Have you ever had a concussion?

Yesterday I dragged myself to a Donald Trump rally. It was a lot like being concussed. We’re talking about confusion, difficulty remembering, impaired concentration, weariness, headache, lack of motivation, bouts of nausea. Listening to Donald Trump speak is a lot like getting clocked in the noggin with a ball peen hammer.

First off, Trump’s speech — well, it wasn’t really a speech. Not in any traditional sense. Gov. Mike Pence, who introduced Trump (and whose hair, by the way, is so blindingly white that you can only directly look at it through a welder’s mask), gave a speech. A traditional speech with rhythm and applause lines and an internal structure leading to a conclusion. The content of his speech was bullshit, but it was recognizable as an actual speech and it was well-delivered.

I didn't see anybody use the ADA entrance; I'm not sure Trump supporters are familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

I didn’t see anybody use the ADA entrance; I’m not sure Trump supporters are familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Trump, on the other hand, spoke almost entirely in muddled sentence fragments. He had notes which he’d occasionally consult, after which he’d say…stuff. I got the sense the notes held talking points arranged in some sort of order, and a few quotations he wanted to read to the crowd, but mostly he just said…stuff. Much of what he said was stuff he’d said before. I don’t mean stuff he’d said in earlier events (although he did that too); I mean stuff he’d said moments before. He’d say stuff, then say it again in a slightly different order or with a slightly different inflection. Like this: “France isn’t France anymore. It’s not France. It’s not. It’s not France. It’s not France anymore. Many people agree, it’s not. It used be France. Not anymore.” He said that. Maybe not exactly that (it’s hard to recall on account of that whole ‘concussion’ business), but something very much like that.

Here’s the weird thing — well, one of the weird things: I think France isn’t France actually had meaning for him. I have no idea what that meaning was, but he clearly thought he’d made a point. France, to him, was somehow NOT France. Don’t ask me to explain.

Waiting for Trump to arrive.

Waiting for Trump to arrive.

Sometimes he’d say stuff he’d said before, then he’d explain how other folks heard and misinterpreted what he’d said. So he’d say it again. He told the story about the crying baby at an earlier rally. He talked about the baby, what the baby was doing, why he loves babies, about how loud the baby was, the baby was like Pavarotti, he wanted to find the baby and hire somebody to give it opera lessons, it was a loud baby, babies are things he loves, but c’mon. Then he talked about how the media reported the Crying Baby Incident, how he was unfairly accused of throwing the baby out of the rally. He spoke about how corrupt the news media is and how wrong they are about him throwing babies. Trump said (again, maybe not the actual words) “I don’t throw babies. I love babies. I don’t throw babies.”

With that I thought he was done with the CBI, but no. He then talked about talking about the Crying Baby Incident with a local newscaster, saying he’d given that newscaster a three-minute explanation of the CBI, explaining in detail what happened with the baby (who by the way, was very loud and Trump was trying to give a speech after all), but did any of his three-minute explanation get broadcast to the public? No. Unfair. Sad.

Seriously, I am NOT making this up; Donald Trump, speaking to voters, did maybe eight minutes on the CBI. The crowd looked pretty dazed and confused. They’d come to cheer and chant slogans. “Lock her up!” “Build the wall!” But Trump wasn’t giving them anything to chant. Not even a crowd of Trump supporters is going to chant “Throw that baby out!”

This is the guy I followed to find the Trump rally.

This is the guy I followed to find the Trump rally.

Trump apparently sensed their confusion, so he dropped the CBI and gave the crowd what they wanted. Hillary and terrorism. Not just Hillary, and not just terrorism — Hillary AND terrorism :

“I can tell you this. If Hillary Clinton becomes president, you will have, you will have terrorism. You will have problems. You will have really, in my opinion, the destruction of this country from within. Just remember that. Just remember I said it. The destruction of our country from within.”

The crowd ate that up with a spoon. These people hate Hillary Clinton. There were folks in the crowd wearing t-shirts with Hillary Sucks, but Not Like Monica on the front and Trump That Bitch on the back. Think about that — people actually wore shirts like that to a rally for a guy who says he wants to be President of These United States. On a couple of occasions somebody in the crowd shouted “Hang the bitch.” They openly referred to his political opponent as a bitch. And nobody was outraged. And why would they be? I mean, when their chosen candidate himself tells them she’s out to destroy our country, why would they be offended by somebody calling her a bitch? That line about destroying our country got cheers and applause, and cheers and applause are heroin to Trump. So he continued:

“She’s really pretty close to unhinged, and you’ve seen it a couple of times, but the people in the background know it. The people that know her know it, and she’s like an unbalanced person.”

She’s unhinged, unbalanced, a bitch. That gave the crowd a reason to chant. That’s what they really seemed to want from Trump’s ‘speech’ — a reason to chant. “Build the Wall!” “USA! USA!” But clearly, their favorite chant was “Lock her up!” The other chants were sort of perfunctory, but they really got into “Lock her up.” They’d been waiting for the opportunity to chant “Lock her up” and damn it, they were going to chant the hell out of it.

Trump supporters seemed baffled by Black Lives Matter protesters.

Trump supporters seemed baffled by Black Lives Matter protesters.

By that point I was deep into ball peen to the forehead territory. I was emotionally concussed. So I stumbled out of the hall and spent a few semi-hallucinatory minutes watching Trump supporters try to figure out the best way to offend a small group of Black Lives Matter protesters. A few tried chanting “White Lives Matter” but it didn’t really take.

Giant fishing bobber and Pokestop

Giant fishing bobber and Pokestop (pagoda in the background)

I wandered down by the river where an Asian family with young kids were hunting Pokemon beside a statue of a giant fishing bobber.

I caught a Jynx. It was that sort of afternoon.

booing and heckling and slouching toward bethlehem

Okay, let’s talk about Bernie Sanders supporters booing the speakers at the Democratic National Convention. Let’s talk about them booing and heckling Elijah Cummings and Cory Booker, let’s talk about them booing and heckling Elizabeth Warren, and booing every time Hillary Clinton’s name was spoken. Let’s talk about them booing and heckling Bernie Sanders himself.

I’m okay with it.


The booing and heckling, I mean. I don’t like it, mind you. It’s rude and it’s childish and it doesn’t accomplish anything other than making the hecklers feel better. But basically, I’m okay with it. These folks are angry and disappointed and frustrated; they’ve invested a lot of themselves into Bernie’s campaign. They were promised a revolution; they just didn’t understand that nonviolent revolutions sometimes take longer.

Bernie never promised them a victory; he only promised to help create a revolutionary movement. He fulfilled that promise. A lot of the hecklers appear to have believed that the sheer intensity of their belief in Bernie merited some sort of reward — that because they loved Bernie more than Hillary’s supporters loved her, they should get electoral extra credit for it. They seem to have felt that Bernie owed them a victory. And they feel they’ve been misled and cheated.

bernie protesters

I don’t think they have been misled; I don’t believe they’ve been cheated. But I also feel they really DO deserve some sort of reward for their passion and hard work. Let them vent their frustration. It’s not much of a reward, to be sure. But I’m inclined to think they’ve earned the right to be a bit unruly.

At the heel of the hunt, however, it’s critically important to come together and defeat Donald Trump. I think almost everybody understands that. There will undoubtedly be some Bernie supporters who write Bernie’s name on the ballot in protest, and some who’ll vote for Jill Stein instead — but I hope those numbers will be few. Because, in the words of my boy Billy Butler Yeats, we know “what rough beast, its hour come round at last / Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born”.

It’s Trump.

torching the orchestra pit

So how long will it be before Donald Trump hires Roger Ailes as a media consultant?

The timing is perfect. Last night Trump, the beefy bully former reality television star, really, truly, totally not making this up, became the Republican nominee for President of These United States. And yesterday Roger Ailes, the beefy bully who turned FoxNews into a Republican propaganda machine, was forced out of his job as Chairman and CEO of Fox News — the media outlet that buttressed the illusion that Trump was somebody who should be taken seriously as a political thinker.

It may not happen, of course. but Trump/Ailes seems a natural pairing. This would truly be a match made in Hell. Not the nicer part of Hell, with the little shops and cozy restaurants, but the other-side-of-the-tracks part of Hell, where decent demons and fiends are reluctant to visit after dark.

Roger Ailes

Roger Ailes

Back in 1988, when he was still working overtly as a Republican political consultant, Ailes was interviewed by Judy Woodroof. Ailes had just helped put George H.W. Bush in the White House, and he described his approach to political media consulting.

Roger Ailes: Let’s face it, there are three things that the media are interested in: pictures, mistakes and attacks. That’s the one sure way of getting coverage. You try to avoid as many mistakes as you can. You try to give them as many pictures as you can. And if you need coverage, you attack, and you will get coverage.

It’s my orchestra pit theory of politics. You have two guys on stage and one guy says, “I have a solution to the Middle East problem,” and the other guy falls in the orchestra pit, who do you think is going to be on the evening news.

One thing you don’t want to do is get your head up too far on some new vision for America because then the next thing that happens is the media runs over to the Republican side and says, “Tell me why you think this is an idiotic idea.”

Judy Woodruff: So you’re saying the notion of the candidate saying, “I want to run for President because I want to do something for this country,” is crazy.

Roger Ailes: Suicide.

Trump is almost a perfect orchestra pit candidate. He equally divides his time between stumbling into the orchestra pit and attacking his opponents. Wait, that’s not entirely correct. Trump doesn’t necessarily stumble into the orchestra pit; sometimes he hurls himself head first into the pit. And then sets it on fire.

The four days of the Republican National Convention proved that. Let’s face it, the convention was one orchestra pit moment after another. It looked like it was staged by somebody with a severe synaptic disorder. It was chaos piled onto a heaping mass of confusion with a side helping of disorder, served up with a large glass of pandemonium.

Trump needs Ailes.

Back in May I said I wasn’t worried about Trump getting elected as president. My opinion hasn’t changed much. The flaws and weaknesses of the Trump campaign haven’t changed. But if anybody can put a glossy shine on the Trump turd of a campaign, it’s Roger Ailes.

'I humbly and gratefully accept your nomination."

‘I humbly and gratefully accept your nomination.”

Of course, Ailes has been forced out of Fox because of a sexual harassment scandal, so Trump might be reluctant to hire him as a…oh c’mon, you didn’t really think I was being serious with that line, did you? Trump would snatch up Ailes like a dog eating its own vomit. And his supporters would see that as Trump standing up against the Tyranny of Political Correctness.

Maybe it won’t happen. I hope it doesn’t happen. Because with Ailes, the Trump campaign could actually take form. It’s not that Ailes would plant pretty flowers around the borders of the Trump landfill; that’s not Ailes’ style. The risk is that Ailes might convince some folks that the stench of the landfill is the smell of freedom and success.


yeah, there IS a goddamn difference

I keep hearing comments like this:

“There’s no difference between Trump and Clinton. Both major political parties are corrupt. The only way to force change is to vote for a third party. The only way to express my disgust with the current political system is to vote for a third party. The lesser of two evils is still evil. To think there’s a choice between Trump and Clinton is an illusion; they’re both the same.”

You know what this is? Twaddle. It’s nonsense; senseless; silly bullshit. And I’m hearing this twaddle multiple times a day. I’m mostly hearing it from former Bernie supporters who now believe Bernie is a traitor for doing what he always said he’d do — support the Democratic nominee.

I’d intended to write a thoughtful, well-researched analysis detailing exactly why those sorts of comments are twaddle. Hell, I was even prepared to discuss the etymology of twaddle. But bugger all that. I just want to rant, because there’s some bullshit that just doesn’t deserve a serious discussion.

"Trump ou Clinton, Je choisis ni l'un!"

“Trump ou Clinton, je choisis ni l’un!”

No difference between Trump and Clinton? Are you fucking kidding me? That’s not just stupid, it’s stupid at a cellular level. It’s metabolically stupid. Seriously, if you believe this your cytoplasm must have been replaced with stupidplasm. Jeebus fucking Tinkertoy, just consider that one of them actually wants to construct a physical wall across the border with Mexico. That’s medieval thinking — and not in a good way. If you tell me there’s no difference between Clinton and Trump, then I have to assume you’re either lying or you’re a fucking nitwit (which is like 50% as stupid as a total fuckwit). There are flatworms that can distinguish between Trump and Clinton.

And no, voting for a third fucking party is NOT the only way to change the political system. It’s not even a viable way of changing the political system. The fuckwits who make this claim are almost always electoral locusts — they show up every four years to piss away their vote, then bury themselves in the earth until the next presidential election, during which they complain loudly and insistently about how their vote doesn’t count.

You want your vote to count? Vote in local elections. Vote in County and State elections. Elect your third-party candidates to the School Board, or the Board of Supervisors, or any sort of local elected office where shit actually gets done. Get your third-party candidates into your State legislature. It’s not as sexy as a presidential race, sure. But if you really want change, you do that — and you do it in towns and counties and Statehouses across the U.S. That’s how you begin to build a political base. Then you nurture the shit out of those candidates you get elected. Support them with a small donation of time and/or money. Nurture it, and your third-party will grow.

Even those shit-for-brains Tea Party asshats were smart enough to do that — which is why there are states that keep passing stupid laws against the teaching of evolution. If you allow your County and State to elect people who believe idiotic shit like the Bill of Rights is based on the fucking Bible because you think only presidential elections are worth your time and effort, then fuck you and the “no difference between Trump and Clinton’ horse you rode in on. You’ve got the government you deserve.

You support a woman’s reproductive freedom? You want to implement effective gun safety legislation? You want to see more bike paths and more art funding and renewable energy sources and an end to fracking? You’re not going to get any of that shit by voting for GaryJohnson or Jill Stein. Because they’re NOT GOING TO GET ELECTED. You get that shit by voting for progressives at the State and County level. That’s where the laws that shape the lives of regular folks get written.

You want to see real change? Then grunting isn’t enough. You want real change, you have to do the actual grunt work.


two stupid things & a smart thing

Sweet Jeebus of Cold Brew, people, I declare. There are two (2) stupid things — no, not just stupid things, but things possessing a quality of stupid that’s actually sufficient to lower room temperature — Bernie supporters keep saying. They are as follows:

  • Stupid Thing One: it ain’t over.
  • Stupid Thing Two: Senator Elizabeth Warren is a traitor.

First, it’s over. Hillary won, Bernie lost, and as painful as it may be to accept, it’s the reality. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s technically not over until the convention officially nominates Hillary — but unless a fucking meteor plummets out of the sky and vaporizes her, she’s the nominee. And that business about ‘but wait, they’re still counting ballots in California’ is moot (moot — adj. A discussion of a hypothetical case as a form of academic exercise). It’s time to call in the dogs and piss on the fire. The hunt’s over.

Second, here’s what some Bernie supporters have been saying about Elizabeth Warren on her Facebook page. She’s “a traitor for supporting Hildamort.” A “sellout for endorsing Shrillary.” A “trained monkey” and a “prostitute for Killary” as well as “a disgusting person” who is supporting “an inauthentic millionaire war criminal.” She’s “a scumbag” who “betrayed Bernie” and “stabbed him in the back.” She’s “a modern day Judas” and “a snake” who’s undergone “some MK Ultra treatment” that turned her into a “puppet for Hellary.”

Elizabeth Warren

Okay, I like that MK Ultra bit. Nice touch. But seriously, what the hell happened to you people? Elizabeth Warren is a treasure. She’s the best thing that’s happened to the Democratic party in recent memory. The difference between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders is…well, I’ll come back to that in a bit.

This ridiculous Warren-bashing is the sort of frenzied, agitated bullshit that caused me to stop supporting Bernie’s campaign. Note that I didn’t say I’d stopped supporting Bernie — just his campaign, which turned paranoid and irrationally outraged toward the end (yes, I said end, on account of his presidential campaign is over). I still prefer most of Bernie’s political positions to Hillary’s, but the scent of burning martyr offends me.

Does that mean I think Bernie should fold his tent and go home? Hell no. I don’t think he needs to concede, though it’s clear he’s been beaten. I have absolutely no problem with him continuing to make speeches and hold rallies and press home his policy points. I do wish he’d stop grousing about how some of his policies aren’t in the Democratic party platform — not because they’re bad policies, but because it’s one of the realities of losing. The winner’s positions carry more weight. I’m okay with Bernie continuing to make a fuss, but I wish he’d stop acting like he’s the only person who really gives a rat’s ass about working people.

Does it hurt the Democrat party for Bernie to continue making a fuss? Yeah, maybe, a wee bit. But why should that matter to him? That difference between Bernie and Elizabeth Warren I mentioned earlier? This is where it comes into play. She became a Democrat in the mid-1990s because she believed the Democratic party more closely aligned with her political beliefs. Bernie, on the other hand, became a Democrat about nine months ago. Not because he believed in the Democratic party, but in order to run for president. He’s a Democrat of convenience. He simply used the mechanisms of party affiliation to promote and support his candidacy.

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Sanders delivers an address to Liberty University students in Lynchburg

That’s NOT a slur on Bernie. He’s smart enough to know that if he’d run as a third-party candidate, hardly anybody would have paid any attention to him. Running as a Democrat gave him access to a massive fund of voter data, guaranteed him a spot on the debate stage, granted him credibility on a level he’d never have attained running as a socialist. He’d have been stupid NOT to take advantage of that, and Bernie Sanders is anything but stupid.

So if his reluctance to acknowledge defeat and his unwillingness to endorse Hillary hurts the Democratic party, he’s okay with that. He hasn’t any real loyalty to the party — which, of course, means the party doesn’t have any real loyalty to him.

Bernie has lost the Democratic nomination — but he may be setting the first stones of a foundation for a viable third-party. IF his followers participate in this and future elections. IF they get involved and run for local, county, and state offices. IF they don’t pout and whine and decide they’re too pure to participate in the grunt and squeeze of actual politics.

Now that would be a smart thing.



why hillary?

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had several emails, conversations, texts, and Facebook messages from friends and acquaintances, many of whom are die-hard Bernie Sanders supporters. Some made broad categorical statements like “I will never ever under any conceivable circumstance vote for Hillary Clinton.” More of them asked a valid question: Is there any positive reason to vote for Clinton other than (a) she’s a woman or (b) to stop Trump?

The question interests me more than the statements, though they’re both pretty revealing. The statement No Hillary No Way Not Ever can be interpreted as either childish pouting or deeply ideological commitment, and in either of those cases there’s no point in trying to discuss that position. If they’re not going to vote for Clinton, they’re not going to vote for Clinton and my opinion won’t make any difference.

But the question — well, here’s one example:

So – Greg. I was a Bernie fan from the beginning and am still more than a bit puzzled and irritated by the collapse in California. Nevertheless it seems Hills is on her way to launch velocity and I’m trying to figure out whether to work for that event or not. I’m having a hell of a time getting beyond the gender politics that seems to be the keynote of her campaign so far to something that she is offering for which it is worth working. Beyond protecting ObamaCare, what is she advocating for or putting forth that is a clear centerpiece program? While I’m a fan of Obama and he did amazing things with cleaning up the Bush legacy, it’s not clear to me how much more you can campaign on sweeping up after The Shrub, I’m a bit puzzled and while I’ll vote for her anyway, I’d rather not have to feel like I’m just choosing between and L’idiot and a one issue candidate. Your thoughts?

My first thoughts are pretty simplistic. In regard to voting simply to stop Trump, I’d just point out that the lesser of two evils IS the lesser of two evils. I mean, that’s pretty apparent, isn’t it. It’s like being asked “Would you rather have one nail pounded through your foot or two nails pounded through your foot?” Obviously, you’re rather avoid the entire nail-foot situation — but if you had to choose, it’s hard to imagine anybody saying “What difference does it make?” So yeah, if your only reason for voting for Clinton is to stop Trump, I’m okay with that.

As to voting for Clinton because she’s a woman, I’m okay with that too — though I think it loses its significance pretty quickly. I mean, Barack Obama is the first black President of the United States, and while that’s cool and historic, after a while you just think of him as President Obama (unless you’re a racist, of course). When Clinton gets elected (and she will) it’ll be cool and historic that she’ll be the first woman POTUS, but after a while she’ll just be President Clinton (unless you’re a sexist, of course). It’s a very big deal in terms of history, but it’s a lesser deal in terms of governance.

hillary-clinton whats that face

So, in my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with voting for Clinton solely to stop Trump or just because she’s a woman. But beyond that I think there ARE valid, positive political reasons to vote for her.

For example, she’s spoken out against the Citizens United SCOTUS decision which took a badly fucked up political algebra and fucked it up even more by adding still more money into the equation. She’s also spoken out against the Shelby County v. Holder decision which basically invented the ‘personal’ 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. She’s spoken up in support of protecting Roe v. Wade, which has been clipped and pared down to nubbins over the last couple of decades. As president Clinton will have the opportunity to nominate judges who agree with her on those issues for the Supreme Court. That’s a damned good reason to vote for her.

Clinton is in favor of increasing the minimum wage. Not as much as Bernie, sadly, but any increase is better than no increase. She wants to protect civil liberties for LGBT folks; and while her support hasn’t been as consistent over time as Bernie’s, she’s done more than Bernie has in terms of creating actual supportive LGBT policies — including pressing for LGBT protections internationally when she was Secretary of State.

She’s in favor of expanding and strengthening Obamacare. Bernie’s plan was, I think, theoretically better, but again this is an issue of taking what’s good and improving it. It’s not a radical step forward, but it’s still a step forward.

That’s the thing about Hillary Clinton: she’s an incrementalist. She’s not a revolutionary, and even though this country could use a wee revolution, it’s not going to happen now. When she’s elected Hillary Clinton will make some things incrementally better. She may, it’s true, make some things worse — but they’ll be incrementally worse. Overall, I feel confident the better things will outweigh the worse things.

Hillary Clinton wasn’t my first choice, but she’s my final choice. I’ll support her. I’ll give her a bit of my hard-earned. I’ll vote for her in November and be glad about it. I suspect she’ll be a president in the Obama mold, which overall is pretty damned good. In any event, she’s immeasurably better than the alternative.

It occurs to me that I said almost the exact same thing some fourteen months ago.

fuck dilbert

Oh lawdy, did you see this? Scott Adams — the Dilbert cartoonist — has 1) endorsed Hillary Clinton for President of These United States and 2) says she’s likely to start a race war. But it’s okay, on account of 3) he’s only endorsing her to escape assassination.

No, I am NOT making this up. It sounds like I’m making it up, on account of it’s so fucking stupid it would make paramecium scratch their heads — but I am NOT making it up. Here’s his endorsement in its paramecium-confusing entirety. So you can check what I write against what he actually no-shit I’m-not-making-this-up says.

“This past week we saw Clinton pair the idea of President Trump with nuclear disaster, racism, Hitler, the Holocaust, and whatever else makes you tremble in fear.”

And hey, there’s some truth in that. Not a lot, but some. Hillary did, in fact, say this:

“[I]t’s not hard to imagine Donald Trump leading us into a war just because somebody got under his very thin skin.”

I have to say, it’s pretty easy to imagine Trump getting the U.S. involved in a war. He talks a lot about bombing the shit out of people, which sounds pretty war-like to me. But did she actually ‘pair’ Trump with Hitler and the Holocaust? Nope. Did she call him a racist? Well, sorta kinda. What she actually said was that Trump “plays coy with white supremacists.” She says that because Trump actually does play coy with white supremacists. Which, I guess, is pretty much saying he’s either a racist or he doesn’t mind racists. But that’s because Trump is a racist. Or doesn’t mind racists.


Adams also wrote this in his ‘endorsement’ of Clinton:

“Trump took her so-called “woman card” and turned it into a liability. So Clinton wisely pivoted. Her new scare tactics are solid-gold persuasion.”

Well, no. Trump didn’t turn the ‘woman card’ into a liability. Trump said “I think only card she has is the women’s card.” That didn’t hurt Clinton at all. In fact, it turned a LOT of women away from Trump. Well, farther away. And Clinton didn’t pivot away from Trump’s sexist comment; she embraced it as an example of why women can’t trust or believe him.

And then Adams says — and again, I’m honestly NOT making this up — this Dilbert guy actually wrote these exact words:

“The only downside I can see to the new approach is that it is likely to trigger a race war in the United States. And I would be a top-ten assassination target in that scenario because once you define Trump as Hitler, you also give citizens moral permission to kill him. And obviously it would be okay to kill anyone who actively supports a genocidal dictator, including anyone who wrote about his persuasion skills in positive terms.

If Clinton successfully pairs Trump with Hitler in your mind – as she is doing – and loses anyway, about a quarter of the country will think it is morally justified to assassinate their own leader.”

Apparently if you claim Trump is a racist and you cite some of the racist shit Trump says, and then racist violence starts, the violence is the fault of those folks who called Trump a racist. To believe that and write it is stupid at the atomic level. Every atom in Scott Adams body must be spinning off-kilter and making a whiny, high-pitched mree mree mree sound, like an air conditioner that’s about to explosively cease functioning.

It’s a good thing Trump supporters and conservatives have too much integrity to pair anybody with Hitler (oh lawdy, I’m a fucking riot).


And that ‘morally justified to assassinate’ bullshit? This colossal fuckwit Adams is not only suggesting Clinton is tacitly promoting the murder of Trump but also the murder of himself because — because who the fuck knows why? Because he predicted Trump would win the election? C’mon.

Those French dudes who wrote politically charged cartoons for Charlie Hebdo? They were assassinated because they offended intolerant religious fanatics. Those guys took actual risks by writing unpopular stuff about actual issues. Writing a cartoon about an office drone in a cubicle and a snarky dog doesn’t make anybody a threat. Jeebus, get over yourself. Dilbert is no fucking Charlie Hebdo.

Then Adams says — and I know you’re thinking he can’t possible say anything stupider than what he’s already said, but YOU’D BE WRONG. He writes:

“I’ve decided to endorse Hillary Clinton for President, for my personal safety. Trump supporters don’t have any bad feelings about patriotic Americans such as myself, so I’ll be safe from that crowd. But Clinton supporters have convinced me – and here I am being 100% serious – that my safety is at risk if I am seen as supportive of Trump.”

He may be 100% serious, but he’s also 100% full of moose shit. The only risk to Scott Adams is that somebody might decide to stop reading his comic or buying his fucking stuffed dogs or his…well, his books.

But don’t fret. At the very end of his ‘endorsement’ Scott Adams asks you to buy his book. Seriously. Again, totally NOT making that up. So if all you Hillary supporters can just hold off on that race war and assassination summer long enough to buy his book, then maybe he’ll be able to afford to escape to some safe haven for cartoonist heroes.

Mree mree mree mreeeee.

this is bullshit

It’s no secret that I’ve become disenchanted with the Sanders campaign — and to some extent with Bernie himself. A few folks have pointed out that since the beginning of his campaign I’ve been harder on Bernie than I have on Hillary. And it’s absolutely true — I have been. That’s because I expected more of Bernie than I did of Hillary. In fact, I still expect more of Bernie than I do of Hillary. I expect Hillary and her campaign to engage in traditional politics; I expected Bernie and his campaign to move beyond that.

Let me also say I’m not entirely opposed to traditional politics. When practiced with integrity, politics is about getting stuff done. It’s about finding the seam between what’s ideal and what’s possible. But when practiced with cynicism or ego — and way too often these days, that’s the default toggle — politics becomes about tearing down the people with whom you disagree.

Which brings me to this. Over the last few days, I’ve seen this posted five times by five different people. All of them are people I like. They’re all people I firmly believe have integrity. They’re people who would never deliberately spread a lie. And yet there’s this:

bernie hillary social security

I don’t know anything about Ron Gavalik. But I do know this is bullshit. I don’t say that because I’ve become a convert of Hillary Clinton. I haven’t — though I accept she’s going to be the Democratic nominee and I’ll work to get her elected. I say this is bullshit because I took the time to look into it. I looked into it because this made no sense to me. I may not be an avid Hillary supporter, but she’s always been sound on the issue of Social Security. I had to wonder if she’d somehow changed her position.

She hasn’t.

Here’s how this sort of pernicious bullshit gets spread. It started back before the New Hampshire primary, when Bernie made a categorical statement that he’d never accept any sort of cut to Social Security. Daniel Marans, a reporter for The Huffington Post, asked the Clinton campaign if they were also willing to make “a red-line pledge not to cut [social security] benefits.” According to the article Marans published, the aide pointed Marans to the Clinton campaign website, in which Hillary is quoted as saying “I won’t cut Social Security. … I’ll defend it, and I’ll expand it.” The aide then told Marans the following:

“She has no plans to cut benefits and, in fact, has a plan to expand them.”

That seems pretty clear, right? But wait — no plan to cut Social Security doesn’t mean she won’t consider it at some point in the future. Could that mean she’s ‘open’ to the idea? Marans then interviewed Nancy Altman, who has a lot of experience in issues involving Social Security (and who, by the way, also does reporting for The Huffington Post). Ms. Altman stated Clinton’s policy statements:

“do not definitively promise not to cut the program.”

That’s technically accurate, though radically misleading. On her campaign website Clinton lays out her plan to extend Social Security benefits and very clearly states “I won’t cut Social Security” but she doesn’t say “I definitely promise not to cut the program, honest, cross my heart, I’m not making this up, pinkie swear”.

Marans also interviewed Stephanie Taylor, the co-founder of the Progressive Campaign Change Committee. When asked for a response to Clinton’s aide’s comment that Hillary doesn’t plan to cut benefits, Ms. Taylor said:

“George W. Bush had no plan to invade Iraq.”

Since George W. Bush DID, in fact, invade Iraq, clearly Hillary Clinton will almost certainly cut Soci…you know, that notion just too stupid for me to even finish writing it.

Let’s review all that. A reporter for The Huffington Post interviewed a Clinton campaign staffer who stated Hillary had no plans to cut Social Security but DID have plans to expand the program. He then interviewed another reporter for The Huffington Post who read the Clinton campaign’s position on Social Security and decided it didn’t include a definite promise not to cut Social Security. Finally, he interviewed a third person who noted that George W. Bush invaded Iraq.

Got that? That bit of rank speculation was then reported at CommonDreams.org under the following headline:

Hillary Clinton Refuses to Rule Out Any and All Benefit Cuts to Social Security

And that leads us directly back to Ron Gavalik’s bullshit claim that Hillary Clinton is ‘open’ to the idea of cutting Social Security benefits for poor folks.

There are valid reasons to prefer Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton. Lots of valid reasons, in fact, which is why I supported Bernie early in the campaign. There’s simply no need to make shit up and smear it all over the Intertubes.

This is exactly the sort of ugly politics Bernie opposed at the beginning of his campaign. It’s bullshit like this — and the willingness of so many Bernie supporters to fabricate bullshit like this — that led me to end my support for Bernie’s campaign. It’s bullshit like this — and the willingness of so many Bernie supporters to believe anything if it suggests Hillary is evil and corrupt — that disappoints me more than any of the ugly attacks spread by the Republicans.

You don’t have to lie about Hillary to support Bernie. You don’t have to resort to this sort of bullshit.