RussiaGate

Strzok Gets Struck


cjones08192018

Peter Strzok was an FBI agent with 22 years experience who had investigated Russian spies, defense officials accused of selling secrets to China and other assorted cases of extreme importance. He was also the agent in charge of investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State and the Russia case.

During his investigation of Clinton’s server, Strzok exchanged texts with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with who he was having an affair. The texts were discovered while he was the lead investigator for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who swiftly removed him from the investigation of Russiagate.

The director of the FBI office that usually handles employee discipline had decided that Strzok should be demoted for having a rational viewpoint and suspended for 60 days. The Deputy Director of the FBI ignored that advice and decided to fire Strzok on Monday.

The text Republicans keep clinging to is one where Strzok was replying to Page’s concern about Trump being elected. Strzok texted, “we’ll stop him.” Republicans claim this is proof of conspiracy within the agency to destroy Trump and not a comment from a regular citizen referencing the voters of America. The Trump campaign was under investigation by the FBI for colluding with Russia before the election, but Strzok never leaked or made the investigation public knowledge, though the FBI held press conferences and leaked information about investigating Hillary Clinton. Oddly enough, those leaks went straight to Rudy Giuliani who is now campaigning to end the Russia investigation because of FBI bias.

Trump and his sycophants are using Strzok’s text as proof that Mueller’s Russia investigation is a hoax and should be shut down, the dossier is fake, Hillary Clinton should be re-investigated and thrown into prison, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should be fired, everyone should vote Republican, Donald Trump isn’t a racist, and he only weighs 239 pounds.

What this really proves is that each day of the Trump administration brings us one step closer to an authoritarian government. People have literally been fired for expressing a negative viewpoint about Donald Trump (and this one’s not a political cartoonist in Pittsburgh).

When assigning agents to investigate politicians, is it now mandatory that they not have any political opinions about anything? Or, are they allowed to have them just so long as they favor Trump? The problem with this is how does anyone who familiarizes himself with a subject not have an opinion about that person? Are cops required to have neutral feelings about the people they’re in a shoot-out with? When they encounter pedophiles, do they not have any negative views about them until they’re convicted?

If this is the new standard in today’s chaotic new normal, we’re going to encounter problems finding people competent enough to do their jobs. Any professional who is educated, intelligent, rational, with half a brain, and not in a coma is going to have a negative viewpoint of Donald Trump. Have you seen and heard Donald Trump? Currently, only about 39% of Americans have a favorable view of Donald Trump, and they’re all Nazis. OK, maybe they’re not all Nazis, but they’re OK with a guy who is OK with Nazis. Do we really want Nazi sympathizers in charge of investigations? We can’t have everything run like Congressional committees.

Perhaps the most bizarre thing about this (other than there is a sex scandal connected to Trump where you don’t have to get a mental image of Trump boinking playmates, raw dogging porn stars, being spanked with a Forbes magazine with his daughter on the cover, or engaging in a pee-pee contest with Russian hookers) is that between Trump and Strzok, one has testified in front of Congress and the other refused to answer questions to Robert Mueller.

The most hypocritical aspect is that Strzok was fired for texting a viewpoint while Trump has been tweeting that Strzok should be fired, thus muddying up the entire review process at the FBI with his idiotic viewpoints. If that’s not meddling in an investigation or with the Justice Department, then I don’t know what is.

We can’t conduct a bloodletting in government agencies of those who harbor negative views of Trump. We need competent people serving our nation. If we only hire people who respect Trump, then we’re going to have a government staffed with the likes of Michael Cohens and Omarosas.

This is truly ironic because it might be Michael Cohen and Omarosa who bring down the Trump administration.

Your support in the form of donations is appreciated. I am fully independent as I’m not employed by a newspaper or with a major syndicate (leaving one to be independent). It does take a lot of work to provide you with cartoons, columns, and videos almost every day (more than any other political cartoonist), and I don’t charge my clients much at all. If you can, please consider making a financial contribution to keep the fun flowing, or purchase a signed print for $40. Whether you can help support, can’t, or just choose not to, please continue to enjoy and keep reading my work. Thank you!!!

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Wonderful Son


cjones08112018

The Donald Trump presidential campaign did not have any contacts with anyone from the Russian government. OK, they did but it wasn’t anything significant. Except, it was in Trump Tower which was the campaign headquarters for the Trump campaign. Oh, and the meeting was attended by Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and then-campaign manager Paul Manafort. But, it was a total waste of everyone’s time as it was about Russian adoptions. Though, the Russian was promising dirt on Hillary Clinton and Jr. replied in an email before the meeting “I love it.” But, here’s a statement that definitely wasn’t written by the president that the meeting was only about adoptions. OK, the statement was written by the president, but he didn’t know anything about the meeting and it was still only about adoptions. OK, it wasn’t about adoptions and was totally to gain dirt on Clinton, which they didn’t get. Now, it wasn’t illegal and everybody does it.

Did I miss anything? Probably. At this point, even Nixon would be confused with the explanations.

Donald Trump is reportedly very concerned that his “wonderful” son, Donald Trump Jr., may be in legal peril over that Russian meeting in Trump Tower. He should be concerned. Jr. most likely broke the law, he can’t keep his mouth shut, neither can his old man, and they’re both idiots. They should be very concerned.

They argue that collusion isn’t a crime. That depends on a lot of factors. What is a crime is engaging in a conspiracy with a foreign power to benefit your American election. Even if it’s not illegal, it’s treasonous. You don’t even have to get anything out of it to break the law. You just have to try. It’s like arguing that you failed to kill someone, so it’s only attempted murder. No big deal. Everyone does it.

You wonder how concerned Trump is for his son since his latest tweet about the meeting suggests his son committed perjury before Congress.

Trump tweeted, “Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!”

He’s so concerned for his son that he threw him under the bus while making it clear that he himself had no involvement or knowledge about the meeting. Thanks, Dad!

The thing is, it’s not done all the time in politics. Yes, campaigns get dirt on political opponents. Was the Clinton campaign colluding with Russia by paying a former British agent to investigate Trump? No. They did not work or seek help from a foreign government. The Trump campaign did. Trump and his sycophants don’t understand the difference. But, maybe they’ll have a lot of time to think about it.

Here’s the other thing; Trump lied about the meeting. Trump Jr. lied about the meeting. Trump tried to cover it up. Since they’re on the record lying about it multiple times in the past, how can we believe anything they’re saying to explain it now? Why should we believe Trump didn’t know about it? Why should we believe they didn’t get any information from Russia? Why should we believe there weren’t more contacts.

I have a not-so-bold prediction. This long national nightmare of Watergate with stupid people won’t end without someone named Trump receiving a presidential pardon. A much bolder prediction would be; who and how many?

Your support in the form of donations is appreciated. I am fully independent as I’m not employed by a newspaper or with a major syndicate (leaving one to be independent). It does take a lot of work to provide you with cartoons, columns, and videos almost every day (more than any other political cartoonist), and I don’t charge my clients much at all. If you can, please consider making a financial contribution to keep the fun flowing, or purchase a signed print for $40. Whether you can help support, can’t, or just choose not to, please continue to enjoy and keep reading my work. Thank you!!!

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Logic From Rudy


cjones08042018

Rudy Giuliani has taken on the Trump talking point that collusion is not a crime. This means he, like many other Republicans and Trump sycophants, are OK with treason, cooperating with a hostile foreign government to gain the presidency through illicit means.

Collusion by itself is not a crime, but collusion doesn’t come alone. It comes with conspiracy and all sorts of campaign violations, which are illegal. It also makes the perpetrator indebted to the sources he colluded with. If Trump colluded with Russia, he should resign. If he won’t resign, he should be impeached.

By pushing the argument that collusion is not a crime, Rudy is giving the impression something really bad is about to be revealed. He mentioned a second meeting that nobody asked about, that it didn’t happen, and that Trump was not at the second meeting that didn’t happen. This means there was a second meeting. It was probably one before the meeting with Russians where members of the Trump campaign, and perhaps Trump himself, planned strategy for their meeting with Russians in Trump Tower.

Last May, Rudy vouched for Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen’s honesty and integrity. Now, he says the guy is a liar. Obviously, Trump only hires pathological liars for legal representation.

He also hires idiots.

Your support in the form of donations is appreciated. I am fully independent as I’m not employed by a newspaper or with a major syndicate (leaving one to be independent). It does take a lot of work to provide you with cartoons, columns, and videos almost every day (more than any other political cartoonist), and I don’t charge my clients much at all. If you can, please consider making a financial contribution to keep the fun flowing, or purchase a signed print for $40. Whether you can help support, can’t, or just choose not to, please continue to enjoy and keep reading my work. Thank you!!!

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Spending Time With Daddy


cjones07302018

Last night’s nightly breaking Trump news consisted of Michael Cohen revealing that Donald Trump knew beforehand of Russian spies visiting Trump Tower to dish stolen dirt on Hillary Clinton. The Russians met with Donald Trump Jr., then campaign manager and current jail occupant Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner before the election.

Why is this important? Trump has denied any knowledge that meeting ever took place. He claims he didn’t know about it despite being just one floor up in the same building until the press reported it. Donald Trump Jr. has made the same claim. Despite his supposed ignorance of the meeting, Trump dictated Jr’s statement on it to the press while flying home from his first meeting to insult NATO. Later, he lied about that.

This is complicated. Right now it’s unproven and it may come down to he said, he said, or in this case, douchebag said, douchebag said. What are the legal implications if it’s proven? For Trump, if he knew the information was stolen then he’s part of a conspiracy. If he only knew of the meeting but not that the material was stolen, then he’s an accessory. The same goes for Junior who also testified before the Senate that his father had no knowledge of the meeting.

Rudy Giuliani was quick to pounce with the defense that Cohen is a liar and without any credibility. He said Cohen has lied all his life. Rudy is a former prosecutor who has used liars and all sorts of gangsters without credibility as witnesses to put other gangsters in prison. Previously, he said Cohen should cooperate with the government as long as he tells the truth. Rudy never had a problem with Cohen’s word when he liked his words, whether they were truthful or not.

Rudy’s sanity has been questioned lately, and for good reason. His best defense of Donald Trump is that someone else is a liar without credibility? He’s a known liar who has lied his entire life? Has he even met his client? Oh, yeah. There was that time Rudy dressed in drag and Trump was hitting on him in a comedy skit that was more creepy than funny.

He is right in one regard. Cohen is a liar. You would have to be if you’re Donald Trump’s lawyer/fixer. Denying any knowledge about paying off Stormy Daniels aboard Air Force One (they’re really gonna have to scrub and decontaminate that plane when this is all over), Trump told the press to ask Cohen. It seems he didn’t have an issue with his credibility then.

Cohen does have a track record of lies. Unfortunately for Trump, most of those on the record are in defense of Donald Trump. How many years did Trump employ this liar?

This entire ordeal of Russians in Trump Tower is consumed with lies. Jr. told the press that the campaign was unaware of Russians trying to meet with the Trump campaign. Later, when the meeting was revealed, his response was like, “oh…you meant those Russians.”

Trump, who is now on record lying about knowledge of payments to Stormy and Playmate Karen McDougal (does he remember boinking them?), claimed that the Obama administration didn’t try to prevent Russian hacking because they never notified his campaign. The truth is his campaign was notified by the FBI. Trump lies.

Trump continues to lie and calls the Russia investigation a witch hunt and that the ones colluding were the Democrats, despite the fact there were literal Russians in Trump Towers and spies on his campaign staff. He’s also ignoring the multiple indictments against Russians and that every branch of our intelligence agencies verifies that Russia meddled in the election to help Donald Trump. Earlier this week, Trump even tweeted that Russians would attack us again and help the Democrats. Yesterday, it was reported that Russians hackers attempted to steal passwords from a Democratic Senator’s campaign staff. The point is, Trump lies.

There’s also the fact that the day Russians first attacked the DNC was the very same day Trump called from a podium for Russia to “release” Clinton’s emails. Trump also shouted on the campaign trail, “I love Wikileaks,” and read them out loud on stage. Each of these instances is actual footage of him colluding with Russia.

Trump keeps calling the investigation a hoax and there was no collusion. We know it’s not a hoax and it’s starting to look like there was collusion going on in Trump Tower (a building which was probably financed by Russians).

Trump is very sensitive that talk of Russian meddling invalidates his election victory. As it turns out, it does. Trump is a liar. Even if his campaign didn’t collude, he would NOT be president today if Vladimir Putin didn’t give him a push.

I’d like to see Trump and several of his minions pushed out of the White House and into prison. He may actually feel very comfortable there because prisons are full of liars.

Thank you for your support. Reader contributions really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and the First Amendment, and independent journalism while those in power are doing all they can to suppress it. You can also support by purchasing a signed print for $40.00. Just look at the right of this page and click the PayPal button, or you can email and make other arrangements. Thank you!

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An Incredible Offer


cjones07232018

When Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to allow Robert Mueller to fly to Russia and question the people there he’s indicted in exchange for the U.S. to send over American citizens Putin wants to throw out of high rises, Donald Trump should have given a very quick and negative response.

Trump should have said, “let me think about it and now that I have thought about it hell no.” No commas. No spaces. No pauses. Maybe throw in another expletive. Instead, because he’s Donald Trump who puts his personal interests before those of the United States and engages in treasonous behavior, he said, “it’s an incredible offer.”

That was Monday. Later in the week, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president will “meet with his team” to mull over the “incredible offer.”

Even though nearly 80% of Republicans polled believe Trump’s Helsinki summit with Putin was a success, Republicans in elected offices had a little trouble swallowing the idea of handing Americans over to Putin.

The Senate voted 98-0 to approve a resolution introduced by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) that the U.S. should “refuse to make available any current or former diplomat, civil servant, political appointee, law enforcement official, or member of the Armed Forces of the United States for questioning by the government of Vladimir Putin.” In other words, no. The Senate actually compromised and passed something in less time than it took Donald Trump to decide that handing American citizens over to Putin was a bad idea.

It took four days for Trump to reject Putin’s “incredible offer.” Huckabee Sanders said in a statement, “It is a proposal that was made in sincerity by President Putin, but President Trump disagrees with it.” It was made in “sincerity?”

One of the people Putin wants to be handed over is Obama’s ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul. He said, “Most shocking, and just lamentable, I think is my real reaction, when the White House was given the opportunity to categorically reject this moral equivalency between a legitimate indictment with lots of data and evidence to support it from Mr. Mueller with a crazy, cockamamie scheme with no relationship to facts and reality whatsoever, the White House refused to do that.”

Bill Browder is an American-born British financier who successfully lobbied Congress to pass the Magnitsky Act, a law to punish Russian human rights violators. Putin has put out international warrants on him for years, which Interpol keeps rejecting. Despite giving up his American citizenship, Trump was still considering handing him over. Browder said the idea, “is probably one of the most insane things I’ve ever heard coming out of [Trump’s] mouth.” That’s a huge statement because a lot of crazy has come out of that mouth.

Browder summed up the situation best by saying, “What President Trump was saying is that he wants to take a bunch of loyal patriots, people who have given up money for government service to serve their nation, who have been protecting this nation against Russian interference, Russia organized crime, and he wants to hand them over to the Russian criminals. To hand me over to Putin is basically to hand me over to my death.”

Seeing as this one of the public disasters from Helsinki, one has to ask; Just what the hell did they agree to in their two-hour private meeting?

Trump will get another chance to suck up to Putin because; wait for it…he’s invited him to the White House. Obama didn’t grant Putin even one summit, and in less than two years Trump is going to give him two.

One current diplomat with the State Department said, “The president has first and foremost his interests at the top of his mind, as opposed to the government’s. That’s very clear over the past week and a half, between shitting on our NATO allies and kissing Putin’s ass. He cares more about himself than the nation and any of us who serve it.”

I saved the best for last. The diplomat (remember, he’s still working for Trump) also said, “Either he’s compromised by Putin or he’s a pussy, in which case he should grab himself.”

Thank you for your support. Reader contributions really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and the First Amendment, and independent journalism while those in power are doing all they can to suppress it. You can also support by purchasing a signed print for $40.00. Just look at the right of this page and click the PayPal button, or you can email and make other arrangements. Thank you!

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Like A Glove


cjones04272018

The Democratic National Committee is suing Wikileaks, Russia, and the Donald Trump presidential campaign for conspiring to disrupt the 2016 election in favor of Trump.

Republicans say this lawsuit is frivolous and without merit and seek to have it dismissed. While the House committee studying collusion between Trump and Russia say there isn’t any evidence, the facts say otherwise.

While on the campaign trail, Trump publicly asked Russia to get involved in the election and to hack into Clinton’s email. The Trump campaign hosted Russians in Trump Tower who were promising dirt on Hillary Clinton. Don Jr. and Roger Stone were both communicating with Wikileaks. Wikileaks even asked Don Jr. to provide some of Trump’s taxes, so they could release them and make it appear as though they weren’t playing favorites. That’s collusion and a conspiracy.

The best part about this is it allows discovery for the Democrats to seek internal documents and testimony from the Trump campaign. Republicans can claim it doesn’t have merit, but it’s a fact the Democrats’ computer system was hacked.

Republicans and Trump are also allowed discovery and will seek information about the Clinton campaign’s financing of the dossier, written by a former British spy, detailing Trump’s connections to Russia. The only problem with them seeking discovery about the dossier is, it’s already been discovered and it’s not illegal. Conducting an investigation on your opponent isn’t illegal and it’s done by every campaign. Case in point, the Trump campaign inviting Russians to Trump Tower (though, that one might have been illegal).

If the GOP fights this in court with the same intelligence they’ve exhibited in defending Trump’s collusion with Russia, they’re in trouble.

The Democrats are seeking millions from the defendants for their conspiracy. Donald Trump is now a co-defendant with Vladimir Putin. Sure, it’ll be tough, if not impossible, to get the Russians and Wikileaks to cooperate in the lawsuit, but that will probably weaken Trump’s defense even further. Plus, Russia is probably too busy to defend themselves from charges of hacking the 2016 election in favor of Republicans while they’re busying themselves by hacking the 2018 elections in favor of Republicans.

There is precedent for this. In 1972, the DNC sued the Nixon reelection campaign for the Watergate break-in. Republicans called that suit frivolous also, yet they settled for $750,000 on the day Nixon resigned from the presidency in 1974.

The suit doesn’t name Trump as a defendant, but it targets Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and Manafort’s deputy during the campaign, Rick Gates. The suit points out that these individuals were aware of Russia’s attempt to meddle in the election and instead of reporting it to law enforcement, they gleefully accepted the help. Manafort will have to get permission from courts (that’s plural) to leave his house to defend himself in court. He’s already wearing TWO ankle bracelets because he’s a huge flight risk.

Before Trump makes history by being the first president taken down by a porn star, he’ll make it by being the first president required to wear an ankle bracelet. Maybe Ivanka can design matching bracelets for Trump, Don Jr, and Jared.

This case isn’t frivolous. The Russians hacked the DNC and it’s very clear Trump was their choice. The problem for Trump and the Republicans is that there is a bloody glove…and it fits.

Here’s the video.

Please consider making a donation to keep the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. Reader contributions, small and large, really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and liberty while those in power are doing all they can to suppress it. You can also support by purchasing a signed print for $40.00. Just look at the right of this page and click the PayPal button, or you can email and make other arrangements. Thank you!

Little Red Russian Button


cjones12302017

Alexei Navalny is a Russian anticorruption activist. The guy has spent years criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin, and he planned to run for that job, which will be decided in March. Putin thought otherwise.

Navalny was convicted in a fraud case, which many believe was bogus. On Monday, the Kremlin barred him from running for president. He has called for a boycott of the election and now Putin’s spokesperson said he may face criminal charges for that act.

Putin has been in office for nearly 18 years, and now he’s seeking five more. He registered his candidacy for his reelection this week. His approval numbers are around 80 percent, but those are state-conducted polls, which never include Navalny’s name.

Navalny’s name is also never mentioned on Russian television, unless he’s being charged or found guilty of something, like organizing political rallies.

Navalny isn’t much of a threat to Putin, but the Russian president isn’t taking any chances in the authoritarian state he pretends is a democracy. Perhaps he’s afraid of U.S. hacking into this election or maybe he doesn’t trust the polls.

Putin has warned America not to meddle in this election. How ironic. The Kremlin considers the U.S. State Department’s criticism of Navalny’s exclusion as meddling.

Donald Trump probably envies this latest move by Vladimir. All he has here is intimidation, voter suppression, and gerrymandering. Trump buddies up with authoritarians in Turkey, China, the Philippines, but Putin is his hero.

While Russia continues to attack the U.S. by sending internet trolls to help Republicans and Trump TV to attack the FBI, Trump has yet to admit Russia hacked our election, and he’s failed to enact sanctions on Russia that Congress has passed.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump said if he was president then Hillary Clinton would be in jail. He’s spent nearly every day of his presidency, when he’s not playing golf, attacking Clinton, who he defeated and is now retired, and encourages his Attorney General to go after her. Sometimes he multitasks and criticizes Clinton while playing golf.

Instead of defending himself from an investigation by a Special Counsel, he hatches conspiracy theories against those conducting the investigation. He labels the FBI as “tainted.” Do you remember back when Republicans were the defenders of law enforcement? That went out the window with their patriotism and stance against Russia.

Trump calls news he doesn’t like “fake news,” and has called the American press enemies of the American people. He retweets Fox & Friends when he’s not retweeting racist videos from European hate groups.

Trump would love to ban select political opponents when (if) he runs for reelection in 2020. By “select,” I mean all of them. During the last campaign, he even said Clinton shouldn’t have been allowed to run. Trump dreams of ruling, not governing. He has yet to understand the difference.

Trump is not about America first. He, along with his sycophants and apparently the entire Republican Party, is about Trump first. It’s Putin second and then, America third…maybe.

We don’t need an authoritarian, a king, strongman, or a ruler. We need a democratically elected president. This is why the press, opponents to Trump, and even political cartoonists should keep putting Trump’s feet to the fire. All we have to do is call out the truth.

If we don’t, Trump will be throwing his political opponents to the alligators.

Creative notes: Another chapter in getting ideas. I knew I wanted to draw on this subject a couple days ago. But, there were two other ideas I wanted to do before I hit this one. I figured several cartoonists would do the issue before I got around to it, but I haven’t seen one yet.

Even though I knew I wanted to do this subject, I went two days without having an idea for it. They just weren’t coming to me. I took a nap around 11:00 last night, woke up at 4:00 a.m. this morning and around 5:00 a.m., it hit. I don’t know how or why. It just did. I did have one other idea shortly before this one hit, but I wasn’t in love with it. This one, yeah. It was just weird enough for me and I actually made myself laugh with it.

So, one of the answers to “how do you get your ideas?” is….pressure.

Second creative note: Frank proofs the blog. Hilary (not Clinton and with one “L”) usually proofs the cartoons (when I need a proofer). This morning, we had a conversation on the best way to spell made-up words. That is the joy of being friends with me. Hilary abandoned me and Virginia recently for Massachusetts, but she hasn’t escaped me asking goofy questions on Facebook messenger at four in the morning.

There may be a few cons to being on Team Claytoonz.

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 (please specify which print you want or I won’t mail one). All donations will receive my eternal gratitude.