The Debate: Trump Give Us Filth and Fraud While Biden Actually Plans a Future for Us

I was in Mexico City with my family in the early 1980s, and our tour guide took us to see a bullfight.  My grandfather was absolutely thrilled at the idea, even if it wasn't the professional season and we were going to the smaller stadium to see the minor league matadors. In the main event, a young, confident man in the full matador regalia came out to the polite applause of the crowd, and he seemed ready for his big debut. When the bull was released, it was obvious that it had a bull's agenda. The matador danced around awkwardly and waved the cape, with the bull charging and mostly missing. A few times, the bull knocked the matador to the ground, and he got up, dirtier and wobblier each time. The picadors came out on their horses and lanced the bull, as is the custom. Finally, it was time for the big moment, when the matador would kill the bull. He was plunging banderillas, the long spikes with flags on them, into the bull, but it wouldn't slow down. The matador wasn't doing it right, and the bull was bleeding, suffering, even more than usual. The crowd realized it was watching a shit show of a bullfight, a cruel and horrific "sport" becoming even too cruel for them, and we started to boo the matador, who became even more flustered. After a long while, the bull finally had bled enough to be manageable. The matador was given a sword and essentially stabbed and hacked until the poor bull finally died. The crowd was split between outraged cries and stunned silence as the embarrassed matador took a bow. And then, it being amateur night, instead of horses coming out to ceremoniously pull the bull through the gates, the dead beast was chained to the back of a beat-up Volkswagen Beetle and dragged through the mud, into the bowels of the stadium while a tinny speaker played mariachi music.

We all felt filthy and disgusted and ashamed to have witnessed a spectacle that degraded humanity. We were all diminished by the experience. I was too young for tequila, but, goddamn, I drank tequila that night. 

You can take the story as a more direct metaphor for last night's presidential debate, but, for me, it's about the feeling that the debate gave me, the triggering of disgust and shame that I was in any way part of it, the way I know it will cast a shadow on American electoral politics for ages. Oh, we had a whole lot of great experiences on that Mexico trip, but I remember the bullfight debacle more than any other. 

When it comes to last night, no one is going to remember that Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden actually laid out plans for his presidency when he could get in more than a few words without being interrupted. Biden said what he'd do to get the nation through the pandemic and what he'd do to help businesses and schools reopen safely after we've finally gotten on the path to recovery. He said he'd get rid of Trump's tax cut for the wealthy. Biden talked about infrastructure spending and creating more jobs while moving the country to greener energy (and how that would create jobs, which is so obvious that it's maddening that this has to be explained). Biden talked about immediate steps he could take to mitigate the Godzilla of climate change that's going to wreck us. Biden talked about addressing racism and white privilege and police brutality. 

Biden was the only one of the two candidates to actually utter the word "future," as if he could see beyond his immediate animal needs, unlike President and business failure Donald Trump. 

Trump didn't offer a single idea for his second term. Not one. He said he'll have plans in the indeterminate future, but he didn't tell you one thing that he aspires to do for the country because his only aspiration is to stay in power. 

But we won't remember any of this because, as is his way, Trump was a fucking tsunami of lies and accusations and conspiracy theories. And he just wouldn't stop. It was like going to an orgy and there's one guy who has done too much cocaine after downing Viagra and he just runs around with his half-hard microdick, frantically fucking any available hole but never able to cum because even the dog is rejecting his desperate humping. Christ, will someone throw this asshole out so the rest of us can enjoy the evening?

You've heard plenty about Trump refusing to condemn white supremacists. But what's being missed is that moderating wet noodle Chris Wallace actually fed him the line he should have said. Wallace asked Trump, "Are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia group and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of these cities?" And Trump couldn't even bring himself to say that about the neo-Nazi Proud Boys, instead saying the now-infamous "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by" before immediately pivoting to attacking left-wing protesters. It was appalling but of a piece with who Trump is and who supports Trump. The Proud Boys themselves were thrilled

Then there was the moment that Trump dismissed Biden's son, Beau, a decorated Iraq War veteran and state Attorney General who died of cancer. Biden was using Beau's example to attack Trump's disdain for the military, yes, but Trump couldn't pause his narcissistic bullshit for one moment to offer even a second of sympathy, to say, "I'm sorry about your loss but here's what I do for veterans" or anything that a normal, relatively sane human being might do. Instead, Trump barreled over Biden, saying, "I don’t know Beau. I know Hunter. Hunter got thrown out of the military. He was thrown out dishonorably discharged." (He was administratively discharged, which is very different and also shows how Trump understands jackshit about the military.)

In one moment, Trump swept aside Biden's mourning for his deceased child and attacked his other son for a cocaine addiction. That's some evil shit right there. It's inhuman, it's amoral, it's fucked up beyond fucked up, and that's for an average person. If you were sitting in a bar and did that shit, you'd deserve to get your ass kicked and no one would help you. But that's the motherfucking president, and to react to it without that in mind is to not understand the full, debased horror of it. Honestly, I wouldn't have been all that shocked if Trump had followed up by mocking Biden's daughter and first wife who were killed in an auto accident. And Trump cared more about Hunter Biden's income than he cared about the victims of coronavirus.

Trump's purpose was to turn the left against Biden and to depress turnout. Frankly, his attacks were just fucking weird and contradictory. He kept shouting incoherently that Biden is a "socialist" and then that Biden is going to "lose his radical left supporters." Which is it? He said that the 1994 crime bill Biden sponsored put people in prison but that Biden couldn't even say "law and order." Huh? For the record, deep flaws aside, a whole lot of cops owe their careers to Biden and the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act because part of it was to hire 100,000 more police officers, something Biden should perhaps emphasize.

Trump's rant about mail-in ballots was so unhinged that it was like doom scrolling through a deranged right-wing Twitter feed. Every single allegation Trump put out there, from the nine ballots in Pennsylvania to the West Virginia ballots to "they found them in creeks," is pure conservative fuckery.  We know Trump trusts Fox "news" and Breitbart more than he trusts his own fucking intelligence and law enforcement agencies, but it will always be fucked up to me that he just makes these accusations without anyone being arrested or charged with a crime. Like with his taxes, with his mythical health plan, with everything, you have to believe him and nothing else. All reality must be viewed through him.

If Biden seemed inefficient in his counter-attacks on Trump (although he got in a number of good blows), it's because Biden's face said it all. Between bemused smiles and smirks at what a goddamn baby Trump is and the occasional look of "What the fuck is he talking about?" or "How the fuck do you respond to a flaming sow that belches lies without shame?" Biden expressed the feeling of disbelief we all have that this grotesquery, this whining worm of a man, this orange, sweaty dick is our president. Frankly, if Biden could take that from Trump without losing his shit, he can handle any dictator in the world.

Like all of us, I'll bet Biden felt filthy having to stand there and endure it. But he fucked up the right's narrative about him as a senile old man just by doing it. And they are going to be frantic to turn Trump's shitpile of a performance into a mountain of stinking gold.

There is no reason to have any more of these debates. They will tell us nothing that wasn't absolutely clear before. If you believe that Donald Trump gives a shit about you after last night, you are lost and you can go fuck yourself into oblivion. Let's just hope you don't fuck the rest of us.


What Biden Ought to Say at Tonight's Debate (Rude Version)

At the start of tonight's first presidential debate, Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden ought to look at President and failed business tool Donald Trump and say:

"Goddamn, you are pathetic. I mean, seriously, you are just pathetic. Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror and think, 'Jesus, what a pathetic piece of shit I am. Just a broke-ass bitch fronting as a tycoon'? You're a fuckin' joke. Yeah, you won the presidency because you massaged the prostate of racism in the assholes of enough stupid motherfuckers to make them jizz all over the voting booth and drag your fat ass over the Electoral College finish line, but, Jesus fucking Christ, man. You think I'm on drugs? What shit must be running through your clogged arteries to make you even able to get up in the morning without collapsing under the weight of all your failure? 

"I mean, c'mon, man, you lost all the money you took from your awful, cruel dickhead of a father. You made $400 million bucks on your bullshit TV show and you not only lost all that, but you lost another $400 mill. You're a fuckin' bum. You're worse than the guy who goes to the track and bets the mortgage payment on a long shot because he got a hot tip and then goes to a loan shark to cover him when he loses his ass so he's not thrown out in the street. That poor bastard might get his legs broken. But you? You'll have to have a fuckin' fire sale of secrets and shit to the highest Russian bidder to make it so you're not suckin' down polonium in your Diet Coke.

"What in the fuckin' universe made you think you could be president, you fuckin' mattress sales model, you shitty steak hawker, you Bernie Madoff without the class? Look at what you've done, man. Look at the fuckin' waste you've left behind. 200,000 and more dead from coronavirus, hundreds of thousands more with long-term damage to their health. And you knew. You fuckin' knew how bad this was. Barack and I even left you a step by step goddamn plan for when this happened, but you are so fucking arrogant and racist and filled with hatred for President Obama that you tossed it aside and followed your gut, even though it has led you to catastrophe every time in your worthless life. You keep promising everyone it's gonna go away and that shit's not happening. It didn't have to be like this except for the fucked-up fact that you're president.

"Meanwhile, you're not doing a goddamn thing to help the working men and women of this country as they bumblefuck around in the darkness you created to try to survive. You use Bill Barr, that walking, talking pile of shit, to fuck up anti-racist protesters while letting motherfucking Nazis parade around with their guns, all to make your animal voters hoot and honk in approval. And, on top of all that, you keep acting like the economy that was handed to you on a silver fucking platter from President Obama is your doing. Bitch, we brought unemployment down over 5 points. You brought it down 1 before you COVID-fucked the country. You just put your name on someone else's work, which is all the fuck you know how to do.

"I'd feel sorry for you if you expressed a single regret, if you said you fucked it all up royally, if you said, 'Yeah, I'm in over my head.'  And it's not that you don't have the sense that God gave a pig. It's that you know you're a fucking bullshit artist and you don't care how many people that hurts. That's what makes you the shittiest fucking human being I've ever seen in my life and I've been in a room with Muammar Gaddafi. The only way you can win this election is by cockblocking the voters, by braying like an ass about corruption that doesn't exist except where you do it, by letting Russia fuck with the voting machines, and who the hell knows what else. You want violence if you lose because you fucking get off on it like you get off on watching hookers piss and snorting Adderall until your tits bleed. 

"And, by the way, if you say one more word about any of my kids, I'll reach into the ground and rip out Roy Cohn's bones and fuck you in the ass with his femur. 

"Go tweet some bullshit, rip off some rubes, finger fuck your daughter, and leave this beat-up country alone. The rest of us have real work to do.

"How was that for someone you think has dementia, you lying motherfucker? I eagerly await your response, you sad, flaccid dick."


If Trump Was Telling the Truth About Voter Fraud, People Would Be Arrested (But He's Not)

Donald Trump is currently the president of the United States, whether we like it or not. And that's apparently his plan for the 2020 election, as he savagely sows doubt about the validity of the vote for the presidency. He keeps speaking in desperate but vague tones, with his accusations now having reached  Trumpian shorthand like "fake news" and "Russia hoax" before it. 

Now it's "the ballots." At a press briefing this week, asked again about and declining to support a peaceful transfer of power should he lose the election, Trump said, "You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. And the ballots are a disaster...The ballots are out of control. You know it, and you know who knows it better than anybody else? The Democrats know it better than anybody else."

And we all know what Trump's talking about now when he says it: mail-in ballots in certain states where he might lose. Not absentee ballots, mind you, which, in most states, are exactly the same as mail-in ballots but get separated out because reasons. Sometimes he narrows it to ballots that are sent to voters without them requesting one, but mostly it's generally mail-in ballots in states that he won in 2016 and is in danger of losing this time (and have Democratic officials overseeing the vote count).

He brings it up as often as he can, and he's decided that it's a massive conspiracy involving Democratic governors, Secretaries of State, and others. At one of his superspreader rallies from hell, in the midst of talking about another supposed massive conspiracy, how Democrats are keeping their economies closed out of spite for him and not because of coronavirus and how they'll open up after Election Day, Trump asserted, "Then they have these fake ballots, millions and millions of ballots. By the way, when, not if, when you see shenanigans, please report it to your authorities. Okay? The real authorities, they’re watching and the authorities are watching, but please report it."

"When" means that Trump, who, again, is the president of the United States, is saying that he knows about a crime that's been committed: a coordinated voter fraud effort. And, as a citizen of this country, as a voter, well, if this is true, then I want people charged with a crime and arrested. Wouldn't all of us want that? I mean, the president wouldn't lie to us, right?

Further, if the FBI director is saying that no crimes are being committed when thousands of crimes are, then that FBI director should be fired, if not arrested himself for covering up the conspiracy. If state officials are working in coordination with each other to steal an election, which is precisely what Trump is accusing them of, then we need to stop it. If our intelligence agencies are all talking about Russian interference in the election but that's just the Deep State covering up for the real crimes, well, my God, why are we just talking about it? The crime is happening now. As Trump said, it's afflicting early voting: "And early voting, if you didn’t know it, has already begun and watch it and watch those fake ballots, you got to go out and turn them in. If you see somebody cheating, you got to turn them in." No, we can't wait for Election Day. We have to stop this now.

And that's what reporters should be asking to show how hugely Trump is lying. Not "Where is the evidence?" but "Why don't you stop this from happening?" If GOP officials point to the lawsuits they've filed to hinder the count of mail-in votes, well, that's not about an enormous amount of premeditated voting fraud, which, again, is what they are accusing Democrats of. There are laws in every state targeting conspiracy to commit election fraud.

Of course, Trump think that the media should be exposing these crimes, not questioning him about them. To him, that's far more important than law enforcement. That's why he says to reporters, "You know it" and says that they won't report on it. Apparently, non-Fox/OAN news organizations are in on the conspiracy, too, working in tandem with Democrats, the Deep State, and, oh, hell, let's say Antifa and pedophiles.

By the way, snark aside, "conspiracy to commit fraud against the United States" is a federal crime. And if there is no conspiracy on mail-in ballots and Trump is just making it up, then he is the one committing the crime, as is every official supporting his lies. This is the real election fraud, and it's meant to undermine the very foundation of our democracy, something we've never seen a president do. That's why you're reading and hearing from people who are totally freaked out. 

Yeah, you can argue (and sometimes I do) that Trump is all talk, that he's a salesman who is always hyping whatever worthless product he's conning you into buying. But that presupposes that his idiot followers believe that, and they don't. They take him very literally, and Trump is giving them an excuse to use violence to keep him in office because of these crimes that no one is committing (except Trump). It's really damn scary.

It's also succeeding in making people paranoid, with legitimate reason. More than one person has said to me that the reason they think Trump wants people to vote on Election Day is because it's far more effective and easier to hack the software of our voting machines to change totals than it is to impersonate millions of people on mail-in ballots (or to counterfeit them, which Trump and corpulent, creepy criminal William Barr have said is also happening). 

Trump is objectively lying for the purpose of securing his reelection. Saying there is massive voter fraud is like saying the earth is flat or that Eric Trump is smart. It's simply, plainly clear that the opposite is true. That's the only way to talk about this fraud Trump is perpetrating on the American people. And that's how Joe Biden needs to frame it at the debate next week.

However, let me conclude here with a vaguely hopeful idea, one that is based in American selfishness: if you invalidate the ballots for the presidential race, you are invalidating the ballots for every race on the ballot. We're not talking just Senate or House races. We're talking state legislatures and city councils and school boards and mill taxes and initiatives. It would be anarchy at the most local levels you can imagine. No one is going to want that in their precinct.

I would also bet there are states or districts where the vote goes against Trump but in favor of other Republicans. Are those Republicans willing to sacrifice their elections to go all in on destroying the very democracy that got them elected or re-elected? No. They're gonna cover their own butts. That self-preservation, so damaging to society as a whole, may be what saves us.


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.)


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.)


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."


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 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. 


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.


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
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


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.