The GOP Put Out "An 11-Point Plan to Save America" and It's Hysterical Hysteria

Perhaps reacting to the fact that the Republican Party has given up on everything to do with actually governing, choosing, instead, to become a cabal devoted to fake outrage and outdated ideas of morality, Sen. Rick "This Fucking Skull of Doom Will Haunt Your Dreams" Scott has put out a pamphlet titled "An 11-Point Plan to Save America." Yes, it is exactly as fucking idiotic and worthless as you already know it is. Perhaps even more so. From its preamble to its conclusions, it's nonstop hysteria over "wokeness" and trans rights, along with policies based on complete lies and nothing about the actual issues facing the country. 

I mean, how do you take seriously any however many point plan to "save America" that starts with (and, no shit, this is number one), "Our kids will say the pledge of allegiance, salute the Flag, learn that America is a great country, and choose the school that best fits them." Oh, it goes way further than that in the explanation: "Kids in public schools will say the Pledge of Allegiance, stand for the National Anthem, and honor the American Flag. We must foster national unity." The only way to assure that this happens is to pass a law and punish those who don't. Is that what you're gonna do, Sen. Skeletor? Are you gonna arrest kids who say, "Fuck you, I'm not standing"? Maybe send them to reeducation camps since the rest of the fuckin' "plan" is all about enforcing beliefs.

There's so much conservative extremist fuckery in here that it reads like porn for the Federalist Society, like a bunch of Hillsdale grads are gonna sit around and circle jerk to things like finishing the stupid border wall and naming it for Donald Trump. "Yeah, that'll own the libs," they'll say as they jizz and then immediately feel shame and then immediately start jacking off again when they read the next line about funding the police.

Look at this savagery in attacking the poor: "No government assistance unless you are disabled or aggressively seeking work" (okay, so are you gonna provide child care?) and "Eliminate federal programs that can be done locally" (sounds good if you're in Massachusetts, scary if you're in Texas) and "All Americans should pay some income tax to have skin in the game, even if a small amount" (which is raising taxes on the poor instead of forcing million/billionaires to pay their share). There's fucking nothing in there about poverty other than that "socialism" apparently causes it. Not paying shit wages or corporations dicking over workers in favor of shareholders and executives. 

On it goes, just a steaming shit pile that you'd just have to be a sociopath, and a fucking dumb one, to buy into. In addition to essentially ending the federal government except for the military, the paranoia over "cancel culture" bullshit and the outright terror over trans people is bizarrely overwhelming. In a weird merging of "science" and religion, the plan declares "Men and women are biologically different, 'male and female He created them.'" And "No doctor will be allowed to perform irreversible surgical or gender-altering procedures on any minor child," going against the advice of every major medical organization when it comes to gender dysphoria (and it's something Texas is already on board with). 

And then there's "All social media platforms that censor speech and cancel people will be treated like publishers and subject to legal action," which makes no fucking sense at all. Publishers cancel books all the time. It's their right as a business. But I guess rights only exist to make right-wingers feel good about shit and they suck when they make Nazis sad. Quoting the only thing that the GOP knows about Martin Luther King, it says, "We will be a nation where people will be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin." And if they meant, "We need to make sure that laws are applied equally and without current racial disparities," well, sure. But all that means is "I don't like my white kids hearing that white people did bad things to nonwhite people."

Much of it is really just a call to anarchy. "Americans will not be required to go against their core values and beliefs in order to conform to culture or government," it reads, and yet it doesn't define what happens when one person's "core values" conflicts with another person's "core values." This is beyond "reasonable accommodation" and into "unreasonable clusterfuck." Of course, Sen. Voldemort goes all in on the Big Lie, with a section on "voting rights" that is all about how to prevent Democrats from voting and will assure a completely unmanageable electoral system.

Helping them out, the thing says that the police should be allowed to run wild and consequence free as Point 2 is all about "safety" and "crime" and says, among other things, "We will strengthen qualified immunity and legal protections for law enforcement officers to protect them from frivolous lawsuits." But that goes against my core values on holding cops accountable. 

This maniacal shitpost of a declaration is about a nation that simply doesn't exist except in the heated, phantasmagoric delusions of the most MAGA-broken brains and the political garbage humans who exploit them, no matter the consequences. It imagines a country in flames, repressing true Americans, one where the greatest issue facing us is white people not allowed to say the n-word without consequences. It's hyper-Christian, nationalistic, fascistic, and deranged, ignoring all the real problems in this nation, which, to be fair, are mostly caused by Republicans. 

Interestingly, it doesn't mention the Supreme Court. In fact, the only mention of courts at all is the assertion that Democrats want to "pack the courts." And it doesn't call for abortion to be outlawed, usually a central tenet of these fucking weirdo right-wing documents. I don't think that's an oversight, though. It's something that's way, way worse. 

I think it means they know where they already won and are focusing on other battles. And that's scarier than anything in the thing itself.


Coming Out of the Pandemic, Some of Us Faster Than Others (and That's Okay)

Lemme admit something here. I haven't been the most dedicated Covid warrior. I mean, sure, yeah, I got vaccinated and boosted as soon as I could because you're just a motherfucking delusional piece of shit if you don't. And, for a good while, I wore masks pretty devotedly, especially once I found one style that fit my big, bearded face decently. Hell, I started wearing a mask before wearing a mask was cool, before it was recommended. I had people in grocery stores staring at me a long time ago.  I also had Covid really early on, in late March 2020, a mild case, but, still, during the scary period where each of the days I had a low fever I wondered if all that cocaine was gonna finally catch up to me, if I was gonna take the plunge into the depths of the virus's effects, fucking up my lungs and more. It didn't. 

So what I'm admitting is that I've been a bit cocky since I got my second Moderna shot a little over a year ago. My thinking has been that, at some level, you gotta believe that the vaccine works. Early on, we thought it prevented you from getting Covid, but now, with that bitch Omicron, we know now that it prevents serious illness and death, which, you know, still means you're just a motherfucking delusional piece of shit if you don't get it. 

I've been living my life, going to concerts indoors, eating indoors at restaurants, drinking indoors at bars, going to movies, plays, and comedy shows. I've traveled on planes and trains and buses. When I say, "I haven't been the most dedicated Covid fighter," it's because that, in situations where I can take off my mask, I usually take off my mask. And I almost never wear it outside. I haven't for a long time. Shocking, right?

I'm not a dick about it. If a place wants me to keep a mask on, I keep my damn mask on because other people are allowed to want that. I suppose if I felt strongly enough, I could avoid places that demand masking, but why be that person? I hate those people. Those of us who want to get out in the world and do shit ought to have the good sense to know there are limitations. 

It's really not that hard to give a damn about other people. I'm fortunate in that I don't live with a child under the vaccination age or someone who is immunocompromised. I don't even see people in that situation too much. I recently visited a dear friend who had a bone marrow transplant. I took a rapid Covid test before going to see him, as I would before seeing anyone in such a position.  If someone would like me to put on a mask, sure, I'll put on a mask. 

And, yeah, despite what right-wing cumrags say about us, I fucking hate wearing a mask, even if I've found a relatively comfortable one. But my feeling of discomfort for a short period isn't worth being a total asshole to others. What is worth it is acting like we can live again. And if I say I believe in science, then I fucking well should act like it.

I'm not saying we're getting back to normal because that implies that we can ever return to the pre-2020 times. That's over. And our leaders need to be honest about that. It's a fucking lie to say we can ever not take the kinds of precautions that prevent the spread of Covid, even if it's just a buzz in the back of our head when we're in a crowd, even if it's just taking a test before going to Grandma's house, even if it's just an awareness that it could all close down again, that we know what that's like. And it's also a fucking shame that we haven't done all the things that would make everyone feel safer about the lifting of restrictions. 

Let's put aside the danger that antivaxxers are putting everyone in as being incubators for variants or for clogging the hospitals with their failing bodies. I'm talking about the practical things that could be done with some effort and expenditure.

We could have invested a shit-ton of money on new ventilation systems at schools or offices or, really, in lots of places, but especially schools. We know that having upgraded ventilation helps prevent Covid from spreading, and some school systems are using federal funds to get new HVAC systems and HEPA filters and other things that I'm sure begin with H. But it's not enough and not fast enough. The great thing about those kinds of coronavirus mitigation projects is that they're passive enough that even willingly unvaccinated assholes are protected and we're protected from their unvaccinated asses. 

We could have done something about our ongoing horror of a health care system and poured funding into nursing training and salaries and more on a permanent basis, not just as crisis pay. We already had a shortage of health care workers, especially nurses, and now it's a full-blown crisis on top of the crisis of the pandemic. We could have said, "You know what? It's just motherfucking dumb to not have a national health care system. People shouldn't be afraid of their co-pays so they don't go to the doctor and spread the sick around." We could make mental health care far more widely available for all the trauma everyone has suffered. We still get more than 4 rapid tests to households. There are all kinds of things we could do so that everyone could participate in the world again with some amount of caution, sure, but still able to do so. 

A nation that really gave a shit as a whole would have passed a Covid tax on the wealthy to help get us the fuck out of the crisis. We are not that nation. So, instead of roaring into the end of the pandemic, we have a two-tier reopening: a decent level of safety for most of us, an indecent level of risk for those most at risk and for families with young children.

The nation is still ridiculously bifurcated between the places with high vaccination rates and places with low ones. The reason we have 2500-3000 people a day still dying of Covid is because the corpses are piled up in Unvaxxed America. It'll be a while before those numbers decline, as well as the numbers in hospitals (which will also be playing catch up with all the surgeries and other things that were put off because of the Omicron and Delta surges). 

As the nation opens up, even in the unvaccinated places, the people to thank are the vaccinated and the masked. If you're unvaccinated and all of a sudden vaccination card checks go away so you can go back to Chili's again, thank all your vaccinated friends and family and everyone else. It's because enough of us did what we're supposed to do and weren't selfish twatfleas about it like you that you can get your baby back ribs again. It wasn't ivermectin or piss-drinking that got us to where we are. It's because a bunch of us are responsible goddamn people. You're welcome, you pathetic fucks.

(Note: I'm sure some of you will get all pissy about my relatively relaxed attitude towards getting out in the world. But I respect your fear of the virus. I respect your limitations. Mine are just different.)

(Note 2: Obviously, you could respond that "It's not over" and you're right. But it kind of is for a lot of people. We just have to not be cavalier about things, like back in April of last year when everyone went fucking crazy and having orgies in the streets.)


Why Those Saying AG Garland Needs to Act Soon on Trump Aren't Wrong

The podcast Wild Things: Siegfried & Roy is a genuinely fascinating look into the lives of the illusionists who had a long-running Las Vegas show performing magic with their white tigers. The focus of the podcast is the night in October 2003 when one of the tigers attacked Roy Horn during a performance at the Mirage Hotel, almost killing him. Host Steven Leckart talks to the main investigator from the USDA, and the podcast discusses a few times how the USDA was denied the videotape of the attack by Feld Entertainment, the company that produced Siegfried and Roy's show. The magicians and Feld were so distressed by the possibility of the USDA having the tape that a friend of theirs contacted Nevada's then-senators, Democrat Harry Reid and Republican John Ensign, for help.

The senators probably made phone calls to get the USDA to stop pursuing the tape. They might have reached out directly to the investigator himself. But, as Wild Things discusses, Reid and Ensign went much, much further. They drafted an amendment to the 2004 budget bill that would have specifically prohibited federal money from being used for obtaining the tape "through a subpoena...or any other means." Reid said then and he says on the podcast in one of his last interviews that he was concerned with the privacy of Roy Horn because images from the tape might leak. Agree or disagree (as the podcast discusses, the USDA was pretty lax in enforcing its rules on Siegfried and Roy, a major Vegas money generator), just the threat of the amendment worked. The USDA backed down and agreed to view the footage in a supervised situation. Even then, the investigator was only shown a small clip of the incident.

This isn't really about the truth or lies behind a tiger attack, which was really just a tiger being a damn tiger. It's about Congress's power of the purse and how it can be wielded. Two senators from different parties were ready to make it impossible for an agency of the government to do an investigation in the way it saw fit. While the amendment threat did not shut down the investigation, it sure as hell hampered it. 

Congress has the ability to do that, to target with precision how money cannot be spent. Remember Iran-Contra? That had to do with Ronald Reagan trying to get around the Boland Amendment, when Congress said that federal money could not be used to support the Contras attempting to overthrow the government in Nicaragua. 

The power of the purse is something that has been used to affect policy for good reasons, especially with a bad actor (on so many levels) like Reagan. And it is something that is occasionally used for petty political points. It's also one of those many things that we've learned in the last few years absolutely depends on our leaders actually caring that government functions. It relies on the legislative branch not being jerks. We've seen the fraying of that since Newt Gingrich decided to shut down the government in a hissy fit. We see it with the Republicans' bad faith in the wielding of the debt ceiling as a weapon. 

When some of us say the committee looking into the January 6 insurrection needs to act quickly, it's because there is a decent chance that the GOP takes over the House of Representatives and simply ends the committee. Any referrals to the Justice Department need to happen soon because if the House changes hands, then in January 2023, it's over. When we say that Attorney General Merrick Garland better have charges out there, it's not because we're anxious and curious and need to move the plot forward for our emotional satisfaction and our need for vengeance against the Trump mob. 

It's because the Republicans who will take over the House are motherfucking crazy and don't give a single shit if they blow the whole place up. And I'm not sure I just mean that metaphorically with these insane lizard-brained savages. 

There is nothing that stops a Jim Jordan-led House (you heard me) from passing a budget resolution that defunds any effort by the DOJ from pursuing any case against Donald Trump or his shitty children or the assorted clowns, whores, thieves, and Jared that made up his administration. They won't play chicken with Democrats because the idea with chicken is that both sides have the chance of turning before the crash. That's not the way a House of Representatives with barking mad mongrels like Paul Gosar or Marjorie Taylor Greene leading or in the majority on committees will work. They're not playing chicken. They're playing demolition derby. These America-hating cockscabs will gladly shut down the government. And Democrats will give in because they want the government to function. They will give in with the bullshit hope of fighting another day.

And you might say that the investigations in Georgia or New York would do the trick on Trump. Except the same kind of targeted budgetary action can take place. I'd bet that New York's own shit Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik would sponsor a resolution saying that federal funding for her state is contingent on dropping the cases against Trump and the Trumplings because that's exactly how fucked up Republicans have made the whole fucking political system now. 

And you might say that this kind of blatant fuckery can be taken to court. Except, you know, the Supreme Court has lost its shit, too.

Yes, we don't know what exactly is going on with all the investigations. Yes, they are doing so much work, interviewing so may witnesses, going through mountains of documents, all with no leaks, and we don't know if something is going to drop any day now. All of that can be true, but the motherfucking clock is ticking. 

If a couple of senators can use the power of the purse to protect some rich-ass magicians, a criminally insane political party, freed of the straitjacket of minority status in Congress, is gonna go much, much further and strangle the investigations with the purse strings.


Why I Was Serious When I Said Jailing Donald Trump Until Trial Would Be Good for the Country (Part 2)

Earlier this week, I said that former president and current terrorist Donald Trump should receive the same treatment as the leader of the terrorist Oath Keepers. That is, he should be held in jail without bail, unable to rally his supporters until he's faced trial. Not only that, but it would be good for the country to see an ex-president face justice and treated like other alleged criminals are. Let me list the ways:

1. It would prove to a fickle public that the Justice Department and law enforcement are absolutely serious about this shit. Right now, with very little actual news coming from the DOJ or the January 6 committee in the House, and with this investigation taking so very much longer than it ought to have, the attitude on the right is that all of that shit is just one more thing they'll eliminate should Republicans win one or both houses of Congress. The narrative conservative media and politicians are creating about the Trump investigations is one of boredom, bias, vengeance, and incompetence. I know that doesn't matter should indictment come from any of it, but it sure as fuck is damaging the public image among the majority of the nation that doesn't anally-probe every tweet or statement from Liz Cheney or Letitia James. 

2. I'm not worried that arresting Trump on suspicion of seditious conspiracy will make his armed lunatics go apeshit. In fact, I think quite the opposite for most of them (there will always be a stray lunatic). It would make a whole lot of people fucking realize that they better back the fuck down and/or give up what they know. The delay tactics by potential witnesses is working, forcing the 1/6 committee to postpone public hearings for at least a month, from April to May. If all of a sudden real consequences were in the mix, those who participated in or helped plan the insurrection would be shitting themselves in fear, wondering, "If law enforcement is willing to arrest a former president, what the fuck else might they do to me?" Democrats don't understand the power of fear in the same way Republicans do. So while there are totally legitimate reasons to lock up Trump, the intimidation factor would be a huge benefit to the investigations. I'd bet that at least one Trumpling turns on dear ol' grabby, abusive dad.

3. While bewilderingly roaming free, Trump keeps having rallies and putting out statements that profess support for the 1/6 rioters and promise they will not be punished for crimes that some of them have confessed to. He refuses to acknowledge that he lost the 2020 election fairly, which has kept a not-insignificant portion of the population enraged and ready for action, action that Trump has already stated he wants if he's indicted federally or in New York or Georgia. Trump has done nothing to disabuse the armed fucknuts of the notion that he is telling them to lock and load and go on his command. He is unwilling to turn down the heat in the country, preferring to piss gasoline wherever he can. Shutting Trump the fuck up would leave all the troop-rallying to his surrogates, none of whom have a scintilla of the deranged orange juice that Trump brings.

4. Republicans are normalizing the attack on the Capitol. This goes hand-in-hand with the first point. The more distance we get from January 6 without visible progress beyond arresting the ground troops for the coup, the more it will seem like No Big Deal, and that's what the GOP wants more than anything. It's why so many of them can say shit like it was "legitimate political discourse." The GOP has taken the side of the insurrectionists, which means they will welcome this fuckery when it happens again. Whatever shreds of a mask of democracy remained on the face of the Republican Party have fallen off. They got a taste of tyranny, and they fucking liked it. You put Trump in jail and you change the whole conversation and throw off the whole plan. And I guarantee that some Republicans will be fucking relieved.

5. Everything we keep learning points to a conspiracy to steal the election by Trump and the Trumpinistas, including preparing for the possibility before recounts or anything could happen. They tossed around things like sending the military to seize voting machines. They organized the attempt to get the fake rosters of electors accepted. This is on top of trying to get the Attorney General to sign off on the lie of election fraud and the obvious crime of pushing the Georgia Secretary of State to "find" just enough votes to put Trump on top there. A jailed Trump would give a frame to hang all of this on and make it easier to comprehend. 

Look, I'm not a fucking idiot nor a childish naif. I'm in an area of speculation, if not outright fantasy, that this would actually happen. But I'll stand by the idea that Trump should have been arrested on January 6 or even earlier. To me, it's absurd that he hasn't been. 

Because, sure, we can say that arresting a former president would never happen. Except if we're a country that really does want to live up to the ideas of our founding, as so many people on all sides of the political spectrum like to pretend, then no person is above the law. Arresting Trump would prove we are, occasionally, who we say we are.


Jailing Donald Trump Until He Faces Trial Is the Best Thing for the Country (Part 1)

It's genuinely shocking to realize how much of the American electoral process is less about laws and codified procedures and more about elected officials not being dicks. Think about it: The whole idea of a "peaceful transfer of power" is that the loser isn't a dick about it. What we've learned since the 2020 election is that all it takes to start wrecking the entire system is for the loser to decide, "Yeah, I'm gonna be a dick about it" and move ahead with tearing shit apart. And it seems like there's no law that says, "Whoa, whoa, you can't be a dick even if you want to be one."

But the legal system, you know, the whole Law and Order shit, does have a way to put dicks away so that they can't spread their dickishness far and wide. 

Check this out. It's from U.S. Magistrate Judge Kimberly C. Priest Johnson in her decision to hold Stewart Rhodes, the one-eyed leader of the band of feculent-brained loons and goons known as the Oath Keepers, in jail without bail pending his trial on seditious conspiracy related to the events of January 6, 2021. She writes, "It is not unusual for Americans to be disappointed by election results or offput by the functioning of federal, state, or local governments. Indeed, the right for such individuals to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances is enshrined in the Constitution and is core to American freedom and our system of governance. Here, the Court is not faced with a peaceable assembly and petitioning, as Defendant’s extraordinary actions and the ripple effects that followed are outside the bounds of protected activities." She's talking about the First Amendment here, saying that Rhodes's calling for halting Congress's certification of the election results, including planning to actually do it, isn't protected because that's how you get fucking anarchy. 

The First Amendment is not a suicide pact. It's time we stopped treating it like that. There are responsibilities that go along with freedom of speech, assembly, etc. And one of those is not using it to overthrow the government that is protecting your speech, assembly, etc. because you don't like who won the election. It doesn't fucking matter how much you believe an election was actually stolen. Reality isn't negotiable. A guy who tries to burn down his neighbor's house isn't let off because he sincerely believes his neighbor is Satan.

Johnson continues on Rhodes, "The evidence shows Defendant orchestrated a large-scale attack on the federal government with the purpose of intimidating, by violence, federal officials and disrupting official governmental proceedings incident to the transfer of power in the Executive Branch following a national election...Defendant’s authoritative role in the conspiracy, access to substantial weaponry, and ability to finance any future insurrection, combined with his continued advocacy for violence against the federal government, gives rise to a credible threat that Defendant’s release might endanger others by fostering the planning and execution of additional violent events." Now, obviously, Rhodes is a crazed fucknut, armed to the teeth and leading a bunch of other crazed fucknuts. But what about the fucknuts above him when it comes to the January 6, 2021 insurrection and future attempts to overthrow a legally elected government? Like Donald Trump, clearly the fucknut-in-chief?

What Johnson worried that Rhodes would do in fomenting further rebellion is exactly what Trump is doing. His speech in Conroe, Texas (motto: "Conroe: Crazy and Caucasian"), this past weekend was an abject, shameless call to action, promising to pardon the idiot hordes who fight for his delusions of victory. In addition to flat-out committing obstruction of justice, Trump commanded his stormtroopers to be ready: "If these radical, vicious, racist prosecutors do anything wrong or illegal, I hope we are going to have in this country the biggest protest we have ever had in Washington, D.C., in New York, in Atlanta and elsewhere because our country and our elections are corrupt." Those just happen to be the places where they're investigating his ass. Jesus fuck, he says the intention of his Leni Riefenstahl-ready rallies is to "Save America." From what? Legal elections? In an interview with some fucking bullshit conservative outlet, the only places he's not too much of a little bitch to appear, Trump again asserted that he would pardon the 1/6 criminals. This is not to mention that statement he put out where he said that Vice President Mike Pence "could have overturned the election." 

So, yeah, Stewart Rhodes should be kept locked up because of what he might do and what he might say. I would argue it's even more important for the President of the United States or even the former one to not engage in language that might lead to violence as an intended consequence. And if that former president refuses to back down from calling for an organized attack to put him back in power, then he should be fucking jailed, pending trial for seditious conspiracy. Jail him. Silence him. For fuck's sake, this should have been done on 1/6, and it's more imperative than ever. 

In Part 2: "Wait, you're fucking serious about this?" Yeah. Yeah, I am.