John McCain Treats You Like You Are Rich:
So after you get home from working overtime so that you can make the mortgage or the rent this month, after making dinner for the kids around 7 or 8, later than they should be eating, but at least they are eating, even if it's whatever you exhaustingly microwave, after you, being a good parent, make sure the kids' homework has been done, after you try to squeeze in an hour of relaxation with a little bit of American Idol or sports before you fall asleep on the couch in front of the television, after you get a restless five or six hours of actual sleep because you can't stop thinking about which bills you can't pay this month, wondering if the cable or the phone will get cut off first, and which you can live without until the paycheck from your second job, the one you do on the weekends, comes in, after getting your kids up in the morning, making sure they have something that approaches breakfast, after you chug a cup of coffee and grab some toast or a banana to rush back to work so you can be on your feet for the next eight to ten hours, working through lunch because that adds to the overtime, wondering if you're ever going to have the time to spend with your kids and/or spouse, after you go to the grocery store and shake your head at the price of food, thinking maybe it'd be nice to give up your own breakfast for a couple of days so that you can buy the kids some ice cream, and after you get home to do it all over again, John McCain thinks you have the time to go through dozens upon dozens of health care plans and decide which ones you can afford, which ones you can't, which ones would be best for your family, and which ones won't treat you like shit.

And he's gonna give you a five grand tax credit for the privilege, which doesn't mean John McCain wants to give you five grand. No, it means you get to take that off your taxes. Which means it works out to, well, not even enough for you to go fuck yourself, let alone afford decent care. And by giving you the five grand tax credit, he's taking it away from employers so that they no longer have any incentive to give health insurance.

McCain's announcement of his health care plan yesterday was a goddamned insult, a gigantic shit taken on the working class. See, maybe John McCain, while tooling around in his wife's jet, might have time to have his assistants sort through thousands of pages of plans to narrow it down to three or four that might be amenable to the cranky bastard, but you and nearly every other American? It's like saying, "Oh, and by the way, grow your own food."

Mostly, it's not even a real "plan," in the sense that virtually nothing in it is a concrete, you know, plan. It's more like a plan to make a plan at some point after the planning stage is over. For instance, for the huge problem of pre-existing conditions, McCain says, "The details of a Guaranteed Access Plan will be worked out with the collaboration and consent of the states." In other words, "I don't fucking know what the fuck to do."

So health care under John McCain would basically be: "Here's a couple of tokens, kids. Have fun at the arcade for the next couple of decades."
The Rude Pundit Live at Eschacon08: Disrespecting John McCain:
You can download the track, if you like or if you can't use the player down there, and the Rude Pundit will be uploading it to iTunes or some other place where you can subscribe to a coming monthly podcast. The Rude Pundit's still working out some kinks in the whole process.

Oh, it should probably be said: language definitely not safe for work, if you work for a tight ass. Or a pre-school.

The recording was done from the soundboard by talented rude fan Eric Schmidt on March 29, 2008 in lovely Philadelphia.


Live Vodka-Bloggin' the President's News Conference:
It's been a little while for our wee little President, since the last press conference, and, oh, he's been a-travelin' and the economy's been a-plungin' and the war's been a-ragin'. So it's time to take the bottle of Chopin out of the freezer and get ready for this Rose Garden newser. (All quotes pretty much guaranteed to be fucked up.)

10:32: He's already trying to pimp slap Congress. Gas prices up, electricity rising, he's the problem solver, but those fuckers in Congress are such punk ass bitches. He wants Congress to slaughter lots of caribou and fuck up the wilderness so that at some point in a decade or so there might be some oil blowing out of there. Drink that milkshake, motherfucker.

10:33: We needs some nucular power, beeyotches. Congress wants to at least make pathetic little swipes at saving the world, and that makes them pussies, Bush says.

10:35: Congress, Congress, Congress. Dude, at what point did you stop being the big bad motherfucker who told everyone to lick your ball hair clean?

10:36: "Uhmerkans are concerned about keeping their homes...And I understand that." No, no, man, you don't. Student loans? Didn't Bush actually make it harder to get Pell Grants? Oh, that's right. Grants don't make interest for his banking cronies.

10:37: Oh, he's such a pissy little fuck. Jenna's eyes must be permanently damaged by all the rolling they've done over the years.

10:38: Jennifer Loven of AP is kind of hot. And she asks a logical question: now that gas is sky-high, how does your little bribe tax money thing make any effect?

10:39: ANWR again? He's fuckin' jonesing for more oil. Sounds like someone's angling for what he's gonna be doin' next year.

10:40: He just got asked something about output levels when he goes to Saudi Arabia. That's gotta be gay code for how much Crown Prince Abdullah will ejaculate on any proposals Bush might bring, laughing madly at the little President.

10:41: "We're transitionin' to a new era now...where we have cars running on batteries." And they might even get a magical 41 miles to the gallon. Oh, the miracles and wonders.

10:42: He says how he'll talk to the Saudis about how high prices "injure the world." Again, gay code for how much his anus will ache after the reaming he'll get for the pleasure of the Saudi royal family. "Look, the little President cries when the monkey shoves a banana in his ass. Ah-hahaha."

10:44: There's another bottle of vodka in the freezer. It's a Turkish brand, one that was a gift from a visiting UN staff member when she was over a few months ago. There's a joke about getting smoked like a hookah in there. But mostly it's an excuse to go get the other vodka.

10:45: Jim Axelrod is about to get shot down...

10:46: Yep, down he goes. Hey, Bush says the White House is concerned about all the shit he just talked about: gas prices, food prices, more. And otherwise, Axelrod can go fuck himself.

10:47: Aren't we at war? Anyone gonna ask about that?

10:48: ANWR reference number three. We can drill like we've never been able to drill before. Slant-drill technologies. "I'm hoping that when you say ANWR it means people don't care about rising gas prices," he says. And the Rude Pundit's hoping that when you say, "ANWR," you mean "that one tiny line we did not cross."

10:50: "I have analyzed the issue." That's the funniest fuckin' thing he's said so far.

10:51: Afghanistan? Well, at least we're talking about the war. "Prior to the liberation of the country...they didn't let little girls go to school," he says. He later adds, "I'm pleased with the number of roads that are built...and little girls in school." It's a new metric for success.

10:53: Wow, what a dick. He's scolding Martha Raddatz. For wanting to ask a follow-up. "We're facing people who are willing to strap bombs on themselves and walk into places where the innocent shop and kill themselves," he says, as if to ask him if we're "succeeding" has no business in polite company.

10:54: "We are in a global struggle against thugs and killers. We're in a long struggle against these jeee-hadists," he says, unironically adding, "We're dealing with a group of idealogues."

10:56: It is perhaps time to go from sipping the vodka to shooting it.

11:00: A reporter asks, "Are you frustrated with Congress?" Who's this whore? Bush responds, "I believe that they are letting the American people down." On FISA, he's fuckin' boondoggled, man, as to why anyone can't think the way he does. It's sweet, like watching a particularly sensitive autistic child smack his head repeatedly because his mother doesn't understand that when he slams his dick in a door, it means he needs a hug.

11:01: "It's a sour time," he says. No, shit, Sherlock? (It's an oldie, but a goodie.)

11:02: So fuckin' bored. He's sucking something out of his teeth, he's so tired of being there.

11:03: ANWR again. Sends a clear message to the markets. "The market's going to encourage conservation," he says. Which would seem to mean that lower consumption because of higher prices is a good thing. So confused.

11:04: Bush does not like Sheryl Lee Stolberg of the New York Times. "I don't think it's an accurate statement to say that drilling in ANWR will destroy the environment," he says, and he has quite the track record of being right about the environment.

11:06: About Jimmy Carter talking to Hamas: "Anybody can talk to who they want."

11:08: "I didn't talk to him"? Wait, wait, wait, he didn't talk to a former president who went on a peace mission to an area where the United States has huge strategic and security interests? Man, this fucker only cares about history when his name's at the top of the page.

11:11: He won't support anything in his supplemental that helps the veterans. Only on his time, motherfuckers.

11:12: Says he thinks McCain will be president. And acts like he said something really surprising.

11:13: "We are dealing with an ideological struggle that can only be solved with the spread of liberty," he says. And then he gets into the gut-wrenching possibility that the next president will say, "Fuck Bush's legacy" and end every fucked up thing he's done.

11:15: "Liberty is a gift from God," he says.

That's it. The Rude Pundit's out. Fuck this tedium. Fuck this passing blame. How about one goddamn mea culpa? One admission that something he might have done might just have made people feel like the nation is a double semi that just lost a wheel on a curved downhill road.

And one fuckin' reporter asking about the war? Man, it's a good thing we don't have to worry about that anymore.


The Lewinsky Nuke, or How Bill Is Hillary Clinton's Reverend Wright:
Let us say, and why not, that surrogates for the Obama campaign, aided and abetted by the RNC and the media, decided to go after Hillary Clinton in relation to the Monica Lewinsky scandal (and, to be clear, no matter what you think about impeachment, the President of the United States getting blown by a White House intern qualifies as a scandal). Let us say, and, indeed, why not, that in order to gain some ground lost by the interminable focus on Jeremiah Wright, Obama's surrogates decided it was time for a little refresher course in the shit people put up with in their personal lives.

It would be so fuckin' easy to take down Hillary Clinton, and the RNC knows it and can't wait for the chance to do it. Obama hasn't, and probably won't. Here's the one-two-three of how, if the Obama campaign truly wanted to go negative, the Clinton campaign would be over. Follow the bouncing ball of a logical progression to the nuke:

Where did the liaisons between Lewinsky and Bill Clinton take place? In the White House, especially in the Oval Office or a study off the Oval Office. So where the President of the United States holds meetings with the leaders of the world, as well as his cabinet and members of Congress, as well as photo ops with we the ordinary people, in a space that is paid for by the taxes of the people of the United States, Bill Clinton placed his cock in the mouth of an intern for no better reason than he was bored and her mouth was willing.

What exactly are the problems with Reverend Wright as they relate to Barack Obama? Wright said some not so nice things about the United States and he spouted a couple of conspiracy theories. At church. Of what is Obama guilty in his connection to Wright? Well, as Hillary Clinton and the North Carolina Republican Party have asserted, he didn't get up and leave and break from his church of 20 years.

You see where this is going? You getting that acidy feeling in your stomach? Well, gird yer loins, motherfuckers, 'cause it's time for this ride to go into the dark parts.

Applying the standard set for Obama in his relationship to Jeremiah Wright to the marriage of Hillary and Bill Clinton, do we not have every right to ask why Clinton did not divorce her husband. Oh, sure, you can say, "Well, that's crazy, it's a personal decision, it's a family thing," but Hillary Clinton chose to stay married to a man who not only repeatedly betrayed her, which we could interpret in lots of ways about her character, both good and bad, but to a man who spewed adulterous semen at the White House on America's dime. No, Bill Clinton might not have said, "God damn America," but he sure believed that American could pay for a place for him get his dick sucked. So it ain't that far a leap to say that he betrayed America, too.

You may ask, "What about Chelsea?" Chelsea was eighteen around this time. She was heading off to college. And the marriage was 22 or 23 years long at the point of intern penis insertion.

So there's your ad, your talking point, your goddamned spin: Hillary Clinton chose to stay married to a man who defiled the Oval Office and insulted America by trying to convince us that it wasn't sex. Why didn't she "get up and leave"?

And we could add: And this man is now her main campaign representative and will be returned to the White House he defiled, filled with interns. (Cue the ominous music and the slow-mo of Bill wagging his finger at us, like we did something wrong. Oh, fuck, that's the final insult, no?)

How do you feel after reading that? Feel like throwing up? Wonder why the fuck any of this shit really matters when it takes fifty bucks to fill your gas tank? Feel spattered with Scaife jism? Got Rove jam in your eye?

Is the idea for the ad just ludicrous? Fuckin' A, it is. But, really, is it qualitatively less ludicrous than the continued uproar over Reverend Wright? Barack Obama didn't say, "God damn America." His pastor did. That one time, as far as we know. Frankly, it's elitist and snobby to think that someone can just walk away from his church because the pastor said a couple of "bad" things. And, frankly, it seems that if your husband is constantly fucking around, it's a bit more of a leap to say that it's cool you stayed with him.

And let's use another Clinton talking point against her: do you think the GOP ain't gonna bring up Lewinsky if she's the nominee? You think that the threat of Bill wild and free in the White House ain't gonna be an issue?

So how about this: why doesn't Hillary Clinton condemn the uproar over Wright for the good of her party and her country instead of fanning the flames? Or would that seem too presidential?


Why Rush Limbaugh Ought to Be Force-Fed His Own Liposuctioned Fat (Riot Edition):
So rotund sex tourist Rush Limbaugh, in his ongoing effort to make the Democratic nomination process as bloody as possible, has stated what one of his goals is for his "Operation Chaos," involving people (the zomboid "Dittoheads" listening to him) registering as Democrats or voting in open primaries in order to sow internecine warfare in the Democratic party. That goal is to so infect the process that there are riots at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. And, no, that's not an exaggeration or taking this fat fuck out of context. Here he is on Wednesday on his show (quoted extensively before it goes up behind his wallet-sucking wall):

"This is about chaos. This is why it's called Operation Chaos! It's not called Operation Save Hillary. It's not called Operation Nominate Obama. It's called Operation Chaos! The dream end... I mean, if people say what's your exit strategy, the dream end of this is that this keeps up to the convention and that we have a replay of Chicago 1968, with burning cars, protests, fires, literal riots, and all of that. That's the objective here."

A bit later, talking to a caller, Limbaugh confirms this, comparing Republican behavior to Democratic behavior:
"We don't burn our cars. We don't burn down our houses. We don't kill our children. We don't do half the things the American left does. We need the American left -- and this is another great thing about Operation Chaos; nothing to do with my ego. We need as many ignorant Americans to wake up and find out exactly who the modern-day Democrat Party is as dominated by the far left in this country. We need that to be seen. Now, I am not inspiring or inciting riots. I'm dreaming. (singing to the tune of 'White Christmas') 'I'm dreaming of riots in Denver.' Remember 1968? And which party did that? It was the radicals in that party, the anti-war radicals, the same bunch of clowns that are running around defining the Democrat Party today."

Limbaugh claims that Al Sharpton and Democratic Party "members" have already said "'There will be riots' or something to that effect."

Now, it's pathetically useless to argue facts with Limbaugh and his hordes of over-carbed, Bush-beaten-down, scapegoat-huntin' listeners. You could point out that it was a bunch of white Republicans who more or less rioted in 2000 in Broward County, Florida and shut down the recount there. You could point out that what Al Sharpton actually said was that if the superdelegates overturn the will of the majority of voters and pledged delegates, there could be "demonstrating" at the convention. Of course, Limbaugh says that "demonstrating" is just code for "riot." Perhaps he thinks that it's some kind of hip-hop lingo to the porcine pundit. (Actual Limbaugh quote: "Okay, what does demonstrating mean? The Reverend Sharpton is the one who put this notion out there.")

Over in Denver, they're not too happy about a major radio personality hoping for riots in their town. It's sort of like telling a man that you dream of him being raped and then you tell a whole bunch of stupid people with hard-ons that you hope he's raped. You can argue whether or not you are advocating for his rape, but the line between "dreaming of" and "advocating" is so fuckin' thin that, well, let's say it doesn't exist.

And, fuck, let Limbaugh confirm it, as he did yesterday: "[W]e had a call from a woman named Lisa in Atlanta who was tarring me as a racist when she was the actual racist, because of my desire to see the Democrat convention break down exactly as it did in 1968 in Chicago with Democrats beating up on Democrats in the streets."

So there you go, conservatives so concerned about Barack Obama's association with a professor of education who was involved in a violent Vietnam War protest group 40 years ago: Rush Limbaugh wants there to be violence in the streets of Denver this summer. It is his "desire," he "dreams" of it, that it's his "objective." But, hey, if he says he's not "inspiring" or "inciting" it, he must be telling the truth.

It would be like porn to him, sitting there in his leather Herman Miller, his enormous flat-screen glowing with the cars on fire, reflecting off the broken glass in the street, empty box of Kleenex and empty jar of Vaseline, desperately jacking off his flaccid, scabby, tiny dick one more time, popping bootleg Viagra to try to get hard, thinking, "Yes, dreams do come true."

Rush Limbaugh wants violence in the streets of an American city. He wants destruction, and he wants people hurt, maybe killed, including police officers. And he has decided to use his followers to make this violence happen. Now, how is he different than Osama bin Laden?

(Tip o' the rude hat to Crooks and Liars, where you can hear some of the audio.)


A Palate Cleanser: Republican House Candidate from Indiana Speaking Before His Supporters (No, Really):

It's honestly hard to tell what's most awesome about this photo of Republican Tony Zirkle, running for the Republican nomination in Indiana's 2nd District: the inbred-looking skinhead kid just to Zirkle's right or the "Happy Birthday" sign in front of the table. Let's go with the sign, since it was to celebrate the birthday of Adolf Hitler.

Even more awesomer? Zirkle's explanation. He was there to talk about getting rid of pornography: "'Most of the male porn stars were Jewish at the beginning,' Zirkle explained. Now the male porn stars are mostly black, he claimed, and the women who appear in pornographic works tend to be 'young, white, Christian women.' If people think he is targeting the Jews, he said, they are misinterpreting his position. He is targeting, Zirkle said, the 'porn dragon' that inspires Jews to get involved in pornography. Jewish men are culpable for running the business end of the pornography business, he said, but young white women are guilty of starring in it."

Strangely, Porn Dragon is one of the Rude Pundit's favorite Japanese animated porn films, featuring tentacle rape, smelly white panties, and a black dragon with a fire-shooting dick. Although he always wondered why the dragon was circumcised and wore a yarmulke, yet still could dance. Now Zirkle has answered that.

Bonus points: Zirkle compared his talk to George W. Bush speaking at Bob Jones University during the 2000 presidential campaign (which, bugfuck insane or not, he's got a point). Oh, and "I'll speak before any group that invites me. I've spoken on an African-American radio station in Atlanta."

Bonuser points: Zirkle's website, which features pure, undiluted nutsy, with pages titled "Prolific Porn Mule Serial Woman-Womb Slaughterers" and "Is Obama a Slave Owner Descendant?" (that one's got emoticons in it).

(To be fair, the local Republican party condemned him, and Zirkle doesn't stand a flea fart in a hurricane's chance in winning the nomination against Luke Puckett, let alone the election against incumbent Democrat Joe Donnelly, although Zirkle got 30% of the primary vote in 2006 against incumbent Chris Chocola. And, to be fair, that area of northern Indiana is filled with backward ass country fucks who despise the migrants who work the farms, although one can be sure they love to jack it to their white girl porn, the younger and Christianer the better.)


What We Learned Last Night, What It Means to the Democratic Nomination Race, and How Much or How Little Things Have Changed:

Yup. That about covers it.


To Hillary Clinton Supporters: Your Candidate Just Said She's Prepared to Murder Millions of Innocent People:
Okay, good and honest Hillary Clinton supporters, men and women, let's have a little history lesson for some context. Back in 1984, our then President, Ronald Reagan, no doubt in the early stages of Alzheimer's, made a little joke while testing a mike. Not thinking anyone beyond the studio would ever hear, he said, "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes." When the quote got out, Reagan's lead over Walter Mondale slipped (very temporarily) by seven points. The Left was justifiably in an uproar over it. And Reagan was making a joke - a bad one, one that no doubt revealed his actual mindset, but, still and all, a joke.

For the third time now, Hillary Clinton, your candidate, has non-jokingly threatened to destroy Iran if that nation launches a nuclear strike on Israel. At the debate last week, she said Iran would face "massive retaliation." On Olbermann last night, she reiterated that and added, as if to clarify, that Iran's "use of nuclear weapons against Israel would provoke a nuclear response from the United States."

Today, she took it even further, into territory that, c'mon, admit it, Clinton supporters, if a Republican had said it, you'd be going nutzoid about the fearmongering and paranoiac fantasizing. Said Clinton on Good Morning America, "I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran. In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them."

Yes, she claims to be saying it only to offer deterrence. But, really, isn't that understood about the United States? That if we wanted to, we could "totally obliterate" most of the Earth? So, by saying it, Clinton accomplishes something of a pandering trifecta: she lets the Israel-humpers know she's willing to wreck shit for them, she lets the pro-military people know she ain't scared of shit, and she lets gun owners know she's willing to fire the largest gun of all. Who's got the biggest dick now, eh, Barack?

(Note: the above line is not unconscious and dunderheaded sexism. It is a deliberate and conscious use of feminist critical theory to demonstrate just how extreme Clinton has become in her embrace of the phallocentric policies of her male predecessors. Indeed, the entire trajectory of Clinton's campaign can be traced as a kind of reification of phallic power as a sad and unnecessary means of attempting to legitimize a female candidate to those enmeshed with the dominant patriarchy, those who might find such a candidate weak simply because of her sex. Such a tactic is bound to fail because by reifying such power, the female candidate merely justifies the perceived and false weakness. In other words, those who live by the Penn, die by the Penn.)

Sure, Obama said, "I have not ruled out military force as an option," but that's standard shit. Clinton took it to the limit: she said that if a nation that's not the United States has a nuclear missile launched at it by Iran - a possibility about as likely as a captured terrorist knowing where the suitcase nuke is that's gonna go off in five minutes and needs his knees shot out to give up the info - then she is ready not just to use targeted nukes against Tehran, but to go all in and to kill millions and millions of innocent people, many of whom don't even support the Iranian government.

The Rude Pundit's not sure, but he doesn't know that he's ever heard of such an extreme policy in support of an ally from a legitimate Democrat running for the Presidency. "Totally obliterate"? It's like the threat of a particularly demented child to an anthill if one of the little fuckers bites her.

Oh, and by the way, you stomp an anthill out of existence, chances are your foot's getting swarmed.

So there you go, Clinton supporters. Your candidate has told you what she believes about military force. She is willing to make the United States a target for nuclear retaliation and massive terrorist acts should Israel be attacked. Now that's a fuckin' way to tell people to take their hope and shove it up their asses.

Happy fuckin' Earth Day.


John McCain Is a Total Dick:
At some point during yesterday's interview on This Week with George Stephanopoulos's Hair, John McCain went from being "that cranky, hypocritical jerk-off" to a total dick. It is something of a remarkable journey since 2000, when he was that "honorable" man who was punched in the junk by Karl Rove in South Carolina, a blow that left him emasculated and obedient to the Bush administration, a dog leashed up and beaten into acquiescence. No, McCain was never the "maverick" the slobbering media wants him to be: he was just a slightly less cocksucking regular Republican. The shit on McCain that's been covered up because of the complicity of the press would make John Kennedy lift his head out of a stripper's twat and say, "Goddamn, and I thought they loved me."

Let's put aside for a moment the Fantasyland in which reside his economic "policies." Instead, check out what he said about the endorsement he begged for and got from John Hagee, the Armageddon-humping megachurch pastor who hates him some Catholics. When he was asked if hand-jobbing Hagee for an endorsement was a mistake, McCain, crazy maverick that he is, said, "Oh, probably, sure. But I admire and respect Dr. Hagee’s leadership of the — of his church. I admire and appreciate his advocacy for the state of Israel, the independence of the state of Israel. I condemn remarks that are made that has anything to do which is condemning of the Catholic Church."

Let's be clear here: Hagee only loves Israel because of that delicious mixture of delusion, faith, and violence known as "Christian Zionism." Nutzoid fundamentalists of this stripe need them some Israel because it's the battlefield for the coming war with the forces of Satan, which'll make Jeeezus come back and bring about the Rapture. No, really. (For big fun, check out Matt Taibbi's undercover infiltration of Hagee's church in the latest Rolling Stone.) So, in other words, McCain praises Hagee's support of Israel, which Hagee offers only out of hope that the world will end.

And McCain, being a dick, doesn't give a fuck what you think about this. "I’m glad to have his endorsement," he told Stephanopoulos. "I condemn remarks that are, in any way, viewed as anti-anything." Then, just as a little extra "fuck-you," he added, "But thanks for asking." Yeah, that'll teach Georgie-Porgie to ask McCain something that makes him twitch in a flashback to that bamboo cage.

By the way, the Hagee question came up after Stephanopoulos asked McCain about Barack Obama's patriotism, with the set-up being a quote from Karl Rove. Yes, Stephanopoulos thus gave McCain an opening to bring up former Weathermen member William Ayers and his relationship with Obama: "he became friends with him and spent time with him while the guy was unrepentant over his activities as a member of a terrorist organization, the Weathermen." Then McCain went berserker over Obama's response, where he said that Senator Tom Coburn wanted to jail doctors who performed abortions, but that they're still friends.

At some point, can someone tell the Republicans to get over the Sixties (and early Seventies)? Can we please have politicians who aren't still fighting the Vietnam War and the hippies? That's why 48 year-old Barack Obama's reaction to the dust-up over Ayers is something akin to "What the fuck?" Because, really, and c'mon, "What the fuck?"

'Cause what's a little more important here is perhaps McCain's absolutely bugfuck insane answer to the question about when we'll know if there's success in Iraq: "It’s not a matter of time. It’s a matter of casualties. If we can eliminate American casualties, that’s the key to the success. Because Americans are grieved by the loss of these brave — of our most — sacrifice of our most precious treasure." There it is: if the war can stop making Americans sad, then it'll be dandy. Really, the bottom-line measure is "The Iraqis can go fuck themselves."

But by far, the biggest dickish moment was when Stephanopoulos was asking McCain about health care, pointing out that the Senator had pretty much had his health care paid for by the government for his whole life. Said McCain, "It’s a cheap shot, but I did have a period of time where I didn’t have very good government health care. I had it from another government." And then he laughed that mad, chilling laugh he gets when he's reminding people that he was a prisoner of war. Oh-ho, so self-deprecating. Get it? He had five years of North Vietnamese health care and it sucked. Or, as McCain said after laughing, "So, look, I know what it’s like in America not to have health care."

Yes, John McCain knows your pain because he was tortured. Maybe his campaign slogan should be, "John McCain: Now It's Your Turn, Motherfuckers."


Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Down LSD-Infused Eucharists with the Blood of Christ:

What d'ya wanna go with here? An Onion-esque headline of "Berobed Celibate Who Talks to Voices from the Sky Treated Like a Hero by the President"? "Rich Guy Gets 10,000 People to Sing 'Happy Birthday' to Another Rich Guy by Promising Them Eternal Salvation"?

Or maybe it's best just to focus in on the reality of the moment, when the President, speaking to the Pope (and the gathered South Lawn party monsters), acted like the happiest fuckin' tour guide you never wanted to meet: "You've chosen to visit America on your birthday. Well, birthdays are traditionally spent with close friends, so our entire nation is moved and honored that you've decided to share this special day with us...Here in America you'll find a nation of prayer...Here in America you'll find a nation of compassion...Here in America you'll find a nation that welcomes the role of faith in the public square...Here in America, you'll find a nation that is fully modern, yet guided by ancient and eternal truths..."

Man, it'd been awesome if the Pope had said, in that "Fuck, Josef Mengele is about to inject my eyeball" voice of his, "Shit, that really contradicts my image of a nation of bloated, reality show-watching materialists who don't give a rat fuck that their government tortures and murders, who would rather suck a horse's dick than actually help the poor, and who toast their TVs whenever they hear about the latest execution, but, hey, sure, George, we'll go with your description for the next coupla days."

But he didn't. And everyone had cake and then went about their business.


What Barack Obama Wanted to Say Last Night But Wouldn't (Rude Version):
At last night's "debate" (if by "debate," you mean, "an insipid, degrading evening featuring a former staffer for one candidate's husband and a man shaped like a bowling pin"), Barack Obama kept deflecting every question about Lapelpingate and Wrightgate and Bittergate and Somefuckingprofessorwhoisaneighbororsomesuchshitgate by falling back on his themes of hope and "let's all work together." But the man looked tired, wearied by the inanity of it all.

And, even when given a hanging curve ball, he refused to swing. Asked to comment on Clinton's Bosnia sniper fire lie, Obama balked: "But look, the fact of the matter is, is that both of us are working as hard as we can to make sure that we're delivering a message to the American people about what we would do as president. Sometimes that message is going to be imperfectly delivered, because we are recorded every minute of every day. And I think Senator Clinton deserves, you know, the right to make some errors once in a while."

He's right, of course, of course, and it was goddamn civil of him to say so. And then Clinton paid him back by trying to impugn Obama because of his relationship with former Weather Underground member William Ayers, but it's okay, because, you know, all Clinton says she's doing is telling us how McCain'll try to gut him: "So it is -- you know, I think it is, again, an issue that people will be asking about. And I have no doubt -- I know Senator Obama's a good man and I respect him greatly but I think that this is an issue that certainly the Republicans will be raising." Yeah, he's a good man, but he's friends with a former terrorist who's unrepentant, so he must hate America.

You gotta think that Obama wished he had his answer back on whether Clinton had been "truthful about her past" and that he had said, "For seven and a half years, we've had a motherfucker in the White House who has used every word under the sun to avoid the word 'lie.' The Bush administration has said that things were 'misstatements' or were the fault of someone other than the speaker or just outright denying they had said something they had said. What Senator Clinton said was a lie. It wasn't just a lie she told once. It was a lie she told repeatedly, a lie her husband re-told just the other day. If I said to you, 'I can shoot rainbows out of my ass,' and then you said to me, 'Senator Obama, fire my way,' and all you got was a face full of shit with no pot of gold at the end, well, then I'd be a liar, wouldn't I? Oh, but, fuck, I could just say, 'Did I say "rainbows"? I meant "turds." I must need some sleep.'

"And Senator Clinton wants to keep talking about how untested I am, how un-vetted, how people are gonna dig up shit on me, that somehow it's good that there's all this shit out there about her already, that it gives the Republican fuckbags nothing to talk about. Are you fuckin' serious? Every year corporate America sells us the same shit in a different package, tellin' us it's better, shinier shit, and we Americans, we go out and buy that same old shit in the new package and convince ourselves it's something new. The GOP ain't gonna not bring up Travelgate or other shit just because they've done it before.

"Instead, they're gonna say, 'Hey, Hillary Clinton said she was shot at when she wasn't. Oh, and, fuck, remember when she said she couldn't find files and then she did? John McCain was a POW. Who you gonna vote for?' So, yeah, yeah, keep on, Hillary, with that bullshit about people-I-know, keep tryin' to call me a San Francisco faggot liberal or an America-hating nigger churchgoer. Man, the right wing wants you so bad that they've been sharpening their knives and cleaning their guns and those motherfuckers are jonesing for you like a junkie's arm holes start to bleed when he sees a needle."

But, no, no, Obama didn't get into the mudpit; there was no wallow in the muck. When he's against McCain, though, he'd better get his hip waders, 'cause he's gonna need to go feet first deep into the shit or he's gonna be suffocated in it.


In Brief: Not Watching the Candidates:
The Rude Pundit will not be watching tonight's debate between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. He will probably end up reading the transcript later, but there's no amount of vodka, shrooms, or klonopin that'd get him through watching these two put on their dog and pony show one more fuckin' time.

The Rude Pundit would rather lick broken glass than have to stare into the frightening plastered smile of Hillary Clinton as she tries so goddamn hard to be likable even as she continues to take seeming pleasure in her fuckin' stiletto slices at Obama's face, trying to make that Golden Child seem so much less pretty.

And he'd rather felch a donkey than have to sit there and watch Barack Obama miss every opportunity to knock Clinton's candidacy out. Because, why? Because of some illusion of rhetorical kindness? Some chimera of comity? It's like a bear knocking the gun out of the hunter's hand and then not ripping his innards out. When that bear turns and walks away, that hunter's just gonna shoot the bear in the back. And, really, can you blame the hunter?

No, no, the Rude Pundit won't be watching. He won't see if they choose daggers or pillows. He won't have to cringe when Clinton says one of those oh-so-clever scripted joke lines. He won't have to roll his eyes when Obama half-heartedly panders, like an actor who can't commit to a part, over his God and guns comment.

But, more than likely, he'll be back tomorrow to talk about it.


Wherein the Rude Pundit Makes Conservative Spooge Bucket Kevin McCullough All Sweaty and Nervous:
In previous posts, the Rude Pundit has posited that conservative "columnist" and profoundly, obviously closeted homosexual Kevin McCullough has a hunger-that-shall-not-be-named for the penis of presidential candidate Barack Obama. Like on March 3, for example.

Or today, for instance.

McCullough, who really does call his movement by the incredibly homoerotic name of "Musclehead Revolution," has responded on his blog over at the right-wing biotrash container known as Townhall.com.

Calling the Rude Pundit a "really angry gay lib" and his readers "rabidly out of control sex freaks who shatter all limits of decency," McCullough wonders why, o, why is the left so threatened by "traditional ideas."

Then the man who wonders if "Barack Obama just wants power and will destroy the institution of marriage to get it" asks of the Rude Pundit's post, "Isn't this all just a tad bit over-the-top?" Ya gotta love a man who answers his own questions.

(By the way, if you happen to take the time to comment over at McCullough's place, be as nice and polite as possible. It'd drive him nutso.)
How Badly Does Conservative Spooge Bucket Kevin McCullough Want to Fuck Barack Obama? (Part 2): Whenever the unceasing insanity of our political process gets to be too much, whenever the cocktail of nauseating intentional evil and just plain fucktardery of the Bush administration gets too vile, whenever the mainstream media's role as the idiots in a crowd yelling, "Fight, fight" to two sloppy drunks becomes too obvious, the Rude Pundit knows where he can go for a reliable laugh and a feeling of vast superiority. That'd be over at Townhall.com, the toilet for flushable conservative opinion. And no one kicks out the hysterical finger-pointing that's really just the muffled cries from a very deep closet like Kevin McCullough. McCullough is so over-the-top in his attacks on Barack Obama's morality that, indeed, the leader of the "Musclehead Revolution" (no, really) must long to be bent over his desk, his face pressed against a cross so that it leaves a mark, while the Illinois senator rides his ass bareback until McCullough jizzes all over his blotter. Indeed, it'd be better, truly, if it was a kind of rape fantasy, where McCullough just senses Obama's in the room and, not able to escape, drops his pants without ever turning around and spreads his butt cheeks to await his "punishment." Goddamn, how many keyboards must McCullough go through in a month as he spanks his demi-tumescent peter at the thought of Obama's cock attaining rough purchase against his prostate. For in his latest "column" (if by "column," you mean, "an adolescent biracial bondage dream"), McCullough asks "Why Does Obama Hate Marriage?" And if you can't guess why a self-hating homosexual would think Obama hates marriage, you haven't been alive for the last few years. Bottom line: Obama doesn't hate the fags. Therefore, he hates marriage. It's pure high-larity to read McCullough screech, regarding Obama's support for the employment non-discrimination act (ENDA), "So stifling would ENDA be in fact that if a Youth Pastor who works with young boys in a church program got caught in an inappropriate relationship with them, ENDA would make it nearly impossible for the church involved to fire the youth pastor." Insert your own Pope-ready Catholic Church joke here. As for Obama saying that he would like to get rid of "Don't ask, don't tell" in the military, McCullough declares, "Senator Obama on the other hand would prefer for as much sexual expression as one could possibly express. Keep the porn. Adultery is no big deal, and let 'em have homosexual engagement and behavior on base to their heart's desire." God, what a sweet image McCullough's latency conjures: entire barracks devoted to cocksucking and assfucking, with one corner set aside for the rim job brigade and another for the unit-fluffing unit. McCullough brings it all back to the invisible sky wizard theory of social engineering: "Perhaps it is important to note what [marriage] has always been: one man, one woman, in sexual monogamous fidelity for life. It was established by God for three purposes, to civilize men, to protect women, and to nurture children." There ya go: the argument that you can't argue with because to do so would be to confront madness. And to have to overcome the subtext of McCullough's attacks. Barack Obama has "tasted some of the fruit," he writes. The Senator supports gays "with all his might." Puh-lease, girlfriend. Do us all a favor and learn to savor the delicious moment just before tongue touches dick head, the hip-shaking agony of release into the muscular ass of another. Really. And, you know, since anyone can make up any shit about God, let's say that the Big Guy wants you to be true to yourself.


Obama Says That Poor People Are Pissed; Everyone Goes Nutzoid:
The thing that's annoying about Barack Obama's statement at a San Francisco fundraiser about bitter small community people turning to guns and God and then hating them some immigrants is not that it was condescending or any such bullshit. It's that it was understating the truth. People aren't bitter. They're fucking savagely angry or suicidally depressed. Bitter? That's what Hillary Clinton and John McCain have their panties in a wad about? Motherfuckers, the working class passed bitter sometime in about 1986. By 2008, we're lucky that illegals aren't hanging from lampposts in rural America as targets for gun practice while a prayer circle blesses the bullets.

(A Brief Diversion Wherein the Rude Pundit Establishes His Street Cred on Talking About This Shit: At the point when the Rude Pundit was a kid and his family was living in a mobile home in a medium-sized Deep South town, the Rude clan was on food stamps while the Rude Dad drove a big rig. The Rude Dad blamed non-whites and rich people for his woes. Rich people more than non-whites, for, indeed, the Rude Dad fucking hated the wealthy - he resented the shit out of them, for their luck, for their upbringing, and for his perceived feelings of them looking down on him. In the course of trying to negotiate this devolved class landscape, the Rude Dad tried on different things. He took the family to a Seventh Day Adventist revival meeting, but that just seemed too idiotic. He tried the cult of Amway, but just used up all the samples. And he took the Rude Pundit out with friends to fire guns at shit. The Rude Dad could have given in to any of these as an outlet, but instead, he just simmered in anger and resentment, blaming the powerless for the policies of the powerful, sampling God and guns, but preferring the narcotic effect of TV and cigarettes and, yes, self-loathing bitterness.)

Clinton's and McCain's statements attacking Obama are not just disingenuous, but they are, in fact, the elitist wishful thinking of the privileged class. They want to homogenize the anger, they want to whitewash away the very real differences of class, and they cry the plaintive cry of every wealthy liberal who ever gave money to support a union: "We're all in this together." That's a bullshit belief. (And Clinton, who has worked really hard for the working class people of New York, fuckin' knows better than to say the crap she's spouting.)

Obama wasn't looking down on anyone or disrespecting the workers of America. He was acknowledging something real about small towns where the factories have closed, where the economic centers have been shuttered, and where the people have been told that a tax cut for millionaires is what's going to get them their jobs and economic security back. Obama's giving those people voice and agency: when you are disempowered, you seek other means to have power, whether it's through the gun or through the disempowering of others, or through the comfort of faith, which promises you oodles in heaven for your sufferings on earth.
Late Post Today:
Back this afternoon with tales of bitterness, God, and guns.


Bill Clinton: "My Wife Is Old and Forgets Major Events in Her Life":
However you think about Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and its Thelma and Louise-like gunning of the engine when the cliff's end is near, the saddest part has been the self-debasement of former President and wannabe First Gentleman Bill Clinton. He has been about as latently sexist regarding his wife (with all his references to, among other things, how the men are beating up on "a girl") as many others, although we're supposed to dismiss it with "Ho, ho, that's just the way Bill talks, that old Southern rascal." And in his speech in Indiana yesterday, he went completely batshit.

Sure, the parade of lies he told about Clinton's Tuzla-landing hyperbole (or, you know, as we in the real world call it, "lie") is rather breathtaking for his strange insistence on trying to re-spin a story that had just about run its course for this part of the campaign, especially because he used an excuse for his wife that had already been taken apart by the mainstream press. For someone who is supposed to have political instincts like a hound has a sense of smell, it was a big fuckin' stumble, like instead of being the Fred Astaire of the stump, he became Jerry Lewis carrying a giant stack of plates.

Then he compounded it by saying this: "And you woulda thought, you know, that she'd robbed a bank the way they carried on about this. And some of them when they're 60 they'll forget something when they're tired at 11 at night, too." You got that? The candidate's husband just told us, "Hey, my wife's so fuckin' old now that if it's past Geritol time, there's big fuckin' details that are gonna disappear from her brain." So he wants the Democrats to run someone against the old guy by proudly declaring that they have a candidate who is a forgetful elderly woman. And not just little league forgetful, like "Where the fuck are the keys?" distracted, but big-time "Wait, were they firing bullets at my child or not?" early-stages-Alzheimer's forgetful.

And let's not even get into whatever the fuck Bill meant when he said people were treating Hillary "like Mata Hari" for what she said about Tuzla. Is Hillary Clinton a spy who fucks men for information or did we just get a little too much information on the Clintons' sex life, including fantasies involving Hillary as a bottomless espionage agent and Bill as a German officer feeding her little secrets to keep her coming back for more, offering pieces of the full plans of attack in return for oral, anal, and more? Maybe it's a reference to Mata Hari being executed for spying. Either way, fuckin' weird, like the rest of the speech.

As the ex-President, there's ways for Bill Clinton to campaign, but he's acting like some attack dog surrogate stumping for Hillary Clinton. There's right ways to campaign, as when he says things like, "She'll be a better president than I was," which is charming, loving, and supportive, and it comes from his experience. But his attacks on Democrats, especially, are off-base and inappropriate, no matter who his wife is. A little goddamned dignity with respect to his former position would go a long fuckin' way.

Even if you support Clinton as the Democratic nominee, the Bill distraction has gotten out of hand once too often. Time for someone to go back to his charity's office and the way-lucrative speaking circuit.

Note: The Thelma and Louise reference above is intentional in both its positive and negative connotations: Positive because, ultimately, all that was left for the two women in that film were conformity to and imprisonment in a patriarchal system, so why not keep going; negative because, well, they crash and die (even if we don't see the car hit the canyon floor).


The Body in the Closet Will One Day Be Found (Regarding Torture and Corpses):
So in Charles Town, West Virginia, Beatrice Magaha died after falling and hitting her head while having a stroke. She had not allowed her family to enter her house and hadn't even seen them in a year or two. After her death, Magaha's daughter and son-in-law were going through her possessions when they noticed an awful smell coming from the bedroom closet. Obviously suspecting something but not wanting to find it, they called the police, who discovered a badly "decomposing body of another woman wrapped in plastic, blankets and a sleeping bag" stuffed into the back of the closet. They don't know how long the body's been there or, right now, who it is. They've taken DNA samples, but the corpse is so far gone, they may never know when the woman died.

Imagine that for a moment: in the back of your mother's closet is a corpse, one that's been there for years. And even if you hadn't seen her in a while, that meant that for a time, whenever you spoke with or visited or even thought about your Mom, she knew that a body was rotting in her closet. In her bedroom - not even in an attic or basement. Every time your mother went to the store, played cards with friends, or collected the mail, that body was there, decaying. Even covered up and shoved into the dark corners, the corpse made itself always known. God, how Beatrice Magaha must have stunk of death all the time.

Yesterday, we learned from ABC News that "sources" have told them that "the most senior Bush administration officials discussed and approved specific details of how high-value al Qaeda suspects would be interrogated by the Central Intelligence Agency" in 2002 and 2003. The list of people at the meetings includes, as you might imagine, everyone but President Bush, who no doubt was told to go play with his toys while the grown-ups talk about grown-up stuff: Cheney, Rice, Powell, Ashcroft, Tenet, Rumsfeld. If the ABC report is accurate, everyone involved approved torture every time some CIA interrogator asked permission to torture. None of this is surprising, but the extent of the depravity is still somewhat breathtaking.

Imagine you are in that room with the so-called "Principals." They receive a request for an okay to drown someone a CIA agent believed had some information and was being uncooperative. Then the Principals check with Ashcroft to see if it's legal. Using John Yoo's logic on how the Constitution didn't apply as long as there were no visible scars, the thumbs up was given. All of this subversion taking place in the small Situation Room of the White House, stuffed to the back, if you will. Let's give some of the players the benefit of the doubt, that they were approving torture because they thought they were saving America. Then where was the agonizing over the decisions? No, instead there was enthusiasm, as when Rice said to the CIA, "This is your baby. Go do it."

The only fear seems to have been about how torture would be perceived by other countries and by this nation should people find out. As John Ashcroft, who has strangely been the only one to occasionally be appalled by the actions of the administration, believed, the cover-up wasn't sufficient enough: "Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly."

No, no, history will bite you on the ass. As time passes, all the corpses are always discovered, the real ones buried in mass graves and hidden away in clapboard house closets, and the symbolic ones, the beaten and battered bodies of those the CIA and the NSA tortured themselves or sent to be tortured (some of them becoming real corpses), or even the nation's conscience, buried alive under the Oval Office so that Bush and Cheney could listen to its final thrashings.

Once Beatrice Magaha's daughter learned the truth about her mother, that, at bare minimum, she was a ghoul, if not an outright monster, she had to be changed as a person. Any illusions remaining about her mother were blown away by the stench of decomposing flesh.

If this was a nation that was ready to peer into its closet, now being slowly opened, if we were a reflective people, we would realize that our willful ignorance has rendered us victims of an enforced innocence, that we have, indeed, ignored the smell of our American rot.


The Petraeus/Crocker Hearings: If a Country Fell in the Forest...:
You know, the Rude Pundit has now read the transcripts of yesterday's Senate hearings with the Bush administration's pet general, David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker. And he's tried, really tried, to find anything worth a happy monkey fuck to comment on, but ultimately, the entire exercise was so tedious, so repetitive, so utterly worthless that one's time would be better spent slamming one's fingers repeatedly in a large, oak door. Or by masturbating to particularly disturbing amputee porn, the kind with un-healed burn scars to tantalize and tease an orgasm out of one.

Because, truly, the whole sorry thing went something like this: Senator A says all kinds of shit about how crappy things are going and asks the two dudes what they're gonna do, and they say, "We're gonna keep doin' what we're doin'." And Senator B says the shit's just hunky-dory and could the two dudes expand on how awesome what they're doing is, and they say, "Hell, yeah, we can" as they do. And then back to another Senator A and then another Senator B until someone had to drag Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman off Petraeus's crank. At which point lunch was called.

So, instead, enjoy this photo of President Bush weeping like a little bitch at a Medal of Honor ceremony for dead Navy SEAL Michael Monsoor.

If you need to, you can imagine that he's really crying because he just ran out of Johnny Walker Black or that Monsoor's parents kicked him in the nuts.
Updating Fundraising in Honor of Darren Dhanoolal:
On Monday, the Rude Pundit asked you to donate money to New York Cares in honor of Darren Dhanoolal, a soldier killed last week in Iraq. The organizer of the fundraising is doing charity work and sending a care package to Dhanoolal's unit with the money raised.

The Rude Pundit has the bestest readers in Left Blogsylvania, with several hundred dollars donated. It'll buy mucho porn and cigarettes for the soldiers...what? No porn? Non-smoking? Oh...ok, then socks. Lots of socks.

So thanks to the rude community. And donations will be accepted through Friday.

Back later to discuss the activities of another soldier.


Republicans to Petraeus: How May We Fellate You?:
Oh, yes, what wondrous fellatio is taking place on Capitol Hill right now where sainted General Petraeus is before the Senate Armed Services Committee for his hearing on "How I Haz Not Fucked Up Iraq." Yes, there's a chance Democrats may act like an opposition party and eviscerate the Bush administration, and the Rude Pundit'll deal with that tomorrow.

Instead, let's talk about the inevitable, that Petraeus will stand before the Republicans on the committee, unzip his fly, present his cock, and say, "Who's a-gonna suck it first?"

Senator John Cornyn of Texas jumped on that man-meat early, shovin' that shaft deep into his throat with his Petraeus Petition, which says, more or less, "Holy motherfuck, you are so fuckin' awesome, General, that my panties are wet and I'd spooge on my Granny's titties if you told me to." Proud Lone Star state residents can sign it and send in pictures of themselves bent over, getting fucked in the ass by friends and loved ones wearing General Petraeus masks. It's patriotic fun.

Or Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a knob-gobbler of unappeasable appetites, has already gotten his lips all balmed up for Petraeus, saying in a press release about today's hearings, "This time Gen. Petraeus returns to Washington having led one of the most remarkably successful military operations in American history." Fuckin' Christ, if only Petraeus had two dicks for Graham to bob on.

By the way, that line comes from a Wall Street Journal editorial co-written by Joe Lieberman, which features the shut-down-discussion proposition of "No one can deny the dramatic improvements in security in Iraq achieved by Gen. Petraeus, the brave troops under his command, and the Iraqi Security Forces."

But then again, no one can suck Dutch cock like Joe Lieberman. Man, to him, it's like kebabs from paradise. You can bet that even the General himself will be surprised at the enthusiasm Lieberman displays when voraciously devouring that military wood, almost choking himself from trying to suck every last drop of semen out of it. And when Lieberman begs to lick Petraeus's balls clean, up at the Republican table, Jeff Sessions and Libby Dole and James Inhofe will be rubbing themselves raw, trying to come at the same time as the good General.

It's democracy, motherfuckers, the American way, to honor our generals with a ball-washing from warmongers. Let's hope the Democrats do a little crotch kicking instead of just rolling their eyes and shaking their heads while the Republicans get off.

Note: An earlier version of this post said that Lindsey Graham is from Georgia. He is from South Carolina, and that was just a stupid mistake.

However, it also said that Joe Lieberman enjoyed sucking "Greek cock." David Petraeus is Dutch, not Greek. But Lieberman? Still a cocksucker.
(Poin of the day award to rude reader RH.)


Another Soldier Down (and a Small, Good Thing You Can Do):
With the ongoing nega-Surge by militias in Iraq, the U.S. casualty rate has jumped back to a "Tell us about that success again, Mr. President" level. Thus there will be more and more stories about the soldiers who have fallen. So let us pause to remember one here.

You may hear a lot about Darren Dhanoolal over the next few days. That's because his widow, Kynesha, wants to harvest his sperm before his body is embalmed. They were planning on having kids; Kynesha even got fibroid tumors removed from her uterus in a November operation. Darren was supposed to come back to Columbus, Georgia in three weeks to start a family.

Beyond what might turn into a bizarre custody battle played out in the media, Dhanoolal was on his second tour in Iraq, a combat engineer in the 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment out of Fort Benning. He was an immigrant, born in Trinidad, and he came to New York when he was 15, in 1997, attending high school in Staten Island and college in Brooklyn. He joined the Army in 2002. And last week an IED ripped through his vehicle and killed him. He was the twenty-fifth soldier from his brigade to be killed since March 2007.

Three hours before he died, Darren sent a text message to Kynesha, who hadn't heard from him in a few days, reading, "I’m OK, I’ve just been real busy. I love you." It's amazing sometimes the way real-life tragedies mirror the plot trajectory of seemingly fictional ones.

To add to that observation: One of Darren's sisters is on her fourth tour in Iraq. Kynesha's got a brother stationed in Afghanistan. This is a family that is enmeshed in our current history.

To honor Dhanoolal, someone very dear to this blogger is dedicating a day of volunteer work for New York Cares to Dhanoolal. It's part of this coming Saturday's Hands On New York Day. Her team is going to be doing some painting at a homeless shelter and day care in Brooklyn. It's called Urban Strategies.

And this friend of another of Dhanoolal's sisters is also raising money to send Dhanoolal's unit a care package as part of the volunteer work. Yes, she has surpassed her modest initial goal of $100. But that's not even enough to cover postage or coffee for the volunteers.

You can donate any amount by clicking over to her page at Hands On New York Day. Even a couple of bucks matter.

It's a small thing, yes, but here in Left Blogsylvania, we can pause amid our ongoing turmoil to pay a respect or two.

Once again, click here to donate.


The Rude Pundit Talks, Very Briefly, to Dee Dee Myers:
The Rude Pundit was leaving a talk by former Bill Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers when he almost literally bumped into Myers in the lobby. Despite her apparent support of Hillary, Myers had been fair about the qualities and faults of both of Clintons during her speech. Before the rest of the crowd exited the auditorium where she had spoken, he introduced himself to the current cable news commentator and author and said, "I just wanted to ask you one quick question. Is Bill Richardson Judas?"

Myers rolled her eyes and said, "I just don't think anyone cares about endorsements. So they just need to get over it."


Fucking with Wal-Mart: Your Ideas:
On Monday, the Rude Pundit asked readers to send in ideas for some kind of action against Wal-Mart for its despicable attempt to take money away from brain-damaged car accident victim Deborah Shank to reimburse its health care program after Shank won a small judgment against the trucking company involved in the collision. Wal-Mart may have blinked, but rude readers did not, sending in dozens of potential protests, ranging from tossing rats (dead or alive) onto the shelves to firebombing a store, which, hey, when the revolution happens, we should barbecue the rich on the flames of a burning Wal-Mart.

Here's some of the most possible ones:

M.M. says, "Have 'customers' fill the carts to the brim with as many items as possible from all over the store (perishable items in a store that sells groceries, especially), advance to the check-out line, then 'realize' that 'Oh, shit, I left my wallet at home,' and walk out of the store. If enough people did this, it could bring them to their knees-they could never hire enough slaves to restore order." Sure, you could argue that this one only annoys the employees, who already have enough to deal with, but if they're busy putting back items (since they have to work pretty much non-stop once they arrive), the shelves don't get re-stocked, shit gets backed up, and the ripple effect could be interesting.

C.P. suggests the Reverend Billy route: "We need to organize groups from every town in America to perform an exorcism on their local Walmart." Considering the religious inclinations of many towns that have Wal-Marts, an exorcism could be quite popular. Although most of Wal-Mart's customers would rather participate in a satanic blood orgy, gutting their children as sacrifices to Beelzebub, than give up their low-priced crates of syrup-infused frozen waffles.

Several people had the idea of buying stuff and returning it, either right away or after some use. K.Z. thinks it'd be most effective to concentrate on a single item all over the United States: "You'd have to get an assload of people doing it, and get some press on it so Wal-Mart and everyone else would know what it meant to have 60,000 cans of peanuts bought and returned by individuals."

Of course, the futility of so much of this is echoed by S.V., who writes, "My mother has worked for Wal-Mart for over 20 years. One of her co-workers, who had the exact same health care experience as Mrs. Shank, is 52-years old and lives with her parents due to her injury and legal fees. When I asked my mother what would Wal-Mart have to do to make her leave, she said, 'I need my job. What Wal-Mart is doing is no different than what all the other big corporations are doing; they just get the bad publicity because of who they are.' A life-long Republican, she voted in the Democratic primary this year for the first time ever."

And, as F.B. points out, "Anything you do will likely only effect the poor chumps unlucky enough to have to depend on this monolith for their daily bread. Wal-Mart isn't new to boycotts and lawsuits; they just close down a poorly performing store or two in some wide spot in the road and move on. Any thing short of driving them to their corporate knees and out of business I fear will be futile."

Yeah, wet dream killer F.B. is probably right, but we can still have some fun. C.B. (no relation to F.B.) says, "How about filling their parking lots full of old junker cars?"

Let's keep these in the back pocket for the inevitable next time Wal-Mart acts like the capitalist cockmonger it is.


The Declassified Torture Memo Says Laws Are Worthless:
It's truly hard to choose the most appalling, gut-wrenching, nutsack-twisting passage of the declassified 2003 memo on how to get away with torture, written, mostly, by pudgy wad of fuck John Yoo, a man who shouldn't be allowed to teach law to stuffed spider monkeys, let alone students at Berkeley. At least shove his ass over to Pepperdine, where "evil" is a specialty, alongside "corporate law."

For Deborah Pearlstein at Slate, it's this section early on: "Because of the secret nature of al Qaeda's operations, obtaining advance information about the identity of al Qaeda operatives and their plans may prove to be the only way to prevent direct attacks on the United States. Interrogation of captured al Qaeda operatives could provide that information; indeed, in many cases interrogation may be the only method to obtain it." You got that? It is an a priori fact that ya gotta slap the fuck out of some cave-shitting towelheads to find out what's gettin' bombed next.

Or maybe it's one of the many "Congress can go fuck itself" sections, like this doozy from page 13: "Any construction of criminal laws that regulated the President's authority as Commander in Chief to determine the interrogation and treatment of enemy combatants would raise serious constitutional questions whether Congress had intruded on the President's constitutional authority. Moreover, we do not believe that Congress enacted general criminal provisions such as the prohibitions against assault, maiming, interstate stalking, and torture pursuant to any express authority that would allow it to infringe on the President's constitutional control over the operation of the Armed Forces in wartime. In our view, Congress may no more regulate the President's ability to detain and interrogate enemy combatants than it may regulate his ability to direct troop movements on the battlefield. In fact, the general applicability of these statutes belies any argument that these statutes apply to persons under the direction of the President in the conduct of war."

You got that? Laws that Congress has passed are not applicable to the President during wartime. In other words, fuck you, Constitution; fuck you, criminal statutes. The President can run the armed forces like the desperate Don of a dying mob family trying to cling to some turf, and neither he nor anyone under his direction is culpable in any way, shape, or form.

Or maybe this one from page 40, where Yoo is justifying forms of detainee treatment; in this case, what "prolonged mental pain" might need to be in order to be prosecutable: "A defendant must specifically intend to cause prolonged mental harm for the defendant to have committed torture. It could be argued that a defendant needs to have specific intent only to commit the predicate acts that give rise to prolonged mental harm. Under that view, so long as the defendant specifically intended to, for example, threaten a victim with imminent death, he would have had sufficient mens rea for a conviction. According to this view, it would be necessary for a conviction to show only that the victim suffered prolonged mental harm, rather than that the defendant intended to cause it. We believe that this approach is contrary to the text of the statute. The statute requires that the defendant specifically intend to inflict severe mental pain or suffering." Somewhere in heaven, Jesus read that and, as is his way, puked.

There's the awesome 24 scenario on page 62: "[I]f officials had credible threat information that a U.S. city was to be the target of a large-scale terrorist attack a month from now and the detainee was in a position to have information that could lead to the thwarting of that attack, physical contact such as shoving or slapping the detainee clearly would not be disproportionate to the threat posed." Although a nail gun to the nuts? That's a gray area.

On page 80, Yoo says, "If a government defendant were to harm an enemy combatant during an interrogation in a manner that might arguably violate a criminal prohibition, he would be doing so in order to prevent further attacks on the United States by the al Qaeda terrorist network. In that case, we believe that he could argue that the executive branch's constitutional authority to protect the nation from attack justified his actions." And there you have who to blame, although it's not like anyone will ever be held to account.

Reading the entire memo is suicidally depressing, with its analysis of what types of assaults are cool, of how war crimes are not being committed, of how to weasel out of treaty obligations, of how the dictionary defines certain words (really), and on and on (81 pages of it). There's also the section on how we should judge ourselves by how other countries define torture, like, oh, Israel.

The whole thing's like looking at the private blog of a particularly awful child molester detailing how this nine-year old boy he fucked was coming on to him or how the five-year old he killed was asking for a strangling with all that whimpering. You read it long enough and you put yourself into the mindset and you might think, "Well, sure, I suppose someone could think that, but then again, I'm a civilized human being and think this is nauseating bullshit that only a depraved, bugfuck insane baby fucker could understand."


In Brief: Why Bill O'Reilly Ought to Be Sodomized with a Stripper Pole, Part 739:
Whenever a story comes over the wires that involves strippers, whores, or sex tapes, you can bet that Bill O'Reilly comes all over his desk. The Fox "news" host is a stripper's best friend, always lookin' out for the folks, especially if the "folks" are g-string wearin' dancers who'll rub their cooz and titties in your face for the mere price of a single dollar.

Lately, O'Reilly's been running a segment called "Is It Legal?" wherein he invites a pair of quite spank-worthy blonde lawyers on to hash out how "legal" various sex acts and sexual actions might be and mostly just creating an intense "will they or won't they go lesbo" vibe. In recent weeks, O'Reilly spent time with the blondes talking about such important subjects as a blow job video featuring one of the Sex and the City women and, oh, joy, Eliot Spitzer's hooker. It's a fine advance for women on Fox: hot chicks with degrees talking about chicks taking off their clothes and/or fucking. That's the kind of cognitive dissonance you can masturbate to.

Last night, O'Reilly got to put on the outrage voice and run the b-roll of strip clubs by talking about a strip joint in Dallas that let a 12-year old runaway girl ride the pole. The story itself aside, O'Reilly spoke over the same file footage of strippers he always runs, with women writhing on stage, spreading their legs, and pressing themselves into various people and areas of the stage. All as a way of ensuring that we picture the 12-year old doing the same thing so that we can be...what? Angry? Intrigued? Aroused?

Yes, if Bill O'Reilly is our moral compass, then it's pointing to his semi-erect cock, a dowsing rod for ratings as he searches for journalistic pussy to fuck.
Wal-Mart Says, "Our Brain Damaged Ex-Employee Whose Son Died in the War Can Keep the Change":
Just because a pack of hyenas didn't feast on the body of one wounded zebra doesn't mean they've become vegetarians.

And no matter what the stooges and lackeys at Wal-Mart say, allowing Deborah Shank to keep her pittance of a trust was purely, cynically the product of bottom line fears. Or, to gloat, on the left, Shank was our anti-Schiavo: a living, breathing, semi-functioning human who needed to be defended. And we won.

But keep the "Let's Get Wal-Mart" ideas coming. There's more than a few good, creative, and eminently possible acts of civil disobedience being sent in.

Back later with more damp rudeness.


Wal-Mart Says, "Our Brain-Damaged Ex-Employees Whose Children Die in the War Can Go Fuck Themselves":
If you've ever been in a Wal-Mart, you have felt a sense of despair wash over you that must at least approximate the emotions felt by a resident of Berlin in the first couple of years after the Second World War. For within the fluorescent-lit tile and barely insulated aluminum siding, you are witness to nothing less than the wreckage of America. It is the strip mall taken to its logical conclusion: a giant mobile home/barn filled with tons of shit that most of us would not even conceive of needing amid more tons of shit that people do need so that desire, want, and basic human need are conflated into an orgy of acquisition that makes even the lowest paid bastard feel like he's got that middle class glow of material good satiation. In other words, how many people really need a fuckin' coffee grinder?

The moment you enter a Wal-Mart, especially a Wal-Mart Supercenter, like the one in Jackson, Missouri, which has a fuckin' grocery store in it, you are subject to one of those depressingly skeevy moments that's supposed to be heartwarming, where either a severely disabled, mentally or physically, and/or severely elderly person hands you a cart. Oh, look, you're supposed to think, what a wonderful society we are where an old man who oughta be able to afford to retire is forced to supplement his meager Social Security by standing by the sliding glass doors to roll oversized shopping carts to fat fucks who are gonna put their purchases on their credit cards and make up for the low, low prices by having it sucked away by interest and late fees. All the better if it's Wal-Mart's own wallet eater.

And walking through the store is a nightmare out of Brueghel, with its often grimy floors, its shelves stocked for three or four feet over your head, its aisles full of slowly creeping carts pushed by lower middle class or poor people tallying in their heads how much they can afford, if they can buy more scrapbooking supplies, if they can resist the displays of popcorn machines that look like carnival wagons, as their kids, learning that facing the horror of one's own stymied caste position and the inevitability of disease and death, whine for more plastic shit, the spackle of the cracked soul.

When you look into the eyes of many of the employees, you see the chill of our national crepuscule, the moment just prior to our omega time. Whether it's the desperate fear of a supervisor telling them they're spending too much time talking to customers or, even worse, each other, the nearly crack whore-like neediness in the faces of the middle-aged women there, for whom this is one of three jobs, probably after being ditched by their husbands or after their husbands had been downsized, hoping some day to be deemed loyal and worthy enough to be allowed to pay a ludicrous amount of money for Wal-Mart's health care plan, just so that if something particularly terrible happens, they'll be able to afford more than just the $4 prescriptions the store subsidizes, there is a patent awfulness to their work existence.

Like the now-finally-well-reported story of Deborah Shank, the Wal-Mart employee who dared to get severely injured in an accident between her minivan and a semi. Now covered by CNN and on MSNBC by a righteously outraged Keith Olbermann, you can get up to speed pretty quickly at Walmart Watch. The case involves Wal-Mart suing to recoup its health care costs on Shank after Shank won a small settlement from the trucking company whose vehicle hit her. Her health insurance was, of course, entirely inadequate to cover her expenses. The Rude Pundit's favorite morbid detail in the whole sorrowful story is her Memento-like short-term memory loss, so that every time she asks about her son, a soldier, and she's told he was killed in Iraq, it feels to her like she's hearing it for the first time.

Now, here's the thing: the accident was Shank's fault. As her attorney explains, "Mrs. Shank was driving her mini van on a straight and level state highway in clear weather during the day and apparently made the decision to turn around and go back the way she had come. She pulled over and pulled back onto the highway to turn around, and as she did so a transport truck coming down the highway saw her, but did not stop or swerve out of the way. It was our position that the driver had enough time and distance to swerve or stop, but he didn't. He struck her broadside. We established with an accident reconstruction expert that the truck driver had had room enough to stop or swerve even though she had pulled out onto the highway, and also that he had been driving somewhat over the speed limit." Shank's attorney was eventually able to prove some liability on the part of the trucker, but the company had the bare minimum of insurance and was allowed to pay less than what the judgment might have been.

What happened in the courtroom was a shame, it was fucked up, but, because Shank had been at least partially in the wrong, that part of the story isn't worth arguing about much.

But when, three years later, Wal-Mart decided to sue to recover its health plan's outlay for Shank's care, well, that's the point that this becomes as much about our nation's developmentally disabled health care system (in which we can say that Shank shouldn't have even had to be worried about getting health care), and more about Wal-Mart as the vile meatgrinder of a corporate entity it is, as well as the way in which our court system now bows down to fellate its capitalist masters.

Shank's lawyer explains, in simple terms, why Wal-Mart didn't have to be such dicks about it: "Mrs. Shank's true losses due to her injuries were millions of dollars, but because the trucking company had such inadequate liability insurance, we were only able to recover about one million. It's our position that Wal-Mart should share in that loss because of the inadequate liability that the company carried." And every court sided with Wal-Mart because the health plan Shank had agreed to stated that she had to pay it back if she got any settlement.

But Wal-Mart now says they're being cool because they're not trying to recover all the money it put out, since over the course of the years, the Shanks have spent some of the settlement, but just the remaining $277,000 in Shank's trust. Wal-Mart wants the cash and doesn't give a fuck what negative publicity it gets because, well, it knows that in most communities, where the fuck else are poor people gonna shop?

And something needs to be done. Like on an action level. Like civil disobedience against Wal-Mart. What can it be? Remember, stealing $277,000 worth of shit from Wal-Mart won't even nick it.

Let's open this up for suggestions. It's gotta be something that gets at Wal-Mart's bottom line, its stock price. And it's gotta be something that pisses a lot of people off. Send your ideas to rudepundit at yahoo.com.

The best and/or most creative will be posted later this week.