Future Prez poses with Slovenian woman and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein at Mar-a-Lago. Good times!

Future Prez poses with Slovenian woman and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein at Mar-a-Lago. Good times!

Donald Trump has been backing away from his old chum Jeffrey Epstein with a speed that has Einstein spinning like a lathe. And really, who could blame him? While the methmouth grampappies in his trailerpark base gave him a nod and one-eyed wink at the pussy-grabbing tape and a knowing nudge in the ribs when he rawdogged a pornstar while the wife’s episiotomy was still scabbing, even they might shudder, just a bit, at his chilling with a pedophile.

And while there is little to associate Trump with pedophilia except his association with Epstein, frequently reported intrusion into teenage girls’ dressing rooms in the Miss Universe Pageant, and of course open erotic fascination with his own daughter—I’ll just stop there.

What is of interest, however momentarily, as the Epstein scandal unfolds in the Southern District, is Trump’s storied taste for prostitutes. I choose my words carefully. Trump famously—and he thought, rhetorically—asked James Comey whether he looked like the kind of guy who’d have to pay for hookers. (He actually looks like the kind of guy who’d be courtside center at the Tuesday afternoon matinee at the Beaver Trap in Muncie, but leave that aside.) But—again, having chosen my words carefully—Trump’s fondness for daughters of the game was sufficiently well-known in 90’s New York to find its way into the ouvre of a major American writer.

Jonathan Ames’ 1998 novel The Extra Man is a melancholy-hysterical portrait of life in early-nineties Manhattan, still recovering from the Bush recession—GHWB’s, not W’s. Its narrator is a young man freshly fired from the faculty of an elite prep school for trying on a colleague’s bra. He takes a squalid room on the Upper East Side from the title character, who enhances the impoverished lifestyle of a failed playwright and Queensborough College adjunct by serving as an extra man at the parties of aged socialites. On one occasion, he accompanies one such mummified date to Palm Beach for high-society New Years and reports the following:

Trump tried to break in again. He threw a party at Mar-a-Lago the night of the Red Cross Ball. Said he was going to have beautiful models. They were nothing but prostitutes, and at the end of the party they did the inevitable—jumped into the pool. So he’s finished for another year. Too vulgar. (p.308.)

Of course, in 1998 Trump was just a multiply bankrupt laughingstock , opposed to his present position as most powerful person in the world and laughingstock. Yet as this fictive kernel from his past suggests, back in the day, he was known to pay.

So one wonders, as the Epstein case is prosecuted not by the organized crime unit, but public corruption, just what public officials were the co-conspirators in the sweetheart deal US Attorney Alex Acosta—now, somehow, Labor Secretary—went to such extraordinary lengths to craft.



Trump's inexplicable and highly public confession has provoked a fecal geyser visible from space.  


As you read this, members of his legal team are sprinting down the hallway in a half squat, shoving staffers out of the way and pounding on bathroom doors like Fred bellowing for Wilma in the Flintsone's closing credits.  Trashbags filled with reeking and sodden trousers are lined up in front of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue waiting for collection by guys in hazmat suits. 

See, their boss--for no apparent reason--just admitted, in a tweet, that the purpose behind the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between his highest advisors and a bunch of Russians was to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.  Which, contrary to what Lord of the Undead Rudy Giuliani gibbers, is a clear violation of federal law.

True, politicians do try to get dirt on one another all the time.  And it's not illegal.  

So long as it's not from Russians.

52 USC Sec. 30121 makes it unlawful For "a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make. . .
 a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election

Trump's defense, so far as it can be divined from the leaking hacks still willing to appear in public in his defense, appears to be threefold: first, that information--dirt--is speech protected by the First Amendment; second, that dirt is not a "thing of value"; third, that Hillary got Russian dirt via the Steele dossier.  

I guess when you're sitting in a cushion of your own stool you have to say something.  Point by point:

Political information is not protected speech.  If it were, so would insider information or intellectual property.  Doesn't warrant further discussion.

Second, of course "dirt" is a thing of value.  Politicians  pay for it.  A lot.

Finally, whoever paid for the Steele Dossier paid for it.  Thus, it is neither a donation nor a contribution--the acts prohibited by the statute.  Accordingly, there is no arguable criminal liability for whoever bought it, because they paid for it.  To be clear, the statute doesn't prohibit any candidate from staying in  a Russian hotel--but it does prohibit staying in a hotel if Putin's paying for it.

So that's why Trump spokespeople look so uncomfortable.  They're covered in shit.











Now that Trump has proven his worth as a statesman by taking a load of Putin's semen in the face, it has become clear that an adequate response to Russian aggression must rest with Congress.  Luckily, its path is clear.

Previous sanctions against the shambling medieval holdover have failed in part because they are aimed against the Russian people and what passes as its economic system.  Thus, they have had a disproportionate impact on ordinary people while having no effect whatsoever on the sleazy-glitzy--sound familiar?--oligarchs who actually call the shots.

So how can you really hit the Russian ruling class where it hurts?

Easy--make them stay in Russia.

Russia--if he were talking about a country full of brown people---is what Trump would call a shithole.  Its economy, despite its enormous geographical size, is smaller than Italy's. And that economy is based exclusively on extraction--oil, gas, minerals--so when those are gone, the kulaks will be down to selling their kidneys on the dark web.  Its life expectancy is declining, in part because among the commonest cause of death in adult males is drowning while drunk. Really.  And while their military does include a formidable nuclear capacity, it is sadly underfunded and undermaintained.  Remember the Kursk?  It was once the pride of the Soviet navy, a cruise-missile-capable nuclear sub.  In 2000,  during maneuvers, two badly manufactured torpedoes blew up onboard, and it sank in shallow water.   Russia, suspicious as always of outsiders, refused offers of British and Norwegian help.  Thus the twenty-three crewmen who survived the initial explosion suffocated in the dark.  

This explains why so many oligarchs spend as much time as possible outside their country.  They like good food, sunshine, and strippers who don't wipe their asses with their fingers.  This, coupled with a desire to hide as much money as possible from the boss, has led them to buy as much luxury real estate in America as they could grab, money being no object.  (And of course one of their preferred sellers was Donald J. Trump, but that's a subject for another day.)  The result of Russian real estate investment here has been to drive up the cost of high-end properties in major US and European cities--and when the high end goes up, so does everything else.  So Russian real estate investment has hurt middle-class American homebuyers.  Thus, keeping Russians out of the US not only hurts them, but helps us.

But wait--what if the Russians retaliate?  What if the Russians won't let us visit Russia?

Uh--so what?  Who cares?

So I call on the Republicans in both houses of Congress to take a page from their fearless leader's playbook: a total Russian travel ban!




The Republican-controlled House of Representatives stunned the world today by revealing a major advance in genetic engineering--a humanzee.

A humanzee, as recently explained in the "Stuff to Blow Your Mind" podcast, is a hybrid of a human and a chimpanzee.  However appalling the idea, there is no doubt that it was attempted by a Russian veterinarian in Stalin's early years.  Shockingly, the so-called Red Frankenstein not only inseminated female chimps with human sperm, but in at least one instance, a human female with chimp sperm.  All without viable outcome.

Yet Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan proves that freedom succeeds where socialism fails.  Though unable to wear many forms of human clothing, including a jacket, he nevertheless sports opposable thumbs and is capable of many simple, guttural sentences. 

Sadly, in hearings today with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Chris Wray, Jordan's simian intolerance for frustration quickly evidenced itself in incoherent howls of rage that culminated in his hurling his own stool around the room.  

He is now in the custody of the DC Humane Society.  



On the left is a can of millennial pilsner.  On the right is a real can of beer.  Need anything more be said?  I thought not.

Next up: Artisanal pickle brine is pure estrogen! 




In Arthur C. Clarke's early--and arguably best--novel Childhood's Endan advanced alien civilization suddenly "appears" in giant, silent spaceships that hover over our cities.  Their intentions, we soon learn, are entirely benign; over a generation, they gently shepherd us to a millennial utopia of universal peace and prosperity.  But there's a catch: "appears" is in quotes because they won't let us see them, just their ships, and they communicate with us exclusively by voice.

For a while.  After that transformational generation has passed, they let themselves be seen.  And the reason for their concealment is immediately clear--they look like the devil.  (That's a seventeenth century woodcut of Baphomet on the far left and a made-up Charles Dance in SyFy's adaptation of the book next to it.)  But because of the decades of unbroken kindness since their arrival, their resemblance to the lords of hell is swiftly chalked up to an amusing coincidence.

But it wasn't.  The paradise they've made for us is just a transition.  They are here as emissaries of an infinitely higher being, overseeing the absorption of the last generation of humans--all the children in the world-- into it as the climax of our species' evolution.  They appeared in our mythology as demons in a racial premonition of the role they would play in humanity's metamophosis and extinction. And not just humanity's; as the children dissolve into the Overmind, Earth itself disintegrates as well.

The novel has haunted me since I read it the first time in junior high.  And somehow it got me thinking about a half-forgotten social phenomenon:  the scary clown hysteria of Fall 2016.  Yes, the Great Clown Scare was a real thing, thousands of sightings of armed and menacing jesters hovering in the woods or lurking in subway entrances and doorways.  Though the craze was worldwide, it centered in the United States and peaked in late October--just before the election.

So let me ask the obvious: Was it mere coincidence that we started to see scary orange haired buffoons everywhere just as it began to seem possible that Donald Trump would win the election?  Or was it a premonition of the future which, now realized, was even worse than we could have then imagined--an aged whorehopper with a scalp like a scalded poodle plunging the stock markets and roiling the world trade system just because he's in a bad mood? 

It's the nature of omens that they are always ignored.  We now live in a world run by an evil clown.