Friday, February 26, 2016

Set To Stun

obama, obama jokes, political, humor, cartoon, conservative, hope n' change, hope and change, stilton jarlsberg, hillary, bernie, trump, debate 

Hope n' Change is writing this commentary before the Thursday night GOP debate which is predicted to devolve into a bare-knuckle street fight if any of the remaining candidates hope to derail the runaway Trump train before his nomination becomes inevitable. Which would, of course, be huuuuuuuge.

But even before the debate, we can tell you that we're feeling very much like the character in today's cartoon: a visitor to a strange, stupid world that we don't recognize, and on which we were surely dropped by mistake.

Hillary Clinton really did hurl the blood of young Sandy Hook victims at Bernie Sanders as she accused him of not supporting gun legislation as draconian as she wants. Bernie, in turn, says that Hillary made poverty worse in our nation through her support of Bill Clinton's welfare reforms which required able-bodied people to (gasp!) look for work while receiving benefits.

And as much as we're trying to find something - anything, really - to like about Donald Trump, when he puts on his angry "duck lips" face and calls Ted Cruz a "sick man" and a "weak little baby," it's impossible to see him as anything other than a petulant, bullying 9-year-old who is eager to play with nuclear weapons. 

And although the electorate is clamoring for "outsiders" in this political cycle, we feel like we're the real outsiders because we can't even identify with most Earthlings anymore.  And not just when it comes to politics, but also cultures, communication, and commonality of purpose. Not just in our own wounded United States, but throughout the world.

Maybe we're just having a bad day. But we feel like strangers in a strange land and, frankly my dear, we'll be damned if we can understand what the grok is going on.

Won't you please take me along for a ride...?


Okay, now we've seen the GOP debate and it was every bit as rip-roaring as expected. As usual, Ben Carson got almost no time to talk but came across as the nicest guy on the stage. Rubio and Cruz tag-teamed Trump, and both were eloquent and convincing. Kasich got less time, but every answer impressed favorably: it's hard to argue against a guy who has experience as a Governor and in Washington, and who has succeeded in both roles.  

Unsurprisingly, Trump was petulant, argumentative, and vague - and seemed off his game when being challenged on policy positions (or being asked for specifics) by his opponents.  Hope n' Change doesn't know if this will affect his numbers on Super Tuesday (can anything affect his numbers?) but for anyone really paying attention, it was a tough night for The Donald.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Rob the Rich

obama, obama jokes, political, humor, cartoon, conservative, hope n' change, hope and change, stilton jarlsberg, dick van dyke, bernie sanders, twiloites, walnuts

Although Hope n' Change usually turns a deaf ear to celebrity political endorsements, we have to give serious consideration to beloved centenarian Dick Van Dyke's endorsement of the marginally-younger Bernie Sanders.

"Bernie has lit a fire," said Van Dyke, while cracking open walnuts and staring fixedly at their strange, glowing contents. "He's caught the eye and minds of young people. We've got to put him in the White House." And perhaps get him a nice bowler hat.

Asked if he's joking about the endorsement, an unusually sober Van Dyke admitted to reporters that "I seem to have lost my sense of humor" about politics, and the only thing keeping him from giving Bernie two thumbs up is the fact that both of his thumbs are, oddly, missing.


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Not, according to Bill Clinton, that there's anything wrong with a little head.
Health professionals are now in full crisis mode trying to figure out how to keep mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus from crossing our southern borders and infecting the people that American mosquitoes won't infect.

While not yet proven, the Zika virus is thought to raise the possibility that fetuses exposed while in utero (latin for "never visited Planned Parenthood") may be born with microcephaly and, tragically, have a heightened lifelong risk of becoming a Democrat.

While Hope n' Change appreciates the efforts of the medical community to thwart this medical scourge, we're just a little confused about the Obama administration's seemingly oxymoronic decision to actually encourage other pestilence-spreading invaders to enter our country.

Specifically, immigrants with HIV and/or interesting, burning, itching, dripping and oozing STDs  will now be welcomed with open (albeit latex gloved) arms. This new policy finally makes tangible the hallowed words of poet Emma Lazurus as they are inscribed on the Statue of Liberty:

Give me your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses who burn when they pee
The wretched refugees with their streaming sores
Send these, the sexually diseased to me
O what the hell, we can always use more

By the way, until the evil pharmaceutical industry is able to cobble together a Zika vaccine, Hope n' Change would seriously like to encourage individuals and communities to get serious about erecting bat habitats instead of importing refugees with bad habits.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Missing Links

obama, obama jokes, political, humor, cartoon, conservative, hope n' change, hope and change, stilton jarlsberg, tpp, censorship, copyright, freedom of speech
Rather than dwell on what we consider the hopelessly depressing results of this weekend's presidential primary voting (spoiler alert: approximately 75% of all voters are out of their freaking minds), Hope n' Change is looking at a sneakier but no less important threat to freedom being pushed by Barack "I Still Have a Year To Destroy You" Obama: The TPP.

The TPP (which allegedly stands for Trans-Pacific Partnership even though we're more familiar with those first two letters having a different and more accurate association) is the bizarre, mostly-secret trade agreement which our current anti-capitalist president is ramming through. It's long, complex, and, like Obamacare, deliberately written to be misunderstood - so we just want to focus on one  seemingly teeny-tiny element which was recently changed (and which the Obama administration is no doubt hoping will fly under the radar). 

You can read all about it here, but in a nutshell the TPP will allegedly extend "copyright protection" for things like online content by allowing the government to bring charges against anyone suspected of copyright infringement even if the "copying" (like a simple link to a news story) does no harm to the copyright owner and, indeed, may even be encouraged by the copyright owner

In other words, Hope n' Change could be shut down for linking to the dry story about the TPP above, let alone linking to stories about more sensitive issues like Hillary's criminal wrongdoing or how "Bathhouse Barry" got his nickname.  And if you share one of our cartoons, even though we explicitly encourage you to do so, the government could come and get YOU, too. A very tidy way to curtail bothersome political speech, don't you think?

Despite vagueness in many other areas, the TPP is quite clear about what the government can do to you if it finds you in potential (or even imaginary) violation of their new copyright standards:

• Sentences of imprisonment as well as deterrent-level monetary fines
• Higher penalties in more serious circumstances
• Seizure of infringing items (ie, computers, phones, printers, office equipment)
• Forfeiture or destruction of those items, materials, and implements (that's right, they'll crush them with a steamroller just to further honk you off).
• Forfeiture of any assets (such as money) derived from the infringement
• Assignment to a prison cell which you'll share with an angry muscular giant named Mohammed Mustafa "Ass Rammer of Death" X.  (Okay, the TPP doesn't specifically say this, but we think it's implied).

It's hard to see either Bernie or Hillary not liking this potential tool for reining in free speech, but can anyone really be sure that a president Trump might not also like the power to keep people from seeing "stupid" things like this troubling review of his past (and current) policy positions..?

Without freedom of speech, every other freedom will soon fall by the wayside. Which is what makes the death of a true Constitutionalist like Antonin Scalia such a critical and tragic loss at this crucial time.