Signs of the Times

I don’t know what to say about the fact that Kentucky’s Coal Museum is powered by solar panels but …. here it is, folks:

Tre’ Sexton said he was surprised when his company, Bluegrass Solar, was approached about the project. If there was one building in eastern Kentucky that wouldn’t have a solar-power system, you’d think it would be the coal museum, he said.

“Really the first time that I sat down and was talking about it with everybody, I was like…are you for real? They’re really going to go for this?” Sexton said. “I mean, that would be like showing up at a bank and they ask you if you’d mind taking some of this money out of the vault.”

But putting solar panels on top of the coal museum makes sense economically, Sexton said. Public attractions like this one can’t be profitable if they’re dealing with expensive electric bills every month. And people in eastern Kentucky are becoming more interested in alternative energy options.

There’s been a lot of discussion about coal and coal jobs lately, mostly because everyone always panders to coal states like West Virginia and Pennsylvania during election season. Both sides do it, and both sides are wrong. I mean, Republicans are the worst — Trump is famously making promises he can’t deliver, while Republicans are hanging sick retired miners out to dry. Democrats can be just as bad, though. Remember Alison Grimes, running for Kentucky Senate, criticizing President Obama on the loss of coal jobs? Her “concern” was such obvious bullshit, everyone knew it, and of course she got called on it.

Democrats and Republicans need to just stop this nonsense. These are not stupid people. They know their industry is dying. Stop promising to pull a Lazarus on a dying industry. It’s like it’s 1910 and politicians are promising to bring back wagons and farriers. I wonder how a politician of either party would fare if they came into coal country and said, “look, market forces have changed, coal has been replaced, let’s transition your economies to other industries with aggressive economic development and education programs.”

Would that get respect or a barrage of lying SuperPac ads? Probably the latter. That was basically Hillary Clinton’s message, and we all know how well that went over. Thing is, people just want to dream the impossible dream. Lie to me, please. Tell me that you can save my local coal mine, even if that one in Pennsylvania is shutting down. No, these people aren’t stupid, they’re desperate. Desperation is a hard emotion to address during a campaign.

But here we are. That the fucking Kentucky Coal Museum is being powered by solar panels because it’s more economical just says it all, doesn’t it? Coal has been dying for decades, and it’s not because of Obama or the EPA, it’s because of “market forces” and the damn numbers, folks. They don’t add up:

Coal mining jobs, meanwhile, have also fallen 70% since 1985, a loss of 120,000 jobs.

The coal industry has lost much of its customer base not because of regulations but because natural gas production has soared, pushing down the price of that cleaner source of electrical power.

In addition, falling costs for green energy, such as solar and wind power, have cut the demand for coal. So has a move by overseas markets, like China, to shift away from coal in an attempt to clean up badly polluted air.

Lots of people wonder why every election we pander to an industry that accounts for around the same number of employees as Whole Foods Markets:

It’s a good question. I have to say, this is an issue where both sides get it way wrong. I love the anti-fracking people on the left, you know, the ones who just couldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton because she’s “pro-fracking” and that’s a dealbreaker. Well then, are you in favor of climate change? Are you pro-mountaintop removal mining? Because those are the choices right now. Coal is dying — has been dying, for decades — because natural gas is ascending, and we get natural gas from fracking. So pick your poison.

And yes, solar and wind are good options but we do not have the infrastructure to transition our entire economy to these sources overnight. Our grid can’t accommodate it right now. We need that “Apollo program for energy” that we’ve been promised, but it’s not happening yet. So it has to happen in bits and pieces. Like the Kentucky Coal Museum putting solar panels on its roof, or this coal operation in eastern Kentucky planning a solar farm on a reclaimed strip mine.

We pander to an industry that supplies fewer than 100,000 jobs because there’s a lot of history attached to it and it’s a cultural touchstone. Much of “coal country” is in a culturally rich part of the nation which has supplied America with its most beloved artists, music and literature.

I’m shocked that as much as we pander to this region, we haven’t offered any realistic plan to bail it out this time around. You know, like we did in the 1930s with the creation of TVA, or Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. Maybe it’s a sign of our dysfunctional government that we just can’t do big things anymore.

Donald Trump can’t save the coal industry. Neither can Republicans. Nor can Democrats. Coal communities are going to have to find the answer within:

The old mind-set that the region needs a big jobs provider – like coal – is hard to break. Younger generations watch their parents endure unsteady employment and worry about their own prospects. Older generations can’t visualize a different way forward.

One mistake outsiders make, many here say, is thinking all this is actually about coal. It’s not. It’s more about the life coal provided. Where else could you earn $80,000 a year with a high school education or less?

“Embrace the change or be left behind,” says Jeff Combs of Hazard, Ky., standing outside a bed-and-breakfast on a hill overlooking the community’s nearly vacant downtown. “Be open-minded. Be open-minded to more.” Mr. Combs’s father, a former coal miner, implored him to avoid the mines. It was tough work, dangerous and unhealthy in the long term. Combs’s father was on disability in his 50s.

Is there a politician out there with the guts and fortitude to offer a little tough love? Who can say, point blank, times have changed and you have to change with them? Today’s jobs require education and skills, that’s just the reality. Gone are the days when you could drop out of high school and earn a good living in the mines. That’s over. Blaming treehuggers or liberals isn’t going to change that. But blaming others for things we feel powerless to change just feels so much better, doesn’t it?

24 Comments

Filed under energy conservation, energy future, environment, solar energy

Farewell, Bill O’Reilly

Twenty years too late, Bill O’Reilly was finally fired from Fox News.

Herewith, from deep in the memory hole, that infamous dance remix of his “fuckit, we’ll do it live” meltdown.

2 Comments

Filed under Bill O'Reilly, FOX NEWS

Elections Have Consequences, An UPDATE

Sorry for the long absence, I’ve been working like crazy.

Updating this post from last month about the poor citizens of Camden, Tennessee. To recap: a landfill in Camden, TN, started accepting hazardous waste under a loophole our Republican governor helped push through allowing landfill operators to privately petition the state’s Underground Storage Tank and Solid Waste Disposal Control Board. This means a landfill that Camden citizens thought was accepting just regular old household waste was, without any public notice or public disclosure, suddenly taking in dangerous chemicals, and the reason nobody knew about it is because Gov. Haslam removed all consumer representatives from that Board, so now it’s a bunch of industry cronies gladhanding each other and doing the ol’ wink-wink-nod-nod as their buddies pollute your drinking water.

Hilariously, the Camden residents decided to ask the EPA to help out, you know, the same EPA the man they overwhelmingly voted to be president wants to eliminate and the woman they overwhelmingly support as their Congressmonster wants to defund and fold into the Dept. of Energy. It’s hilarious that everyone keeps voting for Republicans and then they end up with a toxic waste dump in their backyards and they still haven’t connected the dots.

So anyhoo, about that landfill:

CAMDEN — Operators of a controversial landfill generating hazardous waste have padlocked the gates and left the site. Two former workers said the company abandoned two tanker trucks full of potentially explosive ammonia, dozens of 250-pound plastic containers containing cadmium sludge and thousands of gallons of potentially toxic runoff near a residential neighborhood.

The company, Environmental Waste Solutions, filed for bankruptcy Tuesday.

That’s certainly not good. The citizens of Camden have every right to be pissed off, and they are:

“What if you lived next door to that?” Charles Hubbs asked Flood. “I smelled that thing this afternoon. I’m mad. I mean, I don’t care who knows….We’ve been told from the get-go that there’s no problem with hazardous waste. TDEC has for the last 10 years told us there is no problem. Everything is taken care of.”

“There was an opportunity to keep it from being the monster that it has become,” said Elizabeth Murphy, an attorney representing residents who live next door to the landfill in a long-running legal dispute with EWS. “That is at (TDEC Commissioner) Martineau’s feet…The failure has been abysmal. TDEC has failed. I have never seen anyone at TDEC really give a damn.

The landfill is home to a mound of waste that is the city’s tallest structure. It is covered partially by black tarp held down by tires, and an Astroturf-like material covers another area. Nothing will grow on the mound, nicknamed “Black Mountain” by state officials.

TDEC has failed because the state government is in Republican hands and modern Republicans don’t view environmental regulations as a benefit to peoples’ health and welfare, they view them as an obstruction to private profits. That is an absolute, 100%, incontrovertible fact. Remember Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey’s “TN Red Tape” tours?

Stop voting for Republicans, people. They don’t care about your water and air. C’mon, everybody knows that.

13 Comments

Filed under environment, EPA, Tennessee

Lowering The Bar

Republicans have a pretty low bar in general (have you seen the nutbars in the Tennessee legislature?) but now Donald Trump has convinced many Masters of the Universe of all political stripes that they have what it takes to run the government:

“A lot of people are saying, ‘My God, if Donald Trump can get elected, anybody can get elected,’ ” said Steve Westly, a former eBay executive who ran for governor of California in 2006.

Spurred by Mr. Trump’s election — or at least encouraged by it — a contingent of rich, fairly famous and largely Democratic neophytes has begun to line up for some of the most important elections of 2017 and 2018, including for governorships in Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Nevada and New Mexico, and a mayoral race in New Orleans.

Right, cuz who needs experience! Can’t be that hard, surely?

Of course, Republicans have been doing this for years. Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, Herman Cain, Kentucky’s Matt Bevin … politics is filled with Republicans with zero experience running for high office. No doubt this is because in the Republican Party, inexperience is more of a badge of honor than it is for Democrats.

We’ve got our own inexperienced businessman candidate right here in Tennessee, where a successful plumbing/HVAC contractor is thinking seriously about running for Governor on the Republican ticket. And he’s pretty proud of not knowing anything about anything, too:

“This is just about leadership and leadership around meaningful, purposeful work, and I started having conversations about public service,” Lee told the newspaper. “Ultimately, I just kind of said what it would be like to wake up in the morning instead of thinking how do I make life better for 1,100 Lee Company workers, how do I make life better for 6.5 million people?”

Lee described himself as a “very socially conservative guy who’s business minded.” He said his main priorities are jobs, education and public safety, but he acknowledged that his inexperience in politics could present a steep learning curve.

On specific questions of policy, Lee said he’s not trying to be evasive on issues, “but I’m just going, ‘Gosh, I don’t know if I would do this or that.’”

Gosh, you don’t know? Then golly gee willikers, Mr. Lee. Maybe you should sit down and figure some shit out first, y’know?

And as for this “public service” stuff, here’s a thought: try volunteering at Room In The Inn, or the women’s shelter here in town. Try working with some of the refugees in this community. Try reaching out to GLBT teens at the Oasis Center, kids who have been kicked out of their homes and have nowhere to go. You know, the modern-day equivalent of dining with the tax collectors that Jesus did back in the day (Lee supposedly opposed Metro Nashville’s non-discrimination ordinance prohibiting city contractors from discriminating against GLBT employees, so it seems he needs a little educating on some of these social issues).

Maybe before assuming you are ready for the governor’s office because you didn’t trash the family business your grandfather started (i.e., you inherited), maybe you should spend some time with the folks who didn’t get the leg up in the world that you did.

Just a thought.

10 Comments

Filed under Tennessee, TNGOP

How Democrats Can Work With Trump

First, how not to work with Donald Trump:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced she will vote for 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

[…]

This vote does not diminish how disturbed I am by what Republicans did to Judge Garland.

Yes, actually, it does. It says you are 100% fine with the craven Republican gamesmanship that denied the last Democratic president his Supreme Court pick. It tells Republicans there are no consequences, only rewards, for such despicable acts. No matter how much you explain that you are outraged by what Republicans did to Merrick Garland (and she goes on for an entire paragraph reaffirming this dismay) you are signaling your approval of that action. Because even though you say,

There isn’t a perfect judge.

… this isn’t about the judge. It’s about the process. The process cannot be allowed to be corrupted. So when you say,

Regardless of which party is in the White House, the U.S. Supreme Court should be above politics.

…. please understand, you are negating those very words by voting for this nominee, any nominee, save Merrick Garland.

So, that’s how not to work with Donald Trump. But is there a way Democrats can work with him? Maybe. Because there’s a whiff of desperation in the air. Stories like this one are appearing with increasing frequency. Trump’s approval ratings are lower than Obama’s ever were in 8 years. Trump wants — no, needs — a win. Not “needs” in the political sense, but “needs” in the psychological sense. His ego demands it. As Tony Robbins observed (correctly, in my opinion):

We were discussing false confidence, and you’ve sat down with Trump, so how would you characterize his level of narcissism? It does seem like its born out of deep insecurity.

It is. His entire life is “you win or you’re nobody.” You’re seen and known. Even if people don’t like you, though he’d prefer to be liked, people will know how you are and respect you. That mentality is a ‘40s/’50s subset that some people have that he was brought up with, and it is him. The level of obsession that he has about the media coverage he gets—if you go to his offices he’s got a room stacked with magazines of everything he’s ever done. I know it sounds absurd, but I feel for the guy in that at any moment, his entire identity can disappear if enough people are upset with him. I hope that he’ll eventually adjust to a CEO mentality and be in a position where he wants to succeed so badly that he’ll do something that’s worthwhile. We’ll see.

Trump needs a win. He started out siding with the extremist far right, but they’ve given him nothing but losses. Trump is now attacking the Tea Party “Freedom Caucus” publicly on Twitter. He’s pissed off. He blames them for his epic losing streak. And he’s sucking up to Democrats right now because if he couldn’t get his win from the right, he’ll try to get it from the left.

I know that makes a lot of people uneasy but please remember: Trump has no principles, no political ideology of any kind. His ideology is “Trump must win.” It’s really no more complicated or deep than that. I firmly believe that. This is a guy who has supported Planned Parenthood in the past. He once supported climate change action. He once supported salary caps on executives receiving bailout funds. He even once supported impeaching George W. Bush.

Trump is the quintessential fair weather president. He has no deeply held beliefs, no adherence to any ideology. He’ll attach himself to whichever side gives him a win. Can Democrats use this to get some wins of their own? Maybe. It’s worth a try. Hell, if things get bad enough, I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump didn’t come on board for single payer healthcare, as long as they called it TrumpCare! Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but the point is, Trump is desperate for a win, holds no political allegiances, and will work with whomever can give him a win. I can easily see Trump ditching the far-right policies Paul Ryan foisted on him and swinging back left. Not only do I see it happening, I could almost bank on it.

Even better, if Trump started working with the Democrats, how fast would House Republicans move to impeach him? The mind boggles.

Something to think about it and discuss.

39 Comments

Filed under Democratic Party, Donald Trump

You Had One Job, Democrats

I cannot tell you how furious I am to see headlines that use the words “Neil Gorsuch” and “confirmation hearings” in the same sentence.

Neil Gorsuch is getting confirmation hearings that Republicans despicably denied Merrick Garland. That is a fact, and Gorsuch’s nomination is illegitimate. His confirmation will be illegitimate and, if seated, his tenure on the court will be illegitimate. As David Faris wrote,

Gorsuch’s seat was stolen by a craven act of democratic sabotage, and he will always be sitting in a chair reserved for the nominee of a Democratic president. He is illegitimate today, and he will be illegitimate 20 years from now. The fact that he is willing to accept a stolen Supreme Court seat does not speak well of his underlying character. Nicking a Supreme Court seat is not a victimless crime.

Gorsuch is happy to steal a Supreme Court seat. That makes him a thief, and a liar, and a craven political douche canoe who is not worthy of a lifetime appointment on the nation’s highest court. And anyone normalizing this process as if what we all know happened didn’t happen needs to be seriously checked. That goes for every media person and every member of the U.S. Senate pretending Gorsuch deserves to have this hearing. He doesn’t.

So I don’t want to hear about Neil Gorsuch. I don’t care if he’s a brilliant legal mind or a nincompoop. He does not deserve to be there. Period.

I don’t care that he’s a mysogynist who believes women “manipulate” maternity leave. I don’t care that he’s praised voter suppression or hates the environment. I do not give a rat’s ass as to whether he loves his wife or if he supports an independent judiciary.

This seat is not his to fill. The seat belonged to the person President Barack Obama nominated to fill it, before the Republicans invented some fake “rule” about not filling seats in election years. That rule does not exist, no matter who tried to pretend otherwise. Everybody knows it and anyone who says otherwise is lying.

And how the fuck did this happen, Democrats? Who dropped the ball here? We have been saying since the damn 2000 election that the Supreme Court is everything. So how did everyone just fall in line and act like, “Oh, okay, it’s an election year, got it.” How in the living hell did this happen?

What was it? Was it that Democrats were so sure Hillary was going to win that they didn’t want to get dirty fighting this battle? Is that it? What was the thinking here? Did the pending election take all of the air out of the room?

WHAT HAPPENED?

And where were our allies? Where was the Human Rights Campaign, MoveOn.org, the Center for American Progress, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and everyone else who is constantly badgering me for money? The Supreme Court is the most important thing in every one of your begging emails yet not one of you people fought for Obama’s pick? Nobody ran an ad on cable news? No one thought to rally the troops, get people to sign petitions, call their members of congress, march on the capitol, none of it?

Words fail that the left dropped this ball. THE most important ball.

17 Comments

Filed under Democratic Party, Supreme Court

Culling The Herd

A lot of us suffered severe post-election anxiety, myself included. More than a few sleepless nights were spent worrying fitfully about what will happen to our most vulnerable citizens. And on a few occasions I even had the thought — fleeting — that in this new America, only the strong will survive. I have a bum knee, I need to lose 20 pounds, I’m middle-aged. Is there a place for me in Trump’s America? No, I decided.

If a gang of Trump thugs attacked me in a parking lot, could I fight back? Nope. My kickboxing days are more than a decade in the past. I haven’t run a marathon in years. I need to go to the gym, work out, diet. I need to give up beer. Trump’s America — Paul Ryan’s America — is for the young and strong. The denizens of Crossfit and SoulCycle.

And then I thought … nah! I mean, look at Steve Bannon: more Baron Vladimir Harkonnen than Master Race, right? If this schlub can get away with an extra 30 pounds, so can I.

But not so fast. Turns out I was onto something:

This budget will make America a lean, mean fighting machine with bulging, rippling muscles and not an ounce of fat. America has been weak and soft for too long. BUT HOW WILL I SURVIVE ON THIS BUDGET? you may be wondering. I AM A HUMAN CHILD, NOT A COSTLY FIGHTER JET. You may not survive, but that is because you are SOFT and WEAK, something this budget is designed to eliminate.

This excellent piece of satire had me ROFLMAO and is definitely worth spending one of your Washington Post freebies reading (or just go ahead and get a subscription, you cheapskate. Support the goddamn journalism, already.) But after the laughs died down I remembered my November panic attacks about being old and fat and weak and I realized,

Oh my god. Alexandra Petri is right. They are culling the herd.

And it’s not just Trump, it’s the entire Republican Party. It’s the entire ethos of conservatism: if you’re poor or weak or sick, get outta the way. You’re dragging the country down. You are dead weight on American greatness.

Some examples:

Trump Budget Cuts Put Struggling Americans on Edge

[…]

“I have lung cancer and it’s the dead of winter,” she remembers thinking. “What am I going to do?”

Help came in the form of a heating subsidy: money from the federal government, delivered by the Highland County Community Action Organization, a small nonprofit in rural southern Ohio, where Ms. Feltner lives.

Now, that program is on the chopping block. It is one of many cuts in President Trump’s new budget proposal that would inflict the deepest pain on the most vulnerable Americans — a great number of whom voted for him.

Duh, lady. “What am I gonna do?” Die, of course. Don’t you know that? Get with the program, honey. Stop holding the rest of the country back with your lung cancer and your poverty and your lack of winter heat. That’s not American greatness! That’s weak. So either stop being weak and sick and cold, or get the fuck out of the way.

Here’s another one:

Rural Areas Brace for a Shortage of Doctors Due to Visa Policy

[…]

While the Trump administration is fighting, in the courts of justice and public opinion, for its temporary travel ban affecting six countries, the slowdown in the rural doctor pipeline shows how even a small, relatively uncontroversial change can ripple throughout the country.

In Montana, for example, where nine counties do not have a single physician, it means Benefis Health does not know when a Romanian doctor trained in kidney transplants will arrive. The health care company spent months recruiting the doctor and had been expecting her in July.

“Our health system already has nine months invested in her, and now we have no idea when she can start,” said Erica Martin, who recruits doctors for the company.

Sorry, Montana. Kidney transplants are for pussies. Do we have to make it more clear? People who need kidney transplants aren’t great, they are reminders of weakness and failure and THAT CANNOT BE ALLOWED so die already and stop reminding us of what losers you are.

This one is my absolute favorite: a “veterans rights gun bill” that would remove 174,000 mental health records from the background check system. It basically reverses a Bush-era law passed after the Virginia Tech massacre. Keeping PTSD-afflicted veterans from committing suicide sounds like the kind of namby-pamby thing liberals and losers would do. In the Republican Party’s “only the strong deserve Murrica” approach to public policy, Veterans considering suicide need to get on with it already – -and here’s the gun to do it with. Y’all are dragging us down, man! Soldiers traumatized by war are weak! Didn’t you get the memo? America doesn’t do weak anymore! So go and do what you need to do and get the fuck out of the way because we’ve got Greatness to accomplish, you candy-assed wimp.

(I love that the bill was sponsored by Tennessee’s own Rep. Phil Roe, by the way. An alleged “doctor.”)

And of course there’s this one:

Trump’s NIH Budget Cuts Threaten a Serious Setback in Medical Research

This makes no sense until you realize that the point is to cull the herd and cures for cancer and other diseases are simply impeding that process. If you are sick, disabled, mentally ill, poor, unemployed, etc., then you should be about one thing: getting the fuck out of the way. By dying. If you aren’t in the business of dying then you are dragging the country down.

Come on, America. Get busy living, or get busy dying. That’s the fucking point.

41 Comments

Filed under Donald Trump, Republican Party

Trump In Nashville

You Are My Hero

What a bizarre event.

Trump’s campaign started robo-calling supporters in a four-county area 48 hours ago offering free tickets. The optics they were going for, of course, was, “thousands of people lined up to get in,” which isn’t as hard as it sounds when your venue is the Municipal Auditorium, not exactly the largest rink in town. However, they got the crowd they wanted: thousands of people were, indeed, lined up … all the way down James Robertson Parkway, all the way up to the state capitol, all the way around the building. I’m guessing there were 15-20,000, but I’ve heard other figures that are higher. Let it be said: most if not all of these folks could have fit inside the Titans’ football stadium. But that wouldn’t have provided Trump with the necessary ego-gratification that comes with a “standing room only/thousands turned away” narrative.

Several protesters made it inside the Municipal Auditorium, by the way. Some chanted “no ban, no wall,” and got tossed out. Some turned their backs and left. One, a doctor, unfurled a banner and was ejected (but not arrested). Unfortunately, the coordination of the protest was poor so I’m afraid the message got watered down. Watching the televised speech, you could see something was happening that Dear Leader didn’t like. Maybe other cities can learn from our experience and do a better job of planning and coordinating ahead of time.

As for me, I was out on the street with both supporters and protesters. Any delusions that this wasn’t garden-variety bread-and-circuses were dashed by the dozens of pro-Trump merchandise tables outside (and huge Trump/Pence merchandise BUS, yes, it was a bus.) And from the looks of those selling the merchandise, not everyone submitted a head shot and full body shot.

As for the protest, again, there didn’t appear to be a lot of coordination. Protesters were scattered until around 5:00 or so, when the protest crowd really started to swell. It’s frustrating to me that there were so many different groups doing so many different things — there was the immigrants’s rights group, the #Resist group, the women’s group … people, can we not all talk to each other? Because nothing looks lamer than 30 people in pussy hats carrying Planned Parenthood signs through a crowd of 10,000 Trump supporters — especially when there were a couple hundred other pussy-hatted folks just a few blocks away, unaware of the march. Would have been nice if we all could have marched together, you know?

Also, it seems I must remind people once again that staying home and Tweeting about a protest is not, you know, the same as actually protesting. And here’s a fun fact: you can Tweet from a protest! Really!

So I was a little disappointed in the protest, but I left around 5:45 pm. At that point I’d been walking around in the freezing cold for 2 hours and had a nasty windburn. I understand good vibes were shared later in the evening.

Below are some more pictures from the event:

Some Slogans Never Get Old

Some Slogans Never Get Old v. 2

Great Sign!

Random Shouty Guy

Random shouty guy, religious edition

18 Comments

Filed under Donald Trump, Nashville, protests

4 Times In 29 Minutes He Didn’t Mean It

He didn’t mean it, according to Sean Spicer.

Even though he said it again, and again, and again. He still didn’t mean it.

He didn’t mean it in a box. He didn’t mean it with some socks. He didn’t mean it when on Fox. He didn’t mean it, though he Tweeted it.

Not just once but FOUR times:

He didn’t mean this one, either:

And five minutes later, he didn’t mean this one:

… and he still wasn’t over not meaning it, 10 minutes later:

Donald Trump is a liar, an idiot, mentally ill, or all three. How is anyone supposed to trust him on anything when we’ve been repeatedly lied to and then told the problem was OUR fault for listening to him?

This is one sick motherfucker.

14 Comments

Filed under Donald Trump

Elitist

Yesterday I was listening to a program called “Indivisible” — one of those “intersection of culture and politics” type shows on NPR. This particular episode focused on millennials and whether they planned to stay engaged in the political process, and of course host Kerri Miller put out a special shout-out to millennial Trump voters because Lord knows, we haven’t heard enough from them.

And in general it was a fairly interesting conversation until we got to the caller from Columbus, Ohio, our millennial Trump voter. You can catch his interview here at the 22 minute mark:

I actually did vote for Donald Trump, I am a millennial, and perhaps one of the sole reasons why was just the coarse ugliness of 21st century activism. Everything from football games to flavors of ice cream has been politicized, and that type of culture is an extreme turnoff to blue collar millennials. And that’s a demographic the Democratic Party does need to pay attention to because there are many of us who do not have college degrees and are blue collar, and in general when you work with your hands it’s really hard to take the advice of people with pink hair seriously.

Cue record-scratch sound effect. Dude, did some chick with pink hair turn you down for a date or something? Poor baby.

So, got that? He voted for Trump just to stick it to the liberals. You sure showed us, boy oh boy! Har har. What a dumb fuck.

I am so sick of these people, I really am. It always goes back to their overwhelming butthurt over some imagined slight, the over-arching inferiority complex of the blue collar conservative. There’s this deeply-seated suspicion of us pointy-headed intellectuals who believe in shit like, you know, science and economics, and who have the temerity to believe that government in the right hands can function as the Founding Fathers designed it to.

But I digress. Host Kerri Miller asked our millennial Trump voter if he planned to disengage from politics, wondered how involved he’d been beyond voting in the first place, at which point I had to change the channel. Take it away:

I wasn’t involved in getting out the vote at all. I’m not affiliated with any political party at all. In fact, I’m even considering shredding my voter registration. The ugliness of the 2016 election, it’s a huge turnoff. There’s a large number of people that were independents and first-time voters, not because they’re registered Republicans or necessarily convinced with Republican principles, but it’s simply they saw no choice between a kind of pretentious chaos and a blue collar work ethic. And in the end Donald Trump despite his background portrayed himself as more sincere and he did not talk down to the blue collar demographic.

Pretentious chaos vs a blue collar work ethic? Yeah, I’ve actually heard that one before. Someone bought the Fox News Kool-ade that liberals are all on the dole while the hardworking, red-blooded, American blue-collar worker goes out and keeps America afloat for the rest of us.

We’ve been fed a lot of that horseshit since the election as the media pursues an endless analysis of the “typical Trump voter” (his sainted name be praised). Now is when I get to link to The Rude Pundit’s perfect response to this nonsense: a righteous rant called, Fuck You, Rural Elitists.

Yes, seriously, fuck you, Mark in Columbus, Ohio. I’m sorry your feelings got hurt by someone with a Yale degree who refused to accept that climate change is a hoax or Ayn Rand was anything more than a writer of bad fiction. Maybe people with college degrees actually know a thing or two, you know? That doesn’t mean that everyone without a college degree is a moron, I know plenty of smart, successful people who never went to college. But let me tell you, they’d be the last people to wear an inferiority complex on their sleeve and demand all the coastal elites worship their Carhartts.

I hear so much of this shit from so many people. Why is looking down on someone with pink hair and a nose ring — or, for that matter, a degree from Stanford or Vanderbilt — any less elitist than calling out someone wearing camo and a farmer’s cap?

And please, stop telling me that I need to “understand” these people. No, I fucking don’t. Maybe they need to understand us. How often does the news media try to explain liberalism to them? I’m not talking Fox News, I’m talking any goddamn news network. Does CNN or ABC or any media outfit ever try to explain “the typical Clinton voter” or “the Trump opposition” to these folks? That might be a start, you know?

I’ve had a lot of people ask me lately what we can do to change peoples’ minds, to “un-brainwash” them (to be impolite), or, as one commenter asked, to come up with some “suggested solutions to get these people to see that they are voting against their, and their families, interests.”

I don’t have a solution. There isn’t one. Study after study shows that people are entrenched in their ideas and giving them facts only makes them dig their heels in further. The problem is not political. The problem these folks have is psychological. They got their feelings hurt by some Democrat with a degree from Yale and now suddenly we all have pink hair and nose rings and should be ignored.

So take the log out of your own eyes, folks. You’re just as elitist and biased as anyone else. Maybe when you lose your health insurance and your corn exports to Mexico go the way of a fart in the breeze you can sit and think about all those kids with hair dyed from the Paas collection and mull over how it’s all their fault. Or maybe you can turn off the TV, crack open a book, and start thinking for yourselves.

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