Six Times That Bill O'Reilly Stated as Fact That Abu Zubaydah's Torture Worked:
Now that multiple sources have confirmed for the Washington Post what Ron Suskind, the Red Cross, and others had been saying all along, that Gitmo detainee Abu Zubaydah gave up shit confessions because of his waterboarding and other tortures, it's time to play that amazing game of "Who Was a Fucking Asshole About This?" And, while we could go with any number of people, including George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, let's use Fox "news" barbarian inside the gate Bill O'Reilly as an example of how easily a deluded media could justify any act.

"If you can read then you read this article and according to the article the government official unnamed, I will admit, we don't like unnamed sources, said that they broke Zubaydah and Zubaydah gave them up all the names that they need to get to prevent further terror attacks. Now I'm going to believe that unless you can prove it differently and you can't." - Bill O'Reilly to Human Rights Watch's Katherine Newell-Bierman, September 12 2006. This was, by the way, even before we had it confirmed by the President that Zubaydah was waterboarded.

"You have the guy in the New York Times, and he's an unnamed source -- I mean, we don't have a name on this guy -- saying, 'Look, we broke Zubaydah. This is how we broke him. We made it so uncomfortable for him that he didn't want this any more, and he told us what we need to know.' Then you open Newsweek magazine. You've got Ron Suskind. OK. Now, he's a partisan, doesn't like Bush. He says that's bull. Zubaydah didn't know anything, and he didn't give them anything...What I'm trying to tell you is the average American sitting at home is not engaged on a daily basis like we are...Doesn't know what the truth is. Doesn't know." - September 13, 2006, while talking to Laura Ingraham. The ellipses are there to edit out what Ingraham says because, you know, who fucking cares? In about 24 hours, O'Reilly went from vaguely accepting the story to blind faith in it.

Prior to that discussion, O'Reilly had stated that "At first Zubaydah was defiant and evasive until the approved procedures were used. He soon began to provide information on key Al Qaeda operators to help us find and capture those responsible for the 9/11 attacks."

"There is no question the CIA roughed up Zubaydah. We already knew that. ABC's Brian Ross reported that Zubaydah was waterboarded for less than 30 seconds before he gave it up. The information he then provided led to the capture of major al Qaeda terrorists. So maybe the agency did abuse the man. But I believe most Americans would understand that. Zubaydah is an evil guy, who knew plenty about the murderous activities of al Qaeda." - December 7, 2007

"Last night on ABC News, the CIA agent who supervised the waterboarding of al Qaeda bigshot Abu Zubaydah said the interrogation method broke him...And that means the waterboarding saved lives, perhaps thousands of lives...Let's stop the nonsense here. America's not a bad country because it waterboarded Zubaydah. The Bush administration has done its job. We haven't been attacked since 9/11. The liberal press, politicians, the ACLU can't stop any wrongdoing. They're all lost in a fog of misguided indignation, crazy with hatred for Bush, but we the people must take a stand here. This isn't a game. This is life and death." - December 11, 2007

"You're opposed to waterboarding. And I disagree with you on that. I think the president of the United States should have -- just the president -- should have the legal authority to order waterboarding in extraordinary circumstances. Now, according to Tenet and to President Bush, used three times on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, al-Nashiri, and Abu Zubaydah. All three times the men broke when they were waterboarded, and they gave out information, according to the Bush administration, that saved thousands of lives...These people gave up very good information." - May 9, 2008, in an interview with John McCain where O'Reilly used Zubaydah to counter McCain's anti-torture beliefs.

Abu Zubaydah, say the several officials interviewed by the Post, was not an al-Qaeda bigshot. And his torture saved no one. Not a good guy, by a longshot, but certainly not a major player in al-Qaeda. Jack Bauer would be disgusted.

By the way, one more quote here. It's from John McCain on Meet the Press this past weekend: "One other thing we need, we do need a select committee in Congress to look at what happened so people can--this train hit them without any knowledge. They still don't know what happened. Why did it happen? So then they would have some more confidence on, in what actions we might take in the future to prevent it from happening again." A congressional committee to investigate why it happened to prevent it from happening in the future. It's a great idea. McCain is, of course, not referring to anything to do with detainee treatment, torture, or anything having to do with Bush's "wars." It's about the economic crisis.


Pictures That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Down a Handful of Klonopin with a Twelve-Pack of Bell's:

That's two former employees of Wayland Chevrolet in Wayland, Michigan, brawling outside their former place of business. 30 people lost their jobs when the dealership closed. They found out this past Friday. Said one of the brawlers, "Does it matter how hard you work, because there is somebody a little bit above you that has the right to control every decision and every effort you put forward, don't you have a right to be a little bit mad when somebody says hey we're all done?" And thus another socialist is born, whether he realizes it or not. Or at least another potential union member. Because if you believe in unregulated capitalism, then, yes, Jason Stanton, somebody a little bit above you does have all that control over you. Sucks, doesn't it?

Today President Obama announced the resignation (or, to put it more properly, "firing") of GM CEO Rick Wagoner. And that GM would only be funded for 60 days more to come up with a business plan that is recognizable as a plan for business. More on that tomorrow.

You know, between the fights and the urban coyote attacks, maybe we do need to be building bunkers and wearing Snuggie blankets, the cult robes of the new apocalypse.


Why Michelle Malkin Ought to Be Caged Like a Rabid Shih-Tzu (Rank Hypocrisy Edition):
So let's just get this straight: back in 2006, Michelle Malkin, blogger, syndicated columnist, and an attention whore with appetites so huge that, if she were a sex-selling whore (and the Rude Pundit has no direct knowledge that she is not), she'd be in front of an audience of cheering old drunks, giving handjobs to hobos while getting fucked in the ass by the bartender's pit bull, which is pretty much what happens when you appear on Fox "news," posts to her blog the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of three UC Santa Cruz students who led a protest against military recruiters on their campus. When the students get pounded by threats of violence, Malkin washes her hands of it, saying that it's up to individuals how they respond to the information she has made public.

And in 2007, Michelle Malkin, who, if she were a sex-selling whore (and, while the Rude Pundit cannot confirm anything, he's pretty sure she's swapping blow jobs for appearances on Glenn Beck's nightly crazoidfest), she'd be the type of hooker who tells you all the crazy shit she could do to your dick if she hadn't sprained her back, but if you double the price, she'll work through the pain, stalked the family of a twelve year-old boy who almost died in a car wreck. even going to their home. Her point? That they owned things and thus didn't need SCHIP.

So this is the Michelle Malkin we're talking about. She's the same one who in her latest "column" (if by "column," you mean, "the sound of a bag of drowning cats") is outraged, nay, megaoutraged at the idea that people would be angry enough to threaten violence or suggest punishments for AIG executives. Scrawls Malkin, "[T]he radical ACORN mob and its corporate shakedown allies chartered a bus — with twice as many outrage-stoking MSM photographers in tow — to menace AIG executives in their homes." Imagine. Going to harass people you think are evil at their homes. Malkin also cites "the families who received [death] threats through AIG’s website." It must give her the vapors.

The point here is not about AIG's employees or mob rule. The point is that if you yourself have whipped the mob into a frenzy and been lead torch carrier when it suits your purposes, then you've probably lost the moral high ground on the issue. Or maybe it's just that if you're a whore with three cocks in various orifices, you really can't preach abstinence.


Dear Ex-AIG Guy:
The Rude Pundit responds to the resignation letter from Jake DeSantis, AIG's executive vice president of the financial products unit, published in yesterday's New York Times:

"Dear (soon-to-be) ex-AIG Guy,

"I read your letter with a great deal of interest. See, even though I'm just a member of the middle of the middle class who generally believes that vast sums of accumulated wealth are demonstrable proof of the corruption of the people who hold the wealth, I had your back, at least as far as your right to privacy and even, to an extent, as regards your contracted compensation. I believed that contracts could be renegotiated, sure, but barring that or anything actually illegal shown, that we just had to suck it up. And while I still believe that, lemme just say that your self-aggrandizing, whiny little bitch moan of a letter makes me wish whatever ill that comes your way is compounded by the number of times you lapped the average American worker in yearly compensation. If it's your karmic punishment to have to shovel shit in a stable for eternity, I hope it's got a hundred times as many animals shitting a hundred times as many turds for you to toss. In other words, and since my job is not to obfuscate to the point of denying comprehension, fuck you, you cockgobbling bag of fuck.

"Taking you down point by point would be a waste of time, especially since it's been done quite well by others. You want to come out of this clean. You want to be blameless. But even if you were the guy who filed food requisitions for the guards at Dachau, you still worked for the Nazis. Actually, to be more precise and only slightly hyperbolic, you're like the guy who cleaned floors for SPECTRE, the evil organization that James Bond was fighting. At the end of the day, you could look at where you mopped and say, 'Goddamn, that's one shiny motherfucker of a floor,' while behind you Ernst Blofeld is watching a giant fucking screen showing the launch of a nuke at London. When the British agents arrived, your ass would still get mowed down.

"Your life has been a lie. You have worked for a corporation that, when all is said and done, will have been responsible for as much harm to the average worker in this nation as those closed steel mills in the places you were raised. You're a glorified gambler. No, fuck that. Gamblers are more honest about what they are than you. You made bets in order for rich fucks to get richer, and you tried to convince yourself that it was a noble pursuit.

"You sanctimonious bastard. You want to pat yourself on the back because you took only a dollar in salary? The only fuckers who do that are the ones who can afford to. It's not like it caused you any suffering at all - did your kids have to go to public school? Did you have to give up the summer house in the Hamptons? Seriously, AIG guy, unless you're sucking Teamster cock for quarters to make ends meet, just don't talk in public about your sacrifices.

"I'll bet everyone you know is so fucking proud of you for saying what you said. I'll bet your lover fucked you so hard last night that you thought your balls were gonna send you their resignation. I'll bet your schoolteacher parents thought, 'What a good son' over your announcement that you were giving your 'payment from AIG amounting to $742,006.40, after taxes' to 'charity.' If you're so fucking right about being owed the money, then why are you giving it away? Because you can. And that was the problem to begin with. Hell, I'm guessing that along with your resignation will be a nice severance package, a golden parachute, and an antique umbrella stand to make sure your refinished floors don't get wet on rainy days. It's gonna make that three-quarter mill seem like a drop in a piss bucket.

"I don't get it. Who did you write this for? Why did you write it? For sympathy? So that someone living in a tent can read it as they arrange it as their blanket? No. You wrote it and made it public because you are just another useless fuck who looked in the mirror one day and thought, 'Oh, shit, I make sure the floors are shiny for terrorists, I file papers for mass-murderers.' You wrote it because you were afraid of the pitchforks and fire, yes, but not from angry Americans, but from the demons licking their gnarled lips in anticipation of your tasty soul's arrival. And you wanted someone to hold you and tell you it's okay. Cuddle your cold cash, motherfucker, and tell yourself, as the wreckage appears more and more vast, like the ruins of a bombed city finally being seen at dawn, that you were just trying to make it right.

"Fuck you, finally, at last, you pedantic, deluded, groveling worm. You think you're making some point that you and your ilk are people, too, when what you're revealing is that the world you occupy has no relation to the real one. Tell you what: give it all up, all the money, get the others in your division to do it, too, and go work for the people served by those organizations into whose pot you're gonna toss your change. Look into their eyes until you can say you're one of them. That's called redemption. Your letter? It's just pathetic for what it says about AIG, for what it says about us, but, mostly, for what it says about you.

"The Rude Pundit"


Welcome Back to the Hard Times:
At last night's news conference, Kevin Chappell of Ebony magazine asked President Barack Obama, "A recent report found that as a result of the economic downturn, one in 50 children are now homeless in America. With shelters at full capacity, tent cities are sprouting up across the country. In passing your stimulus package, you said that help was on the way. But what would you say to these families, especially children, who are sleeping under bridges in tents across the country?"

Obama's answer, a combination of sorrow for the poverty and restatement of his budget proposals as they relate to jobs and veterans, was pretty much what you'd expect, the non-committal commitment of a politician trying to negotiate this savage landscape in and out of Washington. Of course, there's a reality behind this that makes the seemingly exaggerated question appear that it's understating the case.

This is Nickelsville in Seattle:

That's the Reno skyline in the background (this could have been a Vegas photo, too):

This orderly set-up is in Pinellas Park, Florida:

And here's the place made famous by Oprah, Sacramento's Tent City:

One imagines that as the weather warms up, the flutter of cloth homes will be as prevalent around the nation as the sounds of the flag in the breeze.
Fox: Business News You Can Masturbate To:
From Fox Business "news" anchorbo Dagen McDowell on the AIG bonus tax:
"You don't want to think if you get in bed with Uncle Sam he's going to strip you naked, chain you to the bed, leave you there and then take nasty pictures of you and then put them on the internet."

The Rude Pundit thinks he's in love.

It ought to be pointed out that she's got the order wrong - first you take the nasty pictures and then you leave the naked person chained there, not the other way around. Just sayin'.


Live Whiskey-Blogging the President's News Conference:
The Rude Pundit is gonna stick by the Evan Williams despite all the suggested whiskeys from alcoholic rude readers who apparently have deeper pockets than him. So straight up, into the shot glass, the first pour goes in heady anticipation of one more hour or so spent with the President. Ah, the initial burn, always in there, that gets your insides warmed up and ready for a long evening of sipping.

8:01: There he is, and it's getting a little less shocking to see our President walk out purposefully without it looking like an effort.

8:02: Right out of the gate, it's "fuck you" press corps. Obama is leaping over them straight to us.

8:03: Barack Obama is a no-nonsense motherfucker. There's no goofy winks at reporters. In fact, now that we've moved from homeowners to toxic assets inside of two minutes, the Rude Pundit's pretty sure that Obama thinks we're a lot smarter than we actually are. Hey, thanks for the compliment, but slow down there, Slim.

8:05: This is why we elected him and it's what the Congress needs to get its tiny little heads around: because we trust that he understands all this shit, the interconnectedness of all the issues, the vast betrayals of the middle and working class by the moneyed class. We want him to take care of it, go be a leader, and leave us alone for a little while. 2010 ain't that far.

8:07: But the media, of course, doesn't want that. They tell us reductive shit like "more authority" for some government official without context so that it sounds way more outrageous than it actually is.

8:09: See, as far as bargain whiskeys go, you're really not gonna do better than EW. It's rich, with the illusion of weight, even, like a syrup, an elixir. Yes, the Rude Pundit's got a head start before this press conference started.

8:10: Jennifer Loven asks why "we" should "trust the government" with that "authority." It sounds insidious, evil, even, like Tim Geithner is sitting there, rubbing his hands, saying, "Excellent." Actually, that'd be Hank Paulson.

8:11: Chuck Todd wonders why Americans aren't asked to sacrifice for this "war" that - what? The credit market is waging on us? If it's a war, can we burn the AIG building and put some derivatives in mass graves? Isn't the point that we're being forced to sacrifice all kinds of shit? C'mon, Chuckwagon, you can do better.

8:13: You gotta miss the dogs chasing the chuckwagon. Those pathetic, ambitious fuckers always thought they'd be eating grizzled horse drivers for lunch, but all they ever got was dog food.

8:18: On the budget, he wants it all: health care, cap and trade, etc. He's bottom lining this shit.

8:19: Boo-yah. He pimp slaps Republicans for leaving him a trillion something dollar deficit to wrestle with. And then he makes the economic case for investment in education, environment, science, and more. "We haven't seen an alternate budget," he tells Chip Reid of CBS, saying that Republicans are haters, not players.

8:23: The Rude Pundit's glad the reporters are pressing Obama. Because that's what they should fucking do. But any one of these fuckers who sat with their thumbs up their asses while Bush lied to their faces should be whipped out of DC and sent back to reporting on the new Tempe, AZ, fried prairie dog stand.

8:26: Drug wars on the U.S.-Mexico border suck, sure, and the vast number of innocent people, especially young women, kidnapped, murdered, tortured, is beyond awful. Wonder what easy, money-making change in law could end the power of the cartels?

8:28: Oh, shit, he said something about guns. Freeper heads explode, Rush Limbaugh writes half his show for tomorrow, Sean Hannity rubs one out in glee.

8:29: What did Johnny Hair-Gel just ask? Some things in the budget are untenable? The Rude Pundit was distracted by the magical, glistening sheen coming from Johnny's black plastic helmet of hair.

8:30: But more important than Obama addressing the corrupting role of lobbyists in the defense procurement process: he's wearing a flag pin. We're safe. Sweet Jesus, we're safe.

8:32: Ed Henry asks if Obama is just being whiny about the deficit he came in with if he's gonna run up more. It's a fair cop. But the President's turned it around and made it about how to save money in health care by putting money up "on the front end" in order to save money "on the back end."

8:35: He's also turned it back on those who want to stall his plans, saying they want to make America a bunch of retards owned by the Chinese. And, you know, he's not wrong.

8:36: "It took a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about." Yeah, this still takes some getting used to.

8:37: The Rude Pundit loves the look Obama gives Major Garrett of Fox "news," as if indulging a particularly articulate toddler asking what he'd pick if it was between ponies or nail guns.

8:39: He says that the world doesn't think that America sucks as much anymore now that he's president, another nice little slap at Bush-Cheney.

8:40: No regrets on his tax policy proposals, and he explains it plainly, clearly, as if explaining to a group of junkies how it's perhaps better to get off the junk.

8:42: The whiskey doesn't lose its edge. Sure, the smokiness sometimes masks the bite, but it's that sharpness is still there behind the smooth.

8:44: What the fuck? A real question about poor people? About homeless people? How fucking long has it been since any president was asked about people in poverty? Reagan? LBJ? Obama even seems to give a shit, addressing homeless vets in particular.

8:46: Ann Compton asks if Obama being black has affected anything since he became president. But, really, when's the last time anyone other than the stupidest of our species has actually given a flying rat's fuck about Obama's race?

8:48: Embryonic stem cell research question. We're into the moral shit now, the kinds of things that are actually distractions right now, like the questions you ask on a first date about what was the last good concert your date went to or if they like whiskey straight, mixed, or on the rocks.

8:52: Palestine/Israel question. Bored. Just tell us when something happens that doesn't involve missiles.

8:54: Wait - did he have Palestinians and Israelis to the White House on St. Patrick's Day? Is that supposed to make sense? Did Ehud go bragh?

8:56: Obama throws down with what is obviously a planned final speech, that shit's not gonna be done right away, that it takes more than two months for something to happen.

By the way, someone's been working on his "umms," and maybe we can finally put to rest the idiocy that he can't talk without a teleprompter.
Grappling with Geithner, Tussling with Treasury, Trying to Understand This Shit:
The let's-save-Humpty-Dumpty quality of the efforts to mitigate the long-term effects of the financial meltdown has been almost beautifully haphazard, like watching a pair of tweaking, toothless methheads trying to put back together the exploded corpse of an old woman who they hit with their car going at 90 on a rural back road late one night, not even sure if they have all the pieces, thinking that if they can scrape the innards off the grill and find the far-flung limbs, they can just shove it all back inside and tape the pieces into one and eventually she'll just get up and walk, when, really, what anyone watching would know is true: the woman's dead and the more you deny that, the worse you're gonna make it when the police finally arrive and find you covered in blood and gore trying to hide a mangled body.

The Rude Pundit understands quantum mechanics more than he understands the bank rescue/bailout/toxic asset buying proposals now on the table, but it doesn't take a Friedman or an Einstein to see that the whole damn thing is predicated on rescuing a patient that's dead and using the killers to bring it back to life. He's dead, Jim; it's time to send his corpse out into the comforting blackness of space.

The very notion, put forward by today's Wall Street Journal (tip o' the rude hat to Talking Points Memo), that the only way out of this mess is by not pissing off the bags of shit who fucked us in the first place, sounds like the plot of some kind of bullshit spy movie: you sometimes have to learn to trust your enemies to get what you want. Fuck that.

The first bailout under Bush was a gift to the financial institutions, like giving flowers to your rapist. In as simplistic an explanation as possible, the Obama plan is to keep playing the same hand, with a bit more oversight, a little more in the way of loans, and some cash tossed at homeowners, and that's a failure to recognize that the game has changed from poker to Go Fish. It seems like Obama wants to get only to second base with nationalization, but abstinence never works, man, never.

Out here, in this corner of Left Blogsylvania, the Rude Pundit doesn't know non-recourse loans from a glory hole. But he knows who's worth loaning money to at the dog track. And you stay away from the guy who keeps telling you that not only will he get you back your stake, but he'll get your drinks comped for the day. That bastard's gonna keep making deferred promise upon deferred promise until he either disappears or finally comes clean that it was all a scam. If you didn't know it in the first place, you deserve to leave with your pockets empty.

But, hey, maybe Obama and Geithner and Summers know something we don't. Maybe they know how to put a corpse back together and use lightning to reanimate it. The problem will be making sure they didn't use a criminal's brain in there.

That's it - the Rude Pundit's metaphored out.

Back tonight with Obama news conference live whiskey-blogging.


Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Down a Handful of Lunesta with a Twelve-Pack of Goose Island Ale:

That's a group of people at a foreclosure auction outside Chicago this weekend.

"With more than 2,500 bidders, over 400 foreclosed homes sold for a total of nearly $21 million...[Up for bidding was] a 3-bedroom Franklin Park home, once valued at nearly $600,000. The bidding on that one started at $29,000." Foreclosure auction houses are doing stellar business.

Sure, let's talk some more about bonuses because it's helping us all so very much.


Sarah Palin to Alaska's Poor and Special Needs Kids: "Suck It, You Dirty 'Tards":
Why can't we be fucking finished with Sarah Palin? There is nothing interesting, thoughtful, original, or unique about this idiot, this power hungry mouthpiece for things she can't comprehend, this fuckdoll fantasy for right wing dudes hoping for restoration by jacking off into plastic Palin's orifices of pleasure, this dullard, this conscienceless void, Forrest Gump without the skills, this willful tabula rasa who whores herself out to let the highest bidder scrawl her beliefs on her blank brain. She is like an especially ambitious dung beetle trying to push a turd up and over a hill; even if she gets it where she wants it, in the end, she's still just been rolling shit.

The fact that Governor Palin has decided to reject 31% of the federal government stimulus money budgeted for Alaska must be giving the vapors to other Republican idiot governors who are craving that national attention like a hungry baby at a South Carolina Hooters. It's like Palin just saw and raised Bobby Jindal and Mark Sanford, except they're not just playing with cash. They're tossing their citizens' asses into the pot.

Of the $288 million Palin waved off as easily as an extra serving of pie, $172 million was to go to education in her state, including over $70 million specifically for programs directed at programs for poor and special needs students. Rural Alaska, which is, you know, most of Alaska, was hit especially hard by the news: "Northwest Arctic Borough superintendent Norman Eck reacted to the news in an e-mail: 'I am stunned,' he wrote.

"His district is under intervention by the state Department of Education because of poor test scores year after year. He said he had planned to use his $1.2 million for education materials the district otherwise could not afford. High electricity and fuel costs hit his budget hard this year, and ended up being taken from money otherwise meant for kids in classrooms."

By the way, while Alaska may not be Mississippi, it consistently, in most studies, ranks in the lower third of states when it comes to K-12 education. And it's generally in the bottom fifth for all things post-secondary-related. So you'd think that some extra funds might be welcome.

The rationale for the rejection of the money is that if Alaska spends the federal money over the next two years on programs, then people are gonna want the funding to continue after. In other words, we don't wanna do shit to fix the leak right now because the fix might not hold, so we'll just let it keep leaking for a while more while we try to figure out another way to maybe someday fix it. Let's see: Palin's state's budget soars or plummets based on the whims of the oil market. Exactly how far into the future can it reasonably and truthfully plan, anyways?

Oh, but Palin's toeing that anti-government line. "We are not requesting funds intended to just grow government," Palin said. "In essence we say no to operating funds for more positions in government." That's right - for Sarah Palin, hiring more math teachers for poor school districts in Anchorage, where the dropout rate is twice the national average, is merely just letting government grow out of control.

Palin is fuckin' par for the course for Republican "leaders," the puppets and performers like Reagan and Bush who are smiling fronts for those ghouls in the background fostering this endlessly destructive, elitist ideology that would punish the weak simply because they are weak.


AIG Bonuses: Did It Break the Law? Then Shut the Fuck Up:
Let's pretend we're grown-ups here for a minute:

The Rude Pundit has no dog in the AIG bonus fight except as one of us few hundred million citizen-stakeholders. He doesn't know anyone at AIG or at any of the banks that AIG funneled money to. He doesn't give a shit one way or another about who these people are, who their families are, where they piss, who they fuck, anything.

And the Rude Pundit understands and feels the moral outrage over the payment of tens of millions of dollars in bonuses to AIG employees when the company had received tens of billions of dollars in bailout cash from us (or, more appropriately, from the Chinese, or, even more appropriately, from our grandkids). It's a damn shame. And the people who took that money home after rocketing the economy off the edge of a cliff like they were Evel Knievel at Snake River Canyon should have to work as migrant fruit pickers for the rest of their lives. And, sure, some of them oughta be puttin' the blade to their guts in shame. Karmic justice? Fuck yeah. Mob justice? No goddamn way.

So all that said, there's something fucked about a member of Congress demanding the names of people who legally received money. The payment may be immoral. It may piss us off. But it ain't a crime. And what purpose does it serve other than vengeance and pillory, the kind of wave where innocent people inevitably get accused and swept away?

Check out this exchange between Barney Frank and AIG CEO and pitiful bastard Edward Liddy:
"FRANK: I'm now asking you to send us the names of those who received bonuses who have not given them back. Can you do that?

"LIDDY: Sir, I -- I will, if I can be absolutely assured that they will remain confidential.

"FRANK: Well, I -- I won't give you that assurance, sir. And so if that's the condition, it would be my intention to ask this committee to subpoena them. And I would -- this is a situation where there's a lot of public activity. I ask you to submit the names of the people who've received the bonuses, noting that they paid them back or not, and I won't accept them under confidentiality, personally."

A moment later, Frank says, "I disagree with the people who wrote those contracts, but it did not appear to me to be criminal." Representatives Gary Ackerman and Alan Grayson also asked Liddy to name names of people who engaged in legal behavior approved by the Federal Reserve during the Bush administration and under the eye of current administration officials.

There ought to be political ramifications. There oughta be regulations and laws passed. But they ain't there now. And it's wrong under any circumstances to treat people like bank robbers when the bank managers simply handed them stuffed bags with big dollar signs on them when they walked into the branch office. Naming names of people who did nothing legally wrong smacks of witch hunts old and new. That's shameful, too.

Now, if Andrew Cuomo's investigation shows that AIG and Liddy illegally funneled money to Goldman Sachs and other banks, then we oughta break out the rotting fruit for big fun at the perp walks.

(Final note: Goddamn you, Eliot Spitzer, for taking yourself out of the picture.)


Welcome to the Party, Bitches (Fiduciary Outrage Edition):

Really? Is this really the straw that snapped that fucker's spine? After all this time, after billions of dollars simply tossed into the ether over in Iraq, after paying Dick Cheney's cronies at Halliburton billions in no-bid contracts, after KBR overcharged the US government hundreds of millions for its "services" in Iraq (and after it was given a $70 million bonus while it was under investigation by the Justice Department in 2005), after money wasted hand over fist, bad over good, endlessly, it's this? AIG giving out about a tenth of a percent of its bailout money to top executives is what's gonna finally make Americans go nutzoid? Goddamn, we're adorable.

To put this in perspective: it's like a parent giving you ten bucks and then being pissed that you tossed a penny into a wishing well. "Next time," that angry parent might say, "next time you'll only get $9.99." Lesson learned, eh?

Most of us out here on the left have been in an uproar for, oh, shit, let's say a couple of decades over the criminally large amounts of money corporations have been giving executives, especially when they would do vicious shit like rewarding CEOs after the aforementioned bastards slashed thousands of jobs to help the stock price stay elevated. Now it's Republicans calling for an auto da fe' on AIG's top brass, with Charles Grassley "rhetorically" suggesting suicide and Fox "news" dicks calling for torture or public execution. (It probably doesn't hurt that AIG primarily contributed to Democrats.)

So why the hell not? Let's all shake our collective fists in our grand moment of joined socialist outrage. Who knows when it will come again? Now how about some action that really capitalizes on this anti-capitalist moment?

(And it ought to be pointed out that the New York Post front page is missing a comma.)


America's Torture Policy During the Reign of the Savage Idiots:
To read Mark Danner's article in the New York Review of Books about America's policy of torture during the Bush administration is to peer over the edge of an abyss that we don't know yet if we've pulled back from. While punk ass, egomaniacal turdmongers like Glenn Beck push the notion that we're heading into apocalypse because the tax rate on the wealthy is going to go marginally higher or because someone said something bad about Israel, the very foundational ideals of America were undermined because George W. Bush and Dick Cheney made us scared of a group of fanatical retards who shit in caves.

Go ahead and read the whole thing, about the Red Cross report on how the United States participated in the torture of bloodthirsty assholes and grubby criminals who, every day they were held nude, cold, filthy, sleepless, stress-positioned, and beaten, had confirmed for them everything that they and their fellows and followers believed about the West. Man, we showed 'em. We showed 'em good.

You might be a cynic on the left who blithely responds that we shouldn't be naive, that the United States has tortured prisoners of war (and others) throughout its modern history. Of course that's true, but it was always done with a wink and with the knowledge that people could be prosecuted. It was not an official and (eventually) openly known and accepted policy of the American government. That little piece of the horror puzzle is new.

You might be a cynic on the right who says that, yeah, we did this, but it ain't nearly as bad as the tortures committed by the regimes of, say, Saddam Hussein or whatever Latin American dictator and/or junta you wanna toss into the dirt heap. Of course that's true, too, but, as the Rude Pundit's said numerous times, do you really wanna judge our nation's morality by comparison to, say, Guatemala's in the 1980s? And it's not to mention how much our tortures seem like the same ones done in China now or in the Soviet Union back in the day. Finally, the other way to look at this is that the bar has been set lower now. The U.S. has no goddamn right to complain if our citizens are treated like this in other countries. Only when it gets worse, only when it gets worse.

And to those who would be idiotic enough to cite the 24 scenario as a reason to torture, you need to at least fuckin' get it right. In that fictional set-up, the criminal/terrorist/soldier knows about something that's going to blow up within, you know, 24 hours. That's the justification for shooting kneecaps or hammering testicles or whatever. What happened to the prisoners in U.S.-sponsored custody (in whatever country they were renditioned to) took place over the course of days, weeks, months. So, even if this unreal situation occurred, at what point does the potential information from torture victims stop being a last-second nefarious plot-halter?

Now, the Rude Pundit's no interrogation expert, but it'd seem, by default, less than a day. So, like, Abu Zabaydah, who was shot three times while being pursued, hospitalized, and treated for his injuries, who was then questioned by the FBI without being tortured, wasn't given "enhanced techniques" until long after he could have halted any imminent attacks. But, you know, that'd be applying logic and reason to a situation where only the animalistically-savage and the emotionally-retarded and the intellectually-bereft are making decisions.


John King's Abdication:
Somewhere in Hell yesterday, Augusto Pinochet watched John King's interview with Dick Cheney on CNN. Whenever the former Vice-President appears, Lucifer makes sure that all the underworld's screens are tuned in. He wouldn't wanna piss off Cheney. "Are you fuckin' kiddin' me?" Pinochet wondered out loud between his screams as the bones of all the people he disappeared were shoved down his dickhole into his urethra. The Chilean dictator turned to femur-wielding demons with Salvador Allende's face and said, "Seriously, to get that kind of hummer from a reporter, I'd've had to have threatened to skin his girlfriend alive." Pinochet instantly regretted what he'd said. One should never give demons an idea.

Cheney may as well have been talking to a John King puppet. More precisely, he may as well have been jacking off with a John King puppet on his hand. Because, apparently, challenges and follow-up questions are to John King what boric acid is to ants. He dare not even step near it.

Here's one exchange where King is allegedly confronting Cheney:
"KING: When you came to office, the unemployment rate in the country was 4.2 percent, when you left it was 7.6 percent. The number of Americans in poverty when you arrived, just under 33 million, over 37 million when you left. The number without health insurance, a little over 41 million when you came, over 45 million approaching 46 million when you left. And you came with a budget surplus of $128 billion and in the final year, the budget deficit was a record $1.3 trillion. So what would you say to someone out there watching this who is saying, why should they listen to you?

"CHENEY: Well, there are all kinds of arguments to be made on that point. But there's something that is more important than the specific numbers you're talking about, and that had to be priority for our administration. Eight months after we arrived, we had 9/11. We had 3,000 Americans killed one morning by al Qaeda terrorists here in the United States. We immediately had to go into the wartime mode. We ended up with two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Some of that is still very active. We had major problems with respect to things like Katrina, for example. All of these things required us to spend money that we had not originally planned to spend, or weren't originally part of the budget. Stuff happens. And the administration has to be able to respond to that, and we did."

So Dick Cheney just said the economy is in the shitter because of 9/11, seven and a half years ago. And King's follow-up was not "Holy fuck, you are a fucking psycho cock-headed motherfucker, aren't you?" or some variation on that. Nope, it was: "But you're a conservative administration, spending more than $1 trillion." And then Cheney repeated some bullshit about this war, actually comparing it with World War II, which King never challenged with, "Ummm, you chose the war, fuckbag."

John King's approach to Cheney was like a cat in heat's approach to an alley tom. He put up his haunches and let the ex-VP go to town. When Cheney said that Barack Obama was making America less safe by halting waterboarding and closing Gitmo, King said, "I want to give you a chance -- and take as much time as you want -- to prove it." As if Cheney didn't have years to prove it. And then he didn't go after Cheney for not proving it.

It wasn't journalism. If the purpose of journalism is to seek some kind of truth, then King walked away from his role in that mission. He was merely a sounding board, a kennel wall for a savage dog to hear the echo of its own snarls.


Bernard Madoff Is Our Sin:
Genius though he may have been at excoriating human behavior, Mark Twain was a total fucktard when it came to money. Investing in bullshit inventions and taking the worst financial advice available, Twain was a greedy bastard who fell into get-rich-quick schemes and, of course, ended up getting dicked over. He went bankrupt in 1894. Twain went on a worldwide speaking tour to earn the money to pay his creditors, but he knew that he had allowed himself to give in to one of the basest of human cravings. Yeah, he was lied to and conned, but, at the end of the day, it was the lure of easy cash that made him prime the pump again and again. We are all, all fools, he knew, and he accepted that he was one, too.

This is not an attempt to blame Bernard Madoff's victims for the vile man's crimes. Madoff deserves to be ass-raped while getting shit swirlies for the rest of his pathetic life. Madoff's shallow, shameless statement to the court was like a lesson in how to use legal obfuscation to cover up for your family. His apology was less convincing than a high school jock telling a cheerleader he fucked that he has herpes.

And he sounded like every craven petty thief that's ever been caught breaking and entering: "When I began the Ponzi scheme I believed it would end shortly and I would be able to extricate myself and my clients from the scheme." Yeah, Bernie Madoff was fuckin' Jean Valjean at the beginning there, just stealing bread to feed his family. By the end, he was essentially scrambling like a junkie who's trying to use one loan shark to pay off the others: "I wired money between the United States and the United Kingdom to make it appear as though there were actual securities transactions executed on behalf of my investment advisory clients." But, see, he wasn't a total cocksucking bag of scum: "Madoff Securities International Ltd. was principally engaged in proprietary trading and was a legitimate, honestly run and operated business." It's not unlike Jeffrey Dahmer saying that he didn't eat the ears of his victims. When you make Elie Wiesel and his foundation lose all their money, you don't get to mitigate your evil.

The fact that the courtroom floor didn't crack open and stiletto-clawed demons didn't reach up to tear Madoff into gory bits before dragging his shrieking, awful soul to hell is pretty much proof that there is no God.

So, no, this is not to blame Madoff's victims. It's actually to blame all of us. The fascinating thing about last night's Daily Show beatdown of CNBC screamer Jim Cramer by Jon Stewart was not how Stewart knocked out Cramer. That was easy - Cramer walked into the ring and curled up on the floor, waiting for it to be over. It was that Stewart's point wasn't merely that CNBC is often wrong. No, Stewart was asking if CNBC existed to give aid and comfort to corporations or to the individual. In fact, Stewart's point was that we are greedy shits by nature and we need people to temper it, not fan it. And isn't it the job of purported business journalists to find out who's telling the truth and not just get in bed with execs so that they can, as Cramer said of Lehman Brothers' CEO, lie to their faces and expect to be believed? Stewart's anger at Cramer (and, indeed, at all journalism, not just business) is that we need people to do their fucking jobs. Or we get unnecessary wars and financial collapses that could have been predicted.

What Cramer's right about is that CNBC was just giving people what they like: a loud, shiny show that massages your avarice muscle until it's good and supple. And that's exactly what Bernie Madoff was doing, too. His clients believed he was the man, and that motherfucker was willing to do what it took to give 'em what they wanted. The question, though, as ever, is not what we want. It's what we need.

So while everyone's chiming in about all the awful punishments that could and should await Madoff, the Rude Pundit finds himself thinking of the Korean film Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. It's a worthy analogy for how Madoff's victims might want to deal with him. But, without giving away the ending, let's just say that no one gets out of it clean.


Ari Fleischer at Sunrise:
Ari Fleischer awakens in the morning sucking down air like a drowning man surfacing in the middle of the ocean, like he's only got a couple of seconds to breathe until the next wave washes over him, until he's sucked down by the undertow. And then he remembers who he is and what his role is in this world. "Goddamn you, soul," he says to himself, for, whatever you want to call it - soul, conscience, Jiminy Motherfuckin' Cricket - these split seconds when it escapes are always the most tightrope-jostling terrors. He shoves it back down, forgets about the ocean, and rises.

After a piss, he showers and shaves, quickly, so that he doesn't have to stare at his face in the mirror for too long. It's those times that he wishes he still wore glasses because then there was some buffer between himself and his reflection, which always talks back to him, forcing him to remember all the lies he was given to tell with a straight face, lies that he was told to speak as forcefully as gospel, and that he ran away because he couldn't stand seeing himself on television every night, demanding that no one question the lies he himself refused to question. When one lives under the threat of Dick Cheney breaking into your house and cutting your kids' jugulars in front of you, one tends to do what one is told.

Clean and dressed, he grabs a cup of coffee and pads into his office to check his email, get his talking points, read Drudge. He watches a clip of himself looking smilingly impatient on Hardball last night, when he told Chris Matthews, "But after September 11, having been hit once, how could we take a chance that Saddam might not strike again? And that's the threat that has been removed, and I think we're all safer with that threat being removed." He watches the entire segment. Goddamn, he thinks, that was kick-ass.

And then the video messenger pops up. It's Rove. Goddamnit. He just got dressed. "Ari, put on the fuckin' cam," Rove barks. Fleischer pauses, which just makes Rove angrier. "C'mon, you doe-eyed dick, I know you're there." Fleischer puts the cam on and asks Rove what he wants, as if he doesn't already know since Rove is sitting there without pants on. "You know what I want, Ari. Do it. Do the Oval Office trick." Shit, Fleischer thinks. How many times is he gonna have to go through this? Ever since he first did it on command for George W. Bush's amusement, Rove has come at him again and again.

Offering no resistance, Fleischer carefully removes his slacks and folds them over the chair. He turns the computer around so that the cam can get him in the middle of the floor. He drops his underwear and sits bare-ass on the rug. In the corner of his eye, he catches the screen and sees Rove starting to fondle his AAA battery of a penis. With the dexterity of a circus performer, Ari Fleischer pulls his legs behind his head and starts to suck his own cock. Rove moans as the former press secretary deep throats his own joint, jerkily bobbing his head up and down. A few moments of this, accompanied by a bit of anxious anus fingering, and both men groan as they cum together, Rove onto his lap, Fleischer into his mouth. It would surprise almost no one to hear that he's a swallower. The low rumble of Rove's voice comes from the computer's speakers: "That was good, Ari, really good. Talk to you soon." And the video window is gone.

Fleischer gets up, sighs, and wipes himself off with a Kleenex. He debates brushing his teeth as he puts his underwear and pants back on, but instead he swirls his cold coffee around his mouth. He sits back down at his computer, a little proud that he can still get the old legs back there. He uses some Purell on his asshole-fingering hand. And just as he sits back down and gets ready to do some more research, another window pops up. It's Bush. Fleischer rolls his eyes. He wonders why he even bothers putting pants on some mornings.


In Brief: Hey, Science, Glad to Have You Back. It's Been a While:
As the Rude Pundit wrote yesterday, demi-man Charles Krauthammer refused to go to Barack Obama's signing ceremony for his executive order allowing federal funding for embryonic stem cell research because Obama also issued a memorandum on scientific integrity that Krauthammer took as a dis to George W. Bush's habit of taking science out behind a barn, fucking it to tears and then shooting it three times in the back of its skull.

That memorandum is actually quite interesting because it says, in essence, the most patently obvious shit, that science is science and that's how it should be. Obama writes, "Political officials should not suppress or alter scientific or technological findings and conclusions...The selection of scientists and technology professionals for positions in the executive branch should be based on their scientific and technological knowledge, credentials, experience, and integrity."

And, fuck yeah, it's a kick in the nuts of the Bush administration. That's because there's no doubt that W and his band of plunderers regularly distorted, suppressed, or outright lied about scientific studies its own fucking researchers were conducting. Actual research, done as honestly as possible, shows us how the world is, not how we might want it, the very notion of which flew in the face of the deluded pseudo-utopians in the previous administration.

To demonstrate how serious he is about the second thing up there - the selection of people - Obama nominated Shere Abbott as associate director of environment for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Abbott is big-time in the field of global sustainability and has worked extensively on climate change. In other words, Obama is walking the walk.
Late Post Today:
The Rude Pundit is getting his package stimulated. Back in a bit with more rudiosity.


Obama, Stem Cells, and Pissy Right-Wingers (Updated):
First off, it's just gotta be pointed out, for no other reason than it's just damned funny, that the name of the rider to various bills that's been used to limit or ban federal funding of embryo creation for stem cell research is the Dickey-Wicker Amendment. And, if you're as goddamn tired and filled with scrips as the Rude Pundit's been the last few days, just saying "Dickey-Wicker" out loud will make you giggle like a Japanese schoolgirl. Dickey-Wicker (c'mon, that's hilarious) has been renewed every year since 1995, although interpreted differently by Presidents Clinton and Bush, but with President Obama's announcement that federal funding can be used on existing embryos, Dickey-Wicker might fall.

Predictably, Obama's executive order created a hategasm on the right. The Family Research Council (motto: "Only Jesus can heal the lepers") says, "His decision will allow government agencies to use federal money to encourage experiments on innocent human life." It's sort of like giving orphans typhoid to see what happens. Well, if the orphans were smaller than the head of a pin. In dealing with the fact that stem cells are drawn from the embryos, FRC President Tony Perkins continues, "Supporters of the decision are quick to point out that Americans won't be financing the death of embryos. Although we may not be funding the killing, we are funding the killers." In other words, it's far, far better that frozen embryos are eventually just incinerated. Where's all those wives of God lining up to get some snowflakes implanted? (By the way, Perkins solution? Dickey-Wicker.)

Sure, sure, you might have some moral qualms, but chances are you are not going as bugfuck insane as others. Like, say, Glenn Beck, a man begging for a cockpunch, who, on his radio show, went the full Nazi. Comparing embryonic stem cell research for cures to diseases to eugenics, Beck blabbered, "In case you don’t know what Eugenics led us to: the Final Solution. A master race! A perfect person." It's not unlike saying that making mudpies will lead to an army of golems overrunning the village. On his Fox "news" show, where he has to pretend to be sane, Beck turned it into an economic decision: "It's taking the funding out of the private sector and making taxpayers pay for it. In this economy, this is what we're spending our money on? Where are his priorities?" And thus you see where Beck's morality really rests.

Finally, past the evangelical flat-earthers and the paranoiacs, you get to the fuckwads, like Charles Krauthammer, a man who could stand to benefit from a few stem cells. He was invited to the signing ceremony, but declined for a few reasons, one of which bespeaks a man whose mouth is so firmly planted on the former president's ass cheeks that even remoras tell him to give it a rest. Also on Fox "news," Krauthammer (translation: "German cock") said that Obama "had a memorandum which he signed in which he talks about restoring the scientific integrity in government decisions, which was is an outrageous attack on Bush. I disagreed with where Bush ended up drawing the line on permissible research, but he gave in August of 2001 the single most morally serious presidential speech on medical ethics ever given." Yes, nuance and seriousness were the hallmarks of the Bush administration. Even though he agrees with Obama for the most part, Krauthammer continued, "So I think it was disrespectful. And in pretending, as Obama did, that there's never a conflict between ethics and science, he was wrong."

Strangely, the Rude Pundit agrees with Charlie Kraut on this last point. It's just that the conflict's been between science and backwards ass ethics and morality. It's been an irrational conflict, not a science-based one. That difference now is a huge leap forward, an evolution, if you will, in America's attitude towards what is possible to explore.

: From Holy Taco, "How the Religious Right Sees Stem Cell Research: A Comic Book."


Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Snort Lutefisk:

That flat-faced fuck up there is former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman (no, seriously, that is a disturbing damn profile - who the fuck hit him with a frying pan?). As the current vote tally of his race against Al Franken stands, Coleman is still behind by 225 votes. This, of course, leaves out the votes of independent candidate Dean Barkley, who received 15% of the vote. Combined with Franken's 42%, the math seems to indicate that 57% of Minnesotans don't want Norm Coleman to be their Senator. Yes, the same could be said of Franken, but Coleman was the one up for reelection. If you haven't convinced half your state that you're worth a shit after you've been in the Senate, then get the fuck out.

But in order to deny another vote for the Democrats in the Senate, Republicans are making sure that Coleman plays this degrading game of challenging the absentee and other ballots in every way shape or form, no matter how ridiculous or hypocritical. Aren't these the people that get their panties in a wad over frivolous lawsuits? And Coleman seems to show no signs that he minds. A wise man would have bailed by now. A decent man would have wanted to keep some dignity. But Norm Coleman is neither.

So call the photo above "Portrait of a Douchebag in Late Winter." Yeah, some things just seem like they're gonna drag on forever.


John McCain Won't Eat Pork:
The whole battle over a bullshit modicum of bullshit "pork barrel" projects is, well, bullshit. What's budgeted in the spending bill now before Congress for what some members consider pork and others consider essential spending in their districts or states is about 5% of the AIG bailout. And there's wee little John McCain, America's angriest leprechaun, jumpin' about and swingin' his crooked shillelagh like someone stole his pot o' gold, puffin' his pipe madly over 9000 "unnecessary and wasteful earmarks." Motherfucker's gotten on Twitter (users' motto: "Sweet Jesus, my life is such an unbearable void that I need to encourage stalkers") to crap out whatever his advisors tell him are the day's "10 Porkiest Projects."

As ever, as ever, one person's pork is another person's meat. And while loads of members of both parties have jumped on the hate-the-piggy wagon, let's just take a look or two at some of these hateful wastes of our money.

McCain cites "$632,000 for the Hungry Horse Project." What's cool about Twitter is that it allows you to say shit completely devoid of context or explanation. See, if you leave it at those few words, you may think, "Well, gee, shouldn't the horse's owners just feed them?" At which point, you would be a fucking idiot. Understandably so, but a fucking idiot no less. 'Cause, using the magic of the Google machine, the Hungry Horse Project is actually a dam, reservoir, and power plant in Montana. It provides hydroelectric power, flood control, and a great outdoor recreation area for the Columbia River basin. A bit above a half million for maintenance doesn't really seem like that much, but, then again, the Rude Pundit doesn't wanna shake his tiny fist at Mammon and Obama.

McCain tweets, "$3,806,000 for a Sun Grant Initiative in SD." That'd be about research at South Dakota State University, which works with schools around the nation to develop biofuels. You might think of this as a long-term investment in energy independence, but, then again, you are a fuckin' liberal tool who just wants to throw money at a problem.

And on and on: "$59,000 for Dismal Swamp and Dismal Swamp Canal in Virginia," which, again, sounds damn funny, except that Dismal Swamp is a national wildlife refuge maintained by the federal government, which means that it sometimes needs money so that it can be, you know, maintained.

McCain is such a baboon about this shit, mocking anything that has to do with science. And anything that has to do with community development. Are there stupid things in the bill? Fuck yeah. But we're talking $7 billion in a $410 billion bill to keep the government running. And if that's all you've got to bitch about, if you won't fuck that guy because he's got a mole on his arm, then you are just a vain bastard who loves to hear himself moan when he jacks off.


John Yoo Is a Piece of Shit: Even if given a free pass from prison and lawsuits, there's still precious few asses that the Rude Pundit would waste his time kicking. 'Cause, see, if you've never been a real fight as a grown up, something that no one tells you is that it fucking hurts, even if you win. Your hands will be fucked up - bloody and cut, and you'll be lucky if you don't break your knuckles. This doesn't even get into what it feels like if your opponent gets in a few good licks, the throbbing in your face, the ache in your gut. And you know all that adrenaline that tightens up every muscle in your body when you get into a car accident and how you feel like whiplashed shit no matter the outcome? Yeah, you'll feel that, too. It sucks. And, unless you're one of those assholes who gets into throwdowns every weekend because you're too fuckin' stupid to use your brain, you would do best to avoid it. But, again, only in theory, in that fantasyland of "get out of jail" free cards, the Rude Pundit would totally beat the living fuck out of legal "scholar" John Yoo. Not just because he was one of the primary bastards who gave the Bush administration irrational cover for its blatantly unconstitutional policies on detention, torture, and denial of rights. But because he's such a wad of fuck, a dullard prick who, as a professor, is actually given positions to directly influence the minds of students. And since the Rude Pundit knows a thing or two about academia, that insults him to the core. In a softball interview with the Orange County Register this week, new OC resident Yoo reveals that he has no self-doubts about his role in undermining the very foundations of the United States. And he's just such a cocksucker about it all. Here's Yoo's attitude towards the legislative branch: "Congress always wants to participate, and it wants to watch what the executive branch is doing and criticize when (Congress) thinks (the executive branch is) getting it wrong. It likes to take responsibility when things go well." It's no wonder that every memo he wrote was not about how to work with Congress, but how to defeat its will like the members were al-Qaeda's accomplices. And on those memos, Yoo ne regrette rien: "These memos I wrote were not for public consumption. They lack a certain polish, I think – would have been better to explain government policy rather than try to give unvarnished, straight-talk legal advice. I certainly would have done that differently, but I don't think I would have made the basic decisions differently." It's sort of like how Torquemada always thought the iron maidens in the dungeon squeaked too loudly, but who has the time to lube the hinges? See, John Yoo is a man with a clear sense of right and wrong: "Your client the president, or your client the justice on the Supreme Court, or your client this senator, needs to know what's legal and not legal. And sometimes, what's legal and not legal is not the same thing as what you can do or what you should do." One would think that logic would dictate that if it's not "legal," then by definition it's something you can't do. Unless, well, you expand the notion of legal to include anything your client wants to do. Like if you're trying to fuck a goat's asshole and it's just too tight to accommodate you. You could take that as a sign that perhaps you shouldn't be fucking the livestock. But if you're John Yoo, you just cut a hole in the side of the goat and start fucking it there. And for John Yoo, there is no such thing as middle ground. Talking about the memos, Yoo said, "We didn't seek out those questions. 9/11 kind of thrust them on us. No matter what you do, there's going to be a lot of people who are upset with your decision. If Bush had done nothing, there would be a lot of people upset with his decision, too." See? You either abandon all the rights and principles of the Constitution or you do nothing. Black or white, motherfuckers, black or white. Gray is for pussies. Fuck this guy. Every time a student walks into his classroom, he or she should take a huge shit on his desk and use his assignments to wipe their asses. To put it another way, would you trust a calculus teacher who can't even tell you what 1+1 equals?


John Yoo and His Merry Band of Traitorous Lawyers:
The Rude Pundit has always looked on the Constitution fondly, like an old lover who occasionally calls to reminisce about all those wonderful steamy evenings in fine hotels in Boston and Philadelphia, that passionate headboard-thumping sex, the mornings in each other's arms, romantic, simple, idealized in memory, yet still viscerally exciting to recall. A Bush administration conservative, though, looked at the Constitution like a one-night stand bar pick-up that they can tell their buddies about later, high-fiving one another over tales of how one degraded that bitch, made her feel like shit as he fucked her in the ass and then said how fat she was, tied her up and pissed on her, and then took cell phone pictures of her when she finally passed out with her arms and legs still roped apart, laughing because, well, she may be a person, but why not use her 'til she's used up?

It's been said here before and, until someone's mea culpa'ed this shit, it's gonna be said again that John Yoo should not be allowed anywhere near law students. In fact, there should be aversion shock therapy on his nutsack so that if he even thinks about teaching constitutional law, he'll feel that sharp, grinding pain in his balls. For reading the memoranda from the Bush Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel written by Yoo, Jay Bybee, and others is not unlike listening to a particularly articulate tweener explain why it's okay to get a tattoo of the Halo Master Chief on his forearm. No matter how rational-sounding it may be, you know that ultimately it's bullshit.

The memos themselves are little doorways into the fact that, until they were repudiated, the executive branch of our government, post 9/11, decided that the Constitution was for suckers and bin Laden's bitches and, like that beaten bar pick-up, just there to use to get its rocks off.

Look at the June 27, 2002 memo. There, in giving Constitutional cover to the idea that the laws of the United States do not apply to the President as long as some vague idea of "war" is occurring, Yoo writes, "The fact that a detainee is an American citizen, thus, does not affect the President's constitutional authority as Commander in Chief to detain him, once it was been determined that he is an enemy combatant." They don't need to have done anything to be so determined, just have been "associated" with whoever has been vaguely defined as the "enemy." Or as Yoo says, "Nothing further need be demonstrated to justify their detention as enemy combatants."

Yoo went through what becomes a near-Joycean word game to say, at bottom, that the President can imprison a citizen without charge for as long as he damn well pleases. That would seem to be in complete opposition to the U.S. criminal code, which reads, "No citizen shall be imprisoned or otherwise detained by the United States except pursuant to an Act of Congress." And you know that when Congress said that George W. Bush can go get 'em some 9/11 terr'ists, they meant that Bush can lock up citizens and deny them habeas corpus rights. Well, at least Yoo says that's what the authorization meant.

Sometimes the memos are nearly breathtaking in their authors' desire to completely undermine what seems to be the straightforward meaning of the articles and amendments of the Constitution. In the April 8, 2002 memo arguing against a congressional act that sought to create rules for detention and military tribunals, Patrick Philbin essentially says that checks and balances are "fucking bullshit." (That's not an exact quote, but it is approximate.)

The Rude Pundit has mentioned the 2002 memos because they were not written in the heat of the desperate flailing about that the Bush administration engaged in after 9/11. These were considered actions by people who truly don't give a sad rat's fuck about what makes America American. The damned soul of Richard Nixon must be repeatedly slapping his enormous forehead, wondering why the hell he didn't think about doing this, shaking his fist and screaming, "Haldeman, goddamn you." Meanwhile, the ghost of James Madison wonders how in the fuck anyone could interpret the damn document to mean that a Commander in Chief is essentially a king. An ever-masturbating Ben Franklin just shakes his head.


This Is Going To Take Some Getting Used To, Part 2 (Budget Edition):
From President Barack Obama's 2010 Budget proposal for the Department of Justice:
"The Budget includes $145 million for the Civil rights Division to strengthen civil
rights enforcement against racial, ethnic, sexual preference, religious and gender discrimination."

George W. Bush's 2008 Budget proposal for Justice? Not only no mention of "sexual preference," but no mention of civil rights. Actually, no mention of "rights" at all.

In Obama's budget for the Department of Health and Human Services:
"The Budget supports State, community-based, and faith-based efforts to reduce teen pregnancy using evidence-based models. The program will fund models that stress the importance of abstinence while providing medically-accurate and age-appropriate
information to youth who have already become sexually active."

Don't you just love that little jab? Like "evidence-based" is just a way to say, "It's time to live in reality, America. Kids will fuck whether you like it or not."

In Obama's budget for the Department of the Interior:
"Climate change poses a threat to America’s fish and wildlife, as natural habitats are modified more rapidly than plants and animals can adjust. Scientific analyses are needed to understand the breadth of these changes...The Budget includes increases of more than $130 million, of which $40 million is shared with the States for wildlife adaptation."

There's the absolute proof that the Obama administration accepts climate change. It's not a question that needs to be studied. It is a reality that needs to be dealt with. The word "climate" is not in Bush's 2008 budget.

This is not to mention: "Additionally, the Budget increases funds by $10 million for North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) activities to acquire, restore, or protect wetlands used by migratory waterfowl and other birds. This is the first step in fully funding NAWCA at $75 million by 2012."

In Obama's budget for the Department of Labor:
"For the past eight years, the Department’s labor law enforcement agencies have struggled with growing workloads and shrinking staff. The President’s Budget seeks to reverse this trend...The Budget will: increase funding for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, enabling it to vigorously enforce workplace safety laws and whistleblower protections, and ensure the safety and health of American workers" and more.

Over and over in this budget, in domestic issues, the Obama administration is demonstrating that liberalism deals in reality, in the lived existences of average people, and not in the realm of ideologically-defined social engineering, as conservatives would have it. The climate is changing, "sexual preference" is a protected category, and abstinence-only education has failed. These are simple facts. Denial piled upon denial has brought us here. Now their consitituents need to tell Republicans to help clean up their own fucking mess.


Rush Limbaugh Dined For Your Sins:
Rush Limbaugh has not seen his penis since the 1960s. When he "lost" all that weight so quickly about ten years ago, the flap of stretched stomach flesh still blocked his view. And now that he's gained it all back, there hasn't even been a shadow visible. No, it's been a very, very long time. Memory is a callous mistress. The women that he met, married, and/or fucked all had the same arc of description in the course of the relationship. Early on, when he would say, as foreplay, "Tell me what my cock looks like," they would describe it as "magnificent in its girth" or "so huge it hurts," anything to keep up Limbaugh's confidence so he could maintain an erection because sometimes, no matter how much Viagra you're downing like Tic-Tacs, you can still get the big psychological blood blockage and, alas, damned flaccidity follows. Ask Daryn Kagan. She'll tell you of nights with Limbaugh where her pussy felt like it had been slapped repeatedly with a dried vienna sausage, where the radio host wept that his ham hock arms couldn't reach around his couch pillow gut to yank himself into tumescence, where Kagan comforted him by cooing how very big it was, how it frightened her. Well, she actually had to yell it so he could hear, but it was shouted version of cooing. Soothing, but loud.

Of course, as the relationship turned sour, the women would tell him they lied, that he had a tiny prick, the size of a newborn's thumb. As far as Limbaugh's concerned, lovers only tell the truth while they're loving. Yes, them and Dominican child prostitutes. Yes, it has all left Limbaugh with delusions of grandeur about his dick. He has no direct evidence that he's right about it, only the word of the sycophantic and the paid. But that doesn't stop him from going online, whenever he's shifted his girth from his radio chair to his home computer chair, and claiming that he's got a ginormous johnson. It is the way of rich men who are so morbidly, revoltingly obese that even their wealth can't attract partners. The truth about his cock size is insignificant here. Reality is merely an impediment. The only thing that matters is it's all about Rush Limbaugh's dick.

In his appearance this past Saturday at CPAC (motto: "Pretending this matters since 1973"), Limbaugh was at his most pathetic, attention-whoring in a way that'd make actual whores say, "You don't need to actually show your snatch to get customers." One could go through the speech line by line and demonstrate every contradiction, every historical fucktardery, every just plain wrong idea or "fact," but none of us has that much time (however, see examples in the notes below). We could spend our time talking about what the fuck CNN was thinking in airing the entire speech live.

Instead, let's just say this: Rush Limbaugh (and Sean Hannity and every other conservative bag of shit that's piled up on the curbs of our nation) is fucking thrilled that Barack Obama is President. He is not a politician. He is only beholden to corporations. He is merely an ephemeral presence. He exists only as long as his ratings stay high. And Obama's win is a goddamned gift because he and his legions of taint-licking, deluded, chanting drones can work themselves into some kind of froth about every goddamn thing that Democrats do for the next 2, 4, or 8 years. He just got a new lease on life, motherfuckers, and that's like another legal scrip for oxycontin. Pure fuckin' bliss, man.

If the face the Republicans want for its future is this, this sweaty self-aggrandizer, this fat fuck, this demonstrable embodiment of the seven deadly sins, he who is everything that we should hate about capitalism and, indeed, the indulgences of this nation, Diamond Jim Brady without the class, this proud rube who spouts lies and hatred, then bring it, bitches. Like so many on the right, Limbaugh is using the same goddamn lines he's been using for years. He has no idea what he's up against this time. The vast majority of the nation has moved on from the sad plump man in his tiny room.

Contradiction: Limbaugh said that liberals were "afraid of offending" Joseph Stalin, and then he criticized Joe Biden for the then-candidate saying that 7-11 employees were Indian, explaining that if conservatives said something so outrageous, they'd be excoriated. Apparently, aligning the left with a mass murderer is not outrageous.

Historical fucktardery: Limbaugh talked about how the New Deal and the Great Society programs wrecked this country when previously he wondered "How did the United States of America become the world's lone super power, the world's economic engine, the most prosperous opportunity for an advanced lifestyle that humanity has ever known?" (China would probably like to dispute at least two of those notions.) Since that has only happened, truly, since the 1940s, one might like to think that the very things that Limbaugh criticizes didn't exactly hinder the country.

Just plain wrong: Limbaugh said, "We believe that the Preamble of the Constitution contains an inarguable truth, that we are all endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights -- among them life, liberty, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness." Does this even need to be explained?