The “Better Angels of our Nature” Trade their Halos for Horns

angels, demons, twentytwentynews

Clete Wetli, Contributor

Even if politics isn’t your thing, you’ve got to admit that Trump forcing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe on a late Friday night with a day left before McCabe’s retirement will be remembered as an epic low-down dirty rotten douchebag move.

In the last year, we’ve all become rather numb to these crass, juvenile maneuvers by the most embarrassing and corrupt president in our nation’s history. But, McCabe’s firing is uniquely despicable on many levels. Did the Orange One forget that McCabe is a witness in the Russia Investigation? Wasn’t Trump’s gimp, Sessions, supposed to recuse himself from anything related to the probe?

Is there no limit to Trump’s willingness to desecrate our national conversation and government?

It’s true that politics has devolved into a mud-slinging free-for-all and that finding statesmanship in public discourse today is like discovering a unicorn frolicking in a sewage treatment plant.

Yet, it seems that most people don’t mind much. Hell, they don’t even have one fucking clue as to what voting district they live in and they’d be more likely to guess what size bra Kim Kardashian wears than to tell you how many Amendments make up the Bill of Rights.

I bet more folks know who Stormy Daniels is than Andrew McCabe.

Somehow, we’ve decided to follow the bully, rather than the smartest guy in the room. We’ve sodomized the angels of our better nature while we’ve traded in our halos for horns.

We mock science and embrace the dumbest delusions so long as they confirm our most deeply held biases. Trump did not create this; he is merely the bitter and foul culmination of a burnt stew of moral, cultural toxins and intellectual laziness that fueled his political rise. Trump is the epitome of a charming, yet stupidly vulgar man who baffles with his brazenness and astonishes with his unnecessary cruelty. He is understandable only as a grotesque caricature. Any attempts to humanize him result in bestowing upon him characteristics he is not capable of possessing. Such as empathy, nuance, forethought, and advanced strategy. He is an idiot savant, with most of his character reflecting the former.

The Russians easily played us because collectively we have embraced sound bites over hard-fought knowledge. We don’t make time to find the truth. We refuse to struggle for understanding. We settle for the salacious, abbreviated headline and claim we’re too tired or disinterested to dig any deeper.

We’ve become a slave to autocorrect and we only consume what’s easily digestible in our electronic feed, which is driven by our previous feeds and the system is designed to quietly discard anything that could cause us the slightest intellectual discomfort. If it somehow sneaks in, we fucking unfriend and block that vile shit quickly.

We’ve excommunicated and exiled our better angels. They may be momentarily relieved after the horror they’ve been forced to witness. Yet, they yearn to come home so they can remind us of our potential before we surrender completely to mediocrity and banality.

They knock on our doors every now and again and we slam them angrily like they’re some annoying proselytizing teenagers hawking unwanted pamphlets with instructions for our unlikely salvation. Some of our better angels are just missing in action. Most are suffering PTSD, I fear.

Somehow, we’ve got to find that high road again. I don’t think the answer lies in compromise. How do you compromise with the abomination of Trump or his deplorable, racist, dipshit supporters? You can’t. It’s time for vision and mission and clarity of purpose. It’s time to wash off the mud and to aspire to inspire.

No matter how much time passes, Trump is still unworthy of the office and still a greedy, entitled, shit-gibbon.

I just miss our better angels. I hope that they’ll come back soon. In the meantime, I’ll try to remember what it was like to have a leader that spoke in complete and uplifting sentences.

AL House votes to display Ten Commandments- We Prefer Hammurabi’s Code!

twentytwentynews, hammurabi, ten commandments

Franklin Contributor

In its infinite and mind-boggling wisdom, the AL House of Representatives has voted in committee to tear down the wall separating church and state by advocating the public display of the Ten Commandments on state property. They believe that this will infuse much needed morality in Alabama and finally eradicate atheism. They are hoping it may eliminate the need to have those bizarre kids riding bikes wearing ties that knock on your door all the time wanting to talk about your tenuous spiritual salvation.

Although they admit all sorts of genetically immutable dumbfuckery will remain rampant in the Yellowhammer state, at least folks will have something wholesome to read, with lots of word they don’t fully comprehend, while they’re waiting to pay for their traffic fines at City Hall. Thou gets it, right?

So, we at thought that we shouldn’t stop there. In the spirit of arbitrarily sponsoring state religion, we’ve gone all in on public displays of Hammurabi’s Code. It’s a bit longer, bloodier, and unforgiving, but that should make it far more appealing to Christian Evangelicals and folks stockpiling firearms to prevent tyranny. In fact, we think it should be updated a little by replacing the phrase “put to death” with “kilt wit a hail of bullits from an AR-fiteen” or “mauled to death by a real war-eagle”. Hell, yeah!

We think that Alabamians should embrace Hammurabi’s code because it has all sorts of stuff they just love. Subjugation and humiliation of women, maiming and sundry torture, legal ways to abuse slaves, and there’s even references to barbers, prostitutes, and drinking in taverns. Much like the Bible, but with fewer weird references about coveting your neighbor’s oxen or making golden idols. I mean, who’s got time for that, really?

In our defense, we looked at a multitude of historical codes of law because the AL House insists that this isn’t about “religion”, but merely a way to provide “historical context” for our current law. Apparently, Attila the Hun wasn’t real big on writing stuff down and, well, Hammurabi just seemed to be a perfect fit for Alabama, especially the conservatives.

With this groundbreaking legislation, surely the AL House will welcome all kinds of religious and cultural documents to be displayed at the Driver’s License office for “historical education” purposes. Maybe, we could use some passages from the Satanic Bible for the eye exams. Certainly, we could put some Sharia law posters up in the Tax Assessor’s office and, maybe, some great scrolls of Confucian Law in the County Commissioner’s office.

We commend our genius Representatives for their bold action in Alabama. If only we had posted the Ten Commandments sooner, then ex-Governor Robert Bentley wouldn’t have been screwing one of his advisors and prancing around in his whitey-tighties on the taxpayer dime. It may have stopped former House Leader Mike Hubbard from all his theft and graft. Perhaps, Bubba in Cullman County wouldn’t have done that unspeakable thing to his neighbor’s ox.

Hopefully, they’ll mandate school prayer next. Then, we can sing our prayerful praise to Cthulu or sacrifice animal fat to Zeus! We’re so happy they’re not advocating one religion over another and are merely interested in educating folks about “historical context”. If this catches on, maybe groups like the Girl Scouts could branch out into Wiccan covens. Oh, the endless possibilities!

So, let’s hope that they get this Ten Commandments bill to the floor for a vote as soon as possible, so we can get Hammurabi’s Code posted in the City Parking Deck where it belongs!

Hammurabi was one bad-ass Babylonian and it’s time Alabama “redneckanizes” his contribution. Next legislative session, we’re looking at sponsoring the Code of Ur-Nammu so we can get adulterous women, random acts of dismemberment, and sorcery under control in Birmingham, Huntsville, and the sin-filled hell-hole of Mobile.

Did Elon Musk just commit a perfect crime right in front of our eyes?

twentytwentynews, frankin, most interesting man

Franklin, Contributor

Elon Musk just launched a red Tesla into space with a space dummy at the wheel. Of course, we’ll get into the unintended cosmic consequences of his overpriced car commercial in a moment, but did anybody physically check to see if the space dummy driver was actually a mannequin?

Aha! That’s exactly what I thought. Interestingly, we haven’t seen much of Jonathan Goldsmith lately; who’s known by his moniker, “The World’s Most Interesting Man”.  It was reported that he was replaced suddenly by French actor, Augustin Legrand, after Goldsmith’s final appearance in a commercial that had him on a one-way trip to Mars.

Coincidence? I think not! Here’s a link to the commercial:

According to sources unfamiliar with this story, it has been alleged after several cases of Dos Equis, that Musk has long been jealous of the man who “can speak French in Russian” and whose “only regret has been never being able to experience regret”. Musk has long wanted to be thought of as the world’s most interesting man and it has been theorized that his fragile ego couldn’t take it anymore.

Musk has often sought to reach the height of global stature where mosquitos refuse to bite him out of respect and he can live vicariously through himself. “He just couldn’t take it anymore…”, according to an anonymous person who was quoted deliberately out of context on an unrelated matter. Some initial reports were that he initially wanted to kidnap Trump, but never succeeded in luring him away from watching Fox News while snuggling with Ivanka on the couch. However, that sounds like a conspiracy theory, besides Trump is known as the Most Interesting Man to Himself and Musk’s hands are quite obviously larger than Trump’s which completely debunks that idea.

Obviously, flamethrowers, Hyperloops, car models that collectively spelled out the oh, so subtle acronym- S-3-X, SpaceX rockets, and PayPal just never gave Musk the sort of street cred that could make him the life of parties that he never attended.

So, Musk may have snapped and kidnapped Goldsmith after cleverly arranging his replacement, according to unreliable and inebriated, speculating sources. Some people from somewhere say that Goldsmith was kept imprisoned and drugged until being put in a spacesuit by an evil, cackling Musk petting a Persian cat and then Goldsmith was carefully positioned in the driver’s seat of Musk’s Tesla that was recently launched into space with the ironic destination of Mars.

With over 4,000 pieces of space crap and garbage sent into Earth’s orbit by humans, Musk was inspired to send space trash even further into the cosmos, thus deciding to thrust his Tesla to other planets as a gift; much the same way that Columbus brought syphilis as a gift to indigenous peoples. In this case, our alien neighbors will get an overpriced car on empty, a once very interesting human corpse with an enviable beard in a spacesuit designed for MTV, and billions of bacterial microbes that will certainly wreak havoc on their pristine planet.

By the way, at, we are extremely proud of our excessively inept and shoddy reporting that brought you this clearly fake conspiracy theory written by a fictitious Yorkie Editor-In-Chief for the sole purpose of pointing out to Musk that just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.

In the meantime, we choose willfully to suspend our disbelief and accept this hairbrained theory as truth in the same way that Trump supporters believe our President has moral values and spends “executive time” on deep, contemplative thought.

We don’t always write fake news, but when we do, we sure as Hell have a biased opinion about it.

So, Musk, we’re on to you and your evil plan to get aliens to buy your cars and flamethrowers. We believe this in our hearts because we want to believe you committed space-murder right before our eyes and no amount of facts will change our minds. We heard that you tried to sweeten the deal by loading cases of Dos Equis and solar-panel roofing shingles into the trunk of that Tesla you launched into space.

Musk, you may be a space-murderer, but you always inspired us with your famous line, “”A little red wine, vintage record, some Ambien … and magic!” Ah, the stuff conspiracy theories are made of…

Just remember, when aliens discover this used car crashing into their planet and they finally take the spacesuit off the curiously handsome dead driver, it’s going to take them awhile to figure out why the corpse is wearing a shirt that says, “Stay thirsty, my friends”.

When Stupid Ruled the Land

twentytwentynews, trump, idiocracy

Franklin, Contributor

(Warning: If you are a Trump supporter, then do not attempt to read this because there are big words and opinions that differ from the one you were told to have. It is recommended that you stare at the picture, get angry, blame Obama or Pelosi, and tweet your outrage using any profanity you can spell without asking for help.)

An iconic moment in the orange toddler-king’s rise to the proverbial high chair of political power was when Hillary Clinton made the remark about Trump’s morally bankrupt and dim-witted supporters being “deplorable”.  Let me tell you, those imbeciles were more outraged than when someone slowly explained to them that “heads I win, tails you lose” was a scam perpetrated by liberal youth. Look, I’ve tried to give the Trumpers the benefit of the doubt, but I’ve come to the certain, inescapable conclusion that they are proud of their stupid dipped in ignorance which is then deep-fried in perpetual mean-spiritedness.

History will remember this era in American politics with chapter titles like, “When Stupid Ruled the Land” or “The Whining Rise of Dolt 45”. It’s beyond comprehension that his cult of cretins celebrates his incoherent misspelled tweets and glory in his uncreative, lame-brained insults; until you remember that the only thing surpassing their staggering stupidity is their capacity for jealous hatred.

Ironically, they are as thin-skinned as their idiot idol who loves to hurl rude epithets against his opponents, but is outraged and wounded when he gets the same treatment. Liberals are used to juvenile attacks and have endured insults from conservatives for decades. But, Clinton calls them “deplorable” and, suddenly, they are calling suicide hot-lines, sucking their thumbs, and re-enlisting their security blankets that they retired when they were eight years old.

Well, I’m done trying to be polite and not discuss the obvious. Trump and his Republican Party are truly a bunch of morons. They’ve put people in cabinet positions that would have to learn a thing or two just to rise to a base level of incompetence. Although, that was part of Trump’s meathead plan, he forgot that the repercussions would have a negative impact on him and his drooling base, as well. For example, his dipshit idea to cut taxes for the wealthiest and deprive people of basic healthcare at a time when the economy is doing well and there are legitimate concerns about inflation and over-valuation in the stock market. Oh, and that little thing about exploding the debt and deficit. Yep, classic dumbass move! However, the Trumpsters are content with their tiny bonuses or raises and don’t see how they are getting screwed. Well, not yet and, to be honest, someone may still need to draw them a picture using stick figures and crayons.

At first, we could all handle Republicans trading in their morality because we knew that they were hypocrites and that it was a sham from the get-go. That’s why they had no problem voting for the mush-for-brains “pussy grabber”.  However, it was surprising that they decided that deliberate ignorance and intellectual dishonesty would be their new rallying cry. Sort of like how during the election the economy was teetering on disaster and America was a shithole, but it somehow magically changed when Trump changed the drapes in the Oval Office to a “Third-World Dictator” gaudy gold.

America is rapidly becoming a kakistocracy, even if Republicans have no clue what that word means. As liberals, we’ve got to come to terms that just because we’re smarter doesn’t mean we’ll win. It’s time to find ways to appeal to people’s emotions again or we’re doomed to be ruled by dumbest and meanest among us.

In the meantime, y’all better buckle up because this is about to get a whole lot worse. Just wait until the bloated orange genius and his sycophants try to react to the unexpected crisis that’s inevitably going to come our way. He’s probably already got a rough draft of the tweet blaming Obama while bragging about the size of the crowd that saw it.

As a nation we’ve survived through many obstacles, I just hope we can survive this new wave of self-inflicted stupidity until 2020. Otherwise, we may as well start banning books, burning scientists and teachers at the stake, and start using Magic 8 balls to guide our policy decisions. In all fairness, I think Magic 8 balls have a better track record than Trump…


The Disconnect is Real

twentytwentynews, surreal times, trump, politics, climate change

Jerry Waters, Contributor

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been feeling pretty disconnected lately. Disconnected in the sense that I don’t understand the hostility and self-righteousness and fear that’s screaming at me from conservatives. I used to be able to disagree without it becoming personal. Hell, we used to be able to find some small middle ground on which to discover mutual respect, but that’s nonexistent now.

Normally, I write about science and the environment. Usually, those are safely nerdy topics that don’t generate a tsunami of political heat. But lately, that hasn’t been the case. I’ve been threatened and ridiculed over things that I never imagined would be controversial politically. I mean, clean air and water? Space exploration? Conservation of natural resources? Yeah, I get that there are conflicting sides and different interests at stake, but I don’t understand the vitriol from the right.

We all still live on the same planet, right?

I mean, why is the head of the EPA hell bent on rolling back every regulation that protects the beautiful country we live in? Do people really want coal ash, fracking byproducts, and other chemicals in their drinking water with no legal means of recourse against the companies doing the polluting?

Why, again, are we drilling for oil off our coastlines? Why are we unnecessarily hastening environmental reviews for major construction projects destined to kill endangered species and lay waste to natural landscapes?

More importantly, why are Trumpsters and conservatives so mad at me for caring about the environment or worrying about the consequences of space exploration and research? They love to hurl insults and threats, but they’re very thin-skinned if you push back at all.

I’ve been amazed at watching them make excuses. The “tax cut” fiasco which explodes our deficit and exacerbates wealth inequality. Ignoring the fact that the Russians definitely and calculatingly interfered with our elections. Their stunning failure to fix healthcare and their laughable plan to repair our nation’s infrastructure. They worship Trump as infallible and excuse his every ignorant, crass, and dangerous remarks. They live in a toxic, mind-numbing, non-permeable bubble of misinformation and propaganda.

Perhaps, I’m not the one who is so disconnected after all. Indeed, “the Russians are laughing their asses off” because we suffer such an ignoramus, who is systematically dismantling our government and squandering our diminishing natural resources for his own profit and self-aggrandizement.

I will continue to write about the environment and science, but I had to get that off my chest. Each day, I’m sickened that Scott Pruitt is in charge of the EPA and that our children’s education is in the comically incompetent hands of Betsy DeVos. While we were distracted by the dizzying displays of perpetual White House scandal, Trump presented a budget that eliminated funding for public broadcasting and for NASA’s education programs. I mean, this shithead wants to get rid of the TVA and defund any efforts to produce renewable energy.

It’s exhausting keeping up with Trump’s destruction of our beloved country. It’s heartbreaking watching this greedy buffoon and his cronies get rid of necessary environmental regulations and reviews so that they can make a few bucks in the short term.

I’ve no doubt that America will survive this, but it’s clear that every day that Trump is in office that our nation becomes diminished, sicker, and unstable. The anti-environment and anti-science fervor that has swept the Republican party must be stopped in its tracks because the consequences will be deadly.

Forgive my rant, I’ll get back to writing about the things I love, but in the era of Trump I find myself banging my head on my desk regularly.

Ain’t no confusion about that collusion

trump, russia, collusion

Franklin, Contributor

The indictments keep coming and our witless President keeps tweeting his desperate protests that there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russians. Well, except for that meeting in Trump Tower with his son, campaign manager, and a few Russians to discuss, um, um, “adoption”. Or, that time when Kushner tried to open a secret back channel to talk with the Russians because, um, um, well, just because. Or, that little meeting that was arranged by Betsy Davos’ brother, founder of Blackwater, in the Seychelle islands that was meant to be a secret meeting with Russians tied to the Kremlin about Russia’s involvement with Iran, but fake news people ratted him out. Or, Carter Page or Paul Manafort. Or, Trump’s lawyer, Cohen, trying to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

I mean, except for those couple of (several dozen) times and about twenty others that all have, um, um, very logical explanations.

I mean if you can’t trust a president whose friends pay off Playboy Playmates and porn star mistresses to keep quiet about their affairs, who can you trust? Old, fake news, right? Maybe, Putin can be trusted because he gave Trump his word that he’d never, never, never meddle in our elections and even offered to pinky swear to show his sincerity. Putin’s people don’t talk and, if they do, it can take years to find the bodies.

All those reports about Russians loaning Trump piles of money and buying his gaudy over-gilded properties is not, um, money-laundering, um, um, I mean it’s not collusion, it’s just business.

Trump keeps saying there’s no collusion and when he doubles down, like on Obama’s birth certificate or the Central Park Five or “clean” coal or a wall that Mexico will pay for, we know he’s, um, well, committed to the idea. We also know that he’ll do just about anything to get what he wants. Like that time he hired a bunch of illegal immigrants to build Trump Tower and didn’t pay them or the time he flagged rental applications to prevent black people from living in his properties or all the times he lied about his wealth to intimidate others or… well, you get the point.

So, maybe Trump has engaged in some secrets or illegal cooperation or conspiracies, in order to cheat or deceive others a few times in his life… oh, um, shit, that’s the actual definition of collusion. That basically describes Trump’s entire career in real estate and his romantic life. But, hey, the past is the past and Trump wants us to believe that neither he or his campaign wittingly conspired with the Russians to win the election or to amass wealth illegally.

So, Mueller just indicted thirteen Russians for trying to influence the election and for duping witless Trump campaign operatives. Well, that’s not exactly exoneration with the investigation ongoing and more Trump associates making plea deals and secretly meeting with the Special Counsel. But, hey, it’s just a witch-hunt, a hoax, a bunch of loser Democrats claiming that there’s collusion, right?

Let me help clear this up, “Ain’t no confusion about Trump’s collusion!” So much evidence of Trump’s cozy relationship with Russia and their rubles is already public record and Mueller is about to show us the money trail. It’s just a matter of time before all the dots are connected.

The saddest part of this whole story is that the Russian response to the indictment was apropos, “Americans only see what they want to see.” For so many Trumpers, it’s always been that way. Their love for alternative facts was the candy that Russia lavished upon them.

There’s more coming, folks, and if we’re lucky, Trump will get exactly what he has always deserved.

I had to invent a word to describe it: trumpcompetence

twentytwentynews, politics, surreal times, trump

Franklin, Contributor

The word most often used to characterize Trump’s dazzling ignorance and epic displays of ineptitude is “incompetence”, yet it lacks the descriptive power and intrinsic nuance necessary to accurately depict the terrifying chaos he perpetually creates at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Each and every day, there’s a fresh load of proverbial feces hitting the fan in the Oval Office, thrown from his little hands and spewing incessantly from his incoherent maw.

Look, I’m just a middle-class Canine-American trying to launch a news blog and I am just as tired as everyone else who must write about Trump’s daily tweets, imbecilic gaffes, and his uncanny ability to make decisions that harm all but his elitist golf buddies. I am beginning to wear a thunder-shirt and pop a few doggie downers when I have to watch the news. I’m burying bones in fear of the coming Trumpocalypse. As I watch the tremendous and bigly dangerous buffoonery of Trump, I struggle as an editor, with no opposable thumbs, to find synonyms and idioms to attach to his unique amalgam of stupidity, covfefe, and self-worship.

So, I’ve decided to call it “trumpcompetence”.  Here’s how it would look in a dictionary:

  • trump·com·pe·tence

Pronounced: trəmpˈkämpədəns. Noun. The singular and, heretofore, unmatched ability of Donald John Trump to lie in a pathological manner while performing obscene acts of narcissism and simultaneously engaging in the act of destroying government institutions, norms, and protocols through evil, juvenile intent and/or maladroit amateurishness. Please note: incompetence demonstrates a higher proficiency and success rate than trumpcompetence.

Ex. 1, “His whiny insistence on spending millions of dollars on an unnecessary military parade to prove to Little Rocket Man that his missile was bigger and more potent was, indeed, the height of trumpcompetence.”

Ex. 2, “The Republican Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, decided to release a misleading partisan memo revealing classified information in an ongoing investigation critical of the intelligence community to derail the Trump/Russia probe in a desperate act of trumpcompetence that borders on treason.”

Synonyms: bat-shit crazy, Twitler, dumbfuckery, and trumped-up horseshit.

Antonyms: Obama, proficiency, and “the right way of doing it”.

Thankfully, recorded history has few instances that can be compared to trumpcompetence. Nero fiddling while Rome burned or annual recipients of the Darwin Award bear close resemblance, but fail to match Trump’s stamina and consistency when it comes to screwing things up on a regular basis.

Trumpcompetence also has severe, unintended side-effects that have adversely affected conservatives. For example, they have found ways to justify Trump’s payment of $130,000 in hush money to his porn star mistress to earn a “mulligan” from evangelicals. Conservatives that have succumbed to trumpcompetence suddenly embrace huge deficits, uncontrollable growth in the nation’s debt, and now claim to love unlimited government spending.

Even in Alabama, conservative cognitive dissonance is intoxicating as trumpcompetence threatens to destroy NAFTA, which could eliminate 70,000 jobs in the reddest of red states. Further, they celebrate the trumpcompetence of Attorney General Jeff Sessions as he reignites the failed War on Drugs as the solution to the nation’s opioid crisis, which has left a trail of corpses in Alabama. No matter the failure or suffocating stench of the latest trumpcompetence, they are eager to trade in their core beliefs and values to claim they are worn out from all the winning.

Trumpcompetence is why the White House can’t keep staff or fill the hundreds of key positions that have been vacant for over a year. Trumpcompetence is why a Middle East peace deal is now as elusive as a glimpse of Trump’s tax returns. Trumpcompetence is the brazen arrogance of an orange real estate grifter who thinks that no one will ever figure out his glaringly obvious Russian money laundering operation.

Ah, with fond nostalgia, we miss the incompetence of President George W. Bush because it was a huge step up from the trumpcompetence we’re watching today. Even Trump would have to admit that we “misunderestimated” George Bush’s “strategery”.

Well, we can’t wait to see Trump’s second string of White House staffers. Surely, they will perform with the historic trumpcompetence that we’ve come to expect from a man who’s too busy pleasuring himself during “executive time” to be bothered with classified intelligence briefings.

Something tells me that the events that will likely occur under year two of Trump may make the word trumpcompetence obsolete before it even takes off.

We’ll do this again soon, but I gotta go, I’m suddenly feeling trumpstipated…

Dear Paul Ryan: thanks for the extra $1.50! I’ll try not to spend it all in one place.

twentytwentynews, politics, political, news and commentary

Franklin, Contributor

In a recent, but quickly deleted, tweet by Republican Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, he triumphantly declared the following as a victorious declaration regarding the success of the recent Republican tax cuts:

“A secretary at a public high school in Lancaster, PA, said she was pleasantly surprised her pay went up $1.50 a week… she said [that] will more than cover her Costco membership for the year.”

Hell, yes! What more proof does middle-class America need to show that this wasn’t a massive transfer of wealth to the rich while defunding the federal government?

I just checked my paycheck and I got three extra bucks! Thanks to Paul Ryan, I can finally afford to buy about 140 things imported from China with questionable amounts of lead-based paint at the Dollar Tree or purchase 600 gumballs from the machine in the lobby… that’s 12 rock-hard gumballs a week or 6 stale jaw-breakers!!

Oh, the freedom that this unexpected opulence and wealth brings… I can’t even imagine how many gumballs the Koch brothers can buy with the breaks they got!

It’s totally worth a 1.5 Trillion-dollar addition to the deficit. It’s worth defunding so many necessary government programs. C’mon, it’s not really about my awesome financial windfall (43 extra boxes of Milk Bones a year or one concert ticket), but it’s really about the great give-away to the richest in our nation. You know, the “job-creators”! The wouldn’t take the millions they’re receiving and buy back stock or just spend it on new yachts… they’re all about trickling down every penny of those millions upon us!

Right now, I’m so loving the 3-dollar trickle I just got! At this rate, I’ll only need to wait about 2000 dog-years before I get the kind of Milk Bones that Trump’s average Cabinet Member will get.

I just don’t understand why Ryan deleted that awesome tweet. He should be so proud to deliver a public high school secretary such a hug sack of cash. It probably more than makes up for the shitty 2% COLA raise she gets every ten years on the whim of legislators’ largesse. She’s probably so excited by this that it’s possible she may donate the whole thing to the Republican Party for all their efforts to improve education and the environment. Or, she may use the windfall to buy all the supplies she needs to do her job that the school system just can’t pay for. In any case, they’ve removed so many pesky regulations that she might even toast them with a glass of highly suspect water from the break-room faucet.

Oh, Paul Ryan, you are such a champion for working class folks! We are so grateful for the few unexpected bucks you gave us each week. We totally understand why you and your millionaire friends feel entitled to much, much, much, more. It’s only fair, because you guys are the sacred “job creators”!

With the stunning success of these tax cuts, we can’t wait to see what happens now that so many people won’t have access to affordable health insurance. We can’t wait for you to apply this same philosophy to banking regulations or clean water or civil rights. We’ll just sit right here and patiently wait for your amazing trickle down. We love getting trickled on.

So, as we calculate and plan how we’re going to spend our bountiful tax-savings, we just want to thank you, Paul Ryan. You’re the heavenly mix of Eddie Munster and P90X. I plan to borrow $30 so I can afford to buy the Ultimate P90X kit with my extra money this year!

Unfortunately, I’ll never be able to afford your hairstyle or your divine ability to describe a turd as the gift we’ve been waiting for all our lives. Either way, us middle-class folks will try not to spend all our newfound wealth in one place. Thanks, Paul, you’re the fucking best!

Do we need more off-shore drilling (except off Mar-A-Lago, of course)?

oil, rig, maralago, trump, zinke

Jerry Waters, Contributor

If you say, “Drill, baby drill” around a Republican, it appears to have the same effect as an illegal, highly addictive aphrodisiac that’s almost as potent as, “I dig coal”.  Conservatives were elated when Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Accords and downright giddy as his administration took a wrecking ball to environmental regulations that were designed to keep us safe.

Although the world has made monumental strides in developing and producing a multitude of clean energy sources, the Republicans insist on prolonging their dirty affair with oil and fossil fuels for as long as possible. No matter how many pipelines burst an d pollute drinking water or supertankers spill millions of gallons of toxins into the sea, they truly believe that oil and coal are the fuels of our future.

Recently, the Trump administration announced that it intended to open most US coastal waterways for expansive oil drilling, except for Florida.  The new policy doesn’t care if the drilling takes place near endangered species or fragile ecosystems. Yet, it seems that drilling off Florida’s coast could be a bigly distraction to Trump’s weekly, tax-payer funded golf game, so that was quickly nixed.  Other states are applying for the same exemption as Florida, but it depends on whether they are red or blue and how much they are willing to kiss Trump’s ass.

The big question, though, is do we need more off-shore drilling?

The short answer is “No.”

Right now, US oil production is at an all-time high while demand has remained fairly steady. Prices are low. Also, the Trump administration let the oil-spill clean-up tax expire and have no plans for renewing it, which is a huge financial boon to oil companies as supply exceeds demand.  Fracking has turned out to be cheap and profitable. Under Trump, they can now get away with polluting, creating flammable tap-water, and causing earthquakes to their heart’s content.

It’s 15 to 20 times cheaper for US oil companies to drill or frack on land than it is to for them to do off-shore drilling. Even with the stunningly stupid roll-back of drilling safety regulations, there’s not a good business case for increased off-shore drilling. They just want to have that option for the day that they are in direct competition with clean, renewable energy. They want to get every dime possible out of the fossil fuel infrastructure they’ve spent decades creating before it becomes wholly obsolete. Who cares if a few people or some fish die in the process? It’s all about the money, baby.

“Drill, baby, drill” is the ancillary to Trump’s Golden Rule- “Whoever has the gold, makes the rules.” It’s why he put his nefarious minion, Zinke, in charge of the Interior Department. Zinke has flip-flopped on most major environmental issues, but he’s clearly a Trumper today. He has lifted bans on trophy hunting imports, rescinded the ban on bullets that cause lead contamination, and reduced national monuments.

In the spirit of Roy Moore, Zinke rode a horse to his swearing-in. Even better, when he’s not chartering private jets at tax-payer expense, he demands that The Flag of The Secretary of the Interior be flown after a small ceremony whenever he is in the building. I promise, I’m not making this stuff up!

Zinke is hell-bent on destroying our public lands and water-ways to ensure that big business can exploit them any way they see fit. Besides, now that he’s raised the price of admission to most parks, you can’t afford to go there anyway.

His love of the “Drill, baby, drill” mantra isn’t necessarily practical, but it’s brazenly political. Zinke wants big business to know that he’s got their back and that he’s not going to let something like a protected or endangered species get in the way of making a few bucks. I mean, fuck the Greater Sage-Grouse, really!

So,with all of Trump’s focus on eliminating safety regulations, and pesky Greater Sage-Grouses, for Big Oil, what could possibly go wrong?

I’m sure Zinke has the stable, genius answer and will point us to that over-used scripture that he has marked with a Post-It in his Bible about “Man having dominion over the earth” while he’s loading his gun to kill some big game animal to decapitate and put on his office wall.

By the way, that Flag of The Secretary of the Interior better be flying when he comes back to the office with his new trophy, or there’s going to be some serious Hell to pay!

“I cannot recall”: the rapid descent into Trump’s “shithole”

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Clete Wetli, Contributor

When asked about Trump’s mind-numbingly racist and vulgar comments regarding immigration from “shithole” places like Haiti and Africa whilst the “stable genius” pined for more white Norwegians to come to America, repugnant Republican Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue respectively claimed, “I cannot recall”.

Oh, the “selective memory defense” so expertly wielded by intellectual giants like Jefferson Beauregard Sessions and so many others of his ilk as they attempt to defend the indefensible.

Despite confirmation that all the other Senators present in the discussion heard Trump spew this insult, Cotton and Perdue issued a joint statement saying, “We do not recall the president saying those comments specifically but what he did call out was the imbalance in our current immigration system, which does not protect American workers and our national interest.”

They just eagerly jumped into Trump’s “shithole” gleefully joining him in defecating on statesmanship, protocol, and, most importantly, the truth.

Since the “shithole” comments became public, the airwaves have been full of hysterical right-wing pundits trying to justify Trump’s banal vulgarity and feebly denying his clear history of racist remarks. They sound disingenuous, foolish, and weary; for they know that they have sold their character and souls.

In a year’s time, Trump has done the unimaginable. He is single-handedly turning America into a “shithole” by haphazardly destroying critical environmental, financial, and educational regulations. He is widening wealth disparity with his crappy tax policy that overwhelmingly benefits the rich. He has diminished our stature on the world stage and has recklessly promoted violence and international conflict.

Every week it’s a new controversy, a new embarrassment, and a collective gasp as “the bar” plumbs new unfathomable lows. Yeah, right after “shithole-gate”, the latest news is that Trump’s personal lawyer paid out $130,000 in hush money to a porn star so that she wouldn’t go public about her sexual encounters that presumably ended in a Trump hump.

(Don’t feel bad, I got just as queasy as you did.)

There’s no greater joy today in America than sitting down at the kitchen table with your young children having to explain the meaning of “shitholes” and porn stars simply because they came in the room while you happened to be watching the evening news.

It has become simultaneously exhausting and enraging to write about Trump’s efforts to turn America into a “shithole”, while he and his wealthy sycophants find more ways to line their own pockets at the expense of everyone else.  Of course, the Trumpian wealthy are willing partners because they cannot smell the putrid shit from the lofty heights of their gaudy, gilded-towers.

Somehow, he has turned conservatives and Republicans into craven, willing ball-gagged gimps who purposely overlook his abuses, incompetence, misogyny, racism, and pathological selfishness.

Indeed, a year of Trump has been a spectacular shit show and the “shithole” he has created is about to overflow. Democrats will have to strongly unite, find their best shit shovel, and show up to the polls. Republicans, the ones with any decency or dignity left, will have to stand against the monster they created. Otherwise, Trump’s shit will just keep getting deeper and spread even farther.

Things are at a point now where I cannot tolerate Trump supporters. It’s not so much their warped political agenda, but blindly supporting Trump says much about their character, their capacity for cognitive dissonance, and their festering hatred for “others”.

So, Cotton and Perdue claim “they cannot recall” any sort of shit that may have hit the proverbial fan.  They are happy to be on the front lines of Trump’s “shithole” construction project that will rapidly turn America into the land of “haves and have-nots”.

We must remove Trump. He cannot be wished away, or as the saying goes, “wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up quicker.”