9/22/2020

The One Question for Republicans: What's Your Plan for When the ACA Is Gone?

I may just be a filthy writer with a fondness for sodomy references and scatological humor and not some fancy, overpaid media consultant, but if I were making ads for the Biden campaign or for any of the Democrats in Senate races, they'd be total tearjerkers dealing with how shit-covered Republicans want to fuck us in the ass over health insurance.

I'll give you bones for three spots. You want more? Fuckin' hire me.

1. Find someone who is 27 years-old who successfully beat cancer in their 20s. Get them to talk about how the only way they did that is because the Affordable Care Act kept them on their parent's health insurance until age 26. They can talk about how they would probably be dead if Trump and the GOP had their way, but, instead, they are happy, healthy, and have a job/family. They can also talk about how their cancer is a pre-existing condition now. And, of course, vote for Biden or the Democrat running for Senate.

2. Find a couple in a red state that expanded its Medicaid program under the ACA. Maybe in Montana or, for extra oomph, Kentucky. Get them to talk about all the medical conditions they got taken care of. Again, talk about how they might have been dead if Republicans had repealed the ACA. Instead, they're working and/or enjoying their kids/grandkids. Let them talk about how, if the Supreme Court gets rid of the ACA, shit will fall apart for them.

3. Find a family with a kid or two who had COVID-19, now suffering with the long-term impact, which we're only learning about, really. Have them talk about the struggle, how their insurance thankfully covers it, but how, if the ACA is overturned, the lung and other issues COVID leaves behind will now be pre-existing conditions that will affect those kids when they try to get insurance for the rest of their lives.

Tag line for all of them? "What's your plan for me, (insert Republican shitheel here)?"

Few things fucking freak people out more than the idea that they're gonna lose their health insurance. Republicans need to be made to own the fact that if the Supreme Court overturns the entire Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional, millions of Americans will lose their health insurance in an instant. Everyone on the Medicaid expansion, all 12-14 million, will no longer be on it. The millions of 20somethings covered by their parents up to 26? On their own. Everyone with an Obamacare policy? Nope, that's shitcanned. You got a pre-existing condition? Fuck you. You need expensive treatments for years? Fuck you, too. Caps are back, motherfuckers. 

That shit is all on Republicans. And Democrats, who finally embraced the ACA during the 2018 midterms after years of seeming to apologize for helping people stay alive and healthy, have gotta shove that down Republicans' throats until they choke. 

And one way to do that is to ask, again and again, "What's your fuckin' plan? You keep saying you're gonna protect people with pre-existing conditions. What's the fuckin' plan?" Same thing for any time Trump flaps his sphincter lips and says that he's going to provide better insurance at a lower cost or whatever he's lying about now. You got a plan, dick? Show it. No, not in two weeks. Not in a month. Not if you're reelected. Right fucking now. Because if you can't show the fuckin' plan right fuckin' now, you don't have a fuckin' plan.

Even if they toss out there the totally bullshit high-risk pools or low-cost, low-coverage plans, it will fall far short of covering everyone the ACA covers. Essentially, Trump will be handing people with pre-existing conditions over to the insurance companies so they can have their way with them, which, really, seems par for the course for President Friend of Epstein. The real truth is they have no plan because they don't fucking care. They don't want to show that government can do good for Americans, especially for poor and middle-class Americans.

This is a winning issue for Democrats. They need to fuckin' brutalize Republicans with it and force them to weakly mew about "freedom" as they stand atop a pile of coronavirus corpses so high we can actually see it all around the country, no matter how much Trump tries to block the bodies from view.

(Lemme add one quick, vaguely optimistic thought here, though. I am leaning towards the idea that the Supreme Court, even with whatever fucked-up tool they put in to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, won't overturn the ACA. See, the last time a SCOTUS decision was made on it, the law wasn't fully implemented. Yes, it got rid of the Medicaid expansion mandate, but the rest was left in place. Even with the case being about the individual mandate penalty being zeroed out, I just don't see Roberts or, no, really, Kavanaugh voting to take health care away from tens of millions of people. I am definitely not the only one to say this. But I think it's a distinct possibility that we'd be looking at a 5-4 or even 6-3 to preserve the ACA. 

Now, Roe v. Wade is fucked, as are a whole bunch of other civil rights protections. But on this one, I hold out the barest of hopes.)

(Note 2: Yes, you are very smart and right that the ACA is inferior to Medicare for All. But Obamacare's what we've got, so Obamacare is where the fight is right now.)

9/19/2020

Blaming 2016 Voters for the Supreme Court Is Worthless

Last night, right after I checked my phone after a joyful happy hour with friends on a rooftop bar, my buzz disappeared and I went immediately from chilled out to furnace-on-full-blast rage and gut-churning sadness about the death of Supreme Court Justice and genuine giant of American jurisprudence Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I thought about how I wanted to get on Twitter and savage anyone on the left who didn't vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016. I wanted to blame them for everything that will come from a Supreme Court that is firmly conservative. I wanted to go on a tear about people who didn't vote at all, as well as those who voted Green Party. I was gonna get all righteous about it, telling everyone to fuck off who blamed Hillary Clinton as a candidate. 

Then on the walk home I started to think about Trump voters and how fucking furious I was at them for being so fucking shitty and dumb. They're to blame, too, I thought, and to let them off the hook if the Affordable Care Act or Roe v. Wade or Obergfell or Brown v. Board of Education is overturned is to not treat them like the fucking shitty adults they are. Yeah, I thought. They own it. 

And then I started thinking about others that deserved blame. Yes, obviously, mob boss Mitch McConnell and the hypocritical Republican capos in the Senate, but others, like former Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is generally a dickhead conservative but swung left on a number of key issues and who retired under dubious circumstances at best, were swinging through my intensely pumping brain. Hell, what about Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Senate Democrats who didn't go to war with McConnell and the GOP over blocking the nomination of Merrick Garland in 2016 because they all anticipated Clinton would win and that McConnell would just play ball then, as if Republicans were ever going to allow Antonin Scalia to be replaced with a liberal justice.

But that wasn't enough. I started to get angry about all the Democratic voters who stayed home in 2014 and allowed Republicans to take over the Senate. I was pissed at those who allowed Republicans to gain seats in 2010. And, again, at Republican voters who are so filled with religious and culture war bullshit that they vote against their own good. And on and on.

By then, I remembered that 2016 didn't happen in a vacuum, that everything wasn't hunky-dory and then Susan Sarandon tweeted something mean and it ended up fucking over this country for generations to come. I will always blame Al Gore for everything that came after he punked out on fighting for his election in 2000, including Justices Alito and Roberts. I will always blame the media for allowing 25 years of Hillary Clinton hatred to become the narrative about one of the most qualified people ever to run for president. I will always blame Joe Biden for fucking up the Clarence Thomas hearings and not allowing other women to speak against that skeevy motherfucker. 

It never ends once you start this questioning. It goes back to the creation of the Senate, and the failure to amend the Constitution to deal with the fundamental unfairness that goddamn Wyoming has as much representation as California in that body. It goes back to the Electoral College, too, that brings us to the point where a president elected with a minority of the popular vote will have selected a third of the Supreme Court with the votes of senators who represent a minority of the citizens of the country. 

When I got back to my joint, I realized that I was done with 2016. Yes, it shouldn't have happened. Yes, it's enraging. But lots of shit shouldn't have happened or should have been changed, and it's fucking all enraging. Welcome to being an engaged citizen. We should learn from all of it, including, for Democrats, how to fucking fight when your opponent doesn't give a fuck about the rules of combat. But 2016 was four years ago. Fuck 2016.

So instead I tweeted about 2020, which I think you have every right to be pissed off and energized about. It's simple. If you don't vote for Biden, you have damned us. If you don't realize that, you are the problem, whether you're a Trump voter, a leftier-than-thou voter, or a non-voter. 

I don't give a fuck if you think Biden needs to earn your vote. He's earned it by being not-Trump. If you don't see that, fuck you. And I don't give a fuck if you don't like Biden. I don't fucking like Biden (see above). But I give a shit about my country. I give a shit about everyone who is gonna be fucked for good if Democrats don't completely take over. You know what the right thing is. Don't fucking delude yourself into thinking otherwise. Your vote has consequences. Act like it does.

This isn't about what you did in the past. It's about what you do now. I'm gonna vote for Biden because I don't suck. We have a shit-ton of work to do. It doesn't even get started until we get Trump out of there.

(Note: "Vote-shaming" is a bullshit phrase that people use when they don't like being told their vote is wrong. If you don't want to be challenged for your vote, don't say who you intend to vote for or not vote for.)

(Note: I do not have news alerts or Twitter alerts on my phone. It's what allows me to enjoy an evening before seeing that the shit world has turned shittier.)

9/18/2020

Trump to Over Half of America: You're Not Americans

One reason that Donald Trump ignored the COVID-19 pandemic in the early phases was because it was primarily affecting blue states. He saw an opportunity to punish the places that didn't vote for him, and he decided to let them suffer. It's likely that he thought the rest of the country would be marginally affected, and when the virus spread in the way that every legitimate medical expert said it would spread, it was too late to close the Pandora's box he had opened. Rather than admit error and change strategies, Trump merely did the bare minimum to make it look like he wasn't the accessory to murder that he was. And is. 

Now, after saying it in one of his meaningless press briefings, Trump has made it a line in his cut-rate Nazi rallies: remove the states that didn't vote for him from the count of COVID cases and deaths, and he's saved the country. As he said in his Wisconsin speech last night, "But if you want to really see a great job, take New York and some of these other Democrat run states out of it." 

Putting aside the absurdity of the remark - as comedian Laurie Kilmartin put it, "Hurricane Sally has not flooded a single American city if you only look at the Blue States" - and putting aside that, even by that measure, the United States would still have one of the worst records when it comes to the coronavirus, think for a moment about a president saying that deaths and disease in half the country shouldn't matter as much. Think about the cruelty of it, yes, but think about the rank dismissal of even the people who voted for Trump in those states. Think about what that says about how this president, this administration, these Republicans view us. 

Essentially, Trump has been saying that we're not Americans, that we are intruders in his country, the one that worships him and believes every word he says and despises anyone who claims he's wrong and a failure. 

When Attorney General and Man Most Likely to Be Mistaken for a Mound of Moldy Mashed Potatoes William Barr told a group of prosecutors to consider charging allegedly violent protesters with sedition or with plotting to overthrow the government, it was clearly an effort to squelch dissent for the left and to make protest synonymous with treason. Violent right-wingers who have moved to challenge authorities as an armed force haven't been charged in that way. In Oregon, in the midst of the fires, armed vigilantes created road blocks to stop those they thought were Antifa looters. They weren't arrested for essentially imprisoning every single person they forced to pull over at gunpoint. 

The rhetoric Trump is using toward anyone slightly left of Violently Racist is getting increasingly unhinged, frantic, and dangerous. I've been watching politicians rant about socialists and liberals taking over since at least Ronald Reagan (who, as we constantly need to remind everyone, was terrible). It's a tradition in right-wing politics to fearmonger about how leftists will force you to use the American flag as toilet paper while making your lily-white daughters breed with non-whites and give birth to mongrels while taking all your money to give to lazy poor people. In some ways, Trump is giving morons the SparkNotes version of the entire history of anti-liberal lies. "If Biden wins, the mob wins. If Biden wins, the rioters, anarchists, arsonists, and flag burners," he said last night and at other times, tossing every buzzword from the 1920s to the 1990s into the pot. Meanwhile, the people who attend his rallies are "loyal, hard-working American patriots." In other words, you can't be a patriot if you don't support him. You can't love your country unless you love him. 

Yesterday, in his culture war speech that was really straight out of the 1980s and Allan Bloom's Closing of the American Mind, Trump said, "Whether it is the mob on the street, or the cancel culture in the boardroom, the goal is the same: to silence dissent, to scare you out of speaking the truth, and to bully Americans into abandoning their values, their heritage, and their very way of life." He called an approach to learning about the nation "tyranny." He attacked the 1619 Project, Howard Zinn, and critical race theory, three things you can pretty much be guaranteed he knows nothing about. And he proclaimed that a commission would be formed to come up with a whitewashed history curriculum. In the most absurd of the many absurd parts of the speech, Trump said, "The left-wing rioting and mayhem are the direct result of decades of left-wing indoctrination in our schools," as if school boards in Mississippi are forcing the teaching of critical race theory. 

But this is part of what Trump is attempting to do: all things must be filtered through his perspective, the one that refuses to recognize that this nation makes mistakes, sometimes huge ones, like slavery, like internment camps, like the wars against organized labor, like intentionally allowing people to die from a virus.

I have come to believe that Trump and his lackeys want us on the left, and even you in the center, dead, imprisoned, or thrown out of the country. He wants us erased and eliminated unless we get with the program of Trump-worship, which is the only thing that can show you love the United States. Let's remember that Trump has mused about issuing an executive order ending birthright citizenship and some right-wingers have approvingly said he could do that. The thing is that his supporters would love that idea, although it might make them sad that they didn't get to shoot us.

And if you don't think that's possible in a potential second term for Trump, well, I'll walk up to you at the re-education camp and say, "I told you so."

9/15/2020

Trump in a Battle to the Death (Our Deaths, Not His) with Science

The next governor who doesn't want Donald Trump to have one of his experimental virus incubator rallies should insist that they'll allow it on one condition: Trump has to descend from the podium and greet people. No fucking mask. No fucking gloves. He has to walk among the unwashed, untested, unsafe masses and inhale their stench and, possibly, their disease. That's it. You do that, motherfucker, and you go right on and encourage your followers to play death-virus roulette.

But he won't. And one big reason for that is because he knows. He fucking well knows that that's begging for his obese, high blood pressure, mini-stroked comorbidity-ridden ass to get COVID. He knows. That's the thing that's clear from Trump's conversations with Bob Woodward: he fucking knows that the science is right, just like he fucking knew that his charity was a scam and like he fucking knew that his fake-ass university was just another way to con the yokels desperate to get some of that grifter's glow to shine on them. He knew and he pretended otherwise. Did you ever drink his vodka? I did. It tasted like it was Putin's taint sweat filtered through Trump's diaper. But he lied about it endlessly, even charged a premium for it. It didn't matter that it was objectively terrible in an ugly bottle.

And here's the other thing someone should challenge Trump on: If he doesn't think climate change is real or something that requires action now, then he should stop trying to get a sea wall built for his Ireland golf resort. See, a consulting firm for the Trump Organization, in a 2016 application for permission to, yes, build the wall, "explicitly cites global warming and its consequences — increased erosion due to rising sea levels and extreme weather this century — as a chief justification for building the structure." Just this past March, the sea wall proposal was rejected by an Irish national planning board because it would fuck up the natural dunes near the resort.

See, the filthy fucking secret all along has been that Trump and, indeed, most conservatives don't believe the anti-science bullshit. They know climate change is real and happening. What they do believe is in exploiting the yahoos in order to get power to enrich themselves and their corporate masters. And the best way to get tax cuts for the wealthy is to get the masses you've made ignorant to vote their ignorance. So, sure, Skeeter, keep your guns and fuck the masks. Just make sure you vote for Mitch McConnell before you succumb to the 'rona.

(Note: Of course, there are completely delusional elected motherfuckers, like Louie Gohmert, whose brains said, "Yeah, fuck this. I'm outta here" a long time ago. And that growing contingent is the dragon burning the Republicans' village.)

So yesterday, when Trump sat with his dullard's stare at a roundtable in California to talk about the massive wildfires, he was told by that state's Secretary for Natural Resources, Wade Crowfoot, "You may have learned that we broke a world record in the Death Valley, 130 degrees, but even in greater LA, 120-plus degrees, and we’re seeing this warming trend make our summers warmer, but also our winters warmer as well."

That seems to be what Trump was responding to when he said, "Okay. It’ll start getting cooler," as if, no shit, we know winter is real. And when Crowfoot said, "I wish science agreed with you," Trump answered like a stubborn toddler who insists that there are monsters under the bed no matter how many times Mom checks, "Well, I don’t think science knows."

Science fucking knows. Science has known for a long time. Science probably did another shot from the fifth of cheap whiskey it was downing and yelled, "What the fuck do you know, motherfucker, huh?" Science has been falling asleep in a pool of its own vomit lately. Hard to blame it.

At his endless campaign speeches during his western jaunt, Trump mocked science at every turn. He laughed at Joe Biden having social distancing at his speeches: "Do you ever see him with his little circles? The circle? You know why he puts the circles? Because he wants to be like correct with COVID." Then he said it was really because Biden can't get anyone to go to his rallies, putting aside the fact that Biden hasn't held any big, open rallies since the country shutdown because he actually gives a fuck if people die. 

But I don't wanna give Trump too much credit for merely being duplicitous, for telling the public one thing while saying something else in private. It is equally likely that Trump's fucking dumb and said the shit he said to Woodward because that's the last thing someone told him before he picked up the phone. Besides, it doesn't matter what he really thinks. It doesn't matter what any of the Republican motherfuckers really believe because their actions show that they simply don't give a happy monkey fuck about us.

Several times in the last few days, Trump made the assertion that "You go to Europe and different places in Europe, countries where they’re forest countries, and they’re very, very strong on management and they don’t have a problem" and that places like Austria have "forest cities," like they're filled with goddamn Ewoks or something. Perhaps, but Europe has had really fucking bad fires for the last few years. It just so happens not to be as bad this year. But in 2017, 2018, and 2019, things sucked. Sweden had its worst year ever in 2018. Spain had a shit time last year. I know. I was fucking there, hearing the fire warnings, watching planes dropping chemicals over the burning areas. 

Even today, Trump would not answer a direct question about whether he believes climate change is a hoax, answering, "Well, I think you have people that don't want to address China." (By the way, China's seen an increase in wildfires, too. Man, we really need more forest rakers.)

All I can think is that Trump can't acknowledge that anyone has expertise other than him. To do so would puncture the godlike status he has with his idiot hordes. If you've got people out there who are forming vigilante blockades and staying to guard their belongings because they think Antifa is going to come into their fire-fucked town to loot their houses, and if you've got people practically rioting because they think wearing masks is an enormous, anti-freedom burden, something is seriously fucking haywire. 

Which is exactly what Trump and Republicans want. 

9/11/2020

9/11 Unity Is a Fond Remembrance from the Past That Never Happened

Look, far be it from me to shit all over your 9/11 unity circle jerk, but let's stop fucking pretending that we all held hands and sang, "Give Peace a Chance" after the terrorist attacks of that day.

At best, most of us on the left held our breath and waited to see if George W. Bush would fuck up the response. We were not optimistic that the dumb motherfucker who had spent a good chunk of his first 8 months in office praying about whether or not to allow stem cell research, passing a tax cut for the rich, and creating an office for "faith-based" programs was all of a sudden gonna put class and culture wars aside to bring us together as a nation. We were not pleasantly surprised. Once the path Bush was gonna take was clear, we knew he'd fuck it up like he had fucked up nearly every business he had ever run. Except now he had a good cover story.

Yeah, Bush paid lip service to not mistreating Muslims, but it was while at the same time his military was rounding up random Muslims in Afghanistan and Pakistan and shipping them to be tortured in black ops sites until finally opening up our own torture center at Guantanamo Bay. And it didn't stop law enforcement in different areas of the country, especially up here in the NYC area, from randomly arresting Muslims and subjecting them to interrogations and beatings. It didn't stop a range of assholes from firebombing mosques and attacking Muslims and discriminating against them, the Islamophobia taking over mass culture and the news media.

Oh, no, but we were all together, we're told. President Bush had a 250% approval rating or some such shit, as if people who are hurting aren't going to cling to each other. But if I'm telling the truth here, when Bush gave his speech down in the pit in NYC and announced that the world was going to hear from us, I felt embarrassed because of how overwrought it was, and I felt afraid because the attack was a crime, a massive one to be sure, and I knew we were gonna treat it like an act of war, with everything that would follow. When Timothy McVeigh blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City, we didn't go into battle with right-wing fucknuts. The same approach should have been taken with the religious fucknuts involved in the 9/11 attacks. 

We were unified, yes, in one thing: in remembering the dead. We could hold vigils to honor them. Hell, I put together a concert/fundraiser at my college that had everything from the local orchestra to punk rock to poetry readings. We recorded our stories of 9/11 and sent them to the Library of Congress. That was the glue that could bind us, the remnants of the burned and dissolved and exploded bodies, the way we all watched them die.

We were not unified on politicizing the dead. Democrats were degraded and bullied into becoming co-conspirators in the War on Terror. Look at the way in which, for years after, any slight deviation from an absolutist mindset on war and torture was treated as seditious and exploited by vile conservative cockheads like the now-revered Rick Wilson to destroy Democrats who dared to say, "Wait, maybe we should think about what we're doing here." Republicans claimed 9/11 for themselves because it helped cover up that it happened on the watch of a president from their party, and they sure as fuck weren't going to let Democrats get away with blaming him for his utter failure to stop it, even though he had been warned.

What is this unity they're talking about? Republicans took unity and fed it to the pigs, forcing through the Department of Homeland Security so we could have mass surveillance of Americans, calling anyone a traitor who wasn't onboard with the march to two worthless, endless wars, and allowing and encouraging the Bush administration to take steps that increased terrorism and hatred of the United States throughout the world, all while spending us and tax cutting us into oblivion.

Don't fucking talk to me about unity when voices who tried to tell us that what we were doing in response was bullshit were silenced in all but the leftiest of media. Don't fucking tell me how everyone cared for each other. We mourned, yes, as people do when someone dies. But as soon as the funerals were over, Republicans decided that unity only meant doing what they said and fuck you if you try to stop them.

That's what I remember about the post-9/11 United States: a feeling of isolation as my country descended into a madness that it has never recovered from. 

9/09/2020

The President Is Our Mass Murderer

Sometimes, oh, my sweet, weary people of Donald Trump's America, it feels like we're sailing in skiffs on a sea of shit and some of us believe we can get across the shit sea to shore and some of us believe that we're gonna sink but we all know we're damned to keep sailing as wave after wave of shit keeps hitting us, and every time we dare to hope that we've seen the worst shit wave, that perhaps we'll get a break and just sail as smoothly as possible through a shit sea, a fucking massive turd wave in a shit storm appears on the horizon and we've gotta batten down the hatches and ride this one out, even though we know that in the best possible circumstances, we'll get over or through but still coated in shit.

What does it change that we now have Trump on audio telling reporter Bob Woodward that he knew back in early February that COVID-19 was airborne and dangerous, far worse, in his own words, than a "strenuous flu"? What does it change that we now can hear Trump say that he downplayed the virus to the public on purpose? In some ways, obviously, it changes nothing. It doesn't bring back the dead. It doesn't rebuild the lives shattered by the shutdown economy. It doesn't really make us understand Trump any more than we already did. We know that he is the motherfuckingest motherfucker anyone has ever met. We know that he was deliberately avoiding action on coronavirus until the mounting death toll and hospitalizations forced him to do something.

But what has changed today is that we know without a doubt that Trump wasn't just spitballing and gambling that the virus wouldn't be bad, despite experts outside of the federal government telling us it would be. He knew. He fucking knew. He knew it and could articulate how dangerous the situation was going to get. And he chose to pretend otherwise and lie to the nation, forcing others to lie, too. After telling Woodward it was worse than the flu, he tweeted the exact opposite, mocking the idea that it's worse than the flu. After telling Woodward that "young people" are susceptible to it, he said that children are "almost immune" to the virus. And no matter how many ways Trump and his ass remoras attempt to spin this as nobly trying not to panic people, there's a fucking world of difference between yelling, "Fire" in a crowded theatre and telling everyone to just sit still while the fire burns out.  This is not fine. 

Every single person who knew should have spoken. They should have given Trump the finger and told us, including Bob fucking Woodward. Because how the fuck do we trust anything now? Most of us didn't trust Trump, but we thought we could look at others, look at the CDC or Anthony Fauci and find the truth. But they all decided to stay silent, out of either blind or craven loyalty to Trump or the misguided hope they could mitigate the damage by staying quiet, the pathetic error that so many tainted public servants have made. 

And now we're supposed to listen when this lying son of a bitch whose face looks like a one-nut pig scrotum and who speaks in barks like a brain-damaged beagle bitch tells us to get an untested vaccine? Fuck off all the way to Moscow.

This is personal, too. I remember wondering all through February and into March whether or not I should wear a mask. I was reading articles about whether or not masks are effective, with many telling us not to worry about it, that the slim supply of masks had to go to health care workers. It gnawed at me until I finally decided, "Fuck it, I'm wearing one" about a week before the CDC changed course and said we should. The thing is that by that point I already had gotten COVID. I didn't get sick until a few days after I started mask-wearing, which means I was doing my part then. As I've said before, I had very mild symptoms, just a low-grade fever, some fatigue, and a bit of a cough. Sure, it could have been far worse, and I'm pissed at Trump about getting sick. But most of the time, you have the goddamn virus before your symptoms show up. I should have been wearing a mask all along. I don't fucking know who I might have spread it to. And that bullshit weighs on me, and that's on Trump and everyone who stayed quiet. 

We knew Trump was busily corrupting every part of the government he could get his shit-stained fingers on. We knew that he was too fucking lazy to really take the action that he needed to take, as simple as that may have been. We knew that we needed to amp up production of masks and gloves and fucking tests. We knew that it was goddamn weird that it didn't happen. We knew that the only thing that matters to Trump is re-election, something that Fauci is quoted as saying in Woodward's book. Fuck, we knew that Trump was actually, actively evil and not just stupidly so. The cockscab wants violence in the streets (which is something that makes his claim of trying to prevent panic utterly laughable). 

I'm not really shocked by what we've learned. I'm frankly only shocked that Trump went on the record with it. Which means that he thinks he was right to lie to Americans. He said that today, like he's some fuckin' hero for shutting down the information we needed to save our fucking lives. And by so willingly talking to Woodward, it also means that, even though he should be forced out of office and arrested, Trump believes he will suffer no consequences for his evil. And every single time, that has been proven correct. Even now, when he's killed people in the middle of every avenue, the president as our mass murderer. And that, dear Americans, is something we haven't seen in a long damn time.

Sometimes it feels like the sails on our skiffs are broken, and so we are just drifting on the shit sea, buffeted by the waves, wondering if we'll float to land before we die of exposure.

9/07/2020

A Poem for the Laborers

"Calling Him Back from Layoff" 
by Bob Hicok

I called a man today. After he said
hello and I said hello came a pause
during which it would have been
 
confusing to say hello again so I said
how are you doing and guess what, he said
fine and wondered aloud how I was
 
and it turns out I’m OK. He
was on the couch watching cars
painted with ads for Budweiser follow cars
 
painted with ads for Tide around an oval
that’s a metaphor for life because
most of us run out of gas and settle
 
for getting drunk in the stands
and shouting at someone in a t-shirt
we want kraut on our dog. I said
 
he could have his job back and during
the pause that followed his whiskers
scrubbed the mouthpiece clean
 
and his breath passed in and out
in the tidal fashion popular
with mammals until he broke through
 
with the words how soon thank you
ohmyGod
which crossed his lips and drove
through the wires on the backs of ions
 
as one long word as one hard prayer
of relief meant to be heard
by the sky. When he began to cry I tried
 
with the shape of my silence to say
I understood but each confession
of fear and poverty was more awkward
 
than what you learn in the shower.
After he hung up I went outside and sat
with one hand in the bower of the other
 
and thought if I turn my head to the left
it changes the song of the oriole
and if I give a job to one stomach other
 
forks are naked and if tonight a steak
sizzles in his kitchen do the seven
other people staring at their phones
 
hear?

9/02/2020

What Did That Dumb Orange Motherfucker Say Now? (Laura Ingraham Interview Edition)

Yeah, you've heard some of the appalling shit that Donald Trump squeezed out of his mouth hole while being interviewed by Lauren "Fuck You, Tucker, I'm the Craziest Motherfucker on This Bullshit Network" Ingraham on Fox "news." You heard him talk about how rich people from the "dark shadows" really control Joe Biden. You heard him say how anarchists in black clothes were flying to protests. You heard him compare a cop shooting an unarmed black man to a golfer choking on a putt. 

But did you hear his opinion of Black Lives Matter? No? He said that, upon hearing the phrase, "I said, 'That’s a terrible name. It’s so discriminatory.' It’s bad for black people." 

And what about this completely nutzoid batshittery: "Black Lives Matter came into existence, walking down the street, screaming, 'Pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon.' And that was about police officers. That was representing police. They were pigs, pigs in a blanket, like the sausages or hot dogs, fry them like bacon." 

First off, no one affiliated with Black Lives Matter said that when it was chanted in Minnesota in 2015. Second, what the fuck with the free association of pork products? Trump brings up this 30-second chant from 5 years ago constantly to discredit the entire Black Lives Matter movement. It's almost as if he's someone who has said a ton of awful shit that should completely discredit him.

Trump wasn't done shitting on protesters who don't fly Trump flags. When Frau Ingraham reminded him that Oregon's governor said that "no one is safe in Trump's America," he responded, "That’s a violent person, frankly. That’s violent. They stick up for the violence. The people that are getting hurt, they don’t care about. They don’t care about these people. It’s a weird thing. It’s like warped minds." And he added, "If it weren’t Donald Trump’s America, to just use the expression as I’m president, you would have riots like you’ve never seen." You got that bullshit? Yeah, there are riots now, but if Joe Biden is elected or if Hillary Clinton had been elected, well, then there would have been real riots. In other words, he's claiming that he's keeping us safe because the violence isn't as bad as he thinks it would be. It would be like if someone shot you outside Jeffrey Dahmer's apartment and said, "Yeah, I know you're bleeding to death, but at least you're not gonna get skull-fucked by a cannibal."

This was followed by whatever the fuck this is regarding protesters: "It is an ideology for the people that are paying them. And the funny thing is, and the strange thing is, the people that are paying them and all this money, because somebody’s doing it. The people paying them, those people will be overthrown. Their lives will be taken away. Their lives will be endangered. They’re all going to be gone. They’re just stupid foolish people that made a lot of money." From what I can make out, apparently, someone (Soros, no doubt) is paying protesters who will then over throw that someone (Soros, no doubt) when the protesters win. That's some next-level conspiracy fuckery.

But there's more about this sinister "they": "If Biden gets in, they will have won. He’s a weak person. He’s controlled like a puppet. So it’s not going to be calm things down. It’s going to be, they will have won. They will have taken over your cities. It’s a revolution. You understand that, it’s a revolution. And the people of this country will not stand for that. They’re not going to stand for that." He's promising more violence. That's what he's doing. He's saying, with almost no obfuscation, that there will be a civil war if Biden is elected. Trump isn't the 45th president of the United States. He's the second president of the Confederacy.

This could obviously go on and on. A Trump interview is like a chocolate fountain filled with shit. You can just dip in and you'll get stained and stinky. 

Here's his view of the history of riots when Obama was president: "Look at all of what happened with Brown and this one and that one." Yes, that's Michael Brown who he's naming dismissively. He had just mentioned Ferguson.

Here he is on Biden's plans, using it as an occasion to rag on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the most patronizing way: "He’s going to do things that are going to cost so much on the Green New Deal, which is done by a child. Okay? That’s the mind of a child."

Here he is completely inflating an accomplishment (funding for HBCUs) like it's the amount of his supposed fortune: "I saved the historically black colleges and universities."

Here he is saying Biden said something that Hillary Clinton said about criminals in the 1990: "He called them super predators." 

And, finally, there's this almost comical take on police officers and the violence they commit: "The vast, not only the vast majority, thousands and thousands of great acts, and one bad one, and you make the evening news for weeks." The vast majorities of members of just about every group go about their lives without doing horrible shit. That's why... you know what? Fuck it. That's falling into his web of fucking moronic nonsense masked as "thoughts."

I can't even laugh at this shit anymore. We are heading into dark, uncharted territory, motherfuckers. We are without a fucking map now. We just have to press ahead, hoping that whoever we're following doesn't lead us off a goddamn cliff. Or that we don't die before we get across these mountains in front of us.

8/31/2020

MAGA Terrorism Is Too Familiar

There's a murder that's been on my mind for a few weeks now. It happened in Peshawar, Pakistan, a large city in the northwest of that country. An American man, Tahir Naseem, from Chicago was in a courtroom there on charges of blasphemy, which means that certain Muslims didn't like the way that Naseem had talked about Islam and Muhammad. Yes, that really is a crime in Pakistan, one that is punishable by life in prison or death. 

In this case, Naseem, who had lived in the U.S. since 1978, had chatted on Facebook with some supposed students, who invited him to Pakistan to debate his beliefs. But, instead, in 2018, Naseem was arrested for calling himself a new prophet, and his trial was being held, finally, on July 29 of this year. That's when Faisal Khan walked up to Naseem in the courtroom and shot him repeatedly, killing Naseem right in front of the judge and lawyers. 

There are lots of reasons why this case has been bugging me. First there's the absurdity of the law itself, which has come under a great deal of criticism in recent years but still remains on the books. Then there's the brazenness of the crime. And then there's the fact that this was an American whose imprisonment we heard almost nothing about until this happened. I'll bet you've heard nothing about it until now, although there was a great NPR piece featuring an interview with Naseem's grown daughter. 

But more details in this horrific act are terribly relevant. For instance, Khan is a teenager (between 15 and 19), and the fact that he was able to get through the supposedly tight security at the courthouse shows that he had the cops on his side. Khan said of Naseem, "“He is an enemy of Islam. He is an enemy of Pakistan," and he claimed that Muhammad came to him in a dream and told him to commit murder.

Khan has been hailed as a hero by a large number of people in Pakistan. There was a march of thousands of Muslims in Peshawar in support of his actions, and there continues to be rallies calling for Khan's release. He was hailed as a hero and a "holy warrior," with lawyers lining up to take his case and defend him.  They all believe that the murder was justified to defend their faith. When Khan was arrested, the police took selfies with him, all smiling. Politicians have gone to his family to "congratulate" them. The Taliban in Pakistan support him. 

I don't know if anyone has set up a GoFundMe for Khan, but you can bet that if they could, they would.

Obviously, we see echoes of Faisal Khan in 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who gunned down three people in Kenosha,Wisconsin, killing two. Rittenhouse was also deluded by a kind of faith. Khan saw himself as a defender of Islam. Rittenhouse saw himself as a defender of Trumpism. The Illinois teenager (huh - same state the Naseem was from) had heard from President Donald Trump, among others, that the Black Lives Matter protests in Kenosha in the wake of the attempted murder of Jacob Blake by a police officer were a threat to a certain kind of American way of life. He decided that he had to act as a holy warrior for his MAGA faith. And he got a chance to murder some infidels, with the cops essentially on his side.

Obviously, the aftermath of Rittenhouse's murders is frighteningly like the reaction to Khan in Pakistan. Conservative commentators rushed to defend him. Sniveling hate worm Tucker Carlson said, "How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?" Sentient genital wart Ann Coulter tweeted that Rittenhouse should run for president. He's got some of the skeeviest lawyers around defending him, and one of them called him the equivalent of the Minutemen, the citizen soldiers who actually trained as militias during the Revolutionary War. Yeah, the Minutemen were well-regulated bearers of arms. Trump himself essentially approved of Rittenhouse's actions today. Meanwhile, instead of rallies (although you can see that coming), Rittenhouse has groups raising money for his defense, including those that are Republican, Christian, and/or pro-gun. All this is for a terrorist. That's what Rittenhouse is. That's the purpose of wandering the streets of Kenosha with his gun visible: intimidation and violence to suppress a political view you dislike.

I mean, it's not a stretch at this point to say that Trumpism is our Taliban. Trump supporters seek to turn back the clock to a time when rights for many people were limited, they expect blind obedience to their leader, and they will use violence to get their way. They consider everyone else infidels. And most people were shocked that they took over and aren't sure how to get rid of them. 

Frankly, at this point, the MAGA terrorists are so much like Muslim terrorists that we should ask everyone who supports Trump if they condemn the violence done in Trump's name. Otherwise, we may as well assume that every member of MAGA nation is a terrorist or a terrorist supporter.

That's the way this works, right? 

(Note: At this point, "right-wing extremist terrorism" and "MAGA terrorism" are the same thing. We need not pretend they're not.)

8/28/2020

RNC Night 4: "I Alone Can Fuck It All Up"

One of President Donald Trump's ultimate tells is the phrase "as you know." Whenever Trump says something and follows it with "as you know," it's got one of two purposes. The first is flattery, as in, "I know that you are privy to this incredible insight that I have, too." The second is conspiratorial, making you complicit in his lies. If he says something absurdly false and adds "as you know," barring anyone shouting out, "No, I don't fucking know," he's essentially acting as if you have assented to the lies.

For the idiot hordes of his voters, it doesn't matter. For the rest of us, it should be alarming. Trump could say, "I strangle hobos with Ivanka's panties and lean in to kiss them as they take their last breath because it's the only thing that makes me ejaculate, as you know."  We might raise a hand and say, "I'm sorry. Could you go back to that strangling part? We didn't really know that." Trump voters would nod and say, "Yes, of course, we know about the hobogasm.  Do continue," and then, when Democrats started to complain about the president jizzing on hobo corpses, they'd get outraged and tell us, "Look, we all know that's who he is. We don't care."

Last night, on the fourth night of the GOP's Convention of Horror and Doom, Trump gave his weary, practically mumbled speech accepting the nomination of his party, essentially just doing his stump speech mostly without his usual riffing. But he did manage to deploy one "as you know" in service of one of his most-repeated and most-obvious lies: "We have spent nearly $2.5 trillion on completely rebuilding our military, which was very badly depleted when I took office, as you know." No, motherfucker, we don't know that because it wasn't "very badly depleted," and the only people who know it are liars. 

Lies were legion throughout the RNC. Every single speech by a politician there and most of the ones by "real people" contained lies. If lies were currency, Trump is truly as rich as he says. Practically every single thing said about the coronavirus was false, starting with the ban on travel from China, which was a bullshit action that did almost nothing, and going all the way to the vaccine that is definitely not going to be available before the election except to murder people. But the lies weren't the only fuckery. Perhaps worse were the contradictions between the present and the projected.

The contradictions in the speech and what we used to refer to as "reality" were so ridiculous and clear that the only excuses were Trump's contempt for everyone watching and an expectation that his voters would gobble up whatever he shit out.  Just a sample:

- Trump grunted, "We must always have law and order. All federal crimes are being investigated, prosecuted, and punished to the fullest extent of the law" while he was committing a federal crime, violating the Hatch Act, by forcing employees of the federal government to participate in a political campaign, which also meant that every federal employee there, including Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, was breaking federal law, too. They will not, one imagines, be punished to even the least extent of the law. (And no one there gave a damn about the abuse of the White House for campaign shits and giggles.)

- Trump talked about how Democrats will allow the federal government to take over your life while he's saying, "We will take care of your problem in a matter of hours. Just call. We have to wait for the call. It is too bad we have to, but we have to wait for the call." In other words, he wants the federal government to take over cities because they are run by Democrats. (Funny how troops aren't sent to Lubbock, Texas, where protests have been ongoing.)

- Trump said of the coronavirus, "To save as many lives as possible, we are focusing on the science, the facts, and the data. We are aggressively sheltering those at highest risk, especially the elderly," while speaking before a mostly unmasked audience that was crowded together, with many elderly people there, like Wilbur "I'm Not Even Sure If I'm Alive" Ross.

- Trump talked about prison reform but fundamentally doesn't understand the justice system, when he said that Biden wants to do away with cash bail and that would end up "immediately releasing 400,000 criminals onto the streets and into your neighborhoods." Except bail is for the accused, not the convicted, as I'm sure he fucking knows, considering all the people around him who have had to put up bail.

- Under Biden, Trump said, cities will essentially be filled with rising murder rates, riots, looting, and more. Like is happening now under Trump. Like right now.

- Under Biden, Trump said, we will "surrender" to the coronavirus as over 1000 people died of COVID-19 nearly every day of the RNC.

- Under Biden, Trump said, the economy will never recover while every week a million more people file for unemployment and more businesses are closing, again, right fucking now.

- Joe Biden is a "Trojan horse for socialism" and a puppet to Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Trump said, and he's also an extremist who said he wants to defund police and open the borders, which would mean he very specifically is neither a Trojan horse nor a puppet. (Side note: I'm confused by the idea that providing some of the things that they have in, say, Germany and France will turn the country into the Soviet Union.) 

The lawless, violent, depressed dystopia is here, now. Trump said in 2016, "I alone can fix it" when the truth is, no matter how much they try to paper it over with lies, he fucked it all up. And he fucked it up worse than Republicans usually fuck things up. 

And the promise that he made last night is that he will continue to fuck it up. That's it. That's the platform. "You like how shitty things are? Well, this shitstorm in a shithole can continue for four more years."

What's frightening is how many people will fall for Trump's frankly retro invocation of socialism and crime in the streets (even as overall crime continues to be at incredibly low rates in most of the country).  Fear of non-white people invading the pure white spaces is the driving force behind the Republican Party, as it has been for over 40 years.

But, see, it's not just through crime that they fear Black and brown people. Despite all the useful idiots protesting that Trump is not racist or the GOP does include them, what they really fear is the undermining of whiteness's central power role in the United States. That is the real crime. And for them, this loathsome, sweaty cretin who whines out his grievances is their last, best hope. All roads lead to him and all things are about him and only him. You must thank him, you must honor him, you must obey him.

It was a terrible speech, delivered badly, to an audience of assholes while shitting all over the White House and the law. It was the rhetorical nadir of a movement whose only motivation is hatred of the Other. 

And, frankly, the violent, angry way in which everyone spoke about the left makes me wonder what they have planned for us if they eke out, cheat, and steal a victory. It won't be peaceful. As you know.

8/26/2020

Melania Trump's Shitty RNC Speech

Hey, all you legit pundits out there, don't fuckin' waste anyone's time trying to fuck the corpse of decent oratory back to life. The Republican National Convention has effectively murdered it dead, and just because it let out one last rigor mortis fart during First Lady Melania Trump's attempt at speaking what we might generously call "English," let's not dance like crazed religious fanatics and call it a resurrection. 

Melania Trump was speaking about an entirely different being than the bloated ogre who cages children and laughs as multitudes die in his festering wake that she's damned herself to be married to. She spoke of fantasy Donald Trump, one who could be "humbled by the incredible support" in 2016, despite braying like a donkey with a broom stuck up its ass about his victory every chance he's had in 4 years. She spoke of a tireless Trump, who "will not rest until he has done all he can to take care of everyone impacted by this terrible pandemic," despite constantly golfing and tweeting about the hours and hours of TV he was watching, evidence of a someone who couldn't manage to burp out a plan after downing a bucket of Diet Coke and a slop bin of Big Macs. 

Donald Trump isn't "inspired by the millions of Americans who wake up each day with a simple, yet courageous goal of providing for their families and keeping them safe." He isn't "here fighting for you." He isn't "grateful that you have trusted him to be your President." Melania said that he "will not stop fighting for you and your families," but he never even started. He fights for himself and his family, and I'm pretty sure he barely fights for them. Donald Trump is a miserable flea on the filthy anus of a failing body, and nothing more and probably much less.

But, sure, yeah, for the first time at the RNC, someone met the bar of "somewhat civilized" in their speech. Sure, Melania actually acknowledged that people died from COVID. Sure, she brought up opioid addiction and racial unrest. Jesus Christ, is that all we need to praise her? That she recognized that reality exists?

She was graded on the idiot curve, where you know someone isn't capable of doing something but you cheer them when they do the most basic shit with their few unremarkable skills. I get that when I play basketball with friends. If I hit a basket, it's like "Oh, hey, he didn't slam his head into the pole" and everyone's thrilled. But if they started telling me how awesome a player I am, I'd punch 'em in the tit for lying. 

It was a shitty speech on a basic level. Putting aside the lies about her cretinous husband and putting aside that she was no doubt doing this as part of her contract with Trump and putting aside that she's a liar and a birther, the language she used was like she was a fucking third-grader. "I always heard about an amazing place called America, a land that stood for freedom and opportunity," she said, talking about her childhood in Slovenia. That's dumb. That's dumb shit that only dumb people fall for. It's dumb like the phrase "Be Best," which is what dumbasses think is wisdom. 

Einstein visa? Eat my whole ass.

What the speech was really about was providing cover for assholes to vote for Donald Trump. Despite what his wife says, he is not "an authentic person who loves this country and its people, and wants to continue to make it better." He doesn't want "to keep your family safe" or "to help your family succeed." He doesn't give a shit about you unless your organs can keep his degenerating body alive longer.

I kept thinking about the song "A New Argentina" from Evita, where Eva Peron gets her fascist husband elected by lying about his devotion to the working class and offering her love as testimony for his worthiness. And then Juan Peron cracked down on any dissent, tortured and murdered his opposition, and enriched himself on the backs of those he purported to help. 

But, hey, Melania said people should be nice to each other, so let's all give her a round of applause.

8/25/2020

Random Observations on the RNC Orgy and Klan Rally (Night 1: That Was Some Weird Shit)

1. The theme of the Republican National Convention, which started last night from various locations in Hell, was "All glory to Trump." There was no attempt to reach out, even in the smallest way, to people who might live in what we colloquially call "reality." Nope. You either rode the MAGA express straight to the Trump Pole where Trump would bestow upon you all the toys you could ever want, or you were a miserable leftist fuck who only deserved Marxist lumps of coal. Honestly, every single speaker could have gotten up there and talked about how great it was to give enthusiastic blow jobs to Trump and it really wouldn't have made one bit of difference. If Steve Scalise had sauntered up to the mic while wiping cum off the corner of his mouth, I'd've thought, "Yeah, I assumed."

2. There wasn't a word of sympathy for the 200,000 people in this country who have died of COVID-19, as if that never happened. In fact, in the telling of the RNC, some sneaky Chinaman defiled our virginal American shores and infected us with coronavirus, probably on purpose. And while all those evil Democrats ran around saying that it wasn't a threat, one man knew right away what to do, and that man was Donald Trump, and Donald Trump allowed the United States to suckle from his orange breast, his milk filled with the medicine that would heal us. This wasn't spin. We're used to spin, where you take the facts and make them look good in a context of your choosing. No, this was a complete, Soviet-level revision of recent history, where Trump never said it would go away, never said there would only be 1 or 15 or 60,000 deaths, never claimed there were cures and treatments that didn't exist, never accused governors desperately trying to get PPE and ventilators of just trying to make him look bad, never demeaned the scientists working on saving us, never politicized every fucking aspect of the pandemic. It has become an article of faith among the delusional MAGA hordes that Trump saved millions of lives by doing something, never allowing the corollaries, that the only way millions of people would have died is if he did absolutely nothing and prevented anyone else from doing anything and that, if he'd done more, we wouldn't have this ridiculous, ongoing death rate, to enter their empty minds. It's a madness that is so complete, so all-engulfing that they couldn't even pause for a second to acknowledge the piles of dead bodies that their bullshit convention was stepping on.

3. I don't get this strategy that the world is fucked and we need to re-elect Donald Trump to unfuck it. We were treated to videos of protests that turned violent and unemployment porn. We heard from coked-out morons like Donald Trump, Jr., saying shit like "Anarchists have been flooding our streets and Democrat mayors are ordering the police to stand down. Small businesses across America, many of them minority owned, are being torched by mobs." Or the repulsive St. Louis couple who, when not destroying a synagogue's beehives (no, really), pointed guns at peaceful protesters who walked past their home. From their mansion they said, "They’re not satisfied with spreading the chaos and violence into our communities. They want to abolish the suburbs altogether by ending single family home zoning." Does it need to be said that these rich cuntmites sued to prevent a gay couple from moving into their 'hood? (No, really.) So the country is on fire, protesters are in the streets, coronavirus is rampaging, the economy is in tatters, and Republicans' message is "You see how shitty everything is? We need the guy who made it shitty to fix it." Sure, sure, if a mad bomber has planted bombs all over the city and half of them have gone off, you want the bomber to tell you where the rest of 'em are. But then you fucking lock the bomber away forever. And at least everyone would agree that bombs are real.

4. The racist dog whistles were loud last night from the very beginning. Alien with a wig Charlie Kirk declared that "Trump is the bodyguard of Western civilization" and "the defender of Western Civilization," which is such a thinly-veiled code for "white" that it's pretty much Saran Wrap. Rejected Muppet Matt Gaetz said of Democrats, "They’ll disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in your home, and invite MS-13 to live next door," a sentence that is racist and makes no sense. Every mention of the border or "take away your guns" was code for "the dark people are coming and you need to be able to shoot them." Then there was Sen. Tim "Useful Idiot" Scott, who got in some anti-Semitic jams by saying that Democrats "want to take more money from your pocket and give it to Manhattan elites and Hollywood moguls." Most absurd was former governor and UN ambassador and future failed GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley, who is Indian-American. A couple of seconds after saying, "In much of the Democratic party, it’s now fashionable to say that America is racist. That is a lie. America is not a racist country," she talked about she and her family "faced discrimination and hardship." Yeah, motherfucker, because of the racism.

5. So much of what they speakers celebrated was because of Democrats. Angry meat loaf Sean Parnell talked about how "In a century, we went from ground bound dreamers gazing to the stars, to doers who created the means to reach them," which was, you know, the doing primarily of JFK and LBJ. Teary Castro-hater Maxiom Alvarez talked about how he came to America during Operation Pedro Pan in 1961, when, you know, JFK was president. Ill-informed nurse Amy Ford talked about the expansion of telehealth services, which exist primarily because of the Affordable Care Act and Republicans at the state and federal level blocked it being paid for Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP. 

6. Holy shit, Kimberly Guilfoyle must have done bath salts before heading out to yell at an empty auditorium like she had lost out on the part of Evita at the East Hampton Community Theater. I would not have been surprised if she had chewed the face off a kitten.

7. Joe Biden stories are about him forming relationships with ordinary people across the country. Donald Trump stories are about how he occasionally acknowledged that other people exist.

8. The news networks talked repeatedly about how the RNC was like reality TV. They're right because, see, reality TV is all bullshit. It's fake. It's a bunch of manipulated situations where people are prompted to act like their shittiest selves in order to fool stupid people into thinking that this is reality. So...well-done, RNC. You set the bar below ground level and managed to reach it.

8/22/2020

Biden and Harris Believe You Deserve Sanity in Your Daily Lives

Everyone is talking about Joe Biden and Kamala Harris's speeches at the Democratic National Convention this past week as being a return of empathy or decency, but I'd go one further with another overarching theme: "Remember sanity?" It was truly like watching a funhouse mirror version of our reality, except it took the warped world around us and made it look natural again. It was honestly like you could exhale and not just wonder what insane shit might follow after the last round of insane shit.

That was what Biden and Harris imparted: a sense that we could possibly exist in a normal nation, one that wasn't constantly on the brink of exploding in violence or just collapsing into itself, unable to bear the weight of one man's insatiable ego. Harris vividly described our national anxiety: "We're at an inflection point. The constant chaos leaves us adrift. The incompetence makes us feel afraid. The callousness makes us feel alone. It's a lot." Then she went full inspirational speaker: "And here's the thing: We can do better and deserve so much more."

For his part, Biden told us the things that we deserve in a newly-sane America, like a national plan to deal with the coronavirus (although it's likely at least another 100,000 of us will die before we even get to January 20, 2021). And he laid out the choice in terms that Joseph Campbell's ghost would approve of: "We can choose the path of becoming angrier, less hopeful and more divided. A path of shadow and suspicion. Or we can choose a different path, and together, take this chance to heal, to be reborn, to unite. A path of hope and light."

Both the speeches were solid and inspirational enough. They called on our better angels that have been repressed for four years to make an appearance. They vaguely promised on much of their agenda, but the main point, made again and again, was that shit's gone crazy and that's no way for people to live. 

Both spoke about Donald Trump in terms that turned his incompetence into a tragedy, while avoiding ascribing evil intent to his actions. That was a bit of a disappointment, sort of like saying, "The arsonist didn't know how big the fire would be." In what was probably his best line, Biden gave Trump the employee annual review he's needed for decades: "Our current president has failed in his most basic duty to this nation. He failed to protect us. He failed to protect America. And, my fellow Americans, that is unforgivable." It's honestly the most coldly logical assessment of Trump's fuckery as you could get. You could almost picture Trump being dragged off in cuffs like at the end of a Scooby-Doo episode, calling back, "And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for that meddling virus!" Because COVID-19 deaths cannot be happy-talked into non-existence. Because long-term damage to the victims and to the economy will not go away "like a miracle." We are an open wound right now. Biden wants us to heal. 

And I loved how Harris took back the notion of family from the formerly "Family Values" party. Family isn't just your parents and siblings, she said. "Family is my best friend, my nieces and my godchildren. Family is my uncles, my aunts—my chitthis. Family is Mrs. Shelton—my second mother who lived two doors down and helped raise me. Family is my beloved Alpha Kappa Alpha...our Divine 9...and my HBCU brothers and sisters. Family is the friends I turned to when my mother—the most important person in my life—passed away from cancer." That expansive definition of families, one not held to the narrow, isolating, alienating world view that conservatives propagate. If your family includes all of those people, then you're gonna give a fuck when they are hurting, too.

When Republicans and the right-wing commentariat declared that Biden and Harris and the whole DNC were "angry" or presenting a "dark" perspective on the nation, it's bullshit because they weren't angry at the United States. They were angry at how dark Trump and the GOP have made the country. It would be ludicrous not to be angry, and the whole thing could have been 100 times angrier and still not approached the level of anger that the bastards deserve.

Because the implication of the showing of empathy is that Trump treats us with antipathy, the implication of the fostering of decency is that Trump is indecent, and the implication of the return of sanity is that Trump is insane. 

Essentially, Biden and Harris are promising that we can take one fucking terrible thing off the table: the thought that our government is actively, intentionally harming us just for shits and giggles. And then we can work to actually make things better. At this point, goddamn, that's enough.

8/20/2020

Obama Tells Us We're in Danger and We Better Fucking Act Like We Are

(I'm gonna talk about Kamala Harris's speech tomorrow, along with Joe Biden's.)

One thing I've appreciated about the Democratic National Convention this year is that the party has essentially stopped begging for the votes of white working class idiots who voted for Trump. Sure, sure, there have been the (retired) Republican politicians endorsing Joe Biden and the Republican voters who won't vote for Trump. But those have been more along the lines of how they're like us, not how we're like them. In other words, you gotta get on board with the gun control and the LGBTQ rights and fair treatment of immigrants and being pro-choice and dealing with climate change and providing health care. No one is crawling to appeal to the shitheels, fucknuts, and ignoramuses who are going to vote for Trump.

Instead, the real appeal has been to those who are thinking of not voting at all (whether for ideological or other reasons). We heard again and again last night, from Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren, that sitting on the sidelines is a bullshit position. "Vote like our lives and livelihoods are on the line, because they are," Clinton said, and if it's not for your life, vote for the lives of people who will suffer under more Trump.

And most forcefully, and most shockingly, we heard from Barack Obama how fucked up shit is under Trump and how much more fucked up shit will get if Trump is re-elected. Like Michelle Obama scaring the shit out of us on Monday, the fact that President Cool Guy, Mister Hope and Change himself, is saying things like "This administration has shown it will tear our democracy down if that’s what it takes for them to win" is downright terrifying. All I can think about is the access he has to information that we don't know and the shit he must have seen, even beyond the distressing daily fuckery, to make him break an unspoken protocol in modern times that ex-presidents don't flat-out attack sitting presidents. 

But more than any previous president, Obama deserves the right to come at Trump. President Fucko the Buffoon lies on a daily basis about Obama's accomplishments, whether it's shitting on the smooth-running economy that Trump inherited (and claims was in shambles, which is demonstrably, factually false) or taking credit for the passage of the Veterans Choice Program (which was signed into law in 2014, when Trump was conspicuously not president) or making up a fictional tale about Obama ordering "spying" on the Trump campaign (when it was the Justice Department concerned because Paul Manafort and others...you know what? Fuck it. Either you know it or you don't). 

So Obama put it out there, talking to us like he's still president, saying that we're in fucking danger and we better fucking well act like we are. "Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t, and the consequences of that failure are severe," he said. "170,000 Americans dead. Millions of jobs, gone, while those at the top taking more than ever. Our worst impulses unleashed, our proud reputation around the world badly diminished, and our democratic institutions threatened like never before." And that's now. Imagine the devolution of the nation in another four years. Fuck, I can't even imagine there will be a nation as we know it in another four years if we have another Trumpering.

To show how bugfuck insane things have gotten, Obama rattled off what Biden and Harris believe in, like the right to vote, the president isn't above the law, the press is necessary, and "our ability to work together to solve big problems like a pandemic depend on a fidelity to facts and science and logic and not just making stuff up." This is basic, everyday shit that we used to all at least have a tacit agreement on, but now that's thrown out the window, along with empathy and decency, the return of which is the overarching theme of this DNC. It had to be hard as hell not to give in to despair and fear for Obama. 

It's not just that there was real fear in Obama's eyes and real concern in his voice. There was a barely contained rage, as if he was saying, "Don't be stupid. Don't be lazy or discouraged. Don't crawl up your own ass because you didn't get the candidate you want. Don't be selfish dicks. And don't let the motherfuckers prevent you from voting." That message, the power of the vote, is one that he returned to again and again, telling us about GOP efforts to suppress the vote, "That is how they win. That is how they get to keep making decisions that affect your life and the lives of the people you love. That’s how the economy will keep getting skewed to the wealthy and well-connected. How our health systems will let more people fall through the cracks. That’s how a democracy withers until it’s no democracy at all." And, goddamn, he knows that from the utter failure of Democrats to show up for the 2010 and 2014 midterms so that the warped and racist Tea Party narrative could have such power. 

Look, I've been watching and writing about politics since Reagan. I have never seen a president tell us in such stark terms that we're hanging by a thread. And that it came from the man we used to call "No-Drama Obama"? That should punch all of us in the gut. Gird yer loins and vote for your life, for all our lives, motherfuckers. Shit's gonna get crazy.

8/19/2020

Guest Writer: A Back-to-School Letter from Your Boss

(This is a guest post from an anonymous professor at a red state university. He says, "This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual actions by actual college administrators is purely accidental," although, you know, many of us I think can recognize much of this.)

Hello, I am President Pillford, your boss. But in these unprecedented informal times, you can just call me Prez or you might call me Pill, because I'm gonna make you take a big one. What? When the boss wants to be your bro, is it a little too “eww” for you? Too bad. I have already seen you work from your bedroom on Zoom, so informal is what you get. Talk about "eww." Or, if you are a student, I am just the Prez, but most of you will know me like a distant uncle who tries to talk to the kids about that Billie Eilish. Boy, isn't she the dopest?

The purpose of this email is to tell you how excited and enthusiastic I am about opening our college campus to thousands of students and hundreds of faculty in the middle of a global pandemic that has killed over 170,000 Americans. Even though we know the risk, we are so pumped to do this anyways, because how else are we gonna get all those tuition dollars, plus all those hidden fees and more fees. Not to mention those sweet housing and food service bucks. What? You're not enthusiastic about reopening? Where is your school spirit? Don’t you believe in capitalism...I mean, "education"?

Now I have said it before, and I will say it again, and then I'll say it one more time in case you didn't believe me: Your Safety Comes First. Your health and safety are our top priority. Forget all those "epidemiologists" and medical scientists and "doctors" who claim they know that some of our faculty, students, and staff are going to get sick or even die. Won't you sleep well at night knowing that our students are getting a non-refundable education, even if we close campus two weeks after opening? I know I will. 

Because I know you still have lots of questions and my sunny emails and videos always say the same exact thing, just with different words, we have provided a special link to our reopening plan, which includes all the details about sort-of-virtual, sort-of-in-person, sort-of-hybrid class delivery, PPE, hand sanitizer, ventilation in all those closed spaces that we can't afford to remediate right now, and social distancing. That’s right. We are going to practice social distancing in a social environment where everybody with a brain and a cold beer knows that social distancing is inherently impossible. They say it can't be done? I say you don't know until you can see for yourself that it can't be done and then still do it.

Now just in case you think I came up with our "School Is Not Hell" return-to-campus program on my own, lots of caring faculty have helped develop this plan that was subject solely to my approval. But they care. When I ask them to be on committees like this, they care about losing their jobs. When they teach, they care. When students and their colleagues get sick or die, they care. And isn't caring enough? Yes, it is. 

As for the staff, unlike the professors who have some leeway to work virtually because there are actually laws that force me to allow it, we are making the staff come to work no matter what. Unless they are sick with COVID, their underpaid asses are going to be here, on campus, to answer all your legitimate questions about what-the-fuck-were-we-thinking-anyways. Yeah, I know we said we put safety first, but that doesn’t apply to staff, and, no, we don’t really care about your anxiety, depression, and PTSD that comes from us making you come to work during a pandemic that might kill you. You have to be firm with staff or they never learn.

Before I finish this obligatory email that most of you will delete before finishing, let me just say how grateful I am to the students who chose to attend another semester here at F U. For the rest of you, God won’t give me the words for how much I appreciate your silent assent that this in-person semester is what you need and it’s not about my half-a-million salary that the Board of Trustees was fool enough to renew, even as we make budget cuts across campus, resulting in numerous program eliminations and staff terminations. You don’t want to hear about that sad news when I can stuff your inbox with more powerful positivity about the power of learning in person, even if every bit of common sense and experience is screaming at us that we should all be online. But I know we're tougher than those snowflake smartypants PC schools in the blue states.

Let me say this again in case you forgot: Your Safety Comes First. Some deans and faculty and our fifty-three vice presidents are working tirelessly to make sure you believe that. They are working day and night and on weekends. We call these excessive hours "kicking the semester into overdrive." "Overdrive" is just like overtime, but we don’t pay for it. To be clear, as tenured, salaried professionals, you don’t qualify for overtime. You should just be overjoyed that you get to contribute so much of your time to the university.

Now some of our colleagues who have stood by my side through our previous crises that we learned nothing from will not like me "keeping it real." But I decided I owe you, my treasured faculty and administrators, this level of honesty and truth. It's all I think you deserve. 

To close, welcome back and welcome home. We want it to feel like heaven, but we know it is more like hell. If you work here or have already paid the tuition bill, you can log off, but you can never leave. Go team! 

8/18/2020

Michelle Obama Scared the Hell Out of Us (For Good Reasons)

As inspirational and aspirational as former First Lady and current media superstar Michelle Obama's keynote speech on the first night of the Democratic National (Virtual) Convention was, what hit me hard was just how downright frightening it was. See, Obama is as level-headed, rational, and non-hyperbolic as anyone in public life, so if she's telling us that shit is scary out there, shit is definitely scary. The overriding message was, to quote Geena Davis in The Fly, "Be afraid. Be very afraid," with the addition of "And you better fucking well vote like you're afraid." Honestly, I was frightened of the possible dystopian Trumpian future. Now, I'm pissing myself in fear. 

What was also remarkable was how Obama went straight for Trump's jugular with attacks on his easily-bruised ego, delivered in a calm yet impassioned voice. Calling out people who chose not to vote in 2016, she said, "Whatever the reason, in the end, those choices sent someone to the Oval Office who lost the national popular vote by nearly 3,000,000 votes," following up that uppercut to the gut with a knee to the face: "In one of the states that determined the outcome, the winning margin averaged out to just two votes per precinct — two votes." You barely won, Obama is telling Trump, puncturing the whole myth of the great and mighty victory that Trump has touted for four years. When Michelle Obama is out of fucks to give, the national fuck tank is empty. 

When Obama said the brutal and much-quoted part of the speech, "Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is," she framed it in terms of her "When they go low, we go high" dictum. Essentially, the speech was less a corollary to that and more a clarification: "[G]oing high means unlocking the shackles of lies and mistrust with the only thing that can truly set us free: the cold, hard truth. So let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can."

Again, while certainly not silent, Michelle Obama has steadfastly stayed above the fray. But even she recognizes that this path is unsustainable, that if the United States is going to stay, well, united, even by the frayed threads that barely hold us together now, we need to vote, as in all of us, including you motherfuckers on whatever side who want to sit out an election because your ideology hasn't been 100% validated by the Biden/Harris ticket. Your house is on fire. You can grab a bucket or watch it burn. 

Yesterday, in another nonsensical screaming narcissism session, this time in Mankato, Minnesota, Trump himself was giving the mirror image of Obama's speech. "We’re going to have an election that’s all about the survival, our nation," he said, later adding, drama queenly, about New York City in particular, "Our beautiful diamond of this country has been let go to hell."  He ranted about how quite moderate Joe Biden was going to be a puppet of some imaginary extreme left who "will kill the stock market, he will kill everything that we’re talking about today. He’d also abolish immigration enforcement, abolish bail, abolish the suburbs, abolish effective policing, abolish American energy, and abolish the American way of life." 

The only way Trump can win is by cheating or by convincing enough idiots that, sure, everything is shit now, but, wow, would it be shitty with the Democrats in charge. 

Of course, Trump doesn't see anything as shitty. He sees it all, all the deaths and poverty and rising hunger and homelessness, as magnificent and he's magnificent and no one but he could have made it all so magnificent and even those things that were doing well before him certainly don't count, like the economy he brags on, the pre-pandemic success of which had everything to do with President Obama and very little to do with Trump. 

But as Michelle Obama pointed out, Trump didn't just squander her husband's legacy. He chewed it up, shit it out, and then told everyone how awesome his shit is. She said, "When my husband left office with Joe Biden at his side, we had a record-breaking stretch of job creation. We’d secured the right to health care for 20,000,000 people. We were respected around the world, rallying our allies to confront climate change. " And Trump just decided to fuck all that up for the sake of rage and envy. 

There is no sitting on the sidelines. Like Michelle Obama, I've seen the devolution of the Republican Party that started with Ronald Reagan (yes, you can argue it started with Nixon). I've seen how Reagan and H.W. Bush fucked shit up and Clinton corrected it, to a degree. I've seen how W. Bush fucked shit up even worse and Obama corrected it, to an even greater degree. A lot of us know of what we speak when we say that shit is really, really fucked up and that, yeah, more than usual, this is an existential crisis right now. 

I loved Obama's near-last line. "We have got to reassert our place in American history," she said. Yep. It's time to take the narrative back from the motherfuckers. Again. 

8/12/2020

Kamala Harris Will Hurt Trump and Pence and That's What We Need

Last week, I said on Twitter that I wanted Sen. Kamala Harris to be Joe Biden's pick for a running mate because I wanted her out there for the next couple of months prosecuting Donald Trump's administration in the public space. Several responses were along the lines of "No, fuck you, she should be attorney general, dick, so that my favorite Democrat can be VP!" 

There are a few reasons I thought Harris-as-AG was a dumb idea. First, no Attorney General has ever gone on to become president. (Robert Kennedy may have, but, well, we'll never know.) And Harris obviously is eyeing the presidency down the road. More importantly, though, is that, as Biden's vice presidential nominee, she will have an incredibly high profile, and in a media environment that too often ignores Democrats and especially Democratic women, she can go out every day and make Donald Trump and Mike Pence cry and it will have to be covered. That will shake some shit up.

I hear every complaint about Harris, and, in another time, it might be enough for me to get upset about it and question Biden's judgment or get angry at the marginalization of the true left of the Democratic Party or whatever, but, sorry, no, fuck that. "Kamala is a cop," you say? Well, she's not and never has been, and I've got a stack of bodies that'll be topping 200,000 that makes me just not give a shit about the questionable aspects of Harris's record as Attorney General of California. Did she ignore a pandemic and cause the economy to crash and refuse to do anything to help while people died, starved, and lost their homes? No? Then who the fuck cares. (And she's been very strong on the environment, violence against women, financial exploitation of the poor, and more, along with being anti-death penalty, so let's just say there's more than enough to mitigate other shit. She's way more progressive than the more-liberal-than-thou gatekeepers say.)

Besides, there are a shit-ton of truly liberal Democratic candidates running at all levels, from school board on up to U.S. Senate. Get behind them and get them elected. That's what will move the whole party to the left. Look at someone like Cameron Webb, running for Congress in Virginia, and who has a chance to pick up a GOP seat. You can use that amazing lefty energy to have a long-term effect on the Democratic Party.

In her speech today at the event where Biden introduced her as his running mate, Harris went right at Trump, laying the failure of this nation to combat the coronavirus right at his wobbly feet. "The case against Mike Pence and Donald Trump is open and shut," she offered before listing the utter failures of this failed group of failures failing us every day, finally coming back to the response to COVID-19. "When other countries are following the science, Trump pushed miracle cures he saw on Fox News." What was doubly awesome about that remark is that the speech was being broadcast on Fox "news," who finally got a small taste of what it's like when Trump screeches, "Fake news!" at CNN.

In perhaps the most cutting moment, Harris said that Trump "inherited the longest economic expansion in history from Barack Obama and Joe Biden, and then, like everything else he inherited, he ran it straight into the ground." That is some hardcore, go-for-the-jugular shit right there. It attacks the entire mythos of Donald Trump as a Successful Businessman when he is a rank loser who couldn't have done a goddamn thing without his daddy's money and still fucked it all up. And she did it with a calm, rational voice, not like the ranting hysterics of the man she's slicing and dicing.

You can tell that Trump is shitting himself over Harris because she is everything that he has feared his entire life: a strong Black woman straight from Central Casting who won't take shit and who will get high ratings every time she kicks him in his voluminous ass. He's gotta desperately play all the tropes, from the racist "angry" Black person to the woman who is "nasty" and "mean," which means not subservient to men like Trump. Shit, they're even rebooting the Willie Horton ads from 1988. What the hell else is he gonna do but break out the hits like this is still the 1980s and the suburbs are still a generic white paradise and aren't filled with middle-class people of all races who support things like Black Lives Matter and think Trump is an obscenity? 

The Trump campaign is caught on Harris between trying to rile up the left with the aforementioned issues and calling her a "radical" who "has abandoned her own morals in an attempt to appease the socialist mob seeking to destroy America. Biden and Harris' disastrous proposals of defunding the police, increased taxes, job-killing policies, and opening our borders are just a few of the many ways they would destroy America." All you can say to Trump is "Motherfucker, you already destroyed America. You burned this shit down. Why would we re-elect you so you can piss on the ashes?"

Today, Biden and Harris offered more sympathy for families and loved ones of the Americans who have died of coronavirus than Trump has offered since the pandemic hit this country. They offered more hope in the form of realistically looking at the crises that Trump has created than in all the bullshit, pointless, delusional happy talk from the president and his administration. And Harris and Biden and their staffs look more like America than the KKK meeting that shows up at every Trump event.

Harris can prosecute the case against Trump and Pence starting now, and that's perfect. She can hurt them over and over.  She can do it with confidence and charisma and cold, hard facts. We need that. We need them wounded again and again. We need Americans to feel ashamed to vote for these GOP dickscabs. That's why we need Harris now, not later as attorney general. When she's elected, Harris can lead a commission that exposes all their crimes. In fact, having her as vice president would help assure that Biden doesn't let it all slide just to move forward, as he and Obama did with the Bush administration's crimes. Harris the prosecutor knows that you can't let that shit go unpunished.

Yeah, the choice of Harris was entirely expected and not remotely surprising, and, goddamn, it felt good to have something go the way it's supposed to go. That can be really fucking energizing and get you ready for what's next. It makes you feel like "Yeah, maybe we can do this."

8/10/2020

The Real Trick Behind Trump's Executive Actions: Pass the Buck

If there is one thing that is consistent about President Donald Trump, who is really just a brain-damaged hog whose squeals can only be understood by other brain-damaged pigs, it's that he refuses to take blame whenever he's wrong. It's not that he never apologizes, like the world's shittiest tween, but he also works mightily to make sure someone else is to blame for his transgressions, his crimes, and his evil (yet dumb) schemes. 

And his most typical move is to find someone else to blame and belligerently push that idea until he or everyone else moves on. For instance, take the lack of a national response to the coronavirus crisis. We know from the Washington Post and elsewhere that Trump didn't want a national, coordinated plan because he was shit-his-Depends scared that he would get blamed for the deaths and misery. It shows how out of touch with reality he is that he thinks he could possibly escape blame. But I suppose the only Americans who count to him are those in MAGAstan, where they are already melting their wedding rings into molten gold so they can create a monument to Trump in his normal color. 

When it comes to the executive order and memoranda about payroll taxes, the unemployment bonus that's run out, student loan payments, and foreclosures/evictions that Trump signed after talks between the White House and Democrats broke down a few days ago, what at first seemed like, depending on your perspective, an outrageous undermining of the separation of powers in the Constitution or a courageous leader taking a stand for struggling workers, turns out to be just another case of this pampered pussy passing the buck and creating a way to blame others. It's bullshit, it's smoke and mirrors, and it's fucking enraging that dickhead conservatives are praising him for them.

For instance, in the memorandum on the unemployment bonus, Trump lays the program at the feet of the governors. First, he's saying, "I am calling on States to use amounts allocated to them out of the CRF [Coronavirus Relief Fund], or other State funding, to provide temporary enhanced financial support to those whose jobs or wages have been adversely affected by COVID-19." So use the meager funding you were given but maybe haven't spent yet now on something you hadn't budgeted for and if you don't do it, then your state's unemployed won't get the bonus money, which, by the way, we're reducing, so fuck your tax revenue, too. A governor has to agree to administer this program, which is something outside of regular unemployment and thus a new system has to be created, which will take months to get up and running, and agree to give 25% of the bonus funds, or go fuck yourself. 

See? When this whole bullshit promise to give those struggling help to put food on the table or to pay their rent (and who will still face eviction because whatever the fuck that executive order on evictions does, it sure as fuck doesn't prevent them from happening), Trump can say, hey, look at the governors, they did it. And I can fuckin' guarantee that they'll find a way to make sure the program works in Texas while not in Virginia, which has a Democratic governor. So not only does Trump not want to give more money for struggling states, he wants them to pony up. Hell, there are mob bosses who would think that's a dirty protection racket.

The same kind of thing goes for the double bullshit of the correctly named "Memorandum on Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations." It not only does dick for the unemployed, but, as it says right there, it's just a deferral of the tax. Someone's gotta pay it or fuck your Social Security and Medicare. So you'll pay it at the end of the year. Trump promises that he'll make the deferral permanent if he's reelected, which will fuck Social Security and Medicare to death, which was the plan all along. The goddamn thing is such a legal clusterfuck for businesses, which are obligated to take the taxes out, that most will probably just say, "Oh, fuck this" and not do it, and, voila, another group for Trump to blame for problems that his incompetence, buffoonery, and evil caused.

It's all an illusion, a lie, a trick. "Look over there while I pull this destruction of the social safety net out of  a hat." But, hey, the postponing of student loan payments doesn't suck.

That's the way this shit goes with this toad of a human, this nadir of the presidents. The buck stops anywhere but with Mr. "I Take No Responsibility." Everything's a hoax. Everything exists to help him or hurt him. He's says he's an innocent victim of a cruel world when he's the cruelty itself in an orange shitsack. 

By the way, if you wanna see just how pathetic a worm Trump is, read the executive order on evictions. Here's the first sentence: "The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which originated in the People’s Republic of China, continues to pose a significant threat to the health of Americans throughout the United States." 

Come for the desperate buck-passing. Stay for the self-fellatio: "As we have since January 2020, with the proactive decision to limit travel from China and the passage of three massive economic relief packages, my Administration will take whatever steps are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and maintain economic prosperity." 

He doesn't mention, as you might imagine, that Congress passed those economic relief packages. Because taking credit for the work of others is the yang to his blame others yin.