making a contribution supports my work and keeps the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. My income is from newspapers that subscribe to my work and small contributors. George Soros hasn’t sent me a million dollar check in weeks. Making a contribution of any amount, or buying a print for $40.00, makes you part of this specific resistance, and a member of Team Claytoonz (we’re still working on the name). You are complicit, an accomplice, and in cahoots (and whatever gangster terms we can think of) with this political satire pointing out that the stupid emperor has no clothes. Contributions can be made through PayPal, checks, and wads of cash exchanged in back alleys.
Whether you can help support, can’t, or just choose not to, please continue to enjoy and keep reading my work. Thank you!!! 

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

Watch me draw.

The Autocratic Club


cjones10182018

I’m seriously offended. I’ve drawn Donald Trump about a thousand times by now and the guy has never called me to pay a compliment on capturing his likeness. But, Andy Thomas, an artist in Missouri paints him once, and Trump gave him a phone call telling him how much he liked it. Trump praised the painting, and told Thomas that he normally doesn’t like paintings of himself, which is kinda bizarre since he’s stolen money from his charity in the past to purchase a few.

The painting, titled “The Republican Club,” has Trump surrounded by past presidents who are apparently in the thrall of being in his presence. You’d have to be a real tasteless sycophant to want such a thing which explains why Congressman Darrell Issa bought a print to give to Trump. The print made national news Sunday night as it was seen in the background of Trump’s interview on 60 Minutes.

The painting is really cool and classy if you’re into stuff like the dogs playing poker. It’d be funny if it was hanging in the White House ironically as a joke, except it’s not a joke. It’s there as a representation of the respect Trump believes he deserves, and the class where he thinks belongs.

Most people found the painting funny. There are only two presidents in the painting who are still alive besides Trump, and neither one of them can stand him. Eisenhower, Teddy Roosevelt, and Lincoln are seated at the table, and none of them would be members of today’s Republican Party. In fact, every Republican president is in the painting, most are in the background, and I’d bet that none of them would want to be in the same room as Trump, less enough pose to be in a painting with him. Nixon is probably there just so he won’t be the most hated guy in the room for once.

Trump is drinking a Diet Coke in the painting, and apparently, it’s working as he looks like he lost about 70 pounds. He also has a smile that looks more human than the one he real-life self-satisfied smile, which gives the impression he’s getting off on locking babies in prison.

The Foo Fighters hung a painting in their studio of their leader Dave Grohl sitting pompously in a fancy chair, wearing a smoking jacket, while holding a snifter of brandy and a cigar. It’s a huge joke to make fun of the guy. Dave knows it’s a joke and it’s still hanging in the studio. Only a narcissist would take it seriously. Donald Trump is taking his painting seriously.

Thomas has also done a similar painting of Obama surrounded by past Democratic presidents. I don’t think Obama hung a copy in the White House.

Thomas sells prints of the paintings on his website, and he’s a great artist in a very campy way. I’m sure The Republican Club will soon be hanging in Klan clubhouses all across the south very soon.

Now, with today’s cartoon, I just have to sit back and wait for Trump’s complimentary phone call.

Be Complicit
What kind of person would want to be part of something that disparages, slanders, and disrespects Dear Leader and his sycophantic followers? Hopefully, you. 
Making a contribution supports my work and keeps the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. My income is from newspapers that subscribe to my work and small contributors. George Soros hasn’t sent me a million dollar check in weeks. Making a contribution of any amount, or buying a print for $40.00, makes you part of this specific resistance, and a member of Team Claytoonz (we’re still working on the name). You are complicit, an accomplice, and in cahoots (and whatever gangster terms we can think of) with this political satire pointing out that the stupid emperor has no clothes. Contributions can be made through PayPal, checks, and wads of cash exchanged in back alleys.
Whether you can help support, can’t, or just choose not to, please continue to enjoy and keep reading my work. Thank you!!! 

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

Watch me draw.