Haiku Review of 2023: No Reason to Believe Maybe This Year Will Be Better Than the Last

More haiku than I can shake a cherry tree branch at. Here's another round of readers looking back on this fucked up year, which came after another fucked up year and before what will inevitably a fucked up year. 

From Q.S. on Facebook:
Hunter! Hunter! Ugh
At least he managed not to
Rob cancer patients

From H.L.W. on Facebook:
Secrets stacked in piles
Spilling from toilets out doors;
Spoils of a tyrant

From Grumpy, Esq.:
No textualist
spells Stephen Miller without 
spelling Hitler’s men.

From Rose W. in Brooklyn:
The pussy-grabber
Is finally going down
(Not in a good way)

From SPL:
daily gun slaughter
but on today's front pages
joe biden is old

From Abner in AZ:
Lincoln Logs
The Lincoln Project
Another Republican
Scam. History lost

From TMangrove in WI:
“Let’s pile on the queers
and immigrants!” is something
Jesus never said

From Sarah in Seattle:
Orca behavior 
got drastic. No wonder, with
guts full of plastic.

From Eric in Lewistown, PA:
Great economy
American Rescue Plan
Dark Brandon kicks ass

From Craig in CA:
Keep Fighting
With no more lost hope,
We can do this again, folks,
Vote in November

Okay, one more day of this and then we're done with this bitch of a year. Send 'em on: rudepundit@yahoo.com. And don't forget the form: a line of 5 syllables, a line of 7 syllables, and a line of 5 syllables. Title it if you want. Let's keep it going until the bitter end of the bitter times.


Haiku Review of 2023: The Haiku Before the Storm

Once again, I asked and you sent a fuckton of haiku. Coming in from sea to shining sea, even across a sea or two, you've once again defined the year with your simple, short poems. Here are a few of the absolute best so far (and I've only read the emails up through yesterday).

From Anonymous in AZ:
The fetus at all costs!
Until it’s born and breathing.
Then “Welcome cruel world.”

From John in Anderson, Indiana:
written on my heart
from the songs of Palestine
I wish I was free

From an American who fled to England, then to Spain, to escape the madness:
Mediocre men
Think that they should rule us all
We should smash their balls

From Rabbitearz in Los Angeles (who has gotten one in most every year):
It puts the Dick in
Dicktator. What a fucking
Blood-chilling dick-head.

From Doug in Sugar Pine:
Clarence Thomas sucks
The meaning out of the words
Supreme Court Justice

From Ruth Ann in Madison:
Pageantry 2023
Miss America,
a nuclear engineer:
real Barbenheimer.

And from me:
Israel Can Liberate Itself
Bibi's been babied
By bilious bullshitters.
But bye-bye, bitch?

Prison Violence Is Wrong Or...
I know I should care
That Derek Chauvin was stabbed.
I'll wait 9 minutes.

Jeb = Ron
Maybe Florida
governors should stop running
to be president. 

Keep on sending them in to rudepundit@yahoo.com. I want to get haiku'd in the face repeatedly. Make that happen, rude readers.


Haiku Review of 2023: American Fiction

Welcome to the end of one more motherfucker of a year in this stupid age we're damned to live through. It was a year of repetition, of shit that we've been through seemingly a thousand fucking times yet various assholes and cockmites are forcing us to go through them again, like we're in some awful wormhole plot of a terrible sci-fi show. I mean, goddamnit, we've been through this anti-LGBT bullshit, we've been through the book bannings, we've been through the immigration hysteria, and we've had enough fucking wars between Palestine and Israel, for fuck's sake. And, Jesus fuck, I can't take another Trumpy election.

Still, as shitty as things seemed to be, there are some glimmers of what we used to call "hope" before right-wing media beat hope into a bloody heap and pissed on optimism. But, hey, listen: Donald Trump is careening towards some kind of legal reckoning. Despite the best efforts of Republicans to torpedo it, the American economy is chugging along quite well. Despite the best efforts of Republicans to torpedo him, Joe Biden is chugging along quite well, with no major fuckups since the Afghanistan withdrawal (which was always gonna suck - and we can argue about his support of Israel). Ron DeSantis was once the golden boy of the future GOP and now he's lucky if he ends up on some shit nutzoid right-wing media outlet like MAGA Ball Washing Today. So not all bad.

Around these parts, we tell the year to kiss our asses goodbye through the power of poetry. More precisely, through a couple of days of haiku, those 3-line expressions of all that is beautiful or all that is ugly or all that is awesome or all that is disturbing in this filthy, degraded world that can still give us something as lovely as, well, haiku.

Submit your haiku about anything 2023-related, fucked or not, to "rudepundit(at)yahoo(dot)com." I'm the only judge and jury here, and I am generally fickle, cranky, drunk, high, and pantsless. 

I'm also a stickler for the form: one line of 5 syllables, one line of 7 syllables, and one line of 5 syllables, in that order. They can be as filthy, funny, or fucked-up as you like. You can be serious, silly, or sanctimonious. Titled or untitled. The ones I like the best get published on here over the next few days, so lemme know what name you want on it (in case your boss or mate or Mom sees it) and where you're from. Like "Rudy Giuliani's Filled Diaper from Gunfuck, AL" or "Alisha from San Francisco" or something.

Here are a few to get your engines running:

Tuck Us
"I'll be back, bigger,"
Said Carlson upon leaving.
The rest is silence.

Hotter Than
Most of India
Will need somewhere else to live
That's how bad it's fucked

Pity the Omelet Bar Chef at Mar-a-Lago
"Add more cheese, more ham!"
Trump bellows, hoping to hide
His deep fear in grease.

Okay, now it's your turn. Send 'em on.


The Rude Pundit's Annual Nativity-palooza, Now with Bonus Folk Horror

Like movies about suicidal snowmen and tortured ghosts and pole-frozen tongues, some things are a tradition around the rude house. Beloved reruns are good for the soul. My favorites to trot out this week are the Invader Zim Christmas episode and Olive the Other Reindeer. Even here, in Left Blogsylvania, we can indulge in revisiting old posts.

Before Threads, Twixter, Instagram, Reddit, TikTok, Buzzfeed, and many other places you can get your fix of weird shit, I posted this Christmas blast back in 2004, updated yearly with new bits of freakishness (some links might not work anymore, but they were or are all real and unironic):

Xmas - And, lo, a small teddy bear will lead them:
In the days before Christmas, the Rude Pundit roamed his neighborhood, looking at the displays in the charming stores and corner markets. There he saw the agony of so many dichotomous feelings about this holiday. One window had a kneeling, praying Santa next to a baby Jesus in the manger. Santa's hat was off. He was balding. Another display had the jolly old fat man landing his sleigh and reindeer on the roof of the manger. Surprisingly, neither Mary nor Joseph seemed rattled by the noise, although a camel was looking upward, as if asking, "What the fuck?" The Rude Pundit loved that camel.

Ah, sweet camel, what the fuck, indeed. Christ and commerce, Alleluia. The Savior has been born and he thanks you for your presents. Santa showing that he'll even honor the king of the Jews in the land of Islam. There's no telling what it means (and don't get all up in the Rude Pundit's face about St. Nicholas). Except this: we want to embrace both things, good deconstructionists that we are: Santa, who soothes our greed, and Jesus, who promises us peace. Either way, we want them both to tell us we're good people, nice people. And, of course, guilt-ridden Christians want to make sure that Santa toes the party line, you know.

For the holiday, here's a few of my favorite nativity sets, none of which are intended to be mocking of the event:

That right there is the Veggie Tales Nativity. In case you don't know, Veggie Tales are cute vegetables who love Christ and salad tossing. The newborn savior up there is a carrot. Get it? A baby carrot? What a delight.

Holy shit, that bear nativity is one of the creepiest fucking things I've ever seen. Staring straight ahead with their dead eyes, it looks like a satanic cult sacrifice to some horrible bear-demon. Although, the three wise bears have provided snacks for the blood rite: salmon, honey, and berries. All go well with cub entrails.

Every year, I think, "I wonder if there's an even weirder nativity set that I can find" and every year I come across something where I think, "Yeah, that's friggin' crazy shit, man." Here, it's the snow people nativity, with a snow angel, a snow Joseph, a snow Mary, and horrible, smiling snow kings. Did Snow Mary give birth to Snow Baby Jesus? Or did they all just make Snow Baby Jesus out of snow? And the temperature in Bethlehem this time of year is in the 60s. Is that why they seem to be festooned with turds, to try to hold their globular shape a little longer?

That goddamn nightmare fuel isn't a lab experiment gone horrible awry. It's a bunch of white mice with eyes so wide they look like someone laced some cheese with meth and let the little bastards go crazy. It's gonna be horrible when baby Jesus mouse gets crucified in trap.

This is not to mention the Chickentivity, the Moosetivity, the Barntivity, the Native American Nativity, and the various Beartivities, all available unironically for your Christmas consumption.

And then there's the baby nativity:

You might think, "Oh, that's adorable. What's so wrong with it?" To which I can only inform you that the implication of it is that a baby Mary shoved a baby Jesus out of her baby vagina.

Speaking of implications, think of what this dog one means:  
This means there is a dog Pilate who will sentence dog Jesus to dog crucifixion. It means that there is a dog Mary Magdalene who is a dog prostitute. This is not to mention the dog centurions who routinely torture and kill dogs, the dog slaves who serve their dog masters, and the Jewish dogs who get blamed for everything. But don't worry. Dog Jesus will rise from the dead in three days. Have some damn kibble waiting for him. 

And to all a good night.

Oh, wait. What's that you say? You think that last one was kind of a weak one to end on? Well, then, fuck you. Here's the Day of the Dead nativity:

Yeah, you might think they're singing Christmas carols, but they're all screaming in horror and pain. Essentially, that's Christmas in the time of MAGA and Covid.

Oh, wait. What's that? Those aren't that bad after all we've suffered? Then how about these terrifying motherfuckers:

Or maybe that's just how we'll all look after climate change has its way with us.

All of those are preferable to this fucking thing here. This might be the first of these nativities to make me feel visceral anger. Check this shit out:

It's like someone was taking a crap in an IKEA bathroom and thought, "I've got it! The birth of our lord and savior, but stackable!" Imagine the fun you could have with these. I'm already thinking about arranging the Wise Men around Ass for a sticky menage. Mostly, though, this is just middle finger to your guests if you put this out, like you're saying, "Oh, you expect a nativity at Christmas? Suck on these posts."

Wooden blocks not your thing? Want something that's a bit more of a weapon so you can strike down the heathens who won't let you say, "Merry Christmas"? Maybe a little more Flintstone-ish? Then here's some fuckin' rocks

Not enough like the nativity you might see on the mantle of the leader of a forest cult dedicated to cannibalism and blood drinking? How about this folk horror: 
It's like the last thing you see before the cellar door closes and you wait to find out if you're meant to be sacrificed to the corn god or impregnated by the wheat cock in a fertility rite. Puritans would look at these Puritan-looking motherfuckers and decided, "Nope. There's no god. Let's just jump in the ocean."

Finally (for real), here's one I actually like. It's the Recycled Auto Parts Nativity
C'mon. It's got everything. Skeletal camels, edges that would slice open a loaf of bread and some fishes, and baby Jesus sleeping on a bed of chicken wire. That's awesome art by Armando Ramirez, and I'd proudly put that up in my home next to my Peanuts creche and dare some internet asshole to talk shit about it. 

Merry Christmas, baby. Let's just get out of this year alive. May George Bailey finally get to push Mr. Potter into the frozen river.

(Note: Previous editions of the nativity post have included the ZombitivityDogtivity, the Boyd's Bears Nativity, and the Rubber Duck...oh, fuck, you get the idea.)


If You Support Donald Trump, You're a Nazi

I said what I said.

I've been thinking, as former president and current inevitable doom of the republic Donald Trump proudly goes full Hitler in his speeches and social media pronouncements: do MAGA redcaps pause between filling their kids' Never Surrender Christmas stocking with Trump candy bullion and wiping their dicks with a Mar-a-Lago towel after jacking off to their iPhone videos of when they went into the Capitol on January 6 (and still haven't been arrested yet, motherfuckers) and think, "Am I a Nazi? And if I am, am I okay with that?" 

I mean, sure, sure, I know that this straw MAGA moron doesn't believe what the wackos in the fake, failing lamestream media are saying about Trump. But the orange goon himself is giving credence to the Hitler comparisons by insisting that "I never read Mein Kampf" and saying to lipless fuck weasel Hugh Hewitt, "I know nothing about Hitler. I’m not a student of Hitler. I never read his works." (You just know that behind all that is that Trump doesn't want anyone to get credit for the shit he says. I'm sure he's told one of his lickspittles, "Hitler wasn't as smart as me" or some such fuckery.)

To be a loyal redcap stormtrooper, you gotta go along with Trump no matter which way his insistent madness drives his rhetoric. And, truly, you don't disagree with him when says, "They’re coming from all over the world. People all over the world, we have no idea. They could be healthy. They could be very unhealthy. They could bring in disease that’s going to catch on in our country, but they do bring in crime, but they have them coming from all over the world and they're destroying the blood of our country." But what you're agreeing with is Nazi shit. It's flat out Nazi shit. Trump can say, as he told Hewitt, that it's not the same as what Hitler said, but it is the same as what Hitler said, except Hitler was talking about Jews and Trump's talking about undocumented migrants. And Trump wants to round them up and put them in camps before deporting them by the millions. And he wants laws passed that would allow authorities to check the papers of anyone they "suspect" of not being American. It's absolute insanity that would fundamentally alter the fabric of the country. It will cause upheaval and violence and economic ruin. But Nazis don't give a shit about that kind of thing because purity matters above all. The rest will take care of itself once the blood is purified. Or, you know, un-poisoned. 

I'm gonna bet that your average redcap doesn't give a shit if they're called "Nazis." Indeed, many of them are likely to embrace it because they think it drives the liberals crazy. They'll post memes of that screaming bespectacled woman as a snarky reaction to how the left thinks mass execution of undocumented migrants at the Trump concentration camps is wrong and tweet out to the Nazis on Elon's Internet Bullshit Factory that we should be rounding up liberals and hanging them. Oh, wait. They already do that last part.

Sure, sure, some Trump supporters, desperately hoping to rationalize away the stink of Nazi, will try to say that they know the "rhetoric" Trump uses is over the top and even problematic, but they just think what he did for the country was so awesome that they have to support him and, hey, he can't do all those bad things. You know what you call someone who tries to justify what a Nazi says? You call them a "Nazi." (You also call them "fucking brain damaged" if they don't remember how Trump gave this nation a bloody ass fisting during Covid.)

That's where we are right now in the United States as we watch the MAGA redcaps goosestep closer and closer to mass violence. Trump promises to abuse the criminal justice system: "What I’m going to do is give indemnifications to any police officer that gets in trouble for pursuing a criminal because that’s what we have to do." And to have mass purges of perceived enemies: "We will demolish the deep state. We will expel the warmongers. We will drive out the globalists. We will cast out the communists, Marxists and fascists. We will throw off the sick political class that hates our country. We will rout the fake news media." And he declares that America under Biden is a nightmare: "We are a failing nation. We are a nation that has lost its confidence, its willpower and its strength. We are a nation that has lost its way, but we are not going to allow this horror to continue." Man, Nazis know how to use propaganda to keep the rubes all pissed off and ready for action.

So, yeah, I'll call these sick motherfuckers "Nazis." If you're gonna follow someone whose language lines up with Hitler, who has praised dictators and who wants to bring their methods to the United States, who promises to round up millions of people just trying to live their lives, who threatens to attack our neighbors and break our alliances, who sees non-white people as invaders or criminals who must be dealt with harshly, who wants to "cleanse" the country of people who don't believe the same shit he does, fuck, yeah, you're a Nazi. I don't wanna wait around until gas chambers are built to finally sound an alarm. 

And that's how the 2024 campaign should go. You can be with the Nazis or you can be with the people who think Nazis deserved to have their asses kicked into the garbage heap. Indeed, history teaches us that we are obligated to kick Nazi asses. If only there was a short, punchy word we could use for anti-facist...


The Republican Strategy: Make Everyone Think Democrats Are as Fucking Awful as They Are

There is one thing tying together a bunch of shit that Republicans are doing right now. They know that the GOP brand is tarnished with insurrection, hatefulness, and the stink of Trump. Rather than try to change or kick Donald Trump to the curb, which would be hard work involving convincing the idiot hordes of MAGA drones to stay on board without their orange idol or shifting policies to reflect what the majority of Americans actually believe on things like guns, abortion, and more, they are saying, "Fuck it. Let's just fuck shit up instead. It's what we're good at." Playing to their vile strengths, Republicans in Congress and their media lackeys have decided that the best way to win in 2024 is to do everything possible to drag the image of Democrats down to their level and then rub some more shit on it. 

What else explains House Speaker Mike Johnson, who always looks as if he's contemplating the next boy he'll keep in the cellar for a while, shifting from expressing doubt about impeaching President Joe Biden to full-on supporting a vote on an impeachment inquiry. This came about in the most obvious way possible: a visit to Trump at his shitty country club estate, Mar-a-Lago. And it's happening for the most obvious reason. If Biden has an impeachment on his record, even for something he simply hasn't done, then in the eyes of morons, or at least in the eyes of one flabby clown-faced moron, it will balance the ledger on Trump's impeachments (including the bipartisan second one). 

Then there's the attempt to label any protest from the left as an "insurrection." It's as ridiculous as it sounds. Republicans have said that kids protesting for new gun laws to protect them at the Tennessee state capitol was an insurrection. As the Washington Post pointed out back in April, GOP coup-supporters have said that Democratic insurrections include a protest on the Florida House floor and a protest against overturning Roe v. Wade in Arizona, not to mention an editorial saying that Trump will be a dictator who Republicans will readily follow. That last one is from a recent letter calling for an investigation into Post writer Robert Kagan from Senator and grifter extraordinaire JD Vance. He wants Kagan to be treated like the dickholes who stormed through the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, looking to murder some elected officials. All of this is a desperate, transparent attempt to make light of the actual crimes of the 1/6 insurrectionists and, again, create a false equivalence in voters' minds.

The most sinister of these has been the attack on colleges and universities for not doing enough to defend Jewish students from purported antisemitic attacks. I'm not talking about actual physical attacks or direct threats, which should be dealt with severely and quickly. I'm talking about young people having shitty beliefs about Israel and, indeed, Jews (like genocide), beliefs that should be condemned without hesitation. There's a discussion to be had about how, for instance, the presidents of Penn, Harvard, and MIT whiffed it at a congressional hearing where they were totally setup by Republican fuck nozzles and what their responses mean. But let's be crystal fucking clear here: conservatives are politicizing the shit out of this for two reasons. It forwards their agenda of dismantling higher education. That's a topic for another time or another writer

The other thing that this line of attack achieves is to equate a 19 year-old chanting, "From the river to the sea" with actual fucking Nazis doing Nazi shit in this country. If that 19 year-old is implying the genocide of Jews, then calling yourself an actual fucking Nazi is also implying that because that's what Nazis do. And Republicans have a Nazi problem. The Texas GOP just voted down a prohibition on the party associating with those "known to espouse or tolerate antisemitism, pro-Nazi sympathies or Holocaust denial." 

It's all just fuckery by the GOP. And the only real question is how much this will work on depressing the Democratic vote or getting the idiots all hot and bothered and ready for some fascist action.


I Applied for a Job in a New Trump Administration.

As you might have heard, allies of Donald Trump are gearing things up for a new administration for when (they assume) Trump wins back the presidency in 2024. Called Project 2025, it's an effort sponsored by the crazed right-wing Heritage Foundation (motto: "Unfuckable turds wrecking the joint for the rest of you") to "to install a pre-vetted, pro-Trump army of up to 54,000 loyalists across government to rip off the restraints imposed on the previous 46 presidents," as Axios put it. In other words, they are going to fire tens of thousands of civil servants and install people who want to remake the government in the image of Trumpism. It's dictator shit and needs to be called out as such.

So there's an application form that anyone can fill out. Its purpose is laid out clearly: "With the right conservative policy recommendations and properly vetted and trained personnel to implement them, we will take back our government." The application is an ideological litmus test to see how deeply your head is up MAGA's dumb, cruel, spiteful ass. You, too, can be on the frontlines of taking Donald Trump's personal grievances and moronic political beliefs and making them policy. The more people you hurt, the better.

"Fuck it," I thought. I'll fill out their little bullshit questionnaire. And so I did. I gave my address as the same as Trump Tower, and then I got to work on the essay part. 

 Fingers crossed that I get the position. I am totally ready to serve. 


Stop Normalizing Trump-Inspired Death Threats

Over on the online version of the conservative magazine American Spectator (motto: "We're batshit right-wingers but also pretentious as all fuck"), Jeffrey Lord, who is what you picture when you think,  "Soon-to-be-extinct kind of old white man," wrote a thing last month titled, "The Trump Gag Order: Corrupt Judge Assaults Free Speech." It's an attack on Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is on the January 6 trial, for the now-stayed limits on the incendiary accusations and lies that Trump has been gleefully tossing like a stink-faced 1930s street urchin cackling as he throws firecrackers at dogs and horses. 

One moment in the "column" (if by "column," you mean, "The pathetic bullying of a bully-adjacent loser") has stuck in my craw. It comes after Lord quotes Chutkan's order. After discussing the truly fucked-up shit that Trump has said, she wrote that "once an individual is publicly targeted, even revoking the offending statement may not abate the subsequent threats, harassment, or other intimidating effects during the pretrial as well as the trial stages of this case." 

And Lord, who I need to remind you at this point is an actual elderly adult, writes in reaction, "To which I can only say: Oh boo-hoo." Which might be the most bitch-ass moment I've seen in a while, and that includes Elon Musk's whiny twerp tweets. Lord explains, "The moment anyone steps into the world of 'public service,' they are putting themselves out there for others to ridicule, scorn, and, yes indeed, threaten them. A situation multiplied endlessly by both the internet and television." Then he asserts that all the public workers who don't want to get nonstop streams of rape and death threats, as well as antisemitism, sexism, and more just because they're doing their goddamn jobs "clearly have no business whatsoever being in public service."

Obviously, being a judge is one thing. You always face the possibility of crazy and violent people taking shit out on you. But Trump's game is not to just go after the people at the top. He wants to wreck the system by hacking away at the foundation of it, too. So, yeah, he still goes after the former FBI agents he regularly attacked while president. He derides the work of election workers. And, more to the point here, he's accused the clerk of Judge Arthur Engoron of being Chuck Schumer's secret lover or some such shit. 

Engoron, who is on the bench for Trump's civil trial on being a big fucking fraud, and the clerk (who I will not name because I fucking won't) have suffered a barrage of constant threats from Trumpist goons and fucknuts. These were detailed in a filing by lawyers for Engoron and the Attorney General's office asking for the reinstatement, fully, of a gag order on Trump. In a children's sampler of the 275 single-spaced pages of transcribed threats and disparaging phone calls and messages, you can see how much shit anyone involved here has to deal with.

Since the transcriptions were done by software, the curse words are just a string of stars. But I'll try to fill in the blanks by using my awesome powers of profanity. Here are just a couple of the hundreds and hundreds of voicemails left for Engoron about him and his clerk, who is a woman:

"Honestly, you should be assassinated.You should be killed...You should be executed. Put on trial. Executed for your crimes. You sick [fucking] pig."

"Arthur, you are a corrupt Nazi and one of the ugliest people to ever walk the face of the earth. And your clerk, who's also a corrupt Nazi, is a fat [bitch] who blew Chuck Schumer and everybody knows it." The clerk is Jewish, by the way, and the number of references to her weight is pretty stunning, like that's the only thing they know how to insult. 

"We are going to get you and any one of you dirty, backstabbing, lying, cheating Americans. You are nothing but a bunch of communists. We are coming to remove you permanently."

"Do you think being a judge changes the fact that you're a pathetic little [fucker]? You little [fucking] dork with little [fucking] Jew girl [fucking] helper [bitch]. You [fucking] stupid [shit]. God, I hope you [fucking] die. I hope they [fucking] come for you and [fucking] string you up."

I know that most of these threats aren't real threats. Nearly every one of these troglodytes is too dumb and lazy to get off their couches to make the effort to kill anyone. But it only takes one, of course. And there's always one.

That aside, why the fuck should the price of getting up and doing your fucking job be getting doxed and maligned? The clerk has said that "she has been receiving approximately 20-30 calls per day to her personal cell phone and approximately 30-50 messages per day." Imagine that shit. Imagine just trying to catch up on your regular email while you're getting a few hundred messages a week telling you you're going to suffer or die and, oh, hey, you're also unattractive. 

Let's not even think about the wave of horror that New York Attorney General Letitia James and her staff must deal with.

So, yeah, despite what Jeffrey fuckin' Lord and the death threat apologists of the right say, this shit is exactly what a gag order is meant for. Trump inspires all of these mongrel idiots, chewing on their own asses until they come up for air long enough to click out some bullshit. Shut him the fuck up already. Stop acting like it's just Trump being Trump and we all just have to fucking deal with that.

And don't fuckin' talk to me about Trump's freedom of speech. That clerk has freedoms, too, and she's not free as long as Trump puts a target on her back. She's not the one on trial. But she's the one who's been put in a kind of prison. 


A Poem for Thanksgiving from Indigenous America

by Joy Harjo, who is from the Muscogee (Creek) Nation

Put down that bag of potato chips, that white bread, that
bottle of pop.

Turn off that cellphone, computer, and remote control.

Open the door, then close it behind you.

Take a breath offered by friendly winds. They travel
the earth gathering essences of plants to clean.

Give back with gratitude.

If you sing it will give your spirit lift to fly to the stars’ ears and

Acknowledge this earth who has cared for you since you were
a dream planting itself precisely within your parents’ desire.

Let your moccasin feet take you to the encampment of the
guardians who have known you before time,
who will be there after time.
They sit before the fire that has been there without time.

Let the earth stabilize your postcolonial insecure jitters.

Be respectful of the small insects, birds and animal people
who accompany you.
Ask their forgiveness for the harm we humans have brought
down upon them.

Don’t worry.
The heart knows the way though there may be high-rises,
interstates, checkpoints, armed soldiers, massacres, wars, and
those who will despise you because they despise themselves.

The journey might take you a few hours, a day, a year, a few
years, a hundred, a thousand or even more.

Watch your mind. Without training it might run away and
leave your heart for the immense human feast set by the
thieves of time.

Do not hold regrets.

When you find your way to the circle, to the fire kept burning
by the keepers of your soul, you will be welcomed.

You must clean yourself with cedar, sage, or other healing plant.

Cut the ties you have to failure and shame.

Let go the pain you are holding in your mind, your shoulders, your heart, all the way to your feet. Let go the pain of your ancestors to make way for those who are heading in our direction.

Ask for forgiveness.

Call upon the help of those who love you. These helpers take many forms: animal, element, bird, angel, saint, stone, or ancestor.

Call yourself back. You will find yourself caught in corners and creases of shame, judgment, and human abuse.

You must call in a way that your spirit will want to return.
Speak to it as you would to a beloved child.

Welcome your spirit back from its wandering. It will return
in pieces, in tatters. Gather them together. They will be
happy to be found after being lost for so long.

Your spirit will need to sleep awhile after it is bathed and
given clean clothes.

Now you can have a party. Invite everyone you know who
loves and supports you. Keep room for those who have no
place else to go.

Make a giveaway, and remember, keep the speeches short.

Then, you must do this: help the next person find their way through the dark.


The Media Won't Make Republicans Own Trump's Fascist Rhetoric

You are never gonna put a stake in the heart of Trumpism in this country. That bullshit is here to stay until its followers die of some illness they could have gotten vaccinated for, or from shooting themselves with one of their dozens of guns, or of old age, alone with a red hat faded by the sun and a threadbare "Let's Go Brandon" flag they bought at a rally years ago, like an old Nazi treasuring that handkerchief the Fuhrer gave him after wiping the sweat off his brow. Truly, a Pandora's box was opened once Donald Trump began running for president on an explicitly racist platform in 2015, except in this version, all the curses that were unleashed had beaten Hope to death in there long ago. 

Trump's rhetoric in the last few months has taken the racism and general hatred of anyone who doesn't unabashedly love him and his awful family and amped it into explicit calls to round up and deport or imprison or flat-out murder large swaths of the population. It's not just that he now regularly says some variation of his "vermin" line: "We will root out the communists, Marxists, fascists, and the radical-left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country." That shit is frightening enough.

But he's broadened his targets. Look at this from a speech on November 11, which starts with a rant against the "deep state," that weird imagined cabal of, I guess, people who are loyal to the Constitution and not Donald Trump: "We're going to expel those horrible, horrible war mongers from our government. They want to fight everybody, they want to kill people all over the place, places we've never heard about before. Places that want to be left alone. We will drive out the globalists, we will cast out the communists, Marxist fascist. We will throw off the sick political class that hates our country. We will rout the fake news media until they become real." So the plan is to gut the government by defining, as broadly as possible, the criteria that makes you an enemy to the nation. Along with that, the government will be used to attack the media and destroy it.

What's probably most ironic here is that the "fake news" media Trump is describing is still mostly giving him a pass on this move to openly saying full-on, actually fascistic dictator shit. Sure, they're reporting on it. But they are letting other Republicans get away with not owning Trump or his rhetoric. Today on one of the goddamn Sunday shows, Ron DeSantis was asked about Elon Musk's antisemitism but not Trump's tilt into totalitarianism. Some Republicans have been asked about the "vermin" line, and, predictably, the response is a wimpy half-swat, like 2028 GOP presidential nominee Nikki Haley, who said, "I don’t agree with that statement" before turning to Trump's weird statements about Israel and Hezbollah. Well, groovy, Nikki. 

That's not good enough. They need to be asked if they agree with, say, Trump's desire to end the DACA program and deport 800,000 migrants who were brought to the United States when they were children and are American in every sense except immigration status. They need to ask if they agree when Trump says, "We'll stop the invasion on our southern border and begin the largest domestic deportation operation in American history." According to meth-faced Trump advisor Steve Bannon, that means the deportation of 10 million people. Ask Republicans from farm states how they feel about that. Ask if they agree and will support Trump, and ask the rest if they're okay with Trump opening up giant internment camps for migrants and having no due process. Hell, ask them if they agree with shooting shoplifters, as Trump has also said he'd allow.

Trump promised, "I will immediately restore and expand the Trump travel ban on entry from terror play [that's really what it sounds like he said] countries, which was a big thing." How do you feel about that, Republicans from Texas, where the Muslim population is growing? Or do you also admire Hungarian leader Victor Orban, who Trump praised because "He didn't allow millions of people to invade his country...So he doesn't have crime and he doesn't have the problems that they're having in other countries where millions of people are allowed to go in"? Do they believe that immigrants cause crime? By the way, except for that Orban fuckery, just about every other word here is from the written speech. It's not off-the-cuff. 

Sure, way too many Republicans would say they agree with all this shit because they are, by simply being Republican, shitty people. But you can fuckin' corner these assholes like George Stephanopoulos did when he trapped over-inflated balloon animal Steve Scalise and refused to move on until Scalise said whether or not the 2020 election was "stolen." That's what needs to be done on answering for Trump. And not just whether or not they will vote for him if he's the nominee (although that's a totally valid question).

Republicans right now are losing their goddamn tiny minds. They are in-fighting between the Trump-engorged dicks (like James Comer) and the flaccid dicks who shot their Trump loads and don't wanna go again (like sad insurance salesman Kevin McCarthy). They are pissing away their majority in the House because there are just enough not-completely-bugfuck-crazy Republicans to keep the government functioning. And when they're not losing their shit at each other, they're challenging witnesses at hearings to fist fights, like Senator Markwayne "I totally look like a 'Markwayne'" Mullin of Oklahoma did. It would be hilarious if it weren't fucking terrifying. 

But the reason to keep pushing all these jibbering cuntmites to answer for Trump is that we as a country need to hear that there won't be any checks or balances on him. We need to know the danger, the "stakes," as media expert Jay Rosen has stated, instead of the odds. That's gotta be clear because we also need to know what the fuck is going to happen if Trump doesn't win. It's not just that Trump goes away and it all gets better. 

Another thing that Steve Bannon said recently is that the MAGA movement, such as it is, will continue after Trump. "This movement is ascendant and it’s going to go on long after Donald Trump is even more powerful and broader," Bannon proclaimed, slurping the remnants of a puppy from his lips. "We are far to the right of Trump. President Trump is a moderate in our movement. You’re going to pine in future years that you wished Donald Trump was around."

At least Bannon is admitting that what he wants is for politicians to punish everyone who doesn't grovel at the MAGA altar. Now I'd like to hear if our elected leaders are willing to admit it or deny it so I know how quickly I need to get my Canadian asylum application in order.


Democrats Win Just About Everything Everywhere All at Once

In last night's absolute ass-reaming of Republicans, Democrats proved that the best strategy is just to be fucking Democrats. That means supporting abortion rights without any of the bullshit equivocating that gives credence to anti-choice arguments. That means calling out the culture war shit for the plain idiocy that it is. And it means that polls don't vote. 

A few takeaways on very, very good night, addressed directly to the GOP.

Hey, dicks,

1. You have pissed off the women of the United States in ways you can't even imagine. The last year has been a sequel to the Dobbs decision sending abortion rights back to the states. Call it "The Revenge of Roe" because women are in warrior mode over protecting their bodily autonomy. And you withering cocks have painted yourself into a corner with the blood of women who have been hurt and killed by the Supreme Court's monstrous decision. Who celebrated the end of Roe? Whose likely presidential candidate proudly proclaims that that he appointed the justices who made it possible? You kept telling women that actions have consequences when it comes to sex. Now look who's finding out after fucking around. And this won't stop and won't slow down. Democratic women are coming for you.

2. Another way you pissed off women and all parents is telling them that they don't have the right to take care of their kids. See, your child getting taught at school that slavery was bad or that gay people exist isn't impinging on your "rights" as parents. You can teach them whatever lies you want at home. What does fuck with the relationship between parents and kids is when you fucking outlaw medical treatment that  parents want for their kids, whether it's abortion or transgender care. You pass laws saying what kids can and can't talk about and force them to repress their identities and you are shitting all over parents. That's done. It failed. It failed big time. 

3. And Gen Z is coming after you motherfuckers. I love that we finally have a generation that has no reason to believe the moronic myth of the "good" Republican. They grew up with racist attacks on Barack Obama and then watched Donald Trump turn the joint into a plague-ridden hate camp, and they saw Republicans at every level merrily go along with it. They are woke, and your mocking of their wokeness makes you into everything they fucking despise. They have queer friends, they have trans friends, they have friends of different faiths. They watched the George Floyd video and marched in Black Lives Matter protests and then watched as you lied and said they were violent rioters. And then you banned the fucking books they like and are continuing to destroy the climate, which dicks them over for their futures. Goddamn, you are fucked with this generation. 

You can change. Moderate on abortion. Give up the culture wars. Do shit that shows you understand that science is real. 

But you're motherfuckers, so you'll likely just try to figure out how to suppress the vote. 

Okay, I'm done talking to the conservabitches. Lemme end here with a few awesome races beyond abortion rights in Ohio and the Virginia legislature. 

1. In Virginia, pre-election, on the long list of things that matter to voters, transgender issues placed dead last. That's not because they want trans people to not have rights. It's because no one fucking cares if people want to do something that harms no one. And then openly trans Danica Roem, already in the state assembly, became the first trans person to win a seat on the state Senate, beating a conservative ex-cop supported by giant loser Gov. Glenn Youngkin. That ex-cop campaigned on banning trans athletes from high school sports. And that wasn't enough to push voters away from Roem.

2. All over the country, school board candidates backed by the savage hatemongers Moms for Liberty lost bigly. The Moms want your kids ignorant, crazy Christian, pregnant with no choice, and hiding their true identities while not allowing them to read any books that have kissing in them. They are just the fucking worst and deserve all the scorn that can be heaped on them like piles of manure. But, man, they lost so bad everywhere. In Iowa, they supported 13 candidates. Only one won. In one district, they just had to get in the top four vote-getters to get a seat. There were 8 candidates, 4 supported by Moms for Liberty. They all fucking lost. So they can fuck off all the way back to whatever crusty old bible they crawled out from under.

3. And in New York, Yusef Salaam, one of the Central Park Five who was imprisoned for a horrendous crime he did not commit, on whom Donald Trump once took out a full-page ad calling for his execution, who was exonerated 2002 after 13 years in confinement, won a seat on the New York City Council. Yeah, that's right. Soon, Salaam will be an elected official and Donald Trump might die behind bars. That's karma in a perfect form.

It's okay to feel good today, Democrats. It's okay to ignore those shit polls for Joe Biden (which, c'mon, a year out, who the fuck cares?). It's okay to celebrate that we might just have a future. 


Speaker of the House Mike Johnson Hates Nearly All of Us

Liquor laws in Louisiana are a clusterfuck. Because of a state supreme court decision decades ago, they are subject to the whims of a community vote whenever someone can get it on the ballot. So a town can allow alcohol sales in, say, restaurants for a while and then, whenever some opportunistic Christian dickflea gets enough people itching, they can vote to overturn the law and go back to being a dry town or county. Or, you know, parish, as they call counties in the state because Catholicism. 

The decent-sized, if generally shitty, town of Minden in the generally shitty Webster Parish was dry in 2003. Minden is 30 miles from Shreveport, which is a decent-sized, if generally shitty, city. The economy of Minden was not doing great 20 years ago, so a group of business owners, with the support of the Chamber of Commerce, wanted to have another vote on allowing alcohol sales in restaurants, hoping that it would attract some chains to town or at least provide a new tax revenue stream. Minden had been dry since a vote in 1974, but after a contentious city council meeting in August 2003, it was decided that the restaurant alcohol sales law would be decided in a special election just a couple of months later. 

The people against allowing alcohol sales were straight out of a 1980s movie about tight-ass evangelicals refusing to allow anyone to have fun. Their warnings were like the lyrics of The Music Man song "Ya Got Trouble." According to one local columnist, "They expanded from simply claiming this was a back-door way to bring about bars and package sales to more extreme connections. They alleged this was an 'end-around' to bring sexually oriented businesses, such as strip clubs to Minden. They also pointed out it could be an attempt to bring legalized gambling into Minden." Churches went into overdrive, with prayer services just to try to get their invisible sky wizard to intervene. They even had round-the-clock prayers just before the election date. 

The anti-fun forces, led by five plaintiffs, tried to sue to stop the election, but they filed their lawsuit too late for it to be heard. Their lawyer was a Shreveport attorney who was making a name for himself as a supporter of nutzoid right-wing Christian causes. And since you read the title of this piece, you already know that it was Mike Johnson, who is now Speaker of the House and second in line to the presidency. That's right. Two decades ago, he was trying to stop alcohol sales in a town.

The voting occurred that November and over half the registered voters went out to the polls. That's how much this meant in an off-year election. And, Lord have mercy, they voted 57-43% in favor of alcohol sales in restaurants in Minden. Johnson's clients considered another lawsuit to question the elections results, but they decided against it, and Minden restaurants and now bars and, yes, casinos can serve alcohol. The nearest strip joint is still about 15 miles away, in the next parish over.

For years, Mike Johnson represented the shittiest fucking people in trying to halt others from having rights or enjoying life in a way that harmed no one. As a dick lawyer for the Alliance Defending Freedom (motto: "'Freedom' should probably be in quotation marks in our name"), Johnson was on the fucked up side of issue after issue in our bullshit culture war. He fought the city of New Orleans to stop it from offering domestic partnership benefits in the pre-Obergefell days. The law had been in place since 1999, and they sued in 2003 in a case they lost in 2005. He opposed the Obama abortion pill mandate, he sued in favor of various school prayer cases, and more. When it comes to abortion and LGBTQ rights, Johnson is the hardest of the hardcore opposing both. And when he was a state representative, in the panicked days before the Obergefell same-sex marriage decision in 2015, Johnson sponsored legislation that would allow businesses to refuse to serve same-sex couples and, going back to his earlier case, would allow a business to deny benefits to same-sex couples because of "religious" reasons.

And perhaps it's here that we need to pause for a moment and say that Mike Johnson loves God. His version of God, I mean, since, you know, God is made up. But he fuckin' loves God as intensely and loudly as a newly-out Omaha lesbian loves pussy. He leans Christian dominionist, which is as weird and insidious as it sounds. He says that the United States is a "biblical republic," whatever the fuck that means. He told Sean Hannity, "Someone asked me today in the media, they said people are curious, what does Mike Johnson think about any issue under the sun? I said, Well, go pick up a Bible off your shelf and read it. That's my worldview, that's what I believe." I wonder if that includes all the rules in Leviticus, but I don't want to ask about beard-shaving regimen.

In his speech before being sworn in as Speaker of the House, he said, "I want to tell all my colleagues here what I told the Republicans in that room last night. I don’t believe there are any coincidences in a manner like this. I believe that scripture, the Bible is very clear that God is the one that raises up those in authority. He raised up each of you, all of us, and I believe that God has ordained and allowed each one of us to be brought here for this specific moment in this time."

I know they don't give a shit what heathens like me think, but that shit sounds creepy as fuck. You're telling me that your imaginary invisible sky wizard contorted all time and space and made everything in the universe move in such a way that you could become the leader of one house of the American Congress. That's fucking insane because, see, first, you believe in an invisible sky wizard, and, even worse, you have no problem telling me what your invisible sky wizard is doing and saying, and, even worser, you demand that I follow what your invisible sky wizard says. You can say that there are lots of people who believe in your invisible sky wizard, but that doesn't make it less creepy. In fact, it makes it way creepier. 

While Johnson talks a lot about "consensus" and shit, he sure has spent his career, including trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election, approaching every issue with the clear-eyed resolution of someone who just loves to make shit worse for everyone except those who also hate nearly all of us. It won't be some god who ruins the nation. It'll be a very weird man.

(Quick note about Minden, Louisiana: It sucks as a town. But, man, there are awesome soul food joints there.)


Jim Jordan's Combover Can't Hide the Truth About Who He Is

It's one of those questions you get when you're a man and men around you are going bald: Would you ever do a combover? The question is usually phrased with a sarcastic tone, as in, "You're not so pathetic and insecure that you'd do something so fucking dumb if you started to go bald, would you?" And, of course, my answer is that should the day come when these lustrous locks finally thin to the point of scalp exposure, there's no way I'd do a combover. It looks awful and it's a lie. 

See, the combover is the hairstyle where you let the hair on one side of your head grow long enough to be combed over the baldness like hay on a barn floor. While most men who do it leave the hair flat and dead and plastered over the skin, occasionally you have someone like Donald Trump, who does some elaborate bouffant like a pampered, preening prince at Versailles or something. But most don't have time or stylists to create that kind of luxuriant obscenity. For most, it's just a combover. It's supposed to make it look like you have a full head of hair, but you just look like a jackass because everyone knows you're lying. You're trying to pretend that time isn't having its way with you like it inevitably does with everyone, so you fake it. 

I've got a natural prejudice against men with combovers. I find them suspicious and more than a little creepy, and I just feel pity and revulsion at the same time. You can say I'm coiffure-shaming, but I don't fuckin' care. They chose to do this. They looked in the mirror and said, "I would rather my head look like the center of a crop circle than allow people to think I'm going bald." On an objective level, that's hilarious and sad. 

Ohio Republican and multiple-humiliated nominee for Speaker of the House of Representatives, Congressman Jim Jordan, has the kind of combover that looks plastered down with spit and desperation. It's the sort of style that you associate with a third-shift Perkins manager or the last vacuum cleaner salesman at a soon-to-be closed mall Sears. On its best days, Jim Jordan's combover befits a paunchy used car salesman or a community theatre actor playing Shelley Levene in Glengarry Glen Ross. His hair is absurd, as absurd as his look of faded blue shirts and yellow ties, worn without a dress jacket as if that makes him more a man-of-the-people instead of a lost soul who thinks he can parlay his proximity to Trump into more power than a person like him has any right to have. That he failed so quickly and so spectacularly speaks to the unexpected existence of the last bare germs of self-respect that a scattered few Republicans still possess, that they would rather vomit the Congress into chaos than put their future in the sticky hands of Jim Jordan.

Like the purpose of his combover, Jim Jordan was hoping he could hide reality enough to fool enough Republicans or at least allow them to let their guard down for a moment. He wasn't an insurrectionist who sought to overturn the 2020 election of Joe Biden as president. He was merely someone who believes there were "all kinds of problems" and he just forwarded a letter about it to the proper authorities. He certainly isn't the same asshole who totally supported government shutdowns in 2013 and 2018. Oh, no. He's the man with a [bullshit, unworkable] plan to avert a shutdown in November. And he's certainly not the coach who looked the other way while student wrestlers at Ohio State told him that the team doctor was sexually abusing them. He's got nothing to worry about from the forthcoming HBO documentary about that doctor.

And if you believe any of that, you believe that Jim Jordan has a full head of silky hair and is not trying to hide just how exposed his scalp is. 

Possibly the greatest fucking cosmic joke in Jordan's failure is that the dumb bastard thought he could Trump his way into the speakership. Hell, he was endorsed by Donald Trump, and, to his deranged thinking, that should have put him over the top because, obviously, pleasing Trump is still the only thing that matters to Republicans. So Jordan not only bullied members of his own caucus, but he did virtually nothing except make a milquetoast plea to stop the death threats and other threatening calls and messages that flooded  the phones and emails of those who voted against him and their families. All that did was piss them off because no one really likes Jordan. That's so obvious when you see other members of Congress around him. No one looks like they're enjoying their time smelling his tuna breath and his flop sweat armpits under his polyester shirts. Motherfucker, put on a jacket and spray some Febreze. 

In his pathetic whine of a news conference on Friday, Jordan attempted to make some strange comparison between his fight for the Speaker's job and the advancement in flight from the Wright brothers to Chuck Yeager, like failure leads to accomplishment. It was total cringe. Interesting fact, though. Neither Orville nor Wilbur Wright hid their baldness under a combover. Neither did Yeager. Maybe being honest about who you are is the first step to real success, or else you simply keep failing until you bumblefuck into oblivion. 


I Locked Myself Out of Twitterx and Now Live on Threads, Which Shockingly Does Not Suck

Higher than I should have been after an extra mango- "flavored" gummy, I went on the Twitterx a couple of weeks ago. A few people I trusted were warning of the joint's imminent collapse, so I thought, "Okay, fuck it. I'll download my tweets," which is a thing you can do. I had to enter my password, which I thought I knew, but, apparently, I did not and had not saved anywhere. "Fuck it," stoned brain said again. "I'll reset the password." But, see, because another time a few people I trusted said I should do 2-factor authentication so I had set that up, I needed to enter my super-secret code I had gotten by linking Google Authenticator (or whatever the fuck it's called) to Twitterx. 

I entered that code, which I had saved, except I guess that I hadn't because it didn't work. "Fuck it," my now aggravated and stoned brain said. "Get a new code," which should have been easy because the app for authenticating had been linked to Twitterx, as I already fucking explained. So I opened the iPhone and Google Authenticator decided to update. And by updating it reset itself and fucked off with my connection to my Twitterx account and now I couldn't get a new code and I couldn't get into Twitterx because I had started the process of resetting my password and I couldn't back out of it once I was at the second factor stage and god fucking damnit, I hate everything. 

My timing was perfect because it was right when I wanted to do all kinds of promotional shit for the 20th anniversary of this here blog.

"Fuck it," I thought one more time. "I'll click on Support." And I did. And I described my situation. And I got an email saying they would get back to me in a few days or maybe a little longer and I've emailed every few days to say, "What the fuck, Elon?" except politely because Elon's a little overly sensitive about that kind of shit and, well, he's the overlord, right? 

"Fuck it," I thought for the last time. "I'll just start using Zuckerberg's Twitter thing, Threads." And I have. And it doesn't suck. It's still working on its place in the social media food chain, especially when it comes to breaking news, and it needs direct messaging (I don't give a shit about hashtags or trending topics). No, I don't feel like I have what little reach I have on Twitterx, but the engagement is pretty awesome. The biggest bonus is I don't have to cringe every time I post something because of how fucked up the billionaire owner is. Zuckerberg doesn't hang out and support Nazis, and he seems to have discovered how great it is to get laid regularly and workout and is letting the actual experts work on shit. 

So if Elon's remaining sad drone workers ever get around to unlocking my Twitterx account, I don't know what I'll do. I may go back to using it like a meth addict finding himself at the Sudafed factory. Or I may just tell everyone to come over to my new place.

But it sucks that I can't post this on Twitterx.

Bonus fun that seems ominous for anyone ever getting back to me: The company that is allegedly called "X" still signs its support emails "Twitter." 


We're All Just Watching the Wheels Fall Off the GOP Clown Car

Watching the wheels come off a clown car has its charms, teetering as it does on that tightrope between hilarious and terrifying. It's hilarious because, c'mon, it's a bunch of clowns and you're watching those painted dopes as they get flung around like a dog toy in the teeth of a particularly enthusiastic pit bull, screaming, clawing at each other as they to try to position themselves to not fling out of the car as it flips over and over, wondering why the hell so many of them shoved their way into the vehicle in the first place. Of course, screaming clowns are terrifying in and of themselves, but you kind of feel like they deserve it. Fucking clowns. 

Obviously, it's a completely different story once the clown car comes to a halt, the road coated with a viscous sheen of clown guts and greasepaint and motor oil, stray disembodied feet in giant shoes and red noses, real and rubber, scattered about, and arteries spurting briefly like a gag flower on wide lapel. So many dead and disemboweled clowns. Someone's gotta clean up that mess. I mean, you can't just leave it there. It'll block the road, maybe cause more accidents, freak out the kids. For every pie flung in someone's face, there's someone else whose job is to mop up the pie that hit the floor. For every clown car disaster, someone else has to break out the shovels and scrapers and hoses and get that gore gone.

Sure, it's kind of amazing to watch as the Republican Party is in the midst of its inevitable crash. We're in the slow-motion wreck part of the arc of this story. It's the kind of self-immolation that you usually see in overly-literal protesters. It's quite a sight. You've got former President and current record-holder for most-indicted president Donald Trump, sitting lumpily at his trial for financial fraud, muttering and making noises like a gassy Charles Manson, as the judge repeatedly has to teach him how to act like a human being. You've got House Republicans now scrambling to see which of the various fucknuts, rape-enablers, or Trump penis koozies they are going to elect to wreck the nation by refusing to act on anything that isn't certifiably insane or blatantly destructive or both. And they might go to political war with each other, which would be a shit fight in a crashing clown car. You've got a passel of pathetic also-rans, bumbling around the country in a desperate attempt to get some traction for campaigns that were over the moment they announced, pinning their dreams on the imprisonment of the indicted original shit-lump, who lumbers wheezily to rally after rally to spout madness to a deliriously, gleefully violent cult of racist zombies, and yet, for some reason, the other non-Christie candidates can't bring themselves to say anything truly negative about Trump. None of this even scratches the surface of all the wanton fuckery Republicans are doing to themselves in their Trump-contorted reality. 

Yeah, it's amusing as fuck to watch it happen. It'd be a fuck of a lot more fun if it wasn't a goddamned threat to all of us not inside the information vacuum MAGA freaks exist in. It's impossible to ignore growing violence and threats of violence from that aforementioned cult, and a leading candidate for president encouraging them to be ready to enjoy nonstop vengeance against their perceived enemies if he gets back into office and maybe to be ready to commit that violence if he doesn't. Meanwhile, the allegedly normal news media seems to give more of a shit about who Joe Biden's fucking dog bit than that the former president keeps saying shoplifters should be executed without trial. 

As I said, the problem with the bloody detritus left behind after the clown car is done being wrecked is that you need to get it out of the way and get the road open again. And that's gonna fall to Democrats because we're the goddamn cleaning crew. With an assist from congressional Democrats,  Clinton cleaned up after Reagan/Bush, Obama cleaned up after Bush, Jr, and Biden cleaned up after Trump. The difference now is that Trump and the Trumpians all crawled out of one wrecked clown car and immediately got into another one and now are making a mess again on the road that Democrats just fucking cleared. (Okay, I might need to let this metaphor go.)

Lemme put this simply: The Republican Party is no longer a legitimate national party. It is beholden to one man without whom most of the people who have supported the party the last few years would go back to crouching in their dirt holes, masturbating to murder porn and sending out anti-Semitic memes. I mean, they still do that now, but they also vote because of Trump. No Trump and no reason to vote. And smart Republicans know this, so that leaves them with a choice: stay on that imploding Trump train until the bitter end and hope you'll survive or jump off and have some goddamn dignity without being re-elected. 

Or maybe there's another possibility, especially for the 18 Republicans in districts that Biden won: join the clean-up crew. Go independent and caucus with Democrats or just outright switch parties. It just take a few to switch control of the House of Representatives. Say you did it because you want to get shit done and you're tired of working with people who ought to be institutionalized. You're sick of Marjorie Taylor Greene's protein drink farts and Jim Jordan's flop sweat smell on his polyester shirts. Who could blame you? Otherwise we're stuck with the screaming clowns until at least January 2025.


20 Years of Rude Punditry: This One's Kind of About You

Possibly the wildest thing is when someone says they have been reading this here blog since the beginning or near the beginning and have been following it for the last 20 years. I'll tell you why:

When I was a kid, my demented fuckin' father, who blessed and cursed me with his skewed, angry perspective on the world, especially his general belief that the wealthy were the enemy, used to get a bunch of newspapers every goddamn day: the Daily Advertiser (from Lafayette, Louisiana, hometown paper), the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, the New Orleans Times-Picayune, and two Houston papers, the Post and the Chronicle. What this did was give me access to a bunch of the great columnists of the late-ish 20th century, from Mike Royko to Molly Ivins to Jack Anderson to Clarence Page to Ellen Goodman. I was reading Art Buchwald, Jimmy Breslin, and Anna Quindlen, and it wasn't enough for me to read their work in the papers. I'd go back and read books of their gathered older columns, which gave me a way of seeing history and learning how to fuck with people in power. This coincided with my love of Doonesbury, and I got all of Garry Trudeau's earlier books, learning about Nixon and the Vietnam War through the eyes of Mike and Mark and Duke and Joanie and Zonker. I continued this obsessive engorging of perspectives even after my father died when I was 13. I bought the papers myself or went to the library and read them. For years. For decades, in some cases. I found my beliefs by reading the Village Voice and Nat Hentoff, who was a hero of mine for while in his diehard faith in the First Amendment. I expanded to The Nation, Mother Jones, The Progressive, and the American Prospect. I blew the doors of my mind further open. And when I was able to get online, I expanded that to New York Times columnists, to writers who weren't so white and so male, and, one of my personal favorites who you might not know, Mark Morford from the San Francisco papers, whose loose stream-of-consciousness style while still saying the most savage things about political motherfuckers inspired my approach to writing this shit. I honestly cannot list all the writers and commentators who influenced me, and I haven't even mentioned Hunter S. Thompson, let alone the authors and poets and playwrights and comedians who are part of the verbal gumbo I try to cook up.

So when someone says they've read me for years? It's humbling because it puts me, in some small way, in the category of so many of the writers who were my unacknowledged teachers for years. It's fucking amazing. And I may not have gotten or ever get rich enough for my father to have hated from my writing, but it's just fucking cool to have lasted this long and to have fellow travelers along with me. 

As hard as doing this is, even now, when I do it only once a week here and once a week over at the Patreon, along with all the tweets, yes, it is hard, I can unabashedly say that I am grateful for your eyeballs and your brains and for clicking over here, even if it's just every once in a while thinking, "Oh, yeah, I wonder what that asshole is talking about lately." 

If I've helped keep you sane, as many of you tell me, well, shit, that's a life well-lived. I don't think I have 20 more years of this left in me. But let's ride this weird, crazy train as long as we can and see where the track leads us.


20 Years of Rude Punditry: The AMA Part of It

If yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of the debut of this here blog (or "newsletter," if you wanna sound classy), today marks the 20th of the first proper post, which, interestingly, is more like a series of tweets (although I was here before Twitterx. Actually, now that I think about it, I was here before YouTube, before Facebook, hell, before Breitbart). It was a crude version of the crudeness to follow.

Lemme get the money part of things out of the way here. One of the big changes in the last few years is the ability to actually make some scratch on this stuff without allowing advertisers to put bullshit on your website. I do Patreon (for now), and if you subscribe there, you get extra posts, occasional uncensored versions of the videos I've been doing for the Political Voices Network, and other stuff. I'm a bit more personal there, and I do some deep dives into fascist websites and other shit. If you're gonna pay, I'm gonna work for it. 

You can do it at the $1, $3, $5, or $10 levels or even $100 if you're rich and insane (or extraordinarily kind - it's a fine line). And you can pay it monthly or annually. One more extra: a great community of readers who comment regularly on the posts, sometimes offering great takes, sometimes sanely disagreeing. It's way more fun than I thought it would be.

And I should mention that the old Donation button through PayPal is still up here if you just wanna toss a couple of shekels in the bucket and be on your way. 

Okay, let's go to the fun stuff. I asked on Twitterx and Threads and BlueSky for questions, and, damn, nice job everyone. I said AMA, and, goddamn, now I better answer. So away we go:

Since a bunch of you are Steph heads, you asked how I got involved with Ms. Stephanie Miller and her delicious, daily radio orgy. Kind of simple really: In the summer of 2009, I heard she was reading my posts on the air, so I got in touch and said, "Well, shit, if you're using my stuff, why not have me on?" I had to make all kinds of promises to be FCC compliant (which I've only fucked up twice in over 14 years). We discovered on the first time I appeared that the sexual tension between Steph and me was so intense that I've heard listeners spontaneously orgasmed, which made things extra awkward if they were already at work. Thus a long-term relationship was born. (Sincere note: Steph, Chris, Jody, Travis, Sean, and everyone I've met through the show are just terrific and smart people.)

Several of you wanna know what my employer, the City University of New York, thinks about me doing this gig. That's a good question, considering how many professors have gotten in trouble for shit they say on blogs, social media, or comment threads. But I'm a lucky motherfucker: a whole lot of my higher-ups are regular readers. When I did my first show back in 2005, the Provost congratulated me. I got tenure, in part, from the positive reaction to that show. I have a couple of rules: I don't shit where I eat (which means that if I have an issue at my daytime job, I keep it at my daytime job). I don't bring it into the classroom unless it's relevant (like if I teach writing solo shows, yeah, I'm gonna fuckin' talk about my solo shows). If a student has googled me and asks, I'll tell them. In fact, if anyone wants to talk politics because they know I do this, I'm more than happy to get into it.

Every now and then, some fucknut will contact the college president or dean or someone and say that I'm immoral or I'm trying to pervert minds or just that I'm an asshole, citing something I wrote that upset them. When I wrote something against Catholicism, this guy went on the warpath to say I'm bigoted and needed to be fired. The Provost called me and said, "What's this about?" I explained and it was done. It's good to have a strong union. It's good to work for people who actually think professors are allowed to have opinions. 

Here's an interesting question: "Who is the absolute worst person you’ve ever written about?" It might be recency bias, but I truly think it's Donald Trump. I mean, it's tempting to say Karl Rove, who was the architect of so much of our path to political damnation. I could easily say George W. Bush, who bumblefucked his way through crisis after crisis, doing the bidding of truly evil fucks, like Dick Cheney (also in the top five). But Trump has done so much damage to the American psyche, contorting the febrile brains of millions of people into releasing their racist, hateful ids and pushing them to committing or contemplating mass violence. Trump's the most dangerous motherfucker of all the motherfuckers because he's not seen as a politician. He's seen as a prophet, and he knows it, so he's gonna manipulate the idiot hordes to give him their cash and do his vile bidding until he's locked away or dead.

Someone asked if there are any posts where I might have gone too far. Nah. I regret being wrong sometimes. And there are a couple of posts that I think are extravagantly dark. There's the one where Donald Rumsfeld keeps a drawer of the mummified dicks of dead soldiers. Or the one where Dick Cheney masturbated at Auschwitz. More recently, there's the one where Tucker Carlson does autoerotic asphyxiation to images of the war in Ukraine. I guess one I might take back is where I was trying for parody with the "Modest Proposal" title, but it didn't come across as parody and it just sounds like I want Donald Trump to kill himself. But if I started deleting ones where I thought the jokes didn't work, I'd be here for days. 

I'll end here by bringing up something I bet a lot of you forgot about or never knew. When I went to the Bonnaroo Music Festival for a few years, I wrote a series of fictional posts about the event turning into a zombie apocalypse or environmental horror movie. Rude at Bonnaroo was a combination of exhaustion, drugs, and sun madness, and it's about as weird as my brain gets, and, yet, there's still a pretty good zombie story in there. Dive in and enjoy.

More tomorrow to round this celebration out.