When There’s No Middle Ground

twentytwentynews, middle ground

Clete Wetli, Contributor

The midterm post-mortems and finger-pointings have already commenced, and Alabama Democrats are bewildered, frustrated, and apoplectic. A red tsunami of straight ticket voting overwhelmed any wishful hope of a blue wave. Yet, Alabama Democrats keep making the same mistake they’ve made since Republicans stormed the statehouse and scorched the earth behind them. Alabama Democrats keep believing that there’s a philosophical or political middle ground and it simply doesn’t exist.

The Republicans know this and it’s why they’ve adopted the bullying and deceitful practices of Trump. They’ve figured out how to keep their base gorged on red meat and how to game the system to their own advantage through gerrymandering, voter suppression, and incendiary, deliberately misleading propaganda. This last election wasn’t about issues, it was about Republicans vilifying and demonizing their opposition. All who opposed them were labeled as ‘socialists’ or ‘un-American’ or a pejorative ‘other’.

They have deliberately eradicated the middle ground because it’s easier to maintain power by systematically dehumanizing the opposition. Sadly, Democrats keep trying to intellectualize and negotiate and compromise with an opposition that doesn’t respect them and seeks their complete political annihilation. While Alabama Republicans are thinking six moves ahead, Democrats remain stunned and paralyzed.

If Alabama Democrats are going to rise from the ashes of irrelevance, they need to remove their failed state party leadership and they need to do it immediately. They need a compelling, populist message that embraces their liberal ideals. It’s time to embrace the party platform and quit pretending there’s a lukewarm middle ground on issues like taxation, healthcare, gun control, and infrastructure. If you’re going to call yourself a Democrat, act like one and fight like one.

Democrats have allowed the conservative propaganda machine to go unchallenged. In a state where liberal media is non-existent, it’s the height of irony to hear conservative talk radio and television hosts decry fake news and liberal bias daily. Yet, Democrats won’t buy air time and they allow the conservative echo chamber to metastasize. While conservative Republicans saturate the airwaves with their messaging year-round, Democrats seem to give it a half-hearted try every two years and then act perplexed when it doesn’t resonate immediately.

Alabama Democrats had great candidates this past election cycle in spite of a dysfunctional state party that seemed to hinder more than help. So, it’s time to get back to work right now and not wait another year to clean house. It’s time to realize that in this hyper-partisan environment, there’s no middle ground and no one believes that “moderate” is a winning strategy. There is no excuse for not fielding viable candidates to challenge Republicans in every race. There is no excuse for allowing Worley and Reed to remain in their positions for another moment. There is no excuse for poor messaging or for failing to get the message out.

Alabama Democrats face certain extinction if they don’t change strategy and tactics. They must come to understand that the Republicans have ceded no middle ground and that it’s delusional to pretend any exists. Alabama Democrats desperately needs leadership with vision and a plan. They need to call an emergency meeting to show Worley and Reed the door and give people a reason to get involved. It starts with taking a bold stand and demanding immediate action. There’s no time to lick wounds or point fingers. There’s no room in the party for people that won’t get behind the platform or readily embrace its ideals.

Forget about that fictional blue dog. Not only will that dog not hunt, it ran away a long time ago and it’s not coming back.

Mo silence, Mo bullsh*t

mo brooks, twentytwentynews

Franklin, Contributor

With all of the bizarre shenanigans coming from the White House these days, you’d expect that your congressman might have an opinion or two on tariffs or Putin or he might possibly be trying to figure out how to get healthcare for the people in his district that don’t have it.  In North Alabama, all we get is Mo silence or Mo bullshit.

Recently, the dysfunctional incumbent who is too impotent to actively represent his district, Mo Brooks, discovered that he was getting his ass kicked in this last quarter of fundraising by a 2-1 margin. So, Mo decided to issue the following statement about his opponent, Peter Joffrion, saying, “We have all the money we need right now to make sure voters know that Peter Joffrion is from the radical left-wing of the Democratic Party.”

Well, if that ain’t Mo bullshit, I don’t know what is. (At least Mo’s flunky intern who wrote that bullshit didn’t pull out the cliché of calling it the “Democrat Party”, but rest assured that there are Mo cliché’s coming).

Anyone who has spent more than thirty seconds with Peter Joffrion knows without a doubt that he’s not “radically left.” This Mo bullshit response is a clear indicator that Mo has no effective argument against the fact that Peter Joffrion is gaining traction in the Fifth Congressional District because he is a leader who listens to his constituents and offers workable solutions. Mo, on the other hand, is too busy trying to convince his base that hordes of South American immigrants are desperate to relocate to, uh, Scottsboro or trying to convince us to enlist in Space Farce so that we can start new interplanetary wars over mining Uranus. Yep, Mo bullshit.

Of course, Mo silence ain’t that much better. Brooks resorts to that often when it becomes obvious that his legislative ideas are about as effective as a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest or nailing Jell-O to a tree. Mo also likes to run away. Especially if he thinks some radical left wingers are gonna show up at a town hall and he’ll have to answer a real question or two. Mo questions, Mo flees. It’s Mo than we should be forced to put up with when all we get is Mo and Mo incompetence.

It’s just Mo of the same old, same Mo.

Look, this election truly matters because we can’t afford Mo bullshit or Mo silence. We need leadership and we need someone that will stand up for North Alabama. We need Peter Joffrion because he will represent North Alabama honestly and fight for the things we care about. We don’t need Mo grandstanding or Mo embarrassment. The last thing we need is Mo problems or Mo rhetoric.

So, let’s help Mo retire. He’s had a long, albeit ineffectual, run and his tired doublespeak isn’t doing much of squat to help the people of North Alabama. Either Mo’s voting no or he’s hiding from his constituents or he’s saying some embarrassing shit you’d expect to come from the lips of an angry adolescent. Yeah, Mo likes to vote no a lot because he thinks it makes him look like he has principles. Unfortunately, as part of the Freedom Caucus cult, all it means is that he’s mastered the art of throwing a monkey wrench into the gears of effective government. Mo gridlock, Mo kickin’ the can.

Even in Congress, Mo is about as appreciated and revered as a turd in a punchbowl or being stuck in an elevator with Ted Cruz without air conditioning in August.

It’s time to for bold leadership, it’s time to elect Peter Joffrion. We’ve had Mo silence and Mo bullshit than we can stand.

Why did Mo Brooks Vote against the Opioid Bill?

Clete Wetli is a liberal political activist living in Huntsville and a regular contributor to AL.com. Email Clete at decaturclete@gmail.com or visit cletewetli.com.

In a rare and stunning display of bipartisanship, Congress voted 396-14 to pass a package of bills (SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act) that would expand substance abuse treatment and law enforcement efforts to help stop the opioid epidemic that’s killing 150 Americans a day. As usual, Rep. Mo Brooks put his extremist brand of Tea Party politics over the interests of his constituents and voted against sensible legislation that would save lives in North Alabama.

It seems Brooks was more interested in spending tax payer dollars on an unnecessary ‘Space Force’ rather than doing something about the drug crisis that’s ravaging his district. Or, he’s been trying to figure out a way to explain why he voted for Trump’s tax scam that’s making our debt and deficit explode. I guess he feels like spending taxpayer money on space cadets is more important than helping people get the treatment they need but can’t afford.

Not known for his innovative solutions, Brooks probably thinks War on Drugs tactics will solve the problem. Things like expensive mass incarceration, mandatory minimums, and “just say no”. Well, we all know those approaches didn’t do much to curb the availability of drugs on our streets and simply made the problem worse.

All of this is hardly surprising given Brooks’ bizarre notions about healthcare. To Brooks, healthcare is a privilege that should only be affordable to “people who lead good lives” and folks with pre-existing conditions should just suffer by paying much higher rates. Maybe, he feels that people who were over-prescribed painkillers by doctors getting kickbacks ought to just suffer, as well. Maybe, he thinks that folks with genuine chronic pain issues or terminal illness ought to just suck it up and try to cope without medication if there’s a chance they may become addicted. According to Brooks, they should just work harder at leading “good lives.”

In Brooks’ home county of Madison, someone overdoses every six days. Yet, Brooks doesn’t think it merits a legislative response and he probably bemoans the idea of tax dollars being spent on substance abuse treatment. His base loves the more expensive and less effective option of mass incarceration, because it allows them to stigmatize people dealing with addiction. Although ineffectual, it makes conservative politicians appear tough.

In North Alabama, everyone knows someone who’s been adversely affected by the opioid crisis. Doing something immediately about it should be a top priority for every member of Congress. Instead, Brooks has been trying to figure out how falling rocks raise sea levels and how to justify the need for space soldiers. Yeah, we’ve all been worried about those Tang-drinking scientists going to war with each other on the International Space Station.

The problem is that Brooks takes every opportunity to paint government as an inefficient and incapable entity that simply devours money. He, like President Trump, fails to realize the magnitude of this crisis and the need to ensure that people who need treatment can get it. In this situation, government has an obligation to help and the right legislation will pave the way for necessary funding that will save and transform lives. Brooks’ ‘no’ vote on this legislation shows the people of North Alabama exactly what his priorities are. They certainly aren’t with North Alabama communities battling the opioid crisis.

The problem with extremists like Brooks is that they always put their narrow ideology over the practical needs of the people they were elected to represent. It’s bad enough that he ignores climate change and increased the deficit, now Brooks voted against helping people get the care they need. Once again, Brooks failed North Alabama.

The Attack of the Cohen-Heads!

twentytwentynews, michael, cohen

Franklin, Contributor

Disclaimer: This story was originally put in the “Catch-and-Kill” bin, but after possibly declining several offers of obscene amounts of money to bury it like a gnawed bone in the backyard, it was quietly moved to the “Catch-and-Release” bin. (Please refer to paragraph 17, section C of your non-disclosure agreement for more details.) Or, we just made this shit up to point out how surreal it is that people eagerly read tabloids for their unparalleled journalistic excellence regarding celebrity alien abductions and “SHOCKING REVELATIONS!” and that tabloids can easily afford to pay out millions for salacious gossip.

Please note that this story is written by a hipster, questionably sober, Yorkie Canine-American with poor typing skills and acute attention deficit disorder when in the presence of squirrels, but everything else is undeniably and completely true, unless it is not, or if there is pending litigation.

Provided that the Era of Trump miraculously doesn’t end in some apocalyptic nuclear winter, historians will remain perplexed when they try to understand the unwavering, cult-like support of The Orange One’s followers. Trump was, indeed, prescient when he declared he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose his base. In fact, the leader of Trump’s fan club, Michael Cohen, expressed his passionate love of the Mango Mussolini by saying he would take a bullet for The Don. The media has labeled Cohen as Trump’s personal attorney and “fixer”, but it seems more likely that Cohen is the cartoonish embodiment of a mafia henchman in its’ most hackneyed and clichéd portrayal. His defenders should be called “Cohen-heads” because Trump has violently grabbed them “by the base of their snarglies!”

Perhaps, they are not human after all…

While America consumes mass quantities in deep regret over electing a moron con-man for president, they realize that this is just the beginning of “The Attack of the Cohen-heads!” The Cohen-heads are generally a Machiavellian species devoid of morality and ethics with the singular purpose of amassing wealth, the tacky trappings of luxury, and high social status. They are related to another alien life-form, although of much lower social class, called Trumpsters who worship the Orange One and have an innate, uncanny ability to rationalize and legitimize the most disgusting and outrageous behavior of their tweeting, golfing, incoherent god. Trumpsters and Cohen-heads have infiltrated America posing as normal humans, but they can be detected by examining their right-wing conspiracy-laden social media rants, their obsession with incarcerating Hillary Clinton, and their inexplicable love of artificial tanning while eating Filet-O-Fish sandwiches.

The Cohen-heads and Trumpsters share a mean-spirited worldview and pursue their political agenda like famished locusts that leave nothing in their wake but destruction and famine. Their obvious hypocrisy and inability to tell the truth is baffling to the humans who interact with them. The appear outwardly like others in the community, but in truth, they’re an ideological leech that feeds off its host body, directing their skin-suit to tweet with the hive-mind of Fox and The Orange One to receive their next instructions for global dominion. They seek to colonize the Earth and use misinformation and mass media as weapons of war. They may also be using long red ties held together with tape, we’ve heard.

Now, I know you think that this is a wild conspiracy theory, but it is obvious that The Orange One is not human. His skin tone is clearly alien and his diet consists of eating mostly artificial substances. His weak grasp of language is also a major clue that he is simply not from here. The Cohen-heads, also clearly aliens, aligned with the Trumpsters to ensure that they amass wealth, which they may be sending back to their gilded, intergalactic mothership, “The Covfefe.”

Clearly, there is no other explanation as to how Trump got elected or how he continues to have an approval rating in the double digits. It defies all reason and it must be some sort of alien plot for harvesting the planet. Any sort of rational justification for the existence of Michael Cohen has been debunked and he remains categorized as an extraterrestrial parasite.

There are two choices for Americans as they suffer the Attack of The Cohen-heads, you can put your tin-foil MAGA hat back on and pretend everything is normal until you notice your skin slowly turning orange, or you can join The Resistance, learn the truth, and vote.

Don’t believe the Cohen-head who said, “When my people come to colonize this planet, you will be on the protected rolls, and no harm will come to you.” To them, you are nothing more than mammal flesh waiting to be charred in a flame pit while they consume mass quantities.

Members of The Resistance have little choice but to “Narftle the Garthok!”. If you’re human and reading this, you know exactly what I mean…

Another day, Another Shitastrophe

trump, shitstorm

Franklin, Contributor

As I ponder the onslaught of political gaslighting, I’ve come to relish the memory of a gentler time when our biggest scandal was the president sporting a tan suit. Between porn stars, money laundering schemes, clandestine meetings with Russians, and living large on the taxpayer’s dime, the Trump administration can only be described as a “shitastrophe”. It began as a notably large shit show and rapidly morphed into a category 5 shitastrophe. For the linguistically curious, that’s synonymous with “clusterfuck”, but several degrees worse because it was a wholly preventable condition and one that could be eradicated immediately if Congressional conservatives would simply open their eyes.

We all understand the importance of rallying behind your party’s surprise leader, even if he is a vulgar, mean-spirited, philandering, pathologically lying ignoramus. We get the part about passing an agenda and tolerating “eccentricities”. We even get the part about how he deserves a little slack for being inexperienced in politics and governing. However, conservatives have urinated on their collective moral conscience, and traded basic accountability for idol worship, in their self-loathing, cult-like worship of Trump.

The Democrats can continue to illuminate the obvious unethical and illegal machinations of Trump and his confederacy of self-promoting shysters, but until Republicans come to some minute degree of existential epiphany, they remain happy to look the other way and recruit more delusional apologists. Every day is another day of shitastrophe that they pretend is justified, excusable, and unremarkably normal. It’s like watching a fire-breathing, live-grenade juggling chihuahua unicycling through a warehouse full of fireworks while shouting, “Nothing to see here!” in perfectly pronounced Klingon.

We are witnesses to a mob-like criminal enterprise destroying government agencies and constitutional norms for their own profit and self-aggrandizement. We are subject to an unrelenting diatribe of lies and told that the facts are contextually pliable and inherently unreliable. We are asked to make our own morality into an irrelevant emoji as an apologetic means to excuse the blatant bad behavior of our leader, who refers to all of his actions and promises in absurd, delusional superlatives.

So, now the Department of Homeland Security will track journalists and “media-influencers” to keep us safe from having to hear any criticism of America, or its Shit-Gibbon-in-Chief. Just another shovel of excrement to ensure the longevity of the shitastrophe. As if the trade war, the dismantling of environmental safety regulations, and the daily revelations of scandal just wasn’t enough corrosive crap?

As the abomination of Trump’s shitastrophe spreads, we must recognize that the only way to win this war of minds and hearts is to strenuously exercise the First Amendment. This is more than a resistance of memes, more than well-organized protest marches with creatively snarky home-made signs. This is about finding new and creative means to get galvanizing messages to the mainstream and learning innovative ways to craft narratives that inspire and unite.

Like many, I begrudgingly gave Trump a chance in the hope that the weight of presidential responsibility would temper his juvenile urges and narcissistically-driven penchant for chaos. Trump not only failed, but showed that his worst is a looming evil promise. We cannot afford a second term of Trump. We cannot be apathetic as he uses his first term to further divide us. Underestimating him would be devastating and stunningly foolish.

As I write this, Trump is sending National Guard troops to the southern border to stop an imaginary threat and to give his angry base more fuel for their racist fires. As I write this, his ex-campaign manager, Manafort, is facing hundreds of years in prison and trying to craft benign explanations for all his nefarious Russian entanglements. As I write this, the porn star Stormy Daniels, is litigating her hush money contract with Trump and his greasy attorney, Cohen. As I write this, I wonder what thing he will next deface or what vital institution he will cripple. I cringe as he smears excrement on the public trust. As I write this, I count the days until we vote again and pray we have someone to vote for, instead of against. I miss Obama in his tan suit.

Another day, another shitastrophe in the era of Trump.

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.

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!

“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.”