Reasons to Go Into the Weekend with a Little Touch of Optimism:
The Rude Pundit will talk next week about Barack Obama's breath of fresh air budget that says, in essence, "Take your bipartisanship and shove it up your ass." He's actually reading some of the huge damn thing. But in the last few days, outside of the whole economic implosion and the constant are-you-fuckin'-serious new statistics and revelations, let us take stock, good liberals, of the direction that things are heading, even if the path seems steeply uphill and perilously rocky, even if sometimes it's two steps up and one step back. And, even as we watch our backs for what we think is the inevitable knife, let us acknowledge a couple of signs that shit's changed.

1. In a move that says if you wanna do some jobs, you gotta get that Bible or Koran out of your ass, the Obama administration is moving to overturn the Bush administration's last minute yahoo-orgasm-inducing "conscience rule" that said health care workers could deny any family planning treatment to patients if it "violated their conscience." So, if, say, a woman is raped in Texas and gets a prescription for a morning after pill, the pharmacist can refuse to fill it. Oh, wait. That's not an "if." It did happen, and the pharmacist was rightfully fired. And the Bush administration, in one last little "fuck you" to reason and empathy, wanted to "protect" such health care workers.

But now the Obama administration, recognizing that women don't actually have rights if individuals can legally deny them because an imaginary sky wizard says so, is putting the rule through a review that will inevitably lead to its overturning.

2. There will be time to criticize the Obama administration's apparent embrace of at least some of the reasoning for the previous administration's stand on rights for terrorism suspects and random detainees (although the Rude Pundit thinks it's more about putting something on the back burner while dealing with every other fucking mess, and, sadly, that's a pot that can simmer for a little bit without burning other shit down). However, in one of the more encouraging moves so far on the issue, the Justice Department is going to actually charge, and bring to trial in a civilian court, the one detainee held in the United States, Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri.

Al-Marri's case is the focus of Jane Mayer's recent New Yorker article, and if Obama had intended to maintain the notion that the President can declare someone an enemy combatant and keep them locked up forever, there would have been no reason to go ahead with actually trying the Qatari man, who has been held for 7 years in a brig in South Carolina. Instead, we're now seeing the beginning of the fulfillment of Obama's pledge to use the American judicial system in the way it was meant to be used.

In other words, the Obama administration, in both of these decisions, is saying that it's time to stop fucking with the Constitution. Whether it's the individual rights of women or the habeas corpus rights of prisoners, the law professor in the President knows that "liberty and justice for all" is an actual pledge.


Why Ann Coulter Is a Cunt (Part 10,725 of a Neverending Series):
Because in her latest "column" (if by "column," you mean, "a collection of words spun from the salty tears of Indian orphans, the shiny blood of dead soldiers, and Sean Hannity's semen"), it isn't that Coulter makes a Slumdog Millionaire reference related to Bobby Jindal. (It's an easy and obvious joke that the Rude Pundit considered for yesterday, but quickly tossed aside as too easy and obvious.) It's not because she calls Nancy Pelosi "mentally retarded." It's not in the way she mocks the media's obsession with Barack Obama's race. No, it's because, in her increasingly crazed and desperate attempt to keep her demihuman cuntbeast readers salivating, she once again decides to beat up on those who are just doing their fuckin' jobs trying to make the world a better place.

Talking about Obama's praise for schoolteachers and their inclusion in the stimulus bill, Coulter squeals snatchishly, "Because nothing says 'economic stimulus' better than saving the jobs of lethargic incompetents who kick off at 2 p.m. every day and get summers off. Actually, that's not fair: Some teachers spend long hours after school having sex with their students." In some hellish dictionary, that line ought to be an example of the definition of "cunt."

As the Rude Pundit's said many a time, arguing with Ann Coulter is useless. It's like attempting to explain morality and ethics to a a child rapist/murderer while he's balls deep in the head of a dead boy. Even if he was paying attention, the action he's taking kind of makes the whole effort a sad waste of time.

Coulter loves to beat up on public schoolteachers. One might ask why pick on people who, with some terrible exceptions, yes, put in roughly ten hours a day between the actual schoolday, preparation, grading, and meetings, putting up with fucktard parents and apathetic kids, often in shitty, underfunded schools while being forced by conservatives to teach to tests that are mandated and that have virtually nothing to do with what and how one actually learns, people who are excoriated by the right for asking for a little job security and fair wages. Yeah, one might ask that. But, really, it's like asking why Coulter likes to use ribbed dildos made of puppy spines in a vain attempt to get some feeling in her calloused clit.

Yeah, Coulter spent a great deal of her book Godless attacking teachers. In fact, she loved what she wrote back in 2006 so very much, that she fucking quotes it extensively in this week's "column." No, one can't plagiarize oneself. But perhaps one ought to honestly present the source of statistic and facts and say they're a couple of years old:

For instance, in this, her February 26, 2009 scribbles, she says, "While 80 percent of the employees of private schools are teachers, only half the employees of public schools are."

In 2006's Godless, page 152, she wrote, "At private schools, 80 percent of the personnel are teachers. By contrast, at public schools, only 50 percent of the personnel are actual teachers." This statistic is from a 2005 New York Sun article, itself quoting a 1999 study. So Coulter is presenting information that's a decade old as new.

She also writes this week that, in fourth grade, "American students outperform most other countries in reading, math and science. Fourth-graders score in the 92nd percentile in science, the 58th percentile in math and the 70th percentile in reading, where they beat 26 of 35 countries, including Germany, France and Italy." This is verbatim, a cut and paste job from page 151 of Godless, not even her most recent goddamn book. And it's drawn from stats from 2000-2003.

Who's her fucking editors? It's one thing to make the same point over and over. It shows you have no other points to make. But to present information that's over 5 years old as new? That's just fucking lying. Then again, why just be a cunt when you can be a lying cunt?


Bobby Jindal Wants the Nation to Be Like Louisiana:
Last night, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal looked for all the world like the winner of the "Most Likely To Be Quickly Raped in Prison" award. That poor bastard would be some neo-Nazi's punk within an hour, and he'd be glad for the protection that accompanies all the sodomizing. What we witnessed was the end of Jindal's presidential ambitions and thus the end of the future of the Republican party. For while Barack Obama was busy at the Capital dancing on Ronald Reagan's grave, Jindal was desperately trying to hand job the Gipper's corpse to life. But those bones are dead, man, so very dead.

Seriously, if you're the governor of a state that has an income tax, a lottery, and a tax on food and clothes and your state is still at or near the bottom on nearly every way in which states are measured (except in those things where being at or near the top sucks balls, like "Most Polluted"), in child health care, overall health of its citizens, education, pollution, and more, you probably ought to realize that you've fucked up and need the federal government. Desperately.

Not only was Jindal seemingly talking about some fantasy speech that the GOP expected Obama to give - at times, Jindal criticized things that Obama had directly addressed, like openness in government, personal responsibility in education, etc.- but he was giving a response that could have been lifted from Peggy Noonan's crate of unused words (it's right next to her shrine to Reagan's diapers). Speaking about government needing to get out of the way of "the American people," Jindal was at his most out-of-touch. You just wanted to stare at his dead, doll-like eyes and say, "Um, who the fuck is gonna get us out of this if it ain't the government? And didn't we kinda try your way for the last 30 years? And didn't it end up fucking us over completely and totally like we were sad old gay man thinking that the hot young dude that just fucked us meant it when he said he just needed to borrow some money for a little while?"

Jindal's analysis of the meaning of Hurricane Katrina seems to be at odds with the fact that Republicans were running the country - the Presidency and the Congress - at the time. Crassly using that tragedy like Bush used 9/11, Jindal squeaked, "We're grateful for the support we've received from across the nation for our ongoing recovery efforts. This spirit got Louisiana through the hurricanes, and this spirit will get our nation through the storms we face today." Where the fuck does Jindal think all that money came from? And, sorry, wasn't it the lack of the federal government's agencies being funded properly that didn't allow them to their jobs, thus leading to the catastrophe? It's almost mind-boggling.

Of course, the most idiotic line of Jindal's speech was his pointing with pride to cutting taxes in Louisiana: "Since I became governor, we cut more than 250 earmarks from our state budget. To create jobs for our citizens, we cut taxes six times, including the largest income tax cut in the history of our state. We passed those tax cuts with bipartisan majorities." One wonders that if all that money wasn't cut, Louisiana might have risen to the mid-40s in state rankings.

While Barack Obama once again elucidated liberal ideas in a way that made them sound new and achievable, while he undercut arguments against his agenda in an incisive way that should have Republicans shitting themselves, Jindal simply said that the future is the past. "Americans can do anything" was the line he returned to, the title of his wee little speech.

He's right. The fact of the matter is that we did something already, back in November. Now we wanna see where it leads. Luckily, Jindal is such a small man in so many ways that he'll be easy to roll right over.


A Brief Word on Tonight's Speech (Updated to Include Bobby Jindal):
The President called on Congress to be comprised of leaders. And for the population to be comprised of active citizens. Yeah, yeah, there was political blah-blah-blah, but, you know what? It worked. And he once again totally fucked up whatever Republicans are gonna respond with.

More tomorrow.

Update: What fucking speech is Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal responding to? Because what he's saying has fuck-all to do with what Obama just said.
Why Glenn Beck Needs to Be Repeatedly Cock-Punched (Apocalypse Edition):
Here's how you know that contemporary conservatism is done as a movement: for the last couple of weeks, Bill O'Reilly, on his Fox "news" show (and chromosonal abnormality), The O'Reilly Factor, hosted Glenn Beck, the host of his new Fox "news" show cleverly named Beck, a word that seemingly requires an "l" in it. In what should have been a summit of media bugfuckery the likes of which haven't been seen since William F. Buckley hosted Margaret Thatcher on Firing Line, an occasion that ended with the two of them madly balling in front of a live audience that applauded each thrust and moan in an episode that's been hidden in a deep pit at Yale since it was first aired, Bill O'Reilly came across as the rational one.

It's sort of like when you're faced with a choice between fucking a syphilitic manwhore or fucking a syphilitic chimp. Basically, you're better off not fucking at all, but, if pressed, you'll probably leave with your nuts still attached if you go with the manwhore. Either way, though, you're getting the syph.

Beck has decided that he's Nostradamus without the charm. He's running around various Fox "news" programs and declaring that revolution is a-comin' if the United States continues on its road to that old chimeric enemy, Socialism. O'Reilly takes the role of the guy who's accepted that the election happened and now needs to deal with it. Beck, on the other hand, has decided that we're in end times, motherfuckers, and it's time to get the muskets ready.

On February 13, O'Reilly spent much of his time just trying to talk Beck off the ledge. On the stimulus bill, he said to Beck, "So, how much longer do you complain about something that's going to happen?" And regarding the reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, O'Reilly said, "[T]his is so stupid and it's never going to happen."

However, Beck would have none of it. He was gonna leap, and he wants all those other buffalo and lemmings and other cliff-leaping animals to take the plunge with him: "I'm full -- I'm full-fledged crazy nuts. You know it, and I know it. So here it is. This is what's coming, America. Depression and revolution. That's what's coming." And, that, good people of the USA, is how you get your own Fox show.

Then, last Friday, in the wake of his program on how he thinks we're all just so very fucked, Beck was back with O'Reilly. And, again, the role of "rational" went to O'Reilly, who explained Barack Obama's mortgage proposal to Beck: "[W]hat the Obama administration is trying to do is say, 'Look. We're going to try to stabilize this whole thing, yes, by giving irresponsible people a break. But it's for the greater good.'"

In a line for the ages, Beck retorted, "When did we go into a country where it's all for the greater good? When did we join -- when did we sign up to be part of the Borg? We are a country built up of individuals and individuals that need to have personal responsibility." You got that? You want there to be "greater good," you're a fuckin' pod person, you godforsaken tools. For Beck, we're just a bunch of frontier people trying to keep the Apache from raping our daughters. Has he ever visited a city?

This was followed by a journey into Beck's abyss. Get a friend and read this as a little comedy sketch that ends with Glenn Beck promising Bill O'Reilly's death:
BECK: I'm not -- Bill, I'm not looking for a revolution.

O'REILLY: But you're predicting it.

BECK: Well, wait a minute. Is that a problem? Is it a problem to point out -- wait a minute, is it a problem to point out Bill O'Reilly -- is it a problem. You get no food from me. You come knocking at my bomb shelter? I'm going to say, "Is that Bill O'Reilly? Can't hear you." Listen, here's the thing. It is not a problem to point out...

O'REILLY: I would rather starve, Beck. Than knock on your bomb shelter door asking you for food.

BECK: Oh, you will.

O'REILLY: I'll go down before I do that.

BECK: Listen, here's the thing. You come near it, you will. Anyway, here's the thing. It's -- I don't bring this up, because I want it. I bring it up to warn people...

Oh, sure, one can assume they were just joshing over whether Beck would feed a post-apocalyptic Bill O'Reilly, but Beck wasn't fully. He's just totally fucking unhinged. Here he is on his own show: "Our rights and liberties come to us from God and we lend them to the government. Washington currently seems to have a different spin on that: government is god. But, if you believe in the founders' ideals, it makes sense that God would give us an early warning system. That's your gut — don't dismiss it."

With a smile on his pudgy, sincere face, Glenn Beck is the Pillsbury Doughboy of Doom. Oh, Poppin' Fresh, if you are the future of your ideology, if you appall Bill O'Reilly, no less a doomsayer in other times, then you and your ilk can disappear into your bunkers while the rest of us try to get shit done.


In Brief: No, We Don't Have Him to Kick Around Anymore, But the Foot Can't Help It:

That's the former leader of the free world once again pretending that he's got working class cred, going to Elliot's Hardware Store in Dallas, Texas, where he had been offered a job as a greeter. To demonstrate his vast knowledge of hardware, Bush bought flashlights, batteries, and WD-40.

By the way, apparently Bush's neighbors will need anal probes to enter their street:

The Secret Service will be running the entrance to the neighborhood. Bend over, rich Dallas socialites. You're about to be treated like America.


Michael Steele Ain't Frontin':
In an interview with the Washington Times, Republican National Committee Chair and genial race traitor Michael Steele promised to reinvigorate his party with an "off the hook" re-branding strategy: "We want to convey that the modern-day GOP looks like the conservative party that stands on principles. But we want to apply them to urban-surburban hip-hop settings." So to see where the hip-hop community might stand on the issues, the Rude Pundit turned to the Billboard Top Rap Albums Chart to see where potentially conservative hippers and hoppers might stand.

According to T.I., in his song, "My Life, Your Entertainment,"
"When alone I ask myself, is it worth it? I ain't perfect
Neither is anybody else, but I think my kids deserve
To be with Daddy out in public without all the interruptions."
Steele would do well to tap into this desire of T.I.'s to be able to live his life and raise his children without interference, be it from governmental programs funded by Obama's stimulus or "the paparazzi crowded all around me now," which is not to mention the "Same niggas who was dissin' want a pound." Oh, wait, that might be Steele and the RNC.

Besides, in Porn Star, I. reveals he's more of a libertarian than a cultural conservative:
"We can ride out, back to my house
I wanna see you satisfied inside out
Once I'm in you ain't gonna want me to slide out
You tell your girlfriends they gonna wanna try it out
A lil more of this will loosen you up
What we can't do in the club, we can do in the truck."

And Steele might want to avoid Young Jeezy, whose top-selling album The Recession includes "My President," and this from "Crazy World":
"Light bill, phone bill, plus my granny nerve pills
Feel like I should be takin' 'em, imagine how my nerves feel
I want a new Bentley, my aunty need a kidney
And if I let her pass her children never will forgive me
God damn another trap, I think Bush trying to punish us
Send a little message out to each and every one of us
Real G shit, well that's really unheard of
When you get more time for selling dope than murder."

You get the idea. It's Friday. The Rude Pundit's not gonna browbeat you with the dozens and dozens of lines he could quote here. Instead, let's just say this: Does Michael Steele think his fellow African Americans are idiots? That their memories are so short?

But, hell, Steele certainly knows his work is cut out for him when he says that "we need to uptick our image with everyone, including one-armed midgets." Now that's off the hook...um...dawg.


Shut the Fuck Up and Take the Money:
Really, Republican Governors Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Mark Sanford of South Carolina, and Sarah Palin of...well, you fuckin' know? Really? You're really thinking about rejecting some of the money coming to your states in the federal stimulus? Well, not really, since the law says your legislatures can take the money without your okay. So you can huff and puff and talk about "strings attached" or what-the-fuck-ever, but in the end, you know that you're gonna shut the fuck up and take the cash, bitches.

Of course, you won't admit why you find your state budgets going down the shitter. Because to do so would mean that Republicans would have to admit that their beloved federalism is a big fuckin' failure, another rank ideological stench emanating from the Reagan era. You put more and more control of projects in the individual states, you pile ungodly debt on top of tax cuts, you toss in a few unfunded mandates (see No Child Left [with a seat for their] Behind), and that piss sound you hear is trickle down, conservatives, except it's the costs that are trickling to the states, not any largesse. Until, you know, right now.

So, sure, Bobby Jindal, you exorcisin' great Republican hope, you go ahead and say you don't want the $308 million in highway construction funds or the half a billion or so in Medicaid money or the over $400 million for education in a state more notable for its official attempts to keep its students stupid (see creationism bills over the years). Which part are you gonna tell Washington to keep? The unemployment benefits? The tax credits?

You're fuckin' adorable. You go ahead and say it all you want. Say how you wouldn't have voted for the bill if you'd still been in Congress. And then, at some point, probably after you give your cute little response to Barack Obama's speech to Congress on Tuesday, with your state's budget shortfall on the fast track to $2 billion and cuts happening everywhere, you know you're gonna have to shut the fuck up and take the money. Same goes for all of the idiot Republicans.

And don't worry. No matter if it helps a little or a lot, no one will expect you to say, "Thanks." At this point, we all know what ungrateful, selfish dicks you are. Like what the quickly crumbling Governor Sanford said this morning. Being against the bill "doesn't preclude taking the money." The thought of that $8 billion not coming to his state? Well, no one's an atheist in a foxhole, right?

Ah, the sweet, plaintive, familiar sigh of Republican hypocrisy. It echoes from the domes of DC to the state houses around the nation.


Cartoons That Make the Rude Pundit Want Rupert Murdoch to Get His Face Chewed Off:

This is from today's New York Post (motto: "All the news that's fit to wipe a hobo's ass with"). Now, you can do the justify dance by saying that the upshot of the "joke" is that the cartoonist was saying that the stimulus bill was written by a marauding chimp. But, really, and c'mon, "stimulus bill" is to President Obama what hate is to the Post. You can't separate them.

So you wanna deny that this is easily read as a racist joke about shooting Obama? (And let's not even get into the other implications about cops and African Americans.)

Note on the truly horrible chimp story: The Rude Pundit has a simple rule of pet ownership: Never keep an animal that you can't kill with your bare hands.


Time to Punish Republicans:
They need to be punished. It's really about the only thing Americans as a whole understand. You try to fuck up someone's shit, you gotta pay.

The Obama administration is, to some extent, misreading the zeitgeist of the election. When many, many people voted for "hope" and "change," what they were voting for was to punish those fuckers who fucked it all up. Americans like to punish. For good or ill, it's one of those things we're particularly skilled at. Take the economic crisis. What David Axelrod understood and what Tim Geithner misread was that the vast majority of Americans don't want the president of Wells Fargo handed a shitload of cash and be told to keep it above the waist. No, they want him set on fire on the steps of the Federal Reserve.

This idea of punishment is not a simple thing. Remember: the election in November was not the revenge. It was a vote to set up the comeuppance. Truly, if it were a different era and we were a different people, the Bush administration would have been hanged in toto sometime in 2006 or 2007. We're not that far removed from that savagery. At the end of the day, there's gotta be consequences for people's actions or there's gonna be chaos.

Which brings us around to the Republicans in the wake of their behavior during the economic stimulus debate and passage. They have violated almost every rule of negotiating in good faith. They smiled in Barack Obama's face and then headed back to the cloakroom to giggle at what clever little liars they were. They decided that the path to relevance was irrelevance. As expected, they threatened to cut out the kidneys of anyone in the caucus who was veering towards voting for the bill, so that, no matter how much good it might do for, say, a hurricane devastated district, they would vote "no." And then some of the fuckers end up praising the thing they voted against because of all the cash money that's going to their constituents.

Which brings us back, in a roundabout way, to torture and other Bush administration crimes and ethical reamings. See, when the Obama administration was sending out signals that it would be willing to forgo serious inquiries into who-authorized-what as it relates to the various -gates from the previous administration, that was an olive branch to Republicans, a way of saying, "You give us some shit we need, we won't spank you for being accomplices to crimes" (by the way, Democrats don't get away clean on this). It was, in terms of the DC circle jerk of power, a pretty fuckin' big concession. Republicans took that olive branch, broke it, shit on it, and flung it back at the White House.

So this is where you get to punishment, which has gotta be far more subversive than a good ol' crops-burning. As more and more comes out about how very fucked things were, especially in the Justice Department, it becomes easier to sell and less divisive to a public that is unified behind President Obama that a full investigation of Bush-era scandals is a must, with the possibility of a few prosecutions (because, let's face it, no matter how much immunity you grant Karl Rove, that cockmonger ain't gonna talk).

Then Republicans will be faced with having to support disgraced criminals and incompetent lackeys or with turning on the leaders they previously supported. Implosion, motherfuckers, careers made and lost on that decision. Now that's how you punish.

And as for the chimera of bipartisanship? What Obama is doing now is redefining it. Fuck the Republicans in Congress. Who needs them when you can say that GOP governors are on your side?


Why Does Conservative Spoogebucket Kevin McCullough Want Barack Obama to Rape Him?:
Oh, the Rude Pundit's had his fun with Kevin McCullough, radio host and columnist (why, his work appears in seemingly ones of newspapers), and a man so pathetically obviously closeted so that his every utterance, every typed word seems like a longing for a hard meat shaft tickling his prostate. Why else would one unironically name one's book Musclehead Revolution? But in his latest "column" (if by "column," you mean, "the vacuous, demi-coherent masturbatory fantasies of a particularly adept howler monkey"), the poor cocksucker-wannabe goes around the bend deeply.

Here's perhaps the greatest couple of sentences ever written by a conservative: "Liberals are long known for light sentences for child molestors, opposition to child rape and child porn laws, and the speedy expediting of 'freedom of speech' protections to pornographers, pedophiles, and male homosexuals who belong to the group NAMBLA. Slightly less well known but easily documented are the sympathies the left has towards lowering the age of consent laws so that it's not really a crime for adults and children to have sex." McCullough does not provide that easy documentation, and the Rude Pundit's 14 year-old male assistant was too "busy" to look it up.

By the way, this would be the same Kevin McCullough who believes that hate crime legislation is a violation of the free speech of gay-bashing preachers.

But the point of McCullough's mad diatribe is not to condemn liberals for imaginary or isolated incidents. Oh, no. He's after a metaphor: comparing "liberals" trying to get the economic stimulus bill passed to the now-banned-by-Amazon video game, Rapelay, another bugfuck insane example of Japanese sexism, where your goal is to rape women.

Now, the Rude Pundit's not going to be a goddamned hypocrite here. As one who uses rape as a metaphor for how conservative fuckbags destroy the country, he is well aware of the potency of such imagery. The problem is not the metaphor, per se. No, it is the creepy way in which McCullough deploys it:
"In the game Rapelay, reviewers have stated that the player must first sexually assault a mother character and her two daughters before being allowed to then 'pick' their next series of victims.

"In the Congress of Washington DC liberals have seen to it that our mothers and daughters will have less money in the home budget working for their protection and welfare...

"In the game, players take what is not theirs and laugh about the outcome.

"In Washington DC, liberals take what is not theirs and laugh at the stupid people that gave it to them."

To which one can only say: Kevin, Miss Thing, listen to the Rude Pundit. Here's how you do a rape metaphor: Reading a Kevin McCullough column is like being dragged into an alley behind a porn store in Tokyo by two guys, one of whom fucks you in the ass while another yanks out one of your eyes so he can skullfuck you, and your dangling eye ends up getting lodged under his balls so you have to stare at his taint while he fucks your head. This also applies to most of the last eight years of American politics.

Instead, McCullough ends with this truly deranged and disturbing last line: "I've tried to be as tasteful as possible in explaining this comparison, and due to the passion of the natural man that was not an easy thing to do!" That exclamation point is not a joke. What the fuck does that whole thing even mean? That he was barely holding back on talking about how hot rape is to him? That he was tempted to go off into a fantasy about being raped by Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama? Using McCullough's powers of deductive reasoning here, the answer is a resounding "yes."

(Tip o' the hat to rude reader Jon N. for the alert on the new K-Mac column.)


The National Review's List of "The Best Conservative Movies of the Last 25 Years" Vs. the National Review's Film Reviews:
So the folks over at the National Review magazine (motto: "The zombie corpse of William F. Buckley will eat your brain") have put together a new list to demonstrate that pop culture relates in some tangential way to conservative "values." And, as it was with their list of the greatest conservative rock songs, it's one more pathetic step down the stairs into the basement of irrelevance. Christ, going to the movies with these fuckers would be like going to a strip club with a serial rapist: out of 25 films, at least 18 are ones you could call "violent," and maybe 3 are what you could call "romantic," none of them sexy (except, of course, for 300). This means that, on average, conservatives would rather masturbate to shit gettin' blowed up real good than to a hot ass.

Mostly, though, it's another sad exercise, another trip into the depressed, depraved state of mind of conservative America, against whom the entire world has turned (there's only one foreign film). Most of the nonsensical list involves twisting the meanings of movies in a way that'd make Chubby Checker go "Whoa, slow the fuck down." And then there's just the giant bunch of "fail" in the thing. For if the best you can come up with for a quarter century of movies is Red Dawn, a movie so jingoistic that it made George S. Patton get out of his grave and slap the fuck out of writer-director John Milius, then your culture is bereft, indeed.

But perhaps the best gauge of how this is a completely worthless exercise in grappling for self-meaning is to go back to the National Review's own archives, where its film critics offered up harsh words about some of the movies on the list:

Groundhog Day: "Yet why should poor Rita be forced to relive this miserable day just to give Phil a chance to evolve from crafty Casanova into selfless swain?...This sexual shell game, these moral tergiversations, attest to the film's queasily exploitative values. In the end, all is contrivance..." John Simon, April 12, 1993.

United 93: "[R]eal art, especially art that takes on events whose wounds are still unhealed, needs to do more than stir up strong emotions in its audience. United 93 buys its power cheaply." Russ Douthat, May 22, 2006.

Team America: World Police: "The movie is not a clear success, being too crude, for one thing. (By 'crude,' I don’t mean dirty, which it is, to a revolting extent. I mean not clever enough.) In truth, the movie, slam-bang and brief as it is, is a little dull." Jay Nordlinger, November 8, 2004.

Forrest Gump: "[T]he movie captures only the random side of [life] fully, and two and a quarter hours of randomness can wear pretty thin. If a millionaire decides to run around for a couple of years, wouldn't he at least have a backpack? I can respect an idiot savant, but not one who doesn't brush his teeth for three years. Even fantasy has to play by some sort of rules, however fanciful...[Technology] can be a lot of things, but is rarely heartwarming. Yet that is what the movie strives to be. It emerges, rather like its hero, idiot-savantish." John Simon, August 29, 1994.

You might think that Groundhog Day is about a selfish asshole learning to not be a selfish asshole, you might think that United 93 is not really about any political agenda, you might think that Team America is a nihilistic take on the worthlessness of ideology, and you might think that Forrest Gump is just a piece of shit, but, then, you wouldn't be a proud writer for the National Review.


They're Losing Their Fucking Minds, Part 4: Jesus Doesn't Need a Stimulus:
The narrow-minded, clannish nature of the Christian right is sometimes just downright adorably hilarious. For their divorce from reality is breathtaking, like watching a toy poodle try to fuck a hippo. Damn, that's some plucky ambition. Damn shame that little poodle just suffocated in a pile of hippo shit.

The Rude Pundit is a member of the Super-Duper Prayer Team of the Family Research Council (motto: "Jesus is watching you masturbate"). He joined it a few years ago under a nom de rude, and every week he receives his prayellatio orders. Yes, it's a list of "things what pissed us off this week" about which we're supposed to drop on our knees, open our mouths, let the Lord in, and spit out our pleas.

This week's Prayer Team Targets include the unholy stimulus package about to finally get out of Congress. Now, you may ask, "Why the fuck does a Super-Duper Prayer Team need to be worried about an economic package involving stimulus spending on infrastructure construction, directed tax cuts, and stop-gap funding for states and municipalities? How does this involve Jesus at all?" Well, then you don't know the Family Research Council, you stupid shit. Because everything - no, really, every motherfucking thing involves Jesus.

Because, apparently, we're on our way to becoming the Soviet Union. "Indeed, the massive 'stimulus' delusion will cost our children dearly. Have we forgotten the Soviet Union?" asks National Prayer Director Rev. Pierre Bynum. And in case we forgot, he reminds us, "There, over time, people lost their incentive to work, create, strive for excellence, save, invest and achieve. The promise of a socialist utopia proved a lie and bankrupted the Soviet nations." You got that? The Soviet Union wasn't about the self-defeating push for world power through oppressive regimes and ruinous wars, cold and hot. No. It was about the loss of the desire to strive for excellence. Why, they just needed Joel Osteen to go over there and light that drive up.

Thusly we are asked to pray, "Father, may this bill be reduced, not expanded, during the reconciliation process. May unseemly provisions be removed and not added. Protect our children and grandchildren." And bible quotes are offered as support for how God/Jesus would actually give a flying rat's fuck about an economic stimulus package. In addition to assloads of Deuteronomy, there's this from Romans 13:8: "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law." It's really just like they used "word search" on an online bible and hit "owe" or "debt."

Now, in one of those "so crazy it eats its own feces" moments, we're also told to pray that Barack Obama fails in bringing together different religious groups for interfaith dialogue. This relates to Obama's seemingly, from the nutzoid evangelical perspective, praiseworthy desire to put more funding into Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. But, see, because that means funding might go to, you know, "neighborhood" groups and non-Christian "faith-based" ones, well, that won't fuckin' do. So the SDPT must pray (and this is real):

"May God restore America's Christian heritage, the bedrock and fabric of our nation! May efforts to undermine that heritage in favor of multicultural, polytheistic ethics in public life and government fail! May faith-based programs never be used to advance theological and political liberalism. May repentance and revival restore God's blessing to America! In Jesus' Name, Amen!"

You got that? If we're not suckin' Christ's toes while whipping ourselves bloody, we're allowing "multicultural, polytheistic ethics" to encroach on our good American way. So having an office of faith-based programs ain't enough anymore. Now that there's a president in office who isn't just paying lip service to the multiple religious nature of the nation, it's driving them fucking insane.

Oh, one of our bible passages that relates to this prayer? This little number from Psalm 9:17: "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God."

By the way, the very next verse, Psalm 9:18, says this: "For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever." Guess what's worth praying for is all a question of context.


Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Down a Handful of Roofies with a Long Island Iced Tea:

Those are the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue models on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange yesterday. The market dove another 4 percent on news that Israeli model Bar Refaeli was on the cover. Oh, and that Bank Rescue 2: The Obamanizer was nearly as unfocused and slapdash as Part 1.

Mostly, though, the picture is a merging of great American traditions: tits and money. Yet, somehow, with high quality porn so freely available and money in such short supply, both the models and the traders were diminished before the summit ever occurred.


A Few More Words on Obama's Monday:
One can imagine that Barack Obama didn't want to go to Elkhart, Indiana yesterday. It's not just that Elkhart is one of those mid-America strip mall shitholes that are filthy with paycheck loan sharks and rental furniture shakedown joints. It's not the fact that Elkhart's long been a Ku Klux Klan hotspot. No, the reason Barack Obama didn't want to go to Elkhart is that he didn't think he needed to do the George W. Bush (and Bill Clinton) politics road show. But, as he has learned, Republicans are wads of fuck, Fisher-Price play cars stuck in the "No" gear, refusing to let the grown-ups get to work.

Oh, Obama tried. Don't let anyone tell you that Obama didn't try to get to first base with Republicans. He thought he might be able to sweet talk 'em into taking a little tongue. Hell, he might have even been ambitious enough to think he could get some under-the-bra titty action. But he wasn't even offered a handshake at the end of the date. They told him to go fuck himself, so Obama decided to jack off on their heads.

He went to Elkhart, a place no one should ever have to go, even in flush times, he held a press conference, and he deployed his charm and cool and reminded us again of why, devoid of politics (and, yes, there is mucho shit to criticize him about already), we voted for the man. Seriously, the best Republicans can do is whiny little drama queen Lindsey Graham pissing and moaning that "It started with the attitude, we won, we write the bill"? First of all, to answer his stunning allegation, um, yeah, that's the way it works, Mary. And "the attitude"? Wait, you mean the guy with the mandate is acting like he has a mandate?

So Republicans left Obama with no real choice but to get out there and, on a stage larger than Hannity or Joe the Scar has, pull down their pants and spank their little cheeks red in public. Here's the President's answer to Graham: "What I won't do is return to the failed theories of the last eight years that got us into this fix in the first place, because those theories have been tested and they have failed. And that's part of what the election in November was all about."

It's sad, truly, that Republicans just don't know what they're up against. No one gives a fuck what they have to say. That's the baseline from which the GOP has to start if it wants to rebuild. They have made themselves irrelevant. It's a hellish position to be in, but the demon rape couldn't happen to a nicer group of folks. Most of the country gets it: we're in serious, serious shit here. And they know that right now, the reduction of the solution to "tax cuts" makes about as much sense as thinking you can water the desert with your piss.

And they haven't gotten their mind around what it means to deal with Obama. For the majority of Republicans in Congress, they only have memories of Bill Clinton to compare. It was easier to degrade and pigeonhole Clinton, especially since he didn't win 50% of the vote. But this shit is new. We've got a President who people want to follow, someone they admire.

He's not a joke, and he's not trying to be our buddy. Right now, still, he's a leader, and, unless Republicans get their asses to the table where he's dealing, they're left holding worthless chips from a closed casino.


Live Whiskey-Blogging the President's News Conference:
A new president means a new liquor. The Rude Pundit's done with the vodka, the drink of secret alcoholics not wanting to smell like a frat house bathroom. It's bourbon time. Evan Williams, motherfuckers, a smooth, brown, American sippin' whiskey. Best downed neat.

(All quotes pretty much guaranteed to be inaccurate.)
8:01: And we're off. How odd not to see a President who hunches along like Slim Pickens after being kicked in the nuts.

8:02: How odd to hear a President tell us straight that shit's fucked up.

8:03: Calls the economic problem "a full-blown crisis." Now that's fear that's tangible, not the unprovable fear of "terrorists" bombing the mall.

8:05: Assures us that jobs will be created in the private sector, which is just a bullshit way of saying, "Don't fear the socialism. Fear the subcontractors."

8:07: Says that it's bipartisan, motherfuckers, even if Republicans in Congress have taken themselves out of the equation.

8:07: How odd to hear a President say that he's not sure something will work. All this honesty, calculated though it may be, is gonna take a long damn time to get used to.

8:08: Goddamn, Republicans must be shitting themselves. They pushed him into a corner until he had to bring out the rhetorical sword, and he's swinging it. Even if it's about a week too late.

8:09: The first question is already about trying to undermine his credibility. A question: why don't reporters act like this is just post-9/11? This is arguably a worse actual crisis, if not quite as spectacular. It's more like a tragedy directed by Ingmar Bergman, not Michael Bay. No, deference is not pretty. In any circumstance. But the stink of hypocrisy is as pronounced as a fart in an old elevator.

8:13: "I'm not pulling numbers out of my ass here," he more or less says, and how odd it is to hear a President cite who he's actually drawing information from.

8:15: Says executives need to not be dicks, even if that's something that needs to be enforced. Says homeowners need relief.

8:20: On bipartisanship, he puts the blame on the failure of it squarely on Republicans, saying it's a long-term game. He calls out Republicans who just want to do tax cuts and puts the economic crisis at Republicans' feet. They doubled the debt, they fucked it all up, he's come in to clean it up.

8:24: Can you imagine how hideously awful it'd be to watch the pathetic sight of John McCain attempting to wrestle with this crisis? It'd be like seeing Terri Schiavo on a CW show.

8:26: He actually says how the retarded health care system is bankrupting the country. He says how the education system is fucked up. How we need new schools. How odd it is to see a President explain shit to us like we're grown-ups. And how fucking incredible to hear someone articulate how liberal principles - honestly liberal principles - are the ones that will actually accomplish all the things conservatives say they're in favor of.

8:31: Says that he didn't envision coming into office and spending $800 billion. But it can be the reverse of Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine. How does this crisis allow for "emergency" measures for the good of the working and middle class?

8:33: How odd to hear the President refer to reporters by their actual names and not some schoolyard nickname.

8:37: How odd to hear the President with a grasp of facts and an ability to grapple with difficult economic ideas in words that don't sound like his chief of staff just pulled his string.

8:39: Nice question from Ed Henry on if transparency extends to the Bush-era ban on photos of flag-draped coffins of dead soldiers. As expected, Obama says it's under review.

8:42: He lays out a complex plan for how to save the Afghanistan conflict, involving military and diplomatic efforts.

8:45: Hey, wow, the Fox "news" guy asked a dickish and irrelevant question on whether or not Joe Biden was giving away some super-secret conclusions that the stimulus bill is not gonna work. And Obama laughs at him and then makes a point about the nature of actually trying to fix problems.

8:47: A-Rod question?

8:49: Helen Thomas, oh, dear lost love, how the Rude Pundit misses our evenings swatting mosquitoes while making love on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial. (And, as usual, her question is an old-time accusatory one, trying to get Obama to say that Israel has nukes.)

8:52: Huffington Post questioner? It's the dawn of a new era. Hmm, maybe the Rude Pundit needs to try for some White House press credentials. About Patrick Leahy's suggestion that a truth commission is needed on Bush-era scandals, he doesn't close the door, but doesn't leave much more than a crack.

8:55: Okay, we get it: you went to Elkhart, Indiana today. It's a shithole town, yes, but just show us the t-shirt.

8:56: On bipartisanship, again, he says maybe he should have just left out all tax cuts and let Republicans suggest them and take credit. In other words, he should have let the douchebags babies act like douchebag babies. Oh, and by the way, he reminds us, do you remember who put us into this goddamn vortex of financial suck?

9:00: Ends with the idea that he thinks Republicans might act with honor. Now that impossibility deserves a full shot.

More tomorrow.
Real vs. Fantasy Obama:
Tonight, at his press conference, in a perfect world, Fantasy President Barack Obama would go to the podium, unzip his fly, reach into his pants, and pull out his balls. Not his cock, just his balls. And he'd rest his nutsack on the lectern and say, "I have a brief statement to make before I take questions. As you can see, these are my balls. In this moment in our history, as the economy teeters on the brink of collapse after eight years of failed policy and promises unfulfilled, I'd like to invite our Republican friends to come up here and suck my balls. Suck them hairless. Get the members of both the Senate and House, to one by one open their mouths wide and take both these bad boys in at once. Swirl 'em around and get 'em all warm and wet."

Real President Barack Obama will, more than likely and more than necessary, talk about how mighty splendiferous it is that three Republicans agreed with the punk ass bitch Democrats (also known as "centrists"), in order to have some kind of bipartisan consensus, how it's a first step to greater bipartisanship, how he listened to Republican concerns along the way, upping and upping the number of tax cuts until it's nearly a zero sum balance between the cuts and the spending.

Fantasy Obama would then say, "No, really, I want the Republicans to be licking the waxy folds of my scrotum. I fuckin' gave them a life preserver, a way to make their party part of the process of attempting something, anything, to slow this plunge, maybe even turn it around, thrusting our claws into the sides of this well and climbing our way out. But, no, the cocksuckers on the other side of the aisle decided that they wanted to circle jerk each other. So, now, with the encouragement of the majority of the Congress and the vast majority of the American people, it's time for Republicans to shut the fuck up. And one way to make sure you can't be heard is to have a mouth full of balls. My balls."

Real Obama is probably going to be very careful in how he parses his words, not wanting to alienate anyone, not the couple of Republicans who are going to vote for the stimulus package, not the pissed off House Democrats.

Fantasy Obama would continue, adjusting his nuts so they don't stick to the lectern, and answering the reporters who want to know if his honeymoon is over or if he's reaching too far or if he's spending too much with "You know what? You motherfuckers can join in the ball-washing. This teabag's for you, because for most of the last administration you couldn't get enough of blowing George Bush, even when he was lying about shit. And now you're gonna all of a sudden show some spine by asking if a couple of hundred mill in this bill are gonna create jobs or not? Hey, how about this as an answer: my balls aren't gonna suck themselves."

Yeah, it'd be nice, to see Republicans and the media choking on Obama's testicles. But that's not gonna happen. It never was. And anyone who supported Obama who actually thought that was gonna be the case was at best not paying attention, at worst deluded. We gotta deal with the real Obama, who has to deal with the real bitches and bastards who need to show they have some relevance, even as oblivion creeps in all around them.


By the Numbers: Creeping Class Warfare, Republican Style:
How about just a minute or two of perspective?
Amount to bailout AIG - at least $85 billion
Amount to bailout Citibank - at least $45 billion
Amount to bailout Bank of America - at least $45 billion, with guarantees on $118 billion in loans
Amount the Bush administration overpaid for bailed-out bank assets - $78 billion

Proposed cuts to President Obama's economic stimulus bill (currently being debated by 20 "centrist" senators):
$1.1 billion to Head Start
$24.8 billion to states for budget shortfalls in education programs
$15 billion to states for additional education funding
$2 billion to Child Care Development Block Grants
$150 million to funding for programs in the Violence Against Women Act

Oh, and, hell, let's just throw this in:
Amount of just two years of George W. Bush's tax cuts: roughly $500 billion (adjusting for interest). Two-thirds of that came from tax cuts on the top 20% of wage earners.
(Note: this leaves out the cost of operations in Iraq because, well, does it need to be said?)

Education funding is seed money for better paying jobs and a larger tax base. Assistance for families to help with child care has a direct impact on the ability of people to work. And, really, even talking about cutting $150 million in a bill like this is like saying, "If I stop putting nickels in the gumball machine, I'll be able to buy that car."

The unemployment rate is 7.6%. And "centrists" (which is another word for "attention-seeking assholes begging to appear relevant") are quibbling over whether or not it'd be better to cut programs for health and education?

When you walk into an old house that's been neglected for years and is about to collapse into itself, yeah, you need to make sure the frame is stable, but you better get rid of the asbestos insulation before it infects everyone living there.


Cheney in Repose: A Poem:
(A merging of former Vice-President Dick Cheney's interview with reporters from Politico and actor Christian Bale's on-set explosion at a director of photography.)

These are evil people. And we’re not
going to win this fight by turning the other cheek.
You're unbelievable man, you're un-fucking-believable.
No, don't just be sorry, think for one fucking second.
What the fuck are you doing? Are you professional or not?
The United States needs to be not so much loved
as it needs to be respected. Sometimes,
that requires us to take actions that generate controversy.
I’m not at all sure that that’s what the Obama
administration believes. What the fuck is it with you?
What don't you fucking understand? You got any fucking idea about
the ultimate threat to the country?
A nuclear weapon or a biological agent of some kind?
That’s the one that would involve the deaths of perhaps hundreds
of thousands of people, and the one you have to spend
a hell of a lot of time guarding against. You don't fucking
understand what it's like. That's what that is.
It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The combination
of the financial crisis that started last year, coupled now with,
obviously, a major recession,
I think we’re a long way from having solved
these problems. Let's go again. Let's not take
a fucking minute; let's go again.

When we get people who are more concerned
about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist
than they are with protecting the United States against
people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can
to kill Americans, then I worry. Somebody should be fucking
watching and keeping an eye on him. I'm fucking serious.
You're a nice guy. You're a nice guy, but that don't fucking cut it
when you're bullshitting and fucking around like this.
If you release the hard-core Al Qaeda terrorists that are
held at Guantanamo, I think they go back into
the business of trying to kill more Americans and
mount further mass-casualty attacks. I'm not asking you,
I'm telling you. You wouldn't have done that otherwise.
If you turn ’em loose and they go kill more
Americans, who’s responsible for that?
Gimme a fucking answer. What don't you get about it?
Fuck's sake, man, you're amateur.
I think there’s a high probability of such an attempt.
Whether or not they can pull it off depends
whether or not we keep in place policies that have
allowed us to defeat all further attempts,
since 9/11,
to launch mass-casualty attacks against the United
States. Well, somebody's should be watching him
and keeping an eye on him. He doesn't give a fuck
about what is going on.

I'm gonna fucking kick your fucking ass
if you don't shut up for a second, alright?
If it hadn’t been for what we did, with respect to
the terrorist surveillance program, or enhanced
interrogation techniques for high-value detainees,
the Patriot Act, and so forth
then we would have been
attacked again. What is he doing
there? Do you understand?

You've got something to say to this prick?
Seriously man, you and me, we're fucking done.
Fucking ass.

I think there are some who probably
actually believe that if we just go talk
nice to these folks, everything’s going to be
okay. Do you want me to fucking trash them?
Those policies we put in place,
in my opinion,
were absolutely crucial to getting us through
the last seven-plus years without a major-casualty
attack on the U.S.
And how was it?
I hope it was fucking good,
because it's useless now,
isn't it?


In Brief: Over Half of Republicans Support Obama on Interrogations:
Fox "news" has a predictable little article on its website. Titled "Poll: Americans Oppose Obama's First Two Executive Orders," it talks about a Gallup poll where, by huge numbers, Americans support nearly everything Barack Obama has done so far. Indeed, Gallup titled its release "Americans Approve of Most Obama Actions to Date." Indeed, the Fox piece says, close to the end, "Despite clear disapproval to the two executive orders, an overwhelming majority of Americans said they supported the president's first actions as president."

That's some fine damn spin there. It's like saying that you loved every position your boyfriend fucked you in, that you came like you thought the head was gonna blow off your dick, but all you can talk about is how he should have bitten your left nipple a little harder.

Of course Fox "news" tries to make the poll seem like Republicans are viciously turning on Obama: "Obama's executive orders are especially unpopular among Republicans. Only eight percent said they approve the president's decision to fund overseas abortions, while 11 percent said they agree with his order to shut down Guantanamo." Except that, out of seven executive orders, a majority of Republicans approve of four. And 41% approve of a fifth one.

The most surprising result is the number of Republicans polled who approve of Obama's executive order "Limiting interrogation techniques on prisoners," as Gallup put it. 58% of them think Obama did the right thing (74% overall approve). That seems like a significant fact, one that puts a lie to much of the idea that Americans think we need torture to be safe. And it says that most Republicans think torture is fucked, too.

But you wouldn't find that out from Fox "news." When one's head is so far up one's ass, it's hard to see beyond the piles of your own shit.


They've Lost Their Fucking Minds, Part 3 (David Brooks Editions):
In today's New York Times, one can witness the utter implosion of the brain of David Brooks. Brooks, of course, is supposedly the only true believer conservative on the Times's Op-Ed page, but that is an argument for another time. Here, in his column "Ward Three Morality," Brooks writes like a bitchy robot whose irony circuit is shorting out. (Go read it now so you understand the rest of this and so the Rude Pundit doesn't have to spend his time massively quoting it.)

So, let's see if we've got this straight, if we can pin back the layers of sarcasm, self-loathing, and brain damage in order to get to the bones: it's not good if rich people do stupid shit like "spend $35,000 on a commode for a Merrill Lynch washroom." But it's not gooder if upper-middle class Democrats chide the rich for doing stupid shit. For example, the people of Ward Three in DC. In fact, it would be better if the upper-middle class Democrats just went about their business of resenting the rich and worried about other stuff than how the rich spend their money.

Where do you wanna start, class, to school this elitist twink? Anyone? Show of hands? You in the back? Yes, you're right. It's not that anyone is giving a happy rat fuck about whether or not some douchebag rich guy spent $1500 on a wastepaper basket. It's that some douchebag rich guy spent $1500 on a wastepaper basket while his company was falling apart. And it's not that Wall Street executives got big bonuses for a shitty job. It's that Wall Street executives got big bonuses for a shitty job from our fucking money. And, whatever you might think of the bailout(s), that seems like improper use of emergency funding to save the ass of one's corporation.

Brooks must think that he's cleverly revealing a hypocrisy in the "Democratic staffers, regulators, journalists, lawyers, Obama aides and senior civil servants" he mocks. He's criticizing the critics, see, for daring to criticize. Because, like every other conservative right now, it's all he's got. He's experiencing an existential crisis, and it's forced him to write as if he's doing it through the flashing lights a stroke. (And this doesn't get into what a shitty writer he is. Ever tried to read one of his books? It is not unlike trying to find pleasure and knowledge in reading an old ledger.)

What the truly out of touch upper-middle class people, like Brooks and, yes, like many Republicans, are leaving out of the equation are the poor and plain old middle class, people for whom no bunch of stupid ass tax cuts and other supply side bullshit has ever done jack. 'Cause, see, we know, despite right-wing bleats to the contrary, that this whole clusterfuck of economic difficulties were caused by the very rich, in the banking industry, in the Congress, and, until recently, in the White House. As Robert Reich points out in today's Washington Post, "As late as 1976, the richest 1 percent of the country took home about 9 percent of the total national income. By 2006, they were pocketing more than 20 percent."

And as someone who has not shied away from declaiming on the necessity of certain values, moral and ethical, Brooks has all the authority here of a comatose patient whose family hopes will one day emerge from the darkness.


One of These Things Is Not Like the Others:

Down there in the lower right hand corner of that photo there is former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele. He was elected to chair the Republican National Committee. He is, as you can tell, a black man, a Republican black man. The Rude Pundit has studied this picture of Republicans gathered at their Republican meeting like he was searching for fucking Waldo.

And as far as he can tell, Michael Steele is the only black person there. Just like Republican America.

The Republican Party is Old Yeller, filthy with rabies, and you know there's only one thing you can do with Old Yeller.