End of the Year Haiku, Part 2 (Rude Readers Get Poetical):
Before we close out this bipolar year of Obama rushes and economic crashes and a solid level of violence and horror, let's look back in poetry, or at least a bastardized version of poetry, as the Rude Pundit and his readers tap some haiku into the ether where 2008 is about to reside.

A few more from the Rude Pundit:

A Moral Quandary
Hmm, is it torture?
Ask the jailed nude man shaking
In pools of his piss.

You Get What You Ask For
The NSA cringed
when they saw Cheney jacks it
to burn victim porn.

The Night of January 19
Bush stared at the wall,
fingered his asshole, and thought,
“I did a great job.”

The Rude Pundit put out the call for haiku, and, damn, motherfuckers, you flooded him with well over 100 of the things in a little over a day. Here's a sample of the best (with minor edits, if needed, and no vouching for proper syllable count). If yours didn't make it, thanks for sending it, and, for fuck's sake, get over it.

From J. Jackson:
Ostrich-like humans
Our heads buried in the ice
Drowning as it melts

From Mike A.:
Look back at Iraq
With a post-coital tristesse
Quiet, you'll wake her

From Foamboy:
If a thing is deemed
"Too Big To Fail," then please don't
Put fucktards in charge.

From John H.:
Bush, the decider,
will be gone not soon enough
to bring back the dead

From Tangerine L.:
If I live too long
Spring will bring another Bush.
I hope I die first.

From Chuck D. (no, not that one):
Farewell, W.
Please accept this flying shoe
As your good-bye gift.

From Pete K.:
False prosperity
Thin as simple rice paper
Flutters in the wind

From Jeanette D.:
I once had a job
I could almost pay my bills
Job gone, bills still here

From Jennie B.:
For sale: tulip garden
Dutch cultivars blooming with
attached foreclosed house

From Broadway Carl:
One day soon Limbaugh
Will clutch his chest and collapse
I will dance a jig

From Jim:
Sleek blond imbecile
Like Ann Coulter posits a
Terrorist Fist Jab

From Tom M. (a Dead Kennedys reference always warms the Rude Pundit's heart):
O' California
Uber alles, votes hatred
Proposition 8

From Phil D.:
Barack Obama
Is Chicago’s face. It’s ass:
Rod Blagojevich

From Dan G.:
Two-thousand and eight
America finally stops
Sucking its own dick?

From Sheldon D.:
Obama said yes
the sun will shine yet again
here comes the shitstorm


End of the Year Haiku, 2008 (Part 1: The Election):
Horror Movie Campaign
1. Sarah Palin sucked
the life out of John McCain
like a vampire moose.

2. Prez Bill Clinton was
a hungry, running zombie
with gore in his teeth.

3. Did Giuliani
really think America
needs Nosferatu?

4. Hillary Clinton
was as tough to defeat as
Jason on crack rock.

5. McCain sold his soul
to Karl Rove, who crushed it like
a frightened hawk’s heart.

A Bad Year for Fox “News”

Bill Ayers, Rev. Wright,
madrassas, Muslims, and more:
flea farts in the wind.

Happy Endings

Obama said, “Yes,
we can.” And we finally
believed that we could.

(The Rude Pundit will be back later with more haiku. And you can send yours. So far, the poems have been a-pouring in. Keep 'em coming - except you, John H. You've had way too much to drink.)


End of the Year Haiku Submissions:
Since 2004, the Rude Pundit has ended every year with a whisper in a series of simple haiku. He'll be doing that again this week, and he's once again opening this up to rude readers to contribute their own three line, five-syllable, seven-syllable, five-syllable poems to reflect on this grand and awful year.

Here's an example:
My 401K
Is a sheet of blank paper
Against a white wall.

Submit yours to rudepundit_at_yahoo(dot)com. The best will be posted on Wednesday or Thursday.
Because We Won't Have Him to Kick Around Much Longer, Part 3 (Middle East Blood Edition):
This has gotten ridiculous. With the new conflagration in Gaza, the Bush presidency has now become a parody of a failure. It's like watching Herbert Hoover walk in public with shit-stained pants around his ankles, like seeing Richard Nixon fuck Checkers' corpse, like hearing Warren G. Harding in the mad throes of advanced syphilis screeching at the walls of the White House. Peace of some sort in the Middle East has been one of those presidential yardsticks since at least Jimmy Carter, and the measure of our current Leader of the Free World, this demi-man, this Bush rests somewhere between blithe neglect and outright hostility to anything that stinks of "peace."

The White House's official reaction to the end of a six-month truce between Hamas and Israel was, in essence, to show a middle finger to the Palestinians and say, "See this? Sit on this fucker and rotate, bitches." Or, as Condoleezza Rice put it, "The United States strongly condemns the repeated rocket and mortar attacks against Israel and holds Hamas responsible for breaking the cease-fire and for the renewal of violence in Gaza." Which would be great if Hamas had broken the cease-fire. At best, that's up for debate, although most evidence points to Israel being the first dicks in the cock fight. And, to demonstrate that you can't spell "diplomacy" without a dip, some damn spokestooge for Bush said of Hamas, "These people are nothing but thugs."

Does anyone fuckin' even remember the ludicrous "road map" to an end to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict? Yeah, it was just great to provide a map. Some wheels and an engine would have been better. (And not the engines in the warplanes the U.S. sells to Israel.)

Meanwhile, over there, the ambulances in Gaza are having difficulty transporting the dead and wounded because of the constant barrage of Israeli attacks. Before the attacks, because of its opposition to the Hamas-led government, Israel decided to blockade the Gaza Strip. Writes Johann Hari, "According to Oxfam, only 137 trucks of food were allowed into Gaza this November - to feed 1.5 million people. The UN says poverty has reached an 'unprecedented level.' When I was last in besieged Gaza, I saw hospitals turning away the sick because their machinery and medicine was running out. I met hungry children stumbling around the streets, scavenging for food." So Hamas launched some rockets. A stupid move, but if you're watching your kids dig through garbage to eat, you might just throw rocks at the people making it happen.

And, as ever, Israel's reaction is to drop a fuckin' avalanche of boulders on the sick, starving rock throwers. Of course, demonstrations took place against Israel all over the Arab world, including in lucky, liberated Iraq. Over there, it's all redemptive blood and death, which is a cycle that can only ensure its continuation.

Meanwhile, over here, this is another not-so-abstract example of just how fucked we've become as a nation, how impotent, how unimportant. We've only got three weeks left of this madness, of being led by these criminally arrogant and incompetent bastards. What the fuck else could happen? What the fuck else can? At this point, all bets are off on whether or not the nation can survive until January 20. Shit, we should just go around expecting another terrorist attack, a plague ravaging a city, a goddamned black hole swallowing the entire planet. It wouldn't even be surprising.


In Brief: Pinter in Memoriam:
The Rude Pundit's favorite moment in a Harold Pinter play comes at the end of Act 1 in No Man's Land, a 1975 work. Without explaining the plot, it's still an almost unbearably chilling scene, the perfect example of the playwright's "menace" on stage. It's this simple: one character, who is a thuggish bodyguard, tells an old man, who is a stranger in the house where he sits, "Listen. You know what it's like when you're in a room with the light on and then suddenly the light goes out? I'll show you. It's like this..." And then he turns out the light. Since it's the end of the act, that means the lights go out in the theatre. So you are left, like the character, thinking about how it feels to be suddenly plunged into darkness.

The British Pinter, in his subtle, devastating works, illuminated a world where people were engaged in verbal (and sometimes physical) combat in order to cling to or assert power. Often, that power came from the outside to disrupt or even colonize a living space. In his most famous work, The Homecoming, a house of men ends up figuratively and literally on its knees to the woman who has come from America. In The Birthday Party, two men torture another man into a catatonic state before taking him away to an unknown fate. We do not know what the victim has done to bring the men to his boarding house.

For more on Pinter beyond the stage, read English PEN's note of mourning for the dead writer, who was also Vice-President of the organization and a tireless fighter for free speech rights around the world. And, of course, there's his 2005 Nobel Prize lecture, where he reached into America's pants and yanked off its balls. Finally, if you want to see the man in action as an actor, check out his performance in Samuel Beckett's Catastrophe, directed by David Mamet.

Harold Pinter knew that those with power will use that power. And while his life was devoted to fighting back, his work demonstrated again and again that ultimately, power corrupts and poisons even the most seemingly best-intentioned people. In the famous pauses he wrote into the dialogue of his plays, the silences were often filled with the internal choice of the characters to fight or submit. Unfortunately, the end result, as Pinter saw it, was usually the same.

(The Rude Pundit is in a hurry because he's heading south today, and he'll be writing from a Red State America that is a significantly lighter shade.)


Rude Blast from the Past:
It's Christmasukkah. What the fuck are you doing here? At least get out to a bar and be with other people. And remember: egg nog is not "just to add color."

Here's a little something from 2004, with updated links and pictures:

Xmas - And, lo, a small teddy bear will lead them:
In the days before Christmas, the Rude Pundit roamed his neighborhood, looking at the displays in the charming stores and corner markets. There he saw the agony of so many dichotomous feelings about this holiday. One window had a kneeling, praying Santa next to a baby Jesus in the manger. Santa's hat was off. He was balding. Another display had the jolly old fat man landing his sleigh and reindeer on the roof of the manger. Surprisingly, neither Mary nor Joseph seemed rattled by the noise, although a camel was looking upward, as if asking, "What the fuck?" The Rude Pundit loved that camel.

Ah, sweet camel, what the fuck, indeed. Christ and commerce, Alleluia. The Savior has been born and he thanks you for your presents. Santa showing that he'll even honor the king of the Jews in the land of Islam. There's no telling what it means (and don't get all up in the Rude Pundit's face about St. Nicholas). Except this: we want to embrace both things, good deconstructionists that we are: Santa, who soothes our greed,and Jesus, who promises us peace. Either way, we want them both to tell us we're good people, nice people. And, of course, guilt-ridden Christians want to make sure that Santa toes the party line, you know.

For the holiday, here's a few of the Rude Pundit's favorite Nativity sets:

The Moosetivity (there better be a lot of damn hay in that manger)

The Boyd's Bears Nativity (because baby Jesus isn't cute enough as a human)
The Native American Nativity (complete with real feathers, 'cause, you know, the Indians benefited so much from the birth of Christ)
This is not to mention the Cativity, the Dogtivity, the Barntivity, and the various Beartivities, all available unironically for your Christmas consumption.


Christmas Treats: A Very Cheney Christmas:
Let's give this one last spin before the era of his horror is over and jokes like these are curiosities of the past. It's a track from the 2005 recording you see over there, The Year of Living Rudely, a never-blogged piece written by the Rude Pundit that celebrates the yearly White House tradition of an administration member reading a Christmas story to children each yuletide. It's a look back, with a spotlight on a sad Colin Powell, a crazy (what else?) John Bolton, and a repressed Laura Bush. And then there's Cheney.

So gather the family 'round, burn the last of your worthless 401k to keep warm, and listen to "A Very Cheney Christmas":

To give props, it was produced by the enthusiastically rude Kevin Thomsen and it features the Rude Pundit, Erik Bergmann, Donna Coney Island, and Skippy Crandall.

Happy Hanukkah/Christmas/Kwanzaa/Ba'al's Sodomize-Your-Neighbor Day/Whatever.

(Oh, guess it's an opportunity for promotion: if you wanna remember the nightmare, you can order the CD or download tracks by clicking here or, if you're orally inclined, over on the patriotic mouth.)

(And if you're havin' problems with the player there, it is easier to hear it over at Podbean.)


Quotes That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Huff Blonde Hair Dye (Part of the "Why Ann Coulter Is a Cunt" Series):
In her "tribute" to Sarah Palin (if by "tribute," you mean, "a narcissistic recapitulation of every notion that has popped into one's head between giving head to Sean Hannity and snorting Ecuadoran blow over the entire year") for the Alaska Governor's receipt of "Conservative of the Year" from the inhuman Human Events "magazine," Ann Coulter gives us this ringing endorsement:

"Who cares if Palin was qualified to be President? She was running with John McCain! There was no chance that ticket was going to place her anywhere near the presidency. In fact, I can’t think of a better place to put someone you wanted to keep away from the White House than on a ticket with McCain."

Apparently, one's worthiness for being "Conservative of the Year," if we go by Coulter's words, is based on how much one pisses off liberals (to which Coulter gleefully masturbates all over the page), one's ability to breed (Coulter repeatedly and stalkingly brings up Palin's kids), and one's looks. Not only are there two references to how "beautiful" Palin is, but Coulter offers that "there was not one Democrat woman who could win a head-to-head contest with Palin. Especially not if we got to see their faces. Democrats may have a fleet of women politicians, but they don’t have a deep bench of attractive ones. You don’t even think of most Democratic women as women: Rosa Delauro, Nita Lowey, Patty Murray, Janet Napolitano -- and the list goes on. Oh, sure, there are the odd female Democrat sex kittens -- your Janet Renos, your Donna Shalalas -- but they're the exception to the rule." Those conservatives sure know how to value their women.

At the end of the day, though, what else do they have this year? "Conservative of the Year," according to Human Events, is not about ideology advancement or accomplishment. No, it's for a "beauteous" face who people wanted to come out and look at. A hot piece of right wing ass. It is, indeed, lipstick on a pit bull.


Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Freebase Fruitcake:

That's Baghdad Santa. Behind him is a poster of Jesus, who no doubt is thinking, "What the fuck?" Yes, it is a sign of "hope," if you will, that Christmas has returned to Baghdad, all things considered, but when your Christian population has dropped to 100,000 from 800,000 pre-U.S. invasion, you gotta figure that you get one shot to celebrate the whole thing, God and greed.

Oh, and as part of the festival, there's dioramas, including 12 year-old Afnan's: "Arresting the Terrorists": "'These are the terrorists,' she tells me. 'They were trying to blow up the school.' In the middle of the street a dead 'terrorist' sprawls on the asphalt, his bloody arm torn from his body by an explosion. Afnan tells me she used red nail polish to paint the blood. A little plastic dog stands nearby. 'What is he doing?' I ask. 'He looks for terrorists and searches for weapons and explosives,' Afnan says."

As the President would say, hey, at least the children of Iraq get to express themselves without fear for the holidays. Jingle those bells, motherfuckers.


Tubby the Preacher Says That, Because He Fucks Women, "I Have Fewer Broken Hearts. I Have Less STDs":
Really, Barack Obama? You really want Tubby the Preacher from the incredibly homoerotic-sounding Saddleback Church to give the invocation at your inauguration? Sure, yeah, he caught hell from evangelicals for allowing you in his church, but that doesn't mean you have to return the favor.

For your Friday reading fun, here's Tubby the Preacher on Larry King Live (But Just Barely) on December 2, 2005, in all his eclair cream-sucking glory, explaining why homosexuals are not right. Warning: it's a long conversation that involves genitalia, bananas, King's daughter, and peanut butter (really):

TUBBY: Now people ask me all the time what do you think about homosexuality, OK? Well, I don't approach it -- I approach it like this. When you look at a female body and you look at a male body it seems that naturally certain parts go together.

KING: It seems that way, therefore how do you explain why someone is homosexual?

TUBBY: I don't explain it. I don't explain it.

KING: Well, then that doesn't suffice.

TUBBY: Well, and...

KING: Do you know why women, why you like women, just because the body is shaped differently?

TUBBY: Oh, no, I'm sure I know why I like women.

KING: You do?

TUBBY: I think -- I think I was wired by God to like women. I think they...

KING: So, what did he do to the gay person, God?

TUBBY: I don't know that God did that. I really don't.

KING: You mean he did it to you but he didn't do it to them?

TUBBY: You know, Larry, we all have instincts and we all have urges and we all have desires. That doesn't necessarily mean that I fulfill all of them. In other words, as a heterosexual man I might desire to have sex with 100 women. That doesn't mean I do it because that wouldn't be the right thing.

KING: All right, but if you desire another man and you're a man and you're an adult, who are you harming if the two of you agree and it's your life?


KING: It's not Rick Warren's life or Larry King's life. It's their life.

TUBBY: Well, again, I would just say I think to me the issue is, is it natural? Is it the natural thing? I mean here's an interesting thing I have to ask. How can you believe in Darwin's theory of evolution and homosexuality at the same time? Now think about this.

If Darwin was right, which is survival of the fittest then homosexuality would be a recessive gene because it doesn't reproduce and you would think that over thousands of years that homosexuality would work itself out of the gene pool.

KING: So, we take the reverse. The creator then approves of it.

TUBBY: Well, I believe...

KING: Darwin's wrong. The creator is right. Gays are right.

TUBBY: Yes well, of course, I believe that God created one man for one woman for life. A lot of the problems -- as a pastor I've notice that when God gives certain rules they're really for our benefit. They're not because God's capricious or just "I think that I'm going to make your life miserable."

I think they're always for our benefit and when I do certain things God's way I have fewer broken hearts. I have less STDs. I have -- and I'm not just talking about sex. I'm talking about if I followed God's will about the right things about eating, I wouldn't be fat and overweight. I wouldn't, you know, and I -- people say well there are lots of sins. Of course there are. And to me the greatest sin is pride. The Bible tells us that pride is what Satan got kicked out of heaven and so we're all in the same boat.

KING: All right. You used the word natural.


KING: Define it. For example, is it natural to like bananas? I like them. You may not.


KING: Peanut butter, I love peanut butter. I know, I had a daughter, my daughter Chaia never liked peanut butter. Is that natural?

TUBBY: No, I think the difference is do you like food or not, not what flavor of food because you can't live without food. Now you can live without sex. It's possible. Lots of people do. So, I wouldn't even put it in the same category. A lot of people live without sex. It's not an essential for life.


There you go. Tubby used secular ideas of Darwinism to defend homophobia and then said that sex is not "essential for life," which would be pretty much the opposite of what he just explained. Wonder what his parishioners would think of the use of the eeevil evolutionist. And, by the way, the Rude Pundit knows that, yes, penises fit in vaginas, but they also fit quite nicely in mouths and assholes. Oh, that God. You just don't know what he's up to. Unless, you know, you're Tubby the Preacher.

(By the way, the Rude Pundit's read Tubby's latest book, The Purpose of Christmas Pie. It's essentially a pamphlet stretched to book length where Tubby says we should have a birthday party for Jesus on Christmas. Poor Tubby. Anything to have an excuse for more pie.)


The Rude Pundit on GRITtv With Lizz Winstead and Baratunde Thurston:
For your viewing enjoyment...

Regarding Torture, Detention, and Morality:
When future generations of Americans look back on this disgusting era that we have been damned to live through in our nation's history , there's so much that will be ascribed to being the fault of the wrong man at the wrong place at the wrong time. And thus it should be. But there's gonna be some shit that these descendants of ours will examine every which way and still come out with one conclusion: "Are you fuckin' serious?" Chief among these, the Rude Pundit is sure, will be that the United States government created, implemented, and defended policies of torture and indefinite detention during what by then will have been shown to be the failed "war on terror."

Every time the subject rears its subhuman head, the Rude Pundit has to recalibrate in order to get his brain around the idea that we are actually talking about torture as if it's a rational thing to be batted around like a mathematical theorem in a classroom at Princeton. Sure, he's not so naive as to believe that the United States never secretly tortured prisoners (including having other countries do it) prior to this president's interminable term, but there was never any attempt to make it legal to do so. It was hidden with the idea that crimes were being committed for which people could be punished. The Bush policy was kept under wraps for as long as possible because it might have led to people trying to argue whether or not the legal opinions were wrong. That's like the difference between fucking your neighbor's dog and getting your neighbor's kid to agree that you could fuck the dog before you fuck it.

When you read the executive summary of the Senate Armed Services Committee's "Inquiry Into the Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody," you get to relive that sickening feeling of even tangential culpability you should have felt when the Abu Ghraib photos came out. It's our government, motherfuckers, so anything they do is done in our name. This recognizes, of course, that way too many citizens didn't/don't give a shit or were/are all for whatever shit we can do to hurt those Muslim bastards.

What's striking is the near mundanity of the creation of a cover-our-asses paper trail, as if the Omaha branch of an office supply company wanted to sneakily try blue paper clips. Like this chilling little passage: "Two GTMO [Gitmo] behavioral scientists who had attended the JPRA-led training at Fort Bragg drafted a memo proposing new interrogation techniques for use at GTMO. According to one of those two behavioral scientists, by early October 2002, there was 'increasing pressure to get "tougher" with detainee interrogations.' He added that if the interrogation policy memo did not contain coercive techniques, then it 'wasn’t going to go very far.'"

Read the whole thing, about how military lawyers tried to stop things before they went too far, about how Donald Rumsfeld was demanding that techniques previously considered torture be determined legal, about how alleged 9/11 plotter Muhammed al-Khatani was treated: "While key documents relating to the interrogation remain classified, published accounts indicate that military working dogs had been used against Khatani. He had also been deprived of adequate sleep for weeks on end, stripped naked, subjected to loud music, and made to wear a leash and perform dog tricks."

Whenever some conservative spoogebucket attempts to defend the techniques, using idiot arguments like al-Qaeda doesn't abide by the Geneva Conventions, the Rude Pundit just wants to say, "Really? You measure the standards of your morality by how they stack up to terrorists?" And don't even get started on the whole "a bomb's about to go off in an hour - whatwouldyoudo? whatwouldyoudo?" bullshit. Let's remember that none of the tortured detainees, however evil they are presumed to be, was actually charged with a crime at the time of their torture.

Over in Bosnia, three men have returned home after seven years at Gitmo. They were released because a judge in the United States said, in essence, "Are you fuckin' serious?" and ordered the three (and two others) released. Arrested in 2001 in their home country on suspicion of ties to al-Qaeda, they had been cleared back in January 2002 by the top court in Bosnia and Herzegovina. But, according to former Prime Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija and other officials, the Bush administration had threatened to cut off aid and diplomatic ties to Bosnia, still recovering after its long war.

A good many Bosnians are angry at Lagumidzija, declaring that his actions showed his "moral and political bankruptcy." His administration's participation in handing the men over to the United States has been under investigation since June, with a demand that reparations be made to the men. Will any of our officials ever be so condemned and pursued? The three men were held with no charges and no recourse until the U.S. Supreme Court allowed them to challenge their detention just a few months ago. One of the men told the Bosnian daily paper, "I spent seven years at the end of the world, in the worst place in the world, it’s indescribable."

Considering the methods that our government considered legitimate means of extracting information, one really can't imagine.


The Rude Pundit Will Be Televised:
Check out the Rude Pundit on GRITtv today, guest-hosted by Lizz Winstead, with Baratunde Thurston of The Onion also paneling. (Full version when it's posted later.)

A pleasant time was had by all. And the Rude Pundit's assured that, no matter how many times he stumbles or says, "Um," it'll still be less than the President-elect. You can check it out on various cable channels and on the Dish Network tonight.
In Brief: Why Frank Gaffney Needs to Be Kicked in the Taint:
There's rarely been a man who needs to be kicked repeatedly in the taint as much Frank Gaffney. A Reagan administration lackey and conservative jockstrap-sniffer whose only purpose is to make the world a more awful place through his writings, his "think tank" (the sole thought of which seems to be "blow shit up"), and his TV appearances. The amount of pleasure that would be derived from seeing Gaffney rolling on the ground, hands between his legs, half growling and half crying, "Oh, my taint," is immeasurable.

While being berated by Chris Matthews on his MSNBC show, My Balls Are Hard, last night for supporting war in Iraq despite the lack of WMDs and a lack of connection to anything that might threaten the United States, Gaffney stuck to his guns. Matthews, his girly voice rising to a mighty squeak, accused Gaffney of not caring that 4000 soldiers have died because of wrong information. Gaffney replied, "My position is that it’s regrettable that any Americans died. It is regrettable that they had to die, but I believe they did have to die."

Is your foot feeling itchy for contact with his taint? So, yeah, we could get all high and mighty and say that the very notion Gaffney presents is flawed on its face. Or we could say that if they had been better equipped, many, many of those same soldiers would not have died, even in an illegitimate war. But, instead, let's take the low road and imagine Matthews just getting up from his chair and saying, "Fucker," before slamming the toe of his right Berluti into Gaffney's taint.

(Disclaimer: The idea of kicking Frank Gaffney in the taint is a metaphorical and rhetorical device and not a call to violence. All kicks to the taint that Frank Gaffney may suffer after this is posted are not the fault of this blog, but of Frank Gaffney.)
The Rude Pundit on GRITtv Today:
While he's not exactly sure about where it airs on which cable or satellite systems, the Rude Pundit knows he'll be appearing on Laura Flanders' GRITtv today with guest host Lizz Winstead. It'll also be available on your local internets. We tape at noon. The actual air time forthcoming.

There will probably be a paucity of sodomy jokes, but much fun will be had.


Dick Cheney Emerges to Tell You He Regrets Nothing:
In these foul pre-winter days, it's really the last thing we needed. The odor of the despoiled American air has taken on the stench of decayed human flesh, like bits of a zoologist's arm in the unflossed teeth of a lion. That sweet, nauseating smell is accompanied by a noxious, tear-inducing gas, the kind of thing that should make us all run in terror, except that we know what's causing it. Yes, indeed, the gastropodic, nearly amorphous globularity that occasionally forces itself into a frightening figure we haltingly refer to as "man," known as "Dick Cheney," has heaved its mass up to the surface of the earth, pustules popping, leaving behind a trail of a cement-melting slime. Ah, Christ, the people of the nation think, is it feeding time again? Will he never be satisfied? Have we not sacrificed enough virgin children for him to engorge? The very existence of Dick Cheney has turned more people into atheists than all the storms and wars in history, for if something that degraded and hideous is allowed to not only live, but thrive, then there can be nothing we might call "God" in the universe.

Cheney dragged himself from his bed of worms and shit in order to take part in "exit interviews" with members of the media. In his first public appearances in a month, Cheney deigned to allow questions to be asked of him by ABC News's Jonathan Karl and, in what is always a poisonous confluence of smart evil and stupid evil, Rush Limbaugh.

Limbaugh, of course, gave Cheney his lubed and anxious anus to repeatedly ream. The radio host loves it when he's bent over and being fucked because his sweaty belly fat slaps into his floppy manboobs. And Cheney was happy to oblige. Limbaugh made it his task for all of us ungrateful motherfuckers to understand just how wonderful and splenderific Cheney's decisions have been over the last eight years. For instance, on Gitmo, the bejowled one asked, "[I]s that an example of things that you've put in place to help defend the country, and they're going to be appreciative of once they get there and see it?"

Cheney, like a good demon or sociopath, assured Limbaugh that Obama is corruptible, that no matter what his intentions, once given executive power, Obama will wield it like the Bush administration: "Well, my guess is, once they get here and they're faced with the same problems we deal with every day, that they will appreciate some of the things we've put in place. We did not exceed our constitutional authority, as some have suggested, but we -- the President believes, I believe very deeply, in a strong executive, and I think that's essential in this day and age. And I think the Obama administration is not likely to cede that authority back to the Congress." The only good thing about that possibility is the idea of seeing the exploding heads of Republicans, who gave away their oversight power like Parisian prostitutes sell their perfumed pussies.

The Limbaugh interview was about as useful as one might imagine, with the porcine pontificator saying things like "Over the years when I've spoken to you, you have purposely avoided any partisanship, because I know that this has been a policy of the administration," which is a little like saying that it wasn't Hitler's fault that things got nasty in World War II - it was those fuckin' Jews.

But in both interviews, Cheney defended Gitmo, telling Limbaugh, "If you bring them here to the U.S. and put them in our local court system, then they are entitled to all kinds of rights that we extend only to American citizens." As the Rude Pundit's said on numerous occasions, can anyone explain why it's so bad that an alleged criminal is "entitled" to more rights? So what if he's captured in Kandahar instead of Louisville? Are our courts freeing terrorists on a regular basis? In both interviews, Cheney insists on the guilt of those at Gitmo, which he's been doing since it was 700 detainees, 500 detainees, 400...

In the ABC interview, the Vice President (for another month) said he agreed that it was "appropriate" to waterboard Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and that, as for when Gitmo should be shut down, "I think that that would come with the end of the war on terror." Karl asks when that might be, and, in one of those answers that makes you remember why exactly you hate this bonesmoking bastard, Cheney says, "Well, nobody knows. Nobody can specify that."

There's more, about the economy, about 9/11, about how criticism doesn't bother him, about how he has no regrets, not even about the intelligence that led to war, which even the President acknowledged. For, see, in order for Cheney to have regret or feeling, he'd have to be more evolved. Instead, he is closer to the primordial ooze, a kind of ur-evil, where immorality, seething hate, and roiling anger exist to liberate him from any feelings of culpability or error. Yes, he will disappear, like a devouring vine goes away in the cold, but what remains will need to be scrubbed off the streets of the nation.


Because We Won't Have Him to Kick Around Much Longer, Part 2 (Featuring Shoes and a Fun and Easy Real Protest Idea):
This morning, the Rude Pundit decided to honor the efforts of Muntader al-Zaidi, the Iraqi shoe-tosser, by taking out a raggedy old pair of sneakers, putting them in a Priority Mail shipping box, helpfully provided by the United States Post Office, and shipping them to President George W. Bush at the White House. He included a note that read, "This is a farewell kiss from the American people, you dog."

Since throwing objects at the president is generally considered a crime, the Rude Pundit figures sending shoes to Bush is a small, good thing, a gesture of contempt that has context. Sweet Christ, at this point, there should be giant sacks of shoes heading to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20500, like letters to Santa.

The Rude Pundit is not going to hide his fucking glee at the incident. He's not going to "respect the office" or some such shit because Bush doesn't respect it, so fuck him - take a fuckin' shoe in the face - it'll probably be the only punishment our criminal president ever faces in his lifetime. All over America right now, millions of people are thinking the same thing: "About. Fucking. Time." Hell, when you watch the video, you see that the Secret Service barely cares. And you also see Bush smirk, as if thinking, "It's better than the plates Laura flings when she finds my whiskey."

And what's sweeter is that it's the only thing anyone's gonna remember about W's smug little "victory" lap he was trying to take in Iraq and Afghanistan, a trip that was like a rapist trying to get the semen stains out of the carpet before the DNA is found. Instead, the whole thing descended (or ascended, depending on your point of view) into farce, like a smug opera singer ripping a fart while hitting a high note. It was gratifying, no less than he deserved.

That sad part is how much he doesn't fucking care. Nothing he does is ever wrong, nothing jars him, as if there's so much Lithium in his veins that anything that might be called emotion has been drained out. He wants to be acquitted by history, by those who will analyze what he did to explain what the fuck happened, but he refuses to ever look back. In an interview with ABC News, when Bush was saying, "One of the major theaters against al Qaeda turns out to have been Iraq. This is where al Qaeda said they were going to take their stand," he was challenged by Martha Raddatz with the fact that al-Qaeda wasn't in Iraq until after the United States invaded. Bush responded, "Yeah, that's right. So what?"

Someone should be there every day of Bush's life to throw shoes at him. Hell, someone should market a fuckin' game that includes a Bush face mounted with velcro with tiny shoes that'll stick to his puss.

Oh, sweet Muntader, you who is probably hanging hooded in a basement with electrodes on your nipples and nuts right now while the vast majority of your country celebrates your leather-soled middle finger to the nation that occupies it, all over America, people are smiling and nodding. Maybe that we should come up with other things that should be hurled at the President because that motherfucking monkey has slung his shit at us for eight years.

Like, say, golf balls, birthday cake, your 401K, your sick child, clean coal, or Donald Rumsfeld.


Pictures and Quotes That Make the Rude Pundit Think We're Not Gonna Survive the Next Five Weeks:
"This reminds me of the Joker from the 1989 version of Batman, who says: 'I'm giving out free money.' You know the Joker, as shown on this chart. You have seen him. 'I'm giving out free money.' As we all know, money is not free. Unfortunately, the joke here has been--and will again be if we do not do something about it--on the American taxpayer." - Republican Senator Charles Grassley, an Iowasshole, on how a tax shelter provision in the auto bailout plan was reason enough to oppose it.

This is not about the merits of the argument. This is about the fact that a goddamn United States Senator brought out this picture on the floor of the Senate.

Leaving aside that Grassley's staff could have used Heath Ledger's Joker lighting piles of cash on fire, and leaving aside that, in the 1989 Batman, the Joker was using the cash to lure people into the streets so he could gas them to death, thus rendering the entire analogy nonsensical (unless Congress had a proviso that called for executing the heads of the bank and insurance companies that might have benefited from the Silo tax shelter - which, on the whole, is not a bad idea), let's just head into the weekend remembering this: the people who keep rolling over the Democrats in the Senate are fucking idiots who have degraded the rhetoric and the politics of the nation to score cheap points. Now, who comes off worse? The ones doing it or the ones letting them do it?

Video of Grassley's speech is available, about a minute and a half in.


Note to Republicans and the Media: We Don't Care About Obama and Blagojevich:
On waking up way too early this morning, the Rude Pundit turned on the MSNBC to watch the Morning Joe, mostly because Mika Brzezinski always has this hot pissed-off look, like she was just fucked by a premature ejaculator, and there were the jowls of Pat Buchanan hypnotically bobbling from side to side as he yelled at the Rude Pundit about how oh-shit-it's-just-soooo-goddamned important that Barack Obama and/or Rahm Emmanuel and/or David Axelrod and/or the puppy candidates answer questions about what they didn't know and when they didn't know it about the scandal involving Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who, don't you know, is a Democrat. Even whatever damn moderately liberal guest there said that Obama had to address it. Brzezinski, wanting to get back to her vibrator to finish the job her lover couldn't, nodded and Joey the Scar agreed.

It's a refrain you keep hearing in the DC punditry, in the mainstream media, and from desperate Republicans and other right wingers looking for any way to scratch the Obarmor of the President-elect. Politico's got "7 Blago questions for Obama." CNN's Campbell Brown says, "Obama's response insufficient in governor scandal." The RNC chair says Obama "should immediately disclose any and all communications his transition team has had with the governor’s office along with any Service Employees International Union officials involved in the matter."

And Sean Hannity exclaimed, more or less, "Look at me, everyone. I can lick my own taint" when he was talking to the Chicago Tribune's Jill Zuckman: "Let me go through this with you. It's another — it's acceptable, Bill Ayers is just an accepted professor in the neighborhood. Louis Farrakhan is viewed as somebody that has political influence, that's OK. The corrupt land deal with Tony Rezko, that's OK. This doesn't raise eyebrows. It's — is it just somebody like Sean Hannity sitting on the outside saying this doesn't look right?"

We've indulged all of these children for long enough here.

Yesterday alone, the Rude Pundit heard from three people who lost their jobs directly because of this economy that's ripping apart like a cum-drenched tissue rubbed too hard on a quickly shrinking cock. Meanwhile, southern (mostly) Republican Senators, including noted whoremonger David Vitter of Louisiana, who come from "right to work" states (shorthand for "Fuck you, unions"), are coming up with reasons to block an auto industry loan that's less than 2% of the assloads of free cash given to the financial sector. It's like a college girl agreeing to give anal to her boyfriend even though it hurts her and then threatening to break up with him because he left the toilet seat up. (A quick note to Alabama's Richard Shelby, Tennessee's Bob Corker, and the rest who are threatening a filibuster or other bill blockage: you really don't wanna piss off the UAW. It'll make Norma Rae look like a kiddie beauty pageant.)

The point here, getting back to the Blagojevich/Obama nexus of nothing, is that, speaking for the vast majority of America, we don't give a fuck. Unless you have Barack Obama on a recording saying, "Hey, Rod, I'll give you a hundred grand and three blow jobs from Michelle if you appoint my person to the Senate," then the rest of the nation thinks, "Let Illinois work it out and leave us the fuck alone." Because, see, if you're facing foreclosure after whatever brief grace period your bank is giving you so they don't look like complete cocksuckers over the holidays, the imminent end of your unemployment benefits, a COBRA that's chowed up your savings and your credit card limits, and the only prospect for the future is that shit's gonna get worse before it gets better, do you really give a happy rat's fuck if the President-elect's spokesman was right or wrong on whether or not Obama said jackshit to Rod Blagojevich?

Didn't the Republicans learn with the Clinton "scandal"? No one cared about the legalities of civil suit perjury. And the media and the right wing were screaming at us to care, that the fabric of society would be rent and demons would roam the land, ripping our children apart and dining on their luscious guts if we allowed Bill Clinton to get away with it. It didn't work.

But, hey, motherfuckers, if you still think it's 1998, you go right the fuck ahead. More people were fat and happy then, and they still didn't want any part of your selfish impeachment tantrum. Now, when everyone's wanting an answer or two to the crises here and the ones that are about to slam us in the face like a hurricane of shit, it's beyond childish and just downright dangerous to demand that we get sidetracked into obvious distractions.


When Stupid Politicians Go Corrupt, They Will Call It "Getting a Blagojevich":
Just sayin': A man whose name rhymes with "blow me, bitch" probably oughta avoid activity that could lead him to be imprisoned. And if you've got hair like Rod Blagojevich, so ripe for jizzing onto, you should probably not be such a dick about your crimes. Seriously, Blagojevich is such a fuckin' embarrassment to corrupt politicians everywhere that he makes the Abscam dolts who crammed bribes into their pockets on camera back in the 1970s look like models of restraint and decorum.

Everyone's got their favorite parts of the complaint against Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris. Here's one of the Rude Pundit's: Blagojevich was talking to "Deputy Governor A" about the Tribune company's desire to sell Wrigley Field as it related to the Chicago Tribune's publication of an editorial calling for the governor to be impeached. Says the complaint, "During the call, Rod Blagojevich’s wife can be heard in the background telling Rod Blagojevich to tell Deputy Governor A 'to hold up that fucking Cubs shit. . . fuck them.' Rod Blagojevich asked Deputy Governor A what he thinks of his wife’s idea. Deputy Governor A stated that there is a part of what Rod Blagojevich’s wife said that he 'agree[s] with.' Deputy Governor A told Rod Blagojevich that Tribune Owner will say that he does not have anything to do with the editorials, 'but I would tell him, look, if you want to get your Cubs thing done get rid of this Tribune.' Later, Rod Blagojevich’s wife got on the phone and, during the continuing discussion of the critical Tribune editorials, stated that Tribune Owner can 'just fire' the writers because Tribune Owner owns the Tribune."

Isn't that awesome? The Governor of Illinois is on the phone with a Deputy Governor while his wife is yelling, "Fuck them" in the background. What a bunch of boobs. All over Chicago, there's mobsters laughing their fat asses off because Blagojevich made mistakes that only amateurs make.

There is, perhaps, underneath all of the bribery and threats and "pay to play" bullshittery, a tender love story of a buffoonish man who just wanted to get his loving wife a good job. It's family values all the way, motherfuckers. Blagojevich "wanted to know whether SEIU could do something to get his wife a position at Change to Win," and "that he needs to find a way to take the 'financial stress' off of his family and that his wife is as qualified or more qualified than another specifically named individual to sit on corporate boards," which is not to mention "that if his wife could get on some corporate boards and 'picks up another 150 grand a year or whatever' it would help" from the horrible financial stress of being governor for another two years. See? The man wants his wife, a licensed realtor who was under investigation because she was funneled clients with state contracts, to be the best she can be.

Bonus points: Patti Blagojevich was the development director for the Chicago Christian Industrial League, raising money to help the homeless.

Bonuser points: The Chicago Tribune takes its revenge: "An unflattering portrait depicting Illinois First Lady Patricia Blagojevich as a modern-day Lady Macbeth who plotted against her husband's perceived enemies and backed his corrupt schemes emerged in court documents connected to the governor's arrest Tuesday."

When you get to the shit that involves Barack Obama's Senate seat, the level of delusional absurdity would make Samuel Beckett go, "Are you fucking nuts?" The under-investigation Blagojevich wanted to name himself to the Senate because "it was unlikely that the President-elect would name him Secretary of Health and Human Services or give him an ambassadorship because of all of the negative publicity surrounding" him. This was part of a 2-hour conference call involving Blagojevich, his wife, John Harris, and bunches of other people, the transcript of which ought to be performed at the FBI Christmas party.

After batting around a fantasy where Obama would get Ms. Blagojevich some private sector job, "Rod Blagojevich said that the consultants are telling him that he has to 'suck it up' for two years and do nothing and give this 'motherfucker [the President-elect] his senator. Fuck him. For nothing? Fuck him.' Rod Blagojevich states that he will put '[Senate Candidate 4]' in the Senate 'before I just give fucking [Senate Candidate 1] a fucking Senate seat and I don’t get anything.'"

Man, that's the kind of deep power-madness and craven greed one could only call "sublime." He'll look so pretty crying in prison.


The Joe Biden Commemorative Plate:
From Shoot the Messenger, a way to honor that other guy:

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Fucks with the Gitmo "Court":
American harvester ant orgies are awful events. Sure, sure, in theory, the flying dance of virgin queens and male ants ought to be a thing of beauty: an airborne swirl of multitudinous variations on thorax-heating sex in the summer's end of the eastern U.S. But the sheer numbers of ants, combined with the voracious birds and larger insects that, as Edmund O. Wilson puts it, "scythe through" and gobble down ants mid-hump, combined with the potential to become windshield smears on passing cars, combined with the chance of ending up drowning in sticky clumps in the lakes, combined with the fact that, even after the crazy nailing is over, the queens, belly full o' sperm, have gotta negotiate a landscape filled with horrific dangers like centipedes, spiders, and frogs before they can begin to nest. It is, for all intents and purposes, quite literally, a life-threatening clusterfuck.

So it was that five detainees charged in planning the 9/11 attacks appeared in front of a military judge at Guantanamo Bay to inform the court that they wanted to confess. And then it gets funny. Not "ha-ha" funny, but more "oh, fuck, is this how low we've sunken?" funny. See, Khalid Sheik "Never Say Back Wax" Mohammed and his co-defendants, realizing just how fucked they are no matter what, decided to fuck with the military "justice" system set up to try them.

The five, who were tortured for a few years in some hole somewhere by the CIA before getting to Gitmo in 2006, announced their intention in a letter. Here's the first fun part: "Their letter was so unexpected that the judge, Army Col. Stephen Henley, was unsure how to proceed. He noted that the law specifies that only defendants unanimously convicted by a jury can be sentenced to death in the tribunals. No jury has been seated." You got that? So idiotic has the U.S. government been in setting up these half-assed show trials called "tribunals" that the people running them don't know the goddamned rules. It's more like a game of kick ball played by a group of children, high on Pepsi and chocolate, boggled by ADD, making up shit as they go along. What happens if the ball goes under a car? Fuck it, just figure it out when it happens. And then fight about it.

The next fun part is that family members of 9/11 victims were in the "courtroom," getting to watch as the wheels of justice wobbled on their bent axles: "One of the relatives, Hamilton Peterson, said he was offended by the detainees, who he said were sneering and laughing in the courtroom. 'They seemed to view these proceedings as a joke,' Mr. Peterson said." And that'd be sad and rage-inducing if the proceedings were not actually a joke, or a "circus," as some observers put it. When you've placed people in a position where they have nothing to lose, they tend to act as if they have nothing to lose. Let us remember that not only was Mohammed waterboarded by the CIA's own admission, but the agency also took his young children into custody and told him they had the kids.

See, the Furious Five want to die because martyrdom is preferable to rotting in jaildom. But the Bush administration has so fucked the goat on the whole process that, like everything else, at this point the approach seems to be, "Ah, hell, let Obama deal with it."

As ever with anything about Gitmo, this ain't about sympathy for anyone who is actually guilty of planning and carrying out the 9/11 attacks. It's really about being patriotic. The Rude Pundit doesn't think the American justice system is so fucking weak and pussified that it can't handle charging people with crimes, holding them without bail, and then trying them. That's the patriotic stand. The Bush administration's pronouncements about the weakness of our own fucking courts should have been considered in the realm of "treasonous."

But, no, no, most of those in power just went along with it, including even some Supreme Court justices, saying, "Yeah, sure, you're right, GW, we really do suck balls. Please protect us by undermining our centuries-old legal system." And, thus, we have the end result: the Cuban clusterfuck.


The Chicago Factory Sit-In: A Real Protest:
A real, genuine protest never occurs when someone gets a license from the city to do so. No, that's, at best, a march, but mostly just a jerk-off fest (and the Rude Pundit says this as someone who regularly joins in the circle jerk). A real protest should fuck up somebody's day and force the government to choose sides. A real protest should be led by people for whom the issue being protested is a life-changing situation. And a real protest should quickly and easily crystallize something that deeply matters to a large number of people. In the last couple of decades, legitimately in-yer-fuckin'-face protest has been hard to come by: Cindy Sheehan's trip to Crawford comes to mind. On the other side of the political spectrum, you can put the Operation Rescue blockades (which, as he's said before, the Rude Pundit wished nothing but failure for, but it was objectively effective).

Basically, you need a confluence of tinder and match. And now we have it in Chicago, sweet Chicago, home of so many of the greatest and worst moments of the workers' movement in this nation's history. Last Friday, when the 250 factory workers at Republic Windows and Doors were told to fuck off by the owners when the company suddenly closed, the vinyl siding and sliding glass door assemblers said, "No, fuck you," and decided to occupy the building. And there they have stayed, in a righteous sit-in, and there they say they will stay.

Says the New York Times, "The workers, members of Local 1110 of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, said they were owed vacation and severance pay and were not given the 60 days of notice generally required by federal law when companies make layoffs." Seems that "the company notified employees Tuesday that they would shut down Friday, and that no severance pay or benefits would be paid out." Merry fuckin' Christmas, motherfuckers.

Imagine that. The mostly Hispanic workers telling the rest of the country, "You mean some fuckin' douchebag in a suit can squat his waxed ass in a comfy leather chair in a hearing room in DC and get a few hundred billion dollars for his other douchebags in suits, no strings attached, and no one's gonna give a fuck if our bosses don't even follow the fuckin' law?" Auto workers, you need any more inspiration?

Not only do they have the support of the community, with people, even strangers, bringing them food and water and more, not only do they have a member of Congress, Luis Gutierrez (guess which party), negotiating with company officials for them, but the workers now have the support of the President-elect. At press conference #572 on Sunday, Barack Obama said, "The workers who are asking for the benefits and payments that they have earned, I think they're absolutely right and understand that what's happening to them is reflective of what's happening across this economy."

This is a shot across the bow to Congress, a way of saying, "Hello, you sons and daughters of bitches, this is the way corporate America has been treating your constituents for years. While you're giving AIG enough to fund a small nation, how about tilting our way for a little while?" And if they don't listen, let's hope the next protests and the ones after that are bigger and more widespread. Shit needs to be shut down in order to wipe away all the bullshit lies of the free market (that's not really free).


Affirmative Answers to Your Questions:
Yes, it is the Rude Pundit's birthday. He was so much older then. He's younger than that now.

And, yes, the Rude Pundit is on Facebook.
Tubby the Preacher Talks About God and Murder:

And so it was that Tubby the Preacher undulated over to the Fox "news" studio to talk to Sean "Behold My Unibrow of Condemnation" Hannity on the "show" Hannity and (to a lesser extent) Colmes. Tubby the Preacher's become the Man of God of the moment, mostly because of his book, The Buffet-Driven Life. Because Tubby the Preacher told us that we all needs to love up GodJeebus in order to feel good about ourselves, now politicians and the media pay homage to his lardly presence and treat Tubby the Preacher like he's got something more to say than, well, "Love up GodJeebus."

But if you are Tubby the Preacher, and not, say, Poindexter the Economist or Mumbly the Union Leader, the GodJeebus shit's your alpha and omega and all the rest is mere offal to be hosed off on the way to lettin' GodJeebus shine on through, shine on through. Tubby the Preacher was ostensibly talking to Hannity about his new book, The Purpose of Christmas Pie, which, surprisingly, has to do with giving the high, hard lovin' to, well, you know.

And Tubby and Hannity did offer up the Jesus jams, like in this exchange: Tubby said, "But we've got to remember why Jesus came to earth." And Hannity helpfully offered, "Well, and it was for the salvation of man's soul and reconciliation to God." (This is, by the way, an alleged "news" program.)

Tubby the Preacher also told us all to stop being such pricks about what we get for Christmas because we already got a present: "God has given us a gift in Jesus Christ. And people don't understand: it's for our benefit." Now, you may wanna say, "Hey, God, thanks for the reanimated corpse," but then you're missing the point. As Tubby preached, "Believe me: if you didn't need one, God wouldn't have sent it. Because — because he wouldn't have wasted the time. And Jesus meets every one of our deepest needs. And what we need to do is accept his gift of a pastor-given, purposeful living home in heaven."

And that's whether you like it or not, blessed motherfuckers. When (to a lesser extent) Colmes asked the obvious question of what about other religions, Tubby the Preacher had a ready answer: "I believe Jesus Christ came for everybody. I don't think he came for Christians. The Bible says take this good news to the whole world. I don't care whether you're Baptist, Buddhist, Mormon, Methodist, Jewish, Muslim, or no religion at all. Jesus Christ still loves you. You still matter to God." Tubby, though, would not commit on whether or not you need to "unwrap the gift" of Jesus in order to get into the big cloud city. In other words, you matter, but not enough to get into his gated community.

And then Tubby said it's okay to assassinate leaders who we see as evil: "In fact, that is the legitimate role of government. The Bible says that God puts government on earth to punish evildoers. Not good-doers. Evildoers." Just like Jesus did. (Man, isn't it awesome when people like Tubby, who talk about getting a reacharound of love from Jesus to make people feel good about themselves, get all Old Testament when it comes to politics?)

By the way, Tubby's the guy who just created a bullshit "Medal of Peace Award" and gave it to George W. Bush. It's from Warren's bullshit Global P.E.A.C.E. Coalition, which is just a missionary group masking as something else. (By the way, don't you fucking confuse this with the Global Coalition for Peace. They'll fuck you up for it.)

Oh, Tubby the Preacher is a fine, fine man with a solution to everyone's problems: his God is bigger than your God, everyone should accept his God, and if those who believe in his God deem you evil, his God has created man-made ways to take you out. How different are Tubby the Preacher's goals from, say, those of Grouchy the Terrorist?


Al Franken's Requiem for Florida 2000 (With a Side Note on How Ann Coulter Remains a Cunt):
Satirist, ex-radio host, and Democratic candidate for Senate from Minnesota Al Franken has gotta be finding this whole situation darkly hilarious. For what began as a mission to punish Republicans for their raping of the memory of Paul Wellstone for political gain has become a chance to demonstrate what happens when, in a close election, you actually make an effort to count all the votes unlike, say, in Florida in 2000.

Franken's outrage over the now almost unbelievable bullshit that went down in the Sunshine State to stop any recount was one of the focal points of his post-SNL career. In Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, Franken writes of "the relentless legal and extra-legal efforts to prevent an accurate counting of the votes," including the mob of white guys imported to intimidate the election officials and the challenging of military ballots in pro-Gore counties while accepting those in pro-Bush areas, "having the election stolen by human filth like Karl Rove." On his wildly scattershot radio show, the 2000 recount's real outcome (Gore won by most standards of an actual recount) was a constant refrain. And, as Franken would remind listeners, Gore fucked up by not asking for a full statewide recount.

So it was that after Franken ended up less than .01% of the vote behind Republican incumbent (and hero to douchebags everywhere) Norm Coleman, once again the Republicans were trying to shut down the recount that was automatic under state law. Coleman himself said that Franken should just step aside for the good of the state. Does it even need to be said that if Franken had ended up ahead by less than 500 votes, Coleman would have been ripping apart every chair and strip-searching every election official in the state for possible ballots?

Gore was a mensch in 2000. He tried to be a nice guy. And he got fucked by Karl Rove, James Baker, and other Republicans all the way to the Supreme Court. Franken ain't playing that game. This is about redemption for Democrats, as this whole election cycle has been. This is about showing what it means when we say that everyone's vote counts. Even if that has the effect of an anal probe-like attempt to ferret out every ballot. When an election hinges on a couple of dozen of ballots missing in a precinct, every fucking vote really does fucking count. What's fascinating is that while Franken's campaign keeps posting about ballots found and lost, Coleman's keeps posting about what a bastard they think Franken is. Also, they're being total assholes about the whole thing, sarcastically calling it "the Great Minnesota Recount." Yeah, take that, democracy, you bitch; Norm Coleman is calling you out.

Predictably, conservatives' heads are collectively exploding over the threat of counting votes. In her latest "column" (if by "column," you mean, "the soap scum, semen, and filth-encrusted hair you pull from a clogged bathtub drain"), Ann Coulter predictably attacks Franken and the "suspicious" fact that ballots keep getting discovered in Democratic-leaning precincts. Of course, one can spin that to look suspicious in both directions, but Coulter prefers it as proof that Minnesota Democrats are stealing the election. And then there's this little piece of prime stupid: "Franken can pretend to be generous -- by not demanding that all rejected absentee ballots be counted -- while in fact being manipulative -- by requesting that only the ballots with votes for him be counted." Um...Franken wanted all the uncounted rejected ballots reviewed, and that's what the state is doing.

It's hilarious, watching Bill O'Reilly spit and froth over whatever shit enters his brain about his pre-Olbermann arch-nemesis (eeevil George Soros is involved), or Sean Hannity justify whatever lie he wants to propagate about the recount. The constant refrain is that Franken can't just "accept" the results.

And maybe what Franken's doing is saying back, "Not until the results are in." The saddest part is that, because of 2000 in Florida and 2004 in Ohio, it is a bold and radical statement.


Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Freebase Candy Canes: This is what it looked like at the entrance of the Valley Stream Wal-Mart on Long Island, NY last Friday. According to the caption, "The man in the yellow is trying to help people who fell down, the woman under the man's arm was knocked down and is getting up." The store opened at 5 a.m. People had been waiting for hours to get the extremely limited number of special bargains on things like computers and DVD players and other crap that Wal-Mart offers to entice people to the store. Once those are gone, one is told, that's it for that particular bargain. No raincheck for you, motherfuckers. The caption continues, "When the doors opened the crowd rushed into the store, a number of people were knocked down including a Wal-Mart worker who subsequently died." The family of that worker is suing Wal-Mart and the Nassau County cops. Lets be clear here: it wasn't one of the frothing mad shoppers who was trampled to death. It wasn't one of the (let's be frank) rioters. It was someone who was ill-trained to keep order who got killed. The bitches and cocksuckers who ran over Jdimytai Damour, thinking that a sale on Wii games was more important than a human life? Fuck them. Send 'em to prison on Christmas Eve. With their kids watching. When the Rude Pundit first heard about this, which took the edge off the bourgeois glee that the media usually displays when showing the Black Friday rioters, he thought, "God, no wonder people in other countries hate us." In other places, when refugees chase after relief trucks carrying bags of rice, we think it uncivilized. Here, if you shove others to the ground in hopes of saving a couple of bucks on Anal-Probe Elmo or what the fuck ever, we call it enthusiasm. By the way, not only was a pregnant woman injured in the insane onslaught (and if she was stupid enough to be there in the surge, then, you know, fuck her, too), but the cops let people finish their shopping before they questioned them. Which seems a bit, well, harmful to any investigation. Wal-Mart ought to be prosecuted for inciting a riot.
Late Post Today:
What the title said. Back in a bit with more moist rudeness.


Because We Won't Have Him to Kick Around Much Longer (Part 1):
Let us say, and why not, that you're a guy who loves to jack off in public. Any chance you get, you whip out yer dick and spank that monkey like it's stolen some bananas. It doesn't matter where: on the bus, at a playground, hell, just at the window of your apartment with the blinds up and the curtains parted. You get into an amazing cycle of sexual inspiration, because, see, nothing turns you on more than wanking where others might see you, which, of course, makes you wank where others might see you, which turns you on, which...It never ends. Sure, there may be problems along the way. Sometimes you might have to run from the cops. When a woman looks at you and tells you how tiny your dick is, that might shame an ordinary man. Not you, though. You wave that lil' ol' pecker at her and choke that chicken like it poked a hole in the feed sack. Now, let us say, and, indeed, why not, that after all the times you've yanked it on overpasses and in the booths at restaurants, jizzing onto passing cars and against the underside of tables, after you've seeded most of the city, you're finally caught. Arrested. And you're in the courtroom facing the judge. You might admit you have a problem. That maybe in prison you could get help. That you'd devote your life to wiping your semen off lamp posts and park benches. But if you're George W. Bush? Why, you just drop your pants in front of the jury and rub it out one more time.

So it was that outgoing President Bush sat down with ABC's Charlie "Weeble-Shaped" Gibson for one of what will surely be an endless series of exit interviews. What's fascinating about the interview, other than the usual parade of Carroll-esque non sequiturs, obvious statements spoken as if they're great revelations, and general rambling bullshittery, is how often Bush comes to the brink of admitting actual, conscious sin and error before veering away. If he was in a confession booth with a good old-fashioned Irish priest, that bad-ass motherfucker of the cloth would be throttling Bush through the lattice, screaming, "Say it, you bastard, say it."

For instance, Gibson asks Bush if the election was a "repudiation of the Bush administration." El Prez answers, "I think it was a repudiation of Republicans. And I'm sure some people voted for Barack Obama because of me." Oh, so fuckin' close to confession, but then he follows up with "I think most people voted for Barack Obama because they decided they wanted him to be in their living room for the next four years explaining policy" and then, just to make sure that stupid people understood him, he adds, "In other words, they made a conscious choice to put him in as President." Damn, nice to know that it was sentient beings who were in the voting booths of America.

The interview continued like that, with Bush stating some disappointing thing that happened on his watch without recognizing his role in any of it: "I think one of the big disappointments of the presidency has been the fact that the tone in Washington got worse, not better" or "[T]he biggest regret of all the presidency has to have been the intelligence failure in Iraq. A lot of people put their reputations on the line and said the weapons of mass destruction is a reason to remove Saddam Hussein. It wasn't just people in my administration." Shit has happened during his presidency, he's willing to admit. What a man.

The Rude Pundit's favorite head-slapping moment happened just after that last statement. Gibson asks if the intelligence was right, would the Iraq war have happened, and Bush at first interprets the question in his favor, speculating about Saddam Hussein, "[I]f he had had weapons of mass destruction, would there have been a war? Absolutely."

Then Gibson clarifies, asking if the intelligence was right about the actual facts, not Bush's beliefs, to which Bush says, "You know, that's an interesting question. That is a do-over that I can't do. It's hard for me to speculate." So after speculating, he refuses to speculate. Goddamn, it takes a confidently dumb person to do that without caring or correcting himself.

Other favorite moment? When Bush told about a conversation he had with Stephen Hadley about life in retirement: "I said, wouldn't it be interesting for baby boomers not to retire in nice places, but to retire -- during their retirement, go help people deal with malaria or AIDS." Before you shudder at the thought of Bush in the Ugandan landscape giving a child a heavy dose of Atripla when all the kid has is a cold, the President added, "I'm not suggesting that's what I'm going to do, but it is the kind of thing that intrigues me."

It's all almosts. He talks endlessly about history's judgment while saying he doesn't care. He wants redemption, but the price of such grace is to admit you've sinned, and when you see these interviews with the man, all you can think is that you've never seen damnation so clearly in someone's lost eyes.


Obama's Cabinet Choices Are Shut the Fuck Up:
Here's a few quotes from the end of 2000 and the beginning of 2001 regarding the choice of Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense by the newly-appointed President-elect George W. Bush:

"He is an enormously impressive guy, and I think Governor Bush is very lucky to get him to be Defense secretary again." - Fred Barnes on Fox "news," December 31, 2000

"I think it's a very good pick; and I think I'd rather see him than some businessman come in who you'd have to show the way to the restrooms in the Pentagon." - Bob Novak on CNN, December 28, 2000

Rumsfeld is a conservative "on SDI, but very much a moderate on other issues, I think. Rumsfeld is no right winger." - Chris Matthews on MSNBC's Hardball, January 3, 2001

"I think it's an excellent choice. I think Don Rumsfeld is a very talented and successful individual and I think it says that President-elect Bush is willing to have strong-willed, able people around him." - James Woolsey on PBS's The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, December 28, 2000

This list could go on with the rogues' gallery of fucktardery:
Ken Adelman in the Washington Times, December 29, 2000: Rummy "is a wonderful strategic thinker and a very determined individual with great managerial skills but who also knows and cares about key national-security issues."

Henry Kissinger, Wash Times, December 30, 2000: "I don't know anybody who has a similar range of experience - White House chief of staff, NATO ambassador, secretary of defense, chairman of the ballistic-missile threat commission, CEO of major American corporations. To find someone with these qualifications who also favors missile defense and knows strategic issues - it's almost impossible. It's the best choice (Mr. Bush) could have made."

Etcetera. You'll find people talking about how immensely qualified Rumsfeld was, how moderate he was, how experienced he was. And, umm, how did that work out?

There's a few points one could make here: about the fallacy of the long resume', about the stupidity of overanalyzing cabinet picks, about how you shall only know a person by his or her actions.

But let's just say this as Barack Obama introduces his national security team and people huff and puff about whether they're hawks or not progressive enough or problem children or disappointing or what the fuck ever: Ultimately, the cabinet does the bidding of the president. Sure, they offer ideas and guide the departments. But they are policy implementers. Nothing less and nothing more. You have to be willing to go along with the boss to do the job, or you don't take it. And it's all a political game. If we know anything at all about Barack Obama, it's that he's one crafty motherfucker in the realm of politics.

If you wanted to, say, change the course of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and our strategic relationships around the globe, who's gonna do it without pissing people off? Secretary of Defense Dennis Kucinich? Fuck no. You get the guys and gals who were proponents of the war in at least some way or have cozy goddamn Capitol Hill relationships. If the great and glorious David Petraeus and the shiny Robert Gates are saying, "Bring the troops home," then you've defused your enemies. It ain't Clintonian triangulation, which involved embracing a watered-down version of your opponents' beliefs. It's just fuckin' smart. The same goes for economic policy and it will go for domestic.

Yeah, if Obama lets his hawks run the place and make him break his promises, then we can squawk. But for now, can we just take a breath and see how it all works out?


In Brief: President Bush Wants You to Know That He's Great:
There will be plenty of time for examining just how much destruction has been wrought by the last eight years (and not enough years in the rest of most of our lives to fix it). What's going on in Mumbai right now is pretty much Exhibit Y or Z of how blind and ignorant U.S. foreign policy has been under George W. Bush. And there's going to be many an exit interview, too. Still, in this day after Thanksgiving, the never more rightly-named "Black Friday," let's let the man speak for himself.

For the StoryCorps project of the Library of Congress, George and Laura Bush were interviewed by Bush's sister, Doro Bush Koch (which sounds like a cute Japanese lizard). Of course, one can't expect hard-hitting questions from one's own sister, and these seem particularly heavily scripted by committee. What's head-shakingly sad about the President's answers is how he refuses to recognize his failures, a lack of self-awareness that's beyond narcissism and into something we might rightly term "balls-out, fucking, barking mad." The Rude Pundit's pretty sure that's a condition listed in the DSM-IV.

Here's Bush on how he wants to be remembered as President: "I would like to be a person remembered as a person who, first and foremost, did not sell his soul in order to accommodate the political process. I came to Washington with a set of values, and I'm leaving with the same set of values. And I darn sure wasn't going to sacrifice those values." You get that? More than anything else ("first and foremost"), he wants to be remembered for being a stubborn motherfucker. More than anything else, he wants everyone for now and all eternity to know that he refused to change his "values," circumstances, history, and cataclysms be goddamned. That's some fine legacy-makin', that is.

When Sis asks about the role "faith" plays in his "day-to-day life," Bro answers, "I've been in the Bible every day since I've been the President, and I have been affected by people's prayers a lot. I have found that faith is comforting, faith is strengthening, faith has been important." How much of Bush's presidency has been taken up with time spent "in the Bible"? How does it compare to his cycling regimen? What's more important? The prayin' or the exercisin'? Fat Christians need to know, man.

Of course, being in the Bible so much while presidentin' has given Bush a chance to learn some shit. "[P]oliticians should not be judgmental people based upon their faith. They should recognize -- as least I have recognized I am a lowly sinner seeking redemption," he said, "and therefore have been very careful about saying (accept) my faith or you're bad. In other words, if you don't accept what I believe, you're a bad person." One might be tempted to say that a lowly sinner ought to avoid "pride," which, if the Rude Pundit's rudimentary understanding of the Good Book is right, is a sin. But, you know, why bother.

Bonus: Laura says, "I worry about Afghanistan." Truer words, darlin', truer words.


For Thanksgiving: A Navajo Prayer:
This is the final section of a lengthy shaman's prayer, when the spiritual man and the physical man are united. It seems appropriate, given how much we've talked about abstract concepts like "hope" and the "future," ideas we seem to have neglected for the better part of a decade. Chant this over your turkey and look to 2009:

To my feet I have returned,
To my limbs I have returned,
To my body I have returned,
To my mind I have returned,
To the dust of my feet I have returned,
To my saliva I have returned,
To my hair I have returned.

My feet are restored to me,
My limbs are restored to me,
My body is restored to me,
My mind is restored to me,
The dust of my feet is restored to me,
My saliva is restored to me,
My hair is restored to me.

The world before me is restored in beauty
The world behind me is restored in beauty
The world below me is restored in beauty
The world above me is restored in beauty
All things around me are restored in beauty
My voice is restored in beauty
It is finished in beauty
It is finished in beauty
It is finished in beauty
It is finished in beauty


Regarding Ann Coulter's Wired-Shut Jaw:
"Whoa, there, Ann, slow down. You're gonna break something," the Rude Pundit told Coulter as she gobbled cock with all the vigor of a drowning plague rat attempting to climb the slime-covered slabs that once ran along the sewers of Paris. No, no, the Rude Pundit wasn't getting blown by Coulter, but he was jacking off while Coulter went down on the Arab engineer in the studio where she was recording the audio for her new "book."

Unfortunately, Tamam was cursed with an enormous pair of balls, and, when Coulter went for the whole scrotum/cock package in one mouthful, well, she'd've had to have been boa constrictor to get her jaw that wide. The cracking sound was awful. Tamam would've screamed if he wasn't laughing so hard. Coulter said something that sounded like "Throw me down the stairs," and, thinking she wanted to cover the whole thing up, the Rude Pundit was happy to oblige.

Although, upon discussion, the Rude Pundit and Tamam thought she could have also been saying, "Come in my ears." He nodded at the engineer, who shrugged and headed to the stairwell.