Supreme Court

Kavanaugh’s Hangups


cjones07122018

Leave it to Donald Trump to make a Supreme Court nomination that reminds us just how bad the Bush administration was.

Shortly after being nominated to the court, Bush issued a statement on Brett Kavanaugh. “President Trump has made an outstanding decision in nominating Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court,” said the 43rd president.

Kavanaugh served as counsel in the Bush White House, and then as secretary before finally being nominated by Bush for the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. His confirmation was stalled for three years on accusations that he was too partisan. Why would he be viewed as too partisan?

Working in the White House for either party can be considered partisan. He also represented the Miami family of Elian Gonzalez, pro bono, in a losing battle to keep the boy from being reunited with his father in Cuba. Perhaps most partisan was working on Kenneth Starr’s investigation of Bill Clinton and being one of the author’s of Starr’s report recommending impeachment of the president.

In contrast to the tight lips of Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian collusion and obstruction by Donald Trump, the Starr investigation was constantly leaking to the press. Republicans supposedly hate leakers. If it turns out that Kavanaugh was leaking to the press, will Republicans hold it against him? No. Republicans don’t have problems with hypocrisy, even if Kavanaugh may be deciding cases in the future on government leakers.

Speaking of hypocrisy, in 2009, the nominee wrote an article that presidents should be exempt from “time-consuming and distracting” lawsuits and investigations. Did I mention he worked on the investigation of Bill Clinton and recommended that he be impeached for lying? How does he feel about being nominated by the biggest liar-in-chief in history?

He may be the only candidate on Trump’s list who is on public record with that opinion. Since the question of whether or not a sitting president can be indicted is not settled, it may land before the Supreme Court. Now, we have Donald Trump sending someone to the court who believes presidents shouldn’t be investigated. He may argue that Trump shouldn’t be distracted from golf and retweeting Nazis.

Kavanaugh should not be confirmed, at least not while the Mueller investigation is ongoing. Forget the election. Forget the abortion debate. Forget Mitch McConnell’s hypocrisy of refusing to hold a hearing for Obama’s nominee and allowing it to be stolen by Trump. What shouldn’t be allowed is an appointment to the Supreme Court by a president who is suspected of collusion with Russian spies, thus potentially sending someone to the court who will protect him.

Trump has a history of asking everyone for their loyalty. Does anyone believe he’s capable of not asking SCOTUS candidates for their loyalty?

Trump has the legal right to nominate for the court. But, he was elected by a minority of the people with help from a government hostile to the United States. He welcomed that help. Do we want his appointments sitting on the court for the next thirty years if it turns out he is guilty?

Religious Republicans and other assorted scary fundamentalists believe their deal with the devil will eventually give them a Supreme Court that will overturn Roe v. Wade. It just might, but that doesn’t appear to be Trump’s first concern with his nomination.

As exhibited by making the announcement at prime time, as if it’s reality television, Trump’s first concern is for himself. Trump’s selection may be what’s best for Trump. It’s no wonder that even the North Koreans believe they’re dealing with gangsters.

The bar has been lowered for Trump. Even his nominees require fewer votes for confirmation than past nominees. The bar shouldn’t be lowered for the rest of us.

Watch me draw.

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!

Advertisements

SCOTUS Chicks


cjones07082018

Donald Trump plans to make his horrible selection for the Supreme Court either today or tomorrow. Because he takes the responsibility of a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the last about as seriously as he takes firing Gary Busey, he plans to make the announcement Monday during prime time.

Staunch conservatives are bickering over some of Trump’s candidates as they’re afraid one or two aren’t adequately terrifying. They don’t want Trump to make the mistakes of past presidential appointments where a justice becomes an independent thinker. They want a candidate who will overturn Roe v. Wade, rule in favor of big business every time, suppress minorities, and restrict voting rights as much as possible. Another interest for Trump will be a justice who will stand up for him in case any part of the Russia investigation lands before the court.

Trump says he hasn’t asked any of the candidates if they’ll ban abortion, but he’s probably asked each of them for their personal loyalty.

While there’s speculation he may appoint a woman, there’s no mystery if the nominee will be white.

We’re about to have a second justice placed on the Supreme Court by a guy who shouldn’t be allowed to pick his own nose. Whether it’s a man or a woman, this person will work with four other justices to set this nation as far backward as possible. We’ll be cleaning up after Donald Trump long after he’s left the Oval Office, but the court will be a reflection of Trumpism for decades to come.

Half of Trump’s judicial nominees have refused to say if they agree with the Supreme Court’s decision to end racial discrimination in public schools. Trump has also promised to get the 14th Amendment, guaranteeing birthright citizenship, “amended” out of the Constitution by his second term.

Republicans like to say they’re against activist judges except when they’re their activists judges. A Republican Senate will select any activist judge Trump sends them. Trump and the GOP stole his first selection from Obama and Democrats don’t have the numbers to stop his second.

This is why Republicans are subservient to Trump. They’ll tolerate and ignore his lies, accept hits on the economy from his trade war, turn a blind eye to bad deals with North Korea while he tears apart our alliances, and help him obstruct investigations into his debt to Vladimir Putin. Even if Trump destroys the Republican Party, they’ll pay the cost for owning the Supreme Court.

Watch Me Draw.

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!

Hater Cakes


cjones06092018

A baker in Colorado is so homophobic that he refuses to take money from gay couples. He was sued by a couple after refusing to bake them a cake, citing his religious beliefs as justification for denying their business. The couple sued over the discrimination. The state’s civil rights commission ruled against the baker.

The baker, supported by conservative religious fundamentalists and fellow homophobes, took the case all the way to the Supreme Court. The Supremes narrowly ruled in the baker’s favor. Narrowly, as in, they left a lot of questions to be answered.

The Court said the cake man was a victim of religious bias by the civil rights commission. So, the baker can’t be a victim of bias but the gay couple can?

The court said it wasn’t changing laws and this doesn’t open the door for future discrimination, just that this one baker had the right to discriminate in this case because they didn’t like the way the commission treated him. But, conservatives are rejoicing and will use this for future discrimination.

Conservatives are not good with facts and will skip the court’s statement, “these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.” That sounds less like a legal ruling and more like “I hope you kids play nice. Good luck out there.” Have the Supremes never watched a political debate on Facebook?

I like to start these arguments with; why do you care what’s on the cake? You make cakes for a living. Someone orders a cake. You make them a cake. They pay for the cake. You take money for the cake. Everyone wins. Who cares if the writing on top reads, “congrats, Jack and Diane,” or “congrats, Chuck and Larry?”

I was married once. There was a wedding. We even had a cake. It never did occur to me that we needed the baker’s approval of our nuptials. What if the baker thought my spouse could do a lot better than me? He could have thought, “that guy’s a shiftless cartoonist, plus, he’s kinda goofy looking. And, on your wedding night, he’s going to insist on watching Harry and the Hendersons.” I wouldn’t have lost any sleep over that, and it was 1988 and Harry and the Hendersons weren’t on HBO every night.

But, the baker has his own issues for why he won’t make the cake. What’s important to him isn’t important to me. That brings us to the legal arguments. Can someone refuse service, whether it’s a cake, flowers, or photography if it’s a mixed-race couple? Can Wal-Mart start refusing to allow certain couples from entering their stores their relationship violates their religious beliefs?

I respect religious beliefs and freedom. You can be in your forties and still believe in Santa for all I care. But I do not respect using your beliefs to discriminate. Everyone deserves the same treatment. You’re not being victimized by providing the same service equally. Can you be a Santa believer and refuse service to Jews despite the fact you still carry latkes in your store?

How is a gay cake different from a straight cake? Can’t you just bake a cake and don’t ask if it is gay or not? Can the cake stay in the closet of your mind until the wedding? Are the figurines the problem? How do you know both figurines are gay and that one isn’t being forced into a shotgun-gay-figurine wedding? How do you know the figurines even like each other? Or, is it the idea that the cake is going to be consumed at a celebration for gay people? Aren’t all weddings kinda gay anyway? Will making a gay cake tempt you to be gay? What if someone has some leftover gay wedding cake, and they don’t discover it’s gay until later? If you’re against gay marriage, would you make a cake celebrating a gay divorce? Are you afraid of taking gay money? Are you afraid the gayness will rub off the money while it’s in your wallet near your butt? Are these questions stupid? Because I tend to pose stupid questions to stupid people.

If I was in the marriage business, I would have been ecstatic about gay marriage becoming legal. Who doesn’t want more business? But, maybe the homophobic baker has the legal right to be a dumbass. He could always make the cake and do what Chick-fil-A does, give the money to a hate group.

The one good thing is as customers, we still have the freedom of choosing where we want to shop. This baker will soon discover that a lot of people have strongly held beliefs against doing business with an asshole.

Watch me draw.

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!

Betting On Impeachment


cjones05212018

My career started in 1990 in Mississippi and at that time there wasn’t any legal gambling in the state. A law was passed that year to allow it along the Mississippi River and Gulf Coast only if a community approved it. Within two years there were casinos popping up. By 2005, there were over 30 in the state. One debate at the time was; Why are some communities allowed to profit from this while others are not? It was a good question that still hasn’t been answered.

That question was asked about legalized sports betting and this week the Supreme Court answered it. Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana were the only states where federal law allowed legal sports gambling. The highest court in the land declared that unconstitutional. Now, states that want legalized sports betting can place their bets.

Since you don’t have to erect a casino on a river to allow betting on sports, expect some states to have it legalized by the time football season starts in three months. Hell, New Jersey will probably have it legalized in time for the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup. Bababooey!

Now each state that legalizes it has to decide how limited or widespread they want it to be. Should it only be allowed in a casino or a bookie’s office? Can any dillhole in a bar bet on the Browns going to the Super Bowl? Can a 12-year-old on a tablet bet on a game when he’s not looking at porn? Will college sports be off limits? Will the Trump Organization get involved?

Politics isn’t a sport, but in a way it is. Can we bet on what will bring down Trump?

Pundits and assorted talking heads on the news argue whether it’ll be collusion or obstruction when in the end, it could be the porn star. About the only thing that’ll make Trump sycophants give up on the guy is if they find out he’s not really a billionaire.

Which option would you wager on? Porn star? Cheeseburger? Stairs?

One thing is for sure. The odds for Trump not finishing his first term are a lot better than the Browns going to the Super Bowl.

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!

Whose Squat To Pop?


cjones02032017

On Tuesday Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Antonin Scalia. In doing so the Republican party effectively stole a Supreme Court appointment from President Obama and the Democrats.

The GOP gambled in not allowing Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland a hearing for the seat. Their argument was that it was a seat to be filled by the next president. Their actual argument was that it was for the next Republican president and Ted Cruz even said it should remain unfilled if Hillary Clinton wins the election.

Presidents serve four year terms. Not three. They still execute the powers and responsibilities of the office, even during the last year of their term. Apparently the United States senate does not.

Republicans also argued that Obama was a lame duck president. He was not. The lame duck stage is between the election and inauguration day. Not a year before the election.

The GOP gambled and they won. They played partisan politics with a Supreme Court nomination. They neglected their duty and responsibility. Now they’re crying that Trump’s nominee shouldn’t be held up in political purgatory, even though they did the same thing and without a good reason.

Trump promised a staunch conservative to fill the seat. He also promised to unite the nation and be a president for everyone, even those who didn’t vote for him. If he actually wanted to fulfill that pledge who would have nominated Merrick Garland. At least then he’d finally get a hearing, less enough a vote.

Republicans are the party of “no.” Even when it comes to hearing.

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!!!

Who Ya’ Gonna Call?


cjones07152016

First off, let me apologize if I put an ear worm in your head. I read an article a couple days ago where Ray Parker Jr., the writer of the original version of the theme to Ghostbusters, wasn’t very thrilled with the new cover that’s going with the reboot of the movie. I haven’t listened to the cover because it’s by Fallout Boy (they’re still around?). I wonder if Parker has as much displeasure with the cover as Huey Lewis (And The News) had with his ripping off his much better tune, “I Want A New Drug.”

I decided to insert Trump’s sexism into this cartoon, as a lot of people were really unhappy when it was first announced the new Ghostbusters would be women. Last year a lot of people were cheesed off that the new Stars Wars had a black storm trooper. In a galaxy with all sorts of species you’re gonna tell me you would walk into the Mos Eisley Cantina and have an issue that there’s a black guy in there? I was glad the prequels gave us Mace Windu so Lando Calrissian wasn’t the only black guy in the galaxy. Samuel L. Jackson is always the only black guy. Yes. I am a Star Wars geek.

I remember going to see the original Ghostbusters in theaters when it came out. I thought it was a great movie, especially considering they wrote it while filming, had to basically blackmail Bill Murray to do it, and Eddie Murphy had dropped out. I have no issue with women as the new Ghostbusters because I’ve seen each of these hilarious actors in other projects and I can’t think of any men today who could match them (maybe the guys from “Horrible Bosses”). I an’t wait to see the movie.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made some comments about what a disaster Donald Trump would be as president. She said he’s “fake.” Trump took that insult very quietly and with great dignity. Nah!!!!! He exploded (where else?) on Twitter. He said she should resign and “her mind is shot.” Donald Trump is questioning someone else’s sanity, a Supreme Court Justice at that.

I don’t think Ginsburg should have weighed in on the race, but so what? I also don’t think Antonin Scalia should have gone duck hunting with Dick Cheney while he was hearing cases involving the Bush administration.

By the way: With names for those who bust ghosts like Venkman, Stantz, Spengler, Zeddemore, and Holtzmann, I think a “Ginsburg” would fit right in.

Best line from Ghostbusters that everyone should carry with them through life was not delivered by Bill Murray but by Ernie Hudson: “When someone asks you if you’re a God, you say yes!”

Especially if that someone’s a demon.

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, and dog food. The starving cartoonist and his Beagle appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

Bribing Supremely


cjones07012016

Grrr. I’m running late because someone took out a utility pole in my community last night and killed power for 392 homes. I was able to finish my cartoon but I could only sit on it as there wasn’t any means to deliver or post it. And how is your July starting?

Former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell was convicted of accepting bribes while he was occupying the state’s mansion. Earlier this week the Supreme Court said “uh uh” and threw out the conviction. SCOTUS felt the directions given to the jury were too wide and that basically, hey giving stuff to elected officials is okie dokie as long as they stop before taking any official acts. An official act is a focused and concrete exercise of government power, such as a lawsuit or a hearing, which basically means: It’s going to be really hard to prosecute government officials for taking bribes.

Now the government will have to prosecute the case all over again, which has become increasingly more difficult, or just drop the issue and throw their arms in the air while cursing. McDonnell will most likely get off scott-free for accepting a Rolex, designer clothes, gifts, and loans worth more than $175,000. He also let Bobby tool around in his Ferrari.

The Highest Court In The Land probably doesn’t really understand the conflict of interest or ethics thing. They can take bribes. Oh sure they have an ethics policy, but unlike elected officials, they’re not required to disclose anything. Yeah. Clarence Thomas’ wife, Ginni, is a lobbyist whose activities have been a conflict of interest for her husband when her clients go before the court. The justices often take free trips to give speeches, which really turn into vacations. Antonin Scalia took 258 subsidized trips between 2004 to 2015. He often got a free vacation to places like Hawaii, Ireland, and Switzerland. He was on a free getaway at a hunting lodge when he died last February in Marfa, Texas. Yeah…that town’s really named “Marfa.”

A Supreme Court justice makes almost $236,000 a year. They can afford to pay for their own trip to Marfa.

Creative notes: When I lettered this cartoon I was very paranoid to get McDonnell’s name correct. Gee, why would I be paranoid with that? My former employer, The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, VA, ran the headline “McAuliffe’s Bribery conviction tossed.” Looks OK, right? Yeah, except Terry McAuliffe is the current governor and the one who just got his convictions “tossed” is former governor Bob McDonnell. OOPS! Their goof made national news. Breitbart and Fox News staffers wet themselves from their giddiness to mock the newspaper.

You can think they messed it up because both men have “Mc” in their names. Or maybe because McAuliffe is under investigation himself. I’m sure every editor who saw the headline made sure “McAuliffe” was spelled correctly. But the biggest reason is that my former newspaper got rid of all their copy editors. They got rid of a lot of people, me being one of them. In fact, they’re on their third owner since I left.

The people who work at FLS are top notch. I’ve known the editor since my first day in 1998, before he was the editor, and when the position came open I was really hoping he’d get the job because he’s a journalist’s journalist. He’s a real pro and he doesn’t deserve this embarrassment. But he owned it, took the blame, published an apology very quickly and didn’t make excuses for it.

As I said, the folks at FLS are great newspaper people, but there’s fewer of them now and they’re in a changing system. They’re changing software in news and photography and everyone’s learning something new.

In the early 1990’s I was working my first newspaper job at The Panolian, a weekly in Panola County, Mississippi. One of my many duties was taking the prints to press 40 miles away in Grenada, Mississippi. The newspaper in Grenada didn’t have any responsibility for our content so the only two watchdogs from our staff was me, a cartoonist in his early 20’s, and a photo tech. To be honest, we probably put more thought into having dinner someplace exotic in Grenada that we didn’t have in Batesville, like Taco Bell.

One night after returning to Batesville with the A and B sections we discovered a typo on the front page. We were in the middle of stuffing the papers with ad inserts and our publisher’s 15-year-old son, David, noticed it first. He laughed and laughed. Nobody else laughed. It wasn’t dirty. It just made us look stupid. In big bold letters was a story about a “burglar.” Except we printed “burlgar.” It was in a really big font. When the paper was folded and placed in the window of the newspaper racks, there it was. BURLGAR! And it was partly my fault. My publisher wanted to scream at me but he didn’t probably because he knew I wasn’t very inexperienced and that at times I was an idiot. I did get a huge lecture. To be honest it was the first time I was told to be on the lookout for typos and errors, but I shouldn’t have needed to be told. So I understand how FLS feels this week. Every newspaper person probably has a typo story.

After that burlgar fiasco I learned my lesson and I never ever made a mistake agian.

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, and dog food. The starving cartoonist and his Beagle appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!