New on Patreon: Audio Rudeness - An Abortion Story

Tonight would be a great time to join the Rude Pundit Patreon page at $3 a month. You get exclusive posts and audio goodness, like the just-posted story for donors only: "Yeah, It's About Abortion." I talk about an abortion with no regrets and the role of men when it comes to abortion (spoiler: something like "Shut the fuck up unless spoken to").

It's so much rudeness that you won't stop being hard and/or wet for days.


Note to Democrats: Fuck the White Working Class

I'm a very white person. My background is so European, it's painful: Russian, Polish, Swedish, and, in the only nod to a smidge of color, Italian. And myfamily history is pure worker: My father was a trucker. Mom was a secretary. My grandfather was an electrician and my grandmother worked in a factory. I tell you this to prove my bona fides when I say, with no due respect, it's time for Democrats and the left to say, "Fuck the white working class." That doesn't mean neglect white workers. As I said back in November (and repeated in December), "The only way to help the white working class is to abandon the white working class when it comes to trying to get votes." It means that we concentrate on uplifting all people in this country, no matter the skin color, and we stop this bullshit outreach to the very white people who don't understand that it's good for them, too.

It's just pathetic that this keeps coming up again and again, as if Trump voters and the white working class are the only goddamn prize in the electorate. Democrats, we're told, and liberals, especially, have to, got to, must try to get them on board or our victories are hollow and our policies are meaningless.

Thomas Frank, a progressive darling for his books, including What's the Matter with Kansas? (the answer he didn't get around to is the obvious one: racism), asked in his column this weekend for The Guardian, "Can liberals please work out how to win back the working class?" It offers the usual stuff we know, that Democrats should embrace a genuinely liberal platform, that they blew it by not punishing Wall Street back in 2009, and that they embrace the wealthy in ways that alienate the left.

But what's missing is a recognition that the non-white working class is firmly with the Democratic Party. In fact, it's the base that has sustained the Democrats for several elections, and if the policies of the party are accepted by the non-white working class, then you're either saying that non-whites don't know that Democrats are bad for them or you're just fucking privileging white workers as being the only representatives of a class.

Fucking hell, not a single goddamn factory worker voted for Trump because they were sad Barack Obama didn't lock up someone from Goldman Sachs. They voted for him because he was gonna chase out the Mexicans and Muslims and he was gonna teach that Hillary bitch a lesson. It's not that fucking complicated. And it's fucked up that someone as genuinely smart as Frank can't just accept that.

Then, today, in the New York Times (motto: "We will keep publishing dumb shit until someone from West Virginia subscribes"), in one of the most tragically stupid columns I've ever fucking seen (and I've been reading this shit for years), ostensibly liberal writer Margaret Renkl offers advice on "How to Talk to a Racist," subtitled, "White liberals, you’re doing it all wrong." You might look at that and think, "Oh, c'mon. That's gotta be a joke."

Nope. Renkl wants us to reason with the unreasonable: "Somehow you need to find enough common ground for a real conversation about race. Very few people are stupid or irredeemably mean. They’ll listen to what you have to say if they trust you’ll listen to what they have to say back." Look at that shit. It's like she's talking about racists like they're particularly dumb dogs, not adult humans who could, if they wanted, try to find common ground with liberals.

It gets worse. You should, she says, stop and take a breath "when you encounter a person who believes he’s merely honoring his ancestors by driving a car with an image of the Confederate battle flag on the tag [or] when a Facebook friend announces that it’s disrespectful to take a knee during the national anthem." I'll take a breath if the exhale is me saying, "Racist asshole."

I've said this before and I'll say it again: Why is it just up to liberals? Unlike writers like Renkl, I'm not gonna act like racists are children. I'm gonna treat them like fuckin' grown-ups and not fuckin' patronize them and speak gently so they don't roll on the ground in a tantrum. I'm gonna tell 'em they're fuckin' racist and that racism is objectively wrong and they should be ashamed of their ignorant selves. And if they don't like being made to feel bad for being racist, don't fucking be racist. Now, tell me whatever stupid shit you wanna say about how you have black friends.

Democrats and the left need to get over this obsession with making the white working class happy. Reaching out to them only makes them hate us more. Why do we need them all? There is already a good percentage of them that do vote Democratic because they're also not all racist morons. Those white working class members are pretty sick of the idiots in their demographic, too.

Besides, it ain't like the white working class has a monopoly on rage or morality. Holy Republicans may hammer the Bible like it's their mistress's ass, but your evangelicals haven't got shit on the black church or the enormous growth of Hispanics as part of church congregations. Go get your voters there.

And the rise of women candidates, both non-white and white, as well as LGBT candidates, demonstrates that the future sure as hell ain't the white men that still make up the vast majority of Republican elected officials. The awesome thing about these new candidates is they are coming up with ways to present that liberal, pro-worker agenda as something that is simply common sense. That goes across the board, from Beto O'Rourke in Texas, a white Congressman who is uniting constituencies (mostly not white) in a real shot to take down Ted Cruz, to Jeannine Lee Lake in Indiana, a black woman who won the Democratic nomination in a district that once had Mike Pence representing it. The DNC and the DCCC better get the fuck on board or the party is gonna leave their old asses behind.

Just think: non-white Americans, with an assist from some white Americans, could end up being responsible for changing things to actually make shit better for the white working class. That many of them won't understand it, as they didn't when Barack Obama was getting them health care, is the triumph of the GOP politics of hate and fear and ignorance.

[Note: Yes, in very white places like West Virginia, where Democrats still have a chance, you might have to pander a bit, but the basic message doesn't need to change.]


We Can't Even Live Up to Our Lies When It Comes to Soldiers and Veterans

Barring some last minute action, Alejandra Juarez, who has lived in the United States since she entered the country illegally in 1998, will be deported back to Mexico by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. She will take the younger of her two daughters with her, but the older one, a teenager, will stay behind with her father, Alejandra's husband since 2000, Cuauhtemoc "Temo" Juarez. Alejandra has no record of any other crimes besides being undocumented.

Oh, and one other thing. Temo Juarez is a decorated veteran of the Marines and the National Guard. Yeah, he served in the USMC from 1995-1999, getting deployed to places like Albania, where he helped evacuate civilians during the civil war there, and he did the same during the war in the Congo. When his Marine tour was up, he joined the Florida National Guard, and he was sent to Iraq in 2003. To say that Temo Juarez done his duty for his country is a ludicrous understatement. And now he owns a flooring business, so he's employing people in the Orlando area.
Yet, for no good reason, the United States government wants to break apart his family. They have already spent thousands of dollars on lawyers and appeals. They have reached out to members of Congress, all to no avail. Even though appeals are ongoing, Alejandra will likely be sent back to a country she doesn't know anymore.

Theirs is far from the only case of the spouses of veterans being threatened with deportation. It doesn't have to be this way. See, the military has a policy called "Parole in Place," based on a 2013 memorandum, clarifying a policy started in 2007, that "allows spouses, children and parents of active duty, National Guard and Reserve troops and veterans who entered the U.S. illegally to remain in the country and pursue a green card." Except if there are ongoing removal procedures. Then they aren't eligible. And during a time of aggressive removal, this has affected more and more military families.

It's still a complicated and, as with everything immigration-related, expensive procedure, yet that's too compassionate for some in the GOP, who have already tried to get rid of PIP. And during the Trump administration, the number of applications for some kind of path to permanent residence for spouses of veterans that have been rejected has doubled, from 10% to 20% of those requesting kindness for serving the country. Even the number of rejections for active soldiers has climbed.

Back in 2010, PIP was so uncontroversial that no less a conservative Republican than Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana supported it. Pence signed a bipartisan letter to the Department of Homeland Security that said, in part, "Many soldiers are unable to secure legal immigration status for their family members, even as they risk their lives for our country...As this country is engaged in two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we must do everything we can to address the immigration needs of our soldiers. It matters greatly that those who fight for this country know that America values their sacrifices. As leaders, it is our duty to sustain the readiness, morale and war-fighting spirit of our warriors. We must not fail them for America's future depends on their sacrifices and their willingness to serve."

Apparently now, in 2018, not so much. The representative from Juarez's district, Democrat Darren Soto, has introduced the Protect Patriot Spouses Act for them and other military families. But, so far, it has received almost no attention, despite Soto saying it has bipartisan support.

I know we're all focused, as we should be, on the migrant children who were separated from their parents by the breathtakingly cruel Trump administration. But the savage indifference of our snarled immigration system to the very soldiers who Republicans profess to admire is another story worth hearing. For Alejandra Juarez, it will be a forced separation as much as if her teenage daughter was taken from her at the border.


What Did That Dumb Orange Motherfucker Say Now? (Your Lying Eyes Edition)

Yesterday, in his neverending quest to spend as little time as possible actually doing the goddamned work of being president, Donald Trump brought his road show, It's All About Me, Bitches, to the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, held in Kansas City, Missouri.

Now you might think that a group of war veterans (you know, it's in the damn name), many of whom are probably bearing injuries or scars or PTSD from their time in battle, might not give two latrine shits about listening to a manicured tanning enthusiast who avoided service by claiming bone spurs talk about how tough he is. But you'd be wrong. Because the 4000 vets (in an arena that seats about 10,000) were ready to hoot and holler about every bullshit thing that Trump slurred and slopped and bellowed about.

Most of it was the usual shuck and jive. He propagandized, "We don’t apologize for America anymore. We stand up for America," adding for good measure, so nobody forgot how much to hate black football players, "And we stand up for our National Anthem," all to applause and cheers. He whipped the crowd into an angry froth when he brought up Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill's opposition to the Republicans' worthless, economy-dicking tax cuts, with the vets booing as Trump sharted, "We had tremendous opposition for lowering your taxes from Claire McCaskill. She voted against. Unbelievable."

Yes, the gathered ex-soldiers booed and booed, even though McCaskill, a Democrat, has arguably done more for, you know, fuckin' veterans than nearly any other member of Congress. Just a couple of months ago, she got $25 million for construction and renovation of veterans homes in Missouri. But, no, really, go ahead, you fuckin' shrimp-brained assholes, boo her. Then Trump completed his trifecta of women he despises by bringing up Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi to further hooting and boos.

Riffing on how no one thinks his tariffs are a good idea (again, he was speaking to the VFW, noted tariff experts all), Trump went full Orwell. "Just stick with us. Don’t believe the crap you see from these people — the fake news," he said, and, a few moments later, "What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening." This caused some particularly enraged attendees to turn around and curse the reporters who were there to cover their fucking convention.

And I get that everyone's rending their much-rent garments over this dumb motherfucker just outright saying it, but, c'mon, this has been what he's been doing with his followers from the moment his mutant thumbs first tapped out a tweet from the shitter. Trump has always insisted that that he exists in a fantasy that he demands everyone share. That's how the fuck con artists work. He's on record saying that his wealth is based on "my own feelings." You gonna believe numbers on a ledger or the delusions of a mentally-ill charlatan pulling his last, greatest grift?

The VFW ended up issuing an apology of sorts, admonishing their members for attacking media outlets that give the organization unquestioningly positive treatment.

The whole event was also a chance for Trump to endorse one of the GOP cock mites up for the nomination to run against McCaskill for the Senate. In this case, it was Josh Hawley, an anti-Obamacare prick Attorney General of Missouri. He had Hawley speak and, as always when Trump calls on someone to say something, Hawley slicked up his lips with vaseline and went to town: "You know, when I think about President Trump, there’s one word that comes to mind. That word is 'courage.'" Oh, but Hawley was just getting his sucking momentum going: "[T]here’s one guy who had the guts to actually fulfill his promises, the guts to move our embassy to Jerusalem, the guts to actually stand up against our enemies overseas, the guts to put conservatives on the Supreme Court of the United States — and that’s Donald Trump."

Somewhere, a tear fell from Mike Pence's eye as he realized that he'd have to learn new methods of fellatio and analingus to keep his place as First Toady.

By the way, for shits and giggles, I looked up one of President Obama's speeches to the VFW, one he gave in 2015. Remember how the right used to talk about Obama's huge ego because he said "I" or "me" all the time? (If you don't, yeah, that was totally a thing.) Obama said "I" about 45 times. Trump said it twice that many, around 90, yesterday.

And Obama didn't have anyone come out to slobberingly bob on his knob about how amazing he is and how we're all so fucking lucky to be allowed to bob on his knob. Obama also focused his speech almost entirely on defense and veterans issues, unlike Trump, who jacked it to MS-13 threats and trade deals. But, then again, Trump didn't talk about himself and completely tangential shit while black, so no one cares.


Trump Still Has the Dumbass Vote

In a continuation of the new genre in journalism that we'll call "Dumb Fucks Still Love Trump, Are Dumb," the Washington Post's Stephanie McCrummen traveled to Luverne, Alabama, to see how the evangelical Christian white people there feel about the man that 72% of them voted for in 2016. And guess the fuck what? These Jesus-fellating, science-denying, reality-ignoring racists would let Trump grab their daughters by the pussy if he said it would Make America Great Again.

Let me pause here to say that I've driven through Luverne on a number of occasions. It is what we might kindly say is "in the middle of buttfuck nowhere." I feel more unsafe there than in any big city I've ever been to. You wanna know about the place? Crenshaw County, which has less than 10,000 people, and is where Luverne is, recently put up a new Confederate monument as part of its Confederate Veterans Memorial Park. That's multidimensional stupid.

While McCrummen does include the voices of Luvernians who have their doubts about the morality of Donald Trump, a man whose pretty much commits the Seven Deadly Sins every fuckin' day, with an emphasis on Sloth, Pride, and Wrath, most of the good churchgoers in the article have contorted themselves like a double-jointed porn star in order to support the president. They believe that God himself sent Trump to lead the nation in order to defeat the "evil" (their word) Hillary Clinton and to overturn the legacy of Barack Obama, who, according to one Luverne woman who is living in an alternate universe we might call "Breitbartiana," "was acting at the behest of the Islamic nation." This woman and a friend declared that when the Bible says, "Love thy neighbor," it really means, "Love thy American neighbor."

("The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born," says Leviticus 19:34, but, you know, that's only the book where we get the Ten Commandments, so what do they know?)

Hell, even when having doubts about Trump, the people of Luverne sound fucking insane. Here's how one describes, well, Hell: "Each person is gonna be on an islandlike place, and fire all around it. And they’re gonna be in complete darkness, and over time, your eyes will go. And worms’ll eat on you." How the fuck do you reason with that? Or with the people who are sure that liberals and/or black people are agitating for a new civil war? How the fuck do you begin to attempt to bridge that gap? By saying they should support free college education? Man, these motherfuckers would tell you to shove it up your ass, commie. By saying that Trump's tariffs are gonna hurt the auto parts factories that form the economic base of the area? Funny thing about that...

Over in Ohio, at Banner Metals, where they make parts for various machines, the workers there don't really give a loose lizard shit about the harm that tariffs might do to them. Said one technician, "If it comes out of my paycheck, so be it. You got to look at the big picture. That tiny bit of sacrifice we make will create jobs." I wrote last week about a whole bunch of these white people ready to sacrifice themselves on the altar of Trumponomics, the same people who would have rather watched their families die than accept government-supported health insurance.

Democrats need to forget about places like Luverne, Alabama, when it comes to elections. The people there will benefit from liberal policies, whether they like it or not. Shit, just expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act would get 200,000 people in Alabama health care. But they are not gonna get out and vote Democrat, not for Bernie, not for Biden, not for Kamala. It's not gonna happen. Don't waste your fucking time. 63% of Crenshaw County went for Roy Moore last year.

And, for fuck's sake, across the board, stop fetishizing the Trump voter and Trump areas. How about an article on how people are faring in areas like Dallas County in Texas or Dallas County in Alabama, where they went for Clinton by big numbers in a sea of Trump counties? They have valid American stories, too. In fact, even more valid and even more American, if we're, you know, measuring by popular vote.


Twitter Timeout for Me

I'm currently in a Twitter timeout for 12 hours. That happens when you say something that violates the Terms of Service for Twitter. Apparently, this means that most Nazi shit, sexist shit, racist shit, and myriad other shit, including the president of the United States threatening war, are all fine. But if I react to an article about how "depressed" Trump's administration members are with what's below (and, fuck's sake, a little room for sarcasm, people) then I'm the bad guy.

Hey, Twitter is their damn website. They get to erode public discourse and help destroy the world any way they want. We're all just along for the ride now.

By the way, if you're in the Trump administration and feeling suicidal, don't follow the snarky advice of a dumbass blogger. Get yourself the help you need. And fucking quit.


Republicans Won't Save Us Because Their Voters Don't Want to Be Saved: A Farce in Six Acts

1. In another of its ongoing series "Do the Editors of the New York Times Really Think the Yokels Will Ever Love Them?" reporters interviewed an assortment of the aforementioned yokels, along with a scattering of rubes and yahoos, all who voted for Donald Trump, to find out what they think of the president in the wake of his bowing down to Vladimir Putin. And, surprise, surprise, the yokels, rubes, and yahoos are almost all still on board.

One dumbass in Indiana said, "It is strictly a witch hunt" against Trump, while a shit-for-brains in Louisiana proclaimed, "They’re just trying to make Trump’s election look fraudulent" and some fucking moron in Arizona said that Trump is a strategic master because "No one really thinks it’s a true friendship" with Putin.

2. National Public Radio did the same kind of thing, talking with Trump voters who barely blinked about his weird damn support for Russia. They talked to stupid assholes in Central Bumfuck, Texas, who said things like, "[Trump's] smart. He knows how to negotiate" and that Trump has "done a lot of things that other presidents haven't had the guts to do."

3. When Harley-Davidson said it had to shift some of its operations overseas because of the tariffs that Trump has imposed, NPR went to an actual Harley plant in Wisconsin that might lay off workers because of the shift. Even these workers who may lose their jobs as a direct result of Trump's policies are standing by their Orange God. One really said, "I mean, he wouldn't do it for no reason. I look at him as a very smart businessman. And, I mean, if he feels that's what he needed to do, that's what he needed to do."

4. At a nail factory in Missouri that has already laid off 60 workers due to the steel tariffs, workers couldn't turn against Trump. "I understand why he's doing it," one pathetically mewled to MSNBC, while another still has faith in the man: "I want him to fix it so it’s better." The slobbering support for Trump goes on unabated as workers are let go. Said one, "I support him 100%. In fact, I’d like to shake his hand. He’s doing a great job.” And asked directly if she'd change her mind on Trump if she lost her job, a worker replied, "Overall, he’s done good. I’m not going to be selfish just because of me.”

(Just to get this right: President Obama asked everyone to get into the health care system in order to make insurance afordable for all, and that was the worst thing anyone could do because fuck those takers. But you're willing to sacrifice your job because you have to keep supporting the man who made you lose it? That's some Jedi-fuckin' mind trick right there with a heavy dose of racism.)

5. Soybean farmers who are expecting to see massive losses as a result of the trade war with China believe that this is all a part of Trump's genius at work. One delusional Arkansas farmer said, "President Trump is a businessman. He’s making a high-risk business decision that probably should have been made a long time ago. But it’s definitely a risk." Another utter imbecile, who is going to lose half his farm revenue this year, praised Trump with, "The one thing I admire about the guy is that he’s fulfilled or tried to fulfill" his campaign promises.

6. On C-SPAN Monday, an awful caller from Connecticut said, awfully, "I’ll try not to sound too awful, but I want to thank the Russians for interfering with our election to stop Hillary Clinton from becoming president."

And you can fucking well bet that that's what many of Trump's idiot horde are saying. Because of that, Republicans are going to walk the fuck away from the whole Trump and Russia issue because Trump might be a motherfucking traitor, but that motherfucking traitor is the only thing holding the Republican Party together.


Random Observations on a Traitor

1. I'm not gonna pretend to know the ins and outs of Russian/American relations in the Putin era. Yet, I know it ain't the Soviet Union, but many of the totalitarian impulses of the Soviet era continue on under the reign of Putin and the oligarchs. Now, during the end of the Cold War, when I became politically aware, I thought the conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union was just pathetic dick-measuring played out on a global scale, with proxy wars and constant threats of nuclear annihilation, not to mention endless espionage on both sides. I have done more than my share of research into the Communist witch hunt by the House Un-American Activities Committee, including the Hollywood Ten (check out John Howard Lawson, a badass motherfucker of a writer as there ever was in that time), as well as the other victims of Red Scares and anti-Communist hysteria.

So I can say without equivocation that, today, at his press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump offered more aid and comfort to Russia than any victim of Joe McCarthy and HUAC ever did. When Trump blamed the United States for, in essence, not doing more to prevent Russia from hacking the DNC and electoral interference, when Trump declared the investigation into Russia's election fuckery a "disaster for our country" because "I think it's kept us apart, it's kept us separated," when Trump said of his own Director of National Intelligence, "My people came to me, Dan Coats, came to me and some others they said they think it's Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it's not Russia," he did more to undermine the United States than all the poor saps that McCarthy, Roy Cohn, and Dick Nixon accused of being spies and traitors combined.

There is a lot of shit I might be naive about when it comes to the filthy world of politics, but I'm pretty sure the president doesn't get to trust a foreign country over the one he leads. Or, if a president thinks the intelligence agencies have gone rogue, he can fire people. Instead, he deflected to Hillary Clinton's emails, Peter Strzok, and every other dumbass conspiracy theory that Fox "news" fucked into his addled brain.

2. Republicans have put out mighty statements of outrage, but until GOP senators say, "Nope, fuck this shit. No more judges, nothing, until we can figure out, as the man himself said, what the hell is going on" and GOP representatives say, "Yeah, this fucking sucks. Time to get impeachy," then all their words are bullshit.

As was once explained to me by a Republican consultant, one big reason that they won't cross Trump is that they get pummeled with not just angry emails from his idiot hordes (which, to be completely fair, are all Republicans' idiot hordes until they turn against the orange god), but death threats and rape threats and threats to kill and rape their children, along with doxing of them. To be sure, as someone who gets the occasional death threat, almost every single one is completely fake and the motherfucking pieces of their whore mothers' twat scabs who send them aren't gonna do shit.

Except here's the fuckin' deal: Would you speak up if someone sent you your college-age daughter's dorm room address along with a rape threat?

And here's the flip side of that fuckin' deal: How many of those fuckin' trolls are Russian scumfuckers?

If Republicans have been cowed into silence, which is just a piece with their general state of being chicken shit, then perhaps if they came out as a group, a bunch of 'em, and said, "Yeah, there is some shit we will not eat. Let's shitcan this asshole president," well, it'd show the scribblers of murder notes that they have a fuck of a lot of work to do. And there is even the possibility that a few of the idiot horde might look up from hunching in a ditch and shoving dingleberries up their noses to let a rational thought pierce their thick, troglodyte skulls and think, "Huh, Congressman Cockknob has always been a stand-up guy. He hates queers and immigrants. Maybe I should listen if he's turned against Trump."

2a. At the very least, a couple of Republican senators should switch to caucusing with Democrats and have hearings that'll make the entire White House piss itself.

2b. Yeah, I think some of them are compromised. I think the rest are just opportunist pussies who wouldn't know the civic good if it bit them in the ass and screamed, "I'm the Civic Good."

3. Trump's obsession with the 2016 election is his biggest tell. He can't stop talking about. Multiple times in the past week, he's brought up his electoral vote victory. Today, with Putin smirking that fuckin' Ernst Blofeld/gargoyle smirk of his, Trump went on a couple of tears about 2016. Asked about whether Russia intervened in the election, he shimmied, "[I]t came out as a reason why the Democrats lost an election, which frankly, they should have been able to win because the electoral college is much more advantageous for Democrats, as you know, than it is to Republicans. We won the Electoral College by a lot. 306 to 223, I believe." He had announced his Electoral College total at his press conference after the NATO summit, too.

You know when you don't talk about how great it is you won? When you know you won legitimately. If there's something sketchy about how you won something, you can either shut the fuck up about it and hope no one notices. Or you can keep talking and hope you can create a story that people believe when the truth comes out. And you proclaim yourself the real victim of any chicanery.

So this motherfucker is so guilty, he's fuckin' oozing lies through his rosacea-lined skin.

4. Here's the kindest fucking spin I can put on this debacle, this plunge from incompetence and fealty into full-blown traitorous behavior. Trump is begging for Congress to end his presidency. He's saying in so many words, "You have to stop me. You have to remove me from office. Putin won't let me resign. So you have to do it."

If that's not the message that Republicans got from that utter humiliation, that deranged babbling, that press conference from Hell, then we're well beyond fucked. We're being prepped for some kind of takeover.


Republicans: Shit-Talking Your Boss Is Wrong, But Shit-Talking Your Employees Is Awesome

Believe it or not, I have been entrusted with a position that puts me into a supervisory position over dozens of employees. I am their boss, and I can fire most of them at will or whim because that's the stupidity of U.S. labor laws. I like to think I'm a decent boss - that I'm fair and that I listen to all the people who work under me and that I consider what is best for everyone - but I know that I do things that piss people off. How can I not? My bosses do things that piss me off. Their bosses do things that piss them off. It's the way things work. And I hope the people I supervise shit-talk me. I hope they blow off steam about what an asshole I can be. I hope they say vulgar things and terrible jokes and horrible insults. I hope they do it in person, in emails, and in texts. It's not masochism on my part. It's because if you shit-talk your boss, it means you fucking care. It means your job means more to you than a paycheck. And I'd rather have a bunch of people working with me to make things better than mindless drones who couldn't be bothered to give a sad turtle shit about what we do.

So the House Oversight and Judiciary committees' joint hearing yesterday where FBI agent Peter Strzok's texts to his girlfriend about what a fucking disaster a Donald Trump presidency would be was a complete clusterfuck disaster because, essentially, it boiled down to being pissy that Strzok shit-talked his future boss. Not a single Republican who huffed and puffed and pounded the table could produce a single instance of Strzok doing anything sinister, except, of course, investigate the involvement of Russia in the 2016 election. Indeed, today's indictment of a dozen Russians for hacking the DNC and Hillary Clinton shows that every Republican at the hearing, including living abortion Trey Gowdy and sentient dog shit bag Louis Gohmert, is merely dancing to the tune that Vladimir Putin is playing.

The main assertion, something along the lines that Strzok must be a supervillain who has concocted a Russia/Trump collusion conspiracy out of thin air, exists only because of some messages that the FBI agent sent to another agent, Lisa Page, who he was banging. They were sharing, along with the majority of Americans, the horror of the idea of Trump winning in 2016. Strzok said yesterday, in his pantsing of Gowdy, that he was reacting to Trump's attack on the parents of a soldier who died in the Iraq War in some of the messages.

But if Strzok's texts are supposed to reveal actions that he took (and, again, there is no evidence he took them and there is no evidence that everyone else in the chain of command at the FBI looked the other way while he took actions that he didn't take), then what do Donald Trump's insane, constant tweets about Strzok demonstrate? I'm not allowed to go on social media and say that someone who works for me is an asshole and is plotting to get me. That's fucking wrong and violates all kinds of workplace laws and rules.

Yet over and over, since their names were revealed, Trump has bitched about Strzok and Page. He constantly mocked them as "the great lovers." He said they are both "incompetent and corrupt" who worked on a "Rigged Witch Hunt" (or even led it). He called Strzok "the FBI's sick loser" and one of the FBI's "hating frauds."

If the Strzok/Page texts are some Rosetta Stone of the true purpose of the Russia investigation, then what the fuck do Trump's tweets reveal? (Answer: Sweaty fear and the feeling of impending prison time.)

Let's end here with an exchange you might not have seen anything about. It's not as soul-satisfying as Strzok pimp-slapping Gowdy and Goodlatte or reaming Gohmert's dumb face or barely containing laughter at Paul Gosar claiming that he can read body language because he's a dentist. But it's instructive.

Rep. Ted Poe, a Republican jizz bucket from the suburbs of Houston, wondered, "How do we know that there's not bias in the FBI in this particular investigation or other investigations? How do we know that?"

After some back and forth, Strzok answered, "You look at what I did. You look at what the inspector general concluded, not only me, but all the agents and assistant directors and EADs and DDEs and everybody involved in the investigation. And you see that the evidence, unequivocally, is there is no act of bias. So this false assertion that you're making that political personal belief must equal bias, that somehow we have merged those two words together in the dictionary is one of the triumphs of what's been going on recently that I cannot disagree with more. A judge asks jurors, are you able to set aside your personal opinions and render a judgment based on the facts? Sir, you know that, based on your extensive experience. What I am telling you is that I and the other men and women of the FBI every day take our personal beliefs and set those aside in vigorous pursuit of the truth wherever it lies, whatever it is."

Then a Republican congressman from Texas looked at an FBI agent with years of experience dealing with Russia and who was under oath and said, "And I don't believe you."

As much as it pains this liberal to side with the FBI after their history of mistreating the left, it was genuinely stunning to see Republicans take the side of the country's enemies and against the people who serve the nation. That's a bold assertion, but it's becoming increasingly clear that it's the only rational explanation.


Stop Telling Liberals To Calm Down Over Kavanaugh

You know what the problem with the story of the boy who cried, "Wolf" is? It ends with a fucking wolf eating the fucking sheep. The lesson is supposed to be about lying. Yeah, he cried, "Wolf" over and over, just for shits and giggles, but, in the end, there was a wolf. Wolves exist and they lived around that area, and even if you're wrong a hundred times, all it takes is one wolf to ruin your flock. So you stay vigilant. You try not to be a dick and cry out because you're bored. You call out a warning when you think something's amiss. And maybe, just maybe, you'll actually stop the wolf. It's the way we approach terrorism, right? It's better for everyone to lose their shit and run around screaming over every little threat than it is to miss the terrorism. (Note: this only applies to Muslims.)

And so must it be with nominees to the Supreme Court. Yeah, as Bret Stephens writes in the New York Times, liberals do fire the warning flares into the sky with every Republican nominee. And fuckin' Republicans do the same goddamn thing when a Democratic president nominates someone. Look at the complete fucking freakout over Elena Kagan by gun nuts. They were practically tearing their clothes off in the middle of the street and screeching that the Second Amendment was all but dead and gone if Kagan got in. Guess the fuck what?

It's only been a few days, and we're already into a genre of editorial writing and punditry that amounts to "Calm down there, little liberals" when it comes to Trump's latest nominee to the highest court in the land. Damon Linker over at The Week (Motto: "Four free issues are too many") actually titled his "The liberal freakout over Brett Kavanaugh is not helping." Linker, in a way that's far more face-punch-worthy smarmy than Stephens, tells us that Kavanaugh is a respectable, regular ol' piece of shit conservative. There's nothing especially notable about him other than he has actual experience (unlike some of the fake finalists in Trump's reality show search for a justice). Linker scolds, "The tendency of Trump critics to treat everything the administration does and everything the president says as abnormal remains concerning."

You know, if I was walking in the forest and I saw Bigfoot taking a shit, I wouldn't say, "Well, that's just perfectly ordinary behavior. Nothing odd about that. Carry on, Bigfoot." No, I'd think, "Holy fuckballs, that's fuckin' Bigfoot and he's gonna rip off my fucking face after he's done shitting if I'm not careful." Just because Trump does something without barking at the moon and jacking off on Sean Hannity's face doesn't mean that we should think of that seemingly normal action as anything but of a piece with everything else he does. Just because Godzilla stops on his rampage to scratch his balls, Tokyo's not safe.

These complete misreadings of the historical moment range from "A Liberal's Case for Brett Kavanaugh," which boils down to "If we're nice, will Republican promise to stop hitting us?" to the ne plus ultra of complete garbage, "I don’t know Kavanaugh the judge. But Kavanaugh the carpool dad is one great guy," which is really not an Onion article, although it reads like one (Sorry, coaching a girl's basketball team is not the same as deciding the future abortion rights for those girls) to every tweet and comment about what a swell teacher/friend/colleague/boss or tender lover Kavanaugh is. Who the fuck cares? Really. Who the fuck cares?

The reason that we on the left are "freaking out" is because that's all we've fuckin' got. We know that, barring the revelation that Kavanaugh was regularly grabbing pussies or got an enormous payoff from Trump for his enormous credit card debt (and, even then, most of the MAGA fucks would say that was just the Deep State doing deep state shit), Kavanaugh is in. And we know that when he's in, he is going to overturn Roe, gut the Affordable Care Act to death, open up gun laws so every fucknut can get a bazooka, and defend Donald Trump's right to remain president no matter how many babies he puts in cages or Russian dicks he gladly gobbles. And we know that the real fight should have been over Merrick Garland, that we should have shut the entire fucking operation of the country down until Garland got a hearing and a vote, that by simply letting that slide (and Barack Obama fucked up royally here) under the idea that Hillary Clinton would obviously be elected and the fight could continue, we missed a chance to really affect the balance of the court.

The real answer to anyone who says we should calm the fuck down is that we would have been calmer about this if Republicans hadn't fucked up the entire process of confirming a justice. But they were motherfuckers because that's what they are, so now we get to lose our shit.

We know that the time to freak out over everything is here. And if we don't freak out, if we don't cry, "Wolf" every time we hear a howl or snarl, then we'll be ripped to shreds when the wolves finally arrive.


Quickie: Dinner with Despair

Last night, I drank and ate with a couple of friends who are way, way richer and smarter than me. One of them is a journalist pal. And, on our second bottle of wine, after gabbing about work and partners and their kids, things finally turned to politics because, you know, it fucking well has to. It was prompted by me looking at my phone to see that President Trump had "selected" Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to the Supreme Court. "Of course, it's Kavanaugh," the journalist said. "It was always going to be Kavanaugh. That fucker is in Trump's pocket."

Then the journalist stated, simply, "This country is done. We're finished. It ended the night Trump was elected."

Because I try to fight off that kind of nihilism, I argued that the midterms were our last hope. They're at least my last hope. I've been pretty clear that I'll be looking for an exit strategy from the United States if Democrats don't win back at least one chamber of Congress. "Fuck that," the journalist said. "Democrats aren't going to win the Senate. They're not going to win the House. The country is too far gone. Trump is going to win a second term. We're going to bail on NATO. They're gonna crack down on free speech."

Bob Dylan's "Everything Is Broken" has been playing in my head a lot lately, and it did then.

The journalist is one of a couple of friends of mine who have relatives who were targeted by the House Un-American Activities Committee and blacklisted. They see echoes of that terrible era now. His mother told the journalist, "I'm sorry that you've had to see this happen. I was hoping you'd live your life without the nation going mad."

I want Democrats to feel despair. I want us to be panicked. I want us to be shitting ourselves from now until November, hoping we're able to change things.

The journalist says he will vote, but he recognizes his helplessness. "There's nothing we can do," he said. "There's no book we can write, no report we can make, nothing, that will change any of this." We bemoaned how the MAGA crowd is impervious to facts, as if those were just for libtards to comfort themselves with, not the foundation of any rational argument. We are fighting not just a cult, as many like to say, but a form of mass hysteria.


Our Deeply Perverse President Won't Shut the Fuck Up

One of the weirdest moments from last night's campaign rally for some fuckin' asshole GOP senate candidate in Great Falls, Montana (motto: "We hate those Mexicans so much even though most of us have never met one") was when, for no apparent reason other than that the roulette wheel in his brain of "Shit I Don't Like" stopped on it, President Donald Trump attacked a line that George H.W. Bush said 30 years ago. It's the equivalent of saying, "You know what always pissed me off? That St. Elsewhere finale" to a group of high school students.

Here's what our goddamned demented president said, "All the rhetoric you see here, the ‘thousand points of light,’ what the hell was that by the way? ‘Thousand points of light.’ What does that mean? Does anyone know? I know one thing. ‘Make America Great Again’ we understand. ‘Putting America first,’ we understand. ‘Thousand points of light,’ I never quite got that one." The crowd of slobbering knob gobblers hooted and laughed as Trump did his little prancy jig of derision, all agreeing that a metaphor is just too fucking hard to understand.

Now, I have no love for George H.W. Bush, and I don't give a single, hard rat turd that he's an old, old man confined to a wheelchair with a recently dead wife. Yeah, yeah, he was a war hero and he's done a lot of charitable stuff post-presidency. Fuck that guy. He was a shitty president who helped pave the way for political campaign damnation with the Willie Horton ad. And he jizzed out George W. Bush. Fuck him.

Still, Trump's attack is just fuckin' weird. First off, it wasn't Bush's 1988 campaign slogan. Those would have been "A Kinder, Gentler Nation" or "Experienced Leadership for America’s Future," which are arguably easy to comprehend. "A thousand points of light" was an instantly mockable line, but it was from a speech and Bush was talking about volunteer organizations. He even said he was talking about those. I can remember criticizing the phrase at the time, thinking, "That evil motherfucker just wants charities to take over shit that the government is supposed to do." But it wasn't too hard to understand, for fuck's sake. You'd have to be a fucking moron and/or a Trump supporter to not see what that means.

Trump's tone at his rallies has gotten increasingly deranged, increasingly threatening, and increasingly unhinged (yes, that is possible). Last night, he started his usual riff on one of his obsessions, the "truth" of Senator Elizabeth Warren's racial heritage (which is really of a piece with his refusal to accept that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii). Deriding her as "Pocahontas" - he doesn't even use her name anymore and his slavering hordes love it which makes him do it even more because leadership or something - he then created an entire scenario of facing Warren in a debate.

He literally acted it out as he said, "I'm gonna get one of those little kits. And in the middle of the debate, when she proclaims that she's from Indian heritage...We will take that little kit and say — but we have to do it gently, because we're in the #MeToo generation, so we have to be very gentle. And we will very gently take that kit, and we will slowly toss it, hoping it doesn't hit her and injure her arm, even though it only weighs probably two ounces."

So, let's see, in one small segment of a 70-minute "speech" (if by "speech," you mean, "blabbering from an old man who finally has an audience to cheer on his incoherent brain farts and misanthropy"), Trump was not just racist, but he was sexist, rapey, rape-mocking, and bullying. What a puddle of weak shit our president is.

In a single tweet in response, Warren reamed out Trump, reminding him that there are far, far more important things going on than his ability to get the yokels all het up.

Essentially, we don't have a president. How many bullshit rallies has he done in the last week? No, that's not a goddamn president. That's a mascot. We have a Philly Phanatic out there, getting the crowd pumped up, to distract from the vile, awful things done by the vile, awful people who work for this vile, awful man.


Repost: Francis Hopkinson, One of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, Was a Sarcastic Bastard

(I wrote this back in 2016, and, sadly, it still applies even more now.)

One of the signers of the Declaration of Independence representing New Jersey, Francis Hopkinson was a smart-ass and one sarcastic bastard. Sure, he was a lawyer, judge (appointed by George Washington), harpsichordist and composer, and a designer of the American flag. But he once asked "whether a Quarter Cask of the public wine" could be payment for his work because that's how the Founders rolled.

In his essays, he could be total dickhead to anyone who pissed him off, including those who thought the United States was better off under the rule of England. For instance, he wrote "On Peace, Liberty, and Independence" in the early 1780s as part of a series of university orations, where he was a snarky fucker, mocking those who were against civil liberties springing from self-rule: "Had Great-Britain succeeded in her views with respect to this country, we should not have been put to the laborious task of framing laws for our own government, a task which we seem but indifferently qualified to perform; we should have been rid of the intolerable plague, the heart-burnings, feuds, cabals, and chicaneries attending popular elections, and we should have been eased of the enormous expense of assemblymen's wages, com|missions, fees and salaries to the officers of government, and a thousand other charges and inconveniences to which we must now be subjected: we should have had nothing more to do, but to pay when called upon, and obey when commanded."

And what he wrote about what independence means when it comes to positions on other nations could be rejiggered just a little to be used on those who would exploit stupidity and xenophobia to maintain power:

"Whilst we were dependent upon Great Britain, we had no trouble in studying the characters, customs, and manners of foreign nations; the English were so kind as to furnish us with all their ideas on these subjects. They told us, that the French are a trifling and contemptible nation;that the Spaniards are proud, sullen, and revengeful; the Germans, ostentatious; the Hollanders, boors; the Russians, savages; and, in short, that the English were themselves the only people fit to live and govern the word, as if all other nations held their dominions by usurpation. How easy was it to believe all this? Implicit faith saves an infinity of trouble. How happy were we in submitting to the government, adopting the prejudices, and aping the manners of a nation, which we conceived to be the glory of the world, and the perfection of human nature?

"Whereas, now, we are under the painful necessity of altering our sentiments. We are compelled by actual experience to acknowledge, that the French are a brave, generous, and polished people: and that none of the other nations are, in truth, such as they have been represented to us. Our commercial connections will convince us that human nature is fundamentally the same in every country. That good and bad men are to be found in every climate; and that the people of England have not actually monopolized all the virtue and wisdom of the world. Every conviction of error is a violence done to the mind, inasmuch as the forcible eradication of a prejudice must be attended with a painful sensation. The blind man is happy in his blindness, and the ignorant content with his ignorance. The wisest of men has somewhere told us that the increase of wisdom is the increase of sorrow."

That is some kick-ass shit right there, a punch right in the Trumps.


Quickie: Trump Is Actually Helping MS-13

1. There is no MS-13 crisis. I know, I know, you want there to be one because scary Latinos are scary, but there isn't one. No matter how many times Donald Trump says it, it's a lie. And, yes, people have been harmed by the gang, like they are harmed by all gangs, from Calle 18 to the Bloods. And, yes, crime is horrible. But that doesn't make it a "crisis" or an "infestation." Because it isn't either of those.

2. One of the main reasons that children and families with children are showing up and seeking asylum at the southern border of the United States is because gangs like MS-13 have made threats like "You join us or die." And under those conditions, with law enforcement all but non-existent, what parent wouldn't try to save their child? So when Attorney General Jeff "Small Men Can Be Giant Assholes" Sessions said that fleeing gang violence will no longer qualify migrants for consideration for asylum, he was pretty much signing a bunch of death warrants and a bunch of gang membership forms. Then, if those gang members do cross the border, well, instead of being part of a family granted asylum to start a new life, they'll be fucking gang members. This is not to mention the perpetuation of the violence in Central America that is making people seek asylum.

3. Agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement have said that Trump's monstrous, idiotic zero-tolerance policy on undocumented migrants has led to a reduction in "their ability to pursue national security threats, child pornography and transnational crime." You got that? They're not concentrating on the violent criminals and heinous crimes because they're too busy rounding up undocumented parents of American children or going to meatpacking plants and dragging away everyone.

There are only so many resources. If you divert money from investigating violent criminals to hanging out at schools to arrest fathers when they drop their kids off, then violent criminals will get away with shit. It ain't that big a leap to say that Donald Trump's immigration policy, along with his bizarre, continuous advertising for them, will ultimately help MS-13 and other gangs. But, hey, who gives a shit as long as he can teach those Guatemalan mothers that he can take away their babies. Their tears nourish him and his mad minions.


Conservatives Do Anything to Avoid Saying They Support Trump Because of Racism

In order to support President Donald Trump, you must be a racist. That is clearly a truth at this point, since Trump continues to do and say extravagantly racist shit. If you are still a Trumpster, it means you're cool with racism. Ergo, you're racist. Do we even need to argue about that anymore? (And if you're a Trump supporter reading this and thinking, "Not me," let me assure you: "Especially you.")

If we take that as a truism, it is also a truism that most of Trump's voters will do anything to avoid saying that it's racism that drives them. They'll come up with bullshit theories about working class anxiety or the desire for a leader who talks like them or whatever. Fuck all that. It's the racism.

The latest example of this self-contortion is in today's New York Times (motto: "One day we'll get those two Trump voters in Kansas to subscribe"). It's an opinion piece by Matthew Schmitz, who is the editor of First Things. Like me, you may have asked yourself, "The fuck is First Things?" And, if you're like me, you google that shit and find out that it proclaims itself, "America's Most Influential Journal of Religion and Public Life," which is not unlike calling your dog, "America's Cutest Little Wuggums That I Ever Snuggled." In other words, it's totally subjective and, really, who the fuck cares?

And what does the "most influenza kernel of rimjobs and pubic lice" have to say about, you know, stuff? Well, let's see here. There's this thing about making the United States a Christian nation, where you can read totally not fucking crazy things like "We hope for an America conformed to the reality that Jesus is Lord." Or the multiple anti-abortion pieces where they are creaming in their Dockers at the idea of overturning Roe. They see their chance now and they are fresh out of fucks: "Now is not the time for compromise or worries about breaking the peace that Roe has brought us." A bit uncivil for a religion journal, no?

So, yeah, that's the provenance of this fuckwit writing, no shit, "Trump's 'Purple' Family Values." Schmitz tells us that people he knows in New York, across the political spectrum, dislike Trump because of his personal behavior, but, amazingly, when he talks to those from his hometown in Nebraska, those cornhuskin' motherfuckers are totes cool with Trump, no matter how many pussies he grabbed. "They glossed over his infidelities and stressed that he seemed to be a good father. They were impressed by his 'respectful' sons and admired the success of his daughters," said the bumpkins that Schmitz grew up among. And then he asks, "What made the difference?" And then he answers his question by saying, "It was racism. Oh, dear Christ, I was appalled to realize that I had lived with such backward-ass cracker motherfuckers and I vowed never to return."

No, of course, he didn't say that. That would require honesty, not mental gymnastics that'd make Simone Biles say, "Fuck that shit." For Schmitz, the difference between Trump-loathing New Yorkers and Trump-loving real Americans is "In a word, class." To which one can only say, "The fuck it is. It's racism, asshole. It's racism because you chose to compare the opinions of people who live in an incredibly diverse area to those who live in a place where they think salt makes food spicy.

Schmitz goes on, because of course he does, to oversimplify and misread the book Red Families v. Blue Families, in the way that only an English major from Princeton can, offering "Red families tend toward conservatism, and blue tend toward progressivism" like he's saying something profound. Leaving out the incredibly relevant fact that the divorce rate is higher in places where there are "red families" (something the authors of the book point out), Schmitz invents the "purple family," which is white working class, black, and/or Hispanic. "In these families, bonds between mothers and children are prized above those between couples," he asserts. "Unstable relationships are the norm, and fathers quickly end up out of the picture." There you go: in an attempt to avoid saying "racism," he's just revealed he's racist. Yeah, he says, "Working-class whites," but he separates them out.

For fucking idiots, "Mr. Trump embodies a real if imperfect model of family values. People familiar with the purple family model tend to view his alienation from his children’s mother as normal and his closeness to his children as exceptional and admirable." Well, the white working class ones might. But the black and Hispanic families sure as shit don't.

How fuckin' delusional do you have to be to see Trump as being "close" to his children, huh? You see any fuckin' photos of him doing anything but business with his kids? They're associates, not kids.  You see him having fun with Barron? Joshing with Jr. and Eric? Spending time with Tiffany? No, this fuckweasel president never shows joy or pride in his kids. The closest he comes to appreciating his children is leering at Ivanka.

Goddamn, Schmitzy, fella, just say it. You'll feel so much better. You like Trump because he sticks it to the darkies and the immigrants, the Mooslims and the spics. Admit that, Trump voters, instead of pretending that you give a happy monkey fuck about a worthless tax cut or North Korea. You have permission to be open about it. Because you know that if he dumped Melania for an 18 year-old Russian piss hooker and then punched Don Jr. in the face in public, you'd still love him because he rubs that racist clit so good that you just scream in orgasm whenever he says that immigrants are all criminals.

And fuck you, New York Times opinion page. How many dirt-eaters and goat-fuckers do you need to publish before you realize that there is no intelligent core to Trumpism? Just get David Duke to write the next one. Cut to the fuckin' chase.