Mike Pompeo

The Magic Mikes


cjones10212019

Maybe I’m just naive and don’t understand diplomacy or foreign policy, but it seems to me if you’re going to have a successful ceasefire, then both sides have to agree on the definition of “ceasefire.”

Donald Trump, the self-described “stable genius” and “great negotiator” with “unmatched wisdom,” sent sycophant Mike One and sycophant Mike Two to Turkey to negotiate an agreement with President Recep Erdogan to stop killing Kurds. Pompeo and Pence emerged after a nine-hour negotiation with Erdogan that Turkey has agreed to stop killing Kurds for five days to give them time to leave a 20-mile “safe zone,” and that the Kurds must surrender their heavy weaponry and fortifications. What the Kurds get out of this is that they have five days to run before Turkey shoots them in the back while they’re running.

Reuters is reporting that the border is calm at this time, but within the first 24 hours, shelling and airstrikes against the Kurds continued. Erdogan blamed the Kurds though independent reporters and observers reported airstrikes and shelling coming from Turkey. But, Donald Trump backed Erdogan in blaming the Kurds. In fact, despite the “tough guy” letter Trump sent to Erdogan, he’s adopted the Turkish tyrant’s language when talking about the Kurds.

Erdogan has described the Kurds as terrorists and Trump has parroted that Turkey is fighting terrorism in Syria. Erdogan has claimed ISIS prisoners are being released intentionally by the Kurds, and Trump has echoed that. Erdogan claims the PKK, Kurdistan Workers’ Party, is a greater threat than Isis. Right on cue, Trump has made the same claim.

He’s taking Vladimir Putin’s talking points also in saying Russia is fighting ISIS when in reality, they’ve spent most of their time in Syria fighting rebels, often backed by the U.S., who are fighting Syria’s dictator Bashar Assad. This is Trump’s defense of giving Russia more clout in the Middle East while reducing the United States’. As Nancy Pelosi told him to this face earlier this week, “all roads lead to Putin.”

Trump started the Turkish invasion by pulling U.S. forces out of Syria on a whim after a phone call with Erdogan. Within hours, Turkey was invading Syria and targeting Kurdish fighters previously supported by the U.S. Donald Trump believes he’s solved a crisis he created.

The groups fighting in Syria now are Assad’s forces, the Kurds, Turkey, Russia, and Iran. Trump’s pullout is a win for each of them except the Kurds. At one of his hate rallies in Texas, Trump compared the fight to kids in a schoolyard and said, “Sometimes you have to let them fight a little while.” He also said he had given the Turks and Kurds a lesson in “tough love.” Hopefully, it didn’t involve a copy of Forbes Magazine with Ivanka on the cover which he’ll have to pay hush money to keep silent about later. Trump also claimed the Kurds are “very happy about the way things are going” and that the U.S. has “taken control of the oil in the Middle East.” Nobody understands what he meant by any of that.

Kids in a schoolyard fighting can’t be compared to an actual war where lives are lost and a refugee crisis is created. If the Kurds are “happy,” they’re not aware of it yet. And the oil, what the fuck? Trump’s comments are further evidence he needs to be removed from office.

Right now, every nation that wants to take advantage of the United States, friends and foes, needs to negotiate with Donald Trump. His negotiations with North Korea gave the U.S. nothing in return for legitimizing Kim’s regime and a cease in U.S. military preparedness on the Korean peninsula. His negotiations with Nancy Pelosi got him nothing when he started with something. His deal with Erdogan has given Turkey, Russia, and Iran everything, and even Assad a little something, but nothing for the Kurds or the U.S. If Iran was smart, they’d renegotiate the nuclear agreement with Trump, get clearance to build nuclear weapons, and maybe get a few Trump condos thrown into the deal.

Donald Trump is an idiot and he sent two idiots, Mike and Mike, to Turkey to wash Erdogan’s car. My question is, what else of Erdogan’s did they wash?

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You can help me continue to create cartoons, blogs, and videos by making a contribution. All support, large and small, is greatly appreciated. You can also support me by purchasing a signed print (8 1/2×11) for $40, or a signed poster (18×24) for $100 by clicking the PayPal button (just include a note if you’re purchasing a print). If you want to support but don’t want to use PayPal, you can send a contribution through the mail (address is on the contact page. Again, include a note for a print). I don’t plan on going anywhere and your support will help guarantee that. Whether you support, can’t. or just choose not to, please know that I am truly thankful that you visit my site and read my work.

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The Impeachment Blues


cjones10092019

Yesterday, a screenshot circulated on Facebook of a tweet attributed to Monica Lewinsky stating she would “take one for the team” and do to Donald Trump what she did to Bill Clinton in the Oval Office as “that’s the only thing that can convince Republicans to impeach.”

If you saw the tweet, shared it, liked, commented, or cheered Monica on, I hate to burst your bubble. It’s fake. She did not create that tweet. But it does create an interesting discussion.

What would convince Republicans to impeach Donald Trump? How far are they willing to go to debase themselves and lose all dignity for a horrible troglodyte such as Trump?

Lewinsky was probably the first victim of cyberbullying and it was her fake friend who convinced her to preserve the “evidence” on the blue dress, and not take it to the dry cleaners. Monica wanted to wear the dress to a family function and her “friend,” Linda Tripp, who was secretly recording her, manipulated her into keeping the dress by telling Lewinsky it made her look “really fat” and she shouldn’t wear it again in public.

Later, the dress was turned in as evidence which proved Bill Clinton had lied about his relationship with her. It seems kinda crazy twenty years later that the dress was even sent to a lab to prove a president was lying about receiving oral sex in an investigation that started over a 1970s land deal. For that lie, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives impeached Bill Clinton. Of course, the Republicans had to go through three Speakers before they could finally land one to preside over the impeachment who hadn’t also committed adultery. Years later, we discovered the Speaker they settled on was a pedophile. Ya’ gotta love Republicans, right?

Just like the blue dress incriminated Bill Clinton of lying about a personal matter, there’s incriminating evidence that should impeach Donald Trump.

The summary of Trump’s phone call with the president of Ukraine incriminates him of asking a foreign nation to meddle in our election. It also shows there was a quid pro quo, not that it’s needed. Texts messages from U.S. diplomats show there was a quid pro quo in Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. Rudy Giuliani incriminates himself and Trump every time he opens his horrid mouth. Now, there are records incriminating Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Vice President Mike Pence in this scheme. On top of all that, Trump has publicly called for other nations to help him in the next election and has bullied the whistleblower. In case you’re a Republican, both of those acts are illegal.

But back to the fake Monica tweet. The joke in the tweet is that oral sex is the only thing that will convince Republicans to impeach Donald Trump. I don’t believe that. They’ve ignored all the accusations of sexual assault, which numbers around 20. They’ve ignored him asking Russia to help his campaign. They’ve ignored his lies and conspiracy theories. They’ve ignored his racism and bullying when they’re not joining in. They’ve ignored his obstruction. They’re ignoring his taking money from the military for his stupid, racist wall. Why would anyone think a little Oval Office action would hurt Trump?

Edwin Edwards was governor of Louisiana for 16 years, but not all at once. The voters would elect him, toss him out, elect him again, toss him out, etc. It did help that the last time he won, his opponent was a Grand Wizard. During that last race in 1992, there were bumper stickers reading, “Vote for the crook. It’s important.” Edwards was a crook but he had a strong base of support. But even he had limitations which he acknowledged when he famously said, “The only way I can lose is if I’m caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy.” Louisiana might be the best state for political cartoonists.

While being caught with a live boy would have ruined Edwards, it probably wouldn’t hurt Donald Trump. Not with these Republican sycophants and the evangelicals who for some reason believe Trump is a God-fearing Christian. They’d probably say, “Jesus wanted him to have that boy.”

Don’t believe me? Let’s look at a few of the Republicans serving today who were around during the Clinton impeachment.

Lindsey Graham took impeachment seriously in 1999. He said, “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if this body determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role.” He also said, “Impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeaching is about restoring honor and integrity to the office. Today, his integrity has him saying, “Impeachment over this? What a nothing (non-quid pro quo) burger.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had a tough time with Bill Clinton’s lying. In 1999, he said, “The president would seek a win at any cost if it meant lying to the American people. If it meant lying to his cabinet.” Today, “If this is the launching point for the House Democrats impeachment process, they’ve already overplayed their hand.”

Newt Gingrich was a champion of impeaching Clinton and cried in 1998 about the “level of disrespect and decadence that should appall every American.” Today, he says that Democrats are pandering to “partisan extremes.”

In 1999, Republicans were sending dresses to labs searching for semen. Today, half of them can’t bother to read a five-page summary of a transcript.

Republicans have debased and degraded themselves far more than Monica Lewinsky could ever imagine. At least in Monica’s case, she was a naive, young girl who was taken advantage of by a smooth-talking president of the United States. But her actions never allowed Clinton to destroy the nation. These Republicans know exactly what they’re doing as they’re turning their party into a cult and sacrificing our nation because they’re afraid of Trump’s base. And you know they aren’t swayed because Donald Trump is a smooth talker.

Pompeo, Barr, Giuliani, and Pence have each traded in their reputations, dignity and self-respect for Donald Trump. They have sold their souls to this conman. They’ve lost more by their actions than they ever could have merely by wearing blue dresses in the Oval Office.

At some point, I hope they discover the bad taste in their mouths.

Creative Notes: One of my proofreaders looked at several of my rough ideas Thursday night and said about this one, “I didn’t really get the one about the guys in blue. Handmaid’s Tale?” And about ten minutes later, she messaged me with, “Oh my god!” My girlfriend, Amanda, got it immediately. But then again, she is weird enough to be dating a political cartoonist.

Support the cartoonist.

As I noted in a previous cartoon, these are perilous times for political cartoonists. But you can help me continue to create cartoons, blogs, and videos by making a contribution. All support, large and small, is greatly appreciated. You can also support me by purchasing a signed print (8 1/2×11) for $40, or a signed poster (18×24) for $100 by clicking the PayPal button (just include a note if you’re purchasing a print). If you want to support but don’t want to use PayPal, you can send a contribution through the mail (address is on the contact page. Again, include a note for a print).I don’t plan on going anywhere and your support will help guarantee that. Whether you support, can’t. or just choose not to, please know that I am truly thankful that you visit my site and read my work.

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

Watch me draw.

A Sinking Argument


cjones06182019

In 1898, the USS Maine was sunk in Havana Harbor (if you’re a conservative, Havana is in Cuba). It was sunk in February of that year. By April, we were at war with Spain. At that time, Spain was a world power whose strength was dwindling. But, they still held territories from their days of conquest. When the war was over, Spanish Empire was no more and the United States was a world power taking possession of Cuba, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. The war only lasted ten weeks and none of the fighting was in the U.S. or Spain.

The sinking of the Maine was a contributing factor for the U.S. to go to war with Spain. The public wasn’t enthusiastic about war until the Maine was sunk. Newspapers at the time, operating with less journalistic integrity than they do now, published on front pages the rallying cry, “Remember the Maine! To Hell with Spain!” And to this day, we don’t know what sunk the ship. But quite frankly, wouldn’t Spain had rather sunk a ship that didn’t rhyme with “Spain?”

There has never been any proof the Spaniards sunk The Maine. In 1974, a U.S. naval investigation agreed with the theory that the sinking happened because the ship’s magazines had been ignited by a spontaneous fire in a coal bunker. Spain never even got a “my bad.”

In 1915 during World War I (which nobody was calling “World War I” at the time), the ocean liner Lusitania was sunk by Germany off the coast of Ireland. Germany was waging submarine warfare against the United Kingdom which had initiated a naval blockade of Germany. Propaganda was spread by both sides, but the tide of public opinion internationally went against Germany, which was easy because they’re German. While the ship was carrying civilian passengers, including many Americans, Germany argued that it was also carrying ammunition for the war. The sinking helped instigate America’s entry into World War I (in case you’re a Trump cultist, we entered on the side of the British, not the Germans), which before had been very unpopular in the U.S. Most Americans couldn’t see how the fight in Europe was any business of the United States. Most historians still can’t find any genuine reason for the U.S. to have been in World War I.

The UK denied that the ship carried ammunition but decades later, issued a warning to divers stating the equivalent of, “hey, be careful. There are ammunitions down there.”

In 1964, the U.S. Navy and North Vietnamese Navy had one or two skirmishes in the Gulf of Tonkin. One or two? Yes, because to this day, we’re not sure. But whatever happened in the Gulf led the U.S. to become way more involved in the Vietnam War.

Three North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked the destroyer, USS Maddox. Four North Vietnamese sailors were killed, six wounded, with damages to each torpedo boat. One American aircraft was damaged and a single bullet hole was discovered in the ship. The U.S. later claimed there was a second attack but the only evidence found have been ghost radar images. The U.S. Navy described ghost images as a naval battle.

What happened next was Congress giving President Lyndon Johnson authority to assist any Southeast Asian nation who was being threatened by communist aggression. Lyndon later used this to justify escalating the war. Full details of the Tonkin incident were kept from the public and later, many involved claimed the Maddox was used to instigate North Vietnam to attack it in order to justify the U.S. going to war.

In 2003, the U.S. led an international coalition in an invasion of Iraq based on the lie that they had weapons of mass destruction and a nuclear program. In case you’re a Republican, No. They did not have weapons of mass destruction and their nuclear program was about as advanced as my microwave oven. I have to state that because people like John Bolton, our current National Security Adviser, still argues the case for invading Iraq.

There were also lies that Iraq was involved in 9/11 with a majority of Americans holding that belief. What was ignored by American politicians and the public was that Iraq never attacked the United States.

Ultimately, over 4,000 American soldiers were killed with an estimated 100,000 plus Iraqi civilian deaths. We overthrew Saddam Hussein and Iraq became a “democracy.” Iraq also became a nation full of insurgents. And even though the Iraqi Army was demolished, the government destroyed, and George W. Bush declaring “mission accomplished,” the war continued for nearly nine years. We created a power vacuum in Iraq and created ISIS. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney made a terrorist rock star out of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Are you ready to do it again?

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.
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