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Have we not learned?

wee’•mayl (noun)

Any email or group of emails–to which we ascribe self-destructive significance–depicting political humans acting like political humans within the bounds of treaty, law, and prevailing norms but that can nevertheless be used to gull a gullible, conspiracy-minded, essentialist, epistemologically challenged populace into the unshakable conviction that they have witnessed evidence of unforgivable criminality, chicanery, or just damn I told you she was a bitch!

Ex. “Did you get that we-mail I sent you? It proves that the day before the Iowa Caucus there was evil in her heart.”
“Not yet. It takes up a lot of memory, so first I have to delete my Social Security cache.”

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Sikorsky Transit Gloria: Sikorsky Settles Case of Chopper’s Unsettling Inability To Settle on the Ground Without Setting On Fire

The Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. has agreed to pay some money for killing three Navy crew members in January of 2014. The Sikorsky executives responsible will face no consequences for killing members of the American military because suck it, Guantanamo.
A Sikorsky MH-53E Sea Dragon caught fire in mid-air when its allegedly defective electrical wires shot a spark into a purported hole in a fuel line, just like Rube Goldberg designed it to do. The Navy has been replacing Sikorsky’s shitty wiring since it first discovered the problem back in 1987, before the youngest fatality was fucking born. That’s right, Petty Officer 3rd Class Brian Collins, 25, of Truckee, California, lived his whole life never knowing what it meant to live in a world free of shitty Sikorsky MH-53E Sea Dragon electrical-wire insulation.

In a statement an honest Sikorsky would have made, a spokesmurderer said, “Insulation costs money. Suck my balls.”

Pres.-elect Donald Fucking Trump is apparently going to make things all better, because earlier this week, he told Sikorsky’s parent company, Lockheed Martin, to start cutting costs.

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Jesus H₂O Christi: Texas Wants To Tap That Gas

Corpus Christi, Texas, is putting a lot more Crystal Springs water in its corpus today, after the city told 300,000 residents there not to use tap water for washing or drinking. An estimated 250,000 residents rely on water for routine personal hygiene.

The warning was caused by the discovery of two unidentified “petroleum-based chemicals” in the water supply, far above the normal number of just one petroleum-based chemical in Texas water.

Until yesterday, local scientists estimated that an average 57% of the human body of Christ was comprised of water. Officials told The Fucking News the water emergency will not affect long-term city plans, such as leasing public lands beneath the dams that store two of its three biggest water sources for oil and gas drilling and fracking.

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House of Czars: Obama Vows Retaliation Against Russia for Illegally Enabling America To Act Like America

In an interview airing today on NPR, Pres. Obama said the U.S. will retaliate against Russia for its attempt to influence the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. Obama did not say when the U.S. will take action, or what it will do, but The Fucking News has learned that the primary measure under consideration to punish Russia will be carried out on January 20, when the U.S. will allow Donald Trump to become president of itself. Themove is a risky one for Obama, as a clear violation of international treaty and common sense.

Giving Trump the White House is expected to do incalculable harm to Russia, its allies, its frienemies, people named “Russ,” and the planet where Russia is.

When any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections … we need to take action,” Obama said to NPR. He added to the NPR of our dreams, “Imagine if a House committee had tried to impact the integrity of our elections by getting into a candidate’s emails and then bragged about how effective it was at hurting her, only to wait until right after the election to shut the committee down without even alleging that she did anything wrong. Imagine the outrage. You wouldn’t see the Democratic establishment accept that shit.”

Russia’s illegal attempt to sway the election by disseminating Democratic National Committee emails showing a clear pattern of political lawfulness is estimated to have done almost 1/1000th the damage House Republicans did by swaying the election legally with the dissemination of State Department emails showing a clear pattern of government lawfulness. 

America’s involvement in the giving-a-shit-about-emails is punishable by a sentence of four to eight years in Hell.
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Backwards Justice

So, you remember the black man who was assaulted at a Donald Trump rally in March.
His name is Rakeem Jones and he was punched by a white man in North Carolina for holding his head up in a raging sea of white.
John McGraw—facing sentencing—apologized to the black man in court on Wednesday.
What else could he do?
So the black man forgave the white man.
The cameras were watching them.
The court was watching them.
Between them, the two men figured somehow that the black man was obliged to help fix what was done to him.
“We have to heal America,” the white man said to the judge.
John McGraw received a 30-day suspended sentence Wednesday, with a year of unsupervised probation, and had to pay a $230 fine.
Justice was done.
Rakeem recalled a friend facing five years for a similar crime because the system decided he didn’t deserve mercy, so his case was over.
Rakeem was glad, though, to face John McGraw in person.
So, Rakeem Jones shook hands in court on Wednesday with the white man who assaulted him at a Donald Trump rally in March.

Heartwarming, right? Well, we tried putting all the same, exact sentences of that story in reverse order to see whether it offered a different perspective…

So, Rakeem Jones shook hands in court on Wednesday with the white man who assaulted him at a Donald Trump rally in March.
Rakeem was glad, though, to face John McGraw in person.
Rakeem recalled a friend facing five years for a similar crime because the system decided he didn’t deserve mercy, so his case was over.
Justice was done.
John McGraw received a 30-day suspended sentence Wednesday, with a year of unsupervised probation, and had to pay a $230 fine.
“We have to heal America,” the white man said to the judge.
Between them, the two men figured somehow that the black man was obliged to help fix what was done to him.
The court was watching them.
The cameras were watching them.
So the black man forgave the white man.
What else could he do?
John McGraw—facing sentencing—apologized to the black man in court on Wednesday.
His name is Rakeem Jones and he was punched by a white man in North Carolina for holding his head up in a raging sea of white.
So, you remember the black man who was assaulted at a Donald Trump rally in March.

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Your Weekend Planner

(all times EDT because fuck the Heartland)

Friday, December 16
8:30am —
Commerce Department releases November housing starts, expected to raise the bar even higher

Saturday, December 17
11:30pm —
National intelligence community briefers transmit vital information to Pres.-elect Trump live from New York

Sunday, December 18
Noon — 
Final Electoral College deadline to change registration to Pass/Fail

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Trumph of the Will

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,
with the voice of the archangel, and with the Trump of God.”
– Four Thessalonians

So here we are.

We’re almost done with the national project of normalizing utterance of the sentence, “Donald Trump is the 2016 Republican presidential nominee.” We have physically mutilated our very synapses into a shape capable of acccepting a reality in which the party whose first presidential nominee went to war to liberate slaves will now nominate a man who went on TV to fire apprentices.

We’re already moving beyond that. Polls show that approximately half of the country wants to hand the levers of economic power, the nuclear codes, and the keys to our future over to Trump rather than to a former secretary of state or a sitting U.S. senator whose political weakness is his embrace of the same political ideology that has made Scandinavia the envy of the world.

How did we get here? This is not solely the death throes of a confused, angry, anxious, white, male, Christian hegemony. In choosing Trump we have simply made explicit what has been implicit in a million fucking choices made by right and left alike for decades.

Yes, there is racists in Trump’s ranks. But there have always been racists. And he could not win on racism alone. And his racist/sexist statements have always been caveated enough to enable the coming pivot.

Trump said what he had to in order to win the nomination…is what he will say in order to win the election.

And the left will focus on which of those two he really means. Because that’s what the left does. That’s what we all do. That’s how we got here.

We are obsessed, like children, with essentialism. What do they really think? Are they racist? Who are they…really? Because we think that tells us something about how people will act in the future.

We find ourselves asking these questions about Republican nominee Donald Trump because we ever started asking those stupid questions in the first place.

Essentialism is the stuff of children. Which we now are.

The counter-culture of the sixties did a vast amount of good…but also hurt us with the exaltation of feelings and emotions. Conservatives once took pride in the idea that they were the intellectual ones, scoffing at the emotionalism of the left, at the primacy the left gave to people’s feelings, for fuck’s sake.

The conservatives lost. Feelings won. Impulse won. Essentialism won. If it felt good, we did it.

So we traded a thoughtful president for a thoughtless one. We traded reluctant warriors for war-loving warriors. Rocky for Rambo.

The left dealt with the right, and vice versa, in absolutist, essentialist terms because it was easy, and that’s how we felt. The way children do things.

People love Trump because he appeals to this childlike laziness. We don’t want to do the work of evaluating policy, of thinking before we speak about people of color, of figuring out who to vote for in the mid-terms, let alone in state elections, let alone in local elections.

We grew up with the left preaching “Think Globally, Act Locally.” As if there was some reason we couldn’t think and act globally and locally. And so we acted locally, and while we were thinking globally, we lost the globe to climate change and Wall Street Unbound. And acting globally, it turned out, didn’t mean showing up at local elections, let alone volunteering or donating. It meant ordering locally grown, non-GMO produce for our kale salads at the artisanal bistro while our statehouses became the trendy spot for organic, free-range lobbyists raised on an exclusive diet consisting of our future.

Because elections were tawdry, dirty things, and we were above them. We removed ourselves from the fucking work, the way we’d been taught by Henry David Thoreau, and Timothy Leary, and Jon Stewart. Our primary accomplishment was keeping our own fucking hands clean. We talked about “Congress” because we couldn’t bother to find out which members were good on which issues. Easier and more rewarding to condemn the institution, the city, as if were built on mystical ley lines of corruption rather than the fault lines of human dynamics and the constitutional bedrock of adversarial systems. Priding ourselves on saving our own selves from “the system,” while still thinking of ourselves as patriots who revere the American way, which–guess the fuck what—is participating in the system. Which is the system.

We held ourselves above the system, but that didn’t elevate us, it lowered the system.

And we let the boring, actually essential stuff, slip away. The unions. Regulatory regimes. Truly progressive tax rates. Because the arguments against those things are easy to win if we evaluate them based on feelings rather than on work. Which we did.

So everything turned to shit. Because we shat on the hard work needed to preserve and sustain it. And once the right figured out that the left’s embrace of emotionalism and essentialism was actually better suited for them, they ran with it.

In 2000, when Al Gore made his case about the shitty state of Texan health care, George W. Bush was asked whether Gore’s numbers were correct.

“If he’s trying to allege that I’m a hard-hearted person and I don’t care about children, he’s absolutely wrong.”
– George W. Bush, Oct. 11, 2000, presidential debate

It was the answer of a child. A child running for president. Atop the ticket of the party that once prided itself on its coldly reality-based intellectualism.

The triumph of lefty emotionalism was complete. Now everyone could believe whatever they wanted because of how it made them feel. Belief in global warming went down. The country embraced Draconian anti-crime measures—despite stunning declines in crime—because we didn’t feel safe.

So it wasn’t just the things that were worse that felt worse…everything felt worse. Because it’s hard to convince people of the truth when they don’t do critical assessment. Things feel true or they don’t.

So we did away with the quaint requirement that television news provide equal access to participants in the political system. Stories had to feel important.

And one by one, our essentialism and our emotionalism made it easy for the robber barons and the terrorized children to steal away all the bulwarks and norms that used to propel us forward, economically, socially, scientifically, culturally.

Until we were left with norms that were arbitrary and untethered from the engines of our past successes. Our media and politicians observed these norms above all else. And yet. And yet.

The American Dream slipped away. We answered chaotic crimes with chaotic wars. Anyone who thought about this shit saw prima facie that these were mistakes. But we made them because they didn’t violate the last, stupid, vestigial norms.

Bipartisanship. “The tone” of our discourse. Expertise and experience.

None of those things saved us. They’re the very things that fucked us.

Trump has extended himself as the most potent middle finger we can imagine aimed right at all the norms and niceties that got us here. It’s not just Angry White Dudes tired of defending their essences from charges of racism, tired of doing the work not to say things that are racist. Democrats and independents sympathize with the Great Norm Rebellion, too. Norms and niceties cost us precious blood and treasure in Iraq and on Wall Street. TV journalists only got mad when a guest violated the norms against crosstalk. How did those norms help us against global warming, al Qaeda, Wall Street…things that never seemed to anger the TV news people, if they covered them at all.

We see it even among those who hate Trump. It’s hate, a feeling. We see it in the Clinton supporters who can’t admit that she’s advocated some shitty policies and defended her husband’s shitty record. We see it in the Sanders supporters who think all of that makes Clinton essentially “corrupt” or “untrustworthy”…as if all of us aren’t corrupt and untrustworthy.

Absolutism, essentialism, simplification. Watching for “flip-flopping” as if that’s not asinine, the mark of someone who believes there’s a “real” person in every politician, steering them, and that if we could only find out what that real person really believes…we’d have the kind of solace and certainty a child craves.

Yes, Clinton is corrupt. No, Clinton’s not corrupt. Yes, Sanders is egomaniacal. No, Sanders isn’t egomaniacal. They’re just fucking people, people, responding as best they can to the incentives and circumstances in which they find themselves.

But we can’t see that, because that’s not satisfying. It doesn’t feel good. It’s fucking work. And so we get Trump, who is easy. Not because he’ll say anything, but because of what it says that he will say anything: That it’s okay not to do the work, that the norms don’t matter. He has officially liberated Americans from the yoke they’d already come to resent and reject. The yoke of empiricism and engagement. Of acting and thinking globally and locally. Of embracing nuance and accepting uncertainty. Of subordinating feeling to thinking.

Until we change all that, we will get Trump, or someone like him. And we will deserve it.

Actual, non-comatose, job-holding, child-rearing adults, educated in our schools, have chosen him. So until we change ourselves, restore our norms and institutions and do the fucking work required of citizens in a participatory democracy, some of us will be tempted to withdraw from “the system” even more, to close their eyes and think of America.

We don’t actually deserve President Trump. NO ONE deserves President Trump. But we have earned him.

We have nominated the enemy and he is us.

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Tea Party Sends Santa Wish List of Horrors

While Democrats continued their post-mortem-cannibalistic human-centipede post-mortem yesterday, and the media freaked out over Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Pяesident-eleкt Дональд Tяump and how Hillary Clinton woulda won it if only she had done any of three million things differently…the Freedom Caucus showed up at work bright and early, poured a non-actionably hot cup of no-free-trade coffee, sat down in their non-ergonomically-regulated chairs and got to no-overtime-pay work.

Remember how we yelled yesterday about the media–and too many Democrats–obsessing over clues to Trump’s motives, instead of making the actual coming policies the news, like Fox does? Well, by 4:43pm yesterday, the Freedom Caucus was ready to wrap up their day and prove us right by Tweeting Santa Trump their wish list.  With 228 items on it. Including an Oompa Loompa to work in thesweatshop, for all we know.

Cataloguing all 228 would take a 24-hour news network–and who the fuck has one of those?–so here’s a quick sampling of what they want:

  1. Stop preventing schools from feeding Ring Dings to your fat fucking kids. Why?
    “The regulations have proven to be burdensome and unworkable for schools to implement. Schools are throwing food away that students are not eating.”

    So weird! Because kids ALWAYS finish whatever food they haven’t flung onto theceiling. Of course, any good parent knows that when your son won’t eat his veggies, you give him what he really wants: Pizza, processed sugar, guns, and porn.

  2. End Pentagon requirements to use renewable energy instead of oil because or else why would we need a Pentagon.
  3. No more country-of-origin food labeling. Where’s this bird from? Your goose is as good as mine!
  4. Give America’s forests to deforesters.
  5. Weaken rules on treatment of weakened, “non-ambulatory” veal calves.
  6. Deregulate egg-product inspections. If you hate Democrats AND salmonella, theyolk’s on you!
  7. Rewrite the Clean Water Rule’s “Waters of the United States” definition to exclude some waters of the United States.
  8. Euthanize rules against Wall Street bilking old ladies.
  9. End the right of women to serve in combat (unless they’re trying to get an abortion, in which case it’s war).
  10. Cut back on rural broadband access, or as Variety won’t report it: Nix Hicks’ Pix Clicks.
  11. End USDA catfish inspections. Why? Literally the only reason they give is a URL: Which tells us is registered to the National Fisheries Institute, whose members include rugged, fishing-village families such as the A&B Chemical Company, Wal-Mart, Wells Fargo, and the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers. That’s right, the Freedom Caucus is working for theVietnamese, whose catfish get caught in our regulatory nets, giving Gulf Coast fisherpeople a chance to compete.
  12. Forgive less loan forgiveness for student borrowers who were victims of fraud. Because THERE’S an education they won’t soon forget or pay off.

That’s a lot to download, so we’ve put it in handy, easy-to-remember musical form for you:

The Twelve Days of Donald
On the Twelfth Day of Donald, my Congress gives to me…
Twelve Debtors Debting,
Eleven Tainted Catfish,
Ten Hicks with Modems,
Nine Soldiers Nursing,
Eight Maids for Bilking,
Seven Bans on Swimming,
Six Geese a Slaying,
Four Falling Trees,
Three French Hams,
Two Wars for Oil,
And a Fat Kid With Diabetes!

And, hey, Democrats are actually fighting back. House Appropriations Committee Democratic spokesman Matt Dennis vowed that, “Democrats will fight tooth and nail.” But Democratic teeth and nails won’t be any more effective than non-ambulatory veal calf legs if everyone’s lazily, cynically, CNNally sucking up all theoxygen with bullshit like how Democrats never fight back instead of telling Matt “Tooth and Nail” Dennis you give ’em fucking Hell.

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Your Daily Planner: Dec. 15

(all times EDT because fuck the Heartland)

10am — Pres.-elect Donald Fucking Trump not holds the not news conference he specifically said he would not not hold on how he will not not not divest himself of potential conflicts of interest.

6pm — Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio livestreams news conference with new details about Pres. Obama’s birth certificate, the way a fake Kenyan tyrant would let him do