Russia Trump

Facebook’s Collusion


cjones09092017

At this rate, I’m kinda expecting a revelation that Mark Zuckerberg was at the Donald Trump Jr. Russian meeting.

Like you, I’m constantly annoyed with Facebook while utilizing it on a daily basis. The bothersome stuff, while annoying me, doesn’t affect my life in the slightest…or it didn’t until now.

I’m the type of person where a messed-up food order at McDonald’s won’t faze me, while I’ll watch a good friend of mine use the opportunity to go ballistic, and the next thing you know he returns an hour later from his food run with my Big Mac and the full story on how he unloaded what-for and made a 16-year-old struggling with acne cry. While I’ll get over that there are pickles on my sandwich, other little things will totally piss me off.

I’m annoyed with the petty stuff on Facebook. Your food pictures irk me. Why do you do that? Am I supposed to be impressed you ordered sushi? Do you want an “attaboy?” One of my friends posts nearly every single meal she eats. She once posted a picture of cereal. I shit you not. But c’mon. Any doofus with opposable thumbs can put a sandwich together.

Another annoyance; vacation pictures. Vacation slides have been joked about, derided, and hated ever since the photo slide technology was invented. It was why people in the 1970s couldn’t get their friends to come to their dinner parties. Nobody wants to see your vacation photos. I’m telling you this as your friend. Cut it out. You have turned Facebook into one, long, boring vacation slide. I don’t even need to know you went on vacation, but if I do know then I’m going to assume you enjoyed yourself. I don’t need the pictures of you giving the devil-horn sign with your tongue out while you’re at Sandals. I’m not against vacations and I hope to take one again someday…but if I do take one, I know without a doubt that nobody is going to need evidence that it actually happened. OK, maybe in my case they will.

Tagging your location isn’t just annoying, it’s stupid. Like the vacation pics, you’re just bragging about how great your life is, and convincing no one. What you’re actually doing is making stalking you very convenient and alerting burglars that right now is a great time to break into your house. And thanks to Facebook they know what breed of dog you have.

Other annoyances are game requests (I don’t want to play Candy Crush with you), Facebook Live notifications (I get these things from people I didn’t even know I was friends with), the vague post (which are the only type of posts my teenage nieces give and I never respond to, because I’m afraid they’ll tell me), the social experiments (the “let’s see how far this posts can go” and the “if you love Jesus, you’ll share.” Fuck you), pokes (people still do that and I still don’t know why), selfies (We get it. You’re pretty and insecure), and political memes. I hate political memes. I could easily write another 1,000 words ranting about political memes.

Some people hate political posts or that cartoonist who shares his cartoons every time one of his clients publishes them online. You have every right to hate those and, you can bite me.

But now, there is something annoying about Facebook that may have affected our lives. Russians.

Facebook was the target for Russian trolls and useful idiots sharing fake news during the campaign, but Facebook assured us that no foreign outlets were purchasing ads from them. And just like every single member of the Trump campaign, they had collusion with Russia that they conveniently forgot about.

Now, it turns out that $100,000 was spent on political campaign ads that Facebook has traced back to a “Russian Troll Farm.” I don’t want the troll farm image in my head, but I think that crop is yielding in the White House. Also, expect more revelations about Russian ads. I don’t believe for a minute that it stopped at $100,000.

Russians didn’t just purchase a few ads. They engineered these things to select certain demographics and particular regions. For example, white housewives in Wisconsin. Investigators want to know if they had any help from U.S. political operatives who may have pointed them in which direction to target these demographics. Maybe, but the American operatives working for Hillary Clinton weren’t smart enough to go after demographics in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Anyone with a basic understanding of math with a copy of an electoral map should know where to target political ads, and where the stupid people live.

Most of all, I believe this destroys an argument Republicans and people in American intelligence agencies have been using. That argument is; Russian meddling had no effect on the outcome of our election.

Facebook says the Russians used the ads to “manipulate.” No shit, Sherlock. Every ad in the world is created to manipulate. How many will purchase a Kia this year because of Motorhead and a guinea pig? I don’t know, but someone somewhere believes that’s going to happen because they put a lot of money into that campaign.

Whether someone’s pitching Coca-Cola or Donald Trump, they’re not spending ad money just to blow through a budget. They expect results. I do believe that if a high tide throws an octopus into the backseat of my car through the sunroof that Farmers insurance won’t let me down….or that if I have Allstate then my children will be better behaved while we stand gleaming and lovingly together in front of the Statue of Liberty. But, not every ad works that well. Like, Domino’s telling you that their pizza doesn’t suck anymore, or Panera telling me that their salads are “clean,” or that new car commercial giving me the impression that I’ll find riding in a boxcar with hobos much more comfortable than their automobile.

The Russians expected their ads to work. They wanted chaos for their money and nobody can say that we didn’t get chaos. Nobody can say the Russians didn’t get the election results they wanted. We got a hell of a lot more than $100,000 worth of chaos.

I believe the Russians affected our election. We are a nation that gave us Duck Dynasty and Honey Boo-Boo, but I’m not entirely convinced that we’re dumb enough to elect Donald Trump as president on our own. I’d like to think we’d need a push. I know there’s a large portion of our nation who can be manipulated to vote for fuckery. We’re stupid. But are we stupid enough to do this on our own?

Mark Zuckerberg and all the other Facebook executives want us to believe they had no influence on the election. I’d try to believe that too if I wanted to sleep well at night. But, Facebook is worth over $435 billion dollars. Your social media platform doesn’t acquire that much wealth without it having some influence.

Unfortunately, Facebook isn’t just cat and food pictures. It’s a news outlet for many of us. It’s very influential. It’s also complicit.

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.

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Partisan Hacks


cjones05142017

During yesterday’s Senate hearing on Russia’s involvement with the 2016 election of Donald Trump, and whether or not members of the Trump team were complicit, Sally Yates said “To state the obvious, you don’t want your national security adviser compromised by the Russians.” I’m going to state something else obvious and that is it’s not obvious to partisan hacks.

I was inspired by former Georgia congressman Jack Kingston who referred to Yates as a “partisan hack.” He also got the impression from yesterday’s hearing before the Judiciary committee that Senator and all-around human sludge Ted Cruz got the best of Yates. Kingston must have watched a different hearing in an alternate reality. The man is a Trump sycophant and has made it his mission in life to tell the world that Donald Trump is infallible and he poops sunshine and rainbows. Ted Cruz is a fairly recent convert to being a Trump sycophant, as once upon a time he used his condescending smugness to defend his wife and father from personal attacks from Donald Trump. Now he uses that same charm to be to Trump what Stephen Colbert accused Trump of being to Vladimir Putin. If you don’t recollect what that is, let’s just say you can’t talk with your mouth full.

A partisan hack is one who avoids the key issue of a hearing and instead brings up other topics as a form of deflection. Such as when Cruz brought up how Yates, as acting Attorney General, would not defend Trump’s Muslim travel ban.

Cruz cited a portion of U.S. code that allows the president to block immigrants from entering the country if allowing such entry would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” Yates pulled out the rest of that code which says “visas cannot be denied due to someone’s race, nationality or place of birth.”

It reminded me of Charlie Brown’s fastball getting hit back at him so hard that he spins through the air and it knocks all his clothes off. Yesterday Cruz’s ass was showing.

I am glad that Cruz brought up the travel ban Yates wouldn’t defend which got her fired. It served to remind us that after Yates warned the Trump administration about Michael Flynn’s danger of being blackmailed by Russia for lying about his conversations with their ambassador, that Trump fired her, not Flynn. Instead, he kept Flynn for 18 more days and allowed to the guy to sit in on his phone call with Putin.

Cruz also got the wind knocked out of him with his final question which was “in over 200 years of the Department of Justice’s history, are you aware of any instance in which the Department of Justice has formally approved the legality of a policy, and then, three days later, the Attorney General has directed the Department not to follow that policy, and to defy that policy?” Yates replied, “I’m not, but I’m also not aware of a situation where the Office of Legal Counsel was advised not to tell the Attorney General about it until after it was over.” Ouch! Ted might wanna get some Calamine for those burns.

Cruz also wasted some of his time on Hillary Clinton’s emails when everyone thought this was a hearing on Russia. Seriously, Texas, you gotta get rid of this guy in your next election. Let’s get beyond the ick and condescension of the man and just ask, what sort of Texan becomes a troll for a man who calls his wife ugly and accuses his father of murder?

People in Washington ask “why do people immediately hate Ted Cruz?” Because it saves time.

Another partisan hack is someone doing the president’s bidding, even if that command came from a tweet. Trump conducted a tweet storm in the A.M. yesterday calling the Russia story a hoax, blaming Obama for Flynn even though Trump is the one who hired him, and that the Senate should ask Yates who leaked the information about Flynn being a potential target of blackmail. Senator Charles Grassley did just that and asked Yates if she leaked information to the media or whether she asked the intelligence community to reveal Flynn’s identity to her. That would be a no. Senator Lindsey Graham, whose phone number Trump once gave out at a rally, was also upset about information provided to The Washington Post.

The newest member of the Senate, John Kennedy from my home state of Louisiana no less, was still focused on the travel ban when he stupidly asked Yates “who appointed her to the Supreme Court.” They should ban him from traveling outside Louisiana. Just as everyone was wondering what in the hell he was doing on this committee, he asked former director of national intelligence. Agency James Clapper who was also testifying, if he has ever leaked classified or UNCLASSIFIED information to the press. As Clapper pointed out to the senator, revealing unclassified information is not leaking. Here’s something unclassified: Senator John Kennedy is a dumbass.  Maybe the voters of my home state are stupid enough to send him to the United States Senate, but are his colleagues so dense that they appoint the man to an important committee? Treason is kinda serious business, one would think.

What we did learn yesterday, even before the hearing started, was that President Obama warned Trump not to hire Flynn. Trump hired him anyway. Then Trump kept the guy on staff after his Attorney General warned him. He kept him on staff for 18 days and only fired him after The Washington Post got wind of his sleazing around with Russians. Today Trump is still defending Flynn.

Pundits question if it’s out of a sense of loyalty that Trump hung on to Flynn and still defends the guy. I don’t think so. It’s narcissism. Trump can’t admit a mistake. Even hiring him has to be Obama’s fault. This is not a sane presidency.

The hearing underscored that there’s a lot of shadiness going on with the Trump administration and Russia. It also confirmed that the Republicans are a party over country. We’re now beyond the point that the White House is covering up more than cooperating and their sycophants in the Congress are being complicit in the cover-up.

Sally Yates was once appointed by Republican Bob Barr. He’s served in Republican and Democratic administrations. She has always been regarded as being very professional and extremely confident in legal matters. She proved she’s a lot smarter than the Senate Republicans and wasn’t intimidated by them in the least bit.

If Yates is a partisan hack that doesn’t dispel the need for answers in the Russia investigation. If we can’t trust Yates, Clapper, and Comey, and we’re definitely not getting anything from the Trump administration, then let’s appoint a special counsel.

And let’s make it a female because Trump and Republicans really can’t deal with them.

Creative Notes: I’m not a big fan of drawing speech balloons emitting from buildings or other objects. It’s a very common concept used by conservative cartoonists (like boats sinking and people hanging or running off cliffs). You won’t see me do these a lot. I really like drawing people more.

The first version of this cartoon I spelled “adviser” as “advisor.” I saw both versions on different websites for news outlets. “Adviser” felt right to me and that’s how it’s spelled by The New York Times and The Washington Post, so I went with that.

Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. Your support contributes to my work and continued existence. The starving cartoonist appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

Want a signed copy of this cartoon? Donate at least $50 and I’ll ship it to you. Make sure to mention in the note with your donation which cartoon you want along with the mailing address you need it shipped to. If it’s a gift, make sure to mention the recipient’s name so I can make it out to them.

Putin Them Out The Window


cjones03262017

People who oppose Russian President Vladimir Putin have a tendency to wind up dead, or seriously hurt. Maybe they’re just clumsy and naturally fall out of fourth story windows.

First off, the guy’s got the same name as “Vlad The Impaler,” the psychopath who was the inspiration for Dracula.

Putin hasn’t impaled anyone on spikes or bitten anyone on the neck yet, as far as we know, but many do turn up dead. Or maybe in Russia, they’re deadniks.

Denis Voronenkov, a critic of Putin who sought asylum in the Ukraine was shot dead in broad daylight Thursday in Kiev.

Boris Nemtsov (of course one of these guys would be named “Boris”) led massive rallies against Putin in Moscow. He was arrested several times until he was finally shot four times in the back, outside the Kremlin, in 2015. The killer remains at large.

Boris Berezovsky (OK. Maybe they’re all named “Boris”) was found dead inside a locked bathroom at his home in the United Kingdom, a noose around his neck, in what was at first deemed a suicide. Later the coroner couldn’t determine the cause of death. Berezovsky had accused the Putin government of poisoning another critic.

That critic was Alexander Litvinenko who was poisoned in 2009. He was a former intelligent agent who turned whistle blower. Ain’t blowing no whistles no more.

Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova were both shot outside the Kremlin in 2009. Markelov was a human rights lawyer known for representing Chechen civilians in human rights cases again the Russian military. Baburova was a journalist. The government blamed Nazis but I don’t think Steve Bannon was even in the country at the time.

Markelov represented Anna Politkovskaya, who was a journalist who had written articles critical of Putin. She was killed in 2006.

Sergei Magnitsky was a lawyer who was beaten to death in prison in 2009.

Natalya Estemirova, another journalist, who investigated abductions and murders that had become commonplace in Chechnya. She was kidnapped, shot several times, once at point-blank-range to the head, and her body dumped in the woods. They never caught the bad guys.

Anna Politkovskaya was another reporter and had written a book titled “Putin’s Russia” which accused him of turning Russia into a police state. She was shot in an elevator in her apartment building.

Sergei Yushenkov had just registered an opposition party when he was gunned down outside his home in Moscow in 2003.

Yuri Shchekochikhin was a journalist covering crime and corruption. He died of “mysterious” causes in 2003. His medical documents were deemed classified by Russian authorities.

Let’s not forget the feminist punk band Pussy Riot. Three members of the group were sent to prison on charges of “hooliganism” after performing songs critical of Putin and accusing him of being a dictator. That would be the equivalent of George W. Bush throwing Green Day in prison for their album “American Idiot.” But this is America. Prison here is having to listen to Green Day.

Just about every Russian connected to the hacking story has fled the United States and are safely, supposedly, back in Russia. You have to remember, Putin has a style of leadership Donald Trump has expressed admiration for.

Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. Your support contributes to my work and continued existence. The starving cartoonist appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

Want a signed copy of this cartoon? Donate at least $50 and I’ll ship it to you. Make sure to mention in the note with your donation which cartoon you want along with the mailing address you need it shipped to. If it’s a gift, make sure to mention the recipient’s name so I can make it out to them.