4/29/2016

Are All Trump Supporters Fucking Dumb? An Investigative Series (Part 1)

You can read a truckload of shit theorizing about Donald Trump's seemingly impossible rise to become the inevitable Republican nominee for president. Some of them are anti-Trump and fantasize about a contested convention in Cleveland in July. That ain't gonna happen. Some are just Ol' Yellers, standing in line, waiting for the sweet kiss of a bullet to put down their diseased party. That would be anti-Trump conservatives like the New York Times's David Brooks, who really wrote that he's going to spend less time in "the bourgeois strata" and will spend more leaping "across the chasms of segmentation that afflict this country." Well, bully for you, Dr. Livingstone. Give the hottentots of Alabama our regards.

Then you get Trump-lovin' opinionators like Wayne Allan Root, who, writing for Fox "news," says that the real reason "people" support Trump is President Obama has made the economy suck. Let WA-Root explain it all for you: "I understand that President Obama has wrecked the U.S. economy. We are in an economic disaster. And it can get worse. Much worse. If someone who thinks just like Obama is elected, we could slide into economic Armageddon." Now you may look at that and think, "Huh. I didn't realize that creating millions of new jobs overwhelmingly in the private sector and cutting the unemployment rate in half brought us to the precipice of the End Times," but fuck you. You don't understand Economics with a capital motherfuckin' E like WA-Root, who is hisself a bidnessman who has him some bidnesses.

You could write days and days of bloggery disputing all the nonsense in WA-Root's anxiously masturbated scribblings. For instance, he dribbles, "Republicans are the private sector. We own our own small businesses. Or we work for private sector businesses. Or we’re independent contractors -- real estate brokers, stockbrokers, car salesman, insurance brokers, mortgage brokers, etc." Just the first sentence there: "Republicans are the private sector." Republicans control both houses of Congress, have total control over the legislatures and governorships of 23 states, and share in control of 20. Republicans are actually the goddamn government for most of the nation. To deny that is to dwell in myopic madness and a miasma of meaninglessness. Or support Trump. Pretty much the same things.

Then WA-Root drops this truth barrel bomb: "We know Obama, Hillary and the mainstream media are lying about 'economic recovery.' There is no recovery. We have been living in an 8-year-long Obama Great Depression. Yes, those living in New York (Wall Street), San Francisco (Silicon Valley) and Washington, D.C. (government jobs and contracts) are fat and happy. But everywhere else in-between, the people are in severe trouble." Which would be totally true if it wasn't factually false. 'Cause, see, in the real world, the states that have recovered from the Great Recession most are the ones in-between, like Texas, Colorado, Utah, Michigan, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and more. Yeah, California did damn well and New York made it out okay, but the area around DC has had mediocre growth. Shit, that's leaving out North Dakota, which boomed because of fracking but is now going bust because of it.

You gotta read the rest of it. You'll pause every now and then and wonder, "Is he writing from some fucking wormhole that has made him fall into an alternate dimension? 'Cause this sure as shit ain't the country where we're all living now"

WA-Root's point here is that people like him understand that "only a capitalist billionaire businessman can possibly turn this nightmare around." So he believes that Trump has the support he has gotten because of on emphasis on financial issues, on relieving us of the economic "nightmare" under Obama. And to believe that, you either have to be willfully blind or so filled with lies and bullshit that your eyes smell like a rancher's boots.

By the time WA-Root gets to asserting that many Democrats "are in school, or college, or broke and jobless living in mommy and daddy’s basement eating Doritos, while watching Jerry Springer," you realize that the only way you can vote for Trump is to delude yourself. Sure, as long as you can ignore the millions of Trump worshippers who love him for his racism and xenophobia, you can rely on a series of vague insults that sound good but offer nothing but comfort for the hateful.

Really, WA-Root? The economy? Motherfucker, you yourself give away the game when you say, "Sure, Trump has failed but he came back bigger and better than ever, each and every time." Trump failed during the reigns of both Bushes (one of his corporate bankruptcies was in 2009, but the filing started in 2008). He "came back bigger and better than ever" during Democratic presidencies, Clinton and Obama.

Score for Trump voter WA-Root: "Fucking Dumb."

4/28/2016

L.A. Quickie: Donald Trump Demands Copious Blow Jobs

To(Note: The Rude Pundit is on a plane, about to leave Los Angeles, so this will be brief.)

In his speech yesterday, Donald Trump, who is, really, pretty much the Republican nominee for president, told the world, "In a Trump administration, you can all suck America's balls. In fact, if you don't suck our balls, you're dead to us. Except for Israel. Gimme that circumcised dick to fellate better than Obama ever could."

Actually, that was more articulate than Trump was. We're so fucked.

4/27/2016

L.A. Quickie: The "Woman's Card" Is Utter Bullshit

(Note: The Rude Pundit is on his last full day in Los Angeles, so posts are short. He'll be heading back to the welcoming arms of the East Coast tomorrow. You can hear him in the morning on The Stephanie Miller Show.)

Noted sexist Donald Trump has accused Hillary Clinton of "playing the woman's card" in the election. Last night, after his Cruz-crushing victories in five states, he jerksplained, "Well, I think the only card she has is the woman's card. She has nothing else going. And frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she would get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she has got going is the woman's card."

Think about that for a second. Or don't. Because, see, Hillary Clinton happens to be a woman. And if talking about women's experiences and her own life is playing some vaguely-defined card, then you're saying that a woman isn't allowed to view the world and politics from the perspective she's gonna have whether you like it or not. What you're saying is that only the male's (or, more precisely, the white male, since we could add "race card" to this) point of view is the valid one. In fancy scholar-speak, we call that "hegemony."

Clinton herself addressed it, saying, in essence, "Suck it, cockface": "Now, the other day Mr. Trump accused me of playing the, quote, 'woman card.' Well, if fighting for women's health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman's card, then deal me in." When a male Democrat talks about abortion rights or other issues, he's not accused of playing the woman's card. So what's the only thing there that's different about Clinton?

Yeah, she's a fuckin' woman. It ain't only her card. She owns the fucking deck. Let's stop this bullshit argument that because someone running doesn't see the country with a penis in her way, it's somehow a lesser perspective. And maybe someone should point out to Trump that a lot of people are voting for him because of his sex.

Trump is devaluing Clinton because she's a woman. Let's call that "playing the dick card."

4/26/2016

L.A. Quickie: Washington Post's Marc Thiessen Is Hard for an Obamacare "Death Spiral"

(Note: The Rude Pundit continues his Los Angeles adventure. He taco'd the fuck out of this town yesterday. Today, whiskey.)

The Washington Post's Marc Thiessen writes in his latest "column" (if by "column," you mean, "The fatuous gargles of a drowning plutocracy") that President Barack Obama has just completely fucked-up this beautiful, un-fucked nation that was left to him in 2009. Well, actually, torture apologist Thiessen doesn't mention the Bush-that-shall-not-be-named; instead, he chooses to compare Obama to the Sainted One: "Reagan defeated Soviet communism and left us a safer world; Obama presided over the rise and metastasis of the Islamic State and left us a far more dangerous one."

Not only is he comparing apples and turtles, Thiessen is leaving out a crucial couple of steps there in getting to the Islamic State, like, well, shit, the Iraq "war" that his former boss started. But, you know, that's Republicans these days, acting like the reign of George the Dumber didn't happen or have any effect on the nation. In their telling of history, we went straight from the shining glory of Reagan to the shit-wallow of Obama.

Thiessen's main point is to flog the conservative talking point that the insurance exchanges in the Affordable Care Act are in a "death spiral" because insurance companies are not making as much money now that sick people have insurance. More precisely, it's that once companies like United Health bail on the exchanges, those sick people will be covered by, horrors, a Medicaid HMO. Thiessen helpfully points out, "Without enough healthy people in the exchanges to pay for the sick ones, taxpayers will be stuck with more and more of the costs over time — a situation that is unsustainable in the long run."

Which would be scary, except for one thing: the sick people signed up first. Now more of the healthier ones, the ones who don't want to pay the (admittedly low) penalty are getting insurance. Yeah, "the evidence shows that with the passing of each month, new enrollees have been coming from healthier and healthier stock. If these trends continue, the price of premiums should soon settle into much more affordable territory, and the rise in premiums from year to year should become much less significant."

Of course, there are fixes that could make the Affordable Care Act work better. A hike in the penalty, for instance, would drive more people to the exchanges. But that would require Congress to stop being such dicks about Obamacare and actually, you know, fix it, like Democrats did with Bush, Jr.'s Medicare prescription drug plan that most of the Democrats in the House opposed.

Just remember, though. It's easier to elide over history, it's easier to forget, and it's easier to complain about something that can be fixed than to actually do something.

4/25/2016

L.A. Quickie: Kasich and Cruz Come Together to Form a Megazord of Fail

(Note: The Rude Pundit is in Los Angeles for a few days this week. So blogging will be light and quick, like his liaisons on the Left Coast. You can hear him each morning through Thursday on The Stephanie Miller Show, which probably needs to update his bio.)

In a display of too-little-too-late-ism that ranks up there with "Flowers from a cheating husband," John Kasich and Ted Cruz have agreed on a kind of alliance of fuckery, a Megazord of fail, if you will. Said a spokesturd for Cruz, "To ensure that we nominate a Republican who can unify the Republican Party and win in November, our campaign will focus its time and resources in Indiana and in turn clear the path for Gov. Kasich to compete in Oregon and New Mexico."

Meanwhile, John Kasich's campaign said something that no one gives a shit about.

That's the grand strategy. It's like fouling your opponent in basketball at the end of a game in an often vain attempt to eke out enough points to win. Or when a soccer player rolls around on the ground like he's been ass-raped by a gorilla after he's really been barely touched.

In other words, give it up, Cruz and Kasich. This whole thing is over. You can pretend there's gonna be an open convention and there will be some mighty fight to the death. But it's too late. The pooch has been screwed.

And after Trump wrecks both of them in Pennsylvania and mocks them relentlessly for this strategy (which he's already doing), it's gonna be pathetic watching those campaigns limp around until they finally have the sense to just lay down and fade away.

4/22/2016

Donald Trump Has Fooled the Rubes But Doesn't Understand the Rubes

At some point, the monster is always going to turn against its creator. The creator will be revealed to have flaws that make him less a soaring god and more an earthbound man, and those human frailties will repel and anger the monster, who must then take out its anger by attempting to kill the creator. And, if it succeeds, sometimes the monster will eat him, too, for good measure.

So when Donald Trump's new campaign chief Paul Manafort met with Republican National Committee members, he assured them that his candidate, currently leading in the race for the party's nomination for president, was just fucking with everyone when it came to all the racist, sexist, and violent rhetoric he's been spouting. Manafort said of Trump, "When he's sitting in a room, he's talking business, he's talking politics in a private room, it's a different persona...When he’s out on the stage, when he’s talking about the kinds of things he’s talking about on the stump, he’s projecting an image that’s for that purpose."

He continued, "He [Trump] gets it...the part that he's been playing is evolving into the part that now you've been expecting, but he wasn't ready for because he had to first feed the first phase." He also said that "The negatives will come down, the image is going to change."

You got that, right? Donald Trump was using a persona to project an image. We could pretty reasonably call that "acting," as in "playing a part." As in "lying." Or maybe, just maybe, he wasn't playing the part before and now he is going to fake it. Either way, there is a group that he's conning. And con men are known to get run out of town on a rail or beaten like rabid curs into the muddy streets.

See, Trump built his campaign on getting American rubes - your lottery players, your Kardashian viewers, your Olive Garden diners - to become the monster made of misdirected anger that he unleashed to fuck up the political world. That was phase one. If he veers toward moderation in the general, if he tones down the heated words, the very things that fed and fostered the monster, those rubes ain't gonna go along for the ride. The thing about a monster is you gotta keep that fucker fed or it's gonna devour you.

Trump's game has always been to con the yahoos. That was evident with Trump University or any one of the ventures that carry his name. And he's always had a blockade of lawyers to keep the rubes at bay. Now, though, he's going for a grand con, and he's playing with the emotions of a pretty unstable segment of the population. When this new "persona," this image projection he's shifting to, this phase two, displeases the rubes, he'll have nowhere to hide except to run away into one of his lairs of wealth.

And we'll all have to clean up the wreckage the monster leaves behind.

4/21/2016

Dead Prince

When I was so very much younger, back in Lafayette, Louisiana, around 1980 or so, I'd occasionally see flyers up in town advertising Prince concerts in the clubs and halls in what was, as white people called it, "the black part of town." Something intrigued the hell out of me about that shirtless, skinny dude in bikini underwear, staring out with those just-finished-masturbating-and-now-ready-for-you eyes. So I headed over to New Generation records and got Dirty Mind, and before "When You Were Mine" even ended, my adolescent mind was blown wide open. My parents threw it out when they found it. I had discovered true love on vinyl.

"Little Red Corvette" was the first song I listened to non-stop, the first Prince song I told others that they had to hear. Sure, you could get sick of "1999" or mock it (although it's got one of the funkiest grooves in music), but the slow thigh-thrust of the synths at the beginning of "Little Red Corvette" hit something deep and primal. After that, we'd talk about how crazy sexual Prince was, with songs like "Jack U Off" and its gender-neutral use of that phrase, and the winking subversiveness of "Sister," calculated to fuck with the tight-assed crowd. Sample lyric: "My sister never made love to anyone else but me/She's the reason for my, uh, sexuality." That's hilarious, and if you didn't know that, the joke was you.

In July 1984, I went with my pal Tony to see Purple Rain at the Northgate Cinema on the day it opened. We knew then, like we all know now, that it's a terrible movie. It's sexist and overwrought. It's badly acted by just about everyone, and anyone with any sense would have rather hung out with Morris Day than Prince's dour "The Kid." None of that mattered one bit because when the music started, when Prince grabbed his guitar like it was a python-length dick and tore into it, all the other bullshit in the movie melted away. And by the time you got to the guitar solo at the end of "Let's Go Crazy," the lines between musical genres was obliterated. For good, for most of us watching it.

Prince was one of my musical mainstays for most of my life. Even before I was into Bruce Springsteen or Elvis Costello or John Coltrane, I was into Prince. He was my gateway to so much other music, like Parliament and Sly and the Family Stone. But, perhaps more importantly to a young brain being raised in the deep south, Prince said, without being coy about it, that it was okay to want to fuck. In fact, fucking is the supreme, even transcendent act of human existence. And he wasn't centering that desire in men alone, like so many other artists. He wanted women to get off in every possible way. The song "Come" is an ode to pussy-eating, encouraging women to want to fuck, too. In Reagan's America, that shit was practically treasonous. If you were old enough to fuck in the 1980s, at some point, you either fucked to Prince songs or with Prince's music in the back of your mind, controlling the rhythm of your sex.

Because of his celebration of the body and its fluids, Prince's music became a target of the 1980s music censorship movement, whose leaders found "Darling Nikki" to be obscene because Nikki is "masturbating with a magazine." Shit, that's not even the dirtiest part. Those humping synthesizers are doing nasty things to each other, and then the guitar joins in to fuck them all into oblivion as Prince screams in orgasm. (And you gotta love that after "Darling Nikki" on the Purple Rain album is a backwards segment, mocking the conservative obsession with hidden Satanic messages with a very Christian one. Prince was occasionally scary religious.)

One of my favorite things about Prince is how political he could be in his lyrics. The liberatory aspect of the sexuality and the gender-bending in his dress and in his songs was clear. But he could get even more explicit in songs like "Annie Christian" ("Annie Christian wanted to be a big star/So she moved to Atlanta and she bought a blue car/She killed black children, and what's fair is fair/ If u try and say u're crazy, everybody say electric chair/Electric chair") and "Ronnie Talk to Russia." And "Sign o' the Times" is a stark look at an apocalyptic America as the millennium approaches, all while boogying into inevitable oblivion.

This could go on. I could tell you about the Prince cover band at my senior prom, one of those quintessential 1980s moments that you wouldn't believe if it was in a movie. I could go on about how much I played and dug into his post-Purple Rain work, like Around the World in a Day and The Black Album and Musicology. Or maybe I could piss and moan about how I had a ticket to see Prince in 1985, but a freak ice storm in Louisiana blocked me from getting there. Or maybe this could examine how he was aging gracefully, with his guitar playing evolving from incredible to otherworldly. Or I could describe the friend of mine who broke down in tears when I told her the news today.

Instead, let's end with this: in 2009, I went with a few friends to Prospect Park in Brooklyn for a screening of Purple Rain. A band was on stage, leading the large audience in a singalong to the music. Everyone laughed ironically at the excesses of the film's era, the crazy hair, the martial-style clothes, the terrible treatment of Appollonia, the cringe-worthy dialogue, all of it. Oh, we sang stupid and danced goofy on that hot August night as the sun set behind the screen. But when the song "Purple Rain" started, something shifted in the crowd. Night had finally fallen, and all of a sudden, our distance and sarcasm fell away, too, and we were all singing our hearts and guts out, a mixed-race audience at a free show, unafraid to let our emotions blare. We swayed to the guitar and oohed with Prince at the end of it, bursting into applause. And then, purged of the sadness and pain of our daily lives, we twirled and shook to "I Would Die 4 U." It's what you're supposed to do, you know.

We mourn today. Tonight, maybe tomorrow, we dance, we fuck, we rave un2 the joy fantastic.

Artist Mourning

Working on something about Prince. It's taking a while. This one hurts. Election fuckery can wait for a day.

Back later with some purple rude.