Random Observations on Yesterday's Supreme Court Hearing on a Challenge to the Voting Rights Act:
Or, more precisely, Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which affects certain jurisdictions with historical issues of voter suppression based on race. Those places need to have changes to their voting laws reviewed and approved by the U.S. Justice Department. The Act was renewed in 2006 by enormous majorities (98-0 in the Senate) and signed by George W. Bush. The case is Shelby County v. Holder, and a county in Alabama is saying, "Aw, c'mon. All that shit's in the past. Besides, everyone else is racist, too," which are two very different arguments against the section. So of course it's probably gonna be overturned. A few thoughts:

1. You know how when anyone talks about Section 5, they say, like the Washington Post did, "nine states and assorted jurisdictions in seven others" are covered? Yeah, a couple of those "assorted jurisdictions" are the counties in New York that contain Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. That would be roughly 5.5 million people. So that's more people covered than in 5 of the included states. So while the attitude on the Voting Rights Act by four of the white male justices is that it's picking on the poor, poor South, that's just plain fucking wrong.

2. Justice Antonin "Sorry, Clarence Thomas Can't Talk Right Now Because He's Sucking My Meaty Sausage" Scalia has been much quoted for saying that vast majorities of both Houses of Congress approved the law because they're such pussies about racism: "Now, I don't think that's attributable to the fact that it is so much clearer now that we need this. I think it is attributable, very likely attributable, to a phenomenon that is called perpetuation of racial entitlement." What he said next is at least as interesting: "It's been written about. Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes."

It's been written about, huh? Yeah, you know who's written about it? A bunch of fuckers on the right, like, for instance, George Will, at least a half-dozen times in the 1980s, and that avatar of racial harmony, Pat Buchanan. You know who else wrote about it? Antonin "Sorry, Clarence Thomas Can't Talk Right Now Because He's Tongue-Bathing My Dense Meatballs" Scalia.

Yeah, in the 1995 case of Adaranad Constructors v. Pena, which severely limited the use of racial preferences in awarding federal government contracts, Scalia wrote in concurrence, "To pursue the concept of racial entitlement—even for the most admirable and benign of purposes—is to reinforce and preserve for future mischief the way of thinking that produced race slavery, race privilege and race hatred." You got that? Affirmative action actually leads to slavery. That's the kind of fine, logical thinking that makes Scalia such a model justice.

So "written about" actually means "filtered through a conservative echo chamber and fuck you."

3. Winner of the "Meaningless Metaphor That Stupid People Will Think Is Smart" is Justice Samuel "Let Me Frisk Your Child" Alito, who wondered, "Suppose Congress passed a law that said, everyone whose last name begins with A shall pay a special tax of $1,000 a year. And let's say that tax is challenged by somebody whose last name begins with A. Would it be a defense to that challenge that for some reason this particular person really should pay a $1,000 penalty that people with a different last name do not pay?" Yes, but what if the government has classified reasons for passing that tax that it can't tell you in the name of national security, huh?

4. Another quote of Antonin "Sorry, Clarence Thomas Can't Talk Right Now Because He's Chugging My Salty Alfredo Sauce" Scalia that's made pundits perk their heads up and say, "Whuh?" is his seeming lack of understanding of the 15th Amendment: "You have to show, when you are treating different States differently, that there's a good reason for it. That's the -- that's the concern that those of us who -- who have some questions about this statute have. It's -- it's a concern that this is not the kind of a question you can leave to Congress," which, unfortunately, the Constitution says it totally is.

But after that, Scalia said, "There are certain districts in the House that are black districts by law just about now. And even the Virginia Senators, they have no interest in voting against this. The State government is not their government, and they are going to lose -- they are going to lose votes if they do not reenact the Voting Rights Act." Just to get this right: Scalia now has a problem with politicians having to do things that voters might want them to do. And, seemingly, he's got a problem with gerrymandering if it creates "black districts," but, as previous cases show us, not when it involves Republican legislatures doing it.

5. Clarence Thomas sat the entire time without uttering a word. Every other justice spoke. Obviously, because Thomas nearly never speaks or asks questions. This time, his stony silence was deafening. And shameful. Maybe he was too busy sucking Scalia's gray pubes out of his teeth.


Tweets About Elaine Chao: On the Left, We Treat Our Screw-Ups with Honor:
Here in Left Blogsylvania, we give a fuck. We give a fuck because we believe it matters to give a fuck. When someone on our side fucks up and fucks up badly, we don't automatically circle the wagons. We want punishment. Look at Anthony Weiner versus, say, David Vitter. We want apologies - real apologies, not apologies that go something like "I'm sorry if I offended you when I murdered your dog. It wasn't my intention to offend you but rather simply murder your dog."

So when an offensive tweet from Progress Kentucky, a not-really Super PAC devoted to defeating Senator Mitch "What the hell is that between your chin and neck? You should get that tumor checked" McConnell, was brought to everyone's attention nearly two weeks after it was sent out to the 2000 followers of the account, Left Blogsylvania went all Twitchy on its own. (If you understand what that last part of the sentence means, the Rude Pundit feels your pain. Let's jab needles in our eyes together.)

The tweet was about McConnell's wife, George W. Bush's Labor Secretary, Elaine Chao, whose record is worthy of criticism. But she's Chinese-American. And you can't link to an article about her, identify her as the Senate Minority Leader's wife (must...resist...urge to joke...about "Minority Leader"...), and say, "May explain why your job moved to #China!" See, that shit's just racist, whatever you intended, and we on the left understand that if we're gonna go nutzoid when someone on the right does it, then what's good for the motherfuckers is what's good for the progressives.

Left Blogsylvania and the actual liberal media condemned it thoroughly. Salon, Think Progress, Wonkette, Talking Points Memo, even Huffington Post, taking a break from all Anne Hathaway's nipples all the time, and the New York Times all posted variations on "That's some bullshit."

You know what you didn't see? You didn't see any of the major voices of theleft leaping in to defend Progress Kentucky. You didn't see Daily Kos writing posts about how, of course, Progress Kentucky didn't mean anything racist; they just meant to point out that Chao's tenure as Labor Secretary saw a shift in American jobs to China. If this had been someone on the right saying it? If it had been one of Karl Rove's Super PACs? The wagons would have circled like they were protecting American Jesus from the Lamanites. Rush Limbaugh would have devoted half a fuckin' show to blowharding about liberal political correctness. Bill O'Reilly would have blamed Obama. Laura Ingraham would have had Michelle Malkin on as an honorary Asian to talk about how it wasn't offensive at all, just true. They would have gone all Todd Akin. They would have gone all Richard Mourdock, trying to say what's wrong is the attempt to silence it. Somehow, guns would have been mentioned, for sure.

But we're not them because we're generally not dicks about such things (we're dicks about other things and have blinders on many more, but that's not what's being discussed today). We call out racism, sexism, and homophobia. We hope that those being called out will do the right thing. In this case, potential McConnell opponent Ashley Judd condemned the tweet, as did the Kentucky Democratic Party.

In fact, after at first trying to say it wasn't racist, Progress Kentucky issued a full apology: "We apologize to the secretary for that unnecessary comment and have deleted the tweets in question." You see how easy that is?

Now, Progress Kentucky is a tiny, mostly worthless organization. It's easy to pile on it. But time and again, the left proves that it demands a devotion to truth and fair discourse.

Which, by the way, is why the right is able to walk all over us all the time.


Sequester and the GOP Brand of Crisis, Part 1:
The Rude Pundit hasn't written much about the sequester-mageddon torching the nation on Friday because there's a part of his whiskey-addled brain that doesn't believe it will happen; there's another part that thinks it won't be nearly as bad as the Chicken Littles on all sides, defense and non-defense, believe it will be; and there's yet a third part that thinks, "Are you fucking serious? Are we really fucking doing this catastrophe dance again? Oh, fuck me with a rake."

Allow for a moment of dime store psychological and historical synthesis here: Republicans crave crisis - it is their water, their air, their food. It used to be that we were in a state of perpetual crisis in our endless (mostly) Cold War with the Soviet Union. Look at who led us during the later years of it: Nixon, Ford, Reagan, with a brief detour with Jimmy Carter, who was attacked for, among other reasons, not honoring the crisis mentality enough (hence his idiotic, politically-driven boycotting of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow because the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, for fuck's sake).

When the Soviet Union crumbled, the driving force behind American foreign policy, and, to a large degree, the Republican brand crumbled, too. Republicans needed crisis, goddamnit, threats domestic and foreign because without crises that required immediate action, people would realize, "Oh, hey, howzabout we spend some money on education or roads or some shit we need?" And that would be the end of the GOP. So we got Grenada. Central America. The Persian Gulf War. (You could throw crime in cities and welfare recipients onto the the threat pile.)

But it wasn't enough. When Bill Clinton got elected, he was able to shift, at least a bit, the conscience of the country away from the GOP's "Holy shit, we gotta do everything to protect you from communists" to "Why not see what we can do to make life a little better?" That doesn't mean Clinton got it right (he certainly fucked up on a lot of things, like health care, welfare, and GLBT issues), but it was a change in the way that citizens and the government interacted. It wasn't about constantly bugging out at world-ending nuclear nightmares, but, in a very general sense, it was a move to governing in the sense of running the country at a smooth pace, not acting like the whole thing was on the verge of collapse. So, of course, of course, Republicans had to create crisis after crisis, -gate after -gate, to bring down the President, yes, but also to keep the anxiety level of a large part of the population high.

Does it even need to be said that the Bush years, post-9/11, were one prolonged crisis? That terrorism was manna from heaven for Republicans? That war was the coolest thing the GOP could ask for?

Now, under Obama, with terrorism pretty much under control (even though, yes, yes, we have to remain ever-vigilant against threats, as we always fucking have, as every fucking nation has to), the GOP has needed to have another crisis in order to extend its brand of politics, so we have the debt, and with it the debt ceiling, budget cuts, intransigence against tax hikes, and more.

The point is this: since the Cold War, and for a large part of that even, and except for 9/11, nearly every crisis this country has faced in the last generation, has been manufactured by the Republican Party as a means of promoting its brand of conservatism, whatever that conservatism has been at the time - anti-Communist, family values, fiscal, whatever. And the current sequester and upcoming debt ceiling fight are part and parcel of that. No, Democrats are not immune to such manipulations (Gulf of Tonkin, anyone?), but since Nixon, that has been the way Republicans govern. If Democrats could make infrastructure repair into a threat to the lives of Americans (which they easily could), you would see the nation demanding something be done to fix roads and bridges. The GOP knows how to hold a knife to the throat of the country.

Which is what they are doing now, again, again, again.

The worst punditry going on right now ascribes blame to both parties. That is a lie. That is believing in the GOP's version of crisis. If someone sets a fire, are you going to complain if the firefighters are yelling too loudly while they try to put it out?

The country needs to chill the fuck out. Republicans won't allow that.


Note to Glenn Beck: Don't Open Yourself Up to a Full Nelson from the WWE:
When the Rude Pundit was a kid in Florida, one of his favorite things to do with the menfolk in his family was go to check out the "professional wrestling" at the local coliseum. Back in the day, he got to see Dusty Rhodes, Cowboy Bill Watts, and more. He got to see a battle royal with Andre the Giant. It was big, dumb fun, before the corporatized days of Wrestlemania and the WWE (or, previously, F). Even though many people wanted to know if it was fake or real, the fans didn't give a shit. In the moment, it was real. If the American Dream, as Dusty Rhodes called himself, took off his elbow pads and became a gentle flower cultivator, it didn't matter.

Back in that time, the "bad guys" were often foreign; be it your mad Sheik or your Toru Tanaka, you were always encouraged to boo at the non-white dude while men in cowboy boots stomped them.

Why bring this up? Because it's encouraging to find out that the current WWE champion is a Mexican character, Alberto del Rio, who is a widely loved "good guy." And the bad guys gunning for him are two redneck Tea Party members, Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger, whose rhetoric is just like anything you'd hear at a teabagger rally.

Why bring this up? Because internet radio host Glenn Beck got all upset at the portrayal of his beloved nutzoid Tea Party as racist jerk-offs who spout meaningless, jingoistic bullshit. He called the WWE's fans "stupid" and wondered, "I just don't see a bunch of progressives going and buying their tickets to the WWE." That's right. Glenn Beck turned against a Republican-led company and its customers.

Why bring this up? Because Beck's jawing off led to this bitch-slapping from "Colter" and "Swagger" (make sure you watch until at least 1:45 in):

Now, of course, this doesn't make up for years of sexism, racism, and homophobia in wrestling. But turning Glenn Beck into an out-of-touch elitist who thinks people are too dumb to know the difference between what's real and what's not? That shit is beautiful. And real.

Note: The Iron Sheik, a WWE villain, went ballistic on Beck.  He tweeted to Beck, "you deserve to be waist deep in dog shit drink gasoline you insult my fans Im going to beat the fuck out of you dumb bitch".  Oh, Iron Sheik, you speak for us all.
Late Post Today:
Just got word that Seth MacFarlane is asking people to punch him in the balls. Seems fair.

Back in a bit with more succulent rudeness.


Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Spike the Metamucil with LSD:

The Rude Pundit isn't sure who he hates more in this moment from a town hall meeting in some damn town in Arizona. This was a day after his jerkilicious town hall Tuesday where people got their blood all het up on immigration.

Could it be McCain? Here's a hint: if a woman stands up and says that her son was killed seven months before in the mass shooting in Aurora, CO, you don't open any statement you're going to make with "You need some straight talk." No, what Caren Teves needs is her son back and what she doesn't need is the Senate's most misanthropic leprechaun farting his failed presidential campaign slogan at her.

Or perhaps it's the idiots in the front there recording the moment on their phones, preserving the memory of that time a grieving mother was told to go fuck herself with her gun ban because Congress is made up of people of both parties who are bought and paid for by the NRA and gun manufacturers.

No, the most loathsome people are the ones who clap and cheer after McCain "straight talks" the woman by saying, "That assault weapons ban will not pass the Congress of the United States." Yeah, you could excuse McCain, who seems on the verge of calling everyone around him "cocksuckers" under his breath, because he really was honest about the chances of the assault weapons ban, although no one would mistake it for a profile in courage.

But the yahoos clapping for more weapons like the ones that killed Neves' son? They deserve to be put in a bamboo cage until they learn some goddamn manners.


Let Us Now Praise Skeletor for He Has Made Florida Suck a Little Less:
Look, Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott, who looks like what you see before Death sucks your soul out, is an opportunist, possibly a swindler and a fraud enabler, and the dickhead he looks like when it comes to things like voting rights, drug tests, and more. And there's no doubt that he is scared shitless about reelection in 2014 when the waning power of the Tea Party won't propel him back into office.

But you gotta calls 'em as you sees 'em in this polarized nation, and Scott's statement on why he's accepting federal funds to expand Florida's Medicaid rolls over the next three years is deserving of (mostly) praise. Read the whole thing. Scott makes a convincing case that, perhaps, and with great and necessary suspicion, one can say he's changed a bit.

Scott says that losing his mother a few months back gave him some new perspective, especially when it came to Medicaid funding. He goes on, "As I wrestled with this decision, I thought about my Mom’s struggles raising five kids with very little money. I remember my Mom’s heartbreak when she could not afford to give my younger brother the treatment he needed when we learned he had a hip disease. She eventually found him a Shriner’s Children’s Hospital hundreds of miles away…where my brother would go back and forth for treatment. My Mom was a proud, strong woman who wanted to make it on her own without help. But how would she have felt if she knew she was denied help that she was already paying for? It was my Mom – the wife of a WWII veteran - who taught me something I still believe today: this country is the greatest in the world. America’s greatness is largely because of how we value the weakest among us. Quality healthcare services must be accessible and affordable for all – not just those in certain zip codes or tax brackets. No mother, or father, should despair over whether or not they can afford – or access – the healthcare their child needs."

Is that not stunning? It's not a grudging "well, fuck, may as well." It's a full-throated defense of using government funding to give health care to the poor, to say that it's an imperative to do so. And if a politician invokes his recently deceased mother, he's either, if he's being honest, having a moment of great self-reflection or, if he's bullshitting, the most cynical son-of-a-bitch in the state. Taken out of the context of who is making the statement, those are the kinds of socialist-sounding words that, if spoken by a liberal, would be called "class warfare" by people like Rick Scott, which is what makes it all the more remarkable.

Scott also laid out the logic behind his decision: "[R]egardless of what I – or anyone else - believes, a Supreme Court decision and a presidential election made the President’s healthcare mandates the law of the land." You got that, GOP? Elections matter, Scott says. Would that John Boehner and Mitch McConnell believed that (or perhaps they will in 2014). And then there's a simple economic proposition: "To be clear - our options are either having Floridians pay to fund this program in other states while denying healthcare to our citizens – or – using federal funding to help some of the poorest in our state with the Medicaid program as we explore other healthcare reforms." Do you want a slice of the federal pie you helped bake that's going to be eaten anyways?

Look, it ain't perfect. Scott's not going set up the insurance exchanges, although that just means the federal government will do it. He repeatedly says that he ain't no-how for guv'mint-run health care. And it's only for 3 years and then we'll see what happens. But he concludes partly by saying, "I don’t want any parent to worry, like my Mom did, that they might not be able to help their sick child. Expanding access to Medicaid services for three years is a compassionate, common sense step forward."

And to everyone who says that Scott is just engaged in pre-election year bribery, the governor is now enduring a bitch slapping from conservatives. Erick "Erick" Erickson at the right-wing bidet, Red State, writes, "I am terribly disappointed in his decision to expand Medicaid in Florida." Similar things were said by similar assholes in a mostly similar way.

One or two good policy decisions does not make up for a couple of years of fuckery. But when someone does something unexpectedly right, especially when doing so makes him something of an apostate, it deserves notice.


Your State Sucks: North Carolina Sucks Because Its Legislators Don't Understand History:
The seeming endless capacity for humans to be short-sighted is sometimes stunning. From the guy who doesn't have a condom saying, "Fuck it" and plunging his dick into the waiting ass of the near-stranger in his bed to George W. Bush saying, "Fuck it" and giving everyone 300 bucks because money's cool, the inability to see beyond the moment will come back to haunt you in every corner of your life, like a screaming child in a Japanese horror movie.

So it was that between 1992 and 2000, in a tax-cutting fervor, the loyal legislators and governors of North Carolina (motto: "No matter what, we're so much better than South Carolina"), people of both parties, saw that the unemployment insurance program was flush with cash. So they passed 11 different cuts to the amount that businesses would have to pay in taxes for the unemployment insurance trust fund. In 1994, during those heady days of the Clinton era, when the number of unemployed was low, the fund had enough money to pay out four years in benefits, the third largest cash reserve in the nation, so why wouldn't you pass another 23% tax cut, making the rate for businesses the lowest in the nation, with some businesses having their rate cut to zero. In fact, by the end of all the cutting, over 75% of North Carolina businesses effectively paid no UI tax, all done under the mantle of "reducing government" and other nonsense. This was assuming, of course, that nothing changed in the economy. North Carolina never thought a rainy day was coming, and if it was, it would be a drizzle.

But then the Bush deluge happened, and shit changed, as we all know. Not only did the unemployment rate jump by six points between March 2007 and March 2009 in North Carolina, but the state had to borrow money from the federal government to cover the cost of unemployment benefits. Had the rate of contribution stayed at pre-1994 levels, the state would have had enough. Alas, man? Dick? Stranger? What are you gonna do?

You're gonna punish the unemployed is what the fuck you're gonna do. What? You think that Republican Governor Pat McCrory, working nose in ass with the NC Chamber of Commerce, is going to raise taxes back to what they were in the Clinton era? Fuck you, socialist. McCrory just signed legislation that, while it does raise taxes a little, slashes benefits for the jobless. It's like businesses got a paper cut and your laid-off sister got a prison shiv in the gut. In order to repay the federal government, the maximum amount unemployed people get is reduced from $535 to $350 a week, with the maximum weeks cut from 26 to as little as 12. Because North Carolina changed its laws, it has forfeited $780 million in federal benefits. It's sort of like being kicked in the nuts from behind. By the way, without the change to benefits, it would take North Carolina three years longer to repay it.

Oh, don't worry. McCrory and the legislature are actually noble in their intentions. They are visionaries, you know. By slashing benefits now, the Governor says he will "ensure our citizens’ unemployment safety net is secure and financially sound for future generations." If you live now in North Carolina, you can go fuck yourself. But only if you're unemployed.

In one of the finest contortions of logic you'll have seen lately, NC General Assembly member Julia Howard, who sponsored the bill, said that it "does not burden small business to pay a debt they never accrued." No, it's far better that people barely surviving pay it.

And, by the way, a good many of those businesses did accrue the debt simply by being in North Carolina during the reign of the near-sighted.


In Brief: Politico's Article on Obama's Media "Manipulation" Lacks a Mirror:
The Rude Pundit read with interest the cleverly titled political publication, Politico, and its cleverly titled article, "Obama, the Puppet Master" by that guy who looks like a funeral director and that bald guy with the crazy eyes. From what he gathered from the frothy whine of self-pity that the article is, reporters is sooo vewy mad because mean ol' Barack Obama won't talk to them like they believe they should be talked to and as often as they would like.

Look at that title again, calling the President a "puppet master." Now, the puppets being referred to are not the easily manipulated public, but the media itself: "President Barack Obama is a master at limiting, shaping and manipulating media coverage of himself and his White House." And the article lists various ways that the media is manipulated, like the weekend document dump or not giving interviews to "tough" journalists at the New York Times or Washington Post. Also, the White House "punishes" media outlets and reporters who say bad things about it, so they avoid doing so.

The missing component in the entire thing was an awareness that reporters don't have to be puppets. And news outlets can call bullshit all the time. Serious question: is it more important to be in the front row at a press conference or to dig in and investigate something like the number of civilians killed in drone strikes? Because right now, the answer is "Oooh, ooh, call on me, Mr. President."

See, it's not merely that the press gets caught up in the stupid, Fox "news"-driven trivia like Skeetgate. It's not that, as Chuck Todd points out, that every president back to at least Nixon manipulated the press to his advantage. It's that the mainstream media has pretty much abdicated its role as a check on power, something that was quite clear during the Bush administration.

In other words, shut the fuck up and do some reporting. Stop waiting for scraps to dribble from the lips of leaders and go out and do your goddamn jobs. And stop pretending as if stories like Clinton getting oral in the Oval Office or birther bullshit are important at all.

Like maybe reporting about the lack of transparency and the punishing of leakers in this White House as an issue for all of America, not just for a few DC reporters whose asses feel a bit chapped.


Abraham Lincoln Was Also a Politician Who Would Fuck Your Shit Up:
On President's Day, it's good to remember that, despite the deification going on, especially in the last year or so, Abraham Lincoln was a politician, a man who wanted to get into office and was willing to pander to the public to do so. Here's a response Lincoln wrote to the people of the Seventh Congressional District in Illinois when he was running for Congress in 1846. Lincoln had been accused of being anti-Christian because political campaigns have always and forever been filthy affairs. He responded forcefully to the charge:

"A charge having got into circulation in some of the neighborhoods of this District, in substance that I am an open scoffer at Christianity, I have by the advice of some friends concluded to notice the subject in this form. That I am not a member of any Christian Church, is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures; and I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or of any denomination of Christians in particular. It is true that in early life I was inclined to believe in what I understand is called the 'Doctrine of Necessity'---that is, that the human mind is impelled to action, or held in rest by some power, over which the mind itself has no control; and I have sometimes (with one, two or three, but never publicly) tried to maintain this opinion in argument. The habit of arguing thus however, I have, entirely left off for more than five years. And I add here, I have always understood this same opinion to be held by several of the Christian denominations. The foregoing, is the whole truth, briefly stated, in relation to myself, upon this subject.

"I do not think I could myself, be brought to support a man for office, whom I knew to be an open enemy of, and scoffer at, religion. Leaving the higher matter of eternal consequences, between him and his Maker, I still do not think any man has the right thus to insult the feelings, and injure the morals, of the community in which he may live. If, then, I was guilty of such conduct, I should blame no man who should condemn me for it; but I do blame those, whoever they may be, who falsely put such a charge in circulation against me."

They tried to Swift Boat Lincoln early on, and he went right at those who did so while still maintaining some integrity on the matter. Notice that he didn't say he couldn't vote for a nonreligious man, just not one who insulted religions. That's some masterful ass-saving.


Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Shove a Falafel Up Someone's Ass:

Ah, Israel, sweet Israel, the nation that we pathetic fuckers in the United States should emulate and admire, according to far too many legislators in our country, especially those who are owned by the Israel lobby. They just want peace, the Israeli people. Why won't those filthy Muslims allow there to be peace?

Oh, and by they way, if the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team signs a couple of Muslim players from Chechnya, some of their Jewish fans will burn shit down, like the team's clubhouse.

Let's not lack the nuance about Israel that our drinkers of Kosher chode in Congress avoid. The police there are calling the fire the action of "extremists." And when one of the new players went onto the field in a game last Sunday, yes, some hardcore fucksacks "cursed and booed him, but thousands of other supporters cheered him."

In fact, Beitar Jerusalem sees what it's doing as a gesture towards a truly peaceful future. The team's chairman said, "We took an important step and we’re moving forward. In the end, all the fans will understand that this is a done deal and there’s no turning back."

But extremists everywhere will do everything they can to make progress hurt as much as possible.
Late Post Today:
The Rude Pundit needs to go check on the aliens invading Russia.

Back later with more laser-blasted rudeness.


The NRA's Wayne LaPierre: Join Our Resistance and Get a Free Tote Bag:
If you haven't read NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre's dystopian vision of America in yesterday's Daily Caller (motto: "Look, if you don't want Tucker Carlson to return to TV, you better read this shit"), you totally should. If LaPierre called it his "manifesto" and then went on a murder/arson spree, you'd have to think, "Yup, that makes a whole lot of sense." The United States that LaPierre describes is nothing short of a violence-flooded nightmare straight out of a Hieronymus Bosch painting.

There's "Latin American gangs" are pouring over the border (despite the fact, yes, fact that illegal immigration is on the decline). What do they want to do? Well, it ain't hedge-clipping. Their "jobs are murder, rape, robbery and kidnapping," for which the pay is okay, but the benefits suck. Oh, and al-Qaeda. Them, too - they're coming for you with their jobs of doom. "A heinous act of mass murder—either by terrorists or by some psychotic who should have been locked up long ago—will be the pretext to unleash a tsunami of Gun Control," LaPierre writes. LaPierre is the kind of guy who has a tiny dick but tries to convince all the ladies that it's just huge and can't be controlled.

And we who support greater gun control are real bastards, according to LaPierre: "After Hurricane Sandy, we saw the hellish world that the gun prohibitionists see as their utopia." Now, the Rude Pundit went through Sandy, and he isn't sure how living without power in the cold while running out of food and gasoline is anyone's utopia. Indeed, LaPierre jacks it to the disaster porn: "Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Riots. Terrorists. Gangs. Lone criminals. These are perils we are sure to face—not just maybe. It’s not paranoia to buy a gun. It’s survival." So within a couple of paragraphs, LaPierre shifts a hurricane hell-world from gun control utopia to Exhibit A for gun purchase.

Arm yourselves, motherfuckers, 'cause the apocalypse is a-comin'. LaPierre assures us, "We, the American people, clearly see the daunting forces we will undoubtedly face: terrorists, crime, drug gangs, the possibility of Euro-style debt riots, civil unrest or natural disaster." And Obama, with his supervillain ability to appoint judges who believe in gun control. That's pretty much the the same thing as a terrorist attack, you know. Oh, and Mike Bloomberg "and his gang" need to be stopped because they have money.

You'd think that in an essay titled "Stand and Fight," one that says, "To preserve the inalienable, individual human right to keep and bear arms—to withstand the siege that is coming—the NRA is building a four-year communications and resistance movement. The enemies of the Second Amendment will be met with unprecedented defiance, commitment and determination," LaPierre would be calling for armed insurrection against the government, like, you know, a "resistance" under "siege" might do. But Wayne LaPierre is a pussy and a con man.

Because if you go to the second page of LaPierre's execration of people who want gun laws, you see what this whole thing is really about: "[W]e must strengthen the NRA like never before. We are, and always have been, a genuine grassroots organization. And never has your membership been more important. Never has the NRA been more in need of your support."

Yep, the whole first part is a total cocktease. LaPierre reached into your pants, took out your Glock, stroked it, told you how much he wanted to see it shoot, and then walked away before pulling the trigger.

It's a fundraising letter. The rest of the article is LaPierre talking about how people need to join the NRA and give it more money, money that pays for Wayne LaPierre. "Every gun owner should be an active member of the NRA," he says. "Every gun owner should be sure that every member of his or her family is an active member." And LaPierre will come to your home and sign you up, if necessary. "The NRA is launching a nationwide, full-court initiative to urge every gun owner, and every non-gun-owning lover of freedom, to join the NRA and fight this battle. I will personally be traveling all over America enlisting new members," LaPierre threatens.

How fucking awesome is that? LaPierre spends all that time telling you how everything is descending into anarchy and eventual cannibalism, but never fear, the NRA is here. It's not unlike saying that you have syphilis, but this pamphlet on avoiding STDs is all you need to help you.

LaPierre's big finish, after he weirdly warns us not to become like England, is "We will not surrender. We will not appease. We will buy more guns than ever. We will use them for sport and lawful self-defense more than ever. We will grow the NRA more than ever. And we will be prouder than ever to be freedom-loving NRA patriots." What a fuckin' scam, huh? It's beautiful in its con artistry.

In other words, give Wayne LaPierre cash or the end is surely nigh.


Random Observations on the State of the Union Speech:
1. President Obama mentioned "Republicans" only three times in the State of the Union speech last night. Each time it was in a grouping with Democrats and, twice, others, like "business leaders," as in "Democrats, Republicans, business leaders, and economists have already said that these cuts, known here in Washington as the sequester, are a really bad idea." At no time, not a single time, did he lay the blame for obstructionism at the feet of those responsible, you know, Republicans. Indeed, if you had no idea who was responsible for the sequester (Republicans who took the debt ceiling hostage), the failure to pass jobs programs (Republicans), and the death of the Dream Act (you know who), you'd think that the problem was everyone, which, of course, it isn't.

On a bill about refinancing mortgages for homeowners, Obama said, "Democrats and Republicans have supported it before, so what are we waiting for? Take a vote, and send me that bill. Why would we be against that? Why would that be a partisan issue, helping folks refinance? Right now, overlapping regulations keep responsible young families from buying their first home. What’s holding us back?" Again, notice: he didn't say, "Okay, everyone, look at those motherfuckers on the right side of the House. They're what's holding us back, on everything."

So when Republicans went forth after the State of the Union and said that President Obama was blaming the GOP, it was a goddamn lie. On CBS This Morning, Paul Ryan said of Obama, "He seems to always be in campaign mode, where he treats people in the other party as enemies rather than partners." That's only true if you accept that Obama meant "Republicans" when he asked, "Why would we be against that?" (which he totally meant).

In other words, you could be pissed that Obama didn't go more forcefully and specifically at Republicans. Or you could marvel at how Obama essentially got Republicans to say, "Yeah, we are those motherfuckers he was talking about. That's us."

2. Mostly, though, it was a boring, middle-of-the-road, uncontroversial speech, filled with solid ideas that most Americans support, ideas on infrastructure, immigration, jobs, and climate change that, as is tediously pointed out by everyone who follows politics, the GOP supported not so long ago. The fact that anything Obama said would be considered even the least bit radical or out-of-the-mainstream is simply the depressing circumstance of the post-Tea Party context in which the speech is given because enough of those lunatic assholes vote in the primaries to scare the shit out of GOP candidates.

3. The foreign policy section was ridiculous and depressing. Al-Qaeda "is a shadow of its former self," he said before justifying the drone missile program by saying that "we don’t need to send tens of thousands of our sons and daughters abroad or occupy other nations." Then he made a vague promise related to the complete lack of oversight of the president's ability to blow the fuck out of anyone he chooses (and anyone nearby). "I will continue to engage Congress to ensure not only that our targeting, detention and prosecution of terrorists remains consistent with our laws and system of checks and balances, but that our efforts are even more transparent to the American people and to the world," he offered. That means, essentially, "I'll decide what you need to know and when you need to know it." If you have to say you're going to be "more transparent," it means you're going to remain opaque. There was no talk about an end to this kind of hostility, only a promise that this is the way things will be from now on (unless a brave Congress is willing to make him stop).

4. But the final section, calling for votes on "proposals" on gun control, invoking the names of those injured and killed by unending gun violence, was passionate and engaging, to such an extent that you had to wonder where that kind of emotion was in the rest of the speech. However, when the Rude Pundit realized that the President of the United States was essentially begging Congress to allow votes on the simplest, most minimal new gun laws, he just felt sad, for the man, for the body, for a nation that no longer can reach for anything more than the mundane and then call it "grand."

5. Goodbye, Marco Rubio. When you bent over to get that bottle of water, you may as well have been going to suck your own dick, which, to think of it, was pretty much all your response was.


No, Liberals Aren't Making Alleged Killer Christopher Dorner Into a Hero:
So apparently liberals are big supporters of murderer Christopher Dorner, according to multiple mentally-challenged conservatives. Despite it being an insignificant number of people who are saying pro-Dorner things, chief globule of bile Rush Limbaugh claims, "It is not an insignificant number of people in this country on the left who are excited and are encouraging this guy."

How do they know this? Because there's a Facebook page called "I Support Christopher Jordan Dorner" and it has a few thousand people who hit the "Like" button on it. For fuck's sake, it's Facebook. Charles Manson's got a page that has nearly 15,000 likes. You could put up a page with a picture of shit that says, "Let's make this turd more popular than Ted Nugent," and it'll get thousands of likes.

But let's not forget that people on Twitter say stupid shit, too. Michelle Malkin's Jackoffatorium of Tweets and Farts known as Twitchy has been aggregating every time someone compares Dorner to Jamie Foxx's Django from Django Unchained or Rambo, who, before punching the heads off foreigners, stone cold murdered cops in First Blood. Yes, the fact that people make clever pop culture references is definitely a sign of sympathy with a killer. That's not a fuckin' logical leap at all. And even if a few dozen, even a few hundred, assholes want Dorner to get away with killing three people, that just means there's a statistically tiny group of individuals who can go fuck themselves.

Also, in his manifesto, Dorner praised media figures, condemned conservative beliefs, and said that he was a victim of ongoing racism in the LAPD. Because some people think that the allegations in the manifesto might bear investigation, people like, you know, the notoriously liberal LAPD, that must mean that those people want to elect Dorner the next Pope. Mostly, the right is acting all hurt because they think that if Dorner had been a Tea Party member or a right-winger, his views on anything would be dismissed and called lunacy. Here's the thing: Dorner isn't saying he's on a killing spree because he's afraid Mitch McConnell will get rid of Obamacare. In other words, his political beliefs are not his motivation. When Jim Adkisson shot up the Unitarian church in Knoxville, Tennesseee, in 2008, he said it was because he hated liberals.

Again and again and again, the right in this country thinks that it's impossible to hold a couple of thoughts in one's head at the same time. You can think that Dorner might have a legitimate grievance that he is bringing to the public's attention in the worst possible way. And you can also hope that the authorities shoot, or, preferably, arrest the messenger.


Lindsey Graham Doesn't Like Lying Unless He's One of the Liars:
John McCain's little girl, Senator Lindsey Graham, is trying to fluff the Benghazi incident into a full-fledged scandal with all the energy of a new gay porn actor worried about getting stage fright in his dick, so he's jackin' that junk with a lubed-up hand to stay hard, stay hard, you fucker, or you'll never jizz at the right moment. There he was yesterday, sounding for all the world like Rhett Butler just said something mean to him, on Face the Nation with Bob "Last Old-Time TV Journalist Barely Standing" Schieffer, saying that he'll hold up President Obama's national security nominees unless he gets the answers he wants on why U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice said something that bugged him: "How could Susan Rice come on to your show and say there’s no evidence of a terrorist attack when the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs said they knew that night?" It must be a scandal, Benghazigate or Deadambassadorgate or Susanricegate or some such shit.

And Lindsey Graham is Sherlock Motherfuckin' Holmes, asking questions that need to be asked: "I want to know who changed the talking points. Who took the references to Al Qaeda out of the talking points given to Susan Rice? We still don’t know…. I want to know what our president did. What did he do as commander in chief? Did he ever pick up the phone and call anybody? I think this is the stuff the country needs to know."

No, really, he's Sherlock Motherfuckin' Holmes: "I'm not going to stop until we get to the bottom of it. We know nothing about what the president did on the night of September 11, during a time of national crisis, and the American people need to know what their commander-in-chief did, if anything, during the eight-hour attack."

And Graham bottom-lined this shit, too. Why is it a scandal? "In a constitutional democracy, we need to know what our commander in chief was doing at a time of great crisis, and this White House has been stonewalling the Congress. And I'm going to do everything I can to get to the bottom of this so we'll learn from our mistakes and hold this president accountable for what I think is tremendous disengagement at a time of national security crisis."

You know what was a real scandal? The fact that the Bush administration lied about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and got us into a war that killed tens of thousands of people at the cost of a couple of trillion dollars. You know who was one of the biggest cheerleaders of that war? You know who was really quick to forgive the Bush administration? That slick-haired cocksucker from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, that's who.

In an October 4, 2004 hearing on the Duelfer Report on WMDs in Iraq, Graham went all out in defending the intelligence failure, manipulating the information to make sure he didn't look bad: "[In Iraq under Saddam Hussein] we have a very long history of use of weapons, procuring of weapons, on paper unaccounted-for weapons. I think what we need to learn from this, that we were wrong. And as a country we need to find out why we were wrong about some of our assessments. But as a world, I think we need to come to grips with the idea that people like Saddam Hussein had too much opportunity to do too many bad things too long. And we should learn from that, too." Water under the bridge, even with the war raging in full and Americans dying. We were wrong factually, but, gee whiz, weren't we right in our hearts, where it really counts?

Even more fun was Graham on Meet the Press on December 11, 2005, when he was debating Madeleine Albright about Iraq. Said the Senator, "Calling our president a liar, calling the vice president a liar, that everybody else in the world got it wrong in Iraq honestly, including the Clinton administration, that everybody was wrong about weapons of mass destruction, honestly accept two people, Dick Cheney and George Bush, is also part of the problem, and that needs to stop." You got that, right? "Calling the president a liar...is also part of the problem"? Not "we need to find out when the president knew he was making shit up so he could have his war." Because, see, if he did admit that, if he did want that investigation, well, he had become by that point one of the liars.

Now there's a man with principles, principles that are easily tossed aside whenever he needs a fake scandal to prop up his conservative street cred before the crazies come after him.


Paintings That Creep the Rude Pundit the Fuck Out:

The Rude Pundit fully expects to learn that this painting and another are not really from the brush of invisible ex-President George W. Bush. And, yeah, it's kind of dickish to put this up since it was stolen, with emails and photos, from the hacked email account of Bush's sister. But the Rude Pundit's gotta tell ya: That fuckin' picture up there, a self-portrait of the man hisself, is fascinating. So let's pretend it's the real deal, a genuine work of arty-type stuff by Bush, for a moment here (and, hopefully, it'll turn out to be so).

The first thing the Rude Pundit thought was, "Look out behind you!" And then he wondered if this was an image of Bush awaiting his elderly male lover, whose approach is seen in the mirror, for some old fashioned Greco-Roman nude shower wrestling. And blow jobs with anal play, of course,

But, no, obviously, it's Bush's face in the mirror, even at that impossible angle. Look at his expression: those are the eyes and brow of a haunted man, a man who stands in the shower and stares at himself, wondering where the years went, what did he do with his life, what will he do now. Perhaps. Perhaps he's haunted by the tortured, by the tens of thousands of people dead because of him, by the horrible breath and scowl of Dick Cheney telling him what the fuck to destroy. Perhaps he wants to lay himself bare, his back muscles taut from the anxiety he lives with each and every day, hour, moment.

Nah. He's probably just wondering if anyone'll catch him pissing down the drain.


Family Research Council: Pray for Straight Scouts and Against Passage of the Violence Against Women Act:
Hallelujah and glory, we members of the Super Duper Prayer Team have received a missive from the ether. It's our weekly prayer targets from the Family Research Council (motto: "Gay Boy Scouts Make Jesus Sweaty"). The Rude Pundit joined the SDPT some years ago under a nom de rude and every Wednesday he has delivered unto his inbox his orders for autoerotic prayphyxiation. Usually it's some variation of hate gays/abortion or hate abortion/gays. And this week's email doesn't disappoint.

Yeah, we gotta fall down on our knees and pray that the Boy Scouts of America doesn't give in to the evil world and start allowing them nasty gays from putting on crotch hugging shorts and hanging around the noble straights. Says the FRC, "The Scout crisis is just one battle in the all out spiritual war for our culture. Either biblical righteousness and common sense or moral insanity will prevail." Moral insanity, motherfuckers, in the midst of a spiritual war. Break out your angelic Bushmasters and kill some demons because we don't want gay men to lead our dens of young boys and adolescents because they can't control their desires for a piece of Webelos ass. You can watch CNN's Soledad O'Brien spank FRC President Tony Perkins over this.

You know one thing that's bugged the fuck out of the Rude Pundit all this time about the whole gay or not gay scouts issue? The fact that the anti-gay side also has a problem with lesbian den leaders. Because if your logic is that gay men can't do it because they might lust for the boys, what's your argument against lesbians, like Jennifer Tyrell? You prefer straight women who love the cock hanging out with the high school-aged Eagle Scouts? Or do you think they can control their urges more than gay men? And if you think about these things and try to create justification for an obviously hypocritical position, what a sad little life you lead.

Anyways, back to the praying. Here's what the SDPT is supposed to do when we kneel into action: "Pray for a clean, national decision in support of moral purity. May God use this conflict to advance righteousness and restrain evil! May parents arise to teach and protect their sons and may America see a God-sent youth revival!" And, as is the way of the prayer targeting, we are given bible verses to offer us guidance in each specific task, like this from First Corinthians 14:8: "For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?" Which obviously has a great deal to do with queering the Boy Scouts.

The prayer target email ends with a call on another subject. "Finally, please pray over the Senate vote (likely Friday) on the Violence against Women Act (VAWA)," which makes you think, "Oh, well, obviously Christians would care about making sure that abused women have access to the legal, medical, and other services they need." And then you read the next sentences. "Experts say the bill is a liberal public relations campaign, loaded with measures that conservatives could never vote for, so that liberals can carry on their charge that conservatives are conducting a 'war against women.' Moreover, while the bill does little to prevent violence against women, it will load up the coffers of feminist activist groups." That last thing is pretty much taken verbatim from Phyllis Schlafly's column titled, "Yeah, Sadly Phyllis Schlafly Really Is Still Alive." Apparently, opposition to the VAWA has acted like defibrillator paddles to her stone cold heart. She writes, "It's no surprise that VAWA is often referred to as the hate-men law," probably by Schlafly and her Eagle Forum but, no, not really by anyone who matters.

The FRC and others on the right oppose the VAWA because it says that gays and lesbians are people, too, deserving of the same protections as straights. It also says that illegal immigrants happen to be human, which is ridiculous because we all know that life begins with a green card. Don't even get them started on Indians.

In other words, the VAWA's reauthorization acknowledges that the nation has changed. Groups like the FRC and Neanderthals like Schlafly keep asserting that America needs to go back to what it was, with its closets and hidden people and unspoken agendas, even when what's at stake is not just who gets to participate in the pinewood derby, but bodies and lives.


You Can Hate Obama for Drone Strikes and Support Him on Other Things:
Here, in paraphrase form, are a couple of the responses you get if you're a liberal who writes that you have a problem with the Obama administration's white paper on the legality of targeted killing of Americans who might have crapped in an al-Qaeda cave hole:

-- "Well, holy motherfuck, you're someone who's sucked Obama's dick for years now. Don't you look like quite the fool now with his dried semen on your upper lip."

-- "Well, it looks like a sound legal document to me. Murder the fuck out of these traitors."

-- "I'm a conservative, so I'm just gonna lick my own anus while you guys work this out."

Let's put aside any conservative who had no problem with torturing detainees but now has found a moral compass to condemn the extrajudicial murder of Americans, because, indeed, they can go fuck themselves with their opinion. And let's put aside the liberals who love when they get a chance to be bloodthirsty warriors and think that makes them wear their big boy/girl pants.

However, that first response there, the people who want you to know that they always thought Obama was a stone cold killer and how can you support him and, hey, asshole, you should support a real liberal, like this fucking loser who has no chance in a thousand fucking years in getting elected, and it's because of people like you and the corporate whores in the media that JillSteinRalphNaderCynthiaMcKinney aren't even invited to debate, yeah, that response belongs to people who don't live in reality. It's okay to be an idealist. It's okay to vote for someone you know doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell. The Rude Pundit voted for Nader once upon a time.

Of the candidates who had a chance this last election, who would you rather have in office? The guy who does drone strikes and supports gay rights, new gun laws, and at least marginally higher taxes on the wealthy? Or the guy who would have done drone strikes, cut taxes for the rich, probably started a war with Iran, and blocked any gun control legislation? 'Cause that was the choice we had. Back in 1964, would you have rather had Barry Goldwater? Or the dude who escalated the Vietnam War, but also signed civil rights laws?

Some of us are able to hold a couple of thoughts in our heads at once. Some of us can actually say, "You know, this thing Obama does is fucking appalling and I will work to stop it, but this other thing he's doing I support and will work to make sure it happens." (And if you say, "Well, Hitler did some good things," you don't have anything useful to contribute to the discussion, so go continue jacking off in a corner.)

It's not forgiveness. It's not acceptance. It's living in the world you have, not the world you want. If you're now done with Obama, then you better get off your ass and start finding a genuine third party candidate, someone the media can't ignore, whether it's a wealthy fuck like Ross Perot or a major politician who is willing to bail on his or her party because your heart will always be broken by Democrats.

We're not gonna change Obama on this. He thinks he gets to do this without any oversight at all, which is an interpretation of executive power that the right was perfectly willing to let George W. Bush have. Instead, you need to get the other two branches of government to step the fuck up and act like they are co-equal.

Call your members of Congress and get them to zero out funding for the targeted killing program. You can make all the laws you want, ones that will be met with signing statements and then lawsuits that go on forever. Instead, do what Congress had the balls to do with Ronald Reagan and the Contras in Nicaragua and passed the Boland Amendment (which Reagan ignored, but at least that was a scandal), and cut the off the cash.

And while you're doing that, you can still clap when Obama says he thinks that the Boy Scouts should allow gay troops and leaders. And you can still boo when he talks about idiotic budget cuts. And you can still cheer when he signs a universal background check law. And then you can boo when...


Things in the Memo on the Killing of Americans That Liberals Would Scream About If Bush Was President:
Now that a 16-page memo was leaked to NBC News that details the "legal" justification for targeted drone strikes on American citizens abroad, Obama-supporting liberals (like yours truly) have to confront, in vivid, concrete ways, the actions of a White House that, if a Republican were in office, would cause us to spew blood vendettas against those responsible. Oh, wait. When a Republican was in office, we spewed those oaths over the detention and torture of Americans and others. Now we're up to stone cold murder. We should be even more outraged. The fact that a Democrat is president does not change that.

The memo itself contains chilling passages - denial of rights, bureaucratic redefinitions of words, and the manipulative citing of court cases. Check it out:

1. "Were the target of a lethal operation a U.S. citizen who may have rights under the Due Process Clause and the Fourth Amendment, that individual's citizenship would not immunize him from a lethal operation." Why? Because the government would be "forestalling the threat of violence" by killing the fuck out the American. You got that? Not "forestalling violence," but "forestalling the threat." The Rude Pundit's neighbor is an asshole who owns a gun. He feels the threat of violence every day. Where's his drone strike? Oh, yeah, rights do exist then.

2. "[T]he AUMF [Authorization for the Use of Military Force] itself does not set forth an express geographic limitation on the use of force it authorizes." You got that, right? The memo says we can blow shit up wherever we want. Of course, if an al-Qaida-associated American was in, say, France, we probably wouldn't be using missiles of fiery death because we wouldn't want to upset "civilized" people.

3. "[T]he condition that an operational leader presents an 'imminent' threat of violence attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future." So here, "imminent" doesn't actually mean "imminent." It means "plausible, maybe, given the right circumstances, should the stars align and a crazy goatfucker gives the thumbs-up." But if you said, "Meh, could happen," then murdering the shit out of an American would be a paranoid overreaction at best, an out and out crime at worst. So "imminent" it is. See? The Obama administration has fun with words, too. Remember when the Bush Department of Justice redefined "torture"? We loved that.

4. "[W]here the al-Qaida member in question has recently been involved in activities posing an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States, and there's no evidence suggesting he has renounced or abandoned such activities, that member's involvement in al-Qaida's continuing terrorist campaign against the United States would support the conclusion that the member poses an imminent threat." This is the one that makes the Rude Pundit feel a hot pain in his bowels like after he ate that spicy pork at a Filipino restaurant. The absence of exculpatory evidence is proof that someone needs to be blown to bits. If that doesn't make you queasy, you just don't really care about living in a nation of laws.

5.  The use of the Supreme Court decisions in Tennessee v. Garner and Haig v. Agee. The former actually limited the use of deadly force by the police against fleeing suspects, although this memo cites the decision as supporting the killing of Americans abroad. The latter case gave the government broader latitude to take away passports from citizens. Apparently, when an American is made into a meaty paste by a drone missile, the computer jockey who fired it is allowed to say, "Passport revoked" in an Arnold Schwarzenegger voice.

6. "A lawful killing in self-defense is not an assassination...a lethal operation conducted against a U.S. citizen whose conduct poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States would be a legitimate act of national self-defense that would not violate the assassination ban." But remember: "imminent" doesn't mean "imminent" in any sense that we would normally understand "imminent." So, hey, why the fuck not say that an assassination is not really an assassination?

Republicans will have hearings when someone in the Obama administration farts too loudly. Think they'll actually have the balls to have a fair hearing on this? And if they're willing to do this, let's not forget about all this shit they let the previous administration get away with. The nation is now filthy with hypocrites.


Observations on Insanity, Stalking, and Wayne LaPierre:
Let us say, and why not, that you are a guy obsessed with a girl, a girl who once, in a moment of weakness, gave you her phone number, and perhaps you went on one date with her. She thought you were nice, but not her type, and, "Hey, have a good life; sure, we can be friends." But you are not a guy who gives up. You start to text her and call her, a little bit at first, but more and more frequently as she stops answering your texts, stops taking your calls. You follow her occasionally, seeing if she's meeting with other guys. You text dozens of time a day, you call her work, her friends, until eventually she takes out a restraining order on you and you can be arrested for stalking if you contact her again.

If you work with the logic of the National Rifle Association and gun lovers, you are outraged. How can there be laws that prevent you from asserting your First Amendment rights to speak, to assemble peaceably? You never threatened her; you just caused her emotional distress, and, well, shit, isn't that her problem? Why should your rights be denied because they might cause harm to someone?

There's arguments about how broad some anti-stalking laws are, but, for the most part, they are accepted limitations on the First Amendment to the Constitution. Indeed, if someone, like this presumptive "you" (and, if this is really what "you" do, fuckin' stop it), were to continue to harass the victim, claiming you can do it because of the Bill of Rights, there's a good chance you'd be considered mentally ill and in need of treatment.

So it was that NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and his combover of doom appeared on the show Fox "news" Sunday with Mike Wallace's loin fruit, Chris. The host actually treated LaPierre like a dangerous lunatic, which caused him to evolve from fish to lizard in the Rude Pundit's Media Figure Progression Chart. For is there not a point where, if you are so obsessed with something like guns, to the detriment of individuals, families, communities, hell, society in general, that you are actually, really mentally ill?

The Rude Pundit knows that 21st century America loves to put its freaks on display for us all to laugh at, but it's one appalling thing to mock the morbidly obese and functionally retarded family on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. It's another level of appalling to put someone with mental illness on television or in a chair at a congressional hearing and take what they say as some kind of expertise. Listening to the NRA on guns is like getting housekeeping tips from the Unabomber.

On Fox, LaPierre continued to spin out the most extreme scenarios for which semi-automatic weapons might be used. "If you limit the American public's access to semi- automatic technology, you limit their ability to survive," he said. "If someone is invading your house, I mean, you shouldn't say you should only have five or six shots, you ought to have what you need to protect yourself -- a woman should. Not what a politician thinks is reasonable."

Look at that last part, "not what a politician thinks is reasonable." What does that mean? The Constitution is what politicians thought was reasonable. Every fucking law on the books is what politicians and the courts think is reasonable. Stalking laws and their limitations on the First Amendment are there because politicians think they're reasonable.

LaPierre advocates for armed anarchy, purely and simply, for the sake of preventing the government from saying, "You know, there's a few guns and a few kinds of magazines we have a problem with." You couple that with LaPierre's paranoia that President Obama is trying to figure out a way to take away everyone's guns, and what else do you need to diagnose a man or a group of people as insane?


Photos That Remind the Rude Pundit of the Bad Ol' Days:

As the encomiums to just-deceased former New York Mayor Ed Koch are posted, published, and spoken, the Rude Pundit's memories of the man include the "Dump Koch" movement, pushed by graffiti artists, among others. As part of Koch's approach to quality of life issues, he declared a "War on Graffiti," and resistance to that war, which cost millions of dollars, became a flashpoint in the development of hip-hop culture in New York City.

You can argue over the heavy-handedness of Koch's approach - with dogs inside fences (at one point, Koch even suggested wolves), but, well, hell, riding the subway became a far safer proposition. And graffiti artists became heroic outlaws both underground and then on the brand-new MTV. Koch wasn't dumped until 8 years later.