Louisiana Ain't Screwing Around on Same-Sex Marriage

Unlike those pussy states Indiana, Arkansas, and Georgia, Louisiana will not be out-rednecked when it comes to discriminating against LGBT residents who want to get married. Sorry - when it comes to the religious freedom for Louisiana's people to pick and choose which parts of the Bible they want to enforce.

See, the previous states all called their bills a "Religious Freedom Restoration Act," which makes it sound like everyone just wants to live and let live when it comes to however you want to pretend there's an invisible sky wizard fucking around in humans' lives. But Louisiana's religious conservatives in the legislature tossed that shit and said it plain. HB 707 is the motherfuckin' "Marriage and Conscience Act," so no one can be confused about what's what.

It's about as straightforward and not open to interpretation as can be: "Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, this state shall not take any adverse action against a person, wholly or partially, on the basis that such person acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction about the institution of marriage." That Indiana bill that caused the big uproar didn't even have the word "marriage" in it.

There's even a pie-in-the-sky-are-you-shittin-us section about how allowing for discrimination will contribute to a more tolerant society: "Laws that protect the free exercise of religious beliefs or moral convictions about marriage will encourage private citizens and institutions to demonstrate similar tolerance and therefore contribute to a more respectful, diverse, and peaceful society." You got that? If you're free to tell the marrying queers that they can't have their reception in your nice hall, you make this a better country for all of us.

The author of the bill is State Representative Mike Johnson, who comes from the shitkicker District 8 in Bossier Parish, tucked under Arkansas (which didn't mention marriage in its failed religious freedom restoration bill) and across the Red River from the much more racially diverse Shreveport. Yeah, Johnson won in a special election back in February of this year, with a bio that reads like a fuck dream involving Jerry Falwell, a big crucifix, and a half-empty jar of Vaseline: "Mike has provided legal representation and consultation to many national organizations as well, including: the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, the National Day of Prayer Task Force, Living Waters Publications/Way of the Master, Coral Ridge Ministries, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Answers in Genesis, and the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools."

Gov. Bobby Jindal, who looks like he swallowed at least one goat testicle that got stuck in his throat, supports the hell out of the bill because it's not like he has a record to run on for president. But already, the Louisiana Chamber of Commerce, being concerned about, you know, commerce, has said, "Whoa, whoa, what the fuck are you doing?" And IBM, which is a big employer in the state, put out a statement to Jindal that said, "IBM has made significant investments in Louisiana including most recently a technology services delivery center in Baton Rouge, creating new jobs for Louisiana workers.We located the center in Baton Rouge because we believe Louisiana has great talent and would continue to be a rich source of such talent.  However a bill that legally protects discrimination based on same-sex marriage status will create a hostile environment for our current and prospective employees, and is antithetical to our company’s values."

Who knows if the thing will pass? Weirder shit has happened lately. But you can bet that the glory-seeking nutzoids will always try to appeal to their mad minions. 


Racist Idiot Loses His Business Because He's a Racist Idiot

Jim Boggess is a motherfucking idiot. About as stupid as a shithead can be. Boggess owns - no, wait...owned a deli in Flemington, New Jersey. He obviously gets his political views shoved down his throat and up his ass in a Chinese fingercuffs fucking by Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, with internet rage mavens jacking off on him as he is thrusted back and forth between talk radio and Fox "news." So he decided, as any good business owner would, to put his opinions on race right on the front of his place, Jimbo's Deli on Main Street.

How startlingly, breathtakingly, mouth-droolingly dumb is Jim Boggess?  This fucking dumb:

And you'll never guess what Boggess said to explain his sign. No, really, go ahead and guess. Did he just say, "Ah, fuck it. I hate coloreds and immigrants"? Did he say, "Black History Month is bullshit"? No, of course not. Because contemporary racists aren't honest about their racism. He said, "No matter what you are -- Muslim, Jewish, black, white, gay, straight -- you should be proud of what you are. I shouldn't have to feel bad about being white."

When he was called on it by a biracial customer and eventually took the sign down, Boggess said, really, "I never meant it to be a black/white thing. I only meant it to be a white thing." The deli man also made reference to a website for White History Month, which is supposedly going on now. A Facebook page for the celebration is a charming mix of anti-Obama shit and, strangely, a whole bunch of stuff on how blacks in Africa are mean to white people.

And now Boggess has gone out of business, closed the deli, and is begging for money on Go Fund Me, perhaps hoping for a little of that homophobic green that let Memories Pizza's owners in Indiana make sacks of coin. Says Boggess, who has earned $20 as of today, "I don't think I deserve this just because I wanted to be proud of being white and be able to celebrate my heritage like everyone else does." Self-awareness is obviously not Jimbo's strong suit.

Boggess should become an example in colleges about how capitalism operates: if you offend everyone except a narrow bunch of fucknuts, the market will wipe you off the map. And if you gamble your business on the stupidity people forward you or post on your Facebook wall, you reap what you have sown.


Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Feel Parched Enough to Drink PBR

This is the Enterprise Bridge over Lake Oroville in Butte County, California.

The picture on the left is the lake in flush times, in July 2011. The picture on the right is the lake in the age of permanent drought.

Just a brief, graphic reminder that California may be facing increasingly desperate water needs. As Felicia Marcus of the State Water Resources Board told a Sacramento audience last week, "We don’t know if its going to rain next year. We don’t know if its going to rain after that."

But, no, really, let's continue to argue over whether climate change is "real."


Fuck Your Conscience; Do Your Job

Let us say, and why not, that you are a firefighter, the captain of the department in Sisterfuck, Arkansas, a little bit outside Little Rock, and, in your off-duty life, you're a good, loyal member of the Church of the Bloodiest Christ You've Ever Seen. At your church, Pastor Jamie Lee Closetqueer preaches about how abortion is just President Obama trying to murder Christians to make room for more Muslims. You never saw a Muslim abortion clinic, did you?

Now let us say, and, indeed, why not, that one night the Planned Parenthood in Little Rock goes up in flames and it's all hands on deck, all around the county, the area, even. Your squad is called into action before the whole complex, maybe the block, burns down. But you know that the Planned Parenthood does abortions. You're faced with a choice. Pastor Closetqueer's words echo in your ear: "If you support the sin, you are a sinner yourself." Do you tell your Sisterfuck squad to stand down, let it burn, let other firefighters handle it? Or do you go against your faith and do your goddamn job?

It's not a big leap from pharmacists to firefighters. Down the road a bit from Sisterfuck is Millegdeville, Georgia, where Brittany Cartrett had a miscarriage. She needed assistance passing the miscarried fetus, so her doctor prescribed her Misoprostol, a pill that would help her complete what had started naturally, if sadly. When her doctor called local Walmart to have it filled, the pharmacist on duty refused to do so because, as she later told Cartrett, "I couldn't think of a valid reason why you would need this prescription." Misoprostol can be used to induce abortion, which is why it would be effective after a miscarriage. When Cartrett explained why she needed it, the pharmacist said, "Well, I don't feel like there is a reason why you would need it, so we refused to fill it."

And it's perfectly fine because Georgia has a law that says if pharmacists think that someone's prescription violates their beliefs, they can refuse to fill it because of a conscience clause, which over 20 states have or are considering. In this case, that meant that, despite a doctor calling in the prescription, the pharmacist thought, "Abortin' babeez" and bugged out.

By the way, Brittany Cartrett is a devout Christian who once worked at the same Walmart. And her response to the ensuing controversy, which became known because of her Facebook post on it, is about as common sense as you can get: "The point is that she refused to fill it based on an assumption and that is not her job. Her job is to fill it. Not to make the decision as to why I needed it. There has to be a line drawn when it comes to stuff like this."

Cartrett also wrote, awesomely, "I don't care about an apology. I care about women going through one of the worst possible things that they could go through and to be judged and refused. And what if I was going to get it for an abortion? I don't personally believe in abortion, but I would never judge or disrespect someone who felt like that was the only choice they had. As a friend, I would try to advise alternative options. As a pharmacist? It's not my place."

When you're right, you're right. Conscience clauses when it comes to things like this are just impositions of one's religion on others. Do your fucking job. If you can't do your fucking job properly, find another fucking job. If your bullshit beliefs are going to prevent you from fulfilling basic duties, then get the fuck out of the public sector. Go work for a church. Just stay away from people who might need you to shut the fuck up and do the job. Conservatives like to talk about "special rights" for different groups. An exclusion from the duties of your profession is pretty much the picture book definition of "special rights."

It ain't just religion. In Carlisle, Pennsylvania, a school nurse refused to assist a middle school student and threw the girl out of her office. The girl's crime? She didn't stand during the Pledge of Allegiance, the loyalty oath students around the country are asked to recite every morning at their indoctrination center schools. Except, interestingly enough, the Pledge is voluntary, and the nurse is being investigated for abiding by her patriotic conscience. So there is a line.

When it comes to religion, though, that line is being erased. We are not far from just letting shit burn.


The Inevitable Inevitability of Hillary Clinton

We're getting a new Star Wars movie this year. If you're like the Rude Pundit, your first thought when you heard about it was "C'mon. How about coming up with something new, fer chrissake?" See, once The Phantom Menace, the fourth one (or the first, depending on your level of geek), came out in 1999, most anyone except the stupid, the children, and the most devoted, completist fans stopped giving a shit about Star Wars, feeling it was better to live on with your memories of the original three, however skewed those are by the distance of time. Besides, along came Harry Potter in book and movie form around the same time, and, holy crap, that was so much bolder and original than the dumb new Star Wars flicks. It was something different, something that would take you to places you didn't know, or places that were familiar but presented in a new way. How cool is that? Fuck boring Anakin Skywalker.

Of course, the Harry Potter series ended, as it had to, and while it was fine, it certainly didn't live up to the magic of the start, at least not to the Rude Pundit. It promised more than it could fulfill, some of the subplots were worthless, and the end was so unsurprising as to be tedious. However, when it was good, it was transcendent, and that's enough.

This year, the first teaser-trailer for The Force Awakens came out, and the Rude Pundit thought, "Okay, fine, that looks fun as hell. Maybe the time is finally right, the people working on it finally know what they're doing, and it'll be good. Sign me up." It's not exactly "Fuck yeah, let's get our motherfuckin' Jedi on." It's more of "Yeah, I'm ready for the comforts and potential thrills of a new Star Wars."

The second yesterday that Hillary Clinton made it official that she's running for president, the race was over. Barring anything health-related, Hillary Clinton will be elected president in 2016. It doesn't matter who the GOP nominates. This is now as predictable a race as 2012.

Oh, sure, we'll pretend. Already, you have writers and prognosticators saying that Clinton is not "inevitable," even people the Rude Pundit admires and agrees with. You have others writing about how Clinton's last campaign was dysfunctional or how she's her own worst enemy or how we're going to have the unending Clinton "drama," a storyline concocted and propagated by the media. We'll act like any of the avaricious charlatans, craven whores, and scabby lepers running for the Republican nomination stand a chance. We'll have to see absurd articles like how Marco Rubio could win. We'll have to play this tedious, depressing race for the next year-and-a-half, punishing the public with nonstop messaging. All of it will amount to nothing because the ending of this story is written, like St. Peter's book on your life at the gates of a Calvinist heaven.

Simply put, there is no argument out there that makes any sense as to how she could lose. While there are places in the U.S. that might want a gay marriage-opposing, Obamacare-eliminating, climate change-denying, abortion rights-overturning, immigrant-bashing leader, these positions make no sense to the majority of the country. On the other side of that, most of the nation also doesn't give a fuck about the stuff that gets us in Left Blogsylvania all distressed about Clinton: her coziness with Wall Street and her more-hawkish-than-Obama foreign policy. And if you think there are still skeletons in her closet that are big enough to sink her, you must think that Vince Foster was murdered and that Hillary stood there and laughed while Bill raped women in front of her.

Clinton's inevitability isn't a good thing. It isn't a bad thing. It's just what it is. It's more tangible than the inevitability of Bob Dole or John McCain or Mitt Romney because they were inevitable nominees. Clinton is the inevitable winner.

If the Rude Pundit were advising the GOP, he'd tell it to forget about the presidency. Concentrate on keeping your backwards-ass local and state elections in your win column. Until you come up with a Harry Potter of your own, we'll gladly return to Star Wars.


Three Follow-Up Questions Designed to Piss Off Rand Paul

As we've learned, it's very easy to make Sen. Rand Paul get as pissy as an aggravated 8th grade girl when he's questioned even slightly. So here's some quick follow-ups sure to push him over the edge. They can come after anything from queries about Iran to "Were you really named after Ayn Rand?"

1. "Really?"

2. "Dude, really?"

3. "Are you shittin' me?"


Bill O'Reilly Spins the North Charleston Shooting Like a Greased Top

Perhaps you were sitting home yesterday or today, wondering, "How in the world will Fox 'news' be able to discuss the shooting of Walter Scott by Officer Michael Slager? How could it possibly spin an obvious murder by a cop? Surely, even Fox will have to admit we have a problem here."

Oh, dear wonderer, you don't know Fox.

Last night, on Bill O'Reilly's Slaughterhouse of Fuckery and Lies, O'Reilly showed how it's done: You deny it's anything other than a one-time incident. Here's how he starts the conversation with Some Asshole on there to agree with him: "What struck me is, when we were doing research for this story, police shootings have fallen 70 percent -- police shootings of black Americans 70 percent in the last 40 or 50 years. So they are way, way down. In 2012, last stats available, 123 blacks were killed by police; 326 whites were killed. So there doesn't seem to be as some people would have you believe, that police are trying to hunt down young black men and take their lives."

Then, no shit, he followed up with "However, there is no excuse for what that officer in South Carolina did." See? He cares.

After briefly talking to Some Asshole, O'Reilly opined, "You have to chalk it up to the man, the police officer you are seeing, allegedly -- and I believe he will be convicted -- committed a crime and let the system play out. He is being held without bail as I mentioned. But there are people who are not going to let the system play out. They're going to condemn the system." And that's just wrong. You can't condemn a system for the actions of a few bad actors.  "You take each crime and you put it into whatever context this justice system can provide," O'Reilly says.

You got that? O'Reilly, a master of taking an incident and proclaiming a "War" on something or other, thinks that you can't do that in this case.  He regularly says that Muslims need to do something about Islamic terrorism, even if the vast, vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists. Benghazi means the entire State Department and the Obama Administration are corrupt. But a white cop shooting an unarmed black man? Like so many other shootings of unarmed black men? Each done in a motherfuckin' vacuum, according to O'Reilly.

That's the spin you're gonna hear from Fox. This one incident was isolated. This one doesn't tell us anything. Let's get upset about this one and forget about the others that have even the smallest amount of doubt in them. Let's absolve ourselves of any complicity. The issue, as O'Reilly tells us, is that we hate to feel bad about America: "It besmirches a country -- a country that you have prospered in and I have prospered in."

Yeah. It fucking well does.