Puppetry of the Persians:
Of course Geppetto wanted Pinocchio to be a real boy. The old puppetmaker was tired of plucking splinters out of his fingers, tongue, and cock. For no matter how much you sand the pine sphincter of a marionette, it's still just an asshole made of wood. But flesh, god, how Geppetto dreamed of young, tender boy flesh, even as he pulled Pinocchio to him tight and wept about how wonderful it was just that he had been cut from his strings. When that Blue Fairy finally granted the wish, when she made his sticks supple and changed his sap to blood, Pinocchio knew that he had to try, once again, to run away, even if it meant becoming a donkey. Better an ass than just a piece of ass for an old man whose breath stunk of Lambrusco. So, on his pudgy new boy legs, Pinocchio ran, with that vile cricket constantly pimping for Geppetto, whispering in the boy's ear that he would be better off home.

Geppetto, though, wasn't about to let Pinocchio free, oh, no. He'd faced the belly of a whale to bring him back last time. Pinocchio may have thought he was a real boy, just like he had wished for, but Geppetto was never going to let him forget that he wouldn't have existed without the hammer, nails, and cloth he was first constructed from by Geppetto.

Exactly how much did Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kanal al-Maliki speak at his joint press conference with President George Bush yesterday in Amman, Jordan? 'Cause even a quick scan of the transcript of the event reveals that not only did al-Maliki not have equal time with Bush, but that he was verbally swamped by the flailing Commander-in-Chief, who was making damned sure that everyone knew that puppet strings don't have to be visible to be very much present.

Here's one example: A reporter asked, "Hezbollah has denied that [its] forces trained Moqtada al-Sadr forces, but do you have any information if Hezbollah has actually trained the forces of Moqtada al-Sadr?"

Al-Maliki, who apparently doesn't realize that the key to answering questions of the press is not to answer the question asked, but to answer the question that the voices in your head have asked you, said, "[N]obody has the right, outside of Iraq, to interfere in the political or the security situation inside of Iraq. We invite everybody to cooperate with us, but as far as this issue related to training, Hezbollah denied and they're responsible for their denial." Not much of an answer, but, hey, at least it seems like he paid attention.

Then, without prompting, Bush jumped in, almost interrupting the Prime Minister, spewing talking points like a sliced jugular sprays blood: "Our objective is to help the Maliki government succeed. And today we discussed how to further the success of this government. This is a government that is dedicated to pluralism and rule of law. It's a government elected by the Iraqi people under a constitution approved by the Iraqi people, which, in itself, is an unusual event in the Middle East, by the way." And then, just to demonstrate just how deep his understanding of the region is, Bush started talking about al-Qaeda. Not Hezbollah. Al-Qaeda. Screeched Bush (no, really), "I know that we're providing a useful addition to Iraq by chasing down al Qaeda and by securing -- by helping this country protect itself from al Qaeda."

How embarrassing it must have been for al-Maliki, who had tried so hard just the day before to show that you can't treat a real boy like a puppet, to be dragged in front of the cameras with a hand shoved up his ass to make him turn and speak whatever the puppeteer had scripted. No wonder he couldn't manage a smile. No wonder he seemed a bit put off that Bush had let the whole thing go on longer than they had agreed, when he said, "We said six question, now this is the seventh -- this is the eighth -- eight questions," in response to Bush asking him if he wanted to answer more.

For al-Maliki, the whole event was the rhetorical equivalent of being forced to stand naked with women's panties on his head while the conquerors took souvenir snapshots.

Afterword: Yes, the Rude Pundit's aware that Iraq was not part of Persia, but the title, useless though it may be, made the Rude Pundit giggle. And, besides, are they not both Iran's puppets now?


Why Bill O'Reilly Ought to Be Sodomized With a Microphone (Civil War Edition):
Bill O'Reilly, Fox "News" host and a man whose pita is always covered in hummus, joins the White House in refusing to call the conflict in Iraq a "civil war." In fact, not only won't O'Reilly call it that, but he thinks that anyone who does is a wackoid leftist who wouldn't know a civil war from a loofah. See, it's really Iran, Al-Qaeda, and "organized criminals" who are wreaking havoc with the U.S. mission to bring democracy and American love to Iraq. Blows O'Reilly out of his ass, "Add all that up and you have violent, out-of-control chaos — not civil war."

Squeezing out another one, O'Reilly adds, "The problem in Iraq is not American. The problem is the Iraqis themselves. They're not fighting for their freedom in a way that puts the bad keys [sic] on the defensive. There is only so much the USA can do. If the Iraqi people are unwilling to challenge the bad guys, the bad guys will win — period." Don't you get it, you stupid motherfucking Iraqis? They don't want the great gift of freedom that we've dropped on them like so many bombs and missles. No, they want to cower in the corners and let the "bad guys" run rampant. Damn, that must be why the "gangs" of Shias attack "gangs" of Sunnis who retaliate against the Shia who re-retaliate... It's like the Crips and the Bloods, except less colorful and more stabby.

So one would think that if it was an Iraqi problem, then perhaps America oughta get the fuck out of the way and let the Iraqis deal with it. Oh, no, that'd be pussy ass bullshit, man. No, O'Reilly wants a better solution: the Bush administration "must consider allowing the Iraqi military to run the place, much like Musharraf runs Pakistan. Yes, that would be brutal, but clearly, the Iraqi people are not embracing freedom. So imposing order through a military strong man might be the only way."

See, it'll be different than Saddam Hussein because this brutal strongman will have the backing of the United States. Hell, we might even sell him WMDs as he fights back challenges from Iran. And he'll be our buddy until we're good and done with him.

One last note on the whole "civil war" thing: at some point, ain't it patronizing to the ethnic groups blowing the shit out each other to simply call it outsider-manipulated or gang-run chaos? Or just a "surge" in violence? It's like the Bush adminstration is patting the Iraqi militias on the head and demeaning the internal war. Goddamn, if you were out there watching your friends get set on fire by an ethnic group that wants to see you wiped out, wouldn't you rather they died in a civil war than in a kerfuffle?


The Rude Pundit to Invade Canada:
The Rude Pundit will debut his new one-rude-man show, The Road to Rude, at the 21st Annual High Performance Rodeo in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. For three performances, from January 16-18, at One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre. He hopes that Canadian fans will keep him warm and well-fellated in the Alberta winter wind.

There's rumors (or "rumours") of an additional performance at a bar in Calgary, but more on that when the details are clear.

The Road to Rude is the Rude Pundit's second show, and it features a whole helluva lot of original, never-blogged material. And blow-up dolls.

Oh, before anyone asks, yes, the quote from author and Daily Show "expert" John Hodgman is for real. And, yes, that's a picture from the Rude Pundit's first show, The Year of Living Rudely.
In Brief: President Bush Promises To Kill More American Troops, Ejaculate Into Iraqi Vagina:
He's not pullin' out, motherfuckers, no way, not our President Bush, he ain't pullin' out until the job is finished. It's what he said today in Latvia: "I'm not going to pull our troops off the battlefield before the mission is complete." He's takin' the fundamentalist Christian fucker's approach to Iraq - the United States is married to that nation and deserves all the spousal benefits, including full on impregnating fucking. Why? Because that's what God wants. See, God apparently doesn't like it when you just halfway fuck and then yank your cock out - that's cuttin' and runnin' from the fuckin'. No, no, no spewin' of yer imperial jizz on the belly of your wife. All those little sperms o' democracy have gotta be racin' up the Euphrates canal to dive into the egg of...and, oh, fuck it, the Rude Pundit just got sick of the metaphor and of the image of Bush's saggy ass thrusting into the vast oil-filled deserts or into the cold, dead orifices of American soldiers.


Where Do We Put All the Iraqi Bodies?:
It's not a new story, not at all, that Iraqis are getting killed in staggering numbers. We've heard about the overflowing morgues, with their only partially functioning refrigerators, crammed with corpses like thirty-pound turkey cavities filled with stuffing. And yet the lack of space for the corpses doesn't seem to have stanched their flow. Now, with almost everyone jumping on board the civil war train, we can expect death tolls to continue into the thousands and tens of those thousands for at least a good couple of years. So there's a need for space in the morgues, god, just for the people who die of natural causes, which these days in Baghdad would be a death that doesn't involve a power drill or dagger. Just blown to bits? Natural enough.

For instance, Dick Cheney's not only got the Vice-President's residence, but he's got a huge ass piece of land in Jackson, Wyoming. One imagines that the snow pack of nearby Jackson Hole would lend itself to the keeping of a few thousand corpses, maybe just the victims from Sadr City, who can be lined up and frozen like an ancient tribe lost in the Peruvian Andes. We can even forget about them there, since it'd be on Dick Cheney's private property. Of course, if global warming gets the best of us, oh, Dick Cheney would be reminded regularly of the bodies that fertilize his lawn.

If not there, then what about just turning up the air conditioning at his residence in St. Michael's, Maryland, where the Vice President and Donald Rumsfeld can offer up their houses as meat lockers for, perhaps just the dead from Fallujah. That'll be the way to go. One city or region per space. Because Iraq needs to know it can securely store its corpses so that remaining family members can identify them. Since Rumsfeld's retired, and will obviously want to host dinner parties, he can just use the upstairs for the rotting dead. Just inform the guests to use the bathroom next to the kitchen because, well, there's just a mess up there.

It could be a pattern all over the nation, war supporters unwilling to send their sons and daughters (or themselves) to go fight for Iraq, but still opening their homes not to refugees, well, not living ones, but to the bodies and half-bodies and limbs and organ piles and bones and heads and eyes, goddamn, so many eyes, of the dead from their war. And it is their war. Here's a nice passive way to show how much it means to them: Joe Lieberman, all your kids have moved out. Tell Hadassah their rooms can now be spaces for three, four families worth of corpses from Basra.

What a plan, huh? Truckloads of corpses pulling up to the houses of Condi Rice, Bill Frist, Dennis Hastert, so, so many people. Hell, even William Kristol could use an office or two at the Weekly Standard for them. And here's the deal: you can put them somewhere that you don't have to see them if you don't want to. 'Cause it can be traumatic, to walk into a room filled with bloody, gory, dirt-encrusted, rotten bodies, all staring at you. No, no, not that. It's enough for the rooms to be filled and then closed. Just so that every time you walk past the door, you know what's on the inside, like the dogshit you dread cleaning up or the kitchen sink stacked with dishes you too tired to wash.

When all the houses are filled, for surely, they will be, that's when it's time to tell the President that his Texas ranch'd make a mighty fine mass grave. Instead of clearing brush on his vacations, he can dig trenches and holes, showing America, Iraq, the world, how much he's willing to work to ensure the dead peaceful slumber.


In Brief: No Matter What, It's All About George:
At times the stunning narcissism of George W. Bush just makes you wanna find the guy who bullied you back in elementary school and beat the shit out of him. Even if it's twenty years later and he's dying of cancer, you just wanna drag that motherfucker out of his hospital bed, yell, "What goes around, comes around, bitch," and give him a little fistotherapy.

Here's Bush talking to troops at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii this week: "You know, one of the jobs of the President is to surround himself with smart, capable, strong people -- and I have done so in Condoleezza Rice." Notice that? It's like he bought a slave. Condi's got no agency, no will of her own to decide whether or not she wanted the job. Bush just went to the auction, checked out the teeth of the slaves on the block, and chose the one with the best birthin' hips. After the applause, Bush followed up by saying, really, "I also did so at the altar."

As we learned this week, Bush's choice of exercise is mountain biking. He's the fuckin' President. Jog or use the goddamn gym we, the taxpayers, have graciously provided. Just like we wish Bill Clinton had kept his dick in his pants for the length of his presidency, shouldn't the remaining ten or so people in the country who still support Bush who aren't on his payroll demand that maybe he do something with less likelihood of broken bones or ripped face or, not that we'd notice, brain injury. (By the way, dear mountain cycling readers: this is not a criticism of the sport. But a large part of the world is not dependent on your health. And, really, c'mon, the man choked on a pretzel.)

Of course he's mountain biking, like he flew that plane onto the aircraft carrier. So much pathetic "look, I'm so good" begging for attention. 'Cause Bush is the type of man who likes to look at his own shit. Who brags about how big a turd he left in the toilets of the UN or the White House.


Prayers From the Conquered:
Just because a bunch of twee new age wannabes have bastardized them so they can sing them to their dreamcatchers doesn't mean that some Indian prayers don't still kick your ass. For Thanksgiving, here's a little something from the Wabanaki Algonquin writer Bedagi (Big Thunder) from the late 19th century - yeah, it's Canadian, but go with it:

Give us hearts to understand;
Never to take from creation's beauty more than we give;
never to destroy wantonly for the furtherance of greed;

Never to deny to give our hands for the building of earth's beauty;
never to take from her what we cannot use.

Give us hearts to understand
That to destroy earth's music is to create confusion;
that to wreck her appearance is to blind us to beauty;

That to callously pollute her fragrance is to make a house of stench;
that as we care for her she will care for us.

We have forgotten who we are.
We have sought only our own security.
We have exploited simply for our own ends.
We have distorted our knowledge.
We have abused our power.

Great Spirit, whose dry lands thirst,
Help us to find the way to refresh your lands.
Great Spirit, whose waters are choked with debris and pollution,
help us to find the way to cleanse your waters.

Great Spirit, whose beautiful earth grows ugly with misuse,
help us to find the way to restore beauty to your handiwork.
Great Spirit, whose creatures are being destroyed, help us to find a way to replenish them.

Great Spirit, whose gifts to us are being lost in selfishness and corruption,
help us to find the way to restore our humanity.

Oh, Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the wind, whose breath gives life to the world,
hear me; I need your strength and wisdom. May I walk in Beauty.


Seven Things the Rude Pundit Doesn't Give a Shit About This Thanksgiving:
1. Kramer goes nutzoid then says he loves the niggers.
2. Whether or not America's Mayor tries to become the Mayor of America.
3. Karma taking the form of Argentinean criminals.
4. OJ in book or televised form, unless he was going to demonstrate "If I Did It" on Judith Regan.
5. The shaking finger of the Bush pater familias enacting his pater potestas on a bunch of damn, dirty A-rabs.
6. Turkey freedom.
7. Fucking Pilgrims.


Why the UCLA Police Taser Incident Matters:
When UCLA police officer Terrence Duren used his Taser on student Mostafa Tabatabainejad at the Powell Library last week, it was a brazen act for many reasons. See, when Rodney King was beaten by the LAPD, it was done in the dark of shadows, with at least the thought that no one was witnessing the actions. That's where these kinds of things usually take place: behind buildings, in isolated areas, in interrogation rooms, places where cowardice masked by bullshit bravado and unmitigated savagery can occur unnoticed - for the most part. But at UCLA, the campus cops didn't give a shit who saw what they did.

And in that way, in the week that George W. Bush visited the nation itself, we've finally come back, full circle, to the Vietnam era. We're back to when the National Guard could mow down students in broad daylight, when Mayor Daley's thug cops could beat hippies in front of TV cameras and not give a rat's ass who saw, and, indeed, they could be supported by large parts of the public.

The actions of a nation's government sets the bar for the power given to those with any kind of authority over the populace. It's why capital punishment is such a bullshit thing: hey, let's solve violence by killing people. If the government says that it can illegally bomb, say, Cambodia or Laos with no consequences to those who do it, then what does it matter if protesters get their heads bloodied? If the Congress of the United States actually negotiated to agree upon allowing certain kinds of pain and degradation as not torture, if no one of any standing is accountable to the law or humanity in general, then why not repeatedly tase an uncooperative student who was passively demonstrating against a school rule?

Are Mostafa Tabatabainejad screams any more profound than those of detainees at Abu Ghraib or at whatever shitholes the CIA uses in Jordan or Uzbekistan or where the fuck ever? Were his cries that he would comply once tortured heeded any more quickly than those who want to stop the drown reflex of waterboarding?

The Rude Pundit's said it before and he'll say it again: we live in Gitmo America. Sure, there's hope that in the future the cages will be rattled. But for now violence is out of the shadows and in our faces, and those who wish to create violence do so alarmingly without fear of reprisal.


The Myth of Johnny Maverick:
Johnny Maverick was a cowboy, they say, one of the last in the Old West, in a land where towns like Tombstone have names that echo off canyons, Grand and small. They say Johnny Maverick didn't have any loyalties to the gangs that roamed and rustled, that he only cared about his ranch, and the people abided and admired Johnny Maverick, who, the story goes, always paid his debts on time, who was a tough but fair bargainer when it came time to sell stock, who was unafraid to stand up to sheriffs or outlaws. Whether it was true or not, didn't matter. The story was enough to make the man a legend. Thing is, though, like every cowboy story, what's left out is the shit, the smell of shit, the piles of shit that are everywhere, the way in which, if you meet a real cowboy, the decadent odor of shit hits you because, no matter how hard you scrub, you can't scrub away all the horse and bullshit that a cowboy lives in every day of his life. It doesn't mean a man ain't a tough motherfuckin' cowpoke. But you gotta accept the heaps of shit if you wanna accept the man instead of the myth.

Let's remember that nearly every one of John McCain's supposed "maverick" stands against other Republicans has ended in capitulation on principle and action. For, truly, it was the allegedly revolutionary and long-fought-for McCain-Feingold Act on campaign finance reform that originally brought him the deep ire of the ultra-nutzoid right because pro-life groups were afeared of the soft money ban. The final bill, though, was a fuckin' sieve with big check-sized holes, a half-assed attempt to say the Congress tried something to remove the influence of cash on elections, when, in essence, it was at best a literal passing of the buck.

And on McCain's much flaunted forcing of a revision of the Military Commissions Act? One that used his scar-reveling prestige as a victim of torture back in 'Nam in order to get the Bush Administration to agree to a bill that purportedly outlawed torture? Well, shit, when it comes to McCain and Bush administration on torture, it's kind of like that twisted film The Night Porter, where a former female concentration camp survivor falls back into a perverse sexual relationship with the Nazi who tortured and assaulted her. To watch McCain proclaim triumph on a bill that pretty much guarantees the CIA can torture with impunity, to see him vote for Alberto Gonzales for Attorney General and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, hell, to see him stand with the President at all, is like watching McCain beg to have his legs broken again and again because it's the only way he can feel.

So it was that McCain appeared on This Week With George Stephanopoulos's Hair yesterday and proclaimed that Roe v. Wade should be overturned and the issue of abortion returned to the states. Heavens to betsy, some declared, that certainly is different than something he said in 1999. See, in an interview then, McCain said he did not wish Roe to be repealed because it would harm women. Sweet merciful flip-flop, no? Except that McCain crawfished on the issue almost immediately after. A McCain spokesman said right after the interview came out that Johnny Maverick "has a 17-year voting record of supporting efforts to overturn Roe vs. Wade." And by January 2000, he himself was saying that Roe should be overturned, with exceptions for the usual stuff.

Johnny Maverick got a 0% rating from the ACLU in 2002 and an 83% from the Christian Coalition in 2003. He is, right down the fuckin' line, a hardcore conservative who just seems a little more rational than Sam Brownback or a little less creepily evil (just a little) than Dick Cheney. So, like, seriously, can we all just stop acting surprised when intensely conservative John McCain says something intensely conservative? It's like, say, you're a lesbian who really wants to fuck this female co-worker, but she keeps saying that she's straight. And then, one night, at an office party, she has a little to drink and starts to talk about how she experimented with chicks back in college. Goddamn, how wet and horny it gets you to think that you can bring her back to the clit-licker fold. But, wait, is she leaving with the guy from accounts receivable?

And, as Cokie Roberts said this morning on NPR, his call for a pissant 20,000 extra troops in Iraq is a total political calculation, like virtually everything else McCain is saying these days. It's a way for him to say, when Iraq finally goes up in flames and we get the fuck out of there, that if everyone had listened to his worthless idea, we'd've won.

Yeah, McCain's done some badass stuff in his life. But ask any real maverick cowboy: it's hard to love a man who smells like shit.


UCLA Police Tasering..., Part 3:
From the Los Angeles Police Department's manual for its officers, Volume 1, Section 573:

"Approved non‑lethal control devices may be used to control a violent or potentially violent suspect when lethal force does not appear to be justifiable and/or necessary; and attempts to subdue the suspect by other conventional tactics have been or will likely be ineffective in the situation at hand; or there is a reasonable expectation that it will be unsafe for officers to approach to within contact range of the suspect." This section includes the requirement that officers must be trained in use of Tasers before using them.

While UCLA's police may not use the LAPD's manual, surely one can say that the officers did not attempt to subdue Mostafa Tabatabainejad by conventional tactics, like, say, lifting him up and carrying him away after he, according to the police report, went "limp."

Who trains the UCLA cops? Is there anything similar in their manual?
UCLA Police Tasering and the Free Hand of Law Enforcement, Part 2:
From the UCLA Police report on the tasering incident at Powell Library:

At approximately 11 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 14, a community service officer (CSO) employed by the library was performing a nightly, routine check to insure that all patrons using the library after 11 p.m. are authorized. This is a longstanding library policy to ensure the safety of students during the late night hours. The CSO made an announcement that he would be checking for university identification. When a person, who was later identified as Mostafa Tabatabainejad, refused to provide any identification, the CSO told him that if he refused to do so, he would have to leave the library. Since, after repeated requests, he would neither leave nor show identification, the CSO notified UCPD officers, who responded and asked Tabatabainejad to leave the premises multiple times. He continued to refuse. As the officers attempted to escort him out, he went limp and continued to refuse to cooperate with officers or leave the building.

Tabatabainejab encouraged library patrons to join his resistance. A crowd gathering around the officers and Tabatebainejad's continued resistance made it urgent to remove Tabatabainejad from the area. The officers deemed it necessary to use the Taser in a "drive stun" capacity.

More later.
UCLA Police Tasering and the Free Hand of Law Enforcement, Part 1:
Take a few minutes and head over to Americablog to catch the video of the UCLA student being tasered multiple times by UCLA cops for failing to show ID at a library computer room and then leaving more slowly than the cops might have liked (the UCLA police say he was refusing to leave altogether). Listen to the student's screams and the cop's threats to tase other students if they don't knuckle under to the campus cops' authoritah.

Then check out this report from the Northern California ACLU from September 2005 on the misuse of stun guns by California police officers. Scroll down a bit until you reach the section on "Standards for Taser Use." Check out how while some police departments only allow taser use for "credible" and "imminent" threats, others allow its use if verbal commands by officers are not followed. And how, despite Taser's own admission that it can affect breathing, very few departments have standards for how many times you can taser a person. And how out of 54 departments surveyed, only 8 had a policy for when not to use a taser. Many of the rest use the phrase "potentially violent," which means, one assumes, that police have to rely on their super-psychic abilities to figure out if a passive resister might go all Incredible Hulk on them.

More later on this despicable, but not unexpected, and not isolated, incident.


Hoyermania Beats Murthapalooza:
You know, the Rude Pundit's aware of the political and legislative implications of who is Majority Leader, for things like the running of the House, the passage of bills, and more. But, speaking as an American who just went through the trauma of the bandage yank of this past election, who the fuck cares that Steny Hoyer won over Nancy Pelosi's choice of Jack Murtha?

Beyond the masturbatory glee with which Right Blogsylvania scribbled about it and the breathless attention on cable news, who fuckin' thanked God for a way to spin against the Democrats again, could we just all shut the fuck up and get to work?

Abscam? What the fuck?
Donald Rumsfeld Gives Advice to Young People:
Getting advice from Donald Rumsfeld is like a 12 year-old girl asking her elderly uncle who just finished fondling her what he wants for dinner. At some point, does it matter that Uncle Chester wants to order out for Thai? Really, and, c'mon, Chester can eat pizza or Chinese. Or just eat shit and die.

Still, here's the advice Rumsfeld gave last week to students at Kansas State University the day after he was finally shitcanned by the White House. The outgoing Secretary of Defense was asked what advice he would give to young people, and he actually answered, "Study history."

Rummy continued, betraying not a hint of irony, "We need context. We've staked everything in this country -- if you think about the gamble, we stake everything on the people, that they can -- given sufficient information, will make the right decisions. They need context. We need context. History provides that context. And if there's one piece of advice I could give, it would be to focus on that and think about it and understand it. It will improve the ability of all of us to function as citizens in this great republic."

Let's leave aside for a moment the fact that the image of Donald Rumsfeld in a room with young people is reminiscent of Death entering Prince Prospero's party in Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death." And let's leave aside the idea that Donald Rumsfeld has any minor league grasp of history. The cap-toothed motherfucker cherry-picked history the same way he did WMD intelligence: World War II? Fine, yeah, great. But let's put Vietnam as a footnote that doesn't get released to the general public. And the British experience in Iraq nearly a century ago? Not even on the radar.

Instead, let's say this: real advice from Rumsfeld would go something along these lines: "Learning from mistakes is for pussies. There is no past. There is the very immediate present, as in, oh, shit, am I going to get killed as I fly into Baghdad? Beyond that, there is only a future, a predetermined future tht we're gonna shove the present and past into no matter how badly the fit. Just like Cinderella's stepsisters cut off parts of their toes and heels to try to get into that glass slipper. 'Course the shoe was filled with blood, but you get the idea. It's all about pressing forward, no matter how much blood might be involved."


In Brief: Why Bill O'Reilly Ought To Be Sodomized With a Rasmussen Poll:
Bill O'Reilly, a man who can twist a fact like a high-priced hooker with a cherry stem in her mouth, in his Talking Points section of his Fox "News" show claimed that a new Rasmussen poll on whether or not America is "fair and decent" is evidence that "secular progressives" or "S.P.'s" are not taking prisoners in the culture war. Pointing out that the poll says that 61% of Americans believe the nation is fair while 30% believe it's discriminatory, O'Reilly leaps like a one-eyed weasel in heat on the numbers that show that 44% of Democrats go with fair while the same percentage say not so fair.

O'Reilly, though, changes "fair" and "unfair" to "good" and "bad," which, of course, was not what the poll was asking. Barfs O'Reilly, "[These] people are hell-bent on changing the USA into a secular nation along the lines of France and Holland. They believe in income redistribution, run by a huge federal colossus in Washington and one-world approach to problem solving." For most of us, such running jumps of logic would be called "crazy." It's not unlike saying that if your producer laughs at one of your dirty jokes, you have free reign to call her up in the middle of the night and talk about how you wanna fuck her in the shower.

The great falafeled one says that he "has seen the secular progressive movement gain a lot of ground in America and this new poll proves it. Dismiss the S.P.s at your peril." Oh, another time, another time the Rude Pundit will get into the whole nutzoid "S.P." demonization - which is really about O'Reilly selling his fucking crappy books (really - try reading Culture Warrior - it's not unlike scraping the inside of your skull with a cheese grater), but for now let's just say that O'Reilly leaves out something that Rasumussen itself says about the poll: "Those numbers are little changed from a survey conducted immediately following Election 2004."

Yep, the "gain" of the "S.P's" is little more than an illusion, margin of error hoodoo. See, back in 2004, Rasmussen did the same poll. That one showed that 62% of Americans thought the nation was "fair." As did 46% of Democrats. With a margin of error of plus or minus 3 points. Oh, yeah. The biggest drop in the number of Americans who think America is fair? Back in 2004, 80% of Republicans rode the fair train. Now, in the poll O'Reilly cites to prove how nasty "S.P.'s" are running rampant in America because of a couple of percentage point differences, 77% say the nation is fair and decent.

But you gotta guess that more than a few Republicans don't think things are very fair right now for them.
Late Post Today:
Another goddamn charity luncheon is keeping the Rude Pundit away from the Batcave. If Alfred fucks up this post, Robin gets to rape his ass.

Back later with holy rudeness.


Joe Lieberman Wants His Pound of Flesh:
What a difference an election day makes. Here's Joe Lieberman, talking to Pajamas "Media" founder Roger Simon on September 29, spouting a line he would use dozens, if not hundreds, of times during the election: "I remain a Democratic [sic] but I’m running as an Independent Democrat, which in some ways makes official what I’ve been for a long time. I’ve been an independent Democratic...The critical thing is to caucus with the Democrats because if you don’t caucus with a party, you don’t have the opportunity to hold your seniority in the committee assignments that you’ve got... I remain a Democrat."

Reads almost like a goddamn poem, huh? And it sounds pretty fucking definitive.

Now, here's Lieberman this past Sunday on Meet the Press, after Tim Russert asked him if it was possible for him to hypothetically, in the future, caucus with Republicans, thus splitting the Senate and giving control to the Republicans: "I’m not ruling it out, but I hope I don’t get to that point." What would get Lieberman to that point? If the Democrats want party "discipline" - that is, for them to act like Democrats, which, as Lieberman has said above, he considers himself one. But Joe wants to be a free spirit, man, floatin' on that indie breeze. As he says he told the people of Connecticut, "I am going to Washington beholding to no political group except the people of Connecticut and of course my conscience."

Yep, that's Lieberman. If he had gotten the Democratic nomination in the primary, the Republicans would have poured money in behind Alan Schlessinger there instead of funding Lieberman. If he had said that he was even hypothetically seeing a situation where he might caucus Republican, he'd've been handed his nutsack by the third of Democrats that voted for him. And now, he got his committee chairmanship. From the Democratic Caucus. But he's beholden to no one.

(And, yes, the Rude Pundit's aware of the anti-Semitic implications of the title. Fuck that schlemiel, Lieberman. He could have been a mensch; instead, he's just another power hungry putz. Motherfucker can kiss the Rude Pundit's Jewish ass.)
Pictures That Make the Rude Pundit Want To Down a Triple Dose of Ambien With a Fifth of Vodka, Part 2:

Bow down before your faux Confederate overlord, for he rules the deserts of America.

Clark Kent duty calls. Later: "Joe Lieberman Wants His Pound of Flesh."


Christ Weary of Election Prayers:
Goddamn, we have been some prayin' motherfuckers, those of us on the Family Research Council's Super-Duper Prayer Team. The Rude Pundit belongs to the FRCSDPT under a nom de rude and receives his weekly prayin' orders from the dear leader his own self, FRC President Tony "No, It's the Other Guy Who's Gay...Really" Perkins. In the weeks leading up to last week's midterms, Perkins had us pinchin' a big ol' loaf of prayer, squintin' and squeezin' out prayers that Republicans hold onto the Senate and House (although that one was in code because otherwise bye-bye tax exempt status), and "May the people of Missouri soundly reject Amendment 2!" and "May South Dakota uphold Life AND Marriage!" Shovin' that load of prayer out of our prayer tubes, all exclamation pointy loud, yellin', "May God pour out his Spirit upon America's Pastors! May their powerful Election Sermons stir voters to elect God-fearing leaders who will restore righteousness in government and public policy!" And the results? All that prayerification was just flushed down the electoral toilet by an unwiped populace.

So what's a Super-Duper Prayer Team to do? Seriously, how much more fuckin' prayin' can we do? You'd think the simple answers might range from "God doesn't really give a happy monkey fuck" to "God actively hates evangelicals" to "Umm, maybe there is no God." But not if you're crazy as a shithouse rat like Tony Perkins and the rest of the Dobsonites out there. Nope, see, we gotta be prayin' more, maybe a little less excitedly, maybe approaching our angry Jeeeeezus a little more hat-in-hand humble.

We got our new prayers, and apparently it's not God's fault that he fucked us over. No, no: "Please pray that discouragement and lethargy will not set in among Christians but that they will be energized to pray and work to make a difference in the days and months ahead. Pray that pastors will be stirred to speak out as never before," admonishes Perkins. Get it? No matter how much we screamed and sweated and scourged ourselves, it wasn't enough. So get that prayin' mojo going. But, really, and, c'mon, how many times are you gonna put coins into a candy machine if that fucker doesn't give you your Milky Way?

And bipartisanship? That boat only goes one way - it's bipartisan if Congressional Democrats roll over and do whatever President Bush wants 'em to do. It's capitulation to liberals if Bush even thinks about compromising with a co-equal branch of government. Perkins wants us to pray for obstruction and political warfare: "Pray that new liberal leaders and President Bush will be moved to do right; that the President will stick unbendingly to principle and that righteousness will advance during the tumultuous time ahead. May Conservative Members of the House and Senate be bold to use their power to stop the liberal social agenda from enactment."

Oh, about that "liberal social agenda." Perkins' mind was blown like Ted Haggard's dick on a four-day meth binge because of the results of ballot initiatives around the country: "South Dakotans voted to overturn their new abortion ban (life of the mother exception). And Californians and Oregonians voted to allow minor girls to obtain abortions without notifying their parents. Missourians affirmed a constitutional amendment that will make embryonic stem cell research and human cloning permanently legal. For activist courts to foist an anti-life, pro-homosexual, or anti-family ruling upon the people is one thing. For the people, through the democratic process, to approve such a measure is altogether a different thing." Yep, it's a different thing because it makes it seem like the "people" and the "democratic process" are actually for things like liberty, science, and rights. Fuckers. This is not to mention that Elliot Spitzer and Mike Bloomberg in New York "have all vowed to use their influence to advance "marriage equality" a euphemism for "same-sex" marriage."

We need to pray, then, that God maybe takes a second look at things around here and that "Just as other constitutional amendments have been undone, may the people rally to restore these values to their state constitutions. May He stop Spitzer, et al, and similarly-minded officeholders from achieving their same-sex marriage ambitions." Yep, God must stop Elliot Spitzer from giving gay couples health benefits access.

Fuck, God doesn't even wanna stop a fuckin' war or mass starvation. Elliot fuckin' Spitzer? What kind of punk-ass micromanaging God are we members of the Super-Duper Prayer Team being asked to pray to? No wonder none of the prayers worked: we've been ordered to reduce God, big fuckin' hurricane-makin' sky wizard that he might be, to the size of a pissant out-of-work political operative offerin' to blow lobbyists for quarters on a K Street corner.


The Escape of Karl Rove's Leather Slave:
It happened some time in the early dawn hours of this past Wednesday. It had truly been an epically joyful night for Karl Rove's leather slave. Karl Rove's leather slave had been kept, until then, chained to a radiator in the basement of the White House, just to the left of Grover Cleveland's striker-shooting rifle and under George H.W. Bush's signed photo of Osama bin Laden, with the inscription, "Thanks for the training in guerilla warfare. Yours always," now turned to face the wall.

On Tuesday night, as the returns dribbled in, Rove made a crazed promise to his leather slave: for every seat that the Democrats gained, the leather slave could beat Rove with his favorite Florida stockwhip. But for every seat that Republicans gained, Rove would shove increasingly larger implements into the leather slave's asshole: from a golf club to a soup can to a Bible, both testaments. The leather slave wondered what would happen if Republicans maintained a seat. "Well," Rove said, "then I'll just fuck you." The leather slave prepared himself for a long evening. When Rove wanted to wreck some ass, it always happened. He pulled the panel off the back of his chaps, bent over the lowered pommel horse, and awaited Rove's punishing grunts. Rove had already stripped down to his suede thong and, as it neared 7 p.m., he popped some Viagra and fondled his cock to get it nice and hard for the evening ahead.

When the first race was called for a Democrat, the leather slave had already been fucked a couple of times in the ass and face, but then Rove handed the leather slave the whip and said, "Well, bitch, a deal's a deal." It's something the leather slave had always loved about his master: Rove's innate sense of ethics. But having the whip in his hand was a new feeling, and, as Rove turned around and said, "Give it to me, spunk mug," the leather slave stood up straight, planted his feet, and lashed at Rove with everything he could manage from his aching ass. "Holy shit," Rove exclaimed. "What the fuck?" Rove touched his back and felt the blood beading on the welt. "Gimme that goddamn whip. I'm gonna peel your ass raw."

Then, before Rove grabbed the whip, they both heard from the small television: another Democratic pick-up. Their eyes met. Rove saw something in the leather slave's eyes, and, at first fearful, but then accepting, Rove put his hands up and sighed, resigned, oh, so, knowing, saying, "Have fun. Avoid the face." The rest of the evening, the leather slave beat Karl Rove with that whip. When the Senate started to turn, while Rove was a sweaty, weeping, bleeding hulk nearly unconscious on the floor, the leather slave grabbed Rove and turned him on his stomach, ripping the thong off the political genius, and then Karl Rove's leather slave fucked Rove, hard, slamming his long-denied cock into him with all the force of a full-speed semi running over a mini-Cooper. Sobbing, Rove weakly turned around and said, grabbing his own half-erect dick, "Can't I even get a reacharound?"

They were both passed out when Josh Bolten came down the stairs. The White House Chief of Staff shook his head at the scene, of a nude, red-striped Karl Rove dripping jizz from his ass, of the leather slave turning blearily to Bolten and giving him a thumbs-up. "Karl," Bolten said, "put on some fucking pants. We're having a press conference." Rove jumped up, grabbing his clothes quickly, looking at the leather slave and, half-smiling, half-wincing, shook his finger in warning at the exhausted leather slave. Rove headed up the stairs, and the leather slave saw it: right where Rove's pants had been. The keys. To the chain. When a man falls, the leather slave thought, he falls all the way down.

Now Karl Rove's leather slave, who is no longer Karl Rove's leather slave, runs free through America. It was surprisingly easy to get out of the White House, actual security never being as tough as the talk about it there, and he breathed clear air. Everywhere he's gone, he's stripped away different pieces of his leather slave's outfit. He headed to Pennsylvania and ripped off his nipple clips, tossing them into the streets of Pittsburgh. In Ohio, he stood by the Cuyahoga River and unzipped his mask, throwing it into the waters. Over in Indiana, he ran through a just-harvested corn field and left behind his spiked collar and wrist bands. He's out there, just free and wild, a leather slave no more, belonging to Karl Rove no more, heading to Montana where he'll drop his chaps and scream, dancing in naked exuberance, shaking his ass at the American sunset, before he heads back to Virginia, before he begins the work of rebuilding the life that Karl Rove had long denied him.

Back in the White House basement, a tear in his eye, Karl Rove sniffs the pommel horse, holds the unlocked chain, and fondly remembers all the delicious fucking, all the ejaculated seed, all the wondrous pain he caused. And, just for a moment, Rove wonders if it is, indeed, really over.
Karl Rove's Leather Slave Escapes:
Karl Rove's leather slave has escaped from the basement of the White House. He was last seen ripping his mask off somewhere in Ohio.

More this afternoon on how such a loyal bondage butt buddy could loose his chains and run away.


Time To Arrest Donald Rumsfeld:
Ernst Von Weizsacker was a Nazi with a conscience, or, you know, a conscience as far as a Nazi could have one. He was, in so many ways, Hitler's Colin Powell, serving as the Third Reich's state secretary of the Foreign Office from 1941-1943. He thought Germany was overreaching, he believed that rounding up Jews in other countries was wrong (mainly because of possible reprisals against Germans - he had no problem with offing German Jews), and in 1943, as ambassador to the Vatican, he even warned Jews in Rome that the Nazis wanted them deported, saving thousands of lives. Hell, Weizsacker didn't even like Hitler; he felt his duty was to Germany, and he never walked away from the job.

So he was sentenced at Nuremberg to seven years in prison for crimes against humanity because he signed off on documents that said his office didn't oppose deportations of Jews. He served eighteen months before he was released.

The bar for crimes against humanity is very low, if we use the trials of Nazis after World War II as a measure. Otto Dietrich? Vile as he was, he never actually killed anyone - he was just a propagandist for Hitler, a Tony Snow, if you will. He got seven years. Johannes Stark? Just a poin scientist who wanted to rid his field of "Jewish physics" in favor of that which served the state. He got four years of hard labor. Karl Doenitz? Commander in Chief of the German Navy, convicted of "planning, initiating, and waging wars of aggression," or, more commonly, crimes against peace. He was sentenced to ten years at Spandau Prison.

None of these men created a policy of torture, although surely their actions aided and abetted torture. None of them allowed crime to run rampant in areas Germany conquered, although surely others did. There are many names we could pull out of the Nuremberg files who were far more active in the Final Solution and for direct crimes than any of the men mentioned above. They weren't small fry, either. Dietrich was Hitler's confidante, Doenitz the Fuhrer's hand-picked successor. And we wouldn't have prevented the arrest, trial, and conviction of a single one of them.

The point of this comparison is not that Donald Rumsfeld is worse than the Nazis, although, to be sure, his acts are worse than those of some Nazis. The point here is that our collective humanity, our national conscience, our individual sense of ourselves as citizens, demands that we declare criminals to be criminals, and that they be punished accordingly.

Again, the Rude Pundit says that the message of this midterm election is that those who have led the country the last five years need to be made to suffer for their actions. Denying some re-election and stripping away legislative power from the Republicans is one step. But a purge requires boldness.

Somewhere, some country is going to want to arrest Donald Rumsfeld. International law practically compels it. Why not take him into custody now, here? The Rude Pundit understands there's some very interesting ways available to get information from him. And, after a while, of course, after his information is out of date or he's had it all squeezed out of him, then he can stand trial.

This morning, Donald Rumsfeld's head bleeds mighty prettily, impaled on the gate outside the White House, glasses still attached even as the eyes roll horribly upward. And while we may strip down and create ancient-seeming pagan dances around it, we still have yet to understand just how far into the abyss his body has dragged us.


America Says to the Media and the New Congress: Crush This Man:

If there was a clear mandate that comes from last night's midterm elections, it is this: the American people want the Bush presidency destroyed. However it must be done, it has to be done, so that the only legacy left from his squalid six years is bodies stacked like cordwood for the bonfires of uselessness. If you flinch from this sacred duty, if you pretend to bipartisanship and comity, you will have not heeded the message of the citizenry. Destruction first, so that there will be space for construction.

At today's press conference, where Bush congratulates the Democrats, huffs and puffs a bit about not knowing if George Allen is a loser, self-deprecates just enough to seem charming, the members of the media need to use their questions to kick him to the ground, piss on him while he's down there, and then gloat about his beaten, urine-stinking body. Don't allow him to spin it in his favor in any way. To the reporters who are willing to tear apart the administration and dine on its innards shall go the rewards.

And the new Congress needs to be cautious about preaching caution. We'll discuss impeachment when the Senate is secure, but remember that the Republicans are going to treat the Democrats like Visigoths entering Rome. But remember: Rome fell. Don't hold back from demonizing the Republicans now. When Clinton won, the right was all about a scorched earth policy towards whatever the new administration wanted to do: stop everything. So instead, use that anger against President and make the Republicans take a stand: are they with you or with a deliriously unpopular George W. Bush (and Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and Karl Rove)? In order to get things back to check and balance, at least for a while, treat the presidency like the President treated the Congress. Then we can all make nicey-nice.

In Romania, after the violence of the Revolution against the Communist dictatorship there in 1989, the new government executed Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife. Television showed the corpses to the jubilant, hopeful nation. And then they outlawed capital punishment.

For now, though, let's party till inauguration day over the whiny corpses of Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, William Kristol, Bob Novak, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, and on and on. Let's prop their bodies up like the wax dummies they are and laugh at how quickly they melt and rot.
Anyone in this Bed Got a Cigarette?:
Let's not worry about cleaning the sheets and ourselves just yet. Let's just lay here, sticky, sweaty, exhausted, blissful, and enjoy the way the sun seems a little brighter this morning...


And South Dakota Discovers Its Citizens Are Sane:
Looks like the good citizens of South Dakota decided that the crazy law banning virtually every abortion was bullshit, voting it away. Power to the people. Eat shit, fundies.
Virginia, Don't Lose Heart:
Let us remember, as indeed we should, that now that the Virginia race is tighter than Ken Lay's asshole in the prison shower, there's still over a hundred thousand absentee ballots to be counted in that state. As of this writing, Allen's up by only five grand. It's gonna be a long way to final tally. Time to hang tough and play rough, Webb.

Tomorrow: Gloating, rude style.
Election Day - Grapes So Sour You Can't Get Your Lips Around Them:
You haven't seen sore losering or sour graping until you've seen the way that, when a loss is even remotely close, Republicans grasp like insane cats falling off a precipice to the last straws they can stick their claws into. This year, you're gonna see massive litigation, spun as the last hope for democracy (read: Republicans winning), that'll make the mythical frivolous lawsuit wave seem like a drip from a leaky faucet.

Don't believe it? Huh. Howzabout a little history lesson, just from the last dozen years or so.

In Connecticut, in 1994, Democratic Representative Sam Gejdenson defeated Republican Edward Munster by a tiny margin. Upon two recounts, Gejdenson was still ahead by 21 votes, but Munster, living up to his comical monster-like name, would not be stopped, and eventually the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that Gejdenson was rightfully elected and that Munster, who was looking for a new election, could go fuck himself. Then a Republican-led panel on the House of Representatives decided to look into "wrongful" voting in the district. The whole goddamned thing ended when Munster decided to be a mensch and gave up in April 1995.

In the same time period, Republican and devoted conservative ball licker Ellen Sauerbrey lost the governor's race in Maryland to Democrat Paris Glendening by 6000 votes. Sauerbrey went to court to have 11,000 votes tossed out, asserting all kinds of things about corpses and felons voting, in a crazed numerical disinformation campaign that would have made Joseph McCarthy proud. Problem was that Sauerbrey could produce nary a piece of evidence to back up her claims. Indeed, so fucked-up was her desperate challenge that she claimed 37 dead people voted, and then it turned out some of those dead people were, in fact, alive. And not too fond of Sauerbrey. When the court tossed out the lawsuit, Sauerbrey said she thought the rules of evidence should have been relaxed for the sake of "truth."

What else? 2004's Washington gubernatorial race where Democrat Christine Gregoire won by a razor thin margin in the intial tally and the recount over Republican Dino Rossi? Where Rossi went to court to have the whole damn election invalidated? Or howzabout Bush v. Gore? There's a reason "Bush" is the first name there - 'cause he was the goddamned plaintiff.

Yep, come tomorrow morning, the troops of lawyers on both sides will tramp out to file suits, but you can bet that Republicans, having spun the slight jiggle in the polls recently as a sign of "tightening" in races they're gonna lose, will be first at the steps to the courthouses to make their last stands.
Election Day - Let the Savagery Begin:
Sure, sure, sure, there's a gonna be a mighty flood of allegations and recriminations come poll-closing time. And you can bet that if ever Republicans are gonna get on board the whole touchscreen-voting-sucks train, it'll be this election. Remember the mainstream media dictum: if Democrats say it, it's just conspiracy-laden bullshit; but if the right wing says it, it must be true.

Shit, if Karl Rove's got any mojo left at all, the easiest thing would be not to hack a ton of machines to make the numbers go Busherific. No, no, the easy way would be to hack one machine, in, say, Virginia and make it jack up the Democratic votes as a way of discrediting and de-legitimizing the entire process around the country. Then, oh, how the cries will go out about black box voting and paper trails and, hey, Chief Justice Roberts, shouldn't we just shitcan the whole damn thing? There would be a manufactured uproar among conservatives not unlike the mad braying of charging hippos.

And, remember, as far as campaign challenges go, shit that goes to court and comes from the state and national parties and their candidates, not from constituent or interest groups, Republicans are some litigatin' motherfuckers.

More on that this afternoon as the true jugular-engorging violence of this savage season is yet to come.


And the People With Good Hair Go Straight To Heaven:
Yesterday, Texas Governor Rick Perry told reporters after a Cornerstone Church service in San Antonio that he was a pea in a pod with a minister there who said all non-Christians are going to hell. Or, to put it more precisely, Rev. John Hagee said, "If you live your life and don't confess your sins to God almighty through the authority of Christ and his blood, I'm going to say this very plainly, you're going straight to hell with a nonstop ticket." Christ's blood, generally very chatty, had no comment, but Jesus himself recommended that it's cheaper to buy a roundtrip ticket and just use half of it.

Perry said he agreed with Hagee. Later, as a way of explaining himself, Perry added, "Before we get into Buddha and all the others, I get a little confused there. But the fact is that we live in a pluralistic world but our faith is real personal. And my Christian faith teaches that the way is through Jesus Christ." So he acknowledges that some people believe other things, but that belief assures them that they're going to hell.

And so many of the people in Texas, Christian and non-Christian, look at their politicians and wonder if hell would be that much worse.

(Tip o' the hat to rude reader Harry P. for the heads up.)
Why Vote For Democrats: Briefly For Nauseated Republicans:
'Cause, really, come on.
Why Vote For Democrats: Rude Version For Lazy Democrats Who Need To Get Out the Fuckin' Vote:
It's all been foreplay, all of it up until tomorrow, it's just been one long cocktease, one endless clit tickle, groping in the backseat, fondling until just before coming, dick yanks and nipple pinches, ass smacks and finger probings, and it's all been a big bunch of fun, gettin' all hot and bothered about the idea that Democrats might take back one or both houses of Congress. Now it's time for the real show, the plunging in and doing the incredible fucking, balling madly, going down for all you're worth and getting your rocks off so that, come Wednesday morning, you have that post-orgasm glow, horny Democrats.

And it's gotta be big, motherfuckers, a big fuckin' orgy of Democrats out there, all forming one heaving sex monster, an effulgence that'll light up the goddamned darkness, and love it, goddamnit, head over to your precincts, and love it. Love the act, love the climax, love the feel of it all over you, in your prick, in your cunt. If we do it right, if we just head in, wet, throbbing, hard, dripping, ready to blow our wads for democracy, then there's a chance we'll stop this mad abstinence, this insane denial of our true bodily selves as breathing, celebratory, fucking entities.

Sure, sure, you, lazy Democrat, might say to the Rude Pundit, doesn't it overstate the case to say that voting is like sex? And the Rude Pundit would answer, Not this time. Not this goddamned time. Just once in your life go out there and treat voting like fucking, and not just any fucking. Desperate living room fucks where you're hanging on to each other for dear life, spontaneous elevator fucks where you have to fuck so hard and fast before the doors open, stumbling teenage fucks in your parents' backroom where you have to come before Dad gets the car in the garage. This time, right now, vote as if you're fucking like your life depends on it. 'Cause it does, motherfuckers, it does.

For if you sit on your ass tomorrow, if you're the wallflower at the orgy, then you may as well go fuck yourself.
Why Vote For Democrats: Non-Rude Version For Tender-Eared Independents Who Might Be Getting Scared:
Let's say, and why not, that you're on a path through the woods, and you don't have a map, but there is a clear path. And let's say, and, indeed, why not, that you've been trying to get out of the woods for days and days, weeks, perhaps months, maybe even nearly six years, and you've stayed on that same path. Sure, sure, you've been tempted to veer off, every time you've seen what looks to be a part in the trees, a previously trampled bunch of leaves. But you haven't. Because, to your thinking, there's no point in trying another way.

Now let's say that your time being lost in the woods hasn't exactly been a pastoral, soul-nourishing journey eating berries, napping under the canopy, staring at stars, communing with bunnies, bathing in clear streams. No, no, let's say that it's been a damned nightmare. You've had poison ivy, poison oak, and rashes from poison plants you never even knew were poisonous. You've been chased by badgers, by boars, even by bunnies, vicious mammals everywhere. Your clothes have long ago been shredded and washed away. Your naked ass has been bitten by snakes. You wonder why cougars keep trying to rape you. You've gotten hideous, endless diarrhea from the bacteria and sewage-infused rivers. If you get an hour of sleep without interruption from the mad screeching of hawks tearing apart mice, it's a blessing. It's all rendered you crazed, paranoid, barely able to shuffle step down the path, shaking, babbling to yourself that one day you'll find your way out.

But you've stayed on that path, no matter how long it is, because it's the only real path you've had.

And let's say you come to another stream. And across that stream is another path. You have a choice. You know what's going to happen on the path you're on. You may lie to yourself and say it's going to get better, but it hasn't in all this time and, gee, look up ahead, isn't that another tumescent cougar awaiting you?

You may think that the new path might be worse, that the devil you know, and all that crap. But you look at yourself in that polluted stream, filthy, scabby, hungry. And you wonder what it would be like to take that short walk over the rocks and water to the other side and see, just see, if this new path will actually lead you out of the woods. There's no guarantees, just the promise of something...different.

Cowards stay on the same path. Cowards would rather get beaten down again and again rather than risk even a bit of the unknown. Cowards ignore the possible to stay with the terrible comfort of the expected. Tomorrow, let's see if we're a nation of cowards.

Later today: Rude Version for Disgusted Democrats


In Brief: Saddam To Hang, America To Yawn:
As November Surprises go, the conviction and sentencing of Saddam Hussein on crimes against humanity is about as surprising as, say, discovering that fucking a corpse ain't all that it's cracked up to be. You might get your rocks off, but, in the end, you're just poking dead ass. (Isn't there some Iraqi proverb about poking a dead ass?)

Sure, the timing is beyond suspicious, now, less than three days before the beginning of the post-election lawsuits. You know, c'mon, how do we get from spider hole to noose at this most politically expedient moment without some Rovean goosing? But is there a single person in this country whose reaction doesn't fall into the range between a bemused "Yeah, didn't see that coming" to a confused "He's still alive?" It's too late for this to have any impact, a waste of a perfectly good promise of execution.

Republicans and the right in general have had more surprises come from within over the last few weeks (Foley, Haggard, nuke secrets posted to the internet, and on and on) that they've made the populace numb to anything that might even be spun as good news for them.

They've fucked the goat. And once you know someone's fucked a goat, you can never look at that person the same way.

Tomorrow: Why Vote For Democrats.

Note: Goat-fucking reference comes from this old joke: A man is sitting at a bar, drinking, and he says to no one in particular, "A man can spend his life building bridges. Do they call him John the Bridge Builder? No. A man can spend his life raising crops. Do they call him John the Farmer? No. But you fuck one goat..."


Throw Some Love Over To Andy Ostroy:
Blogger and writer Andy Ostroy's wife, the pretty damn good actress Adrienne Shelly, was found dead on Thursday. Head on over to the fine Ostroy Report and send him some commenty love. Let him know that out here in Left Blogsylvania, we give a damn about our own.


Republican Strategy For Security and Victory: A Haiku:
Is revealing the
blueprints for nukes a clever
way to surrender?
Sympathy For Mrs. Haggard's Ass: A Haiku:
Gayle always wondered
Why Ted said, "Jesus enters
Us through our back doors."

More later.


Why Vote Against Republicans? Because Fuck Them:
America, the good ol' USA, is a country that was brought into existence by groups of terrorists and insurgents aided by foreign powers. Its first rallying document was the Declaration of Independence, a list of reasons why King George III and the British sucked balls. However, no matter what that hand-scrawled Declaration told the colonists, a good many people living in Massachusetts or Maryland could've bottom-lined it for you: "Why revolt against the British? Because fuck them, that's why."

The history of great movements in this nation, of any nation, is a tale of people who are finally, at the end of the day, so fed up with the status quo that all of the rational reasoning mounts and piles up until it all, in essence, comes down to "Fuck them." ("Them" being, of course, whoever the powerful are in a historical moment.) The French Revolution, the American civil rights movement, the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, all uprisings of the average person, through the ballot box, the legislative process, or the gun, against those who are dicking them over. Sure, sometimes it doesn't turn out for the best and sometimes things get even worse (see the media-manipulated Republican "revolution" of 1994 with its dunderheaded motto of "Throw the bums out"), but such is the end result of constant, endless disempowerment of the masses, the unending thrum of voices calling wrong what the people know in their guts is right.

Now, even through the deadening fog of Fox "News" rhetoric, multiple jobs, dying pensions, depleting health care, the waterboard effect of credit card debt, force-feedings of fatty foods, soul-killing reality TV, the entire cultural apparatus telling us we must want more and more stuff and shit, the dead-ends of public debate, government-instilled paranoia, dementia masking itself as religious faith, the unsubtle shove towards xenophobic isolation, an antagonistic corporate media, the vicious street-beating death of American intellectual thought, and Bush-worship masked as patriotism, through it all, man, all of it, we have come to this magnificent moment, frightening and exhilarating in its implications, where we, as a majority, are looking at the ruin and waste that surrounds us, piles of shit that we are told are mountains of gold, and we can finally, in this savage season of 2006, at long last come to say, "You know what? Fuck them."

Fuck them for trying to make us believe that America's acts of mass destruction, its bumblings into conflagration and apocalypse, in Iraq are actually just speed bumps, commas, if you will, on the road to a peaceful world of democratic nations bowing down to blow the cock of American hegemony.

Fuck them for holding themselves up as arbiters of morality and when they were confronted with a simple moral equation, they cast their lot with savages and genocidal maniacs. No, not the embryonic stem cell research vote, you backwards ass anti-science fundamentalist fucks. On torture and judicial rights, where even those who proclaimed themselves defenders of the detained and imprisoned ended up dancing like slut marionettes on a puppet pole in the Oval Office when it came down to actually, say, defending the detained and imprisoned.

Fuck them for making Americans fucking hated around the world, as if we're all ex-Nazis or, maybe more accurately, members of Pinochet's Chilean army back in the day, squandering the real triumph of America as a beacon of rights and fairness. However unreal that image was, it's better than being "that big ass country that tortures innocent people."

Fuck them for leaving New Orleans and the Gulf Coast to die, as if somehow those parts of the country were gangrenous toes that could just be cut off.

Fuck them for telling us we're too stupid or traitorous to understand what it is they're doing in trying to re-make the earth in their image, for keeping secrets in the name of their own security while literally and figuratively selling out ours.

Fuck them for lying to us about so goddamn much, about science, about their own policies, about what they actually, really were recorded saying, about what's genuinely important, like the out of control debt and the melting planet, instead trying to get us to think that, if a couple of guys wanna get married or if some pop singer's tit jumps out of her blouse, Godjeebus will smash the earth with his mighty Bible-club of divine justice.

Fuck them for...well, you know what? Just fuck them.

Fuck them all, all the Republicans in Congress, all members the conservative spooge-bucket brigade, all their corporate masters yanking on their nipple clips and shoving cold cash up their asses for their obeisance, all the liars and sinners and avaricious rats of the evangelical right, and especially all the wads of fuck in the White House. They all had their chance and they fucked it up. So fuck them.

When you walk into the voting booth on Tuesday, no matter where, with that rage burning in you, stab that motherfuckin' punch card, beat the shit out of that Diebold touch screen, and yell, "Fuck them" as you vote them into oblivion.

And if on Wednesday morning it turns out they've dicked us over one more time by hacking the vote, by screwing with the polls, then maybe we've reached a point in this America where it's time to fight or flee.


In Brief: The Republican Law of Rovean Responsibility:
So let's see if the Rude Pundit can get this straight, 'cause, see, sometimes his mind can't grapple with the logic of the right:

A lefty blogger trying to ask Republican Senator George Allen impolite questions in a public space is tossed around and assaulted by Goons for Allen (an organization whose 501c3 status is pending), and Republican Senator Liddy Dole says that it's an example not of how arrogant and abusive amoral Allen's asshole assistants are, but of how low the campaign of Allen's opponent, Democrat James Webb, has sunk.

A Republican member of Congress, Mark Foley, is revealed to have been regularly coming on to teenage male pages through internet messaging, a fact that was known to, at the very least, top staffers for the Republican leadership of the House of Representatives, and those very Republicans declare not that they fucked up, but that Democrats are actually responsible for covering-up for Foley.

The Republican President of the United States regularly "misspeaks", where he ends up admitting things like that his job is to "catapult the propaganda" about issues and comparing his brush-clearing injuries with those of wounded soldiers when he said, "As you can possibly see, I have an injury myself—not here at the hospital, but in combat with a cedar. I eventually won. The cedar gave me a little scratch," and the mainstream media ignores such statements as minor slips of the tongue, not indicative of the character of the man or the content of his policies, but explodes with massive coverage of a tripped-up joke by Democratic Senator John Kerry, deciding that a decorated war vet must hate the troops for trying to say that the President is a hunched-over baboon.

Is there any crime that can't be deflected, any ethical lapse that can't be denied, any standard to which the Republicans can be held? We're beyond accountability. We're into some bizarro Nixonian region of plausible deniability.