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

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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.


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The State of the Union Is Boring Bullshit

There was a moment at last night's State of the Union address when President Donald Trump's delivery had gotten so lugubrious that it threatened to grind to a complete halt, like the batteries in his voluminous ass had worn down and it was time to put him into storage to recharge until Fox and Friends started in the morning. In that moment, Trump was slurringly inrroduching Herman Zeitchik, a World War II soldier who had helped liberate the concentration camp at Dachau. Zeitchik and the two Holocaust survivors seated near him looked concerned, like they thought Trump might be having a stroke up there.

No, it only felt like that because Trump had taken the audience and the nation on a bipolar journey between deep hatred and fake hope. It was a speech filled with lies and false promises. It was utter bullshit, and, except for the parts where he spoke with spite about some topic, it was completely fucking dull. Honestly, the whole event had the feeling of watching a man who didn't want to be there, who knew he shouldn't be there, who was trying to sound like what stupid people think a leader ought to sound like, but who couldn't be bothered to really commit to the part, like he's just sick of all this shit and wants to get back to porking Russian prostitutes and playing golf and yelling at Eric for not getting a Moscow tower deal done.

His list of "accomplishments" is mostly shit he didn't fuck up yet. Unemployment down for different groups? Yeah, just like it was under Obama. Trump didn't fuck it up yet. More jobs added? Yeah, just like it was under Obama. Trump didn't fuck it up yet. Economy expanding? Yeah, just like it was under Obama. Trump didn't fuck it up yet. The nation producing more oil and gas? Yeah, that happened under Obama. Trump didn't fuck it up yet. (And, really, no one should be proud of that.)

Trump was elected to third base and he's hopping around on it, declaring he hit a triple. And his loyal taint-lickers in the GOP and his idiot hordes keep braying that he's a great batter. Shit, with the failure of his tax cut and tariffs (and just about everything else),  with his declaration that he wants to end wars while threatening a war with Iran, he'll get picked off and still declare he scored.

Meanwhile, the few seemingly positive and bipartisan things Trump proposed are all goddamn lies and smokescreens. He declared, "I am also proud to be the first President to include in my budget a plan for nationwide paid family leave." Yeah, that proposal is to take money away from a parent's Social Security retirement fund to pay for the leave and then have to postpone their retirement or have a reduction in benefits. In other words, it's not "paid family leave." It's borrowing against your retirement for something that pretty much every other country in the world guarantees. That's the conservative way, figuring out how to dick you over and pretending they're doing you a favor with the dicking.

As for the funding to research childhood cancer, sorry, but $500 million over 10 years is nice, but it ain't exactly a moon shot. Let's not even talk about the hypocrisy of Trump saying he wants to end HIV/AIDS when he joyfully gutted the Affordable Care Act, attacked trans people, and allowed Medicaid waivers in states that want work requirements (40% of all patients with HIV or AIDS are on Medicaid).

Mostly, though, all the happy clappy shit, all the honoring of World War II veterans (which is probably the most Trump ever thought about that war, including while he was a student), all the bragging about every little thing as something unprecedented in the history of the universe, Trump wanted to tell us once again that Democrats are motherfuckers. They're motherfuckers because they don't want to join him in "ending illegal immigration and putting the ruthless coyotes, cartels, drug dealers, and human traffickers out of business" by building a wall. To prove his point that "illegal immigration" causes violence, he paraded the family of an elderly couple shot by an undocumented immigrant in Reno, Nevada, allowing the savage Republicans to bask in their pain. And then he lied about the crime rate in El Paso because the only way he can prove his point is to lie.

And Democrats are motherfuckers because they want to murder babies. In the bloodiest red meat for the evangelical fucknuts he desperately needs, Trump, who has paid for a few abortions in his life, went full crazy on third trimester abortions, throwing in with the worst conspiracy-mongers: "Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments from birth. [Note: it wouldn't.]  These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and their dreams with the world.  [Note: they're not.] And then, we had the case of the Governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth."

No, Ralph Northam didn't say that. He said that if a woman went into labor before she was able to have an abortion for a baby that would be born with severe medical issues that would prevent it from doing anything but suffering before dying, it would be delivered and put on life-support so that the parents could decide whether or not to continue those measures. It's mercy, you ghoulish anti-choice cockholes, not murder.

Democrats are motherfuckers, especially so, because they want to investigate him. To use a phrase he would, Trump was begging like a dog for Democrats to stop probing his businesses, his finances, his family, his campaign, his fucking loser life, saying, "If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation."

Fuck, Stephen Miller must have given a high-pitched giggle of glee when he came up with that rhyme, yelling in triumph at the children he keeps in a pit in his basement, masturbating with the glove he made of a kitten's fur. And when it was greeted with laughter and mostly silence, Miller punched himself in the groin repeatedly, telling himself he didn't deserve kitty's touch anymore.

Goddamn, what a nightmare of a speech, veering between brutality and tedium, between self-glorification and exploitation, all delivered in sleepy tones by a sociopathic dullard.

The only saving graces of the evening were the awesome Democratic women in Suffragette-honoring white, from Nancy Pelosi to Ayanna Pressley, refusing to play along with this cynical game, erupting in a party at one point and showing the nation that it's possible for there to be in-yer-face joy in resistance. Between that and the humane Democratic response by Stacey Abrams, we could remember when we hoped together for better times and, perhaps, could see a light at the end of this orange tunnel.


Family Separation Is Human Trafficking Without the Duct Tape

With the new revelations of the extensive emotional violence done by the Trump administration's family separation policy, where children of migrants, including those legally seeking asylum, were taken from their parents, it's pretty goddamn ludicrous to hear President Trump and his spokesworms talk about "human trafficking" across the southern border. Because I may be a poor city blogger, but I sure as hell know what you call it when you yank kids from their families and place them "into foster homes or migrant children shelters" far away from their parents, all while the administration "made it difficult for relatives other than the children’s parents to take the children into their own homes."

If duct tape were involved, there would be no question what this is.

An assistant inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services said that "thousands of children" more than those already known were, well, let's not mince words here, kidnapped by the American government. They don't know how many, though, other than that vague and gut-churning "thousands" because there are "no efforts underway to identify that. It would take away resources from children already in care."

So, just so you grasp this, you could have taken your children to get out of your shitty El Salvador town where gang members were threatening to kill you and your baby son and rape your daughter if she didn't become their leader's girlfriend (and, essentially, his sex slave). You could have headed north, in a caravan because there's safety in numbers, walking the miles upon miles, until you reach a port of entry on the U.S./Mexican border to ask for asylum, and then some ICE stormtrooper can drag your children away and you'll likely never hear from your baby again, and maybe you'll get your daughter back. Or you could stay and let your family suffer.

And millions of people who we still are forced to call our fellow Americans are totally fine with this.

Back in July of last year, Commander Jonathan D. White of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, the part of HHS that's supposed to reunite the kids, told a Senate committee, "There’s no question that separation of children from parents entails significant potential for traumatic psychological injury to the child." So that's what we did, you and I and our government, to unknown thousands of children. Thank goodness someone recognized how awful an act that was. Way to go, Commander White, right?

Yeah, not so fast.

In a court document that was a response to the HHS inspector general's report on the separations, White said that we should all just forget about the children who are already placed with sponsors because, and, no shit, he really said this, "It would destabilize the permanency of their existing home environment, and could be traumatic to the children." Now, to be sure, some of the "sponsors" are parents who are already in the United States or other relatives. But at least 10 percent of the thousands, which could also be thousands, but is at least hundreds, were placed with "distant relatives, family friends and others." In other words, strangers who will essentially become the adoptive parents of separated children because we either lost track of who their parents are or we coerced the parents to sign away their right to reunification or we just didn't give a shit about them because they're brown.

But let's get this fuckery correct: The same official of the U.S. government, who is a longtime HHS administrator and not some Trump appointee, said it was traumatic to separate the children in the first place and that it would also be traumatic to reunite them with their parents who brought them to the U.S. In other words, no matter what, our government is admitting that it has traumatized children. And, you know, a fucking large number of adults, too.

Yeah, the ACLU and other groups are in the midst of a storm of lawsuits on this matter, but whenever Trump talks about the victims of human trafficking across the border, Democrats should be hammering home that the president did everything but throw children in the back seat and drive them across the desert.


Donald Trump's CBS Interview: A Lot of People Thought It Was Worse Than the Super Bowl

Last night's Super Bowl made the case that everyone involved in the game, from the NFL to the halftime "entertainers" (no, Maroon 5, just no) to the players to the advertisers, should all be blasted into space and never spoken of again. Like the State of the Union speech, which we're damned to suffer through tomorrow, it's all an utterly useless spectacle that has long outlasted whatever mild entertainment value it had and only serves as a reminder that we are in the downward spiral of the decadent end-times of a corpulent, dying empire.

Even worse was the fuck-cluster of vomited verbiage from the mouth of President Donald Trump, interviewed by CBS's Margaret Brennan and broadcast yesterday as an opening act to the pitiful, dull event that still called itself "super." Yes, the Super Bowl this year was the Donald Trump of sporting events. And the interview was Pro Bowl of news.

Where to begin with this latest face-fuck from a man whose daily orange skin paint job we've all just weirdly accepted?

Oh, sure, you could go with the blatant dickishness that oozes from Trump's pores like a frog's mucus. Going all in on Nancy Pelosi as terrorist, Trump said, "I think she is very bad for our country." And then he accused her of supporting criminals, adding, "She doesn't mind human trafficking or she wouldn't do this."

But we're used to this sort of fuckery from Trump. It's his stock and trade.

You could go with his dismissal of his own (and the country's) intelligence services when it comes to its conclusions about Iran and ISIS: "I will say this: my intelligence people, if they said in fact that Iran is a wonderful kindergarten, I disagree with them 100 percent." And "when my intelligence people tell me how wonderful Iran is- if you don't mind, I'm going to just go by my own counsel." While, sure, we don't need to bow at the altar of the CIA, it does seem to beg the question: Where the fuck are you getting your intelligence from if not from, you know, our intelligence services?

But that would mean getting bogged down into how intelligence was misused by the Bush administration and... see? We're already bogged down.

Instead, let's focus in on one phrase that Trump uses a lot and that's "a lot of people." Trump falls back on that when he wants to show that whatever bullshit lie that's been jacked into his small brain by Fox and Friends must be true or that whatever shit he made up must be right. For instance, talking about the jobs numbers this month, he said, "A shocker to a lot of people. They thought it was going to be half that number." Okay, maybe, but then he goes further, talking about unemployment rate for "the African Americans" and other races to demonstrate he's totally not racist.  "In terms of race," he said,  "a lot of people are saying, well, this is something very special what's happening."

"A lot of people" means Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Steve Doocy. And every sycophant that can fight to the front to get their lips on his comforting teats.

There's also the way it's used to show that people love him. On criminal justice reform, "I got it done and I've been, you know, really- a lot of people in the NFL have been calling and thanking me for it." This was in response, by the way, to a question about police violence against African Americans and Colin Kaepernick's protest.

And there's always how he uses it to say that he's just discovered something that literally everyone else knew already: "A lot of people, including me, thought soccer would probably never make it in this country, but it really is moving forward rapidly." You think? Maybe we should ask Frederick Douglass. Trump's one of those fucking idiots who thinks everyone has only thought about something when he's thought about it. Otherwise, it never existed or was considered.

It's not just "a lot of people." Trump says "a lot" a lot. On black Americans: "I think they like me a lot and I like them a lot."  And look at this, as he continued about the NFL protests: "A lot of it is having to do with reform from what I understand. Whether it's criminal justice or whatever it may be and they have different versions and everybody seemed to have a different version of it. But a lot of it had to do with that, and I took care of that. I think that people have to, at all times, respect our flag and at all times respect our net- our- our national anthem and our country. And I think there are plenty of places and times you can protest and you can do a lot."

There's our motherfucking president in full. Completely changing what the protests are about (pretty sure sentencing reforms won't end the murder of African Americans by the cops), taking credit for ending them, making some slaveringly insincere patriotic message for his idiot hordes, and then thinking he can make everyone happy.

That's a lot of garbage right there.