The State of the Union Is Nasty, Brutish, and White

When President Donald Trump undulated up to the lectern in front of the Congress, his cabinet, and a few Supreme Court justices, along with guests and media, to give his first State of the Union address, the question wasn't so much what he would say but how he would say it. Would he point out Democrats and say, "Hey, Pocahantas! Howyadoin, Cryin' Chuck!" or would he turn around and tell Pence and Ryan to smell his fingers and say, "Yeah, who's got two tiny thumbs and has been grabbin' pussies? This guy"? Or would it be the presidential president who shows he can president just like any president by pretending for a short while that he isn't completely barking mad and can read a teleprompter without gagging on his dentures?

What we got was 90 minutes of tedium, self-aggrandizement, and the vision of a nation that is one Trump away from teetering into murder and rape and war and anarchy, where gangs of "illegal immigrants" roam the streets and kill and rob at will, where North Korea is an existential threat and must be stopped no matter what the cost, where the only good that government can do is to stop taking money and to completely gut social programs, and where loyalty to the president is more important than loyalty to the country. Trump might have made pretty noises about the good of the "people," but their goodness or greatness is only measured relative to what they do to make real Trump's fantasy vision of a racially purer citizenry with a uniform ideology of American capitalism above everything except race.

How fucking racist was the speech? Trump spent more time talking about evil Latino immigrant criminals and the MS-13 gang than he did about the ongoing disaster in Puerto Rico, which he mentioned once in passing. He savagely exploited the mourning of two sets of parents whose teenage children were killed by gang members, describing how "These two precious girls were brutally murdered while walking together in their hometown" as their parents sobbed in the gallery. It was gruesome and cruel, even if the parents came their of their own volition. It's gruesome and cruel whenever any president trots out the people in pain as props.

Trump pushed the buttons that have made white supremacists thrilled at the speech, calling the killers "illegal, unaccompanied alien minors." It's a little like saying that Jeffrey Dahmer and Ed Gein were both "white people from Wisconsin." That might be true, but it ain't why they were into carving people up. And, to completely shit all over immigrants brought here as children, he exclaimed that "Americans are dreamers, too." No shit. And when you name a fucking bill after them, it'd be appropriate to say that. It couldn't have been clearer at that moment that for Trump, for the mindlessly cheering Republican teat-suckers, "American" means "white."

The savage racism didn't end there. Democrats actually audibly jeered when Trump said of immigration, "Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives," using the term "chain migration" instead of "family reunification."

First off, it's a complete fucking lie. Second, Trump's goddamn mother came to this country at age 19 after her sisters were already here. The only reason it wasn't "chain migration" that brought her here is that it didn't exist in the early 20th century for people from Scotland. It gets worse. Trump said, "The United States is a compassionate nation. We are proud that we do more than any other country anywhere in the world to help the needy, the struggling, and the underprivileged all over the world" before saying, essentially, "But fuck all that noise. We gotta care about our poors." Putting aside that the United States doesn't come close to doing more than any country for refugees and others, let's go back to Mama Trump. She arrived from Scotland in May 1930, when the fuckin' Great Depression was dream-raping America. Mama Trump came here because the economy of Scotland was fucked and there was no work. And what did Mama Trump do when she got here? Did she say, "Oh, no, please, hire Americans before me"? Fuck no. She got jobs as a maid and a nanny.

In other words, Donald Trump's mother was an immigrant who literally took jobs from poor citizens. But I'm sure it's okay because she was from a white shithole country and not a dark one.

On it went, with Trump deliberately tossing applause bombs for the Republicans that he knew the Democrats would stay seated for, things like explaining "why we proudly stand for the National Anthem," or that black unemployment is at a low. You can see the ads where Nancy Pelosi won't stand when Trump mentions the flag or some such shit.

On it went, with Trump hoping to undermine the civil service protections of government employees and make them apparatchiks to the whims of the administration: "I call on Congress to empower every Cabinet Secretary with the authority to reward good workers and to remove federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people." Somewhere in Hell, Mussolini called across the shit-and-razor pool to Hitler and said, "Get a load of this motherfucker." Stalin, getting burnt to a crisp in the flame-thrower tanning booth, gave a shaky thumbs up.

On it went, and it was like the goddamn thing would never end, with Trump lying about the auto industry, lying about coal mining, lying about trade deals, lying about funding infrastructure, lying about regulations holding back businesses, lying, lying, lying. George W. Bush was a lying son of a bitch, but at least the lies were mixed in with truth. With Trump, it's lies to support other lies, lies as the foundation and lies as the decoration, the extravagant dispersal of lies for the sake of just fucking lying, just for shits and giggles, just because no one who matters to these evil pricks and cunts would ever call them out for lying, and, if they do, well, they can be lied about, too.

On it went, with Trump parading out Ji Seong-ho, the Korean man who lost his limbs doing torturous work in North Korea, eventually escaping from there. Trump used him as an example of the cruelty of that nation and as an example of someone who converted to Christianity. Which was all fine, except for the fact that Ji is a fierce advocate for the rights of the disabled, something that Trump completely ignored, possibly because his assault on the Affordable Care Act will harm many disabled people. Oh, and also, Trump and, indeed, the United States had not a goddamn thing to do with Ji's escape and later successful life. He was there just as a propaganda tool, sadly, for what is seeming more and more like an inevitable war with Kim Jong-un.

Goddamn, what a sad, pathetic drone of a speech. What a deliberately cruel and calculatedly triumphalist bore. The only thing worse was when Republicans chanted, "USA!" repeatedly at the end, as if they needed reminding of who really runs the joint.

Oddly, Trump only mentioned Russia once, in passing, as one of many "rivals."


What Did That Dumb Orange Motherfucker Say to That Dumb British Motherbuggerer?

President Donald Trump being interviewed by Piers Morgan is like watching Komodo dragons fucking, all squawks and scratching and poisoned drool, the scaly flesh-slapping sounds as the corpse-devouring creatures fling their savage tails and flick their forked tongues, not so much a sex act as a grim reminder that sometimes fucking looks like slow murder.

It's not like Morgan was going to actually challenge Trump on anything, having been a Celebrity Apprentice winner, an honor that's up there with "Only the Third Worst Asshole I've Ever Met." If that had been the case, Trump wouldn't have dared done the ITV interview. And while Morgan rarely descended to Hannity-like levels of sycophantic analingus, he certainly didn't hesitate to plunge his face up against Trump's taint and nuzzle. (Example: "I like your tweets. I like the kind of unfettered access to the President’s mind in real time." Mmmm, yummy taint sweat.) That said, of course, Morgan could speak in complete sentences, with logical progression and decent syntax, unlike his guest, who, we should be reminded, is the goddamn president of the United States.

Of course, the whole interview started with Trump saying the same shit about his electoral college victory, which was like 15 months ago. And then he bragged about the stock market: "We’re doing incredibly on an economic basis. Financial – stock market just hit another new high. We’ve had 84 – since the election – 84 new market highs. Think of that. It’s incredible. It’s never happened before. It’s a record. That in itself is a record."

Trump is so ready to take credit for shit that was already going on when it comes to the economy. If he were on a relay team and the other three runners built up a huge lead before handing off to Trump, he's the kind of dickhole who would claim the victory is just because of him. You were fuckin' lucky you had a head start, you lumpy bitch. The stock market is hitting records because the Obama recovery nearly tripled the value of the Dow Jones. Unemployment is low because it dropped tremendously under Obama. Just because you tossed some parsley on the plate doesn't mean you cooked the dish.

But that would require perspective and reflection and not dullard ego-yelps, which is all that Trump traffics in. Asked about the Women's March, Trump proclaims, "You know, I won many categories of women and the women vote in the election, and people were shocked to see it. I was running against a woman and I’m winning all of these categories." Well, one category: White women.

When Morgan asked Trump about his British heritage (Trump's mother was born in Scotland - yeah, she was an immigrant), of course, Trump turned it into a fucking commercial for his golf courses: "I own the great Turnberry and other things in your country – Turnberry in Scotland...I also have a great situation over in Ireland in Doonbeg over there. And of course Turnberry… that’s the Mona Lisa, one of the great Mona Lisas of the world in terms of sport and golf, and I own Turnberry." Yes, he called his fucking golf course a "Mona Lisa."

But what does Trump think of his mother? "I love the UK. I have a special – maybe because it’s my mother, who I thought was one of the great people I’ve ever known." Trump has called Rupert Murdoch, Michael Flynn, David Perdue, Steve Ross, and others "one of the great people" he's known, so it's really good company there.

The one moment when Morgan actually seemed to catch Trump off-guard was regarding the racist Britain First videos that Trump retweeted. Confronted on it, Trump sounded like every tween caught with porn: "But this was...I didn’t do it, I didn’t go out and...I did a retweet. It was a big story where you are, but it was not a big story where I am." This led to his well-quoted non-apology: "Here’s what’s fair. If you’re telling me these are horrible people, horrible racist people, I would certainly apologize if you’d like me to do that. I know nothing about them." Trump wants you to know that he's too fucking stupid to understand what's going on, but, hey, if you're telling him something, then you are definitely telling him something: "I don’t want to be involved with people, but you’re telling me about these people, because I know nothing about these people."

The rest was the classic Trump we've all come to know and hate. There was the embarrassing shit, like when Morgan asked him about his relationship with French President Emmanuel Macron: "I like him. He’s a friend of mine. Em-man-u-el! He’s a great guy, his wife is fantastic. I like him a lot. You know, we had dinner at the top of the Eiffel Tower."

There was the inability to get beyond a repeated talking point, as on the issue of guns: "I’m a very big Second Amendment person...I’m a Second Amendment person. I think you need it for security. I think it would be far worse. I think you need it for security...I believe in the Second Amendment."

And, obviously, there was the blindingly ignorant shit, all tossed with outright lies, as when he said about the fucked climate, "There is a cooling and there is a heating and I mean, look – it used to not be climate change. It used to be global warming. Right?...That wasn’t working too well, because it was getting too cold all over the place. The ice caps were going to melt, they were going to be gone by now, but now they’re setting records." Others can tell you how desperately wrong Trump was. But it bears saying again: It's called "global" warming for a fucking reason. That's because it means the whole globe, not wherever Donald fuckin' Trump squats his bulbous ass. And the whole globe is warming.

The worst part of this flaming shit fire of the vanities was Trump's reaction to being pressed about the amount of gun violence in the United States. Morgan pointed out that the U.K. had only 32 gun deaths last year. Trump replied, "You have a lot of terrorism." Not only was it totally dickish defensiveness, but the United States has a lot of goddamn terrorism. The thing is that it's white supremacists and Christian nutzoids doing it. And for Donald Trump, that's not really terrorism.

And this wasn't an interview. It was an infomercial.


Kentucky Governor Cares So Much About Coal Country That He Wants to Make Sure Kids Never Leave There

Coal isn't coming back. Ever. It's a dwindling industry that is going the way of the telegraph and tall bicycles. You can lie and say that you're gonna bring it back. You can even try to do stupid shit like put a tariff on solar panels, but coal is dying. What we should be doing is working to bring industry to coal country that gives people jobs. Hell, howzabout making West Virginia or Eastern Kentucky a center of manufacturing for the solar or wind energy industry in this country? Howzabout a shit-ton of tax breaks and federal money for that?

Of course, the other thing you can do is make it so that the kids from coal country get a decent education so they can either make the place better or have lives that aren't tied to the nearly-extinct mines. And the previous governor, Democrat Steve Beshear, and a previous state legislature, led in part by Democrat Greg Stumbo, started a scholarship program to help college students in Eastern Kentucky finish their degrees. Called the Kentucky Coal County College Completion Scholarship, it was funded by the state initially at $1 million before expanding to more counties and growing to $4 million in scholarships that went to many colleges in coal country.

It initially passed in 2014 by a nearly unanimous Democratic-led House and a unanimous Republican-led Senate. Its expansion to more counties, including some in Central Kentucky, was supported just as strongly. The program did exactly what it was supposed to. Targeting students in their junior and senior years at Kentucky schools, it gave up to a $7800 scholarship to students who came from the very communities that the supposed coal-country lovers profess to care about. Recipients called it a "blessing" that makes a college degree "attainable" for those who might not have been able to go to college. Last year, 690 students benefited from the scholarship.

Of course, something was bound to fuck it up, and that is the fact that the coal industry is a dinosaur that doesn't understand that it's long past time to be extinct. See, the program is funded by a coal severance tax, which is based on the value of coal that is processed in the state. And because coal is fucked, the amount of that tax being collected is falling as the amount of coal mined in Kentucky falls. "Revenue from the tax dropped from $310 million in 2011 to $100.5 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30," so, yeah, coal's fucked.

So asshole Republican Governor Matt Bevin, who seems to be doing everything he can to dick over the poor in his state (although, to be fair, the poor did a pretty good job of self-dicking by voting for Bevin), has proposed eliminating the scholarship program in his latest budget. Obviously, when the jobs are drying up, you want to make sure that the poorest areas of your state remain mired in horrific poverty.

Kentucky has one of the lowest rates of college degree attainment. It's 47th (West Virginia is 50th because, yeah, coal). Republicans will just pretend that the "good" jobs that disappeared a long damn time ago are going to come back, instead of admitting that history and technology are making coal into just black rocks that should stay in the damn ground. And let's be honest here: those jobs have always been shitty and dangerous and underpaid.

If Bevin gets his way, a whole lot of young adults will be forced to give up college or go into the debt spiral that higher education entails, the future be damned in favor of an illusion of bringing back a fake past.


Trump Defenders Have a Bugnuts Meta-Conspiracy to Explain It All (Updated)

There is a simple number for figuring out exactly how batshit a conspiracy theory is: how many people would have to be in on it? If a conspiracy requires an extraordinary number of conspirators, including people who acted on it, as well as anyone tangentially involved, then chances are that there is no fucking way it's real. That's why I could never jump on the 9/11 "truth" bandwagon. You know how many people would be required to pull that off? Fuck that noise.

People wanna brag about shit they think they're getting away with. That's one reason that the investigation led by Robert Mueller into whatever the fuck was going on between Donald Trump, his company, his campaign, and Russia has gotten as far as it has. Dumb motherfuckers talk, whether it was George Papadopoulos or Donald Trump, Jr. or Michael Flynn or, shit, Trump himself. More and more, it's becoming clear that something is going to come from the Mueller probe or they wouldn't be interviewing people like the Attorney General and, at some point, the president. I think it's going to be more about laundering filthy Russian oligarch money than any kind of "collusion" or cooperation between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.

A big conclusion to all this is in the air, and so the squirrely motherfuckers on the right who wanna protect their leader, even if it's from treason, are coming up with a meta-conspiracy to explain why it seems that Trump is involved in some kind of conspiracy. And, depending on which conservative spoogebucket you listen to, they are getting bigger and nuttier.

It all comes down to the hot bugaboo for conspiracy theorists, the "Deep State," which used to mean the military industrial complex, that is, the actual military, intelligence services, and corporations that depend on the military, manipulating national and world events to their benefit, elected leaders be damned. Or something else. Honestly, I've tried to find a real definition, and I found about a dozen.

In the age of Trump, because everything is reduced to its stupidest version, it seems to mean "anyone who works in government who won't lick Trump's feet." You believe in climate change? That's Deep State. The EPA issues a press release with an anti-Trump quote? Deep State, motherfuckers. Congress won't do the 1000th investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails? Deep fuckin' State.

Now, supposedly the Deep State has taken over the Justice Department because of the Russia investigation and because of this bullshit memo by bullshit Republican Representative Devin Bullshit Nunes that purports to show that the FBI is biased against Trump because of some supposedly illegal surveillance. Or something. Whatever is in the memo, it's a fucking lie. And somehow the text messages of two FBI agents who were fucking reveals some something that means something to someone, mostly on Fox "news," and it's driving Trump even more monkeyfuck insane than usual.

All of this has caused even crazier shit to fly through the DC air. GOP Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said on Fox "news," of course, that there is a "secret society" in the FBI. Yeah, apparently they meet in some secret location to plot secretly to bring down the president. Now, frankly, at this point, that would actually be something of a comfort, but it's not happening, not the least because it's just dumb and also because, again, a lot of fucking people would have to be involved, as Johnson himself claims: "There were indications there were a number of high level FBI officials holding secret meetings off-site." Yeah, and no one would leak that shit, right?

Update: Oh, and the whole "secret society" thing is from one of those text messages between the aforementioned agents who were fucking each other. One said, "Maybe it should just be the first meeting of the secret society." Because, yeah, the one thing you do when you're in a secret society is totally text about it on your FBI phone.

But Johnson's super secret clubhouse of secret spies has nothing on right-wing radio host and amazingly still alive Rush Limbaugh. Yesterday on his show, Jiggly the Clown's Masturbatorium of Lies and Racism, Jiggly Limbaugh went over the edge of sanity with such velocity that he launched out of the studio and into a rubber room. He retrofit the Deep State to explain why George W. Bush didn't actually lie us into war with Iraq. It was those wily Democrats and their Deep State allies concocting the weapons of mass destruction narrative to trick poor Bush. No, really. Here's Jiggly:

"What if the intel on the war in Iraq was another disinformation campaign to damage another Republican president?...So we know the deep state can mobilize if they want to, and they can create false narratives that everybody in the media believes. Even had the Republican Party for a year believing that Trump had conspired with Russia maybe to steal the election. What if Saddam's weapons of mass destruction was also a false narrative designed to…? Did it ultimately embarrass Bush? Did it weaken the U.S. military? Whatever it did, I mean, it opened the doors for the Democrats to literally destroy his presidency in the second term. Which is what they did."

Oh, shit, that's some pure, uncut nutsy. Snort that shit right off Hillary's email server. Get some over to Alex Jones because Limbaugh is stealing Jones's shtick.

The level of denial on the Trump right is palpably at panic. Because, see, what's easier for you to believe? That you supported a criminal and possible traitor just so you could get some tax cuts and destroy the black president's legacy out of spite? Or that potentially hundreds of FBI and other law enforcement agents are involved in a conspiracy to make everyone believe that a criminal and possible traitor got elected? Hell, some on the right are calling for the arrest of people in the DOJ over this fake conspiracy.

That spin you hear is really the sound of pants being shit in.

Another Goddamn Podcast Has Arrived

A new phase of rudeness has begun with Another Goddamn Podcast (or AGD Podcast, if you're at a job with tight-asses). It's me telling stories and shooting the shit with funny, smart political comedy writers (some of whom happen to be performers, too).

In the first episode, I talk about why I understand Trump's desire to create chaos, and I drink and chat with Jo Miller, the Emmy-award winning writer and producer (and a pal for the last ten years). She worked on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, creating some of your favorite bits, like the Glenn Beck parody. And she was the co-creator and show runner for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, a position she left a few months ago.

We talk about all that (sorry, no dirt or gossip), plus growing up in the South (she's from Georgia, I'm from Louisiana), the piss tape, the white working class, and more. It's kind of a big deal because this is Jo's first interview since leaving Full Frontal.  Here's a little taste.

Right now, the podcast is only available to subscribers on Patreon. While this episode is available to all Patreon donors, upcoming ones will be for those at $5 a month and up. After a couple of days, a shorter version will go up on iTunes and other podcast outlets for a limited time. Subscribers get the extended interviews and early access, as well as my eternal gratitude for helping make this possible. (Subscribers at the $1 and $3 level get extra Patreon-only posts.)

New episodes every two weeks. Join up and have something else to load onto your phone to listen to on the drive to work or while exercising or during sex, if that's your thing.


On Immigration: The Wall That's Really Going to Be Needed

Not for one single second should anyone trust Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on his vaguely-worded fake promise to bring up a bill for the undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. You know, the Dreamers. McConnell is so full of shit that he should be declared a hazardous waste site, but people keep wanting to build houses on that toxic bit of Senate real estate. Democrats caved after making multiple offers for ways to reopen the federal government that would either force action on the DREAM Act or contain protection for those recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. They even offered to fund the stupid fucking wall. It went nowhere.

To be fair, the bill to reopen the government until February 8 does contain six years of funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program, which takes that off the table on the upcoming negotiations. And, to be fair, the shutdown has brought even more attention to the plight of the Dreamers, whose path to citizenship is supported by a huge majority of Americans, and the fact that their fate is in the hands of the callous GOP and their mad leader, Donald Trump. When the Republicans fail to do shit, and they will fail to do shit, it will (hopefully) be as clear as can be who broke their word when the government shuts down again. But we have reached the limit of trust in the political process.

At this year's Women's March, I saw many more signs about immigrants compared to last year. Hell, we even chanted pro-immigration slogans in New York City. But I've started wondering at what point is marching not enough of a statement, that the argument is not being made strongly and forcefully.

Anyone with a fucking ounce of heart was sickened by the sight of Jorge Garcia, saying goodbye to his wife and children in Michigan before being deported to Mexico, a country that he left 30 years ago, when he was ten. Garcia is, for all intents and purposes, American. He is married to an American woman. He has American children. Jesus fuck, can't we have some kind of squatters' rights to at least be left the fuck alone?

And maybe you were outraged at the idea of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers being able to walk onto a Greyhound bus in Florida and ask people for proof of citizenship. It's a "show me your papers" scenario right out of every anti-Nazi or anti-Soviet Union movie or book. They removed a woman from the bus and her family hasn't heard from her since. Sure, there may be some legitimate reason for the CBP's actions towards the woman. But if they really are routinely asking for your i.d., that's some 4th Amendment-violating shit right there.

And then maybe you can stomach watching this BBC report on Pacific County, Washington, which went for Trump by 7 points. The area has seen kids pulled out of schools to be with their deported parents, industries running low on workers, and general shock that, holy shit, "deportation" isn't just for undocumented murderers (of which there are precious few, despite the GOP's best efforts to scare you into thinking otherwise).

I keep wondering when is there going to be a breaking point. When is there going to be a point where the citizens of a town or city simply form a human wall against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers who have been showing up in hospitals and courthouses and other previously "safe" places? When will real resistance, peaceful, nonviolent, but decidedly not just about your tweets or your government-sanctioned march, come to be? When will people say that enough is enough, get themselves arrested, and all flood the judicial system so that it grinds to a halt (from the dying snail's pace it's on)?

In New Fairfield, Connecticut, another man with an American wife and two American children, Joel Colindrés, who escaped violence in Guatemala 14 years ago to come to the United States, was ordered to leave the country. He is currently appealing this decision, and several dozen people came out in this town north of Danbury to protest his possible deportation. What if agents come to take him away and some of those protesters decide that they will not allow it to happen? That is the wall that's needed, the humane, caring, righteous wall to halt the excesses of a government gone as crazy as its leader in tearing apart families, that is harming our citizens, especially the children of the deported.

This will be part  of the next phase of resistance. It will happen. Perhaps with Colindrés, perhaps with Lukasz Niec. Niec is the doctor in Michigan (the fuck is up with ICE agents in Michigan?) who was brought to the United States from Poland in 1979, when he was 5 years old. He received permanent resident status in 1989. But because he had a couple of low-level misdemeanor convictions from when he was a teenager, he is subject to deportation. He's a fucking doctor. He can't speak Polish. He's not even undocumented. Hell, I left Queens when I was 4, and I wouldn't know what the fuck to do if I were sent back there, let alone a completely foreign country.

It's fucking gut check time. We are into "First they came for" territory. We've gone from the undocumented immigrants to the Dreamers to legal residents. When will we speak out? When will we act? Or will we once again wait until it is us?

The government is operating against what a majority of the nation believes, and it is harming communities, as well as families, hurting the nation in the pursuit of a blatantly nationalistic and, frankly, anti-American goal. It is long, long past the time for a new non-violent resistance movement to protect the soul of the country. And if you believe that soul is white, you can fuck off to some fantasy place and wallow in hate and ignorance.


Another Pro-Trump Letter to the New York Times

(The New York Times has published an entire page of pro-Donald Trump letters to the editor because, apparently, a story every other week about Trump voters isn't enough. Here's one they probably wouldn't publish.)

Dear Editor,

Every morning, I awake from my oxy coma and thank Jesus for Donald Trump. I get up from the back of the 1987 Cutlass Supreme where I slept. It's broken down in a ditch just a mile or two from my mobile home that got repossessed. I stretch as best I can, what with this back problem from working in the coal mines across the state line in Kentucky, and I am glad that America is great again. Or it's on its way because Mr. Donald Trump is our president. I pop one of the two last oxy I've got, take a leak in the ditch, and grab my jacket before walking into town.

Because it's already noon by the time I get to Rogersville, and I know I'm gonna need to score soon, I go over to the post office to see if they've got my Social Security disability check. While I'm there, I salute a man with a MAGA hat and tell him, "God bless my president!" I'm not sure he can understand me because I lost most of my teeth, and I don't think I say the words so good anymore. But he smiles, and that's enough for me. I could sure use a dentist, but I'll just have to wait until the mobile dental clinic shows up in these parts. They come around about once a year, and the line is usually a couple of days long, but I know that it's worth it because I don't want no free doctors from the government. I'm fine with free doctors from a Christian charity, though.

I head over to the meat and three place where I can get a square meal and plenty to take home for just six bucks, and it's where Chet likes to meet because he's paid off the owner. Chet is always happy to see me on Social Security day. If he's in a good mood, he'll even buy my lunch. I walk in to Shelby's restaurant, and Fox News is on the TV. They're talking about how the liberals want more immigrants to come to America. Fuck that shit. Tell them Mexicans to just go on back and take their little brown children with 'em. I don't want no rapists and drug dealers here. If I could afford a gun, I'd go down to the border and shoot a couple of 'em to keep 'em out of here.

Chet comes in and sits opposite me. I've got a plate of fried chicken, corn, potatoes, and french fries. Chet tells me he's got some He-Man if I want to kick it up from the oxy.  It costs more than the oxy, so I tell him that I'll just stick to what I know. I sign the back of my Social Security check and hand it over to him. He gives me back two full prescription bottles and a few hundred dollars. "Bank of Chet," I always tell him. "Better than a toaster." I ask him what he's gonna do with his Trump tax cut. Chet stares at me for a minute and starts laughing. He tells me he'll see me next week.

I pop a couple of the oxy because my back is just killing me. I turn to the TV and see them talking about coal mining jobs and how President Trump is bringing them back. I'd go back to the Perry #1 mine if they reopened it. I'm just waiting for the call. I'd take the regular income, back or no back. Maybe I'd get to see my kids again then. Maybe even get Willow to talk to me, if she doesn't try to steal my oxy like before.

As I walk back to the Cutlass to lay down for a while before I head out to the bar, I think about how much Donald Trump has done for me. How he has given me my country back. How he is bringing jobs back. How he cares about my problems as a working class man. How I can say, "Merry Christmas" again. How he talks tough to all those Muslims and Jews and fags. How he showed that bitch Hillary what for. And, mostly, how he ain't a goddamn nigger.

God bless him and his family. And God bless America.


Maddox J. Maddox


A Shit Fight in a Monkey House

Let's see if we can get this right:

1. The Washington Post reported that, in a meeting with members of Congress over a deal on immigration that would, among other things, protect the kids now covered under DACA as well as give money for the border "wall" (which isn't really a wall anymore, but just some fencing, a smidge of wall, and more surveillance, but, sure, shorthand, call it a "wall"), President Donald Trump questioned, "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?"

2. Word got out that not only did Trump say it, but he called his pals to say something like, "Man, I really gave it to those poor, oppressed, starving people. I called their homelands 'shithole countries.'"

3. Sen. Dick Durbin, the sole Democrat in the room, confirmed that Trump indeed said the phrase "shithole countries," among other expletives and degrading remarks.

4. Sen. Lindsey Graham pretty much confirmed Durbin's confirmation of "shithole."

5. Trump tweeted a denial of "shithole." And he attacked Durbin, blaming him and Democrats for, I assume, forcing him to say or not say "shithole."

5.5. Which is totally fucking absurd since during the campaign, in front of crowds, Trump said that he'd both "bomb the shit" and "beat the shit" out of ISIS.

6. Two other senators in the room, both Republicans, at first said they couldn't recall Trump saying "shithole" and later decided that Trump didn't say "shithole" at all. In fact, he said, "shithouse," as in "shithouse countries." So they can deny Trump said "shithole."

6.5. Apparently, "shithouse" is better because, according to two different reporters, it indicates that Trump was either thinking about the lack of indoor plumbing in some countries (thus engendering a need to use an outhouse or "shithouse") or the quality of real estate in those countries.

6.7. I feel it's necessary to point out that everyone involved in this is a grown-up and an elected or appointed official of the United States government (or a reporter), all of whom you know say things like "shithole" and worse because they are fuckin' grown-ups.

6.8. Why stop at "shithouse"? Why not "shitwhore countries," where the prostitutes are not very good? Why not "shithose countries," referring to a lack of quality gardening products? Why not "shithowl countries," places where the food is so spicy that you yell while taking a dump in the shithole of the shithouse? Fuck, get creative, you dicks.

7. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders admitted that "strong language" was used in the meeting but refused to confirm whether "shithole" or "shithouse" was used.

8. Today, at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Hearing, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, who had been present at the Oval Office meeting that started this shit, was grilled by Durbin but refused to confirm that Trump said "shithole." And then Sen. Cory Booker hulked out on Nielsen, rubbing her nose in the shit she was spewing.

Lost in this pile of shit is that the president of the United States, members of his administration, and more than a few members of Congress oppose a deal on immigration that partially funds his "wall," cuts the visa lottery, and reduces chain migration, all things Republicans want, because that deal is too kind to people from "shithole countries" (in that it still allows them in) and it includes help for Haitians and others who have Temporary Protected Status that has been revoked. They want to make policy based on open, blatant, intentional racism (let's face it - lots of policies are racist, but at least politicians have enough shame not to just say it).

Oh, and Trump wants more people from Europe. You know, white people. As he said, according to Durbin, "Put me down for wanting more Europeans to come to this country. Why don't we get more people from Norway?"

Let's answer that question in a way Trump might understand: it's because they don't like orange people.


Martin Luther King Would Fuck Trump's Shit Up (Africa Edition)

While conservatives continue their annual desperate attempt to colonize the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., King stubbornly remains a revolutionary figure, one who was blatantly socialist and vehemently anti-capitalist. In fact, King drew a direct line between Western capitalism and the exploitation of African countries. He knew what had turned those countries into "shitholes." A trip to Ghana in 1957 to celebrate that nation's independence from England and the election of a new prime minister solidified King's view that the treatment of African Americans by whites in the United States was strikingly similar to the effects of colonialism in western and southern Africa.

In a sermon after his Ghana trip called "Birth of a New Nation" (goddamn, you know King knew exactly what he was doing with that title), King connected Ghana to the slaves in biblical Egypt ridding themselves of their chains, and he explained what had just happened:

"Prior to March the sixth, 1957, there existed a country known as the Gold Coast. This country was a colony of the British Empire. This country was situated in that vast continent known as Africa. I’m sure you know a great deal about Africa, that continent with some two hundred million people, and it extends and covers a great deal of territory...

"For years the Gold Coast was exploited and dominated and trampled over. The first European settlers came in there about 1444, the Portuguese, and they started legitimate trade with the people in the Gold Coast. They started dealing with them with their gold, and in turn they gave them guns and ammunition and gunpowder and that type of thing. Well, pretty soon America was discovered a few years later in the fourteen hundreds, and then the British West Indies. And all of these growing discoveries brought about the slave trade."

King continued to tell the story of the Gold Coast, bringing it to the then-present: "Finally, in 1850, Britain won out, and she gained possession of the total territorial expansion of the Gold Coast. From 1850 to 1957, March sixth, the Gold Coast was a colony of the British Empire. And as a colony she suffered all of the injustices, all of the exploitation, all of the humiliation that comes as a result of colonialism. But like all slavery, like all domination, like all exploitation, it came to the point that the people got tired of it."

After talking about how the Gold Coast became Ghana, King brought it back to his opening images, "Ghana reminds us that freedom never comes on a silver platter. It’s never easy. Ghana reminds us that whenever you break out of Egypt, you better get ready for stiff backs. You better get ready for some homes to be bombed. You better get ready for some churches to be bombed. You better get ready for a lot of nasty things to be said about you, because you getting out of Egypt. And whenever you break aloose from Egypt, the initial response of the Egyptian is bitterness."

Martin Luther King would fuck up the shit of Donald Trump and his coterie of Republican motherfuckers because that is what he did, and he would specifically fuck up Trump's shit now over the ersatz president's inability to see beyond his own racism when it comes to African nations and their people. King would call out the oppressors for their oppression because that, too, is what he did.

When we remember King, it should always be as a balls-to-the-wall fighter for people of color and, eventually, for all disempowered people. He would be in the streets, marching now, and he would be confronted by white people with tiki torches and uncontrollable cops, and Donald Trump would blame King for any violence that took place because that is what he does.


America the Shithole

It's not even surprising anymore when President Donald Trump, an angry pumpkin on top of a very large pumpkin on top of a smaller pumpkin, says or does something racist. He is a fucking racist. If you're a fucking racist, you do fucking racist shit all the time because that's who you are. If he didn't say or do a racist thing, we might say, "Oh, look, he wasn't racist in that moment." But just because a rat in your house didn't shit all over the floor one day doesn't mean that the rat still isn't a rat. It just kept its shit to itself for once.

So how are we supposed to react when we hear and Senator Dick Durbin confirms that Trump called, at the very least, African nations "shithole countries" whose people he doesn't want emigrating here? My gut reaction was utter outrage and contempt, but I have nothing but contempt for Trump and everyone who supports him, including each and every motherfucker who voted for that plague rat.

Trump supporters have been shown many off-ramps where they can get off this Highway to Hell they've been on. Support for neo-Nazis was one exit. Condemning black football players who were protesting was another. Any number of lies could have worked. All along, there have been these places where they can veer away and turn around. But so many have decided they are on the road for good, and they don't give a damn what Trump says about preventing immigrants from poor black or brown countries from coming to the U.S. in favor of people from places like Norway. And no amount of my rage at what a savage cunt mite Trump is will change that because a racist is a racist is a racist.

You know what people from shithole countries do when they get here? They get jobs, sometimes the worst jobs we have because, like most immigrants who have ever come here, they aren't thinking of themselves. They are thinking of the better life they will give to their kids. That's the myth of this country we tell repeatedly: the immigrants who come here with nothing in order to have a better life for them and their families. One of my grandfathers came over from Italy. Do you think he was a doctor? Or a professional? Fuck, no. He was a laborer. And he helped build things here because that's what he did. And Italy was a shithole. Ireland was a shithole. Russia, Poland, many, many countries were shitholes. All the people in this photo came from shitholes, some with just their native clothes on their backs, because they wanted to get out of the shithole.

But let's get more recent than Ellis Island. By any measure, Liberia has been a terrible place to live for decades. Between horrific wars and horrific disease, it would be kind to just call it a "shithole." That's why hundreds of thousands became refugees and why over 60,000 of those refugees came to the United States in the late 20th and early 21st century. A whole lot of them settled in Staten Island, which, believe it or not, is still a borough of New York City. And many of those go to the college where I teach. I have taught Liberian students for years and they have been, to a person, kind, smart, engaged, and hard-working. And that's because they came from a shithole. Many of them were refugees from that shithole; some of them or their family members were tortured. They embrace the chance they have here (and are often treated like shit here for their efforts).

Funds are raised for refugees by churches, the real Christian churches, not the fake ones that promise you salvation for a price. You can read stories of an Illinois evangelical ministry helping settle Liberian refugees, of a Rhode Island Baptist church helping recent arrivals from the Congo, of the Nazarene ministry in Missouri that is assisting refugees from Syria. In other words, if you stand with your church in making sure that refugees have a place in the United States, you stand opposed to the president. Or you're a goddamn hypocrite.

You know where else is a shithole? In large swaths of the United States, including many places where Trump voters live. A United Nations report essentially declared that the U.S. is the shithole of the "rich nations," with poverty so extreme that it is pretty much on a par with Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations. And we have one big thing in common with most of the countries Trump has condemned: no universal health care.

The president is a racist. We knew that. Millions of people in this country are racist. We knew that, too. We also know that many racists don't think of themselves as racist and sure don't want to be called "racist." Well, here's another gut check, motherfuckers. If you can stand with a man who believes what Trump believes, with a man who has the power over life and death and is wielding that power against people of color, then you have made your choice to plunge into the shithole Trump has created and wallow around in his shit, pretending that it's not shit at all. We are a shithole as long as Trump remains president.

Someone will say that I'm agreeing with Trump because I say some countries are shitholes. That's getting it wrong. Trump said he didn't want "all these people" from those nations coming here. But I want to get people out of there.

If you don't want immigrants from shitholes to come here, it's not because they are terrible people. It's because you are.

(Note: To be fair, Liberia just had a peaceful election, so there is always hope in any shithole.)
(Note: There are lots of shitholes that people call home. Doesn't mean it's not a shithole.)
(Note: And, no, I haven't even gotten into just how big a role the United States has played in turning many of those countries into shitholes.)


Treatment of Louisiana Teacher Is Just a Literal Version of How All Teachers in the State Are Treated

If you watch the full tape of the part of the meeting of the Vermilion Parish School Board in Abbeville, Louisiana, when middle school teacher Deyshia Hargrave speaks, you see an educator who is passionately concerned about her profession, her peers, and the students in her classroom. Making a point about why the superintendent should be voted a pay raise when the teachers and school staff have not seen a raise in seven years, Hargrave says, "How are you going to take a raise when...when I first started teaching ELA there were like 20, 21 kids in a class and now there’s 29 kids in a class that we are now having and we have not got raises. How are you going to take that money, because it’s basically taking out of the pockets of teachers."

Think about that for a second. Essentially, the school gave her 1/3 more work. That's 33% more tests and papers to grade, 33% more children to supervise and work with, 33% more conferences with parents, and so very much more. And for that 33% more work, they gave her not a single damn penny. It's not only unfair; it's shameful, and it harms the kids and the teachers.

So, yeah, when she was called on - and she was called on both times she stood to speak - Hargrave brought up the unfairness of Superintendent Jerome Puyau's salary going from $110,130 to $148,811. That $38,000 bump in pay is around the annual salary of a first-year teacher in Vermilion Paris, where the average for all teachers is $47,000. Most start around $40,000. That's less than $20 an hour.

Hargrave, a Teacher of the Year at her school in 2016, was told by board president Anthony Fontana to stop talking, that her protest (which was respectful the entire time she spoke) was out of order, and that she needed to leave. The others attending the meeting were audibly outraged by Fontana. A city marshal, there for security, walked over to Hargrave and escorted her out. While in the hallway, Hargrave was thrown to the floor by the marshal and handcuffed. As she cried out, wondering why this was happening, the marshal shoved her outside, called for backup, and put her into a police car.

You can watch all of this happen on the video. It's pretty clear that Hargrave's treatment was bullshit, so much so that the Abbeville city prosecutor has declined to press charges and the ACLU has gotten involved. And, of course, the video went viral, becoming a Reddit and Twitter sensation. And, of course, national and international media picked up on it. And, of course, multiple death threats have been made against the school board because that's just the stupid world we live in now.

This happened in the backyard of where my family lives. When I called a friend of mine who is an education professor in that area of Louisiana, he was standing outside a meeting of the teacher's union there, which has little power since Louisiana is one of many verminous, anti-employee right-to-work states. He had taught Hargrave when she was in college, and he remembered her as a solid, enthusiastic student who cares a great deal about her students. In addition to the outrage over the incident, "people are pretty fucking discouraged here" in Vermilion Parish. Louisiana has always treated its teachers like shit, and Hargrave's arrest was just that treatment made literal. "We're no longer just handcuffing you in the classroom," the school board was saying, "we will actually put handcuffs on you."

Fontana was a total asshole about the incident, telling the local paper, "We have certain rules: three minute speech, it has to be civilized, it can't get off target, it has to be related to the issue before the board. That's not what was happening last night." Except everyone can see that that is exactly what was happening. And she hadn't spoken for three minutes at all, as Fontana asserted later. He sees it as "a set-up," a way of drawing attention to a superintendent that teachers have disliked since he was hired and whose contract they wanted to see ended.

But board member Sarah Duplechain told the AP, "No reason for anyone to be treated this way. So far in 3 years, only women have been removed from board room meetings." She said this in the meeting and was greeted with grumbles and verbal dismissal. By the way, Duplechain had called the police in April 2017 when Fontana was yelling at her in the parking lot after a meeting, so, you know, comity is in short supply. Another board member, Laura LeBeouf, said, "Women in this parish are not getting the same treatment" as men.

In a video posted today on the Facebook page of the Louisiana Association of Educators, Hargrave said, "I hope you choose to speak out after seeing what happened to me. Don't let it be an intimidation to you." That was something she had said at the meeting, that teachers were afraid to speak up against the school board. It's what happens when teacher tenure is almost impossible to achieve in Vermilion Parish. You need 5 straight years of perfect evaluations from administration. Getting choked up talking about the support she's received, especially from her students, Hargrave continued, "Don't let the conversation end with me. Please. Go to your local school board meetings. Speak out. Be vocal." That engagement on a local level is something we should all be involved in.

The Vermilion Parish school system is probably the best in the area. That's primarily a result of the work of teachers who give a damn, like Deyshia Hargrave. Maybe we should stop treating them as disposable. Maybe we should treat a job that is primarily done by women as the profession it is, needing degrees and training. Maybe we should give a shit about teachers.

Tomorrow, there will be a Stand with Deyshia march in Abbeville after school at Magdalen Square. I hope the place is filled to overflowing. I hope the cops stand down and aren't assholes. And I hope that Anthony Fontana's piggish ears burn so badly that he has to jump in the bayou.


Prove That Trump Isn't a Fucking Moron

Michael Wolff's book Fire and Fury is filled with quotes from people stating, quite simply, that Donald Trump, ersatz president of the United States, is a barely literate dunce. A "fucking moron," if you will. In interview after interview, Wolff has asserted that every single person he spoke with in the White House agreed that Trump is a goddamned dimwit, someone barely able to walk and breathe at the same time, a mental toddler, a shit-for-brains rich puke who dumb-lucked his way through life because his daddy's money kept him...Wait, what was I talking about? Yeah, that's it. He's stupid.

Predictably, whenever anyone says that Trump is not the greatest at something, the administration lickspittles go out in force to say, in essence, "Fuck you, fake news fuckos. I know Trump is the best human who ever existed and I thank God every day that He allowed me to be alive at the same time as Trump." Or words to that effect.

Here's Stephen Miller, a White House Nazi who is just begging for a punch in the dick, shortly before Jake Tapper threw him the fuck off CNN: "The reality is, is the president is a political genius who won against a field of 17 incredibly talented people" and a bunch of other opponents. Miller continued, plucking orange pubes out of his teeth, "And he did it all through the people and through his strategy and his vision and his insight and his experience." Miller's the type of creepy motherfucker who you know jacks it to murder porn. Honestly, Tapper should have grabbed Miller by the scruff of his neck and tossed him into the street like a bouncer with a noisy drunk.

Trump's brain has got other, slightly less odious defenders. CIA Director Mike Pompeo went on Fox "news" Sunday and also pretended that President Dunceface leaves Stephen Hawking in the dust. He declared, "I watched him take the information that the intelligence community delivers and translate that into policies that are of enormous benefit to America...He deals with the most complex issues and has handled them in a way that I have great admiration and respect for." Pompeo also assured us that Trump "reads."

Let's take a page from Trump himself. When questions were created by right-wing nutzoids about whether or not Barack Obama was born in the United States, Trump hounded Obama about producing his birth certificate. The best-known birther in the nation, Trump wouldn't let it go until Obama did finally make the document public. Even then, that wasn't enough for Trump, who fanned the flames of crazy until it no longer served a political purpose for him.

So let's demand that Trump fucking prove that he's not an idiot, that he's actually engaged and understands the issues. That he is "like, really smart" and that he understands tax law better than any CPA or health care as well or better than anyone. That he's fit for office. Prove it. Put the fuck up or shut the fuck up. Because right now, we're just supposed to take his word and the word of his lackeys and sycophants. And if President Obama's word wasn't good enough on his place of birth, then Trump's word sure as shit ain't enough.

Trump's gotta do a press conference, a real one, not a spontaneous one. He's gotta sit for an interview with someone who isn't one of his conservative ball washers. It's gotta be a real reporter who will ask him specific questions about specific policies and demand detail. C'mon, motherfucker. Let's see what you've got.

Also, Trump's gotta show he can act like a leader and not just an asshole pretending to be a tough guy. He's gotta give a speech where he talks actual policy and not just slogans. He's gotta focus and not just go through a list of shit like a brain-damaged monkey who can't decide what branch to sit on and throw feces, like he did yesterday in Nashville. No mentioning his electoral college win. No discussion of "Crooked Hillary." An intelligent, grown-up speech that an intelligent grown-up would make. It doesn't even have to be genius. Just stable. Show us all this magnificent man that all of his defenders see. Because right now, we sure as shit can't see it through the fog of degrading tweets and incoherent speech.

Of course, he won't do any of this. Even if Trump were asked to do it, he wouldn't because he can't. And those same obsequious fucks would get out there and tell us that he's too fucking smart for us to understand his layers and depths. Meanwhile, his idiot hordes will tell us that Trump is smart because, indeed, idiots want one of their own as their idiot king.

Here, in what we might quaintly refer to as "reality," we know that Trump's inability to speak in fluid sentences or his constant repetition and simple vocabulary isn't hidden genius. It's just a pathetic lack of intelligence. If we fail to question Trump on his basic ability to function, we are participating in a cover-up as surely as his family and every single person who won't go public with what they know about the man who bumblefucked into the presidency.

Note: Trump's lack of brain power doesn't forgive him or his vile family for any of their venal criminality. You can be dumb and evil.


Puerto Rico Is Suffering for Our Sins

Before we forget about it completely in the fog of Michael Wolff's book about the fog that Donald Trump apparently exists in, let's pause to recognize that, post-Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is still fucked and it won't be unfucked for a long time. How can we list the ways?

- It might be May before the entire island has power. Half the people on the island, including those in some urban areas, do not have electricity. And while the Army Corps of Engineers thinks that power will be restored to 95% of Puerto Rico by March, we're still talking Americans living without power for 6 months since the storm, and, in the more remote areas, 8-9 months, just in time for the 2018 hurricane season to start. (Those areas still have over 80,000 people in them.)

- Some of those remote areas still don't have potable water. FEMA has been insisting that 95% of Puerto Ricans have access to drinkable water, but the island's water was a fucking mess before the storm. Yeah, pre-Maria, 99.5% of the island's citizens drank water that violated the Safe Drinking Water Act. And after the storm, with water treatment plants needing, you know, electricity, even if you get your water from your kitchen sink, it still was contaminated with bacteria, as seen by an uptick in illnesses caused by those little fuckers.

- Connecticut's two senators, Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, both Democrats, returned this week from a visit to the island. Murphy, in particular, was stunned by what he saw. He said that "'almost none' of the aid Puerto Rico was supposed to receive has been delivered as part of a $36.5 billion October package that also allocated relief for Florida and Texas." And Murphy believes that the final death toll from the failure of the federal government to send the aid needed will be "in the multiple thousands."

- Speaking of the death toll, it's already estimated to be over 1000, when you take into account things like the people who died because the power grid was destroyed and they couldn't get dialysis. Don't take my word for it. Listen to the demographer who helped come up with that number. Alexis R. Santos-Lozada believes that the lower number of 64 directly attributable to the hurricane in action will remain the official death count. She warns, "[M]inimized figures could weaken efforts to provide relief to communities affected by the hurricane at the local and international level." The governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, just launched an effort to look into the actual number of deaths.

- While it looks like the issue might be shortly fixed, Puerto Rico is a primary place where IV bags and saline fluid are made, and so there has been a shortage of those in hospitals on the mainland. Amazing how this shit works. The FDA is saying that the manufacturing plant is back on the commercial grid, but, holy shitballs, did you even know this was happening?

- Meanwhile, there has been an exodus of Puerto Ricans to the mainland United States, which they can do freely and legally (sorry, Trumpenheimers) because they are Americans. Hundreds of thousands of them have come to settle here. At least 200,000 are now living in Florida, which Trump won by 113,000 votes in 2016. Anecdotally, many of those new residents are registering to vote. PR Gov. Rosselló is saying he will work to mobilize the millions of Puerto Ricans in the states to take revenge on Republicans in 2018.

And that, in the end, will be the only way to unfuck a part of the United States that our madman president wants us to forget about.


Gauging the Level of Screwed: The Fusion GPS Editorial Is More Important Than the Wolff Book Excerpts

Look, we already knew that Donald Trump was a shitty human being. Anyone who paid any attention to him knew that his entire life was devoted to avarice and humiliation. He's garbage and has been for his entire selfish, pathetic time polluting the earth. And it was always obvious that he was a fucking idiot, an incurious dullard whose wealth gave him the illusion of wisdom because he was surrounded by people who pretended he was wise. I have never heard or read an interview with Trump where he said anything other than simple-minded statements, stupid jokes, and belligerent braggadocio.

So, except for the Steve Bannon shit, the New York magazine excerpt from Michael Wolff's upcoming book on the end of the Trump campaign and the beginning of the Trump presidency that reveals that Trump is a moron who didn't want to be president and who is desperate for any media attention isn't much of a revelation. It's pretty much just confirmation of what we all suspected, even if it turns out just a tenth of it is true. Oh, really? Trump's an erratic madman who has no business as president? Color us shocked.

More important is the New York Times editorial by Glenn R. Simpson and Peter Fritsch, the two former journalists who run the private research firm Fusion GPS, responsible for the dossier on Trump, funded by both Republicans and Democrats, put together by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele. Sick of being attacked by Trump and his GOP congressional lackeys, Simpson and Fritsch lay out just how fucked up shit is.

Not only do they plainly state that Republicans on committees looking into Trump's ties to Russia are lying about Fusion GPS, but they clearly have no fucks left to give. In their telling, the Steele dossier is seen less as a sensationalistic fiction created to embarrass Trump with piss tales and more as a roadmap of our doom if we stay on our current path. It is not hyperbole to describe the entire Trump corporation as an elaborate money-laundering scheme for Russian oligarchs (and other criminals around the world). Even Ivanka Trump's diamond business is being investgated for money-laundering. It's all filthy.

This one line struck me like a wet slap in the face: "Mr. Steele saw this as a crime in progress and decided he needed to report it to the F.B.I." Steele had information from unpaid sources in Russia that the Kremlin was, in essence, working to get Trump elected.

I keep coming back to that idea, as I have ever since I first heard about the meeting between Donald Trump, Jr., Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, and that Russian lawyer. If a foreign national tells you they have dirt on your political opponent, you go to the FBI. The very fact that they didn't says as much about the guilt of all these men as it does about their ease with dealing with Russian emissaries with skeevy motivations.

Which brings us back to the more interesting part of the Wolff book. An article in The Guardian reveals that Steve Bannon told Wolff that the Trump Tower meeting was "treasonous" and that Trump himself likely met with the Russian lawyer. The gist of what Bannon says is that Junior and the rest were so fucking dumb for having the meeting without their lawyers present, not that they should have gone to the FBI. In other words, they weren't evil enough for Bannon and now that has ended up biting them all on their asses.

So Bannon is either singing to Robert Mueller or will be soon. Cockroaches tend towards self-preservation. Trump's gotta know this, and that's what makes the end of another day of insane news just a little more insane. Because, see, Trump released a statement disavowing Bannon, who was once Trump's chief strategist and an equal with Chief of Staff Reince Priebus in the White House. "Steve was a staffer," Trump says, once again reducing a major player to another disposable worker bee. "Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look," Trump continues by stroking himself vigorously, "Steve had very little to do with our historic victory." Bannon had used the Breitbart website to promote Trump as a viable candidate, but, sure, yeah, whatevs.

Of course, back in November 2016, shortly after the election, Trump was defending Bannon after hiring him to work in the White House. "I’ve known Steve Bannon a long time. If I thought he was a racist or alt-right, I wouldn’t even think about hiring him," Trump explained. Like I said, Trump's garbage, and he'll say or do whatever he needs to make himself look like he's in control, even if it's contradictory or even if it's just a goddamned lie.

Man, in prison, they're gonna love Trump talking about his electoral college victory.


What Did That Dumb Orange Motherfucker Say Now (and Are We Gonna Get Nukey)?

Apparently, "much work to do," as President Donald Trump proclaimed he would be heading back to DC for after spending most of the last two weeks golfing and, presumably, attempting to fuck Melania (per her contractual obligations) only to end up screaming at her for keeping her eyes open and that's why his dick couldn't get hard, and, no, Melania, it's not all the fast food sodium and Diet Coke chemicals, the fuck are you talking about, means "tweeting a shit-ton." Because that's pretty much all Trump did today. It was like a greatest hits concert of tweets, slamming Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, North Korea, Iran, Democrats, the New York Times, and the "fake news" media. Seriously, it was like it was Skynyrd doing "Freebird" nonstop for an entire day.

There was lots of weird and disturbing shit, sure, and we'll get to that, but there was also a demonstrably false, batshit tweet where Trump took credit for something that he had nothing to do with: "Since taking office I have been very strict on Commercial Aviation. Good news - it was just reported that there were Zero deaths in 2017, the best and safest year on record!" It was the safest year around the entire goddamn world for airline passengers. That means Trump is taking credit for airline safety in China, in Iran, everywhere, which is just pure fucking idiocy. Hell, the report is from a Dutch agency. And it's been nine years since a U.S. plane has crashed with fatalities. So, you know, thanks Obama. This is some "Dear Leader" dictator shit right here, where the president just says that he makes the sun rise and pies taste delicious, just so his idiot hordes can love him for things they're too idiotic to understand. It's like when he jumped on stage at an AIDS benefit in 1996 and acted like he had given to the cause when, in reality, he hadn't done a thing.

It's even more ludicrous when you think about what he's taking credit for. If Trump's responsible for no deaths on airlines worldwide, then life and death is all on him. He's done shit on guns, so he's responsible for all gun deaths. He's done nothing except for show on opioid addiction, so all those overdoses are on him. C'mon, motherfucker, you wanna play this game, let's fuckin' play. (Thanks to rude tweeter DixiDoodle for this analogy.)

Meanwhile, Trump started the day by shitting on Kim Jong-un, calling the North Korean jack-off "Rocket man" again for reaching out to South Korea for talks. And now Trump's ended it by threatening to nuke North Korea as a response to Kim saying that he has "a nuclear button on the desk in my office." It's the usual bullshit that petty tyrants say.

But Trump apparently saw Kim's New Year's Eve statement, thought, "You think that's acting like a petty tyrant? Hold my Diet Coke," and then tweeted (and it cannot be said enough that this is the goddamned president of the United States saying this): "Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!" Yes, the goddamned president is having a nearly literal dick-measuring contest with Kim Jong-un. We're gonna need a couple of pairs of tweezers and two microscopes to see who wins.

All of this is just bluster. Trump's as likely to nuke North Korea as he is to follow through on a threat to sue someone who says mean shit about his disgusting family. But it gives Kim even greater justification to push forward with a nuclear weapons program. I mean, really, wouldn't you? If some dumb, irrational motherfucker with no impulse control is saying he might nuke you, you'd sure as shit want some nukes to make that dumb motherfucker think twice. Trump is making the world a more dangerous place, almost as if he just has some nostalgia for the 1980s, the last decade he was actually relevant, and wants everyone to have the nonstop anxiety about being annihilated by nuclear bombs that we all had during the bad old days of Daddy Reagan and the Soviet Union.

We just have to get through 10 months or so of this shit because, barring a Mueller nuke, we gotta wait for the midterms for anything to change. 10 months of childish, deranged tantrums and Republicans pretending it's all fine. Just hang in there until we can show them all the fuckin' door.

Oh, there was one more tweet that deserves mention. "I will be announcing THE MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR on Monday at 5:00 o’clock. Subjects will cover Dishonesty & Bad Reporting in various categories from the Fake News Media. Stay tuned!" Trump spouted from the shitter. You got that? He's got "much work to do." And, obviously, it can wait while he undermines the free press.

Or maybe that really is what he thinks his job is.


The Haiku Review of 2017: Atomic Haiku

The now-dead 2017 inspired more rage haiku than anyone should ever read. Like in the neighborhood of 250 entries. Great huge thanks for all the efforts. Even if you didn't get posted over these last few entries, your effort is not unappreciated. It's just not as appreciated as the ones that did get posted because, well, obviously.

From Kate from Albany, NY:

Global climate change,
Even if you don’t believe,
Will still kill your ass

From Kristen from Akron, NY:

Laugh to stop the tears
He can't even hold a glass
And he has the nukes

From Seattle Steamer:

Tender Broflakes rage
rage against the dying of
the right. Fuck all y'all.

From Don from Albuquerque:

Republican Voter

If you can only
Parrot mean, stupid, racists
Maybe they are you

From BB in LA:

Two different courts
Have now thrown out Judge Roy Moore:
state civil and food

From Rabbitearz:

On a tragic note
Erica Garner can't breathe
Another one down

From Beth in Alexandria, VA:

First time I heard it,
President Trump, felt like a
Punch in the stomach

From Bob from Minnesota:

Poor Puerto Rico
totally thought they were part
of the States, so screwed.

From Toby in Michigan:

America, will you
Wake up now? Will you not screw
The pooch once again?

From Jimmy in Kentucky:

I sign petitions
As this world gets scarier
Flailing at windmills

So let's bid farewell to that shitsack of a year and gird our loins for the 2018 fight to the death. No, literally, I think we'll be fighting for the actual life or death of our country.