Russian Hacking

Blaming Obama


cjones06282017

In the movie Step Brothers, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are two 39-year-old men with the maturity of eight-year-olds who still live at home. They ask the father for permission to convert their beds into bunk beds so they can have more space in their shared room for “activities.” The father thinks it’s a bad idea but says they’re grown men who don’t need his permission. Naturally, the bunk beds fall apart trapping one of the brothers underneath the top bunk with the other blaming the father for letting them do it.

That’s what a man-child does. He blames others for his transgressions and stupidity as he’s incapable of accepting responsibility. Donald Trump is a 70-year-old man-child who should still be living at home, not in the White House.

A political cartoonist does his or her best work when they’re angry. It’s really hard to get angry every single day. At the most, politicians just really annoy me. This time, I’m pretty pissed off.

Donald Trump has now decided his best defense against accusations that he colluded with Russia to win the presidential election is to blame his predecessor, Barack Obama. Do what now? How does this work exactly when you blame someone for something you previously said didn’t exist? This is the sort of nonsense you’d think only Kellyanne Conway could attempt to explain. But, no. There are plenty of Trump defenders who will believe anything Trumpelstiltskin says.

Every president blames his predecessor for something, especially if they’re from opposing parties. Obama often blamed Bush for the crappy economy he inherited. Usually, when a president blames a previous president, there’s at least a basis of truth to it. George W. Bush did leave Obama a shitty economy and Republicans spent eight years complaining how Obama conducted the worst recovery ever. Basically, Republicans messed everything up and bitched how the Democrat was taking too long to clean it.

Trump not only blames Obama for bad stuff, he takes credit for the good Obama did. He’s taken credit for jobs Obama has saved. He’s taken credit for the stock market which has continued its upswing that started way before Trump took office. He’s taking credit for job numbers that he once claimed were fake while he was a candidate. He’s taking credit for the current economy, even though at this very moment we’re still in Obama’s fiscal year. But when it comes to blaming, Trump doesn’t even use a grain of truth. He flat out makes shit up.

Trump accused Obama of wiretapping the phones in Trump Tower. If you’re a Trump supporter you believe that despite it being a total lie. Now Trump is blaming Obama for Russia’s hacking into our presidential election.

Obama and our intelligence networks were aware of Putin ordering his agents to corrupt our election, the attempts to destabilize our democracy, and the effort to throw the election to Donald Trump. A lot of the information remained classified until after the election, but it was public knowledge way before November what the Russians were up to. I remember this. I drew a lot of cartoons about it. I remember Donald Trump denying it was happening. 2016 was not a figment of my imagination though it was kind of a nightmare.

Obama was in a catch-22 with how to handle the situation. He could sit back and let the election play out or make big bold statements and enact sanctions. That would have had Donald Trump, who was screaming at the time that the election was “rigged,” accuse Obama of using government resources to sway the election toward Hillary Clinton.

Obama publicly told Russian President Vladimir Putin to “knock it off.” He waited until after the election to enact sanctions, shut down two Russian compounds (one in Maryland, the other in New York). He’s been fairly criticized for his handling of the situation, but I don’t think he had any winning options.

If President Obama had done more and Clinton had won the election, Trump and Republicans (some who knew of the hacking, but remained silent) would still be screaming that the Democrats stole the election. If Trump had won despite Obama’s involvement (which I think would have happened anyway because Trump voters don’t work with facts or substance), we’d still be where we are now. Now is a situation where Obama didn’t want to give the impression of messing with the election and he’s being accused by Trump of colluding with Russia. Yes, seriously.

Now keep in mind that after Trump secured the nomination, he was provided the same intelligence briefings the president was receiving. Despite this fact, Trump continued to deny there was an attempt by Russia to hack our election. He said it could be China or some fat guy sitting on his bed. A closer guess would have been a fat guy in a penthouse on 5th Avenue.

Not only was Trump aware what the Russians were doing (as we all were), he asked Russia to release Hillary Clinton’s emails. On July 26 of last year, five days AFTER the Republican convention where Trump was awarded his party’s nomination, he said “I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” A few months later he went even further. In October 2016 (in case you’re a Trump voter, that’s AFTER July), Donald Trump was at a campaign event and reading leaks of emails from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton Campaign when he said: “I love Wikileaks.” 

Obama didn’t ask Russia to hack and release emails. Obama didn’t shout that he loved Wikileaks.

If not doing enough to stop the hacking is colluding, then egging them on, using the information, and enabling the hostile foreign power tampering with our election is definitely colluding. Denying the actions is even further collusion, which is what Trump did throughout the election and continued after he was inaugurated.

Now Trump is finally admitting that Russia hacked our election, though he’s blaming Obama. What’s really hard to understand is how can the hacking story be a “hoax” and “fake news” yet still be Obama’s fault? Trump and his supporters will try to have it both ways as it takes an actual brain to understand that strategy doesn’t work. So expect Conway to be on CNN around 9:00 a.m. to explain it for us. I have aspirin.

Here’s another piece of logic that Trump supporters won’t understand: If Obama’s inaction is proof of collusion, then Trump is guilty too. Since he has become president, Trump has denied the hacking was done by Russians and hasn’t done anything to punish Russia or to prevent future hacking attempts. According to former FBI director James Comey, Trump never asked about or discussed how to protect us in the future. He was only concerned about having the investigation into Michael Flynn dropped, the pee tapes, and for Comey and several others to make public statements that he was personally not under investigation. In addition to this, he continued to deny the hacking attempts while personally relaying classified information provided by an ally to the Russians. And yet Obama is the one who colluded with the Russians.

What’s next? Will Trump blame Obama for his two divorces and the reason why his two sons are idiots who look like Beavis and Butt-Head?

The president takes an oath where he swears he will protect us from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Donald Trump refuses to acknowledge we’ve been attacked, or even who our enemies are, despite being the recipient of the best intelligence network in the world.

That doesn’t just annoy me. That seriously pisses me off.

It’s really hard being a one-man syndicate when editors (who receive death threats from Trump supporters) are afraid of cartoons with opinions, while I’m also competing against other syndicates with dozens of cartoonists (who offer lots of right-wing cartoons and the kind without any opinions). 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.

Advertisements

Outrageous Distractions


cjones03232017

Before FBI director James Comey’s hearing before Congress, Donald Trump decided to start tweeting about his Russia connections.

He tweeted from his personal account, @RealDonaldTrump, that the Russia story was “fake” news. James Clapper and others stated that there is no evidence POTUS colluded with Russia. It’s a fake story the Democrats are pushing as an excuse for running a terrible campaign. The real story are the leaks.

During Comey’s testimony Trump switched over to the official POTUS account to give a live play-by-play coverage of the hearings. He tweeted that Comey said there’s no evidence of collusion between Russia and Trump Campaign and that Russia did not influence the electoral process.

Of course none of his tweets were accurate at all. What? Donald Trump would tell a lie?

Comey stated that there’s no evidence that President Obama had Trump Tower wiretapped. He also stated that the FBI is indeed investigating for cooperation between Russia and the Trump campaign. Comey could not state whether or not Russia influenced the election.

As it turns out, the FBI has been investigating the Trump campaign since July. For some reason weeks before the election they felt the need to only reveal they were investigating Hillary Clinton. They didn’t say anything about investigating Trump.

How did Trump deal with all this? He did what any normal person would do which was to hop on a plane to Kentucky and bitch about Colin Kaepernick.

You remember the brouhaha over Kaepernick, the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers? He wouldn’t stand for the pledge of allegiance in protest of the United States continuing to be a system of racism. Trump stated that he likes people who stand for the Pledge.

Seeing that he likes people who stand for the Pledge but he doesn’t like American veterans who were captured, how would he feel toward a POW who stands for the Pledge?

And why the hell is Trump starting his reelection campaign within the first two months of his presidency? Should other candidates start announcing? Did Putin tell him to do this?

It’s funny that Donald Trump screamed loud and proud that he loves Wikileaks during the campaign (the first campaign). The GOP loved James Comey when he revealed he was investigating Clinton. Now the GOP wants to investigate leaks and they’re pretty upset with Comey.

Trump has had the worst start to his presidency than any other before him, except maybe Lincoln and that’s just because half the country seceded before he took office (his tenure didn’t end so hot either). Trump is no Lincoln. While Lincoln managed a war and freed the slaves, Trump’s only talent is distractions and deflections. I’m very interested in what his next one will be.

“Outrageous Distractions” should be a name for a punk rock band. It shouldn’t be the official policy for a sitting president.

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.

Russian To Lie


cjones03022017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions sat before the United States senate during his confirmation hearings and committed perjury. Sessions lied to Congress.

During the presidential campaign Jeff Sessions was an early advocate for Donald Trump. He was on that bandwagon early and sported a Make America Great Again hat every chance he could find one made for a child-sized head.

On Wednesday evening The New York Times reported that surrogates for the Trump campaign met with Russian officials in European cities during the campaign. They also reported that the Obama administration scattered information throughout the government on the Russian hacking, so the incoming Trump administration couldn’t erase or conceal it. Smart. How obvious is it that the Trump administration isn’t just implicit with this, but that they’d engage in a cover-up?

Shortly after the Times story was published The Washington Post reported that Jeff Sessions met with the Russian ambassador TWICE. Sessions met with the ambassador once in his senate office and another time in Cleveland at the Republican National Convention. He says he never talked about the campaign with the Russians. It’s a little hard to believe that the campaign didn’t come up in a conversation during the convention in Cleveland. What did they talk about? Lebron James? Will the Browns ever find a quarterback? Why aren’t the Moody Blues in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame? Because they suck.

From the Post (about Jeff Sessions, not the Moody Blues):

At his Jan. 10 Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, Sessions was asked by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) what he would do if he learned of any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of the 2016 campaign.

“I’m not aware of any of those activities,” he responded. He added: “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.”

That sounds like a lie. Franken did not ask if he (Sessions) himself had talked to the Russians. Sessions voluntarily described himself as a surrogate and that he “did not have communications with the Russians.” That’s a lie. That’s not misleading. That’s not parsing words. That’s not tip-toeing through the tulips. That’s not an alternative fact. That’s a huge lie. Sessions is an attorney who has probably prosecuted people for far less so he would know it’s a lie.

More from The Post:

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) asked Sessions for answers to written questions. “Several of the President-elect’s nominees or senior advisers have Russian ties. Have you been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election, either before or after election day?” Leahy wrote.

Sessions responded with one word. “No.”

With the second instance Sessions didn’t technically, unless he did talk about the election with the ambassador. The question was specific and asked about the “2016 election.” Tricky there, eh? It would seem he would at least mention it. If he had people would have debated but it wouldn’t have revealed anything illegal. So, why didn’t Sessions mention meeting with the Russians? Did he only prep for the questions about being a racist?

Another oddity with all this is that Sessions is a member of the Armed Services Committee and he says he met with a lot of ambassadors last year in that role. But he’s the only member of that committee that was hanging out with ambassadors. What up with that?

Sessions refused to recuse himself regarding investigations into the Trump campaign and the Russian hacking. There are now more calls for a special prosecutor, which I called for before Trump took office. The big problem with appointing a special prosecutor is that job now lies (no pun intended) with Jeff Sessions. How convenient.

The shoes keep dropping and the stuff keeps hitting the fan. From Michael Flynn talking to Russian and lying about it to Trump asking Russia to hack the Clinton campaign. That shit-covered fan will have to be thrown out because it’ll never get clean.

U.S. Code sections 1621 and 1001 of Title 18 stipulates that anyone who “willfully and contrary to such oath states or subscribes any material matter which he does not believe to be true” is guilty of perjury and shall be fined or imprisoned up to five years, or both.

Section 1001  covers false statements more generally, without requiring an oath. The section stipulates that “whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the government of the United States, knowingly and willfully” falsifies or conceals information, including before a congressional committee’s inquiry, may also be fined or imprisoned up to five years.

It’s hard to quibble that Sessions did not commit perjury. He probably won’t be charged as there’s been only six convictions for lying to congress in the last 70 years, though it’s obvious he lied to congress. He lied to the senator who wrote the book “Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them.” 

This particular lying liar needs to not only recuse himself, but he needs to appoint a special prosecutor, and then resign as attorney general.

One great benefit of all this crap is the great journalism competition between The New York Times and The Washington Post. I have a subscription to both and I highly encourage you to do the same.

I don’t recommend listening to the Moody Blues.

Did you like this cartoon? Want to help a cartoonist make a living? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. I need to buy pens, paper, sandwiches, etc.. The starving cartoonist appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

 

Putin On The Lips


cjones01022017

I don’t know who ended 2016 in a worse way, Ronda Rousey or Mariah Carey. No, Ronda Rousey definitely had a worst day.

While Mariah Carey suffered an embarrassing lip-syncing disaster at The Rockin’ New Years Eve, or whatever they call that thing, it has probably only damaged her career. She can continue being a diva. Rousey on the other hand literally got beaten down in the first round of a fight that ended her career. She was beaten so badly that even professional wrestling may not be able to convince people she can win a fight. Mariah Carey might be able to beat her up.

The funny thing about Mariah Carey’s incident is that she came out blaming the production company, and that they even sabotaged her. Does that sound like an excuse of a certain politician? Sorry, Mariah that the Dick Clark company couldn’t help you fake it. Trump blamed the production company for one of his terrible debate performances, like it was their fault he’s an international dumbass. But with Trump, he has Vladimir Putin helping him fake it.

In fact, you’d think Putin was writing Trump’s tweets. He’s tweeted praise for Putin, said Putin was right in his criticism of Democrats (you know, Americans), and that Trump knows who’s really behind the hacking and will reveal all to us later this week. Kinda like when he said he’d release his tax returns, or he’d have a press conference detailing how he’d conflicts of interesting with his business, or Melania was gonna have a press conference explaining her immigration status, or that he was going to give us all the incredible details he discovered about Obama’s birth certificate.

I’m not going to hold my breath. I think O.J. will find the real killers before any of that happens.

Personally, the only tune I want to see and hear Trump lip sync to is “sha na na hey hey goodbye.” He can take his little Russian friend with him.

Did you like this cartoon? Want to help a cartoonist make a living? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. I need to buy pens, paper, sandwiches, etc.. The starving cartoonist appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!