Todd Starnes Can Hum On My Sack

Todd Starnes is the undisputed king of conservative twerps. Some of you may already know who he is. He’s wound up on my radar several times for being a smug, disingenuous Christian bigot. In other words, he’s loved by Fox consumers. This is the creature I’m referring to:

todd-starnesnra

(Todd Starnes at Halloween, in brave patriot costume.)

That doughy little gopher has always got something snarky to say when Christians don’t get their way. He can’t cut it as a reporter, so Fox is a great place for him since everyone is a commentator there.

What’s Todd being a cunt about now? This, from Pennsylvania:

The Ten Commandments monument will be removed from Valley Junior-Senior High School, after district officials reached a settlement in a lawsuit claiming the district violated the constitutionally required separation of church and state.

Before I begin whupping on Todd, let me just explain the atheist position on these damn monuments. I believe that somewhere in the penumbral intersections of the Bill Of Rights is the right to be left alone. That’s all atheists are really interested in-to live live the way we please(provided we do no harm) with a free conscience. Atheists are NOT, I repeat, not, interested in making converts. It’s a personal decision everyone must make after looking at the evidence that we have about the nature of being. We give less than a fuck what conclusion you come to.

Until.

ten

Until you decide to drop a giant stone replica of your conclusions in a public place like a school, without considering how other faiths and creeds are going to feel about it. Then we have a problem. You Christians think you own everything, and that’s why you do this-it’s a show of force, a show of your potency in the face of what you consider evil, which is the rest of us. There’s no other reason for it. It’s not good law or sage wisdom to someone who has another god besides Jehovah, so let’s dispense with that bullshit reason for its usefulness or necessity.

I would never, ever do this to you. Sure, I’ve had the occasional beef with religion and I think believers are all one fry short of a Happy Meal in some way, but I ain’t into constructing monuments to my own brilliance since I have obviously got it all figured out…like you do.

Am I being clear here? Another thing-you really don’t want the Satanists getting into this. Because they will put a monument up if you do and you will really hate it. So, cut your losses like this school did, and keep your Bible tucked under your arm and not pissing me or people who have different faiths off with oversized reproductions of it, as if to signal you will forget it if you don’t have in giant engraved form. It’s more like you don’t want the rest of of us to forget who runs this damn culture.

To this I reply: fuck you too. And I will wield the Constitution and break your middle finger if I can.

So let’s catch a whiff of Todd’s always wrong, halfwit comments about it, shall we?

A Pennsylvania school district capitulated to the demands of a militant atheist who filed a federal lawsuit demanding the district remove a Ten Commandments monument erected on a public high school campus.

She sued. What makes that militant? Todd, as a fellow writer, I recommend trying to change up your descriptive ‘smithing so you don’t use the same word twice in a sentence. We all do it in our first drafts sometimes. You should avail yourself of an editor, because you can. Unless your goal was to emphasize how hard the militant demander demanded, then carry on, I suppose.

New Kensington-Arnold School District agreed to remove the massive monument within 30 days – ending a lawsuit filed in 2012 by self-avowed atheist Marie Schaub.

Unlike other atheists who have other people avow that they don’t believe. I get the feeling that Todd is trying to belittle atheists in some faggoty little passive-aggressive way, like he’s saying our thinking doesn’t count or something. This is probably much akin to Donald Trump and his “so-called” judges remark-if he doesn’t like or respect what they’re saying, then they’re somehow not real or authentic.

Schaub claimed the 6-foot stone monument erected outside Valley High School was a religious symbol and therefore was a violating of the U.S. Constitution.

Schaub also claimed the monument was offensive to her and her daughter. I can only imagine which commandment she found to be most offensive. Maybe it was the one about graven images.

Ho, ho, ho! I’m dyin’ ova’ heah!

No, it’s probably the one that asserts that I have a god, or that there is one that invalidates all others. Would you like me to be a dick and do that to you, Todd?

He’s got something to say about the people who brought the suit:

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a group of perpetually offended atheists, agnostics and self-professed free-thinkers based in Wisconsin. They intentionally bully and intimidate small towns and communities in their quest to eradicate Christianity from the public marketplace.

They are truly an unpleasant bunch of people, folks.

We’ve done a really good job at demonizing people who are offended by things. Our national phobia about being politically correct has caused this. White Christian Americans have gotten away with being bigoted dicks for so long that they are shocked, just shocked that someone is telling them to watch their damn tongue. Offense is taken when one is insulted. There is nothing wrong with being offended.

I don’t know why I have to explain this to Todd and his ilk. They get the vapors every time Starbucks’ holiday cup isn’t Christ-themed enough.

I’d rather be unpleasant than be these people any day of the week, by the way.

Schools Superintendent John Pallone told the local newspaper they agreed to settle the lawsuit “in order to take the high road.”

“We compromised and agreed to remove the monument,” he said.

That’s hardly a compromise. It’s more like appeasement.

Bullshit. Pallone either knew he was going to lose the case or was running out of money and goodwill to keep the monument up, so he characterized his decision to settle as a “compromise”. One immediately has to wonder what the school got in return for settling, because as far as I can tell, all they gained were two used carbon copies of checks that they had to write to plaintiff Marie Schaub and the FFRF. I agree with Starnes; it’s not a compromise. As it should be.

Requesting the respect that one deserves as a person with a free conscience is not tantamount to invading Czechoslovakia, which Todd airily alludes to. Let’s imagine it another way, Todd, using another World War II comparison, even though it is wholly inappropriate as all Nazi analogies are: I am living in 1942 Vichy France and you are an occupying army.

I’m the Free French. Vive Charles DeGaulle, motherfucker.

Then Todd finishes by castigating the school for settling.

And in doing so – the school district violated an eleventh commandment: Thou Shall Not Tucketh Tail and Run.

It’s so easy to criticize when it’s not you that has to do the fighting, innit, Todd? It’s typical Starnes, no one fights hard enough for the “right thing”. My god, what would happen to Christian morale if not for Todd’s sniggering prose? The mind reels with how things would be the same as they are.

The school was out of order. It’s fixed now. You’re out a stone memorial. Be fucking polite and no one has to go to court next time.

 

 

Tucker Carlson Is An Asshole, The Thrice

I’ve been waiting like Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now for Tucker Carlson to be an asshole again.

sheen

Oh, I’m sure he has been an asshole every day since we last spent time with him-Tucker Carlson wakes an asshole, puts his asshole clothes on, goes to his asshole job at Fox and lays his head down on his asshole pillow as an asshole, only to awake as a refreshed asshole once again.

I’m not really obsessed with the guy, much as it may seem. I am doing this for the Google page ranking, which shows me as the third most popular authority on Tucker Carlson’s assholism.I would love to fill that page with my shit.

Tucker’s nothing but another conservative poseur in the land of actual hard nosed-journalists, a more genial version of Sean Hannity, who’s another faux toughguy asshole who doesn’t know what the fuck he’s talking about on the regular. There’s nothing hard about Tucker Carlson-how can you be tough when you look like a prop that came from a McDonaldland off the interstate?

mcd

What, you don’t see it?

So anyway, Tucker’s been in the news twice in recent memory being Don Quixote, who had delusions about what he was fighting. He allowed a performance artist to punk him for nearly seven minutes on live TV before he realized he was trying to out a fraud. It was great television, showing us how fucking sloppy Fox News is:

You owe it to yourself to watch that.

Wasn’t that great? But Tucker trumped himself recently by lying flat-out about a guest he wanted to “press”. He wants to know why people are still protesting when he thinks it isn’t doing any good, if that makes any sense-so he tried to book an event organizer. His feelers went untouched, so he decided instead to cast an actor, totally unaffiliated with the marches to be the strawman he could tear up for not being able to recite chapter and verse the Trump administration and its allies’ attempts to marginalize and discriminate against the LGBTQ community. To be fair, Trump’s been reeeal cautious about rolling back LGBTQ gains from the previous administration…he’s kind of caught between Scylla and Charybdis-not that I care, mind you, that’s what he makes half a million dollars a year to do-make good decisions. I’m fairly sure he will side with his base, since he could cover the Statue Of Liberty with rainbow glitter and still not get the LGBTQ vote. Remains to be seen.

Anyway, here’s Tucker, pretending to take down big game:

Well folks, I hope that’s enough for you now. I’ll be here making light of Tucker Carlson in the near future, I’m sure. One never knows, he could be halfway through a bottle of Chivas some night and drunkenly Google things like “Am I an asshole?” and I will be here with his answer.

 

Rattled By The Rush

Show of digital hands-which of you putatively liberal motherfuckers bowed out of voting in ’16 so you could see everything fall apart?

You’re a lot harder to find than you used to be. I’m glad that most of you have been shamed into silence.

All I can say is that you are lucky that Trump is a boob. You better hope he doesn’t find his stride, because he’s still dreaming of a white, Christian, corpo-fascistic police state.

He’s trying to silence the media. He’s given over Cabinet positions to people who want to destroy the cabinet they preside over. He’s picking at your healthcare. He’s ready to sell the globe to the highest bidder. Oversight from Congress is dead in the water, and the Attorney General sees no evil nor hears it. People are disappearing into the clutches of border security because of their nationality or race. Trump has a Supreme Court pick in his pocket that could end women’s privacy rights. I could continue, but you’re a smart bunch, you have read all this elsewhere.

And some of you good liberals brought us here, thinking that yucky medicine would stop the sickness that you perceived that America had come down with.

I’m ready to be done with this line of thought. We dodged a bullet when we drew Trump. He might be too stupid to be a true reactionary. But I don’t think a lot of you would have let the election go by if the enemy were more competent. I’d like to think that, at any rate.

What I’d like to do is challenge the notion that we need to be dropped on our heads before we do the right thing.

I’d at least like to make the case that in a post-Trump world, we don’t have to get dropped anymore to attain the type of change we want. It’s actually dangerous, and may cause lasting damage.

I may be totally wrong. We might be living in Bedlam, where repeated shocks to our systems are the only cures for our true ills. If this political theory of occasional shock treatment is to hold, we must come to the conclusion that we are no better than rats who learn which pieces of cheese are electrified, or dogs who know not to cross the flags in the yard. We must be terrorized and kicked for our own good once in a while, so we don’t forget what happens when we break the rules.

In other words, we don’t know what’s good for us unless we are shown forcefully what is bad. And I have to say, that’s a very, very dangerous place to be. Political divisions aside, we are still an advanced, democratic, educated and interdependent society whose machinery is too sophisticated to need a spanner to be thrown into it just so a trusty repairman can come and fix it. Don’t follow leaders, and watch your parking meters. Maybe I’m looking at us with rose-colored glasses, but I like to believe that along the way, most of us have learned to be good on our own, with a few tried and true rules to guide us. Rules, not rulers.

I just feel the need to disagree with this negative way of looking at America, and being hopeful like that is alien to me. But two steps back for one step forward is bad math. And we never get what we want by not buying in. It is hard to believe in retrospect that the dazzling, positive energy of the ‘sixties culminated in the election of Richard Nixon. We went into a dark place populated with things like enemies lists, critic silencing, Kent State, Cambodia and Laos and the shattering of the middle class. Sound familiar? The left said All or Nothing and everybody got Nothing. Hubert Humphrey may have been boring, but he wasn’t and would never be the creep that Nixon was.

That just happened again. We on the left gambled after Bernie Sanders succumbed to Hillary Clinton and got Nothing-we asked for and got the Trump administration. Jesus, I am still having trouble putting the words “Trump” and “administration” together. As I said, were he competent, all the puzzle pieces are in place for him to silence his enemies, circumvent the press, rob the joint blind with his golf buddies, start a hot war and pave the way for the next generation of bleached, unquestioning, obedient citizens who will happily allow another generation of Jesus-loving, vicious faux-patriotic thieves to take what’s left of what belongs to all of us.

Alright. Much too much chatter, I need to get to my point. I’m obviously still smarting from how this whole thing went down, where a bozo supreme like Donald Trump made liberals fight amongst themselves the way we have.

It would appear that I am breaking my own neck to say we deserve better than Trump. I’m trying to fight my natural bent towards looking at things negatively and saying we got what we deserved. I’m looking over this and wondering who the hell wrote it, which is a feeling I am familiar with, I fear.

But for some reason, I can’t let this go by anymore.

I think we are playing with fire. I don’t find the glibness comforting, nor do I support the thesis which is: we have to put the crazy in charge to usher in the sane. It’s highly presumptive. Every damn article I see like this always assumes everyone will wake up and never let the bad thing happen again.

I have an idea: how about preventing the bad thing before it fucking happens? Because one of these days, and it may come sooner than you think…the half-nelson that Trump and his banditos have this country in might get ratcheted up so it hurts to strike back. Do we need to bleed, or did we already know well in advance of the election that Donald Trump was a dangerous maniac?

We shouldn’t have to make teachers  go to the streets to retain our rights. They already do something called educating our children. They need dry erase markers, not picket signs. Parents don’t have time for this shit either, they being employed themselves.

I have a great idea-let’s send Ben Cohen and those who think like him to go into the streets since he’s obviously got it sussed. I don’t think an opinion column writer should be the one blowing the shofar when people’s jobs are in jeopardy if they act out. It’s just irresponsible to predict revolution when you are not in the corps.

We knew what Trump was. We knew how audacious his warped vision was. Yet some of you let him pass, assuming he would destroy himself. I am not convinced he will-and I’m not sure that allowing a gargoyle like Betsy DeVos to even consider privatizing and Christianizing the school system is acceptable. We should have howled long before the brick hit. Because this Congress will dole out those vouchers and it could be your school that takes a haircut. If you’ve been vaguely aware of political goings on, you know this has been an interest of the Republican party for a while now. Now it’s dark.

What I am trying to say is: don’t assume bad medicine is the answer to everything. Don’t be glad the fox is in the henhouse, when you knew the nature of the fox already. It’s not a long term fix, and it’s a dodgy short-term one as well that asks a lot of the already burdened. We have been given the gift of foresight along with our opposable thumbs and bipedalism. Let’s telegraph these punches to the body politic next time around, stay informed, and vote strategically. I’m ready to go into the street, but I don’t have to be happy about it, and I certainly don’t need a goddamned newspaper columnist to tell me I need to go.

 

 

Twitler Gets Something Right

So when last we talked, I was relaying to you how gobsmacked I was and continue to be that we have elected ( I know we really didn’t, relax) the most terminally vain uncurious mercurial impish hyperprivileged puckerfaced whitebread tiny dicked fascistic jingo know nothing illiterate conspiracy loving con artist fraud huckster crybaby prick pervert whackadoodle media slut bunco dealer we could find.

Somebody clearly did not place limits on their child. Frederick Christ, I’m looking at you in hell, sir.

Everyone except Donald Trump seems to know that the wheels are coming off his bus. That’s not necessarily true, I guess, seeing as how the percentage of the popular vote Donald got roughly equals the percentage of approval he enjoys, or does not enjoy since he thinks that all numbers pertaining to him are fake, unless of course we’re talking about numbers that he pretends are his even though he’d been in office for a week when the tabulations were made. But I hear he is on a constant diet of Fox News, who is happy to massage Trump’s ego by showing tight camera shots of massive”pro-Trump” events while suggesting that protests against Trump are by violent anarchists and professional agitators paid to attend.

I have seen the comparisons of Trump to Hitler. And I guess I understand that. I’m reading “It Can’t Happen Here” at bedtime and Donald Trump is Buzz Windrip without the folksy charm, starring Steve Bannon as Lee Sarason and Mike Flynn as Dewey Haik-and the Republicans are more properly named as the “Corpos”. It’s troublesome that comparisons to these real and fictional fascists are to people whose rise to infamy presage horrible wars. Trump can start a shooting war whenever he chooses as long as he lets Congress know why he’s doing it in 48 hours. He’s used belligerent language toward China and Iran, most notably, and his favored dog whisperer thinks that a Sino-US war is inevitable.

I still think Donald Trump is more like Howard Hughes than Adolf Hitler. Guy’s fucking crazy, putting up gilded fucking drapes in the Oval Office and will probably screw himself out of this job by pissing off everybody in government, even his own Congress who can’t wait to get hold of his signature so they can destroy said government like they always say they will.

But I really can’t wait until Trump’s dealings with the Russians are exposed. I think that’s the most interesting thing that we need to see. Donald Trump has lied about his relationship with Putin, even going so far to pretend that he had never met the guy before the election amidst charges that the Russian government was responsible for the DNC hacks. He’s on record for complimenting the autocratic thug repeatedly.

If there’s one thing we know Donald Trump likes, it’s money. And I believe that Vladimir Putin, fellow oligarch, is making plans with him to divvy up the globe to enrich each other. During the Obama administration, we had lots of trouble with an adventurous Putin in Ukraine and Syria. He was an adversary, trying to break free from the cage NATO put around him. The Cold War never ended, really-Russia imploded in the 1990s and reemerged as an aggressive world power to be reckoned with under Putin. Like most “communist” nations, they reshaped themselves as capitalist dictatorships, using the State to enrich business interests and their whores in the government.

If that sounds familiar, it should, and it should bother you. But we can discuss that at length some other time. Maybe after I feel like digging up more examples showing what an asshole Tucker Carlson is. Don’t hold your breath, I am easily distracted.

Anyway, to make a long story short, Trump did an interview in his safe space with Bill O’Reilly. And if you think Don The Con has been um…unstable up to here, you missed this:

“President Donald Trump appeared to equate US actions with the authoritarian regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview released Saturday, saying, “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?”
Trump made the remark during an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, saying he respected his Russian counterpart.
“But he’s a killer,” O’Reilly said to Trump.
“There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?” Trump replied.”

Now I’m not sure if Donald Trump knew what he was saying-he may have just sputtered that in a hasty defense because he got pushed in a corner. It caused a lot of people-like old military hand Barry McCaffrey-to perk up and lose their cool:

JACKSON: MSNBC military analyst and retired four-star general Barry Mccaffrey, who is joining us here. General Mccaffrey, thank you for being here. President Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin is really backing the headlines in a big 
way. You heard what he said about Putin and Bill O’Reilly’s comments that Putin is a killer. How concerned are you about not just what the president is saying but the relationship that the U.S. Is going to have with Russia, where that’s going to go from here? 

MCCAFFREY: Hallie, I’m actually incredulous that the president would make a statement like that. One could argue that’s the most anti-american statement ever made by the president of the United States, to confuse American values with Putin, who is running a criminal oligarchy, who kills people abroad and at home, who imprisons journalists and takes away business property, who shares it with his former K.G.B. Agents, who invades and seizes crimea in eastern Ukraine, this is an astonishing state of affairs. It’s hard to know what to think about it.

It’s halfway to crazy to be dismissive of the danger Vladimir Putin represents, and shrug about how his regime takes care of its dissidents. Trump says…so what? We are killers too.

I expect this kind of thing to come out of Ajamu Baraka’s mouth. I don’t expect it from a Republican. Was it candor? I didn’t really think that Donald Trump was capable of critical thought. Maybe he did read the briefings, and his loose lips opened under fire.

 

Whatever the case may be, Trump dropped a truth bomb.

We are not innocent-not even our best and brightest are beyond reproach. We have laid waste all across the globe as a nation since our inception and we have not let up since. In my war of conquest (and don’t let anyone tell you it wasn’t one), it is estimated that we killed almost 200,000 civilians and incinerated entire towns that were unfortunate enough to harbor our enemies. God only knows how many we maimed. You can feel free to hit the history books anytime you like and string together our atrocities, or let someone like Noam Chomsky contextualize and enumerate them. Hell, read Howard Zinn to find out how we spread destruction and death and penury and torture in our own country.

I’m sorry to say-perhaps not sorry, perhaps a bit relieved in a way, that Trump got something objectively correct. But it won’t change my general opinion that he is still an insane clown. It won’t wake anyone up that needs waking. It won’t make me take to the streets and break some car windows of my own. I’m a coward (so far) when it comes to certain forms of direct action. The worst thing that will happen is that people get inured to the idea that we can tolerate and horse trade with someone who acts like Vladimir Putin does when it comes to attaining his objectives. Then again, we don’t pay much mind to the criminal regimes around the world that we support already because it’s in our “strategic interests”(read: whatever perpetuates our super-hegemony). There are already people on the right wing who think that cracking skulls and maybe even some killing right here in America are spiffy ways to manage dissent. So we would do well to be extra wary of Donald Trump and the people he runs with. He may know just enough to be dangerous, as they say. The seeds of tyranny, well sown in our history, are beginning to germinate, and the world could be in grave danger with the two most powerful oligarchs in the world getting ready to carve it up for themselves and their business associates if we let them.

 

 

 

 

Ghosts

Alright, you guys.

Enough already.

It is time to stop assuming that the Trump administration is acting surreptitiously. It is also time to stop saying that proclamation X is just a diversion from action Y.

They’re not that clever, folks.

Day after day, hour after hour I read articles saying that that they’ve got Trump sussed; that he is a master at distraction and we should stop watching what he says and instead watch what he does, or some variation of this.

As if we cannot do both. As if both are mutually exclusive.

Donald Trump’s presidency is a national embarrassment and an outrage against good governance. But that doesn’t mean we can’t stay on his ass as concerned citizens by pointing at his speech and his gestures.

Mostly, his speech tells us he is an illiterate and a pretender to power.

His actions say that he is in thrall to opinion polls of his presumed electorate.

He is the pathetic narcissist that everyone thinks he is.

Oh, sure, it’s fair to say that Donald is probably not acting alone. Like Karl Rove before him, it is very likely that Steve Bannon is animating policy. Both men get what they need from each other-Bannon gets to shape the right wing in his image by destroying it, and Donald Trump gets someone who might actually know how to pull the levers of power that his tiny fingers and mind cannot grasp.

We are seeing the unitary executive theory on steroids in the age of Trump. It has been a long time coming. This presidency is going to test the limits of what is and what is not executive prerogative, and those limits will be set by the courts. This is troubling because Trump has a SCOTUS appointment in his pocket, so injunctions against his orders may not survive appeal. Then again, the conservative wing of the court may be as hostile to Trump doctrine as the vanguards of the Republican establishment are.

It all sounds quite daunting. It is, in actuality. But my point is the Trump administration isn’t fooling anybody. There’s no legerdemain happening here. What you see is what there is.

I have seen too many amateur sleuths trying and failing to ferret out the true aims of this administration. To me, it seems rather obvious. We have a full-retard for a President and he’s willing to sell us out to stroke his own ego, and by extension make himself a few shillings in the process. Enough thinkpieces, enough accusing Trump of pointing furiously at a unicorn. We are perfectly capable of understanding and combating Twitler, and by my lights, we’re going to the mat with him without pause.

UPDATE: Five Thirty Eight comes to my emotional rescue and reminds us that what Trump is doing is totally above board.

 

 

 

 

The New Pollution

I haven’t posted since the inauguration. I am trying to keep my cool, but it’s getting harder every day. My wife has a conniption at least once a day over something he’s signed or something he’s decreed, and I’m still in “wait and see” mode. She doesn’t understand why I’m not more upset or distressed about the new shit coming from the White House.

I’m probably having the wrong reaction. I didn’t panic on election night, until 2:30AM when the blue wall in the north fell and Pennsylvania went to Trump. She knew something was wrong when Virginia was too close to call-a race which stayed that way for about four hours.

So I have decided that I may be suffering a crisis in my ability to judge. Trump’s victory has broken me, in a way; I still can’t believe it happened. He was even less qualified to lead than Ben Carson, and those of you who have been with me a minute surely understand how unqualified I thought Donald Trump was when I say that. It never occurred to me that the old bozo fraud would somehow distinguish himself as a leader. He never did, and still has not and never will, to be truthful-but Republicans will buy anything, especially when Donald became the physical manifestation of the id of every racist, sexist, homophobic flag worshipping pasty-white Christian dominionist shitheel across this once great land. We were truly at our worst when we brought this monstrosity to power. Oh sure, Donald’s hate and imbecilic patriotic posturing did not win him the election. The October Surprise Of October Surprises from the FBI, the drip-drip-drip of Julian Assange’s Russian-backed email leaks, and a new generation already weary of half-measure Democratic party policy even though it was their first election certainly did much to ensure that a soup and sandwich combo from Panera might be President rather than the hopelessly compromised Hillary Clinton.

And Hillary Clinton was a damn good candidate. Fuck each and every one of you who left her high and dry. I’m not interested in your reasons. You allowed this…this thing, whatever it turns out to be, into high office because you couldn’t have all the marbles, so you chose none. You folded your arms in front of your chest and decided to let it burn, in the hopes that if voters would see how bad it got under a Trump, they’d choose the left-wing savior they dreamt of next time around. Well, I have less faith in the American public than that. George W.Bush got two terms, and he racked up 60, 000 some-odd casualties in a war of attrition in the Middle East. So who the fuck knows what America’s mindset will be come 2018 and 2020, really. You breath-holding lefties don’t have a clue what comes next. And I’m one of you assholes too. You shit the bed and I know you won’t take responsibility for it, anymore than semi-sane Republicans will admit that they elected a fascist.

I had plans to write something else, but this must have had to come first. I’ll be around soon. Peace, kiddies.

 

 

 

OK, Let’s Stop Using This Phrase

“Fake news”.

Culture, you’ve lost your right to use these words together.

We used to call this stuff “misinformation”, “tabloid journalism”, “hoaxes”, or just “lies”. Then 2016 happened, and the old-time press started calling internet bullshit “fake news”.

They didn’t realize it, but they birthed a monster, one that attacked its parents.

Perhaps you all remember a guy named Karl Rove. He is best known for helping the  soon-to-be second biggest fucking idiot ever to claim the title President get elected, George W. Bush. One of his trade secrets was how to deflect charges of weakness in his candidate. In Rove’s political parlance, the dictum was:

“Accuse your opponent of what they are going to accuse you of.”

It’s a peculiar form of what psychologists have called projection. And it is hard to combat.

It wasn’t too long ago when the term “low-information voter” entered the lexicon, brought into use by liberals.

Rush Limbaugh, who is smarter than I give him credit for, understood the power of those words together and since conservatives usually don’t have anything original to add to a conversation, used the HELL out of it until you only heard it in right-wing circles to describe liberals.

That’s about where we are with the words “fake news”. Maybe it isn’t liberals’ fault that the concept boomeranged on them, but we started overusing it, often in internecine warfare between the newest wave of left-wing political bloggers who often employ sensationalism to steal clicks from what is now the internet establishment. I’m not gonna name names here, because I believe that calling out lefty blog sites, however misleading they are, is part of what allowed the concept of “fake news” to slip the leash and become a weapon for conservatives.

The situation right now? Well, you all know. The President-the-fuck-Elect thinks that the august and, to be sure, often fatally flawed CNN is “fake news”. Low poll numbers are now fake news.

Fake news is now defined as something you don’t want to hear about irrespective of its veracity.

Its misuse is spreading like typhoid. Bill Donohue, who is a truly repugnant religious fuckwad, wants to help spread this redefinition of “fake news”. A gay man was fired from teaching at a Catholic school because he posted about his marriage on Facebook. Nobody asked him, but Donohue, ever the moral scold, couldn’t help inserting himself into the issue. He refuses to admit that men can get married because…because…oh, screw it, I’ll let him tell you:

“I know that the Catholic Church opposes same-sex marriage,” says Billard, “but I don’t think my commitment to my husband [sic] has any bearing on my work in the classroom.” [Note: husbands are men and wives are women, so if Billard’s partner is his husband, that would make him his wife, and no one really believes that to be true. The Catholic League does not tolerate fake news.]

The phrase has been reduced to meaninglessness. And it’s only going to get worse-it will prove to be an impossible box to close now that the titular leader of the country thinks anything disagreeable written about him is fake. We’re going to lose this war, liberals, because they are better at projecting than we are. We need to be more careful in the future how we use shorthand like this. We need to deal in facts more than we need to glibly call out lies. There’s probably enough people listening to win the next election.

 

Putting The “Con” In Conway

I thought Kellyanne Conway was going to need close 24-hour supervision after the presidential campaign, especially if the Trumpers lost the election. Oh sure, you have your Scottie Nell Hugheses, your Sean Spicers, but no one did more heavy lifting to dissemble, lie and distort the things that Donald Trump said than Kellyanne Conway. Her hair and living-dead countenance was all one needed to see that she was the hardest working flack in America.

Her stalwart performance has been rewarded, as she is now joining Trump’s inner circle. But she’s still out there taking damage for her chickenshit boss who tweets instead of talking because the press will eat his lunch in a conference.

We’re about to revisit for the umpteenth million time the day that Donald Trump made fun of  journalist Serge Kovaleski’s arthrogryposis because he called bullshit on Donald Trump’s claims that Muslims were dancing on their rooftops when the Towers got hit. Meryl Streep, after accepting a Golden Globe yesterday, lit into Trump, highlighting this slug-low attack. Trump of course, hid behind his Twitter and called Streep overrated(the projection level here staggers the mind), etc.- and denied, as he has done in the past, that he was making fun of the reporter’s impediments.

Here’s Serge Kovaleski:

serge

 

Here’s Donald Trump talking about Serge Kovaleski:

 

Let’s stop the video and show a side by side:

serge2

Now, people are out there helping Donald deny that he is a piece of rancid garbage, by showing cuts of Trump making fun of non-disabled people in a similar manner. It’s not quite the same, but you can go look for yourself. It seems clear to me that in the case of Kovaleski he was imitating him physically and using speech affectations of the disabled as well, or more specifically whatever Trump thinks mentally challenged people sound like. He is, after all, twelve years old.

But anyway, Trump must have sent Kellyanne to do damage control on the air:

CNN “New Day” host Chris Cuomo called out Trump for mocking a disabled New York Times reporter during a 2015 rally. But Conway insisted that’s not what he was doing.

“That is not what he did and he has said that 1,000 times,” she said Monday morning. “Why can’t you give him the benefit of the doubt?”

Cuomo shot back, “He can say it a million times but look at the video… he’s making a disgusting gesture on video.”

Had Barack Obama, in some alternate universe, done this to someone he would have said he was sorry about the gestures if it looked for a second like that’s what he was doing. But Trump doesn’t do apology. Instead, we get this from Conway:

“Why is everything taken at face value?” she asked. “You can’t give him the benefit of the doubt on this and he’s telling you what was in his heart, you always want to go with what’s come out of his mouth rather than look at what’s in his heart.”

I really don’t know what to do with this. Maybe repeating the part that hurts will help.

 you always want to go with what’s come out of his mouth rather than look at what’s in his heart

Pure. Fucking. Desperation. She has no recourse to “Well, Clinton did this” and now she’s reached the end of her rope trying to explain away her employer’s incurable foot in mouth disease. She wants us to not listen to what Donald Trump says anymore, because it means nothing-nothing compared to the man’s hidden speech… that speaks of nothing but love and poetry and compassion. The real Donald Trump, not @realdonaldtrump.

She overheated like a dry car radiator and I’m surprised the interviewer didn’t chuckle.

Kellyanne Conway, you are a twit and a liar and a shameless, witless shill and you are going to hell for trying to humanize this dickhead whose coattails you rode to what I hope for your sake is a fat payday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fly, Blackburn, Fly

Marsha-Marsha-Marsha Blackburn, representative of Tennessee, is a favorite here at the seminary. We love and simultaneously revile her for being one of the stupidest fucking congresspeople in the capitol. She’s puzzled a number of talking heads with her slightly retarded homespun conservatism, and this week her victim was CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, who ought to know what Blackburn is all about from being a Fox fox back in the O.G. days of that channel. Since we are now living in the novel 1984, Blackburn thinks that getting rid of the extra House oversight Democrats put in place 7 years ago will…wait for it…eh, I’ll let Marsha take it away:

“Any time you can provide more accountability and more transparency to any process that is in place, then you’re going to take another step toward draining the swamp,” Blackburn said, echoing a campaign promise by Donald Trump. “I am all for draining the swamp. I think that anyone who knows me knows that I’ve spent much of my career on reducing the size, the scope and the cost of the federal government, and in its place putting transparency and accountability.”

Got that?

Less oversight=more accountability.

Don’t think about it too much. This is Marsha Blackburn we are talking about.

But it was poor Camerota who needed to soldier on, and parried with a good rejoinder:

CNN’s Alisyn Camerota said, if she’s worried about transparency, that Blackburn should understand why Democrats were concerned that the measure was passed without their input during a nighttime, closed-door meeting.

Blackburn didn’t blink:

“Most people would say 5 o’clock in the afternoon is not at night,” Blackburn said, shrugging. “We could discuss that. It does start getting dark outside.”

It’s after business hours, dipshit. But semantics is often all these morons are good for. So anyway, she finishes with her own awkward false equivalence, the standard go-to when Republicans are cornered:

Blackburn suggested congressional Democrats were hypocrites for holding a private strategy session with President Barack Obama.

“The Democrats have their meeting behind closed doors also, and on Wednesday, when the president comes to talk to them about how to fight against the repeal of Obamacare, they’re going to do that one behind closed doors,” Blackburn said, punctuating her attack with a wink.

What fucking adult WINKS in the middle of a serious conversation? Sarah Palin and Marsha Blackburn do, I guess. But that’s beside the point. A secret vote was held without Democrats about disbanding oversight mechanisms. That is not the same as discussing strategies to resist the destruction of Obamacare. Rules changes are fucking important-and shutting out the minority party from voting is real cloak and dagger bullshit.

Fortunately, they will not be getting away with it. Good old people power and a bizarre rebuke from The Don saved the day. My hope for this country’s future is stronger knowing that even House Republicans can feel shame.

Here’s a link to the clip, so you can watch Camerota’s pain trying to get a handle on a very slippery politician. I haven’t figured out how to embed Twitter video, sorry.

Shut Up And Eat

I find Anthony Bourdain to be an interesting entertainer. I don’t watch anything he does, but from what little I have seen he seems like an affable, witty, and occasionally irascible gourmand. My wife thinks he’s brilliant. I got her one of his cookbooks for Christmas, the one with Ralph Steadman art in it. We had his sausage heros last night with toasted bread, caramelized onion and green pepper.

Thanks, Mr. Bourdain. That was really good.

Mr. Bourdain, by dint of his successful TV endeavors involving food and travel, has emerged as a social critic as well. He has already vowed to boycott restaurants that Donald Trump owns or ones whose owners and chefs have supported the great orange one. Awesome. We should all do our part in shaming this incoming administration and not enabling it to do what it wants to do.

But Anthony can go fuck himself.

Anthony, as it turns out, is also calling out The Left.

Goaded by the assholes at the glibertarian Reason magazine, he offered these thoughts on his comrades:

Bisley: What concerns you about Trump?

Bourdain: What I am not concerned about with Trump? Wherever one lives in the world right now I wouldn’t feel too comfortable about the rise of authoritarianism. I think it’s a global trend, and one that should be of concern to everyone.

Right there with you, Anthony. Until:

Bisley: You’re a liberal. What should liberals be critiquing their own side for?

Bourdain: There’s just so much. I hate the term political correctness, the way in which speech that is found to be unpleasant or offensive is often banned from universities. Which is exactly where speech that is potentially hurtful and offensive should be heard.

Alright, you’re starting to lose me a bit. In America, political correctness is really nothing more than politeness. Everyone thinks it’s about “offensive” speech. It is, but there’s a distinction to be made between saying the word “fuck” and saying the word “ni**er” or “faggot”. If we’re saying that we support uncomfortable truth telling, then I’m good with that-unless you are trying to hurt someone because of who they are. So really, I’m not sure what Bourdain is getting at unless his head is full of straw and he’s just mouthing platitudes. To be fair, Bourdain is talking about saying fuck, I guess- as he goes on to defend comedians. But that’s not political correctness that comedians are pushing against. That’s more like attacking censorship. And I support that.

Here’s where Bourdain fucks up royally:

The utter contempt with which privileged Eastern liberals such as myself discuss red-state, gun-country, working-class America as ridiculous and morons and rubes is largely responsible for the upswell of rage and contempt and desire to pull down the temple that we’re seeing now.

The self-congratulatory tone of the privileged left—just repeating and repeating and repeating the outrages of the opposition—this does not win hearts and minds.

Ever just get sick of liberals who somehow channel right wing stereotypes of themselves?

In fashion today is being a contrarian. This type of thinker sometimes imagines himself as elevated above partisan discourse because he can describe the warts upon his peers’ thinking just as well as his nemeses. Disagreeing with everyone, often for the sake of disagreeing, is the name of the game. People who have ego problems often exhibit this.

Herein lies danger, and Bourdain and many others do not see it.

No one will remember what you said about the other side. They will remember what you said about yours and throw it in your face at a later date. Everything the right wing thinks of liberals gets validated when we try to be “above the fray” or pretend to a false, guilt ridden self awareness.

That’s why Esquire repeated what you said just there and not much else, Anthony. The headline is that a liberal criticized liberals. I am 100% sure that the right wing media is sharing the fuck out of both articles, dumbass. Good job.

Let’s go back a bit, and remember that Bourdain has a beef with political correctness. What does one call this?

I’ve spent a lot of time in gun-country, God-fearing America. There are a hell of a lot of nice people out there, who are doing what everyone else in this world is trying to do: the best they can to get by, and take care of themselves and the people they love. When we deny them their basic humanity and legitimacy of their views, however different they may be than ours, when we mock them at every turn, and treat them with contempt, we do no one any good.

Wow. In addition to being prima facie evidence of political correctness, I haven’t seen the “Hitler was nice to his dog” defense in years. I think because they filled your belly and showed you a little about their way of life you think that they’re just salt of the earth, simple folk.

But anyone who votes Republican or holds conservative values is an asshole underneath, a moron and a rube. If you are taken in by ANY of it-you’ve got problems. Those god-fearing Americans also don’t care for gay rights because of their beliefs. Those gun toters show up at mosques and voting precincts armed, and some are gearing up for a new civil war. They don’t like poor people even if they are poor. They want women to go to term with every blastocyst that resides in their body. And there is no way in hell, Anthony, that they are ever going to be swayed by today’s Democratic party, where the gays and the Mexicans and the blacks and the women and the food stamp recipients find shelter. Simple people are just that-simple. And that lack of complexity is what makes them dangerous to others not like them. If believing this makes me smug and self congratulatory, so be it. I call a spade a spade. The red states have many sins to atone for. They will never change. Trump represents hate-there’s no two ways about it and if you heard something you liked from him and pulled the lever for Republicans, you are a damn fool and a hater too. Kim Davis probably makes a great quiche but she is a horrible human being.

Now is not the time to level conservative judgements at the liberal movement. Actually, it’s never time for it.

Hillary Clinton did her damn best to promise everyone a better future and it did no good. It was not our fault we lost, nor was it Bill Maher’s fault, who apparently is what he thinks of when he thinks about the left. Lighten up, Anthony. He’s a comedian, and he can be unpleasant and offensive. I thought you were into that. Make up your mind.

So the rubes made you dinner, dude. That doesn’t mean you understand them. Sometimes your gut is wrong.

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