4/30/2012

Ed Gillespie Has a Very Short Memory About Bush Ads (updated):
Is Ed Gillespie serious? No, really, is he serious? Because what he said yesterday on Meet the Press with David Gregory's Bowl Cut Hair was just hilarious. Gillespie, who is an adviser to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign failure, criticized remarks by Vice President Biden questioning whether or not a President Romney would have even had a chance to get Osama bin Laden, as well as an ad put out by President Obama's campaign that features President Clinton saying that the decision to kill bin Laden rested with one man, the President, and that he did the right thing.

Gillespie, who, back in the day, was forced to watch a sweaty, screaming Karl Rove get blown by a weeping Ken Mehlman on numerous occasions, was appalled. He actually said, "You know, David, this is one of the reasons President Obama has become one of the most divisive presidents in American history. He took something that was a unifying event for all of Americans, an event that Governor Romney congratulated him and the military and the intelligence analysts in our government for completing the mission in terms of killing Osama bin Laden and he's managed to turn it into a divisive, partisan, political attack that former Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci for President Reagan called sad, John McCain called shameful. I think most Americans will see it as a sign of a desperate campaign."

That's...darling. Now, Ed Gillespie, who looks like a nutria rat, may not want you to remember this, but he was the chair of the RNC when George W. Bush was running for re-election. Which Bush 2004 ad do you wanna go with to prove Gillespie is a lying sack of cocks? "Weapons"?

MALE NARRATOR [and TEXT]: As our troops defend America in the War on Terror...

MALE NARRATOR: ...they must have what it takes to win.

[TEXT: John Kerry Opposed Weapons Vital to the ar on Terror]

MALE NARRATOR: Yet John Kerry has repeatedly opposed weapons vital to winning the War on Terror.

[TEXT: Kerry Opposed: Apache Helicopters, C-130 Hercules, F-16 Fighter Jets, BUILT IN FLORIDA]

MALE NARRATOR: Apache helicopters, C-130 Hercules, and F-16 fighter jets, components of which are all built here in Florida.

[TEXT: Kerry Voted Against Body Armor For Our Troops]

MALE NARRATOR: Kerry even voted against body armor for our troops on the front line of the War on Terror.

MALE NARRATOR [and TEXT]: John Kerry's record on National Security: Troubling.

Or howzabout "Whatever It Takes," which uses grieving widows and wounded soldiers as props?

"BUSH: These four years have brought moments I could not foresee and will not forget. I’ve learned first hand that ordering Americans into battle is the hardest decision, even when it is right. I have returned the salute of wounded soldiers who say they were just doing their job.

"I have held the children of the fallen who are told their dad or mom is a hero but would rather just have their mom or dad. I’ve met with the parents and wives and husbands who have received a folded flag. And in those military families, I have seen the character of a great nation. Because of your service and sacrifice, we are defeating the terrorists where they live and plan and you’re making America safer. I will never relent in defending America, whatever it takes."

You could also go with "Troops," or, for big-time larfs, how about "Finishing It," with its images of bin Laden and injured kids (yes, bleeding children)?

MALE NARRATOR: These people want to kill us. They killed hundreds of innocent children in Russia, two hundred innocent commuters in Spain, and three thousand innocent Americans. John Kerry has a thirty year record of supporting cuts in defense and intelligence...

[TEXT: 30 Year Record; Cuts in Defense and Intelligence]

MALE NARRATOR: ...and endlessly changing positions on Iraq.

[TEXT: Endlessly Changing Positions on Iraq]

MALE NARRATOR : Would you trust Kerry up against these fanatic killers?

[TEXT: Would You Trust Kerry?]

MALE NARRATOR: President Bush didn't start this war, but he will finish it.

Ed Gillespie and anyone who supported George W. Bush's 2004 campaign talking about what's divisive is like a professional wrestler teaching subtlety.

Interestingly, when Gregory did bring up Bush ads to Gillespie, the chinless fuck said, "So the difference here is you don't see, you know, you see in the--in the Bush ad saying, you know, he's a strong leader. You don't see him saying and that guy, you know, would've done something different."

No, of course. The line "Would you trust Kerry up against these fanatic killers?" doesn't say that at all.

Hypocrisy is like air to these assholes. And they exist at a level of denial of the eight years before Obama came into office that would be sad if it wasn't transformed, on a daily basis, into a vicious hatred for anyone who might remind them of it.

Update with more hypocrisy: Hey, here's President Ford in an anti-Carter attack ad made for the Reagan campaign in 1980. Maybe only two-term presidents aren't supposed to get involved. Check it out.

4/27/2012

End the Week on a Positive Note: Norway Says, "Fuck You and Your Ideology, Anders Breivek":
Sometimes, a nation needs to stand together, to rise to the occasion, in order to say to a single person (and, by extension, anyone who loves or believes in that person), "Fuck you, fucker." The United States had a moment like that when thousands of people booed President Bush's plane as he flew away from DC after the 2008 inauguration. "Fuck you, fucker." Good times.

So, to end another week where, in this nation, every day seems to bring another blow to our individual rights and liberty, let us turn our weary eyes to Norway, where freedom is something that people are really, truly willing to die for. For 40,000 or more people turned out in the Youngstorget square in Oslo to sing a song to spite a mass killer who said it brainwashed the youth of the nation.

Yeah, Anders Breivik, whose rampage of guns and a bomb left dozens dead and more injured, a son of a bitch whose proper punishment should be to shoot him in the kneecaps and leave him to the wolves of the eastern forests (hey, we're giving him a fighting chance), said, in language that would do most of the Republican base proud here in the U.S., that "Children of the Rainbow," a variation of a Pete Seeger song, helped make public schools "indoctrination camp" for "cultural Marxism and multiculturalism." (Has anyone done a "Rush Limbaugh or Anders Breivek?" quiz yet? Because you could open with this: "I see all multicultural political activists as monsters, as evil monsters who wish to eradicate our people, our ethnic group, our culture and our country.")

And so, based on a call on Facebook, all these thousands of Norwegians, including cabinet ministers, came together and, led by the song's writer, Lillebjoern Nilsen, sang the innocuous lyrics, "Say it to all the children!/And tell every father and mother./We still have a chance/to share our hope for this world." Not to try to negotiate the brain of a lunatic, but there's nothing in the song about killing the rich white people and dividing their possessions, but, hey, "Marxist" is a degraded term now, no?

At the end of the singalong, which took place in other towns, too, in one of the great "Blow me" lines in recent history, Nilsen said, to Breivek, to the people there, to those who support Breivek's brand of hate, "It is we who win." And then a few thousand marched in the rain to the Oslo City Court and laid roses at the fence around the building that held the murderer, the actual monster, who, yes, had quite obviously lost.

4/26/2012

Antonin Scalia Will Make Sure Arizona Stays Fucking Insane:
The next time Solicitor General Donald Verrilli is scheduled to argue against a broad definition of states' rights at the Supreme Court, someone needs to kick him so hard in the crotch that he's doubled over in pain and tasting nut blood. For, indeed, he is a boob. As Dahlia Lithwick describes it, he's "a guy who brings a butter dish to a gunfight."

You can't understand the fucktarded nature of Verrilli's argument against Arizona's SB 1070, the "show us your papers" law that says anyone stopped for any violation, from murder to broken taillight, must prove he or she is a citizen or face detention until that determination can be made, until you read this exchange between Verrilli and Chief Justice John Roberts:

"CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Before you get into what the case is about, I'd like to clear up at the outset what it's not about. No part of your argument has to do with racial or ethnic profiling, does it? I saw none of that in your brief.

"GENERAL VERRILLI: That's correct.

"CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Okay. So this is not a case about ethnic profiling.

"GENERAL VERRILLI: We're not making any allegation about racial or ethnic profiling in the case."

Aaaand...scene.

So, you got that? A case that is specifically about the racial profiling must not mention racial profiling and, instead, will be argued over whether or not the power to check immigration status belongs to the state or the federal government. Why? Well, perhaps because the law says the cops can't racially profile people. And, of course, we all know that because the law says they can't, they'd never do so. No, the law just says that the cops have to believe that a "reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States." No, no, that would never lead to any racial profiling.

Solicitor General Verrilli must not understand exactly who he's up against because the second this became about Arizona's right to police its own borders, he wasn't dealing with any rational way in which the law could be applied. No, he was dealing with Fox "news" rhetoric masked as jurisprudence. He was dealing Justice Antonin Scalia, a man who bends over a toilet when he's done taking a titanic shit and inhales deeply. And then he makes Justice Clarence "Uncle" Thomas do the same, and Thomas does, without saying a word, of course. Oh, Tony Scals. There's a dude who will certainly one day be found dead, having choked to death on his own jizz after contorting his bloated and broken body so he can suck his own cock.

Here's his big attack on the federal government's position on the enforcement of federal law by the states: "What's wrong about the States enforcing Federal law? There's a Federal law against robbing Federal banks. Can it be made a State crime to rob those banks? I think it is...does the Attorney General come in and say, you know, we might really only want to go after the professional bank robbers? If it's just an amateur bank robber, you know, we're -- we're going to let it go. And the State's interfering with our -- with our whole scheme here because it's prosecuting all these bank robbers."

Does that make a fucking bit of sense in the context of a state declaring that you can be asked to prove your citizen at any time a cop thinks there's reasonable suspicion to do so? Would he want the federal government to be able to do that? Of course he doesn't care. Because he's not going to be stopped. Because he won't look suspicious. Because of his goddamn race. Even if he robs a bank.

But if you want the fullest extent of Scalia's pure dickishness, look at how he taunted Verrilli later in the hearing:

"GENERAL VERRILLI: Now, we are not making an allegation of racial profiling. Nevertheless, there are already tens of thousands of stops that result in inquiries in Arizona, even in the absence of S.B. 1070. It stands to reason that the legislature thought that that wasn't sufficient and there needed to be more.

"And given that you have a population in Arizona of 2 million Latinos, of whom only 400,000 at most are there unlawfully

"JUSTICE SCALIA: Sounds like racial profiling to me."

A moment later, in response to another assertion by Verrilli, Scalia said, "What does this have to do with Federal immigration law? I mean, it may have to do with racial harassment, but I thought you weren't relying on that." That's right. A Supreme Court justice decided to have fun by fucking with an incompetent Solicitor General.

And why is that? Who decided how to argue this case and on what issues? Why can't the case have been argued on federal authority and 4th Amendment grounds? Or, really, is it just that the Supreme Court is so far gone that it doesn't matter?
Late Post Today:
Still trying to figure out the best way to describe Antonin Scalia's awesome dickishness. So enjoy last week's Cheater and the Rude, featuring a reaming of Tennessee by the Rude Pundit and buddy Mark Creter:

4/25/2012

In Brief: Mitt Romney Is Breathtakingly Vile:
Describing his successful business career at Bain & Company and Bain Capital last night after winning who the fuck cares which primaries, Mitt Romney said, "I became successful by helping start a business that grew from 10 people to hundreds of people." That was actually Bain Capital, which he founded with other rich prickfaces. After once again listing the few companies we've heard of that were successes once Bain came in, Romney continued, "I’d tell you that not every business made it and there were good days and bad days, but every day was a lesson."

"Huh," the Rude Pundit thought. "I wonder which day or which business he was talking about." Was it Georgetown Steel in South Carolina, which was gutted by Bain once it took over, with managers "replaced by people who knew nothing of steel," with equipment upgrades avoided, with union benefits cut, which was fine for making the quick buck Bain wanted it to make so it could look better on paper and be sold, but not so good for making, you know, steel products, and Georgetown was driven into bankruptcy.

Or was it a bad day when a Bain-run corporation bought a paper plant in Marion, Indiana, in 1994 and immediately fired everyone who worked there and forced them to reapply for their jobs "at lower wages and a 50 percent cut in health-care benefits"? When the workers striked, Bain closed it down and shipped the jobs to Mexico. Was that a bad day or a good day? It's hard to tell. Probably both, depending on where your paycheck was at the end of it.

Was it a bad day when Bain's management, specifically Romney's, created the financial situation that forced a Kansas City steel mill to close after 100 years in business, with 750 people losing their jobs and the pension fund shorted by $44 million? Or maybe ask the 1700 workers laid off from Dade International in Illinois after Bain took over?

The thing that President Obama needs to keep in mind about Mitt Romney is that he is a ruthless, amoral son of a bitch. Like Bain Capital, he makes promises that are lies when they get in the way of his greater good or his bottom line. With his polished smile and primped hair, Romney is one of the most outright depraved and evil sociopaths ever to run for office, and that's including Richard Nixon and Pat Robertson.

Beware the man who presents himself as honorable when his actions have demonstrated nothing but disgrace.

4/24/2012

Your State Sucks: Wisconsin Says, "All Your Fetus Are Belong to Us":
In Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker, who is a motherfucker by just about any definition of the word, short of actually fucking his own mother, which, considering the way his narrow eyes make him look like any backwoods inbred Jed, is not outside the realm of possibility, signed into law a new abortion-restricting bill that "requires the physician to inform the woman that she must return to the abortion facility for a follow-up visit 12 to 18 days after she takes the medication at home." By the way, that's in addition to the forced 24 hour waiting period and in addition to doctors being forced to give women pamphlets about adoption agencies. So that's three visits for a single dosage of a pill.

Wait, that doesn't really get into how fucktardedly precise the law is. The family planning clinic where the woman has gone to take a pill to induce a miscarriage early in the first trimester must receive "Geographically indexed materials that are designed to inform a woman about public and private agencies, including adoption agencies, and services that are available to provide information on family planning...including natural family planning information, to provide ultrasound imaging services, to assist her if she has received a diagnosis that her unborn child has a disability or if her pregnancy is the result of sexual assault or incest and to assist her through pregnancy, upon childbirth and while the child is dependent. The materials shall include a comprehensive list of the agencies available, a description of the services that they offer and a description of the manner in which they may be contacted, including telephone numbers and addresses, or, at the option of the department, the materials shall include a toll-free, 24-hour telephone number that may be called to obtain an oral listing of available agencies and services in the locality of the caller and a description of the services that the agencies offer and the manner in which they may be contacted. The materials shall
provide information on the availability of governmentally funded programs that serve pregnant women and children." And if you don't include every one of those items, hellfire shall be brought down on your baby-killing heads.

If any of this wasn't degrading and infantilizing enough for women, "The physician prescribing the drug also must perform an examination before giving the drug and must be physically present in the room when the woman receives the drug." Oh, and if said physician doesn't tell a woman she must return to the very same clinic for a follow-up, he or she can receive a $10,000 fine. Oh, and if said physician is not physically present when the woman takes RU-486 or doesn't give a completely useless exam, he or she can go to prison for up to 3 1/2 years for a Class I felony, the same as possession of child pornography, theft, embezzlement, and battery with substantial bodily harm.

But wait. Because there's so very much more in the new law. First off, the physician has to play cop: "The physician who is to perform or induce the abortion shall determine whether the woman's consent is, in fact, voluntary." In addition, the physician and clinic can have the fuck sued out of them if the doc's not present at the time of the pill swallow or if the aforementioned completely useless examination isn't performed. And not just by the woman. Nope, they can be sued by the parents of a minor who takes RU-486. And by "The father of the unborn child aborted as the result of an abortion-inducing drug given in violation" of the new law. There's an exception there. If the father is a rapist and the pregnancy is the result of his raping, then he doesn't have standing to sue. Let it never be said that there's no compassion in these vicious times.

So, honestly, it's no wonder that Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin said, "Are you fucking kidding?" and stopped providing abortion-inducing drugs to women. Planned Parenthood will still provide surgical abortions in the few locations in Wisconsin that do so. So, hey, ladies, you can get that far more invasive medical procedure. It's your choice.

The law ends on an entirely unnecessary and dickish note: "Nothing in this section may be construed as creating or recognizing a right to abortion." Really? You don't think that the entirety of the law makes that point crystal fuckin' clear?

4/23/2012

Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Snort Meth Off a Dead Raccoon's Ass:


Whenever some conservative wad of fuck wants to talk about poverty in America, it's like he or she can't get his or her tiny little mind around what poverty actually is. Because, see, Johnny Noble up there? His uncle, Mose, doesn't have a big screen TV. No, it wouldn't do him any good in the trailer because it doesn't have electricity or running water.

That's Booneville, Kentucky, where the unemployment rate is 12% and 41.5% of the people live below the poverty line. Between 2000 and 2010, income actually declined in Owsley County.

You see, that's poverty today in America.

Oh, by the way, you'll be happy to know that, after a mistake-filled first day, Mitt Romney's wife's horse, Rafalca, rose from 17th to 15th place in the freestyle portion of the World Cup Dressage Finals in the Netherlands.


That is one fine mare. Yep, Rafalca and rider Jan Ebeling "stayed perfectly in tune with the up-tempo music throughout his ride. The pair had a dramatic finish to their test with piaffe on the centerline, culminating with a one-handed piaffe into the salute. A slight spook following the two-time changes performed on the rail was one of few mistakes in a pleasing effort." Pleasing, indeed.

No, "one-handed piaffe salute" is not dressage-speak for "giving the middle finger," but it may as well be.
Late Post Today:
With Popocatepetl blowing ash and rocks, it's time to put on the Blue Demon mask and save the people of Xalitzintla.

Back later with more volcanic rudeness.

4/20/2012

David Brooks Understands Fuck-All About Colleges:
The Rude Pundit doesn't spend a lot of time writing about his profession because, frankly, he just doesn't think a lot of what we do is very interesting to most everyone everywhere. But New York Times writer David Brooks decided to shit where the Rude Pundit sleeps, and, between that and an enraging sliming in the Washington Post a couple of weeks ago, a response is more than justified.

Today, in his "column" (if by "column," you mean, "the pathetic pleadings of an elitist prig begging to demonstrate his regular dude street cred"), Brooks cites a few studies and books that say that students simply aren't learning very much in their college experience in the last couple of decades. You can tell where he's coming from by this line: "At some point, parents are going to decide that $160,000 is too high a price if all you get is an empty credential and a fancy car-window sticker."

Let's unpack that for just a moment: he's obviously talking about rich students at elite institutions, where "parents" can obviously afford $40,000 a year. Because that ain't about kids who have to pile up student loans and get government assistance. And it ain't about the vast majority of schools in the nation which cost far, far less. Oh, and one thing. Let's not be naive. Of course, those parents are buying a fancy car-window sticker. And the schools know that. Grade inflation has been a far greater problem at Ivy League institutions than elsewhere. Why? Because Harvard and Columbia and Yale need to keep those cash teats good and ready for suckling.

"One part of the solution is found in three little words," Brooks says, and if you know anything about a conservative approach to education, you know what he's gonna say. "Value-added assessments. Colleges have to test more to find out how they’re doing." Yes, yes, yes, let's test more because it's done so very much to improve public schools in America.

Let's get this straight, David Brooks and every other stupid fuck on the right who wants to solve the "problem" of college education (or any education) in America, and this comes from someone who has been at this job for over twenty fucking years: You fucked it up. Back in the 1980s, you got shit-scared when multiculturalism and ethnic/gender/queer/whatever studies began to take hold in academia. You published idiot books that said that what educators wanted to do about education was wrong and that people outside of academia should actually be involved in setting standards. And then you went further. Colleges, you decided, needed to be run like businesses, blaming colleges for the ever-rising tuition rates when, in reality, the problem was worthless tax cuts, going back to Sainted Reagan, that did jackshit to help the economy but forced states to gut funding to universities, but, no, no, it really was that schools needed to be run efficiently, like businesses, and if a college is now a business, with the bottom line being the only line, and not a place where people get, you know, educated, then you have a fucking responsibility to your customers, in this case, the students, to make them happy with the business where they are spending their money. The Rude Pundit's own institution is now in the midst of "streamlining" the general education requirements so that students can graduate more easily. It's under the guise of "making transfer easier" or some such shit, but it's really about getting the kids through to get more money. And let's not even get into the evisceration of public education at the primary and secondary levels so that the students that are coming to college are starting at a point where freshman composition is now "How you write a sentence with proper grammar and punctuation because your high school teachers were forced to transform their classrooms into test prep labs so that the place where they work won't be shut down." And let's not get into the over-reliance on criminally overworked and underpaid adjunct faculty to teach the vast majority of college classes, people who often work at several institutions in order to cobble together a liveable wage. And let's not even get into an economy that has transformed technologically and socially without any concomitant investment in those things that might actually allow people to be ready for the jobs that are out there. And let's not get into the devaluing of a broad, liberal arts education that creates thinkers and doesn't just train people to work. Shit, what's better to those in power? Good drones or questioning citizens?

And you know who caused all these fucking problems? The bastards and bitches who went to the $160,000 schools who figured out a way to scam and scare everyone into "value-added assessments" as some kind of Holy Grail of education.

Every couple of years, every department in the Rude Pundit's college has to deal with some "assessment" organization coming in and forcing them to justify everything they do. One of the last groups made the departments create rubrics of goals and lists of assessment tools to reach those goals. It was pencil-pushing, ego-soothing nonsense. It was overlaying a factory model onto the role of colleges. But you can be sure as shit that someone made money on the whole nonsensical exercise in futility.

But, no, really, David Brooks, by all means, let's waste another shitload of everyone's time and money on more worthless testing. It's far better than just letting professors do their fucking jobs.

4/19/2012

Mitt Romney's Horses Have It Better Than You:
Rafalca, the 15 year-old Oldenburg who is the daughter of Argentinius and Ratine, granddaughter of Rubinstein I, is, dear God, a fuck of a dressage horse. That mare bitch can piaffe and passage like the Queen of England wearing wooden pantaloons. She's in the World Cup now in the Netherlands, having won the Grand Prix in Del Mar, California.

Of course, things weren't always so smooth for Rafalca. As co-owner and rider Jan Ebeling writes about the 2009 World Cup, "After entering the dressage arena, she became frightened and refused to perform her dressage test. Each time she got close to the dressage judge, she would not go forward. As a pupil of the German riding system, I know that going forward is fundamental, but at that moment it was all I could do to complete the test. It was the ride—in front of thousands—that no one wants to have, and it was one of the biggest disappointments of my career."

Ebeling said a few more things that seem heavily symbolic about the presidential ambitions of Republican Mitt Romney, whose wife Ann is also an owner and is deeply into dressage: "We must accept defeat because defeat teaches us many things...I believe in every rider’s life there comes a moment when you have to be brutally honest about the structure of your program. If there’s a problem, you have to probe deeper instead of just chalking it up to bad luck."

Rafalca receives the best care that money can buy. She has a farrier, a chiropractor, a vet, and a masseuse. Yes, the horse has its own hoof doctor. And masseuse. For massaging. A horse.

Oh, and it gets to dance to music selected by Mitt Romney. The soundtracks to Rain Man and The Mission. The latter film is about a Jesuit missionary to Brazil. The former is about a slick, empty, soulless man who gets redeemed by his idiot savant brother. Again, symbolism run amok.

The next few months will be about Mitt Romney trying to convince us all that he's one of us, that he understands our problems. The difficulty is not that he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. It's that he's going to say that he should not have to pay a slightly higher marginal tax rate while his wife's horse is fed with that silver spoon.

4/18/2012

Your Gay-Loving Immorality Forced the Secret Service to Pay for Hooker Sex, Says Family Research Council:
We members of the Super-Duper Prayer Team of the uber-evangelical Christian Family Research Council (motto: "No, Really, We Can Force Ourselves to Support a Mormon") are used to a certain amount of hyperbole in our weekly missives of shit what we need to be a-prayin' for. The Rude Pundit joined the SDPT a few years ago under a nom de rude, and Wednesdays bring him a steaming fresh email of "Prayer Targets," sinnin' that needs the shotguns of God's love to be pointed at the heathen bulls-eyes. Today's prayitus letter, though, goes just a little bugfuckier than the usual bugfuck insane.

'Cause, see, according to the FRC, Secret Service whore-haggling and GSA party clowns are all part of a larger problem. Let's quote it in full so's you can get the full, piquant flavor of an organization shitting itself:

"Is it any wonder that young White House Secret Servicemen and military servicemen have been caught consorting with prostitutes abroad; that GSA managers partied extravagantly in Las Vegas at taxpayer expense? For decades our government has engaged in profligate borrowing and spending, stubbornly funded Planned Parenthood (against the protest of parents) to teach children that 'anything goes'; that mistakes can be 'covered up' without parents ever knowing; to help teenage sex rings ply their trade right here in America, etc. The administration in power has imposed homosexual practice upon our military and has mandated that religious schools provide contraception, sterilization and abortifacient drugs to all students and staff - at taxpayer expense! What can we expect to come if things are not reversed?"

Now, you may think, "Why has no one ever told me about these teenage sex rings?" or "How much practice does it take to be a homosexual?" but then you'd be part of the problem, you sinful motherfucker. You gots to pray. And, luckily, the FRC provides the SDPT with the path to prayteousness, telling us to kneel down and gobble Jesus's knob of forgiveness: "God, the moral breakdown in America is too far gone for men to turn the tide. We need you to do what only you can do, to heal our land. Nevertheless, show us what you want us to do!"

Aw, yeah, it's time for some motherfuckin' floods up in this place. Time for some Sodom and Gomorrah-type flames and shit. Maybe even a little Rapture to thin the herd.

As always, the Prayer Target email provides helpful bible passage references so's that we know that all of this is on the up and up. Like, say, Acts 17:30 (King James, bitches, King James), when Paul hangs out in Athens and argues to the Jews around him, "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent." Of course, Acts 17:29 reads, "Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device."

And the FRC wants us to know that we can always give them money.

4/17/2012

Taking Care of Our Own in the U.S.A.:


While the Rude Pundit readily acknowledges that there's truly nothing more important in the world than the torture of Mitt Romney's now-dead dog or the boning habits of Secret Service agents or the amount of taxpayer money spent on party clowns by the GSA, occasionally we perhaps need to be reminded that there's a whole lot of people who are not as connected as we here in Blogsylvania.

For instance, that line up there is not for lottery tickets or seats at the Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee, where that photo was taken. No, it's so that poor people, without any or enough insurance, can see a doctor or a dentist. In one of many events put on by Remote Area Medical USA, nearly 1600 people ended up getting medical help at an auto racing track. In the United States of America. In the year of someone's Lord 2012.


This past weekend, people camped out overnight so they could get into the clinic. But on the first day, the demand for dentists, especially, was twice capacity, and 500 patients got turned away. Everyone working there is a volunteer, and the people waiting in line, for hours and hours, were mostly well-behaved. "We have virtually no trouble at all with the patients," said RAM founder Stan Brock. But because of the demand for dental work (and, yes, all those jokes about hillbillies and their lack of teeth is true), people ended up having to choose whether they wanted to visit the dentists or the opticians.

Chances are that most of you reading this will not have to ever make that choice. Chances are that you never had to physically wait in a line for over a day just to see a doctor.

RAM is running clinics every couple of weeks in Appalachia because it's so goddamned poor in that region. One in Virginia had as many as 6000 people show up for medical care.

By the way, the Tennessee legislature recently passed a bill saying that county courthouses could display the Ten Commandments.

Someone needs to take the Supreme Court on a field trip to one of these clinics. And whenever any idiot starts yammering about how you have to "wait in line" for operations or care in countries with socialized medicine, inform that idiot that Americans are already doing that. Just not the Americans the idiots ever think about.

4/16/2012

In Brief: Dick Cheney Is Still Alive and Talking, For Some Reason:
And so it was that, revitalized by feasting on the delicious organs of the young, former Vice President Dick Cheney slouched his way onto the dais at the Wyoming Republican Party state convention on Saturday and slurped his way through an hour and a quarter of questions from his vestigial tail, daughter Liz. The fetid bucket of rotten meat that limps like a human heaved itself into a chair and, like a virus with legs, immediately started vomiting forth his programmed disease: "I can't think of a time when I felt it was more important for us to defeat an incumbent president today with respect to Barack Obama," Cheney said. "I think he has been an unmitigated disaster to the country."

Now, you may think that Dick Cheney calling Barack Obama's presidency "an unmitigated disaster" is like a dung beetle declaring that another insect is "filthy" or a herpes-sore-mouthed meth whore calling another woman "a skank," but you wouldn't get the full delusional flavor of Cheney's remarks, as he added, not at all ironically, "I think to be in a position where he gets four more years in the White House to continue the policies he has, both with respect to the economy, and tax policy, and defense and some other areas would be a huge, huge disappointment." Because if you want advice on taxes and defense, you should definitely take it from anyone in the Bush White House.

Apparently, that new heart of his still didn't include a self-awareness gene.

Otherwise, Cheney kicked the greatest hits. He got huge applause fronting for torture: "It produced a wealth of information. Don’t let anybody tell you the enhanced interrogation program didn’t work. It did," a statement that no one ever follows up with asking how many Americans were killed because of anger about those same "techniques." You should be comforted, though, because, as Cheney said, "We didn’t pull anybody’s fingernails out with a file or something like that." Which of course begs the question of how Cheney knows what tools are needed to pull out fingernails.

Many of the gathered Wyoming GOPers were amazed at how lively Cheney was, considering he's had five heart attacks and is on heart #2. They needn't have been. He travels with sedated Iraqi children who have tubes in their arms, ready to be siphoned for more life-giving blood for the Vice President.

Oh, he also said that Mitt Romney would do a "whale of a job" as president, by which one can presume to mean that he'll float along and devour the smallest, most helpless creatures he can find.

4/13/2012

Oh, Fuck Ann Romney:
Let's get this out of the way first: Nothing said following this paragraph is meant in any way to denigrate the suffering that Ann Romney has endured first as a victim of multiple sclerosis since 1998 and then as a breast cancer survivor, first diagnosed in 2008. If you know anyone with MS or have it yourself, you know that simply existing can be a pain-filled hell, no matter how much money you have. And, as an MS website notes, ironically now, "Ann's health has become a full-time job for her." So are we clear about that? All respect on dealing with the diseases. Now, that said...

Fuck her. And fuck everyone, from the Obama administration to Fox "news" numbskulls, who piled on what Democratic strategist and CNN contributor Hilary Rosen said on Wednesday night. Rosen didn't say a goddamned thing that was wrong when she offered that Ann Romney "has actually never worked a day in her life."

Ann Romney has lived a privileged, pampered life and she has done nothing that anyone would associate with a "job," and that includes her stay-at-home mothering, readily assisted by nannies and servants. She has a degree in French from Harvard and her major activity is dressage (which, apparently, is some fancy horse thing involving riding crops and jodhpurs and jaunty hats). Rosen was addressing Mitt Romney's remark that he listens to Ann on economic issues affecting women. Mitt Romney getting advice on the economy from his wife is like him getting foreign policy advice from Seamus, the roof-riding family dog. (Although, if you think about it, "Shit yourself until someone hoses you off" isn't bad advice for a nation.)

Are we really doing this again? Are we really having some worthless fucking debate over how hard it is to be a stay-at-home parent? President Obama said, "There's no tougher job than being a mom." Really? Ask a coal miner. Ask a sweatshop worker. It's fucking stupid. Are we just back to Hillary Clinton and the motherfucking cookies? Oh, wait, Michelle Malkin's quoting that 1992 remark, so the Rude Pundit supposes that we are.

The Rude Pundit's sick of bowing down at the altar of the homemaker. Sure, sure, it's hard work raising children. Ask the people who run day care centers and preschools. It's hard work whether you work a full-time job or not. But let's be honest here: Choosing to be a stay-at-home parent (and that includes the increasing number of dads that do it) for the last generation or so is a bourgeois indulgence that's primarily available to the financially privileged. Even those who "sacrifice" to stay home with the kids get to do so only because they have an amount of security that's simply not available to the vast majority of Americans (and let's leave out the long-term unemployed who have decided, "Well, fuck it. May as well stay home"). It's a choice that's available only to a select minority of the people of this country that does so little to actually help parents.

In fact, in the history of post-industrialized America, the June Cleaver/Carol Brady stay-at-home mom is one of those sucker dreams that most families could never achieve. Women worked. Just not the women you ever saw in pop culture. Most working class couples had two incomes because that's how the fuck you survived. Shit, the Rude Pundit knows at least two stay-at-home moms whose husbands lost their great jobs and then got shitty new jobs, so the stay-at-home status had to end as they got shitty jobs to make ends meet and have something like health insurance. His own mother worked full-time, but she was at every event and cooked every night. This whole bullshit "debate" debases her efforts to make our lives easier by working a job. She was, in this way, a great deal like Hilary Rosen, a working parent herself.

But, you know, sure, raising kids is work, a lot of work, constant work. That's something we can't deny. Still, it's work that parents chose to do by having children, so, you know, don't fucking complain. And when someone says it's not a job, suck it up. It's not a fucking job. It's a privilege, one that millions of parents would love to be able to have but can't because they don't have the means of Ann Romney.

Update: The Rude Pundit would be remiss if he didn't clarify one thing. Some parents stay home with the kids because of the ludicrous price of childcare. If it costs more to have the kids in day care than one makes, then what's the point? He was referring to this when he said that our government doesn't help out parents. Remember the debate in the 1970s and 80s over government-run day care? Yeah, now, we can all go fuck ourselves with that socialist indoctrination program. It shall not even be mentioned.

4/12/2012

The Stupiding of America, Part 1: Tennessee Gets Even Stupider:
The Rude Pundit loves the state of Tennessee. He has had more amazing, enthralling, erotic, and exotic moments there than he can count, from going to a snake-handling church to seeing Dizzy Gillespie in one of his last concerts. He lived and worked there for a good chunk of the 1990s, and he goes back at least once a year. He has taught in public schools all over the eastern part of the state (as an artist-in-residence kind of thing for Sevier, Knox, and Blount counties). So he can say with some authority and with the love that a distant, wayward cousin can have for his relatives back in the mountain shack: it's filled with a lot of fucking stupid people who are manipulated by the cynical and stupid and stupid/cynical fuckers in their state government.

Take, for instance, the "education" bill that Governor Bill "No One Accuses Me of Being Muslim Despite My Distinctly Middle-Eastern Sounding Last Name" Haslam allowed to become law without his signature. The bill, well, law allows teachers to "explore" controversies around scientific subjects. Oh, it sounds innocuous enough: "The state board of education, public elementary and secondary school governing authorities, directors of schools, school system administrators, and public elementary and secondary school principals and administrators shall endeavor to create an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues."

Actually, the law itself is baldly specific about what is available for questioning: "The teaching of some scientific subjects, including, but not limited to, biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning, can cause controversy." It's like a nutzoid conservative wet dream, a beautiful merging of religious and corporate interests into one ball of retardation. Evolution and cloning make Baby Jesus cry and global warming makes oil and coal companies get all sweaty. Teach the controversy, motherfuckers, even if there is none.

But don't worry: "This section only protects the teaching of scientific information, and shall not be construed to promote any religious or non-religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs or non-beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or non-religion." You got that? They'll only teach the non-religious way that evolution is wrong and how we were all spooged into existence by a masturbating invisible sky wizard.

The law is such a clusterfuck of backwards-ass thinking that it'll assure that every school in the state teaches "controversial" issues in a different way, leaving out the fact that, for, you know, scientists and their, you know, science, none of this is controversial in the least. But, hey, high school student Jesse, Jr., son of Jesse, heard on the radio that he didn't come from no got-damned monkey, and Phil Valentine knows more than any pinhead researcher.

Yes, yes, don't teach 'em that science is science. That might cause the yahoos to really question something. Better to make 'em think that their stupidity is wisdom and that the fuckheads who manipulate them are the intellectuals.

But, wait, it gets worse. 'Cause there's the bill that Haslam did sign into law this week, which "Authorizes local governments to display replicas of historic documents such as the Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, and Ten Commandments in county or municipal public buildings and on county or municipal public grounds. The documents may be displayed in the form of statues, monuments, memorials, tablets, or any other display that respects the dignity of the documents." Sneaky motherfuckers. Calling the Ten Commandments a "historic document" is like calling The Cat in the Hat a guide to pet care. Like with creationism and climate change denial, just because you say it doesn't mean it's true. Hell, call it a jobs bill for monument carvers. That makes more sense.

Good luck, Tennessee. The Rude Pundit will see you in June. Enjoy your record-setting heat wave that has nothing at all, surely, to do with climate change. Keep up the good work on having one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the nation.

By the way, does the scientific questioning bill allow for students to ask teachers about the effectiveness of abstinence-only sex education when study after study shows it's a complete and utter failure? Or is that too much learning?

4/11/2012

Late Post Again (and the Rude Pundit on Monday's Stephanie Miller Show):
This here Hudson Valley is relaxing. Who'd've thunk it? Oh, and someone loves the Ron Paul up here. Burma Shave-like signs all over the place about how freedom is dead unless Ron Paul is elected. Yeah, Farmer John, your life will be made so much easier with the gold standard back in place.

Anyways, the Rude Pundit hopes to write about Chris Christie being a fucker later today. For now, enjoy Monday's Stephanie Miller Show appearance, with lots of talk of racy, sexy stuff...wait, no...lots of talk of racism and sexism stuff.

4/10/2012

A Haiku Farewell to Rick Santorum:
An honorable
Crazy man is, in the end,
Still a crazy man.

(Note: This vacation thing is sometimes very vacationy.)
Late Post Today (and News About the 2012 Rude Pundit's Almanack):
The Rude Pundit is on an upstate New York walkabout. Back later with more tick-free (hopefully) rudeness.

But good news, everyone. Pre-orders flowed in this weekend, and OR Books will be publishing the 2012 edition of The Rude Pundit's Almanack. They may be bastards over there, but they are honorable bastards.

You can keep ordering (and you should, especially you, over there, who can totally afford it but hasn't ordered yet, fucker) and know that your faith has been rewarded. Deep, deep thanks.

4/09/2012

Last Time: Buy the Book (and Doug Stanhope Pants the Media):
"Last day, motherfucker," the Rude Pundit's editor said on the phone this morning. "Can you do it?"

"I don't know, jerk-off," the Rude Pundit responded. "Times are hard. Books are becoming the unwanted stepchildren of the reading world. Let it roll and let's find out."

See, the Rude Pundit made a deal with OR Books. After they published The Rude Pundit's Almanack in 2011, which sold a few copies, he wanted to put out a new edition, with updates and new material, one that would make it stay relevant for the coming election, a 2012 Edition, if you will (even though roughly 75% of the stuff in the original edition has nothing to do with this year's presidential race). But OR Books didn't want to gamble without some advance sales.

So it all comes down to this: Pre-order The Rude Pundit's Almanack as an ebook for ten bucks or a paperback for $17. It includes new, never-blogged material like "Ten Ways Occupy Wall Street Can Kick Ass in 2012" and "Backlashing Again: How Racism and Sexism Became Cool Again."

If we sell enough, they'll publish. But the deadline is Tuesday for sales. Otherwise the sons of bitches at OR Books can it (and give you your money back, all of it, no questions asked).

So take five minutes today for the cause of making the thugs at OR Book regret they ever fucked with rude readers and order.

(And thanks to everyone who's ordered so far.)

Regularly scheduled rudeness will return tomorrow, but until then, enjoy this:

One of the Rude Pundit's favorite comedians is Doug Stanhope, who, more than anyone else these days, is a true heir to Lenny Bruce in his brutal ability to call out moral hypocrisy and bullshit. He's performing in England right now, and he got pissed off at Allison Pearson, a Daily Telegraph columnist who got all huffy about a nearly-completely paralyzed man who wants to be mercy killed. The columnist's attitude galled Stanhope, who responded on Twitter, which started a Twitter war, which led to another column by Pearson condemning Stanhope as an "internet troll" and comparing him to an asshole who posted racist tweets about a soccer player who had a heart attack on the field. This is just all background to the main event.

Stanhope's online response, addressed to Pearson, is fucking thrilling. It's funny, it's cutting, it's savage. And, in the last few paragraphs, it is a succinct and incredibly smart analysis of the death throes of traditional media:

"You don't even understand the concept of an internet troll. I stand up alone in front of people nightly, my exact location announced well in advance and speak my opinions openly and publicly. You sit hunched over a laptop with a finger-sandwich hanging out of your mouth, blurt out whatever inane, reckless pap you can generate and think that there will be no repercussions, save for your alleged 'flurry' of emails.

"You would never have the balls to stand up and speak directly to a public gathering of Telegraph readers. You are the troll, Allison Pearson. You've always been the trolls.

"This is the arrogance of a media that is beginning to realize that they no longer have a monopoly on public discourse. People like Allison Pearson are dipping their toes into the internet, into the medium that is quickly making them irrelevant and they are shivering at coldness of their own sudden vulnerability.

"It used to be that people like me were at your mercy, Al-Zebub Pearson. If I said something considered mean-spirited or off-color on stage, the papers could lambaste me in the press with impunity. Now the shoe is on the other foot as we, the people have columns and readers of our own. You wrote what I found to be loathsome, I gave you a bad review and all of a sudden the flurry of email you're getting isn't so pretty.

"You are a moribund Vaudeville act. And you can either sink with the ship or come into the future where you are gonna have to hear what people think in whatever language they choose to use. If you google my name or read the comments on any one of my YouTube clips, you'll find boatloads of comments that are far worse than any of the slings and arrows you or even Fabrice Muamba [the racist soccer fan] suffered. It's par for the course. And if anyone ever went to prison for even a minute because of the viciousness of their online attacks on me, I would campaign endlessly for their freedom."

4/06/2012

Clap If You Want the 2012 Edition of The Rude Pundit's Almanack to Live:
Today, the knuckle-dragging goons at OR Books gave the Rude Pundit the final warning. In a "meeting" in a filthy alley off West 36th Street, his editor held up the one copy of the brand new edition of The Rude Pundit's Almanack and said, "Not enough sales, bitch." A bulky, no-neck assistant stood nearby with a baseball bat. A can of gasoline was uncomfortably close to us. The stench of garbage was almost as bad as the smell of hobo piss.

"What do you want from me?" the Rude Pundit said. "I told people about it. The ad's been on the blog. I'm not gonna blow everyone to make 'em buy it."

The assistant shoved the business end of the Louisville Slugger into the Rude Pundit's gut. "Watch your smart mouth, smart guy."

The editor tossed the manuscript onto the ground. He poured the gasoline over it and took out a lighter. "I guess you won't need this anymore," he said.

"Stop!" the Rude Pundit shouted. "Alright, you cockmonger. Gimme till next Tuesday. Jesus rose again in that time. Moses crossed the motherfuckin' desert. Surely we can move a hundred or so copies of the book in a single weekend."

The editor looked at the assistant and nodded. The big bastard picked up the book and looked over at the Rude Pundit. "Publishing," he said, "ain't a game for pussies."

"You got four days," the editor said. "Four days. And after that, you writer piece of shit, we'll either get moving on publishing the new edition or we'll burn it and return everyone's money, no questions asked."

Through clenched teeth, the Rude Pundit said, "You're on."

So it all comes down to this: Pre-order The Rude Pundit's Almanack as an ebook for ten bucks or a paperback for $17. The new edition has new shit and it's updated and stuff. You know, like new editions of books usually do. (Including the much-needed epic poem, in limericks, about the rise and fall of Herman Cain and "Ten Dances You Can Do on the Grave of Newt Gingrich's Career")

If we sell enough, they'll publish. But the deadline is Tuesday for sales. Otherwise the sons of bitches at OR Books burn it (and give you your money back).

So stop worshiping Jesus or sucking on Elijah's bone or whatever you're doing this weekend for five minutes and order.

(And thanks to everyone who's ordered so far.)

Oh, and here's the Rude Pundit on Monday's Stephanie Miller Show (aka Talking Liberally on Current TV).

4/05/2012

Kendrec McDade's Death Should Be Part of Our Trayvon Martin Conversation:
It looks like things went down like this in Pasadena, California, in late March: A 9-1-1 call was made by Oscar Carrillo, who claimed that two "African-American" men were robbing his car, one of them flashing a gun at him, and that he was pursuing them in his car. The alleged robbers were running away. The police arrived in a patrol car and started pursuing someone they believed was a suspect, one in the car and one on foot. According to the cops, that young black man, 19 year-old Kendrec McDade, put his hand "in or around his waistband." Thinking McDade was going for the gun Carrillo had mentioned, they said, the two officers opened fire, one of them from the patrol car first, hitting McDade multiple times. As many as eight shots were fired at McDade.

According to a federal lawsuit filed by McDade's parents, as their son lay bleeding on the ground, the police handcuffed him and left him there as he began to twitch and try to speak to the officers who had shot him. They left him there "for a protracted period of time without administering first aid." McDade died at a hospital later. His companion, a 17 year-old, was arrested on suspicion of murder because, according to California law, "if anyone dies during the commission of certain felonies, the felon gets an extra charge of murder," even if the charged person did absolutely no harm, even if the cops did the killing.

Let us leave out the fact that Kendrec McDade was a star high school athlete who was a college student. Let us leave out the fact that Carillo was an undocumented immigrant who had been deported before and came back and now faces deportation again. Let us leave out whether or not McDade and his companion actually did rob Carillo. These things don't matter.

What matters is that the police never found a gun. They searched for days. With bloodhounds, with helicopters. Nothing. Because, see, Carrillo lied about the gun. He wanted the police to get there quicker. He was arrested on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter, not murder, like McDade's companion, and released 6 days later with no charges filed. And, besides that, the cops aren't saying they saw a gun or anything that looked like a gun when they fired at McDade. They saw a hand move.

What also matters is that, according to the police, the officers never activated their patrol car camera. It is supposed to go on automatically if the lights or siren are used. But Pasadena police policy is that patrol officers don't use those for armed robberies. However, it can be started manually. Thus, no tape exists of the incident. It is merely the word of the officers. The McDades' lawsuit alleges a cover-up by the police department and that one of the officers who shot Kendrec was also involved in other shootings of black suspects.

What also matters is that the Pasadena and, indeed, police all over the Los Angeles area have been involved in multiple incidents of shooting unarmed black males in the last couple of years. What matters is that, like the Sean Bell incident in New York City, which finally ended this week, over 5 years later, with the firing of the detectives involved, the use of deadly force by the police against black men is something this nation refuses to grapple with.

There's been local marches for justice for Kendrec McDade, but nothing like the saturation of action and coverage we've gotten in the Trayvon Martin case. And that's a shame, for many reasons, not the least of which is that the violence against young black males by the police, and not just armed neighborhood watch members, from stop-and-frisk to killing, deserves at least as much of our outrage and anger.

4/04/2012

Photos from the American Police State:


All in all, it's been a pretty shitty week for those of us who believe in things like rights and freedom. Not the bullshit chimera "Freedom" that nutzoid right-wingers sodomize like the last donkey in Alabama, but real and actual freedom. See, to the right, the government saying that a business needs to meet certain building codes and labor laws is an infringement on freedom. On the left, we say getting strip-searched by cops because you are wrongly accused of not paying your parking tickets is a bit more freedom-denying. But, really, what's the difference, huh?

Or perhaps we think that campus cops in a California college gettin' all up in student faces with the pepper spray once again breeches the whole freedom vs. tyranny line. This time around, the dastardly collegians at Santa Monica College were protesting a major hike in tuition, and, thus, because they didn't act like good, docile sheep, they had to get a face full of pain. Fuck, yeah.

Are we done now? Are we past our post-9/11 worship of police? Have we given them enough rights as we have destroyed our own? And, most importantly, is it okay to call them "pigs" again?
Late Post Today:
Mumm-Ra has gotten his filthy hands on some scepter or something that shoots some kind of ray. Time to grab the Sword of Omens and get to work.

Back later with more thunderous rudeness.

4/03/2012

Conservative Heads Explode When Obama Mocks Their Fear of Unelected Judges:
When President Barack Obama was having a joint press conference with the presidents of Canada and Mexico by his side, a reporter asked about the possibility of the Supreme Court overturning the Affordable Care Act. Obama responded, "Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress. And I'd just remind conservative commentators that for years what we’ve heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint -- that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well, this is a good example."

Essentially, what he was saying was, "The idiot cocksuckers on the right have been huffing on the bone of 'unelected judges' outrage for years now whenever their shit was at stake, like, say, DOMA. Now that someone else's shit is at stake, all of a sudden 'unelected judges' are good shepherds of the Constitution. You're a bunch of hypocritical fucks. Go fuck yourselves." That last part might be a bit of a stretch, but mostly, that was it. It was calling out motherfuckers for fucking their mothers. It wasn't addressed to the court. It was addressed to conservatives.

However, for the media and some on the right, it was an "oh-my-stars-and-garters" moment. "Unsettling," said the Washington Post's Ruth Marcus. "Unnerving," exclaimed the New York Post's John Podhoretz. "Shocking," said someone or other on MSNBC's Morning Starbucks. It was a "warning" or a "threat" to the Court, they say, when, in reality, it was a mocking of a cherished right-wing talking point.

Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Republican Lamar Smith jumped into the fray and said, "That comes very close to trying to intimidate the Supreme Court of the United States and I’m not sure that’s appropriate...Judicial activism is when the courts would typically try to legislate from the bench and make decisions that are totally out of their jurisdiction. In this case you have a constitutional issue."

But, apparently, if a federal judge decides that the treatment of some Americans is unconstitutional, that's out of their jurisdiction. Here's Smith on August 6, 2010, decrying the decision that overturned California's gay marriage banning Prop. 8: "It is not the role of a single, unelected federal judge to redefine the institution of marriage and impose it on American society. The people alone-through their elected representatives-have that role and responsibility."

By the way, you could do this with just about every Republican who slammed what they perceive Obama said. "He's an asshole," followed by, "Grrr, I hates me some unelected judges."

And on it would go, including the media. Dana Perino, who was George W. Bush's press secretary, yesterday, on Fox "news" show The Five (subtitle: "Circle Jerking for America"), said that Obama "might have missed the constitutional law class where it said if the Supreme Court doesn't have a right to say whether it's constitutional or not...And it was divisive, disrespectful."

And here's Dana Perino in her press secretary role on April 16, 2008, talking about court decisions about the environment: "To us, having unelected bureaucrats regulating greenhouse gases at the direction of unelected judges is not the proper way to address the issue." Yes, certainly, elected bureaucrats and elected judges would be far, far more impartial in doing their duties.

The Bush administration was all up in the grills of the unelected judges. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on November 9, 2005 said, "It is one thing for the people's representatives to consider and adopt laws that draw on the experience of foreign nations. It is quite another for unelected judges, charged with determining the will of the people as they expressed it in the Constitution, to rely on foreign experience as a basis for rejecting the actions of those elected representatives."

And here's the man hisself, George W. Bush, on October 6, 2008, deriding that "[the] concept of a 'living Constitution' gives unelected judges wide latitude in creating new laws and policies without accountability to the people." He was all about the judge-bashing, except for that one decision you might remember.

By the way, what wasn't reported was what Mexican President Felipe Calderon offered after Obama finished speaking on the subject. "I would take advantage of this moment to say that after increasing the budget line for the folk insurance six-fold, and after having built more than 1,000 new clinics in the country, we're getting close to reaching universal coverage of health care -- full, free health care coverage for all people up to 18 years of age, including cancer coverage. Of the 112 million Mexicans, 106 million will have efficient, effective universal health care coverage," Calderon said.

And then, twisting the knife a bit, he added, "So I would say that I would hope that one of the greatest economies in the world, such as the United States, could follow our example in achieving this, because it was a great thing."

Yes, because we can have such a reasonable debate about any aspect of it.

4/02/2012

In Brief(s): Supreme Court Says That Your Naked Junk Will Be Searched:
You know what? It doesn't matter what the case was about. Here's the outcome of Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders (in New Jersey's Essex County): if you are stopped by police and you have a few too many parking tickets, even if it's a mistake, you can be arrested and, if going to be placed in the jail, strip-searched by the police. Don't worry, though, the Supreme Court says, because the cops can't touch you, but they may ask you to lift your nutsack so they can see if you have drugs under there.

Playing the fucking fool, Justice Anthony "Swings Both Ways, But Hangs to the Right" Kennedy says that the lawyers of the plaintiff, a poor bastard who got chewed up by our incarceration nation mentality, didn't even really define "strip search," despite there being, you know, a definition offered in police manuals. You see, it's confusing because "It may refer simply to the instruction to remove clothing while an officer observes from a distance of, say, five feet or more; it may mean a visual inspection from a closer, more uncomfortable distance; it may include directing detainees to shake their heads or to run their hands through their hair to dislodge what might be hidden there; or it may involve instructions to raise arms, to display foot insteps, to expose the back of the ears, to move or spread the buttocks or genital areas, or to cough in a squatting position." Oh, yeah, ladies, lift your tits, spread your coochie lips, and let the flashlights of justice illuminate the truth.

The whole issue of whether or not these particular prisoners, who, according to the conservative majority, must be searched because they could hide weapons or drugs or gang tattoos or lice, can be touched during strip searches came up several times. In a concurring opinion, Samuel Alito clarified, "To perform the searches, officers may direct the arrestees to disrobe, shower, and submit to a visual inspection. As part of the inspection, the arrestees may be required to manipulate their bodies." Man, Alito's wife must get so hot when he's manipulating her disrobed body.

Justice Stephen Breyer, in his dissent, quickly dispelled all of the arguments about the security of prisoners: "The searches already employed at Essex and Burlington include: (a) pat-frisking all inmates; (b) making inmates go through metal detectors (including the Body Orifice Screening System (BOSS) chair used at Essex County Correctional Facility that identifies metal hidden within the body); (c) making inmates shower and use particular delousing agents or bathing supplies; and (d) searching inmates’ clothing...In particular, there is no connection between the genital lift and the 'squat and cough' that Florence [the plaintiff] was allegedly subjected to and health or gang concerns." That's right: it's not enough for the majority that you might have to sit on a chair that scans your asshole for contraband. It's not enough that you can be watched while you shower. No, if Clarence Thomas wants you to squat and cough, you're gonna squat, motherfucker, so you can shoot that knife right out of your sphincter.

Breyer concludes, "I cannot find justification for the strip search policy at issue here — a policy that would subject those arrested for minor offenses to serious invasions of their personal privacy." It makes sense that there be some limit, some sense of personal dignity somewhere in our skewed justice system. But for the majority, there is no minor offense and no unreasonable infringement if your dick is being subject to viewing by the authorities.