The Failed Rhetoric of a Failed Adminstration on a Failed War:
Here's something that President Bush needs to know: he's lost the Rude Pundit's brother. When the Rude Pundit visited his family in red state America for the last week, one of the first conversations he had was with his older brother. Rude Bro, a recovering dittohead, told the Rude Pundit that John Kerry wasn't worth his vote and that when the Rude Pundit was trying to convince him to vote for Kerry, he saw dancing monkeys in his head, which, if you think about it, is pretty much what most of red state America saw. "That's okay," the Rude Pundit said. "Just hope you don't have one of those dark nights of the soul when you wake up just before your daughter's drafted and wonder, 'What the hell have I done?'" The problem would be that Rude Bro's 16 year-old daughter was sitting right there. And the idea of being drafted freaked her. Big time. Especially since she has a cousin that's fightin' over in Baghdad.

Later, Rude Bro, who's about as kickass a Dad as any kid could want, said that he doesn't support the war anymore. Who knows what did it: the WMDs, the death, the accumulation of lies and deceit and blood into a stew of confusion. Either way, though, Rude Bro was not gonna study war no more and, at least on this issue the President's lost a former supporter. Oh, and Rude Niece was still freaked about the draft. "Well, maybe she should be," said the Rude Pundit. Still and all, the Rude Pundit later assured his niece that "there's not gonna be a draft - if there was, there'd be riots in the streets."

When Bush spoke on Tuesday, he was trying, desperately, to get back in the good graces of people like Rude Bro. Unfortunately, what he declared was that the United States (or the "coalition") has transformed Iraq from a relatively stable, if insane and murderous, dictatorship to a battle-scarred, body-part strewn shitstorm of a terrorist magnet, using American soldiers as bait and Iraqis as pawns: "Some wonder whether Iraq is a central front in the war on terror. Among the terrorists, there is no debate. Hear the words of Osama Bin Laden: 'This Third World War is raging' in Iraq." It's always nice to allow the terror masterminds to control the rhetoric and define the terms of engagement, no? Later, he said, "We fight today because terrorists want to attack our country and kill our citizens, and Iraq is where they are making their stand." Or, you know, it's cheaper to drive to Iraq than to deal with American airport security.

How many of the soldiers at Fort Bragg, those mighty props that Bush loves to parade about with whenever he wants to make himself look like the biggest hamster in a room of guinea pigs, thought, "Oh, shit, this crazy fucker's gonna get us killed?" Especially since there's now a 1 in 100 chance that, if you come from Fort Bragg and get sent to Iraq or Afghanistan, you're gonna die.

See, despite what Karl Rove and other powermad munchkins say, most Americans wanted to kick some terrorist ass after 9/11. Get in, blow some shit up, get out, and have a big fuckin' party back home. Who the fuck cared where, really - for, surely, when you fuck with the biggest dog, someone's gettin' bit. And Rove and Bush and the rest took advantage. Most war supporters didn't sign up for World War III, to transform the hearts and minds and culture and tribes and history of a region of the world in a strange, messianic attempt to rid the world of eeeevil. The reaction against the war is the reaction not just to mounting casualties and costs: it's the reaction of parents whose teenage son said he'd be back by midnight and now it's five a.m. and Mom's worried and Dad's pissed and that little motherfucker's grounded.

Or, at a basic level, as so many have pointed out, we were fuckin' told six months, tops, and now we're told over a decade, and even then Americans won't get to have the victory party.

So how can we do anything but laugh, not feeling the call to arms by the President when he says, "We live in freedom because every generation has produced patriots willing to serve a cause greater than themselves. Those who serve today are taking their rightful place among the greatest generations that have worn our nation's uniform. When the history of this period is written, the liberation of Afghanistan and the liberation of Iraq will be remembered as great turning points in the story of freedom." Most Americans didn't want to turn history: they just wanted to feel safe. And those who support the war? Fuckin' answer your President's call, bitches.

Like the vast, vast majority of the nation, Rude Bro didn't watch Bush's pathetic, quiet exercise in tilting at windmills. Not through any conscious decision or not. But, certainly, and truly, he didn't care enough to make the time anymore. There's errands to be run, family to visit, kids to care for, things that really do matter in the long run.


Well, the Rude Pundit Was Right About the Speech:
As he said yesterday. Oh, and add so many September 11 references it made one nostalgic for the relative subtlety of the Republican National Convention.

(Travel day - crossing the mighty time zones of the United States from red America to blue America. More tomorrow.)

(Yeah, yeah, fucked up the dating and timing of the entry.)


President Fluffy Fucker:
Let us say that you're a guy who' datin' a woman who's totally into stuffed animals. She's got the Care Bears and their goddamn cousins. She's got bunnies, kitties, Build-a-friggin' Bears of every shape and size and costume. You thank Christ that she missed the whole Beanie Baby thing, but, c'mon, how many Gunds does one human being need? And one day she walks into her bedroom in her apartment and catches you fuckin' one of them. That's right. You're balls deep in Funshine Bear and you just didn't expect her home. It's bad enough that you're in her place when she didn't invite her. But now she's gotta deal with the sight of you, pants off, thrusting your cock into a smilin' yellow bear.

You also know she doesn't know the worst part, yet – that you’ve been sneakin' into her place for weeks, fuckin' the bunnies, the kitties, and those sassy ass Groovy Girls who just want it nasty. You can't stop yourself. You've got a problem. And while you know your relationship, such that it is, can never be the same, especially when she finds the crusty spots on Snookum Bunny, you might be able to ask for forgiveness and see what happens.

Except when she demands an explanation, you turn it around on her. Why can't she support you? She's got all these fluffy fuckers just layin' around here – why can't you have your way with 'em? Hey, in fact, by fuckin' Hello Kitty, you’re sayin', "Good-bye, pussy" and not cheatin' on her. And if she'll just be patient, you'll have worked this out of your system and everyone will be happy, if a bit defiled.

Seriously, and, c'mon, really, what the fuck can Bush say tonight that's gonna make everyone who's turned so viciously on him suddenly think that the war in Iraq is just jim-holy-shit-dandy. All it's gonna be is the same bullshit we've heard from Rumsfeld and McClellan and the rest: me stop terrorism, we safer, no rape rooms, the Keystone Iraqi forces are growin', we will win, loss of life bad, insurgents be foreign killahs. And, hey, lick my balls, we're stayin' the course.

To return to our story of hot fluffy sex: Any reasonably sane woman would throw you the fuck out of her life and maybe, for good measure, have you arrested. Would that America might react the same way to Bush’s arrogant propaganda moment.

(Is this an absurd analogy? No shit. Welcome to America in the 21st century. Motto: We’re absurd, you can shove a fish up your nose.)

Tomorrow: Well, the Rude Pundit Was Right About the Speech.


American Fantasyland:
There’s secrets behind every fa├žade, you know. At Walt Disney World, tales are told of the people inside the Goofy, Mickey, and Stitch costumes, the cast members who devote their evenings to the kinds of drug-and-alcohol driven orgies that would make Bacchus proud. It’s the only way to stay sane, to balance the mad happiness with which they must prance around, day in, day out, for love of Walt and the children. So cross-dressing chick who plays Mickey might use a strap-on to pleasure Pocahantas as Pluto and Cinderella ball madly in the corner and Donald, still sans pants, masturbates while Dopey, Doc, Woody, and Buzz run a train on Belle. Bashful, of course, shoves his proud cock in her mouth as the Beast, crazed on acid and tequila, bellows and cackles at the sight of Goofy trying to suck his own dick.

We also know that what we see at Disney World is but a small, small glimmer of the truth of the place. Below Fantasyland and Tomorrowland are tunnels, vast mazes of tunnels, where the workers move between rides and spaces in the parks so they can magically appear. Once you fall from grace, like losing belief in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and Uncle Sam, and you see the calculated, sweaty machine beneath Main Street, U.S.A., you can never be innocent again.

Not to belabor the point, but the Bush administration is the Disney World front of geopolitics. What were the appearances of Donald Rumsfeld on various and sundry Sunday morning gabfests but attempts to continue the illusions about Iraq. And what was the joint mini-press conference between President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Jafaari but the mad charade of equivalence. Of course Cinderella really lives in the castle. Of course Jafaari is a sovereign leader.

Little actually needs to be said about the events themselves. (And the transcripts of the Meet the Press and Fox “News” Sunday interviews are tediously, frighteningly the same.) For little was spoken that was actually news. Yeah, yeah, Rumsfeld said the insurgency could go on for a dozen years. And he would not admit a single mistake or misstep or miscalculation or misstatement or missed opportunity or a motherfuckin’ thing about troop strength, “last throes,” pre-war plans, or Karl Rove’s belches of hate, other than that he didn’t know, he’s not “political,” and history will judge him. Rumsfeld sounded like nothing so much as a man who knows that history is going to drag him into a sodomy pit and fuck him ruthlessly, repeatedly, as one should be if one is dragged into a sodomy pit.

And as for that sham press conference where you couldn’t figure out where one lie ended and another one started? Well, no muss, no fuss, no dismembered corpses in Fantasyland. All teacups and submarines, and, for certain, it’s a small world after all.

Non-Iraq Observation: It’s fascinating that when Bush talked about members of Congress regarding Social Security “reform,” he said, “They're afraid if you take on a tough issue, it will make it harder to get reelected,” since, you know, Social Security “reform” was barely mentioned by Bush until after he was re-elected. Ah, the delusional realms to which this presidency will not fail to sink to.


Karl Rove To America: Suck It:
Let’s dispose of this quickly, shall we? When Howard Dean speaks, he’s speaking as the chair of the Democratic Party. The Democrats pay him. If Democrats around the nation don’t like what Dean says, then they can cease donating to the party. When Dick Durbin speaks, he’s representing the people of Illinois, to whom he will be answerable when he’s up for re-election. When Karl Rove speaks, he’s talking as an official with the White House. The only person he’s accountable to is the President, who, as Scott McClellan so dismissingly pointed out, won’t ask Rove to apologize. Rove’s paid by each and every tax-paying American. He represents all of us.

So when that cock gobbler wants to get his rocks off by jackin’ it in front of "hundreds" of slavering lap dogs, ready to lick his scrotum at a moment’s notice, and he wants to use that moment of yankin’ his crank to declare that liberals are pussies who want American soldiers to die, he may as well add, "Oh, and any of you who disagree with me can suck it. And, hey, thanks for the paycheck." (Which is, more or less, what he said last night on Scarborough Country.)

Somewhere, deep in the basement of the White House, Karl Rove’s leather slave is weeping. Rove keeps his leather slave chained to the radiator, right next to one of FDR’s soiled wheelchairs and Taft’s slop trough. The leather slave is weeping and frightened because he knows his tears will only cause Rove to put on the spiked glove to smack his ass into a bloody pulp. And the thought of this causes him to weep more – it’s a vicious cycle. Karl Rove’s leather slave started weeping because whenever Rove comes back to the White House after giving a hate-filled screed to an audience that loves him, like a fresh antelope carcass tossed into the lion’s den, Rove will want to take out his great glee and orgasmic power on the supple ass cheeks and elastic mouth of his slave.

Karl Rove’s leather slave hears the door to the basement open. "Honey, I’m home," he hears Rove announce. And it’s true. And, oh, sweet Jesus, he’s wearing the chaps, a raging hard-on, and nothing else. Sadly, Karl Rove’s leather slave puts away the K-Y. He knows he’s about to get fucked hard and rough, a cock thrust so far up his asshole that, as Rove likes to say, "I’ll come out of your mouth."

Rove approaches, taking down Teddy Roosevelt’s riding crop, and says, "Oh, you know you love the sting."


What the Real Desecration Is:
Let us say, and why not, that the Rude Pundit decides to get his nationalistic mojo workin' and needs himself an American flag. In order to get those Stars and Stripes, he doesn't head over to the Government Office of Official Flag-Givin' because, you know, no such office actually exists. Nope, instead, the Rude Pundit has to go shoppin'.

Yep, in order to get himself one of those sacred objects of our national pride, he's gotta head on over to the local Target (since the Rude Pundit would rather shove his hand into a fire ant pile than shop at Wal-Mart) or, you know, Stop 'N Shop, slam down his hard-earned cash, pathetically flirt with the cashier, bag that fucker, and head on home with his Made in China red, white, and blue (hey, maybe that's why the red is a little brighter). Then Target'll have to order some more flags. And somewhere in Wujiang City, slave-wage laborers or perhaps prisoners will get to work makin' more flags of freedom. Because if there's somethin' Americans love more than the U.S.A., it's cheap shit.

Or he could go online and buy himself a gross of Ol' Glories or get all specific and boutique and shit and find an American made American flag. Either way, though, the purchased flag, product of good American capitalism, is the Rude Pundit's goddamn property.

And being the Rude Pundit's goddamn property, he can do anything he fuckin' wants with it. He can fly it high and proud if he wants to. He can tie it to the back of a big fuckin' SUV and drag it through the negro streets at dawn. He can use the flag to wipe his balls and then gently wipe the kind and giving lips of his lover. He use it to polish a huge shiny brass crucifix. Just as he could any other piece of cloth, made for profit, that he bought in any of the mega-corporate stores throughout this nation.

Unless, of course, the desperate Republicans get their way and pass an amendment to the Constitution that declares, vaguely, awfully, "The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States." Seriously, how fucked do the Republicans have to know they are to bring this shit up again. How frantically they must need a wedge issue.

Tell you what: when someone makes it illegal for so-called patriots to keep flying their ripped up, fucked up, bug-corpse encrusted, car-adorning flags that they discovered they loved on about September 12, 2001, then we'll fuckin' talk.


Anyone Remember Firing Line?:
You know, the Rude Pundit isn't exactly sure what the right wing of this country means any more by "liberal." The pendulum of political rhetoric has swung so far to the right that what used to be called "moderate" is now seen as wildly leftist. So "liberal" must now be equated with "telling the objective truth" because everything that's not liberal is spun by the right wing.

Take the whole blow-up over PBS. Or, let's be honest here, over Bill Moyers' former program, NOW, which saw fit to criticize the Bush Administration and led, in part, to the new attempt to transform public broadcasting into a propaganda arm of the White House.

Now perhaps 1999 seems like a long, long fuckin' time ago, but does anyone remember William F. Buckley's Firing Line? Where the fuckin' founder of the fascistic National Review held forth for an hour (later a half-hour) on PBS for thirty-three goddamn years? For about 1500 programs? Funded by your contributions and tax dollars?

Buckley loved to invite liberals and putative leftists on to argue with, eruditely, never screaming, "Shut up" at them. But the program was a showcase for conservative "thought" from the terms of LBJ through Clinton. Buckley spent an entire show chatting with Rush Limbaugh, offered entire episodes devote to promoting the National Review. Buckley interviewed and/or had on for debates Ronald Reagan (back when he was a demi-evil governor), Heritage Foundation members, and others.

And no one considered PBS a bastion of conservatism. As cuts to PBS's budget are considered by Congress and oversight by Bush adminstration lackeys, let us remember that William F. Buckley was allowed to thrive for years with a right wing ideology. And Bill Moyers' left wing ideology brought out the long knives.

(The Rude Pundit is sojourning to Red State America for the next week. There will be daily posts, but they will be noticeably briefer.)


Our Little Thinkin' President:
Sometimes one can learn so much in a short press conference. To wit:
Did you know that George W. Bush thinks about Iraq every day? It's true. He does. He said so yesterday in a brief meeting with reporters regarding the U.S.-E.U. Summit. Asked why he felt the need to sharpen his focus on Iraq, the leader of the free world said, "I think about Iraq every day -- every single day -- because I understand we have troops in harm's way, and I understand how dangerous it is there."

Which is really cool, because that puts Iraq on the same level with other things Bush thinks about every day, like taking a shit or wondering if the cook's gonna make some fritters or his mother's breasts or those fuckin' reporters who ask all those got-damn questions or making sure Dick Cheney has raw meat or Jenna's ass or wondering if that sore on his cock is gonna heal soon or taking a piss or the absence of Jeff Gannon's warm hands or punching his father in the face or wondering whether Harry Reid or Dick Armey is a dirtier name or Condi's sweet tang or smudges on the furniture or sending the military into Canada to stop 'em from bein' so uppity or Laura taking a moaning shit or the lyrics to the Oscar Meyer weiner song or Karl, tender Karl and his wonderful kisses. Oh, yeah, and then, somewhere in there, Iraq: "And so, you know, I think about this every day, every single day, and will continue thinking about it." Oh, and maybe taking another piss.

And the Rude Pundit may be mistaken, but did the President admit that some of those foreigners being "detained" at Guantanamo are harmless? He said, "Make no mistake, however, that many of those folks being detained -- in humane conditions, I might add -- are dangerous people." Now, the Rude Pundit is no linguist, but when one says that "many" of a group are dangerous, the clear implication is that "some" are not dangerous. Leaving aside the monarchic declaration that "folks" are guilty when they haven't been charged with a crime and leaving aside whatever Marquis de Sade-inspired dictionary the Bush adminstration uses to define words like "humane" and "torture," if "some" of the detainees are not dangerous people, why are we keeping them there?

Bush said that "Some have been released to their previous countries, and they got out and they went on to the battlefield again." It ain't that big a leap of logic to say that perhaps they went to the battlefield because of the way they were treated at Gitmo. That after a couple of years of detention with no way to contact loved ones, no access to legal processes, and at least some brutality and torture in the form of beatings, sleep deprivation, and more, one might be fuckin' pissed when one is released with nothing more than an "oops." Ask yourself: what would Rambo do? No, really, fuckin' ask yourself that. Would Rambo simply walk away and go back to whatever the hell Rambo did? Or would Rambo wanna go back and face down the motherfuckers who are holding his buddies? Oh, wait. That's what Rambo did.

And for all the talk about the "activist" judiciary that Bush spouts, he said yesterday that he is waiting for courts to intervene or not on behalf of the Gitmo inmates: "We're now waiting for a federal court to decide whether or not they can be tried in a military court, where they'll have rights, of course, or in the civilian courts. We're just waiting for our judicial process to move -- to move the process along." Now that the slow process of judicial review is under way, it buys more time to force prisoners into stress positions, chain them down, subject them to loud music and bright lights, scream at them to break them, and then feed them chicken and rice pilaf. And you can bet that the moment a federal court or the Supreme Court says, "Goddamn, you soulless fucks in the executive branch: charge and try these poor bastards or let 'em go," Bush will lead the charge to condemn the justice system as out of touch with his definition of "mainstream" thought.

Yessirree, from the mundane to the surprising to the vicious, the President's words ought to matter. Except what we've learned so, so often is that they don't.


Downing Street Documents: It's About the Lies:
To listen to the blather storm of media and right wing spin about the Downing Street Memos (or, since most of them are government minutes, briefs, etc., how about calling them "documents," which gives them the imprimatur of officialdom and not just something that gets into your inbox that you never look at?), the uproar is merely the dying "told-you-so" bleatings of crazed antiwar protesters.

When White House Press Secretary Scott "Behold My Permanent Sneer of Pity At You Pathetic Fuckers" McClellan was asked about the hearings Congressman John Conyers was holding on the British documents, he could barely acknowledge Conyers' existence: "I think that this is an individual who voted against the war in the first place and is simply trying to rehash old debates that have already been addressed. And our focus is not on the past. It's on the future and working to make sure we succeed in Iraq." And then he was asked if the dozens of members of Congress who signed a letter asking the White House to respond to the memos "deserve the courtesy of a response back," McClellan leaped off the podium and backhanded the arrogant reporter, screaming, "This has been addressed." Talk to the hand, motherfuckers, talk to the hand.

Meanwhile, your liberal media jumped on the crazy train and sought to discredit Conyers' unofficial hearings, forced to be held in a tiny room by contemptuous House Republicans. Dana Milbank openly mocked the effort in the bleeding heart Washington Post. With bitchiness that would be more appropriate to Mr. Blackwell, Milbank called the minority party's event a "dress-up game" featuring "Conyers and his hearty band of playmates." And, oh-ho, what fun they were having, playmates like Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in action in Iraq. Such a par-tay it was for her, describing how Casey Austin Sheehan was gunned down in an ambush in Sadr City. And what a blast it must have been for her to tell tales of other dead soldiers, including Marine Jeffrey Lucey, who hanged himself after coming home from Iraq. Sheehan quoted a letter from Lucey's father and said, "The Jeff that the Luceys saw march off to a reckless war was not the one who limped home. The Jeff his family knew died in Iraq, murdered by the inhumanity of gratutitous war." Wheee, get out the champagne and confetti, let the balloons drop, party people, 'cause Dana Milbank says that "Conyers was having so much fun."

Except of course, he wasn't. Conyers pimp slapped Milbank in a letter to the Post, saying that the reporter was engaged in "a deliberate effort to discredit the entire hearing."

Over on Fox "news," which has avoided reporting on the memos like it would avoid reporting on Rupert Murdoch's penchant for importing young Maori boys to his palatial estates, where he forces them to fellate him before he cuts their jugulars so their tangy blood can keep him alive, Fred Barnes has called the memos "conspiratorial stuff" and "a dry hole," which is, of course, an odd thing for a man who is one of the gay bondage-named "Beltway Boys" to admit to knowing about in public.

And meanwhile the true conspiracy nuts are over on the right wing blogs, as they desperately try to discredit the memos by "proving" they're forgeries. After huffing and puffing about how the documents were re-typed and therefore they gottamustbeohsweetmotherfuckinjesusletthembe fake, one nutzoid blogger finally throws in the towel to declare, with his bottom lip stuck out, "Even if these memos could be authenticated, they're still meaningless. They could only excite the kind of idiots that would hold mock impeachment hearings with four witnesses and no authority whatsoever."

Here's the deal: let's change the context. The Downing Street documents are about a conspiracy of lies and deception. One doesn't have to be "antiwar" to believe that the President of the United States shouldn't openly lie to the Congress and to the people about matters of State. War just happens to be the subject, yes, but it just as well could have been energy policy or campaign donations - those just lack the glamour of dead and mutilated American bodies. See, in this new context, we don't even have to talk about whether or not it was "right" to take out Saddam Hussein and "liberate" Iraq. All we have to talk about is the lying.

And about this being "the past," in that "oh-well-we-all-fucking-knew-Bush-was-lying-anyway" attitude being taken by so many on the left and middle, well, shit, since when is there a statute of limitations on high crimes and misdemeanors? Always use the Bill Clinton bar, one that's so low that even slugs could not limbo under it: was Whitewater "the past"? Well, fuck yeah, since it happened years before Clinton was even in the Oval Office, in goddamn 1978. Did that stop the investigations? Well, fuck no, and the years-long and multimillion dollar investigation didn't prove a damn thing, other than Republicans were petty, mean, vicious fuckers who would stoop to anything to avenge the loss of the presidency.

The way to win converts to the cause of investigating the President - "what did he know and when did he know it" kind of shit - is to put it in the abstract, more universal sense first: "The President lied to your face." Then get more specific: "The President lied to your face about why we went to war." Then allow the horror to seep in: "The President lied to your face about why we went to war and now we're on the fast track to our second-thousandth dead and our twenty-thousandth injured."

And you know what? He's gonna keep lyin' and keep lyin' until he's walked out of the White House.


Going All In and Losing Large On Schiavo:
There's a lot of motherfuckers who staked their political capital and professional credibility on the idea that Terri Schiavo was not a vegetable, that she could be healed, that Jesus loved her that much. Well, tough shit. They went all in on that bet, and now it's time to make these sons and daughters of bitches pay. Turns out that science was right and faith was wrong.

It turns out that Terri Schiavo's brainpan was just a vessel for holding a bunch of goo, not a brain. It turns out she didn't follow any fuckin' balloon or look at anyone at any time because she was blind. Oh, and she wasn't beaten, yo, although Jeb Bush will resuscitate Schiavo's corpse in order to get all C.S.I. on her ashes in order to salvage any shred of credibility he has left. (More precisely, Michael Schiavo will be forced to suffer ever more for the crime of wanting his rutabaga of a wife to be allowed to die.)

Now, Mel Martinez, the Florida Senator that led the charge for Congress to intervene in the Schiavo case, is trying to save his ass by saying that he was wrong. Bill Frist, who spoke in the Senate about how Schivao "responded" to stimulus, is now saying he never said she "responded." The Rude Pundit wouldn't trust Frist to look at a boil on someone's ass, let alone their EKG. Terri Schiavo needs to become the Willie Horton around the necks of Republicans in 2006.

And what will our fair right wing commentators, so many of whom were soooo sure back in the dark days of March that Schiavo might be able to be rehabilitated, say as we extend the "we-told-you-so" mantra? Like Charlie "I Be a Doctor" Krauthammer, who wrote, "I have tried to find out what her neurological condition actually is. But the evidence is sketchy, old and conflicting. The Florida court found that most of her cerebral cortex is gone. But 'most' does not mean all. There might be some cortex functioning. The very severely retarded or brain-damaged can have some consciousness. And we do not go around euthanizing the minimally conscious in the back wards of the mental hospitals on the grounds that their lives are not worth living."

Or David Limbaugh, who wrote, "From what I've read, while Terri is severely disabled, she's not in a so-called vegetative state, she's not in a coma, and she's not medically terminal," and later belched up more: "I detect more than a bit of intellectual dishonesty among many favoring Terri's death. They are claiming they merely want to honor Terri's wishes, yet they rely on her tainted husband, callously discount the testimony of her loving parents, blindly accept the disinformation that Terri is in a purely vegetative state, and ignore multiple firsthand accounts, including from examining physicians and nurses, that Terri is responsive, sometimes animated, and definitely wants to go on living."

Or Maggie Gallagher, who, when not selling out cheap to support marriage, wrote, "a neurologist who was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1999 (and who examined Terri Schiavo several years ago) [said] that Terri is not in a vegetative state. She sometimes responds. Terri (he says) has been able to swallow pudding in the past, and can swallow her own saliva right now. With therapy, she might not even need the feeding tube. 'They are truly withholding food from a person who is awake, alert, and can eat and swallow.'" Damn, Nobel Prizes are cheap trinkets these days.

Or the mad Michelle Malkin, who wrote, "If given proper rehabilitation, Terri could learn to chew and swallow on her own as well. She is disabled, not dead." Now Malkin desperately clings to the shadows of doubt that are built into any rational scientific document.

And the good lawyer Hindrocket, the queerly-named conservative blogger on the queerly-named blog Powerline, said in March, "I think pretty much anyone who sees it thinks--she's not dead. Severely disabled, yes. Dead, no. Deliberately starving her would be a terrible thing. That's how I reacted to it, anyway...And I believe it is undisputed that Terri Schiavo has never been given the tests normally used to diagnose a persistent vegetative state, apparently because her husband refuses to allow them."

While the calls for Frist and DeLay and Bushes Jeb et George to apologize are loud and resounding, there's been little furor over the destruction of the credibility of all of our sanctimonious right wing wads of fuck. Yes, it's more important to wreck the political "leaders" of the opposition, but it'd be the cherry on the fuckin' sundae to punish their media enablers.

Meanwhile, one must feel at least some pity for the poor, deluded parents of Terri Schiavo. They have to cling to the insane hope that their daughter could have gotten better. Otherwise, to accept the coroner's report, they would have to face the horror that they artificially kept their blind, brain-melted daughter alive for years. And perhaps one needs to die with illusions than to deal with that nightmare.


Is the Media in the Teeter Before the Tipping?:
Let us posit a theory of media tipping points for a moment or two here. President Bush's approval ratings have sunk to lows that make the post-9/11 Dubya lovefest seem as distant as, well, Bush, Sr.'s post-Persian Gulf lovefest. And when you get to specific issues, like Iraq or just about anything, or the direction of the country, the big mo on George W. is down, down, down. Consistently. In every scientific poll.

So let's say you're a scotch-swillin' exec at a big ass corporate media entity, say a TimeWarnerCNN-type. You have to say, "Sweet merciful fuck, I'm a ratings whore. I gotta jack up that 25-49 demo like it's Bob Dole's dick. How am I gonna shove some Viagra down this throat?" Now, there's decisions to be made. Big fuckin' decisions. 'Cause every instinct that has guided you for four years now has been to wave that fuckin' flag, man, to repeat the government line like it's gospel. So your decision is this: do you keep doin' that shit, thinkin' that the only people sittin' on their asses and watchin' Wolf Blitzer and Lou Dobbs are the Bush-lovin' 40 percent (and sinkin' fast)? Or do you look at polls, since numbers are your game, motherfucker, and say, "Shit, we better ride this trend"?

Because, see, the bottom line is the bottom line, right? And as much as you wanna keep the peace with Karl Rove and manipulate people into thinkin' Bush is a great man, a great President, and the best fuck you never had, at some point the democracy of audience share and ad dollars is gonna override your obeisance to your Republican masters. If your shareholders start to get unhappy, it ain't Rove's or Karen Hughes' ass on the line. Well, not directly. So maybe you need to start programming things with a tilt towards what the vast majority of Americans believe, about the war, about Social Security, about the Congress, about Bush himself. (If 51% of the vote is a "mandate," then 60% of a poll is a "vast majority" - it's new millenium comparative mathematics.)

Sure, sure, you're saying about now, but Bill Clinton had high approval ratings and was still viciously attacked by the mainstream media. Ahh, but the Clinton saga had sex in it, and who doesn't like to hear Peter Jennings talk about finger fucking an intern in the Oval Orifice?

The Rude Pundit voraciously watches and reads news with all the energy of Ken Mehlman avoiding questions about his sexuality. And between the "debate" over Gitmo, the Downing Street memo(s), the Terry Schivao autopsy, the war, and more, there has been a bunch of coverage of news that paints the administration and the Republicans into the corner of wacko extremism. Sure, sure, Chris Matthews can smack those thin lips around Condoleezza Rice's kootchie all night long. And Bill O'Reilly can try to slam a phantom Dick Durbin around his empty studio.

And they will. This is not an overnight process. It's the possible beginning of a corrective drift. When Time magazine has a cover story on abuse at Gitmo and the Washington Post runs a front page story on the Bush adminstration's belief that happy, "liberated" Iraqis would throw themselves prone onto the ground so that triumphant Americans could fuck them any way we wanted, well, it might not be a trend, but it's certainly got the potential to be a sign of things to come. Time's gotta sell issues. If Gitmo abuse sells, then Donald Rumsfeld better be preparing the escape pod for launch.

This is a theory, you know - maybe even just an hypothesis that needs a great deal more observable data. Capitalism is a hungry bastard - you better obey its whims or it'll eat you alive. There's a convergence of things occurring: the aforementioned approval ratings that are going down faster than Republican porn star Mary Carey in Lesbian Big Boob Bangeroo 2; the emergence and greater reliance of people on blogs and news sites for their information (remember: during the Clinton era, the scum-sucking Drudge was driving the discourse and coverage - now Kos and others help push back); Republicans beginning to treat Bush like a lame duck (translation: bitch) and opposing some of his ever-insane plans and policies; and the frail image of W. Mark Felt emerging from his house, having been revealed to be Deep Throat, a reminder that journalists used to be more than stenographers for the powerful.

Since George Bush fucked the goat (see note below) on WMDs and Iraq (and the economy and on and on), he's trusted about as much as a meth addict at a Sudafed factory. And some reporters are showing signs of discontent with Press Secretary Scott "I Hold All Of You In Sincere And Everlasting Contempt" McClellan, trying to force that smug fucker to answer or at least back up his answers to their questions. Do you think that reporters, beaten down for so long that they put their tails between their ass cheeks whenever the Pavlovian voice of Donald Rumsfeld barks at them, decided on their own to be more aggressive at the press briefings? Or did that come from their editors or producers? And do you really think that the editors or producers are so independent now that they would decide on their own to make gestures to going on the attack?

You're that multinational, multinetworked corporate exec, and you know that, in the end, you better give the people what they want. And, more and more, it's seeming like the people want the heads of Republicans presented to them on platters. Now there's a job a real news organization ought to be licking its lips to dive into.

Note on fucking goats for those new to the rudeness: There's an old joke: A man is sitting in a bar, drinking, talking to the bartender. He says, "A man can work his whole life building bridges. Do they call him John the bridge builder? No. He can work his whole life putting out fires. Do they call him John the fireman? No. But you fuck one goat..."

Ask Bill Clinton, Pee-Wee Herman, and Michael Jackson: Once you've fucked the goat, there's no way to unfuck it.


In Perpetuity, Forever and Ever, Amen:
The point yesterday when Deputy Attorney General J. Michael Wiggins told the Senate Judiciary Committee, in answer to a question from Joe Biden, that, regarding inmates at the prison at Guantanamo Bay, "It's our position that, legally, they can be held in perpetuity" was the moment that the zombie corpses of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams should have burst into the chamber and ripped the head off the government stooge who just declared the United States shits on three and a half centuries of legal precedent. Then the three Founders should have divided and eaten Wiggins's depraved brain before heading over to the increasingly misnamed Department of Justice to dine on Alberto Gonzales's intestines. Ahh, sweet vengeance of history - the government that has eaten away the Constitution will now get eaten by those who created it.

Unlike the rampaging revolutionary zombies, though, the right wing media has decided not to focus its attention not on the official policy of disappearing prisoners, but on Senator Dick Durbin's amazing, passionate statement on the floor of the Senate. Durbin was speaking out against the treatment of prisoners at Gitmo. He read quoted a statement from an FBI agent who saw horrific mistreatment of prisoners. Then Durbin said, "If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime—Pol Pot or others—that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners."

Durbin's statement led Rush Limbaugh to bellow about Nazi atrocities and gulag conditions, as if as long as America is not as bad as Cambodia, it's all cool. Limbaugh called Democrats a "danger," and a listener labeled Durbin a "traitor" for daring to call evil by its name. White House spokesman Trent Duffy said, "What this is is a disservice to any man and woman serving in the U.S. military who's putting their life on the line each day, because they're trying to paint all military with a broad brush because of the actions of perhaps a few bad apples, who are being punished severely."

Durbin was not calling for the closing of Gitmo, but for greater Congressional oversight and for the prisoners to have a right to challenge their detentions. Arlen Specter, referring to the hearing he was chairing, made the bold statement that "It may be that it's too hot to handle for Congress, may be that it's too complex to handle for Congress, or it may be that Congress wants to sit back, as we customarily do, awaiting some action with the court no matter how long it takes."

How long it takes may be an eternity, according to the Bush administration. Or however many years before some Supreme Court decision says that the Gitmo prisoners must be freed or charged and tried. Biden's immediate follow-up to Wiggins's statment of perpetual confinement should have been, "What about Jose' Padilla?"

For wheresoever goes Padilla, so go the rest of us.

Rude Pundit, Live Update:
Go here, read the update, give money.


A Rude Note of Encouragement To College Republicans:
Hey, crazy College Republicans, it's time to step up for Uncle Sam, Lady Liberty, and good ol' George W. Bush. Ya see, with recruitment for active military and reserves (which, these days, is like active military but without things like benefits) going down faster than a hot coed at a Campus Conservatives for Christ informational mixer, the brave boys and girls in uniform need some new blood to be spilled on the hot streets of Basra and Baghdad.

Man, you College Republicans are da bomb, a'ight, with your Talking Points on Terror that say, "U.S. forces are now working alongside Iraqi security forces to defeat terrorists in militants in the country. America and our coalition forces helped to end the Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime, and now that we are helping to promote peace and democracy, the American people are safer." And, in your Muslim Outreach section, you say, "Due to the strong leadership and compassion of our President, the country of Iraq is securing a stable and prosperous future despite those who would thwart the progress." Well, sweet shit, 18-22 year-old motherfuckers, the campaign is over. Your re-elected President o' compassion needs your tender, young flesh to continue the march to a free Iraq. Otherwise, well, shit, the terrorists win, no?

College Republicans National Committee Chair Eric Hoplin, you'd be a fine example to the rest of your organization if you went down to the local Army office and said, "Sign me up, Sarge. And put me on the front lines." Or howzabout Minnesota College Republican Chair Jake Grassel. Just hop on over to the St. Paul Marine recruiting office. Imagine how much the ladies would like you in the dress blues.

Goddamn, Stephen Puetz, Chairman of the California College Republicans, you've been so busy getting thousands of fine, delusional youngsters to join your group, as well as working to suppress the free speech of Michael Moore and meeting your wife at a Bush volunteer get-together that you forgot that there's a way to really put up or shut up: ask your Vietnam vet Dad how the Navy can make a man of you. Or you could just take a page from Michael Davidson's bio - he's running for chair of the CRNC and "hopes to join" the Marines in 2007.

Al Jiwa
at Yale, Evan Baehr and Rachel Rawson, daughter of a Marine, at Princeton, don't just leave it up to the officers at non-Ivy schools. Show everyone a Yalie can take shrapnel in the leg like a UConn student. Show the other College Republicans over there how to scream in Latin that it fuckin' burns and goddamn why are we here and, fuck, don't-let-me-lose-the-leg.

The 56th Annual CRNC Convention starts in a little over a week. There, fine speakers like Tom DeLay, Grover Norquist, and David Horowitz will whip you into a fevered frenzy of Bush-worship masking as patriotism. Surely, you will bow your heads and pray for the lost and injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. Surely, you will parade the few of your own who have been there. Surely, you will spend time honoring all your heroes who went to Vietnam, like DeLay, Dick Cheney, George Bush, Karl Rove...oh, wait. That explains why you're College Republicans.


Sean Hannity Loves Dick:
After last night, it can no longer be denied: Sean Hannity loves Dick. He can't get enough Dick. He loves Dick so much that he wants Dick right in his face. Hannity stares straight at Dick and tells Dick how amazing Dick is. There's nothing Dick does that Hannity finds objectionable. Dick can thrust itself into places where no Dicks should be thrust, and Hannity would simply smile, happy to know Dick is there. Dick needs no justification for Sean Hannity. Just the fact that Dick exists and does everything that Dick does, well, who is mere Sean Hannity to question the ways of Dick.

Fresh from receiving magnificent head from Larry King, Dick Cheney slithered into a chair across from Sean Hannity for an interview for the Fox "News" show Hannity Will Pick His Teeth With Colmes. Over the weekend, the interview made news because Cheney said about the Gitmo campers who are kept in isolation for weeks on end, forced to wallow in their own shit, beaten, humiliated, and not charged with anything like a crime, "[T]hey are well-treated. Their medical needs are attended to. They're well-fed. They've got -- their religious requirements are catered to. If they want the Koran, they've got the Koran. These people are very well treated for terrorists. If you put them out on the street now and if you were to take action to release them, then you'd find yourself in a situation where the -- you may well find them back trying to kill more Americans. So we need a facility. If it's not Guantanamo, it's got to be something else. The function has to be performed."

And that function, one presumes, would be to deny prisoners any due process or Geneva Conventions oversight while forcing them into stress positions, questioning them endlessly, and, well, putting them into isolation for weeks on end, making them wallow in their own waste, beating and humiliating them. In other words, its specific function is for there to exist a United States-operated legal, moral, and ethical black hole. And our tax dollars pay for it (well, at least our tax dollars from, like, 2020). So if it ain't Gitmo, what's it gonna be, America? You want to keep 'em in your basements?

But it's okay, you see, because Gitmo is like Club Med, only with cages, significantly less forced sodomy, and lots of chicken, tasty fuckin' chicken, and rice motherfuckin' pilaf, and oh-so-yummy lemon-infused fishy goodness, said Republican Representative Duncan Hunter. In one of the most bizarro speeches, Hunter showed plates of food that the detainees allegedly chow down on, although it's hard to get all those delicious almonds in the rice pilaf when your fingers were broken during your interrogation rubdown.

The other part of the Hannity handjob that made news was Cheney's comments on Howard Dean. Said the man, who in August 2002 claimed "there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us," regarding Dean's recent aggressive stance against Republicans, "I think Howard Dean's over-the-top. I've never been able to understand he appeal. Maybe his mother loved him, but I've never met anybody who does." Well, love him or not, one can be sure that Andree Maitland Dean, a widow, does know her son was elected and re-elected governor of Vermont. Not Dick Cheney, though: "He's never won anything, as best I can tell." And on the amped up rhetoric of the Democratic Party, the man who told Patrick Leahy to "go fuck yourself" on the floor of the Senate said, "We try to be restrained. I've had times when people on the other side of the aisle led me to react rather harshly, but I did it in private. I didn't do it in public."

The rest of the interview was just the usual adminstration bullshit and lies interruped by sycophantic questions. Cheney did acknowledge the role illegal immigrants play in the American economy when Hannity tried to get Cheney to join him in a Fox-driven game of "Stop Those Fuckin' Wetbacks": "We've got millions of people here illegally. They are, on the one hand, an important part of the economy. They hold a lot of jobs that would not otherwise be filled."

And, in the funnest moment, Hannity asked the former oil executive, whose company did business with terrorist nations in order to ensure that the teat of black gold cash would flow no matter how many people were killed or tortured or how much the earth itself is fucked in pursuit of that filthy lucre, about global warming. Cheney, predictably, said, "I think we need to look at the facts. And clearly, there has been some warming. It's not clear exactly what caused it, how much of it's cyclical, how much of it's caused as a result of the activities of man." Cheney smirked and took out his engorged member. He nodded at the manly-jawed Hannity and winked in the direction of the pulsing penis. Hannity smiled. This meant something to him. As he bent down to his knees and licked his lips, he knew he had earned the trust of the Vice President.

The segment ended there and headed back to the studio where Hannity sat with Alan Colmes. Hannity demonstrated that not only does he love Dick, but he's a cocksucker, too. When Colmes tried to insist that perhaps the Vice President hadn't been very nice to Howard Dean, Hannity leapt on the desk and screamed, "Stop it, stop it. Look at my teeth. They are gleaming with semen, Vice Presidential semen, and I love the shine." Colmes sunk a little lower into himself before announcing that they would be back with more on the disappearance of that white girl in Aruba. It was par for the course. The show had demonstrated how newsworthy the interview was by spending the first thirty minutes of the hour on the Michael Jackson verdict.


And Sometimes an Honorable Man Appears:
Amid yesterday's Dean-bashing-palooza yesterday, Carlos Watson, a CNN political analyst, answered the Republican-flogged line that Dean was strangling the Democratic Party so he could whoop over its fallen corpse. Said Watson:

"[In]many ways Howard Dean is to Democrats what New York is to fashion. Meaning, he's often kind of six months ahead of where they ultimately end up.

"Now sometimes you go, that's fashion and rather not see walking down the street. But other time, you say, you know what, maybe leg warmers are a fashion statement, maybe that does make sense. So, whether it's on that issue or confederate flags. And later on John Edwards shows up saying, essentially something very similar, which is we need to go after the south. Howard Dean is often kind of the lead dog."

Then Watson made a truly startling "fuck you" of a statement. He was asked by Sunday anchor Carol Lin what a Karl Rove-type figure might say to the party leaders. Watson answered thusly:

"You would channel your political provacateur. You would send him into states where there are open Senate seats this upcoming year like Minnesota, like Maryland, like Tennessee. And where the actual candidate herself or himself may not be able to change the topic to healthcare or to national security. You let Howard Dean throw out the explosive statement either about an issue or about a candidate. And that way, you might actually start to get a foothold. You know, good cop/bad cop. Let Howard Dean be your bad cop more often than not...

"And you know what's so interesting that is that Republicans already do it. In fact, Republicans have a whole chorus, if you will, of political provacateurs. They're in the media, whether it's Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly or others, and the reality is with the exception of Michael Moore, who shows up with a movie every two or three years, Democrats don't really have that political provacateur to move the needle and ultimately reshape debate. So there's a role for Howard Dean if he's managed and used properly."

And there you go - a CNN analyst stating as fact that Limbaugh and Fox, et al, are major cogs in the Republican spin machine. They are, in fact, an extension of the Republicans, doing the dirty work for the conservative movement.

An honorable moment. One that was seen by about 25 people on a Sunday afternoon.

(Note: the Rude Pundit will write his electricity-outage fucked piece on Wednesday. Tomorrow - Hannity loves Dick.)
Of Downing Street and Cigars:
There's a basic problem with the Downing Street Memo (or, more properly, "Minutes") that ensures its consignment to the trash heap of Bush administration scandals: there's no mention of a cigar in a pussy. Ya see, if the memo had said, "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. And George W. Bush likes to put his cigars in an intern's vagina," well, then we're talkin' 'round the clock coverage of the memo, the cigar, and the vagina. If the memo said that the head of British foreign intelligence was reporting to Tony Blair that "It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. Plus, the President of the United States puts the vaginally-soaked cigars in his mouth and comments on the quality of the flavor," oh, how Kansas would burn, how Alabama would explode, how Bill O'Reilly would say that he likes the taste of pussy on his cigars, too.

But now there's the new briefing paper for Tony Blair that says the Bush administration didn't give a rat's ass about the postwar period. We'll go into media implications of that later today.

(This was a much longer post until the fucking power went off because of a fucking repair truck and the Rude Pundit hadn't saved as a draft the last twenty fucking minutes of writing. So more later.)


Why Neil Cavuto Ought To Be Buried Alive Under a Stack of Wall Street Journals:
Here's how you know you're a worthless fuck as a "news" anchor, an American, and a human being: you work for a "news" network that has been flogging the Michael Jackson trial endlessly, with quite literally hundreds of stories, updates, interviews, and commentaries on whether or not he's the king of poppin' cherries. Hell, today on your network's website is a report on Jackson's goddamn unregistered and/or broken down cars. Throughout it all - war in Iraq, genocide in the Sudan, constant leaks on the lies of the government - your "news" network has made sure to conflate the Jackson trial's worth with every other truly heartbreaking, stomach-churning, important event in the world.

And when you are given the opportunity to sit down with the President of the United States for an on-the-record interview, you never ask him about the war, the genocide, or the leaked lies. Instead, you actually say this: "But in the meantime, the news channels then hear what you're saying, and then later on, we have this Michael Jackson update. I mean, his trial and his ongoing saga has gripped the nation for the past four-and-a-half, five months as you've been on this campaign [to gut Social Security like a flopping carp]...Do you think that the focus on Michael Jackson has hurt you?"

Yes, that's right. Fox "news" host Neil Cavuto had the balls to ask if the "media" focus on the Michael Jackson trial has hurt the public's understanding of Bush's ideas for private accounts and Social Security reform. And he did it with a straight face, as if he had never heard that Bill O'Reilly and Greta Van Susterenenenen talk about Jackson every goddamn day. But that was par for the course for an interview that makes Larry King's style of prolonged oral gratification of his guests look positively brutal. Cavuto may as well have greeted Bush with, "Now, Mr. President, sir, I'm going to drop my pants and my panties and I want you to slap my ass as hard as you like. I want you to slap it 'til it's good and red, and then I want you to fuck me hard, right there in my sore, red ass."

As always when Bush gives an "interview," he reveals what a strange, sad little man he is. Cavuto asked him about Yale transcripts that showed Bush and Kerry with similar GPA's. Bush gave this bizarro answer: "You know, I've always tried to lower expectations, and I feel like if people say, well, you know, maybe, you know, I don't think you handle the tough job, and when you do, it impresses people even more." There you go, 35% of the country who still think the country is headed in the "right direction": Bush wants you to think the most powerful person on the planet is just a stupid fuckin' rube so that when he doesn't drool and fondle himself at debates or speeches, it's just overwhelming how great he is. Like clapping for a brain damaged hospital patient for staring at a moving balloon. Damn, no one ever expected him to follow that balloon. Yay.

And in one of those "whoa, whuh?" moments, Bush said about Gitmo's prisoners, "I first of all want to assure the American people that these prisoners are being treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention. I say in accordance with because these weren't normal, you know, military-type fighters. They had no uniforms. They had no, you know, government structure. These were terrorists... I will tell you that we treat these prisoners in accordance with international standards." So they get they aren't prisoners under the Geneva Convention, but we're following the Geneva Convention for them? Or at least some of it? It's a bit like saying, "I don't worship Satan; I just like sacrificing animals and children inside a pentagram and drinking their blood." And what "international standards" are we following? 'Cause, like, Uzbekistan's standards are a wee bit different than, say, Canada's.

Otherwise, the rest of the interview was "Blah, blah, blah, me right, Congress bad, I are a leader, me solve problems"-type bullshit. Sure, there was the good ol' Bushism, of saying that "Baby Bombers like me are getting ready to retire," which, considering the civilian casualties in Iraq, is quite a true statement. (Both Fox and Nexis have the word "bomber" in their transcripts.)

Cavuto, who later in his show, Your World, would admit that he's a fat fuck, stayed bent over when Bush was done with him. Bush walked out quickly and the sound girl asked Cavuto if he wanted a towel to dry his sticky ass. Cavuto signaled for her to be quiet as he remembered fondly the grunts and thrusts of the President, hoping that it had been as good for the Commander-in-Chief as it had been for him.


Gentle Reminder (Especially For Quizzical Kos and Atrios Readers):
Check out the info on the Rude Pundit live on stage this summer in NYC. Click on over to the show blog (which will have new stuff up tomorrow).
Howard Dean Will Fuck Your Shit Up (Redux):
The Rude Pundit's said it before and he'll say it again: Howard Dean will fuck your shit up. Stand that motherfucker up at the gates of hell. Let that son of a bitch loose in the dainty Democratic china shop and let's break some fuckin' dishes. Howard Dean knows the score, man; he knows that the faithful, those who actually believe that the fight is not the path to surrender, want a spokesperson who's willing to pick up the unpinned grenade that just landed near him and shove it up the ass of the enemy who tossed it. Goddamn, it would have been magnificent to have seen him debate the President. On stage, Bush would have been begging for the privilege to lick the sweat off Dean's balls.

Listen to the crowd at the Take Back America conference last week, who are almost orgasmically gasping in joy at the viciousness with which Dean attacked the Republicans, calling them the party of people "who never made an honest living in their lives," with a "dark, difficult, dishonest vision" of America. Then, in an effort to clarify his remarks this past Monday in a talk with minority journalists, Dean said the Republicans are "not very friendly to different kinds of people. They're a pretty monolithic party. They pretty much--they all behave the same and they all look the same, and they all--you know, it's pretty much a white, Christian party. And the Democrats here adopt everybody you can think of in our party."

Challenged on the Today show yesterday by Matt "Behold My Stubbly Mane That Indicates I Am a Grown-Up" Lauer, Dean picked up Lauer, slammed him on the faux coffee table and whispered, calmly, in Lauer's ear that Democrats are tired of being the bottoms of the political fuck machine. He said, "They have the agenda of the conservative Christians...the Republicans don't include people. Look, they are outside the mainstream." And Dean wasn't afraid to invoke truly inclusive Democratic ideas: "They have used words like quota to try to separate black from white Americans. They did scapegoat gay Americans by putting an anti-gay amendment on it--in 11 states where gay marriage is already against the law. And they are attacking immigrants. Two--two Republican congressmen, Jim Sensenbrenner and Tom Tancredo, have incredible anti-immigrant legislation. This is not the way America needs to be." Calling out motherfuckers for fucking their mothers is as brutally truthful as politics gets.

While the right wing media has tried to portray the Democrats as turning against Dean. Andrea Mitchell, who hasn't seen Alan Greenspan's personal interest rate rise in years ("C'mon, Al, gimme more than a quarter percent"), reported Monday that Dean was "making Democrats nervous." And there's quotes out there where people like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi say Dean doesn't speak for all Democrats. But surely there's some confusion in the ranks, when such a prominent, public face of the party takes off the gloves. More than anything, it's like a bunch of Missouri high schoolers around the lockers in 1963, when the first guy walked in after summer break with long hair. Sure, sure, everyone teased him for being gay or girly. But then everyone saw the Beatles on Sullivan, and barbers went broke. Watch for John Edwards' response on his blog to become a standard reply. Or at least it ought to, because if everyone says the same thing, then the story of "nervous Democrats" becomes boring.

This manufactured uproar over Dean all started in earnest (this time) with his appearance on Meet the Press on May 22, where, in so many words, Dean said, "Republicans are vile cocksuckers who deserve nothing less than to be shit on by legions of diarrhea-ridden cows. They have fucked up the Congress, the Presidency, the judiciary, and the world. Now why should I play nice with those goddamn evil powermad assholes like Tom DeLay?" And then the fun started, with Bill O'Reilly, who really ought to be sodomized with a microphone, vomiting out that Howard Dean was "a bitter and increasingly incoherent man." Last night, O'Reilly attacked Dean again, saying he was "nonsensical." But, of course, O'Reilly also was begging Dean to come on his show. Because, you see, Bill O'Reilly is a five-buck-a-blow whore.

Look, Dean's the party chair. His job is to raise money, rally the troops, and bring people into the party. His success or failure is measured in bank accounts and mailing lists. And he's a failed presidential candidate. The party establishment could have tossed him out to the exile pile with Al Gore, who keeps making amazing, passionate, intelligent speeches with all the impact of a fly fart at a System of a Down concert. But instead, the Democratic power elite decided to use Dean and his grassroots army of e-mail savvy warriors to regain relevance. They knew what they were getting. And if Dean becomes the lightning rod, so much the better for whoever is running in 2008.

Besides, ain't it fun to watch Hannity and Coulter and Gingrich and Hume and all the other hate-filled sociopaths flail about and try to take Dean down? You've seen Dean's arms? Big, thick sons of bitches. He can bear it. And he can throw it back at them. As long as those behind him don't put him in handcuffs.


And To Think That They Said It About Downing Street:
Chimpanzees engage in what we call "speech" - that is, a discernible series of sounds that are meant to communicate some idea. Chimp speech is not universal among chimps; indeed, much chimp speech is individual, as if they are all little Adams and Eves in shrinking Edens, creating names for things, for actions. Some chimp speech is spread, from mother to child, and some among members of an entire troop of chimps. So, like, Big Ass Alpha Chimp can start screeching high and then low to mean, "I'm-a gonna throw this pile of shit at you." Pretty soon, the sound and the shit-tossing go together and every chimp in the group is screeching high and low before heaving a load.

One must wonder, then, if linguistic misunderstandings on a very basic level cause those vicious chimp wars that break out between various groups of chimps. 'Cause one chimp's verbalizing of the intention to toss shit could be another chimp's phrasing that means, "Look at my enormous erection with which I'm-a gonna fuck you." Ahh, sweet mysteries of animal languages. But if we humans study the same group of chimps for an extended period, we can recognize repeated patterns and gain some insight into the interactions of chimps.

So it was that President George Bush, in a press conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, had one of those startling moments where the synapses in his brain, so addled by years of cocaine, alcohol, and the occasional cogent thought, went fuckin' bananas, and he just started babbling a barely coherent series of memorized phrases. It happened when Bush was asked about the Downing Street Memo, where British intelligence officials reported in July 2002 that Bush had decided to go to war with Iraq, even though it really wasn't a "threat," and was "fixing" intelligence around that goal.

Both leaders were asked, "On Iraq, the so-called Downing Street memo from July 2002 says intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy of removing Saddam through military action. Is this an accurate reflection of what happened? Could both of you respond?" Blair responded, essentially, "Yes, yes, quite, now I'll talk about something else that doesn't actually discredit the memo and you can all jolly well go fuck yourselves." Because Li'l Tony denied "facts" were being fixed, and then blathered on about going to the U.N., Saddam being bad, and who the fuck cares.

Bush, though, oh, christ. First he started with conspiracy theories: "Well, I -- you know, I read kind of the characterizations of the memo, particularly when they dropped it out in the middle of his race. I'm not sure who 'they dropped it out' is, but -- I'm not suggesting that you all dropped it out there." So, let's see here: Bush is making the accusation that someone passed the memo on to the Times of London in order to undermine Tony Blair's bid for re-election, but he has no idea who it might have been. And he doesn't deny the validity of the memo (except for vague, blindingly confusing "somebody said, well, you know, we had made up our mind to go to use military force to deal with Saddam. There's nothing farther from the truth"). That's like saying, "Those pictures of me with my cock in Tony Blair's mouth and a Union Jack hanging out of my ass were only made public to hurt his election chances."

Bush then went into blanket denial mode, relying on phrases that he's used a million fuckin' times before: "Nobody wants to commit military into combat. It's the last option. The consequences of committing the military are -- are very difficult. The hardest things I do as the President is to try to comfort families who've lost a loved one in combat. It's the last option that the President must have -- and it's the last option I know my friend had, as well." His brain is like a refrigerator filled with those fuckin' poetry magnets, and you can arrange them any goddamn way you like and find meaning in the words, even if it's just moving the same words around over and over and over.

That great line, about war being "the last option," has been batted around since, oh, let's say, October 2002, when Bush was denying that he was planning a war. Ari Fleischer, in December of that year, told reporters that war was Bush's "last option" and it might become "the only option to protect and to save American lives." And if he had saved American lives, there might not be so many to comfort.

Because this is not to mention the rampaging ego of a man who has to tell us that it's so hard for him "to comfort families." Aww, poor President Bush. Has to give a hug to a widow with three kids whose Army Reserve 35 year-old husband had his intestines ripped out by a roadside bomb blowing the shit out of his poorly armed Hummer. God, the burdens that man has to carry for all of us, for all of us.

And then he followed up his cry of pain for all the comforting he's doing by invoking how eeeeevil Saddam Hussein was, Bush tossin' that shit at us for all his chimpy strength's worth: "And so we worked hard to see if we could figure out how to do this peacefully, take a -- put a united front up to Saddam Hussein, and say, the world speaks, and he ignored the world. Remember, 1441 passed the Security Council unanimously. He made the decision. And the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power." That last line, by the way, has been Bush's defensive mantra since 2003.

In a real democracy, it would become his "I am not a crook."


What If You "Liberated" a Country and a War Broke Out?:
Here's a letter from a soldier in Baghdad who the Rude Pundit knows, call him "Johnny," assuring everyone that he's okay after the hometown paper reported his unit had been hit by insurgent fire:

"With everything going on around here, I totally forgot to email everyone and tell you I was ok. My bad. We got hit twice in the past few days. One hit near the PX and hurt some people and another hit a gym (not mine) and hurt some people too. A couple have died also. It's just a part of the job and its something that we all know can happen at any time. It really doesn't bother you too much. Everyone keeps the thought in the back of their mind. We just accept it and go about our daily routine. But...on a lighter note...Popeye's opened up this week. It's not as good as back home but it's a change. We are suppose to get a Taco Bell too. We just don't know when. If we do, a lot of people around here are going to gain some serious weight. Well, other than that, things have been the same. Just kind of watching the days pass and trying to stay cool. Its going to be 115 this week. Thank God, we haven't had any heat casualties."

So, you know, if you measure progress by the number of fast food restaurants, Baghdad and Basra are supersizing and stuffed-crusting their way into the 21st Century. What, with Burger King, Pizza Hut, and now love-that-chicken-at-Popeye's, corporate America is not only bringing a simulacrum of a taste of home to our men and women in uniform, it's fattening them up for the kill. (Although one wonders if the Basra BK is still operating now that the city is essentially a lawless hellhole that makes Deadwood look positively dainty. But gauntlets of fear are a small price to pay for a delicious flame-broiled Whopper, right?)

'Cause, shee-it, looks like the folks at home, more than ever, and more than just the families of the soldiers, are understandin' that there's a real and actual war goin' on here. And even the mainstream media is puttin' out feelers on turnin' against the Bush administration, at least, if not the war itself. When the Washington Post ran its article this weekend actually calling bullshit on Bush's sunny outlook for Iraq, it was a rare moment where someone used facts to counter the lying opinions of the powerful. We used to call that "journalism." And the lead editorials of at least two major dailies on Memorial Day called Bush out for "lies" leading to war. The dribble before the dam breaks? Or just a pleasant bubble floating into the ether?

Meanwhile, Dick Cheney can slither up to the podium at the Air Force Academy and talk about, with that askew smirk that in old days would have gotten him hanged for being a minion of Satan, "our commitment to peace" and that "We will work day by day -- and side by side with other governments -- to oppose the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction." 'Cause, you know, that's worked out so well already. The fact that a giant hand didn't come out of the sky and squash Cheney flat, into a gory but significantly less evil disc, is proof enough of the lack of a deity's interaction in this world. Then Cheney bid the graduating officers huzzah and farewell and consigned them to their imminent dooms overseas.

But, you know, if the soldiers come home horribly wounded, scarred, or in body bags, but fat on fried chicken and oh-so-yummy pepperoni breadsticks, well, God bless America, you know?

By the way, Johnny's letter ends by saying how many days he thinks he has left before his deployment ends. Damn, it's good that blind optimism is contagious.


Rude Pundit Show Update:
For more on The Rude Pundit in The Year of Living Rudely live and on stage in New York City, click on over.
Rude Advice: Don't Make the Koran the Issue:
For some reason, the Rude Pundit can't find it in him to give a fuck about the "desecration" of the Koran at Gitmo except in the most abstract sense. We'll get to that in a sec. Now that it's been "confirmed" by the military that interrogators stepped on, kicked, "inadvertently" splashed with water and urine the holy book of Islam, the Rude Pundit simply looks at the report and says the same thing he says to conservatives who get their panties in a wad over flag burning: "Goddamn shame you put so much belief into a replaceable inanimate object." Because it seems like in the "outrage" over Koran desecration by the left, it's been conveniently forgotten that religious fundamentalism, in the Middle East and in America, is what's gotten us into this mess in the first place. And, frankly, the Rude Pundit would be pretty fuckin' hard-pressed to find sympathy for a Christian who was gonna screech and scream over a stomped Good Book or a crucifix used for sodomizin', so, you know, let's be consistent in our contempt here, a'ight?

Brookings Fellow M.A. Muqtedar Khan played to white liberal guilt when he wrote over at Common Dreams, "This is worse than Abu Ghraib; Abu Ghraib represents the physical and psychological torture of a few Muslims, Quran desecration represents a spiritual, emotional and psychological torture of all Muslims." Ah, yes, the sweet oblivion of cultural relativism, which sometimes is a magnificent thing when it teaches us that other people and places can be right, too, but often is a way of pandering to the ignorance of others. In other words, if we were talkin' King James's or Ol'Glory in the potty, it'd be a damn shame for many on the left, but not a fuckin' cause. But, mercy, we gotta look after the delicate constitutions of the Islamic world and howl about their word o'God. It's racist. It's Orientalist. And it's fuckin' insufferable. If we buy Khan's argument, if we say, "Well, it's worse to punt a book than to beat a body," then we are continuing down the slippery slope of allowing religion to dictate our legal and ethical behavior as surely as Bush's decisions on the funding of stem cell research.

The Rude Pundit doesn't suffer fundamentalists gladly. It doesn't matter if you're a Bible-thumpin' Christian, a Koran-riotin' Muslim, or a ripped-to-shit flag waver, you can take your strict adherence to your religious and/or nationalistic code and, well, flush it down the toilet. Because, frankly, if you're willing to go nutzoid over the desecration of a book, then you're someone who's willing to oppress real, living people - maybe that's forcing women to always be accompanied by a man, maybe it's not allowing gay people to marry each other or adopt kids, maybe it's re-electin' a lyin' sack of shit to the presidency. However it forces you to behave, it's gonna end up screwin' someone else's freedoms over. So fuck you.

However, in that abstract sense, there's a few important things about the whole Koran in the shitter story that are instructive. For instance, we all know this is really about the behavior of soldiers at Gitmo (and elsewhere) and America's policies toward prisoners. Why the fuck were soldiers throwing water balloons? Were they at each other or at the prisoners? What kind of magical urine splashes through an air vent onto the belongings of prisoners? And why, for the love of Christ, Allah, whoever, are prisoners being beaten and their property wrecked when they haven't even been charged with any crimes (not that it should happen even if they're tried and guilty)? (And we shouldn't give a shit if the desecrated book was the Koran, a Harry Potter book, or Mitch Albom's Five People You Wanna Bone In Heaven.) And, finally, and most importantly, why aren't Americans rioting in the streets over the fact that the Guantanamo gulag even exists?

The issue is not the crazed religious beliefs of others. The issue is how a nation treats people. The issue is personal property. The issue is torture. The issue is the presumption of guilt. The issue is the inversion of everything most of us were taught about this great nation, whose fall from grace has been harrowing to watch. It's not that a Koran or two or five were pissed on or stomped. Once we make it that, we buy into a religious doctrine that places faith over the physical. And we cannot make legal decisions in that way.

Yes, yes, the Rude Pundit knows that mostly the left's emphasis on the Koran desecration story was about the way the Bush administration demanded that Newsweek retract its original article and denies any wrongdoing at Gitmo in any way, shape, or form. And yes, yes, the Rude Pundit knows that Koran-kickin' wasn't the real cause of the Afghanistan riots. But it became the story. Now, let's simply make it into what it is: another type of American arrogance and violence, another kind of colonialism, another way to degrade the minds and bodies of the Arab world; and let's not buy into anything that gives Koran desecration a privileged place in the pantheon of American horrors.

(Let's open this up, motherfuckers: You disagree? Hit the Rude Pundit with both barrels. E-mail: rudepundit@yahoo.com. Later this week, the Rude Pundit will print any worthy responses.)

Update: Kevin Beck wrote about much the same on Saturday. Thanks to reader Bill for the heads up.


All the President's Gates: Let's get somethin' clear here in all the nostalgia over Watergate, all the wish-fulfillment over bringin' down a vile, evil, mad, powermongering President: "Watergate," the historic event, wasn't about break-ins, wiretaps, and cover-ups. Sure, yeah, yeah, that's what the scandal itself was. But Watergate was really about the Vietnam War. Nixon had been re-elected in a landslide, but as soon as the Watergate burglars were convicted, his approval ratings sank into the sewer below the toilet. And once that happened, it was feeding frenzy time. Support for the war had drifted downward since the Tet Offensive (at the end of Johnson's administration) and Nixon had betrayed the public's trust by promising withdrawal, but instead escalating the war and bombing Cambodia. (Why did Nixon win re-election? One reason is because white people were afraid of the Black Power movement, but that is a tale for another time.) In other words, Watergate was the way to get back at the White House for the monumental fuck-up that was 'Nam (and the Pentagon Papers had demonstrated how monumental that fuck-up was). Nixon resigned and retreated in disgrace with his victory fingers shoved up his own ass over the cover-up of the espionage shit, but that was only because they were able to get him on that instead of the greater crimes of Vietnam. So it's just goddamn funny to see all Nixon's lackeys out there calling Deep Throat W. Mark Felt a "snake," a "traitor, and more. Pat Buchanan, in his "column" today (if by "column," you mean "the jowly yawps of insignificance from a fascist cartoon balloon"), calls Felt "an FBI hack who was ratting out President Nixon for passing him over as director." Buchanan excuses Nixon using the same rationale that ratfucking scoundrels have used since cavedwellers could belch out sounds: everybody else does it - we just got caught: "Not one miscreancy committed by Nixon's men did not have its antecedent in the White Houses of JFK or LBJ. But they got away with it." It's like saying that other frats gang rape passed out coeds all the time and no one rats them out; but we Dekes rape one Tri-Sig and we get sent to jail. In the end, it doesn't matter (as the Rude Pundit said earlier this week). In a perfect world, crimes ought to be judged on their own intrinsic harm, whistleblowers' lives and motives ought to be insignificant, and the evil ought to be punished. Nixon had to be dragged up to the Capitol Rotunda and, before the statue of George Washington, sliced open, his cold guts spilled on the floor, like a worthless sacrifice at the end of Mayan civilization. We had to believe the gods needed to be appeased. We had to believe they were appeased. We were wrong, just as the Mayans were wrong to believe the crops would flourish because virgin blood nourished the earth and a heart was burned in honor of absent deities. There's many reasons why the Downing Street Memo has gotten so little attention in America beyond Left Blogsylvania, despite the fact that it says that the Bush administration "fixed" the intelligence around its desire to bomb the living shit out of Iraq, "fixed" it like a cheap mafia thug fixes a warehouse boxing match. We could point to the corporate media, the post-Rather memo fake-out, and more. But remember: the Pentagon Papers were published in the middle of 1971. Nixon still got over 60% of the popular vote and 520 electoral votes in 1972. The Rude Pundit thinks this: the American public, in growing numbers, knows in its heart that they've been lied to, just like in Vietnam, and that Americans are being killed for those lies, just like in Vietnam. But fear is a powerful thing: deep, psychological, repressed fear - that if the truth is not held back, then the monsters of anarchy must be unleashed. It is better to take down a President for something a great deal more prosaic than war crimes and mass murder. Because what does it say about us if our leader is guilty of such things? Which is why the Rude Pundit believes, hopes beyond rational hope, that other 'Gates are going to develop around George W. Bush, 'Gates that will move in tighter and tighter until they become increasingly strangling. And that's why this is a very interesting little development in the Jack Abramoff scandal: it seems that the White House was allowed to be used to fundraise for Abramoff's and Grover Norquist's various causes/pocketbooks. Ahhh, the sweet relief of dirty money. Now there's something we can actually get our heads around.


Of the Politician and the Patrician:
So over the last two nights, Larry King, the 600 year-old interviewer for CNN, who used to be famous for hanging up on callers that annoyed him on the radio, spoke first to George Bush, Sr. and then to Bill Clinton. Watching the two nights and reading the transcripts was akin to licking broken glass while kneeling bare-legged on rice grains. King's modus operandi is the "I-don't-know-jackshit-about-jackshit-and-I-don't-fucking-care" approach that has been taken and improved to the Nth degree by his descendants on Fox, on MSNBC. But the interviews, typical King hum jobs in obeisance to the powerful that they were, offered a couple of insights into the two ex-presidents:

A. Bill Clinton is the greatest politician of our lifetime. And he proved it all night on King's show. See, the reason Clinton is a master in a way that gives Karl Rove IBS is that he says what he means. Unlike, say, the current President Bush, who lies blatantly and talks in circles about that which he is ignorant and then sometimes just babbles incoherently, like a meth addict on his second day cold turkey, until a real and actual thought lodges in his alcohol and coke-pickled remnant of a brain, Bill Clinton knows exactly what he wants to say and how to say it. Motherfucker can slice and dice you and do it in a way that leaves you smiling, where you don't realize it until you take a step and your pieces fall apart.

Look at Clinton's answer to King's question about stem cell research: "I think the more moderate proposal put forward by Mike Castle, the Republican from Delaware -- who was once a colleague of mine, who was once governor of Delaware -- and some of the Democrats and Republicans together that passed the House, I think that's the right position.

"You know, I understand where the president's coming from. You can draw up all these kind of scary scenarios with stem cell research and, indeed, you may have seen the private scientists recently -- that panel issued-ethical guidelines, and they said, for example, you can't put human brain cells into an animal because of the odd chance that you could have a human brain in an animal. It was really, you know, kind of scary stuff.

"But the truth is that, as long as you're not essentially, you know undermining potential life solely for the purpose of harvesting these stem cells, which is not what we're talking about doing here, there's really no problem. We're talking about cells that will not be used for other purposes, that will not be fertilized, and I think they have unique medical properties that adult cells don't have. So I favor the position adopted by the House of Representatives."

Okay, did you see what Clinton did just then? He triangulated, saying he agreed with the Republican House of Representatives. He feinted at sympathy for the President's position. And then he quietly, with a fuckin' smile on his face, whipped out his razor blade and de-pantsed George W. Bush. The President and others believe in fantasy shit, and they'd be idiotic fuckers for stopping the research: that's what Clinton said. They're primitive fools. But he did it in a way that anyone can nod and agree with. Jesus, it's so fuckin' beautiful.

B. Who gives a fuck what George H.W. Bush says about anything? Poppy Bush had fuck-all to say worth writing about. Sure, yeah, he said that Jeb oughta run for President because "this guy's smart, big and strong." But Jeb ain't runnin' with that drugged-out daughter of his hangin' around. What else did we learn? Li'l George shore likes his Bible, Li'l George didn't do nuttin' wrong in the Air National Guard, and Babs loves all her spawn equally.

'Course, Poppy did say this about his place in potential disagreements with Li'l George: "He's elected. I'm just sitting by here, sitting, you know, as a bystander these days. And the reason is, I don't want to say anything, do anything, publicly sign anything, op-ed anything that has one nuance of difference between myself and the president, because that would be the story. Rush down, the nutty father says this. Or look what the stupid son did. I mean, we don't need to get into that."

Now, King didn't say anything about the "stupid son." It's just interesting, is it not, that "stupid" is the first word that popped into Daddy's head.