12/13/2017

Random Observations on a Minor Miracle in Alabama

1. Right after the 2016 election nightmare, I wrote, "It's time for Democrats to stop trying to appeal to a white demographic that constantly turns against it and to do everything possible to energize the non-white vote." What last night's win in the Alabama Senate race proved is that the non-white vote is energized, and it was fostered by an active, engaged Democratic Party and other organizations in a massive get-out-the-vote effort that specifically targeted African Americans in Alabama. The campaign of Doug Jones coordinated with several groups, giving them the resources needed to knock on thousands of doors and make nearly a million phone calls.

Democrats need to understand that the black vote has now saved them in Alabama as it did in Virginia. It's time to go even further and, to continue the quote above, "that means, in as many cases as it is possible, nominating and running non-white candidates." African Americans, and especially African American women, are trying to save this country from the stupidity of our inexhaustible white ignorance. It's time to center the concerns of non-white communities in the Democratic Party and not just ask them to vote, time and again, without those things being addressed.

2. As I've also said repeatedly, fuck the white working class. Fuck them. When their needs cross with those of the non-white working class voters you're courting, then great. And you know what? Most of those needs do cross because they are class-based. They need health care, poverty programs, jobs programs, decent education. Democrats keep wanting to pretend that racist fucknuts can be appealed to based on class. It's a comforting lie that is proven to be bullshit time and again. Roy Moore got 68% of the white vote, and that motherfucker was a wretched candidate before it was revealed he finger-fucked a 14 year-old. This country doesn't belong exclusively to white people anymore. The Republicans are fighting a desperate battle to try to maintain that white dominance. They will lose.

So no more fucking speeches about how we "understand" the pain of the white working class. It's up to the the white working class to fucking get that Democrats are the only ones who give a shit about their pain and economic hardship. And no more fucking articles about dumb fucks who are clinging to Donald Trump. They are dumb fucks. Let them drown in their stupidity for a few minutes before we throw them the life preserver.

3. Let's make sure we have some perspective here. Until the allegations of sexual assault on a minor and openly predatory behavior towards underage girls were revealed, Republican Roy Moore was going to win this race despite being a racist, homophobic, Christian extremist dickhead who has no respect for the Constitution. Even though Doug Jones was a great candidate who might have had an infinitesimal chance, Moore is a fucking nutzoid pro-lifer and no amount of compassion towards people outside the womb was going to overcome that. Yes, Jones might very well have won, but he only won by 1.5% last night and that was after the skeevy allegations against Moore came out.

4. Fight for every goddamn seat. Go for the fuckin' throat. Take these bastards down. Play the ground game. Go for the people who couldn't give a flea fart about what's being said on Twitter. IRL beats online every time. And build the right coalitions, ones that prominently feature the people who keep rescuing America's stupid ass despite the best efforts of white people to fuck it all up.

(Yes, obviously there's a large number of white working class voters who are liberal, just as there are conservative non-whites. Your objection is noted.)

(Correction: An earlier version of this said that Moore received 92% of the white vote. That was wrong and based on early exit polls. It was 68%. Still disgraceful, just not completely horrifying. Thanks to rude reader Rose for making sure I'm not putting out fake news.)

12/11/2017

Alabama Goddam

In Birmingham, Alabama, Kelly Ingram Park is filled with statues. It's quite a stunning place, if you've never been. Along with large statues of Martin Luther King and other civil rights icons, there's one of four girls, representing the four who were killed in the 1963 bombing at the 16th Street Baptist Church, which is right there at the northwest corner of the park.

Other statues are even more moving. A water cannon is pointed at two cowering teenagers, as a reminder of how the police and authorities, under the leadership of Bull Connor, had no problem hurting kids. And there's this one:


Obviously, it represents the dogs that were used to intimidate and attack civil rights protesters. You can walk between them, and it's an eerie feeling, even in stillness, to do so.

Alabama's legacy is one of abject hatred of non-white people. And, despite the public displays that recognize that legacy, the hatred continues to this day. We can see it in the repugnant poverty that many African Americans are forced to live in all over Alabama, poverty that has led to third-world conditions and diseases. We see it in voter i.d. laws that are targeting black and Hispanic Alabamians who have less access to such i.d.'s or the transportation and funds needed to get one.

Unless some small miracle happens, Alabama, a mostly white, mostly Republican state, will elect Roy Moore, a man who, disgusting, disqualifying, and illegal sexual proclivities aside, believes that life was more civilized during the time of slavery, a man who believes that the country would be better off if the amendments to the Constitution ended at the Bill of Rights, thus leaving out the end of slavery, as well as women's right to vote and, ironically, the election of senators by popular vote. He attacks LGBT people with regularity, calling for homosexuality to be illegal and to reverse same sex marriage and rules allowing gays to serve in the military. Hell, his positions on his campaign website are barely as complex as a bumper sticker on some jerk's car. And he has broken his oath of office multiple times already.

Alabama believes, like many states in the South before it, that it has gotten past its horrific heritage, from slavery to lynchings and Jim Crow. But it hasn't. It's just come up with quieter ways to decimate and hinder the non-white population.  Even though there are lots of good people there of all races, of all economic classes, Alabama's organizing principle is still oppression of those who would challenge a straight, white, male power structure. It is more important to Alabamians to uphold that than it is to elect an accused child molester.  Doug Jones should be revered as a hero, instantly electable, for his role in prosecuting two of the perpetrators of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. Voting in Jones, the Democrat, would be a way of saying that Alabama is ready to move beyond the past. But it most definitely is not.

I'd say that Alabama needs to reflect. I'd say that Alabama needs to evolve. But it won't until demographic changes wreck that white hegemony. Until then, Alabama is a lost state, a Flying Dutchman of our racist past, damned to remind us again and again of who we really are as a country, demanding all of us to do better than Alabama.

12/07/2017

Democrats Must Unceasingly Call on Donald Trump to Resign.

The exclamation point at the end of all the discussions about the sexual predators in powerful positions, all the rapists and gropers and masturbators, all the harassers, all their victims, so many victims, goddamnit, at the end of that is the President of the United States. Simply put, the progress being made by the "Silence Breakers," as Time magazine called the women speaking out, is tempered by an obvious statement:

Donald Trump has to go because of the credible allegations against him by more than a dozen women.

What Trump is accused of is worse than what Senator Al Franken is resigning from the Senate over, with actions ranging from forced kissing to genital grabbing to the rape of his then-wife Ivana. It should simply be a constant refrain from Democrats that the president likely committed sexual assault repeatedly, that he is unfit for office because of this, and that he needs to step down now.

Yeah, I get your Russia boners and your desire to see Trump frogmarched out and jailed for what will inevitably be money-laundering with a secret sauce of treason. But that's complicated shit. It takes a lot of work to get people to understand complicated shit. So do it the easy way. Go with the sex stuff. Do you think for a second anyone would have given two shits if Bill Clinton had lied under oath about his investment in a land deal? Hell, no. They understood because he lied about blow jobs.

(And let's remember that this bloated, moldy, deranged tangerine of a president paraded President Clinton's accusers before the cameras and before Hillary Clinton at a debate. Seriously, fuck everything about Trump, his family, his ancestors, and his descendants.)

Besides, even out of office, Trump can still be prosecuted. I guarantee that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is licking his lips to get a shot at Trump.

So task number one for Democrats every day, every goddamn day, needs to be calling out Donald Trump as a perpetrator of sexual assault. Every day, they need to call on him to resign, like Al Franken, like Anthony Weiner, like John Conyers. Don't give a fucking inch. And every chance they have to bring it up, they should. And every time they can confront him right to his stupid fucking face, they should. Make it fucking inescapable. Make Republicans have to either agree or actively deny that Trump did the shit he's accused of. Grind those fuckers down.

We are in the midst of a genuine reckoning for toxic masculinity. Things are going to get even uglier as we go along, and, yeah, some things will not seem nearly as bad as others. It's likely that there will be false accusations, but that's what happens when you've kept something silent for years and the floodgates finally open. And while it's easy to make this a political calculation (get rid of Franken so that you have the moral high ground to go after Trump and skeevy teen fondler Roy Moore), I can't help but think about the women whose careers, political or otherwise, were stunted or hindered by the men who have done this shit.

Today people are bitching about Franken's resignation, saying that Democrats don't fight like Republicans. Maybe not, but howzabout instead we fight like we're right?

12/06/2017

Other Terrible Jobs Hope Hicks Does for Donald Trump

Man-sized carbuncle and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski has a book coming out that he co-authored about his time working on the 2016 election. No doubt, it's filled with so many blow jobs for his former boss that his lips are chapped and bloody and he's had enough protein to last for months. But one of the weirder things that leaked from the book is that Donald Trump's communications director and loyal lackey Hope Hicks would steam Trump's suits while he wore them, including "She’d steam the jacket first and then sit in a chair in front of him and steam his pants," a job that sounds so awful that you'd just need to drink entire mini-bars of whiskey to forget that you degraded yourself that much for a terrible human being.

Of course, then there are her other jobs:

1. Denture glue check before Trump goes out to speak. Hicks is always ready with the Polident for the president's shiny chompers. She apparently failed today.

2. Melania wrangler. Hicks has to run interference whenever the First Lady tries to escape with Barron. Emergency tranq gun available.

3. Tie knotter. Hicks must make sure that all of Trump's ties are absurdly long and dangle right over his dick so he can hide that he gets a tiny erection whenever he's near a microphone or hears his name on the TV.

4. Eyebrow crafter. How does Trump maintain that Brezhnev-like spikiness in those mini-manes over his beady, inbred eyes? Lots of mousse and spit applied by Hicks.

5. Scalp stitcher. Whenever Trump has worked too hard on the swish of his implanted hair, his paper-thin scalp will tear. Hicks is responsible for stitching it whenever it starts bleeding.

6. Calming Eric down. Ivanka and Donald, Jr.'s idiot brother can sometimes get very upset when no one will tell him any classified secrets. Hicks must distract him with cheese and a sock monkey until he stops crying.

7. Taint powderer. Hicks keeps a puff of talc in her purse so that if Donald proclaims that his taint is feeling sweaty, she can gently powder the space between his balls and anus. She has to fight with Donald, Jr. sometimes for the right to do this.

8. Tiffany talker. If Tiffany calls, somebody's gotta fuckin' talk to her.

9. McDonald's runner. Now that Trump's loyal bodyguard is gone, Hicks has to make sure that Trump's gaping maw is constantly filled with as much Fillet o' Fish as that bastard can stuff in there.

10. Ivanka guard. Hicks makes sure that Trump is never alone with his oldest daughter because, really, who needs more of those goddamn photos of him groping his little girl.

11. Fall guy.

12/05/2017

A Relevant Tale from the Recent Rude Past: Directing a Rape Scene

(Today is my birthday, and so I get to be a little more indulgent than usual by telling you a story. Oh, and if you wanna give me anything, join my Patreon.)

About five years ago, I was directing a production of The Conduct of Life by Maria Irene Fornes. It is one of my favorite plays by one of my favorite playwrights, but it is some dark, dark shit involving a military man in an unnamed Central American country who is a torturer, his wife, and a young teenage girl he has kidnapped and is keeping as a sex slave in their basement. I wanted to convey the horror the girl, Nina, experiences without being exploitative, but the play does contain her on-stage rape.

I had worked with the actress playing Nina before, and so we trusted each other. The theatre was a small black box and that part of the set, Nina's room, including her small bed, was fairly close to the audience. I talked through some ideas about the scene with Erica and Ken (who was playing the officer). When it was time to put that moment together in rehearsal, I cleared the theatre of everyone but me, the actors, and Amy, the stage manager.

We started by figuring out how to do this, how the actors should be positioned, and how graphic and violent it should be, making sure they felt about as at ease as they could. Then the actors did the scene, which involves the officer telling Nina that he does this because he loves her. Like I said, it's a fucked-up but incredibly potent play. When they got to the end, we were all silent for a moment until I asked Erica how she was doing. Ever the professional, she said that it didn't feel like it worked. And she was honest about how traumatic it felt for her. (Before casting her, I had asked if she was okay with the part, but I never asked her about any experiences she might have had and I still wasn't going to. Not my business.)

We all decided at that moment that what we were doing didn't make artistic sense, and that it was right on top of the audience. We decided that we felt uncomfortable in creating a scene that was so startling that it would take power away from the entirety of the play (which is also about the way that women of different classes treat each other). Mostly, though, I didn't want to force Erica to do something that I thought could be done in a way that honored the play and the actors.

So I said, "What if Nina is a doll?" I found a child-sized stuffed, faceless dummy in the prop room and brought it out. We did the scene again with the officer raping the Nina doll while Nina stood on the side, distanced from her own body, but still reacting in muted pain and shock. We all realized that this was a far more powerful way to do this scene and it ended up that we did the entire play with Erica sitting and standing near the doll. When a friendly character tried to comfort Nina, it was the doll that was embraced, not the human actor.

The point here is that you don't have to hurt women to make art. Sure, I could have pushed Erica to continue to do a scene that she obviously felt was too much. I could have justified it with the script, a play written by a woman. Erica would have done it because she is a brave and dedicated actor who said she was fine doing it during auditions. And I'm not saying that sometimes the graphic stuff isn't absolutely necessary. I've directed shows with sex, nudity, and all kinds of violence on stage.

But what made me step back in this case was that the power dynamic involved in forcing an actress to do a rape scene is only a few steps removed from, well, a kind of sexual assault. And there was no goddamn way that I was going to victimize an actress while directing a play that was an attack on the rape culture that creates the conditions for the victimization. There was no goddamn way that I wasn't going to respect Erica as an artist herself.

In the end, the play was a success, and audiences found the use of the doll heartbreaking (although, admittedly, there were a few titters now and then). Erica now does national commercials and is on her way to becoming a successful performer. And, in this case, no one had to be exploited or harmed or harassed.

Is that really all that difficult to ask of artists?

12/04/2017

A Simple Question for Alabamians: Would You Hire Roy Moore?

Look, look, we all get it, Alabama. You really, really care about ending abortion. Abortion is more important than anything else in the entire Senate campaign for a really big percentage of you. It's more important than jobs (and, to be fair, the state has only a 3.6% unemployment rate). It's more important than the rest of health care and, well, obviously, education, (both of which, to be fair, place Alabama near the bottom of the nation). It's more important than whether or not Republican Roy Moore finger-fucked a 14-year-old girl through her panties while he took her hand and used it fondle himself. We totally get where you're at. We may not like it. We may think it's about one of the most viciously backwards, dumbass redneck, fucked-up things we've ever heard, but at least you're clear about how deep a pile of shit you're willing to stand in because you think you're protecting "babies."

And, today, you even got the criminal president to go all in on Moore. This morning, Trump not only tweeted his support for Moore (and, fuck you, if it's under Trump's name, it's Trump's), but he called Moore to offer encouragement by saying, according to Moore, "Go get 'em, Roy," which is what Moore told himself in the food court at the Dothan mall. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a man whose dick gets semi-stiff when he guts medical care for the poor, has backed off his call for Moore to get out of the race and now says he'll "let the people of Alabama make the call" on whether an accused pedophile and proud lawbreaker should be in the Senate. All for tax cuts, man, all for tax cuts.

Let's be clear here, Alabama. Moore ain't on trial. In posts and tweets supporting Moore, his idiot followers are acting like Moore is facing a jury. Moore is running for an elected office. The worst thing that can happen to him is that he doesn't get that office. No one (as of now) is saying he oughta be arrested for sexual assault and for drooling over high school girls at JC Penney and, well, the high school. Roy Moore doesn't have to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in order to lose the election. These are political decisions, not judicial ones.

But, yeah, you don't have to say it again, Alabama's Moore voters. Abortion is far more important. Fetus protection outweighs the harm Moore likely did to an already-born human girl. That's how you roll, and it's disgusting and perverse and you should be ashamed, but you're not. That shit's a given at this point. You're proudly voting for Moore or against Doug Jones. You are so goddamn please with your ignorance that if someone said that Moore ass-fucked a herd of goats, you'd holler, "What did the goats have to say? Nothing, I bet."

Still, I said I had a question for you, Alabama. And it's a pretty simple one: Would you hire Roy Moore? Not for Senate. Would you hire Roy Moore to work, say, in your restaurant? Perhaps as a greeter at Cracker Barrel? No, let's go even further here.

Let us say, and why not, that you need some work done on your house. You want to build a new back porch for you and the wife and the kids and expand an archway in the front hall, get a little more light in there. You talk to two contractors. Now, one is gonna do a great job. He's gonna get everything done just fine, except he costs just a bit more than the other contractor. Contractor number 2 has come in under the cost of the first contractor and he's a badass when it comes to archways. Man, you really wanna go with the second contractor, except you heard that he likes to hit on teenage girls and he might have even had some relations with some really young ones. This guy who is gonna come and go while the project is happening, entering your home, perhaps using the bathroom, perhaps peeking into your daughter's room, perhaps peeking at your daughter. Are you okay with that? I mean, if you don't hire him because of these things you've heard, you're not calling the cops. You're just hiring the first guy. Is it worth a few bucks?

Sure, though, you wanna come back and tell me that if you heard one contractor liked abortion and the other didn't, that'd tilt it for you. But would it? When it comes to letting someone like Moore hang around your kids?

The answer to that question lets you know how much you actually give a shit about the safety of your real and out-of-the-womb family, not just the theoretical fetuses of the future.

11/30/2017

An All-Encompassing Terrible Bill: GOP Not Even Hiding the Class Warfare Anymore

Sometimes, I think I can put myself into the mindset of a Republican (or any politician) proposing or voting for something fucked up. Even though I thought they were utterly wrong to support the Iraq war, I could say, "Okay, it's possible that you could delude yourself into believing that Iraq has WMDs and we should do something about it." When it came to repealing the Affordable Care Act, I could find some remote, thin thread of logic that said, "Well, it's possible that you can be so goddamn full of shit that you believe the states or the 'market' should take care of people's health." Back in the 1980s, as a much younger (but no less liberal) man, I could see how the allure of trickle-down economics, which anyone who spent even five minutes listening to rich people knew was total bullshit, could lead to it being passed. I can see the internal, insane, fundamentalist religious logic of being anti-choice when it comes to abortion. I get why some people are such pussies that they think a military build-up and occasional show of force make us safer. All of it, all the shitty, vile things that (mostly) Republicans have supported had some grain, some microdot of sense within the fucked realm of conservative ideology. Sometimes it takes leaps and stretches of my brain that no sane person should have to make, but that's never stopped me before.

But, try as I might, I can't conjure that dark sorcery when it comes to the GOP tax bill that the House approved and that, with some differences, the Senate is about to vote on.

Let's put aside the major fuckery of the bill, that in order to just need 50 votes to pass, fuckery is done with the tax cuts in that they expire on middle- and lower-income Americans in 2027 (and some don't get any tax cuts at all, ever). Put aside the breathtaking hypocrisy that even conservative estimates put the cost of the bill at over a trillion dollars more added to the debt and yet it's still supported by supposed deficit hawks (an argument they gave up when they voted to cut taxes during the Iraq war). Even put aside the savagery of the Senate bill in its elimination of the ACA insurance mandate, which would drive up the cost of health insurance, wreck the marketplaces, and cause more people to go into debt when they realize that, oh, shit, we should have gotten insurance before Dad needed that emergency appendectomy. Hell, put aside the ending of deductions for state and local income taxes, something that is a direct attack on more Democratic states where those taxes are higher.

Instead, let's look at some of the less extravagant fuckery of the bill:

The bill would fuck Puerto Rico like a cat in heat covered in kibble and catnip tossed into the pound. Yeah, both versions propose "a 20 percent excise tax on goods imported from Puerto Rico to the mainland United States." Both the mayor of San Juan and Puerto Rico's governor have said that it would be another roundhouse kick to the face of the island that is, despite Trump's best efforts, still in existence and still part of the US.

The House version is like a quality blow job for the nutzoid religious right, so tight, just wet enough, not too much but not too little tongue. It changes the tax laws so that churches can maintain their tax exempt status while they engage in explicit political activity, like supporting child molesters for Senate. It sneaks in language declaring that a fetus is a person for the sake of starting and taking a deduction on a college savings account, thus setting up a court case that could end up with abortion being outlawed because gotta get them cell clusters some rights.

I've already gone into how the thing dicks over colleges and graduate students.

And this is not to mention how Donald Trump is such a fucking liar about the bill not benefiting him and his terrible family of assholes, as well as the asshole families of every ass in Congress voting for this.

And where the fuck are the Democrats? Why aren't they out in full force, crowding the airwaves, on a message that Republicans are inciting class warfare? Because that's what this is. It is literally taking money from people making $75,000 or less and giving it to millionaires. The GOP isn't hiding that. It's a built-in feature.

But we only hear the cries of "Class warfare" when people want to take money from the rich to do shit like fund schools, build roads, and other shit that actually creates jobs and doesn't just siphon money away from those things for "shareholders" and corporate executives and fake real estate moguls who become destructive presidents.

There is literally no reason to vote for this bill unless you are determined to make your donors happy. And even I can't get my deranged mind around that shit.

11/29/2017

Guest Post: Y'all are Going to Hell if You Elect Roy Moore: A Report from LA (Lower Alabama)

I asked a local down in the deep deep south to chime in about what we might or might not know regarding the Alabama senate race between a goddamn hero and a goddamn child molester.

This is by Marty Olliff of Dothan, AL.

Recently there's been a good deal of twaddle on Twitter about the moral responsibility of Alabama as a whole for the election of Roy Moore. "All eyes are watching," wrote one. This is problematic, for the Alabama political landscape is much craggier and more crevassed than moralizing from afar implies. Understand why Alabama hasn't risen up en masse and shouted, "NO MOORE" is baffling, but my lukewarm take might help.

First of all, separate Moore voters from the anti-Moore voters (Dems, some GOP, and even some evangelicals). Moore is buoyed by his party identification and some people will not budge. I've heard more than once, "I like Doug Jones, but he's a (sotto voce) Democrat . . ."

For the tweeters who think Alabama is going to hell for the outrage of electing an accused pederast and assaulter, remember that Trump won slightly over 62 percent of the state's 2016 votes, so the GOP candidate should be walking away with this election. But he's not. The Democratic challenger, Doug Jones, has pulled to within a few points, and in one flawed Fox News poll was ahead. That Jones has closed the gap is a moral victory, thin as such gruel might be.

Why is Jones so close? Mainly because the Moore scandals have led many in the GOP to abandon him where they would have lusted for his victory or at least held their noses for the sake of god, guns, tax cuts, and harming black folks. Never doubt the power of sexcrime to have an impact on the American electorate.

Jones faces multiple political problems not of his own making. Unlike Moore, the best-known politician in the state, Jones is relatively obscure. His successful prosecution of Klansmen who evaded justice for 40 years after killing four little girls at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham got more play in the national press than here. Murderer Bobby Frank Cherry's name still comes to mind faster than his prosecutor's does, and the state's always-simmering racial divide means that most white voters aren't jumping on Jones's criminal justice bandwagon. Jones compounded this by not seeking the spotlight for his win. Damn him for being a decent human being and competent, non-grandstanding attorney!

More seriously, the Alabama Democratic Party is in trouble. Will Rogers famously quipped, "I don't belong to an organized political party; I'm a Democrat." Alabama replied, "Hold my beer." The party is split between its black and white wings, led by long-time empire-building co-chairs without coherent reach outside Montgomery. Dozens of elections go unchallenged, which has led local factions to revolt. Little wonder the DNC provides almost no funding to the party to build itself. The rumors of the death of the Alabama Democratic Party might be premature, but they're not THAT premature.

The real obstacle any Democrat now faces in Alabama is the hard-core support for a single-party state that represents the interests of the white middle class and the white aspiring middle class for whom caste-consciousness substituted for class-consciousness. Moore supporters, and most Alabama Republicans, are the progeny of the Dixiecrats who morphed into the Wallaceites of "Segregation Forever" and "stand-in-the-schoolhouse-door" fame who then morphed into the Reagan Democrats and beyond. The transformation was complete when Democrats lost their last statewide office with the resignation of Sue Bell Cobb as Chief Justice.

Believing Moore's hard-core supporters are susceptible to rational argument is a fool's errand. In Alabama, everything is political and politics are personal. Not only do people take political slights personally – much of the recent trouble with the Luv Gov and Mike Hubbard was about factions of the GOP being pissed off at one another – but even more insidiously, supporters line up behind individuals who personify a mix of relatable traits, policy directions, and systems of patronage and favors.

Here's how that works: Moore is mean-spirited and doesn't take shit from the evil, immoral cultural authorities of Hollywood and New York City. He might kick down, but he never kisses up, and he appears to his supporters to be a bully who fights for them. That appeals to many of those self-righteous, put-upon Alabamians who root for Judge Judy to tell some bonehead off or for Dr. Phil to make some wimp cry.

His supporters like that he was persecuted, in their eyes, for the simple act of placing God before man-made law (many of them know their civics better than that but won't admit it), and they are apoplectic about abortion. Moore rails about those things, and gets standing ovations in small-town gatherings. Additionally, if Moore gains a position, he'll vote to reduce taxes and he'll have to hire people. Someone his supporters know might benefit or they themselves might be able to call in a favor as a benefit of their vote. Power by proxy.

Underlying all of this is the emotional tribalism that makes everything in the state a binary contest between Us Good People and You Evil Bastards. Any white person who takes up residence in Real Alabama (anywhere that is not a major college town or a center for space engineering) hears two questions that, in a way, get at the same thing: "Where do you go to church?" and "Auburn or Alabama?" These questions, as well as the entire "Heritage not hate" nonsense, is about identifying yourself as a member of a tribe. Not quite a majority of Alabamians take this kind of hyper-tribalism very seriously, but give any us a couple of beers and things are likely to get out of hand one way or another.

Finally, Alabama is a hotbed of "Bless your heart," the ubiquitous phrase that means both "I feel for you" and "All y'all just fuck off." The second meaning is a hint to understanding why Moore supporters can reconcile their professed Christianity with his personal (accusations only at this time) crimes. They simply don't believe he assaulted anyone, that his accusers are Democratic plants and liars.

As for trolling young girls, well, they read the Bible the same way he did; summed up by the odious Jim Zeigler who cited the age differences of biblical men and women, including the step-dad and mom of Jesus, in justification. Even if Moore supporters do think he's an embarrassment, they simply do not care. He not only represents them; he IS them.

Until you grok this perversion of "the personal is political," trying to figure out how supporters of Moore and even Trump think will make you grab the tall boy of Zoloft. We get a replay in 2018, so that'll be fun.

(Caveat: Before you get your knickers in a twist that I didn't cover your pet peeve or #NotAllMooreSupporters, let me say, "Bless your heart.")

11/28/2017

No Sympathy for the Devil: Yes, Another Take on That Times Article on a Nazi You Can Love

I'm sure we're all sick and tired of reading about that article in the New York Times, the one about Ohio resident Tony Hovater, the one that painted him and his movement as everyday white Joes, just eating at Panera while denying the Holocaust and gabbing about how cool Hitler was.

See, the Times editors believe that the point of Richard Fausset's story "was not to normalize anything but to describe the degree to which hate and extremism have become far more normal in American life than many of us want to think," which, if you parse it, are really one and the same. Fausset himself admits that one huge element missing is a fuller understanding of why Hovater believes what he believes.

The issue here is not the quotidian banality of Hovater's evil, where he sits around the local Applebee's talking about separating the races. We know that we live and work among racists and sociopaths. Nor is it the contradictory nature of that evil, where a Jew-hating Nazi can love Seinfeld, one of the Jewiest shows ever. Consistency of belief is not really a hallmark of the modern fascist. It's that Hovater is evil, as in legitimately, objectively evil in a way that is almost universally defined as "evil," and Fausset and the Times let him off the hook for his evil.

While the article gives some examples of exactly how vile Hovater's beliefs are, there are so many more that the article ought to be overwhelmed with those, not what's in his kitchen drawers. Here's some of what Hovater wrote at the blog of the "Traditionalist Worker Party" (which is a long way of saying "Nazi"):

In a post titled "Ethnic Cleansing, Voting, and You!" Hovater offers, "The masses of nonwhites clearly hate you and will vote against what they perceive to be white interests at the polls. The ruling elite of (((financiers, business owners, media conglomerates, and politicians))), sorry all those echoes at once, hate you." The "echoes" are shorthand to indicate that what he really means is "Jews." His solution to the fact that "America is beyond saving"? "It’s time to push for balkanization of the empire and geographic relocation for our people." Somehow, Hovater's use of the accusatory parentheses didn't make the article.

In another post, Hovater says, "Another legend seems to have worked up the ire of a certain protected ethnic minority. Ted Nugent, a man who the media already despised more than any other living man on the planet aside from Donald Trump, stepped right in it. Ted Nugent named the Jew." This is followed by a defense of Nugent's antisemitism.

And, oddly, Hovater has shown up in multiple other places as one of the Nazis that reporters go to for comments. In the New Yorker back in August 2015, Hovater is quoted hoping that Donald Trump will just openly say he wants more European (white) immigrants in the U.S. and not try to hide it.

In fact, Hovater and another "Traditionalist," Matthew Heimbach, appear in so many articles, that it looks less like the white supremacist movement is growing and more that there are a couple of jerks who news outlets keep interviewing because they fit a narrative that the white supremacist movement is growing, which, in turn, helps the white supremacist movement grow.

It's in another article that Hovater elaborates a bit on one reason (mentioned in the Times piece) that he became a white supremacist. It's because that when he was touring with his metal band, he went to areas of great poverty in Appalachia: "You see how a complete system failed a group of people and didn't take any responsibility for it and has done nothing to help."

Right there is the inflection point, where you have a choice to make when you realize that people in poverty aren't getting the help they need. It's right there that Hovater could have decided that he needed to head left and advocate for programs to help people out of poverty, like job training and, you know, health care. But that takes work, that takes allying with people different from you. Instead, he took the easy path, the one that said the problems of poor white people aren't the problems of poor black people, and, in fact, poor white people are the victims of politics that only seek to help poor black and Hispanic and other non-white people, likely in a way that profits Jews, the puppet masters, of course.

Listen to some of what Hovater says on Heimbach's podcast The Daily Traditionalist on the Radio Aryan website (research is so fun). It's all about how whites are just constantly being victimized, that DeAndre Harris wasn't beaten by neo-Nazis in Charlottesville - he was asking for it, just like Trayvon Martin; that Jew-hating is a reasonable stance because Jews control everything, including our very thought processes through their insidious professoring at colleges. But then, all of a sudden, one episode veers into discussing how drug addicts are railroaded into for-profit prisons whose corporations donate heavily to politicians and I think, "Oh, c'mon, how are you not making the connections here? How inundated with nonsense and lies do you have to be in order to remain so blind?"

Now, it might seem that I'm having sympathy for Hovater, but I'm not. Because his turn to white power and Hitler love was a choice made by a grown-up. And there are a hell of a lot of white people who faced the same fork in the ideological road that Hovater faced and decided to make common cause with the all the poor, not just the white poor under the guise of a fake white genocide. Where are the damn stories about them?

As for the Times article, it's all well and good to show how Hovater lives an everyday life. No one is doubting that Hitler might have loved a good fart joke, ate pastries, and wiped his ass like anyone else. But we don't remember Hitler for that. We don't remember the mass population of Nazis and Nazi-supporters for their dinner parties and their honeymoons. We remember them for their hatred and their evil because that is what they chose as their legacy. And that's, frankly, the only way we should think about the Nazis in our midst.

11/23/2017

A Thanksgiving Prayer from the Conquered

A poem from Leonard Peltier's book Prison Writings: My Life Is a Sun Dance:

The Message

Silence, they say, is the voice of complicity.
But silence is impossible.
Silence screams.
Silence is a message,
just as doing nothing is an act.

Let who you are ring out and resonate
in every word and every deed.
Yes, become who you are.
There's no sidestepping your own being
or your own responsibility.

What you do is who you are.
You are your own comeuppance.
You become your own message.

You are the message.

11/22/2017

Little Narcissists Everywhere

Charles Krauthammer said the President "is clearly a narcissist in the non-scientific use of the word. He is so self-involved, you see it from his rise...I think he’s extremely self-involved. He sees himself in very world historical terms, which means A) because he’s an amateur, he doesn’t know very much, and B) because he’s a narcissist, he doesn’t listen."

A writer for the American Thinker (motto: "We don't understand how ironic our name is") said, "This man has been entrusted with the greatest power in the world. He will have that power for the next three years at least. But he may not be able to emotionally tolerate any real limits on his need for self-aggrandizement and power.

Over at FrontPage (motto: "Inside every conservative is a small child who wasn't loved"), David Greenfield wrote that the President "doesn't hate politics. He likes power. He hates compromise. That's not idealism though, it's ego. He wants everything his way. And he can't stand even the slightest challenge. Think of the brat with too much self-esteem who begins to pout if the teacher corrects a mistake and throws a fit when mommy won't buy him the thing he wants right now."

Fox "news" discussed the President's "persistent use of 'I' when giving speeches to sell his administration's agenda," and even began tracking the "I" usage in his speeches.

Ben Shapiro wrote that the President's "desperate need for attention is clearly a psychological condition. He drinks in applause like a washed-up movie star."

It's kind of hilarious now to read these comments about Barack Obama from conservatives, most of whom are either slavering Donald Trump fans (like Greenfield and Fox) or mildly critical but hopeful about Trump (like Shapiro). Only Krauthammer has been consistent in his disparagement of those he perceives as narcissistic (which is itself a narcissistic stance, but now we're getting solipsistic), although he stops short of calling for Trump to be removed from office.

This morning, Trump tweeted out "IT WAS ME" in all caps in reference to...well, really who the fuck cares and why the fuck does it matter? This is narcissism taken to a level that would make Narcissus say, "Whoa, whoa, bring it down a notch, asshole."

But, you know, as laughable as it is now to view Obama as a narcissist, especially after he's said things like he doesn't care if Obamacare is called "Trumpcare" or "Ryancare," as long as people have health insurance, you'll hear an apology from the right when hell freezes over with pigs in the air.

11/21/2017

The GOP War on College


Up there is a photo of the college where I work. It's part of the rows of American flags that lined the sidewalks that go through the center of campus. Every year, a group of student veterans plants the flags in honor of Veterans Day. No one knocks them over. No one steals them. It's an impressive display, actually, in the autumn light, the fallen leaves around them. My school is not conservative. In fact, it's incredibly open to all sorts of ideologies and activities. Military recruiters set up booths in the student center. There have been pro-Palestine and pro-Israel marches. The LGBTQ organization is very active. One bathroom in each building has been designated as non-gender specific. During the election, someone wrote "Vote Trump" in chalk on the sidewalk. No one batted an eye. We just walked over it. In one of my classes last year, I had a student wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt and another student in a MAGA hat. No one asked for a safe space, but, if someone did, we do have those on campus because what's the big fucking deal if we do?

The point here is one I've made before: All the shit you hear about what goes on at colleges and universities is a grotesque exaggeration of the day-to-day life of most campuses. But conservatives have long been beating themselves off about those crazy-ass liberals cruelly opening the minds of their precious, protected, tender children. Oddly, most of those conservatives are college-educated, yet they still managed to turn out to be total assholes, which ought to completely fuck up their point. But that would require logic, and logic, as we have learned time and again, is not one of the tools available in the savage right-wing toolbox.

Now, Republicans are finally putting into action their desire to snuff out the educational dreams of the poor and middle class. The phenomenally destructive tax bill just passed by the House of Representatives contains multiple provisions to dick over college students in order to simply shovel more cash into the gaping maws of the ultra-rich. The House bill would turn tuition waivers for graduate students into income, which would mean that the taxes for poor grad students and law school and medical school students would go up by about 400%. The bill would eliminate the deduction for student loan interest. It would tax the endowments of universities, funds that are used for, you know, education. And it would consolidate some tax credits into a lower, single credit that will directly affect millions of Americans.

Part of this is the desperation that Republicans have for offsetting the ludicrous cost of lowering taxes on the wealthy. But part of it comes from Republican animosity towards higher education. 58% of Republicans in a poll this past summer said that college has a "negative effect" on the country. Which, if you think about it, is pretty fucked up because Republicans are, in large part, responsible for gutting and dumbing down elementary and secondary education and making it so that most decent jobs require a Bachelor's degree. But now that kids are going to college and learning history and other shit that makes them question authority, especially religious and conservative authority, all of a sudden it's bad.

The right can't just say, "We hate universities because they teach kids how to be decent human beings, and it actually sticks for some of them." But conservatives can point to the excesses at a pretty limited number of colleges, like protests against speakers or speech codes or other stuff. Then they can say, "Oh, look at these motherfucking intolerant lefties who get so much from the government."

And if they can fuck the kids over in the name of keeping more people stupid and thus keeping them more Republican, all the better.

11/16/2017

Can Trump Voters Really Overcome Their Desires?

Let us say, and why not, that there is a gay couple, Eric and Don. Eric is a power bottom, crying out during sex that he wants to be fucked harder, using his tight ass on Don, slamming against Don until they both bust a nut so hard that it might blast the paint off the walls. Sure, Don can be a little out there in the things he says and the things he believes, but Eric's totally cool with it because, at the end of the day, Don's doing exactly what Eric wants, and, holy shit, that magic dick.

As time goes by, as the initial gleam of the relationship begins to dim a bit, Eric starts seeing Don a little more clearly. Don's not really holding his end up when it comes to things like paying the bills. He's more likely to just throw his cash after dumb shit like expensive meals or gifts for their friends' pets and then he pleads poverty when the rent's due. And Don's not much for household chores. He leaves a mess in the bathroom and then says that Eric's just too fussy, that it's not that bad. And then there's the fact that Don said he'd take a trip to see Eric's family, but every vacation, Don says he doesn't wanna go.

Sure, even after all this, Don can still get Eric off, and Eric can be just as enthusiastic because, goddamn, that shit feels so good. But, still, at what point is the fucking not enough for Eric? At what point, while Don's going at it and Eric is bouncing on that cock like it's a piston in his engine, does doubt start to creep in? When will he think, between thrusts, that this is all a big lie and that getting off just ain't enough? Or will Eric delude himself into believing that his fire hose orgasms justify putting up with everything else? It is quite the conundrum.

One of the things that is starting to creep into the seeming unending stream of articles and reports about the oh-so-important feelings of Americans who voted for Donald Trump is a sliver of regret. An article in the not-failing-at-all Washington Post today is about Republican women in North Carolina. It seems that at least some of 'em are realizing that Trump might not really be qualified to be president and might actually be a total fuck-up.

Said one woman with the Trump sads, "I can’t imagine how they let him build a country club — let alone be in one. Because adults don’t behave that way. I’ve been surprised that a billionaire would behave the way he has." Another woman offered, "He comes out with these grandiose ideas, and there’s no follow through. It's a lot of talk," which would pretty much be a description of Trump's entire worthless life. Of course, none of those interviewed in the article have said they would vote differently. But it's creeping in, just a little bit, that tinge one gets when one aligns oneself with a failure.

(You can also see it clearly in the hilariously pathetic retweets on the Trump_Regrets Twitter page.)

Obviously, it's a fool's hope that Trump voters would give up the very delusions that got them to vote for him. But one thing about it still being early in Trump's (hopefully abbreviated) term is that the effects of his administration's combination of cruelty, incompetence, and indifference haven't been felt yet. If the tax plan that was passed by the House gets through the Senate and people are unable to afford any health insurance or lose it because of Trump's fuckery and some of 'em start dying, well, maybe before they kick or their relatives or friends kick, they'll realize they've been had. Or maybe when more water systems are poisoned because Trump got rid of rules on dangerous pesticides. Or maybe when Trump fucks up the response to the inevitable next climate disaster, if it's in someplace like Mississippi or South Carolina. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.

It's all a big maybe, mostly because his voters love it that he still sticks it to the Democrats and the libtards and the elitists and the New York Times and CNN and all that bullshit. And he still talks about that fuckin' wall that will never get built. That's the kind of shit that gets his supporters off. He's just fucking them in the ass and they're loving it and telling him to do it harder, pushing out all those thoughts about the possibility of nuclear war and the benefits to billionaires while student loans are more expensive and everything else, because he's telling off those ungrateful NFL ni-- gah, they cum so explosively because of it. And then they'll watch Hannity because that's the only reality they can handle.

When they get in the voting booth next year or in 2020, will they think about the ways they've been harmed? Or will they remember how good Trump makes them feel about the things they hate? I want to be optimistic. But I'm weary of being burned by hope.

11/14/2017

Once More Into the Clinton Circle of Hell

The allegations and the actual incidents of sexual assault, rape, child molestation, and harassment that are swirling around men in politics and entertainment are so enraging that I just wanna resign from my sex and start another one called, "Not Them." But, of course, a bunch of abusive motherfuckers would join us and pretend that it's not them when, really, and, c'mon, it's them. And, of course, it's forcing us to look around and think about which scuzzy sons of bitches have gotten away with it. That has led some on the left to go to the place that the right never left: the Clinton Circle of Hell, where no story ever dies, where any assertion about Bill and Hillary Clinton lives on eternally and is pushed to the surface again and again to torment those of us damned to live through this piggish age.

The Weinstein and Cosby and Spacey and Moore and all the other other cases of sexual abuse have led some liberals to ask why we're not having a new reckoning with the fact that President Bill Clinton was accused of many similar acts. The one that comes up most often now is undoubtedly the most horrific: Juanita Broaddrick's claim that, while he was running for governor in Arkansas in 1978, Clinton met her in a hotel room on the pretext of a campaign discussion and raped her. Several notable progressive writers and pundits, in the last few days, have said that Democrats need to come to terms with the idea that what Broaddrick and other women said would be taken as true today.

They wonder if Democrats don't owe it to themselves to be honest about this seemingly jarring hypocrisy (although Democrats have had no problem expelling and turning against liberals recently), even going back to call out Democrats for their response in the 1990s. In the Atlantic, Caitlin Flanagan brings up Gloria Steinem's 1998 New York Times editorial defending Clinton and excoriating the women, declaring it "shameful." Of course, Flanagan doesn't mention the 1999 Times editorial calling on Clinton to publicly answer for Broaddrick's allegations.

I could be dismissive here and just say, "Fer fuck's sake, read the fucking Starr Report. Read the books from the time. Most of the women were demonstrably lying and even Broaddrick had multiple reasons to lie and the FBI said there wasn't anything there and Broaddrick herself swore under oath that it didn't happen. We did this already. We don't need to fucking do this again." But that's not fair because maybe some people do need to do this again or they're doing it for the first time, so let's take that seriously.

You wanna know why Broaddrick and the other allegations didn't lead to the collapse of the Clinton presidency and the whipping of the man into the hinterlands? Because Republicans had been fucking pricks about Clinton from the moment he became the Democratic nominee and by the time we got to Broaddrick, everyone was fucking sick of Republicans screaming about scandals and having hearings and appointing special prosecutors whenever one Clinton or the other farted longer than they liked. The motherfuckers cried, "Wolf!" constantly. And there was never a fuckin' wolf anywhere.

See, nothing happens in a vacuum. Lemme give you a quick jaunt through a couple of decades here. In the 1980s, Republicans still hadn't really gotten over Watergate (or the Vietnam War), but they thought that St. Ronnie Reagan was bringing them back to respectability, or at least a plausible bunch of lies and myths they could pretend was respectability. Then those fuckin' Democrats had to get their panties in a wad because Reagan had broken the law in order to get funding to the Contras in Nicaragua...

Let me pause here to say that I'm not gonna explain every damn thing. Fuckin' Google that shit. Anyways...

That just fucked up the Republicans' world because, c'mon, we can't have one fuckin' GOP president without a scandal? And then George Bush, Sr. gets in after St. Ronnie, and then he has a scandal of his own involving the bank that Contra drug money was laundered through and was protected because the Bush family was involved with the bank (BCCI scandal, kids). Holy fuckballs, and then Bush goes and loses to this hippie hick, Slick Willie, and the Republicans were gonna make that motherfucker suffer.

So, to get revenge on Democrats for fucking up their nice post-Nixon presidencies (and for forcing Clarence Thomas to face Anita Hill), from Day One, Republicans were on the hunt for anything to take those young asshole Clintons down. Thus we got the investigation of Hillary Clinton's law firm records, travel office firings, and a shitty land deal that became the Whitewater "scandal," which was only a "scandal" because it was that investigation that finally found something that Republicans could use against Clinton, lying under oath about getting oral from an intern in the Oval Office.

But that doesn't even get into the women that had been paraded before the public by a growing right-wing media wanting to tear down Clinton. Before the Broaddrick story really surfaced in 1999, we had already been through Gennifer Flowers talking about her affair with Clinton, which led to the Clintons going on television for an excruciating interview about Bill's infidelity. We'd been through Paula Jones accusing Clinton of showing her his dick, a story that fell apart when no one backed up Jones. The brand-new Fox "news" started in 1996 and was ready to push any story about Bill Clinton and sex. Then we got to Monica Lewinsky and the beginnings of the impeachment saga, as well as Kathleen Willey, who was also discredited when other women said under oath that she had had a consensual relationship with Clinton.

Then we finally got the Broaddrick story. But by that time, we'd heard women who were obviously lying but given huge roles by the media. We'd had reports about affairs and congressional investigations and Kenneth Starr and more sex and penis references than anyone wanted to deal with. It's not that no one believed Broaddrick. It's that Republicans were so driven to destroy Bill Clinton that we had every reason not to believe Broaddrick. So we didn't really even get to whether or not it was true (although, again, the Starr Report did deal with it).

So don't get so fuckin' smug about Gloria Steinem or Hillary Clinton. We were all living on a new 24-hour news cycle that was one sex scandal after another. Republicans were punishing the nation for electing Clinton, who, it should be noted, did much good and much bad as president, but one thing all of us should wonder is if he would have gotten Osama bin Laden if the GOP hadn't clogged the works with their pornographic interest in Clinton's cigar sodomy. (Seriously, Google all this stuff if you think I'm lying.)

What do we do now about Broaddrick and Clinton? Personally, I believe we dealt with it, and I'm someone who thought back in the day that Clinton should have resigned when the DNA test came back from the dress semen and that he should have let Al Gore be president.

I do think that Bill Clinton is tarred by all the allegations, from the most outrageous to the most tragic, true or not, and he was impeached. Yes, he gets to live the life of a wealthy man, but his legacy has an asterisk, and a good percentage of the country vilifies him and Hillary.

And we will never, ever leave this Circle of Hell because we will never, ever agree whether or not it's deserved.

11/13/2017

Alabama Gut Check

Hey, Alabama, Rude Pundit here. Listen:

Most of the country thinks you're a bunch of toothless, backwards-ass country hicks and rednecks who would rape any human or animal that crosses your path. It ain't just the elitist coastal states that think that. We thought that in Louisiana. We thought that in Tennessee. We thought that in Indiana. You're all donkey-humping, incest-loving, dumbass, uneducated and proud, KKK robe-wearing, bullshit Christian shitheels who treat women like dirt and non-whites like less than dirt. Yeah, most of the country sees you like that. And the dumb fucks among you will say you don't care what outsiders think. We can all go fuck ourselves, right?

But, see, I happen to know another Alabama. I know the people who give an enormous shit about science in Huntsville, and I'm not just talking about the tech industry and the space industry there. I'm talking about the whole goddamn city where every job relies on the people who understand reason and science and education. I know the large populations of black people in places like Birmingham, Montgomery, and Mobile. And I know that Auburn and 'Bama aren't just there for football. Some serious shit happens at those places.

You are at a crossroads right now with the candidacy of Roy Moore for the U.S. Senate. As of now, Moore is accused of:
-Forcing a 14-year-old girl to fondle his dick through his underwear while he fondled her through hers.
-Trying to force a 16-year-old girl to give him a blow job in his parked car.
-Skeeving on teenage girls so much as a 30something year-old man that a mall in Gadsden, which, c'mon, Alabama, that is pretty much the Alabama-est place in Alabama (except for maybe Dothan),  banned Moore from the place in the early 1980s.

How must it feel to be a rational Alabaman and see all these people defending Moore, strenuously, desperately trying to find a way to contort sexual assault and child molestation to fit a narrative about the culture wars. How awful that must be to watch your fellow state citizens do absolutely stupid shit like the 50 pastors who signed a letter of support for Moore.

If you're on the fence here, goddamn, you have to ask yourself, "Is it worth this to make sure that someone who pisses off the libtards gets into office?" And if your answer is "Hell, yeah, I'd rather a pedophile than a Democrat," well, you're not really even human, let alone American, at that point.

Who am I to tell you what to do, Alabama? I'm just a Northeast liberal, vaguely Jewy, faggier than you like, even though the majority of my life was spent in the South and Midwest. But, you know, that fucks up the narrative you've constructed for anyone who thinks you should stop being so fucking cravenly, obviously, hypocritically dumb.

But you know what growing up in the South taught me? You know what all those trips to Alabama and Mississippi let me know? If there's one thing that you fuckin' hate other than Yankees and Negroes, it's people gettin' all high and mighty about shit. So, c'mere, and listen for a fuckin' second, Jesse and Skeeter, while I talk to you in your degraded, demi-human language.

Roy Moore was a District Attorney when he was trying to deflower young white girls. That motherfucker held that over those girls. He said to Beverly Young Nelson, after he tried to get her to suck his dick, "You're just a child and I am the District Attorney of Etowah County, and if you tell anyone about this, no one will ever believe you." How would you like him talking to your sister like that? What kind of man is that? The kind of man who will use his power to crush the little people, like you. The kind of man who takes advantage of people who can't fight him.

Well, now you can. You can vote against him. You can stand up to someone who is a bully. You can demand he get out of the race. You can vote for the Democrat, Doug Jones, as honorable a man as you'll find in these filthy times. Or you can just stay home.

And don't believe the people who tell you that you can vote for Moore and he'll be expelled from the Senate, which would let your governor appoint someone. Do you trust Congress that much?

It's a gut check, Alabama. You can prove everyone wrong, or you can just keep being fuckin' Alabama, with your shit education system, your shit health care, your shit economy, and your shit government.

Whether you believe in it or not, it's time to evolve, motherfuckers.

11/09/2017

Roy Moore: Another Stupid Fucking Republican

Lemme address this to all the right-wing shitsacks desperately dragging themselves across the broken glass of the allegations of sexual impropriety and assault against Senate nominee and repugnant hate-monster Roy Moore of Alabama to defend him:

How many 14-year-olds does a Republican man have to force to fondle his dick for it to disqualify him from office?

This is a legitimate question in 2017 because Joel Pollack, the bearded worm who is a senior editor at Breitbart (motto: "Democracy dies on our website"), really did say about Moore and the woman who says Moore assaulted her when she was 14, "[A]s far as we know, there's only one relationship that's been alleged that's problematic."

Yes, it is "problematic" that, according to the Washington Post, Moore targeted a 14-year-old girl. It is "problematic" that Moore kissed her without her consent. It is "problematic" that Moore undressed her to her underwear, as he did himself. It is "problematic" that he touched her breasts over her bra and her genitals over her panties. It is "problematic" that he took her hand and used it to grope his cock. All of that is what you might call "problematic" if you're a nauseating ass-licker whose party's hypocrisy and criminality apparently have no limits and whose ideology is so corrupt and bereft of reason and morality that you could actually just call forced sexual contact "problematic" in a way that implies that you're cool with it as long as it's just one victim.

In other words, fuck anyone who is defending Moore here, and you can fuckin' well bet that a whole lot of Alabamans are doing that right now because Moore is a man of Jesus or some such shit because he humped a Ten Commandments monument and hates him the gays, and Democrat Doug Jones, who has been on the side of civil rights and environmental justice, is a sinful liberal nigger-lover who will melt your Confederate monuments and re-crucify Christ.

In fact, one of Moore's defenders brought Jesus into it, of course, because fuckin' Alabama, man. "Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus," said Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler. Ignoring getting the basic Bible shit wrong (God put that fuckin' Jesus baby in Mary), that's a creepy goddamn take on the birth of Christ. If what you get from the New Testament is that it's totally cool to bone a minor, you're probably reading it wrong.

Of course, both are fine with Moore trying to date a 16-year-old, which, while maybe not technically illegal, is fucking skeevy as all fucking hell.

The other excuses defenders use are equally fucked up. It was a long time ago, some say, blaming the women for not speaking out sooner about something that happened nearly 40 years ago, as if a young girl in Alabama could go up against a district attorney who later became a judge. As if women don't keep the violence done to them quiet for decades out of fear and shame that has been inculcated in them by male-dominated society that told them to be silent.

Right now former Representative Anthony Weiner, a Democrat, is serving time in prison for sexting with a 15 year-old. Democrats didn't blink about abandoning Weiner once his insane tweeting came to light.

Meanwhile, with a few exceptions, Republicans merely are saying "if it's true" Moore should be kicked off the ballot. But Moore, who has come back from more career deaths than John Travolta, is the shit you can't scrape off your shoes.  Motherfucker is already fundraising off the allegations. And if he's elected and seated (and he probably will be), the GOP will have told us that their tax cuts are worth all the pussy-grabbing and dick-fondling and assault and alleged rapes (by Trump). Who cares about women if the Kochs and the Mercers are happy?

If Jesus came back, he'd look at these motherfuckers and say, "Yeah, turned enough cheeks" before kicking their asses.

11/08/2017

Random Observations on the First Good Night in a Long Time

1. You know how when you've gone a while without fucking - and this is all relative to how often you fuck in general, so it could be a month, six months, or, you know, a year- and then you get to fuck again? Now, the first time you fuck after all that time, it's gonna feel good. It's gonna feel amazing, in fact, and you're gonna be grateful for the good graces of your partner. When you cum, if you're not careful, you can fool yourself into thinking that this was the ultimate orgasm. But the truth is that it's a good start for what you hope will be a nice, long period where you're fucking all the time. And you know that the truly metaphysical orgasm awaits those who know they gotta get back in the groove. Yeah, things feel good now. But, holy shit, how your pussy's gonna pop with joy, how your cock's gonna explode, when you get it just right.

So, yeah, last night was a damn good time in the land of the somewhat free and the occasionally brave. Between the complete reaming of the Republican Party in Virginia to the giant "Fuck yeah" approval of a Medicaid expansion in Maine to the rainbow of candidates who beat the shit out of white men, it was a great night for Democrats across the board, the first time in long, long damn time when you could say, "Holy shit, we might make it out of this whole thing alive."

2. In fact, between the transgender candidates and black candidates and gay candidates and women candidates and Sikh candidates and Latino/a candidates and immigrant candidates and the candidates who were some combination of several of those things who won, yesterday was a complete rebuke to the politics of hate that Donald Trump and his savage tribe of pasty dudes (and a few pasty dames) have propagated and that the media said we were damned to for the foreseeable future. It was as if real America finally reared its head and declared, "No, motherfuckers, this ain't a country that is just about what a group of backwards ass, Fox-fucked, opioid-wrecked working class white people want. It's about everyone else."

3. And that's the message Democrats better get on board with: Fuck white people. That doesn't mean white people shouldn't run as Democrats. Hell, Ralph Northam and Phil Murphy did just fine (even if Northam was starting to cave to white people fears towards the end of the race). Listen: The only way to help the white working class is to abandon the white working class when it comes to trying to get votes. The future of the Democratic Party is to appeal to the diversity and inclusiveness that so many of us of all races want to be part of. A whole lot of whites will join in that effort because we know that the only way to get a progressive agenda passed is to get into office on a progressive agenda. And people who love Trump just because he hates non-white people are never going to vote for the Democrats at this point. So fuck 'em. And then get the votes to get 'em the health care and jobs programs they need.

4. There are many, many amazing stories from last night that fuck with the media narrative of the direction of the country. But I love Danica Roem, the transgender woman who won a seat in the Virginia General Assembly against Bob Marshall, a transphobic incumbent Republican. Roem is the lead singer of the band Cab Ride Home, who describe themselves thusly: "Northern Virginia metal band Cab Ride Home represents one thing: partying. We're a five-piece group and all members are committed to ultimately touring full-time. Our sound is drunken thrash metal, our songs are about drinking and our shows are about raging." And their songs celebrate drinking, passing out, and vomiting, as in "And back on the bus he barfed on the seat/All had a laugh, 'There's a story to tell.'/But when he woke up, 'Fuckin' go to hell!'"

For those of us of a certain age, the idea of a hard-rocking, cursing, hard-drinking trans woman winning any election is mind-blowing in the best fuckin' way possible.

And, then, to fuck with you even more, Roem was classier in victory than Donald Trump has ever been on any day of his pathetic, useless life. When she was asked about Marshall last night, Roem replied, "I don’t attack my constituents. Bob is my constituent now." Holy fucking hell.

5. But I'm not nearly that gracious. Last night was a giant fart right in Donald Trump's puckered, ruddy face, with some juicy ones left for Steve Bannon. Trump was his usual shitty self, distancing himself from Ed Gillespie's loss in Virginia, despite the fact that less than 24 hours before he had endorsed the GOP candidate. A large number of Americans, larger than expected, looked at the choices and said, "Fuck him." And Trump and his brand of hate politics inspired that rainbow of candidates to run. "Resistance" is no longer just a nice motto, a concept. It's throbbing in full action, and it's blowing a load all over Trump's presidency.

5a. Republicans have a choice now. Stick with Trump or run away. Admittedly, part of me wants them to cling to Trump like the desperate dogs they are, willing to put up with the whippings as long as he feeds them. Because then they will surely be swept away by the destructive wave that just started to build last night. But part of me is shit-scared about the damage they can do if they take that path. It's still a year until the midterms. How much fuckery will be done before then? So maybe it's best they abandon Trump now. Perhaps get rid of him. As he shits blood tonight, Paul Ryan must be making some calculations about impeachment once the tax cut vote is over.

5b. Next, it's up to you, Alabama. Show us that you're ready to come out of the dark ages. (Note: It likely won't.)

6. "Hello, America," many of us said last night. "It's been a while." And then we took America to bed, fucking together for the first time in the year since America broke up with us. We don't know if America will end up taking us back. But it sure seems like America is thinking about it.

11/07/2017

Trump's Blur of Lies: How Many Falsehoods Can One Man Tell in 24 Hours?

In about a day, President Donald Trump, that prickish Oompa-Loompa who pushes the kids into the chocolate, let loose with such a flurry of lies that it formed a kind of thick fog of bullshit. And by "lies," I mean, "Shit that is demonstrably wrong used to deceive people."

In his press conference with President Moon of South Korea, Trump was asked about the idea of "extreme vetting" for people purchasing guns. Trump seemed to think that Texas mass killer Devin Kelley was an army unto himself. Talking about the man who ended up shooting and wounding Kelley, Trump offered, "If he didn’t have a gun, instead of having 26 dead, you would have had hundreds more dead." Where exactly these hundreds of people would have come from at a church that seated 50 in the middle of nowhere is left unsaid, as is how, exactly, 26 slaughtered people, including a dozen kids, is some kind of victory for the Second Amendment.

Then Trump repeated a talking point that the right cannot let go of, no matter how many times it's debunked: "I mean, you look at the city with the strongest gun laws in our nation, is Chicago, and Chicago is a disaster. It's a total disaster." Putting aside the idea of the President of the United States calling a major American city a "disaster," on a basic comparison level, it's complete bullshit. And as I and many, many others have pointed out, Chicago is right near Indiana, which has some of the weakest gun laws in our nation, and it's pretty fuckin' easy to drive the 40 minutes or so from Gary or Valparaiso to Chicago.

But the blur of unreality continued on Trump's tweeted endorsements of chinless and spineless worm Ed Gillespie for Virginia governor. Trump attacked Democrat Ralph Northam and the current Democratic administration, saying, "Ed W Gillespie will totally turn around the high crime and poor economic performance of VA." (Hmmm. Think Trump is getting used to the term "high crimes"?)

A recent ranking of the safest states in the country when it comes to violent crime and property crime put Virginia at number 6. Sure, Richmond is pretty damn murdery, but if you're talking the whole state, Virginia doesn't have "high crime" by any stretch of an idiot's imagination.

As for the economy, the unemployment rate in Virginia is the 10th lowest in the nation. In June, its economy was ranked 13th in the country by Wallethub, which improves on its 2016 ranking of 15th. In other words, not only is the economy in good shape under a Democratic governor and a Democratic lieutenant governor, Ralph Northam. It's getting better.

And then there's the Trump boogeyman of the moment, the gang MS-13, which is fucking up Central American countries. When Ed Gillespie decided to go full racist, he more or less accused Northam of blowing each and every member of MS-13 as he let them out of prison. Really, all Northam did was supports sanctuary cities, which is pretty much the same thing as giving machetes to gang members. Gillespie and Trump are blowing up the threat of the gang to al-Qaeda-like proportions and pinning it on Northam. Oddly, they don't bring up that the gang was there, perhaps even in larger numbers, back when Republican Bob McDonnell was governor. (Note: Post-racist ad, Northam said he would ban sanctuary cities, so good job, racists.)

Every single one of these lies is calculated to have an effect, whether it's to get Gillespie elected or to please the gun-fellating base. Or, in the case of another lie, about the supposedly high taxes Americans pay, it's meant to pleasure GOP donors and keep the rubes angry at the guvmint.

What we are seeing in this whirlwind of prevarication, this blizzard of bullshit, is the degradation of our notions of truth, of fact, where everything is relative to whoever has the loudest megaphone and whoever gets the most clicks. "Well, this scientist says that climate change is going to fuck us all up," some asshole might tell his asshole wife. "But Swingin' Dick McGee here on Facebook tells me that it's all a hoax and we'll all be fine. Slap me in my face with your dick, McGee, because I believe you."

Lies are easy and simple. Truths are complex and difficult. We'll run to the comfort of the simple even as we barricade ourselves in our homes with our multiple guns, believing that the evil gang members are going to kill our daughters and rape our dogs, ignoring the floods that will wash us away.

11/06/2017

Chekhov's Second Amendment: The Horrible Inevitability of the Gun

A well-worn, possibly apocryphal anecdote about the Russian playwright Anton Chekhov has him giving advice on writing and the use of plot devices. "If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired," Chekhov supposedly said. What's often left off is the last part of that line: "Otherwise don't put it there." The idea is that if you're not going to bother using the gun, it's useless to have it.

While I don't think anyone shoots up a church or a school or a concert or a club or a house or a restaurant or an office or a store just because he (and, let's be honest, it's almost always "he") owns a  semi-automatic, possibly modified, possibly with a bump stock, but if you are thinking of ruining the day for a few dozen, possibly a few hundred, people, and you've had all these guns just sitting there, maybe taken out for target practice, well, if you're not gonna use it, then don't put it there, right?

As we grapple with our new house of horrors in a house of worship, this time in a tiny town, Sutherland Springs, Texas, the usual tedious voices on the right are voicing the usual tedious things. "We don’t need politics right now," said Senator Ted Cruz when asked if we should maybe, perhaps, at least, please, just a little, talk about gun laws. And you'll hear that repeatedly. Doyenne of evil spin and a woman with a raging case of the Trumps, Kellyanne Conway. said that it was "disrespectful" to talk about politics now.

Except it's not too soon for everyone. For instance, today the National Rifle Association put out a call for "urgent action" on an Illinois bill that, the NRA screams, is "extreme." What is this "onerous," "egregious," and "excessive" legislation? A move to license gun dealers. That's the thing that's so urgent that the NRA couldn't put aside politics in honor of the dead. If the anti-gun side is supposed to shut up, then so should the pro-gun.

Except the pro-gun side never thinks it's getting political after a massacre, no matter how many children are torn to shreds by guns. The Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, declared that the answer wasn't to do anything to stem the tide of guns themselves. Laws don't work, Paxton said. What will work, he explained, is "arming some of the parishioners or the congregation so that they can respond if something like this, when something like this happens again."

To some, this sounds like great sense - if you have more guns, then there's less of a chance this Devin Kelley monster in body armor could have gotten off all the shots he did from the oversized magazine he was legally able to buy, along with the legally-bought AR-15. And that's frightening, not just because it sounds nonsensical. To some of us, it sounds like surrendering. It sounds like we have decided that the only way to deal with guns is to give up and allow them to infect every part of our society, that instead of making ourselves safe, we make ourselves eternally unsafe, always awaiting the next bullet, always having the gun in the first act that goes off in the next, always prepared with thoughts and prayers instead of action.

Except thoughts and prayers just seem ludicrous when a church is shot up so badly that the pastor doesn't think the actual physical building can ever be repaired. And while the faithful will say that they are being tested, that they find comfort in Jesus, that they know there is a plan, I can't help but wonder if we're not misreading the signs from God. I mean, maybe all the horrific events, the frequent massacres with more than a dozen, two dozen victims, is God telling us that it's time to give up the guns.

What could be a clearer message than God showing us what happens when human-made weapons are used on human bodies? "Oh, shooting high schools wasn't enough? How about shooting little kids? Oh, that's not enough? Then how about shooting up some churches? C'mon, what the hell is wrong with you idiots? Could I be any clearer?" I imagine a frustrated invisible sky wizard yelling at the United States. "Why aren't you politicizing this shit? All that means is 'doing something to solve the problem.' Jesus H. Christ. No, not you, Jesus..."

If it's too early to talk about gun control in the wake of the tragedy in Sutherland Springs, then let's just say we're talking about it post-Las Vegas. Or post-Orlando. Or post-Newtown.  However far back you need to go to feel comfortable -Columbine? Killeen? San Ysidro? - let's say we're talking about it because of that nightmare.

11/03/2017

Goddamnit, Just Knock It Off About 2016 (Updated)

(Updates below)

Let's put this as simply as possible regarding Donna Brazile's "revelations" about the operation of the DNC:

We. Have. More. Important. Shit. To. Do. Than. Constantly. Fighting. About. The. 2016. Democratic. Nominating. Process.

I know some of you immediately wanna say, "I can be angry about more than one thing," as if you're somehow offering a compelling counterargument instead of sounding like a confused child. But you can't do something about everything because there are only so many fucking hours in a fucking day.

I know some of you immediately wanna say, "You don't get to decide what's important." To which I can only answer: Yes. Yes, I do.

I know some of you wanna say, "I guess you don't want to change the Democratic Party," usually followed by a blizzard of words like "rigged" and "fraud" and "stole" and "Grrrr-Hillary" and "Grrr-DWS" (not DSW, which is a discount shoe store), which is really part of a fantasy that Bernie Sanders would have won the election if the eeevil Democratic Party itself hadn't conspired against him. Never mind that Clinton had been working within the Democratic Party for almost her entire adult life (putting aside that youthful Goldwater fling).

I know some of you wanna say that if we don't fight about the future of the DNC now, we'll never win, we'll never get the disaffected Bernie-loving youth back, we'll never get progressive ideas in the platform, we'll never, we'll never, we'll never. And I'll just say, "Fine. Get into the game and change it. But how about waiting until after the fucking midterms, huh? How about getting involved in the local races to make sure the candidate you want wins? How about getting into it on a local level? How about not making everything about the presidency because, as the GOP learned with Trump and the DNC learned with Barack Obama, someone is always gonna come along and fuck your nice plan up?"

If you're already in the trenches, awesome. But the vast majority of people saying this shit aren't. I promise you they aren't.

I know you wanna say this shit because many of you have said this shit to me. And I get it. I totally fucking get it. But the fights that you want to have are the fights you have when you're not facing a fucking existential crisis.

I could toss in a metaphor or two to this argument. "The house is burning down and you want to talk about the color of the drapes" or some such bullshit. At one point, I really thought about doing a whole Game of Thrones thing, since that seems to form the cultural foundation for so many people (seriously, fuck anyone who says, "Bend the knee" and isn't being funny or is actually a character on Game of Thrones). I thought about comparing Trump to the Night King and people who would rather fight the old battles instead of the new ones to Cersei Lannister refusing to join Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen against the frozen zombies, but, then I thought I'd have people throwing all these geeky references at me and citing the books and whatever, and just imagining that gave me a headache.

It's not as fun out here in Left Blogsylvania as it was pre-Twitter. And it's absolutely a waste of fucking time to be arguing this shit when the barbarians aren't at the gate anymore. They are sacking the joint.

By making something out of this genuine nothing, you have given Donald Trump and the GOP and the right-wing media monster enough fuel to last for months. By jumping into the fray on this, by decrying Clinton and DNC, you have allowed the narrative on the corruption of the Trump administration to be watered down. You are giving anyone who was on the fence a reason to cling to Trump.

I have to add to this as I have to add to all things regarding 2016: I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary. I explained my reasons for doing that. And I had absolutely no trouble shifting to Hillary Clinton once the primaries are over. Because this shit isn't about me and my hurt feelings.

Hillary Clinton didn't rig anything. Even Donna Brazile said that today. She didn't hack the vote during the primaries. She didn't deliberately lose caucuses. What she did do was play politics, a filthy and dishonorable game. What she did do was expect the party that she had raised vast amounts of money for (for state and local races and party groups) to back her over the guy who all of a sudden decided he wanted to play and demanded that he be treated equal to the woman who spent her life working for the party.

You don't like the fuckin' rules? Then go to your local party headquarters. Volunteer. Answer phones. Work your way up the local hierarchy. Show you have more interest in the party than just every four years.

I learned this way back when I was in my early 30s and I decided I wanted to run for Congress against an incumbent Republican. The Democratic Party in my district hadn't put up a decent candidate in a couple of elections, and I thought, "Well, fuck it. I'll try" because I hated our asshole representative, a man by the name of Mike Pence. When I walked into the local Democratic HQ, the old white men there stared at me and asked what I had done as a Democrat. Had I worked on a campaign? Well, Bill Clinton. Had I run for anything? No. Essentially, they told me I hadn't earned their support and, sure, I could try on my own to get on the ballot, but they wouldn't help me. Come back when I had more under my belt.

And that's how you were denied a debate between the future Vice-President and the Rude Pundit. I realized that they were right. I didn't have a war chest or name recognition. They had their own agenda. I hadn't proven myself. (I'm not talking here about Bernie Sanders - I'm talking about those who want to change the DNC.)

Giving the right a way to help sow discord in the Democrats is like giving crack to a weasel. You thought it was bad before? You just wait.

As someone who has never attacked "Bernie Bros" or whatever, as someone who was intensely anti-Hillary in 2008, I say to Democrats, all Democrats, knock it the fuck off. Go back to your states and support your candidates. Get through 2018. Unite behind Democrats who are ready to fight Trump and the GOP.

Or the Night King will turn us all into the army of the dead.

Update 1: This Twitter thread does a great job of following the money to see what exactly Clinton's fundraising prowess did for the DNC.

Update 2: Yeah, the memo that Brazile was talking about contained several statements saying that it was meant only for the General Election, not the primaries. So this whole thing is even stupider and more useless and more of distraction than it was. But, hey, hope you guys enjoy the smell of Hannity's taint because he's gonna be slapping us with his balls more than usual over this bullshit. Great work everyone.