4/24/2018

Confederate Memorial Day Is for Losers

Look, there ought to be no reason to talk about "Confederate Memorial Day" because such a day shouldn't exist. And it fucking well ought not be recognized in any official way by any government of the nation that beat the Confederacy to a gray pulp. Except that the state offices in both Mississippi and Alabama were closed yesterday in "honor" of the dishonorable scumfucks who tried to rip the country in two so they could keep humans enslaved (with some localities closing their offices on other dates). And there were "celebrations" around the South.

For instance, over in Biloxi, on Sunday, an event was held at Beauvoir, the Jefferson Davis Home and "Presidential" Library, which strangely has not been burned to ground and the ashes haven't been turned into a giant toilet that black people can piss in. After listening to the plinking tones and odd singing of the Southern Strings Dulcimer Club, you could have heard a speech by H.K. Edgerton, known as "that black guy who supports the Confederacy" and who charges $20,000 an appearance and who totally isn't scamming the racists. (Fun fact: You can go on a ghost hunt once a month at Beauvoir. That's how you know the whole place is legit.)

In Montgomery, the state capital of Alabama, members of a group of Civil War reenactors will be decked out in Confederate soldier drag as a "tribute" to their ancestors. They'll be doing this on the grounds of the capitol building, so it's not unlike a bunch of people dressed as Nazis celebrating the anniversary of Kristallnacht under the Brandenburg Gate. In many other places, people just decorate the graves of dead racists...sorry, Confederate soldiers...no, wait, fucking traitors. That's better.

As usual, idiots come out to spew idiotic bullshit about how we need to "honor" their fallen ancestors for fighting for something they believed in. Like this piece from the "chaplain" of a Sons of Confederate Veterans group, where he uses a 1969 John Wayne movie to back up his point of view and says, "This is our land, our homes and our way of life. We didn't come up there to tell you how to run things, so don't come telling us." And I just wanna say to the author, Barry Cook, "Motherfucker, that's called 'living in a nation.' You don't get to do shit just because it's your 'way of life,' you fuckin' dumbass." Cook admonishes us, "[T]hese intellectual types don't usually get it. (They still haven't figured out how Trump won)." To which one can only respond what people like this tell us on the left about Trump: "You lost. Get over it. You've had over 150 years. Fuckin' babies."

Again, this shouldn't even be worth discussing. But every year, we see stories about some backwards ass fucks doing backwards ass shit to glorify inglorious assholes. And it's got a different context this year because of the surge of racist movements in this country in the era of Trumpism. In western Georgia, just last week, shit-for-brains neo-Nazis marched for shit-for-brains reasons and held a puny rally. With just 3 dozen attendees, they were dwarfed both by the number of counter-protesters and the number of police.

But then these pathetic pukes went into a field and burned a big ol' swastika. You can see photos of them drunk, hepped up on hate, and yowling like rabid dogs who can't lick their balls hard enough. And it'll make you think, "Whoa, whoa, this is 2018. I thought we got over this." Nope.

This is who we are at this moment, as we get confirmed what everyone who observed the 2016 election and its aftermath knows: that Trump voters weren't motivated by "economic anxiety" or such bullshit. They were white people motivated by fear that they will lose their status as the top of heap.

Or, you know, to shorten that, racism. It is the original sin of American society, and, if we don't do anything to hold it in check and change it, it will be our damnation.

4/20/2018

The Comey Memos: Man, Trump's a Sad Worm

The memos of former FBI director James Comey were leaked to the press literally minutes after they were given to a congressional committee led by craven twat mite Devin Nunes. While there are some interesting things we can tease out of the details, most of the big revelations have been out there for a bit.

Still, what we get is the image of Donald Trump, our goddamn president, that confirms all the worst shit about him: that he's a self-aggrandizing buffoon, a sad worm of a man, a lump of failure, and a fucking moron. Each meeting with Comey was about Trump trying and failing to assert some alpha dog status over a man who he thought was on his side. Trump wants Comey to be grateful to him. He wants Comey to plead for his job. He wants to own Comey. And when Comey doesn't allow himself to be owned, it fuckin' drives Trump nuts.

Trump begs for Comey's approval in a way that's so pathetic that, if Trump were a dog, you'd take him to the vet to have him put down so you wouldn't have to look at how pathetic he's become. Trump talks about Bill O'Reilly interviewing him and that "O'Reilly's question about whether he respected Putin had been a hard one...He said he does respect the leader of a major country and though that was the best answer. He then said, 'You think my answer was good, right?'" Who needs that kind of validation? Someone who is used to having people around him constantly assuring him that his answers are awesome and he's awesome and every word dingleberry that shits out of his mouth is awesome.

At other points, Comey quotes Trump trying to sound tough, telling Comey, "I have been very loyal to you, very loyal, we had that thing, you know?" Comey comments about Trump's low-rent Mamet plea, "I did not reply or ask him what he meant by 'that thing.'" Although, c'mon, it's obvious that Trump thinks Comey pledged loyalty to him probably because Jared or Reince told that Comey did.

And Trump would need someone to remind him because he repeats himself again and again, which ought to be way more disconcerting than anyone is saying. He brings up Andrew McCabe at least 3 times and how he was "rough" on McCabe and his wife during the campaign. Each time, Comey says that McCabe is "a pro." Trump brings up Russia and hookers and the golden showers show a few times, so concerned for how he appeared. Let's put it this way: If you have to say, "Can you imagine me? Hookers?" or that you're "the kind of guy who didn't need to 'go there,'" then you are exactly the kind of guy who goes there and bangs hookers.

In one really weird moment, Trump says that he talks to world leaders on this "beautiful phone," and Comey describes him "touching the gray phone on his desk." It's a fuckin' phone, man. They all pretty much look the same. And in another, he relates how upset he was that Michael Flynn didn't tell him soon enough about a congratulatory phone call from Vladimir Putin after election, freaking out about it.

Nothing is really surprising anymore. It's not like we didn't know that Trump is such a sad, deranged sack of a human that if his dad hadn't been super-rich, he'd be wandering around Jamaica, Queens, in his robe, yelling at women to suck his old dick and grabbing himself constantly.

Except he's president of the United States. Shit and shit again.

4/19/2018

What Did That Dumb Orange Motherfucker Say Now? (Rising Sun Edition)

Whenever President Donald Trump, an anthropomorphic shart in a suit-shaped sack, gives remarks that are even a little off the cuff, it's a gut-turning embarrassment for the nation. Whatever meager failed vaudevillian patter he may muster when he's in front of an adoring crowd of yahoos dissipates into stone-cold ignorance and bluster that sounds less like the leader of the free world and more like the chief enforcer of the He-Man Woman Haters Club.

So it was yesterday down in Florida at Trump's shrine to the worst rich people in the nation, Mar-a-Lago, and his press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Trump says so much unbelievably dumbass stuff in a single appearance that it's kind of breathtaking, like he's a performance artist standing on a stage and flinging dog shit at an audience, wondering when the idiots sitting in the theatre will stop pretending it's meaningful and rush the stage to stop him.

Trump really did say, "It was a true privilege to be welcomed to the magnificent land of Japan or, as I have heard all my life, the land of the rising sun" and then followed that with "It's true," as if he just informed everyone of the secret nickname of Japan for the last 1000 years. And he really did say about American manufacture of military weapons, "And nobody, nobody makes it like the United States. It's the best in the world by far," like a desperate Fuller brush door-to-door salesman trying to convince a poor farmer he needs three.

Of course, he said something to undermine the potential upcoming talks with North Korea: "If we don't think it's going to be successful...we won't have it. We won't have it." And then the word "fruitful" got stuck in his moron head because he repeated it: "If I think that it's a meeting that is not going to be fruitful, we're not going to go. If the meeting, when I'm there, is not fruitful, I will respectfully leave the meeting." Either he eyeballed a bowl of fruit in the room or it came up on his word-a-day calendar that he generally just yells, "You think you're smarter than me?" at.

And he really did give himself all the credit for the success of the Winter Olympics in South Korea: "President Moon of South Korea was very generous when he said if it weren't for Donald Trump, the Olympics would have been a total failure. It was my involvement and the involvement of our great country that made the Olympics a very successful Olympics." You ever notice there's never any such thing as a "partial failure" with Trump? It's always either the greatest success that ever successed in the history of successing because of him or, because of someone he doesn't like, it's a total failure. Obama's foreign policy, the assault weapons ban, North Korea. You get the idea. But what's even more amazing is that this numbnuts thinks that ticket sales at the Olympics, which he claims he's responsible for, are a good indication that he'll be able to make a deal with Kim Jong-un. It's not unlike saying, "Because I could make a clay ashtray, I can sculpt David."

Asked about the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election (and other tasty matters having to do with Trump's businesses), he streamed catchphrases and sound bites ready for Steve Doocy to cream his Sans-a-belts over in the a.m.: "There was no collusion, and that's been so found as you know by the House Intelligence Committee. There's no collusion. There was no collusion with Russia other than by the Democrats or the obstructionists because they truly are obstructionists." Ya gotta love the last thing there, where he says he calls the Democrats "obstructionists" because they are obstructionists. They're Democrats. You could just call 'em that.

And then, swear to fuckin' Christ, he brought up the Electoral College again. "This was a really hoax created largely by the Democrats as way of softening the blow of a loss which is a loss that frankly they shouldn't have had from the standpoint that it's very easy for them. They have a tremendous advantage in the Electoral College and this is what it is and this is where it came from," he said, like a brain-damaged Popeye snarling, "I yam what I yam what I yam what I yam" on an endless loop. On it went, with Trump repeatedly referring to himself in the third person like some kind of goon: "There's been nobody tougher on Russia than President Donald Trump... Russia will tell you, there has been nobody tougher than Donald Trump."

You know what was great about every other president ever? They occasionally stayed out of the public eye for a while so that they didn't become utterly fucking tedious in their repetitive bullshit. This fuckin' shtick is getting so old. How can anyone find this endearing or interesting except in how fuckin' weird it all is? I could honestly say that people who supported George W. Bush were fuckers, but I understood why they did it. I don't fuckin' get this at all. I don't fuckin' get how "makin' the libtards mad" is enough for some people. It's like when some guy tells you he just loves getting hand jobs and only hand jobs from other guys. You just wanna say, "You know, there's a whole lot more to fucking than gettin' one rubbed out by strange hands."

4/17/2018

When It Comes to Hillary Clinton, Oh, Just Fuck Right Off, James Comey

If I've said it before, I've said it a million got-damn times. If you didn't support Hillary Clinton because you believed in any of the made-up "scandals" from her career, from Vince Foster's "murder" to Emails of Doom to pizza pedophilia, you were the bitch of Fox "news" and the entire conservative machine that had created a narrative about Clinton that you bought into. I am not Breitbart's bitch, so I could put that aside and just consider her based on her positions and policies. (I'm not talking to anyone who didn't vote for Clinton because you disagreed with her or because you couldn't get over whatever the fuck you think happened with Bernie, which is its own kind of conspiracy theory, and, no, I don't give a shit about whatever you wanna say about that. It's very nice you believe that.)

And whatever you wanna say about why Hillary Clinton lost - bad candidate, didn't campaign in this or that state, grrr-Wall Street, grrr-war - one thing that cannot be denied is that much of the nation (although, you know, not a majority) did become the bitches of that conservative machine that runs a thrusting piston pounding the asses of the electorate with a dildo marked "Hillary=evil" or "Hillary=corrupt" and "any association with Hillary means you are evil and corrupt, too." Republicans counted on enough people gladly bending over to receive this fucking .

What we've learned now is that the former director of the FBI, James Comey, was also grabbing his ankles. In an interview with NPR's Morning Edition today, part of his "James Comey is gonna make a fuck-ton of cash" tour, Comey was questioned about why he made a statement about the conclusions of the FBI's investigation into Clinton's email server in July 2016. He admits, as he implies in his book, Higher Royalties...I mean, Loyalty, that, at least in part, he was influenced by the noise of cable news over things like Bill Clinton's visit to then Attorney General Loretta Lynch's plane on the tarmac in June 2016.

Comey says to the idea of resisting that noise, "[A] reasonable person might have done that. I think that would have been a mistake, because again it wasn't just what had happened that last week of June, it was a collection of things that led me to conclude that the general public would have serious doubts about the integrity of the Obama administration's decision to close an investigation of Hillary Clinton without transparency, given those things that had happened." And he goes on to say that he thinks that had he not spoken in July or released the letter to Congress about the "new" emails (which turned out to be nothing) discovered on Huma Abedin's computer, "I think the institutions would have been in worse shape had we done the normal thing" and not commented.

Comey told ABC's George Stephanopoulos's hair that he assumed, like everyone pretty much did, that Clinton was going to win and that, in some way, he was doing the right thing in releasing that letter because "If you conceal the fact that you have restarted the Hillary Clinton email investigation, not in some silly way but in a very, very important way that may lead to a different conclusion, what will happen to the institutions of justice when that comes out? Especially, given the world we're operating in, when Hillary Clinton's elected president? She'll be an illegitimate president, but these organizations will never recover from that."

Let's put aside the hypocrisy of Comey saying he needed to release something about these new emails, even though nothing at all had been found in them of any interest, while saying that he didn't say anything about the Trump investigation because it hadn't found anything definite yet. Let's put aside for a moment the idea of balance, that if he was gonna say a fuckin' word about any investigations of Clinton, he had an obligation to balance that with information about Trump so the American people had the full picture. Put that aside.

Instead, let's tell James Comey to just fuck right off on this. Because he might be this great and mighty public servant and FBI director, but Comey doesn't know jackshit about the very machine that's behind him, fucking him in the ass. If Clinton had won, it wouldn't have mattered if Jesus himself walked into Congress and said, "She didn't do shit." Republicans would have gone nuclear because that's the only way to justify all the Clinton hatred they based their entire election strategy on. Fox "news" would have been 24/7 on emails and every other stupid thing they could fan into a bullshit controversy. Shit, it's practically that now and Clinton ain't even president. It's all they know.

Comey thinks his gestures prevented an erosion of faith in institutions and in a potential President Clinton? You goddamned fool, these motherfuckers had over a half-dozen investigations of Benghazi because when one said, "Nope, it's all good. Sad, but good," they immediately had another going. And as for institutions, Republicans don't give a sad turtle shit about institutions. Do you think the assholes who had just prevented President Obama from making a Supreme Court choice out of pure spite and political fuckery would think twice about wrecking any agency that got in their way?

You big, dumb dickhead, the only thing that was standing between your precious institutions and their dismantling or complete politicization was the fact that a Democrat was president. Clinton would have prevented most of the shit that's happening now to the Justice Department. But you fucked it, Jim Comey.

You fucked it, and your specious fucking book tour won't unfuck it. At least own that shit. Stop saying you wouldn't have done anything differently. That just makes you another idiot who won't learn from the past.

But, then again, we should always remember: You are a Republican.

(Note: Goddamnit, I want to stop talking about the 2016 election. But we keep getting dragged back into it, like it's a cave we climb out of and then the trolls drag us back in, kicking and screaming.)

4/15/2018

AGD Podcast: Interview With Benari Poulten, Former Producer on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore

Up now on the iTunes is a new episode of Another Goddamn Podcast, perfectly timed for a military strike on Syria. I talk some shit about soldiers in my family and then interview a real-life Army reservist who happens to be a funny, funny writer and comic, Benari Poulten.

Benari was a senior producer on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore and has been in the reserves for the last 18 years. He's seen it all, from Gitmo to Iraq to Afghanistan, and we talk about it. Check it out. Subscribe, rate, review. (Looks like this is gonna be a monthly thing for now, but I'd like to get it to every 2 weeks.)

And thanks to everyone who is subscribed over at Patreon at $5 and up. You got this early, and you got an extra five minutes of the interview where Benari talked about his family's Democratic activism and the time his grandmother flirted with Ted Kennedy. Your donations have made this podcast possible.

Thanks also to Ted Kane for the opening music and the Errol Flynns for the closing tune.

4/13/2018

End This Enraging Week with Hope: Kentucky Teachers Will Kick Your Ass, GOP

When we last left the Kentucky legislature, it had passed some pretty fucked up changes to the retirement system for teachers so quickly that no one had time to read the bill they were in. Teachers, many using their spring break, had a day of protest at the capitol in Frankfort at the beginning of the month.

Since then, Gov. Matt "Why Can't I Murder More Kentuckians By Taking Away Their Health Care?" Bevin has vetoed a budget, supported by teachers, that protected a great deal of spending on education (while getting rid of some). And he signed into law a slightly revised version of the fucked up retirement plan so that there is no longer a guaranteed income benefit (in case you didn't know, the teachers don't get Social Security) and there is an increase in health care costs, among other things. Bevin said that the teachers' union was to blame for the dissatisfaction and activism. Which, well, yeah, fucko.

So guess what happened today?


Yeah, this time teachers left the classroom for a day of action, with schools closing all over the state. And they are putting the legislature on notice that this is some shit they will not eat and they are coming for the seats. This year, all 100 House seats are up for grabs, as are half the Senate seats. "Forty-three current or retired educators are running as Democrats for the legislature," said a party spokesperson. And several Republican teachers are primarying the GOP legislators in their districts.

The message is clear: You have fucked with the wrong people.

Oh, and the pension "reform" also affects cops and firefighters.

So the Democratic Attorney General, Andy Beshear, has filed a lawsuit challenging the bill. He is joined by unions representing teachers and the police, saying that the changes to the retirement program comprise a kind of breach of contract. We shall see if this eminently logical argument makes a difference.

But next time some reporter from the New York Times or CNN heads to Trump country, women there can say, "This is what the white working class is doing now. Trying to change this bullshit."

4/12/2018

Erickson's Congressman: A Paradox of Our Times

I'm calling for a new phrase to enter the lexicon of political snark: "Erickson's Congressman." It's based the recent blog post by conservative wannabe-firebrand Erick "Erick" Erickson where he described wandering around a DC Safeway with an unnamed GOP member of Congress who fairly ejaculated a stream of invective and profanity about how much he despises President Donald Trump and how much Trump has wrecked the Republican Party. "If we're going to lose because of him, we might as well impeach the motherfucker," the congressman said, according to Erickson, and much, much more.

Now all over the media, people are trying to figure out who it is. Others wonder if the conversation happened at all. In other words, this congressman is in a state between existence and non-existence until he (assuming Erickson is being truthful about the sex) is revealed, either by Erickson, who has sworn he will not say, or the guy himself.

We've heard from these sources before, all these anonymous legislators and aides who tell reporters or others their true feelings about Trump, how they hate him to their core, beyond the niceties they are forced to spew, beyond their actual defense or support of him when they go on CNN or Fox. But, unless they are retiring or so senior they don't care, they remain anonymous, and thus they are objects of faith, living in the nether zone between hero and scoundrel. Oh, how we on the left love hearing that Trump can't hold a thought in his head or is in one of his idiot rages. Oh, how we love thinking about one of these anonymous voices finally saying, "Yeah, it's me. Congressman X" and bringing down this affliction of a government.

Hell, I have very few real contacts in the actual political world, to people with power or within proximity of power. But even I've heard from them that "every single Republican" (and, yes, that is a quote) knows that Trump is a dangerous dolt. Yet not a single one will go on the record.

And that's where the idea of Erickson's Congressman comes in: we don't know if he exists, but we desperately want him to exist, yet he can't exist - he doesn't exist- without giving up his anonymity. Until then, he both exists and doesn't exist, a wish and a curse at the same time. He is an absurdity, a figment of our fevered, hungry desires imaginations who might very well be real.

One thing is for sure, though. Erickson's Congressman is always a coward who cares more about his own hide than the country and the Constitution he's sworn to uphold. And Erickson, hell, all the Ericksons who remain silent about who is telling them their truth will be as complicit as their sources should this all blow up. When this all blows up.

And if it doesn't, well, Erickson's Congressman will just go on, back to being the savage conservative he always was, free of his duality, free of the conscience he pretends to have.

4/10/2018

Finding Pleasure in the World Starting to Collapse on Trump

President Donald Trump, an angry, rotten tangerine on top of a sack of dead hogs, spoke out yesterday about FBI raid of the home, office, and hotel room (whuh?) of his lawyer, Michael Cohen. You might know Cohen as "That motherfucker? Fuck him." Cohen is like Roy Cohn except less charming in the same way that a rabid bear is less charming than a cobra.

Speaking before he surrounded himself with military leaders to pretend to be their commander, Trump went off on Special Counsel Robert Mueller and anyone who wasn't a citizen of Trump World before the filthy swamp of Washington, DC tainted their virgin white garments. "So I just heard that they broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys," Trump started, ignoring the fact that "they" is actually "we," as in employees of the Justice Department and thus the federal government. "I have this witch hunt constantly going on for over 12 months now — and actually, much more than that. You could say it was right after I won the nomination, it started," he continued. You want to tell him about the Benghazi investigations? Or that for years he accused President Obama of being born in another country? Bitch, shit's just getting good. We're not even at the climax yet.

The raid was bullshit, Trump said. "[I]t’s a disgrace. It’s, frankly, a real disgrace. It’s an attack on our country, in a true sense. It’s an attack on what we all stand for." The idea that a search warrant, signed off on by a judge and handled by a Trump-appointed US Attorney, is an "attack on our country" means that Trump couldn't give a happy monkey fuck about our country except in how much l'etat c'est Trump.

He was on a ranting tear. He attacked the investigators, calling them all "Democrats or a couple of Republicans that worked for President Obama." He wondered why no Hillary: "[T]hey’re not looking at the Hillary Clinton — the horrible things that she did and all of the crimes that were committed. They’re not looking at all of the things that happened that everybody is very angry about, I can tell you, from the Republican side, and I think even the independent side."

Think about that for a second. He wants to know why they're not investigating someone who isn't in government anymore, who was thoroughly investigated, and about whom an investigation is still percolating even though there isn't a goddamn thing to investigate except how stolen emails got to the Trump campaign. But, mostly, think about how disgustingly self-pitying that is. "Why aren't you looking into this thing the man on the TV told me is bad when he told me I am good?" Trump is saying. "Why you no believe man in TV? I like man in TV. And other man in TV. And pretty lady in TV."

Then the mental breakdown of the cornered rat started to occur as his brain just started to dump shit in random bursts of words. Seriously, this is the president of the goddamn United States, and he's like a skeevy john trying to explain to cops that they shouldn't arrest him when there are murderers out there: "[T]hey don’t even bother looking. And the other side is where there are crimes, and those crimes are obvious. Lies, under oath, all over the place. Emails that are knocked out, that are acid-washed and deleted. Nobody has ever seen — 33,000 emails are deleted after getting a subpoena for Congress, and nobody bothers looking at that."

Goddamn, you want this to be more satisfying, doncha? Shouldn't we be rejoicing a bit, texting our friends gifs of people saying, "Nice" or "Oh, hell, yeah." Except for every little bit of celebration, we think, "But what if, after all this, the dickhole gets away with it?" For every delicious bit of schadenfreude, we wonder how long it'll take to clean up the shitpile he'll leave behind. Yeah, it's stomach-churning and hard to find pleasurable.

And yet...

"The F.B.I. agents who raided the office of President Trump’s personal lawyer on Monday were looking for records about payments to two women who claim they had affairs with Mr. Trump, and information related to the publisher of The National Enquirer’s role in silencing one of the women." That's right. According to the New York Times, the raid was about Trump's wandering dick and everything his pathetic thug-wannabe lawyer tried to do to shut women up about his dick.

So while Trump was ranting about "They found no collusion whatsoever with Russia. The reason they found it is there was no collusion at all. No collusion," the Southern District of New York, led by a Rudy Giuliani crony, had the FBI tear up Cohen's shit because of suspicion that Trump and Cohen were lying about something to do with Trump's adulterous dick. Russia may have little to do with this particular raid.

So Donald Trump may end up being crushed by walls made of pussy. Michael Cohen may be wrecked by women he and his boss tried to wreck. Ah, there it is. There's that satisfaction I was looking for.

4/05/2018

Trump's Got Border Madness and He Wants You to Get It, Too

Let's start with a statement about a number. This is from something put out from the White House, titled for idiots, "What You Need to Know About the President’s Authorization for the National Guard to Deploy to the Southern Border." The document gives a number. Two of them, really: "More than a thousand people a day and more than 300,000 a year violate our sovereignty by illegally crossing the border."

As many people on the Twitter and elsewhere have pointed out, there is a huge fuckin' difference between 1000 a day, which equals 365,000, and 300,000 a year, which is closer to an actual, reported number, 303,000 (or 800 a day). Now, here is where things get a little tricky, and by "tricky," I mean, "factual." Because, see, we don't really know how many people cross the border illegally. We can estimate, sure. What we do know is how many people the Border Patrol has apprehended at the southern border, and that's the number Trump is referring to.

Now, in that screaming, hysterical document and the screaming, hysterical order, as well as Trump's screaming, hysterical tweets, as well as the screaming, hysterical rhetoric coming from other screaming, hysterical Republicans (who are, in truth really screaming and hysterical over the possible 2018 blue wave sweeping them into the political ocean), we're told, "The situation at the border has now reached a point of crisis" because of drugs, gang members, and children (no, really, this administration has a boner for fucking over kids, especially unaccompanied minors).

The problem is, of course, of course, of fucking course, that the situation hasn't reached a point of crisis. By no stretch of whatever warped, savage imagination Trump might have is it a crisis. In fact, it's so far from a crisis, that it's goddamned laughable. You know how I know that? Because of the motherfucking numbers. From the motherfucking Border Patrol. In the year 2000, they apprehended 1,640,000 people at the border, which, by my amazing ability to do math, works out to roughly a metric fuck-ton more than 303,000. Or over 5 times as many as were apprehended last year.

And, despite the firehose of shit Trump is spraying on President Obama over the border, that number, which had been cut in two by the Bush administration, went from 705,000 in 2008 to 408,000 in 2016. The number was in the 325-425k range for the last few years of the Obama presidency. The reason it went up and down has to do with the economy in the United States, the economy and the living conditions of the countries the migrants were coming from (especially Mexico), and, yes, the strength of border security. Bush amped it up and Obama continue the amping. There are fewer apprehensions because there are fewer people trying to cross the border. It's that fucking simple. It's not a crisis. It's a relatively reasonable expectation, easily managed, not a reason to go bugfuck on the troops.

Any other reading of these numbers is merely there to het up the blood of the yahoos ahead of the midterms, to go back to the same racist well that Republicans (and, sometimes, yes, Democrats) go to time and time and time again. Brown people will always be scary to those hogs who wallow in mud puddles of white ignorance.

What about drugs? Drugs get in here by planes and ships and trucks that cross the border legally with illegal shit in them. Your National Guard members wandering around the streets of Laredo ain't gonna do shit about that.

What about violence? Yeah, drug cartel and gang violence sucks. But the only thing that even makes it on the same planet as a crisis is the proliferation of guns, which is something that the United States is doing to itself and to Mexico. You wanna do something about that? And maybe about poverty? And maybe about drug legalization?

What about caravans? Get the fuck outta here with that. Those were refugees from the fucking violence that Trump talks about. If Fox "news" and Breitbart keep screaming in your face, you get filled to your fuckin' tits with this bullshit.

Trump's gonna use this issue, though. He's gonna get in front of his idiot hordes who will hoot and holler as he dances a jig about his worthless wall, the same fuckin' hoodoo he conjures when he's whipping up the rubes, a fading rock star performing his one hit.

4/04/2018

Moments from a Day or Two After the Murder of Martin Luther King, Jr.

1. Duke Ellington and his orchestra were already scheduled to play his Second Sacred Concert at Carnegie Hall on April 4, 1968. Ellington was participating in a concert of religious music to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the black institution, Tougaloo College, whose choir sang during the program. Before the concert began, it was announced to the audience that Martin Luther King, Jr., had been gunned down in Memphis. The New York Times said that the gasp from the people there "almost filled the hall."

A Lutheran minister there, John Gensel, led a prayer for King and "all future civil rights movements." The only change in the program was that a solo singer, Robert Edwin, changed his song to "Oh, Who Will Answer," a hymn that contains the lyrics, "Man is sunk in dark despair/Oh, listen to the pleading cry/Oh, who will answer, 'Here am I'?"

The title of the evening was "Good News for the Modern Man."

2. All over the country, for two days, April 5 and 6, 1968, longshoremen and others at ports from Texas to Maine shut down work in honor of King. This included passenger ships and boats carrying supplies to soldiers in Vietnam. Unions for the workers had been integrated for years, with up to 50% of their membership non-white, and the presidents for the National Maritime Union and the International Longshoremen's Association issued statements calling for the shut down. The head of the ILA, Thomas Gleason, said of King, "He was a man of peace and dignity, completely dedicated to God and the brotherhood of man. It is fitting and proper, then, that we devote this time to pray that the principles that guided this great, great man continue to guide others in the movement for brotherhood to which he devoted his energies."

The work stoppage began in Elizabeth, New Jersey, at 8 a.m. on April 5. By noon, "the 90 piers of the port of New York City were sepulchral," said the Times.

3. In New Delhi, India, the parliament heard a tribute to King from Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, followed by a moment of silence. In Tel-Aviv, Israel, Prime Minister Abba Eba went on the radio to speak in honor of King. Newspapers in that country emphasized that King's murderer was white. In Beirut, Lebanon, the newspapers announced the killing with headlines like "Negro Revolt Breaks Out in America." In Rome, Italy, hundreds of students demonstrated outside the U.S. Embassy to protest the assassination.

In Austin, Texas, thousands of students marched on the state capitol, demanding racial equality, after a memorial service for King. In Madison, Wisconsin, the chancellor of the University of Wisconsin led 20,000 in a silent march. In Kansas City, Missouri, a black clerk noticed that flags on the county courthouse and city hall were not at half-mast. Within 5 minutes of his complaining, they were lowered.

4. Out of respect for King, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Louis Armstrong said they would not perform at the upcoming Oscar ceremony. Sidney Poitier and Diahann Carroll said they would not present awards, as they had been scheduled to do. Soon after their announcements, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided to postpone the entire ceremony for several days.

4/02/2018

Shut It Down, Teachers. Shut It All Down

Teachers in Oklahoma and Kentucky walked out today and marched on their respective state capitols because teachers are sick and fucking tired of education being treated like a frivolous extravagance by legislators instead of the foundation of a fucking decent society. Large swaths of this country decided long ago to dick over the school systems of their states in order to cut taxes on rich pukes, all in service of a rabidly corrupt conservative ideology that sees even public education as something that only takers get so, fuck it, gut it.

In Oklahoma, you know what the teachers want? They want their schools to not be shit shacks where they don't have basic supplies to do their damn jobs. They're not striking for just a pay increase, but because school funding has been declining for a decade. For years, all over the country, we've heard about how teachers pay for things for their students and the classroom because the school doesn't have the budget. Said one kindergarten teacher today, "I work two jobs to take care of my family and be able to buy things for my classroom. The school that I work at, parents aren't able to necessarily provide all of the supplies." One high school teacher said she wasn't taking this shit anymore: "As teachers, we make it work every day. They say do more with less, we make it work. They say more kids in your class, we make it work. We do it every day, and it's time that we don't have to make it work anymore. We need to demand that they fully fund us."

And it's awesome that students are joining them. One middle school student told a reporter in Oklahoma City today, "I'm tired of using the same textbooks that are broken all the time." He said that "his math book is held together by a string and his history book is missing pages." That's bullshit, and we should be ashamed in this country that a student can't have a decent damn book.

Spending per student in Oklahoma has dropped by 30 percent in the last 10 years, down to $8000, below the national average of over $11,000. Salaries dropped to 49th in the nation, and schools have had to cut things like art and music and physical education, some even cutting the week down to four days. Teachers haven't gotten a raise in a decade, either, so the raise they got makes up for a little of it.

You know what else Oklahoma did in the last ten years? Cut income taxes, with the top rate declining by over 25%, resulting in a loss of over $1 billion in revenue, $356 million of which would have gone to education, based on spending. And then the oil industry got fucked by the natural gas boom, with no real hope of it coming back. So, yeah, shit economic policy combined with idiots in the legislature and you get a fucked budget. When a budget is fucked, the first thing they come for are the schools.

So I am thrilled that teachers are finally exhausted from this shit and are standing up to the fucked politicians and the fucked laws that say they can't strike. Suck it, motherfuckers. Teachers are shuttin' shit down. It's about damn time.

Over in Frankfort, Kentucky, many of the marching teachers are using their spring break to tell the state's dumbass legislature that they fucked up hard when they changed the state's pension system in a way that cuts benefits, and they tucked the change into a bill on sewage systems, which is just a joke in itself. That led to a sick-out on Friday. Now the protests are focused on overall spending and the upcoming budget. If the shitheel legislators dick over the schools again, it could lead to a full-on wildcat strike.

With these two red states and an Arizona strike in the offing, we're seeing a legitimate uprising in a profession whose workforce is still mostly female. They are owed respect. That is shown through how they're treated and how they're paid. And the teachers are saying that the motherfuckin' bill is past due.

3/31/2018

A Good Day to Subscribe Patreon It Up for the Rude Pundit

Today is a fine day to subscribe to this here blog's Patreon page. For a buck a month, you get a bonus blog post a month. For three bucks a month, you get that bonus every week. And for a magical fiver a month, you get the posts and early access and/or extended versions of Another Goddamn Podcast, my thing where I interview funny people every other week.

I just posted an extended interview with comedian and former senior producer for The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, Benari Poulten. He's been in the Army Reserves for 18 years, and he has stories about his time working at Gitmo and in Iraq. Don't worry - it's funny stuff.

You can also catch up on posts you missed there, like "Trying To Explain the South to Some Yankees" and a teacher's perspective on guns in the classroom.

Plus, you'll keep me in weed and whiskey, which is how you want me. Trust me on that.

3/30/2018

What Did That Dumb Orange Motherfucker Say Now? (Infrastructure Edition)

Things have been going pretty shitty for our goddamned president this last week, so he needed a little pick me up. And while allowing ICE to keep pregnant women in custody might have lifted his spirits, Trump is always happiest when he prances in front of a crowd of the slavering dogs who still support him and performs his ongoing one-man show, Can You Fuckin' Believe I'm President?

Trump was speaking to workers at a training facility for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 18 in Richfield, Ohio, right new Cleveland. Yeah, the guy who is dismantling and wrecking whatever scraps of union support are left in the government was welcomed to this local of an organization that endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in order to brag about a plan that isn't even a plan yet so he could pretend he gave even a tiny fart about the union members.

Every Trump speech has levels of deranged and weird and alarming as whatever combination of shitty eating habits, mental illness, normal aging, and brain worms reduces his capacity for thought from emo tween back in the early 2010s to toddler who wants that goddamn cookie. And yesterday's was no exception.

There was a mini-rant about the stupid, useless border wall: "We are building a really state-of-the-art, very, very efficient — have to be able to see through; it makes a lot of sense. You have to be able to see who is on the other side. Nobody would even think of it." You know he's not talking about some enormous plexiglass wall that'll just totally fuck with coyotes chasing roadrunners, right? He's talking about a fuckin' fence. You can see through a fence. A fence ain't a wall, but that's really what we have already. In fact, he touted pictures of what he called new construction on the wall, but they were really photos of a replacement fence for an existing section.

That was started in 2009 when, apparently, if Wikipedia is correct, Barack Obama was president. But Trump said that Democrats don't want border security at all. "They want people to come in from the border. And they want — I guess, want — I can’t imagine they want — but, certainly, drugs are flowing across borders. We need walls," he babbled.

Things went batshit and lie-filled throughout the entire long-ass speech. Here's Trump on job creation: "We are keeping our promises, and the results are in: 3 million new jobs since Election Day. Three million. And if I would have said that to you during the campaign, where we had tremendous support in this great state, the state of Ohio — if I would have said 3 million jobs, they would have said, the fake news, 'He’s exaggerating.'" It would have been pretty fuckin' dumb for anyone to say, considering how that number was reached a couple of times in Obama's presidency, including 2014, where nearly 3 million jobs were created in just 12 months, not 17 (and, hey, over two of those months "since Election Day" were during the Obama presidency). So when Trump added that, if Democrats had won, "You wouldn’t have 3 million jobs; you’d probably go negative," it's objectively wrong since, under a Democratic president, we had had 3 million jobs multiple times.

Trump leaped from topic to topic like a pissed of bunny that got into the meth but now can't find any more meth and goddamnit, it wants some more meth. In one section, he ping-ponged from judges to the Second Amendment ("But your Second Amendment will always be your Second Amendment. We’re not doing anything to that. Not doing anything.") to building roads ("We’ll transform our roads and bridges from a source of endless frustration into a source of absolutely incredible pride.") to school safety to gun laws ("We fixed, very strongly, the background checks. We got rid of the bump stocks," which "we" did not do at all) to opioids and back to, no shit, the fuckin' wall to electing more Republicans and then back to infrastructure. It's less stream of consciousness and more "Can we take Grandpa back to the home now?"

If Obama had ever bragged about himself even a quarter as much as Trump does, well, we don't have to wonder because Obama would have never said any of this shit. But Trump sure as fuck wanted to get credit for everything. "I got it approved," he said of the Keystone XL pipeline. "I did it." This was before he lied that the CEO of Transcanada never thanked him for the approval when the CEO did, right to Trump's face, in the motherfuckin' Oval Office.

The pure, bugfuck idiocy was there in the speech in spades. Talking about spending on the Middle East, "We spent, as of three months ago, $7 trillion — not billion, not million — $7 trillion, with a “T” — nobody ever heard of the word 'trillion' until 10 years ago," he said, as if we never imagined you could count that high. About worker training, he said, "I don’t know what that means — a community college. To me, it means a two-year college. I don’t know what it means," as if community colleges hadn't been around for centuries and had a well-established reason for existing and are, for the most part, quite different from vocational or technical schools.

And for uncut weird, there's "We dug out the Panama Canal. Think of that. Thousands of lives were lost to the mosquito. To the mosquito — malaria. We dug out the Panama Canal." It's like beat poetry for the deranged.

He ended by saying how he talked to Roseanne Barr about her ratings.

Every time Donald Trump speaks, the nation gets a little worse, a little sadder, a little dumber, and it makes sense just a little less.

3/27/2018

The Next Battles in Our Neverending Abortion War: Intimidation and Bans

Indiana is an ugly, infected carbuncle of a state crammed into the middle of the country. It is a flat hellscape, bereft of anything but corporate farms and closed factories, a cultural wasteland where the most exciting event involves watching cars go around in a circle for a couple of hours while the fumes make the ignorant population even more brain-damaged. Its few bright spots are coated by the gray grime of the dust made of poison-laden dirt. It has given the nation the pestilence of Mike Pence, and it has long sought to position itself as the craziest joint in the nation when it comes to forcing Christian doctrine on people. You got that when Pence was governor and he signed the disastrous "religious freedom" bill. And it is never more clear than when it comes to abortion. Then the fictional words of an invisible sky wizard matter more than the flesh and blood women who are damaged by the state.

Already, Indiana had the case of Purvi Patel, the woman who tried to give herself an abortion by using drugs and was convicted of feticide, which was eventually overturned. In March 2016, Gov. Mike Pence signed into a law a bill that mandated that all deceased fetuses must be buried or cremated and that no abortions could be done in cases of fetal deformity, no matter how severe. The law was suspended before it ever went into effect.

And now, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law a bill that requires doctors to report to the state every year the complications that patients have had post-abortion procedure. The bill itself lists 26 possible complications (well, the 26th is more or less "anything else we didn't think of") and, while it doesn't ask for patients' names, it does ask for 16 details about the patient and the procedure. And it's a Class B misdemeanor of a doctor doesn't file this report, something that isn't demanded by the state in any other medical procedure. Not in cancer treatment. Not in heart surgery.

Oh, there's more there. The bill also has a list of shit a doctor has to report to the state for any patient who gets an abortion, surgically or through drugs, even if there are no complications. This includes "the number of the patient's previously induced terminations" and "the date of the patient's last menses." That's right: the state of Indiana gets to know when your last period was, ladies. So instead of "Periods for Pence," maybe you can try "Flowing for Holcomb."

Yeah, the ACLU is already on this as a First Amendment issue.

Of course, you go right next door to Indiana and you get to Ohio, and, holy shit, Ohio is considering trying for the full challenge to Roe v. Wade. Republicans in the Ohio legislature are trying to pass a bill that would simply outlaw all abortions and charge any doctors who perform them with murder, as in getting the death penalty murder. That one doesn't really have a chance to pass, since John Kasich has already vetoed other, less fucked-up bills.

But then you head south, to the American shithole of Mississippi, and the fuckin' loonies in that state's legislature just decided to punish pregnant women by banning abortion after 15 weeks. And this one became a law last Monday, although a judge has issued a restraining order, preventing the law from going into effect. The 15 week rule is totally in defiance of Roe, and the lawsuits are already being planned.

Because that's the ultimate goal, right? To fuck up the lives of American women, especially poor women, who are unlucky enough to live in states like Mississippi, where there are only two abortion providers in the entire state. To take that shiny new Gorsuch out for a drive and see if he'll ride the SCOTUS highway all the way to overturning Roe. To hope that Justice Kennedy retires so that when this case gets to the Supreme Court, the fate of the women in 90% of the counties in the United States where there is no abortion provider (and you can bet most of those counties are red as spilled blood) can be up to the whims of a man, our president, who thinks women are disposable.

3/26/2018

Two Women Kicked Conservatives' Ass This Weekend and It Was Glorious

1. Emma Gonzalez has a superhero origin story that is up there with Batman's. After her friends were gunned down at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Gonzalez transformed from a smart, active, politically-aware teen looking forward to graduation into a goddamn warrior queen, a powerful avenger against the forces of evil that have dominated our politics for too long. Call her "the Skinhead Lesbian" and put a motherfuckin' cape on her.

Gonzalez had already given one of the most potent and angry speeches about the failure of adults, especially the adults supposedly serving the nation (but are really just serving the National Rifle Association), to do anything to address gun violence other than call for more violence. And on Saturday, at the March For Our Lives in Washington, DC., Gonzalez spoke for a couple of minutes and then stood there in silence, staring out at the sea of hundreds of thousands of people, stone cold except for the tears streaming down her face, for the remainder of the 6 minutes and 20 seconds, the same time it took for Nikolas Cruz to kill 17 and wound 17 others back in Parkland, Florida, a month and a half ago. What Gonzalez did emphasized both how short a time it was for so many to die and how long a time it was to wait in darkened classrooms, in closets, in bathrooms, behind locked doors, wondering if you are going to be murdered at your school.

Crazed Trump supporters and gun-humping conservatives are scared shitless by Gonzalez. They have attacked her looks and sexuality (the aforementioned "skinhead lesbian" remark that led to its speaker, a Republican - duh - to drop out of his race for the Maine legislature), photoshopped her tearing a copy of the Constitution (which was really a shooting range target), and criticized her for wearing a Cuban flag on her jacket (her father is from Cuba). Hell, craven scum fuck Rep. Steve King got in on the act, saying that Gonzalez was "ignor[ing] the fact that your ancestors fled the island when the dictatorship turned Cuba into a prison camp." To which one can only say, "Asshole, that flag has been flying in Cuba since 1902. Should German-Americans never hang up a flag from their ancestors' country?"

This is the point where a rational pro-gun group would stand down, where rational pro-gun members of Congress would say, "Okay, let's negotiate," but these are not rational people. They are hideous money-engorging monsters who thrive on irrational fear and fake machismo. You can stand with them or you can stand with the vast majority of Americans who want gun control. You can stand with the desiccated, weary visage of the NRA's Wayne LaPierre or you can stand strong with Gonzalez.

Gonzalez didn't ask to become a superhero any more than Peter Parker asked to be bitten by a spider. She chose to take her pain and, along with her fellow students, turn it into courage and righteous anger. May we be a better nation because of it.

(Note: Amazing speeches were made all around the nation from students, from David Hogg to 11 year-old Naomi Wadler. Gonzalez's stood out because it used the incredible power of silence, something our noisy, word-filled, notification-dinging age has forgotten can convey more than a million memes.)

2. Man, Donald Trump must have been laying sullenly in bed after returning to DC last night, having spent the weekend avoiding protesters at Mar-a-Lago, which is less than an hour from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. (Seriously, it's right down the fucking road.) Trump must have been getting bits of Big Macs stuck in his fat folds as he watched the 60 Minutes interview with Stormy Daniels, the porn actress, director, and writer. How deranged he must have felt when Daniels said, plainly, she wasn't attracted to Trump, that she didn't want to fuck him after the first time because he lied about getting her on The Celebrity Apprentice, that she turned him into her bitch by spanking him with a magazine.

And, especially, that she came across as more honest, intelligent, and trustworthy than the goddamn President of the United States ever had been in his entire life. Yeah, that's right. The woman whose film roles include her taking copious amounts of jizz on her breasts is a way more respectable person than Donald Trump. Although, to be fair, there are moldy rocks that are more honorable than Trump.

Daniels, or, you know, Stephanie Clifford, was every bit as convincing as her lawyer said she would be. She confidently related how Trump got her to go back to his room, how he dangled the prize of the TV appearance over her, how he skeevily compared her to his daughter (presumable Ivanka, since Tiffany was 13 at the time of the affair, but, with Trump, you never know), how he told her to ignore the fact that Melania had just recently given birth. Trump comes across like every horndog old man creeping on a younger, seemingly sexually open woman. It's somewhere between pathetic and rapey, even as Daniels insisted that she was not a victim. But Trump's lawyer worked hard to intimidate her and someone sent a goon to intimidate her, threatening her in front of her infant daughter. Gee, who could have sent the goon? Who is a wannabe gangster? Who is a fake-ass tough guy?

What Daniels did to kick Trump's ass was to stand up to him and his thugs. She showed that you can tell Trump to shut the fuck up, and, if you've got the right magazine to spank him with, he might just do that.

Still, one thing she said has stuck with me. Daniels talked about coming out of the bathroom that first evening in 2006 in Trump's hotel suite and seeing him perched on the bed. She told Anderson Cooper, "I realized exactly what I'd gotten myself into. And I was like, 'Ugh, here we go.' (LAUGH) And I just felt like maybe-- (LAUGH) it was sort of-- I had it coming for making a bad decision for going to someone's room alone and I just heard the voice in my head, 'Well, you put yourself in a bad situation and bad things happen, so you deserve this.'" So she had sex with him. In its way, that statement is a distillation of the treatment of women in our culture, conditioned to think that they "deserve" what they get. Daniels insisted that she consented, but she's admitting that that consent was a kind of self-punishment.

And while we can laugh and say that, of course, sex with Trump is punishment, it's sad that however much power Daniels had taken in the situation, she still didn't think she was powerful enough to tell him she wasn't into it. Maybe the interview was a long-delayed "No" that Trump rarely hears.

3/23/2018

Fucking Hell, John Bolton Again?

Now that our goddamn president, Donald Trump, has appointed John Bolton, one of the most war-mongering, cruelest, dumbest dickholes, to be National Security Adviser, I oughta write something about his terrible career.

Except I already fucking did that back in 2005, when Undersecretary of State Bolton was nominated to be ambassador to the United Nations, a position he got a recess appointment for until he was whipped out of public service and became that fuckin' guy with the stupid mustache polluting the airwaves with violent and hateful rhetoric.

So here ya go, gathered for your clicking convenience.

John Bolton, Another Motherfucker for America, where you can read about Bolton's belief that presidents should not have to respond to subpoenas, something you know Trump loves about him, as well as his attempt to get a woman fired from the DOJ for taking a leave while pregnant.

Part 2: John Bolton, Another Motherfucker for America, where you can read how Bolton was fiending for war with Iraq during the mid-1990s.

John Bolton Acid Flashback - The Age of Not Giving a Shit, where you can read a 1999 interview where Bolton out-crazied Bill O'Reilly by saying that the United States shouldn't intervene to stop the Serbs from committing genocide in Kosovo.

John Bolton, Crazy Man, where you can read what a total shitheel Bolton was to people working for him.

Here we are, 13 years later, and it's not like he's fuckin' mellowed since getting paid almost exclusively from Fox "news" and nutzoid think tanks. So, of course, Trump chose him. He saw Bolton on the TV.

Crazy meets crazy, and we're all fucked.

3/22/2018

No Requiems for a Terrorist in Austin

When Anthony Stephan House picked up the package that was left on his front porch in Austin, Texas, on March 2, he pulled away some paper that allowed for an electric circuit to be completed, and the current caused the bomb inside to explode. House likely lost his hands immediately from the shockwave while the shrapnel that was packed into the bomb tore through him, severing arteries, embedding in bone, slicing organs. This is not to mention the additional fragments of broken windows and pieces of the porch. Just before picking up the bomb, House had sent his 8 year-old daughter back into their home to brush her teeth. Had he not done that, had he not been being a good dad, the girl would have been ripped up, too, probably dead.

I think about Draylen Mason, the 17 year-old musician and student who leaped in front of his mom after she opened the package in her kitchen with a knife. Mason must have known that something was wrong with the box on the table, and he protected her, getting the full impact of the bomb in a contained area. It would have torn him to pieces, and he died instantly. His mom is in the hospital. Imagine what she saw. Imagine her helplessness.

And I think about the three other victims, all severely wounded, probably from the nails that the terrorist packed into the bombs to achieve maximum pain and destruction.

Let's be absolutely clear:

Mark Conditt, the bomber, is a fucking terrorist, as surely as anyone from al Qaeda or ISIS or whatever spooky Muslim group you want to invoke is. When I hear Austin's Chief of Police describe Conditt's video confession as "the outcry of a very challenged young man talking about challenges in his personal life that led him to this point," I don't give a fuck because he's a fucking terrorist. The deranged shit blew himself up at the end. You know what we'd call him in other circumstances? A suicide bomber. Fuck him. Fuck his pain. Fuck his personal life. Fuck his challenges. Fuck his outcry.

Now we're treated to descriptions of Conditt as "the quiet, socially awkward oldest child of a devout Christian family that held Bible study groups in their white clapboard house, where an American flag hangs from the front porch." Oh, so he was a Christian terrorist, right? Shouldn't we be asking every Christian if they condemn Conditt? 'Cause "devout Christian" can mean crazy-ass fundamentalist, especially if they belonged to a sect that held secret meetings in a private home. Fuckin' hell, that's just a sleeper cell, and Conditt got activated. He was home-schooled, and that's suspicious as hell, isn't it? Maybe we should be dragging in his parents and ask them what the connection with Amway is. Is Amway really just a cover organization for a cult of Christian terrorists? Is their Ponzi-scheme of shitty personal care products covering up for a coming coordinated attack on others in this country? What about the town of Pflugerville? It sure seems like we should be raiding all the churches there to see what they might be hiding, especially Conditt's Austin Stone Community Church.

Another home-schooled student described the pasty terrorist as someone who "loved to think and argue and turn things over and figure out what was really going on." Have they questioned him and other home-schoolers about what they figured out? Have they rounded them up and beaten them until they gave up information on other terrorists?

Or maybe, just maybe, we should think about humanizing all terrorists in order to understand what drove them to violence. Maybe that would actually do more to make us mitigate terrorism, no matter where it comes from. Every terrorist is troubled. Every terrorist is challenged. Every terrorist has to go through a personal journey to get to the point where they want to kill others. We should try to figure all this out without demonizing the demographic group the terrorist comes from.

But we should never forget that, no matter who they are, they are still fucking terrorists, and we should call them as such, whether they're named Nidal Hassan or Dylan Roof or Nikolas Cruz or this fucking Conditt.

3/21/2018

What Did That Dumb Orange Motherfucker Say Now? (Opioid "Policy" Edition)

So it was that our overbaked butternut squash of a president had his voluminous ass flown up to New Hampshire, dragging his poor wife along with him for some unknown reason, to make an announcement about a new policy initiatives to battle the scourge of opioid addiction in the United States. Why New Hampshire and not, say, West Virginia, where the crisis is far worse? Because, Trump said, "I don’t know if you remember, but this is the first place I came for the primaries. And this is the room right here. So I like this room. This has been a good room."

Are you already smacking your goddamn head, thinking that Trump sounds like someone on fentanyl trying to describe why they're passing out in your kitchen? Well, that dumb orange motherfucker also said he was living up to his promise, "I said I’d be back, and we are back."

The speech was filled with the usual Trump shit. He reacted to things in the teleprompter like he was seeing it for the very first time, likely because he was seeing it for the very first time, as in "In New Hampshire, the overdose, really, death rate — I mean, can you believe this? The death rate is double the national average. It’s got difficulties like people wouldn’t believe." No, we believe it because, see, we've been fucking aware of the opioid crisis for quite some time.

Trump briefly mentioned overprescribing as a cause of widespread addiction, even saying that "our Department of Justice is looking very seriously into bringing major litigation against some of these drug companies." He talked about making ads targeting young people who will see commercials "during the right shows on television or wherever — the Internet." And I'm sure you remember how when Nancy Reagan's pal Mr. T did a "Just Say No" ad, we all stopped doing drugs forever.

Most of the speech and most of what might be considered "policy" was all about the evil Mexicans who apparently forced all those doctors to hand out oxy like it's Halloween candy Yeah, as soon as Trump entered his wheelhouse of hate and bigotry, he was happy as a chihuahua with three dicks, just licking like crazy. He repeated the same specious lies, like "Some of these drug dealers will kill thousands of people during their lifetime." He attacked Democrats about DACA, for some reason. He got the gathered idiots to chant "Build the wall" because Trump said, "We’ll build the wall to keep the damn drugs out." Trump had said that "Ninety percent of the heroin in America comes from our southern border," but somehow didn't mention that it's not on the backs of fuckin' drug mules running across the desert. It's on planes and boats, which, you know, fuck walls. And it's in trucks that go through border crossings where there is already a goddamn wall. This is not to mention the shit that goes through the mail from China and elsewhere.

In other words, Trump just preened and pretended, like an inbred prince, as when he ripped into "sanctuary cities." Weirdly, he dragged Kate Steinle's corpse into mix, a death that had nothing to do with the opioid crisis, which, ostensibly, was what the entire fucking thing was about. But that didn't stop him from shaking his jowls and humphing, "Look at this verdict. Look at the verdict. Can you believe the verdict?"

He also said, "According to a recent Dartmouth study, the sanctuary city of Lawrence, Massachusetts is one of the primary sources of fentanyl in six New Hampshire counties." The problem, though, is that fucking "study" was preliminary research that involved interviews with just 20 drug users. As the principal investigator on the study itself said, "I can't really answer where the sources of drugs are." In fact, the 20 white drug users named other places that aren't sanctuary cities as sources of fentanyl.

What really got Trump hard, though, was talking about being able to give drug dealers the death penalty. He practically humped the lectern when he started saying how he talks with leaders of other countries but "I won’t mention names, but you know the countries I’m talking about." And he had a little vaudeville back and forth with the imaginary leader. "I go around, 'How is your drug problem?' 'We don’t have much of a drug problem.' 'What do you mean you don’t have a drug problem?' 'Well, we don’t have.' I say, 'how come?' 'We have zero tolerance for drug dealers.' I said, 'What does that mean?' 'That means we have the death penalty for drug dealers. We don’t have a drug problem.'" Who? First base, bitch.

Ok, beyond the fact that the Philippines does still have a drug problem, there's one big fucking thing that Trump is leaving out there. Rodrigo Duterte didn't just pledge to kill drug dealers but also drug users. And, you know, there's still a fuck-ton of drug use in Iran, which also executes drug dealers. If you think that your average drug trafficker, who faces death all the time from opposing traffickers, from people trying to rob them, from within their own gang or cartel, from law enforcement, is going to give a single soggy turd about getting the death penalty, you are fuckin' delusional.

The one thing we know that helps with opioid addiction is proper medical care. Pain management is a long-term proposition, and people who don't have access to health care professionals rely on meds to get through what expensive therapy or surgery could help. And with the attack on the Affordable Care Act resulting in people losing their insurance and unable to get on Medicaid, with the absurdity of sky-high deductibles and co-pays, people in pain are gonna end up taking the cheapest route, no matter what piddling amount of money Trump tosses at the problem. (This is not to mention the heroin and fentanyl addicts who got there without any injury or illness.)

That's why no other nation has this problem with prescription opioids. Not because of the death penalty or drug dealers. But because they live in countries that, at a bare minimum, give a fuck about their health.

3/19/2018

Republicans Promise They'll Do Something if Trump Fires Mueller. But They Won't.

At this point, "No Collusion!" has supplanted "You're fired!" as President Donald Trump's catchphrase. In three separate tweets this weekend, Trump lowed those words across the fields of America, even as he shit-talked the FBI leadership, former and present, and had Attorney General Jeff Sessions fire Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe for the crime of "Not licking Trump's taint," punishable by loss of retirement benefits and a Fox "news" enema, followed, no doubt, by a bunch of Twitter and Reddit threats and insults against McCabe, his family, and, hell, his dog.

Because that's the motherfuckin' world we motherfuckin' live in now and we live in that motherfuckin' world because the Republican motherfuckers have refused to do a goddamn thing, like tell Trump, "Yo, fucko, why not shut the hell up for a change, huh? Why not shut Putin's fuckhole in your face for a few goddamn days or weeks or years?"

Oh, but now, the mighty Republicans have said that there is a line that Trump dast not cross. If Trump fires Special Counsel Robert Mueller, they said, oooh, they'll be really, really mad. On CNN's State of the Union yesterday, tough, independent, retiring Republican Jeff Flake of Arizona toughly said to Jake Tapper, "I just hope it doesn't go there, because it can't. We can't, in Congress, accept that. And so I would expect to see considerable pushback in the next couple days in urging the president not to go there. He can't go there." Tapper gave Flake his best "Really?" face and the Senator continued, "I mean, talking to my colleagues all along, it was, you know, once he goes after Mueller, then we will take action. I think that people see that as a massive red line that can't be crossed. So, I hope that that's the case."

Then Tapper gave Senator Lindsey Graham his best "The fuck?" look, and Graham said, "The only reason Mr. Mueller could ever be dismissed is for cause. I see no cause when it comes to Mr. Mueller. He needs to be able to do his job, independent of any political influence. I pledge to the American people, as a Republican, to make sure that Mr. Mueller can continue to do his job without any interference. I think he's doing a good job. And everything about McCabe and the FBI handling of the dossier has nothing to do with the Russia investigation regarding Mr. Mueller." And, even though Graham just gave Trump an out by saying if there's "cause," Mueller can be fired, Tapper was all "Really?" To which Graham promised, "Well, as I have said before, if he tried to do that, that would be the beginning of the end of his presidency, because we're a rule of law nation...when it comes to Mr. Mueller, he is following the evidence where it takes him. And I think it's very important he be allowed to do his job without interference. And there are many Republicans who share my view."

On other Sunday gabfests, lobotomy model and (retiring) Republican Representative Trey Gowdy told Fox "news" Sunday that there really wasn't shit he could do about Mueller in the House, but "Let it play out its course. If you've done nothing wrong, you should want the investigation to be as wholesome and thorough as possible." On Meet the Press, Chuck Todd asked frantic weasel anus Marco Rubio about Mueller, and Rubio offered his support for him, saying, "I remain confident that the Special Counsel is gonna, is going to conduct a probe that is fair and thorough and is gonna arrive at the truth and is, and is not going to go down rabbit holes that are not places that we need to be going."

You could read a hundred of these quotes, of Republicans saying that they are gonna stand up to Trump if he lays a finger on Mueller. And, like every other statement, like every thought, every prayer, every milquetoast waving of the hankie before flopping onto the fainting couch, not a goddamn thing will happen. Trump could fire Mueller and Mitch McConnell won't even budge, like a lethargic rat that's satisfied with the amount of moldy cheese in the hole. You know Trump is laughing at this shit, saying, "Oh, sit the fuck down, Lindsey, or I'll grab you by the pussy."

And the reason Graham would sullenly plop down on his petticoats is because the GOP is Trump. There is no Republican Party without Trump. That's because Republicans believe that the way to maintain their majority in the Senate is through Trump. As Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner explained, "He’ll be actively campaigning for a Senate majority. Absolutely." You can slap the ass of the man whose dick you're sucking all you want, but you're still sucking his dick and most of those ass slaps just make him come harder. The GOP isn't going to really do a fucking thing to hurt Trump when "Republicans insist there isn’t a state on the Senate map where they are nervous about deploying Trump."

See, the one thing Trump did by defeating those dozen plus opponents in the primary is he made sure that none of them could ever outshine him. Nobody's fuckin' going to a Kevin Cramer rally in North Dakota. But if Trump flies his orange saggy ass there to do one of his shuckin' and jivin' shows, oh, the yokels will line up. Trump knows he's the only fuckin' game in town for the GOP.

If the concerned Republicans in the Senate really, truly gave a fuck at all about Mueller or the truth or anything other than maintaining their majority, two of 'em would say, "Eat my ass, Mitch" and caucus with the Democrats. Because, at the end of the day, the only thing that will really stop the Trumptanic from sinking with all of us on board is a Democratic Congress that will subpoena and expose shit. Until Republicans do that, they're just rearranging the deck chairs.

All their fake courageous words are as meaningless as their degraded careers.

3/17/2018

New Episode of AGD Podcast: Talking About Voting and an Interview with Molly Jong-Fast

Now up on iTunes for your free listening pleasure, it's the latest episode of Another Goddamn Podcast. This time, I'm talking about voting, even when you know your candidate is gonna lose. And I interview writer and mistress of Twitter snark Molly Jong-Fast.

She dishes dirt (no, really) on the Trumps, and she talks about her work on the board of the Arena, which encourages new Democrats to run for office and raises money for them.

Molly is funny, caustic, and pretty damn raspy because she had a cold. She says she sounds like Minnie Mouse, which would be true if Minnie Mouse said "fuck" a lot while punching Trump in his man-tits.

Download, listen, subscribe. You can also get early access and bonus stuff by ponying up some cash over at Patreon.

3/15/2018

Writer Molly Jong-Fast on Meeting Vanessa Trump

In this fun clip from the new episode of Another Goddamn Podcast (or AGD Podcast, for your sfw ears), writer and Upper East Side of Manhattan resident Molly Jong-Fast talks about going to a ladies' game night party with Vanessa Trump, Donald Trump, Jr.'s soon-to-be ex-wife.

And Molly says that Ivanka Trump, who used to be in her social circle, is no longer welcome there.



Full episode, including more about the Trumps, will be up later tonight. Subscribe to AGD Podcast over on iTunes.

3/13/2018

What Did That Dumb Orange Motherfucker Say Today? (Part Whatever of a Shut the Fuck Up Already)

Yesterday, this here blog was all about how goddamned dumb Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is. But never forget: The Fucking Dumbass in Chief will always outstupid anyone who dares challenge his mantle of idiocy.

So it was today that Our Goddamned President, Donald Trump, visited California in order to shit on California in person and to see the prototypes of his worthless boondoggle of a wall. And while he was there, he said some fucking brainless shit because he is an imbecile who lopes around like a lazy gorilla, dragging his simian arms on the ground. How dumb was it? Remember how you used to think that George W. Bush was a complete dolt? Trump makes Bush look like Neil DeGrasse Tyson on rocket fuel.

Here are things the real president of increasingly unreal United States really said, offered with little to no comment because, truly, the language of the moron is pretty self-explanatory:

"Every day, criminals and tariffs try to infiltrate our country."

"California sanctuary policies put the entire nation at risk. They’re the best friend of the criminal."

About Mexico: "They have an election coming up. I hear they have some very good people running, and they have some that maybe aren’t so good."

"So this was really a day where we look at the different prototypes of the wall."

"For the people that say no wall, if you didn't have walls over here, you wouldn't even have a country." (Um, what about all those countries that don't have border wa-- ah, fuck it.)

About how the goddamned wall should be see-through: "You could be two feet away from a criminal cartel and you don’t know they’re there."

"I think governor Jerry Brown has done a very poor job at running California. They have the highest taxes in the United States; the place is totally out of control.” (For the record, California does not have the highest taxes in the United States, and the state's government is running a surplus.)

Then, later, at Miramar Air Station, talking to asshole Marines who hooted and hollered in approval, he talked about outer space because why the fuck not. He began by shitting all over Hillary Clinton, again, except in a weird context: "You wouldn’t have been going to Mars if my opponent won, that I can tell you. You wouldn’t even be thinking about it." What the fuck does that even mean? Honest to fuckin' god, it's like listening to a deranged, barely coherent C-SPAN caller who dials in every day to rant about Clinton sucking his eyeballs out with her vagina so now he can't see.

But that wasn't even peak nutzoid. "My new national strategy for space recognizes that space is a warfighting domain just like the land, air and sea. We may even have a ‘Space Force,’ develop another one. Space Force. We have the Air Force, we’ll have the Space Force," Trump exclaimed, later yellling, "So think of that: Space Force!" You know how big a fuckin' border wall you're gonna need if we gotta worry about people coming in from space?

What with firing Rex Tillerson and his deputy, nominating Trump taint-sniffer deluxe Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State and that torture lover as CIA director, with his denigration of parts of the country he doesn't like (while the right-wing media focuses on Clinton saying something about the deplorables, who really are fuckin' deplorable), Trump is hitting a peak for ripping up America's sanity, setting it on fire, and pissing on the ashes, dancing around the smoke, loving the scent of our anxious sweat and bile, giddy that we have to give his idiot antics attention, like a brain-damaged patient whose only function he can manage is to masturbate endlessly and giggle while the nurse cleans the jizz off his hands.

3/12/2018

Betsy DeVos Is Every Stupid Teacher You Ever Had (Except Way Richer)

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, born a Prince, has been a billionaire for her entire life. Her father was a billionaire. So she inherited a shit-ton of money. She married a billionaire Dick who inherited his money from the long-running Ponzi scheme known as Amway. As such, she never, ever had shit to do with public schools except as a hobby. Public school education was never life or death for her or her children. It was a thing this rich person decided to fuck with because, shit, what the fuck else are you gonna do with all that time and money if you can't attempt to force your completely bullshit ideas about education, Jesus, and capitalism on the poors?

I'm reminded of a friend of mine whose son was having trouble with a public high school teacher. The teacher was making his regular chemistry class as hard as his AP class for students who had no interest in advanced chemistry. In fact, every other chemistry teacher taught regular old chemistry to the regular old chemistry students and saved the hard stuff for those who geek out on it, as it should be. When my friend looked at the teacher's web page, she saw how he bragged about how he and his wife had home-schooled their 5 kids. Finally, when her son was ready to just give up, my friend set up a meeting with the principal and the teacher. The teacher tried to be a pal and say how he's just challenging the kids and it's good for them and it shouldn't be my friend's concern. That's when my friend looked him square in the eyes and said, "You home schooled your children, right?" The teacher proudly said he had all the way through high school, and my friend responded, "So you never had to deal with an arrogant teacher being a jerk to your kid, did you?" According to my friend, a nauseous look of "oh, fuck me" crossed the man's face before he sputtered something about needing to get back to class. (Note: The class did become more normal after that.)

I thought of that incident when I watched DeVos completely shit herself repeatedly on 60 Minutes last night. She shit herself so much that, by the end of the interview with Leslie Stahl, DeVos was looking down from her thick shit cushion. Asked the simplest questions, ones about the very worthless things that DeVos had allegedly spent the last decade or so of her life working on, like school "choice" and charter schools, the motherfucking Secretary of Education couldn't even manage to come up with a halfway decent defense.

Stahl wanted to know about why schools are fucked in Michigan, which is not only DeVos's home state, but it's where she and her Dick husband recently built a 22,000 square foot house. DeVos gave the look of a college freshman who thought she didn't have to study because she's on a volleyball scholarship and said, "I hesitate to talk about all schools in general because schools are made up of individual students attending them."

Oddly, DeVos had not trouble talking about all the fucking schools in Detroit back in 2016 when she wanted their funding to go to charter schools and school "choice," which means, in part, "public funds being used at private religious schools because fuck the separation between church and state." Wrote DeVos, "We must acknowledge the simple fact that [Detroit Public Schools] has failed academically and financially – for decades." But what about the individual students, Secretary DeVos? She's actually more correct here than with Stahl. Schools aren't about individuals. They are about groups who rise and fall based on the teachers and the support they have. You don't back the teachers, you don't have a good school and students fucking suffer across the board.

That ignorance was on almost breathtaking display in the very next question, when Stahl asked DeVos if she had ever visited a failing school, maybe even in Michigan. DeVos answered, in what should be her political epitaph, "I have not — I have not — I have not intentionally visited schools that are underperforming." I just wish Stahl had followed up with, "The fuck? Did you ever unintentionally visit one? Did your driver ever bring you to the wrong address and you walked in and saw a bunch of black kids and ran back to the car and threatened to have your brother kill your driver's whole family for daring to put in you in such close proximity to 'those people'?"

DeVos continued her reign of being Secretary of Stupid when Stahl asked her about whether or not false accusations of sexual assault are really a problem on college campuses. DeVos moroned, "Well, one sexual assault is one too many, and one falsely accused individual is one too many." Stahl pressed, asking if they were the same, and the rational answer to that is "No, of course not. One is real and actual physical violence and a violation against the body." But DeVos is not rational or compassionate or smart. She is just full of conservative nonsense, so she said, " I don't know. I don't know. But I'm committed to a process that's fair for everyone involved."

And that shit comes from being so rich that no one ever challenges you, no one ever tells you, "You know, Bets, that's fucked up right there and it's gonna hurt people, you fucking pathetic idiot." Maybe if DeVos had had some teachers who fuckin' flunked her ass, she'd know how dumb she really is.

This doesn't even get into the guns in school discussion she had this morning, where DeVos essentially giggled, "Whatever the NRA tells you, Donald. Sure, we'll arm the teachers." And all I can think about is how Betsy DeVos never had to wonder if her kids' teachers should have guns in the classroom.

Then I think about my freshman high school English teacher, who was regularly drunk in class, who insisted that Geoffrey Chaucer's last name was pronounced "Saucer" (that always fuckin' galled me), who would get tired halfway through diagramming a sentence and just give up, who would occasionally miss the chair when she sat down and hit the floor. Oh, she'd've wanted the gun. Hell, if she had been a billionaire, she might have become Secretary of Education.

One other thing that's fucking annoying about Betsy fuckin' DeVos. You know that boxed water you see at the grocery store and you think, "I wonder if I should buy that because it tells me boxes are better than bottles"? You know that shit? Yeah, DeVos owns that company.