Regarding Egypt:The Devil You Know Is Still the Devil:
Look, the Rude Pundit is not gonna play the part of every fucking commentator on every fucking news show on every fucking channel. He's not gonna sit here and pretend that he has anything more than a little bit of knowledge about what's going on in Egypt. He's not gonna quote the few pieces he's read in the last couple of days that would seem to indicate a depth of understanding he does not possess. Would that your Fox "news" Sundays or your Meet the Presseses roundtables o' awesome brains have such an ability for self-reflection and admission of shortcomings.

But since this is one of those situations that Everyone You Know has to have an opinion, the Rude Pundit'll make a stab at it:

You hear constantly discussion about What Might Happen if the protesters have their way and Mubarak steps down. You hear that the devil you know is better than the devil you don't. You hear that he may be a bastard, but at least he's our bastard. That's realpolitick, you're told. That's the way the world operates, they say: sometimes you have to play hide the diplomatic salami in bed with dictators and tyrants. Oh, you're naive to believe otherwise. You don't get it.

Except for this simple question: has there ever been a case of the United States hopping in the sack with the anti-democratic forces in a nation that didn't end up causing us one big ass case of national syph? Because, see, the Rude Pundit's wracked his brain on this one, and he can't come up with a single one. Central America? Iraq? Iran? The Philippines? Various African nations? And, indeed, when some of the nations eventually threw off the shackles of the U.S.-supported dictatorship, they not only flourished, but they became strong allies of what was allegedly a more enlightened America, like, for instance, Chile. Or they became Iran. Or Iraq. Or Panama. You get the idea.

See, the people in the streets in Egypt aren't thinking about the stability that peace with Israel has brought their nation. They aren't thinking that Egypt is a strategic ally of the U.S. in the fight against terrorists. And why should they? Fuck all that when your government is so deeply corrupt that arrests, torture, and rape by the not-so-secret police are part of your daily life. When the president sells off public works for a fraction of their worth to businesses run by his sons. When elections are a sham to keep in power the very people who are ruining the nation. Jesus, corruption is so endemic that you'll fucking agree with a good chunk of an editorial from nutzoid conservative Human Events on crony capitalism in Egypt.

Yeah, it's understandable to an extent that the White House is playing this down the middle. At the very least, we can say that it doesn't seem like President Obama has sent in the CIA to fuck with the uprising. Or used the agents that are already there overseeing the rendition program where Egyptians got their hands dirty torturing our prisoners. But events shift the context of things, man. In the end, there's gonna be either be an election, a vicious crackdown, or a coup. And we better not be on the side of the devil again.


The Ongoing Peril to Abortion Rights:
So let's see where we are here, now that Republicans control the House and a majority of state legislatures:

1. Majority Leader Eric Cantor and 173 other representatives have co-sponsored the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act (seriously, who names Republican bills? It's like there's a bunch of inbred, brain-damaged teenagers kept in a basement in the Capitol who are allowed to play Xbox, masturbate, and come up with titles like this one). The law would limit any funds from anything even remotely related to the government from going to an abortion except in cases where the woman's life is in danger and "if the pregnancy occurred because the pregnant female was the subject of an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of incest." You got that? Since "forcible rape" is not a defined term in federal criminal law, it varies from state to state, which means that no one will be sure exactly what this covers and where. Also, the bill gives even more cover to, say, the pharmacist who doesn't want to fill your day-after pill scrip; refusal to do one's job is now a protected civil right under this bill. Oh, and you could no longer use money from your pre-tax health savings account if you wish to have an abortion because in some convoluted way that means the government is paying part of it. (You can use it for your chiropractor, though.) By the way, 13 women have co-sponsored this.

2. The Arkanas Senate "passed a bill today to prohibit federal funding for abortions offered through an insurance exchange in Arkansas except where the life of the mother is in danger," ignoring calls that rape and incest be included. The governor has said he would support whatever bill the legislature passes. The Pennsylvania Senate is advancing a similar bill.

3. Over in New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie, who cut state funding for women's health and family-planning clinics (even though federal matching funds would have covered it), on Monday addressed an anti-choice rally in Trenton, saying that he stands with them and that the issue's "time has come."

4. Out in Texas, Gov. Rick Perry has promised to fast-track a bill that forces women seeking abortions to have a sonograms prior to the procedure. Perry, whose state faces a fiscal meltdown to the tune of a $27 billion shortfall, declared it emergency legislation that must be dealt with immediately by the legislature. The Wyoming House rejected a similar bill.

5. Meanwhile, the number of self-induced abortions is on the rise again in the United States, even though it's hard to determine how many there are actually are. Women in places where restrictions have made abortion access nearly impossible are using drugs, herbs, even coat hangers.

6. Meanwhile, a massive study from Denmark demonstrated that women who have abortions are not at any risk to their mental health. Having a baby, though? It nearly doubles the rate at which women sought mental health treatment. There's two ways to view this: first, that the image of the weeping, regretful woman who got an abortion is a lie; and, second, that more needs to be done for women suffering from post-partum depression.

Denmark, by the way, has far more liberal abortion laws and a lower abortion rate than the United States, 13 per 1000 pregnancies in Denmary, 20 per 1000 in the United States. It would not be a stretch to say that universal health care makes it easier for women to have children and lowers the abortion rate by over 25%, a more significant number than any restriction has accomplished in the United States. It seems fairly simple: if you truly believe in the right to life, then you believe that the living, not just the potentially living, need to be taken care of. If your goal is to stop abortions and not just control women, you'd have to support universal health care.

But that kind of logic and compassion does not extend to our right-wing. It is far, far easier to restrict and restrict the procedure. It is far, far easier to hope for the day that Roe v. Wade is overturned. It is far, far easier to carve their religious beliefs into the bodies of American women.


Things That Ought to Be Obvious: Greedy Bastards Don't Give a Shit About Your Jobs:
Here's everything you need to know about American capitalism in the 21st century contained in a single sentence: "Google's push to further expand a work force that grew by 23 percent last year may not be as well received on Wall Street, where the Internet search leader's spending has annoyed some investors who would prefer a more frugal approach in hopes of fatter returns." This comes in an article that discusses how Google is going to hire 6200 new employees this year, which is, you know, generally considered awesome news.

Except if you're a greedy cocksucker who can't get enough cash or cock, which apparently "some" of Google's investors are.

In other words, even if the Dow or NASDAQ or JAGOFF or whatever index used to track their stock investments are going up and up, even if they've pretty much doubled in the last three years, oh, no, that's not enough for the greedy cocksuckers. You could bring 'em a barrel o' gold and a sack o' dicks and they'll wonder why they don't have two of each.

It's no wonder that all the Wall Street pukes that the Obama administration keeps rotating in like batteries for Dick Cheney's mechanical pseudo-heart can't come up with a way to jump start employment in the nation: they're programmed not to. They're programmed to merely get the most money for their clients. Remember: JP Morgan, Goldman (suck our) Sachs, Citigroup, none of 'em exist to create jobs. They exist to make cash money, ethics and morality and unemployment rates be damned.

Conservatives cling to this truly, blindly utopian notion about the innate good of vast amounts of money in the hands of private citizens and companies, that all of a sudden corporations, flush with tax cuts on incomes and capital gains, will go on a hiring spree and solve all our problems. It is a lie that so many Americans want desperately to believe because to do otherwise would undermine the very basic notions of capitalism that some of us got taught in school (do they teach this shit anymore or is it not on the test?), that supply and demand naturally create more jobs which makes more money which makes more demand which creates more jobs and on and on until everyone is happy and employed and housed and health-insured (privately) and has guns and a fuckable spouse and their athletic boy children and pretty girl children will give them grandkids and they'll all have enough money to retire and live happily ever fucking after, a-fucking-men.

Even if we know, we know, we know that such an America ceased existing, if it ever did, that's the lie that the right sells, and it's such a comforting bottle of snake oil, such a delicious snipe, that it's successfully bullshitted enough people to give it electoral power.

But the bitter, awful, goddamned backwards truth is that even if a company, like, say, Google, wants to hire a shitload of people (in the U.S. and elsewhere), that affects the bottom line, and perhaps Google's stock price will drop below 610 because of nothing else than a fear that it will drop below 610 and perhaps that means the NASDAQ will drop a couple of points and perhaps that means some client of Goldman Sachs will be sad because he can't buy that new fifth house and then Goldman Sachs will call William Daley, Obama's chief of staff from JP Morgan Chase, and say, "What the fuck is going on? C'mon, you know what's important." And then a rule will be changed that will let that sad fucker raid his company's retirement fund and...Jesus, who knows how this shit goes anymore. The complete merging of corporate, financial, and governmental interests has rendered the average citizen as less than a pawn on a chess board. Pawns at least go somewhere before they're sacrificed. Pawns at least have a role in the game.

Whenever you hear anyone, Democrat or Republican, idiot or genius, extol the superiority of capitalism, ask them to define the term. If they go back to that high school definition, scream, "Fuck, no" at them, no matter how old or delicate. It'll get their attention. And then ask them again to define capitalism in a global context. Ask them to define it in the wake of the rise of unregulated investment firms. C'mon, push, 'em, and then tell them that Google's investors are upset that Google wants to hire people that they need to run the business. You got that? It's an act of defiance to get more employees in order to meet demand. Tell us again about almighty capitalism solving all our problems.

And you can bet that other corporations are looking to see what happens here as a way of measuring whether or not it's worth it to hire if it means a point or two less on the profit margin at the end of the fiscal year. The greedy cocksuckers have always run the joint. Now, though, not only are the checks on their greed gone, but the notion of having checks (in the form of taxes or regulation) is seen as inimical to the corporations' obvious good.


The Rude Pundit on Monday's Stephanie Miller Show:
This week, the Rude Pundit and Stephanie Miller discussed Keith Olbermann's disappearance from the airwaves, as well as more about violence and Republican failure to do anything about anything. With bonus Bill Clinton jokes.

You can get a pocketful o' rudeness with the Rude Pundit's free podcast. Available over your handy Internet.
The State of the Union Is Not Going to Level With You:
There was one moment of President Barack Obama's 2011 State of the Union address that just stuck in the Rude Pundit's craw. Since Ronald Reagan, the annual address to Congress has included a parade of soldiers and citizens elevated for a moment from average adults to avatars of American awesomeness. The platitudinous nature of this rhetorical trick turns the State of the Union into another special episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

In the midst of discussing education, about halfway through, Obama talked about the good of community colleges, and specifically Forsyth Tech in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The President said, "One mother of two, a woman named Kathy Proctor, had worked in the furniture industry since she was 18 years old. And she told me she’s earning her degree in biotechnology now, at 55 years old, not just because the furniture jobs are gone, but because she wants to inspire her children to pursue their dreams, too. As Kathy said, 'I hope it tells them to never give up.'" The TV cameras showed a gentle-looking woman with glasses who was thrilled to be there.

Goddamnit, the Rude Pundit thought. What a fucking lie. This ain't "and they all lived happily ever after" kind of shit. Proctor's gonna get out of Forsyth Tech with an associate's degree in biotech and, more likely than not, two years of college debt. Even the school's own website says that the starting salary for someone with that degree in the field is $25,000-31,000 a year, and that's in an area of the country where there's an assload of biotech firms to work for. And that's if she finds a job. Unemployment in the region hovers around the 10% mark (9.3% in Winston-Salem). The city of Winston-Salem, by the way, faces a $26 million budget gap over the next five years. The state of North Carolina faces a $3.7 billion budget gap for the next fiscal year, and education is on the chopping block.

In other words, after losing her job and probably her health insurance, after doing the right thing and getting more education and retraining, Proctor is still a 55 year-old woman facing the worst job market in decades. If she finds a job, it'll pay shit wages and probably lack health coverage. Really, President Obama, how the fuck is this a happy-smiley-face story to make us feel good about whatever the fuck is happening with the economy?

Ultimately, that was what was so aggravating about the State of the Union speech. Other than an occasional nod to some abstract notion that "none of this will be easy. All of it will take time," President Obama gave us no sense that it would be anything but easy. He made another pep talk that patently refused to hurt anyone's feelings, that stated beliefs but left them open for compromise, that made it seem less like a "Sputnik moment," as he called it, and more like a flat-tire moment.

All the aspirational shit was fine, some of it was even encouragingly good, but why not be honest about the reasons for it? Hiring more teachers is cool 'cause teachers need respect? How about because most of the industrialized world kicked our asses in recent tests? High-speed rail is groovy because that means our nuts won't be touched by the TSA? How about it's necessary because the air transportation system is overwhelmed to the breaking point? Infrastructure spending is good because we gotta keep up with South Korea? How about because water mains break every two minutes and bridges are on the verge of collapse? Freezing spending? How about spending $500 billion, to start, on all the shit we need and employing hundreds of thousands of people? 'Cause you know how we responded to the Sputnik moment? By the government investing billions of dollars in research and building, not by cutting the deficit. "Win the future"? How about not fucking up the present even worse?

Goddamnit, Americans are stubborn assholes. Don't treat us with kid gloves. Don't tell us it's all gonna be hunky-dory. Take us to the abyss. Force us to look in the deep, dark hole. Grab our ankles and dangle us over it, get us to smell the sulfuric fumes, make us confront the possible future. Then yank us back and tell us how to fill it in and seal it.

At the end of the day, it's a State of the Union speech. People liked it, maybe because his rhetoric was Tea Party folksy. Mostly, Obama told companies that the government will keep giving them money but not really do much regulating. He blamed no one for anything, except "lobbyists" for, one supposes, being lobbyists. He asked us to do virtually nothing, again, but keep on trying, like Kathy Proctor, because, really, as this speech made sure to reaffirm, there is no alternative.

(By the way, Republicans Paul Ryan and Michele Bachmann, both awful in their own way in their responses, seemed like they were talking about another country. At least the President was here.)

(Note: if you want to read the Rude Pundit's whiskey-fueled comments from last night, head over to his Twitter thing.)


In Brief: Marc Thiessen Gets Treats from His Masters When He Lies:
Rotund waterboarding enthusiast Marc Thiessen, the former Bush speechwriter and walking man-turd, writes about the upcoming sentencing of Ahmad Ghailani, who was convicted on one of many counts related to U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, "In 2007, after being transferred from CIA custody to Guantanamo Bay, he was interviewed by the FBI and provided a confession he acknowledged was completely voluntary...had the jury known about Ghailani's confession, this al-Qaeda terrorist likely would have been convicted on 285 counts, not one." The mean ol' judge didn't admit the confession or other statements about Ghailani from other witnesses.

You read that and, if you're not following such things or you don't know that Thiessen is the kind of cretinous anus-licker that the powerful have always counted on to do their bidding, you might think, "Huh, that is an injustice." Except, of course, Thiessen is lying by omission. Because, see, for two years, while in CIA custody, Ghailani was tortured at a secret black site, as were witnesses. And Judge Lewis Kaplan said, simply, that the law doesn't allow the admission of evidence gained from torture.

For Thiessen, of course, this means one simple thing: the American legal system sucks balls and alleged terrorists should only be tried in military commissions, where one can rewrite rules about what is and is not torture, thus allowing a statement made by the accused after a dozen or so near-death drownings. For anyone with what we might consider a "soul," the Ghailani case is Exhibit A in how much the Bush administration fucked up its own "War on Terror."

We are nearly ten years into this mad, endless war. Prisoners at Gitmo have been held without charge or trial for longer than Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was in exile in the USSR (and even he was charged with a crime and given a show trial). And, really, the treatment of document leaker Bradley Manning, who is, you know, still an American citizen, is only marginally better. As for torture, in the Bush sense, it has been replaced by the evil efficiency of drone attacks on suspects.

What Thiessen is missing here, amid the denial of habeas corpus and assassinations, is that Ahmad Ghailani, who, charged or not, will never be a free man, is an exception, an aberration, not a sign of things to come for suspects and detainees of all stripes and nations. And that, barring some seismic event, like Oprah being disappeared, our American policies of isolation, exile, or murder, will continue unabated. Maybe Thiessen just misses the sounds of the gurgles and screams of the tortured.

(Note: The Rude Pundit will be on the Twitter machine during the State of the Union tonight, accompanied by some live whiskey-blogging.)


Frances Fox Piven Is Not Afraid of You and She Will Kick Your Ass:
The Rude Pundit is going to describe, in short, the infamous Cloward-Piven Strategy, a 1966 plot concocted in the minds of two Uhmerka-hating enemies, Profs. Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, according to Glenn Beck and the nutzoid right. Are you ready? Can you take it? Because you're about to discover the network, motherfuckers. You are about to look into the filthy roots of the tree of radicalism, you ignorant bastards, and get your brains dirty. For, indeed, it is something so insidious, so contemptuous of everything that Uhmerka stands for that it would force Uhmerka to its knees and beg for the socialist raping to stop. Holy shit, here it comes:

People who are eligible for welfare benefits should sign up for them.

Oh, fuck, now doesn't that put out a torch and make a motherfucker's raised pitchfork droop. "C'mon, man," you must be thinking. "It's gotta be more than that." To which the Rude Pundit can only say: "Ummmmm...nope That's about it." That this was written during what was called "the War on Poverty" by, you know, the Congress and President, might give it a little added finesse, but, yeah, there it is.

To elaborate a bit, Cloward and Piven pointed out that the welfare system functions kind of like the rebate system at Best Buy: the whole thing doesn't work unless most people just don't bother with it. "[P]ublic welfare systems try to keep their budgets down and their rolls low by failing to inform people of the rights available to them," the two sociologist wrote in their Republic-wrecking article, "by intimidating and shaming them to the degree that they are reluctant either to apply or to press claims, and by arbitrarily denying benefits to those who are eligible." They proposed (and got going) a series of welfare drives as a way of getting relief to the poor and, as a result of expanded welfare rolls, of making government at every level have to respond to the needs of the poor. That's it. Really. They even said so: "for this strategy to succeed, one need not ask more of most of the poor than that they claim lawful benefits."

Glenn Beck said that the goal "was to overwhelm the system and bring about the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with impossible demands and bring on economic collapse." He failed to mention that the method was merely to say that the law be followed. Indeed, it's something that virtually every no-brain idiot cockmonger attacking Piven refuses to acknowledge, even going so far as to call it "sabotage." That's like saying that actually eating all the pancakes you can eat at IHOP sabotages the restaurant's gluttonous offer. Indeed, when Piven and Cloward said in other works that mass action, even riots, may be necessary, they meant that as a response to laws not being followed and to the needs of a large segment of the population being ignored. For if a nation fails to live up to its own laws, that nation is betraying its citizens. Fuck, ain't that pretty much the only reason the Tea Party exists? Well, that and hating black people.

For her entire career, which has lasted for longer than almost all of you have been alive, Piven has been a staunch, passionate advocate for the rights of the poor, for those on welfare, and, especially, for women living in poverty. She's a fucking fighter, not a milquetoast liberal, and she believes that ensuring equality and rights for all sometimes requires more than listening to a bloated dry drunk frantically etching chalk trees like a mad caveman who doesn't understand why there's seasons. Or tides. Sometimes, it requires people to get off their asses and demand shit. Like, you know, fuck, the Tea Partiers say. Well, for them, that and hating black people.

And now, because of Beck and his focus on Cloward and Piven (who are connected to Obama, Soros, Marx, and Santa, that wealth-spreading fucker), the City University of New York professor is receiving death threats from Beck's lummox minions who wouldn't know truth if it kicked them in their empty heads. Most of the time, such threats are merely the anonymous bleats of internet losers who can't get their dicks out of their hands long enough to shut off the war victim porn and make the effort. But, these days, who knows, who knows.

People who believe the poor deserve a voice in America have long been condemned in this nation as socialist, Communists, and whatever other misunderstood word the grunting pig rightists can pull out of their historical shitbag. They have to be shut up and shut down, or the poor might actually vote in proportionate numbers. Piven's being attacked elsewhere; for instance, Andrew Breitbart's hottest whore (although James O'Keefe has a more supple ass), Dana Loesch, strives mightily to demonstrate how Piven wants violence in the streets. God, how desperate conservatives are for a clearly liberal radical to shoot shit up so they can go into blame mode.

Piven's seen it all before. From Birchers, from the Reagan right, for decade after decade, she knows that those who say that the poor are equals in a democracy and deserve to be treated as such will be attacked viciously. Read Piven. She's one of the more compelling academic authors, more practice than theory. And, by the way, for conservatives who actually fear the Cloward-Piven Strategy, well, just make sure you never apply for unemployment, Medicaid, or food stamps; decline your Social Security and Medicare. Then you'll be sure that it never comes to be.

(Note: Today Beck mocked the death threats. Classy guy, that one. He's got a self-help book out now, ya know.)


Tony Blair Dreadfully Sorry for All the Dead People:

Today former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, appeared before the Chilcot inquiry into just how England became mired in the Iraq war (aka "Shit What We'll Never Do in the U.S."). In answer to those who were critical of his previous appearance, Blair said, "Of course I regret deeply and profoundly the loss of life, whether from our own armed forces, those of other nations, the civilians who helped people in Iraq or the Iraqis themselves." People in the gallery yelled, "Too late." People in Iraq, many of whom only have electricity for a few hours a day, were probably profoundly relieved and can now move on with their lives. "The prissy white guy said, 'Sorry'? Now that's some motherfuckin' closure," commented one Kirkuk resident before boiling his sewage-tainted drinking water to give to his one-armed child.

There's small pleasures to be gotten from these moments, like Blair's continued linking of Iraq to al-Qaeda and bizarrely throwing Iran into the mix: "Although this is a time where many people think this extremism can be managed, I personally don’t think that is true. I think it has to be confronted and changed." So, since it worked out so well in Iraq, he thinks we need to use force on Iran. There's a delusional nature to Blair, a scampering, simpering self-justification that mixes with arrogance about being right about things that are demonstrably false.

You realize that he must still get midnight drunken phone calls from George W. Bush, a mix of reminiscences of good times, of how they got Laura and Cherie to 69 each other in front of the fire at Camp David while the two of them jerked each other off, of how they were just so totally right about Saddam Hussein and everyone else can just suck it, and half-veiled threats, where Bush tells Blair how he'll have Xe mercenaries break the PM's spine and keep him alive for days while they cut pieces off him until he finally just goes into shock and dies. Blair is a haunted man, as anyone would be.

But he plays his role. He has to if he wants to live in his home country. Unfortunately, he isn't American. Here, no one questions anymore, no one wants to know, no one even cares that we're still there, unless soldiers are needed as props in a campaign. Even if the Chilcot inquiry is ultimately toothless, at least it shows to families and a country that leaders owe the people answers.


The Rude Pundit on This Week's Stephanie Miller Show:
Glenn Beck's minions unhappy with the Rude Pundit and Stephanie Miller? Spider-Man the musical abortion? All that and more:

Remember: the Rude Pundit's podcast can bring you free, lubricated rude love in pod form.
House Republicans Waste Our Time Waltzing with the Veiled Green Fairy:
Do you think Republican Representatives will ever get around to actually doing some actual fucking work? 'Cause at this point the most significant thing they've done since winning back the House in last year's election o' hate, fear, and doom is have a moment of silence for Gabrielle Giffords. Otherwise, what the hell have these lazy fuckers done? Performed a service for the blind by reading the Constitution out loud, something that could have been done more efficiently and compellingly by any community theatre group in the country? Held a worthless time- and money-wasting vote on repealing health care reform when everyone knows that the real fight will come on budgeting the provisions? No, seriously, it's like paying for a hooker and watching her hump a pillow all night. Hey, nice show, but when's the fucking start?

That's the point, though, innit? To actually legislate, to actually come up with solutions to the deep, deep problems that afflict this country, which, one should always be reminded, were caused by Republican rule in the first half of the last decade, would mean making decisions that will piss off the teabagging yahoos. Or, if you're gonna please the yahoos, you're gonna end up displeasing your corporate masters and no one wants that teat to go dry. So, with budget cuts, with whatever lame-ass, watered down, and/or outright destructive "reform" they shit out, the Republican leadership still has to figure out how to work it so the money people are pleased and the yahoos think they are.

For now, the majority is behaving like louche, fin-de-siecle expats in Paris, sipping absinthe and jabbering endlessly about the phantasmagorical illusions that dance in front of them, seemingly real, but just out of reach, shitting themselves in opiate-fueled reverie and calling it meaningful decadence.

Yes, yes, Rep. Peter King of New York, chair of the House Homeland Security committee, indeed, hold those hearings on the "radicalization" of Muslims in the United States. Certainly, King will pretend to give a fair hearing to all points of view, including ones that don't live up to the conclusion that King has already reached. King was also upset that an announcement of an upcoming event on "FBI Raids and Grand Jury Subpoenas: Know Your Rights and Defend Our Communities" was listed on a Council on American-Islamic Relations website with the graphic of an old poster that read, "Build a wall of resistance. Don't talk to the FBI."

Gee, why should Muslims worry about such things when the very active showmen and women of the new Congress are talking about having hearings into very important topics like the threat of Sharia law taking over the United States? If you don't cooperate, you must be a terrorist.

How many millions and millions of dollars are Republicans wasting on this imitation of action? Probably more than enough to offset Speaker John Boehner's grand and minuscule gesture of cutting the operating budget of Congress. But, then, if one isn't wasting one's time Googling for nutzoids who think a new caliphate is imminent, one might actually have to do some fucking work.


Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Down a Pile of Shrooms with a Northern Lights Beer:

Monday was a beautiful morning in Spokane, Washington, for the annual Unity March that occurs on Martin Luther King Day. According to local news station KXLY, there were 3000 people who marched from the INB Performing Arts Center to River Park Square. If you can make it out in that screenshot up there, there's people in wheelchairs and children out to celebrate King's life. In case that's not clear, there's always this:

These are the people who would have been killed or maimed if a remote-detonation bomb, an IED, if you will, had gone off where it had been planted along the march route, just outside Auntie's Bookstore.

Is it okay, dear right-wingers, if we jump to conclusions here? The FBI already has. Said the special agent in charge, "Clearly, the timing and placement of a device – secreted in a backpack – with the Martin Luther King parade is not coincidental." Now, unless someone wants to psychotically contort this to somehow be a leftist plot to discredit conservatives by attempting to blow up kids, chances are this was done by someone who is a far right, racist piece of shit.

When it comes to harming real and actual people, both sides aren't equal. Conservatives have to go back to the 1960s for some kind of parity of violence. We're talking two generations ago, so, really, equating current right-wing nutjobs of today with leftist Vietnam War protesters is like saying that The Beverly Hillbillies is still a fresh and delightfully new show. It ain't. It's only in reruns. But conservatives who roll their eyes if you bring up Timothy McVeigh will still talk about the Weather Underground as if your local Marine recruiter is about to be attacked by hippies.

Besides, most violence by the left in America for the last few decades has been primarily against property. Eco-terrorists, for instance, blow up cars and labs. It's the right-wing bags of fuck who wanna kill people. But, of course, the right does value property more than people.
Late Post Today:
Earphones at home. Nonstop Michael Buble at this coffee joint. Must find somewhere else to write or will stab the nearest snowman.


The New and Not-Improved-at-All Dick Cheney Action Figure:
Hey, gang, lookie here: It's the new battery-operated Dick Cheney action figure. He's thinner, quieter, and ten times more sinister. He's all ours, America. Plus, he's got an electric heart so he's part cyborg: he'll never die.

You'll love your new Dick Cheney action figure when he gets all cuddly telling us about his special new features: "What's happened over time is the technology's gotten better and better and we've gotten more and more experience with people living with this technology. So I'll have to make a decision at some point whether or not I want to go for a transplant." In other words, your Dick Cheney plays a game where he chooses which healthy young adult he wants killed in order for him to continue running. Maybe it'll be you. It's like winning the lottery, except with forced organ removal instead of millions of dollars as your prize.

You'll thrill to your Dick Cheney action figure taking a heaving, slow victory lap and praising President Obama on embracing the some of the worst aspects of the Bush administration's policies on detention, surveillance, and secretiveness while, in the next wheezed breath, setting Obama up for blame should al-Qaeda hit us again: "I hope President Obama is to that point now where he has that same basic attitude. But we might never find out until there's actually another attack."

You'll delight when your new Mecha-Cheney, which used to have a quail-hunting play set with face-shooting action, comments on angry and violent rhetoric in the wake of the Tucson shooting: "I think we need to be a little careful about assuming that somehow the rest of society or the political class bears the responsibility for what happened here when it was the act of a deranged, crazed individual that committed a crime." It's as fun as pulling birdshot out of your forehead.

Of course, your Dick Cheney action figure comes with de facto immunity from prosecution for the many crimes he committed and approved of during his time as Vice President, even though it's easier than ever to find a man who needs to change his batteries every twelve hours or so.

But as long as you do so, America, you will never, ever escape Dick Cheney, old and husky or older and gaunt. Gosh, this model is so much better than the one that drank oil and blew up poor countries. And, remember, every Dick Cheney action figure comes with skull-fucking night-time mode so that, while news people sleep, Cheney can stick his plastic penis into their ears and screw their brains so that they think he has anything meaningful to say beyond "Sorry I fucked it all up so badly," which, if he ever did, would immediately trigger the thermonuclear self-destruct mode embedded inside so he can continue to leave casualties behind.


Martin Luther King Would Still Fuck Your Shit Up (2011 Edition):
See, as we become more and more slack in our celebrations of Martin Luther King Day, our understanding of what King actually believed slackens, too. For many people in America, King is that dream guy who judged everyone on character, not skin color. Rhetorically (and with full knowledge of the historical implications of the reference), King has had his balls cut off by people who want to pervert his demands for justice into something innocuous and inoffensive. They want to make him into their mascot as a way of justifying their awful beliefs. Glenn Beck claiming that he and King believe the same thing? You may as well have a puppet of Abbie Hoffman's skeleton doing recruiting commercials for the Marines.

Because King believed in nuts-and-bolts action, not mere words. And he believed, wholeheartedly that government was part of the solution, not an impediment to social justice. Here he is in a 1964 version of his "American Dream" speech, delivered at Drew Univesity in Madison, New Jersey: "Now the other myth that is disseminated is the idea that legislation and judicial decrees and executive orders from the President cannot really solve the problem of racial injustice, only education and religion can do that. Now certainly a half-truth is involved here: if the problem is to be solved ultimately, hearts must be changed and religion and education must play a great role at this point. But it is merely a half-truth, for it may be true that morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. It may be true that the law cannot change the heart but it can restrain the heartless." He added, ironically, tragically, "It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important also."

In a 1965 version of the same speech, this time delivered at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, King said, "[W]e must join the war against poverty and believe in the dignity of all work. What makes a job menial? I’m tired of this stuff about menial labor. What makes it menial is that we don’t pay folk anything. Give somebody a job and pay them some money so they can live and educate their children and buy a home and have the basic necessities of life. And no matter what the job is it takes on dignity.

"I submit to you when I took off on that plane this morning, I saw men go out there in their overalls. I saw them working on things here and there, and saw some more going out there to put the breakfast on there so that we could eat on our way to Atlanta. And I said to myself that these people who constitute the ground crew are just as significant as the pilot, because this plane couldn’t move if you didn’t have the ground crew. I submit to you that in Hugh Spaulding or Grady Hospital, the woman or the man who goes in there to sweep the floor is just as significant as the doctor, because if he doesn’t get that dust off the floor germs will begin to circulate. And those same germs can do injury and harm to the human being. I submit to you this morning that there is dignity in all work when we learn to pay people decent wages. Whoever cooks in your house, whoever sweeps the floor in your house is just as significant as anybody who lives in that house. And everybody that we call a maid is serving God in a significant way. And I love the maids, I love the people who have been ignored, and I want to see them get the kind of wages that they need. And their job is no longer a menial job, for you come to see its worth and its dignity.

"Are we really taking this thing seriously? 'All men are created equal.' And that means that every man who lives in a slum today is just as significant as John D., Nelson, or any other Rockefeller. Every man who lives in the slum is just as significant as Henry Ford."

A janitor is as important as, say, Bill Gates? In this America, it's unimaginable to say such a thing. It's why King believed it was incumbent upon the government to guarantee income and health care and housing: because everyone should be given an equal playing field to attempt to achieve the American Dream, that it didn't belong to the privileged alone. To express a belief in the necessity of government as a force for good in our daily lives is not allowed now. It is not part of our debate anymore, as watered down a position as almost every one of Martin Luther King's.


Glenn Beck Is Right: Spider-Man Is the Greatest Show (In Hell):
So the other day hillbilly hero Glenn Beck got on his microphone o' doom to announce that he had seen a preview of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, a musical on Broadway, don't ya know, and he declared it the most amazingly splendiferous thing since the Resurrection. It just so happens that the Rude Pundit was given a ticket to Spider-Man, and he saw it last night. He can report that, when it comes to theatre (as with most things), Glenn Beck's head is still so fully up his ass that he tickles his lungs when he blinks.

Watching the appalling spectacle unfold in front of him, surrounded by an audience that wasn't sure if it should be entertained but probably thinking, "Fuck me, I spent $150 on this seat; I'm gonna like it whether I like it or not," the Rude Pundit wondered how, other than his incipient madness, could Beck (or anyone) have thought Spider-Man was even remotely good.

And then this morning, in a vodka hangover (for, yes, he had to drink a great deal and alone in order to rid the demons of Cirque du Spidey from his brain), he realized that Spider-Man represented the delusional image that conservatives have about the nation, about humanity. No, it wasn't that Norman Osborne, who becomes the Green Goblin, the main villain, is a global-warming-believing gene-splicing mad scientist, and he gets killed twice. No, it wasn't that almost all the black characters were either hip-hopping ghetto monsters straight out of 1985 or, in one unfortunate case, a dreadlocked subway drummer. No, it wasn't that nearly all the women characters were either secretaries or sluts or slutty secretaries. No, it wasn't that Mary Jane isn't happy until she's subservient to Peter Parker.

It was that Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is everything that America has become during the reign of conservatives: a bloated, energy-draining spectacle that tells us to be excited and has a simulacrum of a heart, but nothing that approaches actual emotion, where the only thing that matters is shoveling money into a festering, ever-starving corporate gourd in the hopes of turning a profit, even if the only way to do so is to sucker the chumps who want to taste a little of that capitalistic glory. Yes, there may be good people working here, but they are merely tools to some plotless, avaricious, mendacious, unnameable goal that is impossible to achieve because the very act of attempting to reach it was corrupt and foolish and tainted and boring and stupid and the songs just sucked.

(Note: It was preview. Shit's gonna change. So don't see the fucking thing until it opens when they presumably won't stop the show because the pulley strings got tangled or something. Yes, it's true. During the song "Turn Off the Dark," they turned on the lights. That is not a joke.)


Asking for Decency from an Indecent People:
President Obama's speech last night at the University of Arizona in Tucscon was everything it needed to be. It was lovely and simple: a reflection on the lives of those who had been killed followed by a call that their deaths have some meaning beyond being bullet-beds for a madman's gunfire. The point wasn't that violence in discourse caused their murders; it was that terrible events sometimes ask us to reflect and reflections can lead to change. By focusing, time and again, on the life of 9 year-old Christina Taylor Green, the President placed the thrust of his speech on the potential future. He wasn't merely asking that we be good people because a little girl was shot. No, he said, "I want to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it. I want America to be as good as she imagined it. All of us -– we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations."

In other words, there's an America that exists, an ideal one, no more or less than Reagan's shining city, but unlike the dead Gipper's faith that it was in existence, President Obama placed it on a precipice that requires us to work together if we're ever going to reach it. In the McKale Memorial Center, the 13,000 people cheered and applauded. This was Tucson, where the tragedy occurred, a small one, in the scheme of things, but one that resonates because of how our nation is quickly devolving into disarray and disunion.

Of course, he was immediately attacked for politicizing the event (even though he specifically honored a Republican federal judge, even mentioning John McCain, which got applause). The crowd was criticized for clapping and cheering too much (the mourning police demand silence). The t-shirts that were given out for free were criticized for being too blue or something. (To be "fair," there are conservatives who have praised the speech.)

We are not, though, a nation of the goodhearted people Obama presented us as. We have become a nation where there's so much noise that only the screams get heard. We fall into a couple of camps: in one, the vast majority of the country, the apathetic who have decided that it's all white noise and just want to be left alone while they try to get or keep a job, pay the bills, and live a life that doesn't suck; in the other, that small tincture bottle's worth of Americans who engage, who understand that democracy is a responsibility and not just a term that you might learn for a high school social studies test. And in that bottle, there's the drops of poison, the people who do not seek to better the nation at large, who see only individuals rather than a society, who, in essence, hate the concept of a more perfect union.

Those are the savages. Some of them are elected savages. Some of them are the media savages. Some of them are the kind of savages who anonymously post things on blog or website comment sections because seeing their vileness in print makes it appear like valid discourse. The savages will not be converted.

See, that was the problem with the Christian missionaries who went out into the jungles and deserts and rainforests and plains. They didn't understand that the ones who could be saved weren't the natives in some tiny tribe that was perfectly happy eating monkey brains and sacrificing people to their own demanding gods. No, they should have preached to their own people, back in their mad European nations, and tried to make them better souls. All they got for their colonizing trouble was death, despair, and eventual revolution.

In other words, President Obama needs to speak, as he did last night, to that apathetic majority. It's what he did in 2008. It's what he needs to do now. He can't attempt to unify people again, he can't rouse people from their TV and iShit-induced slumbers, and leave them to make their way without direction. Leave the savages to fight their internecine wars. They will tire or go extinct. The rest of the nation wants to know what needs to be done and how they can be part of doing it. Again.

The Rude Pundit (who, yes, does write with anger and uses violent imagery, and does so unapologetically because he does believe in a more perfect union and despises those who seek to wreck it) has a favorite image from last night's rally, one that, to his mind, says something about our potential future: Seated in the front row was Gabrielle Giffords' savior and intern, Daniel Hernandez, who also spoke beautifully about the meaning of the events of last Saturday. He is a large, gay, Hispanic man. Seated behind him was Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, who has opposed rational immigration measures and held up START until he was appeased. The coverage on ABC showed Kyl constantly having to contort himself to look around Hernandez in order to see the stage.


Palin, Limbaugh, and O'Reilly Are Angry; Pie Still Yummy:
1. There she sits, our idiot queen, crowned by her Hollywood coif, needing two American flags in the frame of the video to tell us how really, most sincerely Americanly American she is. In a jacket and a lower-cut than usual blouse (which, truly, made the Rude Pundit think, "She needs to use more sunscreen on her upper chest"), Sarah Palin speaks to the tragedy that occurred in Arizona this past Saturday, in "our country," she says. Then, in a moment that can only be described as "Uh, is she having an orgasm?" Palin sighs, "Mmmm...our vibrant country."

To watch Palin's seven and a half minutes of self-aggrandizement and strained victimhood is to understand in a microcosmic moment how cynically Palin is manipulating her followers. Simply put, the faux absence of self-awareness isn't charmingly silly anymore. It's just dangerous and sad. Quoting Ronald Reagan, she says, "Each individual is accountable for his actions." Then she continues, "They begin and end with the criminals who commit them." If that was the case, the world would be a simpler place, no? The entire fields of sociology, anthropology, psychology, and, well, criminal justice could be banished from the courtroom. Crime doesn't happen in a vacuum. If it did, if society had no responsibility to prevent it, then someone should have told the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, back in 2001 not to worry too much about building a nice hockey rink to keep the kids out of trouble.

But it gets worse. Later in the meandering video, in chiding members of Congress for overreacting to the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, she says, "Recall how the events of 9-11 challenged our values and we had to fight the tendency to trade our freedoms for perceived security." Umm, we didn't fight for our freedoms. That's why we have people held for ten years now without charge or trial in Guantanamo Bay (something Palin supports) and why we may have to have our nuts or vags fondled at the airport.

What Palin is actually saying comes through not in her hyperbolic use of "blood libel" (the Rude Pundit actually prefers his matzoh free of Christian child blood). Instead, here she is in defiant mode: "We will not be stopped from celebrating the greatness of our country and our foundational freedoms." No, no, let's not do anything in the wake of this shooting, like consider gun control measures and greater spending on mental health programs. That would take away our liberty. How can one celebrate America's greatness unless one is allowed to shoot the fuck out of animals while saying liberals are socialists bent on murdering your grandpa with a panel? It's unpossible.

2. Saturday afternoon, Rush Limbaugh had the first erection he's had since November. He knew that once the right was attacked for its violent rhetoric, whether or not it had anything to do with Jared Lee Loughner's shooting spree, one man would emerge to defend his ilk and spew back with a bloody force like a deranged horned lizard. He called his still-fresh bride over. "Kath, get in here." Rushing in, the 4th bride of Limbaugh wondered what he wanted. She was used to seeing him without pants. It is the way he prefers to sit at his computer. "I got one, Kath," he said, pointing to just below his sagging gut. When she seemed confused, Limbaugh lifted his stomach to reveal a tiny hard-on, like a half-eaten candy cigarette. He nodded lasciviously, "C'mon, Kath, you know what to do." God, how Kath hated this, sucking on the little member like a ripped beach ball's valve, her husband's sweaty belly resting on her head, as he typed out his attack monologue about how Democrats are responsible for the shooting of a Democrat, about how liberals and the media are giving Loughner cover, about how he, Limbaugh, has no culpability and needs no moment to wonder if he bears any responsibility for the degradation of...of...shit, he came already. Kath extricated herself from her contorted position below his desk. "Thanks, hon," Limbaugh said. Kath forced a quick smile and headed off to the comfort of the multi-headed shower and sweet, sweet Xanax.

3. Trying Too Hard
O'Reilly, struggling
To stay relevant, just can't
Outcrazy Glenn Beck.


Glenn and Sarah: An Extraordinary Correspondence:
So it was that, in the wake of the tragic murders and the attempted assassination in Tucson, Arizona, committed by Jared Lee Loughner, whose mug shot should be put in the dictionary under "crazier than a shit fight in a monkey house," an amazing epistolary relationship was launched. Radio babbler and Fox "news" host Glenn Beck and Fox "news" personality and reality television star Sarah Palin, two people whose names have been connected to the shootings in that they have presented America as a place ripe for violence and hopped-up on gun love, wrote to each other tender words of support.

In other words, they made the killing of a 9 year-old girl and a federal judge all about them.

On the radio, Beck read his initial missive: "Sarah, as you know, peace is always the answer. I know you are feeling the same heat, if not much more on this. I want you to know you have my support. But please look into protection for your family. An attempt on you could bring the republic down." Yes, the nation, which survived the Civil War, would certainly become a mere Atlantis after a Sarah Palin murder (it can't be an assassination because she's not, you know, governor anymore). "There are nutjobs on all sides," Beck continued. Then the man who routinely talks about the nation crumbling and dark days and armageddon decried all violence. (Note: what would happen if Palin was killed would be an outpouring of idiot rage, followed by an orgy of random shootings, a lot of spousal abuse, and much sad, weeping masturbation done to images of her winking.)

Palin responded to Beck's letter with, "I hate violence. I hate war. Our children will not have peace if politicos just capitalize on this to succeed in portraying anyone as inciting terror and violence. Thanks for all you do to send the message of truth and love and God as the answer." The Rude Pundit imagines she was talking specifically about her own kids and not children in general, the majority of whom probably don't give flea fart's worth of thought to who is portrayed as inciting violence. So, sure, feel crappy for Piper having to hear that her mom is an uncontrollable, gun-fellating attention whore who would sell Trig for medical experiments if it got her five more minutes of spotlight time.

Thus, their extraordinary correspondence concluded, they could both go back to paranoiac fantasies about their worth in the world, deluding themselves that, while, yes, having no direct blame, they certainly can't be expected to be self-reflective.
The Rude Pundit on Yesterday's Stephanie Miller Show:
You wanna hear what happens when the Rude Pundit and Stephanie Miller are serious and seriously pissed off? Then behold:

Remember: subscribe to the Rude Pundit's free podcast to get the rudeness sent right to your iTunes.

(Meetings, meetings, meetings today for plenty more varieties of rudeness to come your way in the next couple of months. Back this afternoon.)


Dear Right-Wingers: You Are All Muslims Now:
Oh, dear, sweet conservative Americans, how you must have shit yourself on Saturday when you heard that someone had shot up an event with a Democratic member of Congress in, of all goddamned places, Arizona. And, worse, a Representative who had voted in favor of health care reform, which you have demonized as nothing short of a resurrection of the Nazi Party. It must have been awful for so many conservatives, thinking, praying, "Please, please, please, don’t let it be some Tea Party dick who says he did it because Glenn Beck told him to. Don’t let it be someone who wants to fuck Sarah Palin and thinks that if he starts taking out her congressional crosshaired targets, he’ll get into her pants."

How you must have heaved in relief when you saw that it would be quite easy to portray Jared Lee Loughner as a raving psychopath, an effort that’s helped a great deal by the apparent truth, which is that Jared Lee Loughner is a raving psychopath. Yeah, he's a psychopath whose mad rantings are heavily peppered with an insouciant flavor of Beck or Ron Paul or loony conspiracy theory nutsiness, but a psychopath just the same.

Now, ah, yes, now, lovely right-wingers, you could defend yourself. You could work yourselves into a huff about how unjustly you were accused of driving this obviously disturbed individual into an act of calculated, cold-blooded violence. But that's because you're sitting there in your shit-filled underpants, thinking, "I don't believe in violence. I don't approve this. I hope the government doesn't try to crack down on us."

So, welcome, assholes, because you are Muslim now.

How does it feel to stand in Muslim shoes today? Because, right now, yes, you are being treated like suspects. You are being treated like you are guilty of the crimes that are committed by the deranged in your number. Sure, you may think, you can spout all the blood-filled, gun-toting, war-flogging rhetoric you want against citizens of your own country. But those are just words, you know? You can’t, you know, be held accountable for the actions of a few. And, gosh, it’s just wrong to lump you all together, to stereotype you all as criminals in waiting. Like, you know, you have done with Muslims since September 11, 2001.

Here's the deal, though. The vast, vast, vast majority of Muslims decry not only acts of violence, but the rhetoric of it, too. The vast, vast, vast majority of right-wingers not only stay silent as conservatives shoot at targets with their opponents' names or initials on them, talk about revolution and violence, and accuse Democrats of getting ready to put Americans in forced health care camps. No, you embrace your extremist assholes and anoint them your idiot queen.

How will you live with yourselves in the future? Look, heated, vicious rhetoric is part of the political game. But, frankly, there’s a bit of difference between saying that you’re going to "target" an opponent and saying that there might have to be "Second Amendment solutions" to the nation’s problems. Let's not do the bullshit dance of false equivalence. While there was a period of time when the left was violent (which was met by officially-sanctioned violence by the government), in the last couple of decades, it hasn't been the left shooting shit up. It wasn't the left who let the assault weapons ban lapse. It wasn't the left that made access to guns as easy as a McDonald's drive-thru. It wasn't the left that cried "Fascism" to background checks for someone who wants to own a fucking machine gun. It wasn't the left that supported preemptive war and violence against individuals as solutions to our nation's problems. Time to welcome your chickens home, conservatives. Open your filthy arms.

So, yeah, yeah, cowering motherfuckers, Jared Lee Loughner was monkeyfuck insane. He wandered in the fringes of conspiracy theories and wallowed in the stinking pit of his own mad brain fluids. You can comfort yourselves and have a shaky drink to that.

But you know what, you ridiculous worms? At the end of the day, the Rude Pundit supports your right to say your stupid shit. And it's ironic that Giffords read the First Amendment during the House's big show last week of reading the Constitution. Free speech ain't a free pass. It never, ever comes without responsibility. You wanna spout crazy, violent shit? You wanna talk about end times and revolution, Glenn Beck? Then man up and know that some people will take you seriously, even if you are just a joke.


Regarding the De-Niggering of Huck Finn:
Check out one of the most niggery passages from the censored Huckleberry Finn sort of by Mark Twain, where the n-word that ate literature is edited out and replaced with another word:
"Jim was monstrous proud about it, and he got so he wouldn't hardly notice the other slaves. Slaves would come miles to hear Jim tell about it, and he was more looked up to than any slave in that country. Strange slaves would stand with their mouths open and look him all over, same as if he was a wonder. Slaves is always talking about witches in the dark by the kitchen fire; but whenever one was talking and letting on to know all about such things, Jim would happen in and say, 'Hm! What you know 'bout witches?' and that slave was corked up and had to take a back seat."

You know what the Rude Pundit's problem with that is? It doesn't work. It makes Huck (who is narrating, in case you haven't read the book) sound far smarter and more sensitive than he actually is. Indeed, one of the points of the book is that Huck evolves (putting aside his totally dickish behavior towards the runaway and later freed slave Jim in the last part), yet, especially early on, Huck is a backwards ass country fuck, and the use of the word "nigger" denotes, quite clearly, the social standing and/or intelligence of the characters. (And this isn't even getting into the whole "Injun"/"Indian" swap.)

But let's put literary analysis aside. How about this: don't fuck with works of art. Don't cover the tits or dicks on statues. Don't put out DVDs with the naughty bits cut out of a film. If you can't handle it or are offended by it, move on. The Rude Pundit can't abide intense violence against women in movies, so there's a few allegedly great flicks he's missed. But he wouldn't ask to see Irreversible with the notorious rape scene cut out.

You can't take the word "nigger"? Then, sorry, you don't get to enjoy the rest of Twain's satire of human degradation and idiocy (and you should probably avoid Pudd'nhead Wilson, too). You don't get to watch Pulp Fiction. You don't get to watch unedited episodes of The Jeffersons and Sanford and Son. You don't get to hear Archie Bunker explain about how he got his ass kicked when he was a kid by a black boy because he used the word: "That's what all them people was called in them days. I mean everybody we knew called them people 'niggers.' That's all my old man ever called them, there." No, we're just not that mature anymore. (Yeah, yeah, you can say we've gotten more "sensitive" or some such shit. All that's happened is that we've made the word more powerful by its false invisibility.)

This is ain't about people in places of business or public officials using "nigger." It's about art. Art pisses people off. You think it's ludicrous when dumbass members of Congress get offended by ants crawling on a cross in a video by a gay artist at the Smithsonian? Well, welcome to the other side of the coin.


John Boehner's Big Gavel Is Flaccid:
So the demonstrably unstable Speaker of the House, John Boehner, took his new position from Nancy Pelosi by requesting a comically large gavel. Overcompensating to the hilt, he held his surrogate penis aloft and made a speech that left the Rude Pundit wondering a few things.

1. Boehner said, "The American people have humbled us. They have refreshed our memories as to just how temporary the privilege to serve is." It's a constant, repeated thread in all Republican statements now, how the "people" have spoken, how the "people" want to change the way things are done in DC. So here's the question: How will Republicans react when Democrats, in the Senate and, you know, the Presidency block them from enacting the very things they campaigned on? What if Democrats are able to create lies about any modest bill Republicans want to pass and thus get masses of people active in turning on Republicans because of those lies? In other words, of course, what if Democrats acted like Republicans did during the last time the "people" voted for a monumental shift in power way back in, you know, 2008? (Note: Democrats won't do it because Fox "news" will be mean to them.)

2. Boehner said, "We will dispense with the conventional wisdom that bigger bills are always better; that fast legislating is good legislating; that allowing additional amendments and open debate makes the legislative process ‘less efficient’ than our forefathers intended." Where does it say that shorter bills on complex issues are somehow preferable? Doesn't that just mean shit's open for interpretation if everything isn't laid out with absurd detail and clarity? And here's a funny one: why does it seem there will be no amendments allowed on the health care reform repeal? Is it because everyone knows the vote is just a symbolic act of worthless protest that they just want to get over with as soon as possible? A waste of time, money, and energy in order to toss a bone to the new teabagger representatives? (Hint: Yes.)

3. Boehner said, "To my colleagues in the majority, my message is this: we will honor our Pledge to America, built through a process of listening to the people, and we will stand firm on the Constitutional principles that built our party, and built a nation." So why is one of the first things Republicans are doing is crawfishing away from one of the pledge's planks on cutting spending? Is it because the whole "Pledge" bullshit was just a way of hoodwinking teabaggers into voting for the GOP and now having to actually act on it is going to prove impossible? (Hint: Yes.)

So, cool, the shiny, new House opens with a series of lies and hypocrisies, with the craven traditional Republicans trying to keep the lid on the just-elected nutzoids so they don't fuck up 2012. As for Boehner, he walked out of today's boring-ass reading of the Constitution to have a press conference. And there's all you need to know about how very serious these serious new people are in their symbolic gestures. A giant, novelty gavel, after all, is just a giant, novelty gavel.


Rep. Darrell Issa: "I Will Investigate Why I Like to Fuck Penguins":
California Republican Representative Darrell Issa, who today becomes chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has pledged that first among the many investigations his committee will undertake will be "a thorough inquiry into my own behavior in fucking penguins," as he told a nodding Chris Wallace on Fox "news" Sunday.

On Face the Nation, Issa elaborated: "I am probably the most notorious penguin fucker in America. For the last two years, while the nation has been experiencing upheavals in the economy not seen since the Great Depression and while we have been fighting two wars, I have been busy visiting zoos and aquariums in every state in order to fuck their penguins. I have fucked penguins in the ass in my home state of California. I have fucked them in the beak in Indiana. I have fucked them in holes I created in them in New Hampshire. In fact, as you can see, I am getting an erection right now thinking about fucking penguins. If my committee can't discover why I'm fucking so many penguins, then, honestly, I think this nation is going to face a crisis of Antarctic proportions."

Asked by Meet the Press's David Gregory what he had done about his penguin fucking during the years of the Bush administration when Republicans held the majority in both houses of Congress, Issa responded, "I was too busy protecting penguins from terrorists to worry about why I was fucking them. But don't you worry. I'm going to investigate how the Bush administration turned a blind eye to penguin fucking of all types."

On ABC's This Week, Christiane Amanpour asked a sweaty-lipped Issa why he was so intent on fucking penguins. "Have you ever smelled penguin pussy?" the former car alarm magnate answered as his eyes glazed over. "My god. My. God."

In a release from his office, Issa is quoted as saying, "I will use the subpoena power of this important House committee to ensure that Americans will no longer have to wonder why they see me entering hotels with three or four penguins. I will call on doctors to explain how the horrible Issa/penguin mutant children could still be alive when medical science says it's a genetic impossibility. The first duty of the chair of the House Oversight Committee is to seek out corruption and abuse of government power. Before I seek to limit the Obama administration's power to inspect our food supply, before I waste everyone's time with a Wikileaks inquiry, before I give the biggest banks a pass at the end of a financial meltdown investigation, I must use all the power at my disposal to put an end to a question that is dogging this nation: why does Darrell Issa want, nay, need to fuck penguins?"

Issa was unavailable for comment because, his staff said, he was "hiking the Sea World trail."


In Brief: Leadership By Drama Queenery:
They've named it the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act." That's not a joke. Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor, filing a bill in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to repeal health care reforms passed in the last Congress, really and actually named it that:

Its long name: "Repeal of the Job-Killing Health Care Law and Health Care-Related Provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010." Or, simply, "Republicans Suck Elephant Balls."

One should probably note that the health care law hasn't actually killed a single job. It's sort of like calling someone "That guy who fucked his own sister," when that guy not only never fucked his sister, but he's never even been caught checking out her ass.

The bullshit legislation, that will never even be brought up for a vote in the Senate, is two pages long, because, see, that's short. The original bill was long. Get it? Short good. Long bad. Ergo, the repeal must be better than the law. Let's repeal everything just so's we don't have to read. It's like a whole new world in the Congress now, where a couple of lines scribbled on John Boehner's tear hankie can kick college kids off their parents' insurance and reimpose preexisting condition restrictions and reopen the Medicare prescription drug doughnut hole. January 12 is the day of the big show of just how very serious these serious grown-ups are in dealing with the serious problems we face. Right after the Constitution is read aloud in the House chamber. Seriously.

What a useless little show, a demonstration that the Republican drama queens are back and ready to wreck the nation more. Everything that didn't get fondled by their filthy hands must be evil, we'll be told, and everything that they did finger fuck is the greatest thing that ever could happen in the history of forever.

Nothing but good times ahead, motherfuckers, nothing but good times.
Late Today and Tomorrow:
These twins aren't gonna fuck themselves. Or, if they do, the Rude Pundit wants to watch. Either way, he's got a job to do in the a.m. for the next two days. So he'll have to save his liaison with his readers for afternoons today and tomorrow. (But there may be little treats along the way.)

Back later with more pulchritudinous rudeness.


Chris Christie Disneyed For Your Snowy Sins:
Politicians who say that they couldn't do the job for which they were elected because they promised to take their kids to Disney World should be run out of office on a rail. Of course, this being New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, it'd have to be a reinforced steel rail rather than the traditional wooden one (that's because Christie is morbidly obese, ha-ha). At his press conference defending his decision to abandon his responsibilities as governor in order to fly down to Florida literally a couple of hours before a state of emergency was declared, Christie said, "I wouldn’t change the decision even if I could do it right now. I had a great five days with my children. I promised that." He added that his wife told not to even think about giving up the trip. Apparently, the next time Sarah Palin is telling someone to "man up," she should include the GOP's new porcine hero.

With no due respect, Gov. Christie, fuck your kids. And fuck your wife. You can say, as you did, "I know what my responsibility is. And I know my responsibility as a father. I wanted to be there with my kids," but you just used the oldest excuse in the book and let your apparently whiny fucking children and obviously shrewish wife take the blame for your monumental fuck-up. Here's a tip: if your first responsibility is to your kids' getting to ride Space Mountain on their Christmas break, then don't fucking run for office.

And what a vacation it must have been, since Christie says he was on the phone all the time with the Democratic Acting Governor: "Senator Sweeney and I consulted on all of the significant decisions that needed to be made during the period of my time out of the state." Imagine that: you're getting on the Tower of Terror while your Dad is on the phone "consulting" about decisions at his job while your Mom is screaming about how they haven't had a vacation since Dad was elected. That'd totally fucking suck and you'd just wanna go back to the room at the Polynesian Resort and play with your DS.

Of course, in order for it to suck, it'd have to be true, except it wasn't. Christie wasn't in constant contact, at least according to the man Christie was supposedly talking to. Sweeney told Paul Mulshine of the Newark Star-Ledger, "I never spoke to him the entire time. He and I never spoke until he got back." So either Christie or Sweeney is lying. Who could it be? (Here's a hint: It's Christie.)

None of this is to even get into the whole clusterfuck of coordination between the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, a position just created in Jersey so that the Governor could go to the Magic Kingdom with his horrible wife and selfish kids.

Look, snow happens. Big-ass snow happens, too. But, as Christie knows, with his YouTube snuff flicks of him beating down average Joes and Janes, perception is everything in good times and bad. Christie came home after he made certain his family still loved him and blamed the media, the Democrats, and the local mayors while bizarrely praising the snow removal efforts, which, having driven around a good bit of northern Jersey since the storm, the Rude Pundit can assure you sucked frozen balls. At some point, Christie lovers have to accept that the fat man's just a glory hog who loves to point his greasy, sausage-shaped fingers at everyone else, making a show of being in charge while, in reality, just abdicating when convenient.
Late Post Today:
Man, some New Year's hangovers last. Back later with Christie-buggering rudeness.