7/25/2017

Fuck You, John McCain

I know there are people who are more responsible than Arizona Senator John McCain for the passage of the motion to proceed to dismantle health care coverage for millions of Americans and give a big ass tax cut to the wealthiest in the country. I know that there is still a long, long way to go before any actual legislation that does all that passes, although it really just seems like a fait accompli at this point. And I know, I know, Christ, fuck, I know that in some cosmic sense it's wrong to attack someone who has an aggressive form of brain cancer and just had a blood clot removed from behind his eyeball, that such suffering ought to be given respect. But fuck all that.

Fuck you, John McCain, you petulant, pissant son of a bitch. Fuck you, fuck your legacy, fuck your pain, fuck your recovery, fuck your family, and fuck, fuck, fuck you. And I feel free to say that because, with his vote today to allow debate on some bullshit new health care plan, he said, "Fuck you" to hundreds of thousands of his state's constituents who will lose Medicaid coverage or be priced out of insurance or be pushed into some worthless policy.

The saddest response to McCain's announcement yesterday that he was returning early to Washington to vote on the motion-to-proceed was the hope that the mythical maverick McCain would show up and, likely having no more elections to run, would do the right thing by voting "No." That McCain never existed, and, except for issues like torture, he has been as loyal a Republican as any flea on the hairs on Mitch McConnell's waxy balls. Of course he was coming back to dick people over. It's what he does. He's a motherfucker, like every other Republican motherfucker. Motherfuckers fuck mothers. How many times do I have to say this? They fuck mothers. It's right there in the word. If they get a chance to fuck a mother, they will fuck that mother because they are motherfuckers. And the repeal of the Affordable Care Act is like a sticky blood orgy of motherfuckery. By the time the process is over, Republicans will fuck every hole and carve some new ones to fuck.

Not only did McCain vote, but then he saw fit to stand there and give a sanctimonious goddamned speech decrying how the Senate has become "more partisan, more tribal." He called for a return to some kind of era of comity, and he blamed both parties for what he sees as a breakdown in "regular order" in the Senate and the ability to work together. And all over the media, people acted like fuckin' Lancelot had just come riding in to save the day when it was really just a filthy one-eyed poodle with a chip on its shoulder and ankles to bite.

Let's contextualize: "Regular order" was stabbed to death by Republicans during the Obama presidency when the Senate GOP decided that every bill would be filibustered when they were in the minority and any idea of the President's would be blocked when they got the majority. John McCain barely squeaked a single fart of protest out from between his saggy ass cheeks. In fact, again, except for torture (sometimes), he went along every single fucked up time that Republicans threw themselves in the way of legislation passed by the House. And then he blew shit up like a common terrorist when Republicans got the Senate back. "Regular order," motherfucker? Suck a pig dick.

Shit, in his little vomit of a speech today, he smirked when he criticized Democrats for not engaging Republicans on the Affordable Care Act: "The Obama administration and congressional Democrats shouldn’t have forced through Congress without any opposition support a social and economic change as massive as Obamacare." Bitch, there were ten months of hearings and 160 Republican amendments got into the bill. So make a dildo out of your complaint about regular order and shove it up your worn out sphincter.

And let's contextualize further: What McCain voted for today was a phantom bill. It was a sham to get something out there so that the amendment process could start on the House bill. It was as far from regular order as having monkeys fuck on the floor of the Senate, although that's a fair analogy for what actually occurred.

The final fucking insult from McCain today was that he once again pretended like he might be a maverick. He said, "Why don’t we try the old way of legislating in the Senate, the way our rules and customs encourage us to act. If this process ends in failure, which seem likely, then let’s return to regular order." If you think that McCain will do anything noble, if you think he will put country over party or compassion over ideology, then you have no idea who John McCain really is: a shitty human being who tricked everyone into thinking he was better than that, a false idol, and a sad, miserable fool who deserves to be pissed on by everyone he passes. He had a chance to be a hero to the vast majority of Americans today, but he didn't care. Not even after receiving the government-paid health care he has gotten his entire life. And he gives a win to Donald Trump, who mocked McCain being a POW during the Vietnam War.

Fuck him.

Besides, he gave us Sarah Palin, whose stupidity, vapidity, and cruelty arguably paved over the gravel road and made the ride easier for Donald Trump.

So fuck him forever.

7/24/2017

Another Big Republican Lie on the ACA: They Can Give You Something Better

We know that Republicans have lied nonstop about the Affordable Care Act ever since it was passed into law by a Democratic-led Congress and signed by the Negro President. We know that Republicans are stuck because Obamacare is mostly based on Massachusetts's Romneycare and both come from plans from the conservative Heritage Foundation. We know that Republicans lied and continue to lie about the effects of the AHCA and then the BCRA, the House and Senate versions of their "repeal and replace" bills. But there is one more thing, one more set of lies, that is responsible for sticking a shiv into the GOP's dream of murdering a bunch of poor people so rich people can be richer.

See, Republicans keep trying to put the blame for the fix they're in on American voters. "We have to keep our promises to the American people," Republicans say. "We won the last three elections by promising to repeal and replace Obamacare," they whine like a dog that caught a cat only to realize it was a fucking mountain lion. Yeah, they're right. Voters did put Republicans in power over the promise of getting rid of the Obamacare horror and torture or whatever drama queen word you wanna use. But, and this is important, they only wanted to get rid of it because Republicans said they'd do better. Or, to put it another way, they lied about what they could do for people if the Affordable Care Act was overturned.

Senator after senator told you how you were enslaved by Obamacare and that the GOP would set you free. John McCain proclaimed, "Families in Arizona and across the country should have the power to make their own medical decisions – not Washington bureaucrats. This bill puts patients and doctors back in charge of their health care by fully repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a free-market approach that strengthens the quality and accessibility of care." John Thune promised, "It’s time to repeal this law and replace it with something that works. And that’s precisely what we’re going to do."

Others got even more explicit. For instance, here's Wyoming Senator John Barrasso (campaign slogan: "If you can't trust a man whose name includes the phrase 'bare ass,' who can you trust?"), from a speech he gave on the floor of the Senate in November, shortly after the election: "First of all, nobody is talking about taking people off of insurance without a replacement plan in place." Except that's exactly what they talked about. While Republicans will constantly mention how President Obama said, "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor" (which, to be fair, was an absurd promise), they simply aren't owning that they got voters all excited about this new fantasy health care plan where they wouldn't lose coverage despite repealing the very law that gave them coverage.

In fact, when you get to what President Donald Trump said, Republicans were promising something amazing. Put aside that Trump repeatedly said he wouldn't cut Medicaid and then, immediately after inauguration, put out a plan to cut Medicaid. Trump and his people consistently promised that Americans would have better health insurance coverage, that all Americans would be covered, and that it would cost them less in premiums and deductibles. He literally said this: "You will end up with great health care for a fraction of the price." And he told Americans that we would have a "beautiful picture" in the future of health care.

Republicans like to say that Democrats promise that they'll give people "free stuff" and that people on government programs like Medicaid are "moochers." But Republicans didn't win on the Obamacare issue because people didn't want free stuff. They didn't win because they said they would take away their health insurance. They won because they promised people more free stuff and better free stuff.

In other words, they lied. But voters believed them. They wanted to mooch more.

And the vast majority of Americans realize now that it was a lie because the Trumpcare plan that the Senate may vote to move forward tomorrow does none of the things they promised other than get rid of the health insurance they have now or make it worse and more expensive. So, of course, now we get articles like "These Americans Hated the Health Law. Until the Idea of Repeal Sank In." In that New York Times piece, Pennsylvania dumb shits who once thought Obamacare was the worst thing since the theory of evolution say things like "I can’t even remember why I opposed it" and "Everybody needs some sort of health insurance." One stupid fuck went from opposing the law to "Now that you’ve insured an additional 20 million people, you can’t just take the insurance away from these people. It’s just not the right thing to do."

But we knew all along that people liked the Affordable Care Act. They liked the elimination of spending caps and of pre-existing conditions determining premiums. They liked keeping their kids on insurance until age 26. And a shit-ton of people got to live because of the Medicaid expansion. Yeah, the ACA was fine. What they hated was Obamacare, which is exactly what Republicans wanted people to think of for a very simple reason:

Most Republican voters don't hate the ACA. They hate that their white asses were saved by a black man.

They resented the shit out of that fact. It put a lie to all the racism they've clung to for generations. The GOP used that racism for years. Now that the black man is gone, though, they're totally fine with the law and its benefits. They gave Republicans a chance to give them more stuff, but they don't want their stuff taken away. Especially when that "stuff" is the right to live a healthy life.

Be careful this week, dear dumb shits and dearer smart asses. Republicans are going to keep coming after the Affordable Care Act, no matter how many shivs you stick in it. Stay on the phones. Keep the pressure up on the few Republican senators who can make the difference. Don't let the liars win. It's life and death, motherfuckers, life and death.

And once we finally put this beast down, let's turn our attention to single payer.

(Fun extra part of Barrasso's speech: "Democrats promised that they would listen to other people’s ideas, and then they went behind a closed door in an office back there, and they wrote the law ignoring all of the suggestions by Republicans, and without any Republican support at all. We’re not going to make that same mistake. We will be looking for Democrats’ help, we will be looking for Democrats to work with. We will be listening to Democrats’ ideas, and we will be working very hard to win Democrat votes for any new law." Insert your own rolling-with-laughter emoji here.)

7/20/2017

Bonfire of the Inanities: Observations on Trump's Interview With the New York Times

At this point, any new batshit thing that President Donald Trump says comes across less as a shock and more like another punch to the face in a boxing match. If you're an experienced fighter, you know exactly how it's gonna feel when that glove pounds your chin, but, goddamnit, it still hurts and, goddamnit, you want it to stop. So this latest New York Times "interview" (if by "interview," you mean, "a lunatic scrawling in shit on his rubber room walls") with Trump is the usual serving of blithering, dithering, and withering, all tossed into a word salad that sounds like it might be English but is a colloquial bowl of chopped ideas that we could call "Trumpese."

The usual things that crop up any time Trump speaks were in full effect here:

1. Self-fellatio - Trump praises himself endlessly for doing the most, having the most, being the most, even if it's a goddamned lie. Here he is on his speech in Poland: "Enemies of mine in the media, enemies of mine are saying it was the greatest speech ever made on foreign soil by a president...You saw the reviews I got on that speech." Or on the rollback of Obama-era regulations: " I’ve given the farmers back their farms. I’ve given the builders back their land to build houses and to build other things." Can you imagine the hategasm that would splooge all over the airwaves if President Obama had said, "I gave people health insurance"? We'd be cleaning up that goo for years. But Trump's voters love that he acts like he's the king. They want a king. They want to be ruled. They want discipline. Shit, basically, he's their Dom and they're his loyal Subs, except the rest of us have been dragged into it without a safe word or, you know, consent.

2. Shitting on others - Yeah, Trump just sprayed scat all over Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Justice Department in general. In addition to questioning the motives of Robert Mueller (as well as threatening to fire him) and bizarrely saying that Sessions shouldn't have taken the job if he was going to recuse himself from Russia matters (remember: Sessions tried not to do so until it was revealed he lied under oath about his meetings), Trump says of his firing of James Comey, "I think I did a great thing for the American people." The American people just want someone who'll do the goddamn job. It's mighty strange, by the way, to say that you did nothing wrong but wanting the investigation shut down.

2a. Shitting on Hillary Clinton - Because of course he did.

3. Cornered rat babbling - Asked about the conversation with Vladimir Putin that wasn't reported until well after the G20 summit, Trump was like a tween caught with weed in his dresser. He wove an elaborate tale about how the chat came to be, setting the scene at the dinner all the leaders attended, who was seated where, who was talking to whom, who else might have been there, the fucking opera they watched. Then Trump said what he and Putin discussed: "Actually, it was very interesting, we talked about adoption." The fuck? (I wish Maggie Haberman had said that instead of "You did?") Trump continued, "We talked about Russian adoption. Yeah. I always found that interesting. Because, you know, he ended that years ago. And I actually talked about Russian adoption with him, which is interesting because it was a part of the conversation that Don [Jr.] had in that meeting." That means they talked about the lifting of the sanctions in the Magnitsky Act, which is pretty fucking important. But a cornered rat will do that. Amid the lies and distractions, they will squeak out some truth.

4. Paranoid ranting - Everyone is out to get Trump, according to Trump. The news media, of course, but, more significantly, Barack Obama creeps into his head and he can't help but go nutzoid insulting his beloved White House predecessor. "Don’t forget, Crimea was given away during Obama. Not during Trump," he said, speaking of himself in the third person, which is so disconcerting. He then went incoherent until he got back to Obama: "In fact, I was on one of the shows, I said they’re exactly right, they didn’t have it as it exactly. But he was — this — Crimea was gone during the Obama administration, and he gave, he allowed it to get away. You know, he can talk tough all he wants, in the meantime he talked tough to North Korea. And he didn’t actually. He didn’t talk tough to North Korea. You know, we have a big problem with North Korea. Big. Big, big." Jesus, calm down there, big fella. "You look at all of the things, you look at the line in the sand. The red line in the sand in Syria. He didn’t do the shot. I did the shot. Had he done that shot, he wouldn’t have had — had he done something dramatic, because if you remember, they had a tremendous gas attack after he made that statement. Much bigger than the one they had with me." Ah, finally he can let Obama win one: Syria gassed more people under Obama than under Trump. Such a humble man, our president.

5. Just weird shit - Every interview with Trump is guaranteed to have some bizarre notes, those moments when Trump sounds like a Hollywood producer in the 1970s. You could go with his description of the Bastille Day parade in Paris ("You know what else that was nice? It was limited. You know, it was two hours, and the parade ended. It didn’t go a whole day") or even when he jumped subjects like a weasel on meth ("The Russians have great fighters in the cold. They use the cold to their advantage. I mean, they’ve won five wars where the armies that went against them froze to death. It’s pretty amazing. So, we’re having a good time. The economy is doing great.") But I'm gonna go with the saga of French President Macron and his love of holding Trump's hand: "He’s a great guy. Smart. Strong. Loves holding my hand...People don’t realize he loves holding my hand. And that’s good, as far as that goes...I think he is going to be a terrific president of France. But he does love holding my hand." Every night, Macron touches the hand that held Trump's, and a single tear runs slowly down his face as he remembers those soft, small fingers interlaced with his.

Keep in mind that these were easy questions because the reporters know that if you ask Trump something about policy, like "Can you explain a single fucking thing about how the ACA exchanges work?" or if you challenge him, like "Why did you lie about Medicaid cuts?" he'll just shut down like an overstimulated toddler. Even on the softball questions, he got basic facts wrong and he didn't know when to shut the fuck up. Sure, Trump ought to be interviewed like anyone would Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama or, fuck, Mitt Romney, but we all know that he's fucking stupid so get the stupid people to talk about the one thing they feel comfortable with: themselves.

It's not shocking anymore. And we need to be careful about that. The thing about a boxing match is that the fighters can never let it get boring and rote. It might be exhausting or excruciating. But you gotta stay in the moments or you'll find yourself flat on your ass, without health care, with your country at war, with your voting rights gone, and with your environment collapsing.

7/17/2017

Trump Voters Were Wrong, So Fuck Their Opinions

In just six short months, it's become absolutely clear: Everyone who didn't vote for Donald Trump was right and everyone who voted for him was wrong. Yeah, yeah, they weren't wrong in that Trump won the election, just as someone isn't wrong for supporting a shitty baseball team. But it's incredibly clear now that the poor suckers and greedy fuckers who wanted to nuzzle up to Trump's man-teats for a suckle were wrong on just about every account regarding who he is and what he'd do.

They were wrong that he's a man of his word, they were wrong that he would look out for working people, they were wrong that he would make the nation respected "again" (as if it wasn't before), they were wrong that he wouldn't have scandals, and they were just wrong about him being a human being worthy of the office. They were wrong and we who voted against him (and I'm tossing anyone who voted for Hillary Clinton, Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, and Deez Nutz into the category of "voted against him") were right.

Trump voters fucked the goat, and so everything they say should be framed within the fact that they are goatfuckers. "Oh, you have an opinion on health care? Sorry, you fucked a goat. I don't give a shit about your goat-fucking opinion," we should think. But that's not what we do. We don't shun the goatfuckers, no matter how savagely they fucked that goat. We see that most clearly by the fact that the news networks and other media outlets still entertain the opinions of people who supported the Iraq war and never said they were wrong about it. Goatfuckers get away with it.

So we're treated on an almost daily basis to articles and stories about Trump voters and what they think about some issue and whether or not Trump's evil, batshit incompetence is enough for them to bail on the Orange King. Every single one of these stories is the same: Here are some assholes who voted for Trump. Let's treat them with reverence, as if they have hard-won wisdom because they shovel shit or work at Wal-Mart. Let's tell them about all the fuckery that Donald Trump has been up to and see what they think. Oh, look, they don't give a shit because he still hates the Mooslems and Messicans. And what might change their minds about Trumpochet? "I don’t know what he would have to do...I guess maybe kill someone. Just in cold blood."

That's an actual quote from an actual person in a Tennesseean article on Wayne County, Tennessee, an almost entirely white rural area with less people than my neighborhood. The thrust of the piece is that Trump voters couldn't give a happy monkey fuck about the Russia scandal. In fact, they think Trump is being maligned and Don, Jr. is awesome. This is the newest wrinkle in the genre: What do stupid people think about something they don't understand at all? In the last week, Vox has done a story on Michigan Trump voters, who don't think the Russian connections are any big deal. The BBC sent a reporter to the Nebraska State Fair to get some American color (yes, ironic, I know) and some video of deluded shitheels sharing their delusions.

As Newsweek's Alexander Nazaryn wrote, "The real story here is how thoroughly Trump supporters have been deceived, both by Trump and tireless boot-lickers like Hannity and Jones. Every quote from an Ohioan who declares the Russia investigation is irrelevant is a testament to the delusive brand of Republicanism that now reigns supreme." Joshua Green said much the same in the New York Times.

Each of the Trump voter pieces generally has a token interview with someone who doesn't support Trump. But they are presented as curiosities, the two-headed cow that shouldn't exist but somehow does. But the reality is, obviously, people who think Trump is full of shit vastly outnumber the aforementioned suckers and fuckers who stand by their man. How about interviewing some of us? How about asking us, "How did you know?" And we can say, "Anyone with a fuckin' brain knew." Ask us, "What do you think about the Russia dealie?" And we can say, "Either we do something about it or we're fucked."

Hell, you don't even have to stick to the cities, where the majority of the country lives. Since you've got a rural jones, you can head to Bolivar, Tennessee, a town in the ass-crack of nowhere, near to the Alabama border, as Deep South as you can get. They went for Hillary Clinton, as did nearby Whiteville. Of course, those are majority African American towns, so you'd have to change the whole goddamned narrative away from the mighty white working class.

Or, here's an idea, why not go to the communities that went for Trump and find the people who didn't. Talk to them. See if they're feeling smug or sad or angry. See what their ideas are for getting us out of this or through this goddamn bullshit time. Find out how they're feeling about Trump's relationship with Russia. Ask them because they, like the majority of the country, were right.

Let's spend a little time and energy, dear, sweet reporters, on people who aren't barking mad or madly barking.

(Note: If you didn't vote at all, go suck a donkey's dick.)

(Note: If you wanna write to me about "goatfucker shaming," I hate you already. Same for "donkey-dick sucker shaming." Some things are just fucking shameful. Sucking a donkey's dick, fucking a goat, and voting for Donald Trump, for examples.)

7/13/2017

Republicans Really Want You to Die Faster

In case you were wondering just how cruel and crazy Republicans can be, here's a little example:

Rep. Steve King, who looks like the kind of ghoul who eats the spleens of children and then makes a coat of their skins, was asked on CNN about funding for the bullshit wall with Mexico (that's now supposedly going to be covered in solar panels and transparent, which is a contradiction, but, fuck, that's our president). The Iowa Republican had a savage answer: "I’d throw another $5 billion on the pile, and I would find a half of a billion dollars of that right out of Planned Parenthood’s budget, and the rest of it could come out of food stamps and the entitlements that are being spread out for people that haven’t worked in three generations."

That's right. King wants to take money away from health care for women and food out of the mouths of families to fulfill a complete fucking lie. All those people losing food stamps will be fine because "we will create the kind the security that would bring about 10 million new jobs in America just by enforcing immigration law." That's as much of a fantasy as unicorns and trickle-down economics.

And if you're thinking, "Wow, this is fucked up. That dude is fucked up. But I need some genuine awful stupidity to complete the rage I need to put my fist through my computer screen." Oh, dear, dear reader, of course there is some stupid here.

See, Steve King, who looks like he keeps donkey fucking photos on his phone to show his colleagues and laugh at their reactions, says that because food stamps "solved" the hunger crisis in this country, it has led to greater rates of obesity. Not the high fructose corn syrup from, you know, Iowa, or the fact that shitty food is cheaper than healthy food. No, the government has been too generous and made people fat. "We built a program to solve the problem of malnutrition in America," King blathered, "and now we have a problem of obesity."

And if you're thinking, "Yeah, that's so fucking dumb it's a wonder that Steve King can breathe and walk at the same time. But I need this to somehow be tied to the Obamas for it to tip me into a murder spree that I shouldn't be held accountable for." Oh, dear, psychopathic reader, you don't know Steve King, whose voice has the flat tone you hear above you when you wake up in a basement pit.

For, indeed, he did tie the issue to the former First Lady in saying that his cuts to food stamps won't be so bad: "I wouldn’t impose anything more strict on anybody in America than what Michelle Obama did with her school lunch program."

And there it is, the pinnacle of Republicanism, an example that serves to demonstrate everything wrong with the bugfuck insane and tragically, willfully, proudly ignorant conservatives. Michelle Obama wanted to help with growing rates of childhood obesity by getting kids to eat healthier and exercise and for schools to offer better choices than Pepsi and lard. So, obviously, its real goal was to starve Americans while food stamps made them fatter. Or something. Logic doesn't matter. Facts don't matter. Humane behavior doesn't matter. Nothing matters except that government is evil and the Obamas are the evillest.

Why spend so much time on someone who ought to be busy convincing people to buy time shares while yelling at his grandkids about the "coloreds"? Because King's brand of dumb cruelty is the same as the driving force behind the revised Republican health care bill in the Senate, which manages to be crueler and dumber than the House version. The putrid Ted Cruz's putrid amendment would stick a meat hook into the Affordable Care Act's insurance guarantees and rip them open until their guts are steaming on the ground while Cruz yowls as he jacks off into the gore. The Medicaid cuts are essentially Mitch McConnell saying, "Fuck you" to the so-called moderate senators, daring them to defy him, the party, and Trump, in that order, daring them to stare into his dead amphibian eyes and have their souls sucked away.

Republicans are saying, in word and action, that they hold their constituents in contempt. The voters are disposable. In fact, they are saying, let's help them along, whether by starving them or taking away their health care. And then let's make them thank us because, we can say, we kept our promises.

Goddamnit, they will, too.

7/11/2017

Unlike Most of the GOP, the Trumps Are Shitty Liars

Let's be clear here: The Republican Party holds the power it does because it is unafraid to lie. From the overhyped fear of Communism to the overhyped fear of crime to the overhyped fear of terrorism, the GOP has jumped from lie to lie to lie in order to maintain power, often pivoting back to ones that work so well, like welfare fraud and, time and again, crime. They recovered from their near dismantling in 2006 and 2008, after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 washed away the Bush bullshit, by going big with the lies about Barack Obama and, especially, about the Affordable Care Act. And as Republican leaders in the Senate desperately try to come up with a way to squeeze out one more turd of a Trumpcare bill, they are lying with abandon, and not just about what's in the aforementioned turd.

Obamacare markets aren't "collapsing." They're stabilizing. People on the Medicaid expansion aren't desperate to get rid of it. They are satisfied with the care they are getting. Over two-thirds of the country, including a majority of Republicans, support the birth control mandate in Obamacare, the subject of another fake controversy just to appeal to yahoo religious nutzoids.

And the reason that they've gotten away with lying is that they are so fucking good at it. They are so fucking good at playing the media, playing their constituents, playing the Democrats, playing everyone. They are master bullshitters. They get away with it because conservative ideas in a political context are so fucking simple to understand. What's easier on the brain? "We should provide decent education, housing, job-training, and anti-poverty programs to help combat crime"? Or "Lock 'em up"? Democrats can't compete until they come up with a better story than the lies that have worked so well for so long.

It was going along so well for the GOP until the Trumps, this family of outsiders, came along and fucked it all up. Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, and Junior have lived on a privileged plane of existence, where having a cadre of brutish dickhead attorneys on retainer is enough of a deterrent for anyone who would dare question them or try to get paid fairly. They could intimidate people into silence or, if that fails, settle any lawsuits with the handy provisions that they admit no guilt and the plaintiffs can't talk about it. They could be bumblefuck corrupt business shitheels and get away with it.

The biggest problem in getting into the public arena is that, all of a sudden, the Trumps have to deal with the federal government, an entity that doesn't just have lawyers but entire goddamned bureaus devoted to investigating just the kind of fuckery that the Trumps have regularly been involved in. Throw in a media that realizes it had better make itself relevant again or just fucking give up, and a group of people as boisterously, unashamedly moronic as the Trumps don't stand a chance. You don't want to be probed and pilloried? Then either don't be corrupt (except in the usual way of sucking up to Wall Street and other rich fucks - that's just sadly acceptable now), like Obama, who could take all the shit and toss it back, or don't fucking run for office.

We'll never know what toxic combination of hubris, narcissism, and lickspittlism got Donald Trump to run for president to win. But we do know that another toxic combination got him elected, and one of the primary ingredients in that poison was the interference of the Russian government. We also know that we are learning all this because the Trump family was too fucking dumb to cover it up well. They're shitty liars as well as being shitty human beings.

You can imagine Karl Rove slapping his bloated forehead when he saw the emails between cartoon louche Richie Gallstone or whatever the fuck that guy's name is and Donald Trump, Jr. You can imagine Rove getting on the phone with John Boehner and the two of them, liars of the first order, screaming with laughter, "The subject line...the subject line is 'Russia-Clinton.'" You can imagine them both calling Mitch McConnell and taunting him about having to deal with this shit. You can imagine McConnell slowly cursing the fact that he worked so hard to get all these lies working, all the cocksucking and ratfucking that went into them, and now they're being brought down by these Trump assholes.

You can be corrupt. You can be stupid. You can't be stupid and corrupt. Otherwise, you don't know when to shut the fuck up. You don't know when to keep your head down. You don't know when to not fucking tweet out the evidence that, at the very least, reveals the very thing everyone has been trying to pin on you.

So now it falls to the professional liars, the liars with experience, to try to unfuck this fucked up situation. You are going to see a hard-press from the right-wing attack dogs about how this is nothing, how the Democrats are more corrupt and destructive, how it was just a Washington naif's error. It's happening already, and they're saying that it's essentially treasonous to not support the president, a hypocrisy that they have no problem with. They'll say it's about bringing down the great man Trump, it's about sour grapes over the failure in the election, and it's about the mighty flag-waving patriots who don't want to see the country dragged down by what they don't even see as a scandal.

Which brings us back to the top of this here post. The Trump lies and power-at-any-cost actions are part and parcel of what the Republican Party does. The GOP is filthy with masterful sleaze merchants. They can fuck your ears and tell you it was God's blessing. It's going to be up to the Democrats to come up with a simple, straightforward narrative here that can slap the Republicans down until they scurry back to the gutter.

How this turns out will reveal who gives a shit about the nation. Who is enraged that this has happened. Who the real patriots are.

(Note: Sure, Democrats went along some of the time with GOP lies because they can get swept up in a lie as much as anyone, but they rarely have been the originators of a big lie in the last 50 years. And, yeah, the country ain't perfect. No shit. Patriots work to make it better.)

7/10/2017

Random Thoughts on Trump(s) and Russia

1. Let's do this one more time, President Pussygrabber McCrazy. Consider this a lesson in the law.

James Comey could have leaked all the classified information he could get his large hands on.

Hillary Clinton could have mishandled classified emails and done something something with uranium and Russia.

Bill Clinton could have told Loretta Lynch exactly what to say about Hillary.

Every news channel that isn't Fox could be totally fake.

Barack Obama could have done nothing about Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Democrats could have colluded with Russians or Ukrainians or another foreign country during the election.

All the intelligence agencies could be leaking to do damage to the administration.

All of those things can be true, but none of them change the fact that you can still be guilty of obstruction of justice.

A murderer cannot use as a defense that his neighbor is a murderer, too. But both Trump and his son constantly tweet out what they say others are guilty of, as if to say, "If you let them get away with it, you have to let us get away with it." It's like neither of them understand that Hillary Clinton isn't the president and that Barack Obama is out of office.

2. Speaking of Pussygrabber McCrazy, Jr., he is still insisting there was nothing untoward about his meeting, along with Paul "Eyes That Have Seen Trump Nude" Manafort and Jared "Would Gladly Fuck a Dead Raccoon If His Father-in-Law Told Him To" Kushner, with a Russian lawyer. His explanation for having giving two seemingly contradictory statements about the meeting is "No inconsistency in statements, meeting ended up being primarily about adoptions. In response to further Q's I simply provided more details." No, motherfucker, you lied and thought you could get away with it. It's just like the campaign lied from the start about hookups with Russians in general.

3. First off, this "adoption" thing is a bullshit excuse. It has to do with the Magnitsky Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in 2012 in order to punish Russian government officials and oligarchs who are involved in human rights abuses and fraud. It froze the assets of some really rich Russian dicks, and Putin had a hissy, so he banned Americans from adopting Russian babies. Putin hates the Act and wants it repealed. The lawyer who Junior met with, Natalia Veselnitskaya, is involved in an effort to get it repealed. Adoption is part of it, but this is about cold fuckin' cash and power.

4. But the really fucked-up part of this is that when a Russian associated with the Kremlin wanted to get together at Trump fuckin' Plaza because she had dirt on Hillary Clinton, Junior's response was, "Well, sure" when it should have been "I better call the FBI." But he couldn't do that because Junior is cut from the same scuzzy cloth as his father and the Trumps likely owe the Russians a metric fuck-ton of money and jump when told to.

4a. One fun part that hasn't gotten much discussion: Veselnitskaya "recalled that after about 10 minutes, either Mr. Kushner or Mr. Manafort left the room." She makes it seem that it's because nothing significant was discussed. But it could have been that they thought, "Oh, crap, this is illegal" and got the fuck out of Dodge. (Or they were rushing to tell Daddy about what they learned. He was in the building that day, June 9, 2016.)

5. Look, I'm not running around with my hair on fire and game theorizing the shit out of all this on Twitter. I've been circumspect, definitely leaning towards the "this is hinky" side of things with Russia. But at some goddamned point, if you keep sucking dicks for money for meth, you're a meth whore. Sure, sure, you suck one or two dicks and get paid and then go buy meth, maybe we can let it slide as tweaker shit. But if you're doing it every day, then you, my friend, have a problem with meth. And handling your finances. But mostly meth.

It's becoming more difficult to deny that the Trump administration is a meth whore. And we know who the john is.

7/05/2017

When It Comes to Medical Care, Republicans Have No Concept of "Horror"


A couple of days ago, on the Facebook, the Indiana Republican Party (motto: "If You Think Mike Pence Is Bad, Have You Met the Rest of Us?") posted a simple request. "What's your Obamacare horror story?" it asked. "Let us know." No doubt, the IN-GOP thought it would get some old farmers saying how the Negro President made them have to change providers after 30 years with Ol' Doc Cornhole or some such nonsense.

Instead, what can charitably be described as a "shitstorm like a tornado hit a sewer line" occurred. People poured out their hearts with tales of how the Affordable Care Act saved their lives or the lives of loved ones or how it helped make living easier for them. "I had a lump in my breast, but I was uninsured...so I waited. The Affordable Care Act was passed and I went to a doctor. I had Stage III cancer. I got treatment and I'm okay now. I will be forever grateful to President Obama for leading the fight to get EVERY AMERICAN insured" is an example of how many of the responses went. And a bunch of the people posting were pissed that Republicans want to take their health insurance away.

The reaction isn't that shocking. By just about any measure, Obamacare has been ridiculously successful, with some hitches, yes, that have been exacerbated because Republican twat mites have refused to work on getting rid of the hitches. What is kind of shockingly sad, though, is what constitutes horror to Republicans.

Look at what the IN-GOP asked for up there: "Did you lose a doctor that you liked? Have your premiums increased? Did your insurer leave the exchange? Are burdensome regulations hurting your small business?"

So "horror" for them is that some people paid more, that small businesses might have to do a thing or two, or that you might have to find a new doctor because your insurance changed. It's not that you might have to watch your wife die of treatable breast cancer or you might need an expensive medication for your heart disease or your kid's pre-existing condition means she can't get insurance to cover her asthma treatment or your brother is an opioid addict and is going to be kicked out of any treatment. No, that's not horror enough. The real horror is that rich fucks might have to have a little less money. The real horror is that we have to act like we're a fucking society, dependent on each other, and not just a bunch of asshole individuals pretending like our actions don't have an effect on others.

Well, motherfuckers, I'd rather pay some more for my health insurance and I'd rather have to change doctors than tell millions of people that I don't think they should get the care they need because I'm such a greedy, selfish prick.

Republicans wouldn't know horror if it rose up out of Mitch McConnell's asshole and ate their faces.

By the way, even the questions the IN-GOP asks are bullshit. Here's one person responding to the last one, about small businesses: "Before the ACA, my company didn't offer insurance benefits to the hundred or so employees at my location. Now, we have a choice of plans. Amazing what a little pressure can accomplish."

Yeah, it is amazing. That's a better word than "horror."

7/04/2017

Francis Hopkinson, One of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, Was a Sarcastic Bastard

(This is a rerun from last year that, sadly, still applies.)

One of the signers of the Declaration of Independence representing New Jersey, Francis Hopkinson was a smart-ass and one sarcastic bastard. Sure, he was a lawyer, judge (appointed by George Washington), harpsichordist and composer, and a designer of the American flag. But he once asked "whether a Quarter Cask of the public wine" could be payment for his work because that's how the Founders rolled.

In his essays, he could be total dickhead to anyone who pissed him off, including those who thought the United States was better off under the rule of England. For instance, he wrote "On Peace, Liberty, and Independence" in the early 1780s as part of a series of university orations, where he was a snarky fucker, mocking those who were against civil liberties springing from self-rule: "Had Great-Britain succeeded in her views with respect to this country, we should not have been put to the laborious task of framing laws for our own government, a task which we seem but indifferently qualified to perform; we should have been rid of the intolerable plague, the heart-burnings, feuds, cabals, and chicaneries attending popular elections, and we should have been eased of the enormous expense of assemblymen's wages, com|missions, fees and salaries to the officers of government, and a thousand other charges and inconveniences to which we must now be subjected: we should have had nothing more to do, but to pay when called upon, and obey when commanded."

And what he wrote about what independence means when it comes to positions on other nations could be rejiggered just a little to be used on those who would exploit stupidity and xenophobia to maintain power:

"Whilst we were dependent upon Great Britain, we had no trouble in studying the characters, customs, and manners of foreign nations; the English were so kind as to furnish us with all their ideas on these subjects. They told us, that the French are a trifling and contemptible nation;that the Spaniards are proud, sullen, and revengeful; the Germans, ostentatious; the Hollanders, boors; the Russians, savages; and, in short, that the English were themselves the only people fit to live and govern the word, as if all other nations held their dominions by usurpation. How easy was it to believe all this? Implicit faith saves an infinity of trouble. How happy were we in submitting to the government, adopting the prejudices, and aping the manners of a nation, which we conceived to be the glory of the world, and the perfection of human nature?

"Whereas, now, we are under the painful necessity of altering our sentiments. We are compelled by actual experience to acknowledge, that the French are a brave, generous, and polished people: and that none of the other nations are, in truth, such as they have been represented to us. Our commercial connections will convince us that human nature is fundamentally the same in every country. That good and bad men are to be found in every climate; and that the people of England have not actually monopolized all the virtue and wisdom of the world. Every conviction of error is a violence done to the mind, inasmuch as the forcible eradication of a prejudice must be attended with a painful sensation. The blind man is happy in his blindness, and the ignorant content with his ignorance. The wisest of men has somewhere told us that the increase of wisdom is the increase of sorrow."

That is some kick-ass shit right there, a punch right in the Trumps.

7/03/2017

In Brief: Things People on Fox "News" Called Obama "Unpresidential" For

Just for shits and giggles, as the many Trump taint-sniffers at Fox "news" attempt to justify nearly every deranged tweet from the Shitheel in Chief, I decided to take a look-see at the old transcripts from the real FNN. Shockingly, in that it wasn't shocking at all, the syphilitic whores over on Fox took umbrage at anything President Obama did.

For instance, when Obama said that Latinos needed to vote in their interests in the 2010 midterm election, Stuart Varney offered, "It is unpresidential, it's highly divisive." So encouraging people to vote? Unpresidential.

A Fox panel in September 2009 had a discussion about when President Obama called Kanye West a "jackass." Posited host Jon Scott, "If the most powerful man in the world says something unpresidential on a live mic, is that news or not?" Likewise, Brian Kilmeade asked about a 2010 Obama appearance on Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show, "Do you think this is unpresidential?" This all seems so very quaint now, doesn't it?

Back when Greta Van Susteren had a job and it was at Fox, she took Obama to task for some mild criticism of her employer by President Obama: "I don't think that a president should ever look unpresidential and get into a food fight." She had then-Republican House Whip Eric Cantor on to declare that this was beyond the pale. Of course, in the same October 2009 segment, talking about the possiblity of Obama going on a certain Fox show, Van Susteren said, laughably, "You know, not in a million years do I think Sean Hannity would be disrespectful."

And, finally, because time is a flat circle, here is motherfuckin' Kellyanne Conway on Hannity's Hategasm Jizzorama: "I always find it to be so undignified and so unpresidential for President Obama to pick on what he considers to be right-wing media. You're the president of the United States. Go destroy ISIS and get millions of women out of extreme poverty, please. That's your day job." When did she say that? A little over a year ago. June 3, 2016. And she still hasn't burst into flames from the methane of her own bullshit.

This is not to mention the tan suit, that time Common performed at the White House, Obama's feet on the desk, the Dijon mustard (no really), the golfing, fer fuck's sake, and every other time racist mountains were made out of racist molehills. Meanwhile, as far as Fox is concerned now, with a few exceptions, like Shepard Smith and the occasional surge of integrity from Chris Wallace, Donald Trump is just about a model for being presidential and should be treated with the utmost respect, deference, and lovingly-lapped analingus.

(Bonus fun: You know how everyone was all a-Twitter over former Bush White House communications director Nicolle Wallace for ripping into Trump for his treatment of women? Here's what she told Hannity in 2010 about Obama: "He never sides with the American people.")


6/29/2017

Everything Is Bullshit Right Now

This morning, the goddamned president of this country, a man who can be best described as "looking like a pot of rotting fondue, " got on his phone to tweet out an attack on the hosts of the show Morning Joe, MSNBC's a.m. gabfest featuring Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. "I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don't watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!" Donald Trump's nubby digits pounded out in the course of two tweets.

He probably saw a report on Sean Hannity's Scatatorium of Fecal Horrors, airing every night on Fox "news," where Trump's chief coprophagist, Sean Hannity, criticized and mocked Scarborough and Brzezinski for criticizing the president. As reprehensible as the sexism and ageism of Trump's tweets were (and unoriginal - c'mon, Donny, you already call Bernie Sanders "Crazy"), it's just one more pile of bullshit in a field strewn with heaps of bullshit for, indeed, we are living in a bullshit time filled with bullshit people and their bullshit ideas.

Beyond the bullshit healthcare plan that may or may not be on life support and the bullshit cruel, about-to-be reinstated travel ban that prevents grandparents from visiting their grandkids, today Congress is gonna vote on a bullshit mandatory sentencing bill. Kate's Law says that undocumented immigrants who return to the United States after being deported will get 5 years in prison. It's a goddamned gift to the private prison industrial complex, and it'll do fuck-all to make the country any safer. The bullshit thing has been around for a couple of years, and now that Trump has decided that undocumented immigrants are just murderers waiting for victims, it's gonna pass and fuck up progress made in reducing the prison population.

We can wander around this field of bullshit and comment on each and every turd. There's Trump talking at a fundraiser for Trump last night at Trump's hotel in DC.  So people who are donating to the 2020 campaign - yeah, that's what this was for - are lining Trump's pockets because you can bet the hotel charged a shitload for its use. The President tore into Nancy Pelosi and, of course, CNN because it's not like he has a fucking country to run or anything.

We can go to the edges of Bullshit Plain and look at the National Rifle Association's bullshit recruiting video that says, essentially, arm yourselves or liberal Hottentots will climb your fences to take away your "freedom." In her best dominatrix voice, Dana Loesch tells us all about how liberal protesters "scream racism and sexism and xenophobia and homophobia and smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law abiding." The message is clear: "We members of the NRA are all a bunch of fucking cowards who have to hide behind our guns and pretend that it's gonna be go-time." (That's not an actual quote, but it pretty much could be.)

It's all bullshit, man. To go back to the sexism, yesterday, the goddamned president stopped in the middle of a phone call with the prime minister of Ireland to tell an Irish reporter who happened to be a woman that she has "a nice smile" and to the PM, who happens to be a man, "I bet she treats you well." Between this and the Mika Brzezinski tweets, Trump is just returning to acting like the chick-humping Rat Pack-wannabe lothario that he always thought he was, just without style, class, or talent. And he's insulting women everywhere by connecting their worth to what he thinks about their looks. (This is not to mention his bizarre and disturbing fascination with women bleeding. Man, the cutting and menstruation porn he must watch is disturbing as hell. Don't Google that.)

Of course, his staff defended him because what the fuck else are they gonna do? Say he's wrong and should apologize? Quit? Be honorable human beings? Fuck, no. They more or less said that Brzezinski was asking for it, that Trump will always "punch back" ten times harder (which is just five times harder when adjusted for hand size), as if it's somehow ok that the President of the United States feels the need to swing at everything.

It's all bullshit. It's all a waste of time and effort and none of it does any good for anyone, arguably not even for Trump himself, who just seems destined to drown in bullshit.

And the worst, most depressing piece of bullshit in the whole field is that Trump's idiot hordes will gobble it all up like the good shit eaters that they are, happy to smile at us and show us their stained teeth. They love the bullshit. They voted because they wanted the bullshit served to them on paper plates. They don't care if they die of exposure and infection on Bullshit Plain. As long as this bullshit time gives them bullshit to gulp down, they'll keep asking for more.

The rest of us are just told we need to learn to live with the smell.

6/27/2017

In Brief: Repealing Obamacare Will Wreck Some Towns and Cities (Updated)

Yesterday, NPR did a story on Steubenville, Ohio, a former coal town in the eastern part of the state. The unemployment rate of 7% is above the state and national numbers, and the entire area now relies on another industry for a great many of its jobs: health care. Yeah, Trinity Health System "provides about 1,500 full-time jobs and close to 500 part-time jobs, more than Jefferson County's top 10 manufacturing companies combined."

Jefferson County has a lot of pretty damn poor people and a sadly not unexpected problem with opioid addiction. So the Medicaid expansion was important to the physical health of the region, as well as the financial. If the Republicans get to slash Medicaid in the way it wants to, it'll screw up people's lives in Steubenville in more ways than just medically. A quarter of the private sector jobs in the town are in health care-related fields, with a bunch more dependent on the spending of those workers. In a place teetering on the brink of desperation, gutting Medicaid funding will push it over the edge.

When the military said it didn't need any more M1 Abrams tanks, which are built in Lima, Ohio, the budget passed by Congress last year contained a half-billion dollars for more tanks. One of the main reasons was the economic blow that central Ohio would take if that funding was cut or sent elsewhere. If we can do it for weapons, we can do it for lives.

Because, see, despite all evidence to the contrary, Republicans insist on calling the Affordable Care Act a "job-killer." But it's very specifically a job creator, and the money that has come into many smaller cities and towns has been a life preserver in the number of workers that hospitals and other medical facilities have had to employ. This goes up and down the economic ladder, from maintenance people to doctors.

In 2015, the New York Times looked at several communities that are surviving because of hospitals that have been flourishing due to the expanded access to medical care under the ACA. Beatrice, Nebraska, the Community Hospital and Health Center is the biggest employer in the area. The same goes for Batesville, Indiana; Centreville, Mississippi; and many more. To put it simply, the only reason a good many people even have jobs in those places is because of the ACA and Barack Obama, the man they were told to despise.

The cuts that most Republicans want will wreck these towns and counties. It's one more effect of the active cruelty of their bill. It's one more way that Democrats should be riling voters up about what the GOP wants to do to them. Start with going after Representative Bill Johnson of Ohio's 6th district, where Steubenville is.

And, yes, every town mentioned here voted for Donald Trump, who lied and promised them the sky and can only give them dust.

Update: The Commonwealth Fund looked at the potential impact of the House bill on employment. Despite an initial uptick in jobs created, the full effect of the bill would be an economic hit that might help put us in a recession: "By 2026, 924,000 jobs would be lost, gross state products would be $93 billion lower, and business output would be $148 billion less. About three-quarters of jobs lost (725,000) would be in the health care sector. States which expanded Medicaid would experience faster and deeper economic losses."

Also, the cuts to Medicaid and the insurance exemptions that will be allowed in the House and the Senate ACA-killing bills would "devastate" rural communities due to loss of nursing homes, clinics, and hospitals, as well as a lack of care for people addicted to opioids. "The combined impact of these losses—health insurance coverage, addiction treatment, jobs, and the threats to economic drivers such as hospitals and nursing homes—will most certainly lead to further hardship in communities throughout the United States," David Blumenthal, president of the Commonwealth Fund, writes.

6/26/2017

Random Observations on the CBO Score of the Senate's "Health Care" Bill

The Congressional Budget Office is out with its analysis of the Senate's bullshit version of the House's bullshit so-called "health care" bill (which is actually just a fancy way of saying, "Tax cuts for rich fucks"). The title of the Senate bill is even stupider than the "American Health Care Act." It's the "Better Care Reconciliation Act" because, see, it's better, get it? Except, of course, not really.

1. When you hear anthropomorphic banana slug Mitch McConnell or bitch-faced John Cornyn or portly salesman Donald Trump dismiss the CBO score as "politically-motivated" or some such nonsense, just remember: the reason that Senate GOP majority allegedly started from scratch on a bill repealing parts of the Affordable Care Act is that the House bill was too harsh. How did they know it was too harsh? Because of the fucking CBO score of what the effects of the bill would be. The wacky-ass House voted before the CBO estimates came out, so the mighty Senate was going to be all grown up about it by having a he-man woman-haters club of male Republicans write the bill in super-secret and then attempt to ram it through like a fist into an unlubed sphincter.

1a. Oh, they talked a big game way back in early May. Sen. Lamar Alexander said, "There will be no artificial deadlines." Which is just hilarious now since Alexander chairs the committee that deals with health care issues and they will not be having any hearings.

2. As you've probably read by now, the BCRA is estimated to boot 22 million Americans off their health insurance, with 15 million of those losing coverage next year. And you gotta give the GOP a little credit here for not kicking everything down the road. They'll get to look their constituents in the face and say, "Yeah, fuckos, I took away your cancer treatments and got you hooked even deeper on opioids. Now vote for me or I'm lettin' the raping Mexicans back in." And those fuckos will probably vote for their GOP member of Congress, thinking that dying of cancer is a fair trade-off if the raping Mexicans stay out.

2a. Most of the people who will lose coverage are on Medicaid, which is gonna get cut to the tune of $772 billion over ten years, and earn less than 200% of the poverty level, with people 55 to 64 getting punched in the tit more than anyone else.

2b. To put this in perspective, about one out of every 20 people in the United States will lose their health insurance next year if this bill passes.

3. There are two things that Republicans are going to point to in this CBO report as some kind of amazingly awesome shit. One is that it says that, by 2026, premiums will be 20% lower than if things kept on like they are now. But that's because the BCRA reduces coverage by allowing states to apply for waivers for things like "maternity care, mental health care, rehabilitative and habilitative treatment, and certain very expensive drugs." If you don't have to cover mental health or, you know, opioid addiction or, fucking hell, pregnant women, then that'll tend to lower costs. And this bill will jack up deductibles and cost sharing. In one scenario involving a hypothetical single, 40-year-old man, the CBO says that, because of changes to the law, the same insurance he has now will cover only 58% of care where it used to cover 87%. But his premium will be $100 less a year, so bully for him.

3a. The other big news that Republicans are humping like weasels on Cialis is that the deficit reduction is much more than under the House plan, to the tune of $321 billion over 10 years. So $32 billion a year. Which, in a federal budget of nearly $4 trillion is like a flea fart in a tornado. It's like saying, "Look, I saved money by getting a grande iced mocha instead of a venti. I'm frugal" and you're kind of a douche.

4. Most of the rest of the bill, as analyzed by the CBO (and others), ping-pongs between dickish and cruel. From reducing funds for women's health (including eliminating any money for Planned Parenthood) so that 15% fewer women will have access to care to repealing funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which assists with things like immunizations and research into better health practices to the tremendous hike in premiums for people just below Medicare age to the fact that low-income people simply won't be able to afford insurance, this bill just isn't "mean." It's fucking pathetic and a goddamned embarrassment.

4a. And yet there are Republicans for whom this doesn't go far enough,  who don't see this as an Obamacare repeal, who haven't harmed the black president enough, who won't be happy until they're dancing on the bones of their duped voters. But those are the ones who will probably shitcan this thing. Strange bedfellows, motherfuckers, in strange times.

5. But, hey, rich fucks get a half-trillion bucks in tax cuts, so drinks are on them. Lots of drinks. Enough to ease the pain. Because there is no guarantee that this thing's going down, not when you have to rely on alleged moderate Republicans and spineless worms like McCain, not when elected officials and cabinet members feel free to just lie about it without consequence, not when rich fucks can get richer off the diminishing health of the poor and other people they deem unworthy of the security they get to enjoy in their land of the free and home of the savage.

6/22/2017

The Comey "Tapes" Lie: Chaos Is Trump's Greatest Weapon

The first time Trump tweeted about it, it was fucked up enough: "James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" The fuck did that mean, "tapes," with the suspicious quotation marks around it? Is that supposed to provide him with an out, like when he first put the quotes around "wires tapped" when he accused President Obama of spying on him?

Trump and his staff teased about whether or not there were tapes of Oval Office meetings, to the point that congressional committees with subpoena power started to get antsy about it. The Trumparazzi were coy, saying that they'd tell the public at some vague point in the future. Trump himself said that journalists would be "disappointed" with the answer, which is a way of saying, "I ain't got any tapes," but not really a definitive "yes" or "no."

Now, finally, forced to say something before shit got litigious, Trump sent out another fucked up thing (in two tweets): "With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are 'tapes' or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings." Motherfucker, you're the one who brought up all that shit and the idea that there might be tapes. Or, you know, "tapes."

You can take this, as David Frum did, that Trump was forced to admit he lied and that every leader around the world will think, "Fuck this lying piece of orangutan dung." But, see, we all knew he was a liar. The only people Donald Trump gives a fuck about are, in order of importance, 1. Donald Trump. And, as proven by the slavering love given to him last night at his pep rally of doom, the only thing that Trump's idiot hordes give a fuck about is that their mad king continues to piss off liberals. They'll be gasping for breath in their black lungs that don't get covered by insurance, but, yeah, stick it to the pussies, Mr. President, hack, hack, hack.

I'm pretty sure, at this point, heads of states understand that they are dealing with a sociopath and have adjusted accordingly, mostly to our detriment. But the real fear here is not that China's leaders will think that Trump's not telling the truth. The real issue is that China's leaders, congressional leaders, and most Americans have no fucking clue what the fuck Trump is going to do and whether he's telling the truth about anything. And the real problem is that there are too many Americans who don't give a happy monkey fuck whether or not he's lying.

In other words, chaos is Trump's strongest weapon, and he wields it without cease. He is deliberately sowing chaos into the politics of the nation and, indeed, the world. To put it simply, this crazy son of a bastard is completely unpredictable, something Trump himself bragged about himself during the campaign, as if it was an asset in an unstable world to be the most unstable force.

His speech to a group of some of the dumbest victims in American history last night in Iowa City is a prime example. He rambled about his victory (again), he said that Mexico would pay for the wall (his "Free Bird"), and he bizarrely asserted that he would propose legislation that is exactly the same as a law that's been around since Bill Clinton signed it (on welfare benefits for immigrants). He lied about the Paris Accord, he lied about environmental policy, he lied about arms sales to Saudi Arabia, he lied, lied, lied.

Which gets us back to the "tapes." Of course there are no tapes. Or recordings. Or are there and he knows that they make him look bad? Or does someone else have recordings, which Trump implies is a possibility? What the fuck is the full story? No, no, of course, there are no tape. Or are there? That's the nature of his answer.

Again, it is wrong to read this as anything other than an attempt to keep his opponents off their game, forcing them to reply to lies, which he follows with something dunderheaded like, "Yeah, like you know." And it keeps him just popular enough to give Republicans cover to enact the worst policies while we try to figure out what fucking world we're living in now, a world that is so destabilized that the ground underneath our feet is ever-shifting until it collapses and swallows us and, god, please let that be soon.

6/20/2017

Note to Democrats: A Little Hyperbole Wouldn't Hurt in the Battle Against the AHCA

Over on the right, there isn't a lie vomited out by Fox "news," Breitbart, or President Trump (all increasingly one and the same) that their followers will not believe. Yesterday, on the Twitter machine, I got into a pissing match with a fuckwit who insisted that "The Democrats passed Obama care by shoving it through without allow a single GOP member to read the bill." (All the errors are his.) Loads of conservatives believe this utterly easily disprovable bullshit.

Also yesterday, Chuck Schumer got Joni Ernst, acting as Senate President, to admit how much goddamn time was spent on the Affordable Care Act. Ernst sounds like she's swallowing rotten pig balls when she has to state that the ACA got "25 days of hearings and 169 hours of consideration." That's not counting weekends and recesses. In all, Senators had over 2 months from the first introduction of the bill to the Senate floor to the final vote. And Democrats weren't hiding it in the first place, since there had been a year of discussion and hearings prior to it coming to the entire Senate. So, you know, go fuck yourself with the sharp end of your talking point.

The only reason we're in this ludicrous mess with the American Health Care Act, the garbage bill that passed the House and is being rewritten in secret in the Senate, is because Republicans and their enablers were great at making the ACA seem like it was going to put on jackboots, walk into your home, kill your parents, and beat your spouse. Remember the "death panels"? How people actually acted like that was in the bill? How no one could successfully articulate that the real death panels were called insurance companies denying benefits for pre-existing conditions or when a limit on a benefit was reached?

Nothing could break through the thick layer of lie and hyperbole that was heaped on the public. Democrats were terrible messengers, either running away from the ACA because they bought the GOP's cruel fraud. Or they just sucked in even delivering positive news. Obamacare could have provided people with daily multiple orgasms, and Democrats would have fucked up articulating how that's a good thing.

Here we are, in the thick of a battle against some vague, but no doubt savage piece of legislation, and the left is just really gearing up for it. At this point, there should be ads from SuperPACs running constantly about how bad the AHCA is. And you know what? A little hyperbole wouldn't hurt about now. Mitch McConnell is trying to rape the nation with this spiked dildo of a law while so-called "moderate" Republicans do their usual dance of fake dignity, pretending like they actually give two shits about what McConnell is doing in the writing of the bill.

So there is a space for Democrats to creatively show the effects of a bill that quite simply takes money from the poor, the elderly, the addicted, and the sick and gives it to the very wealthy in the form of a tax cut. That's an easy ad right there: Rich people saunter into a doctor's office and rob a bunch of ill people in the waiting room, leaving them dying and sicker, only without hope of seeing a doctor.

Or how about a real death panel: a row of wealthy people behind a table, making a decision on whether or not each suffering poor person deserves help. Is it over the top? Yeah. That's the fucking point. Subtlety and well-reasoned arguments aren't going to win here because people don't respond to that. They respond to a rich puke punching Gramps in the balls until he hands over his wallet.

Enough with the calm, rational discussions. Enough with the speeches. Go for their throats with an emotional appeal. And that means crying people who would lose health care and the image of the uncaring Republican, ready to intentionally inflict more pain.

6/19/2017

Don't Let the Bastards Murder the Affordable Care Act

Let us say, and why not, that you've got a car you've had for a few years. It was given to you by a boyfriend you broke up with a while back. The car's nothing fancy, but it gets you where you need to go and it's only given you a few minor problems here and there. Maintenance kind of stuff - new tires, a brake job - the stuff you expect to need to do to take good care of the car so it takes good care of you.

Now, let us say, and, indeed, why not, that you start dating a new guy who takes a look at your car and says, "Man, what a piece of shit. I'm gonna get you a new car. A better car. One that won't cost you nearly as much. Better gas mileage. Less repairs. Shiny damn paint job. And you can just trash that thing. That guy you were with before me didn't know shit about cars. I know better." It sounds good. I mean, who doesn't want a new car? But then he drives up in a rusted out hulk that looks like it's been beaten with a sledgehammer in a sand storm. You know it's gonna need a major overhaul, possibly a new engine or transmission. It's gonna be a pain in the ass and cost you a ton.

"The fuck is this?" you ask.

"I promised you a new car," he said. "I got you a new car. Now you can get rid of that car of yours I hate."

You would break up with that shitheel as soon as you could speak the words.

This morning, on NPR's Morning Edition, Tommy Binion, the congressional liaison for the Heritage Foundation (motto: "We came up with Obamacare but now we're too fucking crazy conservative to acknowledge that"), was asked why he thought Senate Republicans were moving forward with their version of the "mean" American Health Care Act, despite it having incredibly high negatives in polling. Binion was frank, saying, "I think what's happening here is [Republicans are] trying desperately to keep their promise to vote for anything that they can call Obamacare repeal. So in this case, yes, they've picked a very unpopular bill. That's part of what the process has thrust upon them. But they're determined to keep their promise."

That's the kind of fuckery we're dealing with. Not only is the bill being written by a shitty star chamber of white dudes who represent less than a quarter of the population of the country, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch "One Day, Children Will Say My Name in the Same Breath as Benedict Arnold" McConnell is determined to get a vote in the next two weeks, with at most 10 hours for senators not locked in a room and forced to breathe in Orrin Hatch's old man farts to read it, debate it, and amend it. That is fucked beyond fucked. That is contorting yourself into a pretzel to suck your own dick kind of fucked. Even the senators themselves can't justify the bill beyond the idea of repealing the ACA.

Here's a handy, one paragraph review of what happened when the Affordable Care Act went to the Senate in 2009: President Obama actively courted Republicans to get on board, especially Maine's Olympia Snowe. Hell, snarky asshole bloggers were pissed about his outreach. The bill was debated in the Senate Finance Committee before it passed from there to the Senate floor. That was after three House committees and the Senate health committee had vetted it, with Republicans able to debate it the whole time. This was followed by weeks of more debate and amendment votes. So if any dumbfuck conservative tries to ejaculate stupidly about how Democrats rushed through the ACA, shove that list from Congress up their idiot asses.

Look, it's time to stick a pin in the left's Russia hard-on right now in order to get all hands, voices, and boots on deck to stop the American Health Care Act from passage. It's a terrible bill filled with terrible ideas, concocted by terrible human beings. So it's time for Hayes/Maddow/O'Donnell/Reid and whoever else to knock off the financial conflict and espionage stories for a while and go whole hog on this. Right now, Democrats are doing something by denying unanimous consent to proceed on any votes in the Senate, and they are holding the floor in a "talkathon," speeches about the unfair process.

But these delay tactics need to be followed by even more. The "filibuster by amendment" is one approach, where Democrats keep proposing amendments that need to be voted on until Republicans agree to hold hearings on the bill. Pressure needs to brought to bear on the seemingly wavering Republican senators, who need to be reminded who will be blamed when the AHCA doesn't do any of the shit voters were promised.

One last thing needs to happen, and I'm frankly stunned that it hasn't happened yet. The Affordable Care Act is the signature achievement of the Obama presidency. Where the fuck is he? Why the fuck isn't Barack Obama barnstorming the country, riling people up? He gets to protect his legacy. Enough of being above the fray. Fuck that. Lives are on the line, man, and a bunch of vicious assholes are shitting all over him.

Obama, Biden, get 'em all out there, giving interviews, tearing into the cruelty of those who want to turn back the clock. This is life and death, motherfuckers. Let's all act like it is.

6/16/2017

Sympathy for the President, a Weak, Sick Old Man

In the wake of the shooting in Alexandria, Virginia, where Republican members of Congress were targeted by an angry, abusive left-wing gunman, calls have gone up on both sides of the mainstream political spectrum for there to be less violent rhetoric and more seeking of common ground. President Trump himself called for such comity shortly after calling the Democrats "obstructionist" and shortly before he accused Democrats and Hillary Clinton of having their own ties to Russia.

But I'm going to rise above petty partisan concerns in order to say something that, while not exactly nice, is completely sympathetic to Donald Trump:

The President is a sick old man who is being taken advantage of by the people around him.

See, I was listening on the ol' NPR last Friday as President Donald Trump made some short remarks in a joint press conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. Trump sounded weak and bored, as he usually does when he's doing something other than praising himself. But what was also noticeable on the radio, when you're not watching his grotesque, puffy face, glistening with a sweaty sheen, is how labored his breathing was. This was an effort, just standing there and reading some remarks. Like an out of shape guy going up multiple staircases, pausing at a landing to catch his breath, Trump sounded worn out, in a way that, say, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, one a bit older and the other slightly younger than Trump, never have.

Trump's health is failing. Physical and mental. If that wasn't obvious from his constant asides and inability to stay on point, here is one of his answers during the press conference: "I can tell you that there are many American investors right now going to Romania and investing. In fact, I was given a chart just before our meeting, and we have people going over to Romania and investing, and they weren’t doing that a number of years ago." A "number of years ago," Romania was a Soviet bloc country that didn't allow investment from the west. He might not know. He might not care. Or, equally likely, he might be completely divorced from the reality of the situation.

But beyond ignorance, there is Trump's reliance on the same phrases over and over. Calling on another reporter, Trump said, "I've got the microphone. If I could only sell that. If I could only sell it. Who would like to ask -- should I take one of the killer networks that treat me so badly as fake news? Should I do that?" He is constantly repeating "fake news," and, now, he's added "witch hunt" to his repertoire.

He has his various obsessions. He's never stopped talking about his election win. In that news conference last Friday, asked about why he felt "vindicated" by James Comey's testimony before a Senate committee, Trump responded, "Yesterday showed no collusion, no obstruction. We are doing very well. That was an excuse by the Democrats, who lost an election that some people think they shouldn't have lost, because it's almost impossible for the Democrats to lose the Electoral College, as you know. You have to run up the whole East Coast and you have to win everything as a Republican, and that's just what we did. So it was just an excuse." It's the same story all the time. I'll leave it to people with medical degrees to attempt a diagnosis, but every person I've known who has Alzheimer's or some form of dementia repeats the same stories over and over to the same people.

A few days later, on this past Tuesday, Trump was talking about health care and said, "Don't forget, on June 16th -- June 14th is my birthday, but June 16th was the day I announced that I was running. Some people said, 'Really? Not going to happen.' And it happened." Obviously, he's upset that everyone doesn't just automatically love him and celebrates what he sees as an improbable victory.

On and on this list could go. His inability to take a short walk in Italy. His constant lashing out. His sullen addiction to TV news. His new obsession with the investigation against him. The fact that the Vice President meets with more foreign leaders than Trump does. Actually, Trump meets with very few people.

If he wasn't a wealthy media figure, Trump would have been in a home or hospital, getting the care he needs. Instead, he is allowed to continue in this charade of leadership because it allows the people around him to get what they want, whether it's a repeal of the Affordable Care Act to please the GOP congressional whores, the reversal of humane executive orders on immigration to satisfy the racist nativists, the juice to seal deals for his terrible children, and more. Nobody really freaks out when Trump makes the pronouncements he does because they all know that, ultimately, he's just a mascot and not the one in charge. That was made perfectly clear when he turned over determinations about troop levels in Afghanistan to Secretary of Defense Mattis.

They will keep Trump propped up, even if he becomes a zombie version of himself, Strom Thurmond-like, in order to keep their agenda going or until he's so tainted by scandal that he becomes a vortex, taking down everyone with him. They will push that weak, sick old man until they've used him up.

And, frankly, I couldn't really be bothered to give a single, sad fuck about that shitstain of a human other than to recognize that this is likely what's happening.

So that's my attempt at being nice to Donald Trump.

6/14/2017

Steve Scalise Supported the Lack of Laws and Regulations That Allowed His Shooting to Happen

A good-sized chunk of Representative Steve Scalise's congressional career has been devoted to making guns easier to get. Scalise, a Louisiana Republican who is the Majority Whip in the House of Representatives, was one of five victims shot by James T. Hodgkinson in Alexandria, Virginia. The wannabe mass murderer was carrying a semiautomatic rifle and a pistol. Hodgkinson was gunned down and killed by Capitol police, but he had apparently come to the baseball field to specifically take out Republicans. A motivation beyond a deranged vision of how to achieve progressive goals hasn't been announced.

Scalise is proudly, even obnoxiously devoted to the Second Amendment. He has an A+ rating from the NRA and a 100% pro-gun voting record, and he has, on many occasions, spoken against any laws that might even minimally effect the free acquisition of all kinds of guns, including the kind of rifle used today on him.

On April 25, 2013, Scalise made a floor speech where he used the Sandy Hook massacre of children to support the rights of gun owners. "I think they counted over 40 different laws that were broken by the Sandy Hook murderer," Scalise said. "Then somebody is going to tell you that one more law, which makes it harder for law-abiding citizens to get a gun, would have stopped him from doing that." The congressman doesn't mention that a law banning assault weapons would have actually slowed down Adam Lanza. And we're not even allowed to discuss banning handguns anymore, which would have done a great deal to stop the bloodshed.

Scalise co-sponsored a resolution that praised the Supreme Court for its Heller decision that eliminated limits on gun ownership in Washington, D.C. Prior to the decision, he had co-sponsored a bill that would have done the same thing, including repealing the ban on semiautomatic guns. And he co-wrote a 2015 letter to the head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives condemning a reclassification of a kind of bullet. In the letter, he talks about the "the failed 'Assault Weapons Ban.'"

A more substantial action was that he voted to overturn President Obama's rule that prevented people who had been determined to be mentally ill from purchasing guns. I'd also bet that Scalise supports laws that allow people arrested for domestic violence to retain their guns. Hodgkinson had been charged several times for that kind of assault.

Look, this isn't a "blame the victim" type of thing. There is nothing that Steve Scalise did today that brought on the shooting. And I hope he and all the other victims recover fully.  But if a pig is gonna build a house out of straw, he shouldn't be too shocked when a wolf comes along to blow it down. It'd be something like a miracle if this caused Scalise to reconsider his blind devotion to the NRA and its perverse version of the Second Amendment.

More likely, though, it will just make him and his firearms-mad colleagues double-down and demand even more guns and fewer restrictions. And they will blame Kathy Griffin, Shakespeare in the Park, Black Lives Matter, angry liberals, and anyone and anything for this rather than take a single second to look in the hospital mirror to ask what they could do differently.

Like maybe stop talking romantically about using guns to solve problems.