Regarding Civility in Uncivil Times

Last night, the New York Times posted an article titled "In Trump’s America, the Conversation Turns Ugly and Angry, Starting at the Top." In it, the writers, Peter Baker and Katie Rogers, plainly say that the "vituperative words" in contemporary politics is a result, in large part, of President Donald Trump's "unpresidential language." However, they are quick to assert that this ugliness has spread across the political spectrum. "The politics of rage that animated Mr. Trump’s political rise now dominate the national conversation," they say. And they offer as examples Robert De Niro saying, "Fuck Trump," Kathy Griffin's photo with a bloody Trump head, and assorted other things that celebrities and non-celebrities have said or done that can be seen as intemperate.

Last night, around the same time the article went live, at a campaign rally in Duluth, Minnesota, Trump demanded that a protester be dragged out and said, "Go home to your mom, darling." And then, "Was that a man or a woman? Because he needs a haircut more than I do." During the rally, he again insisted that immigrants are primarily criminals, berated his 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, and claimed, "Democrats put illegal immigrants before they put American citizens." He rolled his eyes over Senator John McCain for his vote on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

And Peter Fonda angrily tweeted about Barron being taken away from Melania.

These things are not equivalent. There is no equivalency to be made because, and let me put this as civilly as I can: Donald Trump is the motherfucking president of the motherfucking United States, you jizz-coated shit-mongers. And because Trump is the motherfucking president, everything he says matters.

You're angry at the "vituperative words" of the left? Fuck you. One reason we're fucking done here is because Democrats were civil. The Fox-directed media always demands that Democrats play nice. Republicans can shit in the face of babies, but if a Democrat say, "Whoa, that's messed up," all of a sudden the entire structure of the government is shaken to its core. In fact, there's always the stupid comparison: "Republicans shit in the face of babies but Democrats say that's messed up. Who is worse than Hitler?"

We're being uncivil and we're getting more uncivil because fucking civility didn't work. It didn't work in 2016, when Hillary Clinton very calmly told you that Trump was going to take the nation and fuck its ass until it shit blood. It didn't work when Barack Obama was president because Republicans took his civility and used it was a whip against him. It sure as shit ain't gonna work now when a deranged, screaming attention whore keeps whipping out his tiny dick and demanding that everyone say its huge. You really think that a man who grudgingly stopped ripping babies away from their mothers is gonna respond to honorable statements?

Punching back, as hard as fucking possible, is the only thing that this jackass understands. If you have power, use it savagely against him. If you have a microphone, turn it up to 11. Civility is our damnation.


The Cold Political Calculus of Taking Away the Children of Migrants

We are at a moment in our history that demands action. It demands that people fuck shit up. We hope they do it by protesting, by voting, or with legislation. But what the GOP hopes is that it leads to crazy shit, and Trump is going to keep pushing and pushing, with the ICE round-ups and the family separations, because they want congressional Democrats arrested, they want violence to occur at one of the concentration camps, they want protesters to riot, and they want it all filmed.  Trump is going to keep upping the intensity of his immigration crackdown until the left cracks.

This is the cold political calculus of Trump advisor and man most likely to own a suit made of human skin, Stephen Miller. It's beyond "annoy the libtards and make the snowflakes cry." We're now into "let's get good footage for campaign ads" territory. You can imagine it now: Evil music, low-pitch voice saying, "Nancy Pelosi and the crooked Democrat Party want to let MS-13 animals into the country" over footage of, say, a fight at a detention center or maybe Rep. Juan Vargas or other members of Congress getting led away by cops as the voice continues, "Tell Nancy Pelosi that you stand with Americans, not illegal animals." Or some such shit. That's probably too subtle. More likely it'll just be Trump braying something incoherent like a particularly brain-damaged jackass.

Trump's GOP (and it is Trump's GOP now) doesn't give a fat rat fuck about reaching out beyond his base. The election strategy is simple: get his idiot horde all fired up with a stream of Reddit-provided conspiracies and blatant lies; suppress the vote wherever and however it can be suppressed; and, possibly, look for an assist from hackers. In order for the first part to work, you've gotta be as confrontational as possible to draw Democrats and liberals into an act that can be portrayed as extremism. Sure, an action like blocking the roads to and from detention locations, like, fer the love of fuck, tent cities for children is a relatively mild form of civil disobedience, but as far as the whiners on the right are concerned, it'll be "terrorism the likes of which the nation hasn't seen" or whatever the fuck Fox "news" contorts it to be.

Unsurprisingly, Fox has gone all-in on supporting Trump on the savage child detention policy, so Tucker "Bitch Face" Carlson and Laura "My Kids Went to the Shittiest Summer Camps" Ingraham would orgasm constantly if they got to report on violence involving migrants or defenders of migrants. Sean Hannity's studio would be sticky for weeks.

Let's be clear that the family detention policy didn't start with Trump, but the "zero tolerance" part of it, which includes asylum seekers and the separation of children from parents, is totally Trump's. They planned this shit specifically to deter people on the run from awful violence, including rape and murder, including forcing kids into gangs, to stop seeking asylum in the United States. And lying ogre of blonde doom, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, can repeatedly insist, as she did at her belly flop of a press appearance yesterday, "DHS is not separating families legitimately seeking asylum at ports of entry. If an adult enters at a port of entry and claims asylum, they will not face prosecution for illegal entry. They have not committed a crime by coming to the port of entry." And Trump can assert in that goddamned moron voice of his that "We’re stuck with these horrible laws. They’re horrible laws" that are forcing the country to treat migrants this way, even going so far as to blame Democrats for the laws themselves.

But the motherfucking truth is that those "laws" have been in place since the 1950s, agreed to and signed off on by Congress members and presidents of both parties, including, most recently, in 2008, George W. Bush. And the motherfucking truth is that story after story is coming in about asylum seekers who have their children taken away from them. And the motherfucking truth is that none of what the Trump administration is doing, the written policy they have, is going to deter a mother trying to escape from a man who is beating her and her kids and threatening their lives. They don't have fucking Twitter on the path from El Salvador to the American border.

Today, in a tweet, Trump made clear the racist intent of his immigration policies, which is a refreshing change from the coded racism that Republicans usually use. Saying that "illegal immigrants...infest our Country" (incorrect capitalization courtesy of Trump), he is blurring the line between violent criminals and economic refugees and asylum seekers, which is exactly what a racist would want to do.

So what do we do? The left is obviously being baited into a fight. Yet that doesn't mean we shouldn't fight. Fucking hell, if traumatized kids doesn't get you fighting, nothing will. So fuck it. Let the ads fall where they may. They'll say we're shitty criminal lovers no matter what. Sometimes a big enough fish can grab the bait, yank the fisherman right into the water, and devour him.


Quickie: One Reason That Evangelicals and Other Churches Are Turning Against Trump on Immigration

I'm on the road in the deep South (and there are shockingly few Trump signs so far), but here's a quick hit it and quit it for you:

You might have seen reports yesterday that religious groups, including, holy shit, evangelicals, turning against Donald Trump and his administration of pirates and lepers when it comes to the treatment of families seeking asylum in the United States. All of a sudden, separating children from their parents is a bad thing, it seems.

And while this actions by churches is good news, let's be perfectly clear here that one reason some of those groups are not feeling the soft lump of Trump love they usually feel is because, without Latinos, and especially Latinos from countries like El Salvador and Guatemala, those churches are fucked in the future. A huge portion of the Latino population in the U.S. calls itself "born again," as in, "we believe that crazy ass Bible shit is real" born again. Catholics are especially finding themselves dependent on the immigrant population for growth.

So this is bottom line shit, as in the bottom line for churches. They lose their flock, and the church is fucked. And, sure, sure, there is some morality involved, too.

But, hey, whatever it takes to get allies in a fight against a monstrosity and its monsters.


What Did That Dumb Orange Motherfucker Say Now? (Kim-Humping Edition)

In his press conference Tuesday after he let Kim Jong Un ream his ass without even giving him a courtesy reacharound, President Donald Trump absolved the savage tyrant of North Korea of mass murder and torture: "Anybody that takes over a situation like he did, at 26 years of age, and is able to run it, and run it tough — I don’t say he was nice or I don’t say anything about it — he ran it. Very few people, at that age — you can take one out of ten thousand, probably, couldn’t do it." What Gramps was rambling about seemed to say that we shouldn't take Kim's creative executions, massive gulags, and intentional starvation of his people as anything other than a young man trying to figure out how to run a dictatorship in this crazy day and age. The wacky adventures of a cuddly teddy bear, if you will, that involve people being burned with flamethrowers.

As for the thousands of people in those gulags, where rape, infanticide, and more are rampant? Well, they should be grateful for the existence of Donald J. Trump, according to Trump. " I think they are one of the great winners today, that large group of people that you’re talking about," he said, not even deigning to call them "prisoners" or any impolite terms. "I think, ultimately, they’re going to be one of the great winners as a group."

In his several appearances post-Kim-coitus, Trump talked about how amazing he found Kim. He told ABC's George Stephanopoulos, "Well, you know, over my lifetime I've done a lot of deals with a lot of people, and sometimes the people that you most distrust turn out to be the most honorable ones, and the people that you do trust they are not the honorable ones, so we are starting from a very high plane, we’re starting from a very good relationship." Of course, that says more about who is deciding what makes someone trustworthy, but, hey, if someone who murders his family members wantonly is "honorable," then maybe that word is fairly fucking meaningless.

Trump wanted everyone to know that he has intuition except when he doesn't. Asked about his statement that he would know how things were going to go in the first minute of the meeting, he responded, "I’ve said that about relationships. I’ve said that about people. You know in the first second. Now, I was generous. I said five seconds. But you know in the first second, in some cases. Sometimes that doesn’t work out. But sometimes it does."

Not surprisingly, and you should read this quote in full, Trump, the lying sexual predator, just totally trusts Kim, the mass murderer of his own people: "I do trust him, yeah. Now, will I come back to you in a year and you’ll be interviewing and I’ll say, gee I made a mistake? That’s always possible. You know, we’re dealing at a very high level, a lot of things can change, a lot of things are possible. He trusts me, I believe, I really do. I mean, he said openly, and he said it to a couple of reporters that were with him that he knows that no other president ever could have done this, I mean no other pre--he knows the presidents, he knows who we had in front of me. He said no other president could have done this. I think he trusts me, and I trust him." It doesn't even occur to Trump that the reason Kim "trusts" him over other presidents is that other presidents wanted North Korea to commit to actually doing something. Kim knows that Trump is just a vain lump who wants to put on a show, and he gave Kim years of propaganda footage to show his people and keep them brainwashed. And, pretty much, Trump got the same.

How delusional is Trump right now? He honestly believes that North Koreans, who live under a threat of imprisonment or death if they don't worship Kim, love their leader: "His country does love him. His people, you see the fervor. They have a great fervor." See? It's a perfect system. There are no haters because haters are sent to the functional equivalent of Auschwitz. When Stephanopoulos brought up that Kim's "a brutal dictator" and "a killer," Trump brushed it off with more or less a shrug. "George, I’m given what I'm given, okay?," Trump said. "I mean, this is what we have, and this is where we are, and I can only tell you from my experience, and I met him, I've spoken with him, and I’ve met him."

In another interview with his anus remora, Sean Hannity, Trump gushed over Kim like it was a Tinder date that went awesomely: "He’s got a very good personality, he’s funny, and he’s very, very smart. He’s a great negotiator, and he’s a very strategic kind of a guy."

And then Trump returned to Air Force One, the memory of his time with Kim seeming like a fever dream, still fresh, though, with the taste of the North Korean's tongue in his mouth, the feel of Kim's thrusting cock and the sound of his floppy stomach slapping Trump's flabby ass cheeks, oh, god, for that again, oh, god, not just for himself, but for America. This time in the White House. Probably with Ivanka watching.


On Immigration: This Is Who We Are Until We're Not This

It just gets worse every time you take another look.

A migrant to the United States can be rejected for asylum for myriad reasons. One of those is if it turns out that the migrant has provided "material support" for a terrorist organization. And this makes sense, obviously. If you have given money to or fought for a terrorist group, that should definitely draw much closer scrutiny. Of course, that's been used in absurd and disgusting ways.

For instance, take the case of a Salvadoran woman who had been in the United States since 1991. After being here under Temporary Protected Status, she applied for full asylum in 2004, which was denied, but that decision was stayed. Without getting into all the legal back and forth, this week, the Department of Justice's Board of Immigration Appeals ordered her removed from the country because of her material support of terrorists: she was a prisoner and slave of a guerrilla group. The decision says that "her undisputed testimony [is] that she was kidnapped by guerrillas in El Salvador in 1990 and was coerced into undergoing weapons training and performing forced labor in the form of cooking, cleaning, and washing their clothes."

But it gets worse because it always gets worse. She had tried to get her removal reversed based on the U.N. Convention Against Torture. See, "in addition to being kidnapped and required to perform cooking and cleaning for the guerrillas under threat of death, the respondent was forced to witness her husband, a sergeant in the Salvadoran Army, dig his own grave before being killed."

And while, yes, this occurred during the mad reign of Trump, her case had been going on from Bush, Jr. to Obama to now, and at no point did the government drop its attempt to deport her. As the board wrote in its decision, "no court has held that the kind of support an alien provides, if related to promoting the goals of a terrorist organization, is exempt from the material support bar, and we discern no basis to import such a limitation." Not even being a slave.

Of course, it does get worse because it always gets worse. See, immigration courts and boards can provide victims of terrorists waivers in order to get asylum, but the Salvadoran woman's case did not, according to two out of three members of the board, rise to the level of "duress" necessary for the waiver. One case that did was that of a Sri Lankan man who was kidnapped by a terrorist group in 2004 and forced to pay a ransom. He asked for asylum here and was first denied because, yes, you guessed it, his ransom was material support. He was finally granted a waiver in 2011 and got a green card.

You like that happy ending? Well, it gets worse because it always gets worse, and now we come back around to the unique barbarity of the Trump administration. It wants to end the waiver program because it idiotically fears that letting fully vetted victims of terrorism into the country could lead to terrorism. These exemptions allow people like, say, translators who helped American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan enter the United States. In 10 years, just 22,000 people have received them. It is, as one Obama administration official put it, "a non-existent phantom problem." The entire cruel reason to end the program is to please the hardliners in the GOP and the xenophobic yahoos that make up Trump's base.

Add that to the pile of noxious policies that the Trump administration is pursuing, from the heartbreaking separation of children from their migrant parents, now possibly up to 2000 kids, to the concentration camp-like detention centers for migrants, to the ICE raids on businesses to round up suspected undocumented workers and rip families apart.

Politicians and pundits and others keep saying things like "This is not who we are." Except it is who we are. In this time. In this administration. It is who we are until we decide we're not this. But it is where we've been heading since 9/11 and the passage of the Patriot Act and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, as well as ICE. We are the people who have government officials tell parents that their kids are just going to bathe as they take the children away. We are the people who drive some of those parents, who have endured several kinds of hell to get here, to despair and suicide. We are the people who treat those huddled masses yearning to be free with contempt and cruelty. We are the people who will tell someone who was enslaved that she must go back to the land of her captors, even if she's lived here for nearly three decades.

We are this. And we will continue to be this unless those of us who don't believe this is who we should be can change it. If we don't, then we truly know who we've always been. It will get worse because it always gets worse until we have the will to make it better.


A #MAGA Guide to Understanding Why Separating Children from Their Parents at the Border Is Bad

Let us say, and why not, that you are MAGA hat-sporting, AR-15-toting, illegal immigrant-hating regular ol' supporter of President Donald J. Trump. You've got your proud MAGA wife who loves wearing her "You can grab me by the pussy, Mr. President" t-shirt because it triggers the liberals. You've got a couple of MAGA kids, young 'uns, who love doing what MAGA Mama and MAGA Daddy say and chanting, "USA." Hell, you got your baby a "God, Guns, and Trump" onesie. As far as you're concerned, the whole Russia thing is a hoax, Mueller is a secret liberal, that bitch Killary outghta be in jail, and that Nobama negro was born in Kenya. And fags are the worst.

Now let us say, and, indeed, why not, that everything you fear might happen starts to really happen. In an obviously rigged election, Democrats overwhelmingly win back the House and the Senate, they start impeachment proceedings, and they start to undo all the great and wonderful things that Donald Trump did. They restore the individual mandate and expand the catastrophe known as Obamacare. They halt construction on the Wall. They bring back DACA and targeted enforcement of immigration laws. It's a damn nightmare.

But then shit gets even worse. Rather than face impeachment and removal from office, as well as possible arrest, Donald Trump escapes with his family to Russia, where they are welcomed by Vladimir Putin, who you know is a great leader because Trump told you he is. Mike Pence hightails it to Israel. And, before you know it, Nancy motherfuckin' Pelosi is the Commander-in-Chief.

And you know what happens next. She bans all images of Donald Trump, arresting anyone who dares to support him. She fills her cabinet with blacks and Hispanics, lots of women, queers galore, even a transgender Secretary of Defense. She starts to outlaw any Christian church that doesn't preach love and inclusiveness but she lets the Muslims slide. She demands that everyone takes a knee during the National Anthem. She opens the borders and tells MS-13 they can cut any Trump-lover to tiny pieces. They like to use knives, you know, to make it last longer. And Bernie Sanders runs Congress, pushing Pelosi to turn the nation into a socialist hellscape, where the government decides who lives and who dies for the greater good.

Fox News goes off the air when President Pelosi threatens to pull the broadcast license for every local Fox station. All the conspiracy-theory spouting outlets like Breitbart and Reddit forums are sued into shutting down. Alex Jones explodes. No, literally just explodes into a gory pile of flesh.

And, finally, worst of all, the final straw, Nancy Pelosi comes after your guns. Oh, sure, the NRA tries to raise an army to fight back, but even AR-15s and small rocket launchers are no match for drones with Hellfire missiles.

You look at your MAGA wife and your MAGA kids and you say, "We gotta leave. We gotta get out of here."

"We got no papers," MAGA wife says. "We ain't even got passports because you said only cucks and libtards like to travel to other countries."

You know that if you don't get out of the United States of Pelosi, your kids won't have a chance to live their dreams of oppressing the coloreds and owning dozens of high-powered weapons. You heard about someone who'll help people get to the promised land, Russia, if you have the money. You dig up the cans of cash in your yard and you gather all your electronics. And you take them to this person, a black man who you don't want to trust, but you have to. He's glad to help you leave because, well, fuck you.

He gets your family into a truck that takes you from Benton, Arkansas, all the way to the Gulf Coast in Louisiana. There, you meet someone who stows you away in an empty tanker with dozens of other families just like you. The journey is long and difficult, with constant danger of being caught, with people getting sick, with elderly white people dying, with the barest rations to survive on. You spend a good part of the journey trying to figure out the words to "God Bless America." But, finally, you get into the Black Sea and you are brought to a dock in Novorossiysk, Russia.

At last, at last, you are ready to be free again, free to hate the right people, free to worship an oligarchy, and, especially, free to be reunited with your leader who promised you so, so much. Surely, he is ready to lead you again.

You approach the border and customs enforcement officers and say, in the clearest Russian you can manage, that you are requesting asylum for you and your family from the violent liberal dictatorship in the United States. And, for just a moment, you breathe easy until the second that you are taken by soldiers and your children are ripped away from you as you and MAGA wife have your hands zip-tied behind your back, your children's screaming echoing in your ears. "Don't worry," an official tells you through a harried translator, "they will be taken care of in special facility. But you chose to come here illegally and you are under arrest. Your children are not, but you cannot have them in detention, where you will have to stay until your asylum hearing." You try to explain that you thought you were allowed to ask for asylum and be treated differently, but by then the translator has moved on to say the same thing to the next MAGA couple whose MAGA kids are now in the custody of Russian health and human services.

You are fucking freaking out. Your baby is barely a year old. Your three year-old and five year-old will be scarred for life. You had no good fucking choices. Why can't someone understand you need some basic humanity here? But no one will listen. No one will give you a chance.

Listen to me, you backwards ass cretins everywhere, from Bumfuck, South Carolina, to Naziscum, Idaho, to Topeka, Kansas: this is what's happening. This is what the US is doing now. And you can pretend like it doesn't matter because it's just a bunch of filthy spics or whatever you need to believe to not care. But this shit is a tragedy, as you would think it was if it happened to you.

And if you can't see past your prejudices, past your hatred, past your ignorance, on this one blatant thing, then you are the animals.


Conservatives Finally Speak: "He's Acts Like He's a King"

Finally, at long last, Republicans could take no more.

Senator Ted Cruz said, "Undeterred, President Trump appears to be going forward. It is lawless. It is unconstitutional. He is defiant and angry at the American people. If he acts by executive diktat, President Trump will not be acting as a president, he will be acting as a monarch.”

Lou Dobbs pronounced that President Trump's actions are "evidence of his unilateral, even occasionally authoritarian inclination."

Senator Rand Paul claimed, "The president acts like he's a king. He ignores the Constitution...These are not the words of a great leader. These are the words that sound more like the exclamations of an autocrat." Indeed, Paul went so far as to tweet out a photo of a crown, scepter, cape, and throne with the words, "The 'president who thinks he's a king' starter pack."

The Speaker of the House said, "The president has said before that 'he's not king' and he's 'not an emperor,' but he sure is acting like one."

Chris Christie exhorted, "This president wants to act as if he is a king, as if he is a dictator." And Jeb Bush added, "To use executive powers he doesn't have is a pattern that is quite dangerous." Texas Governor Greg Abbott said that Trump "is acting as a king, acting as a dictator" by doing what is "absolutely contrary to what the Constitution allows."

Conservative editorial writers finally got into the game, with one at USA Today saying, plainly, "The idea that President Trump acts as if he is the king of the United States or a tyrant, instead of president, has become a cliché." Asking for a restoration of the balance between Congress and the President, Charles Cooke, in the National Review, opined, "The United States is a constitutional republic, replete with a set of rules that govern how power may be wielded and by whom. There exists no provision within its codified order that ties the power enjoyed by each branch to that branch’s transient popularity. If there is a constitutional problem with the scope of the administrative state, it obtains regardless of the opinion polls."

But, in honor of that valedictorian from a high school in rural Kentucky who, in his speech at graduation, said he was quoting Trump, to great applause, only to reveal that the line was really from Obama, obviously every single one of those conservatives was talking about President Obama and not Donald Trump.

They were upset about some executive orders by Obama, mostly the one that expanded immigration enforcement protection to the parents of kids born in the U.S., but also ones on guns and transgender rights, and they cried out that Obama was a king, which is something that the Tea Party had been saying from the second Obama was elected.

The difference back during Obama's presidency is that many on the left and center-left were uneasy with the executive orders, too. There is a consistency here that conservatives, who didn't give a damn when George W. Bush used signing statements and executive orders with alarming frequency, certainly lack when it comes to Trump's assertions of a tyrannical authority to proclaim himself innocent of crimes by self-pardoning.

Ted Cruz refused to answer a question about it. Rand Paul said such an action would be "condemned," but that Trump has the right to do it.

Some on the right were more consistent, having qualms about Trump's self-pardon. Cooke in the National Review again explained that Congress needs to act (which it won't). Christie at least admits it would be a political problem, even if he doesn't declare that Trump thinks himself a king.

At the end of the day, each president has pushed the limits of presidential power. Congress and the courts are supposed to keep them in check. But Congress hasn't done that. Now, we can argue about whether Bush blocking funding for stem cell research or Obama deciding how immigration law enforcement are valid exercises of executive power. Still, each was asserting their power in pursuit of a policy goal, which doesn't take away the troubling part of it, but, at the very least, the justification was for their view of the greater good.

But Trump is asserting something quite different than either of them, and it's of a piece with his entire presidency. By saying that he can pardon himself and that it is impossible for him to obstruct a Justice Department investigation because he's the ostensible boss of it, Trump wants to contort executive power merely to protect himself (and, presumably, his family). He is above the law and has absolute and uncheckable power when it comes to federal laws, especially when he's in trouble.

In other words, everything that conservatives falsely feared about Obama is true with Trump. And their refusal to broadly condemn it means that they're just fine with a dictator, as long as he's a rich white guy who hates immigrants and cuts taxes.