Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Ben Sasse explains it all


More than 90,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus. For more than three months, the president of the United States did nothing, despite repeated warnings.

He repeatedly said the virus would disappear -- like a miracle. He repeatedly said it was a Democrat hoax. He repeatedly has touted quack cures.

Americans can't get tested when they need to. Doctors, nurses, first responders and "essential workers" can't get proper protective equipment. The elderly are dying in nursing homes -- alone.

The gravely ill are dying in hospitals, about one every minute. Alone.

America's governors and mayors are trying to manage the gravest threat this country has faced since World War II -- alone, with scant aid from the federal government.


ALL ACROSS our land, high-school and college seniors are graduating -- online. And their future? Up in the air, where the virus spreads.

And spreads.

And spreads.

The president -- many governors, too -- pushes to "reopen the economy." We have no tools, no procedures to intelligently and safely do it. Yet we plow ahead into the unknown, hoping magical thinking will conquer biology.

Into the darkness of the pandemic steps a learned man, a United States senator from Nebraska. He beams into little Fremont from the big Internet to shine a digital light -- to offer wise words and sound guidance from afar to the new graduates of his alma mater.

Ben Sasse speaks. He is unshaven. Well, many of us are these days.

The graduates listen, and so do his state and his country. What shall we do? Why is this happening? Where lies hope?

The learned man answers all.

What shall we do? Not major in psychology.

Why is this happening? Blame China. Maybe Jeremy -- you can't trust a guy named Jeremy.

Where lies hope? Obviously, not in Ben Sasse.

He's such a Jeremy.

Friday, March 06, 2020

There's a spot on Donald's head where all the crazy flows

NASA
This is the Great Red Spot on Jupiter. It's a helluva storm that's been there a long, long time.

It's the biggest storm, the yuuuuuugest storm in the solar system. You wouldn't believe what a storm it is -- and it extends 200 miles into the gas giant's atmosphere.
Fox News
THIS IS the Great Gray Spot on Donald Trump's head. It's a helluva . . . well, we don't know exactly what the hell it is.

But given its similarity, except in color, to the massive storm on that other gas giant in the solar system, some might infer that the Great Gray Spot also is a massive storm, which may account for much of the erratic behavior, lack of focus and general covfefe of America's head case in chief.
Fox News
Other possible explanations for the unnatural phenomenon include a horrendous comb-over or a Russian remote-control device.

Unfortunately, a more precise answer concerning the origin and effects of Great Gray Spot requires better data than we have with these images. That will have to wait until NASA can send another interplanetary probe to that region of head space.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

The abomination of Trumpolation


It has been many years since I've wanted a goddamned thing to do with the professionalized, politicized "pro-life" movement. Why? Because it's God-damned.

That sad fact becomes clearer by the day, if not by the minute.

Any organization that isn't wouldn't mock the Almighty by saying, with apparently straight faces -- both of them -- that Donald John Trump was "a voice for the unborn and continuously working to build a culture of life." That is a whopper of Trumpian proportions, at least.

Trumpian, hell. Orwellian.

Having Trump speak at an alleged March for Life is like having the ghost of Joseph Goebbels keynote an Anti-Defamation League convention. This most vile and dangerous of American presidents is building some kind of culture, alt-right all right, and it is anything but a "culture of life."

A CULTURE OF LIFE does not see ripping children from their parents at the border, then placing them in squalid and overcrowded Border Patrol stations as a feature and not a bug.

A culture of life's stance on the treatment of women does not include "grab 'em by the pussy."

A culture of life does not celebrate war crimes, it does not threaten war crimes, and it does not tolerate peacetime assassinations of foreign leaders.

A culture of life seeks to ease the struggles of the poor -- it does not cut their SNAP benefits.

A culture of life takes a dim view -- a really dim view -- of referring to women as "dogs."

A culture of life does not claim there's "some very fine people" among neo-Nazis and other white supremacists.

A culture of life does not celebrate someone who's told 16,241 public lies in his first three years in office.

A culture of life is not racist.

A culture of life is not anti-Semitic.

I could go on, but it's late and I'm tired.

WHEN I SAW the March of Life's tweet, the first thing -- literally -- that came to mind was "abomination of desolation." That's Bible speak, roughly describing something horrific and defiling. Apocalyptic, even. Think of erecting pagan monuments on the ruins of the temple in Jerusalem, as the Romans did.

Think of building an altar to Satan in a Catholic church.

Think of having Donald John Trump speak at a March for Life.

I'm thinking of the Archdiocese of Omaha sending busloads of teenagers to the March for Life -- and all of its hyperpoliticized Trumpdolatry -- like lambs to the spiritual and ideological slaughter. One of three things is likely to happen to each poor soul, and none is good:

* The kid might die of irony overload right on the spot.

* The kid might become a MAGA enthusiast, endangering his or her immortal soul and causing much harm to others somewhere down the road.

* The kid might be unusually perceptive, see this for the evil, blasphemous bullshit that it really is, take note of who and what brought him or her into this moral clusterfuck . . . and be lost to the Church (or Christianity, period) forever.

What an amazing witness for Christ. America -- and the church -- will have much to suffer because of such sulfurous subversion from the depths of hell.

I'm also imagining Jesus on one of those buses full of Nebraska teens as it crosses the Potomac River. It is written, "As he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it."

Friday, January 03, 2020

Proverbs 16:18


For God's sake . . . as opposed to whom or what evangelicals are worshiping these days.

Just saw this in The New York Times, and my disgust and revulsion know no bounds:
In his first public appearance since the strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani of Iran, President Trump rallied his evangelical Christian base of supporters on Friday, portraying himself as the restorer of faith in the public square and claiming that God is “on our side.”

Mr. Trump brought to the stage Cissie Graham Lynch, a granddaughter of Billy Graham, the founder of Christianity Today, to offer an implicit rebuke of the magazine’s recent editorial calling for his removal from the White House.

Ms. Lynch’s appearance underscored how sensitive Mr. Trump was about any signs of fracturing in his base; many evangelical allies denounced the editorial, and Ms. Graham Lynch vowed on Friday to help Mr. Trump win re-election. She then welcomed a supporter to the stage who told attendees that they could not trust what the news media wrote about the president.
REALLY, why worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph when you can go all in for a Golden Calf Orange Ass. Willful delusion is the worst kind of delusion.
Ass, Orange
Outside the rally, supporters said they came to offer their unblinking support for the president. In a city where Hispanics make up 70 percent of the population, many supporters chatted with one another in Spanish as they waited for hours in the blazing Miami sun.

“He’s talking from his heart,” said Michelle Hoff, who came to the rally with two other women from her prayer group. “I can’t remember when we had a president who was honest like he is. Like everyone else, he’s a sinner saved by grace. A lot of people say stuff that they don’t do. He’s doing it.”

Asked if she opposed anything the president said or did, Ms. Hoff said that she only wished he would appoint judges to fully overturn Roe v. Wade and same-sex marriage.

The rally inside the massive church began with energetic Christian rock, with many supporters clad in red M.A.G.A. hats dancing and lifting their hands in prayer.
GOD is not mocked. And if you know anything about the Old Testament -- which Donald Trump doesn't -- you suspect it probably isn't a good idea to f*** with the Persians at this juncture.

Proverbs 16:18, y'all. Proverbs 16:18. And to America's Orange Ass evangelicals . . . good riddance.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Donald can't Trump the God's honest truth

I am a Bad Catholic. But at least, unlike so many evangelicals and others, I remember this one thing.

Donald Trump's gaslight, sadly, is poison for the brain and deadly for one's immortal soul.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Didn't we all see this coming?


The most staggeringly unfit man ever to be president of the United States looks for all the world like he's trying to start the civil war he's been tweeting about this week.

I'm starting to think he might succeed. If you don't think that's enough of a possibility to be much afraid right now, you either are in denial or haven't been paying attention.

God help us.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

President Donald J. (for Jim Jones ) Trump


This is what the president of the United States posted on Twitter about two hours ago as I write this, after a day that saw compelling evidence surface that he engaged in a Mafia-style shakedown of a foreign leader to obtain dirt on Joe Biden.
It came a day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened an impeachment inquiry against him over that same incident, which prompted a reportedly damning intelligence whistleblower report that one congresswoman termed "jaw dropping" when asked to characterize its contents.

"I describe it as explosive and jaw-dropping," Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said Wednesday night on CNN's Don Lemon Tonight. "I could not believe what I was reading."

ON A NIGHT such as this, I couldn't believe what I was seeing on the president's Twitter feed. Given what we've already seen from the tweeter-in-chief on his Internet Id-fest, that's saying something.

It's clear that we have come to such ruin in America that we no longer have a president, but a cult leader instead. And like Jim Jones, I fear the only way we'll remove him from the White House (God forbid) is feet first -- rather like the way Jim Jones left Jonestown in 1978.

No doubt, the crazy will be turned up to 11 in Trumptown as the end -- one way or another -- draws near.
That leads us to another horrifying thought, one we dare not admit but which surely haunts us nevertheless: How many Americans will this particular cult leader take with him down that highway to hell.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

It's beginning to look a lot like Pyongyang


Donald Trump tweets yet another president-for-life meme, then retweets the House minority leader's "Dear Leader" obsequiousness.

Today is the 18th anniversary of the al-Qaida terrorist attacks on America, which ushered in the War on Terror. Maybe we ought to have been just as committed to a War on People Who Want to Turn Us Into North Korea.

Seems I picked a most appropriate day to schedule a colonoscopy.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

For f***'s sake

You want to know how to get at least one Democrat who loathes Donald Trump and everything he represents to cast a futile protest vote in November 2020?

Nominate Kamala Harris.

In the last debate, she vowed to outdo Trump in the executive order, abuse-of-power department -- right before she vowed to treat states that pass abortion restrictions just like Southern states with a history of voting-rights abuses (Justice Department preclearance of election laws).

Of course, she failed to mention that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down that particular section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Now, her campaign has taken to Twitter to combine an unhinged social-justice warrior level of hypersensitivity with a Trumpian degree of pettiness.

If the Democrats don't get their heads out of their ideological asses, the election -- and the United States -- will be lost. If Democrats are insane enough to nominate Harris (for just one), it probably will be lost even in the extremely unlikely event she beats Trump and the Russians.

For what it's worth, I am older than Harris, and if Joe Biden called me "kid," I'd consider it a term of endearment and respond with a sincere smile. Then again, I thanked the last person who ever carded me at a bar.

That reminds me . . . I need a drink.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Political science

Wife: What's the dog got in her mouth?
Me: (Prying dog's jaws open and grabbing object.) 
Wife: What is it? 
Me: Oh, God. Eww. (Goes to drop object in toilet.) 
Me: (Washing hand with alcohol before sullying the soap.)

There's a political metaphor in there somewhere.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

We have reached our sell-by date as a country


Let me try to get my head around this thing: Nike yanked a special-edition Fourth of July shoe because Colin Kaepernick was offended by the Betsy Ross flag "because of its connection to an era of slavery."

Two immediate reactions:

1. Supportive as I was of the kneeling protests during the national anthem at football games and the like . . . Nike and Colin Kaepernick can kiss my red, white and blue ass.


 2. The Constitution of the United States has an even more intimate connection to the "era of slavery." Perhaps we need to just rip up the whole fucking thing and call a merciful end to a country that seems to have attained -- and blown past -- its sell-by date.



We're outta here, bitches. And we're keeping the beef.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Ignore the Johnsons, reap the whirlwind

I attribute the present state of American culture and politics to, back in 1980, people not listening to the anti-drug message of the Brothers Johnson.
Angel dust was, and is, some bad juju.
Things could have been so, so different today had we listened to some common sense advice and not trusted that dust. But we didn't, and now we must rely on legal weed and lethal opioids to dull the screaming of our brains as they react to the suck surrounding us.

The suck that came because "Don't trust that Dust" was just too flippin' complicated a message for we idiots to embrace 39 years ago . . . when we still might have had a chance in hell.
That is all.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

And lead us not into tempta . . . oh, screw it


The Democratic Party has become so woke . . . and so puritanical . . . and so alien to the spiritual concepts of grace and forgiveness . . . and so beholden to its most extreme voices . . . and so intent on demonizing its own peculiar versions of The Other -- so solipsisticly intent upon becoming a funhouse-mirror reflection of Trumpism -- that there's really no more point, actually.

Joe Biden
Our only alternative now is to watch the United States reap what it has sown and for us, somehow, to find ways to bear the unbearable pain of watching one's country die an agonizing death from a condition that hasn't the decency to kill one expeditiously and just be done with it. Oh . . . and manage, somehow, not to end up destitute, imprisoned or dead as the sociopolitical malignancy consumes the body politic.

Normally, I would counsel seeking refuge in one's religion. Then again, I am Roman Catholic, and I know from the bitter experience of the past two decades that, institutionally, my church will be worse than useless as shelter from the storm. As for the evangelicals, Southern Baptists and the like . . . their institutional feet are on fire, and their asses are catching.

Really, when the woker-than-thou are stooping to Trumpian tactics to smear Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden as some sort of cryptoracist enabler of Jim Crowism, what the hell chance do the rest of us stand?


THAT "joke about calling black men 'boys'" came as Biden spoke off the cuff at a New York fundraiser, lamenting the loss of the sort of political comity that allowed him to work with even the likes of the notorious longtime senator from Mississippi, James O. Eastland.

Here, from a pool report by The Wall Street Journalis what Biden actually said:
Mr. Biden then recalled his time serving in the Senate. “I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland,” Mr. Biden said, briefly channeling the late Mississippi senator’s Southern drawl. Mr. Biden said of Mr. Eastland, “He never called me boy, he always called me son.”

Mr. Biden then brought up a deceased Georgia senator, “a guy like Herman Talmadge, one of the meanest guys I ever knew, you go down the list of all these guys. Well guess what? At least there was some civility. We got things done. We didn’t agree on much of anything. We got things done. We got it finished. But today, you look at the other side and you’re the enemy. Not the opposition, the enemy. We don’t talk to each other anymore.”
THE DISINGENUOUSNESS with which Biden's remarks are being characterized by presidential rivals Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Kamala Harris and any number of other party Jacobins is staggering, even by contemporary Americal political standards, which have been influenced by Donald Trump -- and not for the better. Obviously.

Let me add that I choose to characterize the criticism of Biden as cynical because I find it difficult to believe that reasonably accomplished politicians -- or journalists -- can be that goddamned stupid. But Donald J. Trump is president of the United States, so I totally could be wrong on that account.

And the cynicism (and perhaps abject numbskullery), it runs as deep to the left as it does to the right -- leaving sanity stuck in the middle and shit out of luck.

For a taste of that, let's listen to a segment from today's edition of All Things Considered on NPR:


 
LET'S JUST get something straight. And as a born-and-raised son of the Deep South -- a son of a certain age even -- I am well-positioned to set something straight:

"Boy" is not always and everywhere a racialized term of derision.

Eastland, the onetime Mississippi segregationist, was old enough to be Joe Biden's father. In the South -- and I have no damned idea how Yankees addressed men young enough to be their offspring in familiar settings -- it would not be uncommon for someone of Eastland's age and generation to informally address a whippersnapper as "boy." It had nothing to do with race.

If the addressee were African-American, it could have something to do with malignant racialist intent. Or not. It merely could have been a case of cluelessness, or momentarily forgetting that it was fraught to address a young black man the same way you might familiarly speak to a young white man.

I am 58 years old, Southern and male. If I had a dollar for every time I have been called "boy," by my parents, older relatives, acquaintances and even buddies, I could say "screw it all" right now and move to an island paradise far, far away from this insane, imploding country.

Ditto for "son," which is used in a gentler context than "boy." This is not brain surgery; what Joe Biden was saying isn't particularly opaque, and it shouldn't be controversial in the slightest.

Then we get to the unspoken implications of "woke" Democrats' condemnation of Biden for even attempting to work with (or even associate with) past segregationists in the United States Senate.

One implication is that grace does not exist. Another is that people's views cannot moderate or change over decades. Yet another is that those we deeply disagree with cannot be engaged with, only targeted and destroyed. And if someone is -- or was -- a racist. . . .

In the moral universe of what is emerging as today's Democratic Party, there is no redemption, only condemnation. We know where this road ends -- where the internal logic of this worldview dictates that it must end.

In the universe of woke Democrats, my Southern self was obligated to condemn and hate my racist Southern parents, along with every last one of my racist Southern kinfolk. In this moral universe, if I had failed to denounce them -- to expose their thought crime -- I would have been as guilty as they.

In this universe, one is nothing more than the worst thing one believes or the worst thing one ever has done, for which there is no forgiveness or redemption. Ever.

But if you want to write an article comparing and contrasting your various abortions -- abortions, plural -- then declare one, which came at age 41, the best ever . . . well, that's something not only to be tolerated but, indeed, celebrated. On the New York magazine website, no less.

AND AMERICA, such as it is, is supposed to think Joe Biden is guilty of some sort of fucking moral outrage here? Or that Donald Trump is the real problem here?

Donald Trump is a problem -- a massive problem. But he is not the problem.


That large swaths of the Democratic Party have a problem with what Biden said -- or at least want their own "low-information voters" to think folks should have a problem with it -- bodes well for the re-election of a massive problem.

But even if we somehow do manage to rid ourselves of this turbulent president, that just leaves us with the Democrats. If our only choice ends up being between the devil and the deep blue sea, we might find that a decisive contingent of voters might loathe Trump but also figure he'd put us out of our national misery a hell of a lot faster.

Monday, June 10, 2019

I may not be woke, but I got common sense!


My father has been dead for 18 years, now, and his words keep coming back to haunt me . . . and mock the insane times in which I now live.

During one memorable kitchen-table argument -- where the young, college-educated me was sneering at some then-self-evidently incredible thing he was throwing at me -- the retired pipefitter's resentment of the degree he'd paid for was as subtle as an acetylene torch.

"You might have book learnin', but I got common sense!" my old man thundered.

About 35 years later, I get it. I really get it.

I may not be on CNN, but I got common sense. And any political party that is questioning whether "electability" is important in a system where candidates run for office, and the one with the most votes wins . . . has a big damn problem.

And the mental, cultural and philosophical rot in the Democratic Party is such that -- God help us all -- Donald Trump is going to win in 2020, just so long as he doesn't spark a depression or cause us to lose a war.

No,  I may not be writing stories for The Atlantic like Jemele Hill, but I got common sense. Which leads me to not even consider writing a couple of paragraphs like this:
Nevertheless, Biden’s elevation to front-runner is a testament to how much President Donald Trump has shaken the faith of those who believe the White House could better reflect what America looked like.

This is perhaps Trump’s most crucial victory yet: successfully persuading Democrats—especially African American voters—not just to lower the bar, but to abandon the idea that inclusion and bold ideas matter more than appeasing the patriarchy.
HOLY SHIT on a $7.99 shingle, Batman! Alas, 1968 repeats itself . . . this time as parody.

Well, yeah, Donald Trump might be the end of American democracy, if not America itself . . . but . . . but . . . if we run someone who can beat him . . . does that mean we're giving in to The Man?

The bat-shit, it burns! Doctor, my eyes!

Meanwhile, this is the cover story in the current edition of The Atlantic.



I'M SORRY, Daddy. I'm sorry for everything.

I hope the last laugh you're having, free of this vale of tears, is a long and satisfying one.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Dude sounds like he's on pot


National politics is so dysfunctional, disheartening and -- frankly -- bat-shit crazy that I largely have lost the will to comment on such a shitshow.

Sen. John Kennedy
Which brings me to Louisiana's junior U.S. senator, John Kennedy. And the matter of shit.

There is much that could be said about Kennedy. Most would fall under the category of dysfunctional, disheartening and -- frankly -- bat-shit crazy.

But I will say this: I am a Southerner and there is no way in hell I would vote for any Southern politician who can't keep his metaphors straight.

"Urinate or get off the pot?"  Really? Really?

REALLY???

I am old enough to have used the proverbial pot, which my Louisiana family referred to a a "slop jar." And I well know the choice that we all face in life: Shit or get off the pot.

And Kennedy's mangling of a damned fine metaphor is just too damned much to take. Get it straight, podna, or shut the f*** up.

That is all.

Friday, April 26, 2019

It's one of those flat states in the middle. . . .


I've lived in Omaha for 31 years now, and I have to tell you that it's news to me that Heidi Heitkamp is my former U.S. senator.

Oh . . . wait. She's not. She was a North Dakota senator until January.

Nebraska . . . North Dakota . . . seed caps, John Deere tractors, unbearable winters, old white rustics who wouldn't know a frappuccino from a woke meme. What's the difference?

Am I right?

I mean, if you've seen one part of Flyover Country -- And, really, why would you want to? -- you've seen it all. And now back to our breaking news . . . a gay Black Lives Matters activist is condemning some shit on one coast or the other.

Am I right, Time mag, mag?

Sorry, but as a proud rube out here on the flown-over Great Plains, my "inclusive" media betters out there in D.C. got me on the rag, rag.

And while they're at it, they can take their insults about the queen and shove them up their royal Timese machine.


News flash! Some of us prairie pigf***ers are familiar with Joan Baez.

YOU HAVE to be a lifelong resident of Flyover Country to get how grating it is to be so insignificant that you can have a story actually get onto the effing Time magazine website, and then onto effing Apple News without anyone effing noticing that Heidi Heitkamp is from effing North Dakota and not effing Nebraska. After all the news coverage about how the red-state Democrat would vote on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court after the Me Too furor over his high-school and college "boofing" (and how her no vote likely cost her re-election), how could you not effing know?

One could let it slide as a simple brain fart if it weren't for a lifetime of observing Coastal America being shocked that, for example, Omaha has goddamn paved streets, decent restaurants and broadband Internet connectivity. And that there are no cattle herds wandering down Dodge Street in search of forage.

This actually is an improvement over New Yorkers -- again, for example -- who've been here and point out what a relative backwater it is. Perhaps, but our house payment here might rent a cardboard box over a steam grate there.


What's sad is that folks in these parts actually are, on some level, desperate for the approval of our cosmopolitan "betters" and always have been. We seek validation from those who scarcely know we exist and, with vanishingly few exceptions, we ain't gonna get it.

But that's not the half of the flyover equation. I grew up in Louisiana. No, there were no alligators in my back yard. Yes, we did have indoor plumbing. Many folks can read, write and cipher some.

And you are one Category 5 hurricane in the wrong place from freezing in the dark, America.

LET'S BE honest here. The only damned reason Time magazine gives a good goddamn about former U.S. Sen Heidi Heitkamp of Nebraska . . . North Dakota . . . whatever . . . is that Donald Trump is president of the United States, lots of Forgotten America like Nebraska and Louisiana voted for him, and he's turned out to be a fascist nightmare.

There's nothing like the political equivalent of a global thermonuclear exchange to finally get your attention. Am I right?

Maybe, ultimately, that was the point of his election. After all, the alt-right may be on the upswing, but it's not an Electoral College majority. Plenty of reasonable, decent Americans in Flyover Country were content to throw a bomb into America's entire rigged, classist political and social infrastructure. Oops.

I'm just spitballin' here, but perhaps there was an element of "You can ignore us, but we can kill you" in there as well. Just like the "yellow vests" in France, who largely hail from the forgotten périphérique of the country, flyover folk know who couldn't care less about them -- and they have less and less to lose by blowing the whole damned thing the hell up.

And they also well know the limits of Woke America's inclusivity.