8/23/2016

Clinton Foundation "Revelations": How Is It Different From Anything Else in Our Broken Political System?

We're really all gonna fucking pretend that something shocking happened because donors to the Clinton Foundation were able to get "access" to Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State? 'Cause, you know, right now, not only will Donald Trump not release his tax returns so we can see just how much he's the butt boy of Russian oligarchs, but he is quite obviously using his campaign to enrich the companies owned by or associated with Donald Trump.

But, no, really, go on, please about how Bono wanted to talk to Clinton about forcing astronauts on the space station to watch a U2 concert, something that quite reasonably didn't happen.

I have heard from probably a couple hundred people who insist that the Clinton Foundation "scandal" is going to blow up. How the fuck is that going to work? Are we gonna ACORN the organization that is doing the fucking hard work of going into nations in Africa and getting HIV/AIDS drugs to people there? Are we gonna tar and feather the group that got prices slashed for malaria tests and drugs, leading to hundreds of thousands of children staying malaria free? For fuck's sake, are we gonna just say, "Fuck it" to all the health and economic initiatives because the crown prince of Bahrain gave a bunch of money to the foundation and later asked to meet with the Secretary of State? As if that is some kind of evil in action? As if that isn't actually a perfectly reasonable thing for a head of state to want to do? Yeah, evil nations and people donated money to the Foundation. Shit, it might have even dangled access as an implied prize. But where's the quid pro quo, huh? What radically changed because of it? Not a goddamn thing other than "access."

Motherfuckers, you want evil in action? Members of Congress are under constant threat from the National Rifle Association. The NRA shovels shit tons of money into the campaigns of primarily Republicans, and you can fucking well bet that when Wayne LaPierre wants one of them on the phone, they will stop everything they're doing - filibustering a bill to help poor people, getting blown by a page, shooting up heroin into their thighs - to take the call. That's called access and its only purpose is to enrich the gun corporations with the blood of Americans. That shit's evil.

Money gets you access. It's that fucking simple. When George W. Bush was running for president and then for reelection, he promised people who donated $100,000 to his campaign or more access. This wasn't a secret. And, even though it should have been, it wasn't a scandal. Here's the Washington Post on what these donors, called "Pioneers," wanted: "More than half the Pioneers are heads of companies -- chief executive officers, company founders or managing partners -- whose bottom lines are directly affected by a variety of government regulatory and tax decisions." You think they donated because they just loved W? They knew what they were paying for. Shit, 40% of the Pioneers ended up with appointments in the Bush administration.

And, yeah, it fucking sucks all around. It sucked with Bush. It sucked with the Lincoln Bedroom kerfuffle during Bill Clinton's term. It's a stupid fucking way to run a political system.

But it's the one we have. So, frankly, unless you got something like an outright bribe, like Hillary Clinton was promised piles of gold and more dick than she could ever want to make some kind of deal for Saudi Arabia or Monsanto that she wouldn't have made otherwise, who the fuck cares? Oh, shit, you mean that repressive nations and polluting corporations get shit done for them by our government? Where is the fainting couch? It ain't right, but making Clinton into the target when it's a systemic failure is just weak.

There's a fucking serial killer running on the Republican side. And some of you on the left and even more of  you on the right want us to get angry that the Democrats have a jaywalker? Fuck you, you children. Grow the fuck up and elect people to change our campaign finance laws.

(And, yeah, yeah, the Clinton Foundation donations weren't to a political campaign, but, really, weren't they? Besides, unless you want to make the rest of the system pure, your focus on this "corruption" is tainted.)

8/22/2016

Quickie: Hillary Clinton's 1992 "Seizure" That Wasn't a Seizure at All

Seriously, what motherfucker came up with the idea that, because Hillary Clinton jokingly jostled like a silent comedian to look shocked at reporters peppering her with questions, she was having seizures associated with a concussion she had a few years ago? How fucking dumb do you have to be to believe that, Sean Hannity, you vile sucker of Trump's limp, tiny cock?

Let's go back, shall we, to 1992, when her husband, Bill Clinton, accepted the nomination for president at the Democratic National Convention. Watch her with Tipper Gore, the wife of then-future vice president.


She was smiling, bopping back and forth, doing essentially the same kind of sudden, happy motions that a demonstrative person might do. But, today, some dickhole with a Twitter egg would have declared that Saint Vitus Dance and demanded that she be burned at the stake.

So, like, I know Donald Trump will fucking do anything but talk about any policies in any detail. But enough of this bullshit. Don't even entertain Trump's accusations about Clinton's health. Not when that lying son of a bitch and bastard hasn't told us shit about his physical or financial health.

Takin' the Day Off, Boss

Need a personal day.

Back tomorrow with more seizure-filled rudeness.

8/19/2016

Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Shoot Up Speedballs


That right there is a group of Maspeth, Queens, New York City, New York residents protesting the proposal by the city to convert a Holiday Inn Express in the neighborhood into a shelter for homeless adults with families who are from the Maspeth community. The protest took place at a school gym in Maspeth, where, to put it politely, people lost their fucking shit.

"[B]uild a fucking homeless shelter next to de Blasio's house," said one man, yelling at Human Resources Administration Commissioner Steve Banks. Chants of "No homeless shelter" were chanted by chanters wearing things like a "Mayor de Blasio, go fuck yourself!" t-shirt. In fact, the protesters have been marching in front of the Holiday Inn Express on a daily basis.

You must be thinking right now, "Dear God, this motel has to be in the middle of an urban paradise, surrounded by homes and lawns and schools and children riding their bikes and playing Kick the Can. Yes, we must keep the area pure and sanctified."

Except, you know, it's actually in an industrial area, surrounded by a gas station, the interstate, and a Coca-Cola distributing center. Here's a Google Street View right in front of the motel:


There's a nice looking McDonald's on the other side. Maybe they're worried about crime increasing when they're getting McPoison.

In other words, a bunch of white people don't want the city to do anything to offend their prejudices. Assholes are gonna asshole. Wonder how many of those Maspeth residents with the signs go to their local church every Sunday and pray for the homeless and the poor? Apparently, that shit doesn't stick once you leave the pews.

Oh, and, in case it comes up, I have a homeless shelter and a halfway house in my neighborhood. You know how much crime is caused by that? None, as far as I know.

8/18/2016

Make Republicans Fucking Choke on Donald Trump

Fuck acting like it's some kind of amazing act of bravery when Republicans say they are not going to vote for their nominee, Donald Trump. You know what? That's the fucking least you can do. In fact, fuck praising some of them for saying they'll vote for Hillary Clinton, as if somehow they had a magical conversion, like they were getting fucked by their boy-toys and, right at orgasm, thought, "Huh. Maybe I should move away from the party that says this is wrong" and used Trump as an excuse to stand tall when every other time they crawled like worms, happily ingesting all the dirt they could shove into their holes.

No, fuck that. You motherfuckers created Donald Trump. You in the GOP made it possible for him to capture the imaginations of the idiot hordes who became idiot hordes because of the steady diet of shit you've fed them for decades. Trump is here because of you, and he needs to be shoved down your throats until you choke, no matter how much you protest against him.

Did you read the actual letter from Republican national security officials? The one where 50 of the most hawkish, hateful cocks ever to give the nation their disease said that they would not vote for Trump? Yeah, read that thing. You'll see lots of lines about Trump's temperament and intelligence, like "Mr. Trump lacks the character, values, and experience to be President. He weakens U.S. moral authority as the leader of the free world. He appears to lack basic knowledge about and belief in the U.S. Constitution, U.S. laws, and U.S. institutions, including religious tolerance, freedom of the press, and an independent judiciary." This is not to mention that "A President must be disciplined, control emotions, and act only after reflection and careful deliberation. A President must maintain cordial relationships with leaders of countries of different backgrounds and must have their respect and trust" and Trump sure as shit ain't any of that. Most of the letter is that kind of "No shit, Sherlock" stuff.

You know what that letter lacks? A single goddamn sentence condemning Trump's promises and policies. They don't condemn him for his language on Muslims and immigrants, they don't say shit about his wall or his ban on people from whatever country hasn't powdered his balls lately. They don't spend any time talking about Trump's approach to ISIS or his promise to bring back torture (something that sadist John Negroponte must love). So what we can conclude is that if a candidate who wasn't dumber than a bucket of hair and who could shut the fuck up sometimes was running on the same foreign policy platform, these shitheels and fucknuts wouldn't have a problem with him. In other words, Trump's just a crappy messenger; the message is fine.

And that's generally the pattern. It's not what Trump's running on that scares off Republicans. It's that he's a prick. And while, sure, it's great that they're not voting for him and some are actually voting for Clinton, the reason is more that they want the rational hawk and not the mongoose-on-meth who might get us all nuked. There are exceptions, like Bush's Commerce Secretary, Carlos Gutierrez, who dislikes Trump's economic plans.

Hillary Clinton has embraced these wayward Republicans in that annoying way that Democrats have of trying to say that what they believe is extra-valid because Republicans like it. Yeah, she's making it seem safe for Republicans to cross that wall and vote for her by providing cover but, frankly, I don't need a fucking ad with fucking Michael Hayden and fucking Charles Krauthammer justifying why Hillary Clinton is a better choice than Donald Trump. Because, see, that's the lie that Obama bought into that fucked him over: That somehow he would bring people together who wouldn't ordinarily work together.

The second Clinton is inaugurated, impeachment proceedings will begin because that's what these GOP fuckers do. And every single one of them will run like baby rats back to their rat mother's teats and join the party in condemning Clinton for whatever made up shit they crap out this time. Their support of Clinton is just fucking cover so that they can say they turned away from Trump when he finally melts down and starts calling for death squads (which, again, would make Negroponte fucking hard).

If I were Clinton, I'd demand that each of these assholes scrambling to get away from Trump join the Democratic Party. Don't make it easy on this scum. Tell them they need abandon their party or tell them to go to hell with Trump. Leave the GOP to the extremists and the racists and the nutzoids. You know climate change is real. You know gun laws need to be passed. You fucking know that the tax laws are tilted radically towards the wealthy. You know that LGBT issues are done. You know that unless you get down and dirty with the fundamentalists and nationalists and the remnants of the Tea Party, you will be primaried. So fuck you and your support. Show you mean it. Then we can fight about the identity of the Democratic Party, which we're gonna have to do anyway.

Except you, Negroponte. Get the fuck away. Fuck you in hell.

8/17/2016

Louisiana, Washed Away, Once Again

Even we who were on higher ground were worried in Lafayette Parish in south Louisiana. The Rude Stepdad said that he had dropped his flood insurance a few years earlier under advice from his insurance agent, who happened to be a neighbor. During the storm on Friday and after the rain finally slacked off on Saturday, both of them watched as the water crept up from the street and the puddles in the yards became pools, one more downpour away from reaching the front door. The insurance just cost $400 a year, something the Rude Stepdad can well afford. As we looked outside the house, I said, perhaps a bit dickishly, "You get the insurance for the peace of mind." The Rude Stepdad agreed and, before I left on Monday, he said he was going to sign up again.

That was what you heard over and over from people as the historic storms created historic floods and historic river crests, with some still to come, all over south Louisiana, hitting primarily in Cajun Country and the state capital, Baton Rouge. It flooded where it never floods. One friend who said he always floods at least a bit didn't get any water while residents who never got water in their homes were confronted with several feet of it.

The stories came in. An employee of the Rude Stepdad's couldn't open the store because her trailer had water up to her knees. The Rude Brother showed me a photo of a friend who said he was heading to the store in Youngsville. He was standing on a paddleboard, heading off into the drowned streets like a surfer-dude Huck Finn to a grocery store that had a line around the block waiting to get in. This being Louisiana and this storm not being a hurricane or even predicted to be anything like what happened, people hadn't cleared the shelves to hunker down for a rainy staycation. Just the night before, the Rude Brother and I had been boogying in a downtown bar as the showers poured down, and now the stores around the Blue Moon Saloon were taking on water.

Before the curfew on Saturday night, I went to one of the only open stores, Target, to get a few things. The place was virtually a ghost town, and I was in line behind a couple of members of the National Guard, who were just called up to go rescue people in the water-covered town of Crowley, among others. The guardsman in line in front of me told the cashier that he didn't know when he'd get back home, so he was buying underwear and t-shirts and pajama pants. "Just to have something dry to wear," he told her, knowing what was coming, the thousands of people who needed their help. When the underwear didn't scan, the cashier just let him have it for free. He thanked her and handed some money to a woman in uniform to help pay for the beer they were getting, too.

In Baton Rouge, the Rude Sister-in-Law's sister was texting from her house on Saturday as the flood waters rose. At first she was worried the water would get inside. But she wouldn't get in her car and leave. Then the water was coming in. Then it was up to her ankles. But she refused to call 911 to get rescued. Then the water was up to her knees. Then AT&T crapped out and she couldn't text any more. But she went on Facebook to post a photo of herself sitting on her roof, with a beer, watching the water rise. The Rude Brother and Sister-in-Law were ready to race there to save her, but any road to get to her was blocked by the floods. Finally, she got on a boat and was taken to a house of friends down the river...the road, but, you know. The next day, the Rude Sis-in-Law drove to Baton Rouge in a truck with big mud-ready wheels and walked through the thigh-high sewage and snake-filled water to get her sister, her dog, and two cats.

While she was doing that, I went with a pal to brunch at the Blue Dog Cafe. I'm no hero. On the way there, we drove past the flooded areas of Lafayette.


We drove close to the overflowed Vermillion River, and I told my pal about wealthy friends of the Rude Brother who had been rescued by boat right down the street. At the restaurant, we sat at the bar. The bartender was pissed off because he had been called in after there had been two or three feet of water in his neighborhood, which was right down the street from Target. While sucking down beer and Old Fashioneds and gumbo, my pal talked about how places like Youngsville had been overbuilt, that sugar cane fields that once were a buffer between the river and homes had become subdivisions, especially in the state's diaspora post-Katrina.

My pal walked up to the two guitarists singing folk and rock songs for the few people in the place. He put a five I gave him in their tip jar and requested Randy Newman's "Louisiana 1927," the mournful song about resilience and resignation in the face of an uncaring disaster. It was lovely and sad and we applauded at the end before heading for a serving of dirty rice and crab cakes.

By yesterday, many of the floods had receded, while some towns were waiting for more floods to come. More rain fell. It's summer and there are gushing thunderstorms most afternoons.

I can guarantee you that the vast majority of the houses gutted by the floods would have never been robbed. That is a pretty ludicrous fear in general. I can guarantee you that all the time we have spent arguing about having guns to protect us wouldn't have stopped one raindrop from falling. And I can guarantee you that what we used to call "unprecedented" storms, 100 year storms, 500 year storms, now have precedents and what used to be rare will become more frequent. As many states have learned in the last couple of years, you don't need a storm with a name to wreck the joint. You don't have to be a Democrat or Republican to know that the real threat to you and your home and your family is the weather, not the criminals.

We can make political statements about how places like Louisiana have been led by people who don't think climate change is real. If nothing else, we can be sure that they will one day have to flee for higher ground or drown. The question is how many of us will they take with them.

You can donate to flood relief here and here.

8/16/2016

Is Donald Trump Rigging the Election?: A Theory with Circumstantial Evidence

Let us say, and why not, that Donald Trump is not merely a blithering madman. In fact, let us say, just for a moment, a thought experiment, if you will, that the real reason that Trump is campaigning for president the way he has isn't merely ego and bluster and neediness. Let us entertain the notion that what's really going on is that Trump has already set in motion the rigging of the 2016 presidential election. If we do that, then everything he is currently saying and doing makes perverse sense. The big con, then, isn't Trump running for president in order to do something else that's more lucrative (like start a TV network). No, the grift is that he's running as if he's going to win because he knows he's going to win.

The most obvious strategy here is preemptively accusing Democrats and the campaign of Hillary Clinton of election fraud to cover up his own imminent fraud. Most importantly, Trump did this in Pennsylvania, where he said, "The only way we can lose, in my opinion — I really mean this, Pennsylvania is if cheating goes on...She can’t beat what’s happening here. The only way they can beat it in my opinion, and I mean this 100 percent, if in certain sections of the state they cheat." Clinton right now is leading Trump in the polls in Pennsylvania, which would make a thoughtful man at least pause before outright alleging "cheating."

According to Verified Voting, Pennsylvania would be one of the easiest states to hack the vote because the vast majority of its counties currently have "direct recording electronic voting machines" without "voter verified paper audit trail printers." So electronic voting occurs without a paper trail in "certain sections of the state." Rhetorically, Trump is setting up his "win" by making sure it seems inevitable. Yes, you could say he's just sour grape-ing it in advance and delegitimizing a Clinton victory. Or he could be making sure that when he wins despite the polls, he can say that he was right all along and any allegations of fraud against him are defying something that he had predicted months before the election.

Is this a stretch? Of course it is. But we're in such a bizarro election landscape right now, where a completely inexperienced candidate refuses to release his taxes and lies constantly, demonstrably, and confidently, all while speaking incoherently and irrationally, and 35-45% of Americans still support him, that nothing is off the table.

Take, for instance, Trump's refusal to buy any ad time, despite the fact that his campaign has raked in a large amount of donations. Obviously, it would cost a great deal of money to buy the silence and skills of anyone involved in rigging the election. And why, for instance, would Trump be campaigning in states that he simply has no chance of winning, like Oregon and Connecticut? He's got to make it seem as if his appearances there turned the tide in his favor when the mailed-in votes of Oregon are changed and the paper ballots in Connecticut are messed with. Trump has derided get-out-the-vote efforts and has minimal staff. Again, in the context of a fixed election, it actually makes sense.

One other piece of the puzzle is, of course, Trump's campaign chair, Paul Manafort, and his ties to former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, a close ally of Vladimir Putin. While Manafort was on his payroll, Yanukovych was what one writer called "a serial election fraudster," stealing presidential and parliamentary elections over the years. So perhaps Manafort offers a Russian connection to how one rigs an election.

Finally, there is Trump himself, who has often talked about how he has profited from seeming disasters, be it bankruptcies of his businesses or the housing bubble burst. He has no compunction about cheating contractors out of their fees. He will, in fact, do anything to come out on top in whatever situation he's in. It's possible that he could save face and say that a loss in the election made him richer than ever (however rich he might be). But is that really a victory in this scenario?

Again, this is just a thought experiment. I'm being sarcastic, but not that sarcastic. Trump acts like a man who knows he's gonna win. So either he does know it because he's making it happen or he's so epically delusional, a mad emperor awaiting the restoration of his fake empire, that we're just watching the pathetic spectacle of someone living in a hallucination.

8/15/2016

Donald Trump Says Another Goddamn Thing or Other

“What fresh fuckery is this?” I thought as I watched Donald Trump’s latest attempt to appear like a genuine candidate for the presidency, which happened to be a speech on how to deal with “Radical Islamic terrorism” or whatever combination of words will create the incantation necessary to bring about the magical spell to stop the violence. Driven half mad by the nonstop rain in south Louisiana, seeing the terrible flooding and hearing more and more stories of greater floods beyond where I was, ready to escape onto a plane to head back to the heat wave of the Northeast, all, all exacerbated by climate change, a graver and greater threat than an ISIS/al-Qaeda sandwich covered in an Iranian secret sauce, I couldn’t begin to think that a lump of sulfur disguised as a man could have anything remotely helpful to say about any issue that requires more thought than “More gold on the bidet.”

In fact, there was so much fuckery in Trump’s desperate attempt to seem tough that you couldn’t tell where the fuckery ended and the man begins for, yes, Donald Trump is a personification of fuckery. For instance, there was his insistence that President Obama’s foreign policy was somehow being run by Hillary Clinton, even though she hasn’t been Secretary of States since February 1, 2013. You can say she had a hand in a lot of shit, like, you know, getting Osama bin Laden (seriously, if she gets all the blame for Benghazi, how about a little bit of credit for bin Laden?). But once she was out and John Kerry was in, you’re just a prick for implying that she was still in charge.

So we went, lies skipping along, hand-in-hand with utter bullshit. We got promises to behave like Joseph McCarthy on angel dust when it comes to labeling people enemies of the state, just like McCarthy’s power bottom and Trump confidante/mentor Roy Cohn would have loved (Cohn just started his fourth decade starring in Hell’s production of Let’s Skin Roy Cohn Alive Again). That was the notion of "extreme vetting," as Trump put it, which sounds like doing crazy shit to help sick and injured animals, but is actually a new game that Trump wants to play, a fuckin' quiz show for anyone wanting to enter the country.

We slid down the semen-slickened the rabbithole of revisionist history, where no fucking Republican had any blame when it came to 9/11. Where Russia gets praised while Obama gets dragged across the coals. Where NATO adjusted its policy on terrorism just because Donald Trump had said some shit. Where, above George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton is the only person guilty of anything when it comes to the Iraq War (and not all the other congressional fucksacks who voted for it and are still there) and thus directly responsible for the rise of ISIS.

Jesus Christ al-fuckin'-mighty, another goddamn speech, another series of malignant fuckeries. Trump's idiot hordes will believe him when he said, "According to CNN, ISIS made as much $500 million in oil sales in 2014 alone, fueling and funding its reign of terror. If we had controlled the oil, we could have prevented the rise of ISIS in Iraq – both by cutting off a major source of funding, and through the presence of U.S. forces necessary to safeguard the oil and other vital infrastructure. I was saying this constantly and to whoever would listen: keep the oil, keep the oil, keep the oil, I said – don’t let someone else get it."

The problem there is, you know, the facts. ISIS doesn't fucking sell oil from Iraq. As the Washington Post pointed out, "[A]ll of the oil sold by the militants has come from fields they occupy in Syria. They have never controlled oil-rich territory in Iraq, where oil provides about 99 percent of government revenue, according to the United Nations." So if we had "kept the oil," we would have fucked over Iraq worse than it already is.

So, yeah, this was, as Trump claimed, humbly, "another area where my judgment has been proven correct," if that area is the fucking fantasy land where he apparently gets all of his fucking ideas and where he's just shitting gold bricks and everyone loves him for it.

We're just indulging a deranged "billionaire" at this point, and arguing with him, or with his idiot hordes, is like trying to get Mr. Magoo to understand that he's fucking blind.