Haiku Review of 2016, Part 2: The Haikuening

Okay, fuck, enough. No more. I've read a couple of hundred three-line poems, some great, some gross, some good, some bad. Thanks to everyone who was bored enough to write a few for the annual review, a tradition in these here parts for a number of years. If you didn't get selected, it's probably because of Russia.

Here we go:

From Gummo in Brooklyn:

Just fuck Donald Trump
Fuck Donald Trump’s wife, kids and
Fuck Donald Trump’s hair

From Rabbitearz in Los Angeles:

Kellyanne Conway
Lies through her shark teeth, telling
Trump his dick is huge.

From Seattle Steamer:

American Poors
Fisted like Melania
Thank Fuck it's tiny

From Sarah, the middle school teacher:

November 8th? No.
It was over when Bundys
were all acquitted.

From Doug in Oakland:

I dreamed Trump had been
Buggered to death by a sheep
Sadly, I awoke

From Big Digits in Fort Wayne, IN:

Putin's pussy said
Please pillory Hillary
Hack democracy

From Peggy in Wisconsin:

Rubes seeking revenge
Oblivious to the con
Pick their own pockets

From Queen Tut in the San Fernando Valley:

Where veterans blow
   and curse the black man’s healthcare,
Theirs soon privatized.

From Tom in Tucson:

Repeal and replace,
Twenty million jeopardized?
That is the question.

From Michelle K. in Riverview, FL:

What do I tell them?
My two sons see the bully
Become our leader

From Philimus in Fairfax County, VA:

Do Black Lives Matter
With Barack’s legacy in
Ruins around us?

From the Weeping Willow:

"Black man had a gun,"
Cops said after fatal shots.
Videos don't lie.

From Auntie Social:

Not far from my home
Children gassed in Aleppo
As I watch cat vids

From Nancy G. in Olympia, WA:

True horror story:
atmospheric carbon now
past the tipping point.

From Steve H. in Liberty:

Ground Control waits, sad
As old phonograph needles,
For another song…

From Joe C.:

Muhammad Ali
Floated like a butterfly
Stung WASPs like a bee

From Ms. L.B. in NYC:

Many died young, and
Scalia kicked the bucket.
Let's call it a draw.

From Newscaster in Chevy Chase, MD:

All the dead celebs,
Prince, Ali, Fisher, Bowie.
Why not Dick Cheney?

One last one from me:

Bye, 2016.
You sucked balls, but, fuck, here comes


Haiku Review of 2016, Part 1

So far, I've gotten well over a hundred haiku from well over a hundred rude readers, and all I can say is "You motherfuckers really hate Donald Trump." Here are some of the best from the first batch, literally from sea to shining sea:

From Howdydostu in Las Vegas:

Fuck the rust belt states.
A black prez saved their asses.
Short memory fail!

From Ellroon:

Golden thrones won't fit
The White House has to stay white
Melania pouts

From RJ in San Jose:

Pence is … masculine.
His coif - like smooth Race Bannon.
But he’s no Putin.

From Manic Organica in Tampa:

Pissed-off Trump voters
Stupid fucks with loaded guns
Beer drinking shitlords.

From BB in L.A.:

You voted for Trump
but need your Obamacare?
You're deplorable!

From this blog's ol' pal, Radical Russ:

No, Twenty Sixteen,
Legalized marijuana
Doesn't absolve you

From Jeff in Woodbridge, VA, a simple sentiment we can all get behind:

Fuck Twenty Sixteen.
Seriously, fuck that shit.
Fuck Twenty Sixteen.

There will be more posted over the next few days as we say farewell to this bitch of a year. You can send your haiku to "rudepundit_at_yahoo(dot)com" and maybe yours will show up on the magic page.


The Rude Pundit's Haiku Review of 2016: And Then Let Us Never Speak of It Again

Oh, sweet, dear, suffering people of the rude-iverse, we come now to the end of a year that was as vicious as a drunk uncle after being accused of finger-fucking the dog at a family Christmas party. We know that the coming year promises to make that drunk uncle come after our own assholes, and so, as we say, "Get the fuck gone already" to 2016, let us bury it with our haiku.

Yes, it's time for the Rude Pundit's Annual Haiku Celebration of the Dying Year. Submit your haiku about the year that is almost past, any subject. The only rules are that it has to be a for-real goddamn haiku (a line of five syllables, a line of seven syllables, and a line of five syllables). You can be as angry or sad or funny or fucked up as you like. The prize is just that the best ones get published on these here pages for all to see. The only judge is me, and so it depends on how drunk/high/altered I am at the time I'm reading.

When you submit, please say how you want to be identified, with a name and your place, like "Armando from Titty Fuck, Colorado" or "Shit Blaster from Lexington, Mass." If you got a website you wanna link to, send it along to.

Here are a few to get you started:

Purple Prince in his
Majesty, high above the
Mournful plains. Shed grace.

Stubby-handed Trump,
Fingers smell of raped pussy,
Nukes at the ready.

Hillary was screwed
By Comey's calamitous
Calumny. Fire him.

You got the idea? Email your entries to "rudepundit_at_yahoo(dot)com." I'll post the best, with a few more of my own, over the next few days.

Things That Made 2016 Not Completely Unbearable

Yeah, this year needs to be put down, Ol'Yeller-style. Even though next year is looking about as ominous as a funnel cloud over a corn field and a solitary barn, I'm gonna take a minute here for an appreciation of things that don't involve elections or deaths (with one exception). Of course, everything is infused in some way by the gnawing dread that fucks with us constantly now.

1. Everything you've heard about the films La La Land and Moonlight is right: they are both beautiful and moving, and the performances are insanely great. In particular, Moonlight is remarkable for its empathy for most of its characters, including its gay protagonist (played by three different actors at different ages), the drug dealer who wrestles with his conscience, and the crack-addicted mother, played by Naomie Harris as a fierce and broken character. Two films that blew the doors off the genres they were confined to are The Green Room, where a punk band has to viciously fight for its life against neo-Nazis led by a quietly sinister Patrick Stewart, and The Invitation, a horror film that seems like another "hipsters talking about shit" movie until the true purpose of the evening gathering we're witnessing is revealed. The final moment of it now seems like a haunting distillation of what has happened to the nation.

2. Empathy also was in high supply on television that was worth a goddamn (unlike, say, the reality show that helped propel a certain leering orange goblin to the presidency). Donald Glover's Atlanta couldn't have been better: dry, funny, and so smart that one of its best episodes parodied cable shows directed at African Americans, gender theory, and pop culture, all while allowing each character dignity and agency. You're the Worst showcased its supporting characters, turning the fools into lonely souls trying to play the lead in their own lives. Despair could have overwhelmed both Fleabag and Rectify, but redemption was just around the corner for each of their protagonists. Rectify ended its run this year, and I'll miss the barely spoken, aching optimism of it. (For a sheer blast, there was the bizarre, manic Preacher. And you still couldn't beat Ash vs. Evil Dead, which did everything that The Walking Dead tried to do, except unpretentious and with chainsaws. We should all live this next year with the cockiness of Ashy Slashy.)

3. It'd be easy to say the best concert I saw was Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band playing for four hours at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. It was all you want for a Springsteen show: cathartic, raging, fun, exhausting, and communal, all in equal measure. But three other musical moments hit me even more strongly. At the elegant Beacon Theatre in New York City, Jason Isbell's intensely personal country songs echoed into the gold-gilded rafters, and the man can tear it up on guitar. In a shack of a bar in Louisiana, the great Cajun band the Lost Bayou Ramblers backed up Spider Stacy of the seminal Irish rock group, the Pogues, merging the musical styles into a crazed patchwork of sound that had the small crowd bouncing madly. And I was fortunate to see one of the final shows of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. Wracked by cancer, in-between chemotherapy treatments, Jones was only able to perform five or six songs to a Camden, New Jersey crowd as an opening act, but, even frail, she danced and sang like she was chasing Death away. That it caught her a couple of months later showed that 2016 was going to be unforgiving in its malevolent pull. (The albums that have been on constant rotation this year for me include Good Grief by Lucius and Masterpiece by Big Thief.)

4. Let's see...what else? At the theatre, you can keep Hamilton. I'll take little productions like Smokefall at the MCC Theatre, where Zachary Quinto played his character as a fetus and as a grown man, and Miles for Mary at the Bushwick Starr, where teachers at a high school in 1988 gather in the utility room to discuss the upcoming telethon. Both were very funny and ultimately heartbreaking. For spectacle, you can keep Wicked. I'll take the Royal Shakespeare Company's raw, menacing Doctor Faustus, with its parade of sins that looked like Tim Burton and Hieronymus Bosch collaborated for maximum grotesque whimsy. The last act felt like the end of the world as choreographed by Satan. Or, you know, 2016 itself.

On a personal level, 2016 wasn't that bad, filled with love and travel and experiences and professional advancement. I'd trade away a fair bit of it to replace this feeling of impending doom for the new year. But let's face it without cowering, ready to beat the shit out of it before it takes us down.


Trump or Not, It's Still Christmas, and That Means Nativities (Now with Skeletons)

Like movies about suicidal snowmen and tortured ghosts and pole-frozen tongues, some things are a tradition around the rude house. Reruns are good for the soul. My favorites to trot out this week are the Invader Zim Christmas episode and Olive the Other Reindeer. Even here, in Left Blogsylvania, we can indulge in revisiting old posts.

Before Twitter, Instagram, Buzzfeed, Tumblr, and many other places you can get your fix of weird shit, the Rude Pundit posted this Christmas blast back in 2004, updated with new bits of freakishness (some links might not work anymore, but they were or are all real):

Xmas - And, lo, a small teddy bear will lead them:
In the days before Christmas, the Rude Pundit roamed his neighborhood, looking at the displays in the charming stores and corner markets. There he saw the agony of so many dichotomous feelings about this holiday. One window had a kneeling, praying Santa next to a baby Jesus in the manger. Santa's hat was off. He was balding. Another display had the jolly old fat man landing his sleigh and reindeer on the roof of the manger. Surprisingly, neither Mary nor Joseph seemed rattled by the noise, although a camel was looking upward, as if asking, "What the fuck?" The Rude Pundit loved that camel.

Ah, sweet camel, what the fuck, indeed. Christ and commerce, Alleluia. The Savior has been born and he thanks you for your presents. Santa showing that he'll even honor the king of the Jews in the land of Islam. There's no telling what it means (and don't get all up in the Rude Pundit's face about St. Nicholas). Except this: we want to embrace both things, good deconstructionists that we are: Santa, who soothes our greed, and Jesus, who promises us peace. Either way, we want them both to tell us we're good people, nice people. And, of course, guilt-ridden Christians want to make sure that Santa toes the party line, you know.

For the holiday, here's a few of the Rude Pundit's favorite nativity sets, none of which are intended to be mocking of the event:

That right there is the Veggie Tales Nativity. In case you don't know, Veggie Tales are cute vegetables who love Christ and salad tossing. The newborn savior up there is a carrot. Get it? A baby carrot? What a delight.

Holy shit, that bear nativity is one of the creepiest fucking things the Rude Pundit's ever seen. Staring straight ahead with their dead eyes, it looks like a satanic cult sacrifice to some horrible bear-demon. Although, the three wise bears have provided snacks for the blood rite: salmon, honey, and berries. All go well with cub entrails.

You know how you sometimes say, "That's metal as fuck"? Well, here's a strange iron nativity with disturbing torture device characters that look like a blacksmith just said, "Eh, screw it. Put those leftover lumps in an order and call it, 'Christmas.'"

You know how gnomes used to be just those creepy little bitches you put out on your lawn and forgot about? Well, now they can apparently give birth to the Gnome God's child, who will, no doubt, be crucified on a cute little cross one day for the sins of all gnomes. Oh, so many sins.

Speaking of entrails, here's the First Halloween Nativity Set, with Three Wise Zombies and Frankenstein's Monster and his Bride as Joseph and Mary. Who's that in the crib? Why, it's Dracula as Baby Jesus, ready to drink your blood rather than have you drink his.

That nightmare fuel is the dachsund nativity. Frankly, who needs to wage a war on Christmas when the supposed believers actually advertise an anthropomorphized birth of their Lord and Savior with "Bring the true meaning of Christmas into your house year round with the Wiener Dog Nativity!"

This is not to mention the Chickentivity, the Moosetivity, the Barntivity, the Native American Nativity, and the various Beartivities, all available unironically for your Christmas consumption.

And, finally, the baby nativity:

You might think, "Oh, that's adorable. What's so wrong with it?" To which I can only inform you that the implication of it is that a baby Mary shoved a baby Jesus out of her baby vagina.

And to all a good night.

Oh, wait. What's that you say? You think that last one was kind of a weak one to end on? Well, then, fuck you. Here's the Day of the Dead nativity:

Yeah, suck on the them all screaming in horror and pain. Essentially, that'll be next Christmas for all of us.

(Note: Previous editions of the nativity post have included the Dogtivity, the Boyd's Bears Nativity, and the Rubber Duck...oh, fuck, you get the idea.)


When It Comes to Shit Relatives Who Voted Trump, We're All in This Together

I received this email from rude reader MP last week, and it seemed right to share this just before we gather once again with family members who have betrayed everything you ever believed about their innate goodness. I've edited it a little for clarity and to take out things that identify him, and I've removed a few lines of praise for this-here blog because, well, that seems kind of masturbatory to leave in:

"My in-laws are crazy, rabid, evangelical consumers of right-wing media. My mother-in-law is the worst, but they're both top level bad. Her favorite thing to do is just scroll headlines on her Facebook feed, liking and sharing link after link of toxic garbage. Times were when her daughter and I were dating that she'd sit us down and make us watch Glenn Beck with her, because he was 'so smart.' We've been together ten years now, and I keep thinking something's gonna change with them. They can't just keep this up, can they? They're the unhappiest, most fearful people I know, and they have no one to blame but themselves. They've let Rush and Glenn and Bill and all the others do this to them. 

"So why the fuck am I writing to you telling you about people you already know? Just to let you know what has changed since The Donald got 'elected.' They came down to stay with us for Thanksgiving; we all used to live in the same town, but my wife and I moved away a few years ago to a big town that actually has opportunity in it. We've recently had a baby; our first, and their first grandchild. I thought this, this would make my mother-in-law knock it off. She can't keep staring at her phone and sucking up the toxicity when she has a granddaughter to dote on. But, oops, yes she can. She can indeed.

"So we've spent eight years being told how terrible it's gonna be, how many awful terrorist Muslim (but I repeat myself, amirite? (I'm not right)) things are going to happen under BHO. The fact that none of it happened hasn't made a dent in their faith in the doomsayers. And now we have DJT, whom they happily voted for. So on the third day of their stay, I simply sat down with my crazy, angry, fearful mother-in-law, a women who once told me she hated me because I didn't want to have a gun in my house, a woman who once told me to Go Fuck Myself when I asked her what made her dislike Hillary so much (she couldn't actually name a single thing, she just knew she should), a woman who threw my keys on the roof the day after our wedding, in front of all our out-of-town friends, because we wanted to go have lunch together with people we never see... I sat down with her as she scrolled through her dumpster fire of a news feed and just asked her, 'Please defend Donald Trump. You have a daughter. You have a granddaughter. How can you defend what he's done and said to women?'

"Surprise, she couldn't. The best she could do was repeat talking points (she literally said 'locker room talk') and after a few minutes of simply asking her to tell me what she liked about the person she voted for, she was screaming at me, saying I was "a sonofabitch. Fuck it!" and throwing leftovers in a cooler so she could leave (which is remarkably awkward, because they bring a ton of shit and spread out all over the house when they stay over, so there is no just up and leaving; it took a full hour after her tantrum to actually leave).

"The thing is, I've endured this before. What made this the worst thing ever, and what makes me write to you, and what gives me so much fear for the future of my family, and my country, is that my father-in-law, who was standing there this whole time, didn't tell her to STFU. He's absolutely on her side in terms of ideology, but he's always been there to tell her she's being ridiculous and that we shouldn't be talking about these things. But here she was, screaming obscenities at me, and here was me, just asking her to talk to me, and he told ME to stop it. Told me that I was the one making things worse. Told me that I was gonna kill her if I didn't stop. Stop what?!

"I've been reading you for 8 years, I think...in the recent past, you helped me keep focused on not letting these people get me down. I mean, yeah, it gets me down that this is what my wife has to deal with more than me, and it kills me that these are my daughter's grandparents, but while I might have been willing to roll over and try to find some way, any way to appease them, your writing has always been there to remind me, 'No, fuck that. They are wrong and I am right, and barring ideology, they are terrible and I am civil, and I cannot let them win this fight.'

"I think the next few years will be tough, but not in the way they were for the past 8. We had to listen to my in-laws say everything that was GONNA happen for 8 years, knowing as long as we could get them to shut up, everything would be fine, because none of what they said was true and we could focus on just keeping the family together. But now I worry that they think they need to fight us harder, because they 'won' the election and the country needs people like them to speak their minds even more forcefully than before. Obviously I, a middle class white guy, am ultimately going to be fine. But if I can stand my ground with these people, hopefully I can stand my ground against all the people and bullshit they represent."

The only things I'll add to MP's letter is that I don't think being a middle-class white guy is going to be the inoculation against everything that's coming (some of it, sure). And while I appreciate the kind words about offering ways to resist complacency, let's none of us, especially the scribblers, forget that action doesn't end at the keyboard.

Finally, I'm so goddamn glad no one in my family voted for Trump (which means the title here isn't technically true, but I'm an ally to all of you with shit relatives). Yeah, the ones who voted for Gary Johnson were wrong, but they despise Trump, viscerally and actively, and I can go to Christmas dinner with a clear conscience.

Happy holidays. All of them. Hope they're peaceful and restful and restorative because, in the new year, it'll be time to fuck shit up.


A More Perfect Resistance: Turn the Senate

Here's a little raft of hope to cling to as we head into the holidays, a potential route of resistance to the presidency of Donald Trump:

Because Democrats decided they just couldn't be bothered to lift a finger in the Louisiana Senate runoff, Republicans have a 52-48 majority in the Senate, enough to approve any cabinet member or any non-Supreme Court judge, as well as enough to pass any budget reconciliation bill, including the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (with the promise that, oh, sure, sometime in the next 2-3 years, we'll have something just as good, pinky swear, wink). And, except for copious use of the filibuster, it still leaves Democrats without the one thing that could weaken and, possibly, bring down the Trump administration: subpoena power, the ability to get documents and call witnesses for hearing. You only get that when you run the committees, and you only run the committees when you're in the majority.

So while we're still tilting at the burning windmills of Russian interference and possible Obama spine-stiffening on things like Merrick Garland, let's not overlook one real Hail Mary pass on confronting Donald Trump and halting his history-demolishing agenda. What about trying to turn three Republican senators into Democrats (or, at least, turn independent and then caucusing with the Democrats)? It's crazy, sure, and unlikely, in that it relies on the possibility of there existing rational Republicans, but surely there are ones who have a gut-level fear of what Trump might do. Check this out:

Lisa Murkowski from Alaska had to run as an independent when she was primaried from the right in 2010. In 2016, she ran again and won as a Republican. But she's definitely not a crazy (and, remember, this is all relative - not being Ted Cruz doesn't necessarily mean you're a raging progressive, but your eyes aren't spinning). Check out her Senate website: she's actually got a plan that is meant to change the Affordable Care Act for places where there is only one insurer in the marketplace (like, you know, Alaska). Sure, she makes reference to repeal, but other members of Congress are frothing about it. Murkowski even talks about expanding Medicare to serve more disabled patients, not privatizing it.

What happens when Murkowski is confronted with kicking over 40,000 Alaskans off expanded Medicaid, not to mention the tens of thousands who would lose their insurance? Or with gutting Medicare? Get Murkowski to abandon the party that would do just that.

Health care issues would affect another GOP senator just as strongly. Susan Collins of Maine is already indicating that she's not on the Medicare privatization train that House Speaker Paul Ryan is putting on the tracks. Nearly 80,000 people in Maine have ACA health insurance (while the mad Gov. Paul LePage prevents 40,000 residents from getting in on expanded Medicaid), and Collins has said she won't support repealing it without a replacement. Another area that affects Maine worse than other states is opioid addiction, with Maine leading or near the top of states in the rates of babies born in drug withdrawal, heroin use, and prescriptions for opioids. Maine is gonna need federal help to prevent a crisis from becoming a full-blown catastrophe.

So tempt Collins with the promise of pushing for funding targeting the drug epidemic in her state and no Democratic primary opponent (well, none that is supported by the party). And remind her that, if she's really pro-choice, she would want to block whatever thing Trump tries to force onto the Supreme Court.

That's two. Who might be the third? Remember: we're not just looking for Republicans who will resist Trump. In a GOP-controlled Senate, those members can be punished by losing key committee assignments (and don't doubt for a second that Trump won't have McConnell jumping through hoops for him). And any Republican senator with the guts to stand up to Trump will almost definitely be primaried when they're up for reelection. We can probably exclude Ben Sasse of Nebraska. He's a conservative true believer who is early in his career. The same goes for Jeff Flake of Arizona. And forget Rand Paul or Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio.

That leaves, as of now, Lindsey Graham and John McCain. If I were looking for someone to go independent, to abandon his party, to take down the president, I'd try for McCain.  What does McCain owe the Republican Party in Arizona at this point? He had to fight for his life against Kelli Ward in the primary. He had to suck it up as Trump insulted his time as a prisoner-of-war. And he's 80 years old and, like Murkowski, isn't up for reelection until 2022. Does he really want to spend what is likely his last term in the Senate having to at least pretend to support someone who might have been helped into office by the Russians?

McCain has a rage that can be tapped. And you know he'd love to tear Donald Trump apart. I promise you that the second McCain tries to subpoena Trump's taxes or something that gets too close to the truth about our new president, he will be booted off that committee. Promise McCain that he can lead the charge against the man who avoided military service and crapped all over those who did serve.

That's the prize: the ability to get some facts on the table about Trump that could lead to impeachment. And that ain't gonna happen unless one of the houses of Congress has legal authority to demand those facts.

Obviously, this plan relies on a number of factors: that Republicans could behave honorably; that the Democratic Party could have the guts to go through with this strategy; that some Democrat, like Manchin, doesn't turn, too; and that all are ready for a republic-defining confrontation.

It's a slim hope. But you gotta believe that there are elected Republicans who are freaked out right now. Majority power is the only thing that can bring Trump down. Hell, tell any senators that switch to independent or Democrat that once Trump is out of the picture, they can switch right back. Or try to win the majority in the midterms.

You wanna defeat an irrational opponent? You gotta figure out how to build a wall around his irrationality.


This Horrible Belief About the Election and What to Do With It

If a Republican were president right now and an incoming Democrat had won in an election where there was even a whiff of Russian interference, the nation would be shut down right now. Lawyers would be filing every lawsuit imaginable in every court everywhere. Marches would be ready to blockade the path of the electors from even getting to their meeting place. Impeachment documents would have been drawn up and, if they were in the minority in Congress, Republicans would be nonstop shaming Democrats, asking if they're loyal to the United States or Russia, until they agreed not to certify the election. It would be a 50-alarm fire and no one would be able to stop the momentum until the president-elect agreed to postpone inauguration until either a definite determination was made about the Russian influence or until a new election could be held. And that's what they'd do if the Democratic president-elect was an entirely competent, qualified person. If it was an egomaniacal hedonist who craps all over the traditions and decorum of the government? We'd be at Def-Con Monica.

And who could blame them, really? If Democratic elected officials truly believe that Russia hacked the Republican and Democratic National Committees' email servers in an effort to push the needle even slightly towards Donald Trump, then that's exactly how they should be acting.

In a twist right out of Shakespeare, President Obama's fatal flaw is the very thing that launched him into the presidency in the first place: his belief in the basic decency of people. It has failed him time and again, yet so often when dealing with his political opposition, he has treated them with respect and dignity that they did not deserve and that they refused him. It failed him when he tried to get Mitch McConnell to release a joint statement on the hack before the election. McConnell said he wouldn't do it and, if the Democrats did, he would just call it political games and discredit it. So, being decent, Obama backed down. Everyone in that situation should be ashamed.

Now, in the last weekend before the Electoral College votes on Monday, in the last month before Donald Trump takes over and attempts to completely destroy his legacy, it is time for President Obama to at long last forgo his instinct to trust that right will somehow always win and to actually reach out to bend the arc of history towards progress. In simpler terms, he needs to fuck some shit up.

This is where we are right now: Obama has such confidence that Russia did hack the servers that he is promising that the United States will retaliate. Now, yes, real evidence needs to be presented to the nation (which will automatically be dismissed as false in many quarters, notably the ones that inform Trump's opinions). But, at this point, I'm gonna trust Obama over Russia or the guy who told an audience in Chicago a blatant lie last night: that the murder rate is "the largest it’s been in 45 years."

In the course of two tweets, Trump pretended no one had ever talked about the hacking until now and then admitted that people had talked about the hacking before the election. It's no wonder that White House Spokesman Josh Earnest could directly say, "Mr. Trump obviously knew that Russia was engaged in malicious cyber activity that was helping him and hurting Secretary Clinton's campaign."

As Trump continues to deny and deflect on Russia's involvement, it would be good to remember the rule that whatever Trump says about others generally applies to himself. During the election, for instance, Trump kept insisting that Hillary Clinton's email server something or other "disqualified" her from even running for president. The truth is that Trump's financial entanglements that will likely put him in violation of the Constitution from the moment he's sworn in actually should have disqualified him from running. And he knew that (and, as many others have said, I'm still not convinced that this election is not a publicity stunt that got out of hand).

So we have to consider both Trump's just weird refusal to take the intelligence agencies he's going to need at their word on Russia and that, in the latter part of the election cycle, he claimed that the whole thing was "rigged" against him. Again, it's just a damned odd thing to say. What we originally thought was simply a shot across the bow of the legitimacy of a Clinton victory is seeming more and more like a deflection from the election actually being, if not rigged, then manipulated. Ultimately, if there was coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, then do we call that "treason"? And if we do, then we have to follow through with all that that requires.

At the very least, President Obama should ask that Congress delay the Electoral College vote until, as Trump might say, we can figure out what the hell is going on. Barring that, he should ask Congress to delay the January 6 count of electoral votes. Barring that, Democrats should file objections to the vote that will force Congress to have to go on record in support of Trump.

And rank and file Democrats better be calling their members of Congress and the White House to voice their concern. And they better be ready to take to the streets to shut this down before the Trump cancer metastasizes so that its diseased tendrils grow deep into the American body. Act like our goddamned lives depend on it. Obama should be leading the charge on this, asking all concerned Americans to get involved. Just don't expect decency from a good many of them.

Barring all of that and Trump becoming president (as is most likely), well, then we need a new plan. And I've got an idea or two.

One last thing for President Obama: Fire the fuck out of James Comey. Shit, arrest that motherfucker.


Russian Election Interference: We Need to Know and We Need to Know Now

Let's get one or two things straight from the outset here about the hacking of the email servers of the DNC and RNC:

We don't know for sure how Russia was attempting to influence the presidential election. Oh, there is plenty of smoke coming at us from the CIA, the FBI, and every other agency that collects data, spies, or just generally fucks with people. We've known that since at least early October, but, you know, it's hard to pay attention to that when a tangerine-haired howler monkey is screeching, "Emails!" across the tops of the jungle trees and the other howler monkeys are hooting along. But the public hasn't been shown the evidence that hackers associated with Russian intelligence agencies were screwing with the apparently far-too-pliable minds of the average American voter. Yeah, we can make some assumptions, and, really, and, c'mon, lots of this shit is pretty goddamn obvious. But, unlike pizza parlor child molestation ring fantasies, some of us like to be shown proof, especially from the goddamn CIA, before we sharpen our pitchforks and pour lighter fluid on our torches.

And that's why we must keep pressure on Congress, on President Obama (who needs to get out in front on this, transition be damned), on journalists to investigate this shitstorm before it engulfs us all. We need answers and we need them fast. Donald Trump's election already has an asterisk next to it because the one historic aspect of it is that he lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million. We don't need to find out in a year that Russia dicked us harder than a horny bear on a rotting log. By then, we'll be chest deep in whatever flood of fuckery Trump and his superfascist team of generals and capitalist pigs have planned, and it's a hell of a lot easier to stop something from happening than extricating yourself from it once it's happening. Ask anyone who's had cancer or gotten hooked on heroin. No, you stop this now if it needs to be stopped.

If Trump was anything like a decent human being and a patriotic American, he'd be leading the call for investigations. In fact, if he gave a happy monkey fuck about anything other than his ascension to whatever realms of blind power and emperor-like wealth he hopes to attain, he'd ask Congress to postpone the Electoral College vote until there was some kind of closure on the issue of election interference. The only reasons not to be leading the charge for legitimacy is that Trump either knows that he better get his wee paws on the executive branch so he can start fucking with people before anyone subpoenas his taxes or he colluded in some way with Russia, even if it was something as bizarre as, fuck, who knows at this point, let's say...paying off Putin to keep the RNC emails quiet. This is all so absurd that we're out of Robert Ludlam-land and headed straight to Don DeLillo-ville (read a fuckin' book).

After all the lunatic conspiracy theories of this stupid century that's in its hormonal teenage years, the 9/11 insider job, the climate change "hoax," birtherism, and the multiple nefarious crimes of Hillary Clinton and her cronies, we are facing something that is more real than any of it. Right now, there is more evidence than all of those combined times 1000 that Russia, a nation that is antagonistic to the United States, might have, at the very least, taken advantage of a trove of hacked emails to push the needle just enough to get a dangerously inexperienced egomaniac with business ties to Moscow elected president. (This is not to mention the assist from the Republican FBI director.) It's also entirely possible that Russia fucked with the election on multiple fronts, up to and including manipulation of a candidate. And the evidence is not coming from internet savages and talk radio masturbators, but from sources at intelligence agencies and major media outlets. Yeah, the CIA has done a shit-ton of evil in the world. But they sure as hell aren't always wrong.

So all of this is scary, man. Like stomach-dropping scary. One preservation instinct that will kick in really quickly is to try to forget about it, to just let the installation of the Trump presidency happen and go about our business. We all pretended that George W. Bush actually won in 2000 and didn't burn the joint down. Except this time is different. People across the political spectrum understand that Trump is a real and present danger to Americans, whether through eliminating their health insurance or getting us into more idiotic wars. We need to know the extent of Russian interference as quickly as possible. And, if such interference existed, the election itself needs to be challenged on every possible front. Take things to the Supreme Court. If President Obama has evidence that the Trump campaign had any coordination with Russia in regards to the hack, the response needs to be forceful and direct, possibly including arrest of those involved. Either we give a damn about democracy or we don't. At the very least, let us believe that Trump was elected without foreign intervention. Let us just be disappointed with his idiot hordes as he sends us to the reeducation camps.

The point here is that we are exploring uncharted lands, filled with starving alligators, rapist pirates, and syphilitic prostitutes with teeth around their assholes. Tread carefully, motherfuckers, because one wrong step and horror awaits you.


The Loser-in-Chief

Let me clear my throat.

When I first put myself in a self-imposed time out, one of the reasons was that I was really fucking pissed at myself for getting the presidential election so wrong, for thinking that it was a no-brainer that Hillary Clinton would be elected, that the country wasn't so stupid and deluded and hateful that it would elect a fuzzy, bulbous fungus in human form instead. So, yeah, I beat the shit out of myself for that, something I think that lots of real so-called pundits should have done and didn't. If you're so fucking wrong, you own that. You deal with it. You wrestle with that shit.

But lately, I've come around to another way of thinking. I wasn't wrong. Our election system is so innately fucked that it got it wrong. Right now, Clinton is up by nearly 3 million votes. That's 2 percent more than Donald Trump, with a lead that's growing with every precinct finalized. Yeah, yeah, she didn't win the presidency. But I wasn't wrong about the country. Nearly 54% of voters rejected Trump. And a plurality supported Clinton by far. Sure, that's way too many dumb fucks for any nation, but fuck you if you think Donald Trump has a "mandate" or a "historic victory" or some such shit. It's a goddamned embarrassment to say to the world, "Yeah, over here each person's vote is totally not equal."

Vice-President Elect Mike Pence, a man who looks like he slowly and angrily masturbates to kitten-stomping videos, claimed that the fact that Trump won more counties than Clinton is a sign of how amazingly splendiferous Trump's triumph is. Except, you know, fuck you. Trump won Petroleum County (yes, there is a goddamn Petroleum County) in Montana with a total of 278 votes out of 322 cast. Clinton won Manhattan's county in New York with 515,481 votes out of nearly 600,000 cast. In your precious list of counties won, those are each counted once.

I got nothing against the shit kickers and roughnecks of Petroleum County and I hope they don't have anything against us up here in the Northeast. But double fuck anyone for saying that 1 Montanan who voted for Trump is worth the same as over 1850 people who voted for Clinton in Manhattan. Your history-making is bullshit. Trump is the Loser-in-Chief, and he will always have asterisk after his name that'll drive him insane(r).

Trump won because the Founders created a fucked-up system to make slave states feel wanted because conservatives have always thrown a fit if you don't just accept their ignorance. We can delude ourselves and say that "in their wisdom" the Founders created the Electoral College as a way to put the brakes on the election of a vile blithering idiot with dictatorial aspirations. But it's that very system that has gotten us to this point. As much as we want the electors to go rogue, they're not gonna put Clinton in office. They're gonna throw it to the Congress, which will just put Trump in or some other putrid fuck like John "Coat Hanger Lover" Kasich. And that still won't reflect what the majority of the country wants. Yeah, the Founders were wrong and total elitists who would be appalled at Trump winning. Shit, I wouldn't be surprised if Trump is bitch-slapped and buggered by the ghost of Benjamin Franklin.

(If Clinton truly wanted to fight, she'd take Lawrence Lessig's advice and go after the constitutionality of the apportionment of the electors. Republicans would do it in a heartbeat if the electoral and popular vote were reversed. But Democrats never fight like that. The GOP is throwing sand in our eyes and stomping us while we're wondering why the ref doesn't call a penalty.)


Watch This Space

I think my head is getting back in the game.