A Poem from North Dakota for Thanksgiving

"Peace Path"
by Heid E. Erdrich, an Ojibwe writer from North Dakota (now living in Minnesota)

This path our people walked
one hundred two hundred              endless years
since the tall grass opened for us
and we breathed the incense that sun on prairie
                                                             offers to sky
Peace offering with each breath
each footstep           out of woods
to grasslands plotted with history
removal   remediation                     restoration
Peace flag of fringed prairie orchid
green glow within white froth
calling a moth who nightly
seeks the now-rare scent                 invisible to us
invisible history of this place
where our great-grandfather         a boy
beside two priests and 900 warriors
gaze intent in an 1870 photo      
                                                             his garments white as orchids
Peace flag                                           white banner with red cross
crowned with thorns                       held by a boy            
at the elbow of a priest 
beside Ojibwe warriors                   beside Dakota warriors
Peace offered after smoke and dance
and Ojibwe gifts of elaborate beaded garments
thrown back in refusal
by Dakota Warriors                         torn with grief 
                                                             since their brother’s murder
This is the path our people ran
through white flags of prairie plants
Ojibwe calling Dakota back
to sign one last and unbroken treaty
Peace offering with each breath
each footstep                out of woods
to grasslands plotted with history
removal   remediation                     restoration
Two Dakota    held up as great men
humbled themselves
to an offer of peace
before a long walk south
before our people entered the trail
walking west and north
                                                           where you walk now
where we seek the source
the now-rare scent
invisible as history
history the tall grass opens for us
                                                            Breathe the incense of sun on prairie
                                                            Offer peace to the sky


Like America, I'm Feeling Broken

A dear friend has a brother with Down Syndrome. This year, he voted for the first time, and he couldn't have been more excited to push a button for Hillary Clinton. After Clinton lost, my friend, his sister, asked him how he was feeling. He said, "We're having meatloaf for dinner tonight."

Goddamn, I want to have that response.

I've gotta be honest here, and feel free to call me a "pussy" or whatever you need, but very early last Wednesday morning, around 1 a.m., when I knew that it was really, truly over (although we all pretty much knew by 11 p.m.), something broke in me, to the point that I don't know how to react. In case you haven't noticed, the last week around this joint, it's been pretty messy and morose.

I have barely been able to watch any of the complicit news networks as they recalibrate to the reality of a Donald Trump presidency. And when I do, I hear things, as I did on Saturday, like a Trump supporter on a CNN panel decrying the protests because they are chanting and marching about "old news." That's right. The campaign wasn't 5 days over, but, as far as this sycophantic slug was concerned, it may as well have been years ago. "We need to look to the future," he explained.

So I watch briefly and I get pissed and then I just feel broken again. Hell, it's better than the nausea I get, triggered by Trump's voice. I'm guessing that it comes from the helplessness of the situation, the feeling that we can't change this, along with the feeling that we did this to ourselves. I knew the nation was racist and dumb. I just didn't know how racist and how dumb. Now I do.

I have thought about how ridiculously wrong so many of us had been, we who blog and pontificate and punditize, rudely or cleanly. And I was especially angry at myself for not listening to an especially wise person. That'd be me back in 2008, when I said one reason that I was supporting Barack Obama over Clinton was because "somewhere in some cellar in some Little Rock or DC mansion, there's a machine that's been whirring its gears on low for the last seven years that's getting greased up and ready to kick into full speed once more, and it's aching to chew up Clinton, ready to get sticky with her blood and bones, for once it's really chugging, that fucker needs to be fed, ready to spew once again to willing, slavering media dogs who lap up that anti-Clinton vomit like it's kibble from Walter Cronkite's ass." I knew exactly what would happen. But I let myself think that it wouldn't. And I don't blame Clinton. I blame pretty much everyone except her.

Things are gonna be bad. I believe that with the fervent faith of a crazed minister awaiting the Rapture. A fight is coming. A big fucking fight, possibly the worst in my lifetime, and I've faced down Operation Rescue, angry cops in riot gear at anti-Iraq War protests, and a raging George H.W. Bush supporter. I want to be part of that fight. But if I'm going to be in fighting shape, I gotta tap out for a little while. I gotta get my head straight and my voice and fists ready.

I'm not gonna do that spending the next couple of months writing constantly, "Boy, Donald Trump sure is gonna suck" or "Boy, that cabinet choice sure is gonna dick us all over." Because, really, we don't know how bad it'll be and what he's gonna do until his tiny moisturized, manicured orange hands are holding the reins of power. I know that it's the privilege of whiteness and maleness that allows me to pretend I can ignore the rise of the Trump-tatorship, even for short amount of time. But I want to be the best ally to others that I can be.

So, after over 13 years of almost continuous daily blogging, I'm taking a leave of absence for a while.

I'm not going cold turkey. I will probably post every now and then if something insane happens (although, c'mon, "insane" is relative at this point) or if the mood strikes.

I'll definitely still be on Twitter. And I'll be piping up on Facebook, too.

Also, if someone would like me to write for their publication (c'mon, Guardian, you know you want me), I'll pop up there.

Oh, and as long as I'm pimping myself, I've got what I think is a kick-ass new play, political and feminist as hell, if any professional theatre or group is interested in checking it out. When there are public readings, I'll let you know.

Before checking out and switching to a much lighter political diet, lemme leave you with a few thoughts:

1. I believe that the most patriotic thing that President Obama could do would be to bypass the Senate and appoint Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. The Senate has broken tradition. So should the president.

2. The members of the Electoral College have a constitutional duty to save us from someone like Trump. They would be derelict in that duty if they let him take office.

3. If Clinton had won, the next 4-8 years would have been a nightmare of impeachment hearings and endless investigations, all emails, all the time. So that's one small blessing amid the conflagration.

4. Donald Trump is in this to enrich himself and his family. Whether or not that's what he intended, it's what he will do because it's the only thing he knows how to do: make himself richer on the backs of others.

5. Trump will do everything that he condemned Hillary Clinton for and worse. And Republicans will give him a pass. This will be the most enraging part of the next couple of months.

6. You should give money to organizations like the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, the Human Rights Campaign, and others. You should make sure you donate to local groups that are helping undocumented immigrants, the homeless, the disempowered all around. And you should subscribe to things like Mother Jones and give money to Talking Points Memo. They are the good guys. They'll need all the support they can get.

That's it. I may come running back here after a short hiatus. It's entirely possible. Addiction is like that. If not, I'll be back by Inauguration Day in 2017, after this shit year has ended. We've got a nation to save but, as they always tell you, you have to put your own oxygen mask on before you can help others do the same.

I need to go wander in the desert for a while. I need to down peyote and go on a spirit journey. I need to wantonly fuck wayward bikers and lonely bartenders and rough waitresses and howl at the moon as we orgasm in the dust. I need to cook an iguana over an open fire.

And then I will come back, righteous rage restored, pieces back together, ready to face down the motherfuckers who would break us all again and again.


A Leather Slave's Return: The Inevitable Cliffhanger

Karl Rove's former leather slave was finally used to a safe life. The nightmares had lessened at last, after years of drugs and brief hospitalizations and even electroshock therapy. He was finally able to get a good night's sleep somewhere around 2013. The leather slave had belonged to Karl Rove when that pudgy demon of demographic manipulation was in the White House in most of the first decade of this terrible century. He had been kept in the basement, chained to a coffin containing the bones of William Lincoln, and Rove had routinely descended the stairs in this little-visited chamber to wreck the leather slave's asshole and to share those pleasures with whatever members of the executive branch and assorted media figures might visit. But sometime in 2008, the slave got free and had been able to stay free for the last 8 years.

All that changed on election night last week. Watching the results trickle in, watching as a man who made George W. Bush look like Albert Einstein crossed with Will Rogers beat the most qualified candidate in American history, the leather slave curled up on the couch of his apartment in Chelsea in Manhattan. "I have a life now!" he yelled at his television. "Goddamnit, I have things I've got to get done!" He thought about his boyfriend, Joey, and all his friends. He thought about his job working with an organization for LGBTQ youths and how much things had improved for them. "It wasn't supposed to be like this," he cried on the phone to Joey, who had left the sad Clinton victory party, drunk and just wanting to go home. "We were supposed to keep moving forward. I can't go back, Joe. I can't."

Joe assured him that everything would be fine. No one knew where he was. No one knew he had been Karl Rove's leather slave. He was good, Joe said.

The leather slave didn't believe Joe. He hid in his apartment for the weekend, refusing to answer the phone or texts or even go online, anything to prevent others from discovering where he lived. Then the knocks started at his door. He pretended he wasn't home. A few hours later, the knocking started again, more insistent. A few hours after that, it was rattling the whole place. "Fuck," thought the leather slave, "fuck it. Let's get this over with."

He looked through the peephole and saw them standing there - the bloated, alcoholic visage of white nationalist gorgon Steen Bannon and the polished-to-a-sharp-evil Jared Kushner. "What do you want?" he yelled.

"You know what we want," Bannon sighed, ready to get on with things. "Come on out, or we'll buy the whole building and wreck it and then drag you out."

The leather slave decided to stay strong. He knew the White House basement well. He knew what awaited him. He knew that nothing in this stupid, selfish age of stupid, selfish people would ever last more than a few years before the devil of misdirected "change" took over like a mass hysteria. He knew he was destined to become the leather slave once again.

He opened the door and took in the scabby, sore face of Bannon and the shining vindictiveness of Kushner. Kushner held a leash and a ball gag. "You can keep your clothes on until we get to the limo," Kushner said. "Then it's the assless chaps."

The ex-leather slave, now new leather slave nodded. "We're taking you back to Trump Tower first to soften you up. You might be out of practice," Bannon explained. "And then we'll decided if you're staying here or at the White House. Don't worry. His dick is way smaller than Bush's or Cheney's."

A tear slowly trickled down his cheek, but the leather slave stepped out into the hallway. "Do what you have to do," he said. "You will anyways." And then they led him to the elevator to face the descent once again.


Note to President Obama: Blow the GOP's Shit Up

One of the things I have always faulted President Obama for is that, when it comes to his domestic political enemies, he has sought to give them the benefit of the doubt. Even when they greeted his outstretched hand by waving their dicks at him, Barack Obama has told us for most of his presidency that Republicans were honorable, rarely ever raking them over the coals, rarely impugning their motives, rarely calling out the motherfuckers for fucking their mothers. It has always been to his detriment that he has tried so hard not to demonize demons.

Even now, as Donald Trump bumblefucks his way through a bullshit transition into a sad, disastrous presidency (that he will inevitably get richer from), Obama has avoided confrontation. Now, you could say that Obama is such a decent man that he can sit with the orange prick who provoked some of the most racist responses to him and his family and try to teach that orange prick how to not blow the joint up. And you can look at Trump's gracious response to Obama and desperately seek some comfort in it, hoping that it indicates that Trump is taking his new job seriously.

But you're being a fool. And so is President Obama in this case.

What we know about Donald Trump is that he will lie and lie and lie. He will fart in your face and tell you it was a ghost. Breitbart will report it as real. And his idiot hordes will insist that they saw that flatulent specter. We also know that Trump will say whatever he thinks his audience at the time wants to hear. He said almost exactly that at some of his rallies, where the red hats replaced the brown shirts, testing something on a crowd and when they didn't respond, trying something else that got applause and cheers. That's his method: say whatever the fuck people want to hear, agree to just about anything that isn't legally binding (or that can't be overwhelmed by dickish lawsuits), and then do whatever the fuck he wants, fuck you if you don't like it. It's what he's doing right now by refilling the DC swamp with sewer water instead of draining it. Take that, rubes. And they will.

Trump is playing Obama. As much as you think Obama is flattering Trump's ego by respecting his election, Trump is using Obama's innate decency to legitimize his ascendance. It's frustrating as hell because Obama oughta be smarter than this.

Oh, sure, yeah, you can say that this is Obama's patented 11-dimensional chess game, that he's hoping all this attention will educate Trump and that, as a result, Trump won't gut the Affordable Care Act and other accomplishments of the last 8 years. Yeah, that ain't Trump. And any hope that Republicans will stand up to Trump is pure fantasy. Think of the most assholish thing they can do. Now multiply it by control of the entire government.

What Obama can do in his last couple of months in office is push Republicans into a confrontation. The easiest one is the appointment of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court under the idea that the Senate's failure to act is a kind of consent, a "we don't fuckin' care, do what you want." It's like when a president refuses to act on a bill within ten days while Congress is in session. It becomes a law, no? Presentment clause, motherfuckers. Let's take it to the Supreme Court for a decision.

Your Prankster Joe Biden memes are hilarious. But blowing up the GOP's naked hijacking of the Supreme Court would be the ultimate joke to play on these America-hating bastards.


American Eclipse, Part 4: Your White "Pain" Can Go Fuck Itself

It hasn't stopped yet, this constant thrum of voices telling us that we need to "understand" the "pain" and the "fear" of Trump voters. "We," in this case, are the ones who look at those Americans and see the most loathsome versions of ourselves, the ill-informed, the overly credulous, the willing patsies, the greedy marks, the covetous fools, and the racist shits. In order to move ahead, we must reach out to this group, we're told, that we, who supported the auto industry bailout and health care and food stamps and job retraining and addiction services, we whose liberal policies kept them from flat out dying, we are the ones who didn't get it. What a goddamned joke to tell us that we don't understand and those who tried to cut or prevent or get rid of all of those things do understand.

If a group of rabid dogs corners me in an alley in the middle of a city, the animals may take me out, but they are still dogs and I am still human. They won't let me survive because I try to pet them. (Am I comparing Donald Trump's voters to rabid dogs? Yes. Yes, I am.)

The other refrains of the weekend were the usual nonsense about what could have been done differently. Goddamn, I'm so sick of hearing about how Bernie Sanders could have beaten Trump. It's a waste of time because we have no idea how the public would have reacted to the inevitable reaming of Sanders. Hell, if we're playing Fantasy Election, you could make just as valid a bullshit argument that what really damaged Hillary Clinton was Sanders running in the first place. Think about it: most progressives might have coalesced early around Clinton and, instead of a bruising primary that ended up creating animosity among Democrats, we might have...See? It's an enormous waste of time. Do you feel any better? Of course not.

I'm gonna offer one wouldashouldacoulda that can point in a direction for Democrats: the biggest mistake that Hillary Clinton made was in choosing Tim Kaine as her running mate. Nothing against Kaine, and, yeah, yeah, the VP pick is not supposed to have that much of an effect. But it signals to groups of voters how you might end up leading. When Trump picked the odious dickscab, Mike Pence, he was telling evangelicals that they were cool with each other. Pence gave cover for a large contingent of Trump voters. By choosing Kaine, who, yeah, can speak Spanish, Clinton was mistakenly and symbolically whitening the White House.

It's time for Democrats to stop trying to appeal to a white demographic that constantly turns against it and to do everything possible to energize the non-white vote, and that means, in as many cases as it is possible, nominating and running non-white candidates. At the national level, Democrats haven't been ahead of Republicans on the white vote since 1996, when Bill Clinton got a plurality over Dole and Perot (although, you know, combined, the other two more conservative candidates got more of the white vote than Clinton).

Black voter turnout was down this election compared to 2012, which was already down compared to 2008. Obviously, having the first black candidate was a huge factor, but imagine if Hillary Clinton had picked Cory Booker or Deval Patrick as a running mate. Again, the realm of fantasy is operating here, but let's take it further. Clinton did well with the Latino vote, but she could have done better. Imagine a Julian Castro pick for vice president. For the whites who were going to vote for or against Clinton, it wouldn't have made much of a difference. But for non-whites, yeah, shitty as it is, the reality of identity politics means that it affects turnout and voting.

My friend Duke from West Virginia said something that had crossed my mind but had shoved aside as bitterness: "Fuck the white working class. Obama gave them health insurance and a chance to get new jobs and they hated him. Fuck them."

Without thinking, I immediately agreed, and as soon as I did, it made total sense. "You're right. Democrats need to abandon the white working class." By "abandon," I mean not trying to desperately court the votes of people who always vote against their best interests and against those who are trying to help them. See, Democrats don't have a working class white people problem. Working class white people have the problem. When you vote against those who are trying to help you for the very people who have harmed you, then you are not dealing with rational thought.

Yeah, that's patronizing and elitist. But nearly half of the voters in a presidential election chose the man who regularly lied to them. So you'll have to forget it if you want me to romanticize and normalize their ignorance.

By the way, that ignorance is a product of years of Republican fuckery at the local level to assure them that they do not get educated. That long game has finally paid off big time.

This is my solution, fantasy though it may be.  Devote even more resources to making sure a coalition of non-whites is united. Devote less to the hurt feelings of angry whites. Let's have this fuckin' fight for what the country is. They won this battle. Let's win the war.


American Eclipse, Part 3: Into the Dark, Alone and Together

"Yeah, and jobs in sending Morse code and driving carriages are coming back, too," my West Virginia pal Duke told me this morning. He was pissed as hell about all the people around him who are absolutely sure that Donald Trump will be able to "bring back" the coal mining industry and all the jobs that go with it. They don't want to lose their way of life, they say.

"Too fucking bad," I answered. "It's lost. That's what happens. That's the way shit goes in every business everywhere." For instance, if you take pictures on film, it's an expensive, indulgent activity done just for the sake of doing it. Talk to goddamn Kodak. No one agitated for a return to film because digital photography changed an industry. (Please don't tell me about the superiority of film to digital images. That doesn't change the point.)

Duke continued, "And other places have learned that. North Carolina shifted from textile mills and tobacco to base its economy on other things." (Note: I'm calling him "Duke" because I know that it'll irk the hell out of him. He's a UNC grad.) He went on to explain that as China moves to greater reliance on renewable, clean energy like solar and wind, far outpacing the United States in that area, demand for coal has plunged worldwide. In fact, China is overwhelming its grid with wind and solar power so quickly that it has had to slow down a bit. T

Of more direct impact on the U.S.  is the mismanagement of the entire coal industry by its corporations, not to mention the explosion of fracking giving us cheap "natural" gas. Forget it. Coal is fucking dead. "I'd love a job doing Morse code," Duke reiterated. And he would. He knows how to send messages in Morse code, which will be handy in the inevitable future of a Trump-fucked hellscape.

Then we turned, as it's impossible to avoid, to talking about the white working class voters who went for Trump. "Fuck 'em," Duke said. See, right now in West Virginia, the Obama administration is pouring millions of dollars into job retraining programs because, you know, coal is fucking dead and the government wants to help people who need to transition out of the dying industry. "I've heard people say that they don't need to get retrained because Trump is gonna bring back the coal industry."

Except Trump is not going to bring back the coal industry unless it becomes a government-dependent entity, constantly in need of funding because it can't pay its bills. Trump was lying about coal, as he was lying about most everything he claims he'll be able to do. But his voters didn't care because what Trump said spoke to their deepest desires, like a demon promising pussy and chocolate in exchange for your soul.

You need to understand this, if you understand nothing else this week: You have no idea how bad it's going to get. Trump is going to get to ram what he wants through Congress because the members will be scared shitless of Trump's idiot hordes turning on them. The easiest way to explain how fucked we are is that I'm hoping that complete dickholes like Lindsey Graham and a couple of other Republican senators are honorable enough to leave the filibuster in place.

But I'm not sure that the filibuster will be sufficient (especially when Democratic senators from states with Republican governors suddenly get sick with radiation poisoning or something). And even if a conservative Supreme Court declares some of Trump's new laws or actions unconstitutional, I guarantee you that we will see the impeachment of one or more justices.

All the norms are gone now. Everything you thought about how the government ought to be run is going to get thrown out onto its ass. You are going to see citizens dragged before congressional committees in order to face interrogation for being Muslim. You are going to see immigrants turned into scapegoats for anything that Trump wants to do that fails. You are going to see an even greater proliferation of illegal guns and the rolling back of civil rights and environmental regulations and financial industry restrictions and food safety measures. That's on top of the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Don't fucking pretend that Trump will moderate or rise above himself. He will out-Nixon Nixon in cruelty, and he will out-Bush Bush in disastrous actions. But he will out-Reagan Reagan in making it seem like he's so goddamn great despite his cruelty, incompetence, and lies.

Ask the coal miners how it's going in a couple of years. Of course, you'll probably have to communicate with them by Morse code. And they'll probably still say Trump is awesome.


American Eclipse, Part 2: Kumbaya This

Here's a story from a rude reader:

"Back in summer 2015, I was at an American Legion event in [a rural area in the Northeast]. After the event a few of the guys and I went to a local bar to have a couple beers. As the hours drifted past, the guys slowly left, and I was left alone at the bar.

"Being a quiet weeknight, I started chatting up the bartender. She was a 40-something white woman in jeans, work boots, and a flannel shirt, typical of the area, which is mostly agricultural. Eventually the conversation turned towards family, and she told me about her 20-something daughter, who worked part time at a nail salon.

"A few weeks prior, her daughter collapsed unconscious in her home. She found her daughter on the floor and called 911. They rushed her off to the ER, couldn't figure out was wrong initially, and started running tests. After a couple days in and out of various clinics and numerous tests, they found some sort of issue in her brain and operated. The mother was foggy on the exact details, but absolutely certain that her daughter nearly died and was saved by the operation.

"The next part is what blew me away. She said, 'Now, don't get me wrong, I hate that Obama, and if he were here in this bar right now, I'd shoot him right in his head.' She literally was pointing between her eyes as she said it. She continued, 'But that Obamacare, my daughter got Medicaid because of it. We can't afford health insurance and I don't know how we would have paid for that surgery without it. Obamacare saved my daughter's life.' She then went on some more about how she hated Obama. I was dumbstruck, paid my bill, and drove the fuck home."

How furious do you feel after reading that? How many of you have heard similar stories? I'm gonna bet a fuckload. And I'm gonna bet a fuckload of people who got insurance through the Affordable Care Act, either through the exchanges or through the Medicaid expansion, voted for Donald Trump and Republicans, who have vowed to make repealing the law one of their first tasks.

And when they lose their health insurance, when they get sick, and when they die and when their children die, I will laugh at them.

Does that seem harsh? I mean, I know, I know, we're all supposed to pretend the ugly months that preceded Tuesday never happened. I wish Hillary Clinton had walked up to the microphone yesterday and said, "Burn shit down. Burn down everything the misogynists built. Bring the country to its filthy knees." But, alas, both she and President Obama went with the conciliatory, healing approach, as if somehow those who have broken the country want it to heal. They don't. They want it to scar.

But, no, no, "Stop Shaming Trump Supporters," liberal rabbi Michael Lerner tells us. "The left needs to stop ignoring people’s inner pain and fear. The racism, sexism and xenophobia used by Mr. Trump to advance his candidacy does not reveal an inherent malice in the majority of Americans," he writes. This presupposes that the racism, etc. isn't intrinsic to the fear, that those who have learned and expressed and exulted in hate of others for the crime of not being white and Christian and male are somehow able to be convinced by telling them we understand their class anxiety and poverty. God, how that would be amazing. It would be even more amazing if the left hadn't just been told to take the health insurance we just got most of them and go fuck ourselves with it. And you know what sucks about being a liberal? When we get a chance, we'll be right back at it, trying to make sure these same short-sighted twat fleas can have access to medical care.

This conflagration of anger at the coalition of dumb fucks, assholes, and shitheads who voted for Trump is going to take a long time to calm down to the usual dull roar of blind rage at the fuckery of the ignorant. The idiot hordes have overrun the joint, like barbarians have ever since they evolved enough to wield clubs. Shit, most Trump voters don't have an idea of what the fuck he's gonna do, which makes them that much more pathetic.

As for Donald Trump, listen, motherfucker, it's gonna be time soon to put the fuck up or shut the fuck up, not that you'd ever shut the fuck up. And not just on the cruel and worthless things that your idiot hordes cheered you on about, like your impossible wall and your ludicrous immigration policies. No, bitch, you said you were gonna "knock the hell out of ISIS." You fuckin' better do that without dragging us into another war 'cause that's the way you said it would go down. ISIS is gleeful right now, expecting you to stumblefuck into the greatest recruitment tool since promises of sex slaves.

And you got a shit-ton of construction to do that doesn't involve a border wall. You've proposed huge infrastructure spending, saying yesterday, "We are going to fix our inner cities, and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals. We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.” But, obviously, you'll do it only in the most half-assed, bullshit, guaranteed to fail way possible because, you know, that's you, man, wasting other people's money so your tiny hands are clean and you can call yourself a winner while blaming everyone else. And let's not even get into the fact that if a Democrat had proposed a massive infrastructure plan, it would have been endlessly shit on. (To be fair, Mitch McConnell is already shitting on Trump's idea; the petulant yips of Paul "Little Bitch" Ryan can be heard in the distance.)

No, I'm not playing nice. I'm not gonna fuckin' pretend, as the country falls apart, as attacks on Muslims and others increase, as the world distances itself from us, that there was something wrong with me, that I didn't understand Trump voters' concerns, that I didn't try to elect people whose policies attempted to make their lives better. I get it. They don't.

I don't need to reach out to arsonists to understand fire.


American Eclipse, Part 1: The Ignorant Voter Gets the Bliss

There is cold comfort in a number: more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than for Donald Trump. We are supposed to hear this and take solace that over half the nation did not, in fact, vote to elect Donald Trump. That doesn't matter.

We can look at the votes for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson and wonder how many of those might have gone for Clinton, but that seems like wishful thinking since many of Johnson's votes would have likely gone for Trump or to no one at all.

In the same way, it's a fantasy that Bernie Sanders would have done better against Trump. No poll was ever conducted after a sustained barrage of attacks from the GOP and Trump because such a barrage was never necessary.

We can find hope in small things that are not insignificant, like the Democratic gains in the Senate and the House, but that does little to stem the tide of the Republican wins overall.

We can tell ourselves lies that give us succor. Perhaps Donald Trump won't lead the country in the same way that he campaigned, that he will moderate, that mythical pivot we awaited for so long. What nonsense. Trump is a 70 year-old hedonist who thrives on petty vengeance, race-baiting, power plays, and wealth-flaunting. That won't change just because he's president now.

I watched the results come in last night and early this morning, and I realized that I knew nothing. I had been predicting a Clinton victory for over 2 years. Sure, I had said that Trump was going to be the GOP nominee shortly after he announced his candidacy, but the only chance I gave him for winning was some kind of cataclysmic revelation about Clinton. I knew, hell, we all knew that the nation is a steaming cauldron of racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and piggish individualism pretending to be a governing ideology. I thought that there would be a critical mass of people who despised the first four and who were so invested in the last that they would realize a Trump win would wreck their pocketbooks.

We need to lay the blame for this election and its consequences where it clearly should be, and that's at the feet of the voters. Trump voters decided that no amount of outright lies, no amount of outrageous statements, no amount of personal attacks, no amount of rampant egotism, no amount of ignorance of basic policy, nothing, was more important than what Trump promised them: a return to purity, a nation purged of its undesirables, a righting of a social order that had lost its hierarchical arrangement of groups of people, an isolation from the world unless other countries pay for the protection racket, and money, baby, shitloads of money.

Today, I've gotten into several arguments with people who keep insisting to me that voters wanted "change." My response is always "Change from what?" From the way things are going, they say. "How are they going?" I ask. You know, the way things are bad, they tell me. "What's bad? Crime is down overall, unemployment is down, the deficit is way down. What do they want change from?" And that's the end of the conversation because they can't articulate what people wanted change from other than "the way things are done in Washington."

Ah, dear, sweet, victorious, rancid motherfuckers who voted for Trump, how is it you do not know that the reason that things aren't "done" in Washington is that Republicans allow virtually nothing to pass through Congress? It's because the media has shattered into ideological shards that we pick and gather to form whatever narrative we need to soothe whatever prejudices we might have. Put simply, we don't read or watch the same things anymore. So Trump voters were fed a steady stream of glorification of their candidate, horrific conspiracies about Clinton and President Obama, and, at the end of the day, it was just easier to believe that than to believe that their dearest prejudices and hatreds were simply wrong. Trump was the embodiment of all their fears, a cult leader who was not only entertaining but whose language seemed to imply that to vote for him is to join a group of insiders who really understand how the world works, a counter to the intellectuals and politicians who kept saying they shouldn't be so goddamned afraid all the time. The ignorant have had their say, loudly and ignorantly, and we must suffer their reign.

But we have to acknowledge another simple truth: Democrats just didn't show up. Roughly 7 million fewer people voted in 2016 than in 2012 for the two major candidates. That's an outrage. If you voted for Barack Obama in 2012 and you didn't vote for Clinton in 2016, you wasted your vote in 2012 (and perhaps 2008). Obama's accomplishments are going to be erased faster than you can say, "Pre-existing condition."

I'm tired, rude readers. There is no out here. There is no cathartic thing to be done. I will get to acceptance, I'm sure. But here is denial. Tomorrow, anger, maybe bargaining and depression, followed, I hope, by acceptance. And then a long break.

Here is our country now: In Cookeville, Tennessee, on Monday night, a pickup truck owned by a transgender woman who had served for 8 years in the military was set on fire. The word "Trump" was painted on the wreckage in two places. The woman was home with her 3 year-old son. She had been discharged from the Army after suffering a brain injury in Iraq in 2007. This is America, same as it ever was.

The planets have aligned for Trump -  the hatred of the black president, the hatred of the woman who dared to try to take his place, the hatred of everyone who made the country less white and more tolerant. Trump has risen and he will eclipse the light over the country, making it a cold, desolate place.


Voting: A Romance

I walked into my local middle school to vote this morning. It wasn't too crowded, although it was definitely busier than usual. The table for my precinct was being worked by the expected elderly local residents, the typical rainbow that makes up my neighborhood, an Indian man, a Hispanic woman, and a Chinese man. I heard the Chinese man speak fluent Spanish, English, and, well, Mandarin in the ten minutes I was in line.

There were more mothers there with their little girls than I've ever seen. They took their daughters into the voting booth, and I knew exactly what the grown-ups were doing: making sure their children know that you can actually vote for a woman for president, a woman who will likely win. She'll certainly win this state.

After I voted, and I'm one of those geeky voters who has some idea about the down ballot elections and the referendums, I walked out of the booth. I asked the old Indian man for a sticker, and he laughed. "We don't have stickers," he said. "You know you voted." He was right. I didn't need to show off (but I kind of wanted the sticker).

I'm fairly sure that Hillary Clinton is going to win tonight. I have to believe that, in total, we're a smarter nation than one that would elect Donald Trump. But we're dumb enough to have nominated him.

Yes, we can say that we did our part, we who voted, to save nearly half of the United States from itself. But what comes next, after the election, after the hangover, aches with the nausea of uncertainty. Will we be able to vomit out the poison in our system, or will we just go on as usual, hoping we can build a tolerance like we have so many elections before?

Posting Late

Yeah, yeah, it's been a hell of a day. Back tonight with more Clinton-winning rudeness.


The Rude Case for Hillary Clinton (Part 2: A Mom's Perspective)

From Deborah S.: To quote the late, great Amy Winehouse, “What kind of fuckery is this?” Seriously, what the fucking fuckery is this? I was taking the unending election fuckery in stride until it started to affect my millennial children. Yeah, mother bear has been threatened and this bitch is pissed. Leave my cubs alone, motherfucker. Yes, of course, I am referring to the orange-tinged, anus-mouthed clown.

As any well-educated liberal can tell you, we are so proud when our spawn come around to our way of thinking and take an interest in something other than themselves. God bless you, Bernie Sanders, for motivating my 20-something kids to get into politics, give a shit about their future, and see how they can play a role and possibly make a difference. Thank you again to the benevolent Bernie for supporting Hillary and encouraging my kids to follow the yellow brick road. (Once a kid believes in something, like Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy or Bernie, it is just crushing when that fantastical reality vaporizes. “My life is a lie," “I’m depressed and need meds," etc.)

So my kids are on the Hillary bandwagon, feeling like life once again has meaning, and then the buffoonish Hitler, buffered by Comey-induced idiocracy and neighbors who steal our Clinton/Kaine signs, start to become overwhelmed with anxiety that a Trump presidency could become a reality. (No, I’m not sharing my Xanax or stash of indica… How did you guys know about that anyway?)

This endless political tragicomedy is causing severe anxiety. My pacifistic angels, my empathetic offspring now feel that what they are so passionate about could be taken away in less than 36 hours. The world that was so carefully cultivated for them, and so honorably represented by the Obama family, is teetering on the edge.

Trying to compare this to my feelings about a Reagan presidency and how we made it through those precarious times is small comfort. History books, their only frame of reference, make Reagan into some kind of political icon and hero of the free world. “Look,” my son says as he visits the remains of the Berlin Wall. “Reagan brought this down.”

My kids realize that Trump isn’t bringing down any walls. And he certainly isn’t building any bridges, or saving the planet, or affording women and minorities the respect and rights that they are entitled to. They see him for what he is, and they are more than anxious; they are afraid. And there is nothing I can do to make them feel better, except to encourage them to vote, and to encourage their friends to vote, and to stand strong for what they believe in, and keep the faith that Americans will do the right thing. We have to believe that the educated, hard-working, pragmatists will stand up and be heard and overcome the ignorant, crazy, lazy Trump followers.

I wish a hug and a kiss were still enough to make them feel better. If there were Clinton/Kaine band-aids, I would cover my kids in them like armor and send them to the polls with the feeling of excitement and anticipation that they had when they voted in the Democratic primary. All I can do is tell them that everything will be OK. Stay faithful. Everything will be OK.

Or we’ll sell the house and move to Canada.

The Rude Case for Hillary Clinton (Part 1)

And so we come to the end of this indecent campaign, one that has degraded us as a nation and as individuals, one that has amped up to ear-splitting all the things that made the last few election cycles so despicable, not so much an exercise in democracy but an exercise in endurance, like 600 days of hazing where your reward at the end of being whipped and spit on and forced to eat dog food until you vomit is you get to go on living with the very people who laughed as you shit yourself. Through it all, through the long-forgotten "Bernie Bros" and the heartening sight of watching Ted Cruz take off his pants while Trump laughed at his dick, we on the left have had to hear from our comrades that they are just agonizing about voting for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in order to stop Republican candidate and rotting poison factory Donald Trump.

"She's in the pocket of Wall Street," we heard. "She is too hawkish." Both are significant and important complaints against Clinton, with real world consequences. And while it would be easy to simply dismiss them with, "Yeah, but what are you gonna do?" I'd rather acknowledge it and say, "I hear you. But those don't overcome the reasons why I am gladly voting for her."

For me, voting for Hillary Clinton comes down to four things, all of equal significance.

1. Supreme Court picks. If Republicans get to choose the next two or three Supreme Court justices, then the nation is fucked for at least a generation. Even as conservative as the court has been, even as it has dicked over our politics with Citizens United, helped make guns flow freely like sewage in a canal, shit on the workers' rights and immigrant rights, and more, it could be far, far worse. A shift of one justice, one Ginsberg, with a Republican president, and it's goodbye Roe v. Wade, goodbye First Amendment protections, goodbye environmental regulations, goodbye Affordable Care Act. Any liberal goal you want, dear, deluded Jill Stein voters, is over if the court shifts any further right. That ain't hyperbole. That's the stated goal of Republicans: reverse a bunch of shit that has made the nation progress. (Note: since Republicans have decided to continue being dickheads about the court if Clinton wins, get the fuck out and vote to change the Senate.)

2. Climate change. This one is about as easy as it gets. Only one candidate understands the reality of our fucked beyond fucked climate while the other wants to break any agreements on the reduction of carbon emissions and end federal funding of clean energy development. If you want anything done to at least slow down the rising seas and extreme weather, you have to vote for Clinton or you're saying, "Yeah, I don't a give a fuck because Killary is something-something-I-wrote-in-Bernie-because-I'm-a-self-indulgent-douche." The one issue that matters more than any other this election, the one that crosses so many other issues, like economic stability, treatment of the races, class divisions, hunger and poverty, was swallowed into the vortex of emails and Trump's buffoon show. This one is goddamn life and death.

3. First woman president. No, I don't wanna fuckin' hear from Democrats, "I think we should elect a woman president, but not this one." Because of

4. Character. Yeah, motherfuckers, character. Here's the deal: You know what character is? Character is when you come from a middle class background, work your way through an elite education, get involved in the feminist movement, become a lawyer, work for civil rights and for liberal political candidates, marry a guy who becomes a governor then not a governor then governor again, and then stay by him when he runs for president while every woman the guy ever fucked is paraded in front of you, get attacked because you're not some traditional Betty Crocker-approved housewife dancing with the washing machine, become First Lady and, because you tried to get health insurance to all Americans, you are ripped to shit by Republicans and not a few Democrats, had every financial transaction you ever made pored over by special prosecutors and the Justice Department, been accused of murder, accused of cocaine-fueled lesbian orgies, accused of being a Lady Macbeth, accused of every sin depraved cocksuckers could think of, and still stood there when your husband, the motherfuckin' president, had his dick dragged out to be pilloried for two years, and when you could have just told everyone to go fuck off, you immediately ran for the Senate, won, and worked for firefighters and veterans, working with the very ratfuckers who tried desperately to destroy you, ran for president only to be defeated by a younger man, the kind of thing that has happened to women in the workplace since forever, agreed to be the younger man's Secretary of State, worked your tits off to bring the United States back to sanity in the world in the wake of the ass-fucking that George W. Bush had committed, only to see yourself dragged constantly before the some of the same and some new cocksuckers and accused of every fuckin' crime they could conjure out of even your farts in the wind, left office and joined your husband working for a foundation that has done unalloyed good in the world, only to see those cocksuckers degrade your work, and, sure, yeah, you made some money, like your husband had, especially since these same cocksuckers had driven you into millions of dollars in debt for trying to get you indicted, ran for president again because you have shit you want to get done, shit you've been working on your whole life, shit that you think will make people's lives better and more secure, facing down another man, while a new generation of voters only knew you as that "corrupt" and "criminal" woman who somehow had never been arrested or indicted for a crime, but you push on, and find that, finally, at last, as the Democratic nominee, you are forced to run against a walking, breathing obscenity, a megalomaniac who calls you "the devil" and vows to have you put in jail if he's elected, who undermines everything that you have ever fought for, going back to those feminist core beliefs 50 years ago, and facing a media that won't let go of the past, that acts like any act you commit must somehow be corrupt and criminal to an infinite degree, and you have overcome all that, all those lies told by liars, all that hate spouted by the ignorant and the opportunistic, those who want to write the crimes of the last 25 years on you, even though you have taken responsibility and admitted wrong for every mistake along the way, even for those things that weren't mistakes, you are not only still in the race, but are going to, in all likelihood, win.

Yeah. That's who I want for president. At the end of this brutal campaign, I will walk into that booth tomorrow and vote for Clinton not because I want to say, "Fuck you" to Donald Trump and all his voters and all their shit beliefs. But because I want to vote for this woman.


Last Note to Trump Voters: You Are Wrong and You Are Shit and Your Candidate Is Shit

If you want to waste some time in sad bemusement, you can read recent columns by open-hearted progressives and depressed conservatives, desperately trying to convince voters for Republican candidate and human whoopee cushion Donald Trump to change their minds. In the Washington Post, for instance, former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson begs like a bitch, "In the end, a Trump victory would normalize the belief that the structures of self-government are unequal to the crisis of our time." Over in the New York Times, Thomas Friedman reaches out his friend hand to the Trumpsters: "I understand why many Trump supporters have lost faith in Washington and want to just 'shake things up.'" But, Friedman assures them, Trump's "policies won’t help them. Trump promises to bring their jobs back. But most of their jobs didn’t go to a Mexican. They went to a microchip." It's so kind of them to try to help their fellow Americans make such an important decision.

However, none of these rational editorials rationally laying out how irrational a vote for Trump is even approach understanding the Trump voter. They miss one big goddamn thing: The very things they think should convince sane people to turn against Trump are the very things that Trump voters love about their orange cult leader. You aren't dealing with anyone with reasonable intelligence or the ability to process logic, so stop trying.  Trump voters are shit humans, so obviously they want a shit human for president. And your oh-so-good points about how terrible Trump is are wasted on such shit.

You can show Trump voters articles by every economist under the sun about how Trump's economic policies will bring about another recession, and they'll tell you that your so-called "experts" don't know anything and Trump knows all. That goes for just about any other policy. Of course, Trump will build the wall and have Mexico pay for it. Of course, Trump will knock the hell out of ISIS. Of course, Trump will bring back manufacturing jobs. Of course, Trump will make coal central to the energy policy of the nation. Of course, Trump will round up all undocumented immigrants and send them back to their countries. Of course, we have to figure out "what the hell is going on" with Muslims, who all know what every other Muslim is doing always. And if other countries have a problem with how Trump handles things like NATO or torture, well, fuck them for not also believing in Trump. That's what nukes are for.

For Trump voters, his behavior as a shit human being makes no difference. His "grab them by the pussy" remarks were just friendly "locker room talk" and meaningless, and every single one of those women accusing him of sexual assault are lying about him or exaggerating or wanted it. His Trump University troubles are lies made up by a liberal media that has always been out to get him and should be punished. Those people he didn't pay for things like chandeliers or pianos or whatever for his hotels or country clubs didn't do a good job and didn't deserve full pay. And why the fuck should he have to release his taxes like every other major party candidate since the 1970s? Besides, they're under audit. Didn't you hear what the man said?

And I don't wanna hear how I need to "understand" where Trump voters are coming from. I know where they come from. I know them. I lived in three states that are going to go for Trump. I've got skin in this game.

Earlier this week, one of my oldest, dearest friends posted on Facebook that he had voted. He wouldn't say for whom, but "I'll just say that I hope he wins."

"Please tell me you voted for Gary Johnson. He's a fucking moron, but at least he doesn't have a chance of winning," I said to him when I called him.

"No, of course I voted for Trump," he answered. "Or, as I like to call him, 'Reagan 2.'"

I responded, "Oh, a sequel. So you mean a shitty version of the original where the same things happen, except worse and stupider." Now, what went through my mind at that moment was that Reagan was a national nightmare, a fucking ghoul wearing the skin suit of a kindly grandpa, another shit human who at least did a couple of decent things, like grant amnesty to immigrants and raise taxes to save Social Security, things that Trump has specifically said he wouldn't do.

"Okay, more like Godfather II," my friend said, implying a sequel that was superior to the original.

"Yeah, I could totally see Trump having Fredo killed after faking that he forgave him," I said.

By now, we've all had discussions with relatives, friends, co-workers, Facebook fucknuts, all of whom have told us with the same glazed eyes or barely coherent comment threads that they want Trump to shake things up or some such nonsense, usually followed by how Hillary Clinton is a criminal, and if you try to point out that Clinton has never been charged with anything after all of the investigations of her while Trump has had to pay fines because he broke the law and has more lawsuits coming, they won't care. They won't care about the Russia ties. They won't care about the FBI's fuckery. They won't care. You are a fool to talk to them about it anymore. They are lost in a shit-tide that they want to be a shit-wave that covers the entire nation in shit.

So my final words to them are this: You are wrong. Everything you believe is wrong. It isn't just that it conflicts with my ideology. It's that you are factually, demonstrably wrong, about Hillary Clinton, about Barack Obama, about Donald Trump, and your candidate consistently, flagrantly lies. He is utter shit. The fact that you don't care about this makes you shit. You should be whipped out of the public sphere like vermin-infested dogs until you only occupy the hinterlands and can live in your compounds of shit. The rest of us are done with you.

I am going into this election with my eyes wide open to my candidate's flaws. That makes me more honorable than the lot of you combined. So take your pathetic hatred of everything that has helped America progress and fuck yourself with it.

Adios, motherfuckers. The country is about to tell you to fuck off. And when next Tuesday is over, crawl back to your deplorable lives, eat shit, and disappear.


Republicans Love Power But Not Democracy

Barring some event that causes mass brain damage and brings about the Even Greater Stupiding of voters, Hillary Clinton is going to be elected president next Tuesday. That will make the third election in a row where the Democrat won the presidency. That's three times that the citizens of the United States were asked whether they would prefer the Republican and they responded, "Uh, no. In fact, fuck no." For the most part, those voters are pretty clear about what they voted for: among other things, they trust the Democrat to set the foreign policy of the nation, to use the military wisely, to work with Congress to pass legislation, and to appoint judges, including Supreme Court justices. We don't expect the president to get everything she wants. But there is an expectation that the Congress would recognize that they have to be partners with the co-equal executive branch in order to simply get shit done.

The whole fuckin' thing breaks down if the legislative branch just says, "Fuck off, executive branch. The door is slammed shut."

So when you read that more and more Republicans in the Senate, who are currently crossing their pudgy arms and stomping their widdle feet and saying, "Ain't no-way, no-how will we consider an Obama Supreme Court pick," have vowed to not consider any nominations from a President Hillary Clinton, well, that shit is about as dangerous as it gets to democracy. It's one thing to filibuster a nominee, as 25 Democrats voted to do (unsuccessfully) for Samuel Alito in 2006. But in that case, it was after confirmation hearings had taken place. And those supporting the filibuster weren't saying that any nomination from George W. Bush was dead on arrival. No, they were saying that even a disastrous fucknut like Bush would have his Supreme Court nominations considered. Republicans won't even allow for Merrick Garland to be heard from in a committee room.

We've got scumfeeder Senator Richard Burr of the desperately-trying-to-unfuck-itself state of North Carolina saying in a private meeting, "If Hillary Clinton becomes president, I am going to do everything I can do to make sure four years from now, we still got an opening on the Supreme Court." You got that? Another way to put that is that the majority of voters in North Carolina get to overthrow the will of the people of the entire nation when it comes to the Supreme Court. Burr has been joined by unprincipled motherfuckers Ted "I Love the Smell of Trump Ass in the Morning" Cruz and John "Clawing at the Edge of the Cliffs of Relevancy" McCain in saying fuck any Democratic president when it comes to the justices. McCain walked it back a bit, but that's the kind of weaseling we expect from that asshole.

This shit makes no sense at all. If Republicans refuse to allow a vote on Supreme Court justices from a Democratic president, why wouldn't Democrats do the same to a Republican president?

Republicans are scared shitless of the realities of democracy. We see that in their almost comically racist attempts at suppressing voter turnout through bullshit i.d. laws. We see that when they make the filibuster a regular part of legislative action so that they have eliminated the ability of a simple majority to pass anything in the Senate. We saw it back in the Bill Clinton presidency when they sought to eject him from office for the limpest of reasons. We saw it in the constant attempts to strip Barack Obama of legitimacy.

What all this has done is make the nutzoids and dumbshits that make up the GOP voter coalition completely mistrust that democracy works. If everything the opposition does is a cataclysmic event ready to bring on an apocalyptic nightmare of zombies, terrorists, and government health care, then obviously you'd believe that elections are rigged and evil agents are trying to steal your lovely country from your innocent hands. Donald Trump has succeeded in working his followers into a fever pitch by promising them shit that he couldn't do even if he was elected and telling them that if he loses, it's only because bankers or someone are working against him. What the fuck are they gonna think about democracy if their Trump godhead doesn't ascend to his White House iron throne?

And the other obvious outcome here is to say that the only way government can function is if one party completely controls it. That's cool when your party is in power. But it ain't very cool when your party is in the minority and out of the presidency. Then we get to widespread suppression of dissent and other nasty things.

Democracy is supposed to ensure that people have to compromise. Once that ends, once even the chance of that ends, which is what Republicans are doing, then democracy is fuckin' doomed, man.


Brief Note to Anti-Semites for Trump: Your Candidate Is More of a "Jew" Than Any Real Jew

One of the ugliest things in this ugly campaign has been the upsurge in anti-Semitism in support of Republican candidate and rotting butternut squash with legs Donald Trump. It's not that anti-Semitism ever went away, but it was confined to the nether regions of the internet and Idaho until Trump allowed their Nazi freak flag to fly.

Obviously, almost all of it is just pathetic trolling, especially when it comes to Twitter threats of gas chambers or concentration camps against journalists or, really, anyone with a vaguely Jewish-sounding name writing or saying anything anti-Trump. Then there are the anti-Semites who are a little more active, your "Jew-S-A" chanters, your bumper sticker and button sellers, or your white supremacists getting violent at Trump rallies.

Hell, I'm barely Jewish. I was raised Jewish, but I'm a stone-cold atheist who can't remember the last time he was at a synagogue. I have relatives who died at Auschwitz and some who survived (and moved to Australia). I make a mean chicken soup, but, in all honesty, that's about it as far as that heritage goes. And I've been attacked by the frog-faced Nazis on Twitter. I've been sent images of ridiculously grotesque money-craving Jews by Trump voters, usually cleverly calling themselves "deplorable."

Trump himself has trafficked in conspiracy theories about international bankers and the media that stink of Stormfront or other anti-Semitic websites. Speaking last December to a small group of Republican Jewish leaders, Trump really did say, "Is there anyone in this room who doesn't renegotiate deals? Probably 99% of you. Probably more than any room I've ever spoken in...I'm a negotiator, like you folks." And he really did add, "But you're not going to support me because I don't want your money...You want to control your own politicians." In other words, the worst stereotypes are what Trump sees when he looks at a room full of Jewish people.

What's utterly, sadly hilarious here is that, if you look at his business career, Donald Trump has committed nearly all the sins that anti-Semites pin on Jews.

He routinely weasels out of his debts, and he forces people to accept less money than agreed to or sometimes none at all.

He takes money from other people, launders it through his foundation, and uses it to pay his debts.

He manipulates and perhaps breaks the law to save every penny he can when it comes to his taxes.

He welshes on promises to charity and claims credit for donations he never made.

International banking? Putting aside Putin love, Trump is allegedly working with Russian financiers on some of his properties.

As far as controlling the media, let's see what happens after the election.

In other words, Donald Trump is more of a "Jew" than pretty much any actual Jew.  The obvious point here is that those things ascribed to Jews aren't particularly Jewish. But, of course, you anti-Semites are goddamned blind fools and are probably fine with Trump because his nose is as small as his hands.


What Exactly Do Trump Voters Think Needs Changing?

"Today we live in a world of terror, madmen, and missiles," the Republican candidate says in the ad. "Our military is challenged by aging weapons and low morale." He goes on to tell us about the "dangerous world" and how "I will rebuild our military. I will move quickly to defend our country" and have a foreign policy "driven by American interests and American values." In another ad for the Republican candidate, a female voice says that the Democrat is "pushing a big government plan that lets Washington bureaucrats interfere" with your medical decisions. Yet one more commercial talks about how the Democrat is a liar who has engaged in unethical activity.

In case you didn't figure it out or are too lazy to click on the link up there, the ads were from the 2000 campaign of Republican George W. Bush against the Democrat and sitting Vice President Al Gore. It's instructive to look back on that election not just because of the fuckery of an idiot man-child being seen as the equivalent of a lifelong public servant, but because, after eight years of the Clinton administration, where the economy was saved from a recession and thrived, where the old conflicts that used to define foreign policy were put to rest, and where an intransigent Republican opposition sought to delegitimize the entire presidency (and end it) and failed miserably, Republicans had to figure out just what the fuck they were running against. Peace? Prosperity?

While there is always a segment of the population that ain't gonna vote for the opposing party no-way, no-how, Bush had to convince a significant number of people that it was against their interests to continue all the good shit that had been going on (and, for the sake of this argument, we're gonna leave out welfare reform, NAFTA, DOMA, and other dubious shit that Bill Clinton did because Republicans actually supported that). What do you say? Well, Bush went with the usual Republican script: Democrats are a bunch of pussies and big government is gonna rape your dog and force you to buy generic prescriptions.

Oh, and there was one other element that Bush used. It was kind of brilliant. See, for the first time in ages, not only was the budget balanced, but the government was running a surplus of a couple of trillion dollars. Bush just outright fuckin' bribed people. If he becomes president, he said, "I believe that once priorities have been funded we should pass money back to the taxpayers" in the form of tax cuts, if not just cash money. It didn't occur to enough people that a Democrat was the one who set the economy on the road to a surplus. No, that bastard Gore was just gonna throw around cash like a coked-up Air National Guardsman at a whorehouse in Houston: "Al Gore plans to spend it all. And more."

And, yes, yes, I know, Bush didn't really "win" in 2000. He sure as shit lost the popular vote, and he was dicked over in Florida. But it shouldn't have been close. Anyone paying attention at all should have thought, "Whoa, whoa, things are going pretty fuckin' good right now. Why the fuck should I change that?" Instead, Bush's campaign convinced a not-insignificant number of people "Whoa, whoa, things are going pretty fuckin' good right now. Fuck it. Let's let that dry drunk dumbass run the show for a while so I'll get paid. Infrastructure can go fuck itself."

Now we face a starkly similar situation. Republican candidate and cartoon wombat Donald Trump has campaigned on a vague promise of "change" and how voters shouldn't want things to be like they've been for the last eight years. And for some fucked-up reason, people believe him. It's as if the long period of job creation, rescuing the country from the brink of collapse, and mostly ending two bullshit wars is utterly meaningless (and that's not even getting into the things that Democrats support, like Obamacare and expanded LGBT rights).

Republicans act like saying that "Hillary Clinton is four more years of Obama" is a threat. How'd it work out for us in 2000, huh? How about we not indulge our animal urge for change for the sake of saying that we changed. How about we not just roll the fuckin' dice and see how it turns out.