9/17/2018

Kavanaugh Is a Creep (And Ford Is Courageous)

When Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hearing began on September 4, I was totally skeeved out by the guy. It wasn't just his mushy, pale complexion, retrograde politics, and fake "aw-schucks" demeanor that made my skin crawl. His opening statement was just fuckin' weird. I tweeted, "I gotta tell ya: Between spurning the handshake of Fred Guttenberg and name-checking all the girls on his daughter's basketball team, Kavanaugh came across as one creepy bastard." I stand uncorrected on that.

So many of his first words to the committee were about how much he really, really loves and respects women that I thought it was just a way to mitigate his opposition to Roe v. Wade. I mean, c'mon. Between going on about how great his mom is to his coaching of his daughter's basketball team to "A majority of my 48 law clerks have been women," Kavanaugh may as well have just winked at Dianne Feinstein and said, "See? I have no problem with the ladies."

During the questioning, Kavanaugh revealed that there were already two other letters from groups of women talking about what a great guy he is. No, really. Here's Kavanaugh, responding to Sen. Orrin Hatch: "You've received a letter from 10 college friends of mine who were women, who were women athletes at Yale. Talked about how I treated them and women's sports with respect and as equal, even when I was in college. You have a letter from 84 women I worked with in the Bush administration who talked about my efforts to work with them in the intense environment of the West Wing, especially after September 11th."

Prior to the revelation that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford wrote a letter to Feinstein saying that Kavanaugh had attempted to rape her when she was 15 and he was 17, this could easily be seen as a kind of inoculation against all those liberals saying that he's going to send women to their deaths in back alleys (even if, you know, he really is going to send women to their deaths in back alleys).  I mean, his creepy-ass dissent in Garza v. Hargan, where he argued a 17 year-old undocumented girl could be blocked from getting an abortion, speaks volumes about what he really thinks about young women, more so than coaching them.

But now, with the addition of the already-prepped letter from 65 women who claim Kavanaugh was aces in high school, it's clear that Republicans knew something was up with this creepy motherfucker, and they were ready with the signatures to soften the blow. And, frankly, it ought to make us wonder what else Republicans are hiding in all those pages of documents they have refused to release or even allowed Democrats to see.

Any attack on Ford's credibility has to start with the simple question of what she has to gain from all of this. She initially wanted to remain anonymous, but then the information on Ford's letter was leaked by "multiple sources" to The Intercept, as well as to Ronan Farrow at The New Yorker. She's a professor at Palo Alto University, connected with Stanford, so she has a successful career. Hell, she's written on recovery and growth after the trauma of 9/11. Now, she's going to face an unending shitstorm from the right. If she hasn't already, she'll get death threats, her college will be inundated with fake complaints trying to get her fired, and she'll have her looks torn to shreds. Hell, the fuckin' brain trust of conservative nutzoids, including gender traitor Laura Ingraham, already tried to go after her but ended up attacking another Christine Ford.

Some of us also remember the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings, which was about egregious sexual harassment. I wrote then in the college paper about it, saying that Thomas wasn't going to go to jail or even lose his job. He just won't get the promotion. "Only one of them is telling the truth," I wrote. "One of them is an insane liar, and I believe he now sits on the Supreme Court." And every fucking decision that Thomas has made about women's rights has proven how little he thinks of women's agency beyond being objects for male sexuality, fit for subservience. But Hill was dragged through the mud, degraded and insulted, and ultimately treated as if she were just making it all up for shits and giggles. Those hearings, led by Joe Biden (who later apologized for them), were a national embarrassment.

Twenty-seven years later, how difficult is it to take Ford at face value when she says that Kavanaugh held her down, tried to take off her clothes, and covered her mouth to silence her screams, that she thought she might be killed? Is it really that difficult to imagine that she didn't tell anyone about this deep trauma until years later? Is it really that difficult to believe that a preppy little douchebag senior from an elite all-boy's high school in the DC suburbs would get shit-faced at a preppy douchebag party in 1982 and think he could get away with raping the sophomore from the girl's school?

There's another letter, this one from over 200 women who went to Ford's high school around the same time period,  and it says, essentially, "Yeah, this is the way these little rapist shits acted."

Motherfuckers, I grew up in the 1980s. Half our pop culture, from Sixteen Candles to the book Less Than Zero to MTV's Spring Break, was about getting girls so drunk or high that they couldn't say, "No," when it wasn't about trying to tear their clothes off or peep at them in their showers or bedrooms or locker rooms. Most of us knew that it was all fantasy bullshit about a lack of consequences for assholes. But a fuck of a lot of young men thought it was a license to bust a nut whenever and wherever and however.

Yeah, I fuckin' think Kavanaugh did it. I don't give a shit if it happened in high school because I think he's lying about it now, which even some Republicans have said is enough to get him voted down. There should be an investigation. And there are going to be hearings next week. A smart administration would pull the nomination. Hell, when George W. Bush pulled Harriet Miers, he got Samuel Alito. But, you know, we're dealing with Trump here.

Kavanaugh's creepy need to demonstrate how much he cares about women was there all the time, showing us, by protesting so vociferously, who he really is. We should thank Ford for putting her trauma out there for the world to judge, which is another kind of trauma, and being brave enough to take on this cyclone of condemnation and rage.

9/15/2018

I'm on the UnPresidented Podcast - Check It Out

Yesterday, I chatted for over an hour with Americablog's John Aravosis and Cliff Schecter of The Daily Beast on their UnPresidented Podcast. We got filthy about creepy Kavanaugh, creepy Manafort, and Trump's creepy denial of deaths in Puerto Rico. Lots of fun.

Check out the 20 minute excerpt below and you can subscribe to hear the full 79 minute version, along with other episodes where they talk to Bill Scher, Molly Jong-Fast, and more.


9/12/2018

What Did That Dumb Orange Motherfucker Say Now? (Hurricane and 9/11 Edition)

Yesterday, at his press briefing on Hurricane Florence, which is likely to fuck up South Carolina, along with possibly North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, and/or Maryland, Donald Trump, a man whose every word and hand gesture makes him seem like a carny barker trying to get people to see the "mermaid" that's just a dead monkey with a fish tail sewn on, shit all over Puerto Rico. Devastation from Hurricane Maria last year was exacerbated, according to the goddamn president of the United States, because those freakin' Ricans were completely incompetent and that the island was already fucked before Maria arrived.

He really said, "Puerto Rico got hit not with one hurricane but with two. And the problem with Puerto Rico is their electric grid and their electric generating plant was dead before the storms ever hit. It was in very bad shape. It was in bankruptcy. It had no money. It was largely — you know, it was largely closed. And when the storm hit, they had no electricity — essentially before the storm. And when the storm hit, that took it out entirely."

The plant wasn't dead. Like the grid itself, it was in shitty shape. It needed a ton of work and money. A wise leader might say that this is an opportunity to help Puerto Rico get an electric grid that is at least part of the 21st century. But not Trump. For him, it was a chance to pass off any blame for the fuckery that contributed to the deaths of nearly 3000 Americans. He blamed the mayor of San Juan, even though many deaths occurred in rural areas where she's not the fuckin' mayor. He blamed the fact that the place is an island, as if the Federal Emergency Management Agency shouldn't be prepared for island disasters, considering that one state and all U.S. territories are goddamned islands.  

But a man who, with a straight face, can say that the government didn't need to learn jackshit about any failures in Puerto Rico, who can actually verbalize that it was "an incredible, unsung success," is not a man who really gives a sad donkey fuck about anyone. He just keeps barreling ahead, presenting every massive cock-up as someone else's problem or some way that evil motherfuckers want to hold him back and keep him down. Just wait until he blames the trillion dollar deficit on Obamacare or something and not his goddamned tax cuts.

And there is always some stupid in whatever Trump says, some thing that everyone fuckin' knows already that he's gotta act like is the biggest discovery in the world, like, "Holy shit, you know a man can piss standing up?" In this case, it was hurricane research: "You know, we go out there; you have people that actually go fly through these storms. These are very brave people. But they fly through." Yeah, brain dead King Louie, we've watched the news. They've been doing it for like 75 years. He wouldn't care if you told him because he's got no damn shame.

The level of decorum he displayed yesterday as he walked on the tarmac near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, pumping his wee fists and doing that lip bite he thinks looks tough, but mostly looks like he's letting out a big, wet fart, was when he was heading to a 9/11 memorial ceremony, America's holiest of holy days. Even there, before and after his speech, he pointed at people in the crowd and gave his stubby thumbs up, like a douchebro at a frat mixer approving of who his bud is hitting on.  Yet he gave a speech that was so sleepy, it was as if John Kelly told him no Big Macs if he veered off text to talk about "fake news" or the electoral college totals. He did get to say, "radical Islamic terrorism," which probably gave a half-stiffie.

But that's nothing compared to the weirdo fuckin' video posted to his social media where Trump talked about 9/11 from "the really beautiful lawn of the Rose Garden," as he put it. He praised the "incredible" people on Flight 93 who prevented their plane from crashing into "the White House or the Capitol or wherever it was heading," which, fine, yeah, the target is up for debate, but it's just a strange, dismissive way to put it. He continued, "These were 3000 incredible people, and we never will let this happen again."

You just wanna shout at the your phone or your computer or tablet, "Motherfucker, you let it happen again. You let it happen in Puerto Rico. It. Fucking. Happened. Except this time you were the hijacker and the federal government was the plane."

I have lots of friends and some family in Florence's path. The hurricane is gonna be awful. I'm expecting the aftermath is going to be even worse because this fuckin' president doesn't know how to land, how to save the passengers in case of emergency. He only knows how to crash.

9/10/2018

Barack Obama, Serena Williams, and the White People Unable to Handle Black Rage

Barack and Michelle Obama were always aware of how too many white people would portray any sign of negative feelings from them. For both, it was specifically gendered and specifically racialized. Michelle Obama talked about how she was called an "angry black woman" when she appeared on the national stage, as if a black woman who fights for anything must be diminished by making her into a caricature. Senator and then candidate and then President Obama constantly, and consciously, fought against the image of the angry black man, the allusion to someone who riots or can't be controlled, as well as to the black men who were lynched. Both images are rooted not just in stereotypes, but in a historical dehumanization of African Americans by whites. It didn't matter, though, whether they ever betrayed any hints of anger. These two kind, loving, and smart people were constantly portrayed as violent, terroristic, and savage.

This weekend, Barack Obama made his first public statements in a long time that directly criticized the presidency of Donald Trump. It was pointed, but pretty mild in comparison to what Trump and most Republicans say. But it was very much Obama-esque, with its constant pleas to common sense against the idiocies of others. "How hard can that be, saying that Nazis are bad?" he asked the crowd in Illinois, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. And Obama is always ready to contextualize the problems of today within recent history. He said that Trump is "just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years, a fear and anger that’s rooted in our past but it’s also born out of the enormous upheavals that have taken place in your brief lifetimes."

From the reaction of the conservative media and from Trump's minions, you'd've thought that Obama called for the White House to burn. Columnist Michael Graham said Obama was speaking with "condescension, arrogance." Another was outraged that Obama called Republicans' ludicrous overreaction to the Benghazi attack a "conspiracy theory" in "an outrageous partisan speech." The Conservative Review (which I guess is a thing) declared, "Obama the demagogue is back." Republican politicians went after Obama, with Mike Pence giving that pinched face look and saying he found Obama's words "disappointing" because it breaks with some kind of unspoken precedent of ex-presidents staying away from criticizing current Oval Office occupants.

Does it even need saying that Donald Trump can take a sledgehammer to every precedent and every bit of decorum and the very people attacking Obama will praise Trump for his refusal to play by any rules?

Does it even need saying that Trump goes after Obama every single chance he gets and when Obama dares to say something in his own defense, it's just dismissed as sour grapes?

Does it even need saying that Trump gets away with his rule-breaking because he's white and Obama must stay within the lines at all time, that any deviation from a proscribed respectability makes him an object of derision and degradation by a large racist faction that still can't get over his election?

Which brings us to Serena Williams, perhaps the greatest athlete ever, and her outrage about her treatment at the U.S. Open women's final on Saturday. Many better writers than me have dealt with the sexism and the toxic combination of racism and sexism that allowed umpire Carlos Ramos to pile on penalties because Williams was angry at him for accusing her of cheating.

Whether or not you think Williams was justified in her confrontations with Ramos, if you know anything about tennis, you know that white male players routinely aggressively, angrily, and violently attack the umpires, their rackets, and anyone within range of their spit. Williams was being more respectful than any one of them, and I'm not even talking about regularly explosive icons like John McEnroe or Jimmy Connors. I'm talking about Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic, all of whom have blown up without penalty. (And let's not even get into the fact that just about every coach makes hand gestures in the stands.)

The response on the right ranged from mocking Williams for arguing with the refs "only when she's losing" (which, again, is pretty much true for any athlete in any sport who ever argued with officials) to the blatantly racist work from Australian editorial cartoonist Mark Knight in the Herald Sun, which you will not be shocked to hear is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. That image, with its exaggerated features on Williams, including large lips and fuzzy hair that look straight out of a KKK flyer, with the drawing of a wispy, blonde Osaka in contrast, shows you how black rage is perceived by racists, as animalistic, childish, devolved.

What you see time and again is a white fear of black rage, a rage that is more often than not self-repressed and self-censored. And it doesn't matter how mild the rage - as in Obama's criticism of Trump - or how pronounced  - as with Williams or Black Lives Matters or football players taking a knee or Maxine Waters - it will be interpreted as a threat to a sanctimonious white hegemony. Those invested in that power structure will react as if being attacked personally.

That reaction, the immediate need to diminish, to derogate, to distort the words and actions of black people who show even a hint of rage demands an answer.  Barack Obama and Serena Williams answer it by keeping on, by historicizing their rage and by negating their detractors, time and again by the radical act of simply being present and black and unbowed.

At her press conference after the match, Williams said, "The fact that I have to go through this is just an example for the next person that has emotions, and that want to express themselves, and want to be a strong woman. They’re going to be allowed to do that because of today. Maybe it didn’t work out for me, but it’s going to work out for the next person." I can't imagine white people being in a position to have to say that, one day, the culture around them will allow them to fully express their feelings.

9/06/2018

Hey, Look Over Here. I'm Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump White House, Too

I can remember the moment clearly: the young daughter of one of President Donald Trump's top aides brought a puppy to the office. Her father had asked Chief of Staff John Kelly if it was okay. Kelly, in that irascible way of his, said, "Who gives a fuck?" before he went back to prying the nuclear football out of the screaming president's hands.

Everyone of us in the West Wing knows that President Trump is afraid of dogs. "Dingoes are dogs," I once heard him say. "They eat babies. They eat souls." And then he leaned back in his chair and softly wept as he stared out at nothing, whispering, "So many babies. So many souls."

The president was wandering around the halls, having gotten loose from the Oval Office, when he saw the puppy. It was a pug, so it was truly adorable. He gestured at the girl, who smiled angelically at the man her father had told her deserves everyone's respect and loyalty. "I want to fuck it," he said. The Secret Service agents looked at each other and then went for the aide's daughter. "No, not the girl," he scoffed. "The dog."

Later, the aide told me, "I'm glad it was the dog. It would have been hard to let him take my daughter, but I would have because of the Supreme Court." I nodded. We all nodded because we all would have done the same.

We are the Resistance inside the Trump White House. We are not crazy liberals like Nancy Pelosi. No, we are conservatives who believe in conservative things like lower taxes for the poor rich people and regulation cutting for our struggling trillion-dollar corporations and a bigger military that's bigger just so we can say, "See? Look how big it is" and our voters will lap it up. We like when President Trump agrees to cut taxes and the rest, but we sure don't like it when he's wacky-crazy.

Like the dog. See, the aide handed the puppy over to Trump, who sniffed it and then quickly ambled back to the Oval Office. I got Secretary of Defense Mattis on the phone and said, "We have a situation. A fucking situation." Mattis happened to be in the building, and he rushed over. We burst into the Oval Office to see the president with his pants down, about to start having sex with the dog.

Mattis looked at me and said, "Quick, on Ivanka's desk. There's a stuffed animal. It looks like a dog. Get it."

"Ivanka has a desk?" I asked.

"Yes. Get the doll!"

I ran to the anteroom, and there was a small, tan unicorn on a white desk next to a pile of unsold, fake fashionable clothes. I ripped off the doll's horn, ran back, and tossed it to Mattis, who yelled, "Wait, Mr. President!" Trump turned, the pug in one hand, his penis in the other. "You can't fuck that puppy."

Trump gave that look that said he didn't believe you, you know, where he pulls back his head and it looks like he face goes right into his neck. "I'm the president of the United States. That was some election night, wasn't it? You see that map? So I can fuck any puppy I want."

Mattis said, "You can't fuck it because...it needs to be lubed up first or it'll hurt."

The president paused. He contemplated the situation. Then he said, "You're right. Good man. This guy. Always looking out for me." He handed the puppy over to Mattis. "Lube up the dog." Mattis turned his back, put the puppy in his jacket, pumped out some hand cream that was on the president's desk, rubbed it on the doll, and handed it to the anxious president.

Trump started slamming the dog against his semi-erect penis over and over, crying out, "Yeah, yeah, that's what you get for eating souls!" If it had been the real puppy, the cries would have been horrible, the bone breaking a nightmare. Mattis pushed me out of the room, telling me to give the pug back to the little girl and "get them both out of this Hell House." As the door shut, I could hear the President of the United States grunt in orgasm before he fell over onto the floor. Mike Pence was rushing over to lick the floor clean, as he does.

We in the Resistance know that Donald Trump needs to be institutionalized and that Russia owns him and his family like a hog farmer owns a pen of pigs. Sure, it'd be easy to just go to the press, admit that I'm someone really high up in the administration, and reveal all the awful things I see on an hourly basis, like how racist he is, how he'll shit on his desk and announce, "Look, I made another Ben Carson" after which he tosses the shit at Sarah Sanders and laughs as she runs out of the room, crying.

But I'm not going to do that because we are this close to taking away abortion rights from women and who knows? Maybe we'll teach those queers they don't have a right to get married. Constantly being on the verge of Armageddon is a small price to pay.  We're good as long as we can steer this hulking, mentally-deficient manchild to keep signing the documents we put in front of him. He's happy just to show off that he can write his name.

Besides, by writing this, I'm getting you all to wonder who I am rather than worry about Brett Kavanaugh, who is going to make liberals so sad, or those kids we're never going to reunite with their parents. And that's a good day's work.

9/04/2018

The Kavanaugh Battle Was Over Before It Ever Got Started, So We Have to Think Ahead

It was heartening as hell to see Democrats put up a fight this morning over the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, as average a nutzoid conservative as you're going to find. Seriously, he is no more fucking grotesque and retrograde than Samuel Alito or Neil Gorsuch.  But, obviously, there are some extrinsic concerns here that made the Democratic minority on the Senate Judiciary Committee hulk out for a while.

For instance, the committee was not allowed to see any documents for the period of time when Kavanaugh was George W. Bush's White House Staff Secretary, which is a kind of counsel, from 2003-2006. He was only supposed to be there for a year but his nomination to the DC Circuit Court in 2004 stalled because, well, shit, he didn't really have the fucking qualifications to be a circuit court judge. In 2006, it finally got rammed through, and that was his reward for having been a savage dogfucker working for Kenneth Starr's pursuit of Bill Clinton's penis. Kavanaugh was responsible for getting lots of asshole judges through for Bush during those three years, so, you know, those records might be relevant to his, lemme see, judgment.

And then there's the minor issue of who nominated Kavanaugh, which would be Donald Trump, a man whose presidency is sitting there while a dump truck of shit slowly tilts up and we're all just waiting until the whole load comes pouring out on it. Democrats and anyone with a goddamn brain are thinking that maybe a motherfucker who is accused of fucking mothers shouldn't get to pick a judge who might sit in, lemme see, judgment over him.

So, yeah, way to go, Democrats on the Judiciary Committee. The base needs to see that kind of fight. Hell, if nothing else, the Democratic side looks a bit more like America, with women and people of color mixing it up alongside the white dudes. Over on the GOP side, it's all white guys (well, Ted Cruz is half-Cuban, but fuck that guy).

But it was all for nothing, really. The corpse of Chuck Grassley stuck to his guns and refused any motions to even have a vote that would fail on delaying the hearing. Grassley was his usual dickish self, commenting about every Democratic opening statement like he was on the couch and bellowing at Hannity on his TV. And Republicans like Ben Sasse and Jeff Flake, who had expressed dismay about shit that Trump had done even recently, like tweeting out an attack on the Department of Justice for indicting two GOP members of Congress, raised their haunches so that Trump would have easy access to fucking their asses. It is fait a-motherfuckin'-ccompli on Kavanaugh (barring some major revelation or fuck-up in the next couple of days).

It goes without saying that, in this fight and the Gorsuch fight, Democrats were playing catch-up for the mistakes they made in not blowing up the Senate over the Republicans' refusal to even consider the nomination by Barack Obama of Merrick Garland in 2016. By putting up only a relatively minor fuss with the hope that Hillary Clinton would be elected and thus would put more liberals on the court, Democrats gambled and lost hugely. Of course, they were also hoping that, post-election, Republicans would be honorable in their actions, and that fuckin' unicorn was murdered sometime around 2009, if not before.

Republicans were never going to be honorable. They were going to fuck shit up and then pretend that Democrats did it first, always going back to the Robert Bork hearings and vote in 1987, always forgetting that Bork had six Republicans vote against his nomination (and that Democrats were in control of the Senate). When Harriet Miers had to withdraw her nomination in 2005, Republicans were in the majority in the Senate. So where is the blame there?

Besides, Republicans kept talking about the sanctity of the process when every fucking one of those pricks blocked Garland's nomination, even when they admitted he was totally qualified. The worst was querulous worm Lindsey Graham, who had the audacity to say to Democrats, "You had a chance and you lost. If you want to pick judges from your way of thinking you better win an election." This bitch-faced cockscab had no problem preventing President Obama from appointing judges. Jesus, what life must be like for these jackoffs with their heads pressed so hard on Mitch McConnell's anus that they can't breathe.

So what are Democrats to do? We could fight now, however useless the battle. Hell, push Republicans to say stupid shit, like Sasse whining that pro-choice protesters are "hysterical," and use it in ads. Get Kavanaugh on record saying that he won't recuse himself from cases that involve Trump personally. One senator could make a big show, like refuse to stop talking until he or she is dragged out by security. Or all of them could just refuse to participate. Walk the fuck out and flip off the majority. Fuck, that's way more interesting than watching Republicans circle jerk around Kavanaugh as they drool over a future where women die from unsafe, illegal abortions and environmental regulations are ground into asbestos dust.

Or you could think ahead. And that's where you gotta get fucking badass. What if Democrats issued a statement saying that, if they get a majority or one or both chambers of Congress, they will launch an investigation of the records that were kept from them? That they will crawl into the asses of every judge appointed by Trump and, if they find any reason to, have them charged with contempt or perjury for the answers given under oath? For instance, you know, like Kavanaugh seems to have done in 2006. And that if they get enough Democrats elected, they will impeach and remove from the bench any Supreme Court justices appointed by Trump because Republicans have so tainted the process?

Can they do all that? Who the fuck cares? You think Republicans wonder if they can get away with shit before they do it? They fuckin' do it and let the chips fall where they may. If they wreck something on the way, then they say it deserved wrecking.

Playing nice has lost us the Supreme Court. You wanna get it back? Stop playing and start behaving like there are lives at stake.

9/03/2018

A Poem for the Laborers

These Hands, These Roots
By John Olivares Espinoza

Go on, tell me
My hands look like yours,
Nail clipped, filed, buffed, shined.
They weren’t always so.
My hands were

Forged from
Gardening, working so deep
In the soil, they could have been roots.
Fingers splintered by wooden
Rakes and shovels.

Some gardener—
Whose face and name get lost
Like loose coins in my memory’s
backseat—told me women
Look at men’s hands

For dark half-circles
Between their nails, which give away
Your blue-collar status like a pair of torn jeans.
This is no matter how handsome your face.
I knew I had hope.

But what about
Lupe, whose mower chopped
His fingertips instead of blades of grass,
Who then preserved them in an ice chest
Next to some plums?

So I scrub, clip,
And lotion my hands with aloe,
Fearing bachelorhood and Internet dating.
I take pride in my hands now,
But what about when

The skin gathers at the knuckle,
And arthritis tangles my fingers for
Cracking my knuckles since I was ten?
But until then, hold my hand
Tightly with yours

As my other hand
Wipes the sweat from my brow
Under the perspiration of work and love
And the fact I know no other way
To wrestle out a life for us.

8/30/2018

For Labor Day, Trump Wants to Take Away Federal Employees' Raises

Kierstin Aanenson is a nurse at the VA in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, making about $37,000 a year.

Chan Aaron is a soil conservation technician in Ashland, Oregon, making around $33,000.

Latisha Aaron is a pharmacist at the VA in Chicago, making a bit over $36,000.

Marcus Aaron is a pharmacist at the VA in Shreveport, Louisiana, also making around $33,000.

Fidarie Abasovski makes $31,000 as a food service worker at the VA in Milwaukee.

Keith Abara makes $30,000 as a forestry technician in California.

Those are workers in the federal government, the ones whose salaries are funded by the taxpayers, and I didn't even make it past the beginning of the A's when it came to looking up those salaries.

Now, just in time for Labor Day, President Donald Trump, a man who is the most miserable allegedly rich person in history, wants to deny workers who are not making even close to the median income of their states, let alone the country, a simple 2.1 percent raise. He also wants to shitcan locality adjustments to their pay so that someone living in, say, Chicago can afford to live instead of being on the same pay as someone in South Dakota.

Nope. Fuck those hundreds of thousands of Veterans Affairs employees and national park employees and more. Fuck the 2 million federal workers, a good percentage of whom work for all of us for pretty damn low pay.

Why? Because Donnie Bumblefuck wants to save the country money. He wrote (and, no, of course, he didn't write this), "We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases." Trump says the raises would cost $25 billion, and, yeah, you're right: the motherfuckin' tax cut is gonna cost a trillion over ten years, but that's rich people money and don't fuckin' dare touch that. (And it also is as much as he wanted for his worthless wall, so maybe that's in the calculation. Who the fuck knows with this heaping pile of rotting orange rinds we have for a president.)

Even the Wall Street Journal has a "What the fucking fuck?" moment in reporting on this bullshit. "The U.S. economy grew in the second quarter at the strongest pace in nearly four years," it said, adding, "Mr. Trump touted the data on Twitter Wednesday, saying, 'Our country is doing great!'" Again, for the wealthy. During the early part of the economic recovery, President Obama froze salaries in 2011 (under pressure from the Republican Congress, he froze them for longer than he wanted), but when the economy started expanding, he put the raises back into gear.

So the only reason to do this is because Trump is being an asshole for the sake of being an asshole, and he knows he's blown a hole in the budget with the tax cut. Fuck you, people taking care of veterans and all the veterans in the federal workforce, which is over a half-million. Don't worry, though. Trump says he loves you.

By the way, the only way this freeze on salaries won't go into effect is if Congress passes a raise and Trump signs off on it. So, yeah, it's gonna happen because if the GOP can dick over federal workers, they will do it in a heartbeat.


8/29/2018

Trump and the Ass-Eating Evangelicals

On Monday night, Donald Trump, who is still the goddamn president of the fucked United States for some reason, hosted a dinner with evangelical Christian leaders. You might know them better as "those bugfuck insane religious fakers who wouldn't know an actual Christian if one bit them on the nipple."

When Trump spoke with reporters in the room, it was the usual litany of lies and ignorance about supposed accomplishments he's achieved for the nutzoid evangelicals.

He said, "We have stopped the Johnson Amendment from interfering with your First Amendment rights," except the Johnson Amendment, which is supposed to prevent religious leaders and churches from endorsing candidates or campaigning against them, has rarely ever been enforced in the way it could be.

He said of the policy that prevents any federal funds for NGOs to be used for abortion, "Reinstated the Mexico City Policy we first put into place. And if you know, if you study it –- and most of you know about this –- first under President Ronald Reagan, not since then –- the Mexico City Policy." If you study it, or, indeed, read a single goddamn thing about it, you'd know that it was in place under Reagan and Bush 41, rescinded by Clinton, reinstated by Bush 43, and rescinded by Obama. So, sorry, Donald, you're not God's most special angel since the Gipper.

He recited part of the John Adams quote that's carved into the fireplace of the State Dining Room in the White House: "I pray Heaven to bestow the best of Blessings on this House." He left out two other sections which refer to future occupants of the joint, including "May none but honest and wise Men ever rule under this roof." That's such an obvious tell that it's almost comical.

Then, when the reporters were led out of the room, Trump continued with another kind of rant, one that is more in the apocalyptic mode that the nutzoid evangelicals love to threaten their bleating congregations with. Trump talked about the upcoming midterms and warned that, if Democrats win, "they will overturn everything that we've done and they'll do it quickly and violently, and violently. There's violence. When you look at Antifa and you look at some of these groups — these are violent people." Even some idiot right-wing bloggers were confused by the idea that Democrats would need violence if they won. Mostly, Trump probably means that black people might get elected.

And, bizarrely, he just went on even more of a lying tear, claiming that "Now one of the things I'm most proud of is getting rid of the Johnson Amendment," which he simply didn't do. And also he once again said that Trump Tower has 68 floors when the documents for the fucking ugly thing say it's only 58, which is still a damn tall building.

Finally, as is the tradition at all Trump events, the president dropped his pants and said, "Now it's my favorite part." Then, one by one, the men and women who tell their followers that adultery and sex outside of marriage are affronts to God, that lying and cheating are terrible sins, that baby Jesus cries blood tears over abortion, and that giving money to the church is one sure way to get your foot in the pearly gates, walked up to Trump, a lying adulterer who has paid for abortions and given virtually nothing in charity, and kissed him right on his droopy ass cheeks.

"Get your face in there good," Trump smirked as Franklin Graham went nose deep between his buttocks, as James and Shirley Dobson each leaked a side, as Ralph Reed and Tony Perkins fairly competed for who could get their tongue further up. When Trump sharted as Jerry Falwell, Jr, was nuzzling the president's posterior, you could hear the sighs of disappointment from the rest of the group that they had not been anointed by his shit spray.

As they caressed and moistened his ass, Trump reached under his stomach with two fingers and started to jack off. The muffled praise of the kissers only worked to get him to the quarter erection that's all he can manage with his blood pressure. When Paula White said, "History will record the greatness that you have brought for generations" while her mouth was filled with Trump tush, or when another grabbed a handful of ass and announced, "We have a warrior at the helm who is willing to stand up and fight," Trump moaned in tepid orgasm.

Then he pulled up his pants, sat at the dais, and fell asleep as the righteous applauded his stamina.

8/27/2018

Dead Senator

Senator John McCain was an asshole. But he was the kind of smart, sarcastic asshole that, when he was on your side, you were just jazzed to have fight with you. When you were on the opposite side from him, he was just a fuckin' asshole. To understand the "complexity" of McCain,  as so many like to say, is to misunderstand something basic in his nature: he obviously loved being an asshole.

Look, anything anyone writes about McCain, who died this weekend after battling brain cancer, has to acknowledge that the central part of his story is balls-to-the-wall badass, tragic, and heroic. McCain, who was a shitty pilot and a shitty student at the Naval Academy, was shot down in his fighter plane in North Vietnam and was beaten and tortured by his captors. He declined early release because he knew the NVA wanted a propaganda coup for doing it, so he was subjected to more and worse torture. For five years, he endured and then came home. If you want to know why McCain has engendered more sympathy than most figures in American politics, it boils down to the horror he experienced. We saw his sacrifice in every step his damaged body took.

It's too bad that he went through that for a completely useless war, but we're not supposed to say that. We're not supposed to acknowledge that McCain took pleasure in killing "gooks," as he himself said, or that he was likely hitting civilian targets in his bombing runs. But it doesn't take anything away from McCain's genuine heroism in the Hanoi Hilton. It doesn't take away an iota of the pain he suffered or the fact that it would have killed most of us. It's just that we tend to think in simple terms about the complicated reality.

For instance, yeah, McCain worked with Russ Feingold to pass a weak campaign finance reform law, but at least it was something. Then, when it was pretty much wiped out by the fuckery of the Supreme Court in the Citizens United decision in 2010, McCain bemoaned it and then did dick about the tsunami of corporate cash in elections except makes sure he got his. His one great legislative achievement was burnt to the ground, and McCain gave it a eulogy instead of trying to rebuild. You'll generally only hear about how much of a "maverick" McCain was for even working with a Democrat, not that he threw in the towel and said, "Fuck it, I'm done" when it was challenged.

That's because McCain has always been a good GOP soldier. He didn't so much as squeak over the odious prick mite Mitch McConnell's declaration that all legislation would die in the Senate during President Obama's two terms. He didn't flinch in backing McConnell on preventing Merrick Garland from even getting a hearing on his Supreme Court nomination.

But, goddamn, he could talk a good game. He could say all those pretty, useless words about "regular order" while doing nothing to bring the Senate to it. He got praise for just not being a racist dick towards Barack Obama, but he treated Obama like shit otherwise. He talked shit about Trump, but he backed the president in nearly every vote. Yeah, he gave a thumbs-down to the skinny repeal of the Affordable Care Act, but shortly after, he agreed to a jammed-through, out-of-regular-order tax bill that included a repeal of the individual mandate, one of the major stabilizing legs of the ACA.

What the fuck else did McCain do? He supported military involvement whenever he could, and, again, sometimes, like in Bosnia, it could be for decent purposes. But he was mostly just a bloodthirsty son of a bitch who really fuckin' loved bombing places. Back in 2002, he wanted to go to Iraq in the worst way, and, only long after the whole thing turned out to be a giant clusterfuck, he said recently he made a mistake. That didn't stop him from advocating for bombing Syria and Iran and being one of Israel's most avid lickspittles in Congress.

Even on one of his signature issues, the end of torture by the United States, he could be an asshole to the Bush administration, leading to a ban on "enhanced interrogation" techniques like waterboarding. Then, he could turn around and vote for Alberto Gonzales, one of the people who came up with legal justification for torture, as attorney general.

McCain was not above pandering to conservatives, whether in the presidential races (especially in 2008) or in his congressional races. From his vote against the holiday for Martin Luther King and his refusal to condemn the Confederate flag (both of which he later said he regretted) to his embarrassing wooing of the Christian right to his ultimate dicking of the nation by elevating the extravagantly vapid and vicious Sarah Palin, McCain wanted the right to know that, even though he sometimes said something vaguely sane, he was still just as bugfuck crazy as the rest of them.

Frankly, much of what McCain did was driven by pissiness and spite. He was nearly drummed out of office for doing the bidding of a donor, Charles Keating, back in the 1980s.  So that lit a fire in his ass on campaign finance reform because fuck the rest of you, too. Except, of course, McCain kept raking in that cash and doing favors for the biggest donors. McCain railed against the congressional earmarks process - so-called "pork barrel spending" - which is something that got members of different parties to actually work together.

The easiest way to put this is that, putting aside his torture in Vietnam and his ability to manipulate the media into creating a bullshit myth around him, John McCain wasn't anything particularly special. He was your basic Republican, a conservative who happened to be able to turn a phrase better than the yahoos who populate his party. He was marginally more honorable than most of the GOP because he actually did regret some shit, and he was mightily reamed by the savage Karl Rove in 2000 with the phone calls and flyers in South Carolina that said McCain had a black love child (it was a daughter from Bangladesh he and Cindy had adopted). And Donald Trump isn't worth a single white hair on McCain's balls, but Donald Trump isn't worth most people's pubes.

Mostly, then, we're honoring a lie. If this post isn't as mean and full of anger as you might have liked, it's probably because I've said so many terrible things about McCain over the years that I don't fucking want to repeat myself.  I can't think of what more to say about him. Besides, everyone gets so upset if you say one negative word. People love and are so deeply invested in the lie of McCain, of the honorable public servant, of the war hero, that they don't give a shit that he didn't really do much of anything to help people. They need the lie.

Mourning McCain for most of the nation feels less like mourning a man than mourning an illusion of a lost America where people worked together for a common purpose. It was an illusion that McCain talked about all the time, even in his final message to the American people. Throughout his career, though, McCain did as much as anyone to keep the illusion from becoming reality.

However fucked we are now, he is one of the people who fucked us. That he did it with a limp and a quick wit fooled just about everyone.

8/23/2018

Note to Democrats: Don't Let Republicans Make You Abandon Impeachment Talk

It's as much of a truism as you can manage in these chaotic political times: Republicans force everyone to play on their field. No idea is good or valid if just Democrats support it; it must have some Republicans, in or out of government, say it's good. Or so says the media all the goddamn time. When it comes to elections, Republicans always dare Democrats to campaign on some issue with the promise that it will boomerang back and smack them in the tits. It's why Democrats ran scared from Bill Clinton in 2000, it's why they were cowed into silence on terrorism and the Iraq "war" in 2002 and 2004, and it's why they avoided talking about the Affordable Care Act in 2010. Democrats always agree to be the visitors on the Republicans' home turf.

The thing is that, in all those cases and in just about any case you can think of, the motherfuckers in the GOP just went ahead and acted as if Democrats were campaigning on those issues anyways. It didn't matter if Democrats idiotically ran scared from Obamacare because some fuckstumps in colonial hats were teabagging each other in 2010. Republicans made the midterms about an evil Kenyan socialist Muslim Negro taking away your doctor.

And so, now, with the conviction of Donald Trump's former campaign manager and guy in Cell Block B most likely to sell cigarettes out of his anus, Paul Manafort, and the guilty plea of Trump's former lawyer and guy most likely to smoke those anus cigarettes, Michael Cohen, where Cohen directly implicates Trump in the commission of a felony, Republicans are doing it again for the upcoming midterms.

They are double-dog daring Democrats to talk about impeachment. "It will doom them," say Republicans, who just care so much that they're advising Democrats what they can and can't discuss. And many Democrats are buying it. House Minority Leader and the most evil woman in power now that Hillary is gone, Nancy Pelosi, said of impeachment, "It's not someplace that I think we should go...I believe that whatever we do, we have a responsibility to first and foremost to unify the nation."

That's a fundamentally wrong reading of the nation at this moment in our history. The first responsibility of Democrats should be to shit in the face of Republicanism and then turn it over and piss on it and then turn it back and shit on its face again, just to make sure Republicans got the message. And then ask if anyone wants to be part of this shit-covered, piss-soaked ideology. Unification will not do a goddamn thing except to tell conservatives that they fuckin' got away with it again.

Fuckin' promise impeachment. Fuckin' promise that you're gonna hold Trump and anyone else accountable for everything they've done to fuck this country. Lay out clearly what the conditions for impeachment are. You can explain that the most patriotic thing you can do is get rid of Trump. Why the hell do you think the election is looking like a blue wave? It's not because a Democratic House is going to get shit done. It's because people want these motherfuckers punished.

Republicans have already made the election about impeachment. Yeah, back in April, they were running ads declaring that Chuck Schumer wants to impeach Trump. Deranged, toothy ghoul Rudy Giuliani declared, "This election is going to be about impeachment or no impeachment." Sen. John Cornyn said that it's just sour grapes and that Democrats are trying to "reverse" the 2016 election (which leaves aside that Trump and the Republicans have been trying to reverse the 2008 and 2012 elections).

We will see endless ads about how Democratic candidates will impeach Trump. That shouldn't stop anyone. Vile carrion-beast Ted Cruz is making Beto O'Rourke's support of impeachment an issue, but at least O'Rourke is being honest about it. In Fucking Texas. And he's still gaining a head of steam on Cruz.

Let's do this. Let's take the ball and go back to our field. Yeah, we're talking impeachment because that's the Legislative branch doing its fucking job. Rush right at Republican talking points. Campaign on health care, on immigration reform, and on impeachment. It's as clear as can be. And GOP candidates are shitting themselves about having to defend Trump. Good. Force them to either support him or say they want him out.

The one thing that Republicans do have right here is that, whether we talk about it or not, the election is about stopping and/or removing Trump. We have no reason to hide that or ignore that. It's already in play. And that means to go for the Senate, too.

Impeachment is all well and good, but it's trial, conviction, and removal from office that really matters.

8/21/2018

Brett Kavanaugh's Lewinsky Memo Makes One Hell of a Poem

If Monica Lewinsky Says...
A poem by Brett Kavanaugh

That you inserted a cigar
into her vagina while
you were in the Oval
Office area

That you had phone
sex with her on
approximately 15
occasions

That on several occasions
in the Oval
Office area,
you used your fingers
to stimulate her vagina and
bring her to
orgasm

That she gave you oral
sex on nine
occasions in the Oval
Office area

That you ejaculated
into her mouth on two
occasions in the Oval
Office area

That on several occasions
you had her
give her oral sex,
made her
stop,
and then
ejaculated
into the sink
in the bathroom
off the Oval
Office

That you masturbated
into a trash
can in your secretary's
office

Would she
be
lying?

(Note: All of this is from a memo Kavanaugh wrote urging prosecutors to attack President Bill Clinton in 1998. Kavanaugh was working for Kenneth Starr during the "investigation" into Clinton lying under oath about blow jobs, something that so outraged the future judge and current nominee to the Supreme Court that he blew a fucking gasket over it. He demanded that Starr tear into Clinton, and the man who would smile and bow and scrape to Donald fuckin' Trump said of Clinton, "The president has disgraced his office, the legal system and the American people by having sex with a 22-year-old intern and turning her life into a shambles — callous and disgusting behavior that has somehow gotten lost in the shuffle." Apparently, that only goes for Democrats. He'll gladly allow his entire career to come down to the blessings of a man who Kavanaugh has no qualms pretending hasn't disgraced the presidency.

While he supposedly would later "regret" this memo, he wrote it as an official document. If Twitter had been around and he had tweeted this kind of shit out, his career might well be over. Instead, he'll probably get a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land and fuck with the lives of Americans for decades.

Someone in this story is a cocksucker. And it ain't Monica Lewinsky.)

8/16/2018

Vatican Likely Won't Punish Those Who Covered Up Child Sexual Abuse

According to the just-released grand jury report, in 1990, Bishop James Timlin of Scranton, Pennsylvania, was first made aware that a priest who had recently been transferred to his Diocese, Father Arthur Long, had admitted to having sex with underage girls in his parish in Harrisburg. Timlin was the bishop in the Scranton Diocese, which encompasses the entire northeast section of Pennsylvania, from 1984 to 2003.

Prior to being the bishop, Monsignor Timlin had been told as early as 1968 that one of the priests in his parish, Robert Caparelli, had been "contributing to the delinquency" of at least two altar boys, ages 11 and 12. Another priest, Mark Mecca, described working with Caparelli as being "under an incubus" because of Caparelli's sexual abuse of children. Caparelli was transferred to different parishes in Pennsylvania, and, even when required by the state in 1985 to report any incidents of such abuse, Timlin did not and allowed Caparelli to continue his ministry.

In 1991, Caparelli was charged with sexual abuse of a child. By this point, Timlin had personally heard complaints about Caparelli's rape of young boys. A civil lawsuit by the victim said that the priest had sexually abused him from September 1985 to June 1986, including forcible sodomy at the church. Despite saying that the Diocese would cooperate with authorities, "Timlin specifically took actions to protect the secret archives of the Diocese from legal discovery during the course of the litigation." The Diocese's records had multiple letters alleging more incidents of rape and abuse by Caparelli, including at least one incident where the priest admitted he had done it.

The number of incidents involving Caparelli was staggering, going back to 1967, involving boys between 10 and 12. In prison, it was revealed that Caparelli knew he was HIV-positive for years, so while he was sodomizing children. He died there in 1994. Bishop Timlin still stood by Caparelli, refusing to take responsibility for covering up the crimes. Indeed, in 1993, "Timlin requested that Caparelli be released from prison to a Catholic treatment facility - like those that had so often authorized the return of Pennsylvania's predatory priests to active ministry."

Another priest in the Scranton Diocese, Father Thomas Skotek, carried on a sexual relationship with an underage girl from 1980 to 1985. When she got pregnant, Skotek helped her get an abortion. Bishop Timlin was aware of this, and he accepted Skotek's resignation by responding, "This is a very difficult time in your life, and I realize how upset you are. I too share your grief. … With the help of God, who never abandons us and who is always near when we need him, this too will pass away, and all will be able to pick up and go on living." After Skotek went to a Catholic treatment center, he was reassigned in 1987 to a Wilkes-Barre parish.

Another priest in the Scranton Diocese, Father Robert J. Brague, had ongoing sexual relationships with several teenage girls, and, in 1988, one of them became pregnant. While Timlin removed Brague from his office, Timlin did offer support for Brague receiving new appointments at churches in New York and Florida.

Another priest in the Scranton Diocese, Father Ralph Ferraldo, was accused by a mother of "immorally" touching her young son and other boys in 1974. Then-Chancellor Timlin asked Ferraldo, who "did admit that he had older boys visit his room in the rectory, but nothing wrong had occurred. He was asked not to do that anymore." Timlin told the mother that her son was mistaken. In 1985 and 1986, Ferraldo was accused of "inappropriate behavior" with hospital patients he was ministering to. Then, in 2002, a male reported that Ferraldo had sexually abused him when he was 16 back in the early 1980s.

Another priest in the Scranton...but you get the idea. Timlin was also constantly commenting on how the stories needed to be kept quiet, lest it upset the parishioners (and cost the church even more).

This is a small part of a heartbreaking, sickening 1000-page grand jury report on sexual abuse in nearly every diocese in Pennsylvania. And the focus here is Bishop James Timlin, who is retired now but still has an active role in the church. According to an expert on the way such cases are handled, Timlin "likely will not face any sanctions from the Vatican for concealing reports of sexual abuse committed by priests."

Yeah, the Vatican is more likely to slap bishops on the wrist than kick them the hell out of the church. "The Vatican has removed some offenders from office, but it rarely takes action to permanently remove a priest from the priesthood — an action known as laicization, more commonly referred to as defrocking." The first statement from the Vatican has emphasized that the crimes took place before 2002, when the U.S. Catholic Church finally took a stronger stand on how it handles such crimes.

In other words, the ones who shifted the rapist priests around, the ones who swept things under a very lumpy rug, like James Timlin, will have gotten away with it.

8/15/2018

One Little Thing: The Defense Bill Is Almost as Long as the Affordable Care Act

Here's something that shouldn't matter at all but, because of prior Republican fuckery, it sure as shit does.

Check this out. Here is a screenshot from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare," in case you're a fuckin' moron). It's the first page from the version that was passed by the House and Senate in January 2010.


What's important here is the number at the top there. See it? It's 906 pages in a PDF downloaded from the Government Publishing Office. If you'll remember, Republicans freaked the fuck out over the length of the law and how no one had read it before it was passed. It was variously described as having 2300 or 2700 or 16,000 or 20,000 pages, depending on how desperate whichever conservative spoogebucket was spouting off and whether they were counting corrections and regulations issued in its wake. But the bill itself, which affected every single person living in this country directly with its provisions about what health insurance had to cover and who had to be covered, was 906 pages.

Even our current dink president was outraged over how long the bill was because Republicans could do it in fewer pages. Maybe 46, maybe 123, maybe 67. It was all a big fuckin' mystery, but, goddamnit, it was shorter than that fucker Obama could come up with.

This week, Congress passed the John McCain Totally Too Fucking Huge Defense Budget That Is a Giant Giveaway to Weapons Makers and a Continuation of Endless War and Endless Detention Without Trial and Holy Shit, This Is Just For a Single Year. And in remarks to soldiers, President Trump couldn't have been more pleased with himself (who else would he ever be pleased with?). He really said, "The National Defense Authorization Act is the most significant investment in our military and our warfighters in modern history, and I am very proud to be a big, big part of it."

Here's the first page of it, also downloaded as a PDF from the GPO:


You see that fuckin' number up top? It's 788. That's right. The defense budget is just 120 pages shorter than the law that remade a fifth of the entire American economy. And you fuckin' well know that not a single goddamn Republican representation or senator read the whole thing. You fuckin' well know that not one is gonna complain about the length. Complicated shit gets a complicated bill. It's that simple.

But we spend years arguing about how many pages Obamacare was. So the layers of hypocrisy in the Republican Party are so fuckin' deep that there are dinosaurs buried in that bullshit.

(Note: One other thing Trump said in his weirder than usual speech at Fort Drum is that the soldiers would only be real patriots if they gave up their raises to help with the national debt. No, really: "We are proudly giving our troops the biggest pay increase in a decade. And I know you don’t want it because you’re very patriotic. You’ll say, just save the money. We’re going to pay down debt. Does anybody not want it? Please raise your hand. What’s going on here? (Laughter.) Are these real patriots?" It's like the zombie corpse of Henny Youngman trying to articulate a joke through a rotting jaw.)

(Note 2: There are a fuck-ton of more important things going on, but I'm still trying to get my head around the horror of that Pennsylvania Catholic Church child rape report. Might have more on that tomorrow.)

8/13/2018

Omarosa Confirms the Obvious (But Trump Can't Shut Up) - Updated

Omarosa Manilow or whatever the fuck was hired for one reason and one reason only: to be black near Donald Trump. That's it. She was hired as an accessory, a bauble that Trump could flaunt whenever anyone declared him a racist, like that gold-framed fake Renoir he insisted was real, projecting something about the man that simply wasn't true. She wasn't just a token; she was a shield. And she willingly allowed herself to play that role, which she has copped to. But, basically, fuck her. She was content to suckle at the teat of whatever fame Trump had and line her purse. Now that she was kicked out of the Big Brother: DC house, she's gonna get paid. It doesn't mean she's lying. It just means, you know, fuck her.

With that said, much of what Omarosa has revealed is the sadly standard "The President is a dumb fucking racist" shit that we've heard before. I'm pretty sure there is no one in the nation who doesn't think that Trump says, "Nigger" on a regular basis. And, frankly, some of it sounds crazy, like making a recording in the situation room of the White House.

I don't necessarily believe her when she says she walked in on Trump eating paper in order to destroy whatever was written on it. It's more believable that Trump sits at his desk in the Oval Office, staring ahead blankly, tearing off bits of intelligence reports, and devouring them mindlessly, washing them down with Diet Coke. In fact, I'd bet that Trump has to constantly be told to stop eating the paper.

Also, there's the stuff that ought to be shocking but isn't, like that Gene Simmons of KISS openly talked about fucking Ivanka in front of dear ol' dad, but Trump just laughed and egged him on. I mean, unless you've got a video of Trump boning his daughter while Jared weeps and jacks off in the corner, you've really got nothing. And even then, most of us would think, "Yeah, I totally expected to one day see Trump boning his daughter while Jared weeps and jacks off in the corner." What would be surprising? Add a goat? A shit fetish? Crucifixion? Who knows anymore? We have lost the capacity for shock.

However, what's more interesting than the Omarosa revelations (because, as mentioned above, fuck Omarosa) has been Trump's reaction to those revelations. In a few tweets, he ended up saying that Omarosa was terrible at her "job" but he kept her on "because she only said GREAT things about me," as if that makes him look good instead like the incompetent, pathetic, narcissistic goon that he is, and he confirmed that he uses non-disclosure agreements, which has gotta be a violation of every kind of open records law there is, but, you know, that would require someone checking and balancing the Executive Branch.

In a recording of a phone call, Trump acts completely fake surprised that Omarosa was fired by John Kelly. And his defense is that he's just so fucking stupid: "You know, they run a big operation, but I didn’t know it. I didn’t know that. Goddamn it! I don’t love you leaving at all." First off, "I don't love you leaving" is what a goddamned child says when a parent is going on a business trip. Second, if Trump legit didn't know about her firing, that means everyone in the White House knows he doesn't give a shit about what goes on there.

He just wants to eat his paper and drink his Diet Coke and watch Fox "news" and wait until he can get in front of some audience so he can pretend he's in charge.

Update: A couple of further notes here. First, if Omarosa was just begging for a job, Trump had (and, fer fuck's sake, still has) a corporation where he could have hired her. But that wouldn't have achieved the primary objective of being "my African American" while he's in the White House.

Also, Trump is obviously freaking the fuck out because he went further in attacking her, calling her a "lowlife" and a "dog," which you know was "bitch" before someone told him to change it.  Either way, it's still occasionally, in the abstract, weird to think, "Um, that's the president of the United States saying that shit."

Always remember that should we ever hear a recording where Trump spouts racial slurs (I mean, we already heard him be sexist in the Access Hollywood pussy tape), his idiot hordes will love him for it. It's why they voted for him in the first place.

8/09/2018

Laura Ingraham Fears White Genocide

There are few things that are more of a bitch-ass argument than the whole "white genocide" thing that racists have been screeching about. The idea isn't that there will be concentration camps of white people being exterminated by legions of blacks and Hispanics and Asians and other scary non-white groups. Oh, no. See, white genocide is a gradual process by which a combination of demographic changes, migration, and white people not having babies will eradicate whiteness, causing white culture and beliefs and whatnot to disappear. See, it's like a genocide except no one is watching their family get mutilated by machetes or sent into gas showers. So it's not like a genocide at all save for in the delusional minds of white supremacists who don't fucking get that their whiteness is a construction of so many non-white forces that they wouldn't have a culture without it.

Grow the fuck up, you pussies. This is what happens. Populations move. People fuck people of other races. That shit just happens. Look at Mexico. Not because of undocumented migrants, but because of how it dealt with an influx of another race. You know that there are over a million people of Arab descent in Mexico? No, you didn't fucking know that, you stupid assholes. A whole bunch of them are Lebanese. Did you know that? No, you didn't fucking know that because you're a dumb fuck racist fuckball. And you know why you don't hear about it? Because the people from Lebanon and Yemen and Syria and elsewhere who moved to Mexico in the 1930s and 1940s married Mexicans and they have Arab Mexican kids and that's the way shit goes, man, and no one gives a single goddamn about it anymore. The best kibbeh I ever had was in Merida, Yucatan, and it was made by the Mexican wife of a Lebanese friend. How fucking great is that? The world's a goddamn miracle when you're not a total dick about shit like this.

Which gets us to Fox "news" host and noted Nazi saluter Laura Ingraham, who, you may have heard, went off about shifting racial populations in the United States last night on her show, The Ingrown Toenail. You've likely seen this quote, which sounds like something you hear before a cross is set on fire: "[I]n some parts of the country it does seem like the America that we know and love doesn't exist anymore. Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people. And they are changes that none of us ever voted for and most of us don't like." Does anyone vote for demographic change? How would that work? I guess she supports keeping black people out of her neighborhood. Anyways, Ingraham had been mocking Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the self-professed socialist who won the Democratic nomination for Congress in a district in New York City.

But you may not have heard the other shit Ingraham said during her xenophobic rant last night. She continued, "From Virginia to California, we see stark examples of how radically in some ways the country has changed. Now, much of this is related to both illegal and in some cases legal immigration that of course progressives love." Then, after getting in the usual shots at undocumented migrants and bringing up the scary ones who committed crimes and scary sanctuary cities (also known as "cities"), Ingraham got to her real fear, which is not crime at all: "[T]his is a sure way over time to remake and reshape America. This is exactly what socialists like Ocasio-Cortez want. Eventually diluting and overwhelming your vote with the votes of others who aren't, let's face it, too big on Adam Smith and the Federalist Papers."

Oh, Laura, c'mon. You really think your viewers know jack shit about Adam Smith and the Federalist Papers (which, by the way, great name for a terrible band)? Most of them wouldn't know The Wealth of Nations if Smith himself was whispering it in their ears as he made sweet, sweaty love to them, fucking them in the ass while watching your show.

More important than the stupidity and pliable sphincter of the average Ingraham viewer is that Ingraham is using the threat of non-white immigrants voting in order to demonize those immigrants even more than crime and job-taking might. She's saying, "Understand this, my fellow racist shitheels. They will elect people with scary names like Ocasio-Cortez and then they will pass laws that will strip your whiteness of its privilege."

Isn't that what this all really is about? The gut-wrenching fear that whiteness won't be powerful in and of itself? Or maybe it's just that there are a bunch of white people who are scared shitless that they might get treated like they've treated non-white people for centuries.

Demographic changes are gonna happen. The pure white Aryan blood will become "diluted" (which is an interesting dog-whistle of a word). Wait until climate refugees start pouring into the country, along with the economic migrants and asylum seekers from increasingly violent places. The most hilarious, fucked up part of all this is that the way that the cowardly white conservatives could have kept the nation whiter would have been to help the rest of the world with economic incentives, climate action, and more. But it's too late now, you pasty motherfuckers. You shouldn't have been listening to people like Laura Ingraham all this time.

That said, this is the country we have. We're not going back. No matter how many immigrants the Trump administration gets rid of, the demographic shift is here, man. This is the America we have. I love it. I love this crazy richness of identities. It's fucking fascinating and fucking fun. Bring on the white genocide. It sounds like a party.

You don't like it? Well, there's always Russia.

8/07/2018

The Trump Administration Wants to See How Racist It Can Be

You've heard it over and over from Republicans: they are just concerned about undocumented immigrants (or "illegal aliens," as the Justice Department has been ordered to say). If you ignore the fact that Customs and Border Protection treated asylum seekers who presented themselves as such at the proper border crossings - doing everything legally -  like they were undocumented migrants, and if you ignore the mostly-Muslim ban, well, you could maybe sort of believe Republicans if you squinted and stuck your fingers in your ears.

Of course, mistreating the undocumented was never the full plan. Because, see, White House adviser and Man Most Likely to Be Caught Eating Hamsters Whole, Stephen Miller, is a fucking ghoul, and he's getting the Trump administration to change how legal immigrants are treated. And if you're thinking, "Oh, they must be getting extra nice to documented immigrants because they've been such pricks to undocumented ones," then you're a fucking idiot who doesn't understand the level of cruelty for cruelty's sake these shitheels exist on.

What they want to do now is get rid of legal immigrants and they're gonna contort the fuckin' law to do it so they don't need congressional approval. The plan: "immigrants living legally in the U.S. who have ever used or whose household members have ever used Obamacare, children's health insurance, food stamps and other benefits could be hindered from obtaining legal status in the U.S." You got that? You have a kid who's a U.S. citizen and is on CHIP? No green card for you. You have a green card and get an Obamacare subsidy? No citizenship and, hey, we'll take that green card away. Back to the unstable visa system for you or, the real goal, deportation.

How fucked do you have to be to believe that this is in any way good for the country? You gotta be some bullshit white genocide-believing, Nazi-loving motherfucker to go along with this. Or, you know, an average Republican in this worthless age of Trump.

So you can live in this country legally for years, have kids here, and pay your taxes. But if you avail yourself of something that your taxes are helping to fund, you can go fuck off back to Mexico or whatever shithole you came from. You're a "public charge" now, even if you're just getting the barest of help from the government.

Trumpistas also say that they are targeting people who did something else wrong at some point in their lives, like lie on a visa application. But, as is the way with Donald Trump, who never met a contract he wouldn't violate, even people who had an agreement with the government are finding that the deal has been broken by this administration.

In one example, a Haitian man who has a green card "had used a fake passport given to him by smugglers when he entered the U.S. from Haiti in 1989, but confessed to border officers and received a waiver from USCIS absolving him of his wrongdoing and allowing him to obtain a green card in 2011." Now, though? Fuck the waiver we gave you. "When he went for his citizenship interview in August 2017, the USCIS officers told him they were going to revisit the decision to waive the fake passport incident, meaning he could potentially lose his green card as well." And then he found out he was denied citizenship. The man works 80 hours a week and takes care of a disabled daughter. He's further fucked because he has used public assistance to help with his American kid. How does this make America great again? If "great" means "whiter," then, sure, goal met.

Here you go, Republicans. Another shot to stand up and say to Trump, "No. Fuck this. This is too far. Fire that Miller cockhole and act like you're a goddamned human being." Except you won't. Because it is you. It has been you for decades. You're just finally getting to be your worst selves.

8/06/2018

Hey, New York Times, Republicans Don't Have a "Dilemma" Over Supporting White Supremacists Since They Are White Supremacists

An article in the New York Times today is about the supposed queasiness that the Republican establishment is feeling because of Corey Stewart, the GOP candidate for Senate in Virginia. Stewart, you see, is "a popular figure" with white nationalists, white supremacists, Nazis, KKK, whatever the fuck you wanna call 'em, let's just say, "Filthy fucking racists."

That's because, among other odious positions, Stewart is an ardent defender of the Confederacy, the defeated pseudo-nation of goddamn traitors that fought a war in order to continue to keep slaves. Yeah, Stewart rants about how his opponent, Democratic Senator Tim Kaine, is cool with taking down the statues of the aforementioned goddamn traitors. In one video, this racist fuck declares that "We will never ever allow anyone" to go to Charlottesville to take down a statue of Robert E. Lee. That was posted a year ago, just before the white nationalist rally where anti-racist protester Heather Heyer was killed by a racist fuck.

Stewart has been endorsed by President Donald Trump, a man who never met a black athlete or politician he couldn't degrade, so, as the Times puts it, "For mainstream Republicans in Virginia and nationwide, a profound political dilemma of the Trump era is whether to support the growing number of candidates like Mr. Stewart who make racially divisive remarks — particularly about immigrants — and back causes that are championed by white nationalists."

Now, the rest of this post could be about how ludicrous a figure Stewart is. How he posts videos ranting about Sarah Jeong, the recent hire at the Times who tweeted some (pretty funny) things attacking white people. How he says, "I challenge anybody to find a single racist statement that I’ve ever made" right after he talks about how great the Confederacy was. How he says his racism is "edgy," as if it's cool and not just another verse of the same shit song over and over.

Instead, though, let's think about those Republicans who are facing a supposed "dilemma" over whether or not to support all the racists that racists love. What fucking "dilemma" is it? It's not like any of them are thinking, "Gee, maybe I should say that I don't like the Confederacy-humper." No, they're debating whether to avidly support Stewart or just stay silent. Either way, they are complicit in the racism that is simply the reason for the Republican Party to exist at all at this point (well, racism and making rich people richer).

Cut out this bullshit act, this pretense that Republicans have had anything that approaches honor on racial issues since at least the 1980s on a national level and well before that on the local level. The GOP has been fanning the flames of racial hatred and disenfranchisement for decades. (Note: Sorry, idiots who believe the dingleberries of fake wisdom that are sharted out of Dinesh D'Souza's mouth, but the majority of Democrats have been on the anti-racist side for a long-ass time.)

The second the words "welfare queen" dribbled from Ronald Reagan's mouth and Republicans cheered him for it, that was it. Any fucking chance for the GOP to deny its racism was completely fucking gone. And the war Reagan waged against black Americans, both by action and inaction, was starkly white supremacist. Reagan turned the entirety of government programs meant to help all Americans into something those poor darkies took because they were lazy and shiftless and trying to put one over on the man, the white man, that is. Just a bunch of Mammies having babies and Slip Coons stealing shit, that's how Reagan portrayed people who needed things like food stamps and other social programs to stay alive. So Reagan gutted those programs, hurting poor black families especially hard (and all poor people, but poor whites were on the Reagan train, so they loved it). Black poverty increased faster than white poverty under Reagan. He couldn't have given a shit. And neither could the Republican Party. Fuck, after getting the nomination in 1980, the son of a bitch went to Philadelphia, Mississippi, where three civil right workers were murdered just 16 years earlier, to give his first speech as the sole representative of his party.

Tell me that shit ain't the same fuckin' coin as Corey Stewart. Hell, I didn't even get into the Southern Strategy and Lee Atwater's comments on how the GOP was racist as hell but better at masking it.

There is no "dilemma" for Republicans. There's just a slight worry that the mask is off. But the same ugly white racist face is there that's been there for decades.

(Note: Yeah, you can tell me about some non-racist Republicans or black Republicans. Who the fuck cares? It's like saying, "Oh, hey, I found the one orange in the basket that doesn't have worms." The rest needs to be tossed in the trash.)

8/03/2018

Donald Trump: The Boy Who Always Needs a Trophy

It's an article of faith among grumpy dicks of all political stripes: Kids today, man, those little fuckers don't understand how the real world works with their participation medals and constant praise and "everyone's a winner" bullshit. But the neediest little shit of them all is the goddamned President of the United States, Donald Trump. He hosts his Nuremberg rallies for rubes and yahoos where the ostensible purpose is to campaign for some pathetic ass-kisser running for Congress or governor, but the true purpose is to allow our bloated baby leader a chance to glorify in cheers and chants for him and boos and curses for his enemies (which would be anyone who isn't cheering and chanting for him).

Trump is peak narcissist, a man so self-involved and insecure that he must constantly be told how wonderful and beneficent he is and how blessed is a nation that has him as a leader.

The rallies aren't even the worst examples of his unrelenting need for praise. At least once a week, he gathers a group of people for some kind of roundtable on some fucking worthless subject and then he commands a circle jerk with him at the center. Whenever he says something like "Let's go around and hear from everyone," that's the cue for the men to pull out their dicks and start jacking it and the women to lift their skirts so they can start the fingering, and it goes until they all ejaculate, covering Trump in spunk and pussy juices as he shouts for more, more, more.

This week, it was a meeting of (as the White House put it) "inner-city pastors." And those pastors know that if they hitch their wagons to the conservative machine, they will be rolling in speaker fees and book deals. So around the circle jerk it went, from pastor to faith leader to pastor. A little sample of the praise porn after Trump said, "Maybe we can go around the room":

Dr. Alveda King: "You’ve done so many things that were great" like "opening up the steel mills."

Reverend Wilfredo De Jesus: "First of all, let me just say thank you for your boldness. Thank you for taking a stand for those that are disenfranchised."

Dr. Van Moody: "Thank you for being compassionate and caring about all people."

Pastor Darrell Scott: "People ask me why do I defend him so vociferously. And I say it’s easy for me to do it because I know him, and he’s shown me his heart, and I know he has a heart for all Americans...this is probably going to be the — and I’m going to say this at this table — the most pro-black President that we’ve had in our lifetime."

Did you throw up a little? A lot? I didn't even get into the slavering, drooling obsequiousness of Ja'Ron Smith, a White House staffer who really said, "Today is a watershed moment — this opportunity to learn about a community that has felt left behind for years," as if no one had ever heard of the inner city church before.

Every goddamn week this happens. Sometimes it's a cabinet meeting, where Trump sits with his arms crossed while one official after another abases him- or herself before his stern, orange jowls and turkey neck. Last week, there was a "Workforce Development Roundtable" in Iowa where various politicians and business leaders masturbated furiously to please their master.

One of the reasons Trump rails against the media is because, except for Fox "news," his fantasy accomplishments aren't met with grateful kowtowing to him. For instance, Trump will say that the news media "won't tell you" something like that U.S. Steel is opening six (or seven or eight, depending on the day) new steel mills. That's because U.S. Steel is not opening up any new steel mills. It's not enough that CNN won't report real shit that Trump thinks it's good; it's that CNN won't report his lies as facts.

Every single person that showed up this week in Tampa or Wilkes-Barre to cheer on Trump and scream at the media is just an overbearing parent at his son's soccer game, demanding that their child is always the best, even when, quite plainly, he can't even kick a ball.

8/01/2018

Summer Camp and Other Lies (and a Truth) About Our Sanctioned Child Abuse

There it was, as clearly spoken as it could be, at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday about the Trump administration's policy of separating children from their parents at the border and sending them to be held in various places. Democrat Richard Blumenthal asked the witnesses, "Did any member of this panel say to anyone, maybe this isn’t such a good idea?"

He was answered by the former deputy director for children's programs of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, Jonathan White, who said he told the administration, "Separation of children from their parents entails significant risk of harm to children...we raised concerns about the effect on children as well as the effect on the program."

So the Justice Department and Homeland Security were warned they were going to deeply harm kids if they followed through with an unconscionable step in their delusional border enforcement attempts. They were going to do what every thug, every mobster, every warlord has always known: if you hurt their children, parents will fall in line. According to White, he had been told that such actions would not be taken, and he didn't learn about it until he saw it on TV. That's significant because if White and others had been given a heads up, they might have come up with a plan for how to make sure the kids were reunited with their families.

But the Trump administration didn't care. They just didn't care. They wanted to hurt migrants, no matter if they were refugees from violence or people looking for better jobs. They wanted to hurt them badly, and whether or not they ever saw their mothers again didn't figure into their equation.

And, still, Matthew Albence, one of the leaders at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, could say with a straight face that the detention centers for kids are "more like a summer camp." Ah, yes, we all fondly remember our summer camps where we had to sleep under foil blankets, get awakened at 3 a.m., have only cold, rotting food, and clean toilets as we were being kicked by guards who verbally insulted us and then gave us drugs to keep us docile, all while telling us our parents didn't love us anymore and had given us away. Actually, it sounds about like what would happen if Donald Trump opened a summer camp and promised the greatest experience of a child's life. Probably with even more sexual abuse.

It's no wonder that the kids who have been reunited with their families are suffering in the wake of what they've been through. Story after story has been coming out about how traumatized the children are, with panic attacks, nightmares, and separation anxiety wrecking their young lives. They now play games that involve immigration officials handcuffing runaways or people being injected with hypodermics, as was allegedly done to calm some kids down.

Whenever you bring this up with Trump supporters, they will tell you that this was a policy started under Obama or Clinton. Except it wasn't and there is no law that forces this to happen. This was a change in enforcement ordered by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, approved by President Trump. Even the officials at the hearing said that.

Or the Trump lovers will tell you that if they didn't want their kids separated, the migrants shouldn't have broken the law by crossing the border illegally. Except, again, taking kids is a choice that other presidents haven't made. Crossing the border without proper documents is a misdemeanor, like speeding. A city or county could declare "zero tolerance" for traffic laws and choose to arrest everyone who speeds. Then, like the migrant parents, any kids with them would be considered "unaccompanied" and sent to child services until family could be contacted (unless, you know, they lose track of them). But cities and counties don't do that because it's unnecessarily cruel and a waste of resources.

Even more to the point, some of the kids who got taken were brought here completely legally, by parents seeking asylum from awful situations in their home countries. That's allowed by international treaty and U.S. law. But they aren't treated differently, which means the Trump administration is just trying to stop anyone from coming in through the southern border.

And this cruelty will grow, as the White House is proposing even more limits on the number of refugees who can enter the United States. Yeah, they're talking about cutting it by another 40%, to no more than 25,000, which is the lowest number since the refugee resettlement program started in 1980.

In the quixotic, misguided, and willful attempt to make America white again, Donald Trump and his minions will do whatever they can to punish people who seek solace in the land of the conditionally free and the not-even-a-little brave, even breaking up families and torturing kids.