A Final Word on the Health Care Summit: President Obama Calmly Fucks the Republicans:
A few things up front here: The Senate health care reform bill, as it stands, is not a good bill. The House bill is significantly better in actually achieving, you know, reform of health care. Most Democrats know that. The Senate bill exists in its current form only because of the hope of appeasing conservative Democrats and compromising with Republicans. Everyone in Congress knows that. The Republicans just pretend like they don't. A truly progressive bill is far, far closer to the House than the Senate. Yet many progressives are willing to vote for the Senate version because something has to happen in health care. Are you gonna give up on banning pre-existing conditions? Or dropping coverage? Ask every old time Fuller Brush salesman: You have to get your foot in the door before you can make the final sale.

Also, everyone knew that, ultimately, yesterday's Health Care Summit o' the Good Ship "Bipartisan" was going to fail to do anything. That wasn't the point of the exercise. No, the reason why Democrats and Republicans sat down at the Blair House was so that, at the end of the day, Republicans could not say that they didn't make their case. And if they do (as in complaining about how much President Obama talked), well, there's a few hours of video that prove the opposite.

What Obama did yesterday will either go down as the naive last gasps of hope and change on health care reform or as a stroke of genius, providing cover for Democrats and resuscitating an effort that will progress from the degraded baseline of the current bill. With what seems to be honest-to-Christ momentum towards reconciliation, the Rude Pundit believes the latter. He thinks that Barack Obama calmly, gently, even, fucked the Republicans in the ass yesterday, his well-lubed thrusts just enough to make them comfortable until the very end.

You have heard or will hear from yer awesome CNNMSNBCFox talking heads spewing forth about about Republicans having done well or Democrats having fucked it up. On Morning Starbucks with Joe today, Mark Halperin helpfully offered that the nigger was being uppity when Obama referred to the members of Congress by their first names. Halperin fanned himself frantically and said that Obama was being "disrespectful" and almost "bullying" towards a group of politicians who at various times have accused him of being an evil socialist and trying to destroy the nation by killing old people. Halperin, though, generally has sand in his vagina. Who wants to be the first to show a meeting where Bush did the same thing with no complaints from Mark Halperin?

You may see again and again the clip where Obama and the increasingly creepy John McCain got into it. Or how Obama smacked the fuck out of John Boehner. Or how Obama shut down Eric Kantor. Or how strangely rational Tom Coburn sounded, as the Rude Pundit noted yesterday. But what actually happened yesterday was that Obama kept highlighting how obsessed the Republicans were with process, with whether or not something passes through reconciliation, with the repetition of "start over," although they never really said what starting over would look like. They talked procedure and price. Meanwhile, the Democrats kept bringing it all back to flesh and blood, to stories of people dicked over by insurance companies, people who have no insurance, on and on with endless tales of suffering wrought by the injustice of there being haves and have-nots in this country when it comes to getting dentures or having surgery on a baby. It wasn't showy. It was even really boring at times since both sides stuck to well-worn talking points.

No, it's not a good bill. But it's a bill that will help many, many people. That's the bottom line. It will make insurance companies richer. It will please lobbyists and donors. But it will also help millions of people. That's the fucking trade-off. And the subconsciously subversive part of it is that, in a few years, it will show how ridiculous it is to not have nationalized health care (which is one reason the Rude Pundit thinks that some Republicans oppose it).

Back to the summit: Republicans may not have noticed how well they were being fucked until the end. That's when Obama told them, more or less, "I'm fucking you right now" and thrust his dick in hard. After having offered them every opportunity to say they agree with him on something, Republicans remained recalcitrant. So Obama said, "I've put on the table now some things that I didn't come in here saying I supported, but that I was willing to work with potential Republican sponsors on. I'd like the Republicans to do a little soul searching and find out are there some things that you'd be willing to embrace that get to this core problem of 30 million people without health insurance and dealing seriously with the preexisting condition issue." Of course, Republicans "soul searching" presupposes quite a bit.

That was the tease around the sphincter. It continued, "And the truth of the matter is, is that, politically speaking, there may not be any reason for Republicans to want to do anything. I mean, we can debate what our various constituencies think. I know that -- I don't need a poll to know that most of Republican voters are opposed to this bill and might be opposed to the kind of compromise we could craft. So it would be very hard for you politically to do this." Yeah, it's like they thought they'd get away with just the head.

But then, Obama concluded, "So the question that I'm going to ask myself and I ask of all of you is, is there enough serious effort that in a month's time or a few weeks' time or six weeks' time, we could actually resolve something. And if we can't, then I think we've got to go ahead and make some decisions and then that's what elections are for. We have honest disagreements about the vision for the country and we'll go ahead and test those out over the next several months till November."

That was the final, full-shaft fucking. The President called out the Republicans on their greatest hope, that the failure of health care reform will end the Democratic majority in Congress. Obama told them to bring it. And, most frighteningly for them, he fucked them calmly, like he knows he's right.

Of course, nothing is done until Democrats in Congress actually prove they're not willing to be the bitches of the minority. But, at least for that moment, the President showed who could do the fucking, too.


Twitter: When Blogs Take Too Long:
The Rude Pundit is tweeting himself while watching the rest of this summit thingy.
Live Irish Coffee Blogging the First Hour or So of the Greatest Summit in the History of Anything Vaguely Health Care-Related:
You know, you'd think these fuckers were meeting over something more than a few marginal improvements in the savage health care system of America. But Irish coffee, bigoted a name though it may be, is a hell of a drink in the snowy a.m. Let's CSPAN-3 this motherfucker, yo.

9:57: McCain and Boehner standing next to a big ass stack of paper. And it's clipped in sections. Will there be handouts? Will they still be copier warm?

9:58: Aw, shit, there comes Obama down the street. Someone cue the Reservoir Dogs music.

10:04: Obama enters. Mitch McConnell looks like he's gonna cry from the President's touch.

10:05: He's shaking everyone's hand. My god, let's hope someone brought the Purell for after he touches some of these skeevy fuckers.

10:08: Where's the teleprompter? For the love of God, where is the teleprompter? Has he had it implanted in his eyes? Or how else is he speaking like he knows what he's saying?

10:11: "Almost all the long-term deficits we face is due to Medicare and Medicaid" costs.

10:13: Getting personal about the illness in his life, putting the smackdown on insurance companies with regards to his grandmother.

10:14: McCain is gonna pop because Obama is using Republican statements against them.

10:16: Obama says they agree on significant issues. Republicans trying to figure out how to filibuster themselves.

10:18: Obama explains just how little the bills actually offer, mostly because Republicans (and some Democrats) have built a wall of the bodies of the dead.

10:20: Obama wants it to not just be "political theatre." Somewhere, a CNN executive wept.

10:21: Obama said, "Tit." (Sure, yeah, it was followed by "for tat," but it was still sexy.)

10:22: Lamar Alexander laconically says that the "American people" don't want the bill. He says he wants to "start over."

10:23: Oh, fuck, now Alexander's telling a story about how he was too much of a pussy as governor to stand by his beliefs as a lesson for Obama.

10:24: Alexander's talkin' about Obama's grandma. Shit's gonna get serious now.

10:25: Man, Lamar's one talking point talkin' motherfucker.

10:27: He's beating to death an analogy of Detroit putting out a new car model. It has, to put it his context, driven off a cliff.

10:28: Alexander: "There are good ideas, and they are all Republican. Suck on my bipartisanship."

10:30: Alexander's suggestion for making it a bipartisan session: Give up reconciliation. Or "Cut off your arm and then we'll fight."

10:31: Alexander talks about "tyranny of the majority" in regards to reconciliation. Of course, that doesn't apply to gay rights.

10:36: Nancy Pelosi says that the House of Representatives is not the Senate's younger sibling.

10:37: Teddy Kennedy evocation number 2.

10:38: Pelosi has seen grown men cry. Word. By the way, the Rude Pundit likes Pelosi probably more than most in out here in the hinterlands of Left Blogsylvania, and he's glad to see her in a public setting that demonstrates that she knows how to kick ass.

10:40: Finally, Pelosi says what the Rude Pundit's been saying, that businesses can't get started because of fears of losing or providing health care.

10:43: Teddy Kennedy evocation number 3. And Pelosi points out just how fucking long they've been working on the bill, for over a year.

10:44: Jesus Gutierrez and his cleft-palette baby make their first appearance. Wait...who?

10:45: Harry Reid makes the first factual smackdown on polls about health care reform, calling Lamar Alexander a liar.

10:47: What Obama has done here is fascinating. He's making a public demonstration of the competence and bipartisanship of the Democrats. If Republicans were smart, they'd walk out. They're about to get their asses handed to them. A walk-out would change the story. But, you know, they're Republicans. They're gonna try to bully their way out of this.

10:49: And Reid is kicking all kinds of ass right now.

10:52: Obama's wearing a flag pin. Lamar Alexander isn't. Who loves America more now, motherfuckers?

10:53: Obama on process to Alexander, "Dude, get over the reconciliation thing. You ain't gonna get what you want."

10:55: Obama gets crazy with the facts. Adultery abettor Tom Coburn must be aching to point out that he's a doctor.

10:56: John McCain? Not wearing a flag pin.

10:57: Need more coffee. Need more whiskey. This might be a good moment to go for it.

10:58: Smackdown over cost of policies and CBO numbers. Lamar Alexander is from Tennessee. When a black man gets upset with him, he must want to cross the street.

11:02: Alexander just blinked. He has no answer on costs. Image of the summit so far: Obama confidently talking about facts while Alexander shuffled through papers confusedly.

11:03: Boo-yah. Tom Coburn, the love doctor, makin' a house call.

11:04: Oh, yeah, he's makin' the medical metaphors. Symptoms, disease. That shit's comedy gold at AMA conventions.

11:06: Coburn talks about percentage of government-run health care costs that is fraud. How much fraud is there in private-run insurance costs?

11:07: Coburn wants to ration care by limiting testing. Actually, he's talking competently and reasonably about prevention and nutrition. If he could lift Mitch McConnell's balls and get out from under his taint, Coburn might actually have something to say.

11:11: Ooh, Coburn proposes undercover patients as a solution to fraud. Secret spy shit. It works so well in stopping drug dealing.

11:13: Steny Hoyer. He's already boring. He hopes families are sitting around and watching this. The Rude Pundit hopes they have jobs or are at school.

11:14: Fuck, okay, we know. People get cancer. Insurance companies are fuckers to them.

11:15: Oh, shit, McCain just gave Hoyer that "I'm gonna stab a guard with this bamboo shiv" look.

11:16: Hoyer to Coburn: "We're doing shit you want to do. What the fuck, man?"

11:19: C'mon, this is talking point-palooza. Shit needs to get real. It's just speech after speech.

11:22: Obama may be trying to make this into a conversation. Will it happen? Or will it continue to just be like a session of Congress, only with seated speakers.

11:23: Minnesota Kline, Republican, is the next to speechify. Hey, did you know that small businesses are the backbone of the backbone of the economy?

11:26: Max Baucus is nervous. He needs a drink. Blink, man, blink. It's fuckin' creepy.

11:27: Baucus: "All that shit you Republicans are talking about? We do it. We just wanna do more. What the fuck else do you want?" Coburn wants to point out again that he's a doctor.

11:29: Just did a staring contest with Max Baucus. He won.

11:30: Well, fuck, Baucus, if you point out that Coburn's a doctor, how can he do it? New metaphor: health care exchanges are like Orbitz or Expedia. It's like if Aetna had a garden gnome to check your prostate.

More tomorrow, maybe later.


GOP Crapping Their Pants Over Reconciliation:
They're shitting themselves at the prospect. You can tell by their words, their sweaty brows, their quavering voices, their huffy outrage, all masking that they are shitting themselves. Ask any news person who has interviewed a GOP senator in the last few days. All of the Republicans reek of shit. And it would do no good to change their panties because at the sound of the word "reconciliation," they just shit themselves again. The word itself is one they have used on many occasions to push through legislation in avoidance of the beaten-to-death filibuster. But now it is being used against them, which means that all the screaming in the world will amount to nothing more than dissipated noise in a vacuum.

Mitch McConnell shit himself on live television this past Sunday with Chris "I Gave Rupert Murdoch My Family's Integrity" Wallace, when he said of the possibility of health care reform passing the Senate through reconciliation, "The American people do not want this bill to pass, and it strikes me as rather arrogant to say, 'Well, we’re going to give it to you anyway.'"

On Monday, Olympia "Wow, How Fast Have I Gone From Queen to Beggar" Snowe shit herself loudly in front of reporters after the jobs bill vote on Monday when she said, "I don’t see reconciliation as acceptable. I think that that’s a huge mistake, frankly — tactically, strategically and in terms of what is in the best interest of the American people. And I think that that would be a very important step, and gesture, if the president and the leadership removed it, rather than having that as sort of wielding this power, you know, by using an arbitrary tool for purposes that have not been heretofore used."

Back on February 14, John Kyl shit himself in front of new CNN State of the Union anchor Candy Crowley, who wondered if she signed up for beshitted pants duty. Kyl said, "What that means is they’ve devised the process by which they can jam the bill through that the president has supported in the past, without Republican ideas in it. Reconciliation is not the process for comprehensive bills like this. It’s for balancing the budget."

Jim Demint shit himself so completely that he even splattered his aides when he called reconciliation "tyrannical," which means he thinks that passing a bill by a majority of Senators in, you know, the whole Senate is the equivalent of Pol Pot. He promises to try to gum up the works with endless amendments. DeMint is pretty much the underwear bomber of the Senate, though, so it's to be expected that he'll be a total dickbag.

You know you've got your opponent cornered when he starts saying that the rules of the game are rigged against him. The question is whether or not the other players are willing to stick to the rules as they stand.


The Rude Pundit on Monday's Stephanie Miller Show:
The Rude Pundit talks to Stephanie Miller about how Glenn Beck gave a demented CPAC speech/creepfest and how David Petraeus is probably gay and what makes Andrew Breitbart's head explode.

The Rude Pundit podcast is free, motherfuckers. Subscribe away.
The OPR Torture Memos Report: What Is Enhanced Interrogation Technique Number 12?:
Pages 35 and 36 of the July 29, 2009 report by the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility, regarding the torture memos used by the Bush administration to create a legal framework for, you know, torture, contains a list of interrogation techniques that were approved for use on Abu Zubaydah, also known as "the evillest man who ever lived (until the next one comes along)." We've known about these. They include waterboarding and walling. There's also sleep deprivation, described as "The subject is prevented from sleeping, not to exceed 11 days at a time."

Lest you think Zubaydah was being let off easy by being forced awake for 11 days, there's this footnote: "As initially proposed, sleep deprivation was to be induced by shackling the subject in a standing position with his feet chained to a ring in the floor and his arms attached to a bar at head level, with very little room for movement." In other words, sleep deprivation through crucifixion pose. So you know all those Wizard of Id cartoons you never laughed at? It was like that, with the arms a bit lower and still not funny.

There's 11 proposed techniques described. Then, at the bottom of page 36, there is a twelfth. Number 12 has been redacted. An ominous black box of authority covers it. If, as seems, the techniques are listed by increasing severity, from "attention grasp" to waterboarding, what comes next?

Number 12 seems to be the subject of discussion later, on page 54. John Yoo, in a rare moment of restraint, says to the OPR, "I had actually thought that we prohibited waterboarding. I didn't recollect that we had actually said that you could do it." Except, you know, they did it. Then the report says that the Office of Legal Counsel "told the CIA that approval of the remaining techniques could take longer if [redacted] were part of the EIT program. [CIA Legal Counsel John] Rizzo remembered Yoo asking how important the technique was to the CIA because it would 'take longer' to complete the memorandum if it were included." So John Yoo didn't tell the CIA, "No, you can't [fill in the blank with your favorite torture here - let's go with "put electrodes on his testicles"]." What he said was, "If you want to put electrodes on his testicles, it's gonna take us a little more time to come up with bullshit justification for it."

The report as a whole is fascinating stuff, like reading the heavily redacted Federalist Papers of the damned. On page 57, lawyers discuss things like whether or not Abu Zubaydah is allergic to certain insects. Then Deputy Attorney General Patrick Philbin gets worried about how indefinite the description of "severe pain" was: "He said he thought the clinical terminology of the statute was 'imprudent' to use in this context and that it did not provide 'useful, concrete guidance concerning what amounts to "severe pain."' Philbin said this was a practical concern and turned on the fact that there is no readily identifiable level of pain that precedes medical events such as organ failure." Again, the discussion was not whether or not to do it. It was on how best to hide it. This was where Yoo said, "They want it in there." The "they" presumably being the White House and/or the CIA who wanted to cover asses.

Yes, much of the parade of horrors that Yoo, Jay Bybee, and, it seems, Jennifer Koester helped give the veneer of honorable behavior is well-known. And Yoo revels in being as much of a dick as possible about this. When he said, blithely, "Sure," to the question of whether the president had the legal authority to order the massacre of a village of resisters, one merely has to ask, "And how would Americans feel if the Mexican president believed he had the authority to send his troops to kill everyone in Laredo?" Twee academic Yoo seems to have gotten caught up in his moment of finally being able to play the cowboy and not that poor, pantsed nerd whose tiny dick gets laughed at by the cheerleaders.

But the Rude Pundit keeps coming back to number 12. On page 84 of the report, the CIA Counter Terrorism Center says they believe that Abu Zubaydah was "still withholding information," even though he had been through the EIT program. "Senior CIA officials reportedly made the decision to resume the use of the waterboard," the report says. That's followed by a redacted part of the sentence. But whatever else was done, it allowed interrogators to agree after "that the subject was being truthful."

Number 12 must have been a hell of a thing. We should be proud as Americans to have constructed such a well thought-out system of forced confessions and brutality in our name.


Glenn Beck's Idiot History for Idiot America:
Glenn Beck's insane rant at the close of the Conservative Political Action Conference (motto: "The sad part is that Ron Paul really is the best candidate we have") would be comical just for the combination of mock self-effacement and delusional visions of grandiosity that has become Beck's stock in trade. But it reaches farce because Beck presents himself as this self-taught historian, the kind of asshole who read a book yesterday and think he's an expert on shit from that book. The Rude Pundit's read a couple of hundred detective novels and police procedurals, and he doesn't feel he is prepared to put on his houndstooth hat and start tracking down murderers. Not Beck. Motherfucker thinks he's Will Durant 'cause he stays up until 2 a.m. with his spectacles on some damn book or other.

Like every great huckster in history, Beck's got his patter down, to where he confidently states shit that is simply, demonstrably false or, at best, exaggerated to the point of absurdity. To fact check the entire speech would be like asking a crack whore what diseases she's carrying. But, like sores on an upper lip, some things are more obvious than others. Like this: "Warren Harding gets in, he starts for a little bit – he has a – he has a heart attack." Harding was president for over two years from 1921-1923. He signed into law the act creating the GAO and the OMB, and he lowered taxes. His campaign motto was, "Less government in business and more business in government." So sorry, Republicans, that he had to have the Teapot Dome Scandal lay waste to his legacy. He oughta be a hero to the right, except they have to deny him, like they have to deny Nixon, like they have to deny Bush (notice that they talk more about Cheney).

But to gloss over Harding on the way to Calvin Coolidge, who was really just following Harding's policies, is simply history for the dunderheaded. Which must be why Beck said of Harding's death, "I think that may be through divine providence, maybe a little bit, because Calvin Coolidge comes in." How did he come to his Coolidge worship? Through long study? Fuck you, you arugula-eating, elitist pigfucker. Beck read a book about Coolidge. Have you? "Now I’m reading about him, I don’t know, six months ago," Beck hyped, "and I’m like, I seem to remember – wasn’t that one of Ronald Reagan’s favorite presidents? For a reason."

Beck attacked progressivism as if he just saw Joseph McCarthy get raped by Lenin. And, again, his history is just fucked. He said of Woodrow Wilson trying to get the country on board about the League of Nations, "The American people rejected it, and they were so freaked out about the whole progressive movement that progressives decided to change their name – we’re liberals – ta ha, I hate those progressive things. We’re liberals, that’s what we are."

Umm, no. Actually, Wilson's failed whistle stop tour of the Western United States was not the death knell of Progressivism. Indeed, the Progressive Party would run candidates in elections through the 1920s. What caused the shift from "progressive" to "liberal" was FDR's embrace of the "l" word and the successful rhetorical alignment of "progressive" with "communist."

But you know what? Fuck this. It's useless. His followers will get their history diluted through Beck's stupidity. Ultimately, real history has nothing to do with the imagined history that Beck spouts like the obsessive, ignorant dry drunk that he is. His fantasy America stopped advancing, progressing, if you will, in the mid-1920s. He wants to go back to the cruelties of that era, the social Darwinism of a new Gilded Age. Welfare and safety nets? Those are for the weak.

It's a goddamned insult that people listen to this man, that he was cheered by anyone. Here's what he said about the painting "Washington Crossing the Delaware": "George Washington – that big gigantic painting that’s now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art – that’s not the original. That was the second. The first one – it was destroyed in World War II in a museum in Germany. Why was it in Germany? Because an American German painted it for his fellow countrymen. Because they were looking at – where are we going to go, what are we going to do? Remember Nietzsche, Marx – coming from Germany. People were struggling for answers. He painted an enormous painting of our founders, not for us – for them: look at this example."

Emanuel Leutze did indeed paint it to inspire Germans in the wake of the Revolutions of 1848, revolutions that were inspired in part by Marx and Engels, who thought it would lead to proletarian rule. He wanted to encourage revolutionaries in his native land. He was a liberal. The original painting was indeed destroyed in World War II by British bombing raids on Bremen. However, the copy was done by Leutze in 1851. Idiots fall for this shit.

Reality is complicated. Glenn Beck is simple.


There Is Violence Here:

Oh, let's not be children here. Andrew Joseph Stack committed an act of terrorism yesterday in Austin as surely as Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to on that Detroit-bound airplane two months ago, as surely as Timothy McVeigh did, as surely as the 9/11 hijackers did. Indeed, one way to view Stack is as a merging of McVeigh and Mohammed Atta.

For, truly, while they may be different in kind, in the specific grievances, are the things that drove Joe Stack to a suicide attack on the IRS different in tone from those that led Abdulmutallab onto his plane? A feeling of disempowerment that only great violence could overcome? A belief that the American way of life was debased? A hope that others will rise up through their sacrifice? Inspiration from groups and belief systems that advocate violence?

Why can we say Stack was driven insane, as if that abrogates the crime, but Mohammed Atta was not? If the Austin police had captured Stack, would they have discovered that he was inspired by websites that provoke retaliation against phantom enemies? Or by the recorded rantings of Glenn Beck, who said back in July 2009, "People don't trust the government, they go out and buy a gun"? (At this point, we need to be careful about Stack, for his beliefs straddle a line between teabagger jihadi and confused Marxist. Truly, you can expect the end of his suicide note to be quoted as a way of aligning him with liberals.)

There is violence here, in America. It is brewing, in many quarters, and it is fanned on by those who have no idea of its consequences and will not participate in its acts. But combine that urging forward with desperation, and it will end in more acts like Joe Stack's. Or Nidal Hasan's. Or Jim Adkisson's. Or Mohammed Atta's. The inarticulate rage of the deluded and despairing, fostered by those who benefit from the violence, is released in a barbaric yelp, an expression of the helpless hate that hate produces.


Family Research Council: God Hates Gays, Doesn't Want Tens of Millions of Americans to Have Health Insurance:
Yessiree, it's time once again for we members of the Family Research Council's Super-Duper Prayer Team to get on our knees and give God a dirty prayerchez. The Rude Pundit joined the Super-Duper Prayer Team a couple of years ago under a nom de rude, and every week, the good preachifyin' people of the Family Research Council (motto: "Vaginas are gross, and we're not real fond of penises, either") send out a list o' shit what needs our prayers.

The latest praynalingus orders tell us to thank the Lord for allowing people to be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition: "God has heard our cries and helped us halt the advance of the 'health reform' freight train engineered by President Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and others." Motherfucker works in some mysterious ways, no? Sure, God Almighty oughta be occupyin' his time with, you know, healing the heathen in Haiti, but since he has a few minutes, we gotta implore him, "May any bill that expands socialized medicine in America be defeated!"

The rest of our prayerturbation has to be spent on the gays. For, indeed, there's queer activity afoot, like the legislative effort to ban discrimination in schools because of sexual orientation. The FRC tells the SDPT, "The bill will have the effect of giving special rights and protection to those who practice sexual behaviors that were illegal in many states just seven years ago." Holy Jesus, just seven years ago, we could openly discriminate against gay people for the sin of being gay. Now we can't. That calls for repetition of the word "homosexual" because it sounds scary: "Openly homosexual Representative Jared Polis (D-Colo.) is chief sponsor of the bill, which would give radical homosexual activist Kevin Jennings almost unlimited power to mandate his vision of homosexual indoctrination in schools across America." You may say, "But I don't want my son in high school to be mandated by law to give blow jobs to Kevin Jennings," but that's just what'll happen if the homosexuals and their homosexual hands spread their homosexuality. Homosexual.

Of course, nothing says, "God help us" like the horror of gays in the military. So the invisible sky wizard has to hear us when we beg, "May God, the American people and our service men and women intervene to keep our military from being sexualized by homosexual activists." Because that heterosexuality is working out so well.

Oh, we're given seemingly random bible verses to give holy street cred to our imprecations. Like 1 Chronicles 12:32-33, which reads, "men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do—200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command/ men of Zebulun, experienced soldiers prepared for battle with every type of weapon, to help David with undivided loyalty-50,000." This is confusing because it doesn't note if the soldiers are gay or not. Surely, not in ancient times. No...umm, are you there God?


Conservatives Are Signing Some Worthless Thing Today:
By God, sometimes history is made only when brave men and women are willing to go online and type in their names and email addresses on the bottom of some random statement. And the braver still, the true leaders, they are willing to sign a document that has absolutely no weight or effect other than to hold their signatures. And sweet Jesus Christ, whose blessings must be pouring down like hot urine from a leaky catheter tube, we will be told that this is a momentous occasion, this moment, this shining moment close to George Washington's mighty manse, Mount Vernon, when an American glitterati of right wingers rose up to say, "We're here, we're conservative, get used to it."

For today, by the time you read this, the Mount Vernon Statement will have been signed by a veritable who's who of dicks and cunts who want to drag America into the Stone Age. What is the Mount Vernon Statement? Why, it's a statement, a manifesto, if you will, put together by conservatives to assert conservativism in the most conservative way possible. Or, as Brent Bozell overstated it, "It's a compass for every single issue, whether it's social, economic or national defense conservatives. It's meant to guide you." And dozens of those needing guidance will show up near Mount Vernon today to sign it. Why "near"? Because the Mount Vernon people said, "Um, fuck no" to having it signed there. It will be at Collingwood Library, which, really, was still part of Washington's farm and is available for weddings.

How conservative a statement is it? Why, it reads like teabagger porn written in shit by Glenn Beck, Jim DeMint, and Grover Norquist: "In recent decades, America’s principles have been undermined and redefined in our culture, our universities and our politics." And then it takes revolutionary documents in American history and redefines them as conservative through the magic of calling them "conservative": "The conservatism of the Declaration asserts self-evident truths based on the laws of nature and nature’s God. It defends life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It traces authority to the consent of the governed. It recognizes man’s self-interest but also his capacity for virtue." See what they did there? They paraphrased the Declaration of Independence and used the word "conservatism." Magic. They do the same thing with the Constitution.

Mostly, though, to sign this document is to assert, "I am a pussy and I have no real principles." For what do you make of grand pronouncements about what the writers call "Constitutional conservatism"? Things like "It supports America’s national interest in advancing freedom and opposing tyranny in the world and prudently considers what we can and should do to that end." What's the opposition to that? "Prudently consider" shit? Or it "encourages free enterprise." That's some mighty strong words there. This sounds like a warranty, not a manifesto.

It will be signed by the usual suspects: Norquist, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, the heads of various conservative groups, publications, "think" tanks. And then they'll go on with their happy little right-wing fuckfest in DC this weekend, also known as CPAC.

By the way, Mount Vernon was a plantation. By Washington's death, some 316 slaves lived there. While Washington may have freed them upon his death, he surely profited from their labor. The Mount Vernon Statement starts, "We recommit ourselves to the ideas of the American Founding." Yeah, that sounds about right.


The Rude Pundit on Monday's Stephanie Miller Show:
This week, prompted by Stephanie Miller, the Rude Pundit uses basketball and breadmaking as metaphors on the filibuster and health care reform. By the way, why he thought about a shirtless Wesley Clark probably has something to do with the vicodin from the night before.

Remember: the Rude Pundit podcast lets you carry the rudeness close to your heart and deep in your car, just like a high school date.
Evan Bayh Punks Out: The Bad, the Good, and the "Go Fuck Yourself, Evan Bayh, You Smug Bastard":
The Bad: As has been placed in stark relief against the snow-smothered streets of DC, Congress is a game of numbers. Evan Bayh may have been a DLC douchebag and Blue Dog coward, but he was a number in the Democrats' favor in the Senate (see Harry Reid's powdering of Joe Lieberman's balls). That's simple math. The majority in the Senate sets the agenda. Pass it or not, right now the Democrats at least get to say what's "debated" on the Senate floor. In the unlikely event of a Republican take over of the Senate, you won't even see health care reform discussed, let alone have the shreds of hope that something will pass.

Worse, even if Democrats maintain the majority, Senate committee seats are divided by proportion to the party's representation in the larger body. So if it's 59-41, the committees are tilted more heavily Democratic than if the Senate's 51-49. Put that shit in your Supreme Court Justice nomination pipe and huff it.

The Good: Evan Bayh was getting more and more conservative as time moved along. Formerly a solidly pro-choice Democrat, he voted for the most restrictive abortion funding amendment in the Senate last December and against the omnibus spending bill. Even if he was such an alleged deficit hawk, he hedged on whether or not he thought the Bush tax cuts for the top 1% of income earners should be allowed to sunset. He had voted for the tax cuts in 2003. Bayh was a worthless player when it came to health care reform and opposed reconciliation, preferring instead to keep reviving the corpse of bipartisanship with the paddles of Democratic compromise. There was a chance that, even if the magical, mystical 60 Democrats had still been there, he was gonna vote health care reform down. He was just that kind of asshole.

So, truly, if we are losing a number in the Democratic caucus, at least it's a Republican-enabling tool of the wealthy like Bayh. And hopefully he will have to live the rest of his life in Indiana, for, truly, there is no worse fate.

The "Go Fuck Yourself": Really, Evan Bayh? You were just fucking sick of the partisanship in the Congress? And where exactly were you during some of the battles of the Bush years? When you voted "no" on the nomination of Justice John Roberts, one of 22 nays, all Democrats, was that being bipartisan? How about when you were one of 13 nays on the nomination of Condoleezza Rice for Secretary of State? Or, when you criticized the Bush administration for the way it ran the war in Iraq, were you being bipartisan there? In other words, what is bipartisan, Evan Bayh? Are you only partisan when you know you're going to lose?

But "go fuck yourself" for saying that "At this time, I simply believe I can best contribute to society in another way: creating jobs by helping grow a business, helping guide an institution of higher learning, or helping run a worthy charitable endeavor." That's just shorthand for saying that you got bored and want to make some cash money. You were tired of the Senate? Why? For living in your father's shadow?

Finally, where does this leave Bayh's seat? It's Indiana. Yeah, yeah, Obama won the state in 2008 by 1%. But, c'mon, the black turnout in 2008 was the factor in that intensely blue state. It's gonna go Republican. The Democrats who might run right now make Bayh look like Ted Kennedy.

If Democrats want to have a chance to hold onto the seat, then fuck it. Go Hail Mary. Try to get John Mellencamp to run. The man lives in Seymour, Indiana. He knows the people and the state. He fights for progressive causes. Why not a rock star? We don't have problems with sports stars running for office. And you'd get past that whole "name recognition" thing pretty damn quickly.


President's Day: George Washington Would Kick Dick Cheney's Saggy Ass:
When George Washington sent Benedict Arnold and his troops to invade Quebec in 1775, he knew that he couldn't humiliate and torture any Canadians or their Indian allies. It'd really suck to lose a chance for Canada to join in the war on British terror. See, Revolutionary America was bugging out because the British had passed the Quebec Act, which granted French Catholics way more rights than they had previously had and also extended the border of Quebec into Ohio and the Mississippi River. It was a pretty good tactic, and it appeased the French in Quebec. Of course, hatred of the French, fear of Catholics, and greed over the loss of some profitable Indian territory made colonial Americans lose their shit. Washington decided to bring the fight to Quebec, but he wanted to lay the groundwork for what he hoped would be Canada rising up to fuck up the British. So he instructed Arnold and his troops not to be total dicks:

"I charge you, therefore, and the Officers and Soldiers, under your Command, as you value your own Safety and Honour and the Favour and Esteem of your Country, that you consider yourselves, as marching, not through an Enemy's Country; but that of our Friends and Brethren, for such the Inhabitants of Canada, and the Indian Nations have approved themselves in this unhappy Contest between Great Britain and America. That you check by every Motive of Duty and Fear of Punishment, every Attempt to plunder or insult any of the Inhabitants of Canada. Should any American Soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any Canadian or Indian, in his Person or Property, I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary Punishment as the Enormity of the Crime may require."

Washington also wanted to make sure that this didn't become a war against Catholicism, even if there were many, many others afraid of the papists infiltrating the colonies: "I also give it in Charge to you to avoid all Disrespect to or Contempt of the Religion of the Country and its Ceremonies. Prudence, Policy, and a true Christian Spirit, will lead us to look with Compassion upon their Errors without insulting them. While we are contending for our own Liberty, we should be very cautious of violating the Rights of Conscience in others."

That last line there is why George Washington would kick Dick Cheney's ass. Yesterday, on ABC's This Week, Cheney offered simple-minded justification for torturing suspects. Essentially, it comes down to "our lives matter; theirs don't. Our rights matter; theirs don't." Washington, who had no problem killing British on the field of battle, would have been appalled hearing the Vice President of the United States, the nation he risked everything for and gave everything to, say, "I was a big supporter of waterboarding."

Washington knew that the result of abuse would inevitably be more, not less, blood spilled. It's why he told Arnold, "Upon the whole, Sir, I beg you to inculcate upon the Officers and Soldiers, the Necessity of preserving the strictest Order during their March through Canada; to represent to them the Shame, Disgrace and Ruin to themselves and Country, if they should by their Conduct, turn the Hearts of our Brethren in Canada against us."

We know what Benedict Arnold eventually did. We know what Dick Cheney has done.


Teabagger Heads Explode in 3...2...1:

Let the Rude Pundit do the work for ya: Line up, line up, motherfuckin' teabaggers, Glenn Beck, Michele Bachmann, and express yer outrage at this picture from Shanghai. That's in China, in case you didn't know. You see that? It proves everything you've been saying. In Shanghai, which is in China, in case you forgot, someone's selling notebooks, notebooks of communist eeevil, with images of Chairman Mao and President Barack Obama.

Sweet juxtaposition, man. It proves everything you've been saying about Obama in a single shot of a store. Obama is a Maoist. You don't actually know what that means, but it sounds yellow and sinister. The notebooks demonstrate it clearly. C'mon, Beck-y, there's an entire conspiracy theory based just around this picture. Look: it's unlicensed use of the Hope poster. In Shanghai. Which is in China. You don't even have to show that Obama is doing anything vaguely Maoist when a picture is worth a thousand of your worthless words.

By the way, in reality, China's fuckin' pissed that Obama's gonna meet with the Dalai Lama. But don't let that get in the way of a good outragegasm.


Note to Obama: Recess Appoint All of Them:
At some point, Barack Obama has to, in a very public way, reassert his dominance in the political debate. He's got to do something that has an impact, something unilateral, something that doesn't involve talking about an issue or having a meeting that's open to the public or inviting anyone anywhere for a long walk. It's gotta be something that he can say to Congress, "See? Look at that. All that shit you wouldn't do? It's done. I did it by myself, assholes."

Right now, Republicans in the Senate (and Republicans in general) are relishing the role of agenda serial killer. It's like Obama's plans and policies are tied to a chair and Mitch McConnell's dancing around like Mr. Blonde with a razor. And when he slices an ear off or cuts a jugular, the rest of the GOP dance in the warm, sticky spray. Put the bodies in the garage freezer, motherfuckers, so we can cook 'em up later.

Republicans will say that they're just playing by the rules that are there. And, sad to say, it's true. But they are taking those rules to their extreme. Why filibuster one bill on principle when you can filibuster them all? Why block one nominee for ideological reasons when you can block them all for cash money? With allegedly moderate Republicans running scared of nutzoid teabagger-approved primary challengers, they have to show they're just as crazy, like they're saying, "Look, I can write vaguely-worded, meaningless manifestos with my own shit. See, Glenn Beck, see?" before proffering incomprehensible screeds covered in feces and tears for inspection by Herr Beck and Fraulein Palin, whose one nod can make their monkey hordes of followers hoot in anger or masturbate in pleasure over a candidate. Hey, man, Republicans will say, that's politics. Like it or lump it.

The rules cut both ways, though. Remember how outraged we all were when Yosemite John Bolton was given a recess appointment by President Bush in August 2005 to be U.N. Ambassador, a major damn position? That was after a Democratic filibuster over Bolton's qualifications for the job and his refusal to give more information that Democrats requested, not over getting pork to constituents. And it was joined by a Republican, George Voinovich. What did Republicans think of that filibuster? "Republicans said they easily had enough votes to confirm Bolton if Democrats had not used parliamentary tricks to prevent final action," reads the Washington Post. See that? The filibuster was a "parliamentary trick," not the method by which the "will of the Senate" is expressed, as Orrin Hatch just said about a filibustered Obama nominee.

Fuck it. Recess appointments are there. Ronald Reagan made 243 of 'em. And, remember, if Reagan did it, it automatically covers your ass because he was so fucking awesome when he wasn't soiling his diaper. Eisenhower did it with three Supreme Court Justices. Republicans aren't even really officially filibustering some nominees. They're using this bullshit "hold" that's a little like allowing each passenger on an airplane the power to determine when they land. At some point, the damn thing's gonna run out of gas.

So Obama should make a show of his strength, say, "Fuck you" to the Senate Republicans, and recess appoint every outstanding nominee awaiting confirmation. Not just a few. All of them. Dozens of people to fill positions that'll make the government work better. Take confirmation off the table as a negotiating tool. It's not like Richard Shelby's all of a sudden gonna start not filibustering legislation. And, by the way, the recess appointment is in the Constitution, Article II, Section 2. The hold is just a Senate practice to fuck with unanimous consent to proceed.

Obama has begged the GOP again and again to work with him. He started his term with a sign of good faith, by incorporating Republican ideas into the stimulus. That's the way it's supposed to work: the Democrats own game. If Republicans want to play, they have to play on the Democrats' board. But Republicans want to pull those razors again and force Democrats to hand over the game. Obama can use the recess appointment to show that the President has some power of his own to fuck with his opponents.


Where Are the Pro-Health Care Reform Ads When We Need Them?:
Fuck, the Rude Pundit will just do the work for you, DNC and other groups:

Ad #1: We're in a grocery store. POV of being behind a shopping cart, rolling down an aisle. Camera turns to a loaf of bread. Close-up on a sign: the price "$2.99" has been crossed out with a black marker. A new price, "$4.15," is written in. As the cart moves up aisles filled with similar signs, all with prices that have been raised, a voice says, "This past month, Anthem Blue Cross sent out notices to 800,000 individual health insurance policy holders informing them that their premiums were going to rise as much as 39%." A woman's hand picks up a carton of milk, and we see a sign indicating the price has gone from $3.49 to $4.85. "Anthem's parent corporation, Wellpoint, made $2.9 billion in profit last year." The hand puts the carton of milk back. We see that the cart is empty. It is left behind as the camera heads for the sliding doors. "And for people with pre-existing conditions, there's nowhere else to go." The doors open and the camera pulls back to reveal that the grocery store is in the middle of a deserted wasteland. There is, indeed, nowhere else to shop. End it with a tagline about telling Congress to pass health care reform. Or, even better, "Ask Senator (fill in your favorite Republican) why he/she stands with profit-making corporations and against reform."

There? Is that so hard? How about this one:
Ad #2: We're outside on a dark, cold, lightly-snowing night. A row of people in threadbare clothes are standing shoulder to shoulder, each holding a baby or toddler. A sinister-looking bureaucrat with a clipboard is walking down the row, looking at the children. He approaches one mother with a little girl. VO says, "United Health Care in Colorado turned down 2-year old Aislin Bates of Denver, Colorado for coverage because they said she was too thin." The bureaucrat shakes his head and makes a mark. The mother and child head off into the dark. He walks to the next parent, looks at the child, and nods. They head forward, into light. He goes to the next, a father holding a baby. VO say, "8-month old Jaxon Thornburgh of Dallas, Texas was denied health insurance because he needed simple therapy to help with an easily curable condition." Same thing: bureaucrat shakes his head, makes a mark, they head into the dark. Then he nods to two other parents, who smile gratefully and step forward. He moves to the next, a pair of parents with a boy. VO: "In New Jersey, HealthAmerica denied doctor-recommended life-saving treatment to cancer patient Kyler VanNocker, who is 5 years old." The bureaucrat shakes his head and continues on. The camera pulls back to reveal that those given the nod are going into a hospital. Those denied are heading into the snowy night. VO: "Call your Senators and tell them that your children shouldn't ever have to risk losing their health insurance."

With President Obama attempting some political outflanking maneuver with this proposed health care summit, the time is absolutely right to go after Republicans with ads on shows they watch, like, oh, what? NCIS? The Middle, with right-wing darling Patricia Heaton? Who knows? Or maybe head right into the belly of the beast and go for Fox "news." Go to where they live. Be shameless in calling them out. The factual material is there. If Focus on the Family can afford an ad during the Super Bowl, surely Health Care for America Now, along with, like, the SEIU, can buy some time during CSI.

Or make a really outrageous web ad where an executive from Aetna is just shooting sick kids in the head. It's pretty much the same point. That shit'd get all kinds of coverage for free.


For Conservatives, Everything Old Is New Again, Part 1:
Few things depress the Rude Pundit more than having to re-fight battles that seemed won and arguments that seemed settled. But, see, the goal of the right wing in this country is not just to halt progress, but to drag us backwards, to some fantasy world where they were correct about everything. It never existed, that conservative paradise, and that's why we've moved beyond the knuckle-dragging beliefs of the past.

Every day, though, we're reminded that conservatives so idealize the past that they probably wish they could Superman the earth backwards and make the bathrooms re-segregated and the women re-tied to the domestic sphere. Of course, their taxes would be a hell of a lot higher, but, you know, that clouds the picture. Even the recent past is part of this strange, myopic vision of white utopia. For why else would Republicans right now be talking about privatizing Social Security? Or cutting taxes further? If the plunge in the stock market and the ratcheting up of the debt under George W. Bush didn't put those notions to sleep like the incontinent dogs they were, then nothing will. Christ, someone's even put up a billboard in Minnesota of the smiling bastard ex-president with the line "Miss Me Yet?" on it. That ain't nostalgia. It's psychosis.

Trawling the filth-encrusted area under the refrigerator known as Townhall.com, the Rude Pundit came across some scribblings by minor league fuckbag Mike Adams. Adams is a criminal justice professor at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington (also known as Dawson's Creek). His "column" today (if by "column," you mean, "used scrotum hair wax") is titled "Texas Gay&M University." And it's such a retro attack on queer studies at colleges that Adams could have written it between sessions of bobbing on Allan Bloom's knob back in the 1980s.

Like an infant boy that just discovered his penis, Adams says, oh, heavens, Texas A&M's English Department now has a class titled, "Gay and Lesbian Literature." This causes Adams to jack that little dick, especially the part of the syllabus that reads, "Intolerance of others’ viewpoints will not be tolerated in the classroom." Yep. Because the lit professor doesn't want people saying, "Fag" or "Breeder," Adams proposes his own class, "Homosexuality and Other Bad Lifestyle Choices." In this class, you'd learn "How homosexuals burden the health care system and why the Democrats don’t talk about it," among other lively topics.

First off, it seems odd that Texas A&M is just getting around to teaching a queer lit course, considering most colleges have done so for a decade or two or three. Why is that even remotely worthy of discussion at this point? There's lots of non-gay and lesbian lit courses. We call them "every other lit course." Second off, Adams fancies himself so subversive because he's calling out them gays and feminists on campus - and he'd professor. Wild, huh? And he's a creationist. As he says on his syllabi, "Rather than seeing you as the mere product of random mutation, I see you as a unique individual endowed by his Creator – not just with a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – but with a purpose." He'd probably just call himself a "skeptic." But, hey, UNCWers, learn about criminal justice from a guy who thinks you were poofed into existence and that homosexuality is a choice.

Adams is wrong in so very many ways throughout in his homophobic little rant, but none so much as in the skeevy way he slips in blatant gay-bashing language at the end. He says his proposed anti-gay class "will likely offend some homosexual Aggies who have been regrettably dubbed as 'Faggies' by their less sensitive fellow students." In case you don't know, "Aggies" are what the students of Texas A&M call themselves. And it's obvious that Adams doesn't understand the douchebag nature of some college students at all. Dude, since time immemorial, whenever another university plays Texas A&M in football, the opposing school's fans call the Aggies the obvious insult of "Faggies." It may not be right, but it sure as hell didn't just happen now because the English Department started a gay and lesbian lit class.

Conservatives don't have much use for history because, time and again, it proves them wrong.


The Rude Pundit on Today's Stephanie Miller Show:
Today, Sarah Palin's speech left the Rude Pundit asking Stephanie Miller, "Where's the verb?" Miller provided the verb, and it was "to love."

Remember: the free Rude Pundit podcast puts the filthy talk in your pocket, where the Rude Pundit can talk to your genitals.
Sarah Palin Is a Fucking Retard:
Forget about Sarah Palin writing on her hand. Forget about her resigning as governor of Alaska a little over halfway through her first term for no reason other than she was tired of it. Forget that her husband thinks Alaska should be its own country and was essentially co-governor. Forget that she shoots wolves from helicopters for fun. Forget all about those things as arguments against Sarah Palin when you are dealing with the people who love her. They don't care. All of those things just make her delightfully regular and sympathetically human.

See, Sarah Palin is graded on the hot chick curve. Men wanna fuck her and women with low self-esteem wanna be her, so whatever she does just affirms that she is hot and fuckable and gets to travel. If she looked like Kay Bailey Hutchison, we wouldn't even be talking about her. Palin knows it. And she wields her sexuality like a distraction while she magically steals attention from those smarter than her.

It ain't just Palin. Let's face it: if Hillary Clinton had looked like Sarah Palin, she'd be president. And if Barack Obama had looked like Dennis Kucinich, he would not. But, Jesus, you could argue there was substance there. It's a sad fact of America in the 21st-century that shallowness is a quality and depth makes you an out-of-touch elitist.

The Rude Pundit watched Palin's speech Saturday night at the Tea Party Convention at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville. He saw all of it, her hair fixed perfectly to look like she had just finished fucking Andrew Breitbart (who introduced her), her practiced folksy nasality that has become a parody of a parody, her ludicrous call to revolution, which apparently means slightly lower taxes on small businesses and war with Iran. Somewhere in heaven, James Madison said, "Tell you what, bitch, you risk getting executed by the British for a cut in the marginal tax rate on your fishing boats and we'll talk."

Her speech was nonsense, a bowl of bullshit and lies that she digested and vomited out into the hungry mouths of the hatchlings in attendance, who gobbled it down like they had never tasted something so sweet. How can you take seriously someone who says, "[U]nlike the elitists who denounce this movement, they just don't want to hear the message. I've traveled across this great country and I've talked to the patriotic men and women who make up the Tea Party movement, and they are good and kind and selfless and they are deeply concerned about our country" just before denouncing every other movement. And who is this rich woman calling "elitist"?

But in her brief, hand-scripted Q&A after, swear to god, the Rude Pundit couldn't figure out what the fuck she was saying on a very basic English language level. Read this shit about her litmus test for endorsing candidates: "But if they feel that they've been taxed enough already and that they make us a commitment that they are going to do something about it and if they just believe in that constitutional limited government that the federal government has got to start abiding by, a lot of the things that perhaps the details, the things on the periphery that perhaps I wouldn't agree with every single aspect of their agenda that they would like to implement, they have got the basics down, I think it would be wise for us to be supportive." What the fuck is that? Palinonics, a language that only makes sense to people dazzled by the shine off her glasses. She makes George W. Bush seem like William F. Buckley.

And then there's this call to theocracy: "And then, I think, it is kind of tougher to -- kind of tougher to put our arms around, but allowing America's spirit to rise again by not being afraid -- not being afraid to kind of go back to some of our roots as a God-fearing nation where we are not afraid to say, especially in times of potential trouble in the future here, we are not afraid to say, you know, we don't have all the answers as fallible men and women. So it would be wise of us to start seeking some divine intervention again in this country so that we can be safe and secure and prosperous again. To have people involved in government who aren't afraid to go that route, not so afraid of the political correctness that, you know, they have to be afraid of what the media would say about them if they were to proclaim their reliance on our creator." Does she realize who was president for eight years just recently? Wait, here's the answer: no. No, she does not.

She's fucking retarded. As in stupid. As in she shouldn't be trusted to hand out carts at a Wal-Mart. That's this elitist's opinion. What backs him up? Two quotes:

1. "I'm gonna tell people that this pattern of not just the insensitivity, but the flippant way of perhaps looking at those who are less fortunate and are not part of that elite crowd there in Washington. I'm sick of it and I'm gonna stand up and I'm gonna say something about it because I think I'm speaking on behalf of others who are concerned about it." - Palin on Fox "news" Sunday, regarding the use of the word "retard." You could actually see Chris Wallace's soul drain from his body during the interview. It's not just devoid of ideas - it's devoid of sense and filled with lies. (Really? Elite Washington says "retard" all the time?)

2. "We are moving towards a nuclear arms treaty with Russia, something that has been a high priority with us. We have reset our relationship. The Russians have been very positive in discussions about sanctions on Iran, and on many other important matters. I am not sure that would have been predicted a year ago. We do have a very comprehensive engagement with India, with China, with other big countries from South Africa to Turkey to Brazil, and we are working together in areas of mutual interests or where the United States can be a facilitator." - Hillary Clinton reflecting on her first year as Secretary of State on CNN's State of the Union, interviewed by Candy Crowley, who would make Palin's head explode if ever given the chance to speak to her.


Tweeting Palin Is Not Nearly as Fun as It Sounds, But It's Not Bad:
Just live-tweeted on the Twitter Sarah Palin's incomprehensible stream-of-consciousness speech to a group of loud white people.


Richard Shelby's Earmark Extortion:
See? This is what happens when you negotiate with terrorists who want to undermine the election process of the United States and sow seeds of doubt and dissent in the legitimacy of the government. Republican Richard Shelby, one of the most despicable fucks in the Senate, is now emboldened by Barack Obama's faith in bipartisanship to simply go nuts with demands. In essence, Shelby is extorting money out of the Obama administration.

Depressingly, that's not hyperbole. Shelby is a man who loves his pork. That motherfucker piles on the pork like a drunken fat guy at an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. Of course, his pork, also known as "earmarks," is so much better than anyone else's earmarks, as he said in March 2009 on This Week with George Stephanopoulos's Hair. Responding to a question about having more earmarks than most, Shelby said what every other member of Congress who wants to bring home the cash would say: "I can defend every earmark. Every one of my earmarks have been released to the press. Every one has, I think, been vetted in the committee and publicly in my state. I don't want an earmark that has no merit." Give that redneck bastard more bacon. He likes his piggy extra-crispy.

Now, Shelby has placed one of those oh-so delightful single Senator holds on dozens of President Obama's nominees to various executive branch positions that need Senate approval. Is it because he has a problem with the actual nominees? Oh, no. That'd be vaguely rational. Shelby's just being a dick because he doesn't like the way a contract on a tanker is being...and really, who the fuck cares? It's power for power's sake. It's an attempt to get more earmarks to Alabama.

In other words, he's impeding the ability of the government to function in order to squeeze money from it. If you told your neighbor you weren't going to let his car out of his driveway unless he gave you a hundred bucks for a lawn ornament, you'd be arrested. Or your neighbor might run you over.

Obama and the Democrats have handed over the keys to Republicans in the Senate. At this point, Shelby oughta be shitting himself in fear of having all earmarks stripped out of bills. That's fuckin' hardball. You don't like that your state might not get an FBI explosives analysis center so you're gonna dick over the working of the entire executive branch? How about a few less roads, motherfucker? Instead, Shelby is emboldened by Obama's willingness to compromise to make unprecedented use of Senate rules.

Yesterday, a barbershop quartet of assholes farted in harmony about earmarks. Republican Senators DeMint, McCain, Graham, and Lemieux held a press conference to address their concerns about the very subject, calling for an earmark moratorium and a balanced budget amendment. Said DeMint, "[I]f we have 535 congressmen and senators who still want their earmarks and are not willing to take even a one-year timeout, then we have a huge problem addressing our debt."

The Rude Pundit doesn't outright oppose earmarks. One Congress member's poison is another's meat. But it takes 60 votes to overcome Shelby's hold over Alabama getting its sausage. It seems a pretty easy vote for Republicans who are anti-earmark. Then again, we are talking about Republicans.


Family Research Council: Pray That God Helps a Kidnapper Break the Law:
The Rude Pundit was looking over his conservative email on his secret nom de rude account this morning when something struck him as particularly disgusting. See, the Rude Pundit subscribes to a number of conservative groups to spy on what they say when they don't think anyone is listening. The most entertaining of these is the Family Research Council's Prayer Team Targets (generally referred to here as "The Super-Duper Prayer Team," but let's try for a bit of decorum today). Every week, the FRC sends out a list of items that we members of the Prayer Team ought to pray for. Mostly it's the usual "Please, God, help us hate homosexuals, abortion, sex education, health care reform," you know, all the things that Jesus might want us to spend our precious time on earth concerned about.

Today, the Rude Pundit noticed something unusual: a prayer directed against a single individual, a woman who has no power whatsoever. She just wants to be able to visit her child after a break-up. The only reason for calling on celestial intervention is that the woman is a lesbian.

Let's put this in heterosexual terms first: say a married, straight couple want a child, but they can't conceive because the husband is sterile. So the couple go through the sperm-selling websites for some operational sperm. The lab-made embryos are implanted in the wife, and, lo and behold, she has a child. At that point, would anyone rationally argue that the husband is not the child's father? Would the husband have to adopt the child? No, obviously not. Now, what if, a year later, the wife decides she doesn't want to be married to the husband and moves away? We would, of course, expect visitation rights for the father to not only be maintained, but enforced. And if the ex-wife decides that the ex-husband is a bad influence on the child because he's, say, Norwegian? We would say that unless he's abusive or neglectful to the child, she's got to abide by any joint custody arrangements. If she refuses to do so, well, who among us would not say that she is legally in the wrong and something needs to be done?

In a nutshell, that's the case between Janet Jenkins and Lisa Miller, except make the husband into a civil-unioned female partner and "Norwegian" into "lesbian." Miller is the biological mother of Isabella, and about a year after Isabella's birth, in 2003, Miller broke up with Jenkins and left Vermont with Isabella to live with family in Virginia. She and Jenkins agreed to and maintained a rough visitation schedule. In church one day, Miller got born again and "decided" not to be gay. She pushed for sole custody of Isabella in 2004, wanting to completely cut Jenkins out of Isabella's life.

In 2008, Miller said of Jenkins, "I do not feel safe leaving my daughter with her, and I believe I have a God-given and constitutional right to raise my child as I see fit. There is a homosexual agenda at work here, and Isabella is a pawn in their game. It has nothing to do with the law. Isabella was saved at age 4, loves God, and knows what's right and what's wrong. We don't hate Janet, we pray for her soul and salvation."

Has this gotten insane enough for you yet? Has our juvenile tangle of laws regarding gay marriage, civil unions, and whatever finally begun to seem untenable? At what point does the notion of "states' rights" become worthless when it comes to human and civil rights? Or when "civil union" is obviously not the same as "marriage"? Wait. It gets worse...

After Miller lost her petition for sole custody (after a tangle of cases involving various state and federal laws), Jenkins just wanted visitation rights, which the courts granted her. Miller refused to abide by court-ordered visitation because she feared that Isabella would not be taken to the right church, among other aspects of the "homosexual agenda" that she dislikes. So a judge in Vermont, citing federal kidnapping law, as argued by Jenkins' attorney, gave custody to Jenkins in November, with a January 1, 2010 date for Isabella to be given to Jenkins. By the way, Jenkins said she still wants Miller to be able to visit Isabella. Wait. It gets worse...

Miller has now disappeared with Isabella. The last anyone heard from her is on December 4, 2009. No one claims to know where she is, not Miller's mother, not her attorney. Isabella is now officially considered a "missing person." Miller has 30 days to turn Isabella over, or she faces arrest. By the way, Miller is represented by the evangelical lawyers at the Liberty Counsel. Indeed, much of the conservative Christian community is backing Miller, even as she disregards a court order.

Which brings us back to the Prayer Team Target. The Family Research Council asks us to pray the following about the case: "May God protect Lisa and Isabella Miller from this unrighteous decree. May Virginia authorities stand by her." In other words, we are supposed to pray that either Virginia challenges the Vermont court order or that God takes care of Miller so that she can continue to break the law. And if that's what we good prayer team members should pray, then it's not that far of a stretch to say that the Family Research Council is advocating that Christians help a woman violate a court order, perhaps even offering her assistance and encouragement along the way, which is itself illegal, all to demonstrate just how scared they are that their god is wrong, all to prevent a child's parent from being part of the child's life just because the parent is gay.

(The emailed prayers always include "relevant" Bible passages, although, truly, it's mostly a stretch. In this case, the FRC offers something that doesn't have a single thing to do with this. It's Leviticus 18:15, which reads, "'Do not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son's wife; do not have relations with her.'" That's just farce.)


Note to John McCain: Gay Soldiers Don't Want to Rape Your Ass:
Underneath the glowing sheen of rationality given to the most despicable of beliefs, there is always irrational fear. Implicit in the language of the men who want to leave in place the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy regarding gays and lesbians in the military is this fear: "Gay guys might rape my ass." The proper response to that is, "Oh, get over yourself, Mary."

Senator John McCain's words and behavior at the Senate Armed Services Committee meeting on DADT were prima facie evidence of the rape fear. "It would also present yet another challenge to our military at a time of already tremendous stress and strain," he offered, adding later, "the military’s mission to prepare for and conduct combat operations requires servicemen and women to accept living and working conditions that are often spartan and characterized by forced intimacy with little or no privacy."

It's as if there's a group of predatory queers out there jonesing for some Marine ass and are willing to sign away a few years of their life to get it. It's as if the notion of openly gay service members (yeah, yeah, ha, ha, "members") will stop all the straight dudes from hanging out nude with other straight dudes, an image that, in any context, is totally gay (as in "homosexual"). Seriously, if you wanna walk around, dangling your junk in front of other guys, there's probably something you need to ask and tell yourself.

Junk-dangling soldiers aside, it's not really as if the straight guys are the models of sexual decorum here. "According to several studies of the US military funded by the Department of Veteran Affairs, 30% of military women are raped while serving, 71% are sexually assaulted, and 90% are sexually harassed," says a BBC report from last year, with an estimate that "some 90% of military sexual assaults are never reported." It's pretty damn likely that the vast majority of those assaults were not committed by lesbians.

Yet conservatives trot out the few examples of harassment or violence by gays and lesbians, as if that minority proves the rule. In a Washington Times editorial, retired Army lawyer Richard Black details a 1991 sexual assault by two male soldiers on a third. Anyone see the problem? Yeah, it was in 1991, when gays were explicitly banned from the military, prior to DADT. That didn't actually stop the assault from happening.

Tony Perkins, whose Family Research Council (motto: "Why doesn't Jesus stop us from going bankrupt?") has a petition against the repeal of DADT, says, "Forcing soldiers to cohabit with people who view them as sexual objects would inevitably lead to increased sexual tension, sexual harassment, and even sexual assault." Or, in other words, the straight dudes might be treated like they treat women. Or, in other words, please don't rape our asses, Mr. Gay Guy.

Indeed, by the right's own logic, the military should ban heterosexual men.

Here's a secret, John McCain, Tony Perkins, and others: Gay guys don't want to rape you. In fact, you're not even remotely attractive to most gay dudes. They do want to serve our country, and, as everyone in the military will tell you, they already do. And if ostensibly straight American males like you are uncomfortable, that's actually your damage.


Words to Use to Explain Why You Kicked Frank Luntz in the Balls:
This document is based on recent polling of one person who would like to kick Frank Luntz in the balls. The poll indicates that those polled understand who Frank Luntz is, with 100% of the respondent saying, "Frank Luntz? He's that helmet-haired fucker who looks like a hundred pounds of bullshit in a fifty pound bag." Beyond physical assessments of Luntz, 100% of the respondent knew that Luntz is responsible for outlining rhetorical methods by which conservative politicians, especially Republicans, can misrepresent even vaguely progressive policies to the public, thus turning public opinion against policies that might actually help the public.

When asked in the poll "Do you believe Frank Luntz is an amoral cocksucking whore?" 100% said, "That fucker guzzles right wing chowder like a drunk Massachusetts fisherman." 0% said, "Well, he just does it for the money." The respondent added, "Luntz thinks it's okay to outright lie to the public as long as it sounds like an anti-establishment political statement. It makes my foot itchy for kickin'."

After showing Luntz's recent memo detailing how conservatives can portray minor adjustments in financial regulation as Stalinist governmental infiltration into the pockets of Americans, the poll asked, "After thinking about Frank Luntz for a few moments now, what would you like to do to him?" 100% of the person polled said, "Goddamn, I wanna kick that son of a bitch right in the balls."

When one addresses a rolling-on-the-ground Frank Luntz after kicking him in the balls, never forget the impact on Frank Luntz. And above all, never minimize the pain that one has caused Frank Luntz.

Words to Use:
-Accountability - as in, "You are now finally accountable to something, Frank Luntz: a foot in your balls."

-Never again - "Frank Luntz, never again will you write one of your fucking democracy-damaging memos without thinking about how much your balls hurt today."

-Hard-working taxpayers - "How do you feel about exploiting the real fears of hard-working taxpayers in order to line your own pockets? Your balls know the answer."

-Special interests - "Gee, Frank Luntz, you should be used to being on the ground since you are a scabby-kneed special interests cock gobbler."

-The devil is in the details - "What's that, Frank Luntz? I also kicked you in the taint? Taint, balls, whatever. The devil is in the details."

-Government failures and incompetence - "For years, you've been assisting Republicans in government in spinning their failures and incompetence into success. You haven't helped the problems. You've exacerbated them exponentially. Now, here's a line-up of people who were denied health insurance or lost their houses due to unregulated banking practices. They all want to kick you in the balls, too."

(Disclaimer: This memo does not advocate kicking Frank Luntz in the balls. However, it does provide guidance for those who might do so.)


The Rude Pundit on Today's Stephanie Miller Show:
The Rude Pundit and Stephanie Miller indulged in a little Obama fantasizing while talking about the porn movie that was Obama's appearance at the Republican House Issues conference:

You can, and should, use your digital listening machines to subscribe to the Rude Pundit podcast. It's like listening here, except you're someplace else.
The Pleasures of a Presidential Pimp-Slapping:
The Rude Pundit is a bit late to the comment party about President Barack Obama's splendiferous showing at the GOP House Issues Conference last Friday, and he's not going to parse the whole damn thing. It was truly a beautiful moment, and the Rude Pundit masturbated so furiously to it that the chafing left his cock unable to be touched all weekend. It wasn't gleeful, fun self-pleasuring. Instead, it was the kind of desperate jacking off one might do to one's porn stash before getting rid of it because one's lover doesn't want you to keep it anymore. He didn't know when he'd get that chance again. So while the Rude Pundit's weary of trying to figure out what the fuck Obama is up to (getting rid of NASA programs? Really?) he wants to make one observation that may not have been explored in the mass orgasm on the left over Obama handing Republicans their asses and telling them to smell their own farts.

What Obama did was to show the GOP House members a respect that they have failed to show him. He treated them like grown-ups, not the worthless obstructionist bags of shit they are. In essence, he gave them a shot, on their terms, at trying to take him down. And they couldn't do it. In simple terms, he was rubber, and they were glue, motherfuckers.

Indiana's Mike Pence opened his question with a reminder that "House Republicans said then we would make you two promises. Number one, that most of the people in this room and their families would pray for you and your beautiful family just about every day for the next four years. And I want to assure you we're keeping that promise." You got that? The first thing the Republican hosting the meeting wanted the President to know is that almost all of them ask God to look over the Obamas. Or, more likely, Jesus may save, but we wanna kick your ass. So at a political gathering, the first thing invoked is mass prayer for Obama. That's some creepy shit. For what fucking purpose? To absolve Pence from being a lying asshole, which he immediately was?

Pence looked like he was going to vomit, though, when Obama immediately took his question and, instead of playing nice, ripped off Pence's arms and beat him in the head with them. Talking about the stimulus, Obama replied:

"The package that we put together at the beginning of the year, the truth is, should have reflected -- and I believe reflected what most of you would say are common sense things. This notion that this was a radical package is just not true. A third of them were tax cuts, and they weren't -- when you say they were 'boutique' tax cuts, Mike, 95 percent of working Americans got tax cuts, small businesses got tax cuts, large businesses got help in terms of their depreciation schedules. I mean, it was a pretty conventional list of tax cuts. A third of it was stabilizing state budgets.

"There is not a single person in here who, had it not been for what was in the stimulus package, wouldn't be going home to more teachers laid off, more firefighters laid off, more cops laid off. A big chunk of it was unemployment insurance and COBRA, just making sure that people had some floor beneath them, and, by the way, making sure that there was enough money in their pockets that businesses had some customers."

By the time Obama got to talking about spending on infrastructure and how dozens of the gathered Republicans had "gone to appear at ribbon-cuttings for the same projects that you voted against," it was over. In war terms, all that was left was for Obama to walk among the bodies and see who still was moaning or moving before shooting them between the eyes. He worked with Republicans, again and again, gave them things they wanted, and they still chose to vote against the Recovery Act because it was something Obama wanted.

Really, he could have spent the rest of the time answering every question with, "That would be a valid complaint if you guys weren't such enormous douchebags." And when he started mocking the rhetoric Republicans use against him, John Boehner actually lost color in his face and Eric Cantor had shit himself, as if thinking, "We've made a terrible mistake."

If one could actually read tea leaves with this president, it would seem like he is laying the groundwork for abandoning working with Republicans. There's only so many times a dog can bite your hand before you muzzle that fucker. And what did he get for his trouble? By Sunday, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner had already stated that Obama can shove his bipartisanship up his ass.

In fact, the way Boehner put it on Meet the Press made as much a case for Democrats passing things as it did for Republicans blocking them: "[A]s a political party and in the minority on the Hill, we have an obligation to the American people to stand on principle...the American people sent us all here to Washington to, to do what we can to help solve the problems we have in our country."

Thanks for reminding us, Johnny Minority Leader, that that's why we voted for Democrats a little over a year ago.