A Tale of Mardi Gras (Involving Coconuts, Drugs, and Cokie Roberts):
Here's a true story of when the Rude Pundit saved the life of the grandson of two members of Congress (and the nephew of a famous news correspondent) during a crisp Mardi Gras in New Orleans in the mid-1980s:

Through a bizarre series of machinations that bear telling at another time, but certainly involving strippers, bikers, a banana peel, and, what the hell, visions of three dancing dwarves, the Rude Pundit found himself at 5 a.m. on Mardi Gras morning on the Mississippi River levee overlooking the French Quarter. This was just after the failed World's Fair, but before the real gentrification of the Quarter had occurred, and the levee was undeveloped, just a grassy and muddy bank from which you could look down on Jackson Square. The Rude Pundit found himself at a party he had been invited to but had avoided: an LSD and alcohol orgy called "the Stella Party."

The Rude Pundit and two companions who shall remain nameless, because, well, the Rude Pundit can't remember their names, arrived as everyone was yelling, howling, rolling around in the mud, some fucking, some shitting. The Rude Pundit, in what was not the first nor would it be the last time, was accused of being the devil. Then the sun's first rays of Mardi Gras morning appeared in the distance, casting a glow over Jackson Square, illuminating the St. Louis Cathedral, and all the motion, all the rolling and fucking ceased as, like dogs to a whistle, the partygoers lifted their eyes to the sun and, en masse, under what seemed more instinct than direction, all fifty or sixty of them ran screaming into the sleepy Quarter, shouting, at the top of their lungs, "Stella, hey, Stella." All in all, a kind of lovely moment to watch, as the crazed group disappeared into the narrow streets, but the yelps of "Stella" could still be heard.

So the Rude Pundit turned back and standing there was a friend of his, the grandson of Louisiana members of Congress Hale and Lindy Boggs. Before his much conspiracy-theorized death in an Alaska plane crash in 1972, Democrat Hale Boggs was the House Majority Leader, a reformed segregationist who was as corrupt as many a Louisiana politician. After his death, his wife, the much-beloved Lindy, won his seat until she decided not to run in 1991. Their daughter is NPR/ABC news uber-pundit Cokie Roberts, and that would make the friend standing there, on the bank of the Mississippi, gettin' bitten by the goddamned mosquitoes that never leave, Cokie's nephew. (For the record, the Rude Pundit's not one hundred percent sure on the name-it's been, like, two decades-but he's pretty sure the guy's name was "Steve," which appears to be Steve or Stephen Sigmund, former AOL/Time Warner exec, politico for Jim Florio and Bill Clinton, and generally good guy.)

Now Steve stood on the levee, looking for all the world like Frankenstein's monster in need of a good, long nap. Steve had had too much, too much acid, too much mud writhing, too much Stella. The Rude Pundit was never one for acid because, well, shit, it's called "acid." And looking at how fucked up Steve was, the Rude Pundit was glad he was dosed on other things. The two companions wanted the Rude Pundit to leave Steve and head over to the parade route to get a good spot. They teased Steve, saying, "We're gonna tell Lindy, we're gonna tell Lindy," to which the just-one-notch-above-zombie Steve would mumble, "No, man, don't tell Lindy, Lindy'll fuck me up."

We all wanted to get coconuts from the Zulu Parade, so the Rude Pundit said, "Let's take him with us." The nameless duo protested, saying he'd slow us down, but looking around the levee at the couple of other incapacitated party goers passing out, pissing themselves, yelling in tongues, the Rude Pundit stood his ground: "No, he comes with us. No man gets left behind. Let's go to Zulu." The duo proclaimed that the Rude Pundit was responsible for Steve as we headed down from the levee for Zulu, the first parade of Mardi Gras day.

Thus started a bizarre odyssey through the streets of the French Quarter, making our way into the already drinking crowds, the show-yer-tits tourists, the bead whores, the real whores, the faux second liners, the real second liners, the street musicians, the street artists, the neverending swarm of people and the cops and the kids and the homeless, until we got to Canal Street. And there the Rude Pundit saved Steve's life. When the parade started, Steve, who was more or less an upright pet in his strange, singleminded devotion to following us, was pushed forward by a surge of people grabbing for beads, doubloons, and, of course, coconuts. But when the crowd surged back, Steve stood there with a float heading his way. Sure, it was only going ten miles an hour or so, but with all that the Rude Pundit's sleep-deprived mind could muster, he ran out just in front of the float and dragged Steve out of the way. For his efforts, the Rude Pundit was hit in the head with a coconut that one of the clawing masses grabbed up.

There were more near misses the rest of that strange morning, with Steve like a somnabulent character in a Looney Tunes cartoon, almost walking into a horse's ass, almost falling over on a kid, all times caught by the Rude Pundit just before disaster struck. If there had been a fuckin' construction site, the Rude Pundit's sure he'd've been throwing beams in Steve's way. Yeah, yeah, you could make a case that if the Rude Pundit had left Steve on the levee, he'd've been safe and in central lock-up like others, but the Rude Pundit had a soft spot for Lindy Boggs. And for zombies.

At some point - it gets kinda fuzzy here - Steve just decided he was done. He said he was goin' home and before the Rude Pundit knew it, Steve had disappeared into the crowd. He thought about going after him, but the two companions told him to forget it, look at those tits, grab some beads, enjoy Mardi Gras and forget about the fallen and the depraved and the disappeared.


Pre-Emptive Blogging: Talking Points For a Coming Attack From the Right:
As Iraq spirals into a shitstorm of violence and vengeance, even as some Sunnis and some Shiites try desperately to avert a direct, overwhelming hit by said shitstorm, at some point soon, some right wing bag of douche is going to proclaim that liberals are "happy" or "thrilled" by a civil war in Iraq. Liberals can be accused of enabling terrorists by using the dwindling "freedom of speech" we're allowed, and it's a pretty small rhetorical leap from saying the left wants American soldiers to die (which the right has done) to saying the left loves us some civil war. Yes, liberals will be viciously insulted (defamed, even) by conservative commentators, bloggers, Freeper frothers, as if somewhere, in an oh-so-hip underground club, liberals are gathered in an orgy of celebration over the infinite bloodletting in Iraq, chanting gleefully, "Told you so, told you so, told you so" as they toast with cosmos and down sushi.

Already, Paul Mirengoff, the spread-eagled owl over at Powerline, has said, "Elements of the MSM seem to await a civil war in Iraq with the same breathlessness that Marxists used to await the final crisis of capitalism." Gratified self-fellaters like Mirengoff equate the mainstream media with the left in general with the same attention a dog pays to its balls and anus when it's busy blowing itself. So the bullshit's already begun. Somewhere, in the dingy cage she keeps to sleep in, made of the fencing of old California internment camps, Michelle Malkin is sharpening her nails so she can tear into her labia with bloody, manic glee, declaring that liberals are excited at the prospect of a complete breakdown of Iraqi "society." Bill O'Reilly is loofahing his cock raw so that he can be painfully tumescent at the thought of his barrage of bugfuck insane syllogisms directed at the left. Sean Hannity is probably just fucking his own asshole with a quiescent Alan Colmes. Rush Limbaugh's, of course, snortin' shit. Everyone preps in his or her own way.

So let's just say it up front here: over here in Liberalburg, we weren't happy when Ronald Reagan was cozying up to Saddam Hussein back in the 1980s. We weren't happy that the United States was backing a brutal, murderous, raping thug, giving him weapons and such. We weren't happy with the first Persian Gulf War. We weren't happy with sanctions that decimated the poorest people in Iraq. We weren't happy that the President wouldn't allow weapons inspectors to finish their work.

We weren't happy with this war to start with, saying, for instance, that a civil war was the inevitable outcome. We're not happy to be proven right. We're not happy, simply, when people are dying for no good cause, with no good outcome on the horizon, and no good way out. Frankly, oh, dear, sweet right wing, on the whole, we'd've rather been wrong and had tens of thousands of people not killed, tens of thousands of America soldiers not wounded. We'd've eaten the crow and, trust us, wonderful, fair right wing, you'd've shoved our faces in the plate of that black bird.

But since we were right, maybe, just maybe, someone oughta pay a political price for being so goddamned wrong. Instead, though, the right's gonna try to turn it around and blame the left and those who "didn't support the war" for its failure. Which would, for all intents and purposes, finally seal the deal on Vietnam redux.

Somewhere, Saddam Hussein is shaking his head, the only one who, really, and for all the wrong reasons, has the right to say, "Told you so."

Note: As for the conservatives who are saying that a civil war in Iraq might not be a bad thing, remember: as long as someone on the right says it, there's nothing wrong with it.

'Nother Note: If anyone comes across any especially egregious examples of "liberals love war," send them over to the Rude Pundit: rudepundit@yahoo.com.


The White House Katrina Report: Bush Ain't To Blame:
The report on the White House's own "investigation" into the federal "response" to Hurricane Katrina starts with a hand job of a letter from homeland security adviser and point person Frances Fragos Townsend to the ever-dreamy President Bush. Townsend unzips Bush's slacks and reaches in, ferreting around for his erect cock and, a-ha, finds it: "You often remind us that your most solemn obligation as President is to protect the American people." Then, pulling it free from its clothy cover, for, indeed, a hand job is always better when there's no friction from pants or panties, Townsend goes to work, pumpin' that butter churn for all she's worth: "When you addressed the Nation from Jackson Square, New Orleans, on the evening of September 15, 2005, you ordered a comprehensive review of the Federal response to Hurricane Katrina...At your direction, we assembled a team of experienced professionals dedicated to this mission. In addition, we enjoyed a tremendous partnership with each of your Cabinet Secretaries." We shall return to this scene of ball-tickling glee.

The report basically says that the problem with the response was that Hurricane Katrina was big, really big, oh-so-fucking big, yes-we're-all-really-impressed-down-here big, and, apparently, the Bush administration can only think small, unless it comes to blowing shit up, not having shit blown up for them. In fact, if you're too stupid to understand just how goddamn big Katrina was, there's handy graphs that compare Katrina to other natural disasters. See Figure 1.2 there? Notice how big Katrina is next to wee little Camille, Andrew, and Ivan. It's like the difference between getting jacked off on by three midgets and getting fucked and fisted by John Holmes (he had large hands, too). Don't you get it? the report says: it was a big storm.

The rest of the report is a great pile of crap you've heard before, with major props thrown to religious organizations for stepping in where the government was absent. But the basic lesson of the report is this: President Bush isn't to blame for anything. In fact, really, he was vicariously there pulling black babies out of the polluted waters because he was being told about it and saw shit on the TV.

It's stomach churning, like you're gonna vomit and dry heave for days, when you go through the report, with its shiny, glossy cover, how you realize that the reason for its existence is to solely provide a similar cover for the President. Each chapter says that President Bush did this, President Bush did that, no, really, c'mon, he wasn't just off doing publicity stunts to boost his popularity - he was totally engaged, man, totally. The other part that's telling? The sections where the President isn't mentioned, like he's simply not part of the story, as in most of the chapter on the storm itself and its immediate aftermath. And as far as recommendations, everybody else has gotta shuffle shit around, but the President needs more power, says the report, ironically titled Lessons Learned. The lesson learned is obvious: everyone failed the President. Boo-fuckin'-hoo.

Townsend finished her handjob at her press briefing on the report. You know what it takes to get that little pecker to fire, the last big yanks, the squeezing, and when Townsend told the reporters, "Those of us in government must take the lead, and President Bush made clear he is doing just that. Like all Americans, he was not satisfied with the federal response to Hurricane Katrina and he accepted responsibility for the shortcomings in the federal response. He demanded that we find out the lessons, that we learn them and that we fix the problems, that we take every action to make sure America is safer," well, who could postpone blowing a load at that moment?

Of course, Frances Townsend was on vacation in Maine during Katrina, so maybe all of this is news to her. But at least the President seemed pleased with her hand job abilities.

(David Corn also just posted on this same subject, sans hand job.)


African American History Month Is All About George W. Bush:
Everywhere we look these days, we get glimpses into the terrifying narcissism of the Bush administration and of the President himself. Tomorrow the Rude Pundit will deal with the White House's own review of its Katrina response (preview: hey, surprise, surprise, they need to do shit differently). And, really, you can go look at any White House speech and, even in the most obviously not-about-you situations, Bush makes it all about him. Take, for instance, yesterday's "celebration" of African American History Month, just in time for the last couple of days of February.

After the usual blah-di-fuckin' blah intros, filled with anxiety-inducing tics and winks that are part and parcel of any Bush performance, the President stated the obvious, "Generations of African Americans have added to the unique character of our society. Our nation is stronger and more hopeful as a result of those contributions." Then he listed a bunch of black people who everyone's heard of, reminding us, one presumes, that Dizzy Gillespie, Jackie Robinson, and Thurgood Marshall were, indeed, black.

And then, done with the obligatory here's-some-Negroes-you-should-know educational section of the address, Bush moved on to, the Rude Pundit shits you not, all the crap he's done to make life better fer the black people. Said the President, "The reason I worked so hard for the No Child Left Behind Act is because I believe that every child can learn, and I refuse to accept a school system that doesn't teach every child," spinning the program's poor at best, destructive at worst, record into a positive.

Speaking of children, Bush generally speaks to audiences as if they're a bunch of diaper-soiling toddlers who need it all explained clearly and repeatedly, and, of course, that takes on added laugh value when it's a mostly black audience and Bush says something like, "One way to ensure the promise of America reaches all of our citizens is to encourage ownership. We want people owning something. One way to help people realize their dreams is to encourage African Americans to own their own businesses" before touting the "successes" of his Small Business Adminstration.

And in the ultimate we-whities-are-just-like-you-darkies moment, Bush thanked the "many African Americans who are defending our ideals as members of the United States Armed Forces."

How bizarre it must have been for the gathered audience, including that noted friend of the black people, Dick Cheney, listening to the history of African Americans reduced to a list of mostly entertainers and the achievements of George W. Bush. But, then again, the President's attitude toward the whole event is perhaps best summarized by his closing remarks. For after the citations for the President's Volunteer Service Awards were read, Bush ended, no, not gracefully, not with words for peace and justice and equality to triumph, but with the resolve of a man who wants to watch women's curling on the Olympics, saying, "That's it. Thanks for coming. God bless. Appreciate you all." Done and done with the Negroes until next February demands his attention.


Dubai Ports World's Captain Hamad Explains It All For You:
Regarding the whole bipartisan uproar over a United Arab Emirates company taking over part of the running of six U.S. ports, the Rude Pundit ain't gonna pretend he understands all the ins and outs of the international megacorporation that is Dubai Ports World, nor will he pretend to know about the vicissitudes of port operation and maritime security. The Rude Pundit did, however, take the kids tour of DP World, led by Captain Hamad.

His hat tipped jauntily, Captain Hamad told the Rude Pundit that DP World won an award for the UAE's Best Government Department in 2000. Saluting us like we're heading out for shore leave, Captain Hamad explained that DP World's logo incorporates the UAE flag. Captain Hamad, with his cute albatross next to him, described the operations of DP World, how the company handles "vessels of General Cargo such as bagged foodstuff, steel, timber, livestock, cars, buses, even helicopters and Bulk Cargo such as minerals, chemicals and petroleum." Then Captain Hamad led the Rude Pundit on a virtual tour of Jebel Ali Port, and it was, indeed, as Captain Hamad promised, "a sail of your lifetime." One presumes DP World would be doing much the same thing at ports in New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Miami, and New Orleans.

The Rude Pundit has grappled for the past few days with the issues of bigotry and racism related to the whole matter. And actually President Bush crystallized the whole thing yesterday for the Rude Pundit when Bush said, "I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a Great British [sic] company."

Now let's see if we can follow the bouncing ball of Bush's foreign policy: after 9/11, after bombing Afghanistan back to the stonier age, Bush pressed on with a predetermined plan to take over Iraq - sorry, to "get Saddam Hussein out of power"- and in doing so, conflated Iraq and al-Qaeda into one fucked-up miasma of brownish people who smell of chick peas. With the initial overthrow of Saddam complete, the Bush administration labeled anyone who would dare fight against the invaders as "terrorists," which included an assortment of homegrown insurgents, jihadists, and pissed off people, some of whom came from other countries in the region. We are assured, on a nauseatingly regular basis, that we are in a "war on terror," that we have threats coming from everywhere, that terrorists are out to get us, so live in fear, bitches, live in fear. And, we're told, that al-Qaeda is just achin' with a giant hard-on to attack the U.S. again. In other words, the whole modus operandi of the U.S. government foreign policy has been to demonize, isolate, and condemn the darker Others of the Middle East and North Africa.

And anyone should be surprised that people'd be pissed off about the ports deal? Now Bush wants us all to separate out the UAE from Iraq and Iran. Good fuckin' luck with that.

This is not to mention that, you know, the "Great British [sic]" aren't called out as a nation for support of groups like the Taliban and for turning a blind eye to terrorism in the 9/11 Commission report, as the UAE is. Yeah, there is a difference, and it's got fuck-all to do with race and a fuck of a lot to do with reality.

Let's say, and why not, that you're a victim of a crime, where a guy breaks down the doors to your house, wrecks the fuck out of your living room, strangles your cockatiel, and shits on the floor. You know who did it. It's your neighbor who hated hearing your goddamn cockatiel start chirpin' at sunrise everyday. But the cops can't find your neighbor. Now let's say you hire a decorator to come in to refurbish your shat on, fucked up living room. Let's say you discover that the decorator's assistant is your neighbor's cousin. Sure, you can be assured over and over that he only saw your neighbor at large family gatherings and that he doesn't know where the fucker is, but, c'mon, you gonna feel comfortable with that dude in your house every day? Would you be wrong to fire him?

The Bush administration can act like it's surprised by the reaction to the Dubai Ports World deal, but in the end, it's just reapin' what it's sown. Besides, what this is really about is patronage to cronies, a means of trying to use the deal as leverage on the UAE's support for continued funding of a Hamas-led Palestinian Authority, and the general "who gives a fuck about the American public" attitude of the Bush administration. But the Rude Pundit'd have to be Captain Hamad to understand all of that.


Wedge Issue Preview:
Ah, yes, sweet and heavenly mercies, the Rude Pundit has received his prayifyin' marchin' orders fer the week. The Rude Pundit (under a nom de rude) is a member of the Super Duper Prayer Team of the Family Research Council. And every week, we proud team members receive a list of stuff that we should be a-prayin' fer. This week's list was conspicuous for its absence of, say, Harry Whittington or the children of Darfur. But, oh, hell, yeah, we got us a big ol' stack o' shit to be prayifyin' fer. As FRC President Tony "We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes" Perkins informs us "Praying Friends," as he calls us, "In an election year some politicians try to bury controversial measures, but prayer will make a difference for these do-able initiatives." Now, the last time the Rude Pundit prayed to make something "do-able," it was in reference to a member of the Danish women's ski team while smoking opium in her Copenhagen loft.

However, Perkins has other things on his mind than the long, lithe legs of an ungodly hot Danish blonde skier, legs that could squeeze the very marrow from your hip bones as you beg for more. Perkins wants us to gird our loins for other battles, over such obscure, but promising, wedge issues, like the House and Senate bills called the Parents Right to Know Act (or, as Perkins cutely calls it, the "Defund Planned Parenthood" act). Intro'd in the Senate by Tom Coburn and co-sponsored by assorted insane Republicans (like Rick Santorum), the act requires parental notification for any minor getting prescription contraceptives.

There's a laundry list of bills, many of which are bunched up in committee, like a wayward thong, but a couple of which might see the light of day if Perkins starts the Super-Duper Prayer Team a-prayin'. Like the House bill that Perkins calls the "Defund the ACLU" act, or, as it's filed, the Public Expression of Religion Act. The act would limit civil damages in lawsuits against localities based on religious discrimination. Or the elegantly named Human Chimera Prohibition Act, sponsored by Sam Brownback and other assorted insane Republicans (like Rick Santorum), which means you'll have to wait a little while longer for those tricked out dolphin fins, as well as halting any research where a couple o' cells are injected into an embryo to help with research into diseases, you know, what's generally known as "science."

These issues and more, like the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, the self-explanatory Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act, and more, generally having to do with abortion and judges, are what we need to be prayin' for, says Perkins. Indeed, on the never-dying Marriage Protection Amendment, Perkins says, "Please continue to pray with us that the U.S. Senate will pass the Federal Marriage Protection Amendment and that God will stir the pastors and people of every state successfully to amend their constitutions to preserve marriage as a union between one man and one woman."

As election season heats up, and the things that really matter to the nation, like say, the war in Iraq and government secrecy and Republican Congressional scandals, start to drive the polls over to the Democratic side, we can all look forward to hearing Bill O'Reilly spitting mad over contraception parental notification, Sean Hannity screeching like a monkey with its nuts in a vice over gay marriage, and Rush Limbaugh ironically blowing out farts over broadcast decency. Man, the Rude Pundit can't wait to get to prayin'.


George Washington Would Fuck Bush's Shit Up:
On this President's Day, which, in less hurried times, was George Washington's Birthday (or at least when we could fit it in our weekend planners to celebrate it), let us consider the first President of the United States. For, indeed, if his zombie bones could roam the halls of the White House, passing judgment on the living around him, oh, what a feast of flesh his apocryphal wooden teeth would have to feed on. Everywhere zombie Washington would look, every document he saw, every act he witnessed, would make him wonder, in the deep recesses of his withered zombie brain, "I was dragged out of retirement back in the day for this?" And, perhaps, because he always saw it as his duty to serve his country, zombie Washington'd understand why his reanimated skeleton was brought forth: time to eat some brains and set things right.

Take a look at just a few lines of George Washington's First Inaugural Address (sure, sure, it's his Farewell Address that gets all the glory, but it's important to note that the man was talkin' this stuff early on): In a statement that, said by a President today, would be sure to make neocons shit their Armani slacks and make Tom DeLay vomit endlessly, Washington said, "I behold the surest pledges that as on one side no local prejudices or attachments, no separate views nor party animosities, will misdirect the comprehensive and equal eye which ought to watch over this great assemblage of communities and interests, so, on another, that the foundation of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the preeminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens and command the respect of the world." "Private morality" here, of course, meaning, "Do unto others and, hey, leave me the fuck alone."

For rather than saying that "God loves America" or some such nonsense, Washington writes that we gotta earn that blessing, that America is an opportunity given to the citizens of the country: "[T]he preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered, perhaps, as deeply, as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people." The ol' slaveowner believed that the people had to have the power, man, to make decisions, to succeed or to fuck-up.

To that end, Washington believed deeply in the (some might say "Christian") qualities of mercy and forgiveness. Said Number One in his Annual Message to Congress in 1795, "I shall always think it a sacred duty to exercise with firmness and energy the constitutional powers with which I am vested, yet it appears to me no less consistent with the public good than it is with my personal feelings to mingle in the operations of Government every degree of moderation and tenderness which the national justice, dignity, and safety may permit." Washington was referring to his pardon of the leaders of the Whiskey Rebellion, where federal force was used to put down a state insurrection. Well, hell, didn't George W. Bush pardon a bootlegger?

Washington believed that education - an enlightened people - was an end in itself, not merely a means to financial success: "To the security of a free constitution [education] contributes in various ways - by convincing those who are entrusted with the public administration that every valuable end of government is best answered by the enlightened confidence of the people, and by teaching the people themselves to know and to value their own rights."

At the end of the day, President's Day, if you will, George Washington would fuck Bush's shit up because he placed the Constitution above all else, and he saw the Constitution as the will of a people. As the current administration callously manipulates the document, as if it has some fine print only it can discern through use of secret fluids and strange lenses and unholy alchemy, maybe we can remember that there was a time when a belief in the Constitution wasn't quaint or that the laws themselves weren't an impediment, but a means to greater ends.

Washington could not stop talking about the Constitution in his presidential addresses. Bush did not mention it in his first Inaugural Address, and he gave it passing reference in his second. In his State of the Union addresses, he uses mention of the Constitution as a cudgel, in his crude understanding of the role of the Senate in considering his judicial nominees or as a defense for violating the rights of Americans. Zombie Washington would weep with rage and deep, deep hunger.


Why Ann Coulter Is a Cunt, Final Edition(?):
Recently, cars in the Rude Pundit's neighborhood were papered with flyers from a white supremacist group, protesting the "Jewish control" of the media and President Bush's "policies" toward illegal immigrants, as well as asking the confusing question of why no one cares about a crime when black men rape and murder. The flyers were idiotic, soon to be airplanes and garbage, and one quick glance at the website of the group demonstrated that it was, indeed, a racist, Aryan movement-aligned, sub-KKK bunch of poor white dumbfucks easily manipulated by the one of 'em that had a thought one day.

The Rude Pundit didn't discuss it when it happened, and he won't mention the name of the "organization" (which is a loose term, at best, since this could be a pair of assholes who know how to use office technology) because, simply, why fuckin' bother? Sure, sure, we can make a case to say that, sociologically, this is so interesting, and that, politically, this represents a surfacing of what many on the right actually think. But, really, and c'mon, why give 'em any fuckin' credit? If some nutzoid on the corner wants to scream, "Niggerspickikeniggerspickike," well, he's really got no actual point, does he?

In her latest "column" (if by "column," you mean, "Tourette's-like outbursts of deranged diarrhea emanating from the sphincter of a nicotine-stained conservative meat puppet"), Ann Coulter may as well be that nutzoid on the corner. The blonde dye chemicals and hair straightener must have finally eaten their way to her brain, for Coulter just goes completely Nazi on the Muslim world. "The 'offense to Islam' ruse is merely an excuse for Muslims to revert to their default mode: rioting and setting things on fire," Coulter coughs up like a rancid hairball.

Later she says, "[O]ur motto should be after 9/11: Jihad monkey talks tough; jihad monkey takes the consequences." (It's actually a kinder, gentler variation on her speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, which was "Raghead talks tough...") And after the pure, unironic racism of the remark, Coulter reverts to the oh-so-coy-jokey-c'mon-we-can-all-say-racist-shit mode she uses, like a seductive toss of her hair or well-timed re-cross of her (disturbingly twig-like) legs: "Sorry, I realize that's offensive. How about 'camel jockey'? What? Now what'd I say? Boy, you tent merchants sure are touchy. Grow up, would you?"

That's the default setting for conservatives: see, they're the grown-ups. Those who would believe that they are racist, despicable wads of fuck whose policies have succeeded in dragging the entire world into a cesspool of violence and hatred are mere children compared to the adult way of viewing the world, which seems to be the very mature and nuanced "We good; they bad; good hate bad; good kill bad; Bush smash."

Coulter's become pathetic. It's been that way for a while. You ever see her in interviews? If the host goes off into a topic that wasn't discussed before airtime (in other words, one she didn't practice for) she looks confused and addled, like she's been hit in the head with a crowbar and is sitting there, bleeding, wondering where the blood is coming from as it cakes in her hair. Coulter's like Jennifer Connelly's character towards the end of Requiem for a Dream. Connelly's fallen drug addict, Marion, desperate for some smack, goes to see a dealer to offer him sex in exchange for dope. The dealer, Big Tim, offers her wine, compliments her looks, gets her to relax, before taking out his dick and saying, "I know it's purty, baby, but I didn't take it out for air." It's sad, but you just shake your head at the fallen, wasted humanity.

Now that Coulter has decided to embrace open racism, she's worthless, just another cocksucker, and why should we even bother paying attention. Sure, she had a prime spot at the CPAC, talking to the frothing crowd, but, really, they'd've been just as happy seeing Coulter and Michelle Malkin goin' ass to ass on a double-headed dildo.


Blowing Dick:
Dick Cheney loves to have his balls cupped while he's getting a blow-job. He likes it when the kneeling fellater holds the testicles that are a heartbeat away from the Oval Office chair, perhaps bobbling them like qigong balls, perhaps giving a teasin' squeezin' to Dick Cheney's scrotum. Brit Hume is a cocksucker of great renown around D.C. Indeed, he is perhaps a more skilled chowder eater than even Sean Hannity for Hume gives the act the veneer of being something more significant than just another back alley hummer. Whenever male members of the Bush administration need to get their rocks off in a way that doesn't make 'em look all gay and shit, they can count on Fox "News" anchor Brit Hume to bob that knob better than anyone else. Hume receives regular face fuckings from the grateful dicks of Donald Rumsfeld, John McCain, and, much to Hume's chagrin, Ken Mehlman. (Chris Wallace is noted for his cunnilingus skills. And no one gives better falafel than Bill O'Reilly.)

Yesterday, Hume was masterful at playing Cheney's skin flute, blowing that bad boy like James Galway dueling the Devil, such beautiful mouth music. Cheney, under mucho pressure from Karl Rove (which means, you know, razor blades and kitchen torches), was forced to appear some fuckin' place to answer questions about his blasting birdshot into the body of his buddy. That meant it was time for Hume to break out the Burt's Bees lip balm and stretch his mouth out, work that gag reflex down, break out the kneepads, and await the Vice President's arrival.

And what a magnificent mouth punking occurred in the mighty Fox "News" studios. Cheney leaned back on his cum-stained chair and whipped his pants python out, told a smiling, voracious-looking Hume, "Make me look human," and the blowing commenced. Harry Whittington's "doing very well today," Cheney groaned; "the image of him falling is something I'll never be able to get out of my mind," Cheney moaned. You can pretty much pinpoint a couple of moments during the interview: when Cheney said, in regards to the delay in informing the press about the shooting, "I thought that was the right call...I still do," right there is when Brit Hume inserted his vaselined finger into the Vice President's anus and fondled his prostate. When Cheney said of Whittington, "He's been fantastic. He's a gentleman in every respect. He oftentimes expressed more concern about me than about himself," that's pretty much where Cheney blew his load into Hume's mouth.

Of course, it's always an awkward moment or two at the end, with Hume using his tongue to clean Cheney's cock off, asking, "[Y]ou said this was one of the worst days of your life. How so?" And then, the blow job done, it was time for small talk about insignificant shit until it was time for someone to leave. Hume asked Cheney about the release of classified material. Cheney responded, "There is an executive order that specifies who has classification authority, and obviously focuses first and foremost on the President, but also includes the Vice President," but also, "I don't want to get into that." In essence, Cheney was saying to Hume, "Man, you just gave me a blow job. I think we're done here."

Cheney left the studio, inflamed balls now a great deal calmer. Hume, of course, flossed, adding the stray, stuck pubic hairs to the collection he keeps in a cigar box in his office so he can open it and look at each labeled baggie and dream dreams that only a Fox "News" anchor can dream, of capitulation, of devotion, of purity of cause, of the next delicious fellatio session on, say, Sunday.


Dick Cheney's Blue Dress:
So, like, apparently the country pays attention whenever someone in the White House blows a load all over another person. For what is the birdshot in Harry Whittington but so much spooge on a blue dress? When Monica Lewinsky handed her semen-stained frumpy frock over to Kenneth Starr, who then gave it to the FBI for DNA analysis, which then, of course, proved that President Bill Clinton likes 'em dumb and chubby, it caused orgasmic paroxysms all over DC since it gave the vast right wing conspiracy the perfect cudgel with which to beat us all and say, "See? See? Clinton bad. Clinton a liar. We no like Clinton." And it gave Orrin Hatch a purpose for existence for a year or so.

For those on the right, the blue dress, the Lewinsky affair, spoke to something deeply, perversely wrong with the man in the White House, despite, you know, keeping the nation relatively safe, wealthy, and sane for over five years. At it's most basic, the blue dress let 'em get 'im. But this isn't about what was right or wrong about the nation's reaction to the blue dress.

The handling of Dick Cheney shooting his own wad all over the face and chest of Whittington is almost bewildering to watch. Last night, in the post-blizzard Northeast, the Rude Pundit stood behind a hunched-over old woman on a street corner who used her cane to beat at the gathered slush, as if she could somehow will the properties of icy water to not make it simply puddle back. But she kept slashin' away. The Rude Pundit wanted to scream, "Fuck, if you can't walk through it, go around it, or just don't come out all," but out of respect for the muttering woman, he stood there until the light changed and he could cross the other way. In other words, you can beat that shit for as long as you like, but it ain't goin' away.

Confusing metaphors aside, what the fuck? Huh? What the fuck would it have taken for Cheney to simply say on Saturday night, "I shot a man just for snorin'" or some such shit. And why the fuck has he said nothing yet? Even some on the right, like Linda Chavez, are wondering, too (so, oh, goody, the story's valid because one of their own thinks it's fucked-up). That's why this is the blue dress, man. At the end of the day, it reveals the arrogance of the men (and the worshipful woman or two they let hang out with 'em) in the White House.

What happened in the Texas brush in and of itself is virtually meaningless beyond Whittington fighting for his life for the crime of apparently being as tall as a low-flying quail (Seriously, aren't you supposed to aim a little higher if you're shootin' birds? Or a little lower if the fuckers are on the ground?). But the cover-up is the story, because it says so much about the Bush administration: about its savage hatred of the press, about its secretiveness, about its manipulation of facts, about its ability to blithely lie and call it truth, about its inability to be accountable for any error, about its obvious disdain of the American public.

If you are an arrogant prick who fucks around on your girlfriend, wrecks her car, kicks her cat, and denies all of it, even if there's a foot print on her cat's ass, what do you think is gonna happen when she sees you drinking milk out of the carton? What do you think she's gonna say when you quickly pull it away and try to say that you weren't doing it? You deserve what you get, motherfucker, you reap what you have sown. For if you're willing to lie about something so mundane, goddamn, what huge, gut-wrenching lies you must also be hiding.

The blue dress revealed meanings beyond its milky marks. And there's something much more penetrating than birdshot going on here.


"Throw Me Something, FEMA":
The Louisiana artist George Rodrigue is using his ubiquitous blue dog with the freaky ghost eyes to raise money for the much-Katrina-damaged New Orleans Museum of Art. The three silkscreen prints Rodrigue created are angry, sardonic, and pleading: one features the blue dog with a Mardi Gras mask and the words, "Throw Me Something, F.E.M.A." (which, for the unschooled, is a variation on the bead-begger's cry at Mardi Gras).

Another reads "To Stay Alive We Need Levee 5," meaning, of course, that the levees around New Orleans need to be shored up to handle a Category 5 hurricane if the city is going to exist at all. Upgrading the levees from failed Category 3 "protection" to real Category 5 protection is gonna take years, since the public part of the planning stage is really just getting under way now. Put it this way: there's gonna be a building at Ground Zero in New York City before there's a truly strong levee system in New Orleans, and there ain't gonna be a building finished at Ground Zero for at least a decade.

Meanwhile, in D.C., there's a fuck of a lot of posing going on. Last Friday, whiny little bitch Michael Brown became ankle-biting little bitch Michael Brown as the former head of FEMA decided to spread a little of the hate around to Michael Chertoff and, through implication, the President on who fucked up when on Katrina. Sure, the little slap fight with Norm Coleman was fun enough, since Coleman is just a gigantic head with big teeth, just beggin' fer a beatin'. But, really, and c'mon, we didn't learn a thing beyond that the White House lied about when it learned about when the levees failed (saying that "the White House lied" is essentially equivalent to saying "The sun rose this morning") and that Michael Brown, being a little bitch, cried in his hotel room in frustration and sorrow.

The hits just keep on coming: the GAO reports that the abuse and fraud related to Katrina relief was so massive and pervasive that it may reach into the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars haphazardly paid out by a rudderless, leaderless, planless FEMA and, by extension, DHS; a committee of House Republicans is issuing a report that is, as Christopher Shays claims, "very tough on the president, it's very tough on the Department of Homeland Security. It's a blistering report. But I think it's fair" because the report says there were failures of leadership on a national level, which is another of those "no shit" moments in Congressional investigation.

The Bush administration and, indeed, the President himself were defended by Homeland Security lackey Frances Townsend, who is leading the White House's own "investigation" into "what went wrong" in the response to the hurricane. After Michael Chertoff spoke to the National Emergency Managemen Association, Townsend bizarrely described the President, who as Katrina was bearing down on and then wrecking the Gulf Coast went to two Medicare prescription drug town "meetings" to canoodle with the worshipful elderly and then a VJ Day Commemoration, as well as famously pluckin' the guitar, as "highly engaged in the preparation and response effort, beginning when Katrina was a tropical storm off the coast of Florida." But, you know, "engaged" here seems to mean "yelling at the President through the shitter door on Air Force One that the big storm's a-comin'" for all the attention he paid.

In the end, the Republican Congress can huff and puff all it wants. It can issue reports 'til the end of the next hurricane season calling the Bush administration a bunch of fuckballs who placed bets on which negro on a roof would drown next, and it won't mean a goddamned thing. It can hold hearings where Norm Coleman can attempt to regain his manhood as he moves further down the ladder on who he can harangue. Yes, yes, we need to know what went wrong, who's to blame, all that nice stuff. But the real question to the Congress is, "Now that you know all of this, what are you going to do about it?" And the answer there is, of course, huff and puff a little more until the next Congressional race is over.

Meanwhile, in Lafayette, Louisiana, evacuees evicted from their hotels waited at a local parking lot for buses to take them to the next shelter in Shreveport. In New Orleans, the hotel rooms are already being scrubbed, hopefully for the tourists who will call out to the floats of Mardi Gras for beads, man, throw some beads, fightin' for the trinkets, showin' tits and balls to earn 'em, trying to pretend that things can be normal once more.


Dick Cheney's Soul Pays a Visit:
Early Saturday evening, Dick Cheney's soul was given a brief furlough from Hell to visit the shell of a human being it used to inhabit. The occasion for the visit was that Dick Cheney, the man, was frozen in the well-managed wilds of the Armstrong ranch in southeast Texas, staring at the torn-up, bleeding face of Harry Whittington, having just been sprayed with birdshot from Dick Cheney's shotgun.

No one knows exactly when Dick Cheney sold his soul to Satan: some say the Devil visited him in his hospital room during one or other of his heart attacks and offered Cheney the chance for that bum ticker to keep pumping; others believe Cheney himself conjured Ol' Scratch, perhaps to rescue his ass in 1992, when Bush I lost and left Cheney unemployed, but eminently connected, for, indeed, Halliburton is Satan's own multinational; maybe in exchange for wrecking John Tower back in 1988 so Cheney could become Secretary of Defense; maybe for his first election back in 1978, since the Devil's political agenda was Cheney's own. The most logical point in time is 1969, one of Lucifer's favorite years, when Cheney joined the Nixon administration; maybe further back, while waiting for draft deferment numbers 4 or 5. However, the answer is probably much more mundane, yet somehow touching: in the late 1950s, Cheney sold his soul for the love and ass of Lynne Vincent, the Mustang Queen of Casper, Wyoming. Cheney said Satan could take his soul then and there, for he would not ever need it again. Time has proven Cheney correct.

And ever since, for nearly half a century, Dick Cheney's soul has been watching from Hell as Cheney's life has cast a pall on the lovely skies of America, sadly shaking its head at what it might have prevented had it not been damned to this eternity of flame and endless torture. Until this past Saturday, when Dick Cheney was staring into the shaking, spitting face of the bleeding Whittington as Cheney's personal medical handlers held the old lawyer's face and chest so that he wouldn't bleed out. Birdshot isn't a killer, but "[a]t close range, birdshot can destroy a great deal of tissue, producing a gruesome wound. The depth of the injury, however, will likely be six inches or less." In other words, it was not a pretty picture that Cheney gazed upon in the Texas dusk.

Dick Cheney sensed his soul behind him, even though the soul had made no sound in the brush. Cheney said, "So this is what it's like, to shoot a man." His soul nodded. "This is what others went in my place to do in Vietnam." His soul nodded. "This is what I have sent others to do time and again. What they're doing right now." His soul nodded. "And this is what it looks like in close-up, even without ripped up guts and arms missing and other shit, right." His soul nodded, for Cheney's soul could not speak, he could only be present, to remind Dick Cheney that even he, indeed, once had a soul.

To those around him, Cheney was a mute, suffering figure. One of the medical assistants checked his "heart" to make sure it wasn't ready to explode, but, strangely, Cheney's pulse was peaceful. The Secret Service waited to hear orders, but, with none forthcoming, they made suggestions: they could finish Whittington off, lose him in the brush here, make it look like a murder, blame it on illegals. They could put some birdshot into Cheney's non-gouty foot, make it look like an accident, perhaps even blame Whittington, make it look like an ol' Wyoming shoot-out. Cheney would not answer.

Cheney's soul reached out to touch Cheney, to say that it couldn't stay much longer, that it had appointments in Hell to be sodomized by dragon-faced demons and flayed by crazed devil surgeons. Cheney told himself to hold out, to hold out a little longer, to not let this moment take him off his path, to knock him out of his trajectory. An hour, two passed, until finally Dick Cheney's soul sighed, turned, and headed away. Cheney exhaled loudly to the anxious others.

"Fuck it," he said. "Call in the 'copter. Tell Harry to keep it quiet or we'll kill his grandchildren. Sit on the story. Fuckin' media doesn't need to know a goddamn thing. Now, someone open that bottle of Scotch and pour me a stiff one. And, hey, did I get the quail that was behind him, heh-heh? Let's fricassee that fucker."

Correction: An earlier version of this post mentioned "birdshot from Dick Cheney's rifle." However, as rude reader and poin of the day J points out, a rifle shoots bullets; a shotgun shoots shells of buck- and birdshot. Had Dick Cheney shot Harry Whittington in the face with a rifle, he'd've had a helluva trophy to mount.


The White Noise of Scandal:
What's it gonna take for the general public to be shocked anymore? 'Cause, really, and, c'mon, this week's news alone ought to be enough to make the head of even the most casual observer of the nascent Washington scandals explode into a shower of skull and viscera, raining down on the ignorant. The White House knew the levee hadn't held and that New Orleans was being drowned a day earlier than previously admitted? Scooter Libby was told by Dick Cheney and other "superiors" to break the law and leak classified information? Tom DeLay is put on the House subcommittee that oversees the Justice Department, while said department is investigating DeLay's buddy, Jack Abramoff?

What's it gonna take to surprise anyone? At this point, we could discover that Karl Rove and Dick Cheney rape Iranian village pre-teen girls and then the President, ashamed of the sinful actions of his two close advisors, as well as of the defiled children, kills the girls, gutting them, cutting them up, and feeding the press corps a buffet of pate' and meatloaf made from the bodies, catered, of course, by Halliburton, while Tom DeLay, Bob Ney, Orrin Hatch, and Bill Frist use the blood to write voodoo bills that magically allow the government to spy on your toilet without a shit warrant, and Donald Rumsfeld freeze-dries the girls' organs to grind up into a powder for his cognac because he believes it's an aphrodisiac that he needs in order to get it up so he can head over to a VA hospital to jack off on the stumps of comatose Iraq War wounded, rubbing his dick on the bandages so he can say that he "feels their pain," as Rove and Cheney think about moving on to the captured missing children of Hurricane Katrina they keep hidden in a bunker buried in the Vice President's Maryland mansion's yard.

And you know what? CNN would still balance the facts of the story with the demonic visage of Scott McClellan spinning it away, calling it ludicrous and ridiculous and "beyond the pale to suggest" yet never really denying all the fucking and gutting and grinding and rubbing, although if it had been done, it was for security reasons that are classified. Sure, there'd be many of us who'd say, "C'mon, it's obvious it's true," and the mainstream media would poo-poo the idea, with guests and articles that echo the administration's non-denial denial. But the facts'd be out there, and when it came out that, hey, all that shit you were saying about the complete animalistic barbarism of the Republicans? Damn if you weren't right all along. But then, the real facts had always been around, like the lyrics to a song whose beat you've been bouncing along to for months: when you pay attention to the words, you think, "Oh, cool, I thought that's what it was saying. What's the next track?"

The confirmation of all the shit many on the left have been saying about Katrina, about DeLay, about Libby and leaks ought to be another of those massive tipping points. But no one's suprised. It's just become too hard to process it all, you know. It's just traffic sounds, so many crickets, so much white noise.


Gitmo Starvation and American Restraint:
So let's try to get our minds around this: Right now, at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the United States is holding roughly 500 detainees, most of whom were not captured on the battlefield, most of whom were not associated with al-Qaeda, many (if not most) of whom weren't even Taliban.

Let's try to get our minds around this: Say you're one of the non-Taliban, non-al-Qaeda detainees, just reward meat around the wrong mountainside at the wrong time with the wrong warlord's men ridin' by, and now you're at Gitmo. Say you've been hooded, led around on a leash, been threatened with dogs, stripped nude, forced to stand for days, had fluids forced into you intravenously until you pissed yourself, denied sleep, made to act like the guards' bitch, endured loud music blared into the tiny cold cell where you curled up naked, on concrete, with air conditioning blasting, all the "humane" methods approved by the Pentagon, and then finally you've told your captors what they wanted to hear, that somehow you are, at the very least, associated with evil people, whatever lie will stop the pain and degradation. Then you realize the catch. By not confessing, you assured your continued humane torture. By confessing, though, you assure that you will never be let free, never tried, never allowed to see family or friends again. So you go on a hunger strike. Hell, your abused body's all you've got left to protest with.

Let's try to get our minds around the methods used to stop the Gitmo hunger strikers from dying: the U.S. military is using restraining chairs, the same kind that are used and abused in prisons around America. They render the seated person virtually helpless, preventing nearly every part of the prisoner's body from moving. Then, once seated, "in a humane and compassionate manner," the Gitmo hunger strikers have tubes shoved into their noses or mouths and they are force-fed, with mouths clamped shut to prevent vomiting. Some were fed so much that they shit themselves. Because, see, according to the government, "hunger striking is an al-Qaeda tactic used to elicit media attention and also to bring pressure on the U.S. government." For surely, if, as Pentagon documents supposedly show, only about 8 percent of the detainees were al-Qaeda when captured, more are now.

Let's try to get our minds around the desperation behind the mindset of the government that won't free innocent people, that won't admit error: if a prisoner dies because of a hunger strike, and we actually learn of it, the focus on the "treatment" of detainees will become sharper. And if a fuckin' cartoon can incite riots, what would a man dead in U.S. custody from a hunger strike do? Ask Northern Ireland.

Let's try to get our minds around what it takes to starve oneself: You ever fasted for a full day? The pain, the ache in head and body, grows quickly. Over days and weeks, the body, which tries to stay alive, feeds on itself even as the lack of nutrition causes organs to break down. Because, for instance, the gastrointestinal system slows, gastric acid builds, yielding killer reflux and dry heaves. If you're not in a coma or a persistent vegetative state, you get to the point where you want to be. If it's a "tactic," it's pretty damn hardcore.

Let's try to get our minds around one last thing: except for a small portion of America, like those of us in the fields of Left Blogsylvania, no one fuckin' cares that innocent people, captured, tortured, tortured again when they try to protest are in U.S. custody. It's easier to just believe the Gitmo detainees are, as the administration tells us repeatedly, terrible, awful, murderous people. 'Cause not to believe that means you have to confront what's being done in your name. Or suppress it in that Great American Storehouse of Repressed Memory, hoping it never creeps out to consciousness.


The Re-Niggering of Barack Obama:
Watching Chris "Behold My Lipless Shit-Eating Grin" Matthews and John "I'm Not On Your Side" McCain, who happen to be white, discuss the dust-up between McCain and freshman Senator Barack Obama, who happens to be black, on My Balls Are Hard last night was uncomfortable, in one of those "oh-shit-I-just-saw-my-sister-naked-and-she's-hot" kind of ways. The two pasty-faced assholes chuckled and chortled about the letter that McCain sent to Obama, essentially treating a fellow Senator like a syphilitic Saigon whore. You can read the letters on Obama's Senate website; he's posted them without comment, which is the subtle way of saying of McCain, "God, what a wad of fuck."

Beyond the issue itself, that of how to proceed (not even on what to do, but what steps to take to get to doing something) on "ethics reform," which will be gutted and fileted like a mercury-ridden trout by the House before it's over, the whole kerfuffle seems to be over McCain misreading Obama. It's all about McCain's posturing, a little dance he can do, a happy, if gimpy, jig before the GOP faithful, where he can sway and say, "Look how I can take out the uppity negro."

The racial politics are impossible to avoid on this. Would McCain have done the same with Joe Biden? With Hillary Clinton (who, let us remember, is also still in her first term in the Senate)? Of course not. He'd've taken them aside, clarified, tried to put aside any bitterness. But Obama's the star, man, charismatic, more fuckable than any other big ass sittin' in that chamber (sorry, Rick Santorum), the very real contender for the vice-presidency now, and he's a real moderate, too. It's fuckin' scary for the GOP. So it must be demonstrated that he is just another nigger, the "boy," if you will, and that he must be put in his place. He's a selfish Sambo, McCain is saying by the end of his letter (which was written in response to a "thank you" note from Obama), questioning Obama's motives for even being in the Senate: "I have been around long enough to appreciate that in politics the public interest isn't always a priority for every one of us."

Obama's reaction letter to McCain's spittle-ridden bit of enragement (the penning of which surely caused the Arizona Senator's first full erection since his last syphilitic Saigon whore) is so classy, so mutedly firm and resolute, that if any in the media, like, say, Chris Matthews, brought it up, it'd take the glow off McCain's red, shiny head. It'd also put the ethics scandal clearly back in the Republicans' court, despite the GOP's best efforts to bob and weave and deceive.

The Re-Empowering of Coretta Scott King:
Here's some quotes from Coretta Scott King from the last couple of years:
On Martin Luther King Day, 2003 (from the Washington Post):
"We commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. as a great champion of peace who warned us that war was a poor chisel for carving out a peaceful tomorrow...May his challenge and his example guide and inspire us to seek peaceful alternatives to a war with Iraq and military conflict in the Middle East."

On March 12, 2003, speaking in Bellevue, Washington, praising the then-large peace movement (from the Seattle Times):
"People from all walks of life are coming out from the shadows, rising up in ever-growing numbers in cities and towns across America, and indeed around the world. With one voice they are saying that: No, war is not the answer.

"Surely, we can do a better job of reaching out to our adversaries and offer them incentives to end their hostility to the U.S. Despite the horrors of Sept. 11 and all of the violence associated with that terrible day, I look to the future with hope, because I know that human beings of all races, religions and nations have an amazing capacity for kindness, decency and love. Unconditional love is the most powerful healing force on earth."

On August 24, 2003, speaking in Washington, D.C. on the 40th anniversary of the March on Washington (from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution):
Regarding poverty: "My husband said we refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vault of opportunity in this nation. And so we've come to cash a check."

Regarding the war in Iraq: "Nonviolence must become the foundation of America's foreign policy. If we want to disarm the world, we must disarm our hearts."

Finally, on January 21, 2005, in a speech in Denver, Colorado (from the Denver Post):
"I think we can do a better job of exploring alternatives to military conflict from now on. We can solve conflicts without terrorism and war. This is the only way to lasting peace and security."

In death, the Right, especially, so needs to neuter people who disagreed with them, taking away their real meaning for something more nebulous, "universal," and utterly meaningless. Like, for instance, what President Bush said yesterday at Coretta Scott King's funeral: "Having loved a leader, she became a leader. And when she spoke, America listened closely, because her voice carried the wisdom and goodness of a life well lived." Bush, who did not listen at all to what King had to say, offered more generic platitudes.

So the mini-uproar over what Jimmy Carter and Rev. Joseph Lowery said at the funeral is laughable. Talking about peace and economic justice at Coretta Scott King's funeral is as natural as talking about, say, Catholicism at the Pope's.

Deaths have meanings because of the particulars of a life, not because they can be reduced to fortune cookie messages. Lowery, Carter and others stated, to the President's obvious, slouching discomfort, that the woman's life work continues, and if that makes some people unhappy, well, they weren't too happy with the work or the life to begin with.


Gonzales to Congress: "Go Fuck Yourselves":
Yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing over the President's warrantless domestic surveillance program more or less went something like this: Arlen Specter would ask something about why the White House doesn't go to the FISA court and Alberto Gonzales would say, "We considered it, decided against it, and you can go fuck yourselves." Patrick Leahy would ask something about how Congress's authorization to use force constituted a green light to domestic spying, and Gonzales would say, "Hey, baldy, we define 'force,' and so you can go fuck yourselves. Hard." Leahy would ask if NSA has opened mail. Gonzales would say, "Not gonna tell you and go fuck yourself."

For truly, when Gonzales answered Joe Biden's question about how the revelation of the NSA spying program has hurt it with "if [the enemy is] not reminded about it all the time in the newspapers and in stories, they sometimes forget," truly, what was he saying but "No, seriously, you guys and gal, go fuck yourselves. You get nothin'." So it went, with Senators Kennedy, Kohl, the Feins - Stein and Gold, Schumer, and Durbin, and even with Republican Senators DeWine, Graham and Brownback, all, all told, in no uncertain terms by Gonzales, "You are Congress and you can, as I've said already, go fuck yourselves."

Then, of course, there was Orrin Hatch, who more or less took out a 9-inch dildo and told Gonzales to watch him fuck himself right there in the chamber as Hatch bent over and slid that bad boy home, with Gonzales nodding appreciatively and saying, "See how that Mormon tool fucks himself? It's the way you should all go fuck yourselves." Senators Grassley, Sessions, Cornyn and Kyl all more or less whipped out their own increasingly larger dildos to show Gonzales how much they love fucking themselves. Meanwhile, somewhere in the back of the chamber, the official Republican Party dildo cleaner was quietly grateful that the GOP committee members weren't unified in their desire to fuck themselves.

Truth be told, the scariest thing about the hearing was how blithely everyone referred to the United States being in a "war" with al-Qaeda. When Biden asked Gonzales when this war would be over, Gonzales answered, "I presume the straightforward answer, Senator, is that when al-Qaeda is destroyed and it no longer poses a threat to the United States," which, one may presume, as Biden did, means "Never." However, and the Rude Pundit may be forgetting a thing or two here, but the Joint Resolution authorizing force against al-Qaeda was not a declaration of war. In fact, other than saying that it squared with the War Powers Resolution, war wasn't mentioned in it. The President began to rhetorically refer to the attempt to stop al-Qaeda as the "war on terror." So does that mean that Johnson had these powers during the "War on Poverty"? Or Reagan and Bush I in the "War on Drugs"? Silly, no? Scary, yes?

At some point, someone needs to ask Hatch and the other "Constitutional authority of the President to do whatever the fuck he pleases" Senators this: in the next Presidential election, with the "war" still going on, what if a Democrat wins and simply adopts the reasoning of the Bush administration on presidential power? Ya feel comfortable with that, Orrin?

Media note: Today, at 7 a.m., the Rude Pundit flipped back and forth between CNN's American Morning and Bullshit Breakfast on Fox "News." In the first half-hour of CNN, the hearings weren't even mentioned. However, Fox was all over it, even having Jonathan Turley on to comment. The Rude Pundit's sure the French face transplant's fascinating and the McCain/Obama slap fight's oodles of fun, but CNN essentially said that the wiretap hearings are unworthy of being a top story. And thus an informed public heads out, thinking it understands the priorities of the nation.


Crappy Cartoons and Burning Flames:
If, say, in the middle of Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark unveiled a giant bronze statue of Mohammed on his knees getting teabagged by a smiling, standing Jesus Christ as throngs of gathered Danes, all hoisting sugary Danishes in the air, sang, "There Is a Lovely Land" before they pelted Mohammed and his scrotum-filled mouth with thousands of sticky buns, well, shit, okay, then we'd have something to talk about.

But the thuggery that's being done allegedly in the name of a few shitty sketches of Mohammed published in a Danish newspaper is smoke and mirrors, a bullshit blow-up over a few bullshit cartoons that a bunch of bullshit opportunists used to create bullshit advantage to their bullshit causes. Such utter nonsense, because not only are the cartoons themselves six months old, but Mohammed's kisser's been "depicted" since, you know, say, the start of Islam. So, hey, hush, don't let anyone know that Mohammed's one of the Super Best Friends on South Park or they might start burning Cartman in effigy.

The majority of the riots went something like this: Some idiot with a megaphone yells how everyone needs to show how much they love them some Mohammed. One guy tells another guy in the protest crowd that he loves Mohammed more. Guy 1 says, no; in fact, he loves Mohammed more. Guy 2 says oh, yeah, he'll show you how much he loves Mohammed, and Guy 2 breaks a window. Guy 1 says, fuck you, fucker, he'll show you how he loves Mohammed more, and launches a Molotov cocktail through the broken window. Guy 3 announces that there's shit to steal and all hell breaks loose, as man with megaphone looks on proudly. This is not to mention whoever sent megaphone man out there in the first place.

Oh, but Rude Pundit, you left out freedom of speech and the right of a free press to blah, blah, blah, some might say. Oh, but Rude Pundit, you left out cultural relativism and the respect of others and imperialism and oppression of the West and blah, blah, blah, others might chime in.

Here's the deal: in America, right now, the American Family Association, whose protests helped the NBC program Book of Daniel fail, got the network to drop its planned storyline in an episode of Will and Grace with Britney Spears as a conservative Christian TV host whose cooking segment is called "Cruci-fixins." The Family Research Council got the Department of Health and Human Services to delete any pages that asked for acceptance of homosexuals to help lower substance abuse and suicide rates among them. Some pencil-pusher in the Bush administration is tellin' NASA scientists that they have to call the Big Bang a theory so as to not offend the intelligent design lovers, who have so much science on their side. And let's not even get into the whole morning after pill controversy, or a thousand other scientific policy decisions that have been manipulated or forced by the fear of offending the religious right in America, the power of faith over reason.

Oh, but no riot, right? Maybe not yet, but ask yourself: how much of a nudge would the nutzoid zealot mob outside of Terri Schiavo's clinic have needed before shit started being torched like scared villagers outside of Frankenstein's castle? Hell, some crazed cunts were calling for armed intervention.

It's all about exploitation. Whether it's Donald Wildmon, James Dobson, Tony Perkins, or whoever, someone's gonna be there to manipulate people into believin' that their god is so much fuckin' bigger than everyone else's. Behind almost every action where someone's wielding a Bible or a Koran or Dianetics, there's someone who wants money and/or power, and he or she is gonna convince the least among them that their really big god needs him some lovin' and obedience by everyone goin' a little bugfuck insane.

There's always a spark - shitty cartoons, icky queers, whatever - but behind any kind of mass action are always the same things: poverty, isolation, opportunism. For what is a riot but an expression of complete and utter frustration and disempowerment, a cry out that larger issues of oppression have overwhelmed a population. In this case, that frustration is with the West (and, let's say, and why not, the patriarchal Middle Eastern policies of the White House), as well as within each nation.

At its base, cultural relativism says two things: "When in Rome, don't be a fuckin' idiot" and, when we're all in the same damn country, "Respect, man." But that's a two-way street. You wanna have a conversation? Let's have a conversation. How's this: the Rude Pundit doesn't give a rat's ass if you wanna wear a veil in America and not speak English, but he has the right to say that the treatment of women in many Middle Eastern countries is fucked up and wrong. There. Now we got us a conversation. As Nat Hentoff has said (among others), the only way to fight speech is with more speech. Of course, the European Union, in a mighty stand for freedom of the press, is looking into a "media code of conduct" to punish anyone who might offend.

What's more patronizing? To tell another culture to catch the fuck up to the 21st century? Or to say that another culture is incapable of dealing with the rhetoric of the big ol' West so we should watch what we say around the children? Don't have an answer, man, not today.

Well, shit, at least this time it ain't the Jews.

One final note: there's a world of difference between depicting Mohammed with a bomb-turban and drawing a limp-wristed gay guy or a googly-eyed African American. Islam is a faith. It's a belief. It is a pile of fictions, like every other faith, and as such is different from race or sexual orientation. No, that's not a practical stance in this era of internecine religious battles, as well as the clash of cultures. Standing for freedom ain't a pretty or, as the ACLU has learned, popular thing. But if you wanna draw Moses and Buddha roughly fucking Christ's crucifixion wounds, then so be it. There's plenty enough pictures of Jesus not getting his wounds fucked.

Blogger Outage:
Blogger's goin' down fer about an hour at 10 p.m. Eastern. Can't wait fer the conspiracy theories about Atrios, etc. bein' gone fer a bit.


Why Did the HHS Website Get Rid of Its Pages on LGBT Pride?:
Here's one of those moments where the Rude Pundit wonders, "Umm, has anyone seen anything about this?" See, the Rude Pundit gets regular updates from the Family Research Council, having joined up for the Super Duper Prayer Team (Alito, you know, answered our prayers). And in yesterday's Washington Update, FRC's President, Tony Perkins, informs us:

"We've reported to you on the homosexual website at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). When some of you wrote to HHS to criticize this misuse of taxpayer dollars, you received anonymous, abusive, and even threatening responses. I protested this vigorously in a letter to HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt. Recently, I received a call from Rick Campanelli, legal counsel to Leavitt. He acknowledged that the website had been taken down and that the unidentified contractor employee responsible for the abusive replies had been fired. That's fine--as far as that goes. But Mr. Campanelli did not explain how HHS became involved in promoting the unhealthy homosexual lifestyle in the first place. We had pointed out the medical inaccuracies that were promoted by the website. Nor did Mr. Campanelli explain to me how HHS could allow a contractor to speak for the largest federal department on such a vital matter. To be fair, many of the replies received to your expressions of concern were civil and respectful--if noncommittal.

"What this episode shows us is that even under a friendly, pro-family administration, the bureaucracy can run amok. As a former elected official, I understand the importance of public servants truly serving the public in both word and deed. I share the outrage of those who received the abusive responses from HHS. I can assure you, FRC will not turn a blind eye to the abuse of tax dollars or tax payers."

A little bit of digging later, and the Rude Pundit discovered this was first mentioned by the FRC on January 11, 2006, about how HHS had created a web page devoted to issues of pride and diversity among lesbians, gays, bis, and transgenders. Pam at Pandagon discussed it. She also commented on the removal of the website a mere 12 days later (actually, it was only 9 days). Seems it used to look like this Google cache and now looks like this, wiped clean.

On January 27, Perkins posted the letter of thanks he wrote to HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt: "I am writing to express my thanks to you and to staff at the Department of Health and Human Services for responding to the concerns raised by the Family Research Council and our constituents regarding the content of a website sponsored by your Department's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration." The site was created to confront higher rates of substance abuse among homosexuals, but, said Perkins, "this website was loaded with biased, politically-charged language, such as condemnations of so-called 'homophobia,' 'heterosexism,' and 'sexual prejudice.'"

Indeed, so well-scrubbed (or going through "revision," according to the replacement page) that virtually none of the links that would dare tell LGBT people to be proud of their existence or inform the public of things that might have created "tolerance" and "understanding" remain. However, you know what? Fuck the FRC.

Here's a Google cache of the "Who Is Gay" page, the "Youth and Suicide" page, the "Substance Abuse" page, the "Why Celebrate" page, the "Substance Abuse Treatment" page, the information page on "Social Support and Violence Prevention." There's a lot more cached you can find to see the ludicrously uncontroversial and mild suggestions for a peaceful, non-hating society that HHS would dare to try to help create.

And, sssh, HHS didn't take down the page on "Social Support and Violence Prevention". It teaches you how to "celebrate diversity" when a friend comes out to you. They didn't take down the page that links to gay male stories. There's others, but, most importantly, HHS didn't take down the Resources page. Don't tell Tony Perkins or he might, you know, go psycho.

Conclusions? 1) The scrub was done hastily and incompletely and incompetently, like everything in the Bush administration. 2) HHS knuckled under to the FRC crowd, and while it ain't exactly burning the Danish flag, it's certainly the government censoring information based on Christian fundamentalism. The Rude Pundit guesses their tax dollars matter more than the rest of ours. 3) Apparently, the sin of Pride is off the radar for Tony Perkins as he constantly crows like a mad rooster (or, you know, cock) about the FRC's crazed triumphs over thought and reason.

(Has anyone heard from HHS explaining this?)


Welcome To George W. Bush's Classroom:
President Bush, he has hisself a grander vision of his professional responsibilities. Said Bush yesterday at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, "My job is as much 'educator-in-chief' as it is Commander-in-Chief." See? Doncha get it? We're all a buncha dumbfucks, but President Bush, he's got the ruler and the textbook, man, fancy-ass degree from Yale, and he's gonna edumacate us: "During times of uncertainty it's important for me to do what I'm doing today, which is to explain the path to victory, to do the best I can to articulate my optimism about the future."

Bush doesn't just sport the mortar board, oh, no. See, the President of the United States wears many hats. Or, perhaps, he just needs to educate us on his job. Just yesterday, he declared, "[I]f I could give you the job description, it would be 'decision-maker.' I have to make a lot of decisions." Sometimes those decisions involve research: "My job as your President is to look at the world the way it is," and, in that world, he sees threats, big ass bugaboos, but don't worry 'cause "My job is to worry about those threats. That's not your job." No, he says, you shouldn't have to worry about all the possible violence and attacks he talks about, really, "That's my job, to worry about the attack." And how will he deal with it? "My job is to set the strategy."

See, the job's not just about blowin' shit up, physically: "Part of my job is to present a budget [to Congress] that gives them a chance to show how to cut that deficit in half by 2009." But sometimes others fail to accept his jobby presumption, like with Social Security: "I thought my job was not only to raise the issue, but to come up with some solutions." He's gotta come up with economic solutions, doncha know: "I think the job -- I know the job of the President is to work to open up markets and level the playing field." Yep, "I told you mine is a decision-making job," but also, "the third thing about my job is you've got to set a strategic vision."

Now, putting aside, say, Article II of the U.S. Constitution, which is pretty damn clear about what the "job" of President is, what it's really seeming is that Bush's job is to dick over as many people as possible in as short amount of time as possible. Hell, just in the last week or so, motherfucker's broken some kind of land speed record for dickin' people over, a record previously held by Charlie "Eight Dick" McGee, aka "The Octopus." Putting aside Democrats, whose Bush dicking is pre-ordained by the fact of their existence, it's Republicans who are seeing the White House's hairy grass snake approaching with extreme velocity.

Take Arlen Specter, a man who is so used to being dicked over that he's got laceration marks. The White House, in the spirit of "personal responsibility," refused to hand over documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the rationale for warrantless surveiilance. Specter declared, "That's not a closed matter-we're still working on that." The entire executive branch burst into laughter and sent Specter a pink wig, just as a way of saying, "Thanks for the Alito vote, bitch."

Take Lousiana Republican representatives. Not only did Bush outright dismiss Republican Richard Baker's plan for rebuilding New Orleans without offering any genuine alternative, but Bush has been treating Rep. Bobby Jindal, who offers the Republican Party one of its few shades of color beyond "pasty," like he's a clerk at the 7-11. Prior to Katrina, in July 2005, Jindal fuckin' begged Republican leaders to tour the damaged wetlands of Louisiana, but now he's gotta deal with Bush's almost mind-bogglingly obvious neglect of the hurricane damaged state. Jindal said of the State of the Union speech, "I really did believe we had momentum at the end of the year...I hoped the speech would expand upon that momentum, but I was frustrated and disappointed."

But, ya see, while Specter's a longtime student of the Bushrove School of Political Dickings, Jindal's just a freshman, with so much to learn. Trent Duffy, spokesman for the White House (which is really not unlike saying "Minion of Satan"), said, "The president has and will continue to do what is necessary, from the federal perspective, to help the people of the Gulf Coast rebuild their lives," shorthand for, "Yer on yer own, motherfuckers" or "It's not our job."

Jindal would do well to put on the blinders of conformity, like fellow Louisiana Republican David Vitter, who commented, "I would say it was a very strong and powerful speech, if only I could black out all the problems facing Louisiana and the Gulf Coast," which makes him a perfect A student in the educator-in-chief's classroom, like everyone cheering at the Grand Ole Opry.

Brief Aside:
Best unintentional laugh of the speech: Referring to Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist, who was in attendance, Bush said, "He's a good man. He's a good guy to deal with, he is doing a fantastic job of herding cats." And somewhere a loud screech of terror went up from the animal shelters all over Nashville.


The State of the Union Is "Why Fuckin' Bother?":
George W. Bush's State of the Union speech was bad news for budding Dr. Moreau's out there. Every "major" speech by Bush has at least one "What the fuck did he just say?" moment, and last night had its share. But the one that has garnered the most reaction was this line, "Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research – human cloning in all its forms … creating or implanting embryos for experiments … creating human-animal hybrids." Yes, Dr. Moreau, the President will force you to an uncharted island to create your unholy lemurmen and pantherwomen.

But, then again, the entire speech was bad news for brown people everywhere. Brown people, for Bush, are either diseased or servants. For instance, both mentions of AIDS were about brown people: "We show compassion abroad because Americans believe in the God-given dignity and worth of a villager with HIV/AIDS" and "More than a million Americans live with HIV, and half of all AIDS cases occur among African-Americans...We will also lead a nationwide effort, working closely with African-American churches and faith-based groups, to deliver rapid HIV tests to millions..." When Bush said he wanted to "end the stigma of AIDS," the Rude Pundit guesses that means Bush wants to change it from a "fag disease" to a "nigger disease."

And the niggering continued with Bush's proposals about "illegal immigration," which doesn't mean poor Russian models who can't get a green card, but is code for "brown people who no speakee the English." Bush proclaimed the need for the beneficent enslavement of the brown people: "[W]e must have a rational, humane guest worker program that rejects amnesty … allows temporary jobs for people who seek them legally," or, in other words, "All that hirin' Paco and Pacette you big ass agribusinesses and other companies been doin' fer years, payin' them shit wages, no benefits, and threats to send 'em home if they bitch? Let's make it legal."

Diseased servants, man, and props. Seated next to Laura Bush, but unrecognized during the ceremony, were Fawzia Kofi, an member of the Afghanistan National Assembly, and Ja’Detrus Hamilton, a black teenager Freedom Corps member from the Gulf Coast. Yep, between them and Rex, the bomb-sniffin' dog back from Iraq (really), it was a fuckin' rainbow in the gallery.

But for all the attention to Afghanistan and Katrina relief, the dog got the better end of the deal. In the context of the speech, the Rude Pundit couldn't help but think that Bush's mere "52 seconds," according to CNN morning hottie Soledad O'Brien, on Katrina was, in essence, "You Southern-fried brown people are on your own." The biggest natural disaster in recent American history, an entire city fucked, and the best Bush's speech wranglers could muster was a brief mention near the end of the speech, saying that, while cleaning up, "we must also address deeper challenges that existed before the storm arrived. In New Orleans and in other places, many of our fellow citizens have felt excluded from the promise of our country." Which'd be great if, say, corpses weren't still being found.

However, the Katrina part and so many other sections of the speech existed in some nebulous bizarro America, without the existence of Republicans, neo-cons, religious nutzoids, and corporate hegemonies dictating policy. When Bush would bring up a problem, the only rational response would be, "Umm, who created that problem?" Stigma of AIDS? Lack of OB-GYNs? Don't think that was liberals who drove OB-GYNs out of rural counties. Too many special interest projects? Who's running the fuckin' Congress and who's signin' the budgets? And Bush sayin' that Americans are "addicted to oil" is like your crack dealer standin' over your shakin', shittin' body and tellin' you it's time to get off the crack, but, hey, while you're doin' that, you wanna buy some crack? (And his vague, unfunded proposals on weaning us off the crude teat sound like they're lifted from Jimmy Carter's late 1970s speeches and cleansed of any meaning.)

And the rest of the speech was just boring bullshit, inarguable platitudes, and head-scratchin' conundrums. Seriously, does anyone want to "surrender to evil"? 'Cause Bush sez that's not an option. And after attacking Democrats for daring to question him, he sez to "put aside partisan politics," which is shorthand for "Shut the fuck up and agree with me."

So there it was. Bush barely bothering to say anything worthwhile. Commissions to study shit. Vague monetary promises. The vow to keep spyin' because otherwise, apparently, America will become bombapalooza. The entire evening was like Bush had gone to the doctor to have his prostate examined: "Here, sir, bend over this podium and it'll be over before you know it and you don't have to it again for another year."

The only thing significant in the entire evening was the treatment of two mothers who lost children in the Iraq War. Bush recognized the parents and widow of Sergeant Dan Clay, killed in Fallujah last month (didn't we secure Fallujah by leveling it?), who stood to applause and cheers from the slavering politicians. Meanwhile, Cindy Sheehan was arrested and led out of the gallery for revealing a t-shirt that read, "2245 Dead. How many more?" She didn't even get to hear Bush promise to kill more soldiers like Dan and Casey, as well as more Iraqi civilians, in order to honor them. He may as well have dug up their corpses and made them dance, dance, grotesquely, horribly, in celebration.