The Loneliness of the Long Distance Protester (Part of the "Christ Weary" Series):
It is time, it is time, it is indeed time for the protesters to start the long, lonely process of packing up to head back to their homes in far-flung townships around the bright spring-lit nation of America. Now that Terri Schiavo has died, as she should have nearly a decade ago, there is nothing left for the motley group of insane Christian families, sex offenders, and people-with-nothing-better-to-do except take hands as if they are a real and actual community, pray one final time to a Jesus who apparently didn't give a shit about all the other prayers, and move on.

It is time to pull off the last bit of red tape that reads "Life" from one's mouth, the symbol of resistance that one took off every day to have breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and water whenever one was hungry or thirsty. Yes, pull off the tape and take off the headphones, playing, what? Pillar? Or Seventh Day Slumber? Something that offers comfort, succor, inspiration, but with a beat that came from sinners.

It is time to decide what to do with all those signs - to tear them up or keep them as souvenirs, all those "Let Terri Live" and "Terri's Life Is Precious To Thousands of People" and "Wake Up America, You Are Next!" and "Terri is not a vegetable" and, really, "Hitler Starved Jesus, Greer Starved Terri" and "The World Needs Terri To Live" signs, as well as the "Wanted" posters with pictures of Florida legislators and Judge Greer on them, as well as the ones that plead with the Bushes to do something and the ones that plead with God, Jesus, and/or Mary to intervene, which, as noted above, did not happen. Yes, so much paper, so much trash, so much detritus of the event.

It is time to pack up the crucifixes, the huge ones, the ones with a gory Gibson-approved Christ, bleeding, beaten, hanging there, the one that threatens all of us with a good Jesus ass-kicking if we sin. It's time to pack up the shrines and the Catholic statues, all of it must be taken home.

It is time to put away the pro-life t-shirts and the photos of aborted fetuses and the anti-abortion signs that conflate Schiavo with a fetus, as if Schiavo was the perfect symbol - the adult fetus, helpless, repositioned in utero, ready to be protected as one would protect an infant or a kitten. Oh, but, yes, dead, Schiavo's corpse will become one with the dumpster fetus as iconic images of the movement to take over the medical decisions of individuals and their families. Schiavo dead is, really, much more valuable over the long haul than Schiavo on a feeding tube until her body rots away.

It is time to pack up the wheelchairs, oh-so-many wheelchairs, where the misguided disability activists sought to embrace the Schiavo case as their own. Where groups of disabled people, shaking in their scooters, were able to communicate in ways that Schiavo would never be able to. So the radicals of the group Not Dead Yet, strangely named after a line from a Monty Python film, must pack up their tubes from their "We Love Our Tubes" protest. Time to hitch the chairs up for the slow lift into the vans and hit the road.

It is time to pack up the dolls that the kids brought, the children of crazed Christian parents, taught to weep for Schiavo, for that vegetable-face photo that's been pushed on all of us, that, to a seven year-old, must, for all the world, look like a cartoon character, a Precious Moments-style doll, a motherfuckin' Care Bear. Yes, Mommy and/or Daddy said pray and they prayed. Mommy and/or Daddy said hand out flyers and they handed out flyers, Mommy and/or Daddy said, "Get arrested" and they got arrested. But now the children must take that eternal ride home with their parents, hearing how their long days in the sun and their long nights camped outdoors were worth it, that Jesus loves them all a little more for having been there. They will be taught to hate others in inverse proportion to how much they're taught to love Christ.

Unless they intend to riot or create a shrine at the hospice, there's nothing more to be done. They have done all they can. But they will be back, though, of course, they will. There will be a next time, another symbol to rally around. They may be packing up, but it's only to get ready for the next trip and the one after that. And while they're busy praying for little Schiavo's everywhere, they won't even notice that the government that abuses their vote keeps whittling away, whittling away at every foundation of their lives until there will be nothing left but war and Jesus.


"Human Rights" According To Bush:
Here's one of those things that you read that makes you wanna live in a basement and scrawl manifestos on the walls with your own shit: the U.S. has criticized China and Pakistan on their human rights records in the State Department's annual report to Congress on those rights.

Secretary of State Condoleeza "I Vill Schtomp You Vitz My Hot Geschtapo Boots And You Vill Luv It" Rice was able to stand up in front of the gathered "reporters" and say, "We are on the right side of freedom's divide and we have an obligation to help those who are unlucky enough to have been born on the wrong side of that divide. America's experience as a democracy affirms our conviction that all people can live and prosper in peace. Even in our darkest moments here in the United States, we have been guided by our commitment to freedom and self-government. We have reached this simple conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land is dependent on the growth of liberty in other lands." That she wasn't immediately ripped into tiny, bite-sized pieces by screeching hell harpies, eaten, vomited up, and eaten again is mighty proof against the existence of God.

Condi continued the Bush administration line that some phantom people somewhere think that democracy for brownish people is bullshit: "Some have questioned whether certain countries or societies are ready for freedom or ready to take responsibility in determining their own futures, as if freedom and human rights were prizes to be won." It's like watching straitjacketed nutballs in a rubber room, bouncing around and crying out about the "some" who attack them, and, you know, you can't tell a bellowing nutjob that you don't see the "some." All that matters is the nutjob sees 'em and so do the other nuts.

And what a fine cover to the report, what with its photos of ink-stained Iraqi women and the horrid visage of Viktor Yushchenko scaring a dove. The title says it all: Supporting Human Rights and Democracy. And how are we supporting human rights? Oh, the myriad ways.

Why, in Pakistan, the report says, "The judiciary is corrupt, inefficient, and malleable to political pressure. Politically motivated prosecutions of opposition figures continue, as do concerns that opposition leaders or their parties are not always allowed to function freely. Leaders of three major parties remained outside the country, and the leader of one opposition party in parliament remained in prison appealing a conviction for sedition . . . Security forces have committed numerous human rights abuses, including extra-judicial killings and torture." So what should the United States, a nation that "seeks to end tyranny" do? Sell 'em some planes, motherfucker. A bunch of big fuckin' F-16s, man. What? Did you think we'd sanction the nuke-selling torturers of Pakistan? They say they're gonna use the planes to target terrorists, not Kashmir. India? Not so sure.

According to Acting Assistant Secretary of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Michael Kozak, there's no hypocrisy in saying the government of a nation tortures its citizens and imprisons its political opposition and then sellin' it fighter jets: "I think it's a question of how, you know, sometimes it's the carrot and sometimes it's the stick with linkages. And sometimes you can say that by being more engaged and helping a government in trying to accomplish some of its aims, that you find it to be more responsive in opening things up."

Kozak also says, "Sometimes, it's hard for somebody who doesn't -- somebody who's in power who doesn't think in those terms to understand just how much human rights and democracy means to the United States and to other parts of the world." 'Cause, you see, in Iraq, the report only mentions difficulties with human rights involving the "Interim Government" and even then it puts the blame on the "insurgents": "With the ongoing insurgency limiting access to information, a number of alleged abuses have been difficult to verify, including reports of arbitrary deprivation of life, torture, impunity, poor prison conditions, and arbitrary arrest and detention. In addition, the judicial system was largely dysfunctional, and corruption remained a key problem. However, unlike in the previous regime, none of these abuses were systemic or government-directed, and the Government took important steps to address human rights concerns. While human rights violations remained a serious issue for the Iraqi Government to resolve, there continued to be greater focus on bringing former regime elements to justice than on addressing abuses by the current Government."

Yep, it's too bad the only human rights violations occurred involving those fuckin' Iraqis. See, according to Kozak, with no intended irony at all, the Iraqis had a "policy" of abusing people that's hard to overcome now. But John Negroponte assured Kozak that it involved only Iraqi prison guards and police. Man, it's a good thing that only Iraqis are involved in the imprisoning of Iraqis, no?

Strangely absent from the report is Israel, although the Palestinians are discussed. And the Cuba section leaves off Guantanamo - isn't the Bush administration arguing against rights for the detainees there because they're not on American soil?

The Preface says it all - we're right and you're wrong: "We pursue this policy both because it is right and because it addresses the fear, hatred and inequality that contribute to injustice, terrorism, violence and instability." The whole Preface is chilling in its clear enunciation of American might and fuck-with-us-and-you'll-die bravado, as if trying to prove Bush is tough, tough boy. And just to show that Bush's second inaugural address wasn't total bullshit, "Our fight for human rights will continue so long as regimes infringe upon the freedom of their citizens and until the citizens are able to build strong, democratic institutions of their own design that are capable of protecting those freedoms in the future." War forever and ever and ever . . .

Man, it's a good thing we called out Pakistan and China, huh? Good thing we're pristine and clean. Good thing our house ain't made of glass or we'd be cutting our feet on the shards.


Discipline and Punish, American-Style:
So now we know for sure what we all knew anyways: the only reason that anyone gave a happy monkey fuck about torture at Abu Ghraib is because someone blew the whistle. Because, see, now that we know about the torture of prisoners at a military base in Mosul, torture that occurred at the hands and clubs and other devices of Americans, it's pretty obvious what was already obvious except for those in deep Republican denial: torture is systematic, far-ranging, and unending for those imprisoned in the maniacal war on "terror."

Why do we know anything about what happened in Mosul? Because the 311th Military Intelligence Battalion tortured an innocent man, broke his jaw even: "The investigation was triggered by the case of Salah Salih Jassim, 20, who had his jaw broken in detention. He was not a suspect but had been arrested along with his father, an officer in Saddam Hussein's Fedayeen militia. Mr Jassim was held in a room with 70 other prisoners. Deafening heavy metal music was played and guards sounded bullhorns beside their heads. Mr Jassim said: 'All night they were throwing water on us and making us stand and squat. From the night to the next day ... they were beating us.'"

The ACLU's summary of the recent 1200 pages of documents from the Army is a wonderful catalog of hate and destruction, the kind of shit that if you read it about any other nation, you'd wonder why the people don't rise up in rebellion. Or if the people did rise up, you couldn't blame 'em. We got sworn statements of soldiers saying they were told to take prisoners out back and "beat the fuck out of them," we got a healthy man dying in custody, we got soldiers being allowed to get "payback" against suspected insurgents. And no distinction, often, between people picked up who have done something to attack the American or Iraqi military and people who just were standing next to that person. Because, you know, that might require, let's just fuckin' say, "Due fucking process," which is anathema to the purposes of this approach: inflicting fear on populations.

Here's how they used to treat prisoners under a U.S. buddy, the Shah of Iran - see if any of this sounds familiar, from the 1999 book Tortured Confessions by Ervand Abrahamian: "sleep deprivation; extensive solitary confinement; glaring searchlights; standing in one place for hours on end; nail extractions; snakes (favored for use with women); electrical shocks with cattle prods, often into the rectum; cigarette burns; sitting on hot grills; acid dripped into nostrils; near-drownings; mock executions; and an electric chair with a large metal mask to muffle screams while amplifying them for the victim. This latter contraption was dubbed the Apollo--an allusion to the American space capsules. Prisoners were also humiliated by being raped, urinated on, and forced to stand naked." No, not all, no acid in the nostrils that we know about, but, fuck, an awful lot of these techniques and others are part and parcel of the "interrogation" of prisoners, part of the "softening up" process.

Meanwhile, meanwhile: the majority of "detainees" in Iraq have "no intelligence value" (use that phrase freely), soldiers poured dirt on a detainee going into diabetic shock, allegations of raping female prisoners, reports of dogs being used to frighten juveniles, and on and on.

Over at Gitmo, the Supreme Court-ordered bullshit tribunals have been shown to have all the effectiveness of a Yugo in a blizzard. A German citizen who was officially declared an "enemy combatant," to be held until the war on "terror" ends or Jesus comes back, whichever comes first, after a tribunal. Problem is "U.S. military intelligence and German law enforcement authorities had largely concluded there was no information that linked Kurnaz to al Qaeda, any other terrorist organization or terrorist activities." But don't try to get the military or the government to say they fucked up. That shit's classified, asshole, don't you know that?

And now that it seems the whole process is fucked up beyond belief, the military wants to "strengthen the rights" of detainees, which appears to mean "give them a couple of rights." Standing in the way? Dick "You Heard My Motherfuckin' Name" Cheney, who wants to maintain the silent, dark status quo.

This is all in the last couple of weeks. This is what we know. Now shouldn't we be a little queasy over what we don't know?

Michel Foucault, that French bondage sodomite, knew that the tortured body had been disappeared from view on purpose: in Discipline and Punish, he considers "the disappearance of torture as a public spectacle. Today we are rather inclined to ignore it; perhaps, in its time, it gave rise to too much inflated rhetoric; perhaps it has been attributed too readily and too emphatically to a process of 'humanization', thus dispensing with the need for further analysis. . .Punishment of a less immediately physical kind, a certain discretion in the art of inflicting pain, a combination of more subtle, more subdued sufferings, deprived of their visible display, should not all this be treated as a special case, an incidental effect of deeper changes? And yet the fact remains that a few decades saw the disappearance of the tortured, dismembered, amputated body, symbolically branded on face or shoulder, exposed alive or dead to public view. The body as the major target of penal repression disappeared."

At Guantanamo and in the new and old dungeons of Iraq, the American state is at work, in secret, making its frustrations known on the hidden bodies of those guilty and not guilty.

He is us. Goddamnit, he is us.


Republicans Jump the Shark:
Here's the thing every good bar brawler knows: when your opponent is down, you don't retreat to the nearest corner. That's for boxers, in the ring, where allegedly "rules" govern behavior. Fuck that. You're a fuckin' sleaze in a bar, and when you get into that inevitable bare knuckle free-for-all, you better be in it for the blood, or it's gonna be your blood that's seeping into the cement under the faux wood floor. So you never back off until that blood is shed, until the motherfucker is unconscious or dead or running home to lick his wounds like a pussy cat after a fucking.

'Cause if you just walk away when you think you've given some asshole a whoopin', then sure as you're standing there, that son of a bitch is gonna get up off the floor and blow your brains out or shiv you in the ribs. No, no, you need to be willing to take that obliterated wad of fuck and prop him against the bar and kick in his face and chest until he's coughin' blood, gaggin' on his own demise, until an ambulance comes to scrape his sorry ass off the bar floor. And you know what? If who you've beaten down is an asshole bully who got in your face and pinched your girlfriend's ass and threatened to fuck her in front of you because the asshole bully didn't think you'd do anything, then the crowd will cheer on your pummeling of the asshole.

President Bush and the Republicans in Congress are on the floor now, having been the asshole bullies for so, so long. They finally overreached with the Terri Schiavo nightmare, thinking that if they passed the "feed-the-Schiavo" bill, they'd be lauded for their compassion and promotion of the "culture of life," a phrase so useless in describing anything that it's brilliant in its emptiness, much like the President himself. Instead, they're imploding.

Let's take the long look here: the whole issue has pushed daddy-killer Tom DeLay into the national consciousness so that when Fox "news" spends a brief second between Michael Jackson and "whatever shall we do with Terri's corpse" coverage to actually talk about something that matters, like DeLay's ethics troubles, viewers will think, "DeLay? Isn't he that skeevy redneck who demanded that Schiavo be kept alive?"

It has pretty much wrecked the further political aspirations of Jeb Bush (who had one of the great "hominah, hominah" moments in news history when he babbled that there was nothing else he could do) and Bill "I Can Diagnose Your Neurological Ailments With My Super Psychic Heart Doctor Powers" Frist.

And it's flushed Bush's poll numbers into the pre-9/11 shitter. Bush knows that this is a fuck-up of major proportions. His approval rating has plunged as more and more people realize they were suckered in by words like "compassion" and "security." Bush is lame-ducking himself faster than it takes, say, a woman in a vegetative state to die.

Karl Rove knows that Republicans are taking the blame for this one, at this point, that he's finally, at long last, alienated the moderate portion of the party and that much threatening, whipping, and sodomizing will be required to get them back in line. But you reap what you sow, motherfuckers, and the Republicans created this Golem. Since Reagan (when Randall Terry first reared his hateful head), they've been pandering to the fundamentalists, getting them to think they had more and more power without, as so many have pointed out, delivering much more than a prayer and a little bit of rhetoric to them. Remember: Churchy wanna get paid. At some point when you pledge the promised land and holy days to people, they're gonna want a down payment. The Republicans lost control of their monster and that big bastard's gonna go on a rampage.

The money part of this is the way the nutzoids outside the hospice and around the country are demanding that the opportunistic, decadent fuckers in Congress prove their loyalty to the cause of "life" (or, better put, "Christ") is more than lip service. C'mon, motherfuckers, you fuckin' subpoenaed Terri Schiavo. Now, do you have the balls to enforce it? Of course not. Of course not. That would require that the Republicans (and the bushel of enabling Democrats in the House) actually have "beliefs" and "principles."

There's other issues where the demands of the wacko right are beginning to appall the majority of Americans, like the Michigan bill that would allow doctors to deny care to homosexuals.

But of course the delicate question is how the Democrats use the glazed eyes of Terri Schiavo against the Republicans. And, as with most matters political, the Rude Pundit has the ready, easy solution: it's all about the inference of language. If a Democrat is up against a Schiavo Republican (and, good, wise, vaguely left pundits everywhere should start calling the wacked-out, ultra-Christian Republicans by this nom de guerre), don't bring out Schiavo's corpse. Instead, just say that you support the government staying out of "the most intimate decisions a person" (or "family") "can make." Or some such shit. You see what that does? It evokes Schiavo without saying her name and, frankly, it also covers things like abortion rights, gay rights, and more. If the Schiavo Republican wants to question you about it, then you have free rein to bring up Schiavo. Despite the cries to the contrary that the Schiavo matter will go away, rest assured: by 2006, the Republican party will have either been eaten by its most rabid members or be silent on Schiavo to the point of suffocation.

So let's be optimistic here for a moment: the Republicans are spitting blood on the bar floor. If you wanna be a pussy Democrat, you pick your opponent up and say, "Let's be friends" and buy him a beer. But if you know anything about Republicans and the political game, that fucker's gonna smash that bottle of Bud over your head. The better way to play it? Sit on his chest and pound his head on the floor until he's drowning in his own vomit.


On Grieving, Bush, and Clinton:
On Monday, on a shitty reservation in a winter gray, desolate, depressing area of Minnesota, Jeff Weise, who despised the rural ghettos in which he and many Indians live, shot and killed his grandfather and a woman at his grandfather's house, five classmates, a teacher, and a guard at his school, and himself.

On Monday morning, George W. Bush was in Arizona with John McCain, hawking his Social Security wares to the gathered rubes. In the afternoon, after Weise went rampaging, Bush was in Colorado, pushin' that snake oil like it's elixir from the gods. Bush promises wealthier days under privatization, prosperity for all.

On Tuesday, Bush continued his Holy Week pilgrimage to the promised land of dismantling the New Deal, now in New Mexico. He also met with a bunch of senior citizens there.

On Wednesday, Bush met with Vincente Fox and Paul Martin in Waco, Texas, and the North American leaders made brief statements, took a couple of questions, and lunched at Bush's ranch in Crawford. They issued a statement on the security and prosperity of the three nations. It's linked, you know, by borders and shit.

On Thursday, Bush issued an Easter message, wherein he talked about the resurrection of Christ and said, "[W]e thank God for His blessings and ask for His wisdom and guidance. We also keep in our thoughts and prayers the men and women of our Armed Forces -- especially those far from home, separated from family and friends by the call of duty." He remembered the soldiers. He always remembers the soldiers. They are ever present.

In each of these statements and events, Bush did not ask for anyone to remember the Indians of Red Lake, Minnesota. Bush did not ask for us to pray for them. Bush did not send his regrets. Bush made no appearance to mourn. Bush is silent. He has planned to go to Europe, but has no plans to helicopter into the reservation.

Not to belabor the point, but when the shootings in Columbine occurred on April 20, 1999, President Clinton was offering words of comfort the next day. He cancelled a trip to Texas because of the massacre and said, "I think it is important on this day that we continue to offer the people of Colorado, the people of Littleton, the families involved, the sure knowledge that all of America cares for them and is praying for them." He talked about a teacher who was killed, calling her by her name.

On April 22, Clinton went to a high school near D.C. to talk to the students there about what had happened. The students were confrontational. Clinton "looked helpless," but you know what? He sat with those students and searched for answers, even if they all failed.

Compassion, it seems, is so pre-9/11.

Meanwhile, in Red Lake, where drug gangs war for the petty money available, the Ojibwa will hold a traditional funeral for the tribe only. We outside the reservation and the state have not been asked to join their mourning.

Update: Well, at least Bush figured out the least he could do.


Why Ann Coulter Is a Cunt, Part 2156 of an Endless Series:
Because in her latest "column" (if by "column," you mean, "the deranged yowls of a ranting banshee driven mad by the seepage of blonde-dye chemicals into her brain"), Coulter essentially calls for Jeb Bush to use the "military" to keep Terri Schiavo alive. Did you really not expect it to come to this?

In much the same way that the Republicans keep claiming they, the party of Bush, are the party of Lincoln, as if the calculated Republican effort to drive a wedge between red and blue states wouldn't make Lincoln shoot himself before Booth got the chance, Coulter compares Dixiecrat Orval Faubus to Bill Clinton in degrading all Democrats. Here's Coulter weaving her magic in equating the National Guard called in to prevent black children from attending school in Little Rock in 1957 and the INS taking Elian Gonzales back to his father: "Democratic Gov. Orval Faubus called out the Arkansas National Guard expressly for purposes of defying rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court and lower federal courts. The decadent buffoon Bill Clinton sent armed agents from the INS to seize a small boy from an American family – despite rulings by the majestic and infallible Florida courts granting custody of the boy to that very family." Of course, Coulter, in mythologizing the Gonzalez debacle, leaves out that the INS took the boy because he was an illegal alien taken away from his father and that every federal court upheld the Clinton administration on the issue.

But, oh, how Coulter likes Ike. She is practically creaming in her Gucci jeans at the thought of brave Ike, sending in the 101st Airborne to enforce the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision. Ike, who said in 1956, "The peace we seek and need means much more than mere absence of war. It means the acceptance of law, and the fostering of justice, in all the world," would have bitch-slapped every single Republican (and a number of Democrats) on Capitol Hill for the war in Iraq, not to mention the Schiavo bill. Coulter loves to conflate, so conflate away: "Minutes later, Democrats pronounced the Arkansas public schools a 'hopeless quagmire' and demanded to know what Ike's exit strategy was." Jesus, sometimes Coulter's subtle, dry sense of humor makes the Rude Pundit wanna vomit in her Prada purse.

After blathering some nonsense about the left's new "embrace" of federalism and dissing the judiciary as some outlaw radical regime living in the heart of our beautiful culture-of-life-infused nation, Coulter gets to the real point: calling for armed intervention. "President Andrew Jackson is supposed to have said of a Supreme Court ruling he opposed: 'Well, John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.' The court's ruling was ignored. And yet, somehow, the republic survived," she belches forth. That decision, Worcester v. Georgia, which Jackson ignored, said that the Georgia state government did not have authority over Native American lands, that only the federal government did. Jackson, the old Injun killer, didn't give a rat's ass about the rights of the Cherokee when whites wanted to take their good farm land. He let the state remove the Indians and take their land and send them on their Trail of Tears to Oklahoma.

But Coulter won't let something like "facts" and "history" fuck up a good analogy: "If Gov. Jeb Bush doesn't say something similar to the Florida courts that have ordered Terri Schiavo to die, he'll be the second Republican governor disgraced by the illiterate ramblings of a state judiciary." In Coulter's bizarro world of civics, Jeb Bush would be like Jackson or Ike in his actions, not like, say, another governor, Orval Faubus.

Coulter is clearly implying Jeb should amp this up a few dozen notches: The only action that Jeb could take if he says what Jackson says is to send in some troops to enforce his words, to confront the police, who are, in essence, an arm of the judiciary. The money part of this would be if Jeb Bush did order in the National Guard soldiers and then discovered they were all in Iraq. Or maybe they could just send in a bunch of paid Republican operatives with a feeding tube.

So, in brief, in the course of a single column, Coulter puts the powers of governors and presidents on an equal plain; supports the Florida courts (in Gonzalez) before degrading them (in Schiavo); says force is good to uphold the law and force is good to defy the law; says force is bad to uphold the law and force is bad to defy the law; and shits herself with glee at her own power to string together a barely cogent thought. Somewhere, William F. Buckley is rolling over in his grave (yes, the Rude Pundit knows).

Oh, that other Republican governor Coulter was referring to? Here's Ann: "Gov. Mitt Romney will never recover from his acquiescence to the Massachusetts Supreme Court's miraculous discovery of a right to gay marriage." Coulter would have wildly fingered herself if she could have seen Romney standing in front of the Boston courthouse, surrounded by the National Guard, refusing to allow two men or two women to simply get a marriage license.


A Great Big Fist Job:
Karl Rove is a frustrated fat man; no matter how much he works, he can't train his male leather slave to take a fisting. Oh, he's tried, Lord, how he's tried to get that sphincter loose enough. He's used butt plugs, anal beads, ben-wah balls, strap-ons, dildos smoothed and cock-shaped, ketchup bottles, everything he can thing of, but for some reason, for some anatomical quirk, perhaps, Rove just can't manage to get his whole hamhock hand into his leather slave's anus.

Rove keeps his leather slave chained in the basement of the White House, right next to James Buchanan's hand-crank vibrator and Richard Nixon's Saigon whore blow-up doll (with real sucking action). Rove has been working on the fisting since the second inauguration -- it's the one thing his leather slave hasn't done, having gladly taken the tax cut golden showers, the Patriot Act scat treatment, not even yelling the safe word, "Impeach," when Rove branded him with the word "Iraq." But this, this one thing, a fisting, that would bring Master Rove so much pleasure, the leather slave has denied Rove.

Meanwhile, George Bush, ostensibly Rove's boss, was continuing on his all-American odyssey of trying to convince the electorate that he knew best about Social Security. In Albuquerque, with his bitch, John "The Gimp" McCain, by his side, Bush threatened Democrats and Republicans in a spirited show of bipartisanship: "I remember this issue, people saying, well, you better not talk about the issue, there will be a bad political consequence. I believe there will be a bad political consequence for people who are unwilling to sit down and talk about the issue." Although, you know, he mostly meant Democrats. Considering the polls on the issue, Bush trying to beat up the Democrats on Social Security is like a crazed six year-old trying to hit his Grandpa with a sledgehammer - chances are that sledgehammer's gonna do a hell of a lot of damage to that six year-old before it ever lands on Grandpa's toe.

Bush continued his strange obsession with furniture, saying he wanted ideas brought to some vaguely defined "table": "I believe all ideas ought to be on the table. And I think the American people want all ideas on the table. I think the American people expect members of both political parties to come and negotiate in good faith with all ideas on the table. . . Let's come to the table -- all ideas are on the table" Sometimes it's like his record skips or like some coke-dusted and liquor-glazed synapse is unable to fire and he's just stuck. But in challenging Democrats (always the implied "Other" in this rhetoric) to come up with a plan, we are once again reminded that Bush hasn't, you know, put forth a, well, plan.

Getting back into the action, the zombie corpse of Dick Cheney roams the earth again. In Nevada, Cheney reminded the gathered crowd of rehearsed sycophants of the President's deep need to have tables involved in discussing Social Security: "[Bush] said to members of Congress and people all across the country, come on and put your ideas on the table." But, oh, ho, Cheney is very precise about what kind of table he doesn't believe should be involved: "Contrary to what some of my friends on the other side of the aisle say, this isn't a lottery. You're not taking it to Reno or Vegas and playing the tables." Get it? He's in Nevada, see, and so he's gotta mention Vegas.

And in case you didn't get that this was important to Bush and Cheney, well, Dick Cheney says you can go fuck yourself: "The President and I got a lot of things we could do besides go bang away at the Social Security issue from border to border. And we enjoy the fray, or we wouldn't be in the business, but it is a very important piece of work." Oh, ho, oh, ho, it's such a merry game, is it not, the fray? Government for this administration is like playing a video game, SimAmerica, where you create a bunch of economic hardships and horrors for your little Americans, and you can just sit and watch the chaos in the streets from the comfy side of the monitor.

Back in the White House basement, Karl Rove grunts, sweats, and squeals in concupiscent rage at not getting that pudgy hand into that ass, at not turning his leather slave into his meat puppet. He know, though, he knows that if he has to, he'll ignore all the safe words and force fist that fucker until his ass is good and bleeding. And then Karl Rove will take his forever damaged leather slave in his arms and hold him, feeding him sweet Iranian figs, telling him not to worry about the blood and pain, that it'll all be okay.


Conservatives Drowning In Their Own Bile:
The Terri Schiavo carnival of unending doom continues, and "conservative" pundits are going nutzoid trying to out-empathize each other and condemn the opposition. It's one of those sad, funny sights, like a morbidly obese guy at a hot dog eating contest, shoving those weiners into his engorged cheeks, his bloated gut undulating as he swallows. The image itself is funny, but it's just pathetic 'cause we know that fat fuck is gonna shovel that shit in until his heart just gives out. And, Christ, the size of the coffin we're gonna need when that happens.

Take, for instance, Thomas Sowell, who loves it when the guys at the White House call him "Uncle," who says, "The extraordinary session of Congress, calling members back from around the country, with the President flying back from his home in Texas in order to be ready to sign legislation dealing with Terri Schiavo, are things that do us credit as a nation." Sowell, like so many others, condemns Michael Schiavo for daring to have been the husband to the woman in the bed before she was an abstraction, an amorphous concept: "Legally, he is Terri's guardian and that legal technicality is all that gives him the right to starve her to death." That's right; according to Sowell, guardianship, when one often takes on a stunning amount of responsibility out of love and compassion, is merely a "legal technicality."

Grandparents who become guardians for children after they've been abandoned by their parents? Your guardian position is merely some mumbo-jumbo lawyers use to fuck over the rest of us. Children who look after their aged parents, slowly, inexorably fading away due to Alzheimer's? Sowell and his fellow conservatives shit on your status.

Uber-scold Cal Thomas, who has got to change that Grecian Formula-infused photo of himself looking as if he's contemplating getting tea-bagged by Billy Graham, pretends to do grave philosophical grappling about Schiavo. We must choose, Thomas babbles, between two philosophies of life: "One philosophy says we are mere material and energy shaped by pure chance in a random universe, evolving from slime with no Author of life, no purpose for living beyond what gives us pleasure and no destination after we die but the grave. The other philosophy of life says we are created by an infinite, personal God who has a plan for every life in every situation and circumstance and that no one should take a life except under the most extreme circumstances and only through due process or in self-defense."

In Thomas's Victorian world, we can either be carnal animals in an amoral world or godly, blessed beings. Of course, Thomas doesn't deal with the theological implications of keeping Schiavo alive only through a tube that puts goo into her body, and unless he can find a Bible quote that says, "Yea, the Lord maketh the feeding tube in order to lengthen the life of a non-sentient being as long as she may unnaturally be kept alive," he ain't gonna.

Thomas then goes batshit insane, with the kind of rhetoric that, in a civilized nation, would have him locked into Bedlam with the rest of the screaming lunatics: "Having been conditioned to accept killing, even killing by the state according to an arbitrary standard of who is 'fit' to live and who is not, it will be a short step to killing Grandma and Grandpa in their 'assisted living' centers, which quickly will be transformed into centers for assisted dying." Man, the Rude Pundit can't wait until all that tasty soylent green is on the supermarket shelves.

David Limbaugh continues the insistence that this is all some grand plan to kill lots of people: "Could it be that something besides Terri's wishes motivates many of the death-soldiers, such as an allegiance to the culture of death, or some abject, inhumane resentment that we spend so much money keeping severely disabled people alive?" David Limbaugh writing at his keyboard is like a teenager in college who discovers he's flexible enough to suck his own dick. For weeks, he's gonna perfect his self-knob-bobbing, fellating his own cock for all he's worth. Finally, when someone catches him, doubled over in the dorm bed, doing his deed, all he can say is, "Well, shit, I'm just doing it because I can." This "culture of death" includes, one presumes, abortion, right-to-die issues, and Quentin Tarantino movies. It's another way to degrade the "intellectual" left, perhaps, and Limbaugh does it because he can.

Yes, there have been conservatives who were appalled at the intervention by Congress, but most have been crass bullshit propagandists and/or ignorant phelgm spitters. Some pretend to be doctors or believe desperately in miracles, like Peggy Noonan, who wrote, "Life is mysterious. Medicine is full of happenings and events that leave brilliant doctors scratching their heads." Noonan, like most of the pro-feeding tube crowd, compares Schiavo's situation to abortion, infantilizing her, taking away her voice completely.

And there's the truth of the matter, no? Those who want Terri Schiavo to be forced to live need those miracles because it will be as if she has come full-term, like a fetus. It is paternalism, sexism, and degradation.

In the end, it is her husband who, with the agreement of every court that's heard the case, wants to give voice, give agency, to the adult.

(The Rude Pundit is done with this, as should we all be. Barring something even more appalling, like sending the National Guard to protect Schiavo or Tom DeLay swooping in, Batman-style, tomorrow the Rude Pundit is moving on.)


A Quorum of Savages: Notes from the Debate of the Deluded:
You haven't lived until you've heard Tom DeLay, choked with emotion, trying to erase his image as a vile, unethical sleazebag from the national view, talking about Terry Schiavo: "Mr. Speaker, after 4 days of words, the best of them uttered in prayer, now comes the time for action. I say again, the legal and political issues may be complicated, but the moral ones are not. A young woman in Florida is being dehydrated and starved to death. For 58 long hours, her mouth has been parched and her hunger pangs have been throbbing. If we do not act, she will die of thirst. However helpless, Mr. Speaker, she is alive. She is still one of us. And this cannot stand. . . .Terri Schiavo has survived her Passion weekend, and she has not been forsaken. No more words, Mr. Speaker. She is waiting. The Members are here. The hour has come."

Yes, sweet tender mercies, it wasn't lost on the gathered House members that it happened to be Palm Sunday when they flew in from around the world to make fine, fine speeches on the "sanctity" of "life." Said Representative Jeff Miller of Florida, "Mr. Speaker, 2,000 years ago Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, marking the beginning of a week that throughout history and the world over has signified the sanctity of human life. Tonight we are here on Palm Sunday to afford the greatest presumption of life possible under our United States Constitution to a woman who has never truly been afforded representation and whose wishes are truly unknown." So, like Schiavo is Jesus? Are they saying that Jesus was a non-responsive grinning vegetable?

Meanwhile, the bashing of Michael Schiavo as some kind of slimeball continued. Despite the fact that in 1998 he offered to give his wife's portion of a lawsuit settlement to charity if she would be allowed to die. Despite the fact that he could have given up guardianship, divorced her at any time and moved on. Despite declining the craven attempts to pay him off by outsiders. Here's Miller, continuing on Michael Schiavo: "This is not about the sanctity of the Schiavo marriage. That is a matter between Terri and Michael. Mr. Schiavo has got some answering to do himself. Any insinuation otherwise is clear hypocrisy and nothing more."

Representative Chris Smith of New Jersey said, "We meet here tonight because there are serious questions whether Terri Schiavo's estranged husband, Michael, who has abandoned Terri for another woman and has had two kids with the other woman, could be trusted as a legal guardian for a woman for whom he has sought death for many years." Fuck, Smith makes it sound like Michael Schiavo wants to drag his rutabaga of a wife out of the hospice and into the streets of Pinellas County and beat her to death in front of her parents. Not that Theresa Schiavo would notice. Chances are that she'd "smile" that reflex smile while she was being beaten.

But this isn't really about Terri Schiavo today. As the Rude Pundit said last week, she must die, for her sake, for the sake of her family, and to demonstrate that God, Jesus, Allah, whoever, doesn't want her to live. (There you go, stupid fuckers praying outside the hospice, traveling from all over the country to screech and murmur to a negligent deity: if "God" wants her to live so fuckin' badly, why doesn't "He" heal her?)

No, this is about the Congress, primarily the Republicans, who are practicing Fallujah politics - the barbarous belief that you need to destroy something in order to re-create it according to your ideological whim. Whatever gets in your way must be wrecked, bombed to the ground, and shat upon. In this case, it's the Constitution, the judiciary, the bond of marriage. Look at this chilling statment from DeLay, whose very stare makes children want to kill baby animals: "The sanctity of life overshadows the sanctity of marriage. I don’t know what transpired between Terri and her husband. All I know is Terri is alive . . . Unless she has specifically written instructions in her hand, with her signature, I don’t care what her husband says."

And there's everything you need to know about contemporary conservatism and its evangelical remoras. Nothing matters - not medicine, not courts, not even the word of a spouse. All that matters is what DeLay says. Or Bush. Or Frist. The Congress and the President said fuck you to the husband; said fuck you to the following courts: the Pinellas County Circuit Court, the Second District Court of Appeal, the Florida Supreme Court, the Second District Court of Appeal (again), the Florida Supreme Court (again), the Pinellas Country Circuit Court (again and repeatedly), the Second District Court of Appeal (yet again and repeatedly), the Florida Supreme Court (yet again and repeatedly), and the U.S. Supreme Court; said fuck you to doctors; and said fuck you to any notions of the liberty of the living. Will they do something to say "fuck you" to the federal court that's considering the case now if it rules against the Republicans (and Schiavo's parents)? They have no idea. They're making it up on the fly, the Republicans. They pretend to a belief system and a plan, but ultimately they are merely tools, beholden to their polls, their politics, their re-election pocketbooks.

This entire debacle is about nothing more than changing the national argument, from Social Security, Iraq, and Tom DeLay, to their bullshit "culture of life." But as it sinks in, as it becomes apparent that all that's going on is pandering to the evangelical right, as the rest of us are galled by the actions of a destructive legislative branch, this will backfire.

The right wants to control your behavior and your interaction with others. In the bedroom, the classroom, the doctor's office, the hospital room. Now we know what the enemy believes - that they and only they know what is medically sound. Now we know why the enemy so absurdly "protects" the "rights" of those "who have no voice": the brain-damaged, the fetuses: because those can't tell the enemy that they're just fucking wrong.

Correction: Last week, the Rude Pundit referred to Terri Schiavo's brain as a "rock." More properly, it should be called a "puddle" or a "soup."
Briefly Noted: "Unanimous" Senate Vote on Schiavo Bill:
So, like, the AP story, the CNN story, the Fox "News" story and others all say that the Senate "unanimously" passed the thank-Christ-we're-not-talking-about-Social-Security Terry Schiavo bill.

Technically, this is true. But all these articles fail to mention what the Miami Herald does distinctly note: "Only three members were on the floor and the bill's prime sponsor, Republican Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida, served as presiding officer."

And those three members proudly raised their voices, and yes, technically the bill passed unanimously, just as technically Terry Schiavo is still "alive."

More on this nightmare later today.


Terry Schiavo Must Die:
The time has come for the inevitable end of this story, this miserable lot of the last fifteen years for Terry Schiavo. Brain-damaged and rubber-boned, barely human anymore, Schiavo has the indignity of having her nerve-reflex smile paraded out every time the moment comes close for her to have to sink or swim, to learn quickly to feed herself or starve. She is the unfortunate child of narcissistic parents who have pathetically deluded themselves into believing that, at some point, the rock that rolls around in her head will once again become a brain. She sadly lives in a culture so driven mad by religion that people will gather and pray for her to go on "living" (if by "living," you mean "devolving into a gelatinous mound with a nerve-reflex smile"). Anyone even barely touched by the rationality that is supposed to mark us as the most advanced creatures on the planet know this to be true: She must die.

And it doesn't matter at this point how. Take out the feeding tube. Wheel her into the alley behind the hospice and put three bullets into the back of her foamy skull. Put her on a raft on Tampa Bay and send her out to the lovely Gulf of Mexico. Hell, a merciful nation would rejoice at this act and make sure there's fireworks and live music on the bayfront to accompany her on her last journey. A merciful God would have sent avenging angels to smite all those preening idiots outside the hospice with Gabriel announcing, "Are you all out of your fucking minds?" before setting the whole place, Schiavo and all, on fire.

But we are not a merciful nation, for we believe that suffering is a gift from God or some such bullshit, and if you are chosen to suffer, then suffer you must. If you're dirt poor, single, and homeless and you get pregnant, you must keep your baby, even though the overwhelming chance is that you and your baby will be hungry, cold, and miserable for the rest of both of your lives. Despite the fact that virtually every competent medical person who has walked into Schiavo's room and smelled the shit-scent of death has declared Schiavo a cabbage or, on a good day, a pea pod, the right smells opportunity to distract people from the gutting of programs that actually do good for the living . Other "experts" who have witnessed Schiavo's eyes follow a balloon on videotape are nonsensical idiots (and that includes Senate Majority Leader and noted cat-disemboweler Bill Frist).

Way back in 2000, before Schiavo became the rallying call for people who have nothing better to do, here is how the St. Petersburg Times described Schiavo's end: "If [the feeding tube] is removed, Mrs. Schiavo would die painlessly in a week or two. She does not feel hunger or thirst, and she would just drift away, doctors say." That fact, that Schiavo will not actually experience anything differently, is now left out of most media stories on her. The distorted face of Terry Schiavo is now merely a canvas upon which ideology has been writ large, where the notion of "life" has been perverted to mean "a heartbeat," and where the cruel vicissitudes of politics now rear their ugly, hydra-heads.

The right loves this. This is better than Elian Gonzalez. The National Review's Andrew McCarthy (who was so good in Pretty In Pink, but has really let himself go) rants like a baboon about to tear out the liver out of a fallen baboon enemy about Schiavo, saying that "she'd be better off if she were a terrorist." Schiavo's fate is like manna from heaven because anyone who dares to say, for instance, "Terry Schiavo Must Die," can instantly be labelled as uncaring and cruel and then you can go on Fox "News" and Hannity'll show that reflex-smile of the damned and everyone can say they are doing "what's best" for Schiavo.

Terry Schiavo was a vain woman, driven to bulimia by a sad desire to be thinner and thinner, afflicted, as so many women are and so many women aren't, by pop culture standards of thinness. Chances are it was the bulimia that led to the heart attack that led to the brain damage that led to the gooey being that is Schiavo being prayed over by the President and his brother. Now ask yourself: if Terry Schivao saw herself right now, knowing what we know about who she was and how she felt about looks, would she want to stay alive? You who know men and women like the pre-gelatinous Schiavo understand of what the Rude Pundit writes.

Now the Congress is involved. And the Republicans want Schiavo brought into the hearing room. What a spectacle that's gonna be. What a fucking horror show. What an embarrassment to this nation. All those righteous members of Congress, weeping because Schiavo can't answer their questions, listening to her machine sounds, the suckings, the gurgles. They called Schiavo before the committee in a little over a week because "it is a federal crime to harm or obstruct a person called to testify before Congress." Another person, another prop. Those fuckers in the GOP know what they're doing: force Democrats to vote against the bowl of jello in front of them and then use that as immunity in elections against charges that the Republicans are eliminating Social Security. What these disgusting, dirt-covered worms won't do to eat the flesh off the body politic.

The only comfort in any of this is that Schiavo won't know a fucking thing that's going on. She is an object, not a subject. She is acted upon. If Bill Frist wanted to test her reflexes by pulling up her gown and raping her in front of the gathered media, she would not care. If Tom DeLay wanted to pick her up and dance her around like a puppet, she would not care. She will never, ever care again. There is only one caring solution. She must die.


Would Someone Tell Fox "News" That President Bush Doesn't Have a Social Security Plan Yet?:
Don't you fuckin' tell the motherfuckin' President he's got a plan on Social Security, you fuckin' bitch ass reporters. You fuckin' got that? He will come down from his lectern, rip off his belt, yank down yer panties, and smack that liberal media ass until it's good and red and welted. The President's got no fuckin' plan, understand? Bush said so himself, when he was asked at his "press conference" yesterday about such "plans": "First of all, Dave, let me, if I might correct you, be so bold as to correct you, I have not laid out a plan yet, intentionally."

So would someone please tell the leftist hacks at Fox "News" and their Commie guests to stop referring to Bush's vague notions of diverting funds from Social Security to "personal accounts" while cutting benefits for retirees somewhere down the road a "plan." Jesus fuckin' Christ, that's like calling it "privatization," you know? It's a plan when the President says its a goddamn plan.

When, on March 8, Republican Chuck Hagel, talking to John Gibson, said of his own "plan" on Social Security, "This is not a competition between the President's plan and mine," Gibson, instead of pursuing a line of questioning about how Hagel's plan differs from Bush's, should have said something like, "Yes, that is a plan, unlike what the President has said, which is . . . what? . . . . a notion? A rest stop? A tadpole?" But that would require Gibson to be a journalist, and that is not his job, is it?

Or maybe, on March 9, Brit "My Head Is So Far Up My Enormous Ass That I Can See the Space Where My Heart Used To Be" Hume shouldn't have talked about a poll that says of the respondents "very few knew any details of the president's plan." And maybe on March 10, Sean "Behold My Majestically Hateful Scowl" Hannity should have avoided repeatedly dissing "Republicans [who are] apparently now seeming a little bit reluctant to support the president's plan over Social Security."

Perhaps yesterday Neil "Fuck It, He's Just an Asshole" Cavuto should have jumped up and said, "Ah-ha" to bondage master Karl Rove when Rove responded to Cavuto's query on "the Bush plan" on Social Security. Instead, Rove just yanked Cavuto's leash and slammed that four-eyed fucker's face into his lap to finish the job Cavuto started. Meanwhile, Dan "My Forehead's So Big, It's an Eighthead" Bartlett also responded to questions earlier in the week about a so-called "plan."

This could go on and on, couldn't it? The deluded cant of the damned on Fox. Morton Kondracke, March 15: "The more people learn about the Bush plan or the more they hear about the Bush plan, the more they are opposed to it." Chris Wallace, March 6: "President Bush's plan for his Social Security reform hits a rough patch."

Fox "News" must loathe the President to not carry his water on this one. Bush could not be more explicit, as he was in his "roundtable" with regional reporters in the Oval Office this week, when he said, "People say 'Bush's plan'-I haven't laid out a plan. I've laid out some ideas that I think ought to be considered for a plan, and that's what's important for people to know."

So the whole scripted tour around the nation to sell people on private accounts? That vast waste of taxpayer money that might have been better spent on diapers for Alan Greenspan? Or deodorant to rid the Congress of the stench of the decaying Tom DeLay? It wasn't to talk about a "plan," got it? There is no plan.

Of course, there's "plans," but not a plan. See, on Saturday, in his weekly radio masturbation session, Bush started out by saying, "Over the last few weeks, I have traveled across our nation and met with tens of thousands of you to discuss my plans for strengthening Social Security." Then he laid out what seemed to be, pretty clearly, a, well, fuck, plan. And now he's spent the last few days denying that there's a plan.

The Rude Pundit is confused. In Louisiana last week, Bush said, "I'm interested in any idea, and I put out some of my own as to how to permanently fix it and how to make sure the system is as good as it can be for youngsters . . . If you're a worker making $35,000 over your lifetime, and this plan says you can take 4 percent of your payroll taxes and set it aside . . . under this plan, you'll have an asset base, something you own, something you can leave to whomever you choose."

Can you say that and then a couple of days later say, "I haven't laid out a plan"? Can you do that? This is a cognitive nightmare, a linguistic conundrum, a mindfuck of the greatest proportions. His "plan" and his "plans" aren't a "plan"? Did he consult a lawyer on the weasel room around a definition of "plan" that somehow doesn't include a "plan" in it?

No, no, no. We all know what's going on. It's part and parcel of the bullshit rhetoric of the Oval Office. But we're way beyond plausible deniability here. We're into the language of the world beyond the Looking Glass, where all things shall be inverted and all meaning shall be made anew when the Queen of Hearts is damn well ready to deign to define.


Government "Video News Releases" Suck:
What's been lost in the big, mighty hullabaloo over the Bush adminstration's massive use of fake TV news packages to promote its policies as if poll numbers were Nielsens is this: the video news releases (or VNRs) suck. They're shitty, even by local news standards. Fuck, the Rude Pundit would rather watch Sinclair Broadcasting's insane Mark Hyman rant like a diseased jackal for a minute or two every night on each and every pathetic excuse for a "news" broadcast that Sinclair runs. Sure, it's annoying to hear the pathetic jackal yelp, but at least you know you're not directly paying for the privilege of seeing it.

Unlike the Bush-produced VNRs, which reach new depths of video suckage. Take, for instance, the 2003 video for Seeds of Peace, which is sub-Afterschool Special maudlin, showing Israeli and Palestinians youths at a camp where they learn to really, truly love each other. And, no joke here, the video shows them leaning on each other and singing as Colin Powell speaks about the need to end violence in the Middle East and students talk about how much they learned about love and peace. It's tear-jerking, heartwarming, and loin-chilling because you realize that the agenda behind the production is not "truth," but a way of the Bush administration presenting itself, like a pimp dressing in a Hugo Boss suit for an evening out, but when he gets back, he's still gonna sell his bitches to be roughly fucked.

That's ever so clear on the videos about Iraq: take the oh-so-goddamn touching December 2003 VNR about the first trip of the Iraq Symphony Orchestra. One speaker thanked all the corporate sponsors, President Bush was shown attending, Colin Powell called the performance "the music of hope," motherfuckin' Yo-Yo Ma played, the musicians talked about how much they loved being in the U.S. It was all so calculated, the automaton-like voice of the "reporter" diligently, dutifully spinning the occasion to put pancake make-up on the scabbed face of Bush's Iraq policy. The same goes for other videos of "triumph," like the absurdist piece about Iraqi-Americans celebrating the fall of Saddam Hussein. Oh, how they dance and drum and shout and praise America, the same ten people running around in a circle, like the background of a cartoon. And all one can wonder is if the whole fuckin' thing was staged. (Although, conveniently, the reports never say who is producing them as they're played on the nightly news, probably mostly on Sinclair stations.)

But we know, we know that people-as-props is the modus operandi for the propaganda machine that is our government, from the attendees at Bush rallies to video-presented mourning Iraqis searching for their relatives in mass graves. In the State Department's VNR, they are used as tools in a way that Michael Moore would never dream of. Hell, the weeping Iraqi women in Fahrenheit 9/11 is downright subtle compared to the Iraqi man saying, "This is more than Hitler, Mussolini and all the other criminals of the world combined. All of them together did less than Saddam." Surely Dick Cheney watched and said, "Excellent" as he received his fifth weekly blood transfusion from the Sunni child that he kept locked in the anteroom.

The sight of these videos, from Colin Powell speaking about the "rights" of women in Iraq to reports about reconstruction efforts, is like being brought to a room to watch a group of old men jack each other off. Fat bellies bobble as their johnsons are jostled and joints are jerked, desperately trying to concentrate on both the cock in their hands and their own cocks being yanked, the smell of sweat and cigars and semen, and someone glances at you and says, "Look at this - aren't we somethin' else?"

Of course, this infection is rampant in the rest of the government. Fuck, the Department of Agriculture even has a Broadcast Media and Production Center that promotes its ability to produce TV "News." Says the USDA about the effort, "These stories cover mission messages including trade, biotechnology, rural development, research, water quality, nutrition, food safety, national forests, conservation, cooperative extension, small farms, marketing and food rescue. This is an excellent avenue for agencies to get their message out to consumers and the agricultural community."

Sure, sure, the GAO tried to smack down the broadcasts, and it was looking at Bush propaganda on drug policy. But the Department of Justice ruled that the GAO can go fuck itself and the Bush adminstration can do whatever it wants. But, really, seriously, they've spent a quarter of a billion dollars on these things. And the quality is that of a group of nerdy high school kids who got a camera and free period and wanna make a show.

And anyone paying attention would know that they're made by people with only one goal: make people think, "Must love Bush." The problem is, of course, no one cares, now, do they? When you can turn on the TV and see half-hour advertisements about a food chopper, penis enlargement, and college girl tits, do you think anyone really gives a fuck if the news is coming from the government (even if they should)? If more and more people are gettin' their "truth" from Fox "news," does it really matter anyways?

Interestingly, though, the Office of Governmental Ethics hasn't produced a new video since the year 2000.


Why David Horowitz Is an Infant, Part 1:
David Horowitz is a sick, sick fuck, so enthralled at the smell of his own bile-infused vomit that he wants everyone to enjoy the piquant odor, driven so insane by the polar opposition of his youthful liberalism and his older self's fascism that, if it weren't for the Internet and Fox "News," he'd be curled into a ball, shitting himself on a cold bench in Harvard Square, screaming at the trees. He has an ego that, in a rational nation, would be described as "sociopathic," and his writings are mad rants disguised as academic treatises, but underneath, like a feral cat in a canvas bag, you can hear the crazed screeches and clawings. He believes he is an erudite grown-up, but his writings are the ejaculatory yowls of an infant masturbator who wants everyone to look at his newly discovered boner.

Here's Horowitz, in his blog, talking about David Brock's Media Matters: "Suppose conservatives gave $2 million to Armstrong Williams or Jeff Gannon to run a website devoted to criticizing leftwing media for lack of journalistic ethics." Then Horowitz attacks Brock for having the same ideological change of heart that Horowitz underwent, albeit in the opposite direction, as well as trying to discredit Media Matters for receiving money from "George Soros and friends." And here is why David Horowitz is a fucking idiot, his opinions worthless on their face and filled with self-hatred and unrelenting disgust at his own image in his Lacanian mirror. 'Cause one easy answer would be to say, "Hey, Davey, what did the mainstream media do to Dan Rather?" But instead, let's introduce Horowitz to Accuracy In Media, which has been around for years, whose sole purpose is to "counteract the misdeeds" of the so-called "liberal media." And whose major funders are the wacko-conservative Kirby and Sarah Scaife foundations. In other words, "suppose," motherfucker?

Why did Horowitz get his diaper in a wad over Brock? Because Brock dared to call "bullshit" on Horowitz's blurbles about an unsubstantiated story that a student failed an exam because he refused to answer a question on why George Bush is a war criminal. Problem is no one can locate the professor or provide Horowitz any back up. Horowitz cites only his own organization as having "the complete facts," (much like his press publishes his screeds) and expects us to believe him because "who could actually doubt this story, particularly in the Wake of the Ward Churchill Affair? Does anyone think that Churchill, a man who thinks he is living in Nazi Germany, would have scruples about putting such a 'question' on an exam?"

See, like a particularly deranged baby building a teetering tower of blocks, Horowitz is a man on a crusade in that, under the oh-so convenient guise of "balance" (in the Foxian sense of the word), he is trying to get state legislatures to pass an "Academic Bill of Rights" or legislation that approximates Horowitz's deep desires. He believes that "there are thousands of Ward Churchills on our college faculties," which, if you think about it, which would make you far, far more mature than Horowitz, means that the lack of revolution in this country demonstrates how ineffective all these thousands of "Ward Churchills" are. (See, get it? "Ward Churchill," a radical leftist and, by many accounts, a fucking great professor, becomes shorthand for any professor who professes any liberal leanings. See how that works? Like "feminazi" before it, no?)

Liberals in academia are a scourge that must be driven from the ivy-covered buildings like witches from the villages of 17th-century France. Horowitz wants states to legislate "balance" on college campuses, which Horowitz seems to believe would mean that conservative viewpoints would have to be presented. He seeks to control the behavior of professors in the classroom, organizations that present speakers, the grading of exams, and on and on. The "Bill of Rights" uses big scary words that are wide open for interpretation, words like "indoctrination," as in, "Faculty will not use their courses for the purpose of political, ideological, religious or anti-religious indoctrination." Now, if a professor teaching, say, American history dares to say that America was founded as a secular nation, is that "indoctrination"? And is that professor obligated to say, "Oh, and some people disagree"? Is a biology professor, the vast majority of whom don't treat evolution as anything but the well-documented fact that it is, be "indoctrinating" students into "anti-religious" ideologies if said professor doesn't teach "creationism"? Howzabout economics profs who espouse free market theories, Milton Friedman accolytes, for instance? Will they be forced to acknowledge the positives of a socialistic system?

You get it yet? It's absurd. It's stupid. And it treats college students, who, at age 18, are adults, like babies. But that's because Horowitz loves it when he gets his diaper changed and he can piss all over Mommy: "Look, Mommy, don't you love my stream. Tell me you love me, Mommy." If a student doesn't like the ideology of a professor, take another professor. We all knew who the batshit insane professors were back in the day; shit, we used to dare each other to take them. And if a student doesn't like the ideology of a university or college, take your tuition and go somewhere else. College is a voluntary activity done by adults.

Last Tuesday, Horowitz recently testified before the Education Commitee of the Ohio Senate in support of a measure that's based on the "Academic Bill of Rights." Again, his arguments seem well-meaning, rational, the man's got a goatee, so he looks smart. "All too frequently," he said, "professors behave as political advocates in the classroom, express opinions in a partisan manner on controversial issues irrelevant to the academic subject, and even grade students in a manner designed to enforce their conformity to professorial prejudices." In other words, he believes not in the processes of the university, like grade appeals, but only in the dictums he has so obfucastingly laid down.

Underneath it all is a seething meanness, a desire for control, a lashing out at a profession that, frankly, wouldn't have him if he walked around a community college with three PhD's tied to his dick. He says he speaks for students who are being oppressed but, in the end, his blatherings are about nothing more, and nothing less, than his monumental desire for attention and his ability to whip his followers into a frenzy of accommodating hatred.

And we haven't even gotten to his crazed, rambling diatribes about liberalism in general. That's coming soon. (Michael Berube, the Rude Pundit's got your back.)


Bitches For Babies:
Sometimes the Bush administration just makes you wanna hang your head in shame and suck back the entire bottle of cheap vodka you keep in your freezer. Sometimes it's like watching your mother argue to the death with a grocery clerk over the ten-cent price difference on a goddamn can of tomato soup.

So it was that the President sent a delegation from the United States to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women's 49th Session, which was organized to look at the progress made since 1995, when the organization passed a significant declaration of the rights of women at the Fourth World Conference on Women. Among other things, that declaration made in Beijing, done in the Clinton era, when "freedom" was a word that meant "freedom," said, "The Fourth World Conference on Women reaffirms that reproductive rights rest on the recognition of the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health. It also includes their right to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence, as expressed in human rights documents." Seems civilized, no? And, indeed, in this time of "culture of life" savagery, it seems almost Geneva-Convention-like quaint.

Ellen Sauerbrey led the U.S. delegation, as she is the U.S. Representative to the Commission since 2003. Sauerbrey, a two-time loser for governor of Maryland, spoke time and again at the conference that the Beijing document did not create any new, binding international rights. Because, you know, the Bush administration is so sensitive to abiding by such documents. Sauerbrey and the United States practically shut down the conference by demanding that the original document must be amended to say, specifically, that abortion is not a right. Sauerbrey, who looks like a plate of sour brie, was actually booed by the 6,000 delegates when she declared that not only is abortion not a right, but she also flogged the U.S. position on abstinence education on HIV/AIDS. In a grave in Uganda, the corpse of a sore-ridden thirteen year-old female rape victim rolled over. Under pressure from the other nations, with only Qatar, Egypt, and the baboon-like visage of the dead Pope on its side, the U.S. dropped its demand for the amendment to the decade-old document.

Sauerbrey (c'mon, get it? "Sauerbrey," "sour brie"?), in a speech transcribed on the website for United Families International (motto: "You're Keepin' That Fuckin' Kid, You Brown Bitch"), she criticizes the U.N.'s policies towards families as "Hillary Clinton's vision," referencing Clinton's participation in the Beijing conference. Said Sauerbrey, "Sean Hannity, this morning, talked about visions and the differences in visions. My perception is that this prevailing vision at the U.N. is one that is based on rights, but rights without responsibility. Family, whatever you want it to be. Sexual freedom, anything goes. Practically every resolution that goes before the U.N. … somebody tries to figure out a way to put in "reproductive services" . . . "Parental leave is the solution in many countries because women need to always be out in the work force and we need to have government parental leave so that the women can take at least a little time, or maybe the husband, so the woman should stay in the work force, and the husband should stay with the children for a short period of time before they go into a daycare arena. This is not the vision that most Americans share."

Sauerbrey was joined in the U.S. delegation at the UNCSW Conference by Janet Parshall, who hosts a popular conservative Christian radio program, Janet Parshall's America, which promotes a vision of "America" that would make Cotton Mather say, "Man, don't you people have any fuckin' fun?" before giving up the cloth and taking up the moonshine and fuckin' syphilitic whores and lovin' the itchin' 'cause it makes him feel alive. Parshall is a former spokesperson for James Dobson's Family Research Council (motto: "You're Keepin' That Fuckin' Kid, Bitch, and You're Gonna Spank It") who opposes embryonic cell research, abortion, and nose picking. Parshall said that the "sanctity of human life is the definitive issue in Americam," railing against a "doctrine of death" before she condemned gays to eternal damnation in a fiery hell and pushed the button on the lethal injection for a retarded minor.

The final member of the Bush triumvirate of official delegates to the conference is Susan Hirschmann, former Tom DeLay chief of staff who went with the Hammer on a gambling lobbyists' funded golfing trip to England. As chief of the FEC investigated 527 the Leadership Forum, Hirschmann suckled at the soft money teat like a baby mole snuggling through the cold dirt to its mother. Now, she's a lobbyist for whatever corporate johns wanna pay her to shake her K Street-cred in the faces of members of Congress.

Yep, quite a face the United States presented to the world, from wacko right-wing to not-as-wacko right wing, as Bush's bitches took another giant shit for America at a gathering of nations.

Oh, the rest of the world celebrated the conference. So perhaps the choice here is between being a pussy or a cunt.


If Tom DeLay Were Your Dog . . .:
If Tom DeLay were your dog, you'd've put that fucker down a long, long time ago. When your old dog gets so lousy with disease, stinking of open sores, shaking when it walks, crazed with dementia, snapping at children, strangers, even you sometimes, shitting in its bed more than it shits outside, then you really have no choice but to load that dog into the family car and take the long ride to the vet. Sure, sure, it's understandable that you and the family would wanna cling to your dog as long as possible, no matter how disgusting and vile and flea-ridden it's become, no matter how much it befouls the carpets, and it's because you remember your dog in its prime, so loving, giving, obeying its masters, gladly licking its own ass.

But when you know when it's time, it's time, and that sometimes it's best for everyone, including the dog, to put it out of its misery.

Yeah, if Tom DeLay were a dog, it'd be easy. You'd say, "Here, Tom, here, Tom," and hug him and promise him treats to get in the car, and it'd be so sweet, because Tom DeLay would lick you, thinking you were taking him to meet with more cash-stuffed corporate lobbyists. Instead, of course, you'd take Tom DeLay to the kind, gentle veterinarian and the caring nurses, and surely you'd shed a tear as Tom DeLay was put to sleep, going to that big K Street in the sky where there's endless Lockheed-sponsored fire hydrants to piss on. You'd be sad, but at the same time, there's the sweet relief in knowing that Tom DeLay will no longer make you have to send the rugs out to be cleaned every week.

If Tom DeLay were a dog, this would have been a long, long time coming. You'd have tried everything you could. Early on, when Tom DeLay was shredding the cushions and gnawing the moulding in your house, you thought if you had him neutered it would calm him down. You thought if you took him to training it might work. Hell, you even tried a choke chain. But some dogs don't give a damn about neutering, training, electric shock, nothing. Some dogs are just naturally vicious to anyone who crosses them, who doesn't provide them with treats and water bowls and bones, all those wonderful gristly bones, to gnaw on and then bury. The worse thing about dogs like Tom DeLay is gradually everyone moves from love to fear, his unpredictability forcing others to stay out of his way. No one wants a sick, violent, near-rabid dog looking in his or her direction.

If Tom DeLay were a dog and this were the old days, the kind, gentle slumber of the vet's hypo wouldn't have been available for him. Someone would have had to drag Tom DeLay into the backyard or into the street and shoot him. This was brutal, though, and so wiser animal doctors created the sweet, rapid dreamland of sodium pentobarbital. Tom DeLay wouldn't even really know what happened.

If Tom DeLay were a dog, oh, sure, he'd fight it when you got him to the vet, trying to gnaw through his muzzle to bite the hand of the needle-carrying nurse. He'd have to be held down because Tom DeLay wouldn't go down without a fight and without hurting as many people as possible. Some might find that a noble quality, the fighter, the self-preservation instinct, and it might be, but here we're talking about if Tom DeLay were a dog, and a dog is gonna lose, no matter how many people he bites in the process.

But, alas, alas, Tom DeLay is not a dog. He is the Republican Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, very nearly a human being. And, like the last roach after the apocalypse, he will cling to his political life, assisted by those who cower in his shadow, until he has polluted the entire house with his stench.


Part 2: John Bolton, Another Motherfucker for America:
Yesterday, the Rude Pundit moved back in the career of John Bolton, chosen by the Bush administration to become the new U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Bolton is currently an Undersecretary of State, as he was during the reign of Colin Powell, and, as the resident batshit insane neocon, Bolton's job in the Bush's first term was, more or less, "make sure that high-yellow nigger doesn't totally fuck-up our plans to destroy the world as we know it." Which Bolton did smashingly well.

Now, Bolton is being called out for saying things like, "The United Nations is a fetid, dry piece of shit that wouldn't even smear my shoe if I stepped on it," or words to that effect. Which means, once again, we Americans are all held in sway by George Bush's epic sense of irony in running the nation.

Back when Bolton was an assistant to Secretary of State James Baker under Poppy Bush, he was a little less inclined towards unilateral action by the United States. In 1989, Bolton joined Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Petrovsky and issued a statement of the U.S. and the Soviet Union's support of U.N. General Assembly resolution "calling on all nations to respect human rights and abandon the use of force except in defense." Said the Assistant Secretary and the Deputy Minister, "We hope that it may offer an example to other member states that it is possible to set aside tendentious polemics that have been too common in the United Nations in the past." The resolution, which re-affirmed the U.N. charter, called on nations to work cooperatively through the U.N. to solve international security issues. Bolton, who worked tirelessly to strip the International Criminal Court of any authority and was always threatening that the U.S. would back out of any U.N. organization that allowed the PLO even conditional membership, has always been a good liar. That's why he's such a motherfucker.

It was April Fool's Day, 1990, when Bolton said, "The superpowers have learned the limitations of going it alone for the past 10 years." And on July 10 of that year, he continued his praising of international cooperation, as long as it meant cooperating with what the United States wanted to do internationally, saying that the United Nations "is a bargain compared to expenditures which we might otherwise incur through unilateral military action in the world's trouble spots."

While he may not have been consistent in other ways throughout his career (which, as we now know, is called "flip-flopping" in the parlance of jerk-offs), Bolton has had a hunger to get rid of Saddam Hussein for a long damn time, since at least the first Gulf War, and he was mightily critical of the Clinton administration's approach of using sanctions, periodic bombings, and inspections to isolate Iraq. In 1998, when Clinton's tactics were really, actually, finally ridding the last vestiges of weapons and weapons programs, Bolton, as chief Republican jackbootlicker for the American Enterprise Institute, was everywhere talkin' smack about Clinton's foreign policy. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in December 1998, "The Clinton administration's stated goal, to 'degrade' Saddam's weapons-making capacity, is too ambiguous and hardly a rallying cry, Bolton said." Yes, containment was for pussies, and Bolton's a real man. He told the Financial Times, "We have to articulate a policy leading to Saddam's overthrow; the alternative is to leave him with weapons of mass destruction."

We've just scratched the surface of his pre-Bush II life. But we can make some pretty solid conlusions about John Bolton: For most of his career, he's been a nationalistic liar with shitty judgment. A motherfucker. A nasty little plague-flea-infested gutter rat that thinks he's got the sharpest teeth in the sewer. That's why he fits in perfectly with the Bush adminstration, no?

Well, to be honest, Bolton wasn't wrong about everything. Back when he was fiercely opposing the independent counsel law, in 1987, according to the Washington Post, Bolton was attending a Harvard Law School Alumni debate on the law, Bolton said he had warned possible presidential candidates Joe Biden and Bob Dole that their adminstrations would also suffer under what he believed was an "unfair" law. Bolton saw the potential for abuse of the law that crossed party lines. Speaking at the event was Eliot Richardson, Nixon's Attorney General who resigned rather than commit the Saturday Night Massacre. To the "roars of laughter from the audience of lawyers," Richardson commented, "For God's sake, are we not entitled to hope that the next administration will be a little less sleazy?"

Oh, the Mexican revolutionary Bolton resembles? According to the Washington Post on October 19, 1988, Solicitor General Charles Fried said that Bolton looked like Emiliano Zapata. As the Rude Pundit said, an epic sense of irony.