emoluments

The First Crime Family Condemns Crime Families


cjones10102019

Donald Trump Jr truly lives up to his namesake. Always eager to help his father lie and smear political enemies, he went after Hunter Biden last Wednesday. Trumpy Jr said that Hunter serving on a board of a Ukranian energy company while his father was vice president created the “appearance of impropriety” and represented a “clear conflict of interest.” Then, he gave a speech condemning pomade-abusing, trust-fund baby douchebags.

The Trump family believes they’re American royalty. What they are is royal hypocrites. I believe Washington political pundits have forgotten how to stare in stunned disbelief.

Melania Trump’s anti-cyberbullying campaign, “Be Best,” is best at being silent about her husband’s cyberbullying campaign, “Be Worst.” Still, it’s not as bad as Ivanka’s “Be Oblivious” campaign when it comes to her father and sexism. Ivanka is spearheading a women’s initiative in the White House, but it’s not in her initiative to comment when her dad said Megyn Kelly had “blood coming out of her whatever,” or when her dad called Rosie O’Donnell “fat little Rosie,” or when he endorsed an accused pedophile, or on the multiple on top of multiple sexual harassment and rape allegations against her dad, or whenever he attacks women of color, or when he calls Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas,” or when he says “send them back,” or when he brags about grabbing women “by the pussy,” or, etc., etc.

So now Trump Jr says Hunter’s business dealings don’t look proper and are a conflict of interest. So how proper does it look when foreign diplomats book rooms at Trump hotels? How proper is it for Trump to make the U.S. government spend money at his golf resorts for 293 days, and counting, of his presidency? Does it not appear to be a conflict when he promotes his businesses from the platform of the presidency? There’s not a conflict in trying to host the next G7 Summit at Trump Doral? I suppose the United States government being the landlord to Trump’s Washington Hotel isn’t a conflict either. Don’t expect the attorney general to look into that as he just booked a $30,000 party at the hotel because none of the other hotels in D.C. met his requirements, such as having the name Trump on them.

Before Trump became president, he cut deals in some of the most corrupt places on the planet. Before she spearheaded that women’s initiative, Ivanka led a hotel development in Azerbaijan, ranked 152 out of 180 on Transparency International’s index of the world’s most corrupt countries, which is a nicer way of describing the nation than as a “shithole.” The partner in that project was the son of the nation’s transportation minister who’s linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. In case you’re a Republican, they’re the bad guys.

The Trumps worked with the son of a former dictator on a proposed hotel project in Brazil. That one only collapsed after Trump was elected and prosecutors went after the partner for a scheme where he diverted pension funds into…wait for it…real estate developments. I know. You’re shocked to discover there’s gambling in this establishment.

How much foreign money came into Trump’s inauguration committee? The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is trying to find out. How much do the Trumps owe Deutsche Bank? How much of that is backed by Russians?

In Indonesia, the Trumps are building two resorts with a man who bought one of their L.A. mansions last summer. While Donald Trump is yelling for China to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden, their Indonesian project is partly funded by…you’re totally going to be shocked with this one…China.

China doesn’t have a reputation for respecting American brands’ claims on intellectual property rights. Yet they’ve granted daddy’s sweet little princess, Ivanka, 34 trademarks since daddy took office. Three of those were approved the day she and her father dined with China’s president at…try not to be shocked with this one…Mar-a-Lago. I wonder how much China spent on their stay at that resort.

The sister of Jared Kushner, Ivanka’s husband, promoted her family’s connections to Trump while marketing investment programs in Kushner-owned companies. After two years of trying to get new partners or financing for a New York City property at 666 (seriously) 5th Avenue, that a previous partner said “would be worth a lot more if it was just dirt,” a Canadian company with investment from Qatar (if you’re a Republican, Qatar is a country, not something you do to a chick that dares criticize Dear Leader) bailed the Kushners out by purchasing a 99-year lease on the building. Jared, who’s buds with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, backed a Saudi-led blockade of Qatar. Some felt the Persian Gulf nation was attempting to influence Kushner to influence Trump. By the way, one of the Saudi demands of Qatar was that the nation close Al-Jazeera, a news outlet broadcasting throughout the Middle East that reports stuff they don’t want people to know.

You would think Don Jr would take a cue from Ivanka and Melania. They remain silent about Trump’s bullying and sexism, contradicting positions they pretend to be passionate over. Maybe Dumbass Jr should shut up about Hunter Biden.

I agree there is an appearance of a conflict when a vice president’s son serves on a foreign board. Even then, no law is being violated. But, if Hunter’s involvement is worthy of an “investigation,” then so are the Trumps foreign wheelings and dealings. I want to hear a reporter ask Donald Trump if China should investigate his kids’ business dealings. I want to hear the deflection he comes up with for that.

If Donald Trump really cares about fighting corruption, then maybe he should start in his own house, if he hasn’t sold it to an Arab prince yet.

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Taxpayer-Financed Slush Fund


cjones04192018

The tax filing deadline has been extended to April 17, this Tuesday. If you’re a rational and sensible person, this means nothing to you as you have already filed. If you’re like me, you’ll be doing your taxes on Tuesday.

Patriots pay their taxes. A Republican’s idea of a patriot is a billionaire who finds ways around the system to pay as little as possible. Other Republican patriots are those who use taxpayer money as their own personal slush fund. Not only is the Trump cabinet full of these people, but Trump himself doesn’t mind spending our money on his personal frivolity.

EPA chief Scott Pruitt loves to use our money to fly first class, on military flights, and heightened personal security. The man has a higher security detail than any previous EPA chief before him, and he has traveled to locations he didn’t really need to, such as his home in Tulsa and Morocco to shill for American oil companies. He also attempted to give huge pay raises to a couple of buddies in his department over the objections of the White House.

HUD chief Ben Carson spent $30,000 on a dining room set for his office. His excuse was that the old set was dangerous as it was liable to fall apart if you sat on it and there were rusty nails sticking out. Who knew that entering the office of the HUD Secretary would require a tetanus shot?

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin spent over $1 million on eight flights. One of those was for a trip he took his snooty wife on to see the solar eclipse in Kentucky. You remember her. She’s the one who got into a tiff with a constituent who criticized her for boasting about her expensive name-brand clothing. You probably saw the pic of her holding a sheet of money with Stevie where she’s clad in all black. You’d be forgiven for mistaking them for Bond villains if they had any charm.

When Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke isn’t plotting to turn government monuments into oil fields, he enjoys taking charter flights, financed by you, to the Virgin Islands, Las Vegas and his home in Montana. One of those flights from Vegas to his home cost nearly $13,000. By the way, the Interior Department spent $139,000 to upgrade three sets of double-doors in his office.

David Shulkin was fired as head of the Veterans Administration for his scandals which seem far less than the ones being committed by Pruitt. Shulkin took his wife on a taxpayer-financed trip to Europe where they toured castles and attended Wimbledon.

Then we have the president himself. Trump plays a lot of golf despite telling us he wouldn’t have time for golf. It appears he doesn’t have time for much of anything else except for tweeting. Trump spends most weekends at one of his many resorts and while there, we foot the bill. The press and Freedom of Information groups are having a difficult time finding out how much Trump makes off us during his trips. But, we do know that one night at Mar-a-Lago can cost over $500 which has been spent on government employees.

Of course, we have to pay to protect the president, but we pay this president to protect the president. Donald Trump charges the Secret Service rent at his facilities and even charges them for golf cart rentals. It’s no wonder he leaves the White House so much. He can’t charge anyone rent for staying there.

Trump is about to spend the entire week at Mar-a-Lago which will turn a pretty penny for him. He is literally making money off being president. For the second time, he’ll be hosting the Prime Minister of Japan at the resort, so he’s also making money off our allies’ taxpayers.

So, make sure you don’t just file your taxes on time, but that you get your check in the mail too. I mean, it’s not like Donald Trump’s going to pay for his golf outings.

Creative notes: This cartoon is dated for April 19, which is two days after the tax deadline. People will probably still be feeling the pain at that time. But, I tell my clients the cartoons are not embargoed by the file date, which means they can run them at any time.

Here’s the video.

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