Hamdan, Democrats, and the Potential Constitutional Monarchy:
Here's yer summertime campaign issue, Democrats. Road test this fucker and see how it flies (and trust the Rude Pundit: he knows more than Bob Shrum and Donna Brazile genetically merged into one losing machine). Ya ready? Follow the bouncin' ball motherfuckers, and, fer fuck's sake, sing it in tune:

Yesterday's Hamdan decision at the Supreme Court basically said that Congress and the courts still have some power, despite the sick orgy of centralizing power in the hands of a rank amateur monarch-wannabe so head-thickened and brow-lowered with caste-based inbreeding that the lowest markers of general intelligence - like sentence construction and primary mathematics - are debased to a point where the poor fucktard must weep every morning in sub-mongoloid rage at that he is unable to carry out even the most basic functions of human existence and thought, like logic and ass-wiping, so he is surrounded by stewards and toadies who do it all for him, all the "If a and b, then c" (for, surely, left to his own devices, the President's logical progression would be something like, "If a and b, then tuna") and the ensuring that the Commander in Chief doesn't have a vague shit smell coming off him.

So the majority of the Supreme Court told the Executive Branch that it couldn't ignore the Legislative Branch and just make up laws. Now, as we well know, we're a Lieberman or two away from the kind of one-party rule that'd make Stalin say, "Goddamn, wish I'd've thought of that." The court's majority opinion said all kinds of cool shit, like, "Hey, you remember those Geneva Conventions? Yeah, so don't be dicks about them." But the opening that the Bush administration is gonna exploit and stretch until it's as wide as a crack whore's cooter is Justice Breyer's concurring opinion, in which he says, "The Court’s conclusion ultimately rests upon a single ground: Congress has not issued the Executive a 'blank check'...Indeed, Congress has denied the President the legislative authority to create military commissions of the kind at issue here. Nothing prevents the President from returning to Congress to seek the authority he necessary."

Now, we know that for almost every goddamn non-Mexican thing, the Republican Congress has rolled itself over and presented its ass for rough fucking by the White House, which has gladly fucked away. And, already, Bill Frist has raised his haunches and spread his cheeks for easy access, saying, "Congress should work with the president to update our laws on terrorist combatants to respond to the new threats of a post-9/11 world" as he prepares to offer a Gitmo trials bill. Surely, the mad House of Representatives is doing the same. Pretty much what you can expect is a crazy-ass dash to specifically define every little monarchical power Cheney, Rove, and Gonzalez want Bush to have put into one Omnibus "Fuck You, Judiciary" bill, and Joe Lieberman will actually blow himself in joy while Arlen Specter sighs, wondering if he should have just foregone the chemo.

Then, of course, the campaign issue for Democrats in the midterms is simple and straightforward, as it ought to be: Do you, the average voter, believe George Bush should be a king? Because if you elect Republicans (or Joe Lieberman), they will give him the powers of a king. And he will take them. You want slogans? "Don't Make George Bush the King of America" or "Republican Representative Fuckwad Wants the President To Become King George."

Remember how Karl Rove works: every setback is actually an opportunity to do more harm because of how it can be manipulated for electoral purposes. We will be inundated with worthless images of deranged Gitmo detainees set loose on the streets of Alabama to rape white children because of the big, bad five justices. It'll be more fear. Now, howzabout the Democrats use a little fear on their side? "Stop King George; Elect Democrat Not-Quite-As-Much-Of-A-Fuckwad" can fit on a bumper sticker.

Sidenote: Isn't the whole "five justices" or "five robed judges" overruling the "will of the people" device used by the right just the height of rhetorical bullshit? John Cornyn, in the nonsensical debate over flag burning, said as much, and it's just so godforsaken pathetically funny. 'Cause, like, wasn't it five justices who overruled the will of the people in Bush v. Gore? So, you know, let's just shut the fuck up about what five justices can do.


Regarding Secrecy, Part 2 - the Times and the White House: America's Favorite Codependent Couple:
Okay, there's a couple of easy things here we can say about the whole kerfuffle about the New York Times "revealing" a "secret" program that the Bush administration itself had bragged about. For one, telling the world that the United States government is trying to track the bank trails and finances of alleged terrorists is about surprising a revelation as, say, that the soldiers in Baghdad are carrying guns. In other words, unless al-Qaeda is the stupidest group of terrorists ever (and we have pretty good evidence that it's not), then, really, and, c'mon, who gives a fuck?

For another, all the talk of "treason" is more worthless than a tight, squeaky fart out of Tucker Carlson's bow-tied asshole: is what the New York Times wrote "tantamount to waging war" against the United States? Was the intention to assist the enemies of the country? No and no. The intention was, actually, to inform all of us, including Bill O'Reilly and Michelle Malkin, that the government is watching every fucking thing we do. And to say, well, shit, maybe in a putative democracy, we ought to have some say in that.

But, shit, instead of wallowing in the pool of bile and spittle spewed by the right, let's take a little journey to analogy-land:

Surely, the relationship between the White House and the Times is like that of a dysfunctional straight couple: they fight, they bicker, the White House and his friends would say what a whore the Gray Lady was, how she never really loved the White House, until, after 9/11, the Gray Lady wanted to show the White House, show everyone, just how much she really loved him, so she said that the White House could fuck her any way the White House wanted to.

Oh, and in what savage ways the White House madly balled the Gray Lady, bending her over a pile of adminstration-leaked documents and using rolled up fake WMD reports to shove in her ass again and again. God, how the Gray Lady wanted more, wanted to prove to the White House that she was worthy of his love, even letting the White House's friend, the Iraqi National Congress, come over and get a luxuriant blow job from the Gray Lady while the White House kept fucking her from behind while the rest of the White House's buddies cheered on the gangbang, furiously masturbating each other at the sight. All the while, the White House's friends kept telling everyone who would listen that the Gray Lady could never do enough to pleasure the White House, that the little bitch wasn't really capable, but isn't it hot to see her try?

Yeah, from the outside, we all watched this little dance and kept shaking our heads, wondering when the Gray Lady could see that all she was good for was getting fucked - when was she gonna get her self-respect back and dump that bastard for good.

Now, now that the Gray Lady has gotten back some modicum of its self-respect, oh, how the White House and his pals have turned on her, trying to berate her, psychologically abuse her, make her be the good fuck puppet she used to be. Perhaps it'll work. Perhaps, in the run up to a war with Iran or a strike on North Korea, the Gray Lady'll cheer her man on.

But maybe, just barely maybe, the Gray Lady has remembered that she is her own woman, that she has stood on her own in other difficult times, that she doesn't need a man to make her fulfilled, and that the mutterings of the White House's pals don't amount to more than gnat shit under her toenails.

Still, what is it we've learned about dysfunctional couples through the years? That one of them is destined to try to please the other on and on. And perhaps all we can say is that you can't help those who won't help themselves.

Oh, and by the way, did the White House or Republicans say that Bob Novak committed treason back a couple of years ago? Just askin'...


Regarding Secrecy, Part 1: Bill Clinton vs. George W. Bush - What a Difference a Year Makes To the Consitution:
In the dying days of his second term, as the nation was lurching towards its nightmare election day in 2000, on November 4 of that horrid year, President Clinton vetoed a bill. It was HR 4392, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001, and Clinton said that there was a single provision in the bill that he didn't like.

That was Section 303, which read, "Whoever, being an officer or employee of the United States, a former or retired officer or employee of the United States, any other person with authorized access to classified information, or any other person formerly with authorized access to classified information, knowingly and willfully discloses, or attempts to disclose, any classified information acquired as a result of such person's authorized access to classified information to a person (other than an officer or employee of the United States) who is not authorized access to such classified information, knowing that the person is not authorized access to such classified information, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 3 years, or both."

By massively broadening the definition of felonious disclosure of classified information, Clinton said that Congress "may unnecessarily chill legitimate activities that are at the heart of a democracy." Paraphrasing Justice Brandeis, Clinton continued, "[W]e must always tread carefully when considering measures that may limit public discussion." And the real kick in the head, considering the vicious times in which we live: "[I]t is my obligation to protect not only our Government's vital information from improper disclosure, but also to protect the rights of citizens to receive the information necessary for democracy to work."

And so, because of "one badly flawed provision," Clinton vetoed the whole thing and sent it back to the House. Oh, sure, it pissed off House Republicans, especially, including Porter Goss, who said, "To veto this critical piece of legislation now is disruptive, and may send a dangerous message to those who would harm U.S. interests." But Clinton believed that "in a society built on freedom of expression and the consent of the governed...this criminal provision would, in my view, create an undue chilling effect." The bill had been opposed by CNN, the Washington Post, and the New York Times, among others.

Flash forward to December 2001. The Congress, at the height of its post-9/11 obeisance to all things Bush, passed HR 2883, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002. Section 305 of the bill was the "Modification of Reporting Requirements for Significant Anticipated Intelligence Activities and Significant Intelligence Failures." It was an amendment to the National Security Act of 1947, section 502, which is about the Executive branch reporting to Congress on "intelligence activities other than covert actions."

What was the big change made in 2001? To ask for the report in writing: any report "shall be in writing, and shall contain the following:(1) A concise statement of any facts pertinent to such report. (2) An explanation of the significance of the intelligence activity or intelligence failure covered by such report." That's it. Congress wanted its report in writing. And it wanted to understand what it was being told.

After the Act was passed and signed by the President, George W. Bush issued a signing statement about part of the bill: "Regrettably, one provision of the Act falls short of the standards of comity and flexibility that should govern the relationship between the executive and legislative branches on sensitive intelligence matters and, in some circumstances, would fall short of constitutional standards." Which part? According to Bush, "Section 305 of the Act amends section 502 of the National Security Act of 1947," which he says "purports to require" that reports to Congress "always be in written form, with a concise statement of facts pertinent to the report and an explanation of the significance of the activity or failure."

Bush does not explain why this act of writing the report and explaining things is so offensive, but he asserts that the section "shall be construed for all purposes... in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority to withhold information the disclosure of which could impair foreign relations, the national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executive's constitutional duties." Which, you know, is pretty much everything. The same goes for the Director of Central Intelligence. Of course, the statement does not say how such an interpretation of the section will be applied, but one can guess it's something like: "Fuck 'em."

There's pretty much all you need to know about how far we've tumbled as a nation when it comes to respect for the Constitution, when it comes to the handling of secrecy, and when it comes to the rights of citizens to be informed. Clinton could have signed the bill and taken terrible retribution on anyone who leaked anything in his last two months. He chose not to. Instead, on December 27, 2000, he signed a bill that had the offensive section removed. Said Clinton in his signing statement, "I thank the Congress for working with me to produce a bill that I can sign."

Bush could have vetoed the whole bill so that we'd have a debate over what exactly he wanted. He chose not to. One way, Clinton's way, is the path to an open, real democracy. And the other, Bush's way? Why, that's a path to...well, we're not allowed to speak of such things without sounding crazy.

By the way, that December 2000 signing statement did contain some language about how President Clinton interpreted a section of the Act. "Title VIII of the Act sets forth requirements governing the declassification and disclosure of Japanese Imperial Army records, as defined by the Act," Clinton wrote. However, he made clear: "I understand that title VIII does not apply to records undergoing declassification pursuant to the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act." It ain't exactly ignoring a law so he can pursue whatever policies he wants, now, is it?


What Rush Limbaugh Should Have Said About His Penis:
God, don't you just wish that Rush Limbaugh had had some hillbilly heroin flare up in his crazed brain today and he said, on the air:

"People, let me tell you about what you've heard about last night: all I can say is I wonder how Bob Dole's luggage got on my airplane? No, no, that's not true. See, I told my doctor I was worried about the next election. Get it? Election, not erection. It's because my cock can't get hard without freebasing Viagra and mainlining that shit directly into my limp dick. Then I can raise my mighty three-inch flag pole of love. Seriously, the oxycontin has completely destroyed my ability to get a hard on. My peter just lays there, like a dead guppy, sad, flaking, and ready to be eaten by the other fish.

"Yeah, my fellow Americans, after Daryn Kagan dumped me because, as she said, 'Sex with you is like getting smacked in the pussy repeatedly with a piece of overcooked macaroni,' well, a man has to do what a man has to do. And what I have to do is fly over to the Dominican Republic in my private plane, as a man of my means would do, and have my personal assistant round up five cheap hookers to come back to my room. Then, after watching them lick and dildo each other for about twenty minutes, after I shoot the Viagra/Cialis cocktail into my pecker to get my throbbing sea cucumber ready, I go kind of loony, and I choose one especially anorexic whore, tell the others to get the fuck out, and slice open her stomach and jack off into the gaping cavity, screaming about wanting to get back to my mother's pussy while I come. It's really the only way I can even think about ejaculating.

"Sure, sure, we have to dump the body over the Atlantic on the flight back to my palatial mansion in Palm Beach, but it's a small price to pay so that this fine Excellence in Broadcasting radio host can relieve some of the semen back up in his conservative balls. My friends, one of the great things about being a conservative in America is feeling as if even when you've blown your wad into the gut of a dead Dominican hooker, you don't feel even a little guilty."
Later Today - Rush Limbaugh's Penis:
Let us dwell on the fat man's unerect manhood for while later this afternoon.
Briefly Noted: Flag Burning:
More on this later, but the Rude Pundit has held one non-freedom of speech position on the whole torching-a-flag-makes-George-Washington's-skull-cry issue: The Rude Pundit walks to a store, maybe even an old time Five and Dime, and plunks down his cash and purchases an American flag. Once he owns it, it's his property. No one has assigned him his Bush-prescribed flag. Chances are it wasn't even made in the United States. Now that it's his, this non-living thing, is he not free to burn it, use it to wash his car, wipe his ball sweat after sex, or hang it from his pick-up until it's just tatters in the wind?

C'mon, nutzoid freeper types. Do you want the government telling you what you can do with your property?

Off to Clark Kent duties. Back this afternoon.


Better Than Lesbian Midget Porn: Rush Limbaugh Detained at Palm Beach Airport:
Sweet fuckin' Christ, let the charges be real from the fact that "Rush Limbaugh has been detained at Palm Beach International Airport for the possible possession of illegal prescription drugs Monday evening." Herr Limbaugh was returning from the Dominican Republic. And it just might be illegal Viagra. Hell, let's get Jack Bauer to question him.

Oh, the Rude Pundit's gonna need a new monitor after tonight...

(Tip o' the rude hat to Americablog.)
A Plan That's Not a Plan in Republican Spinworld:
Sometimes following Republican logic is a little like watching a ferret that just got into a meth stash. You're watchin' that twitchy fucker spin all over the place, and you wish that it'd just die already and get it over with instead of breaking all the glass in the apartment and bleeding and shitting everywhere.

So let's just get this straight: if your opponent voted against a tax cut, it's the same as if he voted to increase taxes; if you arrest seven crazed losers in their self-storage warehouse home in Florida because they told a cajoling undercover FBI agent, "Oh, fuck, that'd be fuckin' tits if we could blow shit up like the Sears Tower," it constitutes a "conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, namely, al Qaeda; conspiracy to provide material support and resources to terrorists; conspiracy to maliciously damage and destroy buildings by means of an explosive device; and conspiracy to levy war against the government of the United States"; if you are told that a newly declassified report lists 500 missles in Iraq with chemicals degraded to the point that sour milk is just as toxic, you can trumpet that as discovered weapons of mass destruction and crow like a cock over a defeated corn cob.

But if the general in charge of U.S. troops in Iraq has a plan to withdraw at least some U.S. troops from that nation, then, no, really, that's not a plan for withdrawal - what the fuck are you Democrats talking about? 'Cause, like, see that's kind of exactly what Democrats wanted in the most recent debate of the damned in the Senate over the war. Sure, sure, no one expected John Kerry's "Yeah, I Know It's Two Years Too Late, But, Fuck, See, I Really, Really Oppose the War Now. Please Love Me" resolution to get much traction.

But the other amendment to a defense spending bill, sponsored by Carl Levin and a handful of other Democratic Senators, called for Congress to politely request that the Bush administration "change course from an open-ended commitment and to promote the assumption of security responsibilities by the Iraqis, thus advancing the chances for success in Iraq." It said, pretty simply, that "there must be a fair sharing of political power and economic resources among all the Iraqi groups," and that "the President should convene an international conference so as to more actively involve the international community and Iraq's neighbors," and, you know, disarm the militias. Pretty inoffensive shit, even quite gutless (an "international conference"?).

Then the amendment says, "the President should--

"(i) expedite the transition of United States forces in Iraq to a limited presence and mission of training Iraqi security forces, providing logistic support of Iraqi security forces, protecting United States infrastructure and personnel, and participating in targeted counterterrorism activities;

"(ii) after consultation with the Government of Iraq, begin the phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq this year; and

"(iii) submit to Congress a plan by the end of 2006 with estimated dates for the continued phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq, with the understanding that unexpected contingencies may arise".

That's it. Take down some forces soon, and keep Congress informed. A total pussy of a nonbinding resolution. No timetable. Just a "pretty please, think about us." To Republicans (and a few Democrats- lookin' at you, Lieberman) in Congress, that was "cut and run," like the military was tell its soldiers to drop their equipment and dash crazy and naked back to Kuwait. And, of course, not unexpectedly, it was defeated, too.

And then comes the report that General George Casey plans to, well, fuck, begin a phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq this year. So, like, which part of the amendment was the most offensive to the Bush administration that it left Senate Republicans looking like chief shit eaters of the crazy monkey club? The Rude Pundit thinks he knows: the amendment called for a modicum of Congressional oversight. How fucking dare the Democrats think the Constitution gives 'em that right.

Kentucky's Mitch McConnell said as much on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos's hair: "[T]he Congress ought not to be dictating to the generals what the tactics are. That was the point. We want the conditions on the ground and the decisions of our commanders in conjunction with the new Iraqi democratic government to dictate the process, not the Congress trying to act like armchair generals dictating every nuance of the policy in Iraq. That was the point, and the Congress overwhelmingly voted on a bipartisan basis to reject the Congress dictating specific withdrawal time lines to the generals in Iraq."

So, keeping their collective "D'oh" in their sinister chamber of majority secrets, Senate Republicans have spun this like so many other things, by re-creating reality and saying that a plan for withdrawal is not really a plan for withdrawal. John Warner said that the plan is not a plan on Fox "News" Sunday with Mike Wallace's fecal remnant of a son: "The [defense] department's drawn up plans at all times, but I think it would be wrong now to say that this is the plan that we're going to operate under."

The Iraqis, though, they want some idea when troops are gonna be withdrawn. Warner puts the kibbosh on that thought, saying, "We will consult with [the Iraqis]. I'm confident our government will not let them make mistakes that would reflect adversely on troop withdrawals." Yep, democracy's great when you have a parent country there to tell you when you're doin' fine and when you need Daddy's intervention.


Briefly Noted: David Brooks Tries To Be a Really Awful Blogger:
On Friday, the Rude Pundit wrote just about all he has to say about the Kos v. Anyone Who Has Ever Wanted To Pile On Kos dustup. But then David Brooks goes and puffs out his chest and writes what, if it was posted in Blogsylvania, would be dismissed as a "screed" or a "rant" against Markos Moulitsas, describing all of Left Blogsylvania as his mindless zombie hordes. It's kind of sad, in that way that's just past funny, like a ranting, drunken bag lady with one tit flopping out of her ripped shirt.

One little sample: "And so the Kingpin [Markos] has his relationships and his understandings and his networks and his compromises. In just a few short years he has achieved a level of self-importance it took those in the pre-blog political class decades to acquire. He has challenged his enemy and become it."

The established political system, the machine itself and those who cover the machine, desperately need Markos to be just another naif corrupted by power. Because if he's not, well, shit, then you might just have to pay attention.


A Defense of Bloggery Against the Scolding Forces of Printdom:
The Rude Pundit has a married male friend who can't talk enough about how amazing marriage is: how monogamy is so goddamned incredible, how sex just deepens along the life path with your life partner or your soulmate or what the fuck ever, how planning for the future with someone is just, so, god, how can one describe it, but it's just...deep, see, the kind of deep you only feel in the depths of your deepest...and blah and yada and etcetera and whoop-de-fuckin-do. But every Monday, sure as shit, that friend is asking the Rude Pundit about his weekend.

Ah, and then, and then the Rude Pundit gets to let fly. About craven, desperate, sweaty fucking like the world's gonna end; about bar pickups that generally involve phrases like "Have you ever done..." or "Have you ever tried..." or "Have you ever tripped on..." or "Swallower or spitter?"; about various shapes of cocks and cunts, the delicious, breathtaking pause before plunging into another person, the way in which certain twists of tongues or fingers cause one's dick to spasm like it's got a palsy or a clit to quiver of its own volition; about mornings free of regret because, before anything happens, one is absolutely clear about the ground rules: no lies, no error, no foul. There's no pretensions to lifelong bliss, no promises of what happens next, just the time itself in all its exultantly orgasmic, vodka and ecstasy-infused glory. And the ensuing trip to the laundry.

You can bet, and it's such a certainty that no bookie in the world would offer action on it, that the Rude Pundit's friend tells his wife about the Rude Pundit's weekends. And it is just as certain that the two of them talk about how empty the Rude Pundit's life must be, how he must wish he was like them, how he must, must, must desire such security for surely he can't go on like this. And then they fuck the same way they've been fucking for the last ten years. Now the Rude Pundit's not saying there is not innate good in the committed couple life. But, even as he shakes his head at the Rude Pundit, there is behind the movement a tinge of regret and jealousy in the eyes of the friend, as if there but for the curse of God goes he.

See, the attacks on blogging by some mainstream media "journalists" or "pundits" are just a continuation of the establishment's attack on outsiders, the way in which hippies got to get their freak on under the banner of free love versus the conservative America, clinging to its disappearing heterosexual-missionary-position way of seeing the world. Joe Klein is the Archie Bunker of the crowd, waving his craven, befouled finger at bloggers as he pathetically tries to be loved by the right wing establishment, the ultimate compromised MSMer.

And then there's yesterday's broadside by Lee Siegel of The New Republic. Responding, ironically enough, to TNR's blog, the Plank, and its hyping of a non-story about Markos Moulitsas and Jerome Armstrong (and other large-trafficked lefty bloggers) daring to exert people power, here's what Siegel says about the blogosphere: "It radiates democracy's dream of full participation but practices democracy's nightmare of populist crudity, character-assassination, and emotional stupefaction. It's hard fascism with a Microsoft face. It puts some people, like me, in the equally bizarre position of wanting desperately for Joe Lieberman to lose the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont so that true liberal values might, maybe, possibly prevail, yet at the same time wanting Lamont, the hero of the blogosphere, to lose so that the fascistic forces ranged against Lieberman might be defeated." This is not to mention how much our "thuggishness" and "frivolity" upsets Siegel.

So Siegel actually spends time worrying that bloggers might be influencing voters. How fucking dare we upset the moral order, the food chain, the Great Chain of Being. Man, we should all be good little Wonkettes and write cutesy "insider" novels and not worry our widdle heads about the big bad world of real politics. Siegel can lick the Rude Pundit's scrotum.

The Rude Pundit did not attend Yearly Kos for a number of reasons, most of them related to the fact that he has a job and that he doesn't like to go to conferences where he isn't speaking (and that's across the board in the bloggy and non-bloggy world). But never, not once, did it cross his mind that Markos Moulitsas is a megalomaniacal ur-blogger who wants us all to bow down to his Daily Kossiness. In fact, having briefly met and talked to Markos (at the time he spoke to Markos, the Rude Pundit thought he was going to Vegas, but then he remembered that Vegas sucks balls), the Rude Pundit was struck by how naively optimistic Markos is, in good and bad ways. See, he actually thinks he's going to make some kind of change in the nation; that's the kind of person that people are going to follow. And that scares so many who are entrenched in keeping the influence club closed. Or who wanna get into the club where the cool kids are.

Bottom line: the Rude Pundit doesn't give a flying fuck if Markos and other bloggers have a backroom discussion list where they can chat about who the hottest candidate running for President is; the Rude Pundit doesn't give a shit if there's such a thing on the right. And you know what, MSMers? This is all pretty fuckin' new out here in the hinterlands of Blogworld. We don't give a good goddamn about your rules or traditions. We get to make up our rules as we go along - if you as a reader don't like it, well, fuck it, click over to another blog or the blogs of almost every major newspaper or magazine in the country. And, really, and, c'mon, aren't you just a little jealous at our liberatory excesses? Wouldn't you like to write that Dick Cheney's a barely human, oozing, feces-covered demi-gorgon who rips the heads off ducklings just for sport?

But take heart, young bloggers: when they start attacking you for more than just being crazed maddogs who can't get out of their mothers' basements and face the real world, well, then you truly have arrived. Even if they might be better off spending their time dealing with the real liars in this world.

(For the last couple of years, the Rude Pundit has resisted a great deal of the typical self-reflexivity that afflicts blogs. It's the same reason the Rude Pundit hates hip-hop songs that are about the rapper rapping about him or herself. This will not be an ongoing thing here.)

Update- The Horrible Truth
: Markos Moulitsas looks smaller on TV than in person. He is actually seven feet tall, with hands that could crush a bowling ball. He sharpens his teeth by chewing beer bottles, and the rumor is that he shot Billmon just for snoring. He scares us all because he enters our villages and eats our livestock at night. Please help us, TNR, please end the tyranny.


Why Bill O'Reilly Ought To Be Sodomized With a Microphone, Part 1841 (With a Side Note on the Need To Drop a Nude Laura Ingraham in the Middle of Taliban Territory):
Here's a question Bill O'Reilly actually asked Laura Ingraham on his Fox "News" show this week: "Do you think Howard Dean helps the enemy?" This was followed by O'Reilly asking Ingraham if she thinks Jack Murtha and Jimmy Carter help the enemy. And how are these fine American men "helping the enemy"?

See, if Howard Dean was sending cologne bottles filled with anthrax to Osama Bin Laden and Jack Murtha was selling Kalashnikovs on the streets of Basra and Jimmy Carter was teaching the Taliban how to better fuck captured enemy asses "Deliverance"-style (it all has to do with a technique more suited to donkeys than goats), well, then we'd have somethin' to talk about. But here's the nutzoid rantings of O'Reilly on what treason Jimmy Carter has wrought: "He signs the torture ad along with the reverends, and the torture ad, as I told the reverend, shows up in the Arab press."

And then Ingraham, not to be topped in her self-immolating hatred of Democratic ex-Presidents, slithered, "Nobel Prize-winner criticizing the United States', like, torture policy, which of course, as you pointed out, we do not have a torture policy in the United States." How dare a Nobel Peace Prize winner agitate for, say, peace and justice. They should all be like Henry Kissinger or Yasser Arafat, hardcore motherfuckers who'll wave a white hankie with one hand and drive the other fist up the asses of refugees and/or children and be damned proud that they took their Nobel Peace Prizes while advocating mass murder.

No, no, Murtha, Dean, and Carter are vile fuckers, as is the Red Cross. No, really, according to O'Reilly, the International Red Cross "I submit is the reason that the three Al-Qaeda suspects committed suicide, because International Red Cross told the Americans you've got to give them privacy and tape up the window and they did. And you take up the window, you can't see in. They can go hang themselves. " That's right. According to O'Reilly, who, of course, has recently said he'd run Iraq with all the vicious force of Saddam Hussein, the reason why the Gitmo detainees offed themselves was because no one could watch them do it.

Watching O'Reilly and Ingraham "discuss" what they consider the fine line between dissent and treason (if by "fine line," you mean "no line") is a little like watching a pair of scorpions about to fuck. Male and female scorpions extend their pincers and lock together, pulling back and forth. It's a kind of dance wherein the male drops a packet o' sperm that the female will get hooked into into her scorpion cooter. It's kind of cool and sick at the same time, and, despite whatever scientific observations can be made, you just end up feeling disgusted and sad at the end.


Springsteen's Travels:
The Rude Pundit has long been friends with members of the seminal Argentinean theatre troupe, Diablomundo. In their early days, back in the 1970s, the performers of Diablomundo would stage theatrical events in places like soccer stadiums and subways. For instance, once they put on a mock wedding, complete with food and music and dancing in the subways of Buenos Aires, and the train riders were invited to join in. And they did. Yes, it was absurd, and it was over the top. But the point, they said, was to show that in a time of great repression - this was during the Peronista reign, when people were regularly diappeared for "subversive" activity - one needed to show people that it was possible to still have joy, to tap into something deep within the culture to bring out that joy.

Last night, in Camden, New Jersey, on the edge of the Delaware River, Bruce Springsteen was after the same goal. Despite his long fandom (although not of the slavering "gimme every bootleg" variety of scary Boss pseudo-stalkers), the Rude Pundit's had problems with Springsteen the last few years. See, during the E Street Band reunion tour (or the "Clarence Needs a Retirement Fund" Tour) and the later tour for the post-9/11 album The Rising, the theatricality of his shows seemed strained, the attempts at turning the rock concert into a religious revival so explicit as to render them pedantic, and if the Rude Pundit had to hear that fucker play "Born to Run" one more goddamn time, posing with the band like a group photo at Sears, his head was going to explode with the hope of taking Springsteen down with the skull shrapnel. In other words, the band was getting more than a little filled with shit. And the Live in New York City HBO concert and DVD made him want to burn down the fuckin' boardwalk. Sure, sure, you can say that those shows were gifts to the longtime fans who just wanted to taste a little of that Asbury Park glory one last time. And there were times it was great. But if you wanted to see a Springsteen tribute band, well, the Jersey shore's filthy with them.

Now, with the Seeger Sessions band, Springsteen was looser, more really, genuinely alive than the Rude Pundit had seen him since, well, fuck, 1984. Sure, sure, the crowd was still uncomfortably older, balder, Starbucks-scented, and white. But almost no one was there to hear "Born to Run." No, what they were there to do was to join Springsteen in a big damn singalong of the American folk songs from Springsteen's recent album, along with a couple of massively reconfigured songs from his back catalog. Moving between Dixieland jazz, Tejano music, blues, and old time rock and roll, Springsteen was the ringleader, the focal point of the energy. And that energy was about creating community and instilling a notion of joy in a shared musical heritage.

There were directly political moments, like when the band did "Mrs. McGrath," the old anti-war song in which a mother learns that her son has lost his legs in battle. When Springsteen slightly revised the last lyrics (changing the nation mentioned), singing, "I'd rather have my Teddy as he used to be/ Than the King of America and his whole navy," the audience shouted in affirmation, perhaps their thoughts filled with images of the two tortured, dead Americans we found out about that morning. And then there's all the songs that celebrate the working class and surviving the Depression, like "John Henry" or "Pay Me My Money Down," which was a rave-up with the entire audience singing, "Pay me, pay me, pay me my money down." The Rude Pundit hasn't seen such a subversive moment in a concert since Beck got a crowd to chant, "I'm a loser, baby. Why don't you kill me?"

In so many ways, the show was intensely political. Hell, just the invocation of Seeger's name is enough to give it an anti-war thrust. But mostly Springsteen used the occasion to empower the audience and say that in this time of a crushingly awful war, an abusive government, incompetence that kills people, and nature itself turning on us, it is possible - indeed, it's necessary - to throw your hands in the air and dance like a maniac.
Late Posting Today:
Spent yesterday in Philadelphia. Pretended the Rude Pundit was a Justice Department lawyer and fucked the crack in the Liberty Bell. Demanded to be brought the skull of Ben Franklin to boil for soup. Ate cheesesteak.

Saw Springsteen in Camden, NJ last night. More on that in a political (and not in a geek-fan-Eric-Alterman-goddamn-do-you-wanna-blow-Bruce?) way later. For now, cream for a metal-chafed cock and sleep.


Cutting and Running - A History Lesson:
As the frothing right madly pounces on any intimation that the United States should get the fuck out of Iraq before it engulfs us into a swirl of dusty insanity, screaming "Cut and run" with all the pathetic force of "flip-flop" before it, it would do us well to remind the right that they are, essentially, saying that Ronald Reagan was a big pussy. For history is a harsh motherfucker. It'll drag you by the short hairs into the alley and beat you unconscious before it fucks your anus raw so that you wake up, bruised, sphincter bleeding, confused, only thinking, "Goddamn, history just kicked my ass."

'Cause nobody'd accuse Caspar Weinberger of being a limp-wristed lefty when he was the Gipper's Secretary of Defense. Tough-minded son of a bitch oversaw Reagan's massive, budget-wrecking build-up of the military, wanted him some Star Wars, and kicked commie surfer ass in Grenada. Say what you will about Cap Weinberger, he had the backs of the military a great deal more than, say, Donald Rumsfeld, getting them pay raises, benefits, and outlining the Weinberger Doctrine of military intervention (later appropriated by Colin Powell). And, perhaps just as importantly, he wanted the United States to get the fuck out of Lebanon months before the Beirut barracks bombing in October 1983.

From Lou Cannon's book President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime, page 361: With Secretary of State George Shultz and National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane "making patriotism the test of U.S. commitment in Lebanon, Weinberger was on the losing side of the national security argument. 'He [Reagan] was being told all this stuff,' Weinberger said. 'Marines don't cut and run. Americans don't run when the going gets tough. Americans don't pull down the flag. I said, "Nonsense, they're not doing any good over there." But these arguments appealed to the president.'" This was in the spring of 1983.

The Marines were in the middle of a goddamned civil war, sent there in July of 1982 to keep the peace. On February 4, 1984, months after 241 Marines were killed in that explosion, Reagan made a radio address where he said, "Yes, the situation in Lebanon is difficult, frustrating, and dangerous. But that is no reason to turn our backs on our friends and to cut and run. If we do, we'll be sending one signal to terrorists everywhere: they can gain by waging war against innocent people."

Then, quite interestingly, Reagan continued, "The men and women who patrol our streets here at home also face great dangers every day. But the greatest danger of all would be to yank those police officers off the streets and to leave our neighborhoods and families at the mercy of criminals. If we're to be secure in our homes and in the world, we must stand together against those who threaten us. This is a time for unity, not partisan politics."

Of course, Weinberger eventually got McFarlane on his side, and Reagan pulled the U.S. troops out of Lebanon at the end of that same month. Man, what a punk ass bitch Reagan was.

The script never changes for Republicans. Without fear and projected machismo, they have nothing. By instilling fear and spouting bravado, they can go on getting Americans killed for as long as they want.

By the way, Lebanon's not doing too badly these days as a kind of democracy in the Middle East. Of course, the civil war lasted for fifteen years. But the United States was only there for less than two of them.


Two Captured American Soldiers and the Implied "What If":
Chances are, maybe even by the time you read this, the two American soldiers, captured by the Mujahideen Shura Council in Iraq, will be dead, probably in some horrible way, probably with their bodies dumped like all the horribly murdered Iraqis in the blood and gore-strewn landscape that are the markers of Iraqi liberation. The Rude Pundit can't help thinking, though, about the implied "What if" of the capture, on the field of battle, of American soldiers, prisoners of war, if you will.

What if we get pictures of the soldiers, nude, cowering, screaming in a corner, shitting themselves on the filthy floors of a makeshift cell, as their captors hold snarling dogs on leashes just out of bite range of the soldiers?

What if we learn that their captors decide that the soldiers can offer intelligence that can be of use to al-Qaeda and, in order to get that information, the captors put the nude soldiers into rooms that are heated to hellish temperatures, followed by rooms that are impossibly cold with colder water tossed onto them? What if the soldiers are made to stand for days on end? Put into stress positions that fuck up their muscles and limbs? Denied sleep? Had loud music played into their cells? Kept in isolation and fed bread and water for days, weeks on end?

What if they strap one or both of those Americans to a board and hold them underwater until their drowning reflex forces them to panic, thrash, claw desperately for air, only to be brought up to breathe and then placed underwater again? And again? Until the captors get the answers they seek?

What if those captors take the nude, sleep-deprived, shit and piss-covered, nearly drowned and dog-frightened American soldiers and handcuff them to beds with women's panties on their heads, snapping photographs and laughing, talking about publishing the photos so that everyone can see the soldiers with their panty-sniffing heads and terror-shriveled cocks, so that all of al-Qaeda can laugh at what pussies Americans can be made to seem?

What if, and, really, does it need to be said, they are made to stand, hooded, with faux electrodes attached to their nuts and fingers, told that if they don't start answering questions, well, testicles only can take so much electroshock before they just pop like squeezed grapes?

What will our government do? What could it do? Could it condemn the actions as not abiding by the Geneva Conventions? Could it call the actions "torture"? Could it demand accountability? Could it demand that the soldiers be treated as POWs? Could it simply say, "Well, we don't do that shit...anymore"?

And what about the good right-wing punditry? Would Rush Limbaugh look at the photos of the nude, cowering Americans and say it looks like fraternity hazing or some such shit? Would others dismiss it as a media fabrication? Or would they just pathetically overlook everything done in our American names to Iraqis, Afghanis, and others, calling madly for the heads of the captors, not even thinking about the irony of such a statement?

It goes without saying, but, considering the times, perhaps it needs to be said: the Rude Pundit wishes none of this on Privates Thomas Tucker and Kristian Menchaca. He hopes they are found or released safe and sound. But he also wishes none of this on our prisoners, whether in Iraq, at Gitmo, or in secret prisons or countries of rendition where fuck-all can happen with no law, no regulation, no hope to bespeak our putative humanity.


A Couple of Quick Notes Pre-Tequila:
1. The Rude Pundit rejected a stealth anti-net neutrality ad. Can he have his fuckin' merit badge now?

2. No, the Rude Pundit hasn't given up on trying to get the Ann Coulter plagiarism story out of Left Blogsylvania and into the mainstream. But he has little hope.

3. The Joe Lieberman's Ned Lamont/bear cub ad is the fruitiest fuckin' political commercial the Rude Pundit's seen in some time. Really, an ad could have shown Joe Lieberman getting gang-fucked by the Senate Majority leadership while being forced to eat bacon and he'd've escaped with more dignity.
Notes on the Debate of the Damned on a Pissant Little Resolution:
God, what a punkass weenie of a resolution H. Res. 861 is. As the House of Representatives winds down its debate of the damned, as CNN's Miles O'Brien queries about the possible damage done to Democrats (by, one presumes, voting against a war that two-thirds of Americans think is a clusterfuck the likes of which isn't seen in the darkest anthill orgies in South America). It's a pussy resolution, a bait and switch, a way for weaklings to make themselves seem all big and strong. And it's gonna pass, of course, of course, it's gonna pass, 'cause the liberated Karl Rove has deemed it so. (Actually, it just did.)

First off, HR 861 is the psychic hotline of resolutions. It predicts the future in its very opening line: "the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror." The rest of the resolution is just an "O, Hail Great leader" list of the many and sundry "accomplishments" of the war, like all the motherfuckin' elections, man, in Afghanistan and Iraq, because, you know, they've really made all the difference in the world. Then it resolves that the House of Representatives "declares that the United States is committed to the completion of the mission to create a sovereign, free, secure, and united Iraq" before once again making a prediction about the future of the war. Which war? Why the war war, the one we're fighting. That war, the one in Iraq, which is the same as the other war, the war that's not in Iraq but is being fought...where, exactly? 'Cause is Afghanistan still about terrorists or the Taliban? Near as the Rude Pundit can tell, the War on Terror is being fought in the United States, just with stupid fucking laws and time-wasting debates instead of, you know, catching terrorists.

Yeah, they're committed, these brave (mostly) Republicans, to staying in Iraq no matter how many Americans die. In fact, the more dead, the better, 'cause that'll show just how committed we are. In fact, the more money, the better. No one's gonna say that Uncle Same gives up, even when he's hemhorraging cash and blood and credibility. Did Don Quixote give up? Fuckin' never. Not until he was good and dead.

But, hey, here's some highlights of the debate of the damned over the pissant, worthless piece of shit HR 861, which put into perspective what the resolution's really about:

Republican Charlie Norwood of Georgia: "Many, not all, of the other side of the aisle lack the will to win. The American people need to know precisely who they are. If there are any on this side of the aisle who hold the same view, this will allow them to be found out as well. Then the public can decide the course of this war in November by hopefully throwing the defeatists out of office."

Republican Tom Cole of Oklahoma: "Iraq is a crucial theater. What happens there with our military, what happens with the Iraqis is determinative to the outcome; but I would also suggest that the United States is itself a battlefield, a political battlefield. The real question is whether or not we will sustain the will that it takes to ultimately be successful, and that decision will be made not in Iraq but in Congress and in the United States itself. So what we are about today is a fight, I think, that involves us on the most critical battlefield of all, the battlefield of American public opinion."

Republican Doc Hastings of Washington: "When George Washington was elected the first President there was a king in France, a czarina in Russia, an emperor in China, and a shogun in Japan. The American President was the only elected leader at the time. Today, countries on every continent elect their own leaders. The number of democracies currently stands at an all-time high, and has been growing without interruption for some time. Freedom and self-government is on the march around the world. History has shown that those countries who elect their leaders are less belligerent than those that do not."

Unless, you know, one putative democracy wishes to force another country to become a democracy. Then all bets are off.

And Democrat Jack Murtha of Pennsylvania: "We can't win this. This cannot be won rhetorically. We cannot sit here, stand here in an air-conditioned office and say we support the troops, say we support the policy. I visit the hospitals every week, and the only person to visit them more than I do is Bill Young and his wife. I see these young people. I am so impressed by their determination, and I am so hopeful we can end this terrible tragedy. When I got into this 6 months ago, I got into it because of the troops and because of the fact that I felt we couldn't do anything more militarily. We had done everything we could do militarily, and, second, because of the future of the military."

By the way, Ann Coulter thinks Murtha oughta be fragged. How dare that fuckin' guy be able to speak from his 37 years of Marine experience, huh? Anyone in the mainstream media want to make Coulter a pariah yet?

Corrected: An earlier version of this referred to HR 861 as a "bill." It is a resolution. A bill would actually make the legislators have to think about possible action, rather than just bullshit pontificating.


Why Ann Coulter's Plagiarism Matters (And Why No One Will Give a Damn):
For the last week, in several posts and articles, the Rude Pundit and Ron Brynaert of Raw Story have detailed the multiple plagiarized and unattributed passages from Ann Coulter in her "book" Godless. In fact, it's hard to tell what part of the book doesn't have plagiarism or unattributed (or wrongly attributed) passages. For some reason, the story doesn't rate discussion (as of this writing) in the mainstream media in the same way that the plagiarism of Ben Domenech (ersatz ex-Washington Post blogger) and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin rated coverage.

The Weekly Standard, back in 2002, took Goodwin to task for direct quote plagiarism and "insufficient attribution" in her book The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys. Here's one of the examples, taken from an earlier book by Hank Searls. Searls wrote: "He turned helplessly to his old classmate Campbell, then fought his way blindly through hysterical fans to the field to comfort his son." And here's Goodwin: "[He] turned helplessly to Tommy Campbell, then fought his way through the hysterical fans to provide solace to his son." Much more of Goodwin's plagiarism was word-for-word from other sources that she cited in her book, just not for the plagiarized material.

As Timothy Noah in Slate said, "This is not a gray area." Then Noah went on to cite the freshman composition policy on plagiarism from Harvard, where Goodwin got her PhD and taught. Goodwin's defense was that she had used "extensive footnotes." The problem, of course, and the reason for the feeding frenzy, was that she had not used enough.

No, Ann Coulter is not a scholar by any horribly screeching stretch of the word. Still, her annointment as a spokesperson for the conservative right on talk shows and in newspapers means there are some standards to which she ought to be held. Honesty ought to be high on that list. Her plagiarism, in any ethical sense of the word, is huge. Hell, compared to Coulter, Goodwin's double-dotted her eyes. Because Coulter's plagiarism is more like Domenech's: taking things from sources that are not ever cited. Much of what has been found in Godless has come from right wing websites or speakers, so the chances of someone suing Coulter is practically nil. And when we get to passages like the list of treatments done with adult stem cells that Coulter cribs almost entirely from an Illinois right-to-life website, well, you know, would it have killed her to have used some quotation marks around "Reversing severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) with genetically modified adult cells" when the Illinois site stated, "Reverse severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) (using genetically modified adult stem cells)." Maybe a footnote to give props to the source?

In the scheme of things, no, the story of Coulter's plagiarism is not more important than anything going on in Iraq, any election, any bill or debate in Congress, anything going on in the economy, volcanoes, hurricanes, and more. But, in terms of news, it's a fuck of a lot more important than anything that has to do with a weeping Britney, Brangelina, a $1.7 million car that's a lemon, and a naked guy trying to get his girlfriend to marry him, all of which are receiving extensive coverage. The Coulter story is about the basic acceptance of dishonesty in the conservative movement. Indeed, the right functions only because of liars and cheats and grifters who are aided and abetted by a media that refuses to call them on their lies.

The Rude Pundit doesn't buy the whole "ignore her and she'll go away" bullshit put out by so many on the Left. Coulter ain't going away. And ask yourself this question: If some right-wing blogger discovered that Michael Moore had plagiarized parts of one of his books, what kind of crazy explosion of conservative joy would ejaculate from the columns, computers, and Fox "News" correspondents? (By the way, the Rude Pundit isn't comparing Coulter and Moore - Moore doesn't beat up on 9/11 widows or mothers who lost their children in the war. It's a fine, but significant, distinction.)

At the end of the day, though, chances are this story's gonna fade away. The media has gotten so used to liars and con artists shaping the discourse that this is just more background noise. Hey, they didn't go after the Bush administration for lying about the war. Why bother with this blonde kooz? Truly, too, Coulter has created a wonderful trap: she hates the media, so if she's attacked for her hate, it just proves her hate is valid. Generally, those are the kind of people you shake your head at as you take away their sharp implements.

And if the right truly gave a happy monkeyfuck about things like "ethics" and "morals," then Dick Morris, Rush Limbaugh, Bill Bennett, and so, so many more would be whipped in the town square as they are being chased out of the gates. So don't expect the Weekly Standard to get all indignant about Coulter. They need her, the conservative movement, because her madness makes the rest of them look sane. It's like if you go to a nuthouse and see the strait-jacketed screaming guy who eats his own shit in the rubber room. Then the wandering, muttering schizos don't look so bad.

If there's one thing the Rude Pundit can say to anyone in the mainstream media who may have checked out this story, it's this: Coulter beat up on women whose husbands burned to death because those women wanted to find out why their husbands burned to death and they supported the guy who wasn't the President when their husbands burned to death. Don't you wanna take this bitch down?


And Another Piece of Plagiarism in Ann Coulter's Godless:
Honestly, Ann, this is getting so easy, it's embarassing both of us.

From page 37 of Coulter's "book" (a phrase that's becoming less and less true), regarding the murder of a young girl, Tiffany Eunick, by the adolescent Lionel Tate, who claimed he was imitating pro-wrestlers on TV: "[T]he judge called it 'inconceivable' that Tiffany's injuries were caused by wrestling moves. After the trial, Tate's new lawyers admitted that the 'wrestling defense' was 'bogus.'"

From the Parents Television Council's retraction to World Wrestling Entertainment for statements made against the WWE, from July 2002: "[T]he presiding Judge said that it was 'inconceivable' that Tiffany Eunick’s injuries were caused by Lionel Tate mimicking wrestling moves. Indeed, since the trial ended, Lionel Tate’s new lawyers have filed court papers in which they admit that the 'wrestling defense' was, in their words, 'bogus.'"

Much the same wording and the same quoted words and phrases. And, of course, there's not only no citation for the PTC's retraction (written by L. Brent Bozell, no stranger to crazed conservative statements himself), there's no source for any of Coulter's information on the Tate case. (This is not to mention that Coulter says the murder occurred in 2001. Actually, Tate killed Eunick in 1999.)

At some point, can this get a quarter of the attention that, say, Doris Kearns Goodwin's plagiarism allegations got from the mainstream media? Or does Coulter get a pass? More, as they say, tomorrow.

Remember: Raw Story's on the case, too.
More Ann Coulter Plagiarism (Updated):
(Relatively profanity-free for tender ears.)
The Rude Pundit has been investigating Ann Coulter's new "book" Godless for potential plagiarism, having discovered at least one rather textbook example and one suspicious simlarity in the first chapter. But, still and all, it didn't amount to much unless more parts of the book were shown to be plagiarized. So here ya go.

The Rude Pundit and Ron Brynaert of Raw Story are offering more examples of Coulter's loose belief in giving credit where credit is due if that credit is not hers. Brynaert's work will appear at Raw Story.

The following is from Coulter's chapter on the Willie Horton furlough case from the 1988 election campaign, following Coulter's belief that one should continue to fight battles that are decades old:

From page 66 of Godless: "Other murderers furloughed by Dukakis included Donald Robertson and Bradford Boyd. Robertson raped a ninety-three-year-old woman and her seventy-two-year-old daughter and then stamped on their chests so hard that he crushed their internal organs."

From an October 27, 1988 press conference with Republican Senate candidate Alan Keyes and Cliff Barnes, who was nearly murdered by the furloughed Willie Horton, Barnes said: "Donald Robertson raped a 93-year-old woman and her 72-year-old daughter. Okay? After he raped them, he kicked them and beat them so bad, he crushed their chests and the internal organs in their chests."

Awfully damn similar, no? This next part is not direct plagiarism, but it's important nonetheless.

On page 66-67, Coulter finishes what she says about Robertson with this: "Despite being sentenced to two consecutive life terms, Robertson was released under Michael Dukakis's furlough program after only eight years in prison."

Barnes, in 1988, said: Robertson's "sentence was overturned to two life terms to serve consecutively, without the possibility of parole. Eight years later, he escaped on a weekend pass."

On page 67, Coulter continues: "Bradford Boyd was serving time for rape when he committed first-degree murder in prison. Still, he was furloughed. While out on furlough, he viciously beat a man, repeatedly raped a woman, and then killed himself."

Barnes, in the press conference continued: "Bradford Boyd was a convicted rapist and went to prison in Massachusetts. While in prison, in a controlled environment, behind locked doors with armed guards, committed first-degree murder in prison and that didn't preclude him from getting weekend passes. He went out, kidnapped -- he beat his sponsor and tied him up, with a gun -- beat him with a gun and tied him up, kidnapped a lady guest of the house, drug her off to some orphanage, and repeatedly raped her, and his final testimonial to suitability for the furlough program, blew his own brains out right beside her."

Now, here's the thing: Not only does Coulter blatantly cut and paste the first part, she also presents the exact same information in the exact same order as Barnes did back in 1988, including many directly quoted phrases, without citing anywhere the source for the information. As if it just appeared out of thin air. No footnotes. No mention in the text.

How do we know that Coulter took the information from that press conference, led by Alan Keyes' campaign manager William Kristol? Because there's only place between Google and Nexis that has the names "Bradford Boyd" and "Charles Robertson" in the same place: the Keyes press conference transcript.

Oh, and there's this: Coulter quotes Alan Keyes from the press conference. On page 71, citation-less, Coulter writes, "As Alan Keyes said, when Democrats 'look at Willie Horton they see a black man. When I look at him, I see a rapist and a murderer.'" The only place, again, in Google or Nexis that the quote appears is that press conference transcript. So Coulter had to have used the Alan Keyes press conference. And its mention is simply absent from Godless.

It would have been simple for Coulter to avoid even seeming like she plagiarized: a couple of quotation marks, one of those footnotes she's always bragging about. But she didn't. And she's either trying to steal so she can look smarter than she actually is or her work (and the work of her editors) is just damned sloppy or she just doesn't give a good goddamn and neither do the majority of her readers and the interviewers who keep inviting her to come on their shows to gurgle madly for a while.

Is Coulter committing plagiarism? Well, according to every definition of plagiarism - the use of ideas that are not your own without attribution - it sure seems like it. Hell, let's check out what Coulter's alma mater, Cornell University, says about plagiarism: In addition to direct quotation, it's "where you reproduce part or all of someone else’s idea in your own words (commonly known as paraphrasing), where you use or summarize someone else’s research, where you use facts or data that are not common knowledge, where you reproduce source material in slightly altered form while retaining the main idea or structure. Both direct and indirect citations require proper documentation."

The University of Michigan, where Coulter attended law school, says: "Plagiarism is representing someone else's ideas, words, statements or other works as one's own without proper acknowledgment or citation. Examples of plagiarism are: Copying word for word or lifting phrases or a special term from a source or reference without proper attribution. Paraphrasing: using another person's written words or ideas, albeit in one's own words, as if they were one's own thought. Borrowing facts, statistics, or other illustrative material without proper reference, unless the information is common knowledge, in common public use."

So in any college freshman class, Coulter would be given a failing grade and possibly ejected from the school for her acts. Is there any reason she shouldn't be held to the same standard for her books where she allegedly demonstrates her "expertise" in pulling together information to screech crazily about liberals? And if so much of what she wrote is so easily demonstrated to be plagiarism, why should anyone, of any political stripe, pay attention to the rest of it?

For Gawker and Scoop readers who may be returning here for more info, we can now say we're at Defcon Jacko.

When the story comes up, the Rude Pundit will link to it at Raw Story. Ron Brynaert has more fun examples.

Tomorrow: why all of this matters.

Extra bonus hypocrisy points: despite Coulter's condemnations of the 9/11 widows for getting involved in pushing for the 9/11 commission and endorsing John Kerry, she seems to have no problem with Cliff Barnes exploiting his personal tragedy to change the furlough program in Massachusetts, as well as campaigning with Republicans in 1988. (Barnes did not specifically endorse a candidate, but he did not appear with Democrats.)

Update: The first of several Raw Story articles is up. It spanks Coulter for nearly word-for-word plagiarism, without citation, of a pro-life website. Chances are, this list and its exact wording are not "common knowledge," as so many defenders of Coulter's "research" and "writing" methods wish to assert.
Reader Fluffing 101:
At least part of the dirty deed is done. More of Ann Coulter's possible plagiarism in the morning. Now, to the vodka freezer.


Ann Coulter Hurts The Rude Pundit's Brain:
Here's one sentence from page 95 of Ann Coulter's "book," Godless, defending Judge Charles Pickering: "In 1966, he testified against Klan member Sam Bowers, on trial for murdering civil rights activist Vernon Damer."

Here's the transcript of a 60 Minutes profile of Pickering: "Back in 1966, after civil rights activist Vernon Damer was killed by a firebomb, and notorious Klan leader Sam Bowers was charged with the murder, Pickering, then prosecutor in a nearby county, testified that Bowers had a reputation for violence."

The problem here is not plagiarism as much as it's just more cut and paste stupidity. Why? Because, see, for one thing, Bowers was charged with the 1966 killing of Vernon Dahmer and Pickering testified in 1967. But since Coulter's just taking it all from the 60 Minutes profile, which she doesn't cite until two pages and two footnotes later, she simply copies the exact same errors that CBS made.

Is this minor league shit? No. It's a constant pattern that, in a very objective, non-ideological way, ought to discredit Coulter. None of what the Rude Pundit is saying has to do with what Coulter believes or the strange way she scrawls her mad rantings in her own feces. And it's giving the Rude Pundit a fuckin' headache.

Like, for instance, Coulter "writes," "In a 1996 Los Angeles Times poll, 27 percent of respondents said they were more likely to vote for Bush because he was pro-life, but only 18 percent said they were more likely to vote for Al Gore because he was pro-choice." Now one could say the problem here is that nowhere in the entire chapter does Coulter offer a citation for this info and more from the poll. However, instead, howzabout this: umm, that'd be the year "2000." That ain't a typo. A typo would be "2020" or "3000." And this ain't about "de-bunking" or some such bullshit. She's just wrong. Objectively, demonstrably, factually wrong. On the simplest level. Oh, and it also ain't nitpicking to say that getting names and dates right might be important in a "book."

Again, this is just from glancing at the "book." No real effort required other than an ability to Google.

When the Rude Pundit purchased Coulter's "book," he went to an out of the way megastore where he could be anonymous. He asked for a paper bag so no one could see what he was carrying. He's been less discreet about buying lesbian porn mags. In fact, when he got it home, the Rude Pundit took the Coulter cover off and wrapped it in a copy of Chicks With Dicks. He'd rather people think that he jacks off to she-males than that he reads Ann Coulter.
The Rude Pundit On Your iPod:
The Rude Pundit's CD, The Year of Living Rudely, is now available for purchase and download on iTunes. Listen as George W. Bush fucks a squirrel monkey, as Dick Cheney reads Christmas stories to Iraqi children, and more. The CD features the Rude Pundit and the Rude Players in a version of last summer's sold-out one-rude-man show. Buy a track or the whole mean-spirited, angry left spit in the eye to the Bush administration.

Also, soon, an announcement of another live performance by the Rude Pundit. In Tom DeLay's backyard.
Investigating Coulter For Plagiarism (Updated):
Okay, gang, let's take a breath. The Rude Pundit's working with Raw Story to suss out other possibly plagiarized parts of Ann Coulter's "book" Godless. And surely there are others out in Left Blogsylvania doing the same.

Since this story's been picked up by the gossip pages at MSNBC and Gawker (as well as at Huffington Post - the Rude Pundit's always loved you, Arianna, and your sexy ouzo-infused voice), let's put this in terms of celebrity child-rearing, if Coulter was the child:

Right now, we're at Defcon Britney - the kid's not wearing a seatbelt. Hopefully, later today or this week, we'll be at Defcon Jacko - dangling the kid over the balcony. And maybe soon, fingers crossed, we'll get to Defcon Mommie Dearest.

Update: Here's the links to the Rude Pundit's evidence:
From June 9.
From today.
And a spanking new one tonight.

Are we at Defcon Jacko or Mommie Dearest?


Redefining Suicide Down:
Over in a graveyard in Sutton Courtenay, in Oxfordshire, England, a strange noise was heard from underground this past weekend. Those who listened closely heard a jawbone clicking open and shut and a wheezing, breathy laughter, followed by a barely perceptible, "Oh, fuck, that's fucking rich," followed by more hideous laughter. Indeed, there are those who say that George Orwell's bones were heaving with such laughter that ribs cracked and the earth itself shook.

What prompted the long dead and more than patient Orwell skeleton to become so charged with energy that it let out a decades-suppressed guffaw? Of course it is the language used by some U.S. officials in the wake of the "suicides" of three Guantanamo detainees.

Why, there was when "the camp's commander, Navy Rear Admiral Harry Harris, said the suicides were an al-Qaida tactic. 'They have no regard for life, neither ours nor their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us,' he said." Yeah, one might guess, it is "asymmetrical" because, you know, they did the killing for us. One presumes that the only symmetrical act would be for three of our soldiers to off themselves. That'd show 'em. Harris is a madman, the Jack D. Ripper of detention camps, as evidenced by his spinning of the recent Gitmo riot.

And then there was when the State Department's Colleen Graffy described the suicides as "a good PR move to draw attention." It's as if the two Saudis and the Yemeni men were teenagers trying to get back at their parents for grounding them instead of desperate men, perhaps terrorists, although we're not really allowed to judge that, who had been deprived every means of challenging their detentions, tortured, isolated, degraded, and abandoned.

Colleen Graffy has been a Gitmo apologist for a year or so now, offering this editorial comment in the Guardian in March: "Most people are unaware that each detainee has had a combatant status review tribunal to challenge his designation as an enemy combatant as well as a yearly administrative review board, similar to a parole board." She calls this "their habeas corpus rights." Graffy's a Pepperdine conservative tool, a former head of Republicans Abroad in the UK. According to an interview, Graffy said that the detainees would one day "declare that they no longer want to kill us." Is that all that's holding back the hundreds in Gitmo from freedom? Saying, "Uncle"?

While the Bush administration has backed away from the statements now, for people in an official position to even feel as if they can talk about non-bombing suicide as an act of war means we have reached linguistic depths of redefinition that defy rational thought. Where torture is not torture because someone says they don't define torture that way. Words are meaningless, as the Gitmo detainees, innocent and guilty, know well. All that's left is action.

How depraved and hubristic does a nation have to be to not just shut the fuck up when prisoners in its secret concentration camp kill themselves? But when all you've got is spin, everything must be spun, like Orwell in that grave.

Note: The Rude Pundit's gonna suck it up and take one for the team. He'll buy Ann Coulter's book and check for more potential plagiarism.


Zarqawi Corpse:
Man, the Rude Pundit can't get enough of the pictures of the Zarqawi Corpse, everywhere, all over your CNNMSNBCFox, any time his name is mentioned, in the corner next to morning hotties, on the front of all your daily rags, there's those close-up pictures, showin' his corpsy face, all dead and bloody and bruised and shit. Shit, at the military briefing, fuckin' photo was framed, man, ready to go over the mantle at Crawford. The only thing that'd be better is if they actually would have had to stitch back together a shattered skull, like a gory jigsaw puzzle, to let us know that Abu Musad al-Zarqawi is really, really, really, dead - see? Get it? He's dead. Took two five-hundred pound bunker busters to do it, but motherfucker's dead.

'Course, oh, sweet jihadi inspiration, Zarqawi wasn't killed instantly. He was alive when troops on the ground went into the ex-house to see who was dead. But motherfucker dies, and, indeed, when evil people die, why not dance a little on their graves? Fuck Zarqawi. He got what he was beggin' for. We got bigger fish to fry.

It was a sign of just how far the President's fortunes have fallen that he didn't have a press conference where he took out the Zarqawi Corpse and danced with it before announcing, "Hey, Osama, lookit what I'm a-gonna do to ya," proceeded by the President of the United States fucking the cold anus of the dead terrorist. Instead of ripping off Zarqawi's arms, tossing one to Donald Rumsfeld, and joyously engaging in a child-like duel, Bush merely stepped to the podium and sighed, like a teenaged football player on a team that's gone 0 and 6 told to act humble after scoring one midseason TD.

The Rude Pundit's gonna miss the bluster that President Bush used to talk about Zarqawi with, elevating this nasty little man, a dwarf in the larger war in Iraq, to an equal status with, say, Saddam Hussein. He's gonna miss the way Bush kept referring to "the terrorist Zarqawi," as if to distinguish him from, for instance, "the Prime Minister Alawi," 'cause we in America can't really tell the difference without the labels.

But at least it frees up some troops from Zarqaqi-huntin' duties. For, as Bush told us in September 2005, U.S forces were going to "focus on hunting down high-value targets like the terrorist Zarqawi." And, as he told us in December 2005, American forces are concentrating on "hunting down the high-value targets, like the terrorist Zarqawi." And, as he told us in March 2006, American and "coalition" forces" are hunting down high-value targets, like the terrorist Zarqawi." Sadly, Bush will now have to learn to pronounce a new Arabic name to make up for the death of his faux arch-nemesis.

But, oh, that is the future, and the present is the image of the Zarqawi Corpse, so very dead - see him? He's dead. Maybe the pictures aren't just bloodlust and craven exploitation. Maybe showing the Zarqawi Corpse so prominently is one way for the Bush administration to say, "See? We're not lying. This time."
Because Some Things Are More Profane Than Profanity - Ann Coulter's Possible Plagiarism (Updated June 14 With Links To More Examples):
Here's the segment of yesterday's post on Ann Coulter that deserves more attention. If you want the full double-barrel of anti-Coulter rudeness, you can still check it out. But for those with delicate constitutions who want to take Coulter down, here ya go:

Ann Coulter has a bad habit. And that habit, as mentioned before by the Rude Pundit (followed up by Raw Story), is that she appears to like to copy whole sentences from other sources without putting them in as quotes or even citing where she might have "paraphrased" from. You judge for yourself:

Here's Coulter from Chapter 1 of Godless: The massive Dickey-Lincoln Dam, a $227 million hydroelectric project proposed on upper St. John River in Maine, was halted by the discovery of the Furbish lousewort, a plant previously believed to be extinct.

Here's the Portland Press Herald, from the year 2000, in its list of the "Maine Stories of the Century": The massive Dickey-Lincoln Dam, a $227 million hydroelectric project proposed on upper St. John River, is halted by the discovery of the Furbish lousewort, a plant believed to be extinct.

Strangely similar, no? By the way, that's a story from 1976. Coulter doesn't tell you that little tidbit, making you think it happened last week. The next one's from 1977:

Here's Coulter writing about an attack on the Alaska pipeline: A few years after oil drilling began in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, a saboteur set off an explosion blowing a hole in the pipeline and releasing an estimated 550,000 gallons of oil.

Here's something from the History Channel: The only major oil spill on land occurred when an unknown saboteur blew a hole in the pipe near Fairbanks, and 550,000 gallons of oil spilled onto the ground.

Why, in this age of the "terrorist," would Coulter use "saboteur," a quaint term, to be sure? Could it be a cut and paste job with a couple of words changed, like a good college freshman?

So you judge. Sure, it's just two incidents in a single chapter. But does it speak to other potential strange similarities throughout the book? Is it plagiarism? The Rude Pundit's not saying it is plagiarism, but he's not saying it's not. How harshly would Coulter judge a liberal writer for doing the same? Or would she have to be silent?

Update: Looking for more examples? Check out the Rude Pundit on June 14 and an article from Raw Story.


Why Ann Coulter Is a Cunt, Part 2609 of an Endless Series (More Plagiarism? Edition):
It is a sad truism in the business of whoredom that someone younger, hotter, more hardcore is gonna come along and take away half the johns that the older skanks used to pleasure. One day, you can be blow job queen of the Strip; the next day, a 19 year-old with DSLs that'll suck a cock clean in three minutes or less is gonna have 'em linin' up like free burger day at the drive-through. So you gotta get crazier. Show that these little slits with tits are nothin' compared to you. Pretty soon, you're not only walkin' around in nothin' but a g-string and tube top, you're promisin' you'll go places no other hooker in Vegas'll go: "Yeah, sure, you can shit on my twat and then fuck me through the shit." "Yeah, you can bloody my asshole with a bottle and then fuck me through the blood." "Yeah, you can get ten of your friends to run a train on me while you stand on the side and jack off on a little boy holding a kitten before you make me eat the kitten." Then you can head back to the corner, hold your head up, spit out kitten hair, and show all the little slutettes who the nastiest cunt is.

There's so much that's fucked up about Ann Coulter and her latest "book" (if by "book," you mean, "Extended projectile vomiting retched out by a pencil-legged harridan scratching semi-words in her own puke") that it's hard to know where to start. There's the title of the "book," Godless, which quite intentionally must exist to make you think, as you walk into your local Barnes and Noble and glance over at the shrieking, howling display of volumes with Ann Coulter's picture on them, "Goddess." One might think no human being could be that needy, but, then again, Coulter's gotta compete with your Malkins and your Ingrahams and other conservative fuck dream demi-babes.

And the Rude Pundit's not gonna get into the whole "oh, Ann Coulter's wrong about this" argument, 'cause that would mean what she says merits any response other than: Are you really that fucking crazy? No, seriously, are you that...fucking...crazy? What else would you ask someone who writes, as Coulter does in the first chapter, freely available, regarding "fears" of water shortages: "Liberals are worried we’re going to run out of something that literally falls from the sky. Here’s an idea: Just wait. It will rain." Beyond the fact that most of Coulter's arguments seem to stem from understanding liberalism from 20 or 30 years ago, the sentence is breathtakingly, self-evidently stupid.

Then there's Coulter's comments about the 9/11 widows in the book and during her strange, defensive interview on Today. The problem that the Rude Pundit has with so many in our mighty right wing commentariat is that they like to beat up on disempowered people - the poor, immigrants, mothers who've lost children in war. You know, if you walk into a bunny hutch and just start ripping the heads off rabbits because how dare they look so fuckin' cute, you really can't walk out with your head held high, thinking you're some great warrior.

But what really pisses the Rude Pundit off is that not only is Coulter a shitty writer and a bugfuck crazed presence any time she is remotely challenged, but she has a bad habit. And that habit, as mentioned before by the Rude Pundit (followed up by Raw Story), is that she appears to like to copy whole sentences from other sources without putting them in as quotes or even citing where she might have "paraphrased" from. You judge for yourself:

Here's Coulter from Chapter 1 of Godless: The massive Dickey-Lincoln Dam, a $227 million hydroelectric project proposed on upper St. John River in Maine, was halted by the discovery of the Furbish lousewort, a plant previously believed to be extinct.

Here's the Portland Press Herald, from the year 2000, in its list of the "Maine Stories of the Century": The massive Dickey-Lincoln Dam, a $227 million hydroelectric project proposed on upper St. John River, is halted by the discovery of the Furbish lousewort, a plant believed to be extinct.

Strangely similar, no? By the way, that's a story from 1976. Coulter doesn't tell you that little tidbit, making you think it happened last week. The next one's from 1977:

Here's Coulter writing about an attack on the Alaska pipeline: A few years after oil drilling began in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, a saboteur set off an explosion blowing a hole in the pipeline and releasing an estimated 550,000 gallons of oil.

Here's something from the History Channel: The only major oil spill on land occurred when an unknown saboteur blew a hole in the pipe near Fairbanks, and 550,000 gallons of oil spilled onto the ground.

Why, in this age of the "terrorist," would Coulter use "saboteur," a quaint term, to be sure? Could it be a cut and paste job with a couple of words changed, like a good college freshman?

So you judge. Sure, it's just two incidents in a single chapter. But does it speak to other potential strange similarities throughout the book? Is it plagiarism? The Rude Pundit's not saying it is plagiarism, but he's not saying it's not. How harshly would Coulter judge a liberal writer for doing the same? Or would she have to be silent?

The Rude Pundit could end on a high note here. A note where he demonstrates how he's above it all. Fuck that. Sometimes you gotta jump in the gutter and have the slap fight with the whores. Coulter is fond of saying that feminists are ugly, describing one as "physically repulsive." Has Coulter taken a look in the mirror lately? She looks like the crazed lingerer at a bar at 3 a.m., desperate for some fat fuck to take her home, beat her, and fuck her face. Bitch has been ridden hard and put away spooge covered, taken out the next day, stiff and sticky, and spit on to be cleaned up for her interviews before using her to wipe Republican asses. Goddamn, time does not treat the nutzoid well. The Rude Pundit wouldn't fuck her if he was given Rush Limbaugh's tiny, diseased prick to fuck her with.


Fucked New Orleans (Part of an Ongoing Series):
Yes it's true, and we should acknowledge the ignorance and failure ahead of time. New Orleans is indeed fucked, like a crazed bitch dog that wanders into the wrong alley while it's in heat, with tumescent red rocket-sporting curs all around her, New Orleans is being gang-raped beast style. And she will never walk the same or turn corners freely again. Of course, those of us who know the politics of New Orleans, Louisiana, and, indeed, the nation saw this coming with all the prescient power of a cat in that alley hiding in a garbage can after catching a whiff of that poor bitch coming down her way. Christ, what howls. God, what whines, what growls, what strange, savage sounds.

In Louisiana, in the midst of all the devastation and ruin that are the city of New Orleans and all the Rita-fried and Katrina-fucked towns, as well as the economy itself, what did they decide was the issue of the day? A contingency plan for abortion. Demonstrating a need to pander to match that of Senate Republicans, Democratic Governor Kathleen Blanco will sign into law a bill passed unanimously by the Louisiana Senate that says almost all abortions, including those that might come about because of rape or incest, will be banned if, and only if, Roe v. Wade is overturned or some random crazy-ass amendment to the Constitution is voted into being.

The pure logic is something to be admired: well, fuck, after Katrina, didn't Louisiana lose, like, lots of its poor and African American residents? And who will this ban punish with child the most? Why, of course, it'll hit those same residents that were left behind after the big storms. So, hey, LA black people, time to get your groove on with makin' those babies. Time to repopulate. Goddamn, what fine law-makin', huh? Taking a stand when you don't have to actually worry about the consequences. It'd be like inventing a punishment for a crime that doesn't exist yet, like laser gun fights or jet car accidents or some such shit.

To add insult to vaginal injury, here's Louisana Senator David Vitter, in the great and grand debate over the failed no-fags-and-dykes-allowed marriage amendment, saying, "[L]et's take time to remember and focus on truly significant, enduring social institutions, which are the greatest predictors and factors in terms of encouraging good behavior and success, discouraging bad behavior and failure. This is the way we can have the most impact on those problems we debate endlessly, such as drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, and the like."

That's what's gonna get New Orleans taken care of. No abortion and no gay marriage. That's what shows how much you care about your little corner of the world. That's what shows you value human lives. Not, say, giving a shit about the fact that the few thousand illegals doing part of the clean-up and construction in New Orleans are paid 40% less than others (with, you can be sure, someone pocketin' the difference) and are denied protective gear for shit like asbestos and mold. Not, say, spending your time on the fact that only 9 of 23 water pumps are at pre-Katrina capacity. Not, say, ensuring safety for the tens of thousands of people living in trailers that are "little more than aluminum boxes." Not, say, trying to find places for the 90% of people who lived in public housing pre-Katrina whose projects are now ghost towns. Not, say, getting those crappy trailers to the people of the Lower Ninth Ward at a rate that in some way approaches how quickly the suburbs got 'em. Not to mention the levees, fuck, the levees.

The distractions of abortion and gay marriage, which are supposedly manna and meat for the Christian right, actually demonstrate how soulless we've become.

Regarding German Television:
He'll remind you of this later, but, hey, German readers, the Rude Pundit was just interviewed for a ZDF Television news story on media, part of a 45-minute documentary that'll feature the Today show, Fortune magazine, and the Rude Pundit. The scheduled air date is July 20 at 10:15 p.m.