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Sunday, May 19, 2019

Clarity

If you find yourself in opposition to the ridonkulously regressive anti-choice bills being shoveled forth throughout Real 'murka, you owe them a huge thanks:  they are clarifying things wonderfully, removing any possible doubts from the well, the establishment Republicons won't let the extra-chromosome crowd kill Roe hack argument. They will. They are. Wishful interpretations of their supposed intentions aren't going to help anyone.

This should not be framed as the typical "pro-life/pro-choice" dilemma. The argument is simple:  either you think women and teenaged girls should be thrown in prison for decades at a time for making their own health care decisions, or you don't. Some inbred, doddering creep who has no clue how women's bodies work, or how basic reproduction and gestation take place, decided that miscarriages should be investigated and treated as homicides. Either you trust those imbeciles, or you don't. There is no longer any middle ground to pretend to defend.

It's interesting how none of these bills address the male's role at all in any of these pregnancies or precious heartbeats. It's even more interesting how so many of the bills have been "crafted" by individuals with literally no idea how women's bodies work, or how medical science works, or how pregnancies work. You can't re-implant an ectopic pregnancy. Women do not know they're pregnant the instant after the male ejaculates in them, nor can they test at that point. And so on. These people aren't just fanatics, they appear to be borderline retarded as well.

And while it's true that this all predates Trump by decades, this is still his baby (so to speak). He's the one who put a couple of middle-aged conservative Roman Catholics on the Supreme Court to decide Roe's eventual fate, when it makes it back there for the overturn in a year or so. He's the one who's been prancing around the country with his fanciful stories about newborns being "executed" because they had the bad luck to be born to murderous parents with serial-killer doctors working out of butcher-shop hospitals. He's stoked the nonsense with pure lies, and these bills are the natural results.

So everyone who is horrified by this, but just couldn't get "enthused" enough to vote for Butter Emails, you own this. It's yours. You did this with your purity-pony bullshit, or because you're too lazy to vote in the midterms, or for state legislature candidates, allowing them to be gummed up with these batshit god-bothering squids. How do you like it?

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

The Biggest Loser

It's been a stock insult here for years, long before he ever decided to waddle for office, that Trump is a terrible businessman and a worse human being. That was not schtick. He's even worse at both of those things than any of us know, and largely for the same reason:  he's never really been held accountable for either.

The mediots always returned his calls and gave him a forum to bray his bald-faced (and, you know, bald-headed) lies. And he's always had just enough money to keep shysters on retainer, knowing that since he could outlast most people in court, he'd only pay the people who could afford to keep up with him in our so-called chambers of law, which of course only apply to the peons.

Obviously this is also the reason why, despite insisting he'd show them years ago, if only Preznit Chocolate Thunder would release his birf certificate, Trump has reneged countless times on showing his tax returns. I don't even think his cult fan base seriously believes he's under audit; they just know it's more libturd pwnage, for which they'd be more than happy to watch their opioid-infested fuckholes sink below the waves of the next annual five-hundred-year flood.

It's pretty simple -- Trump's tax returns (and they will come out, sooner or later; the NY State Senate is preparing to pass a bill to allow his state returns, which should be more or less the same as his fed ones, to be released upon request) will show more of these humungous annual deficits in income. Which can only mean one of two things (actually, more likely to be some measure of both):
  1. He's every bit the fucking moron he appears to be. There is not a legitimate business venture that you can conceive of, that would not go bankrupt within three years with this water-brained dipshit at the helm. This is a person, after all, who lost money selling steaks, gambling, vodka, and football, to Americans. That's how fucking bad of a businessman this clown really is.
  2. To obtain all the possible loopholes and deductions, he undervalued his income and oversold his losses. Which is, you know, fraud. Just like his overvaluing his asset worth on his Deutsche Bank loan apps is fucking fraud (in the other direction). It's not "smart," it's fucking illegal, and it's about time the fucking law started applying to scumbags like Donald Trump. Regular people go to prison for that kind of shit. What the hell is so goddamned special about this asshole, anyway?
Anyway, yeah -- fucking shit fake-ass pretend bullshit wannabe nevergonnabe bidnessman. Whatta surprise. You just wait -- it's even worse than we know, worse than we can imagine. Watch. That fucking asshole's been humping 'murka's leg for forty years now, thanks to the mediots who let him use them as his personal PR arm. Everything he's done over the years only gets worse, the more you find out about it. Wouldn't be at all surprised that he shorts stock options in soybeans (which got nailed by his dumbass trade war) and Boeing.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Bullshit Detector, Slight Return: Patience and Urgency

The Democrats, slowly but surely, seem to be finally catching on that, per just the unredacted information in the Mueller report, it is clear that both William Barr and Donald Trump have respectively engaged in various tactics to obstruct, impede, and thwart the normal processes of fact-finding and justice. Anyone who insists that these simple observations are in any way untrue or unreasonable has a vested interest in the matter.

As such, since the Republicons have openly admitted they don't give a fuck and plan to do nothing at all, the Democrats find themselves with a moral and legal obligation to pursue this issue as far as it takes them. If that means impeachment, so be it. Presidents have certainly been impeached for far less.

Just as the operational ethos of the GOP exists in an ipse dixit structure of the law means what we say it means, the Democrats have their own articles of faith. Their reluctance to move with any sense of urgency seems to stem from their own teleological notions that, if they could just find a way to oust the bastard, that things will return to "normal" -- that is, to 2016. You can hear it in Pelosi's attempt to keep her cats properly herded, and you can hear it in the "we all gotta get along" bromides of some of the 2020 Dem contenders, such as Mayor Pete and Bernie Sanders.

Does it really need to be pointed out that those days are gone, are not coming back, and the Democratic Party really needs to start learning how to represent their base unapologetically, the way their opponents do routinely? You think Addison McConnell loses a wink of sleep over "incivility" or evangelical fanaticism or burgeoning white nationalism in his party's base (not to mention many of the party's elected politicians)? Hell no. They understand all too well that if they can't stoke enough of these mutant rubes to show up at the ballot box, they're dead in the water.

But like I've been saying, the incompetence and mendacity that oozes from every pore of every scumbag involved in this administration transcends Mueller's investigation and report. Again, even if none of it had ever happened, look at all the other illegality just this week, between the tax returns and the security clearances. They are openly defying congressional orders to produce the tax returns -- Trump is now suing his own accountants to prevent them from handing over the documents.

And he has forbidden the director of the White House Personnel Security Office to obey his congressional subpoena, after it turns out that literally dozens of staff had their security clearance disqualifiers overruled. And they're neglecting cyber-security for the next election, and rigging the census for the next decade (at least) of elections. This is all right out in the open. Totally innocent behavior!

I mean, if you didn't know any better, you might start to suspect that these people think they are above the law, and operate as such. This is unacceptable. The so-called blue wave was mostly a collective insistence on that very point, that the routine abuse of power needs to be checked immediately. I have no idea what makes Democratic politicians think they can "work with" people who are fine with these banana-republic shenanigans. Things are urgent and steadily escalating; anyone operating without a real sense of urgency should find another line of work.

So far, Elizabeth Warren seems to have processed this had enough sentiment the best out of all the Democratic candidates. Trump voters aren't the only people who are angry, you know, but again, the Dems are welded to their outdated notions of comity and civility. Just as I don't know what to make of someone who has read all the evidence and viewed the ongoing behavior of the man and his minions, and concluded that there is nothing amiss, I have no idea what to make of someone who can look around them at the ongoing racketization of the American economy, and not be pissed about it.

Warren's proposal of student-loan forgiveness is not just the morally right thing to do, but it's far and away the most economically sensible. Anyone who cries about how they paid their student loans can fuck right off. For one, the cost of college has steadily escalated, and continues to do so. Someone taking ten years to pay down their package from 1995 or 2000 is in an entirely different boat than some kid going through the meat grinder now, knowing that unless they land a plum job right out of the gate, they're on the hook until they're at least forty years old. Obviously, that has additional impacts on other decisions they might normally make earlier in life, such as getting married, starting a family, or purchasing a car and/or house. We are seeing those economic impacts.

I don't use the word "racketization" lightly. It is a racket, just like the health care system is a racket. The costs are way out of whack with what the services actually cost to provide, because there are parasitic entities and economic externalities that customers are forced to subsidize, above and beyond the services they're actually paying for.

It is naked profiteering and usury, nothing more nor less. I've already resigned to the fact that I will be paying interest on two-hundred-dollar textbooks for the rest of my life. I really don't see any way out of this anymore. I make decent money, but not enough to get ahead or catch up. It took too long to get to this point, and now I have ten years of interest accrued on me. I turn fifty-two next month and have no retirement savings. It is mathematically impossible for me to pay down my student-loan debt, and save anything significant for retirement, before I'm, say, sixty-five or probably even seventy.

Here's a more detailed example:  I have been making payments on two of my "smaller" Sallie Mae loans since day one, which is about ten years now. At about $85.00/month, that comes to about $10k so far paid into these loans over the past decade. Looking at the dashboard of the company that services these loans, the combined principal was about $7k, and after ten years of steady payments, again about $10k total so far, I still owe about $5k on the principal. I've already paid out far more in interest than the principal was in the first place. And even if I win the lottery tomorrow and pay it all down overnight, I will have paid out $15k on a pair of loans totaling $7k to begin with.

And again, those are the two smallest loans, in a portfolio of nine loans. I have no problem with paying down what I borrowed, with reasonable interest, but it took ten years to get a job that still pays a bit less than the average for an MBA degree in California (which means that I didn't get the value that I still have to pay for), and so unless some mystery windfall takes place at some magical point, I'll simply never catch up.

It's not a catastrophe, I'm not out on the street or anything, but one practical outcome of this situation is that I have less disposable income to spread around my local economy. I would take my family out to dinner more often at the local restaurants. I would upgrade my vehicle from the quarter-century-old beater I currently use (thankfully I have a very short work commute), by purchasing a newer vehicle from one of the local dealers. I would take vacations more often. I have some work I would like done on my house and property, that I would hire local contractors for. So there is all this money I could be putting into my local economy, but instead I have to send across the country to some faceless bloodsucker that's just going to put it in a stack.

Now multiply that situation times a million, or several million. This is not just a moral issue, it is an economic one. This is yet another way in which an institutionalized racket hoovers money out of the pockets of working people -- who again, would actually spend that money -- and into the Hamptons homes of wealth hoarders, who will just use it to bribe some university to accept their unqualified fail-children..

This is not by accident, this is by design -- the best way to keep the populace under the collective thumb of the privileged few is to hook them on debt, and never let them off that hook. Our debt, after all, is their equity; they have a vested interest in keeping us hung on that hook in perpetuity, and it has the added benefit of keeping the peons compliant.

Elizabeth Warren appears to understand these things better than the other candidates, or at least she is articulating them more concretely. She is connecting those ideas to actual policy, sometimes in pretty granular detail. If we had a functioning media ecosystem, instead of corporate careerists hosting a fucking beauty pageant, we might get somewhere with that.

Regardless, if you take a step back and look at what's good for the country at this point in time, a few things are inescapable:
  • You can't have a coherent foreign policy without a comprehensive domestic policy. Right now we have neither.
  • You can't have real domestic policy without social justice, in the sense that everyone feels like they have an equal stake in the outcome, can vote without some peckerwood removing all the power cables from the voting machines in the black precincts, etc.
  • You can't have social justice without economic justice. The only people who fall for those "cultural" blut und boden distractions are broke-ass rednecks with too much time on their hands. News flash:  when people have a future worth looking forward to, they don't have the time or inclination to worry about gays marrying or abortion or wedding cakes or whatever.
These things are connected and interdependent. It all starts from the ground up, from real economic justice. De-racketizing the cornerstone pieces, including higher education and health care, are key components of that strategy. Again, only Warren seems to recognize that. Mayor Pete seems nice and all, but I don't really have time for these empty "get along" homilies, which are always aimed only at one side of the coin anyway.

When someone -- from either party -- has the balls to step up and take on the douchebags with their Fuck Your Feelings tee-shirts, and their incivility, then I'll be impressed. Until then, fuck you and your hippie-punching bullshit. Go sell used cars or something. I have no interest in making nice with people who have been telling me to go fuck myself for years.

I liked Sanders in 2016, but less so now, as he is vague on policy, and seems to have the same issue with making his tax returns public that Agent Orange has. Even if there's nothing incriminating in them, the longer a pol takes to do that simple thing, the more suspicious we should be of their behavior. Bernie Sanders specifically waited until April 15th to release the last ten years of returns, hemming and hawing for weeks on end, which leads reasonable people to conclude that there's something in his 2008 return he doesn't want you to see. Whatever it is, it's almost impossible for it to be as bad as what's in Trump's returns, but it doesn't look good.

I get why some folks have just become too inured or exhausted from the reality-teevee nonsense to bother to tune in anymore. It feels tedious and useless, part of a stupid game you didn't want to play in the first place. Fair enough. But right now, there are children kept in cages like dogs, separated from their parents, terrified and alone, because these fucking monsters decided that the violence and terror they were fleeing wasn't quite bad enough. Maybe it doesn't matter that it's being done in your name too. Each of us has to decide for ourselves what we're willing to live with.

But sticking to the pretense for now, that we still strive to be a nation of laws and accountability, even if that isn't always realistic, we have to acknowledge that if we give up on even trying for those things, even when our collective faces are being rubbed in their wrongdoing every goddamned day, if we give up then we might as well give up for good. Don't bother to vote, don't bother to care. Nothing matters anyway, right? Fuck the kids and the planet they'll inherit. It's all just competing, equivalent forms of corporate cynicism. Is that really the way it is?

You have to decide for yourself if it is or not, and then act -- that is, take action -- accordingly. Even if it's just a letter to a senator, enough of those things make a dent. Or we can just be above it all and let someone else deal with the repercussions of our collective indolence. So far the Dems seem to be bouncing back from their initial abdication of responsibility in these pressing matters.

What Trump and Barr have cooked up here may end up not requiring impeachment (although I believe they already do), but they definitely merit further investigation, and Trump's defiance of that only reinforces the impression that he's waaaayyyyyy more guilty of a lot more shit that we don't even know about yet.

This is where striking that delicate balance between patience and urgency come into play. It's only been a week since the report dropped, but what a week, right? Every week seems faster and worse than the last, like a particle accelerator powered by shit. It only gets worse until enough of the peons decide they've had enough, and remind their employees who really works for whom.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Bullshit Detector

Now that we peons have been permitted by His Travesty and his dogsbody to view the "real" report, I don't feel the need to say too much beyond pointing out that everything I said two weeks ago holds. It's impossible for me to comprehend how anyone can look at the evidence, look at everything that's transpired and is still yet to come -- hell, just look at the behavior -- and not see the clear pattern of criminality.

I mean, seriously -- this report prepared by people who are out to get me totally clears me, but I can't show it to you -- how many fucking clues do doubters need to see that those are not the things an innocent person does and says? It's like watching O.J. Simpson in court a quarter-century ago, stretching his hand so that the glove won't go on. It's so obvious, you kind of feel a bit sheepish even pointing it out. Just like the tax returns. It's one thing to hide behind the "make libturd cry" tactic, but how much of a chump do you have to be to believe the guy?

I honestly don't know what sort of drooling moron can't see Trump for what he is. I wish I had more ruthlessness and time on my hands, because I'd have a hell of a bridge to sell them, and apparently they'd give me every dime they had. I thought most people had figured out these things back in fourth grade or so.

But like everything else about this fucking criminal scumbag, this latest episode says more about everyone else -- the worthless minions he attracts to lie for him; the mediots who disgrace their profession by gaslighting the nation, because they're too fucking lazy to actually do their jobs; the Dummycrats who can't get back into their default circular-firing-squad position quickly enough; the dopes who would still worship him and deep-throat his tiny mushroom even if Trump had flat-out confessed to everything -- than it says about Trump.

There's nothing new to learn about Trump. This is what he's always been -- lazy, stupid, deeply corrupt, and contagious in all those things. He makes the people around him worse people, just by association. One of the salient details from the report is how many instances there were of people in Trump's orbit actively ignoring or circumventing his direct orders. And yet none of them had the nerve to step up and say something.

Look at Rod Rosenstein standing behind that fucking pig Barr, like a good German. Fuck them both. Barr is a known quantity, a lifelong fixer of elite political inconveniences. But Rosenstein strikes this pose of integrity, and he has clearly sacrificed it, but it's unclear for what. That's why he looked like a hostage standing behind Barr, because he knows that his silence is a betrayal of everything he thought he stood for, of every pretense he thought he had of working in his country's best interests. Hope that pension's fat enough to make it worthwhile, kid.

You can see both sides of the Democrats' impeachment dilemma, and neither one is good. Rule of thumb when you only have sub-optimal choices:  Fortune favors the bold. If you're going down, go down swinging hard. They really botched their response to the rollout, gutless and diffident per usual. They need to use their Easter recess to get their ducks in a row, and come back ready to drop the hammer. I actually think they will; they have to see that there's really no other choice for them now. I'm not one to ankle-bite my congressional reps over every little thing, but if they pass on this one, I'm done and I have no trouble calling their offices and telling them so. I have a feeling I'm not alone on this.

I don't know how other people go about assessing people and situations and figuring them out, seeing where things aren't as they seem, spotting the bullshit. To give an innocuous example, I recall back in 1998, being on Slate's original Fray chat forum, arguing with the writer David Ehrenstein over whether Ricky Martin and Kevin Spacey were gay. I was sure that they were (not that I give a shit), and yet Ehrenstein, who not only is gay but wrote a very good book about closeted Hollywood actors back in the day (and so knows well how gay performers who are not ready to go public will try to keep that aspect of their lives hidden), didn't think so.

Recall that at that time, neither Spacey nor Martin were the least bit open about their private lives, so it was pure conjecture on my part. But I have a pretty good bullshit detector, and I think the fifteen years of archived posts on the right sidebar attest to that.

(To give a little more context, Ehrenstein was not shy about calling Ace of Spades, another Fray denizen, a "power bottom." Ace is not gay, nor even homophobic, but Ehrenstein correctly understood this as one way to push Ace's buttons. So there was a lot of back-and-forth on that particular subject, most of it pretty good-natured, certainly none of it hurtful or judgmental. I guess the point is that sometimes things that seem pretty obvious to you, are just no there for someone else. They don't see it. Like that stupid dress where no one could decide what colors it was, or the Laurel/Yanni thing.)

A more recent example would be the Jussie Smollett hoax. I mean, Jesus, right out of the gate, the first few details you heard about it sounded way too on-the-nose. A couple of randos beat him down in a heavily CCTV area of Chicago, using racial and homophobic slurs the entire time, along with some MAGA slogans for good measure, tie a noose around his neck because they just happened to have one handy, and Smollett crawls back to his hotel room leaving the noose on? Come on.

Anyway, the point is that we are in the midst of a very dangerous trend in American politics, one that actually predates Trump, but that he has been able to take great advantage of. The power of the unitary executive has been ramped up steadily since 9/11, while simultaneously the electorate has become much more polarized and cemented in their respective outlooks.

Trump did not invent this scenario, but he has figured out how to weaponize it, and he understands intrinsically that no one -- not his party, not the media, not anyone -- has the balls to challenge him on it. Everyone still thinks the "institutions will hold" or some shit like that, and that's simply not true, whether or not Trump gets re-elected. This is important to understand. Things are about to get worse either way.

Let's look at it in strictly binary terms -- he gets re-elected or he doesn't. Can you imagine if this asshole wins again? At least two more SCOTUS appointments, probably three (in addition to Ginsburg and Breyer, Thomas is also apparently on the verge of retirement), and an undeniable legitimization of the damage he's already done. He'd be off the fucking chain, with a whole new roster of fresh scumbags to do his bidding, and he'd double or triple down on everything he's already been doing. You think it's a box of turds now, you wait and see what it's like if he wins again.

But even if he gets thrown out of office, it won't mean much if there's not a real landslide at the congressional and even state levels. These people are bad losers, they obviously have no scruples, and the psychotic billionaires who really own this country and all the propaganda networks will shift into overdrive. Without an overwhelming win and majority, it will just be like the last six years of Obama -- gridlock and bullshit and conspiracy theories and legislative inertia, only this time you'll have King Shitposter and his cult of sociopathic halfwits full steam ahead with him, ankle-biting full-tilt all the fucking time. It will be nothing but hate and retribution.

People need to have their bullshit detectors on all the time with everyone. When a career turd like Steny Hoyer gets in front of the cameras and punts on first down, just a couple hours after Bill Barr harrumphs and tells everyone to go fuck themselves, Democratic voters have to call bullshit. Maryland voters need to tell that tired cocksucker to get with it or get gone. Fuck or walk, pops. There is no room for maybe on this train anymore, it left the station two years ago.

That's not to say that ultimately, impeachment might not be a viable option. But only a fucking moron makes that call a couple hours after the report is released, before you've even had time to review the fucking thing. Say what you want about the cultists, they at least know that their boy is going to make a show of fighting. Fucking Steny Hoyer doesn't even want to try. Who wants to break it to him that people don't usually vote for someone they can't even respect?

It's true that the Democrats have to focus on a lot of other issues as well, but one assumes they can multitask. The fact of the matter is that this transcends the Mueller Report that everyone puts their eggs into.

Let's say for the sake of argument that Trump had never fired Comey, that there was no action for which to appoint a special counsel -- in short, that the investigation had never taken place, and Robert Mueller was not a household name, none of it had ever happened. Trump has still shown conclusively, many times and in many ways, that he is manifestly unfit for any office, much less the office he has.

In terms of intelligence, ability, temperament, discretion, all those qualities people across the spectrum tend to value in a chief executive, he has none of those things. His incompetence, laziness, and behavior would have gotten him fired from stocking shelves at Wal-Mart within the first six weeks.

Think about all the various things he promised to fix, from immigration to opioids to foreign policy to trade policy. Every one of them is measurably worse:  trade deficits are at record highs; the immigration crisis has been exacerbated by his actions toward the "three Mexican countries"; infrastructure still decaying; wages still stagnant despite very low unemployment levels; North Korea is right where it's always been; our allies are sick of our shit and are not going to be there when we need another favor from them; and the worst problems facing this country -- wealth inequality and climate change -- are completely ignored and have gotten steadily worse.

Forget the Mueller report, and what you think you know or think about it:  this guy sucks, and he's a fucking asshole to boot. Bring that into the mix with all the lying and corruption, and you have a had enough? argument that should win.

And if not? Well, again, whichever way this shakes out, we will get the government we deserve.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Perhaps Flying Water Tankers

I know that I push the theme of His Travesty's innate stupidity so frequently, it probably seems like schtick after a while, or at least an exaggeration borne of loathing for the man.

No, dear reader, I assure you:  he really is a fucking moron. You would have thought that at some point in his too-long and utterly pointless existence on this here material plane, Trump would have had some sort of conversation with some sort of representative from the FDNY. Even if it was just to find out which palm to grease in order to circumvent fire safety requirements for his inherited portfolio of fleabags and ratholes, Trump must have had at least a surface discussion, somewhere along the line, about how building fires are extinguished.

You don't have to be a civil engineer to figure out the ramifications of dumping hundreds of gallons of water -- that is to say, tons of water -- onto a thousand-year-old structure in the midst of renovations in the middle of a huge city, as if it was an uninhabited stand of pine trees out in the middle of BFE.

Of all the annoying traits that seep out of this geriatric idiot, this may be the most annoying and perplexing, the need to two-cents issues that not only don't concern him and don't need for him to weigh in on, but that also reveal his complete ignorance on the subject -- every subject -- in the first place.

Hell, out here in Cali, most of us are old enough to recall when Agent Orange insisted that the forests needed to be "raked" in the name of responsible fire prevention. Welp, more than half of our forests are federally managed, and I'll be damned if there's been any indication of hiring said yard implements. Another promise kept!

As with everything else that manages to escape his ridiculous, puckered burger-hole, this is simply the usual blowhard "man of action" rhetoric for the rubes, like the Frenchies want or need anything from us. If anything, it takes one back to a simpler time, when he was merely an ankle-biting pervert who used his pageant as an excuse to check out young "talent" (in the skeevy perv-bro sense), and his Twitter account to give dating advice to Twilight actors.

In a week where we are seriously relitigating 9/11, it's useful to note another clear and obvious contrast:  French billionaires have already stepped up to pledge hundreds of millions of euros each to contribute to Notre Dame's repairs, even though the Catholic Church is one of the wealthiest organizations on the planet, doesn't pay taxes, and can easily afford to foot the bill on its own. Trump after 9/11, on the other hand, crowed that he now had the tallest building in the city, claimed to have gone to dozens of funerals that he never attended, and chiseled money out a fund that was set up to help small businesses in the wake of the nation's worst terrorist attack. Fucking scumbag.

They keep imploring us to Never Forget. Don't worry, we haven't forgotten.

Seriously, there is nothing in this world that can't be made just a little bit worse by this doddering piece of shit picking at it like a scab under his hairpiece.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Here Comes Your Man

The legends foretold
The prophecy fulfilled
Three hundred pounds
   in an empty suit
Bought with the sweat and trust of others

The electricity of the arena
Dust cleared from last week's
   monster-truck rally
The smells of diesel and adrenaline

We came to sing the hymns in unison
We came to receive The Word
   and bear witness
      and tell our grandkids
         if they ever visit or call again

He preens and slouches
   with swag-bellied rhythms
      and the certainty of the blank slate

I am Truckasaurus! he roars and cackles
I will build a wall of cactus
   and Kid Rock CDs
      right up their asses
They will pay for that wall, all of them will pay

I have landed a man on the moon
   and shot a fifty-two at Pebble Beach
      and knocked down the Berlin Wall
         with my enormous cock
They don't want you to know the truth
They can't love you like Ike loves you, baby

Load up on avocados on your way out
   and pelt a lib-fag or three
It's the best way to show them
   that you are the most real
      of all people
No one has ever been more real or more pure

Don't forget to buy some swag
 

Friday, April 12, 2019

Petty Vacant

There is never a "slow news day" anymore, as the twenty-four-hour cycle burns ever hotter and faster, and thus needs more and more fuel. So it is that Bret Easton Ellis, the original Milo Y. for the lit-crit jet-set, finds his turn in the proverbial barrel, on the pointy end of one of Isaac Chotiner's Socratic-dialogue interviews. Hilarity ensues.

Chotiner has made a recent career/bloodsport of finding moral cretins within or adjacent to His Travesty's smear of influence, as it were, and gradually hoisting the subject on a petard of their own devising. It's a neat trick, and certainly one worth repeating endlessly on these fuckers, but what is most revealing about these interviews, whether it's with some toad directly barnacled to the fleshy hull of the USS Fatboy, or merely a smarmy meta-commenter like Ellis, is that none of these people are prone to sudden epiphanies, nor even flashes of self-awareness. It is essentially the same result as watching yet another CNN lackey jabber at Kellyanne Conway or Rudy Ghouliani.

But it's still interesting to watch Ellis' particular pathology at work here, as he repeatedly insists that he's not interested in politics or policy much at all, but rather that his recent book of essays lambasting "liberals" and "progressives" for their "overreactions" to Trump is about coverage of the spectacle that he, Ellis, considers hysterical and heavy-handed.

Ellis is not wrong when he says that the best solution is for people to focus on voting Trump and his crew out next year. Aside from that, he seems completely oblivious as to why anyone might be anxious in the meantime. We're eight-hundred-and-some days into this shitshow, and virtually every single one of those days has featured some bit of insanity or incompetence or outright illegality on the part of Trump and his coterie of losers and hangers-on.

Ellis seems content to lob smug meta-commentary about Chicken Little libturds overreacting to -- I don't know, let's pick a couple at random:  the chief executive routinely threatening and harassing political opponents and pesky mediots; the Attorney General (of the United States -- as in, the public's ranking legal advocate) literally functioning as the personal lawyer for the chief executive; the failson-in-law on a hotline with a Saudi prince who kidnapped an American resident, strapped him to a table and dismembered him alive; a dozen or so lies every day on average; long-term American interests being undermined by reckless foreign policy blunders, not to mention demagoguing the most serious issue facing all of us, regardless of political stance or income level -- climate change.

Right now, and for the past couple years, it has been this nation's policy to separate refugee children from their parents, purely as a punitive measure to discourage others. These people are fleeing conditions of violence that even the poorest, most miserable American would be hard-pressed to imagine (outside of the Alabama penitentiary system, anyway). Nonetheless, there are kids, young kids, who have died in custody, or been raped or molested in custody, or who haven't seen their parents in months, or two or all three of those things.

But as far as Bret Ellis is concerned -- and he's certainly not the only one, just the most recent; there's a spate of these fucking assholes as of late -- the real problem, you see, is the claque of hysterical libturds who just won't stop complaining about this doddering, soup-brained cockroach pitting the nation against itself while he and scummy family pocket everything that isn't nailed down.

One of the more hilarious asides in the interview is where Ellis lamely tries to defend Roseanne Barr:
You came to the defense of Roseanne Barr, saying that she denied, after tweeting racist stuff about Valerie Jarrett, knowing Valerie Jarrett was black.
Did she say that? That she didn’t know she was black?

You say it in the book.
Yeah, right, I quoted her.

It seems like you want to give some people the benefit of the doubt, but not others. Would that be fair?
I would like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

So when she tweets about Valerie Jarrett being the child of the Muslim Brotherhood and the “Planet of the Apes”?
Yeah, that’s a tweet. I don’t know. It’s whatever. It’s whatever you think it is and whatever she says she meant by it. It is her word against ours.
There's nothing evil or sinister in play here; the real crime is that someone who's living is geared around the usage and meaning of words, and getting to the core of what people mean when they say something, is completely useless at that pursuit here.

Think of that:  Ellis has written a book that, if not about politics, at least purports to provide some trenchant observations about political activity and thought. In the case of Roseanne's infamous, career-killing tweet about Valerie Jarrett, here is an opportunity to provide some observation. It beggars the imagination to figure plausibly how Roseanne didn't know Jarrett was black, yet plucked a Planet of the Apes reference from out of nowhere as a "joke" or an insult.

Ellis doesn't even have the energy or commitment to try to bullshit his way out of it, or even come up with a lame defense of Roseanne. It's whatever. Boy, does he have a fuckin' way with words or what?

Again, this is not Ellis' fault or creation. We are a decadent, lazy, spoiled society, and so sloppy thinkers and spoiled assholes like Ellis are given unfortunate stature, based on his string of modest successes back when Reagan was watching nuns get raped and murdered in El Salvador. There is no rigor in Ellis' analysis because he has already admitted multiple times that he doesn't really give a shit.

Hell, at the end of the interview, he kinda lets the whole thing slip:  It was much more interesting to me to write this as a nonfiction book, in terms of pulling this stuff from my podcast.

Great. So White is really just a compilation of podcast greatest hits, indifferently packaged under a single cover for seventeen bucks or so. Cool grift, broham.

The problem here is not that Ellis is an idiot, nor even an asshole, it's that he's so willfully lazy in his observations, bringing nothing new or fresh to the conversation. He can't even defend his own points that he's asking people to shell out good money for, he just lamely defaults to anecdotal conversations he had with female friends who were okay with Trump bragging about his pussy-grabbing prowess.

For the record, I have female acquaintances who were fine with Trump's "locker-room talk" too. The fact that they have pussies doesn't mean they can't still be wrong about this, and about him. It's the faux-feminist (fauxminist?) version of saying you have a black friend that doesn't mind when people use the n-word, as if that absolved anyone from personal responsibility.

Bret Easton Ellis is comfortably insulated from the consequences of this clusterfuck of an administration. He doesn't have kids, so he likely just assumes that the shit won't really come down until after he's gone, so he's not too worried about it. I actually get that reasoning -- I have a kid and I still sometimes get in that "fuck it" mood and decide it really just doesn't matter, none of it, that it's a prolonged exercise in futility and not worth the effort, that if enough idiots want to let it burn, then maybe we just fucking let it burn and live what's left of our lives while we can.

But I think one of the things that makes us human is that each of us has something that we feel is worth fighting for. It's going to be different things for different individuals, and there will also be lots of overlap, but there's something, big or small, the planet or your country or your family, that you care enough about to put your foot down and say decisively, Fuck you. Enough.

I think that one unstated component in the "outrage" and "overreaction" one sees covered in the media is this:  the 2016 election forced liberals and progressives in particular to confront the question of how Trump won -- that either the nation was becoming something they no longer recognized, or that it was like this all along, and the "right" set of conditions came along to clarify that situation.

And it is, by any objective assessment, a serious problem. It's bad enough that Trump is a gaping asshole, and a miserable fucking facsimile of a functioning human being. the real problem is that he's a jabbering moron, a clear fucking dunce who has made the world a worse place. That's really the way it is, and the fact that somewhere between one-third and one-half of this country loves it is an even worse problem.

It is no exaggeration to say that that last one will be the singular challenge for the next generation, and may never get resolved. I don't mean in the ideological sense, so much as just the functional sense, the basic mechanics of governance. This country is run by psychotic billionaires who would literally rather burn up the planet than pay a single percentage point more in taxes, and they own all the propaganda outlets. And they have just enough rubes on the hook to live out Jay Gould's fondest wish.

And so what happens, per Bret Ellis' prescription of voting the Shitbird-In-Thief out of office next year, is that whatever Republicons remain in government will simply revert to an even more toxic version of the rear-guard faction that hamstrung Obama for most of his tenure. The US and the world face some very serious challenges in the near future, most of them driven either by accelerating climate change or increased wealth disparity, and a paralyzed government coupled with propagandized media stoking a seething populace makes for a very dangerous combination.

But, you know, liberals just need to stop whining and accept that assholes run the world, right? Just bend over and take it, again and again for the rest of your lives.