John F Kennedy

Ya Ukrayinets’

President Joe Biden delivered his first State of the Union speech last night, and he delivered. Last night, we saw leadership from an American president. It was refreshing.

President Biden came out strong in his first SOTU address, standing with Ukraine and condemning Vladimir Putin’s tyranny. A heartwarming moment was when he pointed out one of his special guests, the Ukraine ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, who appeared moved by the sustained applause. Markarova even got a hug from First Lady Jill Biden.

President Biden stated, “In the battle between democracy and autocracies, democracies are rising to the moment and the world is clearly choosing the side of peace and security.”

President Biden pledged to stand with Ukraine and pointed out other nations doing the same. He said, “Members of the European Union, including France, Germany, Italy, as well as countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and many others — even Switzerland — are inflicting pain on Russia and supporting the people of Ukraine. Putin is now isolated from the world more than he has ever been.”

He pointed out the Justice Department and our allies’ efforts to seize and freeze assets of Russian oligarchs. He said, “Tonight, I say to the Russian oligarchs and the corrupt leaders who bilk billions of dollars off this violent regime: No more. I mean it. We’re coming for you.” Russian oligarchs unable to access their fortunes or even sail on their superyachts will put pressure on Putin.

President Biden also announced a new ban on Russian aircraft from flying in the United States.

President Biden’s leadership is a welcome change from the former guy, who withheld American military support from Ukraine in an extortion attempt to receive a political favor. The irony here is, the former guy withheld the aid to hurt the current guy. Today, the current guy is delivering more military aid without demanding a quid-pro-quo.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said yesterday, “Biden is one of the leaders of the world and it is very important that the people of the United States understand despite the fact that the war is in Ukraine…it is a war for the values of democracy, freedom.”
President Biden made clear last night he fully understands that. Meanwhile, and despite rousing support from Republicans last night, the former guy doesn’t understand that and has yet to issue any criticism of Putin or Russia for their invasion of a sovereign nation. Trump has given blame to President Biden for the war rather than placing it where it belongs, on Vladimir Putin, who he called a “genius.”

Republicans were still nitpicking about our response to Russia’s invasion. In the GOP rebuttal, Iowa governor Kim Reynolds claimed the war only happened because of Biden’s “weak” leadership. But here’s a question for the goons: What should Biden be doing differently? Oh yeah, stop Russian gas imports into the United States. That’s fair criticism, but Reynolds also criticized high gas prices in her rebuttal.
You can criticize the administration for our nation still importing Russian fuel. You can criticize the administration for high gas prices. But, you can’t criticize it for both. Pick one. Republicans don’t have solutions. They only have dog whistles and methods to create new problems for Democrats to solve. Kim Reynolds opposed President Biden’s American Rescue Plan but took credit for that plan providing over $210 million in federal funding for rural broadband projects in Iowa.

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy called out Soviet tyranny in his “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech.

Standing in West Berlin, Kennedy said, “Two thousand years ago, the proudest boast was civis romanus sum (I am Roman). Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is Ich bin ein Berliner!”… All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words ‘Ich bin ein Berliner!'”

Kennedy was championing democracy over Soviet fascism. Last night, President Biden did the same, except now it’s just Russian fascism.

Presidents usually say the line “the state of our union is strong” at the beginning of their SOTU speeches, but last night, Biden saved it for the end. I liked it.

President Biden said of Putin, “He thought he could roll into Ukraine and the world would roll over. Instead, he met a wall of strength he never imagined. He met the Ukrainian people.”

With President Biden’s leadership, rallying the world to place sanctions on Russia, Putin, and the oligarchs in ways the Russian dictator never imagined, he met Joe Biden.

Creative Note: I sent this cartoon to my proofers, Laura and Hilary after I had finished the drawing but before the shading and coloring. Always looking out for me, Laura asked where I got the translation. I got it from Google Translate, which is a really useful feature for a cartoonist like myself. The note I included with the cartoon said I had no idea why there’s an apostrophe after “Ukrayinets” and told my proofers to check behind me if they wanted to. Laura wanted to. And wouldn’t you know it? Laura has a friend from Ukraine she took a language class with…a friend who could also be a proofreader in English. A smart friend. So Laura asked her if I was correct.

Her friend, Marijka, replied: “The Ukrainian language has a soft sign/letter. The apostrophe is used to denote this. And the soft sign appears at the end of the word in this phrase.”

I got it correct. Thank you, Laura and Marijka. And thank you Google Translate. As I said, it’s a very useful feature. I’ve used it multiple times in the past as I like inserting languages other than English into my cartoons occasionally. What I do is type the phrase in English into Translate. Then, I take the translation and do a Google search of that to see where it comes up, just to double-check.

And since this cartoon didn’t take long to color and I was talking to Laura throughout that process, I didn’t have time to listen to any music.

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Notes on my book, Tales From The Trumpster Fire: There are 19 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.

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Presidents Worth More Than a Can of Beans


Here’s your cartoon for this week’s CNN Opinion newsletter. Please sign up to get these in your inbox every Sunday.

Once upon a time, President Barack Obama put his feet on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office. Despite the fact presidents before him had done so as well, including Ronald Reagan, Republicans were livid. How dare he put his feet on the Resolute Desk. At least he didn’t hawk beans on it.

After Donald Trump received empty praise from the president of Goya Foods, Ivanka did a glamour photo with a can of their beans where she’s holding the product like she’s Vanna White. She was roundly criticized and mocked for the act which was also illegal. You can’t use your federal position to endorse products. Seeing this, perhaps to award the company or to get in on trolling, Donald Trump posted a photo of him sitting at the Resolute Desk with several Goya products on top of it.

The other thing is, we’re still in the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic that’s killed close to 140,000 people. Donald Trump wants to reopen schools and he doesn’t have a plan. There is racial strife on the streets. What does he have time for? Posing with beans.

Most of us knew Donald Trump would be a failure as president. It didn’t take a genius political prognosticator to predict that a racist reality TV show host who built a career on grifting would make for a bad president. For the first three years, he got by barking at minorities, tweeting profoundly stupid statements, and taking credit for his predecessor’s accomplishments. The fact is, Donald Trump is a shitty president and might be shittiest in our nation’s history.

You can’t claim success when you lose 40 million jobs and 140,000 lives. If you’re still defending the Trump presidency, your island is getting smaller and smaller. Usually, when islands get smaller it’s because of climate change but luckily for you, you don’t believe in climate change.  The climate is changing, politically, and literally. Disapproval over Trump’s handling of the pandemic has even lowered among his racist base.

Donald Trump ran an ad full of people committing violent acts saying that’s what voters will get in Joe Biden’s America. Funny thing, all the violent acts in the ad were in Donald Trump’s America.

Donald Trump is a horrible president and he’s not worth a can of beans.

Creative note: This was the very first cartoon I submitted to CNN this week and they picked it before I had a chance to draw another. Here’s the rough.


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New Book: Tales From the Trumpster Fire

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