Saturday, March 18, 2017

History in the Unmaking!

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Miss Hope n' Change? Then head over to the all-new Stilton's Place! Fresh cartoons and commentary every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from the Hope n' Change crew!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Stilton Crazy After All These Years

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Materials will remain available to (ahem) "check out."
Wow- here we are. After 8 years of ups, downs, and the intense insanity of the Obama administration, we've finally reached the last day of Hope n' Change Cartoons (at least for the foreseeable future).

I'd like to say things that are grandiose and moving, but who the heck needs that kind of pressure? If Lincoln had known beforehand that generations of kids were going to have to memorize every jot and tittle of the Gettysburg Address, he probably would have gotten writer's block and a migraine.

Moreover, if you're reading this, odds are good that you've already heard my opinions on pretty much everything. You know where my heart is and why I reflexively twitch when I hear the word "Obamacare." You know that I love this country, love those who have fought and died for our freedoms, and hope passionately that our nation has a bright future ahead.

Of course, that's only going to happen if we all continue to work towards that goal. And I really mean "all" - people of different political beliefs, races, economic strata, and whatever passes for gender these days.

I'm worried about that, because Obama's primary legacy (well, other than the wild pendulum-swing Presidency of Donald Trump) is one of hatred and anger, with American pitted against American. We see it every day now with the Left literally going out of its mind, declaring folks like us to be hatemongers, Trump to be the new Hitler, and the (formerly) United States of America to be a vicious fascist state.

Most of these people aren't evil - they're decent folks who are frightened and who have been lied to, and demonizing them would only be playing into Obama's game. Unfortunately, these people will not be swayed by words or logic (let alone delightfully witty webcomics) but will eventually have to have their opinions changed by actual successes from the Trump administration. Successes so large and tangible that there can be no denying them. Which is the same standard we should all use to judge every Presidency.

But even that may not be enough to convince those few who take an ugly pride in cultivating closed minds, cutting off communications to those with whom they disagree, or who simply lack the critical ability to process information anymore. Today I saw a story saying that Facebook (where many people get their "news," God help us) has instituted new algorithms to make sure that no more "fake news" ever appears on their list of breaking stories.

So what was at the top of their list of non-fake news today? This little gem...

Disclaimer: the views expressed are not those of anyone sane.
The "person to blame" is Donald Trump (surprise!). But who the hell are these "scientists" and by what power of scientific precognition are they able to foretell "apocalypse" or reset the hands of the preposterously-named and entirely bogus "Doomsday Clock?!" Fake news doesn't get any faker than this - and it can come from the Left or the Right. We need to cultivate skepticism while trying not to lapse into cynicism.

Looking back at 8 years of Hope n' Change, I'm proud of the fact that the cartoons and commentaries hold up as accurate and truthful. I'm proud of the fact that my vigorous opposition to Obama and the progressive agenda was never based on blind hatred, but on disagreement with actual policies and pronouncements. I genuinely gave this president a chance...but it didn't take him long to show himself wholly unworthy of his high office.

Some business items:

• The Hope n' Change website isn't going anywhere. It will be maintained so that you can visit anytime, sort of like going to DisneyWorld without needing to wait in lines!

• In the next week or two, I'll post a new welcoming page in which your hostess with the mostess, Busty Ross, will greet visitors and direct them to the easy to use "search" function that will let you time travel through thousands of HnC cartoons and posts about news stories as they developed over the years. If you've never played with this, you're missing a treat!

• In the near future, I'll probably make ebook collections of Hope n' Change available (perhaps each ebook representing a year). I've already found a service that can help me convert the content, and whatever I end up with will be offered as inexpensively as possible (maybe even free - I'm not really a red hot businessman).

The Hope n' Change Facebook page will remain active, and I'll probably post some new cartoons over there from time to time - albeit based on spontaneous impulse rather than an actual schedule.

• I can't emphasize enough that you should put your contact information on my email list (look at the top left column on this page). I'll never spam you, but I surely will have foolishness to contact you about from time to time as I discover new avenues of mischief-making.

Johnny Optimism, my other webcomic, will continue publishing every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Heck, I'll even lift the ban on political comments over there in case any of you want to post "Funny leprosy gag, Stilt. By the way, did you catch the total dick move by Schumer today?!" 

I'm going to genuinely miss every one of you. And I'm not going to expound on that right now because Clan MacGregor is genuinely foul scotch at the best of times, and its taste will not be improved by tears and snot. Probably.

I'll be back.  I don't yet know how, when, or in what form - but I have no more ability to restrain my creative impulses than a Tourette's patient has to stop shouting obscenities.  In fact, my creative impulses may actually be a form of Tourette's. In which case, I'm hoping to get it named after me.


Some of you have voiced concern that Lefty Lucy may fall on hard times considering that she'll be losing her internship here at the Hope n' Change office tower and has no demonstrable job skills. Happily, something has already opened up for her...

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SOooo, that's it for now - though I'll meet you all for drinks and party hats in the comments section. It's genuinely been an honor and a privilege to be your host (not that I'm calling you parasites!) for the past 8 years.  I made the jokes, but you made the community. And for that I will always be grateful.   -Stilton Jarlsberg

stilton jarlsberg, handsome, brave, intelligent, ripley's believe it or not, i love you, happy anniversary Mrs. J!
Truth in advertising: my hair turned white during Obama's first year in office.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Hope n' Change: A Dimly Remembered History

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Harp glissandos are more magical when you don't see who's playing them.
As Hope n' Change wraps up 8 years of publication, it seems like a good time to take a nostalgic stroll down memory lane - the better to answer the question that is on so many lips: "What the hell were you thinking?!"

As preamble, I'll say that for my entire adult life I've earned my living by writing comedy in various forms - for radio, television, print, and even film. Long before Obama was on the horizon, one of my favorite gigs was writing topical comedy punchlines every evening which would then be faxed to radio DJ's nationwide to use on their morning shows to prove they were spontaneous and witty.

Around the same time, to keep my writing skills in practice I started taking odd pieces of old black & white clipart and adding multiple goofy captions. I called those cartoons (never published anywhere) "Earwigs" as a tribute to the nightmarish insects which are alleged to crawl into people's ears, burrow into their brains, and cause madness. Because that's the sort of thing I find funny.

This is an Earwig cartoon. It may or may not be laying eggs in your brain.

I liked playing with the clipart because, while I loved to doodle, I wasn't really a terrific cartoonist...

But if I'd drawn this with my foot, you'd be impressed - right?
One of my favorite comic strips at the time (2008) was the wonderfully dark and demented "Red Meat" by Max Cannon. His highly stylized, retro-look characters would change very little (if at all) from frame to frame, and the comedy all came from the writing.

To my delight, I discovered that the Red Meat website allowed users to try making their own comic strips by selecting the characters and giving them dialogue. Here are a few of my early efforts (none of which are any sicker than the actual comic strip):

Yes, I could genuinely enjoy writing this kind of thing all day.
That's when I had an epiphany (or maybe it was scotch): I could assemble my own cast of distinctive characters from properly licensed clipart and do a comic strip! With a little investigation, I discovered the program "ComicLife" which made it easy to drag and drop from a library of images and add word balloons.

But what should be my subject? On something of a lark (little knowing how much time I'd eventually devote to giving others the bird), I decided on "Hope n' Change" - inspired by the still fresh and singularly idiotic presidential victory of Barack Hussein Obama.

Seriously, the man won based on preposterously meaningless slogans like "Yes We Can," "Hope and Change," and "We are the ones we've been waiting for." He had no successful track record of legislation or management, and for those who bothered to read his autobiographies (which didn't include the news media), he had an exalted view of himself and a dim view of America.

With a complete lack of understanding how blogging works, I published the first cartoons under the Hope n' Change banner in January, 2009. Not every cartoon that week was political - although this one was...

My choice of retro artwork was more than just a nod to "Red Meat." It was intended to echo the unsubtle "black and white" campaign promises which Obama had made and the American people had fallen for. Additionally, I liked the contrast between the nostalgic "classic Americana" look and the radical social upheaval being pushed by the Democrats.

By February 2009, I'd (barely) figured out what I was doing and began a daily publication schedule. That's right, 7 times a week...

Actually, that daily schedule was pretty easy to maintain because I was publishing just the cartoon with maybe an occasional sentence or two to go with it. No editorials. No comments to read or respond to. And, uh, no readership.

The first real surge in online views came after the conservative blog site Sondrakistan (called "SondraK" at the time) gave us a good review and suggested that their readers pay us a visit. From there, readership grew slowly but steadily thanks to word of mouth and a growing public awareness that, with Barack Obama in charge, we were in real trouble...

Over the course of a year I started adding more editorial content to go with the cartoons; I wanted to get the laugh, but also had more that I wanted to say. Moreover, Mrs. Jarlsberg (who is wise in all things) encouraged more editorializing because it made the strip more engaging for people - as did the addition of an open comments section.

Due to the extra work (cartoons are easy, wordification is hard), publication of Hope n' Change was cut to 5 days a week, then (in 2012 or so) 3 days a week.

The goal, however, always remained the same: to give conservatives a laugh and some hope that we could eventually get Barack Obama out of office and wrest control of Congress out of the filthy, spider-like hands of the Democrats. And by this time, the fight was getting serious...

Around this time, I started adding color to a number of the strips. It was a break from the classic look - but one I hoped would make the cartoons more appealing to a broader readership...

Over time, I then made the jump to frequently using actual photographs of people in the news, though I never completely dropped the black and white retro images of the coffee couple, chicken-boy, bear & cow, and other characters who remained (and still remain) dear to my odd little heart...

When Barry was eventually elected to a second term, it was a personal blow...

And alcohol was still available in stores.
I had never intended to make an unpaid career out of Hope n' Change, but the cause seemed more important than ever. Not that I ever had any illusions about how much impact I was making with the blog's modest (but highly intelligent and stunningly attractive) number of readers. 

Of course, there was always the hope that the site would magically go viral (Rush Limbaugh, would it have killed you to give me a shout out?) - but in times of need, real Americans pitch in and do what they can, big jobs or small. And if my job was to be the Rosie the Riveter of online conservative comic strips, I was happy to serve until the scourge of Barry's administration was finally over...

And we've also seen a lot of people who belong BEHIND bars.
And the rest, as they say, is history - or at least, soon will be history as we prepare the transition from an active blog to a lovingly preserved archival site in which Obama and his dishonorable band of scoundrels will always be roasting on our eternal flame.

On Friday, I'll be back with some closing remarks and personal thoughts on this long, crazy experience we've shared. See you then! - Stilton

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Queef Heard Round The World

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50 Shades of Who Gives a Damn.
On the first full day of Donald Trump's administration, millions of women gathered in cities around the world to deliver the message, powerfully and unequivocally, that we dodged a real bullet by not electing a vagina-owner as President.

Oh sure, that wasn't the message they meant to send - but what the hell else is anyone (male or female) with more than a spoonful of brains supposed to think? The angry protesters donned "pussy hats" and vagina costumes to prove they're not just sex objects and should be taken seriously.  Which, frankly, we find hard to do when a glowering woman has turned her face into a clitoris.

Purportedly, the massive marches were about women finally and firmly demanding their rights, including non-discrimination, protection from sexual assault, equal pay for equal work, access to abortion on demand, the right to vote, the right to go to school, the right to sit in the front of the bus, and the right to be served at Woolworth's lunch counters.

Of course, all of these things are already mandated by law, but attempts to inform the protesters of this were decried as blatantly sexist "man-splaining." And the real point isn't that women lack rights, but they feel like they lack rights...and feelings always outweigh facts among those high on estrogen.

Celebrity speakers were in abundance at the Washington march, with alleged-actress Ashley Judd proclaiming herself to be a "nasty girl" and babbling about Donald Trump's wet dreams (honest), and Madonna following up on her previous promise to blow any man who voted for Hillary with a new admission that she wants to blow up the White House.  A sentiment which drew a standing ovulation from the enthusiastic crowd.

Disclaimer time: Hope n' Change supports equal rights for women without reservation. No woman should suffer from discrimination or actual sexual harassment. If a man "grabs her by the pussy" he should face criminal charges. If he talks about grabbing women by the pussy, even "just among the boys," he should be considered an asshole and pariah.

These are serious matters which, unfortunately, have now been trivialized by activists who failed to elect their chosen candidate and are now having a huge public hissy fit simply because they can in a country which already affords them the freedom and rights to do so.

To those women who filled the streets, Hope n' Change acknowledges that you have been heard.

But maybe next time, consider having something to say.

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He may have something there.

Friday, January 20, 2017

A Barry Special Day

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Hope n' Change can't blame our coffee drinking friends for indulging in a bit of nostalgia on this very special day - something we'll be doing more of here next week as we tie up loose ends.

But today is about celebration. Celebrating the inauguration of a new President, who brings promise of a more hopeful (albeit no less colorful) future. Celebrating what is almost certainly the worst day of Hillary Clinton's life...which we hope will translate into many godawful days for Bill Clinton during his remaining STD-ridden years.

But mostly we're celebrating the fact that Barack Hussein Obama (aka Barry Soetoro) is no longer president, agitator-in-chief, and most prolific and profligate vacation-taker in the world. He has been an almost unendurable blight and curse on our nation, and will no doubt continue to be - albeit (finally!) as a private citizen.

We'll have a lot more to say next Monday after we've had a chance to reflect on this incredible and long-awaited day. But for now, we'd like to express our sentiments in a way that words simply can't handle. Which is why Hope n' Change is proud to present...


Best wishes, hugs, and hearty handshakes to all Hope n' Change readers on this glorious occasion - and please join us in drinking a toast to a new day of real hope for change!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Forgive Is Forgot

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In lieu of flowers, send angry tweets and unfriend people on Facebook.
The cartoon above, created decades ago by Stilton's father, seems particularly apt at this volatile moment in time. On Friday, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as President of the United States with an historically low approval rating and rabid, foam-dribbling opposition from those on the Left.

Congressman John Lewis, among 40 or so other elected Democratic plantation owners, will be skipping the inauguration to protest John Podesta's inability to understand that "password" is not a secure password. Entertainers are running for cover rather than have their names (and careers, if any) forever associated with the Inaugural festivities. New York mayor Bill de Blasio will even spend Inauguration Day taking part in a protest staged at Trump's NY City International Hotel, linking arms with liberal chowderheads like Alec Baldwin and Michael "Are you going to finish that pie?" Moore.

And this is all before Trump's first day in office.

In the past, Inauguration Day was a celebration of the American Way as much as the simple transfer of power to a new President. A time for people of all political persuasions to come together, however briefly, to give the new guy a chance. A honeymoon period which the Right has always granted the Left, even when unqualified radical community organizers with vaguely terrorist-sounding names are sworn into office solely on the basis of being "clean" and having perfectly creased pants.

But not this time. It seems there are indelible battle lines drawn already and the zeitgeist is about to hit the fan with a loud and foul-smelling splat.

On Friday, Hope n' Change predicts we'll see the official kick-off of a four year (at least) culture war unlike anything which has come before. A clash not predicated on policies or even reality, but rather on ideology and blind emotion. The coasts versus flyover country, and the over-educated versus the overlooked. We would metaphorically suggest that it will be like previous manifestations of the Left on meth, only we're not at all sure that they weren't already on meth.

Editorially speaking, this would be the perfect spot for us to insert solemn words intended to heal our national rifts and call for unity, tolerance, and mutual understanding. But, and we can't emphasize this point strongly enough, screw that.

Whether they like it or not, it is these same strident Leftists who bear the responsibility for Donald Trump's election. For that reason alone, they should try to just shut the hell up for a little while and reflect on the fact that the "monster" to which they so stridently object is of their own creation.

Tweets we wish were real.

We'll admit we're a little confused. Obama has recently been telling us that our entire system of democracy has been undermined by the theft of secrets which ended up on Wikileaks.  Which is why it's so puzzling that Barry has just commuted the 35-year espionage sentence of Private Bradley Manning (now "Chelsea Manning" through the politically popular miracle of gender reassignment) for the theft of secrets which ended up on Wikileaks.

Rather than struggle to ascertain the president's baffling reasoning in making this anti-security decision, Hope n' Change is instead going with Occam's Razor: we think he did it because he's an asshole.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Big Floppy Shoes to Fill

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When we read that the nation's oldest and best known circus was going out of business, we simply assumed that it was another one of Donald Trump's metaphors for draining the Washington swamp.

But no, it's actually the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus which is literally packing their tents after nearly a century and a half. Audiences have changed, with smartphone-tapping ADD kids preferring virtual entertainment to live performers.

Of course, there's still plenty of circus-style wackiness to enjoy in the run-up to Inauguration Day. Protesters are making plans to shut down Washington DC, performing artists are receiving death threats from the "tolerant Left" if they agree to appear for President-elect Trump, and press conferences are now best conducted by someone wielding a whip and chair. All we need is some calliope music and the smell of manure.

But come to think of it, we already have one of those things in abundance.

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Martin Luther King Jr had a dream...which turned into an 8 year nightmare under Barack Obama. Virtually every socioeconomic metric for black Americans got worse under this president, while race relations plunged to new lows owing to the unending race-baiting and divisiveness of those on the Left.

Hope n' Change likes what Donald Trump has had to say about finally breaking the Democrat's merciless death grip on inner cities and improving opportunities for black citizens. We'll be watching closely to see if, unlike the loathsome man he is following into office, Trump's promises actually prove to be more than words.

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We were tempted to call this the John Wilkes Dunking Booth, but it would be wrong - that's for sure.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Shaken Reporters

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Okay, Trump isn't really going to be pee-boarding anyone (darn it), but just because a story isn't true is no reason not to report it.  At least, in 2017 that seems to be the prevailing journalistic philosophy after a number of news outlets, with varying degrees of enthusiasm and hyperbole, published reports that the Russians were ready to blackmail Donald Trump with secret videos of the billionaire in a Moscow hotel room, paying prostitutes to perform a "golden showers" scenario (peeing) on a bed once used by Barack and Michelle Obama.

The only problem is that there's no evidence whatsoever that this ever happened. None. It's complete and utter claptrap, and less believable than the rumor that the Russians have video of the night the Obamas used that hotel room and someone ended up getting a "dirty Sanchez." (If you don't know the term, for the love of all that's holy don't look it up.  Let's just say it's a sexual act invented by liberals who really, really deserve to be turned into pillars of salt.)

At a press conference on Wednesday, Trump quickly dismissed the preposterous tale - and subsequently refused to take questions from a CNN reporter because that organization was one of the purveyors of this "fake news." Score one for The Donald!

The so-called "Trump Blackmail" dossier has apparently been kicking around for months, with many people in government and media aware of its existence, but unable to do anything with it since none of the accusations held up to scrutiny. Which is frequently the case when a story is complete and utter bullcrap.

Still, the fictitious scandal developed a life of its own behind closed doors. If we're getting the story right (which seems quaint, doesn't it?), the dossier found its way into the hands of John McCain who was so stunned by the scatological accusations that he spat out the acorns he'd been storing in his cheeks for winter.

McCain then gave the report to FBI Director (and unindicted Hillary co-conspirator) James Comey, who - instead of burning the report and suggesting that McCain check into a 12-step program -  apparently slipped the information to perennial lunatic Harry Reid, who demanded the allegations be made public to derail Trump's run to the White House. This is, of course, the same Harry Reid who gleefully boasts about lying his ass off regarding Mitt Romney's taxes as an act of political sabotage.

(And on a side note, Harry, absolutely no one believes your story of getting your face battered and bruised by an exercise rubber band gone rogue. Rather, we strongly suspect that person or persons unknown beat the living tar out of you, then disappeared into the shadows before we could offer to buy them several rounds of drinks.)

Passed around as indiscriminately as Bill Clinton's DNA, the report eventually found it's way to the NBC-affiliated "news" website Buzzfeed (so named because Buttfeed was apparently already taken) which printed every scurrilous word online - kicking off a massive "me too" campaign of other alleged news organization linking to the story without even pretending to fact-check.

As alleged actress Meryl Streep said only days ago, "Disrespect invites disrespect" and "when the powerful use their positions to bully, we all lose. We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call them on the carpet for every outrage."

So far, the real outrages seem to be generated by a press which has deserted anything remotely like principle.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Thing That Wouldn't Leave

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The party's over. America has yawned theatrically, made a show of looking at our watch, gathered up the empty glasses and snack bowls, put them into the sink to soak, and started talking very pointedly about how early we have to get up tomorrow to put in a full day's work. Hint, hint.

But Barack Obama, who has been partying in our house for 8 years, isn't picking up on our subtle message that he should just get the hell out already. Which is why he went to Chicago yesterday to deliver his long-awaited farewell address. And we're talking very long-awaited; personally, we've been awaiting for this skeevy socialist race-baiter to say farewell ever since his inauguration.

Not that we watched his actual speech, of course.  Everything about him - his haughtily uplifted chin, sneering arrogance, monomaniacal self-absorption, and lecturing tone of voice - sickens us and raises our blood pressure to dangerous levels. And we're not about to risk an aneurysm with only days to go.

But according to pre-speech comments from Valerie "I heart Iran" Jarrett, "It's not a victory lap speech. His intention is to motivate people to want to get involved and fight for their democracy."

Coming from someone else, we'd take that as metaphor - but we're pretty sure that Valerie and Barry mean real fighting of the type they've encouraged in the past, with rioting, looting, molotov cocktails, and shrieking lunatics attacking police vehicles.

According to Josh Earnest (which is a phrase that Hope n' Change is really looking forward to never writing again), the crux of Barry's speech will be on "what the president believes is necessary for us to confront the challenges that lie ahead." 

Great. So Obama's advice is going to be "fighting" and "confrontation" to hamper the efforts of the newly-elected President as he tries to restore prosperity and genuine hope to America in the aftermath of a two-term disaster.

But what else would we expect from a man whose every action has been intended to leave the country in worse shape than he found it? A goal which, sadly, is likely to stand as his one actual accomplishment.


Speaking of "Oh, STFU"...

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Now we know what Al Jolson would have looked like in color.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Intelligence Testy

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There are two related stories to discuss today, both on the subject of Intelligence. A word which, needless to say when referring to Washington, refers to "spying" instead of anything remotely like "smartness" or "proper brain function."

Specifically, President-elect Donald Trump has made it clear that he doesn't consider US intelligence agencies to be 100% reliable, especially when it comes to their consensus accusation that Vladimir Putin interfered with our election by disguising himself with a pair of Groucho glasses, then driving a schoolbus filled with Cossacks to various polling places in key electoral states.

But before Hope n' Change dives into the details of the "Russian hacking" story, let's look at Barack Obama's recent claim of advising Trump - strictly as a professional courtesy - that as President he should always trust the US intelligence community.

"There are going to be times," the miserable stain on the Oval Office said, "where the only way you can make a good decision is if you have confidence that the process is working, and the people that you put in charge are giving you their very best assessments."

Really, Barry? Is that how you've conducted your presidency? Not according to the Hope n' Change vault...

Let's review a few fun facts. As president, B. Hussein skipped the majority of his intelligence briefings including the one immediately following the debacle in Benghazi. Barry also had nothing but foreign policy failures, and repeatedly placed the blame on his intelligence agencies.

So why should Trump - or the rest of us - invest our trust in the intelligence agencies who failed to see the rise of Isis? Who missed nuclear weapons development by Iran during our negotiations? Who were unable to connect the dots preceding Putin's many successful aggressions - as well as those of China and North Korea.

These are the intelligence agencies whose keen insights helped bring about nightmare scenarios in Syria, Libya, and pretty much every other country which has mosques. Intelligence agencies which failed to flag September 11th as a potentially meaningful day for terrorists to attack in Benghazi.

Intelligence agencies which, at least according to the administration, found it "no big deal" that Hillary (as freaking Secretary of State) put all of our national secrets on an unguarded personal server just so she could dodge future Freedom of Information Act demands to see documents rightfully belonging to the American people.

All of which brings us back to the "Election hacking" story. The intelligence agencies have now offered up their (ahem) official report on this alleged election-changing, super-sophisticated act of cyber terror, and have found that (cue the shower-stabbing music from "Psycho") Vladimir Putin personally ordered a monumental campaign to undermine our election and put his personal buddy, Donald Trump, into office!

But there's one little problem. While the declassified report is happy to draw this apocalyptic conclusion, it offers virtually no proof. We're asked to accept this poppycock on sheer trust, which would be a lot easier if the Obama administration and intelligence agencies had even an iota of credibility anymore.

But let's look at a couple of important things the report says that we can agree with: there was no hacking or interference with any voting or vote-tallying machines, and the intelligence agencies do not assert that the alleged Russian campaign had any influence on voters or the election. Wow.

It is also noteworthy that the intelligence agencies were able to draw such detailed conclusions considering the DNC failed to cooperate with the investigation, and wouldn't grant the FBI access to their computers. And interestingly, the report fails to note that the sensitive emails eventually released by Wikileaks (again, without direct evidence of Russian involvement) weren't even obtained by "hacking," but rather by a simple "phishing" email sent to John Podesta, in which he revealed that his password (and the key to all of the DNC's documents) was..."password."

The report also states that Putin's evil plan to overthrow our election involved schemes like having Russian newscasts criticize Hillary Clinton more than Donald Trump. Which apparently made a huge impact on the many voters whose primary source of information was Russian newscasts.

We could go on and on (and already have!) but our point is this: thanks to the Obama administration our intelligence agencies no longer have a whit of credibility, nor does their preposterously politicized "Russian hacking" report.

Considering 8 years of wall-to-wall failures, it's not surprising that Americans have decided to turn their backs on alleged "Intelligence" in favor of Donald Trump's promise of common sense.

Friday, January 6, 2017

It Takes a Sociopathic Village

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Boo Radley isn't going to like them, either.
Barack Obama has announced that he will be making a farewell address to the citizens of Chicago next week, in part to "celebrate the way you've changed this country." We can't think of a better location, considering some of those "changes" include 762 murders in 2016, and the recent abduction and torture (with live Facebook streaming) of a mentally challenged white man by four black thugs, who used their time in the online spotlight laughing and spouting obscenities directed at Donald Trump and white people.

When white lunatic Dylann Roof murdered nine black members of a South Carolina church, Barack Obama made clear his belief that nobody acts alone (even if they think they do), and larger sociological connections - and corrections - must be made.

While that point can and should be debated (Obama himself denies his own "logic" every time a Muslim carries out an act of terror), it can't be debated that, even worse than a lone psychopath, there is something sicker and more inherently dangerous about a group of hate-filled people who joyfully torture another human and broadcast it to their friends. That's symptomatic of a culture of sociopathy, malignant and metastasizing.

While it's easy and appropriate to lay some of the blame on media celebration of thugs, ho's, and the gangster life, we believe the larger share of guilt belongs to generations of Democrat policy makers - Obama most decidedly included - who have destroyed black families, the educational system, and the nation's inner cities in order to provide an unending source of enslaved voters who must rely on government entitlements for survival.

Add to this the Obama administration's 8 year history of stoking racial fires, showing antagonism towards police, and their active encouragement of rioting in black communities as an appropriate and "understandable" response to acts of imagined racism.

All of this has created a sickness in the soul of too many black Americans that is as representative of Obama's "legacy" as anything could possibly be. If the man had an ounce of honesty or integrity, he wouldn't be traveling to Chicago to boast of his "accomplishments" - he'd be going there to apologize.




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We'll be talking more about this in the near future, but just to give everyone time to adjust to the idea (including ourselves), we're officially announcing that Hope n' Change Cartoons will be turning out the lights here on or slightly after the day Obama leaves office.

Hope n' Change has existed with a specific purpose in mind: to comment on the many disasters associated with the Obama administration and the culture of liberalism, and to address those issues with enough humor to boost morale for those on the Right who've been fighting back. That job has been completed and we've got the empty scotch bottles to prove it.

Mind you, we don't expect the world of politics to get any less ugly and ridiculous now - far from it. These are going to be tumultuous times and no political satirist is going to run out of raw material while Donald Trump is in office and Obama is heckling from the front row.

But we're looking forward to finding new projects to work on, both personal and professional. A lot has been "back burnered" in the past 8 years, and we're not getting any younger (although oddly, we are getting more distinguished looking). We plan to do more things which are creative, fun and funny - and don't come with rigid (albeit self-assigned) deadlines throughout the week.

A few additional points:

• We intend to keep up an easy-to-find public profile.

• This site will remain intact and we'll do whatever is necessary to keep it visible. There's a lot of history here!

• Our Hope n' Change Facebook page will continue, although whether new cartoons get posted over there will be purely a matter of whether or not our graphics Tourette's syndrome kicks in.

Johnny Optimism will continue as usual. Sick kids and life's unfairness never get old!

• If you're on our mailing list, we're going to maintain the database so when we create another blog, write a book, or just want to stage a huge reunion party at some centrally located bar, we'll be able to reach you. If you're NOT on the mailing list, then add your information here before the end of the month.  It's free, there's no spam, and future historians will list you among the pantheon of heroes.

There's a lot more that needs to be said, but we'll save that for another day. For now, just know how sincerely appreciated you are - and let's continue business as usual while enjoying the countdown to Barack Obama's final day in office!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2016 - The Year in Rebuke (Part Two)


With the political world holding its breath in anticipation, Hope n' Change finally endorses a Presidential candidate...

While lacking the enthusiasm evinced by many Trump supporters, Hope n' Change opines that "Donald Trump is potentially a yuuuuge disrupter at a time when our political system needs huge disruption. Our nation would be far more likely to survive his possible policy failures than even a single term of Hillary Clinton's toxic policy successes."

This belief is immediately confirmed when yet another federal agency is revealed to have been corrupted by proximity to the Clinton Machine...

After laundry-listing the many, many ways that Hillary had lied, evaded, and thoroughly compromised national security with her secret email server, FBI Director James Comey decides that no charges should be pressed because:

A) He is apparently a complete political whore
B) His family was being held at gunpoint
C) He believes that women (bless their hearts) are just too darn stupid to understand computers, national security, and laws
D) Hillary made a pact with Satan which involves fellating lepers in Hell for all eternity
E) All of the above. Which, frankly, we're pretty sure is the right answer.

Energized by this undeserved "Get Out of Jail Free" card, Hillary immediately seizes on new ways to make voters hate her...

Following a black sniper's assassination of five Dallas police officers who were providing security for a "Black Lives Matter" protest, Hillary bravely declares that the actual problem is that white people need to do a better job of listening and, bizarrely, that Wall Street needs greater transparency. Based on her strong statement, an increasing number of voters begin to suspect she's using narcotics.

Meanwhile,  GOP heads explode when Senator Ted Cruz appears at the Republican National Convention and speaks passionately about the need to defend freedom and the Constitution, but fails to endorse Trump by name for reasons no one can explain...

But July isn't done with us yet. Following a series of scandals revealing sabotage against the Bernie Sanders campaign, the DNC meets to celebrate democracy by anointing a candidate selected by unelected "superdelegates"...


With the wind at her back, which is helpful in keeping her upright, Hillary starts fleshing out what revolutionary policies she hopes to bring to the presidency other than the ability to pee while sitting down...

But concerns grow about the candidate's health as she is increasingly seen struggling with simple tasks like speaking without coughing up a lung, getting both eyes to point in the same direction, or telling the truth...

But undaunted and pumped full of amphetamines and opioids,  Hillary throws herself into intense preparation for the upcoming Presidential debates...

And speaking of sex escapades (which is pretty much synonymous with speaking about the Clintons) another one rears its...uh...head when Anthony Weiner, the oft-disgraced husband of Hillary's right hand woman Huma Abedin, is discovered to be emailing bonergrams to an under-aged girl...

Saying "enough is enough," Huma gives up on Weiner (not that there's anything wrong with that) and prepares to face new challenges in...


When asked to answer yet more questions about her totally illegal scheme to evade the Freedom of Information Act and, as an unexpected bonus, give away all of our nation's secrets, Hillary is struck - apparently forcefully - with a brilliant idea...

Yes, the woman who wants to be President of the United States claims to have such substantial brain damage that she can't remember anything which happened while she was engaged in criminal activity.  Which is to say her entire adult life.

Shortly thereafter, Clinton speaks to an adoring throng of hired enthusiasts at an LGBT fundraiser and makes a statement which convinces even hardened skeptics that she has gangrenous grey matter...

"To be grossly generalistic," she grossly cackled, "you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic— you name it!"

Surprisingly, at least to Democrats, it turns out that many Americans don't appreciate being mocked, disparaged, and slandered by corrupt elites. Which is why it's (ahem) fortunate for Clinton that the public is soon distracted by a terrorist bomb blast...

29 people are hurt (and thankfully none killed) when a bomb is detonated in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York. Chelsea Clinton swears "it's just a coincidence" and "I'm working on an alibi."

Hoping to get her media narrative back on track, Hillary Clinton puts avuncular socialist Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail to say that he no longer despises everything Hillary stands for, and that he's come to the life-changing (and possibly life-saving) realization that she is the most honest, refreshing, and ethical politician ever born...

In fairness to Bernie, maybe he was just trying on his "shameless whore" costume to make ready for...


Suddenly, the campaign is rocked by a series of well-coordinated (if loosely fact-checked) attacks on Donald Trump's finances...

The NY Times goes "front page crazy" with a story screaming that over the past few years, Donald Trump may have paid all the federal income tax he legally owed - which possibly, and only possibly, equaled "none." Not only is "Man Pays Correct Amount of Taxes" not a scandal, it's not even interesting.

What is interesting is that the story was written based on illegally obtained information which was leaked to the public. Democratic spokespeople offer high praise for the publication of illegally leaked documents, then report a weird feeling "like a crow just stepped on my grave."

In a shocking revelation that even offends serial rapist Bill Clinton, an old audiotape reveals that Donald Trump once used the word "pussy" in a conversation which did not involve cats. Even worse, a (very small) parade of women come forward, dabbing tears, to share tortured memories of being "kissed without permission" by Donald Trump, who used only Tic Tacs for breath control.

Unfortunately for Hillary, none of this is as interesting as Wikileaks' release of thousands of documents detailing the corruption of the Clinton Foundation, Hillary's "pay for play" use of the State Department to solicit bribes, and the overall sleaziness of everyone in the Democratic party.

Suddenly finding illegally obtained information which was leaked to the public abhorrent, the media and the White House blame Russian hackers because it sounds better than "our own idiocy." Joe Biden warns of draconian counter measures...

In the midst of all this, early voting begins, with record numbers of voters flooding to the polls to decide which of the two least popular candidates in American history will win...

But wait! With Halloween in the air, James Comey doesn't need to dress up as a ghost to scare the sheet out of Hillary - he simply reopens her "thing that wouldn't die" email espionage case only days before the election.

Hilariously, it turns out that in the course of investigating Anthony Weiner's underage sexting activities, the FBI has discovered thousands of Hillary's State Department emails on his personal well as on his laptop computer.

And so the stage is set for...


Following a hostage video in which James Comey, bruised and bound, says that nothing suspicious other than Top Secret documents was found on Weiner's "spank bank" computer, Election Day arrives at last.

Left-leaning media political pundits sport Cheshire Cat grins, and Hillary Clinton's team pops champagne corks as the poll results start to come in.

Soon after which the grins fade, the champagne goes flat, and (according to trustworthy sources on the Left) Armageddon arrives...

Trump wins to the shock and disbelieving horror of liberals everywhere...

Apparently unaware of how the American voting system works, those on the Left are further devastated by the realization that while Hillary won the popular vote, it's only the critical electoral college vote that decides the Presidency...

While many anti-Americans take the news of Trump's victory badly,  perhaps the most convincing display of grief comes from Fidel Castro who actually goes to the trouble of dropping dead...

Which at long last brings us to...


In the weeks following the election, it becomes clear that American voters were sick of being denigrated, disrespected, and lied to by their own government. Tired of seeing their health insurance costs skyrocket while their benefits plummeted. And unwilling to accept a stagnant economy which seemingly offered jobs only to hedge fund managers and fry cooks.

Granted, not everyone saw the election results in the same way...

When his analysis is roundly laughed at, Barack Obama goes back to his default position of claiming that the election was somehow "hacked" by evil Russians who, inexplicably, liked the idea of Donald Trump having a nuclear arsenal.

The soon-to-be ex-president declares the alleged hacking to be a grave and immediate existential threat to our nation, then takes swift action by boarding Air Force One for another extended, multi-million dollar vacation in Hawaii...

Back on the mainland, the electoral college finally meets to officially cast their votes. And once again, a dazed and broken Hillary has to settle for second place...

With only days left in the year, Americans finally breathe a sigh of relief - confident that they can enjoy the holidays without any vacationing presidents suddenly launching a vicious sneak attack on one of our closest allies. They are, of course, wrong...

With assistance (and likely direction) from the Obama administration, the U.N. passes a resolution condemning Israel, eroding that nation's legitimacy and chances for eventual peace.  It is a transparently petty and vindictive act from a petty and vindictive president bent on burning the world down if he can't be in charge.

In the final days of his wretched administration, he also admits floods of refugees and illegals into the country, grants early release to a record number of felons, and puts thousands of new regulations in place to hamper the American economy under Donald Trump.

Which is why the stroke of midnight on December 31st has never been sweeter...

Happy New Year from Stilton Jarlsberg and Hope n' Change Cartoons...which, after 8 long years, finally has actual hope for change.