Tripping On Nepotism


Do you want to call Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner as witnesses in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial? Why would anyone suggest that when they don’t have anything to do with Donald Trump’s attempt to bribe the president of Ukraine? Exactly. So, why call Hunter Biden? Oh, because there’s nepotism?

Does anyone in the Trump administration know the definition of nepotism? We know they don’t know “hypocrisy” or “irony.” We also know they don’t have a sense of humor. For the Republican readers among us, according to one dictionary, the definition of “nepotism” is, “The practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.”

In case you’re a Donald Trump supporter and it’s still not clicking, here’s another one for you. Surreal: a mix of fact and fantasy.

Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, was hired to serve on a board of a Ukraine gas company called Burisma which was the focus of Trump’s request for that nation’s president to announce an investigation. There is very little doubt that Hunter would not have gotten this position if his father wasn’t vice president at the time. Reportedly, he was paid around $50,000 a month. No one has actually uncovered any crime here though the appearance isn’t good.

Part of Trump’s defense against impeachment is that Joe and Hunter Biden practiced nepotism. Obviously, this is just one of many examples that Trump’s defense is terrible unless they’re trying to impeach Hunter Biden.

Pam Bondi, one of Trump’s defense lawyers, made the case against nepotism, which was as “surreal” as her argument against corruption. Bondi was the Florida Attorney General who dropped an investigation into Trump University after receiving a campaign donation from the Trump Foundation. Paying her off was corrupt, and on top of that, they stole the money from a charity. It was like a corruption sandwich with a huge sour pickle on the side. They like their corruption with a side of corruption.

Talk about being obtuse: The day Pam Bondi was making this argument, Donald Trump was presenting a photo-op disguised as a Middle East peace plan drafted by…wait for it…Jared Kushner. In case you’re slow (a Republican), Jared is Trump’s son-in-law.

What experience does Jared have as a diplomat? None. In fact, the guy couldn’t even get a security clearance because of his financial entanglements and lies on the application, so Ivanka’s daddy overruled the FBI in handing him one. It’s the same case with Ivanka.

Last year, Jared went to Congress, and in a private meeting, he laid out an immigration plan he drafted. Republicans who were there were astonished at how ignorant he was on his own plan. And, he had it written out right in front of him. I’m sure, even with notes, Donald Trump couldn’t tell you the basics of Jared’s Mideast peace plan, and neither could Jared. But that’s OK because he’s family. When you only have your job because you’re family, you don’t have to be good at it.

Usually, when you hire a family member who’s not qualified for the job, you find something for them to do they can’t bungle, like somewhere in the copy room. Hopefully, changing toner won’t be too complicated and they don’t injure themselves with a stapler. What you don’t do is assign them the tasks of solving peace in the Middle East and immigration.

Another thing you don’t do after hiring your daughter and son-in-law for positions they’re not qualified for while your other two kids are raking in millions from foreign deals is…complain about nepotism.

When it comes to nepotism, Hunter Biden is a slacker. If Hunter made $50,000 a month from Burisma, then he made around $3 million during his time on the board. Ivanka and Jared made $135 million last year while working in the White House. Nepotism Barbie’s shares from the Trump Hotel in Washington, where every foreign diplomat books a room even when they’re not staying there, amounted to $4 million.

But wait. The hypocrisy doesn’t just stop there. Trump’s goon, Rudy Giuliani, who went to Ukraine to dredge up conspiracy theories on the Bidens, also has a son, Andrew. Where does that offspring work? Oh, he works in…wait for it…THE FREAKING WHITE HOUSE! What does Rudy’s son do? His official title is “Special Assistant to the President and Associate Director of the Office of Public Liaison.” That means he talks to people in the sports community. For that position, he’s paid $95,000 a year. As far as I can tell, Andrew’s only experience is being kicked off Duke University’s golf team and being a sales intern. While John Kelly was Chief-of-Staff, he revoked Andrew’s clearance to even enter the West Wing, which Mick Mulvaney, the now acting-Chief-of-Staff, has restored.

This White House could have found someone more qualified than Andrew Giuliani based upon their experience playing Madden NFL.

Granted, while Andrew, Ivanka, and Jared don’t have any qualifications or experience for their positions in the White House, neither does Donald Trump. He is so unqualified that he thinks it’s OK to hire family who isn’t qualified. This is how the Trump Organization is run.  Donald Trump promised to operate the government like his corrupt business and he kept that promise. He even hired corrupt people to argue against corruption.

Donald Trump has complained about people who have assaulted women. He’s complained about leakers. He’s complained about lying. He’s complained about people being careless with classified information. He’s even made fun of other people’s hair and weight. So, why shouldn’t he go after corruption and nepotism while practicing corruption and nepotism?

Quite frankly, I’m waiting for Donald Trump to argue that his nepotism is OK because he keeps it in the family.

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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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New Book: Tales From The Trumpster Fire

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Brains Don’t Work On The Girl


The Trump kids, much like their father, are seriously out of their element when it comes to politics and well…anything that requires comprehension, consistency, and honesty. Donald Trump’s full-grown trust-fund babies are at their best when they ignore what’s actually going on, like when Jr. and Eric tweeted denials that their father was booed at a UFC event in New York over the weekend. It’s like that episode of The Simpsons, when a crowd boos Mr. Burns. His lackey, Mr. Smithers, tells his boss they’re not saying “boo.” They’re saying “Boo-urns.”

Last week, Donald Trump Jr., with a straight face, went on Hannity and said, “I wish my name was Hunter Biden. I could go abroad, make millions off of my father’s presidency. I’d be a really rich guy! It would be incredible!” If Sean Hannity was an actual journalist, he would have reminded Donald Trump Jr. that his name is Donald Trump Jr. DJTJ was on Hannity to promote his new book, “Triggered,” which, ironically, nobody would be interested in publishing or reading if his name wasn’t Donald Trump Jr.

On October 15, Eric Trump made the claim, “When my father became commander-in-chief of this country, we got out of all international business.” There are literally buildings in other countries with the Trump name on them. In fact, every time the Trump kids go on an overseas business deal, which they still do, taxpayers have to pay a bill for their protection.

Jared, who is in charge of Trump’s impeachment defense (good luck) and argues his father-in-law hasn’t “done anything wrong,” responded to Joe Biden’s criticism of him and Ivanka having jobs in the White House. Jared said, “He’s entitled to his opinion, but a lot of the work that the President’s had me doing over the last three years has actually been cleaning up the messes that Vice President Biden left behind.” It’s funny because Jared has no idea what he’s doing and someday in the future, someone’s going to be cleaning up the messes he left behind.

Then there’s Daddy’s princess, Ivanka. She decided to defend her father from the impeachment inquiry by comparing him to Jefferson…No, not George but Thomas. She took an eloquent quote from the third president and tweeted, “‘…surrounded by enemies and spies catching and perverting every word that falls from my lips or flows from my pen, and inventing where facts fail them.’ -Thomas Jefferson’s reflections on Washington, D.C. in a letter to his daughter Martha.
Some things never change, dad!”

There are several takes you can get from them. Jefferson is on the nickel and the closest honor Trump has to that is a baby balloon of him floating around the United Kingdom. Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and Trump tweets out photoshopped pics of him placing medals on dogs. The best take from this is that Jefferson was responding to accusations he fathered a child with a slave…which he was guilty of at least six times. I don’t think the area of who Trump has slept with, or wants to sleep with, is one Ivanka should wade into. Ivanka should try to find a quote from someone defending themselves from fraudulent charges, like OJ.

Here’s the thing, pretend princess, when you Google a quote, don’t stop reading before you find the context. Perhaps, if you spent more time comprehending what you’re supposed to be doing as a “senior adviser” to the president instead of your public-image campaign of presenting yourself as the rational Trump with humility, you may accidentally stumble upon a clue.

These are just more examples of rich white people crying about how they’re constantly persecuted and life is so hard and unfair for them. If only the world would stop being mean to trust-fund babies.

But if you’re seeking a Jefferson quote, Sweatshop Barbie, I got one for you. Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Towards acquiring the confidence of the people the very first measure is to satisfy them of his disinterestedness, & that he is directing their affairs with a single eye to their good, & not to build up fortunes for himself & family: & especially that the officers appointed to transact their business, are appointed because they are the fittest men, not because they are his relations. So prone are they to suspicion that where a President appoints a relation of his own, however worthy, they will believe that favor, & not merit, was the motive.”

I know it’s kinda long so I’ll directly give you the point. Nepotism is bad. Still don’t understand it? You and your idiot husband only have positions in the White House because the president is your father. If you honestly believe you’re there because of your qualifications, then you are dumber than I could ever make you out to be.

But, since you’re seeking a Jefferson quote that fits your situation, I’ll provide another for you: “If I paid you to think, you could cash your check at the penny arcade.” That’s from George.

Support the cartoonist.

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.

Generals And Handbags


Occasionally I’ll make a sarcastic post on social media, and last week I wrote, “Ivanka Trump is excited to work “alongside” Kelly. I’m sure the GENERAL is excited to be working alongside a mediocre fashion designer.”

I also posted, “If anyone looked at me the way Mike Pence looks at Donald Trump, I’d get a restraining order.” Seriously, the guy has an expression of warm satisfaction as though he just made a boom-boom. But that’s an issue for another day.

My comment about Ivanka got a lot of responses, and it gave me this idea. I usually don’t make a post on social media that I’ll use later for a cartoon, but I thought of the cartoon after I mouthed off.

Maybe we are making too much out of Ivanka’s tweet about working “alongside” the general, but it illustrates just how absurd and ridiculous this administration conducts itself. The people Donald Trump has placed in his administration are ludicrous. The rapper Ludacris couldn’t create a more ludicrous staff than Trump.

During the campaign, I heard people say they would vote for Trump because they were pro-military. Trump often states how much he respects the military. Trump doesn’t respect anything, and his actions prove he doesn’t respect the office he holds. The man insulted a former P.O.W. and Gold Star parents. Placing his inexperienced daughter “alongside” a general is further disrespect. A highly-decorated and accomplished general supposedly shares the same status and access to the president as a fashion designer, or in Ivanka’s case, someone who pilfers designs from other designers and then has the products made by eight-year-old children in China.

President John F. Kennedy practiced nepotism when he made his brother the Attorney General, but at least in that case, you could believe Robert Kennedy could actually do the job. Other than Trump sycophants, who believes Ivanka Trump can shape or even understand policy? We can’t expect her influence to be positive as her silence after Trump’s sexist attack on Mika Brzezinski makes her complicit.

Her husband and Trump’s son-in-law is further nepotism you can’t have any faith in. The “kid” has a larger staff than the Secretary of State. Trump has placed him in charge of finding peace in the Middle East (because he’s Jewish), advising the president, reinventing government (The Office of American Innovation), being a “shadow” diplomat, solving the opioid epidemic, handling diplomacy with Mexico and China, “reimagining” Veteran Affairs, reforming the criminal justice system, and laying out the president’s clothes in the morning.

Our confidence that 36-year-old Jared can accomplish any of the above duties is undermined by his defense of meeting Russians which was, “I’m a novice to politics and I don’t have a clue what I’m doing.” How can the guy be expected to do any of those duties when he’s too busy rewriting his security clearance on a daily basis?

Even Don Jr. is in on the nepotism action, even though he’s supposed to be running the Trump Corporation and separated from what’s going on in the White House.

Everyone’s excited about General John Kelly taking over as Chief of Staff. He’s cleaning house a little by getting rid of Anthony Scaramucci and a few other people that the adults didn’t want on the National Security Council. According to reports, all briefs and information has to go through him before it reaches Trump (maybe no more breaking Breitbart news), he’s shutting the door to the Oval Office so “stragglers” won’t enter to put stupid ideas into the president’s head (though he’s capable of doing that on his own), he’s cutting off people in mid-sentence when they’re rambling, and more importantly, everyone has to go through him before meeting with the president, even Ivanka and Jared. I don’t buy that last one. Where will the General be at 8:37 PM when little princess goes up to see daddy? Can the General get Trump to stop watching Fox And Friends?

Kelly has brought structure and discipline to the Oval Office. Trump has never practiced structure, discipline, or sense in his professional or private life. He’s going to hate it and Kelly won’t last beyond six months. Besides, how much structure is he really bringing with the ilk of Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, and Kellyanne Conway still hanging about?

You can’t shine a turd. Kelly would have more success in getting “presidential” out of a nutless monkey than he will from Donald Trump.

Creative notes: I was supposedly taking yesterday off, but I drew a cartoon in the morning. This cartoon is kind of a bonus cartoon, because I’m drawing another tonight. While I wanted to do this, I think there are a few more pressing issues I want to cover. I haven’t decided which one yet (so much fuckery).  I’m hoping between now and drawing tonight that I eat something and take a nap.

I want to thank everyone who has donated in the past. Your support helps me continue creating cartoons and columns with a little less stress in my life. Between competing syndicates with much larger resources, timid editors, and Trump supporters who attempt to intimidate the editors who do publish anything that criticizes their idol, it’s a challenge to make a career out of this. So your support (if you can) is appreciated. Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing (pissing off conservatives)? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through PayPal. Every $40 donation will receive a signed print. All donations will receive my eternal gratitude.

Cooties And Nepotism


It’s not just monarchs who appoint family members to government positions. Rogue nations and fascist governments do it too. Take a look at North Korea. Except there your cousin’s job performance evaluation might get you a firing squad.

Now I doubt any Trump family members will face firing squads. Maybe an ex-wife. But this business of doling out posts to his kids is insanity. It’s ridiculous for a world leader to visit the White House and be forced to sit between Donald and his little princess.

I know it’s probably fun to go all Violet Beauregarde and get whatever you want. Daddy, I want a pony. Daddy, I want a chocolate factory. Daddy, I want an Oompa Loompa. Well, Ivanka, you already have an Oompa Loompa so you don’t need an office next to the oval one.

Ivanka and her husband and White House senior adviser, Jared (who owns one of my client newspapers), are worth at least $740 million. Neither has separated themselves from their businesses, like Donald. They’re not escaping conflicts of interest. I’m not comfortable with just trusting them.

I would like for the people in the White House to be there because they’re qualified, not because they’re related or married into it. But then again, I can’t think of anyone currently working in the White House who is qualified to be there.

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Blind Trust


One of my newspaper clients is the New York Observer. They have been with me for a while and have been a very good client. They communicate with me occasionally, they don’t badger about my subjects, and they pay their bill. I really hate to call them out but they’re owned by Jared Kushner. Mr. Kushner is Donald Trump’s son-in-law. In case you haven’t noticed yet, I have drawn a few cartoons on Mr. Kushner’s dad-in-law, the next president of the United States. In addition to Mr. Kushner their editor once wrote a book and campaign speeches with Rudy Giuliani, potentially our next Secretary of State.

I’ve read a few columns in the Observer critical of Trump, though I doubt they’re going to run my cartoons of their owner’s in-laws and the owner himself. We’ll see. But this issue may be recurring if Mr. Kushner ends up working in the White House.

Most politicians put all their finances into a blind trust upon being elected to office. Donald Trump says he will do the same and have his children, Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr., run his corporation. That is not a blind trust.

In fact, there really isn’t such a thing as a blind trust as anyone at anytime can bark at whoever’s handling their finances to find out what’s going on with their money. But politicians hand off all their investments to someone else to at least give the impression that they’re not profiting financially with their office as if they’re the governor of Louisiana or New Jersey.

Trump handing off his company to his children is the same as you letting your kid drive your car. Occasionally you’re going to know what’s going on with your car and eventually find out what that disgusting stain is in the backseat. This gets a little more complicated since we don’t know anything about Trump’s investments. Does he have holdings in Turkey, Russia, or Yemen? Does he owe any of these entities money? So how much is Donald separated from his business when his daughter is running it and her husband, my client, is working alongside him in the White House advising him how best to round up Muslims and Mexicans?

In addition, Kushner has been accused of using his position with Trump to oust his political enemies from the transition team. New Jersey governor Chris Christie was leading the transition team but in years past he sent Kushner’s father to prison. I guess when someone puts your father in prison you might feel some sort of way about that. Christie is no longer leading that team. I guess he burned that bridge (sorry. I couldn’t help myself).

Can you imagine the outcry if Hillary Clinton had engaged in such nepotism?

On top of all this how are we supposed to trust Trump with transparency when he’s sneaking out in the middle of the night without alerting the press pool so he can go to a steak house? Is he afraid they’ll mock him for ordering it extra well done with ketchup?

Rudy Giuliani is apparently the front runner to become Secretary of State. Giuliani has earned millions working for foreign governments and even gave a speech to an Iranian group on the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations. Can you imagine the outcry if Hillary Clinton had paid chats with terrorist organizations?

Looking at how Trump is stocking his office with creatures from the swamp he wants to drain, appointing a white nationalist as his chief strategist, inserting Rudy into the State Department, and giving his family security clearance, I have a not-so-bold prediction. Trump’s administration is going to rival those of Nixon, Reagan, Grant, and Harding, as the most corrupt ever.

And you never know. When Trump cracks down on the media who’s to say Kushner won’t mention the cartoonist who keeps giving his boss “booty lips?”

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