5/31/2010

Poetry For Memorial Day:
From "Morning-A Death" by Vietnam War soldier Basil Paquet:

I'd sooner be a fallen pine cone this winter
In a cradle of cold New England rock,
Less hurt in it than nineteen years.
What an exit! Stage left, fronds waving,
Cut down running my ass off at a tree line.
I'm thinking, as I hear my chest
Sucking air through its brand new nipple,
I bought the ticket, I hope I drown fast,
The pain is all in living.

From the work of Afghan poet Zarlasht Hafeez:

The sorrow and grief, these black evenings,
Eyes full of tears and times full of sadness,
These burnt hearts, the killing of youths,
These unfulfilled expectations and unmet hopes of brides,
With a hatred for war, I call time and again,
I wait for peace for the grief-stricken Pashtuns.

(Poems found at the Healing Combat Trauma blog.)

5/28/2010

Three More Oil Stories to End Another Crude Week:
1. Here's an activity for the whole family:

Murdered Gulf has put out this flyer for a Jackson Square protest in New Orleans this Sunday at 1 p.m. Even if only the 1500 people who say they're going to attend (in that charming Facebook commitment way) actually do, it will be bigger than nearly every Tea Party rally. The Rude Pundit wishes he could be there, but, alas, he won't be down until July. Someone do him a favor and send him pictures. And maybe start a chant of "Eat me, BP."

2. In a strange confluence of two of the major themes of this week's news, shareholders at ExxonMobil have once again refused to add protections for LGBT workers to the corporation's non-discrimination policy. So, if you needed another reason to think that everyone running oil companies is a barbaric, hateful, avaricious piece of shit who would fuck a pelican corpse if they could get a little more gas out of it, well, now you have more evidence to support your well-considered position.

3. From the New York Times on April 3, 1989: "Mr. Bush has rejected the idea of a Federal takeover of the Valdez cleanup and has reiterated his support for drilling in the wildlife refuge."

April 7, 1989: "Alaskan officials said today that the spreading oil slick from the Exxon Valdez threatened thousands of miles of shoreline, and they insisted that only Federal intervention could prevent further environmental damage."

April
12, 1989: "Not until April 7, 14 days after the accident, did [Bush] order a larger Federal role in the cleanup effort - long after it had become universally clear that the oil companies had botched the job."

Article
after article back in 1989 talked about the federal government's lame, at best, response to the crisis.

Bush never went to Alaska. He sent Vice President Dan Quayle, who said he would report on his firsthand experience to the president. And by September 15, 1989, Exxon said it was done and walked away from the clean-up, thus giving it the time to prepare to lay waste to lawsuits against it. By December, Transportation Secretary Samuel Skinner praised Exxon for its response, even as environmentalists said that the long-term effects had been ignored, something that's borne out now, over twenty years later, by the continuing toxicity of areas of Prince William Sound.

The point here is not to defend the Obama administration's response to the Gulf oil catastrophe. The Rude Pundit's not gonna do that, except to say that, however you might think about it, Obama's miles and miles ahead of what Bush the Smarter did back at the start of his damned presidency.

No, actually, the point here is to say, "Oh, go fuck yourself with Reagan's femur" to craven columnist and creepy commentator Peggy Noonan, who writes in today's Wall Street Journal (motto: "Rupert Murdoch's taint is nicely powdered"), "The disaster in the Gulf may well spell the political end of the president and his administration, as she compares Obama to Bush the Dumber during Katrina.

Noonan conveniently leaves out the Exxon Valdez story, which is a more appropriate analogy than Katrina. Why? Because this overpaid slattern was working for Bush the Smarter during and after the Valdez spill, writing speeches to attempt to spin his criminal incompetence into principle, his boobish aloofness into engagement. She made people believe the lie that Bush gave a goddamn about the environment. This is not even to mention her aiding and abetting Ronald Reagan, whose administration's mad deregulation spree is one of the factors that led to the very oil spill Noonan is spewing about now.

And, thus, like so many of our corrupted punditerati, her opinion is pretty much a junk shot.

5/27/2010

Family Research Council: "Pray that Gay Rapists Don't Infiltrate Khaki Ass":
As a loyal member of the Super-Duper Prayer Team, yesterday, the Rude Pundit received his weekly Prayer Target list from the evangelical Family Research Council (motto: "Here a queer, there a queer, everywhere a queer queer"). The Rude Pundit joined the Super-Duper Prayer Team a few years ago under a secret nom de rude, which means that he gets emails o' faith that tell him what causes need some hot oral action on his knees. Each Wednesday, a letter arrives that says, more or less, "Hey, Jesus didn't shave his balls for nothing. Get busy."

And so he dutifully opened up the email and, lo and behold, what do you think our praylatio orders were about? It's a motherfuckin' emergency, man: "FRC President Tony Perkins believes the President's effort to infiltrate our military services with practicing homosexuals through the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' (DADT) is a 'Gettysburg' moment in the war for the soul of our nation, and that it is time for God's people to 'pull out all the stops.'" Yes, preventing gay men and women from serving their country in the military is the equivalent of 50,000 casualties in a Civil War battle. And, by the way, which side of the Civil War is the FRC saying it's on? The side preventing people from having rights? Or the side that was fighting to keep the Union together and end slavery?

(On another note, one of the Rude Pundit's favorite Civil War stories: In 1864, Massachusetts soldiers encamped in Virginia decided to have a formal ball. Sixty of the males, including the drummer boys, dressed in gowns and were the "women" for the evening. One soldier wrote, "Some of the them looked good enough to lay with, and I guess some of them did get laid with. I know I slept with mine.")

This is important, goddamnit: "We need prayer for God to show us just what is being said in secret government counsel chambers and to give us creative ideas to stop these evil schemes." Perkins apparently went into some kind of psychological collapse over the threat to repeal DADT for a bill that says, if the Pentagon gives the thumbs-up, the Navy won't know what to do with all the seamen: "In his prayer time yesterday morning, Tony wept for our nation. He saw in his mind's eye the oil now spewing from the Gulf of Mexico and polluting the gulf coast and saw it as a picture of the sexual immorality now polluting our land."

As if to demonstrate this immorality in the hottest way possible, the possible future is described as intensely homoerotic: "The sexual immorality that has oozed in our culture for decades with government consent and support has been bad, but under the legislation now being offered, it will become 'an unstoppable gusher and the damage will be catastrophic.' Please pray fervently." Dude, the Rude Pundit prayed all over his jeans reading that.

The problem, see, according to a FRC "researcher" who "analyzed" (with an emphasis on "anal") data about same sex assaults in the military, is that gay people are just too into raping straights. You put a straight guy in front of a gay one and a raping's gonna happen. His study proves it. Now, one could argue that the paranoia and self-loathing that enforced closeting has engendered in gay soldiers has led to such incidents. One might also argue that the number of assaults, while serious in and of itself, is a mere drop in the bucket compared to the assaults on women by male soldiers. One might argue that so many of the incidents involve drunk people that maybe alcoholism is the real problem. One might even argue that if you have a few million people in a group, there's gonna be some assholes who like cock. And assholes.

But then you'd be thinking with your logical brain and not just outright hating you some homosexuals. 'Cause we gotta pray, motherfuckers. We got our orders: "May God stir his people to 'take out all the stops!' May they aggressively pray and take action to stop this morally, spiritually, and in every other way senseless measure. May God open the blinded eyes in both Houses of Congress in sufficient numbers to stop this measure in its tracks. May God enlist believers who will pray day and night until the efforts to overturn DADT and to pass ENDA, have both been defeated!" No sleep, you Jesus-hating pussies. Day and night.

One of the bible passages we're supposed to read to accompany our prayer is Jeremiah 5:21-29, which is God getting all pissy and wanting people to tremble before him or whatever. Of course, if you go one verse more, you get this: "A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?" To put that another way, all those people, like, say, Tony Perkins, telling you what to say and what the invisible sky wizard think? Their own God thinks they're full of shit and that you're a loser if you believe them.

5/26/2010

Our Regulation Farce: Oil Companies Self-Evaluate Their Rig Safety Drills:
On July 24, 2009, the Gulf of Mexico office of the Minerals Management Service celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Unannounced Oil Spill Drill Program. From what we now know about the MMS, it must have been a hell of a meth-infused porn party paid for by the oil industry. Here's how it goes: "The MMS designs the drill to exercise an oil and gas and pipeline operator’s Oil Spill Response Plan and evaluates its spill management team’s effectiveness in responding to a simulated spill event."

The article continues, "A drill may consist of a table top exercise or the actual deployment of specific response equipment such as oil spill response vessels and dispersant aircraft. Every drill tests an operator’s ability to notify the appropriate contacts including federal regulatory agencies, affected state and local agencies, internal response coordinators and response contractors, as well as an operator’s ability to make decisions, respond properly, and take appropriate action."

One must wonder, though, how "unannounced" these drills were. In fact, considering what we've learned about how deeply corrupt the poor office drones at the MMS were by the cash, jobs, hookers, and football tickets dangled in front of them, one must wonder if the MMS officials tasked with evaluating the results of the unannounced drills even wrote the reports (as they allowed industry officials to write up inspections). And while much of the unethical and illegal activity took place during 2000-2008 (funny, eh?), it takes a while to root out every wormy apple in the tree.

In addition to the unannounced drills, the MMS runs "announced 'Table Top' simulations of a large oil spill." All drills are evaluated according to the National Preparedness for Response Exercise Program. These are guidelines that were put into effect in August 2002. It's fascinating reading, in a total wonky way, in that embedded within this document and within the Code of Federal Regulations, are all the various ways that BP and other oil companies, in essence, police themselves and weasel their way out of all but the most minimal and eminently corruptible regulation. In other words, you wanna know why the Gulf Coast is going to hell today? Here's the gospel of that damnation.

For instance, except for the unannounced exercises, all other safety drills have "self-evaluation" and "self-certification." And, in what may as well be bowing down to BP et al, "Records [are] to be maintained at a corporate location." So, for instance, BP can conduct a certain safety test once every three years, using the equipment they allegedly have for the "worst-case discharge scenario" (make your own joke), write up the report themselves, pat themselves on the head no matter how it goes, and then file the report away in corporate HQ.

You wanna know just how toothless government regulations in the post-dereg area are? Here's 30 CFR 254.54: "In addition to your response plan, you must submit to the Regional Supervisor a description of the steps you are taking to prevent spills of oil or mitigate a substantial threat of such a discharge. You must identify all State or Federal safety or pollution prevention requirements that apply to the prevention of oil spills from your facility, and demonstrate your compliance with these requirements. You also should include a description of industry safety and pollution prevention standards your facility meets. The Regional Supervisor may prescribe additional equipment or procedures for spill prevention if it is determined that your efforts to prevent spills do not reflect good industry practices." To put that simply, write us up something and, since our agency is filled with underpaid cubical zombies who want a job in your company, we might give it the once-over to make sure everything's cool, but probably not even that.

The closest thing to any statement that's in the ballpark of an actual regulation is "Nothing in this part relieves you from taking all appropriate actions necessary to immediately abate the source of a spill and remove any spills of oil." And it seems that BP has violated that repeatedly. Otherwise, we get nonsense like "You are responsible for any required testing of equipment performance and for the accuracy of the information submitted" when it comes to booms and anything else that might save the water and land.

Everything is what "you" must take care of, even in the that worst-case: "You must ensure that the response equipment, materials, support vessels, and strategies listed are suitable, within the limits of current technology, for the range of environmental conditions anticipated at your facility."

And if they weren't? Then what? That's the problem with relying on "you." "You" may figure the cost of any little fines are easier to deal with. "You" may be the unbelievable dickhead president of a company who says, after his company killed eleven people, has sickened who knows how many more, and ruined wetlands, "The US is a big and important market for BP, and BP is also a big and important company for the US, with its contribution to drilling and oil and gas production. So the position goes both ways." "We" might want to tell "you" to "Go fuck yourself."

"You" can no longer be trusted. But, then again, "you" have run the show for so long that "you" have made it impossible for "us" to extricate ourselves from "you." And to our eternal shame, for the decades of our government's idiotic disassembling of the regulatory mechanisms in the name of unhinged capitalism, through presidents of both parties, "we" have enabled "you."

5/25/2010

The Rude Pundit on Monday's Stephanie Miller Show:
Yesterday, the Rude Pundit and Stephanie Miller disagreed sharply on the Obama administration's handling of the BP underwater clusterfuck. But since they were in the studio together, it only added more spark to the electrically-charged room.

For more oily fun, including rudeness during upcoming trips to the Bonnaroo Music Festival and Louisiana, subscribe to the Rude Pundit's podcast.

Note: Earlier today, the Rude Pundit misspelled BP CEO Tony Hayward's name. He hasn't corrected it yet because fuck Tony Hayward.
Nobody Puts BP in the Corner:
BP is BP, motherfuckers, and who the fuck are you? Some puny government? Man, BP has fucked up entire nations so it could drink their fucking milkshakes. British Motherfucking Petroleum. C'mon, who the fuck do you think you are? BP eats Amocos and Arcos, and it'll lay pipeline wherever the fuck it wants and make governments work for the privilege. BP says jump and the fuckin' earth will shake from all the people hopping in unison.

So, really, when BP CEO Tony Heyward says, as he did yesterday, that he was "devastated" by walking amidst the environmental wreckage caused by his company, or when managing director Robert Dudley says that "there's nobody -- nobody -- who is more devastated by what has happened" than BP, well, what can one say to such touching human emotion other than, "We hope you get raped by alligators while the pelicans cheer."

For, see, if BP was honestly devastated by the oil gushing out of the hole in the ocean floor in any way other than its bottom line, then why the fuck is it resisting or delaying anything asked of it? 'Cause, see, the situation would seem to call for maybe a bit of humble pie, maybe some deference to people who didn't fuck up the ocean, who didn't say, as the now-"devastated" Heyward did less than two weeks ago, that "The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume." (Someone give that man a gallon of water and tell him that it's got one drop of HIV-tainted blood in it. Ask him if he'll drink.) No, that man, that company, has earned the disgust, mistrust, and contempt of the public. That's why, at this point, Americans have turned on the company. We're so adorable when we get angry at a multinational megacorporation.

How do you think this plays out? That some fucking miracle happens? That BP pays every dollar to every fisherman, every shrimper, every marsh tour boat operator, every business that has to cut back or shutter because of lost tourist dollars? That Congress will pass any regulations that have gums, let alone teeth? That President Obama will put on his Aquaman Underoos and dive down a mile to personally shove a cork into it? Hey, if we're gonna fantasize, we may as well have fun with it.

Jesus, already, BP is resisting changing to a less toxic dispersant, despite the EPA "ordering" it to do so. Why? Because there simply isn't enough of the shit that only poisons the ocean and the people a little less, or so BP says. So of course the EPA backed down. BP is also taking its sweet time even agreeing that oil washing up in places where oil hadn't washed up before is its oil, thus delaying clean-up, thus allowing more oil to pile up. Why? Who the fuck knows and why the fuck is anyone listening to BP executives except to hear them say good-bye to their loved ones from a gallows?

Look, we know what happens: For BP, it's a holding pattern until the goddamn thing is plugged and a relief well is drilled a couple of months from now. BP's gonna stand there and take everything that everyone is gonna throw at it. It'll go to the meetings and listen to the fishermen talk about the destruction of their heritage. Its executives will sit at congressional hearings and soberly answer questions. Heyward will scrub a seagull. Then, once the oil stops, BP will unleash the lawyers to scorch the earth it hasn't befouled. It will seek to pay as absolutely little as possible. It will make settlement offers that are a fraction of the real damage and people will take that because time is passing and everyone needs to move on. It'll contribute thousands of dollars to members of Congress. Hell, now it can just run campaign ads itself: Lisa Murkowski, brought to you by BP. Environmentalists will attempt to continue to call attention to the unending effects of the damage, but no one will pay attention once the greasy birds die off. And Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will sit back down and demand nothing more. He will, in fact, talk about the future and making sure that offshore drilling continues for the good of the state's recovery.

Because they are fucking BP. And who the fuck are you?

5/24/2010

Gulf Oil Spill: It Ain't Like This Never Happened Before:
This is fucked beyond fucked. And the history tells us it's gonna get more and more fucked before we can stop the fucking and, even then, it'll be ages before it's unfucked. Back in 1979, a Mexican oil well blew out under only 160 feet of water in the Bay of Campeche. The well was two miles deep. It was nine months and 138 million gallons before a relief well was completed. You won't be happy to learn that two months after the blowout, oil reached the Texas shore. You'll be less happy to learn that they (really) called their diversion dome a "sombrero" (instead of a, you know, "top hat"). And that they used dispersants. And that, even four months after the blowout, they didn't know exactly how much oil was flowing. Or that Mexican officials ignored some routine safety measures.

A New York Times editorial from April 12, 1980 wondered, "The enduring question is whether a devastating blowout could occur in our own offshore waters...The accident does suggest that blowout-prevention equipment is not designed to handle the worst emergencies." And it pondered, "Could a blowout in American waters be quickly capped and cleaned up?" before sadly concluding that "Most Americans would accept such blowouts to find oilfields are rich as Mexico's."

It's 2010, and the same questions persist. Thirty years and we've learned almost nothing. Yet everything old is new again.
Live in the Studio with Stephanie MIller:
The Rude Pundit will be on The Stephanie Miller Show today on yer radio tubes starting at 9:00 a.m. ET. Which is a way of saying, "Late post again." But, hey, listen in here or here to get a rude fix jacked right into your ears.

5/21/2010

Oil Spills? Coal Mine Explosions? War Overseas? Nothing Compared to the Real Threat:
As BP's lies, greed, and incompetence destroy the Gulf Coast, as North Korea is gettin' all ship-sinky with South Korea, as we pass the thousand mark in soldier deaths in Afghanistan, let us never forget who the true villains are: gay people. Specifically, gay people who want to serve the nation in the military and also be open about what flavor they like to lick. Oh, and let's not forget the traitorous straights who want to enable the barracks love that, for now, dare not speak its queer name.

How does the Rude Pundit know? Because he got a letter from Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council (motto: "George Rekers? We don't know no stinkin' George Rekers") telling him so. In rhetorical flourishes that'd make RuPaul wince at how flamingly over the top they are, Perkins writes (really), "I fervently believe the glorious Star-Spangled Banner should wave over our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard heros. President Obama wants to raise the rainbow flag of the homosexual rights movement over them." What do you say to that other than "Goddamnit, Tony, do you have to be such a drama queen about everything?" (By the way, that's Perkins' misspelling of "heroes." Maybe "e" is too gay-looking.)

And the answer would be, "Yes, Tony Perkins does have to be such a drama queen because Christ died bleeding on the cross to make sure that gays can't get on the mess line with seamen or that lesbians can't dive in the trenches with straight women." Perkins' letter continues with the nightmare scenario that would follow the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell: "Soldiers will be forced to live in close quarters with people who view them as sexual objects. Morale will plunge, discipline will suffer, and unit cohesion -- the glue that holds the military together -- will fall apart and dramatically weaken our national defense capability." Yes, we wouldn't want them to be less sticky.

How does Perkins know this? Well, he's talked to "military leaders." And "I served in the U.S. Marine Corps. I know what it's like to live in an open barracks, dress, and shower in front of 70 other men. I know what happens when straight soldiers demand that you hand job the fattest member of the platoon while everyone else jacks off on you until you're covered in jarhead spunk." (One of those sentence is made up. The rest is all Perkins.)

After begging for money to fight the gay menace (or, as Perkins puts it, "the homosexual lobby," which is probably mauve carpeted and lined with gold lame'), the FRC president gives us a Bible passage to move us to action. That'd be Ephesians 6:13, which reads, "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."

Of course, a few verses earlier, Ephesians 6:5 advises, "Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ." But, as with trying to figure out what really matters in this world, you always have to ignore the things that make your side look bad.
Late Post Today:
The Rude Pundit has to re-segregate his private places. Back later with more separatist rudeness.

5/20/2010

Why Is BP Still in Charge in the Gulf?:
So the little ramshackle bayou town of Jean Lafitte, Louisiana has canceled its annual Seafood Festival because of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. You might think they're overreacting, since the festival's not until July 30. Except that Lafitte's less than a 100 miles from this:


That's dark, thick oil in the marshes near Pass-a-Loutre in Plaquemines Parish, which is about 20 miles further north from where the initial reports of oil making landfall about a week ago. That small area of the marsh will be dead in another week, so you can't really fault the town of Jean Lafitte for thinking that, by the end of July, Bayou Barataria will become a viscous, awful dead zone. Damn, the Rude Pundit remembers that being a good festival when he was a kid. Of course, the 2100 people who live in Jean Lafitte will probably miss the tourist dollars a great deal more. You think BP is gonna pay for the loss of income?

The Rude Pundit can't get his mind around the fact that the well is still pouring out oil a month later. He can't grasp how BP executives haven't been arrested for, at the minimum, criminal negligence, if not manslaughter, and the well blown up and sealed. He can't understand why BP is even involved in any decision-making here, why any notion of protecting profits and shareholders has had any effect on the solution, why the Obama administration, the Army Corps of Engineers, fucking NOAA hasn't told BP to go fuck itself, that the well's not theirs anymore. And then order the Coast Guard to shoot on sight anyone from BP who gets near it.

BP has wasted so much time on efforts to save the oil and its investment in the well that it is just now getting around to attempting to seal the well. It's pretty simple. Fuck BP. Fucking blow it up. Fucking collapse the earth around it. And be fucking done with the spill and get to the clean up.

Why the desperate sound? Because everything we have been told by anyone in supposed authority on this crisis has been proven wrong, and the spill has turned out to be far worse than BP or the Obama administration has been admitting. BP CEO Tony Heyward, who should be set adrift on a flaming raft in the middle of the spill, had assured Louisiana officials that the dark crude wouldn't hit the marshes, that it would be chemically dispersed. That was wrong. The chemical dispersants were supposed to help, but they've turned out to be too toxic to the environment and, by extension, to people. What's next? The methane released in the ocean accelerating global warming? The oil becoming a sentient blob that eats boats?

Meanwhile, the coral reefs are fucked. The deep water is fucked. The fishing industry has already had a fifth of its area closed. Governor Bobby Jindal is trying to get the Corps to approve a plan to dredge near the marshes and create barrier islands to protect the wetlands. It's a plan from the Dutch. Why not? They actually seem competent when it comes to dealing with protecting their wetlands and their nation.

5/19/2010

Random Observations on Yesterday's Vaguely Meaningful Voting Activities in Pennsylvania:
1. Who gives a shit about Rand Paul? He's pretty much the acme of Tea Party candidates, a legacy name with a handsome face who knows all the words to the songs. And, while only 37% of Kentucky's 2.8 million registered voters are Republican, which means there's roughly a million of 'em, the supposed gleeful excitement and genital-throbbing thrill of the Rand Paul candidacy garnered about 206,000 votes. That's 20% of Republican voters in Kentucky. 57% of the state's registered voters are Democratic. The top two Democrats in the primary got more votes than the alleged Randmania express. So, basically, go teabag yourselves, Paulturbators.

2. However, the Republican Party is now owned by the Tea Party so, hey, enjoy the smell of Sarah Palin's ass. The base has been stolen by the wackanoids, and Mitch McConnell's enormous philtrum must be quivering and sweat-covered about now. The old guard GOP has a choice: double-down on Jim DeMint-like crazy or try to crawl its way back to relevance. The latter takes guts. So you know which way things are about to go in the Congress until November. Bring out the tranq guns, 'cause it's gonna be a long summer.

3. By the way, Rand Paul is kind of an idiotic dickhead. His acceptance speech was a mishmash of Tea Party greatest hits, an incoherent ramble that made no sense in the context it was given. Oh, sure, the usual "We have come to take our government back" nonsense was par for the course. But this part was ten kinds of nuts:

"We now have a president, though, who apologizes for America's greatness. We have a president who went to Copenhagen and appeared with Robert Mugabe, Hugo Chavez and others, Evo Morales to apologize for the industrial revolution. They say, these dictators, these petty dictators say that to stop climate change, it's about ending capitalism. They are explicit. And the president by attending Copenhagen gives credibility and credence to these folks, and he should not go. America is a great country." Mugabe? Copenhagen? What the fuck? Dude, that must have been some awesome coke you did backstage.

4. Other than Arlen Specter, is anyone even vaguely upset that Arlen Specter lost? Fuck, the President pretty much shivved him at the end there, when Specter was begging Obama to come in and hold a rally. Obama had promised Specter all the help in the world in exchange for the party switch, but when the end was nigh, Obama told him to shove a magic bullet up his Bush-loving ass. The lesson here? When Barack Obama is done with you, he's fucking done. Pick up your shit and get the fuck out. Besides, Joe Sestak appears to actually have...wait, what's the word?...oh, yeah, principles. Funny things, those.

5. Why aren't we talking more about Democrat Mark Critz's victory for Rep. Jack Murtha's old seat? Before the election, when it seemed like the GOP had a shot, we heard things like "This race will tell us a lot about how the midterms are going to turn out in November" (from Tucker Carlson on Fox "news" on April 26) or "The special election coming up in a couple months, and that will tell you a lot" (from Rick Santorum on Fox "news" on March 22). Is it because Critz is a conservative Democrat and therefore doesn't count as a bellwether? Or was it only significant if a Republican won? Because, see, Tim Burns was a Tea Party-supported candidate, but he lost a general election. Sorry if that doesn't fit the narrative, but, as mentioned before, go teabag yourselves, media.

5/18/2010

The Rude Pundit on Monday's Stephanie Miller Show:
This week, the Rude Pundit and Stephanie Miller talked about oxygen-sucking microbes and Sarah Palin, although, really, that's just one subject. Also, Stephanie demonstrates how she's a prophet.

The free Rude Pundit podcast is a way to keep the rudeness next to your sweaty groin when you're exercising. Ah, taint-drops...
Notes Regarding the Feasibility of a Minor Revolution, Part 3: The Stagnant Soul Must Learn to Rise Again:
Goddamn, this fight gets weary, no? Year after year, through flush times and failed times, we on the left have said that if you fail to take care of the shit that matters to people on a daily basis, there is going to be a disaster. Oh, sure, we've been predicting the mass destruction of our environment through greed and fossil fuel dependency. We knew that the end result of deregulation would be disaster wherever it touched, starting with the airlines, ending with the banking industry. We knew, we goddamn knew that ignoring the infrastructure of the nation, the needs of the working class, the exploitation of the poor, the dismantling of even the smallest of safety nets would result in economic disparity that moved from unfair to savagely cruel. We have stood here and screamed and yelled and tried, but we also knew that unless money was taken out of the political process, our voices would barely register, like a feather tossed in a metal bucket. And you know that this list of sighs is barely scratching the surface.

But there's one thing we didn't see coming: that people would just become so fucking apathetic, to the point where, almost always, they are contemptuous of those who offer genuinely transformative ideas, not the fake revolution offered by the Tea Party, our mutant model of protest now. Sorry, but if your goal is to offer aid and comfort to the rich and powerful, you're not protesting jack shit; you're merely signing your own death warrant. The purpose of the Tea Party movement is individualism gone mad, which means "If you fuck off and leave us alone, government, with our god, our guns, our high fructose corn syrup, our Facebook, our shitty jobs and wages, you can go about your business." The Tea Party's "success" is just a clever exploitation of our American nihilism, a march into oblivion, or wheeled into it unawares as we gaze at our Blackberrys assuring us that every little fart of a thought is important. The election of Barack Obama is beginning to seem less like an urgent call to change than the huffing effort of a fat guy forced to call 911 because his kitchen's ablaze because of an exploded microwave burrito. "Oh, the fire's out? Can I get that burnt burrito? Because The Biggest Loser's about to come on."

Progress is unbelievably frightening. But progress is all there is. You don't move backwards in this life. That's what the right wing wants now. The entire "I Want My Country Back" meme is such a lie because that crazy woman with that sign never had her country. And it ain't going back because what she wants to go back to never existed. That unstoppable urge forward is meeting this fear of the future, and the result is a stalling out, where progress inches, rather than leaps, ahead. It's caused our politicians to become stymied, with few actual leaders out there, with baby steps, like the financial reform bill, actually seeming like man-on-the-moon moments. We have lowered the bar on progress.

But everything has potential energy. Every stone, every fat fuck in an easy chair. The question that the Rude Pundit's been trying to get to is how to tilt the landscape so that gravity inevitably creates kinetic energy. In the last two parts of this series, the Rude Pundit has said that we need bogeymen, that we need to get our rage on over something, and that the current evident excesses of unfettered capitalism has given us the potential opening.

There's an awesome article by Michael Lind at Salon today; in it, Lind breaks down the history of American capitalism into five different versions, leading to a point now, where, he says, it's time for a new version, American capitalism 6.0. What Lind leaves out is that each of his time periods ends with a great upheaval in the nation that forces social changes. For instance, version 1.0 ends with the Civil War. Sometimes, the result is a more responsible capitalist model, as with version 4.0, which came after the Great Depression, and, according to Lind, was, for all intents and purposes, a time of responsible capitalism. Then, post-1960s and 1970s rights movements and the Vietnam War, the increasing drive towards globalization saw an abandonment of regulation, starting with President Carter, and a greed virus released on the financial markets that has led us to our current endtimes. Lind concludes, "Capitalism 6.0 will be just as American as its predecessors, but it will be better than what we have today. It could not possibly be worse."

Whatever it is, it needs to begin with a way to open the blocked arteries of the masses.

Christ, there's a lot of balls in the air here. Let's see if the Rude Pundit can bring it all home in the fourth and final part of this series.

5/17/2010

SEIU on the Attack: Bring It, Teabaggers:


If the teabaggers were smart and not enthralled by Sarah Palin's sneering vagina, they would be joining with members of the Service Employees International Union in marching on banks and lobbyists yesterday and today. Of course, asking them to be smart is like asking buzzards to stop eating carrion: why bother with live prey when the dead kind is so much easier?

Up there is a picture from what ought to be a teabagger's wet dream: hundreds of people on the lawns and at the door of JP Morgan Chase's Peter Scher, who is Global Government Relations and Public Policy for the mega-mighty bank. And a lobbyist. The marchers wanted to pierce the protective shell inside which the banks' lobbyists exist, to deliver messages and be heard by people outside the Capital echo chamber. In other words, they were a bunched of pissed-off workers brought in to fuck shit up. Where's your Adam Smith now, motherfucker?

By the way, Scher (who was protested along with Bank Of America's Gregory Baer) has previously worked for the Clinton administration and Democratic bank whore Max Baucus. He's a Democrat. This shit crosses party lines.

Of course, Glenn Beck has gone the full bugfuck insane on the SEIU, calling them "Marxists" bent on the destruction of our capitalist way of life. Right wing blogs are busy smearing anyone even vaguely connected with the protests, including Heather Booth, who David Horowitz's outfit calls "an Alinskyite" (as in Saul, ya know) who "has also been described as a 'guiding force' for ACORN and was an avowed supporter of Bill Ayers’s Weather Underground terrorist group," as if these are bad things.


Truly, if there's a universal opponent, it is those portrayed in that grotesque image there from today's protests. But Beck and Palin and every Tea Party abetting politician and media freak have convinced their followers that the enemies are those trying to rein in an unhinged, greedy beast. They think they can puff the cigars when, really, they're lucky to inhale the smoke. The entire Tea Party movement is about being hyper-selfish, based in Ayn Rand-porn, a perverse take on individualism that elevates one over the many, as if giving a good goddamn about the community and nation is merely a Stalinist plot.

Never fear, dear droolingly stupid teabaggers. Some keep fighting for the good of the many over the few, however hopeless a pursuit that may be.
Late Post Today:
The Rude Pundit's got a date with those two little Mothra chicks. Back later with more lubricated rudeness.

5/14/2010

The Gulf Oil Spill: There's Only One Hero We Need:
Of course, you realize this all ends with Godzilla rampaging through New Orleans. Or maybe DC.

Godzilla wouldn't sit still for this nonsense. Atomic fire-breathed motherfucker would have been awakened by the rig exploding, seen all the oil pouring into the ocean, and lost his shit.

Sarah Palin could try to explain to Godzilla that more offshore drilling is needed in order to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. Godzilla would have dropped a motherfucking bus on her before she got to "baby."

Oh, Godzilla, where are you when we need you? You could chow down on Rush Limbaugh and BP CEO Tony Hayward. You could head over to the Capital and fry Lisa Murkowski for blocking a bill to raise the cap on oil company liabilities. You could just wreck the offices of the Minerals Management Service, the federal office that somehow was allowed to function without managing minerals, which, one would think, would be first on their list of services they're supposed to provide. Go ahead, Godzilla. The scientists and researchers they consult would cheer you on, since their warnings were ignored or changed by whoremongering industry suck-ups working there.

And then, once you've fucked up the lives of every worthless stooge involved, Godzilla, once you've destroyed BP refineries and made a real dent in their bottom line, then you can return to the ocean, swim down to the bottom, and wrestle with that gushing pipe. Fuck, it's no more of a fantasy than any other method that's being tried to stop it.

Beware: Godzilla does not like it when you shit in his bed.

5/13/2010

The Gulf Oil Spill: Government Oversight Is for Pussies:


Those workers there are at the southeast tip of Louisiana. They're skimming oil and picking up tar balls from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig gusher that continues to pour sweet crude into the Gulf of Mexico after over 4 weeks. It could be a photo of dead fish, of oil coated birds, or of filthy oyster shells. It could be a video of the vomiting pipeline itself. Or of the sea being set on fire. By tonight, with the westerly direction of the current, it will probably be close to the Rude Pundit's old haunts in South Louisiana.

Everything you need to know to understand just how ridiculous our American approach to the interaction between government and industry has become is contained in this exchange: It's from the Coast Guard's hearing on the oil spill that was held on Tuesday. The USCG's Captain Hung Nguyen asked about the blowout preventer that was supposed to, you know, prevent the blowout, "It's my understanding that it's designed to industry standard and it's manufactured by the industry, installed by the industry, with no government witnessing or oversight of the construction or installation. Is that correct?"

To which Michael Saucier of the disgraced Minerals Management Service responded, "That is correct."

You got that? The very thing that's supposed to prevent, say, a massive, environment-despoiling, economy-wrecking incident was not subject to any government oversight. If you think that's okay, then you better be on the payroll of BP or else you're just a fucking fool, the kind of person who really ought to have their citizenship taken away and be sent to live on an island run by investment bankers, lobbyists, and free market whores. Oh, wait. That'd be America.

Saucier explained to Nguyen that his agency doesn't certify blowout preventers, but it will send out letters, "notices to lessees," if MMS has some problem it would like a driller to address. The driller usually responds with "Yeah, hey, and while you're down there, don't neglect the balls."

You could tell that Nguyen was thinking, "Are you fucking kidding?" when he said, "We have self-certification of critical equipment and safety notices that are not enforceable." And Nguyen's soul crumbled a bit more when Saucier informed him that any standards for safety and training with blowout preventers are created and certified by the industry, with no government oversight at all. Said the good Captain, "So, there's no licensing requirements for critical positions for drilling operations. The operator self-certifies, establishes what they think is adequate and then qualifies its own people to do the job."

You know, the politicians who would let an oil company do what it wants with the safety of its workers are very often the same ones who would tell a woman what to do with her body. Just a thought.

Meanwhile, the oil creeps closer. Meanwhile, we learn more about just how awful and unscrupulous and just goddamn evil the companies involved are, as if that's some sort of surprise. Hey, maybe all those clean-up jobs will spur the economic recovery.

5/12/2010

Yeah, Your State Sucks, Too, But Not As Much As Arizona, Oklahoma, or Louisiana Today:
1. So let's say, and why not, that you fucking hate the family in the house next door. You don't like the smell of the food they cook, the way they play their music too loud, their bratty kids, the way they mow their lawn. Sure, when you can, if a party gets boisterous, you call the cops, but ultimately that's treating a symptom, not the problem. Finally, you reach that breaking point, when you can actually hear the electric crackle of synapses firing off in your deranged brain. After a good dousing with gasoline, you set the house on fire. And you stand outside with a shotgun and shoot each family member as they come running out, but you keep one alive, just one, say, the oldest son. You shoot him in the leg to make sure he can't run away. You make him witness while you burn the house to the ground. And then, just as the cinders are cooling, you tell him, "Watch this," and you walk into the center of the ruins and piss on the ashes.

It's essentially what Governor Jan Brewer and the Arizona legislature have done with their string of anti-immigrant bills. And the one she signed yesterday? It was a steamy piss on the wreckage she has already created. Yep, now Arizona has an unnecessary fuck-you of a law that says schools can't teach any ethnic studies classes "that promote the overthrow of the United States government or promote resentment toward a race or class of people."

So, if, say, you're teaching a Native American history class in a Tucson high school, you better say that God killed all those Indians, not white people.

2. Oh, just, fuck you, Oklahoma.

3. As viscous doom from underneath the sea floor begins to engulf the coast of Louisiana, the results of the rank avarice of the various multimultimultibillion dollar corporations involved, the state legislature is really and truly considering a bill right now that would prevent the law clinic of any university that receives state funds from filing "a petition, motion, or suit against any individual, business, or governmental agency seeking monetary damages." The bill is targeting environmental law clinics and some of the potential lawsuits from the Gulf of Mexico oil geyser, as well as challenges to permits for new oil platforms (among other polluting industries).

A month ago, pre-rig-conflagration, cocksucker of the first order and Louisiana Chemical Association President Dan BornĂ© said of the clinics, "We’re going to tell legislators all over the state, if they want to play hardball by trying to kneecap industry in Baton Rouge, then we should play hardball and kneecap them with their state appropriations." Apparently, some legislators in the state know who they should listen to, even now, after the ruin being caused to the livelihoods of the very people who might need a law clinic assisting them with recovering damages.

By the way, this bill was originally a reaction to the Tulane law clinic's successful lawsuit that prevented a plastics plant from being built in a town filled with poor people. Convent is already part of Cancer Alley in the state. So, really, if you think about this from a polluters' point of view, those people had it coming.

5/11/2010

The Rude Pundit on Yesterday's Stephanie Miller Show:
On Monday, the Rude Pundit and Stephanie Miller talked closeted gay men and oil. And junk packing. It's a vicious circle.

You can carry the Rude Pundit in your junk pack by subscribing to the free podcast.
A Few Words Regarding Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan:
Man, Republicans are some skeevy motherfuckers. They attack Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan, for lacking experience as a judge. Beyond the fact that John Roberts had only two years of judging under his belt when he became the Grand Poobah Justice of All, there's one reason and one reason only that Kagan hasn't walked across the robed threshold, and that's because Republicans, who, as previously noted, are some skeevy motherfuckers, blocked her nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court back in 1999, with Senate Judiciary Chair Orrin Hatch not even allowing a hearing. Why? Because the Republicans could. And because she and others were nominated by Bill Clinton.

On May 9, 2003, on Fox "news," Alan Colmes asked Hatch about the failure to move the nominations forward, to which Hatch said, "Elena Kagan I feel badly about. She was one who didn't make it through." Indeed, he felt bad enough that he voted in favor of her for Solicitor General. And time will tell if he still feels like he treated her unfairly back in the day.

As for what kind of judge Kagan will be and what she believes, well, as the Rude Pundit said with the Roberts and Alito nominations by George W. Bush, you can bet that Barack Obama knows how she's gonna vote on every significant issue out there. You know that Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod did everything short of waterboarding to ensure that, no matter her lack of paper trail, that she was going to back the administration's positions. So, in that way, all the hue and cry from the left, while justified as hell (seriously, what fucking rainy day is the President saving his political capital for?), misses the point. Obama wasn't going to pick anyone, left or right, who didn't agree with his positions. The right was going to viciously assault anyone. That's not a reason to back down from the fight. But, by nominating Solicitor General Kagan, Obama has continued doing what he's been doing since the start of his administration, to his credit and his fault: he's fucking with the Republicans.

Just as with the Sonia Sotomayor nomination, Obama is putting a nominee out there who has so little to grasp onto that opposition to her seems absurd. And, as with Sotomayor, the one or two nits that are picked at - the milquetoast stand against military recruiting on the Harvard campus that crumbled as soon as shit got serious - serve only to denigrate the opposition. C'mon, how laughable is it that they're going after her for praising Thurgood Marshall for a speech where he said the Constitution "as originally drafted and conceived" was "defective"? Besides the fact that Marshall was referring to the enshrinement of slavery in the document, umm, even the people who wrote the Constitution found it defective and subject to change. That's why there's a fucking Bill of Rights and an amendment process written into the goddamned thing.

Obama's goal is not merely to get someone on the bench who is moderate in order to appease the right (although that is part of this punk-ass approach). It's also to discredit Republicans in the long-term by making them appear like the fools, the skeevy motherfuckers, the mewling infants that they are. They are seriously calling Kagan a "radical." Yes, you could argue that the right was going to say that anyways and thus Obama should have just nominated an old-fashioned liberal. And you wouldn't be wrong. But the strategy is to get conservatives to keep crying "wolf" until it just gets ridiculous. Everything is political, man, and it is foolish to think that a president is going to nominate the mythical "independent" thinker just because he or she is so goddamned wise.

As far as what Kagan believes, even with her worrisome stands on executive power, well, hell, who knows what's gonna happen. We aren't gonna know until after she's on the bench. That ain't a cop-out. It's the way it goes. The last nominee to be genuinely forthcoming at a hearing was Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who still didn't exactly lay it all on the line but sure wasn't shy about talking abortion. John Roberts outright lied at his hearing about his views, especially on respecting long-held precedents. Fuck, if we had a truly pugnacious Democratic Congress, he'd've been impeached by now.

What actually pisses the Rude Pundit off in not nominating Diane Wood is the Ivy League hegemony that owns the court. Really? An Upper West Side New Yorker who went to Princeton and Harvard? How about the woman who went to school at the University of Texas? How about a little diversity in how the justices learned the law?

5/10/2010

Rudy Giuliani Hates the Constitution:
Way back in November 1919, Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, who was busy at that point working with J. Edgar Hoover rounding up and deporting any non-citizen who even uttered the words "anarchist" or "communist," proposed a new anti-sedition law to Congress, a supplement to the Espionage and Sedition Acts already giving the federal government wide authority to arrest "suspected" anarchists. Targeted at any person or group who advocate "through the spoken or printed word the overthrow of the Government of the United States," Palmer sought to "do away with the barriers...which prevent the deportation of those convicted of anarchy." He was reacting to a wave of violence and bombings in the country that was supposedly the work of a network of radical, Bolshevik, and/or anarchist groups.

Among those barriers were the rights accorded to those accused of seditious activities. Wrote Palmer, "The accused is entitled to hearings to be admitted to bail, writs of habeas corpus, and to appeals even to our highest courts." And while it was easy to get around these impediments to justice with immigrants, well, with citizens, that was a whole other kettle of fish. So Palmer proposed, "The conviction [for sedition] of any naturalized citizen shall be deemed sufficient for the cancellation of his or her certificate of naturalization." You got that? In order to end the terrorism allegedly caused by the hordes of crazed immigrants (note: some of it was, some of it wasn't), the Attorney General of the United States wanted to revoke the citizenship of naturalized citizens and deport them. They had already done this with anarchist writer Emma Goldman, but now it was to be made law. As the Washington Post wrote in January 1920, "There is no time to waste on hairspliiting over infringement of liberties."

As radical and antidemocratic as Palmer (and Hoover) were, it's not as far that bald, useless bag of fucking failure known as Rudy Giuliani would go. On ABC's This Week this week, Giuliani made no distinction between natural born and naturalized citizens when he said, "I mean, why shouldn't we revoke the citizenship of someone who's been designated the -- an agent of a foreign -- of a foreign power or an agent of a -- of a terrorist group? Of course we should. Of course we should be able to revoke it. And I'd be happy to test the constitutionality of that." Who's got a slippery slope to sell?

Always trust the man who had a terrorist attack on the same buildings that were attacked before, right? A man who hired thugs like Bernie Kerik to top posts? C'mon, can't you trust a guy who's got a security firm to operate, who makes his money by ensuring that everyone's freaked out? Giuliani is a ghoulish asshole who despises being out of power, a loser and freak who abandoned any principles he had in order to become a mythic figure in his own mind and in the minds of deluded idiots. Listening to him talk about the Constitution is like listening to Wile E. Coyote discuss the finer points of trapping fowl.

Palmer, who was a Democrat, lost out on his presidential ambitions. The anarchist violence that had occurred continued for a while longer. Yet, despite the freak-out, America ended up outlasting the fear. For now.

5/08/2010

Weekend Link Fun:
The Rude Pundit, Alan Colmes, and Lizz Winstead are some of the many faces in Political Carnival's video "Do I Look Illegal?" Some serious, some sarcastic, but all sincere and angry. (The dirty secret is that all of us in the video are actually illegal. Especially Colmes. That Canadian bastard's been passing for American for years now.)

And check out a buddy's movie blog, Little Round Mirrors. He's got 500 DVDs, and he's watching one a day (or so). Rather than just reviewing the films, he's getting all personal and shit. Like somehow pop culture is connected to this big ol' journey we're on. The entry on Close Encounters of the Third Kind will give you a taste of what he's trying to do. (But Indiana still sucks.)

5/07/2010

Our Guns Are Way More Important Than Your Disasters:
While a good chunk of Nashville, which, in addition to being Music City, is also the capital of Tennessee, was underwater this week, the legislature kept at its job of making the Volunteer State safer for drunks. Yes, as residents of middle Tennessee were driving boats around the streets of their neighborhoods, wondering how much FEMA was gonna come through for the many homeowners without flood insurance, the state House passed a bill that had been previously passed by the Senate, both by veto-proof majorities, which allows people with carry permits to bring their guns into anywhere that lets you drink, and "That includes restaurants, nightclubs, honky-tonks, country clubs and any other place with an alcohol license, including places such as the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga." Honky-tonks and aquariums? Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker, indeed.

Down in Louisiana, as the slick diarrhea of oil crept its way towards the outer islands and began its long wreckage of the seafood industry there, the state House debated and voted on a number of gun measures. The vote was 96-1 to allow people with concealed carry permits to do so within 1000 feet of a school. School campuses remain gun-free, so far. But, with the proper permit, you can walk around the sidewalk outside a school with a gun in your pants. However, a vague modicum of sanity prevailed and the bill that would allow concealed weapons in churches got a majority, but not the necessary two-thirds needed to pass. Don't worry. You can still stalk around outside a church with your sidearm.

In Washington, D.C., senators who have no problem with the government spying on citizens without a warrant or holding people without charge for years, even torturing them for information, finally drew a line in the sand. They refused to budge on the idea that people on the government's terror watch list should be banned from buying guns, and they told this to Mike Bloomberg, mayor of the city that almost got car bombed. For Susan Collins, the Elmer Fudd of the Maine congressional delegation, it comes down to the possibility that someone could be on the list who's not a terrorist. Lindsey Graham, needing to appear butch after getting teabagged in his home state recently, said that it's just a slippery slope to banning handguns. In other words, you can stop someone from flying if they're on a list, but not from buying a gun.

Back in Tennessee, Joe McCord, a Republican from Maryville, which is as conservative district as you could imagine, went on a tear about what really is going on with the guns-in-bars law: "Essentially, the NRA is saying to us, if you don’t support and vote for carrying guns in bars, we will not endorse you and in fact will oppose you. This line of reasoning is just bordering on lunacy."

By the way, McCord has an "A" rating from the NRA. But, still, he said, "No one’s right all the time. The NRA is not right here, and we’re not standing up to them. It makes me wonder, what line will we not cross for the NRA? At what point do we say, this is too much?"

Oh, and, by the way again, before you start thinking that this is some portrait in courage, of a brave legislator standing up to the monolith that is the National Rifle Association, he's not running for re-election, which he admits has given him a bit of freedom: "I’m not running again. You can tell because I’m sitting here criticizing the NRA."

5/06/2010

The National Day of Prayer: Do It or Satan Will Eat Your Head:
Okay, this shit just blew the Rude Pundit's mind. According to the website of the National Day of Prayer Task Force (motto: "Pray, motherfuckers"), one part of the answer to the question "Why Pray?" is "Much sin is the result of the sin of prayerlessness. Through lack of prayer, we are weak, others are weaker and Satan gains the advantage in our lives." But, wait, let's see, in tallying up the total number of sins, are you including "prayerlessness"? And who's the "we" and who's the "others"? Mostly, though, why the fuck does the National Day of Prayer need a "task force"? Are there Prayer SEALs ready to do a night landing on your beach of sin?

Then the NDPTF explains that the real reason for prayer is that God is kind of an egotistical douchebag: "We must invite God to work here. If no-one invites God to work here, Satan...will dominate the affairs of men and eventually the judgment of God will come." So let's get this straight: if nobody invites God to the party, he'll get all pissy because Satan crashed it, and then get all smitey on our wicked asses. Time to tell Franklin Graham, "Dude, your God's a dick."

By the way, just because you pray, it doesn't mean that Satan's done bugging you yet. After prayer (and the Rude Pundit dares you to read this without laughing), "Usually Satan will try to suggest to you that your prayers were not heard. He will encourage you to look to the problems again and get your eyes off God. He will try to get you to talk as if you are not sure if your prayer is answered. If he succeeds in getting you to express doubt it is likely that your mouth confession will cancel the effect of your prayer." Honestly, the Rude Pundit's trying to come up with a joke involving a cock and a mouth confession, but he can't stop shaking his head at the sad idea that people actually believe that any kind of doubt is just Satan whispering in their ears. The DSM-IV lists that as "fucking crazy."

Yes, today is that National Day of Prayer, and the prayergasms are being yelped around the country, from soon to be oil-edged Alabama to newly immigrant-free Arizona, who answer the question of "What would Jesus do?" with "Round 'em up and deport 'em." Of course, many of the praying peoples, primarily of the Christian flavor, are het up about the recent district court in Wisconsin ruling that the National Day o' Prayer is unconstitutional. How the hell can you say that it's establishing a religion when the President proclaims, "On this day, let us give thanks for the many blessings God has bestowed upon our Nation." That's non-denominational, no? It's absolutely not secular, but it's definitely non-denominational.

But then we get back to those who wish to make the NDP into their own party. Whatever meaning the day was supposed to have, it's been hijacked by the nutzoid Christians into becoming an evangelical-fest. If they actually gave a good goddamn about faith and prayer, well, they wouldn't just cheer on their team. Instead, we get the task force telling us about how "Jesus taught us to pray," that "We are told by Jesus not to make meaningless repetitions of words when we pray," and that you need to "Begin your prayer with confession of your unconfessed sins. In this way the blood of Jesus cleanses us and prepares us to really relate to God."

You could say that Jews and Muslims and Zoroastrians or who the fuck ever could throw up their own little website and tell people how to pray most righteously Jew-y or Muslim-y or Zoroastri....oh, fuck it. But those aren't the faiths agitating for the National Day of Prayer in its current statute form. They aren't calling for us to pray, as the Family Research Council is, "May God visit America with great power as we cry out to Him tomorrow and every day. May He revive our churches, heal our land; convert the 7 mountains of our culture to Himself and make America a gospel light in the World yet again. In Jesus' Name, Amen!" Imagine for a second if a large Muslim group asked Allah to convert the nation to Islam. Imagine if the Pentagon had invited an Imam who condemns Christianity as the faith of murderers. Sorry. Maybe that's just Satan's suggestion.

5/05/2010

Stupid Fucking Republicans (Professor George Edition):
So here's how Dr. George Rekers, prominent anti-gay activist, professor of psych at the University of South Carolina, and founding member of the Family Research Council (motto: "George Rekers? We don't know any George Rekers"), apparently wants us to think it all went down:

Having just had surgery, perhaps as a result of a kneeling accident, and needing to take a ten-day trip to Europe, Rekers required help lifting things and decided to hire someone. And then it was all a big misunderstanding as he thought, "Hmm, what's the name of that agency...Manpower? Rent-a-man? Oh, yes, it must be Rentboy. That's the one." Rekers then went to the website, which confirmed that these were indeed strong, muscular young men ready to be employed, and, huh, they sure are proud of their hair, since they mention whether or not it's cut or uncut.

Like some crazy comedy of errors, it was just misunderstanding after misunderstanding. Rekers first email probably said something like, "I've got lots of baggage. Can you help me with that?" Thus Dr. George Rekers, who doesn't believe gay people should adopt or marry or be gay, ended up spending over a week alone with a hot, ripped stud named "Geo" from a gay male escort site named after a term for gay male hookers. Apparently, one of the qualifications to carry the luggage of George Rekers is to be, as Geo's Rentboy profile says, "HIV and Disease FREE."

But, lest you think there was any hanky-panky in the spanky or slobbity-bobbity, Rekers has assured everyone that once he found out his helpmate was a homosexual, he played the good Christian and ministered to Geo, whose specialties include "Vanilla, Leather, Anal, Oral, Shaving, Spanking, Role Playing, Kissing, Toys, Feet." As Rekers told the blog Joe.My.God, "I spent a great deal of time sharing scientific information on the desirability of abandoning homosexual intercourse, and I shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with him in great detail." And it's easy to make sure that someone's listening when he's sucking your cock.

See, Rekers believes that many gay men suffer from "Gender Identity Disorder," making them into "sissies," and it can be brought on by many factors, like having gay Boy Scout leaders. He told the Human Rights Commission in D.C., according to the Washington Post on August 2, 1998:

"Allowing openly gay men to be scoutmasters, he testified, 'would legitimize the value of homosexual behavior in the eyes of many of the Boy Scouts . . . There would be more homosexual conduct or behavior by the boys in such troops.' And some of them could be setting off down the road toward a homosexual adulthood, he said. Whatever biological component there is to having homosexual urges, homosexual behavior is a 'preference,' not an 'orientation,' he said -- in short, a matter of choice. It's a choice Rekers clearly considers deeply wrong: As a Southern Baptist, he told the commission, he believes that God destroyed the city of Sodom for allowing homosexuality, as an example to mankind, and that active homosexuals face 'eternal separation from God' -- in Southern Baptist parlance, the fires of hell."

Oh, God is now far, far away from George Rekers. But "oh, God" would seem to be his repeated mantra.

5/04/2010

Notes Regarding the Feasibility of a Minor Revolution, Part 2: Embrace the Leap:
Ask any man you know who recently decided to finally come out of the closet. There's such agony in denying what you know is true, that your marriage is a sham, that your desire for a male asscozy for your cock is making you ache with desire, but you can't, alas, you just can't betray the life you've lived for so very long. Sometimes, you have to know when to leap, when to go beyond the psychological roadblocks that hinder you time and again, and you just gotta be able to seize the moment and take that leap and discover the wonders that lie over the chasm. Maybe your wife leaves you. Maybe your best friend reveals he's gay. And then you can't look over the edge. You just have to see the welcoming arms of some hung Tom of Finland pantsless biker dude awaiting you on the other side.

President Barack Obama has been handed a golden opportunity in the convergence of catastrophes that have happened on his watch. Goldman Sachs, Massey Energy, and BP have all demonstrated that the deregulation chickens have come home to roost and to shit in our nests. And here's the kick in the taint: chances are that they were all acting within the law. Even the most flagrant of the trio, Massey, used the appeals process set up on safety violations to delay and delay taking the necessary measures and paying the goddamn fines so that lives might have been saved. It was all legal, man. Let's not even get into the clusterfuck of loopholes and rules and sub-rules and what-the-fuck-ever allowed Goldman Sachs to make money by dicking over its investors and laundering the cash through a third party.

And BP? Those fuckers (and the oil rig operator, Transocean) benefited like corrupt cops at a whorehouse in the way they abused the ludicrous, worthless self-regulation system. Does the phrase "police themselves" actually have any meaning? Because, see, if the Rude Pundit were to police himself, he'd say, "Well, gee, RP, as long as you only have just a little pot, coke, and ecstasy on hand and the goat you sacrificed for the blood orgy didn't suffer much, we can overlook it all. Don't kill any people, and we're good."

Now we're learning that, because of the criminal-favoring damages-cap on lawsuits, BP may only be on the hook for $75 million in economic losses for the entire Gulf region. That's like the budget for CEO Tony Hayward's ball-waxing. Oh, no, an entire fishing industry, tourism, and marshes will be destroyed, but at least Hayward will have to live with a hairy scrotum.

Last week, the Rude Pundit posited that Americans need to have someone to hate. You can say, "Scapegoat," but that seems way too mild for the frighteningly visceral extremes in which our populace indulges its feelings towards politicians, immigrants, and So You Think You Can Dance? contestants. So we on the left need to re-direct that potent energy of the masses towards the most obvious target: corporate entities that operate without care about people, the environment, or the nation. Seems easy? No, fuck you. It's not.

Don't put on your Mao jacket yet, for there's a catch. There's always a catch, no? It has to be done in a way that can't be labeled as "socialist" or whatever word people wanna misuse these days. The method is simple, and you have to suck it up, comrades: there has to be a case for good capitalism versus bad capitalism.

What is that, you ask? And how does this involve the President? That, of course, shall be discussed in Part 3.

5/03/2010

The Rude Pundit on Today's Stephanie Miller Show:
Yeah, yeah, the Rude Pundit fucks up totally at the beginning. He meant the Oklahoma City bombing, not 9/11. And Stephanie Miller politely doesn't mention it and steers the conversation in a refreshingly accurate direction. Oh, and the whale's a good idea, damnit.

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The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Will Wreck Your Pathetic Ideology:
Tell you what, motherfuckers, when dead people are left to rot in the sun because of the incompetence of the federal government, when corpses are floating in the streets, when the President passively ignores the pleas of the governors of Gulf Coast states, when entire neighborhoods have been physically destroyed, when the federal government strands tens of thousands of people without food or water, when the federal government starts to blame the local governments, when the President praises the work of a failed, incompetent bureaucrat while a major city rots, then you can say that this is Barack Obama's "Katrina."

But until this happens, good, sweet conservative bags of fuck who need so desperately to drag this president down, the Gulf of Mexico oil leak is a corporate-created disaster, and it actually serves to demonstrate, starkly, and with a semen-like sheen, as if the ocean floor is in the midst of a prolonged sweet crude ejaculation, the utter failure of deregulation and the bullshit notion that capitalistic enterprises can police themselves when it comes to safety and environmental standards, whether it was, in this case, BP or Transocean or whoever. In other words, once again, as with so many things, this is about your ideology belly-flopping, much like, you know, when Katrina showed how years of neglect of the levees would lead to a nightmare.

So now Bobby Jindal, formerly of the "states can solve problems" crowd, is coming to the federal government with his hands out like a New Delhi beggar with leprosy. Hell, Haley Barbour already knows the routine. Bob Riley's about to discover that money from the fed ain't so bad now. Bow and scrape, assholes, as an environmental catastrophe that's coming your way is gonna destroy jobs, tourism, and wetlands.

Right now, as the Rude Pundit writes this, the booms that were set up to protect the beaches in Alabama and Mississippi are failing. They're being blown onto shore by the winds, by the waves. Dead things are washing up, too. The fishing's been halted. Pretty soon, the white, white sands, the Aryan beaches of the Redneck Riviera are going to get dingier and dingier looking, even more than when swarms of UA kids head there to vomit in the sun on spring break.

Yes, some day soon, a man with his Gulf Shores timeshare, probably a proud and loyal teabagger, will look out over his balcony during the two weeks a year he takes his family on vacation and see the bits of black that are rolling up onto the shore. And he'll wonder, even if they do everything they can, why the feds couldn't clean it up sooner. Then he'll go inside and watch Hannity or listen to Limbaugh tell him that his taxes are too high and that business, not Washington, can solve all his problems.