Senate

To Solemnly Lickspittle


cjones01192020

I spent last Thursday morning nauseous and queasy from food poisoning. This morning, I was looking up photos of Senate Republicans, so yeah…another Thursday morning feeling nauseous and queasy.

Senate Republicans have already abandoned the oath they swore to when they took office. You know, that quaint idea of protecting and defending the United States of America from all forms of aggression, foreign and domestic. Because with Donald Trump, our nation’s received forms for aggression, foreign and domestic. How have Senate Republicans responded to it? They’ve all rolled over for belly rubs.

On the 2016 campaign trail, Donald Trump gave loyalty oaths at his hate rallies. He defended the practice from comparisons to the oaths Hitler demanded as “fun.” Republicans in Congress haven’t had a problem with the oath, at least not since the election. Before Trump was elected was another matter.

Lindsey Graham said of Trump, “He’s a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot,” and “You know how you make America great again? Tell Donald Trump to go to hell.” Now, he promises not to be a fair juror in Trump’s impeachment trial which is starting next week and said “I’ve clearly made up my mind, I’m not trying to hide the fact that I have disdain for the accusations and the process.”

Ted Cruz called Trump a “pathological liar” and a “sniveling coward” after Trump retweeted a meme comparing the beauty between their wives. Now, he’s defending coming to a conclusion before the trial.

Marco Rubio said, “No senator can be impartial.” Back in 2016, he was making fun of the size of Trump’s penis.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has resisted calling witnesses, despite new ones coming out every day stating how Trump was trying to bribe a foreign leader to help his reelection. McConnell is totally coordinating the trial with the White House.

This morning, Senate Republicans are going to take an impeachment oath they’ve already promised to break. You can argue that Democrats are doing the same, but at least they can base their opinion that Trump is guilty on the fact that all the witnesses, documents, and facts support that Trump is guilty.

And the Republicans who are promising to be openminded will only do so if they don’t have to hear any more witnesses or evidence against Trump. The only way this could be any worse would be if we found out later that one of the Senators was helping Trump bribe Ukraine. But fortunately, the guy who did that in Congress is in the House.

The impeachment trial of Donald Trump beings next week and should continue for two more. But this morning, Republicans will get a head start by swearing on an oath they don’t have any intention to follow. At the same time, they don’t have any intention of representing the United States.

Creative note: Can’t recognize all the Republicans and wanna give up? Here you go. Left to right (top row); Tom Cotton, Rand Paul, Rick Scott, Joni Ernst, Jerry Moran, Ben Sasse (bottom row) Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Cindy Hyde-Smith, John Kennedy (very bottom) Marco Rubio.

Support the cartoonist.

You can help me continue to create cartoons, blogs, and videos by making a contribution. All support, large and small, is greatly appreciated. You can also support me by purchasing a signed print (8 1/2×11) for $40, or a signed poster (18×24) for $100 by clicking the PayPal button (just include a note if you’re purchasing a print). If you want to support but don’t want to use PayPal, you can send a contribution through the mail (address is on the contact page. Again, include a note for a print). I don’t plan on going anywhere and your support will help guarantee that. Whether you support, can’t. or just choose not to, please know that I am truly thankful that you visit my site and read my work.

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

New Book: Tales From The Trumpster Fire

Watch me draw.

Premature Republicans


cjones12182019

Is anyone surprised that Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, and other Senate Republicans are promising to violate an oath before they even swear to it? Of course not as these are the same Republicans who have given up on everything they used to believe in. Remember when they claimed to believe in family values, the military, patriotism, reduced debt, and protecting our nation from Russia?

Mitch McConnell didn’t have any problem violating Senate rules and the Constitution when he refused to hold a hearing for President Obama’s last Supreme Court nominee and then handing that nomination to Donald Trump. McConnell didn’t have any problem with blocking Obama’s nominations to lower courts either. While Republicans claim Obama left vacancies for them to fill, the truth is that only 28.6% of his judicial nominees were approved by the Republican-led Senate during the last two years of his presidency. While appearing on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News, McConnell took credit for blocking Obama’s nominees after Hannity wondered aloud why Obama left so many vacancies. And then McConnell cackled which will probably keep me up at nights for several years to come.

Senators are required to make a new oath of office before an impeachment trial. Article I, section 3, clause 6 of the Constitution sets out that senators sitting on a trial of impeachment “shall be on Oath or Affirmation.”

According to Rule XXV of Senate Rules in Impeachment Trials, all senators must make the following oath: “I solemnly swear [or affirm, as the case may be] that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of [the person being impeached], now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: So help me God.”

McConnell told Hannity, “Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with the White House counsel. There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this.” This was probably followed by more cackling. He said he will be working in “total coordination with the White House counsel’s office and the people representing the president in the well of the Senate.”

Lindsey Graham has stated he has no intention of being an impartial juror. He has stated a refusal to listen to the evidence and that there shouldn’t even be a trial. Back in 1998, Graham scolded his colleagues for making decisions before the trial. He said, “Let the facts do the talking,” and “don’t decide the case before the case is in.”

Graham and McConnell have no problems being hypocrites and telling us out loud that they plan to conduct a sham of a trial. Since they don’t have any problem violating an oath let’s hope their voters do.

Why vote for a politician who promises to break promises? If they are announcing they will violate an oath to be impartial, why would anyone believe they’ll keep their oath to protect the United States Constitution? I don’t.

Senators like Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham won’t keep their promises to protect the Constitution, the nation, or even the presidency. If anything, they’re promising to betray the nation.

They are promising the trial will be a sham just as they are as United States Senators.

Support the cartoonist.

You can help me continue to create cartoons, blogs, and videos by making a contribution. All support, large and small, is greatly appreciated. You can also support me by purchasing a signed print (8 1/2×11) for $40, or a signed poster (18×24) for $100 by clicking the PayPal button (just include a note if you’re purchasing a print). If you want to support but don’t want to use PayPal, you can send a contribution through the mail (address is on the contact page. Again, include a note for a print). I don’t plan on going anywhere and your support will help guarantee that. Whether you support, can’t. or just choose not to, please know that I am truly thankful that you visit my site and read my work.

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

New Book: Tales From The Trumpster Fire

Watch me draw.

Partisan Jurors


CNN11102019

Here’s your cartoon for CNN’s weekly newsletter, Provoke/Persuade. Please sign up to get these in your inbox every Sunday for the rest of your life.

After Donald Trump is impeached by the House of Representatives, there will be a trial in the Senate. There, every United States Senator (in case you’re a Republican, there are 100 of them), will be a juror. The majority of Republican senators have already made up their minds that Donald Trump should not be impeached. Some argue he didn’t do anything wrong while others say he did but it doesn’t amount to a charge worthy of impeachment. Some, like Lindsey Graham refuse to even hear the evidence and testimony. These Republican jurors have already made up their minds to clear Donald Trump before the trial or even before public hearings in the House have started.

Remember when the administration said it wasn’t complying with subpoenas because the House hadn’t conducted a vote for the inquiry? That seems to be forgotten now that the House did have that vote, and it passed without one Republican voting for it (even though they all demanded the vote), and the White House is still defying subpoenas.

Remember when Republicans complained about the hearings being private? They even crashed one hearing and contaminated a SCIF. Now, the Trump administration is complaining about the hearings going public. If voters have eyes and ears, they’ll see it doesn’t matter what the Democrats do, the GOP will find fault with it.

Graham said he’d be bothered if there was testimony implicating Trump in using taxpayer money to bribe Ukraine and asking them to go after a political opponent. Now that multiple witnesses say Trump did just that, Graham has decided he’s not going to listen to any testimony or read transcripts of it. Back during the Clinton impeachment, Graham said a president defying subpoenas was obstruction and another cause for impeachment. Today, it’s OK if a Republican does it.

In this week’s Time magazine, Jon Meachem writes, “The possible impeachment of Donald Trump is about more than one man. It is a singular moment in American democracy that will try our capacity for reason over passion, fact over faith and principle over tribe.”

The Republicans are making it about one man and showing we don’t have the capacity for reason, facts, or principles. If Congress fails to remove Trump from the presidency, it will be an American failure that will take generations to overcome. It will damage the office of the presidency for decades, if not permanently.

Support the cartoonist.

You can help me continue to create cartoons, blogs, and videos by making a contribution. All support, large and small, is greatly appreciated. You can also support me by purchasing a signed print (8 1/2×11) for $40, or a signed poster (18×24) for $100 by clicking the PayPal button (just include a note if you’re purchasing a print). If you want to support but don’t want to use PayPal, you can send a contribution through the mail (address is on the contact page. Again, include a note for a print). I don’t plan on going anywhere and your support will help guarantee that. Whether you support, can’t. or just choose not to, please know that I am truly thankful that you visit my site and read my work.

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

Watch me draw.

Mississippi White Vote


cjones11262018

Once upon a time in Mississippi, general elections were mere formalities. If you won your party’s primary, you won the election. That is if your party was the Democratic Party.

My career started in Mississippi and I lived there from 1990 to 1997. Once, I was present when some Democrats were on trial for something related to voting in a county supervisor primary. Two of the witnesses were Republican poll workers. When the defense attorney challenged their credibility by asking, how could they witness anything while keeping track of their own primary voters? One of the witnesses explained, “We only had two voters all day. We’re Republicans.” It wasn’t like they had a lot to do but sit at their table and watch all the people, who were their neighbors, working and voting at the Democratic table. The entire courtroom knew this.

Because Democrats had a lock on the state, that doesn’t mean it was a liberal state. If anything, it was more conservative then than it is now. Republicans started to move the state in the early 90s with the election of Kirk Fordice to the Governorship. Today, it’s a solid red state. My point is, Democrat Mike Espy is not going to win in Mississippi for the U.S. Senate Seat.

Espy’s opponent, Cindy Hyde-Smith, is the incumbent Senator, appointed to the post when Thad Cochran retired. She is a terrible candidate. She was caught on a microphone joking about attending a lynching, made another joke about voter suppression, and was photographed wearing Confederate battle garb at the home of Jefferson Davis. But, Mississippi still has the Confederate battle flag as part of the state flag.

The battle flag flag became the state flag in 1894 and was repealed in 1906, but the state ignored that and kept the flag flying for nearly a hundred years before there was a referendum to remove it in 2001. The referendum failed and the state legislature acted swiftly to make the battle flag flag the official state flag. Mississippi voters, by 64%, voted to keep a hate symbol flying.

You would think that Mississippi, which has more African-Americans per capita and more black elected officials than any other state in the nation and had 581 lynchings between 1882 and 1968, would be able to reject a horrible candidate like Hyde-Smith.

The Republican was unable to debate Espy without an advantage. The debate was sponsored by her campaign contributors, and Hyde-Smith demanded that there be no live audience or outside press in attendance. She also demanded that the candidates have access notepads during the debate. And she demanded that a planned segment in which the candidates would ask each other questions be changed, with the questions submitted beforehand and asked by the moderator. It was worse than the new rules Sarah Huckabee Sanders has for White House press briefings.

And yet, even with it scripted, she had difficulty with her apology for the lynching joke. After stumbling over the words (because reading is hard), she blamed others for “twisting” her words and “using them for nothing but political gain.” Previously, she blamed others for making something “negative” out of a lynching joke. Seriously.

Major donors, including Walmart and Leidos, are asking the Hyde-Smith campaign for their money back. The white supremacist who gave her $2,700 has not.

This looks pretty bad for Republicans. It’s shaping up to be another Alabama, where voters rejected the accused pedophile and sent a Democrat to the U.S. Senate. Even then, the pedophile still got 49% of the vote. But, this is Mississippi, where a joke about something as horrible as lynching will not sway the majority of white voters to vote for a Democrat, and a black guy at that. Mississippi hasn’t elected a black candidate to a statewide office in the more than 140 years since Reconstruction.

There are good people in Mississippi. Some of America’s greatest writers have come from the state. There are liberals and enlightened people. Some of the most talented people I ever worked with are from Mississippi. But, they’re outnumbered.

This is the state where it took three trials to convict Byron De La Beckwith for the murder of Medgar Evers, killed Emmett Till for flirting with a white woman, and killed three Civil Rights workers for helping blacks register to vote. Their former Senator, Trent Lott, said Strom Thurmond was right with his racism. Mississippi has changed a lot since those days, but a lot hasn’t.

Mississippi is still burning and it’s going to send a racist laughing about lynchings and voter suppression to the United States Senate.

Be Complicit

What kind of person would want to be part of something that disparages, slanders, and disrespects Dear Leader and his sycophantic followers? Hopefully, you. 
Making a contribution supports my work and keeps the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. My income is from newspapers that subscribe to my work and small contributors. George Soros hasn’t sent me a million dollar check in weeks. Making a contribution of any amount, or buying a print for $40.00, makes you part of this specific resistance, and a member of Team Claytoonz (we’re still working on the name). You are complicit, an accomplice, and in cahoots (and whatever gangster terms we can think of) with this political satire pointing out that the stupid emperor has no clothes. Contributions can be made through PayPal, checks, and wads of cash exchanged in back alleys.
Whether you can help support, can’t, or just choose not to, please continue to enjoy and keep reading my work. Thank you!!! 

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

Watch me draw.

Hiding Behind A Skirt


cjones10022018

During yesterday’s 80-minutes long rambling word salad of a press conference that may have actually been a public service announcement on the effects of mixing Rogaine with Diet Coke, Trump hinted that he’s open to ditching his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

In fact, there may be several Republicans kinda hoping today’s hearing with Kavanaugh and his first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, is convincing enough to let him go without much political damage from their base, who is adamant about his confirmation. With more women making accusations against the nominee for sexual harassment, and even being involved in something called a “train rape,” his baggage has gotten so heavy that winning his confirmation may not be much of a win in the culture war at this point.

But, under the leadership of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the party as a whole is still trying to seat him on the court. Many don’t fear a legacy of putting Justice Rape Train on the nation’s highest court with a lifetime appointment. That’s not what they fear. What they do fear is coming off as insensitive to the very credible Blasey Ford in today’s hearing.

They’re right to be afraid. With several senators promising to confirm Kavanaugh, they’ve made it clear that it doesn’t matter what Ms. Ford says, or how poorly Kavanaugh comes off. Other senators have questioned why women wait so long to report, and others asking why they would even go to a party where they would be sexually assaulted, in addition to the president saying this is just a sham with fake accusers. McConnell gave a speech where he repeated the word “smear” several times. I was waiting for him to eventually create a new term in “smeary smears.”

Not wanting a reenactment of the late Senator Howell Heflin’s question to Anita Hill in 1991 of, “Are you a scorned woman?” The Republicans don’t plan to ask Ms. Ford any questions at all. For this, they’re bringing in a woman to question Ms. Ford. And, they’ve even messed that up with McConnell referring to her as a “female assistant,” and Joe Kennedy forgetting her name.

Her name is Rachel Mitchell, and this “assistant” has nearly 30 years experience working in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in Arizona. The Republicans will be present and you’ll find them hiding behind her skirt.

The Judiciary Committee has been around for 202 years and the Republican Party has never had a woman serve on it. The Democrats currently have four, and two of them aren’t white.

Ms. Ford’s attorney sent a letter to Chuck Grassley, the committee chairman stating, “The central point is that there is no precedent for this Committee to bring in outside counsel for the sole purpose of shielding the members of the Committee from performing their responsibility to question witnesses.” He’s right. The all-white Republican men on the committee will not be doing the jobs they were elected to do tomorrow.

If the Republican men on the committee need an inspiration for courage, they can look across the aisle at their colleagues on the same committee, Dianne Feinstein, Amy Klobuchar, Mazie Hirono, and Kamala Harris.

Maybe then they can “man up.”

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!!!

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

Watch me draw.

Kavanaugh’s Conundrum


cjones09112018

Brett Kavanaugh should not be confirmed for the Supreme Court, where Trump’s last nominee, Neil Gorsuch also shouldn’t be currently sitting for the rest of his life.

The Republicans stole an appointment from President Barack Obama. They wouldn’t even let his nominee, Merrick Garland, a man they had previously confirmed for a lower court, on the nonsense that a president can’t appoint during an election year. Thus, they let the seat remain vacant for nearly a year on the gamble a Republican would win the presidency. Their gamble paid off. They argued that the people should decide who appoints to the Supreme Court, ignoring the fact that the people did decide in 2012. The people gave Obama four years to perform the duties of the presidency, not three.

After stealing that seat, the Republicans changed the rules from requiring 60 votes for confirmation, to 50. Now, they’re about to do it again.

Before the hearings for Kavanaugh, the Republicans withheld thousands of documents, only to dump them on the Democrats the night before the hearings and barring members of the Senate from releasing them to the public.

Kavanaugh is being cagey and refusing to answer if a president can be indicted, pardon himself, pardon his friends in exchange for their testimony, or if Roe v. Wade can be overturned. All this means is that Donald Trump got to select another judge to rule in his favor if a subpoena for his testimony lands before the highest court. It also means the Supreme Court will make abortion illegal, thus actually killing millions of women.

Perhaps the biggest reason Kavanaugh should not be confirmed is because he was nominated by Donald Trump.

Donald Trump may have broken the law to become president. He is accused of directing someone to commit a crime while he was the Republican presidential nominee. He may have colluded with Russia and have engaged in a conspiracy to steal the election. He may have paid foreign hackers to disrupt the election. All of this would make him an illegitimate president. We can’t have people appointed by Vladimir Putin.

Trump is also mentally unhinged. The people closest to Trump believe he is incapable of doing his job, and he’s a danger to the nation. His own words and tweets confirm the man is insane. I don’t believe a crazy man should be making lifetime appointments to any court, especially the Supreme Court.

America doesn’t want Kavanaugh on the Court. Only 37 percent of those polled by ABC News and The Washington Post support his confirmation. The only two nominees who have fared worse in the poll’s history are Harriet Miers (a legal counsel for the second Bush) and Robert Bork (a Reagan nominee who was so far out on the right-wing fringe, it would have been like putting Alex Jones on the Court). Both of those nominees failed. Kavanaugh should fail, but he probably won’t because we live in Crazytown.

No president should be allowed to pick their judge. The Republicans need to stop allowing Trump to turn this nation into a banana republic. A president in the last year of his term can’t nominate but an unindicted co-conspirator with major mental deficiencies can?

The only hearings we should be having at this place and time is over which federal penitentiary where Trump should be serving his sentence.

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!!!

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

Watch me draw.

A Blank In West Virginia


cjones05102018

I am no fan of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. But I don’t need to lie or connect him to something horrible he has a very loose connection with to criticize the guy. I can just use his record and the positions he advocates. If nothing else, I can just point out his total appeasement to Donald Trump. At the very least, you don’t have to take a racist position to go after him.

Foremost Group is a shipping company out of New York and it was founded by James S.C. Chao, who is the father of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who is the wife of McConnell. In 2014, the Ping May, a bulk carrier ship docked in Columbia loaded with coal destined for the Netherlands also contained 40 packages totaling 90 pounds of cocaine. The drugs were found in a chain locker, a forward part of the ship that contains the anchor chain when the anchor is up. Since the authorities couldn’t pin ownership of the drugs on anyone, no arrests were made or were any charges ever filed.

Mitch McConnell’s degrees of separation to this drug bust are probably less than what he has with Kevin Bacon. Despite that fact, Don Blankenship has dubbed McConnell “Cocaine Mitch.”

Don Blankenship is a crazy racist running for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate from West Virginia. Blankenship is running an ad accusing McConnell of having “extensive” ties to China that he’s receiving millions of dollars from the “Chinese” shipping company, and uses the insult “Cocaine Mitch.” Since Blankenship says he’s trumpier than Trump, you can see where the stupid and childish nickname comes into play. And like Trump, it’s off base.

The shipping company is an American company and the “millions” he refers to is an inheritance his wife received when her mother died. And did I mention the racism?

Blankenship referred to Chao’s father as a “wealthy China-person.” In his ad, he says McConnell has created millions of jobs for “China people.”

He later defended his use of the term by saying, “We’re confused on our staff as to how it can be racist when there’s no mention of a race. There’s no race. Races are Negro, white Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian. There’s no mention of a race. I’ve never used a race word.” He equated it with “West Virginia person,” and to a reporter, a “MSNBC person,” as though West Virginian and MSNBC is a race. Though, a lot of racist Republicans may be just as hateful toward journalists as they are to people who don’t look like them.

Trying to explain why “China Person” is racist feels like a stupid endeavor. A person like Don Blankenship who professes his confusion as to how it can be racist probably would never understand.

But just as Roy Moore should have been disqualified before it was discovered he liked to pick up teenage girls at the mall when he was in his 30s, Blankenship should be discarded before you get to the racism.

In addition to the racism and stupidity, Blankenship is a convicted criminal, and he’s currently on probation. In 2010, an explosion at a West Virginia coal mine owned by Massey Energy where Blankenship was chief executive killed 29 workers. A state investigation found that Massey Energy’s negligence was the main reason for “the faulty ventilation system, the inadequate application of rock dust and the equipment failures” that caused the blast.

A federal grand jury found him guilty of conspiracy to violate mandatory federal mine safety and health standards, conspiracy to impede federal mine safety officials, security fraud, and making false statements to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Facing thirty years in prison, Blankenship only served one.

You would think a guy deemed responsible for the deaths of 29 coal miners wouldn’t stand a chance of being elected to anything in West Virginia. It takes a lot of gall that he even stepped foot back in the state. Yet, some polls have Blankenship surging in the days leading up to the primary election. Blankenship is facing two mainstream Republicans, and their defeat will surely guarantee the reelection of Democratic Senator Joe Manchin.

Donald Trump Jr. tweeted opposition to Blankenship and a Nazi Republican running in Illinois (they’re always Republicans) and wrote, “no more Alabama like losses due to bad candidates. No unforced errors.” I guess he’s referring to his father’s endorsement of the Alabama pedophile.

And, what has Trump Sr. to say about Blankenship? Not surprising, the man who once praised Nazis after they killed a woman is as silent as he was about an unarmed black man stopping a white shooter.

We’ll see on Tuesday if West Virginians show us what they are, just like Alabama Republicans did with Roy Moore. Hopefully, they won’t vote for any stupid persons.

Here is 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!