Haiku Review of 2020 (Part 3): It Is What It Is

Goddamn, 2020 has brought out the haiku-ing. So far, I've gotten more of them than ever, like 300, which is a lot of fuckin' haiku. Big, sincere thanks for all the efforts so far. Here we go with more of the best, from all around the US, North America, and the fuckin' world.

From Liz in Salt Lake City
Self Care
Year twenty twenty
Discover masturbation
As if the first time

From Jeanne in Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia
When there are no real
consequences to lying
democracy dies

From Tony in Milwaukee
Just a Few More Weeks
Your National Nightmare Ends
Not For Us Black Folks.

From Paradoctor in San Francisco
Orange sky all day
Brexit, BLM, Covid
What an awful year

From Hiding from the Corona in San Diego
A cesspool of lies
Seventy-five million dolts
Election facepalm

From Ruth in Oregon
Sitting on my couch
Wearing blankets and a robe
Thousands dead today

From Uncle Larry
Fucking circus clown.                                  
Tried to take the system down.            
You lose, you bitchface.

From Anthony in Washington
Too Much Winning
Hitler and Tojo
Killed fewer Yanks than you, Trump.
Suck their balls in Hell.

From Cerato in Sacramento
Every day at home
I stare at various screens.
Braless since April.

From Abbott in AZ
Barr ran away quick
tired of sucking Trump's dick
taste never go 'way

From Giacomo in California
Searching for Lindsey 
Was hard.  Jared in the way
Deep inside Trump’s ass.

From one of a handful of liberals in a very red county in Southern California
Senator Hawley
Is surely Joshing us now
Voter Fraud was nil

From Debra in Brinnon
Spot on, Frannie
My dog makes more sense
We talk a lot on dark days
Quarantine visions

From Dave in Maine
the bench
AOC, Abrams
Katie Porter, Buttigieg
To name just a few

From doncjesuis from Eschaton
Not Crazy
QAnon believes
That Trump fights pedophiles
No, seriously

From Bill in Australia
California Dreaming
When ER is full
you can die in the gift shop
the rich get tax cuts

From Tippie in Ottawa
A Canadian Observes
The view from up here?
Well, it's dubious at best.
Time to build a wall.

California girl expat in Saudi Arabia
COVID came to town
And while the world was on pause
I learned to bake bread.

I still have about 100 more to get through, so there's gonna be one more day of these. Gird yer loins.

(The title is from Thundercat's amazing 2020 album. Get your funk-jazz fusion on.)


Haiku Review of 2020 (Part 2): The New Abnormal

Sweet Jesus, it's like you've all been holding your haiku all year, denying yourself sweet release until the call went out yesterday to email it to the Rude Pundit. Already, you've sent about a hundred of 'em. Bring 'em on. I want to feel the fullness of your poetic effulgence. Spray your words at me from all over the motherfuckin' world.

Here are some of the best (which means the ones I liked most):

From Sheldon in Germany
punch the billionaire
comfy in the guillotine
now greet the basket

From Heaather in Sun City, AZ
Choose which misery:
Stay home in my bubble, or
Put the bra back on?

From Jeff in Omaha, NE
Trump's Lies About Covid
This will go away.
Bleach cleans out the body, right?
It will disappear.

From Rabbitearz in Los Angeles
I watched my mother
Die in a Zoom video.
How is this humane?

From lUomino from Vogosphere
COVID does not care
Whether you believe in it
Distance, mask, stay well!

From Dan in Bellingham
A toilet flushing
The sound of 2020
Turning one year old

From Chris in Hong Kong
Freedom in Hong Kong
Fear and white terror abound
China's just starting

From Mark in Tennessee
A Day in Cookeville, TN
Wear a mask, dickhole!
No, I gotta have Freedom.
We are so damn fucked.

From HWB in Germany
So many victims
Surely we have learned something
Oh look a squirrel

From VJ in NJ
A fitting shortage
Toilet paper and cleaner
For a year of shit

I've only been through the first 24 hours of haiku. So keep your hopes alive if you've sent them in. More tomorrow. And probably Saturday. Once again: 5-7-5 syllables. Titled or untitled. Send 'em to: rudepundit (at) yahoo.com. And make sure you tell me your nom de rude and some place somewhere. 

(The title up top is from the new Strokes album, which sounded like an old Strokes album, which means it was really fucking good.)


Haiku Review of 2020: Fetch the Bolt Cutters

This motherfucking year. I mean, we were already on the express train to Fuckedsville even before COVID reared its spiky head and turbocharged this shit, this 2020, these 12 months that felt like a generation burnt up and was gone. Think about it: Even without coronavirus and the economic collapse that accompanied it, we'd have had the Black Lives Matter uprising, the climate-driven conflagrations out West, the friggin' impeachment of our goddamn president (yeah, that was this year), the election, and the deaths of both Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Chadwick Boseman (I know, but that one hurt particularly badly). Jesus fuck, I'm nauseous writing all that out, and that's just in the United States. You wanna talk Australian fires? Brexit? Other weather shit in Pakistan, India, and elsewhere? 

And the worst part is that because Trump's fuckery is going to continue into January, we're more or less living in 2020 until January 20, when the Secret Service will be allowed to tackle Trump and drag his saggy ass out of the White House if he refuses to leave. That would start things off on a high note.

So around these parts, we always kick the calendar year's ass out the door with haiku, those little 3-line poems you were forced to write in grade school and everyone made it about farts, except for that one kid who took it seriously and wrote something so beautiful it made the teacher cry and believe, once again, that her career choice was right. What was I talking about?

Oh, yeah, haiku. Send me yours. Here's the deal:

Submit your haiku about anything you want having to do with the cursed 2020 to "rudepundit(at)yahoo(dot)com." I'm the only judge and jury here, and I am generally fickle, drunk, high, and yelling at pigeons.

I'm also a stickler for the form: one line of 5 syllables, one line of 7 syllables, and one line of 5 syllables, in that order. They can be as filthy, funny, or fucked-up as you like. You can be serious, silly, or sanctimonious. Titled or untitled. The ones I like the best get published on here over the next few days, so lemme know what name you want on it (in case your boss or mate or Mom sees it) and where you're from. Like "Trump's Loser Bitch Face from Cockring, NH" or "Linda from San Francisco" or something.

Here's a few to inspire you:

A Work Day
Watch Fox and Friends. Tweet.
Yell at Jared about fraud.
Watch OAN. Tweet.

Task Force 
Pence asked everyone
To pray for cures and treatments
Dr. Fauci wept

America Now
Corpses like cold meat
Laid out in a freezer truck
In a loading dock

Okay, now it's your turn. Send 'em on.

(Note; The title comes from Fiona Apple's amazing album that came out this year. I've been a slavering fan since her first.)


This Year's Madness Might Just Fade Soon

Look, by just about any measure, 2020 was a clusterfuck inside a shit sandwich covered in stupid sauce. I was telling a pal of mine, "This wasn't the worst year ever in the United States because, you know, black people aren't property and we can be gay without getting arrested and women are heading towards equality and we have medicine and technology and all that. But it's the dumbest year in modern times because we have medicine and technology and all that and it was still so fucked up." 

It's not just COVID and the economic crisis that sucked the hair off the balls of 2020. It's not just that Donald Trump was president (and, let's be honest, 2020 doesn't really end until January 20, 2021). It is that so many Americans threw themselves, body and soul, into the delusional world of coronavirus conspiracies, QAnon madness, and Trump worship. Yeah, to an extent, conspiracy theories and Trump worship were ludicrously widespread and interwoven before this year, but it all skyrocketed in 2020 to the point where Trump got far more votes than anyone would have imagined (but not enough to win, obviously) and a few conspiracy nuts got elected to Congress. The country seems stuck in a fever state, and we see column after column about how we're going to be here for a long damn time, just flailing about, regressing in so many ways as we fight to defeat the harmful politics that exist in Trump's wide, porcine shadow.

But lemme say something that is uncharacteristically hopeful to end this goddamned year (and before we get to haiku - oh, yes, we always end the year at this joint with haiku). I don't think it's going to be as bad as we think. There is a chance that this madness is going to fade sooner than we think for a simple reason: shit getting back to normal post-COVID.

Go with me here: In the wake of the pandemic, every fucking thing that we did as groups of humans, from large family gatherings to football games to concerts to bars and restaurants, all of that was shitcanned. Sure, sure, in most places, you could, after the lockdown ended, go to a 25-50% filled bar with all kinds of precautions, with the constant stress of those COVID protocols hanging over you, whether you were following them or resisting them (wear your fucking mask!). Even the most MAGA-minded assholes were forced into a radical reduction in activities, no matter how often they got together for backyard barbecues or weddings or other superspreader events. 

People are so fucking bored and frustrated right now. When your weekend was built around tailgating or boot-scooting or whatever, you're gonna wanna lash out. Of course, people are gonna veer into the bullshit that soothes the lizard brain to explain why life sucks so hard right now. Of course, if you were inclined to rock out with your MAGA out, you're gonna identify even more with that fuckery because it tells you that you don't bear any responsibility for any of this. If you dabbled around the fringes of conspiracy theories, well, fuck, there's only so much porn you can watch before you go ahead and click on that suggested YouTube video about pedophiles and baby-eating Democrats. You've got nothing to occupy your brain because you sure as shit didn't read before the pandemic. It's not like you're gonna all of a sudden pick up Crime and Punishment and go to town. 

Fuck, no. You're gonna go to the gatherings you can, whether that's Trump rallies or Proud Boy Zoom meet-ups. You're gonna head towards people because that's what we do. Goddamn, I miss people - real, physical, present people, not ghosts on a video chat. I miss theatres and music clubs. I miss my fucking family in Louisiana. I miss getting the fuck out of this country to meet new people. So I get it. I get that urge. I've filled it with whiskey and pharmaceuticals, along with too much CNN and Netflix/Hulu/Prime, as well as the comforting closeness of a couple of beloved humans and a dog. But I can see how you'd want to massage that ogre part of your mind and fuck shit up even more than you'd fuck it up if things were normal. Hell, you've finally got time to fuck it up, especially if you've been furloughed or fired or even if you're just working from home.

I truly believe that big segment of the crazy-as-a-shithouse-rat population is gonna go back to getting drunk at college football games or dancing drunk at bars or drunkenly hanging out with your grandparents or some other activity, probably done drunk, when we reach a point with the vaccine where we can have a relatively normal life again. The pandemic happening in an election year was just the perfect storm of disorienting new existence and oppressive behavior, helped along by the yowling, paranoid maniacs of the right, most especially by the Maniac-in-Chief. Once people have shit to do, they're gonna do it. And while there will still be a big fuckin' MAGA and QAnon presence in this idiot nation, I truly believe that, given the choice between waiting to see what the latest Q dropping is and going to a Jason Aldean concert or a Cowboys game, people will be rushing to de-politicize their brains. They'll still be idiots. But at least they won't be trying to blow the joint up.

That's the best I've got. I hope that Biden's Justice Department will ream out Trump and his crew with all the savagery that they can muster (and I think they're being coy about that until after the Georgia runoffs, if not until after inauguration). And I think that Trump will quickly go back to being the circus freak he always was. 

The fever will break because the only other option is that we move on to violence on a large scale. And we're fortunately too selfish and lazy to head in that direction. I hope.

(By the way, this doesn't excuse anyone for believing their democracy-harming lies. It's just explaining how they got to the point of making such nonsense the center of their lives. Always and forever, fuck these assholes.)


The Rude Pundit's Annual Nativity-palooza, Including the Most 2020 Nativity

Like movies about suicidal snowmen and tortured ghosts and pole-frozen tongues, some things are a tradition around the rude house. Beloved reruns are good for the soul. My favorites to trot out this week are the Invader Zim Christmas episode and Olive the Other Reindeer. Even here, in Left Blogsylvania, we can indulge in revisiting old posts.

Before Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and many other places you can get your fix of weird shit, I posted this Christmas blast back in 2004, updated yearly with new bits of freakishness (some links might not work anymore, but they were or are all real and are not meant to be ironic):

Xmas - And, lo, a small teddy bear will lead them:
In the days before Christmas, the Rude Pundit roamed his neighborhood, looking at the displays in the charming stores and corner markets. There he saw the agony of so many dichotomous feelings about this holiday. One window had a kneeling, praying Santa next to a baby Jesus in the manger. Santa's hat was off. He was balding. Another display had the jolly old fat man landing his sleigh and reindeer on the roof of the manger. Surprisingly, neither Mary nor Joseph seemed rattled by the noise, although a camel was looking upward, as if asking, "What the fuck?" The Rude Pundit loved that camel.

Ah, sweet camel, what the fuck, indeed. Christ and commerce, Alleluia. The Savior has been born and he thanks you for your presents. Santa showing that he'll even honor the king of the Jews in the land of Islam. There's no telling what it means (and don't get all up in the Rude Pundit's face about St. Nicholas). Except this: we want to embrace both things, good deconstructionists that we are: Santa, who soothes our greed, and Jesus, who promises us peace. Either way, we want them both to tell us we're good people, nice people. And, of course, guilt-ridden Christians want to make sure that Santa toes the party line, you know.

For the holiday, here's a few of the Rude Pundit's favorite nativity sets, none of which are intended to be mocking of the event:

That right there is the Veggie Tales Nativity. In case you don't know, Veggie Tales are cute vegetables who love Christ and salad tossing. The newborn savior up there is a carrot. Get it? A baby carrot? What a delight.

Holy shit, that bear nativity is one of the creepiest fucking things the Rude Pundit's ever seen. Staring straight ahead with their dead eyes, it looks like a satanic cult sacrifice to some horrible bear-demon. Although, the three wise bears have provided snacks for the blood rite: salmon, honey, and berries. All go well with cub entrails.
Every year, I think, "I wonder if there's an even weirder nativity set that I can find" and every year I come across something where I think, "Yeah, that's friggin' crazy shit, man." Here, it's the snow people nativity, with a snow angel, a snow Joseph, a snow Mary, and horrible half-snow, half-flesh sheep chimera. Did Snow Mary give birth to Snow Baby Jesus? Or did they all just make Snow Baby Jesus out of snow?

You know how gnomes used to be just those creepy little bitches you put out on your lawn and forgot about? Well, now they can apparently give birth to the Gnome God's child, who will, no doubt, be crucified on a cute little cross one day for the sins of all gnomes. Oh, so many sins.

What I love about the cardinal nativity is that they're morbidly obese birds, every one of them. In fact, Baby Jesus cardinal looks like he's a tubby little bastard who's stuck in his nest/cradle. Also, all of them look kind of pissed off about the whole event.

That goddamn nightmare fuel isn't a lab experiment gone horrible awry. It's a bunch of white mice with eyes so wide they look like someone laced some cheese with meth and let the little bastards go crazy. It's gonna be horrible when baby Jesus mouse gets crucified in trap.

This is not to mention the Chickentivity, the Moosetivity, the Barntivity, the Native American Nativity, and the various Beartivities, all available unironically for your Christmas consumption.

And, finally, the baby nativity:

You might think, "Oh, that's adorable. What's so wrong with it?" To which I can only inform you that the implication of it is that a baby Mary shoved a baby Jesus out of her baby vagina.

And to all a good night.

Oh, wait. What's that you say? You think that last one was kind of a weak one to end on? Well, then, fuck you. Here's the Day of the Dead nativity:

Yeah, they're all screaming in horror and pain. Essentially, that's Christmas in the time of Trump.

Oh, wait. What's that? Those aren't that bad after all we've suffered? Then how about these terrifying motherfuckers:

Or maybe that's just how we'll all look after climate change has its way with us.

No? Too terrifying? Then how about this one, which screams, "2020 Has Murdered Hope." 

The fuck is that? Is it dried turds vaguely shaped like Nazgul from Lord of the Rings? No, even worse, it's made out of iron, so it is literally metal as fuck. It looks like shit, it costs you a ton, and it can kill you if you're not careful. That's 2020 in a fuckin' nutshell right there. 

Merry Christmas, baby. Let's just get out of this year alive. May George Bailey finally get to push Mr. Potter into the frozen river.

(Note: Previous editions of the nativity post have included the ZombitivityDogtivity, the Boyd's Bears Nativity, and the Rubber Duck...oh, fuck, you get the idea.)


One of the Big Lies in MAGA World: No, Democrats Did Not Try to Get the 2016 Election Overturned

It's one of many articles of bad faith in MAGA world, the fact-free zone of delusion and conspiracy that Donald Trump and his enablers, lackeys, lickspittles, and loser voters exist in. They believe that it's fine that Trump challenge the results of the secure and fair-ish (leaving aside all the ways that the GOP disenfranchised voters) 2020 election because, they insist, Democrats tried to overturn the 2016 election. 

Sure, part of that comes from their basic misunderstanding of the constitutional impeachment vote (impeachment and removal wouldn't have given Hillary Clinton the presidency), but Trump has said repeatedly, most recently on December 2, that Democrats and "their four year effort to overturn the results of the 2016 election" and that Democrats "perpetrated one phony and fraudulent hoax after another. You’ve been watching it now for four years." For him, it all began right before the 2016 election, when allegations about Russian interference in favor of Trump were first raised. Rather than react as a normal fucking president and say, "Oh, shit, that's bad. We should investigate the fuck out of that," Trump immediately took it as an attack on his legitimacy when no one in any position of power was trying to change the outcome of the presidential race. 

In fact, here's then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on November 17, 2016: "After winning the Presidency, the Electoral College, but losing the popular vote, I think that President elect Trump, that he has a responsibility to try to bring people together, not continue to fan the flame of division and bigotry. Later today, I'll meet with Vice President-elect Pence, and it is my hope that we can discuss areas where we can work together constructively.  As we've always said, we always try – we have a responsibility to find common ground but to stand our ground when we can't." You see that? Pelosi didn't even wait for the certification. She didn't wait for the safe harbor date. She declared Trump the winner and talked about how to work with the incoming administration. Like a fucking normal human would. 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was working so hard to overturn the election that he and other Democrats were looking for ways to negotiate with Trump: "Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, elected Wednesday as the new Democratic minority leader, has spoken with Mr. Trump several times, and Democrats in coming weeks plan to announce populist economic and ethics initiatives they think Mr. Trump might like." That's from November 16, 2016, with not a word about trying to get states to send alternate electors.

What about the leaders on the left? In a speech to the AFL-CIO right after the election, Sen. Elizabeth Warren talked about the things she and Trump agreed on: "He talked about the need to address the rising cost of college and about helping working parents struggling with the high cost of child care. He spoke of the urgency of rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and putting people back to work." Of course, Trump had been fucking lying throughout the campaign about that shit, as anyone who knew a goddamn thing about him could tell. But Warren wanted to get shit done, so you work with the hand you're dealt. Or that's what it used to be. Democrats are playing poker. Republicans are playing 52-card pickup.

Yes, there were liberal voices who wanted something to happen to stop an obviously incompetent, dangerous, greedy, maniacal narcissist from becoming president. Fuck, I was one of them, and I was fucking right. But that wasn't the view of the Democratic Party and its elected officials. 

What happened is that Trump decided that everyone was out to get him because, in his warped pudding of a brain, everyone is always out to get him. And because his campaign had actively sought intel from Russians, he knew that any real investigation into that country's interference would naturally show what a goddamn criminal he was (and always has been). But that shit's on him. He created the myth of Democrats trying to overturn the election when, really, the best effort was made to remove just him from office, leaving Mike Pence as president. 

All Republicans who go along with this lie about Democrats are really just saying that they were too fucking cowardly to get rid of the madman when they had the chance.  And they're justifying their own fucking lies about the 2020 election because they're still cowards.


Now Donald Trump Is Suing a State He Lost Bigly

You will not be surprised that soon-to-be not-President Donald Trump hasn't given up his pursuit of a victory in the 2020 election through state and federal courts. I'd call his effort "quixotic," but, really, there was a better chance that Don Quixote's windmills were giants than that Trump can do anything other than continue to lose case upon case. It's as if he gets some sexual thrill off the decisions against him, like when a judge bitch slaps his lawyers, Trump gets a raging chubby in his choad and can finally get Jared to jack him off. Even better is when that judge is one he appointed. Holy shit, that's the kind of quality debasement you can normally only get from piss hookers. 

Just kidding. We know this is all, all, all about squeezing the rubes for as much of their cash as Trump can rip from their dirty fingers. He's coveting their greasy dollar bills, rolling around in them like Scrooge McDuck gone hobo.

The latest case was filed on Monday against New Mexico. "What the fuck?" you may rightly ask. "Didn't that inflamed orange cockhole lose New Mexico by over 10 points? Over 100,000 votes?" And you'd still be right when you continued, "Seriously, what the fuck is this? New Mexico's got a Democratic-led legislature, a Democratic governor, and a Democratic secretary of state? The fuck is up with this?"

And, indeed, it's pretty hard to figure this one out. It's about the drop boxes where people could, you know, drop off their ballots, and the idea is to throw the case to the legislature, shitcanning the ballots of the over 900,000 New Mexicans who did vote. But, as I said, the legislature is solidly Democratic. And the Republican Party of New Mexico tried suing over drop boxes before the election but withdrew from the case, prompting the Secretary of State's office to say, "The State GOP acknowledged that drop boxes are legal under New Mexico law and that it was absolutely appropriate for the Secretary of State to provide this safe and efficient option for voters." Also, they were suing over the wrong drop boxes. No, really: "The ballot boxes in question were reportedly drop boxes for other types of county business."

The lawsuit is a mess, as all of these lawsuits have been. For one thing, Trump's legal team flat-out admits that they wouldn't have given a shit about this if Trump had won: "Before the election, the Plaintiff [Trump] had no ripe claim against the Defendants...The Plaintiff could not have brought this action before the election results." Which, okay, fine, but that's not about defending a principle. It's about trying to force-fuck a victory for Trump. The principle wouldn't have mattered if Trump had won, they're saying.

Here's the thing, though: The lawsuit doesn't cite a single case where something was amiss with even a single ballot. It just assumes there must be fuckery where they believe fuckery could exist. It's like saying that you left your front door unlocked one night, so you must have been robbed, even if all your shit is still there. And, as far as the remedy of ignoring all the votes over the potential for some unproven voter fraud, that's ludicrous. Even if there were a couple of cases of someone dropping off a ballot for someone else (one of the lawsuit's big worries), it would be nigh on fucked up to say that means the entire election is invalid. That part is like saying that because the cops caught someone speeding, the whole damn highway should be shut down. Of course, the law doesn't work that way. 

The most frustrating thing about all these lawsuits is that they are based on the presumption that the election should have gone as it normally would have even though we're in the middle of a goddamned pandemic. In other words, the only way to see these filings as legitimate is to buy the Trump administration and the nutzoid right-wing argument the COVID was no big deal and everyone needed to just line up to vote, virus be damned. The lawsuit says, "It is an understatement to say that 2020 was not a good year. In addition to a divided and partisan national mood, the country faced the COVID-19 pandemic. Certain officials in New Mexico presented the pandemic as the justification for ignoring state laws regarding absentee and mail-in voting." 

You got that dickishness there? Like New Mexico just insidiously decided to use the 'rona to fuck up Donald Trump's chances in the state, which he lost in 2016 and which voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012 and Clinton in 2016. And Trump was behind by at least 8 points in every poll leading to the 2020 election. Essentially, the claim is that because New Mexico's state government sent people applications to vote absentee (by mail or drop-off) because it was concerned about people fucking dying, it violated the law, which it didn't

It's stupid. The whole effort is stupid. It's so fucking stupid that Trump's lawyers cite the case of, no shit, What-a-Burger v. Whataburger to make some stupid point in the midst of all this fucking stupidity.

So what's the purpose here? Is it to use New Mexico as an example of Trump suing to defend some principle that then can be applied to other states if he ekes out some kind of victory? Is it because courts in states and districts where he has filed dozens of other lawsuits have told him to knock that shit off so he's gotta find a new court? Is it an attempt to get that charge in his balls of degrading loss one more time? Or is it just another way to continue the grift? The answer, of course, is yes. 


Note to Hopeful MAGA Cretins: You'll Be Much Happier If You Give Up Now. I Know.

Hey, MAGA jerks, 

I don't like you, and, from your tweets and messages, I've got a pretty good idea that you don't like me. Still, I feel compelled to give you some advice, if only in the hope that it will calm down the overdramatic rhetoric that makes it seem like you're gonna start some kind of violence. I'll put it this way: You're blood's all het up over nothing.

You need to get your head around a simple fact: Donald Trump lost the 2020 election. Calm down. Just shut up and listen. Despite all the shit-tossing monkeys on One America Nonsense and the screeching goats on Newsmax and Tucker Carlson on Fox "news," there's not a goddamn bit of evidence of the kind of massive, coordinated fraud necessary to "steal" the election that any rational court will consider.  And as for the argument that mail-in ballots should never have been allowed, well, you're gonna have to take that up with states that went for Trump, like Florida and Texas. (I know: they're not corrupt so their mail-in ballots are fine because they went for Trump, the mongrel tautology of the desperately ignorant.)

But even if you believe with all your shrunken heart and fucked-up soul that Trump really won by hundreds of thousands of votes, it doesn't matter. The die is cast. Joe Biden will be president, and there is nothing in the realm of possible that can be done to change that fact. (Yes, there is that, but that's not gonna happen either, so stop before you get in trouble.)

I know what you're going through because I went through it with Trump in 2016 and beyond. I wanted so desperately for something to stop it. "Where the fuck are you, Democrats?" I wondered, believing that some magical uprising against a patently unqualified and blatantly corrupt and possibly compromised president-elect was one way to stop him from taking office. I wanted the Electoral College vote to be delayed, hell, just to make a point even if it didn't change anything. I fucking gave money to that fraud Jill Stein for her recount. But none of it stopped Trump from being inaugurated in front of a much smaller crowd than Barack Obama. (Sorry, that was a low-blow, but, well, as I said, I don't like you.)

It didn't stop with Trump actually becoming president. I'm telling you this because you're already thinking about the ways Republicans can drive Biden out of the presidency. That is a road filled with dashed hopes and stomach-searing bile. Listen:

As I've said before, after inauguration, I heard from political insiders and people with supposed contacts in the intelligence agencies that Trump was doomed, that it was a matter of time before he was undone by his flagrant criminality. I mean, c'mon, look at it from a liberal Democrat's perspective: between Trump University and his "charity," not to mention the clear evidence (yes, evidence) that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, there was no way he wasn't going to be chased from office. It'll be October 2017, I was told by one person, and November 2017 by another. He won't last until the midterms, said someone else. They all heard that the intelligence community was gonna eat him alive. Each time, even though I knew it was bullshit, I believed and hoped because I fucking needed to.

On it went, with all the bets on the Mueller Report. Yeah, that was gonna do it. That's the slam dunk. Or then the mobster-like behavior with the president of Ukraine that led to the impeachment hearings. Each one was pure political porn. I could mentally jack it to the idea that this was the one, this was the undeniable proof of everything and Trump would be run out of DC. Hell, after Democrats won the House in the midterms, it seemed almost inevitable. It wasn't. John Oliver used to make fun of this hopeless pursuit, with his button that he'd press and a big "We Got Him" sign descending. The running gag, of course, was that we were never going to get him.

If you take nothing else from this, listen to me here: All of this presupposed that there might be a critical number of Republicans who believed the bullshit about law and order that they'd been spouting for my whole life. I knew there weren't, but, well, eternal optimism is the curse of the often disappointed. So I'd hope that John McCain or, at the time, Lindsey Graham or Lisa Murkowski or even Susan fucking Collins would join with Democrats to uphold American laws and decency. But they didn't do a goddamn thing other than cast an occasional protest vote on something. My point here, dear dumb MAGA fucks, is that one of the big reasons none of your hopes will get traction is because, whether you like it or not, you haven't eliminated Democrats, and without their buy-in, whatever you believe can happen to keep Biden from being president is as much a fantasy as all the QAnon insanity.

By the way, all the QAnon garbage is insanity.

And I know you're watching videos purporting to show absolute proof, like some asshole showing you some boxes and claiming they're stolen ballots or what the fuck ever. I know you're on message boards and Twitter threads and Facebook (for some fucking odd reason), with everyone sharing every little shard of something that can be manipulated into seeming sinister. And you're loving the memes about Biden being senile and feeble. And you think the pathetic Kraken shit is awesome. And you get all thrilled when you hear that a bunch of Republicans signed onto the latest worthless lawsuit. And you and the misses fuck insanely to Tucker Carlson bleating madly about China and Hunter Biden. "Yeah, stick your finger in my butthole, Jesse, when he squints."

I think you are full of shit and you hate this country, you racist, fascist pig fuckers. You think I'm full of shit and that I hate this country and I'm a communist who sucks Hugo Chavez's dead dick (which, I gotta tell you, this Chavez obsession of yours is just weird. Most of us over here on the left don't give a shit about Chavez). We can deal with our differences later, maybe. Or not. 

But listen one to this one last thing: After impeachment and the Senate acquittal (c'mon, everyone in the country knew removal from office was doomed to fail), I finally gave in and decided that the only way Trump was leaving the presidency was by being voted out. That made things so much easier. It was clarifying. Because, see, even if I only half-believed that the early exit was gonna happen, it still clouded my thinking and pissed me off. 

Free yourselves from this one fucking delusion, dear deranged MAGA dickmites. And gear up for the next election. We are. 


The Rude Pundit

P.S. Wear your fucking masks.

(Note: They're never gonna give up this delusion. And they don't believe in elections anymore.)


We Cannot Overlook All the Ways That Trump and His Idiot Hordes Attack Democracy

They never should have gotten away with "Lock her up." 

One of the things we are learning is that the media and officials shouldn't have been coddling soon-to-be shitcanned President Donald Trump and his idiot hordes and allowing them to indulge in their fits and fantasies over the 2020 election outcome. "Just let him throw this tantrum," supposedly smart Republicans told us. "He'll get tired and go to Mar-a-Lago and go to sleep." It really was the "lie back and it'll be over quickly" of political messages. Except no one who gives that kind of fucked up advice ever considers that you gotta live with that shit for the rest of your life.

Time and time again, Trump and his maniac voters were allowed to get away with more and more egregious behavior. Anyone who could have done anything just let him go on with his Hitler rallies where he named his enemies (anyone who doesn't agree with him absolutely and completely) and called for them to be investigated, arrested, and/or imprisoned. When the first chants of "Lock her up" were directed at Hillary Clinton, someone who has never been charged with a crime despite years of sexist and vengeance-motivated investigations, that shit should have been shut down. Venues should have canceled the rallies. Republican Party leaders should have booted Trump out of the debates. Instead, while, yes, some in the media expressed outrage, it was mostly just smirked at and glossed over, like it's all in fun, in jest, and not any kind of serious threat. The GOP was greedy, seeing a cash cow in Trump, someone who will get the rubes all hetted up and ready to click on that donate button.

Cut to a few weeks ago, and hundreds of assholes showed up in their MAGA-festooned vehicles at Clinton's home in Chappaqua, NY, and chanted at this private citizen for the last four years, "Lock her up" as they even entered the driveway before police forced them back onto the street. I'm going to bet that more than a few of the deranged Trump lumps were armed. Imagine that. Imagine hundreds of people showing up at your place to call for your arrest when you haven't committed any crimes. Imagine that if they had the chance, they'd kill you for things that are complete fantasy, like that you drink the blood of babies or have people killed (which, if true, would mean that all those idiots are fucked). It was vigilante justice, and just as ludicrous and ignorant as that always is.

Trump and his zombie herd got a free pass on slandering and threatening Clinton and so many people, and too many insiders acted like it was no big deal, like it was a joke that everyone is in on, that you let them blow off this steam and they'll all just go about their lives without actually following through on these threats.

Except there's one big mistake in that thinking. See, the basic error is in trusting the intelligence of the average person. While all of us who exist in political Twitter, reading the Post and watching CNN or MSNBC, think we see through the crass theatre of Trump's whole schtick, there are millions upon millions of Americans who don't see it as that. They see it as gospel, divination from God that goes directly through Trump and is imparted to them. 

Am I saying that a crushing number of Americans are too fucking stupid to comprehend that it's all bullshit? Yeah, that's exactly what I'm saying. And because irresponsible dicks in the GOP decided to exploit that stupidity for their own power, and because they weren't met with an equal force to say, "No, this is wrong and it might even be criminal" from enough people who could have possibly made a difference, and because Trump was simply allowed, hell, encouraged by everyone around him, to keep spinning out his lies until he actually seems to believe they're real, we're facing this fucked up situation where nearly half the country doesn't believe in the real world, and they're acting like they have to take it up on themselves to do something to stop anyone who wants to force them to confront that fucking absurdity.

So now we have armed crowds showing up outside Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson's house, chanting and cursing at her. One person even yelled, "You're murderers," which is goddamned nonsense. What is Benson's offense? I don't fucking know. They called for an audit of the state's vote in the presidential election, but "Benson’s office has been preparing for a post-election audit over the last 22 months." There is no purpose for this other than to intimidate and coerce a public official. 

I haven't used the term "protester" because what are they protesting? You can chant "Lock her up" as much as you want at Hillary Clinton. But there's nothing to lock her up for. You can scream that the election is stolen, but it wasn't. They're not protesting, which is a response to an actual injustice that asks for redress. No, they're insisting that reality conform to their perverse view of it. And they're armed with fucking guns. That's some ISIS shit right there. They're fucking terrorists. 

This is of a piece with the electoral outrages that keep going, from the death threats against any official who dares to say that Trump didn't win to the plot to kidnap and murder Michigan's governor (which is something that hasn't gotten near enough attention because the kidnappers were white) to Trump calling Republican state officials and trying to get them to take action to toss out the vote in their states. It's of a piece with the constant nuisance lawsuits that Trump's lawyers and others are filing, actions that are so outside of various codes of conduct that a bunch of fucking attorneys should be tossed out of their profession. 

But, so far, nothing is happening to condemn this in a way that has more action than a strongly-worded letter or snarky tweet. Not nearly enough has been done to call criminals "criminals." That's the language that Democrats should be using. They're the ones who should be talking about "law and order." They're the ones who should be talking about anarchist mobs. They're the ones that should be defining what is allowable and rip the fucking narrative back from foul clutches of the Republican hegemony. Or no Biden event will ever be able to take place without these mongrels showing up to howl their discontent.

I keep coming back to that fucking chant. The terrorists are still gathering outside Hillary Clinton's place and chanting at her because there is no penalty for them doing it. There isn't even really public shame because they don't give a damn how they look to anyone but their fellow terrorists. And I get it: I get how years of right-wing and paranoid propaganda masked as "news" has infiltrated their minds. I get how a strained economy and the isolation of the pandemic have blasted their consciences to smithereens. But it doesn't excuse this shit. They're adults making adult decisions.

Again, Hillary Clinton is a private citizen and has been for the last four years. She has had no power. Trump's dumbass warriors are gonna find out what that's like in a few weeks, when their moronic god can't just wave his stubby, filthy fingers and pretend to save them from the voracious maw of liberalism, which dares to think that humans are worthy of health care and housing and fair income and a climate that's not trying to murder them and a lack of a pandemic.

We will never be rid of the stench of Trump until we are willing to say that so much of what has been allowed to happen is simply wrong and act accordingly. And that starts by prosecuting the crimes that you can. 

More on that later.


Kelly Loeffler and the GOP's Bullshit Hyperbole

According to Republican Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler, her run-off opponent for her seat, the affable and slightly left-of-center Democrat Raphael Warnock, "is the most radical candidate for Senate our country has ever seen." He is "dangerous" and embraces "anti-American values," according to a website that Loeffler has put out called, no, really, radicalraphael.com. It's filled with some of the most hilariously over the top bullshit that takes moderate political positions and frames them as so evil that you'd think that Warnock, who is the pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta (yes, that Ebenezer Baptist Church, the one where Martin Luther King, Jr. was a pastor), is Satan, Godzilla, and Osama Bin Laden combined into a Megazord of socialist doom. 

Really, this shit is that insanely hyperbolic.

(Note: I'm putting aside Loeffler's racist attacks on and misrepresentations of Warnock's religious teachings and beliefs, as well as taking his words supporting Rev. Jeremiah Wright completely out of context. That's been dealt with elsewhere.)

For instance, under the category "Anti-Gun," Loeffler's campaign says, "In April 2014, Warnock Opposed HB 60, a Bill to Allow Guns in Bars without Restriction and in Some Churches, Schools and Government Buildings." That's what's radical to Republicans right now: for a pastor to oppose allowing guns in churches. A white preacher could say the law should allow him to fuck a parishioner of his choosing on the altar at every service, and Republicans would treat it as a sacrament. But a black pastor saying he doesn't want his congregation locked and loaded? Sacrilege. By the way, more Georgians oppose arming teachers in schools than support it. And a majority support a ban on assault-style rifles. But, sure, Warnock is the fuckin' radical here. 

All the attacks are that level of hysterical. Why is Warnock "anti-Israel"? "In A Sermon, Warnock Called For A Two-State Solution," which was the position of the goddamn Republican Party until 2016. Oh, also, Warnock criticized the Israeli government for gunning down unarmed protesters, which, obviously, is a radical statement. Truly Christian patriots in the USA would want Israel to murder the fuck out of whomever it chooses.

Some of it is legitimately funny on top of being enraging. There's this one: "In An August 2020 Podcast Interview, Warnock Said That He Wants To 'Reimagine' The Role Of The Police – Which Is A Term Used By Black Lives Matter Interchangeably With 'Defund.'" In that podcast, here's exactly what Warnock said: "No, we should not defund the police. We should certainly reimagine the relationship between the police and communities." So Warnock specifically said he opposed defunding the police, but, for Loeffler and the GOP, he's lying because he said "reimagine," which is bad because BLM supporters have used that word. That's some breathtaking leaps of logic. Like that's some crazed jackrabbit shit right there.

On a side note, this also points up the utter uselessness of a debate over the phrase "defund the police." The GOP is going to make anything Democrats say into anti-American or evil or baby-killing or what the fuck ever. Democrats could say, "We love the police so much that we want to blow them" and Republicans would say that it shows disrespect for the cops because the Democrats neglect to mention how they'd take care of the balls.

You want more? Under "Defends Cop Killers," Loeffler's campaign writes, "In February 2020, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Reported that 'Warnock Has Long Used the Pulpit to Preach about Progressive Policies' and Has 'Used His Platform to Routinely Call for the Abolition of Capital Punishment.'" You got that? The guy who is the pastor preaching in the same pulpit where Martin Luther King preached is being criticized for talking about voting rights and social justice, the very things King fought for. Someone should ask Loeffler if she believes in what King preached. And capital punishment? First of all, the majority of people in Georgia oppose it. And so does the motherfucking Catholic Church. You know, the religion of Amy Coney Barrett, whose faith Loeffler jumped to defend?

This is genuinely irrational shit. And while, yes, a certain amount of this is the way politics works, there is something so Trumpian and insidious in insisting that the truth is the opposite of observable reality and that your weaknesses are actually your opponent's. Warnock isn't out of the mainstream and radical. That's Loeffler. By far. 

On health care, Loeffler's campaign says, "Kelly will partner with the President to lower prescription drug prices, end surprise medical billing, and help put people ahead of the special interests." Nothing about getting insurance and health care to people. Actually, not much else beyond that sentence (which hasn't been updated to change the presumed president). Warnock's says, "Reverend Warnock is committed to expanding affordable access to health care in any way possible, including through a public option and early Medicare buy-in." He doesn't support Medicare-for-All, but Loeffler says, "Warnock Would Join Democrats To Support Medicare For All." (I want him to support that, but he's not that liberal.)

Raphael Warnock isn't even as radical as Tom Udall or Kamala Harris, both of whom support Medicare for All. 

Loeffler is just a shitty Senator, a shitty candidate, and a shitty person fronting for a shitty party trying to maintain its opportunity to treat everyone shitty. Vote her the fuck out.


Trump's Continuing COVID Murder Spree

Lemme tell you something fucked up: This past summer, a close friend of my niece died of COVID-19. He was 19 years-old and had asthma but was otherwise healthy. It was fucking horrible, with him on a ventilator or receiving ECMO treatment for a month. That's a nightmare for him, for his family and friends, but it's not even the fucked-up part. 

See, the family is hardcore Catholic, as many people in south Louisiana tend to be. And they held a novena at their church for their son and brother shortly after his death. This past week, my niece told me that she attended, and she said that almost no one wore masks. You got that? At a ceremony for a young person who died of coronavirus, most of the attendees were maskless. My niece wore one, and I said, "Please tell me the family did."

She responded, "Yeah, they wore masks. But almost nobody else did." She said that the priest did but not  any of the friends who got up to speak.  

Doesn't that make you furious? Don't you just wanna go up to the unmasked stupid people there and yell, "What the fuck's wrong with you?" from six feet away? Of course, they'd respond that masks don't work or something something freedom or they'll tell you some shit Donald Trump mouth-defecated. 

Trump has completely checked out on anything other than his dual cash-grab con job and attempt to overturn the results of the election. In his deranged interview with accomplice Maria Bartiromo this past Sunday on Fox "news," Trump didn't mention the pandemic at all. Today, Trump has tweeted or retweeted 40 different times so far, and not a goddamn word about coronavirus. Truly the last time he had anything to say about it was when he did his vaccine self-fellatio show in mid-November, where he blew himself about the rapidity with which vaccines have been developed while forcing the people involved in Operation Warp Speed (can we just take a moment to say how fucking childish that sounds?) to tickle his prostate with praise for his "leadership." Yes, the man who we are damned to have as president for another 7 weeks cared a fuck of a lot about what Catturd2 on Twitter had to say about mythical ballots in Arizona, but not a sympathetic fart for the sick and the dead, for the doctors and the nurses, for the overloaded hospitals. He's done with that shit.

I know we're all having a good time watching Trump lose court case after court case, and I have nothing but schadenfreude and gleeful contempt for the previously ass-kissing Republicans who Trump has  attacked for not being sufficiently corrupt. To an extent, that's a sideshow now. Yes, there are depths of depraved criminality in this disgraceful failure of an administration that will be revealed like the foul layers of a rotting onion where each one you peel off gets you closer to the fetid center that you know might make you vomit in revulsion. We will have time for that.

What we have to deal with right now is that the virus is rampaging through the country, and goddamn this president, most of his pathetic party of greedy whores and manic dunces, and the shit birds of the right-wing media for not only continuing to lie about COVID, but for turning nearly half the country into brainless drones who declare that they are happy to die rather than skip a weekend date night at Logan's Roadhouse or who believe that the virus isn't real and will screech that at hospital personnel as they gasp their last natural breaths before being intubated. Goddamn them for making all of this political. The anti-mask/COVID-denier crowd should be an easily ignored fringe, not the mainstream of any part of American society, not an entire movement. And we all know who to blame.

Hospitals are full in Rhode Island. They are full in New Mexico. Alabama is reporting some full hospitals.  California is heading there quickly. Utah, Michigan, big states, small states, Democratic-led, Republican-led, it doesn't fucking matter. 99,000 people were hospitalized today. Nearly 2500 died. That's almost a 9/11, which happened over 19 years ago and very few people complain about still taking off their fucking shoes at the airport. But a mask and reduction in public activities? Nah, fuck that. In Florida yesterday, where cases just passed 1 million, Governor Ron DeSantis, the man most likely to be found in a murder/suicide love triangle with a manatee and a sex doll, dismissed the idea of a mask mandate, declaring moronically, "I’m opposed to mandates, period. I don’t think they work" and that he wants to let international travelers back into the state, like from Brazil. Good luck, Sunshine State.

This is not to even get into the cruel strain on health care workers. The nation was stretched thin for nurses before the pandemic. Now that's become a greater crisis, with some hospitals allowing COVID-positive but asymptomatic nurses to work and others having personnel work 36-hour shifts. But the number of patients to each nurse is rising, and there is a point where even if you have the beds, you don't have the workers. Oh, and there's still a shortage of PPE. Oh, and I haven't even talked about the economic crisis that Republicans refuse to offer relief from.

As much as I blame Trump for all his neglect prior to the election, what he's doing now is even more unforgivable because we fucking know what's going to happen and still he parades his grievances about losing the election instead of lifting one of his Vienna sausage fingers to help. It's monstrous. And we should never forget and never forgive him for putting us through this as a country, for warping us even more than we had already been warped, for weaponizing the virus and using it as a murder weapon as sure as if he were putting Americans up against a wall and gunning them down.

I'm not telling you anything you don't know. But as all this other shit comes out, about pardons, about death threats to Republicans who say there is no voter fraud, about whatever the fuck Attorney General Barr is up to, let's keep in mind that that motherfucking psychopath in the White House doesn't give a damn if we live and that he's dragged all of us down into the bottomless pit of his self-pity and unabated rage. 

Start with murder charges. Go from there.


A Thanksgiving Poem from Indigenous America

"A History of Red"
by Linda Hogan, who is from the Chickasaw tribe

there was some other order of things
never spoken
but in dreams of darkest creation.
Then there was black earth,
lake, the face of light on water.
Then the thick forest all around
that light,
and then the human clay
whose blood we still carry
rose up in us
who remember caves with red bison
painted in their own blood,
after their kind.
A wildness
swam inside our mothers,
desire through closed eyes,
a new child
wearing the red, wet mask of birth,
delivered into this land
already wounded,
stolen and burned
beyond reckoning.
Red is this yielding land
turned inside out
by a country of hunters
with iron, flint and fire.
Red is the fear
that turns a knife back
against men, holds it at their throats,
and they cannot see the claw on the handle,
the animal hand
that haunts them
from some place inside their blood.
So that is hunting, birth,
and one kind of death.
Then there was medicine, the healing of wounds.
Red was the infinite fruit
of stolen bodies.
The doctors wanted to know
what invented disease
how wounds healed
from inside themselves
how life stands up in skin,
if not by magic.
They divined the red shadows of leeches
that swam in white bowls of water:
they believed stars
in the cup of sky.
They cut the wall of skin
to let
what was bad escape
but they were reading the story of fire
gone out
and that was a science.
As for the animal hand on death’s knife,
knives have as many sides
as the red father of war
who signs his name
in the blood of other men.
And red was the soldier
who crawled
through a ditch
of human blood in order to live.
It was the canal of his deliverance.
It is his son who lives near me.
Red is the thunder in our ears
when we meet.
Love, like creation,
is some other order of things.

Red is the share of fire
I have stolen
from root, hoof, fallen fruit.
And this was hunger.
Red is the human house
I come back to at night
swimming inside the cave of skin
that remembers bison.
In that round nation
of blood
we are all burning,
red, inseparable fires
the living have crawled
and climbed through
in order to live
so nothing will be left
for death at the end.
This life in the fire, I love it.
I want it,
this life.


Getting Through the Next Two Months of Hope and Dread

1. It is okay to feel hopeful in the wake of the ascertainment of the election of President-Elect Joe Biden, thus starting the transition from the catastrophic fuckstorm of Donald Trump's presidency. Everyone who was supposed to do their jobs decided to finally do their jobs, from the state canvassers in Michigan to the General Services Administrator. In one consequential day, we went from "Oh, Christ, this fucker might have a chance to steal this election" to "Thank Christ, this fucker is actually going to be gone." Between that fact and the vaccine light at the end of the COVID tunnel, for the first time in years, it's possible to envision a future. Not a perfect one, not an easy one, but one where there's a chance to move again towards "more perfect," where we take on the difficult tasks like climate change and poverty. No, I'm not blinded by hope to think any of this won't be a daily struggle against people who despise us and with people on our own side who want to do more or do less. But, goddamn, the air feels lighter, less weighted with the miasma of unending despair that has filled our noses and lungs. And it's just fine to enjoy breathing that cool breeze for a bit. 

2. It is okay to feel dread for the damage that Trump can and will do over the next two months that he's in office. Trump and the vindictive cuntfleas he has surrounded himself with will seek to undermine the Biden administration in ways trivial and in ways important. Right now, they're wrecking trust in our elections by insisting that this one was corrupt and stolen and that they've lost only because the complicit courts won't let them present their secret evidence or some fucking thing. It doesn't matter. What matters is destroying as much of that nation's faith in the federal government - hell, in all governments run by Democrats - that they can, as well as discrediting voters from people of color who live in those Democratic places. And this sabotage extends to fucking up the United States's place in the world by undermining treaties like Open Skies. I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see Trump start a conflict with Iran or break diplomatic ties with an ally or NATO as a pissy middle finger to anyone who questions his idiotic "America First" policy. We can be pretty sure they're all destroying records as quickly as possible, as many as they can get away with, covering up what are likely voluminous numbers of crimes. And we've gotta survive the next two months of inaction on COVID, including underfunded preparation for the vaccine rollout. Yeah, there's a fuckton to dread.

2a. It's okay to feel dread about the future beyond Biden's inauguration because of how much goddamn work is going to need to be done. Start with the fact that the country has tens of millions of Americans who think that the election was rife with fraud, all led by a soon-to-be ex-president who refuses to back down on his bullshit grievances, backed by millions of dollars in donations and support from an unhinged right-wing media machine. There could be violence, although it won't come close to reaching the "civil war" that the most batshit Parler users believe will happen if Trump doesn't somehow defeat the Deep State to be president again. But they are going to be an enormous roadblock to progress because they will keep electing fucknuts and assholes, including the QAnon psychos and other right-wing extremists. Jesus fuckballs, how do we make progress if we're constantly having to deal with people who simply exist in a state of non-reality?  

2b. And those Georgia Senate races? Yeah, go ahead and have a bowl of anxiety stew over that shit.

3. It is okay to be okay with Biden's cabinet.  My first thought when I saw who Biden was choosing to fill his cabinet and other senior positions in his administration was "I have heard of very few of these people and, goddamn, that makes me happy." Seriously, beyond Janet Yellin and John Kerry, they have had long careers in public service (with some working in the private sector, sure), which means that they have experience and expertise and knowledge and some level of competence and they're not being hired because of some bullshit belief in the superiority of CEOs or generals with cool nicknames or Fox "news" regulars or fucking donors. I love the idea that I won't have to think about them every goddamn day. I won't have to think, "Why the fuck is Ben Carson running anything?" I want them to dig in and do their jobs and not sit around a conference table, praising the president for being awesomely awesome, an ass-kissing ritual that was so frequent and so overwrought that it left Trump with moist buttocks and a chapped anus. It's kind of hilarious that, right now, Republicans are criticizing Biden for choosing people who aren't fucking crazy.

3a. It's also okay to criticize Biden's cabinet picks. Look, I fully believe that it's just useless when the leftier-than-thou crowd is condemning Biden before he's even gotten into office. But I also think the left needs to work to make sure that Biden continues his more progressive tilt since becoming the nominee (and he has moved further left, more than he has in his entire career). So it's okay to say, "Fuck that" to a possible Rahm Emanuel appointment. And it's okay to look at the backgrounds of some of the picks and wonder why so many supporters of the Iraq War are in there. It's okay to look at Avril Haines and wonder how she could have supported torture-enabler Gina Haspel. It's okay to think that Cedric Richmond, whose environmental record is significantly less than decent, isn't right for a position that serves as a liaison on climate change issues. 

3b. But, damn, look at us: arguing about positions and ideology instead of "How much will this asshole steal?"

4. It's okay to want Trump and this administration brought to justice. I wrote about my fears that Biden won't do that back last December, and there's much more to say. However, I wouldn't expect any movement on that front until after the Georgia runoffs. You don't want to turn Trump into a MAGA martyr yet. Let's get them to depress the GOP vote so we can possibly get the Senate.

5. Mostly, keep telling yourself this: There will be a January 20th, 2021. There will be a vaccine. And then we gotta put on our work boots and step into the shit to clean it all up.


Rudy Giuliani Is Sweating His Hair Color Off for America

Goddamn, why can't we just be fucking done with Rudy Giuliani? At this point, his story should have ended in a fading Manhattan hotel room when the housekeeper finds his corpse hanging in a closet with a belt around his neck and no pants, his hand rigor-mortised around his dick. like he was choking a garden snake, before he realized he couldn't reach the foot stool he thought was close enough. Of course, the housekeeper would have to nudge him a few times because Giuliani already looks like a corpse that's been buried and dug up several times over. Prison rape porn would definitely be playing on his computer. An open, one-way plane ticket to Moscow would definitely be in his briefcase.

But because hideous humans seem to live longer than they have any right to, today we were treated to a press conference where Giuliani, along with the legal fucking Z-Team of Jenna Ellis and Sidney Powell, screeched like a cat that got his balls stuck on a fence he was hopping across about all the voter fraud and election fraud and fraudulent fraud, all in states where Donald Trump was ahead and then fell behind in the vote count. Most of us would say, "Yeah, that's what happens when you count the fuckin' votes, fucko," but for Trump, as well as for Giuliani and the other attorneys who are making bank off this, it's an insidious plot to deny him his destined second term. Or at least everyone is pretending that it is. Who the fuck knows at this point.

The whole event was odd not just because whatever spray or coloring Giuliani used on his hair leaked down both sides of his sweaty face like raw sewage was being slowly drizzled on his head. It was odd because, swear to fuck, Hugo Chavez was brought up 10 times and Venezuela 15 times. I'll get back to Runny Giuliani in a moment. But check out the blabbering nonsense that fellow counsel Powell said in the flattest, most banally sinister voice you've ever heard: 

"What we are really dealing with here and uncovering more by the day is the massive influence of communist money through Venezuela, Cuba, and likely China in the interference with our elections here in the United States. The Dominion voting systems, the Smartmatic technology software, and the software that goes in other computerized voting systems herein as well, not just Dominion, were created in Venezuela at the direction of Hugo Chavez to make sure he never lost an election after one constitutional referendum came out the way he did not want it to come out." Those are words that mean something to someone. It's the coded language of a bunch of Parler posts, a mishmash of places and terms that supposedly add up to the Constitution being set aflame while Lady Liberty weeps in Abe Lincoln's arms.

But Powell, who looks like the woman you see just before she hacks your feet off so you can't escape her cabin, went on, "Notably the Dominion executives are nowhere to be found now. They are moving their offices overnight to different places. Their office in Toronto was shared with one of the Soros entities, one of the leaders of the Dominion Project overall is Lord Malloch-Brown, Mr. Soros’ number two person in the U.K., and part of his organization. There are ties of the Dominion leadership to the Clinton Foundation and to other known politicians in this country." So now we've got a conspiracy involving dead Hugo Chavez, China, George Soros, and the Clinton Foundation. There's batshit insane and then there's "the very words you're saying have no meaning" batshit insane. We're talking shit fight in a monkey house crazy. We're talking crazier than a shithouse rat. All combined into a batshit fight in a shithouse. 

As for Giuliani, his tactics included telling Philadelphia that they're a bunch of criminals who can go fuck themselves: "Unless you're stupid, you knew that a lot of people were coming over from Camden to vote. They do every year. It happens all the time in Philly. It's about as frequent as getting beaten up at a Philadelphia Eagle football game. Happens all the time, all the time. And as it allowed to happen because it is a Democrat corrupt city and has been for years, many, many years." And then he told Detroit to go fuck itself: "The margin in Michigan is 146,121 and these ballots were all cast basically in Detroit that Biden won 80-20. So you see it changes the result of the election in Michigan if you take out Wayne County." Yeah, that's some motherfucking legal genius right there in demonstrating he understands how addition and subtraction work. 

Of course, Giuliani also had to attack judges who would dare to say that Trump's lawsuits are as worthless as the jizz rag that Giuliani used to wipe his brown sweat streaks. He spittled about the places where Democrats supposedly committed their nefarious crimes of extreme criminality, "When I say crooked city, go look at how many of their officials have gone to jail in the last 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 or 60 years, that they have dominated and destroyed those cities. They picked the places where they could get away with it. They pick the places where, whether or not Republicans testified to something, judges would just dismiss it. Because judges are appointed politically and too many of them are hacks." 

Asked about lawyers who dropped off Trump's case, Giuliani gave this explanation: they're all pussies. "The only lawyer that left a case left because he was threatened, his family was threatened, his children were threatened. And so was the other lawyer. Yeah, that’s true. We have a little difficulty getting lawyers because our lawyers get threatened with being killed," he said. "We have lawyers dropping out of the case because they’re being threatened with destruction of their careers, destruction of their livelihood, and in some cases, destruction of their lives." Imagine a lawyer being judged by the cases they take and having their decisions affect their careers. How unfair. (Note: Any unproven death threats aside, it's not unfair at all.)

It fell to Jenna Ellis, the Fox-ready attorney who knows how to Kayleigh McEnany-lie with the best of 'em, to demonstrate for everyone that she doesn't understand a goddamn thing about the way trials work. She used the occasion to attack the gathered reporters, who must have wondered why they were invited to watch a reenactment of an erotic freak show, where the Lobster Man gets his appendages fellated by the Two-Faced Woman. Ellis said, "We are not trying our case in the court of public opinion, because if we were, we would get unbiased jurors, I would strike 99% of you from the jury and I would be allowed to, because of the fake news coverage you provide." No attorney can strike 99% of the jury pool. That's basic shit.

When a reporter asked to see evidence of any of the allegations, evidence that wasn't just sworn affidavits by attention-seeking fucknuts, she lashed out, "Your question is fundamentally flawed when you’re asking, 'Where’s the evidence?' You clearly don’t understand the legal process." Because, yeah, discovery isn't a thing. It would be hilarious if there weren't tens of millions of fucking idiots who think all this is real and not just the freak show it is. Suck on those flapping appendages, Bearded Lady.

Giuliani sputtered and yelped and gesticulated and performed, like a coked-out old porn actor who can't get a hard-on no matter how much Viagra or dick injections he takes. He insisted, "We cannot allow these crooks, because that’s what they are, to steal an election from the American people. They elected Donald Trump. They didn’t elect Joe Biden. Joe Biden is in the lead because of the fraudulent ballots, the illegal ballots, that were produced and that were allowed to be used, after the election was over."

Powell insisted, "President Trump won by a landslide. We are going to prove it, and we are going to reclaim the United States of America for the people who vote for freedom." That would be a conspiracy to commit election fraud so huge, involving so many people, that it would be easier just to organize a military coup.

And Ellis insisted, "We want to make sure to protect election integrity and your President, President Trump, we are so proud that he is in this fight, because he understands that when he swore his oath of office, he swore an oath to uphold and defend the United States Constitution."

That shit is laughable. The president who has wiped his sweaty nutsack with the Constitution isn't worth defending. But this isn't even about defending Trump. It's about ensuring that his hordes of morons stay inside the reality that Trump has constructed for them. To acknowledge Biden's victory, to legitimize the election in any way is to pierce through the orange viscous goo that surrounds Trump voters and all the lackeys and enablers around him. It would break the sucking hose that goes from the pockets and bank accounts of the rubes and right into the accounts of Trump's neverending campaign and his bullshit PAC, the same money that is funding these clownish charlatans, losing worthless case after worthless case, who are luxuriating in the pain of a nation.

And all these bastards, from Trump on down, need to be charged with sedition and tossed behind bars.


Holding Trump and the Right Accountable for Their Actions That Led to the Spread of Covid (Updated with Comments from a Real Lawyer)

I've been thinking about how to walk the line between free speech and, in some way, sanctioning or punishing people whose speech directly harms people. It's a tough one because it's a dangerous path when you start to say that those who watch Fox "news" or OAN or listen to Rush Limbaugh or read savagely right-wing websites like Breitbart or QAnon boards are being harmed because that asks for a judgment call on what is ultimately a right or wrong way to live. You can't stop speech just because you think someone's beliefs that come from that speech are reprehensible. You don't challenge that because of how easily that can be (and has been) used to attack the speech of the left. Just ask anyone who espoused openly Communist beliefs at any point in the last 100 years. If flag burners are protected, then Trump flag wavers are protected.

But I do think a strong case can be made that when speech is used in a way that is so egregious that it is the direct and demonstrable cause of physical harm to people, it has crossed a border from "protected" to "punishable." This isn't about you yelling, "Fire" in a crowded theatre. Instead, it's about you yelling, "There is no fire" to a crowd while you know the theatre is burning. On some level, you bear some responsibility for all the people who burned to death, even if you didn't light the flames and bar the exits.

So it is with President Donald Trump and almost the entirety of the right-wing political and media ecosphere. We have listened and read and watched since the beginning of the Covid pandemic as Trump has not only openly scorned scientists but has advised people to act in ways that are completely the opposite of every safety guideline being issued by his own government. And he has been backed up at every turn by lickspittle governors and anxious-to-please members of Congress, not to mention the nightly reports from outlets like One America "news." This is everything from denial of the severity of Covid to denial of the effectiveness of masks and social distancing to denial of the existence of Covid at all. 

We know that all of this has had an effect. The current surge in cases in the United States, all entirely predicted by doctors and medical scientists, and the forthcoming surge in deaths are the result of this outright lying and denial in the face of overwhelming scientific consensus. We get reports constantly now of Covid patients who adamantly refuse to believe they have the very illness they're diagnosed as having or saying that it's not a big deal just before they end up being placed on ventilators or dying. It's madness, and for telling people that it's okay to stick their hands in the toaster, someone ought to be held accountable. 

I keep coming back to the case of Michelle Carter. She was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Massachusetts in 2017 because, in 2014, she sent a series of texts to her suicidal boyfriend encouraging him to kill himself and then listened on the phone while he died inhaling carbon monoxide in his truck parked in a garage. Carter never called anyone to help Conrad Roy. In fact, when he decided to get out of the truck, Carter badgered him into staying. She let him die, and she was sentenced to 15 months in prison. When she appealed the conviction, the panel of judges on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upheld the conviction, saying, "She did absolutely nothing to help him: she did not call for help or tell him to get out of the truck as she listened to him choke and die." The U.S. Supreme Court did not take up an appeal, and Carter served her sentence, getting out early for good behavior this past January.

It's a problematic case, to be sure, with all kinds of implications, but with this case, along with cyberbullying laws that can get people arrested for encouraging suicide, it seems like a line is being drawn on what is permissible when it comes to speech. Sure, Roy might have killed himself without Carter's actions, but she sure as hell helped it along. This wasn't a thought crime, like writing cannibal fantasies. This had a direct, real world tragedy that could have been stopped but wasn't. 

So I can't help but think of parallels between Carter's case and the actions of Donald Trump and his band of merry Covid liars. You have a population that wants to act in a way that we know will harm them and a president, along with all of his minions, encouraging them to do the very things that will cause harm, even deriding those who would act more cautiously. Then, when that population starts getting sick and dying, instead of trying to change their behavior, the president, along with all of his minions, doubles down on his rallies and events that lead to more sickness, with perhaps 700 people dying as a result. You could even put down the lack of a national plan on Covid as another inaction in the face of actual harm occurring.

Shouldn't the people who cheered on the dangerous actions when they knew better and then did nothing to help face some kind of punitive action? Is it not justice for the dead and sick? This is not about free speech. It is not about ideology or an exchange of ideas. It is about how much lying about facts can be allowed. We allow a great deal under the banner of free speech. But the First Amendment is not a murder/suicide pact. Speech that encourages people to go mask free in a crowd during a pandemic is not the same as speech that is about even horrible things, like racist and sexist language. We have to be willing to see a difference. 

Maybe, though, this isn't the best legal analogy. Perhaps another way to look at it is through the cases against cigarette manufacturers. Trump is like the tobacco companies that hid how addictive nicotine was and how there is a link between smoking and cancer to protect their profits. Trump knew how harmful Covid was but lied to the public to protect his image and his reelection chances. Of course, no one went to jail and Big Tobacco paid its fines and went about its killing ways. So I'll stick with the analogy that ends in prison time.

Things didn't need to be like this in the nation when it comes to the coronavirus. Yes, of course, there would have been screw-ups and delays and other mistakes no matter who was in office. But Trump, most Republicans, and their media allies took it upon themselves to lie to those who they knew would obey their every word. They made a calculated decision to dismiss the danger, and as the nation reaps their whirlwind, they should be lawyering up. 

(Lemme add: I'm not a lawyer. I'm sure I'm missing a great deal here, and I'm sure I'll hear from you if there are cases that have dealt with this kind of thing already.)

Update: After posting this, Ian Smith, some lawyer guy who contacted me, wrote to say what he thinks works and doesn't here: "What you've actually done there is articulate what the law on this kind of reckless speech already is. Although most people know it as 'yelling fire in a crowded theater,' that's not the actual legal standard.  The actual legal standard is 'falsely yelling fire in a crowded theater,' which I think actually gets at the distinction you're searching for in your post.  So what you're searching for is already built in. 

"The problem, as always when talking about most kinds of criminal or legal liability, especially for speech, is that you generally need to show that (a) the person knows what they are saying is false, and (b) a sort of intent for using said knowledge recklessly.  How do you prove that Trump doesn't believe the dumb shit he says about the coronavirus?  How do you prove that he intended for his gormless minions to go out and murder themselves by acting on his false knowledge?  We have a system set up to determine these things: a court of law.  But you need to provide proof in a court of law---proof beyond, 'But it's obvious, just look!'  If you want to go beyond that, then you get into very shady territory."

Yeah, it would be a hard haul in court, but to take down Trump and the rest, it would be worth the effort, at least. And I'll be stealing "gormless minions" in the future.