Editorial cartoons

Death Becomes Them


cjones06262017

Ya’ know, this might be the best caricature that’s ever been drawn of Ted Cruz. I’m not patting myself on the back here as I only drew a robe with a black hole for the face. Usually, when it comes to black holes and Ted Cruz, the black hole is where his heart should be.

I wonder about the type of people who like Ted Cruz. I imagine they’re the sort who giggle when old people fall down. They probably aim their car tires at tortoises crossing the street. A little pee came out while they were laughing hysterically at disabled protesters being arrested for protesting the new Republican designed anti-health plan. There’s nothing funnier than arresting people who need wheelchairs and oxygen tanks. Republicans find that shit funnier than Hee-Haw.

Ted Cruz is a vile, evil, sinister, creepy, and all-around icky person. While the GOP’s huge tax-cut plan for the rich designed as a health plan is too mean for Republican senators like Maine’s Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, it’s just not mean enough for Ted Cruz and the Republican toad from Kentucky, Rand Paul (the other senator from Kentucky, Mitch McConnell is an actual tortoise).

What’s in this bill from the U.S. Senate that actually became meaner than the House version (which many thought was impossible but the Senate said “hold my scythe”)? First, it strips funding from Planned Parenthood. And if you’re a Ted Cruz kinda guy who really desires to tell women what they can and can’t do with their bodies, you might be all right with that. Never mind the fact that there is no federal funding for abortions and all that money goes to cancer screenings and other health benefits (women stuff we guys wish to remain oblivious to). But who needs facts when you have dogma, right?

This bill will kill the Medicaid expansion that covers 14 million people in 30 states and Washington, D.C. States will have to make up the cost difference and it’ll cost them millions, and a few billion. Since states won’t actually be able to make up this difference, it will affect people in and slightly above poverty. But, Republicans have shown they really don’t give a shit about poor people.

The bill imposes a harsher federal spending cap on Medicaid. This will force states, who have to actually balance their budgets, unlike Congress, to choose between funding Medicaid, education, law enforcement, roads, prisons, etc. It will cut over $800 billion from Medicaid. Can you tell me how you can cut over $800 billion from the program without it adversely affecting the poor?

Since the fire in the states’ dumpsters won’t really start burning until most of the current governors are out of office, they’re not going to start planning ahead. Most of these people are Republicans. In case you haven’t noticed, Republicans don’t do well with budgets. Remember the budgets from Reagan, Bush, or the other Bush? Wait until the multiple bankruptcy president is through with the federal budget. We’re gonna have to rewrite the 22nd Amendment just so Obama can come back and fix this shit again.

The bill will maintain Obamacare’s tax credits but will scale back the value of those based on income and geography. It may benefit people with high premiums but it’ll also make deductibles rise. You don’t mind your deductibles rising, do you?

The Senate version will make it easier for states to seek exemptions from other provisions of the law, including the essential benefits insurers must cover, including maternity care and mental health. The House version would authorize states to apply for waivers allowing insurers to charge sick people more. Since this will have to return to the House if it passes, we can’t be sure what’ll end up in the final version. This thing could end up with a Dracula-blood-sucking-death-panel provision. Do you like leeches?

Both versions of this plan will force people to go without health coverage. How can that be predicted? When you make it too expensive and people have to choose between health insurance and little luxuries like eating, that’s the logical outcome.

By removing low-income and disabled people from Medicaid the Senate bill would fund a large capital gains tax cut for the rich. According to the Center on Budget [and] Policy Priorities, $33 billion of the tax cuts would benefit the 400 wealthiest U.S. households, so if you sell a lot of stocks you’re gonna smell goooooooooooooooooooooooooooood.

Thirteen members of the Senate worked on the bill in secret, though a few of them claimed they didn’t know what was gonna be in it. That’s like an author not knowing who-did-it in his murder mystery. It’s usually the butler and if this bill is amended to appease the bastards, Ted Cruz will probably be the butler.

Did I mention, nobody likes Ted Cruz? When I say “nobody,” I mean people who are decent individuals who don’t run over turtles on purpose and folks who don’t live in Texas.

One last thing: If you voted for Donald Trump, who promised he wouldn’t cut Medicaid, you’re an idiot.

Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. Your support contributes to my work and continued existence. The starving cartoonist appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

Want a signed copy of this cartoon? Donate at least $50 and I’ll ship it to you. Make sure to mention in the note with your donation which cartoon you want along with the mailing address you need it shipped to. If it’s a gift, make sure to mention the recipient’s name so I can make it out to them.

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Lordy


cjones06252017

A smart man would learn after his “I got tapes” bluff doesn’t work with a writer, that it won’t work with the director of the FBI. Donald Trump is not a smart man.

In a deposition several years ago, Trump was asked about telling people he was taping them when he wasn’t. He kinda sorta came clean with “I might have said that.”

Now Trump has come clean that he did not tape his conversations with former FBI director James Comey, though he speculated that maybe someone else may have taped them, perhaps from bugging. The guy really has a hard time admitting when he’s wrong (which is constantly). Bad thing is, this time he knew he was wrong. And what’s with the paranoia that he’s constantly being bugged? Is Trump going to spend the next four years in a perpetual state of whining and acting like a victimized baby?

Trump let the lie hang for 41 days that he may have taped Comey. His sycophants point out that Trump said Comey better “hope” there aren’t any tapes. Technically, that’s not a lie, but when you let it hang for 41 days, ignore the question when the press asks you repeatedly, and you send your staff out to defend the dumb-ass tweet, you turn it into a lie.

Trump’s staffers and lawyers tell us to ignore his tweets, but take him at his word as the president of the United States of America. So is he not president when he’s tweeting? Are we supposed to accept that he’s a 70-year-old toddler that isn’t old enough yet to have his own cell phone? It brings us back to litigating the election by asking again: “How did a man too stupid to be president become president?” That in itself is worthy of an investigation.

But he is the president and when he took the oath to become president he swore to defend our nation from all attacks, foreign and domestic. How can he defend us when he refuses to acknowledge an attack?

Trump and his supporters love to say there’s no evidence of a collusion between himself and/or his campaign with Russia, or obstruction of justice. If that’s the case, then why does he keep lying and making shit up?

Trump’s lawyers have to be relieved that the tapes don’t exist. I mean, yeah, Trump shot his credibility down even further, but at least he didn’t create even more evidence that he’s attempting to manipulate an investigation.

I can’t decide if the funniest part of all this is that after making the tape claim, Trump and his people act all bewildered that anyone wants to talk about it. It’s like his birther claim. He peddles it for five years and then he doesn’t want to talk about it, and he definitely never acknowledges he was wrong or just making shit up.

It’s also knee-slapping hilarious that Trump’s tape tweet is what got the Special Counsel in business. That’s some seriously stupid-ass bluffing right there. This guy is seriously leading our nation and toting around the nuclear football? Oh, that’s funny in a terrifying way. I can’t wait to watch Trump defenders explain this as either a lie or a seriously stupid, moronic bluff. It has to be one of the two, if not both. It’s both.

Or maybe the funniest part is that the day Trump admits the tape claim was a lie, he starts questioning Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s integrity. Seriously. He’s doing that with Comey and now he’s pulling it on Mueller (perhaps so when he fires Mueller he can say that he didn’t trust him).

But let’s question Mueller and Comey’s integrity. I mean they did lie about Obama’s birthplace, planted the lie that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower, that millions of illegal votes were cast for Hillary Clinton, that Trump has the largest electoral victory in modern history, or that the clouds parted and the rain stopped during Trump’s inauguration speech. Oh, wait. Those were Trump lies.

Here’s the thing: Trump has lied again, and again, and again, and again, etc. He’s even lied about the freaking weather. And guess what.

We have it all on tape.

Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. Your support contributes to my work and continued existence. The starving cartoonist appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

Want a signed copy of this cartoon? Donate at least $50 and I’ll ship it to you. Make sure to mention in the note with your donation which cartoon you want along with the mailing address you need it shipped to. If it’s a gift, make sure to mention the recipient’s name so I can make it out to them.

Big Nasty Georgia Peach


cjones06232017

While Democrats are really disappointed by losing the special election for Georgia’s 6th Congressional district, Republicans are euphoric.

During the time of the primaries and the general election, the United Kingdom called and held an election for Parliament. We really take a long time with elections as our presidential campaigns last over two years. Sheesh!

There are challenges for both parties to take away from this election.

For the Republicans, they can’t get too excited. This was a seat they’ve held since Jimmy Carter was president. It’s a seat they usually win by large margins but with Trump in office, they’re barely clinging to them. They won Georgia by about four points.

They’re also gleeful that they’re 4-0 with special elections since Trump took office. They see these wins as proof that Trump is not hurting the down-ballot candidates. What they won’t mention on the news shows is that each of those wins was in very conservative districts in Georgia, Montana, Kansas, and South Carolina. They’re supposed to win these districts without much of any challenges, but they’re barely hanging onto them.

The challenge for Democrats is, don’t lose hope. They can’t let these losses cut into their enthusiasm or destroy their resistance. These were very red districts.

The midterm elections will be held next year and in politics, a year is a long time. A year of Donald Trump will give Democrats more ammunition, enthusiasm, and Republicans less to cling to. There are about 70 districts across the nation currently held by Republicans that are more susceptible for Democrats to flip. And maybe each seat won’t take over $50 million combined by both parties.

Some pundits are saying Jon Ossoff should have run harder to the left. He ran as a civil person and didn’t focus on Donald Trump. Being civil and reasonable won’t attract Republicans so I don’t see how being confrontational will. He was a good candidate for this district.

I saw some posts on social media from people blaming Bernie Sanders and saying everything he touches dies. I don’t see it that way. Who was he going to support in this election?

Karen Handel won the race by avoiding Donald Trump. He didn’t campaign for her and she didn’t mention his name until her victory speech. Then her crowd started shouting “Trump” repeatedly. It reminded me of the rally I attended in Virginia which made me feel like I stepped into a 1923 Munich Beer Hall.

Now that Handel has her seat she’s gonna have to kiss Trump’s seat. For that, just imagine it’s a Georgia peach.

A great big nasty Georgia peach.

Creative notes: Some of my clients may be afraid of this cartoon since it shows buttocks. I usually avoid butts in cartoons but a lot of my colleagues draw them all the freaking time. Some of them draw them so much I’m starting to think they have issues. I tried to make it look as much as a peach as possible. For them, pretend it’s a peach.

I had another idea on a different subject which will also scare my clients. Even if I have to put it off tomorrow (depending on what happens in the news), I am determined to draw it this week. I should probably do something this week that won’t freak my editors out.

I am currently blogging this from Starbucks at 6:40 a.m. as my home internet went out around 3:00 a.m. I don’t know. I unplugged stuff and plugged it back in. I’ll be screaming at someone later today.

Starbucks is really fricking cold this morning and there are screaming/squealing children which made it very hard to write. I’m going home.

Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. Your support contributes to my work and continued existence. The starving cartoonist appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

Want a signed copy of this cartoon? Donate at least $50 and I’ll ship it to you. Make sure to mention in the note with your donation which cartoon you want along with the mailing address you need it shipped to. If it’s a gift, make sure to mention the recipient’s name so I can make it out to them.

Health Care Detained


cjones06222017

I know. This cartoon is pretty harsh. While I don’t believe Republicans really want to hurt Americans, I do believe the majority of them put their special interests above the health of our citizens. They don’t want us to see what’s going on behind their curtain.

It’s terrible that Otto Warmbier was detained for 17 months by North Korea for swiping a propaganda poster he wanted to keep as a souvenir. It’s a tragedy that the Kim regime returned him in a coma, which he died from on Monday. The mystery is: what did the Kim regime do to Warmbier that put him into a coma?

My point here is that Republicans in Washington need to express a bit more concern than Kim Jong Un does for the health of Americans. They can start by crafting their health care plan in open and not in secret away from the American public, their Democratic opponents, and even the majority of their own party.

I’m for open government, here and in North Korea. I’m also for punishing those who seek to hurt Americans, intentionally or not.

Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. Your support contributes to my work and continued existence. The starving cartoonist appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

Want a signed copy of this cartoon? Donate at least $50 and I’ll ship it to you. Make sure to mention in the note with your donation which cartoon you want along with the mailing address you need it shipped to. If it’s a gift, make sure to mention the recipient’s name so I can make it out to them.

Hypocrisy With One Hand


cjones06212017

Congressman and Miami Republican Cuban-American Mario Diaz-Balart said “You will never see this president doing the wave with a ruthless dictator at a baseball game,” as a comparison between Trump and Obama’s policies toward Cuba. While we may never see Trump doing the wave with a ruthless dictator, we have seen him do a sword dance with one.

The United States has always been hypocritical with its policy toward Cuba. From the 1950s to the 90s, we used Cuba’s association the Soviet Union as one of our reasons not to engage with the island nation diplomatically, despite our having diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.

We cite Cuba’s oppression of dissidents, political parties, a free press, and a lack of free elections, while we carried on willy-nilly with the Soviet Union, China, and even Saddam Hussein’s Iraq until he invaded Kuwait. Today we don’t have a problem with monarchies in the Persian Gulf region, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which are both governed by Sharia Law (fun stuff like beheading, stoning, flogging, etc). While we discourage American tourists from visiting Cuba, we’re happy to send them to a land where they can literally have their heads chopped off.

While Trump was getting jiggy in Saudi Arabia, his sycophants were praising the fact there weren’t any protests against him there, where protests are outlawed. But hey, let’s give Cuba another lecture on allowing dissent.

And sure, Cuba isn’t an island paradise but like most things in reality, it’s not entirely good, bad, black, or white. While Cuba has a horrid human rights record, they also have a highly educated society with advanced healthcare for all.

Obama’s opening of relations with Cuba was far from perfect. Trump promised to roll back our diplomacy toward Cuba, and what he did Friday didn’t exactly do all of that. We still have an embassy there. Americans can still travel to Cuba, but with restrictions. Cuban-Americans can still send cash to relatives in Cuba. The nation remains off the list of state sponsors of terror.

The biggest change in policy is that Americans who travel to Cuba can not stay in a hotel, eat in a restaurant, or see a show that is majority owned by the government. They can only give their business to privately-owned enterprises and they must remain a part of tour groups. To maintain compliance, Americans must provide receipts of their expenses and diaries (dear diary, this sucked) to the U.S. Treasury Department. I’m not sure what the punishment will be if they disobey. Maybe they’ll be sent to Saudi Arabia for flogging.

Basically, if you want to travel to Cuba the easiest way will be on a cruise ship which will prevent you from actually seeing Cuba.

One big non-change is Obama’s policy to Cuban refugees. For decades, we had a “wet foot/dry foot” policy toward Cuban refugees. The policy allowed undocumented Cuban migrants who reached dry land to stay in the U.S. as legal residents. If you survived the ocean, dehydration, sunburn, heatstroke, the U.S. Coast Guard, and sharks, to reach a Florida beach, you could stay. Obama eliminated that policy and Trump hasn’t changed it (keeping with his policy of not liking brown people entering our nation).

Republicans cater to Cuban-Americans in Florida as they tend to vote heavily for the GOP. While Trump lost Miami-Dade County to Hillary Clinton by nearly 30%, he received almost 334,000 votes in the county, nearly all from Cuban-American Republicans, who account for 72 percent of the GOP rolls in Miami-Dade. Trump barely won Florida by 1.2%. For that, he can thank Cuban-Americans. Their reward is more talk than promises kept by Trump. Being that they are Trump-voting Republicans, they will fall for it.

The same Trump supporters who cheer his new policy toward the tyrants in Cuba also applaud his sword dance with Arab monarchies that deny women the right to vote and drive. While the King of Saudi Arabia holds Trump’s hand, Trump supporters ignore those he cuts off.

Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. Your support contributes to my work and continued existence. The starving cartoonist appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

Want a signed copy of this cartoon? Donate at least $50 and I’ll ship it to you. Make sure to mention in the note with your donation which cartoon you want along with the mailing address you need it shipped to. If it’s a gift, make sure to mention the recipient’s name so I can make it out to them.

Lawyering Up


cjones06202017

Even though Donald Trump has Marc Kasowitz as his personal attorney, criminal defense isn’t really his thing. His thing is losing cases where Trump sues someone for saying he’s not as rich as he claims, and settling with people who were scammed by Trump University. Wisely, Trump has been searching for a lawyer with criminal defense experience.

And being wise in return, most criminal defense lawyers in Washington have been saying “no thank you.” Why wouldn’t lawyers want to defend a very rich president? For starters, he often doesn’t pay his legal fees. In fact, lawyers who defended Trump in lawsuits from contractors suing him for nonpayment, have turned around to sue Trump for nonpayment. It’s not like those lawyers weren’t warned.

Another reason is that Donald Trump is the worst client in the world.

In the film The People Vs. Larry Flynt, Flynt, played by Woody Harrelson, tells his lawyer, “I’m your dream client. I’m the most fun, I’m rich, and I’m always in trouble”. Trump too, is rich and always in trouble, but he’s not as much fun.

Trump’s biggest problem as a legal client is, he doesn’t shut up. It’s like having a client accused of murder who tweets out “I am innocent, and didn’t kill him by striking a blow to the head with an ax. An ax with a blue handle anyone can purchase at Walmart for $13.95 at 3:00 a.m., $11.95 with a Sunday coupon.”

Trump is in his current situation because of his big mouth, or in his case, Twitter. His “better hope it wasn’t taped” tweet is why a special counsel was appointed. The man claimed he fired James Comey because of his handling of the FBI’s Hillary Clinton investigation, and then tells the Russians in the Oval Office that he did it to kill the investigation into his dealings with Russia. Just in case that wasn’t recorded, he told NBC’s Lester Holt the same thing, which was recorded. Trump has even pressured several intelligence officials to interfere in the investigations. He upped the ante of the investigation of Russian meddling to include obstruction of justice.

If bragging about doing the crime isn’t enough, the man is attacking those who are investigating him. It’s a huge surprise he hasn’t left a bag of flaming dog doo on Robert Mueller’s doorstep…yet. His aides and friends are even reporting that he’s considering further obstructions by firing Mueller.

Kasowitz has advised many in the White House that they don’t need to hire personal attorneys yet. Taking Kasowitz’s experience and legal wisdom into account, most of those people are ignoring that advice.

Vice President Mike Pence has hired a personal lawyer. He’s even started a Mike Pence super PAC. There’s only two reasons for this PAC and those are, either to pay for the lawyer or Pence believes he’ll be running for president in 2020. Perhaps you can contribute to the Mike Pence legal defense fund. Is there a line? You think he would have saved a few bucks from selling soul.

Even the lawyers Trump currently has (that came with Kasowitz) are hiring lawyers. A lot of people are saying it’s normal for presidents and those close to him to be hiring personal lawyers. It is totally normal…in Trump world. Trump world includes a president who accused his predecessor or bugging his office and once bragged during a debate about his supposedly large penis.

But there is hope for Trump as it’s been reported he has found a D.C. lawyer with experience in criminal defense to advise his case. No, not the guy who defended the D.C. Madam (he wouldn’t return Trump’s calls).

Bill Cosby’s current sexual assault trial is probably going to end with a hung jury. Trump’s case is going to be much more difficult to defend because he’s a client who won’t shut up.

I hope for his new attorney’s sake that he was paid in advance. If he loses, It’ll probably be left in a flaming bag on his doorstep.

Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. Your support contributes to my work and continued existence. The starving cartoonist appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

Want a signed copy of this cartoon? Donate at least $50 and I’ll ship it to you. Make sure to mention in the note with your donation which cartoon you want along with the mailing address you need it shipped to. If it’s a gift, make sure to mention the recipient’s name so I can make it out to them.