On Vacation, Boss

So, yeah, I'm far away in Spain. Barcelona, to be precise, on a much-needed escape from the intense fuckery of the Trump administration. It's a goddamn paradise on that account. Unlike the UK, I haven't seen a single piece of protest art (or, and this is entirely unlikely at all, supportive art) mentioning or picturing our dumb motherfucker of a president. Nothing. No graffiti. No signs. No posters. Not a goddamned word stenciled anywhere.

You got that, Donald Trump? Nobody fucking thinks about you here. Nobody fucking cares about you. They have other shit to do and worry about, like Catalan independence and that kind of shit.

Anyways, I'll be back in a week or so after working my way through all of Seven Deadly Sins between here and Valencia. Except maybe Wrath, although perhaps this counts.

There will be a guest post or two. So look out for them. And be nice to each other while I'm away. Replace the weed you smoke. Don't worry about the whiskey. And smoke nasty-ass cigarettes out on balcony.


Profiles in Cowardice: Random Observations on the Mueller Hearings

Yesterday's congressional hearings with former Special Counsel Robert Mueller revealed the profound cowardice at the heart of our nation's leaders right now in dealing with Donald Trump (himself a coward of the lowest order) and the crimes that he has so blatantly committed and continues to commit on a daily basis. Anyone who has actually read Mueller's report or paid attention during the hearing who doesn't believe that Russia interfered with the 2016 election and that Trump panicked and attempted to cover up any involvement would have to be a genuine fool or a willful idiot. The report says that Trump did so. It just doesn't say that he committed a crime, although it walks right up to that.

There was some hope that the hearings before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees would produce a crystallizing moment, a "gotcha," an absolutely clear statement of Trump and his circle's complicity in obstruction of justice. Democrats called the hearing ostensibly to disseminate the information in the report, but you know that they wanted Mueller to say that Trump should have been indicted but was blocked by Attorney General and the man who put the "toad" in toady, William Barr.

If that had happened, no one would be talking about Mueller's really painful, halting, obviously impaired appearance. But the cowardly media was not entertained and thus declared the day a failure. Jesus, no one should care about the verve with which revelations of our compromised electoral system were delivered. No one should care if the person telling us that the President induced people to lie about their involvement in compromising our electoral system is particularly charming. But we don't live in a country where plain facts matter anymore, and we don't have a media that is capable of explaining facts (yeah, yeah, there are exceptions).

That sky opening moment didn't happen. And, instead, we were treated to the display of Democrats trying to get as much of the report on record as possible, with Mueller agreeing that, yes, what he wrote in the report is what he wrote in the report, and that it is as enraging and worrisome as it ever was. There were a couple of important moments that may make fine ads, like Rep. Jerrold Nadler's direct, quick questioning that demonstrated just how much Trump is lying about the report. Adam Schiff's opening comments were brutal, as was his masterful dialogue with Mueller that was a distillation of just how much Russia helped Trump and how much Trump and his team welcomed that help and how really scary that all is.

Republicans on the committee were, with one, perhaps two, exceptions, a miserable bunch of cowardly bastards. Bowing down before their twin idols, Trump and the right-wing media machine, they regurgitated every rank conspiracy theory, vomiting up a litany of names and a series of lies about the origins of the investigation and the investigators themselves, all to create a viscous fog for their president's venality and immorality and criminality. From loathsome hick Louie Gohmert screeching like he got his penis stuck in the donkey he was fucking to bloated sack of farts James Sensenbrenner declaring Mueller's work a flaming sack of shit left on the government's porch to dimwitted Michael Turner bludgeoning the word "exonerate" to death. It was disgusting, watching asshole after asshole proclaim the innocence of Trump while trying, at least on some minor level, to pretend to give even a single fuck about Russia's interference in our elections. How low does a man or woman have to be to fear a nasty comment by Tucker Carlson? How quickly do they become traitors because they fear tweets that call for their ouster or deaths? What vermin they are and what worms are the people who elect them.

Despite all the tributes to his long career as GI Joe G-Man, Mueller came across as a coward, too. Simply put, there was no reason for him to hedge on what he believed. As Sarah Kendzior put it, "Throughout the hearings, Mr. Mueller acted as if outside forces constrained his ability to answer questions. But he is no longer an employee of the Department of Justice, and they can no longer tell him what to say." It made no sense, for instance, that he was so clearly incensed by the idea of Russia's attack on the 2016 election, yet he would not say, clearly, that Donald Trump is harming the country by dismissing that idea. That's pretty easy: Here is something that's broken. If you don't fix it, it will get worse. Therefore, if the person who is supposed to fix it doesn't, that person wants things to get worse. But he decided to limit himself and play the good Republican, the good conservative, one of the many useful idiots who think that the System still functions as it's supposed to. And just say, for chrissake, that anyone would have arrested Trump. All this coy implication was worthless. For someone who once stood up to rabid buffalo Dick Cheney, it was a dereliction of duty and a failure of nerve that will ultimately damage the nation.

Yet as strong as the Democrats in the committees were with their questioning - there was blissfully little speechifying - the press conference after the hearings demonstrated the cowardice that has plagued the party's leaders since Trump was elected. When Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi again squashed the idea that impeachment of Trump should move forward, she undid everything that the hearings might have done. Impeachment would force attention to be paid to what Trump has done and his failure to act on what was done to us. Now, they say, they want to wait until courts decide on whether or not Trump needs to give over documents or allow people to testify. C'mon.  It's as if Pelosi and others in the Democratic caucus, ignoring a growing faction of members who want impeachment, believe that Trump won't be re-elected and things can go back to whatever illusion of normal they think it was before. This is the Merrick Garland fallacy: don't get in the mud to fight it out because we're obviously gonna win the presidency. How did that turn out in 2016? Democrats are stating that Trump committed crimes. Hell, Nadler used the phrase "high crimes and misdemeanors" the other day. If you say that and refuse to impeach, then Republicans have nothing to fear from you and will keep owning the story with their lies.

As he revealed in his ranting, frothing moment with the press yesterday, Donald Trump is a danger to the nation, and he believes he is empowered to do more and more. That neither Democrats nor Republicans are willing to stand up to him in the firmest, most obvious way available is the kind of cowardice that will damn us, and we'll deserve it.


Impeachment Is Not Just About Mueller

Unless something extraordinary and unexpected happens at these hearings, like that former Special Counsel Robert Mueller actually answers the question about whether or not Donald Trump would have been indicted had he not been president, then the Democrats have already fucked up by placing so much emphasis on what the Mueller Report told us about Trump's behavior. Yeah, it's true that the report pretty much says that Trump obstructed justice in the investigation and that some hinky shit was going on with Russia, but, fuck, that's complicated and it doesn't involve blow jobs, so most people don't even want to understand.

Mostly, though, you can count on Mueller constantly referring to the report as Democrats try to get something out of him and Republicans yell at him about nutzoid conspiracies. (For the record, I think it's bullshit cowardice and a dereliction of duty that Mueller hasn't said, "Yeah, I'd've arrested the motherfucker if I could have.")

Democrats in Congress have made a strategic error in not making Trump's gross racism and sexism a centerpiece in a concerted attack on him. And it's a goddamn tragedy the way that credible allegations of rape and other sexual assault and misbehavior have been pretty much ignored. And that's all incredibly frustrating and outright enraging because there is more than enough to impeach without Mueller, but by hyping first the report and now Mueller's appearance before congressional committees, Democrats have given themselves very little wiggle room and little time to build a case for impeachment on everything (and I mean fucking everything, from emoluments to misuse of intelligence to disrespect of Congress to incompetence to being a danger to the nation) else. Donald Trump isn't a politician who fucked around with an investigation to stay in power. He's an entirely corrupt entity, a spreading cancer, a hatemongering beast who needs to be ejected from the body politic in the firmest, angriest legal way possible.

In an amazing thread on Twitter, author and former political consultant Tim Wise lays out why it's horseshit that Democrats are trying to fight Trump on policy grounds. Wise was a staffer for a PAC that opposed David Duke in both his statewide runs, for Senate and governor, in Louisiana, and he saw how bothering to argue tax policy with Duke made the white supremacist part of things so normal.  As Wise puts it, "It allowed people to say 'well if he's really this racist, white supremacist, why are they talking about all this other stuff?'" The same goes for Trump's indecencies.

Every fucking day should be a barrage of Democrats saying that they refuse to work with a racist and an accused rapist who pals around with child rapists (and, yeah, may be a child rapists himself). That's how you don't normalize this shit. Don't dignify him. Don't meet with him. Don't attend his events. Don't act nice and polite. Fuck him up.

And start the goddamned impeachment hearings because he's a racist and an accused rapist. For fuck's sake, we have a tape now of him literally grabbing a woman and patting her ass where no consent at all is involved. This ain't a bunch of conspiracy theories. It's the actual words and actions of the president, both now and in the past.

Every Democratic debate should be how fucking pathetic it is that greedy, shitty Republicans defend a a racist and an accused rapist who pals around with child rapists. Notice how you don't even have to mention Russia or obstruction of justice or Mueller. And no one can accuse you of socialism because, well, fuck, it's not even in the mix.

Yes, Democrats have botched the hell out of all of this, except, you know, the Squad and a few others, but they are working in a vacuum without leadership behind them. Democratic leaders have botched the reaction to the Mueller Report, they have botched all the revelations about Trump, they have botched it all in favor of some forgotten notion of comity, some false belief in the power of policy.

It's as if Democrats still believe that they can convince white racists to give up their racism for Medicare-for-all and free college. You really think voters in Kentucky are gonna give two shits that thousands and thousands of people will lose their health care if Republicans succeed killing the Affordable Care Act? They sure didn't in 2016.

So the Mueller hearings will happen and we might learn something, but more than likely we won't, and because Democrats fumbled the initial spin, it'll have no effect on public opinion. But they can still get things going on all the other fronts in the mistake that is the presidency of Donald Trump. Jesus fuck, the man ranted and lied to a bunch of teenagers today about "illegal immigrants" and voter fraud: "You got people voting that shouldn’t be voting. They vote many times, not just twice, not just three times.  They vote — it’s like a circle.  They come back; they put a new hat on.  They come back; they put a new shirt.  And in many cases, they don’t even do that." He is a fucking animal, a fucking plague dog, and he needs to be dealt with as such. That motherfucker won't let you pet him if you put your hand out gently. He'll bite the shit out of you while pissing on your shoes and then lunge at your throat.

I'm shitting all over Democrats here, but the real villains are, of course, Republicans, who have let Trump get away with all of it, who created the circumstances for Trump to be president, who are complicit in every crime, in every immoral act, in every ass-fucking of tradition and ethics, in every tearing up of the Constitution. They must be driven out of politics, and you're not gonna do that by debating Trump on trade with China. You do that by getting a majority of Americans frothing and outraged and revolted at the idea of Trump as a human being. It really shouldn't be this hard.

This is life and death. If that's not clear by now, then all the time in the world with Mueller ain't gonna change it.


...So We Have to Save Ourselves (Part 2)

Last week, I wrote that the opposition to Donald Trump and his supporters, apostles, and enablers needs to get its head around the idea that no one person or thing is going to save us from Trumpism. Not the Mueller Report, not a secret cabal of intelligence agents (hell, I guess you could call it the "Deep State"), not the hidden child-fucking files of Jeffrey Epstein. And, as if on cue, the U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of New York released a statement that it was ending its investigation into the hush money payments made to Stormy Daniels by Michael Cohen under the direction of Donald Trump without indicting anyone else. As the conservative toxic waste dump RedState crowed, "The SDNY Just Crushed One Of The Left’s Biggest Dreams," which was that the honorable, dogged New York office would bring down Trump. Except everyone kind of forgot that the U.S. Attorney works for the Justice Department, which is under the Attorney General, who is William Barr, who is a lawless sow fucker. So now we've moved on to the next dream, that something something Mueller hearing something something will happen.

Except it won't. And the House still won't open an impeachment inquiry, not even after this past week's descent into racist nationalism.

So we have to figure out how to save ourselves from the fascistic threat of Trumpism, in ways that make real change and in ways that demonstrate to those in power that they are facing a greater wave of people than the human hemorrhoids in the chanting MAGA crowds. We have to face the fact that there is a political race war that needs to happen, and it's time to get the troops ready for battle.

I have two suggestions. Neither of them is particularly new (hell, I've talked about one of 'em before), but place them into the new, urgent context in which we find ourselves.

First, fuck the white working class. Fuck Trump voters.  Fuck their votes. Fuck their beliefs. Fuck everything about them. Democrats and the left attempting to appeal to Trump supporters, as if better angels exist in their cesspool, is like a wounded gazelle attempting to reason with hyenas. They're gonna eat you; you just look like an idiot for thinking you could convince them otherwise.

The emphasis for the 2020 election has to be on those who didn't vote in 2016 and 2018.  This ain't about voter enthusiasm. Jesus, if anti-Trump voters aren't fired up, then Democrats should just go beat off in a corner for the duration.  Voter registration has to be the top priority, especially in targeting non-white people of voting age. (Remember: We're in a political race war.) Republicans have a massive effort under way to get more voters. Right now,  there are lower-key efforts, like Jesse Jackson and his Rainbow PUSH organization trying to register 100,000 new voters in South Carolina.

Sure, there are great local movements, like Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength in Michigan.  But MOSES and other organizations aside, we need to have a national effort, perhaps led by groups with a national status, like Indivisible or Swing Left, which actually has a voter registration strategy but needs some big time boosting. We need to head to the swing states and find the voters who have sat out. And we need lots of volunteers who are willing to help people negotiate the bullshit, byzantine new voter laws in those states.

The other suggestion is way more radical and way more dangerous from a messaging position: a general strike, with the kinds of protests we're seeing in Hong Kong and (closer to home) Puerto Rico. As Will Bunch put it last year, "A general strike or even massive protests are well outside of the normal comfort zone for a majority of Americans. But the question we need to ask ourselves is this... how comfortable are we with Donald Trump spending even one more night in the White House?"

A general strike can bring together liberal causes across the board, from Black Lives Matter to the Women's March to gun laws to immigration reform to the climate crisis and more. And it strikes at the heart of the capitalist enterprise in a way that a well-ordered, well-permitted protest march never can. Right now, we have a government that is unresponsive to what the vast majority of Americans want. Our fucked up electoral system means that not only can a president win without a majority of the popular vote, the House and Senate can be controlled by a party that didn't receive the most votes.  So the voice of the people needs to made front and center again because our alleged representative democracy isn't representing us in a fair, realistic way.

The protests in Hong Kong were particularly stunning because it was essentially a movement without a central leader. Instead, a coalition of pro-democracy groups worked together, with several members, like Bonnie Leung and Jimmy Sham, taking on different roles in getting the message out there and getting the people in the streets. The progressive movement in the United States has that same kind of possibility of coalition with conveners providing guidance and direction. Of course, it's something that would need community support as people missed work for what might be a lengthy strike with a goal of forcing the resignation of Trump and his administration.

It's a pie in the sky idea, yeah, I know. There's a good chance that it would fall apart quickly, faced with a public that doesn't want to hang in there, with a media that might be dismissive and, in the case of Fox "news," derisive, with an apathetic lump of shit in the White House going golfing during the whole thing, with corporate and business leaders and Republicans declaring it a "socialist revolution" or some such shit.

Yeah, the good guys might not win, but even when they fail, at least they can say they gave it a shot. At least they found some way to find meaning and community in a time of cruelty and division. At least they laid a foundation for some future action.

Or we can all go back to where we came from.


Let's Have This Goddamn Political Race War Already

At least now Democrats can stop fucking pretending that there is any reasoning with Republicans or anyone on the right at this point. By refusing to condemn President Donald Trump's blatantly racist statements as "racist," by continuing and expanding on Trump's attacks on four non-white Democratic congresswomen in saying that they should leave the United States, by getting outraged that racism is being called racism, the GOP has ripped its mask off in the clearest way possible and gone all in on attacks on non-whites. At this point, Donald Trump could yell, "Nigger!" on Fifth Avenue and wouldn't lose any voters. And Republicans would blame whichever black person it was directed at.

Conservatives like to decry what they say is "identity politics;" that is, making policies and running candidates to appeal to a certain racial, ethnic, religious, or other background. But the GOP's appeal to white nationalists and to the idiot hordes that comprise its base is more clearly identity politics than anything Democrats have done. 'Cause, see, Trump and those who suckle at Trump's orange manteats get their votes almost exclusively from white people. By contrast, Ilhan Omar was elected with 78% of the vote in a district that is two-thirds white. I fucking guarantee you that Republican Representative Steve Scalise didn't get shit for non-white votes. But we're supposed to pretend that Omar is dividing Americans. Fuck that.

The right has been aching for a political race war. With their explicit support of Trump's "Go back to your country," now supposedly not racist "If you're not happy here, you can leave," as well as rallying around demonizing Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashid Tlaib, Republicans have tied their 2020 strategy to this racist fuckery. The four progressives are the new welfare queen, the new Willie Horton, the new Mexican rapists. And they are folding that into the oldest fucking act in the conservative book: calling Democrats socialist or "commies," as a sweaty Lindsey Graham did. There's the campaign: commies and coloreds. They really did make it 1960 again.

Hell, yesterday, Trump went back to his political origin of saying that other countries send their criminals here to seek asylum. In a cabinet meeting, while doing the supposedly official business of the supposed United States, Trump said, "Why would Honduras or Guatemala or El Salvador, why would they keep their criminals when you can put them into the caravan, lose them in a caravan, and send them up to the United States. We take everybody because the Democrats don’t allow immigration laws that mean anything. It’s horrible. It’s horrible."

As a counterpoint, here's how a mother from Honduras described the circumstances that forced them to leave their home: "The family fled Honduras after Tania witnessed her mother get killed. Her sister-in-law also was a witness and was later kidnapped, tortured and slain to keep her from testifying. The gang MS-13 then posted a note on the family's door telling them they had 45 minutes to leave, Tania said. That's when the family left to seek asylum in the U.S." Yeah, it is horrible. Just not in the way our simpering racist prick of a president says it is. And his very approach, his very words are more anti-American than a million socialist candidates demanding that this nation take care of its people like nearly every other nation on earth.

Let me personalize this: I fucking love my neighborhood. I love the black women artists who live downstairs from me. I love the Latino kids who ride their bikes up and down the street with rap music on old school boomboxes playing. I love the Indian family across the street who have a disabled son whose Chinese bus driver is always overjoyed to see. I love the Dominican family behind me who have parties that always end up with musicians playing amazing tunes. I love the young Puerto Rican parents who have a car with a license frame that says, "My other car is the Tardis." I love the white people who showed up to offer comfort to the Pakistani owner of the corner bodega when his father died. It ain't perfect. We've had crime and fights and everything (although that's changed since the neighborhood has become even more diverse). But I fucking love this America. I don't know who is here legally or illegally. And I don't give a shit. I just care that we all treat each other with respect. If you don't love this, too, then you don't love this country.

That's worth fighting for. That's worth pissing off the mythical "White Working Class" (which doesn't seem to contain all those working class voters who think Trump's full of shit). That's worth having the political race war the GOP has been aching to have and has been having since 1980. Let's have this throwdown the nation has needed since the civil rights era. Let's define who we are and try to finally be absolutely fucking clear about it.

Call it like many of us have been saying for years now: If you support Donald Trump, you're racist. And fuck you. Double fuck you if you think calling you "racist" is racist, you dumb motherfuckers. And triple fuck you if you think anyone who doesn't want to get face-fucked by Donald Trump hates this country and should leave. You assholes aren't leaving over the Affordable Care Act, which is the law of the land. You assholes didn't leave over same-sex marriage. You put on your asshole hats and tried to change it. Which is the exact same thing that Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley, and Tlaib are trying to do (minus the asshole hats and with smarter tweets).

Make this election explicitly about the meaning of America, Democrats. This is our chance to take the plot of this story back from Republicans, who have controlled the narrative for most of the last three generations. Do we stand with diversity as our strength or do we stand with white nationalism? Do we stand with the right to dissent or obeisance to a leader? Jesus, we already have to get over the bar of our current racism. If it turns out that most of the country wants to be more racist and more in the thrall of a fucking moron and his moronic policies and the moronic, racist party that props up his saggy orange ass, then we'll at least be able to be fucking honest about it.

And then we can decide if fighting on is worth it or if we want to leave.

(Note: This was supposed to be part 2 of something I started last week, but, well, then this shit started. It's coming.)


At His Nutzoid Summit, Trump Admits He Stares at Twitter Instead of Working

Yesterday, Donald Trump, who I occasionally feel nauseated remembering is still the president of the United States, hosted what was billed as a Social Media Summit at the White House. What really happened is that Trump invited a range of conservative idiots, inveterate assholes, festering fucknuts, conspiracy crazies, and Charlie Kirk to sit around and tell Trump how awesome he is while he reciprocated and then whined about them being censored. It was like when you go visit your grandpa and he's invited all his old racist friends over. Actually, it wasn't "like that." It pretty much was that, with the added bonus of villainous walrus Sebastian Gorka going apeshit on reporters.

Honestly, if intelligence could create energy, the vortex from the absence of it would have swallowed the Rose Garden.

In his completely insane remarks after the summit, where, one presumes, Trump walked around with his dick out and asked each of them to yank, telling them, "One of you is getting a special surprise" as circus music played and a shirtless Mick Mulvaney cackled in the corner as he pinched his nipples bloody, Trump completely missed the point of the "free" part of "free speech," saying, "Free speech is not when you see something good, and then you purposely write bad. To me, that’s very dangerous speech, and you become angry at it. But that’s not free speech." Freedom, to Trump, means free to agree with him.

But the main focus of his wayward ire was what he believes is censorship on Twitter and other social media platforms. See, sometimes he doesn't get as many likes and retweets as he thinks he should get. Trump said, no, really, "We got a lot of people. Way, way over 100 million, but I used to pick them up… And when I say 'used to,' I’m talking about a few months ago. I was picking them up, a hundred thousand people every, very short period of time. Now, it’s, I would say, ten times as long. And I notice things happening when I put out something—a good one, that people like, right? Good tweet. It goes up. It used to go up, it would say 7,000, 7,008, 7,000, 7,017, 7,024, 7,032, 7,044. Right? Now it goes, 7,000, 7,008, 6,998. Then they go, 7,009, 6,074." The audience of lepers and whores and leper whores booed the injustice of people undoing their "like."

Because we live in an odd version of Hell, he continued, "I never had that before. I used to watch it. It’d be like a rocket ship when I put out a beauty. Like when I said, remember I said somebody was spying on me? That thing was like a rocket. "

You got that, right? This is what the goddamn president is telling us he does. He tweets something and then watches the numbers on them. It's like the Nielsens of the damned for him. Trump needs those RTs and Likes to keep rolling up. He craves that validation, and he fears not having it, like an oxy freak getting to the bottom of the scrip bottle.

Then he revealed that he tweets just because he likes to see his shit on TV.  Trump slurred, "I said watch, I’m going to do this. And I said, 'We recognize the Golan Heights as being part of Israel.' It was a big thing. I go, watch this: boom! I press it, and within two seconds: 'We have breaking news.' John Roberts of Fox was over. He said, 'We have breaking news. Please, break it up.' Doesn’t matter what they’re talking about, John does it. He breaks it up." Beyond obviously not understanding what the word "breaking" means in "breaking news," that's some scary shit right there. It's some fin de siecle megalomaniacal fuckery, like a cruel, inbred king executing a servant because he can.

So Trump, again, ostensibly the leader of the free world, says that he wastes his days thinking of tweets to fuck with the flow of the news cycle and watches to see how much people love him. Add to that his daily viewing of Fox and Friends and whatever fucking nonsense One America has on, and, really, except when he's in front of the cameras telling us shit like "You know, there’s a word called 'communism,'" except when he's glad-handing dictators and right-wing crazies and congressional fellaters, he's not doing a goddamn thing at his job.

It's pathetic. It's pathetic that he cares so much about his shitty tweets. And it's pathetic that I'm fucking relieved that he's so lazy and incompetent.


No One Is Going to Save Us... (Part 1)

After Donald Trump was inaugurated, I heard dozens of predictions about how soon he would fall and be forced out of the presidency. I talked to people In The Know or people who would mention a friend who's an intelligence agent, and they all knew, with near certainty, that we were mere months from the wheels of justice and the righteous government of the United States rejecting Trump like he was a dog's arm grafted onto our precious human bodies. I was told it would be October 2017, November 2017, "by Christmas" 2017, and then it was several times throughout 2018. "You see, they'd say, "the spooks are gonna take him down. The career officers, they know that he's up to his neck in money-laundering" or "child sex trafficking" or simply "Russia." These savior spies never appeared.

But we, oh, we hoped, god, how we hoped, listening to every confident conspiracy-spinner on MSNBC, just believing that, at any second, a thread would be pulled, the wrong Jenga piece would be moved, and everything would finally fall apart for Trump. We moved on to the investigation of Robert Mueller, and we thought that here, finally, would be the back-breaking straw. And while we have not fully grappled with what was actually in the report Mueller and his team produced, while the number of times Trump clearly obstructed justice is overwhelming and the associations with the Russian government are damning, still, it didn't shake the foundation of this administration in any permanent way.

Because we are such hopeful creatures, we liberals, we keep believing that some cataclysm will break this dark fever. Some of us even thought that the horrors that would be revealed in the indictment of child rapist Jeffrey Epstein might be awful revelations about Trump that led to his comeuppance. That case is still in its early stages, and this is not to mention what Mueller might say when he testifies next week, but stop, just stop.

No one is going to save us. It's just that simple. While there have been and may still be a couple of Supreme Court decisions that don't gut democracy and civil rights, no one is going to save us from the depravity of this administration, from its extravagant flouting of rules and laws meant to prevent corruption of public officials to its enraging, inhumane mistreatment of migrants to its utter incompetence in just about every area that requires a rational federal government to its abandonment of any policy that would mitigate the speeding train of the climate crisis that is going to wreck us.

There is no political Santa Claus. There will be no insurgency by angry intelligence agents. There is no ninth-dimensional plan that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has as to why she's not calling for an impeachment inquiry. She has no secret information that Trump is going down for some other crime. And while I could spend the rest of this post on the boggling refusal of Pelosi to impeach while she has the House pass meaningless bill after meaningless bill, I don't want to just focus on her failure in this pivotal historical moment.

We are seeing the result of decades of conservative planning to get the public to the moment where they no longer believe in anyone but the right's own media, where plain facts don't matter, where images of strength are far, far more important than actual strength. And, as Ryan Grim demonstrated in a great piece, we are dealing with a Democratic leadership group that has never gotten over its post-Reagan stress disorder. Democrats never learned to fight Republicans. We thought winning elections would be enough. We thought that the factual reality of more people having access to health care would be enough. We thought that things that polled well, like abortion rights, like stricter gun laws, like action on climate change, would be enough. We thought that Trump being a damned embarrassment every time he opens his mouth would be enough. We thought that going high when they went low would be enough.

It's not. It never was.

Republican learned back when Reagan was calling the news the "liberal media" on a regular basis, when they impeached Bill Clinton because it made the evangelicals and Clinton haters happy, when they hammered every minor thing, like a flag-burning case, into a national crisis, that the fight is all there is. They relish the fight, they live for the fight, and they can't wait for the next chance to fight, even if they have to manufacture it. They don't care about rules, they don't care about pissing off their opponents, and that's why Trump will end up appointing nearly a third of all federal judges by the end of his first term. That's why Republicans will end up contorting our voting rights until only white conservative men get a say.

And while a whole lot of us on the left, many of us who call ourselves "Democrats," have fought like hell, and while Democratic leaders may want to fight on issues, they hate it when the fight becomes personal. Sure, some Democrats will call out particular Republicans on their awfulness, but the goal is to try to shame a shameless person like Mitch McConnell. When Republicans go after someone, the goal is to destroy them and create a new identity for the person. Look at what they did with the Clintons. Look at what they're doing with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Republicans do this because it works. Democrats won't. They flinch and shy away, as if it's just too unseemly.

What do I mean by that? President Obama should have had Democrats go on the warpath over McConnell's refusal to consider the Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland. McConnell should have been turned into an enemy of the nation. Instead, it was treated with the political equivalent of an eyeroll. Would it have worked? We'll never know.

You want something more recent? Trump was credibly accused of rape, with activity that is of a piece with other behavior he's admitted to. It should be something that Democrats say with outrage over and over, in every discussion. And if Democrats can't take the head of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, who helped get a sweetheart deal for child rapist Epstein, then they have no business in modern politics.

That's all blind hope, the same kind of blind hope that made us think that some bit of scandal magic would take down Trump. Sorry. No one is going to save us. We're on our own. So we damn well better save ourselves.


What to Expect at Donald Trump's America Is So Great ExMAGAganza

From a press release from the Department of the Interior regarding the 4th of July Celebration of President Trump:

This year's annual Independence Day celebration on the National Mall will feature music, flyovers, fireworks, and an address by President Donald J. Trump. The America Is So Great ExMAGAganza will show the proper way to honor Donald Trump, including each of the nation’s five service branches with music, military demonstrations, multiple flyovers including a flight demonstration by the Blue Angels, and much more. The theme is "Trump Is Awesome."

The Navy's Blue Angels will do a flyover. In honor of President Trump, they will fly in a newly-created formation called "The Sky Pussy" where five of the jets create the shape of a vulva overhead. A sixth jet moves in close to the Sky Pussy for a maneuver named "the Grabber 180." The Grabber jet quickly moves in and out of the Sky Pussy, at which point the Sky Pussy jets emit special pink contrails as an indication that the Sky Pussy loved being touched by the Grabber.

The National America Is So Great ExMAGAganza Parade will be a celebration of all the things that Donald Trump has made great. It will feature floats showing President Trump shaking hands with Kim Jong-Un while starving North Koreans cheer for them as soldiers point guns on the citizens. Another float will feature a performer dressed like Saudia Arabia's Prince Mohammed bin Salman juggling the body parts of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi. He'll be standing on the throats of Saudi women while doing it. A marching band will play the Russian national anthem while the Marine Silent Drill Team shows off its precision moves, culminating in a "Salute to Putin and Friendship," where everyone drops their pants and pisses on each other.

The parade will also feature caged migrants on a flatbed. This display will demonstrate how the United States under President Trump is treating migrants seeking asylum better than they were being treated in their own countries. People in attendance will be cautioned not to hand them soap or toothbrushes or even a stuffed animal for one of the children. You never know how the caged migrant will act if they receive minimal amounts of human compassion.

When the parade reaches the VIP area, t-shirt cannons will be fired by National Guard members, but they will be filled with wads of cash in a demonstration of President Trump's tax cut. Any money not picked up by the VIPs will be given directly to President Trump.

One float will just be Brett Kavanaugh drinking beer. The real Brett Kavanaugh in his Supreme Court robes. Just enjoying beer. He likes beer.

Before President Trump speaks, the American National Anthem will be played. Anyone caught kneeling, not singing, or not crying tears of patriotic joy will be immediately arrested. The subject of President Trump's speech will be a totally nonpolitical look back on how much better the country is now that he's president. He will totally nonpolitically talk about how the press is the enemy of the people and that Democrats want open borders and crime and violence. Then he will totally nonpolitically mock Nancy Pelosi and the U.S. Women's Soccer Team as not being bangable enough for him. Finally, President Trump will totally nonpolitically name his daughter as his Vice Presidential running mate. "And what a mate she'll be," the President will say as a weeping Mike Pence still stands by his side.

Two fireworks displays will light up the DC skies. The first is themed "Look at This Shit Blow Up, Iran," and it will be an imitation of the annihilation that awaits Iran if it doesn't live up to its part of the nuclear deal that the United States withdrew from. The second will be "I Like Big Boom," and President Trump will point and nod in imitation of an idiot while the First Lady looks on uncomfortably smiling, as if asking for the sweet kiss of death.

At the end, President Trump will go fuck a tank and command the heads of the five branches of the military to all make out with each other while he does it. A blood orgy on the mall will ensue among the onlookers when Jerry Falwell, Jr. cuts open a donkey in symbolic murder of a Democrat. He will fellate the disembodied donkey dick while blood pours onto the audience, driving them into a savage frenzy of fucking and murder that will dye the reflecting pool as red as a MAGA hat.

So bring the whole family.

The Park Service has already said that the biggest crowd in the history of Independence Day is attending the Donald Trump's America Is So Great ExMAGAganza, and you were there, even if you weren't.


Another Goddamn Podcast: Interview with Reece Peck and Online Ministries Tell the Tennessee Legislature to Suck It

The latest episode of Another Goddamn Podcast is up, and it's a festive one.

First, I tell you about how an online ministry told the Tennessee legislature to go fuck itself when the state passed a law saying that marriages performed by people who got their ordination online aren't legit.

Then, you've got the second part of my interview with media analyst Reece Peck, author of Fox Populism: Branding Conservatism as Working Class. He's watched more Fox "news" than any single human should ever have to, and it's a tribute to him that he hasn't gone on a 5-state killing spree.

We talk about how it pissed me off that he was sure Trump was going to win in 2016, and then we get into his upbringing as a Mormon in Utah and the ways the LDS church is becoming surprisingly more open. Of course, I had to ask him about the Mormon doctrine that says masturbation is just below murder on the list of sins. It gets weird and funny.

Check it out, like a shockingly large number of people already have. Listen on your favorite podcast platform. Download it. Rate it. Review it. Make sweet love to it.

(For tender ears and eyes, it's called AGD Podcast, but we all know it's just Another Goddamn Podcast.)

While I'm plugging, check out other great podcasts on the Sexy Liberal Podcast Network, from Dean Obeidallah's I Want to Be Your Muslim Friend to Dana Goldberg's Out in Left Field (she talks to the amazing Charlotte Clymer this week), not to mention Bob Cesca, Randi Rhodes, Frangela, Proud Resister, Jody Hamilton, John Fugelsang, and the grand dame herself, Stephanie Miller (her Happy Hour with Busy Phillips is a blast).

It'll help get you through these tough times and tell you, "Oh, shit, I'm really not alone in how much rage I'm feeling."