The Future Failed Presidency of Barack Obama

On this, the last good day this country will see for a long time, I don't want to write a tribute to the accomplishments of President Barack Obama. I don't want to list all the shit that he got done, much of it despite unrelenting and unprecedented fuckery by the Republicans. I don't even want to complain about the things I disagreed with, like the drone war and mass surveillance. Because almost all of it will be wiped away by the Trump administration, as a good many of those accomplishments are going to be undone or cut to nothing. It's not that Obama failed now. It's that his presidency will be a failure in the future because it's going to be tossed in the trashbin by the same motherfuckers and nutzoids who tried to stop him in the first place. They are waiting like slavering dogs for tomorrow to come because then they will savage everything in their path.

You can point to lots of reasons for the future failure of Obama's presidency. The laughably bad messaging of the White House and the cowardice of the Democrats in not proudly proclaiming success in things like health care are big ass contributors. Indeed, you could say that Donald Trump is the diametric opposite of Obama: all message and no policy. At the end of the day, though, the American people are fucking idiots who want to be told what to think. Obama seemed to believe that, say, a Kentucky resident who got health insurance through the Affordable Care Act would be able to connect two and two and see that Democrats enabled her to get those moles checked and for her to the melanoma taken care of before it spread. But fucking idiots don't make those connections because they're fucking idiots.

Americans like their world Manichean. They like to pick heroes and villains. They want to know which team to root for. They don't like gray areas. They don't want to point out that both teams played a good game. Obama believed that Americans were smarter and better than they actually are, even as every election except his in 2012 proved that they aren't. This was Obama's fatal flaw: the belief in the better angels of our nature, a phrase he used several times throughout his presidency. We don't have better angels, Mr. President. There are no angels. There are only humans, and, god, we are fucked up.

Because of that belief, Obama couldn't see that his 2008 election wasn't just about hope and change. It was about destroying an old order. I've said this many times in the last eight years, and I'll say it again: Obama's greatest failure was in not taking out our domestic enemies right after he was elected. The Justice Department should have gone after the torture-approving members of the Bush administration and the bankers and financial con men who dicked over the economy. The message would have been loud and clear: there is some shit we won't eat. Instead, Obama let Republicans know that working together was his priority, and those sons and daughters of bitches exploited that every chance they could, constantly saying that because Obama wouldn't give in to their every whim, he was the one refusing compromise, undermining and outright lying about what he was doing.

Now, you might say that it would have "set the wrong tone" or some such bullshit if Obama's DOJ had gone after the criminals of the Bush years. But you are forgetting what the country was like in 2008. We were fuckin' done with the GOP. The election showed that, just as it had in 2006. And we wanted them punished for what they had done to the nation, to our sense of ourselves, to our economy, to our American soul. In one sense, electing the first black president with a filibuster-proof Congress was that revenge, but it wasn't enough. We wanted those bastards to suffer. However, like Gerald Ford pardoning Richard Nixon, Obama gave them a pass so he could move on with hoping and changing. But you can't rebuild your house if you leave the termites alone. Those little dicks will gnaw it to its foundation no matter how nicely you decorate the rooms.

By not punishing Republicans, by not making their message toxic, Obama left the door open for them, and they bulldozed their way through almost immediately, with the rise of the Tea Party and the disastrous 2010 midterms.

And that gets to the last thing I want to say on this last good day: We fucked it up. We, the American voters. No, not you, in particular, you who went out and voted Democratic in 2010 and 2014, you who pay attention to who is running and what it means. But, in general, we all have to own the future failure of the Obama presidency. The voter turnout in 2010 was disastrously low in some groups who supported Obama, especially young voters.

Yes, turnout was on a par with other midterms, as was 2014. But that's the goddamned problem. It's one of those things that is so fucking frustrating about these last 8 years. It was as if most of the country acted like a plumber who replaced one giant pipe and decided, "Fuck it. The job's done" without replacing any of the pipes that go in and out of that giant one. This shit takes effort. And we got so pissy about things that we didn't make the effort. You can argue that you weren't inspired, that Obama fucked up by not getting his election volunteers to become an activist army of sorts, you can say that Obama dropped the ball on a few things. But, ultimately, voters have no one but themselves to blame.

That imaginary Kentucky Obamacare recipient? She's responsible for her own stupid. As we all are.

There are lots of things this didn't get into: The racism that was an intrinsic part of Obama's opposition. The media's complicity with the GOP. The standards that Democrats are held to that don't seem to matter when a Republican is in power. The genuinely good things that will be sustained as we head into Trump's America, like marriage equality. The dignity and humanity that Obama and his family imparted in their relationships with each other. The genuinely surprising lack of scandals.

Christ, I'm gonna miss having a cool, competent, smart president who actually gave a shit about the country.

But nearly everything else we can celebrate about Obama's terms in office is about to go out the window. That is on him and that is on us.


Martin Luther King Would and Did Fuck Trump's Shit Up (Housing Edition)

As we prepare for an open racist to ascend to the never more aptly-named White House, we need to remember, as this blog does every Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, that King wasn't a conservative, as Republicans and, weirdly, the Washington Post assert. No, King was a radical who made it his job to fuck up the nice little world that whites had constructed. So forget all that bullshit trying to make King into Fuzzy Marty, the Dream Hatchanimal, all ready to cuddle you with his non-violence. And, instead, let King's strength, power, and lack of fucks to give guide you as we head into the Trump era.

For instance, back in July 1966, a little over 50 years ago, King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference led a march and held a rally in support of the Chicago Freedom Movement, which asked that blacks and whites be treated equally when it came to housing in the city. (The play Raisin in the Sun was based in the housing discrimination endemic to the Windy City.) King had moved into a slum in January of 1966, where he lived several days a week, to shed light on the conditions there. He threatened to lead rent strikes if things weren't improved. "We don't have wall-to-wall carpeting to worry about," King said of his apartment. "But we have wall-to-wall rats and roaches."

On July 10, in the midst of a savage heat wave, King held a rally at Soldier Field, followed by a march to city hall to demand that blacks be allowed to rent and buy apartments in white neighborhoods. Only 30,000 of the expected 100,000 came out to see him in the nearly 100 degree temperature, but King gave a rousing and curiously little-quoted speech about the need for fairness in housing as being one more part of the road to a free and equal United States.

King started, "We are here today because we are tired. We are tired of being seared in the withering flames of injustice. We are tired of paying more for less. We are tired of living in rat-infested slums and in the Chicago Housing Authority's cement reservations. We are tired of having to pay a median rent of $97 a month in Lawndale for 4 rooms while whites in South Deering pay $73 a month for 5 rooms." People forget that King could be incredibly specific and localized in his demands, that he wasn't just seeking blanket "rights." No, he wanted definite wrongs corrected.

He continued further in the speech, "Let me say, here and now, that we are not going to tolerate moves that are now being made in subtle manners to intimidate, harass, and penalize Negro landlords who may own one or two buildings while ignoring the fact that slums are really perpetuated by the huge real estate agencies, mortgage and banking institutions, and city, state, and federal governments. This day we must decide that we will no longer use our dollars to perpetuate segregation and discrimination. We must make clear that we will withdraw our money en masse from any bank that not have a non-discriminatory lending policy. We must affirm that we will withdraw economic support from any company that will not provide on-the-job training, and employ an adequate number of Negroes, Puerto Ricans, and other ethnic minorities in higher paying jobs."

Does that sound fuckin' conservative? Does that sound like someone who is kissing the ass of tradition and power structures? How about this: "This day we must decide to give greater support to Negro-owned businesses which will aid in building our economic strength." He implored non-violence. He said that there were whites that supported the cause. But, ultimately, he said that non-whites shouldn't participate in an economic system that dicked them over.

Then King led people to city hall where, among other things, he demanded an end to police brutality in Chicago. We see how that turned out today. Back in 1966, he was mocked by the Chicago Tribune, which said that King's marches and sermons had become "tiresome" and "stale." A march in Marquette Park in August turned violent, with white onlookers hurling rocks and bottles at the marchers, and King was injured. He said later that he had never seen mobs of whites "as hateful" as he saw in Chicago, not even in Mississippi or Alabama.

King always believed that he had failed in Chicago, especially since Mayor Daley didn't abide by promises he made to King about open housing. But his assassination in 1968 was followed almost immediately by President Lyndon Johnson signing the Fair Housing Act, which prohibited housing discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, and sex. And this is where we get to Donald Trump.

Five years after King's death, in 1973, Trump Management was accused by the Justice Department of violating the civil rights of blacks and Puerto Ricans under the Fair Housing Act. Fred Trump and his son, Donald, were specifically named as defendants. And while the case was settled without an admission of guilt, well, c'mon, the evidence was pretty damning that Trump rental agents deliberately steered non-white clients away from all-white apartment buildings. Trump Management agreed not to discriminate and to advertise that all buildings were open to everyone.

So, remember, on this MLK Day, that when Trump attacks Rep. John Lewis, one of King's closest associates, the President-Elect is also going after the man and the group that fucked his shit up early in his career. That King continues to do so to this day speaks to how much he will always be far more powerful than Trump ever could hope to be.


Where the Fuck Are You, Democrats?

Something's up. You listen to anyone in the DC press, and they know that something big is either going down or about to blow up. In just the last day, we've had it revealed that Trump's incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn, a batshit insane actual leaker of classified material, had been in phone contact with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. just before President Obama ejected 35 Russians in response to the DNC hacking. And then today, House members had an intelligence briefing with FBI Director James Comey and others, and the Democrats left the meeting feeling angry and openly hostile about what they'd been told. This is not to mention President-Elect and lost Crayola color Donald Trump bugging the fuck out on Twitter this morning about Russia, the media, the intelligence community, and Hillary Clinton.

And, if you're like me, you sit here and wonder, "Where the fuck are the Democrats? Where is their messaging? Why aren't we at Def-Con Watergate?" You go to their website and there is nothing about it. Their public statements are all over the place.

If Democrats were any good at this game, they'd already have a strategy: Forget about the odious cabinet picks, forget about the business conflicts, forget all that other shit that people either don't care about or don't understand so they don't care about it. Instead, hammer Trump and the Republicans on the one goddamned thing that is easy to understand: Was Trump elected because of the Russians?

On every news show, in every appearance, in constant tweets and all over social media, demand, again and again, for an investigation into Russian hacks. Be as fucking hysterical and hyperbolic as needed. Go fucking nuts. When a Republican accuses Democrats of playing politics, respond with something like "Oh, so you're just fine with Russia electing the president of the United States?" And if they try to evade, push them to say "yes" or "no." Whose side are you on? Russia or the USA? And if you're on the side of the truth, then you should be demanding an independent investigation, no?

Trump's loathsome idiot hordes will choke on their own troll phlegm in rage, but they're just cult members now, all worshipping at the tiny dong of their wee-handed, big-assed godhead. Instead, Democrats, you'd be reaching independents and the small fraction of Republicans who still remember what it was like to have souls.

Fucking hell, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, this is the moment to show that the Democratic Party can have some unity of purpose and unity of rhetoric. It's a quick path to recovery from the election and to move beyond the cold comfort of having won the popular vote. Delegitimize and possibly banish this Trump bastard before his grubby paws grab the Bible by the pussy and he takes the oath of office. Any chance you get, you say, "I just want to know the truth" about the election. You believe in America and Americans.

You got it? Nonstop, unrelenting focus on Russia's influence on the election, on Trump, on Flynn, on the nation. The implication is "Choose your loyalty, motherfuckers." And, as I wrote a month ago, before the piss dossier came out, we are freaking the fuck out and need to know what the hell is the meaning of all of this. You should be dancing with Trump's innards right now.

'Cause, see, the mantra of the Democratic Party oughta be "When they go low, we plunge under the ground beneath them so that the earth swallows them."


Republicans Won't Save Your Life

In the middle of his farewell address on Tuesday, President Barack Obama offered some advice: "It’s up to all of us to make sure our government can help us meet the many challenges we still face. We have what we need to do so. We have everything we need to meet those challenges." And then he warned, "Democracy can buckle when we give in to fear. So, just as we, as citizens, must remain vigilant against external aggression, we must guard against a weakening of the values that make us who we are."

Implicit in these and other parts of the speech was an acknowledgement that we are, basically, fucked right now. Obama was preparing us for what's coming and telling us not to fall into despair or apathy. "But, surely, we are well and truly fucked now," he was saying without saying, even amidst all the optimistic words. "Oh, dear, sweet Jesus, we are fucked backwards and forwards and in every hole and in some holes we didn't even know we had and in new holes that they just made to fuck even more. Now what the fuck are you gonna do to stop getting fucked?"

And, by telling us, in essence, to save ourselves, Obama was also saying that there's no one who's gonna Spiderman in and catch us as we plummet off this bridge.

Right now, good liberals, I'm sure you're comforting yourself with all the articles and think-pieces assuring you that there's no clear path to repealing the Affordable Care Act: that its popular provisions (which would be nearly all of them) are too deeply embedded in the health care system; that to repeal without a comparable replacement would create uncertainty in the insurance market, leading to chaos; that one, two, five Republican senators are actually thinking about voting against their party and not supporting a repeal without an automatic replacement.

Yeah, all that got flushed down the shitter last night when the Republicans in the Senate, minus a Rand Paul, voted on a budget that will eventually allow them to repeal the ACA with a simple majority in a reconciliation bill with the House. In doing so, they defeated every Democratic amendment that attempted to keep provisions like preventing insurance companies from denying you coverage for preexisting conditions. The GOP doesn't fucking care what the outcome will be. They are driving this car into that blizzard, fuck the consequences and don't you dare tell them they can't.

So you pretty much just saw any attempt at moderation get stabbed in the chest. It might not be dead yet, but it's got a sucking chest wound and, chances are, won't be able to afford coverage to get it fixed.

These GOP motherfuckers don't give a damn who dies as long as they get to prove a point: Democrats shouldn't have allowed the poors to think they're people. They get uppity that way. They must be punished, and, luckily, too many of them were too dumb to understand that in November.

I'm sticking with what I said in December. You gotta peel senators away from the Republican Party. Promise them anything. Money, pussy, dick, committee chairs, whatever.

Because Republicans are gonna act like Republicans, and that means with dishonor and cowardice and malice towards all who are not them. And, despite President Obama appealing for us to work across differences, we have to fight back with even more malice.


Let's Just Pretend the Russian Dossier Is True Because Fuck That Trump Guy

If you were unfortunate enough, you got to watch or listen to the freak show this morning where President-Elect and human/gila monster hybrid Donald Trump sputtered and free-associated his way through what you might consider answers to the questions in a press conference. It was one of those embarrassing moments for the entire nation that we all better get used to. At some point, Trump is going to be at a gathering of world leaders and one of them is going to say, "What the fuck are you saying, you fucking brain damaged moron? Fuck, I thought Bush was dumb." And most of us in the United States will just look away, ashamed of Trump, like he's our boyfriend's racist grandpa who can't stop talking about what "the blacks" need to do.

What Trump said today doesn't matter because he's a filthy liar who traffics in the kind of hyperbole that'd make P.T. Barnum go "Whoa, there, man, calm that shit down." He's lying about the extent of his separation from his business. He forced his tax lawyer to lie about the emoluments clause of the Constitution. Essentially, he said, "You should be so fortunate to have me as president that I shouldn't have to do anything that every other modern president has done, but here's a couple of bones so you can shut the fuck up." Motherfucker, you ran for president. You asked for the office. Divest or get the fuck out. But he won't because truth and honesty don't matter.

What does matter is that he is so obviously deranged, so blatantly incapable of complex thought, that he more or less just repeated everything from his campaign, layering on extra degradation for members of the press that he didn't like. When Jim Acosta of CNN tried to insist on getting in a question because Trump kept attacking his network, I wanted him to keep going until Trump went into a full-blown Captain Queeg-like strawberry-seeking paranoid fit.

Meanwhile, so many questions surround the dossier prepared by a former UK spy as oppo research for some campaign (maybe JEB!'s). It's sopping wet with allegations of Russia trading DNC email releases through Wikileaks in return for Trump backing off criticism of the annexation of Crimea, as well as the desire for Trump to criticize NATO's expansion, both of which he did. There's the corruption, with the allegations of bribes and kickbacks in deals with China. Then there's all the hookers and golden showers and other possible blackmail material, most of which would fall on deaf ears like drops of urine running down Trump's manboobs. God, how the media are flagellating themselves and each other over the material, over whether it should have been released, how it hasn't been corroborated, no matter how reliable the sources are, what it means for future allegations and...

You know what? Fuck it. Let's act like Republicans for a little while and just state everything as if it's true. In fact, even if it's proven to be 35 pages of utter fantasy, let's just keep saying it's true. Because, see, Trump made his political career, fuck, much of his entire career, on lies, and almost all Republicans didn't have the honor to say, "No, sorry, that's just something he's pulling out of his ass." The mainstream media had no problem doing story after story about whether or not Barack Obama was born in the United States, a lie that Trump fingered and humped like it was the American flag with a pussy. Facts are dead, as Reince Priebus and Newt Gingrich and other Trump surrogates told us. We create our own reality, real reality be damned. So fuck it all. Trump can say he won in a "landslide" (he didn't), he can say he didn't say things that he said on video or that he tweeted, he can push a voter fraud fable like it's beyond reproach, he can claim that inner cities are hellholes of crime, and he can say that his political opponents are doing, have done, or will do things that are not even in the realm of actual. And he just doesn't care if you tell him he's wrong or there are facts that contradict him. It doesn't matter.

And I haven't even gotten into the sea of Republican and nutzoid conservative lies over the decades that drowned Hillary Clinton, up to and including the email controversy and the completely bugfuck insane Pizzagate.

So fuck it. It's time for Democrats to have some fun. Let's not even allow the idea that the Russian dossier isn't true. Let's just go with that it's totally true. It's right there in writing. Page 27: Trump "paid bribes to further his interests" in doing business in St. Petersburg, where he "participated in sex parties. Or page 2: "The Kremlin had been feeding Trump and his team valuable intelligence on his opponents, including Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, for several years." Let's just repeat it over and over and demand investigations and more investigations if those don't turn up what we want and let's force the media to keep talking about it and make it the only talking points so that all we can think about with Trump is that he is a corrupt loser who watches hookers piss.  It feels like it's true, so let's go with the truthiness instead of the truth. Why should we be left behind in the rush to jump off the cliff of reason?

Trump force-fed us his nonsense. He's still doing that now. Instead, make him choke on this dossier.

(Note: Of course, we won't do it. Because at the end of the day, we sadly still have some sense of devotion to facts. It is our tragic flaw as liberals.)


Donald Trump Is a Liar and You're a Chump If You Listen to Him

Today, President-Elect and bloated basketball of buffoonery Donald Trump finally made some kind of statement about what he'd like to see happen with the Affordable Care Act. He wants it repealed and then quickly replaced - not at the same time, but "Long to me would be weeks...It won’t be repeal and then two years later go in with another plan." As the New York Times points out, essentially Trump is telling House Speaker Paul Ryan to suck his tiny bleached and bare balls. Ryan, who looks like he jacks off to tumor porn, wanted to take a couple of years after sowing immediate chaos into the health care system. Or so he says this week.

Either way, both Trump and Ryan are pretty much guaranteeing that once the ACA is repealed, it won't be replaced by anything that is close in comprehensive coverage because that's how shit goes. Remember the sequester? That was supposed to be a budget threat that would force Congress to come up with something before automatic funding cuts kicked in. Instead, they just said, "Ah, fuck it" and let it stand.

But, really, who the fuck cares what Trump has to say? Motherfucker is such a compulsive liar that he probably tells Barron that all the stylish 10 year-old boys wear suits like they're Richie Rich. Ask Senator Rand Paul. In one of those moments that really is like the apocryphal Neville Chamberlain/Hitler story, Paul tweeted just a couple of days ago that "I just spoke to [Trump] and he fully supports my plan to replace Obamacare the same day we repeal it."

And now, today, Trump pretty much just said that either he lied or Rand Paul lied. That'd be fuckin' hilarious if it wasn't so goddamn pathetic. Peace in our time, eh, Senator?

There is no promise Trump will not break, no opinion he will not reverse when convenient. Ask his contractors. Ask his ex-wives. On his ludicrous border wall, now he's saying Mexico will pay for it in the future but we'll pay for it now. Whatever the fuck that means. We're all still awaiting his revelations about the Russian hacking that he supposedly was going to tell us a week ago. When he holds his press conference tomorrow, it's gonna be a fucking farce of overstated promises, lies, and masturbation, so much masturbation.

So when you hear "Democratic" Senator Joe Manchin claim that "Today, I spoke with President-Elect Donald Trump and he assured me that he will help fight to secure a permanent health care solution for our retired miners, as guaranteed in the Miners Protection Act," you can pretty much be sure that the sick miners are fucked. Trump won't do shit for them unless there's an angle, like he can get wheezing black lung sufferers to gasp out song praising him before he signs any legislation. What a fucking credulous goon Manchin is.

Back to the Affordable Care Act, in that drama queen/Willie Loman way of his, Trump declared, "We have to get to business. Obamacare has been a catastrophic event." You got that? According to the incoming president, providing people with access to health insurance despite pre-existing conditions is akin to a meteor hitting the earth, a tsunami, or an ignorant madman becoming our leader. You know, the real catastrophes.


Snowflakes: A Lesson in Responses to a Cartoon

If you write something even a little negative about future Fuehrer Donald Trump, you are generally barraged with responses calling you a "libtard." That's a hilarious combination of the words "liberal" and "retard." I've been guilty of doing that sort of thing, saying, "Fucktard" and "Guntard." I've stopped because it's just boring to make the same joke over and over, especially when lots of others are making that joke, too.

Also, if you say that something Trump said or did was cruel or wrong, you're gonna get a bunch of Trumptards...sorry, Trump voters saying that you're a "snowflake." That's an equally hilarious way of calling you weak and easily melted, like you can't take a jab or you're so politically-correct. Or whatever. I always thought snowflakes were all different and that was something to aspire to, but I guess not anymore. In fact, at one point, anti-abortion folks called babies born from frozen embryos that might have been destroyed "snowflake children." Times change. They do change.

But mainly, now, it's just a way to slam liberals for being too sensitive. Which leads us to a cartoon and the responses to it.

Dan Piraro has been doing the one-panel daily comic strip Bizarro for about 30 years now. It's mostly (but not always) apolitical and pretty funny stuff. And on December 26, an immensely busy travel day, Piraro published this one:

It's an airport attendant announcing, "We'd like to begin our pre-boarding process by inviting families with small children, and affluent white affluent white males to come aboard." Innocuous enough, right? Kind of an anodyne "Air travel sucks" joke, you know?

Oh, no. Not if you're constantly attuned to anything that might hint of bias against the privileged. Aggrieved Bizarro readers angrily responded to the strip and Piraro. "So, you just woke up and decided to insult folks you don’t know because of their skin color?? Pathetic!" wrote one. Another accused Piraro of voting for "Killary." He also got a goodly amount of hate mail, which is so quaint it's almost adorable. And although it's hard to be polite to people saying things like "Saw your comic strip dated 12/26/16. Your a RACIST using a Comic strip to to divide the country. You have to be a Democrat!! Sore LOSER!!!” Piraro answered some calmly and with good humor.

And you can bet that some of these mightily insulted scribblers, these whiny defenders of the most powerful group of people in the world, people who need no one to speak for them, will call women upset that a pussy-grabbing man got elected precious "snowflakes" who need to run to their "safe spaces."

This isn't just a "uh-uh, you're the snowflakes" tongue stuck out. It's about an inability to deal with oneself honestly.

That those angry at Piraro see no irony in that is what gives me no hope going forward. It's the same rank hypocrisy that can allow Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who sent a letter to Democrats in 2009 insisting that all nominees for the president's cabinet must go through ethics vetting, to insist that Trump's nominees be excluded from such inquiries. And the idiot hordes with no self-awareness will decline to see a problem here.