8/22/2017

On Vacation, Boss (But Some Thoughts on Trump's Afghanistan Speech)

Yeah, I know, this is shitty timing, what with Trump giving one bullshit but relatively sane speech and about to give another bullshit and totally batshit speech. But I'm out for the week and I'm at the beach and fuck if I'm gonna totally poison this trip with that orange shitpile's nonsense. (Although I may chime in here - and I'm always mouthing off on Twitter.)

There will be a guest post or two, though.

Two quick thoughts about Trump's Afghanistan non-speech.

1. You know, it actually takes effort to constantly be a dick to the Obama and Bush administrations. Every time Trump discusses something he's gonna do, it's because that fuckin' Obama fucked it all up with his black blackness or something. However, check out Obama's speech on the surge from 2009. He says that strategy needs to be changed, but he doesn't call Bush's clusterfuck of errors a "failure." Obama simply said that he's gotta do some shit, and then he laid it all out. Trump just says, "Everyone's fucked Afghanistan but I'm gonna fix it and we're gonna win because winning winning winning and fuck you I have a plan don't tell me I don't have a plan I don't have to tell you what it is because me me me."

2. Even Trump's supposedly "good" speeches are shitty speeches. Let's not pretend otherwise. And let's not pretend that his fuckin' idiot hordes of voters will give a single shit that he has completely reversed himself. As long as he hates blacks, Muslims, and Mexicans, they're fine with whatever.

Back Monday with more beach-tanned rudeness.

8/17/2017

Fuck You, Guy Who Regrets Voting for Trump

In the New York Times, one of Donald Trump's most loyal taint-lickers, Julius Krein, has scribbled a mea culpa titled "I Voted for Trump. And I Sorely Regret It." It's a story of a love gone wrong, about how a man was so enamored of another man that he couldn't see who that man really was or, indeed, who he himself was. Oh, Krein, who started a blog to "intellectual Trumpism" titled, stupidly, the Journal of American Greatness, totally believed Trump: "Mr. Trump’s policy positions were poorly defined, but these days, most candidates’ positions are. And yes, he had little support from the Republican Party leadership. But many of us thought even this might be a positive if it forced him to focus on 'making deals' rather than on Washington’s usual ideological posturing. He was never going to fulfill all of his over-the-top promises, but we believed that his administration might achieve some meaningful successes."

And as for the racism? That was just something to be elided over for Krein: "Many of his supporters, myself included, managed to convince ourselves that his more outrageous comments...were merely Bidenesque gaffes committed during the heat of a campaign." For the record, Joe Biden never called for all Muslims to be banned from coming into the United States and probably wouldn't consider that specific, scripted, racist campaign promise a "gaffe."

But now Krein's eyes are wide, wide open. "It is now clear that we were deluding ourselves" about Trump's racism, Krein writes. And "Far from making the transformative 'deals' he promised voters, his only talent appears to be creating grotesque media frenzies — just as all his critics said."

To which one can only say to Krein:

Fuck you, you pretentious prick. Take a stack of papers with your regret written all over it, roll it up into a thick tube, and go fuck yourself with it.

Congratulations, you bespectacled shitpile. You finally have gotten to the point that the majority of voters in the United States were at on Election Day. Everyone of us was screaming, "Trump's a fraud, he's a liar, he's never done anything in his horrible life other than con people out of their money. Jesus fuckballs, why the fuck are you believing him?" But you, with your fancy-ass Harvard degree and your desire to polish the turd of Trump's chaos until it had the kind of erudite shine that could justify you and your miserable, greedy friends voting for him like it was some kind of big joke, now you realize, "Mr. Trump’s behavior grows only more reprehensible." Motherfucker, did you not read or hear anything about this man's reprehensible life? About all the people he shit all over? About the misery he's caused? About his abject failure as a businessman?

Despite your pedigree, despite your pandering protestations, you were exactly the same as every fucking backwards ass country fuck who just wanted to stick it to the niggers and spics and that bitch, Hillary. If we're fucked, you're one of the main reasons we are fucked because you and your asshole faux-intellectual friends wanted to pretend you gave a shit about more than what every other racist, sexist xenophobe who knuckle-dragged themselves to the polls last November cared about.

You actually wrote these words back in September of last year: "What makes [Trump] popular on immigration is not how extreme his policies are, but the emphasis he puts on the interests of Americans rather than everyone else." He offers, you said, "a portrait of business as a fully human struggle filled with almost romantic jousting competitions." You concluded, "His unapologetic mockery of more conventional forms of political theater makes him in some ways the most serious candidate in the race." Goddamn, I hope you're reading your worthless words and choking on the vomit their utter wrongness brings up.

No, you don't get to absolve yourself. You spend the end of your bullshit column talking about how important your ideological goals are. You describe yourself as one of "those who found some admirable things in the hazy outlines of Mr. Trump’s campaign," as if you can divorce this enormous, nation-damaging error you made from your corrupt core beliefs. Fuck that. You voted for the guy who thinks bullets dipped in pig's blood scare Muslims and that Confederate monuments are awesome. You don't get to have opinions on politics anymore.

And you barely acknowledge that so many other people were right about Trump and that you were desperately wrong. You don't even say, "I'm sorry;" you don't even offer to do things to make it right; and, you cunt flea, you should be volunteering to go down on every single one of us in order to beg for forgiveness. And then we'll see how good you are, how enthusiastic, how skilled, how much we cum, before we decide whether or not you're worthy of anything more than having piss and shit tossed on you every day for the rest of your facile, ignorant life.

You're nine months late. This is your baby, whether you want it or not.

8/15/2017

Seven (or So) Calm Takeaways from Trump's Mad Tantrum in Trump Tower

1. If you are fighting to prevent a statue of Robert E. Lee from being taken down, you are, in fact, a white supremacist. Trump said today of Charlottesville that there were "very fine people...in that group that were there to protest the taking down, of to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name." No, you are not a very fine person. You support the Confederacy and slavery, which is what Robert E. Lee fought for. By definition, you are not "very fine." This is not difficult.

2. Trump said, "It looked like they had some rough, bad people, neo-Nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call ‘em. But you had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest." If you march with neo-Nazis and chant racist things with white nationalists, it doesn't matter how legal your protest is. You are still a Nazi. You are still a white nationalist. And, legal march or not, you should be scorned. Not scorning them is supporting them.

3. Trump said, "Many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. So this week, it’s Robert E. Lee, I noticed that Stonewall Jackson’s coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after. You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?" George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were slaveowners. They also helped create the United States which led to the freeing of the slaves. It's complicated, and, yes, we should have a discussion of their place in our understanding of history. Robert E. Lee was a slaveowner who, as I said above, fought so that a country of seceded states could keep slaves. The same goes for Stonewall Jackson. Lee and Jackson are not equal to Washington and Jefferson just like Donald Trump is not worth a hair on Abraham Lincoln's balls.

3a. Could we clone Lincoln from a hair on his balls? Just thinking out loud here.

4. In the same way, both sides of the Charlottesville conflict were not equal, despite Trump's insistence that they were. Yes, there was violence from the counterprotesters, but nothing like the violence from the "innocently" protesting racists, including, you know, murder. And, not to get redundant here, but one side was Nazis. The other side was against Nazis. To say "there is blame on both sides" is to say that Nazis are the same as not-Nazis. If you cannot say that not-Nazis are objectively better than Nazis, you have nothing useful to add to any conversation.

5. Trump said that Friday night's tiki-torch protest was done "very quietly." Many pictures from the event show white men and a few white women yelling or chanting. It is patently false to say it was quiet. And if they weren't chanting, they were making the Nazi salute, which is louder than just about any noise.

6. If I were John McCain, I'd be looking out for polonium in my tea. When a McCain comment was brought up, Trump gritted his teeth and said, "Senator McCain? Senator McCain. You mean the one that voted against Obamacare? Who is Senator McCain? You mean Senator McCain who voted against us getting good health care?" He sounded stabby. Also, if I were John McCain, I'd think nothing of using my last year or so on earth to destroy the dangerous man who mocked my imprisonment and torture.

6a. If anyone know who these supposed rational Republicans are, now would be a good time for them to reveal themselves. Hopefully, the denouncement are rolling in, or we're in deep, deep trouble.

7. Anyone who can watch that press conference and not think that we are being led by a deranged, out-of-control racist is someone who will never be convinced about Trump's unfitness for office. Which means we should be seeing a New York Times article about those people in the next day or so.

7a. Obviously, everything Trump said yesterday was a lie, but we already realised that.

7b. We knew we were in scary territory with Trump. We are now living the beginning of a dystopian TV series. It's up to us to make sure it's canceled before it gets renewed for another season.

8/14/2017

A Few Comments on Hating the Hateful

"They really, really hate them some 'niggers,'" my pal told me over the phone from Virginia. He lives in a small town, and he's just about had it with the Trump-loving, racist motherfuckers there who pretend to love Jesus when all they love is their hate. We were talking just before one of these doughy, deranged cumbuckets on the Confederate/Nazi right (fuck "alt") plowed his black Dodge Challenger into a crowd of anti-Confederate/Nazi protesters, killing one and injuring many others, in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday.

My pal, bringing out his natural Southern accent for the occasion, told me about neighbors who "love them some Trump," about a woman who said how she doesn't know how she'll afford her medical bills if the ACA goes away but stands by her president, about how nothing really matters except abortion and homophobia. "These people'd live under a bridge," he said, "as long as them babies get born and two men ain't sucking each other's cocks."

And racism, he reminded me. Don't forget the racism, the lifeblood of the Trump-loving Confederacy-humpers.

President Donald Trump, who looks like a stack of traffic cones topped with baboon's ballsack, has been justifiably excoriated for his seeming refusal for two days to condemn the white nationalists responsible for the violence and murder in Charlottesville. His initial statement wasn't just milquetoast both-sides-ism. No, it was an implicit wink to the racist thugs who took it as such. His pissy statement today, where he finally called out "the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups," was presented with all the enthusiasm of a man in a bathroom stall asking for toilet paper.

But his delay empowered these assholes, this savage collection of bearded rednecks in torn rebel flag t-shirts, batshit militia dickheads toting assault weapons, golf-shirted and pampered little boys, and pathetic suit-wearing Nazi wannabes who Hitler would have laughed at as he had them executed for being too fucking dumb to know how to wrap a gas-covered cloth around a stick to make a torch. Most of them would have shit themselves and run for their mothers if they had been actual Nazis or actual Confederate soldiers, facing the American war machine that tore the hell out of both those armies of losers.

The most pathetic thing here is how shocked they pretend to be that their views are attacked, as if no one ever told them that slavery and genocide (not "white genocide," which is so dumb it barely deserves mention) are bad things to support. And maybe that's on all of us.

It's certainly on the media. Every time there was an article or CNN investigation on whether or not Barack Obama was born in the United States, the media made it seem like it was a legitimate story. Led by the nose by right-wing bullshit websites and commentators, the mainstream media gave the spittle-strewn glow of credence to it all, whether it's ACORN or the New Black Panther Party or the thuggish images of black victims of violence, like Trayvon Martin. And that's just recent shit.

Almost all the so-called liberal press places extremism on an equal plain with rational thought, so we'd get semi-sensible conservatives like Ana Navarro and hell hounds of insanity like Jeffrey Lord, both given equal airtime (until Lord finally went full Nazi last week). Van Jones should walk the fuck off the air if CNN makes him debate some reprehensible Breitbart shit-for-brains.

There are some things we need to agree on as a nation to move forward. The problem isn't that people think they're Nazis or neo-Confederates, per se; we're never eliminating stupidity. It's that we think there is something noble about tolerating Nazis; about trying to understand their ideology in an almost sympathetic way, about writing goddamned profiles about the new, sexy white nationalist movement, as if a fucking racist isn't just, in the end, a fucking racist, no matter how many times he wears an ill-fitting sports jacket.

And it is long, long past time to stop tolerating in any sense the idea that the Confederacy is a heritage worth honoring. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Fuck your ancestors who fought to maintain slavery. I don't give a dry rat turd how nobly they fought. They believed that human beings were property and could be beaten, raped, and killed. Fuck 'em. If you think there should be statues to them, then you're the asshole. If I found out my great-grandfather was a child molester, I sure as hell wouldn't want to honor him because he built a nice house. And I'd be appalled if anyone wanted to celebrate his architectural heritage.

Trump himself appealed to the lies of American history in both his sad little statements. In the first, on Saturday, Trump said, "We must love each other, respect each other, and cherish our history." Cherish our history? Motherfucker, our history is a goddamned horror show with occasional outbreaks of humanity, like the defeat of the Confederacy and the Nazis, like the welcoming of immigrants and the civil rights movement.

And then, today, he said, "We are a nation founded on the truth that all of us are created equal." No, motherfucker, again, we were founded on the "truth" that white men are created equal for that's all they considered "men." It's like Trump is the president of the Confederacy, not the United States.

If we can't agree on our goddamned American history, if we can't agree that some ideas don't deserve a hearing beyond the half-human online scrawlings of some cretinous asshole with a frog avatar and a collection of concentration camp photos he jacks off to, then we're fucked. I want people to feel shame for believing these things. I want them driven out of the public square. I want them fired if they express it publicly, especially if they're cops or in positions of authority. You're free to say and believe what you want. And we're free to say your ideas are barbaric enough to tell you to change or get the fuck out of our society. This is about who we are as a nation.

You're allowed to hate Hate. You're allowed to be prejudiced against Prejudice. You're allowed to destroy the monuments to people who tried to destroy the country. You're allowed to say that support of genocide and enslavement isn't a position that deserves being heard in the modern United States. You're allowed to tell these tiki-torch-carrying vermin that they can kiss your American ass with their traitorous lips. We kicked them in the balls before and we'll do it again. Your Robert E. Lee statues are fucking done.

Go the fuck back underground. And take your shitty president with you.

(Note: For a good rundown on how Republican politics led us to this moment, check out Charlie Pierce, who wrote half of what I was gonna write today.)

(For the record, the only great-grandfather I know about was a leading rabbi in Poland and did not, as far as I know, molest anyone or build any houses.)

8/11/2017

Advice to the Young Folk Freaking Out About Possible Nuclear War

Hey, kids, it's your ol' pal Rude Pundit here, puffin' away on his corncob hashpipe and sittin' on his hay bale outside his survivalist bunker in a secret place where he'd have to kill you if you knew where it was. Some of you young 'uns weren't around during the great Cold War of a good chunk of the last century, so you don't know what it's like to wake up every day with a gut-churning feeling that the entire world is gonna be wiped out by huge fireballs and radiation sickness.

No, sir and ma'am, the 1980s wasn't all New Wave, Eddie Murphy, and shoulder pads. Why, back when the Soviet Union was the "evil empire," we all thought we were gonna die any second, but we learned to live with it. So I'm gonna give you some of my wisdom from those bad ol' days to help you weather this new round of shit-yourself apocalypse fear.

Gather 'round. Don't worry. I won't get all handsy.

1. Calm the fuck down. Yeah, yeah, I know that that our dumb-as-a-stump, pussy-grabbin' president keeps huffin' and puffin' about the United States being ready to blow North Korea's shit up, and I know that North Korea is led by an inbred half-wit who claps like a slow little boy when he sees things go "boom," but that doesn't mean either of them is idjit enough to nuke the other. You're still gonna die because of climate change or heart disease, but that'll take a little longer.

2. Most of what you're hearing is public relations bullshit. Trump has a bunch of brain-damaged yahoos who thrill to his fake John Wayne act. Kim Jong Un needs his poor, starving people to think that everyone else wants to kill them and only Kim can protect them. (So, really, they're not so different.) But behind the scenes, there are constant negotiations and dialogues with people actually skilled at this sort of thing trying to figure shit out. This was true during the Soviet/U.S. standoff, and it's true now.

3. Even if fighting breaks out, it'll be conventional, not nuclear. We've got a shit-ton of hardware and soldiers in the Pacific, with bases on Guam, Japan, and elsewhere. North Korea doesn't want to be turned into glowing parking lot (although many people there would probably welcome the sweet kiss of death). So we might get bomb-y, but not nuke-y.

4. Even if North Korea launches a nuke, it'll wipe out just one place, likely Guam, but maybe Los Angeles. During the Cold War, we were facing thousands of nuclear weapons, not just a smattering. So we'll mostly be fine. Mostly. Unless you're in Guam. Or Los Angeles.

5. No, no, calm the fuck down. If North Korea does launch a nuclear attack, the U.S. would surely attack in a way that completely takes out North Korea's leadership, and the one thing Kim loves more than missiles going "boom" is staying in power so he can hang out with Dennis Rodman. Dennis Rodman won't go to a radioactive North Korea (probably). So Kim wants to keep control of his people. You can't do that if the people have been turned to ash.

6. There will continue to be bluster. There will continue to be idiots talking about the "good" of a preemptive attack on a nation that has done very little to piss us off. We had that back in the day, too. Donald Trump will continue to tweet and say stupid, threatening shit that most of the world has learned to ignore.

7. That's because of all the generals Trump's surrounded himself with, who speak with more authority than Trump. In they absolute worst case scenario, they would certainly be a check on his worst impulses. Maybe. Perhaps. So, if all else fails, hey, we can always hope for a military coup. That'll surely settle everything down. Oh. Wait.

Well, kids, that's about it for ol' Rude Pundit trying to give you hope. I'm gonna go into my bunker now and wait this out. We've got enough weed and whiskey to last us a few months. That's my suggestion: get high, get laid, listen to music, ignore shit for a while, turn off the Twitter and the TV, and go outside while you still can. But don't freak out. It's pretty useless.

8/10/2017

We're Just Letting Louisiana Drown (Updated)

A year ago, Louisiana was hit with one of the worst flooding events in U.S. history, even worse than Hurricane Katrina. In some places, more than two feet of rain fell over the course of three days. I was there when the rains hit and saw some of the impassable roads and drowned homes, and I wasn't even in Baton Rouge, where the worst of it hit the most poverty-stricken areas. It caused $10.3 billion in damage, and it displaced tens of thousands of people. Yet, as a new report from Climate Central says, because we were in the midst of the Olympics and the stupid, awful presidential election, the disaster received precious little coverage relative to the magnitude of the devastation.


That is most especially clear in the money that has been spent on recovery. For the August flood and for a March 2016 flood in north Louisiana that resulted in $2.3 billion in damage, the federal government has only provided $1.7 billion in aid. It works out to 12-13 cents for every dollar in damage. Obviously, Washington can't make up for all losses, but after Sandy and Katrina, that number was 65-70 cents per dollar. So, in many, many ways, this has been a forgotten disaster.


The August 2016 floods in Louisiana are a direct result of conditions that exist due to climate change, as two groups of scientists said. One study that included scientists from NOAA said that "greenhouse gas pollution made the extraordinary volume of rain that fell Aug. 12 to Aug. 14 twice as likely, compared with a century earlier." Many of the areas that were flooded are outside of places that are marked as "flood zones" by the state and federal governments. That's how extraordinary these storms were.


This past weekend, New Orleans was hit with a storm that dumped up to 9 inches of rain over the course of a few hours. It's another flood you barely heard about over the burps of Trump's Twitter account. All of a sudden, the water pumps, still being upgraded post-Katrina, that were supposed to handle a half-inch of rain an hour were overwhelmed, and a few stopped running due to power outages. The floods remained through Saturday night and into Sunday morning. It was what the National Weather Service called a "50-100 year event." When the upgrades on the pumps and drainage system are complete in 2020, the system is supposed to be able to handle a once-in-a-decade event.

Louisiana is going to drown. Coastal erosion is so bad due to rising seas that Governor John Bel Edwards has asked President Trump to declare it a national emergency to get more funding for the Army Corps of Engineers to try to slow it down. We know how that will go.

The state is going under, as in literally underwater, like Florida, like coastal areas all around the U.S. And we have likely reached the point, due to neglect, ignorance, and greed, where there isn't a damn thing left we can do about it. One of the great ironies here is that even if you could get pumps and drainage to a point where they got rid of the floods in New Orleans quickly, that would dry out the soil and, as one official put it, "it basically collapses," which makes flooding more likely. The earth is done.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration is not only doing nothing to stem the effects of climate change, it's not even enforcing the laws that target polluters.

Back after Katrina in 2005, residents of the destroyed Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans heard rumors that Donald Trump was going to buy up the land there for cheap to build a casino or hotel. They were ready to protest and block it. But that never happened. And now, it's probably too bad because maybe then the president would give a damn.

Update: Not only were the pumps broken, but now a turbine that provides power to many of the pumps has burned out.  And officials in charge of the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans lied to the public. Those people have been fired or forced to resign. Until we get this right, it's only a matter of time before the next major flood and the next.

8/09/2017

While We're All Freaking Out About North Korea, Trump Also Shit All Over Opioid Addicts (Updated)

So yesterday, President Donald Trump, a human-shaped Home Depot bag stuffed with fertilizer and asbestos, declared that North Korea would face "fire, fury, and...power the likes of which the world has never seen before." And that's fucked up right there. It's sort of like a chimp pissing off a snake. The chimp is gonna win the fight, but it might get the shit bitten out of it.

One thing that's been lost here is that Trump made his typically insane and hyperbolic threat at the end of a statement about the topic he was sitting down to discuss in a side room of the clubhouse of his New Jersey golf resort. That was a meeting with Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price and his political operatives (yes, Jared was there) to get an update on the crisis of opioid addiction and overdose deaths that is fucking up a lot of communities across the nation.

The briefing was either a response to a Fox "news" story (no, really) or to the report that was put out by the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, led by New Jersey Governor and man most likely to punch someone while holding nachos Chris Christie. Trump had called for the commission to come up with a battle plan to fight the widespread, you know, crisis, as it says in the name there. He even received praise from families of overdose victims for seeming to actually give a shit about it.

Christie's commission's interim report to Trump very specifically and, let's be fair here, strongly talked about the extent of the problem and recommended forceful action: "The first and most urgent recommendation of this Commission is direct and completely within your control. Declare a national emergency under either the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act. With approximately 142 Americans dying every day, America is enduring a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks."

Then the report states quite clearly the effect of such an action: "Your declaration would empower your cabinet to take bold steps and would force Congress to focus on funding and empowering the Executive Branch even further to deal with this loss of life. It would also awaken every American to this simple fact: if this scourge has not found you or your family yet, without bold action by everyone, it soon will."

And it puts this squarely on Trump's shoulders, even appealing to his fragile ego: "You, Mr. President, are the only person who can bring this type of intensity to the emergency and we believe you have the will to do so and to do so immediately." Christie was confident that Trump would accept the recommendations of the commission because

How did Trump respond? Did he rise to the moment and declare a national health emergency, allowing addicts to get treatment more easily under Medicaid? Did he declare he would no longer pursue cuts in funding for addiction treatment? Of course, he didn't. As usual, he did the most dickish thing he could. He blamed the addicts: "The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place. If they don’t start, they won't have a problem. If they do start, it's awfully tough to get off. So we can keep them from going on, and maybe by talking to youth and telling them, 'No good; really bad for you' in every way. But if they don’t start, it will never be a problem."

You got that? Just say, "No," kids. If you get fentanyl to help with your pain from surgery to fix a work-related injury, you need to tell yourself, "No good; really bad for you" as if you didn't know that in the first fucking place. And notice that Trump didn't say a fucking thing about the addicts themselves. Oh, he talked about increasing sentences for drug offenders and once again about his goddamn border enforcement. But he didn't say, and Price later confirmed, that he would declare an emergency. Because health emergencies aren't sexy and don't get good ratings.

By the way, the commission's report didn't mention the border wall at all. So apparently, the members didn't see that as a solution to the problem.

Meanwhile, abuse and deaths are affecting every corner of the country. A record number of overdoses are occurring, with rising numbers nearly everywhere, from Virginia to Oregon. In Indiana, schools have started carrying anti-overdose drugs. And New Hampshire, which Trump called a "drug-infested den," is joining a lawsuit with other states and localities against the maker of OxyContin. The Trump administration has, more or less, punted the whole problem to the states and is pretending that it's doing something when, really, it's failing on this as it's failed on so many other things.

Yeah, Trump's bullshit bluster against North Korea is frightening. But in the same remarks, he shit all over Christie, the commission, and the millions of Americans affected by the opioid crisis. And that's gonna hurt more people than any bullshit dick-measuring between two bloated megalomaniacs.

Update: So Trump did finally declare a national emergency. We shall see if he actually does anything besides say those words.

8/07/2017

Your Stupid Fight About Who's a Better Democrat Is Stupid

If my house is ever on fire, I won't give a shit who comes to put it out. I won't ask them who they voted for, I won't ask them where they're from, I won't ask a goddamned thing except that they put the fire out. In fact, while my house is burning, I don't even care if lack of fire safety on the part of the fire department is what caused the fire. I just want the fire out. I wanna make sure everyone in the other apartments get out okay. I want the animals to be safe. I don't want the fire to jump to other buildings on this block. And I wanna try to save some of my shit. I won't stop each firefighter and say, "Whoa, whoa, did you fill up the fire truck with BP gas today? No, you don't get to break down the door and rescue that baby."

And when the fucking fire is out, hopefully there's enough there to rebuild. That's when I'm gonna wanna know: what the hell went wrong? Did the building inspectors fuck up? Can we come up with better ways to fight fires? And do we need to recruit a better group of fire fighters? That's when we should make it better.

The feeling I get when I see the Twitter wars and meme battles on Facebook and Instagram and comment threads of the damned in too many other places is that Democrats across the board just need to shut the fuck up already and fight the fire. For the world is burning before our eyes. One by one, the very things that made the nation a relatively stable liberal democracy (I said, "relatively") are being burned like fields of diseased corn. Donald Trump and Republican majorities in the Congress and in state legislatures around the country are successfully reconfiguring the way the nation functions, right down to the right to vote. If someone is going to put themselves out there to successfully challenge the arsonists, then I'm gonna support them, whether they're a corporate teat-sucker who wants to get back to the pre-Trump status quo or a socialist maniac ready to reconfigure the social contract to make it tilt to the poor and disempowered.

It's not that I'm not taking a side there. It's that I don't think we have the luxury of being able to take sides in that fight right now. People are hurting and are going to be hurt more and more, and a family that is being torn apart by Trump's immigration policies doesn't much care if Kamala Harris is too cozy with Wall Street. Bernie Bros vs. HillBots is a bourgeois luxury that is meaningless to someone who gets cancer because of Trump's environmental deregulation.

As far as the 2016 election goes, I've been pretty clear: We don't know how Bernie Sanders, who I supported in the primaries, would have done against Trump because he never had the full force of the Republican machine focused on him. And Hillary Clinton should have done many things differently, like gone after Trump's business record and created more ads about issues. But, in the general election, the media was complicit in making Clinton seem like she was dirty. Mostly, though, too many of us underestimated how easily racism and hatred and ignorance could be exploited across the country. The "lesson" of the 2016 election is to own the goddamn narrative. The tricky part is how to do that.

And even though whenever I say that I think the fight among Democrats is bullshit, it's automatically assumed that I'm just shitting on the socialist/Bernie side of the Democratic Party. But I'm not. I'm actually way more aligned with the socialists in my beliefs than I am with the more mainstream Democrats. I want the most progressive elements of the party to take over and win elections. Yet I'm not on their side in this internecine conflict. I'm just on the side of whatever the fuck gets us out of this Trump clusterfuck of disastrous policies, destruction of the mechanisms of government, and degradation of the presidency. I don't care if it's the Russia investigation, the emoluments clause, the 25th Amendment, the "Deep State," or the 2018 midterms.

When Barack Obama was running, I was all-in on supporting him, fully aware that he was a moderate-liberal who had ties to Wall Street. But the nation couldn't take another Republican presidency, so I gladly let the Obama campaign go balls deep in my face and I swallowed happily. However, after the election, I thought that the time to push the party further left had arrived, and, if you take the time to read (I've been doing this shit for nearly 14 years), I was mightily critical of Obama and his hawkishness and approach to the health care debate and of the Democrats in Congress who needed to be challenged from the left. And I've been critical of corporate funding of candidates for years before Citizens United.

Right now, I'm mostly giving a shit about 2018. I'm not thinking about 2020; that's what primary fights are for and let's save that until after 2018. I'm giving a shit about governors' races and state races. I'm giving a shit about the House of Representatives. I want people to run who are going to stop the hemorrhaging. And, yeah, there are a few fucking non-negotiable things they need to support, like the right to choose on abortion, support for the ACA (with single payer down the road), climate change, and sane, compassionate immigration reform. I wanna get kickass candidates like Randy Bryce in Wisconsin and Amy McGrath in Kentucky.

And if you wanna wallow around, whining that the DNC was mean to your candidate or that leftist dudes are douches, well, it's your time to waste. Meanwhile, Republicans are closing in on being able to call a constitutional convention and let ALEC rewrite the thing.

In 2010, a whole fuckload of people who voted in 2008 didn't show up. If you don't show up in 2018, then whatever you believe is as worthless as the monetary value of your angry tweets.

Let's save the country first. We're in a political crisis that is about a year or so from becoming a civil rights crisis and, possibly, a violent crisis, if Trump is indicted. And if he's not, then we're gonna be in an economic crisis or just fucked by the climate relatively soon. Saving the country might mean you gotta suck it up, sunshine, and vote for a "corporatist" or a Democratic Socialist. Whatever your purity is, save it. I'm not playing this dumbass game right now. I've got fires to extinguish.

Once we do get the reins of at least some of the government back, we can have our pissing match.

(Note 1: If your response of "We'll never save the country if we don't totally agree with my side," hey, good luck. And you might wanna respond "Aren't you just telling everyone to agree with you?" Well, I don't think anyone disagrees with "Put out the raging fire in any way you can.")

(Note 2: Your variations on the burning house metaphor are adorable. Pat yourself on the back if you're thinking, "Well, the fire was started by Bernie voters" or "The DNC is the arsonist, man." And keep it the fuck to yourself.)

8/03/2017

How Racist Can the White House Get? (Answer: Very)

The last couple of days have been banner ones for racists of just about every stripe, from backwoods yahoo country fucks to ostensibly educated white nationalist shit crumbs, from pandering politicians to true believers. Let's just run it down:

1. The Department of Justice is exploring whether the federal government should be "suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants." It's as if they believe that diversity on college campuses is a bad thing, probably because it makes people more sympathetic to people of other races. And how can you have a race war if that happens?

2. President Donald Trump announced his support for the RAISE Act, which is an anodyne acronym masking a shitty policy. It looks to cut in half the number of legal immigrants coming into the country, and it emphasizes skilled workers who can speak English. Oh, and only spouses and children can come over with immigrants.

When nutzoid hate-filled jizz goblin Stephen Miller, a senior policy advisor and winner of "Man Who Most Looks Like a Star Trek Alien" was asked about the racist implications of the proposal, he went into an outrage froth that coated the gathered reporters in a glistening film of saliva. It reached a spittle-flecked climax when Miller attacked CNN's Jim Acosta for daring to suggest that one purpose of the bill might be to bring in more white people, saying that "it reveals your cosmopolitan bias to a shocking degree." Fuck's sake, "cosmopolitan" means you give a shit about the world. The opposite of "cosmopolitan" is, more or less, "xenophobic." Or it's just an anti-Semitic dog whistle (which is extra weird since Miller is Jewish). Either way, between that and a bizarro attack on the meaning of the Statue of Liberty, it was a fucking train wreck of an appearance.

3. The Washington Post printed transcripts of Trump's late January phone calls with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. While they are masterpieces of fuckery, dickishness, and doltishness, it's also worth pointing out how fucking openly racist Trump is willing to go when talking about refugees.

When Turnbull presses Trump on honoring a deal on at least vetting refugees to possibly take them into the United States, Trump goes twitchy with paranoia. He knocks Cubans: "You remember the Mariel boat lift, where Castro let everyone out of prison and Jimmy Carter accepted them with open arms. These were brutal people." Yeah, see only 2% of the 125,000 Cubans who came here in 1980 were deemed criminals who needed to be deported. The rest fucking made Miami what it is today. (Oddly, Miller brought up the Mariel boat lift in his remarks yesterday. These Trumpers are consistent in their assholery.)

Then, after Turnbull insists that the U.S. live up to its obligations, something Trump is well-known not to give a flying rat fuck about, the president says of the refugees who have been living in horrific conditions on islands off Australia, "I hate taking these people. I guarantee you they are bad. That is why they are in prison right now. They are not going to be wonderful people who go on to work for the local milk people...maybe you should let them out of prison." Who knows where all these milk jobs are, but Trump equates "refugee camp" with "prison," which would probably shock a lot of the little children who are there.

This shit is so blatant it'd make a robed KKK member say, "Whoa, a little obvious there, fella."

Look, we know Trump is racist. We knew it for years, from the Central Park Five to birtherism to the Muslim travel ban. It has been one of his most consistent traits. And we know that Trump has surrounded himself with racists, with people who are directly connected to white nationalist groups. And we know that Trump's supporters are racist (yeah, you are, fuck off).

And now we're seeing the policy implications of that. Trump used to ask various non-white groups, "What the hell do you have to lose?" in electing him. It's pretty clear that the answer is "a future."

8/02/2017

Another Day, Another Trump Interview Full of Sadness, Desperation, Evil, and Hyperbole

It's from last week, but Politico has published the full transcript of President Donald Trump's interview with the Wall Street Journal (motto: "We really want Trump to give us a reacharound"). You might know it as "That time the president talked smack about his attorney general." But, as usual, it's filled with a Willy-Loman-esque mixture of the pathetic, the mad, and the hyperbolic.

For instance, told that the response to his Boy Scouts Jamboree "speech" (if by "speech," you mean, "An uninspiring ramble through tales of liquor and sex and political horseshit") was "mixed," Trump short-circuited: "I’d be the first to admit mixed. I’m a guy that will tell you mixed. There was no mix there. That was a standing ovation from the time I walked out to the time I left, and for five minutes after I had already gone. There was no mix." At that point, if you're from the Journal, you might be tempted to tell him to shut the fuck up and stop repeating the word "mix."

But with Trump, if you're gonna describe something, you tell everyone it's the best, the top, or, in this case, "I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful." Motherfucker, in 1969, Neil Armstrong sent a message from fuckin' space. In 1973, fuckin' Bob Hope and Danny Thomas spoke at the Jamboree. In 1989, Steven fuckin' Spielberg talked to the scouts. And you can bet he didn't bring up his rich friends who lost money or his election win. Oh, and Trump never got the call from the Boy Scouts. So either he's lying or some staff member called him up and pretended to be from the BSA to soothe Trump's fragile ego bone.

Speaking of, it is as true as mathematical rule that, if he's talking for more than 2 minutes, Trump will brag about his election victory. Asked about whether or not it will be tough to work with Democrats in Congress on things like infrastructure, Trump said (and this is quoted extensively because it's goddamned madness), "Well, they tried – they tried it with me. She spent hundreds of millions of dollars on negative ads. She didn’t do a positive ad, virtually. And she lost easily, you know, 306 to 223 I think, right – 223, something like that. That’s a lot. And she – they tried it. I mean, honestly, they – the ads were coming at me. Hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of negative ads. And when people went into the voter booth, they didn’t know what she stood for." "She" is Hillary Clinton. And, no, Trump never answered the question because he's too fucking dumb to understand it.

Look at his child-like wonder at the population of other countries: "You know, a lot of people say – they say, well, but the United States is large. And then you call places like Malaysia, Indonesia, and you say, you know, how many people do you have? And it’s pretty amazing how many people they have." I mean, seriously, it's like having Lennie from Of Mice and Men as president. Soon, he'll be crushing bunny heads and saying how "We'll live off the fat of the land!"

But then there's the truly fucked-up stuff, like Trump's solution to unemployment in a region: "I’m going to start explaining to people when you have an area that just isn’t working – like upper New York state, where people are getting very badly hurt – and then you’ll have another area 500 miles away where you can’t – you can’t get people." He is not, as you can see, proposing that these unemployed, broke Americans get any help with moving 500 miles away.

So, to help, he is telling people to just not pay their mortgages anymore. No, really: "You know, a lot of them don’t leave because of their house. Because they say, gee, my house, I thought it was worth 70,000 (dollars) and now it’s worth nothing. It’s OK. Go, cut your losses, right?" He's telling people that they can just walk away from their houses, likely underwater at this point, and they'll be okay. Except, of course, their credit will be destroyed, they won't have a place to live, and the job is probably gonna pay shit wages because 500 miles away is non-union territory. Fuck, does he expect Russian mobsters and oligarchs to bail out everyone like they saved his worthless ass?

(And, by the way, why isn't this remark getting more attention? Banks would be fucked again if thousands more people defaulted on their mortgages. It's dangerously reckless talk.)

In the course of the rest of the interview, Trump shits on Jeff Sessions, who, to be fair, probably normally pays people to do that, says the demonstrably wrong "I make good deals. I don’t make bad deals. I make good deals," claims he has nothing to do with Russia, and really, really wants Hillary Clinton investigated: "[W]e should really look at real crimes, because real crimes are what Hillary did with 33,000 emails, where she deleted them and bleached them after getting a subpoena. Real crimes are what’s happening and what happened with the uranium deal."

It probably doesn't even need to be mentioned that Trump quotes Fox "news" as his source of information multiple times throughout the interview.

The only thing saving us right now is that he's just a dumb lump of shit, incapable of seeing past his own shitty self, surrounded by other lumps of shit who, fortunately, are mostly concerned with trying to get themselves gilded in gold.

P.S. And the fucker cheats at golf and called the White House "a real dump."