Rude Readers' Haiku Review of 2012:
Damn, you're all some haiku-writin' motherfuckers. The Rude Pundit asked for and received a full facial of little poems, with a couple of hundred sent in so far. He's picking through for ones that give him a little thrill in that electric area of taint-to-balls. It's totally subjective and not fair at all, like capitalism or e-dating. Here's the first bunch. More tomorrow.

From Becca M.:
Electoral Math

Mitt forgot enough
Minorities voting is
A majority

From Larry B.:
Deaf Ears

Election over
America has spoken
Tea bags should listen

From Chris W.:
Didn't want to run
But ran for ten years, because
Dancing horses suck

From Athenawise in New York City
Lonely Star State

Texas: "Let's secede."
The rest of the nation says,
"Good idea. When?"

From BB in Los Angeles
The Pot Calling Anybody Anything

Rush called Fluke a slut.
No birth control needed with
Dominican boys.

From Doug S.:
You want birth control?
Ev'ry day? Close your damned legs!
Here you go, you slut.

From Julia V.
what's more important--
foreclosures or abortions?
we found out this year.

From Phil K. in Wisconsin:
Villain of the Year
Governor Scottie Walker
Koch Brothers sex slave

From Nancy G.:
Wildfire, derecho,
drought, failure of the corn crop:
these are just previews.

From SPL:
Remote drone attack
It's like playing Nintendo
Home by five o'clock

From Sue in California
Fear Not

Pachyderms corralled
Obama stand firm, hit hard
A cliff I fear not

(You can keep sendin' 'em to "rudepundit@yahoo.com")


A Haiku Review of 2012, Part 2: Gun Crazy:
(Yesterday, the Rude Pundit began his annual attempt to encompass the year in as few words as possible. And he invited rude readers to send in their own haiku as 2012 gasps its last breaths. So far, he's gotten an Iliad's worth of verse, and he wants more. Keep those haiku a-coming. Send 'em to "rudepundit@yahoo.com" and the best will be posted on Monday and Tuesday. Now, on with the show...)

Death in Florida
Trayvon was shot dead.
The NRA backed up George.
Can't blacks stand their ground?

Death in Colorado
Crazy-eyed coward.
Theater of sitting ducks.
Joker would be pleased.

Death in Wisconsin
Hate crime against Sikhs
By a racist thug who bought
his gun legally.

Death in Chicago

More murdered children
By guns than Newtown times six.
One year, one city.

Death in Newtown

The funeral home
Laid to rest eleven kids,
Didn't take a dime.


A Haiku Review of 2012 (and an Invitation to Haiku, Too):
For something like the 78th time in a row, the Rude Pundit is ending a year by going back to basics, ancient basics, and stemming the vomit of words that normally issues forth for something quieter. Yep, it's haiku time, where for a couple of days the Rude Pundit and rude readers look back on the awful and the wonderful of the dying year in brief poem form.

Part 1: Yes, That Election Happened

Not Newt
For some odd reason
Pundits thought Gingrich would win.
Blind men don't see bombs.

Enough Frothing
Santorum sought to
Secure the crazy voters.
Bachmann said, "Not me?"

Revenge of a Lost Romney
Up in dog heaven
Seamus is laughing out loud.
Who needs shit hosed now?

Rafalca Shook Her Head
Camp Romney tried hard
Too make an ass a stallion.
Voters know a fake.

Why "Why?" Is Easy

Obama trounced Mitt
In ways that boggled the right.
Facts do matter, Fox.

Why "Why?" Is Easy II
It seems that women
Like body freedom, hate rape.
Repubs don't get that.

The Rude Pundit will have more coming soon. But he's inviting you, oh, sweet readers, to submit your own haiku about 2012. For instance, leaping to the front of the line is Mona P., who sent in this little number:

Playing Chicken With 2013
Dodged the Mitt bullet
Blew past the Mayan doomsday.
Fiscal cliff? Yee Haa!

See? That's simple. One line of five syllables, one line of seven, a last line of five. You don't need to send a title or a bribe, although both are welcome. Email your haiku to "rudepundit@yahoo.com". The best'll be tossed up here Monday and, perhaps, Tuesday.


Things That Brought the Rude Pundit Unmitigated Joy in 2012:
The Rude Pundit is giving his brain and soul a day off from thinking about pushing the NRA off the fiscal cliff or whatever the hell is going on out there. Instead, he's doing a non-political thing here, a kind of year-in-review thing, but instead of listing ten movies you can scoff at, this is a bit more personal. Here's some moments in cultural type things that were little rays of light for the Rude Pundit in the dark tunnel of 2012:

1. In the movie tent at the end of the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee in June, with the band fun. and two others groups loudly echoing around, the Rude Pundit sat with two great friends and about fifty other people and watched Beasts of the Southern Wild. And all of the noise and exhaustion faded away. This was something unexpected, strange, and magical, and, by the end, so beautiful and true, that, when the lights came up, we three grown men were crying, as was pretty much everyone else in the tent. No film this year came close to inducing that kind of visceral feeling.

2. "Take a Walk" by Passion Pit is a pop song with teeth about men who, frankly, could only afford to eat at Taco Bell. The story of people suffering in the recession, it climaxes with this bridge that describes the Tea Party generation about as well as any song:

Honey it’s your son
I think I borrowed just too much
We had taxes, we had bills
We had a lifestyle to front
And tonight I swear I'll come home
And we’ll make love like we’re young
Tomorrow you’ll cook dinner
For the neighbors and their kids
We could rip apart those socialists
And all their damn taxes
You’ll see I am no criminal
I’m down on both bad knees
I’m just too much a coward
To admit when I’m in need

So why is this in a list of joy? Because it's all set to a bouncy, driving tune with a chorus that won't leave your head and, truly, you won't mind. (Bonus song: "Christmas in the Room" by Sufjan Stevens)

3. In the encore of his first concert ever at the Prudential Center in Newark, Bruce Springsteen picked up a sign from the audience that said, "Play one for Levon." He walked around to the E Street Band and talked it over, going through some quiet chord changes, and then he said that he hadn't played this song since his bar days and that this was for Levon Helm. Yeah, Bruce Springsteen played "The Weight" as a singalong for 20,000 people, and it was one of those moments where there was nowhere else on earth you wanted to be. (Concert runners-up: The Kills at Terminal 5 in NYC and The Roots at Bonnaroo)

4. The play We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915 at the Soho Rep in New York. More than any other theatre this year, this work by Jackie Sibblies Drury, about a group of self-involved actors trying to figure out how to do a play about the first genocide of the 20th century, consistently surprised its audience with its shifting tones and perspective.

5. The conversation between Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, New Jersey was not really about politics (or Hugh Grant). But it was two incredibly smart, incredibly funny men sitting on stage and talking about how they conceive of and create their shows for over two hours. Now that was some bliss.


Continuing a Christmas Tradition (Now with Zombies):
Like movies about Bedford Falls suicides and pole-frozen tongues and eyes almost shot out, some things are a tradition around the rude house. Reruns are good for the soul.

Before Twitter, Instagram, Buzzfeed, and many other places you can get your fix of weird shit, the Rude Pundit posted this Christmas blast from 2004, updated with two new and horrifying photos:

Xmas - And, lo, a small teddy bear will lead them:
In the days before Christmas, the Rude Pundit roamed his neighborhood, looking at the displays in the charming stores and corner markets. There he saw the agony of so many dichotomous feelings about this holiday. One window had a kneeling, praying Santa next to a baby Jesus in the manger. Santa's hat was off. He was balding. Another display had the jolly old fat man landing his sleigh and reindeer on the roof of the manger. Surprisingly, neither Mary nor Joseph seemed rattled by the noise, although a camel was looking upward, as if asking, "What the fuck?" The Rude Pundit loved that camel.

Ah, sweet camel, what the fuck, indeed. Christ and commerce, Alleluia. The Savior has been born and he thanks you for your presents. Santa showing that he'll even honor the king of the Jews in the land of Islam. There's no telling what it means (and don't get all up in the Rude Pundit's face about St. Nicholas). Except this: we want to embrace both things, good deconstructionists that we are: Santa, who soothes our greed, and Jesus, who promises us peace. Either way, we want them both to tell us we're good people, nice people. And, of course, guilt-ridden Christians want to make sure that Santa toes the party line, you know.

For the holiday, here's a few of the Rude Pundit's favorite nativity sets, none of which are intended to be mocking of the event:

That right there is the Veggie Tales Nativity. In case you don't know, Veggie Tales are cute vegetables who love Christ and salad tossing. The newborn savior up there is a carrot. Get it? A baby carrot? What a delight.

Holy shit, that bear nativity is one of the creepiest fucking things the Rude Pundit's ever seen. Staring straight ahead with their dead eyes, it looks like a satanic cult sacrifice to some horrible bear-demon. Although, the three wise bears have provided snacks for the blood rite: salmon, honey, and berries. All go well with cub entrails.

Speaking of entrails, here's the First Halloween Nativity Set, with Three Wise Zombies and Frankenstein's Monster and his Bride as Joseph and Mary. Who's that in the crib? Why, it's Dracula as Baby Jesus, ready to drink your blood rather than have you drink his.

Those are supposed to be pugs in that nativity, although they look like a nightmare of gas-mask wearing koala bears. Frankly, who needs to wage a war on Christmas when the supposed believers actually advertise an anthropomorphized birth of their Lord and Savior with "Bring the true meaning of Christmas into your house year round with the Complete Pug Nativity!" Yes, the true meaning of Christmas through toy pugs.

This is not to mention the Chickentivity, the Moosetivity, the Barntivity, the Native American Nativity, the Gingerbread Nativity, and the various Beartivities, all available unironically for your Christmas consumption.

(Note: Previous editions of the nativity post have included the Dogtivity, the Boyd's Bears Nativity, and the Rubber Duck...oh, fuck, you get the idea.)


We've Probably Lost a Few Elves Already:

That's the North Pole up there where the lines converge in that picture, where we tell our children that Santa Claus lives with a bunch of elves. The elves are either immortal or have elf sex in order to keep Santa's workshop supplied with workers. Crazy elf orgies. Think about that when your Elf on a Shelf is watching you get undressed.

The white stuff surrounding the North Pole is Arctic sea ice. The orange line indicates the median extent of the sea ice in the years 1979-2000. In other words, a not-insignificant amount of ice is just gone, children, gone.

It gets even jollier for the fat man. See, the problem isn't the air temperature. Oh, no. That's been "unremarkable" over the last decade. It means that record ice melt is because of some days are warmer than others. It's because the water is warmer. And that means Santa is well and truly fucked.

According to NOAA, in the last year alone, there's been a record growing season, the longest duration of Greenland ice sheet melting, record low snow one month, record low sea ice, and, of course, indications that the total melting will go much faster than previously estimated.

While our politicians don't care or act on any of this, you can bet that Santa gives a damn about science at this point or he'd better learn to balance on top of that candy cane-striped pole while he watches a red glowing nose fade as its owner sinks into the Arctic sea.


In Brief: Four Lines from Wayne LaPierre's "News Conference" That Apply to Wayne LaPierre and the NRA:
1. "[O]ur society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters — people so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can possibly ever comprehend them."

2. "How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame — from a national media machine that rewards them with the wall-to-wall attention and sense of identity that they crave."

3. "There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people."

4. "Isn't fantasizing about killing people as away to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography?"

Yeah, that batshit insane, divorced-from-reality, humanity-debasing speech happened. If NRA members don't quit en masse, they deserve all the condemnation and scorn the sane majority can heap on them.
A Teacher Speaks About Trying to Return to Normal, Post-Newtown:
The Rude Pundit has spent this week on the issue of guns because a crazy son of a bitch took his crazy Mom's crazy guns and shot a bunch of kids a week ago. It just seemed important, you know? Not to concentrate on the mental health aspect, not the "culture," whatever that means, but the guns because it's the guns. This is being written while Wayne LaPierre of the NRA tries to make it about everything but the guns. It's pathetic.

Today, one-week after, he wants to bring it back to the classroom.  Beyond the politics, beyond Newtown, teachers of small children had to go back to school and talk to their kids about what happened.

Here is a response to the Sandy Hook shooting sent to the Rude Pundit from a 2nd grade teacher in New York City. You'll forgive her the occasional surges of outrage:

It is a typical morning in my classroom. I stand outside the door, shaking hands with my students as they enter, asking after new baby siblings and cold symptoms, commenting occasionally to my friends that need that morning boost: "We're going to have a great day!" They unpack inside the room and they move purposefully. One student sits at a desk and writes a letter to another, explaining a small grievance. The girls are a little bit more talkative than usual this morning and I don't mind, but I keep my ears tuned like antennae for words I'll need to react to (shooting, Connecticut, killed-- "we'll talk about that in a bit, okay?"). They read our morning message, and it's all about math today and about deciding whether their answer is reasonable.

This is our every day. This room, this space, this group, this teacher- none of it is perfect, but it is ours and it is sacred. Do. Not. Disturb. Amazing learning-type-stuff happening ‘round these parts.

Furthermore, I think to myself, as they read and respond to my message-- we are not reasonable.

We are perfectly unreasonable, these kids and me-- as we, day in and day out, exchange a love of learning and love of one another and an understanding between us that I have come to believe can only be found in an elementary school, amongst these smaller-than-you people who are totally wired for learning, and do so with an incredible zest and vigor that it acts as a contagion on even my worst and most exhausted days.

Of course, I have no way of knowing if this was true for the teachers and students at Sandy Hook. Of course this isn't about my class. And sure, I'm "just" a teacher without a firearm to protect myself.  Goddammit. What happened a week ago was personal. It paralyzed me at my very core. I am incredibly angry. I am tremendously sad. Yet I am also shamefully, terrifically relieved in this order: "It was not me. It was not my class. Not my kids. It was not anyone I know. It was an isolated incident. We would have been in our math groups, learning about two-digit addition. Where the fuck is the lockdown procedure handbook? We are three floors up, so would we have more warning? Our closet has no doors. I am in the middle of the hallway and directly across from the main office. How far would they fall if I had to toss all 25 of them out the window to safety? (There’s a second story roof deck, right?) How long would that take?" The other thought that kept me up? "I'd take a dozen bullets if it meant saving just one of my kids." I humbly beg your understanding: that is not heroic. That is the job. I am, amongst a hundred other things, a protector. I protect them from one another, I protect them from themselves at times, I protect them from the weather, hell, sometimes I even have to protect them from their own parents. Again: that is the job.

Taking a bullet, is, of course, not really the job. But safety sure as hell is. We talk about safety constantly in our school. It is a tagline in our daily life, hitched onto practically everything we (or the kids) do (or don't do). Hold the railing...so you're safe. Eyes forward...so you're safe. Hands to yourself...so your friend is safe. I moved the desks...so you could be safe. I thought when I first started teaching that the "safe" line would lose its juice-- would be somehow devoid of all potency with overuse-- but here's the heartbreaking truth of the matter, and what makes me full-out weep with sorrow every time I think about the shooting:

The “safe” line? It works every time. Well, almost.

Yes. Really. Because kids want to be safe. And they expect you to help them do that. They will tell you, if they did something stupid, that they didn't know any better. And they're generally telling the truth.

Safety is sacred. You know it, and they know it. It's a cause that everyone can agree on.

All this to say that we had to approach this topic with our kids, of course. For safety's sake. I was honestly surprised to learn on Monday morning that some teachers thought it was best not to bring up Newtown unless their students did. They asked about how parents would feel. Some folks were worried about getting asked "too many questions." My m.o. with my kids is always the same: proactivity. Get out in front of issues, before they bloom and spread into a hybrid mess of concerns you hadn't anticipated. I knew we had a chance--a narrow window through which we could help steer this conversation.

How do you turn the incredibly sad, the paralyzing, the absolutely unthinkable into a conversation to be had with seven year olds?

Well, first you start with honesty: "As, I'm sure most of you have heard, something absolutely terrible happened in Connecticut on Friday. Raise your hands if you know what I'm talking about...Yes, it’s true that children, teachers and the principal were killed."

"I'm sure you have a lot of questions. And I'll take them, but first I'm going to talk a little."

And then came Mr.Rogers. Thank heavens for Mr.Rogers.

I told the kids exactly what I needed to hear to deal with what had happened: We are safe in our school just as we have always been. We will practice drills to be sure that we are prepared in the case of an emergency, which would be a very unusual circumstance. (lots of nodding)

Then: horrible things will always happen in this world. Sometimes the world can exceed our expectations for being a kind of terrible place. Sometimes those things are designed by nature, like Hurricane Sandy, or the hundreds of other natural disasters that have happened and have killed people and destroyed many lives. Sometimes, horrible things are designed by other people, like wars and bombs and shootings just like this one.

Our job right now is to "look to the helpers," to think about the people in the community who are doing everything they can to support the families who have been effected by such a terribly tragedy. Kind of like how there were a lot of people helping out when people lost their homes and businesses during Hurricane Sandy.

But WHY did he do it, Ms.P?

I know that is the question you all have in your minds. Why would someone do this? How? Lots of people have ideas about why. Honestly, though, only he really knows. And he is gone. Which means we will never know.

For me, now, I could get involved in the gun control debate or the mental health conversation or any choice of the myriad topics available based on my personal connection to the tragedy-- but day by day they become more and more tangential and less a central part of the conversation I'm really interested in having. How do I help my kids understand that they can all be the helpers? Not just to clean up after the horrific messes made by others, but to elevate us all to be better.

As for my girls, they understood. They still feel safe...because they have no idea that I’m considering flinging them from a third story window in the event of an emergency.

Hope springs eternal in my classroom.


What to Do: A Post on Gun Laws That Will Piss Off Guntards:
If at its news conference tomorrow, the NRA says it will support some new gun laws, it will truly be a sign of the Mayan apocalypse. But who are you kidding? The NRA is gonna call for arming everyone and blame people who don't have guns for the violence because the NRA is an organization led by slimy, corporate bought-and-owned motherfuckers who are merely a lobbying arm of the gun industry with a huge financial stake in deluding the most vocal, paranoid, and depraved section of its membership. So while Senator Joe Manchin and others who are having a few doubts now about their oath of fealty to the National Rifle Association can say that the NRA should be "at the table" discussing new gun laws, the rest of us, the ones who think that ownership of military-style weaponry is nuts, will have to come up with a way forward from Newtown and the legally-purchased Lanza arsenal that was used so horribly.

The Rude Pundit begins with a sad, simple premise: shit that can be done in his lifetime. Because a total gun ban, hell, just a total handgun and assault weapon ban in this country is realistically never going to happen, and, even in the wildest utopian scenarios, it would take decades to achieve.

Countries that have banned guns have not become lawless wastelands where dictatorial Kenyan Muslims put them in forced labor concentration camps. One oft-cited statistic is that Japan only had two gun deaths last year. Let's put that in perspective. We have about 2.5 or times the number of people as Japan in the United States. That means 5-6 gun deaths for our 310 million people. Twirl that around you brain for a minute or two.

Here we go:

1. The basics - stuff that the majority of the country agrees on: Background checks for all gun sales. A ban on all assault weapons and magazines over 10 rounds. This is pretty much the stuff that President Obama called for yesterday. If you disagree with this part, you are such an extremist that we have nothing further to talk about, but, please, guntards, read on so that you have more stuff to angrily masturbate over while tickling your prostates with your pistols.

2. Beyond basics - stuff that is still easy to do but makes guntards beat their heads and scream - Every gun registered. Licenses to use guns, renewable by test every 2 years. A ban on some kinds of bullets, like hollow points. A ban on online sales of weapons. Microstamping firearms. Bullet identification systems. Massive funding of gun buybacks. Limit firearm purchases to 1 a month. Cap the number of firearms one can own unless registered as a dealer. License all dealers. Required use of safety locks and storage in homes with children.

3. Getting radical - Things that aren't especially radical, but in our hysterical nation, seem that way - A federal law against concealed carry of firearms. A ban on large purchases of ammunition. No private sales of firearms. No firearms in homes with people who would not pass a firearms purchase background check. A confiscation of all assault weapons that were previously banned. If those have to be from some people's cold, head hands, well, that's their choice to make.

To all the guntards who would read this and huff and puff and say, "Only criminals will have guns and how will we defend ourselves," the Rude Pundit has not said you can't have a pistols in your home to take down the occasional home invader, even though you're more likely to kill yourself or a family member with it than ever have to face off against anyone Straw Dogs-style.

You own a weapon. You own a thing that is meant to kill people. Respect that. Respect that society has a stake in making sure that your mechanism of death isn't used stupidly or criminally. Statistically, you will never get the chance to be a hero. You will never stop a mass shooting. In fact, pretty much everyone who ever did stop one was a trained police or security officer or ex-military.

You might hate speed limits because you know you can drive fast safely. But all it takes is one person not as skilled as you believe you are to spin out and kill a whole bunch of us. If you speed a lot and get caught, you get your license taken away.  All you gotta do is respect the speed limit, and you can drive as much as you want.

Gun laws exist not to deny you anything, but to protect the rest of us.


Guns and the Constitution: "Keep and Bear," Not "Buy and Sell":
In 1989, now-deceased conservative megahero and Amish bearded fucksack Judge Robert Bork said, "I'm not an expert on the Second Amendment, but its intent was to guarantee the right of states to form militia, not for individuals to bear arms." In the same lecture, he added that "assault weapons could be banned under the Constitution," and that other restrictions on guns were constitutional. In 1991, he went at the gun rights' lobby: "[T]he National Rifle Association is always arguing that the Second Amendment determines the right to bear arms. But I think it really is people's right to bear arms in a militia. The NRA thinks that it protects their right to have Teflon-coated bullets. But that's not the original understanding."

Want more? Bork's 1997 book Slouching Towards Gomorrah, something of a must-read for a great many on the right, has the following line: "The Second Amendment was designed to allow states to defend themselves against a possibly tyrannical national government. Now that the federal government has stealth bombers and nuclear weapons, it is hard to imagine what people would need to keep in the garage to serve that purpose." Bork was against gun control, but it was up to the people. For most of his life, he thought that the Constitution was no impediment to gun control laws. Later, he would sign onto an amicus brief in the depraved 2008 DC v Heller decision that finally did carve out an individual right to bear arms. Hey, motherfucker saw an opportunity and jumped. Who can blame the old bastard for trying to dick over liberals one last time before he starred in Hell's stage production of Let's Skullfuck Robert Bork with Flaming Demon Cocks? But for most of his life, he was pretty clear: the Second Amendment means what it says.

But let's say it doesn't. Let's say that, like every guntard everywhere, we ignore the first clause, the "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State" section that apparently doesn't mean "well-regulated" or "militia" or "security" of the state at all. Let's just say that only the rest of it applies, the part that says, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed," and that individuals can "keep and bear" guns. Now, the Rude Pundit's no constitutional scholar, but he's pretty sure that there's no contorted stretch of definitions that can make "keep and bear" mean "buy and sell."

That's where Article 1, Section 8 comes in. It's the Commerce Clause, and it gives Congress the power "To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes." That pretty clearly says that when it comes to buying and selling, there can be regulations. It's a direct correlation - selling something? That activity can be regulated. The power there is within every limitation one can think of, a power that even Justice John Roberts' opinion on the Commerce Clause as it applies to the Affordable Care Act can't undermine.

The vile Heller decision barely mentions commerce at all. It was about the keeping of arms. In fact, Justice Scalia, whose starring role in the new play in Hell, Antonin Scalia's Ass Is Repeatedly Sodomized by Lucifer Himself, awaits him, wrote in his Heller majority opinion, "[N]othing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms." So one of the only mentions of the sale of guns in the opinion pretty much says, "Yeah, go ahead and regulate it. That's your fucking jobs."

We don't even need to get into the affirmation of the consitutionality of gun-free zones, like schools.

Congress has all the constitutional tools it needs to do something. National laws, not the patchwork of state regulations. Hell, Democrats, you even have the most conservative judges laying down cover fire while you rush the NRA's walls.

What those regulations should be will be discussed tomorrow.


On Guns, the Crazies Make the Laws:
As a nation, when it comes to our safety, we have allowed ourselves to be led by the craziest, most paranoid among us. It's a result of a number of things over the last 20-30 years, but, most recently, it's been evident in the our delusional approach to dealing with potential terrorism. You want new evidence? Howzabout this: Last week, the Transportation Safety Administration agents at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport "held a young girl – away from her parents – for an hour while trying to figure out why she tested positive for explosives." It gets even worse. The twelve year-old girl suffers from a brittle bones disease and is confined to a wheelchair. She was on her way to Tampa to get treatment. It gets even worse. She was selected at random for an explosives swabbing test. When she tested positive, she remained crying for an hour, in public, in her wheelchair, at the metal table at security while the inarticulate bumblefucks tried to see if she was going to blow up. And they wouldn't let her Mom sit with her.

Why is the TSA's latest attempt to stops al-Qaeda's brigades of bomb-ready disabled children relevant to the discussion of gun control? Two reasons: First, the completely incoherent and unrealistic airport security policies demonstrate how deeply paranoia guides our nation's thinking. And, yes, the line between security and absurdity is narrow. But let's be generous about it and say, "Fine. I'll take off my fucking shoes because no one wants the plane to blow up."

However, and this is the second reason, that girl in the wheelchair thinks that she tested positive for explosives because she lives on a farm and she wheeled over fertilizer, the kind of fertilizer that is widely used on, you know, farms, but has also been used to make bombs, like the one in Oklahoma City, which had nothing to do with planes, but, still.

Say you go to a farm store, or, hell, even a reasonably large Home Depot garden center. Say you buy a "large quantity of pesticides, combustibles, or fertilizers containing ammonium nitrate out of season or with cash." Or perhaps you fail to state a "legitimate agricultural use for product" you are buying. As far as the FBI and local terrorism task forces are concerned, you are suspicious. As a 2011 FBI memo to such stores said, "Some of the activities, taken individually, could be innocent and must be examined by law enforcement professionals in a larger context to determine whether there is a basis to investigate."

You got that? The FBI or DHS might pay you a visit if you quietly buy too much of a certain kind of fortified shit. If you are a child in a wheelchair, chosen at random at an airport, and you have fortified shit residue on your hands because you touched the wheels of your chair, you will be held until the truth about the fortified shit residue is ascertained.

But if you are on the terrorist watch list, you can buy all the goddamn guns you want, as long as you're not disqualified for other reasons (like not being a citizen, because legal immigrants don't need to be safe). When Republican Peter King, generally a bastard, tried to get a bill passed to close this loophole, it was killed in committee, mostly because the NRA opposed it because freedom and tyranny.

If keeping a crippled child away from her mother because you're afraid she's got a bomb, even when a search produces no bomb, seems fine but allowing Americans on the terrorist watch list to buy guns seems logical, then you are crazy. We've surrendered our ability to regulate or ban gun ownership to the crazies, and their insanity has caused bodies to stack up every day.

How do you know someone is crazy? Wait, let's call 'em "guntards" because fuck them. How do you know someone is a guntard?

Anyone who thinks that teachers should be allowed to carry concealed weapons is a fucking idiot. Putting aside the inevitable, how much shit is stolen from schools? From teachers? You want to add guns to that mix? How quickly will a school be shot up by a student stealing a handgun from a teacher? Maybe that's the price to pay in blood to make sure a kindergarten teacher is armed and ready.

Anyone who thinks that they should own assault rifles because the government might need to be confronted is mentally ill and should be treated as such. (Do you know how quickly the military could vaporize you if it really wanted to? Your AR-15 ain't gonna stop a drone, but, hey, it'll make for funny video for the soldiers back at Fort Collins.) Anyone who thinks they should own assault rifles because they're fun to fire and, gosh, it's just a hobby should be ignored because they fetishize the act of shooting like someone who gets off huffing sweaty shoes. In fact, let's just say that anyone who believes individuals should own assault weapons is out of the discussion because there is no rational reason for it.

This sounds like the Rude Pundit is only talking about the extremists. But our current policy is made by extremists, voted on by politicians cowed by the NRA and other right-wing groups. Fuck, President Obama has made it easier to carry concealed weapons. To what end? A nation that believes it's so dangerous out there that everyone should be armed is a nation that has given up on any solutions beyond isolationism and paranoia.

Don't worry, guntards. No one's gonna take all the guns away. We're not idealists in the United States anymore. We prefer bandages to stitches. But we gotta do something.

More tomorrow. But right now, right this second, the federal government should halt all gun purchases requiring an FBI background check. That'll slow the surge in assault rifle sales that's happening in a pathetic anti-tribute to the dead of Newtown. Obama said he'd do what he could with his office. There's a step he can take immediately while we all figure out what comes next.


Guns and Minds:
I've had a gun pointed in my face by a mugger on a dark New Orleans street. I have pointed a gun at an intruder in my apartment in a crime-filled neighborhood. Had he come closer instead of running, I believe that I would have shot him. I have had another apartment in a clean, nice neighborhood strafed with automatic weapon fire when one gang member was pursuing another down my street. I pulled the bullets out of the stoop and the door. I have had to duck behind a garbage can at my college campus when a man who robbed the bursar's office was in a shootout with police. I have had a loaded gun pointed jokingly at my heart. I was on a street in Chicago when a young man ran by and a car chased him. The car stopped right next to me and a hand holding an AK47 (I think) came out of the sun roof and pointed at me before driving on. I have been target shooting with handguns at ranges multiple times in my life. I have been hunting with rifles that fire buckshot and rifles that fire bullets. I have not done either of those things in years. Growing up in Louisiana, I hung out with friends at their houses where sometimes one of them would ask, "Wanna go shoot some stuff?" and so we'd line up cans and bottles and shoot stuff. We were not using BB guns. I have never fired a semi-automatic rifle, although I have been with people while they were firing them. I have known people who died by gunshot. I know people who saved their own lives by shooting others who were attacking them. I do not come to this discussion naively. I do not come to it clean. I come to it honestly, with almost the entire spectrum of experiences one can have with guns, a spectrum wider than most of the people who believe that the ubiquity of firearms is our only defense against firearms. I have never been shot. I hope I die without that experience.

We need to dwell on horror, on the horror that those children faced in Newtown, Connecticut. We need to imagine how their 6 and 7 year-old minds processed what was happening. We need to individuate them: how many were exposed to enough violence in our culture, through movies, through TV, through online videos, through video games, and, yes, through their own lives to comprehend that they were going to die? How many were kept from that awful knowledge of the evil that exists in world so that they couldn't process the shots, the noise, their classmates bleeding and falling around them before they were hit? It's terrible and it hurts, Christ, it hurts to write this. But you need to know it. You need to know that Adam Lanza walked into one classroom and killed everyone in it, 14 children and 2 teachers. He could do that because he had 30-round magazines. He didn't even have to reload. One man. Everyone in the room. Imagine that. Imagine that.

Before they move on to the level of abstraction and statistic, the children and the adults who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School need to be remembered for their lives, most certainly. But they need to be remembered for the nightmare of their end, vividly, to where it's an ache that can't be soothed, can't be talked away, so that whenever it's mentioned, we all have a kind of trauma, a PTSD that must be treated. We know how. But we refuse out of some sense of misbegotten pride and willful ignorance.

There are many things that must be confronted, that should have been confronted long ago. While I don't agree with everything here, Chuck Todd et al wrote today about the possibility of getting greater gun control through Congress, "[T]he president is going to have to tackle every issue associated with these heinous crimes: gun laws, our gun culture, mental health, the desensitization of violence thanks to Hollywood and video game makers, and of course parental responsibility. If it’s a larger policy discussion, it’s much harder for the most ardent NRA-supporting lawmaker to walk away." I would argue with the violence in Hollywood and in video games part since whenever we start to walk down this road, we turn those into easy scapegoats rather than blame a broken mental health system and a paucity of limitations on gun ownership.

And as far as cultural influences, I would say that a nation that sanctions capital punishment, use of extreme force by the police in many situations that don't call for it, and the murder of people overseas by drones is a nation that has stated, in a quite official way, that violence is the answer to one's problems. I would say that as far as unintended effects go, those things have done more damage to the American psyche than all the versions of Grand Theft Auto we could play.

The first descriptions of Lanza have talked about his mental illness, but they have also talked about the video games that he played. You could lock yourself in a room and get into Resident Evil 6 until your hands were bloody from pushing buttons. Let's say it warps your brain in some way that it wasn't warped before. It's not likely, but let's say it made you bloodthirsty for real, not zombie or creature, blood. If you don't have access to guns and large magazines, you are not going to do what Lanza did. It's that simple. No, really, it's that simple. Bottom line. Ask any cop, any member of the military, any responsible gun owner. Secure the weapons. Always secure the weapons.

We'll talk more about this (and more rudely) this week. Today, mourning. Tomorrow, solutions.

When I had that gun pointed in my face all those years ago, I didn't think, "Damn, I wish I had a gun, too." I didn't think, "Damn, I wish someone else with a gun would come along and save me." I thought, "Damn, I wish he didn't have a gun."

As have many children and adults alike.


Away in a Manger, 2012:

A mere 42 miles separates the Gaza town of Beit Lahiya from Bethlehem, the city where Christian legend says that a virgin, led by a star, gave birth to the child of God in a place fit for animals. Two thousand years, 42 miles. The family up there was photographed yesterday, just 12 days before the supposed birthday of the Muslim prophet Jesus.

Beit Lahiya suffers mightily whenever there are periods of bombardment from Israel because Hamas was elected to run it. In 2009, the city was wrecked. In this most recent offensive, 8 days of steady bombing, "Suhail Hamada Mohman and his 10-year-old son, who were both killed instantly at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012 in Beit Lahiya while distributing water to their neighbors," among other casualties.

There's no point here other than that this exists, people being forced to go about their lives in a nativity of rubble.


Antonin Scalia Doesn't Give a Damn About Your Little Problems:
There are few things in this world that are surely going to happen, but one that you can make book on is that Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia will die, probably in the next few years, statistics being what they are and Scalia being 76 years old and so overstuffed with anger and hatred - sorry, "animus," as he would say in the dickiest way possible - that his poisoned heart will probably explode. Hopefully while he's sodomizing his hand while watching morbidly obese ass spank porn, something titled Five-Hundred Pounds of Grey, perhaps.

And when Scalia does choke on his own bile and die, the Rude Pundit wants to get all the queers he knows, every leather bear and feather twink, every chopped-haired dyke and short-skirted femme, and everyone in between, and have a great big orgy at that bastard's wake. One great, big sodomy fest, right in front of his corpse, hell, right on top of the body in the casket, the blissful acts of cocks sucked in willing mouths, of strap-ons thrust into wet pussies, of asses filled and unfilled, over and over, celebrating that, at last, one of the last symbols of generational intolerance is gonna be put into the ground, sticky with sex and semen from the joyful fucking, from the perverted fucking, from the loving fucking, all the fucking that he would find repulsive. Now that's what you'd call "justice."

For, truly, there is nothing that Scalia offers this nation of any use. He demonstrated that at Princeton this week when he responded to student Duncan Hosie, who had asked Scalia to comment on the judge's comparing gay sex with murder and bestiality. Snarked Big Tony, "If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against these other things? Of course we can. I don’t apologize for the things I raised." Then, having compared "homosexuality" to murder, Scalia said, "I’m not comparing homosexuality to murder. I’m comparing the principle that a society may not adopt moral sanctions, moral views, against certain conduct. I’m comparing that with respect to murder and that with respect to homosexuality." He said that this was a reductio ad absurdum argument he was making.

Now, the Rude Pundit's not a fancy Supreme Court Justice. He's just a small-town, country professor. But he's pretty sure that you only use reduce an argument to the absurd if you have contempt for the very thing that is being argued and for those who are arguing it. Here's an example: Antonin Scalia is like a living dinosaur; sure, it's interesting to contemplate, but a dinosaur has no place in the modern world. It's better off extinct.

Scalia also said that he didn't give much of a thought for the Bill of Rights, that it was an "afterthought" by the writers of the Constitution, and that "Every tinhorned dictator in the world has a bill of rights." So we have a Supreme Court Justice who admits that he thinks the amendments to the Constitution are useless and he derided the idea of a "living constitution." All of which is quite odd, considering that Article V of the Constitution is about how to amend the thing, which means that the founders believed that it was a document that could be revised and changed, that, in fact, it ought to be, as times changed. They gave the Constitution its pulse. Scalia believes it was stillborn.

Yeah, Scalia will die someday. He'll never retire because what the fuck would he do with all the anger he has towards this nation? Take it out on his begonias? On the kids on his lawn? But the nation has sped by Antonin Scalia. As he wheezes his rage into the setting sun, everything he has done will surely be undone.


The Ideological Bankruptcy of the Republican Party (Part 1):
As conservatives continue to lick their wounded asses and try to figure out just how they got so badly chewed in the November elections, one thing has come into clear relief, like Brigadoon emerging from the foggy moors: these are profoundly stupid people. Their version of self-reflection goes like this: "Huh, I tried to fuck this weasel, but it didn't want to be fucked, so it bit me on the balls. Maybe next time I'll put on different colored underwear." It simply doesn't occur to them that perhaps the problem is they shouldn't try to fuck weasels.

Which, of course, is the best lead-in to discussing conservative writer Jonah "Lucianne Makes Me Lick the Sweat Off Her Tits" Goldberg's latest "column" (if by "column," you mean, "words waterboarded into sounding like an approximation of an idea"). Goldberg knows the problem: "The GOP is not a Christian club," but it seems that way to those who are not Christian, specifically Asian Americans.

Actually, there's a paragraph by Goldberg that needs to be quoted extensively in order to get the full facial of fucktardery: "President Obama did spectacularly well with Asian Americans, garnering nearly three-quarters of their vote. This runs counter to a lot of conventional wisdom on both the left and the right. On average, Asian American family income is higher and poverty is lower than it is for non-Latino whites. Entrepreneurship, family cohesion and traditional values all run strong among Asian Americans, and reliance on government runs weak."

Now, you might read that and think, "Well, obviously, they looked at the values and policies that the Republican Party represents, including the crass emphasis on financial acquisition, the demonization of those in need, the constant barrage of anti-immigrant sentiments, and the insistence on government interference in the most intimate aspects of people's lives, and they made the well-reasoned decision to tell the GOP to go fuck itself."

But, then again, you probably wouldn't write, as Goldberg does, "Well, Indian Americans earn like Jews and ... vote like Jews." You also gotta love the awesome racism of elevating Asian Americans over blacks and Hispanics.

The devolved mutant heir of William F. Buckley's movement posits, "Perhaps the most common explanation for the GOP's problem with Asian Americans is the party's pronounced embrace of Christianity, which turns off many Jews as well." Jews and Buddhists and Hindus, man, always thinking about their faith over their nation. What's wrong with them? So Goldberg's solution is...well, not really a solution at all. It's more or less "Let's reach out to the non-Christians while making sure we don't alienate the Christians."

You just wanna grab Goldberg by his sweaty collar, smack his greasy face a couple of times, and say, "No, you pampered twat, it's not the messaging. It's the underlying ideology." Goldberg and most of the right are stunningly blind to this. They are betting that Americans are too stupid to know what the GOP actually believes and wants to do.

But November demonstrated that Americans do understand it and reject it, pretty much everywhere except, you know, places where people actually did vote the way they did almost solely because they're white and Christian.


The Results of Rick Snyder's "Relentless Positive Action":

Every time some grovelling dog Republican fucktards say the word "Bipartisanship," they should be punched in the throat, and we should be allowed to point and laugh as they attempt to breathe through all the blood being coughed up.

Today's example of pure partisanship on the part of Republicans comes to us from Michigan, where the majority Republicans are finishing their work ramming through a right-to-work law that Republican Governor Rick Snyder, who used to at least pretend to bipartisanship and said he wasn't interested in right-to-work, has said he will sign, even though it'll pass without a single Democrat voting for it, which is generally not what is called "bipartisan."

Back in August, Snyder joined up with three other governors, one Republican and two Democrats, to found the National Governors Auto Caucus to deal with, you know, issues related to automobile manufacturing. In a speech about the group's purpose, Snyder said, "The American political landscape is way too divisive and it’s not constructive. We’re trying to find common-ground solutions." He also said, "In Michigan, collaboration is one way we are reinventing our state. A lot of our economic success has to do with the auto industry and Michiganders coming together to work and win." Perhaps that success has to do with the unions? Nah, that'd be too...what's the word?...bipartisan.

In that same month, Snyder was part of a forum on the "innovation economy," which is generally just shorthand for "How can we innovatively dick over workers?", and he proclaimed, "What we've done in Michigan -- I call it 'relentless positive action.' I get up every day, no blame, I never blame anyone, don't take credit. I'm hired to solve problems, and be relentless about solving one problem after another."

You know what? This post doesn't need much more of a punchline than "Michigan Governor Rick Snyder believes in relentless positive action." And then look back at the picture up there of the thousands of protesters marching on the locked capitol. The feed on Michigan Live just said, "A tent for the Americans for Prosperity, a pro-right-to-work group, has been torn down by protesters. Anger in the crowd appears to be escalating."

Good. Fuck these assholes. It's time to shut shit down. Hopefully, they'll burn the Koch Brothers...in effigy, of course, sure.


Sen. Lindsey Graham Unironically Tells the President to Man Up:
Tooling around the internets, looking for something to pique his interest and move him past his weekend whiskey-induced torpor, the Rude Pundit came across this quote from girl senator Lindsey Graham on President Obama saying he's not going to "play that game" on raising the debt ceiling: "Yes, we will play that game, Mr. President, because it’s not a game. The game you’re playing is small ball. You’re talking about raising rates on the top 2% that would run the government for 11 days. You just got reelected. How about doing something big that is not liberal? How about doing something big that really is bipartisan? Every big idea he has is a liberal idea that drowns us in debt. How about manning up here, Mr. President, and use your mandate to bring this country together to stop us from becoming Greece?"

Two things: 1. Graham is acknowledging that Obama has a mandate to do something, which is actually quite a newsworthy statement from a Republican. 2. "Manning up"? Lindsey Graham sounds like a drag queen Loretta Lynn after sucking cock for quarters in the men's room at Club Pantheon. His calling on someone to man up is like a baboon telling someone his ass is too red.

So, apparently, for Graham, being a man means going against one's party and against what one was elected on, or, you know, being "bipartisan." Huh, the Rude Pundit pondered, wonder how many opportunities Lindsey Graham has taken to be such a man. So he clicked on over to the senator's website and elsewhere to search for manned-up manliness of that nature in the last few months.

- First off, just last week, "Graham Votes Against United Nations Disabilities Treaty" because men think that the U.N. wants to neuter their American balls.

- Graham voted to uphold a filibuster of an amendment to the 2013 Defense appropriations bill that would have repealed a reduction in the benefits for the families of deceased veterans because children of dead soldiers need to man up for the debt, too.

- And he voted to filibuster a bill establishing a National Cybersecurity Council because manly men change their passwords enough.

- Back in May, the "Statement By Senators Graham, McCain, Kyl, and Ayotte on Smith Detainee Amendment to House Defense Bill" condemned a proposal by Rep. Adam Smith that would have barred indefinite detention of suspected terrorists. Said the manly Graham, "We reject any attempts to reward foreign terrorists clever enough to get inside our borders with the same legal rights and protections as American citizens – the very people these terrorists seek to kill and injure" because manly men are total pussies about putting terrorists on trial. But, hey, he agrees with the President on that one, so maybe Obama is a man when it comes to detainees.

In conclusion, looking at Lindsey Graham's actions as the baseline for what a man should be, the only route to being a man is to be a Republican and vote like a Republican. It's that old-fashioned feminizing of liberalism. It has nothing to do with actually standing up for one's beliefs, even if they're different than yours.

In other words, forcing the rich to pay a little more in taxes is not manning up, but making middle- and working-class seniors take care of their health insurance until age 67 is.

If that's what's considered manly, the Rude Pundit would rather hang out with the bitches and punks.


Your State Sucks: Michigan Sucks Because Your Government Hates Workers and Women:

That blonde-haired gavel banger up there is Michigan Republican Senator Tonya Schuitmaker (yes, Schuitmaker, hopefully pronounced to mean "one who makes shit"). And she is beating the living fuck out of the sounding block because she's upset at the protests going on in the chamber as it prepares to recess before a vote on turning Michigan, long one of the strongest union strongholds, into a right-to-work state.

Republicans rammed through the legislation in a lame duck session: "Just hours after they were introduced, both chambers approved measures prohibiting private unions from requiring that nonunion employees pay fees. The Senate quickly followed by voting to impose the same requirement on most public unions." There were no committee hearings or votes. No public input. It was a naked power play, orchestrated by a skeevy fucker of a governor, Rick Snyder, who was riding the anti-union wave after the Election Day defeat of Proposition 2, which would have enshrined public employee collective bargaining in the state constitution. Right-to-work is essentially a way for corporate bastards to tell the workers to go fuck themselves. In fact, most of the shitty states for workers in the country are right-to-work because it makes it easier to reduce pay and benefits.

Over two thousand union members and others rushed to the Capitol to stage a protest. They were met by a large force of state troopers and a building in lockdown until a judge ordered it opened. Several protesters were arrested and the crowd was pepper-sprayed by cops at one point.

It was truly a banner day for the Michigan Senate, which passed a law "which would allow health care providers -- as a matter of conscience -- to decline services they object to. It also would allow employers to refuse to pay for services for their employees that 'violated the payer's conscience.'" Extra points to the cockhead Senator Mark Jansen, who said that if women want to have abortion coverage, they should "pony up" for a rider to their insurance. You know, women doctors and pharmacists everywhere that there are conscience clauses should refuse Viagra prescriptions and say, "If God wanted you to have a boner, he'd give you one."

Man, assaulting women's and workers' rights in one session? Schuitmaker must have thought it was a great day to be a Republican in Michigan.


Bob Costas, Guns, and America the Wimpy:
In one of the least informative interviews you'll ever watch or read, sportscaster Bob Costas went on Bill O'Reilly's Geriatric Yowl of Misplaced Justice on Fox "news" last night to "clarify" his Sunday comments on the murder-suicide committed by football player Jovan Belcher. See, Costas quoted from a column by Jason Whitlock that said, in part, "If Jovan Belcher didn't possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins [Belcher's girlfriend who he murdered] would both be alive today." Whitlock also went after what he called America's "gun culture," which, to be precise, is pretty much one of the defining attributes of America to the world.

And because it defines America, if you suggest that perhaps, maybe, please, that a sensible law or two might prevent some of the violence caused by guns, you are automatically a radical asshole who wants to pry the gun out of Charlton Heston's cold, dead hands, repeal the Second Amendment, and hand over your possessions to Barack Obama's U.N. stormtroopers. So everyone piled on Costas, who stood by his remarks. The only thing Costas has said that was backtracking a bit was that he wished he had taken more time to have a more nuanced discussion and that he didn't agree with Whitlock on everything, such as when Whitlock said, "The NRA is the new KKK."

One of the lead stories on the Fox "news" website right now is headlined "After Obama re-election, gun owners clinging to Second Amendment." It is one of those revealing looks on how we're just a nation of pussies, clinging to our guns in case those black helicopters ever land in our backyards (note: they won't) or that you get to take out the guy shooting up the schoolyard (note: you won't). Apparently, between the Mayan apocalypse and Obama's reelection, people are buying guns more guns than ever. One gun store owner said, "It is through the roof, absolutely. Assault rifle-style guns, the black guns, are doing especially well." Of course, an Uzi probably would not be effective against an enraged Quezacotl, but, hey, whatever makes you feel tough.

There's nothing controversial in what Costas said. We do live in a gun culture. We do live in a nation where millions of people carry guns. And we live in a nation where very little is done to prevent the ownership of most kinds of guns. To suggest that Costas was doing anything out of the ordinary, in the wake of a tragedy where you might think the subject would be up for discussion, is to feel so threatened by anyone opposing you that you just wanna shoot them. And there's the problem, Florida. Our rhetoric on guns has shifted so far to the right that to merely question the culture is to assault it, and those who do so must be silenced.

Talking to O'Reilly, Costas eventually wore out the host so that he would stop interrupting every goddamn second, and he offered, "I cannot think of a single instance involving a professional athlete whereby that athlete having a gun averted or diminished a dangerous situation. But I can give you a long list of tragedies that came about because guys were packing."


A Congregation of Motherfuckers in the Senate:
You'd think that at some point, even the most devoted motherfucker would get exhausted from fucking all those mothers. Even stars of gang-bang porn need a day or two to let a torn asshole heal. But not the Republicans in the United States Senate. They are motherfuckers who can't get enough of the motherfucking. You ask them about any issue, they respond by saying, "We're motherfuckers. Do you expect us to not fuck mothers? Oh, silly, silly Americans, bring us more mothers so we may fuck on." It gets to the point of being disturbing, where you're looking at the dicks of the motherfuckers, chafed to bleeding from all the fucking. But these motherfuckers aren't gonna stop fucking mothers, even if it seems absurd or pathetic. If there are mothers to be fucked, the Senate Republicans will be there, ready to get fucking.

So it was that yesterday, 38 Republicans voted against ratifying the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a 2006 treaty that's been ratified by 126 nations, including Pakistan, Myanmar, and Uganda (and, you know, most of Europe and South America, as well as China). Why did enough Republicans oppose the treaty, which does little more than say, "Hey, we should try to make the lives of people with disabilities a little less shitty," to deny it the two-thirds needed? Because sovereignty. Or freedom. Or something.

Getting ready for the vote, the "Action" arm of the Heritage Foundation said, in language reminiscent of a redneck office worker talking to his buddies over his gas grill in Phoenix, "[T]he liberals – Republicans and Democrats alike – in Congress are trying to subject our country — in which disabled Americans’ rights already receive robust protections under the law, which are enforced by a wide range of state and federal agencies — to the whims of some board of 'experts' in Geneva, Switzerland." Fuckin' experts, man. Always flaunting their "expertise" on "subjects" they "researched." By the way, the whole treaty was based on the Americans With Disabilities Act that was one of George H.W. Bush's proudest achievements.

One of the chief motherfuckers, Sen. James Inhofe of who the fuck cares said, "I do not support the cumbersome regulations and potentially overzealous international organizations with anti-American biases that infringe upon American society." The Rude Pundit doesn't like cops stopping him for going just ten miles per hour over the speed limit, but at least he admits he was breaking the fuckin' law.

There's a few things going on here. One is the obvious, the motherfuckering as described above. Another is that Republicans hate when an international committee says something mean about the United States, which, as we all know, is the most exceptional place in the history of the universe, known and unknown. For instance, as the Heritage Action blog notes, a U.N. committee reviewing racial discrimination in the U.S. said, "Specifically, the committee urged the United States to guarantee effective judicial review to the foreign unlawful enemy combatants held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, prevent U.S. corporations from abusing the rights of indigenous populations in other countries, place a moratorium on the death penalty, restore voting rights to convicted felons, and take action on other matters completely unrelated or only tangentially related to racial discrimination." Bastards. Bet they were in Switzerland, land of evil neutrality, too. You remember all the shit that the U.S. did in 2008 after that report came out? Remember that moratorium on the death penalty? The restoration of voting rights? The closing of Gitmo? No? That's because the committee existed to report, not enforce.

But there's something else, buried a bit, but there nonetheless. See, Article 25 says that signers to the treaty should ensure that their nations can "Provide persons with disabilities with the same range, quality and standard of free or affordable health care and programmes as provided to other persons, including in the area of sexual and reproductive health and population-based public health programmes." Which, for your motherfuckers in the Senate and all the motherfuckers on the nutzoid right, means abortions for all. As Heritage writes, "Within the context of the debate over abortion rights, Article 25 of the Disabilities Convention could be interpreted as ensuring that persons with disabilities are provided access to free or affordable abortions, assuming such access is provided to non-disabled persons by the state party." Or prenatal care. Or gynecological exams. If "reproductive health" only means "abortion" to you, there's something seriously fucking wrong with you. One note here: what's the logic in denying a legal medical procedure to people with disabilities? That would be discrimination, no?

Read the treaty yourself. It's a bracing statement in favor of the dignity of people with disabilities. Bob Dole supports it, as does George W. Bush, who negotiated it. Eight Republicans, who were just a little weary of the motherfucking, voted for it, too. Why? Because it's a fucking treaty to help the disabled that changes nothing in U.S. law, but makes a statement that the world acknowledges the rights of a certain group of people. And because when that comes up, you vote for it, unless you're a...well, you know by now.


Watching Conservatives Twist in the Wind While Hanging Over the Fiscal Cliff:
Doughy torture supporter and Washington Post scribbler Marc Thiessen makes a prediction in his latest "column" (if by "column," you mean, "the ignorant ape-bellows of a paid liar who wiped his ass with the Constitution when he worked for George W. Bush"). Regarding the negotiations over the "fiscal cliff," Thiessen writes that Democrats are making a "major miscalculation. First, their ability to blame the GOP depends on their ability to convince Americans that Republican intransigence is to blame for any failure to reach a year-end deal." You got that? Democrats will have to convince the nation that Republicans are to blame for taking the Wile E. Coyote fall.

And Thiessen might be right in assuming that if, in the very same issue of the Post, this poll didn't exist. The question asked was "If an agreement is not reached, who do you think would be more to blame: (the Republicans in Congress) or (President Obama)?" 53% would blame the Republicans. 27% would blame the President. Those numbers are so vastly different even with 62% of Republicans blaming the President (a third of Republicans blame their own party or both the GOP and Obama). So good luck changing the minds of a quarter of the public.

Of course, who else would one turn to for words of wisdom on this issue than the guy who was the director of the National Economic Council for George W. Bush from 2002-2007, the years leading up to our financial damnation? That'd be crisis-enabler Keith Hennessey, and  Thiessen quotes approvingly from his Wall Street Journal editorial about how Obama doesn't want a recession in his second term (to which one can only respond, "Duh.")

Want real fun? Read some of Hennessey's blog posts from the end of the Bush reign. Like the one where he declares that the debt "is not the real threat" to the economy. Remember when Republicans believed that? That would have been when Republicans were completely running things. Good times. Read his arguments against extending unemployment insurance and against passing the Children's Health Insurance Program. And understand that Hennessey was a key negotiator in favor of both Bush tax cuts (he worked for Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott in 2001). Looking to Hennessey for his opinion on the current attempts to make a deal on the budget is like asking Ted Bundy for advice on creating your OKCupid profile.

The funny thing is that, even though he says that "only Democrats are saying they want to go over the cliff," Thiessen is part of a group of conservative "thinkers" (and that word is used as loosely as whiskey shits at 3 a.m.) who say, "Fuck it. Let's all get in the barrel." Just two weeks ago, Thiessen wrote that we should just take the plunge rather than have the GOP give in on raising taxes on people who wouldn't notice that their taxes have been raised unless they got a text from their accountants telling them so. See, Thiessen believes that letting all the tax cuts expire would strengthen the Republicans' hand and teach voters a lesson: "Americans had a choice this November, and they voted for bigger government. Rather shielding voters from the consequences of their decisions, let them pay for it." So cutting programs that benefit large numbers of Americans isn't making them pay for it?

Of course, what voters voted for was the promise of higher taxes on the wealthy and infrastructure spending. Of course, right-wingers want them punished for it.


In Brief: The House GOP Offered Jackshit on the Budget Today:
Here's everything you need to know in one line about House Speaker John Boehner's "proposal" or "counter-offer" to President Obama's plan on avoiding the fiscal cliff or slope or waterboard or whatever: "If we were to take your Administration’s proposal at face value, then we would counter with the House-passed Budget Resolution."

That very loud "Fuck you" punctuated by a fart is from Boehner's letter to Obama laying out the GOP's plan for tackling the imminent rise of tax rates coupled with the cuts of sequestration. In other words, they offered nothing new from where they were in April 2011. It lowers the top income tax rate to 25%, still claims it gets rid of unnamed loopholes (no, seriously, in their own fucking FAQ, the GOP can't name the loopholes on the chopping block), and cuts food stamps. Oh, and it repeals Obamacare.

In other words, it's the Ryan budget, gang. Boehner keeps calling last month's election a "status quo" one, as if the loss of the presidency and seats in both houses of Congress was no signal at all. This is not to mention, of course, the abject rejection of Paul Ryan (and that other guy).

In otherer words, we're not getting a goddamned thing done with these preening bastards whose idea of compromise is to say, "Tell you what: you cut off your balls and then we'll fuck your wife in the ass. Deal?" At some point, it's not just stubborn. It's evil.
Late Post Today:
Black Manta has gone rogue from the Legion of Doom again. Better put on the swim trunks and get to work.

Back later with more aquatic rudeness.


Friday Reacharound: Seeing the Light in Chasing Ice:
The Rude Pundit is an unabashed fan of the documentary Chasing Ice, in which acclaimed photographer and climate skeptic James Blalog sees with his own eyes and camera the disappearing ice on our planet and becomes a true climate change believer and activist.

Now, look what happened when a self-proclaimed Bill O'Reilly watcher saw the flick:


That could have been your mother right there. She honestly seems to have been shattered, realizing that she had been lied to for years. The guy who filmed this swears up and down that it's real.

This post could have been about the new reports about the melting of the ice in Greenland and Antarctica, which is happening at a rate far faster than nearly everyone had predicted. It could have been about how much faster the seas are rising. More than ever, the evidence is that we have reached the tipping point in the earth's climate, and we're just going to have to deal with the damage.

But it's Friday. So let us not end the week in despair. Let us rejoice for a moment that Bill O'Reilly seems to have lost a fan, a woman who had the rug pulled out from under her when the rhetorical scoffing of Fox "news" was beaten down by the stark reality of the images of the receding glaciers. Maybe she'll take others down that road of enlightenment with her.

Until, of course, inevitably, some right-winger comes up with the one little thing wrong with Chasing Ice and blows it up to discredit the entire film. Then your mom can merrily put her blinders back on.

(The Rude Pundit first saw this at Digby's joint.)


Family Research Council: Isn't Uganda Awesome?:
Sweet merciful Jesus dildo (no, really, that's a picture of a Jesus dildo, so, like, don't click on it at work, unless you work in a place that doesn't mind Jesus on a dildo or at a place that makes Jesus dildos, in which case, can the Rude Pundit get a discount?), the ultra-conservative, evangelical Family Research Council (motto: "We don't need a Jesus dildo 'cause his grace is up our asses already") has issued a new list o' targets for we members of the Super-Duper Prayer Team. Time to put on the knee pads and get ready to eat of his flesh. The Rude Pundit joined the Super-Duper Prayer Team some years ago under a nom de rude, and he receives his prayitus orders once a week through the magic of electronical mailings and intertubes.

And, oh, look, here's a generic prayer for more nutzoid Christianity in government: "Thank God for leaders who stand boldly for Jesus, understand the curse of sin, and know God and His blessing are a nation's greatest possession. May God raise up such leaders in America and every nation!" Who is this bold leader who boldly stand for bold Jesus? Would it be Barack Obama, who has talked about his Christianity and Christ's lessons for the nation? No, but you've got the skin color right.

The shining example of Christian blessingdom is the president of Uganda, motherfuckers. As the FRC's letter to the SDPT says, "Longtime President Yoweri Museveni observed Uganda's 50th anniversary of independence by publicly repenting of personal and national sin. 'I stand here on my own behalf and on behalf of my predecessors to repent...We ask for your forgiveness... We confess these sins, which have greatly hampered our national cohesion and delayed our political, social and economic transformation. We confess sins of idolatry and witchcraft...shedding innocent blood, sins of political hypocrisy, dishonesty, intrigue and betrayal...' After confessing many more sins, Museveni dedicated Uganda to the Lord." Yeah, suck on that, pussy liberals who think that Jesus is all about helping the poor and comforting the sick. In fact, suck on FRC President Tony Perkins' tweet about it. By the way, Museveni also said asked for forgiveness for "sins of sexual immorality, drunkenness and debauchery." One may wonder: what the fuck are you going to do in Uganda otherwise? Hunt for Joseph Kony?

Let us put aside for just one moment the bill that was introduced in the Ugandan parliament that would allow for gays and lesbians to be put to death. Museveni has said he doesn't support it. And the FRC has also stated that it is against it. Let us not forget, though, that the bill still exists and is going to be debated and voted on.

Instead, let's merely find it curious that we are supposed to pray for and admire a man who is a war criminal implicated in human trafficking, rules as a dictator (since 1986), is responsible for massacres in the Congo, created concentration camps for people in Northern Uganda who engaged in rebellion, and has anti-government protesters and his political opponents imprisoned and tortured. All of that is forgotten now because he gave a pretty speech?

The FRC says, "Bloodshed, violence and political unrest persisted for years after Idi Amin's demise. But Uganda began to recover after pastors began to unite in desperate prayer for their nation...Believers across Africa are praying for America, that God will send revival and awakening, our nation's only real hope."

You got that, right? America should be like Uganda, which is on its way to become paradise on earth thanks to prayer, not a bloodshed-ridden hellhole where you can be shot in the streets by government for the fuck of it. You may as well just get reamed by the Jesus dildo.

(Note: The Rude Pundit can't help but think about the musical The Book of Mormon when he hears about Uganda. We all need magic fuck frogs.)


The Real Benghazi Conspiracy: Why Did Conservatives Create a Scandal Where None Existed?:
So just to get this right:

1. In the wake of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's first televised appearance, on September 16, shortly after the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi where she said that it seemed, from the intelligence on hand, that it might have been, in part, a spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim video, conservatives, including the Siamese Senators, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, accused Rice of covering up the role of terrorists. The story went that she did so in order to avoid...something or other, who the fuck knows...in order to help the campaign of President Obama.

2. The attacks on Rice increased, all based on weak assertions of a cover-up, something that perhaps needed more investigation, if there was any evidence at all beyond some talking points that had some blacked-out information. Right-wing spoogebuckets jumped in, declaring it an impeachment-worthy debacle. GOP candidate Mitt Romney made the alleged cover-up of terrorist involvement an issue in the presidential campaign. America's angriest leprechaun, John McCain, was pretty much puffin' away on his wee pipe non-stop, calling into question Rice's intellect and her competence, vowing to block her if she was nominated to be Secretary of State when Hillary Clinton leaves.

3. When more information became available, especially after the election, that the CIA had, in fact, done the editing of the Benghazi talking points in order to protect U.S. interests and not tip off the people involved, conservatives then shifted their attention to whether or not the White House had conspired with the CIA to do so and Susan Rice now became less the evil minion of President Obama and more the willing dupe in the story. Always the barometer of outrage, John McCain kicked the dirt in dismay.

4. Now that Rice has spoken behind closed doors to senators, in a private meeting that everybody immediately knew every detail about, McCain, Graham, and Lieberman-with-smaller-tits Kelly Ayotte are all upset again, this time perhaps at the State Department, certainly still with Rice, although now for what was and wasn't done before and after the attacks than what Rice said on Sunday morning gab shows. Also, the President is a liar or something. Who the fuck knows?

So to summarize:
Based on the information they initially had, right-wingers, including elected officials, got angry at the U.N. ambassador. When they received more information, they changed their story. When they got more information, they changed their story again. Or perhaps it has just evolved as more facts are known.

Which, of course, would be just the fuck what happened in the Obama administration over the Benghazi situation. But if conservatives realize that, it would create a black hole-like void of dissonance. Heads would explode. Panic would reign in the streets. Megyn Kelly would assault Steve Doocy with a strap-on. Chaos, you know.

Or, really, they'd just act like they never said anything and move on to the next fake outrage.