Impeachment Is a Chance for Democrats to Take Back Patriotism

If there is one rhetorical success that has held back Democrats even when we win elections, it's the lie that Republicans are more patriotic than Democrats. While it used to be the province of right-wing nutzoids like Joe McCarthy and other red baiters that liberals were un-American, the odious scumfucker Ronald Reagan propagated that Republicans held the true mantle of the United States and that Democrats merely sought to tear it down with their gender equality and multiculturalism and civil rights and income equality and queasiness about war. This was couched in purely heteronormative and racist terms, that there was something inherently white and masculine about being a real American.  It was an attack on academics and the media who would dare point out "facts" and "reality" as opposed to the will of the American ubermensch in the form of Reagan. 

Goddamn, the right has been painting Democrats with that broad brush for so long and fucking Democrats bought into it. They fucking bought that they had to be more like Republicans in order to seem more patriotic. They had to be "tough on crime" with harsher penalties; they had to support stupid, worthless wars; they had to cut programs for the poor; they had to go along with tax cuts. Oh, yeah, there was that economic part, too, of patriotism: make sure the rich are as rich as fucking possible because you wanna be rich like that some day in the impossible future. It was selfishness as an end in itself. Me above nation.

The rubes bought into it because they weren't given an alternative way of viewing patriotism. Sure, with the election of Barack Obama in 2008, there was a brief window where it looked like we were finally going to change the narrative to an idea of a nation above individuals, but then Democrats returned to their natural state of allowing Republicans to define the terms of national identity (thanks in no small part to Joe Biden, but that's a rant for another time). Like I always say, motherfuckers fuck their mothers. It's all they know how to do. It's right there in the word. And Republicans are motherfuckingest motherfuckers around.

Now, Democrats have another chance to take back what it means to be American. I'll get to that in a moment.

There is something so clarifying about Trump's call to Ukraine's president and his brutish attempt to muscle info on Joe Biden out of Zelensky. It's like a distillation of everything that millions of us have been saying about Trump for decades: he does nothing unless there's something in it for him. When his crimes were obfuscated by layers of bullshit provided by conservative hacks on Fox "news" and elsewhere, as well as by the mainstream media contorting itself in order to please some false god of fairness, Americans could put on blinders. But Trump's such a toxic combination of narcissist and dumbass that he really thought his phone call pseudo-transcript would exonerate him, that everyone would buy into his story. How fucking ludicrous. 

It helps that there is genuine affection in the country and in the media for Joe Biden. Whatever you think of him (and, as I said, I've got a few problems), the man has been a DC fixture for nearly 50 years. You don't think that he's built up some good will? He's probably been to weddings, funerals, and parties with every reporter in the DC and New York press. He probably has sent presents and gift baskets and letters of encouragement, congratulations, and comfort. Whatever you think of the too-cozy relationship between our leaders and our reporters, this time it fucking worked.

'Cause, see, unlike every allegation against the Clintons and Barack Obama, Republicans are getting confronted with facts at every turn, and not just in a "well, some people say" way. Watch CNN's Jake Tapper absolutely lay into creepy goblin and child-fucking enabler Jim Jordan. Watch Fox's own Chris Wallace not have any of creepy psychopath Stephen Miller's bullshit. Watch CBS's Scott Pelley calmly vivisect bitch-faced creep Kevin McCarthy over what facts are. 

Now, the tidal wave of revelations, like the Intelligence Community is finally fuckin' done with Trump, has added to the sense that shit's really going on. We're no longer talking about what Trump did before he was president (although, to be fair, you're a pretty shitty human if you were in any way fine with or apathetic about Trump before these latest revelations). He's manipulating an election while president. And he's using our money to do it by threatening to withhold funds from Ukraine for Biden dirt. 

The country is primed to wrench its primary identity away from Republicans. Nancy Pelosi couched the impeachment inquiry announcement in very specific terms to appeal to patriotism, with its hearkening to our founders and the Constitution. Adam Schiff did the same in his opening remarks at the House Intelligence Committee hearing last Thursday. 

Essentially, they are saying, "You want to be a real patriots? Then fuck these traitors up." That's a powerful message. It's one that a majority of Americans are responding to, with a clear majority supporting the inquiry and a 10% jump in support for the removal of Trump from office. Democrats are the ones upholding the laws and traditions of the nation. Republicans are merely aiding and abetting a criminal, if they're not doing crimes themselves. That's as crystal-fuckin'-clear as it gets.

For the first time in I can't remember how long (maybe since the Affordable Care Act), Democrats are leading the charge on something, and they're telling Republicans to get the fuck on board this train or fuck off and get run over. 

And maybe the happy-clappy end result of this is that we take back the American story and try to make the country great. Not again. But for once.

(Note: Whatever optimism I have here is not that Trump will be removed. It's that Democrats will successfully set the terms for 2020 and that Trump will keep punching himself in the face along the way.)


16 Years of Rude Punditry: What Vengeful God Did I Anger?

I'll have more to say tomorrow, but today is officially the 16th anniversary of this here little postage stamp of the internet. What started with a pissy manifesto and a "fuck you" disclaimer (that's weirdly still relevant) is now a podcast, regular radio appearances, a couple of books, an album, an upcoming stage show (the third), and more, with, yeah, significantly less bloggery. That's because Twitter eats up time, man, and creativity, and people love them some quick hits rather than long pieces.

And some of you have been here from the start, which is so humbling and frightening, considering all the country has been through, that I feel like we need a support group. Or more whiskey and Molly. Something to get us through.

It's a fine time to sign up for the Rude Pundit Patreon page. There, for as little as a buck a month, you get bonus rude material, often more storytelling and other shit. (Although, to be fair, you should wait until Tuesday to do it. The first of the month saves you a couple of bucks.)

And every other year I have done a big damn fundraiser to get new equipment. This time it's not just a new computer. I'd like some better mics and better shit for remote recording. You'll also be helping to get the new show on the road and restocking the liquor closet. Always needs restocking.

You can show the love by hitting that PayPal button there on the side or by clicking here. If you wanna give another way, I'm happy to tell you how.

16 years. This is my Sisyphean boulder, and that fucker doesn't ever stop rolling back. But I'm happy to keep pushing it for you.


That Trump/Zelensky Call Was Fucked Up for Even More Reasons Than Biden

It's pretty goddamn clear that the motherfuckin' quid has a motherfuckin' pro quo in the weird pseudo-transcript of the July 25 phone call between Donald Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. And a great deal of it all comes down to the word "though."

Zelensky says, "I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps. Specifically we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes."

The very next thing is Trump saying, "I would like you to do us a favor though" before going into some conspiracy theories involving Ukraine and, no shit, Hillary Clinton's email server, with Attorney General William Barr tossed into the mix. And that's before he brought up Joe and Hunter Biden by name, which he totally did, unprompted.

Now, I have a PhD in this shit so that gives me superpowers to interpret texts of various sorts. But a freshman would know that "I would like you to do us a favor though" is a conditional sentence, taking what was said before and applying demands before any action is taken on the previous sentence. In other words, it is obvious unless you're a fucking moron or a Republican or both that Trump was saying, "Hey, Voldemort, you gotta do something for me if I'm gonna do something for you." In otherer words, it's the fucking dictionary definition of quid pro quo. And no matter how many times "No quid pro quo" is repeated like "No collusion," there was quid pro quo here. And, by the way, there was an attempt at collusion. The Ukrainians knew the deal.

But, really, the transcript is also fucked up because it reveals the way that foreign leaders have to abase themselves before Trump's massive ass...I mean, "ego," his massive ego.  Zelensky has to tickle Trump's taint with a feather, probably because it's the only way to get the dumb pile of rotting tangerine rinds to pretend to listen.

Right at the outset, Zelensky praises Trump for showing him how to win an election: "I would like to confess to you that I had an opportunity to learn from you. We used quite a few of your skills and knowledge and were able to use it as an example for our elections." Then he kisses Trump's ring even more, repeating his overused phrases to him: "[W]e are trying to work hard because we wanted to drain the swamp here in our country...we want to have a new format and a new type of government. You are a great teacher for us and in that."

That's the kind of flattery that would have made a French monarch in the Restoration say, "Sacre bleu, stop fingering my asshole." Not Trump, though. He revels in how world leaders are compelled to fondle his enlarged prostate.

It gets worse because of course it does. "Actually last time I traveled to the United States, I stayed in New York near Central Park," Zelensky probes, "and I stayed at the Trump Tower." No, really. And that right there should be another obvious emoluments violation. The head of a foreign country is trying to curry favor with the president by telling him that his country spent money at one of Trump's terrible properties. It's what the Constitution specifically says is not allowed.

Trump is such an intimidating dickhole throughout the conversation. He praises Zelensky for winning and then immediately starts to strongarm him. Seriously, this is rank mobster shit right here: "I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than the European countries are doing and they should be helping you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk and I think it’s something that you should really ask them about." I mean, come the fuck on.  Hell, twice, Trump informs Zelensky, "The United States has been very very good to Ukraine." Replace countries with names like "the Lasagna Family" or "Fat Cavatelli" and it's right out of a terrible Godfather ripoff.

The discomfort that Zelensky is obviously feeling comes across as he tries to appease this fucking asshole who sounds like an overwritten villain character in a Ukrainian soap opera. He agrees to whatever Trump is saying, even as he's trying to figure out what the fuck Trump is saying. He talks about how great it'll be to visit with him while Trump goes on about the fired prosecutor (the one at the center of Biden bullshit), praising the prosecutor who most of the European Union and President Obama wanted fired because he wasn't going after corruption, including not investigating Burisma, the company that put Hunter Biden on its board. So Zelensky had to listen to Trump just fucking blather about shit he doesn't know, which, as we all understand, is the only way Trump speaks.

Trump ends the phone call by shitting on Zelensky's election win by making sure the Ukrainian president knows his win wasn't as awesome as Trump's. Our goddamn president says, "I’m not sure it was so much of an upset but congratulations." Why the fuck say that? Who does that except the biggest asshole in the world?

Yes, it's not really a transcript, but this is what the White House released, so it's the only thing we have to go on. But even this reveals criminality and pettiness and intimidation, conduct and actions so worthy of impeachment that it might as well be written on dildos and sent to all Republicans with the message, "Go fuck yourselves with this."

And that's without the whistleblower's report, which looks like is gonna fuck shit up even worse.


Let's Do This Impeachment Thing

Let's get straight what the straw that broke Nancy Pelosi's back on impeachment was. It wasn't the phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky where he said he wanted that country to go after Joe Biden and his son (or at least make it look like they were going after them). It wasn't the implication of the president of the United States using our country's relationship with a foreign country to go after a political opponent, to, really, collude with that country.

While surely that call and Trump's admitted actions played a role in Pelosi finally giving in to her increasingly restive and vocal caucus, it was really more cut-and-dried: the law says that if a whistleblower gives information to the inspector general of the intelligence community that the IG deems "urgent" and legitimate, it must be given to the proper congressional committees. It's that fucking simple. And even though Pelosi has let some things slide (like Trump refusing to turn over his taxes to the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, as required by law), this one could not only be couched in terms of "national security" since it involves, you know, intelligence. But the motherfucking IG who found it urgent is a Trump appointee.

You know how this is gonna play out over the next few days: Trump has already said he's going to release the "transcript" of his July 25 call with Zelensky. And let's be clear: it ain't gonna be a transcript, unless they record the calls in the Oval Office, which would be peak Trump stupidity, and even then there's no way to trust it. Probably the transcript will show that Trump never said, "Hey, Voldemort, dick over Biden or no bomb money for you." But, as Jeffrey Toobin and others have said today, if Trump even mentions Biden's name, it's abuse of power. I'm betting that, if you're really concerned about corruption in Ukraine, there are lots of people not named Biden involved. (Besides, Hunter Biden was already completely cleared of any involvement in anything. He was never even formally accused of anything.)

This fuckin' dance will go something like the Mueller Report. Because it's not absolutely obvious to the dumbest dumbass what's going on in the phone call, most Republicans and Fox "news" and Twitter fucknuts will proclaim it a "witch hunt" and try to discredit the whole impeachment effort.

But we don't even know if that's all that the whistleblower was talking about. As I write this, the New York Times is reporting that the White House is figuring out how much to allow the whistleblower to speak to Congress, which, again, is not what the law says. It's a distraction strategy so that that array of leperous whores who run interference for Trump can say to his idiot hordes of voters, "See? Look how transparent your orange god is."

While I'm still leaning agnostic on the whole "this is finally what brings this motherfucker down" early celebration because we've been burned so many times before,  I gotta say that there is something different going on here. First off, today, Mitch McConnell, that infected sore on the scrotum of politics, went along with a nonbinding resolution calling for the whistleblower's complaint to be given to the intelligence committees, and it passed with unanimous consent. Say what you will about it, but it gives Democrats some pretty potent ammunition to say that Trump, Barr, and the Acting Director of National Intelligence are being fucking criminals by holding it back.

If I were an optimistic person, I'd say that we might see some Republicans start to peel off as people wake up and see that, at last, in a game of chicken with the White House, Democrats in the House did not swerve at the last minute. It's a whole lot more fun to root for a fighter, and if polls start to show growing support for impeachment, I'd say some GOP House members, at the very least, are gonna start to get a little nervous about keeping their lips superglued to Trump's voluminous ass.

And I've seen a few conservatives in the media agreeing that Trump admitted to impeachable offenses when he bragged that he talked about the Bidens with Zelensky. Maybe we'll get more who give a shit about the rule of law, but I wouldn't hold my breath. The one thing I would say to any Republicans who might be reading: "Fuck you." And then the next thing I'd say is "You knew it was gonna come to this. You knew Trump was just that vile and depraved and greedy and dumb and narcissistic. How else was this gonna go?" Perhaps I'd add: "Did you see him at the United Nations today? Sweet Jesus, I thought he was gonna collapse into himself like a deflating yoga ball. He ain't right. You wanna stand by that?"

We are at the beginning now. I don't think this will be like the oddly fast Clinton impeachment, which took a little over two months (with the trial and acquittal in the Senate over two months after that). That came in the wake of the Starr Report, so it was a response to a full, ludicrous, shameful sham of an investigation. We're starting from scratch here. Let's have some hearings on the TV, please. Drag Trump's ass for as long as it's necessary.

What Nancy Pelosi finally did was to stop allowing Democrats to be so goddamned feckless and seemingly random in their attempts to investigate Trump and his administration. An effective Democratic caucus would have already gone after Trump for profiting off his position or for what was revealed in the Mueller Report, which essentially said, "You gotta impeach this crooked cock."

Now Democrats can have a crystal clear, simple message that can tie together the threads of all the various committees' work: Trump is a criminal, and here are all the ways he has violated the law, his oath of office, and the public trust. Now let's impeach the motherfucker.

Gird yer loins, oh, good Trump-haters of America, for things are gonna get intense and weird and possibly (even more) violent, if his yahoo-brigade starts to think their racist president is going down.

We've finally, really joined the battle. It's about goddamn time.

(One last note: Rudy Giuliani is fucked. He better cut some deals fast because Trump is selling him out in a heartbeat.)


Remembering How Trump and the Right Tried to Convince Everyone Obama Was a Traitor

Every fucking day they went after President Obama. Every fucking day they looked for the merest hint, some seemingly insignificant spark that they could fan into a full conflagration, some misstep that would give his evil game away. Every fucking day the syphilitic cocks of the right tried to prove that Barack Obama, who was clearly guilty of being president while black, was a Muslim, anti-American traitor out to destroy the good (white) American way of life.

Goddamn, the things they came up with. It's almost laughable. They thought a photo of him holding Fareed Zakaria's book The Post-American World proved that he was some kind of crazy radical. Vile sack of rotting flesh with a bloated fish head on top Dick Cheney more or less called Obama a traitor for daring to have an exit strategy for the endless (and still going) war in Afghanistan (Cheney really said, "I think it’s likely to give encouragement — aid and comfort — to the enemy"). Hell, one human-shaped fart, former Rep. Trent Franks, called Obama "an overt traitor to the state of Israel," to which any American ought to say, "The fuck?" Fun fact: Franks was forced to resign from Congress over sexual harassment allegations for offering women on his staff money to bear his child.

This isn't even to get into all the treachery that was implied by birtherism. Or all the shit said by the racist fucknuts in stupid hats that made up the goddamned Tea Party. Or every conservative twatmite trying to get some ratings or publicity by insulting Obama or accusing him of high crimes.

Donald Trump, of course, was into this degradation of President Obama long before he ran for president in 2016 and went into overdrive while running. In June 2016, after the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Trump said of Obama that "we're led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he's got something else in mind." And, because Trump is a cowardly bitch, he hinted rather than stated, "And the something else in mind — you know, people can't believe it. People cannot, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can't even mention the words 'radical Islamic terrorism.' There's something going on. It's inconceivable. There's something going on."

You gotta think about those last lines - "It's inconceivable. There's something going on" - in light of the whistleblower allegations that Trump did something so alarming that an intelligence official felt compelled to report it to the inspector general of the intelligence community, who found it "urgent" enough that he wanted to tell Congress but was stopped by Trump's Acting Director of National Intelligence. Think about all those attacks on Obama, all those digging into the minute details of his words, his dress, his friends, Michelle, all in a vain attempt to show he was a traitor.

And compare that to Donald Trump, who it now seems was holding up funding to Ukraine, perhaps to try to force the country to find or create dirt on Joe Biden and/or Biden's son. That funding was passed by Congress, so, yeah, maybe they have an interest in this.

Or compare it to Trump's ongoing coddling and support of savage dictators and monarchs, like Kim Jong-un or MBS, or that prick Putin. Compare it to Trump saying he was awaiting word from Saudi Arabia on whether we should go to war for "the Kingdom." Trump always accuses others of being guilty of the very crimes he has committed. And you don't even have to try very hard to find them.

The right, especially the GOP in Congress, won't say a fucking word about the traitor whose traitorous acts are staring them right in their dumb faces. And that makes them accessories to Trump's crimes. But they'll go right ahead calling for investigations of Obama and Clinton and whoever else they can throw up as a smoke screen to their genuine destruction of our democracy.


Little Bitch Corey Lewandowski Testifies Before the House Bitchily

Honestly, at some point, I would not have been surprised if the ghost of James Madison had shown up at yesterday's hearing of the House Judiciary Committee and just started sodomizing former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski with his walking stick. Just sodomizing the shit out of him while slamming his head on the witness table and yelling, "That's. Not. How. This. Shit. Works. You. Little Bitch."

The thing is that, even after getting raped and beaten by a Founding Father, Lewandowski would have said,  as he did repeatedly, "The White House has directed that I not disclose the substance of any discussion with the president or his advisers to protect executive branch confidentiality," before he crawled out with bloody anus and bruised head to await his Trump treat in the form of a tweet.

It's hard to pinpoint the dickiest moment that Lewandowski had as he just decided to either stonewall or answer like a smartass child who everyone watching thinks, "I don't believe in spanking, but, goddamn, that little son of a bitch needs to be spanked."

Maybe it was when Rep. Hakeem Jeffries asked (admittedly dickishly himself), "Are you the hit man, the bagman, the lookout, or all of the above?" and Lewandowski responded, "I think I'm a good-looking man, actually." Jeffries should have countered, "This is obviously perjury since I've never seen a pathetic motherfucker who hates himself so much."

Maybe it was when he told Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee that she used her time for "just a rant." Or when he called Rep. Eric Swalwell "President Swalwell" to mock him for his failed campaign. There's contempt and then there's trying hard to be as contemptuous as possible in some weird dick-size battle.

Either way, Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler should have had the sergeant-at-arms cuff Lewandowski and dragged his ass out of the chamber like a fucking pervert at a playground. And, yeah, that's not the way the House is supposed to behave and it likely breaks some rules, but, fuck it, tell Lewandowski to take it to the courts and fight his treatment. That's the approach the Trump administration uses with every flouting of the law. And it would have actually gotten some great headlines: "Corey cuffed as Democrats sick of Trump's shit; 'I'll fuck his orange face blue,' says raging Nadler, 'and wipe my dick on his stupid hair.'" (And, by the way, to an extent, Nancy Pelosi agrees with me.)

However, towards the end of the day, one person was finally able to slap Lewandowski in his nuts and get that prick to squirm. When the Democrats on the committee finally gave 30 minutes to House Judiciary Counsel Barry Berke, shit got real. Just let the lawyers do this job. They don't give a fuck about being liked. And Berke tore into Lewandowski, getting the slimy worm turd to say flat out that he lies when he's talking to the media, thus putting his entire credibility into question.

"I have no obligation to be honest to the media," Lewandowski said after an MSNBC clip showed him lying. And when Berke played a Fox "news" clip, Lewandowski said, "I don't think I was under any obligation when speaking to Fox News to not engage in hyperbole." Which is basically the way everyone at that shit network acts. Hell, their motto oughta be "Fox News: We're Not Under Any Obligation to Not Engage in Hyperbole."

Berke calmly sliced and diced the visibly irritated and uncomfortable Lewandowski, throwing at him quotes from his book (which the asshole tried to turn into an ad for himself) and from the Mueller Report, forcing him to affirm that he had lied and lied and lied publicly, again and again, and so why the fuck would anyone trust he's telling the truth.

But it was likely too little too late. You can come up with 100 ways that Democrats did the right thing with this hearing, but the messaging was for shit, and the ability to rally the troops around a strategy has to come from the messaging, not some hope that something will give at some point.

And while he's got snarky little fuccbois like Lewandowski who are ready to snarl and snap going to bat for him, it's gonna take a whole lot more muscle to get at Trump than Democrats are showing now.

As for the media, of course, Lewandowski was on CNN this morning to fuckin' lie some more.


I'm in Twitter Jail for a Week Because I Was Mean to Corey Lewandowski

I called Corey Lewandowski "a little bitch." To be precise, here's the offending tweet:

According to the delicate flowers at Twitter Central, I violated their "Hateful Conduct" policy. Of course, my first reaction was "Have you ever been on Twitter? If it ain't cat videos, it's hateful conduct." But they gave me their definition: "You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease."

I was calling Corey Lewandowski, a public figure, a little bitch and even went so far as to specify what kind of bitch: I was calling him a dog (and, no shit, I get the other implications).  I wasn't promoting violence or attacking him or threatening him on any basis listed. And if what I said was bad, then everyone who took up Chrissy Teigen's insult of Donald Trump and called him a "pussy ass bitch" oughta be suspended, too. I don't want that because Donald Trump is a pussy ass bitch and he oughta be called that. And Corey Lewandowski is a little bitch. And whoever reported me is a little bitch. And whoever suspended me is a little bitch. But there it is.

Now, I've already deleted the evil tweet because that's what Twitter wants and it is their fucking Nazi-loving, Trump-humping, world-destroying hellsite that we're all forced to use. So if they want me to behave a certain way, well, shit, I'm not gonna be the asshole who open carries in Walmart. But, you know, let's have a bit of consistency.

And, for the record, Corey Lewandowski did more violence to this country today than one crude tweet from some asshole writer ever could. More on that tomorrow. And I promise extra nasty comments.

Look, in the scheme of things, this ain't that terrible, to be sure. Hell, I'll probably actually get some actual work done. But it's a sign of how haphazard the rules are for social media and how the corporations that control it don't really give a damn about that. I'll be back. You'll be back. And they fucking well know it.

(Note: You can still see and follow me over on said hellsite. I can't post, like, or retweet anything until September 24. And I can still read everyone's tweets. I just get to rage into the darkness for a while.)


Random Observations on the Democratic Candidates After Their Third of 850 Debates

Last night's debate of the current top ten Democratic candidates for president was both uninspiring and inspiring. Inspiring because how awesome is it that Democrats as a group are finally openly discussing universal health care. How awesome is it that Beto O'Rourke can outright say, "Hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47" to the irrational gun owners and no one is writing his political obituary. How awesome is it that Pete Buttigieg can talk about embracing his identity as a gay man and still getting elected in Indiana. How awesome is it that there were four people of color on the stage. It was a little less awesome that there were only three women, but, still and all, considering American presidential races, pretty awesome. And, yeah, it's pretty fuckin' great that you can look at all 10 of the people up there and be assured that every single one of them would be vastly superior to that orange sack of environmental cleanup waste who's currently in the Oval Office.

It was uninspiring, though, for more mundane reasons. Nothing really happened. No one changed anything about where they were in the debate standings. That's partially because of this ludicrous forced march of endless campaigning, something that is just a cruel trick to play on an already stressed-out electorate. And it's partially because we know where everyone stands, pretty much, so it's just about seeing who stumbles.

The other uninspiring part is that the seeming inevitability of Joe Biden as the nominee is closing in on us, and, sorry not sorry, but he's the second least inspiring person up there (looking at you, Amy Klobuchar). I'll get back to that inevitability. First, lemme say a few words about each candidate, in no particular order.

(Note that always has to be made: I will vote for any one of these candidates if they turn out to be the nominee, so when I talk shit, it just means I do have preferences, like everyone. But I'm not gonna be an asshole if my candidate doesn't win.)

1. I like Bernie Sanders, but every time I see him, he slips more and more into self-parody. He looked physically weak and his voice was so gravelly that he overcompensated by yelling even more than usual. I mean, nearly every single candidate up on that stage owes a debt to Bernie Sanders for stretching the parameters of what Democrats can believe (and many of them believe the same things that he does). The man changed the conversation. Let's not deny that. But he just seemed small and at times out of control, and it didn't help that, after the first half-hour or so, his speaking time was severely limited.

2. Joe Biden was never a good speaker. He signifies being a good speaker because he knows how to do that thing where you make your voice sound like it's saying something with great empathy or great force when your words are ludicrous or meaningless.  Like he could say, "Get me some butter" and do it in a way where you're sure he's your best friend when he just really wants butter. He had his good moments and he had his pretty racist, out-of-touch ones like saying that poor kids should listen to their "record player." Biden was part of one of the low points of the evening, when he and Sanders were yelling at each other like someone took the last pudding cup.

3. Elizabeth Warren was the same intense, engaged, intelligent Elizabeth Warren she has always been. She's calm Bernie (I know that shit drives Bernie's voters nuts, but, well, deal). She's doing what she's done this entire campaign: she chugged along like an unstoppable idea train. You can either get on board or get out of the way, but she's gonna keep going down this track until she reaches the station or someone derails her.

4. Kamala Harris tried to laugh and ingratiate herself. That part didn't work at all. It was weird and uncomfortable, like watching a really stoned dude try to roll a cigarette for you ("Too much tongue, man, too much tongue"). What did work was when she talked straight and cut through what she sees as bullshit about her record. No one wants warm and fuzzy Harris. We want the Harris who is going to gut Trump like a fat fish on a Pacific pier.

5. Pete Buttigieg will be a fine Secretary of State who can run for president again in 8 years.

6. Give me money, Andrew Yang.

7. Cory Booker is a natural politician, one of the best up there. In another year, we'd talk about how no one could beat him. He's sincere (sometimes to a fault) and passionate (sometimes over the top), and, even if he has some DeVos issues, he's a hell of a fighter. In a functioning Senate, he'd be one of its superstars. You want something snarky and petty? The man needs to figure out how to blink. At times, he looked he had snorted all the cocaine.

8. Amy Klobuczzzzzzzzz.

9. Oh, Beto, Beto, Beto O'Rourke, you should have run for Senate. Texas fuckin' needs you to push it over the line to a blue state. His fiery denunciation of the lack of gun laws was a clarifying moment, but Betomania is gone.

10. Julian Castro is a motherfucker and I love him for it. He had the other worst moment of the night, although we didn't know it until after. He jumped on Biden for "forgetting" what Biden said two minutes before about poor people and health care. Castro practically hooted in derision and yelled "Old fart! Old fart!" But it turns out that Biden didn't misspeak or forget, so Castro was just a dick. Still, he got in even more dickish lines, like telling Buttigieg "That's an election. You know? This is what we're here for. It's an election" when the mayor bemoaned incivility on stage. Oh, he's going nowhere, but Castro touches my rude soul.

I have lots of issues with Biden, not the least of which is his age, which gets you all kinds of shit when you say it (and which I'll go into at length soon). But it's becoming clearer and clearer that, barring some huge gaffe or health crisis (beyond his eye filling with blood), he's currently the likely nominee and that's because Biden is a pair of broken-in shoes for many Americans who are sick of the crazy-ass kicks they bought on a whim. They just want their comfy shoes.

Those of us on the left are going to have to accommodate ourselves to Biden's inevitability probably a few months into 2020. Otherwise, we'll fuck up what was accurately described by Booker as the "one shot to make Donald Trump a one-term president."

Goddamnit, when is the next one of these fucklorn things?


How Much of a Pussy Ass Bitch Is Donald Trump? An Investigation

You don't really need to know why model and TV host Chrissy Teigen called President Donald Trump a "pussy ass bitch." I mean, you can probably think of a dozen reasons right off the top of your head and nod, saying, "Yeah, that makes sense." Because, obviously, Donald Trump is a pussy ass bitch. He's always been a pussy ass bitch. He'll always be a pussy ass bitch with his pussy ass bitch sons and his pussy ass bitch business.

It's more a question of degrees than a discussion of whether or not it's true. We know it's true. We just need to figure out how much. And Trump's actions in the last few days give us ample opportunity to examine the amount of pussy ass bitch he's been.

So let's take a look at the evidence of pussy ass bitchery.

1. Trump fired National Security Adviser John Bolton by tweet because he's always been too much of a pussy ass bitch to fire anyone in person unless they are fake employees on his old game show. (Note: John Bolton is dangerously batshit insane and should be sprayed with a fire hose if he comes anywhere near a government position, but he's not a pussy ass bitch.)

2. He had Commerce Secretary Wilbur "Hey, Can You Check to See If Wilbur's Dead" Ross threaten to fire people at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This was after some NOAA employee in Birmingham, Alabama, did the responsible thing last week and informed the public that Donald Trump was totally wrong when he said that their state was in the path of Hurricane Dorian. We had a week-long fit from Trump because he was too much of a pussy ass bitch to admit he fucked up.

3. Trump dismissed the idea of allowing some of the tens of thousands of people whose cities were wiped out by Dorian in the Bahamas to come to the United States, saying that other areas of the Bahamas that weren't hit should take them. And he did it in the most dickish way possible, by accusing victims of possibly being "some very bad people and some very bad gang members and some very, very bad drug dealers." So he's such a racist pussy ass bitch that he won't allow people who've lost everything to recover here in the United States.

4. When it was revealed that the Air Force had been using the Trump resort in Scotland for its crews to stay during long flights (and play golf there), as well as using the airport right near the resort to refuel at a higher price than a relatively nearby airbase, Trump claimed he had "nothing to do with" it, which, of course, turned out to be a lie, as it often does. He's such a pussy ass bitch that he can't even cop to something that he personally signed off on.

5. Trump gave the Public Safety Medal of Valor to six police officers from Dayton, Ohio, in honor of them doing their duty in taking down a mass shooter there. However, he did not invite the mayor of Dayton, Nan Whaley, because she's a Democrat and she's been critical of Trump. Instead, he had Republican political leaders from Ohio present. When you can't handle having anyone around you who doesn't kiss your ring, that's some pussy ass bitch behavior right there.

In sum, Trump is a total pussy ass bitch. Everything he does stems from him being a pussy ass bitch. His entire immigration policy is about turning us into a nation of pussy ass bitches. Every time he says something about reforming gun laws, the NRA shows him their pimp hand and he cowers back into his natural state of being a pussy ass bitch. And let's not even get into how much of a pussy ass bitch he is when it comes to the dictators in North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Russia.

Oh, sure, he's the tough guy at his rallies. But then, well, he's surrounded by all the pussy ass bitches who support him.

Let's thank Chrissy Teigen for giving us a shorthand way to define Trump. It's especially sweet that it takes the words he used to talk about assaulting women and turns them against him.


Corporate America Is Finally Getting Sick of Your Guns

How fucking pathetic is this: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his mass murder-enablers in the GOP caucus are refusing to do anything to tighten gun laws, including things that are supported by between 60 and 90% of Americans. McConnell is taking the bitch way out by saying that he won't bring to the floor anything that Donald Trump won't sign. But the NRA keeps fisting McConnell with a clenched hand filled with cash, so as long as they hit that prostate just right, the saggy-faced motherfucker won't budge.

And to make things even more pathetic, Walmart and Kroger, both of which have a huge presence in red state America, have taken action today that politicians won't take.

After a couple of mass shootings in their stores, Walmart announced that, in addition to previous steps like halting the sale of handguns and massacre guns, it's gonna stop selling handgun ammunition and "discontinue sales of short-barrel rifle ammunition such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber that, while commonly used in some hunting rifles, can also be used in large capacity clips on military-style weapons." They even recognize that they're gonna lose a big chunk of sales, but, well, when you're a company worth hundreds of billions of dollars, you can afford to do something that might stop your customers from being killed.

Walmart also goes even further, though. Because idiots walking around with their big fucking rifles freak people out, Walmart is "respectfully requesting that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores or Sam’s Clubs in states where 'open carry' is permitted" unless you're a cop. Kroger, which is a multi-billion dollar supermarket chain based in Ohio, also put out a statement on open carry that said, in essence, "Jesus fuck, stop being such little pricks and leave your guns at home, you dumbass cowards." But they said it "respectfully." (Kroger is also being sued for negligence for allowing open carry in its stores, so it's got a bit of motivation there, too.)

The part that takes this to the next level of how deranged and out of touch Republicans have gotten is that both corporations are calling for gun control legislation. Walmart's CEO said, "We encourage our nation’s leaders to move forward and strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger." Damn. He heavily suggested renewing the assault weapons ban and added that "We must also do more, as a country, to understand the root causes that lead to this type of violent behavior," which is a fuck of a lot stronger than just saying the words "mental illness" over and over.

In Kroger's statement, the company said much the same, as well as "Kroger has demonstrated with our actions that we recognize the growing chorus of Americans who are no longer comfortable with the status quo and who are advocating for concrete and common sense gun reforms."

You get it, you whores of the NRA in Congress? Two of the biggest retail corporations in the United States know that so many Americans support gun control that they don't give a shit if a few hyper-armed yahoos decide to buy their scratchy toilet paper over at the Piggly-Wiggly on the other side of town. They know that the country is shifting, and instead of being scared of not being armed, we're finally getting fucking scared of those who are armed. And we don't think the solution is more guns. In fact, we think the solution is to get rid of some of those guns.

Oh, sure, the NRA is pissing out its usual blustery bullshit, declaring that "Lines at Walmart will soon be replaced by lines at other retailers who are more supportive of America’s fundamental freedom." Really? Motherfuckers, this is Walmart. Walmart already ate the other stores. And you sure as shit ain't gettin' ol' Jesse to get on his old computer with the Confederate flag background and shop at Amazon, where Jeff Bezos makes up fake Russia news or whatever the fuck Trump is shoving in their ears. Nope, he's going back to Walmart because that's all he's got.

Walmart won't suffer any real backlash because the vast majority of the country supports the same thing, and that'll prompt more and more companies to follow suit. Supply and demand, motherfuckers, supply and demand. Maybe some of those corporations will even put their donation money where their mouth is and get GOP asses sent out to pasture (or to lobbying gigs). Republicans are essentially accessories to murder now. No company wants to be associated with that.

Goddamn, its fucked that we have to hope that capitalism will save our asses from Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump.

(Note: Gun nuts are gonna say, "What's a massacre gun? I've never heard of that." Fuck you. You know exactly what guns I'm talking about, assholes.)


A Poem for the Laborers

"Pioneers, First Women in Construction"
by Susan Eisenberg

Her sister was shot, and hers found bludgeoned
dead in her car trunk; her mother was alcoholic,
and hers a suicide; her daughter killed by an uncle,
and hers stayed alive thanks to prison.
Before the term, date-raped, she was. Before
domestic violence, love punched her face.

We wanted the career. Not just skills and money,
but structure, focus, printed plans, the rowdy order
of raising buildings that years later would still stand
right where you left them. We joined a tradition,
expected a well-marked path and a welcome.
The earnest ads never mentioned

we’d be human minesweepers steering around
barricades, sinkholes, lethal instructions, We learned
Solidarity was a corporation privately held.
Some left in shock. Some were maimed.
Some went missing. A few found gold.

Those with talent for sifting real threat from bluff,
or detecting hair-triggers before the blast, fared best,
We taught ourselves to disarm booby traps, shared
hand-drawn maps, and prepared for a long winter.
We lied on postcards home.