The Necessity of Michael Moore: Live Talk Edition

(All quotes pretty much guaranteed not to be verbatim, but to be accurate to the spirit of what was said.)

Last night, with about a day of advance notice, shambling filmmaker and ass-kicking provocateur Michael Moore came to my place of work, a college, to give a talk about the current election. While it wasn't billed as such, it seemed to be a warm-up gig before he films an appearance in Ohio next week that he can release before we're all voting in November (even if some of us have started already). I've been a fan of Moore's since I saw Roger and Me in a movie theatre in New Orleans in 1989 because, agree or disagree with him, he is sincere behind his snide attacks on stupidity, complacency, and cruelty. He believes, perhaps naively (although, at 60, it's hard to call him that), that we can toss aside the shit that divides us and we can make the country better.

But first, of course, there's all that shit to shovel through.

Moore gave the starkest, most frightening explanation of how Donald Trump could end up winning the presidency against Hillary Clinton. For him, it all comes down to Rust Belt Americans in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and he focused on the white males in that region, men who have seen their jobs sent across the border or overseas, who, yes, believe they're getting a raw deal from demographic shifts that reduce the power of white men, who have broken marriage, debts, and an anger that their government doesn't seem to give a frantic rat fuck about them.

For them, Trump is a voice they needed to hear, Moore said, someone who isn't afraid, someone who can say, "Fuck you" without consequences, someone who can say to Ford that he'll put a 35% tariff on cars not made in the United States or that he'll compel Apple to make iPhones in this country. It doesn't matter whether or not he can do it. The truth doesn't matter. What matters is that these isolated, angry white men hear this and it gives them irrational hope that they can get back some of what they've lost or that they've perceived they've lost, a little power and a decent amount of cash. Voting for Trump turns Americans into "legal terrorists," Moore said, and their votes "are Molotov cocktails thrown into a machine they want to blow up," and, goddamn, doesn't it feel good just to watch shit burn for a while? Then, Moore concluded, a few months later, they'll understand that Trump isn't gonna do any of the shit he said he would. Betrayed again. (Moore wrote a version of this earlier in the year.)

Moore explained why he thought Trump won the debate: because he didn't lose any voters. He didn't gain any new ones, but his voters are standing by him no matter what. Those voters, he believes, are far more energized than Hillary Clinton voters, and that enthusiasm gap is what frightens him into thinking that Trump might very well win this goddamn thing.

So he addressed that, in some really funny terms about the difference between liberals and conservatives. Liberals, he said, are the people who are always losing their keys and waste a fuckload of time looking for them. Conservatives are the type who have the key hooks by the door, all labeled and ordered and they know where the fuck the keys are all the time while liberals are still distracted trying to find theirs. So liberals are mild instead of wild about Clinton, voting for her with a shrug. (I think this undersells genuine energy out there for Clinton, especially post-debate, but point taken.)

And while he doesn't get why people hate Hillary so viscerally, Moore says you shouldn't stop hating her. And on Election Day, "You should wake up hating her. 'Fucking Hillary Clinton.' And you should take a hateful shower" and then you should get in your car, angrily cursing her, and head to your polling place and, spitting and growling about her, force yourself to vote for her. "I've never voted for Hillary," Moore said. But he's going to do it now.

His reasoning was one of those Michael Moore moments where, no matter how glib or didactic or self-righteous he gets, you sit back and think, "Motherfucker, he's right."

Someone in the audience shouted out, "What about Jill Stein?" and Moore gently said that he really does support most of what the Green Party stands for and that he's voted third party a couple of times. But this year, Moore said, "Voting that way just makes you kind of like Trump. You're being narcissistic. You're only voting that way because it makes you feel good to say you didn't vote for Trump or Clinton." Sometimes, Moore continued, "you just gotta suck it up and vote for the good of the country." In other words, Moore, who called Bill Clinton the "best Republican president we ever had," doesn't buy the liberal bullshit that Trump and Clinton are alike. Trump is different. And you're a fucking idiot if you don't get that.

I don't want to spoil the rest of the show for anyone who sees it live or on video (and I'm sure it will be far more polished by next week). But one other moment stood out for its frightening logic. A black student asked if Moore was going to make a film on the police gunning down unarmed black Americans. Moore said he was helping a filmmaker who worked with him before make just such a movie.

This led Moore to wonder what's going to happen when people in a neighborhood start coming out of their homes with guns, not camera phones, to stop the cops from shooting people. "If you had a gun instead of a camera, wouldn't you shoot the cop who's going to murder your husband?" he asked, adding, "Of course you would. Any cop would do that if another cop was about to shoot his wife."

No, Michael Moore is not the cultural powerhouse he once was. He moves much slower, he gets distracted easily, but he's still got a perspective that focuses and gives voice to things we might not know how to articulate. And he remains a necessity to the discourse of politics, especially the discourse of liberalism, in this country.


Thirteen Years of Rudeness: Whiskey, Sodomy, and a Little Cash

Today marks 13 goddamn years since I started writing this fuckin' blog. That's like 150 in human years. And paying attention to the ins and outs of politics and the political media has probably aged me into something like a corpse propped in a chair in a room in an abandoned mental institution for a few decades, still holding a bottle of decent bourbon.

If someone were to ask if I've learned anything in all this time, let me distill it to a couple of bullet points:

1. Everything gets worse in proportion to everything getting better. When you think that politics can't get any meaner or stupider, there is always a Trump or a Tea Party around the corner, ready to prove you wrong. And when you think humanity is bottoming out with cruelty and apathy, there is always a Supreme Court decision or breathtaking act of generosity or intelligence that makes you think that the asteroid ought to hold off for another day before ripping through the planet.

2. You can always come up with a new sodomy joke. If you can't come up with a new one, you need to participate in more sodomy.

3. Language changes as society changes, and you're a stubborn asshole if you don't change with it. And it's always better to be a dick than an asshole.

4. I honestly never thought I'd be doing this for 13 years. I don't know how much more I've got to say after roughly 8 billion words about the fuckery that infects our ability to make this a more tolerable nation. But every time I think, "Fuck it. I got nothing," well, there's always something. Or I need to participate in more sodomy.

5. I have never regretted never turning on the comments on the blog. You wanna say something, you can do it on Twitter or over on the handy Facebook page, where your anonymity can go fuck itself and where dialogue runs wild and free with very few threats of violence and no goddamn cartoon frogs.

6. Rude readers are awesome.

7. You're stuck with me for the time being. We're all in this shit swamp together. And then we can all share our bread and taco bowls when we're sent to the Trump reeducation camps come 2017.

Note: I'm not doing a fundraiser this year because I'm not needy right now. But I wouldn't be so cruel as to stop you from dropping a nickel or two in the PayPal tip jar over on the side there.

Back later with less navel-gazing rudeness.


In Brief: An Implication of Donald Trump's Claim on Opposition to the Iraq War

Lots of commentators commentated on how Republican presidential candidate and moldy cantaloupe in a poorly-tailored suit Donald Trump said, "That makes me smart" when Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton accused him of not paying any federal income tax. The implication of that statement was clear: motherfucker is proud he doesn't pay a thing.

But Trump has said many things with implications that seem to make what he's saying, you know, his words, merely the beginning of a terrible story. For instance, his comparison of airports in the United States to airports in China and Qatar implies that countries with little or no democracy are the only ones that can build successful airports. It certainly cuts out the red tape to have a monarchy, as in Qatar. Trump could have mentioned Munich's gorgeous, efficient airport, but that fucks up the narrative on taxes or something.

More importantly, Trump loves to tout his imaginary opposition to the war in Iraq. Sure, the only things on the record pre-war were his "I guess so" when Howard Stern asked if he supported it, and a sort of shit-or-get-off-the-pot response when Neil Cavuto asked him about it on Fox "news." But, at the debate, Trump proclaimed that he had had private conversations where he argued against the war before it started: "I then spoke to Sean Hannity, which everybody refuses to call Sean Hannity. I had numerous conversations with Sean Hannity at Fox. And Sean Hannity said -- and he called me the other day -- and I spoke to him about it -- he said you were totally against the war, because he was for the war."

That's supposed to absolve Trump, these mythical talks with oddly be-chinned conservadick Sean Hannity. But even back in 2003, if Trump wanted to appear on a Fox "news" show and talk shit, they let him. So why the hell didn't Trump get Hannity to interview him on the air about his opposition? Frankly, it would have started one hell of a conversation if someone as high-profile as Trump was talking against the war in 2002 and early 2003.

Trump likes to say that it was "well-known" that he was against the war. No, it wasn't. And if he was opposed to it (which, c'mon, he wasn't - he was following popular opinion, but let's pretend for the sake of argument), his public silence means he's a fucking wimp who didn't want to piss people off because he was gearing up for a big NBC TV show and protecting what were, at that time, his dwindling assets.

There you go. On the Iraq War, Donald Trump is either a liar or a coward.


Observations on a Brutal Beatdown at Last Night's Presidential Debate

Autoerotic asphyxiation is tricky. Done right, a man who ties a cord or a necktie around his throat and attaches it to a strong doorknob or closet rod can masturbate furiously to an ejaculation that'd blow the paint off the walls. But one wrong move, one moment's lack of attention to detail, and that man can find himself dangling like a discarded marionette, dead, strangled, probably covered in various bodily effluvia. Sure, sure, if you get there at the right time, you can save him. But you've gotta be willing to get your hands slickened with jizz to do it, and, last night, as Hillary Clinton watched Donald Trump choke out in the closet of his belligerence and grandiosity, she not only decided to let him die, but she got freaky and stuck her hand in her slacks to finger herself while Trump gagged on his own tongue. Trump's last thoughts were wild shock since he had been so successful at it so many times before...maybe Hillary rigged the...but then darkness.

At last night's first presidential debate, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton did everything short of score an obvious knockout punch, which isn't possible against an opponent who seems so willfully oblivious to his own failings as a speaker, as a father, as a husband, as a business owner, as a human being. Indeed, one thing that came through clearly is that Clinton knows how to talk to children, and Republican nominee Donald Trump ran the gamut from toddler having a tantrum to teenager arguing why he should have the keys to the car when his breath smells like beer and weed. Every one of Clinton's looks was that of a parent or grandparent hearing the screaming kid, indulging him for a few minutes, and then demonstrating why she's the fuckin' grown-up, whether he realized it or not.

Oh, sure, sure, at the beginning, there were a couple of moments where Clinton seemed thrown off, especially on her views on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But instead of taking advantage of that opening, Trump brayed like an ass on meth that he was the reason she might have changed her mind, offering, "[Y]ou heard what I said about it, and all of a sudden you were against it." If anything, she heard what Bernie Sanders said, not really giving a happy monkey fuck what Trump was saying in the early days of the primaries. And, yeah, for a few minutes there, it seemed like vaguely-rational Trump had shown up for the evening. But when the coke wore off, all that was left was a sad, puffy fool raging against a heaving ocean wave that didn't care that he even existed.

Clinton took him apart, piece by piece, attacking everything with a vigor that made it seem like she was just waiting for this moment to go at him. She destroyed him on his sexism (which he piled up on during the debate), she reamed him on his racism, and she ripped his business sense, wisely getting him to tangle himself in the minutiae of leverage debt and excuses for why he didn't pay small businesses for their services. And she wiped the floor with him on his tax returns. I cannot remember a more bizarre moment in a debate than Trump saying, proudly, about not paying any federal income taxes, "That makes me smart." No, motherfucker, that makes you a pathetic worm who gets all the benefits of the government without contributing when you brag about how much money you have. All the while, Clinton put out policy after policy, some of them remarkably detailed for the limited time of a debate. She was especially strong on "systemic racism," again getting her Bernie Sanders on.

Trump continued to be the candidate from Breitbart and Drudge. He brought up conspiracies and dark threats from the conservative fringes, saying them as if everyone in the United States genuinely cares what Sean Hannity says about anything when, really, most Americans would say, "Who?" and a significant portion of the rest would say, "Fuck that guy." So when Trump started bringing up Sidney Blumenthal, a good chunk of the country probably thought, "The fuck is he talking about?" And on the birther issue, shouting like a football fan who thinks that his team scored because of how loud he yelled at the TV, Trump again proclaimed, "I think I did a great job and a great service not only for the country, but even for the president, in getting him to produce his birth certificate." So he's proud that he got the victim of a racist smear to prove the smear wrong, as if ignoring the smear wasn't even an option. That was one of many times in the debate when you could see in Trump's beady, narrow eyes that an adviser's voice was screaming in his head to calm the fuck down and you could see him telling it to shut the fuck up and barreling ahead with the lies and insults. Trump at a couple of points even mocked the idea that facts exist that prove he's a goddamned liar.

Clinton made Trump look like a mental patient cutting off his own dick on issues of security and nuclear weapons (whether or not you agree with her on her approach). See if you can figure out what the fuck Trump is saying here: "Nuclear is the single greatest threat. Just to go down the list, we defend Japan, we defend Germany, we defend South Korea, we defend Saudi Arabia, we defend countries. They do not pay us. But they should be paying us, because we are providing tremendous service and we’re losing a fortune. That’s why we’re losing — we’re losing — we lose on everything. I say, who makes these — we lose on everything. All I said, that it’s very possible that if they don’t pay a fair share, because this isn’t 40 years ago where we could do what we’re doing. We can’t defend Japan, a behemoth, selling us cars by the million..." The look that Clinton gave at these moments was of a hero watching her enemy plunge off the side of a building. Let's not even get into the 400-lb. Chinese hackers Trump seems to fantasize about.

Clinton even got to act completely presidential, assuring our allies that the United States isn't going completely mad. "Words matter when you run for president," she said. "And they really matter when you are president. And I want to reassure our allies in Japan and South Korea and elsewhere that we have mutual defense treaties and we will honor them." It was the closest she came to the knockout because it was, in a few lines, a breathtaking contrast to the blustering, twitchy madman who had been yelling at the nation's allies like he was yelling at a chandelier maker whose bill he didn't want to pay.

This was a fucking disaster for Republicans, and I say that as someone who thought that Romney beat Obama in the first debate in 2012 (so maybe I'm a bit more honest on this shit). Trump did it himself, with a huge assist by Clinton, who, for much of the evening, like moderator Lester Holt, just stepped aside and let Trump wrap the mic cord around his neck and jack off until he gasped his last breath. And he didn't even orgasm before he expired.

Of course, Trump's idiot hordes thought he was incredible, and, of course, Trump blamed everyone and everything for his shit job, as he does all the time. In the classiest move, this morning, Trump continued to fat shame Alicia Machado, the former Miss Universe who he called "Miss Piggy" for gaining weight, as Clinton pointed out last night.

For a man running for president, Donald Trump sure seemed like a crappy reality TV show host. After last night, Trump voters should be vomiting into their "Make America Great Again" caps before throwing them out. But if you still believe he should be the leader of the country, you really are fucking deplorable.


In Brief: Time to Re-Re-Re-Re-Re-Meet Hillary Clinton

Think about this for a moment: This is one of the only chances since the Democratic convention that most TV news network viewers will get a chance to hear from Hillary Clinton. Now, I know, I know, you're gonna fuckin' say, "But, wait, there was that time I saw her," and then ask yourself if you'd even need to think for a goddamned second about the last time you saw Donald Trump mouth-shitting all over your nice big flat screen.

Just this month, we saw all three major cable news networks show a Trump town hall while putting a Clinton rally in a tiny box in the corner, which is totally not sexist at all. Back in June, the networks cut away from Trump to go to Clinton, which was so unexpected that it became a huge fuckin' deal. Last week, though, they switched from Clinton giving a speech on disability rights just after five minutes to, in what seemed like a collective sigh of relief, Trump saying the usual hateful stream of dumbconsciousness he usually spouts like a fountain of baby babble.

Otherwise, the only Clinton stories we get over the noise of Trump are the usual parade of whatever scandal-mongering can be squeezed out of the empty toothpaste tube of the emails and the Clinton Foundation, some meaningless fuckin' report on her health, maybe a look at who Bill Clinton put his penis in, and, of course, whether her body language, mouth position, or clothes indicate whether she's ready to be president. All covered in a secret sauce about her secrecy, topped with a Benghazi pickle.

So tonight, for 90 minutes, not only does Donald Trump have to directly confront the person he's been talking shit about for the last couple of years, but the nation gets to see Clinton as a human being and as a candidate who is actually, really running for president. Potentially.

Of course, the spin will be that, as long as Trump doesn't try to stick his stubby dick in her mouth, he wins. And if she says something cutting about him, she's a cruel harpy. And, god, why is she so boring by being smart?

But maybe, for a little while, the country can meet Hillary Clinton again. It's a fucking shame that we're so pathetically enamored of the smell of Trump's farts that this is where we are in this stupid election. Too many people don't know Clinton's positions on most things, and a few of them might actually give a shit about such things.

Don't worry, though, CNNMSNBCFox, you can go back to ignoring her for a couple of weeks after this.

(Note: I'll be live-tweeting this thing, and I'll be on Rabble, snarking live during the debate with the lovable Jeff Kreisler.)


If I Could Talk to Ted Cruz Right Now, Here Are a Few Things I'd Tell Him

Upon hearing that Ted Cruz endorsed Donald Trump for president, a few thoughts went through my head. They were things I'd say directly to the sad senator, if I had the chance to say them to him.

1. Man, I hope that golden plate of shit you're eating sure tastes good.

2. Did Trump at least give you a reacharound while he was fucking you in the ass? What am I saying? Of course, he didn't give you a reacharound.

3. So I assume that your father did work with Lee Harvey Oswald.

4. And that you've decided that Heidi is kind of ugly.

5. What breed of servile puppy dog are you now?

6. They make spines cheap these days. They disappear just a little while after you start using them.

7. It's good to know that terrible people continue to be terrible, even when they've had a chance at redemption.

8. Holy crap, they must be laughing at you in Trump Tower tonight. Like, really deep, gasping guffaws.

9. I just want to know: did you give away a night with Heidi, too?

10. Mostly, though, the turds are sitting there on the shiny plate, just waiting to be devoured by a mouth too eager for approval.

11. Honestly, this act of pure cowardice couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.


Five Questions for Donald Trump Supporters That They Will Never Answer Because They're Terrible Human Beings

1. If Hillary Clinton refused to release her taxes because they are "under audit," would you be cool with that?

2. If the IRS said that taxpayers are free to release their tax returns while they are being audited and, besides, it's only the last few years that are being audited, yet Hillary Clinton still refused to release even those not under audit, would you be cool with that?

3. If Hillary Clinton had promised to release her taxes if she ran for president, but she won't, would you be cool with that?

4. If Hillary Clinton had promised to release her taxes if Barack Obama had released his long-form birth certificate, which he did, and she still won't, would you be cool with that?

5. If Chelsea Clinton said that her mother shouldn't release her taxes because they'd be a distraction because "We’ve seen how viral that craziness goes. We want to keep on point," would you be cool with that?

Now, you can be lying sacks of shit, as you usually are, Trump supporters, and say, "Well, it would be fine by me if Hillary Clinton didn't release them." But we know the truth: You'd lose your tiny fucking minds. You wouldn't let a second pass when you didn't scream about how she's hiding something and you'd just make shit up about her, about how she must be hiding payments to her lesbian coven of manicide or how they're on the ISIS payroll. You'd go berzerker about it, and every Fox "news" commenturbator would be ejaculating all over the joint about how unprecedented it is. Alex Jones would literally explode. The Nazi frogs on Twitter would vomit up their guts.

Most likely, though, you'd just answer, "Erg, blarg, 30,000 emails, Crooked Hillary," as if the only way the synapses in that tiny brain can fire is if you repeat a bullshit talking point. Except no one's asking for Trump's emails, so the analogy is another waste of time.

No one in the media should give Trump another fucking second until he gives up the tax forms: "Oh, you want us to cover another goddamned speech? Fuck you until we see how much of a con artist you are." But that's as much a fantasy as Donald Trump, philanthropist billionaire.

Now we can move on to how you'd feel if Hillary Clinton used her foundation's money to make donations in her name. And then how you'd feel if Hillary Clinton was making millions of dollars off campaigning for president. On and on into the void where your cold Trumpian hearts sit dead.

Very Late Post Today

Man, where did this day go?

Charlotte is a goddamned mess. Syria is fucked up. Twitter still fucking with me.

Back later (perhaps) with more unfuckable rudeness.


Tulsa Is Very Good at Killing Black People

That's Angelo Estes, Jr. holding a sign that reads, "Don't shoot." His hands are up, as you can see. What you can't see is that the 8 year-old is sitting on his father's shoulders as his family protests the murder by police of another unarmed black man in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

You might remember Tulsa as the city where, just last year, a black man, Eric Harris, was shot and killed by a police officer. When Harris said he couldn't breathe, instead of getting help, a cop said, "Fuck your breath." An extraordinary thing happened then: the cop who murdered Harris was sent to prison for manslaughter. 

You might remember Tulsa as the city where, in 1921, the white residents rioted and burned down Greenwood, the neighborhood where black Tulsans lived and had businesses. The cause was that a black man had touched a white woman and the whites weren't allowed to lynch the black man. 300 people were killed. An extraordinary thing happened then: no one was charged for rioting. No one went to jail for it. 

Tulsa, it seems, is very, very good at murdering black people.

Look, as always, most of us looking in from the outside are not cops. But let's say for the sake of argument that victim Terence Crutcher was doing everything that police officer Betty Shelby said he was doing. Let's say that he was standing in the middle of the road, acting oddly. Let's say he didn't listen to Shelby's commands, even as he stood with his hands up. Let's say he reached into the driver's side window (although Crutcher's family's attorney says blood on the window shows it was closed). Let's even say he was on PCP. 

So while, yeah, most of us will never face this situation, most of us haven't gone through training that is supposed to prepare us for it. See, this is where failures in training hit head-on into reality. Because even with all those circumstances, at no time was the Crutcher a threat to anyone other than Shelby, who was holding a gun on him. And even then he never did anything overtly threatening, by her own admission. She was scared, by her own admission. What she should have done is backed off and waited for back-up, which was arriving. What she should have done is not panicked, like so many other cops before her did in similar circumstances. But Shelby was supposedly a "drug recognition expert." So she should have known that reasoning with someone on PCP was not going to go smoothly. (Although the PCP allegation is unproven at this point.)

That's the most frustrating part of so many incidents of cops killing unarmed African Americans. The person simply wasn't a threat other than to the cops who were escalating the whole encounter into something deadly. It's the bloodstained version of cops getting a suspect to resist arrest just so they can trump up a charge. What happens if you don't point your gun at the obviously unarmed person who poses no danger? 

Young Angelo up there is learning an important lesson: that it continues to be a nation where putting your hands up doesn't guarantee that you won't be shot.  Hell, at this point, being a child carried by his father doesn't guarantee it.


Political Correctness, Bull Murder, and Trump (Yes, There Is a Through-Line Here)

In Tordesillas, Spain, the provincial government ended a tradition that went back to medieval times. The real medieval times, not the fake thing with the turkey legs and people with mouths full of teeth jousting indoors. It was part of a festival where a full-grown bull would be chased by townspeople into a field where, with cheering crowds watching, horse riders would use spears to kill the bull. The slaughter would take a while, much to the delight of the onlookers. But this year, for the first time, the bull was chased and cornered but not slowly stabbed to death.

According to NPR, the locals were enraged by the government's action. Pro-bull-killing protesters marched through the streets, declaring that "Tordesillas isn't giving in." The mayor was livid, saying that the ban had taken away the townspeople's identity, that it "ripped out our spine" and "left us orphaned." The pro-stabbers said animal rights activists had wrecked their way of life. "This isn't about defending the life of one brave bull. It's about defending rural traditions," said a local woman, "It's the central part of our festival. It's our happiness. If you take that away, what do we have left?"

It is, they said, "political correctness" run amok.

Think about that. It's come to this: if you say that a town shouldn't torture an animal to death for your pleasure, you're just trying to destroy traditions and impose your repressive ideology on people who don't want to change. And if you're thinking, "Well, that's, for lack of a better word, bullshit. It's 2016. We only torture animals in large industrial buildings away from prying eyes. We're not barbarians," well, you're just a politically correct twat and a killjoy.

I bring this up because that phrase, "political correctness," is tossed around by the Trump campaign like it's a magic spell that, once recited, will allow you to say whatever assholish thing you want to say.

In just the last couple of days, we've heard it over and over.  Bugfuck mad Trump surrogate Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn asserted, talking about the bombings in New York and New Jersey, "Political correctness kills. It will cause death, and we can’t have that." Exactly how political correctness does this is a bit fuzzy because Trump lies about the limitations on the police.

But Trump does want the police to profile people and treat them accordingly. Of course, Trump tells us, the problem is "We're trying to be so politically correct in our country, and this is only going to get worse." Butt-boy Mike Pence agreed, as a butt-boy will do, saying, "I can tell you that this season of political correctness, we both believe, is interrupting the ability of law enforcement officers to really identify people."

In other words, "political correctness" is now shorthand for the rule of law, for civil rights, for the guarantees of fair treatment in the fucking Constitution. You can throw that into the catch-all bucket for the phrase, along with not being able to say "nigger" or "fag" with abandon, treating immigrants like human beings, and sexing up the lady employees being a no-no.

Fucking hell, times change. Civilizations advance. What you once thought was fine is now fucked up. That's the way it goes. The march of progress, as we once liked to call it. You don't fucking spear the bull anymore because we know that's fucked up. And if you don't think it's fucked up, you're fucked up. And we get to say that because we're the ones who want the world to move forward. You're the ones who want to hold it back or send it back to a mythical time of greatness.

You just came up with a fancy way to make being a dick sound like a you're taking a mighty stand when, really, you're just a dick. It's so convenient and so useful.

At this point, Trump could fuck the corpse of that drowned Syrian toddler at a rally, and, when people responded with revulsion and anger, his idiot hordes would say that it's just political correctness, not that baby corpse fucking is, in and of itself, wrong.


Donald Trump Was Never as Hard as He Was This Last Two Days

As soon as he heard about the bomb going off in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan on Saturday night, Republican presidential candidate and stack of pumpkins in a suit Donald Trump got an erection. He could feel his dick stand at attention as he prepared to go out to speak to a crowd in Colorado Springs, Colorado (motto: "Where Christianity goes to wallow in a hypocritical soup"). He desperately wanted to jack off right then and there, but he knew he had to wait. He confirmed this with campaign manager Kellyanne Conway when he went up to her and said, "Check out my crotch." Conway couldn't see anything. "No, really, you can't see that?" Trump asked.

"What are you talking about?" Conway said.

"My dick. Jesus, I've got such a hard-on it's bursting through my pants," Trump explained, gripping at the sagging cloth below his stomach.

Conway realized that she had to make sure Trump didn't lose energy for the speech. "Oh," she said. "Oh, yes, I see it now. It's huge. Hugest penis I've ever seen."

"Yeah, you know it," Trump smirked. "I should jack it. You wanna watch me jack it? Melania won't mind. She knows that's not cheating."

Conway was familiar with the terrain by now. "You know what? Why don't you save it? You might have a better orgasm if you wait and see what happens."

Trump thought for a moment, touching himself a little, and then nodded, saying, "Yeah, yeah. That's good. I'll wait. You're the best, Ann" before heading back into his dressing room to punch Chris Christie's belly for a bit to warm up for his speech.

"I'm not Ann Coul--" Conway tried to say before Trump disappeared.

And so it went the for the next day and a half, with Trump checking with Conway, after putting out statements and giving interviews, Conway telling Trump to hold it, hoping that he'd forget about it or just jack off already. But, no, she had put an idea in his head and he wasn't gonna let it go.

Finally, after appearing on Fox and Friends this morning, where he took a victory lap for having "called it" on the bombing being linked in some way to someone or something Muslim or terrorism or whatever, Trump dialed up Conway and said, "I swear to God, I'm gonna blow a load through my pants if I can't jack off. I must be up to a full three inches which, many people tell me, is as big as a dick can get before it just gets too painful. And believe me, believe me, Ann, I am gonna hurt someone with this thing. This bombing is the best thing to happen to my cock since 9/11 made me a mint."

Not being able to take it anymore, hoping that she might get paid this week, Conway said, "You know what, Donald? It's time. Today in Florida, go for it."

"Your lips to God's ear," Trump said, his voice practically lilting in anticipation.

So, today, in Estero, Florida, Trump started in on Hillary Clinton's reaction to the bombings in New York and New Jersey, mocking her for mocking him. Then he moved on to the just-captured Ahmad Rahami, injured in a shootout with police. Pulling out his prick, he started yanking it, slamming it against the podium, telling the crowd, sneeringly, "But the bad part now. We will give him amazing hospitalization. He will be taken care of by some of the best doctors in the world. He will be given a fully modern and updated hospital room. And he'll probably even have room service, knowing the way our country is," as if only fancy hospitals delivered meals to patients. The crowd roared, urging him to jack it harder.

Masturbating so forcefully, so frantically that some in the audience thought he might hurt himself, Trump went on to attack the justice system of the United States: "He will be represented by an outstanding lawyer. His case will go through the various court systems for years, and, in the end, people will forget and his punishment will not be what it once would have been. What a sad situation."

At last, as his idiot hordes yelled, "Hang him," and he demanded that Rahami be treated as an enemy combatant and that Clinton was just too weak to save the nation from his imagined horrors and the idiot hordes chanted, "Lock her up!" Donald Trump came with a roaring moan and a small blow out from his balls that dangled from the tip of his dick for a moment before dropping to floor in front of him. The idiot hordes surged forward, fighting each other to get their tongues on a bit of his divine seed.

Later, sweaty, satisfied, Trump walked up to Conway on the jet and said, "You were right...Kellyanne!" He winked, and Conway knew all was right with the world. "Wish there could be a bombing every week until the election, maybe with some deaths next time," Trump called back to her. "I don't know if my dick could take it, but it's be fun to find out."

Late Post Today

I'm coming up with a list of terrible events I've "nailed."

Back later with more self-aggrandizing rudeness.


The Post-Factual Election: Trump, Lies, and More Lies

"There's something you don't fucking understand," my friend from western Virginia told me. Cal and I had been catching up. When he told me that he was thinking of taking a job back up north "just to escape all these Trump fuckers down here," we couldn't avoid discussing this goddamned election. "You keep thinking that if you can show that Trump is lying, that they'll abandon him. That's not gonna happen. They don't give a fuck if Trump's lying or not. They just don't care. In fact, they'll believe Trump and say that CNN is lying because it's just the liberal media. Trump voters don't give a shit about truth. They don't give a shit about facts. All they care about is that they hate Obama, they hate Hillary, and they want to elect someone who isn't either of them." That made sense: these are people who value faith above reason.

We talked before Trump held his fake-out press thing where he used campaign funds to advertise his newest hotel in Washington, D.C., got some old white racist soldiers to tell everyone how amazing he is, and said, briefly, that Hillary Clinton started the questioning of President Obama's place of birth during the 2008 election campaign, that he "finished it" when President Obama's birth certificate was released, and that President Obama was born in the United States. The reaction of reporters and correspondents across the board was one of a concerted "What the fuck was that?" On CNN, a stunned John King and Jake Tapper responded like they had been grundle-punched from behind, flatly declaring that Trump was lying. Tapper, in particular, said that he had covered the Clinton campaign in 2008 and knew for a fact that Trump was wrong about Clinton.

That's where we are in this goddamned election. We live in a post-factual time. Trump lies with such regularity, with such alacrity, and the lies are covered like they aren't lies that obviously frustrated on-the-ground reporters have to state that they know that Trump isn't talking about real events. For example, Trump went on Fox and Harassment yesterday morning to tell the knobgobbling trolls on there that when Rev. Faith Green Timmons interrupted him when he was speaking at her church in Flint, Michigan, people in the audience were calling out, "Let him speak." An NPR reporter who was in the room in Flint said, on the air, "That isn't true. In fact, several audience members began to heckle Trump, asking pointed questions about whether he racially discriminated against black tenants as a landlord."

But, again, remember: it doesn't matter to anyone but you and me that Trump is a lying piece of shit-covered garbage. His voters have been told for decades that the mainstream media is in the bag for Democrats (which means "blacks, immigrants, queers, feminists, etc."). That great, huge lie has colored political coverage since the Reagan era, and it really blew up during the administration of the first George Bush, when defunding PBS and NPR was on the table because of perceived bias. For its part, many media corporations bought into the lie. Imagine that. Imagine believing the worst things terrible people say about you and changing yourself accordingly, even if you know those things are false. And still, it wasn't enough. So we got the rise of right-wing talk radio and then Fox "news," constantly undermining reality and mainstreaming ideas that would have once been considered too obscenely inhuman and hateful to be allowed into the public discourse. And that includes the treatment of the Clintons as America's Most Wanted instead of as a couple of public servants who stumbled a few times, like everyone fucking does.

Right now, Trump is the pinnacle of that willful ignorance masking a white supremacist, ultra-capitalistic agenda. But take a warning from someone who has watched this since the 1980s: it can always get worse. We thought Reagan was as bad and stupid as a president could get. Then we got Bush, Jr. And we thought that that was the lowest we could go. And now Trump is polling even with Clinton. But if Trump loses, the lesson will not be that a shitheel billionaire slumming it with the proles was a fucking racist asshole whose politics should be tossed in the slime pit from which they were belched. No, it will get worse. The next faux populist maybe won't have Trump's baggage.

"What fucking billionaire runs for president?" I asked Cal. "Ross Perot, but he was bugfuck insane. Bloomberg floated the idea but backed off." We agreed that real billionaires were probably powerful enough and that they wouldn't worry about doing things for the peon regular people. But Trump obviously had nothing better to do and was just looking for a new amusement, another game he could try to win.

We talked some more, each thinking about our exit strategy from the United States should Trump be elected. I'm leaning towards Ireland, but I'm good with Canada. He's thinking South America. "Paraguay? Or Ecuador?" Cal said. I responded that countries like those might elect their own Trump. These are fantasy, bullshit discussions. Few of us could afford to just uproot and head across borders and oceans to begin again.

All we can really do is hope that there are enough people who believe that reality is real, that truth exists, and that facts trump lies.


Ivanka Trump Doesn't Seem to Have Met Her Father (Or Is Just as Big a Liar as Him)

Check this out. It's Donald Trump's child care reform plan, with a word find box up at the top:

The word being searched is "father," and it returns no results. Oh, sure, it talks all about empowering "parents" to help with child care, but, as others have pointed out, the only people who get any kind of barely-paid leave from work are mothers, mentioned 14 times.

The same goes on the campaign's fact sheet on the plan. Zero mentions of the word "father" and 20 of "mother" in a 4-page document on "Donald J. Trump's New Child Care Plan."

Trump has said in interviews that he didn't change his kids diapers. So, obviously, he has no idea what the role of a father can be other than going out into the world and cheating people so he can inflate his wallet and his ego. That's not an exaggeration. In a 2005 radio appearance, Trump said, "I mean, I won’t do anything to take care of them. I’ll supply funds and she’ll take care of the kids. It’s not like I’m gonna be walking the kids down Central Park." As far as Trump was concerned, men who did diaper duty were acting "like the wife." So, obviously, by his own admission, Trump believes that parental duties fall to the mother (or the mother and the nannies) and that a man who is anything other than an income-generating figurehead is not a man. Trump's the kind of prick dad who would say, "I'm babysitting" when he's watching his own kids.

Of course, there was no way his child care plan was gonna give two shits about fathers. As far as Trump's concerned, nothing comes out of a man's wherever so he doesn't have to worry about it. Trump's children, Ivanka, DJ, Lurch, the forgotten-chick-what's-er-name, and Prince Fancypants, have to know their Pop's view of who is in charge of the kiddos.

It was odd, then, that Trump's daughter Ivanka seemed to be tripped up at the idea that the child care and family leave plan that she championed was deliberately leaving out fathers. Interviewed in Cosmopolitan, Ivanka Trump didn't seem to know who her father was. Asked about a 2004 interview where Big Daddy said that pregnancy "is an inconvenience for a business," Ivanka got pissy about it: "So I think that you have a lot of negativity in these questions, and I think my father has put forth a very comprehensive and really revolutionary plan to deal with a lot of issues. So I don't know how useful it is to spend too much time with you on this if you're going to make a comment like that." When the apologetic interviewer Prachi Gupta pressed a bit on its relevance, Ivanka went into full ignorance mode, saying, "Well, you said he made those comments. I don't know that he said those comments." And except for the fact that Trump is on video saying exactly those comments, Ivanka might have had a point.

More importantly, Ivanka Trump flat-out lied or was too stupid to know that Hillary Clinton has a child care plan. On Tuesday, Ivanka said, "There’s no policy on Hillary Clinton’s website pertaining to any of these issues, childcare, eldercare, or maternity leave or paternity leave for that matter. There’s no policy that’s been articulated on how to solve the problem.” That echoed her father's line that "my opponent has no child care plan." Which is totally true if you ignore the child care plan that has been on Clinton's website for months. It mentions "moms" and "dads."

But, you know, unlike Donald Trump's, the plan itself ain't a bunch of backwards-ass sexist bullshit designed to set women in the workplace back a few decades (presumably when America was great). It pays workers who take up to 12 weeks of leave for parenting or eldercare two-thirds of their salary, not the rate if they were on unemployment, as Trump's miserly plan does. And while Trump funds his plan with some fantasy about ending unemployment insurance fraud (which would end up costing a fuck of a lot to ferret out), Clinton makes it simple: higher taxes on wealthy people like her and Trump.

It doesn't matter anymore though. All of Trump's surrogates, from his obviously brain-damaged daughter to his obviously brain-damaged spokespeople, will claim that Clinton's plan is not a plan and only Trump's plan meets the definition of plan in the way that "plan" is defined in the Dictionary of Trump (where every definition is "Ask Donald"). It's just like Trump claiming he's a father when he didn't do jack shit as a father.

And none of his idiot hordes will bat an eye. Most of 'em will thank him for putting women back into their place. And when you tell the idiot hordes that, they'll say, "He hires women for top jobs," which is becoming the "I have a black friend" of sexist presidential candidates.


Flint Pastor Demonstrates That You Can Get Donald Trump to Shut the Fuck Up

If you haven't seen it yet, you should check out Donald Trump talking to a gathering of mostly black parishioners at the Bethel United Methodist Church in Flint, Michigan. Trump sounds like a nervous schoolboy or, more precisely, like a racist white guy who is being forced to talk to non-whites because it might make him look less racist. You watch and you wonder, "Is he gonna vomit? Is he gonna cry? Shit himself?" Because that's what it seems like he's gonna do.

The one moment he seems relaxed is when he reads off his printed out speech and starts to go after Hillary Clinton. Then, in a glorious move, the church's pastor, Rev. Faith Green Timmons, steps out to interrupt him and tell him, "Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we’ve done in Flint, not give a political speech." The most amazing thing happens, a miracle, one might say, because Trump fumbles around, backtracks, skips the part about Clinton, and moves on to talking about Flint. He didn't have the balls to say to a black audience, "Your lives are shit. What the hell do you have to lose by voting for me to fuck you over?"

All over the nation, Americans who have been in gatherings for Trump have to be thinking, "Wait, wait, wait. You mean we can do that? We can just tell him to shut the fuck up? That's a thing?"

When others in the room started to yell out at Trump, throwing him even more off his weakened game, Timmons asked them to respect the Republican as a visitor. But she did put out a statement later that read, "Trump’s presence at Bethel United Methodist in no way represents an endorsement of his candidacy."

Timmons did in one respectful, firm, polite gesture what 16 Republican candidates and thousands of protesters couldn't. She cornered Trump and made his swagger disappear and shoved the con job up his ass.

At this point in this stupid, endless goddamned election, it's apparent that the nation needs black Americans to save it. Between polls that show Trump polling worse than bed bugs and Macklemore among African Americans, the actions today by Rev. Timmons, and Don't-give-a-fuck Obama in full swing on the campaign trail, it's good to know that at least a few Americans completely understand what Hillary Clinton meant about the voters who support Trump.

At least some Americans get that this election isn't a fantasy without any real-world consequences.


To David Brooks, Clinton and Trump Are Equally Distrustful Even Though David Brooks's Examples Show They're Not

Sometimes, one sentence tells you all you need to know. So focus on this one about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton: "They have set the modern standards for withholding information — his not releasing tax and health records, her not holding regular news conferences or quickly disclosing her pneumonia diagnosis." Do you see the problem? Do you see the blatant fuckery at work there? It's like a balance scale where one side has a mouse and the other side has a skyscraper.

Let me lay it out for you like a bethonged Trump scorching his leathery flesh on a tanning bed. Clinton is being criticized for her lack of "regular" news conferences, which means she does have them, just not often enough for the writer's liking, and for not saying fast enough that she's sick. So she's done these things, yet she is being compared to Trump who, as the writer notes, has not released his tax returns or a legitimate health report. She hasn't done enough, and he hasn't done any, yet, according to the writer, they are equal in their shadiness. This is pretty much the way the mainstream media has covered this race.

Think of it this way: Someone just walked out on a boat dock dumped a bunch of kittens into a lake, and they're gonna fuckin' drown. Clinton rushes in, grabs a few kittens, and gets them out. The rest die, sure, but Clinton saved some scratching, biting, screaming kittens, no matter how much those wet little fuckers made her bleed. Trump just stood there and not only didn't try to save kittens, but he pissed on them from the dock.

So if the media was there, they'd say, "Trump and Clinton want kittens to drown."

The writer of that stark bullshit sentence up at the top is David Brooks of the New York Times (motto: "All the news that can fuck up the Clintons"), and in his latest "column" (if by "column," you mean, "A bare couple of connections stretched over a rack and forced to fellate an irrational conclusion"), Brooks wants you to know that distrust is everywhere, man. Oh, it starts with the candidates and their obviously equivalent sins, but, like everything Brooks spends five minutes googling late at night in his semen-stained tightie-whities post-Asian strangle porn masturbation, it must mean something else. Lack of trust leads to loneliness. Loneliness leads isolation. Isolation leads to what Brooks sees as the faux intimacy of the online world. The faux intimacy of the online world leads to more Asian strangle porn and the cycle starts again, except this time, Brooks will finger his asshole while jacking it.

Again and again and again, writers like Brooks who bemoan the decline in trust in our institutions and in each other leave out the greatest factor. It ain't a leap to say that when one of two major political parties in a nation makes it its mission to turn people against each other, to demand obedience to an ideology of hatred of difference, and to block any effort to bring the nation together for any greater purpose (unless it's killing some people far away), you're pretty much guaranteeing that a large segment of the population will say, "Fuck it" and drop out of civic and interpersonal engagement except for supporting Trump.

Whatever Democrats might have done to foster the isolation of the white working class, it pales in comparison to what the Republican Party has done to exploit that isolation and make the individual more important than the community. Or the nation.

But, you know, then again, these are the same motherfuckers who think that Clinton's desire for a little privacy is the same as Trump's refusal to prove he's not a con man.


If You Give a Racist a Candidate...:A Child's Guide to Understanding the Basket of Deplorables

If you give a racist a candidate, he'll think that it's okay to be a racist.

When he thinks it's okay to be racist, he'll openly say and write racist things. When he's finished, he'll start saying sexist things, too.

Then he'll go on Twitter and get angry at anyone who calls him racist. When he goes on Twitter, he'll notice that other people who like his candidate hate Jews, gays, and Muslims. So he'll probably start saying terrible things about them, too.

When he's finished tweeting and posting to message boards, he'll want to go to a rally for his candidate. He'll start yelling things there. He might even get carried away and yell things about shooting or deporting people he doesn't like. He may even end up taking a swing at someone who looks different from him as well!

When he's done, he'll probably demand that you take him seriously. You'll have to watch TV news people treat his beliefs like they're just fine. He'll crawl into your head and want you to think you're a bigot for disliking his bigotry. He'll probably ask you to apologize for saying mean things about him, like calling his deplorable views "deplorable." So you'll apologize a little just to shut him up, but he'll keep on being racist and sexist and xenophobic and homophobic.

When he's being racist and sexist and xenophobic and homophobic, he'll get so excited that he'll make t-shirts that say that his candidate's opponent is evil and a murderer and ugly and should probably be arrested or killed. He'll set up a website where he can sell those t-shirts, and he'll be so proud of his shirts that he'll sell them from tables at rallies for his candidate where other racists tell him how great he is. And he'll think it's okay to be racist.

And chances are if he thinks it's okay to be racist, he's going to want a candidate to vote for.


Matt Lauer Gives Away the Game with Clinton and Trump

In some ways, we perhaps owe Matt Lauer a debt of gratitude. His ludicrously shallow interviews with presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were as clear an example as you could ask for of the failure of the mainstream media in this election. Lauer seemed to be simply acting as a conduit for a preset script, reifying a pre-existing narrative, and he was not really interested in answers as much as creating moments that can be replayed on the news networks.

For instance, Hillary Clinton is "corrupt" or "crooked," as Trump puts it. Therefore, at a forum ostensibly about the military, foreign policy, and veterans, Lauer abandoned the topic and goaded Clinton for nearly half her time about the played-out, made-up, insignificant e-mail "scandal." There was nothing new to ask about. It was merely an occasion for Lauer to channel whatever fake outrage is in the zeitgeist and press her to re-re-re-apologize and re-re-re-explain. And then, after Lauer had asked about it, the first questioner, who was prescreened, asked about the damn emails. Anyone watching uncritically would have thought that the most important issue facing the United States in the world is not Russia's growing influence, the conflict in Syria, or trade with China. No, it's whether or not Clinton truly understood that she screwed up by having a private email server. Not that she leaked secrets. Not that it was hacked and agents were exposed. No, just that she had one. As with just about everything allegedly scandalous with Clinton, there is nothing there except a narrative that must be sustained, no matter what the FBI, Congressional committees, and multiple investigations say. Clinton isn't corrupt or crooked. But she is not allowed to escape her narrative frame.

When it came to Trump, Lauer also worked to keep the narrative going, that Trump is just saying provocative things that are meaningless, that his ignorance is merely naivete.  You could easily make a case that Lauer went easy on his former network colleague (The Apprentice was an NBC show, after all). You could make the case that Trump's chumminess with media outlets over the decades has given him an insider's track with them (or given him information he can threaten them with). Whatever the case, at no moment did Lauer bear down on Trump with the kind of unrelenting focus he gave to Clinton's emails. Many have faulted Lauer for not questioning Trump's continued lie about opposing the Iraq War, which he did after it had started, but not before, as he has claimed. But when Trump said other outrageous things, about how much he admires Vladimir Putin's "leadership" or how he stands by his tweet that blames the presence women in the military for their sexual assaults, Lauer's limited follow-ups amounted to "Really?" And when Trump pretty much just said, "Yeah, really," Lauer moved on. Even when Trump said something bizarre and demonstrably false, like we need to "set up a court system within the military" (which has existed since the 1700s), Lauer gave him a pass instead of repeatedly asking him what the hell he's talking about.

It wasn't journalistic malpractice. That implies actual journalism was occurring. It was eliminating the need for journalists. That seems to be the end game in the shift in what reporting is, especially on TV, from exposing truth and seeking facts to putting competing positions on a screen and having them go at it for a little while. The idea that newspapers and networks have special "fact check" sections, with their fiery pants and multiple Pinocchios, is embarrassing. A newspaper itself, in its articles, should be the fact check. Every story should be able to say that some things are simply unassailable facts. Instead, and especially in this election season, "news" has become another version of the human-free Facebook news feed, telling us what people are talking about whether it's real or not. I'm not saying we once lived in glory days of spin-free media, but it's gotten exponentially worse to where all there is is spin, a top without a table.

So the one good thing that might come out of the pathetic failure of Matt Lauer is that the game was revealed: inflate every foible of Clinton's to earth-shattering importance and shrink every lie and extreme position of Donald Trump to mere fluff. Two editorials today seem to be giving the mainstream media the chance to correct this egregious unfairness in the treatment of the candidates. The Washington Post said, "Enough" to the email story and said that Trump's dangerous ignorance is far more important. The New York Times said that the Lauer interviews set a terrible precedent that, if followed in the debates, will do harm to our democracy. (They might want to start with their front page, which seems to be obsessed with making Clinton seem like a devious criminal.)

Meanwhile, the moderator for the third debate, Chris Wallace of Fox News (motto: "Sexual harassment free for six weeks!"), said that it's not his job to be a "truth squad" if the candidates lie. So I propose that, at that debate, Hillary Clinton say that Trump fucked Wallace's wife. Fucked her every which way. "You know, Chris," Clinton should say, "Your wife told me that you wouldn't fuck her in the ass. Donald fucked her in the ass and then ate out her asshole. And she loved it. Then Roger Ailes joined them and she sucked his dick while Trump fucked her in the ass and she had screaming orgasms. It totally happened. No truth squad, right, Chris?"

If "journalists" refuse to do journalism, then we might as well just fuck with them.


Imagine If a Democrat Had Said What Donald Trump Said Last Night...

-- At last night's Commander-in-Chief forum on the decommissioned aircraft carrier U.S.S. Intrepid, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton offered this assessment of our military leadership: "The generals have been reduced to rubble. They have been reduced to a point where it’s embarrassing for our country." When asked about how she would take advice from those leaders, Clinton said, "Well, they’ll probably be different generals, to be honest with you."

-- In an interview about the relationship between the United States and Russian, Bernie Sanders said, "I think I would have a very, very good relationship with Putin. And I think I would have a very, very good relationship with Russia...[Putin] does have an 82 percent approval rating, according to the different pollsters. If he says great things about me, I’m going to say great things about him. I’ve already said, he is really very much of a leader. I mean, you can say, oh, isn’t that a terrible thing — the man has very strong control over a country."

-- Today, Senator Elizabeth Warren commented on troubles at the Veterans Administration hospitals, "The V.A. is really almost, you could say, a corrupt enterprise."

-- At a town hall meeting today, Senator Chuck Schumer reiterated his belief that the cause of sexual assault in the military is the interaction of soldiers of both sexes. "There are many people that think that that’s absolutely correct," he said, adding, "The numbers are staggering, hard to believe, even. But we’re going to have to run it very tight. I at the same time want to keep the court system within the military. The best thing we can do is set up a court system within the military. Right now, the court system practically doesn’t exist."

-- Asked about his strategy for ending the United States's engagement in Iraq, John Kerry said, "If we’re going to get out, take the oil. If we would have taken the oil, you wouldn’t have ISIS, because ISIS formed with the power and the wealth of that oil. We would leave a certain group behind and you would take various sections where they have the oil. They have — people don’t know this about Iraq, but they have among the largest oil reserves in the world, in the entire world."

Of course, Democrats didn't say these completely stupid, worthless, embarrassing, and dangerous things. Donald Trump said all of them last night.

If a Democrat had said this, let alone the party's presidential nominee, Republicans would have demanded endless apologies. Congressional investigations would be launched about the Democrat's coziness with Russia. Every Democrat on every talk show would be asked if they agree. The right-wing media would have whipped people into a froth about how traitorous the Democrat is. It would be the only subject for the next eight weeks.

If Democrats had said most of this, the GOP would already have pitchforks out and torches lit, ready to storm the castle and demand their heads on a platter.

Instead, we're supposed to act, I guess, like, "Oh, that's just Donald. He doesn't know much, bless his heart."

We are doomed.

Late Post Today

A busy day at Rude Central. 

Back later with more general-endorsed bloggery. 


Donald Trump: I Will Build the Most Unnecessary Military in the World

Anyone who thinks that Republican presidential candidate and walking traffic cone Donald Trump is prepared to handle the security of the nation is too fucking dumb to reason with and would probably be left in the snow to die if we lived in the Arctic. And that goes for the list of retired military leaders who endorsed him, most of whom are insignificant or worthless or incompetent or utterly full of shit. "Losers," in Trump's charmless parlance.

But there he was, in Philadelphia, giving another goddamn speech where he didn't end up face fucking a voter and then shitting his pants so it was definitely more presidential or some such nonsense. And what a speech, much like the one yesterday in North Carolina (state motto: "Preventing black people from voting for over three centuries"). Man, Trump was just jizzing all over the military, like a frantically masturbating mandrill, bouncing between stating the obvious and proposing the useless.

For instance, how many current military leaders thought, "The fuck?" after hearing Trump say, "We are going to convey my top generals and give them a simple instruction. They will have 30 days to submit to the Oval Office a plan for soundly and quickly defeating ISIS. We have no choice." And what if they don't have a plan in 30 days? Or, more likely, they'll just hand him the fucking plan that we're doing now, which is actually working, and say, "Yeah, here's the fuckin' plan, asshole. It's the same fuckin' plan. Any other bright ideas, genius? You said you knew more than us." Already, one retired general has called "bullshit" on Trump. And everybody else ought to be asking, "You told us you had a plan. That was it? That was your secret plan that you couldn't tell anyone because you didn't want to tip the enemy? How fucking dumb do you think ISIS leaders are that they couldn't figure out, 'Ask your generals what to do'? Jesus, we're hosed." Followed, of course, by mass desertion.

The other part of Trump's strategy for keeping the United States safe from the Soviet Union, apparently, is to build up the military to be even larger than it was at its peak. Yeah, motherfuckers, we're gonna do this shit Reagan-style. Who gives a fuck that the Navy is better equipped and able to fight with greater efficiency now? They get a hundred more ships whether they fuckin' want 'em or not. And you can bet your left tits that we're gonna do missile defense again. Star Wars, baby, and this time we're gonna build that shit out of gold so everyone knows that America is the best, the most tremendous, hugest, biggliest swingin' dicks in the known universe, no matter how worthless and wasteful the entire effort is.

How are we gonna pay for all of it? Trump will "end the sequester," which is so totally cool and easy to do, right? I mean, it's not like the sequester exists because many of the Republicans in Congress staked their entire pathetic careers on the chimera of budget austerity. And how else? Magic, bitches, magic. He'll find taxes that aren't paid and cut money from programs that he thinks are worthless.

It's all such lies and braggadocio and self-fellatio and, of course, of course, of course, some on the right think Trump's a goddamn military mastermind, even if he is busy sucking his own dick. There aren't enough ice floes to put them all on.


It Isn't Just Trump: Florida AG Pam Bondi Seems to Love Taking Money to Drop Cases

In anything resembling a rational political discourse, the fact that Donald Trump's foundation broke the law by giving a donation to the reelection campaign of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi while she was deciding whether or not to join a case against Trump University ought to be causing a fucking orgy of scandal coverage all over the mainstream media. It sure as shit looks like Trump gave Bondi $25,000 after which she dropped the case against Trump U and didn't even bother with the possibly more vile Trump Institute, which was based in Florida. That's the kind of blatant quid pro quo that would make Hillary Clinton conspiracists blow a load all over Sean Hannity.

But for Pam Bondi, it sure as shit appears that this kind of graft was as ordinary as gators and heroin in the Sunshine State.

For instance, Bondi's predecessor, Bill McCollum, had sued travel agencies like Expedia who were trying to get out of paying certain taxes in Florida. A few junkets and some money funneled through the Republican Attorneys General Association later, and, in 2014, Bondi said that there was no need to continue the lawsuit.

This was part of her cozy relationship with the now-defunct law firm Dickstein Shapiro, which contributed nearly $25,000 to Bondi's campaign war chest (which seems to be the going rate for her). Bondi didn't pursue cases against the firm's clients, like Herbalife and, hey, a for-profit college. Dickstein Shapiro was eventually cleared when it was investigated for trying to buy influence with Bondi, but, shit, if we use Republican standards for what lengthy investigations prove, then everyone involved was guilty as fuck. The Florida press started calling Bondi's m.o. "pay to look away."

You know, one of the things that Hillary and Bill Clinton are constantly barraged with is how they do things that make them "look guilty." They "act" like they've done something wrong, although, shit, if people were constantly accusing you of humping dogs, you'd be a little paranoid when you're photographed in close proximity to a schnauzer even if you had no intention of fucking it at all.

Here we have a case where something not only looks wrong, but something wrong happened. The Trump Foundation did something illegal and paid a fine for it. Trump has dismissed it as insignificant, and it looks like the media is going to buy that. Why would that be? Is it just that Trump never pretended to be anything but a sleazy carnival barker while the Clintons have the gall to get drugs to kids in Africa and claim they never profit from it?

I'm all for holding Hillary Clinton to a high ethical standard, but harping on her supposed quid pro quo while the Trump thing has occurred is like taking a photo of a dog shitting on a sidewalk while behind you someone is setting the whole block on fire.

Trump speaks incredibly highly of Bondi. She has been under nearly constant criticism for possibly doing almost exactly what Trump criticizes Clinton for. I guess that's the kind of hypocrisy we expect from our Republican candidates.


A Poem for the Laborers

by Maria Luisa Arroyo

para Martin Espada (1993)

Mami called us away from the roach trap line
where novice factory workers, fresh from the island,
and I, fresh from Germany, poked
protruding yellow chunks of roach bait
into black traps with long-stem Q-tips
we dunked in alcohol.

Another safety meeting. My first.
El jefe de la factoría faced us
and heard nothing by the silence
of women hablando y bochincheando
in Tidy-Bowl blue uniforms. "Safety shoes should....
Factory goggles are .... Hairnets must...."

All the Spanish he knew could have fit
into one of those trampas, too little to translate
what Flora, Aida, and Teresa needed to know.
A heavy box fell and crushed a few of Flora's
dedos del pie. Alcohol splashed into Aida's ojos.
The uncovered motor yanked out one of Teresa's trenzas.

I broke rank and stood. "If safety is first, then why
aren't your updates translated into Spanish?"
How all uniforms blue shrank away from me,
from my nasal twang, from that language that sounds as if
I were chewing papas calientes o mucho chicle.

For once, though, my mother was proud of my English.

El jefe told me I could have been promoted
to the shampoo line.

(Hat tip to the terrific Split This Rock database of social justice poems.)


Hillary Clinton Is Running for President, Too

While we are all mesmerized by watching the ongoing train crash into a dumpster fire on top of a mountain of shit that is the Donald Trump campaign, we seem to be missing any coverage at all of what's been going on with Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton, aka "The Evilest Harpy Ever to Swoop from the Heavens to Devour Our Children and Our Testicles" or whatever right-wing media and Trump are calling her now.

Believe it or not, she has a campaign, too. I know. Hard to believe. And things happen with it that have nothing to do with love emails to ISIS or the Clinton Foundation digging a tunnel right to the State Department's door or whatever we're supposed to believe now. And some of those things happened just in this last week or so of watching Trump dance the merengue on the dreams of immigrants.

For instance, Clinton proposed a "Comprehensive Agenda on Mental Health," something you'd think Donald Trump's family would want him to get in on. A chunk of it already has bipartisan support in that the GOP-controlled House passed some of what she is proposing. Her full plan is incredibly detailed, with projected costs included, in a way that you'd never see on that other guy's website for his idiot hordes. It's smart and insightful, and it has real reform and compassion behind it. So no one gives a shit. If she had said, "Lock up the calm nuts and shoot the criminal ones in the streets like they're rabid dogs," the media would have been all over it, discussing the merits of such an extreme action.

Clinton also proposed a public health fund for things like the Zika outbreak. Yeah, "Rapid Response Fund" isn't as glamorous as "big, beautiful wall," but, you know, probably a great deal more useful.

She was also recently endorsed by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, which has never endorsed a candidate in its 15 year existence. Oh, and the Teamsters endorsed her last week, making it the final of the 5 biggest unions in the United States to do so, none of which seem to be bothered by email bullshit or faux Foundation shenanigans. Or even Benghazi.

Yeah, in a normal campaign, where we actually treated the candidates in a normal way, we'd have a discussion about some of these things and their implications should Clinton become president.

But when one thing sucks up all the oxygen in the room, the rest of us suffocate.

(Aside: Your hatred of Clinton is noted and scornfully dismissed with "Well, then lick Trump's balls." Feel free to say I'm a shillary for Killary, if that's what gets you off.)


Donald Trump Decides to Dance With Them What Brung Him

I have seen madness, dear, sweet Americans. I have looked into the eyes of men who have ripped off their clothes, rolled around in mud and shit, and then howled at the sky. I have wrestled with a drunk who was trying to set me on fire because he thought my legs were too hairy (they're not). I have confronted religious zealots who screamed and spit in my face and threatened me with hellfire for the crime of keeping a path clear so women could get into a completely legal family planning clinic. I have visited institutions for the mentally ill, and I have stayed at music festival campgrounds. Oh, yes, I have seen insanity in individual and mass forms.

So when I watched Republican presidential candidate and overfed orangutan Donald Trump delivering his long-awaited address on immigration, I knew that I was watching the kind of frothing madness that generally gets street preachers arrested before they assault someone or enrage passersby into punching them in their goddamn faces.

After the embarrassment of Trump's quickie with Mexico's utterly disgraced president, after both of them stood there and pretended like they were comrades in arms on immigration, after Trump said he didn't talk about who is paying for his border wall, and after President Pena Nieto tweeted that he said Mexico wasn't paying for any fucking wall, Trump went out to an adoring crowd of savages in Arizona, his idiot horde, his people, and, as they held their breaths for the long-suspected "pivot" and "softening" on immigration, they heard their candidate proclaim that he was their mad dog godhead and would be as batshit crazy as ever. It was less a speech and more a "fuck you" to anyone who thought Trump might moderate. "Suck my bright white dick," he said. "I am the same racist shit-shoveler I've been the entire campaign."

It was, in its way, an epic act of self-immolation in regards to the Latino vote in the upcoming election. When Trump started his campaign, he proclaimed that Mexico was sending all criminals with few exceptions for some "good" people when the truth is the extreme opposite. Yet here he was last night, parading the corpses of people who were murdered by undocumented immigrants over the last few years and shitting on workers. "Most illegal immigrants are lower skilled workers with less education, who compete directly against vulnerable American workers, and that these illegal workers draw much more out from the system than they can ever possibly pay back," he said, which probably shocked all those undocumented workers who pay a ton of taxes and will never see a dime of Social Security or Medicare. This is not to mention the roughly 40% of them who work in positions that require a decent level of education. Trump might as well have taken a piece of paper on it that read "Tu madre" and wiped his ass with it for all the Latino votes he's gonna get.

He continued, "But these facts are never reported," a kind of amazing statement since it's telling the media to report things that are simply not true. At this point, though, fact-checking a Trump speech is about as useful an activity as fucking lamp. It might initially feel good to you, but the lamp doesn't get anything out of it and you'll probably just burn your dick eventually.

Trump's attacks on Hillary Clinton in the speech were comprised of his usual brutish, wheezing punches. He suggested using his "deportation force" to get rid of her. After declaring that he would use executive orders to get his deportation plan going (which, to be honest, ain't all that different from Obama's right now, just with a prickish attitude), Trump said he'd cancel all of President Obama's "unconstitutional executive orders" (never mind the ones the Supreme Court has upheld). But if Clinton is elected? Holy fuck, it's game over: "Clinton's plan would trigger a constitutional crisis unlike almost anything we have ever seen before. In effect, she would be abolishing the lawmaking arm of Congress in order to write her own laws from the Oval Office." If Clinton is elected, "The result will be millions more illegal immigrants, thousands of more violent, horrible crimes and total chaos and lawlessness. That's what going to happen and sure as you are standing there." That's the kind of drama queen shit that'd make an entire cast of RuPaul's Drag Race say, "Calm down a little, Mary."

What a big fuckin' joke the last week or so has been, where pundits and surrogates were talking about some moderation in Trump, some turn to acting "presidential." That's hilarious. Trump knows what got him here in the first place. It was being the biggest asshole in the room. And his voters ejaculated all over themselves for it. As the great columnist Molly Ivins, who is missed now about as much as she's ever been, "You got to dance with them what brung you." Trump has reached out his crooked arms and is ready to fox trot to the apocalypse.

The speech ended and Trump introduced the family members of those killed by undocumented immigrants. One by one, they stepped to the mic in a repulsive display of exploitation and misery, each swearing allegiance to a man who wouldn't have given a single shit about any of them if they didn't have horror he could turn into his profit.