5/21/2019

Unless You Start Arresting People, Impeachment Is the Only Play Left for Congress

Every single goddamned day that we're cursed to live through in this stupid, dangerous era, the President of the United States, who really is Donald Trump, does or says something or has something revealed that he deserves to be impeached over. Whether it's seriously threatening to commit genocide in Iran, demanding that his political opponents be investigated and jailed, pardoning war criminals, or the fuckery with Deutsche Bank, as well as his ongoing refusal to comply with any congressional investigations, Trump, who looks like a sack of rats that got blasted with an exploding orange dye pack, commits more high crimes and misdemeanors with each passing moment.

But Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has not just dismissed talk of impeachment proceedings in her chamber, she is actively trying to squelch it in her caucus. She said not impeaching is doing the work Americans want: "This is not about politics; it's about what's best for the American people" and "This isn’t about politics at all. It’s about patriotism. It’s about the strength we need to have to see things through." That's right. It's patriotic to leave a madman in power without challenging him in the strongest possible way.

Look, Pelosi has accomplished a shit-ton for progressive goals. But we can separate out good from bad, we can criticize, goddamnit, and I gotta say: I don't get her game on this. Pelosi and some other Democrats said that an impeachment inquiry would distract from the economic and legislative agenda of the party. Except there is no agenda that can be accomplished while Trump hangs over everything. And if Pelosi is hoping to kick the can down the road and hope that Trump won't win reelection, well, Hillary Clinton has a bunch of dusty inauguration swag she can sell you.

Hakeem Jeffries, the New York representative who is the head of the Democratic Caucus, said, "We did not run on impeachment, we did not run on collusion ... so logic suggests that we should carry forward with the agenda that we communicated to the American people." Except that, once again, it's a fundamental misread of the electorate. Democrats may not have run on impeachment, but they absolutely ran on being a check on Trump.

And many of them ran specifically on going after Trump's criminality. To most people not versed in the nuances of congressional power, the 2018 campaign read as "impeach the motherfucker" and they voted with that in mind. If Democrats fail to follow through, it's gonna piss off some voters. It's like saying to your kids that you're going on vacation to the most wonderful place on earth where they'll get to see a mouse. They're gonna fuckin' think it's Disney World, for good goddamn reason. If it turns out to be Mee-Maw's old rodent-ridden house in Dubuque, shit's gonna get messy on the drive.

You can say that we don't know what Pelosi and the House leadership are up to. You can say that we mortals are too puny to understand the zillion-dimensional chess that's being played. Except almost every time someone says that, it turns out that the shit that's going in is exactly the shit we see.  There is no greater purpose to understand. There is no other dimension and we're just playing a frantic game of motherfuckin' checkers.

Right now, impeachment is the only play left for Congress, unless the House Democrats are willing to arrest people like Don McGahn and even William Barr for failing to show up for subpoenaed testimony or Steve Mnuchin for not turning over Trump's taxes. Even then, Trump would let everyone go to jail to protect his lying, voluminous ass. Besides, what happens after they do testify? Oh, right. Fucking impeachment.

By not impeaching, by allowing the president to order his lackeys and even ex-lackeys to defy subpoenas, Pelosi is letting Trump get away with a level of audacious corruption that would make Boss Tweed blush. Embedded in Pelosi's refusal to go down impeachment road is a belief in the better angels of democracy. Those angels never existed. And if they did, Trump would have pulled their wings off and grabbed 'em by their pussies, daring anyone to stop him.

His actions demand action. Trump brought this on. He is not the victim in this story, no matter how much he whines that he is. He is the villain. Treat him like one.

(Note: I've talked before about why your objection that the Senate will refuse to remove Trump from office is bullshit. So I'm not going into that here, except to say that impeachment is an end in itself.)

5/16/2019

Anti-Choice Laws Are the Establishment of Religion

The Alabama state constitution makes it pretty fuckin' plain: "We declare...That no religion shall be established by law; that no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect, society, denomination, or mode of worship...and that the civil rights, privileges, and capacities of any citizen shall not be in any manner affected by his religious principles."

Now, of course, you can look at the sexist language there ("his religious principles") and think, "Yeah, of course, they decided that doesn't apply to women." But, really, it's just crystal-fuckin' clear. You can't make policy by religion. Any religion. And you can't deny someone civil rights just because they don't believe in the same invisible sky wizard that you believe in.

Despite its constitution, though, Alabama has passed the most restrictive abortion ban in the country, one that hasn't gone into effect yet and one that is supposed to take a coat hanger to Roe v. Wade and late-term abort it. And, in doing so, the legislators wanted to show just how batshit in love they are with Jeebus and that they can out-nutsy Georgia or Ohio or any pussy-ass state that wants to allow women even an ounce of agency and dignity. "You're havin' that fuckin' rape baby," Alabama said, "or we're lockin' your abortion doctor up for longer than your rapist. That's what God told us to do."

Look, there is no way to separate the anti-choice movement from the evangelical Christian movement. Check out the website of the influential Choose Life Alabama (motto: "Fuck me, Jesus, fuck me with your rod and staff"). There's not a single goddamn word about medical reasons to end abortions. It's all about God and creation and such shit.

Hell, the bill was written by A. Eric Johnston, the head of the Alabama Pro-Life Coalition. He's a fuckin' estate-planning attorney who does some mediation related to business shit. Where's his fucking medical degree that allows him to say that abortion should be banned after two weeks? As he said when it was first introduced, "Our bill is two weeks. When you can prove the woman is pregnant. A man and woman can have sex and you can take her straight into a clinic and determine an egg and sperm came together.” That last sentence is absolute bullshit. Family-planning clinics warn about false negatives when women are tested earlier than at least ten days after sex.

Johnston runs something called the Southeast Law Institute, which has weighed in on or represented clients in a slew of cases that are about fluffing the dicks of evangelical Christians. And that's exactly what this fucking law is about. It's about forcing an entire state and as much of the country as possible to live under the dicta of religious extremists. For extra larfs, Johnston actually helped write an anti-Shariah law amendment to the Alabama constitution. That's right. It's wrong if it's foreign religious law, but it's a-o-fuckin'-kay if it's Jesus running the joint.

When Governor and sex traitor Kay Ivey, wearing the colors of the title character in The Handmaid's Tale, signed the anti-choice bill into law, she issued a statement that put her reasoning into strictly religious terms: "To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God." Apparently, unless you believe in God (and, specifically, a crazed Christian flavor of God), you aren't really an Alabamian.

They're not even trying to hide that this shit is all about religion.  Over at the Jesus-fellating conservative Resurgent, James Silberman calls all fetuses "image bearers of God" and says that all Christians should rally for a total ban on abortion. Lying heap of rotting pumpkins, President Donald Trump, preened and pranced for evangelicals, swearing that he'd lead them to the promised land where only people like him could get abortions for their mistresses. "All children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God," he told one gathering, and the closest he gets to the Lord is when he squeals, "Oh, God" as he jacks off to Ivanka's teen photos.

I'm down south right now in Louisiana, where this state's abortion fuckery is heading into its final stretch. One of those odious "heartbeat" bills, which bans abortions after just six weeks, has passed the Senate and is about to be passed in the House. And the twist here is that Democrats are sponsoring and voting for it. Yeah, Sen. John Milkovich, a Democrat from Shreveport, sponsored the bill, saying, "We believe children are a gift from God." Except they're not. They're a by-product of fucking. The Democratic governor, John Bel Edwards, has said he'll sign whatever lands on his desk because that's how the fuck Louisiana rolls.

These radical Christian extremists are using their faith to enslave women, to make them mere vessels for babies that the Christians won't give a dry rat shit about once they're born. It is another of the many ways that conservatives are lashing out against the diminishing power of the straight white man. If they can get it so that women are hindered at every turn by pregnancies they are forced to carry to term, well, they just think that's the Lord's work.

And the scariest fucking part is that we no longer know for sure that the Supreme Court will uphold Roe v. Wade. Sure, some right-wing crazoids think Alabama and Georgia went too far, that it's too radical, that now they'll blow their chance on achieving their decades-old dream of enforced pregnancy. But who really fucking knows at this point, especially with savage dogs like Alito and Thomas on the court.

This shit is gut-wrenching. It's dehumanizing for women and degrading for the nation as a whole. Which is exactly what these putrid Christian fucks want.

5/14/2019

Elizabeth Warren Tells Fox "News" to Go Fuck Itself with Roger Ailes's Femur

Fuck yeah, Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is running for president, just went to war with Fox "news." In a series of tweets, Warren told Fox to get the fuck away from her with this town hall bullshit. Apparently, Fox invited her to appear on their network of the damned and Sean Hannity, and she declined, explaining, "Fox News is a hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists—it’s designed to turn us against each other, risking life and death consequences, to provide cover for the corruption that’s rotting our government and hollowing out our middle class."

Warren didn't stop there. Ever the professor, she tied Fox's white nationalist propaganda directly to the wallets of its owners and shareholders. "It’s all about dragging in ad money—big ad money," she says, and that a Democrat appearing on a town hall on the network gives cover to the sales team trying to tell skittish advertisers that Fox really, really is fair and balanced, despite the fact that it's so extravagantly biased that Goebbels would watch it and say, "Jesus fuck, tone it down a bit."

Then Warren brings it back to voters: "I won’t ask millions of Democratic primary voters to tune into an outlet that profits from racism and hate in order to see our candidates—especially when Fox will make even more money adding our valuable audience to their ratings numbers." She doesn't shit all over the Democrats who have already appeared at a Fox town hall - Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar - but she sure as hell draws a big damn line in the sand.

"Fox News is welcome to come to my events just like any other outlet," Warren concludes. "But a Fox News town hall adds money to the hate-for-profit machine. To which I say: hard pass."

And I am so hard right now that I could jackhammer a hole in my wall.

It's about goddamn time one of the Democratic candidates stopped with this whole bullshit idea that they have to "reach" Fox "news" viewers. It turns Fox into the de facto spokesdicks for the mythical "White Working Class," a group that is so much more than Fox-infected assholes (and is also far, far bigger once you remove "white" from the name). And Warren's rejection of Fox turns a spotlight on the "news" network's efforts at stupiding their viewers with a nonstop fecal flow of fear and fuckery. Maybe Kirsten Gillibrand and Pete Buttigieg will back out of their scheduled appearances.

Essentially, Warren just declared war on Fox "news." She went far, far further than just declining the town hall. She went for the throat, naming evil where she sees evil. Warren dug up the rotted whale carcass of Roger Ailes, ripped out his femur, and started fucking Tucker Carlson's ass with it.

Look for Fox to react furiously, as Fox will do, likely calling her everything from "Pocahontas" to "Emma Goldman" (actually, Emma Goldman doesn't have a Disney cartoon, so Fox viewers wouldn't understand it). They'll make her seem like Stalin has been reincarnated and that Warren and AOC are gonna be forcing you to eat organic dirt to stay alive while Rashida Tlaib ululates in your ears.

But Warren wouldn't have started this if she didn't know what she was getting into.  She could have politely declined and moved on. This is a war she wants. This shows she knows that you have to kill the troll if you want everyone to be able to cross the bridge.

5/08/2019

Practical Impeachment Politics: Your Objections Are Bullshit

Too many Democrats are tying themselves in knots in order to avoid committing to impeachment hearings for President Donald Trump, a man who, in his best days, betrays the public trust ten times before finishing his first Sausage McMuffin of the morning. But the arguments Democrats make are utter bullshit, and they're belied by history, circumstance, and the Democrats' own actions.

For example:

"Why bother impeaching Trump when we know the Senate won't vote to convict?" is something you hear over and over and over. Yet, a few days ago, the Democratically-controlled House of Representatives, where impeachment hearings and votes would occur, passed a bill that forces the United States to stay in the Paris accord on climate change. In the past couple of months, the House has passed an election reform bill, a gun control bill, a gender pay gap bill, a bill rejecting Trump's emergency declaration on the border, a net neutrality bill, and a bill that funds converting unicorn farts into renewable energy. Well, not that last one, but they may as well have.

You know what all the real bills have in common? There's not a flea fuck in Hell's chance that the Republican-controlled Senate will pass them. The bills are, for all practical purposes, being voted on for show - show what we believe, show what they oppose. But Nancy Pelosi has no problem lining up bill after bill, just begging the Senate to shoot them down so that Democrats can campaign on how Republicans want us all to die, take away our rights, and force us to have babies. Almost no one talks about how this is a waste of time because it really isn't. Rallying the faithful is as good a cause as any.

The catalyzing effect would be even stronger when it comes to impeachment. You might hear that a majority of Americans don't think impeachment hearings are warranted. A recent Marist poll showed that 53% of those surveyed oppose them. Except when you dig into the poll, a much more interesting picture appears. Sure, 91% of Republicans oppose impeachment, with 70% of Democrats supporting it. But more fascinating, independent women support impeachment 54% to 37%. And, further down, a majority of just about every group other than Republicans as a whole support either impeachment or more investigations. Finally, 70% of Democrats say they would definitely vote for a candidate who supports impeachment, with, intriguingly, Independents split on whether or not they would.

And, honestly, I don't think most people understand that there are hearings before impeachment. A whole lot of Americans are primed and ready for those. They would naturally reveal more about Trump's obstruction efforts and function as congressional investigations. What those investigations end up proving about Trump's criminality and unfitness for office might significantly move the needle on impeachment support. As PBS Newshour points out, "When the Watergate scandal broke in 1973, only 35 percent to 40 percent of Americans wanted to move forward with impeachment proceedings against President Richard Nixon. One year later, more than 70 percent thought Congress should begin impeachment proceedings against Nixon."

On top of that, with 70% of Democrats already on board the impeachment train, failure to move it forward might have the effect of depressing the vote. That's what I think is behind these reports that Republicans really, really want impeachment to go forward. Those motherfuckers are double-dog daring Democrats, seeing a way to split the party on the issue. Man, fuck them and what they think. You're gonna let the arsonists tell you what fire alarms to buy? If Democrats followed Elizabeth Warren's lead and just outright embraced impeachment because it's, you know, their fucking duty, it would electrify Democratic voters and get them engaged and ready and anxious to punch Republicans right in the dick in 2020.

We also hear that impeachment is so serious because it might mean a lawfully-elected president is removed from office, undoing the will of the (not majority of the) people. But those people also elected a Congress, and those members of Congress have impeachment as one of their duties. It would be just as wrong to say that they shouldn't do one of the things they were entrusted with if necessary.

Elections have consequences. We fucking know that. It's time that Donald Trump learns that lesson, too.

5/06/2019

Democrats Should Be Unrelenting on Trump's Taxes

Look, I get why 75% of Americans, according one poll, haven't read any of the Mueller report. Yeah, part of it is that we're now so fucking stupid and so easily distracted that the very idea of sitting down and facing 400 pages of redacted shit with Russian names and banks and more sounds not just intimidating, but, fate of the nation aside, so goddamn dull. The Starr report on Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky had dicks and pussies and cigars in pussies and dicks in mouths. Of course, people wanted to read that. We're animals, after all.

People like things simple and readily graspable. They don't want your nuance. They don't want your multi-level conspiracies that are like jigsaw puzzles where the last piece is lost under the couch and you just can't reach it.  They like it cut and dried, man, easily digestible and easily spit out.

Donald fuckin' Trump knew that all the way back in 2011 when he started his batshit crusade against Barack Obama for the crime of being black while president. We all know the birther nonsense, where idiots demanded that Obama produce a birth certificate to prove he was born in Hawaii (and when he did produce one, it wasn't the right one for them). Trump also hopped on the college records bandwagon, too, saying that Obama's university applications and such were big secrets. You can trace the layers and layers of hypocrisy through Trump's Twitter feed, like a mille-feuille of shit.

Like in July 2012, when the dumb orange motherfucker tweeted, "For the sake of transparency, @BarackObama should release all his college applications and transcripts--both from Occidental and Columbia." Or in August of that year, when he implored that Mitt Romney "shouldn't give additional tax returns until @BarackObama gives his passport records, college records & applications."

For the vast majority of us, it was a ludicrous beclowning of the electoral process. But for those who were starting to pay attention to this pathetic reality TV host as a viable candidate and thought, "I like how he sticks it to the Negro," it was fuckin' catnip. And, goddamn, it's so easy to rally behind: Yeah, why won't that Obama prove to us where he came from? (Being racists, they never realized how horribly racist it was.)

Trump even went so far as to say that Obama wouldn't be hiding his records if nothing bad was in them: "Why would @BarackObama be spending millions of dollars to hide his records if there was nothing to hide?" he asked in 2012. He also tweeted on 9/11, our holiest of holy days, "Why won't Obama release his college applications? Is there something 'foreign' about them?"

Obviously, for Donald Trump, refusing to release private information to the public, or, you know, to him, is akin to being guilty. It's right there. The dumb orange motherfucker himself said as much.

So, while they should have been doing this since 2016, Democrats now have a talking point against Trump that is the perfect combination of simple and deadly. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, a man who definitely has had a gerbil or two inserted in his rectum, declined to turn over Trump's federal income tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee, as required by law. This is on top of Trump suing to stop Deutsche Bank from cooperating with congressional investigators, likely because that would involve having his taxes revealed.

The reason that the birther shit had an effect (no, it didn't stop Obama, but it helped Trump's rise), the reason that the Hillary email shit had an effect, the reason why so many aggravatingly simple things have an effect is because they force you to make a decision. Either you want to know about Hillary Clinton's emails or you didn't. And Democrats can use that method to what is inarguably a more noble end: to find out if the President of the United States is a goddamn criminal.

Every fucking day, every opportunity they have, every interview, every speech, Democrats should be demanding that Donald Trump release his taxes. They should be saying that he must have something to hide. It should be the only fucking thing that anyone can think of. They should get people to show up at Republican town halls to ask why the GOP doesn't care about Trump's taxes.

No, you won't get Trump's idiot hordes or his Republican lickspittles and ass remoras to turn against him (although you might succeed in getting a little creeping doubt in there). But you know that 75% who didn't read the Mueller report ain't just Trump-humpers. There are not only a lot of voters who are on the Democrats' side who need a rallying point, but there are those who aren't paying attention at all, who are disengaged, who might just fucking love the clean and clear either/or on Trump's taxes.

So many of us on the left want Democrats to get savage. But there has to be a cohesive message behind the savagery, one that's not complex or needs more than a bumper-sticker to explain. This idea is a damn start. Get people paying attention so that when the impeachment hearings start, they're already on board.

5/02/2019

We Cannot Be This Nation With the President That William Barr and Republicans Believe We Should Have

Attorney General William Barr, who is really just a lumpy choad with a stupid face drawn on the tip, jowled and jawed before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday. It was a weird, weird hearing, with Republicans like Chuck Grassley and John Cornyn seeming to act like Hillary Clinton is the greatest villain in American history. She is essentially the president of their imaginations, omnipresent and all-powerful, her emails and the Steele dossier the touchstones of a depth of criminality that few ever even dared to attempt. Or something. Who the fuck knows at this point. Frankly, it'd be a relief if it turned out someone was fucking some kids in a pizza joint just so any of this weird, weird bullshit had any grounding in what we once referred to as "reality."

On the Democratic side, nearly every question could have been "Are you fuckin' kidding me here?" Kamala Harris drilled into Barr like she was digging for gold in a sloppy mound of mud. Asking about whether or not the Attorney General had reviewed the underlying evidence on obstruction of justice before declaring that there was none, she may as well have said, "Are you fuckin' kidding me here?" to Barr saying he hadn't bothered. Richard Blumenthal asked Barr whether or not he had discussed any ongoing criminal investigations of the White House with the White House. When Barr hedged before saying he didn't think he had or he didn't remember (seriously, this bulbous motherfucker's been in the job for 10 weeks but can't remember shit), Blumenthal may as well have concluded his questioning with "Are you fuckin' kidding me here?"

Ultimately, what came across from Barr is a visceral contempt for any kind of oversight of the president. As far as Barr is concerned, it doesn't matter if the president orders people to lie on his behalf to investigators. It doesn't matter if he dangles pardons for them to break the law. It doesn't matter if the president ends an investigation if he doesn't like how the investigation is going. Literally.

Barr said, in answer to a question from Patrick Leahy, "The point I was trying to make earlier is that in the situation of the president, who has constitutional authority to supervise proceedings. If in fact a proceeding was not well-founded, if it was a groundless proceeding, if it was based on false allegations, the president does not have to sit there, constitutionally, and allow it to run its course. The president could terminate that proceeding and it would not be a corrupt intent because he was being falsely accused and he would be worried about the impact on his administration. That's important because most of the obstruction claims that are being made here, or episodes, do involve the exercise of the president's constitutional authority. And we now know that he was being falsely accused." Leahy disagreed that Trump was being falsely accused.

And that right there, that answer from Barr, is fucking ludicrous. It is essentially saying that if Donald Trump doesn't believe he's guilty of anything, he has the right to shut down any investigation looking into his criminality. Trump gets to determine what the impact would be on his administration. Trump gets to determine whether an accusation is false. Trump gets to be his own judge. What more could he fucking want from life?

This kind of bullshit is center to the cancerous theory of the unitary executive, which says that, in essence, the executive branch works for the chief executive, the president, and that president can do whatever the fuck he (and, perhaps, some day, she) wants. So that means that every department is filled with the president's employees (and not the nation's), and every office is merely an extension of the president and a conduit of that president's policies. And, to an extent, that has to be true. Except, of course, there are also laws and, you know, a Constitution. However, according to Barr (and a shit-ton of Republicans), the president can say, "Yeah, I don't like how the laws are being used by my employees, so let's shut that shit down." And if you shove through a bunch of judges who will give you a pass, hey, shit's shut down.

You can either be a nation based on laws or a nation based on the whims of a leader. You can't be both. We cannot be the nation that Barr and the obsequious worms in the GOP would like us to be. That is not this nation. And if we do say that this is who we are now, then fuck us.

And let's be clear: This only goes for Republican presidents. For Democrats? Republicans would have already torn down the White House in order to build a gallows had a President Hillary Clinton done a fraction of this shit. Hell, Republican members of Congress talked about impeaching Obama over everything from his immigration policy to Benghazi to, really, his birth certificate. The GOP-led House Judiciary Committee had a hearing in 2013 on "The President's Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws."

Look, every president fucking hates it when Congress holds him to account. And every president has fought congressional committees on witnesses and documents and other shit. Of course, Democrats are more likely to call out their own president while Republicans are more likely to throw their bodies in the way of their presidents. Seventeen Democrats voted for the contempt citation against Barack Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder for withholding documents on the non-scandal scandal of Fast and Furious (look it up, kids, and you'll see why the fuck we say that Republicans are hypocritical twatmites). And if you want to beat your head against a wall, look at how many Democrats supported the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

Democrats have to stop playing this game like they are opposed by honorable people. Republicans are having a shit fight in a monkey house while Democrats are trying to soothe them with the gentle music of reason. No, the way you win is by dumping so much shit on the monkeys that they can't move.

4/26/2019

Note: I Picked a Hell of a Time to Go to England

So, yeah, the blogging's been thin these last two weeks, in the midst of the Mueller report and generally accelerating fuckery in the USA. That's because I'm on a long-planned trip to the UK, where, oddly everyone, from London to Liverpool to Leeds, seems to think that they're going to get their shit together in Parliament and stop the drive to Brexit or at least have a new vote.

I just laugh when someone says that. They don't understand what we now realize in the United States: once the stupid train goes out of control, you're gonna need to tear up the tracks in order to stop the damn thing.

Occasionally, I meet someone who is pro-Brexit and doesn't understand why, grr, arrg, they haven't left the EU yet. And occasionally I talk to someone who is just trying to keep a stiff upper lip, whot, whot, regarding the whole mess.

Anyways, this is a long way of saying that more regular acts of bloggery will return next week when I return to the land of the free-ish and the home of the forgot-how-to-be brave.