12/10/2019

A Few Questions for Enraged Republicans

In the wake of Democrats finally loading the cannon on actual articles of impeachment, Republicans are somewhere between frantic denial and explosive apoplexy as they insist that Donald Trump did nothing wrong in his dealings with Ukraine and Congress. So I have a few questions for 'em.

1. If Ukraine is so corrupt, why was no funding held up in 2017 and 2018? And why was corruption in Ukraine not a significant part of any hearings in the House of Representatives in those years, when Republicans were in the majority? (And in hearings in the Senate, corruption in Ukraine was seen as directly being influenced by Russia.)

2. If Ukraine continues to be so corrupt, why were the funds even released in 2019 when they made no tangible additional effort to fight corruption between July and September?

3. If Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election in the United States, why did the Republican-run committees in the House ignore that in 2017 and 2018? Not a single hearing looked into that in those years, although hearings did focus on how Ukraine needed the support of the United States against Russia.

4. If Hunter Biden did something so awful, how come Republicans in the House didn't investigate it in 2017 or 2018? Devin Nunes was the chair of the Intelligence Committee, and Republicans chaired the Foreign Affairs and Judiciary committees. But the name "Biden" barely comes up in hearings, mostly in a historical context. And "Hunter Biden" is simply nowhere to be found. What made him more corrupt in 2019?

5. You ask rhetorically if the United States shouldn't pursue an investigation against Burisma and Hunter Biden just because he's the son of the president's political opponent. President Trump was asked if he had asked for investigations of a single other person or entity in Ukraine, and he couldn't answer. Do you have an answer? Why didn't you pursue those in 2017 and 2018? Do you think it's okay to only investigate Hunter Biden?

6. When a Democratic president's staff is subpoenaed to come before Congress, do you agree that that president should be allowed to order them to defy the subpoena?

7. When a Democratic president refuses to allow any documents to be given to Congress during investigations, do you support that?

8. If a Democratic president asks for a favor from the leader of, perhaps, Israel to look into, say,  business deals of the Trump family because Israel is so corrupt, are you okay with that? Would you support that president withholding aid to Israel until they dealt with the issue?

These are all ridiculous questions because Republicans have decided that any sense of consistency, dignity, or honesty must be subsumed in their deeply depraved defense of Donald Trump. They are all his willing bitches and he's their enthusiastic pimp, sending them out to fuck the country, knock it out, and take its wallet.

12/06/2019

Nikki Haley Said One of the Stupidest Fucking Things I've Heard a Politician Say in a Long Time

Former South Carolina governor, former UN ambassador, and the hope of every Republican who believes their party is so much more than Trump ("See? A woman! And she's not white! We're not racist or sexist now!") Nikki Haley was talking to Glenn "Fooled you with that brief bout of sanity" Beck on his internet concern, The Blaze, about her decision to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the SC state capital. She did this in the wake of racist Dylann Roof's mass shooting of the members of the congregation of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a traditionally black place of worship, in Charleston in 2015. Roof hoped to start a race war, as he said in his racist manifesto.

And Haley's response to Beck today is one of the stupidest fucking things I've heard a supposedly mainstream politician say in a long time. She said, "Here is this guy who comes out with this manifesto, holding the Confederate flag and had just hijacked everything that people had thought of [it]...People saw it as service and sacrifice and heritage. But once he did that, there was no way to overcome it."

Not once did Haley acknowledge that those who saw it as "service and sacrifice and heritage" are fucking wrong, that they are the very racist fuckholes who helped create someone like Dylann Roof. No, she's gotta kiss the asses of the racists in her party if she hopes to have any career as an elected official, whether in South Carolina or the nation, and so she's gonna go with this bullshit. She's gonna say with utter seriousness that the flag was just fine until Roof massacred a bunch of black people.

Haley wasn't done, though. She continued, "And the national media came in in droves—they wanted to define what happened. They wanted it to make this about racism. They wanted to make it about gun control. They wanted to make it about the death penalty." That's right. It wasn't the racist with a gun who made it about racism and guns. It was the media reporting that the racist with a gun was a fucking racist with a fucking gun. This blaming the media for every time a reporter calls out something for being fucked up is shameless. But that's Haley. It's always been Haley. It's how she could say, "We don't have hateful people in South Carolina" with a straight face. Anyone who displays a Confederate flag is, by definition, hateful. That's a fuck-ton of people in the state.

She talked about how she believes South Carolinians behaved after the shooting. She told Beck, "We didn't have protests. We had hugs." And that would be totally right if it weren't totally wrong. See, there were protests. In Charleston, there was a "March for Black Lives" three days after the shooting. In the capital, Columbia, there was a protest against the display of the Confederate flag on the same day. It's just a fuckin' lie to say that it was all hugs after the racist murder of 9 people.

Haley tried to defend herself on Twitter by saying she was proud of having had the flag removed from the grounds of the state capital. Despite the "national media" being the problem, she linked to a New York Times transcript of her speech calling for its removal. And even that speech was more about appeasing the racists. "The hate filled murderer who massacred our brothers and sisters in Charleston has a sick and twisted view of the flag," she said in 2015. "In no way does he reflect the people in our state who respect and, in many ways, revere it." The flag itself is sick and twisted. If you view it any other way, you are sick and twisted. It is a flag that represents racism and violence and traitors. If you "revere it," you are a violent, racist traitor or you don't have a problem with violent, racist traitors.

And, as I've said before, who gives a fuck if your family died fighting for the South in the Civil War and you want to honor them? Who gives a fuck? Your family was fighting to keep slavery legal. Your ancestors were wrong. They're assholes. Fuck 'em. (I grew up in the south. I know my people.)

Why call this one of the stupidest fucking things I've heard lately, especially on a day when Trump complained about how much some people have to flush a toilet? Is this being graded on a curve? Sure. Haley is allegedly part of the sane sect of the Republican Party, the intellectual center of it or some such shit. But what Haley's comments show is that the GOP cannot escape its racist heart. Without the racists assholes who elected Trump, there is no Republican Party. And we should be grateful that they're not even trying to hide that fact anymore.

The line from Dylann Roof to Donald Trump is not very long.

12/05/2019

It's My Birthday: Sign Up for My Patreon and Listen to My Podcast

So today is the big next step on the increasingly speedy road to my death. Yep, it's my birthday, and the bestest thing you can get me is to sign up for the Rude Pundit Patreon page.

Starting at a buck a month, you get bonus posts, including personal stories (like about that time I genuinely saw the future - and it involved Muppet babies - and I don't even believe in that shit), political stuff (like how Trump's rage is wrecking him), recommendations for music and other relaxing stuff, and pieces of my new stage show, It's the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fucked), premiering in Calgary in January. Most recently, I posted about how Stormy Daniels is a better business person than Donald Trump.

Join on up. I'll have a new audio clip from the show posted tomorrow for all $5 a month and up donors. And a new blog post is up for all donors.

You can also check out (for free!) the latest episode of The Rude Pundit Podcast over on the Sexy Liberal Podcast Network. I'm riffing on a recent blog post about calling the Republicans' bluff on their bullshit Ukraine conspiracy theories. Subscribe, motherfuckers, and rate it and review it on the iTunes and Stitcher and Spotify and every other place.

Hell, you can listen right the fuck here:



Back tomorrow with more lubricated rudeness.

12/04/2019

No, Biden: An Argument Against Joe Because of Impeachment

(Usual caveat: I'll vote for a leprous toad if it wins the Democratic nomination, so, yeah, if it's Biden, I'm going for him.)

There's a reason to vote for someone other than Joe Biden in the primaries that has nothing to do with his age, although a rational country should be able to talk openly about the very real degenerative effects of aging, especially as five candidates (Biden, Sanders, Warren, Bloomberg, and Trump) are 70 and up. There's a reason to vote for someone other than Biden that has nothing to do with his gaffes and misspeaks and "malarkey." There's a reason to vote for someone other than Biden that has nothing to do with his moderate-to-conservative views on issues like health care, college tuition, and taxation.

It's simple, really: Joe Biden wants to make nice with Republicans. In fact, he totally believes that, if he wins, he can bring out the shiny-toothed charm offensive, work in partnership with Republicans, and get things done once that awful Donald Trump is gone. Here he is at his CNN Town Hall last month: "With Trump out of the way, I predict to you now, my 89 opponents are running for the nomination are going to say something different. But let me just say, I honest to God believe, with Trump out of the way, you're going to find people screwing up a lot more courage than they had before to say, 'OK, OK, I can -- I can move now, I -- I -- I have more leeway.'" Earlier in November, at a fundraiser, he had said, "With Donald Trump out of the way, you’re going to see a number of my Republican colleagues have an epiphany. Mark my words. Mark my words...It’s going to take two things: One is somebody who in fact, knows how to reach across the aisle and get things done."

Now, it is entirely possible that Biden has some inside skinny on Republicans who tell him that they'll be happy once Uncle Joe has safely taken back the Oval Office from the orange menace, but it's pretty unlikely. These are the same Republicans, especially in the Senate, who refused to pass legislation, negotiate over bills, and blocked a Supreme Court pick for the last Democrat, Barack Obama. Maybe he thinks they'll work with a white Democrat?

Biden believes that his capacity to forgive and forget with Republicans is an asset. But it's a fundamental misreading of Democrats right now, just as Obama misread his victory in 2008. If I've said it once, I've said it a million times: Obama screwed up by not punishing Republicans, especially Bush administration officials, for what they did to the nation with the Iraq War and torture, as well as the financial crisis. He thought that looking forward would get him some credit with the GOP, but, instead, it emboldened them to block Obama's plans, demonize him, and destroy Democratic gains in 2006 and 2008 with the 2010 midterms and the miserable Tea Party. And I happen to think that one reason Obama took this path is because Biden advised him to (I don't have evidence of that, but, man, Biden's talking like someone who's believe this, well, malarkey for a while).

What does this have to do with impeachment? Right now, Republicans are stubbornly refusing to believe what the entire intelligence community of the United States and the Justice Department and congressional committees (even ones led by Republicans) have concluded when it comes to the facts about who was involved in hacking our election, who benefited, and who wants to mess with the election in 2020. Republicans ignore the criminality surrounding Donald Trump and his inner circle. They are enabling those crimes, from the emoluments violations to the bribery to the witness intimidation and more. And they won't lift a finger, as a group or even as individuals, to stop Trump.

I've been writing about politics since the heady days of the Reagan era, and these sons of bitches are going down a dangerous road, one that pulls the rug out from not just the legislative branch, but from the actual laws of the nation. And this is just on impeachment. It doesn't even get into the dangerously unqualified but appropriately nutzoid conservative judges that Mitch McConnell and the GOP-led Senate are rubber-stamping faster than they can keep the ink pad wet. That will pervert the legal system even further than allowing Trump to do whatever crimes he wants.

Republicans have decided to shit where everyone eats. And should Democrats win back the presidency and the Senate, as well as keep the House, Republicans will need to be punished for what they have done and what they are currently doing. That doesn't mean rounding them up and spanking them and telling them that you hope they learned their lesson. It means investigating and prosecuting those who need to be prosecuted (looking at you, Barr and Nunes), censuring and expelling those who deserve it, stripping them of power within the Congress, and undoing as much as can possibly be undone. They are traitors and they need to be treated like traitors.

It'll mean not pretending like Republicans are going to all of a sudden discover their consciences or souls or patriotism or what-the-fuck-ever. It's gonna take a president who wants to fuck their shit up, who wants to consign the party of Trump to history's garbage heap, who wants to burn down their side of the aisle, not reach across it.

By his own words, Joe Biden is obviously incapable of being that president. A president who is incapable of seeing who the enemy is will be unable to stop that enemy and will allow that enemy to regroup and flourish again. And that is reason enough to not vote for Biden.

(Note: I don't know that Democrats as a whole have the stones to clean house the way it needs to be cleaned, but, at the very least, let's have a president who will give it a shot.)

11/27/2019

A Thanksgiving Poem from the Conquered

(This works as a prayer, too)

Remember
by Joy Harjo, who is from the Muscogee/Creek Nation

Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star's stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
Remember the sun's birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. You are evidence of
her life, and her mother's, and hers.
Remember your father. He is your life, also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.
Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
origin of this universe.
Remember you are all people and all people
are you.
Remember you are this universe and this
universe is you.
Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember language comes from this.
Remember the dance language is, that life is.
Remember.


11/25/2019

Note to Democrats: Call the GOP's Bluff

Oh, it would be a shit show of open sewer proportions, for sure. It would be a scuzzy circus on top of a cheap zoo covered with crazy sauce. But House Democrats should call the bluff of the increasingly divorced-from-reality Republicans and hold hearings on all the fuckery they claim has been going on. Like fuckin' all of it. Like let's attempt to blow this shit up once and for all.

Just tell Republicans at different committees, "You wanna go? Let's go, motherfuckers. Call your witnesses. But everyone has to go under oath. Every fucking witness."

Start with one bullshit conspiracy and then move on to the next. You wanna prove that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election, Republicans? Fine. Look at one of Devin Nunes's repetitive mad rants during the impeachment hearings and see who they might want to testify. Alexandra Chalupa? Groovy. How about all the Ukrainians that Republicans claim know shit about Hunter Biden or the 2016 election? Awesome. Bring 'em all in, Valeriy Chaly, Viktor Shokin (that'll make you shit blood, eh, Devin?), and more. And, sure, why not, let's get Hunter Biden.  Do it up.

However, Democrats get to invite witnesses, too. Lev Parnas and Serhiy Leshchenko, perhaps. Hell, bring in Joe Biden.

Let's get it all out there. "Black book" and "Steele dossier" are still involved in this madness.  So call back in Glenn Simpson, along with Peter Fritsch, two of the founders of Fusion GPS, who can explain one more goddamn time about the Republican origins of the Steele dossier and about how they have no connection to Ukraine and how deeply, deeply Trump is in with Russia.

You wanna see how divorced from reality things are now? Check out this moment from their New York Times editorial this past Sunday, when Simpson found himself on a plane with Rudy Giuliani.

"'I understand you think I spent a lot of time in Ukraine?' Mr. Simpson inquired.

"'You did spend some time in Ukraine,' Mr. Giuliani replied.

"'Did I?' Mr. Simpson asked as he waved his phone in front of Mr. Giuliani, signaling that he was recording the encounter. 'What if I told you I have never been to Ukraine in my life?'

"'Well,' Mr. Giuliani replied with equanimity, 'O.K. I will find out if that’s true or not.'"

Essentially, the GOP has become a machine to back up whatever insanity is coursing through Donald Trump's shrinking brain or whatever lie has been concocted to cover up the latest crimes. It's like if you're a Republican member of Congress, you must wake up and get a text message from your leadership that says something like, "Okay, we no longer trust the entire intelligence apparatus of the United States. We have to say no one knows anything about who might have the DNC server," and you might want to text back that there really isn't a "DNC server" that can be sent around and hidden like Napoleon's penis. But you know better because Trump has gotten in his head that some acid-washed black box is sitting in a room in Kyiv, and that's the GOP's belief now, even if it's bugnuts insane.

Why do this? Why give them the freak show that they so claim they want? It won't change many minds. People who don't live in reality tend not to give a flaming monkey fuck if you show them facts. So screw them. But so many elections these days, especially on the state and national level, are a matter of a percentage point or two. And if hearings can nudge that one or two percent by demonstrating that Republicans are full of shit, Democrats have to hold their noses and do it.

And it'll also solidify the narrative that so many of us know is true. That Donald Trump was the beneficiary of election interference from Russia, almost certainly knowingly, and that he openly sought election interference from Ukraine, warping U.S. foreign policy in order to assure his reelection. It's not that complicated. It's all about greed and power and madness.

We can't go on like this, as a country where there are two completely different versions of reality, one based in facts and one based in fantasy, especially when the fantasy side has built up a web of doubt against facts. If we had a functional news media (and no Fox "news"), it could do the job. But we don't, and we now have the party that controls the executive branch, most of the judiciary, and half the legislative branch actively seeking to replace facts with fantasy. The kick in the ass is that most of them know it's a fantasy and don't give a shit as long as they maintain power.

It's an odious fucking task for Democrats. But while they have the ability to tear at that web through hearings, they need to do it until the goddamn thing snaps enough to make a difference. Or we're all gonna get trapped in it.

11/22/2019

In Brief: Trump Still Cannot Get Over Adam Schiff's Parody of His Phone Call with Zelensky

About 4 weeks ago, I wrote about how President Donald Trump, who is just a worn-out leather sack of volleyballs with a canary melon on top, is absolutely obsessed with Rep. Adam Schiff's opening statement of the impeachment hearings on September 26. That's where Schiff gave a paraphrase of Trump's call with Ukrainian President Zelensky, emphasizing and mocking the gangster tone that Trump used (and that, frankly, Trump always uses). Trump has not been able to let it go.

Now we're getting towards the end of November, and in his bugfuck insane call-in interview on Fox and Friends this morning, he brought it up at least three times.

At 11:41: "Now Schiff, remember this. He makes it all up. He’s sick. There’s something wrong with him. So he made up my phone call. He made it up. He made up a phone call, and then when I released it, everybody was embarrassed."

At 25:12: "Adam Schiff is a nut job. Listen to this. Adam Schiff gets up before Congress and he made up my statement and I said, 'Who made that statement?' He made it up-"

At 25:43: "If you heard Adam Schiff’s made up version of my call, I mean, it was the worst thing I’ve ever heard. I said, 'How could that be possible?' And you know the sad part? Because he made it in the halls of Congress, he has immunity. I can’t sue him, the Republican party can’t sue him."

At 29:44: "Who I want to testify most is Schifty-Schiff and I want to find out why did he make up my statement? He made up my statement and I want to find that out. Why did shifty-Schiff, who’s a crooked politician. He’s a corrupt politician. Why did he make up my statement? He made up the statement."

Remember: This happened two months ago. So very much more has happened since then, but, for Trump, this slight, this abuse, this insult cannot ever be forgotten.

Trump keeps calling Schiff and Pelosi and the media "sick." But it's more obvious than ever that, in his monomaniacal fixation, the real sickness in DC is belongs to the president.