11/19/2020

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.

11/17/2020

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.

11/12/2020

Relax. It's Okay to Be Panicky About Trump's Attempt to Steal the Election

I know how it is. You're sitting there watching Trump refuse to concede, file lawsuits over nonexistent voting fraud, do weird shit with the military and intelligence leadership, and more, and you're thinking, "What the fuck is he up to?" And then you read things that tell you to shit yourself in terror and other things telling you to chill the fuck out. And then you're watching reports on how Bill Barr is telling the Justice Department to investigate even suspected "irregularities" in voting, not even those that are crimes, and you're thinking, "Okay, now what the fuck is up with this?" And then you read things telling you to shit yourself in terror and other things telling you to chill the fuck out. And then you're watching Republicans specifically refuse to say or outright deny that Joe Biden won the election. And then you read things that tell you to shit yourself in terror and other things telling you to chill the fuck out. 

It's like living inside a panic attack on meth. 

Well, let me put your mind at ease. It's okay. Relax. It's totally okay to shit yourself over what's going on. In fact, it's entirely logical. Embrace the shitting yourself. If the last five years have taught us anything, it's that those who don't shit themselves are the ones who are embarrassed. If you turn out to be Chicken Little, well, the worst that could happen is that the sky didn’t fall. 

Obviously, a huge part of Trump's intransigence on the election results is he can continue the grift he's been running since June 2015. He's raising money on this supposedly mighty effort to take down those demonic Democrats and complicit Republicans who didn't let poll watchers stand as close as they wanted to the ballot counters or whatever the fuck the nonsensical lawsuits are saying. Except, of course, we know that the money is mostly going to retire Trump's campaign debt and to fund a new PAC for all things in the Trumpish future. There are reports that Trump's going to announce that he's a candidate for the presidency in 2024, perhaps by the end of December, in time for a full four years of campaigning and rallies to look forward to. Why do that? Because then Trump gets to keep raising money and, more importantly, living off that money by having, say, a Mar-a-Lago fundraiser when he's there for the weekend. Hey, had to fly the private jet there. Expense that to the campaign. He gets to keep filtering funds to his shitty properties. End the election, end the campaign, and you close the spigot.

But, you might be thinking, Trump can be conning the rubes out of cash while tearing down democracy. And that's the rub, isn't it? Sure, we can look at his recent upheaval in the Defense Department and decide that he's settling scores or allowing some people to pump up their resumes. But then there's the idea that he's seeking to release information related to the Mueller probe because he thinks it will prove Russia didn't help him get elected in 2016, so he wants a declassifying spree, consequences be damned. And then there's the certainly not-impossible idea that he wants the military to help him stay in power, something that is so not-impossible that General Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, felt compelled to say in a speech on Wednesday, "We do not take an oath to a king or a queen, a tyrant or a dictator. We do not take an oath to an individual. No, we do not take an oath to a country, a tribe or religion. We take an oath to the Constitution." Yeah, that had to be said out loud.

Of course, there are other reasons that Trump and too many in the GOP are willing to trash the election results besides overturning them. Beyond the cash grab, Trump is a vengeful twatmite, and he likely wants to damage Joe Biden as much as possible just to be a dick and, also, to set him up for that 2024 run. At the very least, this effort creates an air of illegitimacy for the Biden administration that Republicans can ride into the midterms and 2024. It has the bonus of giving Mitch McConnell even more power, if the GOP happens to keep the Senate, and, honestly, even if it doesn't. Shit, half the country will believe from the get-go that McConnell is the only non-corrupt leader in DC. That's enough to induce the vomit-shits.

Or maybe it's just a prelude to Trump starting his own right-wing nutzoid network. He's can do his idiot rallies and not be responsible for the lives and deaths of the people in this nation. Anything is fucking possible right now.

But this is as much an information war as it is anything else, and one of the purposes in pressing on with all of this shit, unlikely as it is to succeed, may just be to lay the groundwork for stealing the election. Again, that's nearly impossible. Yet...

Almost all the experts telling us to chill out now told us in 2016 that Trump couldn't possibly win. And he did. They told us that he wouldn't do his Muslim ban or enact or try to enact the cruel policies he campaigned on. And he did. I spoke face-to-face with one of the prominent Never-Trump members of the Lincoln Project in 2017, and he assured me that Trump wouldn't last through 2018 because his sources said the intelligence community would take him down. Everyone was fucking wrong. And he wasn't even destroyed enough to lose in a landslide in 2020. They all thought that Republicans would be somehow noble and stand up to Trump. They were blinded by their own bullshit. 

And I keep coming back to the idea that Trump really didn't want to win in 2016, that it was a big shock to him that he did. Yeah, he just bumblefucked into that. 

This is a way of saying that all these supposed impossibilities are overcome by a compliant GOP and courts filled with lackeys. And right now, 70% of Republicans say they don't believe the election was "free and fair," with 78% buying into the lie about fraud through mail-in voting. Often, the easiest way to understand Trump is that he's saying exactly what he means. He's not fucking around about the election being "rigged" and filled with "illegal votes." He believes it, and he's acting accordingly, and that, at the end of the day, the Republicans who say that this is just one of his toddler tantrums and let him get over it are as complicit as those who are actively supporting him. The longer that this goes on, the longer Biden's transition is postponed, the more that his armies of MAGA cretins intensify their belief that their orange master has been the victim of socialist traitors. That leads to chaos, and Trump just gets off on that shit.

So, yeah, it's fine to have a wave of anxiety wash over you when you hear about the General Services Administration's Emily Murphy refusing to recognize Biden's win so he can have funding and information access to get ready to be president. It's fine to think even if all this fuckery may not have a plan behind it, it sure as shit is giving off the air of a coup. And then it's fine to feel nauseous when you think about that term, "coup," as a real world, a real your world, occurrence. Don't let anyone take away your fear right now. Fuck that.

Be ready for the knife twist, which totally might not happen. But it totally could. And we need to recognize that it's fucked up that we're even at a point where we can contemplate that and not sound completely mad. That's how much damage has already been done.

One final note: It's beyond insane, beyond enraging that we have to worry about any of this shit when the country is being wrecked by the coronavirus. 

11/09/2020

We Need to Accept That At Least 70 Million Americans Just Suck

 I have never disliked anyone because of their income. Poor, rich, it's fine. I've never condemned anyone for their race or their gender or any aspect of their identity. I don’t even hold people’s beliefs against them until they try to impose them on me or use them to harm me or others. Then, whether they're religious or political or social, fuck your beliefs and fuck you for having them.

So if you think that I’m just supposed to forgive a bunch of racists fucknuts who decided that I am not really American and who attacked others, directly or through people they elected, yeah, fuck that. If someone has a shitty ideology, they need to give that shitty ideology up before we’ll even talk about forgiveness. And right now, Trump voters aren't giving up on a thing, so, yeah, I'm gonna fucking continue with my condemnation, my ridicule, and my dismissal of them.

That's not just because they spent the last five years (including the campaign) allowing their hate-filled ids to run rampant. No, that wasn't enough. It's that they actively rejected science, favoring the gut instincts of an objectively failed businessman over people who had spent their whole lives studying things like diseases and the climate. It's that they rejected things that were occurring right before their eyes, preferring whatever algorithm fucked their faces with a continuous feed of lies on their Facebook pages.  And, more importantly, it's that they dragged the rest of us down with them and then thought we were the traitors for not agreeing with them. 

They dragged us backwards as we saw scenes out of the civil rights era take place before our eyes or to us, along with anti-Semitism and Islamophobia and anti-LGBTQ bias, putting so many people in real danger. They joined or cheered on terrorist groups they called "militias," who really believe they might have to start killing us. They bought into the most idiotic of conspiracy theories by the millions. They degraded and debased us as they cheered on the cruelty of the Trump administration and laughed at us for how upset their savagery made us, mocking us for normal human emotions, like sympathy for migrant families fleeing brutality and death only to be subject to the depraved actions of our government. Instead of trying to empathize, they sent us Pepe the Frog memes and accused of never getting over the 2016 election and said we only cared about the Russia hoax or the Ukraine hoax or the COVID hoax and drank our liberal tears.

And if some of them say they didn't believe any of this shit, they just liked the tax cuts, well, they fucking tolerated it and did nothing to stop it. So fuck 'em, too.

I want them to face consequences for their actions. If they committed crimes, of course they should be arrested. Jesus Christ, break up the goddamn militias. But even beyond that, the nation as a whole, the majority that doesn't believe this shit, needs to spurn them and not merely let them crawl back under their rocks until the next demagogic con man comes along to scratch that hateful itch. You apply for a job and someone googles you and finds you screaming insane shit about Tom Hanks drinking baby blood? Yeah, fuck you, Jesse, you can go shovel shit at your Nazi uncle's farm than work the cash register at the local Target. Chase these fuckers out of civil society. Let them walk in the wilderness for a while. You can't just fucking be a racist piece of shit without some fucking consequences. It shouldn't work like that. We shouldn't allow it to work like that.

And, goddamnit, we need to hold companies like Fox, like One America, like Sinclair, like fucking Facebook accountable for spreading lies, real lies, that do real harm to the country. That needs to be done in a legitimate way, not by braying, "Section 230." There has gotta be a fucking balance between censorship and treating the First Amendment like a suicide pact. 

And, goddamnit, we need to improve education in this country, with shit like media literacy and motherfucking civics. We need to take over school boards to ensure that real history and mind-expanding science and literature are being taught, not the whitewashed faux-patriotism and forced ignorance that the right imposes on too many. Jesus, none of this should be controversial. It's just fucking wrong that it is.

So many times in the last few days, since Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were declared the winners of the presidential race, I've heard someone say that it's fine to be happy, but "we have to grapple with the fact that 70 million still voted for Donald Trump despite everything that we know about him. What are we going to do about that?" 

My response is simple: Maybe we just need to accept that at least 70 million Americans are just shitty people. And, frankly, it's on them to change. They're not fucking children. They're adults who made adult decisions. I'm so fucking sick of the infantilization of the Trump voter, the idea that they're these naifs who need to be nurtured into some kind of maturity, that they have fears of the progressive world (even as they benefit from it in many places with expanded Medicaid), that they are uneducated and inundated with bullshit from Fox "news" and its devolved progeny in the nutzoid right-wing media. 

Fuck that. They chose this ideology. They chose what to believe. They decided to be a bunch of scabby pricks. They gotta own that shit. Forgiveness is wasted on those who refuse to believe they need to be forgiven. The more charitable of you might be able to do it, but I'm not fuckin' charitable to these goons and freaks and worms. Donald Trump played 'em like a goddamn fiddle. Hell, he's still playin' them, squeezing them for more cash under the umbrella of his bullshit "voter fraud" lawsuits. Until they wake the fuck up or are woken the fuck up, they need to exist as a warning not to let them get more power than they have and to work like hell to take away their remaining power. 

It's time to tell Trump voters to spend a little time trying to understand Biden voters so they can see why we fucking kicked Trump's ass.

11/05/2020

Trump to America Today: Democracy Is for Suckers and Losers

I gotta tell you: I watched Trump's appearance today in the White House press room with enough burning schadenfreude to power a small city. As much as I wanted to be appalled and saddened and enraged, mostly what I thought was "Suffer, motherfucker." If Biden ends up winning, as almost everyone seems to believe he will, this excruciating ballot count will have been worth it because Donald Fucking Trump was dragged down into the shit he created, watching it all fall apart. Sure, a swift ending would have been preferable, but this is so obviously tearing his tiny brain and his titanic ego to shreds that I'll take it. 

The whole thing was just a trip into the kind of madness that you find in people who have seen a naked Rudy Giuliani. In addition to declaring that there was voter fraud everywhere he is losing or might lose, Trump mocked Democrats for the amount of spending on losing Senate races and accused pollsters of being in on the fraud. "The pollsters got it knowingly wrong. They got it knowingly wrong," he slurred. "We had polls that were so ridiculous and everybody knew it at the time." This is the same guy who fucking loved to jack it to besting the poll numbers. Now, it's all a conspiracy against him. Motherfucker, we'd have been so much less tense right now if Nate Silver had said, "Oh, this is gonna be another fuckin' squeaker."

His statements on the vote counts were ludicrously dumb. He blurged, "We were up by nearly 700,000 votes in Pennsylvania. I won Pennsylvania by a lot." That was when just 52% of the votes were counted. You know this is the kind of dick who flips the checkers board when he thinks he might fall behind and then declares himself the winner.

And, after saying that "Republicans have become the party of the American worker," Trump shit all over the workers at the polls. "The officials overseeing the counting in Pennsylvania and other key states are all part of a corrupt Democrat machine that you’ve written about," he turded, as if the Republican governors of Georgia and Arizona are somehow negligible participants here. 

Then, in the weirdest act of self-fellatio, he asserted about Pennsylvania, "I went to school there and I know a lot about it." He went to the University of Pennsylvania from 1966-68. So he is saying that his time as an asshole student in his junior and senior years over 50 years ago gives him the insight into Pennsylvania election shenanigans. In fact, he said, "It hasn’t changed since a long time ago and hasn’t changed. It has gotten worse." That is "time to take Ol' Yeller out back"-levels of pathetic.

Trump lied and he lied and then he lied some more. And some of them were things he knows are lies and some of them were things that he just doesn't understand but refuses to learn because fuck you, learning is for losers. He thinks that if you don't want him reelected, you must be part of an evil cabal that is trying to undermine democracy because, surely, democracy can only have one outcome. And fuck those Black cities of Philadelphia and Detroit for being Black and therefore corrupt.

It's what he's been telling us for the last four years, since he insisted that his loss of the popular vote to Hillary Clinton had to be because of undocumented immigrants voting by the millions in California. It's what he's been telling us by saying that voting by mail in a pandemic is bad and instead spread coronavirus through rallies and, likely, through telling millions of people to stand in line to vote. You know what we get from that? The biggest numbers of COVID infection since the whole thing began.

And of course he's going to take all this to court. It's all he does. He's the whiniest fucking Karen in history, always asking to speak to the manager, always demanding that he get special treatment, always demanding that system bend to his cruel and avaricious ass.

He could have worn a fucking mask. But he thought he was too good for it.  The same goes for the law. The same goes for democracy.

Yeah. Suffer, motherfucker. 

You Can't Poll Crazy: Random Observations as We Await Joy or Doom

Lemme say at the top here: I'm not making any fuckin' predictions in here about the outcome of Presidential Clusterfuck 2020. As we await parcels of votes from Arizona and Nevada and Pennsylvania and Georgia and, sure, why not, North Carolina, hanging on every word of Steve Kornacki or John King as they vigorously finger their interactive maps, I've been wrong about 50 times already, so, while it looks good for Biden, nah, I'm not putting down any chips here. It's just not worth it because Trump voters are fucking crazy and you can't predict crazy. Were they really inspired by Donald Trump's COVIDpaloozas to go vote when they weren't planning on? And who the fuck votes for a president responsible...Wait, I'll start the list.

1. Trump voters are fucking crazy. Who the fuck votes for a president who is directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans on American soil and who is directly responsible for mass economic misery, including, but not limited to, homelessness, hunger, and lack of health care? It's like standing on the smoking ruins of your house, looking at the burnt body of your dog that was fucked to death before being left in the fire, and saying, "You know that arsonist who fucked my dog to death? I like how he hates immigrants. I'm gonna tell him he can marry my daughter." Who does that shit? Crazy people. Delusional people. 

1a. You wanna shorthand reason why the polls were so very wrong? There it is: you can't poll crazy.

2. So, yeah, we have a huge goddamn problem with racism and misogyny and xeno-, homo-, and Islamophobia, if nearly 70 million people will willingly vote for a racist, misogynist, multiphobic narcissist who is promising to not do a goddamn thing to help people with a pandemic other than wait for a vaccine. And it's not just that they have radically different ideologies from the majority of us; they live in a different reality. That's not even a matter of interpretation of the world. Many of them have been deluged with disinformation from Fox "news" (although not enough to prevent it from becoming the enemy if it tries to call an election based on, you know, facts and votes), One America Fuckoff, and Breitbart's cocaine-fund, as well as a not-insignificant number who believe Joe Biden is a pedophile, something something Hunter Biden, and Hillary/Obama/Tom Hanks are fucking children to scare their blood which they then drink. 

This is mass hysteria of a Salem witch trials-level, and, sure, there might come a point where, with Trump gone, everyone wakes up and realizes that they've fucking let the world go to hell, but you can bet that in Salem, a whole lot of them still believed their crops were hexed. That kind of shit will take years to deprogram. But, basically, we are a country split between people who believe in facts and science and people who believe Cuban socialism is coming to take their white babies to give to brown immigrants who will cut out their adrenal glands and send them to the Clinton Foundation while Soros-backed BLM activists are rioting in the suburbs and killing white women. 

3. But let's be absolutely clear here: the nation, as a whole, is and has been securely Democratic. Democrats have won the popular vote for 4 elections in a row, and, in any other supposedly democratic country, that would have been enough. What Democrats have is a local and state election problem, as exemplified in the Senate races in Maine, Iowa, and elsewhere, as well as House races. Yes, yes, it can't be said enough that the Electoral College is a fucked beyond fucked way of getting a president. The fucking Founders were drunks who didn't regularly bathe, owned slaves, and thought women were intellectual children. Why the fuck are we still letting their every word guide us, being forced to lap it up and love it, like eager leather slaves after sucking five dicks? If they had to convince a majority of the citizens in this country to vote for them, Republicans would have to moderate their stands on a fuck-ton of issues at the national level. It's the only way that abortion, same sex marriage, and gun worship will come off the table as the shit that matters most to idiots. (Always remember: Abortion wasn't really an issue until Reagan decided to let evangelicals shriek their way onto the national platform.)

4. I've been saying that we need national laws to guide voting. It's good to get some backup on that. 

Okay. I'll stop there. More jizz-image analysis to come. (Heh.)

11/01/2020

The Simplest Endorsement Possible: Fewer People Will Die If Joe Biden Is Elected

Update: As if to prove this post right, Trump says that he's going to fire Anthony Fauci after the election. And Deborah Birx said everything Trump says about COVID is bullshit. 

Look, if you've already voted or are voting for Joe Biden, you know that it's primarily because, for fuck's sake, we have to get back to some kind of sanity in the United States. We know that another four years of Donald Trump will wreck the federal government, creating a barely functional cult of personality, where loyalty to the leader and his goals, such as they are, is more important than experience or competence. 

I have refused to let myself go down the rabbit hole of everything that will be lost if he wins again, from the judiciary to NATO to the education system to... Yeah, I gotta stop because it's just too depressing. It's not an overstatement to say that the United States that you know will cease to exist. And no matter how shitty you think this country is (and it is often remarkably shitty), it will be worse: more racist, more divided by class, more anti-civil rights, more cruel, more violent, and so very much dumber.

That's why we're voting for Biden. Because we need to get back at least to zero, to where we were before this bovine orange bastard undulated in and fucked up the joint. And if we start to make progress past that, well, that's just a bonus. 

I'm not gonna go through all of Biden's policies here. You can go to his website or google that shit.

But lemme bottom line this for anyone who may still be stupid enough to be on the fence at this point: You vote for Joe Biden because fewer people in this country will die if he's elected. 

And this isn't even an argument. It's just fucking factual. If Trump is re-elected, then nothing will change in how the country handles the coronavirus. We'll just keep suffering and dying until there's a vaccine or some miracle treatment. And even then we'll keep suffering and dying by the tens of thousands because of how long it will take to distribute a vaccine, which will likely not work to prevent 100% of the cases anyways.

The way to prevent far, far more death and complications from COVID even when you survive is to elect Joe Biden. It really is that simple. And when you think of it that way, it's about as clarifying as anything can be. You can ask yourself, "What kind of person am I? Am I the kind of person who wants more people to die? Or am I the kind that would like to prevent more coronavirus deaths than necessary?" Yeah, it's that fucking simple.

Jesus, just look at what Biden wants to do. It's all the easy shit that Trump could have done, and if we had done it from the start, we might not be looking down the barrel of a long winter killing a bunch more of us. A massive expansion of testing, a massive expansion of the medical personnel available, a massive increase in the supplies of PPE, a huge boost in the spending on those hit by the economic disaster of the pandemic, a huge boost in spending to make schools and businesses safe, and so very much more are all part of it. Health professionals think it's a good plan. Hell, it's a fuckin' plan, unlike the lack of a plan we have now. As one expert put it, "I couldn’t stop thinking, ‘What if we had this all along during the pandemic?’ What a different place we would be in." Imagine that. Imagine being South Korea, where they never had to lockdown and where they can go out to eat and to work and to school and to concerts and live a normal goddamn life again. 

Yeah, that's fuckin' enough for me. And it should be all you need to convince you to vote for Biden.

Oh, sure, you can argue about Biden's record on lots of shit. You can tell me about his vote for the Iraq War and how many people died because of it. You can tell me about the 1994 crime bill. You can tell me about how Biden is beholden to big banks and Wall Street. You can tell me about how he doesn't support Medicare for All and how he's too moderate. And you are right. You are very right about all of that.

You know what I'm right about? Fewer dead people. There will be fewer dead people in this country if Biden is elected than if Trump is elected. 

Fine, you want more? It's still about the number of dead people. Donald Trump is trying to tear down the Affordable Care Act, no matter what the Supreme Court decides. If the ACA is gutted, unenforced, or overturned, millions of people will lose their health insurance in a Thanos-like finger snap. Thousands of people will die because of that. If Biden is elected with a Democratic Congress, the ACA will be strengthened and expanded. Again: Fewer people dying versus more people dying.

Do I even need to get into the whole "not dead/dead" comparison when it comes to women if Roe v. Wade is overturned? 

So there's my motherfucking endorsement of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. I shouldn't have to make any other argument, just like Donald Trump shouldn't even be in pissing distance of winning reelection after helping to cause the deaths of a quarter million people in this country. 

I'm not being trite or ignoring other things. We're in a big fucking crisis. One candidate makes the crisis better. One candidate makes the crisis worse. For once, it's pretty fucking clear that the election is not about the lesser of two evils. It's about defeating a genuine evil. 

10/30/2020

Guest Post: An NYC Teacher With a Chronic Illness Knows Everything That's at Stake in This Election

A pal of mine is a teacher in a New York City public school who has a long-term, debilitating illness. She asked if she could tell everyone what it's like to be a teacher in the time of coronavirus, as well as someone with a pre-existing condition. She's tough as hell despite her diagnosis, and she's pissed at all that this time of pandemic and Trump has put her through. 

We went back and forth on what to call her, and she decided. So this is by One of De Blasio's COVID Prisoners. Take it away:

Back in early March, I was standing in front of a classroom, looking at the electronic pens that write on the SmartBoard with a kind of horror that’s typically reserved for, like, gigantic spiders.  Or seeing a Trump rally on television. I’d stand in front of my classes and dread touching the SmartBoards; I’d use hand sanitizer obsessively. I’d dread touching the computer. Every person who sneezed got several looks like they’d just kicked a puppy. My students begged me to let them go early because they wanted to avoid the crowds so they didn’t bring coronavirus home and kill their grandmas. 

Coronavirus was a hot topic in my department. I was discussing it with my colleagues, most of whom are older Republican Baby Boomer men who act like stereotypical older Republican Baby Boomer men. We sat in a dusty, cluttered office together because there’s not enough space for all of us to have our own classrooms. We were all collectively shitting ourselves because we knew coronavirus would be coming. They’d all speculate when it would come to a school building. Everyone collectively knew it was coming to a New York City Department of Education petri dish near you.  

I’d repeatedly ask these older male colleagues to keep their distance. They’d look at me and laugh; they’d tell me I’m young, I have nothing to worry about. It got to the point where I eventually stopped asking people to keep six feet away, and I just got up and moved.  I had no desire to reveal to my coworkers my extremely complicated medical history. What they didn’t realize is that I probably have more health problems than all of them combined. 

Every illness comes to school buildings. The conditions in my buildings are terrible. There are roaches in these buildings. I was once chased out of the bathroom by a roach; this is not uncommon as I’ve since learned they’re aggressive. There is black mold. There is dust, asbestos, and lead water. Lab equipment is broken. Bathrooms are broken. Ventilation is miserable on a good day. There’s no soap. I knew these buildings couldn’t exist as they were in a world with coronavirus. The flu spread through it like wildfire; it got to the point where you couldn’t pinpoint who you got the flu from. 

I knew coronavirus would be the next visitor; in late February and early March, every day I would come home from work, practically strip at the front door, shower, and get into my bed because I was emotionally numb. Occasionally I would work out in my house, or go for a walk, but most of the time I came home and slept. While everyone in my building was scared of coronavirus, I had a reason to be more nervous than the usual person: I am an invisibly disabled woman who is high risk because I have at least ten chronic illnesses; one of those is asthma. I have what is now referred to as “preexisting conditions/co-morbidities” and I am now terrified I will lose my insurance. For most of March, I was convinced I wouldn’t see the end of 2020 if I stayed in a school building.

This is what it’s like to have a disability that makes you a high risk coronavirus patient, in a plague, with Ruth Bader Ginsburg dead and a troglodyte wannabe dictator as your supreme leader.  It’s story time, though. Grab a drink. You might need it.  Fuck, I do.

I want you to imagine this: you just got home from high school. You plop down your backpack, and tell your mom you want to use the old treadmill in the basement. You’ve always been pretty energetic; sleeping was never your friend. You always went on hikes, long walks, and bike rides. But you’ve always really liked running and wanted to give it a shot. You pop the key in and get going on the treadmill for about forty minutes. When you get off, your knees feel a little weird, but you figure it’s just some muscle soreness or weakness.  The next day you can’t walk.

So here we are. I’m 15 years old and I can’t walk. I went to a doctor who told me he didn’t know what the problem was, so, for now, I should use leg braces so I can walk while they figure it out. I went for X-ray after X-ray and I am surprised I don’t fucking glow in the dark. They later determined after a few days that my kneecaps were “loose;” in other words, I was “double jointed.”  They just didn’t know why, didn’t know why it was so painful, and didn’t know what caused it.  Mind you, I couldn’t wear these leg braces with my uniform, so I needed to wear sweatpants and sneakers to school. 

I began to read up on Democratic and Republican policies in high school before this happened because I was surrounded by Republicans.  I decided that Republicans were just shitty for everyone, really.  But it also got really, really personal in high school. Because the school nearest to me was laden with crime at the time, I needed to go to a private Catholic school as I didn’t get into any others (public schools here in NYC are bursting at the seams).  I was not thrilled about this at all nor were my parents.  But whatever; I did it.  Most of the staffers in this building were Republican and weren’t shy about it: Abortions should be illegal.  Kill prisoners.  Gay people are bad.  Socialism - no other context needed here. I heard rants about Democratic presidents daily. As you could imagine, I hated nearly every single one of those fucking staffers.  I reveled in it when a lone voice of sanity challenged their beliefs as I would occasionally do. And this is fucked up before you stop and think: holy Cheez-its, Batman, they’re teaching kids this shit. And they’re not even supposed to be.

The dean in my school at the time can only be described as one of the most wicked people I’ve ever known, even before I needed to deal with her. I approached the dean and told her I needed to deviate from the uniform because of a still-unidentified illness; being “double jointed” doesn’t sound like a problem to most people, so I told her we were still figuring it out and that I needed leg braces.  She argued with me. How could she possibly allow me to deviate from the uniform for an unidentified illness? What if I was lying and there was nothing really wrong with me? She told me I couldn’t deviate from the uniform because too many people had already and there was nothing wrong with them. Better yet, I asked her for an elevator key, and she told me she didn’t have any more and I should just “run for the elevator.” For a moment, I was temporarily rendered speechless; then, I told her that I’d give her another note and I was coming to school in these braces with or without her approval, and got up and left.

Mind you, this type of paranoia permeates the Republican base. Scientists have an agenda. The election is rigged. Climate change is created by the libs. People on disability are moochers. This was my first experience of discrimination and Republican-sponsored paranoia all while these very same people were supposedly preaching Christian values.  I even needed to read a book by Dinesh D’Souza in this school. After every chapter, I’d send texts to a like-minded friend laden with curse words. I got rid of that book by throwing it in the garbage where it belongs. I still wish I had burned it.

My supposedly standoffish attitude led to constant harassment. I would be ambushed in the hallways by this dean who would constantly taunt me that I still didn’t have a diagnosis.  She would ask me when I would be switching back and ask me for the diagnosis. She’d tell me I needed to be in the uniform or figure out what the diagnosis was a lot quicker. This came through in my classes: I had a teacher who consistently told me I “looked really comfortable in my sweatpants.” I told him privately I had on leg braces and to please lay off.  He kept doing it.  Now that I am a teacher and see how gossip spreads, I’m convinced that these are the people who didn’t believe I needed the leg braces because the dean must’ve fed them information.  

Over time, these confrontations got more and more aggressive between me and the teachers who confronted me. I was consistently made to feel like shit. Never mind the fact that I was consistently put in awkward situations in the name of “God.” I once sat through a class where the teacher was professing how wrong it is to use fetal cells, even if it cures illnesses. I sat there with my leg braces on listening to this dribble; how “God” made me that way, so I should be grateful for my journey or some shit. 

All the while, I was bouncing from doctor to doctor, paying copays, only to be told ,“I don’t know what’s wrong with you.” I could walk after a year in leg braces because I went to physical therapy, but we needed to get to the bottom of why I was loose jointed. I estimate, to date, we have spent approximately $20,000 to 30,000 in copays alone. But even at physical therapy, older people would see me and ask me what put me in physical therapy. I said my kneecaps were loose and my muscles were weak and it was never going to go away. The responses ranged from wildly inappropriate to plainly odd to sensitive and caring. People asked me if I could work.  People simply told me, “That sucks” and laughed. People sometimes lectured me on how their wife’s second cousin’s best friend had some rare health problem but taking a bath in horse shit and mayonnaise fixed it. It was then I realized: people don’t know how to deal with chronically sick people. This also somewhat extends to the medical profession: once they don’t know what’s wrong with you, some of them don’t know what to do with you. One doctor plainly told me, “I give you until you’re 30 to have a decent life.”  She didn’t even know the diagnosis. She didn’t even try to give me one.

So this is at least two years of this uncertainty and jumping from doctor to doctor. Of course, as I am jumping from doctor to doctor, I am beholden to insurance. One of them made me nearly pass out on the table because he messed with my joints so much, and I didn’t have a choice but to go back to him. And that is not to say all doctors are bad – the way insurance is done in America is bad. Yes, I am obviously pitching Medicare for All here.

I continued going to this doctor who’s just doing x-rays of every joint in my body, trying to figure out what the fuck is happening and still obviously getting nowhere. I still didn’t know what was wrong with me. I had (and still have) leg pain. I had these pains a lot as a child, and they were consistently called “growing pains.” I was no longer growing and these pains still persisted, and now they were going all over my body. I was sitting in a car and realized my entire body felt “loose.” 

I got to the point where I couldn’t take it anymore and began googling.  I found a disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. I became convinced this is what I had.  Still, I had no official diagnosis. 

I was finally referred to a rheumatologist. I knew I needed to go for it; I needed to just go into the appointment and say all the right things. At this point, I’d seen one primary care doctor, two orthopedic doctors multiple times, two physical therapists, and now this rheumatologist.  She told me I had “Joint Hypermobility Syndrome,” and there it was. I told her Joint Hypermobility Syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome were the same thing. To my surprise, she didn’t argue and just seemed genuinely mystified as to how I knew that, but I would be sent to yet another doctor, a geneticist, because it was out of her area of expertise. 

But I didn’t forget what I researched earlier in high school. I researched that Republicans opposed pre-existing conditions coverage and I’d likely be charged more money when I had my own insurance. There was no pre-existing conditions coverage at the time, and I was scared to get officially diagnosed. Someone needed to talk me into seeing a geneticist because I knew what it meant. I paid attention to politics, after all. I kept trying to cancel. I kept trying to bail on this appointment. I waited a year to see the geneticist and paid 400 dollars out of pocket. On the way to the appointment, I was reading about the politics regarding pre-existing conditions and filled up with a sense of dread, as well as anxiety from knowing this information and knowing I was about to get formally diagnosed with a life-changing medical disorder.

Going to a geneticist is a strange experience; the appointment itself lasted hours. It’s less like going to a doctor and more like where science and doctors meet. She measured every part of my body. She asked me questions about every part of my body. She asked me questions about my career choices that she needed to personally approve of. She asked me about my hobbies.  But all of this wasn’t small talk: it was a large, all-encompassing medical evaluation. She finally said that I had Ehlers-Danlos. This event is relieving and mournful at the same time: you’re happy the endless X-rays and back and forth between doctors is over, but you’re also mourning the possibilities you thought you might’ve had as soon as an hour ago.  

But still, my biggest concern was always pre-existing condition coverage. When Obamacare passed, I breathed a heavy sigh of relief. I have since endured more goddamn X-rays, multiple MRIs, and have at least ten diagnosable problems. Yes, actually ten. Two of those undeniably place me in the high-risk coronavirus category. If you’re wondering why I have 10 illnesses and someone else you know has, like, 3, it’s because Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a connective tissue disorder.  It can affect anything because connective tissue is all over your body. It supports your organs, your vascular system, your skin. It is also a very painful disorder because all of your joints are loose; it’s also exhausting because your muscles need to hold in your joints.  I needed to get every single major organ and organ system checked following this diagnosis. Think of me as a real life member of the X-Men.  I’m hyper-flexible, and it causes problems beyond that. I have seen nearly every -ologist there is.  

Ehlers-Danlos has a couple of comorbidities that are actually making the news right now, and it would be wise for you to know their names: Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS).  Both of these disorders are now being diagnosed in coronavirus “long haulers.”  Mast cells are involved in the inflammatory response that ensues when someone is severely sick from COVID; they cause the cytokine storm.  But instead of these cells “calming down” after the infection is cleared, it is possible they still overreact to various stimuli. Not only that, but Mast Cell Activation Syndrome is currently being considered for being one of the causes of severe COVID-19 illness as well as post-COVID illness.  And I’m here to tell you right now:  POTS sucks. MCAS is totally horrifying. 

POTS and Dysautonomia in general is sort of like being hungover because of the brain fog.  Except, it’s, like, constantly.  You also react heavily to any kind of external change your body experiences - temperature, blood pressure, gravity.  You can’t tolerate hot/cold extremes. You can’t exercise because your body can’t adjust to the changes in severe cases.  You can’t stand up too fast, or at all, or you’ll pass out.  You get tired from doing mundane tasks, like showering. You sweat too much or not at all.  You have heart palpitations often.  Your sleep is absolutely shit and not restful at all on a good day.  You get random fainting spells. You’re constantly dehydrated, and you might need regular saline infusion treatments. 

MCAS and mast cell disorders are a little more dangerous.  Mast Cell Activation Syndrome is like your immune system needing a Xanax. You are allergic to everything and nothing, simultaneously, and any of these things that set off your mast cells can lead to random anaphylaxis, but it isn’t consistent. For example: you’re “allergic” to cats on Tuesday but you’re not anymore after Thursday.  On Thursday, instead, you’re “allergic” to vinyl couches or a specific type of laundry detergent. Hot showers can set it off.  Exercise. Cold air. Environmental pollutants. Stress. It is ever changing, and you can’t fully predict it. They also can activate in different places, causing different symptoms: if they activate in your gut, they cause diarrhea.  Brain? Anxiety/fatigue/depression.  Skin? Rashes, It can send you into anaphylaxis, and none of these “allergies” typically show up in routine allergy blood tests.

You are one viral infection away from being just like me, and potentially getting these.

Quarantine for chronically ill people is rough. Like, really rough. The reason is, yeah, it sucks. I've seen the inside of a supermarket three times since March. Like, I miss the goddamn supermarket. Yeah, it sucks I live with other people who are afraid of bringing it home.  But there’s a social aspect to this now: people still don’t know how to deal with chronic illness.  Some people I know tell me I’m “living in fear” and I need to just take risks. This is happening to most people I know that have chronic illness right now. Their friends and family members are telling them they’re just living in fear. Their parents or siblings actively fucking protest wearing masks. People didn’t understand how difficult it was to be chronically sick in America when someone like Obama was president. They understand it even less under Mango Mussolini. 

But there’s another part of this too: we can’t go to doctors. I needed to coordinate my appointments with coronavirus infection rates. I’m lucky. I can wait. Other people can’t wait.  Other people need kidney dialysis. Other people need infusion treatments. Every time they step out the door and go there, they’re taking a risk if there’s some idiot without a mask.  In my case, the most dangerous thing has been not going to the gym and not seeing my physical therapist.  Because my ligaments are weaker than most, my muscles do all the work. Except, now, I haven’t been able to go to the gym and I am losing muscle, and my other issues are experiencing deconditioning. This is extremely painful and making everything else I have worse. And the decline isn’t just me; it’s everyone with any kind of illness that needs routine attention you cannot do at home. And you’d never even know all this if you saw me in person. It’s all invisible.

Be very fucking afraid of coronavirus. I actually had a relative on a ventilator during the beginning of the pandemic. He was on a ventilator for a week and was one of the first people in the United States to receive Remdesivir. His hospital bill was well over a quarter of a million dollars, and he is now dealing with chronic health issues. But beyond that, be very fucking afraid of Amy Coney Barrett and the Republican Party’s desire to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. I’ve paid enough for my healthcare in this capitalist hellscape because I am a cash cow for the medical establishment.

Wear a mask. Wear a mask, so you don’t kill me, your child’s teacher, or your sick friends, or your older relatives. Tell your representatives to fight, so Amy Coney Barrett cannot kill anyone either. Just fight them every way you can. Vote Democrat for the Senate. Do fucking anything to resist them and this party, and I am literally pleading with you. Teachers in poorly ventilated buildings are pleading with you because Trump wouldn’t give blue states federal money and says, “Open the schools.” Your nurses who worked without PPE are pleading with you so they don’t need to die or infect their relatives. Your mailman is pleading with you so he can keep his job and get a pension. Your chronically sick and disabled friends, who are very much a part of society, are pleading with you so they literally are not killed.  

I am one person who has been affected by multiple aspects of this crisis long before it was a fucking crisis and boiled to this point. There are thousands like me, and I am in no way unique. I have been fighting this party since I was a kid and I’m not about to stop, but you need to help me.

Fight for me. 

Fight for you.

Fight for your disabled friends.  

Fight for the coronavirus victims. 

Because if you become like me, you’re fucked along with me. 


10/28/2020

Donald Trump, See You Next Tuesday

Donald Trump is a cunt. He has been a cunt for his entire worthless life. He might not be the most racist president, but he is certainly the cuntiest. He is campaigning by being as cunty as any human being has ever been, buoyed by the barbaric whoops of his crowds of cunts. He surrounds his cuntish self with as many cunts as can fit into whatever space he's in, with his staff of cunts and his cunt family.  He's aided and abetted in his cuntiness by the cunt Republicans in Congress and the cunts in right-wing media who praise him as fulsomely as one might describe a lifeguard who rescued you from a shark. Except that lifeguard is not a cunt and Donald Trump is and he wouldn't lift a finger to save you.

If you've voted already, you know that feeling of hope and anxiety and promise, a suppressed giddiness that is overwhelmed by our 2016 PTSD. You just felt good voting that cunt out of office. It was like you got to say, "Yeah, Donald Trump, you cunt, take that" as you dropped your ballot in the box or the mail. You allowed yourself to imagine how enraged and scared that cunt is gonna be when he loses. If he loses. No, when he loses. 

You don't need any evidence of how much of a cunt Donald Trump is. Every single public appearance is just another occasion for him to be a cunt. Every action he's taken is merely another representation of how he is a supreme cunt. Want one example? His "Proclamation on United Nations Day, 2020" last week spent the bulk of its words on how much more awesome the United States is than the United Nations and included this bit of completely unnecessary cuntishness: "Our recent decision to withdraw from the World Health Organization underscores our firm commitment to hold governmental organizations accountable when they succumb to political influence and fail to uphold their core values." Yeah, he fucking threatened the U.N. How else do you read that? And then he followed that with "The Chinese Government has misled the international community since the outbreak in Wuhan, and the UN must join with the United States in holding China accountable for its actions." Yeah, he issued a fucking ultimatum. In a proclamation celebrating the founding of the U.N. He just had to be a cunt about it for no reason other than to assert that he's a cunt. It's like when he would sue small contractors on his shitty buildings to weasel out of paying them. That's what a cunt does.

And I know he didn't write the proclamation. No president, cunt or not, writes these kinds of things. But they sign them, so they own them, good or cunty. 

Trump's such a cowardly cunt, too. He obviously thinks mask-wearing doesn't work, but when he's confronted on it, he says that he doesn't mind if people wear them instead of saying, "I'm an arrogant cunt who thinks he knows more than scientists." If he asserts that his lies are the truth, like every cunt ever, and he's challenged with facts from interviewers, he says that the questions are "nasty" or "unfair" or "fake news" or he just walks out. Because that's what a cowardly cunt does rather than answer the goddamn question.

In every single speech he has ever given, Trump is a throbbing cunt. He can't help it. To his core, he is a cunt. If you look under his cunt exterior, you'll see a cunt. Take his speech last night in Omaha, Nebraska. It's not just that he lies and preens and performs. It's that he does it with such abandon, just a tubby orange cunt waddling around on stage as if everyone there wants to fuck him (and, to be fair, the gathered cunts likely do). He insists that the size of his COVID crowd is the real measure of how his campaign is going, waving that around like it's a knife he can bury in Joe Biden's chest. And it's not just that he cuntishly, constantly lies about Biden's mental health. He adds an extra cunt layer to it: "His wife was sitting next to him and you could see she was not happy." Yeah, now, it's not just Biden's kid. Trump's dragging Jill Biden into it.

Oh, was that not cunty enough? Here he is on Biden and coronavirus: "Joe Biden will delay the vaccine, postpone therapies, prolong the pandemic, shutter your schools, right? Shutter your schools, destroy your small businesses and shut down our country...Biden’s cruel and senseless lock downs would cause countless deaths from suicide, drug overdose and delayed medical care, alcohol." Trump's actually saying that Biden will actively harm people, which is, of course, the usual Trumpian projection of what his own crimes and failures are, another cunt move. 

But he's not just a cunt about Biden. He's a cunt when describing his supposed accomplishments. Trump took credit for ending the conflict in Kosovo. You know, the one that ended in 1999, with a huge assist by Bill Clinton? In Trump's cuntish telling, it didn't really end until he "helped" make a trade deal between Kosovo and Serbia. He said, cuntily, "They’ve been fighting for 400 years, you want to know the truth, but they’ve been fighting for a long time. They want to make a deal. All of a sudden, two months ago, they’re in the Oval Office hugging and kissing...That was easy. It just makes sense. I just said, “Hey, why don’t we get them together? I mean, we’re going to do these two deals. Tell them to stop fighting, and we save a lot of lives. That’s a good thing.” 

That's just not true. Like so many things with Trump, it was bullshit. First, there isn't "fighting" between the countries. There is tension. There are minor skirmishes. But what Trump did was essentially worthless, a minor move in a trade and border dispute. As Majda Ruge, a Balkans analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations said, "There wasn't really any truly strategic approach or planning on solving the Serbia-Kosovo dispute, rather it was a kind of a PR event that was very important for the campaign."

That was one fuckin' rally, where the cunt didn't give a shit about his cunt followers herding together unmasked for hours at a time. And he gave them license to be their cuntiest selves.

Whatever you want to say about Joe Biden, the one thing you cannot claim is that he's a cunt. He is quite clearly not a cunt because he seems to genuinely give a shit about other people and that's decidedly un-cunty behavior. So it's easy. If you still need to vote, vote for the candidate who isn't a cunt. Send the cunt packing.

See you next Tuesday, Donald Trump. For real.

(Note: Your objection to the word "cunt" is noted.)

(Note 2: Yes, I've seen In Bruges. Martin McDonagh is a great writer.)

10/27/2020

Trump and MAGA Nation Want to Kill You

Let us say, and why not, for the sake of argument, just for a thought experiment, that racism, sexism, and xenophobia weren't the driving factors behind Donald Trump's victory in 2016. Let us say, and, indeed, why not, that we can put aside any arguments about Hillary Clinton or Russian fuckery. Surely we have all wondered, "Why the fuck would anyone vote for a bloated, molesty carnival barker?" And maybe, after seeing everything excluded, it would make sense to conclude that they did it to "own the liberals." 

But what the fuck does that mean in action? The knee-jerk response is that Trump voters (the "they" here) believe we Trump haters think we're smarter than them and that, generally, we think we're better than them, which, to be fair, we are. (I'm not being glib. Objectively, if you are a Trump voter, you are a worse human than me.)

I wanna go further here. Lemme give you a theory, some dime store sociology: They hate us because we're right and we've been right all along. We're right about getting health insurance to more people being a good thing. We're right about climate change harming us. We're right about racism. Hell, Barack Obama allowing the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy to expire didn't murder the economy; it helped with the recovery, as did big government investment in infrastructure and rescuing states. Every fucking thing they were told was going to be a disaster turned out to be fine. And everything they were told was fine, like the COVID response, has turned out to be a disaster. 

How right were we? Go back to the same sex marriage debate. Pre-2015 Obergefell decision, a large number of conservatives were predicting the end of "traditional" marriage and all manner of supposed societal downfalls. What happened in the years after Obergefell? Marriage rates rose and divorce rates fell. And now, over 5 years later, a huge majority of the country supports the rights of two dudes or two chicks to get married. And we haven't legalized polygamy or marriage to animals. (Although, to be sure, there are backwards ass evangelicals and savage conservatives who still hate them some queers, and some of them are on the Supreme Court now.)

So when you're confronted with facts that show that all the shit you've been injecting into your brain for decades is just wrong and the people who you were told were nation-destroying, soy-sucking animal fuckers are right, you've got a few options. You can accept you were wrong and change. But, goddamnit, your entire identity is based on all that shit. So your other options are various levels of denial. You can just say, "Fuck you" and ignore reality and cling to your lies. Or you can jack up that noise and declare, "Not only do I not accept reality, but you eat babies!" Or you can declare that you wanna fuckin' murder those smug fucks for the crime of being right about all the things you thought you were right about. 

Like I said, it's a thought experiment. Chances are, it's just racism, sexism, and xenophobia covered with a secret sauce of stupidity, with a glaze of Christian extremism jizzed on the top. Although, you know, one of Donald Trump's biggest grievances is that he was never accepted into a kind of bourgeois elite in Manhattan he craved to be part of, that he was too boorish and awful (which he was, although they weren't much better), and he developed a healthy hatred of rich liberals because they didn't invite him to their parties. He always wanted to get those fuckers back for their rejection of him.

To bring this into our current situation, what we see in Trump and his voters is a proud anti-intellectual and anti-science ignorance, either willful or learned. And if you don't believe in something like doctors telling you what the fuck to do when a virus is spreading, you're not gonna believe in a whole lot of other shit, like, say, the rules and laws when it comes to elections.

Ultimately, if they can't beat us fair and square, then they will cheat. And if they can't win by cheating, they will kill us. To my mind, that's where we stand as a country right now. Everyone in professional political punditry knows that if the election were held in a way that protected voting rights instead of disenfranchising people in any way Republicans can dick over voters, the GOP would never win a presidential election and would be a permanent minority in the Congress. That's something else that we're right about, and it scares the fucking daylights out of them. It's gotta be stopped, just like the diminishing powers of whiteness and maleness have to be halted, according their worldview. They face being stripped of power, and they'd rather shoot the horse than hand over the reins.

What are we to make of the White House Science Office's declaration today that Trump is responsible for "ending the pandemic" as cases reach an all-time high and hospitals are becoming overwhelmed again? What are we to make of Trump's Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, saying, plainly, that "We are not going to control the virus" and that we just need to tough it out, or "learn to live with it," until there are treatments and a vaccine? What are we to make of Trump's constant threats against Democratic governors and mayors to withhold coronavirus aid? What are we to make of a Supreme Court that is likely to overturn Roe v. Wade and, even though there is no reason to rule this way, toss out the Affordable Care Act and gut environmental regulations? 

All of these things will end up killing people. Not having a national plan to deal with COVID even 10 months after it appeared will cause so much more death. Refusing to give relief funds to Democrat-run areas will cause more death. The end of Roe will cause more deaths of women. The end of the Affordable Care Act will cause a great many more deaths. And failure to address climate change will one day cause cataclysmic levels of death. It's a banal evil, less obvious than sending troops into the streets, although that's not off the table. 

All of this is possible not only because of vile leadership and craven voters who are unable to handle reality, but because they want to destroy those who state what reality is. 

If this seems a bit over the top, good. That's the level of prepared you need to be for what's going to happen after the voting is over on November 3. Barring a sudden eruption of rationality among Republicans now that they have gotten their cruel Supreme Court pound of flesh, there is no way that Trump doesn't sue for every perceived minor infraction in voting. That motherfucker sues more than a jerk who makes money by pretending to get hit by cars. There is no way that they don't try to get the Supreme Court to junk the whole election and declare him the victor. 

It's gonna be a hell of a battle between fantasy and reality. And I don't know how it ends. I just know that I wanna be ready to hit the streets, if need be. Hopefully with millions of us.

10/23/2020

Biden Wipes Trump's Cards Off the Table

Last night's presidential debate at Christian institution Belmont University in Nashville, TN, was notable for President Donald Trump calmly lying and being an asshole for the whole thing. Sure, he wasn't a bellowing shit-blower like he was in the first debate, where he desperately tried and failed through sheer belligerent motherfuckery to provoke Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden into a pique of confusion and alleged dementia. But just because you speak calmly when you lie and act assholish doesn't mean you're not still a lying asshole. Hannibal Lecter may sound erudite and even-tempered, but he's still gonna gut you.

And it would be easy to write another goddamn post about Trump's inhumanity towards suffering people. I mean, c'mon, he treats the number of people dead and sick from coronavirus as if its sole purpose is to fuck with his poll numbers and prove his happy talk about "rounding the corner" on it to be bullshit. On top of that, he mocked Biden for saying he cares about average Americans; Trump dismissed the 545 migrant children who may never be reunited with the parents they were ripped from by touting how nice they have it: "They are so well taken care of. They’re in facilities that were so clean;" and he said that only "low I.Q." asylum-seekers came back for their hearings, as if following the law was only for the stupid. It was truly, truly psychopathic.

And it would be easy to write another goddamn post about how Trump lies with the kind of enthusiastic glee of a masturbating bonobo and point out all the lies, big and small. Or to write about how he seemed to think that everyone in the country gobbles Breitbart jizz like his eager mouth when, truly, most of the viewers must have listened to him talk about Hunter Biden and payoffs from China to Joe Biden and laptops and emails and thought, "What the fuck is this?" Or about how Trump's racism was on clear display with examples like him saying he hadn't heard of Black Lives Matter until he heard an incendiary anti-cop chant (that BLM leaders immediately put a stop to) and that discredits them?

All of that is out there for ready exploitation and lots more jizz jokes. 

Instead, lemme talk about Biden and what he did in what was a much sharper debate performance. Honestly, Biden's gotten stronger as the campaign has worn on, so whatever the hell he's doing in his basement, as Trump and conservative media get off on saying, seems to be working. He wiped out notions about him being a pitiful old man with cognitive decline (yes, he's still 77 and all of us when we get older forget names and shit. Jesus, just yesterday I forgot the name of a close friend when talking about him), and he wiped the floor with Trump on so many things.

Take, for instance, on the simple issue of compassion. Biden not only did his usual speaking to the camera to speak to average Americans watching (which is theatrical, of course, but no more so than Trump's fake "I'm not a politician" schtick), but he offered an understanding of so many different kinds of American pain. "The fact of the matter is, there is institutional racism in America. And we have always said, we’ve never lived up to it, that we hold these truths to be self-evident, all men and women are created equal," Biden said after talking about what Black parents and their kids have to go through when it comes to dealing with cops. Biden also found sympathy for people who live near polluting chemical and oil plants, saying that he lived near them when he was a teen in Delaware and "That’s why so many people in my state were dying and getting cancer." 

But more importantly than anything else, Biden demonstrated clearly that he just simply gets what is most prominent on Americans' minds: how savagely fucked the nation has been by both COVID-19 and Trump's response to it. He talked about the constant flow of false promises and bullshit hopes from Trump: "The fact is that when we knew it was coming, when it hit, what happened? What did the President say? He said, 'Don’t worry. It’s going to go away. It’ll be gone by Easter. Don’t worry. Warm weather. Don’t worry'...even today, he thinks we are in control. We’re about to lose 200,000 more people." And Biden laid out quite clearly everything that needs to be done, the funding that schools and businesses will need, the reliance on science when it comes to potential shutdowns, and more. All of sudden, in the midst of one of the worst pandemics in human history, a potential American leader said to the current one, "Yeah, you can have a fuckin' plan, numbnuts." Instead, Trump keeps bumblefucking us into the dark winter ahead that he denies will happen.

Biden also just had some great lines last night. There was the Abraham Lincoln line and flatly saying about Trump, "He doesn’t understand this" about those poor people living in areas dangerous to their health and "We’re going to choose science over fiction." While Biden may not be as far left as we want him on health care yet, it was genuinely bold and progressive of him to state what is obvious on handling climate change: Oil is done and we need to transition out of it and into cleaner sources, where there will be a fuck-ton of jobs. Challenged by Trump on it in his bullying way with "That's a big statement," Biden didn't back down. "It is a big statement," he said. "Because the oil industry pollutes, significantly...it has to be replaced by renewable energy over time, over time, and I’d stopped giving to the oil industry, I’d stop giving them federal subsidies." As the man said, this is a big fucking deal, and you're gonna hear about this the rest of the campaign from Trump, as if Biden isn't absolutely right about oil.

Ultimately, Biden won because Trump played every fucking card he had - the supposed scandal (that was debunked by the Wall Street Journal today), that Biden's a puppet to Sanders or "AOC plus three" (which is such a fucking dumb phrase), that he,Trump, did everything he could on COVID, that Biden would tank the economy that's already tanked - and Biden just swept them off the table. He didn't even play the game of attacking Trump's family, which he could have done so simply as Trump attacked his. 

Biden seemed like the goddamn president last night. And, holy fuck, it would be nice to have one again. 

10/20/2020

Note to Republicans: No One Gives a Shit About Hunter Biden's Business Deals

Yeah, Republicans and their right-wing media co-conspirators have tried to desperately rub the limp stories of the business dealings of Joe Biden's son, Hunter, into a full-on scandal erection, but that dick won't fuck this time. And it's frankly shocking considering the record that the GOP has in fluffing flaccid fairy tales into career-killing crisis cum. Just in recent years, you've had the Swift Boat Vets lies about John Kerry. And you had the decades of utter nonsense about Hillary Clinton, Travelgate to Benghazi to But Her Emails. 

Encouragingly, no one is falling for it this time. And that's a tribute to a few things.

See, Republicans succeed on this shit only when everything is going fine for most of the voting public (or at least enough of them to give the GOP the presidency and one or both houses of Congress). When, like at the end of the Obama administration or, arguably, the end of the Bill Clinton administration, the economy was swimming along nicely and things were relatively peaceful-ish in the world as far as it affected the United States, there's a sort of a mid-life crisis mindset in Americans, and a fear of complacency comes in, along with a bourgeois desire to upend everything for some fake notion of different being better. So we're more susceptible to the flaming shit bags that conservatives start leaving at our doors and that's part of the reason Republicans get elected president.

The sex scandals didn't kill Bill Clinton's campaign in 1992 because the country was tumbling into recession at the end of HW Bush's term. The birther racism didn't lay much of a glove on Barack Obama in 2008 because the country was on the edge of financial ruin and was in two wars that we wanted the fuck out of, among other shit. Now we're teetering on a depression, the federal government is actively making the pandemic worse and flat out murdering Americans, poverty and hunger are rising, domestic political violence is becoming more likely, and shit's just gone mad. Do you really think anyone but Trump's saddest and stupidest voters (and assorted, self-anointed purity lefties) honestly gives a single rat turd about whether or not Hunter Biden got a job because his dad was Vice President? 

But, like a blind drunk asshole frantically trying to jack his cock into a semi-chub so he can bang the first one-nighter he's gotten back to his place since the coronavirus hit, it's just pathetic and a waste of everyone's time, but that's not gonna stop Trump from making that his closing argument for his reelection: that Joe Biden is a criminal who profited from Hunter's deals. And since the Ukraine/Burisma stuff didn't stick, they're also going with something something China because they get to make it sound extra-scary. As campaign chair Bill Stepien wrote in a whiny letter to the debate commission, "Biden himself was mentioned as a financial beneficiary of a deal arranged by his son Hunter and a communist Chinese-related energy company."

One glance at the Trump campaign website, which I won't be linking to because fuck them, and you see article after article about Hunter Biden and China, about Hunter Biden's alleged laptop, about Hunter Biden and Ukraine (which, if you'll remember, Trump was impeached for going all mob boss to coerce Ukraine's president to cough up fake dirt on the Bidens), and more. You know what you don't find on the website? A single fucking idea for what Trump would do in a second term. 

With the Hunter Biden bullshit (and let's not even get into the bizarro fixation on mocking Biden's son's drug addiction, where it's like the GOP is trying to drive him into a relapse), Republicans have fallen into the Democratic scandal trap. See, if Democrats had impeached Trump for his mistreatment of migrants or his profiting off his presidency, that shit's easy to understand. "Here's a kid being torn from his mother who she'll never see again" is pretty fuckin' easily comprehended. Instead, they went with the complex machinations of Trump's relationship with Ukraine and the way disinformation spreads. Yeah, it was fucked up and Trump should be in jail. But the public didn't fucking care enough. Usually Republicans come up with scandals that are perfect for a bumper sticker and about as deep. This time, there's nuance, and no one's got time for nuance.

(Note: To reiterate, "no one" means "no one who hasn't permanently stapled themselves to Trump's ass.")

No one gives a fuck about China's investments in companies Hunter Biden worked for. And it goes further than that. No one really gives a fuck about the other shit Trump's tried to throw at Biden. Court-packing? Why the fuck should anyone think about that when they're trying not to die or lose their jobs? Higher taxes? Motherfucker, we're out here wondering if we need to hoard toilet paper and canned soup again to get a jump on the inevitable lockdown. We're wondering what the fuck we're gonna do with our kids' schooling when we can't afford wifi anymore. And Trump's out here talking about how mean the press is to him and toilets don't flush right for him. Who gives a fuck? The world's burning and Biden might actually try to put it out instead of pissing gasoline on it. That's all that matters.

And, yes, yes, it has to be said again, yes, another big fucking reason GOP fuckery isn't working now when it worked on Hillary is because 25 years of nonstop defamation, of dragging her for trying to get people health care or support women's rights, of seeking to destroy her for no reason other than to see if you can, of punishing her for daring to be a presidential nominee without a dick, aided and abetted by a media that has been contorted into a repetitive commentary stream because of Fox "news," yeah, all that worked. So we're on the verge of fucked beyond fucked not because of Russian disinformation, but because of homegrown motherfuckers in the media making it so that people believed Russian disinformation because it confirmed suspicious shit they had been told over and over on CNN and in the New York Times

Biden doesn't have that burden. He doesn't have that burden with the American people. And, more especially, he doesn't have that with the American press. It's sexist as fuck, but it's there. Trump thought he could run the same play as 2016, but the narrative that has finally taken hold is that Biden is worth the effort to unite and, with our votes, say, "Nah, not this time." And also, "It's really pretty fucked that you're making a big deal about a candidate's son. Wanna talk about your kids?"

Look, anything can happen come Election Day. Shit's so unpredictable now and we were burned so badly in 2016 that we're not allowing optimism to lead to complacency. Right now, Trump is like a torpedoed ship lurching to get to port before it sinks.  He's gonna dump his munitions to save himself. But I feel pretty confident that all he's got are duds. 

Except for voter suppression. That's what might fuck shit up.