Archive for December, 2016

The Bitch Is Back

December 30th, 2016

I attempted to write a short story for Christmas Day. Set exactly one year in the future, it had our new President sitting in the Oval Office considering firing some of those new nuclear weapons we’ve been stockpiling in the previous eleven months. Call it a piece of political thriller horror-comedy.

 

The conclusion to this story would have been Trump picking up the red phone to give the nuclear launch codes (aimed at what country, we don’t know), making the big call and starting to give the USSC in Nebraska the codes before abruptly choking to death. The twist is that a Secret Service agent in the Oval Office would actually smother the President to death while screaming where the phone could hear “OH MY GOD, MR. PRESIDENT! ARE YOU OKAY! THE PRESIDENT IS CHOKING! I THINK THE MR. PRESIDENT IS CHOKING! PLEASE LET ME HELP YOU! NO, SIR, NO! NO, SIR!. . .”

 

I don’t really have the heart to finish a lot of things right now, or start other things. My depression is picking up steam again. It would have no matter who won the election in November. Ebbs and flows. When I’m up enough I stand up for myself and I put in work. Right now, I’m sleeping a lot. I’m not writing as much over these last few days. The last two months were a torrent of emotion and I poured as much of it out as I could.

 

I have hope that on Inauguration Day, Trump tries to give the longest inauguration speech ever. The record is one hour forty-five minutes by William Henry Harrison, who died one month later because of hypothermia he suffered while giving that speech without a hat or coat on a very cold day. If history could repeat itself one more time, that would be hilarious and a relief.

 

We live in a crazy country, in a crazy world. Something ridiculous is on tap for 2017 and it won’t be good. I oughta be excited.d

Things You’ll Need For 2017

December 24th, 2016

  • Some Nazi paraphernalia. Since we’re officially Amerikkka now, you might as well have some racist bric-a-brac around the house in case the guards come to check on you (or if your landlord is a GOP fundamentalist snitch). You could get a rebel flag instead but I suggest you go all out. Maybe an old WWII war helmet from the losing side. Just pull an Anthony Cumia and tell people that you’re “a fan of the era”. Yes, a fan of the era where millions died in camps. Great era, that.
  • A passport. If you’re a Kentuckian like me, pretty soon your state-issued driver’s licenses will not be good enough to board domestic flights in the US. You’ll need a passport to get on planes starting in 2018. Also, there’s always a chance Texas and/or California could declare independence from the rest of the country. Who am I kidding? Most Kentuckians never get on a plane. Why would they need a passport?
  • A bartender’s license. The only people who will get any work going forward will be the lawyers and the bartenders. It takes too long to get a law degree and passing the bar is nigh impossible. Become a bartender. And never get high on your own supply (that means drunk).
  • Some weapons. If you’re not a gun person, don’t get a gun. You can’t handle the pressure. Get some mace. It’s not just for chicks anymore. Hell, get yourself a switchblade. You’ve already got Nazi paraphernalia. Don’t get throwing stars. You’ll lose them after one use. And if you really want to, get yourself a nice gun.
  • A lot of money. The best way to make change in the United States is to donate to political campaigns. When your candidate wins, they have to listen to you. Who else are they going to listen to? The public? Ha! We’re talking serious money here. George Soros money. Mike Bloomberg money. Koch Brothers cash. None of this reality TV/pop singer new money. Here today, gone tomorrow! The Trump Administration cabinet has so much money, it’s practically an Ocean’s Eleven reboot full of near-elderly jerkoffs. You need to be one of those jerkoffs with more money than you can count.

7 Thoughts You Didn’t Share On Facebook

December 23rd, 2016

  1. “I know it’s been a rough year and I should look forward to a new year, but I fail to see any evidence that a new year will be much better. :(“
  2. “My entire life has been an uphill battle and the only people who can understand that are people who have been through something similar.”
  3. “I want people who have much more than me to lose everything they have, just so they would have to look at me as an equal for once in their now-miserable lives.”
  4. “I’m not suicidal but I wouldn’t mind dying, especially before January 20th.”
  5. “Actually, I do feel like there’s a class war going on in this country. One side already has all the money and personal resources, right? What’s to stop them from disenfranchising the lower classes?”
  6. “I probably spend too much time on social media but it is my window into what is going on. If it weren’t for social media, I would be even more isolated than I already am. :(“
  7. “Every day I have to give myself hope to carry on. :(“

 

 

The Right-Wing Full-Court Press

December 22nd, 2016

As a kid, I played on the basketball team in school. I couldn’t shoot very well or pass all that good either. I didn’t run very fast and I got fired quickly because I didn’t have a lot of endurance. I was tall but I didn’t get a lot of rebounds because I couldn’t get very high when I jumped. And I was also a lousy defender. Apart from that, I was okay.

 

One thing my coach tried to show our team was the full-court press. We were either too small or too fat or we had no aptitude for basketball or we thought we were way better than we actually were (that’s you, Daniel) and so we’d get run off the court. Games got out of hand. These days, an official would call the game before the end if it got lopsided beyond control. We didn’t do that back in my day. Back in my day, we allowed a group of clearly overmatched pre-teens to feel the humiliating sting of a whole game while losing by a score of 78-21. It built character, apparently.

 

The full-court press is a defensive strategy in which the guarding team applies pressure to the team that has the ball the entire length of the court. Rick Pitino popularized this when he coached at Kentucky, although the full-court press has been a thing for decades before that. It’s a total disruption of what you normally expect from a possession. Normally, the team with the ball gets to take it up to at least half-court before meeting resistance from defenders. When the full-court press is applied, the defense can instigate turnovers, frustrate and exhaust the opposition.

 

The fallout from Election Day 2016 has yet to be felt and yet a lot of people are bracing for it. The right-wingers are look to be putting a full-court press on the liberal/progressive agenda. Building a registry for Muslims in America? They want that. Denying legal immigrant status to refugees from war-torn areas? You betcha, to quote Sarah Palin. Planned Parenthood funding? It’s like the GOP is in a competition to see who can get the most noticeable case of vapors over Planned Parenthood? Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare. . . take all that out of government and put it on a rocket to the sun, as far as Paul Ryan is concerned. Gay rights? Just thought of such makes Ted Cruz sick.

 

Abortion? John Kasich just signed a bill banning abortions in Ohio twenty weeks into a pregnancy. A decent wage for workers? Maine’s governor LePage will not enforce a new law raising the hourly wage of restaurant servers. Separation of church and state? My own governor deciding to make 2017 “The Year Of The Bible” even though he declared 2016 the year of the Bible last year. Rights to govern and make appointments in accordance with your office? The entire North Carolina GOP establishment called a special session to restrict the number of political appointments incoming governor Cooper (a Dem) can make.

 

What we’re seeing here is a full-court press from the GOP, which is a hell of lot more organized than the other side. How do we organize to fight this? Where are our leaders? Where are the Democrats? Hillary is gone, and in almost a month Obama will be gone as well. Who’s left? The sock puppet that calls herself Nancy Pelosi and the soon-retiring Harry Reid? It remains to be seen who will win DNC chair or even when that will be decided, will Bernie’s guy Keith Ellison get the nod or Obama’s guy Tom Perez? The matter won’t be decided until late February. Meanwhile, the Republicans aren’t waiting.

 

They certainly are industrious when it comes to dismantling any hard-fought progress progressives have made. They’re doing a full-court press. We need somebody willing to get on the court and try to break that press. Someone who will actually listen to their constituents instead of corporate donors.

A Short, Stupid Story

December 20th, 2016

A few days ago I posted about the weekend’s protests and vigils. There was the Stand With Aleppo rally at U of L campus (which was cancelled on account of weather), the Hamilton Electors/Unite For America rallies at statehouses across the country (which yielded a whopping two GOP dissenters) and today’s MoveOn.org Health Care Speak Out at the Government Building in Owensboro. That last one is the one I made it to.

 

I needn’t have bothered.

 

I found out there would be an event at Sen. Rand Paul’s office in Owensboro and MoveOn.org would be coordinating it. So I decided to add my name to the list. I get an e-mail this morning.

 

 

Time, address, the whole thing. I go to 423 Frederica Street in Owensboro. It’s a government building. They won’t even let you bring your cellphone in. You have to leave it in the car. So no Facebook Live for you, nuh-uh charlie. The guards make you put your stuff in the plate and walk through the metal detector. You’ve probably been through this stuff one way or another, going to airport or junior high school.

 

I got there about twenty minutes early and told the guards I was there for the big health care speak-out. This is Senator Paul’s office, is it not? Well, yes but the Senator has never been to this office and his representative is only here sometimes if there’s an appointment and do I have an appointment today?

 

I don’t have an appointment but I’m with someone who does. Someone from MoveOn.org, and I realize I’m here a bit early. So the guards let me sit in a waiting room, without my cellphone which is in the car.

 

I figured Senator Paul wouldn’t be there. He lives in Bowling Green. That’s fine, I would be just as happy talking to his assistant or representative or whatever. But the guy didn’t show up.

 

You know who else didn’t show up? The MoveOn.org guy. Never made it. I sat in the waiting room for about a half-hour. Sitting there like a big galoot. The guards had no idea what I was talking about. “Speakout”? What’s that? They didn’t know from adam. Nobody else showed up, either. I was the only one determined to speak my piece about how Obamacare is flawed but it’s better than revoking Obamacare and Medicare and Medicare and so forth. You know, I took time to do this. And the point man who I thought would be here to organize it. . . I don’t know.

 

So I left sometime after eleven when it was clear that nobody was coming and I had wasted my day. But it wasn’t a total loss. I got to sit in a government building waiting room for almost a whole half-hour. That was. . . meditative.

 

Dear MoveOn.org, what the fuck is going on over there? “Well we didn’t save Obamacare, and the Republicans managed to privatize both Medicare and Medicaid. BUT. . . we did waste that one guy’s afternoon in Owensboro. So it wasn’t a total loss, right?

List Of Pricks, Part One

December 20th, 2016

SIDE NOTE: I will be doing the Trump poll soon. A gentlemanly wager (ladies also welcome) where we attempt to determine the month, week and year that Donald Trump will be removed from the Presidency. More details later.

 

I am assembling a list of pricks. These are the pricks who are directly responsible for the ille-freaking-gitimate Presidency of Donald Trump. You know, the one where he lost the election by 2.8 million votes and yet still got into office.

 

By that rationale, the Washington Redskins won their football game against the Carolina Panthers on Monday night by -11 points.

 

I will not sit here and blame Hillary Clinton for running a flawed campaign. That is not what I mean by directly responsible. I mean the people who coddled and promoted this fucking creepshow of a man until he became too big of a threat to contain. And I start with NBC’s entertainment division.

 

Dave Chappelle hosted the episode of Saturday Night Live right after the election. It was a very necessary moment, and a great time for Dave to come back when we needed a sober comedic voice. But you know who hosted SNL one year prior nearly to the date? Donald By God Trump. Yeeaahh.

 

Keep in mind that by this point, November 2015, Trump had already begun his pitch to the radical right-wing fringe of the Republican Party. He had already gone after Mexican illegals, he had already threatened to build the wall. He had already called them rapists. But hey, let’s have Trump dance in a parody of that Drake video. That’ll be fun.

 

This year, Jimmy Fallon tussled Trump’s hair on The Tonight Show. I didn’t expect hard questions from Jimmy Fallon. I’m mildly surprised that he even asked questions and didn’t make Trump play beer pong or lip sync to “I Can’t Wait” by Nu Shooz. That’s usually Fallon’s m.o., to be the frat party host he never got to be when he was in college.

 

By the time Fallon mussed up Trump’s famous hair, Trump had only ramped up his rhetoric. He had gone after women, the press, deceased veterans, their families, prisoners of war, the disabled, you name it. He had knocked everything for a loop except for the Second Amendment. And there’s Fallon coddling the fucking guy. Only on NBC.

 

You know Trump’s still an executive producer on The Apprentice, right? He will continue to keep that gig even though he’ll be the FUCKING PRESIDENT. OF THE UNITED STATES. His campaign manager (and I don’t know why she’s still around. . . he won the gig, go away Kellyanne Conway) says he’ll produce the show in his spare time. Like how some Presidents golf. Of course. Because when a President goes golfing, it’s for a really long time and not for like an afternoon or so. Sure. Wonderful.

 

This is why the Trump pool is going to happen. This guy is going to be impeached, right? There’s no way this fucking idiot makes it to 2020 in office. He’s a walking Constitutional violation. Day one he’s in violation of the emoluments clause (and that’s a thing I didn’t know existed until after election day, I confess).

 

So NBC, you’re on the list of fucking pricks. Fuck NBC as a network, as an entertainment division, and as a motherfucking crew.

An Unfair World Again

December 19th, 2016

 

This is Jessi Wariner from Those Darlins. She is fighting stage 2 cervical cancer, and is crowdfunding to pay for her treatments.

 

Obviously, I wish Jessi the best in her battle with cancer. I wish anybody the best in their battle with cancer. It’s something we’re all eventually going to deal with. If you don’t get cancer, someone you know and love will get cancer. Usually when I see somebody mention they have cancer, they have to crowdfund to pay for treatment.

 

It’s disgusting that people can’t afford to get sick. They have to ask for money. This is such a vulnerable moment in a person’s life. Now you need to pass the hat.

 

I would just like somebody in a position of power to figure out why so many people have to crowdfund their own treatment and figure out how we can stop this from happening. Because this will keep happening. The patients are clearly not at fault here. If you’re one of the bottom 99, maybe 98 percent, you will need tens of thousands of dollars just to continue your battle to live.

 

You can’t make the world fair, can you?

Banana Republic Eve

December 18th, 2016

A banana republic sounds like a nice thing. Who doesn’t like a banana from time to time?

 

Monday is electoral college day, a day we tend to just ignore. It’s typically a day we just make things official.

 

I’m following an elector on Twitter. The last two days he’s posted pictures of his mail. Giant stacks of letters. People writing in to beg him to not not NOT please NOT vote for Donald Trump. He’s a Republican elector from Tennessee. I went to see if he was following Trump on Twitter. He’s not. Somehow that’s encouraging to me.

 

I haven’t bothered him about the election on Twitter. I’ve e-mailed him my support. He’s got a tough decision. They all do. It feels like this is the last gasp of the whole thing. American democracy might have a chance if Trump can’t get the electors necessary. But if he gets them, hoo boy.

 

I could be a drama queen about this but I don’t think so. It looks like the Trump administration, with help from the Republican Party want to pull a full-court press on the First Amendment, freedom of the press, immigrants, refugees, gays, health care, social security, the environment. About the only thing they want to leave untouched is the Second Amendment.

 

Anyway, none of that would matter to the electors if the guy weren’t a walking Constitution violation and maybe just a little too close to Russia. Which is why people are making this last ditch effort to get in contact with the electors in states where Trump won.

 

I’ve done it myself. I’ve sent off a few e-mails to people in my state and I’m a little embarrassed about it. It’s not like they don’t know about this stuff, right? They know he’s unfit, don’t they? I just wonder if they care of if they’re afraid. Which is reasonable. People are completely on edge.

 

But even if the electors just said “No” and made the House of Representatives decide on who’s President, you know they might just fuck it up anyway and give it right back to Trump. Dammit, dammit, dammit. This is a stupid fucking country. In Eastern Europe, they used to call this kind of thing Absurdistan. Well, here we are getting a taste of it in the good ol’ U.S. of  you-know-what-fuck-it.

 

37?

December 16th, 2016

We are three days and one press conference away from all kinds of amazing stuff taking place.

 

The press conference is from Barack Obama, who is still our President at least until January 20, 2017. This would normally be the time that he gives his last press conference of the year before heading on Christmas vacation with his family.

 

That’s probably not happening this time. Obama will be gone January 20, 2017 but everything between now and then is up for grabs. And it’s all because of the complete wtf’ery between Election Day and now. And of course, you know who is at the epicenter of it.

 

It would be one thing for Obama to pass the Presidency to a racist, a sexist, an anti-semite, a bigot of the first division. Not a great thing, but it is one thing. Quite another to pass it to someone who denies reality, especially the reality that Russia was most certainly involved interfering in a federal election, especially when that intelligence comes from federal agencies.

 

What’s on tap for this press conference today? America’s retaliation against Russia. The transition from his administration to the oncoming one, which might going haltingly. Who knows what else? Probably won’t take the time to review “Rogue One”. Get the popcorn ready.

 

This leads to Monday’s electoral college. Trump has 306 pledged electors. It would take 37 of his pledged electors to vote against him to deny him the Presidency. Under normal circumstances, it wouldn’t occur but these are not normal circumstances. But would 37 (or more) Republican electors break from their pledge?

 

Here is what we know: Trump hasn’t disclosed his taxes. So we don’t know his exact worth or what he’s holding. But we do know he has business deals in place in Turkey, Argentina, the Philippines, Japan and Taiwan. The Turkish government arrested one of his business partners and is holding him until we extradite a Muslim clerk who fled to Pennsylvania after a failed coup. In other words, his business holdings are an international liability.

 

We also know that Trump denies any Russian interference in our election. He’s taking Russia’s side in the whole deal. Oh boy. As I said, one thing to pass the Presidency over to a bigot, another thing to pass it over to someone who has no use for even the idea of democracy.

 

Even Republicans might have a problem with this. They wouldn’t have to flip to Hillary Clinton. My theory (call it a hope) is that perhaps enough of the electors either abstain from Trump or vote for an alternate Republican. At this point, most Republicans who aren’t Mike Pence seem reasonable. Reasonable when compared to Trump, that is.

 

Trump fails to get 270, the matter gets kicked to the House of Representatives. Who’s the Speaker of the House? Paul Ryan, who has no spine whatsoever but obviously loathes Trump so much you’d think Trump was made of Medicare. Each state would have a vote. They would not have to vote for Trump. It would come down to the top three choices in the electoral vote, which would likely be Trump, Clinton and a third person t.b.d. while the Senate gets to pick the Vice-President. Would the House choose Trump after all? I bet they wouldn’t, after having their party mocked and demolished for a year-plus by this guy.

 

That’s when things get interesting. As if they couldn’t be interesting enough already.

Let’s Go Protestin’!

December 16th, 2016

Want to meet like-minded individuals while standing in the cold? You can do that this weekend as Holiday Protest/Vigil Season 2016/2017 heats up (not literally). I mean, everybody’s trying to avoid an apocalypse here what with you-know-who ascending to the Presidency next month, so here’s some local events you might be interested in avoiding.

 

Today, the 16th, a Stand with Aleppo rally on the U of L campus, 6pm local time. Especially relevant given our governor’s reluctance to allow refugees to reside in the state. The meetup will happen at the Grawemeyer Hall at the fountain on 3rd street.

 

Monday, the 19th, a National Electoral College Public Proceedings. These are taking place at every state house in the Union. This is not a protest but a show of support for the electors who are obviously in a very difficult position because of this janky election and all the info that has come out since then. Frankfort and Nashville, starting at 9 am.

 

If you’re feeling up to it, the people at Unite For America are having a Vigil For America at the state capitol in Frankfort the night before the electoral college meets. This is the 18th, starting at 4pm. Potential for snow showers, though, according to Facebook weather.

 

Tuesday, the 20th in Owensboro, there will be a Health Care Speak Out at the Owensboro office of Senator Rand Paul on 423 Frederica Street, at 11 am. It’s a large government building with a lot of offices. This is the first day after the Senate returns home from Washington. With Kentuckians at great risk of losing health care due to the GOP’s determination to repeal ACA, this is the chance to speak your piece. Coordinated by MoveOn.org

 

Trust me, the winter season of protesting is only going to heat up after Christmas. I almost wish I could move to Frankfort just so I could stand at the capitol all day. I mean, almost.