Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Deja Virtue

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If you found yourself having difficulty buying your overpriced addictive drug of choice yesterday, it was likely because 8000 Starbucks locations had closed for the day in order to help their employees learn not to be KKK-loving bigots who have trouble differentiating between a latte and a lynching.

Or at least, that's pretty much the implication when a major corporation feels the need to take (and promote) such drastic actions. They're practically screaming "Mea Culpa," although can't actually do so because using Latin in front of people who've had only a poor public education is also considered racist and non-egalitarian and sexist if a blond says "what?"

But in complete candor, we find much that is admirable about the training Starbucks is paying for. Not because it will do any more good than hanging up a sign with The Golden Rule in every location, but rather because we have such appreciation for the con-artists who are teaching the baristas how to deal with their unconscious bias. By definition, it will be impossible to see results - which is the tastiest scam we've heard since the idea of charging $7 for a cup of java.

The "unconscious racial bias" instructors might as well be charging each location $2000 to scare away invisible tigers. Can anyone prove their services aren't working? And is the web domain for still available?

Of course, the real purpose of the training isn't to aid race relations. Rather, it's a very expensive bit of well publicized virtue signaling intended to showcase the idea that Starbucks is absolutely, positively, not racist when it comes to overcharging suckers for coffee.

At least, not consciously.

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Carnies have feelings too, you bastards.

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Well that didn't take long. ABC has abruptly cancelled the new "Roseanne" series owing to an allegedly racist tweet sent by the show's star.

The tweet in question suggested that Valerie Jarrett, Obama's Iranian-born puppet master, was the offspring of the "Muslim Brotherhood and the Planet of the Apes"...

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Was it a stupid and tasteless joke? Sure. But was it really reason enough to cancel a successful TV series, especially with Barr quickly offering an apology? We don't think so.

Rather, we think ABC was relieved to be able to dump the show in part because it was successful. And they were further tickled to be able to slap the "racist" label on this "pro-Trump" show which wasn't so much pro-Trump (the show was still overwhelmingly liberal) as it was pro-working class. A class which the liberal Left doesn't really like to get noticed, as the plight of America's working families so clearly reflects the cruel impact of the Democrats' countless political failures.

Personally, we thought the show was okay-ish...and it was the only network show we'd watched in years. If Starbucks was running the network, we presume that Roseanne might have gotten scolded for unconscious racial bias instead of canned.

But then, that wouldn't allow ABC to label all of the show's fans and all of Trump's supporters as racists, would it?

Monday, May 28, 2018

Playing the Brace Card

During our restorative week off, there was certainly no lack of interesting news. Topping the list were the continuing revelations that our nation's corrupt, out-of-control intelligence agencies were pretty much all involved in a deep and dirty conspiracy to keep Donald Trump from being elected, and that the swamp dwellers didn't really worry about getting caught because they assumed the Queen of the Swamp would soon be President and would quietly bury their misdeeds as tidily as she'd buried Vince Foster and Seth Rich.

But just who the hell was this woman these agencies were trying to put in charge? The mysteries around Hillary only continue to grow...

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Recently, people have been wondering why Mrs. Clinton is showing up for hot weather events wearing thick pantsuits, coats, and an omnipresent scarf which occasionally blows aside to reveal some sort of odd structure under her clothing. Odder, even, than her actual body.

The speculation is that it's a back brace...but from what circumstance, and why would she hide it? Then again, Hillary wasn't exactly forthcoming about her post-Benghazi brain trauma and loss of memory, her use of prismatic glasses, her recent need for a therapeutic boot, or having her arm in a cast after taking an alleged slip (or sip?) in the bathtub.

Oh sure, she could just be coquettish about the fact that her aging body is falling apart, but we can't help but wonder if it's something more sinister than that. What if Hillary is being rebuilt, piece by piece, to become a cyborg capable of being a shrill and annoying presence in future elections for the rest of eternity?!

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Oh sure, it seems far-fetched, but this week we also saw the Left-leaning media celebrating when they thought North Korea wouldn't negotiate on nuclear disarmament, and top Democrats celebrating the beautiful "spark of divinity" in the bosom of every vicious MS-13 killer and rapist.

Is Robo-Hillary harder to believe than that? We think not.


stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, stormy daniels, trump, key to city

Some stories are just too dumb for us to ignore. As a case in point, West Hollywood just presented their "Key to the City" to porn actress Stormy Daniels for her great community service in screwing married men and violating non-disclosure agreements.

Of course, that's not what they said she was being honored for. Rather, it was for her tremendous leadership in the "resist" movement (even though she didn't "resist" and never has unless she was worried that the check wouldn't clear) and for "speaking truth to power," which makes us wonder what the hell "truth" they're talking about. This is hardly a Wikileaks type situation, although Ms. Daniels should get full credit for kicking off the new phenomenon of Dikileaks.

We'd say more, but we have a sudden urge to go register a new domain name.


Today is Memorial Day. A special day of remembrance and appreciation for the countless men and women who have given their lives in the service of our country.

Their sacrifice deserves much more than the petty political bickering which cheapens our national discourse and casts a shadow over our values. In memory of these heroes, let us all try to be of service to our country and countrymen, in ways both big and small.

It's an important way to say "thank you" on this day...and every other.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Ketchup Week

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"Honey! I'm gonna need another bottle!"
We're taking the week off to play catch up (and to give you a break from what would otherwise have been a week of health complaints related to getting old and/or random Earwig cartoons).

Of course, if something really exciting happens in the news ("Hillary Arrested - Not Likely To See Daylight Ever Again") we'll jump back into the mix and will notify everyone on the email list that there's fresh non-condiment content here.

Otherwise, we'll see you here next Monday...or in the comments section, which is always open for business as usual!    -Stilton


We got there early Saturday morning to avoid crowds, then no one else showed up.
Frankly, we don't see why this was supposed to be such a big deal.

Friday, May 18, 2018

No Good Deed...

As the saying goes, "no good deed goes unpunished," and this is especially true if your good deed is allowing someone to run a periscope up your rear end just to help them add a few new specimens to their polyp collection.

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, mrs. jarlsberg, colonoscopy, pneumonia

But such was the case yesterday when Mrs. Jarlsberg went in for a colonoscopy, which is usually no big deal apart from the rectal fireworks involved in the "prep" for the procedure. Notice that the key word in that sentence was "usually," which should have been your foreshadowing that things did not go spiffingly for Mrs. J.

Apparently, due to an unusual occurrence that happens "only once or twice a year" according to a medical professional in a crisp white uniform who absolutely, positively wasn't just trying to fend off a lawsuit, while knocked cold for the procedure Mrs. J developed a case of upchuck-itis and thus aspirated nasty body fluids directly into her lungs. Which is why, only hours after returning home, she was having bone-wracking chills and spiking a fever. An eventuality which, according to a piece of paper we'd been given (it proved impossible to actually speak to a human on the doctor's staff), meant you should head to the emergency room with all due haste.

To make an incredibly long story slightly shorter, in the ER she was diagnosed with pneumonia, plugged into various bags of fluid, and checked in to the hospital for a 24 hour observation. And it's worth mentioning before she say anything else that she's doing well, and there's currently no reason to think she won't be coming home to castle Jarlsberg today (Friday). Yay!

Of course, we don't want to make the story so short that we can't pause to complain about how mind-numbingly slow the process of being admitted to the hospital is. Apparently the drill consists of speaking to someone in scrubs and giving them your entire life history and medical history, then telling them why you're in their Emergency Room. Upon completion of this process, a different person takes the place of the first, and asks all the same questions. This repeats approximately five times, which really ceases to be amusing when you're feeling like crap, after which you get to speak to an actual doctor. Albeit one with a nearly indecipherable third world accent.

Among the questions repeatedly asked:

• Are you a smoker? Have you ever smoked? Have you been around smokers?
• Do you prefer to learn by reading or listening? (We swear this is a real question)
• Do you use recreational drugs? (No, silly, we abuse recreational drugs)
• Is there any chance, Mrs. AARP Medicare Insurance, that you're pregnant? (In fairness, the nurse probably only asked this because of your narrator's obvious testosterone-drenched  masculinity.)

Surprisingly, we were not asked whether we heard "Laurel" or "Yanny," although if we had been we would have answered "Laurel, and anyone who says otherwise is full of sh*t."

Soooo, it's been a long and pretty crappy day. Mrs. J will surely be fine (she's the strong one in this family), but all positive thoughts, prayers, and good vibes are much appreciated. As will be any generous cash donations to organizations which oppose butt exploration.

Also, please don't tell her we wrote an entire blog post about her colonoscopy. She'll kill us when she gets home - but we'll die with a relieved smile on our face.


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Picture If You Will...

Our title today is a tip of the hat to Rod Serling's wonderful "Twilight Zone," a place that you're in right now owing to the fact that we didn't want to get into politics today (seriously, there's not much fun to be had with the violence in Israel, CIA leakers, or Melania Trump's kidney woes) but we also needed some kind of content for today's post.

And by now, you know what that means (cue creepy "Twilight Zone" music)...Earwigs!

Today we've got another sprinkling of cartoons from years and years ago, back when we were still writing just one punchline for a piece of clipart rather than seeing how many different angles we could come up with before our brain, like a forcibly wrung dish towel, finally drip-drip-dripped to a halt.

So in no particular order, for no particular reason, and with no discernible logic, here they are. Enjoy!

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stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, earwigs

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, earwigs

Monday, May 14, 2018

Mother's Day

We're celebrating Mother's Day today (even though it was technically yesterday) with a potpourri of items. First out of the gate, an assortment of motherly cartoons from our good friend Johnny Optimism...

Based solely on these cartoons, you might guess we had an uneven relationship with our own mother - but nothing could be farther from the truth. The woman was a saint and deserves to be canonized; she knocked off at least 3 miracles every day before lunch. She was an artist, an intellect, a person with a wonderful sense of humor, and the warm heart of our family.

All that being said, there is a very special relationship between Mom and Johnny Optimism. And for those who haven't heard it before, we're repeating it for this Mother's Day edition...


In May 2010, I was having lunch with my wife and a good friend (an author) who complained that children's books these days all seemed to need a heavy-handed social message in order to sell. I joked that he should do a book about a terminally ill boy in a wheelchair named "Johnny Optimism."  And  that night, just to take the joke a step farther, I quickly roughed out this book cover and sent it to him:

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The next day, only a few days after Mother's Day, my Mom died unexpectedly. And for reasons I can't logically explain, I spent the following weeks expressing my grief by obsessively creating Johnny Optimism cartoons - hundreds of them - trying to somehow rediscover joy, laughter, or just a little relief in the very blackest of circumstances. And it helped me to laugh at life's pain (not at its victims) and realize that we're all like Johnny - just doing our best to cope with the odds heavily stacked against us.

Happily, Lance the dog made it into the strip without blindness or a bad cough. In fact, he's the bestest, most loyalest dog in the whole world and nothing bad will ever happen to him (my daughter made me promise).

I've never really explained Johnny's living arrangements, and in my own mind they've evolved over time. Currently, I see him living in a hospital environment where he's surrounded by other kids with interesting maladies, and inept or downright insane medical caregivers and guests.

During the day, he is mainstreamed at a regular school (which is why the school nurse is always calling to report the disaster du jour).

Early on, Johnny would sometimes mention his parents in the strips - but that element has largely disappeared. It seems to me that by freeing Johnny from traditional family structure and putting him at the mercy of a senseless bureaucracy, he becomes more of a symbol for all of us.

Johnny is near and dear to my heart. He has more courage than I do, he has bigger challenges than I do, and he faces them all with more grace and optimism than I could ever do.

And he serves as a gentle reminder that none of us is truly alone in feeling like the universe sometimes goes out of its way to throw pain and suffering our well as a reminder that it's always okay to laugh, even if we're sometimes just laughing at our own vulnerability. It's quite possibly the strongest thing we can do...and the greatest gift I received from my mother.


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Hi, Mom! Looking good!

Her name was Johanne, but everyone called her "Jo." And it was only after I'd turned out literally hundreds of cartoons in her honor that I realized that Johnny Optimism's initials are "Jo."

Whether coincidence or fate, that gave me goosebumps. And still does.

Friday, May 11, 2018

3 O'Clock and All's Well

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, 3 a.m. phone call, hillary, obama, benghazi, trump, north korea, prisoners
Full credit to Mrs. Jarlsberg for pointing out the "3 a.m. connection."
Many years ago, Hillary Clinton's primary campaign for President scored big with a political ad about the dreaded "3 a.m. phone call." The spot suggested that during a crisis (and what else happens at 3 a.m.?), Americans could sleep better knowing that a President Hillary was answering the call. 

Why? Because she would able to handle any problem thanks to having years of experience and a vagina, unlike her challenger Barack Obama - who had no experience and only possibly had a vagina.

As it worked out, both got a chance to answer that late night crisis call. As Secretary of State, Hillary took (ever so briefly) the phone call about the attack on our embassy in Benghazi. But then she ignored it, just like she had ignored the hundreds of previous messages from the embassy begging for additional security.

Still, Hillary did slightly better than Obama - who not only didn't take the call but, to this day, hasn't accounted for his whereabouts at the time. Which is certainly no reason to suspect that he was engaged in a cocaine-fueled orgy with actor Kal Penn in the Lincoln bedroom, and we'd be the last ones to even suggest such a thing.

And then there's the much-reviled President Trump. 

Not only was he genuinely ready to deal with a crisis, at 3 a.m., he actually flew to Andrews Air Force Base to welcome home the three American prisoners released from North Korea.

The Left is still obsessed with slickness and style points (no matter how ineffectual), while a growing number of Americans are voicing their support of a President who keeps producing tangible and substantial accomplishments.

And yes, we will sleep better tonight because of that.

(Editorial note: A previous version of today's cartoon & commentary incorrectly stated that Trump flew to Alaska. That's what we get for trying to write while sober.)


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Owing to our great enthusiasm for trying new things which can't somehow be avoided, we experienced our first MRI brain scan yesterday and learned some very important things about our mental makeup. Like, how quickly we'd start spilling state secrets if tortured.

The MRI scan was looking for the cause of our previously documented nighttime tap-dancing and self-pugilism. The bad news is that the condition seems to be getting a bit worse. But the good news is that with all this practice, our nocturnal choreography is now fabulous!

We'll admit that we were slightly apprehensive about the procedure owing to it's extreme similarity to being buried alive. But our fears were quickly allayed by a friendly, soft-spoken technician wearing a hijab who assured us there would be no danger from the immense, whirling mega-magnet as long as we removed our hearing aids and...and...

Okay, we don't know what the other dangers were because our hearing aids were gone. The rest of the instructions were basically delivered in pantomime as we stretched out on the pallet which would soon slide us into the heart of the electromagnetic storm.

We were given headphones to allow us to listen to relaxing music during the procedure, and we'd actually burned our own CD of soothing favorites which didn't mention death much. After the headphones, a metal cage was locked over our upturned face and the technician slipped into the adjoining room to push the "Fire One" button.

While waiting in the tube (and only opening our eyes once, which was a mistake) we had a lot of quality time to think about a variety of things:

• Did someone leave an oxygen tank in the room which could be sucked explosively into the space currently occupied by my head?

• If there's a metal alien implant in my head, will it puree my brain once the MRI starts spinning it like a particle accelerator? (Go ahead and laugh about the alien implant thing, but I could tell you stories...)

• Is there an active shooter in the building?

• Is it actually possible to choke to death on your own post-nasal drip?

But these thoughts were quickly banished when the machine started whirling, beeping, banging, shaking, and occasionally emitting Klaxon signals of the kind usually only heard on a submarine attempting an emergency dive.

This cacophony went on for a LONG time, largely drowning out poor Enya as she tried to croon "Orinoco Flow" to a hyperventilating, increasingly panic-ridden deaf guy. In total, our stay in the MRI tube lasted about 40 minutes, which feels a lot longer when you're trying to convince yourself that you actually can breathe, no matter what your heart and lungs are telling you.

But eventually it was over and the friendly technician smiled and said...well...

We have no idea what she said, because our hearing aids were still in a locker in the next room. But she seemed happy enough, and pulled a contrast-injecting needle out of our arm before helping us sit up. She also gave us a small bottle of water which, oddly, seemed to be shaking quite a bit.

A couple of hours after returning home to our beloved wife, faithful dog, and cheap scotch, we got a phone call from the MRI facility giving us the good news that the procedure hadn't spotted any "gross abnormalities," which constitutes a clinically significant difference between our brain and Hillary Clinton's birthday suit.

The other good news is that these results make it far more likely that our wacky sleep condition (which our neurologist, with a twinkle in her eye, describes as "violent seizures") is probably just a weird reaction to an antidepressant we started about 6 months ago...and are now getting off of as quickly as possible.

So hopefully we'll soon be able to shelve our tap shoes and put this whole thing to bed. So to speak.


This may not be our brightest idea, but if you want to see one of our more colorful nighttime episodes, here's your chance. If you click this link, you can download an MP4 file of some highly kinetic night time video we recently took (about 40 seconds long). TRIGGER WARNING: In complete seriousness, this footage is potentially upsetting even though we added The Who's "Cobwebs & Strange" as a soundtrack because we have a really strange sense of humor and it works beautifully. But really, think twice before clicking because it's not a joke or a put on and you can't unsee this.

If you take the plunge, note that the real-time speed of the footage has not been altered, there is no particular discomfort for your humble narrator while this nonsense is going on other than chagrin and annoyance (there's no pain, no loss of consciousness, and no after effects), and that the subject is wearing a CPAP mask and not just huffing paint fumes. As an additional bonus, you can enjoy a special surprise guest appearance by Penny, the official emotional support dog of Hope n' Change!

Please don't share the video with others or on any social media sites. Unless, of course, you happen to be friends with a top notch neurologist, or know a booking agent for America's Got Talent.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Birdbrains of a Feather

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, mueller, mullah, iran deal, nukes, obama, kerry

We couldn't help but be struck by the similarities between "Mueller" and "Mullah" when considering the day's news.

In Mueller's case, he rejected an offer from Trump's legal team to have the President answer all of the special investigator's questions in writing. This was unacceptable because all Mueller would get out of that would be answers to his questions rather than a chance to impeach Trump for lack of motor control over his mouth.

Meanwhile, Iran's top Mullah was one of many in that country (and others) who wasn't happy to hear that the President is pulling the United States out of the idiotic, one-sided "nuclear agreement" negotiated by John "Horseface" Kerry and Barack "Hussein" Obama.

And it's a good thing: the Obama "agreement" (never voted on by our elected representatives) cut back on Iranian sanctions, repatriated (and then some) staggering sums of money for the country to use to fund terrorism and work on nuke-capable missiles, and pretty much guaranteed that Iran would have an unfettered nuclear weapons program in 2025...assuming they hadn't already achieved such in their hidden and/or "self inspected" nuclear research facilities.

We see this as a double win for Trump and the American people. And no, we're not tired of winning yet.


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First Lady Melania Trump gave a speech this week to lay out an anti-bullying campaign that she'll be leading. She was gracious, eloquent, and compelling...but Progressives immediately took to the Twitterverse to disparage the world traveling, multi-lingual First Lady for having a "funny accent" and not "sounding like an American."

This in a country where we now have to punch buttons on our phones if we wish to continue a conversation in English.

Of course, no such criticisms from the Left ever appeared when former First Lady Hillary Clinton made a magical vocal transformation into a character straight out of "Amos and Andy" when addressing a crowd of African-Americans.

We will also point out that unlike our current First Lady, Mrs. Clinton "ain't no ways" bilingual. Sure, she's two faced - but they both speak English.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Die Hardest

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, john mccain, cancer, funeral, trump, die hard, john McClane

We're not huge fans of Senator John McCain, but we do have to give him grudging style points for planning the guest list at his own funeral and letting the world know that President Trump is not invited.

The animosity between the two men is well documented and well deserved, with each thinking (with considerable justification) that the other is a complete a**hole. Certainly Donald Trump didn't cover himself in glory when he said of McCain, "He's not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured." Ouch.

We'll let the historians sort out the issue of McCain's heroism, and instead focus on the immense service he's given to the country with 40 years as the Senate's single most reliable vote for anything the Democrats are pushing. Not that his accomplishments have been limited to politics; few know that he was also responsible for telling Marlon Brando to "stuff your cheeks with cotton like I do" to play the Godfather.

Despite our political disagreements with McCain, we're genuinely sorry that he is apparently nearing the last stages of a terminal illness. And remarkably, despite everything, he seems to have retained his famous sense of humor. For instance, he recently told Joe Biden to stay in politics.

As the saying goes, "always leave 'em laughing."

The Eternal McFlame.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Our Motto: Be Repaired

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, boy scouts, campfire, name change

Yes, it's true...the "boy part" has been cut from the Boy Scout program, and the members (so to speak) will only be referred to as genderless scouts.

The change is due to the fact that the organization now allows girls (and middle-aged men who identify as girls) to join in the campfire-building, merit badge-earning, marshmallow-toasting fun and therefore didn't want a repugnant, divisive, gender specific name like that still used by those sex Nazi's in the "Girl Scouts."

Technically, the official name of the program will be Scout BSA, so the word "boy" is still hidden in there, but much like the word "colored" which lurks in the name of the NAACP, we're all supposed to pretend that it doesn't exist.

Sadly, the real story is that not enough kids are interested in being any kind of scouts these days which is why the Boy Scouts are trying to steal as much of the Girl Scout membership as possible.

But even though we understand the rationale, we're sorry to see yet another traditional bit of masculinity bite the dust. Especially since when it comes to "social justice," even when huge accommodations are made, someone will always want s'more.


stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, michelle obama, forever, first lady

Michelle Obama recently referred to herself as our "Forever First Lady," apparently under the mistaken belief that, like the "Highlander" legend, she becomes stronger and more powerful each time another First Lady dies.

We're pretty sure the system doesn't really work like that, although if we see Hillary and Michelle charging at each other with broadswords we'll have to reexamine our beliefs.


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Saturday is Cinco de Mayo - a very, very important holiday which celebrates half-priced margaritas, pressing "1" for English, and the complete loss of entry level jobs for actual Americans. Drink up!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Black and White and Read All Over

We feel somewhat guilty about not discussing politics much here lately - especially since we're about to do it to you again. But here's at least a few things off the top of our head (as our long-departed hair used to say):

• We watched Michelle Wolf's "comedic" performance at the White House correspondents dinner and were vastly unimpressed. She said a lot of nasty things, but we think any actual hubbub about her performance is a waste of time because it wasn't important. And we weren't offended by her despicable ideology so much as we were offended by the fact that she wasn't very funny.  If we're wildly generous, maybe 20% of her jokes landed. The rest just flopped around on the floor and died in painful silence.

• Regarding the leaked questions Mueller wants to ask Trump, we have no idea if they were leaked by underlings of Mueller or Trump (though it's got to be one or the other). Either way, the questions reflect the preposterous nature of this "investigation." As Dorothy Parker (who, unlike Michelle Wolf, was both acerbic and hilarious) once observed, "there's no there there."

• What? Iran was lying about being in full compliance with the nuclear agreement so carefully crafted by Barack Obama?! We are shocked. Shocked.

• We still think Kanye West is a talentless idiot, but concede that he is an enormously influential one. For that reason, the fact that he's retweeting quotes from the brilliant conservative Thomas Sowell gives us a flicker of hope that a few minds may be opened to the reality of the Democrats' new plantation.

And now, let's get on with a little comedy! While tidying our office yesterday, we discovered an old and forgotten cache of Earwigs cartoons (albeit with only one caption each) which exist only on aging paper. As an act of historical preservation, we scanned them, and are sharing a few here: