4/17/2018

When It Comes to Hillary Clinton, Oh, Just Fuck Right Off, James Comey

If I've said it before, I've said it a million got-damn times. If you didn't support Hillary Clinton because you believed in any of the made-up "scandals" from her career, from Vince Foster's "murder" to Emails of Doom to pizza pedophilia, you were the bitch of Fox "news" and the entire conservative machine that had created a narrative about Clinton that you bought into. I am not Breitbart's bitch, so I could put that aside and just consider her based on her positions and policies. (I'm not talking to anyone who didn't vote for Clinton because you disagreed with her or because you couldn't get over whatever the fuck you think happened with Bernie, which is its own kind of conspiracy theory, and, no, I don't give a shit about whatever you wanna say about that. It's very nice you believe that.)

And whatever you wanna say about why Hillary Clinton lost - bad candidate, didn't campaign in this or that state, grrr-Wall Street, grrr-war - one thing that cannot be denied is that much of the nation (although, you know, not a majority) did become the bitches of that conservative machine that runs a thrusting piston pounding the asses of the electorate with a dildo marked "Hillary=evil" or "Hillary=corrupt" and "any association with Hillary means you are evil and corrupt, too." Republicans counted on enough people gladly bending over to receive this fucking .

What we've learned now is that the former director of the FBI, James Comey, was also grabbing his ankles. In an interview with NPR's Morning Edition today, part of his "James Comey is gonna make a fuck-ton of cash" tour, Comey was questioned about why he made a statement about the conclusions of the FBI's investigation into Clinton's email server in July 2016. He admits, as he implies in his book, Higher Royalties...I mean, Loyalty, that, at least in part, he was influenced by the noise of cable news over things like Bill Clinton's visit to then Attorney General Loretta Lynch's plane on the tarmac in June 2016.

Comey says to the idea of resisting that noise, "[A] reasonable person might have done that. I think that would have been a mistake, because again it wasn't just what had happened that last week of June, it was a collection of things that led me to conclude that the general public would have serious doubts about the integrity of the Obama administration's decision to close an investigation of Hillary Clinton without transparency, given those things that had happened." And he goes on to say that he thinks that had he not spoken in July or released the letter to Congress about the "new" emails (which turned out to be nothing) discovered on Huma Abedin's computer, "I think the institutions would have been in worse shape had we done the normal thing" and not commented.

Comey told ABC's George Stephanopoulos's hair that he assumed, like everyone pretty much did, that Clinton was going to win and that, in some way, he was doing the right thing in releasing that letter because "If you conceal the fact that you have restarted the Hillary Clinton email investigation, not in some silly way but in a very, very important way that may lead to a different conclusion, what will happen to the institutions of justice when that comes out? Especially, given the world we're operating in, when Hillary Clinton's elected president? She'll be an illegitimate president, but these organizations will never recover from that."

Let's put aside the hypocrisy of Comey saying he needed to release something about these new emails, even though nothing at all had been found in them of any interest, while saying that he didn't say anything about the Trump investigation because it hadn't found anything definite yet. Let's put aside for a moment the idea of balance, that if he was gonna say a fuckin' word about any investigations of Clinton, he had an obligation to balance that with information about Trump so the American people had the full picture. Put that aside.

Instead, let's tell James Comey to just fuck right off on this. Because he might be this great and mighty public servant and FBI director, but Comey doesn't know jackshit about the very machine that's behind him, fucking him in the ass. If Clinton had won, it wouldn't have mattered if Jesus himself walked into Congress and said, "She didn't do shit." Republicans would have gone nuclear because that's the only way to justify all the Clinton hatred they based their entire election strategy on. Fox "news" would have been 24/7 on emails and every other stupid thing they could fan into a bullshit controversy. Shit, it's practically that now and Clinton ain't even president. It's all they know.

Comey thinks his gestures prevented an erosion of faith in institutions and in a potential President Clinton? You goddamned fool, these motherfuckers had over a half-dozen investigations of Benghazi because when one said, "Nope, it's all good. Sad, but good," they immediately had another going. And as for institutions, Republicans don't give a sad turtle shit about institutions. Do you think the assholes who had just prevented President Obama from making a Supreme Court choice out of pure spite and political fuckery would think twice about wrecking any agency that got in their way?

You big, dumb dickhead, the only thing that was standing between your precious institutions and their dismantling or complete politicization was the fact that a Democrat was president. Clinton would have prevented most of the shit that's happening now to the Justice Department. But you fucked it, Jim Comey.

You fucked it, and your specious fucking book tour won't unfuck it. At least own that shit. Stop saying you wouldn't have done anything differently. That just makes you another idiot who won't learn from the past.

But, then again, we should always remember: You are a Republican.

(Note: Goddamnit, I want to stop talking about the 2016 election. But we keep getting dragged back into it, like it's a cave we climb out of and then the trolls drag us back in, kicking and screaming.)

4/15/2018

AGD Podcast: Interview With Benari Poulten, Former Producer on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore

Up now on the iTunes is a new episode of Another Goddamn Podcast, perfectly timed for a military strike on Syria. I talk some shit about soldiers in my family and then interview a real-life Army reservist who happens to be a funny, funny writer and comic, Benari Poulten.

Benari was a senior producer on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore and has been in the reserves for the last 18 years. He's seen it all, from Gitmo to Iraq to Afghanistan, and we talk about it. Check it out. Subscribe, rate, review. (Looks like this is gonna be a monthly thing for now, but I'd like to get it to every 2 weeks.)

And thanks to everyone who is subscribed over at Patreon at $5 and up. You got this early, and you got an extra five minutes of the interview where Benari talked about his family's Democratic activism and the time his grandmother flirted with Ted Kennedy. Your donations have made this podcast possible.

Thanks also to Ted Kane for the opening music and the Errol Flynns for the closing tune.

4/13/2018

End This Enraging Week with Hope: Kentucky Teachers Will Kick Your Ass, GOP

When we last left the Kentucky legislature, it had passed some pretty fucked up changes to the retirement system for teachers so quickly that no one had time to read the bill they were in. Teachers, many using their spring break, had a day of protest at the capitol in Frankfort at the beginning of the month.

Since then, Gov. Matt "Why Can't I Murder More Kentuckians By Taking Away Their Health Care?" Bevin has vetoed a budget, supported by teachers, that protected a great deal of spending on education (while getting rid of some). And he signed into law a slightly revised version of the fucked up retirement plan so that there is no longer a guaranteed income benefit (in case you didn't know, the teachers don't get Social Security) and there is an increase in health care costs, among other things. Bevin said that the teachers' union was to blame for the dissatisfaction and activism. Which, well, yeah, fucko.

So guess what happened today?


Yeah, this time teachers left the classroom for a day of action, with schools closing all over the state. And they are putting the legislature on notice that this is some shit they will not eat and they are coming for the seats. This year, all 100 House seats are up for grabs, as are half the Senate seats. "Forty-three current or retired educators are running as Democrats for the legislature," said a party spokesperson. And several Republican teachers are primarying the GOP legislators in their districts.

The message is clear: You have fucked with the wrong people.

Oh, and the pension "reform" also affects cops and firefighters.

So the Democratic Attorney General, Andy Beshear, has filed a lawsuit challenging the bill. He is joined by unions representing teachers and the police, saying that the changes to the retirement program comprise a kind of breach of contract. We shall see if this eminently logical argument makes a difference.

But next time some reporter from the New York Times or CNN heads to Trump country, women there can say, "This is what the white working class is doing now. Trying to change this bullshit."

4/12/2018

Erickson's Congressman: A Paradox of Our Times

I'm calling for a new phrase to enter the lexicon of political snark: "Erickson's Congressman." It's based the recent blog post by conservative wannabe-firebrand Erick "Erick" Erickson where he described wandering around a DC Safeway with an unnamed GOP member of Congress who fairly ejaculated a stream of invective and profanity about how much he despises President Donald Trump and how much Trump has wrecked the Republican Party. "If we're going to lose because of him, we might as well impeach the motherfucker," the congressman said, according to Erickson, and much, much more.

Now all over the media, people are trying to figure out who it is. Others wonder if the conversation happened at all. In other words, this congressman is in a state between existence and non-existence until he (assuming Erickson is being truthful about the sex) is revealed, either by Erickson, who has sworn he will not say, or the guy himself.

We've heard from these sources before, all these anonymous legislators and aides who tell reporters or others their true feelings about Trump, how they hate him to their core, beyond the niceties they are forced to spew, beyond their actual defense or support of him when they go on CNN or Fox. But, unless they are retiring or so senior they don't care, they remain anonymous, and thus they are objects of faith, living in the nether zone between hero and scoundrel. Oh, how we on the left love hearing that Trump can't hold a thought in his head or is in one of his idiot rages. Oh, how we love thinking about one of these anonymous voices finally saying, "Yeah, it's me. Congressman X" and bringing down this affliction of a government.

Hell, I have very few real contacts in the actual political world, to people with power or within proximity of power. But even I've heard from them that "every single Republican" (and, yes, that is a quote) knows that Trump is a dangerous dolt. Yet not a single one will go on the record.

And that's where the idea of Erickson's Congressman comes in: we don't know if he exists, but we desperately want him to exist, yet he can't exist - he doesn't exist- without giving up his anonymity. Until then, he both exists and doesn't exist, a wish and a curse at the same time. He is an absurdity, a figment of our fevered, hungry desires imaginations who might very well be real.

One thing is for sure, though. Erickson's Congressman is always a coward who cares more about his own hide than the country and the Constitution he's sworn to uphold. And Erickson, hell, all the Ericksons who remain silent about who is telling them their truth will be as complicit as their sources should this all blow up. When this all blows up.

And if it doesn't, well, Erickson's Congressman will just go on, back to being the savage conservative he always was, free of his duality, free of the conscience he pretends to have.

4/10/2018

Finding Pleasure in the World Starting to Collapse on Trump

President Donald Trump, an angry, rotten tangerine on top of a sack of dead hogs, spoke out yesterday about FBI raid of the home, office, and hotel room (whuh?) of his lawyer, Michael Cohen. You might know Cohen as "That motherfucker? Fuck him." Cohen is like Roy Cohn except less charming in the same way that a rabid bear is less charming than a cobra.

Speaking before he surrounded himself with military leaders to pretend to be their commander, Trump went off on Special Counsel Robert Mueller and anyone who wasn't a citizen of Trump World before the filthy swamp of Washington, DC tainted their virgin white garments. "So I just heard that they broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys," Trump started, ignoring the fact that "they" is actually "we," as in employees of the Justice Department and thus the federal government. "I have this witch hunt constantly going on for over 12 months now — and actually, much more than that. You could say it was right after I won the nomination, it started," he continued. You want to tell him about the Benghazi investigations? Or that for years he accused President Obama of being born in another country? Bitch, shit's just getting good. We're not even at the climax yet.

The raid was bullshit, Trump said. "[I]t’s a disgrace. It’s, frankly, a real disgrace. It’s an attack on our country, in a true sense. It’s an attack on what we all stand for." The idea that a search warrant, signed off on by a judge and handled by a Trump-appointed US Attorney, is an "attack on our country" means that Trump couldn't give a happy monkey fuck about our country except in how much l'etat c'est Trump.

He was on a ranting tear. He attacked the investigators, calling them all "Democrats or a couple of Republicans that worked for President Obama." He wondered why no Hillary: "[T]hey’re not looking at the Hillary Clinton — the horrible things that she did and all of the crimes that were committed. They’re not looking at all of the things that happened that everybody is very angry about, I can tell you, from the Republican side, and I think even the independent side."

Think about that for a second. He wants to know why they're not investigating someone who isn't in government anymore, who was thoroughly investigated, and about whom an investigation is still percolating even though there isn't a goddamn thing to investigate except how stolen emails got to the Trump campaign. But, mostly, think about how disgustingly self-pitying that is. "Why aren't you looking into this thing the man on the TV told me is bad when he told me I am good?" Trump is saying. "Why you no believe man in TV? I like man in TV. And other man in TV. And pretty lady in TV."

Then the mental breakdown of the cornered rat started to occur as his brain just started to dump shit in random bursts of words. Seriously, this is the president of the goddamn United States, and he's like a skeevy john trying to explain to cops that they shouldn't arrest him when there are murderers out there: "[T]hey don’t even bother looking. And the other side is where there are crimes, and those crimes are obvious. Lies, under oath, all over the place. Emails that are knocked out, that are acid-washed and deleted. Nobody has ever seen — 33,000 emails are deleted after getting a subpoena for Congress, and nobody bothers looking at that."

Goddamn, you want this to be more satisfying, doncha? Shouldn't we be rejoicing a bit, texting our friends gifs of people saying, "Nice" or "Oh, hell, yeah." Except for every little bit of celebration, we think, "But what if, after all this, the dickhole gets away with it?" For every delicious bit of schadenfreude, we wonder how long it'll take to clean up the shitpile he'll leave behind. Yeah, it's stomach-churning and hard to find pleasurable.

And yet...

"The F.B.I. agents who raided the office of President Trump’s personal lawyer on Monday were looking for records about payments to two women who claim they had affairs with Mr. Trump, and information related to the publisher of The National Enquirer’s role in silencing one of the women." That's right. According to the New York Times, the raid was about Trump's wandering dick and everything his pathetic thug-wannabe lawyer tried to do to shut women up about his dick.

So while Trump was ranting about "They found no collusion whatsoever with Russia. The reason they found it is there was no collusion at all. No collusion," the Southern District of New York, led by a Rudy Giuliani crony, had the FBI tear up Cohen's shit because of suspicion that Trump and Cohen were lying about something to do with Trump's adulterous dick. Russia may have little to do with this particular raid.

So Donald Trump may end up being crushed by walls made of pussy. Michael Cohen may be wrecked by women he and his boss tried to wreck. Ah, there it is. There's that satisfaction I was looking for.

4/05/2018

Trump's Got Border Madness and He Wants You to Get It, Too

Let's start with a statement about a number. This is from something put out from the White House, titled for idiots, "What You Need to Know About the President’s Authorization for the National Guard to Deploy to the Southern Border." The document gives a number. Two of them, really: "More than a thousand people a day and more than 300,000 a year violate our sovereignty by illegally crossing the border."

As many people on the Twitter and elsewhere have pointed out, there is a huge fuckin' difference between 1000 a day, which equals 365,000, and 300,000 a year, which is closer to an actual, reported number, 303,000 (or 800 a day). Now, here is where things get a little tricky, and by "tricky," I mean, "factual." Because, see, we don't really know how many people cross the border illegally. We can estimate, sure. What we do know is how many people the Border Patrol has apprehended at the southern border, and that's the number Trump is referring to.

Now, in that screaming, hysterical document and the screaming, hysterical order, as well as Trump's screaming, hysterical tweets, as well as the screaming, hysterical rhetoric coming from other screaming, hysterical Republicans (who are, in truth really screaming and hysterical over the possible 2018 blue wave sweeping them into the political ocean), we're told, "The situation at the border has now reached a point of crisis" because of drugs, gang members, and children (no, really, this administration has a boner for fucking over kids, especially unaccompanied minors).

The problem is, of course, of course, of fucking course, that the situation hasn't reached a point of crisis. By no stretch of whatever warped, savage imagination Trump might have is it a crisis. In fact, it's so far from a crisis, that it's goddamned laughable. You know how I know that? Because of the motherfucking numbers. From the motherfucking Border Patrol. In the year 2000, they apprehended 1,640,000 people at the border, which, by my amazing ability to do math, works out to roughly a metric fuck-ton more than 303,000. Or over 5 times as many as were apprehended last year.

And, despite the firehose of shit Trump is spraying on President Obama over the border, that number, which had been cut in two by the Bush administration, went from 705,000 in 2008 to 408,000 in 2016. The number was in the 325-425k range for the last few years of the Obama presidency. The reason it went up and down has to do with the economy in the United States, the economy and the living conditions of the countries the migrants were coming from (especially Mexico), and, yes, the strength of border security. Bush amped it up and Obama continue the amping. There are fewer apprehensions because there are fewer people trying to cross the border. It's that fucking simple. It's not a crisis. It's a relatively reasonable expectation, easily managed, not a reason to go bugfuck on the troops.

Any other reading of these numbers is merely there to het up the blood of the yahoos ahead of the midterms, to go back to the same racist well that Republicans (and, sometimes, yes, Democrats) go to time and time and time again. Brown people will always be scary to those hogs who wallow in mud puddles of white ignorance.

What about drugs? Drugs get in here by planes and ships and trucks that cross the border legally with illegal shit in them. Your National Guard members wandering around the streets of Laredo ain't gonna do shit about that.

What about violence? Yeah, drug cartel and gang violence sucks. But the only thing that even makes it on the same planet as a crisis is the proliferation of guns, which is something that the United States is doing to itself and to Mexico. You wanna do something about that? And maybe about poverty? And maybe about drug legalization?

What about caravans? Get the fuck outta here with that. Those were refugees from the fucking violence that Trump talks about. If Fox "news" and Breitbart keep screaming in your face, you get filled to your fuckin' tits with this bullshit.

Trump's gonna use this issue, though. He's gonna get in front of his idiot hordes who will hoot and holler as he dances a jig about his worthless wall, the same fuckin' hoodoo he conjures when he's whipping up the rubes, a fading rock star performing his one hit.

4/04/2018

Moments from a Day or Two After the Murder of Martin Luther King, Jr.

1. Duke Ellington and his orchestra were already scheduled to play his Second Sacred Concert at Carnegie Hall on April 4, 1968. Ellington was participating in a concert of religious music to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the black institution, Tougaloo College, whose choir sang during the program. Before the concert began, it was announced to the audience that Martin Luther King, Jr., had been gunned down in Memphis. The New York Times said that the gasp from the people there "almost filled the hall."

A Lutheran minister there, John Gensel, led a prayer for King and "all future civil rights movements." The only change in the program was that a solo singer, Robert Edwin, changed his song to "Oh, Who Will Answer," a hymn that contains the lyrics, "Man is sunk in dark despair/Oh, listen to the pleading cry/Oh, who will answer, 'Here am I'?"

The title of the evening was "Good News for the Modern Man."

2. All over the country, for two days, April 5 and 6, 1968, longshoremen and others at ports from Texas to Maine shut down work in honor of King. This included passenger ships and boats carrying supplies to soldiers in Vietnam. Unions for the workers had been integrated for years, with up to 50% of their membership non-white, and the presidents for the National Maritime Union and the International Longshoremen's Association issued statements calling for the shut down. The head of the ILA, Thomas Gleason, said of King, "He was a man of peace and dignity, completely dedicated to God and the brotherhood of man. It is fitting and proper, then, that we devote this time to pray that the principles that guided this great, great man continue to guide others in the movement for brotherhood to which he devoted his energies."

The work stoppage began in Elizabeth, New Jersey, at 8 a.m. on April 5. By noon, "the 90 piers of the port of New York City were sepulchral," said the Times.

3. In New Delhi, India, the parliament heard a tribute to King from Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, followed by a moment of silence. In Tel-Aviv, Israel, Prime Minister Abba Eba went on the radio to speak in honor of King. Newspapers in that country emphasized that King's murderer was white. In Beirut, Lebanon, the newspapers announced the killing with headlines like "Negro Revolt Breaks Out in America." In Rome, Italy, hundreds of students demonstrated outside the U.S. Embassy to protest the assassination.

In Austin, Texas, thousands of students marched on the state capitol, demanding racial equality, after a memorial service for King. In Madison, Wisconsin, the chancellor of the University of Wisconsin led 20,000 in a silent march. In Kansas City, Missouri, a black clerk noticed that flags on the county courthouse and city hall were not at half-mast. Within 5 minutes of his complaining, they were lowered.

4. Out of respect for King, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Louis Armstrong said they would not perform at the upcoming Oscar ceremony. Sidney Poitier and Diahann Carroll said they would not present awards, as they had been scheduled to do. Soon after their announcements, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided to postpone the entire ceremony for several days.