I got nothing.

I didn’t quit politics, I just didn’t know how to address this note. I quit chasing clicks and likes and shares and memes. That’s all. Fun fact: you stimulate a similar dopamine rush playing Candy Crush or clicking around Facebook as you do having sex or eating something sinfully delicious. Me, I took a cooking class. And got healthy.

I’ve begun and set this essay aside countless times. It’s not Don Drumpf, it’s me. Okay, it’s a little him. That and the way the electoral college resembles now looks like just another Trump University scam. Thanks to Michael Cohen, “Predisent Trump’s personal lawyer” (currently under a cloud of his separate, personal Russia investigation), I found a way out of my moral dilemma. Hey, it’s the Trump era — I’ll latch onto any loophole I can find.

I never had an issue referring to the 43rd resident as “Mr.President,” “the president,” or even “President Bush” (avoiding pejorative phrases, such as “Bush the Lesser,” whenever possible). My quandary, frankly, was challenging. I could reference the office and title of “president” easily enough, but any attempt to include the surname of the GOP’s Trumpanzie™ in the same sentence brought reason and my writing to a screeching halt. I still haven’t been able to do it. If I slip up down the road, remind me. This is so far beyond “not my president,” there’s no comparison. First, we need someone competent enough to understand the issues.

It’s like this: I won’t watch President Obama’s farewell address until a capable adult is waiting in the wings. I loathe Mike Pence, but he’ll do. Saying goodbye to one president absent anyone “presidential” in the vicinity seems bad form — or bad luck. Then again, luck had little if anything to do with the monosyllabic Predisent Trump’s electoral squeaker. Oddly enough, everything you hate about Il Dupé is flourishing from the same soul-killing affliction Democrats are quick to point at in horror when it manifests itself in Mitch McConnell’s lipless sneer — greed.

Back in 2012 I wrote an essay about what I saw as our “post-truth political landscape,” where “facts and reason are in a death struggle with disinformation and lies.” Predisent Trump is proof positive that facts and reason took it on the chin in 2016, but I didn’t have to get past the Democratic Primary to read the writing on the wall. Greed took half the Democratic party out behind the barn and slapped it full of st-st-stupid.

I tried to tell you to calm down. I said, ‘stop listening to the noise.’ And I did tell you to stop being so damn greedy and learn how government works before convincing yourself that tilting at ideological windmills could win an election. Yes, our schools should be palaces of knowledge where young Americans are free to follow their bliss or expand their horizons. Never lose sight of the goal. But if you haven’t yet charted a course through the regressive, Republican-led efforts to starve public education funding and give those tax dollars to private and parochial schools? Well, that isn’t politics — those are just empty platitudes.

I don’t have a lot of sympathy left here, America. Angst? I get a truckload delivered daily (in 140 characters or fewer). It isn’t normal and there is no “making sense” of it all. I know what you want. You want reassurances that everything’s gonna be okay — that the checks and balances of a representative democracy will limit potential damage to the value of your homes, or 401K, or drinking water. I can’t help you. There are no experts to turn to for advice. As Dr. Peter Venkman once said, “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria” … or … “We go to jail; peacefully, quietly. We’ll enjoy it!” There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground left. For example, I just listened to some loon waste another five minutes of Thom Hartmann’s time, explaining ‘the real collusion which gave us Trump was between the DNC and Hillary — Bernie’d be president if they hadn’t stopped us.’ “Mass hysteria” it is then, huh? Even Thom has had enough. Just stop.

Nope, I can’t help you, America. I really wish I could, but you can never say I didn’t try and stop you. This is a self-inflicted wound and only time will tell whether or not it proves fatal. It’s angry-looking, though, and festering around the edges. While I’m no doctor, I really do think you should have that looked at. And by that, I mean Predisent Trump. Thanks for that, Director Mueller, but now that Putin and Trump have gone public with the ‘everything turned out alright in the end so what’s the big fuss?’ defense, expect a pink slip any. day. now. It’s the Republican’s turn to run for the network cameras and complain about the cost of these “pointless investigations on the U.S. taxpayers.”

I know, I know. Fire Bob Mueller? Even that bloviating buffoon couldn’t be that st-st-stupid. Pffft. I’m not even really paying attention and I know the president actually is that stupid. Anyone with ears should know it. My kids have a broader vocabulary (hey, maybe I “primed the pump”). Heck, the part-time operator in a Pakistani call center (because now’s a great time to switch your data plan) has a better shot at forming a grammatically correct, coherent sentence. So I really can’t think of a lot of good reasons to debate the merits of the latest presidential tweet “suggesting” (in no uncertain terms) “two plus two equals five.”

No. Just, no. I’m sure Sarah Huckabee Sanders will hand out corrected, written ten-year estimates backing the White House’s “two plus two” position at tomorrow’s press briefing. That is unless Steve Bannon decides she’s getting too fat and turns off the cameras … again. The revolution will not be televised. And it sure as hell won’t be on Facebook. Stand up. Get active. Get out while you still can.

You’re welcome.

Biblical Jesus® Hates Huckabee

Huckabee for President
PO Box 3357
Little Rock, AR 72203
@GovMikeHuckabee

Dear Governor/Moderator/Pastor Huckabee,

‘I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ Holy hand grenade of Antioch, Matthew — stop being such a killjoy. I think you’re onto something, Mike. Making criminals work off their debt instead of enjoying three hots and a cot? I keep seeing articles online which say you’re advocating “slavery,” which is nonsense. All you did was agree with Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson, of ‘Mickelson in the Morning,’ who paraphrased the Book of Exodus. “It says, if a person steals … if they don’t have anything, we’re supposed to take them down and sell them.”

Jan went on to say, “We indenture them and they have to spend their time not sitting on their stump in a jail cell, they’re supposed to be working off the debt. “Wouldn’t that be a better choice?” Naturally, Pastor Huckabee, you agreed with that nonsense, saying, “Well, it really would be. Sometimes the best way to deal with a nonviolent criminal behavior is what you just suggested.” Exactly — nonviolent criminals do not deserve compassion — or rehabilitation — or an examination of how a lack of economic opportunity might have contributed to their behavior. Let’s squeeze them for a few bucks.

So, I gotta ask, how much has Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) donated to the campaign? Seriously, pastor, if we’re going to consider modern day slavery, we really should consult the experts, right? In the past thirty years, prison populations have grown 500%, because this idea you’re promoting to the good folks in Iowa makes huge profits for the companies that also charge the taxpayers to house and feed those criminals. They’re double-dipping — getting a check from the state, and from the labor they induce on the inside. Win-win! Continue reading

Donald Trump Goes Biblical.

Here’s a quick primer to some of the things Donald Trump shared with the audience at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., hosted by the Family Research Counsel. When the word salad begins to resemble a jungle, simply refer to this guide.

Donald Trump, American Statesman

“My Bible”

This is a prop, inscribed by his mother when Donald was just a child. Any Christian who believes Donald consults that particular book, has already forgotten that he couldn’t/refused to name a favorite passage. “Um, all of ’em, any of ’em that, um, have, have been in front of me over all these years.” Okay, I lied. That was Sarah Palin. Donald’s Bible makes three appearances during tonight’s performance.

“I went to great schools.”

Donald Trump is rich, and every financial analyst that’s checked assures us that he’d still be rich even if he’d never built a casino, or filed a claim in bankruptcy court. His claim that “it’s so easy” is fairly tone deaf in a country where the average school loan debt for college graduates is $30,000 and climbing. Continue reading

Rick Perry is Out to Pasture

Goodbye Governor Good Hair

I just thought I’d drop you a note and wish you happy trails, gov. I doubt you’ll recall any of the advice I’ve passed along over the years — but that’s the thing about conservatives — you turn a blind eye to obvious truths and a deaf ear to those who try and pound some sense through your thick skulls.

I just read your statement about dropping out of the Republican primary and have to disagree that “the conservative movement has always been about principles, not personalities.” While I can’t deny there are some bedrock ideologies you’ll cling to, even as the ship of state is sinking, the “conservative movement” has been all cash and flash for years now.

We had a glad-handing frat boy as president for eight years (ably worked by Dick Cheney like a ventriloquist’s dummy), and for the past two presidential cycles, rank and file Republicans go all starry-eyed by millionaires without morals. I’m not saying Willard “Mitt” Romney is a bad person, but both he and ‘The Donald’ would rather cash out in the Caymans, than support an American worker. Continue reading

Wherein Mike Huckabee is Smote.

An Open Letter to Governor Mike Huckabee, from the Creator of the Universe, God “I am who He is” Almighty.

Son, have you lost what’s left of your itsy-bitsy, pea-pickin’ mind? I try to ignore most of what you kids say because, frankly, humans who claim to understand what the “Self-Existent One” thinks used to wind up in the laughing academy, not on the six o’clock news. Your appeal to pathos on Michael Medved’s radio program was floating around the cosmos, however, and I have to say I found it truly offensive.

Look, take it from Theos — nobody’s perfect. But when you claim “black people aren’t fully human,” in 2015, a trip to the sanitarium becomes more likely than one to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Before you accuse “The First and the Last” of taking your statement out of context, remember that I want to be a “very present help in trouble,” Mike, so please take this admonishment to heart. Continue reading

Donald, the Great and Powerful

oz

I’ll admit it. I’m stumped. It seems pretty clear that a Democratic shift in 2016 will be thanks, in large measure, to Donald Trump — but it carries a pretty hefty price tag. The only question in my mind is how that’s going to play out. Consider this: in 1860, over 80% of those eligible at the time turned out to vote in the quadrennial contest to become president (compared to 55% in 2012). Ask most Americans (okay, ask those who follow politics), and they’ll tell you that Abraham Lincoln defeated Stephen Douglas to win the office. But of the roughly 4.7 million white males who voted that year, President Lincoln won just 39% of the vote. Wait, what?

We owe a debt of gratitude to the Southern Democratic and Constitutional Union parties (the first formed to defend slavery — and the later to preserve the union at all costs), who split the vote. Donald Trump is poised to do the exact same thing for the 2016 Democratic nominee — and it scares the pants off the GOP. You reap what you sow, kids. The right been pandering to the bigoted, jingoistic, Republican Jesus™ loving crowd for decades — and now the crazy has come home to roost. Continue reading

Jeb Bush Blames “W” for ISIS

Bush

“A writer must always tell the truth, unless he is a journalist.” Gore Vidal said that — and nearly every newspaper, magazine, blog and television pundit is poised to prove him correct. (Jeb!) Bush will give a major policy speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley tonight — and tomorrow “the press” will dutifully repeat the lie that President Obama and former Secretary of State Clinton are responsible for creating the terrorist group ISIL.

(Jeb!)’s big lie depends on another of Vidal’s prophetic insights: we live in the “United States of Amnesia,” where “half of the people have never read a newspaper, (and) half never voted for president.” Gore Vidal knew, and (Jeb!) “hopes it is the same half.” The same people who argued Iraq must be allowed the “freedom” of self-governance, now blame Democrats for Iraq’s failure to keep the peace inside their own border.

That’s because Republican war-mongers, like those doing their level best to tear apart an international arms agreement with Iran, went into Iraq and broke it. And unless they’ve recently fallen and concussed themselves, they should also remember that the Status of Forces Agreement (requiring the permanent withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq) was signed by President George W. Bush in 2008. Continue reading

Governor Oops

Rick Perry

Congratulations, Governor Perry! I lost count of the number of times your lawyers tried to have those felony charges dismissed by the trial judge — but the appeals court finally came through. Here’s something odd: the Republican judges could have ponied up a get out of jail free card — but they did’t.

When the court voided the coercion charge on Friday, a potential ten years sentence went with it. But let’s be clear, your lead attorney can say to the press (and they dutifully reported) that the remaining abuse of official capacity charge is “just a misdemeanor,” but it’s not — it’s a felony, carrying a maximum sentence of 99 years in prison Good luck with that.

I’m not big into filing criminal charges for things politicians typically do to leverage power — but striking money from the state budget for those responsible for investigating political malfeasance? That’s just never going to play well for the cameras, gov. And it’s that part of the story has has the Republican judges running for cover.

Yes, District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg probably should have resigned. Not because she was caught driving drunk, though — to me the more egregious violation of the public trust was threatening the arresting officers. But even that isn’t what this is about.

You mooks have had it in for the Travis County DA’s office since they strung up former Congressman Tom DeLay for violating election law back in 2005. It seems Republicans are all about accountability, unless it’s a Republican that’s been called on the carpet.

What’s inconceivable to me, is that you’ve already spent $2 million on the best legal defense money can buy — while running a presidential campaign that can’t raise half that amount. I gotta say, Rick — your judgement here is, as usual, a bit suspect. Just don’t take a page out of Michele Bachmann’s playbook — unless you want the feebs looking at you sideways, too.

From the looks of things, you’re going to take a page from former House Speaker Delay’s, instead. As I recall, all the legal foot-dragging finally paid off for him in the end — and he got his conviction overturned. I’m sure you’ll wind up wasting millions of Texan’s tax dollars fighting this off.

Too bad you’ve only got a seat at the children’s table for the primary debates. The real money’s over on the main stage, if you’re going to have any hope at all of making up the shortfall in that legal defense fund.

Oops.