Walkin' Away, Walkin' Away:
The image is seared in the Rude Pundit's head, one that he created this week: George W. Bush masturbating furiously while watching The Passion of the Christ. So the Rude Pundit is taking a walk today, into the sweet, ether-like, pseudo-spring air, hoping the pollution is blown far enough out to sea to just kill whales and pirates, and then he will get stinking drunk.

Back Monday with "Why Andy Rooney Should Sodomize Bill O'Reilly With a Microphone."


The Bush Superhighway of Economic Doom, Part 2 - "This May Be Long, But, Being Unemployed, I've Got Time":
The Rude Pundit continues his series of stories from the frontlines of the unemployment office. And today, with jobless claims up this week, even as the gross domestic product rises, we realize that the vast majority of billionaires really, really, could give a shit less about those who make them their billions. So, unlike Bill O'Reilly, who talks about "the folks" without ever actually allowing one of them to speak on his program, here at the Rude Pundit, we want to let the folks do the talking for themselves. Here's a minimally edited story from Chris:

"The first time I really came into contact with George W. Bush was when he was still the Texas Governor and he was coming through Michigan to get people to vote for him. I was tutoring football players at the time, and Bush was using the football team's weight room. I struck up a conversation with one of the Secret Service men, and he was happy to let me say hi. So once Bush had finished exercising, I approached him. The details of the conversation I won't go into, except to say that he was either off in his own world or couldn't be bothered by talking with an 'average' constituent. In fact, he acted fairly annoyed after I said anything other than, "Hi," and left me in the middle of a question to get a photo op with the football coach. Needless to say, I was satisfied when he lost the Michigan primary.

"So I have a pretty good reason to dislike him personally. But I did try to give him a fair chance as a leader, a chance which I think it's safe to say he has blown completely. And now for the tale of unemployment...

"I was an editor for an online learning company in the waning days of the dot com boom. It was a great company to work for, founded by some truly great guys who, while they may have had their faults, were good leaders. Of course, they sold the company to a national corporation that had a board of directors with roughly the same combined IQ as ear wax. This, of course, led to the corporation's president offering biannual reports on how great everything was, and how great everything was going to be. After the first round of layoffs, the term 'liar' was applied more than once. Then the local leadership was changed as the original founders got bought out (and apparently took the corporation to court when the board tried to worm their way out of the buyout with some now-worthless stock).

"I got laid off on September 12, 2002. It was explained to me later from another employee that they would have laid me off one day earlier, but they didn't want to appear 'insensitive.' Nice of them, right? So I filed for unemployment along with about 30 other people that session. That was when it started hitting me just how bad things were.

"I'll be honest: unemployment sucks like a black hole. You get just above minimum wage, which covers you more than adequately provided you don't have student loans or a medical condition that requires you to take one pill a day. Since I suffer from depression, if I don't take my daily 'happy pill,' life starts to become a literal living hell. I'm glad I've managed to put my student loans on hold, but your health is not something you can put off 'till later.

"So I'm looking for work, only to discover that no one needs my kind of skills right now. I'm an editor and administrator, two jobs which fall by the wayside when times get tight. You don't need to be 'efficient' or 'correct,' apparently--just get the product out the door and let the client deal with the mess. I would move if I could, but the expenses required with
moving are prohibitive in and of themselves. You can't move unless you're willing to run from your creditors and lie to your prospective landlords, and I'm not willing to do that. On the other hand, that apparently worked pretty well for Bush.

"Now, according to George 'WMD' Bush, the economy is picking up and jobs will soon be sprouting up all over the country. I would like to point out though, that he is currenntly employed, and he has so many billion dollars to fall back on. Not like the rest of us. In large part, the average citizen needs a job, because with mortgages, car loans, and credit
cards, a lot of people live from paycheck to paycheck. And guess who doesn't care if you've lost your job? If you selected 'all of the above,' you would be correct. I've been fortunate so far; I've managed to juggle bills and other
expenses while only incurring the wrath of a couple collection companies.

"Some friends, on the other hand, have not been so fortuante. One guy I know is about to declare bankruptcy--he simply can't afford to pay all his expenses right now. And unlike me, he's got computer skills--the supposed 'golden egg' of industry.

"So I'm running out of unemployment, and unless I'm willing to slave away at McDonalds or do stock at Meijer's, I'm kind of out of luck. I've got sympathy from my friends, but you can't eat sympathy. And of course Bush is telling us how we need to invade foreign countries who may or may not have terrorists in them, how same-sex marriage is the greatest threat facing the world after that, and how his policies may create 2.6 million new jobs, but don't hold him to that.

"I don't know if Bush has ever been in a situation where he hasn't had a spare million to fall back on, but apparently he thinks that the general public would love to be working at McDonald's, Burger King, L.L. Bean, and Ambercrombie and Fitch. After all, we got college degrees to serve him and his millionaire friends, right? And what does it matter if we do this by working for their subsidiaries or by providing them their clothes and food, grateful that we should have the opportunity to interact with such godlike people?

"So that's my report from the front lines. It's a battlefield out there, and I sincerely hope things won't get worse before they get better."

Once again, the Rude Pundit doesn't vouch for the facts of the story, but it seems sadly true.

Keep the stories coming. Send your tale of being stalled and run over by a semi on the superhighway to: rudepundit@yahoo.com.


Tomorrow: More Tales of the Jobless
Hear from people in their own words as they travel the Bush Superhighway of Economic Doom. And keep your e-mail stories coming.
What If You Started a Culture War and Nobody Came?:
As it should, this all comes back to Janet Jackson's star-pierced boob. Because the right wing's mock "outrage" over the incident has allowed it to show its true face: a scolding parent looking around at American citizens as a bunch of rude children. When the FCC announced hearings on said starry teat, most Americans looked at each other with a quizzical "what the fuck?" Today the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet is holding a hearing to talk about the FCC's enforcement of rules against "broadcast indecency." This, of course, comes on the heels of mega-evil corporate entity Clear Channel's decision to suspend the Howard Stern Show for violating Clear Channel's "zero tolerance" policy towards vulgarity. This takes Stern off in six major markets, including South Florida and Pittsburgh. (Not to get into a whole debate over Howard Stern and his show since even Stern recognizes that this is about so much more than his show, but here's a place with a summary of what has gone on this week on the program in good stalker fan obsessive style: go to the part about Rick Saloman, Paris Hilton banger. Also, it's fascinating that Clear Channel has turned on Stern soon after Stern turned on Bush; lately, Stern has been firmly anti-Bush and has been talking about electing Kerry to replace W.)

Add into the mix the fact that the whole marriage "protection" amendment was met with a collective yawn, and Senators (of both parties) were lining up to oppose it, pretty much dooming it. And you know now that Republicans are looking to cut their losses, that Bush is a sinking ship, and it's time to get away from its drag.

Here's what has happened - jump on, it's gonna be a fast train: Clinton's impeachment was about political posing. Like kidnapped Mexican girls forced to finger themselves for MiniDV cameras to please Americanos in Peoria, Republicans used the blow job lie as a way to please the fundamentalist base and conservative scolds who give them money and hand jobs. And it was a symbolic way to punish Clinton for the sins of the boomer generation. Except one thing they didn't count on: Americans didn't care. They didn't want Clinton kicked out of office. Americans knew that it was a set-up, and Congress backed down after impeachment. Bush is installed in office. One of the reasons he even got as many votes as he did is because the right was successful in making people so disgusted with the political system, they stayed home. Everyone realizes they elected a doofus. 9/11 happens. Bush and his cronies use it as an excuse to enact every evil policy they've wanted, under the guise of national security. Then we find out there's no WMDs, that Bush lied to our faces, constantly, repeatedly, every chance he got, he had lied to us. And that means he has lost all credibility. So what's left for Bush, once he has been raped by the facts? Ahhhh, Janet shows her titty, Massachusetts says it loves the gays. Let's start the culture wars. Except this: like Clinton's blow job, most Americans don't fucking care about Janet's titty. And, really, if pushed, most Americans don't want their consitution amended to limit freedoms (and let's not even get started on that slippery, slime-covered slope). And (this is not unrelated) most people will not go to see Mel Gibson's Jesus-gets-beaten flick because of overriding faith in Christ - they'll go for the reason people go to snuff films: to see how cool the violence is. Bush is wrong. Bush has miscalculated. His ass is showing. And the Clear Channel ban on Stern is going to be a major pain in the ass for Bush because of how closely aligned Clear Channel and the adminstration are.

Why? Because the ban on the Stern show is one of those ways, like environmental disasters and the bizarre popularity of Adam Sandler, that we can see how the administration's support for corporate megalomania has an effect on one's day-to-day lives. Michael Powell's repressed libido might just be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Either that, or the Bushies know they're gonna steal the election, so it doesn't matter what the fuck they say or do anymore.

And, p.s., Rosie O'Donnell's gettin' hitched to a chick in San Francisco.


The Passions of the Bush:
Here's what the Rude Pundit would like to think went on at the White House last night: after Laura had gone to bed, still weeping gently at the thought of the lost dog Spot, but still smelling the urine on the presidential seal rug in the hallway, President Bush walked into the room with the big plasma screen television and he had the Secret Service agent pop in the DVD he had been sent of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. Bush was pleased with himself, for having made a half-hearted attempt to save the Presidency of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who had always been uppity to Bush I, and "failed," and, of course, for his speech supporting an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ban gay marriages and, probably, depending on who you asked, civil unions. We will return to this scene of gentle bliss and mellow calm in watching Jesus get the shit whipped out of him.

Let's not parse the words of the "speech" Bush made, except to say that, of course, "activist judges" are in the eye of the beholder. One might think that a judge who supports overturning Roe v. Wade, like, say, William Pryor (given a recess appointment) might be thought of as an "activist judge." One might think that the Supreme Court, when it overturned Jim Crow laws in the South, was filled with "activist judges." It's a term with so little value to the discussion but so well-crafted that you know Karl Rove gets a Pavlovian woody whenever Bush says it. Let's not venture too far into the hypocrisy of the sentence "Marriage cannot be severed from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening the good influence of society," because, again, as a series of random, push-button words, it is a meaningless sentence, without real context, without a real sense of how history changes institutions and word definitions and rights and how things that were once considered "natural," like, say, the inferiority of blacks, are now not seen that way.

And let's not get too far into the whole wording of the proposed amendment that seems to have the most support, from Colorado Republican Marilyn Musgrave, which reads: "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups." Not only does the wording seem to guarantee years of court battles over whether it allows civil unions, but if one breaks it up, much like the NRA wackos do the 2nd Amendment, it actually appears to say that one state does not have to recognize any marriage from another state. So, like, if Utah gets pissed at California, Utah can say, "Fuck you. We won't give any 'legal incidents' of marriage to your couples." In other words, it's a weasel, cover-your-ass amendment, one that is guaranteed to fail, one that is just meant to give a good hand job to those who are lined up to bring their children to the movies to watch Jesus get flayed with a barbed whip in all its bloody glory.

Goddamn, it's gonna be great to hear those nails get hammered in Dolby Digital surround sound.

No, instead, let's just talk about the pure, opportunistic, vivid hatred and political desperation that this proposed amendment represents. Let's say that those who would seek to use the Constitution as a way of limiting freedom seek to live in a country that is not America. Let's say that any vile, squirming, worm-like politician who hides under the cover of gaybashing is actually a politician who has little to say on the things that matter to people and instead prefers to traffic in anger, division, and bile. What fuckers. What hubris. What nonsense.

And you know what's funny? Seeing all the Republican queers a-twitter in outrage, as if they didn't know the bathhouse they were getting sodomized in and who was doing the anal thrusting. The Log Cabin Republicans are pissed. Says their executive director, who is, well, gay, "We are disappointed that some Republicans leaders have abandoned the conservative principles on which this party was built. Liberty, equality and Federalism form the bedrock of Republican values. The President and some other leaders in our party have turned away from these principles to satisfy the radical right in an election year. Simply put, this is politics over principle . . . Leaders of the Republican Party often speak of tolerance for gay and lesbian Americans. We agree with this sentiment, but GOP leaders must remember that actions are more important than words." Cutely, they still state a commitment to the party to fight against the amendment but support the GOP as a whole: "Log Cabin will stay in the GOP and fight—fight for fairness, liberty and equality," not realizing that the 21st century GOP doesn't stand for any of those things. Oh, and that bonesmoker Andrew Sullivan is apoplectic, blowing out a gasket on his betrayal by his conservative comrades. Welcome to the party, bitches. You gotta dance with the devil you courted.

Oh, there will be more, there will be more to say about this subject, like what a punk ass bitch John Kerry was in his response, supporting an amendment as long as it allowed civil unions, but instead, let's head back to the White House last night.

There's Bush, sitting, alone now, the Secret Service stationed outside the door, Karl Rove meeting his leather slave in the basement, and the Gibson Jesus show is on. And there's the Roman centurions, ripping the skin off Christ with their lashes, and Bush feels a stirring in his loins, something not unakin to arousal, and he gets hard thinking about the suffering of his Lord, and he begins to fondle himself at the sight of the bleeding Savior. Goddamn, it's so fucking hot that he died for my sins, he thinks, masturbating furiously now as the crown of thorns is forced onto Christ's head. And when the nails are hammered, when the music surges, as Bush is spanking his cock harder and harder, squealing like a sacrificed goat, Christ's hands are impaled. Bush comes, staring at those hands, smirking, thinking, Now that's what I call holy. Now that's what I call holy.


Beware: Suicide Bombers in the Classroom:
So, like, Rod Paige, the Secretary of Education, "jokingly" called the National Education Association a "terrorist organization," just like Hamas, Al-Qaeda, and the Aryan Nation (but not, you know, the KKK). 'Cause, you know, the 2.7 million teachers who work for shit pay, under conditions that would drive most people screaming into the streets, under bureaucratic pressures and parental pressures and administrative pressures were dissin' the Prez by not worshipping at the altar of "No Child Left Behind," because, you know, they're the ones that actually have to implement the misguided, underfunded attempt to wreck public education as we know it. Under Paige's thinking, that means, even jokingly, they should be equated with car bombers, building bombers, kidnappers, and paid thugs.

Sure, sure, Paige later apologized for his "choice of words," but not, you know, the sentiment (he didn't say that, but it's the implication). It's quite the little picture at the arrogance, anger, and hatred at the core of this administration. Here's the Secretary of Education who, by no large leap of logic, oughta be supporting educators, essentially placing the administration and adherence to its programs above any consideration of criticism, above the average citizen, above all else, like some kind of, let's see, fundamentalist dogma. If Paige was a whore (and who's to say he isn't, although "back door negro" might be better), he'd be the type that rolls her johns because her pimp wants her to bring back the cold, hard cash money.

And let's pause here to remember a not as well-known story as it should be: the "Texas Miracle," which was one of the loudest-brayed successes of Governor Bush's Texas "education" program, in which, seemingly overnight, in the Houston school district, superintended by Rod Paige, the dropout rate seemingly disappeared overnight. However, in a now familiar pattern with the Bush administration, the Texas Miracle was, like most "miracles," a lie. Students who dropped out were essentially disappered from the education system, given statistical codes that indicated they transferred to private schools or took the GED. Or they changed the definitions of what they were or, in one fun case, prevented stupid kids from taking standardized tests so the scores would be higher. Even on a basic statistical level, the "Miracle" was more a lot of spin than anything else. Paige, in 2003, called the charges "inflammatory."

Of course, in 2000, when the "miracle' was being touted as holy beyond holy, there were those, like Linda McNeil of the Rice University Center for Education, who were strenuously waving their arms to say it was a sham, but, alas, once believers see miracles, then, no matter how many times you say, "No, that potato does not look like the Virgin Mary," they will see virgins in their spuds. That's how fundamentalists believer: with dishonest clinging, with hate for those who would say a potato is a potato is a potato.

In terrorist organizations, people who commit violence, or are successful in extorting concessions from those the organization opposes, are rewarded. Sometimes monetarily, sometimes with promises of paradise in the afterlife when the suicide bombing is done. Rod Paige was elevated from district school superintendent to Secretary of Education. Terrorist organizations have, at bottom, a stake in protecting their foundational beliefs, against all those who would threaten them. And they would kill those who try to teach another way.


Unemployment Story Update:
Keep the stories coming (see Friday, February 20 for more info). Some sad, angry, and petulant ones have already arrived. Bring it on.
Nader Agonistes:
What is it about great people that when they get old they do shit that casts a pall on everything they've done before? The great leftist author John Dos Passos should have been shot in the California desert before he wrote his final works, when he repudiated all of the pro-worker, socialist, anti-authoritarian, kick you in your nuts novels of his early career. The Romantic poet William Wordsworth found his young self foolish and believed his suck-ass later poems superior to his exultant verse. Shit, from the other side, what the fuck happened to George Wallace? Here's a guy who spent his entire life defying federal law, sowing racism and hate, and generally being a huge asshole, even getting shot for his hatred, and then, in the last part of his life, he says, oh, motherfuck, I gotta get into heaven, so I better hug me some negroes. Just like socialists with Dos Passos, you can bet more than one old-time lynchin' racist wondered if George Wallace had lost his mind.

Now, Ralph Nader hasn't abandoned his principles, totally, but what the fuck? His run was relevant last time because many people believed the bullshit that Bush was spouting about "compassion," not realizing that in Bushspeak, "compassion" equals "cruelty with a pretty name" (naming a program that seeks to destroy the atmosphere "Clear Skies" is a little like calling a "paddle spanking" an "ass rub"). And Nader's 2000 run was relevant because if we took Bush at his word (as many people did, not realizing that "honesty" actually means "lie but look like you're telling the truth"), then, no, there was no qualitative difference between Gore and Bush, and someone needed to stand up and say, "Look over here, at the rest of America, we count, too." You don't believe it? Look at the transcript of the second Gore/Bush debate. The Rude Pundit lost count after Gore agreed with Bush over seven times on different issues. So, by Gore's own admission, Nader was right. (And, again, the Rude Pundit believes that Gore defeated Gore by not embracing the Clinton legacy, and Nader was a slight factor, but all those who think that Gore would have won if he had gotten all of Nader's votes ought to factor in the idea that some of those Nader voters would have just stayed home without Nader in the race.)

Goddamn, Nader is a kickass son of a bitch. Look at this Salon profile of him from 1996. The littany of things Nader has accomplished has become legend in America: seat belts, air bags, the Consumer Protection Agency (fuck, even thinking that consumers had voices that industry and politicians would listen to is something we can thank Nader for), Freedom of Information Act, and the Clean Air Act all are in some way directly linked to Nader's activism. Here is someone who decided that the Constitution really meant what it said, and he actually believed that a private citizen has a voice in this country. Motherfuck, we need that more than ever now, you know?

But instead, Nader has squandered that legacy in a run at the White House. This was said in 2000, when he wouldn't drop out at the last minute, but now, like Gore in the debates, we have proof of what is being done to America by the Republicans. And a great deal of it involves dismantling everything Nader has worked for. FOIA? Access reduced or limited to the words of those who the citizens elect and pay. Clean Air Act? See above. Everything this administration does is to wreck those things that Nader has worked his whole life to achieve.

Oh, what Nader has lost. He could have gotten back in the good graces of those who have supported him his whole career. Even he knows that single activists need compatriots, otherwise they are consigned to the street corners, ranting madly into the din of the traffic. Instead, under the cover of activism, saying that "Washington is corporate-occupied territory, and the two parties are ferociously competing to see who is going to go to the White House and take orders from their corporate paymasters," Nader has rendered himself irrelevant. Fuck, sure they're all beholden to interests, but you know what? The Rude Pundit would rather have the guy who at least attempts to do some good and, oh, fuck, maybe doesn't want to isolate America from the rest of the world. Nader could have gone the Howard Dean route and exited the stage to start a movement that the Democrats would have to respond to. But, no, no, sorrowfully no.

George Washington knew how to do it. His time in office done, he walked away. Bill Clinton seems to be doing the same. It's twilight for Nader, and let's hope he doesn't drag the rest of us into his deluded darkness.


A Story From the Front Line of White Collar Unemployment:
Since stories abound about how "jobs" and "trade" are now the hot issues in the presidential campaign, and since all of the candidates are awfully damn fond of talking about this particular jobless person or that without actually allowing said jobless person to speak for him/herself, the Rude Pundit is sharing an e-mail he received about a reader's search for dignity and worth in this Bushwhacked economy. In a minimally edited/corrected form, here it is:

"I grew up in LA, but moved to SF in 1984 to go to college. I stayed in the Bay Area, more or less, until 2000. I had previously been involved with the Dot Com boom. Honestly the whole thing appalled me; the unbridled greed and arrogance was more than I could take. Also, as a history major, and probably one of the few people in this country to actually learn from history, I KNEW the Dot Com thing was a bubble. So I got out while I was ahead, and moved to LA where there is a wider variety of industries to choose from. No, I did not, and do not, want to enter the entertainment industry. I grew up around Hollywood elites, and am not in the least bit star-struck and don't feel attracted to the industry at all. I've seen it from the inside, and it ain't such a much.

"I got a job pretty quick. Although history is my passion, accounting is what pays the bills. I ended up at a medium-sized light-industrial company in beautiful N. Hollywood. They do bulk mailings. It was run by a two brothers and a sister. And 90% of the 165 workers were recent immigrants from Latin America (all legal). The one brother who was owner and the sister ran the place like their little fiefdom; people got fired on the spot for no reason, communication from the bosses generally took the form of expletive-laced screaming, the workers were terrified of them, and they were expected to be grateful when once a year they MAYBE got a 25 cent raise added to their minimum wage salaries.

"Oh, and then there was the fraud; the siblings being reimbursed by the company for such business expenses as Zales Jewlers and the Luau Bar at the Honolulu Hilton - paperwork that I had to OK and sign off on. One of my pre-Dot Com incarnations in SF had been as a union steward. So I can't tell you how many times I wanted to hop up on a table in the warehouse and pull a Norma Rae. Oh, and on top of it all, the owner brother was a fundamentalist Christian who left his Christian principals at the church door; he was the most greedy, most tyrannical of the whole family. Perhaps the fact that most of his employees were Catholic made them subhuman in his eyes.

"Well, needless to say, I didn't last long. I got 'laid off' in November 2000 (the week of Thanksgiving) for refusing to sign financial paperwork that I considered fraudulent at worst, and unethical at best. Very Enron-esque. However, revenge really is best served cold. First thing I did when I got home was to put a call in to the IRS fraud hotline. NEVER piss off your accountant. They know where your financial skeletons are hidden. It took a year, but they were audtied and got into vast shitloads of trouble. Heh heh.

"However, since then, I have been unemployed. The economy here in LA fell apart right when I lost my job. I have been temping ever since. And while now things are beginning to look better, it's been a long difficult coupla years. I had to declare bankruptcy for one thing.

"Have you ever been a temp? It is THE 21st Century form of slavery. I call it a modern form of slavery because the temp has no control over what happens to him/her, at least in terms of work. You have to be willing to work anywhere, for any salary, under any conditions, because even temp jobs are difficult to find. The agency that assigns you has all the power; no matter how bad it is, it is in their interest to keep you on site for as long as possible. And if you quit, you are then put on the Shit List, and that agency will not find you any more work. And, given that the temp agency biz is so incestuous, chances are that the agent who put you on the List will show up in one of the other agencies at some point (LA itself has only three major agencies that handle accounting temps.) So in temping, your reputation makes or breaks you. Additionally, as a temp you are the kleenex of the labor market; I can't tell you how many times I've gone home at night to find a message from the agency saying 'Don't go in tomorrow. They don't want you any more.' Boom. That's it. No work. Fortunately for me, I have an excellent reputation.

"To say the least, temping is such a degrading, de-humanizing experience, that your self esteem takes a real hit. For much of 2001 and 2002 I was clinically depressed and borderline suicidal. And of course I had no health insurance, so I couldn't get treatment.

"Right now, my chances of getting a job are getting better and I have several irons in the fire. I got through my depression and no longer want to off myself. So I am recovering, no thanks to any government program (I make too much money to qualify for anything, but I don't make enough to actually provide for anything as a single un-childed person other than the bare bare essentials) or anything. I suppose the Republicans could use me as their poster child. However the last three years radically changed my philosophy of life, killed my previously abundant optimism and positive outlook, and has really made the idea of participating in The System a repulsive one. Now I am a cynical, almost bitter person fast approaching middle age. I feel like a major chunk of my best years - my 30's - has been taken away from me by forces that were largely beyond my control (the recession, getting laid off, etc.) and while I've done everything I could to get by, I am definitely NOT better off than four years ago.

"I have two elderly parents in declining health. When they kick the bucket, I have made the decision to leave the country, most probably to Canada, where I have a cousin who could sponsor me (he went to Canada to escape Viet Nam). But even this makes me angry, because I'm not the only bright, intelligent, hard working, talented person who wants to escape this place. Nearly all my friends - men, women, straight, gay, white, non-white, etc. are at least fantasizing about leaving. And that's a sad state of affairs when the best people want to leave. I mean, that happens either in third world countries or dictatorships."

The Rude Pundit is not a "journalist," so, no, he can't vouch for the story, but the gut says it sounds awfully real and really awful (and a whole helluva lot more reliable than Matt Drudge).

Let's open this up. Send your stories of being sodomized by job loss and unemployment and what it means to be on the Bush Superhighway of Economic Doom to: rudepundit@yahoo.com.

This is a call to all the places that link to the Rude Pundit - put out the word that this blog wants these stories. If we receive some interesting ones, we'll print them. Let's put a human face on the degradation of the American worker.


Scraping Bottom:
The abstract concept of "only" 344,000 people applying for first-time unemployment benefits is being explained by "economists" as a sign that the weather has gotten better. Oh, and the economy is "sluggish" but improving. The Rude Pundit believes the number has dropped because employers are simply running out of people to fire. We've reached critical mass, that point where industries will not be able to function with less employees.

Of course, this bottoming out comes on the heels of the Bush administration's retreat from its ballsy lie that the economy would create 2.6 million jobs this year. Now follow the spinning ball of logic that is the Bush White House: the Economic Report of the President is sent to Congress last week. Of the motherfucking President. But now that same motherfucking President is saying he was wrong and his vile, depraved pile of horse feces called Scott McClellan defends said President by saying that the policies are the ones that Bush stands by, but it's the final outcome that's different. Said the horse feces, "The president is not a statistician." No, that's pretty fucking obvious by the way numbers make his face get all scrunchy. But it'd be nice if he acted like a President, huh? This is like when your family tells you, "We're going on a trip to Disneyland," and then packs you in the car, only to cross the border into Tijuana to sell you into sexual slavery, where you can suck the cocks of terminally psychotic American executive-pedophiles for pennies on the dollar. See? They're both road trips, just with different outcomes. One involves Mickey Mouse. The other involves a short life of constant beatings, sodomy, and torture. But, goddamn, at least you get to ride in the car. Isn't that good enough for you?

Tomorrow: A true tale from the Bush superhighway of economic doom.


Buzzflash Visitors:
Scroll down for the NASCAR entry, but stay and enjoy all of the luscious rudeness.
They Don't Eat Meat, But They Sure Like the Bone:
In San Francisco, home of the Castro, the most color-coordinated neighborhood in America, homosexuals can't get married fast enough or in big enough numbers. And the two judges in the cases brought against the City of San Fran have said, weeelll, let's take a looky at this for a few minutes, or days, or months, depending on your judge. So the lines of sodomites continue around the block and the major media can't get enough of the images of kissing gay males and lesbians, celebrating their inclusion in the realm of the soon-to-be two-thirds divorced. Why has no stay been issued? Because the judges here realize one thing: no one is being hurt by the actions continuing. No one. "God" hasn't rained frogs, lava, or goat shit on our heads for this happening. No plagues. No rapture. Nothing. Shut the fuck up, homophobes, and wait in your compounds for the apocalypse.

And not to get all Polyphonic Spree here, but isn't this just a beautiful thing? Isn't this one of the coolest acts of civil disobedience you've seen in quite some time? Because it's such a "fuck you" to the right wing of the country from Democratic Mayor Gavin Newsom. Does it violate the "law"? Well, yeah, but the Let's-Lie-To-Ourselves-That-Straight-Marriage-Is-Perfect law probably violates the constitution of California, which says, "A person may not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law or denied equal protection of the laws." Now, the Rude Pundit is not a legal expert, but it seems that if yer gonna promise "equal protection," you either mean it or not.

So, for all those who want to support this but feel like it's an inevitability that the marriages will be halted and even annulled, spin it the way the Christian Right spins shit. Just like the Right says that pro-choice supporters are "baby killers," let's say that anyone who wants the weddings to stop and all those performed to be declared null and void believe that government should force people to divorce. Call 'em "marriage killers." What's wrong?, we can say, you want people to divorce? Is that what you're saying?

And as we head down the slobbity-bobbity slope to amending the U.S. Constitution to say . . .well, who the fuck knows, but you can bet it says that marriage is man and woman and let no one say otherwise or we're sending in the troops to squash your queer ass, here's our fearful leader on the subject: "I am watching very carefully, but I am troubled by what I've seen." The ambiguous "troubling" is rather "troubling." Is Bush troubled because it is awakening some latent anxiety in him, that perhaps, long ago, feeling the thrust of power between his legs that was his fighter plane, he realized that the firm control stick felt so good in his hands, that the force of engine and jettisoning of fuel made him feel things that he'd tried oh-so-hard to forget during all those Skull and Bones paddlings back in New Haven? Troubling, indeed.


Spinning as Fast as They Can:
The fascinating thing about George Bush's visit to NASCAR's Daytona 500 was not the pathetic sight of the President trying to be tough by proxy one more time. Nope, it was the metaphor of the spin out and crash and Bush's proximity to it that was most telling. Because, see, we're all sitting here now, in this America of ours, and we're watching that spin and crash happen in the Bush Adminstration. And like the driver in the seat of the twisting piece of wreckage that used to be a stock car, his anus clenched, hoping he doesn't go up in flames, hoping he doesn't piss himself into shame, Bush is reeling from all of the spin and slam.

It happens so fast these days, the statements, the lies revealed, the hyprocrisy shown. Take, for instance, the first Bush/Cheney ad attacking John Kerry as "unprincipled" for taking special interest money in his career while, now, railing against special interests. The ad even implies that Kerry supported policies for those who donated money. Of course, as the Washington Post and others showed within days of the ad's web debut, George Bush and Dick Cheney saying someone is beholden to the teat of corporate cash is a little like a diseased crack whore saying that some women who marry for money can be called "prostitutes." Bush has taken more than four times what Kerry has taken in lobbyist money. Oh, and the Bush administration has directly rewarded "Pioneer" donor lobbyists with ambassadorships and other jobs.

Take, for instance, Terry Holt, Bush's campaign press secretary, who, in a New York Times article on the lack of attacks ads on John Kerry from other Democrats, commented, "[Kerry] comes out of the primary without having answered the most basic questions regarding his readiness to be president, his clarity of philosophy. Those could be a problem down the line," adding that the Bush campaign would label Kerry "a liberal Massachusetts senator with a very lightweight record of accomplishment." Wow. Kinda mean, huh? But here's Holt on CNN this morning, saying that while Kerry runs ads making "personal attacks" on Bush (which sounds like Kerry has an ad saying "Bush is a big pussy and he cries when he comes," which, fun as it might be, Kerry does not), "I think people in this country want a hopeful message. They want to look forward. They don't want to go back to a time when everybody was shooting bullets at each other and it was a very negative campaign." So, like, they'd have to go back in time, to, say, last Thursday, when the attack ad came out?

Take, for instance, the debacle over the chair of the Bush's Council of Economic Advisors saying that "outsourcing" jobs, that is, sending them overseas and away from the greedy hands of unemployed Americans, is good for the economy. Ahh, it's always nice to see a glimpse into the unmitigated greed-filled soul of the White House in all its Mammon worshipping sliminess. Then came the backpedaling, because, you know, this is an election year, with the adviser offering an apology and Bush distancing himself again from another comment of his own people.

Oh, how this list could continue, with the triumphalist release of National Guard records that show that when Bush bothered to show up, he loved him some fighter jets, givin' him that coke-like rush of adrenaline that only high quality blow would be able to provide for him later in life. Of course, those records are still incomplete, and only the memories of those who claim they saw Bush in Alabama are valued.

Spin, baby, spin and try to avoid the wall and the other cars. Try to get control of the spin, 'cause once you smack the wall and the tires come off and the smoke starts pouring, you're out of the race.


Happy Presidential Valentine's Day
The Rude Pundit will be back on Tuesday. But enjoy the cuntistry of Ann Coulter below.


Why Ann Coulter Is Still a Cunt, Part 7 of an Endless Series:
So dogface she-bitch Ann Coulter decided in her latest "column" to attack former Senator Max Cleland's credentials to talk about Bush's time or lack thereof in the National Guard. Cleland, you might remember, is a Vietnam vet who had three limbs blown off in Vietnam and was defeated for the Senate when Saxby Chambliss, Republican cocksucker, put out a commercial that said because Cleland wanted union protection for workers in the new Department of Homeland Security, he was as good as Osama Bin Laden.

Spitting shit-smelling bile wherever she opens her mouth, Coulter claims that "Cleland lost three limbs in an accident during a routine noncombat mission where he was about to drink beer with friends. He saw a grenade on the ground and picked it up. " Of course, reality has a way of biting one on one's bony ass. Turns out that non-combat mission was the siege of Khe Sanh. Here's Fox "news" on that nearly three-month operation in 1968: "The base was under siege for 77 days (from January to April 1968). The 6,000 Marines and soldiers at the base were surrounded by a massive North Vietnamese Enemy Force numbering more than 20,000 by some estimates. Enduring unrelenting enemy fire, heavy casualties and dwindling supplies of ammunition, food and water, the Americans held their ground and broke the back of the enemy. Conditions at the base were stark: most were unable to shower for months, they often had to share their last drops of water or last bites of food with their buddies and enemy fire was so constant they had to live underground in bunkers for most of the siege." Damn, the Rude Pundit bets that was one awesome beer Cleland went for.

So here's what happened, from Veterans for Peace: "On April 8, 1968, during the siege of Khe Sanh, [Cleland] stepped off a helicopter and saw a grenade at his feet. He thought he'd dropped it. He was wrong. When he reached down to pick it up, it exploded, ripping off both legs and his right hand. He was 25." For good measure, let's put in the next paragraph: "He spent eight months recuperating at Walter Reed Army Hospital. On one of his first trips out of the hospital, an old girlfriend pushed him around Washington in his wheelchair. Outside the White House, the chair hit a curb and Cleland pitched forward and fell out. He remembers flopping around helplessly in the dirt and cigarette butts in the gutter."

Maybe, just maybe, Cleland should sue the Gucci off of Coulter for her line: "He didn't 'give his limbs for his country,' or leave them 'on the battlefield.' There was no bravery involved in dropping a grenade on himself with no enemy troops in sight."

When is somebody going to stop giving this fucking cunt a forum for her lies? When is she going to end up, coked out of her mind, swinging on a pole in a strip club in, say, Elizabeth, New Jersey, shovin' her little titties in men's faces for a buck, and when she offers her opinion on, say, the war, the good truck drivin' vets'll say, "You know, you'd be a lot prettier with my cock in your mouth"? You can bet she'll have to blow them for a quick ten spot.
Defining a Scandal:
Goddamn, sometimes the Rude Pundit loves Paul Krugman so much he wants to offer the Princeton economist and New York Times columnist a blow job. And after today's column, where Krugman tears the living shit out of the veil of "character" that surrounds George W. Bush, the Rude Pundit would be willing to lick Krugman's balls and jam his fingers up his ass to make him cum harder. And then the Rude Pundit would turn around and fuck the living shit out of Maureen Dowd for her column on the hypocrisy and cruelty of the Bush Administration. And then he'd beat the living crap out of David Brooks, just for shits and giggles and, oh, yeah, for this bit of doggerel that projects an actual thought process going on in the President.

And while the Rude Pundit is doing his damndest to pleasure and punish, let's throw out a special firebomb bag of shit at Matt Drudge, that creepy, perverted, fuckfaced stream of ratpiss. Because the tool of the right is at it again, with his "explosive" allegation that John Kerry may have fucked an intern. No details. Nothing. (And there will be no link because Drudge is, as mentioned above, a creepy, perverted, fuckfaced stream of ratpiss.) God, how many male prostitutes did Karl Rove have to tie up and offer to Drudge to get him to print this? Or, perhaps, the more interesting story is "Why is no one running with the story?"

Here's the deal, and it's really quick because the Rude Pundit has work to do: We're sick of it, we the people. We don't give a shit anymore who someone fucked. Because we now see the true face of scandal in the Bush Administration, and it's fucking ugly: it means people get killed on a whim. And no amount of allegations of extramarital fucking will ever balance the ledger against over 500 dead for lies. We know now that the Clinton "scandal" was about power. And that real scandal involves a government that has such contempt for its citizens that it feels they are disposable.

The major media know this: here's the Washington Post on how most people think "the truth was stretched" to justify war. So no one wants to lose viewers. Remember: conservative as the media is, it ultimately serves its own bottom line more than anything else. And Dowd and Krugman, among many, are able to articulate the truth about the savagely dishonest heart of the White House.

As Republicans begin to turn on the Bush Adminstration, somewhere in hell, the scorched soul of Richard Nixon is feeling gratified: "Now maybe those sons-of-bitches up there will have something else to talk about in the future besides Watergate, and my crimes will fade like so many Teapot Domes."


Rome Burns, Nero Fiddles (from Rude Two):
We've all heard the expression, "Nero fiddled while Rome burned." To be sure, Nero didn't actually have a fiddle. Violins weren't invented until the 16th century. Scholars say Nero was most likely reciting his poetry while accompanying himself on a lyre, but regardless, the phrase means "heedless and irresponsible behavior in the midst of a crisis."

21st Century Nero that he is, Bush stands on smoking kindling, tuning up the strings. President Bush, in an apparent attempt to change the subject from the sketchy documents regarding his military "service," re-re-re-re-reiterated his stance on WMD yesterday, moving to stop the proliferation of WMD. "Forget about Pakistan, gang, they get a pass, and sure I sort of recall serving somewhere around Alabama or Texas or some shit but it was 30 years ago and I was in a coke-addled haze -- not that it matters because I'm proud of my service so screw you and stop trying to make this a partisan thing because you know it's an election year and the fact that I was AWOL could cost me my job -- I mean just look at that liar Clinton, yeah hey look at Clinton, man he was a shitbag -- remember he got a blow-job," he might as well say.

Unlike the White House, let's be clear: Bush was no warrior. He won't admit it, and neither will his lackeys, who simply insist that the president was "proud" and "got paid." (Incidentally, if the Rude Pundit disappeared from military service and still got paid and got away with it for over 30 years and eventually became the leader of the free world, fuck yes, the Rude Pundit would be pretty fucking proud too, and would most likely fuck your sister for good measure).

While his presidency burns around him, reporters grill his press secretary about supposed official documents that are curiously and obviously incomplete (like, say, a few minutes of 30 year-old audio tape). Yet our sad little emperor plays on and on:

"The greatest threat before humanity today is the possibility of secret and sudden attack with chemical or biological or radiological or nuclear weapons," Bush said, apparently oblivious to just how many Americans want, you know, the truth about his military service before he sends more bona-fide American soldiers off to die looking for those pesky weapons no one has been able to find thus far.

"The former dictator of Iraq possessed and used weapons of mass destruction against his own people," he said, because, well, you know, shit, he's got nothing else to talk about, so why not kick it old school and keep mentioning twenty year-old history.

"Our message to proliferators must be consistent and must be clear: We will find you, and we're not going to rest until you're stopped." Bush said, sending a shudder down the spines of, well, fucking no one, because to date he and his administration have found virtually jack shit for weapons in the nearly three years since Sept. 11. (Hint: You're looking in the wrong fucking country, you monkey.) Hell, it's easy to secure a country from WMD when there are no fucking WMD. Why not secure America from dragon attacks and swarms of midgets, too? How about Smurf invasions, or Wookie attacks? And, you know, if you're gonna be against proliferation, well, stop proliferating.

Do Americans really care about finding WMD, about securing the homeland, about any of this WMD bullshit? Or do they care about something more abstract, like truth vs. lies? Or do Americans see the flames leaping at Bush's heels while he plays his tune -- the tune that we've all heard before, to the point that the melody is stuck in our heads like a fucking toilet paper jingle? (And, of course, Bush's words are not worth wiping with, as they are only single-ply and your fingers will push right through -- not very pleasurable, unless you're into manual anal stimulation, which is much like living in Bush's America.)

The Rude Pundit believes the same thing John Lennon believed: All we want is the truth. Unfortunately, seeking the truth in the White House is the equivalent of seeking WMD in Iraq: a waste of fucking time.

Rome is burning up. And maybe, just maybe, the Democrats live by the river.


Of Blood and Titties:
Oh, the sharks have smelled blood and there may just be a feeding frenzy. Yesterday, Scott McClellan got the equivalent of a bitch-slapping from the media, with one reporter saying, "I asked a simple question; how about a simple answer?" The White House was "taken aback" by the intensity of the questions, and, despite Bush's explicit promise to release all of his military records, he only released a few, which show, that, much like the mob boss's cousin who "works" for the local construction company, Bush got paid, even if no one knows if he showed up.

Why this story, after all this time? Because it's easy. Especially with Kerry in the race. It's easy to ask: did Bush weasel out of the weaseling he was doing by getting into the guard? Did a son of privilege abuse the privilege? You want class warfare? How about wrapping it up with real warfare? And if Bush can be outed as AWOL or too coked up to take a physical, then all the other ways in which this administration has lied can start tumbling out. The story's got it all: our great national anxiety over Vietnam and its meaning during a current war that has all the hallmarks of making America waist deep in the big sandy.

But, remember, we are dealing here with the pinnacle of the Lee Atwater/Newt Gingrichization of political viciousness when we talk about the fuckers running the President's re-election campaign. A wedge is not a wedge unless it's shoved so far up the rectum of the American electorate that it can't think about anything but the wedge issue. Hence, Bush will come out in favor of amending the Constitution to say gays can't get "married," with an eye on Kerry not supporting it. And, if it's not bad enough that Kerry loves fags, they will probe his every orifice to say, "Look, he has a pimple. He must have gotten it from a whore."

Except for one little thing: America is not the country the cretinous, verminous, soul-free pieces of shit in the Bush campaign (and administration) think it is. You know why? Because people love titties. And most people don't care about Janet Jackson's pierced titty, but Michael Powell, as a member of the Bush brigade, has made it his crusade to wipe the titty from our memory or to punish those who would enable viewing of the titty. Powell called the titty a "new low" in primetime television, apparently having very little memory of Manimal or Supertrain. Wanna talk about something shoved up someone's ass? However, most Americans don't fucking care about the titty or how many titties are on television.

Most Americans would welcome airwaves filled with titties if they knew they're leaders wouldn't lie to them, if they knew where to find jobs, if, if, if. So the major media are not fools. They can see the tide is turning against the Bush administration in the public eye. The Rude Pundit has heard tell that John King of CNN can smell an open wound even through the fecund fragrance of cherry blossoms in spring. Let the feeding begin.


Once You've Fucked a Goat:
As the Rude Pundit has said before, there's an old joke, one that goes something like this: A man is sitting at a bar, drinking, and he says to no one in particular, "A man can spend his life building bridges. Do they call him John the Bridge Builder? No. A man can spend his life raising crops. Do they call him John the Farmer? No. But you fuck one goat . . ."

It's the goatfucker theory of character. When someone does something appalling enough to change how you view him/her and his/her opinions on things. So, if John expresses his opinion on something, one can say, "Yeah, but you fucked a goat." Fair or unfair, it's the way things are. Unfair use of the principle of the goatfucker? Bill Clinton. Yeah, yeah, all that policy stuff is interesting and could probably make the country great again, but you got blown by an intern.

Fair use of the goatfucker axiom? Why, of course: the goatfucker-in-chief, George Bush. He's reached that point where anything he says is immediately suspect because he's been caught, very publicly, in a lie that turns him into a murderer. So, while strategists wonder what has gone wrong, why Bush's approval rating has plummeted like so many barrels over the falls, the answer is simple: he's fucked the goat. No one can look at him without thinking, "How do I know he's not lying? He stated something as a fact that wasn't a fact. He's lying just like his father did when he said 'Read my lip' and then raised taxes. Why should I trust a liar?"

And now every time Bush speaks, it is greeted with a yawn by the public, and it's met with derision by most intelligent people, even some on the right who are about to become rats abandoning a sinking ship no matter how frantically Karl Rove tries to patch the holes and beat the rats back into the hold. Take today's lie: in the Economic Report of the President, Bush predicts that his economy will create 2.6 million jobs in the next year. Goddamn, Jeane Dixon, Edgar Cayce, and Nostradamus would be proud. Of course, they were all wrong ninety percent of the time, but being able to see the future is a tricky business. To make this come true, the government better be paying Halliburton a helluva lot of money to build some shit in America. Or McDonald's better get busy. Or perhaps those jobs will go to all those soon-to-be verifiable immigrants/chattel on work permits.

It used to be charming, you know, all the "aw-shucks, I don't know jackshit but what my gut tells me" bullshit that spewed from Bush's mouth. Back in 2000, when the media wrecked Gore for know-it-all-ism (as if being smart ought not be a pre-requisite for the job of president), Bush was just a charming bumpkin to the nation. With the media as accomplice, Bush was able to portray himself as the Texas outsider, and, gosh, darn, America just needed some of those good ol' cowboy values like decency and strength. (Of course, cowboys also shot Indians for sport.) Check out the archives of the Daily Howler for the greatest dissection of this incredible enabling of the 2000 Bush campaign.

Now it's just so hollow. Like so many tyrants before him, Bush uses the old saw of "the ends justify the means" to defend his lies. But we're not so sure anymore, now that the goat has been fucked. It's why the National Guard Service is now suspect. Goat fucking forces you to go back and re-assess everything you believed about a person.

And when Bush stands there, tough at the State of the Union, allegedly open in the interview he asked for on Meet the Press, all we're looking for is his tell, that great poker term that means a player has something he/she does to indicate the bluff. What's Bush's tell? That's an easy one. Bush's tell is whenever he speaks.


Presidentin' Is Hard:
America has a retard for a president. A drooling mongoloid who should, at best, be locked into a Wal-Mart to clean the floors. Any objective look at Bush's Meet the Press interview demostrates that. It's not a question of what he knows, what he said, what he's lying about, what he's doing that he was told to do. It is simply a matter of objective reasoning: President George W. Bush is a 'tard. If you voted for him, you voted for a retarded man. And yesterday was talkin' time at the Karl Rove Special School for Presidentin'.

'Cause talkin' time at the special school is always fun: you get to hear how far the retards have come in their ability to use language. And it's so cute when they flounder around for something to say and then remember a phrase you taught them, like "shadowy terrorist network." Here it is in context: "[Hussein] had the capacity to have a weapon, make a weapon. We thought he had weapons. The international community thought he had weapons. But he had the capacity to make a weapon and then let that weapon fall into the hands of a shadowy terrorist network." See? It's easy. The teachers at Rove always tell the pupils to just keep talking until they remember something scarrrrry to say.

Ya gotta be careful, though, 'cause the retards sometimes say things with double meaning, and we don't want everyone to giggle. Like if you're talking about "balls," it might make everyone start to titter with excitement. So be careful with statements like "You can't rely upon a madman . . . You can't rely upon him making rational decisions when it comes to war and peace." 'Cause, you know, if you're retarded and you say something like that, people might think, "Do I want a retard making war and peace decisions?"

Retards also have no sense of responsibility. If you're on the playground with a group of 'tards and one starts to hit the other, if you tell them to stop, they give you a blank stare, with those cute crossed-eyes, and sputter, "But Tommy hit me first," and when Tommy says no, that Georgie hit first and shows you the bruise, all you need to tell yourself is that Georgie is a retard and retards never admit they did anything wrong. They think the nurses in the home might take away their cupcakes. And institutionalized 'tards need their cupcakes. And when the 'tard-in-chief was asked about the General Accounting Office's assessment of coming deficits, the 'tard answered, "Now, I don't know what the assumptions are in the GAO report, but I do know that if Congress is wise with the people's money, we can cut the deficit in half." Isn't that cute? Admit ignorance, pass the blame, make up a lie. Ohhh, we've gotta watch out for these retards and their wily ways, thinking they can get their way because they're retarded.

But it's okay, because retards are loving people. They like to give hugs. Now, they may hug and then turn around and piss on your carpet, wipe their asses with your towels, fuck your dog, and put your baby in the microwave, but, you know, they're retards. And 'tard hugs are just sweet. Listen to the verbal hugs from Bush: "See, I'm more worried about the fellow looking for the job. That's what I'm worried about. I want people working. I want people to find work." It's so sweet. It's like when the Down's syndrome girl up the street says, "I want to give everyone a candy bar." You know she means it, but you know it's never going to happen because, generally, retards don't earn enough to give everyone a candy bar. Not even a single candy Kiss, really.

Oh, the Rove Special School, where cute little retarded presidents can learn how to sit in a chair and not drool for an hour. What a wonderful place. What an adorable exercise. And remember- even though he might be able to function more, a retard will never get any smarter: "I'll tell you, though, I'm not going to change, see? I'm not trying to accommodate I won't change my philosophy or my point of view."


Breakfast with Timmy and Georgie:
The Rude Pundit just finished watching the "interview" with George Bush on Meet the Press. He will not attempt to list all the factual errors and problematic statements (like basing the war decision on "the best intel possible," which is, of course, wrong, since "possible" means more human intelligence, etc.). He will leave that to the myriad bloggers, like Atrios, Calpundit, the Progress Report, and more. Instead, let's just offer a few observations:

You know what the worst kind of rock songs are? The kind where a pampered, rich rock star sings about how rough it is to be on the road every night, performing. Christ, you wanna say, nobody fucking forced you to play a guitar, fuck groupies, and get high every night. So when Bush kept falling back on how hard it is to be the man in the Oval Office, making decisions that affect Americans, all the Rude Pundit kept thinking was, ironically, the lyrics to Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive." Stop fucking whining. Shut the fuck up and do the job you campaigned for, destroyed others for, and finally stole.

Didn't you cringe every time Bush said the word "intelligence"?

You could so tell whenever Bush wanted to get on script: "I want to take a step back" from the question; "It's important for people to understand" that I'm not going to answer that question; "If I could" answer a question I've asked in my own head rather than the one you asked me, Tim. (Even at one point posing a question to himself from a fantasy interviewer, Bush said to the voices in his head, "That's a legitimate question.")

Every time Bush made a campaign point, he did that goddamn clenched hand with a thumb on top. Was he offering a fisting to Russert? To the American people?

In reference to his possible AWOL, Bush defended himself by saying: "There may be no evidence but" you gotta believe what I'm telling you. Isn't this the way the whole Iraq mess happened? Isn't that really what Bush was saying about the WMDs? "There may be no evidence, but . . ."

Didn't you cringe when Russert asked Bush for his opinion on the Vietnam War and, with absolutely no sense of irony, the President responded that the problem with Vietnam was that "we had politicians making military decisions"?

Did you notice that anything remotely negative was immediately dismissed as "politics"?

The Republicans are going to run the campaign of rape rooms and gay marriage.

The most frightening things Bush said? A toss-up between his campaign being based on "who can properly use American power to make the world a better place" and "I'm not gonna change."

Oh, what a deliciously useless hour. Nothing said, nothing revealed, nothing more than more of the same, more of the same. Russert did try, a few times admirably, to get Bush off-message, getting a couple of blank stares and that terrified look of trying to find words in his brain where few exist. But it would have been more interesting if Bush had simply said, "You know what, Tim? I'm gonna take a shit. You talk to me through the bathroom door while I take a Texas-sized dump. The American people put me in this office to take this giant shit in the executive washroom of the Oval Office, and I'm gonna do what they want me to do. If they don't like me shitting here, then I look forward to having a debate about my turds. Now excuse me while I go to the throne."


A Quick One Before Le Deluge:
Because actual, real work beckons, the Rude Pundit will be brief today.
So at what point does the Cheney/Scalia hunting trip become enough to make Scalia take recuse himself from deciding on the Cheney Energy Task Force documents? Since we now have the report that Scalia was Cheney's guest on the luxury duck hunt in Louisiana, that they flew together, accompanied by fighter jets, that they were wined and dined by Cheney's oil biz cronies, doesn't this seem a little more toxic to impartiality than the "socializing" that Scalia is using as his defense? The Rude Pundit believes that Scalia won't back off, no matter what, no matter if we get reports that Cheney and Scalia consummated their nascent queer desire under a tarp in the rainy bayou winter, Cheney telling Scalia that he loves Italian sausage, Scalia smacking Cheney's bald head and demanding that he take the "whole salami," Cheney weeping, tenderly, in delight, in fear, in heady anticipation of what would come next, Cheney fucking Scalia, saying, "Here's my task force. How do you find? How say you?" Damn, no wonder the ducks flew away, with all the grunting, flesh-slapping sounds, yells of "Watch the pacemaker," and, finally, inexorably, brief, spermless orgasm. Ain't democracy great?

Sunday: How embarassing was the President on Face the Nation?
Next Week: Welcome to Morass America


Oh, To Be In Boston Once Spring Is Here:
Goddamn, there's gonna be one giant fagapalooza in streets of Beantown come May. There's gonna be pairs of brides, pairs of grooms, more glitter, flowers, and butch haircuts than Boston has seen since the last time Queen toured and Freddy Mercury brought along his trunk of pink wifebeater shirts and butt plugs. Yippee-ki-yay, motherfuckers, the window has been cracked by the Massachusetts Supreme Court, which said yesterday that civil unions are lightweight and that only marriage would do for homosexuals. Fuck, imagine that: a high court saying, "You know that guarantee of equal rights for all? We kinda meant that. No matter what adult you are consensually fucking, you get your rights to get married, get bored with each other, fuck around on the side, and break up viciously, tearing up the friendships, property and children along the way. Welcome to the party, homosexuals!" So, starting May 16, get out your hankies. The aisles are a-gonna be filled with same-sex couples. At least until those who fear the fucking stand in the aisle and block the path to the altar.

Oh, and the fucking scaredy-cats are a-comin' out of the woodwork, putting the smackdown of hate and shame and barely repressed homoerotic desire masking as religious righteousness. Massachusetts is pondering an amendment to its constitution that would say, in effect, "We are so afraid that gay weddings will be so tasteful and/or fun that our Catholic stiff minds would be too envious to function, so we're gonna ban the act right now. Oh, and the ass sex makes us queasy." Said one deeply disturbed Mass. legislator of the proposed amendment, "I can't believe any lawmaker would want to run from this," meaning, "You don't vote for it and we'll make sure all the Irish homies in your district know you love the fags. And you probably suck some cock yourself." Of course, said amendment wouldn't take effect until 2006 at the earliest, unless a proposed delay is imposed, which seems like a long time, but homophobia and gay-bashing is the lust that knows no bounds of time.

In the meanwhile, halfway across the country, the upstanding legislature of Ohio, not knowing what the fuck to do about all the job losses there, decided to make itself more desirable to employers by banning same-sex unions. The White House called the ruling "deeply troubling," which is more than it said about the Plame name game, the lack of WMD, and Bush's inconvenient smirks at the State of the Union.

Oh, but in the Oval Office, even as Karl Rove twisted the vice on Colin Powell's nutsack for saying he doesn't know if he would have supported war if he knew then what he knows now, the re-election campaign staff rubbed their hands together in barely contained glee, slapping each other on the asses over the decision - not in a faggy way, mind you - over the possibility of being able to say that Kerry loves him some gays. Man, how that would gloss over so many things: failing economy, international embarassment, cruel cutbacks in social programs. How they think we could stomach all of that as long as the President doesn't love him some gays.


What, Me? AWOL?:
The Rude Pundit listened a couple of days ago to the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC when Lehrer interviewed Ruben Navarette, Jr. of the Dallas Morning News about the upcoming (now past) primaries (link goes to the audio). Navarette appears regularly on the show to offer "commentary" about voters and what they may be seeking in the next election. When Lehrer brought up the "accusations" made, most recently, by Michael Moore (with his "deserter" reference) and DNC chair Terry McCauliffe that our Commander-in-Chief was AWOL while doing time in the Air National Guard back in the Vietnam War, Navarete said, speaking for people of his generation (20s-30s) who weren't around for the Vietnam War, that the issue was a non-starter. Navarette, who seems to hold moderate-to-right-wing views, said that these voters don't feel that what someone did during the Vietnam era, during a time of great confusion, thirty years ago, has any relevance to their votes in the upcoming election. We don't care, he seems to say, if Bush shirked his duty: "I don't give Bush any strikes for not showing up for duty in Alabama, just like I don't give Kerry any points" for going to war. (For a summary of the AWOL issue, here's a quick version from Josh Marshall.) Beyond the obvious and ignorant overgeneralization in the statements, what Navarette is missing is the fact that so much of this campaign is going to be a chance to look again at Bush, since last time the press was so pre-occupied with destroying Gore. To say that Gen-X-ers won't care is such a startling desire for historical ignorance; campaigns are about character. If someone committed a crime or breaking of contract thirty years ago that others were sent to jail or to war for, then it says something about the man who committed the act.

Because, you know, Bush is soooo willing to take responsibility for everything that goes on in his administration. From blaming Congress for the underestimate on the prescription drug benefit to blaming the intelligence for the decision to go to war to blaming September 11 for the deficit (and not his tax cuts), the Bush White House is about buck-passing, refusal to admit error, and closing ranks. If Bush farted in a closed room, he'd blame someone in the next room for passing gas too close to an air vent. If Bush was caught standing over the nude, still-warm corpse of a dead hooker, pants down, bloody knife in his hand, he'd blame the hooker for slicing her own throat and yanking his panties off while she fell to the ground. Or he'd get George Tenet to take the blame, but not fire him, because, you know, he's a good guy.

And the White House is just outraged, outraged, that the AWOL allegations are being made, again. Scott McClellan said the claims are "baseless and outrageous," when, really, they've got a pretty good basis in reality since no records show Bush was there and Bush's only defense is "I'm pretty sure I was there," which, of course, makes most of us nod and say, "Oh, yeah, there's a few coke-induced black outs I'd like to fill in." And McClellan blames election year politicking. Apparently, memories are short, since this is the same George W. Bush whose 2000 campaign in the South Carolina primary used every ugly allegation short of child molestation against John McCain in order to win. Question whether or not an opponent's wife is addicted to painkillers or whether the opponent has fathered a child out of wedlock? Hey, fair game, according to the Bush rules of engagement. Question if a man who is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces used his privileged father in order to leap ahead of others to get a coveted spot in the Air National Guard and then shirked that duty? Outrageous. (And, remember, at least Bill Clinton took a principled stand against the war - he didn't "dodge" the draft.)

What this really comes down to is that the right, whether it's the Bush administration or columnists speaking for Gen-Xers, is scared shitless of John Kerry (or Wesley Clark). They are scared to death to have any moment when Bush would have to stand next to someone who saw combat and see how small, how very small, Bush would seem when talking about "our brave men and women in uniform," because, well, he'd be talking about the man opposite him. (And, yes, Gore did serve, but Gore was Gore, with all the other baggage he chose to carry.) And, Jesus, what a sight that's gonna be. What an amazing squirmfest. What a chance for the weasel to final show his slither.


Boobs Are Poppin' Out All Over:
Man, don't you just hate it when boobs show themselves? Goddamn, you can't sit still for a minute before some boob pops up, rearin' its dark nipple eye towards your children.

Take, for instance, Georgia Superintendent of Schools Kathy "It's My Name, But I Never Suck" Cox, and her concerted efforts to change the vocabulary of science when it comes to the schoolkids of the Peach State. See, here's a boob bursting out, saying that if one eliminates the "buzzword" of "evolution" and replaces it with "biological changes over time," like a breast that goes from being perky and scoop-shaped to saggy and flapjack-shaped later in life, then one will eliminate the "controversy" over the teaching of evolution in the classroom. One can imagine Cox, Republican, denying any motivation beyond what's good for the parents of the kids (who, of course, aren't the ones who will have to go to colleges that presumably will call things by their fucking names), sitting in her office, Confederate flag of Georgia flapping in the background, thinking, "What can I do that won't make us look too stupid?" And, of course, as all boobs will, failing. (Cox isn't alone in her Peachtree boobery: the Republican minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, J. Glenn Richardson, is introducing a bill to mandate display of the Ten Commandments in all Georgia county courthouses. Without a hint of irony or self-awareness, commenting on the "role" he believes the Jewish tablets played in the formation of the country, Richardson said, "We should not shy away from it, but should make our history public and teach it," which makes you wonder all kinds of cute things like if J. Glenn - please, Lord, let him be "Joe-Glenn"- wants us to shy away from things like the truth about Christopher Columbus, the real treatment of blacks in, say, Georgia, and on and on.)

Once you allow one boob in public, it's a slippery slope, as they say, to complete anarchy with boobs a-flyin' everywhere we look. In Olympia, Washington, Republican State Senator Alex Deccio called Republican Representative Tom Campbell a "nigger in the woodpile" in a discussion about, what else?, health insurance reforms. Now, the Rude Pundit is not ignorant of history: the phrase has been used often with no "racial" connotations, it has been claimed, although, really, and c'mon, intention is not the issue here. The definition? "A concealed motive or unknown factor affecting a situation in an adverse way," and it was used by Woodrow Wilson, that noted civil rights activist. Oh, by the way, both legislators are really, really white: here's Deccio; and here's the "nigger". Since sometimes boobs need a little support, here's an image of the nigger in the woodpile -- seems it was a phrase used against the Republican Abraham Lincoln when he was running for President. A little extra history lesson? It was also the title of an Irish tune and an early racist American film. Deccio has not resigned and his friends say he is not a "racist." That's the problem with boobs - when you think they're hidden, that's when you can see them all.

Certainly these days we have to trace things back to the alpha boob, the boob that opened the door for all other boobery in contemporary America. Our boob-in-chief, nipple erect with the thrill of war and violence, is doing everything possible to undermine any "independent" investigation by appointing the members himself (something not unakin to telling a mobster on trial to choose his jury). Our boob-in-chief says that Congress, who he lobbied to the point of criminality to get his prescription drug benefit, underestimated the cost (which, truth be told, Democrats said during the debate). The thing about boobs? They have no minds of their own, even if they seem to sometimes, puckering and unpuckering, sending tingles at inconvenient times. Anything a boob does, there's gotta be something else going on. Boobs do not act alone. The history of boobery demonstrates that when a boob is exposed, the exposure means far, far more than the boob itself.

A Quick P.S. on the Real Boob:
When Janet Jackson's breast was revealed to the millions of people watching the Super Bowl, the cry heard 'round the world was "Why couldn't that have been Britney?" As the FCC promises to launch an investigation into Tittygate, no less an authority than Howard Stern, who knows something about the FCC wasting time and money on "standards," said this morning that he couldn't understand how the public could be calling for an investigation of Janet Jackson, CBS, and the piercing/pasty controversy when no one is calling for an investigation of the Scalia/Cheney duck hunting trip. Strippers, retards, and dwarves aside, ya haveta admit, Stern's got a point.

Lastly, All Around the Country, Familes of the Dead and Wounded Wonder Why:
Colin Powell told the Washington Post that he's not sure he would have recommended war if he had known that Iraq did not have stockpiles of weapons. Let the lawsuits begin.


The Average Citizen Ponders, "And I Had To Cut Up My Visa?":
So let's say you're the average 19 year-old male off at college. Part of the deal of being away from home for the first time is Dad wants you to have some security, so he gives you a credit card. You don't know it, but it's got a high limit. And your family has taught you how to be good with your finances - not wasting your money, but spending wisely. Your first year, you were really good. You went off to Big State U with a lot of money you'd saved from working hard for a couple of summers, but you burned through that pretty fast, even though you were only living in the dorm. Hell, though, your parents think, you did need to spread your wings, get that amped up computer, that Xbox, all those hard drives for the MP3s you downloaded, that poster of Anna Kournikova. And you needed to socialize - get out and meet other guys, drinking, even though it's illegal, but, shit, you're young, away at school, who needs to worry?

It's your sophomore year now. And, worse, you've got a girlfriend. So when it's time to get tickets to that Weezer concert ('cause Rivers makes your girl sooo fucking hot), you break out Dad's credit card. Oh, sure, you get a stomach ache the first time you do it, but you figure you've got that job at the campus bookstore that'll pay for it. When you get to Weezer, the girl (let's be cute and call her Conneo) has to have the t-shirt and she'd fuck your brains out for the tour guide, and you're thinkin', well, okay, I suppose, if it means pussy. So you break out the card again. And it hurts a little, but suddenly, after the show, when Conneo says she'd like you to Cuomo rivers all over her tits, you figure it was well worth it.

Now the dam has broken. Man, you become the life of the fuckin' party. For a month. You're buying the fried cheese appetizers at Chili's, you're gettin' cash advances to front the weed and keg money for the party. Shit, it's like you are the First National Bank of Who the Fuck Cares. For a month. Then Dad opens the bill. Party over.

Except you are one smart son of a bitch. You've been wandering campus, pickin' up free t-shirts, mugs, and 2 liter Pepsis because you've been fillin' out credit card applications like so many postcards from oblivion. And those cards are pourin' in. Motherfuckin' three Visas, two Mastercharges, and even a Discover card. You tell yourself you've learned your lessons - that you'll only use them in emergencies. And besides, minimum payments are easy. And, shit, student loans are simply to get. "Fuck, yeah, man. Conneo, we're eatin' steak tonight," you say, and into your new cell phone, you tell your Dad, "Don't worry. I'll be able to pay off that card in the summer."

You get it? You get the fucking analogy here? You understand how if we behaved like the Bush Adminstration and lived on budgets that would drive nails in to the coffin of our debt, we'd've been forced to live on crackers, ketchup, and government beans for the rest of our lives?