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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Deep Thought #3

Imagine being such a waste of oxygen, such a completely desiccated soul, that your idea of an insult is to compare someone with Fred Rogers.

Had enough winning yet, America? Are you better off now than you were four years ago? Are you tired of people like Mercy Schlapp, a concert porta-john of a human whose husband is even worse, being given a platform, a presence, money, power? Are you tired of every day starting with waking up wondering what these fucking scabs have done today?

Do your duty, folks -- flush twice.

Deep Thought #2

I'd be happy to #BoycottNBC, but aside from Sunday night football, I never watch it. I couldn't name three shows on that network if you put a gun to my head.

That said, I mean, come on. Just what do you think is going to happen when this demented, drug-addled, still-contagious dotard is wheeled out to try his schtick on a crowd that is not comprised of his usual gaggle of booger-eating shitheads? The odds of this convincing a single person to vote for him, who wasn't already balls-deep in the cult, is about the same as the odds he'll read Infinite Jest over the holidays.

Deep Thought #1

 Maggie Haberman is a paid Trump campaign operative. Prove me wrong.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Street Voices

As penance for their miserable collective performance over, oh, let's say this past decade just to be charitable about it, for every one of these tiresome missives, there needs to be at least a dozen from people who weren't careless.

Let me play devil's advocate for a second:  look, I get it. Even people who haven't come within a hundred miles or a dozen degrees of separation from a single COVID case have still lost a year off their lives, with no real end in sight. They're tired of being cooped up. You cannot live your entire life as a bubble person, or move around in a hamster ball. You are at greater mortal risk every time you get in your automobile. These are facts.

But. The layers of bougie self-regard in this article are head-shakingly perfect. Gay and conservative and lives in Texas. So let's break that down to its chief political components:  he has a nice comfortable suburban lifestyle, so in a state that is always one hurricane season away from needing a quarter-trillion in emergency funds, in a state that has an atrocious rate of murders of trans people, in a state where slobby, neckbearded goons routinely strap on automatic weapons and drive their coal-rollers to the local Starbucks or Wal-Mart just to show everyone who's boss, this asshole almost certainly voted for a second term for Ted Cruz, and will probably do the same for fellow Trump-cuck John Cornyn. Because they assure him a lower tax bill. Everyone wants good roads and schools and services, but strangely no one wants to pay for them.

Do we have that about right? I will bet you gin-yoo-wine boner-fied folding 'murkin currency that we're in the ballpark with this one. There is no other reason for a gay man to be "conservative" in a place famous for kicking the shit out of people like him, not to mention the fact that there are no more true conservatives as such, just supernumeraries in a reactionary cult.

We'll never know, because this guy never quite indicates that he's learned his lesson from all this, from watching his beloved father-in-law (who was younger than me, for chrissake) die from the #TrumpPlague, to nearly dying from it himself. He just gives us a rather gnomic, pensive closer: 

There’s no relief. This virus, I can’t escape it. It’s torn up our family. It’s all over my Facebook. It’s the election. It’s Trump. It’s what I keep thinking about. How many people would have gotten sick if I’d never hosted that weekend? One? Maybe two? The grief comes in waves, but that guilt just sits.

Is he responsible for his FIL's untimely death? I wouldn't say so, but I get why he feels guilty about it all the same. The question becomes, what do you intend to do to make up for whatever it is you feel guilty about? How do you intend to move forward from this year of personal tragedies? It is not accidental that I use the word intend; to absolve our consciences and expiate our sins, real or imagined, requires us to think and act with real intent.

It would be nice if you could separate the medical dimensions of the pandemic from the political dimensions. It would also be fantastic if a duffel bag packed with unmarked benjamins was delivered to my front porch by a nekkid Scarlett Johansson. Tomorrow morning would be perfect; I usually wake up and start getting ready for work at about 6:15 a.m.

So I don't know what is meant by the wishy-washy phrasing of It’s the election. It’s Trump. I suppose it shows at least an implicit realization of how Trump's sociopathic indifference contributed heavily to the rapid, dangerous spread of this virus that killed someone he cared for deeply. But it does not convey a seriousness of purpose, an understanding that all the politicians who run the state he lives in bear responsibility for this as well.

There has been an immense amount of suffering and loss this year, for people of all ages, races, economic groups, geographic regions, all walks of life. The pain has been spread far and wide, but definitely not equally. Some have had to bear unthinkable losses, while some (like me) have had minor inconveniences at worst. It's not fair.

But it is connected in some instances to how seriously each of us chooses to take the situation, and how our choices inform our intent to move forward and on with our lives, as this plague hopefully fades away.

Now, what if it doesn't fade away? What if it lingers into next spring, and then next summer mutates (it is a virus, after all) into COVID-21? What do you think your elected representatives at the federal, state, and local levels should do to prepare for such and instance, and react in the event it occurs? Do you want more of the same? How's this magickal year been going for you so far?

Only Tony Green can answer those questions for himself. But it's those answers that determine whether he's actually learned anything from all this, and whether he intends to move beyond his own personal guilt and grief.

In the meantime, hey, dear media, what if you actually published something from someone who paid attention, wore the masks, did the distancing, didn't get weird or emotional or flip out over basic acts of common courtesy, just did their part to pull their weight and not spread the fucking plague. I wonder what that might be like, to give just a small token affirmation to the millions of people out there who have been doing all those things, instead of making fools out of themselves at Trader Joe's.

Part of the reason we have all become convinced that everyone else is some toxic combination of idiot and asshole is because that's all that's modeled for us by our insect corporate overlords. It's always the wizened, bigoted shithead in the haunted Pennsyltucky Stuckey's that gets the coverage, never the church deacon who quietly runs the food bank for the town and hustles shekels from the local car dealers to try to advance his part of Christ's mission, just an inch or two at a time.

To listen to the American corporate media for any length of time is to slowly condition oneself to think that man-bites-dog stories are routine and average and normal. They have become accustomed to the notion that all over this vast nation of ours, right now people are biting dogs by the score. There is no proper sense of perspective or proportion.

When the majority of the voices amplified consistently are the voices of shitheads and scumbags, it's not unreasonable to start assuming that we're outnumbered by shitheads and scumbags. Who knows? Maybe we are. We're about to find out, one way or the other, but the fact is that either result is going to require action with intent. But I think it's safe to say that the picture they've been painting is not very accurate. Their overweening obsession with clickbait and access and selling boner pills and cheeseburgers has clouded their judgment and compromised their stated professional mission.

Turns out the news actually is fake, to some extent, though in neither the scope, scale, nor direction that Dear Leader supposes, in his endless parade of self-loathing and eternal butt-hurt. But it's up to us to let them know we've had enough.

If you think it sucks that the Vichy Times continues to employ a "journalist" who is such a shamelessly lazy hack that she literally amplified a Wile E. Coyote-grade "scandal" from Rudy Ghouliani's scotch-soaked brain, before checking a single detail to find out that it was complete bullshit, then stop giving them your money. Encourage them to fire her worthless ass. Honestly, when was the last time -- or any time -- that Maga Haberman told you anything you wanted to know or didn't already know? When was the last time she didn't use her access to function as a propaganda vessel for these monsters?

If you think it's bullshit that NBC "News" has decided to rush a me-too clown-hall event for Dear Leader, then you need to realize that they're doing this as a favor to Mark Burnett, who ran Trump's dipshit fake-tycoon show, and now has The Voice as one of his more lucrative properties. So? Boycott NBC, especially that show. Boycott anything with Burnett's name on it; all he does is reality garbage, so it shouldn't be too difficult to figure those out.

If we want to get rid of the bastards and monsters who are ruining everything, the first step is to stop giving them money. Otherwise, expect more of the same, since they literally have no disincentive to change anything.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Judging Amy

The religious fanaticism is only part of Judge Handmaid's problem. Her willingness to undo every meaningfully liberal piece of legislation in the past seventy years is just another part of the problem.

Don't get me wrong, these are both major problems. But as with Rapebro McGambledrunk, the worst problems are the ones that seem to get the least amount of attention. I mean, yes, Kavanaugh is a piece of shit blackout-drunk party-rapist, but instead of getting into the weeds on some unprovable he-said/she-said shit from thirty-odd years ago, maybe someone should have asked at his confirmation hearing who paid off his mortgage and his quarter-million-dollar credit-card debt. You know?

So it is with Judge Handmaid. Plenty of people have joked before about Trump trying to appoint "Judge" Jeanine Pirro to the Supreme Court, but Pirro actually spent more time as a judge than Amy Barrett. The judges on The People's Court all spent more time as judges.

Barrett is nothing more than a partisan hack who clerked for Combover Tony Scalia and became a law professor at Notre Dame, before Moscow Mitch handed her a seat on the Seventh Circuit as a full-throated fuck you to Barack Obama.

(Maybe it's just me, but if anyone treated me for a day the way McConnell treated Obama for the full eight years, I'd paint that motherfucker's office with Novichok and polonium. I have zero admiration for Obama's ability to silently eat shit from these mutants in perpetuity. To loosely paraphrase Stokely Carmichael, that high-road shit only works when your opponent has a conscience.)

The idea that she's "brilliant" or even significantly qualified has no clear evidentiary basis. I've seen judges on Law & Order with more purpose and gravitas. She and Kavanaugh are there for the same reason -- loyalty over ability. They are owned and operated by the scummy, secretive billionaires whose prime directive is paying half of the peons to murder the other half, while poisoning as much air and water as possible.

Our wondrous corporate media, content to fake their librul quals all the way to the bank, are obsessed with asking each other and opining on Biden's refusal to offer specifics on "court packing," which of course is what Moscow Mitch has been doing for a full decade now. After stonewalling Obama on judicial appointments for six years (again, thanks a fucking million, all you Democratic voters who couldn't bother your precious selves in the 2010 and 2014 midterms), since 2016 Mitch has turned the Senate into a rubber stamp for every Federalist Society squid imaginable -- the younger and dumber the better, so's they can infest the system for the next two generations.

So maybe some enterprising mediot might want to take it upon themselves to ask any Republicon senator about whether they'd pack the court more, should Trump get re-elected and they hold the Senate. Because I would bet you actual folding currency that they will.

Reversing "cultural" decisions like Roe and Griswold are just the start. Those things are just cover for their real agenda -- turning back employment rights, dismantling the EPA, bolstering the domestic white-power herrenvolk police state, and making sure that fewer and fewer people are able to vote in response to it all.

There appears to be reason for cautious optimism that Biden could win decisively, and the Democrats could pick up a solid majority in the Senate. It is absolutely imperative, not just for the good of the country, but for the continued viability of the Democratic Party, that if that does happen, they need to act swiftly and decisively, and not worry about what shitheads like Chuck Todd say about it, and to make sure that their treasonous "colleagues" across the aisle are given good reason to fear their own destruction. Any other outcome would be catastrophic.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Doctor My Eyes

Oh brother, here we go again:  boy is Doctor Fauci angry with Trump's disrespect and lying now. Ooh, you can just feel the palpating fury and seething resentment, can't you? Yeah, baby, he's had it. Don't make him take his glasses off.

Give me -- and I cannot emphasize this enough, as they say -- a fucking break. Any "doctor" who continues to ply their trade for these murderous scumbags has abdicated their oath, period, full stop. That is all there is to this anymore. They are flacks for a monster who fantasized about wearing a Superman tee-shirt on his way out of the hospital last week, for some pathetic publicity stunt.

(Frankly, I think it's a goddamned shame someone talked him out of it. This is the sort of high-fiber content his shitbag cult deserves to be thumped over the head with.)

You could have made some sort of argument -- one I would still have disagreed with, but one which at least had some amount of good-faith reasoning behind it -- up till about June or July that Fauci felt that his comparatively moderating presence had some sort of practical effect on at least keeping the spread and the count lower than they could be.

Two hundred and twenty thousand deaths and eight million cases into this, though, and three weeks from the election, this is no longer remotely true. Fauci is, as he has been the entire time, providing a thin veneer of "respectability" to the ongoing carnage. Frankly, he should be ashamed of himself at this point. I'm embarrassed for him. I do not find him a credible figure; the fact that he is permitted a bit of room to roam with public "disagreements" and averrals does not change the fact that he clearly knows what kind of animals he carries water for, and still chooses not to set down the buckets and walk away.

Fauci turns eighty this Christmas Eve, so this is not about maintaining his career opportunities, or even burnishing his legacy, since his complicity these past months have, if anything, undermined that legacy.

If Dr. Fauci is truly committed to conveying accurate scientific medical information to a country in crisis from a deadly pandemic, then doesn't it make more sense for him to walk away from his role as a government minion, and be completely unconstrained by destructive, poisonous political considerations? I don't know what the man's fucking problem is, and I give up asking.

You're not saving a bunch of lives in the next three weeks by letting a piece of shit like Donald Trump dump on you further. Do what you should have done three months ago, and join Biden's campaign, and hit the chat-show circuit with the truth. Get that monkey off your back once and for all, doc. The best legacy is doing the right thing when it matters most.

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Season's Beatings (October Edition)

Lost in the narrowed bandwidth of the corporate "broadcasting" channels was the secretly recorded call between Melanoma Tramp and her former sidekick, Stephanie Something-Or-Other-Who-Fuckin'-Cares, in which Melanoma basically said "fuck Christmas." As we all know from Saint Bill O'Reilly of the Church of Loofah Harassment, there's a WAR ON CHRISTMAS, YOU GUYS, which makes the Baby Jesus cry tears of blood or something.

So one might think -- if one were, let's say, stupid enough to expect anything resembling intellectual consistency from the ghouls and rage-monkeys that still fester in that cult of disbelief -- that there might be some sort of outcry or resentment brewing among the Xmas war widows, who have indeed sacrificed more than anyone deployed in an actual war. I don't think anyone's holding their breath, right?

Here's what's annoying about that exchange, and Melanoma's bilious rant:  this fucking broad, who has never done a goddamned thing since arriving in this country but rent out her orifices, has the fuckin' balls to complain about having to put up Christmas decorations. Maybe if we all chipped in and left a C-note or two on the end table, so she feels duly compensated?

I mean, I couldn't possibly care less about White House Christmas decorations, and am repulsed by the Fixed Noise crowd's endless efforts to weaponize the whole thing. I despise all the pro forma bullshit that presidents and even congress members go through routinely, from pardoning turkeys to pledging allegiance to a flag that currently represents nothing but greed and stupidity and indifferent brutality. I actually agree with Melanoma's "fuck Christmas" rant, as far as that goes. But, uh, coming from someone who doesn't actually do anything, but wants all the perks and treats and privileges that come with it? Hey, fuck you, lady. Go back home to your NYC tower and fuck your boyfriend.

This sense of entitlement these people just take as natural, it is not natural, I assure you. The average schmuck is generally grateful just for simple things like good health and stable employment in a job that doesn't make them die inside a little more each day. Most people would kill -- like literally push a button on a stranger -- to have the kind of money and power and privilege that some people take not only for granted, but as their due, as what is owed to them.

Nobody in the Trump family, least of all the current generation, has ever added any value to the world. They just take and consume and pit the peons against each other for their amusement. That's all any of them are capable of, renting weak, morally compromised people to push around. You wouldn't miss any of them if they were suddenly gone, or (better yet) had never been there in the first place.

You want an "alternative history" counterfactual? Imagine for a moment if you had never heard the name "Donald Trump." I don't mean that he didn't get into politics, or even that he didn't exist at all. He existed, but wasn't built up over decades by credulous media dupes. He was just a somewhat wealthy asshole who kept it to himself and stayed off everyone's radar, didn't have to hump the world's leg for decades on end in a futile attempt to recoup the love daddy never showed him. He wasn't given a teevee show for a decade where he pretended to be a big shot and fooled millions of other credulous dupes out there in Real 'murka that he wasn't really a morally depraved money launderer who wanted to bang his own daughter.

Just imagine such a thing for a moment. You feel calmer and more meditative, don't you?

These people are not just bad at politics, they're objectively horrible people, in every way conceivable. I can't even conjure up a proper image of the sort of drooling moron who seriously thinks that any of these scumbags gives half a shit about anyone who isn't themselves. They don't even like each other, they sure don't give a fuck about anyone else.

These idiot fans hang out with their ridiculous cult flags, out in front of a hospital that has a children's oncology ward, among other things, where very sick people are trying to convalesce, while these chimps make noise and bleat undying fealty to their god-emperor-doctor, Kim Don Un, hoping he might come out and wave to them in his limitless beneficence. These sad motherfuckers deserve every little thing life has in store for them.

Extra points for Stormy Daniels' response to Melanoma -- who did softcore shoots of her own, and supposedly some "escorting" as well before she latched onto her booger-daddy -- talking trash about Daniels' five minutes of fame with Mister Man. We can assume it looked more or less like a dick, only smaller.

Monday, October 05, 2020

Ain't That a Shame

As monstrous and awful as Exxon's corporate strategy is, it is also horrifically rational from their point of view, as long as people insist on consuming what they're selling, as much as possible. Next time you take a drive -- or even a walk around the block -- count the jacked-up king-cab gas-guzzlers you see, and multiply by a million, or maybe ten million. Maybe you drive one yourself.

How much meat do you eat, and how often, and where do you acquire it? How many kids do you have? Are they grown, and if so, what do they drive? Again, multiply all those factors by millions, just in the USA, and you can see Exxon's rationale.

Exxon is not the problem. They are giving a critical mass of people what they want. Sure, the entire American corporate media system is really just a giant PR machine calibrated to turn you into a mindless Homer Simpson consumer drone who self-actualizes through big trucks and bigger cheeseburgers. But each of us -- a cell lit of awareness! -- gets to decide whether we want to wallow in that or not.

Economists talk of  behavioral "incentives" and "disincentives" through taxing and regulating various externalities, and they're not wrong. But the truth is much simpler and darker than that. We want to believe that people are intrinsically "good" and rationally self-interested, but we know that the former is subjective and conditional at best, and the latter is only occasionally true. The most charitable way to phrase it might be to point out the obvious -- that your "good" and my "good" almost certainly do not align 100%, and in fact may not even intersect.

One always has to take pains to preface these sorts of blanket statements with the usual "not all" disclaimer, and of course this applies here as well. But clearly a critical mass of people would rather engage perpetually in a dance of debt with instant gratification and gluttonous consumerism, than take even an afternoon to consider their various choices and make even slight reductions.

I hold no brief for the likes of Exxon. I make no excuses for their sociopathic indifference to the planet they despoil, and the people who eke out a living on it. But like the shitty corporate both-sider media, like the shitty corporate-owned oligarchic governance paradigm, they have identified an active consumer market and cultivated it well. Enough people have made a decision to consume the product, and devil take the hindmost.

It doesn't matter if climate change is a hoax or not, if you can't get enough people to give a shit -- and I don't mean heading over to the be-in for an afternoon, but making modest but necessary changes to consumption patterns. They won't until the planet breaks a fat one off in their asses.

Rapacious resource extractors and plutocratic insurgents have been a problem since probably not long after our Mesopotamian forerunners stockpiled the first agricultural surplus. But that problem has always been contingent on lulling just enough of the peons into a permanent state of disequilibrium, of identifying that magic number of doofuses necessary to leverage, and exploiting that subset to the maximum. We are finding out in so many ways that a committed -- or even a collectively disinterested -- minority is more useful and malleable than a dispersed majority. Look around you, and understand that the US is currently in the part between the "before" and "after" photos of a collapse.

That's one thing they didn't bother to tell you when you were in school -- unless you manage to secure enough money and/or power to insulate yourself from the dumbest third of your average classroom, you will always be at their mercy, one way or another.

Old King Coal

It's good to see that at least some of the coal miners that Trump catered to bullshitted in 2016 are seeing the light. Better late than never. Welcome aboard the reality train.

What's important for them to understand is that coal employment has not declined because of inconvenient environmental regulations (as if the people who, you know, live in those areas should either go in pocket to move or wait to die young of cancer), it's because of rapidly dropping EROEI (energy returned on energy invested). Because "mining" is now more blowing tops of mountains and excavating the giant hole, rather than sending hundreds of doughty dwarves and their lanterns and pickaxes and lusty "Heigh-ho" shanties into narrow shafts [giggity]. It's simply not as labor-intensive as it was back in the day, even twenty or thirty years ago. It takes fewer work-hours to produce the same amount of coal. More than twice as many people work for Best Buy than in the entire coal industry.

Fracking and low oil prices took care of the rest of it. Natural gas and oil are simply cheaper per workforce unit to procure. As with most things, once you start looking closer at them, it's not politics, it's math.

That's why it's really important for these folks in Kentucky and West Virginia and Pennsylvania to really think clearly about whom Trump was actually talking to, when he was reaching out to the coal industry. He was not talking to the workers; he was talking to the owners, telling them he would stand aside while they busted their own industry out -- letting them pollute to their hearts' content, take profits, declare bankruptcy, and leave the workers jobless and empty-handed.

What a coincidence that West Virginia's governor, the Pynchonesquely-named Jim Justice, is a billionaire who's profited mightily from Dear Leader's gutted enviro policies, while simultaneously cashing in on "distress" loans that will never be paid back, and screwing over the workers all at the same time. Pretty neat trick. These companies literally ripped these workers off for thousands of dollars each at Christmastime. That's who we're talking about here, people for whom Monty Burns is a rather weak role model. That's who Trump was really talking to when he made his appeals to coal country.

There are always going to be a few who won't get the picture right up to the moment they get pink-slipped and hosed out of their severance pay. I don't what you can tell them or do for them; they have resolved to ignore common sense and a clear pattern of empirical data. They'll die younger than they should, in more pain than they should be, and angry at the climate change "hoax" that took their dream job away.

The path to the Green New Deal -- and to getting coal workers' support for it -- is this:  subsidize the fossil-fuel companies to switch over to manufacturing renewables -- solar panels, windmills and armatures, etc. It will not be easy and it will not be pretty -- oil companies in particular long ago got used to steamrolling their way through things by showering decision-makers with cash and/or women, and then laundering the profits.

But it can be done. These guys may not want to "learn to code," and frankly, even of they did and could, you wouldn't want all of them to do the same thing in the first place. But if you pitched it to them that they could be making the same amount of money working above ground, either in a manufacturing warehouse or outdoors installing, instead of breathing filth in a back-breaking hole and dying before the age of sixty, and leave a cleaner planet for their kids and grandkids, well, they just might listen to that.

The thing they really need to take seriously is that ultimately their "way of life" is not going to be around much longer, again for economic and productivity reasons much more than because of regulations. That's just a fact, and the sooner they start preparing themselves for that eventuality, the better off they'll be. And if not, the outcome will be the same regardless, just on a slightly different schedule.

Sunday, October 04, 2020

In the Tank

Just as a reminder that the "elite" corporate media is a major part of why we are all being forced to live in the worst timeline, here are two examples just from today:

  1. Meet the Press handed free campaign airtime to professional liar, deadbeat dad, and all-around turd Jason Miller. Imagine being so committed to your journamalistic integrity that you'll hand your show over to an unrepentant propagandist, without even a guest from the "opposition" party to give a pro forma rebuttal to the pro forma lies.
  2. NY Times "profile" of Biden's reluctance to disclose specific details on their health protocols. It took three people to slap this fucking garbage together. It's like it doesn't even occur to any of them that maybe there are legitimate security reasons why, in the current climate, campaigns wouldn't want to give up too many details about that sort of thing. If you don't think Trump's White House is full of people (such as Jason Miller) who would use that info for nefarious purposes, you really should start paying attention.

All of these fools should be made to find other work as quickly as possible. Perhaps licking every door handle and toilet seat in the White House until they catch the bug might be a good start for them.

Again, there is a small, deeply nihilistic part of me that almost hopes that these thugs retain power, bust to watch them force these useless hacks to really tow the authoritarian line, with a genuine threat of violence.

These people get paid an awful lot of money to commit grievous harm to the operational integrity of the country, in a time of severe crisis. The least we can do is bankrupt their companies and shun each and every individual involved. Fuck. These. People. Stop feeding them.

It Is What It Is; Or, Weekend At Donnie's

Since we love to live in nostalgia -- that is, the fond misrecollections of an exaggerated past -- this whole year has been a fine reminder of the protracted collapse of the Soviet Union during the 1980s. The heightened inequalities; the government-controlled (and -caused) shortages of PPE during a crisis; running out of toilet paper for weeks. Hell, try to find free weights or dumbbell plates for your home gym, seven months later. Mundane shit like that, things that never used to be an issue.

Oh yeah, and a quarter-million dead in less than a year; the tens of millions of jobs lost, many still not regained; the blatant lying and gaslighting from the government; the violent crackdowns in the streets; the looting of the national treasury by all the sycophants and hangers-on to the inner party elites.

And now, the uncertainty of Dear Leader's precious health, so reminiscent of the old days when American intel agents would micro-analyze appearances by Brezhnev or Andropov or Chernenko, how many days between public sightings, which individuals were accompanying them, their mood and coloration.

The Soviet leaders, it was commonly understood even by many 'murkin schoolchildren, were ancient, doddering alcoholics being propped up by a coterie of faithful lackeys, whose duties were not to Матушка Россия, but to whichever figurehead the military and the few people with real money and power chose to install for the time being.

Whatever the case, their true loyalties were clear -- not to the country or its people, but to its figurehead. And the disposition of that figurehead was always worse than portrayed to the willing dupes at Pravda or Izvestiya.

It's also a condition passed along from the old Союз Советских that whatever impotent opposition exists must always be kept in a permanent state of suspended veracity -- that is, for each instance or event presented to them, they are forced to go through the hapless ritual of trying to parse what is "true" and what is the game being played. Is this really a masterful jujitsu move, an eleventh-dimensional chess play designed to make the strongman appear invulnerable when he single-handedly defeats the implacable foe that has ravaged the countryside?

It's not the usual clichéd well, yes -- and no, so much as it is well, sort of -- and, seriously? I mean Jesus Christ, have you really observed how these clowns operate? Come on, they couldn't play regular chess if you made the pieces out of gold and diamonds. There is no subtlety, no strategy. There is only id and impulse and appetite.

You can be sure that if he is able to be made to seem more or less ambulatory by, say, October 13th, they will frame it as proof of the strongman's innate personal might, his good genes once again thwarting the pernicious, sneaky kung flu. But for now, one thing you can be dead certain about is that he has it, and the symptoms are probably bad enough to have them worried.

One subset of common taters and panel-show chat-monkeys that are welcome to fuck off all the way into the burning core of the sun, are the ones piously insisting that we must all set aside our grievances and wish him and his infected minions well. This captures my feelings about that adequately.

Let's gets something straight, and this is just in the past week -- it appears highly likely that the "ground zero" event for all these "leading" Republicons getting infected was their smarmy little end-zone dance last weekend for their fucking SCOTUS pick -- who herself reportedly had the bug "over the summer." But pretty much everyone who has come down with it all of a sudden was at that super-spreader event.

I've seen quite a few photos and videos from that event; some sites are going over it like the fuckin' Zapruder film. You know who I haven't seen in any of the photos or videos so far? Mitch McConnell. If he was there, he kept a low profile.

Regardless, I think you can count on it that Trump gave it to Hope Hicks, and not the other way around; that he almost certainly knew he had it before Tuesday night's debate debacle (for which Chris Christie reportedly coached Trump to be a blustery asshole in order to deliberately goad Biden into stuttering); that he definitely knew he had the bug by Wednesday when he went to Duluth, and Thursday when he held a fundraiser at his rat-infested club in New Jersey.

He knew, and he didn't give a shit. Now we're supposed to give a shit. Fuck -- and I cannot emphasize this nearly enough -- all the way off. Anyone badgering or lecturing you to be a good Christian and think of these animals as fellow human beings in need, they are cordially invited to take that proverbial bag of salted dicks, and shove them sideways into their sigmoid colons.

That's one shred of actual freedom you are still allowed to retain, това́рищ, that they haven't taken from you just yet -- the freedom to not pretend that your abusers are your fucking friends, or that you owe them any sort of grace or fealty.

Ask yourself how they would be acting, how he would be acting, if it had been Biden and Pelosi and Schumer and all them, who had tested positive. Try to conceive of the vile shit they would come up with in their gloating, and then realize that your worst assumptions are not even in the ballpark. These people are fucking scum, period. All of them.

They hate you -- I mean really, truly fucking hate you. They stole a year, probably two, from your lives. Your kids and grandkids will be paying for all the looting they've done just in the last six months, trillions of dollars spewed to the worst fucking people in the world, not to save shitty jobs but so millionaires could give each other fat bonuses and then lay off the peons.

And they lie about all of it to you every second of every day -- and then insist that you thank them for it? That you express sympathy for them when the natural consequences of their sociopathic indifference comes back to bite them?

Seems the best response to all these inner party shitheads coming down with the karmavirus is the same response they've given the entire country:  I really don't care, do you?