Delightful Scenes from Today's Royal Wedding:
(Note: Photos may not necessarily be of the royal wedding.)

Their Royal Highnesses Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge kiss on the balcony at Buckingham Palace on April 29 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and was attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding.

Larry, the Downing Street cat, in a Union flag bow-tie in the Cabinet Room at number 10 Downing Street on Thursday, April 28, in London.

Royal supporters share a laugh as they wait along the processional route on the day of the wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton, on April 29 in central London.

Alexander McQueen gown designer Sarah Burton (bottom L) adjusts Britain's Kate Middleton's dress as she arrives with her father Michael Middleton at Westminster Abbey.


One More Goddamn Birther Post:
Here's the thing about Donald Trump: you can call him a "puke-sucking, human-shaped lump of shit who jacks off while getting fucked in the ass by sweaty sumo wrestlers" and he'd just thank you for the attention. So there's nothing bad you can say about the lying garbage heap because he doesn't care. What you can say is that anyone who gave a goddamn what he has to say about anything any time is a fucking imbecile. If you take your political advice from the man who "fired" LaToya Jackson from a fake job on a shitty TV show with a straight face, then you pretty much deserve whatever terrible things are coming your way.

Yesterday, we were greeted to the media version of a police stop and frisk. For the crime of presidenting while black, Barack Obama was forced to prove his innocence. The whole spectacle of the release of the so-called "long-form" birth certificate and Obama's speech after was degrading to all of us. In one way, the White House paid a ransom to the racists who were constantly attacking him. In another, it was a rather masterful political move by the White House: let's call a bluff and demonstrate just how irrational these fuckers are. Oh, and let's get a shitload of sympathy from the the left, who have been kicking our asses lately. Because this liberal Obama critic felt nothing but sympathy for the man yesterday for being told, as others have eloquently put it, to show us your papers. What a childish nation we are.

How mind-boggling is this? And how sadly not unexpected. And what's also sadly not unexpected is the reaction from the birthers. It's a forgery, it's not enough, it needs to go through forensics testing, what about his grades, what about his Social Security number, what about his Muslim connections, what about, what about, show us, show us. Seriously, could you guys just start saying, "That uppity nigger should be lynched"? Could you say that you're all het up because he looked at Hillary Clinton funny? Could you just stop pretending that anything else - anything else - is going on here other than that you hate black people with power? Because what you're doing is asking someone to prove shit when you don't have a scintilla of real evidence to support the crime you're accusing Obama of committing. What's next? Dig up his dead father to get DNA samples?

Shit, could Obama just get an intern to blow him in the Oval Office? Because, at this point, that fucking debacle makes sense. Hell, calling Bill Clinton a coke-snorting murderer just seems quaint.

Last night, the Rude Pundit was driven to MSNBC in a very big SUV that lacked a bar. The chauffeur asked what the Rude Pundit was going to talk about on the news network. When he said the birth certificate nonsense, the chauffeur went on about how it's a fake, how Obama "lies" all the time. "Every word out of his mouth is a lie," he said when the Rude Pundit asked him for one example. So of course the birth certificate was another lie. "Why did he keep it secret? What does he not release his marks in school?" the driver went on. He parroted every conspiracy website, every Fox "news" bullshit meme, every talk radio talking point: Obama gets all his power from illegal immigrants; Obama uses Chicago-style political tactics (which really just means "Democrats not acting like pussies"); and, of course, of course, Obama is a Muslim who is obviously attempting to destroy America with tactics straight out of Mein Kampf. Oh, and liberals want to kill all their enemies. It was fucking surreal.

So, yeah, we have a bigger birth certificate. But those who despise the president for existing don't give a happy monkey fuck and will continue to challenge Obama's legitimacy until he declares he is white. Otherwise, if they accepted the birth certificate and moved the fuck on, they'd have to deal with "issues" and use their so-called "brains."

By the way, on the way home, the same driver was bemoaning the treatment of Sarah Palin's children by the media. When the Rude Pundit pointed out how right-wingers talked about Chelsea Clinton, the driver said, "Well, she has terrible parents. And she was kind of ugly."

By the way, the one thing the Rude Pundit and the chauffeur agreed on was, as he put it, "Donald Trump is an ass."
The Rude Pundit Live in NYC:
He'll be reading from his new book at the Half King, the bar and restaurant co-owned by author/filmmaker Sebastian Junger. Come on out for drinks and merriment and drinks with the Rude Pundit. Books will be signed. And there will be drinking. It's on Monday, May 2 at 7 p.m. The Half King is at 505 W. 23rd Street.

Let the people know by RSVPing on the Facebook.

Oh, and check out the video of the Rude Pundit on MSNBC's The Ed Show a couple of hours ago


The Rude Pundit on The Ed Show Tonight:
Yep, the Rude Pundit makes his national TV debut tonight on MSNBC's Ed Show with Ed Schultz at 10 p.m. And this birth certificate thing has got him feelin' mean.

If you're visiting this merry blog for the first time, enjoy the snacks, share the beer, and, for fuck's sake, buy the book.

(You can order The Rude Pundit's Almanack from OR Books or get it for your Kindle or Nook or other things that are not made of trees.)
Praise Paul Clement for Taking the DOMA Case? Fuck That Guy:
So Bush the Dumber's former Solicitor General, Paul Clement, got hired by congressional Republicans to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which says, in essence, "Queer love is icky," because the Obama administration finally decided there is some shit they will not eat and refuses to defend it in court. Clement's big-ass law firm, King and Spaulding, under criticism from the Human Rights Campaign and others, decided to cover its financial ass and drop the case. Then Clement quit the firm on principle and took his wubby over to a smaller firm. Then Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder criticized the gay rights groups for criticizing the law firm and said, "Paul Clement is a great lawyer and has done a lot of really great things for this nation." And others are aghast at the way Clement has been treated when all that happened was, after all, free enterprise, supply and demand, man.

Why are Democrats going out of their way to praise Clement? On DOMA and a hundred other things, fuck that guy. Motherfucker was Bush's Solicitor General. That means he signed off on the evil shit that Democrats are supposed to have opposed, including waterboarding. He became acting Attorney General after Alberto Gonzales was whipped out of DC like a rabid pug bitch.

Here's Clement defending power of the president during wartime to the Supreme Court in the 2004 Jose Padilla case: "I think the fact that executive discretion in a war situation can be abused is not a good and sufficient reason for judicial micromanagement in overseeing of that authority. You have to recognize that in situations were there the government is on a war footing, you have to trust the executive." For Clement, in this case, the Supreme Court was micromanaging the president. Shit, his bio proudly lists that he argued for the indefinite detention of Americans in the Padilla case. Fuck that guy. Fuck him in the ass with a gavel.

Clement was there for all of it. Sure, he was an administration official doing his job, but if he had any qualms, he could have quit. He obviously has no problem with that. He argued the case for banning so-called "partial-birth" abortions. He argued for military tribunals for detainees. As acting AG, he helped assert executive privilege over documents related to the firing of U.S. Attorneys, thus helping the cover-up of that illegal activity. Cheney's energy task force, EPA rules, age discrimination, and on and on, always on the side of evil.

Hell, as a law professor, he supported the Bush v. Gore decision.

So could we just show a little backbone here. And instead of rushing to be all nice and compassionate as he again and again screws over democracy, could we just say, "Yeah, that happened. But you know what? Fuck that guy."


Gitmo Files: We Can Handle the Truth, But We Just Don't Give a Damn About It:
Some day in the near future, in the post-apocalyptic hellscape America that will be left after Republicans refuse to raise the debt ceiling unless President Obama publicly hangs himself from the Lincoln Memorial, when we're all squatting in ditches, foraging around for the food scraps dropped from the sky mansions of the mega-wealthy that hover hundreds of feet above our heads, some European or Asian student, who is writing a thesis about just what the fuck happened to drive a once-near-great nation off the cliff of civilization, will come to a conclusion, one that can be debated and argued over and torn apart, as hypotheses ought to be. She will decide that the most significant marker of eventual American doom was people's adamant refusal to give a shit about what happened to detainees during the long, hopeless war that began in 2001.

Indeed, an engaged, active electorate should have greeted the leak of hundreds of filed on prisoners at Guantanamo Bay with something more than a sigh about having to think about this shit...again, or with a half-hearted scoff at those who would dare leak classified documents. No, one might think that a nation that once worked itself into a frenzy over a president lying about getting his cock sucked in the Oval Office would be able to grip the outrage tube a little harder and squeeze a little smudge of anger out. Alas, it is not to be.

No, there will be no reckonings, great or small, other than the cruel, cruel treatment of Bradley Manning (and if Manning is being treated according to any rules, those rules are fucked and need to be changed) for allegedly daring to break a single law in order to reveal the breaking of many. There will be no arrests of people responsible for the creation or implementation of a system of torture and imprisonment that, at its base, makes hypocrites and fools of every single American citizen.

The documents from Gitmo reveal a level of absurdity in our detention policies that'd make a Catch-22-composing Joseph Heller put down his pen and say, "Fuck it. I can't top that shit." It's amateur hour, and it's been run by people who insist on saying that it's not. Check this out, just one story we can piece together from the files:

There's this former Gitmo prisoner, Mohammed Basardah, a stoner from Yemen who was arrested in Pakistan. He claimed he did the usual shit - trained in camps, fought in Afghanistan. But, and here's where it gets really fucking funny, Basardah decided to just say whatever the fuck his interrogators at Gitmo wanted. Unlike Abu Zubayah, who was tortured like a son of a bitch, Basardah just liked fucking talking, making himself seem bad-ass, giving up names, saying he knew tons of things about al-Qaida and the Taliban. For seven years. Hell, one analyst wrote of Basardah, "The current US government knowledge base of the personnel and activities within Tora Bora would not have been possible without the co-operation and truthfulness of this detainee whose reporting has directly supported US tactical operations in Afghanistan." Yeah, he even told of a London-based al-Qaida cell about which U.S. intelligence created an entire dossier based on his information. In 2008, he was transferred out of Gitmo, sent to Spain, and released. In essence, he said enough to get himself freed.

Now hold onto your sides: motherfucker was lying. Pretty much about everything. Yeah, and other analysts suspected it from the start. "Research into the other detainees' timelines does not readily support [Basardah's] information," they wrote. "In every interview where [Basardah] was questioned on detainee, [Basardah] has changed his story. Detainee's identity as a bodyguard has not been substantiated through other known sources," they warned. So basically, what Basardah did was play his captors. You gotta admire a man for keeping his wits about him in a fucked-up situation. You gotta wonder just why the hell they kept questioning him and why the hell they didn't just let him go to begin with.

And that London sleeper cell? Well, one of the men Basardah said was part of it was 11 years old at the time Basardah said he joined. And others, who had been tracked for years, had never even visited Britain. But, like Curveball later, we just bought his shit. Basardah was a pot dealer in Mecca. You can bet he sold some schwag weed. You can bet that the CIA would have purchased it and pretended they were stoned from tits to toes because of it.

Because Mohammed Basardah said so, there are men being held without charge, men who will never be released, men who were tortured, more than likely. And President Obama continues the detentions, with no more hope than a loaded military commission.

Yet we don't care, as a nation, that any of this is done in our names. We are tired of it and want it to go away. We don't want to make the effort anymore. That's why the new Gitmo files are greeted with a shrug and a turn to whatever stupid shit stupid asshole Donald Trump has said (god, isn't he so stupid?). A decade of a certain action makes that action into the new normal. If it's normal, if it's just the way we do things now, then we don't want to be bothered with changing it. When you beat a populace into apathy, you can get away with, well, murder.


Binyam Mohamed: A Dossier Fragmentation Poem:
(Taken from one of the newly-leaked files of a detainee at Guantanamo Bay. This is from a 2008 assessment of how very dangerous Binyam Mohamed supposedly was. Despite being "high risk," he was released in 2009 to UK custody. He said he was tortured to get his confessions; he was accused by Abu Zubaydah of plotting to explode a dirty bomb. Zubaydah was repeatedly waterboarded in order to get this information.)

"The following section is based on the detainee's
own account. Without consideration of veracity."

"In 1992, [Mohamed] traveled to Maryland and New Jersey with his father."
(Note: he was 14 at the time)

Arrested in Karachi, Pakistan August 9, 2002
"The police transferred him to an investigative center.
During the next two months, investigators were able to determine
[Mohamed's] true identity,
his association with al-Qaida,
and his plan to use a 'dirty bomb'..."

Property held: None

Transferred to Bagram for nearly two years.
Transferred to Gitmo September 19, 2004.

"During an interrogation in 2004, [Mohamed]
admitted guilt on his part and 'wished to bring
his case to a peaceful resolution.'"

"[Mohamed] expressed his desire for martyrdom
while targeting the US and any other opponent
of al-Qaida."

In December 2006, [Mohamed] "said 'Americans are our enemies,
but the law is on our side.'"

[Mohamed] "is assessed to be of HIGH intelligence value." His
last interrogation had been on October 24, 2005, over 3 years before
Rear Admiral D.M. Thomas, Jr. signed the leaked

(The Rude Pundit is in transit; hence, the minimal bloggery. Back tomorrow with full-throated rudiosity.)
Late Post Today:
Skeletor is at it again. Gotta yell, "By the power of Grace Kelly" or something and get to work. More antic rudeness later.


Rude Audio for Easter:
Cheater and the Rude, the Rude Pundit's podcast and online radio gig, from April 14, featuring a commercial for Democrats using the theme from Inception:

And this week's therapy session with Stephanie Miller:

Subscribe, goddamnit, if you haven't already, to the Rude Pundit's podcast (now available on iTunes, too).


An Easter Prayer from the Family Research Council:
This week, which most Christians call "Holy Week," but real Christiany Christians call "Passion Week," we members of the Super Duper Prayer Team of the nutzoid evangelical Family Research Council (motto: "Christ died for this?") have been asked to pray because of the sinful activities at the White House's Easter Prayer Breakfast. The Rude Pundit joined the SDPT under a nom de rude some years ago, and every Wednesday he is sent his rusty prayerbone orders for what we gotta drop on our knees for and give Jeezus the high, hard prayin' business.

Now, you might think that the Easter Prayer Breakfast, with 130 religious leaders gathered to dine on ecumenical danishes, is an innocuous event where the President once again shows that, really, he's really, really Christian. But you may as well be sucking the Devils barbed cock while flames burn off your anus hair, you sinning fucker.

Here's how the FRC viewed the event: "Yesterday, President Obama hosted an Easter Prayer Breakfast for 130 clergymen and women in the East Room of the White House. Invited were clergy from Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox traditions, as well as non-traditional groups, among them clergy from homosexual and pro-homosexual denominations, one considered a forerunner in shaping homosexual theology." Yep, it was all about queer-loving. And you know that when Jesus was hanging on that cross in agony, the one thing he was thinking was, "Don't let a black-Muslim-Kenyan president invite the gays to his house to pray to me."

So we on the SDPT are told to "Pray that God will give to us leaders with a Christian worldview, people who know and keep God's eternal laws in public, in private, and in the way they influence public policy." Or it would be simpler to just say, "Pray that God hates fags."


BP Oil Spill One Year Later (Part 4): Two Photos That Tell You What You Need to Know:

There's 12 crosses on the beach at an anniversary vigil at Grand Isle, Louisiana. Eleven of them represent the workers killed when the Deepwater Horizon blew up. The large 12th one in the center is for the Gulf of Mexico. The candles are in old plastic milk containers.

That's a picture from yesterday at a clean-up at Fourchon Beach, Louisiana. Now, a year later, the oil rests just below the surface sand. It's the beach where former BP chief executive Tony Hayward held one of his ill-fated press conferences. Chances are that we won't know for years and years just what the oil did to the Gulf and its coast, but the clean-up continues, even if it's just for cameras on a black gold anniversary.


BP Oil Spill One Year Later (Part 3): Ways to Celebrate the Anniversary:
We all need to hold hands and sing a song of thanks to our corporate overlords today. The Rude Pundit's got a few ways you can join in the fun of celebrating the day men died, sea life got fucked, and lives got ruined:

1. Strip yourself naked. Pour a bucket of sweet light crude oil over your head. Stand on an American flag. Finger your asshole until you achieve orgasm. Wipe yourself with the flag.

2. Dangle your nuts or a tit over a bear trap. Drop ping-pong balls emblazoned with BP's logo on the bear trap. When someone points out that this is a bad idea, tell them that what you're doing is perfectly safe.

3. Take a shit in the corner of your boyfriend's kitchen. Smear it around when you're cleaning up, toss some bleach on it, and declare it clean. When your boyfriend complains that you still left shit on the floor, tell him that the corner was pretty dirty to begin with.

4. Fill a bathtub with water. Put in one drop of 10W40 and one drop of a chemical dispersant. Ask your best friend if she wants to bathe her baby.

5. Build a tree house out of balsa wood. Invite the neighborhood kids over. Charge them to use it. Step back and watch the fun.

6. Take the shell of a sea turtle that washed up on the shores of Louisiana. Paint sea turtles swimming in a clean ocean on it. Sell it as ironic kitsch.

The Rude Pundit asked Facebookers for their suggestions for a proper celebration, and they tossed up a bunch. Here's a few of 'em:

7. From Stephanie O.D.: "I'll be covering myself with toxic chemicals, claiming that everything's fine, and hugging everyone."

8. From Kymberly L.: "Our sewer pipe is being dug up, yanked out, and replaced with something that doesn't spew filth all over the landscape. How's that for a celebration? BP - watch and learn, you rancid assholes."

9. From Robert E.R.Jr.: "By fueling up my Ford truck and driving nowhere for no reason whatsoever. It's the American Way."

10. From Josh C.: "Probably just contemplating the relative helplessness of even a large group of outraged individuals against a deeply-entrenched, incredibly wealthy corporation that's been in a multi-tentacled, tight embrace with our supposedly representative government for decades. And crying."

And, of course, from Dave A., "With a 'junk shot', baby!"


BP Oil Spill One Year Later (Part 2): And Those People Are Getting Sick:
Tomorrow is the actual anniversary of the explosion that sank the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, killed eleven men, and ripped open a well that gushed oil into the Gulf of Mexico for three months. People who strove to clean up the mess caused by the voracious greed of three corporations (BP, Transocean, and Halliburton) have gotten sick. A good many of them. Enough that it's beginning to seem beyond anecdotal that working in waters or marshes filled with chemicals and oil might just have an effect on one's health.

We know from a recent study "that 30 percent of the oil that made its way to the surface was made up of 'light volatile organic carbon molecules' that evaporated within 10 hours." Heavier compounds took up to 20 hours to evaporate. We know that if you inhale a whole bunch of this, it's bad. And we know that "offshore clean-up workers were exposed to both the vapors and the aerosol compounds."

Andy LeBouef knows that he hasn't been well since he worked on a skiff for four months for BP after the spill. And before you think that this is some moneymaking scam, you should know that LeBouef doesn't want to sue BP. He just wants to know for sure if his illness was caused by all the evaporated oil and all the dispersants he inhaled. And then he just wants BP to pay for his medical expenses.

Hundreds of cases of illness seemingly related to the oil spill have been reported so far. There's probably many more. If you know the people who live down in that area of Louisiana, you know that a bunch of 'em are just sucking it up and taking it like a man or woman. But this isn't going away. Chemist Wilma Subra tested the blood of patients and found "levels of benzene among cleanup workers, divers, fishermen and crabbers are as high as 36 times that of the general population." In case you don't realize it, that's bad, too. She said, "As the event progresses we are seeing more and more people who are desperately ill."

It's not just workers. Louis Bayhi was told that it was safe to bring his family to live down in Grand Isle with him while he worked for BP, shuttling people around in his charter boat. They were told the beaches and the waters were safe for swimming. The whole family is constantly sick with flu-like symptoms now. "My little girls have more toxins in their blood than I have," Bayhi said. Those girls are 2 and 3 years old.

Like LeBouef, Bayhi and others who are sick in the small towns on the Gulf in Louisiana just want to know what's wrong. Many of them don't have health insurance. And if BP cared more about profit than safety or health, leading to the explosion, they just want to know that BP will take care of their medical bills.

There's so much horror and sadness caused by so many people in that paragraph up there that the Rude Pundit might start drinking early.


BP Oil Spill One Year Later (Part 1): It's About Working People:
There will be time, yes, there will be time to talk about dead dolphins and washed-up sea turtles. There will be time to talk about the impact on the seas and the life that exists there. But for today, two days before the first anniversary of the explosion that destroyed the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and began the long funneling of millions of gallons of BP oil into the Gulf of Mexico, let us think about the people that were on that rig. In fact, let us focus in on one, Gordon Jones, a mud engineer who died that night, and, even more specifically, on the effort his father, Keith, has exerted in a search for justice for his son and the other workers who were killed by the negligence of maybe three different multinational corporations as they attempted to feed our insatiable desire for oil.

Keith Jones has not been silent since his son's death. A statement he wrote was read out loud by writer Antonia Juhasz at BP's annual shareholders' meeting in London last Friday. In part, he said, "You were rolling the dice with my son’s life and you lost. And after Gordon was dead, after his family was destroyed forever, none of you, not a single one, could find the time to do so much as send a sympathy card. A telephone call or a letter from one of you would have meant something to us. It would have told us that you regretted what happened to our Gordon." Juhasz was booed and heckled as she read.

Currently, Jones is trying to get Congress to change the Death on the High Seas Act. The 1920 law does not allow the survivors of anyone who died more than three miles from shore to sue for anything more than direct monetary costs of the death. No pain and suffering. No punitive damages. Gordon Jones' wife and two children will continue to receive his current salary until Gordon would have reached retirement age. But that's not enough for his father, and it should not be for anyone who has lost a loved one because of the savage neglect and whorish profit-mongering of greedy companies who seek the next billion and the next. As Jones told a congressional committee last year, "Reckless acts ... performed to make the most money the fastest will never be deterred by the payment of mere compensatory damages. Payment of punitive damages by irresponsible wrongdoers is the only way they may learn"

Last July, despite opposition from the Chamber of Commerce and the apparently powerful cruise line lobby, a bill allowing survivors of the Deepwater Horizon and their families to sue for punitive damages passed the then-Democratic House "overwhelmingly." But the bill died in the Senate, that graveyard of progress, when Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, who opposed even allowing an investigation into the accident, placed a hold on it. One day, the children of Louisiana will call animal sodomy "a DeMint-ing."

Jones is back at it again, with a less friendly House, where no Republican feels safe in voting for anything that might harm a corporation and help workers, where the idea of punishing a company for murder is ludicrous. He knows the score now. He told the Times-Picayune, "No one down here thinks about these rigs operating in a safer way...Every mistake they made, every risk they took was to make more money faster."

No one is saying that BP hasn't paid. But they what they've paid has been as punishment for the oil. And neither BP nor Transocean nor Halliburton has paid much of a price for the lives lost a year ago. That may change. But unlike the men who leaped into the water that night, you shouldn't hold your breath.

(By coincidence, the Rude Pundit is heading down to the Gulf coast today, to an area that's supposed to be pristine. If he sees anything hinky, he'll report.)


Everything You Need to Know About America in 2011 in a Single Image:

In case you hadn't heard, that right there is a new stamp from the United States Post Office. It has a photo of the Statue of Liberty, but there's a mistake there. For it's not the one that greeted immigrants coming to America in New York Harbor. Oh, no. It's the one from New York-New York casino and hotel in Las Vegas. New York-New York is owned by MGM Mirage, which is about 10% owned by Dubai World of the United Arab Emirates.

At New York-New York, you can ride past the faux, half-sized Statue of Liberty and a faux skyline on a roller coaster. Fake Lady Liberty's torch lights the way for thousands of gamblers to lose their wallets on the slots and tables. Oh, sure, there's always a few winners. But, usually, if you arrive rich, you leave rich. And if you arrive poor, you leave poor.

There you go: a postage stamp honoring reduced Liberty at a place where dreamy middle and working class people merely give their money to a big multinational corporation. It's the American dream. No wonder the word "Forever" has a line through it.

By the way, in the midst of the faux New York City is a 9/11 memorial with real artifacts from the day. You can honor the fallen before you play blackjack and eat at the buffet.


Barack Obama's Fiscal Policy Speech: Tryin' to Get The Feeling Again:
First off, let's give credit where credit is due. Inviting Rep. Paul Ryan and other Republicans to sit in the front row during his big ass deficit addressin' address was just a goddamn hilarious move by President Barack Obama. Think about it: Ryan and various Medicare-gutting bags of douche got their BBMs to be there and probably took their seats, smugly waiting to see how much Obama would give in to the radical Ryan budget. Instead, they get the President telling 'em all that their budget "paints a vision of our future that is deeply pessimistic. It’s a vision that says if our roads crumble and our bridges collapse, we can’t afford to fix them. If there are bright young Americans who have the drive and the will but not the money to go to college, we can’t afford to send them."

Or, in other words, "You suck and I'll tell you that to your faces, not behind your backs." And they had to sit there and take it. Now that's comedy.

By the way, hearing Republicans complain about the partisan tone of the speech is like watching a group of cobras complain that the local mongoose bites them too hard. Seriously, guys, you're cobras. Suck it up. It's just fucking embarrassing.

As for the rest of the speech, the inspiring rhetoric, the guts to say that at least some taxes have to be raised (when, really, all the Bush-level tax cuts have to go), the promises to hold the line on Medicare, Medicaid, and health care reform, the willingness to put defense on the table, yeah, all that shit, just a year ago, the Rude Pundit would have still found it inspiring. He'd have been able to join the jubilant lefties who are crowing about it, like E.J. Dionne, who says that "Obama is back on the field" or the Rude Pundit's beloved Joan Walsh, who says, "That's the president I voted for." He wishes he had such belief, such faith in the words of the President. Alas, alas, his innocence is lost.

How many times can we hop on the train to Hopeville only to realize that it ain't leaving the station? It was a fine speech, sure, even if it bought into the GOP line that deficit reduction is the most importantest thing that can happen ever. But at least Obama's version of "shared sacrifice" is something more akin to actual sharing and not Ryan's version, which is "rich people get all the pie and get to fuck your grandparents in the ass." In essence, while Obama defended liberal beliefs, he put forth a bunch of random proposals that, cobbled together, will achieve the same deficit reduction that Ryan wanted, except a bit less dickishly. As Ezra Klein says, it's a policy, not a philosophy. There is no unifying philosophy to Obama's presidency anymore, just predictable moderation that leads to near-total capitulation that can be spun as victory.

Yeah, it was just a speech. And it forms the basis for what will be seen as the left side of the budget debate, which it's not, but that won't matter. This is where the negotiating starts, not where it ends. So, sorry, the Rude Pundit didn't get a thrill up his leg when President Obama said about the Bush-era tax rates on the wealthiest 2% of Americans, "We can’t afford it. And I refuse to renew them again." You know why? Because he fucking said he wasn't going to fucking renew them in the first place and that ended up being a fucking lie, just like promise after promise. To put it simply, the Rude Pundit doesn't believe Obama's words anymore.

Sometimes, in the course of giving blow jobs to different dudes, a guy will suck the dick of another guy who just won't come. Guy #1 could be bobbing on that knob in every way possible, sucking like a hole in an airplane in flight, and Guy #2 just won't blow his load. Oh, sure, Guy #2 keeps saying he's gonna jizz, he's gonna jizz, but, no, he's not jizzing, and Guy #1's jaw muscles are aching and he's wondering how much more stamina he's got before he just tells Guy #2, "You're not gonna come. And you know it. So why should I keep blowing you?"

(Note: Before anyone writes in to bitch that the Rude Pundit has become just another Obama-abandonin' liberal whiner and oh-gee-it's-way-better-than-any-Republican, take a motherfuckin' breath. One can shit on Republicans and then piss on Democrats. As for the 2012 election, well, the Rude Pundit ain't gonna sit it out. If he could force himself to vote in 1996, he can do the same thing in 2012.)

(Note 2: Yes, that is a Barry Manilow reference in the title. And?)


Rude Audio-Palooza:
Check out the Rude Pundit on Monday's Stephanie Miller Show, talking whether or not budget cuts will be cruel or insanely cruel:

And enjoy last Thursday's episode of Cheater and the Rude, where we get our Terry Joneses mixed up and hijinks ensue.

Subscribe to the Rude Pundit's podcast so you can have a little rudeness thrust into your earholes.
The Rude Pundit's Five-Word Response to President Obama's Magical Speech o' Deficit-Reducing Wonderment and Marvels:

Why should we believe you?

(More on the speech tomorrow.)


An Email from the Grandson of a Former RNC Chair:
Yesterday, the Rude Pundit wrote about former Republican National Committee chair Mary Louise Smith, who was on the board of Planned Parenthood when she was named by Richard Nixon to head the RNC in 1974. The point was about how very mad the Republican Party has become.

Today, he received this email (offered with minimal edits and no commentary):

"Mary Louise Smith, who in addition to being former GOP chairman, was also my grandma.

"I met Senator Barack Obama in 2008 on a campaign stop here in [my city]. I introduced myself as an 'Obamican' (I have stayed a registered Republican out of loyalty to Grandma Smith, though I haven't voted GOP in years). He said, 'I love you, brother!'

"When I told him about the family connection, he correctly remarked that she led a very different Republican party at that time. It would be inconceivable in present day to imagine a Republican president and national GOP chair who were both pro-choice, but that was the case when Grandma served under Gerald Ford.

"There's a great photo on the cover of the book Republican Women:

"It shows Mary Louise Smith sitting at a GOP convention, probably holding the Iowa banner, and Ronald Reagan is leaning forward from behind. Their positions symbolize their place within the party at that moment - she's still the standard bearer, but he's coming fast from up behind. Grandma has this sort of wary look on her face, as if she had a sense that he represents a movement that would soon take over the reins and push her out of even being an Iowa GOP delegate. (In '88, she made it into the national convention on a borrowed press pass.)

"Up until she died in 1997, she held out hope that the party would move back towards the center again, and in her memory I hope that, too, but I don't see much leadership pointing in that direction. Maybe if the Tea Party breaks off and takes the God squad loonies with them; otherwise, I'm afraid it shall be what it is today."

And it's signed by Robert Smith.
The Incomprehensible Budget Cuts: Does Anyone Have Principles of Governing Anymore?:
Here's everything you need to know about your extremely serious budget cutting avengers of the Congress, as stated by the House Appropriations Committee: "The Department of Defense is funded at $513 billion in the CR [Continuing Resolution] – approximately $5 billion above last year – providing the necessary resources for the safety of our troops and the success of our nation’s military actions. The bill also includes an additional $157.8 billion for overseas contingency operations (emergency funding) to advance our missions abroad." Boo-yah, motherfuckers. Suck on each of those 2/3 of a trillion bucks, and suck 'em good. Essentially, Republicans are saying, "Build those useless weapons systems and aircraft in our districts and shut the fuck up about it. Now, lemme complain about poor people getting too much money for housing."

Oh, wait, though: "The funding level for the State Department and Foreign Operations in the CR is a total of $48.3 billion – a $504 million reduction from last year’s level and an $8.4 billion reduction from the President’s fiscal year 2011 request." You got that? $5 billion extra for war. $8.4 billion less for diplomacy. That's American, man, that is so got-damn American.

The entire list of shit what got cut is darkly amusing, like watching a cartoon salami with teeth discover his own body is delicious and then devouring himself. Gas prices skyrocketing and our tiresome dependence on foreign oil keeping us involved in our tiresome wars? Well, fuck you, you public transportation-using pussy: "the bill eliminates new funding for High Speed Rail and rescinds $400 million in previous year funds, for a total reduction of $2.9 billion from fiscal year 2010 levels."

And on and on. The budget agreement is just a panoply of middle fingers to things Democrats want. For what else can we make of the couple of little swipes at health care reform funding, including cutting funds for free choice vouchers, which would allow employees to go on the open market to buy health insurance? The cut is antithetical to the very capitalistic crap pile the GOP stands in. There's no logic, no rhyme or reason, no theory, no organizing principle other than the grunting barbarism of "cut," hacking away with a dull blade until enough flesh is carved out to satisfy enough Republicans to get the damn thing passed. Yeah, the Obama administration finessed a number of cuts from previously defined savings. But, c'mon, cutting $600 million from non-Planned Parenthood community health centers? And a billion from AIDS and TB prevention? And the total fucking over of Washington, DC? The only unifying aspect seems to be "Let's make sure that poor people die in debt that they can pass on to their poor children."

As for the dickish riders the Rude Pundit mentioned last week, yep, the "Fuck You, Michelle Obama" school lunch one is still there, which bans any additional funds from going to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to kids (it's Sec. 1287 now). But it looks like the stupidly-named (by the right) "Fairness Doctrine Czar" and the fresh waterways of Florida have been protected.

Still, there's things that are prohibited from being funded: "the establishment of a Climate Service at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration" and "the construction or modification of detention facilities within the U.S. for the housing of [Gitmo] detainees." It's as if the GOP just pulled all the Neanderthal ignorance out of its ass and smeared it over the bill.

"Reducing the deficit" is not a way to run a government. But the GOP is gonna keep playing this game of brinksmanship, with the debt ceiling, with the 2012 budget, hell, possibly even with this budget again. Democrats and the White House have to figure out a way to put a wedge between the teabaggers and the regular dicks in the Republican House caucus. Allowing them to dictate the terms of the negotiations ain't it. And neither is making it seem as if the Republicans negotiated in anything like good faith and honor, as Obama did in his weekly radio address. Don't thank the purse snatcher for not breaking your arm.


In Brief: Photos That Teach Us What Bastards Republicans Have Become:

If you wanna know just how far to the right the Republican Party has slithered, let's learn about someone you may not have heard of: Mary Louise Smith. Smith was named by Gerald Ford to chair the Republican National Committee in September 1974. That's the RNC, the same organization that used to be chaired by Michael Steele and is now chaired by Reince Priebus, which is really just a couple of nonsense words. That dashing young man up there handing Smith the gavel is the retiring RNC chair, George H.W. Bush. He would later be president. He had already fathered the engineer of our national demise. Later in her career, Smith would campaign for the elder Bush. David Broder would call her one of H.W.'s "biggest supporters."

But this is about Mary Louise Smith of Iowa, the first woman to chair the RNC. See, the funny thing is that she was a pro-choice, pro-Equal Rights Amendment member of Planned Parenthood at the time she was given that gavel. In fact, "Smith served on the board of directors of Planned Parenthood of Mid-Iowa from 1986 through 1992, and in 1989 she also became a member of Planned Parenthood Federation of America's National Leadership Committee."

In the 1980s, she kept trying to pull the GOP back from the brink of extremism, telling ABC News in 1984, "I'm sorry that [the GOP] seems to have swung so far to the radical right." In 1987, about Pat Robertson running for president, she told the Washington Post, "If the Republican Party lets itself be taken over by fundamentalist religious views and it becomes almost exclusively that, it will survive for a little while and then self destruct, because it won't provide a foundation of a party." Would that she had been right.

Yes, we used to be a more liberal nation overall. But the overarching goals of the Democratic Party have changed less than the seismic shift in the Republican Party. As it lurches back to the age of Hoover, it has left behind a history where there actually was a tent big enough for a Mary Louise Smith.

Note: The photo is from the New York Times on September 21, 1974.
Late Post Today:
Have to go fill several tankers with gasoline before we all go Road Warrior. Back later with more violating rudeness.


The Rude Pundit at FDL Book Salon on Saturday:
Tomorrow at 5 p.m. Eastern/ 2 p.m. Pacific, the Rude Pundit will be hanging out at the Firedoglake Book Salon, answering your questions and enjoying the hosting talents of Watertiger. Yes, they like their made-up compound words over at FDL.

We'll be talking about The Rude Pundit's Almanack (available at OR Books and Amazon) and, surely, other stuff. Come on over and let's get our chat on. You don't even have to wear pants. In fact, don't wear pants.
The Stupid, Cruel, and Dickish Riders to the House Budget Bill (Plus Fun with Planned Parenthood Funding):
Your cost-cutting Republicans have attached dozens and dozens of riders to H.R. 1, the budget for the rest o' the fiscal year. They are almost all just ideological turds shat on the American people by the squatting extreme right (either of the teabag or evangelical variety, sometimes one and the same, sometimes not). And they are what's holding up the passage of a budget, even if Democrats have given in on the punitive cuts that Republicans want and will probably be why the government shuts down at midnight. Let's remember that the riders don't actually cut the total of the budget; they merely prohibit various ways of using the money. Here's a few in their dickish glory:

1. Sec. 1284 - "That none of the funds made available by this division or any other Act shall be used to pay the salaries and expenses of personnel to carry out section 19 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act." It also prohibits any additional funds being spent on the mysterious section 19. What in the world could this be? Force feeding kids gold-coated aborted fetuses? Not quite. This is the program that provides fresh fruit and vegetables for students at public schools in an attempt to put something not plastic-wrapped and filled with high fructose corn syrup into the bloated tummies of our nation's tubby children.

2. Sec. 4035 - "None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to implement, administer, or enforce the rule entitled 'Water Quality Standards for the State of
Florida’s Lakes and Flowing Waters.'" Or, in other words, we must allow agriculture and other industries to keep fucking up the drinking and swimming waters of Florida. Between this and the more than a dozen other anti-EPA riders, the GOP's obvious goal is to destroy land, water, and air so that we have to pay corporations for tanks of air we'll have to strap on our backs to walk through the climate-changed horror landscape they're giving us.

3. Sec. 4009 - Funds cannot be used to pay for the Associate General Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer of the Federal Communications Commission. This is in a big list of what the right considers all of Obama's "czars," people he appointed to various positions. The FCC guy deserves highlighting because this poor schmuck, Mark Lloyd, has been labeled "the Diversity Czar" or, even better, "the Fairness Doctrine Czar" by conservative radio talkers who, for fuck's sake, need something to fill up the hours and hours of their useless air time. By the way, Lloyd has explicitly stated that he doesn't want to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, which, to your rational right-wingers, means he absolutely will do it.

Oh, hey, here's a fun quote from yesterday's House debate on a useless stop-gap spending bill: Indiana Republican Mike Pence on Planned Parenthood funding: "It seems like liberals in the Senate would rather shut the government down so they can continue to borrow money from China to support the biggest abortion provider in America." Yeah, he really did say that. If he'd have figured out a way to work in gay people, it would have been the scariest statement ever heard by his constituents.

Fun facts that you should have heard elsewhere but probably haven't: Federal funding of Planned Parenthood was started by President Richard Nixon with the support of Congressman George H.W. Bush. The rumor is that they were once considered Republicans. Conservatives supported it because contraception kept women from having more babies and kept them all off welfare. An ounce of prevention, you know. But that's when "conservative" didn't simply mean "bugnuts." History is awesome.


Glenn Beck's Scalp Is a Small Trophy:
And thus we come to the end of our long national nightmare. Or, you know, at least the regular weeknight TV version of that nightmare. Yes, yes, let us crow and howl that Glenn Beck has been driven from the Fox “news” airwaves and his pudgy puss of doom won’t yap at us anymore from our cable boxes. Except, you know, when he’s on other Fox “news” shows. And on his website. And when he’s on his daily three-hour radio show. But no one gives a shit about what radio hosts have to say, right? Right?

In the course of day, Fox "news" allows all manner of paranoiacs, Armageddon-floggers, generic nutzoid conservatives, and raging egomaniacs looking for some justification to their existence to go on the air and get their turn bobbing on that Murdoch knob for a taste of the glorious choad of fame and relevance. It has put out of its misery only the most blatant of its showcases for the the extremists’ collective anxieties, only the biggest bellows for the little flame of racism and class ignorance that burns in so many American hearts. Beck is going to be gone. And in getting rid of him, Fox may get back some advertisers, we out here in Left Blogsylvania get to dance with his scalp, and his followers now see him as a martyr whose exile just proves what he was saying all along.

Oh, sure, the Rude Pundit agrees that Beck should have been off the air long ago. As soon as he went from sneering Obama smear artist to Muslim-hating, Nazi-threatening, Antichrist-predicting mad dog, he should have been put down or at least charged for the time like Pat Robertson. He decided to go scary preacher on his Fox audience, and that’s why it has shrunk and why advertisers ran frightened into the sweet, marginally saner arms of other Fox shows. Angelo Carusone of StopBeck and Media Matters did yeoman's work in using the invisible hand of the market to fuck up Beck's world.

Honestly, though, the Rude Pundit likes his crazies out in the open where we can keep an eye on ‘em. Getting Glenn Beck booted from Fox "news" is like stepping on a cockroach in a house full of poisonous spiders. It doesn't do much except give the poor bastards doing God's work at News Hounds and Media Matters a slightly less deranged hour of television to watch. Those of us who tuned in to Beck at 5 p.m. (and get to for another few months) did so masochistically, bathing in the effulgence of his batshittery. Otherwise, the audience that he has will merely follow him wherever else he may roam.

That said, though, in the karmic realm of the airwaves, less Beck is better for our souls.

(Quick note: In his self-congratulatory little speech telling his audience that he was "leaving" Fox, Beck said, "Paul Revere did not get up on the horse and say, 'I'm going to do this for the rest of my life.' He didn't do it. He got off the horse at some point and fought in the Revolution, and then he went back to silversmithing." Yeah, about that: Paul Revere was a fucking awful soldier. He was even charged with treason because he sucked so badly but found not guilty in a court-martial proceeding. He was, however, a very good silversmith.)


Democrats in Congress on Paul Ryan Budget: "Aw, C'mon":
If you're a Democrat in Congress, yeah, you're probably appalled by Rep. Paul Ryan's savage budget proposal (or you oughta be). But in your gut, there's gotta be this little acid burn, this ember of envy, that, with the support of his leadership, Ryan just went balls out for the shit that Republicans believe in. Because you know what would have happened if the situation was reversed.

If a Democrat had proposed a budget that radically cut the military, raised the top tax rate by nearly a third, ended all the wars, created a national health care system through a new payroll tax (thus relieving businesses of a huge financial burden), expanded EPA and food safety enforcement, and jacked up discretionary spending on education, scientific research, and more, and still yielded trillions of dollars in long-term savings, and then explained the document by saying, "This isn't a budget. This is a cause," do you think that that Democrat would have been hailed as "courageous" by any Republicans? Do you think that anyone in the media would have taken the thing seriously? Don't be fucking stupid. What would have happened is that most Democrats would have run away like beaten bitches afraid of Rush Limbaugh's switch, Republicans would have called it "un-American" and "the mostest radicalest budget that anyone has ever put out in the history of forever" and taken the word "cause" to mean "Marxist rape of your children," and Fox "news" would have gone to TardCon 5 in demonizing everything: "Do you want the government telling you what diseases you can have? Do you want Barack Obama to decide how much shit should be on your chicken?"

Paul Ryan's budget is not a serious document. It is, instead, a few pages of dried ejaculate on paper. It is a wishlist out of every conservative wet dream, and, as such, it is ballsy just how brazen it is. If nothing else, you can't say in the future that Republicans didn't warn us. Ryan's plan, his "Road Map," sets the bar so low that it pretty much guarantees that Democrats will be negotiating away many of the programs they worked on for decades and then declare victory because they didn't give in to everything Republicans wanted.

A decent comparison would be to imagine that you have grown a beautiful apple tree, but your neighbor wants it down so he can see the factory on the hill better. You say that you can trim the branches. He offers to cut down the tree, burn down your home, and kick you in the nuts. If you're a Democrat, you figure if you can convince your neighbor not to kick you in the nuts, it's a victory. If you're a Republican, you say, "No, I'm still gonna kick you in the nuts." If you're Barack Obama, you offer your ass instead.

Instead of being treated like some brave hero facing the "real" problems in the nation, Paul Ryan should have been burned in effigy across America yesterday.


The Rude Pundit's Almanack Is Now Kindle-icious (and This Week's Stephanie Miller Show Stuff):
Hey, you Kindle-using hippies, you can now get The Rude Pundit's Almanack directly from your master, Amazon.com. Click and buy and let's see if we can top Glenn Beck's ebook sales, even for a brief and shining ranking moment.

(For those of you still inclined to holding books, you can order the paperback from OR Books.)

And, hey, here's the Rude Pundit talking Republican assholery with Stephanie Miller yesterday:

You can get all your rude audio dynamite by subscribing to the free podcast.
Washington Post's Marc Thiessen: "Torture People More Because the Law Sucks Balls":
In an unintentionally elegantly-timed bit of scribbling, globular warthog and speechwriter for the previous president, Marc Thiessen, used his Washington Post column yesterday to call for the Obama administration to torture someone. And that ain't an exaggeration for comic effect. Thiessen was writing about the capture in Pakistan of Umar Patek, one of the terrorists behind the 2002 Bali bombings. He's being handed over to the Indonesians, who will probably fuck up his world.

Thiessen thinks America should have a shot at interrogating Patek since he's been involved in al-Qaeda shit. But there's the problem. However could we do question him without our precious torture? Disgorges Thiessen, "President Obama has eliminated the CIA’s interrogation program and closed the agency’s black sites. How will the president handle the disposition of this captured terrorist operative? Where will Patek be detained? And who will interrogate him?" Indeed. Because no one was ever successfully interrogated before George W. Bush introduced freedom-drownings to the process. It's sad how much Thiessen desperately wants his beliefs validated by this White House.

And, just to confirm that a torture-loving leopard never changes his shit-stain spots, Thiessen helpfully suggests, "Obama needs to make sure Patek joins his former bosses [including Khalid Sheikh-Mohammed] at the high-value detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. If the Army Field Manual’s techniques prove insufficient to break him, Obama should authorize additional interrogation methods so we can find out what he knows." Christ, it reads like a fucking parody of a right-winger. This motherfucker really, really misses getting his weekly photos of nude, waterboarded, bloody detainees so he can jack off pretending that he's the one doing the nut-stomping. Thiessen must have jizzed buckets of spooge at the Kill Team pics.

Thiessen is just the most obvious example of how much that, when it comes to terrorism, conservatives hate America. And the Rude Pundit doesn't say that lightly. But, as he's said before, if you don't believe that the Constitution and the rule of law are adequate to deal with the most heinous and diabolical of (alleged) criminals, then you actually don't believe in the nation.

The timing of Thiessen's fart of a column was perfect since yesterday the Obama administration folded to pressure from the pussies in Congress and announced that it would try Mohammed and four co-conspirators before a military tribunal at Gitmo rather than at a federal court in Manhattan, as it first crowed it would. There's so much cowardice in the decision that it's hard to tell the quivering dicks from the cowering cunts in the entire matter.

Attorney General Eric Holder was pissy in his announcement, blaming Congress for blocking funding for bringing any Gitmo-mates to the United States for trial. Which is all fine and good, except that President Obama signed the Defense Authorization Act that included the ban on the hope and a dream that it could be overturned later (or at least paying lip service to the idea). Is there no principle that can't be compromised away? Is there nothing that's worth taking a stand on? And let's also remember that Democrats in Congress, especially from New York, supported the ban, too.

So here we are once again, same as it was under Bush: We have decided that terror suspects are such super-villains that the only way we can feel safe is to undermine our judicial system, to say, in essence, that our judges, our courts, our juries are too fucking weak and too fucking unsafe to deal with these extraordinary criminals, most of whom are just deluded, cave-dwelling goat-fuckers who would run screaming from an iPad image of boobs.

Or maybe we're here again because Thiessen and the torture advocates shit in our American nest by rendering Mohammed and other Gitmo-mates incapable of being tried by our system. Maybe because we waterboarded the fuck out of them and got confessions and lies and inadmissible evidence and drove them mad. Maybe if that came out in court, a real court, we'd actually have to do something about those who decided that our laws are impediments instead of the actual organs of our supposed democracy. Maybe we'd have to charge Thiessen's ex-boss with war crimes. Maybe we'd have to clean up our goddamned messes.


Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Cook Pork on a Holy Book/American Flag Bonfire:

Now that phony Christian mustache-fetishist Rev. Terry Jones has discovered that he can suck his own dick, the rest of us just have to shake our heads at his pretzeled limbs and say, "Dude, just 'cause you can do it doesn't mean you should." That said, being American gives us the unique burden of defending Jones's right to self-fellation. So, fuck, sure, if Yosemite Sam wants to go to the Books-a-Million and purchase a cut-rate Koran, put it on trial like it's not a mass-produced, inanimate object, and then sentence it to death by burning while wearing a judge's robe (no, really), well, playing dress-up ain't just for little girls.

It was a total dick move, but, then again, so is burning an American flag in a protest here. And, if you get down to it, so was the Declaration of Independence, if you were a loyalist. That's why "free speech" doesn't get rated on a scale of benign-to-dickish, no matter what Republican Lindsey Graham whines about needing to cut back on all that freedom during "a war" (or three). You guarantee in the most tempestuous times or you risk losing it altogether.

Of course, you know, it's far worse when you're so deluded by poverty and war and religious fanaticism that you think that a backwards ass country fuck gettin' his barbecue on with a mass-produced, inanimate object that just happens to say things you think your prophet said gives you cause to go apeshit and kill people, as scores of Afghans did last week. Sorry, but in the scheme of things, your murder is way worse than anyone's book-burning. Then, like Jones, Afghan President Hamid Karzai added fuel to the fire by calling on Congress and the President to condemn this inbred buffoon.

It ain't brave to say that beheading UN workers is a bad thing, no matter what the cause. And it ain't brave to talk about limits to free speech that have nothing to do with anything other than fear of people not being able to control themselves. But what we're seeing in Afghanistan is also an excuse for a revolt against Americans (and other Westerners) for the endless war, for a decade of nonstop death and destruction, for a generation there coming of age knowing little other than war. So, yeah, Terry Jones can do his little flame show. He's just a publicity-hungry narcissist, a Donald Trump without a microphone. He doesn't even rise to the level of Christian extremist 'cause he's so fucking stupid. But extremism and extremist reactions flourish when, frankly, there's nothing else to do. Look at that picture up there. Why the fuck do all those people even have the time to hang out and burn a Florida yahoo in effigy? Could it be because of the infinite war? And the one with the Soviets before us?

Nobody's clean. Nobody's ever clean.
Late Post Today:
Ganon's wrecking the joint with fireballs. Gotta get the bow and arrow and take down his blue ass.

Back later with more lubricious rudeness.


This Week's Cheater and the Rude Podcast:
On Thursday's episode, the Rude Pundit broke out not-too-half-assed impressions of Sean Hannity and Michele Bachmann as he and Jeff Kreisler talked birthers and Libya. Bonus: Would you rather have sex to Justin Bieber's "Baby" or a Haley Barbour speech?

You can listen every Thursday at 8 p.m. on the Progressive Radio Network. Or you can subscribe to the Rude Pundit's free podcast or you can wait until it's posted here or you can download it directly from PRN. Your choice, but, Christ, make one already.

(And you can buy The Rude Pundit's Almanack at OR Books in handy softback or handier eBook for yer Kindle or iPad or sad Nooks.)


Rude Announcement from OR Books:
Check out the press release regarding an upcoming honor from Bob Jones University.
Birtherism and the Death of One Kind of Conservatism (Part 3):
Let us speak now of the vicissitudes of relationships damaged beyond one's control. Let us say, and why not, that you are a gay dude. And let us say that you have been together with the same guy for, oh, hell, seven, eight years. It's beautiful love, it's great fucking, it's downs, sure, but mostly ups, it's a life, you know? But then your partner (who'd be your husband if you were in the right state) gets hit by a car. It doesn't kill him. It doesn't even break any bones. But, because he flipped over the car and knocked his head on the pavement, he's got a concussion, and the doctors aren't sure if there will be long-term brain damage. After a couple of days of a hospital stay, with you by his side for much of the time, he's released and you go home. Everything seems fine, but little quirks and odd blips in his behavior worry you. He's on medication, but he doesn't think anything's different. Then, after a week or two, you initiate sex with him. You go down on him, and it's like pre-car smack times. But then you try to get him to blow you, and he freaks out. He doesn't want your dick anywhere near him, he announces. And if you wanna fuck him, you can use a dildo in his asshole, but not your cock, nowhere, no how. Nothing for you to get off. No hand jobs, you can't even jack off in his presence.

Sooo. Huh. That's a big change. Now, you know that this is because of getting pavement upside his skull. So you stick by him, encourage him to see more doctors, get therapy. You want to be there for him as he goes through this crisis. But he doesn't want to. He thinks he's just fine and that you're just being a pussy. Then your obviously fucked-up boyfriend/partner/oughta-be-husband starts acting out even more. He's fucking other guys and telling you about it. But maybe he's lying about that as part of his brain damage, you rationalize. This goes on for a year, with you thinking that, shit, this is the man you love, you can't just walk away when he's obviously got something wrong with him. But then the thought starts to creep into your mind: what if this is the new normal? What if the accident changed him for good? Goddamnit, you want him back the way he was. You want to make him better. But the question is, of course, how much of your life are you willing to give up for what is more than likely a failed attempt? Isn't there a point where you walk away, even if he says he still loves you, even if he wants you to stay, just on his terms, your needs be damned?

Every day, the Rude Pundit receives at least one email from someone named something stupid like "Phineas T. Fuckmyface" or whatever. It's spam sent to writers all over Blogsylvania. And it's some variation on brand new, earth-shattering evidence proving, motherfuckers, once and for all, that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States. Oh, the Rude Pundit will block the email address, but then it comes again from "Jizzy McTwat" or some other name. (By the way, if those were the actual email monikers, it'd at least be vaguely entertaining.) There's websites and organizations devoted to proving the theories of the birthers; there's even books, including one coming out by Jerome Corsi, the spoogebucket who lied about John Kerry's actions during the Vietnam War. Instead of being treated like the herpes-ridden whore that he is, Corsi is invited onto conservative talk shows to spout his theories like so many bursting pustules. But that's all fringe nonsense, the nonsense that gets the mouth breathers to turn off the sound on their Libyan rape porn so they can masturbate to Sean Hannity's voice while some poor woman is having train of Qaddafi's men run on her. Now, though, birtherism has gone mainstream, in preparation for the 2012 election. (And whether you like it or not, Fox "news" is mainstream.)

Let's add one more piece to this puzzle. Expressing what must be the angst felt by a great many people who once proudly called themselves "conservative," if not "Republican," once-proud conservative Andrew Sullivan wrote this week, "Conservatism cannot be defined as whatever is the most extreme right-wing narrative of the moment. Time matters. Conservatism needs to be flexible enough a governing philosophy to be able to correct for conservative ideology itself. When such an ideology threatens fiscal balance, a prudent foreign policy, and a thriving middle class, it has become the enemy of real conservatism, not its friend."

He's right. However, the exigencies of time and the actions of fools change things. 19th-century liberalism is nearly the mirror opposite of today's liberalism. Eisenhower Republicans would think that today's GOP is filled with barking mad idiots and then wonder why in the fuck would leaders pay attention in any way, shape, or form to the maddest of them all. Sorry, dear, once-loyal opposition, but "conservative" has been co-opted and remade in the image of the extremists, much in the way that "Christian" now generally means "fundamentalist" in the United States. Whatever Buckley-esque resonances of decades past you may want it to have, "conservative" now means a devotion to untenable financial policies, obeisance to the needs of corporations and the very wealthy, regressive social policies, and, indeed, belief in things that are demonstrably false. The word belongs to the nuts and to the imbeciles and to those who profit off their devolved sense of the nation and the world.

What do you do, in such a relationship, where you have been abandoned by the progress of the world beyond your reach? If you have any sense, you break up. It's that simple. And you try to figure out how to make your life have meaning again.

(Note: unless it becomes absolutely necessary because of some event or other, this is the last time the Rude Pundit will talk about the godforsaken fucktardery of birtherism.)