DNC Day 4: Hillary Clinton Is Not Here to Entertain You

How do we measure HIllary Clinton's speech last night? She is not a great orator, like so many of the speakers who came before her at the Democratic National Convention. She has this terrible habit of slowing down to an almost laughable rhythm when she's coming to one of her big points, like a college professor who is sick of being asked to repeat herself. Every bit of natural charm and empathy that you see in the videos of her one-on-one with people around the country is drained out of her, replaced with a kind of fake folksiness that, at times, is transparently pandering. 

And maybe, just maybe, that's part of the point right now. You want an entertainer? Well, the Republicans are running the ne plus ultra of entertaining buffoons. There you go. Good luck with that. 

But let's not look at Clinton as merely the competent alternative to madness. No, because, see, you don't need to electrify large crowds to be inspirational. If we take the other speakers at their word, it is in those times with individuals, with staff, with the people who need her help or are looking to her for leadership, she so obviously inspires. And that's inspiration beyond being the first woman nominated by a major party, which, c'mon, is pretty damn inspirational. That's an investment of trust in someone who the GOP needs the public to believe is innately untrustworthy. 

That's the point to the Republicans' attacks on her (and the ex-Sanders supporters who won't shut the fuck up already). Anyone who has worked with Hillary Clinton knows she's someone they can rely on, someone who works above and beyond for the public good, someone who will make hard decisions (even if you and I disagree with some of those decisions). But because she can't break through to people trusting her on the same level as, say, Barack Obama, she is vulnerable. Or at least Trump's campaign of savage idiots thinks she is.

What Clinton did last night was tell us as clearly as possible that this isn't a TV show. It's flesh and blood. It's time we honor her and act like we know it. 


DNC Night 3: Obama, Biden, and Bloomberg Aren't Fucking Around

The point of the speeches at the Democratic National Convention last night was simple: Donald Trump is in way, way over his idiotically coiffed head. As the Republican nominee stumblefucks his way through the election, as he alienates our allies and gives comfort to those who want to drag this nation down, it is blatantly apparent that he doesn't know what the fuck to do with the job he pretends he wants. 


Put it this way: if you were interviewing someone for the job of president, of Commander-in-Chief, you would have cut Trump solely on his resume'. But if he lucked into an interview because of all the bullshit and spin and outright lies on it, well, talking to him for two minutes would show that he hasn't spent a fucking second really studying what the job entails. Fuck that guy, you'd think, fuck him for wasting all of our time. And you'd kick his ass all the way back to his gaudy tower. 


Or you could say, as Vice-President Joe Biden did last night, "This is a complicated and uncertain world we live in. The threats are too great, the times are too uncertain, to elect Donald Trump as president of the United States. Let me finish, no major party, no major party nominee in the history of the station has ever known less or been less prepared to deal with our national security." You think? 


The repudiation of Trumpism was positively brutal at times last night. The strategy was almost Karl Rove-esque, going right at the very things that supposedly qualify him to be president, the business acumen and success. And it was cathartic for some of the speakers. Michael Bloomberg stuck a knife in Trump's back and then pulled it out and cut off his balls. "Ive built a business, and I didnt start it with a million-dollar check from my father," Bloomberg offered, undermining everything about the supposed toughness of Trump, this wannabe, this poseur, this fake badass. We know who you are, Bloomberg was saying, we rich fucks, and you have grown too big for your tailored britches.


And President Obama was even more savage, painting Trump as a goddamned prick, "He calls himself a business guy, which is true, but I have to say, I know plenty of businessmen and women whove achieved remarkable success without leaving a trail of lawsuits, and unpaid workers, and people feeling like they got cheated," Obama said. "Does anyone really believe that a guy whos spent his 70 years on this Earth showing no regard for working people is suddenly going to be your champion?  Your voice?"


Obama was also giving a version of the valedictory speech he will no doubt deliver in December or January. Here, though, instead of taking a victory lap, which he did a bit, he put to the voters a challenge, asking them if they trust him enough not to fuck up his legacy, and, if they trust him, trust in Hillary Clinton.


Goddamn, for all the criticism I've had about Obama, I'm gonna miss this president.


Ultimately, though, this was all just part of the team setting the volleyball up so Clinton herself can spike it. She has been described in the most glowing terms so far, as a champion of so many causes (and not because she called up some people when she decided to run for president like a certain Trump we all know). Obama was willing to grant that there are people who don't like her. 


But, again and again, it comes back to a simple comparison: one candidate is so fucking unprepared that he doesn't even know who to ask to be his advisers, and one can stride into office and pick up where we left off.  


You could see on Obama's face, as he described Trump, that he was stumped that the nation would even consider the former. As we all are, Mr. President. 


DNC Day Two: Bill Clinton and Others Show Us That Bodies Are at Stake

(I'm in Ireland, so blogger will be erratic but consistent. Yeah, you heard me.)

Here is what former president Bill Clinton did last night. Without even saying his name, he shrunk Donald Trump to a size where he could be drowned in a tub. By both humanizing and superhumanizing Hillary Clinton, he wanted the nation to ask, simply, "What the fuck has the other guy done? Financed a few buildings and hosted a game show and said stupid shit?"

You can pretty much bet that Trump couldn't find Dothan, Alabama on a map with a giant arrow pointing at it and some assistant saying, "Sir, that's it, right there, where the arrow is pointing." But Hillary Clinton went there in the early 1970s, to one of the most racist places in the country, and went undercover to discover if schools were still segregated. People got killed for that kind of shit.  Bill could have started his speech by saying, "Donald Trump isn't fit to clean the toilet the Secret Service uses at the White House."

But he didn't. Instead, he showed us Hillary Clinton as an entire person, including an object of desire, of his desire. How amazing is that? That was a huge "fuck you" to everyone who questions their marriage, who says that Hillary is a lesbian or too ugly to fuck or whatever bullshit the sexist right vomits out about her. Rachel Maddow found that part "creepy," and others commented, smugly, that Bill didn't bring up cheating on Hillary. Well, Melania didn't discuss how she was Donald Trump's fuck toy while he was still married to Marla Maples.

More clearly than anyone else, Bill described a Hillary who embodies the experiences of women, in terms you don't normally see with politicians. When he said, "Hillary's water broke and off we went to the hospital," he brought Hillary down to earth, a mortal, a fully-rounded individual who has had the life of a woman.

Bodies were the theme of the evening. The damaged body, in the 9/11 responders speaking about the illnesses they or their loved ones suffered, and the murdered black body, as the Mothers of the Movement showed that the meaning of Black Lives Matter isn't an assertion of superiority but of equal worth, all these bodies harmed by an America whose continuing greatness is stymied by the ignorant and the hateful. And not once did they specifically place blame at the feet of those who have harmed them. They merely said that there needs to be healing. Who has a better chance of doing that?

You can bet that if a Democrat had been in office on 9/11, every Republican convention since them would have been filled with speakers blaming that Democrat for everything bad in the world.

Hillary Clinton, in Bill's telling, is also a goddamned superhero. She has done work all over the nation, from Alaska (when is the last time you heard of a candidate having worked in Alaska?) to the Deep South. And then she expanded her range to the rest of the world. You might not agree with everything she's done. I sure don't. But she has walked so many walks that you have to honor her for deciding to not walk away.

Meanwhile, the Bernie Sanders supporters decided that they were no longer Sanders supporters because, if they were, they would be listening to him and voting for Hillary Clinton instead of trying to blow shit up at the convention. The roll call is over. Clinton is the nominee. You can keep yelling that the nomination was stolen (something Sanders says it wasn't). You can yell that the DNC leak shows bias (no shit, but so?). But there is nothing more you can do but yell. You can't change this. You can either accept it, be thrilled at the historic moment that has occurred, and move on. Or you can wallow in your anger and throw your vote away.

It's a free country. For now.


Random Observations on the First Night of the DNC in Philadelphia

1. There was more diversity and hope in the first night of the Democratic National Convention than in all four nights of the Republican one. Hell, there was more than in the last three RNCs, at least. The gathered delegates represented each party faithful's idealized America. At the RNC, the floor was filled overwhelmingly with white people, to the point that any non-white people looked like aberrations, the burnt Rice Krispie or two in the milk. At the DNC, the floor was as multiracial and multigendered as Democrats want to believe we are, a bowl of Lucky Charms.

2. Before Michelle Obama pretty much made the rest of the convention unnecessary, there were other powerful speakers. Little Karla Ortiz put the most adorably human face on the immigration crisis facing families where the parents are undocumented with a child born in the United States. Sure, some dickhead Republicans would want to see them deported and then change birthright citizenship so they can get rid of Karla, but she was a dynamo, laying bare the emotional impact of how too many people who love this country are treated: "My parents came here, looking for a better life, for the American dream. But I don't feel brave every day. On most days I'm scared. I'm scared that at any moment, my mom and my dad will be forced to leave." I'd take a thousand Ortizes any day over one Donald Trump.

3. Disability rights advocate Anastasia Somoza, who is wheelchair bound and has cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia, punched Trump right in the taint with her remarks: "I fear the day we elect a president who defines being an American in the narrowest possible of terms, who shouts, bullies and profits off of the vulnerable Americans. Donald Trump has shown us who he really he is. I honestly feel bad for anyone with that much hate in their heart." One of the themes of the night was that the Americans that Republican policies harm are not abstractions. They are not "takers." They are, in fact, people who can articulate hopes, dreams, sorrows, and anger as clearly and compellingly as any politician. Ortiz and Somoza and others represented something other than a parade of victims, like the GOP offered. They demonstrated that, against terrible odds and terrible people who make terrible policies that actively harm them, you can still believe in this country. Unlike the cynical parade of Benghazi-affected anger and sorrow machines at the GOP, here you had optimism against sorrow and defeating rage.

4. This is not to say that the DNC is completely free of aggrieved parties. Tonight, the Mothers of the Movement, the moms of black men and women killed by police and police wannabes (like George Zimmerman), will speak. And last night, another African American woman, Cheryl Lankford, went right at Trump, and, unlike the Hillary-anger at the RNC, which was mostly hate-by-proxy, not because of any direct actions taken by Clinton, she was talking about something that Donald Trump did to her. Lankford is a widow of a soldier killed in Baghdad in 2007 who took money she received after her husband's death and sent it to Trump University, believing its namesake's promise that his lessons would make her wealthier. It didn't, of course, because it was a scam, with Trump as its chief con man. And Lankford drew a direct line between that con artist and his presidential campaign: "Donald Trump made big promises about Trump University, and I was fooled into believing him. Now, he’s making big promises about America. Please don’t make that same mistake."

5. But the night belonged to Michelle Obama. Yes, Cory Booker was good and Elizabeth Warren was great and Bernie Sanders couldn't have tried to change his most ardent (and loud) supporters' minds more if he had taken out a watch and hypnotized each and every one of them. However, Michelle Obama's speech was a series of gut-punches. She brilliantly framed everything as being about the future by making children the central focus of the speech. It was her children being raised in the glare of the spotlight and having to hear that their father was a Muslim Kenyan who hates America. Then she expanded it to how the election is about how all children will be influenced by whomever is put in the White House, with the clear implication that a preening buffoon ain't exactly a role model.

Even as she cut Donald Trump to pieces, even as she made a better case for Hillary Clinton than Clinton herself has ever made, she was telling the story of where this country really is and what it really is and was. The United States is not the violent wasteland of the RNC. No, it's a place where people struggle to make it better for the most people. The instantly quotable line of the night was "I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, black young women, playing with their dogs on the White House lawn." But before that, Obama had been talking about how Hillary Clinton has kept working no matter how many times she has been slapped down. Obama said, "That is the story of this country. The story that has brought me to this stage tonight. The story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done." And shortly after, she said, "Don't let anyone ever tell you that this country isn't great, that somehow we need to make it great again, because this right now is the greatest country on earth."

The message was clear. We know when the country wasn't great. We know that it can always be better, but it has nearly always gotten better. To deny that is to deny the incredible hard work done by those who came before, including the Obamas, including Hillary Clinton. But it doesn't deny that there is more work to do. There always is. There are always ones who will try to stop it, who will try to undo that work. At the end of the speech, Obama offered a simple plea: "So let's get to work."

And this gets us back to the first thing up there. Who should we be working to improve the country for? The Republican vision of whiteness superior once again? Or the Democratic vision of an inclusive nation?


Trump, Russia, Clinton, Email, and the Great Cosmic Jokes of This Stupid, Stupid Election

It's like we're living in the middle of a two-part cosmic fucking joke with this story that Russia may very well have hacked the Democratic National Committee and stole and then leaked emails through Wikileaks in order to help Donald Trump win the presidency of the United States because Vladimir Putin likes the cut of Trump's jib or knows that he would gladly be Putin's bottom with an asshole throbbing with yearning.

The first part of the joke belongs to those of us old enough to remember the Evil Empire and those even older remembering how lives were ruined in backwards ass paranoia that the Soviet Union was going to take over America, that Russkie spies were everywhere and had to be rooted out and the worst thing you could be called was a commie or a Moscow sympathizer. For a long time the joke was that the whole thing was a fucking dumb show. Even as we were told to be terrified, the Soviet Union was imploding, and Mother Russia was teetering on the verge of economic and regional chaos. We were more likely to be killed by mistakes due to incompetence and corruption than from an intentional missile attack.

But now the joke is that, despite all the attacks on liberals in the United States or the red-baiting of anyone who said anything slightly socialistic, like "Medicare," the real infiltration and attempted take over would come in the form of a Russian oligarch attempting to get a sympathetic American oligarch elected president in order to bring Europe and elsewhere into Russia's capitalistic sphere of influence. That's fucking hilarious. And scary. Mostly scary, but still hilarious.

And what did the mighty hack show us? What horrors did it reveal? Was it that Hillary Clinton really is a lizard woman who threatened to unhinge her jaw and devour Bernie Sanders whole? From everything you can read so far, it seems like the big revelation is that...political operatives acted just like you'd expect political operatives to act. And, yeah, the Democratic National Committee was biased towards the lifelong Democrat who has worked tirelessly to get Democrats elected. To Sanders' supporters, this was confirmation of something that Sanders said in the campaign. To anyone who has ever paid attention to an election ever, the reaction was "Yeah, and?"

For instance, Wikileaks, an organization that has done amazing things for increasing our knowledge of how fucked up the world is, tweeted out breathlessly, "#DNCLeak: 'access' in exchange for 'donations' (another email explicitly uses 'pay to play')." This is followed by one of the stolen emails, one that shows a DNC official promising a potential donor more access to Clinton with more money donated. No shit. You heard of the Pioneers? These were people who donated the most money to the Bush/Cheney campaign. The Pioneers practically got blow jobs from the candidates (or at least until Cheney's hollow heart gave out). Money in politics sucks. We need to get it out. But, for fuck's sake, is this really so shocking?

No. What's shocking is that the fucking Russians are likely trying to get Trump elected. And that's where the second cosmic joke comes in, the kind where karma just takes a giant shit on all of us. We're still hearing endlessly about the Clinton email fake scandal, you know, with her home server that turns out to have been a fuck of a lot more secure than the State Department's or the DNC's. That was a bunch of political motivated malarkey that was an enormous waste of time and had as its only purpose to add to the air of Clinton as an untrustworthy figure (something I joined in on, to an extent, yes, mea fuckin' culpa). No classified information was leaked, and it's up for argument if any was even sent. And the rest was just an administrative issue, not a crime.

The joke part is that this Trump/Russian connection is a real email scandal. This is what it looks like. It looks like a dictatorial ruler of a country that is at odds with ours using hacked emails to get his hopeful stooge elected. The big investigation now should be if there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Meanwhile, here, our stupid, stupid election continues, with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz thankfully being put out of her misery (someone's head had to roll for the anti-Bernie shit) and with Sanders getting booed for telling his supporters to vote for Clinton while screechy social media fucks and well-intentioned street protesters say that they will never, no-how, no way vote for Clinton because reasons.

To which one can only say: You know who will get hurt by a Trump presidency? Every fucking group you think you're defending with your purity. And don't fucking get upset when we say that not voting or voting for Stein or Johnson is as good as voting for Trump. It's as good as voting for Trump because Clinton is the only candidate who can beat him, and any vote not for her is a net gain for Trump, and that shit'll matter in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and elsewhere. And, yeah, fuck you if you think that voting for Clinton to stop Trump ain't enough of a reason. It is enough of a reason. It's always been, in every election, enough of a reason. Sorry, sunshine, that's the fuckery of democracy.

Fuck you for not knowing your history and not wanting to do everything you can to stop someone like Trump from ascending to the White House and appointing Supreme Court justices, which will fuck us all for the rest of our lives. You know who agrees with us and disagrees with you? Bernie Sanders. Elizabeth Warren. Michael Moore. President Obama. And a fuck-ton of liberal writers (and a shitload of conservative writers, but fuck them where they stand anyways).

Do you think we're all just lying to you? Do you think people across the left are liars or shills, including the dude you worshipped all this time? Or maybe, just maybe, we are sounding a warning bell, telling you that this shit is real. A Trump presidency is realer in its consequences than a Clinton one, however bad you think a Clinton presidency might be. Fuck, the Washington Post took the really unusual step to say, "Yeah, fuck this. Trump is a psychopath. Stop him." That's unheard of.

Don't damn us to be Cassandras. Don't let us stand there in 2017 and forward and say, "Told you so." Probably from our cells in the gulag.


RNC Day Four: We Beheld What We May Become

If I could pinpoint one thing in Donald Trump's sweaty, screechy, masturbatory "Tales of American Armageddon" last night that might actually give other Republicans pause, as they figure out how to deal with a presidential nominee who has tossed out many of their most cherished beliefs, it would be this: One word that was conspicuously absent from the speech was "Congress."

At no point in the entire exhausting, tedious, repetitious series of barks and growls did Trump say he would go to Congress to ask for something. Not once did he even hint that he understood that he couldn't just clap his wee hands and make it so. In fact, everything in his acceptance speech was pointedly about how he and only he can solve the problems in the country. "I am your voice," he said, twice, along with "I will be your champion" and "I will restore law and order to our country." That last one was followed by an unscripted, emphatic "Believe me. Believe me." On it went: "I am going to bring jobs" to various states; "I am not going to let companies move to other countries;" and more. Even worse, "I alone can fix it." If Barack Obama had said that one night, he'd've been lynched before sunrise by conservatives for being a tyrant.

What is going to happen if Trump is elected and Democrats in the Senate block a bill to build the stupid border wall? Or a bill to change the Affordable Care Act? What is he going to do? Trump would say that he'll make deals with them, as if that never occurred to President Obama, who gave Republicans nearly everything they asked for in many negotiations while still getting stabbed in the gut by them when it was time to vote. Senators have a long memory, and Democrats will want payback. So what will Trump do? He'll do what his idiot hordes demand, up to and including violence. Because when you have a cult of personality, the leader of that is the only thing that matters. You have to believe whole-heartedly in him and support even his most heinous acts because that's easier than admitting you're wrong. You would rather pretend that a crass, bourgeois piglet is a man of the people than face the reality that he's just a puny, pampered pig.

You can find fact checks of all the lies in a speech that Trump promised would be filled with "facts." You could drive yourself mad trying to get your mind around so much of the shit he said. For instance, apparently, Hillary Clinton is the alpha and omega of all bad things going on in the world. Egypt turmoil? Hillary. Iraq? Hillary. Hot Lebanese dude didn't message you back on Grindr? Hillary. In fact, Clinton is such an evil genius and agent of destruction that we'd better elect her before she has us all killed.

And Trump went further than any of the fearmongers before him in portraying the United States as a nightmare, a lawless landscape of rampant crime (which is really down), cops being gunned down (fewer than ever), and undocumented immigrants murdering the fuck out of us (very rarely). The world itself is falling to pieces (despite it being one of the most peaceful periods in the planet's history). Every one of Trump's assertions is factually wrong. That's not just an opinion. Facts, actual numbers, something that Trump is very fond of mentioning, bear that out. But, no, the whole place is turning to shit, according to Trump. The only solution Trump offered is Trump. Trump will make it all better. All you gotta do is vote him in. Then America will be great again. He'll do it all by himself.

Or maybe, just maybe, this is the con: You make everyone believe that the world is turning to shit and then when you're elected, you just change the spin. "Oh, hey, look, crime is way down," you say, not even hinting that it was down before you were elected. "Oh, hey, look, my strategy on ISIS worked," you say, not mentioning that it was headed that way anyways. "Oh, hey, look, I've put into place a nearly two-year process for incoming refugees," you announce, leaving out that that's how it's been for a long time. See how easy it is to make America great again? You just start saying it is and then, racist blinders off, everyone looks around and says, "Well, shit, things really are pretty good." And for shit that wasn't getting done because Republicans wouldn't let it get done, like child care and infrastructure spending, hell, all of a sudden, the GOP will be the biggest fan of funding bridges and roads. And who gets all the credit? Not the nigger president who obviously fucked it all up because he's such a nigger. All accolades go to Trump.

Along those lines, I have a theory about how we got here. I call it the "Nigger Rejection Theory." See, lots of white people have staked a great deal of their identity and political beliefs on the notion that whiteness is superior to any other race. Niggers aren't good for anything other than basic shit. Sure, sure, black people could entertain them, in movies, music, and sports. Those niggers are fine because they exist only as images and they don't have a day-to-day effect on the lives of these white people. However, along comes Barack Obama, and he's not only president, but he's pretty good at it. In fact, the nigger president succeeded in making the lives of these white people better than they were under the last white president.

They simply couldn't reconcile that. These white people all of sudden found themselves with health insurance, many with jobs, most with lower taxes, and it all happened because of the nigger president. What can you do? You can either admit that your life-long, family-passed-down prejudices are completely wrong and that niggers can do lots of things, including leading the free world. Or you just go into complete denial because you just can't stand to give a nigger credit. Now, here is Trump, telling you that everything is wrecked and it's all turning to shit and, well, fuck, that sounds good because it makes the nigger and his cunt sidekick look bad.

Goddamn, it must feel good to have to give up on a challenging thought and just get your primal racism nerve massaged.

The greatest slap in Obama's face in the whole Nazi rally was when the idiot hordes started chanting, "Yes, you will" at Trump. It was the bizarro version of "Yes, we can," Obama's campaign rallying cry. Obama was saying that we all needed to work together and, even if you think, like I do, that he didn't ask us to do enough, at least he was including us. For Trump and the idiot hordes gazing up at his bloated visage, framed in gold, no such effort is needed beyond making sure that their godhead gets into office. All good things will pour from that. Trump is like the high school asshole guy who tells a girl that giving blow jobs will improve her complexion. No, it won't. All she'll end up with is a mouthful of jizz and a satisfied jerk going home.

Almost a year ago, I joked that "Kneel before Zod" was Trump's guiding principle. Now it appears that that will be his governing policy. If none of this scares you, then you are too fucking dumb to breathe, but you'll still vote.  And if the media makes this into just another day at the races, then we should all invest in kneepads.


RNC Day Three: Notes on a Traitor

Yesterday, over on the Twitter machine, I made a simple suggestion to Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Couching it in terms of his crushingly awful performance as Samuel Parris in The Crucible when he was a student at Harvard, I asked Cruz to think about John Proctor in Arthur Miller's play about a man standing firm on principles against forces that want him to abandon them and give in to their power. Proctor doesn't, and he is executed for refusing to lie about himself. I asked Cruz to think about who the Devil is in his life and what he should do about it.

And then, last night, lo and behold, Cruz walked up to the snack table at the Republican's party and took a giant dump in the punch bowl while everyone screamed at him to stop.

Yeah, after a pretty boilerplate right-wing Republican speech - blah, blah, Hillary sucks, blah, blah, blah, Constitution, yadda, enemies, whatever - Cruz ended by exhorting the idiot hordes to "vote your conscience," which the delegates took not only as a non-endorsement of nominee Donald Trump but outright heresy, with screams of "Traitor" and "Honor the pledge" and "Fuck you." Trump himself appeared to gaze, like an angry toad, on the chaos as his minions egged it on and his horrible family looked on. Cruz's wife, Heidi, derided as ugly in something Trump retweeted, had to be escorted out lest the idiot hordes rip her limb from limb. Cruz wiped his ass on the tablecloth, perhaps while looking the toad straight in his eyes, and strode away. And nobody really gave a dry mouse shit about Newt Gingrich telling us about his night terrors or Mike Pence's lumbering monologue about how Trump will Trump you with his Trumpiness or that Scott Walker even exists.

This morning, Cruz met with the Texas delegation, most still wearing their dumbass cowboy hats. At first, Cruz tried to walk a line. He coyly asked why anyone would boo for him saying, "Vote your conscience" (a line that the Hillary Clinton campaign took and ran with). He said he wouldn't speak negatively about Trump, but that Trump hadn't earned his vote yet, and, oh, no, he won't vote for Hillary. But then the questions started and the smarmy, faux-chummy facade cracked. "I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father," Cruz said, and in that moment his heart grew three sizes and his spine unbent to make him completely upright. He would not be "a servile puppy dog" to Trump, he said. And when he asked, " Can anyone imagine our nominee standing in front of voters answering questions like this?" he wasn't talking about answering questions period. He meant answering them with forthrightness, clarity, and honesty.

For an example, look at Trump's interview in the New York Times about foreign policy, where he said, among other terrifying shit, that he would shitcan agreements with NATO if the other countries didn't pay protection money to the United States, as if somehow a stable Europe isn't in America's best interest. Here, though, is the exact quote from the transcript: "If we cannot be properly reimbursed for the tremendous cost of our military protecting other countries, and in many cases the countries I’m talking about are extremely rich. Then if we cannot make a deal, which I believe we will be able to, and which I would prefer being able to, but if we cannot make a deal, I would like you to say, I would prefer being able to, some people, the one thing they took out of your last story, you know, some people, the fools and the haters, they said, 'Oh, Trump doesn’t want to protect you.' I would prefer that we be able to continue, but if we are not going to be reasonably reimbursed for the tremendous cost of protecting these massive nations with tremendous wealth — you have the tape going on?"

That's some Mafia shit right there. "I would prefer to offer you my good graces, but you must be willing to pay what I ask and kiss my ring. And then my ass." And it's expressed in almost Palin-esque gibberish. Dumb fuck. And you're a dumber fuck if you support him after that. No, fuck that. You're a terrible human being if you support Donald Trump, and you deserve every bad thing that would happen to you if he's elected.

Not Ted Cruz, though. He stood there and taunted the idiot hordes. And it was a thing of beauty.

Now you, dear, dear liberal, may feel conflicted about feeling even an inkling of positivity towards Ted Cruz. After all, he is an asshole, a son of a bitch, a dick, a fart in human form, and lots of other things rolled into one odious, annoying package. He believes appalling things, about abortion, about voting rights, about LGBT rights, about...well, pretty much everything. But let's not care about that for a moment. Let's not care that Cruz might be positioning himself for 2020. Fuck 2020. And let's not care about any of the spin from the Trump campaign, which is trying to make itself seem so magnanimous by allowing Cruz to speak. Let's just not give a shit about that.

In this moment, Cruz is Cersei Lannister taking out the High Septon. He is William Munny gunning down Little Bill. He is Walter White rescuing Jesse. An awful person can rise to the moment to do something good, to do away with those worse than them. You don't have to like them. You don't have to get all warm and fuzzy.

You can sit back with a drink and say, "I'd rather have a narcissistic motherfucker working for me than against me, even if it's just this once."


RNC Day Two: The Motherfucker and the Prick

Part 1: The Motherfucker
The Fat Man strode onto stage at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last night absolutely cocky in his Fat Man suit and tie. His job was one he relished like a corndog on the Seaside Heights boardwalk: to demonstrate that he could fuck mothers better than any other motherfucker in a whole convention center of them. The Fat Man declared himself the prosecutor in a case against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Oh, how the Fat Man loved the attention, the adulation, as he lied and prevaricated and exaggerated Clinton's record as Secretary of State. God, how the Fat Man could have awkwardly reached under his stomach to jerk himself off as the idiot hordes chanted, "Lock her up," turning policy disagreements into high crimes, the better to tee up the inevitable impeachment hearings when Clinton is elected. The Fat Man used his accusations to dance and prance on the stage, the cruel Fool twisting this way and that, all this buffoonery for the enthralled rabble, eager to sate its bloodlust, and the pampered, primped family of Donald Trump sat in the gallery, looked on approvingly, as if all that was needed was a guillotine and the scene would be complete.

The Fat Man obviously felt powerful in his motherfucker role, as if this was what he was always destined to do. He made logical leaps that were astonishing to behold, like when he misrepresented Clinton saying that Syria's president is "a reformer" and "a different kind of leader." It didn't matter at all that she was merely reporting what others had told her and that she was adopting a wait-and-see attitude. Oh, no. The Fat Man decided that was enough to imply that Clinton was partly responsible for the deaths of 400,000 people in Syria. Clinton, according to the Fat Man, is the nexus of all evil around the world, from Nigeria to Cuba to China.

The Fat Man was just the mightiest fucker of mothers of an evening spent fucking mothers. Prior to him, Clinton had been accused of causing the Benghazi deaths, of essentially intentionally leaking classified information through her email server, of attacking women that had been, according to a cruel woman earlier, allegedly "sexually abused" by Bill Clinton. Outside, in just the last few days, there have been calls for Hillary Clinton to be hanged or shot.

To the Fat Man, the cruel woman, all the other motherfuckers, in Cleveland and elsewhere, one has to ask: What the fuck do you think you know? Seriously, what special knowledge about Hillary Clinton do you have that no one else seems to have? No, really. What do you know that multiple congressional committees, for 25 years, including ones led by Republicans, multiple investigations from the FBI, and multiple independent counsels don't know? You read some shit on a website. Every fucking time that someone has attempted to even get Hillary Clinton charged with a crime, it has failed once the facts were clearly ascertained. If you're holding back some super-secret piece of evidence that fucking Kenneth Starr, Rick Lazio, and Trey Gowdy couldn't find, then you better get that out now. Otherwise, just admit that you've got jack shit to back up anything you're saying. But you won't. Because you're motherfuckers, and you'd rather just keep fucking mothers than pretend there's anything like "truth."

Part 2: The Prick
Without a doubt, Donald Trump, Jr. is a douchebag prick. Only douchebag pricks proudly shoot down elephants and display their cut-off tails as trophies. And only a douchebag prick could get up there to give a speech with his greasy, slicked-back hair and try to make himself sound like he comes from a humble background when, really, he is just the prick prince in a kingdom of pricks. Look at the shit he said, like when he tried to Horatio Alger his father's story: "When people told him it was impossible for a boy from Queens to go to Manhattan and take on developers in the big city, rather than give up, he changed the skyline of New York." Yeah, it was really fucking hard for a millionaire with shitloads of connections from his developer father to become a developer.

Or look at this: "The other party gave us public schools that far too often fail our students, especially those who have no options. Growing up my siblings and I, we were truly fortunate to have choices and options that others don't have. We want all Americans to have those same opportunities." This little prick went to the Hill School in Pennsylvania, which doesn't take vouchers and costs $35-55,000 a year, depending on if you board there. To pretend that "all Americans" would be able to get an $8000 voucher and go to Hill is absurd. It's a fucking lie from a prick.

You want to know where the game is? You want to know the big lie in Junior's seemingly populist speech? It's when he attacked the Dodd-Frank Act, which imposed some regulation on the financial services industry. Junior said that it was a thousand pages long and that "What it does is destroy small business in favor of big businesses, who can afford the vast number of lawyers and accountants needed to comply." Except, of course, for all the protections in the actual law that help small businesses. Getting rid of it will only enrich the Wall Street pricks who probably giggle when Donald and Junior mock them.

And he ended with one other line that gave away the whole sham. In his big finish exhorting everyone to bow down to his father, Junior said, "When we elected him, we'll have done all that, we'll have made America great again, greater than ever before." All by himself, just by putting his ass into a chair in the Oval Office, America will become great. No work needed. Just a sign on what will no doubt be rebranded, "The Trump White House."

By the way, the prick also told an adviser to John Kasich, when they offered the vice-presidency to the Ohio governor, that the VP would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy. What would Trump be in charge of? "Making America great again," Junior said.

The chanting idiot hordes and larger idiot hordes of voters don't give a fuck about democracy. They want a king who can simply clap his hands and make what is not real into reality, or at least the reality he tells them it is.  They want a myth and they want to kill or jail anyone who tries to get in the way of their myth. The faithful shall not be denied their reward of a great America, even if they have to destroy America to get it.


RNC Day One: Random Observations on a Pathetic Parade

1. If the first night of the Republican National Convention is remembered for anything other than the insistent invocation of the United States as a scorched hellscape of a nation in the wake of the presidency of Barack Obama, a nation that is as much a fiction as a shining city on a hill ever was, it will be that the campaign of nominee Donald Trump exploited and embarrassed two women before tens of millions of people.

2. The most appalling sight of the appalling evening was Pat Smith, mother of Sean Smith, who was killed in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Smith has long been on a tear to get at some kind of truth for her child's death over what she claims she was told by Hillary Clinton at a memorial for her son, that an anti-Muslim video caused the attack. Frankly, it doesn't matter if it was an anti-Muslim video, a planned terrorist attack, or goats with guns. None of those would bring back her son, but, hey, fuck that Hillary. So Trump had Smith go out and speak to the delegates, many of whom, probably drunk, started crying watching this obviously grieving and Valiumed to the gills woman try to make policy from her pain. Which was more disgusting is up for grabs. "I blame Hillary Clinton personally for the death of my son. That's personally," Smith said, as if Clinton had gone to Benghazi and put a bullet in her son's skull. But the bloodlust was rising as outrage grew among the idiot hordes on the floor, an outrage that never fucking occurred at the Republican Convention in 2004 when the man who was president during the 9/11 attacks took the stage. Smith put a bow on it by saying, "Hillary for prison. She deserves to be in stripes." Then she turned around, confused, wondering where she should go, lost, with seemingly no one to guide her away.

2a. Oh, wait. The most disgusting thing was that Donald Trump called into Bill O'Reilly's Crematorium of Reality on Fox "news" at the same time as Smith's speech, which meant that he wasn't even watching it.

3. It doesn't fucking matter if Melania Trump speaks six languages, as Trump lackeys kept telling us today. It doesn't fucking matter that she spoke at the convention without shitting herself, as if that was the measure of quality. Part of her generally terrible, platitudinous, vacuous speech was plagiarized. Purely and simply, two paragraphs of it came from Michelle Obama's amazing 2008 convention speech. Using my crazy English professor skills, I know from plagiarism. If a student had written that in my class, I would make them scrap that paper and start from scratch as punishment. (Others would look to have the student drummed out or at least fail the class, but I'm not a dick.) And the Trump campaign, which shouldn't have pushed Ms. Trump to speak when she reportedly didn't want to, which should have anally probed the speech for problems no matter who wrote it, should just admit it fucked up and stop trying to bend the truth to its will. That's totalitarian bullshit, man. That's 2+2=5 and you're a traitor if you think otherwise.

3a. Bonus points to dunderheaded conservative commentator S.E. Cupp on CNN, who said of Melania Trump's speech, "I don't really see a bad ending to however this goes for her tonight." Punditry at its best.

4. But, honestly, the plagiarism is the least of the sins of the evening, which included parading out people whose loved ones were killed by undocumented immigrants. What the fuck are we supposed to do with that? Oh, hey, how about countering with the undocumented man who saved a young girl from abduction? Or the one who helped save the life of a 9 year-old boy in an auto accident in the desert? Those are children who likely would have been dead or seriously harmed without the intervention of an undocumented immigrant. Should they speak at the Democratic convention? No, because this whole fucking argument is dumb and besides the point. All Trump wanted to tell the idiot hordes on the floor and at home is that "illegal aliens" will fucking murder you where you sit because they are naturally evil.

4a. Let's not even talk about Chachi.

5. No one represented the insane asylum that is the modern GOP more than former New York City mayor and man most likely to send back a half-eaten steak and claim it wasn't properly cooked, Rudy Giuliani. Gesturing wildly, screaming, and jumping around like a pug on PCP, Giuliani warned us that the country has become something it quite demonstrably has not. "The vast majority of Americans today do not feel safe. They fear for their children. They fear for themselves," he said, and the only response is "Motherfucker, we're only afraid because you keep telling us to be afraid.  Crime is down, jobs are up, and more people can get medical care than ever. All the shit that's bad - income distribution, guns everywhere - that's on you Republican spoogerags." On and on Rudy went, in that man-cunt way of his, where everything is shit and Barack Obama is a fey demi-man who won't keep you safe and Hillary Clinton is a cold-blooded bitch who murders soldiers and only one man can save us from choking on our own vomit as we're raped by Muslims in our homes and that man is Donald Trump, who is qualified to do this because he got building plans past zoning commissions. Or something. Fucking ridiculous.

6. We've got three more days of this. Three more days of hearing about how Benghazi was the worst crime in the U.S. history. Three more days of people trying to tell us that a bloated pile of shit topped with orange cotton candy is the superhero American needs. As we wallow in the easily understood plagiarism nonsense, we can ignore the racism, the xenophobia, the misogyny, the hate, emanating from the convention center like a shit smell from a diaper.


Trump Voters Own This Awfulness and They Should Be Ashamed of Themselves

The mea culpas are coming fast and furious as we approach Thursday's anointment of Trump as the GOP's idiot king. We're getting the questioning of how the hell this could have happened, and we're getting individuals standing up and saying, "It was me. Fuck. It was me." Those would include Tony Schwarz, the ghostwriter of Trump's first hagiography, The Art of the Deal, who tells Jane Mayer in the New Yorker, "I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is." And it also includes reporter McKay Coppins of Buzzfeed, who says that one reason Trump even ran was because the reality TV star was stung by an article by Coppins that said Trump wasn't going to run.

Yeah, you're all motherfuckers and deserve whatever self-flagellation you inflict, but let's be perfectly clear. Stop thinking so fucking much of yourselves. There is one reason and one reason only that delegates at the Republican National Convention will be forced to watch a parade of Trumps bark at them in barely comprehensible English about how great their father/husband/lover/master/whatever is. Blame the voters. That's all. However important you think you are, at the end of the day, the voters had a choice, and they went, by increasing and then overwhelming numbers, to Trump.

You can come up with all kinds of justifications for why primary voters chose Trump - a disgust with "politics as usual," the glamour of the celebrity, the appeal to racist/nativist ideology, a white working class that has been ignored by Democrats (not true, but the perception is there) - but let's not use that to take away the agency of those voters. They looked at and listened to a blithering sociopath and decided, "Yeah, that's what I want."

In Esquire, Charlie Pierce wrote a piece titled, "This Isn't Funny Anymore" and called Trump supporters "traitors" to America. But let's go a little further. They should be ashamed of themselves, and, more importantly, they should be made to feel that shame and, especially when it comes to politicians and pundits who support Trump, they should be shunned and treated like they are not part of the conversation, including "leaders" like Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan who are aiding and abetting Trump.

In other election years, this liberal blogger could see that there might be a rational reason to vote for Mitt Romney and John McCain (pre-Palin) and Bob Dole and, hell, even W. Bush. Each of them had policies with which you could argue. They had extensive numbers and figures you could question and test. On 60 Minutes, in their first 2012 interview after Ryan was named Romney's running mate, Romney clearly stated what he was proposing for taxes: "We're not going to reduce taxes for high-income people, and we are going to reduce taxes for middle-income people." Then he talked about capital gains taxes while Ryan discussed getting rid of tax shelters. No matter how opposed you were to Romney and Ryan (and this blog thought Romney was a desperate little bitch), you never thought, "Holy fuck, they're gonna destroy the entire fucking country."

Romney and Ryan did their interview in a furniture factory in North Carolina. Donald Trump and his newly-announced running mate, Mike Pence, a man who looks like he's had his facial features power sanded off, sat in gold-trimmed chairs in Trump's Manhattan penthouse for their big interview with 60 Minutes. And while Trump's website includes a few detailed plans (one of which we'll get to in a minute), it's patently obvious that the candidate himself knows nothing.

Look at the section at the beginning of the interview, where Trump tells Lesley Stahl that he would formally ask Congress to "declare war" on ISIS. "I am going to have very few troops on the ground. We're going to have unbelievable intelligence, which we need; which, right now, we don't have. We don't have the people over there," Trump says. "And we're going to have surrounding states and, very importantly, get NATO involved because we support NATO far more than we should, frankly, because you have a lot of countries that aren't doing what they're supposed to be doing. And we have to wipe out ISIS." Stahl keeps coming back to the declaration of war because it's very clear that Trump doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about. He's gonna declare war but not send in many U.S. troops? If he's talking about air strikes, well, shit, we're doing that now. And neighboring states? Is he going to involve Iran? As far as NATO goes, Trump's position seems to be that he'll bully and blackmail them into more action.

That's Trump's approach to everything. You wanna know how Trump says Mexico is gonna pay for the wall? It's on his website. He says he'll get a rule that bars the transfer of funds from the United States by anyone not here lawfully. Then he'd prevent undocumented workers from sending money home to their impoverished families: "They receive approximately $24 billion a year in remittances from Mexican nationals working in the United States. The majority of that amount comes from illegal aliens. It serves as de facto welfare for poor families in Mexico." Apparently, this will make Mexico agree to pay for the wall by pixie magic or something. It's outright blackmail. Trump even says that he'll shakedown Mexico: "Make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion to ensure that $24 billion continues to flow into their country year after year." That's a fucking real quote. Surely, Mexico won't just tell us to shove our threat up our asses.

It's fucking embarrassing. Not Brexit embarrassing yet, but still, when the candidate of one of the two major parties says that it's fine that his running mate was wrong when he voted for the Iraq War, but that Hillary Clinton is not entitled to make a mistake, you're dealing with someone for whom reality is whatever he wants it to be. You're dealing with someone who will say what he needs to close a deal, true or not. And that shit is fucking dangerous.

Between the interview and the press conference to introduce Pence, which was really just about watching Trump suck his own dick for 28 minutes before blowing his load all over the Indiana governor and walking off stage to rinse out his mouth, it's not just that Trump is uniquely unqualified to be president. It's that he's uniquely unqualified to speak in public. It's beyond a joke now. It's into something existential for the nation. And who gives a fuck who started it at this point?

The media should treat any Trump voters and on-air supporters like they would a child molester trying to justify why he fucks little boys. We don't get cable news segments with the host saying, "Well, yes, you believe that anally raping pre-adolescents is morally appalling, but let's get some perspective on it from Chester over here. Chester is a long-time pedophile and he thinks butt sex with boys is great. Chester, what do you think?" No, we don't get those segments because fuck Chester and everything he believes. Some things are just in and of themselves wrong. Supporting Trump is one of them. And, yeah, let's be crystal-fuckin'-clear here: that was just a comparison between Trump supporters and child rapists because if he's elected, our kids are fucked.

That's how ashamed Trump voters should feel. They should be isolated and their opinions, even on valid issues like trade, should be discounted until they give up on Trump. You don't ask a goatfucker what he thinks about tax policy while he's fucking a goat.

You can say that all this is a rational approach that cannot compete with irrationality. Yes, but we have no obligation to make irrationality seem rational. We can say some shit is just wrong. We're allowed to that. We can set the terms of debate.

Now, let's all sit back and watch the calm, reasonable, inspiring speeches by Chachi and that Duck Taliban guy in Cleveland.


A Rude Review of Mike Pence

Over the years, the Rude Pundit has made no bones about what a dickish, Jesus-fellating piece of shit Indiana governor and now vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence has been in his career. See, he was this blogger's Congress member for a brief, horrible period when the Rude Pundit was slowly watching his life seep away in that hellhole of flat land, cold winds, and backwards ass people, Indiana. So he has met Pence, spoken briefly to him, looked into those beady, sleepy eyes and realized, "Holy fuckass, this guy is so fuckin' dumb that he could hammer a nail in with his head and it wouldn't do any damage." No wonder Donald Trump chose him (although, hilariously, it looks like Trump was trying to back out of it at the last minute, possibly realizing that touring the nation with an tight-assed evangelical Christian with the personality of a corn-speckled turd wouldn't be a nonstop party).

So let's look at some of the things this here blog has said about Pence, as well as some of the dumb shit that dumbshit has said:

Back in 2009, while in Congress (where he squatted and dumped until 2013), Pence was ahead of the curve in trying to defund Planned Parenthood, as he wrote in a mighty opinion piece for nutzoid conservative port-a-potty, Townhall. Scribbled the Rude Pundit: "By Pence's 'logic' (if by 'logic,' you mean, 'a strange amalgam of religious paranoia and dubious fiscal reasoning by a man who shoves corncobs up his own ass because he's the one Republican desperately trying to avoid fucking another man or woman'), as he writes, his amendment to an appropriations bill 'would close the loophole that has forced millions of pro-life Americans to subsidize the nation's leading abortion provider, sustaining and underwriting the destruction of innocent human life that has been carried out on a massive scale by Planned Parenthood.'

"You got that, right? We wouldn't want to offend the pro-life Americans by providing money to an organization that does more to actually prevent abortions than every bullshit abstinence program everywhere. No, no, we wouldn't want Planned Parenthood to be there to mop up for the utter failure of conservative sex education plans to actually educate about sex."

And who can forget Pence's weird-ass sexualizing of his faith, enthusing about his love of Jesus and young men in rapey-stalker language at the Value Voters Summit:

"In his speech, Representative Mike Pence of Indiana was more or less describing how much he wanted to blow Christ: '[N]othing can compare to the inexpressible joy I felt on a night in April in 1978 when I gave my life to Jesus Christ.' And that Jesus is a demanding Master to his little submissives: 'Well, like millions of Americans, I've been spending some time on my knees lately.'

"Most creepy was Pence's fetishization of America's youth, a masturbatory need so great that he had to rush back home to indulge it: 'I got on the plane and flew home to Indiana, went out to the Henry Country Fairgrounds for a Boy Scout Jamboree on a cold Saturday morning just about a year ago, and I'll never forget it. You know the Boy Scout Jamboree situation. A bunch of little boys with their hair tousled, ties pulled to the side, one shirt tail out, standing in a row.' The Rude Pundit doesn't know about you, but he probably couldn't describe a row of scouts in such...loving detail."

Or maybe we can look fondly back to when he declared that the Affordable Care Act was antithetical to the ideals of the American Revolution, that it would essentially make Thomas Jefferson puke? Pence even offered up his cancer-ridden cousin as a sacrificial lamb: "Pence told a story about his cousin who has cancer. 'He's awaiting insurance approval for an experimental treatment because his system can no longer tolerate the long regimen of chemo,' Pence said. But Cuz, who, you know, has insurance, ain't a poster child for reform. Oh, no. In fact, he's against reform. He wrote to Pence, '[I]f this was a government bureaucracy, I have no faith that it would be processed in a timely manner and even then, if it would be approved. The idea of a public health care option, as a chronic cancer patient, scares the living hell out of me.'"

Of course, as governor, Pence ended up taking the Medicaid expansion money for his state, but only by being a complete conservative cockknob about it.

And, in 2010, in a preview of the kind of leadership we could expect from Veep Pence, he set the tone for the House of Representatives in telling President Obama and his agenda to go fuck itself: "Here's Indiana's Mike Pence (Campaign slogan: 'I'm a motherfucker, but at least I'm honest about being a motherfucker') on what will happen if his party wins the House: 'Look, the time to go along and get along is over...Look, there will be no compromise on stopping runaway spending, deficits and debt. There will be no compromise on repealing Obamacare. There will be no compromise on stopping Democrats from growing government and raising taxes. And if I haven’t been clear enough yet, let me say again: No compromise.'"

Yes, yes, yes, Mike Pence, who, at the time, was harboring illusions that he might be president hisself one day, was one of the people responsible for the congressional fuckery that stalled virtually any legislation in the House.

As governor, he has been responsible for the idiotic and unconstitutional religious freedom bill (aka "That Thing For Homophobic Bakers") and the savagely anti-woman anti-choice laws that have left at least one woman who had a miscarriage imprisoned. A hateful, myopic, self-righteous asshole, this Pence.

In other words, unlike Trump, he's what we now refer to as a "traditional Republican."


Republican National Convention Schedule Released, Featuring Hate, Death, and Fear

The Republican Party finally released its speaker list and general schedule for its national convention, which starts Monday in Cleveland (motto: "Dear God, let us survive this"). It's an unsurprising list of minor celebrities, craven politicians, and an assortment of dicks and assholes, all ready to go fuck themselves at a word from their nominee, Donald Trump. Here's a look:

Night 1: A "Benghazi focus," with the corpse of Ambassador Christopher Stevens propped up in a chair as Melania Trump, in a Hillary Clinton mask, lap dances it. Then two security officers who survived the attack in Libya will be allowed to gun down a Muslim chosen at random from the streets of Cleveland. Melania Trump, in a hijab, will give them a lap dance to celebrate their triumph. Rudy Giuliani will show up to play "Creepy Uncle Rudy," the lonely divorced guy who weeps while masturbating in the kids' room while the children are asleep, telling himself it's not wrong. Then we shift to immigration, where border patrol agents will wrestle each other over which one of them hates Messicans more and how much a wall would be awesome. Finally, Jamiel Shaw will speak. His son was killed by an undocumented immigrant in 2008, which would have been during the presidency of George W. Bush, a Republican. But he's black and supports Trump. Two lap dances from Melania for him.

Night 2: It's economy night: Everyone in attendance will be given a poor person to feed and care for for the night. If you keep the poor person alive until the end of the evening, you get a gift bag. If your poor person dies under your watch, like if you drop them on their head or leave them in your car without a window opened, you still get a gift bag, but you have to pretend you feel bad about taking it. What you don't have to feel bad about is that the poor person will receive hospital treatment because Ohio is one of the few states led by a Republican that took the Medicaid expansion. The evening will conclude with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell slowly strangling adorable hedgehogs, their horrible squeaks echoing throughout the hall as the gathered delegates hope the animals die quickly, just to end it. Everyone gets a scholarship to Trump University, as long as you buy at least one course package.

Night 3: Guns and penises: Eric Trump will come on stage and slowly fellate an AR-15 held by his Klonopinned to the gills wife. A presentation on Bill Clinton's dick will feature reenactments of his Oval Office shenanigans. There will be a raffle to see who gets to put a cigar in pro-golfer Natalie Gulbis's snatch. Ted Cruz will speak about how God has forsaken him and he will now become a male prostitute. He will offer his services, but no one will take him up on it. When Cruz is done, everyone will get a chance to punch Newt Gingrich in the dick. The evening ends with a command to the delegates from the NRA to shove the barrel of their concealed handguns up their assholes until they feel pleasure take over the pain. So much blood, shit, and semen will stain the floor that the night will end early. Anti-choice activists think that's their cue, but they will be sent home without being allowed to speak.

Night 4: The coronation of the Trump: Donald Trump will be presented, nude, covered in oil, to the writhing hordes who have been engaged in unholy congress due to the ecstasy and acid that the Trump water bottles were laced with. "Who dares challenge me?" Trump will cry out as he is surrounded by virgin Asian boys who constantly massage his balls and rub the oil into his flesh with meat from Trump steaks. Ivanka will place a crown on his head and, taking his penis in her hand, lead her father to the lectern where he will demand human sacrifice. Reince Priebus will offer his heart for the eating, and Scott Baio will carry out the ritual. Trump will decline the heart and, instead, command Chris Christie to eat it, yanking on his nipple chains to bring him forth. Chachi will fist the bent over Christie as he gorges on the bloody organ. Bathed in light, Trump will ask for ten, no, twenty, no, okay, let's make it ten hot women, not pigs, to be brought to his suite so that he can interview them for unpaid internships. The lights will go out suddenly and, when they come on, Trump will be gone, his swastika-emblazoned helicopter already flying him away from Cleveland. His biker troops will use fire hoses to chase out the remaining delegates. The body of Reince Priebus will be left to rot and be eaten by rats.

Outside, the riots will descend into Soylent Green territory.

It's gonna be a fun time in Cleveland.


Your Disagreement with Ruth Bader Ginsburg Is Duly Noted; Now Go FuckYourselves (Updated)

Supreme Court Justice and noted kicker of asses Ruth Bader Ginsburg was asked point blank in an interview with the AP about the possibility of Donald Trump being elected president. "I don't want to think about that possibility, but if it should be, then everything is up for grabs," she responded. Holy fucking shitballs, you'd've thought she said that she wants to shank Trump in an alley and laugh while he bleeds. Instead, she was referring quite clearly to the Supreme Court since the interview was about, well, shit, the Supreme Court.

In fact, when she was being interviewed a couple of days later by the New York Times, she clarified what a Trump victory could mean: "For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that." She added that her now-deceased husband once said something that might be apropos: "Now it’s time for us to move to New Zealand."

And that was it. The universe collapsed into itself because a Supreme Court justice had an opinion about the future of the Supreme Court and, therefore, the country. Right Blogsylvania and Nutso Twitterati went ballistic, and, of course, Herr Trump had to tweet some goddamn thing. Then, God love her, Ginsburg was asked again about Trump on CNN on Monday, and she showed that she has run clean out of fucks to give when it comes to that walking, talking monkey dick of a man. She said, "He is a faker...He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego." And she wondered where the fuck his tax returns are before wiggling her pinkie and saying, "His dick must be sooo tiny." (Not really, but that would have been awesome.)

Major news organizations have been scolding Ginsburg, apparently forgetting that Antonin Scalia routinely raked President Obama and his administration over the coals in very personal terms in his rantingly mad opinions and in oral arguments. This is not to mention Samuel "Rollin' Eyes" Alito mouthing, "Not true" during the 2010 State of the Union address. The Times nags, "Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg needs to drop the political punditry and the name-calling." The Washington Post piled on, "Justice Ginsburg’s off-the-cuff remarks about the campaign fall into that limited category of candor that we can’t admire, because it’s inconsistent with her function in our democratic system." Fox "news" has a piece that helpfully informs us that you need to impeach a justice to remove her.

That's great, gang. Now go fuck yourselves. Why do you think Ginsburg chose to enter this fray? She could have very easily demurred on the questions, slapped away the bait and swam on.

Maybe, just maybe it's because someone who is now on her third president while in the Supreme Court, who kept her opinions to the issues at the bench during the reign of George W. Bush, who was pals with the vile conservative Antonin Scalia, knows when something is so fucking evil and awful that you are doing harm by being silent. Maybe, just maybe she doesn't want the Court to be filled with boobs and buffoons and Alitos and Thomases, all there to do the bidding of their Trumpish overlord. Maybe she sees her role as a guardian of democracy and doesn't want to see it undermined, that an extraordinary election calls for an extraordinary response. Or perhaps the Court is as much a political entity as any other, as Republicans are demonstrating quite clearly in not even allowing a hearing and a vote on the nomination of Merrick Garland because of some bullshit new rule they pulled out of their asses.

So Ginsburg is being open and honest as a goddamned warning to the nation: This is a dangerous path. Here there be monstrous decisions that will devour your children. Turn back while you still have the chance, America.

Frankly, it's heroic of her in this age of nonstop ragegasms in social and other media to insist that we have some fuckin' standards as a nation. Ginsburg is the knight and our stupidity is the dragon. Slay away.

Update:  Justice Ginsburg's apology today really doesn't change her criticism of Trump.  She said her remarks were "ill-advised" and that judges shouldn't comment on candidates. But she quite conspicuously didn't take back what she said. She didn't offer, "Oh, well, Trump is just dandy." No, Ginsburg still thinks Trump is a motherfucker who will wreck the nation. She's just sick of hearing your shit about her having said it.


The Big Part Missing From All Your "Is the United States Collapsing?" Think Pieces

In today's New York Times, resident dandy David Brooks asks, "Are We on the Path to National Ruin?" as the title of his latest "column" (if by "column," you mean, "the effete bleats of a lamb whose ideology is on its way to slaughter"). This follows from Sunday's scribble from Ross Douthat, which asked, succinctly, as is his somewhat more proletarian way, "Are We Unraveling?" and it accompanies a conversation between Gail Collins and Arthur Brooks question-titled, "How Dangerous Is This Moment?" Three pieces in one newspaper, and they all leave out a crucial piece in order to get an answer. Even Jamelle Bouie, when he asks in Slate, "Is America Falling Apart or Finally Waking Up?" about police violence, leaves it out. (By the way, spoiler: none of them think the country is going to fall apart or unravel or be ruined.)

And it's a huge fucking omission: blame. See, without assigning blame for how the hell we got to a moment where we're wondering if we're breaking up into a foul, balkanized collective of political groups, we will tweet ourselves to death if we don't get to kill each other with our real and actual guns. And I'm talking real blame here, not some milquetoast, bullshit blaming of everyone, that each of us is equally culpable. Fuck that.

You know where blame rests. If the nation is tearing itself apart, it's because conservatives, including the Republican Party, have decided to tear it apart.

Let's get into a little bit of history here because you can pinpoint shit pretty easily. Brooks writes, "[Citizens] fall for politicians who lie about the source of their problems and about how they can surmount them." You can go back to St. Reagan's first budget in 1981 to see where the turn happened to believing lies were truth. When Reagan gutted social programs and sent them to the states or eliminated them altogether, including ones for housing, child care, women's health, poverty, and welfare, along with another bill that drastically cut taxes for the wealthy, he promised a bounty of growth in the nation, which was a goddamned lie that should have driven him out of office as a disgrace. Instead, Reagan played granddaddy, pretended his failed economic theory was working (to the point that Donald Trump essentially is proposing more of it), and manipulated the public with wedge issues like abortion, drugs, "welfare queens," and capital punishment. Constituencies that might have unified over issues related to the working class instead divided over abortion rights, race, and the role of evangelical Christianity in policy. Lies didn't start with Reagan, but the massive shift in the conception of the government as a force to improve people's lives certainly occurred because of him.

Where else do you wanna go? Brooks blathers, "Facts lose their meaning. Entertainment replaces reality. Once facts are unmoored, everything else is unmoored, too." Again, here, you can look to the right and see who's responsible. Once the Fairness Doctrine was shitcanned in 1987, the airwaves went nutzoid with talk radio frauds lying to people to soothe their prejudices, telling mostly white listeners that it was okay to hate people different from them, that progress and inclusion was wrong. And Fox "news" was created specifically to take advantage of a lie, that the media was "liberal" and needed a conservative voice to "balance" it. Facts became mutable, merely the whims of whomever is offering commentary in the moment.

Time after time, the policies of the right, the actions of the right, the beliefs of the right have sought to divide us, by race, by gender, by sexual identity, by religion because the power of the right comes from division. Blame has to be apportioned that way. Even in his powerful speech today, President Obama was not letting conservatives off the hook. Gun policies are madness, he said. Ignoring the problems of poor urban neighborhoods is ludicrous. Fucking over the education system is irresponsible in the extreme.

And that was before Republicans decided not only to oppose the President on every issue, but to block votes, refuse compromise, and demonize him so that the same idiots and assholes who have had their prejudice massaged like a lonely dick in a skeevy spa will hate him. They have damaged the functioning of the government so that no one understands how important it is, even when it's helping ensure that millions of people don't go bankrupt from their illnesses and injuries. They are so blinded by that rage that they nominate a living embodiment of their hatred and racism for president.

No, the country ain't falling apart yet. But unless conservatives see some profit in progressing, it will die of inertia, a stalled hulk, awaiting the weeds to take us back to the dirt.

Oh, look, the Republican Party platform includes an attack on pornography as "a public health crisis that is destroying the life of millions." That goes far beyond fiddling while Rome is burning. That's masturbating during the Rapture.


Quotes That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Chug Methyl Alcohol Until He's Blind

Every once in a while, trawling the effluvia in the pig shit ponds of right-wing websites, the Rude Pundit comes across a nugget or two that perfectly distills the zeitgeist of nutzoid conservatism in the United States. And, glory be, as he was looking for some info on Breitbart writer Lee Stranahan's arrest during a Black Lives Matter protest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (spoiler: he was a total cockknob about it and learned absolutely nothing), he discovered such a floater, a column by reactionary spoogebucket Stephen K. Bannon.

He's writing about how the nation is falling apart because of the protests against police violence and because Roger Ailes, the corpulent symbol of moral and media corruption as head of Fox "news," has been accused of sexual harassment by former Fox blonde head, Gretchen Carlson. In the course of stuffing as much conservative cock in every orifice of his he can fill, Bannon equates Fox "news," Roger Ailes, and the continued health of the nation. No, really. Here it is:

"But Fox, as a lonely fair-and-balanced bastion, is still an obstacle to Democratic victory plans in 2016. And that’s the real story of the Gretchen Carlson lawsuit against Ailes, which I wrote about here at BNN on July 8. I said then, and I still think now, that Carlson’s case has no merit, but I now see more clearly that her case has depth — that is, lots of resources. Yes, it is a huge operation that they have mounted against Ailes. And who is 'they'? I think it’s virtually the whole of the Democratic establishment, including the Obamas, the Clintons, and their billionaire financiers, such as George Soros. These are the people who are plotting to take down Ailes. And if Ailes goes, I’m afraid, so could America."

Man, someone is willing to blow Ailes for a job.

The thing is that many, many on the right believe this kind of shit. They believe there is a conspiracy among all the major players on the left (and, really, the middle and middle-right) to bring down Roger Ailes, as if that would in any way stop the Fox "news" lie machine from fake fair-and-balancing the fuck out of stuff they make up. If Ailes, a pile of elephant dung in human form, Jabba the Hutt without the charm, is all that stands between anarchy and order for the nation, then we are fucked where we stand, probably by him.

For such masturbating paranoiacs as Bannon, it can't simply be that Ailes likes to coerce women into fucking him and his friends. It can't be that a power-mongering supervillain wannabe is actually and really evil. Oh, no. It's gotta be that everyone else is evil but him. The other women coming out to tell their stories, even decades after the fact, of Ailes's demands to be fucked by them must be harpy hordes set on the noble and valiant blobby knight of righteousness who's fighting the good fight against liberal medialand.

Roger Ailes is a goddamned poison who decided to shrink the press to a size where he could eat it and digest and shit it out again. That one of his blonde automatons might be the person who takes him apart is enough to make you believe in karma.


Bleed American

We now have new steps in our deathdance with firearms in the United States: the mass shooting of police officers. And make no mistake: this Dallas massacre was as much about the availability of guns as it was, allegedly, about revenge. That revenge was for the murder of black men for the apparent crime of legally carrying guns while black.

It wasn't supposed to go like this. The rhetoric of the gun "rights" crowd has been that citizen ownership of semi-automatic weapons like the AR-15 and others was necessary as a means to defend oneself when Barack Obama sent his jackbooted thugs to force you to pay your grazing fees or something else that is associated with "freedom" that is really just "breaking the law." In other words, it was supposed to be "Real America," in the parlance Complete-Ass-of-the-Week Joe Walsh, the former GOP congressman, armed whites facing off against a tyrannical federal government. That would show why one had to have the assault rifles and machine guns. It wasn't supposed to be that a black man might use those same weapons against the cops as a way of taking down authorities that had done harm to the black community.

In the abstract, of course. Because these Dallas cops weren't the ones involved in killing any of the long list of black and brown men and women who have been beaten, strangled, and shot by the police. When innocents are killed, we can expect that other innocents will be killed in return. That is the cycle of violence. That is how terrorism works. You terrorize one group and that group terrorizes your group, even if you're not there. Dallas Police Chief David Brown wants to break that cycle, saying at a press conference today that he won't "militarize" his force because "We are not gonna let a coward who would ambush police officers change our democracy." Those are the most encouraging words that have come from this nightmare. (And, no, the cops who killed Philando Castile and Alton Sterling shouldn't be killed. They should be charged with a crime, arrested, and stand trial.)

There is no way this doesn't, ultimately, come back to the insane proliferation of guns and the madness of our current gun laws. Without hundreds of millions of guns out there and the insidious concealed carry permits, the police wouldn't be constantly ready for a gun battle. Racism, stupidity, crap training, and guns everywhere are a mixture ripe for constant explosions. Without the ease with which one can buy an assault rifle (or whatever gun fondlers want to call it), it would be far more difficult to have the number of multiple homicide events and mass killings. And let's not even get into the juvenile, masturbatory open-carry laws, fit only for pathetic exhibitionists.

This is who we are as a nation. We have decided, and we keep affirming, that it is so important that untrained gun owners be able to defend themselves from phantoms that it is worth the all the blood that is spilled. We have decided that "freedom" only applies to individuals and not to society as a whole. If you are a civilian walking around with a firearm, I would argue that you are very, very far from free. You are a captive to your fears, and you are using a perverse notion of freedom to cover it up.

Some of us, many of us, want to be able to move through this nation without wondering if everyone has a gun on them. Some of us, many of us, don't want anyone to be gunned down, not black men by cops, not cops by black men, not people at clubs, at schools, at movie theaters, at churches, at all the places where we die. Some of us, many of us, believe that guns are the opposite of freedom and that you shouldn't have them and most, if not all, of them should be taken away from you, even if, yes, we have to pry them from your idiot hands.

We live in a prison of guns, floors slick with the blood of our dead, and we keep sliding around instead of cleaning up.

(Note: The title is from a 2001 song by Jimmy Eat World that was changed after 9/11 for fear of offending people.)