Cal Thomas: "I'm a Goddamn Idiot Who Can't Read" Or Words to That Effect:
Every once in a while, it's fun to see what stupid shit Cal Thomas, who shaved off his Tom of Finland moustache, is spouting. And today's platter is especially stupid. He goes after Hillary Clinton for a speech at a technical school that Thomas says was a call to socialism. He quotes Clinton, "I believe our government can once again work for all Americans. It can promote the great American tradition of opportunity for all and special privileges for none."

For Thomas, blustering like Diamond Jim Brady demanding bacon-wrapped pie back in the Gilded Age, Clinton may as well have been issuing a call for revolution: "Doesn't such a society already exist elsewhere? It's called socialism, where government has sought to make all things economically equal and the only equality is that all are equally poor." Now, the Rude Pundit always thought that the essence of socialism was that workers had greater control over the economy, but look at what Thomas is implying: if you take "special privileges" away from the wealthy, that's "socialism." Now that's how you dumb down an ideology, but, then again, conservatives can't wrap their heads around the notion that just because gays and lesbians want, say, the right to marry, that it ain't asking for "special protection."

The whole "column" (if by "column," you mean "the scribblings of a man so repressed that he wears Depends because he keeps dribbling semen") is filled with such brain-dead inanity. It's like Thomas just had to disagree with Clinton, so he's gonna find him some shit to disagree with.

Thomas represents big-time for the right. Clinton gave a remarkably wonky and insightful speech where she merely said that the current economic playing field is not only massively unequal, but that government and corporate America work to keep it unequal - it was really a call back to genuine capitalism. Thomas sees that as a threat to himself and others. And he calls it "class warfare."

Which is always fuckin' funny when a right-winger says that because usually it's followed by an attack on poor people. And Thomas does not disappoint: "I am not robbed by people who have more money than me. I am robbed by a government that wants to penalize my industry and give increasing portions of what I earn to people who do not emulate my principles, morals and ethics."

And thus, class warfare put to rest, Thomas can lay down his pen and think, ever so thoughtfully, about how much better he is than the rabble, his unfulfilled testicles aching inside his diaper.
Pictures That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Down Half a Bottle of Ambien with a Fifth of Bourbon:

Why is Rudy Giuliani about to use his teeth to tear the jugular vein out of the neck of that elderly woman? Perhaps the answer is: because he's Rudy Giuliani, so why wouldn't he?


Kristol and Kagan and Gadahn: Little Savages Everywhere:
The Rude Pundit could've gotten a brain-damaged monkey and sat it in front of a giant board filled with squares, each predicting what might happen if the United States invaded Iraq. That brain-damaged monkey could've thrown its shit at the board, and someone could've announced on what square the shit landed, and even if the shit had missed the board entirely, there's a good chance that that brain-damaged, shit-tossing monkey would've been right more often about the war in Iraq than William Kristol or Frederick Kagan.

Kristol was one of the most hysterical drum-thumpers about the phantom weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, stating as absolute fact things that were, in fact, absolutely false. Here he is in October 2001: "And what of the price we will pay for refusing to confront Iraq -- at least now, perhaps ever? We've already given Saddam time to move his chemical and biological weapons programs as far as possible out of potential harm's way, an opportunity of which he appears to have taken advantage."

Unfair, you say, because it was written in the panicked heat of headhunting after 9/11? So here's Kristol (and Robert Kagan - Fred's brother) on January 30, 1998, in the New York Times, pushing for a ground troop invasion of Iraq and mocking Bill Clinton's containment policy: "Unless we act, Saddam Hussein will prevail, the Middle East will be destabilized, other aggressors around the world will follow his example, and American soldiers will have to pay a far heavier price when the international peace sustained by American leadership begins to collapse."

As for consequences of invasion, in a January 2002 Weekly Standard screed, Kristol and Robert Kagan scoffed at anything worse than a Saddam with WMDs: "[T]he Iraq doves claim removing Saddam would be a diversion from the war against al Qaeda, and the cure would be worse than the disease. This is nonsense. It is almost impossible to imagine any outcome for the world both plausible and worse than the disease of Saddam with weapons of mass destruction. A fractured Iraq? An unsettled Kurdish situation? A difficult transition in Baghdad? These may be problems, but they are far preferable to leaving Saddam in power with his nukes, VX, and anthrax." It's easy to mock their hysteria about WMDs because there actually were cooler heads around then, saying, "Um, we should probably be sure about this before we buy Iraq."

However, in the same editorial, the authors were at least a great deal more honest about what would be needed than the Bush adminstration ever was: "The best way to avoid chaos and anarchy in Iraq after Saddam is removed is to have a powerful American occupying force in place, with the clear intention of sticking around for a while." But they also wrote, "The United States should support Ahmad Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress -- they are essential parts of any solution in Iraq." Ah, well, one out of fifty or so ain't bad. It's not like this was about people being killed or anything.

Now, in the current Weekly Standard, Kristol and Frederick Kagan, a man who loves a good surge in his face, state that anyone who wants to try diplomacy with Iran and Syria is a pussy, unlike them with their manly mannishness, and that everyone, including those punk ass Congressional Democrats, needs to stop being such bitches and get behind the escalation.

To Kristol and the Kagans (which, really, is the lamest band name) and all the remaining neo-cons, who for some reason haven't been stripped, tarred, feathered, and forced to run into the forest to live like scavenging beasts, it's all just tough guy talk. They don't give a fuck about the real consequences in blood and money because it ain't their blood and they're rich enough not to give a fuck about what the money might be used for otherwise. It's all just putting theory into action, a long Rube Goldberg device that they hope will end up toasting the bread and frying the egg, except long ago the thing stopped working. They're just the geeks that jump up and say, "Wait, wait, I can get it going again." Mad savages who wouldn't survive a moment outside of their think tanks and TV studios.

Speaking of mad savages, for big time larfs, check out the oooh-you're-so-scary video by Adam Gadahn, now calling himself "Azzam al-Amriki," and his "Look at what happened because you wouldn't go to the prom with me, Betsy" threats against America. The so-called American al-Qaeda member's performance is such a pathetic whine for attention and love by a four-eyed fat fuck that the very sight of it will make bullies everywhere unconsciously clench their fists and want to tell him to meet them behind the gym after school for a good ass-kicking. You just wanna say, "Dude, c'mon, you can't play a Wii in a cave."


Dick Cheney's America: Bondage Without a Safe Word:
Let us say, and why not, that you are a man, a gay man, if you will, and you love to be humiliated before, during, and after a good fucking. You're not a leather slave. That's a little too esoteric for you. And you're more hardcore than your run-of-the-mill tie-me-to-the-bedposts-and-whip-me-with-a-feather-boa game player. No, you love being disciplined, being told you are worthless, you are shit, being punished by being denied orgasm, by getting a spanking, by having to lick your dom's balls clean, by letting him jack off while watching you getting fucked by strangers, by pinching your nipples with clamps and shoving a remote-controlled anal vibrator in you and making you sit in the park while he's somewhere, occasionally turning that little probe up to eleven, making your prostate twitch and trying so goddamn hard not to get a boner because, well, because that's the task you've been given, and if you succeed, you will be rewarded with ejaculatory ecstasy, and if you fail, well, shit, that's just another word for succeeding. You are, to use a term of art, a good little subby.

But there's an understanding between you and your dom: this is your fantasy life. This is something that you willingly give yourself to, and, that, weekend over, even a delightfully long weekend like Memorial Day, you still have to put on the suit and head off to the cubicle to become the computer jockey you went to college to be. So with your dom, because you know that sometimes, in the heat of the blindfolded nut shaving or the insertion of the ten-inch dildo in your ass just before you get a cock shoved in your mouth or the ever popular "riding the love donkey side-saddle," you and your dom have established a safe word. That is, something you say if it's all gone too far, that you're bleeding more than you expected, that something's tearing that shouldn't be, that a bone is about to snap, that the noose is too tight. You wanna choose a word that wouldn't say unless you consciously thought you needed to speak it. Let us say, and why not, that your safe word is "Geneva." You say, "Geneva" whenever you need circulation back to your wrists, whenever the crucifixion play is getting too close to actual nailing, whenever the mummification is crushing your lungs.

Talk to any of the denizens of the alt community, people who get their freak on with varying amounts of pain, humiliation, dominance, submission, fluids, organic material, animals, toys, and stainless steel devices. The safe word is a contract.

Now, the problem, of course, is that there's always those who just don't wanna play by the rules, consequences be damned. For these doms, the safe word means that things are just getting interesting. The safe word is an impediment, a pathetic speed bump on the highway of spunk-spewing intensity. The dom that ignores the cry of "Geneva" thinks that your lips say "No, no," but the abject terror and excruciating pain in your eyes says, "Yes, yes." In other words, get ready to be fucked in ways that you never thought possible, for blood and vomit to be lubricants, for the darker the bruise to mean the greater the pleasure, for knives and razors and brands to make their permanent presence known on your skin. In other words, once the safe word is meaningless, anything goes and the order that you believed you got fucked under has been reduced to chaos, even as the dom believes that, truly, what he's doing is giving you life-changing experiences, either to own you or to "liberate" you.

In his speech at West Point's graduation last week, Dick Cheney said that the safe words of the United States no longer apply. As the sebaceous cyst, that puss-filled sac, that is the Vice President undulated to the dais in front of the cadets he was condemning to despair and death, he spewed his goo by saying, "As Army officers on duty in the war on terror, you will now face enemies who oppose and despise everything you know to be right, every notion of upright conduct and character, and every belief you consider worth fighting for and living for. Capture one of these killers, and he'll be quick to demand the protections of the Geneva Convention and the Constitution of the United States. Yet when they wage attacks or take captives, their delicate sensibilities seem to fall away."

Yep, the Geneva Convention and the Constitution are merely for those with "delicate sensibilities," not, you know, absolute and foundational documents about how this nation conducts itself. They are the safe words that must be ignored for those who Cheney believes must submit. Even the logic of it is pure idiocy. It's like saying, for instance, that Scooter Libby flouted the law, but when he was arrested, that fucker was such a pussy that he believed he had the right to counsel. Why didn't he think about that when he was perjuring himself?

Some of those graduating cadets at West Point no doubt majored in Law, some of them took law courses as electives. The majors had to take LW474, the "Law of War" course, which has this description: "The ethical and historical background of LOW will be examined, including Geneva Conventions and protocols, and how LOW is enforced on international and national levels, to include prosecution under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Illustrative examples will include the Nuremberg Tribunal, MY Lai, and the Gulf War. The emphasis is on the LOW responsibilities of the junior officer."

One imagines that in this course and others, the Geneva Conventions aren't treated like a road block, like a buzzkill, like so much useless trash written in quaint terms of right and wrong. No, it's a safe word - it means that you have to stop before you go so far you degrade everyone involved, prisoners, cadets, even depraved Vice Presidents.


Every Dead Soldier Prop Is Real:

In his radio address this week, in honor of Memorial Day, President Bush related the story of David Christoff, Jr., who was killed in Iraq right around Memorial Day 2006. By all accounts, not just the President's, he was a helluva guy.

The picture up there is of his coffin.


Yep, Hostages To Lieberman:
This week, the Rude Pundit posited that the real reason for the Democratic cave on war funding was Joe Lieberman, him of the hangdog face and Droopy voice, seeking to exercise some of his mighty power of bipartisanship by sinking a bill supported by the vast majority of the American people. His threat? Jumping to the Republican caucus, thus assuring that this would be his last term in office.

And now we know that he's been a-threatenin'.

Ya think George Soros could use some of his scratch to bribe Chuck Hagel into going independent and caucusing Democratic? And then we can tell Lieberman to go fuck himself.


The Rude Pundit To Teach at Bonnaroo:
So, like, the Rude Pundit will be teaching activist theatre classes each morning of the big ass Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee, June 15-17. Crazed, ecstasy-ridden, dehydrated hippies will gather at 10:30 to put together a performance that'll be done at 12:30 each day, before the music gets under way.

His co-teacher will be Mark H. Creter, who directed both Rude Pundit shows.

Still awaiting word on whether or not the Rude Pundit will do his own show. He'll post as soon as he knows.

If any rude readers are gonna be there, give a heads up. Perhaps we'll shoot tequila to the Black Keys or the White Stripes.
George Bush Says Our Kids Are Hostages:
Let us say, and why not, that some crazed criminals, fuck, make 'em Islamic, if you want, are holding your children hostage, black market Kalashnikovs pointed at their heads. And you are given a choice as to who can save them. You can make one phone call to either George W. Bush or Jimmy Carter? Whose number would you punch up on the cell? Now think about this for a second before you answer: there are guns, locked and loaded, at the heads of your kids, cute little boy and cute little girl, kneeling on the floor of the living room, blindfolded, hands behind their heads. You gotta think what's gonna make this end well, not like some seizure of citizens in Russia or Chechnya, with the kids alive and, really, and, c'mon, once the kids are safe, who really gives a fuck what happens to the criminals? We shall return to this conundrum in a moment.

Yesterday, at his newest bizarro press conference of flailing poll damnation, President Bush more or less said that we're all hostages to terrorists, and aren't you goddamn happy that he's in charge. When NBC's David Gregory dared to ask if a President who's been proven wrong every time he exhales is still credible, Bush squawked, "They viciously attacked us before we were in Iraq, and they've been attacking ever since. They are a threat to your children, David, and whoever is in that Oval Office better understand it and take measures necessary to protect the American people." You get that? Terrorists are a threat to David Gregory's kids. So's poisoned food from China, but unless one can bomb the melamine out of it, it's not quite as glamorous a problem. (When asked about trade issues with China, Bush responded with the best "what-the-fuck" line of the morning: "One area where I've been disappointed is beef. They need to be eating U.S. beef. It's good for them. They'll like it." Somewhere in Wyoming, a steer fantasized about being stir-fried with bok choy and was pleased.)

But's it's not just the unlucky NBC correspondent's kids who are potential suicide bomber fodder. Asked why Osama bin Laden is still free, Bush responded, "I would hope our world hadn't become so cynical that they don't take the threats of al Qaeda seriously, because they're real. And it's a danger to the American people. It's a danger to your children, Jim." If you think about it, it's the kind of mobster rhetoric that says, "Shut the fuck up": "Yeah, be a real shame if anything should happen to your kids, Jim, you know what I'm sayin'?"

There you go. The President of the United States says that reporters' children are threatened by terrorism. They, like the rest of us, have those barrels leveled at our skulls, awaiting the word to blow our brains out, to burn our houses, to blow up our malls.

Let's return to the crisis mentioned above. Now, every hostage negotiator knows that, unless shit's out of control, with hostages being shot and chaos pouring down, you hold back. You talk. You see what you can do to get the kids out alive. If you go into that house with guns a-blazin' and your kids are dead. You might get the kidnappers, might even kill 'em all, but what's the use if you don't get the hostages back? If you think that it doesn't matter as long as we get those evil fuckers, well, the White House awaits your ringtone.

So who's the call to, George W. Bush or Jimmy Carter? Tamp down your bloodlust for a moment, your desire to gut and string up the criminals. It's your kids at stake now, according to the President. Do you want the man who's gonna bring the bazooka or the megaphone?


Democrats: Punk-Ass Bitches or Hostages to Lieberman?:
The Rude Pundit thinks that the whole goddamn compromise on the war funding bill, which is really about the blood and bones and brains of soldiers forced to fight for another $100 billion or so worth of time, comes down to Senator Joe Lieberman, that boil Connecticut inflicted on us last year. Keith Olbermann hinted at this the other night on Countdown while talking with Howard Fineman, who quickly dismissed the idea that Joe Lieberman had anything to gain by jumping to the Republican caucus. But what Fineman's not getting about Lieberman is that it ain't fun to have power if you never use it, and what's more pleasant than to threaten to dick over the very people who need you.

So, with no real evidence (unless that pair of Congressional aides the Rude Pundit shared ecstasy tabs, Wild Turkey, and condoms with - hope the handcuff marks are gone, S. - wants to call up for another round of "whistleblowers and the whistle" and drop the dime on the Senator), one would not be wrong to think that the most forceful reason Harry Reid would so clearly contradict himself on the funding bill is having been put in a nut vice by Lieberman.

Check out the man of Lieber's May 16 comments to the Republican Jewish Coalition, as reported in the Hartford Courant: "It is to the everlasting credit of President Bush that in the war against Islamist extremism he has shown the courage and steadfastness to stand against the political passions of the moment...I believe that each of us should be grateful that we have a commander-in-chief who does not believe that decisions about war should be driven by poll numbers. And each of us should be grateful that we have a commander-in-chief who does not confuse what is popular with what is right for our security as a nation." If one is so willing to prostrate oneself, Kissinger-like, before the mad leader, one is willing to play hard ball to make sure that the war continues.

In the same speech, he chided Democrats and Republicans as "delude[d]" for thinking that ending the war won't cause political consequences. Shortly after threatening that anti-war politicians will "be held accountable," Lieberman said, "I know that we can rise above the anger and smallness of our politics." So, just to follow the ball bouncing off the rubber walls of the crazy room, Joe Lieberman says that politicians are fucking their political careers over if they defund the war, but he wants them to rise above politics. Lieberman added, "Now is not the time for reflexive partisanship and pandering to public opinion. Now is the time for the kind of patriotism and principle America’s voters have always honored."

But, wait, wait, wait just a fuckin' second here, Joe - you just said that the public will hold politicians accountable for not supporting the war. And in that one sentence you said that the public is against the war, but the voters will love you if you support it. The ability to hold contradicting thoughts in one's head that you assert are both true? That's called "motherfucking insanity."

Of course, this was just after Lieberman had related a story about how "dramatically transformed" Anbar province has become in the last six months, with "shops and schools have reopened, Al Qaeda is on the run, thousands of Iraqis have joined the local police, and—yes—no less than the New York Times reports that we have turned the corner there." Of course, one never knows what's around that corner. And, today, ABC News is reporting that "Thousands of U.S. troop reinforcements have been sent to Anbar, one of the most dangerous regions in Iraq for U.S. soldiers, as part of a broader military initiative seen as a last effort to avert all-out civil war." Can a brother get a "D'oh"?

Still, is this the rhetoric of a man who would allow the war to end? Fuck, Lieberman won't be happy until he's bathing in a tub of Shi'a blood on the floor of the Senate, with Orrin Hatch and a few others telling him to scoot over and pass the loofah. And then Lieberman can give Bush the most lubricious fellations, and, wiping his mouth, telling the President that Hadassah never does that to him, the two of them can sit there and figure out which one of them is the most bloodthirsty.

While the right is crowing about the President having "won" this round, well, the Rude Pundit's pretty damn certain that at least some of the "victory" belongs to Joe Lieberman, and that the families of the coming dead Americans owe him much thanks.


Maureen Dowd's Gigantic Vagina:
Have you heard about Maureen Dowd's enormous vagina? The Rude Pundit was having a late lunch with a New York Times insider, in that he had had parts of his body inside Maureen Dowd, and he spilled the beans about spilling his seed in Maureen Dowd's pudenda. "Her labia are like goddamn Dumbo ears," he said, sucking down his third vodka martini of the afternoon, jamming a fancy french fry into some bernaise that had been stained with the blood of his rare steak. "No, really, when I was going down on her, I felt like I was wearing moist earmuffs."

Apparently, Dowd's vulva is large enough to fit "three, four elephant dicks. And Tarzan could swing from her clit." He is a man who enjoys his pussy, and he'd be quite adept at having some box lunch if his appetite at the downtown steak joint was any indication. He continued, for, indeed, once a man starts talking about outsized poonani, there's no way to stop him. "Yeah, fucking Maureen Dowd is like launching a bottle rocket into the Grand Canyon," he said, using a chunk of fat to wipe up the remaining eggy sauce. "I think I lost my watch in there." And, yes, his wrist was watchless.

The Rude Pundit asked his dining companion why he fucked Maureen Dowd. "Have you read her shit lately?" he said. "What the fuck? Seriously. What. The. Fuck." He talked about her strange, ongoing assault on the Democratic candidates (and potential candidates) for President. "In the last month, this kooky kooz has called John Edwards a 'metrosexual' 'cause he got an expensive hair cut - lemme tell ya, her dye jobs ain't exactly Clairol off the shelf at CVS. She may as well have just gone Coulter on Edwards' ass and said he was a 'faggot.'

"Then Dowd went off on Barack Obama's wife for acting like a real human being in a real marriage, saying that 'some' saw her as 'emasculating.' And now she's going after Al Gore for being fat, not even paying attention to his new book, but only to if he's gonna lose weight to run for President. Oh, and how he eats a lot. She may as well have pointed her bony ass finger at him like she was on a playground and yelled, 'Fatty-fat-fat, you fat fuck.' You gonna eat that roll?"

The Rude Pundit gestured for him to have at. "By the way, when Maureen Dowd puts her hand around your cock, it feels like an old tree trying to eat a hot dog," he said. But that didn't answer the question. Why did he fuck Maureen Dowd?

He stared, a tinge of regret, a bit of horror, maybe even a shade of sadness, as if he mourned for lost innocence, passing through his eyes. "Because somebody had to," he said. "Someone had to take one for the team. Because in her column today she said that Bill Clinton's girth back in the day was 'roguish,' when, during his presidency, she barely ever missed an opportunity to mention it, like it made him into an overweight rube."

He was on a tear, a man driven to confess, to justify his actions. "Because she seems to think that feminism is about taking down other feminists, men and women. She's just ninety degrees from Ann Coulter in the way she seems to want a real man, one who's not a fat, emasculated metrosexual, to fuck her hard. And, goddamnit, I decided I was that man."

He started to cry, wiping his mouth with his napkin and tossing it on his plate, which only contained a leaf of escarole. "But what I can't get out of my head," he said, "is her vagina, like some undersea beast, nestled in the rocks and coral of her legs. Sometimes, at night, man, I can still hear my watch, its ticking echoing off the walls of her cervix. Hell, if I took a flashlight to her, I'd probably find cave drawings in there."

Taking his hand, the Rude Pundit assured the anonymous New York Times insider that the world would be warned away from Maureen Dowd's expansive vagina, yes, truly a shallow way to judge a woman, but she deserves nothing less.


The Warning of the Plague Monkeys:
Well, of course the bubonic plague is killing monkeys in Denver. Why the fuck not, huh? The Black Death took out Spanky, a cute capuchin, and that little bastard got it because it ate an infected squirrel. Now, you may ask, and well you should, which part of this story is more disquieting. Is it the monkey dying? The fact that adorable urban park squirrels are plague-ridden? The image of a monkey eating a squirrel? No matter how you cut it, the story weighs a great deal more on the disturbing side of the scale than on the funny (although, c'mon, look at that fuckin' monkey - just filled with poo-flinging preciousness - now think of it ripping the head off an equally sweet and fuzzy creature and sucking out its juicy squirrel goodness, like a twitching, fur-covered longneck Budweiser).

The point here is not that the plague is "back" or any such shit. We know that it never goes away in America, especially out on the flea-ridden varmints of the West. But there's a reason that Spanky's story is getting more play than the fact that New Mexico had its first plague case this year, a man who got it from, of course, a flea bite. It's because as long as the plague stays rural, it's distant, it's not a cause of concern to the majority of us who stay esconced in our cities. But if Denver's puss-squirting squirrels are dropping like flies and killing the zoo monkeys, well, shit, all of a sudden the plague is very fuckin' real. And Colorado's gotta do something about it before some white child gets it.

The point here is not that urban sprawl, for instance, has more than likely invited plague fleas to join in the gentrification and overbuilding, although that could very well be it. It ain't even that population growth, climate change, and greed are combining to bring forth coming plagues. The point is that the bubonic plague is always here. It was never cured, it never went away. And, unlike the various flus, swine, bird, or, you know, porcupine or something, it ain't the effects of recent globalization (since it was explorers back in the day that brought plague to North America). No, the plague exists in the deserts of the American Southwest, and, since there's so few human cases each year, about 10, that it doesn't appear on the American radar. But a cute monkey dies in a city? That's CNN-worthy.

There's all these kinds of things, plagues and problems, that are festering, waiting to be addressed before they begin to creep into the larger population of America, to the places where the middle-classes live, where people take their children to see the primates. The right-wing of this country has based almost its entire being on phantom problems - or phantom aspects of real issues. Whether it's terrorism or immigration, there's no effort to confront the actual shit that needs to be addressed. It's easier to hype drunk driving illegals or false WMDs and go after solutions to mock issues. It's like Cadillac-driving welfare mothers. A non-existent problem that leapt to the forefront of American political debate because the right is able to hype it and shove it down our throats, where we only discover (and only if we look) that the problem never actually existed.

This is generic talk, a kind of "ooh, aren't conservatives eeevil" post. But we know, for a fact, that the monkeys and squirrels of Denver are diseased, just like we know, for a fact, that New Orleans needs to be saved, that health care in the nation is a nightmare at worst, a clusterfuck at best, we know, we know these things and more. And the best that the politicians can offer us, mostly Republicans, but many Democrats, too, is a chance to address the hallucinations instead of the fever.

The worthless immigration compromise bill, now delayed so it can be ripped to shreds by amendments of rabid mongrel-like savagery and others that'll fail because they're compassionate, is such an animal - it deals with things through illusions, of a plugged border, of being able to send thousands of people back to other countries and then let them back in, of people in poverty willingly doling out thousands of dollars. That's using fantasy to fight a fantasy version of real problems, like the best Washington can do is to try to deal with illegal immigration online in Second Life, forgetting that there's real bodies and lives, not virtual ones, at stake here.

The plague monkeys are here. They're not going back to the desert. And once the death and doom is done with the monkeys, well, there's only once place for the fleas to go.

(Speaking of nature and metaphors, think of the two humpback whales who can't find their way back to the ocean as Bush and Cheney trying to make Iraq succeed. It's sad, but fascinating, and it's gonna end in death.)


Illegal Immigrants: Furniture or People?:
Here's what the Rude Pundit thinks we oughta do about the whole illegal immigration "problem" to please conservatives: it's time to say that one is a human being only if one is a citizen or has a green card. If you're an illegal immigrant, rounded up at a Home Depot parking lot or in the vans of the Merry Maids or kept in the basement of wealthy Long Island, NY crazy people, you will be officially designated an object. Not an animal. Not anything so sentient. You will be an object, made into whatever is most useful. In fact, fuck it. Let's just turn them into furniture. No, no, we're not talking mass executions here and making shit Holocaust-style.

No, we'll just make Maria bend over and get on her hands and knees to be a coffee table. Three Hondurans positioned just right would make a fine love seat. With a Salvadoran child as an ottoman. Think how fun it'd be to fuck your boyfriend on a bed of Mexicans, of pissing in a toilet made of a Dominican woman. It wouldn't be slavery, either, at least not by our definition in the United States. The government's all about re-defining shit, like torture, so that when something looks like slavery to every other semi-civilized nation, we can say, "Oh, no, because, by the United States' definition, they aren't people. They're objects."

The rabid right has gone nuclear nutzoid over the illegal immigration compromise bill now being debated in the Senate. The bill, as it was negotiated between members of both parties and the White House, is pretty much a mouse maze for illegals, where, if they make it through all the dead-ends and electro-shock paths, they'll find a little morsel of cheese waiting for them at the end. The wonderful thing is the way the bill pretty much dicks over everyone except members of Congress and the Bush administration who wanna say they did something about illegal immigrants in this country other than hire them to make their gardens pretty and raise their children. And let their friends in industry hire them to pick peaches and lettuce.

The guest workers program is, more or less, the creation of an official servant class, one that'll serve to undercut the unionization of working class Americans and legal immigrants. By the way, the whole "guest workers" thing sound like we're gonna provide them with fresh towels and scones every morning. Why not just call them "shit detail workers"? The bill's filled with bizarre rules like if Jorge from Guatemala is a guest worker for two years, he's gotta go back to Guatemala for a year before he can come back here for another two years, for a total of six years. 'Cause no one's gonna break that law and stay, you know, illegally.

Oh, and then there's the fines, the total of $5000 that illegals would more or less have to pay if they want a green card, thus making the United States government into the largest coyote operation. The most festive provision is forcing the head of a household, no matter how many American kids that person has, to return to whatever country he or she got the fuck out of to come here and then turn around and come back legally, hoping that he or she gets back in to the kids, the job, the life that's been established. Immigrant rights groups are cautiously pessimistic about the bill - it's something, but, hell, that something ain't much.

As conservatives lose their shit over the bill, wondering why it ain't just a fence, mass deportation, and armed patrols shooting without asking questions, what's most apparent in their mad arm-flapping is the complete racist denial of the historic tidal force of populations. If massive waves of Mexicans and other Hispanics (75% of all illegals) wanna crash on our shores, changing the color shade of the place, it's gonna happen. And the sooner the United States accepts that reality - that, truly, in a couple of decades this is gonna be a Hispanic country, no matter what kind of immigrant apartheid the government tries to create - the sooner we can figure out how the fuck to adjust to that reality. Or we can all just build larger and larger walls around smaller and smaller compounds.

By the way, you know the most fucked-up part of this? If you told some poor woman who was driven across the border in a truck with other Mexicans, having paid some coyote thousands of dollars to transport her, that her job would be as a toilet for a middle-class white family in Phoenix, she'd gladly do it.


In Brief: If Ashcroft Was Against It...:
The Rude Pundit has about as much love for John Ashcroft as he does for rotting cat corpses. The insane Ashcroft loved him some end runs around the Constitution for the sake of mad terrorist hunts, using confidentiality and exercise of executive power to titty-fuck the statue of Justice, thrusting away at those bodacious ta-tas for detentions and secret trials and surveillance of groups deemed in any way associated with "terrorism," telling those who would dare suggest that this was an encroachment on liberties, "Your tactics aid terrorists, for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to America's enemies." Yeah, man, motherfucker used the burnt limbs of 9/11 victims to bludgeon anyone who would stand in his way.

Yet he wouldn't approve the domestic surveillance program, as the White House wanted and that the NSA was already engaged in. As Greg Palast has said, how fucked are we that John Ashcroft actually thought some "tool" for "fighting terrorists" went too far? How goddamn frightening must that program really be for Ashcroft and good toady James Comey to have their stomachs churn? Christ, there must be microchips in toilet paper so that when you wipe your ass, it gets inserted in your bowels so the government can track your every move.

When Alberto Gonzales and Andrew Card invaded Ashcroft's hospital room on March 10, 2004 to get him to sign off on renewing the NSA program, the Attorney General was recovering from having his gall bladder removed (feel free to insert gall bladder right-to-life joke here). The deadline for renewal was March 11. Comey had to confront Gonzales and Card, and, with one less organ, Ashcroft told them to fuck off. And, as we now know, the end result was that Bush got his program, with the shiny Justice Department approval, after the Madrid bombings had fortuitously occurred.

While Bush's boys were tryin' to get nearly dead Uncle Johnny to change his will, in Iraq, in the three days of this ordeal, Richard S. Gottfried was blown up. Edward W. Brabazon shot himself. Bert Hoyer was blown up, as were Joe Dunigan and Christopher Hill. There's no amount of spying on Americans that could have saved them.


Mitt Romney Should Creep Us All Out:
Everything about Republican Presidential candidate, former governor, former moderate, ersatz savage conservative is seriously creepy. The Rude Pundit is talking about Romney in his current form, Robo-Romney, whose Frankenstein's monster-like hair doesn't move, whose jaw is square, whose soul-cringing answers at debates and interviews ought to induce torch-carrying mobs to corner him in order to purge their village of such inhuman taint.

And when the Rude Pundit says, "Everything," he fuckin' means "everything." The crazy part is how open Romney is about his creepiness, as if it's an asset, which, looking at the increasingly creepy Republican field, it may well be.

Check out his speech about how much he friggin' loveslovesloves his wife, Ann. In the course of it, Romney freely talks about throwing rocks at her and her horse when he was a child, about dating her at 16, about a first date seeing The Sound of Music (which ought to disqualify him not just from being President, but from ever getting laid in his life), about his stalker-like attitude towards her: "I didn't want to be anywhere else but with Ann. I wanted to be with her all the time and couldn't imagine being anywhere else besides being with her." Charming. Then he says how he lied to his parents about flying home from Stanford on weekends to "date" Ann, gleefully stating, "I didn't tell my parents - they're both gone now, and I can make that public." Oh, ho, ho, ho, pulled the wool over those corpses' eyes.

There's his endless love of violence, of killing and punishing, harshly, those he views as enemies. Huh. Savagery and Mormonism seems to go together like, say, savagery and Mormonism. And the Rude Pundit's not just talkin' out of his hat here. At the debate this week in South Carolina, Romney went further even than the mad Rudy Giuliani (still trying to make up for all that time in drag), lovin' him some Gitmo for detainees: "I'm glad they're at Guantanamo. I don't want them on our soil. I want them on Guantanamo, where they don't get the access to lawyers they get when they're on our soil. I don't want them in our prisons. I want them there." In fact, as has been widely reported, Romney said, "Some people have said, we ought to close Guantanamo. My view is, we ought to double Guantanamo." Adding that Gitmo oughta be waterboard-palooza: "And enhanced interrogation techniques have to be used -- not torture but enhanced interrogation techniques, yes."

This is not to mention his view of the Middle East as a bunch of homogeneous Arabs who wanna fuck with American shit: "There is a global jihadist effort. Violent, radical jihadists want to replace all the governments of the moderate Islamic states, replace them with a caliphate. And to do that, they also want to bring down the West, in particular us. And they've come together as Shi'a and Sunni and Hezbollah and Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda with that intent." It's sorta like that old Batman movie, when all the villains gathered in a submarine to do their dastardliest. Fuck, let's send Romney over there in tights and a cape to kick some ass. One of his five sons can be the Boy Wonder.

Creepy motherfucker's gonna keep veering rightward and backwards until he heads off the edge of a flat earth.


Dead Falwell:
Jerry Falwell was a poison, a jowly backwoods cretin who used his abilities to calmly, smilingly spin entire worlds of nutzoid damnation and spew them into the airwaves to build the illusion of an empire, all fake gossamer and cash. For the better part of four decades, his gluttonous, bovine visage befouled our television screens, slavering ratings whores of the news networks ready to lift his gargantuan belly, resting it on their heads, to fellate him for all the good quotes he could weave from cultishly mad religious fervor, always smiling, that smug fuckin' smile of self-righteousness, of acting so God-stoned that he couldn't wipe Christ's blood out of his eyes. No wonder he was a man who looked like he enjoyed his pork rinds - he always had the Jesus-spliff munchies.

You could populate entire vital nations with the people he despised and wanted to cast into pits of despair if they didn't accept his Son of God, a pissy little deity who, like an overly inbred emperor, demands unquestioning loyalty and obeisance. To give yourself to Falwell's God was to announce to the world that all questions from "Why is there war?" to "Why does Grandpa have bleeding hemorrhoids?" could be answered with God's name and will invoked. What an amazingly ignorant way to exist. And all you needed to join in was to give your hard-earned money to him. "If we don't tithe, we rob God," Falwell told his stupid flock. Give part of your Social Security check to the man, not the God, but the man, Falwell, who would, he assured you, do God's will with it. And how did you know God's will would be done? Because Falwell assured you it would be. Because, oh, sweet bliss of tautologies, Falwell knew. How did you know Falwell knew? Because he told you so. No wonder George W. Bush is president.

And he used that cash, guilted out of the pockets of his parishioners, to take religious faith and drag it into the gutter of politics to rape it and beat it and cut it and leave it a scarred freakish shell of what it might have been, appealing to the basest instincts of people to perpetuate lies and illusions. So rather than devote all his resources into doing the shit that maybe Christ might have wanted him to do, like, you know, help the poor, Falwell split the difference, building the Moral Majority, his TV show, and his (eventually-called) Liberty University, all things that paid lip service to doing things in God's name, but were really about the greater glory of the man, not the God, but the man, Falwell.

Part and parcel of that was to toss red meat to the faithful, telling them who to hate, who to spurn, who to despise, all couched in terms of trying to "change hearts" and get them to accept his Christ. Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, gays, liberals of any faith, illegal immigrants, anyone who didn't fit into his version of Christianity (which meant "people who give money to Jerry Falwell") were merely more bits of coal for Lucifer's fires. Motherfucker said, flat out, that Anne Frank, Gandhi, Muhammed, and Buddha were in hell. He pretty much started the culture wars, against anyone who supported abortion, feminism, or funding for AIDS research, looked at pornography, made art that he deemed wrong. Yes, there were preachers before Falwell who goddamned masses of people, but Falwell did it with a bigger microphone and satellites and cable TV, and with that voice, and that smile, that attitude of rationality, as if anyone who didn't feel the same way he did must be a fool. His fetid rhetoric made intolerance and hate seem like moral stances.

And, up to his death, all the politicians since Reagan let him into the White House had to make offerings to Falwell in order to get his blessings for their candidacies. But the Republicans (mostly) were more than willing to degrade themselves and do a little moral and ethical striptease for Falwell, at Liberty University events, in private, whenever, making sure that Falwell would not send his zombie hordes out to drag down a potential president. John McCain must be feeling pretty skeevy this morning, covered, as he was, with Falwell semen from the lap dance he gave the man just a few weeks ago. Falwell made sure that the Republican party was dragged from moderation to monkeyfuck madness. And, thanks to Falwell, it will be a generation before the GOP recovers.

His father was a violent redneck bootlegger who shot his own brother, but, lo and fuckin' behold, accepted Christ on his deathbed. Falwell was born again when he heard a radio preacher. He sued Larry Flynt because Flynt dared to publicly spank him by creating a mock ad about Falwell fucking his mother in an outhouse. Falwell lost when the Supreme Court said that anyone was free to make fun of assholes like Falwell (and non-assholes, too). He pushed the Congress to go after Bill Clinton for the "good" of the nation when, in reality, it helped set the nation on its current path of real, actual damnation.

The Rude Pundit hopes that, after his death, Falwell awoke, and, much to his horror - eternal horror, as it will turn out, found himself in hell, nude, trussed up, his ass plugged with a spiky mace. Falwell looked around him and saw dancing demons with gigantic, barbed cocks and flames. Oh, shit, this wasn't the way it was supposed to be. And Falwell tried to speak, but he discovered he had no voice, no way to say anything, and no one to hear him that would care. Then, the demons would hold his mouth open and start to stuff his gullet, with the corpses of people who died of AIDS, with the burnt remains of men and women who keep dying in all the wars he helped support in the name of Israel and Armageddon, with cash, tons of cash, and his mansion, and his cars, and his school, and tapes of his Old-Time Gospel Hour, and his books and his recordings and every bit of evidence that he was ever on the earth above, shove into his fat mouth, his saggy ass cheeks quivering, needing to push it out, but unable to. Shove that in there until that bastard blows up, showering the giggling demons with his viscera and gore, and then let them eat his remains, shit out the pieces, put him back together, and start all over again.

Or, maybe even moreso, the Rude Pundit would like to think that, at the moment of his death, as he collapsed behind his desk, Falwell did not see any light, any path through the clouds, just a brief realization that this, indeed, was it, and that he was so very wrong, just before eternal darkness clouded his foul brain forever.

Update: Sometimes you forget how exhilirating Christopher Hitchens can be when he's on your side.


A Favorite Jerry Falwell Quote:
Tomorrow, the Rude Pundit will more properly mourn the passing of Jerry Falwell, but in the immediate shock and horror of his sudden death, it is best sometimes to go back in a man's life to get his true measure. Here's Falwell preaching in 1958, quoted in a Washington Post profile in 1988 by Walt Harrington:

"'In this message,' Falwell intoned pompously, 'I want to use the Bible alone as our guide. It is never worthwhile to give man's opinion...The answer to the whole subject can be found in Genesis 9:18-27.' Falwell went on to explain that Ham, the son of Noah, had seen Noah naked one day. When Noah discovered this, he cursed Ham's son, Canaan: 'A servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.' Falwell explained that Ham later became the progenitor of the African race.

"He rambled on, still using 'the Bible alone' as his guide: 'The true Negro does not want integration...He realizes his potential is far better among his own race...We see the hand of Moscow in the background...We see the Devil himself behind it...It will destroy our race eventually...In one northern city, a pastor friend of mine tells me that a couple of opposite race live next door to his church as man and wife ...It boils down to whether we are going to take God's Word as final.'

"Oblivious to the hatefulness of his sermon, Falwell concluded: '...If we live in constant fellowship with the Lord, He can enable us to live Christ-like before others.'"

Ah, yes, Falwell may have recanted the segregationist language, but it's a virtual template for every one of his sanctimoniously vicious attacks on people who made his redneck stomach queasy, crazy with a glaze of mock rationality.

(For other rude ramblings on Jerry Falwell, check out a post or two from 2004.)
In Brief: All the Little White Girls Everywhere:
Here's how CNN's American Morning started its 7 a.m. hour this morning, the top story, before wildfires and floods and war and other apocalyptic events. The pseudo-Soledad anchor, Kiran Chetry, said, picture of a cute little white girl, eyes beaming in that cute little white girl way, floating above Chetry:

"Some big news coming out of Portugal. Just within the past hour, police are saying they have a suspect in the case of missing 4-year-old Madeleine McCann. Madeleine snatched from her bed nearly two weeks ago while on vacation with her family. Phil Black following the story from Madeleine's home town of Rothley, England. Hi, Phil."

So, let's see if we got this straight: with no American white girls kidnapped recently beyond the typical "Dad wants more time with his kids, legal decisions be damned," now the news networks are giving us the news of a British white girl. Who was kidnapped in Portugal. Are you fucking kidding? Top of the news?

No, really, and, c'mon, if we're opening up this fucker to children kidnapped around the world, when are we gonna see some faces of kids kidnapped and forced to become child soldiers? When's JK Rowling and Simon fucking Cowell gonna put up some reward money for them? Oh, that's right. Their eyes don't beam quite as brightly against their skin, their uncivilized third world faces not so glowingly sad.

More later. Really.


Cap the Ass of the Giuliani Campaign:
Would someone please drag the Rudy Giuliani campaign for president behind a dumpster in some Bronx alley and put three bullets in the back of its skull? No, really, it's time for a couple of big guys in tight suits to walk up to the Giuliani campaign and tell it that it's time to take a ride. Oh, sure, the Giuliani campaign might struggle for a moment or two, might even try to flee, but, once it's in the back seat of the Escalade, seated between two gorilla-sized made guys, Giuliani's campaign will accept its fate, sadly, but with understanding that, indeed, it had to come to this. Fun as it might be, the Giuliani campaign doesn't need to be slowly tortured, for, indeed, there's not much to be learned from it other than that ash and hubris do not a President make.

No, the Giuliani campaign would just have to sit there until that big ass SUV pulled off onto a side street and was made to kneel, the last thing the Giuliani campaign seeing before it went forever dark might be toxic rats running across the cement. Such irony. In its last moments, perhaps the Giuliani campaign would regret ever having been started, wondering what spasm of chemicals and cash made it believe this was a worthy notion. And just before the first hammer falls, the Giuliani campaign would be grateful, knowing that, in the end, it was actually saving Rudy Giuliani by dying so early in the cycle.

The Rude Pundit's said it before, and he'll challenge anyone to a bare knuckle brawl who disputes him on it, that there is no reason for Rudy Giuliani to be running for President other than ego, pure and frightening in its madness. Between the fuck-ups and the seedy past and the drag queening and the stunning lack of actual accomplishments, in what way is Rudy Giuliani in any way qualified to be President? Fuck, at least George W. Bush could claim he was a governor. At least Barack Obama's in the Senate. Giuliani's major successes in New York City came about in large part because he was lucky enough to be mayor during the presidency of Bill Clinton, when the whole country's crime rate dipped. And what's his foreign policy experience? That the U.N.'s a short limo drive away from City Hall, just up the FDR a little ways? That Saudi nationals found Manhattan a fine place to attack?

In just a week, here's all the shit we've gotten about this smug fuck whose only post-mayoral triumph was in learning that combovers are a stupid hairstyle:

He's one of the people responsible for the fucked-up health of 9/11 rescuers and workers and, well, shit, lots of other New Yorkers. In his desperate "I'm-in-charge" attitude in the weeks after the World Trade Center attack, working in concert with the pathetic (especially at that time) Bush administration, Giuliani wanted to project his leadership by re-opening lower Manhattan before it was actually, you know, safe to breathe down there. Says the New York Times, "One Army Corps official said Mr. Giuliani acted like a 'benevolent dictator.' Despite the presence of those federal experts, Mr. Giuliani assigned the ground zero cleanup to a largely unknown city agency, the Department of Design and Construction. Kenneth Holden, the department’s commissioner until January 2004, said in a deposition in the federal lawsuit against the city that he initially expected FEMA or the Army Corps to try to take over the cleanup operation. Mr. Giuliani never let them." So, yeah, we really need someone else in the White House who thinks he's the only whose vast inexperience in new territory allows him the freedom to do whatever the fuck he thinks is right despite the advice of those around him. His 9/11 street cred is a chimera, a myth that is easily shredded to splinters and dust.

He's running in a party where he disagrees with nearly every social issue platform they have. When Giuliani made his "okay, okay, I'm pro-choice" speech in Houston, adding that, by the way, he supports gun control and gay civil unions, he may as well have said, "You know, just because I worship Satan and drink the blood of white babies, it doesn't mean I shouldn't be your nominee. There's room for that in the Republican party." (Feel free to insert your own Cheney joke here.) Sure, to him it's all about blowing some shit up in Iraq and letting Americans torture freely and, you know, tax cuts, don't forget about tax cuts, but he's running in a bugfuck insane Republican party that, as the sad, disappearing John McCain has learned, still means the base has gotta be blown. And you gotta act like you love blowin' 'em. Smile when that fundamentalist jizz greases your teeth shiny, Mitt. Giuliani is dead to the Christian right, and that pretty much dooms him. You don't like the Republicans on social issues? Then you're not a real Republican anymore. Welcome to the post-Reagan GOP, bitch.

Finally, Giuliani's just a motherfucker. Plain and simple. If there was ever any more evidence needed beyond his very public divorce with wife #2 (and his living with a gay couple in the aftermath), there's the well-blogged, but little-mainstream-reported, story about the poor Iowa farm couple who the Giuliani campaign asked to hold a rally on their farm to highlight the candidate's opposition to the inheritance tax. But when it turned out the VonSpreckens weren't millionaires, and thus not subject to the tax, the campaign cancelled the event. Even after the couple had worked hard to put together a good turn-out. And that makes Giuliani a total, unabashed dick. If, say, CNN picked up on the story, well, let's just say that the Giuliani campaign would be checking the window to see when that black Escalade was gonna pull up.

The more people learn about Giuliani, the more despicable he becomes. And the more disgusting his presidential ambitions seem.


Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Swear Off Alcohol Forever:

This is the President in Greensburg, Kansas this week. One gets the feeling that Jenna and Barbara are used to hauling Daddy around like this after one more wine cooler bender. The saddest part would be that the wine coolers were poured into empty cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Down Four Valium With a Bottle of Gin:

Cheney. In an appropriately lit space, very Leni Riefenstahl. Assuring troops in Iraq that he will continue to send them to their doom.

More later.


An Elucidation Regarding Today's Description of the Iraqi Parliament:
So today the Rude Pundit called the Iraqi parliament a bunch of dicks for wanting to take a two-month vacation. Apparently, to some readers, that means all of a sudden the Rude Pundit is a big damn fan of the Bush administration. Apparently, you can't despise the war and think that when the speaker of the parliament says that the White House ought to "control Nancy Peolosi" is a generally dickish thing to say. Apparently, you can't call out the Iraqis without having to say, in the same post, that America's wrong, too.

Or you don't. And you can call a bunch of dicks a bunch of dicks in and of themselves. Or maybe you need to say there's reasons to call it off for the summer, like the way the politicians are bound to the demands of differing groups at odds in the country (which bespeaks both our ignorance and arrogance in going in there in the first place and the impossibility of the Iraqis to move beyond savage sectarianism). Or you can say, finally, at last, this is the excuse to withdraw. But our bunch of dicks, including Dick himself, won't even piss on that idea.

Correction: A couple of days ago, the Rude Pundit said that Rudy Giuliani was clenching his teeth in Iowa City. Not so. It was Cedar Rapids. Alas, Iowa, hope all is forgiven.
Iraqi Parliament and Cheney: What a Bunch of Dicks:
Damn, we allowed a bunch of dicks to be elected to the Iraqi parliament. Getting ready to take a two-month goddamn vacation this summer, the Speaker of the Parliament Mahmoud al-Mashhadani said that the United States can go fuck itself if it wants to prevent the MPs from taking a break in trying to cobble together a friggin' country so they can melt in the Baghdad summer sun and watch the bombs go off. Said al-Mashhadani of criticism of the break, "I think this attitude is crude and unacceptable," although apparently it's sophisticated and acceptable to do nothing while Americans get killed for your shitty, savage nation. If this wasn't about blood and bone and brain and viscera, it'd be funny.

Especially since here's what President Bush said about al-Mashhadani almost a year ago: "Iraq's new government has another able leader in Speaker Mashhadani. He'll preside over Iraq's new Council of Representatives. The Speaker is a Sunni who originally opposed America's presence in Iraq. He rejects the use of violence for political ends. And by agreeing to serve in a prominent role in this new unity government, he's demonstrating leadership and courage. It was said to me that he wouldn't have taken my phone call a year ago. He's now taken it twice. (Applause.) He says Iraq's new leaders must govern by common vision. This common vision is critical to the new government's success." The Rude Pundit loves that applause on the fact that the dude took the Prez's phone call. Otherwise, he'd've had to send a text message, LOL. Oh, there's a picture of Bush on the phone with al-Mashhadani. In it, the President puts on his thinking face. Bush was at Rancho Mirage in California then, so, you know, maybe the idea of vacationing while shit burns around you is something we've imported with democracy.

Now (and this is fuckin' hilarious) Dick Cheney's gotta go beg him not to go on holiday. And, perhaps inspired by Cheney, al-Mashhadani showed how much of a dick he could by dissing the Democrats, too: "You had better try and control Nancy Pelosi rather than Mahmoud al-Mashhadani." It's always creepy when a dude refers to himself in the third person, but the Rude Pundit's especially fond of that oh-so-ironic Arab sense of gender equality.

One imagines that Cheney's discussion with the Speaker is going to involve nut vices, nipple clamps, and naked hooding. It'll be interesting to see what he uses on al-Mashhadani.


National Guard Equipment, Part 2: For Conservatives, Telling the Truth Is "Playing Politics":
Here's Tod Bunting, the Adjutant General of Kansas, meaning he's the state's top military officer, on CNN's sadly Soledad-less American Morning today, asked to comment on Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius's statement that the Iraq war had taken resources out of Kansas, hampering the National Guard's response to the tornado that turned Greensburg into kitty litter: "It did hamper us somewhat at the start because half of our Humvees are gone and we're way below half of the trucks and trailers that we need to haul our engineering equipment to the scene. We adapted and got there, but there was some delay in getting there. We're confident it didn't result in any loss of life or further damage, but we could have been there a lot quicker and on the scene quicker if we would have had some of that equipment back at home."

As for the whole issue of Sebelius asking for help, Bunting said that the Governor understands the deal: "She sent a lot of resources through that same ask process to Louisiana and Mississippi, but that's still a matter of delay. That's several hours that -- or perhaps even a day before the critical equipment could get here...the best way to be safe and prepared is to have the equipment close at hand."

Asked if he had what he needed now, Bunting replied, "We've been on standby with what remaining equipment we have on the footing here in northeast Kansas, which fortunately we had a clear day yesterday and it looks favorable today. But we're just starting to tell people that we have enough for one event, but if we had the amount of equipment we used to have or should have, we would be able to do quite a bit more on our own, or be available to help someone else."

And, finally, as Tornado Alley continues to be tornado-riffic, Bunting said of the state of preparation for another disaster, "We will have to ask for help. The problem is, unless it was prepositioned here now, it would still be a little late to need, perhaps. It would depend on just how catastrophic that event was. So, again, the point we're making is we need it for training, we need the equipment for training day in and day out."

Goddamn, the savage right wing of this country desperately wants to make this whole issue into dirty-Democrats-hate-America. After all, Sebelius is a Democrat. Michelle Malkin and other useless tools are trying to get the White House's back on the whole thing, especially after Tony Snow, proving that surviving cancer doesn't make anyone any less of a dick, told the press, "[I]f you take a look at the way the National Guard units are dispersed, you still have considerable strength in each state, and also you still have the ability of governors to seek assistance from neighboring states." This was after he listed all the trucks available and troops there, all of which sound impressive, but still doesn't answer what Bunting said today. Or the fact that it took nearly two days to get large scale operations going in Greensburg.

By the way, who is this bag of douche, Major General Bunting, who dares to continue to say that the resources weren't available? He's a guy who has spent his entire career in the Air Force or the Air National Guard (so he and the President will have a lot to talk about when they meet today...or maybe not so much). He even had a job at the Air National Guard in Arlington, working, in essence, for the Bush administration.

The right loves to spout again and again, like a pissing toddler boy running around the backyard, that we need to listen to the "commanders on the ground" in Iraq. But when it comes to things like, you know, the people on the ground in Kansas? They're just lying partisans who don't realize how good they have it.

As Bunting said this morning, "[T]he best way to be prepared, you know, you want a fire station close by, you don't want a fire station two cities away."


National Guard Equipment: Not Available For the Nation:
Oh, man, now this is fuckin' high-larious. The National Guard equipment needed to help out with the recovery of Greensburg, Kansas - you know, that sinful town of 1500 on the decadent plains of America that God so despised he saw fit to wipe it out completely with his great and mighty smite-twister - is mostly unavailable because, well, fuck, George W. Bush needed it in Iraq. Wonder if when he visits Greensburg today he'll bring that up as he picks up a couple of bits of rubble, hugs a farmer or two, and gets back in his helicopter?

Even awesomer is that this reality comes less than a month after Florida Senator Bill Nelson said that the Iraq war has ravaged the stand-by dual use equipment the National Guard needs for things, like, you know, hurricanes, fires, and, well, shit, big goddamn F5 tornadoes. Oh, and domestic terrorist attacks. Remember those? Florida's only got about 50% of its National Guard equipment, as does Texas, Louisiana, and California. Oooh, is that glass half empty or half full? "The Florida Guard was down 500 Humvees, 600 trucks, short 4,000 pairs of night vision goggle and needed 30 more wreckers," said a spokesman for the Florida Guard.

Oh, and back in January, the GAO had this to say in a report on National Guard readiness: "[S]ome Guard units, particularly in the Army National Guard, may be less ready for domestic missions than they were 2 or 3 years ago because...large quantities of equipment have been sent overseas to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, decreasing the supply of equipment available to nondeployed units." That would have been pre-Katrina, in case you're not good at math.

In his brief words on the Greensburg apocalypse, President Bush said, "There's a certain spirit in the Midwest of our country, a pioneer spirit that still exists, and I'm confident this community will be rebuilt. To the extent that we can help, we will." Or "You're on your own, shitkickers." At what point does this become an issue of Homeland Security? Bush added, "The most important thing now, though, is for our citizens to ask for the good Lord to comfort those who hurt." The Lord, though, wonders why he has to do the shit that people should have been doing all along.


The PTSD Republicans: Rudy Giuliani Is an Asshole:
Doesn't it seem like the major Republican candidates for President are all suffering horribly from the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder? You got John McCain, who is a poster child for the latent effects of PTSD (more on that later). And Rudy Giuliani, whose campaign is based on the fact that he's never learned to deal with what happened under his watch in New York on September 11, 2001, and that we should love him for his inability to get on with his life.

Giuliani's PTSD was fully on display in Iowa City this weekend when he gleefully told the crowd, making that sneer that is his smile, that Saddam Hussein was getting punished in Hell: "You sure wouldn't want to be where Saddam Hussein is, where we helped put him." Oh, how the Iowa audience cheered and applauded. The message from the Giuliani campaign is clear: vote for Giuliani if you believe American should forever act like it's September 12, 2001. It's been the great lie of the last five and a half years, but the bloodlust, burn in Hades crowd loves to think it's part of a big war on eeevil. And Rudy's there to make sure, always, that he's gonna chew on Saddam's hellfire-cured entrails.

When he gave the commencement address at the Citadel Saturday, Giuliani laid this burden on the cadet graduates: "You are the 9/11 generation of service. Citadel graduates, as the leaders of the 9/11 generation, you have now acquired the insight, the training, the skills, the courage and the dedication to prevail over the terrorists and create a more peaceful world." You gotta wonder how many of the seniors thought, "Please don't let this man with the crazed eyes and Captain Queeg twitch send me to my doom." (Although, from the various reports, the good cadets told various newspapers they loved them some Rudy, so maybe they have been prepped to be RPG fodder.)

"The reality is that in this world today, there are people — terrorists, Islamic, radical terrorists — who are planning as we sit here at this graduation, who are planning to come here and kill us," Giuliani said, offering the graduating class of 2007 a gorgeous vision of the future as they head out into the world. The words of a mugging victim who refuses to leave his apartment are pretty much the same. Giuliani, though, thinks that paranoia and deep, deep psychosis from his scarring day in 2001 is what makes him qualified to be President.

But that's the kind of shit you do if you're an asshole, and, truly, the only reason that Rudy is running is because he's an asshole. Seriously, is there anything that makes the man a viable candidate? Is this what we've sunk to? Hell, Ross Fuckin' Perot was more qualified. Ya gotta look at Giuliani and think, "What's his game here?" Is it ego? Or is it just another way, like everything else for him post-9/11, another way to cash in big on his bullshit "America's Mayor" celebrity status?

Of course, Giuliani's unending greed is gonna catch up with him at some point, whether it's the Bernard Kerik tree falling down or Rudy's own corporate dirty dealings. The question is, when it happens, will the people cheering Saddam in hell be able to finally come to grips with the real post-9/11 world.


Just Shut Up and Take the Goddamn Survey:
Occasionally, the Rude Pundit tries to be a good citizen of Blogsylvania. So the Blogads gods have deigned there shall be a reader survey. And so there shall. The choice is yours:

Fuck, yeah, I'll take the survey.

No, you can shove your survey up your rude ass.


The Republican Debate: A Dead Dog Could Beat These Guys:
It's truly hard to pick out the creepiest moment of last night's visit to the Gipper's Chamber of Horrors, the Republican candidates' debate at the Ronald Reagan Library (a name that still makes the Rude Pundit giggle). For sheer crazed insanity, it's hard to beat when John McCain proclaimed about Osama bin Laden, "We will track him down. We will capture him. We will bring him to justice, and I will follow him to the gates of hell," and then he smiled. Not just a regular smile - a full-on face-engulfing, scarred-cheek-stretching smile that McCain must have done thinking about gutting his captors while hanging by his arms on a bamboo wall in the Hanoi Hilton just before they beat him again. Scary, scary stuff.

This had been preceded by Mitt Romney's pledge on bin Laden, "[H]e is going to pay, and he will die," gettin' all Brigham Young on bin Laden's ass. (Here's a fun Brigham Young quote: "Suppose you find your brother in bed with your wife, and you put a javelin through them both, you would be justified and they would be atoned for their sins and be received into the kingdom of God.") And it was done with the same passion that Romney would have if he knocked on your door and tried to get you to receive the Book of Mormon. Robo-Romney, all tan and perfectly-coiffed (how much for his fuckin' hairdo?), was absolutely the kind of guy who, if you saw him walking up to your front door on a Saturday morning, you'd shut off the TV and pretend you're not home.

But his uber-creepy moment was, in answer to what he disliked about America (which is a stupid fuckin' question to begin with), he went on about how molto-splendiferous America is, full of "hardworking, innovative, risk-taking, God-loving, family-oriented American people." And then he said, "It's that optimism we thank Ronald Reagan for." Yep, before Reagan, America was just a cesspool of cynicism and hatred, pessimism and blind adherence to lazy, solitary worship of ancient deities that they sacrificed babies to. But the divorced guy who was an asshole to his kids, gutted poverty programs, and wrecked the American economy, he made us all feel better.

And then there was Rudy Giuliani trying so goddamn hard not to seem like a cross-dressing, multiple divorcee who lived with gay guys. Really. Watching Giuliani de-punk himself was like watching a spider monkey fuck a hippo. Desperately swinging at the fruit from that conservative tree, Giuliani kept talking about staying on the "offense" on terrorism, which, coming from a man who was barely on the terrorism field for eight years, was just damn silly. Still, it was good fun to watch the pro-choice Giuliani hem and haw his way through his incoherent answers to abortion questions: Roe should be overturned, but women should choose, but he supports the Hyde amendment, but he thinks abortions should be paid for by the government, and he thinks the decision should be made by courts and the states, so, really, his answer is: leavemethefuckalone9/11.

As for the rest of the field, who cares?

Nancy Reagan must have loved the sight of all ten of these creepy old men fucking her husband's skull, passing it around to each other to see who could fuck that skull harder. Of course, it was far better than Reagan's skull deserved.

Correction: An earlier version of this referenced Romney hawking The Watchtower, a Jehovah's Witness magazine. Sometimes it's hard to keep your cults straight.


Commander Guy Finds Grace:
Oh, Christ, how we've all been there. You're at an afternoon party, a barbecue, perhaps, at the neighbor's and the neighbor's got his severely retarded brother visiting, the kind of guy who's harmless unless antagonized, but who generally skeeves out everyone because you stare into his confused, shifting eyes, wondering just what the retarded guy is thinking and knowing you can never figure it out because you do not understand the mind of the retarded, wondering if there's something malevolent or secretly deep within, when, probably, it's just a desire for more jello. The party continues, and you go along, hoping that the retarded guy doesn't try to talk to you so you have to do your mock "nice" voice and listen to him say something about how he likes ducks or some such shit. And then, standing by the buffet table, you notice - hell, everyone notices, that the retarded guy has pissed himself. You're ashamed for him, for yourself, for humanity in general, for the cosmic entirety of the universe that is so cruel as to have placed such a person in such a position. But then you notice something else. The retarded guy doesn't seem to care that he's pissed himself. Oh, no. Not only is he not embarrassed, but it looks like he doesn't even realize that he's done it. That he's just going ahead and grabbing another shish-ka-bob and juice box. Goddamn, you wanna say, someone tell him that he stinks of urine and needs to be changed. But everyone else seems to just wanna live and let live. Hey, if it doesn't bother the retarded guy, why should it bother you? And, oh, fuck, is he coming over to talk to you?

Watching President George W. Bush speak to a group of contractors yesterday was a little like watching a hooker talk to a bunch of her johns, all whooping it up and applauding 'cause they just want that whore to blow them again. The speech was the usual litany of nonsense about taxes, Iraq, al Qaeda. The most fascinating thing in it was Bush's flat-out denial that Iraq is in a civil war: "The recent attacks are not the revenge killings that some have called a civil war. They are a systematic assault on the entire nation. Al Qaeda is public enemy number one in Iraq." He added later, without any sense of irony, "Al Qaeda has pursued their objective with a ruthless campaign of violence. They can't persuade people through logic."

The question and answer session was just one lip-licking hummer after another - why is this war good? Why is the media so mean, those meanies? And, yes, Bush really did say, "I'm the commander guy." The last time the Rude Pundit heard someone say that was in a particularly dank leather bar in San Diego where closeted naval officers went to satiate their desire for drilling their amphibious assault crafts in the willing asses of non-coms.

Then one of the loyal government-lucre teatsuckers gathered at the Willard Hotel asked, "What do you pray about, and how we can we pray for you?" That is a man who deserves to be pantsed and spanked in front of construction workers. The President answered, "I have been amazed by the fact that millions of Americans of all faith, all political backgrounds, pray for me and Laura." He did not, of course, say what he prays about, although one imagines it has something to do with cheap tequila, an underage El Salvadoran girl's nipples, and an alibi, the kinds of things God loves to hear about.

But the topper was this stooge: "You talked about the terror of 9/11, and what I wanted to share with you, my wife and I had our first child two months after 9/11. We named her Grace, because we felt that the world needed some grace at the time." Because, you know, you always want to make sure that every time you say your kid's name, you think about burning bodies plunging off skyscrapers.

With that wonderful aphasia that afflicts Bush, he latched onto the name of this poor bastard's child and went to town: "Grace will live -- the question is, will Grace live in a peaceful world, today and tomorrow?" Then, as if to comfort wee Grace, Bush went into a litany of what he believes that makes Grace's life better for the future, including (and this just begs to be quoted in full), "I believe in the universality of freedom. That means I believe everybody desires to be free. I don't think freedom is uniquely American, nor do I think it's uniquely Methodist. (Laughter.) I think it is universal. I told you -- I also, obviously, believe in the universality of motherhood. I believe mothers in Iraq want their children to grow up in peace, just like mothers in America do. I also believe people in Iraq want to live in a free society. I wasn't surprised -- I was pleased when 12 million people went to the polls. That statement to me was: freedom." How many "what the fuck" statements did you count in there?

Of course, he returned to Grace at the end of his seemingly endless response: "I know it's necessary to make sure Grace can live in peace. I think people will look back at this period of time and make one or two judgments. They'll either say, what happened to them in 2007; how come they couldn't see the impending dangers that the little Graces of America would have to live with...how come they couldn't remember the lesson of September the 11th, which said, what matters overseas matters at home? Or they'll look back and say, they had faith; they had faith in the ability of liberty to transform a region into a region of hope that yielded the peace so little Grace can be amazed that this generation has done its job."

Man, when little Grace grows up and realizes how her father used her to suck up to the disgraced ex-President, well, let's just say Daddy better keep the matches and lighter fluid hidden.

Having pissed himself so soakingly complete and not giving a damn, enjoying the warmth, even, Bush toddled on to his meeting with the Congressional leadership, probably without even changing his pants.


IE Problem Solved? (and Replay of Tonight's Interview):
Christ, the Rude Pundit's tired of writing about this friggin' Internet Explorer problem, but, thanks to the mighty detective work of lovingly rude readers PB and FAW, the offending code may have been removed.

Also, tonight's one-hour interview with Garland Nixon on WRYR radio will be re-broadcast tomorrow morning at 8:30 am.
Rude Radio Interview This Evening:
At 8:30 pm Eastern time, the Rude Pundit will be on the radio, at WRYR, a wee station in Maryland. He'll be on the Edge with Garland Nixon. And you can listen in, sweet streamers.
IE Still Screwed:
Internet Explorer still fucks up the display of this blog. Blogger wrote to the Rude Pundit, saying, in essence, "Hey, you stupid tool, look this shit up yourself," assuming that he hadn't done so before e-mailing the masters at Blogger.

What to do? The Rude Pundit's no code monkey. If anyone out there has suggestions on how to fix this, e-mail them to: rudepundit at yahoo dot com.

And if you are using IE, hit stop when the blog loads. It's fine then.
In the Church with Robert Kennedy, Jr., Greg Palast, and Randi Rhodes:
Yesterday had been one of those days for the Rude Pundit, where the overwhelming stench of depravity and rot wafting through the skies of America and transmitted through our networks of "news" was unrelenting. There was no right combination of vodka and Ketamine to make it all go away, and, truly, the police attacks on protesters for immigrant rights in Los Angeles, on the day when the Rude Pundit learned that an old tape from the Kent State riots seemed to contain the word "Fire," spoken to National Guard troops there, well, hell, it was just too damn much. The Rude Pundit needed himself some churchin'.

So he found himself at the Community Church of New York last night with a few hundred other converted for an event featuring investigative reporter Greg Palast, Robert Kennedy, Jr., and radio host Randi Rhodes. The occasion was the release of a new edition of Palast's book Armed Madhouse, which summarizes the gut-churning reporting Palast has been doing on the Bush administration for the last couple of years. We also were there to watch Palast's documentary for the BBC on New Orleans a year after Hurricane Katrina, which was pretty much what you'd expect (although it was a little heavy on glorifying areas of New Orleans that were shitty before the storm).

Palast spoke first, and, truth be told, the Rude Pundit always wanted to tell Palast to strip away the irony and stupid jokes (indeed, skip the prologue chapter of the book - but the rest is well worth the ride) and just tell the goddamn story. But the Rude Pundit needed churchin', and Palast was frighteningly on-target last night - even the snide remarks seemed fine - laying out, like a lawyer making a closing argument, why the U.S. attorney purge occurred, leading us through his investigation of the Republican "caging lists" - essentially, who could be purged from voter rolls in high minority districts - inadvertently sent to an anti-Bush site. Palast connected the dots through to the need to have federal prosecutors in place in 2008 who would not move on cases of voting irregularities in their states. It was stunning stuff, even if you knew it all before, because Palast is old school, man, the kind of muckraker that Drew Pearson would have been proud to know. And a reporter who could kick Bill O'Reilly's ass from here back to the UK if the Great Falafelator ever had the guts to bring Palast on.

But Palast was really the warm-up, 'cause Robert Kennedy, Jr. was the preacher. In a mostly improvised speech, Kennedy ripped into the contemporary media hegemony that refuses to give the American people the information they need. Drawing on his own research into the abandonment of the Fairness Doctrine under Reagan (and buried by Clinton's signing of the Telecommunications Act), Kennedy passionately held forth on how misinformation, spin, and lies have destroyed our access to and belief in real democracy. This was the churchin' the Rude Pundit was looking for, old-fashioned rabble-rousing, although he couldn't help but note how far things have moved to the right in this country when Kennedy's real rallying cry was a move away from government-sponsored corporate cronyism (which Kennedy outright called "fascism") and back to a free-market economy. Yep, that's right: all us liberals in the audience were applauding the need for a return to genuine capitalism. If that makes us "pinkos" or some such shit, we're really lost in this nation. In the end, though, Kennedy was inspiring. Really, truly inspiring, breaking through the malaise and cynicism of the Rude Pundit's fog.

Randi Rhodes was Randi Rhodes. If you dig her, you'd've dug her. If you don't, chances are you wouldn't. The Rude Pundit can generally only listen to about ten minutes of her on the radio before he needs to shut off the radio and listen to the soothing sounds of traffic (it ain't a question of her politics). In person, she was mucho more interesting, re-telling her oft-recited tale of her involvement in the 2000 election debacle in Palm Beach County, Florida, where her show was based at the time. Fun, lively, sardonic. A fine coda to Kennedy's roar of outrage.

Of course, after church, there's always the next day. This morning, as if to prove Kennedy correct, here was a discussion on CNN's American Morning between Kiran Chetry, the pseudo-Soledad, and Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr:

"CHETRY: President Bush has been saying that this funding feud has to end quickly. If not, U.S. troops will begin paying the price. Is that true? CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr joins us now with a "Fact Check". Hi, Barbara. Good to see you.

"STARR: Good morning to you, Kiran.

"Well, you know, here at the Pentagon, they always say they stay out of the politics, but, of course, they do have their list of budget cuts that they are beginning to circulate. Let's look right off the top here at a couple of things they say if this goes on that they will have to start cutting back on by May 15th. Here are a couple of the items.

"Training for brigade combat teams, those teams that are going to Iraq and Afghanistan Afghanistan, that might be delayed if there's no founding. Tours in Iraq, combat tours in Iraq in Afghanistan, may be extended. And as for new contracts and service orders, spare parts, maintenance, that type of thing, all of that will have to be stopped over time as this funding crisis goes on.

"But Kiran, what's the real bottom line here? As we have all discussed, the political common sense is that, of course, some deal, some compromise will be reached. Nobody wants to be held responsible for the troops not having the training and equipment they need. And, of course, the top military brass says, at the end of the day, no one will be deployed to the war without the training and equipment -- Kiran. "

There you go: the completely unpolitical list of cuts from the unpolitical Pentagon as reported by CNN. Nothing on, say, how the Congressional Research Service says that there's money to last a few more months without such cuts. In fact, nothing but the Pentagon's perspective as "fact." Man, Palast can make his self-righteous jokes as much as he wants as long as he offers at least some corrective to this nonsense.

Yeah, church is fine - it makes you remember why you believe. But once you leave the sanctuary, you still gotta face the sinners.