RussiaGate

Russian Troll Farm


cjones09202017

Today, we’re going to start with the basics and have a lesson on trolls. No. Not the mythological trolls who live under bridges, though some of these trolls would probably live under a bridge if that bridge was also a Wi-Fi hotspot.

We’re going to talk about internet trolls. Now, if you do not post stuff on the internet, like political cartoons or ever engage in online debates, then…GOOD FOR YOU! That’s very healthy for your mind and it means you will never encounter trolls. But, if you are the sort (like me) who posts opinions online or engage in online debates, then you are stalked by the cretins.

There are several types of internet trolls. The first is the troll who disrupts a conversation. If you post an opinion like, “Obama kept all of his promises,” and someone comes along and says, “but he didn’t shut down Guantanamo like he promised,” that person is not a troll. Someone disagreeing with you does not make them a troll. Though at times when you disagree with a conservative, he will accuse you of being a troll if you throw logic at him that he can’t refute. That is a tactic of a troll (we’ll cover more of those tactics in a bit).

The troll who disrupts merely disrupts because he’s trying to destroy the conversation and divert it into another direction until all the conversation consists of are insults. For example, let’s say you post that Trump’s Muslim ban is bigotry and unconstitutional, as he promised to ban Muslims while he was campaigning. An internet troll will enter your discussion and tell you how Islam is a violent religion and you hate America. He might even say if you don’t like it here then you should move to Iran, which he couldn’t find on a map if his troll life depended on it.

Another tactic of the troll is the art of deflection. For instance, you might start a conversation about how Trump University is a sham. The troll will come in and say something like “Benghazi” or “lock her up.” That doesn’t make any sense, does it? No. But, if you counter the troll by pointing out that his argument doesn’t make any sense, then the troll has achieved his objective because you’re not talking about Trump University anymore. Eventually, along the way, he’s going to call you a “libtard,” “snowflake,” and perhaps tell you that you desire a “safe space.” Other favorite terms for trolls are, “Odummer,” “Obummer,” and “Killary.” I know, they’re not very creative. Trolls never are. They all use the same code words because they’re not very good at formulating thoughts on their own. Also, watch out for “thug,” as that’s their replacement for the N-word.

Other troll tactics are never quitting. You can stop replying to them, but they’ll keep it up. If you do reply, that is commonly referred as “feeding the trolls.” Other tactics are using memes with fake stuff in them, like “Obama banned the Pledge of Allegiance.” One of their most effective tactics is the use of fake quotes. This is where they take a picture of someone, usually a founding father like Thomas Jefferson, and just make up some shit that he supposedly said like, “everyone should have a gun…and shoot their brown neighbor. It’s the American thing to do.” Trolls love them some fake quotes. Half the time, they don’t even know they’re fake, and they don’t care. Facts schmacts!

Another type of troll is the one who actually creates the post and starts the conversation. For example, last week I saw one of my conservative troll-like colleagues start a discussion wailing about the injustice Stephen Colbert gave toward religion because in his monologue, he mocked the Catholic church’s stance on gluten. Yes. Someone actually complained about this. A professional cartoonist, at that. Most of the conversation that followed consisted almost entirely of his fellow trolls, who all joined the wailing about the blasphemy Colbert directed at their religion. Of course, none of these people except for the original troll saw the monologue as they were all watching Fox News. This is the type of stuff used to create a divisive climate and to spread propaganda.

Which, is what the professional trolls do. These are the trolls that put actual heavy lifting into their trolling. The propagandists who made the phony videos that claimed Planned Parenthood was selling dead baby body parts were trolling on a grand scale. They put a lot of money into that trolling. Even after the videos were debunked, even by several state governments run by Republicans, the amateur trolls still believe it. Trolls don’t need facts or logic for their beliefs. They believe stuff based on their desire to believe it, like Obama was born in Kenya, and he’s a secret Muslim who went on an apology tour for America.

Now, if you go out and vote for Donald Trump and your vote is based only on lies, the troll doesn’t care. He’s done his job. The propaganda worked and it was cheap. The other person who doesn’t care if your vote was based on lies is Donald Trump. Of course, Trump is a major troll. His favorite troll term is “fake news.”

This is where the most dangerous trolls come in (along with the ones who inspire nuts to go on a shooting frenzy). Russian trolls. The Russian trolls aren’t just trying to decide an election. They’re trying to screw up other nation’s political systems. So far, they’ve done a very good job. America is full of all types of crazy, stupid people and all they needed was a little push.

During the campaign, we knew the Russians were putting fake information on the internet. Stuff like Hillary Clinton running a child-sex-slave shop out of the basement of a D.C. pizza parlor. Never mind that it wasn’t true, or that the pizza shop targeted doesn’t even have a basement. The objective is to make you believe it. Michael Flynn’s son was tweeting out the story about “Pizzagate” while he was on the Trump Transition team, and another guy believed it so much that he took a gun to the pizza shop and started shooting. Kinda like the guy who shot up the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood office because those videos told him they were selling dead babies.

If you take this story and help spread it around, share it on the Facebook, retweet it on Twitter, then you are what is commonly referred to as a “useful idiot,” and of course you’re a troll. And, you’re not just any kind of troll. You’re troll cattle.

The Russians have troll farms. That’s where they create shit, breed troll cattle to feed the shit, and then have the cattle spread it. If you’ve ever spread bullshit on the internet, you’re a fucking troll cow and there’s a good chance you were working for the Russians…and for free. You’re a piece of shit.

As it turns out, nearly a year after the election it’s come to our attention that the Russians weren’t just dropping fake stories on the internet. They were paying for it. They paid Facebook over $100,000 for bullshit ads. And even worse, they were advertising rallies, where trolls could gather and get pissed off together.

With the way this information has slowly been revealed by Facebook, some are wondering if Putin has a pee tape of Mark Zuckerberg (someone else made up that joke, but I don’t know who so I can’t give him or her credit).

Most of these trolls don’t know they’re trolls. But, give yourself a test. If you believe in something just because you want to believe it, then you might be a troll. If you have shared something (like a meme) and didn’t research it to find out if it’s true, then you might be a troll. Google is free, people. It’s not hard to look shit up, and you’re on the internet anyway. Something sounding like it could be true to you does not make it true. There are 25 million people who believe Kim Jong Un is a god, but that doesn’t make him a god. There were 62 million Americans who thought Donald Trump would make a good president, and that shit ain’t coming true either. Ever. And, if you believe Trump won the popular vote and there were millions of people voting illegally for Clinton, you’re a goddamn troll.

The trolls are out there. Whether they know it or not, they could be working for Russians. Look for the traits. Look for the keywords, like “Benghazi,” “lock her up,” “libtard,”  “snowflake,” and “fake news.” Or, just look for the assholes.

Creative note: A couple weeks ago a colleague posted a question for other cartoonists, asking “what do you hate drawing the most?”. The number one answer was crowds. I don’t really mind crowds and I do it fairly often (as long as I don’t have to be in an actual crowd). The second most popular answer was…grass. I agree with that. Drawing grass sucks. Grass is in strands, it’s tiny, it’s green, and it can take all freaking day, or if you take the lazy route and do it very quickly, then it can look like crap. Fortunately for me, I’m aided by the fact that I don’t draw anything realistic. It’s because I’m sloppy. But, I will still spend seven stupid hours on a cartoon, with at least one hour of that drawing grass. I’d rather draw a crowd.

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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Swims With Fishes


cjones08152017 - Copy

In retaliation for the United States placing more sanctions on that nation, Russia expelled 755 U.S. diplomats. Trump, who has talked tough to Mitch McConnell, Jeff Sessions, Kim Jong Un, Kristen Stewart, Broadway plays, and almost everyone in the world with a Twitter account, thanked Putin.

Yeah. He thanked Vladimir for expelling U.S. diplomats. Hey, he disrupted their lives and our relations just got even worse, but thanks, buddy.

Trump said Putin did us a favor, because it cuts payroll. Uh, first thing is: Vladimir Putin doesn’t fire employees of the United States government. He doesn’t control our payroll, does he? I mean, can he call Trump and tell him what do…aw, crap. He’s already done that by telling him to meet the Russian ambassador and foreign minister in the Oval Office, back when Trump gave them classified info.

The White House says Trump was joking about the “thank you.” OK, that would be believable except that’s all Trump had to say about it. Trump goes after everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY. He’s crapping on people in his own party, in his own cabinet. And yet, he can’t say one negative comment about Vladimir Putin.

You would think that at some point Trump would at least try to give the impression that Putin wasn’t holding a pee tape of him with Russian hookers.

Creative notes: Short blog right now because I want this published quick, I’m hungry, and I will draw again early in the morning. Also, trying something new here with the teaser images for shares on Facebook. We’ll see how it works.

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.

Teaser1

Russian For Transparency


cjones07172017

I’m going to dinner with two of my best friends who are coming in from out of town, and I haven’t seen them in a really long time. So, column will come later.

Update 11:39 A.M., 07/15/2017

Here’s your column:

I expect any day now for Donald Trump to tell us that he’s not a tool of the Russian government and Vladimir Putin, who is actually a nice guy who is misunderstood….unlike that Moose and Squirrel who should die while exiled in Siberia!!!

I don’t know which is dumber. The right wing trolls who believe Natalia Veselnitskaya was a plant by the Democrats, or the Trump team telling us how transparent Donald Trump Jr. has been.

Even if Veselnitskaya was a Democratic plant, Junior still took the meeting. If she was a plant by Bigfoot and B.D. Cooper, he still took the meeting. If she was a plant by the Lollipop Guild and the Wicked Witch of the East, he still took that meeting. He went to the meeting, described beforehand as harmful information on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government. He took that meeting.

When he got the emails saying the Kremlin wanted his daddy to win, the trust-fund baby didn’t reply with, “What? Russia wants my father to win? Why would they want that? He’s a proud American patriot. That’s just crazy? They must have him confused with someone else because daddy Trump is an American first and would never be Putin’s bitch”. No. He replied with “I love it.” It’s like he was going to McDonalds for a Happy Meal. I’m lovin’ it! It’s as if he was already aware that the Kremlin wanted his dad to be president and serve four years with Putin’s hand up his butt controlling his every movement.

Trump defenders argue that Junior didn’t get anything out of the meeting and it was a disappointment. Well if you rob a bank and the safe is empty, that would be disappointing too but you still broke into the bank. And really? Disappointment? Darn. The treason didn’t work out.

The president says a lot of people would have taken that meeting. Yes. A lot of people without ethics with the intent to commit treason, which is how Trump defenders are sounding.

The president and his team also tell us that only Russian adoptions were discussed, as if that’s to ease our concerns. The president is either being dishonest or stupid with that explanation, which in his case can be both. When they mention adoptions what they are really talking about are sanctions. If they had dirt on Hillary Clinton, that’s quid pro quo. They wanted something in return for that. That also further explains why Vladimir Putin wanted Trump elected.

And quite frankly, you’re not transparent when you don’t reveal all the information at once. Junior went on Sean Hannity’s show, who was light on him, and said that there wasn’t any more information about the meeting. He had given it all. Then news is revealed that at least eight people were in that room. You had Junior dumbass, Jared “I want a secret cable from the Russian embassy” Kushner, Paul “let’s make a deal with Russia” Manafort, Ms. Veselnitskaya, a former Soviet intel officer who is now a lobbyist for that government, Rob Goldstone who is the Trump supporting Russia lover who set up the meeting, and two translators. Don’t be surprised if more details come out, like Putin was on the speakerphone.

Here’s the thing, Trump sycophants. I know you love Trump. I know it’s not about policy with you guys. I know you’re willing to lose your health-care coverage for him. I know it’s about the cult of personality, and has nothing to do with capable leadership. I understand you would rather be ruled than governed. But is it all that above patriotism for you? You gotta stop making excuses for traitors, really stupid idiotic traitors at that.

Isn’t it kinda funny that the jerks who spent the past eight years describing themselves as patriots, and accusing Obama of siding with terrorists, are now the ones who are selling out their nation? It’s bizarre that Republicans, the party of Reagan, is now selling us out to the Russians. It’s almost as ironic as the Trump presidency being brought down by an email scandal.

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.

Putin Confirmation


cjones07102017

With as many “they said/he said” situations that Donald Trump gets himself into, you’d think he was on a nighttime soap from the 1980s, not the president of the free world.

He’s had these “did too/did not, did grab/didn’t grab” situations with women. He’s had a “he said/he said” with the former director of the FBI. Now he’s having it with Russian President Vladimir Putin. When did international diplomacy become Mean Girls?

I have three teenage nieces and a day doesn’t go by when one of them doesn’t put a vague post on Facebook (could it get any worse? My life is over! Oh the suffering! You skank, you know who you are!). All three of my nieces together can’t match the attention-seeking-drama of our 71-year-old president. My nieces don’t understand the differences between “their,” “there,” and “they’re,” or “lose” and “loose,” but they still spell better than the president.

The world was shocked that Donald Trump brought up the issue of Russian hacking during his longer than expected chit chat with Vladimir Putin. Rex Tillerson claims Trump brought it up repeatedly. I’m sure that’s true because Trump has brought it up repeatedly with a lot of people. He won’t stop tweeting about it.

After meeting with Trump, Vladimir beat the Americans to the press. Old Vlad said that Trump brought it up and accepted his denial. Rex Tillerson says that’s crazy Russian talk.

I’m sure Putin would manipulate the press, the president, you, me (he never calls. He only hacks), and he’s not above telling a lie. The problem with this situation is, we know Donald Trump lies. Donald Trump lies about shit he doesn’t have to lie about (that’s when someone has a real problem with pathological lying). So who do we believe?

One participant lies to gain leverage. The other lies because he’s a little bitch.

When Trump and Tillerson sat down with Putin and his Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the Americans diplomatic experience was outgunned by 62 years. He got to chuckle with Putin over their disdain for the press (Why not throw off building? Splat. Problem solved).

Trump and Putin agreed that their countries should not “meddle” in each other’s affairs. That was stupid. Our help with monitoring elections in Russia and support for democracy isn’t the same as Putin hacking into our election, throwing the entire system out of wack, and installing a temperamental, narcissistic man-baby in the White House. It also puts Russia on an equal moral level with us. Trump, you idiot.

After Putin claimed that Trump accepted his denial, he told the press to go ask Trump. That is getting owned. Trump has remained silent. How bizarre is it that the man who kills journalists, gave a quote to journalists, and the supposed leader of the free world has not. It seems both sides have “agreed to disagree.” This is national security, not a debate over reincarnation (Trump was a shit weasel in a previous life).

I didn’t have much faith in Trump’s ability to handle the meeting as he started his day at the G20 in Hamburg, Germany, with nineteen other world leaders, by tweeting about John Podesta and claiming it’s all anyone at the summit was talking about. Trump was giving further cover to Putin’s election hacking by blaming the victim, and this time not really understanding the situation (Trump wondered why Podesta didn’t give the DNC’s server to the CIA, though Podesta wasn’t working for the DNC and the CIA can’t engage in domestic intelligence gathering. Why does a political cartoonist know this stuff better than the president?). And, if everyone’s talking about one thing, we know that one thing isn’t John Podesta. It’s Game Of Thrones (I haven’t watched but I hear good things).

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley defended Trump by saying “everyone knows Russia meddled in our election.” Not everyone. Your boss doesn’t.

So which of the two liars are we to believe? When Putin says that Trump accepted his denial, we have to believe Putin. Trump has accepted the denial and promoted it for over a year. He refused to believe Russia was involved during the debates. He refused to believe our intelligence sources. He’s refused to believe any investigation. He’s even made up some shit to cast denial over Russia hacking the election.

It’s not hard to believe Trump accepted Putin’s denial. Where there is no denial is that Putin owns Trump, and with that possession, the United States has lost its position as leader of the free world.

Creative Note: I drew this last night and finished up pretty early. As soon as the drawing was done it was time for me to have dinner with some friends. So, I didn’t post the cartoon as I had not written the blog yet. I did mail it to my clients and two of them have already “scooped” me with my own cartoon. Sorry I made you wait.

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 $50 donation will receive a signed print. All donations will receive my eternal gratitude.

Lock Him Up


cjones04022017

If you’re a political cartoonist then you have to give Trump credit in one area. He hasn’t hired anyone difficult to caricature. Seriously. These are some freaky looking people.

They’re not just freaky looking. They’re all certified creepers. Michael Flynn ranks up there right below Steve Bannon and Trump himself.

During the campaign, while Flynn wasn’t yakking it up with Russians and taking money from them, he was lambasting Hillary Clinton. He joined the chants of “lock her up” at the neo-Republican rally they called a convention. During an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd Flynn made the statement “When you are given immunity, that means you have probably committed a crime.” Now that he’s asking for immunity himself, he probably knows what he’s talking about. I mean, if we use his own description and guidelines, Flynn wouldn’t be asking for immunity unless he’s down, dirty, and traitorous.

Flynn wants immunity before he’s interviewed by the FBI. His lawyer said he wants to avoid “unfair prosecution” and “he has a story to tell.” I think I know how that story goes. It’s a long story. Flynn took money from Russians and then plotted with them thwart an election. OK, so it’s a short story.

Will he get immunity? It depends on what sort of goods he has and who he has them on. The FBI will want a big fish and a former national security adviser is a pretty big one. Flynn will have to have something on someone bigger. Now who in the Trump administration ranks higher than the national security adviser?

There are two things I expect to happen: Donald Trump is going to start shit-tweeting Michael Flynn and someone from the Trump administration will be “locked up.”

Ya’ll freaky right-wingers might want to be a bit more selective with your rally chants in the future.

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!!!

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