One ball, two balls, three balls, Vlad balls

The White House may not admit it, but you know you messed up a bit when you have to clarify the president’s statements the next day. The Trump White House had to do this almost daily. Do you remember when they had to tell us that the president (sic) does NOT approve of drinking bleach or stuffing blisters up your ass to cure COVID? Good time.

But yes. President Biden screwed up. First, he shouldn’t have given a two-hour press conference. Anyone who talks for two hours is going to screw something up.

Republicans jumped at the speech before knowing what to do with it. They still accuse Biden of being mentally retarded and that his speeches are incoherent ramblings…but they shouldn’t listen to the same speeches we are. It’s ridiculous to have to point out that Biden is clear and informed on the issues. Plus, these people supported the guy who talked about invisible planes, didn’t understand the nuclear triad, just found out Abraham Lincoln was a Republican, thought Frederick Douglass was still alive and was “from increasingly recognised”, thinks Second Corinthians is “Two Corinthians”, couldn’t pronounce “Yosemite”, “Thailand”, “Nevada”, “Kamala Harris”, and every time he said “China” would sound more like “vagina”.

I saw a critic complain that Biden was doing his press conference during the day and not at night when all the other presidents were holding press conferences. It’s not even close to being true, but if it was, so what? When someone complains about things like that, it means they have nothing to criticize. It’s like Biden and ice cream.

I’ve seen a lot of conservative cartoonists include ice cream in their Biden cartoons like it’s a bad thing? It’s like they don’t remember President Hamburglar. My use of ice cream here is not a criticism that Biden loves ice cream. In fact, I dispute that he likes ice cream more than I do. My God, I love ice cream. But anyway, he messed up a bit.

During the president’s two-hour press conference, he answered a question about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: “What you’re going to see is that Russia will be held accountable if they invade and it depends on what she does. It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion, and we end up having to fight over what to do and what not to do, etc.

Many people panicked, including the President of Ukraine. They felt he was giving Russia permission to “incursion” but not “invade”. And honestly, that might be exactly how Russia would take it. But clearly he was talking about different reactions to everything Russia is doing, it’s probably not good to say that.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted: “We want to remind the great powers that there are no minor incursions and small nations, just as there are no minor casualties and little grief from the loss of loved ones. I say this as the president of a great power. Ukraine is a very important nation, but I don’t know the “great power” part of that.

The day after Biden’s stumble, he clarified his remarks. The president said: “If assembled Russian units cross the Ukrainian border, it is an invasion. Let there be no doubt if Putin makes this choice, Russia will pay a heavy price. Except he said “assembled” Russian units. What if there is encroachment into Ukraine by unassembled Russian units? I’m shocked the Republicans aren’t yelling about this detail.

The worry and quibbles over Biden’s speech are based on fear that NATO countries will not (will not) agree on a response if Russia invades Ukraine. There is a lot of trade between Western Europe and Russia, especially oil. Have you seen oil prices lately? While the United States may call for tough sanctions against Russian oil, Germany could simply call for a sanction against Russian nesting dolls. Yeah, that’s gonna hurt them. Grrrr, and there’s more where that came from. There was not even a sanction on Russian vodka.

The truth is that the only help to Ukraine if Russia invades is military supplies and sanctions. Nobody will help Ukraine to wage a war against Russia. After Ukraine became an independent nation again after the breakup of the Soviet Union, it became a puppet for Russia. And like Russia, it was a fake democracy. It was only after it became a true democracy that Putin began his “inroads”. It invaded and took Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Most Western sanctions for “annexing” Ukraine have been against individuals, not the Russian nation itself. Most Russians who have been sanctioned said it was a “badge of honour”. So what kind of sanctions will there be if Putin invades Ukraine? Will there be real severe penalties?

In the United States, Republicans and Trumpers support Putin and Russia. White nationalists love Vladimir Putin. He’s their guy. They love Poutine as much as I love ice cream… maybe even more.

When it comes to Ukraine, I don’t think it matters what President Biden says or how he says it. Putin will take as many scoops as he wants.

Music note: While drawing this cartoon, I listened to Jefferson Airplane, then I listened to Jefferson Starship, but I didn’t listen to Starship.

See more award-winning editorial cartoons by Clay Jones at

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Daniel K. Denny