Secret Service

Uncharted


cjones10032017

Many presidents leave office in personal debt. James Monroe, Thomas Jefferson, and Bill Clinton each left office poorer than when they entered. In Clinton’s case, it was due to massive legal bills partly due to being investigated by a Special Counsel. Trump will also have high legal fees due to an investigation, but he’ll probably leave office even richer than when he entered.

Trump is not going to pay his legal fees. He has a sketchy history of paying those in the past, and this time he has other people paying his lawyers. Who are these people? If you’re a Trump supporter and you’re contributing money to his campaign (as he’s campaigning for reelection), you are paying those legal fees. Another reason he won’t leave office in personal debt (he’ll leave the nation in debt) is because he’s making money off the presidency.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned last Friday over expensive, taxpayer-funded charter jets for official travel. Price ran up a million dollar tab using charter jets, often at times when other options were available. Price isn’t alone. Other members of the president’s cabinet have been running up fees by using expensive charter jets.

Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency has used private aircraft (in addition to having us buy him a $25,000 sound-proof phone booth). Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has spent over $12,000 on jet-setting.

David Shulkin, the administrator of the Department of Veterans Affairs, took a 10-day trip to Europe with his wife that the VA paid for. During his trip, he and his wife spent a day at the Wimbledon tennis tournament, enjoyed a Thames river cruise followed by an evening at Piccadilly Circus. I’m glad they’re having a good time. Aren’t you?

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin took a flight with his Hollywood wife to see the gold at Fort Knox and to watch the eclipse in Kentucky. That’s the trip where his wife posted a photo bragging about all the expensive designer crap she was wearing, and then defended herself by telling us how much she the Mnuchie has sacrificed for us. Later, Mnuchin asked the government to pay for his and his wife’s honeymoon. That request was denied.

All this information didn’t come out because the Trump administration is transparent. It was revealed by reporters.

Trump said he wasn’t happy with Secretary Price’s travels and sticking us with the bill. But, he’s the one who has set the example.

Trump, who told us while campaigning that he wouldn’t have time to play golf, is now playing a hell of a lot of golf. The Center for American Progress estimates Trump’s trips to Mar-a-Lago and his New Jersey golf resort has cost us $32 million from the time he was inaugurated to August.

The Secret Service has requested an additional $60 million in funding to protect Trump and his protectees, which totals to 42 people, 18 of them being family members. Not only do they have to follow the Trump kids for all their business travels and vacations, they have to pay Trump to protect him. How can that be?

The Secret Service has to protect Trump’s many residences. Trump Tower wanted to charge the service $3 million a year to rent space. The agency moved into a trailer parked on the street. There are other ways to squeeze the service, as Trump is charging them rental fees for golf carts. From January to August, they spent over $60,000 renting golf carts from Donald Trump, so they could keep up with him while he golfed. On one trip to his New Jersey club, the agency spent $7,100 on port-a-potties, proving that you can not find a clean public restroom in Jersey.

In addition to billing the people who put their lives on the line to protect his orange ass, Trump gets to bill other departments when he stays at his resorts. You don’t think he’s giving those rooms away at his resorts, do you? If the White House staffers have to travel with him, they’re staying at his resort. If it’s a business trip then the government is paying for it.

He gets it from other governments too. Diplomats are staying at the Trump Hotel in D.C. to curry favor with Trump. Plus, he gets to rent them rooms when he takes them to Mar-a-Lago like he did with the Japanese and Chinese. Now we know why he wants to travel so much. He is sticking it to everyone he can.

Trump claims he’s a great deal maker, which is a lie. He talks about cutting expenses for the government. But, while cutting how much we spend on a fighter jet or a future Air Force One, I haven’t heard about him saving money for the government on his personal travels. What happens when President Trump negotiates with businessman Trump? Which one feels the screw? Neither. We get the screw.

If Trump was such a patriot he’d give the rooms and golf carts for free to those who work to protect him. I can also make suggestions for where they should take their craps.

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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Secret Service Slackers


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The Trump White House operates with the judgement and ethics that’s usually only seen in used-car dealerships and trial lawyers who also work as locksmiths.

Everyone knew General Michael Flynn had traded in his once-respected military reputation to be a partisan joke for Donald Trump. It’s not often you see a United States general leading “lock her up” chants at political conventions.

Everyone knew Flynn was lobbying for Turkey. We all knew he sat next to Russian President Vladimir Putin at a dinner. It was public knowledge he accepted money from Russia to give a speech in Moscow, which probably ran afoul of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause (a provision that prohibits federal office holders from accepting financial benefits from a foreign government. “Retired regular military officers are also subject to the Emoluments Clause because they are subject to recall, and, therefore, hold an ‘Office of Profit or Trust’ under the Emoluments Clause,” a 2013 Department of Defense white paper reads).

It was also recently revealed that Flynn was paid  $11,250 from a Russian cargo airline company and a Russia-based cyber security firm for giving speeches in the United States.

Despite all this the White House transition team, led by vice-president Mike Pence, approved Flynn to serve as national security adviser. This proves one of two things: Either the transition team was very sloppy with vetting or, they just didn’t give a rat’s patootie (I cursed enough in the blog for the Sean Spicer cartoon I published Saturday morning).

Between the election and Trump’s inauguration Flynn met with the Russian ambassador at Trump Tower and exchanged phone calls and text messages, which means they were in cahoots with rigging the election or engaging in a teenage love affair (wherefore art thou, Kislyak?”). He later lied about the conversations and remained on the job for two weeks after the lie. That also proves that the Trump administration really doesn’t care about ethics or inappropriate contacts with the Russian government. Though they did fire the acting attorney general who warned them of Flynn’s heavy petting with the Russians.

Flynn set a dubious record for shortest tenure ever for a national security adviser, serving only 24 days. Your father has probably gone longer without changing his underwear. Mine has.

Speaking of foreign agents, do you remember Monica Crowley? She was the “journalist” set to become the spokesperson for the National Security Council until reports revealed multiple instances of plagiarism in her Ph.D. dissertation, her new book and newspaper columns. She claimed all those accusations were debunked after she looked up the word “debunked” in a George Will column.

But ya’ know, saying something is debunked isn’t exactly the same as it actually being debunked. You have to actually have proof, which Crowley doesn’t have. Anyway, she’s now registered as a foreign agent for a Ukrainian oligarch. What is it with Trump people and oligarchs? You never even heard that word in the news until Trump was elected. At some point Breitbart is going to need an Oligarch section, much like they currently have a “black crime” section.

Right now the Secret Service is in a bit of hot water. No, not for plagiarism or extended lengths of time without changing their underwear. An intruder on the White House grounds remained on the property for 16 minutes before the service apprehended him. They’ve also recently lost a laptop with details of Trump Tower. One agent was recently removed for a Facebook post where she said she refused to take a bullet for Trump. Let’s not forget that guy who got to pose for a photo at Mar-a-Lago with the nuclear football.

I’m kinda expecting an agent to leave the front door open to the White House while loudly exclaiming he’s going on break for five minutes.

Most people don’t like Trump but we don’t want any harm to come to the guy. If you think his people are difficult to live with now wait until 45 is a martyr. Also, are we really sure Pence is any better? In all seriousness, I don’t ever wish harm on anyone. Let’s just impeach the guy and let him live the rest of his life rich, privileged, and bitching about how he’s not treated fairly.

White House intruders need to be taken seriously and removed quickly. Whether it’s the wack jobs hearing voices in their heads or the ones appointed by Donald Trump. You know, like family members and Nazis.

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Oopsies


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I really don’t think ISIS, ISIL, Islamic State or whatever they’re calling themselves this week, is a great threat to the United States.    If one of these terrorists crosses our border and murders an American citizen, then it’ll be another daily murder in the United States.  The biggest danger is the propaganda the terrorists will gain from such an action.

Crossing a border or getting on an airplane will be a lot easier for a virus than a terrorist.  Ebola threatens to kill more Americans than any Middle East Terrorist.  If it successfully latches on in the U.S. it’ll also threaten Canada and Mexico.

A lot of conservatives make a joke about being threatened more by global warming than ISIS.  It’s a bad joke and it’ll land on them.  Global warming might be slow and creeping but it will do lasting harm than a bomb or a lunatic cutting off heads.

Now that all of that is said, just how often do I get to use “oopsies” in a political cartoon?