The Amount of Time Trump Spends Tweeting Should Be a Scandal

A few days before Donald Trump's trashy inauguration in January 2017, I tweeted this: "So this is our life now? Awaiting tweeted proclamations each morning from the Orange King as to who has lost his favor? Fuck all of this." And it was one of those obvious statements that was tinged with the slightest bit of sardonic hope. It certainly seemed that we were damned to have to daily word turds shat straight from the anus of a brain of the Commander-in-Chief, but, goddamn, we could also think that surely the job of being president is so packed that he just won't have time for Twitter. It was a thin, ludicrous wish, but futile hope is one of the great and sad things about being human.

So, ultimately, it wasn't a surprise that a guy who was an unrepentant motherfucker on Twitter before getting elected would continue to be both unrepentant and a motherfucker after getting elected. You don't go from talking about "the losers and haters" and accusing President Obama of being born in Africa to becoming generous and diplomatic just because you bumblefucked into the presidency. The content of the tweets, while enraging, idiotic, and threatening, just reflect who Trump is and who he always has been. A dick is a dick is a dick.

But the excessive amount of tweeting Trump does is legitimately fucked up. However much you may despise him, he's the goddamn president. You'd think he might have important shit to do. Yet somehow, yesterday, on a Monday, allegedly a fucking workday, he tweeted 15 times. And if you go back a couple of days, as the New York Times points out, Trump tweeted 50 times between Friday morning and Sunday night. While, yes, we can include the caveat that Trump may not personally pound his tiny thumbs on his unsecured phone, he is either dictating or approving the tweets.

Not only did he whine his usual litany of complaints, but he retweeted long segments from Fox "news" shows that defended him or blew him. He also directly criticized the weekend anchors on Fox. Think about that for a moment. The President of the United States has nothing better to do on a Sunday than watch a TV show he's hating so he can bitch about it. You know who's watching the Sunday afternoon of any news channel? People who are too lazy or sick to reach over the couch to get the remote and people who have to watch that shit for a living. Trump is showing that all he fucking does is watch Fox and, alarmingly, One America news, which is like what you get if an Alex Jones fucked a Breitbart. Every day. From morning until night. We got reporting that that's what he does, but he's demonstrating it through his tweets. Hell, just today, so far, again, in the middle of a workday, he's bitched about Kellyanne Conway's husband and "fake news," and he promised to "look into" alleged bias on social media.

The number of tweets reveal, simply, that Trump isn't doing his job. While many of us knew this would be the case, why isn't this pissing off the very people who talk about lazy workers? Or the "takers"? The man gets a fucking salary (which, he claims, he gives away, but Trump and his awful family of cockfleas and ass polyps burn through a shit-ton of taxpayer cash for their travel and living expenses). Every working person should be demanding he put the fucking phone down and do what he was hired for.

It's kind of amazing that every fucking day, we're not getting outraged commentary about how Trump doesn't do any actual work. That he just lurches from tweet to tweet, with Big Mac and Diet Coke breaks and golfing at his own golf courses breaking it up. Maybe they could take his picture-book intelligence briefings and make them dot-to-dot so that he has to draw to see what it is. "Oh, look, it's a nuclear missile! No one knows dot-to-dots like me!" he can yell while his staff members keep telling themselves that this is marginally better than death.

Besides, you know this dumb orange motherfucker is constantly checking the likes and retweets, hoping to get a dopamine hit that will keep the demons of failure at bay for just a little while longer.

For a contrast, I have a full-time job (and, sorry, losers and haters, I don't live in my Mom's basement and I don't like Cheetos). I tweeted 16 times yesterday, mostly during a one-hour period when I was watching Elizabeth Warren's town hall on CNN last night. Over the weekend, I tweeted just 20 times, still too much, but nothing compared to the goddamn president. That's because I spent time catching up on work, reading some things that make me just a little smarter, going to a concert, and getting into a vodka drink-off that I'm pretty sure ended in a three-way. In other words, I fucking lived.

We never see Trump read, we never see him enjoy time with his family, we never see him doing any work other than sitting at his empty desk, we never see him do any exercise besides lumbering from a golf cart up to a ball, taking a swing, and wheezing back to the cart, his man tits resting on his stomach as he rolls, ape-like, to the next hole. He is disengaged with the world beyond his appetites. How he himself is being treated is everything. How we're being treated is next to nothing (and the only reason for "next to" is that, occasionally, he pretends to give a shit about someone who kisses his voluminous ass).

Again, again, again, we knew all this about him. We fucking knew that he was lying when he said that he wouldn't even have time for golf. We knew that he was that sweet spot combination of a bully and a dullard, with a buffoonish cherry on top. We knew that he was going to be a total bastard because he's always been a total bastard. In fact, I'd venture to say that everyone knew it, but some of us put it aside because he was also racist, and they fucking loved that.

Still, we have proof, every day, that he's not doing his fucking job. On Twitter, I had someone tell me that he has to defend himself because the media is so mean to him. No, I responded, that's the fucking job of his media team. His job is to be president. But I guess we've changed the job description from "Leader of the Free World" to "Sullen prick who yells at the TV for the amusement of idiots."

The content of the tweets are a constant scandal. The effort he puts into them should be one, too. Make it into a campaign line: "Let's give Trump more time to tweet." I'd add, "Because fuck that lazy piece of shit into the ground," but I'm not running.

(Note: Yes, I know his idiot horde loves him tweeting and he's just pleasing them. And, yes, you are so very smart to say that it's better he's ignoring his job when he could be fucking it up.)


You Idiots Are Causing "White Genocide" Yourselves

In his bullshit, totally trolling-to-trigger-the-libtards "manifesto" (which, fuck him, I won't link to), the Australian terrorist dickmite (and I won't name him, either, because fuck him again) who murdered dozens of people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, makes multiple references to "white genocide." To him (and too many other dickmites), whenever, say, Muslims move to his blissful white country and build a mosque and set up some tasty kebab shop, it's pretty much the same thing as gassing all the white people and dumping their bodies in a mass grave.

In other words, "white genocide" means "demographic changes."

See, the white nationalist dickmites think that things have gotten so disastrous for the future of white people that they need to take up arms and kill those they see as the "invaders." It's too late to just fuck their way to a greater white population, although fucking is encouraged, so the only to stop it now is to declare it's go time and finally get to use those Bushmasters for what they were built to do: kill Muslims. Or any other non-white people they don't like. Or Jews because it's always Jews. This Aussie dickmite says as much in his overwrought manifesto, that he's, essentially, a Racial Justice Warrior. God, these "ethno-nationalists" are such dumbasses.

The irony is, though, that the very politicians and policies that most of the dickmites love are the very politicians and policies that are forcing populations to migrate from their homes and cause "white genocide."

You wanna prevent people from Central America from seeking asylum in the United States? Maybe you support politicians who want to help the infrastructure and economies of nations like Guatemala and Honduras, like we were doing under President Obama.

You wanna head off a gigantic climate refugee crisis, one that will dwarf anything anyone has ever seen once parts of India and Bangladesh become uninhabitable? Then don't support the politicians who deny that anything needs to be done to mitigate the effects of climate change. (Aussie dickmite presents himself as an environmentalist, but his solution is to end overpopulation through, you know, actual genocide.)

You wanna slow immigration from Muslim countries? Then maybe don't vote for leaders who prop up dictators, who fight worthless wars, who support the most conservative elements in countries in the Middle East, and who break fucking deals that can lead to a nation like, say, Iran becoming more Westernized (which, really, a lot of the people there want).

You upset because when immigrants get to your white country, they don't immediately embrace every stupid thing you love? Then maybe don't be an asshole to the immigrants so that they feel welcome and part of the larger community instead of staying in communities of their own to survive. Maybe don't be a prick about refugees, especially those that are fleeing places where they face suffering and death.

Yeah, you dumb motherfuckers, the savage dullards you support have created the circumstances where more non-white people want to leave their countries to add some color to your pasty white joint. Ain't that a fuckin' kick in the nuts right there?

Of course, the larger reality is that this shit is happening because this shit always happens. And armed racist nutzoids are gonna keep doing their shit because they have online communities (and some IRL ones) that egg them on until one nutzoid breaks off and says they're gonna start the war they've all talked about starting in order to keep Whiteguystan white.

The alternative is to accept that immigration has been happening forever and that races mixing is just demographic destiny. This isn't being done at the point of a gun. Unlike the colonizing ventures of Europe, no one is forcing you to give up your way of life and accept theirs. Enjoy diversity. Embrace it. It's pretty fucking great to open yourself to accept that other cultures just make life more interesting. (You won't because you're, well, nutzoid dickmites.)

You also can't ignore history: That Muslims have been part of Europe for many centuries, and they've been part of the United States and Australia and New Zealand since the founding of all three. That demographics shift constantly and sometimes one racial or ethnic population just takes over. Shit, go to Queens, New York, sometime.

And that the only reason to fear the shift is if your race or ethnicity is so pathetic and weak that your identity is going to be erased. If that's the case, then it deserves erasure.

(Note: Let's pause to recognize how richly ironic it is that a white Australian is complaining about another race coming to his country and fucking things up.)


In Brief: Vice President Pence Makes the Case Against a Border Wall

Yesterday, while speaking at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Advanced Training Facility in Harpers Ferry, West Virgina, Vice President Mike Pence, a man who always looks like he's trying to hide that he's got a remote control vibrating butt plug in his sphincter, essentially made the case that our current border security works when it comes to illegal drugs. It was truly, fucking weird.

Pence praised the gathered CBP officers and officials for preventing "the illegal entry of criminal aliens and drugs at our ports of entry and on our border." And then he said, "It’s amazing to reflect that, just a month ago, that the Nogales Port of Entry in Arizona Customs and Border Protection prevented more than 250 pounds of fentanyl from entering the United States of America. Tremendous." He added after some applause, "That was enough fentanyl to kill nearly one-third of the entire population of our country, and it was the largest fentanyl bust in CBP history.  And the team at Nogales has our congratulations and our thanks."

You got that, right? The largest fentanyl bust ever was at a port of entry.  But wait...

Then Pence congratulated the CBP for another triumph: "Last month, working with state and local partners, CBP agents stopped a shipment of illegal drugs from passing through the Port of Newark, ultimately seizing more than 3,200 pounds of cocaine worth $77 million.  That’s worth a round of applause too." Putting aside that asking for applause is just so goddamn pathetic and needy, that's a decent amount of cocaine, and, again, it came through a port. It wasn't a bunch of Mexicans running across the Rio Grande with cocaine strapped to their cantaloupe calves.

Later in the speech, Pence did say that they were getting funding to build more of the border wall, but someone there should have said, "Why? You just fuckin' told us about drugs coming through the ports of entry. Strengthen our shit there."

Of course, no Mike Pence speech is ever devoid of creepily sexual tension. Trying to bond with the law enforcement agents, the former talk radio host said, "I was out there on the range today, and I went in and watched a wrestling match — in the training center.  And I told — I told those extraordinary trainees and trainers — I said — I said, 'Look, we’re with you, but you need to know the American people are with you.'"

I don't think we needed the detail that Pence stood there watching sweaty people wrestle while he told them, "We're with you." Meanwhile, one of his Secret Service agents knew he had to turn the butt plug up to 10. Pence's face was pinched in ecstasy.


Don't Do This Shit Again, Democrats

Democrats are doing that thing they always do, that same bullshit of questioning every step, every word, every gesture to the point of paralysis in some areas. In just the last few days, we've gotten a report that some Democrats are feeling skittish about opening up investigative whoop-ass on Ivanka Trump, the daughter and fantasy lover of President Donald Trump, because it might make Daddy-kins angry. We've had the entirely unnecessary blow-up over Ilhan Omar's poor choice of words when talking about issues related to Israel. And now we've got Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi declaring, "I’m not for impeachment...because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it."

Welcome back to the same fuckin' pothole-filled road we've been down too many times.

The most important of those is Speaker Pelosi's pronouncement, which is more definitive than she's ever been on the subject of impeachment with Trump. For some of us, our stomachs turn and our bowels clench because it echoes what she said in 2006, after Democrats won back the House and she was about to become speaker. "Impeachment is off the table" when it came to George W. Bush, even though he was a goddamn war criminal, even though we desperately wanted him punished.

In the course of her new interview with the Washington Post, Pelosi agrees that this is the most divisive "political climate" since she's been in Congress because "because of the person who is in the White House and the enablers that the Republicans in Congress are to him." She adds, "We have a very serious challenge to the Constitution of the United States in the president’s unconstitutional assault on the Constitution, on the first branch of government, the legislative branch…This is very serious for our country." And, when asked if Trump is fit to be president, she is very clear: "I don’t think he is. I mean, ethically unfit. Intellectually unfit. Curiosity-wise unfit. No, I don’t think he’s fit to be president of the United States."

If the president is assaulting the Constitution, dividing the nation, and is unfit to even be president, then impeachment should be the most important thing that the Congress can do. Fuck the politics. Fuck the Senate. Fuck waiting for the Mueller report. You fucking do the investigations in your committees, you write up the articles, and you vote. You do it because, if you don't, then you're saying, "Yeah, he's a criminal surrounded by criminals who is actually turning people in the country violent, but, damn, the Republicans will just be so mean about it." You do it because history and your goddamn oath of office demand that you do it.

And don't talk to me about Bill Clinton's approval and the 1998 midterms as being hugely affected by investigations and his impeachment. As I wrote last year, that's a garbage argument. Clinton's approval was already above 50%, heading to 60 after his reelection and his disapproval was mostly in the 30s. Trump's numbers are the opposite. And the crimes Clinton was accused of are just a Tuesday morning for Trump while every other fucking tweet of Trump's is him looking us dead in the eye and saying, "I did not have collusion relations with that country, Russia."

As for the idea that the Senate won't convict, well, shit, the House right now is passing all these bills on voting rights, gun control, and more that the Senate won't touch because Mitch McConnell is a total cockmite and, you know, it's run by Republicans. That's not stopping the House from voting on things so that Democrats can run on the legislation that was stalled (and will have to be passed again in a new Congress). Besides, the Senate can't just ignore the House on impeachment.  The Constitution requires that the Senate have a trial on removing the president once the House impeaches (although you can bet McConnell will try to say he doesn't have to). That trial won't be about Trump's dick and whose mouth it was in, although it could be. It will be about how, say, he's getting bribed by Saudi Arabia through his family business.

While polls right now have impeachment far down the list of shit people want the Democrats to do, the point is that the majority of Americans think Trump's a fuckin' crook. They will get on board with taking this corrupt asshole down. Jesus, kicking out a rich prick? That's a fuckin' movie ending.

Look, you wanna excite the base for an election? You wanna get people to rally around you? You wanna bring the left and moderates in the party together? Then don't fucking do what President Obama did with the GOP after 2008 and let the bastards slide. Don't let them control the narrative. Go after every single one of Trump's criminal children (so far, Tiffany and Barron seem to have blissfully stayed out of the muck). Anal probe these fuckers until you're up to your elbows in their colons.

And don't take the goddamn bait every time Republicans start screaming about something on Fox "news." It's been days since Trump called the entire Democratic Party "anti-Jewish." And not a single Republican member of Congress has condemned him saying that. So, really, who the fuck cares if the GOP is upset about some insult? If you're a Democrat saying that impeachment should be off the table because it might piss off Republicans, then you're just doing their jobs for them.

Pelosi could have played it coy and said, "Well, we'll have to see where things lead." Or she could have said, "The nation is worth it even if he isn't." She could have said said that the Founders of our nation put impeachment in the Constitution for a reason, for people like Trump. The groundswell of support from Democrats (and a good number of independents) would overwhelm the outrage, and the fence sitters and the nervous Democrats would have gladly surfed on that wave.

In the most generous reading of her words, Pelosi knows something or has something up her sleeve. But I don't think so. I think that, for how great she can be on things like wall funding and other issues, this is one of those times that she acts like the sadly typical, abashed Democrat, afraid to use power to its fullest.


They Will Always Find Women to Hate

Remember when a whole bunch of people on the left were saying that Nancy Pelosi should get out of the way because conservatives had so successfully painted her as a demon bent on engorging herself with the ripped-out hearts of real Americans? Or when that demon was Hillary Clinton (although, let's be honest, it will always be Hillary Clinton)? Man, was that a dumb thing to say (and I said it more than once, which I regret and, damnit, I knew better). Because, see, these GOP motherfuckers will always create a succubus when a Democratic woman speaks out.

Right now, along with Pelosi, the main Democrats being put through the GOP meat grinder are Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar. They are being placed under the right-wing microscope, along with Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. And while, yes, Democratic men do get excoriated by the right, there's a special glee with which conservative media attacks women.

Look at the front page of just about any conservative website, and you'll be inundated with stories that are about what this gaggle of harpies is up to. It's not just Omar's supposedly anti-Semitic remarks. It's not Ocasio-Cortez's ability to talk shit right back to her opponents. Now, Fox "news" is talking about Omar's comments on President Obama. And here is a screenshot from the front page of Townhall.com (motto: "The shitty side of the tracks where you can still get your hate on"):

Six stories. Three about Ocasio-Cortez, one with an unflattering Pelosi photo. And that's on top of at least three additional Ocasio-Cortez stories, a half-dozen or so Omar stories, and at least three about Tlaib, with a couple of two-fers of Omar and Tlaib because, you know, Muslims. Plus, as ever, a Hillary Clinton attack because she dared to say something.

On and on this goes. The National Review's website has gone crazier than a shithouse rat about Omar, with a section devoted to her:

You'll notice that they managed to get Ocasio-Cortez in there in a piece about Democrats, as if there aren't, you know, hundreds of other Democrats they could feature.

The Daily Caller has its Omar articles but is stalkery-obsessed with Ocasio-Cortez:

While you could say that Omar is featured so much because of her AIPAC tweets and such, as well as the Democrats putting forward that ludicrous "anti-hate" bill (which, sure, everyone but the most dickish and dumb would vote for because it's a fuckin' anti-hate bill), but the crazed coverage of Omar is so disproportionate to what she said that it's absolutely laughable. Is there anyone who doesn't believe that Israel policy is affected by the money that AIPAC gives to candidates? It's like saying that gun policy is influenced by the campaign contributions of the NRA, but I guess even saying that gets you accused of being anti-Gunitic or whatever.

The worst part is that we've seen this so many times that we ought to know how to deal with it. But too many on the left fall into the trap laid for us by conservatives. They want us to turn on our own. That's what makes all of this so fucking aggravating. We know exactly what they're doing, but, instead of telling them to go fuck themselves with their sexist rhetoric, Democrats try to figure out ways to apologize. The political equivalent is a bully grabbing your hand and smacking you with it while asking you "Why are you hitting yourself?" while you say you're sorry for something they say you did.

What scares the fuck out of the right is that Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, Omar, Warren, and Harris, and many more Democratic women aren't letting Republicans do that. They're hitting back, and, as we've been told so many times, playground bullies can't handle that, especially when it's a girl doing the hitting.


What "Leaving Neverland" Unintentionally Reveals About Trump Voters

The HBO documentary Leaving Neverland was a staggeringly sad film. Most obviously, your heart breaks for Wade Robson, James Safechuck, and all the others who were raped as children by Michael Jackson. And you can't help but feel sorry for Robson's siblings and both his and Safechuck's wives, as well as having pity and disdain for their mothers who allowed their children to share a bed with Jackson. It's a powerful indictment of how we treat celebrities and how readily people can be brainwashed by continuous manipulation and lies.

And all I kept thinking was "How?" As in "How the hell did we allow Michael Jackson to get away with having a child companion with him all the time?" How is that not automatically, obviously wrong? Putting aside the rape and abuse, in the abstract, it's objectively wrong for a man in his 30s and then 40s to sleep alone in a room, in a bed with a child who is not his own (or at least a niece or nephew). And to this day, there are millions of people around the world who will defend Jackson, who will say that he didn't do anything wrong, who will say that we just don't understand him.

Which, in so many ways, to me, explains supporters of Donald Trump. I'm not saying that to diminish or mock the pain of Jackson's victims. No, I'm saying that the delusional thinking that went on in everyone else, from the kids' parents to Jackson's fans, is so very similar to the delusional thinking that you need to be a Trump supporter. And it was all aided and abetted by a complacent media that, yes, hounded Jackson but dropped the ball on the real story.

As with Michael Jackson, there is so much that is plain to see with Donald Trump, things that, even if you don't think they rise to criminality (like sleeping with a little boy or blatantly profiting off being president), should at the very least give a rationally-thinking person pause. But, to take it further, when even credible allegations of actual crimes are put out there, Trump voters, like Jackson fans, contort themselves to dismiss the allegations. It's all with the goal of continuing undying, irrational devotion to Trump. They tell us, in essence, "Trump didn't violate campaign laws. Trump didn't agree to help from Russians when it was offered. Trump is telling the truth and everyone else is lying." Or "Here is this convoluted plot that shows Trump is being set up. Probably by Hillary."

But there's a way that Trump voters may be worse in some ways. The families of Robson and Safechuck, especially their mothers, were incredibly close with Jackson, and they didn't believe the Michael Jackson they knew and loved was the monster described in the press and in court documents. But when Robson and Safechuck told their families, their loved ones immediately turned against Jackson, with Safechuck's mother even saying that she danced for joy when she heard Jackson was dead.

I'm going to bet that people who are harmed by the policies of the Trump administration could tell their Trump-voting families how, say, the trade war caused their farm to go bankrupt or that the undermining of the Affordable Care Act denied health insurance to them, and those families will say that none of it is Trump's fault. (Why? In the case of Trump voters, they love his racism. It's always been the racism.)

Look, this isn't a perfect analogy. What I'm saying is that someone who is masterful at manipulation can create a fervor that is frightening in its incoherence. With Trump, so many of us look at what's plainly in front of us and say, "How the hell can you not see this?" while his voters say, "How the hell can you see it?"

I get it, by the way. I loved the Jackson 5 and I loved Michael Jackson back in the Off the Wall and Thriller days. I didn't want to believe the allegations were true, but, at some point, I couldn't just shake the feeling that there was something deeply wrong with all of his behavior. Maybe I just give a damn about reality and truth more than I give a damn about clinging to a belief. But too many people would rather cling than change because it undermines what they think they understand about themselves and about the world.

That's why there are millions of fans of Michael Jackson and Donald Trump who will never back down from their defense of the monster.

(Note: Again, I've deliberately left out Robson and Safechuck. What they went through defies metaphor. And I hope they can find some peace and healing.)


That Fucked-Up Trump Speech Was As Fucked-Up As You Think It Was

Start with the flag hug. When Trump walked out at the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, he walked over to the large American flag on stage right. It was on a post on the stage, so it was dangling down, as it should. Trump put his arms out so everyone in the crowd would know what he was about to do, for he had done it before. And then he put his arms around the flag and embraced it. But that is never enough of a gesture for Trump. Then, as he has before, he pressed the side of his face against it, with a wide, flat, satisfied grin on his bulbous, orange face, the look of a man who never hugged his father. He gave more affection to that flag than we have ever seen him give his youngest child or his grandchildren. The crowd cheered in appreciation of Trump's hug; the message was clear: this is how a real American treats the flag.

It was weird. No, that's not strong enough. It was fucking weird. Disturbing even that such an overtly simple-minded move could garner such a strong reaction, that while the left passes around photos of it to mock, the right send it around with pride. Hell, the White House tweeted the picture with the single word, "America!" Which is just even weirder.

I wasn't triggered or anything. I just thought, "How fucking pathetic. Of him. Of everyone there." And how, for lack of another phrase, fucking weird. But, of course, that was just the start.

Trump gave a speech that was the equivalent of watching a corpulent, masturbating, nude man get to the roof of a skyscraper and run giggling right over the edge, howling with laughter while he jizzes as he plunges down as people on the ground cheer him on and a few of us on the roof wonder, "What the hell just happened?" It was a nervous breakdown before an audience that wanted him to go madder and madder for their pleasure.

It was fucked up, and it was even more fucked up if you watched large chunks of it. Trump leaped between subjects like a coked-up chimp doing parkour. He jumped from another of his ludicrous retellings of his election, each time his win is more improbable, more impossible, more superheroic, to how the world loves the United States with him in charge to, no shit, the Great Tariff Debate of 1888. And that was the first ten minutes or so.

Essentially, for him, the history of this country can be divided into a pre-Trump era and a Trump era. The pre-Trump era was a wasteland of failure and despair. And that shit was in his prepared remarks: "We are reversing decades of blunders and betrayals. These are serious, serious betrayals to our nation and to everything we stand for. It’s been done by the failed ruling class that enriched foreign countries at our expense. It wasn’t 'America first.' In many cases, it was 'America last.' Those days are over." Off-the-cuff, he was clear he was shitting on Republicans, too. Leaders of other countries tell him how much better things are now, he says: "They know that what’s taken place over many years — not just the Obama administration; long before that — they can’t believe, themselves, that they got away with it."

Going through the whole speech would be a descent into the void at the center of Trump's being. Trying to enumerate all the lies would be a Sisyphean task because as soon you think you've found them all, you know there are so many more there. And to highlight the many times Trump referenced crowd sizes or his 2016 election would be soul-suckingly miserable (but, seriously, he went on about crowd size for a long damn time). Instead, here are a couple of moments that are profoundly dangerous.

On multiple occasions, Trump attacked the various investigations into his administration and his finances. His ire was especially focused on Robert Mueller's probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Trump said, "Robert Mueller put 13 of the angriest Democrats in the history of our country on the commission. Now, how do you do that? These are angry, angry people. You take a look at them. One of them was involved with the Hillary Clinton Foundation, running it. [Note: Jeannie Rhee was an outside counsel on a case for the Clinton Foundation. (Note: It's not called "the Hillary Clinton Foundation.")] Another one has perhaps the worst reputation of any human being I’ve ever seen." On that last one, it's hyperbole to the point of absurdity. Trump has a fucking relationship with Kim Jong-un, inarguably one of the worst human beings on the planet, and he has worked with various mobsters his entire career. If the Mueller investigation leads to indictments for Trump and his family, he has put a target on the backs of those lawyers (who are Mueller's team, not a "commission").

Talking about abortion, Trump once again brought up Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's widely misunderstood statement about post-birth palliative care for dying newborns.  "The governor - a Democrat - stated that he would allow babies to be born, to be born outside. He would wrap them. He would take care of them. And then he’ll talk to the mother and the father as to what to be done. And if they didn’t want the child, who is now outside of the womb - long outside of the womb - they will execute the baby after birth. They will execute the baby after birth. And that’s one many people have never even heard of or thought about," he explained. And that would be horrible if it were remotely true, except it's not.

There is continuous violence against abortion clinics, like the man in Missouri who was just charged with trying to burn down a Planned Parenthood, and there will be more threats, more violence, more killings because a lot of people believe this shit. There are too many Americans who really believe that Hillary Clinton runs a pedophilia ring. They've got fake-ass videos with this fake-ass baby murder. This shit isn't abstract. The crazy is here, and the president of the goddamn United States is helping the crazy thrive.

Speaking of putting targets on people's backs, Trump said, "We have people in Congress — right now, we have people in Congress that hate our country. And you know that. And we can name every one of them if they want. They hate our country. It’s sad. It’s very sad." It's so obvious that Trump hates this country. It's obvious ever time he talks about his disdain for states that didn't vote for him in 2016. It's obvious when he sprays his verbal vomit all over California, all over any attempt to slow climate change, all over anything that contains a scintilla of science or common sense. He hates any aspect of America that isn't kissing his pampered, voluminous ass.

Too many of us accept this all as normal now, especially in the news media, where the panelists are angry one moment and then laughing at how silly it all is the next. Imagine the outrage if a New York Democrat had mocked a southern accent (as Trump did imitating Jeff Sessions), or if any Democratic president had called a Republican senator "crazed" (as Trump did with Hawaii's Mazie Hirono). Instead, most Americans just roll over and take it because the weight of everything, of all the things that are legitimate scandals that we already know about, from his campaign finance law violations to the inauguration graft scam to the emoluments engorgement to his obstruction of justice, is so heavy. Now, when he talks crazy, sweaty, chaotic, and tyrannical, it's like, "Yeah, that's nuts. But, hey, that's Trump. Hopefully, the Democrats will impeach him but who knows? Fingers crossed on Russia."

This is all taking a toll on the country. It's not just the pain of liberal snowflakes getting owned or the whiny-ass conservatives who can't handle any criticism. It's the failure of any perspective on Trump from the Republican side (other than the occasional Never Trumper who, yeah, fuck them, they got us here), the utter willful blindness, that is sapping our national soul. I keep coming back to the Michael Cohen hearing, where not a single Republican thought it was important to ask the president's former lawyer about the president's possible crimes. Just normal curiosity might lead you to ask.

But while it's so exhausting to get your rage on every time Trump opens his garbage pail mouth, it's important to constantly say, as Elijah Cummings did at the end of the Cohen hearing, "We have got to get back to normal."

If we even remember what that is anymore.


New Episode of Another Goddamn Podcast and More

In the lastest episode of Another Goddamn Podcast, I'm talking the post-Roe history of Louisiana's fucked up abortion laws with historian and activist Caroline Hymel. She's the author of an amazing article that traces all kinds of fuckery and places my home state at the center of our neverending abortion war. And I talk about telling a (now ex-) friend to stop trying to make me anti-choice.

Listen to AGD Podcast at iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, and elsewhere. It's free, and, if you're inspired, rate, review, subscribe, sex up the thing.

You know what's not free but just as juicy? The Rude Pundit Patreon page. There, starting at just a thin $1 a month, you can get all kinds of bonus shit. Bonus posts, bonus audio, bonus extended interviews. And, now, I'm gonna be working out some of the material for an upcoming Rude Pundit stage show,

For $1 a month, you get a never-blogged Patreon-only post once per month, along with an occasional audio Rude Storytime. 

For $3 a month, you get a weekly Patreon-only post, and even more audio Rude Storytime. I'm telling stories about drunken nights in Denmark and sober fights in academia and that time I was a Santa in a shitty mall.

For $5 a month, you get all of the above, plus extended interviews from Another Goddamn Podcast. Upcoming interviews will feature some hilarious writers and comedians, like Sarah Cooper, who I'm about to leave this coffee joint to talk to.

For $10 a month, you get all of that, eternal gratitude, and, when I put together my upcoming Rude Pundit live show, a free ticket.

And if you're thinking, "Fuck, man, can't I just give you some money and you give me something, like NPR or a grateful hooker?" Sure.

The offer still stands: you donate $50 or more at PayPal by clicking right here or over on the side, and I'll send you all of 2018's bonus posts. Over 60 pages of fun and dark tales, punctuated with drinking, a few drugs, a little sex, and the baffling world of QAnon, along with talk about movies, music, and other pop culture shit, as well as stories about horrible people and about lovely people.

Now let's hope this weekend doesn't bring us too much more Trump shittiness.


Random Observations on Michael Cohen's Mob Hearing

1. When Michael Cohen, the former lawyer for President Donald Trump, said to the House Oversight Committee at his open hearing yesterday, "I know what Mr. Trump is. He is a racist. He is a conman. He is a cheat," it didn't budge the needle one bit on Trump's support among his idiot hordes of voters. They love him because he's a racist, a conman, and a cheat. They love him because he cheated and conned and got away with it and they don't give a hairy rat's asshole if they're the mark. And they love him even more because he's a racist who's rich because it shows that you can be a racist piece of shit and still make coin and become president. So put that out of your minds, dear, liberal reader who so wanted Cohen to burn it all down. Cohen could have shown up with videos of Trump raping a 12 year-old girl on top of an American flag, laughing while Vladimir Putin shits on his doughy face and Mohammed bin Salman shoves rolled up wads of cash into his enormous ass, and his idiot hordes of followers would say, "Damn, that's livin'."

2. And the Republican Party wouldn't give a goddamn either. Essentially, the GOP is no longer made up of Americans. It's comprised of Trumpians, mostly men and a few women who are loyal to the man, not the nation, and who will allow him to get away with any crimes he wants as long as he continues to give them tax cuts, savagely conservative judges, and bullshit bravado for the aforementioned hordes. At no point in the hearing did a single Republican attempt to defend Trump. In fact, you could say that on some accounts, Cohen did more to defend Trump on some specific allegations than the Republicans, when he said he couldn't absolutely confirm a conspiracy with Russia and didn't believe the piss tape exists. But Cohen went at Republicans, at times giving looks that seemed to say that he knows where their bodies are buried, too. When he was finally sick of all the shit Republicans were throwing at him, Cohen snarled at insufferable dickhole Jim Jordan of Ohio, "I just find it interesting, sir, that between yourself and your colleagues that not one question so far since I’m here has been asked about President Trump...The American people don’t care about my taxes. They want to know what it is that I know about Mr. Trump. Not one question so far has been asked about Mr. Trump." That is some baller shit right there.

3. Every Huckleberry Chucklefuck on the GOP side who sounded like they had a mouthful of chicken-fried balls merely repeated the same shit over and over about Cohen: that he lied to Congress before; that there were all these Fox "news"-generated conspiracies going on that involved, among others, the Clintons; that Cohen might try to make some money on his tribulations (so I guess we can expect that Newt Gingrich and a hundred other scummy Republicans drummed out of DC won't be invited to the cocktail parties and Hannity reacharounds anymore); that he was in it for himself. After a while, it was hard to tell one white guy with a Southern accent from another. Oh, shit, was that Jody Hice? Or Ralph Norman? Or Mark Green? Jesus, when the two white women on the GOP side spoke, it was a huge relief because at least the pitch of their voices was different.

3a. Of course, it was easy to tell who Mark Meadows of North Carolina was. He was designated bitch face for the whole proceedings, screeching like a banshee that stepped on a Lego piece whenever he found something the least bit offensive. The racist, birther son of a bitch who only got elected because of racist gerrymandering almost cried when Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib accused his racist ass of doing racist shit. Meadows had brought Trump party planner and now HUD official for some fucking reason Lynne Patton, a black woman, to stand behind him in what was obviously a move to prove that racist Trump isn't racist. "See?" he was essentially saying. "Trump loves black people so much that he hired one of the only ones he knows to run an agency he couldn't give a happy monkey fuck about. Not racist!" Cohen eviscerated Meadows with a simple statement: "Ask Ms. Patton how many people who are black are executives at the Trump Organization. The answer is zero."

3b. Special mention to Louisiana Republican Clay Higgins, who is from my family's district and is just dumber and more useless than a sack of wet hair. He kept thinking he had caught Cohen hiding evidence when he brought up boxes where Cohen found the documents he was presenting. At least twice, Cohen explained that the boxes were taken from him by the FBI and returned to him. Higgins is an ex-cop, so maybe he's used to just confiscating shit and selling it to buy military equipment for his Cajun jackass brigade. He's another one of those disgraced motherfuckers who a bunch of yahoos love because he's "straight-talkin'" or some such shit, so they vote for his Deputy Dawg ass. (And, yeah, I've gotten in vicious arguments back home over him.)

4. What came through most clearly is that Donald Trump is just a fucking asshole. I mean, just a horrible, blithering, narcissistic piece of garbage, and not even quality garbage. Like the garbage that gets stuck on the bottom of the can and rots and then you have to scrape it out. It is likely orange. Trump loves to act like a mob boss, doing things with a wink that his stooges understand. Cohen talked about how the whole election was just an "infomercial" for Trump's brand, that winning was never in the cards in Trump's mind. He talked about how Trump evaded the draft, with Trump saying, "You think I’m stupid, I wasn’t going to Vietnam." He talked about how Trump loves dicking over people who owe him money. He said that Trump had him threaten Trump's schools even though they are prevented by federal law from releasing his academic records, and that Trump had him threaten people hundreds of times (which means that Cohen got a kick out of doing it, like he had some power). And, c'mon, can we not ignore the fact that the President of the United States is paying off porn stars for their silence? Can we all not agree that that's just so fucking sleazy? Or that he was negotiating for a Moscow tower while he was running for president? Mostly, though, Trump lies and lies like lies are air and food and water. Trump has lied about everything, every goddamn thing, and he has created a barrier of lickspittles, sycophants, and lackeys to prevent truth from either getting out or penetrating in. And right now, Republicans are the fuckin' Praetorian guard for Trump.

5. Mostly, Democrats did okay. They got Cohen to delve a little bit into the operation of the Trump Organization, although they didn't dive nearly as deeply as they could have. They ranted too much about how they were doing something good for the country by holding the hearing (to counter the Republicans completely worthless claim that the hearing was harming the nation). And they dropped the ball a few times, which was as much due to the limitations of the 5-minute clock as anything. But they could have dug in to expose more clearly what a ramshackle entity Trump's business is, how it's just a few people, mostly family, doing slimy shit to make sure the Trump name stays out there. Kardashians with real estate and fewer scruples.

5a. However, fucking Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was not there to fuck around. She didn't pause to make any statement. Instead, she gave a goddamn masterclass on how you can take five minutes and break through the rhetorical bullshit in order to get to the heart of a matter. She focused in on Trump's deflation of the value of his properties to avoid taxes. That's a crime, and Trump could face big fines and tax evasion charges when the Southern District of New York prosecutors get done with it. Shout out also to Ayanna Pressley, Democrat from Massachusetts, who dug into more financial crimes, these related to the way the Trump Foundation was used as a slush fund, often just to stroke Trump's huge ego. And she emphasized, as did Michigan's Brenda Lawrence, Trump's racism because he's a fucking racist.

5b. Leave the speeches to the Democratic Chair of the Oversight Committe, Elijah Cummings, who concluded the hearing with a thunderous attack on his GOP colleagues and on those who degraded Cohen. It was a cry for decency that he was making to wholly indecent people, but, tearing up at Cummings' words, Michael Cohen, an indecent man trying to find decency and respect again, seemed to really hear them. Cohen was a shit human who worked for a shittier human, and Cummings offered him a chance at redemption.

6. What did we gain from yesterday? A sense that we might get at the truth of what was done to the United States in November 2016. A feeling of, if not hope, then something hope-adjacent that we might use the mechanisms of our government to save ourselves.

6a. But the Republicans won't help at all. They are done as anything other than as a subsidiary of the Trump corporation.

6b. And we shall need to heed Cohen's warning about Trump that " I fear that if he loses the election in 2020 that there will never be a peaceful transition of power." That's some scary shit right there because, well, see number 1 up there.


Our Neverending Abortion War Heats Up Again

The last couple of weeks has seen a flurry of activity in the front line of our abortion war.

A Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia, Missouri, which had not been allowed to offer abortion services since last fall, was intentionally set on fire on February 10. The fire did not do much damage, but the FBI is investigating it as a possible hate crime because abortions used to be performed there.

The Columbia Health Center was forced to stop performing abortions because it could not meet the requirements of new state laws in Missouri designed to halt abortions. The requirement is that "abortion providers must secure admitting privileges at hospitals located within about 15 minutes from their health centers." Hospitals in the area have refused to grant the clinic's physician admitting privileges because it's not worth the shit the hospitals will get for allowing a doctor who performs abortion to have those privileges. Those goddamn protesters would likely show up. And, by the way, if an emergency occurs, any hospital will take the patient, admitting privileges be damned.

On Friday of last week, a judge refused to place an injunction on the law, so Missouri, a state that has about 6 million people, over half of which are women, now only has one clinic, in St. Louis, in the center of the eastern border of the state. If a woman lives on the western side, or in the middle, where Columbia, a big university town, is, she has to drive hours each way, at least twice, since there is a 72-hour waiting period after a mandatory counseling session, including providing material meant to dissuade her from getting an abortion. As late as 2008, the state had five clinics.

Like Louisiana, Missouri is part of the barbaric abortion war with the battle being fought over regulations (something that conservatives were supposedly against) that target primarily poor women who cannot afford to get to clinics far away. And forcing them to give birth obviously contributes to the cycle of poverty. But, fuck it, say anti-choice assholes. Don't fuck if you're poor.

It keeps going, this insanity over a legal medical procedure. Donald Trump's Department of Health and Human Services released new guidelines that prevent Title X funding for family planning from being "used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning." In practical terms, it bars funds from being used for abortion or abortion referrals (like if, say, that clinic in Columbia wanted to refer a patient to the St. Louis clinic). It's an back door way of defunding Planned Parenthood, and it ends up directing a shit-ton of money to faith-based programs that lie about abortion and provide very little actual medical care. Obviously, it was challenged in court pretty damn quickly.

And then there's the battle over what exactly abortion is that played out in the United States Senate yesterday, where the skeevy Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, sponsored by skeevier motherfucker and GOP Senator Ben Sasse, was filibustered by Democrats. The thing was brought up so that Republicans can run ads with the lie that Democrats want newborn babies who dodged an abortion to be murdered. Except you can't fucking murder babies because that's fucking murder and it's already illegal.

The bill itself only applied to babies born after an attempted late-term abortion. In other words, if a fetus were so severely deformed or so severely damaged or ill that the baby simply wasn't viable, and if an attempted abortion failed, the law would have forced doctors to ignore the will of the parents who may want palliative care until the infant died. Doctors would have been forced to artificially keep the suffering baby alive even though it was a fruitless effort and faced arrest if they did not.

Oh, by the way, an extra dickish part of the bill defined abortion as using various means "to intentionally kill the unborn child of a woman known to be pregnant." The last time a federal law on abortion was passed, the ludicrous Partial Birth Abortion Ban, the text only talked about a "human fetus." So, yeah, they were trying to get the fetus declared a person, too.

Trump, a man who you know has paid for multiple abortions for multiple girlfriends and mistresses, tweeted out that "Senate Democrats just voted against legislation to prevent the killing of newborn infant children. The Democrat position on abortion is now so extreme that they don’t mind executing babies AFTER birth. This will be remembered as one of the most shocking votes in the history of Congress. If there is one thing we should all agree on, it’s protecting the lives of innocent babies.”

This is how it's all gonna be dumbed down for the consumption of the fucking idiots in the states that are filled with the most fucking idiots. Don't you think a medical clinic's doctor should have admitting privileges (even though the joint where you got your colonoscopy doesn't need that)? Shit, ask people what admitting privileges are and what they actually do. They don't fuckin' know.

And then it'll be all about how Democrats wanna straight up murder newborns, even though the legislation itself, assholish though it may be, never says that. That's not even nuance; that's just straight up lying. As if that matters anymore.

Meanwhile, the neverending abortion war goes on, fighting on a field made of dead women's bodies. Despite the fact that polls consistently say that a vast majority of Americans support safe access for abortion services for women, Republican motherfuckers, so desperate to prove to their evangelical base that they still matter, will keep marching over those bodies in order to create more.


The Everyday Delusions of the Trump Supporter (White Terrorist Edition)

If you're going to be a supporter of President Donald Trump, there's a certain amount of delusion you've got to have. And there's a whole range of the kinds of delusional thinking that can infect you. You've got the seemingly practical delusions of most of the GOP members of Congress, a kind of "I can live with his barking insanity and wholesale destruction of our constitutional system if I get tax cuts for my wealthy donors" delusion. On the other end of the spectrum, you've got the nutzoid conspiracy theorists, the ones who believe that Trump is a superhero who is being undermined by a cabal of Hillary Clinton, Democrats, media types, and, sure, Jews.

In the middle is the average delusional Trump voter, the kind who justify everything he does by declaring that Trump's not racist, not dumb, and certainly not unqualified for the job. They actually believe stupid shit he says, like that a border wall would solve all our problems with illegal drugs and prevent undocumented immigrants from entering the country. They actually believe that Trump saved the economy from the wreckage of Obama's (checks notes) 75 straight months of job growth. They will justify anything in terms of Trump's obvious awesomeness, wondering how we can't comprehend the wonder that is the glowing orange blob that is Donald Trump. And, perhaps most mindbending, some of them actually believe that the rise of white supremacist terrorism and violence in this country has nothing to do with Trump.

Like some things ought to be a no-brainer, right? When the FBI arrested very white guy Christopher Hasson in Maryland last week, he had a shit-ton of guns and ammos, as well as several Hulks worth of steroids and a small CVS of other drugs and supplies, and a plan to start a race war and a kill list of Democratic lawmakers and members of the media who are critical of Trump. So it's not a huge leap of logic to assume that asshole was inspired by Trump's rhetoric.

But not Eddie Scarry of the Washington Examiner (Motto: "No, not that one. Not that one either. Okay, just fuckin' click to find out"). In a "column" (if by "column," you mean, "A moronic, masturbatory yawp that its author desperately hopes will get him some Hannity man-love") titled, "Christopher Hasson, Coast Guard officer, was a nihilist and there’s no evidence he was a Trump supporter," says, well, the title pretty much says the entire thing, just on repeat.

It's all a bunch of self-own, really. In court documents, Scarry points out that in January, Hasson searched for "what if trump illegally impeached” and “civil war if trump impeached.” But don't you dare say that means he wanted civil war if Trump was impeached. Besides, Scarry says Hasson was driven by "a preoccupation with race and a nihilistic view that had no clear attachment to politics at all, outside of an unspecified antipathy for “liberalist/globalist ideology.” But don't you dare smack your head as you tell this bridge troll that Trump has a preoccupation with race and has derided "globalists." For Scarry and his delusional ilk, Trump simply can't be the racist piece of shit the majority of us know he is because, well, he isn't? I don't know. I can't get that up in my own ass.

In order to keep asserting, as he does, "Hasson didn’t care about Trump," Scarry ignores a couple of things. Like that almost all of the people on Hasson's kill list have been directly criticized by Trump. Otherwise, why would he give a shit about Joe Scarborough or Richard Blumenthal (who he called "Sen blumen jew," continuing that hilarious conservative sense of humor)? Or that he wants to kill "poca warren," which uses Trump's nickname for Elizabeth Warren?

The very act of eliminating Trump's influence on Hasson requires a ludicrous amount of denial. But that's more or less the only way Trump voters can exist in their bizarre, thick bubble where facts and reality don't penetrate.

(Note: It took everything I could not to make a joke about the name "Scarry." I couldn't decide whether or not to go with "frightening" or "full of scars" or "related to Richard Scarry.")

(Note again: The fact that an individual can legally buy that many guns makes us a ridiculously dumb country.)


Suffer and Die Alone, Paul Manafort

Paul Manafort is one evil motherfucker. We knew that from his work for Putin-aligned Ukrainian political figures and in his work getting Donald Trump elected. Whether those two interests crossed over is something we'll hopefully learn for sure. But there's a good chance that Manafort's efforts in support of Viktor Yanukovych, who was beloved by Russian oligarchs, led to a massacre in Kiev of anti-Yanukovych protesters on February 20, 2014. That makes today the 5th anniversary.

But people who know more about that shit are the ones who should write about it. What I want to talk about is the fucking, which is more firmly in this here blog's wheelhouse. Because when it comes to conservatives, somewhere, fucking is involved. Fucking, or the denial of fucking, is a foundational belief of modern conservatism. And you can bet that fucking will rear its erect head in just about any scandal involving conservatives.

So here we go.

A pretty goddamn extraordinary article by Maya Gurantz in the Los Angeles Review of Books delves into the hacked and leaked texts of Paul Manafort's daughter, Andrea, many to her sister, Jessica.  This happened in 2017. Gurantz looked through the 285,000 texts, many of which deal with wedding plans and pregnancies, and she finds one giant thing that most every article or report you've read or seen about Manafort has left out.

That would be "a decade of coercive and manipulative sexual behavior, in which Manafort allegedly forced his wife, vulnerable from having sustained brain damage after a near-death horseback riding accident years before, to engage in 'gang bangs' with black men while he watched."

Did you just do a double take and read that again? Because I sure as shit did. Then I went to the actual texts, many of which Gurantz quotes. But here's how Andrea described it to her sister in 2014 (and, yeah, this is skeevy and slimy and personal and invasive and all those things, but Manafort helped dick over at least two nations, so fuck him and his privacy):

"this is bad jess
she just admitted to me how she feels like she always does stuff he want[s]
but he doesn't do stuff she wants
and i asked what does he make you do
and she said group sex
for ten years
and it makes her sick"

Then Jessica interjected, sarcastically, no doubt, "Oh no" and "yayy!!"

Andrea continued, rather unrelentingly to her sister.

"she is saying we can never tell him we that
she is confiding in us
but if he finds out we know, there is no way he will forgive her
for telling us
he likes to watch her
She has to leave him if she doesnt want that and he does"

Jess then said:

"Dad is a sex addict andrea. Ive known about this for a long time...
[A family friend] told me she saw forms dad filled out for them to do this"

Further on, things get a bit more specific:

"but apparently he has a thing for black men
hard core.
one time it was 6 black men in a hotel room
i hate him jessica. i think i hate him."

"she says that when its a private activity its only men
when they go to sex clubs then there are women

"And they put it on internet websites?"

"he puts her dating profile on websites to arrange meet ups"

"she asked why so many black men and he said bc they are the ones willing to do it"

"i hate him jessica, i am being really strong right now and telling mom its okay and i don’t judge her and the only thing that really upsets me is how this all made her feel and he made her feel that way
but btwn you and me - i fucking hate him."

At one point, they try to figure out how it would work with "an all black gang bang on one woman." They figure out up to four: " Mouth - one person on each side of you. Switching back and forth." Also, Manafort would sometimes take part, but "he like could never get off" and mostly liked to watch.

They have great sympathy for their mother, saying that "Its basically rape" and "She is a destroyed person." This started when Manafort's wife, Kathleen, was 52, eight years after the horseback-riding accident, which he helped nurse her back from, but she still suffered long-term damage. They also talk about how they fear their mother will kill herself and that she's very scared to lose her marriage. And Andrea says that after her upcoming wedding, she never wants to see him again. In the next year, Manafort would enter a clinic for mental illness and cry to Andrea on the phone that he was thinking of suicide. If you're getting the feeling that that was more manipulation, it's hard not to. Hell, he had a mistress that was 30 years younger and who he lavished with tons of gifts, all while telling Kathleen he'll divorce her if she doesn't get fucked in the face and ass at the same time, even if she doesn't want to.

What do we do with this information? Is it just another layer of fucked-up on top of the fucked-up? No, I think it tell us something about not only Manafort, but about Donald Trump and the people he surrounds himself with. And maybe it also tells us something about the seething sexual control that drives so much of conservative ideology and what a bunch of bullshit that is.  Goddamn, the immorality of those who push punishing morality on the rest of us.

And Manafort was there for the building of the modern GOP, from his work with College Republicans to all the fuckery that he, Roger Stone, and the heinous Lee Atwater did in the 1980s to his firm's eager work polishing the turds that were dictators around the world. They helped twist entire populations to believe things that were harmful to them. So, of course, Manafort did that to his wife. Of course, he promised her he'd take care of the family if she just gave in to the group sex. What has Manafort done but put nations through forced and coerced gangbangs while he watched and got off on it.

Of course, in each case, it all turned out to be a lie. Manafort can't take care of his family anymore. He probably can't even save his own life at this point.

Last week, Manafort appeared in court. Jeffrey Toobin on CNN commented, "This is a man who looks like he’s dying. He is walking with a cane. He looks disoriented. He has declined so precipitously in prison that when you realize he has now lost his cooperation agreement and the chance for a lower sentence and he’s facing an entirely separate prison sentence in the Virginia case, a 70-year-old man is looking like he may die in prison, and it is just a profound thing to think about." Toobin was offering some kind of generalized sympathy.

Whether or not Manafort was faking it, I don't give a fuck. He isn't just some skunk who lied to the FBI. Manafort is one of the reasons this country is on its current fucked path. And he tortured his wife. Suffer, you prick. Die alone, poor, confused, bereft of everything, not even a tragic figure because that would imply some goodness. No, die the way the evil are supposed to die, in a cell, hated, sick, and fading into dust.


Moments from Trump's Adderall-Induced National Emergency Rage Speech That Haven't Gotten Much Notice

Sure, sure, we've all heard about the sing-song romp through the judiciary system, the declaration of a national emergency because it gets shit done faster than legal methods, the ongoing weirdo love of Kim Jong-un, and, of course, the copious lying, all of it from President Donald Trump's announcement of said emergency so he can steal money from one place and use it for his dumbass wall. Or, more likely, so this shit can get tied up in court and he can campaign on how those fuckin' Democrats are gonna make your lily-white daughter blow illegal immigrant gang members before they murder everyone.

That was a hell of a thing on Friday, that moment when the multiple rails of snorted Adderall stimulated the frantic mongoose in Trump's skull to bite its own tail off while Trump verbalized what that felt like. But, still, a few things from this verbal rampage haven't gotten the coverage they most definitely deserve. Like:

1. Trump pretty much leaned into doing an Asian accent while relating what Chinese President Xi Jinping told him about drug policy in China. While he didn't go full out and pull back his eyes while yelling, "Ching-chong-chang! I Xi Jipping, the thieving Chink!" (which, no doubt, he does in private), Trump said that Xi told him they don't have a drug problem because, quoting Xi, "Death penalty.  We give death penalty to people that sell drugs. End of problem." And he had just a soupcon of an accent, just enough to show we know what he was thinking in his sinister, racist heart. I can promise you beyond a shadow of a doubt that Trump never had this conversation with President Xi.

2a. CNN reporters had him cornered at one moment. An exasperated Trump called on Jim Acosta, and that journalist had left his last fuck in a pile on the White House lawn. Trump kept trying to interrupt him as he asserted that, despite Trump's lies (including, again, the duct-taped women, his strangest fetish), "There’s a lot of crime data out there, there’s a lot of Department of Homeland Security data out there that shows border crossings at a near-record low." Trump got pissed and tried to interject. Acosta kept going with the government's own statistics on low crime rates and more.

Trump finally scoffed with all the confidence a fucking moron can muster, "You don’t really believe that stat, do you?  Do you really believe that stat?" Acosta pressed the idea that the real emergency is something Trump created and Trump asked the "Angel Moms," the mothers of people murdered by undocumented immigrants whose pain he regularly exploits, to stand and show photos of their children. Before dismissing Acosta, he said, "You’re CNN.  You’re fake news.  You have an agenda.  The numbers that you gave are wrong. Take a look at our federal prison population.  See how many of them, percentage-wise, are illegal aliens.  Just see.  Go ahead and see.  It’s a fake question."

2b. Then one of Acosta's colleagues, Brian Karem, kept pressing the case.  "Unifying crime reporting statistics — numbers from your own Border Patrol, numbers from this government — show that the amount of illegal immigrants are down" and that violence on the border is way down. "I’m asking you to clarify where you get your numbers, because most of the DEA crime reporting statistics that we see show that drugs are coming across at the ports of entry, that illegal immigration is down, and the violence is down," he said, as Trump got visibly enraged because he was fucking caught by someone calling bullshit on his bullshit. "So what do you base your facts on?" Karem jabbed.

Trump went nutzoid. "I get my numbers from a lot of sources — like Homeland Security, primarily.  And the numbers that I have from Homeland Security are a disaster," he said, and he referred to the "billions and billions of dollars" he says are "lost" because of undocumented immigrants. Karem confronted the president with "So your own government stats are wrong, are you saying?" Trump squirmed, "No, no.  I use many stats.  I use many stats," which means he's just making shit up. Asked to share those stats, Trump lied desperately, "Let me tell you, you have stats that are far worse than the ones that I use.  But I use many stats, but I also use Homeland Security." He refused to engage any more and moved to the next question.

2c. If the next reporter had pushed more on these fantasy statistics Trump has, I think he would have cracked, exploded, or stormed off. But the next one moved on to China, and the chance was gone. Goddamnit, people, get it together. When a filthy, diseased rat is cornered, you swat that bastard until it's dead.

3. Trump shits on Barack Obama every chance he gets. Not only did he say that Obama told him that he was close to war with North Korea, something that Obama administration officials deny, but Trump said that he's not coasting on Obama's economy. In fact, the economy "was heading south, and it was going fast.  We would have been down the tubes" because of regulations, even though the economy grew under those regulations, but, you know, Trump. Also, "under the previous administration, our military was depleted" (it wasn't).

4. Apparently, Democrats are giving too much money for security at ports of entry, you know, the place where almost all of the drugs come through.  "Ports of entry," Trump snorted. "We have so much money, we don’t know what to do with it.  I don’t know what to do with all the money they’re giving us.  It’s crazy." Yeah, it's crazy. If you don't know what to do with the money, then you should probably read the bill because it fucking outlines what every cent is for. (Note: he's never read a bill in his life.)

5. Towards the end of the thing, Trump divided the country into "real" and, presumably, fake. Talking about the Angel Moms and Dad, Trump declared, "The real country, our real country — the people that really love our country, they love you." There you go. If you don't put the desires of a particular group of crime victims' families ahead of everything else, you don't love this country. Except for gun violence. Those survivors and families should get scorn and death threats, according to the right.

Every day, every time Trump tweets or speaks, the country dies a little more. We can't wait for Mueller's report. We shouldn't even be that invested in it. If, by now, we don't have enough to present a compelling case to remove him from office, conspiring with Russians won't do a thing. You could have a photo of Trump being handed money by Vladimir Putin in front of a giant sign that says, "Thanks for laundering all that cash. Now build a tower in Moscow!" and 35% of Americans would still stand with him. Take him down now.


The Real Emergency Has Nothing to Do with the Border

Yesterday, in Kingsport, Tennessee, it happened. The thing that will make gun fellaters ejaculate all over their ammo stash. A "good guy" with a gun stopped a bad guy with a gun. You're gonna hear about this endlessly as gleeful NRA stooges crow about how a man walked into a dentist's office and shot and killed his wife, who worked there, and a patient who had a concealed carry permit shot the man, who is currently in the hospital.

I put "good guy" in quotation marks because I don't know anything about the patient. He might have parts of children buried in his backyard. But, hey, in the scheme of things, no one's gonna be upset that an abusive man was taken down, although I'm sure we're gonna find there had been reports of domestic violence, and the shame is that we don't take guns away from those assholes fast enough, if at all. Thank the NRA for that.

In the last 24 hours or so, in this America the NRA has helped create:

In New Orleans, a 9 year-old boy was shot in the head when he was playing with an 18 year-old cousin's handgun. The gun went off when the older cousin tried to get the gun away from the boy, killing him.

In Glynn, Louisiana, a woman was killed in a drive-by shooting. The woman was pregnant and was in her bed when someone fired into her home.

In Garner, North Carolina, a man walked into a Walgreen's and shot two employees because he was upset at the service he had received.

At a mall in Norfolk, Virginia,  a fight escalated to a shoot-out that left two male teenagers wounded.

In Evans, Georgia, a woman shot and killed her violent boyfriend in self-defense.

In Raefield, North Carolina, a man shot his wife after hitting her with his car in a domestic violence incident.

In Washington, DC, a man walked into a day labor office and opened fire, killing one and injuring another, before fleeing on foot.

In Phoenix, Arizona, a man shot and killed a man he was attempting to rob outside a McDonald's.

In Chicago, someone opened fire near the Kennedy Expressway, striking a man and a woman.

In Peoria, Illinois, a man broke into a house and started shooting, killing a woman before apparently killing himself.

At a Dress for Less in St. Louis, Missouri, two men opened fire, shooting 20-30 rounds, wounding a man they were likely trying to rob.

In Tuscumbia, Alabama, one man was shot dead and found in the woods, another was shot dead in his car and another man was injured in his car.

Where do you want to go next? Birmingham? Augusta? Lubbock? Baton Rouge? Knoxville? Chubbock, Idaho? Denver? Opa-locka, Florida? Wherever you'd like to go, whatever commonplace store or restaurant, in the last 24 hours or so, you'll find someone being shot. You can bet that some of those doing the shooting think they're the good guys. And this isn't even getting into the suicides.

On the one-year anniversary of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, we're talking about the president declaring a national emergency for a fantasy crisis at the border. But, as Nancy Pelosi and so many others have said today, the real emergency is our unending gun fetish in the United States.

I'd go a step further. The problem is men with guns. The only story I found of a woman doing the shooting was the self-defense case in Georgia. Otherwise it was always, always men, too often using their guns to murder women, the sad end of so many domestic violence cases.

The number of firearms that have been amassed in this country are an emergency. But let's be clear:  men are the primary perpetrators of gun violence.  (Yes, women shoot people, too. I'm not saying that they don't.)

If you're gonna address guns, you have to address toxic masculinity that finds its outlet with guns. (Insert your own Freudian joke there.) We're gonna have to come up with a way to deal with the fact that there are a whole lot of men who only feel they have power because they own a gun, that they have been told the gun is the only power they possess.

Otherwise, every violent day will continue to be like every other violent day, a thrum of death and wounding that we barely hear anymore, punctuated by horrors like Parkland that shake us, briefly, until we rationalize them into the loud drone of American violence.


Media Already Fucking Up the 2020 Campaign By Giving Trump a Pass on His Lies

Last night, at his ragegasm rally in El Paso, the President of the United States accused an American of encouraging parents and doctors to murder their babies. That's not an exaggeration. "Democrats are also pushing extreme late term abortion allowing children to be ripped from their mother's womb right up until the moment of birth," Donald Trump said, pausing to mock Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (tellingly, not for the blackface, but for offering to moonwalk at his apology press appearance), before continuing, "The governor stated that he would even allow a newborn baby should come out into the world and wrapped the baby and make the baby comfortable and then talk to the mother and talk to the father and then execute the baby. Execute millions of innocent, beautiful babies."

This is a slander about the painful decision that grieving new parents have to make over whether or not to keep their just-born babies, who are suffering from severe deformities or are simply nonviable, alive using life-saving machines. It is a horrific, terrible moment, where you weigh the suffering of the infant with your desire to have a child, one that you love and was a full-term pregnancy.

And Donald motherfucking Trump said that it was execution to let them go, to pull the plug, like people do with terminally ill or brain dead loved ones every day. It's appalling. It's so far beyond the pale that it would be laughable if it weren't so tragic. What a goddamn tick of a man, engorging himself on the blood of the mourning until he's fairly bursting from it.

It is not "late-term" or any kind of abortion. It is a medical decision by mothers and fathers that happens post-partum. By definition, by action, by every kind of way you can describe it, it is not abortion. You know how you know it's not abortion? Because if you walk into a delivery room and kill a baby, you get arrested. So if you put this in the abortion debate, you are a shit human who wants to manipulate and contort an argument rather than argue the real subject.

Frankly, talking about this end-of-life decision as if it's abortion is like saying you lost your virginity because you masturbated. No, you didn't. Not by any sane person's definition.

On its own, this lie (and it's a lie, not an exaggeration, not a "misleading statement") should be the only fucking thing anyone talks about because it is blatant fucking cruelty against people who are suffering. Or we could only talk about the lies about the crime rate in El Paso. Or maybe the lies about the Veterans Choice. Or maybe the lies upon lies Trump spews about immigration every time he opens his poisonous facehole and vocally ejaculates whatever spooge his brain has conjured.

See, this is where the mainstream media is fucking up the 2020 campaign already. Trump can say that parents making the most painful decision of their lives are murderers, but the media is gonna forget that absolutely savage comment in order to wonder if Elizabeth Warren is forever tainted by the Native American stuff.  Who gives a fuck about that? Trump said parents murder babies. Or our president is outright lying by saying that we're building a wall that we're not building. That's a little more important than Sen. Warren's DNA, and it shouldn't be given a pass because, hey, that's just Trump.

We are fucked if we don't get beyond hearing Trump's nonstop vomit of lies and gaslighting as white noise. We are fucked if we just laugh it off, like so many of the anchors on so many of the "news" programs, which aren't "news," but merely vehicles for jack-offs of all political stripes to tell us what everything "means." (Goddamn, every time I hear about some former senator or whatever being hired as a CNN commentator, I think, "How about some fuckin' reporters?")

Just tonight, Erin Burnett on CNN was asking if the Green New Deal will hand Trump the election. She highlighted this with clips of Trump and other saying that it would mean we have to give up cars and cows, when it doesn't fucking mean that at all. In fact, if you have a panel where someone says, "Well, here is what the Green New Deal is" and someone else says, "Bye-bye, dairy and meat," that's not a debate. It's someone speaking facts and someone speaking lies. So, yeah, what will hand Trump the election is if you don't report that lies are fucking lies.

I know it's hard sometimes to grapple with the teeming wave of horseshit that comes from Republicans, like you can only swat so many turds away before you just resign yourself to living in a pile of shit and making do. But you don't have to. You can get on a ladder above it and say that it's all a bunch of shit. And when someone says, "But Kirsten Gillibrand didn't eat fried chicken right," you can say, "Who fucking cares? Do you see all this shit down there?"

Holy fuck, I didn't even get into how we all just ignore that Trump is profiting off foreign countries while he's president. Or a hundred other scandals.

And Howard Schultz? Go suck all the dicks, as should anyone taking him seriously.


El Paso Never Wanted a Barrier (A History Lesson)

Back in 1978, the administration of President Jimmy Carter proposed replacing the old fence along the border between El Paso, Texas, USA, and Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, with a new six-and-a-half-mile barrier, the reaction from Texas politicians was swift and certain: No goddamn way.

Yeah, before the ludicrous fearmongering, and during a time of many more border crossings by undocumented migrants, the idea of a wall was offensive. They derided it as "the Tortilla Curtain," and worse. One Democratic representative who was running for Senate said, "It's an offensive symbol and I don't like it."

Even more offended, here's how William Clements, the Republican candidate for Governor of Texas, described it: "I don't believe that we and Mexico should have any sort of Berlin Wall on our borders." And Bill Clements won the race, becoming the first GOP governor of Texas since Reconstruction.

On both sides of the border, in places that had just recently declared themselves "sister cities," there was outrage. “I've lived here on this border long enough to see that a fence isn't going to stop anything,” said the US Catholic Conference's director of refugee services. Activists for Mexicans and Mexican-Americans were appalled at the idea of the fence.

If you ever lived in a border community back in that day, you knew that workers just came and went, back and forth, to the U.S. to work and to Mexico for home. You may have worked alongside them. You may have employed them. But, mostly, you just kinda didn't give a shit. Indeed, if you did give a shit, it was because you loved exploiting the Mexicans for their cheap labor. Otherwise, yeah, fuck it, who cares if someone crosses to do a shit job. Essentially, the economies of two tightly nestled cities on a border were (and are) woven together. Hell, starting in 1942, over a generation before, the U.S. was encouraging thousands of Mexicans to come over and work with the idea that they'd gain skills they could use back home. That program lasted until 1964.

Objections to the 1978 fence/barrier/Curtain were based, at least in part, on the fact that it was designed for maximum cruelty. It was meant to drive migrants into desert crossings, rather than safer urban routes, and it was meant to physically harm anyone who tried to cross it by topping it with razor wire and barbed wire. When construction did start in 1979, the razor and barbed wires were gone, and it was much shorter, as was another fence in San Ysidro, California. Jimmy Carter, in consultation with a pissed-off Mexican president, had pulled back on some of the savage aspects of the fence.

But it wasn't just politicians and activists who opposed the new, extended fence. One poll of influential business and other leaders in El Paso showed 70% of them were against it. To be sure, there were supporters, as people who answered an unscientific survey by the El Paso Herald Post showed: "Build it 2,000 miles long," said one. "But we'd prefer a cheaper way, a minefield," said another. The more things change...

Another more random (if small-sample) survey done in 1979 showed that, among regular residents of El Paso, "34 percent opposed the fence, 34 percent supported it, and 32 percent were neutral," while among merchants in town, "62 percent opposed it, 28 percent favored it, and 10 percent were neutral." And, by the way, this was during a time when there were real clashes between Mexican migrants and U.S. Border Patrol agents, not the fake crisis that the Trump administration is insisting is happening despite what our lying eyes tell us. Those violent incidents in 1977 were prompted by the brutality of the Border Patrol.

Part of the strategy from back then has been embraced by wall/fence lovers since: drive the immigrants to the deserts where they might die. And make the fence as dangerous as possible to anyone who might dare cross it.

But El Paso has known for decades and decades that the barrier is bullshit, at best. And at Trump's idiot rally for his bussed-in idiot horde in that city he lied about in his State of the Union address, he's going to pretend he's their savior when they never asked for or wanted one.


Join the Rude Pundit Patreon For All Your Rude Needs

I get it. You want your internet content and shit for free. You wanna be able to jump from site to site and read and comment and watch and pleasure yourself and whatever for just the cost of your home wifi. It's cool. I understand. I get sick of being told by some goddamn website that I've reached the limit of the 6 articles they'll deign to let me read about Buttfuck, Alabama, for a month unless I pay them a buck or three or five.

But I'm not like those cocks. I write most of my shit for no money at all, not even an advertisement (tried that for a while, got sick of it). Hell, I even do the occasional podcast interview for free.

So, instead, I've got this Patreon page that's a little somethin' somethin' where you gotta pay, starting at just $1 a month for bonus posts. And that includes audio stories just like on yer Moth or yer That American Lifeses.

For $1 a month, you get a never-blogged Patreon-only post once per month, along with an occasional audio Rude Storytime. (Yes, the word "rude" will be used a few more times.)

For $3 a month, you get a weekly Patreon-only post, and even more audio Rude Storytime. I'm telling stories about drunken nights in Denmark and sober fights in academia and that time I was a Santa in a shitty mall.

For $5 a month, you get all of the above, plus extended interviews from Another Goddamn Podcast. Upcoming interviews will feature some hilarious writers and comedians, awesome Tweeters, and maybe a serious political pundit or two.

For $10 a month, you get all of that, eternal gratitude, and, when I put together my upcoming Rude Pundit live show, a free ticket.

And if you're thinking, "Fuck, man, can't I just give you some money and you give me something, like NPR or a grateful hooker?" Sure.

The offer still stands: you donate $50 or more at PayPal by clicking right here or over on the side, and I'll send you all of 2018's bonus posts. Over 60 pages of fun and dark tales, punctuated with drinking, a few drugs, a little sex, and the baffling world of QAnon, along with talk about movies, music, and other pop culture shit, as well as stories about horrible people and about lovely people.

I'm this close to having enough to afford an audio editing monkey to do my bidding on the podcast. Let's put it over the top and give someone a part-time job.

And thanks again to everyone who's donated or is on Patreon. I owe you at least a sad handy or a beer at some point, should our paths ever cross.