Oops, I guess I’m a conspiracy theorist now

As the old proverbs and shit hold, don’t ask the question if you don’t want to hear the answer. Today’s question, from my dad, was why on earth Barack Obama allowed Congress to strip the DEA of the authority to seize suspect opioid shipments from pharmaceutical companies. My answer, to his chagrin and scandalization, was that Obama had probably been paid off, just as he’d certainly been paid off to lobby for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. I guess I was supposed to have a different answer, maybe one preserving Mocha Haole’s air of high principle under a veil of inscrutability. Instead I called him a crook at a time when all the social cues are to call him a man of impeccable principle and manners, no matter how corrupt and useless his legacy, in a grand effort to highlight the coarseness and crookedness of his successor.

Well fuck me. Donald Trump being a crook does not preclude Barack Obama being a crook. *Sticking our Tricky Dick into the thick of it* Christ, don’t look at ME! This is exactly how the Deep State, and the larger, more diffuse Blob slimily adhering to it, have been trying to rehabilitate George W. Bush as our dear leader. *Briefly recovering from a fatal Kim Jong-Illness* Who called for me? If they’re using the same language as the North Korean regime (specifically, great leader, but far be it from me to resist the opportunity to poke fun at Rocket Man’s dad for his Il health), they’re using the language of the North Korean regime. Full stop. They don’t get to subvert democratic norms by trying to dictate fealty to shitty rulers through their crude social controls and then turn around and call dissidents antidemocratic. That’s bullshit.

A key difference between North Korea and the United States is that we, unlike them, have a large class of yeomen, proles, and lumpenproles who rudely maintain our right to speak freely of officials who displease us. This liberty causes our social superiors in and orbiting various cryptoroyal courts to be butthurt longtime. They have to bite their lips for any hope of favor from the sovereigns they flatter, so what gives us the right to be so licentious as to freely speak ill of our superiors? Our dissent gets between their noses and our rulers’ assholes; how rude of us.

Of course, it isn’t really license; there are generally consequences to such candor, including unspoken but unmistakable limits on the advancement of dissidents in politicized workplaces. The problem for the rulers and their brownnosers is that many of us are already effectively paying these consequences for the most overdetermined reasons due to the regulatory capture and secular collapse of the international economy. It isn’t just some tyrannical authoritarian shithead inside the Beltway who won’t give us a job because we won’t get with the program. The economy still sucks nine years after the financial collapse, although we aren’t supposed to talk about that. Questioning the official numbers is conspiracy theorizing, too. On the other hand, some of us follow the Colby Cosh Rule and do things with our hands for a living (sic?). What are they gonna do, sing a crappy comedy-folk song about us? This pisses the courtiers off, too.

A whole lot of floridly crazy shit has been said about Barry O, unfortunately for those of us, some of us his former voters, who have bad things to say about him that aren’t insane. I don’t believe that Obama has ever taken delivery of a suitcase full of cash or made clumsy incriminating phone calls about things fucking golden. That’s why he gets to cavort with Richard Branson on yachts while the Rod Unspared gets the opportunity to join the Rocky Mountain Club for his efforts to sell Barry’s old seat in the United States Senate. Mocha Haole doesn’t do his banking with his home freezer like that dumbass Jefferson down in Louisiana. He’s too smooth for any of that. And as I like to point out around here, that makes him dangerous. In the hands of a discreet sleazeball like Obama, courtly norms of decorum and shit are numbing paralytic agents injected by the parasite into its host. Basically, we can’t criticize a guy as long as he’s nice to his fellow crooks. May I remind you, Mr. Goldman, that O. J. Simpson was a model prisoner, and even, like Dennis Hastert, a coach.

Obama’s actual legacy sucks ass. Thank Chuck and Nancy it isn’t his alone, but he showed shit for leadership and screwed millions of Americans over. If he’d had some real principle, we wouldn’t have the kludgy, Byzantine mess of Obamacare. Sure, it’s a lot better than nothing, and the Republicans are vile to try to destroy it out of spite with no replacement, but it still sucks. It’s still a scandal and a disgrace. If the Democrats had had any fucking principle or accountability over the past, hell, thirty or forty years, they’d have broken the insurance industry’s legs by the turn of the millennium, with the option to either act in their policyholders’ interests forevermore or be dissolved and have their business handed to government plans. Instead, the Dems agreed to be bought off by the insurance industry. They had no electoral mandate to do anything of the sort, but they’d been captured, and they’re nice captives. They’re good boys and girls, because they know that good boys and girls get more candy.

Public service my fat white ass. They don’t give a shit about us. There was never a popular mandate for the bullshit “marketplace” incrementalism and income-based siloing that they passed instead of straightforward universal coverage. If they’d felt answerable to us, we wouldn’t have heard about the “marketplace” because they would have been too ashamed to utter the word.

How the hell is it inconceivable that the guy who signed this expensive, burdensome, punitive, Kafkaesque patchwork nightmare into law, conveniently providing private insurance companies with a market coerced into buying coverage with threats of fines, got paid off in some fashion by major corporate interests? How is it inconceivable that he got some sort of quid pro quo for all the sweet-talking and arm-twisting he did, although ultimately to no avail, on behalf of TPP? Cyrus Vance was bought off for ten grand in indirect payment to his campaign fund. That was enough to get him to conclude that Harvey Weinstein had a legitimate business reason to grope a model’s breasts without prior warning or permission. The campaign contribution may not have been the entirety of the bribe, so maybe Cyrus isn’t quite that cheap a date, but it’s misguided to think that elected officials need to be set up like kings directly and straight away to consider selling their souls.

For that matter, it’s awfully harsh to construe a rental agreement as a sale.

We’re at least 55 years behind Canada in the implementation of single-payer medical insurance because our elected officials keep pretending that it’s unpopular and doesn’t work. Our last president bragged about assassinating dissidents on other nations’ sovereign territory and tried his best to sell our own national sovereignty to a cartel of secret corporate tribunals. Our current president blusters to no end about all the enemies he wants to blacklist or get blacklisted for crossing him and the worst of his voters. Congress is full of fucking ghouls who listen to their constituents only after having the Capitol Police bodily drag protesters out of their offices. How the hell is it problematic to assume that Barack Obama is a crook? I’m not even trying to argue that the Donald isn’t one himself. I’d certainly like to think that Bernie Sanders is an exception, but seeing how he got ratfucked out of the Democratic nomination by a political machine and crime family, I guess he’s the exception that proves the rule.

If the GOP self-destroys in an orgy of mutual recrimination between the biblethumpers, the objectivists, and whatever the incomprehensible fuck Trump and his crew are, we’ll be one for two. We’ll still have the Democratic Party to destroy until, if we can imagine the possibility, it ceases trying to destroy us. Saying that the Democratic Party is automatically better than the Republicans (especially Trump, who’s all over the damn place) is like saying that sexy male nurse Lynn Majors is better than Elizabeth Wettlaufer.

That was still less disgusting than Congress. They’re all just Cullen the herd, but I’m obviously the crazy one for assuming that they don’t have our best interests at heart and joining the part of the herd that keeps braying back, Neigh! Neigh!

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Putting the Weiner into Weinstein

Giggity, etc. The Weinstein thing didn’t shock or even particularly surprise me. I was vaguely aware of him as some sort of studio bigshot, i.e., a presumable sleaze. After the scandal broke, I learned that he’s behind a lot of execrably violent art (sic?), some of it frankly toxic, an oeuvre whose gratuitous coarseness is somehow consistent with his being a leading liberal woke bae. That Reservoir Dogs, the inspiration for Greg Lemhouse’s sworn night watch street gang in Medford, is considered compatible with bleeding-heart liberalism speaks volumes about the abdication of principle at play in our supposedly leftist show business. Fittingly enough, Lemhouse is reputed to have been axed a few years shy of a pension for an outburst of on-duty horn and not for bragging about commanding a Terry Stop crew. Our boy Harvey, for his part, got shitcanned by his family enterprise for failing to keep it in his pants, not for beating the shit out of a casual business acquaintance, and that happened years after a model had reported him to the NYPD for sexual assault.

It’s pedestrian that Weinstein ran a casting couch for ambitious starlets; Gwyneth Paltrow sucking and fucking her way to the top (whaddup, Fuhrman) would be an exceptionally unsympathetic claim of quid pro quo victimization in a society that also includes sexually extortionate farm crew bosses and Cousin Gigolo. Homeskillet seriously cashed out, so cry me the fucking Owens, cowgirl. BFD if the cost of jumping the queue to the bigtime at some sleazy private studio is a load or two of the Harv’s Goop.

What’s impressive is that Weinstein was able to curbstomp a guy he barely knew in a fancy part of Manhattan without anyone calling 911. What’s impressive is that none of the women now publicly accusing him of sexual harassment or assault went public with their own claims, damn the NDA’s, full steam ahead, when the NYPD and Manhattan DA’s office were investigating him for forcible groping. Like, yeah, I believe her because he coerced me into sexual favors, too, that kind of thing. A handful of women could have had their lawyers dogpile Weinstein for petitions to invalidate their nondisclosure agreements as unconscionable, a class action, RICO claims, and of course a massive shitload of horribly bad press. The bad press alone would have shut the creep down then as much as it did just now.

Instead, everybody who was anybody was a fucking chicken. No principle, no courage, no backbone, hell, not even any overpowering disgust, just chickenshit all the way down. No one privately conspired with anyone else to band together and blow the putz clear out of the water: wherever two or more are gathered in my name, etc. Fat chance of that, apparently. No lawyers determined that they were unethically helping a predator maintain an ongoing campaign of extremely bad acts, probably in consideration of their own ongoing pattern of making big piles of money.

Everybody straight up to Cyrus Vance got paid to turn a blind eye. The fact that that alone isn’t an explicit professional conflict of interest is damning of the bar. Oh, no, you don’t understand, contributing to the reelection campaign of the guy who didn’t prosecute my criminal defense client was about civics!

Yeah, and I’m Perry Mason.

To recap, we’ve got nobody whatsoever who feels and acts on a moral duty to report Weinstein for serial abuse (not just sexual, either), and only one victim out of dozens with the nerve to publicly cry out at the time and seek adjudication. It was an open secret that this thug habitually made gross sexual overtures to strange women and explicitly threatened grievous violence against other men, sometimes actually committing felony assaults, but look, you can’t do anything about it, he’s just like that.

It was, however, kosher to occasionally rib the vile lech with plausibly deniable pop culture inside jokes: Family Guy gags, crappy celebrity roast rotines, and the like. *Very Jerry Seinfeld voice* And how about that Sandusky character? Heating oil must cost a fortune over there in State College if he’s doubling up in the showers. Man! *A REAL STAND-UP GUY*

Jer RY! Jer RY!

Meanwhile, the same crowd that spent my lifetime to date, until this month, covering for this exhibitionist who throws other men down the stairs in fits of animal rage will have us know that it’s our feminist duty to call out rape culture and our parallel environmental duty to live ascetically for the climate’s sake, but not theirs to stop jet-setting from mansion to mansion on two or three continents. No man is an island, but Brad Pitt probably owns one. Check for yourselves; I’m too jaded to care.

Nice fire complex they’ve got going in Napa-Sonoma; shame it didn’t jump the line up on Mulholland Drive instead. Focus, William Tecumseh! Focus!

More like the Hiscox Endowment

The Dickinson (giggity) College Endowment (giggity giggity!) publishes annual reports on its assets* and performance**. The 2016 report discloses total assets of $412.6m, including “non-pooled assets” of $74.7m. Non-pooled assets, according to the footnotes, include, inter alia, “deferred gifts” and “pledges receivable.”

Oh. I guess that means that when I apply for a loan I’m allowed to declare to the loan officer a net worth that I have calculated on the basis of what I expect to earn in my next pay period or two, the value of the deposit bottles that are probably in the neighborhood trash cans, and whatever I figure my parents will be transferring me in the next few months or whatever. Cool. If some guy from the corner swears to you that he’s gonna pay you for the crack rock, go ahead and add it to your net worth. It’s your bling, dawg; flash it.

Do we still wonder why the accounting industry has acquired a reputation for being shady? An undisclosed percentage of just over eighteen percent of the endowment is neither in hand nor in trust, and its eventual delivery is entirely contingent upon the honor and solvency of the “donors” who have pledged it. That’s like if I told the Dunkin’ Doorman to shut up about how I’m a cheap bastard because I told him that I’d buy him a coffee at some point but right now I’ma buy myself a damn coffee instead, the better to enjoy life while I’m here to enjoy it.

It’s doubtful that *MY OLD SCHOOL* has any realistic recourse to compel the payment of pledged donations from parties that, for whatever reason, refuse to follow through with them as promised. Depending on the circumstances there may be a binding contract that the bagmen can sue to enforce, but that would involve nicely dressed lawyers, and cracka that ain’t cheap.

Can I go to Bank of America with a story about how, okay, so this one guy says he’s gonna give me some money, and then this other guy promised me some other money, and my man D-Money promised me some money, Smoothie, ya feel me? Of course not. That wouldn’t do me jack shit. I’d still be on the hook for whatever I’d charged. That’s why I take my ass down to the nearest ATM when I’m within range and feed it some Jacksons. I don’t get a fucking eighteen percent discount on my statement balance because my old boys promised me some shit. God.

How can we take these jokers seriously when they conflate the receivable with the received? They’re marketing their institution based on an undisclosed percentage of their capital, possibly verging on a fifth, not actually being available for their use and not having a set, enforceable date of availability. That’s a level of trust that no normal private citizen is accorded by the financial industry.

And what the fuck are they gonna do if some flake or sleaze or secretly bankrupt-ass loser reneges on an endowment pledge? A small pledge wouldn’t be worth the costs of a small claim. Let’s say that I pledge the endowment twenty bucks and then decide not to pay up–or, in awah feyah city, Vishnu Payup. What’s the filing fee, bitch?

Hey, that model sounds scalable.

These fuckers are using money that they discreetly admit not having to goose their endowment bottom line in order to goose their US News & World Report ranking and suck in more application fees and tuition. How much of it don’t they have? Take a guess, lol. It’s rather like Donald Trump: the fat bastard may not exactly be rich, but he looks rich. No, it’s more like Joel Osteen: tithe to him in anticipation of future earnings to curry the favor of the money gods; bathe in the balm of his face and be blessed.

Out here in the streets, we call that fraud.

** ********* (!)

Footnotes:

*Giggity.

**GO HARD BIG DICK!

It’s all getting quite tiring

The towel-hurling dipshit we have in the presidency this term got there because the entire US political system broke down catastrophically, leaving him as the closest thing to a reformer with a shot at the White House by the general election. Americans have successfully been propagandized not to vote for third-party candidates, whom most voters have generally never heard of in the first place on account of coverage blackouts in the mainstream news media. I have friends who follow politics reasonably closely and take their duty as electors seriously who had never heard of Jill Stein until I mentioned my intention to vote for her. The Republican and Democratic establishments both choked because their candidates couldn’t relate competently to normal people. They showed no understanding of or empathy for our very real concerns about the dire state of the economy as we have been experiencing it. A fractious Republican establishment fielded Carly “May I Speak to Your Manager” Fiorina, misplaced Albertan Ted Cruz (reviled by his own colleagues and sympathetic ideologues), the likeable but platitudinous Marco Rubio, amateur Egyptologist Ben Carson, Radio Deluxe Country winner John Kasich, and the unfortunate Please Clap: basically every asshole from the management team at your office, plus a kooky neurosurgeon and a pathetic try-hard silver spoon with an obvious chip on his shoulder on account of the former presidents in his own immediate family. The Democratic Party pulled out all the stops to narrowly crown its woke slay Queen Abuela, a walking caricature of academic arrogance from the shrillest corner of the women’s studies department, eternal yuppie social climbing, influence-peddling, nepotism, and public corruption.

The Oaf of Office was, against the odds, more down-to-earth and credible than his Republican challengers and the terrible candidate the Democratic kingmakers (excuse ME, queenmakers) insisted on deploying, at the cost of poisoning the own well for the bulk of their own base, so here we fucking are with the President of the United States throwing rolls of paper towels at constituents whose entire island has been thrown into full Cormac McCarthy apocalyptic dysfunction due to years of colonial rentseeking and deliberate federal disinvestment. Here we are with this out-of-touch, narcissistic shithead treating a disaster zone like a goddamn rock concert, throwing toiletries willy-nilly into a mess tent crowd on our dime.

Consider that the Secret Service, already stretched to the breaking point, has to deploy with this fucker at full vigilance while he stages fourth-rate show business games in a retarded effort to psych up the same constituents whose lives he has been endangering for weeks with his dereliction. He’s actively increasing his own risk of assassination with these antics by giving perfectly sane Puerto Ricans reason to reluctantly conclude that assassinating him would be an act of self-defence.

I don’t know whether the Secret Service takes its protectees’ public behavior into account when assessing their risk of harm, but watching this horseshit in the relief tent and hearing Trump’s comments about Puerto Rico’s debt obligations, I’d say that it should. For one thing, its agents, closely vetted innocents who consider it their solemn duty to transcend politics on the job, are in physical danger whenever someone attacks one of their protectees. Donald Trump is obviously provoking normal people to thoughts, and likely plans, of physically attacking him in a desperate effort to compel the delivery of crucial, time-sensitive, and so far needlessly delayed federal aid. It isn’t just the usual crazies and hotheads who need to be held at bay this time. We have Caligula down there slumming with desperate subjects he’s been leaving to twist in the wind and acting like they’re all at Covey training or some shit.

This ain’t Thon, cracka. We need some fucking gravitas here. We need some adult leadership. Of course, the Secret Service is unlikely to publicly or officially express any objections to Trump’s frivolous travel or provocative behavior. What we’ll see instead are more quiet resignations by agents who are perfectly fit for duty under any normal circumstances but driven to exhaustion and their wit’s end by this late imperial decadence. If we’re lucky, some of them will blow the whistle after they resign. This shit is worse than His Vigor Kennedy and the open motorcades, which drove the Secret Service to exasperation. There they had a foolhardy protectee who had pissed off a grab bag of the usual kooks and thugs. This time they’re protecting the synthesis of second-term Ronald Reagan’s mental faculties and Andrew Jackson’s uncouth belligerence on the road in places where his consituents are literally dying from official neglect.

It gets even worse. If this shambling geezer, having abundantly shown himself to warrant both impeachment and removal from office under the 25th Amendment, gets put out to pasture, his replacement will presumably be a Christofascist nutjob who deliberately stood back while a rural AIDS epidemic sickened and killed his constituents back home in Indiana. Mike Pence is dangerously urbane. Establishment Democrats will excuse every evil thing he’s done just for the opportunity to kiss up to a fellow ass-kisser who doesn’t go around publicly trash-talking his colleagues. The same thing applies at least equally to every shitheel in Congress who’s scheming to deprive the public of what little health coverage we’ve secured under the Affordable Care Act. Good old Chuck and Nancy would rather do business with anyone across the aisle, including the Donald, than with Bernie Sanders.

Pence has no mandate of his own whatsoever. He was brought onto Trump’s ticket for murky reasons, not just the usual team of rivals shit: to be a poison pill, a minder, a president-in-waiting, who knows. Dude would have gotten nowhere against the Republican primary field last year, and if he had he would have gone up against Hillary Clinton with a losing combination of hardline evangelical establishmentarian weirdness and disregard for the welfare of the vulnerable and the marginalized. Trump was an extremely rare bird just on the basis of his erratic populist rhetoric, which Pence has never shared.

I’d be enthusiastic to give Rex Tillerson a turn at the presidency, but no one in the line of succession will be getting out of his way, least of all Mike Pence and Paul Ryan. As things stand now, our next president will be a Democrat, if Trump completes a full term, or a Randroid Republican ghoul. If whatever the hell the Trump presidency really is disintegrates, it will be replaced by the death cult. Those guys aren’t resigning in the interest of national peace and prosperity. They’d rather get their own constituents killed by bad policy and then have the Capitol Police bodily drag the protesters away from their offices. To hazard a guess, I’d say that Pence is on the human end of their spectrum, since he looks more like a mere scorched-earth zealot than a psychopath.

Even more troubling, the major parties have figured out how to pay off enough private citizens–roughly a quarter to a third in decent times–to vote for this agenda. Between gerrymandering, the apathy of the dispossessed, and the engagement of the privileged, they’ve held this shit together for thirty years. Donald Trump’s election was their most obvious failure since the launch of the yuppie project, but there’s no discernible ideological or policy theme to his presidency, other than some racist dogwhistling that Ivanka and Jared reluctantly tolerate. Instead, we’re treated to an ongoing three-way brawl between factions that hate the shit out of one another, under the nominal direction of a guy who’s got his thumbs up his ass. We have this because it was the closest thing to reform that a critical mass of voters could discern last year. Trump ran on promises including a revamped industrial policy benefiting points left behind; safely in office, he appointed and, in due course of time, fired an orthopedic surgeon who used the federal treasury to fund his Rich Kids of Instagram lifestyle under the guise of crafting and administering health policy.

Trust me on this much: Obama-Sanders-Trump crossover voters didn’t vote to aggrandize an orthopod with government jets. That did not happen.

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What’s YOUR price for flight? Mine was something like $143, bag fee included, for cattle class on the Dreamliner from LAX to O’Hare, but as an old crush told me, I’m a cheap date. These boys aren’t. They’ve got planes and beaches and lanyards and shit. All I’ve got is birthright citizenship, Humboldt County voter registration, and a mailbox across the street from the California State Capitol that I need to get stuffed with a permanent absentee ballot the next time I’m ready for some civics. Hey there, Devin. What’s happening. Is that someone has to watch over this smoldering joint. What’s also happening. Is that I have much cooler plants in the hood than Pressboy here.

When the yuppie project plays brinksmanship on its host society

Think in terms of parasitism, not hospitality.

One of the (admittedly legion) unconscionable things about the Hillary 2016 run and its enduring aftermath has been the air of brinksmanship, coercion, and we-told-you-so Chicken Little catastrophizing surrounding the whole sordid thing. Since so many voters–quite a few of them, come November, disgusted nonvoters–couldn’t think of a positive reason to vote for Hillary Clinton, generally because they couldn’t fucking stand the bitch, the increasingly desperate Hillbot army deployed a ceaseless barrage of shrill, inconsistently credible threats about the alternative, our current Oaf of Office. To this day the barrage continues, rarely any gentler than it was during the campaign.

The gist is that King Bigly is literally the worst, most dangerous president ever. It’s a dubious, historically challenged proposition shot through with crude presumptions about Great Men (and Women!) directing History. Next thing you know, Sir Winston Churchill Himself (?) (it feels irreverent and profane, but it also feels accurate) will show up, cigar in mouth, blathering sonorously about the glory and honor and duty of war, or perhaps about the glory and honor and duty of his current thoughts on milk price supports. These screechers can’t imagine that, say, Andrew Jackson was enabled in the pursuit of Indian ethnic cleansing and genocide by prevailing public sentiment and the priorities of contemporary government and civil institutions, or that he, too, was one crude, crude bastard and also a president.

Speaking of genocidal maniacs who didn’t much care for the Indians: Winston Churchill. Different tribes, different technologies and scales, same little embarrassing problem. Oops we did it again. Crackers gonna crack. The whip, specifically. The assumption that Trump will get away with all the same atrocities that we don’t discuss in our discussions of Churchill, that he’ll be no less destructive as a tactless shit-stirring political novice who can’t help himself when there’s an opportunity to alienate a key ally than Churchill was as an urbane déclassé aristocrat who shrewdly curried favor with all the no-homo public school hazing buggers at Whitehall, doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense. And yeah, we’ve totally never before had anyone of excessive ambition and terrible moral character in the White House, and no one to points leftward ever said the same things about Ronald Reagan (who, although Trump’s fellow celebrity, honored citizen, and public sundowner, actually knew how to negotiate instead of just putting his name on a crappy ghostwritten book about negotiation). No history of constitutional crises over the rights of our military’s prisoners of war or the president whacking US citizens by remote-controlled missile in my lifetime, either. Glad that didn’t happen.

The alarm about Donald Trump’s blind ambition, narcissism, and rage inevitably gets mixed up with outrage over his blurting out goofy shit and dissing people who could do to be dissed. Between him and the den of barely veiled psychopaths in the Congressional Republican Caucus, there are some serious shortcomings in the US government’s official response to the severe hurricane damage in Puerto Rico, but Brock Long seems to have his head on straight, so the president thinking that the Caribbean Sea is yuge is not one of them. Donald Trump getting the idea in his head that Puerto Rico is St. Helena won’t divert any aid to St. Helena. His calling Hillary Clinton a crook and Rosie O’Donnell a fat pig aren’t attacks on our sacred but vulnerable institutions of self-government and civil society, and if they’re misogynistic, they’re only incidentally so. Even the rash verbal escalation that he has reciprocated with Kim Jong-Un highlights just how badly on edge everyone is about Rocket Man: if Piggy Gangnam Style can actually be provoked to first-strike nuclear war by another fat, loudmouthed sonofabitch talking smack about his fat, goofily coiffed ass, the international community has a dire, insoluble problem on its hands that presumably becomes soluble only upon the confirmed disincarnation of Piggy Gangnam Style.

Come to think of it, the Nork Dork shares an unsettling kinship of the palace with Hillz and her Hillbots. Bernie Sanders was the one who said point-blank during the debates that Kim’s regime is “very weird.” Trump is regularly out on Twitter bragging about how he’s gonna whip that insolent little rocket boy’s punk ass. The establishment consensus in Washington, by stark contrast, is that we must all watch our every word about that third-generation belligerent maniac lest he take offense and decide to annihilate several million innocent people in a fit of pique. Anwar al-Awlaki didn’t have shit on that thug. That’s why “we” whacked him, just as “we” “tortured some folks.” Here we have this spoiled rotten piece of boarding school shit who murders his blood relatives on a whim and has taxed even the Chinese politburo’s patience with his antics, so since “we” are already in the business of assassinating various enemies, this hereditary menace should be at the top of the list and remain there until he’s been permanently delisted from humanity’s earthly rolls.

Bill Clinton and a number of exceptionally good diplomats in his administration have managed to get several foreign prisoner hostages freed from this out-of-control dictatorship over the years, but only at a great effort and by practically debasing themselves before this family of violent, extortionate, insolent dickheads. I get that diplomacy requires more tact than I choose to show around here as a private citizen and that it’s especially tricky to get anything out of that lineage of crazy-like-a-fox autocrats. But that’s the thing: I’m a private citizen. I use these pages to meme Canada’s national embarrassments and still end up being known on the internet mainly for that phoned-in hot take on Gulf Arab sheikhs who shit on Western rent girls. I’m not paid to be all serious and solemn and discreet and act like I don’t totally support anyone who can smear a fatal nerve agent in Kim Jong-Un’s face in any convenient airport lobby.

Like hell am I paid to be all solemn and dutiful and magnanimous in my response to Hillary Clinton. That bitch can choke on it. I’m her two-time prospective constituent. She was answerable to me, and my answer to her when she asked of me, on three ballots in two election seasons, was absolutely fucking not. We have processes and institutions in the United States to prevent the Kims. The Hillbots frankly did everything they could to shame, threaten, and even disenfranchise tens of millions of us for daring to use these processes and institutions against Your Fleek Abuela. They were furious when many of us perceived exactly the same raging will to power in Hillary Clinton that they insisted consumed Donald Trump and made him unfit for the presidency. They remain furious at anyone who got in Hillary’s way, and they use language no more respectful than the Donald’s to lash out at us and at the candidates we supported. Bernie stumped for Hillary and encouraged his primary voters to vote for her in the general election; her camp repaid his work on their behalf with ad hominem smears about his disloyalty and divisiveness, and with ad hominem smears of his voters as died-in-the-wool bigots. That includes me, cracka.

Letting a viciously ambitious crime family back into the White House and hoping that the other branches of government will check them after their reelection seems much less prudent than barring the door to them from the start and forcing them, now as a humiliated faction of the opposition, to wander fruitlessly about outside, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, and where they so perfectly belong. They’ve fressed at the trough enough already. The feminist bitch with the vise grip on her husband’s coattails had already carpetbagged into one of New York State’s seats in the US Senate, like a seedy Bobby Kennedy, and then been taken on as the Secretary of State by a guy she’d spent the previous year attacking with ugly racial invective (as well as bog-standard faux-populist demagoguery) so that she’d be inside the tent pissing out, and her immediate family had already spent decades cashing in on Bill’s presidency and the wifely offices succeeding in amounts of many millions of dollars per year. They had their fortune and their celebrity power; they didn’t need another term of elected political power to further entrench themselves on top of that.

In the midst of Hillz’s coattail career in high federal office, Bill’s presidential legacy became more and more destructive and scandalous. As I’ve said before, I don’t give a shit that he stuck a cigar up his mistress’s cunt; that isn’t what I’d do with a mistress, but that woman, Miss Lewinsky, was not my mistress, and consequently I did not have sexual relations with her. Giggity. What does bother me is the narrowly averted catastrophe of Bill and that hypocritical slimeball Newt Gingrich conspiring to privatize Social Security until an unheard-of buxom Jewess showed up out of nowhere with a little white stain on her blue dress and got Gateside Downlow, Diddlin’ Dennis, and the whole gang into a royal snit about sexual morality. That is not how government is supposed to work. That is not how any one of those crooks is supposed to represent us. There’s something badly amiss when social welfare programs are saved by a bunch of adulterers, an airport closet case, and Coach getting into a lather over the President slipping a Cuban up his starfucking intern’s snatch.

In spite of this Khrushchev-and-Kennedy moment by way of the Hardly Boys, Bill Clinton managed to unleash a delayed-detonation Tsar Bomba on our national economy, and on a good chunk of the international economy, by repealing Glass-Steagall. There’s every reason to believe that he signed the repeal in exchange for bribes to him, his relatives, and the family businesses from FIRE sector criminals after his retirement from the presidency. That may well have been the single most destructive act of official corruption in my country in my lifetime, and it brought the economy down when I was in my mid-twenties, barely out of college. Countless millions of other graduates, generally in the classes behind mine, got it even worse than I did. 2006 turned out to be a much worse year to graduate from college than it looked at the time, but there were unfortunates who graduated in 2009.

The Big Dog marked his territory on us. We were his territory, and we remain his hideously shrewish wife’s territory. No thanks, assholes. You blew it the first time around, at our expense, and walked away rich and connected beyond our most feverish dreams. You don’t get a do-over, pal. Sometimes I’m offended that the Clintons disobeyed their cue to retire from public life in 2000, but when I think about Glass-Steagall, the clusterfuck unleashed after Billary had scurried mostly off the scene, and the Byzantine horseshit of Dodd-Frank, I’m convinced that the Clintons had a calling to refrain entirely from public life starting in Arkansas a decade before I was born. They have been an affliction upon the rest of us. We managed to haphazardly check-kite our way through the dot-com and parallel FIRE sector bubbles in the late nineties, following the repeal of NAFTA and in the midst of all the cruel disruption that it caused to honest labor, and over the next eight years the whole edifice weakened and then catastrophically imploded.

This is the family that is so obviously more fit for office than Donald Trump. This is the family whose duty to reelect to the presidency was ours, including those of us who could explain exactly how the legacy of the first Clinton presidency had done us extreme personal harm. We had this guy who was mostly kind of a motormouth dickhead, who was saying inconsistent but coherent things indicating that he understood our plight and intended to address our grievances, and we were being ordered by people who obviously looked down on us to vote for a feminazi whose sleazy husband had recklessly caused our socioeconomic ruination. We were berated with assertions that Donald Trump was uniquely coarse and vicious, assertions that were made by and on behalf of a woman who laughed about Muammar Qaddafi’s gruesome death and whose husband had flown back to Arkansas to sign the death warrant for a guy too retarded to understand that he wouldn’t be able to have dessert after his execution. One of the most calamitous power couples of our time was insulting our intelligence and our worthiness as voters for daring to consider the possibility that her opponent, an exceptionally disorganized man with little political capital in Washington headlining a party that he had apparently divided against itself, might usher in lesser calamities upon his election.

As I’ve said before, these threats that the Clinton machine made about Trump were, and still are, on par with Muammar Qaddafi’s threat to unleash a flood of refugees from Subsaharan Africa into Europe to punish its governments for disrespecting him. We were repeatedly told that if we didn’t vote for Clinton, we would inevitably unleash unfathomable chaos and crisis upon ourselves. We were threatened with the endangerment of our liberty and our lives at a maniac’s hands in the event that we dared to withhold our votes from a known crook who had interfered in her own party’s primary process to sink a much stronger, less divisive, and less compromised candidate, one voters actually admired in large numbers.

I’m far from the only person who has taken offense over the past couple of years at Clintonworld’s Talented Tenth Avenue Freakout. It’s a bad look. Anyone whose reaction to a political opponent is so excruciatingly limbic has to perceive an existential material threat. That kind of reaction isn’t about values; it’s about interests and only interests. In Trump’s case, it’s a swarm of yuppies shitting bricks with fear that they’ll lose their elite status and be reduced to roughly the level of the modest workaday people they’ve spent the last quarter century or more smugly dispossessing. Do recall that I commonly sleep in my car as I reiterate that I have no reason to feel great sympathy for their salty, salty waterworks. This is a class that cannot bear the thought of relinquishing the whip hand. These are meritocrats who must, at all costs, remain on top.

Bizarrely, even as they fume that Trump duped a bunch of uneducated ignoramuses in flyover country with his bogus populism, they grossly overestimate his interest in reform because they’re on edge waiting for the day when he’ll do something adverse to them, like stop handing out government contracts to bomb the Middle East into ever earlier parts of the Stone Age. They have revealed that they would rather side with the most reprehensible chickenhawk war criminals than with laid-off mill hands who don’t want their children being shipped off to the desert to be turned into hamburger meat with Swiss cheese for brains. With all the cruel reversals of fortune that they’ve used their power to impose on their vulnerable countrymen, they fully deserve some modest reversals of fortune themselves, like having to work for a living or claim public assistance. Trump’s working-class voters tended to vote for him as a Hail Mary pass, figuring that he might do something for them; it’s affluent liberals who swear to God (weak oaths, etc.) that he’s going to destroy everything he touches.

Incidentally, but relevantly, the affluent have been using the same brinksmanship tactics to bully the reluctant young into college, or even graduate and professional schools. Stay in school or else. Submit to this arbitrary regime with no particular relationship to the real world and succeed in it or you will forever live in poverty and vulnerability. It’s an extortion racket. When moral panics about adolescent behavior this side of Brock Turner rear up, it’s also a blackmail racket.

It’s very simple: free citizens do not tolerate such treatment and are not treated in this fashion. Period. Great Books for Men, the intersectionally autistic/psychotic mainstay who used to hang out in Chateau Heartiste’s comment threads, made a comment about not being able to get a job as a Starbucks barista because his GPA was too low. It was presumably fiction, and most of it was barely intelligible gobbledygook, but it was true. That is exactly what has been happening to countless millions of people in the corporatized neoliberal West. Starbucks is a relatively minor offender, but the point stands.

This is not a reputable or moral regime. The people who have been running it are neurotic cutthroat bullshitters pretending to be high technocrats. There was a very real rationality, wisdom, and even prudence last year in voting for the unabashedly shambling novice who kept promising to shake shit up and give normal people a fair shake for once. There were no guarantees of reform, but large parts of Trump’s platform actually made sense, and I absolutely would not have been embarrassed if I had voted for him. I still would rather have voted for him than for Clinton, and the rage that Jill Stein has attracted as an alleged spoiler (LOL) confirms that I made a good choice in helping her clear five percent of the vote in Humboldt County.

Threats of doom aren’t so credible when they come from officials who have already doomed millions of decent people to penury just to grease their own baksheesh scams. Thundering about racism isn’t so compelling when it comes from a woman who doesn’t seem to feel uncomfortable about having accepted the services of frank house slaves on loan to her and her husband from the Arkansas Department of Corrections. That was just some kind of misunderstood regional cultural quirk, which being a union coal miner is not.

It’s still refreshing to have a president who shows the same degree of respect for the institutions he has been elected to lead that these institutions have been showing his constituents for decades. Josiah Bartlett was never my president; the Lincoln Bedroom pay-to-stay sleazeball was. Fuck decorum. If we’re going to have some again, it’s time we had some damn civic morals to go with it. We deserve honesty from our leaders, and Donald Trump is too impulsive not to show us some. It was our right to vote for that yutz every bit as much as it was our right to vote for the shrew who did the nae-nae on Ellen and was prevented by the combined psychological warfare of Jill Stein, Bernie Sanders, their dumbass voters, and the Kremlin from stumping in Wisconsin.

How gracious of the lady to publicly withhold her absolution of America’s noncompliant women for failing to vote for her. I can’t imagine how she failed to transcend all misogyny.

Maybe they really are dream hoarders

Yuck. It is my lot yet again to relitigate the 2016 election and its ramifications. My mom had to bring Trump, his unbelievable election, and the ignorance of his white trash voters up at the dinner table again, and this time I couldn’t let the belittlement slide. I flat-out told her and my dad that I had nearly voted for Trump and been relieved when he won the general election. I was explicit about why I like and trust Trump more than I do Hillary Clinton: that I was afraid Clinton would provoke a nuclear war with Russia; that, absolutely regardless of the very real US human rights violations that my mom sputteringly brought up as a red herring, Kim Jong-un and his regime deserve to be annihilated for what they did to Otto Warmbier, full stop, and that any government capable of whacking that thug, decapitating his regime, and putting an end to its menace to the international community should be encouraged to do so (I was too wigged out to say anything about the kill box in South Korea, which certainly disturbs me, but I believe fully in the assassination of that third-generation sovereign mob boss by any foreign power, regardless of its own imperfections); that Trump’s working-class supporters didn’t expect much of him but very reasonably put more stock in his public comments about doing right by them, as scatterbrained and dubious as they were, than they did in anything Hillary was offering.

The chronic problem here is that my parents have drunk the full serving of bourgeois liberal Kool-Aid and can’t or won’t admit that they’re proceeding from some really faulty premises, including ones about me and my circumstances specifically. Trump in no way has to be a mensch to get me in a way that Hillary does not, to respect me more than she does, or even to end up doing things that advance my welfare. Multiply my own circumstances by however many tens of millions of Americans are in similar ones, and you can get an idea of how the oaf was elected.

My parents have no reason whatsoever that I feel any common cause with Trump’s herrenvolk authoritarian extremism, or that anyone in particular from the white working class does. Aside from increased restrictions on immigration, which I would hope to see made more equitable and humane that the arbitrary patchwork of enforcement and non-enforcement that we have today, I abhor most of that shit, and Jeff Sessions genuinely scares me, as in not feeling like the kind of white boy he would refrain from having abducted, tortured, and extrajudicially executed. The temperamental and intellectual sympathies that I feel for Steve Bannon as a thinker who gets unjustly shit upon for expressing thoughts do not extend to a refusal to challenge him when he advocates nonsense or evil. His opposition can do better than the projectile vulgarity and feigned anti-intellectual retardation of that putz Scaramucci, the Harvard Law boy.

That I still feel more comfortable with the gist of the Trump Administration than with what I was expecting from a feminazi-themed Clinton redux is because I really, truly do perceive something uniquely dangerous about Billary and the sociopolitical context that they’ve done so much to create. In strictly logical terms, they’re crazier than Joe McCarthy on Russia. The Soviets in his day were Stalinist turned barely post-Stalinist hostile power; Russia under Vladimir Putin is nothing of the sort. The Kremlin has stocked its closet with some fresh skeletons, but it’s no Saudi Arabia, either as a threat to the human rights of its constituents or as a foreign power hostile to the United States. No reasonable and attentive American observer would consider Russia worse than a neutral power that gets caught up in unresolved disputes with its US-allied former imperial satellites. The FSB alerted the FBI to the brothers Tsarnaev; Saudi Arabia commissioned 9/11. What’s worse than just the burgeoning insanity of the educated liberal class on these matters, though, is that it’s being stoked out in the open by operatives of the failed presidential campaign of a notoriously sleazy yuppie power couple, fronted by a shrewishly feminist woman who rode her husband’s coattails to fame and the United States Senate. Your Fleek Abuela, the sworn detail-oriented wonk who wasn’t detail-oriented enough to stump in Wisconsin, lost because the Kremlin put a hundred grand worth of ads on Facebook and hired some third-rate internet trolls.

I dare say that my fears of nuclear aggression against Russia in the event of Hillary Clinton’s presidency have been borne out by the incredibly irresponsible bullshit about Kremlin interference that she has been orchestrating as a twice-defeated presidential candidate and former two-term first lady. This is a woman of insatiable ambition and wrath.

Trump is stylistically rather different, but I don’t see how his public comments are any less responsible or sane. Beefing with Piggy Gangnam Style is rash, and I do not want to see those two bring their nations to nuclear war over their mutually wounded honor, but expressing anger and condemnation at such a vile and dangerous character is perfectly sane. The international community has been struggling almost helplessly to contain that porky thug and his ancestors for practically a full human lifetime while they’ve starved their own subjects at will and arrayed enough medium-range artillery along the DMZ to turn Seoul into an ashtray. That’s without Nork nukes.

As rash as Trump’s public beef with Piggy Gangnam Style is, his rude comments are a potential threat solely because the Nork Dork has carried on and beefed up his family’s tradition of threatening to militarily annihilate its neighbors. That son of a bitch should be disposed of as quickly and cleanly as possible, if that’s possible. It would be fair enough to do to him what he had done to his brother in Kuala Lumpur, sauce for the fat gander being sauce for the other fat gander. That won’t be accomplished by Trump returning fire in an international war of trash talk, but the finest diplomacy the international community has brought to the table has done precious little to make that family behave itself.

At least we have independent civil institutions in the United States. Imagine what the Clintons would do in their absence. Or the Trumps. But the Trumps can’t hold a candle to the Clintons’ established insider political and news connections. They’re decades behind on parlaying the Donald’s specific celebrity as an entertainer into backstage political capital. Surely this helps explain why Trump keeps getting savaged in the mainstream media every time he says something coarse while Hillary is basically given a pass for comments that are equally coarse and sometimes even more disturbing, including her joking about Muammar Qaddafi’s gruesome death. Her thoughtless lack of compassion for a man who was pulled out of a sewer where he had been hiding and beaten and raped to death by a mob was cruel and abnormal. If there is a moral qualification for the presidency that’s worth observing, she didn’t do a thing to live up to it.

Meanwhile we keep hearing all this moral outrage about the rude things that Donald Trump has had to say about various domestic political opponents. Very often the same people fume that it’s outrageous for him to abet the police in roughing up suspects, that it’s outrageous for him to encourage NFL owners to fire players for taking a knee during the national anthem, and that it’s outrageous for him to make fun of Mika and Joe. Shit, guys, we’re gonna have to conserve some outrage here. Mika and Joe aren’t fucking vulnerable. Hillary Clinton sure as hell isn’t vulnerable. If they want to stop being savaged by an oaf of office who can’t help but trash-talk other celebrities, they’re free to retire from public life. In fact, it’s past goddamn time for Hillary and her entire family to retire from public life. Bill has been squandering his fading charm on stunts like cornering Loretta Lynch on the tarmac and beseeching her to think of Charlotte.

We have no duty as a citizenry to cater to the easily bruised feelings of the publicly privileged. As a raging Fox and Friends television grandpa, Trump is hit-or-miss, but when he goes after self-important blowhards who have never put a blessed thing on the line for their principles in their lives, he hits, hard and square. The Clintons, whose permanent triangulation in the twentieth century yielded to crude, haphazard stunts  in desperate pursuit of a dwindling viable base in the twenty-first, are perfect candidates for Trump’s attacks. Hillary is a walking treasury of all the bad things about feminism and none of the good ones. It’s little wonder that Hugo Schwyzer was able to successfully hack his way into overlapping activist circles as a male ally who was in it for the pussy. He’d do well in an environment driven by a logic that the only way to check one’s misogyny is to vote for the centimillionaire wife from the Lincoln Bedroom couple who is also, like, the craziest bitch in the country.

I’ll be damned if I’ll be cornered into voting for a woman who obviously looks down on me and wishes me ill for who I am when I’ve already had so much trouble functioning in the nightmare society that she, her husband, and their coterie have done everything in their power to create. One of the cool things about voting for Jill Stein was that doing so was almost as effective as going straight MAGA in driving disingenuous Uber liberals and parallel affluenza cases into a state of utter apoplexy. After all the difficulties I’ve had, I have no problem making them feel uncomfortable and upset. I don’t mind seeing the shoe on the other foot from time to time. Bill claimed to feel our pain; there’s no reason not to make his current political operation and target base actually, personally feel the pain that they’ve caused in the narrow pursuit of their self-interest.

Trump keeps getting flak for disrespecting hallowed institutions. Well fuck me. These are the same institutions that have double-crossed me and countless people like me and made it nigh impossible for us to stay afloat under our own power. The Congressional Republican Caucus would sooner put me in chains and heave me into the Potomac than serve me as a constituent. So would much of the Congressional Democratic Caucus. So, certainly, would Billary. None of these creeps gives a damn about normal people. Their constituents have to gang up on them to get them to provide basic constituent services, like not further fucking up Obamacare and leaving Americans to die by the tens of thousands. The presidency featured unionbusting under former SAG President Ronald Reagan, IRS audits targeting the poor under Bush I, constant sleaze under Clinton, and overt, uncontrolled constitutional crises under Bush II and Obama. Now some loudmouth from television goes off-script and THAT’S the most unprecedented threat to our government institutions? Like hell it is.

Of course I’m sick of the trite, worn-out, Aaron Sorkin-ass presumption of goodwill on behalf of offices and institutions that have clearly been taken over by looters. I went to school with people who now man this machinery, and I have no doubt that as a group they’re in it for nothing but their own power and wealth. In their professional lives, these are anything but admirable people. It’s a fucking tragedy; some of them could have done something worthwhile instead, but they aren’t about to bite the hand that feeds them so lavishly and risk ending up like me.

If Trump makes them feel threatened, good. They’ve turned into a territorial nightmare, and it’s about time that someone else came around and marked their territory. I routinely see people that Trump has not even started to dispossess freaking out more overtly at the prospect of his upsetting their apple cart than I freak out about sleeping in my fucking car. He swings his dick around like LBJ and smacks random ass-kissing celebrities with it, and these lunatics take it personally. We’ve got sworn liberals out rehabilitating Paul Ryan, the entire Bush clan, the FBI, and the CIA just because some quasi-old money yutz with golden toilets makes fun of yuppies. They’ve gone completely out of their minds because he occasionally humiliates their kind the way they habitually humiliate my kind, and they’re too dense to realize that his insults have not made them any less propertied.

It’s disturbing to watch people who allegedly have the finest liberal arts educations on earth get thrown by such crude stylistic attacks. Only a dimwit should be so easily rolled. That’s because they’re functionally dimwitted. They can’t, or won’t, muster actual counterarguments to Trump’s repetitive assertions that the industrial and mining jobs are coming back. They can’t imagine how this plays better in the rust belt than defending NAFTA as an across-the-board good. Both parties have spent decades by now catering to their interests as educated yuppies, at great expense to the uneducated and the poor, but they can’t imagine why the latter respond positively to a guy who promises to flip the rules back in their favor and fight for their interests.

Trump is all over the place, but some of his assertions are more right than even he may realize. Paying honest wages for honest work is a more equitable and stable economic model than flipping houses, and coal mining is honest work. It’s simplistic, but he’s on to some big things there. If everyone tries to keep collecting rents, before long there will be no one productive enough to make rent. Bill Clinton deliberately set the United States on a course towards everyone scamming everyone else, and W and Obama kept it up to varying but consistently significant degrees. Trump is right that the knowledge economy has dispossessed a whole lot of workaday Americans, not all of them unknowledgeable.

Damn straight I’d rather have a shyster from the real estate business ramble on about these themes incoherently than have the latest political front from a crime family known for its own exceptionally sleazy real estate dealings insist in somewhat more syntactically normal sentences that an economy amounting to serial Ponzi and MLM schemes is obviously sustainable. That shit barely held steady through the nineties, and it crashed into a smoldering pile of rubble just in time for Hillary to lose her first campaign for the presidency. Trump has yet to do anything to cure me of my relief that she ultimately lost her second campaign. It’s refreshing to have, for the first time in my life, a president who overtly shows us how much respect he has for his office and for his constituency. It’s no less refreshing to have the same gaudy oaf of office putting the yuppie swarm on the defensive. Decorum wasn’t taking us anywhere good.

A literal soap opera

Since I was up all night, as in upright, locked, and shoehorned three deep into a window seat in cattle class, I got to spend part of my not quite cold, not quite Chicago morning doing laundry in the sink while Matt Lauer interviewed Bill O’Reilly. It was only a pair of socks, a pair of underwear, and two ball caps, but still, the productive watching the tragic feebly interrogate the pathetic: God bless America.

Matt Lauer, as we’ve discussed before, is a tragic figure, but Bill O’Reilly is not. To be tragic one has to have some sort of wasted potential or failed aspiration or, shit, something. O’Reilly is just an unbelievably spiteful son of a bitch. He’s miserable not just for the rest of us but for himself, too. No joy or serenity or hope or even smugness shines through his miserable bastardy; it’s just the featureless, inchoate resentment of a man who can’t point to anything that has been foreclosed from him personally and can hardly point to a thing that has been foreclosed from those he claims to give voice, other than pervasive assertions of their own superiority and opportunities for tax evasion.

The problem with him isn’t that he’s conservative: Victor Davis Hanson and Rod Dreher believe in things and take hope, if faintly so, in the incremental achievement of those things; Thomas Sowell clearly finds meaning and satisfaction in researching and writing about the hidden histories of Germans, middleman minorities, and the like. Part of O’Reilly’s problem is that he’s a reactionary nutjob, but in his case it goes beyond the ideological and into the deep psychological. If Hillary Clinton and Ann Coulter are creatures of hell, Bill O’Reilly lives in hell here on earth; the sorry fucker isn’t even on furlough. All his money can’t buy him a visible measure of the peace that might cause him to be intermittently gracious.

The recurrent sexual harassment allegations against O’Reilly reared their head, of course, and, good self-serious objective piece of shit that he is, reputed role-playing furry Matt Lauer dutifully asked Loofah Boy to confirm or deny. O’Reilly denied the allegations both unequivocally, as a man of wounded honor, and equivocally, as the client of defense attorneys. Even if the guy is a randy schmuck, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. He was an even sorrier figure, in retrospect, than Paula Deen, who was merely having an unstable televised sad during her Matt Moment four years ago. What was wrong with her was fixable with some sleep, some time, some distance, and maybe some substances. What’s wrong with O’Reilly looks like it’s been wrong for a long damn time and is going to stay wrong.

It isn’t just that he got into trouble for his indulging himself before the casting couch at the expense, if any, of women subordinate to him. That sort of thing is ubiquitous in the industry, and anyone who wasn’t born yesterday knows it. Fox News is particularly open about it, in a half-assedly coy way, in the exceptionally lurid and chauvinistic manner in which it objectifies women on air. A notorious blowhard at the Leg Chair channel is accused of getting lecherous with the ladies under his authority? Color me fucking shocked. The guy was bound to do or say something coarse enough to annoy even a woman who came to him from the whorehouse via a psychiatric nursing assignment focusing on the care of the shit-flinging incontinent. He isn’t just a threat to the hothouse flowers around him. Cracka don’t do subtlety and tact.

Some guys get into trouble for sexual harassment by burning ex-lovers or being socially hapless before treacherous women who would tolerate much more aggressive sexual advances in the workplace from men they find attractive. These guys are sympathetic  because they get tripped up by arbitrary, often ex post facto rules that are routinely violated all around them. O’Reilly looks like he was and remains bound to go totally over the top in his time of horn.

Whatever he gets out of it can’t be healthy. Like so many men, he probably chases after the validation of seducing amateur women that he wouldn’t be able to claim by bedding a prostitute. Seduction makes men feel relevant, virile, and worthy. It also gets them into a hell of a lot of trouble. What O’Reilly is said to have committed isn’t seduction, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t pretend. Why shouldn’t an alpha lion like him enjoy the services of the entire pride? He’s just the victor enjoying the sexual spoils. The guy’s loaded, so there are any number of ladies of negotiable affection who are well with his budget to entertain him on a daily basis and put up graciously with what sounds like his rather vanilla, if still crude, sex drive, but a man of his stature shouldn’t debase himself to negotiating with women who expect frank compensation for their services to him.

Matt Lauer knows a thing or two about degrading himself for money. A comparison with Ron Jeremy came to mind, but Jeremy is a man of unabashed sexual vulgarity, not of lofty journalistic principles to abandon on national television by 7:30 every weekday morning. His better angels must have been whispering to him: why the fuck are you interviewing this bumptious loser? Why the fuck are you going to such lengths to stipulate this blowhard’s newsworthiness in the midst of several catastrophic hurricanes and a renewed GOP push to repeal the Affordable Care Act? Of course, Matt donned the golden handcuffs decades ago and never tried to shake them off. Did he, Miss Swift? No, he most assuredly did not. Matt’s a compliant circus act, you see. He’s a good boy.

In his business, being a good boy means dignifying some of the worst people on earth. Jerry Springer doesn’t pretend that his guests are functional and healthy. He doesn’t pretend to be objective and solemn when some chair-wielding meathead bellows at his baby-mamma that she’s a no-good lying cheating whore. Cincinnati is not a city of solemnity. Neither is it a city of Matt Lauer or the classes of people interviewed by Matt Lauer. From this perspective, what comes through about The First 48 and Police Women of Cincinnati is the sheer modesty: twenty-dollar Over-the-Rhine blowjobs, murders over promises of crack rock not kept, James “Mack the Pipe” Mack walking around the East End carrying a different length of pipe. It’s pathological, but it’s contained, and although it is salaciously watched, ultimately it is not normalized or celebrated. It’s understood that these are marginal, ridiculous characters and that aping them is for blame fools.

Aping Bill O’Reilly would presumably result in riches and glory. Likewise aping Hillary Clinton. Charlie Sheen is rolling in coke and hookers. Ann Coulter gets book deals and airtime. There are a lot of terrible role models in show business, and they’re held up as role models. (On Hillary Clinton, refer to the “Television” section of P. J. O’Rourke’s chapter about the coequal branches of “Money, Television, and Bullshit.”) If power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, we’ve got a lot of deranged, depraved freaks using their power to pursue absolute wrath. Where Bill O’Reilly wants to watch his enemies be left to their own devices to suffer indefinitely in punishment for t heir own lack of initiative, Hillary acts like she wants to strangle them with her bare hands for disloyalty and Coulter looks of a mind to watch hers be executed and then ceremonially urinate on their corpses.

These are not normal, healthy people. We came, we saw, he died. O’Reilly seems positively restrained in comparison for merely wanting all the losers around him to be beggared so that he might become richer yet. We narrowly avoided the presidency of a woman who publicly gloated about a foreign leader being sodomized and shot by a rival warband, and we avoided it by electing a guy who encourages cops to bang arrestees’ heads on the cruiser door jam. Love too be represented by leaders who refuse to transcend the morals of Muammar Qaddafi.

It’s official: I miss Matt on Paula on reheated racism interview now. Why, I do declare that I do. That was a dumbass fucking donnybrook, but it brought Mrs. Butter and a guy who’d robbed her at gunpoint out to confess that they’d done wrong and needed to get their heads straightened out. Think about those two haphazardly leading their nation towards truth and reconciliation while Loofah Boy, supposedly a great political activist, painfully huffs his way through unapologetic quasi-denials of office lechery and Midtown Furry keeps up the pretense that it’s all news.