11/23/2022

A Thanksgiving Poem from Indigenous America

by Janice Gould, who was a member of the Concow tribe

Now begins the festival and rivalry of late fall,
the weird debauch and daring debacle
of frat-boy parties as students parade foggy streets in mock
processions, bearing on shoulders scrawny effigies of dead,
defeated Indians cut from trees, where,
in the twilight, they had earlier been hung.
 
"Just dummies," laughs our dad, "Red Indians hung
or burned—it's only in jest." Every fall
brings the Big Game against Stanford, where
young scholars let off steam before the debacle
they may face of failed exams. "You're dead
wrong," he says to Mom. "They don't mock
 
real, live Indians." Around UC campus, mock
lynchings go on. Beneath porches we see hung
the scarecrow Natives with fake long braids, dead
from the merrymaking. On Bancroft Way, one has fallen
indecorously to a lawn, a symbol of the debacle
that happened three generations ago in California's hills, where
 
Native peoples were strung up. (A way of having fun? Where
did they go, those Indian ghosts?) "Their kids perform mock
war dances, whooping, re-enacting scenes of a debacle
white folks let loose," chides Mom. "Meanwhile we hang
portraits of presidents on school walls and never let fall
the old red, white, and blue. My dear brother is dead
 
because he fought in a White man's war. How many dead
Indians do they need to feel okay? This whole thing wears
on my soul." In the dark car we go silent, and the fall
night gets chillier. In yards, blazing bonfires mock
the stars that glow palely somewhere above. A thin moon hangs
over the tule fogs. I've never heard the word "debacle”
 
before and wonder what it means. "What's a debacle,
Mom? " I ask. "Oh, honey, it's a terrible and deadly
collapse. Complete ruin." I've noticed how the hung
Indians have their heads slumped forward. They wear
old clothes, headbands with feathers, face paint, moc-
casins instead of boots. Little do we know, this fall,
 
living Indians at Feather Falls
leave tobacco to mark that, indeed,
we're still here, lungs full of indigenous air.

11/19/2022

The Republican House Is Gonna Be Filled with Insanity and Fuckery

In the wake of Republicans winning the House of Representatives, even by a narrow margin, we got a preview this week of how much we're damned to hear about every detail of the business dealings and, no doubt, personal life of Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden. Conservatively, it'll be "a metric fuckton." More likely, it will be "Benghazi times Hillary's emails to the 10th degree." To the gibbering madpeople and the skeevy fucks who lie to them, Hunter Biden and his Laptop of Mystery is the goddamn Rosetta Stone of bringing down the president. Or at least making him embarrassed. It's a completely worthless, utterly bullshit subject, especially in the wake of the GOP overlooking decades of criminality by Donald Trump (who really was the president, a fact that dry humps my brain every day) and his shitty children. And it will be everywhere.

On the BBC Newshour this week, porcine drink-spiker and delinquent child support payer Jason Miller, who is also an "adviser" to Trump, was asked a reasonable question: Why doesn't Trump just say that he lost in 2020 and now he's back to win? Miller's response was, no shit, "Shouldn't Joe Biden come out and say his family had shady Chinese business dealings and maybe also that Hunter shouldn't have been on the board of Burisma?" That's not an answer to the question, which he was asked three times. You wanna compare the business ethics and financial shenanigans of Trump and Biden? Then let's go.

By the way, Republicans had control of the House of Representatives in 2017 and 2018. If you'll remember, we got zero investigations into Hunter Biden. You could argue that Joe wasn't running for president then so the country didn't have to worry about any allegedly shady shit, but you could also argue that it's odd that no one gave a damn about Hunter until Joe announced to run if he was such a nexus of corruption and depravity. Besides, the Senate did do an investigation into Hunter in 2020 and found not a goddamn thing more than "Well, he probably shouldn't have done a couple of things because they look a little hinky." That's it. A Republican-led Homeland Security Committee, chaired by fucking loon Ron Johnson, said Hunter and Joe Biden didn't do anything illegal, and they were trying to make that case. Of course, the Laptop of Mystery appeared after the report from the committee came out, so that's another secret sauce of conspiracy on top of the nutzoid sundae.

It's all Hunter, man. In a pissy little Republican press conference this week, Rep. James Comer, an election denier with his head so far up Trump's ass that he uses Trump's dick as a periscope, and Rep. Jim Jordan, who is Jim Jordan, for fuck's sake, announced that they will be probing Hunter Biden like an Ohio State wrestling coach probes the assholes of his athletes and Jim Jordan will probably ignore the truth here, too. Look at this shit: "We're going to provide you all with something you're not used with respect to congressional investigations, and that's evidence," Comer said in his slick as snakeskin Kentucky con artist voice before talking about how "experts" have "reviewed Hunter Biden's laptop" to discover how "the Biden family swindled" people of hundreds of thousands of dollars and used "influence peddling" with China and Russia to make money. In other words, money laundering. And, first off, "hundreds of thousands of dollars," motherfuckers? That's chump change. No one at Biden's level is risking everything for that pittance. But they'll keep saying, "China" because it sounds evil, and they'll keep saying, "Russia" because it makes it seem like Trump is exonerated from his money laundering.

Republicans say they're using Hunter as a way of getting to Joe.  "The president's participation in enriching his family is, in a word, abuse of the highest order," Comer asserted, and they will dig into everything Hunter to prove it. But Democrats didn't have hearings about Ivanka, Eric, or noted cocaine vlogger Don, Jr., and they fucking well worked for their father. Shit, Ivanka and her creepy wraith husband Jared worked in the fucking White House, and Jared couldn't wait to bob on sweaty Saudi knob once he was free of the mild burden of his "duties" for the federal government.

On top of this, trashcan troll doll and de facto Speaker Marjorie Taylor Greene is promising to try to use an obscure procedure to cut funding for any investigations into Trump, and I guarantee that the crazy caucus will attempt to shut down the government to stop any indictments. We've got Fauci hearings, immigrant caravan hearings, and "abuse" of January 6 terrorist hearings coming. Kevin McCarthy or whoever is cursed to be the real Speaker of the House is gonna need Democrats to get any shit done, and that's fuckin' hilarious. Meanwhile, House committees are gonna take anything said on right-wing propaganda bullshit networks as truth and use their subpoena power to fuck up lives and find absolutely fucking nothing. I look forward to the hearing on Hillary Clinton drinking baby blood. 

It's laughable that some in the media and even in Congress think that the narrowness of the GOP's margin in the House would take some of the bugfuck wind out of their lunatic sails. Fuckin' please. It's like saying that Merrick Garland appointing a special counsel to take on the investigation of Trump would show it's not political. By the time he finished that statement, Republicans were screaming about how political it is, including Trump. Haven't we fucking learned that nothing chastens Republicans? Nothing teaches them any goddamn lessons? Not winning. Not losing. Nothing. 

The only upside is that, for two elections now, Republicans have run, at least in part, on Hunter Biden, and it hasn't done shit for them. Fuckin' let people see what they do when they have power. Maybe a few more will understand that it's only a show for these shitheels. It's life and death for the rest of us.

11/12/2022

Blaming Trump Lets Republicans Off the Hook (and Other Observations on a Pretty Good Election)

(Started writing this early in the week, but because Covid is still a thing, I've been back in Louisiana with to see a sick, hospitalized family member. Things are looking good now, but it was dicey. Get vaccinated. Wear masks. Do the shit you need to do.)

In the wake of Republicans having their raging red wave erections slapped flaccid by the firm, stinging hand of reality in the 2022 midterm elections, blame for this epic cock block has seemed to come to rest on one major cause: Donald Trump, who really was once president of the United States (something that still boggles my mind every goddamn day) and is still, to some, the de facto leader of the Republican Party. "A red wave of criticism crashes into Donald Trump after midterm losses," says the Washington Post, quoting current Republicans about how Trump's endorsements and his general Donald Trumpishness didn't help. The Guardian goes with "Republicans have someone to blame for their disappointing result: Donald Trump." And Fox Business quotes former Trump adviser Mercedes Schlapp, which is the name of a real adult human and not an SNL character or terrible branding exercise, saying that Republicans were being too hasty to blame Trump.

The problem, of course, is that blaming Trump is some cheap-ass bullshit. Oh, sure, Donald Trump always has and always will suck the hair off donkey balls if he thinks it can get him some attention and devotion (and cash).  His ego is a black hole of need, and those who venture to the event horizon are almost always remorselessly sucked in and sucked dry. But Trump didn't force any of the candidates to buff his dickhead to a bright orange sheen. They all had a chance to bail on him after the January 6 insurrection, but they didn't. They fucking went along with whatever lies he wanted to tell. They went along for the ride, like the ass remoras they are, nourishing their ambitions from his free-floating verbal detritus. Republicans are to blame for Republicans fucking up the midterms.

There are exceptions for the GOP, of course. Down in Florida, for instance, scaly sweat worm Marco Rubio easily defeated the genuinely noble Val Demings. And, yeah, completely shitty Gov. Ron DeSantis, who acts more or less like the abusive manager of a telemarketing scam company, trounced Democrat Charlie Crist, who should just stop. Some of the best advice I heard came from a pal at a Major Financial Institution who was told that it's time to give up on Florida, that people are moving there for low taxes and "freedom" to dick over others and they control the joint now. There were other GOP victories, like Sen. Ron Johnson not losing in Wisconsin when he fucking well should have. And the less said about how New York fucked up redistricting, the better.

But, holy shit, the tradeoff is that Michigan and Pennsylvania have come back from the dark side of the moon. Imagine how well John Fetterman would have done had he not had a stroke in May and been the subject of a pathetic, shameful attack on his health. And we Democrats will almost surely have won the Senate in the next couple of day when incumbent Catherine Cortez Mastro pulls ahead in Nevada, which I think will lead to an easy Warnock win in the runoff in Georgia's Senate race because why hate yourself so much that you vote for Hershel Walker if control of the Senate isn't in the balance? And, perhaps most importantly to the future of democracy in the country and, frankly, the outcome that has actually given me hope that we can pull back from the brink of fucked-beyond-fucked, all the nutzoid, election-denying, barking mad candidates up for Secretary of State in swing states, officials who could have shit on election results they didn't like, they fuckin' lost. It was like the United States said, almost as a whole, "Oh, fuck off. Donald Trump lost the 2020 election. Deal with it."

Sure, Republicans will almost surely end up with the House, but with a slim majority where the even semi-rational members understand that voters were saying, "Stop with your bullshit! We don't give a fuck about Hunter Biden! We support abortion rights!" Except there are the complete fucking loons who want to whole-hog impeach Joe Biden for unknown things, arrest Dr. Anthony Fauci for not being an antivaxxer, and have anal probe hearings on how the FBI has harassed poor, innocent Donald Trump. And those cockscabs will shut down the government to gut Social Security or end Obamacare or, as I've been saying, to stop any prosecution of Trump or January 6 traitors. They might even cause the collapse of the world economy if Democrats don't shitcan the debt ceiling in the lame duck session. So, truly, fuckery will likely occur. Or, perhaps, we're about to see "GOP in disarray" stories as poor bastard Kevin McCarthy tries to corral a bunch of feral, rabid weasels. Goddamn, it's gonna be fun to watch them bite his ass over and over. Gonna be even more fun when he realizes he needs to make deals with Democrats to get shit done.

There are many things you can say about the 2022 election. It didn't suck nearly as much as it could have, and there's still a chance for it not to suck much at all. Joe Biden wasn't a drag on the Democratic Party. The nation rejected crazy, but gerrymandering works wonders. Without it, Republicans wouldn't have a prayer at getting the House of Representatives. It's hilarious watching pollsters and pundits get their asses handed to them with results that defy almost all of their expectations. It's doubly hilarious to watch the tough GOP operatives and politicians scamper away from real confrontation over the election results, like the fucking cowards they always were. Mostly, though, it's like the American people just said, "Enough already," and, yeah, that did mean "Enough with Donald Trump" (although I'd caution that we thought that would happen after January 6 and it didn't), but it also meant "Enough with all of you monstrous assholes who don't give a shit about governing." As Death's double, Florida Sen. Rick Scott, said, Republicans simply didn't have any plans for anything other than owning the libs. You can't run on that. Or, really, you can run on that once, and that was 2016. After that, you gotta govern.

However, the real problem isn't that Republican politicians suck. No, the actual blame belongs with their voters, as it always has. You don't get off the hook because you supported absolute garbage candidates like Blake Masters or Lee Zeldin or Kari Lake or Dr. Oz, for fuck's sake. Fuck you for being so gullible, so simple, so hateful that you'd rather put Doug Mastriano in office than someone who actually gives a shit about your problems, like Josh Shapiro (unless your "problems" include critical race theory and drag queens, in which case, grow the fuck up, you idiot children). Fuck you for thinking that Fox "news" and other assholes tell you anything about what the world is like. Kids claiming they're cats and shitting in litter boxes? Goddamn, how do you look yourself in the mirror and not laugh at how dumb and debased you are for believing things like that. Join reality or go live on fucknut island somewhere, unvaxxed and uneducated.

Blame them all, Trump, Republicans, their media, their voters, because they form a clusterfuck of insanity and degradation, a heaving shitball heading towards a cliff.  2022 was us stepping out of the way before it dragged us with them. We're not out of danger yet, but, goddamn, it sure feels like we dodged a catastrophe.

11/07/2022

Vote Because Fuck Them

Goddamn, I can't fucking take them anymore, any of them, any of the assorted MAGA racist freaks and moral lepers and violent morons, any of the QAnon fucknuts who are so goddamn deranged that there should be a Bedlam opened just to store them in and keep them out of the sight of decent human beings, any of the shitposting mob masturbating to bleeding over their oh-so-edgy memes, any of the gun-fellating, immigrant-hating bible-humpers, any of the cadre of corrupt cunts and cocksuckers who claim that the 2020 election was corrupt, any of the narcissist fucking billionaires who we're forced to believe have some secret understanding of the world when they are just pampered and isolated imbeciles, any of the shit-smeared liars and rube exploiters who make bank and gain power because that's better than telling the motherfucking truth, any of the scurrilous lickspittles groveling on the ground, prostrating themselves before the slothful, gluttonous, greedy, lustful, pride-engorged, envious, and wrath-driven Donald fucking Trump, as loathsome a corpulent creature to ever undulate out of the depths of crude criminality to demand obeisance and tribute from the vile and deranged and scabby and dumb crowds who would rather blow up the country than even entertain the possibility that they have been, are being, and will be conned and manipulated and mentally raped by savage purveyors of faith, of falsehoods, of fantasies, from Fox to Falwell. I cannot fucking take them anymore. 

So I'm gonna go vote on Election Day because fuck them all. Fuck them in front and then turn them over and fuck them in the back. Vote because if enough of us do, we will force them to show their asses sooner than they wanted to. We know, we fucking well know, that they are begging for an excuse for violence. They are begging for a chance to assert the power they believe they have, that they have accumulated because of the mental illness of their ideology, helped by the fucked up timing of Trumpian rhetoric and pandemic-induced paranoia. They want to show how they can overturn our votes, how they can just toss them out, how they can change them to their favor. They've teed it up: only they can win and it be legitimate, and they are mostly so rankly stupid that they don't see there is no logic in that idea. They don't fucking care. So vote because they are voting. Vote because they wanna kill us. Vote because they wanna dominate us. Vote because we can win this. Vote because our winning will drive the final nail into their empty heads, breaking their tiny brains and forcing their worst plans into the light. Then we can have that fight and not wait to see how fucking bad it gets in 2024.

And we may very well fucking lose. But they want that despair to engulf us. They wanna convince us we already lost and keep us from voting. I don't give a fuck right now about that. Fuck them. Fuck them hard and fuck them rough. If we're gonna lose, I gonna go down swinging. 

I want us to go down swinging for Stacey Abrams and Raphael Warnock and John Fetterman and Josh Shapiro and Val Demings and Charlie Crist and Gretchen Whitmer and Tim Ryan and so fucking many others. I want us to go down swinging for what we know is right. I want us to go down swinging because we love the country that we can be, not the country we used to be. I want us to go down swinging so that if we lose we can say that we made it fucking hurt.

But I don't wanna fucking lose. If you already voted, fuck yeah. You go, you millions of beautiful believers in reality. And if you haven't, if you're like me, with an Election Day voting fetish, then line up and, especially in places where they wanna try to stop you from voting, stand there and look tough and smug and vote like your fucking life depends on it. Like all our lives depend on it. Like you wanna finally turn, at last, and tell every single one of those disgusting motherfuckers up top there to, truly, shut the fuck up already.

11/04/2022

Barack Obama Calls Crazy "Crazy" and We Need More of That

We needed Barack Obama to lay it all out for us: "Imagine if you hire your plumber. You've got an overflowing toilet. It's a problem," he said during a rally in Michigan. "[The plumber] comes in and, you know, you're waiting for the toilet to be fixed. He starts, 'Have you heard about the latest conspiracy of the Lizard People?' and he starts talking to you about all this stuff. 'We gotta do something about that.' You'd be like, 'No no no, I just want you to fix my toilet.' You'd find another plumber." 

What Obama has done as he crosses the country for Democratic candidates in tight races is to say that crazy motherfuckers are crazy motherfuckers and we need to say they're crazy motherfuckers and stop acting like their crazy motherfucking is in any way valid. In that Michigan speech, Obama brought up how Governor Gretchen Whitmer's opponent, Republican Tudor Dixon (which sounds like what you'd call a shitty mobile home park to make it sound fancy) said in 2020 that Democrats are trying to topple the U.S. government and control people through Covid-19 restrictions because they lost the Civil War. Obama exclaimed, "Now first of all...what?" And then he turned to the laughing crowd and gave a confused/concerned smirk, adding, "Wha...what?" The "the fuck" is implied. He continued, "I mean, I know some people go down these rabbit holes on the internet. They're up too late. But that's like a subway tunnel. That's deep. That's the darkest rabbit hole I've ever seen."

It's funny, sure. Obama has such good comic timing that he drove Donald Trump to run for president. But it's also the goddamn truth. As I've said before, we need to treat the people who spout crazy shit like they're crazy. That means anyone who believes that what's real isn't really real should be shamed for it. And I'm not just talking about the QAnon blithering madness. I'm talking about those who say, for instance, that the 2020 election was stolen or rigged or whatever. Our leaders should be mocking them more, especially the politicians who say that. Yeah, they are a threat to democracy. But they are also fucking nuts. But they say this shit shamelessly because no one of any power is shaming them.  Yes, many of them are lying just to keep Trump and the MAGA rubes happy. But their intentions in saying crazy shit have no bearing on how they should be treated.

Instead, we get CNN's new CEO pushing a policy on allowing the nutzoids on the air: "CNN won’t ban guests who have supported the false claim that the 2020 election was stolen, but the network will attempt to keep conversations with those people in safe zones of truth." Read another way, that says, "We'll have liars and insane people on and hope they don't lie or say something insane." You know what the best way to avoid that shit is? Don't fucking invite them on unless it's to point and laugh at how fucking mad they are. CNN had the newest Trump clone, Kari Lake, on a couple of weeks ago and just let her get away with saying that she wouldn't accept the results of the gubernatorial election in Arizona if she lost. The next question from Dana Bash should have been "Do you know how fucking deranged that sounds? I mean, that's objectively fucking nuts."

The justifications for insanity are equally insane. Take the crime against Paul Pelosi, which was meant to be an assault on his wife, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. On his show Tucker Carlson Laughs Like a Sugar-Buzzing Child Stomping Snails, the host offered about the hammer attack, "Why should the rest of us sit here and accept obvious inconsistencies in a story that has public policy implications and not say anything?" And guest Glenn Greenwald, whose primary role now seems to be jock strap for fascists, agreed and said, "Skepticism itself can never be wrong. Skepticism says there is evidentiary holes, and there is faulty reasoning in what we are being told, even if evidence does emerge later on to prove it, the skepticism itself was not just valid, but necessary."

That's all fucking nuts. No one was saying that we didn't want the whole story. But there's a vast fucking world of difference between "Some details are missing that need to be filled in" and "82 year-old Paul Pelosi was in a hammer fight with his secret gay lover." The former is acknowledging that the public should be informed. The latter is utterly idiotic and isn't "skepticism." It's the opposite of skepticism. It's saying that your extravagant speculation is valid without any proof at all. Like I could say that it's obvious to me that Tucker Carlson can only orgasm while fucking his wife if a German Shepherd is licking his asshole while he's fucking her. I don't have any proof that this is the case, but it would be irresponsible not to speculate because I'm skeptical about Tucker Carlson's ability to jizz while fucking his wife. Details are missing that need to be filled. I have a duty to assume that he needs a German Shepherd to get its snout all up in his anus, just eating him out, while he is sweatily humping the misses, and until someone shows me otherwise, that's fuckin' canon right there. 

You see what that shit does? Now it's in your head for the rest of your life. And no matter what, when you see ol' Tuckus, you're gonna think, "That dude needs canine analingus to get off." In the same way, because the "skepticism" on Paul Pelosi was treated as fact, it will never not be an article of faith among the brain-fucked MAGA cretins that David DePape and/or Pelosi just wore underwear during the attack. People who say that shit shouldn't be treated with any respect. 

One of the triumphs of conservatives starting in the 1980s isn't that their beliefs attracted followers. No, it's that they turned liberal beliefs into something that many people became embarrassed to espouse. They turned helping the impoverished and the sick into some kind of weakness while amping up the fear of crime and immigrants and the need to be tough and cruel. So people fled from liberalism, Democrats pivoted to the center and the rights, and the stain of that refusal to broadly fight for those liberal ideals has carried through to this day. Some voters won't ever go for a Democrat because they will never not believe that Democrats are communists who want to gender change your children.

What I'm saying is the same approach needs to be used for this terrifying insanity that has gripped so many millions. There are voters who are choosing Republicans who do know that Trump lost the 2020 election, but who just can't bring themselves to vote Democratic. Well, they need to be made to feel too shitty and ashamed to vote for Republicans. The way that is done is not just by saying Trump is a ludicrous, gluttonous shitpile who will wreck things worse than he did before. And not just by saying that democracy is fucked if Republicans get any power. And not even by saying that abortion rights and LGBT rights and more will be gone, too. 

The shit that the majority of the GOP candidates believe is fucking loony, befitting end-of-the-world screamers on street corners or shit-tossing maniacs in an institution. Call crazy what it is. Don't let them get away with pretending that it's normal to live in a backed up toilet full of shit. Let everyone know that the choice is to be dragged into the toilet with them. Or get a goddamned plumber.

10/28/2022

They Once Blew Up a Classroom Over Textbooks, So, Yeah, There Will Be Violence

In 1974, in West Virginia, protesters used dynamite and Molotov cocktails against the buildings of their enemies. The protesters were upset that the Board of Education of Kanawha County voted to update the textbooks in the district's language arts classes to include more modern authors in an effort to be more inclusive and multiracial. Kanawha County is the biggest in the state, and it includes the capital, Charleston. A fundamentalist Christian member of the board, Alice Moore, discovered that some of the new books included profanity, sex, evolution, and Freud. Oh, they also contained works by Black activists like Malcom X. Moore said that she was upset that the new books would teach American history in a way "unduly favoring Blacks." Yeah, the connections to the current fuckery over curriculum in schools are that blatant. 

Moore was able to get churches and conservative groups all worked up and calls for the books to be banned became school boycotts, which became marches that included the KKK and, of course, Confederate flags, and those marches led to violence, including 15 sticks of dynamite used to blow up part of the school board building and dynamite thrown into a first grade classroom, where, fortunately, no one was present, but the room was ruined. The books were temporarily removed from schools, but, as a Village Voice article from 1974 says, "During the weeks the books were out of the schools, English teachers all over the county were scared to teach anything but grammar in case any work of literature, even Shakespeare, goaded some hotheads to bomb their buildings." Shots were fired at a school bus, homes were shot at and bombed, and more. 

And it was all over goddamn school textbooks. I mean, look, if I feel like giving any credit at all to the violent fucknuts that plague us, I can, in the most abstract way possible, understand how someone who has been gorging themselves to vomiting on lies and Christian bullshit would get it in their heads that clinics where abortions are performed are murdering people, so they need to be closed. Again, the violent fucknuts are wrong and insane, but I get it. I get bombing military recruiting centers in the Vietnam War. I don't agree, but, shit, I get that when you think you're saving lives, you might be inclined to extremism. But this shit was over books, and the crazed motherfuckers went full-bore terrorism, based in the area's churches that preached their bible is the only book anyone needed. And to prove how fucking Christian they were, "one preacher prayed fervently and publicly for the death of three school board members."

This was fear, man, fear of how the world was changing, how nonwhites were being treated with increasing equality, how women were going to work, how kids were rebelling against the nonsensical religious garbage. When the old ways die and when there are people in power who support the old ways going into the shit heap of history, the desire to halt what we might quaintly call "progress" will inspire savagery. 

Today, I don't think we're heading into a civil war. I've said before that we are too lazy a nation, and arresting people can do a helluva job in slapping down the insurrection erection to a flaccid effort. 

However, it's hard not to believe that we're going to see violence going into and as a result of November 8's midterm election. Death threats have gutted local elections offices. Armed fucknuts are showing up to oversee ballot drop boxes. And that's not getting into the nonstop stream of death threats and other threats of violence (and, with the most recent attack on Nancy Pelosi's husband by a fucknut who wanted to assassinate Pelosi, actual violence) against elected officials. You shouldn't need to have a spine of steel to sit at a goddamn table and count votes for minimum wage. You shouldn't have to worry about your life being ruined by online barbarians just for doing your job. And I haven't even gotten into all the threats and violence against school officials and teachers.

Right now, Republicans are telling MAGA cretins and other assorted shitheels and scumfucks that they are going to win back the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate. They are saying that there is no way they can legitimately lose, and, in fact, if they do lose, it must be because of Democratic fraud, cheating, and theft. Tucker Carlson, who has the laugh of someone having a great time fucking a corpse, has proclaimed as much to his millions of Nazi and Nazi-adjacent viewers. GOP candidates like Kari Lake, who you know masturbates with a Trump-shaped dildo, and Blake Masters, who you know masturbates with a Peter Thiel-shaped dildo, are refusing to say they'll accept the results of the election if they lose. 

How do you think those armed and ready assholes are gonna react if Democrats end up winning? Hell, the GOP could win both houses, but if there's an election where they think they should have won, like with Herschel Walker in Georgia, that's gonna tell the locked and loaded crowd it's go time. Christ, speaking of Georgia, I don't wanna think about how insane the state's gonna get if Stacey Abrams wins the governorship. If you tell gullible motherfuckers that those who oppose you are satanic baby murderers who steal elections so they can murder more babies, more than a few of those motherfuckers are gonna react as if that's true.

It's fucking madness that we're even living through this, that we're not just talking about it, but fully expecting it and preparing for it. 

And the point of the story I started with, about what became known as the "Textbook Wars," is not just that violence can happen over the stupidest goddamn things. No, the point is about what came after, when the violence was over and the protests ended and people went to jail for the worst acts and everyone went back to their lives and the books were allowed to be used.

Yeah, that's right. But the Board of Education gave each school the right to say whether or not they used them. And a good many of the schools did not. After a few years, in some schools, thousands of unused books were burned just to dispose of them to open up storage space. And Alice Moore got the school board to pass a new regulation that prohibited any books that "pry into home life; teach racial hatred; undermine religious, ethnic, or racial groups; encourage sedition; insult patriotism; teach that an alien form of government is acceptable; use the name of God in vain; or use offensive language."

In other words, the regressive bastards won the battle. And the war rages on.

(Some of the info in here comes from the fascinating BBC podcast Things Fell Apart, where Jon Ronson delves into the origins of some recent culture war battles. I was dismayed and angered remembering some of the stories in there.)

10/21/2022

The Questions Republican Candidates Aren't Being Asked Enough (or At All)

We know that if Republicans win back even one house of Congress, the whole place will become a nightmare of masturbating clowns, all cackling wildly as they rub and tug their greasepainted genitals to a screaming spurt and then declare they're ride-or-die Americans just engaged in old-fashioned horseplay to own the libs. Unfortunately, not enough attention has been paid to just how fucking insane that is. The typical Democrat will say, "Republicans will take away your abortion rights and destroy democracy." What they need to add is "and they're scary clowns jacking off on the Constitution." 

I don't think that most Americans really understand that part. Sure, we here on the musky Twitter machine have that awareness, but we are not most Americans. While the moderators of the debates I've seen or read about do ask if the Republican accepts that Joe Biden won the 2020 election or if the Republican will accept the results of the 2022 election, voters need to know what they're getting with the GOP candidates. Because, see, it sure as shit seems as if a lot of voters think that when they vote for Republicans this cycle, they're trading already tenuous abortion rights for cheaper milk and safer streets. They don't realize that what they're really getting is a pack of crazed clowns who will spooge on them after they murder them.

For instance, as far as I've seen, no debate moderator or TV interviewer has asked a GOP candidate, "If the Justice Department indicts former president Donald Trump, will you do anything to hinder that prosecution?" We know already that, should the GOP win in November, potential future Speaker of the House and awkward walrus Kevin McCarthy and rejected Glengarry Glen Ross character Jim Jordan, among other skeevy Republicans, have pledged to investigate the DOJ over the FBI's raid on Mar-a-Lago, Trump's decaying fake home in Florida. We know that the GOP is promising to shut down the government and gut the economy with a rusty shiv and dance in its entrails if they don't get to cut Social Security and Medicare. So since the pieces are all there, c'mon, make the motherfuckers say if they'll use us all as a human shield to prevent anything happening to Trump. 

Along those lines, ask them if they'll do anything to prevent prosecutions of the criminals who attacked the Capitol. Again, we know that a Republican House will shut down the January 6 Committee. Hell, some of them have even said they'll investigate the members of the committee for...fuck, I don't know, so let's just say "for reasons." The majority of Americans support the work of the committee. It seems like it might be important to find out if the GOP plans to cut its legs and heart out.

Ask candidates what investigations they will support. Republicans are teeing up a shit-ton of probes. They're gonna investigate Hunter Biden because Fox "news" and QAnon nutzoids demand it, even if there's not a single goddamn reason to do it. They're gonna investigate Dr. Anthony Fauci because of course they will. They're gonna investigate anyone who ever said or did anything to make Donald Trump or his terrible children feel bad, including the FBI. And you bet your fucking life they're gonna investigate the absolute horseshit about the "stolen" 2020 election. The crazies will riot if they don't. They're gonna investigate critical race theory, drag queens, and doctors who help transgender kids. And the fucking voters deserve to know if this is the shit they're voting for. In 2020, Democratic candidates were very clear that investigating the Trump administration was on the table. Get the GOP candidates on the record.  

And if Republicans are going to make a big fucking stink about things, ask them what the fuck they're gonna do about it. "Okay, Rep. Trumphumper, you keep saying inflation is out of control. What the fuck are you gonna do about it?" Or "Tell us, Mr. Qsucker, what the fuck are you gonna do about all the crime you say is going on out there?" The answer, of course, is not a goddamn thing. On inflation, they say they're gonna cut government spending. So? All that does is harm people at the bottom. And they say they're gonna end government regulations. This shit is to make life easier on corporations, who will almost assuredly not pass the profits on to the consumers (see: the greedy pigs in the oil and gas industry). On crime, they're gonna "incentivize" the hiring of more cops, which is utterly fucking meaningless. They have no fucking plans beyond controlling people's bodies and minds and enriching the rich while tricking the rubes into thinking that racism and hatred is a viable course for domestic policies as long as their evil Christian nationalist ideology can fuck shit up for the rest of us. While these questions may get asked, candidates need to be pressed to give real answers.

So this note is for local media, including debate moderators: Ask your candidates if they are going to do their fucking jobs or waste everyone's time on utter and complete bullshit. And ask Republicans point blank if they intend to join in any effort to shut down the federal government, something that the vast majority of voters despise. In the MAGA districts, it won't matter: the more batshit, the better for those troglodytes. But in races where it's tight, get 'em on the record. If a candidate is a masturbating clown, it's better to know now that to wait until they're in office and put on the wig and nose and break out the lube.

Oh, one more question: Ask Republican candidates if they intend to support the effort to impeach Joe Biden. Just to see. 

(Note: I have not watched every debate or read every article on every congressional election. I'm only one human being, goddamnit. If these questions have been asked in a race you're watching, lemme know and I'll be glad to update.)

10/15/2022

The Patriotic Case for Jailing Donald Trump

Thursday's hearing by the January 6 Committee was clarifying in the way that a great closing argument at a trial can be, pulling together threads that had previously come up and demonstrating how someone is guilty of the crime or crimes they've been accused of. What is so absolutely glisteningly clear is that Donald Trump, while President of the United States (a thing that really did happen), tried to overturn a legitimate election he had lost. What's more, he knew that he had lost the election and he knew that the election had been legitimate. What's more, he knew ahead of time how the voting was going to go for the election, that mail-in ballots, the number of which surged because voters were encouraged to vote by mail during the pandemic, would be counted later and break towards Biden. Because he knew this, he planned, with others, in advance to say he had won, even if he had lost, and then to fight it out to the bitter end, making everything that came after premeditated.

What's more, he knew he was calling on supporters, many of whom were inclined towards violence against Democrats and what they perceived as RINOs, to come to Washington, DC and march on the Capitol to stop the counting of the Electoral College votes. What's more, when the expected violence started, he did nothing to stop it for hours, abandoning his Oath of Office and watching on TV to see if the violent mob might succeed. 

What's more, to this day, Trump keeps propagating something he knows is a lie, which is not only causing threats of violence and harassment of election workers and politicians. And his language is leading to the strong possibility that a bunch of those who go along with the erroneous election belief will be elected themselves, so that, even if Trump doesn't run, they will do possibly irreparable harm to the democracy and to the nation. 

And yet, for some reason, Donald Trump has not been jailed. He is free to "truth" out election lies and QAnon conspiracy madness. He holds rallies where he preens and prances like a parody of a dictator, warning his decreasing crowds of crazy cretins to be prepared to fight for him or to make sure that his lies never die, even if he goes ungently into that good night. He is investigated and investigated, giving the impression that those investigating him do not have enough to indict or arrest him, let alone convict him. Perhaps that is true, but that hasn't been tested yet, but the narrative sticks because of how Trump has slipped out of any attempt to hold him accountable, except for the 2020 election.

Maybe I'm naive, and I'm certainly not a lawyer or legal expert, but if someone's stated goal is to overthrow the elected government of the United States and that someone is fomenting violence and threats of violence against those who don't want to overthrow the elected government of the United States, then it would be patriotic to arrest that person. It would be patriotic to hold them without bail until trial so that they can't keep fanning the flames of rebellion, a rebellion that is based on lies that have been called lies by people across the political spectrum and by dozens of courts of law.

This isn't some wild, leftist idea about what Trump deserves. It's based on Trump's words, actions and inactions, and the results of all of that. Even in his petulant letter responding to the January 6 Committee's subpoena of him, Trump holds the insurrectionists blameless, implying that the riot, violence, and lawlessness that day was justified. He said that the committee has "targeted only those who were, as concerned American Citizens, protesting the Fraud itself." How does that not send the message that Trump wanted the violence on that day? He is saying that what the rioters did was right.

He continues to insist that there is a vast conspiracy involving thousands, if not tens of thousands of people, including members of Congress of both parties, state and local officials of both parties, election workers of both parties, and more, without a shred of genuine evidence to support any of it. Meanwhile, the Republican Party, which is now primarily existing to support the lies about the 2020 presidential election (but, oddly, not the election of anyone else in that year), is poised to get elected hundreds of people who are fully invested in the conspiracy and who want to declare invalid any election where their candidate loses. They want to be able to easily overturn the will of the people in presidential elections and, no doubt, any other election, undermining the very foundation American democracy is built on, however wobbly that foundation might be. And despite the power they will have, these officials will represent a minority of population of the country, and they who will use any means to gain this power. Right now, they talk constantly about using violence to achieve those ends if they have to. 

Again, I'm asking how is it not the height of patriotism to want to stop that?

One other genuinely chilling thing discussed at the hearing on Thursday is that Trump wanted to act deliberately to undermine an incoming Biden administration (which, obviously, he would only do if he knew he had lost the election). "Knowing he was leaving office," Republican Adam Kinzinger said, "he acted immediately and signed this order on November 11th, which would have required the immediate withdrawal of troops from Somalia and Afghanistan, all to be complete before the Biden inauguration on January 20th." If it had been acted on, there would have been a "catastrophic" mess left behind for Biden to clean up, in addition to the catastrophic mess of the economy and the Covid pandemic Trump was dumping on the way out. But think about that order for a moment: Trump was going to cause deaths and plunge nations into anarchy just to make Biden's first days in office miserable. At least when Biden withdrew troops, the outcome was his to deal with.

All of this and I haven't even gotten into how the Secret Service and FBI are likely corrupted by Trump and his ground troops in the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, and other groups, to the point that some agents may very well have been coordinating with the 1/6 rioters. It is damn hard to escape the idea that Trump was hoping that members of Congress who opposed him would be killed. I can't help but think that that's what he wanted when he watched the events unfold for over 3 hours on January 6, 2021, refusing to lift a finger to stop the mayhem. This is a man, after all, who loves going to boxing matches. He enjoys violence. 

So I'm not saying that Trump shouldn't have a trial. But I am saying, as I have before, that we hold people who are obviously dangerous in jail without bail as they await trial. This isn't a game. The normal rules have been tossed out the window. If it's all unprecedented, then we need to respond in unprecedented ways.

What could be more dangerous than a former president trying to wreck the country and force it to conform to his fantasy? We know what happens when leaders do that. It never ends well. For the good of the country, for the good of our constitution, that's what needs to happen to Donald Trump. It's what should have happened on January 6. 

The MAGA crowd keeps insisting that they are the real Americans, but if to be American, you need to fall in line behind one person, then that's antithetical to what the country is supposed to be, even in its worst moments. So I'm taking back American identity: if you love this country, you want to see Donald Trump behind bars. That's the measure of who is a real patriot.

10/06/2022

Herschel Walker Proves That All That GOP Abortion Shit Was a Lie

I've never seen a grift given away quite as blatantly as it was by right-wing talk thing Dana Loesch (motto: "I was too fucking crazy for the NRA"). In talking about the revelation that ultra-anti-abortion Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker, running against incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock, paid for a girlfriend's abortion, Loesch started with "What I’m about to say is in no means a contradiction or a compromise of a principle," which automatically means "I'm throwing my principles out the window faster than a priest at Disney World." Then she just fucking said it, the thing we all knew was true but that none of them had the guts to just let everyone know: "I am concerned about one thing, and one thing only at this point. So, I don’t care if Herschel Walker paid to abort endangered baby eagles. I want control of the Senate."

And there you go. Loesch has previously and repeatedly called abortion "infanticide." Or, you know, "baby murder." So, by that logic, within the rhetoric of the anti-abortion right, Herschel Walker is like someone who has paid a hitman to off someone, which is, you know, a crime. But Loesch is way cool with Walker conspiring to murder a baby as long as he might get elected and vote to stop more abortions. Or, as Loesch put it, "If the Daily Beast story is true, you’re telling me Walker used his money to reportedly pay some skank for an abortion and Warnock wants to use all of our monies to pay a whole bunch of skanks for abortions." In other words, abortion isn't the serious crime they keep saying it is. I mean, you're pretty much saying, "Hey, I'd elect Son of Sam if he promised to stop more serial killers. He only murdered 6 people."

If she had an ethical bone in her body (spoiler alert: she does not), if anyone in the GOP had an ethical bone in their body (spoiler alert: they do not), they would say that it's time for Walker to step aside and regroup, awaiting someone who isn't a goddamn brain-damaged, violent, misogynistic lunatic who paid for at least one abortion (because there really might be more than one). Of course, that's not what they're doing. They got their concussed Black candidate to run against the genuinely decent and genuinely progressive Raphael Warnock. 

Frankly, the exploitation of obviously mentally-unwell ex-football player Walker is downright disgusting. I'd pity Walker if I thought he was capable of change, if I thought he might have a moment of self-reflection and wonder, "What the fuck am I doing?" Instead, every bug in Walker's brain becomes a feature or another bunch of dust to be swept under the very lumpy carpet. Walker has threatened to kill his ex-wife and his grown son. He lied about the number of children he had, leaving off the ones he had abandoned, all while condemning the Black community because of the number of "fatherless" kids. And he's said bizarre, moronic, and downright incomprehensible things on the campaign trail, all with the same placid smile that says, "I don't fully grasp the meaning of what I'm doing, but I sure like the attention." Running him as a candidate is one of the most cynical things the GOP has done this election cycle. As Elie Mystal has put it, "Republicans have rallied around him because they think Black Georgians are just addled enough to vote for touchdowns over basic public competence." Spoiler: They're not.

I get the notion of tolerating the sins of your candidates. No one is perfect. But when a politician does literally the opposite of what they claim they believe and what they claim you believe, it's beyond hypocrisy, a word that has no meaning anymore for Republicans, and into flat out lying. But, as we know with Trump, lying doesn't matter. Living in an alternate reality doesn't matter. Nothing matters. Hell, it doesn't matter that Walker can go on lipless fuck Hugh Hewitt's show and say about paying for the abortion, which he denies doing, "Had that happened, I would have said it, because it’s nothing to be ashamed of there." What the fuck does that mean? The very party he's part of wants to criminalize his behavior. In Texas, Walker would have a bounty on his head for doing it. Not feeling shame would seem to make the whole thing worse.

But Walker is forgiven because of the deep desire for more power. That shit means more than anything. Hell, it's why fundamentalist Christian nutzoids put aside their beliefs because Walker is a meat puppet for the radical right and will get more judges in place in a GOP majority Senate. Oh, and Walker has given the all-purpose out: he's proclaimed his love for Jesus. "I was forgiven, the Lord has forgiven me," Walker said. He didn't explain how the fuck he figured out he was forgiven of his sins by an invisible sky wizard, so I'm gonna go with "Made that shit up like every born again asshole." Seriously, unless you get a fucking letter in fire or some shit, don't tell me you know what your god says about you. But the MAGA Christians are all in on Walker and don't give a shit that Warnock is an actual, you know, reverend. Whatever God says, they've forgiven him for paying for (at least one) abortion and I'm sure they'll forgive him for all the lies he's telling now.

The GOP simply doesn't give a shit about how shitty Walker is. They'll put up with anything. He could fuck a donkey while shoving a crucifix up his ass, and they'll say, "Well, at least he'll vote for tax cuts for the wealthy and for judges who will end birth control and gay marriage." His son Christian, who is ultra-conservative himself, could put out a video showing Walker beating a baby to death, and good church people would say, "Herschel gets a pass on baby murder because he'll definitely stop others from murdering babies, no matter how many babies he murders, even if that's a lot of babies."

It's nihilism. It's exploitation. It's horrendous and pathetic. It's everything that Republicans are right now. They couldn't give a dry rat shit about what we think about their hypocrisy and mendaciousness. They will damn their souls gleefully to bring damnation to the rest of us. And the repulsive fuckstains who make up their base will gobble it up like shit from Jesus's ass. None of them care. 

And that fucks us on the left because we actually do give a fuck. We lose power because we give a shit who is in power. That shouldn't be a quaint notion, but it's getting goddamn hard not to debase ourselves just to keep up.

10/01/2022

On Mental Health, Like on Everything Else, Republicans Are Always Liars

In June, during the debate over two Democratic-sponsored bills with mild new rules for purchase and ownership of firearms in the wake of the horrific school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, Republicans predictably lost their collective shit over "muh 2nd 'Mendment." Putting aside the fact that without the guns, people in all kinds of mental states would not be able to shoot other people, what was fascinating in that GOP shit-losing was how many times Republicans said that they wanted to pass bills that addressed mental health issues, not guns. It's as if they found a magical talking point and they waved it like a wand made of liberal tears.

For instance:

Rep. August Pfluger of Texas claimed that Republicans had a bill that provided funding for "mental health counselors" for schools.

Rep. Michelle Fishbach of Minnesota affirmed that Republicans "stand ready to work with the majority to directly address school safety, mental health, and the root causes of gun violence."

Rep. Michael Burgess of Texas insisted that Republicans were big supporters of mental health programs: "Yesterday, in the Rules Committee, it was stated that Republicans vote against all mental health bills. I don't know where that concept comes from. Republicans passed into law the 21st Century Cures Act, which represents the most significant reform to the mental health system in several decades."

Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska was clear on what he thought the bills were missing: "What this piece of legislation does not do is address how the shooter in the majority of these incidents has exhibited concerning behaviors on social media and in public and it does not provide mental health services to those who need it."

Rep. Cliff Bentz of Oregon felt much the same: "Instead of politicizing the response, we should be actually enforcing our existing laws and addressing the mental health crisis that results in these terrible events."

In fact, the House GOP declared that it did already "support mental health care."

So, on Thursday of this week, when given the chance to vote on the Mental Health Matters Act, which specifically expands access to mental health services for many Americans, including students, they must have obviously been in favor it. I mean, to do otherwise would be the height of the hypocrisy. They were pretty fucking clear on how they felt much more needed to be done to help people.

But we're talking about Republicans here. And they already rail against abortion while having or paying for abortions. They want to take away rights from LGBT people while being LGBT themselves. Hypocrisy is like air to these motherfuckers: they couldn't exist without it. So, yeah, they were fucking lying when it comes to their expressed desire to get people needed services for their mental health. 

One Republican voted for the bill while 205 voted against it, including every single one I mentioned above there. Why? Well, reasons, of course. The bill would eliminate some arbitration requirements on disputes between employees and their health plan administrators, thus taking some power away from corporations, including big insurers. And then there's this truly, epically idiotic rant from Rep. Bob Good of Virginia:

"The China virus lockdowns of our schools resulted in an undisputed increase in mental health issues for our students, for our children. This bill is yet another leftist response to the lockdown problems that Democrats created. Thanks to Democrat lockdowns in collusion with their beloved teachers  unions, students across this country are suffering academically and mentally."

Does it get fucking crazier? Oh, yeah. It gets fucking crazier: "History will judge us harshly for how we treated children during the China virus pandemic, regarding how this government crushed the economy, this government crushed small businesses, this government crushed individual liberties and sacrificed our children on the altar of the leftist political agenda and the special interest groups."

In other words, the kids need help but because the help is coming from Democrats, fuck those kids. 

In otherer words, Republicans are goddamn liars about caring for the mental health of children or anyone, really. The easiest proof of that is that people still vote for them despite the fact that they are obvious liars. If you get everyone help with their mental health, hell, they might lose a lot of their voters.

9/24/2022

The Gnawing Anxiety That Trump Will Get Away With All of It

I can't get past something when it comes to the multiple crimes of Donald Trump, who really was president (something I still can't fucking believe happened - I mean, I know it happened. I'm not denying the existence of facts, like Trump and his braindead legions do. I'm just always gonna be like "Fuck us that we let that happen"). And it's really simple, one of those elegant confluences of circumstance that should have complete clarity. It's this:

The law is intensely clear: With a few exceptions that need to be approved, the records of a presidential administration belong to the nation, not the president. All of it, classified, unclassified, and declassified, go to the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, an office set up to take care of those records that are, again, by law, the nation's. There's no wiggle room on this. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals made it crystal-fuckin'-clear in its decision this week in favor of the Justice Department when it comes to the hundred or so documents found by the FBI at Trump's shitty fake castle, Mar-a-lago. "They are ‘owned by, produced by or for, or . . . under the control of the United States Government,'" it wrote

And this is what bugs the shit out of me. I get that rich people are treated differently when it comes to legal matters. I get that presidents are treated with kid gloves for some goddamn reason. But Trump and the people around him took those documents that don't belong to him. Then NARA gave them the benefit of the doubt (or pretended to) and said, "Hey, you took these documents that by law don't belong to you. Please give them back." Then, not only did they not give them all back, they lied and said they did, which means they fucking well knew they had shit that didn't belong to them. Under the most generous of definitions, that's theft. They fucking robbed the country. 

So I cannot wrap my brain around the idea that Trump and everyone involved in keeping the documents were not immediately arrested when the FBI fucking caught them with stolen fucking property. As just about everyone sane who has commented on this, from across the political spectrum, has said, if anyone else had been caught hiding government documents, let alone super-duper Top Secret Classified documents, the FBI would have sealed them in concrete until trial.

This is the kind of shit that plagues my brain at 3 a.m. when the whiskey is wearing off and the drugs just aren't holding the bullshit at bay anymore. Right now, a plague of lawsuits and investigations ought to be making Trump wonder if he'd rather live the rest of his miserable life in the UAE, Russia, or Indonesia when it comes to places without extradition treaties. And I know, I know, I fucking know that you want to be optimistic, even gleeful, thinking, "There's no fucking way he gets out of all of this." I mean, c'mon. If nothing else, E. Jean Carroll's lawsuit accusing Trump of raping her has to bring him down. She's got DNA evidence, after all. 

It's not just that we've been burned before (although I'll brag that I stopped leaping at every "We got him!" moment a long time ago). It's that when Trump gets away with it, the story shifts. The Mueller Report has become nothing more than a failed witch hunt (which it wasn't). The impeachment over Ukraine has become part of the "Russia hoax" (it's not a hoax and the phrase has become so broad as to encompass anything that even mentions Russia and Trump). Trump prances all around his red state yahoo fests, lying about this shit with extravagant abandon as he pushes closer and closer to simply saying, "Kill everyone not like you."

And it's not just that Trump's gotten away with so much throughout his life. How many regular, working and middle class stiffs does he have to dick over before the rest understand they're being conned? How the fuck did it take so long for some entity in New York to seriously go after his entire ass? And why do they always stop short of actually arresting someone who has blatantly flouted the law? I'm honestly pissed as hell at Cyrus Vance and every AG and DA who allowed Trump and his shit children to remain free to fuck over more people. The only explanation that makes sense is that they have been corrupted in some way. It's why Letitia James's actions have been so stunning and relieving to many of us up here. You can sit there in another area of the country and think it was wrong for her to be so open about her desire to bring Trump down. But you don't understand how much we genuinely fucking hate him. She could be so brazen in her contempt for Trump because Trump's been so brazen in his contempt for the law.

I don't fear that Trump will get away with all of it simply because he has, though. His lawyers are shit, but they are good at the one thing that they can get away with: delaying the gavel coming down as he's dragged away, screaming about "fake judges" and "rigged jury" into the prison abyss he so richly deserves (a moment that would give me a thrill that would not be unlike an explosive orgasm). It's obvious that the gamble is that the GOP takes over the House of Representatives and then shuts down any investigation or prosecution through the power of the purse. I've said before that we're talking about a cabal of barking mad, rabid animals defending their pack leader. It's a gamble, sure, but even as Democrats are polling better, the gerrymandered-to-death map still favors Republicans. And when Republicans win by even one, they act like they just slaughtered their enemies and left them in a heap in their burnt cities as they hump the ashes in triumph.

"But what about Georgia and New York?" an imaginary reader might ask. Those cases would go forward, but then we're into what happens in Georgia in 2022 and we're into the delays until 2024. The New York case is going to take years because that's the way financial bullshit works. Then the gamble is that Trump or someone Trumpish is gonna win the presidency. Then we're all so fucked that we're gonna have to head into the streets to stop the Christian nationalists from forcing us into the "Love Jesus or Die" camps.

I hope I'm wrong. I hope that this is just that typical Democratic anxiety about winning. I honestly hope that by the time I hit "Publish" on this, we'll at least have an indictment. But an indictment is just the beginning of the process. So many things need to go right. So many people need to not fuck it all up. And there are so many others who will be trying to knock any prosecution off the rails, up to and including perhaps a majority of the Supreme Court. 

Yeah, fucking enjoy Trump's shitty week. Enjoy the shitty weeks to come. But we're not playing a fair game here. Or that dull orange motherfucker would be sitting in a cell, awaiting trial.

9/16/2022

Graham and DeSantis Tried to Own But Got Owned

You know what's darkly hilarious or perhaps hilariously dark or maybe not hilarious at all and just plain dark? I'd bet that Lindsey Graham and Ron DeSantis thought what they did this week was fucking awesome and that they'd show those no-good liberals what fucking hypocrites they are. Except that reality ended up punching them both in the dick for acting like dicks, and, yeah, that's pretty fucking funny.

First, South Carolina Sen. Graham, who lately always looks like he's on his fifth mint julep while annoyed that he doesn't have enough liquor for number six, put out a bill to outlaw nearly all abortions after 15 weeks, and he fucking expected Republicans to jump for joy that he had solved the post-Roe clusterfuck of bad news for his party going into the midterms. At his weird little press conference announcing the bill, Graham pronounced, "If we adopted my bill, our bill, we would be in the mainstream of most everybody else in the world. I think there are 47 of the 50 European countries have a ban on abortion from 12 to 15 weeks. And I pick 15 weeks, which is a little longer than Belgium, Germany and Spain, longer than France, Denmark, and Norway." So now we're taking our cues from Europe? I thought that was wrong and might turn us all gay to do that. 

Let's put aside that every single country he mentioned has universal health care, paid child care, and maternity leave, with Germany and Spain mandating full pay during the leave, and thus make life a fuck of a lot easier for new parents and new children. And let's leave aside that France, Spain, Denmark, Belgium, and Norway all pay for abortions in their national health care. Instead, let's focus on one aspect of those countries' abortion policies: yes, they do limit abortion on demand after a certain period, but they also have exceptions for the mental or emotional health of the woman. Graham's savage bill specifically prohibits that. It says that, yes, if the woman's physical well-being or safety is in danger after 15 weeks, abortion is fine, "but not including psychological or emotional conditions." So we're not just talking about a pregnant woman saying that she is not mentally well enough to have a child. We're talking if a woman, say, suffers from severe post-partum depression that might even lead to self-harm. She's shit out of luck and will have to hope she can endure. "Fuck you, bipolar lady," Graham says. "You did the fucking, you do the time."

And I'm not even getting into the fact that Graham calls any abortion after 15 weeks "late term," which is just not how words or time or math works. Nor am I diving into the creepiest part of this really fucking creepy bill, which is all about how "the pregnancy must be terminated by the method most likely to allow the child to be born alive unless this would cause significant risk to the mother." I mean, what the fuck? That's not abortion. That's premature birth, and I'm pretty fucking sure that it ain't happening at 15, 16 or even 20 weeks, before which over 98% of abortions are performed. 

Graham really was proud of this bill, not realizing or not giving a fuck that he pissed off Mitch McConnell, who always looks like he's trying not to show that he shit his Depends; he pissed off the fucking lunatics in the GOP, who want a total abortion ban nationally; and he pissed off the Republicans who have been saying that the laws should be decided by each state. Obviously, it also pissed off the pro-choice politicians, too. So this was a masturbatory exercise by Lindsey Graham, and he thought everyone would watch him jack it and exclaim, "Oh, wow, you are so hot when you yank off." But instead, he's not allowed to orgasm, and this whole thing may end with him putting his flaccid dick back in his pants and shuffling away.

Speaking of public masturbation, what else was the purpose of Florida Governor Ron "That Cunt" DeSantis's little stunt of flying 50 asylum-seeking Venezuelan migrants to Martha's Vineyard, the charming island where rich fucks have summer houses? At his press conference on Thursday bellowing about it, DeSantis tried to justify this bullshit: "If you have folks that are inclined to think Florida is a good place, our message to them is we are not a sanctuary state, and it’s better to be able to go into a sanctuary jurisdiction."

First off, DeSantis and his staff of ass remoras proclaimed that "illegal aliens" or "unauthorized immigrants" were being transported. No, dickscabs, by federal law, asylum seekers are not illegal. Second off, DeSantis might have violated state law. See, the budget that was passed in July in Florida included $12 million "for implementing a program to facilitate the transport of unauthorized aliens from this state consistent with federal law." So...not "unauthorized aliens." They were picked up in Texas, so not "from this state." And it looks like federal law might have been broken because the migrants were lied to about where they were going and what for in order to entice them onto the planes. You can't fucking do that to real human beings, real families, real children, goddamnit. That's called "kidnapping" or "trafficking."

The entire purpose of the stunt was to own the libs and see how they like it when migrants come through. In December, DeSantis pricked, "If you sent them to Delaware or Martha’s Vineyard or some of these places, that border would be secure the next day." He fully expected residents to get all NIMBY. But the libs aren't being owned. No, despite some on the right crowing that blue areas are in a "panic" over the migrants being sent there, what the places are trying to do is provide the social services that they need. In Martha's Vineyard (which is now more or less done for the season and is just populated by the locals, so shitty timing there, Ronster), they opened their arms and buildings, providing food, shelter, legal advice, and more for the migrants. 

That's not being owned. In fact, all that most places want is a heads up that a state is sending migrants there so they can be prepared. But DeSantis (and nutzoid conservative knobgobbler Greg Abbott of Texas) want to do all this in the cuntiest possible way, sending the migrants to the middle of cities or train stations or outside Vice President Harris's residence because that's how they get a hard-on they can grab and wank for the racist yahoos that form their base. I mean, fuck, the governor of Massachusetts is a Republican. So DeSantis is trying fuck over his own party.

All Republicanism is now is stunts and Trump worship. There's really no one with any power who is serious about any of this shit. Graham and DeSantis thought they were gonna really fuck the left. Instead, they ended up fucking themselves. And, hopefully, their bullshit worthless party.

9/09/2022

Abortion Rights and the Lie of "Reaching Across the Aisle"

Democrats make ads all the time about how they are willing to work across the aisle with the opposing party. (I know some Republicans do, too, but it's not as prominent a thing on the right.) The notion is worn like a badge of honor, as if Democrats need to show how not Democratic they are.  For instance, in this election cycle, we have Elissa Slotkin in Michigan saying, "I refuse to let partisan politics hold this country back." Senator Maggie Hassan goes even further, bragging, "I took on members of my own party" on a gas tax holiday. President Biden campaigned in 2020 on his supposed ability to work with Republicans (even if he's learned how ludicrous a notion that is). 

And while the realities of getting legislation passed sometimes forces cooperation, to insist that you as a Democrat need buy-in from the other side in order to justify your position makes it seem like you're apologizing for being a Democrat. The whole idea is a comforting lie, affirming a fictional tale of the two parties who can put aside differences for the good of the country. Mostly, it forces Democrats to agree to negotiate with people who are insane extremists and pretend like their positions aren't so. 

Lemme give you an example here:

Think about how extreme the anti-choice position is in abortion politics. Not only does the Republican Party, as a whole, believe that women should be forced to carry fetuses and give birth to children they do not want or cannot afford, a large part of the party also believes that the health of the mother or the fetus doesn't matter, nor does the trauma that may have resulted in the pregnancy. Their ideal situation is a national ban on abortion by law under penalty of imprisonment. Forced birth is as extreme as it gets. The only thing that could go any further would be to imprison a pregnant woman to make sure she doesn't get an abortion or behave in any way to harm a fetus. Oh, wait. That's already begun to happen.

While the abortion extremists of the right like to say that allowing abortion without restrictions or even codifying the Roe v. Wade decision is radicalism on the left, that's just not right. Telling people that they have the choice when it comes to their own bodies isn't radical at all. Really, it's not a stretch to come up with what extremism on the other side of the anti-choice coin is. If one side is forced birth, then the other would be forced abortion. If the Democratic Party believed in forcing people to end pregnancies that might result in disabled children or forcing abortions on women who are deemed unfit for one reason or another to be a mother, then you'd have extremism. But no mainstream Democrats or, indeed, no one in the realm of mainstream on the pro-choice side believes in this (hence the word "choice").

So in the debate over abortion rights, Democrats are arguing from a reasonable, moderate position (choice) and Republicans are arguing from an extremist position (forced birth). To "reach across the aisle" means to capitulate to extremism, to say, "Okay, we'll agree to allow some forced births." When it comes to abortion rights, many Democrats are at least drawing a line in the sand. Rep. Abigail Spanberger is running for reelection in a tough district, but she's put out an uncompromising ad on the post-Roe landscape, eviscerating her opponent for her cruel position on forced birth.

Let's be clear, though. The very idea of reaching across the aisle exists because of the filibuster. It's kind of a joke when the House talks about it because the majority doesn't need the minority. Yes, differing coalitions within the party can affect the development of legislation. But that is still the majority figuring out how to accomplish its goals. Without the filibuster, the entire impetus for negotiating with the opposing party evaporates, and the voters get the government they actually voted for, doing the things they voted the majority into power to do. (You could also add in the entirely flawed design of the Senate to a file marked "Things That Make It Hard to Get Stuff Done in the US.")

In the United Kingdom and other countries, the parties run as parties, proudly, trying to convince people not just to vote for a candidate, but for the party. Of course, that's in a parliamentary system where the majority party (or coalition of parties) decides who is going to lead the country. But ads in the UK hype the party when talking about an issue

Party identification isn't absent in the United States by a long shot. However, the idea that there is some innate good in working with just terrible people needs to be abandoned. If you are in an election battle, you believe the other side is wrong. After you win your election, why in the world would you behave as if their ideas have validity? The losing side needs to figure out how to work with you to get some things it wants. You are under no obligation to bother responding.

And if your approach fails to make people's lives better, well, that's what the next election is for.

9/05/2022

A Poem for the Laborers

by Dorianne Laux

(Chosen because Laux is an amazing chronicler of the working class and also in memory of Barbara Ehrenreich, a tireless advocate for the forgotten laborers. She was a giant influence on my own political sense of the world, and she died this past week. You should read both of them.)

When I was young and had to rise at 5 am
I did not look at the lamplight slicing
through the blinds and say: Once again
I have survived the night.  I did not raise
my two hands to my face and whisper:
This is the miracle of my flesh.  I walked
toward the cold water waiting to be released
and turned the tap so I could listen to it
thrash through the rusted pipes.
I cupped my palms and thought of nothing.

I dressed in my blue uniform and went to work.
I served the public, looked down on its
balding skulls, the knitted shawls draped
over its cancerous shoulders, and took its orders,
wrote up or easy or scrambled or poached
in the yellow pads’ margins and stabbed it through
the tip of the fry cook’s deadly planchette.

Those days I barely had a pulse.  The manager
had vodka for breakfast, the busboys hid behind
the bleach boxes from the immigration cops,
and the head waitress took ten percent
of our tips and stuffed them in her pocket
with her cigarettes and lipstick. My feet
hurt.  I balanced the meatloaf-laden trays.
Even the tips of my fingers ached.

I thought of nothing except sleep, a T.V. set’s
flickering cathode gleam washing over me,
baptizing my greasy body in its watery light.
And money, slipping the tassel of my coin purse
aside, opening the silver clasp, staring deep
into that dark sacrificial abyss.

What can I say about that time, those years
I leaned against the rickety balcony on my break,
smoking my last saved butt?
It was sheer bad luck when I picked up
the glass coffee pot and spun around
to pour another cup.  All I could think
as it shattered was how it was the same shape
and size as the customer’s head.  And this is why
I don’t believe in accidents, the grainy dregs
running like sludge down his thin tie
and pin-stripe shirt like they were channels
riven for just this purpose.

It wasn’t my fault. I know that. But what, really,
was the hurry? I dabbed at his belly with a napkin.
He didn’t have a cut on him (physics) and only
his earlobe was burned. But my last day there
was the first day I looked up as I walked, the trees
shimmering green lanterns under the Prussian blue
particulate sky, sun streaming between my fingers
as I waved at the bus, running, breathing hard, thinking:
This is the grand phenomenon of my body.  This thirst
is mine.  This is my one and only life.

9/02/2022

Dark Brandon Ascending: Random Observations on a Patriotic Speech

1. There are a few criticisms to be made about President Joe Biden's speech in Philadelphia last night. For instance, when he said, "Not every Republican, not even the majority of Republicans, are MAGA Republicans.  Not every Republican embraces their extreme ideology," he's really talking the difference between someone who comes to your house and murders everyone and someone who comes to your house, murders everyone, fucks the corpses, and sets the place on fire. Sure, the latter is way worse, but, you know, in the former, you're still murdered. 

Yeah, one way to look at that is Biden offering the supposedly "mainstream Republicans" a lifeboat from the Trumptanic before it smashes into the iceberg of reality and sinks into the depths of the brutal ocean of history. That lets Republicans off the hook for a whole lot of fuckery. While the "MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution.  They do not believe in the rule of law.  They do not recognize the will of the people," it's not like pre-Trump Republicans were handing out daisies across the aisle. What was the Republican Senate's use of the formerly rare filibuster as a regular tool to block legislation starting with Barack Obama's administration but another way to thwart the will of the people when they voted in Democratic majorities in Congress? Yeah, it's not the same as overturning an election because the results make you feel sad. But it's not that fucking far off. 

So, please, fucking spare me any wistful thoughts about Republicans who aren't full MAGA drones. Almost none have dared to criticize Trump or, heavens forfend, vote against him, even when he sent his braindead army to attack them. Biden said, "MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards — backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love." That's been the Republican agenda for decades. That's what "mainstream Republicans" believe. Don't pin that on the Trumpnuts. 

1a. Also, it's pretty sketchy to leave out the racism at the base of the MAGA movement. It's one of their prime motivating factors. Some of these fuckers wouldn't come out of their basements if they didn't think go time included killing them some non-whites. 

2. However, setting all that aside, the bulk of the speech was truly an ass-kicker, the Dark Brandon meme come to life. Setting it at Independence Hall was a nice middle finger to the January 6 insurrectionists, as if Biden was saying, "This is what a real revolution is, you fucking children." And he spoke in no uncertain terms about how fucked up the hopes of the MAGA hordes are: "They refuse to accept the results of a free election.  And they’re working right now, as I speak, in state after state to give power to decide elections in America to partisans and cronies, empowering election deniers to undermine democracy itself." This is pretty much undeniable, and it's happening in nearly every Republican-led state, including places like Georgia, which said that its 2020 results were totally legitimate yet somehow it needed to overhaul its voting laws because "fraud." It's fucking madness. It's like saying that you need to create a Leprechaun Crime Unit in your state because those motherfucking leprechauns keep shitting in clover patches. Or, you know, it's like saying your rights come from God. You don't base laws on fantasies.

Biden went on, "MAGA Republicans have made their choice.  They embrace anger.  They thrive on chaos.  They live not in the light of truth but in the shadow of lies" as some jagoffs with bullhorns screamed "Fuck you" in a pure demonstration of the very thing Biden was saying. I appreciated Biden calling out the MAGA chodes for being the whiny little bitches that they are. I mean, it's one thing to want to challenge an election right after the results come in. It's another to be saying two years later that you think it should be tossed out. That's as juvenile as cosplaying soldier. When Biden said, "They don’t understand what every patriotic American knows: You can’t love your country only when you win," he was saying you are a bunch of titty babies suckling at Trump's teats and you need to grow the fuck up. 

This was a Democrat standing up to bullies: not only the bullies in the streets and in Congress and in state houses, but the bullies in the right-wing media bullshit machine. When Biden said, "MAGA Republicans look at America and see carnage and darkness and despair.  They spread fear and lies –- lies told for profit and power," he was talking about Fox "news" and Steve Bannon and Trump and every fuckwhore podcaster and SuperPAC making coin by driving weak-minded people mad. He took the fight directly to the bullies and didn't hedge (other than the distinction between "mainstream" GOP and MAGA GOP). That's gonna fuck up the brains of the spoogerags of the right. They're gonna go to Defcon Tan Suit over this outrage.

2a. The fact that so many Republicans condemned the speech pretty much proved that a "mainstream Republicans" is a MAGA drone.

3. The dumbest response I've heard to Biden's speech is that it was wrong for him to speak with two Marines posted at the entrance to Independence Hall, that that was improper for a "political" speech and broke decorum or some such shit, with some offering that it was wrong when Trump did such things all the fucking time. And the only thing I could think was there was only one line of the speech that was genuinely political, the one about "no right to choose" I quoted up there. Yeah, sure, that's where there are policy debates. Otherwise, seriously, what the fuck was "political" about the speech, if by "political," you mean, "saying that your policies are superior to the opposing person/group's policies"? Biden's speech was about threats to democracy. The one time he mentioned Democrats was in a list with others: "Democrats, independents, mainstream Republicans: We must be stronger, more determined, and more committed to saving American democracy than MAGA Republicans are to destroying American democracy." Everyone united against a threat: honestly, how is that any different than a speech condemning terrorists for attacking the country? You don't ask for the terrorists to get a minute to explain the bombing because otherwise the speech is too "political." MAGAmites are trying to tear down democracy. That's a threat to the whole nation. Hell, it's even a threat to the MAGAmites, except they're too fucking stupid or corrupt to see it or care. 

And, yeah, fuck you if your takeaway from the speech is that you thought the Marine shit was a little over the top. Motherfucker, we have a country to save. The decorations don't matter. That's not politics. That's patriotism.

4. Biden believes in this country. He believes in the goodness of those of us damned to live through this idiotic time in this degraded nation. He believes that's worth fighting for. We can either join him in the fight or capitulate to the worst assholes. Fuck that malarkey.