damage over time

You want to know what’s crazy? I’ll tell you what’s crazy. I mean, just about everything about Comrade Trump’s presidency is crazy, but THIS is really crazy. Yes, his health care bill is cruel and stupid. Yes, his approach to foreign policy is inconsistent and stupid. Yes, his take on immigration policy and border security is mean-hearted and stupid. Yes, his inability or refusal to understand the issue of climate change is short-sighted and stupid. And yes, his habit of rage-tweeting in the morning is self-defeating and incredibly stupid.

But what’s really crazy is that we get so caught up in Comrade Trump’s incompetence and stupidity that we forget the most important thing — we forget he’s an illegitimate president. We ignore the preponderance of evidence that indicates he was elected primarily because a foreign enemy state interfered with the U.S. election process.

Here are some things we know to be true (and yes, we know these things — this isn’t supposition; this is fact — apologies I didn’t write this list in the Dark Tongue of Mordor).

  1. We know a number of people who were involved in the Trump campaign had close business and political ties with Russia.
  2. We know those people were in frequent, often secret communication with Russians who occupied high political/diplomatic/intelligence positions in the Russian government.
  3. We know Russia intelligence agencies hacked the databases of both Democratic and Republican parties (though deeper and more thoroughly into the Democrats).
  4. We know the Russians sifted through that hacked data to find information that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton and provided it to WikiLeaks.
  5. We know WikiLeaks released that information at timed intervals in order to cause maximum damage to Clinton’s campaign.
  6. We know Russian operatives (and parties paid by Russia) amplified and exaggerated the leaks through the use of social media. We know they created false narratives directed at harming Clinton and her campaign — like the insane Pizzagate fiasco. We also know they deliberately fomented antagonism between Hillary supporters and Bernie supporters, thereby weakening her overall support by Democrats.
  7. We know the same social media disruptors also planted and supported the false narrative that the election was being rigged against Trump.
  8. We know Russian hackers infiltrated voter databases in at least 21 and possibly as many as 39 individual state voting systems. We do NOT know the result of that breach.
  9. We know that since his election, Comrade Trump has been uncommonly cozy with the Russians.

Now that is some crazy shit. And what’s even crazier is that for the most part, we’re just ignoring it. The man who occupies the White House as President only got there through a systematic ratfucking of the election. If that sort of shit happened in a high school election for King and Queen of the Prom, the entire election would have been invalidated. They’d do it over.

And remember this: Russia didn’t go to all that effort because they LIKE Comrade Trump. They did it to destabilize the United States. Hell, they probably never believed we’d actually elect the guy. They just wanted the election process to be fucked up so that regardless of who won the U.S. would be wounded and weakened by the process.

Wounded and weakened. There’s a concept in video gaming called Damage Over Time. In most games involving some form of combat there’s a system that allows the player to defeat a far more powerful opponent. Since you can’t take the opponent down with a single blow, you find a way to gradually erode his health. You shoot him with a magic flaming arrow. The arrow itself does some damage, but it also continues to burn, so that each moment the opponent becomes weaker. You shoot him with a radioactive bullet, you stab him with a poisoned knife, you summon rats that bite and claw and gnaw at his body. The idea is to continuously inflict a relatively small amount of damage to the opponent, so that the damage accumulates independently of any other factors.

That’s what the Russians have done to us. Damage over time. They shot us with a flaming arrow and as we go about our daily lives, we’re still burning. They summoned rats, and those wee bastards haven’t stopped nipping at us. They created a poisoned knife and stabbed us with it; day the wound bleeds a bit more. The poison gradually spreads, and each day we’re just a little bit weaker.

Damage over time. Here’s the thing: the rats won’t kill us. Nor will the burns from the flaming arrow, nor will the poison from the knife, nor will the radioactivity from the bullet. But the combined effect is incapacitating. It cripples us as a society.

Damage over time. This is what we forget. Comrade Trump? He’s not really the monster; he’s the monster’s poisoned knife.

cabinet of nazgûl

There’s a lot of wild speculation about what will happen when Donald J and his Cabinet of Nazgûl take office in January. Which is completely understandable, given that Donald J is following the Bizarro World approach to cabinet appointments. If he can’t find somebody who is actually opposed to the very existence of the agency he or she would be running, Donald J can at least find somebody who is completely unqualified to run it.

You got a Department of Energy? Let’s see if we can find a guy who earned a Bachelors degree in Animal Science! Let’s see if we can find a guy who earned a D in classes like ‘Veterinary Anatomy’, ‘Feeds & Feeding’, ‘Writing for Professional Men’, and ‘Meats’. Let’s get Rick Perry and put him in charge of maintaining the nation’s nuclear arsenal!

Pundits look at the venal greedheads and amateurish bunglers hired by Donald J to help run his government and say how unprecedented it is. But you know what? It’s not unprecedented at all. We’ve actually seen what happens to a government when it’s run by people chosen primarily for their loyalty to the president or to a political ideology rather than for their qualifications.

We saw it in Iraq.

After the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime, the Bush administration needed to create a replacement government. It was a unique opportunity — a chance to build a government from the ground up. The Bush folks created a new entity to handle the reconstruction of Iraq: the Coalition Provisional Authority.

The CPA was given the power to enact laws, to print currency, to collect taxes, to deploy police, and to spend Iraq’s revenue. Did the CPA hire experts in administration? Did they hire prize-winning economists or professional accountants? Did they hire scholars in Middle East studies or sociologists aware of the sensitive cultural and religious issues between the various Iraqi tribes and clans? Did they hire experts in logistics to insure material and supplies would get where they needed to go in a timely fashion? Did they seek out public health experts? Did they look for experienced construction managers?

Fuck no. They hired people who were 1) loyal to George W. Bush and 2) shared an ideology that was grounded in Christian conservatism.

Got that? In a Muslim country needing to be rebuilt after a war, the agency tasked with the rebuilding hired Christian conservatives with no expertise in rebuilding or running anything. Want to reopen the Iraq stock market? Put Jay Hallen in charge — a 24 year-old kid working in real estate with no experience or education in finance. Want to rebuild the nation’s health care system? Hire James K. Haveman, who operated a Christian adoption agency in Michigan that urged pregnant women not to have abortions. Got a US$13 billion budget for reconstruction? There’s 23 year-old Casey Wasson — she had no experience in accounting and had just graduated from an evangelical university for home-schooled children, but she thought George W. Bush was aces, so what the hell, let her help manage it. How hard can it be?

Did these rank amateurs and ideologues fuck things up? Oh lawdy, did they. Iraq is what it is today largely because after we preemptively invaded a nation that turned out not to be a threat to us, we put incompetents in charge of repairing all the damage we caused. Sure, we created a situation that encouraged a civil war to break out, but at least we made sure we weren’t giving the Iraqi people any money for abortions.

Far off yet is his doom, and not by the hand of man will he fall.

Far off yet is his doom, and not by the hand of man will he fall.

Since Donald J’s Cabinet of Nazgûl aren’t starting from scratch, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to fuck things up on an Iraqi scale. But the lesson is there to be learned. We’ve seen how putting ideology and greed above all can produce an epic shitstorm that can last for decades.

I’ve called Donald J’s cabinet the Cabinet of Nazgûl, but in all honesty that’s inaccurate. The Nazgûl were actually competent at their jobs. Sauron sent them out to do a job, and they did it pretty well. The general incompetence of Donald J’s crew can work in our favor. The men and women in his cabinet don’t know what the fuck they’re doing, which means they’ll spend a chunk of time tripping over their own tiny dicks.

It’s our job to resist and obstruct, to help them to trip themselves up. And if they don’t trip themselves, then we have to do the tripping for them. And trip them again as they try to get up. I hate that obstruction has to be a priority, but it’s that or allow things to get fucked up faster.

It’ll be a long four years, but then we can have Michelle Obama or Kirsten Gillibrand to run against Donald J. It’s not necessary for him to lose to a woman, but it would be SO much sweeter that way.


the stink of sanctimony

Ever since the U.S. accidentally shit its collective pants on election day, I’ve been seeing a lot of articles that are basically variations on a theme: longtime Democrats who decided to vote for Trump. At first I thought these articles were interesting. Then they became annoying. Now I’m just sick of seeing them.

Politico published one a couple of days ago. It’s entitled It Was My Primal Scream. And like so many of these articles, there’s a ridiculous subtitle. In this case: A lifelong progressive was so disgusted with her party, she voted for Trump. Will Democrats care enough to win her back? The article is grounded in the experience of one woman, Kim McKinney Cohen. She’s a long-standing Democrat, whose grievances against the Democratic Party pretty much echo my own:

She was incensed in May 2007 when Democrats caved to GOP demands to continue funding the war with no deadline to withdraw troops.

She was mad at Democrats for backing Bush tax cuts and bailing out rich bankers while struggling people lost their homes.

She didn’t like the way Clinton, when her husband first ran for president in 1992 and later, as first lady, handled her adulterous husband’s “bimbo eruptions.”

I could add a few lot more complaints against the Democratic Party and the folks who represent it, but who has time for all that? The point is Ms. Cohen, like a LOT of us, looked at the candidates offered by the Democratic Party — both of them — and came to the same basic conclusion: I’m for this Bernie Sanders guy.

[S]he believed Sanders could repair economic inequality, curb corporate greed and weed out special interests in Washington.

I have to admit, I never really believed Bernie could do all that. I mean, Bernie is a great guy, but he’s not Dick Bong–Ace of Aces (and by the way, if you’ve never read Harlan Ellison’s short story Repent, Harlequin, Said the Ticktockman, do yourself a favor — track it down and read it). The reality is there was simply no possible way Bernie Sanders could do all the things he said he wanted to do. But most of us felt he would try to do them. And that was enough; that in itself was exciting.

When it became clear Bernie wasn’t going to be the candidate, I (reluctantly at first, then enthusiastically) supported Hillary Clinton. This is where Ms. Cohen and I part company.

When Hillary Clinton said dismissively supporters of Donald Trump were “a basket of deplorables,” Cohen had heard enough.

“Well, then,” she sighed, “I guess I’m a deplorable.”

And she voted for Trump. She deliberately, knowingly, willfully filled out a presidential ballot selecting Donald J. Trump to be the President of These United States. She was offended by Hillary’s description of some Trump supporters as ‘deplorable’ so she voted for the guy who said Carly Fiorina was too homely to be president, who mocked a disabled reporter, who insulted the parents of a Muslim serviceman who died in the line of duty. What the fuck was she thinking?

When it came down to it, she was angrier at her own party’s leaders than she was appalled by a man who cozied up to white nationalist and anti-Semitic groups. She wanted to throw it back in the face of her party.

“It was my primal scream,” Cohen says. “I wasn’t gonna take it anymore.”

She didn’t like or trust Hillary, fine. Did she like and trust Trump? I’m guessing not, but she decided to vote Trump because she was angry at the DNC. Okay, we’ve all done stupid things when we were angry, right? Stupid, self-destructive, counter-productive things. And afterwards, we’ve all tried to justify our idiotic behavior. Or, if possible, shift the blame our behavior onto somebody else. Which is exactly what Ms. Cohen does.

Cohen doesn’t regret her radical act of defiance. She feels that by helping take the Democrats to rock bottom, they’ve been ‘given a gift’ to rebuild their party. “I wanted it burned down … so that we could build a new, hopefully more equitable one that meets the needs of all, not only the super-rich.”

A gift. A fucking gift. You see, it’s not her fault Trump got elected. It’s the fault of the Democratic Party for not nominating her preferred candidate. If she can’t have the president she wants, then she’ll vote the worst possible president. That’ll show the Democratic Party. And besides, she’s actually done them a favor, if you think about it. She’s given them a gift — a chance to rebuild the party, to start over after Trump has gutted every less-than-perfect Democratic policy. She’s provided the Democrats with the opportunity to remake their party to her specifications. And if they don’t? Who knows, maybe she’ll vote Trump again.

I loathe the smell of burning self-martyr. Worse, though, is the stink of sanctimony from pillocks who’ll piss in the soup tureen if they think you should have used Tellicherry pepper in the chowder instead of Malabar. That whole “You’re doing it wrong — tear it down and start over, and do it right this time. You’ll thank me for it” thing.

I will most certainly NOT thank you for helping elect Trump because you wanted to punish the Democratic Party for failing to nominate Bernie Sanders. I will curse you for being a self-righteous, self-absorbed fuckwit who would sacrifice the well-being of the tens of thousands of marginalized citizens — people who will suffer real and lasting harm because you indulged yourself in a primal scream. Jeebus Vaseline, you have fucked over a lot of people just to gratify your personal outrage.

And that brings me back to the subtitle of the Politico article:

A lifelong progressive was so disgusted with her party, she voted for Trump. Will Democrats care enough to win her back?

Win her back? No, thank you. There’s already a political party that serves citizens who make rage-based stupid decisions. There’s already a party grounded in temper tantrums. Ms. Cohen chose that party when she voted for Trump. So no, I’ve no desire to see the Democratic Party try to win her back.

Don’t get me wrong. The Democratic Party has consistently disappointed progressives. I don’t like it; it pisses me off. But I understand why it happens. Republicans, for the last twenty years or so, have played to the extreme members of their base  Democrats, on the other hand, have attempted to appeal to a wide swath of the populace. That means progressives rarely get exactly what we want.

And here’s the thing: we shouldn’t get exactly what we want. Nor should mainstream Democrats or conservative Democrats. Nor should Republicans. We should ALL get a bit of what we want. That’s how democracy ought to work.

I want steadfast progressives like Bernie Sanders. I want people who’ll fight hard for progressive policies, and if they don’t get the candidate they want, they’ll fight hard to make the party platform as progressive as possible. I do NOT want progressives who pout and act out of spite.

“I hope I never have to vote for a Republican ever again,” Cohen said.

You didn’t have to vote for one this time. You chose to vote for one. You think the Democratic Party should try to entice you back? Here’s an idea: go piss up a rope.

tip your little hat

Jackanapes (noun) 1 (obsolete) A monkey. 2. (dated, pejorative) a : an impudent or conceited fellow, an absurd fop, b : a saucy or mischievous child.

mid-15c., from ‘Jack of Naples‘, with ‘of Naples’ rendered ‘a Napes‘ in vernacular. Orig., a man who exhibited performing apes; an organ grinder and his tame monkey. Usage note: originally in the singular form: jackanape, Later ref. pertained primarily to the ape. Farmer & Henley say ‘originally, no doubt, a gaudy-suited and performing ape.’

Many people are saying the J. in Donald J. Trump stands for Jackanapes. I don’t know; I’m not saying it, but many people are. Many tremendous people. Maybe it’s the Chinese, or it could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs four hundred pounds, nobody knows. Probably not Russia. But many people are saying it.


A little advice for Mr. Trump. If you hear the music of a hand organ, look around. If you can’t immediately see the monkey at the end of the leash, it’s because you’re the monkey. Hold out the cup and tip your little hat. And don’t forget, Putin the Organ Grinder owns that little hat, and the cup. And the leash.

okay, now what?

Donald J. Trump is the next President of These United States. That’s just a fact. Regardless of how or why he was elected, we have to acknowledge that he was fairly elected. In January he’ll be behind the desk in the Oval Office — and he’ll be there because people voted for him.

Those of us who opposed him must continue to oppose him. But it would be a terrible mistake, I think, to do that in a hateful way. We can be discouraged. Hell, I’m so discouraged I can barely stand to look at the news. Any news, not just about the election. We can feel depressed; depression is a natural reaction to tragedy. But we shouldn’t be hateful. We can be dazed and perplexed and disconcerted by this unimaginable turn of events. But we shouldn’t be hateful. We can be angry — hell, we can be completely fucking furious — but we shouldn’t be hateful.

That’s tough to say, partly because right now hate seems pretty seductive. We’ve just seen hate used effectively as a tool to get votes. We’ve just seen hate and fear rewarded. There’s a part of me right now that wants to be hateful.

But we can’t. We can’t because hate comes from fear, and fear and hate not only lead to racism and sexism and homophobia and xenophobia, it also leads to devaluing people just because we disagree with them. We can’t afford to be hateful, not even to the people who’ve benefited from hate.

So what do we do? First, give in to grief for a while. A short while. Then look around and find somebody who’s hurt, somebody who’s vulnerable, somebody who’s suffering. Listen to them. Really listen to them, and find out what you can do to help. Helping others is a good way to heal yourself. Kindness can’t stop hate by itself, but believing in the value of kindness can inoculate you from the worst effects of hate.

The cat still finds pleasure napping in the sun. So can you.

The cat still finds pleasure napping in the sun. So can you.

Second, live your life the way you want it to be lived. Walk your dog; your dog doesn’t care who the president is. Walk your dog and pick up its shit — because that’s what decent people do. Cook good food — for yourself and for others. Make art and read books and watch movies and listen to music and have a beer with your friends. Laugh. Laugh a lot. Laugh with, not at. But laugh. Laugh and be kind.

Things are going to be ugly for a while, and it’s important — even necessary — to nurture beauty and creativity and kindness, and to spread it around liberally.


Early this morning two local police officers–one from Des Moines and one from the suburb of Urbandale–were murdered. The officers were shot at separate locations a few city blocks apart within about a twenty minute period. Both officers were shot and killed while sitting in their squad cars at intersections.

These were clearly targeted killings — purposeful assassinations. Almost immediately after the news of the murders was released, a lot of people on social media began denouncing certain segments of the population.

Thank you Obama, Hillary, Colin Kaepernick and all the morons who have been denigrating and attacking our law enforcement and dividing our country.

Ambush attacks? Hmmm…the Religion of Pieces? Black Lies Matter?

It wouldn’t surprise me if this goes all the way to POTUS! I’m beginning to think the politicians are profiting from drug trade and that’s the reason why they want to Nationalize the police.

Islamic or BLM attack on our POLICE!!!

The blacks are way out of control, we need to take back our streets regardless of what the media thinks and says.

BlackLivesMAtter and Kapernack…have made it cool to kill cops….with Obama and HIllary and many other DEMOCRATS cheering them on

It wasn’t just the usual ‘Comment Lunatics’ saying this sort of stupid shit. Rudy Giuliani, who was in town laying down manure for Donald Trump, said, “I’m not going to politicize this, but…” and then compared these murders to those police murders fueled by anger over the shooting by police of unarmed black men. Giuliani’s clear inference was that killer was likely to be an angry black guy.

Later this morning, police released a photograph of a suspect wanted in the murders.

Scott Michael Greene

Scott Michael Greene

Well, okay — an angry white guy. This is Scott Michael Greene of Urbandale. Locally, Urbandale is sometimes referred to as ‘Suburbandale’. When the city was incorporated in 1917 it was seen as a ‘streetcar suburb’ of Des Moines. Not much has changed. It’s your basic white, middle class suburb distinguished from Des Moines only by street signs informing you that you’ve entered Urbandale.

DMPD squad car driven by murdered police officer.

DMPD squad car driven by murdered police officer.

Scott Michael Greene has a history of anger issues, conflict with the police, and a general dislike of folks who aren’t white. Oddly enough, the Colin Kaepernick comments made by racist idiots are relevant. Just a couple of weeks ago, it appears Greene attended an Urbandale High School football game. During the playing of the national anthem, a group of African-American students remained seated. Greene apparently went to that section, stood in front of them, and displayed a Confederate Battle Flag.

Somebody allegedly hit him. Somebody else  allegedly took the Confederate flag. Greene was then escorted out of the stadium. Greene made a long, rather pointless video of his chat with Urbandale police officers.

If you haven’t the time or patience to watch the video, it seems Greene felt oppressed because he wasn’t allowed to wave a flag celebrated by racists in front of some black kids whose behavior offended him. Greene said this about the video:

“I was offended by the blacks sitting through our anthem. Thousands more whites fought and died for their freedom. However this is not about the Armed forces, they are cop haters.”

That wasn’t Greene’s first hostile encounter with police officers or black folks. Two years ago he was charged with a misdemeanor count of Interference with Official Acts when he resisted being patted down for weapons by Urbandale police. Two days later, Greene accosted a man in the parking lot of an apartment complex, shone a flashlight in the man’s face, and allegedly called the man ‘nigger’ and threatened him, saying “I will kill you, fucking kill you.” He pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges in those cases.

It’s to be hoped that Greene will soon be arrested without any further violence. However, since he is said to be armed with some version of an AR-15–the Jesus Gun of gun nuts everywhere–anything is possible. (UPDATE: Greene has peacefully surrendered himself to a Department of Natural Resources officer.)

Scott Michael Greene being oppressed.

Scott Michael Greene being oppressed.

Obviously, the only person responsible for these murders is the person who held the weapon, pointed it at police officers sitting in their vehicles, and pulled the trigger. But you’d have to be willfully blind NOT to see connections between this tragedy and recent events.

I’m just guessing here, but I suspect we’ll learn Greene was a Trump supporter. I’m basing that guess on the fact the Greene appears to be pretty much at the center of the Trump demographic: white, racist, angry, aggressive, resentful, confrontational, and armed. I’m also basing this on another ugly fact: Donald Trump’s campaign appearances have contributed bigly to an atmosphere of hostility and violence and hateful speech. His speeches have encouraged otherwise quiet racists and haters to give voice to — and even act on — their hateful world views. (UPDATE: according to a DM Register reporter, this is Scott Greene’s home.)

Scott Michael Greene's home

Scott Michael Greene’s home

Like Giuliani, I want to politicize this without appearing to politicize it. But whether we like it or not, these murders have a socio-political component. The motivation for pulling the trigger might not be overtly political, but assuming Green IS the killer (and it’s critically important to remember that at this point he MUST still be considered innocent) it would be naive not to consider the social climate in which the murders took place.

The almost unbearably sad thing is that whatever directly motivated the shooter to murder the two police officers, their deaths will be subsumed by politics. At a time when the families and friends and co-workers of the officers (as well as the family and friends of Scott Greene) are grieving and suffering, the politics of the moment will transform their tragedies into footnotes.

This is just all so very sad, so very stupid, so very sad, so very stupid, so sad and so stupid and stupidsad.

the comments

Don’t read the comments. You hear that all the time when it comes to online activity. Do NOT read the comments. They’re poison, they’re radioactive, they’re a blight on humanity, they’re so completely malignant that you’ll lose your will to live. Don’t read the comments. Don’t even look in their direction. They’re seductive, the comments, and part you wants to read them. Don’t give in. Resist that temptation. Teach your children. The comments will pollute your soul, they’ll corrupt your heart. If you value your sanity, do not EVER read the fucking comments.

The comments are this generation’s Vietnam — a dark, dangerous jungle. Once you enter, you are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike. There’s no obvious path forward. There’s no clear way out. Visibility is limited, and you’re liable to be attacked at any moment, from any angle, for no apparent reason. You may be innocent when you go in, but you won’t be when you leave. IF you leave. If you don’t get completely sucked into the sunless vortex of comments. Because if there’s one true thing about the comments, it’s this: there’s always another comment waiting for you.

If you tell somebody you’re going to read the comments, this is what they’ll say: Good luck. Good luck? Are you kidding me, good luck? There’s no such thing as good luck in the comments. But people will say it, and they’ll mean it, even though they know it’s hopeless. Let me quote Michael Herr:

…and even though I meant it every time I said it, it was meaningless. It was like telling someone going out in a storm not to get any on him, it was the same as saying, “Gee, I hope you don’t get killed or wounded or see anything that drives you insane.”

Good luck. Never get out of the boat. Don’t read the comments. Sweet Jeebus of the Jungles, do not ever for any reason read the goddamn comments.

You know this. You already know this. You know this as well as you know anything. Do not read the comments. No lea los comentarios. Ne pas lire les commentaires. Inte läsa kommentarerna. Ná léamh na tuairimí. You know this in a dozen languages. Do NOT read the comments.

So why am I pointing out the obvious? This is why:


And this is why:


I’m saying this because Donald J. Trump, his campaign, and his supporters are the living embodiment of the comments.

a simple question from the audience

QUESTION: Knowing that educators assign viewing the presidential debates as students’ homework, do you feel you’re modeling appropriate and positive behavior for today’s youth?

CLINTON: It is very important for us to make clear to our children that our country really is great because we’re good.

TRUMP: I look at all of the things that I see and all of the potential that our country has, we have such tremendous potential, whether it’s in business and trade, where we’re doing so badly.

QUESTION: No, really, the question was about kids. In the course of this campaign, are you guys behaving in a way that will inspire kids?

CLINTON: I’ve spent my entire adult life working for children and mothers, And working families. My campaign slogan is ‘Stronger Together’  I’ll fight every day, from dawn to dusk, to make your lives better.

TRUMP: Okay, there was some locker room talk, but c’mon ISIS is chopping off heads and we have no borders, plus Bill Clinton was worse.

QUESTION: Please, listen to the question. Are you guys behaving in a way that you’d want kids to see? It’s a simple question.

CLINTON: Thank you for the question. I have a thirty-seven page policy paper on my website outlining the details of my child care policies. With footnotes. I want to reach out to every boy and girl, as well as every adult, and be the president of every American, whether they voted for me or not.

TRUMP: We gave, like, billions of dollars to Iran. Iran! A lousy deal. Disastrous. I will destroy ISIS, I can promise you that. I’ll hunt down every one of them and strangle them with a necktie. I make the best neckties. A good value. You could choke a bull with those neckties. The best neckties, believe me. A bull, you could choke, is what people tell me.

QUESTION: Okay, look, the question is really simple. Can you guys get through the next ninety minutes without being total dicks? Just the next ninety minutes.

CLINTON: This is an important question. On my website you can read my fourteen point approach to bullying. I think we can all agree that Donald has engaged in bullying behavior, which in my opinion, renders him unfit to hold the high office of President of the United States. He has insulted Muslims, racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, and, of course, women.

TRUMP: Heads, totally chopped off. Maybe a little bit of flesh still attached, but basically off. ISIS is doing that. We need respect for law and order. And a wall. And I’m not proud that I said some things that men say all the time in locker rooms, other men, not just me and to be honest, let’s face it, this is the real world and it is what it is. I never said I grabbed a woman by the pussy, only that I could if I wanted to because you can do that when you’re a star, and I’m a star, believe me, but I didn’t and never said I did, but I could. Also, we need strong borders. We don’t have borders. There are no borders.


QUESTION: You’re not answering the…listen, if you could just answer the question I asked.

CLINTON: You make a very good point. Listening is very important. I’ve spent my political career listening. Listening carefully. And I hear what people are saying. They’re saying they need to be safe at school, they need affordable health care, they need for the one percent to pay their fair share of taxes. I have incredibly detailed — painfully detailed — policy plans for each of those problems, and if you had fourteen hours to spare, I’d tell you all about them. I love policy.

TRUMP: Why aren’t you asking about her emails, which were…I don’t want to say this, but I think I’m going to say it…yes, I am going to say it…if I’m president I’ll appoint a prosecutor to look into every corner of her life until we find something to put her in prison, which is where she belongs because she said very nasty things about women, women her husband abused and she was very nasty. And her emails, she deleted thousands of them. She should release all those emails she deleted and go to jail for them. She says taxes, I’ll release my taxes, of course I will. Very soon, very soon, when the audit is done, nothing illegal there, that you can believe, I know more about taxes than the generals.

QUESTION: I…what the…what? I don’t…could you just…why…?

CLINTON: Aphasia, yes I understand. Aphasia is a fairly common medical condition. My plan to improve Obamacare — and specifically the sections dealing with men and women suffering from aphasia — is outlined in mind-numbing detail on my website. Donald wants to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a plan that allows insurance companies to exclude aphasia-sufferers.

TRUMP: Not true. Not true. We have plans. The best plans. Such good plans. Plans that will bigly improve life for people who have like that thing you’re talking about. Aphids. And we’ll get the Chinese to pay for it by making better deals. Obama’s deals are a disaster. A disaster. Trade deals, so bad. And the deficit. I can kill everybody in ISIS with a necktie.


CLINTON: Can I get you a glass of water? I got water for union workers supporting Doctor Martin Luther King in 1967. It was an experience that shaped my life and I’ve been getting water for people ever since. I’m proud to have fetched water for working men and women, especially those in coal country, who’ll have to be retrained for jobs in renewable energy fields. See my website for the plan.

TRUMP: A necktie, believe me. But yes, I apologize if anybody was offended by my totally innocent locker room talk. Men talk like that, though. African Americans live in inner city hellholes, but I can bring them jobs. Good jobs. Making neckties, maybe. Something. Why didn’t Hillary do that when she was a senator? She talked, but it was just words. No neckties. None. Disaster.


QUESTION: Can you maybe just say ONE nice thing about the other?

CLINTON: Donald’s children are okay, considering they’re basically feral greedheads who trophy hunt endangered species. On my website I have a thirty-two point policy for halting trophy hunting and its tragic consequences for species diversity.

TRUMP: Hillary never quits. She just won’t shut up.

QUESTION: Just kill me now.

CLINTON: End of life care is very important to me. I have a policy, you can see it on my website.

TRUMP: I have a necktie. Let me just…I’ll loan it to one of my boys, they’re terrific boys, so proud of them. It’s a Trump necktie, silk, made in Thailand. Terrific necktie, the best.