Grim Reaper

Kabul’s Reapers


How bad is ISIS-K? The Taliban hates them.

We spent the past two decades fighting the Taliban. The Taliban created a safe haven for al Qaida to train and conduct their terrorism. Al Qaida attacked the United States at least three times from the comfort and safety of the Taliban’s Afghanistan. So when you hear the Taliban are upset over a terrorist attack by ISIS-K, it’s not that the Taliban hates terrorism…they just hate that brand of terrorism.

It’s like pumpkin spice coffee. Hating pumpkin spice coffee doesn’t mean I hate all coffee. ISIS-K is the pumpkin spice of terrorism just like Donald Trump is the pumpkin spice of American presidents.

The Taliban claims they are the new-and-improved Taliban. Donald Trump wanted a photo-op with them. Mike Pompeo did get a photo-op with them. Donald Trump wanted their leader released from an Afghanistan prison, and he’s now ruling over the entire nation. Donald Trump negotiated our exit from Afghanistan, not with the government of Afghanistan, but with the Taliban. Today, we’re allowing the Taliban to manage security outside the Kabul Airport. The Taliban has assured us they will not attack U.S. forces during the withdrawal.

And then yesterday, a terrorist attack hit the airport. At this time (around 9:00 AM EST, 08/27/2021), at least 110 people are dead, including 13 Americans. ISIS-K has claimed responsibility. There was a warning the day before that ISIS-K might attack the airport. So yeah, I believe it was ISIS-K. How horrible do you have to be for the Taliban to think you’re an extremist? And there isn’t a guarantee the Taliban won’t create another safe haven for al Qaida.

One thing I despise about this is the nationalism we inject when there were so many other losses. I’ve already seen at least three cartoons with crying Uncle Sams and folding American flags. There will be more. I’m not against mourning the Americans who died. I’m against only mourning the Americans who died. Most headlines are saying, “13 Americans dead…and some other people.”

The other thing I despise is the immediate pile-on by Republicans to attack Biden, and I’ve already seen cartoons doing that. Liberals and Democrats didn’t do that to George W. Bush on 9/11. Can Republicans give it a day before they politicize 110 deaths? Did Democrats attack Ronald Reagan the day terrorists killed 241 Americans in Beirut, or did they give that a day? When a Republican is president during a terrorist attack, we’re supposed to rally around the flag. When a Democrat is president during a terrorist attack, then we need to start impeachment hearings. The exception to this is Donald Trump because when terrorists committed attacks during his presidency (sic), they were his terrorists.

President Biden said to the terrorists responsible for this attack, “We will hunt you down.” He’s continuing the evacuations despite more threats. He said this is the worst day of his presidency. That is leadership. We will continue to evacuate Americans and refugees, and looking at our track record at finding and killing terrorists, we will hunt them down.

The worst thing that could come from this terrorist attack is that it makes us stay in Afghanistan longer. Quite frankly, that’s what terrorists want. It’s a lot easier to kill Americans over there than over here. We still have to leave Afghanistan…now.

Signed prints: The signed prints are just $40.00 each. Every cartoon on this site is available. You can pay through PayPal. If you don’t like PayPal, you can snail mail it to Clay Jones, P.O. Box 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403. I can mail the prints directly to you or if you’re purchasing as a gift, directly to the person you’re gifting.

Notes on my book, Tales From The Trumpster Fire: here are SIX copies of my book in stock, which go for $45.00 each, signed. Also, I have copies of my first book from 1997, Knee-Deep in Mississippi available for $20.00.

Tip Jar: if you want to support the cartoonist, please send a donation through PayPal to You can also snail it to P.O. Box 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403.

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Remember that time I wrote I would try not to use the Angel of Death for Ron DeSantis in my next cartoon? You know…yesterday. I failed.

I had another idea but then I got this one. I thought instead of avoiding what has now become a cliché, take that cliché, the Grim Reaper, and make it part of the point of the cartoon. The point here isn’t just to make fun of other cartoonists for using the same concept over and over (and that’s part of it), but that if so many are using it, then there must be something to it.

There is something to it. Ron DeSantis, that Florida Man governor, is ignoring science for a cheap political payoff. This guy will endanger the lives of Floridians, through children, for his own political gain. Ron DeSantis is not just running for reelection for governor…he’s running for president. And the scary thing is, it works in Florida.

The risk to children is not as great as it is to adults. Out of the over 600,000 who have been killed by covid in the United States, only a little over 400 have been children. One avoidable death of a child is too many, but less than one percent is a very low rate. But, the risk to children is rising with the Delta Variant…which can now be called the DeSantis Variant.

It’s not just death that’s a tragedy when it involves a child. Hospitalization of a child is a tragedy, and those are increasing…especially in Florida. This isn’t just a risk to children. There is a danger that infected children will give the coronavirus to more vulnerable adults.

One thing that could help with all this would be if Donald Trump made a public service announcement for vaccines. The entire messaging from the right would change overnight. Sure, they’d claim they always championed vaccines and gaslight the hell out of it, but if it saves lives, so be it. If more adults are vaccinated, it will definitely help prevent the virus being transmitted to children under the age of 12 who can’t be vaccinated.

Right now, Ron DeSantis isn’t banning face masks in schools. What he is banning are schools mandating face masks. Do you remember when Republicans used to claim they were about local governments. Remember when they were against big government making decisions for local boards? With this, Ron DeSantis is taking control away from local school boards. He’s being big government while claiming he’s protecting Florida from big government. This is standard Republican logic.

Ron DeSantis says parents should have the freedom to decide if their kids will wear face masks. Ignoring science, he’s decided that parents have the freedom to decide if their kids can kill other people’s kids.

Ron DeSantis claims he’s standing in big government’s way to protect freedom…so he’s standing in local government’s way. Ron DeSantis is no champion of freedom and he’s no angel. But he is the Grim Reaper.

Update: I’ve been asked on my blog, Facebook, Twitter, FB Messenger, and in email so I should just come clean about it now. I DO NOT own a pair of pink bunny slippers. Sorry.

Creative note: Even though I draw my cartoons on a tablet, I will usually make my cartoonists in cartoons drawing on paper on a drafting table. But I decided to make this one more realistic to my situation, despite not actually owning pink bunny slippers. My table looks kinda like this, I have a CNN coffee mug, there is not a tree outside my window (it’s a roof of a Tex-Mex restaurant), and there aren’t pizza boxes laying around my studio. The last time I got Pizza Hut, which I normally like, I could only eat half of it. It was gross. There is a lot of other stuff on my table.

Signed prints: The signed prints are just $40.00 each. Every cartoon on this site is available. You can pay through PayPal. If you don’t like PayPal, you can snail mail it to Clay Jones, P.O. Box 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403. I can mail the prints directly to you or if you’re purchasing as a gift, directly to the person you’re gifting.

Notes on my book, Tales From The Trumpster Fire: here are SIX copies of my book in stock, which go for $45.00 each, signed. Also, I have copies of my first book from 1997, Knee-Deep in Mississippi available for $20.00.

Tip Jar: if you want to support the cartoonist, please send a donation through PayPal to You can also snail it to P.O. Box 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403.

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It Is What It Is


I’ve heard people say, “It is what it is” my entire life. It seems to have gained a lot of traction over the past two decades. But basically, if you’re in a conversation looking for resolution or an answer or even that the person you’re talking with is concerned about the subject, the expression you do not want to hear is, “It is what it is.”

“Is what it is” is a person telling you they can’t do anything about it, they’re moving on, but they don’t want you to believe they’re throwing their hands in the air and giving up. According to the Urban Dictionary, it means “fuck it.”

And, if you’re hearing the president (sic) of the United States talk on a subject of great concern to the nation, like one that’s killed over 156,000 people, the last thing you want to hear coming out of his rancid, pursed, pucker-up, racist mouth is, “It is what it is.”

It means nothing can be done about it. Of course, Donald Trump can’t bring back the dead, though his supporters might argue he can while walking on water, but when he says, “It is what it is” about 156,000 people dead, he’s saying, “Fuck it. I don’t care. I can’t learn from it. Oh well…what’s for dinner?”

Carrying on the theme of the last blog, Donald Trump doesn’t give a flying fig fuck about you, or anyone, or anything, unless that one or thing is Donald Trump.

Do you know who says, “It is what it is”? People with herpes.

The Urban Dictionary also states it exhibits helplessness. Like we don’t already know Donald Trump is helpless, useless, clueless, and not worth a damn in helping with anything.

It means cry me a river, tough titties, deal with it or don’t, I don’t care, I can’t change it, I don’t know what to do, etc. A man who is 74-years old with a small penis says, “It is what it is.” If it hasn’t gotten bigger by now….It is what it is.

You hear the phrase “it is what it is” from people who were recently fired, kicked out of their band, sent to prison, just dumped out of their relationship, or just washed something red with all their whites. I’ve used it myself to describe my relationships with family members who support Donald Trump. When I say, “It is what it is” about them, it means it’s not going to change and there’s nothing I can or am willing to do about it. It means I’ve given up on them. They’re gone. It means, “Fuck them.”

When Donald Trump says, “It is what it is” about 156,000 dead Americans on his watch, he’s saying “fuck it.”

I say, “Fuck Donald Trump.”

And when Donald Trump is tossed out of the White House to prison, hey…It is what it is.

Note: I wanted to jam this one out quickly so I forgot to record it. So, there will not be an animation for this one. This will bring heartbreak and trauma to about three people.

Tip Jar: This pandemic is hitting everyone, including your favorite goofy cartoonist. I have lost clients and I’m afraid I might lose more. The PayPal button has always been included here for those who can and want to voluntarily support what I do. I understand this time is hard on everyone. If you can’t, don’t contribute. Take care of yourself and your family first.

But, all and any help is greatly appreciated and it helps keep me going. Think of me like a street performer busking out tunes on a corner (I won’t play “Wonderwall.” I promise). If you like the tune, or in this case, toon, throw a buck into the tip jar. It’ll help me play another song, draw another toon, write another blog, make another video, and post another snarky post on social media. It’ll help keep me alive. You can also order a signed print for $40. And if you don’t like the PayPal option, you can snail mail it to my P.O. Box. 

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The Grim Toady


What’s up with Mike Pence? He’s an adult, a grown man. He has a wife, a daughter, a pet bunny named Marlon Bundo. He probably pays taxes even…maybe. So what’s up with the constant toadying?

During any speech or comments by members of Donald Trump’s administration, they have to divert from the subject at hand to lavish praise on Donald Trump. Usually, the praise is for something imagined or managing a chaos he created. Except Mike Pence doesn’t divert from the subject to toady up to Trump. He diverts from toadying to talk about the subject. Mike Pence is an ass man. He loves the ass.

Mike Pence is an ass-kisser, a toady, bootlicker, suckup, lickspittle, flunky, fawner, sycophant, brown noser, apple polisher (I just learned that one), lackey, lapdog, and a yes man. He is the head zealot of the Trump cult. There are videos of Pence sitting next to Trump at a table, and when Trump moves the glass before him an inch or two, Pence quickly does the same with his eyes on Trump. Somewhere, your teacher’s pet from elementary school is saying, “damn.”

But yesterday during Trump’s declaration of a national emergency, Pence spoke several times. One of those times was dedicated solely to praising Trump and he may have broken his previous record for kissing Trump’s ass. Pence is real big on starting a statement with  leadership” and “President Trump…” That’s nauseating enough but yesterday’s session may have required a hosing down afterward.

Pence started with, “Thank you, Mr. President. This day should be an inspiration to every American, because thanks to your leadership from early on, not only are we bringing a whole of government approach to confronting the coronavirus, we’re bringing an all of America approach. Mr. President, from early on you took decisive action. You suspended all travel from China, you created travel advisories to South Korea and Italy. We screened all travelers from all airports in both of those countries. And on the unanimous recommendation of your health experts, you at midnight tonight will effectively suspend all travel from Europe and Americans that were returning will be screened and asked to voluntarily participate in a 14-day quarantine.”

Never mind the fact that Donald Trump has totally fucked up the response to the virus in service of his own self-interest. If you hadn’t thrown up by that point, it got worse. Pence continued, “Throughout this process, Mr. President, you’ve put the health of America first, but you brought the best of America to address it. And it’s not just at the federal level. As you said, Mr. President, we’ve been working with states across the country. We issued broad guidelines from the CDC for every American. But this week at your direction, we tailored specific recommendations from CDC for New York, Washington State, California, Massachusetts and Florida. And we’ve been in continuous contact, as you said, with governors around the country. Mr. President, you have forged a seamless partnership with every state and every territory in this country to put the health of our nation first.”

Whew! Finally, it stopped. Wait. No, it didn’t. It went on. “But today, I trust that people around the country that are looking on at this extraordinary public and private partnership to address the issue of testing with particular inspiration. After you tapped me to lead the White House Corona Taskforce, Mr. President, you said this is all hands on deck and you directed us to immediately reach out to the American business sector, commercial labs to meet what we knew then would be the need for testing across the spectrum. And today, with this historic public- private partnership, we have laid the foundation to meet that need. For Americans looking on, by this Sunday evening, we’ll be able to give specific guidance on when the website will be available.”

Thank God that’s over because he finally came up for air and…nope…“But it’s all a result of you tasking us with bringing together not just government resources, which all state labs can now test across the country. CDC is testing. But you said, Mr. President, that we wanted to bring all the resources of the country together and that’s what this partnership really means. Truth is that we have coronavirus cases now in 46 American states and while the risk of serious illness of the coronavirus remains low, we want to encourage every American to practice common sense, practice good hygiene, go to the CDC’s website to see what the guidance is for your community, or for the American people broadly. And as the President has said, it’s especially important now that we look after senior citizens with chronic underlying health conditions.”

It’s like the shark in Jaws. It’s coming back around! “Last week the President directed the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services to raise the standards in our…” Oh, for fuck’s sake. You get the idea. Mike Pence kisses a lot of ass. It might possibly be the one area where Trump doesn’t have enough ass.

I know Mike Pence has heard the criticism, jokes, and mocking of his ass-kissing, but has he seen and heard himself? Does he not have a problem with the entire world seeing him as a man without dignity? What do his wife and daughter think of this slavish worship? What does Marlon Bundo think? They probably know ass-kissing is second nature to Pence and he’s incapable of saying something nice about someone without putting his mouth on them. He even kissed the cruise line industry’s ass yesterday when he said, “as the President said, the American people cherish our cruise line industry” We do? But look at the skill in ass-kissing Pence displays there. He managed to kiss Donald Trump’s ass while his mouth was on a trajectory to kiss the cruise line industry’s ass. And he did it in one sentence. He should really teach a class. Kellyanne, on one knee will suffice. Willy, more pucker!

His ass-kissing needs play-by-play commentary: It looks like he’s going in to kiss the ass of the cruise line industry, Griff, but will he be able to squeeze in a smooch to the presidential derriere on the way? I don’t think so, Tom as it’s a longshot for even….WHOA, did you see that move? He did a spin around the cruise line industry, got a mouthful of the orange ass with a full reacharound before planting a big wet one on the love boat. It’s an ass-kissing hat trick! Once again, school the ass-kissing competition. Lindsey Graham just threw in the towel. Oh, I think Lindsey will be back to suck up again, Tom. Did you see the way he trampled over Devin Nunes?

Does Mike Pence hear the jokes and criticism? When Elizabeth Warren was asked about having her own Mike Pence, she said that she already has a dog. Does Mike Pence know he’s the dog? Does he know dogs don’t even want to be associated with him? It’s probably why he has a bunny (who probably doesn’t know he’s Mike Pence’s rabbit). No dog wanted to be Mike Pence’s dog. They’d rather be in one of those sad homeless skinny dog commercials with Sarah MacLachlan music playing over it.

I wonder how Mike Pence survived as a governor. He was the boss. Who did he suck up to? Jesus? I can’t imagine how Pence ever survived without being a sycophantic follower, because he wasn’t born to lead. He was born to suck up, toady, and kiss ass. Did anyone kiss Pence’s ass? If so, how much of a lowlife is that person? Has anyone ever looked at Mike Pence the way Mike Pence looks at Donald Trump? I often wonder how low you have to sink and degrade yourself to worship Donald Trump, but what kind of soul-less human worships Mike Pence (other than Indiana religious fundamentalist political cartoonist Gary Varvel)?

The biggest thing about Mike Pence kissing Donald Trump’s ass for his handling of the Coronavirus outbreak is that Donald Trump has been a total and utter failure. He’s proven American wrong in making him president. He’s the wrong man for the job and ill-equipped to do anything beyond taking care of himself. The first priority of the Trump administration has been and always will be to take care of Donald Trump. So, when Mike Pence first came on board, was he told by someone it’s mandatory to kiss Trump’s ass or did he just take it upon himself?

Some people don’t suffer fools and don’t tolerate ass-kissing, even when it’s their ass receiving the kisses. Shortly after I was hired by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, I once gave my editor a legitimate compliment on a column she wrote. She said, “Stop kissing my ass. You got the job.” I figured she was half-joking so I said, “OK. The column sucked.”

But other people reward fools. Shortly after arriving in Fredericksburg at The Free Lance-Star, my editor invited me, my then-wife, and the assistant editorial page editor over for dinner. At one point, my editor said it was our job to make the publisher happy. The assistant editor said, “I consider it my job to make….you happy.” On the way home, my wife, who is one of the most observant and intuitive people I’ve ever known, mentioned the extent of the sucking up by the assistant editor, focusing on that quote. “Damn, Jim’s ass-kissing totally ruined my appetite. How are you able to work with such groveling lickspittles?” I had been surrounded by it for a few weeks so I wasn’t even noticing it anymore but after her comment, I couldn’t unsee it ever again.

My editor at The Free Lance-Star just so happened to love having his ass kissed. Hell, he was an ass-kisser himself. He’d even kiss my ass which I always found strange since he was my boss. You’re supposed to suck up, not suck down. He also screamed at me too, quite often, so it was very much like Jekyll and Hyde. If he kissed my ass one day, I expected to be screamed at the next. But funny thing, his biggest ass kisser, who now works at a right-wing fuck-nut think tank, who proudly claimed without any shame that it was his job to make our editor happy, was constantly “motherfucker this” and “motherfucker that” when the editor wasn’t around. How much do you want to bet Mike Pence is the same?

Here’s the thing about ass-kissers. They don’t really like that ass. They’re not loyal. They’re only kissing your ass because they think it’s how they advance to the point of having their ass kissed, or even merely to survive. They don’t have faith in their skills and abilities to do the jobs they were hired for. While they obliviously don’t have any respect for themselves, they especially don’t have any for the ass they’re kissing. Oftentimes, it’s rewarded. Other times, they’re given the treatment they deserve.

Donald Trump is not loyal. We’ve never seen an American president feud with so many former staffers, each previously described as “the best hires,” as Trump has. Jeff Sessions illustrates two points here perfectly. He’s an ass kisser. He was the first Senator to kiss Trump’s ass in endorsing him. He wore a MAGA hat at that rally in Mobile. Eventually, Sessions was fired for doing his job. Today, Sessions is in a runoff for his old Senate seat and he’s still kissing Donald Trump’s ass. And Donald Trump…wait for it…has endorsed his opponent. In case you’re an ass-kissing Republican, let me point out the two points of this: Kissing Donald Trump’s ass didn’t pay off for Sessions and Donald Trump does not return loyalty.

So, you can bet your own ass that if Trump sees a change in the landscape for his reelection and believes he needs a stronger candidate as veep to secure his reelection, Pence is gone. I’m waiting to see what Trump does after Joe Biden picks a woman as his running mate. Biden will pick a woman. Will Trump react by dumping Mike Pence for Nikki Haley? Nikki’s done her own share of kissing Trump’s ass. How will Pence act in the future?

Funny thing, all these ass-kissers initially wanted someone other than Trump. Mike Pence endorsed Ted Cruz (and the guy kissed Cruz’s ass?) Nikki Haley endorsed Marco Rubio. I know average, ordinary, everyday Americans who opposed Donald Trump who now worship the guy. What did Trump change? Nothing. They changed. They gave up their dignity.

You can be nice, cordial, and complimentary of someone without giving up your dignity and being a servile ass-kisser. But that’s impossible if you don’t have confidence or belief in yourself…or any dignity or self-respect to begin with. And to kiss the ass of a racist, grifting conman with worms for brains requires a total lack of dignity and self-respect.

Mike Pence doesn’t have dignity or self-respect. He will always be an ass man but he won’t always be a Trump ass man. Down the line, he’s going to be critical of Trump and try to remove all guilt and blame from himself for today’s disaster, especially after Donald Trump throws his ass under a bus. But during that time in the future, he’ll have a new ass to kiss which will be at some right-wing college or think tank because he’ll have used up all his credits for public service by then.

Mike Pence is an ass-kisser. Don’t be like Mike Pence. Stay away from the ass, especially the great big orange ones.

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