Hi, My Name’s America And I’m A Racist

The first step before you can begin any 12-step program is to recognize that you have a problem. Speaking from experience — I never ever thought of myself as “an alcoholic” though I abused alcohol exactly like one. Often, we are the worst judges of our failings, being so close to them, as we are. But, if we want to conquer our weaknesses — if they’re holding us back from the lives we want to lead — we can’t conquer shit if we don’t own up to the fact that we have those weakness to begin with. Look, racism (like beauty) is entirely in the eye of the beholder. Just as beautiful people can’t really judge their beauty, neither can racists judge their racism. Whether or not someone thinks they’re attractive or not is one thing — the worst thing most beautiful people are guilty of is self-adoration. Whether or not they’re racist is entirely different. When racists act on their racist impulses, the subject or subjects of their racism often get hurt or killed. Racists are all time bombs unaware that that’s what they are.

Eight people, six of them Asian women, are dead today in Atlanta. Eleven Jews were murdered, six wounded at the Tree Of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on October 27, 2018 (the shooter wanted “all Jews to die”). There’s a whole freakin’ LIST of church shootings — that’s Black churches or Muslim houses of worship being shot up by angry white guys like Dylan Roof. A nominee for president began his presidential campaign by telling the world “Mexicans are rapists”. Almost every bit of Republican opposition to Barack Obama started with his skin color. The British royal family (well, Prince Charles, most likely) worried aloud that they feared “their blood” might appear “tainted” should the color of Meghan and Harry’s kid be thought “too dark”; what on earth makes ANYONE think any royal’s bloodline is superior to any other human’s? That’s bullshit — on steroids. I know it ain’t America’s racist problem, but it flows from the very same poisonous well of racism.

I drank to excess because I had anger issues that I mistakenly thought alcohol was “helping me” with. I was wrong. Radicalized white Americans (men mostly) think their racist attitudes are helping them. They think America should be some sort of “white homeland”. No, that would be Europe. America WAS a “homeland” — but not to anyone white. Racists are like a virus — infecting things and taking them over, converting that thing into them. And just as viruses are harder to kill than, say, bacteria (penicillin is useless against viruses), diminishing the impact racism has (and anti-Semitism and misogyny and bigotry of every stripe) will require not only vigilance but persistence.

America was born a racist. “All men are created equal” did not mean “all men”. It certainly didn’t mean all humans. C’mon, America — say it out loud. The Truth will absolutely set us free: We’re America and we are RACIST!

What’s This Feeling Welling Up Inside Of Us — Is That… Happiness?

Fess up: how many people, other man me, half expected one more terrible Trumpian twist before he boarded Air Force One for his last pony ride? As I write this, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are still about an hour-and-a-half away from being sworn in. Trump, still airborne, is still POTUS. If we could manufacture justice on the spot and manifest it in reality, either law enforcement would be awaiting the Trumps when they land in Florida — and every last one of them would be taken into custody (might as well do it now, it WILL happen eventually) — or, instead, we’d deliver the Trumps directly to Mar-A-Lago from 35,000 feet without parachutes. By the time the Trump Crime Family had crammed onto AF1, pretty much everyone in Washington, DC had abandoned them; aside from Mark Meadows, no one with an official parking spot of value showed up at Andrews AFB to wave goodbye to them.

Mitch McConnell? He’s attending church with the Bidens — and Nancy Pelosi. Mike Pence? He’s got a chair waiting for him at the Inauguration. And both Mitch & Mike know their futures are cloudy. They’re not making nice to the Democrats because they want to — they know what’s coming. They need all the friends they can get especially now that the Department of Justice has taken down Bill Barr’s shingle and hung up Merrick Garland’s. The DoJ has just as much on its plate at the start as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris do. Not only do they have today’s work to plow into, they have four years worth of oversight to catch up with first — including the counter-intelligence investigation into Donald Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin that Rod Rosenstein ended.

It isn’t Democrats having the presidency that terrifies Republicans, it’s Democrats having the Department of Justice. That’s incorrect. Democrats don’t “have” the DoJ, We The People do. That’s the difference (it damned well better be!) Under Bill Barr, the Department of Justice became Trump’s consigliere. Under Merrick Garland, it will revert to being the nation’s overseers of justice and chief practitioners of the rule of law. If Merrick Garland does his job the way we need him to, a culture of fairness — of justice serving the public equally — will permeate every nook and cranny of the DoJ. That’s how good management works — by example and from the top down. Remember how much corruption there was during eight years of Obama’s presidency? ZERO. There was zero corruption because Barack Obama made it crystal clear that HE PERSONALLY would not tolerate it.

We know — having been the lab rats — how the opposite conditions work out.

As mentally and emotionally exhausted as we feel — if I may project “me” onto “we” for a second — watching Donald Trump leave was heartening. It felt good watching him cross from the White House to Marine One — the helicopter that flew him to Andrews. It felt even better watching him cross from Marine One to the podium where, for once, it was tolerable to hear him speak (if only because we knew it was for the very last time as president). It belt best of all when Trump and his viperous family climbed aboard Air Force One for their trip “home”.

I know, looking back, what four years of Trumpism did to my psyche and sense of mental well-being. Hell, my suicide attempt came six weeks after Trump “won” the election. I know what election day 2016 did to me — it struck something deep. I wasn’t alone that night, feeling that something terrible had just happened. This wasn’t just the woe the comes from losing an election. We could feel it — something… untoward had happened. Something not on the up-n-up. Something not quite “legit”. Something, in fact, downright criminal. If only we could “prove” that these feelings weren’t just… feelings.

Four years ago felt awful — though the Women’s March the day after Trump was inaugurated felt like we were collectively picking ourselves up, dusting ourselves off and preparing for what turned out to be four years of hard, relentless battle with the darkest part of our nation. We sought relief and thought it was coming! It breaks my heart still to think how deluded we were all were by Team Mueller. It’s not that they didn’t do good work — they absolutely did. But, wishful thinking gave them a far bigger mandate than they, in fact, worked from. We assumed that even as Team Trump obstructed justice, in the background, plenty of heavy lifting was going on; intelligence professionals and law enforcement were carrying on an extensive, intensive counter-intelligence investigation into every last nuance of Donald Trump’s treasonous relationship with Vladimir Putin.

The thing people like me didn’t count on — this story really did run far darker than imagined — was the extent of Republican complicity. I know I kept thinking that surely the third rail of going to prison forever would keep the Republican leadership from letting Trump run completely amok. But, it turns out, once you’ve committed treason — as pretty much the entire Republican leadership has — it really doesn’t matter anymore if you let a treasonous POTUS run amok since — if the other side wins the election — you’ll be going to prison, too, now. Because that’s how conspiracy works.

See something, say something. See something, say NOTHING? We have to ask: “Why?” Why say nothing? Whose interests are you protecting here — since, clearly, they’re not ours? Perfect example? Current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (who — ironically — attended church this morning with Mitch and Nancy and Kamala and Joe) who, a month before the GOP nominated Trump to be their 2016 standard-bearer, walked into a roomful of the Republican leadership and famously said “There’s two people I think Putin pays, Rohrbacher and Trump… swear to God!” The correct, moral, patriotic response in the room would have been “Wait, WHAT? Why do you say that, Kev’? Holy shit — if that’s even remotely true, we gotta tell the FBI!” That, alas, is NOT how that roomful of Republicans responded to hearing that their presidential candidate was likely already compromised by a hostile foreign power. No, instead, they all followed then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan’s lead and “kept it in the family”.

What we felt settle over us on election day 2016 — like the blackest cloud imaginable — was Trumpian corruption. Today, that cloud officially lifts.

The air — filled with coronavirus as it is — smells fresher. The sun feels warmer. And we now have a president who doesn’t wear orange face paint because he thinks it improves his appearance.

For that alone — I feel better!

A Letter To Those Who Hate Democracy: Maybe We CAN’T Actually “Live Together”

We Americans tell ourselves — it’s part of our mythology — that we can do anything when/if we hitch our efforts together for a common purpose. Kumbaya. It’s time that those of us singing “Kumbaya” recognize that not everyone is joining in. And it’s not because they can’t sing. It’s because they don’t want to sing along with us. There’s another tune in their heads. A hateful one that sees the rest of us as, well, cockroaches because we’re not white. The Trumpian insurrectionists who stormed the capitol didn’t just turn on democracy because they lost this election. The truth is they’ve never cared for democracy because they always knew this day was coming. The day they finally had to reveal just how much they really and truly hate it.

Four years ago, Barack Obama handed the keys to Donald Trump probably knowing that Trump was betraying us. He took a leap of faith that We The People would backstop our democracy in the nick of time. That seems to be happening. In the nick. Now that we have control of the country back — well, now that we’ve started to re-establish control — we’re going to learn that the Democratic Party’s partner in governing America, the Republican Party, has been plotting against us.

The hit the GOP has put out on Democracy and America is as real and viable as the hit Donald Trump put out on Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi during the insurrection. We really are like a husband or wife waking up to discover their spouse wants to kill them (but hasn’t the guts to do it themselves).

The truth is, Republicans don’t want to govern “with” Democrats. They want to govern instead of Democrats. Completely. That would be bad enough if they represented a majority position. But, they don’t. In fact, increasingly, Republicans represent a shrinking minority. Yeah, yeah — 70 million Americans just voted for a traitor. Let’s stick a pin in that 70 million. But, even if it’s closer to 65 million — that’s still 65 million people thinking absolute rubbish is true.

In order to compromise with this rabble, one has to compromise with bullshit, allowing that some part of bullshit might could be true. Well, THAT is bullshit because no part of bullshit is ever true. We can compromise with bullshit all we like; bullshit will never, EVER compromise with us. It’s like Evil in that way.

Sometimes, in life, we have to admit mistakes — or admit how things really are so we don’t make mistakes. When did the Republicans turn so completely on the rest of us? Hard to say. One could argue they were never in to us. They tolerated us. Well, that’s no way to have a relationship. Especially when you’re the one calling the shots.

Republicans have just been caught cheating in the worst way possible. It must be bad, they’re already insisting everyone kiss & make up, forgive & forget. Dudes — whatever you’re humming so horribly out of tune? It ain’t “Kumbaya”. Sounds more like a death rattle actually. The death rattle of our relationship.

When the smoke clears, the Democratic Party will still be here. The Republican Party will not. An alternative will rise up to take their place — and a good thing, too. This Progressive recognizes that everyone (not just Trumpists) needs a check and balance. We don’t need a “conservative” party to balance progressivism though. The opposite of progress doesn’t have to be regress; it could/should be moderation. Considering how brilliant the ex-Republicans behind Project Lincoln are, I won’t worry about their finding a good, clearly moderate new branding identity.

Not all relationships work out. To be honest, Democrats have always felt a little “taken advantage of” by Republicans. Now that they’ve gone completely off their meds and revealed themselves as world class lunatics, on the one hand, we “get it” — we get why they’re lunatics. On the other hand, no thank you.

The Progressive fatal flaw is a lack of cynicism. It takes a lot to make a Progressive assume the worst in people. We tell ourselves that with enough therapy, even the most awful human being can probably be redeemed or be made redeemable. I still hold out that hope for most people still putting that “R” next to their names. For starters, being a seditionist is about to get crushingly expensive. That will thin the herd considerably. The legal bills about to drop on these fools will be devastating to their families. As the stone cold realization of the poverty they’re about to inflict on their own loved ones strikes home, more and more of these cowards will bail. Trying to better their own terrible situations, they’ll start ratting each other out. Bullies are all cowards at the end of the day.

This Progressive will give up hope only under duress.

I don’t think we can have a “serious” relationship ever again. I know we can’t live together. But I still aspire to having a relationship of some sort — if only to use as the basis for visiting these pirates in prison.

Why Do Some Christians Hate Being Forced To Reap What They Sowed?

As an atheist, I wonder frequently why so few Christians follow Jesus. That is, they belong to a church — but their church sees Jesus the way McDonald’s sees Ronald. He’s a mascot. He’s the “Do Unto Others” bait that they switch with “Do What We Tell You To Do — Or Else!” Institutional Christianity has no use for Jesus beyond his being a mascot. Jesus didn’t invent Christianity after all, Paul did. If Jesus were to rise from the dead and see the violence (much of it anti-Semitic!) that has been attributed to him, supposedly “inspired” by him and belief in him? His head might literally explode.

Religion gets to make up its rules as it goes along — and change them when they become inconvenient. That’s not a criticism, it’s just a fact. If science could play by those rules, it probably would. But, it can’t. Science relies on rigor. It needs the math to add up and check out. Consistently. Science, for instance, understands that there’s no magic. The carbon we pour into the environment today won’t disappear just because that’d be more convenient for us. Pandemics don’t disappear just because we want them to either.

And, every time we meet with a friend — even with masks on — just because we’re convinced neither of us has or will give the coronavirus to each other? We’re gambling. We’re playing Russian Roulette (ironically) with a pathogen.

Our sister sight Mulligan Jesus, has suggested that lots of Christians (if inside their own minds) see their Bibles more as a smorgasbord line than a book on which to base their lives. How’s the adultery looking today? Fresh? I’ll overlook the fact that I shouldn’t do it then “because it’s so fresh!” How about greed or pride or any of the other sins that practicing Christianity is supposed to “cure one of”? All available. All waiting to be piled onto my plate. That’s why they adore their “Pick N Choose” Bibles — why pretend to follow rules you think are stupid — or that might could get in the way of you having a good time, doing whatever the hell you want, and getting whatever the hell YOU think you’re entitled to?

That’s the dirty, little secret every one of these Christians (as opposed to “followers of Jesus”) carries around in their tiny black hearts: they don’t believe IN God, they believe they ARE God. Gods, you see, don’t “do unto others” because no one — they believe — is good enough to “do unto them”. Gods do whatever the hell they want. Or, that is, they think they can.

With the Republicans coup attempt, we are witnessing this behavior writ large. Republicans long ago reimagined themselves as “The White Guy’s Party”. They cannot abide the idea of Black people, brown people or women having authority over them (never mind governing). And just as these Christians pick n choose what they “believe in” from their Bibles, they pick n choose what laws from our Constitution they want to follow (if for the moment). You know — like someone who thought they were “God” might do.

“The Party Of Personal Responsibility” is always first to avoid it. Quick thought experiment — if Barack Obama (or anyone in his administration) had said what Michael Flynn said last night, inciting sedition against a winning Republican presidential candidate, what do you think would have happened to him? Kinda makes one think the whole “Party of Personal Responsibility” thing was always horse shit. Ain’t that shocking…

The Catholic Church protecting child molesters didn’t exactly surprise anyone — except for the extent of child abuse and its acceptance within the church. And is anyone truly caught off guard when scumbags like Jerry Falwell, Jr. get outed for the frauds they are? We all recognize that religiosity breeds deceit because it breeds judgment. If you perceive yourself to be more “God-like” in your behavior while others are “demonic”, you’re probably going to cast all your actions in the best possible light (regardless of the truth).

The reason so many “devout Christians” hate to reap what they sow is because they never intended to reap it. They expected someone else to get suck with their diseased crops. You know — like the man they think God “made” president — Donald Trump — always does.

I bet if Trump spoke the words “Do unto others”, he’d actually burst into flames — or melt like the Nazi at the end of “Raiders Of The Lost Ark”. That’s why he’d say — under his breath to protect himself: “…before they do unto you.” That’s the Trumpist’s creed.

Real Leaders LISTEN And Make Everyone Around Them Better; Donald Trump’s The Exact Opposite

Pete Souza’s wonderful photo of Barack Obama, bending down so the son of a WH staff member could pat his head.

What makes Barack Obama a superb leader (his approval rating’s 58%) — regardless of whether you liked or like his policies — is his limitless capacity to inspire those all around him to do better, be better. Not because Big Brother was compelling you to — for Big Brother’s benefit — but because being the best you could be would make your life better as well as everyone else’s. We v Me. What gave Donald Trump away as the worst possible kind of “leader” was his apparent belief that “I alone can fix it”. As the British half of my family would say: “BOLLOCKS!”

“I alone can fix it” is something only a delusional male would say. Same goes for the idea of the “rugged individualist”. Those are little boys who equate their refusal to color inside the lines with entrepreneurial spirit when, really, they’re just little boys who don’t know how to color. On a team, they’re the question mark — sure, they have a skill set, but will they feel like using it on the day we really need them? Libertarianism is so self-congratulatory, it’s a wonder libertarians can talk about anything else. They’re all mole rats convinced they’re eating caviar when, in fact, they’re feeding on the rot inside their own corrupt intestines.

I’ve been lucky in my show biz career. Damned lucky. Before I took my best shot at undoing all that luck, I got to work with extraordinary people. When I ran “Tales From The Crypt” for HBO, among my Executive Producers was Robert Zemeckis. Bob’s features include “Back To The Future”, “Forrest Gump”, “Castaway”, “Contact”, “Flight”. I wrote two of the three episodes Bob directed for “Crypt”. Watching Bob work — his process — was a master class in leadership.

First, Bob challenges with “the cool idea”. What if we could do “this” — “this” being something we’ve never seen before? Yeah, we all agree, that would be cool, but the problem is, it’s un-doable. “Oh, is it?” asks Bob with a smile. Bob has a way to get there. He’ll reveal it eventually. But, first, he wants to see how we might solve it — knowing there’s a possible solution. His goal — see what we might contribute to what he’s thinking. We can’t hurt what he’s got in mind, but we can definitely add to it. Ideas flood the floor — good, bad, indifferent. It doesn’t matter. Everyone in the creative team is invested and investing in finding that solution.

And then — as we (feel like we’re) collectively solving the problem — the problem gets solved. And we feel like we did it together! The truth is, Bob guided us all along. We don’t know where Bob’s idea ended and ours began. We solved the problem, not me. The environment was entirely nurturing.

Again: We v Me.

Making movies and TV shows is a crap shoot. Aspirations to greatness don’t always produce box office boffo results. How’s that old saw go — “It’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game”. Yeah — THAT. In almost every project Bob Z does, there’s a moment where Bob gathered the creative team all around him and told them what he had in mind. The idea was awesome. “Okay, guys,” Bob said, as he looked from eye to eye, “How’re we gonna do this?”

That’s leadership.

Joe Biden — regardless of whether he’s progressive enough for you (and he isn’t progressive enough for me but I do see him as a means to the end I want) — has been and will be a good leader because he draws on those same leadership skills. To him, a big part of leadership is LISTENING.

I’ll say it again: LISTENING. Leadership = Listening.

If you can’t listen, you can’t lead. Even if you’re a pirate by nature, surely you see that listening to your crew — even if only occasionally — could work out to your advantage. Donald Trump can’t even manage that because “he alone can fix it”.

Oooh, wait. I think I see our problem. We’ve misunderstood how Donald means “fix”. When HE says “he alone can ‘fix’ it”, he means “fix” the way a criminal does.

I may be talking myself out of my own argument here… If Donald means he alone can make everyone around him more of a criminal, then he’s absolutely right! To enter Trump’s sphere is to criminalize yourself. If you won’t compromise yourself (provided you haven’t already), you don’t get to play or stay in Trump’s world. Donald Trump is great at turning people into criminals! I may not like how that’s transforming people, but — in his own way, isn’t Trump making these otherwise mediocre Republicans “better”?

Hmmmmm… No. Even in criminal world, the REAL criminals — the Vlad Putins, the Kims, the MbS’s — see Donald Trump as a piker. He’s just a greed machine and a garden variety bully. He couldn’t kill anyone — for real — in cold blood. He’s too much of a wuss. He’ll throw money at someone — tell them to get blood on their hands. Even among criminals, that ain’t “leadership”.

Donald may be a black hole of corruption, but he’s not a super nova black hole of corruption. He’s simply not good enough.

Whew! That’s a relief. For a second there, I almost had to admit Donald Trump was good at something — as if he could “lead” in it.

It’s a stone cold fact: Donald Trump — alone — can’t fix OR LEAD anything.

Laughing At Other People Isn’t The Same As “Having A Sense Of Humor” — Take Donald Trump, For Instance…

It’s bad enough our News Media can’t figure out that Donald Trump is a traitor. They can’t figure out whether or not Trump is really being “sarcastic” either?

Yeesh!

This is not up for debate: Donald Trump has literally zero sense of humor. He can’t laugh at himself. He can’t “be” sarcastic because he can’t see irony. He can’t see irony because, in order to see irony, you must FIRST be able to laugh at yourself. And that is something Trump is physically incapable of.

Ever watch Donald Trump’s SNL appearances? I haven’t seen his 2004 appearance as host (those were the “lost days” of SNL to me but then, I was there for the original Not Ready For Prime Time Players) but I’m a Howard Stern listener so, I know Trump’s schtick.

His 2015 appearance was part of his 2016 campaign run. That means we get the full Donald. He’s being himself with purpose. He’s selling, selling, selling Donald Trump. But, as hard as he’s selling, the one thing he can’t sell — there’s none in the warehouse and never has been — is a sense of humor. Watch. Trump can read jokes about himself off a teleprompter but he doesn’t “tell them” as jokes about him. He doesn’t “step inside” the joke to “make it” about himself. The jokes — to judge by his reading — are about some guy named Donald Trump who’s laughable but who bears no resemblance to the Donald Trump who’s reading these lines off the teleprompter.

It’s a study in narcissism dressed up in a clown costume except the narcissist keeps telling himself it’s a tux. Trump knows there’s something comedic going on. He knows a lot of the laughter is associated with him. And, as much as he wants a piece of the action, he can’t quite figure it out. He can get laughs but he can never rely on it. He blames other people for that. Experience has told him that other cruel people — or people uncomfortable with his cruelty but not uncomfortable enough to stop him — will laugh at what he says and does. So, Donald capers and performs for them

Donald Trump making with the jokes isn’t even remotely funny. What he is is cruel. That’s what bullies think of as humor — cruelty. When other people laugh at their cruelty (because they, too, are cruel or bullies), it emboldens the bully to continue being cruel. Until everyone stops laughing, the bully will continue. He doesn’t need the whole house laughing with him, he needs just one other person to feel vindicated and validated. Hearing laughter, the MSM assumes (since “both sides do it”) that all laughter is the same.

Problem is, it’s not. Derisive laughter (laughing AT someone) sounds one way. Joyful laughter sounds another. A person laughing AT others may sound like a person laughing WITH others but it’s completely different. Trump can’t laugh with others because he has no idea how to. But laugh AT others? He’s already there.

The word we’re looking for is “cruelty”. Donald Trump laughs at other people regularly because he’s cruel. His attempts at sarcasm aren’t sarcasm; they’re cruelty aspiring to sarcasm and nothing more.

The more telling video of Donald Trump’s “comedic nature” comes from the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner when Barack Obama (quite famously now) roasted Donald Trump on a spit and reduced him to charred bits. Blubber burns, ya know.

Plenty of people have speculated that this was the night Trump decided to run for POTUS. Not so. By then, Trump had fancied himself POTUS for years already and (turns out) Russia had been grooming him (using him to launder Russian mob money through his Atlantic City casinos). If Trump started planning anything that night, it was personal retribution.

That was the night Trump decided (if his Russian pal could pull it off) that he would dismantle everything Obama did — for entirely personal reasons.

At least the last laugh will be on Donald. One way or another, Trump will not get away with this. The election is fast becoming a blow-out in the making. Trump’s politically-motivated response to the coronavirus pandemic has sealed his fate. The news is never going to be good for Trump now. Even a cure or a vaccine will arrive despite Trump and not because of him.

Worst case scenario (for We The People) — Trump, regardless of what he thinks or says, cannot live forever. He will die. And, judging by his diet and health — even a natural death will hurt. But that’s not really what makes Trump’s death comedic. It’s the fact that Trump has built a snake pit around himself. Which of the snakes will be head snake when Trump is gone?

Ivanka? I bet she assumes it’s her. And maybe Junior and Eric let that go on — at first. But, does anyone really think either of their wives really think it should be Ivanka at the head of the table while their “men” sit to the sides? Lady MacBeth lives — and she has an equally evil twin.

Outside the Trump bubble, does anyone think a Trump not named Donald will hold the same sway and power over the Republican Party? Surely you jest!

The instant Trump shuffles off this mortal coil — or even gets too sick to handle his own day-to-day criminality — the sharks will all go for each other.

Now THAT will be funny.

Donald Trump Can’t “Do” Sarcasm Cos He Can’t “Do” Irony & He Can’t “Do” Irony Cos He Has NO Sense Of Humor

Trump proves every day that comedy is hard. Waaaaaay too hard for him.

Yesterday, Donald Trump — at his daily campaign rally that the news media broadcasts under the bullshit assertion that it’s got news or information in it — told America that we should try drinking bleach and sunlight to cure outselves of coronavirus. Anything just so we’ll “get back to work” instead of having the federal government prove that a Universal Basic Income is the only way out of this fiasco.

Donald Trump may be laughable but he’s the opposite of funny. While he can dress himself in comedy glitter — and make it seem like he’s in on the jokes he tells (when he imagines himself the King Of Comedy), Trump’s only good at making fun of others. That’s the easy part of comedy. But bullying isn’t comedy. It’s not funny either — and that’s what every bit of Trump’s making fun of other people is: bullying.

Having a sense of humor requires one basic thing in order to exist: one MUST be able to laugh at oneself. If you can’t see yourself as the butt of a joke (a mostly good-natured joke, of course), you can’t see jokes. You just like the idea of people hitting other people with words — so long as it’s not you. In his entire life, Donald Trump has never laughed at himself.

There’s real reason to believe that Trump’s decision to run for POTUS started on April 20, 2016, the night President Obama took a few good-natured swipes at The Donald during the White House Correspondent’s Dinner.

Witness a man with no sense of humor slowly stewing. It’s not up for debate. It’s not a matter of opinion. It’s not a question of proportion. Donald Trump has ZERO sense of humor. It’s just a fact of life. Of genetics.

Having no sense of humor, Trump is incapable of seeing irony — of seeing the irony in anything. Irony is the crisp slap of what one says a thing is versus what it really is. Donald Trump claiming he’s the victim of anything is ironic because Donald Trump is the ultimate victimizer. Trump himself can’t see it — because he can’t see himself as a victimizer. Or he refuses to admit that he is. Either way — that refusal to see (or laugh at) himself for what he really is — it’s the seriological test that proves Trump can’t even conceive of laughing at himself.

Without the capacity to even “see” irony, one is automatically excluded — by definition — from ever being “sarcastic”.

So — when Trump told the nation it was okay to drink bleach to cure coronavirus, he was being as serious as a heart attack — or another Trump crisis. The correct response really shouldn’t be to repeat Trump saying “I was just being sarcastic”.

The correct response SHOULD HAVE BEEN derisive laughter. “What? No, you weren’t being sarcastic — you can’t BE sarcastic. All YOU can be is cruel.” That’s what the press should have said.

Instead we’ll debate whether or not Trump was in fact being sarcastic. After we’re done, let’s argue whether bears shit in the woods and the Pope is Catholic.

Let’s Be Real: Election 2020 May Be “Trump v Biden” On The Surface, But In Every Other Way, It’s “Obama v Trump” — LITERALLY

Maybe this race was simply fated to go this way. Prior to the South Carolina primary a few weeks ago, everyone pretty much agreed that Joe Biden’s candidacy was done. And then yesterday, Bernie Sanders withdrew from the race (keeping his name in to get as many delegates as he can so as to exert influence over the platform — a good move). The 2020 Election began in earnest at that moment.

And then Barack Obama’s name popped into the conversation. Obama initiated part of it (an important point). He put out this tweet —

Donald Trump responded — as he would. During Wednesday’s daily political campaign ad masquerading as a coronavirus update, Trump addressed the fact that Bernie had dropped out, making Biden his opposition. Trump asked why Obama hadn’t backed Biden until now. Being Trump, he asserted that Obama “new something” — something Trump himself knew — and soon, we’d all know what that “something” was…

If ever a man needed desperately to have the words “Oh, shut the fuck up!” howled like a raging wind into his bloated orange face, it’s Donald Trump.

The final move came from Obama. It showed not only grace and tact but clear evidence of political skill. The Democratic Party aches for Barack and Michelle Obama to get into this thing. Word “trickled out” from various places that indeed Obama and Michelle absolutely intend to enter the conversation at a place and time so as to maximize the effect of their entering the conversation.

And that’s where stand as of this morning.

Being both an excellent politician and a smart man, Obama refused to endorse any of the Democratic nominees because he was letting We The People do the talking. The fact is, regardless of who emerged from the process, Obama was going to endorse them because the Democratic nominee would be the only person in a position to defeat Trump. Donald Trump is as subtle as a wet fart — and just as disgusting. Do we really have to say it out loud? Obama didn’t back Biden until now because it would have been INAPPROPRIATE.

End of story.

Now here’s where it gets good. Obama doesn’t need to do anything right this second. He knows Trump will do most of the damage to himself by himself. Trump will maximize Obama’s moment for him. Joe Biden is no one’s idea of a legacy candidate. What Joe Biden represents, what he IS — is a president whose election will instantly restore LEGITIMACY to our government. Biden’s election — just the fact of it — will mean The Rule Of Law is back in the house. And the Senate. And the Executive Branch.

Joe Biden won’t just “win” this election. As Joe himself could tell you, it’s not about him. It’s about US. It’s about what Donald Trump and the Republican Party have done to us. Trump has made it his priority to undo everything Barack Obama accomplished. Literally everything. We all know why.

Trump made this “Trump v Obama” the moment he took the oath of office and began sledgehammering the ACA. Problem is, “Trump v Obama” is “Trump v We The People” and We The People have had enough. Even Republicans (the former Republicans I mean) now sing Obama’s praises. Though they disagreed with him politically, they now see that intelligence, grace and decency matter a shit-ton. And they see — in the face of the coronavirus pandemic that the ACA is vital just to get through the current crisis; Medicare for all is where we must land however.

Joe Biden will be a caretaker POTUS — the exact thing we need as we turn off the spigots of self-destruction before the tub overflows, floods the bathroom and crashes down onto the floors below. Joe Biden’s immediate moves will be to — as much as possible — put things back as they were. But that can only be a starting point. Biden has been consulting regularly since South Carolina w Obama — I bet the subject of VP choice has come up. This will be a key — not in whether or not Biden beats Trump but in how completely and utterly Biden beats Trump.

A choice like Kamala Harris would be awesome (though she’d also be a killer Attorney General). Elizabeth Warren — awesome. Stacey Abrams — awesome. Amy Kobuchar — good but not awesome. Whoever the veep is — they’ll be the next POTUS in 2024. That’s why the veep choice is vital — that’s our future. Literally.

The reason Democrats are salivating at the thought of Obama stepping into the ring to directly speak to Donald Trump is because Obama will decimate Trump and Trump knows he’ll die a horrible death that way — in public. A poll released yesterday said that more Americans believe Barack Obama would be a better leader during this pandemic than Trump. Their opinion won’t change in the coming weeks. And the more we learn about just how egregiously terrible Team Trump’s response was — and how many Americans have died because of it — and the more Team Trump’s horrible response makes mince meat of the economy — Barack Obama will look even more amazing to us — as a destination — than he already does.

What campaign ad — that appeals to anyone outside Trump’s ravenously racist base — can Team Trump run against Obama? Anything he says will make Obama more popular and make those aching for the return of Obama’s decency to pour politics even more ardent.

C’mon — an Obama v Trump election? The Fates themselves pushed us here. And I don’t believe in Fate.

As much as Trump is a lightning rod for publicity where the world hangs on every goddamned word that spews from his anus-shaped mouth, so too will Barack Obama. But, by comparison, his words will sound like the pronouncements of an Oracle.

The choice put before us will be stark, clear & easy. Good thing because we’re going to need as many Americans as possible to show up at the polls in order to overcome the massive suppression operation the GOP will mount because it’s all they know how to do.

Donald Trump wanted Election 2020 to be yet another freakish, Trump-branded reality show. As my old pal the Crypt Keeper used to say, “Be careful what you wish for, you may just ‘get it’!”

Donald Trump is about to “get it”.

For Republicans, It’s All Or Nothing Now — They Will Destroy The Republic Or Go Down In Flames Of Treason And Infamy

If there was any doubt as to what Republicans are really up to — and how extensive the corruption is inside the GOP — Chief Justice John Roberts made it explicit Monday evening when the SCOTUS (in a 5-4 conservatives v progressives decision) sided with the Wisconsin Republican Party and forced Wisconsin to holds its primary yesterday — despite the health threat it posed — and while refusing to extend any vote-by-mail deadlines (regardless of the fact that many Wisconsinites had not received their mail-in ballots). The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court gave Wisconsin permission to throw out THOUSANDS of legal votes — the most egregious act of voter suppression by a party who suppress Democratic votes the way most people breathe.

The Republican Money — the Kochs, the Mercers early on — saw demographic oblivion in their future and decided the only way to prevent it was to destroy American democracy. Relying on We The People was going to result in extinction. We The People had to be either removed from the equation or limited in our voice if we did remain in the equation. With Mitch McConnell walking point for them, the RW Money began hijacking the judiciary during the Obama presidency. There was real long-term purpose behind McConnell refusing Obama so many life-time appointments to the Federal bench.

The GOP didn’t love Trump. He compromised them. Played even dirtier than they did. Being cynical, greedy and power-mad, they hitched their wagon to the bigger bully — fully aware that that bully was himself deeply compromised by Vladimir Putin. Seems just enough Republicans were already compromised themselves (Mitch himself has taken MILLIONS into his campaign coffers that came from Russia). Russia poured lots of cash into other Republican campaigns via the NRA and a network of Russian retirees living in America, their small pensions suddenly brimming with cash intended for donation to Republicans. How convenient.

GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy famously said to then-Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan during the 2016 Republican convention “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump” to which Paul Ryan famously (per the Washington Post), “… instructed his Republican lieutenants to keep the conversation private, saying: ‘No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here’.”

Meanwhile, remember, convicted felon Paul Manafort was handing Oleg Deripaska (he of the GRU — Russian military intelligence) proprietary polling data from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. That polling data was weaponized by Russia and sent back to Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania as propagandized Facebook ads that showed up — exclusively — on the personal Facebook pages of Democratic voters — many African American or other People of Color. The ads wanted their readers to believe that Hillary Clinton was a racist on the down low.

The point of the exercise — make voters decide to stay home instead of voting. It’s election fraud — carried out with the direct assistance of a hostile foreign government. And it’s entirely illegal.

The GOP may not have known how Russia was going to pull off their theft of election 2016, but once the “win” was Trump’s? They did nothing to address the eight thousand pound gorilla sitting in the room — the total incongruity of Trump’s “win”. There are myriad reasons Trump and the Republicans have resisited every attempt to investigate election 2016. They all have to do with culpability.

Fact: the entire Republican Party is as guilty of election fraud, obstruction of justice and treason as Trump is. They all knew or at the very least suspected what was happening. They were all obligated — legally — to say something. That they didn’t made them guilty of conspiracy.

That means every single Republican has a legal problem. And that’s where America’s problem begins.

For Trump, it’s a matter of staying president forever or probably going to prison forever — his list of crimes is that long and that bad. Robert Mueller — in his team’s report — pointed out their obligation to follow a DoJ “rule” (not a law) created while Spiro Agnew was veep (to keep him from pardoning Nixon — per “The Bagman” — the very good, very deep dive podcast by Rachel Maddow) that would not allow them to indict a sitting POTUS. That’s why the SDNY couldn’t indict Trump along with Michael Cohen for paying Stormy Daniels to keep quiet. As we sit here today, Trump remains “Unindicted Co-Conspirator #1”.

Trump knows: the instant he stops being POTUS, he’ll become INDICTED Co-Conspirator #1. And that will be just the start of his legal problems. And Trump also knows — his legal problems are so deep and so far-reaching, he could lose every single property he owns to seizure. And have we mentioned “treason”? Trump cannot stop being POTUS. That’s his bottom line.

Because it’s Trump’s bottom line — it’s the whole GOP’s bottom line too. If Trump’s crimes get exposed, theirs will get exposed too.

And everyone’s crimes have just gone nuclear because of our coronavirus response. Republican criminality has now KILLED thousands of Americans. Literally. Talk about criminal!

Norms have not mattered for a decade now to the GOP. Mitch McConnell destroyed every norm while Obama was POTUS. The Republican Senate destroyed Congressional oversight when it refused to convict Trump on impeachment. Now Trump is taking a sledgehammer to the IG’s and all possible oversight to how he doles out billions of tax-payer relief dollars. We already know that Trump himself is PROFITING from the very (unproven) cure — hydroxychloroquine — that he’s been pushing during his daily “coronavirus briefings” even as Dr. Fauchi shakes his head in alarmed disapproval.

The Republican Party is so far beyond corrupt they can’t even “corrupt” from their houses anymore.

It’s time for us — for the NEWS MEDIA especially — to stop treating Republicans as honest actors. It’s time to start treating them as what they are: CRIMINALS intent on building upon a criminal act — the stolen 2016 election — to shove permanent minority rule down the majority of Americans’ throats. It’s a rape fever dream by a Party that understands rape intrinsically. If you can vote for a rapist, it’s because you approve of the rapist — and you approve of his raping whoever he likes.

That’s who the Republican Party are — rapists. And they will destroy America rather than face the consequences of their crime.

Here’s the hopeful part. There’s more of us than them. Way more. Way, way, WAY more. As a percentage of the electorate, Trumpanistas are a mere 16%. Fact. And what Trump has steadily done to the military (undermining their purpose in Northern Syria, betraying our Kurdish ally — that doesn’t sit well with “brothers in arms”, firing Brett Crozier, the captain of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt who went public to save his crew from a rising coronavirus threat onboard their ship) will not get him the loyalty he’ll need to turn the military against the American People. It only takes having a few balk at the audacity of a full-on military coup d’etat to make the whole enterprise fall apart.

Trump will try to further rip apart the very voting procedure he always uses: vote-by-mail. But once the Post Office is spared — and we make sure EVERY American GETS their vote-by-mail ballot — the real day of reckoning will begin for Trump & the GOP. It’s way, WAAAAAAY harder to suppress voters when they vote by mail. And if We The People can make vote-by-mail how most Americans vote this November?

As Trump himself said (out loud) this week — the more people vote, the worse it is for Republicans. Agree, Don-Don. Agree completely.

Let’s make that a stone cold reality.

Who Is Directly Responsible For The Shit-Show We’re In? THESE Guys…

While the whole world is now laser-focused on surviving Covid-19, it’s important to remember that this pandemic isn’t isolated. Yes, the original vector — whether from a live animal market in China or from bat guano that migrated from shoes to hands in a Chinese cave — would have presented regardless. But what happened afterwards — THAT would have been entirely different if, say, Hillary Clinton (or Barack Obama) was president rather than Donald Trump.

Trump’s reaction — as early as January, he was sacrificing rapid response for political appearances — was just Trump’s next step in dismantling the American government at the behest of Russia and his own raging ego. But the fact that Trump is in place — that he’s president to begin with — that, too, is part of our coronavirus problem. This really has been a perfect storm of authoritarian fuckery.

Authoritarians are great at wielding power, not so good at governing. And governing really isn’t about the good times — when things are running smoothly — governing is about the hard times — when citizens need help because of a natural disaster, a war — or a pandemic. And, one thing we know for a fact about republicans — when the hard times come, they won’t be the ones governing, they’ll be the ones profiteering.

So — why is coronavirus kicking the world’s ass? Because Donald Trump is president of the United States. And Donald Trump is POTUS because of himself of course but also because of THESE scumbags…

VLAD PUTIN

In Vlad Putin’s defense, he’s doing what we expect him to do. He’s a Russian nationalist, suckled by the dying Soviet intelligence state, a spymaster who also runs a criminal enterprise masquerading as a government. He has actively plotted against the West while dreaming of the return of a Greater Russia. Problem is, Vlad’s Greater Russia has a crap economy based entirely on oil. Sanctions are killing him — that’s why he needs them lifted. Putin recruited & nurtured Trump as early as the 80’s. Considering what his cyber war has cost him — pennies compared to a shooting war — Putin has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams and for virtually no money.

THE KOCHS/MERCERS/RW MONEY

While Putin was doing what Putin was doing, the Big Republican Money machine was busy too. As Reaganism peaked, the RW money saw something terrifying in the nation’s demographics — no them. America’s diversification (the source of our exceptionalism) was moving more rapidly. White people are going to become a minority. That’s just a fact. The Big Money Republicans (the Koch Brothers, David & Rebekah Mercer) saw that handwriting and resolved to DO something about it.

What the RW Money got was this: the presidency was pretty much out of reach for Republicans (take away Bush v Gore and Russia and there’d be a straight run of Democratic presidents). The House of Representatives is too mercurial to control — it is the Peoples’ House after all. Instead, Republicans focused on holding the Senate forever and using the power of confirming judges to control the most important part of their gambit: hijacking the judiciary.

That is the point of the exercise — lifetime appointments at the federal level especially SCOTUS seats. The goal — lock down the courts for another generation at least — making it hard for a Progressive House to get anything done or enact anything.

The ultimate goal, of course: Permanent Minority Rule.

MITCH MCCONNELL

One of the most corrupt people to ever serve in Congress. A weakling’s weakling who’s at his happiest abusing power for his patrons — the RW Money. And Russia.

Mitch’s greatest hits are well known — He’s taken gobs of Russian money into his PAC… he refused to let Obama tell We The People in September 20167 that Russia was actively attacking our election for the benefit of Donald Trump… He has enabled every anti-Democratic, un-American, pro-Russian move Trump has made… He got rid of the sactions on Oleg Deripaska (“former” Russian intelligence to whom Paul Manafort handed proprietary polling data on Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota before election 2016 — data which Deripaska weaponized and turned back on America as individualized propaganda appearing in individual Democratic voters’ Facebook pages. That most of those Democratic voters were people of color — and the ads were accusing Hillary Clinton of racism (in an environment where she was constantly under assault?) Oleg Deripaska is engaged in an info/cyber war against us.

That makes what Mitch did TREASON.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, listens during a news conference after a weekly GOP luncheon meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. McConnell said he’s delaying the Senate’s August recess by two weeks after divided lawmakers have been unable to agree on how to revise health-care legislation he proposed to replace Obamacare. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

BILL BARR

Trump wanted a Roy Cohn and he got one. Every Democrat who said yes to Barr has some ‘splainin’ to do. Barr’s lies about the Mueller Report weren’t his first time at the Bullshit Rodeo. Barr did that once before during Iran-Contra. Barr is a rabid Christo-Fascist who wouldn’t know Jesus if he stopped mid-way through nailing Jesus to a cross to spit in Jesus’s eye. Bar lied about the Mueller Report — completely mischaracterizing its conclusions. He tried to do the same thing with impeachment.

If Bill Barr were out of the equation? Donald Trump would already be facing prosecution for high crimes, misemeanors, low crimes, rape, election fraud and treason.

DONALD TRUMP

Every time the bloated orange jackal turd opens his anus mouth, he literally tells us how guilty he is.

If only we’d believe him…