A Photo of a Group of Soon-To-Be Dead People:

This is the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. The members were appointed by President Barack Obama.

Yesterday, the commission released findings that stated that Halliburton did not complete a crucial test on the cement that would be used to seal the oil well during a blow out. This directly contributed to the severity of the oil spill. Halliburton has admitted it neglected this test but was not responsible for the blow out.

While they have recovered some since yesterday, the cost of shares in Halliburton have plunged as much as 16% since the news. That means that Dick Cheney has already sent out ninjas to secretly kill each member of the commission in a horrible, but poetic way, probably involving drills, gas pumps, and dead pelicans, using their organs to decorate the dying trees and rotting jack-o'-lanterns just in time for Halloween.


If Republicans Lose on Tuesday, There Will Be Blood:
Since we in the so-called business of so-called punditry are supposed to be Jean Dixon-esque prognosticators upon occasion, making wildly inaccurate predictions about what will probably not happen, but, boy, if it did, won't we look fucking brilliant, let the Rude Pundit toss one into the pile: if, as the most optimistic polling shows is possible, the Republicans don't win back the House of Representatives and lose a good many of the close Senate races next Tuesday, the reaction on the right will be violent. There will be a number of instances of Democratic headquarters vandalized, people who support Democrats will be assaulted, bomb threats will be called in, and there may even be an alarmingly well-organized, but supposedly grassroots and spontaneous, riot or two.

The Rude Pundit is not doing a William Kristol here (definition: A "William Kristol" is "pulling a turd out of your ass and showing it to everyone as if you just laid a golden egg when, in reality, it's just a piece of shit"). Look at the behavior of angry white people when there was a chance that George W. Bush was going to lose Florida in 2000 (which, you know, he did). The thugs in suits intimidated a legal body from completing its mandated task. And they won with just shouting and shoving.

Look at the landscape out there. The self-proclaimed rhetorical leaders of the right are already hetting up the blood of their followers. Michelle Malkin, who really ought to be caged like rabid shih-tzu, is conjuring the chimera of voter fraud. Any small instance of anyone who looks Democratic (which means, you know, black or Hispanic) doing something suspicious (which means, you know, showing up to vote) will be blown up as the complete tyrannical takeover of our democratic process by illegal alien communists. Saying that you're gonna have poll-watchers out there is also a fine voter-suppression method.

The number of incidents of violence and intimidation by the right in this election cycle have been pretty stunning, the small individual ones like the Kentucky Stomper and the big ones like the guy who wanted to shoot up the Tides Foundation. Hell, Glenn Beck is trying to walk back the violent rhetoric, saying that "on the right, [violence] instantly destroys the republic. Why? Because it forces the president to take more power and more freedoms away." Dude, you can't put the genie back in the bottle until all the wishes are complete.

Beck and Limbaugh are both pushing the power of the ballot box as the solution right now. Why? Because it seems like they're gonna win. Fuck, Sean Hannity is already referring to "Speaker Boehner." So right now they believe that the election is going to be the Republican re-ascendance, but they are planting the seeds for uprising if that fails, if, say, the cell phone factor comes into play and polls are just wildly wrong.

Then you can bet that the teabaggers and other nutzoids will start thinking that they better use their Second Amendment remedies.


Regarding the Kentucky Stomping and Juan Williams (Updated):
Well, at least the thugs aren't wearing jackboots. It's white sneakers and loose-fit jeans and belly-clinging t-shirts for the speech-suppressing motherfuckers. When Tim Profitt, the former Rand Paul campaign coordinator for Bourbon County (motto: "Suburban backwards ass country fucks voting against our interests"), stomped on the shoulder and head of a Paul protester, he revealed the ugly heart of the Tea Party, the flames fanned by an endless radio and Fox "news" loop of conspiracy theories and hatemongering the likes of which would make Joseph McCarthy say, "Whoa, are you fucking serious?"

Look at Profitt before his foot of doom strikes Lauren Valle. He thinks about it. He pauses, and his simian brain is flooded by disembodied voices crying out in his head that democracy's vampire tree needs blood to be satisfied. He wants a piece of this fuckin' action, man. You can see him make that decision. How often can a man have a chance to kick the shit out of some short-haired, lesbohippie cunt? And this one's already on the ground, just begging for it. "Yeah," you know he thought, seeing Valle tackled and assaulted by other good Paul nutsuckers, "I gotta get in on that shit." So he stomps, slowly, allowing the feeling of sole hitting shoulder to course through his muscles and bone, a charge that's electric, giving him that barbaric violent surge in his deadened cock, yeah, feeling like this is the way, man, this is the way, so he slides his foot down to her head and pushes, the helpless Valle unable to even shove a redneck asshole's size 7 off her skull.

You can bet that, in the days before, Profitt was jacking off his flaccid, scabby dick to Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly's outrage over the Juan Williams firing, listening to how it violates free speech, how liberals can't stand it when they hear an opinion that doesn't suit their agenda, how hateful and despicable the left is to silence this man because he simply said something that was not politically correct. You can bet that he came, just a little, and wiped his prick with a copy of the Bill of Rights that he understands so fucking well.

The Rude Pundit wants to know how many of the nutzoids who were joyous at Valle's treatment, who said that she deserved it because she was there to, you know, speak against Rand Paul by dressing up to give him a mock award, who expressed in the yahoo-driven comment sections that it was "about time" someone took down a liberal, were more than a little outraged at NPR's treatment of Juan Williams. Oh, wait, that's easy to find out.

Stinking fuckbag Jim Hoft of the conservative shitbasket known as Gateway Pundit was apoplectic about Williams. "What is it with these leftists? When anyone disagrees with them they accuse them of being crazy," he said about NPR execs. But Valle, who disagrees with Hoft over whether or not Rand Paul should be in the Senate, is an "unhinged leftist," according to the aforementioned fuckbag. Remember: Juan Williams was lynched. Lauren Valle got what she deserved (the rape implications there being intentional).

We are in for dark, dark times. The crazies and the inbreds are taking over, flush with corporate cash, talking about "freedom" like it's just another channel on the cable box.

Update: As if to prove the point, a week ago, leather-clad geriatric thugs forced a DNC campaign tracker to leave a public event for Florida Republican Senate candidate Allen West, who had identified him and told him to go. When he is near his car, while the biker grandpas are taking his license plate number, he asks them why. One says to him, "It's a free country." These bastards wouldn't know freedom if it fucked their faces.

(Tip o' the rude hat to Shoq.)


A True Tale of the Corruption of Campaign Finance Laws:
Sometimes, you have to use a small story, a parable, if you will, in order to explain the big picture. The corrupt state of our contemporary politics is such an enormous, overwhelming issue. Trying to take in the extent of the influx of outside money and its influence on elections is enough to make most citizens just flip the "off" switch in their brains. When you get past the money flood caused by the loathsome Citizens United decision, you're left with attempting to explain how all the other funds that are raised for our ludicrously long election cycles make it impossible to have anything approaching actual democracy, and that discussion is usually met with the listeners putting their hands over their ears and yelling, "Lalala, I can't hear you." It's just easier to pretend, ya know.

So let's microcosm this for a moment. Let's take a single story about one person in a relatively small town and demonstrate what exactly is happening. For the tale of Ora Leonard is as clear an example of the destructive effects of our campaign finance laws on a personal level. It has the advantage of also being illustrative of the complete cruelty of our mortgage and finance system and the desperation of local governments.

Follow the bouncing ball here for a little while: In Decatur, Illinois, we have the Dennis Ballinger Real Estate Company. Its stated mission is to buy properties in foreclosure proceedings, force them to finish, and then re-sell the property at a profit: "We specialize in the completion of foreclosed residential, commercial and industrial properties and conveying ownership to investors and business owners eager to purchase at below market prices." Charming as that is, Ballinger has another business, Empire Tax Corporation, which buys the unpaid property taxes from Illinois county governments and then pursues the property owner for compensation plus a percentage extra for its trouble. If the property owner doesn't pay the money to the company that it now owes the debt to, the company can take the property. One can see how this would be advantageous to Dennis Ballinger's aforementioned real estate business.

The percentage a tax buyer can charge in "penalties" is set during auctions of the taxes by the treasurers in each county. Other counties in Illinois average a 1%-5% mark-up, like in Champaign County. Madison County averaged the state maximum of 18%. You can see how someone could make a nice bit of change there.

Here's how this works: "The penalty rate goes up by the same percentage every six months. For example, if the winning penalty bid is 18 percent, the property owner has to pay a 36 percent penalty if he pays up within 6-12 months, a 54 percent penalty if he pays up within the following six months, and so forth. A tax buyer can take the property after three years, sometimes sooner." Some might call this "cruelty."

Now let's make this personal: Venice, Illinois, is a small, poor town in Madison County, on the Mississippi River, across from St. Louis. It's heavily African-American. The average income and home prices are a fraction of the state average. That's where 73 year-old Ora Leonard lived in her home on Broadway for over 20 years. She received a letter last year from Ballinger telling her to pay her 2005 property taxes or risk losing her house. Leonard had no idea she owed the taxes, she says, thinking that her escrow account at her bank would still pay. Ballinger bought the taxes, along with her 2009 ones, at an auction of taxes conducted by Madison County Treasurer Fred Bathon. The penalty rate is a bid received by Bathon at the auction. Leonard should owe $3343. But the interest, compounded from 2005 on that bill, as well as other penalties, make it so she owes $6000.

So isn't this just about a poor woman who might lose her house because of greed and the crappy economy? Isn't it about a pretty odious practice that just invites cruelty? What the hell does this have to do with Citizens United or campaign finance at all?

In his campaign for county treasurer, Fred Bathon's number one contributor was Dennis Ballinger. He gave $29,100 to Bathon's campaign. Ballinger's companies made over $200,000 on tax sales due, in large part, to the high penalty rate. If you do math, that'd be one hell of a return on his investment. At the tax auction, the practice is to let buyers bid against each other for what tax penalty they'd buy for. So one buyer might yell, "18%" while another would yell "17" and on down, like Name That Tune. Bathon's practice at the tax auction was to close bidding after the first bid so that the highest rate was always the one imposed.

By the way, the top four contributors to Bathon were registered tax buyers (you have to register as a tax buyer to participate in the auction). By the way, Bathon is now retired, the tax sales under him are under investigation by the state, and the penalty rate for tax sales averages 9% in Madison County. By the way, in Champaign County, candidates for treasurer are barred from receiving donations from tax buyers. The state legislator is working to change the entire system of tax sales so that tax buyers can't contribute at all and so homeowners like Ora Leonard don't have to negotiate a bureaucratic maze to try to get the tax sale canceled.

So let's put this together: A government official deliberately used his authority to directly enrich his highest campaign donors, which caused poor homeowners to either plunge further into debt or lose their houses. That's an absolute direct correlation between money and action. Yet this was just for a couple hundred thousand dollars at a county level with the names and jobs of the donors identified.

Now, up it to a national level. And up the money involved to hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars. And the requirement of disclosure of donors to certain groups eliminated by the Supreme Court. And then you realize that it's not just Ora Leonard's house at stake. It's the whole goddamn country.


We Haven't Even Begun to See the Destruction the GOP Will Do (Part 1):
One of the particularly repellent themes that's emerging strongly in the last days of this absurd election is that President Obama didn't do enough to "work with" Republicans. It's been something that the GOP has pushed for a while, but now, with the potential that the House will be given, wrapped in a ribbon, to the semen-encrusted, gnarled hands of the Republicans, more and more articles are coming out about how in the world Obama will work with the opposition.

As anyone in American with an attention span longer than an episode of Jersey Shore can tell you, this is, on its face, utter horseshit. We who have not handed our souls over to Sarah Palin or Fox "news" (which, you know, are pretty much one and the same) understand that the stimulus might have been much bigger and not larded with tax cuts; that the health care bill might not have been such a reacharound to hospitals and Big Pharma, so busy buggering us all endlessly; that there might have been a bipartisan climate bill; that confirmations of judges and administration officials might not have slowed to a near-halt had it not been for the White House's constant reaching out to Republicans. But that, apparently, wasn't enough. Cooperation and compromise are possible only if they include capitulation to Republican whims. All of them. And that bar you met? We're moving higher, motherfucker.

So Sheryl Gay Stolberg can write in the very liberal New York Times that it's all Obama's fault because he didn't stroke Mitch McConnell's anus while he was blowing the minority leader: "It took President Obama 18 months to invite the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, to the White House for a one-on-one chat." On a daily basis, McConnell was promising to filibuster everything that the President was proposing. Republicans negotiated in bad faith when they even bothered to negotiate at all. And yet: "Before Mr. Obama and Republicans can secure each other's cooperation, people in both parties say, they must first figure out a way to secure mutual trust."

That mutual trust took one hell of a hit when McConnell told National Journal, "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." You got that? Not jobs. Not the war. Not health care. Not education. Not immigration. Ah, the beautiful ship Bipartisan sails again.

And the Republicans are setting the tone already for a session of sunshine and hand holding. Here's Indiana's Mike Pence (Campaign slogan: "I'm a motherfucker, but at least I'm honest about being a motherfucker") on what will happen if his party wins the House: "Look, the time to go along and get along is over...Look, there will be no compromise on stopping runaway spending, deficits and debt. There will be no compromise on repealing Obamacare. There will be no compromise on stopping Democrats from growing government and raising taxes. And if I haven’t been clear enough yet, let me say again: No compromise."

So, yeah, awesome. Goddamn, it's about time that Barack Obama is forced to listen to those poor Republicans who have offered no ideas, given no ground, and stated that they will do everything possible to stop anything that the President wants, even if they happen to agree with it. In other words, if Republicans win one or both houses of Congress, it will be like King Kong has come to town. That giant ape is gonna run around and just shit on everything, on the Capitol, on the White House, on the Mall, shitting all over the place, because it's just easier to do that than to make the effort to climb, say, the Washington Monument and reach for the sky.


Sharron Angle Is Running the Most Hateful Senate Campaign Out There:
So what's the proper response to "Man up," the emasculating slogan now being used as a near chant by Nevada Republican Sharron Angle in her campaign speeches? Ever since she said it at her lugubrious debate with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Angle has been acting like an old porn star who just got vaginoplasty and wants to show her newly-tucked pussy to everyone. At a rally yesterday in Vegas, Angle said, "He needs to take some responsibility. He says it is not his fault on the economy. Man up, Harry Reid. He says there is no problem with Social Security. Man up, Harry Reid. He says this war is lost and your general is dishonest. You owe us an apology. Man up, Harry Reid."

The size of Reid's waxy mansack aside, Angle's campaign has essentially been trash-talking Reid in ways that you don't usually see a major party candidate trash-talking another. While Reid has been somewhat brutal to Angle, questioning her competence and intelligence (mostly by quoting newspapers that do so), Angle's website has statements that are so over-the-top in Reid hatred that you have to wonder if the secret undercurrent is that Angle or her Communications Director Jarrod Agen don't just want to get fucked by Harry's reed.

Two examples:
"Harry Reid is a national embarrassment and each day he gets more desperate and delusional...he was gutless and cowardly in his face-to-face debate with Sharron...Reid is a hated man and he knows it."- All from a single paragraph campaign press release from October 19.

"Nevada voters despise Senator Reid." - from an October 20th press release.

Of course, these are the craven last days of a ridiculous season of campaigning. And, of course, it's hard to expect any less from Jarrod Agen, who is a political consultant and previously was a spokesman for Rudy Giuliani's failed presidential campaign, which means he's a motherfucker with nothing that approaches what humans might call "ethics." He's also responsible for getting Angle to tamp down the real crazy that she showed during the primary.

So how to respond to Angle's "Man up" and other attacks? Probably the same way one would respond to that porn star: "Put your cunt away."


A Defense of Juan Williams and Other Media Idiots:
First off, the line that more than likely got Juan Williams fired from National Public Radio was not his little tangent into how he's had it with these motherfucking Muslims on his motherfucking planes. Said Williams to Bill O'Reilly on Fox "news", "I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."

Now, sure, that was a pretty idiotic thing to express, but it wasn't what got him fired. O'Reilly actually dropped the bomb that blew up in Williams's face when the falafel enthusiast said right after Williams revealed his bigotry, "[Y]ou live in the liberal precincts. You actually work for NPR, OK?" NPR hated having its name associated with Fox "news", and especially on Fox's blatant opinion-based programs, like The O'Reilly Folly. The worst thing about it? The whole segment was another attempt for O'Reilly to get hand-jobbed by everyone for his own bigoted remarks on The View. Seriously, O'Reilly's ego makes him like the most aggressive crack whore on the block: "C'mon, Juan, I'll suck your dick so good if you say I'm right."

In Slate, William Saletan compares NPR's actions to the firing of Shirley Sherrod, in that the larger context of Williams's remarks could be seen as painting a different picture. But the comparison fails beyond the idea that people should be given a full hearing. If any government employee said what the right fantasized Sherrod said, he or she should be fired. There's a gulf of difference, though, between what's allowable for someone whose job is to work fairly with the public and what's allowable for some fucker who makes a living by mouthing off on news shows (or, you know, blogs).

This follows on the heels of Rick Sanchez, Octavia Nasr, and Helen Thomas, all of whom lost their jobs because they said something that pissed off some Jews. Most ludicrous of these is Nasr, who got some yarmulkes in a knot because she tweeted that she was sorry for the death of a relatively moderate and pro-woman ayatollah in Lebanon. Would another journalist lose his or her job for saying they were sad that a cardinal or pope died? Sanchez was a loudmouth dumbass who simply acted like a loudmouth dumbass. And as for Thomas, well, let's just say there were people who waited a long time for her to fuck up in a way that allowed them to get some revenge.

Glenn Greenwald is right when he says, "If we're going to fire or otherwise punish people for expressing Prohibited Ideas against various groups, it's long overdue that those standards be applied equally to anti-Muslim animus." But, in a thoughtful piece on the Williams matter, he also offers, "Those who endorse speech-based punishments invariably end up watching as the list of Prohibited Ideas expands far beyond the initial or desired scope, often subsuming their own beliefs. That's a good reason to oppose all forms of speech-based punishment in the first place." When the first person's fired for saying mean things about the Tea Party, we can all protest loudly.

One part of the picture that's missing here is that the journalistic landscape has changed. Now, news anchors on all three of the news networks regularly offer commentary on the stories that they're reading off the teleprompter. You can't watch CNN without John Roberts or Tony Harris scoffing at something. And while Fox may have started the smearing of the line between news and punditry, CNN and MSNBC just as surely have stuck their fingers on the painting. That distinction is so blurred now that Wolf Blitzer seems quaint in his attempts to keep objectivity against a full-blown Cafferty assault.

If you're gonna blur that line, if you're gonna encourage your news people to mouth off, if you're gonna tell your commentators to push the boundaries, then don't be surprised if they say something offensive. It's like if you have a lover who wants you to do all kinds of crazy, kinky stuff to him: shoving huge dildos in his ass, stomping his balls, making him wear nipple clamps and a cock ring, jacking him off while he hangs by hooks through his skin, shitting on his chest. But then you punch him in the face and he says, "Whoa, whoa, too far" and breaks it off. How the hell were you to know what was too far at that point? Rick Sanchez's show was essentially about what giant self-righteous douchebag Rick Sanchez was. And they were surprised when he acted like a giant self-righteous douchebag elsewhere? And Williams has said tons of backwards ass shit on Fox over the years, most recently about the Park 51 community center, which he emphatically opposes.

Free speech ain't pretty. It's not supposed to be. But as long as it doesn't get in the way of you doing the job that you have been hired to do, the only combat for it ought to be more speech. And, sure, in the abstract, NPR has a right to fire someone they find offensive, but you know what else it could have done? A story about how a pretty smart guy (even if you disagree with him) can have the kinds of fears and prejudices that Williams talked about. But that would have been more about exploring an issue than having a knee-jerk reaction to anything that might piss off people. NPR was looking for a way to get rid of Williams. Mara Liasson better watch her ass.


Regarding Tea Party Senate Candidates, the Best Explanations Are Always the Simplest:
At a debate yesterday, Delaware Republican and a woman who is you because you apparently have picnicked on a satanic altar, Christine O'Donnell, expressed shock at the idea that the separation of church and state was "in" the First Amendment to the Constitution. As her opponent, Chris Coons, pointed out, it's been pretty damn well-decided that the wall between religion and government derives from the establishment clause of the First Amendment. The kindest reading of O'Donnell's smug, self-satisfied, "gotcha" look is that she was asking about the exact phrase "separation of church and state," which is what her campaign said she meant. She was defended by Rush Limbaugh, who immediately popped a Viagra so he was ready to fuck his wife's ass as she wore the O'Donnell mask on the back of her head. And the right was knee-jerk defending the new cute chick.

The scramble was on in the mainstream media for a way to present O'Donnell's statements without saying the truth. Last night, on Anderson Cooper 360 (motto: "AC doesn't think his sexuality is any of your goddamn business"), Paul Begala and Jeffrey Toobin came preciously close, but still tiptoed around the obvious explanation: Christine O'Donnell is a fucking idiot, so fucking dumb that she has to remind herself to breathe. It's the 800 pound motherfucker just sitting there: she's too fucking stupid to be a Senator.

It ought to be okay to say that. It's actually important information for voters. Brian Williams ought to be able to declare, "By any objective measure, by any stretch of the imagination, Christine O'Donnell isn't qualified to be elected Cart Wrangler of the Month at Wal-Mart. Because she's just a fucking idiot." Now, there's a good chance people will still vote for her because, yeah, there are idiots who do see themselves in O'Donnell.

There's no mystery here. All the answers are plain to see when it comes to the array of bizarre and unqualified Republican candidates who are in the running for senator, which we used to consider an important position. Let the freaks and phonies huckster their way in the House, which is a Fellini film set of midgets, geeks, and contortionists.

For instance, Alaska's Joe Miller has a security detail of moonlighting active-duty military men who feel it's okay to harass and detain reporters at his rallies, he has a weird appreciation for the Berlin Wall, and he has a scuzzy beard that makes him look like an axe murderer or a man who eats moose pussy. Sure, his tyrannical tendencies and beliefs are important. But the truth of the matter is that Joe Miller is a fucking asshole. He's a paranoid fucking douchebag whose employers have fucking despised.

His "guards" are survivalist AK-47 fellaters who are begging for conflict. And you don't hang out with those people unless you're one of 'em. His former law firm boss said, "We at this firm were not eager to have him stay, and so when he announced he was leaving, we were relieved." Katie Couric should say, "By all accounts, from many people who have worked with him and from his own admissions, Joe Miller is a bushel of dicks and a gun fetishist who wants to wreck the Constitution."

So it could go. Sharron Angle? Fucking crazy. Rand Paul? Fucking psycho.

A real media would have eviscerated this collection of buffoons and bastards. The fact that we are talking about three of them as serious candidates means we are skidding toward the edge of a very steep cliff and that we are a very unserious electorate. The look on the face of Chris Coons in that debate with O'Donnell said it all. It was the look of a man who thought he had come for a debate to help voters decide who is going to be one of the most powerful people in the country. But when he showed up, it was a pie-eating contest.


The Rude Pundit on Yesterday's Stephanie Miller Show (and a Great CMJ Music Marathon Rec):
The Rude Pundit's good buddy, Addie Brownlee, a great singer/songwriter and the hot chick who can drink you under the table after she's stomped on your heart, is playing at the Living Room in NYC as part of the CMJ Music Marathon. She's got a matinee show at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, and it's free. And, check it out, skinny-jeaned hipsters: she's playing a Paste magazine showcase. So take a late lunch.

And, on the way there, you can listen to the pod people version of the Rude Pundit's turn on Stephanie Miller's dance floor from yesterday:
A Defense of Presidential "Arrogance":
You wouldn't think that Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, would have the delicate constitution of a 1950s virgin debutante horrified at seeing her first cock in a rowboat with her gentleman caller after the cotillion. Indeed, there are times that Gerson's been in the David Frum "reasonable conservative" camp (where, at night, Karl Rove sneaks over the fence so he can fondle the campers in their beds). However, in his panicky little barf of a column today, his garter gets all twisted over something President Obama said: "'Part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now,' he recently told a group of Democratic donors in Massachusetts, 'and facts and science and argument [do] not seem to be winning the day all the time is because we're hard-wired not to always think clearly when we're scared. And the country is scared.'"

You may read that and think about some of the GOP candidates. Putting aside Christine O'Donnell or Carl Paladino, who don't have a chance in hell of being elected (although their states' Republicans saw fit to nominate them), you might think about Nevada candidate Sharron Angle's hysterical, hateful anti-immigrant ads, which don't reflect things like, you know, facts. Or you might think about West Virginia's John Raese, who proudly proclaims that he wants to eliminate the minimum wage. Or you might think, "Gee, there's deranged right wingers shooting people or wanting to shoot them because of bullshit they're being told by nutzoids with microphones." Or you might think, "Huh. If I were a man whose enemies routinely proclaimed him to be a socialist or Muslim or foreigner, I might think people are ignoring facts." But you are you and not Michael Gerson (unless you are, in which case: "Dude, seriously, leave shit like this to Thiessen"). To Gerson, "these are some of the most arrogant words ever uttered by an American president."

Really? Declaring that a country that is at war, has high unemployment and eroding infrastructure and massive foreclosures, and has airwaves filled with screeching commentators telling them that they are being led by a demonic force in a man's body is "scared" is "arrogant"?

Obama's comments at the fundraiser were actually pretty thoughtful. He spoke of what the nation has been through and is going through as a "trauma." And that ain't 9/11 he's speaking of: it's Gerson's old boss's presidency, the long anal rape that was the majority of the terrible first decade of the millennium. By invoking the word, Obama is starkly making a case that we are now a nation of trauma survivors. And what can one do? "You can respond in a couple of ways to a trauma like this," said the President. "One is to pull back, retrench, respond to your fears by pushing away challenges, looking backwards. And another is to say we can meet these challenges and we are going to move forward. And that's what this election is about."

All Obama meant by the loss of "facts and science and argument" is that, if we can't even agree on what reality is, then how can our collective recovery occur? In the Senate, for instance, the President is not dealing with a reasonable opposition; he's dealing with one that is unwilling to negotiate, one that merely exists to irrationally and without cause block votes on things that many of them supported before Barack Obama was president.

Just like Obama's comment about people clinging to guns and religion when they're worried about the future, it's not that he's wrong. It's that he said it. If anything, the rise of the Tea Party in the wake of Obama's election proved that he was remarkably prescient when he spoke that during the 2008 campaign. The problem for stupid people is not that Obama recognizes what they do. It's that he refuses to join them in their paranoia and delusions.

By the way, nothing that Obama said indicates that he was talking about a broad swath of the population or even everyday citizens. Prior to the remark that has Gerson pulling his panties out of his ass, Obama said, "In some ways what is remarkable is how despite this body blow that the country took, the country once again has proven more resilient and more adaptable and more dynamic than I think a lot of folks give us credit for."

Yep. The President called the American people "resilient" and "dynamic." Gerson neglects that part in favor of saying that Obama is "telling people their fears result from primitive irrationality. Obama may think that many of his fellow citizens can't reason. But they can still vote." And he calls Obama an "intellectual snob."

But as far as arrogance goes, it's kind of arrogant to think you can be president in the first place. To go further, we saw what an arrogant fucker without intellectual chops could do. We're now in the throes of the PTSD that his actions caused. So you know what? The Rude Pundit will take the intellectual snob any day.


Corporate Funding in Elections: If You Had the Money, You Could Do It, Too:
The Rude Pundit doesn't often go to these sorts of things because, inevitably, they end up depressing the hell out of him. But for various reason, last Friday night he found himself at the All Saints Unitarian Church in New York City for an event sponsored by the Big Apple Coffee Party. The title was "Should Corporations Decide Our Elections?", which was kind of a bullshit frame of a non-existent debate, there being no one present to take the affirmative side (something that GRITtv host and moderator Laura Flanders acknowledged at the outset), although it would have been fun as hell to have Ronald McDonald defending the golden arches.

Speaking were radio host and author Thom Hartmann and law professors Zephyr Teachout and Lawrence Lessig. All three were great speakers, but it was Lessig, as a prophet of doom, who truly stood out. The discussion centered around the Citizens United decision and the ludicrous notion of corporate personhood. (Remember: Citizens United was about whether or not a film that bashed Hillary Clinton could be advertised within 30 days of the primaries, in violation of a provision of the McCain-Feingold campaign financing act. The Supreme Court, in its infinite wisdom, said, "McCain can blow us and Feingold can work on our balls." And thus our elections are now filled with ads from mysterious groups that are accountable to no one.)

Lessig asked, compellingly (and all quotes are guaranteed to be correct only in spirit), "Even if Citizens United was overturned tomorrow, what would change?" His point, which the others did not disagree with, was that our election process, indeed, our entire governing process, is so encrusted with the filth of corporate funding that it is impossible for our elected representatives to, you know, represent us, the people. They end up representing primarily the interests of the corporations that fund their campaigns, and, as Lessig repeated brought up, a member of Congress spends around 40% (or more) of his or her time on the phone to major donors drumming up cash for elections. So who is Johnny or Jenny Senator gonna do shit for? You, Ms. Donates-a-hundred? Or that fat fuck over there who has a check for tens of thousands of dollars and a 501c4 ready to run attack ads?

The desire to please the corporate masters of our democracy was clearly at work in the creation of the Frankenstein's monster of health care legislation. It came down to which industries did they not want to piss off. If you ever wanted to vomit endlessly about how the legislative sausage is made, check out all the ground up pig anuses and tails revealed in Ryan Lizza's article from The New Yorker about the destructive compromises that had to be made on climate change legislation in order to avoid confrontations with the corporate organizations that had moneyed interests in the outcome. Fuck, when California senatorial candidate Carly Fiorina refused on Fox "news" yesterday to say what exact things she would cut from the federal budget, she was dancing as fast as she could to keep every donor happy. In other words, until corporate money is banned from elections, your vote is merely for which companies you want taken care of.

The reason the Rude Pundit avoids these gatherings is for a couple of reasons. The first is that the solutions are inevitably so radical as to seem impossible, which is depressing as hell. Lessig proposed that the states should call a constitutional convention in order to scare the Congress into acting. Yeah, that'd be pretty insane, but beyond amending the Constitution, what's the solution? Throw more money into the mix? Get other 501c4's to go on the attack? The Rude Pundit would like to figure out a way to play special interests against each other. Make them go to war and waste their resources on that.

The other reason is that, more often than not, the majority of attendees of these gatherings are just so fucking old. Where were the people under, say, 40? It's like the ones who know how to engage are the lefties old enough to remember life pre-Internet and pre-iPhone. As the speakers said, the only way for any change to occur is in face-to-face civic engagement, not through Facebook groups that you join and ignore and eventually block because they send too many updates. But it's easier to pretend you did something.


Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Wonder if Parents Can Be Aborted:

Oh, sweet little Allan Taylor of Silver Springs, Nevada. One or both of your parents have fed you a bundle of lies as surely as they have fed you a steady diet of frozen, lard-filled chicken nuggets and high fructose corn syrup-infused Sam's Choice cola. The 8 year-old in the yellow hoodie and running pants of elastic comfort holds a sign that reads "HANDS OFF MY MONEY OBAMA" in his little hands. And the inevitable question ought to be "What the fuck's a 'Money Obama'"?

However, other than the rules of punctuation, someone ought to explain a simple thing to Allan and his teabagger Mom and/or Dad who dragged the child to a Sharron Angle rally: money that you pay in taxes ain't your fucking money. Oh, sure, it's a good line, the kind of delicious hairy sack that Angle devours constantly. The Nevada Republican candidate for Senate did it last night at her "debate" (if by "debate," you mean, "Inarticulate tortoise fight") with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Discussing the Bush tax cuts, Angle said, "First of all, let's really talk about whose money that is. It's not the federal government's money, it's our money. And when he says we're squandering the federal money, the federal government's money, it's really squandering our money."

Listen, Allan: your parents are fucking idiots who probably shouldn't have bred in the first place, but since your scuzzy dad put his diseased cock into your imbecile mom's kooz and knocked her up, you may as well learn a thing or two. Angle seems to believe that taxes are an investment in the government and that, like if you put money into stocks or gold, you can take that money out and have the money again. That's not the way it works. Taxes are actually fees the government collects so that you can have nice things like Interstate 80, just north of you, which one day you'll hop on while telling your parents to kiss your ass. Once you pay 'em, it's not your money anymore. If you don't like how it's spent or how much is collected, well, that's what elections like this are for. But no matter how low taxes are, it ain't your money. (And if your sign means that you think Barack Obama is taking cash from your future, well, you should ask your parents where your money is gonna come from if taxes don't go up.)

A couple of other quick notes on the suicidally dull Reid/Angle debate:
1. Sharron Angle called herself "a teacher for 25 years." This is not true. Her own website bio states that she was a "substitute teacher" for those 25 years. Now, you can argue about the varying quality of subs, but one thing is clear: they sure as shit ain't teachers by any stretch of the imagination (lesson plans, anyone?). Angle didn't have the credentials to become a full-time teacher. Oh, she did teach "grades K-12 in a one-room Christian school of 24 students for two years." But, while Little House on the Prairie cosplay is charming, that ain't what she said.

2. What the fuck's with the Tea Party women's fixation on men acting manly? Angle told Reid to "Man up" about Social Security. Sarah Palin attacked Barack Obama's balls. Christine O'Donnell implies her male opponents are gay. Honestly, they all sound like they're just begging for a rough fucking.

3. Along those lines, Angle was a total cunt when she attacked Reid for his wealth. Isn't Reid's life story kind of the mythical American Dream in action? A miner dad and a mom who washed john jizz from the clothes of whores so their son could go to college, become a lawyer, earn a shitload of money, and devote the remainder of his life to public service?

Hell, young Allan Taylor, you'd be one lucky son of a bitch if your parents did that for you instead of making you think the big evil guvmint is gonna take your piggy bank.


Candidates Say the Darnedest Things:
All quotes from this week's various debates in various races:

1. "[Y]ou writing an article saying that you learned your beliefs from an articulate, intelligent Marxist professor and that's what made you become a Democrat, that should send chills up the spine of every Delaware voter."- Christine O'Donnell, soon to lose the Senate race in Delaware, referring to Democrat Chris Coons's 1985 college newspaper column where he said that, while studying abroad in Kenya, "I studied under a bright and intelligent Marxist professor." Someone should probably inform O'Donnell that if she ever attended her college classes, she more than likely had several Marxist professors. By the way, the actual article was about how much he loves America.

2. "I don't like the idea of somebody in Washington deciding that Susie has two mommies is an appropriate family situation...That's what happens when we let things get to a federal level."- Rand Paul, debating Jack Conway at Northern Kentucky University. This was part of Paul's "logic" in eliminating the Department of Education: because obviously every student everywhere has to read about the gay penguins or mommies or Obama's gay stormtroopers sodomize their teachers in front of them.

3. "It's insulting to the millions of people who watch WWE every week ... to suggest that somehow it is less than quality entertainment." - Linda McMahon, debating Richard Blumenthal for the Senate seat of Christopher Dodd in Connecticut.

Umm...here's a description of the "quality entertainment" at the WWE NXT event occurring on the same night as the debate: "Last up is Maxine and she says that her topic tonight is disrespect. She says that last week Hornswoggle disrespected her by shoving a pie in her face, but nonetheless she was going to end up on top. Maxine turns her attention to Kaitlyn and says that Kaitlyn is actually lucky to have Vickie as her pro but she doesn’t appreciate it because she had to go and disrespect the relationship between Dolph and Vickie. Maxine calls Kaitlyn a homewrecker and says that is not how ladies conduct their business." One might argue that it's McMahon's company that insults millions of people every week.

4. "We have to hold employers accountable for hiring illegal workers." - Meg Whitman, debating Jerry Brown to be governor of California. Holding herself accountable, Whitman said in the same debate about having hired (and fired) an undocumented worker, "We went through an employment agency. We looked at three forms of identification. Our housekeeper falsified those documents and came to admit it nine years later. It broke my heart, but I had to fire her." Apparently for Whitman, "accountable" means "hopefully getting away with it." The penalty for Whitman? Well, until this came to light, not a goddamn thing.

5. And just 'cause she's so fucking dumb, which means she's so fucking funny, here's O'Donnell again, this time addressing the hypothetical situation of a sick person without insurance going for help in the emergency room of a hospital: "[R]ight now we're forcing them to. We're forcing them that they have to give care to illegal aliens. So this is something that we're already doing. What I'm proposing, you're also talking about a very small hypothetical using scare tactics to make people support this health care bill." Yep, that's right. One sentence after using the scary proposition of illegals using hospitals, she chided the moderators for using "scare tactics."

When is this absolutely endless shit over?


Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Appeal:
It would be so simple, and it would be like an anxious finger shoved against the joyful prostate of the logy Democratic base. All President Barack Obama has to do is do nothing and the Federal District Court in California's injunction against the military's absurd Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy would stand. Judge Virginia Phillips declared that it wasn't just unconstitutional, but that it was, in essence, like farting in the face the Constitution, declaring that "the act known as 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' infringes the fundamental rights of United States servicemembers and prospective servicemembers and violates (a) the substantive due process rights guaranteed under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and (b) the rights to freedom of speech and to petition the Government for redress of grievances guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution." Now, laugh if you will at the word "servicemembers," but the Rude Pundit's awesome math abilities calculate that you got three clauses within two Amendments violated. That seems like a pretty damn strong case.

This is a no-brainer, ain't it? You got an overwhelming majority of people out there who think the policy's bullshit. You got 21 senators, including ones from states like Louisiana and Colorado, writing to the President to let the ruling stand. You got a disheartened left that needs to get excited for the midterms and a large gay constituency who are righteously, mightily pissed at the empty promises from the administration. You want cover? Fuck, toss in the young people committing suicide over vicious, homophobic bullying. Add the gay-bashing that's erupting in places like New York fucking City. You got the perfect backdrop for standing up for the rights of people who wanna fight for the country. It ain't even controversial except among the 20% of the population who are dumb and prejudiced, skull-fucked by their pissy Jesus and left drooling imbeciles from the brain damage.

And what do you think the Obama administration will do? Will President "I Want to Repeal DADT" say, "Groovy. The Senate can go fuck itself now. Let's move on"?

Well, lookie here, hopeful knob-bobbers and clit-lickers. Given the chance to let stand the Massachusetts District Court's decision that the Defense of Marriage Act (aka "Queers are icky" Act) is unconstitutional, Obama is having his Justice Department file an appeal, saying that while the President wants to repeal DOMA, "The Justice Department is defending the statute, as it traditionally does when acts of Congress are challenged." Even though, you know, it is under no obligation to do so. It's not unakin to a New Orleans Saints fan saying that, as long as he's visiting Atlanta, he may as well root for the Falcons.

Sure, sure, the White House would say that it really, really wants Congress to take care of repealing both DOMA and DADT, but, as Andrew Sullivan says, what's the chance of that happening in the next generation as the GOP elects crazier and crazier motherfuckers? Or one could argue that, at some point, under some administration, these issues are gonna reach the Supreme Court, so why not just get it over with now? (And, frankly, that's not a terrible argument.)

Down in Florida last month, the District Court of Appeal threw out the state's draconian, three-decade old law banning gay adoption as blatantly unconstitutional. The secretary of the Department of Children and Families announced yesterday that he was not going to appeal the ruling, and that the plaintiff in the case, Frank Gill, had gone through enough just to keep the children he has raised and loved. The attorney general could still appeal, and since Bill McCollum had previously used George "Rent Boy" Rekers as an expert against gay adoption, it's up in the air, although, as the DCF said, "the depth, clarity and unanimity of the [court's] opinion -- and that of Miami-Dade Judge Cindy Lederman's original circuit court decision -- has made it evident that an appeal would have a less than limited chance of a different outcome." Governor Charlie Crist, who, you may have heard, is running for office, halted the ban after the initial decision.

See how easy that is? How easy it is to just do nothing and let the rights fall into place? How easy it is for hate to be shoved aside in favor of bringing a large segment of the population, finally, once and for all, into the American fold? Or are the potential Fox "news" outrage and a spitting Rush Limbaugh far more important than the base who got the President elected?

(By the way, the most homoerotic thing on TV right now? The image of that cock-shaped capsule in Chile plunging into and pulling out of the earth's orifice again and again. Yeah, it's a miracle, but it's a miracle that'd make an imaginative man horny.)


The Rude Pundit on Yesterday's Stephanie Miller Show:
On Monday, the Rude Pundit shared his anger with Stephanie Miller over the torture of three gay men by the totally not-gay members of a Bronx gang, and he wondered aloud, "When straight guys are beaten down, why aren't they sodomized?" Also, Carl Paladino sucks dog dicks. No, really.

You can get your weekly oral rudeness with no effort once you subscribe to the Rude Pundit's podcast. It's easy and free.
For GOP Candidates, Having a Past Means Never Having to Say:
By the standards of the current crop of Republican candidates, Ted Bundy, if still alive, could run for office. Sure, sure, Bundy murdered dozens of young women and was one of the most notorious serial killers in American history, but he was a loyal Republican, even engaging in dirty tricks to help the re-election campaign of Washington Governor Daniel Evans in 1972. And if Bundy was running now and some pesky reporter asked him, say, "Howzabout all that raping and bludgeoning?" he could call it a "personal attack" and add, "We've drawn a line in the sand. You can ask me about background, you can ask me about personal issues. I'm not going to answer."

Which is exactly what Alaska Republican Joe Miller, the teabagger running for Senate, told the press yesterday. No, Miller hasn't been revealed as a serial killer (yet - but that skeevy beard reeks of backwoods burials), but the fiscal conservative who is anti-poverty programs owes about $100,000 in credit card debt and he and his family received low-income health care assistance. In other words, his actual life runs counter to his beliefs.

But his past is off-limits. Unless, of course, his past has some good shit in it. So, according to his website's bio, "Miller served as an officer in the United States Army. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his leadership in combat during the First Gulf War." That's within the realm of polite discussion and is an obvious qualification for public office, by Miller's standards. However, if he's a welfare user who can't keep his finances straight despite, as his bio states, having a Master's in economics? That is an "attack that is based upon avoiding the issues, where we're at as a state, where we're at as a nation and looking at other things that basically distract people's attention."

This whole idea that the actions of one's past have no bearing on the qualifications of a candidate is laughable for how it is conveniently deployed when something inconvenient comes up. George W. Bush ran several companies into the ground. He was a fucking failure who had a special name. But that was a no-go for discussion in 2000 and 2004. John McCain's ability to survive at the Hanoi Hilton was totally cool to bring up, though.

This year, though, it's particularly pronounced because so many of the Tea Party-supported or Palin-anointed candidates are either devoid of anything that might be considered qualifications for office, like Christine O'Donnell, or are simply incompetent, like Miller (although the Rude Pundit's sure he's got some literal and figurative dead hobos plastered in the walls of his house). Indeed, if you shitcan everything that O'Donnell has said in her wild and wacky past as a conservative bombthrower, she's done absolutely nothing with her life except accumulate a bunch of debt. Yet she's a major party's nominee to become a senator, which means, if elected, she could pull a DeMint and shut down the running of Congress. Seriously, the Rude Pundit thinks the main reason O'Donnell and Miller are even in the game is that senators pull down a pretty sweet salary and benefits.

Senate candidate Linda McMahon dismisses the fact that the corporation she ran, World Wrestling Entertainment, actively promoted violence against and the degradation of women. She's focused on the future for the voters of Connecticut. That part of her job doesn't matter, but, boy, didn't she make a lot of money and isn't making money awesome?

The sad part is that voters will probably see Miller's life story as emblematic of their own in Alaska (even if they don't have a Yale JD). The sadder part is that, for most Republicans, this shit just get's picked up off the lawn and tossed away. David Vitter balls hookers? Whatever. Newt Gingrich is a sleazy twatmonger? Run that motherfucker for President.

Of course, Democrats are held to a different standard. Their pasts are unforgivable. Rand Paul, a man who is lick-his-own-taint insane, derided Bill Clinton's support of his opponent. "I'm not sure I would trust a guy who had had sexual relations with an intern," said the man who looks perpetually like he just masturbated on a cat. (And if he's got that as a standard, Paul's gonna have a really hard time trusting anyone in DC.)

Shit, Barack Obama's past is a constant debate in GOP circles. And the one they've concocted isn't even his real one. But that's par for the course: if a politician's life is too honorable, you gotta just make shit up. Ask John Kerry.


It's Columbus Day and We're Still Screwing Over the Natives:
Among the over 400 bills being held up by the renegade Republicans in the Senate is a simple matter: the approval of a negotiated settlement of a class action lawsuit filed in 1996 by a group of American Indians charging that the Department of the Interior had, for over a hundred years, dicked over Indians for their share of leases to natural resource usage on Indian land. The Cobell v. Salazar settlement (named for the first plaintiff, Elouise Cobell, and the current Interior Secretary) is for $3.4 billion dollars, far, far less than what is actually owed, a bargain, really. The case was settled in December 2009. All that was needed was congressional approval by the original deadline of April 16.

Twice, it was possible for the matter to be taken care of. Twice it failed due to Republican obstructionist tactics. It passed the House in May after the deadline was extended. It passed again in July as part of another spending bill. The deadline for Congress now looms on October 15, this coming Friday, while it has floundered in our dysfunctional Senate.

Initially, Senator John Bareasshole...er, Barrasso of Wyoming had a problem with the lawyers' fees, which amounted to about 3% of the settlement for 13+ years of work. But that was settled, and, indeed, it seemed that Republicans were going to stop being fuckbags about it (and about another settlement in the matter of the government dicking over black farmers, which has been linked to the Cobell case because, see, one minority is the same as another). In late September, when Harry Reid was going to ask for unanimous consent on Cobell, Oklahoma's Tom Coburn said he would object, as he did in May. His reasons? "He wants the settlement costs to be offset so they don't add to the deficit and to ensure that the remedies go to the people who were wronged."

Think about that for a moment. He doesn't want to add to the deficit even though the money that is owed to the Indians was, in essence, stolen from them and already spent. As far as it going to the right individuals, well, that was all negotiated and litigated for the last, you know, 13 fucking years. By the way, of the 300,000 people who will get something from the Cobell settlement, 50,000 are in Oklahoma.

So, as stupid marches for a stupid man go on today, remember that in ways large and small, the ongoing degradation of indigenous peoples that the stupid man unleashed continues, with his stupid mantle being carried by others who wallow with pride in their own stupidity.


Chris Christie: "Jobs and Infrastructure Are Not What New Jersey's About":

No need to adjust your monitors to widescreen. That fat bag of snacks, that tub of elephant shit up there is, in fact, the governor of New Jersey, Christopher J. Christie. The "J" stands for "jelly." The Republican was elected in 2009, and, oh, the benefits the state has reaped. So far, Christie is responsible for the loss of $400 million in education funding, and now, with his killing of the already-underway construction of a new railway tunnel that would go from Secaucus to near Penn Station, he's tossed back $3 billion in grant funds to DC, as well as put the state on the hook for the $300 million the federal government already spent. This is not to mention the jobs lost, the economic development squashed, the positive environmental impact for polluted Northeast Jersey blown away.

Christie says he's making a brave stand for fiscal responsibility, that the project might well run several billion dollars higher than originally budgeted. "I have made a pledge to the people of New Jersey that on my watch I will not allow taxpayers to fund projects that run over budget with no clear way of how these costs will be paid for," said the governor. How brave. How...oh, wait..

From the Newark Star-Ledger, December 11, 2009: "Gov.-elect Chris Christie yesterday defended his decision to support borrowing more than $1 billion to pay for highway and mass transit improvements, saying it would be 'irresponsible' to cut off funding for projects that have already started."

Now, why would a morbidly obese man undulate his girth away from a pork-filled buffet? Because he wants filet mignon, a big heaping helping of it. With blue cheese sauce.

Christie ain't gonna, no-how raise the gas tax. He's a modern Republican and that means ideology trumps all. Also, he needs money for the empty coffers of the state's highway fund. The Star-Ledger pointed out, on November 26, 2009, "Gov.-elect Chris Christie has vowed not to raise New Jersey's 14.5-cent-per-gallon tax to replenish the state's diminishing funding resources for road and rail projects. Both state and federal taxes -- which combined add 32.9 cents to the per-gallon price -- haven't been raised in about two decades." To be fair, the man-shaped goo-bag did campaign on the issue. But he also claimed he supported the tunnel, so, you know, things change, eh?

And why is this gluttonous ogre, who would make Diamond Jim Brady say, "C'mon, motherfucker, eat a salad," so very, very opposed to even a small increase in the gas tax in order to fund, you know, the things the cars drive on? Well, let's let some of New Jersey's editorial writers tell you why:

"He knows that raising the gas tax would spoil the political image he has built for himself, all the way to Iowa. He’s a rock star on the national conservative circuit now, and that’s hard to give up," says the Star-Ledger's editorial board.

Or, as Atlantic City Press's Jim Perskie writes, "[I]t’s fair to ask if killing the tunnel project is yet another indication that Christie is now more interested in burnishing his national image as a tough, cost-cutting Republican presidential candidate than in governing New Jersey...when you are out in Iowa telling the faithful about all you’ve done in New Jersey, nobody in the audience checks to see if you’ve actually done it or just proposed it."

They look soft, but hippos are the most easily enraged and dangerous beasts in the jungle.

(By the way, the Rude Pundit has driven on River Road in Edgewater, New Jersey, and seen the destruction of a perfectly lovely rocky cliffside in order to build the tunnel. What a goddamn waste.)

Correction: An earlier version of this said Christie was elected in 2008. He was not. He was elected in 2009, which means he's worked really quickly to be so awful.


The Destructive Con Job of the Modern GOP:
For the last few decades, at least, the modus operandi of the Republican Party has been to seek every advantage in order to use power to its fullest, most extreme extent. Yeah, sure, both parties exist as a way to consolidate power, but the Democrats have, since at least FDR, had tempering elements within its ranks (we on the left call them "assholes" or "Lieber-men"). However, the Republican approach to power has been to rape and pillage, to slash and burn, to kill 'em all and let God sort it out. From the impeachment of Bill Clinton to the Iraq war to the expansion of presidential authoritah, for the GOP, power exists to be used. No, not "used." How about "wielded like a medieval cudgel"?

To take it further, Republicans are a troop of sweaty, paranoid psychopaths handed loaded AK-47s and told to wait to fire until they see the whites of the enemies' eyes. What's that psychopath gonna do? Be patient? Hell, no. He's gonna wildly shoot up shit, not giving a happy monkey fuck what gets blown away in the process - the enemy, the farm animals, his own fellow troops. What's it matter when he's got a machine gun and he wants to fire and feel the pulse and heat of power in his hands?

Right now, while running a long con on the American people (more on that in a sec), congressional Republicans have completely upended the actual running of the government through their extraordinary abuse of the rules of the Senate. For instance, there's 420 bills passed by the House that are now awaiting passage in the Senate. It's like the Senate has become the plaque build-up in the arteries of democracy, the constipated colon of America. In their crazed embargo on progress, the GOP Senators have behaved like a douchebag junior executive who's told he can use a company car for personal reasons and then takes one for a joyride across the country with his douchebag friends. Yeah, it was within the rules, but when accounting sees this, it's probably gonna fuck up the privilege for everyone who wasn't a jerk-off about it. But, hey, d-bag won't get his rocks off again, either. He fucked himself.

So now Republicans, who have made the filibuster, once a measure of last resort, into the way the Senate runs, are saying that they won't be able to pass things if they have the majority because they need 60 votes. As John Aravosis points out, um, no, you only need 50 votes to pass a bill. But because they themselves fucked the process like a horny farm boy with a dying donkey, they're expecting a fucking in return. Oh, noble Republicans, fear not. Because you'd be dealing with Democrats, and we crumble and shit ourselves at a whispered "boo." (What? "Buck up"? Why don't you go buck yourself.)

If the Republicans take back the House and (in a Democratic doomsday scenario) the Senate, history will show that it was because of one of the great con jobs ever played in politics. For what is the current political zeitgeist but the result of one long game of three-card monte played for the rubes who actually think they'll know where the queen is? The con is this: Republicans and their media allies have convinced too many voters that Democrats have either accomplished nothing or have only accomplished things that will hurt them. They have done so despite the facts that: 1. a great deal has been accomplished; 2. what hasn't been accomplished is due almost entirely to Republican obstructionism; and 3. what's been passed has been watered down in order to appease Republicans and some of the asshole Democrats. The greatest part of it? That the GOP's refusal to govern is them standing up for "American" values, which, if you think about it, is about right.

In other words, Republicans use extremist tactics and extremist rhetoric (for, truly, there's not a single thing passed in this Congress that even approaches "socialism"), and, if those fail, they lie outright. And in doing so, they make their mostly reasonable, way-too acquiescent opponents seem like despicable fuckbags who want America to become part Mexico/part Sharialand. That's an awesome con job: shutdown the functioning of part of the government through procedural chicanery that most people won't give a damn about (A hold? What the fuck is that? We don't have time for civics classes anymore) and blame the majority, which is easy to understand: "Oh, Democrats in power. Democrats must naturally suck."

The frustrating part is that, even if polls now show some tightening in races, it's worked. The con job has been successful. The ultimate plan of the GOP is to make governing in DC so impossible, so untenable, that it ceases to function except on the limited terms of a savage conservatism. And we're making it possible. The whiplash-inducing fickleness of the American electorate is part and parcel of a people who are deluded with their sense of individual self-worth and entitlement. Those who bitch about President Obama's lack of bipartisanship are idiots. Obama gave the Republicans a Marshall Plan of political cover after their devastation in 2008. And, like Germany before it, they used it to grow powerful again.

Now, we get Republicans who are pretending to behave honorably. Olympia Snowe said yesterday, "Frankly we haven't done our jobs well here in Washington and that disturbs me. There's all this partisanship and polarization, and ultimately it yields two outcomes: either scorched-earth victory for one side or political stagnation." No shit. And who was it that negotiated in bad faith over the health care bill? Oh, yeah. Olympia Snowe.

You can't unfuck something that you've fucked. Republicans have paid almost no long-term price for the Caligula-like madness of the Bush administration. There's a chance that, now, two-years later, they're gonna get rewarded for refusing to participate in running the country. It's like setting free an arsonist after you've started to rebuild the house and telling him, "Oh, and here's those matches we took from you. Sorry for the inconvenience."

Coming soon: Yeah? So what are you gonna do about it?


Republican Cocksuckers for New York:
When talking about New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino and Representative Peter King of NY-3, one of the whitest districts in America, one would do well to use the word "cocksuckers," because, at the end of the day, they just are. They are dudes who act all tough and butch but get down on their knees in the men's room at the presumptively straight tough guy bars, where the beer and whiskey are cheap, and they suck cock, as much cock as they can, the more cock, the better. And when they're done sucking cock, they come back out where all the tough guys whose cocks they just sucked are, and they down a cheap beer and a cheaper whiskey and say, "Yeah, fuck all those liberal queers" just before the bartender makes a gesture for them to wipe some stray jizz off the corner of their mouths. In other words, not "cocksucker" in the sense of someone who is giving oral pleasure to a lover, but "cocksucker" in the sense of someone who wants it as filthy as possible, with the smell of shit and vomit in his nose and a line waiting for the stall.

For what other word would you use for King after he said of the conviction and life sentence of an admitted terrorist, "There was a bit of luck involved here." What was that lucky luck? Why, it was that Faisal Shahzad, who wanted to blow up Times Square, confessed to the crime and gave information to those who arrested him. In other words, he behaved like most every other criminal ever. Someone should explain the concept of "luck" to King, perhaps while he's sucking a cock. See, "luck" is when something positive occurs that is the opposite of the expected outcome. The vast majority of cases in the American criminal justice system don't rely on luck. And when you say one does, you say that everyone who works in it is a worthless shit who stumbles around in the dark until they trip over the corpse.

But King is like the warm-up act for the giant bag of loser cocksuckerdom that is soon-to-be loser Carl Paladino. You know about his dick size fight with a reporter (conveniently named Dicker), his idiot insults to other politicians, maybe even his outright lies about his life. But how about the actual policies the cocksucker is proposing? That'd be things like "a salary freeze on the entire education system until we can bring it back in line," "eliminating the Adirondacks Park Agency, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the Division of Housing and Community Renewal and the Department of Economic Development" (Paladino cleverly says of the DEC, "which ought to be renamed the Department of NO Economic Development." Ha, what a card), and cutting the budget by 20% in 2 years.

Of course, as Crain's New York says, most of what he's proposing is bullshit and he's just a motherfucker. Hell, even this cocksucker's dog is an asshole.

Nicely done, New York Republican Party. You guys used to run Nelson Rockefeller and other moderates. Giuliani lost his mind when he gave up his combover. Bloomberg bailed on you because you became a bunch of cocksuckers. Now, you've devolved in a way that just reflects your national party, dishonorable and delusional.


A Brief Note About Christine O'Donnell's First Campaign Commercial (in Haiku Form):
"I'm you" means nothing.
If you're an empty vessel,
You are nobody.
The Rude Pundit on Yesterday's Stephanie Miller Show:
Traveling back from the sunny, dry South to the wet and miserable Northeast, so the Rude Pundit will be late-posting. While you're wallowing in misery over that, enjoy yesterday's appearance on le show de radio of Stephanie Miller:


Dead Kids, Queer-Bashing, and Denial:
When you're in the Deep South, there's a far greater amount of day-to-day religiosity that you can't avoid as you can in the far more secular, heathenistic Northeast. This weekend, the Rude Pundit found himself being taken to a Catholic shrine in the middle of nowhere, Louisiana: a grave of a girl who died in 1959 in a small cemetery next to a church surrounded by now-harvested sugar cane fields. The day was dry and cool, the land flat, the sky blue. He stood there while everyone he was with knelt graveside and prayed. You could write down your request for this overworked child corpse to make a miracle happen and put it into a glass box on the grave. Everyone said they felt something, some peace or something else. The Rude Pundit did not feel anything other than thirsty. When asked about his skepticism, the Rude Pundit offered, "You'd think that if there was a Casper doing magic here, she'd wanna do it on the guy who doesn't believe." He was asked nothing else. The point here is not to mock where people go to make sense of the world and what places make them feel stronger. Shrines, bars with really good beer, who is to say which is better or more sacred? The Rude Pundit went to both in a single day. Even he can't answer the question.

No, the point is that around here, such an activity is merely part of how the world operates. Religious belief influences everything in a far more open and pronounced way (Yeah, yeah. Of course religion influences everything everywhere everyday, but if you're from the South, you know about this.) You happen to find yourself near a grave of a near-saint? Sure, you visit. You have a problem with bullying in the schools? You talk about it, but you don't say why it happens.

An article in the local paper about local middle-schoolers being beaten up in their locker room does mention the recent incidents like 13-year old Asher Brown of Houston, tormented until he shot himself. The article says he was subject to "constant harassment." Seth Walsh of California is said to have "suffered relentless taunting" before he hanged himself. You read the article without any outside knowledge and you think they were short or had pimples or something. But knowing the actual stories means you can say that the article itself is part of the problem.

Because nowhere, not once, in the entire piece about bullying, does the author say that the torment many kids suffer is because they are gay. No, not all bullying is about the sexual orientation of an adolescent. But if you're gonna write an article that specifically cites two cases where the dead children were bullied because they were gay, then you kind of have a duty to mention that. If you leave that out, then you are saying that their queerness was something to be hidden. You re-closet them.

See, if one acknowledges gay-bashing, then one must acknowledge gays. And if one acknowledges gays in an article that says bullying in general is bad, the one must say that gay students deserve the same respect and rights and safety as every other student. And if one says that, then one is, by implication, saying that being gay isn't something to be condemned. And if one doesn't think that gayness should be condemned, then one has to accept that gay students should be allowed to be gay. And if one agrees with that, Jesus will get really fucking angry and probably just create a giant hole where the school will be sucked down into Hell and then everyone will get bullied by demons with pitchfork penises that can skullfuck three sinners at once.

On Facebook, the page honoring Rutgers student Tyler Clementi is up to over 100,000 followers. No one's arguing for his sainthood. But he was sure as hell even more of a martyr than the little girl being prayed to here.


Family Research Council: "Pray That God Kills the Lame Ducks":
Holy shit, Godjeebus has an attention to details and minutiae. 'Cause, see, according to the Family Research Council (motto: "This queer ain't gonna bash himself"), the invisible sky wizard has time to listen to our prayers about the coming lame duck session in Congress, post-midterms. Yep, the word has gone out to we members of the FRC's Super-Duper Prayer Team that we gotta get on our knees and offer up some oral gratification to the Lord in order to halt them satanic liberals from sneaking in the back door and having their way with our precious nation without accountability, motherfuckers, holy fuck, without accountability.

The Rude Pundit joined the SDPT a few years ago under a nom de rude and every week he receives an email, like a small miracle, that tells him what needs his prayerim jobs. Usually, it's a heady mixture of gay marriage and abortion, which, if you think about it, support of one might slow the pace of the other.

This week, oh, we're goin' bugfuck insane over the possible future o' doom: "Liberals, many likely to be defeated at the polls, will still hold power until January. After the elections, they will make a last-ditch effort to pass objectionable liberal measures they may never have an opportunity to pass again." And what will the eeevil liberals trick Senate Republicans into no longer blocking? "[R]equiring the military to enlist practicing homosexuals," which is just spooky. Imagine the Marines seeking out and drafting gay people in mid-ass fuck or carpet-munch.

So we gotta "Pray for the election of God-fearing public servants, but also that Congressional liberals utterly fail to enact their agenda in the lame duck session." For, yea, God created the duck, and, lo, he may smite the lame ones.

As ever, we members of the SDPT are given verses o' biblical righteousness to back up our prayerturbating ways. "What the fuck does the Bible have to say about lame duck sessions in Congress?" you might ask. Well, heathen cocksucker, you just need to look at Exodus 18:21: "Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens." Yeah, that proves the point that a lawful body of elected representatives shouldn't do the job they were elected to do and ought to just give up and run away with their tails between their legs. Fuckin' OT, man.

Or how about Ecclesiastes 12:13, which says, "Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."

Of course, six verses earlier, it says, "Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity." But, you know, to get that would require that you read the whole book.