Altered State

For a brief, shining moment, the world was safe.

For eleven minutes Thursday, the greatest immediate threat to humanity’s survival — besides humanity itself — didn’t exist.

It was bliss, a glimpse into an alternate reality where things are still going to shit, but we’re working on it, and it’s not hopeless.

And then Twitter restored Donald Trump’s account.

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Good to the Last Drip

What we know, as of Friday evening, is that one or more indictments have been filed against one or more people targeted by Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in last year’s election.

We know nothing else. We don’t know names. We don’t know charges. The charges have been sealed, at least until we get a perp walk out of it. Which we probably won’t — prosecutorial courtesy — but a citizen can dream.

All we can do is speculate. Which, honestly, is more fun anyway.

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Faint on Your Own Damn Couch

We came across a plea for “civil discourse” this week. We don’t remember the source, honestly, because it made us fucking pissed.

People who plead for civil discourse don’t know what they’re fucking talking about. They think America’s political ills stem from the fact that we’re not nice to each other, that only if we’d talk and listen, listen respectfully, we’d discover our common ground and shared humanity, and like an After-School Special we’d all learn something and rejoin our productive lives, already in progress.

Fuck that. You know who used to teach us about learning from our respectful disagreements?

Bill Fucking Cosby.

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An Investigation Into the Size of Donald Trump’s Penis

Donald Trump lies at golf. This is the word for it, as “cheats” implies a charming old coot who pulls a few tricks on the course. Donald Trump does not pull any tricks. He just lies.

This should not come as a surprise. Donald Trump lies about everything. We see ample evidence of this daily. His lies are most intense when his ego is involved, which is always. Donald Trump lies about everything, especially himself. Donald Trump has never been known to tell the truth.

In March 2016, long before we were all forced to endure Donald Trump’s lies daily, to live inside them, he took issue with Marco Rubio’s reference to Spy magazine’s immortal Trump characterization:

“Look at those hands, are they small hands?”

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Keep and Bear It

In DC v. Heller, the 5-4 Supreme Court case that decided the meaning of the Second Amendment until Republicans are unable to steal justices, Antonin Scalia cites a 1931 judgment that argues for a very straightforward reading of Our Exceptional Nation’s founding document:

“[t]he Constitution was written to be understood by the voters; its words and phrases were used in their normal and ordinary as distinguished from technical meaning.”

And then, just like any normal and ordinary reader, Scalia proceeds to sort the amendment into prefatory and operative clauses, the absence of grammatical constraint on the latter by the former, comparisons of sentence structure with other constitutional passages, and other normal and ordinary observations that strongly recall our first year as a normal and ordinary graduate student in philosophy.

Really, dude reads the Second Amendment more closely than we read Wittgenstein.

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Heckuva Job, Donnie

Puerto Rico, we have learned this week, is a hundred miles long by thirty miles wide, which makes it roughly equivalent to the Willamette Valley, in Oregon, where we grew up. Its population numbers some 3.4 million American citizens, or a half-million more than our home turf. The distance to Miami is around a thousand miles, which will also get you from Eugene to Los Angeles. By air, that’s about two-and-half hours.

Of course, that’s via civilian flight. You can cut that time and distance in half from Guantanamo, in Cuba. We happen to have a naval base there. You may have heard of it.

Among the things our nation asks of its military is to lend a hand during natural disasters. A dozen years ago, Joint Task Force Katrina was created to coordinate efforts between soldiers and FEMA civilians. It was only formed after FEMA was shown to be tragically inadequate to the task, three days after the New Orleans levees failed.

Puerto Rico has been without power and water for nine days. There has been no all-hands relief effort.

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The Powers That Bleed

We’re having a hard time coming to terms with the obsessive cruelty of our nation’s leaders.

Which shouldn’t be that difficult, really. We were weaned on Vietnam and Watergate. We spent our early adult years under Reagan and Bush. Cynicism comes to us easily, because that has been the only rational conclusion throughout most of our life, given the evidence at hand.

But even cynicism fails us today.

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