Three Years of Rudeness: Open Yer Purses and Show the Love, Part 4:
Today is the first day of year four of the Rude Pundit. It's a motherfuckin' birthday. It's also the last day the Rude Pundit's gonna outright say, "Give up the cash, bitch. There's work to be done."

Around the globe, in amounts small and not-so-small, people have been kindly givin' their money for the cause of putting on a new Rude Pundit show (and maybe to buy a beer or two). And for that, the Rude Pundit is much appreciative.

So, for the last day, for those who have been wondering, "What can I do to show the Rude Pundit how much I love his high, hard bloggery?" there's the button on the right that reads "Make a Donation." Use your love arrow and poke that fucker.
Osama Laughed:
In some cave that smells of shit and incense, somewhere in the Safed Koh mountain range in Pakistan, far enough from the Khyber Pass to be incognito, Osama bin Laden is laughing his ass off watching his satellite television. He's laughing so hard on his cot that he's yanked out his catheter and now piss covers him, but it's so worth it to have this hearty laugh. It might be the guffaw that kills him, but in the end he will die knowing that he won, that in a handful of acts of violence, he showed the world who Americans really are.

Osama bin Laden laughed at the absurdity of the statements of those supporting the Military Commissions Act of 2006. At the fact that, with a straight face (for, indeed, what other face does he have?), Senator Mitch McConnell could say, "We are at war against extremists who want to kill our citizens, cripple our economy, and discredit the principles we hold dear--freedom and democracy," even as he voted to gut some of those principles like a river trout before a campfire. McConnell continued, to Osama's great amusement, "This system is exceedingly fair since al-Qaida in no way follows the Geneva Conventions or any other international norm. Al-Qaida respects no law, no authority, no legitimacy but that of its own twisted strain of radical Islam. Al-Qaida grants no procedural rights to Americans they capture." Yes, Osama thinks, one of his great achievements was to bring the great and wide United States into the caves with him.

Osama bin Laden chortled as the mighty John McCain spouted forth, "Should the United States be seen as amending, modifying, or redefining the Geneva Conventions, it would open the door for our adversaries to do the same, now and in the future. The United States should champion the Geneva Conventions, not look for ways to get around them, lest we invite others to do the same," even as the torture-weakened Senator voted to allow the Geneva Conventions to be interpreted with the same clarity as the clues in an episode of Lost (unironically, one of bin Laden's favorite shows).

Yes, yes, oh, how Osama bin Laden's having a great laugh at our expense. When the Congressional debate first began, bin Laden simply said, "Goddamn, I expected to fuck some shit up, but, really, c'mon, who would've thought we'd do this?" as his men around him wiped piss from his lap, shit from his ass, but could do nothing to get that fucking smirk off his face.


Three Years of Rudeness: Open Yer Purses and Show the Love, Part 3:
Hell, yeah. All over the globe, people are reachin' into their pants and yankin' out a bit of love for the Rude Pundit, and he's much appreciative for the effulgent results of their efforts. Let's keep this party goin' through tomorrow, the real and true beginning of the fourth year of rude punditry.

So use your mouse to tickle that "Make a Donation" button. Yeah, just flick, lick it, and give it a twirl. And when you have a mind-blowing page opener, toss some money in the Paypal hopper. Think of it as a cigarette.

(Donations are supporting the Rude Pundit's new solo show, The Road to Rude, which will preview in two weeks at the Backdoor Playhouse in Cookeville, Tennessee. No. Really.)
Democrats: The Rude Pundit's Got Your Cover For Filibustering the Torture/Detention Bill:
Democrats in the Senate are playing this debate over the Indefinite Detention and Torture-at-Will bill like a blackjack player staring at a fifteen while the dealer's holding a king. And that's not even remotely close to the truth of the situation.

By voting for or not filibustering the bill, many of the non-Lieberman Democrats will have been terrorized into voting against their own beliefs. In other words, Karl Rove has them so fuckin', shittin' themselves scared over a possible ad that says they don't support torture that they're willin' to sell out the Constitution to try to get another vote or two. They've decided to play on the Republicans home field, like always, letting them create the context. And they're missing the real meaning of stopping the bill.

The most frustrating thing, in a purely political context, outside of any, let's say, moral, ethical, or practical reasons to oppose the bill, is that the Democrats already have the foundation set for filibustering it. What has been the theme of the midterms for the Democrats? George Bush sucks balls and don't you wanna kick him in his own nuts? That's reading the mood of the country right. Poll after poll after poll after poll says that people would like to line up on Pennsylvania Avenue and take turns kicking George Bush in the balls, with a good cock-punching in there for the wheelchair-bound, legless Iraq war vets. Democrats can cover their asses on a filibuster so easily, so sublimely simply, and, as ever, they won't do it.

Here ya go - two more one-liners to save the Constitution and the foundation of the nation: "Do you trust George Bush to decide what torture is?" and "Do you want George Bush to be able to imprison anyone he wants for as long as he wants?" So deep is the nation's distrust of Bush that, by making the bill about him and not "defending the homeland." You need more? Maybe a little more pithy? "George Bush says he wants the tools to fight terror. Do you trust him with the toolbox?"

Democrats are really sittin' on a pair of aces. Time to split those motherfuckers.


In Brief: Hamid Karzai Drinks the Bush Chowder:
Here's the President of Poppystan talking about terrorism, joining George Bush in a vicious rape of AP reporter Jennifer Loven at yesterday's joint press meet at the White House: "They came to America on September 11th, but they were attacking you before September 11th in other parts of the world. We are a witness in Afghanistan to what they are and how they can hurt. You are a witness in New York. Do you forget people jumping off the 80th floor or 70th floor when the planes hit them? Can you imagine what it will be for a man or a woman to jump off that high? Who did that? And where are they now? And how do we fight them, how do we get rid of them, other than going after them? Should we wait for them to come and kill us again? That's why we need more action around the world, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, to get them defeated -- extremism, their allies, terrorists and the like."

What inspired this bizarro rant about imagining people jumping from tall burning buildings? Loven had asked Bush, in light of the NIE, "why have you continued to say that the Iraq war has made this country safer?" It was just after Bush gave his pissy little answer that he told John "No Soul" Negroponte to declassify part of the NIE.

If you question the Iraq war, you may as well be shoving those 9/11 jumpers out of the windows yourself, no?

Tomorrow: Back to evil.
Really, Really Late Post Today:
Goddamned JJJ is keeping the Rude Pundit under his thumb. Fucker.
Late Post Today:
J. Jonah Jameson needs some pics pronto. Back this afternoon with more on evil after taking care of Peter Parker duties.
Three Years of Rudeness: Open Yer Purses and Show the Love, Part 2:
Aww, yeah, rude world. A big ol' heap o' thanks to all the people who so far have parted the wings of their bifolds and given of themselves to the Rude Pundit. From Australia to Europe, from sea to shinin' sea in the USA, such generous use of your cash is making the Rude Pundit's third anniversary of bloggery a festive occasion.

Don't stop now. You know you're starin' at that "Make a donation" button over there on the right, thinkin' it's lookin' all smug and shit. Treat it like it's Chris Wallace's smirky face and smack that fucker. And, well, hell, while you're at it, donate.

(Donations are going to the production costs of the Rude Pundit's upcoming new show, The Road to Rude, now in development, with a possible tour in the offing.)


Regarding Evil and American Identity, Part 1:
We have a skewed idea of what most evil actually is. We think evil - true, active evil - has at its base the intent to do harm or wreak havoc. It conforms with our Western (and very American) notions of the devil or demons. Hannibal Lecter enjoys causing extraordinary pain and gruesome torture. A James Bond villain may want to blow up the Earth. And, for sure, there exists in the world this kind of evil, people for whom there is no motivation other than the desire to create suffering. But that's not the way most evil is practiced.

The majority of evil in history can be directly tied to people whose intention was to do good. "Good" here is defined by the very people committing the acts. We can see this on a massive scale: the Crusades were fought because the good Christians of the West believed their myths were more real than the Islamic myths and thus the Holy Land needed to be liberated. Most slave owners in America believed that whipping and mutilating wayward slaves actually taught a moral lesson. The British believed that slaughtering Indians and Africans would make the Empire more peaceful. Hitler and most Nazis believed they would make the world a better place by eliminating Jews (and homosexuals, etc.). Jihadists commit suicide bombings and crash planes because they believe their myths are more real than Christian myths. Of course, there's always myriad sundry and soiled reasons for mass evil to be committed: the desire for and/or maintenance of power, the desire for and/or maintenance of wealth, and more. But, at the end of the day, most of the Hutus who macheted body parts off Tutsi neighbors in Rwanda believed they were justified, that they were doing good, that they were protecting themselves, that they were eliminating an enemy.

In none of these situations do we forgive the perpetrators. In none of these historical moments do we simply elide over the violence and horror because the people doing it thought they were making their world a better place. We call "evil" by its name because we know that's what it is.

We are in a unique position, here, now, in this America, in that we are in a moment where we confront whether or not we are going to agree to become evil. No, we're not about to have a Kristallnacht or ethnic cleansing (yet). But our government is now trying to figure out just how evil it will be. The decisions to do evil are most often made by well-dressed people in small rooms, men and women who send out others below them to actually commit the evil acts. Most nations' evil is done as part of a program, documented and prepared, xeroxed and signed off on. A contract of sorts that evil will be done.

The very facts that we are engaged in a debate over how much pain, suffering, and humiliation is too much for the human mind and body; that we are arguing over whether to suspend legal principles that were established centuries ago in order to challenge unchecked power; that there simply exists no compelling reason for soldiers to continue to die in a war, all speak to our teetering on the brink of becoming an evil nation.

Last night, on MSNBC, Keith Olbermann was right: we are led by moral cowards. But, to take it further, more evil has been committed by fearful people than by brave ones. Ask the Bosnians.

We have to accept that, whatever their intentions, whatever reasons they might have had for their actions, the ones that they give mighty speeches about before handpicked crowds and the ones that they only whisper in private to their reflections in the mirror, we are now being led by people who are doing evil. This doesn't mean that others around the world are not doing evil. Just because al-Qaeda members commit evil deeds doesn't mean that Donald Rumsfeld does not. A man who murdered someone in a drive-by shooting is not excused because he is put into a jail cell next to a serial killer.

If we dare accept to our horror and infinite shame that we have allowed ourselves to be represented by people who do evil, even in the name of good, then we can either be complicit - we can go about our daily lives while the stench of the concentration camp pollutes the air of the town - or we can reject evil.

Tomorrow: "What do you want from us, Rude Pundit? What are you talking about? And can you be funnier? We like the funny."

Note: The Rude Pundit is aware of the moral, even religious, connotations of the word "evil." He intends to connote those very things. If you don't understand why, then you haven't been paying attention to American culture of the last thirty years.
Three Years of Rudeness: Open Yer Purses and Show Some Love:
This week marks the third anniversary of the Rude Pundit's adventures in Left Blogsylvania. And he wants money. He ain't gonna beg. He ain't gonna plead. He's gonna lean in real close and whisper in your ear, "C'mon, baby, open wide and give the Rude Pundit all you can."

So click on that mighty "Make a donation" button over there on the right; click it hard. Press it, slap it, treat it like your bitch. You know you wanna. You know you wanna show the Rude Pundit your love 'cause it'll make you feel so goddamn good.

(Donations this time around are going to producing the Rude Pundit's new show, The Road to Rude. And he's thinking hard about touring.)


What the Rest of the NIE Might Contain:
Rude reader Mike G. was inspired by an image in today's Rude Pundit post, so he fired up his Photoshop and created this:

That would be Love-a-lot Bear staring at you with its cold, dead eyes. Just like John Negroponte.
So, Like, Are Terrorists Gonna Give Everyone a Bunny?:
Yesterday's report that the still-classified National Intelligence Estimate, featuring the compiled investigations of all of America's intelligence-gathering operations, couldn't have been more clear: "Islamic radicalism, rather than being in retreat, has metastasized and spread across the globe" and "the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse." That's according to anonymous government sources who have read the report. Now, unless this is some twisted Rovean disinformation (which, in this savage season, is always possible), it's pretty damned straightforward: the Bush administration's great and grand adventure in the Iraqi deserts and streets has made the world a more deadly place.

Now we hear from the minister of evil himself, John Negroponte, that it's all in the context. Issuing a statement from his regal office in Hell, printed, surely, on the dried skin of Sunni torture victims, Negroponte hissed, "The conclusions of the intelligence community are designed to be comprehensive and viewing them through the narrow prism of a fraction of judgments distorts the broad framework they create." Get it? We're only seeing a tiny portion of what's in the mighty document. Affirms the White House, the articles are "not representative of the complete document."

Of course, that begs the question: what the hell could be in the rest of the NIE that actually mitigates the finding that we're screwed harder than a twenty-buck-a-fuck hooker in an alley behind a Chicago bar after the Bears win? 'Cause, like, if all they got is that they killed Zarqawi and a couple of other "high-ranking" terrorists, that doesn't really make up for causing the jihadi movement to grow with all the rank speed of mold inside a flooded New Orleans home.

One supposes the NIE could say that, well, shit, yeah, there's a massive expansion of Islamic fundamentalist nutzoids who wanna blow them some shit up, but, hey, in Afghanistan, the Taliban foot soldiers say that their women are letting them do anal on them more without narcing them out to the local authorities (Allah no likey the ass play). And if more ass-fucking is occurring, you know, we're well on our way to a more peaceful tomorrow. Either that or they've figured out that Jesus is gonna get pissed and finally intercede on America's behalf.

See? It's goddamn sunshine and sweetness. Maybe we're thinking wrong about this. Maybe it ain't the content that Negroponte's talkin' about. Maybe if you saw the whole report, you'd see they made it all pretty, with hearts and smiley-faces dotting the i's, with rainbows and unicorns decorating the margins. Hell, you could write, "We're all gonna fuckin' die tomorrow," but if you print it up in purple on pink paper with a doily behind it and a Care Bear next to it, it's gonna make you feel so much better about your imminent demise.

Can't they just be honest? Just for a few minutes? Can't they just say, "Well, shit, you're right, so why don't we try to make this better?" No, instead, they'll say that Democrats are "playing politics" with classified information even as they take out their models of the Twin Towers, the ones with the plane parts pasted on the sides, and beat Democrats over the head with them.


Fox Lies On Its Website Regarding What Clinton Interview Would Be About:
If any conservative mongers of cock want to try to defend Chris "Fucking Liar" Wallace and Fox "News" for its sneak attack on Bill Clinton, even the Fox "News" website promotes what Clinton said the interview was going to be. For the Fox "News" Sunday page contains this as a teaser, written, one presumes, before Wallace jumped Clinton with allegation that the former president did little stop Osama Bin Laden:

"On FOX News Sunday this week: Former President Bill Clinton brought together hundreds of influential heads of state, international policymakers, corporate heavyweights, and religious leaders this week to address major global challenges. We will sit down with the nation's 42nd president to discuss his second annual Clinton Global Initiative, as well as the Democrats chances of winning back Congress, and his wife's presidential aspirations.

"President Clinton recently said that he will have to live to be a 'very old man' if he is to accomplish as much out of office as he did during his eight years in the White House. But the former president has found a calling in confronting global challenges and raised billions of dollars toward solving issues like religious conflict, climate change, and global public health and poverty. We will discuss his success thus far in bringing together a wide range of partners, raising funds, and empowering individuals to cure many of the world's ills. In addition, we will gain his insights into the state of the war on terrorism, the upcoming midterm elections, and 2008 presidential politics."

Huh. Wonder where Clinton got the idea that they'd be talking about the present and not the past.
Farewell To the Swami...:
This week marked the end of the line to one of the Rude Pundit's favorite blogs, Swami Uptown. Jesse Kornbluth's work on Beliefnet was an oasis of empathy, elegant rage, and muted uplift. Swami wrestled endlessly with the agony and damage being done to our American soul in the last five years, sometimes being overwhelmed by it all. In the realm of Left Blogsylvania, where we burst with anger, cynicism, and sarcasm (see below), Swami Uptown reminded us that sincerity need not be shouted to be heard.

But the Head Butler Goes On
However, Kornbluth's other alter-ego (although he may have more than two), Head Butler, is hitting the big-time. Head Butler is an eclectic collection of reviews, ranging from Louisiana blues rocker CC Adcock's latest CD to the writings of Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, demonstrating that there is truly no line between high and low culture. Click around for insightful critiques of works old and new.

And listen this afternoon to NPR's All Things Considered. Kornbluth will be interviewed for the last ten-minute segment of the show. He may not be the Swami anymore, but he can lead you to enlightenment.
The Big Dog Always Gets the Fox:
You're gonna be seeing a lot about Bill Clinton's vicious beatdown of Fox "News" anchor Chris Wallace, about the Big Dog's intense defense of his adminstration's record on terrorism, about his attack on the right, about how he ripped off Wallace's arms and used them to beat the poor bastard unconscious. But let's not let one quote pass without notice. When Wallace, armless, desperately turning his head to wipe the blood off his mouth, asked Clinton about promoting democracy in the Muslim world, the former President said, "Democracy is about way more than majority rule. Democracy is about minority rights, individual rights, restraints on power."

Now that's an undercut to the gut of the Bush administration.


The Great Cave-In - The Torture "Compromise":
How soon after they were shown the implements of torture did McCain, Warner, and Graham cave? What did it take? Was John McCain forced to watch a Rove-created video dated for spring 2008 accusing him of wanting to hand job confessions out of al-Qaeda suicide bomber wannabes? Was John Warner given a demonstration of the strap-ons and dildos that'd be used on his eighty-year old ass? Did they just show Lindsey Graham a laptop with a live satellite feed of the outside of his beloved sister's home, surrounded by snipers? For certainly, if we even begin to think that these three Republican senators were being honest players when they voiced opposition to the President's proposal seeking to find "clarity" in the Geneva Conventions that would allow torture, as well as to allow detainees to be tried on secret evidence, then we have to believe that they were threatened in order to cave so utterly, so completely, so disgustingly, so despairingly.

The fact that anyone thought for two seconds that we were watching honorable men confront the evil wrought by a president from their own party is a pathetic statement on just how debased politics has become in this country. If there can be actual celebratory jubilation over the brief stand taken by the Gutless Trio, then no one's been paying attention. For if John McCain actually gave a rat's ass about torture, then he would not have voted to confirm Alberto Gonzales or Samuel Alito. If Lindsey Graham gave a happy monkey fuck about the rights of detainees, then he wouldn't have authored an amendment limiting their rights of appeal. And Warner, despite his reputation as a moderate in some of his statements, almost always goes along with the herd, so, you know, fuck him, too. A real, genuine confrontation with the White House would have been to open hearings on the treatment of detainees, with subpoenas and possibly arrests. This was just legalistic wrangling over language.

And as for Democrats? Did they not realize that when they face the Republican party now that they are facing the Blob? And if part of the Blob is blown away or cut off from the rest of the Blob, that doesn't mean the Blob part is dead. No, no, see, once you turn your back, that blobby segment is just gonna find a way to ooze back to the main Blob and just fuckin' devour you with its acidic blobularity. The thing is that some of us out here in the audience are screamin' at the Democrats, "Turn around; it's not dead." Too late, just too late. (Was gonna go with the Terminator here, but the Blob is from the 1950s, which the Republicans wish it still was.) Democrats got handed their asses again by once more putting faith in the alleged independence of John McCain, hiding behind his gimpy skirts, thinking that he was gonna take one for the team. One imagines that after the "negotiations" were done and the "compromise" was reached, Bush called McCain up and said, "You've covered your ass now."

In the final analysis, the compromise says that Bush gets to decide what is a "grave breach" of the Geneva Conventions, a government prosecutor gets to say what evidence a detainee and/or his attorney can see at trial, and the lights get turned back on at some godforsaken CIA dungeon in a remote area of Uzbekistan. Thank Christ we can finally get back to the goodly work of arresting people without charge, sending them to Syria, and looking away while they're kept in a coffin-sized space and beaten with metal cable.

But, really, and, c'mon, this was all a pretty dance for the cameras and the folks back home because of the inevitable signing statement that'll accompany the bill.

As for the nation at large and how much it actually cares? Well, let's end on an historical note. Here's William B. Shepard speaking in 1816 about Americans' reaction to the mistreatment and massacre of American prisoners at the Dartmoor Prison in England during the War of 1812: "If reflections like these cannot rouse our indignation; if imagination cannot supply the want of feeling, whence shall we procure a drug that will stir the latent power of affection? Have Americans sunk into that torpidity congenial to slaves? Or had ingratitude barred the door to their hearts?"

Shepard, who opposed slavery and the policies of Andrew Jackson, turns it back to thoughts of the imprisoned towards the end of his speech, given at the University of North Carolina. Shepard says, "How, then, can we blame those unfortunate prisoners, robbed of light and air, doomed to hold converse dungeon damps, and tell unto the stones their misfortunes, administered unto by men who live like mushrooms but from corruption, for catching at the brittle reed to save them from destruction? If we do, we know not the sufferings of our captive brethren.– Consider that the idea of wife, of children, and of home, was smothered beneath the chains and manacles of captivity; that hope, arrayed in all its visionary colors, as it rises to give a glimpse of future bliss, is quenched in a moment; that they were thrown into a gloomy, disconsolate cell, where no sound drew them from the misery of thought, but the groans of affliction and the passing watchman's cry of 'all is well.'"

One can be certain that the British thought the prisoners were deserving of their treatment. One can be certain that they used horrible methods to extract information. One can be certain they thought they were justified.


Bush on Blitzer: Like Homemade Porn:
Watching an interview with President Bush is a little like watching amateur porn. You know the kind, where maybe some middle-aged fat guy thinks he's Ron Jeremy and that his barely willing wife is Jenna Jameson. They go through the motions of porn flicks, with lots of flesh-slapping sounds, lots of grunts and murmurs of "take it, bitch," with the wife attempting to seem enthusiastic about the whole thing, sucking hubby's average-at-best cock and trying to take direction from him like it's a real film set: "No, no, do it like that one film, where she jacked him off right into her mouth. Rub it all over your face. Like that. Yeah." It's just sad, especially when the wife pretends that she's coming with a cry right out of the fake orgasm soundboard. When you watch, you know you're not gonna learn anything new, but like a fight at a hockey game or a crash at a NASCAR event, you keep watching for the inevitable fuck-ups and disasters. Mostly, though, you just end up feeling sorry for whoever was paid fifty bucks and some weed to do the videotaping.

So it was that the President deigned to be interviewed by Wolf "Behold My Sartorial Stubble of Seasoned Reportage" Blitzer on his CNN show, The Situation Room. In his monotone way, Blitzer kept trying to throw Bush off, although what Blitzer learned by the end of the interview was that if George Bush has a talking point to get through, he's gonna fuckin' get through it. Of all the times Bush stopped Blitzer from speaking with one of his "shut the fuck up" statements of "Excuse me, please" or "Let me finish," the best one was this: when Blitzer was trying to engage Bush on what he thought of the cozy meeting between the Presidents of Iraq and Iran, Bush was regurgitating about how splendiferous things are going in Iraq. He cut Blitzer off at the knees, saying, "Excuse me for a minute. I was on a brilliant point, as you know." Sure, one could say that it was that fantabulous presidential "wit" on display, but mostly we know it was just megalomaniacal par for the course.

Bush was on motherfuckin' message all the way through the interview, veering questions about the strange absence of Osama bin Laden in our custody into a re-re-re-re-affirmation of his desire for "doing other things" like eavesdropping and "getting intelligence" at will. Oh, and by the way, when Bush said he'd send troops into Pakistan to get Osama, if you watch the interview, you know he didn't understand what the fuck he was saying. Bush was just trying to act tough for the cameras.

As far as the tortured, mutilated corpses that bloom like morning glories every day in the streets of Iraq, Bush dismissed them as mere props for "the enemy" to get on TV: "The enemy has got the capacity to get on your TV screens by killing innocent people." See? It's like holding up a sign outside the Today show that says, "I'm the illegitimate love child of Matt and Meredith. Why won't you love me, Dad?" A bit over the top, but sure to get you noticed. Add in electric drill puncture wounds, and it's pretty much hard to tell the two apart.

But don't tell the President that, let's say, those corpses and car bombs planted by one ethnic group against another is a civil war. Oh, no. When Blitzer quoted Kofi Annan about the potential for the descent into full-blown civil war in Iraq, Bush, as ever, brought out his multi-starred props: "I'd rather quote the people on the ground who are very close to the situation, and who live it day by day, our ambassador or General Casey. I ask this question all the time, tell me what it's like there, and this notion that we're in civil war is just not true according to them. These are the people that live the issue." And then the President slapped Blitzer with the mummified arm of a Sunni insurgent.

What did we learn from the President yesterday? We learned that he can read a calendar, which is always good. When Blitzer said, "You know, you were thinking, dealing with Saddam Hussein long before 9/11," referring to an interview Bush did while a candidate, Bush interrupted Blitzer to remind the CNN anchor, "I wasn't in office long before 9/11...9/11, 2001 and I swore in in January of 2001." We learned that Bush doesn't give a fuck about what James Baker said in 1995 about the danger of invading Iraq because, well, shit, you know the answer - let's all say it together: "He was writing before September the 11th, 2001, and the world changed that day, Wolf."

Did you get that? The world changed. Like the world was just a big pile o' Play-Doh and the crazy kids got a hold of it and gave it a twist. How do we know the world changed? Because the President says so. Oh, sweet bliss of tautology, here he went: "The world changed that day because we had to deal with threats. No question Saddam Hussein did not order the attacks. On the other hand, Saddam Hussein was viewed as a threat by the Congress, by the United Nations, and by the United States administration. And so James Baker was writing before the world changed." You get it? It's not that Iraq changed. It's that the world did. You see, when you're about to get raped in prison, it doesn't mean that your ass has changed. But the world certainly has.

Yep, cheap-ass amateur porn is funny, but it won't turn you on unless you're desperate to jack off. Now, if you wanna get it up and blow a load, high quality porn is always available.


New Rude Pundit Show Previews in Tennessee:
The Road to Rude, the Rude Pundit's brand new one-rude-man show will preview at the Backdoor Playhouse in Cookeville, Tennessee (the location of the director of the Rude Pundit's previous show, the sold-out Year of Living Rudely) on October 12 for one performance only.

Also performing will be folk-rocker Addie Brownlee, and we're calling the night the "Cancel Your Grandpa's Vote" show.

The Road to Rude will feature a great deal of original (meaning not blogged) material.

For more info, contact techplayers[at]tntech.edu.

Oh, by the way, if you put your cock between two of the new Tickle Me Elmo Extreme dolls, it's kinda like titty-fucking a Sasquatch.
Why Michelle Malkin Ought To Be Caged Like a Rabid Shih-Tzu, Part 782:
Oh, fuck, at this point, can anyone point to a reason why the cruelly snarling Malkin shouldn't be interned without charge or trial for the duration of, well, hell, let's just say for the duration? 'Cause lately, the vicious she-beast (who lives by the dictum: "If you think Ann Coulter is crazy, watch me eat my own poo") has been practicing cuntistry at such a fevered level that it's like watching humping wolverines.

As Glenn Greenwald points out, ideological consistency is as important to Malkin as a long-term mate is to a black widow spider. While Malkin has essentially said that anything the Bush administration does to torture, maim, or deprive of rights anyone merely tangentially suspected of having passed by an Islamic radical in the street is a-o-fuckin'-kay, she's got her vinyl thong in a crotch twist over the death sentence of three Catholics in Indonesia convicted, at a trial, no less, of having masterminded a massacre of 200 Muslims. See, apparently some of the evidence was "rejected by the court" and some witnesses weren't allowed to testify. So the condemned are appealing to the International Criminal Court.

And one day later, as in today, Malkin's linking to nutzoid right wingers who think that anything approaching rights for terrorism suspects is capitulation to the point that we may as well be growing our beards and blowing up our Christian idols now. For instance, here's one of Malkin's links, the National Review's Andrew "Not the St. Elmo's Fire Guy" McCarthy in USA Today on the case of Maher Arar, the innocent Canadian arrested by the U.S. and renditioned to Syria for torture. Malkin calls Arar "the new liberal cause celebre." McCarthy opines of the Arar error, "[W]ith the lives of 300 million Americans at stake, the United States cannot make national security policy based on individual anecdotes about government roguishness."

One imagines that while Arar was being held for ten months in a cell the size of a casket in a dungeon in Syria, only taken out for torture sessions, he must have been thinking, "Man, all these electrodes on my nuts, regular beatings, and things shoved up my ass really suck for me, but, hey, if it protects 300 million Americans, I'm willing to take one for the team." Yeah, those anecdotes, it's too bad they have to be made of flesh sometimes.

Malkin also agrees with the detention of AP photographer Bilal Hussein. Hussein, whose photos of the real violence occurring in Iraq made him a target for right wing blogs, has been held without charges for five months now by the American military, who suspect him of collaborating with insurgents or "terrorists." AP and Reporters Without Borders have asked that he be charged or, you know, set the man free. Malkin will have none of that kind of pussy-ass assertion of rights for a fucker like Hussein. Screeches the she-beast, "Well before I reported on Hussein's capture, military bloggers and media watchdog bloggers had raised persistent questions over the past two years about Hussein's relationship with terrorists in Iraq and whether his photos were staged in collusion with our enemies."

Malkin is blaming AP for suppressing the story. She and her flying monkey bloggers have already convicted Hussein. Unlike the three tried and sentenced Catholics in Indonesia, who were no doubt victims of an unfair process, no trial is needed when the religion of the person is the wrong one.


A World of Niggers: Bush at the U.N.:
While they were watching George W. Bush speak today at the United Nations, the leaders of the other nations there must have been prepared for anything. Would he throw his own shit at them? Would he scratch his balls through the entire speech? Would he drag out an Iranian child, hold a gun to her head, and threaten to blow her brains all over Kofi Annan if he didn't get himself some motherfuckin' sanctions? Certainly any of that would have been less insulting than the patronizing, sanctimonious, self-righteous, smug call-outs to many of the nations represented. In essence, what Bush did today was to say that the world is full of nations of niggers and the United States is the great white massa who knows best what those darkies need.

Here's just part of Bush's "personal" address to different countries: "To the people of Iraq...The world saw you hold up purple-ink-stained fingers. And your courage filled us with admiration" and "To the people of Afghanistan...we have watched you choose your leaders in free elections and build a democratic government. You can be proud of these achievements" and "To the people of Lebanon...We see your suffering and the world is helping you to rebuild your country and helping you deal with the armed extremists who are undermining your democracy by acting as a state within a state" and "To the people of Iran, the United States respects you."

This, of course, is not to mention his shout-outs to the peoples of Syria, the strange "Today, your rulers have allowed your country to become a crossroad for terrorism," which is fine and dandy except when we send prisoners to be tortured there; and the people of Darfur, "you have suffered unspeakable violence." Somewhere in the Sudan, a woman who is burying pieces of her husband while her children starve around her is just so goddamned grateful.

And why shouldn't she be grateful? Why shouldn't a man in a bombed to splinters and pebbles house in Beirut just be so fuckin' happy? Why shouldn't the women of Afghanistan be dandy-ass thrilled while not going to school and getting beaten and raped? And, shit, it takes a long time to wash away the purple finger of freedom. Yep, lookie, here, world, George Bush says that good times are a-comin' if you just believe in him. Toss aside your centuries of hatred, violence, oppression, and mistrust of the West, sweet niggers of the Mideast and Africa. The stumblefuck white guy with his crazy ass nation-building military has said paradise is around the corner.

Do you think the delgates at the U.N. just shook their heads when Bush unironically said, "Freedom, by its nature, cannot be imposed"? Or do you think many of their heads were filled with the story of Maher Arar, the Canadian man captured by U.S. authorities, denied any charging or trial, and renditioned to Syria for a year of torture before being set free, and now finally exonerated from any terrorist ties by a Canadian court? Do you think they stared at Bush and thought, "He may treat us like niggers, but we know who the scared little bitch is"?
Late Post Today While Bush Jacks Off:
Waiting for the President to finish his public masturbation at the U.N. Back this afternoon with a look at who he dribbled his spooge on.


Stupid Metaphor Tricks: Of Gay Bars and Politicians: When dealing with issues that call into question our moral and ethical standing as a nation, like the insane debate over whether or not we should legalize torture, it's always easier to comprehend where everyone stands if you put it in terms of different types of gay bars. The Rude Pundit's thinking specifically of three dens o' male queerism that used to be (and still might be) in New Orleans. There was the festive queer nightclub, the one that still maintained that Studio 54 vibe. Located in the French Quarter, it was an open, welcoming, sparkling place where all comers, straight and gay, could enter and dance the night away with balloons, confetti, cherry-scented smoke, bubbles, whatever, pouring down from the endlessly resourceful ceiling crew there. You could look around and see feather queens consorting with tranvestites chatting up spiky-haired preppy guys making out with biker dudes fondling military men licking the chests of Chippendale-lookin' studs in thongs. The music was hip and loud, with video screens blazing the latest celebrity sex tape or a Judy Garland film. And when Liza Minnelli was played, a row of drag queens would get up on the bar and form a kick line. Truly, it was a space of respect and love and lust and gettin' yer ya-yas out with no judgment, from the fattest drag queen to closeted Saints football players to the biggest hung chaps-wearin' cowboy. If you left the festive club and headed down Royal or Bourbon, close to Esplanade, there was the gay leather bar. You walked in there without some kind of bondage gear or weapon of mass ejaculation and you were either gonna get tossed out or picked on like the leanest meat at the cell block. The place was a Tom of Finland dreamscape or nightmare (depending on your view of Touko's work). Yeah, you could look around and think all present were a little too into the Village People costumes, except that they weren't kitsch, man. You meet a guy in a cop uniform, that cocksucker was gonna invite you to get handcuffed to the wall while he shoves his baton up your asshole. The dance floor was far more punk than disco, with lots more sweaty shovin' and ass smackin' and faux fistin'. In the back were BDSM rooms available for hourly rental. The multi-pierced dudes with spiked collars and wristbands who held their bitch boys by leashes attached to cock rings were living a life man, moreso than all but the most committed drag queens, but, fuck, it was all about power, who has it and who submits to it. They may have scared you, but you knew they walked the walk. Still, only one gay bar in New Orleans was truly a frightening place, so horrifying that all of the feather and leather homosexuals avoided it. It was a nondescript little wooden joint on the edge of the Bywater. Inside, it was badly-lit, stinking of pissed-out beer and cigarette smoke, a few tables, seats at the bar. The men there were alcoholic and burnt-out middle-aged queers, who seemed to gather here because they didn't belong anywhere else. You looked around and you thought there must be a pit in back of the place where they kept adolescent boys they kidnapped for regular sodomizing. The Rude Pundit went there one time, with a friend, Sammy, who was seeking his boyfriend who just got out of the Marines. We got Dixie beers and headed to the one pool table to shoot a game just to check out the joint. Like the undead in an Italian zombie movie, the men got out of their chairs and all - no, really, all - gathered around the pool table to watch us play. They did so silently, no comments on a good shot or a bad one. Just fondling their longnecks and staring at us. A few grabbed pool cues and started bouncing the rubber bumpers on the floor. When we finished the game, one of the guys, a skeevy fucker with a moustache and sideburns, asked us if we wanted to play. As cool as possible, we begged off and headed out the door with the zombies following us until we hit evening air. Sammy couldn't stop nervously joking about getting fucked with pool sticks because the dudes couldn't get it up. The Rude Pundit, who had heard what he thought were just rumors about college students gang raped there, just wanted some weed. Those guys didn't know what to do with their unslaked libidos, sick of sucking each other's demi-flaccid dicks off in the disgusting men's room, wanting fresh meat to punish for their own inability to deal with who they were. The eeriest people are always the ones who seem normal on the outside, who have lived apparently quiet and eventless lives. There would be no safe word with them, no line they would not cross, no flesh they would not eat, no skull they would not fuck. Much like the Bush administration (and its lackeys in and out of government) and its increasingly desperate attempt to do an end run around the Geneva Conventions and allow for torture, trials with secret evidence, renditioning, and more. National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley told Wolf Blitzer on CNN yesterday, regarding the Geneva Conventions' prohibition on "humilating treatment and outrages upon human dignity," that "nobody knows what humiliating treatment is. What does it mean?" The Bush administration is standing around the pool table, bouncing its cues, hopin' for that right moment when the players are bent over taking a shot to shove that tip home. (Oh, the rest of the metaphor: what the hell - let's say that liberals and many Democrats are at the dance club, and some Republicans and conservatives like McCain and Graham are attending the leather bar. Although the thought of Arlen Specter wearing a suede vest and a nut cozy just makes the blood chill.)


Bush Is Gonna Take His Iron Maiden and Go Home:
Here's how you know you've lost your war: Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee Peter King said this about detainee treatment legislation: "If we capture bin Laden tomorrow and we have to hold his head under water to find out when the next attack is going to happen, we ought to be able to do it." Let's put it this way: it's one thing to say that in a one-in-a-million Jack Bauer-esque situation, you'd probably break the law and a few fingers to get the info you need so the nuke doesn't go off. But it's another thing entirely to say that you wanna make it the law. King and the other right-wing Bush ball-lickers can't get enough of that presidential scrotum in their mouths.

We're in the midst of one of the most degrading debates in the history of the nation. Our goddamned President just spent the better part of an hour in a press conference today whining like a little bitch in the rain about losing his favorite squeaky toy: "If Congress passes a law that does not clarify the rules -- if they do not do that, the program's not going forward." That program, of course, would be the CIA interrogations of detainees and the trial of said detainees on secret evidence. Or one could say, "That shit that the Bush administration wants to do that makes us the moral equals of Torquemada or the Jacobins."

See, Bush kept calling the "interrogators," who in another time would have been called "torturers," kind names, like "professionals" and "decent citizens" who don't want to break the law. It's like trying to convince your wife to make it an open marriage so you can fuck your secretary without the guilt. In other words, Bush wants to ensure that the torturers and the torturer enablers (like, say, himself) are covered when that bad ol' world gets its Nuremberg-ish dander up.

Once again, Bush insisted on his own blind stupidity as a reason to give him anything he wants regarding the Geneva Conventions: "Common Article 3 says that, you know, There will be no outrages upon human dignity. It's like -- it's very vague. What does that mean, outrages upon human dignity? That's a statement that is wide open to interpretation." That's why Bush feels he can do whatever the fuck he wants no matter what his oath of office says. That whole "I will...to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" lacks clarity.

The most frightening aspect of the press conference was not the sight of the ostensible leader of the "free" world screeching and jabbing like a chicken that got into the meth stash. No, it was Bush's insistence that captured American soldiers are just a "hypothetical." Pressed by David Gregory on whether he could abide another country saying it was interpreting the Geneva Conventions however it wanted when it came to treatment of a hypothetical American, Bush simply said that it was okay by him if it was like what he wants: "I am saying that I would hope that they would adopt the same standards we adopt." GI, get ready for your waterboarding.

This is what we've been reduced to as a nation: arguing with each other over how far we can push our notions of "civilized" and still feel good about ourselves. How low can we go? 'Cause, see, once you take one step down on a ladder, the next rung is right there, and the bottom gets ever closer.

Note: Blogger burped earlier - and the Rude Pundit was gone for a couple of hours. As you can see, all is well now in this corner of Left Blogsylvania.
Bush's Press Conference: Bring the Rude Pundit a Bucket:
The President of the United States just said that he doesn't care if American soldiers are tortured and then tried, convicted, and executed with secret evidence. This motherfucker just sold out the troops on the ground in favor of covering the asses of those who have tortured prisoners.

Motherfucker is flailing around like he ought to have a fan blowing up his skirt outside a car dealership.

More later, after the horrible retching ends.


Christ Weary of Texas Public School Bible Classes:
So, let's see if the Rude Pundit has this straight: in public schools in Texas, classes about the Bible that are supposed to remain secular actually deviate from the historical and social significance of the Good Book and get into preaching? You might say, "Get the fuck out of here" in shocked, oh, so very shocked response, thinking that surely the open-minded people of the Toothless Creek school district would do such a thing. And you'd be wrong. See, according to a just-released study by the Texas Freedom Network, a progressive religious group, "With a few notable exceptions, the public school courses currently taught in Texas often fail to meet minimal academic standards for teacher qualifications; curriculum, and academic rigor; promote one faith perspective over all others; and push an ideological agenda that is hostile to religious freedom, science and public education." Yep, in Texas untrained teachers use tax dollars to "teach" Christian belief and nutzoid fundamentalist bullshit.

The classes are electives and are offered in 825 districts; the study examines 25 districts, because one can always look at such a sample of what's happening elsewhere. And what fun the students are having. What with being taught by their local clergy, watching Veggie Tale videos, and learning that the Bible is historically accurate and has never been changed. It's like taking a class on magic tricks.

In one school district, a lecture on the Book of Acts was titled "God’s Road to Life." It discussed, among other things, “Jesus Christ is the one and only way” (to where? Denny's? Heaven? Some unholy Grand Slam-like combination of the two?); “As followers of Christ we are commanded to tell the good news;” and, obviously, “The Good News,” which, according to the TFN report, "traces humanity’s predicament of sinfulness requiring punishment, Christ’s payment of the penalty, and the assurance of salvation for those who believe in him." It's sort of like having a sex education class where all you learn about are the many ways your genitals can get scabby.

And, oh, the evil that the courses confront. In Corpus Christi, one class was asked, "Why did Jesus tell the Jewish leaders: 'Surely evil men and prostitutes will get into the Kindom before you do'?" Yep, between learning that Christian belief supplants Jewish belief and that America is a Christian nation, the students should be more than ready to vote in Texas when they hit eighteen. But first they need to be tested.

Here's an awesome test section from one district:
Short Answer. Answer three of the following questions. Use Specific examples.
1. How is the Bible’s honesty a good reason to believe what the Bible says?
2. The miracles of the Bible are considered an argument for its credibility. Name one of the miracles in the Bible.
3. How is the unity of the Bible a good reason to believe it?
4. What does it mean to say that the Bible is endorsed by Christ?
5. Explain how the survival of the Bible makes it believable?

The Rude Pundit's answers:
2. Jesus never takes a holy dump.
4. Well, it's sort of like Wilford Brimley endorsing Quaker Oats. There's a man who needs a clean colon. And if we can learn to shit better because an old character actor shows us how, then we can certainly buy the Bible because one of the characters in it says it's a really good book.
5. Wilford Brimley seems to be surviving an awful long time thanks to Quaker Oats. That makes it believable that oatmeal is a means to an end. So if something stays around long enough, it must be valuable, like herpes or Courtney Love.

Yes, the schoolkids in these classes get taught such useful information like creationism and genetics. In one high school, the students "spent two days watching the video Dinosaurs and the Bible, produced by Creation Science Evangelism (motto: "Fred Flintstone is our hero"). They pondered questions like how it might have been scientifically possible for humans to live for hundreds of years. In Mesquite, a local minister teaching one course presented the idea that “Europeans, Africans and Semitic peoples all descended from the three sons of Noah after the flood, and that each group had its own racial characteristics, such as philosophical thought for Europeans and skill at hunting and conquering for Africans.” The Semites presumably had mad moneylending skills.

Yes, the TFN says, a "few" districts actually taught the Bible as literature or as a cultural artifact. Now that's a leap of faith - to say that high school students could learn something about themselves and the world by being willing to save Sunday school for, say, Sundays.

Correction: An earlier version said that only 3% of Texas public schools offered a Bible studies course. The real number is closer to 85%. Only 3% of those were studied. Thanks to rude reader Chasm for the correction.


Why Bill O'Reilly Ought To Sodomized With a Microphone in a Frigid Room:
The Rude Pundit thought we were done with the whole "what you pussy liberals call torture is actually just a night at the DKE house" discussion. But last night, on his Fox "News" show, Bill O'Reilly re-propagandized for the myth that any "interrogation method" that doesn't involve a nut vice and a blowtorch is not actually torture. Discussing a New York Times article about the FBI and CIA getting into a pissing match about humane versus "tough" interrogation techniques on Abu Zubaydah, a "henchman" for Osama Bin Laden, O'Reilly glibly, if accurately, described what the CIA did to Zubaydah: "the CIA allegedly stripped Zubaydah who had been wounded by the Pakistani authorities, put him in a freezing room and used Red Hot Chili Peppers on him."

In other words, to quote the Times, "At times, Mr. Zubaydah, still weak from his wounds, was stripped and placed in a cell without a bunk or blankets. He stood or lay on the bare floor, sometimes with air-conditioning adjusted so that, one official said, Mr. Zubaydah seemed to turn blue. At other times, the interrogators piped in deafening blasts of music by groups like the Red Hot Chili Peppers." Whether or not you think Zubaydah "deserved" his treatment (and if you do, you're a vicious pig fucker), at a bare minimum we could agree on the label of "torture." Could we please stop all being such pansies about calling torture "torture"? Or do you just feel better about yourself if you keep a wounded man nude locked in a bare freezing room with loud music blaring if you don't use the word?

But it's not that O'Reilly gleefully dismisses Zubaydah's treatment, with "Now you may think I'm joking here, but I'm not," that renders him in need of a forced ass fucking. No, no. It's that he lies about what's the article actually says is the result of the torture of Zubaydah. Here's O'Reilly: "Blasting the Peppers in a cold room apparently broke Zubaydah according to an unnamed government official quoted in the article. At first Zubaydah was defiant and evasive until the approved procedures were used. He soon began to provide information on key Al Qaeda operators to help us find and capture those responsible for the 9/11 attacks. And one of those men was Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, the mastermind of 9/11."

Now, that'd be awesome and demonstrate some good to be had from torturing suspects. Except, you know, it ain't what the article or the unnamed government official actually said. According to the Times, "In his early interviews, Mr. Zubaydah had revealed what turned out to be important information, identifying Khalid Shaikh Mohammed — from a photo on a hand-held computer — as the chief planner of the Sept. 11 attacks." Those "early interviews" would have been the ones conducted by the FBI where they "bathed Mr. Zubaydah, changed his bandages, gave him water, urged improved medical care, and spoke with him in Arabic and English, languages in which he is fluent." The CIA took over and tortured him because "Zubaydah might have possessed critical information about a coming terrorist operation figured significantly in the decision to employ tougher tactics, even though it later became apparent he had no such knowledge." In other words, Zubaydah was tortured for no reason at all.

Like so many on the right, Bill O'Reilly is a tough guy wannabe, a semi-evolved ape man who so admires the redness of his own hard-on that he's gotta smack that fucker until it explodes, yelping in self-love 'cause he wants everyone to see him come. O'Reilly thinks that as long as we can say we're not as bad as they are, the field's wide open: "The truth is that America has been restrained in its response to the savagery of Al Qaeda and others." So, like, as long as we're not using power drills and videotaped beheadings by knife, it's all good.

Damn, Bill O'Reilly must think it's ridiculous that that bitch ex-producer of his sued him for his graphic harassment by phone. After all, at least he didn't rape her, cut her body into pieces, and feed it to his pet sharks. He exercised such restraint.


Advice To Democrats: One Talking Point To Rule Them All:
Democrats are about to face an untold amount of fear and savagery in the upcoming Congressional races. Once the niceties of the primaries are done, the Republican campaign machine is going to go into overdrive in a way that'll make the Swift Boat Vet attacks look like flea bites. If you're a Democratic candidate and you've ever scratched your ass in public, you can be sure that a picture with your hand on your own ass will be spread around with the implication that you are gay because you like finger-on-keister action.

What Democrats need is a message that says, "We're not playing." The beauty of what Keith Olbermann has been doing lately on his MSNBC show Countdown is that he's made it safe for public figures to use a certain kind of rhetoric. When he says that Bush needs to hope for forgiveness (as he did last night), he's put out language in to the air that can now be built upon, much like Rush Limbaugh did for the right (and, Christ, no, the Rude Pundit's not saying that Olbermann is the Limbaugh of the Left). But it's gotta be tailored, simple, easy to recite and easy to remember. And the Rude Pundit's got it.

Follow the bouncing ball, motherfuckers; it's gonna be a weird ride:

See, Republicans like to say that they are the party of personal responsibility. They're the ones who believe that if you give a man a fish, you feed him for one day (which is a reductionist view of welfare), but if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime. Republicans think they are teaching. But their philosophy is actually something more along the lines of "You deal with your own shit. Suffer or learn. Sink or swim."

Liberals (which a couple of Democrats actually are) are the ones who wanna teach the guy to fish, but they also know (as the Rude Pundit's said before) that the guy needs a fishing pole, string, bait, and maybe a fish or two to eat while he's learning. That was the idea of the New Deal, the War on Poverty, and everything else that the right has undone. The liberal philosophy says we know you wanna deal with shit on your own, but we recognize that it's a path to get there and you might need some help along the way.

This gets us, through a bizarre, fucked-up route, back to fear. Republicans have to sow fear again and again, but they don't give anyone the tools to deal with the fear other than to demand that the citizens become dependent on the government for safety and parental oversight. What were Bush's speeches last week except a series of statements on what there is to be afraid of and how we should be scared enough to hide while the government takes care of all the monsters under the bed.

Democrats need to counter that message not by saying that they'll be better parents - that they won't fuck the neighbors or they won't blow the bank account on high-quality smack. No, instead, they need to offer a message that appeals to the American desire to have the guts to stand up to bullies big and small; a message that says that your vote doesn't have to confirm your fears, but it can be a method of saying that you're not afraid anymore. So howzabout this one:

"Don't let Osama Bin Laden tell you how to vote."

Focus group that motherfucker. It becomes shorthand for the bullshit hysteria the Republicans have wanted to provoke. It reminds people that Bin Laden is still out there without explicitly saying it. It says that for the last two elections, the American people have voted because Bin Laden scared them into voting a certain way. It evokes the constant quoting of Bin Laden that Bush has been doing, quotes that'll certainly be echoed by the media and by congressional candidates.

Look at this short speech segment that's possible: "My opponent has said that Osama Bin Laden wants to destroy America. My opponent wants you to be very scared. He says that's why you should vote for him. Well, I say to the people here in [insert podunk town, USA], 'Don't let Osama Bin Laden tell you how to vote.'"

One simple message, Democrats. One that'll echo in people's ears as they go to the polls where they can see the act of voting as an act of defiance, of Bin Laden, of Bush.


Reporting From Ground Zero on the Fifth Anniversary of the Last Good Day:
Yesterday, on September 10, when he read that George W. Bush was going to lay a wreath down in the middle of the hole in the ground that was the World Trade Center twin towers, the Rude Pundit decided to head on down to Ground Zero to see his President in person. He expected massive crowds and a crazed media circus, because this was, after all, the President returning to the site of his iconic image, of the moment that cemented the nation on its present disastrous course. He had never seen Bush in the flesh and wanted to look on his actual physical form, get a measure of the man so many of us have spent so much time despising.

When he emerged from the subway through the WTC Path Station, the Rude Pundit was greeted by protesters, also expected. He saw drumming Buddhist monks and their
monk-y wannabes drumming along flanked by large black balloons, behind a flag-draped coffin and signs demanding that the soldiers be brought home. Stopping a couple of young women in tight black shirts that read, in Arabic and English, "We will not be silent," the Rude Pundit asked, "Did you wear those intentionally? Because of the guy who couldn't get onto the plane?" They said they were aware of the incident, but, no, they wore the shirts because, indeed, they would not be silent.

The most protesters were from different groups calling for the "truth" about 9/11 to be revealed, the ones who, to varying degrees, believe the events of the day were supported and/or engineered by the U.S. government, the Israeli government, or some combination of them. Someone associated with the conspiracy-theorizing viral video sensation Loose Change gave the Rude Pundit a DVD of the film, which he will watch, as he told the guy, "skeptically." One 9/11 truth seeker was in a screaming fight with what can best be described as one of the "Crazed Old Coots For America," the various old guys decked out in American flag clothes and pro-Bush regalia spoiling for a fight. At least they didn't try to go toe to toe with the Grandmas For Peace, also there, also holding signs. One of the Grandmas said, "I just can't stand what Bush has done to us all, so I came down here to let him know."

Others there wanted freedom for Taiwan or pronounced the end of the world is nigh so it was time to get right with Jesus. One guy walked through the crowd screaming that homosexual soldiers rape Iraqi babies. It was hard to tell what side he was on.

Moving away from the station, looking for a place to watch the President do his wreath-laying solemnity, the Rude Pundit walked along the perimeter fence, looking around at all the security, the Secret Service with their tell-tale earpieces, the snipers on balconies and rooftops. Along the fence, people stared at mounted pictures of the day five years and a little over 12 hours ago. Every so often, there would be someone crying behind sunglasses or looking as if they had just finished or held back tears. Some wore pictures of loved ones on chains or shirts; some carried flyers that were reminiscent of the missing posters from back then. This time the flyers told short stories about the life of the dead person. One group wore name tags that said, "Surviving Family Member." It looked like two familes, one white, one Hispanic. They were being guided by an Asian woman who pointed out where each tower had stood. One of the Hispanic men posted a flyer over a "Post No Bills" sign. It was about his sister.

Walking past the lists of names that wrongly label everyone who died one of the "Heroes of 9/11" (sorry, but you don't get to be a hero just because you died at a certain place at a certain time unless you actually did something heroic), past Fire Station 10 and the soon-to-be open 9/11 Visitor's Center, the Rude Pundit was struck by how, compared to what he expected, very few people were actually there. Certainly not more than a couple of thousand. The President of the United States, the leader of the free world, the man who stood on the ruins and made such poignant promises to us, was going to be back at the ruins and, in as much as such numbers have meaning, on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the attacks. Shouldn't it have been packed? Shouldn't we have all stood shoulder to shoulder to watch? As pornographically as Bush exploits the event and makes Americans into victims, shouldn't more people have wanted to mourn with him? The Rude Pundit's seen more people out here on ordinary summer days.

He looked through the barrier fence down into the footprints of the towers. The long ramp that leads to the center of the pit had been theatrically lined with the flags of, one presumes, all the states and nations that lost people in the attacks. He heard bagpipes and saw honor guard, police and fire officials, and others down there. He thought about how small George Bush was going to seem from this vantage point, as close as one could get to the event without actually being inside. He was just going to be a teeny-tiny man in a great big hole, laying a wreath for America in a temporary reflecting pool.

Then NYPD officers, politely, to be sure, told all of us who stood there wanting to watch our President, some of whom wanted to mourn with him at least distantly, that we had to move out. The area was going to be secured. In fact, most of the perimeter would be secured and no one would be allowed close enough to the fence to see the President. No, the only way to truly see him would be to watch him on television. Where he wouldn't seem so teeny-tiny, so reduced in scale to the epic destruction that surrounded him. And, indeed, when you watch video of the event, with the Bushes, Mike Bloomberg, George Pataki, and Rudy Giuliani lined up and walking down the ramp, they forcibly look out of scale to the vast construction site around them. However, from anyone who could see from above, see the actual context of the event, they were very, very small.

The Rude Pundit walked out of the secure area as they put up barricades. Now, with the fence itself off limits, the crowds thinned out even further. Maybe this was the intention, for George Bush to have a private moment of mourning, except, of course, for all the TV cameras there. After thinking about heading to an Irish pub off Fulton Street where he often hopelessly flirts with the raven-haired Jersey girl behind the bar who can yank a tap like nobody's business, he decided to head home. The train station was closed because the President was going to be near it. So the Rude Pundit walked uptown a bit, past the protesters, past the press vans, past the police, and he hailed a cab.

It was only 9/10, after all. And it looked like it might rain.


Support a Rude Pundit Guest Blogger:
It may be sexist or some such shit, but the Rude Pundit gets like Russell Crowe in L.A. Confidential when he hears about some scumfucker guy pummeling his wife or girlfriend.

The good and righteous JC Christian over at Jesus' General has put out the word about a Rude Pundit guest blogger from this summer, Egalia at Tennessee Guerilla Women. Seems Egalia's daughter was beaten by her ex-boyfriend in one of the Rude Pundit's red state stomping grounds, Nashville, and Egalia was gutsy enough to post photos to shove that reality at you.

So the Rude Pundit seconds the General and says to get your ass over to TGW and either give a tip to Egalia during this fucked up time by clicking on her PayPal link or by donating in your own and/or Egalia's name to the YWCA of Nashville.

Out here in Left Blogsylvania, let's show that we do, indeed, give a shit about our own.
A Couple of Numbers From Bush's Speeches This Week:
Before heading off to get a running start on one of the last few sun-dappled afternoons of gin and tonic before the dark, heavy stout days of autumn creep in, the Rude Pundit will leave you with a few numbers from Bush's three "major" speeches this week on terrorism:

Total number of times September 11, 2001 or 9/11 were mentioned: 65, including 38 mentions in yesterday's speech alone.

Total number of times Osama Bin Laden was mentioned: 29, including 17 in the September 5 speech.

Well, at least Karl Rove's strategy for the midterms is blatantly fucking clear now.
In Brief: Why Bill O'Reilly Ought To Be Sodomized With a Push Poll:
On his website, in heady anticipation of his upcoming book, Culture Warrior, the Fox "News" ball-eating host has a "quiz" to see if you are a "culture warrior" or a "secular-progressive." It's five simple yes or no questions to determine if you wanna tear the screamin' queeny heads off homos or if you wanna march in a queer pride parade next to Hillary Clinton.

Here's one of the questions: "Do you think suspected terrorists captured overseas are entitled to Geneva Convention protections-that is, the same rights that military people are afforded?" Yes or no, motherfuckers, c'mon.

The Rude Pundit scored "leaning heavily" toward secular-progressive (he answered "No" to one of the five questions). But he was still offered the golden opportunity to purchase a personalized autographed copy of Culture Warriors. He'd do it, but he's pretty sure O'Reilly won't put the message the Rude Pundit wants on the nameplate: "This book is dedicated to wiping asses in this fine bathroom until all that's left is the cover. Kisses, Bill O'Reilly."

Back later with more Friday rudeness.


Bush To America: Our Justice System Sucks Balls:
"Don't you get it, you stupid fucks?" the President of the United States may as well have said yesterday. "All those years of American jurisprudence and treaties and shit are meaningless now. In fact, really, it's all been a huge fuckin' waste of time because now, now it's different." Yet when the President described the threat that faces the nation, the "new war," he said: "They operate in the shadows of society; they send small teams of operatives to infiltrate free nations; they live quietly among their victims; they conspire in secret, and then they strike without warning." That's not a war. That's a well-organized criminal operation. Sure, you can call it a "war" if you want, but you're wrong. See, a jihadi mafia doesn't really have the same panache as "big bad motherfuckers who'll destroy Western civilization." And it's a lot harder to get the nation to agree to hedge on or abandon some its basic principles if it ain't a war.

Which is exactly what Bush proudly announced yesterday. The President, our President (whether you like it or not) was damned near giddy telling us that the CIA has secret prisons in foreign countries, which were needed, you know, because they couldn't be given the humane treatment Bush assures us they received in a known American facility. And you could practically hear Bush fondle himself when, talking about the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, he said, "We knew that Zubaydah had more information that could save innocent lives, but he stopped talking. As his questioning proceeded, it became clear that he had received training on how to resist interrogation. And so the CIA used an alternative set of procedures." Oh, fuck, yeah, that hits the spot like a well-lubed dildo. Bush couldn't tell us exactly what was done to Zubaydah, except that "the procedures were tough, and they were safe, and lawful, and necessary." (And it ought to be noted that "lawful" means what Alberto Gonzales says is lawful.)

See, the problem, Bush said, ain't just the terrorists. It's the legal system of America. All this bullshit about "rights" and "fairness" and "habeas corpus" is pussy nonsense when it comes to this "new war." Said Bush, "[T]he Supreme Court's recent decision has impaired our ability to prosecute terrorists through military commissions, and has put in question the future of the CIA program." That's right - our courts suck balls. Sure, sure, they may have been able to prosecute spies and serial killers and, well, shit, terrorists in the past, but not in the "new war."

Bush re-informed us that the Court thinks the U.S. ought to abide by Common Article Three of the Geneva Conventions. Let's let the President explain: "This article includes provisions that prohibit 'outrages upon personal dignity' and 'humiliating and degrading treatment.' The problem is that these and other provisions of Common Article Three are vague and undefined." So, like, for half a century or more, the United States had at least some idea of what was humiliating, degrading, and outrageous treatment. But the Bush administration is suddenly ignorant (yeah, yeah, but let it go). Hey, Bible-boy, howzabout the Golden Rule test? What would you not want done unto you? Then don't fuckin' do it unto others.

But then Bush got to the crux of the matter, the real gut-wrenching fear: "And some believe our military and intelligence personnel involved in capturing and questioning terrorists could now be at risk of prosecution under the War Crimes Act -- simply for doing their jobs in a thorough and professional way. This is unacceptable." Ahh, so now it ain't just the U.S. court system, which is incapable of judging the crimes of terrorists because of the inconvenience of "evidence." It ain't just the pussy Geneva Conventions. It's the notion that maybe, just maybe, some, probably French fuckers, might believe everyone who authorized the "alternative set of procedures" might be criminals. Yeah, laws suck, man. Especially when you wanna break them.

And between the praise of torture (no matter what Bush calls it), the dismissing of the American justice system, and the vow to continue all of it, the Rude Pundit is left with this question: exactly what country are we fighting for? Because it's become appallingly clear that it sure as hell ain't the United States in any recognizable form anymore.
Help Follow the Bouncing Meme: Plame Caused the Katrina Debacle?:
So this morning, the Rude Pundit was flippin' between the O'Brien-licious CNN's American Morning and the Fox "News" morning show Fox and Friends with vagina dentata E.D. Hill and the deeply closeted Steve Doocy. On Fox, the Rude Pundit hears the Larry of the trio of hosts, Brian Kilmeade (which is close to an anagram for "kill me dead"), talking about ABC's lying, Bush-fellating piece o' crap TV movie about the Path to 9/11. Kilmeade offered that if, as the movie purports (and the 9/11 commission report says is wrong), that Bill Clinton was distracted from getting Osama Bin Laden because of the Lewinsky nonsense, then obviously the Bush adminstration is blameless for the Katrina nightmare because it was distracted by the Plame investigation, which now, of course, for Kilmeade and the right, is discredited completely by Richard Armitage's confession of loose lips.

What the fuck? the Rude Pundit thought. Is this some new talking point? For, surely, the Fox morning tools are not capable of thinking of such a thing on the fly.

So he went to the warm embrace of Google and Nexis and started a-searchin'. So far, here's what he's come up with: the meme seems to have started with James Taranto in his Wall Street Journal "Best of the Web" column on August 28. In the middle of "people who suffered" because of the investigation (and, of course, blaming Joe Wilson for everything), Taranto chortles, "Innocent White House officials were distracted from serving the country in order to participate in the investigation, which was in full swing a year ago when Hurricane Katrina struck." Over in Right Blogsylvania, it was picked up by Cliff May at the National Review Online (motto: "We may be irrelevant, but we're loud").

Has anyone heard this elsewhere? Is it spreading or dying as quickly as the sales of each of the Fox and Friends hosts' books?


Pictures That Make the Rude Pundit Want To Mix a Triple Dose of Ambien and a Fifth of Wild Turkey, Part 1:

(From Media Matters)
Message to the President: We're Not That Stupid:
Yesterday, the President of the United States treated each one of us as if we were the first passengers for pick up by the short bus. To be sure, we are a nation of idiots, as witnessed by our 2004 election and by the fact that still nearly half of recently polled Americans believe Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11. Or by the fact that anyone gives a happy monkey fuck over whether or not Suri Cruise is normal or some horrible genetic mutant spawn of the Cocktail guy and the Dawson's Creek chick. But generally leaders try to flatter the stupid - it's why, for instance, a politician can go to the biggest shit farm in Anal Rape, Arkansas and praise the noble shit farmer for his abilities at harvesting shit.

Not George Bush, though. He's a man who is unafraid to act like every American is a knuckle-dragging, drooling, eyes-too-close mongoloid. Perhaps it's the only way he can feel superior. Yesterday, when Bush gave one of his endless speeches on terrorism, his analogies and comparisons were so over the top, so hysterical (in the arm-waving, spit-flying sense of the word), so bloodlust-instilling calculated, that he may as well have taken out a bunny, shot it onstage, and said, "See? This is what terrorists wanna do," wiping bunny brains off his lectern and tossing the headless carcass into the gathered members of the Military Officers Association of America.

It wasn't just that Bush made the idiotic comparisons between Muslim extremism and Soviet Communism and Nazism. Those are easily dismissed: ummm, big fuckin' armies with entire crazed nations backin' them versus a bunch of horny guys shitting in caves. It was the strange way that Bush relished throwing the words of terrorists and extremists at us, as if we didn't know that these were pissed off, violent people. Here's Bush quoting Osama Bin Laden: "Death is better than living on this Earth with the unbelievers among us." Christ, it sounds like the journals of punk ass Klebold/Harris wannabes, like Osama's been listening to a little too much Danish death metal. This is our great foe?

The point here is that by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and others making their pedantic Nazi/Commie/Jihadi comparisons, they have succeeded in elevating the status of Bin Laden and other terrorists to epic proportions. Motherfucking Nazis could have taken over the entire continent of Europe, for real. Motherfucking USSR could have blown up the world, for real. Jihadis are living in a fantasy world, a delusional state, so brain-fucked by Allah worship and poverty they actually believe they are something more than, in the grand goddamned scheme o' things, a nuisance. By even pretending that Bin Laden is Hitler-like in any way other than Jew-hatred is to take Frankenstein's monster and pump that grunting, green fucker up to King Kong size. See, it only took angry villagers with torches to get rid of Frankenstein's monster. It took the military to take out Kong. So, c'mon, a little friggin' perspective here. Just because Bush says, "This is the great ideological struggle of the 21st century -- and it is the calling of our generation," doesn't mean it is.

This doesn't even get into the desperate flailing about in trying to make Iraqi insurgents, the Iranian government, and al-Qaeda (and its spawn) into one big ball o' bearded eeeevil. Said Bush, "As we continue to fight al Qaeda and these Sunni extremists inspired by their radical ideology, we also face the threat posed by Shia extremists, who are learning from al Qaeda, increasing their assertiveness, and stepping up their threats." Holy conflation, Mr. President. And it gets even more mindboggling: "Like al Qaeda and the Sunni extremists, the Iranian regime has clear aims: They want to drive America out of the region, to destroy Israel, and to dominate the broader Middle East." As opposed to the United States, which wants to keep America in the region, destroy Iran, and dominate the broader Middle East.

Who the fuck is Bush talking to? Who doesn't want to stop terrorism other than the terrorists? Why do we need to be reminded that terrorists have goals, too? Goddamn, the Rude Pundit is so tired of being treated like he's a fool. And he's pretty damn sure that sentiment is spreading fast.


This Savage Season (featuring the Return of Karl Rove's Leather Slave):
Karl Rove has invited Ken Mehlman down to the basement of the White House to view his leather slave. Karl Rove keeps his leather slave tied to a cabinet that contains such ephemera as John Adams' self-flagellation razor strop and Chester Arthur's Pure Buffalo Fat Side-Burn Grease. "Watch this," Rove tells the nervous RNC chairman. "This is what I want you to do." He unbuckles his slacks and Mehlman recoils for a moment at the sight of Rove wearing only a vinyl thong below the waist, its front tightly cupping Rove's balls. Rove orders his leather slave down, and, of course, being a leather slave, he complies with his master. The leather slave bends over in the traditional "presenting" position, kneeling and leaning over Teddy Roosevelt's Filipino-shooting saddle, his bare ass sticking up, much swollen anus ready for reaming. Sweat develops on Mehlman's upper lip.

Rove slaps the leather slave's bottom, pulling the chaps aside. He rips off his thong and he plunges his dick into the leather slave's sphincter. Grunting, fucking, breathing just a little hard, he looks at Mehlman. "You getting this? You understand? Every day I do this, and every day you have to do it, too. Until your dick and this bitch's asshole are bleeding."

"But I'm not..." Mehlman sputters.

"Fuck you. Shut the fuck up," Rove says, "Now get over here and massage my prostate." Reluctantly, but, really, having no choice, Mehlman walks over to Rove and places one, two, three fingers into Rove's ass. Turning to the task at hand, fucking harder now, the leather slave moaning, Karl Rove starts to cry, saying, "Yeah, Dad, you like it, you know it, you know it, fuck you, Dad." With a brief, quickly muted yell of "It's not incest if it's your stepfather," Rove comes, pulling out to spray jism all over his leather slave's back. He turns back to Mehlman. "You can stop now." Mehlman withdraws his hand. "Expertly done," Rove comments. The leather slave quivers but does not ejaculate. He is not allowed.

"Your turn," Rove tells Mehlman. Mehlman looks confused. "You gotta do it right. Now fuck his face." Mehlman tries to protest, but Rove cuts him off. "Just fucking stop it. You know what to do." Mehlman walks to the front of the leather slave. He delicately, deftly unzips the mouth of the slave's leather mask and then his own fly. Mehlman's got a throbbing boner. He puts his pecker in the leather slave's mouth, and, of course, the leather slave hungrily sucks. Mehlman moans, feeling the delirious scrape of zipper teeth on his face-probing cock. "That's right, Kenny, that's right. I used to be able to scream as loud as I wanted. Now I gotta keep it quiet. Fuckers upstairs, you know. But you, you can yell. C'mon, yell, motherfucker. Yell like you're gettin' your dick sucked." Mehlman complies, yelling louder and louder until he comes into the grateful mouth of the leather slave.

Mehlman's still hard, though, and he goes over to Rove and tries to ass fuck the Texan. "Whoa, whoa," Rove says, stepping away, "Get the fuck off me. I'm no fag." Mehlman, embarrassed, zips himself up. He nods, understanding his place in the order of things. "Save it, Kenny," Rove advises. "Save it and give it to Rahm Emmanuel. Give it to Chuck Schumer. Give it to that pissant fucker Dean."

Thong and pants back on, Rove accompanies Mehlman out of the basement. Karl Rove's leather slave, Republican spunk drying on various parts of his flesh and hair, stays bent over the saddle, thinking that it's only the day after Labor Day. It's gonna be a long two months.
Late Post:
Back this afternoon with the return of Karl Rove's leather slave.


A Labor Day Message (From Randy Newman):
Appropriately for this day and age, this is from the album Good Ole Boys. It's called "Mr. President (Have Pity on the Working Man)":

We've taken all you've given
But it's gettin' hard to make a livin'
Mr. President have pity on the working man

We're not asking you to love us
You may place yourself high above us
Mr. President have pity on the working man

I know it may sound funny
But people ev'ry where are runnin' out of money
We just can't make it by ourself

It is cold and the wind is blowing
We need something to keep us gong
Mr. President have pity on the working man

Maybe you've cheated
Maybe you've lied
Maybe you have lost your mind
Maybe you're only thinking 'bout yourself

Too late to run. Too late to cry now
The time has come for us to say good-bye now
Mr. President have pity on the working man
Mr. President have pity on the working man

Let us now visits our Marts of Wal, our Malls of America and Americans, and our fast food feed troughs. Let us bask in our oh-so-deserving middle classness and salute those whose labor makes this day such a joy. Or just go down on the needy genitals of a hard-laboring construction worker or waitress. "Mr. President" may have no pity, but the rest of us can offer tender mercies.

(An earlier version of this post had the wrong album title. It has been corrected. Thanks to astute rude reader Kevin B.)
In Brief: An Example of the Crude Use of Violent Metaphors:
In Marshville, NC, the mob of ten men were fucking sure that they had the right guy. They were so positive that Tony Blakeney had something to do with the disappearance of Patrick McClendon that they cornered Blakeney in his house and beat him to what would become death at the hospital later on. How fucked up does a beat down have to be for the sheriff to say, "This is the worst beating attack I've ever seen"? Let's just say that a sheriff in a North Carolina county's gonna have seen his fair share of bottle shards embedded in faces, teeth and eyes kicked out, broken bones and smashed skulls, stomped-to-popping testicles. So the answer's gotta be: really fucked up.

The mob believed they had the right intelligence. They had pieced it together from the few clues they had and decided to act before someone else was hurt. You can bet, though, that there was a man in the group who perhaps thought that maybe they were wrong, especially since chances are they beat Blakeney for a while to get information, which he could not give since he didn't, you know, have any. And you can also bet that any man who thought they were wrong didn't say a word for fear of being labeled a traitor and just let the beat down continue. Hell, there may have even been someone in the mob who thought that even if Blakeney was involved, they perhaps should let the law do its job. Again, that man held back any protests out of fear of what might be done to him for suggesting that the rules applied to them.

And you can bet, and it'd be as sure a bet as saying Hillary's gonna be re-elected to the Senate, that when the mob found out that they had beaten the wrong man, that Blakeney didn't have anything to do with McClendon's murder, that they themselves were just blind thugs and killers, yeah, you can fuckin' bet that at least a couple of 'em came up with other reasons to justify their violence, that Blakeney had committed some other offense.

The barbarically self-righteous among us will always come up with bullshit justifications to ensure that their barbarism is warranted.