The Real Pocahontas Would Fuck Trump's Shit Up

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee and a man wearing mongoose pubes for hair, Donald Trump, has been especially proud of one of his jokes. It's where he calls Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts "Pocahontas" because of Warren's previous statements that she is part Cherokee. "Pocahontas" is an Indian. Warren claims to be Indian. So...humor? Like an asshole dad at the dinner table every Sunday, Trump repeats this line as if he just wrote the world's first knock-knock joke. And, of course, the inbred piglets at his rallies laugh and encourage him when they're not sticking their fingers in their asses and sniffing them.

Of course, facts are to Donald Trump like penicillin is to syphilis, but at the end of the day, calling Warren "Pocahontas" is pretty much saying she's a bad-ass worker who brought shit-tons of business to the shores of America, which was what Pocahontas did in real life despite being kidnapped and likely raped by white people, all before she died at 21.


Yeah, see, wait, let's see if we can get this out before laughing hysterically, Pocahontas, whose real name was Matoaka, as a young woman in an Algonquin-related tribe, would have been put to work, hard, laborious shit, including farming, building houses, and getting firewood, shit that would totally fuck-up the manicure on Donald Trump's tiny, tender fingers.

Hilarious, right? Right?

Putting aside whether the story of saving John Smith's pasty ass is apocryphal, we do know that she was captured by the English and held for ransom, like the release of English prisoners and some supplies. When the invaders' demands weren't met, she was held for a full year, during which time she was converted to Christianity and learned to read English. She was baptized "Rebecca," which was much easier for the English to pronounce. And she ended up being a diplomat between the English and her father's tribe

Man, that's just ripe for mockery.

Oh, and she was released only after she agreed to marry a white dude who fell in love with her, John Rolfe. Yeah, after two years in Virginia, he took her back to England where they exploited the shit out of her, parading her around as the civilized savage and using her as an example of how the Indians could be converted to lovin' Jesus, which was used to draw lots of investment in the Virginia Company and brought big money to the "New World." She died of a lung ailment on the way back to Virginia and was buried in England.

Are you slappin' your knees yet?

Yeah, the real Pocahontas would fuck Donald Trump's shit up badly. She'd put him on the ground and beat him bloody, much like Elizabeth Warren has been doing. Warren should announce that she's not worthy to be called Pocahontas, but she appreciates the compliment.

Laugh on, piglets, and make your pathetic war whoops and cries.


Ways Donald Trump Could Torture Prisoners That Would Be "Tough Enough"

Today, Republican candidate and psychedelic chia pet Donald Trump proclaimed that he would bring back waterboarding to use on suspected terrorists. "I like it a lot," he said, which is exactly as presidential as you'd expect him to be. He added, "I don't think it's tough enough," and implied that perhaps we'd need to be as vicious as ISIS is.

Luckily, Trump has his name on an array of products he can use that would make any terrorist or wannabe terrorist or terrorist adjacent people confess to everything from bombing plots to thinking about Trump while fucking their wives, anything, please, to make it stop.

1. Force them to be coated head to toe in Trump Success fragrance, described as douchily as possible as a stink that "captures the spirit of the driven man." Well, fuck, capture is what we all want, right? "The scent is an inspiring blend of fresh juniper and iced red currant, brushed with hints of coriander," and terrorists must be afraid of iced red currant because who the fuck knows what that is. "As it evolves, the mix of frozen ginger, fresh bamboo leaves and geranium emerge taking center stage, while a masculine combination of rich vetiver, tonka bean, birchwood and musk create a powerful presence throughout wear," we're told. And that level of bullshit would suffocate anyone.

2. Attach Donald Trump Men's Clear Stone Tie Clips to their testicles. It's the classy way to say, "Hey, haji, we're gonna be at this for a long, long time until you tell me why you were shepherding goats in a field near a place we don't like."

3. Make them eat Trump steaks and drink Trump vodka. The sheer amount of diarrhea will be enough to weaken them to the point of confession.

4. Loudly play them the audio of books "written" by Trump, like The Art of the Deal or the threatening-sounding Crippled America. You should probably tie their hands down because they will be tempted to tear off their ears.

5. Be sure to question them under the hot bulb of a Trump lamp, like this one: "the simple lines of this cylindrical lamp are accentuated and enriched by the mother of Pearl cladding. The simple geometry of the herringbone pattern adds to the understated elegance of this classically coastal piece. The shade is sand with a white liner." In fact, read them that description and let them ponder, "Cladding? The fuck?"

6. Force them to live in a country led by Donald Trump.

Yes, yes, yes, under a President Trump, the enemy will know the sweet kiss of pain and death, with just a hint of luxury and classy classiness.


Bored of Benghazi: A Note to Trey Gowdy

Fuck, no, Rep. Trey Gowdy, you narrow-headed motherfucker, we're not gonna read your bullshit committee's 800-page bullshit Benghazi report. You know why? Because, you future circus geek, there ain't 800 pages worth of anything left to fucking say about the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. So even though you keep telling everyone, "I simply ask the American people to read this report for themselves, look at the evidence we have collected, and reach their own conclusions" or, when you're feeling like the smug, inbred prick you are, "You can read this report in less time than our fellow citizens were taking fire and fighting for their lives on the rooftops and in the streets of Benghazi," we are not gonna bother.

The fucking 9/11 Commission Report was just 585 pages. And math tells us that a fuckload more people died then on the soil of the United States.

You know why we're not gonna read the thing, you cartoon yokel? Because you've got nothing. If you had discovered that Hillary Clinton had taken a shit while getting updates on the situation in Benghazi, you'd've called a goddamned press conference to say that Ambassador Chris Stevens will never get to take a shit again because Secretary Clinton had been relieving herself when she should have prairie-dogged that bowel movement and personally gunned down the attackers.

But, no, really, Barney Fife without the charm, make sure you appear on all the fuckin' news shows to jack yourself off about how you found some big new things, like, what? That the military should have at least tried to get there a little faster, even though there was no means known on this earth that would have transported troops there in time? That the consulate and Ambassador Stevens should have been better protected? Well, no shit, little man. However, unless you have an email or something that says that Hillary Clinton personally ordered security away from them, then it's just lesson learned. Oh, and, by the way, we know you don't have an email or something because you had 800 pages to show it to us, and, if you did, you'd've been touting that as the greatest historical event since Ronald Reagan used his dick to knock down the Berlin Wall or whatever stupid shit you believe.

Mostly, though, we're not gonna read you Benghazi report because it's fucking boring. So fucking boring, even as you tried to write it in a not-boring way. And there's nothing you could have done to make it less boring because you don't have anything new to say, even as you try to tell us that you do, you goon who looks like your hair was cut by a spastic spider monkey.

The whole report is like one of those cooking competition shows, like Chopped. The music surges as a chef-competitor attempts to saute some onions quickly and then a dramatic drum beat hits when a judge says that the chef didn't use enough salt or something. And you might think, "What the fuck? Sprinkle some fuckin' salt on that shit. Don't just whine about it."

So when one of the "most serious" conclusions that the committee came to was that the White House was kind of a prick about getting shit to us, well, man, look in the fuckin' mirror, if you can stand to. And does anyone actually give a happy weasel fuck about what Susan Rice said on a Sunday talk show? If you do, you are not a serious person and go fuck yourself.

The worst, though, the most galling, stomach-churning, yet hilarious part is that the whole fuckin' charade was all an attempt to prove that filthy Hillary is a filthy liar. Yet, it seems, according to every piece of evidence, that when it comes to Benghazi, she's been completely exonerated. She didn't do a damn thing wrong. Yeah, you got the email server out there, and that's more bullshit to wrestle with, but, otherwise, what?

The Republicans on the select committee may as well have dug up the bodies of the dead and paraded them around, danced with them, fucked their rotting faces, and tossed them on the White House lawn. That's how much respect the GOP members had for the dead. The birds who shit on their graves have more respect for the dead than Trey Gowdy does.

Still, we'll never be done with Benghazi until Hillary Clinton is lying in the cold, cold ground, too. We'll never pretend we're a sane country that respects the facts. Not anymore, man, not anymore.


The Rude Pundit (and Others) Telling Stories in NYC Tomorrow Night

Tomorrow evening, the Rude Pundit will be telling tales at an event put together by mad genius and VICE-guy Harmon Leon. It'll be a Moth-type thing, so maybe a little less politics, a little more "Here's weird shit what happened to me."

TALE will feature this blogger, radical bastard cartoonist Ted Rall (who can tell a hell of a story), Vanessa Valero from the Moth, Amaru Dixon, and Tim Eberle.

We'll all be at the Three of Cups in Manhattan starting at 8 p.m. That's a restaurant and bar on First Avenue at 5th Street in the East Village. Tickets are a mere $5.

Come, listen, laugh, hug, drink, and drink. 

Now That the TRAP Law Fuckery Is Done, What's the Next Abortion Fuckery Conservatives Will Attempt?

The strategy of opponents of abortion rights in the last couple of decades has been pretty straightforward. They take a bunch of shit in their filthy hands and they fling it at a wall containing the Roe v. Wade decision. They see which shit sticks, and then they go back to the shitpile, pick up some more shit, and throw again. Oh, and, to be sure, a whole lot of shit has gunked up what should be a decision a woman makes in consultation with a medical professional and others, should she wish. Shit like waiting periods and mandatory ultrasounds seem to be within the overly vague "undue burden" standard. And anti-choicers did get a dilation and extraction method of late-term abortion outlawed.

Today's Supreme Court decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is a big fucking deal because it marks the end of one of the anti-choice right's favorite tactics: using the bullshit cover of "women's health" to create all kinds of impediments to women actually getting to take care of their health. Called "Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers" or, charmingly, TRAP laws, in this case, it was two Texas regulations that required doctors at family planning clinics to have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles and that those clinics where abortions are performed meet the same standards as surgical centers and hospitals. They were lies based on lies propped up by lies, and the Supreme Court said today, in essence, "Yeah, you can go fuck yourself while you choke on your lies."

Or, as Jessica Mason Pieklo put it for Rewire, "Finally, we’ve got a Supreme Court decision that demands facts over rhetoric and data over belief, and doesn’t fall into the 'difficult decision that people disagree on' false equivalence. Monday’s decision is a clear, data-driven defense of the importance of access to comprehensive reproductive health care and an affirmation of abortion as a fundamental right. And that kind of defense has been a long time coming."

In his majority opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer slammed down the hammer of reality on the anti-choice fantasists. Over and over, in as straightforward a manner as you're gonna see in a Supreme Court decision, Breyer tells the state of Texas (and all the legislators who pretend that these regulations have any purpose than to prevent women from exercising a legal right) how full of shit they are, the level of that shit, and how meaningless their shit is, as in this summary of a District Court's findings on HB2, the Texas law:

"A collection of at least five peer-reviewed studies on abortion complications in the first trimester, showing that the highest rate of major complications—including those complications requiring hospital admission—was less than one-quarter of 1%.

"Figures in three peer-reviewed studies showing that the highest complication rate found for the much rarer second trimester abortion was less than one-half of 1% (0.45% or about 1 out of about 200).

"Expert testimony to the effect that complications rarely require hospital admission, much less immediate transfer to a hospital from an outpatient clinic."

That last piece of evidence comes from a California study of nearly 55,000 patients who had abortions and only 15 needed immediate transfer to a hospital. And that's just the beginning of a litany of "Fuck you, fuckers" from Breyer, concluding with this mic drop: "We have found nothing in Texas’ record evidence that shows that, compared to prior law (which required a 'working arrangement' with a doctor with admitting privileges), the new law advanced Texas’ legitimate interest in protecting women’s health. We add that, when directly asked at oral argument whether Texas knew of a single instance in which the new requirement would have helped even one woman obtain better treatment, Texas admitted that there was no evidence in the record of such a case." That's the difference between a lie-filled political ad and having to testify under oath.

And when it comes to the surgical center requirement that caused the closure of a bunch of clinics, leaving very few for the entire state, Breyer says, "Texas seeks to force women to travel long distances to get abortions in crammed-to-capacity superfacilities. Patients seeking these services are less likely to get the kind of individualized attention, serious conversation, and emotional support that doctors at less taxed facilities may have offered. Healthcare facilities and medical professionals are not fungible commodities. Surgical centers attempting to accommodate sudden, vastly increased demand...may find that quality of care declines. Another commonsense inference that the District Court made is that these effects would be harmful to, not supportive of, women’s health."

You got that? Supporters of these laws are doing things that will actively harm - or, you know, punish - women for deciding to get an abortion. Breyer and the majority were having none of it.

Plus you gotta love that Ruth Bader Ginsburg follows with a concurrence that is just another little kick in the nuts while Texas is on the ground, saying, in essence, "What the fuck good is a motherfucking right if you can't use it, you pricks?"

We'll see how quickly the TRAP laws fall in the other states where legislators are trying to regulate abortion out of legal existence (while seeming to ignore the fact that abortions decrease if you make access to birth control easier - it's almost as if preventing abortions isn't their ultimate goal). But you can bet that the anti-choice forces are already gearing up for the next round of fuckery. They will be tossing those turds at the wall to see if they can get something to stick.

They are declaring that they will continue to "protect women's health and safety" from the "predatory abortion industry." It's that last piece, from the bugfuck insane Family Research Council, that gives a possible indication of what the next tactic will be. They've failed to use the medical side of things to regulate clinics completely out of business (although, congrats, cocks, you've sure fucked things up for a few years). So now it's time to put the moral and medical shit on the side and go after them as business entities. Yeah, let's predict that the next round will be about putting more and more tax and other business regulations on clinics. They've tested these kinds of things before, but that's the next direction to go whole hog.

Also, you can always use the states' rights bullshit to rally the idiots. Senator John Cornyn and Gov. Greg Abbott, both of Texas, issued statements that said something like "blah, blah, blah, states that hate women should be able to hurt women without not guv'mint tellin' us what we do to our little ladies."

So, yeah, this is a day to be relieved that the Supreme Court said that they really fucking meant it when they said that abortion is legal. But gear up for the next round. It's gonna come quickly. And there's also that presidential election and that empty ninth seat, which didn't matter this time, but, well, you know.


A Few Upsides of the Brexit Disaster

While the vote yesterday in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union is a giant roach fuckball of awful consequences, many still to come, and while it represents a triumph of xenophobia and outright racism over the forces of reason and sanity, a sign of the apocalypse, and a demonstration that the Great Stupiding of the world is fully upon us (more on that next week), hey, we're human, so let's go into the weekend with a teacup half-full attitude.

1. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's hair will make President Donald Trump's epic combover look positively normal.

2. A whole bunch of stiff upper lips are getting some much-needed exercise by quivering in fear and sadness.

3. Two words: Bargain corgis.

4. For Tony Blair alone: The smug satisfaction of knowing you are no longer the worst PM of the modern era.

5. For David Cameron alone: More time to stick your dick in a pig.

6. Pound notes will make good kindling when winter rolls around.

7. Much fewer annoying Spanish tourists in England. They'll all be heading to Scotland and Ireland.

8. Owners of curry houses in Birmingham won't have to worry about more competition coming in.

9. Young people in England now have the best reason to hate the elderly.

10. Good chance that, 28 days later, the country will be decimated by crazed zombies with a rage virus. So we get to see how that goes.

11. Maybe, just maybe, voters in the United States will think, "Huh. Voting for the crazy side might not be as fun as it sounds."


Terrorists Aren't Magic, Don't Have Superpowers

One thing that the Rude Pundit has never understood is why we endow terrorists with seemingly magical powers, as if they can just use their minds and a wave of their hands to make bridges explode and bullets pierce the hearts of the infidels. This mostly goes for Muslim terrorists. We haven't made the leap to thinking that dirt-poor whites who blow shit up or gun the fuck out of some business are anything more than the luckiest knuckle-draggers in the filthy cave.

But Muslim terrorists (or, more accurately, what we label "terrorists") are treated like they will go all Thanos on our puny asses, and, woe to us, we don't have any fucking Avengers to help us, so we have to pass laws and commit acts that just make us look like little pussies. See Gitmo, see the Patriot Act, see most every fake case that's ever been hyped up to justify the security state apparatus when it's really just some deranged fucker who said some stupid shit on an online forum and the FBI treated him like he had visited Fantasy Island for wannabe jihadists.

The hysteria that surrounds our every attempt to grapple with terrorism is just goddamned depressing. Even the term is bullshit, as in the well-worn but still potent argument about why, say, Omar Mateen was a terrorist but, say, Dylan Roof isn't. Both are deluded fucknuts who wanted to intimidate and harm people because they didn't conform to their fucked-up version of the world. Both got their radical ideologies online. Both wrote or proclaimed that they were bad-ass motherfuckers wrapped up in trying to bring about greater violence or take great selfies or something.

And the term is even more full of shit when you talk about "potential terrorists," as in the mystical files that make up the "Terrorist Watch List" (or, as the FBI calls it, the Terrorist Screening Database). As you might know, you don't get to know why you are on, say, the no-fly list. That's a secret, even from you, should you find out you can't board your plane, even if you're not hiding a box cutter in your anus.

But here we are, with Democrats going to the barricades to expand the use of the TSD, which can take away your rights without any due process or charge or ability to answer. Yesterday's thrilling sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives was about taking this abuse of power and expanding it to include gun sales. While you might think that it's awesome to prevent anyone from buying a gun, if you believe that people with scary names who might have done something to make the FBI think they might at some undefined date become terrorists, if you think the government should be able to make secret lists and deny civil liberties and rights (buying those weapons is still legal, no matter what you'd like), then you're kind of not a liberal anymore on this issue and the ACLU thinks you're full of shit.

The most generous reading of the sit-in is that John Lewis and the other Democrats wanted to do something, anything to break the logjam against action on gun control. If we can get this passed, then maybe universal background checks would be next. Or, in some ways, it's kind of clever to use the TSD to say, "Well, if you're gonna label people terrorists-in-waiting, then why the fuck would you let 'em buy guns?" And if this was an effort to delegitimize the whole damn list, that would be noble. Of course, it wasn't.

Meanwhile, on the right, we get a fanning of the flames of panic, from Donald Trump's anti-Muslim desire to "figure out what the hell is going on" to Republicans who are ready to scream that Muslim Magnetos are going to come to our homes and kill us all. This past weekend, the Rude Pundit was walking past protesters outside Trump International Hotel in Manhattan. Except they weren't protesting the baboon-haired hate-seller. They were there to protest the United States allowing Syrian refugees into this country. They equated the refugees with ISIS. And even when it comes to ISIS, that, right there, is hysteria, without any facts, any truth, just purely projecting a fictional fantasy evil onto some really very ordinary criminals.

Until we learn to calm the fuck down, at the personal and the political levels, about terrorism, until we learn to separate fantastical fears from mundane reality, with a good dose of caution and awareness, we're doomed to keep pretending like we're doing good when, really, we're just playing cruel games with people's lives.


Donald Trump Maturely Masturbates to Make America Great Again

It was something of a miracle, the pundits and political consultants declared. For the first time since he became the presumptive nominee for president, Republican Donald Trump did not appear in public to masturbate furiously and violently.

Previously, every time Trump got behind a lectern or mike stand, he'd reach into his suit pants and yank out his semi-erect prick and jack off horrifyingly, smacking it down and punching it as he roared and screamed in pain and ecstasy, squeezing his nuts before beating them with the microphone, yowling like a wounded bison on a burning prairie as he came, bucking and thrusting in reaction, and then shoving his bloodied, bruised junk back into his silk drawers. Entertaining as hell, to be sure, but disturbing as fuck. For the most part, crowds loved it, and they would rush the stage when he was done to lap up the dribbled semen off the floor where Trump had just stood.

This kind of injurious self-pleasure might work in the primaries. But, certainly, he'd have to change for the general election, at some point. So it was that Trump came out to speak at the Trump Soho in New York City, which you know got paid a mighty sum for the privilege of hosting the event. The GOP's standard bearer dropped his pants, stepped out of them, and folded them with great decorum, as if he was participating in a ritual as old as the nation. Then he calmly took out his small, flaccid penis and gently stroked himself to as full an erection as a man his age might get.

"Today I‘d like to share my thoughts about the stakes in this election," he said, and everyone instinctively flinched, as if he was about to jizz immediately. Instead, Trump took out some skin moisturizer and pumped it into his wee hands. All lubed up, he began to pull on his pud with diligence, rhythm, and purpose. "The insiders wrote the rules of the game to keep themselves in power and in the money. That’s why we’re asking Bernie Sanders’ voters to join our movement," he exclaimed, perhaps forgetting, perhaps ignoring the fact that he had called the Vermont senator "Crazy Bernie, crazy as a bedbug" just last week.

Yes, Trump maintained this mellower pace. Oh, sure, a few times it seemed like he was going to punish his own pecker, veering into the realm of insult with "Hillary Clinton may be the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency." But he always proceeded with the focus of someone who is wanking on principle, the most noble wanking there is. Even as he pulled in Benghazi and Libya and the email server and people killed by undocumented immigrants, Trump stayed on task, maintaining a nearly martial precision to his rhythm.

By the time he got to the end, with his declaration of "We are going to make America rich again. We are going to make America safe again. We are going to make America Great Again – and Great Again For everyone," he silently paused and brought himself to orgasm, closing his eyes as his dickhole spit out a bare drop or two of spooge. It was quickly wiped up by an aide. Then he merely tucked himself back in, quietly put back on his pants, waved to the crowd, and walked out.

The gathered reporters and voters were besides themselves with awe. "Is this the "new," "mature" Trump?" they wondered. They wanted to know if this was the mythical pivot from blithering primary idiocy to more considered general election rhetoric. Yes, he did exploit the very things that people have been told to hate about Hillary Clinton, a litany that anyone who pays attention to politics could rattle off readily. Yes, he delivered his broadside as if he hadn't just been given electric shocks to his nipples. You could practically hear the glee in the voices of the CNN and MSNBC anchors as they reported on the new version of the new, reasonable, calmer Trump, like this might actually become a close race.

Calmer, perhaps, but, for fuck's sake, do we not notice that he's still just jacking off on us?


So You've Decided to Assassinate Donald Trump...

So you've decided to assassinate Donald Trump. If so, this pamphlet is for you.

You might think you have the best intentions, like killing the man who would bring misery to millions if he's elected president. Or you might think that you're going to be the one to stop New Hitler. Or maybe you just don't like his stupid face. If this describes you, read on for a few things to bear in mind as you pack your gun and figure out your escape route or the best place to stand if you're going for the suicide bombing.

First, let's imagine that you've succeeded, that the Secret Service or the police didn't take you down, that you were able to get past security and shoot him right in the heart or go all sniper from a distance or blow him up. Your success is not a reason to celebrate with your anarchist or whatever pals or your fellow dead Muslims. In fact, you should anticipate that you might unleash unintended reactions.

1. Chances are that your actions would give every Trump-loving yahoo with some assault-type weaponry the excuse to go completely bugfuck insane and things'd get mighty shooty pretty quickly. The Republican candidate has attracted lots of gun-humpers who love to sashay around outside his events like debutantes showing off the latest taffeta fashion statements. They are just aching, throbbing, and aroused, hoping that they'll get the sign that the liberal genocide can begin. Your murder of their tangerine godhead would be as good a reason as any to declare the war has begun.

2. Dead Trump is not necessarily any less powerful than Live Trump. As any crazed religious zealot will tell you between barking maniacal prayers about eternal pain and wrath and other shit, a martyr can have as much or more of an effect than some raving fucknut. All of a sudden, even those who are not inclined to get all bullet-happy will feel as if they have to act to redeem the beliefs of the murdered cult leader...sorry, candidate. There will always be opportunists who will step in to fill the void left by the bloodied, cold corpse of Donald Trump. They are his true heirs, they will say, the ones who will build a wall with the bones of their enemies, with a moat filled by refugee children's tears. They are even more devolved versions of the debased man himself. We can call them "Sarah Palin."

3. And you'd end up making the repressive security apparatus kick into high gear as the federal government, spurred by rabid Republicans who will newly find their love of Trump, releases all of its tyrannical powers on anyone who has even whispered a vaguely threatening thing about the candidate. Like a certain blogger who regularly tweets about the need to punch Trump in the nuts.

4. Chances are that you won't succeed in assassinating Donald Trump. But you might maim him, and, if history and movies have taught us anything, a wounded crazy man is infinitely more dangerous than a whole one. Let's not even get into what would happen if you missed your shot and took out Melania, but, certainly, the word "purge" would come up. You will also have a semi-martyr effect, except now Trump with an eye patch and half a nose will be endowed with some kind of mystical powers, as if he can't be killed. This would have the inevitable result of drawing a sympathy vote and will more than likely create the exact opposite effect than the one you desire.

So sit tight, dear assassin, and just don't do it. You don't need to worry about taking out Trump. He's doing a good enough job of that without your interference.

(Note: If you are a time traveler who was sent back here to prevent a dystopian hellscape from occurring, or if you've got Dead Zone-like psychic powers and can see Trump blowing up the world, well, you do what you think is best.)


A Millennial Speaks: Thank You, Bernie Sanders

This blogger has mentioned his contentious discussions with the millennial generation. So he reached out to one, R. Sharp, to see where he stood on moving forward in a post-Bernie election. This is what he wrote. It's optimistic in a way that younger people need to be, but it's realistic in that it's tempered with an understanding of the work that still needs to be done. Check it out:

Thank You, Bernie Sanders

In this year's election cycle we have seen many different views of what America should look like according to a few handpicked, privileged individuals. Like many others, I didn't really give a shit what these corporate puppets had to say. In my mind this country was set in its ways and nothing would ever change. It wasn't until the junior senator from Vermont changed that perception. Bernie Sanders showed me that there was at least one person in Washington who truly cared about the rest of us. His call for economic, racial, and political justice was new and refreshing to me. His so-called "radical" ideas for breaking up the big banks and providing free college tuition and healthcare struck a chord with me. Bernie Sanders made me want to learn more about politics and how our government works.

For months I did my research, constantly watching CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. I read online articles from opposing sides of each issue and watched countless documentaries that forced me to question my convictions or my lack of them. Never in my life had I cared this much about politics. Bernie was a saint to me, always calling out the injustices in our society and laying out coherent plans to fix them. He spoke of the greed of the 1% and how they managed to make billions for themselves while countless starving children spent their nights on the streets with no hope for a better life. I asked myself: What could I do to change this? I found the rather obvious answer quickly: I could vote.

The voting process was always sort of a scam to me. It was just the government trying to convince the common people they had a voice that could change things, when, in reality, they already had everything predetermined, bought and paid for. It wasn't until my searching opened my eyes and made me realize the true power of the vote. I immediately registered and took every opportunity I had to spread the word among my friends, co-workers, and peers. The message was simple, maybe even naive: you can have an impact on our society if you vote.

So now here we are, five months from another election that will shape the future of our nation. Sadly, Bernie has been defeated in his bid for the White House. However, his ideals and proposals have shaken the foundation of the Democratic Party, if not all of American politics. His words have resonated with millions in every state, and he has gathered a dedicated following of young people.

My message to those who are disappointed with Sanders' primary loss is this: Stay with it. Use that fire you have burning within and put it in action. Stand up for the change you want to see, stand up for what's right, and please, for the love of God, stand up and vote in November. If you are a Bernie supporter who doesn't care anymore because he is out of the race, reevaluate yourself. Remember how Bernie inspired you to give a damn.  Vote for what Bernie stands for, but more importantly vote for what you stand for. Vote so that Bernie’s beliefs can at least have a chance to become real with the next president. If you don't, we could end up with an orange-skinned super villain in office come January.

I've had to face that the American dream as we thought we knew it is dead and gone. So many people in this country are doomed to failure the second after they are born. Whether it's because of where they live, how much money their parents make, or the color of their skin, there are millions of us who will never have the opportunity to better themselves.

When I was in grade school my teacher asked the class a simple question: What is the American dream? My friend's hand shot up immediately. "The American dream is when you make a lot of money and don't have to work," he said.

My teacher was in shock, he shook his head and rubbed his eyes. "That's what's wrong with your generation," he said. "The American dream is about being self sufficient and supporting those you love, it's about having opportunities open for you regardless of class and social status. Everyone gets a shot at success." You can imagine how a room full of adolescents reacted to this. No one cared. We thought Teach had lost his grip with reality. It wasn't until now that I realize what he meant and what’s been lost and how we might get it back.

Thank you, Bernie Sanders, for inspiring me to care about the future of this country. For opening my eyes and allowing me to see the world through a different lens. Thank you for your spirit, and, most of all, thank you for making me wake up and join the fight.


Photos That Really Bring the Awfulness of this Week Together in One Idiotic Image

Left to right, those men with the guns are Bifkin, Gooch, the Grundle, and Uncle Taint. They were outside the boot-scootin' joint, Gilley's, in Dallas yesterday where Donald Trump was continuing his election year road show, What Crazy Shit Will This Dumbfuck Say Today?

The Perineum Four up there wanted to show how much they love them some Second Amendment and, to them, a spray-tanned man who lives in a fancy golden apartment is just the candidate to stand up for them and their mighty weapons of self-defense and ground-standing. Well, Trump did say his daughter was hot enough for him to date, so they probably understand him better than most.

It's the perfect image for the end of this terrible week, only missing a t-shirt with Vladimir Putin riding an alligator on it: A quartet of skeevy men, armed and hoping it's gonna be go time some day, outside a political rally where a candidate tells them everything they feel about outsiders and Mooslims is right.

Fuck this week. Fuck this year. Fuck this election. But mostly, today, fuck those four poor suckers who have bought into every lie shoved into their brains by Alex Jones, Sean Hannity, and, yeah, the modern Republican Party. They're pathetic men who believe that their masculinity and their freedom are measured by their ability to keep and bear as many fuckin' arms as they can afford, not understanding how very weak and scared they actually seem.


Once Upon a Time, the United States Believed in Genuine Gun Control

Nearly fifty years ago, in the wake of the assassinations of MLK and RFK and not that long after JFK, there was a moment when the United States Congress actually considered, seriously, strict gun control laws. As part of an omnibus crime bill that was debated in June of 1968, shortly after Bobby Kennedy was shot dead, gun registration and licensing was on the table. It was a fascinating debate in the nation, with bizarro bedfellows, as well as organizations and the media taking stands that not only seem surprising now, but are considered downright un-American in many quarters.

In a cover story on Time magazine for June 21, 1968 was "The Gun Under Fire," with a Roy Lichtenstein image of a gun pointing at the reader. The article contains a paragraph that is unthinkable in a mainstream magazine today: "High on the list of reforms sought by many gun-control advocates is a system of dual registration, similar to the one for autos. The driver is licensed, and his vehicle is registered separately. The same principle could apply to guns - licensing for the owner, registration for each of his firearms. It would be a nuisance, to be sure, but, given the destructive power of guns, it would hardly be an outrageous imposition in an industrial society that demands registration of cars, businesses, private planes, dogs and marriages, as well as prescriptions for many mild drugs. Even the Bedouins of Jordan, rootless wanderers and fierce individualists all, are required to register their rifles with desert police."

The attitude there is one of "No shit. What kind of assholes wouldn't agree to this?"

In fact, the Republican Governors Conference approved of greater gun control in their June meeting in 1968, and the U.S. Mayors Conference recommended banning handgun ownership for anyone but law enforcement. The thinking among many conservatives was that the gun nuts were fucking everything up for the hunters. And a majority of Americans, 84%, supported strong gun control legislation.

One extraordinary moment was President Lyndon Johnson's message to Congress on gun control as the bill was being debated. "I propose, first, the national registration of every gun in America," Johnson said. "Registration will tell us how many guns there are, where they are, and in whose hands they are held." He also proposed licensing. And, in case anyone wanted to fuck with the man with the big dick, he continued, "Nothing in these proposals will impair the legitimate ownership or use of guns in this country...Nor are they threats to the mystique of manhood or to the heritage of our people...The only heritage that is harmed is the record of violent death and destruction that shames our history."

If President Obama even hinted at this, he would be lynched faster than you can say, "NRA." But here we were, in a time when we were allowed to talk about everything up to and including confiscation of and outlawing handguns.

In the end, this debate was the event that made the NRA shift into full-on batshit paranoia. And the organization had some interesting partners in this. The Black Panthers, for example, feared that registration would allow their guns to be confiscated. Leftists wanted to be able to keep their guns as self-defense against the "abundantly armed" state. Sounds horribly familiar, no?

The gun control law that did pass contained some provisions about the sale and transfer of firearms, but, as LBJ admitted after signing it, it fell far, far short of what he felt was needed. Of course, these days, those provisions about the importation and shipping of certain guns would be considered an attempt to go into a gun owner's home, kill their family, rape their dog, and take their guns out of their cold, dead asses. Not necessarily in that order.

Since then, the whole window of what can be accomplished on gun control has closed more and more. We once could get an assault weapons ban or a waiting period. Now, even after yesterday's really beautiful filibuster by a large number of senators, the best we can hope for is that the people on the perverse (and punitive) terrorist watch list will be prevented from buying guns and maybe expanded background checks. Registration and licensing is not something you can even bring up without being considered an insane radical. We have devolved since the 1960s. And we can barely conceive of reducing the number of guns.

Oh, one more thing about 1968. On May 27, just 10 days before his murder, Robert Kennedy was speaking in Roseburg, Oregon, and good many people in the crowd were angry at his support of gun control measures. Kennedy was booed as he defended the proposals. One man told Kennedy that he was against gun control because "Nazi Germany started with the registration of guns." Yeah, nothing's new. Nothing.  Kennedy's caravan would head south, down the West Coast, towards his nearly inevitable end.


Queering the Killing, Killing the Queer

When we were younger, we would go every weekend to Strokes in Lafayette, Louisiana. Hell, sometimes we'd even go on weeknights if we just felt like dancing our asses off for a while. We, all of us, the queers, the straights, the bis, we'd shake and groove as a group, as couples, even solo, if the mood was right and the drugs and liquor had drop-kicked inhibitions out into the humid night outside. We'd show up for the drag nights, watching cross-dressers do their Judy Garland or Janet Jackson, cheering and treating them like the divas they were. Strokes was, ostensibly, a gay nightclub, and the bathrooms there were legendary for a quick hookup, but mostly it was the one place in town that accepted all of us so we just be who we were without anyone needing to pretend.

In south Louisiana in the 1980s, going to a place like Strokes was an act of rebellion, a giant middle finger, a "Suck my dick" to the hateful forces of the Christians and the conservatives, the Catholics and the evangelicals, the dumb and the sexually-repressed, all telling us that we were wrong, that we were deserving of their hate. During this time, the memory of the 1973 arson fire at the UpStairs Lounge, a gay bar in New Orleans where 30 people died, was still strong with the patrons at Strokes.

Strokes used to be just off one of the main thoroughfares in Lafayette, on Johnston Street, behind the strip mall that once housed Raccoon Records. It was back a bit, somewhat out of sight. You more or less had to know it was there or you wouldn't notice it. The outside was nondescript. Just a regular wood-framed building with only a small sign denoting what was there. Inside, the dance floor was the center of the room, the stage area for the drag queens was just off to the left, the bar on the right, tables all around. The lights were a kaleidoscopic wonder, dizzying and disorienting, especially when a scented fog was blown over the crowd. It was always packed on weekends, and we were almost always there until closing at 2 a.m.

And we dreaded leaving. Because, see, once we exited the doorway at Strokes, at the end of a night, sweaty, exhausted, most of us drunk or high, laughing, ready to go to the late night all-you-can-eat pizza buffet down the street so we had something to puke up in the morning, we had to face the assholes who always hung out in the parking lot waiting for their turn to yell at us. They weren't there every time, but they were there enough, prepared to make us feel like shit pretty quickly. It was a group of young men - it was always men - who gathered to drink beer and yell, "Fag" and "Fruit" and "Cocksucker" and "Dyke" and anything else, like this was their evening revelry. Mostly, we'd just ignore them and go to our cars. Every now and then, one of them would actually try to get in one of our faces, usually Ronald's, since he was the thinnest, least threatening of our group. A couple of times they'd throw beer bottles at us, shattering on the ground near us.

It was fucked-up, but it never got worse than that. Two people in our group would be beaten for being queer elsewhere. But the gaybashers outside Strokes never took a swing.

And no one ever hurt anyone inside the club. It was an oasis. It doesn't exist anymore, but other oases exist everywhere, places where you are just free.

So it's impossible to comprehend the violation that occurred with the Orlando massacre at the Pulse nightclub if you don't take into account that a safe space, a real safe space, has been desecrated. And one of the saddest parts of this whole thing is that Omar Mateen was either going to Pulse to case the joint repeatedly or, more likely, he, too, felt safe there. More and more it seems like he was trying to cope with his innate queerness, something that neither marriage to women nor prayer was helping, something that his father told him was an abomination and would get him punished by their Muslim God. Mateen's actions in murdering 49 people were monstrous and unforgivable, not least because he decided to bring the hatred of himself and the still-strong hatred from the outside world into the safe space, the place of celebration, the place where, as we know from the victims, queer and straight, primarily Latino, primarily young, acceptance was available, at least inside the club's walls.

Yeah, this is an over-romanticized vision of gay nightclubs. But you cannot separate a mass shooting from the space where it occurred. If one happens at a school or a workplace or a movie theater playing a particular film, those have meaning. As does this one. You cannot talk about the Orlando massacre and leave out that it was an attack on the gay community. That's like talking about Newtown and leaving out that most of the victims were small children.

Queer these killings because this was about killing the queer.


Donald Trump Is ISIS's Dream Candidate for President

The first question this here blogger thought of after listening to Donald Trump yesterday was "What the fuck do you think England, Germany, and our closest allies are going to do when you refuse to allow their Muslim citizens into the United States, you blithering orangutan abortion?" Because one way to make it pretty fucking clear that we're at war with Islam is to treat Islamic people like they are guilty of crimes they didn't commit, don't support, and are pretty fucking pissed about.

ISIS couldn't have asked for a better candidate to be running for president. If Trump were to win, it would be like Eid all year long for them. What more could a terrorist ask for from a decadent Western country? It would run nonstop on ISIS websites: Mega-rich hedonist Donald Trump, proclaiming he loves Jesus and hugging the American flag, in his gold-plated penthouse that makes Saddam Hussein's decorating taste look minimalist, on his private jet, in photos with mostly naked women. And then, when he goes on one of his tears about how the United States needs to go after members of the "Muslim community" who he thinks are supporting terrorists and how mosques need to be held responsible, just edit that shit and there's your recruitment video for the next generation or so.

Didn't we learn a goddamned thing after 9/11? Trump is so proud of his lie that he never supported the invasion of Iraq (when, in reality, he turned against it when pretty much the entire nation was turning against it), that it was a mistake, that he would never make that mistake, that he wouldn't overreact in that way. But his entire "plan" for dealing with "radical Islam" is to overreact like a paranoid schizophrenic on PCP discovering a mosquito stinging him. By the time he's done, he'll have scratched off his skin and be bleeding to death, but, goddamnit, he's not itching anymore.

Everything we did in the years after 9/11 played into the hands of al Qaeda. Every. Fucking. Thing. From Gitmo and Abu Ghraib to the Iraq "war" that helped drag down the economy to the terror alerts that were meant to keep the entire population shit-scared. And here comes this fucking flaming lunatic declaring that the best thing to do is demonize Muslims, torture prisoners, and bomb "the hell" out of places that we're already bombing the hell out of. Oh, and then pretend like this is a more sensible policy than every fucking thing we did after 9/11. It's like ISIS said, "We need someone who is going to alienate America's allies and enrage even larger segments of the Muslim world than President Drone Murder. Oh, hey, who is that the Republicans nominated? Fuck, yeah, motherfuckers, that persimmon-colored man is a gift from God right there."

Today, President Obama, finally had enough of listening to Trump (and, let's be honest here, many other conservatives) whimper their pitiable whines of "He won't say, 'Radical Islam.'" He showed Trump his pimp hand and back-slapped him: "Are we going to start treating all Muslim Americans differently? Are we going to start subjecting them to special surveillance? Are we going to start discriminating against them because of their faith? We’ve heard these suggestions during the course of this campaign. Do Republican officials actually agree with this? Because that's not the America we want. It doesn't reflect our democratic ideals. It won’t make us more safe; it will make us less safe -- fueling ISIL’s notion that the West hates Muslims, making young Muslims in this country and around the world feel like no matter what they do, they're going to be under suspicion and under attack." And he couldn't have had more contempt in his voice than when he said the phrase "politicians who tweet." He might as well have been spitting in Trump's stupid face.

It's really this simple: If you support Donald Trump, you are giving aid and comfort to ISIS, more clearly than just about any Muslim in the world.

Late Post Today

Still wiping off the grime from a hike in the right-wing shitpile. 

Back later with more mucky rudeness. 


The Terms of Our Surrender to Our Domestic Terrorists, the NRA

Yesterday, if you listened to President Obama offer words of comfort and resolve on the worst mass shooting in U.S. history at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, you heard something that hadn't been there in any of the twenty other times Obama spoke after such violence: resignation. "This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or a movie theater, or in a nightclub," he said. "And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be. And to actively do nothing is a decision as well."

That tone of nihilism over the possibility of any real change in the gun laws of the country continued in his briefing to the press today. Obama commented, "We are also going to have to have to make sure that we think about the risks we are willing to take by being so lax in how we make very powerful firearms available to people in this country. And this is something that obviously I’ve talked about for a very long time."

We can sit here and get angry all over again. We can get angry at the Islamic fundamentalism that is functionally a kind of sociopathy, if not outright mental illness, as is the fundamentalism of any faith. We can get angry at the homophobia that right-wing politicians and pundits traffic in, often hand-in-hand with the mentally-ill Christian fundamentalists, the kind of hatred that gives silent approval to acts of violence against the LGBT community. We can get angry at politicians who refuse to do anything more than feel sorry for the victims. But the part we should be most angry about is the failure of the United States as a nation to pass any meaningful restrictions on gun ownership in the wake of a series of increasingly horrific attacks by primarily men armed with guns.

In this way, the National Rifle Association, as a body that threatens the careers of lawmakers who would vote against it and that warns that a country with fewer guns would lead to tyranny and criminal rampages, has become a domestic terrorist organization, one whose primary method is psychological attack and the undermining of democracy. Those who follow its dictates are individual terrorists who commit violent acts in the name of the terrorist organization and its radical ideology. And as things exist now, the United States has surrendered to the NRA.

We are living under the terms of that surrender, hoping that it doesn't get any worse. The NRA has millions of sleeper cells around the country, all armed with guns, even military-style rifles, awaiting some event that triggers them to action: anger at some group, loud music, walking while black, going to school. Many others have been indoctrinated into a radical ideology that says they must feel safe, even if that risks the safety of others around them, even if the threats they fear are rare or nonexistent.

In return for our surrender, the NRA has agreed to...what? Not support personal ownership of rocket launchers and grenades? We know that it can't control its lone wolves and ideology-inspired acolytes.

Under the terms of our surrender, we agree to endure regular gun massacres without changing any of the lax gun laws that make it possible for almost anyone to purchase a weapon that can allow a single person to kill dozens of others. We agree to not even talk about outlawing guns. We agree to adjust our frame of reference after every "worst mass shooting," recalibrating from 20 to 32 to, now, 50. In this way, the next time we hear about an event where 4 or 5 or 10 people are gunned down, we can think, "Well, at least it's not 50" and forget about it. We agree to keep electing lawmakers who continuously vote with the NRA, ensuring that only their support of the gun control will harm them. We agree to mourn and pray for the dead and not question when someone who is opposed to any gun laws says they are mourning and praying. We agree to pretend that suggesting that more guns is the answer isn't complete and utter madness.

We agree to die quietly, lest we disturb the delicate sensibilities of the gun owners.

We have surrendered, yes, and we just blindly hope that it doesn't get worse, yet it always does.


Tales of Trump: "My Father Turned Him Down for a Loan"

From rude reader Mary S. over on the Facebook, we get another of the growing red tide of tales about how Donald Trump is a shitty businessman, whether he's dicking over small business owners or banks. This story is purely anecdotal, but it certainly fits into the pattern we've been hearing about for a long damn time about Trump.

"My father actually turned Donald Trump down for a loan. Really. He told him to his face that Trump Enterprises didn't meet the bank's standards for creditworthiness. My father also broke a longstanding personal rule about never speaking ill of anyone he's done business with, for Trump. He told my mother that Donald Trump had 'the WORST business ethics of any businessman I've ever encountered in my entire professional career.' That was saying something.

"I was not there (of course) and didn't witness it personally, but my mother has told me about it, and it's the main reason why she cannot vote for Trump. He asked my father, 'Whose standards are those?'

"My dad replied, 'Since I'm the VP of the real estate development loans department, they are my standards.' Donald Trump then 'threatened' to take his case to the board of directors. My father told him to have at it, the board would side with him. The board sided with my father."

Sometimes, your parents can be goddamned superheroes facing down supervillains.

Responding to this, reader Brian M. added some larger context: "As a retired banker who never did business with Trump, this comment does not surprise me. I have met people like him in the course of my career, though not as rich as Trump claims to be. They are always looking for an angle were they can gain an advantage at someone else's cost. They have no moral compass when it comes to business except what's in it for them. They will say anything, promise anything because truth is relative to the moment and irrelevant in the long run. They are morally corrupt in their business life and usually also in their personal life. Commitments last for a moment and then they rapidly become an anachronism of the past with no purpose in the present. Their promises (campaign and otherwise) are worth as much as the Munich Agreement.

"By the way, most people I dealt with were honest, hard-working people who understood fairness and honesty and expected it from me as much as I expected it from them."

Makes you wonder how a President Trump would think about treaties when he was willing to go to court to prevent payment of $17,000 to a chandelier maker because his work was so shoddy, according to Trump, yet Trump wanted to hire him again. (Yeah, that's a true story.)

If you yourself have Tales of Trump, feel free to send them on over to that email address over there on the side. Hell, maybe we'll even come up with a few totally fictional ones, like how Trump refused to pay a Vegas hooker because "in my America, blow jobs where the chick don't swallow are half-price."

(You can have a big time over on the Rude Pundit's Facebook page. A helluva lot of smart people say smart things smartly - and, like every party, occasionally some asshole comes rolling in to break shit before being tossed. Since comments aren't allowed on this here example of bloggery, the conversation can be rollicking over there.)


Regarding Hillary Clinton's Nomination: Could Everyone Shut the Fuck Up for a Minute and Enjoy the Historic Moment?

When Sandra Day O'Connor was nominated by conservative love god Ronald Reagan for the Supreme Court, the very liberal National Organization for Woman called it a "victory," despite the fact that O'Connor was and remains a Republican. She won unanimous support from the Senate Judiciary Committee, even though she would not give up how she'd vote on abortion cases. The final vote in the full Senate was 99-0 to confirm her (Max Baucus was absent that day or it would have been 100-0). That's everyone from Strom Thurmond to Ted Kennedy voting for her. There are lots of reasons why any of them cast the vote they did, but one thing you can say for sure is that they all put aside their goddamned differences, shut the fuck up, and appreciated that they were doing something that had never been done in American history in confirming a (very qualified) woman to be on the Supreme Court.

Obviously, times change, discourse coarsens, the world turns, all that shit. And the presidency is obviously different than one justice out of nine. While we shouldn't expect much from Republicans who have been conditioned to automatically despise everything she does, some Democrats ought to be able to pause their screaming of "Shilling for Shillary" for a few fucking seconds and appreciate that our party just nominated Hillary Clinton, the first woman ever from one of the major parties, one election day away from being president.

And Hillary Clinton is the nominee. You might not like it. You might think that Bernie Sanders needs to fight to the convention. You might think the system is rigged. You might believe that Clinton's camp stole something or other. You might not like Hillary Clinton as a person or a politician. But she's the nominee. It's over. Time to recalibrate your thinking.

This here blog post ain't an attempt to convince you to vote for Clinton, although you're kind of a fucking idiot if you don't (and you're a complete fucking idiot if you turn from Sanders to Donald Trump, which means you never cared about Sanders's issues, just fucking with "the system," or at least your idiot understanding of it).

This is just a pause to acknowledge that Clinton's nomination is a big fucking deal. As President Obama said, she is eminently qualified for the job. She was a great senator, and her tenure as Secretary of State actually involved more than Benghazi and her email server, although that's all the fuck you hear about. We have plenty of time to complain about her coziness with Wall Street, with her hawkishness, her coziness with tyrants, and more.

But, goddamnit, if you can't understand how big this is, how important this is, if that gets lost while you're still feeling the Bern or just can't get past that icky feeling that has been injected into you by decades of right-wing media, then you are missing out. You are missing actual history, as important  as nominating the first African American, as game-changing as allowing same sex couples to wed.

This celebration is going to get ruined pretty goddamn quickly by Trump and his dwindling allies. So maybe take a few seconds to calm the fuck down and say, "Yeah, this is pretty fucking amazing that this finally happened in my lifetime."


I Went to Trump Golf Club to Watch Trump Last Night and Today I Don't Feel Good About America

When the large room in the clubhouse at the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York, was filled with friends and relatives and members last night just before Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump entered to speak, I thought, "If the Ebola virus showed up and went through this place, making everyone shit themselves dry while they bleed out of their nipples and eyes until dead, the world would be a better place by several degrees."

I was there as a credentialed member of the press, along with my co-conspirator in these things, Jeff Kreisler, and while watching Trump on television is enough to make you have a stroke, being there in person gave me the feeling that acid was going to bore a hole in my stomach. It wasn't so much his speech, which was on a teleprompter and he riffed on it like a dissonant jazz musician. It was the atmosphere of the event.

For instance, one thing you don't get a sense of from the TV screens is just how disturbingly robotic his family is. They entered with him, Melania, the grown-up kids, their grown-up wives, and lined up behind him. And they just stood there for the entire time. It was goddamned creepy, like they were just waiting for an Eyes Wide Shut orgy to start later on and the Klonopin had taken the edge off.

All the Stepford Wives up there have the same hair style. All the men have resting asshole face.

Trump himself was, as you've read or heard, a great deal more subdued than usual. That didn't mean he wasn't batshit insane. But he has learned to lie and exaggerate with such aplomb that he could be up there saying that he pisses high-quality Chardonnay and you'd think he actually believes it because someone told him it's true and then he'd bottle his piss and sell it as Trump Vintage.

Multiple times in the short evening, Jeff had to talk me out of leaping up and yelling, "Bullshit" or "Blow me" or "You lie." I wanted to ask the reporters why they didn't do it all the time. (Jeff said that if I was going to get thrown out of an event, this would probably be where I would be hurt least.) Multiple times, Trump expressed how great he was and how grateful we should be for him and what sacrifices he is making for us. "I didn't need to do this," he said. "It's not easy, believe me, I didn't need to do it, but I felt I had to give back to our wonderful country which has been so good to me and to my family... Better hope I'm president."

Trump was Trump was Trump, the eternal asshole, Barnum without the charm, the grifter in his greatest con. He promised to attack Hillary Clinton, whose name was booed multiple times, and he promised things that, if a Democrat promised them, she'd be called a crazy socialist: "Every American worker of every background is entitled to the same benefits, protections and rights and privileges." Well, sure, but, like so many things Trump said, like about infrastructure spending and schools "failing," someone needed to say, "Who the fuck made that happen? The Democrats who tried to pass spending bills or the Republicans who blocked them?"

What was disturbing, though, was the whole zeitgeist in the room. You just see reporters and Trump. There is so very much more. Before the event began, we were treated to a parade of sycophants. Apprentice contestant Omarosa was there and, as pretty much the only African American in the room other than some of the people on cameras, she was instantly everyone's "I have a black friend" friend, posing for tons of photos. Fox "news" was on all the large TVs, forcing us to see Bill O'Reilly.  Then, just before Trump spoke, a parade of wealthy people entered to take their seats; a bunch of them were older men with slicked-back hair, looking like stereotypes of mobbed-up goombahs, all with spray-tanned, multi-bejeweled trophy wives. There were old money couples, walking around like they owned the joint because, you know, they kind of did.

And they became Trump's slavering fan club, cheering like deranged teenagers at a One Direction show, chanting his name every chance they had. It was so insidious. What you didn't get was that when Trump said, "[W]e are all suffering and we're suffering big league and it's getting worse," a roomful of extremely rich fucks cheered in agreement. Yeah, they were suffering, these pampered pricks and pussies who probably made more money under the Obama administration than in the rest of their luxurious lives.

One thought stuck with me. It didn't matter one rat's fart who became president to these people. It wouldn't change anything. They would still be privileged and powerful, so all they really gave a goddamn about was seeing their friend Donald get elected because wouldn't it be a gas to go to parties he would throw at the White House.

Jesus, how they yelled and clapped in approval when Trump said, "We're going to rebuild our inner cities, which are absolutely a shame and so sad. We're going to take care of our African-American people that have been mistreated for so long." Forget the phrase "our African America people," as if he's sharing them with us. Who the fuck says these things in a country club with a $200,000 membership fee? And how is that not mentioned in every fucking report about the event? No Democrat would make a victory speech at a country club. They might have fundraisers there, which sucks, but Hillary Clinton was at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a big space with a working class history. Even if it's become another gentrified area now, at least it made some sense.

After the speech, I just wanted to get the fuck out of there. Jeff wanted to talk to people. After a brief, douchey conversation with some younger guys, we talked to an older couple. Jeff took the woman; I took the dapper-dressed man who indicated that he knows Trump personally. I asked him what surprised him about the evening. "The teleprompter," he said. "It's the first time I've seen Donald use one, and I thought it worked." Was it because it kept him from going off on tangents? He explained, "People don't understand Donald. He is just a brilliant guy, and he has so many innovative ideas going through his head at all times that he just can't express what he's really trying to say." Trying not to look at him like he just grew a horn out of his head, I asked for an example. "Like the things he said about the judge. Why can't he say that? Why can't he say that the judge is biased because he's Mexican? Donald wasn't being racist. He was just stating the truth." I pointed out that perhaps people were uncomfortable because if we were president, he'd get to choose judges. That brought the conversation to a quick end.

I left Briarcliff Manor despairing about the nation. Millions of people had voted for this charlatan. And the next five months are going to be just awful. I told Jeff on the drive back that I think that Trump is going to lose, but he's going to do real harm to the country. He doesn't give a shit how much hate and violence he causes. He can just helicopter away from it, off to his next playground for the ludicrously rich, floating above us, pretending he knows us.

(I was disappointed that it wasn't a press conference, as had originally been promised. I had a question in mind, a little test for Trump. I was going to ask, "Can you tell us about one regular person you met on the campaign trail?" Just to see if he could.)


Trump University's Surveys Are Utter Bullshit

Today, American's angriest Oompa-Loompa, Donald Trump, released a statement where he said, in essence, "When I said all that stuff about the race of Judge Curiel, I was totally not racist." As he always does when talking about the case against Trump University, the get-rich-quick seminars he used to bilk desperate dummies out of millions of dollars, Trump cited the surveys of student satisfaction, saying that most of the "10,000 paying students" gave the scam high marks. And he encouraged people to go to the conveniently named website 98percentapproval.com, where the surveys have been posted.

Trump is anxious to quote people who said nice things and point to the actual ratings people gave on the surveys. He's right: most of the surveys show seminar attendees gave high marks at the end of the three days of sessions. Check out the thing:

Of the seven questions there, four are about the actual instructors (called the "Speaker" and the "Team"). If you've spent time with a person who is nice to you for a few days, you're naturally going to give them a thumbs-up. These are sales people. They are supposed to make you feel good about yourself. You'll notice, though, that, except for the first person, students were not asked about the expertise of any of the other instructors or assistants.

For that matter, how would these complete naifs about real estate and wealth management know if they were being given good information? They wouldn't until they attempted to apply it in the real world. The same goes for the questions about the "usefulness" and "relevance" of the seminars. The surveys are utter bullshit, completely worthless except as a quick glimpse into what the "students" thought in the hurried moments at the end of the presentations. Hey, you paid 35 grand to be there. You'd look like an idiot if you didn't say it was awesome.

Also, notice that the respondents could choose to put their names, which almost all of them did (or why would it need to be blocked out?).

So you joined these seminars with the understanding that it might bring you closer to Donald Trump (that's a skeevy thought) because he might make you his money buddy or something. When you're given a chance to give your name so that he might notice it, no shit you're gonna do it. And no shit you're gonna say nice things and give excellent scores to the course because if you say it was a waste of time and money, Donald Trump isn't going to invite you to go nail some Russian strange on a private jet on its way to Las Vegas. (And, in case you didn't put your name at the top, you're asked to sign the form at the end.)

You know what appeared with sad regularity in the comments section of the survey? In answer to the question, "How could Trump Education [note: really?] help you meet your goals?" there are lots of answers along the lines of "continued support via mentor," "ongoing feedback," or "meeting one on one consistently." In other words, "Help us. Please, help us."

What matters more is how the students felt in the months and years after the seminars. And we know what a lot of them felt because they're suing the shit out of Donald Trump.


In Brief: Chris Christie Supported a Muslim Judge, Unlike His Master, Trump (Updated)

At some point, when the Trump-brand ball gag is taken out and the Melania-approved anal speculum is removed from him, perhaps New Jersey Governor Chris Christie would like to comment on something his jowly orange master said yesterday. See, back before he was trying to show that he was the craziest, cumgobbling whore in the GOP brothel, Christie would occasionally do something honorable. Such was the case in 2011, when Christie appointed Sahail Mohammed as a judge on a state Superior Court. Mohammed, an Indian-American, is Muslim, and, as an attorney, he had defended detainees who had been arrested in the post-9/11 hysteria. None of his clients were ever charged with terrorism-related crimes.

When some members of the state Senate asked Mohammed questions about his loyalty to the United States and about Sharia Law, and when Christie himself was raked over the coals for this appointment by conservative media, the governor went, as is his way, ballistic. "Ignorance is behind the criticism of Sohail Mohammed," Christie exclaimed at a press conference on August 3, 2011. "He is an extraordinary American who is an outstanding lawyer and played an integral role in the post-September 11th period in building bridges between the Muslim American community in this state and law enforcement." And, as if to put an exclamation point on it, he added, "The guy is an American citizen...it’s just unnecessary to be accusing this guy of things just because of his religious background."

So someone's gotta ask Christie a simple question: "Do you agree with Donald Trump that a judge might treat him unfairly just because the judge is Muslim?" Because that's what Trump said yesterday on Face the Nation when he was asked about it by John Dickerson. "It's possible, yes," Trump trumped. "Yeah. That would be possible, absolutely."

Right now, Christie's approval rating in the state is less than "That Shitty Bon Jovi Cover Band at That Bar in Paramus." It's lower than most diseases. At this pace, Christie, once the hope of idiot Republicans, will leave office a pariah. And much of the recent drop is due to his becoming Donald Trump's penis cozy.

Look, Chris, man, you could make your approval rating jump by at least a dozen points if you told Trump to go fuck himself. Oh, sure, this blogger would still fucking despise you for your myriad broken deals and attacks on working people. But all those easily duped voters who long for tough-guy Christie to appear again will welcome you back like a goddamned warrior.

Chances are, though, that Trump is paying you shitloads of money to do his bidding. And if that's the case, let's hope he keeps those nipple clamps extra tight on you.

Update: Christie completely defended Trump today. Apparently, the governor loves orange cock and jizz that tastes like tanning dye.


Friday Reacharound: Louisiana Residents Flock to Medicaid Expansion

The Rude Pundit is taking a little personal time today, so no diving into Hillary Clinton's castration of Donald Trump, which left him a sweaty, frantic, moaning, nutless mess at his rally yesterday. And also no time today to say to any protesters who hit or egged Trump supporters, "Don't be fucking dickheads."

Instead, let's go into the weekend by recognizing a little bit of good news.

Down in the Rude Pundit's GOP-fucked home state of Louisiana, signups started Wednesday for the Medicaid expansion signed into existence by new Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, in January. By the end of that first day, more than 175,000 people had enrolled. 

That's nearly half of all the newly-eligible citizens of the generally backwards-ass state, and it's a goddamn triumph for the forces of decency over the fuckery of the cruel. And it's a reminder of how much work is needed to make life a little better for people who need their government to have their backs.


A Few Questions for Supporters of Donald Trump in the Wake of the Last Couple of Days

The Rude Pundit is under no illusions that legions of Donald Trump voters await this blog's new postings every day to see what insults are hurled at their candidate ("a flaming bag of shit in human form" is one that came to him yesterday). Still, now we're seeing a flood of terrible news about Trump flowing through the dam the press had seemed to construct to protect him. Over at Huffington Post (motto: "All the news we can fit and then we fit some sideboob"), Jonathan Cohn has asked why media coverage hasn't condemned Trump's campaign to the ash heap. But it's made the Rude Pundit wonder what, if anything, could change Trump's voters' minds about the ostensible Republican nominee for president.

So he's got a question or two for you Trumpistas, asked respectfully, asked with prejudice against your candidate, but with an open mind about what you might say.

For instance, do the revelations about the sales practices of Trump University have any effect on your thinking? How much do you need beyond the sworn testimony of salespeople and the marketing guide that said that the elderly and single parents should be targeted because they are vulnerable to a get-rich-quick pitch?

Trump's campaign released a video that supposedly showed satisfied Trump U. customers, although the conservative blog RedState (which the Rude Pundit has mocked many times, yes, but "enemy of my enemy," you know) quickly debunked the whole thing. If Trump can prove that people made money in real estate as a result of their taking Trump U. "courses," then wouldn't there be a paper trail and not just people talking about it? Wouldn't we be able to see transactions, mortgages, bank statements, friggin' cancelled checks? In fact, why does Trump never give us documents that prove anything he claims?

More importantly, to Trump voters, does it even matter?

When it comes to the veteran's fundraiser, do you believe Trump when he says he didn't want any credit for it? He bragged about it constantly on the campaign trail. And why do you think Trump himself took so long to write the $1 million check to donate to an event that took place in January?

What if you found out that Trump isn't worth billions of dollars? Would that affect your point of view?

More importantly, again, does any of it matter?

Some of you will say (as one person did on Twitter) that whatever Trump might have done with Trump University doesn't compare to whatever Hillary Clinton did in keeping a private email server (although you can bet that it didn't involve scamming elderly people out of tens of thousands of dollars). But, for shits and giggles, let's say they're both guilty. The cases aren't mutually exclusive. They can both be guilty; Clinton is guilty of...something with email and classified stuff or something. In Trump's case, it would be for fraud. Does that make a dent in the shining armor?

Let's use a sales technique here. What would it take to close the deal? What would it take for you to finally turn your back on Trump and walk away?

How about this: How would you feel if Hillary Clinton was responsible for a scam that took millions of dollars from people who couldn't afford it? How would you feel if Hillary Clinton didn't release her taxes? How would you feel if...

Or maybe you just don't care what Trump does. In which case, you're a lost cause. Go fuck yourself, respectfully, and good luck in the terrible world you're creating.

(By the way, the links up there, except for the first one, are all to right-wing websites and publications. So shove any "liberal media" bullshit you wanna say.)


Trump University Attempted to Scam a Canadian Reporter in 2006

Note: This blog rarely ever traffics in long excerpts of other people's writing. But when you come across something that demonstrates, quite clearly, everything we've been hearing about the con job that was Trump University, well, it's hard to resist, especially when no one else (so far) has reported on it.

This is from the article "Trump U. and Me: Email from the Donald" by Kelly Roesler. It was published in the Ottawa Citizen on September 5, 2006. In the first part of the article, Roesler writes about her experience with a DVD and five-book series that was her introduction to the things she could learn at Trump University. Then it got intense and weird.

Roesler was subjected to everything that you've read: the hard sell, the "OPM" idea of using your credit cards to finance the expensive bullshit Trump U was flinging, the unrealistic promises of wealth. Roesler isn't part of the class action lawsuit because she saw through the screen of lies. Check it out and spread this around. It's contemporaneous evidence of what an unethical buffoon the Republican nominee is. Get Roesler on your show now, Rachel Maddow or Chris Hayes.

Here we go with the second half of the article (it's all Roesler now to the end):

I admit, I had been surprised to see the "personal" invitation from Donald Trump in my e-mail inbox, and to read the sales pitch for the Real Estate Series, which purported to make me a virtual real estate expert through a few books and a coaching DVD.

But I was almost blown away by the phone call I received from Trump University just a few days later.

It seems my package entitled me to a "wealth-building consultation." My phone rang and it was Chris Perricone, a screener from Trump University, and he wanted to know if I was ready for what he had to offer.

I had been selected as a candidate for a one-on-one mentorship program, under the guidance of one of Mr. Trump's hand-picked mentors. However, I would have to undergo a two-step interview process to see if I had what it took to work with Mr. Trump's disciples.

Intrigued, I wanted to hear more.

He wanted to know how much money I expected to make within 12 months to become a "Trump University success story." And the sky, apparently, was the limit. After some probing questions about the state of my finances, things began to get a little strange.

"Within 30 to 90 days, we'd like for you to at least go out and find a couple of foreclosures and flip a couple properties," said Chris. "Pardon?" I reply, my chest fluttering.

Eventually, Chris concluded I should expect to bring in $100,000 within my first year with Donald Trump's mentoring program -- "$100,000 your first year. That is a very reasonable goal." I stifle the urge to laugh.

Then comes the topic of tuition.

"So Kelly, you've heard of the OPM strategy?" Chris asked. "I'm sorry?" I replied. "Other peoples' money," he said. "It does take money to make money," he added.

From there, the conversation spiraled into a dizzying blur of numbers. A $2,200 down payment (all figures in U.S. dollars) right then would get me started, he said, and Trump U would finance the remaining $2,000.

Then, a minimum of $10,000 to begin investing under the tutelage of my mentor, plus a monthly $40 fee for use of the "business resource centre." This on top of the licensing fees I would incur to get started, independent from Trump U. My head was spinning.

Despite my growing sense of alarm, I agreed to a second interview with a Trump U consultant, Dan Turner.

The next day, I spoke with Mr. Turner, a charming man with a distinct southern drawl. He asked me classic interview questions about my decision skills, and my strengths and weaknesses. I talked at length about my training as a journalist, and my interest in business.

I then asked Dan a few questions about the mentorship program, and he seemed irritated. "You've seen The Apprentice, right? he asked. "Of course," I replied.

"You know how grueling it is for him to decide who's going to be his next apprentice. These coaches and mentors have been hand-selected by Donald Trump."

I asked him what kind of accreditation I might expect from the mentorship program, and he bristled: "I wouldn't know. Your coach and mentor could explain that to you. There's something there, I just don't know what it is. I just decide who we work with and who we don't -- that's not my responsibility." Then, a minute of awkward silence. "OK?" He asked tersely. I said "OK," placatingly, but I've offended him.

"If you think those answers weren't good enough for you, then I don't want to waste your time or mine. I'd rather part company as friends." I recognized this immediately: The pull-back, a time-honored sales technique.

Then, the kicker: "Do you trust Donald Trump?" he asked indignantly. "Because if you don't, maybe we should end this conversation right now." I reassured him that as a potential student, I was just trying to learn what I can.

"Donald Trump has billions riding on this," he said. "He's got his whole name riding on this. He has a vested interest in you becoming successful, but also in his business and in his organization."

But why me? I wanted to know. How did I register on Donald Trump's radar? "Well, you know, Mr. Trump, he's got to have the best of the best.

"We have thousands upon thousands of people who have ordered those materials, and we don't just call every single one. We've just got to have the best, and that's why I've talked to you so much -- to make sure you have the qualities and traits that I've been told to ensure I have in a student."

And do I meet this criteria, I wondered. "Absolutely, without a doubt in my mind. You've got that business-owner mentality, you've got the motivation, the desire, the determination."

I declined Dan's offer politely, bemused by the conversation. Undaunted, Dan told me if I ever changed my mind, to just give him a call. "I'll leave this offer open-ended," he said. "I normally wouldn't do this, but we wouldn't want to miss out on someone like you."

And, as months passed, Donald Trump continued to pursue me, sending messages through my inbox, weekly and sometimes daily. He wrote me eloquent letters, such as: "Dear Kelly, Do you want 2006 to be the best year of your career? Do you want a big edge in business and in life? Don't you deserve it?

"I want to take you with me to the top. Unless you are afraid of heights, you're going to love the view from up here."

Finally, I decided to call him and ask what all this was about. So I phoned his New York office, leaving messages with several receptionists and his head assistant, Rona Graff. But no response from Donald. I soon received a call on my BlackBerry from Michael Sexton, president of Trump University. "Donald Trump is not available." Really? The Donald who has been hounding me for months to join his team?

"At the end of the day, we're trying to get somebody's attention," he said. "You're inundated all day long with e-mails, with ads on TV, print, in the newspaper. We want to connect with people to get our message through. Donald Trump is our founder and chairman. He is a respected businessman, I think people look to him as a motivator."

But he couldn't explain Mr. Trump's seemingly random pursuit.

"Donald Trump has done a phenomenal job building his brand and we would never do anything to harm it. Am I concerned that you perceive this as unsolicited? Yes, I am and I'll get you an answer as to where your e-mail address came from."

But I never did get that answer from Michael Sexton, nor did I hear from Donald. As for my stint with Trump University, probably the most important thing I've learned is that $15,000 means a great deal more in my pocket than in Donald's.

That's something, at least.