6/27/2016

The Rude Pundit (and Others) Telling Stories in NYC Tomorrow Night

Tomorrow evening, the Rude Pundit will be telling tales at an event put together by mad genius and VICE-guy Harmon Leon. It'll be a Moth-type thing, so maybe a little less politics, a little more "Here's weird shit what happened to me."

TALE will feature this blogger, radical bastard cartoonist Ted Rall (who can tell a hell of a story), Vanessa Valero from the Moth, Amaru Dixon, and Tim Eberle.

We'll all be at the Three of Cups in Manhattan starting at 8 p.m. That's a restaurant and bar on First Avenue at 5th Street in the East Village. Tickets are a mere $5.

Come, listen, laugh, hug, drink, and drink. 

Now That the TRAP Law Fuckery Is Done, What's the Next Abortion Fuckery Conservatives Will Attempt?

The strategy of opponents of abortion rights in the last couple of decades has been pretty straightforward. They take a bunch of shit in their filthy hands and they fling it at a wall containing the Roe v. Wade decision. They see which shit sticks, and then they go back to the shitpile, pick up some more shit, and throw again. Oh, and, to be sure, a whole lot of shit has gunked up what should be a decision a woman makes in consultation with a medical professional and others, should she wish. Shit like waiting periods and mandatory ultrasounds seem to be within the overly vague "undue burden" standard. And anti-choicers did get a dilation and extraction method of late-term abortion outlawed.

Today's Supreme Court decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is a big fucking deal because it marks the end of one of the anti-choice right's favorite tactics: using the bullshit cover of "women's health" to create all kinds of impediments to women actually getting to take care of their health. Called "Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers" or, charmingly, TRAP laws, in this case, it was two Texas regulations that required doctors at family planning clinics to have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles and that those clinics where abortions are performed meet the same standards as surgical centers and hospitals. They were lies based on lies propped up by lies, and the Supreme Court said today, in essence, "Yeah, you can go fuck yourself while you choke on your lies."

Or, as Jessica Mason Pieklo put it for Rewire, "Finally, we’ve got a Supreme Court decision that demands facts over rhetoric and data over belief, and doesn’t fall into the 'difficult decision that people disagree on' false equivalence. Monday’s decision is a clear, data-driven defense of the importance of access to comprehensive reproductive health care and an affirmation of abortion as a fundamental right. And that kind of defense has been a long time coming."

In his majority opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer slammed down the hammer of reality on the anti-choice fantasists. Over and over, in as straightforward a manner as you're gonna see in a Supreme Court decision, Breyer tells the state of Texas (and all the legislators who pretend that these regulations have any purpose than to prevent women from exercising a legal right) how full of shit they are, the level of that shit, and how meaningless their shit is, as in this summary of a District Court's findings on HB2, the Texas law:

"A collection of at least five peer-reviewed studies on abortion complications in the first trimester, showing that the highest rate of major complications—including those complications requiring hospital admission—was less than one-quarter of 1%.

"Figures in three peer-reviewed studies showing that the highest complication rate found for the much rarer second trimester abortion was less than one-half of 1% (0.45% or about 1 out of about 200).

"Expert testimony to the effect that complications rarely require hospital admission, much less immediate transfer to a hospital from an outpatient clinic."

That last piece of evidence comes from a California study of nearly 55,000 patients who had abortions and only 15 needed immediate transfer to a hospital. And that's just the beginning of a litany of "Fuck you, fuckers" from Breyer, concluding with this mic drop: "We have found nothing in Texas’ record evidence that shows that, compared to prior law (which required a 'working arrangement' with a doctor with admitting privileges), the new law advanced Texas’ legitimate interest in protecting women’s health. We add that, when directly asked at oral argument whether Texas knew of a single instance in which the new requirement would have helped even one woman obtain better treatment, Texas admitted that there was no evidence in the record of such a case." That's the difference between a lie-filled political ad and having to testify under oath.

And when it comes to the surgical center requirement that caused the closure of a bunch of clinics, leaving very few for the entire state, Breyer says, "Texas seeks to force women to travel long distances to get abortions in crammed-to-capacity superfacilities. Patients seeking these services are less likely to get the kind of individualized attention, serious conversation, and emotional support that doctors at less taxed facilities may have offered. Healthcare facilities and medical professionals are not fungible commodities. Surgical centers attempting to accommodate sudden, vastly increased demand...may find that quality of care declines. Another commonsense inference that the District Court made is that these effects would be harmful to, not supportive of, women’s health."

You got that? Supporters of these laws are doing things that will actively harm - or, you know, punish - women for deciding to get an abortion. Breyer and the majority were having none of it.

Plus you gotta love that Ruth Bader Ginsburg follows with a concurrence that is just another little kick in the nuts while Texas is on the ground, saying, in essence, "What the fuck good is a motherfucking right if you can't use it, you pricks?"

We'll see how quickly the TRAP laws fall in the other states where legislators are trying to regulate abortion out of legal existence (while seeming to ignore the fact that abortions decrease if you make access to birth control easier - it's almost as if preventing abortions isn't their ultimate goal). But you can bet that the anti-choice forces are already gearing up for the next round of fuckery. They will be tossing those turds at the wall to see if they can get something to stick.

They are declaring that they will continue to "protect women's health and safety" from the "predatory abortion industry." It's that last piece, from the bugfuck insane Family Research Council, that gives a possible indication of what the next tactic will be. They've failed to use the medical side of things to regulate clinics completely out of business (although, congrats, cocks, you've sure fucked things up for a few years). So now it's time to put the moral and medical shit on the side and go after them as business entities. Yeah, let's predict that the next round will be about putting more and more tax and other business regulations on clinics. They've tested these kinds of things before, but that's the next direction to go whole hog.

Also, you can always use the states' rights bullshit to rally the idiots. Senator John Cornyn and Gov. Greg Abbott, both of Texas, issued statements that said something like "blah, blah, blah, states that hate women should be able to hurt women without not guv'mint tellin' us what we do to our little ladies."

So, yeah, this is a day to be relieved that the Supreme Court said that they really fucking meant it when they said that abortion is legal. But gear up for the next round. It's gonna come quickly. And there's also that presidential election and that empty ninth seat, which didn't matter this time, but, well, you know.

6/24/2016

A Few Upsides of the Brexit Disaster

While the vote yesterday in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union is a giant roach fuckball of awful consequences, many still to come, and while it represents a triumph of xenophobia and outright racism over the forces of reason and sanity, a sign of the apocalypse, and a demonstration that the Great Stupiding of the world is fully upon us (more on that next week), hey, we're human, so let's go into the weekend with a teacup half-full attitude.

1. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's hair will make President Donald Trump's epic combover look positively normal.

2. A whole bunch of stiff upper lips are getting some much-needed exercise by quivering in fear and sadness.

3. Two words: Bargain corgis.

4. For Tony Blair alone: The smug satisfaction of knowing you are no longer the worst PM of the modern era.

5. For David Cameron alone: More time to stick your dick in a pig.

6. Pound notes will make good kindling when winter rolls around.

7. Much fewer annoying Spanish tourists in England. They'll all be heading to Scotland and Ireland.

8. Owners of curry houses in Birmingham won't have to worry about more competition coming in.

9. Young people in England now have the best reason to hate the elderly.

10. Good chance that, 28 days later, the country will be decimated by crazed zombies with a rage virus. So we get to see how that goes.

11. Maybe, just maybe, voters in the United States will think, "Huh. Voting for the crazy side might not be as fun as it sounds."

6/23/2016

Terrorists Aren't Magic, Don't Have Superpowers

One thing that the Rude Pundit has never understood is why we endow terrorists with seemingly magical powers, as if they can just use their minds and a wave of their hands to make bridges explode and bullets pierce the hearts of the infidels. This mostly goes for Muslim terrorists. We haven't made the leap to thinking that dirt-poor whites who blow shit up or gun the fuck out of some business are anything more than the luckiest knuckle-draggers in the filthy cave.

But Muslim terrorists (or, more accurately, what we label "terrorists") are treated like they will go all Thanos on our puny asses, and, woe to us, we don't have any fucking Avengers to help us, so we have to pass laws and commit acts that just make us look like little pussies. See Gitmo, see the Patriot Act, see most every fake case that's ever been hyped up to justify the security state apparatus when it's really just some deranged fucker who said some stupid shit on an online forum and the FBI treated him like he had visited Fantasy Island for wannabe jihadists.

The hysteria that surrounds our every attempt to grapple with terrorism is just goddamned depressing. Even the term is bullshit, as in the well-worn but still potent argument about why, say, Omar Mateen was a terrorist but, say, Dylan Roof isn't. Both are deluded fucknuts who wanted to intimidate and harm people because they didn't conform to their fucked-up version of the world. Both got their radical ideologies online. Both wrote or proclaimed that they were bad-ass motherfuckers wrapped up in trying to bring about greater violence or take great selfies or something.

And the term is even more full of shit when you talk about "potential terrorists," as in the mystical files that make up the "Terrorist Watch List" (or, as the FBI calls it, the Terrorist Screening Database). As you might know, you don't get to know why you are on, say, the no-fly list. That's a secret, even from you, should you find out you can't board your plane, even if you're not hiding a box cutter in your anus.

But here we are, with Democrats going to the barricades to expand the use of the TSD, which can take away your rights without any due process or charge or ability to answer. Yesterday's thrilling sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives was about taking this abuse of power and expanding it to include gun sales. While you might think that it's awesome to prevent anyone from buying a gun, if you believe that people with scary names who might have done something to make the FBI think they might at some undefined date become terrorists, if you think the government should be able to make secret lists and deny civil liberties and rights (buying those weapons is still legal, no matter what you'd like), then you're kind of not a liberal anymore on this issue and the ACLU thinks you're full of shit.

The most generous reading of the sit-in is that John Lewis and the other Democrats wanted to do something, anything to break the logjam against action on gun control. If we can get this passed, then maybe universal background checks would be next. Or, in some ways, it's kind of clever to use the TSD to say, "Well, if you're gonna label people terrorists-in-waiting, then why the fuck would you let 'em buy guns?" And if this was an effort to delegitimize the whole damn list, that would be noble. Of course, it wasn't.

Meanwhile, on the right, we get a fanning of the flames of panic, from Donald Trump's anti-Muslim desire to "figure out what the hell is going on" to Republicans who are ready to scream that Muslim Magnetos are going to come to our homes and kill us all. This past weekend, the Rude Pundit was walking past protesters outside Trump International Hotel in Manhattan. Except they weren't protesting the baboon-haired hate-seller. They were there to protest the United States allowing Syrian refugees into this country. They equated the refugees with ISIS. And even when it comes to ISIS, that, right there, is hysteria, without any facts, any truth, just purely projecting a fictional fantasy evil onto some really very ordinary criminals.

Until we learn to calm the fuck down, at the personal and the political levels, about terrorism, until we learn to separate fantastical fears from mundane reality, with a good dose of caution and awareness, we're doomed to keep pretending like we're doing good when, really, we're just playing cruel games with people's lives.

6/22/2016

Donald Trump Maturely Masturbates to Make America Great Again

It was something of a miracle, the pundits and political consultants declared. For the first time since he became the presumptive nominee for president, Republican Donald Trump did not appear in public to masturbate furiously and violently.

Previously, every time Trump got behind a lectern or mike stand, he'd reach into his suit pants and yank out his semi-erect prick and jack off horrifyingly, smacking it down and punching it as he roared and screamed in pain and ecstasy, squeezing his nuts before beating them with the microphone, yowling like a wounded bison on a burning prairie as he came, bucking and thrusting in reaction, and then shoving his bloodied, bruised junk back into his silk drawers. Entertaining as hell, to be sure, but disturbing as fuck. For the most part, crowds loved it, and they would rush the stage when he was done to lap up the dribbled semen off the floor where Trump had just stood.

This kind of injurious self-pleasure might work in the primaries. But, certainly, he'd have to change for the general election, at some point. So it was that Trump came out to speak at the Trump Soho in New York City, which you know got paid a mighty sum for the privilege of hosting the event. The GOP's standard bearer dropped his pants, stepped out of them, and folded them with great decorum, as if he was participating in a ritual as old as the nation. Then he calmly took out his small, flaccid penis and gently stroked himself to as full an erection as a man his age might get.

"Today I‘d like to share my thoughts about the stakes in this election," he said, and everyone instinctively flinched, as if he was about to jizz immediately. Instead, Trump took out some skin moisturizer and pumped it into his wee hands. All lubed up, he began to pull on his pud with diligence, rhythm, and purpose. "The insiders wrote the rules of the game to keep themselves in power and in the money. That’s why we’re asking Bernie Sanders’ voters to join our movement," he exclaimed, perhaps forgetting, perhaps ignoring the fact that he had called the Vermont senator "Crazy Bernie, crazy as a bedbug" just last week.

Yes, Trump maintained this mellower pace. Oh, sure, a few times it seemed like he was going to punish his own pecker, veering into the realm of insult with "Hillary Clinton may be the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency." But he always proceeded with the focus of someone who is wanking on principle, the most noble wanking there is. Even as he pulled in Benghazi and Libya and the email server and people killed by undocumented immigrants, Trump stayed on task, maintaining a nearly martial precision to his rhythm.

By the time he got to the end, with his declaration of "We are going to make America rich again. We are going to make America safe again. We are going to make America Great Again – and Great Again For everyone," he silently paused and brought himself to orgasm, closing his eyes as his dickhole spit out a bare drop or two of spooge. It was quickly wiped up by an aide. Then he merely tucked himself back in, quietly put back on his pants, waved to the crowd, and walked out.

The gathered reporters and voters were besides themselves with awe. "Is this the "new," "mature" Trump?" they wondered. They wanted to know if this was the mythical pivot from blithering primary idiocy to more considered general election rhetoric. Yes, he did exploit the very things that people have been told to hate about Hillary Clinton, a litany that anyone who pays attention to politics could rattle off readily. Yes, he delivered his broadside as if he hadn't just been given electric shocks to his nipples. You could practically hear the glee in the voices of the CNN and MSNBC anchors as they reported on the new version of the new, reasonable, calmer Trump, like this might actually become a close race.

Calmer, perhaps, but, for fuck's sake, do we not notice that he's still just jacking off on us?

6/21/2016

So You've Decided to Assassinate Donald Trump...

So you've decided to assassinate Donald Trump. If so, this pamphlet is for you.

You might think you have the best intentions, like killing the man who would bring misery to millions if he's elected president. Or you might think that you're going to be the one to stop New Hitler. Or maybe you just don't like his stupid face. If this describes you, read on for a few things to bear in mind as you pack your gun and figure out your escape route or the best place to stand if you're going for the suicide bombing.

First, let's imagine that you've succeeded, that the Secret Service or the police didn't take you down, that you were able to get past security and shoot him right in the heart or go all sniper from a distance or blow him up. Your success is not a reason to celebrate with your anarchist or whatever pals or your fellow dead Muslims. In fact, you should anticipate that you might unleash unintended reactions.

1. Chances are that your actions would give every Trump-loving yahoo with some assault-type weaponry the excuse to go completely bugfuck insane and things'd get mighty shooty pretty quickly. The Republican candidate has attracted lots of gun-humpers who love to sashay around outside his events like debutantes showing off the latest taffeta fashion statements. They are just aching, throbbing, and aroused, hoping that they'll get the sign that the liberal genocide can begin. Your murder of their tangerine godhead would be as good a reason as any to declare the war has begun.

2. Dead Trump is not necessarily any less powerful than Live Trump. As any crazed religious zealot will tell you between barking maniacal prayers about eternal pain and wrath and other shit, a martyr can have as much or more of an effect than some raving fucknut. All of a sudden, even those who are not inclined to get all bullet-happy will feel as if they have to act to redeem the beliefs of the murdered cult leader...sorry, candidate. There will always be opportunists who will step in to fill the void left by the bloodied, cold corpse of Donald Trump. They are his true heirs, they will say, the ones who will build a wall with the bones of their enemies, with a moat filled by refugee children's tears. They are even more devolved versions of the debased man himself. We can call them "Sarah Palin."

3. And you'd end up making the repressive security apparatus kick into high gear as the federal government, spurred by rabid Republicans who will newly find their love of Trump, releases all of its tyrannical powers on anyone who has even whispered a vaguely threatening thing about the candidate. Like a certain blogger who regularly tweets about the need to punch Trump in the nuts.

4. Chances are that you won't succeed in assassinating Donald Trump. But you might maim him, and, if history and movies have taught us anything, a wounded crazy man is infinitely more dangerous than a whole one. Let's not even get into what would happen if you missed your shot and took out Melania, but, certainly, the word "purge" would come up. You will also have a semi-martyr effect, except now Trump with an eye patch and half a nose will be endowed with some kind of mystical powers, as if he can't be killed. This would have the inevitable result of drawing a sympathy vote and will more than likely create the exact opposite effect than the one you desire.

So sit tight, dear assassin, and just don't do it. You don't need to worry about taking out Trump. He's doing a good enough job of that without your interference.

(Note: If you are a time traveler who was sent back here to prevent a dystopian hellscape from occurring, or if you've got Dead Zone-like psychic powers and can see Trump blowing up the world, well, you do what you think is best.)

6/20/2016

A Millennial Speaks: Thank You, Bernie Sanders

This blogger has mentioned his contentious discussions with the millennial generation. So he reached out to one, R. Sharp, to see where he stood on moving forward in a post-Bernie election. This is what he wrote. It's optimistic in a way that younger people need to be, but it's realistic in that it's tempered with an understanding of the work that still needs to be done. Check it out:

Thank You, Bernie Sanders

In this year's election cycle we have seen many different views of what America should look like according to a few handpicked, privileged individuals. Like many others, I didn't really give a shit what these corporate puppets had to say. In my mind this country was set in its ways and nothing would ever change. It wasn't until the junior senator from Vermont changed that perception. Bernie Sanders showed me that there was at least one person in Washington who truly cared about the rest of us. His call for economic, racial, and political justice was new and refreshing to me. His so-called "radical" ideas for breaking up the big banks and providing free college tuition and healthcare struck a chord with me. Bernie Sanders made me want to learn more about politics and how our government works.

For months I did my research, constantly watching CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. I read online articles from opposing sides of each issue and watched countless documentaries that forced me to question my convictions or my lack of them. Never in my life had I cared this much about politics. Bernie was a saint to me, always calling out the injustices in our society and laying out coherent plans to fix them. He spoke of the greed of the 1% and how they managed to make billions for themselves while countless starving children spent their nights on the streets with no hope for a better life. I asked myself: What could I do to change this? I found the rather obvious answer quickly: I could vote.

The voting process was always sort of a scam to me. It was just the government trying to convince the common people they had a voice that could change things, when, in reality, they already had everything predetermined, bought and paid for. It wasn't until my searching opened my eyes and made me realize the true power of the vote. I immediately registered and took every opportunity I had to spread the word among my friends, co-workers, and peers. The message was simple, maybe even naive: you can have an impact on our society if you vote.

So now here we are, five months from another election that will shape the future of our nation. Sadly, Bernie has been defeated in his bid for the White House. However, his ideals and proposals have shaken the foundation of the Democratic Party, if not all of American politics. His words have resonated with millions in every state, and he has gathered a dedicated following of young people.

My message to those who are disappointed with Sanders' primary loss is this: Stay with it. Use that fire you have burning within and put it in action. Stand up for the change you want to see, stand up for what's right, and please, for the love of God, stand up and vote in November. If you are a Bernie supporter who doesn't care anymore because he is out of the race, reevaluate yourself. Remember how Bernie inspired you to give a damn.  Vote for what Bernie stands for, but more importantly vote for what you stand for. Vote so that Bernie’s beliefs can at least have a chance to become real with the next president. If you don't, we could end up with an orange-skinned super villain in office come January.

I've had to face that the American dream as we thought we knew it is dead and gone. So many people in this country are doomed to failure the second after they are born. Whether it's because of where they live, how much money their parents make, or the color of their skin, there are millions of us who will never have the opportunity to better themselves.

When I was in grade school my teacher asked the class a simple question: What is the American dream? My friend's hand shot up immediately. "The American dream is when you make a lot of money and don't have to work," he said.

My teacher was in shock, he shook his head and rubbed his eyes. "That's what's wrong with your generation," he said. "The American dream is about being self sufficient and supporting those you love, it's about having opportunities open for you regardless of class and social status. Everyone gets a shot at success." You can imagine how a room full of adolescents reacted to this. No one cared. We thought Teach had lost his grip with reality. It wasn't until now that I realize what he meant and what’s been lost and how we might get it back.

Thank you, Bernie Sanders, for inspiring me to care about the future of this country. For opening my eyes and allowing me to see the world through a different lens. Thank you for your spirit, and, most of all, thank you for making me wake up and join the fight.

6/17/2016

Photos That Really Bring the Awfulness of this Week Together in One Idiotic Image


Left to right, those men with the guns are Bifkin, Gooch, the Grundle, and Uncle Taint. They were outside the boot-scootin' joint, Gilley's, in Dallas yesterday where Donald Trump was continuing his election year road show, What Crazy Shit Will This Dumbfuck Say Today?

The Perineum Four up there wanted to show how much they love them some Second Amendment and, to them, a spray-tanned man who lives in a fancy golden apartment is just the candidate to stand up for them and their mighty weapons of self-defense and ground-standing. Well, Trump did say his daughter was hot enough for him to date, so they probably understand him better than most.

It's the perfect image for the end of this terrible week, only missing a t-shirt with Vladimir Putin riding an alligator on it: A quartet of skeevy men, armed and hoping it's gonna be go time some day, outside a political rally where a candidate tells them everything they feel about outsiders and Mooslims is right.

Fuck this week. Fuck this year. Fuck this election. But mostly, today, fuck those four poor suckers who have bought into every lie shoved into their brains by Alex Jones, Sean Hannity, and, yeah, the modern Republican Party. They're pathetic men who believe that their masculinity and their freedom are measured by their ability to keep and bear as many fuckin' arms as they can afford, not understanding how very weak and scared they actually seem.