End of the Year Haiku:
At the ass end of a truly awful year for this America, the Rude Pundit offers a few of those delicate Japanese poems, deflowered like Jamie Lynn Spears after a cough syrup bender:

Pelosi and Reid
Cowered like emo singers
With bleeding hem'rrhoids.

The Cold Jail Cell Sits Empty
Karl Rove slithered home.
Scooter Libby skated free.
Cheney smirked slyly.

Worst Year So Far, Part 1: The View from the White House
One can only be
Commander-in-chief atop
A stack of corpses.

Worst Year So Far, Part 2: The View from Iraq
The last one to die,
The last lit match, will just be
The last one to die.

Worst Year So Far, Part 3: The View from the Homeland
Rats at Walter Reed
At least have homes and lower
Rates of suicide.

More haiku later.

And feel free to toss in your own three line creations. Send 'em to the usual: rudepundit[at]yahoo[dot]com. The Rude Pundit will post the best ones tomorrow.


How Some Presidential Candidates Fuck Bhutto's Corpse:
The Rude Pundit's not gonna attempt to be any kind of pseudo-expert on Pakistani politics and history. The comments he has about the assassination of Benazir Bhutto can be reduced to three: 1. If Pervez Musharraf didn't know about it ahead of time, then he's the worst kind of dictator, the kind who doesn't actually control his country. 2. If he did know about it, even if he simply let it happen, then he's the regular kind of dictator. 3. Either way, Pakistan's screwed, with nukes in the middle of the screwing and the Bush administration somewhere between active incompetence and blithe enabling in this situation, which means, as ever, we're screwed.

What the Rude Pundit doesn't feel like a pretender doing is commenting on the nearly instantaneous necrophilia committed by the various candidates for President to the corpse of Benazir Bhutto. Yep, Bhutto's corpse had barely stopped bleeding when most of the campaigns decided to twist her around so they could take turns fucking her before she turned cold. And, of course, they were cheered on by the media, like the audience at the Theatre des Vampires paying to see nude maidens sucked dry.

Because no one fucks a corpse like someone who looks like the walking dead, Rudy Giuliani made sure that he placed his balls on Bhutto's chin as he fucked her face: "Her death is a reminder that terrorism anywhere — whether in New York, London, Tel-Aviv or Rawalpindi — is an enemy of freedom," he said in a statement. "We must redouble our efforts to win the Terrorists’ War on Us." Giuliani, who also just released his most cynical ad so far (his "God Bless 9/11" TV spot), Bhutto's murder is just another in a continuum of endless violences by vaguely defined "terrorists," as if they're one homogeneous group with a single goal.

And, of course, to Mitt Romney, that's all they are. In a response so idiotic, so droolingly retarded that in olden times he'd've been locked up in a cellar or put into the middle of a forest to die, Romney held forth to John "Hey, Why'd You Leave Me in This Forest?" Gibson on Fox "news" about how Bhutto's death is no different than anything else: "I think what's happened in Pakistan has made more clear in the mind of the American public and perhaps some of our Democratic colleagues as well that what we're dealing with in the global war on terror, this war against violent Jihadism, is not just an effort in Iraq or even extended to Afghanistan, but this is a worldwide effort on the part of violent Jihadists who have as the their intent the collapse of all nations, Islamic as well as Western." He was answering a question on what the U.S. should do if al-Qaeda (another nebulous term) is involved.

He dissertated, "The attacks are not just on Americans and American leaders or even Western leaders, it does include leaders within the world of Islam. There have been death threats and death attacks against General Musharraf. There have been attacks and threats of attack against Madam Bhutto before, so we're facing a world which sees a dramatic growth in violent Jihad, and we're going to have to gather together the civilized nations of the world to help strengthen the ability of moderate, modern Islamic people and leaders for them to reject the extreme, because ultimately, only Muslims are going to be able to reject violent radical Jihadism." If that makes a goddamn bit of sense to you, then you are probably Mormon. Which means Romney fucked Bhutto's corpse missionary style.

Of course, Romney put the conversation up on his website. Romney began his response to dead Bhutto with a journey into stupidity. Asked what he'd do now if he was president, he said he'd gather his advisers and call Musharraf. That's real fuckin' leadership there.

Mike Huckabee, being from Arkansas, fucked the corpse from behind, releasing a statement that said, "The terrible violence surrounding Pakistan’s upcoming election stands in stark contrast to the peaceful transition of power that we embrace in our country through our Constitution. On this sad day, we are reminded that while our democracy has flaws, it stands as a shining beacon of hope for nations and people around the world who seek peace and opportunity through self-government." Man, Huckabee must have been kickass at funerals back in his preacher days: "Yeah, sad that the fucker's dead, but, hey, ain't it awesome that we're alive? Now, let's dance, bitches."

Compare this with, say, Hillary Clinton's official statement, which focuses on Bhutto and the other victims of the bombing. And, standing above them all, John Edwards, who not only spoke to Musharraf seemingly before President Bush, but released a strong and compassionate statement.

(Caveats: This ignores the fucktarded nonsense spouted by Evan Bayh for Hillary or by Obama's adviser. And, well, fuck, it bears mentioning that John McCain was the only Republican to release a decent statement.)


Bush to Congress: "Thanks For the Iraq Blood Money, and, Hey, Fuck You":
Has any President ever been as much of a petulant cocksucker as George W. Bush? Motherfucker got war funding the way he wanted it in a budget bill that was, as ever, filled with pork like the fattest dumpling in Chinatown. This is nothing new. With nary a peep, Bush signed the 2005 budget, which took until December 2004 to pass, from the Republican-led Congress; it contained such tasty treats in it like almost $22.8 million for "Implementation and quantification of benefits of large-scale landscaping along freeways and interchanges in the Houston region" and $2.75 million to "renovate and expand" the National Packard Museum and its facilities in Warren, Ohio. Warren's member of Congress then, Republican Rob Portman, was not excoriated for wanting that fine automobile to have an even finer museum. And, to show how grateful it was to the nation that helped fund its Packer Museum, the district elected Jean Schmidt in 2005 when Portman became U.S. Trade Representative.

This year, though, Bush said, "I am disappointed in the way the Congress compiled this legislation, including abandoning the goal I set early this year to reduce the number and cost of earmarks by half. Instead, the Congress dropped into the bill nearly 9,800 earmarks that total more than $10 billion. These projects are not funded through a merit-based process and provide a vehicle for wasteful Government spending." You got that? See, finally, after years of winking and letting the Republican-led Congress tear through money like a Blackwater Humvee through the streets of Kirkuk, Bush made it a "goal" to cut earmarks in half. His Office of Budget and Management, previously known in the White House as "those poins and pinheads who think they know something about budgets when Dick Cheney really knows all," put up a site where you could get all seething and upset at things like, you know, a couple mill to renovate a fucking museum for a car.

By the way, the Bush administration considers FY 2005 as the "benchmark" for cutting earmarks by that magical 50%. As they were at least a little frightened of losing power in the upcoming election, in 2004, the Republican-led Congress acted like meth-addicted looters after an earthquake: "In fiscal year 2005, there were 13,492 earmarks totaling $18,944,327,000 for appropriations accounts." This year, in the first budget under the new Democratic-led Congress, there were, as Bush said, "nearly 9,800 earmarks" that came in at a little more than $10 billion. By any measure, that's a big damn cut. So, really and truly, George W. Bush and the bags of douche, who wander around like lamed bitch chihuahuas whining about "earmarks," can go eat a bowl of fuck.

'Cause, see, unless he gets everything he says he wants, George W. Bush will stomp his widdle feet. He's like the kid on Christmas morning who got a Wii but is throwing a fit because his Mom didn't get him some goddamn Zelda game to go with it. And, as ever, when Bush doesn't get his way, he'll fuckin' weasel his way out of, let's say, obeying the law: "Finally, this legislation contains certain provisions similar to those found in prior appropriations bills passed by the Congress that might be construed to be inconsistent with my Constitutional responsibilities. To avoid such potential infirmities, the executive branch will interpret and construe such provisions in the same manner as I have previously stated in regard to similar provisions." So it'll be signing statement-palooza, like usual, like back in 2005.

Earmark inclusions are the way the budget battle goes. $10 billion for, mostly, roads and other infrastructure improvement that the states desperately need in exchange for $70 billion to run a futile war no one wants for just a few months more. That's compromise at it's most cynical, and, truly, the pissy little president should count his fucking blessings that he isn't facing real opposition from the Democrats or anyone with guts from his own party.


Why Ann Coulter Is a Cunt (Eating Their Own Edition):
Because in her latest column (if by "column," you mean, "an aborted mutant, with twisted limbs horribly contorted by the poisons in blonde dye, desperately gasping to be killed"), Coulter tries to make Mike "Women Must Submit Graciously to Their Husband-Masters" Huckabee appear to be a raving liberal who parties with Howard Zinn and Gloria Steinem. And while the Rude Pundit ain't defending the former Arkansas governor who is, you know, insane, there's something just through-the-looking-glass fucked up in seeing Coulter (and Mitt "I Couldn't Be More Fucking Desperate" Romney) say, as she does on immigration policy, "[T]his puts Huckabee just a little to the left of Dennis Kucinich."

Toss into that at least three fat jokes, since Huckabee used to be a chunky motherfucker, har-de-har-har, and a good racist line or two, as in, "Huckabee has said illegal immigration gives Americans a chance to make up for slavery. (I thought letting O.J. walk for murdering two people was payback for slavery.)" And, by gum, you've done your writing for the week.

One of the best bloodsports in politics occurs when conservatives eat their own. And seeing Coulter and Rush Limbaugh attempt to tear Huckabee into bite-sized morsels is pleasurable in a way not unakin to watching that video of a Komodo dragon swallowing a wild pig. You wanna feel sorry for the wild pig, but you really can't since, chances are, given the opportunity, that hairy fucker'd turn on you and try to gnaw on your balls.
In Brief: New Mexico Clinic Fires:
Clark Kent duty calls for a while. But check out the latest New Mexico family planning clinic fires: two Planned Parenthood offices in Albuquerque. After these and the fire that took out part of another clinic a couple of weeks ago, one wonders if instead of calling it simply "arson," we could call it, oh, hell, howzabout "homegrown terrorism"? Oh, yeah, that's right. They're only terrorists if they're Muslim. Silly mistake.

Back later with more tasty rudeness.


Christmas Reruns:
Let's look back on the halcyon days of 2005, and "The Pre-Emptive War Against Christmas." It's sort of the Charlie Brown TV special of this blog. Or maybe the Grinch. No, more like Rudolph's Shiny New Year. Yeah, that's it.
In Brief: Why Dinesh D'Souza Ought To Be Sodomized With a Myrrh Tree:
Because he wrote: "[E]ven atheists should, for once, set aside their deep-seated resentments and hatreds and say, even if in a lower voice so that no one else can hear, 'Thank God for Christianity.'" And he wasn't being ironic.


Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Drink Egg Nog Until He Pukes:

Last week, a couple of days before retiring to one of the big damn compounds at which he vacations, President Bush made his way to Walter Reed to give out a few Purple Hearts and to get his picture taken with wounded soldiers, but not the too-skeevy, burn-scarred, brain damaged ones. Ones with nice clean wounds. For better photo-ops.

Here he is with Army Spc. John C. Hoxie from Philippi, West Virginia. On August 21, Hoxie was near an IED that exploded south of Baghdad. And then he was shot. He lost his left hand and his left leg. His right leg was mangled. He suffered "internal injuries," too. He'll finally get to go home late next year.

The point here is not whether or not Hoxie is proud of his service. It's not even the level of care he's receiving at Walter Reed (which his father praises). The point is the picture, of the crippled boy and the standing man.

Said the standing man, "Every time I come to a facility like this I count my blessings." So what the standing man learned from the crippled boy is "Better him than me." And then he gave the crippled boy a medal for getting crippled.


Fucked New Orleans (Demolition Edition of a Never-Ending Series):

Truly, the best and worst you could say about the four public housing projects approved for demolition by the New Orleans City Council yesterday is that they were shitholes people called "home." If you ever happened to go into the Lafitte projects (that's them in the picture there in 2006), pre-Katrina, you saw a community; yes, you might even think, "In the realm of the shit-strewn poverty dumps we call 'public housing' in the country, there are kinda quaint." And you might even enter an apartment or two that was nicely decorated, cozy, and welcoming. But, yes, truly, that was merely painted gloss on a turd. For nobody gave a fuck about doing much about Lafitte until after Hurricane Katrina. They were built in the 1940s and were models for what projects could be, and then, through cruel neglect and outright animosity, they were left to rot for a generation, with residents in them. Like the St. Bernard, Cooper, and Peete projects also scheduled to be demolished, they were, indeed, shitholes.

But, as Greg Palast and others have documented, Lafitte's shitholes were not flooded out by Katrina. And the Housing Authority of New Orleans shut them up and refused to let residents back in, citing mold, asbestos and other "safety" concerns that you can sure as hell bet were there before the hurricane. Think about it for just a sec here: you shutter up the doors and windows and cut the electricity to a home in New Orleans, where most of the year it feels like you're living in Satan's sweaty taint, and you might just get some pretty damn bad mold, floods or no. And it's a testament to either human resilience or stupidity that residents want to come back. Because, at the end of the day, a shithole to call home is better than no home at all.

See, yesterday's near riot at the City Council meeting where the plan to demolish over 4500 units of public housing was approved unanimously was not just about that plan; it was also about seeing a chance disappear to actually improve the projects rather than just wreck them and start from scratch. It was also about, once again, the poor in the city being told to go fuck themselves while the grown-ups do what they think is best for them. Like a World's Fair. Or a casino. Yeah, all those other things that worked out so well.

It was about a barrage of broken promises, like what happened when the St. Thomas housing development was leveled to make room for the much-vaunted "mixed-income" housing, where the wretched and downtrodden could learn to live with their financial betters. River Garden, as it was called, took the homes of 800 families and turned them into a space with "25 percent affordable units versus 75 percent market-rate." So seventy of those 800 families were able to return. See, for the poor in New Orleans, "progress" means "destruction." Or "progress for everyone else."

There is no will in the state, in the nation, to do something about entrenched poverty, the intractable disease that plagues so much of urban America. Hell, John Edwards is called "angry" for merely suggesting that the poor be considered in the upcoming presidential race.

And if none of that warms your heart for this holiday season, there's an article in the Guardian about the destruction wrought by the illegal drug epidemic in New Orleans. It's got this wonderful list from hell: "white crystal meth cookers instructing black crack dealers on how to cook up the drug on their kitchen stoves; an explosion in heroin use and availability that has resulted in the drug being consumed in all manner of strange and fascinating ways from heroin-laced gumbo sold for $10 a cup, to tightly-rolled marijuana blunts packed with the drug; dealers from storm-wracked neighborhoods moving into surrounding areas and clashing with established dealers (this may go far in explaining the current murder epidemic in New Orleans); and, perhaps most disturbingly, thousands of 'emancipated youths' (teenagers returning to New Orleans to live on their own, with absolutely no parental supervision) entering into the drug game in order to support themselves financially."

"Fucked" doesn't even do it justice.

(Tip o' the hat to rude reader Sheldon for the Guardian link.)


Please Don't Waterboard Santa, Rudy:
Of course Rudy Giuliani had to go to the hospital yesterday. While "shitting blood" might not truly be a "flu-like symptom," it is surely what the fading Republican frontrunner has been doing all this month. Sure, sure, you can say that Rudy's nosedive in the polls is related to the continuing revelations about his relationship with Bernard Kerik, his manipulation of the New York City budget to hide his affair with then fuck-toy Judith Nathan, or Mike Huckabee's unfathomable rise in the polls. Toss into that the coming wave of "No, Rudy, You Are Not the Hero of 9/11" ads. And you wouldn't be wrong. But, mostly, the Rude Pundit's pretty damn sure that Republicans have decided what's been obvious to the rest of us: Rudy Giuliani's just a creepy motherfucker.

To chill you down to your mistletoe berries, you gotta watch Giuliani's Christmas ads. As deranged as that "let's crucify the baby Jesus on this bookshelf" Mike Huckabee thing is, Giuliani's two ads qualify as the Silent Night, Deadly Night I and II of campaign commercials. The web-only one is impressive not only for what seems to be another interruption by Nathan (at least not on his cell phone this time), but for Giuliani ranting about "fruitcake." Did no one on his staff think, "Hmmm, maybe the guy who's kisser is all over the Internet in a dress and huge tits ought not be saying that word"? And, you know, much as the Rude Pundit would like "strict constructionist judges" for Christmas (when you bite 'em, they're gooey on the outside and crunchy on the inside), he'd rather Rudy give him a nice bottle of Patron Gold. Santa, sitting on the couch like he's Rudy's longtime companion, seeming approves of what Rudy says.

But that's nothing compared to the ad that's actually running on TV. It's so over-the-top disturbing that, if there is a war on Christmas, it qualifies as the atom bomb of the offensive, for any kids who saw it would not only never want Christmas to come again, but they'd burn down Santa's workshop with the elves inside in retaliation for destroying their childhoods. After listing the fascist wishes he has "for Christmas," Giuliani says, in a seemingly unconscious echo of Rodney King, he hopes "that all of the Presidential candidates can just get along." This makes Santa, sitting next to him, ho-ho in glee, saying, "I was with you right up until that last one," and this makes Giuliani cackle like a gargoyle over the eviscerated body of a virgin as he shrugs, accepting a candy cane from Santa, saying, "Can't have everything." Then, with the dead eyes of someone who has been sodomized one too many times, Santa stares at the screen, a glint of a plea there, begging for someone to either rescue him or shoot a sugar plum between his eyes.

And, perhaps, everyone's starting realize just how fuckin' bone-rattling creepy Giuliani's policies are. In his epic takedown over at the American Conservative magazine (motto: "Can we just go back to being isolationist xenophobes, please?"), Michael C. Desch, Professor and Robert M. Gates Chair in Intelligence and National Security Decision-making at the George Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University (it just seemed appropriate to mention the whole magillah), simply destroys Rudy and his foreign policy advisors. With tons of scary examples, Desch demonstrates that a President Giuliani would fuck us harder than George Bush could ever hope. Giuliani, Desch writes, "is of one mind with some of the most unrepentant, unreconstructed neoconservatives around. Podhoretz told the New York Observer that 'as far as I can tell, there is very little difference in how he sees the war and how I see it.'"

Yeah, Rudy's gonna keep trying to "humanize" himself, as in those Christmas ads, but the more he does it, the more he's gonna seem like the unrepentant asshole, the demi-human, unqualified, vindictive, egomaniacal creep he's always been.

Run, Santa, run.


Post-Torture America: Do You Feel Safer?:
When we talk about the actions of our government, we often forget that what we are discussing is what is being done in our name as American citizens, whether we like it or not. We are told that heinous acts are committed by our government for our good, to keep us safe and secure. For instance:

Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah, a Yemeni citizen, says he was arrested and tortured in Jordan and was eventually given to CIA custody, flown to Afghanistan, and interrogated, for 19 months total, until, never charged with anything, he was released. On his transfer to CIA custody, Bashmilah says, "They started tearing down my clothes, from above all the way down. And I was being stripped completely naked. They started taking pictures from all directions. And they also started to beat me on my sides and also my feet. And then they put me in a position similar to the position of prostration in Muslim prayer, which is similar to the fetal position. And in that position, one of them inserted his finger in my anus very violently." That was done to an innocent man. It was done in your name. It was done because the government told you it wants to keep you safe.

Binyam Mohammed, an Ethiopian refugee, arrested in Pakistan, based on the waterboarded information of Abu Zubaydah that Mohammed was in league with Jose Padilla to light a dirty bomb, sent to Morocco on a CIA flight, now a Gitmo resident, says of his treatment, "They took a scalpel to my right chest. It was only a small cut. Then they cut my left chest. One of them took my penis in his hand and began to make cuts. He did it once, and they stood still for maybe a minute watching. I was in agony, crying, trying desperately to suppress myself, but I was screaming... They must have done this 20 to 30 times in maybe two hours. There was blood all over." Now, Mohammed's lawyer wants to make sure any photos of his client's torture are not destroyed. This was done in your name. It was done because the government told you it wants to keep you safe.

Khaled al-Masri, a German citizen was abducted and held in Macedonia and Afghanistan, says about his transfer to a jail, "I was dragged out of the car, pushed roughly into a building, thrown to the floor, and kicked and beaten on the head, the soles of my feet, and the small of my back. I was left in a small, dirty, cold concrete cell. There was no bed and one dirty, military-style blanket and some old, torn clothes bundled into a thin pillow." A couple of months later, he was dumped on a road in Germany, never charged with anything. In October, the Supreme Court declined to hear a case he brought against the CIA because of "state secrets." This was done in your name. It was done because the government told you it wants to keep you safe.

All of it, all the waterboarding, all the denial of hearings, all the torture done by other countries at our behest, all the abuses at Guantanamo, and more, all of it was done in your name. It was done because the government wants to keep you safe.

Through all of it, we were told it was not only legal, it was necessary, it was for us, it kept us safe, even if they never showed us how.

Which brings us to the destruction of those CIA interrogation videos in 2005. The more we learn, including now the White House attorneys' involvement, the more we can see: that it was done not for you. It was done for them. It was to keep them safe.

You and your safety stopped figuring into the equation a long, long time ago. The rest has been a desperate scramble to justify themselves, again and again, no matter who has to suffer.


What Democracy Is About:
Yesterday, in his anti-Congress hissy fit in front of the Fredericksburg Rotary Club, President Bush said, "Now, I understand people in Washington and people around the country may not have agreed with my decisions on how to protect America. I know that, and that's fair. That's what democracy should be all about. When people have a difference of opinion with the President, they ought to feel comfortable expressing that difference." So, according to the President, "democracy" is people being able to disagree with the President. In fact, one should "feel comfortable" to say that one disagrees with the President.

In his Manichean view of the world, one imagines that as long as jack-booted thugs aren't clubbing Paul Krugman into a bloody pulp in the streets, George W. Bush believes that he has protected democracy. It's an amazing reduction of the meaning of democracy, but one that isn't surprising. Essentially, Bush is saying that as long as we're all pacified with the wubbie of free speech, we should be singing "God Bless America" unto dreamy oblivion. But action by the majority against the wishes of the powerful? That shit's gotta stop. Said Bush, "But there should be no difference of opinion when it comes to making sure our troops have the funding they need, and there should be no difference of opinion about whether our commanders on the ground ought to be those who decide or those who recommend to the President and the Congress the best way to proceed." Got it? You can say, "George, what the fuck's wrong with you." But you better not attempt to do something about it.

George W. Bush wouldn't know democracy if it bit him on his nutsack and jumped around while screaming, "I'm Democracy, motherfucker." The notion that democracy is "all about" tolerating words of dissent is patronizing and degrading, and it's like having a suggestion box in the coffee room of the local Wal-Mart: hey, drop a note in, Consuela, and maybe the assistant managers will look into giving you more regular bathroom breaks. But the second Consuela tries to unionize, you shut that down. The illusion of participation is more important than actually having a say. And that ain't democracy.

Real democracy is like really great fucking: it's messy and sweaty and passionate and angry, and you give and take and sometimes you're on top and sometimes you're not, and sometimes you get what you want and sometimes you don't, but that's okay because you know there's gonna be a next time. For Bush and Cheney and many Republicans and some Democrats, democracy is like being told you can jack off in the corner while this big-dicked stud fucks your wife. Yank it as much as you want, but you can't jump in. Yeah, you can tell yourself that this is good enough for you, but wouldn't you rather be in the middle getting some and giving some?

In a real democracy, at some point the leaders actually listen to the citizens who, through elections, have said some action must be taken. When the majority of the country is calling for a withdrawal to end a war - a war, goddamnit, not some fucking worthless tax cut - then there needs to be leaders who say, "You know what? Our troops don't need the funds to fight. And fuck the need to listen to the generals on the ground, who just do what's needed to achieve the goals set for them by the civilian leadership. It's a circle jerk and we're done" and then, you know, act on that.

The Bush administration is getting schooled in how messy democracy is over in Iraq. Even as Condoleezza Rice desperately tries to convince Iraqis to hang together, a real experiment in democracy, one where the United States didn't try to game the system, would result in a Shia government that would then have to grapple with how much rights they want to give to the ethnic minorities in the country. It's gonna be a fucked up process that'll no doubt lead to chaos.

But that's democracy. Sometimes you don't get what you want. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes your entire ideology is chased out of the village like a syphilitic whore. Sometimes you can win. The Bush administration refuses to believe that sometimes when you agree to play the game, you agree that you might not win. It just changes the definitions and the rules.

Despite what the President says, democracy's not just being able to be free to say to your master, "I don't like the way you're whipping me."


In Brief: Three Things That Are Sadly Unsurprising (and One Happy Thing):
1. Joseph Lieberman endorses John McCain. If there's one thing in this world that Al Gore needs to be goddamned for, it's having given national prominence to Joe Lieberman, a narcissist who craves attention like a mad hyena craves rotting ibex meat. Since that time, Lieberman has traded on his image as Johnny Bipartisan to dick over Democrats again and again, driven to vengeance like a mob hitman with the aching scab of a long-ago taken blood oath. As much of a lie as his image is, it's no wonder he endorsed John McCain, who still retains his maverick status despite his constant propping up of the Bush administration's most deranged policies. McCain and Lieberman will march in lockstep around the perimeter of the Baghdad Green Zone, madly clinging to the belief that they are the protectors and gatekeepers of our good, looking out into the city that despises them, never looking behind at the corpses that pile up like cord wood.

2. The Democrats getting ready to cave on telecom immunity. Just...fucking...beautiful. Again.

3. The number of families seeking emergency food and shelter is rising around the country. Right now, the Rude Pundit is listening to the petulant, pissy fucktard President rant about how the Congress wants to destroy the jim-fuckin' dandy economy he's given us all, like he's St. Nick and every day is goddamn Christmas. Meanwhile, everywhere, people are being crushed by debt and stupid financial decisions, tempted by the promise of cheap and easy lives. As the President screeches about the Democrats raising taxes and how it will murder us all, the Rude Pundit can't remember a moment when Bush faced Americans and said, "You know what? Shit's expensive. And you may need to sacrifice." Nope, it's always, "As long as you give me everything I want, you can go about your business." Except that lie is becoming more and more pronounced, as with every tinpot dictator and petty emperor in history.

One Good Thing: Rudy Giuliani - Dead Candidacy Walking.


Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Do a Speedball of Eggnog and Wassail:

It's cronyism at its worst on display during the White House's latest Christmas video. Filmed with cutting edge Barney Cam technology, the short film follows the President's dog, Barney, and his bitch, Miss Beazley, as they attempt to finagle positions in their master's administration as Junior Park Rangers. Of course, this being the Bush White House, their obvious lack of experience or opposable thumbs is no impediment to the pair quickly being embraced by the frightening Mary Bomar, the Director of the National Park Service. They do, in fact, become Junior Park Rangers, a sacred duty. Expect the national forests to burn this coming year.

There's so many sad elements in this video that it's hard to enumerate them all. There's the cat named "Kitty" so the President can easily identify its species. There's the heartbreaking realization that Jenna Bush sounds just like her father, so that pretty much kills that masturbation fantasy. There's the fact that young Barbara Bush appears not to know exactly how to pet a dog. There's Laura. There's the Secretary of the Interior promoting Bush's budgetary priorities to Barney. And there's Tony Blair. No, really, seriously, the former PM of the UK. Talking to George W. Bush's pet. Congratulating the dog. Saying, "As someone born in Edinburgh, Scotland, it's always good to see the Scots doing well." Somewhere, Winston Churchill felt his spirit bowels clench.

And, of course, the realization that, during what the President has called a war that will determine the progress of civilization as we know it, he found the time to make this video.

For extra Christmas fun, here's the text of the official White House Christmas card, according to Barbara Walters, who received it:
"You alone are the LORD
You made the heavens, even the highest heavens,
and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it,
the seas and all that is in them.
You give life to everything,
and the multitudes of heaven worship you."

Yeah, between the video and the card, such tidings for peace on Earth.


HR 847: Are You Goddamn Kidding?: Holy fuck and sweet merciful cocksucking, what the hell? The House of Representatives actually passed, massively, a resolution declaring, in essence, that Christianity is just awesome and keen and mighty cool and all the kids should do it. Oh, and Christmas is, oh, Jesus Christ on a cracker, fuckin' orgasmically sensational. No, no, no, seriously, and, c'mon, are Christians such pussies that they needed the fucking House of Representatives to say, among the "whereas-es," that "on December 25 of each calendar year, American Christians observe Christmas, the holiday celebrating the birth of their savior, Jesus Christ" and that "for Christians, Christmas is celebrated as a recognition of God's redemption, mercy, and Grace"? Are Christians in America so desperate for attention that they needed cornfucker Steve King to stand up for them and for the House to resolve that it "recognizes the Christian faith as one of the great religions of the world" and "acknowledges and supports the role played by Christians and Christianity in the founding of the United States and in the formation of the western civilization" and giving mad props to Christmas? Oh, and King, big bad Iowa Republican that he is, called out the nine Democrats who voted against the resolution, speaking to Steve "I'm Married...To a Woman...No, Really" Doocy and some fat bastard on Fox "news" about how the nine could vote against the Three Wise Men when they voted for other bullshit House resolutions recognizing Ramadan and Muslims, and Diwali and Hindus? And, since irony is to Republicans what salt is to snails, King links to the roll calls of those votes, where, interestingly, one can see that Steve King of Iowa voted "Present" to both non-Christian resolutions. It ain't "nay." But it sure as shit ain't "yea." Is this what Christianity has come to? A bunch of whiny bitches in heat making the other dogs in the neighborhood howl and bark? Where, when Bill O'Reilly or William Donohue or Tony Perkins or whatever demagogic barrel of fuck you wanna name gets sand in his or her ass crack over Christmas or gay marriage or some issue or other that makes fundamentalists think America is all about them, you gotta go all paranoiac? Is your Jesus that small? And, seriously, if God was really pissed about any of this, he's got a pretty good history of fucking shit up in his name. Putrescent evangelicals in Congress and their oughta-be-more rational enablers have ripped the nuts off the baby Jesus and shoved them Joseph's mouth, dancing around madly with the dessicated sack. And if the cowering silent majority of Christians who just want peace and love don't start putting the loud and vicious smackdown on their brethren with hard-ons for a Christian nation, then they are complicit in the degradation of the religion they purportedly believe in. As for the Democrats in Congress, the majority that even allowed this vote while letting the Bush administration rape them repeatedly on every issue, well, it's par for the course, innit? One day, some day when the talking monkeys are digging up our ruins, trying to suss out just what the hell went wrong that buried America so quickly, some big ass gibbon's gonna find the text of this resolution on some old hard drive. And the chimp anthropologists and baboon political scientists will analyze it, realizing that once a nation's leaders felt it was necessary to so forcefully state the obvious, the country was doomed. But you can bet there'll be some silverback gorilla that'll think, "Hmm, I think I can use this to make everyone kowtow to my desperate need for power. And bananas." Chances are, too, that that gorilla will be a closeted gay simian. Meanwhile, back in America today, most Jews are just glad Hanukkah quietly slipped past the Congress unnoticed, although, in a synagogue in Hartford, Joe Lieberman shakes with bitter weeping, always feeling left out.


Christ Weary of Mike Huckabee: How Crazy Christian Do You Want Your Candidate, Republicans?:
You look into former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee's eyes and those fuckers are spinning. Fast. Exactly how insane Huckabee may be has been the subject of discussion before, most notably in Matt Taibbi's Rolling Stone article on the Republican candidate and through his isolate-the-AIDS-plague-victims remarks and his "I ain't a primate" talk, but there's levels of bugfuckery in Huckabee that are so damn scary that Jesus must be wanting to make a special appearance just to say, "Whoa, whoa, don't let this nutsy fucker represent for me."

Here's a few insane tidbits:

In 1999, as governor, Huckabee declared a "marital emergency" in Arkansas and said he would cut the divorce rate in half by 2010. He signed a bill into law creating covenant marriage options in Arkansas, which forces a two-year waiting period on couples who have entered into that contract, according to the book Who We Are Now by Sam Roberts.

And then, in 2005, Huckabee and his wife changed their marriage to a covenant. Which means if Janet Huckabee wants to run away from this crazy bastard, she's gotta suck it up for 24 months and then she'll probably wanna fuck like ten different guys of different races in order to make the process move along more quickly. Here's the fun part: they did it in front of 5000 people at a Little Rock auditorium, revising their wedding vows during some clusterfuck ceremony for marriages.

In the fucked up case where Governor Mike denied Medicaid funds for an abortion for a retarded 15 year-old girl knocked up when she was raped by her stepfather, he didn't even have the balls to say it was because of his rabid pro-life position. Nope, Huckabee said that the girl was just a tiddly-wink in a lawsuit trying to get the state out of following federal law on Medicaid. It wasn't a moral stand. He had to protect the rights of all Arkansans by making that little whore pay for her own abortion (which was eventually taken care of by private donors).

The ordained Baptist minister was governor for an execution trifecta, three convicted murderers put to death on the same night in January 1997. While there's no reports of Huckabee mocking the pleas of any of the condemned, it sure seems like Jesus would at least want the executions staggered over a couple of days, maybe even a week. But, hell, we can all make up shit that Jesus might want, eh?

In one of those splendidly idiotic semantical tiffs that twisted fundamentalists love to engage in, Huckabee refused to sign a bill that would help storm victims from getting dicked over by insurance companies. This was in March 1997, after massive storms and tornadoes had wrecked a couple of towns and killed 15 people. Why would Gov. Mike object? Because the bill described floods and tornadoes as "acts of God," like virtually every homeowners' policy in the country. Apparently, it made the baby Jesus cry to hear described "a destructive and deadly force as being 'an act of God.'" And, while the Rude Pundit's no theologian, it does seem like God is fond of the flooding. Huckabee actually wrote to legislators, "I feel that I have indeed witnessed many 'acts of God,' but I see His actions in the miraculous sparing of life, the sacrifice and selfless spirit in which so many responded to the pain of others." Jesus was drinking a Fresca at that moment, and he spit it out laughing when he was told.

But here's some bottom line shit: Mike Huckabee was a low rent televangelist in Arkansas during the Reagan/Bush I era. You think in Texarkana in 1989 that the Southern Baptists would embrace anything less than a completely nutzoid preacherman? Motherfucker used to do tent revivals, was the President of the Arkansas Baptist Convention, and no less than one of the chiefest deranged Christians, Rick Scarborough, says, "I suggest that God may be sending us a lifeline. Who better to lead a nation nearing moral collapse and perhaps World War III than a president who is also a pastor with 10 years of senior executive experience as a governor?" And that should give us all the night sweats and explosive shits. When we finally see or read Huckabee's sermons from those early years, it's gonna be some hellfire and damnation.

Hell, though, Republicans, go ahead and nominate an apocalyptic sounding prick, one who believes we are in World War III, who is supported by Mr. Left Behind himself, who says of our current conflicts, "This is not like most wars and battles, which are fought over property or prosperity or personalities or even politics. At the heart of this is religion. But a perversion of religion. Islamic fascism is real, and the jihadists that have declared a war against us must be understood in the theological context in which this war is being waged." Religious war, man. Enjoy it all the way through the American Rapture.

By the way, if anyone out there watched Huckabee during his pastor days, write in and tell the Rude Pundit what you saw.


On the Whole, We're Fucked:
So let's just get this straight. Sometimes you just gotta look at the karmic ledger. In the last couple of days, here's what we've learned:

Despite being told not to, the CIA destroyed tapes that show the interrogations of two al-Qaeda suspects. An former agent who was there says that the interrogators, who may or may not have been CIA agents, waterboarded at least one of the men, a multiple-personalitied low-level operative. Yes, says the agent, they got information that may have helped disrupt plots, but that's spin and might not be true, and, frankly, who knows if we could have gotten the information without the torture.

A woman working for Halliburton/KBR was gang-raped by her demi-human co-workers in Iraq, and then the company imprisoned her in a shipping container lest she tell people that she was, you know, gang-raped, and she had to be rescued by the State Department, and it seems, due to the tangle of rules that say that contractors can do fuck-all they want without recrimination or justice, the rapists are gonna get away with it. Oh, and the Justice and State Departments are probably covering up for Halliburton.

A deranged man shoots up a couple of churches in Colorado, and Family Research Council President Tony "God, I'm an Anal-Lovin' Whore for the Media" Perkins essentially blames the "secular" media. Meanwhile, over at that urinal of opinion, Townhall.com, we learn that the woman who shot the shooter was not only the right armed person with a gun at the right time (and a security guard), but she's a goddamn vessel of godly retribution who shows us all how much we should be dry-humping our guns. Thomas Sowell orgasmically cries, "At Last," and the blog over there has various commentators commentating on how splendiferous an armed public is, not even recognizing the irony that...oh, fuck, never mind.

On the plus side, the Supreme Court said that judges can actually use judgment. And New Jersey's probably gonna outlaw the death penalty.

Yeah, lessee, toss in that the crazed Baptist who thinks people with AIDS should be quarantined and thanks an invisible sky wizard for his surge in the polls is pretty much leading the Republicans, and the ledger reads: we're so fucked.

More tomorrow on said crazed Baptist.


Five Lessons in Ethics and Morality from Rudy Giuliani:
Yesterday, Republican presidential candidate and a man who talks like Woody Allen's evil twin, Rudy Giuliani, sat down for an hour-long conversation with Tim "Behold My Magnificent Pumpkinhead of Query" Russert on Meet the Press. It was like a Master's level lecture on how to weasel one's way out of every ethical discrepancy in one's background. Indeed, in their tree trunk homes in the woods of Minnesota, weasels gathered to watch the interview so they may learn to be better, faster, and fleeter at weaseling.

1. If, at some point in the future, you think you might want to run for president, you can use that as an excuse for anything. Giuliani was part of the Iraq Study Group, but when he realized it would cut into his continued profiting off the corpses of 9/11 victims, he bailed. Now he says that, because he was gonna maybe run for president, he had to resign from the committee: "As I looked at the commission, I realized that the people that were on the commission were exclusively people who had already had a political career, and none of them, at least foreseeably, was going to be running for office. So it seemed to me there was a mistake."

2. As long as you believe what you're doing for someone is good, it doesn't matter who is paying you. Sure, you didn't know that the balloon-making clown you hired for your kid's party is a massive child molester with kiddie corpses buried in his backyard. That's you. But if you did know before the party and you still hired him? Then you'd be Rudy Giuliani. Said Giuliani about his security consulting firm (motto: "Because he watched accountants leap to their deaths from the burning Twin Towers, Rudy's qualified to offer you advice") doing business with the emir of Qatar and people tied to Kim Jong-Il, "When you, when you deal with clients and you take on the problems of clients and you try to help them, it may be that somewhere, someplace they did something that was questionable or arguably questionable. These, these are things people aren’t even convicted of. So you can’t, you can’t vouch for every single thing they did. They thing that, the things we have done with them are honorable, ethical, useful and, and helpful." See? Rudy was trying to make them better entities. He wasn't a greedy, craven teatsucker. No, he was kind of a missionary. He wants to help reform the murdering, raping clown.

3. When you've truly been caught in a fuck up, say it was a fuck up, repeat it as often as you can, and then compare how many times you've been right to this one time of being wrong. On Bernard Kerik's recommendation to head Homeland Security when Tom Ridge stepped down: "I—what I did, here’s what I did do wrong. You want—the mistake was, I should have checked it out much more carefully before he went forward for any of these positions. And I didn’t. I didn’t check it out carefully enough. I should’ve done that. I usually do, and 95, 98, 99 percent of the times I’ve gotten it right. Gosh, I made a mistake. I, I learned from it. In the future, I’ll be much more careful about it. I should’ve checked him out much more carefully, and I didn’t." Holy shit, every defense attorney in the country ought to use that excuse for their clients: "Think of all the times my client robbed a liquor store and didn't accidentally shoot the clerk."

4. Being gay isn't sinful, but fucking people of the same sex is. Spaketh Rudy, "My, my, my—no, I don’t believe it’s sinful. My, my moral views on this come from the, you know, from the Catholic Church, and I believe that homosexuality, heterosexuality as a, as a way that somebody leads their life is not—isn’t sinful. It’s the acts, it’s the various acts that people perform that are sinful, not the—not the orientation that they have."

5. And fucking around on your wife is sinful, but providing your mistress with security paid for by the public is not.

Being Rudy Giuliani seems to mean always having to stumble, hem, haw, backtrack, stutter, justify, and re-state. Imagine what prosecutor Giuliani would have done with candidate Giuliani on the stand.


Rudy and Judy: Love on the Run (and on the Taxpayers' Bill):
So you're a former U.S. attorney who has put away major figures in the Mafia. You're mayor of one of the nation's largest cities - say, oh, hell, and why not, New York City. You at least believe that you are constantly threatened, the mob notoriously pissy about being taken down, and some of the threats may, in fact, be credible. You're married, but your marriage sucks. Still, members of your family are included in these nebulously-defined threats.

You meet a hot socialite who is, graciously, hot for you. But, see, if you start banging her behind your wife's back, then, well, you know what will happen: when word gets out, there's at least a chance she'll be threatened, the mob notoriously not subtle about who they target. A truly honorable man might, at that moment, say to himself, "Well, fuck, I'm married and, really, and, c'mon, why drag someone else into this shit. I'm gonna not be mayor in a coupla years. I can keep my crank in check until then."

But that would be you, and you are not Rudy Giuliani, who decided that it was best for all concerned that he start banging Judith Nathan as soon as possible, and to make sure that her life was threatened by the very people who threatened him, and that, at least to his thinking, and probably to hers, she needed police protection because Rudy is Rudy and couldn't keep his dick out of Nathan. And, good people of New York, you had to pay the bills to make sure that Rudy Giuliani's fuckmate was protected so Rudy could continue to get some o' that juicy Judith 'tang whenever his dowsing rod-like dick dragged him out to the Hamptons.

Yeah, if this is the Republican frontrunner, and, for now, he is, how pathetic the Republicans must be if this is the best they can muster. And, remember, as Joe Conason pointed out last week, the cops-for-Judy scandal is only the most glamorous 'cause it's got fucking (even if the thought of Rudy's combover ass pumping up and down is cause for lost lunches everywhere). It's certainly not the most serious.


Christ Weary of Mormons: Mitt Romney Fellates God:
Here's the scariest thing Mitt Romney could have said today in his grand and mighty don't-fear-the-Mormon speech: "Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone." The funny thing is that he really said that. Remember: Mitt Romney believes that freedom leads one to commune with God. Not your neighbor. Not your community. Not your nation. Nope, it's all about God. The whole pathetic speech was such a pander to the religious right that you wondered if the invisible sky wizard himself didn't open his purple star-encrusted robes and told Romney, "Suck it. And you better be good."

When John F. Kennedy gave his "no, you fuckin' John Birch psychos, the Pope doesn't own me" speech back in 1960, the then-Senator was throwing down a gauntlet: this shit ain't about what god anybody believes - it's about the very real blood and bones of the American people. Kennedy saw their suffering, "the hungry children I saw in West Virginia, the old people who cannot pay their doctor bills, the families forced to give up their farms--an America with too many slums, with too few schools..." And he said what the fuck does it matter who believes what or doesn't believe anything as long as they are willing to put their asses on the line to make the nation better. It's a nation "where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice," Kennedy said.

But not Romney.

Oh, no, that smarmy, smooth, slick as shit motherfucker made it all about giving props to the Christian nation. "There is one fundamental question about which I often am asked. What do I believe about Jesus Christ? I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind," Romney said, licking God's taint while desperately jacking himself for the hoped-for delight of the Family Research Council and James Dobson. "Americans acknowledge that liberty is a gift of God, not an indulgence of government," he said, making sure not to neglect God's balls until the invisible pitcher of the ether was, in Romney's Joseph Smith-fucked brain, satisfied.

As for those who don't believe? We can pretty much go fuck ourselves: "Any believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, has a friend and ally in me." And if God's dick is in Mitt Romney's face when he kneels, all the better for the sucking because sucking God's dick is what God demands, right, evangelicals?

How fucking degraded a nation do we have to be where an allegedly daring speech by a major candidate is all about how much he loves drinking Jesus jizz? Kennedy didn't even mention God, Jr. in his speech. But we gotta deal with Romney thinking that he's making some kind of stunning admission by saying, "But in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America – the religion of secularism. They are wrong." And it's exactly the opposite of what Kennedy said, whose speech Romney hoped, in his Huckabee-fucked, floundering, fortune-draining campaign, to evoke.

Romney also cites a bit of writing by John Adams often used by right wingers hoping to shove religion up all our asses. In his letter to a brigade of the Massachusetts militia, yes, Adams did write, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

But in the rest of that letter, Adams says, "[S]hould the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation while it is practising iniquity and extravagance, and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candor, frankness, and sincerity, while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world; because we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net."

Adams warned us not to be fucking hypocrites. He was talking about religion in its truest sense. Not as a way of saying that one is superior because one has religion, but in the sense that religion ought to be humbling, not a reason to preen like a goddamn nit-filled peacock before the salivating hyenas of the media and the Republican base.


Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Sign DNR Orders For the Nation:

Here's President George W. Bush at a health center in Omaha. He spoke about how great he was that he accomplished something in getting community health centers built. And he added, "I really appreciate you giving me a chance to come to -- part of our national strategy is to make sure the uninsured can find good-quality primary care. This center serves -- 85 percent of its people don't speak English as a first language. By far, the vast majority are low-income. And yet they're receiving first-class quality care." Relying on barely funded community centers might not seem like the best strategy for helping the uninsured, like that incredibly old woman up there next to that rich guy and the doctor. But then you're thinking like someone who doesn't believe in the amazing, splendiferous continuum between private and public entities.

In other words, if everyone is insured, then the fuckin' commies have won. Sorry, old lady. Hope you liked meeting the rich guy.

Oh, as he was leaving, a reporter shouted a question at the President about Iran's reaction to the NIE: "They want an apology from the United States, and compensation, sir. Will you do that?"

Demonstrating once again that he's a serious man in charge of serious issues, Bush replied, "You can mark down I chuckled." Yeah, it's damn funny when you've chanted war cries like the last Commanche looking down at a desert valley filled with the dead members of your bleeding tribe, the laughing man lunging headlong off the cliff because that's all that's left to do.
Late Rudeness: Birthday Edition:
Today is the Rude Pundit's birthday. Yes, he is a Sagittarius. Yes, his birthday is uncomfortably close to Britney Spears's. But the Rude Pundit is also a working man, and thus Clark Kent duty calls even on such a day. Back later with more rudiosity.

(Oh, if you wanna give a present, feel free to get all clicky on the Paypal donation link over there.)


Live Vodka-Blogging the President's Press Conference:
Once more, President Bush has announced a last second press conference. So, once again, the Rude Pundit has gone into the freezer to get out another trusty bottle of Chopin vodka, the finest vodka for times like these, when the Siberian winds are blowing up skirts here in the chilled Northeast. All quotes pretty much guaranteed not to be word accurate. But the spirit is there.

10:01: There he is, jumping right in with a gentle caress of the Congress's face on some Peruvian trade legislation before the slap. Here it comes: "Our troops are waiting on Congress to fund 'em," which conjures the image of soldiers sitting on a log somewhere with tin cups, wondering if they'll ever get another MRE.

10:04: For some bizarro reason, he keeps referring to an omnibus budget bill as a "monster bill," as if this has not been done with surprising regularity by Presidents like, um, Reagan. And then, in an image every child needs, he invokes the big guy: "Santa [will have] slipped down their chimney before Congress finishes its work."

10:05: First question and it's right into the National Intelligence Estimate on how Iran ain't buildin' nukes. Bush says, "We know that they're still trying to learn how to enrich uranium, we know that enriching uranium is an important step in a country whose desire is to..." Holy Christ, we're down to Iran gaining knowledge as a way of defining their evil evilness? He views the report as a warning signal that they could "restart" the program. Man, he's got no enthusiasm for this Iran discussion. It's like he thrust his hard-on in Laura's face and she just slapped that Vienna sausage out of her way.

10:07: Wants to compliment intelligence community for its good work on Iran. Hey, take that, Norman Podhoretz, plaintively mewling into the uncaring wilderness about how can we trust the intelligence now since they were wrong about Iraq.

10:09: David Gregory is going for Bush's nutsack: Are you hyping the Iranian threat? "I was made aware of the NIE last week." Apparently, National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell didn't tell Bush what the new information was, just that there was new information. What the fuck? Is he the goddamn President or the low girl on the text message circle about whether or not the new hot boy at school is gay?

10:11: Iran will be dangerous if they have the knowledge to make a weapon, he reiterates. What the fuck does that even mean? No, really, what the fuck?

10:12: George W. Bush giving advice on how the world can remain peaceful is not unlike a lion with gum disease telling an antelope to slow the fuck down so they can just talk.

10:14: Bush says that nobody told him to back down on the rhetoric on Iran. "My opinion hasn't changed," he says, in the wake of the NIE. Sometimes the Rude Pundit wonders what it must be like for a Bush supporter to watch this and believe anything this tiny little man says.

10:15: Wait, what? The long pole in the tent? Is he talking about his pants? Anyways...seriously, how can you watch this shit and not think, "Damn, we are so intensely fucked for the next year, at least." 'Cause, at this point, if you're a Bush fan, you gotta hope that Iran is super-secret gonna try to get some kind of knowledge that'll lead it to build nukes so we can bomb the fuck out of another country. And thus you are insane, too.

10:19: He's asked, "What goes through your mind when you hear about a Saudi woman getting gang-raped?" You just know he's wondering how he can get some of that hot sand nigger action...oh, wait, no, he's wondering how he'd feel if it was his daughter. And he's wondering how he can get some of that hot Barbara action.

10:22: If you're keeping your vodka in the freezer, a handy tip is to make sure that the cap is tight on the bottle. Otherwise, any odors in there will get into the taste. You could also keep your freezer clean.

10:24: Bush is talking about the old days of mortgages like everyone had the power to go to the bank to re-negotiate rates. Which was awesome if you were white and middle class in 1962.

10:25: He's being challenged on the whole "knowledge" thing, how knowledge to build weapons is not part of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The Rude Pundit's betting that reporter is not getting an answer. Aaaannnnd...no. Not gonna address the treaty. He's just gonna simian-sign, "Iran bad," and toss shit at the cameras like he's President Koko.

10:28: Disturbing things you never want to hear your President say: "Here's why it's hard."

10:30: This press conference's straw man: the vaguely defined person who thinks that the NIE means everyone needs to believe that Iran is just hunky-dory and we should stop paying attention to them. So it's either brinkmanship or blinders. Nothing in between.

10:33: Oh, shit, here's paranoid prez coming out: sometimes people say what he said is not what he said. So he won't tell what he said to Putin because he doesn't like it when people say what he said, which might not be what he said. Oh, and Iran's still bad.

10:36: Disturbing things you never want to hear your President say, part 2: On the campaign plane, "My friend Candy Crowley passed a virus around."

10:38: Bush says, "The most disappointing thing about Washington has been the name-calling...I've tried to be respectful to all parties." Which is not unlike a jailhouse rapist saying the most disappointing thing is when his punks don't clean his cell well enough.

10:40: He's talking about relations with Congress one minute and then he goes all batshit about funding the troops. It's like for a second he got reflective and moderate, and then caught himself.
10:41: Bush is asked if he's facing a credibility gap with the American people. He dismisses it outright, says he is feeling "spirited." And then talks about how dangerous Iran is.

10:43: Aw, fuck, this vodka is disappearing fast and now this goddamn President is yelling at the Rude Pundit about Iran. He's fuckin' pissed that the reporter said something about his body language. He's a man of peace, don't you see? And "Psychology 101 ain't workin'." And he's out.

Whoa, methinks he just stormed off. Angry that the reporters would dare think he's not been working to make sure their families are not nuked by non-existent Iranian weapons. Don't we get it? He's right. Everyone else in the world and in half of his administration and Congress is wrong. And if we can't see his innate rightness, then we can all go fuck ourselves.

Now, someone tell the Rude Pundit why anyone anywhere should trust this man?


Rove's Game (Featuring the Return of Karl Rove's Ex-Leather Slave):
"What is he up to?" Karl Rove's ex-leather slave said aloud to the television yesterday. Karl Rove's ex-leather slave lives in a studio apartment in Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, a long walk to Independence Hall. When he was Karl Rove's leather slave, the former boy wonder kept him in tied down in the basement of the White House, bent over Teddy Roosevelt's rough-riding pommel horse and just behind a wooden box holding Martin Van Buren's bottle of Cherokee tears. For nearly six years, Karl Rove's leather slave had his ass regularly reamed by Rove and whatever guests Rove wanted to bring down the stairs to fuck his well-lubricated anus. Finally escaping in November 2006, Karl Rove's ex-leather slave lives in mortal fear that Rove will find him and drag him back to his previous life, moving from city to city to try to avoid being discovered. Karl Rove may be a flabby man who wears latex underwear, but he does not like to be spurned.

Watching Fox "news" yesterday, Karl Rove's ex-leather slave saw his ex-master insist that Democrats wanted to vote on the Iraq war authorization before the 2002 midterms as much as the President wanted the power, an allegation Rove had previously made on the Charlie Rose Show. It was an odd thing to say, thought the ex-leather slave, considering that the President would drunkenly rage against the gods to Rove, to Condi, to whomever would listen, that he was being dicked by Daschle.

Then Karl Rove's ex-leather slave opened his Financial Times, a favorite of leather slaves and their masters, and saw his former tormentor's pudgy face staring back at him from the editorial page. The piece was titled "Memo to Obama: Win Iowa or Lose the Race," and it purports to give Democratic candidate Barack Obama advice on how to defeat Hillary Clinton. It's sort of a companion to his Newsweek article on how Republicans can beat Clinton. Among Rove's dingleberries of wisdom is this one: "Striking a pose of being high-minded and too pure will not work. Americans want to see you scrapping and fighting for the job, not in a mean or ugly way but in a forceful and straightforward way." He may be right, thought the ex-leather slave, feeling a familiar sting of small tears in his butt pucker. But that doesn't mean there's not some other game afoot here.

It's obvious, the ex-leather slave said, and he felt a tear well up in the corner of his eye as he remembered the creative ways Rove would fuck him, all the implements and farm tools, selling him for an afternoon with Larry Craig or Mark Foley. Pushing that out of his head, the ex-leather slave wondered who had to call to warn them all, all the candidates, all the members of the media, hell, all of America, that Karl Rove is the junior prince of lies. And what does a demon want more than anything else but mischief and anarchy and chaos?

Yes, he thought, he's still got Matt Drudge's phone number from back in the day. Matt surely owes him a favor after all the times that pasty twink would fist him while weeping. He could call up Drudge, tell him the truth: "Rove is playing everyone. He wants Obama to go after Clinton because he knows that Clinton's gonna be the nominee. And he wants Clinton to limp into the general having been hobbled by her rivals so that all the Republican will have to do is walk into her stall and pump three bullets into her lamed body to do her in." Rove is good. It's why he was such an intimidating master, why the ex-leather slave still cringes when he hears the snap of a whip or the shuffle of thighs in vinyl pants.

Karl Rove's ex-leather slave is about to pick up the phone when it hits him. Drudge will tell, that fucker. Drudge will text Rove as soon as he has info. And then Karl Rove will appear again, smiling that monster smile, arms open, ready to hold his leather slave while slowly dragging his fingers along the ex-leather's back until he penetrated the ex-leather slave's asshole, telling the ex-leather slave, "I'm gonna tattoo my name on your face so that every time you look in the mirror, you know who owns you."

The ex-leather slave walks away from the phone and sits back down in front of the television. A&E has a Dirty Jobs marathon going.


Fun With Rudy:
For big time high-lariousity, check out ABC's Blotter page about how Rudy Giuliani's then-fuckbag Judith Nathan essentially used the NYPD "as her personal taxi service." In the box that says "The Blotter Recommends," there's a list of the following greatest hits for America's Mayor: "Giuliani's Ties to Qatar Raise Questions for Mr. 9/ll" and "Out of Spotlight, Giuliani Embraces Convicted Moneyman" and "Photos: Giuliani and the Priest," which bears explaining, which we get in the next line: "Giuliani Defends, Employs Priest Accused of Molesting Teens."

Over at the toxic waste dump known as Townhall.com, conservative blogger and obese hate purveyor John Hawkins has done a great deal of the work of destroying Giuliani for the Republican base. In his column (if by "column," you mean, "the howling rage against the world for one's inability to get fucked ever, even at 4 a.m. in a Shanghai whorehouse with a hundred Euro bill wrapped around your dick") titled "Rudy Giuliani Would Be Our Bill Clinton," Hawkins goes through all those things that oughta make Clinton-haters beshit themselves fretting: the marriages, the affair, the Kerik, the pro-life, pro-gay, anti-gun stands, the possible child molester buddy. As one of Hawkins' commenters says, "Further, when Clinton was messing around in the White House with Monica (at the very least) we claimed he was reckless and exhibited bad judgment. The way that Rudy handled his second divorce, adultery and 3rd marriage is way beyond anything that Clinton did in the White House."

Over at the New York Daily News, never a Rudy fan, they got former New York mayor Ed Koch and an official from the administration of David Dinkins to say that they never did anything like Giuliani's clever accounting to cover-up his high-balling in the Hamptons. This forced Giuliani's stooge Joe Lhota, who had told the press that the practice of shifting expenses to lesser departments had "gone on for years" and "predates Giuliani," to crawfish into a corner and say, in a tiny, Kerik-sodomized voice, "I should only talk about what I know about."

Man, no wonder the third wife calls Giuliani all the time. Considering the measures he undertook to hide that he was fucking her when she was the other woman, she has every reason to be worried.

The Rude Pundit doesn't give a happy monkey fuck about who Giuliani fucked and when. But here's the thing: he was a dick about it. He was the mid-life crisis bearing motherfucker who said, "Fuck it" to his family and decided to bust a nut when a new piece of ass came along. Hell, the Rude Pundit, in the scheme of things, doesn't have any moral problem with that. But Rudy thought he could do whatever he wanted as mayor, running City Hall like a petty dictatorship, abusing, at least in an unethical way, his office in order to keep his affair a secret. The public has the right to wonder, "Should I have to pay if a President Giuliani wants to hide from his wife the fact that he's giving the high hard one to some new tail?"


Batshit in St. Pete - The Republican Debate:
Sweet motherfuck, what a collection of pussies, posers, and paranoiacs gathered on that stage in St. Petersburg last night for the CNN/YouTube debate. What the fuck was that? Leaving aside Fred Thompson, who looks and talks like the ghost of Jacob Marley in a community theatre production of A Christmas Carol, Crazy Eyes Huckabee, the worthless Duncan Hunter, the worthlesser Tom Tancredo, and the batshit nutzoid little fuck that is Ron Paul (yeah, yeah, he's against the war - still, fuck him), and leaving aside John McCain for just a moment here, what you had was a throwdown between a pair of pampered bitches each trying to show the other who can tear up a satin pillow the most viciously.

It's hard to figure out what the most embarrassing moment was for Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani. Was it the sight of two incredibly wealthy white men trying to out butch each other on illegal immigrants? It's like wandering into a Harvard Club discussion of the relative merits of Jackass versus South Park. You stare for a while in nauseated wonder and then you just wanna smack everyone involved on principle.

For the Rude Pundit, the lowest of the low for Romney came when the former governor of Massachusetts tried to get in John McCain's shit about torture. Perfectly spouting the Bush administration's line about how we don't torture, but we can't tell you what we do, Romney got all manly: "I'm not going to specify the specific means of what is and what is not torture so that the people that we capture will know what things we're able to do and what things we're not able to do. And I get that advice from Cofer Black, who is a person who was responsible for counterterrorism in the CIA for some 35 years."

It was too late, though. McCain had already bent Romney over the bamboo mat and made the Mormon into his bitch when he said, "Then I am astonished that you would think such a -- such a torture would be inflicted on anyone in our -- who we are held captive and anyone could believe that that's not torture. It's in violation of the Geneva Convention. It's in violation of existing law. And, governor, let me tell you, if we're going to get the high ground in this world and we're going to be the America that we have cherished and loved for more than 200 years. We're not going to torture people. We're not going to do what Pol Pot did. We're not going to do what's being done to Burmese monks as we speak. I suggest that you talk to retired military officers and active duty military officers like Colin Powell and others, and how in the world anybody could think that that kind of thing could be inflicted by Americans on people who are held in our custody is absolutely beyond me." It was the best answer to any question the entire evening, one of the only ones that bespoke a grounding in humanity, an oasis of normal among the savagery.

For sheer fucking hilarity, there was Rudy Giuliani's response to the scary guy who wanted to know if the candidates believed every word of the bible. Having already been booed on gun control and immigration, the adulterous, gay-loving Giuliani brought out the weasel stick: "I think there are parts of the Bible that are interpretive. I think there are parts of the Bible that are allegorical.I think there are parts of the Bible that are meant to be interpreted in a modern context. So, yes, I believe it. I think it's the great book ever written. I read it frequently. I read it very frequently when I've gone through the bigger crises in my life, and I find great wisdom in it, and it does define to a very large extent my faith. But I don't believe every single thing in the literal sense of Jonah being in the belly of the whale, or, you know, there are some things in it that I think were put there as allegorical."

You gotta wonder if Rudy was readin' the good book while his limo was taking him to Judith Nathan's place in the Hamptons. Maybe he found in it the wisdom to sustain him while he lied to his wife and family for all those pre-9/11 weekends spent balling Nathan. Perhaps he thought about the allegorical aspects of the crucifixion while he was nailing his mistress. Maybe he thought about Jonah and the whale as Nathan was fellating his tiny cock.

The wheels are coming off Giuliani. Romney's unelectable. Huckabee's spooky. The Rude Pundit's said it before: McCain's the only way to go for Republicans who actually want to win. Sure, the crazy showed every now and then with McCain, when talking about the public losing Vietnam or about Iraq, but among the men on that stage last night, McCain was the only one who sounded like he knew what he was talking about. Other than on torture, McCain's best answer was on another creepy question about what guns the candidates own and can use. While Romney and Thompson went macho, McCain, sounding like the guy who would gut you in your sleep, answered, "For a long time I used a lot of guns, including carrying a .45 as a pilot flying in combat over Vietnam. I know how to use guns. I don't own one now."

Now that's the real badass.


Batshit at Annapolis: A Picture Show and a Pondering:

That's our goddamn President, grinning like he's wondering whether to rape Ronny Cox or Jon Voight next, standing between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (who, in the scheme of things in the Middle East, have pretty easily pronounceable names). Bush is smiling because the two leaders agreed that talking about shit is a good idea. Huzzah. Triumph.

That's Bill Clinton standing between Yithak Rabin and Yasser Arafat back in 1993. Clinton is smiling because the two leaders actually signed a peace deal. It would fall apart soon after, but, still, and all, it was a thing, an accomplishment.

That's Jimmy Carter standing between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1978. Carter is smiling because the two leaders just signed the Camp David Accords, which led to a peace treaty in 1979.

We might look at this as the photo-ops of diminishing returns. But that would be cruel to Clinton. Instead, let's just ask which of these pictures looks the most dishonest in the context. The Rude Pundit's gonna go with the one where Bush seems like he's physically pushing Olmert and Abbas together by the scruffs of their necks, like trying to get frat pledges to tongue kiss for his amusement back at Yale.

One other note on the Annapolis meeting: Imagine being one of the delegates from Lebanon, which had the fuck bombed out of it by Israel, and having to listen to President Bush say, "[A] battle is underway for the future of the Middle East -- and we must not cede victory to the extremists. With their violent actions and contempt for human life, the extremists are seeking to impose a dark vision on the Palestinian people -- a vision that feeds on hopelessness and despair to sow chaos in the Holy Land. If this vision prevails, the future of the region will be endless terror, endless war, and endless suffering."

Imagine hearing that if you're Palestinian, having heard Bush say, "The Palestinian people are blessed with many gifts and talents." Essentially, the Leader o' the Free World just equated you and your people with an average toddler or a particularly bright spaniel.

Imagine listening to this man who is threatening to attack Iran and plunge your region into conflagration. You know, you see some crazy shit back home, but sitting there and listen to Bush and Rice talk about peace, well, that's like sitting next to a farting camel - you wanna make sure you're not on the downwind side of the stink.


Unspoken Thoughts Floating Around the District of Columbia Yesterday:
In a private Oval Office meeting, on the visitor's side of the desk: "Hey, you wannabe leader, you dickless, coddled, narrow-minded, warped bag of douche, what must it be like to wake up every morning, knowing that your children and grandchildren and generations of your polluted seed will be told that the world was plunged into chaos and destruction because of you? Not only were you the cause of much of it, but of those things you could have solved, you were too much of a fucktwit to do a goddamned thing about it? Yeah, that's gonna be funny when, outside the flooded or burnt out ruins of what were once our great cities, made unlivable by environmental neglect and a wrecked military and the collapse of an economy that finally forced the rich to move to Europe, the shells of schools teach their students to revile you while they ask, like classrooms in Poland ponder, 'What would have happened if Hitler had been assassinated?', what life would have been like if the Florida recount had happened.

"Jesus, George, how Bill and Madeleine and I used to sit around here and fuckin' laugh at the idea that Americans would be so pathetically stupid as to get tricked by you, how it didn't seem possible, how the idiot son of a defeated president couldn't possibly win. Never underestimate the placement of toadies in high positions, though, but I don't have to tell you. And you've made sure that everyone who didn't believe you could do it was punished, which means, you know, most people got to be fucked by you.

"But now, oh, shit, now, it's like what it must have been like to watch child molesters get drawn and quartered in the medieval public squares. It's like blood sport, seeing you fall, seeing your legacy being the nadir of American power and influence. You will be despised by all people in the world except a devoted little suicide cult, but there won't be a restoration for you, like Nixon or Reagan. No. Your name will be spoken in the same breath as Pinochet, Milosevic, and Mussolini, the graceless thugs of recent history. My descendants get the last laugh, motherfucker.

"Now listen up while I try to save your sorry ass only because I'm trying to save us all."

In the Oval Office, on the president's side of the desk: "I hope there's pie at that big dinner tonight. Do Arabs like pie? Sure, they do. Everyone likes pie. How long do I have to listen to this fat fuck to make it look good?"

In a private room at George Washington University Hospital, from the bed: "Suck my dick, Satan. You're not gettin' me yet."

In that hospital room, looking down at the patient, ready to administer electric shock to a skipping heart: "What did my grandma ask me? 'If you had the chance to kill Hitler, would you do it? If you had the chance...' Hmmm. Ah, shit. Just do your job. Fuckin' Hippocrates."