Dear American News Media: Please Get This Straight — Both Sides Do Not “Do It”

And both sides don’t do everything for political reasons either. Let’s put that out there straight away.

I’d love to know where exactly — at which Journalism School — “Both Sides Do It ” journalism was born. Surely something as pernicious, as stupid, as poorly thought out sprang from one confused human mind, manifesto-like. I’d hate to think that a notion that easily disprovable emerged from underneath more than one rock.

The first thing “Both Sides Do It” tosses overboard is perspective. It equates a small act of bad behavior with a humongous act of bad behavior. They’re both bad behavior, see — both sides do it. It’s like comparing Bernie Madoff — who ripped off billions because he’s a greedy shit — to Jean Valjean (the hero of Les Miserables) who steals bread to feed the hungry. Yes, both men are thieves. Both sides “do it”. And yet, they don’t.

Proportion. Scale. Perspective.

Both sides do what they do but they do not do the same thing. And what both sides do cannot be compared to each other except to note how different those two things are. How completely and utterly different.

When the House Democrats impeached Donald Trump last year, it was a political act (as opposed to a criminal justice act; the House has no “criminal justice” powers). But what motivated them TO act wasn’t political. It was patriotic. They were reacting to Donald Trump willfully and repeatedly violating his oath of office and the Constitution. It was their SWORN OBLIGATION to say something, do something. They took an oath to uphold the Constitution. They had no choice BUT to impeach Trump or be just as guilty of malfeasance.

Being obligated to action against anti-Constitutional behavior is not the same as the behavior itself. To think otherwise is to think a rape victim is as guilty of raping themselves as the rapist is because a rape was happening and since it was “both sides must have done it”.

Both sides did not conspire with Russia to steal Election 2016. Both sides did not — since then — do everything in their power to either undermine America’s place in the world or enable that undermining. Both sides have not shrugged off racism, sexism and bigotry.

Both sides do not behave strangely on the subject of Russian interference in our elections. Both sides don’t block vital legislation to protect the integrity of our elections.

Both sides don’t pull bullshit rules about SCOTUS judges & election years from the Treason Turtle backsides.

Both sides don’t put forward SCOTUS candidates that they dare not vet because they’re rapists.

Both sides don’t put forward ludicrous arguments every time you ask them a question.

Both sides didn’t behave as if the coronavirus pandemic was yet another “hoax” (all previous hoaxes NOT being hoaxes either). Both sides have not made it clear that they favor money over everything else.

Both sides do not continue to back and support a president who we all know is the most unfit man to ever steal an election with the help of his Russian friend.

Both sides didn’t screw up our government’s response to this pandemic for entirely political reasons. Both sides don’t get on TV every day — at coronavirus updates that are actually campaign rallies (covered for free by our moronic main stream new media) — and lie repeatedly about how we got into this mess, what they’ve done since to help fix it, and what medications we should take to get cured (regardless of efficacy cos Don-Don gets a piece of every pill purchased).

Both sides don’t say churches should be free to congregate in spite of social-distancing rules to infect themselves and their communities because ooga-booga.

Both sides don’t want America to get back to work a moment before it’s safe.

Both sides don’t want American Democracy to die.

Both sides don’t want permanent minority rule.

Both sides don’t openly admit that if every American voted, Republicans would never win another election.

Is it not painfully clear, CNN, MSNBC, New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times & every news media outlet — both sides do not do “it”. They never did. YOU made that up.

Now get it out of your goddamned heads. Remember your Constitutionally-mandated responsibility to be our final check on power and stop letting Trump walk all over you, use you, abuse you and — by extension — do all that ugly shit to us.

We The People won’t tolerate it anymore. We’re the “other side” you’re ultimately accusing of “doing it”, ya see. And we know for a fact: WE DIDN’T.

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.

Let’s Say Donald Trump COULD “Cancel” The Next Election — What Then?

The thing we keep re-learning during our run-in with Trumpism is that there truly is no “bottom”. There is literally NOTHING Donald Trump won’t do to dismantle, undermine, betray, sell out or destroy our Democracy. His very well-being depends on his staying in power. Remember — we may think of him as just “Donald Trump” but the SDNY still sees him as “Unindicted Co-Conspirator #1” in the case of the People v Michael Cohen.

The reason Robert Mueller felt so hamstrung (other than his total fealty to the rules) by his assignment is that he believed he was prohibited by DoJ rules from indicting a sitting president. If Robert Mueller had not felt constrained by that bit of DoJ leftover from the Nixon years, all indications are he would have recommended prosecution — of Trump & everyone around him.

As we were painfully slow to grasp: our problem isn’t just Donald J Trump. Our problem is his party. The Republicans aren’t loyal to Trump out of fear — though some may be and some may have been pushed here because they were compromised — they’re loyal to Trump out of shared purpose. Most Republicans have as much use for representative democracy as Trump does.

Chief Justice John Roberts has made it clear that the SCOTUS is now part of the Republican machine. Forcing Wisconsinites to vote in person today — disallowing any extension of vote-by-mail deadlines — is a pure power grab and a blatant example of voter suppression. The SCOTUS okayed Wisconsin THROWING OUT thousands of legitimate votes. If those were guaranteed Republican votes, do ya think we’d be having this conversation?

Regardless of what Trump does, he cannot cancel the election. He can however do everything in his power to make it as far from free & fair as possible. He could conceivably — because he’s good at cheating as is the rest of his party — “win” again. Let’s go there. Let’s say that happens.

Let’s say Trump manages to “win” an election and create a situation where enough people go along with the bullshit that there’s an ounce of legitimacy to it. Let’s say Trump DOES stay in the White House. What would happen then.

Well, at first — let’s be real — things will get brutal. Trump will go after his enemies. He’ll shut what’s left of America down. It may even look for a couple of seconds like the bad guys really will get away with everything. But then reality will kick in — and some things will happen that neither Trump nor any Republican can do anything about.

For starters, the coronavirus will come around again. And when it does, Trump & the Republicans will fuck up the response just as badly. It’s in their nature.

As Americans grow angrier at what Trump & the Republicans have done — and we WILL learn exactly just how responsible Trump & the Republicans are for the extent of the “carnage” here in America — their desire for retribution will not dim. Rather, it will begin to glow with volcanic intensity. I wouldn’t count on the military or many police departments to be there to back up any Republican power play.

But, let’s say — for shits n giggles — that Trump does get the military & PDs to go along with his authoritarian power grab. Here’s one Judgment Day even Donald Trump can’t get out of. One way or another — sooner or later — Donald Trump will die. He’s not exactly the healthiest person walking around; that means it could strike Trump suddenly.

Take Trump out of the equation and what happens? Would all the other Republicans be able to keep this fascist monstrosity together? Don’t forget — this IS a cult of personality. It’s not based on the law or anything. They’re making the “rules” up as they go along — and the only thing holding it all together is Donald Trump himself. The fact that he “is”.

So — now, let’s say, he “isn’t” anymore.

Take this to the bank: no one’s filling that vacuum. Oh, various Republicans will try. But the air will have suddenly rushed out of the toxic side show. Being pirates, all of them out for themselves, the Republicans will grab for power themselves. They’ll go after the Trump kids — cos they won’t want Ivanka or Junior or Eric lording anything over the once daddy is gone.

While America watches, the Republicans will finish this exercise in self-destruction all by themselves. They will feed on themselves like a school of ravenous but stupid piranhas.

It’s just a fact. At some point, what the Republicans have done & are doing will end — because Trump will. And without Trump being the front man, the con artist di tutti con artists — the reality show star — the press will stop behaving like co-dependent hop heads. Think any other Republican can get up before the cameras and get away with shit the way Trump does?

Name them.

The Republicans — being short-sighted day traders by nature — will never look down the road to see what’s coming at them. They believe in magic. They believe that once they shove permanent minority rule down the majority’s throat that they’ll get to live “happily ever after”.

They have no idea how incredibly wrong they are.

Dear Broadcast Media: Stop Live-casting Trump's Coronavirus Updates RIGHT NOW! You're Aiding & Abetting His POWER GRAB!

Maybe this is another fatal flaw in “both sides do it” journalism. The problem with “neutrality” is that in refusing to judge anything (“just here to report the facts”), you end up giving everything you report equal weight. Because you won’t call out a lie, you give it equal validity with the Truth. How can a news audience discern what “is” from what “isn’t” when the reporters on the ground refuse to differentiate between the two?

We now see reporters in the WH Press Pool asking Trump harder (but still not hard enough), direct questions — then getting flummoxed as, like yesterday, Trump responded to NBC News’ Peter Alexander’s question about helping to quell peoples’ fear by telling Peter Alexander what a terrible journalist he was. When Trump went on to the next reporter, that reporter asked THEIR question — letting Trump GET AWAY with what he did to Peter Alexander. And the Coronavirus update went on — filled with even more misinformation, disinformation and…

Let’s be real. Trump’s now using these daily updates to replace his rallies. It’s not a coincidence that, as Trump tries to lay the blame for his failures on China (by calling the virus Chinese), Bill Barr is grabbing for more unrestrained power — asking Congress to approve new, sweeping powers to arrest and hold people indefinitely. Donald Trump intends to remain in power past January 20, 2021 — the day on which his term expires. In point of fact, Donald Trump will LOSE ALL PRESIDENTIAL AUTHORITY on that date. He won’t have the Constitution on his side — at all. It will treat him as of that date — and everyone in his administration — as ordinary citizens, subject to the same rules. There will be no executive power to hide behind.

Trump may try to. His followers may try to. The chain of command will not respond. It better not. It sure sounds like it absolutely won’t. It’s just not set up to work the way Trump ultimately wants it to. And while coronavirus & Covid-19 will make responding to Trump harder — Trump has already set in motion so much misery, economic ruin and death that no one will be untouched. No one except the hardest hard core Trumpanistas will even think about going along with him.

This can only end one way. Coronavirus will do what the truth could not: it will destroy Donald Trump.

But, in the meantime, it is incumbent on every one of us — the press especially — to mitigate that as much as we possibly can. Every time Trump gets to use the news media — and a crisis — as a campaign event, we are doing ourselves great harm and making the inevitable more catastrophic and bloody. We KNOW for a fact that Trump is lying to us daily. We have to ask why.

That is — our news media has to ask. They’re the ones with the microphones & the cameras. They’re the ones in the room. They have to be us more than ever — and, as of now, they are letting us down.

CNN & MSNBC run “Breaking News” banners all day for news that broke hours before. It ain’t breaking all day. The same logic should apply to Trump’s daily lie-athons. If Trump says something that’s “breaking news” now, it will still be “breaking news” five minutes from now. Between Trump’s utterance & broadcast though, there needs to be fact-checking so that either Trump’s lies are cut out or they’re marked in real broadcast time with some clear, visible, unmistakable disclaimer that what Trump is saying to America is 100% certified bullshit.

The press pool needs to take all attention off of Trump. Washington Post columnist (and former Republican) Jennifer Ruben had a great suggestion this morning on AMJoy — the pool reporters need to stop asking Trump anything. Direct all questions to the experts. When Trump jumps in, ignore him and direct the question back to the expert. The adults in the room need to stop treating the infant like one of them.

But, ya see, that’s when “both sides do it” bites even the most intrepid reporter on the ass. “Both sides do it”, ya see. How can they treat an infant like an infant? That would be “judging” & they’re all just there to report the facts.

See the problem?

Dear American News Media — The Way You Deal With A LIAR Is The Same Way You Deal With A DRUNK — You REFUSE To Argue With Em…

I stopped drinking alcohol about two years ago. I didn’t have to but the mood stabilizer I’m on gives alcohol a terrible aftertaste. It was an unexpected side effect — and, frankly, I’m grateful for it.

When I say I didn’t “have to” stop drinking, what I mean is, I didn’t stop because I perceived I had an alcohol problem. I did — I just didn’t perceive it. Ironically, alcohol (and my denial that I had a problem with it) contributed significantly to the depression that drove me to within literal inches of killing myself. Alcohol’s pretty powerful that way. It gives bullshit crazy power over you.

Not drinking, I’m cut out of a big part of what we think of as a “social life’. I go out with my wife and friends to bars or parties — where nearly everyone but me drinks. Over the course of an evening, conversation goes from crisp and sparkling to… well, a little less crisp. A lot less sparkling. The irony (there’s loads of irony) — when you’re drinking, you’re convinced that the alcohol is making everything crisper and more sparkling.

That’s alcohol lying to you.

Over this past weekend — just before California and Washington State and lots of other places started calling states of emergency because of the coronavirus — alcohol turned a casual conversation about masks into an argument that nearly ended a friendship.

A friend was talking to their college-going son about masks. He was relating how he’d told his son to run to CVS to buy masks.

“Don’t bother,” I said. They’re sold out. Everyone’s sold out. CVS, Target, Amazon… “And anyway,” I said, “The masks in question won’t do anything to stop the virus”.

That wasn’t the point to my friend — who was halfway through his third glass of wine. The point was his kid had anxiety issues and wearing the mask would help them.

I started to tell him that — just for clarity’s sake — the mask was only useful if you had the virus and wanted to minimize the chances of infecting others. BUT — this was the crux of my point — there were more PRO-ACTIVE things even someone feeling anxious could do…

I never got there. My drunk friend had grabbed onto “MASKS” with both hands and was not going to let go. For the next ten minutes, we argued about masks and the relative value of thinking you’re protected when, in fact, you are not. I pointed out that not telling his son the stone cold truth about masks could reverberate negatively when his son learned the truth — and also learned that he’d been lied to about the masks’ efficacy. By his dad.

My friend got louder because louder means more right when you’re drunk. That’s alcohol lying to the drinker again.

Alcohol convinces you that the emotion you’re feeling right that second is the most intense, most valid feeling you’ve ever experienced. That’s why people who’ve been drinking argue like obsessives. They can see their one point and literally nothing else. The truth is, they can’t even “see” their one point. They can repeat the point endlessly — their form of “arguing”, but they can’t actually articulate it.

When I caught myself pitching deeper into the rabbit hole, I bailed. I told my friend three times that I was not going to continue arguing with someone who’d had too much to drink. Like a cliched person who had too much to drink, my friend got all insulted about my calling out their drinking. They insisted — slurring their words — that they were not, in fact, slurring their words.

It got heated and then it ended. My friend said he didn’t want to talk about it any more — and maybe he didn’t want to talk about anything with me ever again.

That stung. But I knew one thing — and, the next morning, when my friend called to apologize, I brought it up immediately. The first thing he said as we started talking was “I think I’ve had too much to drink…”.

“I agree with you,” I told my friend. “You had too much to drink”. As far as I was concerned, nothing else happened after that. Nothing that mattered — not to me anyway. My friend needed to look closely at their drinking. That was my takeaway.

By the end of the day, my friend had come around. They were still pissed at me (no one likes to be called out for drinking too much; I know this from experience) but they didn’t drink that evening. The next morning, we talked it through. I wasn’t calling my friend an “alcoholic”. I was simply telling him that when he drank too much, it altered his personality in troubling ways. What he did about that was his deal, not mine.

And then my friend and I “kissed and made up”. It seemed ludicrous to let an argument begun while one of the two arguers was drinking to undo a good, solid friendship. Irony? Within 36 hours, it was common knowledge that wearing a mask would protect you from nothing. My friend’s whole reason for now questioning our friendship was blown up by a news cycle.

In the same way that it’s madness to chase an alcoholic’s argument down a rabbit hole, it’s equally mad to chase a liar’s argument. It’s hard to throw facts at something that has no basis in reality. Watching our news media chase Donald Trump down HIS rabbit holes is especially depressing. They’re so obviously bullshit, concocted on the fly in order to deal with the crisis of the moment. That’s a crisis of Trump’s own making.

To argue with bullshit & bullshitters is to give bullshit & bullshitter credence. “Okay,” you’re saying, “What if bullshit “WERE” true?

Problem is, bullshit is NEVER true. It’s a nonsensical question but — because you asked it — you gave credence to something that did not earn it or deserve it. You engaged with bullshit on its terms — and nothing good can ever come of that.

The time has come (it passed eons ago actually) to stop accepting a liar’s words as true first. No, liars should be told to back up everything they say — or it’s bullshit. The press needs to stop respecting a POTUS who has no respect for them, the office of the president, the rule of law, the Constitution — any of it. They need to refuse to accept anything he says without his providing receipts.

No receipts? YOU DON’T REPEAT IT. Who cares if “the president said it’? The president is a LIAR.

Imagine that first time journalists refused to engage with Trump’s lies. What if instead of repeating it verbatim they shook their heads and said “No. Not going to report that. It’s bullshit”? What if the White House Press Corps demanded truth from the White House — and if they don’t get it? THEY DON’T REPORT WHAT POTUS SAYS.

Trust me, CNN & MSNBC, Donald Trump needs YOU waaaaaaaaaay more than you need him. You just need to trust that fact — it’s true.

It’s time for all of sane Washington to hold an intervention for Trump & the whole GOP. Drinking and lying aren’t that far apart as vices go.

Hey, America — There’s A New Boss In Town — It’s The “African-American Vote”

Common wisdom (often more common than wise) has whispered for a while now that African Americans were the core constituency of the Democratic Party. Don’t have them behind you (on a national level)? You aren’t going far.

Yesterday, that bit of common wisdom looked unnaturally wise. Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign went from zero to hero almost entirely on the strength of the African-American vote. As a voting block, African Americans didn’t just flex their muscle, they demonstrated just how powerful a muscle they wield. Now, let’s be clear — African Americans don’t get on the phone with each other to discuss how they’re all going to vote. Jews don’t do it either. Neither do Latinos or any voting block (except Bernie Bros apparently and Republicans). African Americans — though not voting “as a group”, voted as a group of individuals with a common experience: American politics at their expense.

As a group, African Americans have a very particular history. As a group, Jews have a very particular history. That history imprints upon a group in myriad ways, most of them very subtle — but definitive. When you cannot automatically trust the political system you have no choice but to participate in, you approach it a little differently than someone who’s always benefited from that system. White people get to take our system’s inequalities for granted one way. People Of Color get to take them for granted the other way.

African American voters are pragmatic through and through. There’s one thing that, as a group, they’re aspirational towards like no other (because it touches them so completely): social justice. When you’ve never actually gotten to experience what everyone else has taken for granted — the thing that gives them monumental advantages over you — you recognize that before you can have anything else, FIRST, you must have THAT.

You must have social justice in order to have a remote shot at all the other things you deserve — same as everyone else.

Donald Trump has made it clear as can be that one of his biggest missions is to reverse, undo, destroy or shit on EVERYTHING Barack Obama accomplished as president. Trump has billboarded his racism from the get-go. Birtherism should have been the end of Trumpism. We should never have gotten to “Mexicans are rapists” and “pussy-grabbing”. A decent Republican Party would have made racist birtherism anathema to them.

They didn’t. Because decency died in them long, long ago. The people now calling themselves “the Republican Party” share philosophy (though not name) with the Dixiecrats. I recommend historian Heather Cox Richardson’s excellent “To Make Men Free: A History Of The Republican Party” which explains how the Republican Party — at its founding — were a lot more like contemporary Democrats than contemporary Republicans. Names mean a lot less than core philosophy.

The modern Republican Party is very much the Dixiecrat Party — Nixon’s Southern Strategy come back to life as a ravenous Christo-fascist hate-zombie who knows the demographics bode poorly for white, Christian, male power. Southern-sympathizing white, Christian male power. What African Americans know — we’re still fighting the Civil War. And we’re still fighting the Civil War because we let slavery in the door.

Rather, we didn’t kick it out upon the nation’s founding. We compromised with something you cannot compromise with and maintain your integrity. You cannot say “All men are created equal” while owning other “men”. You can’t.

African Americans have lived and died on the crux of that matter. As a group, they did not ask to be here. Once here, they did not want to BE here. Once that choice was taken away — to have their old lives back — they wanted to survive the inhumanity being inflicted upon them. The stolen labor. The stolen children. The stolen lives and property and dignity and even history.

Poll taxes and voter ID laws are all ways racists try to stop African Americans from voting. On one side of this equation are all those people TRYING to stop people of color from voting. On the other side are people of color who just want to exercise their right to vote. It’s kind of organic that those people of color would therefore — on a regular basis — vote differently than the people trying to suppress their vote. ‘

Back in Lincoln’s day, that would have meant massive turnout for Republicans — the Party of Lincoln.

But the two parties have swapped names — that’s really what’s happened here. The Party of Lincoln has morphed into modern Democrats while the Confederacy has morphed into the Republican Party. When African Americans turn out en masse — as they did yesterday for Joe Biden — it has actual historical significance. While speaking as individuals — with the same righteous indignation in their hearts and the same pragmatism in their heads — also African Americans spoke as a group. They brought Joe Biden’s presidential run back from the dead not because they dislike Bernie Sanders (or anything Bernie stands for) but because 300 years of group experience has taught them that whatever serves social justice best — that is how they must vote.

I say all this as a socialist. I was thrilled to attend Bernie Sanders’ first campaign rally here in LA in 2016. I took my son even (he was 17 — and has, since, become a bit of a Bernie Bro — in his “Bernie Or Bust” thinking). I aspire to everything Bernie aspires to. But, I’m pragmatic, too. And there’s reality. I have to live in it — so must Bernie.

I trust that, should he not win the nomination, Bernie Sanders will do what he said he would and back whoever the Democratic nominee is. But what of the most ardent Bernie followers — the ones ( like my son) who have said they won’t vote if Bernie isn’t atop the Democratic ticket? I hate to say this (son — ya listening?) Taking your ball and going home is such a White Guy thing to do.

For real.

If you really want social justice — and social justice is the foundational idea on which Social Democracy and socialism is based (that and economic justice — but, it’s the social justice that demands the economic justice not the other way around) — then you, at least, have to look at how African American voters voted yesterday. They chose Biden because they see the clearest path toward social justice.

If we make the 2020 Presidential campaign an epic battle between Good — social justice — and Evil — All Things Trump — we will win that battle hands down, going away and by a mile. We have, on our team, a group with a great nose for social justice. They’ve pointed us clearly in one direction.

Hey, White People — let’s start listening for a change.