Newt Gingrich Wanks Himself Through the Campaign:
One day, when the history of this elections is written in some oh-so-insidery tome by Mark Halperin or whoever, the campaign of Newt Gingrich will go down as the most sustained public masturbation ever seen. Sure, everyone who runs for president does so at least partly out of ego, the hubris to think that one should lead a nation of 300 odd million people, but, agree or disagree, valiant or vile, one thing you could say about most of them is that they did actually place country above self. You see that in the mostly despicable Rick Santorum. And even though he doesn't have any idea why he believes it, you see it in Mitt Romney, whose campaign is some kind of sociopolitical demonstration of just how much money a thoroughly unlikeable person needs to spend in order to get a nomination.

Not Gingrich, though. Every time he speaks, every idea he utters, it is about the greater glorification of Newt first. If anyone should happen to benefit, well, that's just a collateral effect. It is about a nation that should only exist in his image. So, in the last couple of weeks, Gingrich has been whipping out his dick and jacking it every chance he can. A moonbase tourist destination that simply can't be built for any sane reason? Who cares? Pass the moisturizer and break out the Kleenex, 'cause this cock needs strokin'. It's what Gingrich does. He goes around blowing his load, saying shit that's either deranged and grandiose or pissy and cruel, like when he said that he wouldn't debate Obama with a moderator present. In what world is that gonna happen?

Check out his interview last night on Fox "news" with Sean "My Dwindling Audience of Shut-Ins and Crazy People Think I'm Awesome" Hannity. Here's Gingrich on the Keystone XL pipeline and his first day in office: "I would issue an executive order to build the Keystone pipeline as of that day. And I'm trying to communicate publicly so the people of Canada understand, you don't have to cut a deal with the Chinese. You don't have to go to pipeline across the Rockies. Give us until November, when we beat Obama, you'll have a chance to build that pipeline in January of 2013." You got that? Gingrich is presenting himself as believing that the Canadian government is listening to him and thinking, "Oh, well, of course Newt Gingrich is going to be elected. Fuck all the other plans. We'll just wait, eh?" Whether or not Gingrich actually thinks the Canadians give a happy monkey fuck what he has to say is beside the point. The point was to reach under his barrel-sized belly, grab his AAA battery prick, and yank away. Hannity loved it as Newt jizzed in his face, but that's Hannity, a right-wing cumgobbler of epic appetites.

Gingrich is especially happy when he gets to masturbate in front of live audiences. In Florida, Gingrich outright lied to an audience. He said to a madly cheering crowd who just loved getting sprayed with Newt chowder, "We just got word of a brand new poll that came out about an hour ago that says we're now tied 35-35." The poll was actually a week old. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter that his attacks on Romney are as vicious as Romney's attacks on him as long as he can portray Romney as the villain. It doesn't matter as long as he can keep on masturbating. You can look on in horror and say, "Dude, stop it. Your penis is all raw and chafed and your balls have to hurt," and Gingrich won't care. He knows he's got one more spurt in there somewhere.

Meanwhile, the media, like teenagers with cell phone cameras filming a hobo with his pants around his ankles, jacking off on the subway, wants to keep the show going, all the way to the convention, as Gingrich has threatened. And it doesn't matter if he takes down the entire Republican party with him. Newt demands that you watch him as he gets keeps on masturbating. The eyes and the cheers keep him hard, keep him going until he comes again.

Well, at least we know how Callista keeps her hair so stiff.


In Brief: Fun Quotes About Mitt Romney (Updated):
These are from a Massachusetts newspaper while he was governor of that state from 2003-2007. Essentially, he started running for president as soon as he was elected. And he was always douchey about being a conservative in oh-so liberal Mass:

From the Berkshire Eagle, June 26, 2005: "Romney tried to make his election as governor look like some Herculean political feat in a liberal state like Massachusetts, by saying that he felt like 'a cattle rancher at a vegetarian convention.' He also referred to himself as 'the only red dot in an entirely blue state'...Massachusetts has had four successive Republican governors since 1990. Romney is just one of the faces of these governors. Today there is nothing special about being a Republican governor in this state."

New campaign slogan: Mitt Romney. Nothing special now, either.

From the Berkshire Eagle, June 27, 2006: "The governor's failure to attract new business to the state is one of the reasons he would have faced an uphill re-election fight had he decided to run for office again...His lack of interest in Massachusetts is a major reason why the part-time governor and full-time presidential candidate has no credibility on Beacon Hill, and his failure to understand how government can simultaneously boost both business and the communities they are located in is another."

Or perhaps even better would be: Mitt Romney. Newt may outright stab you in the back, but Mitt will just get bored with you.
Late Post Today (But Big, Fun Announcement):
Hey, Philadelphia, with your charming murals and obnoxious patriotism and dog-murdering football player, the Rude Pundit will be on stage this Saturday, Feb. 4 at 8 p.m. at the Merriam Theater as part of the Stephanie Miller Sexy Liberal Tour, featuring the aforementioned Ms. Miller, Hal Sparks, and John Fugelsang. He'll be part of the panel of wonders in the last part of the show.

So get your fuckin' tickets now.

Back later with more cantankerous rudeness.


A Thousand Words Regarding Last Night's Debate Including, But By No Means Limited To, Its Effect on the Florida Primary and the Republican Nomination for President in General:


Your State Sucks: Arizona Is Filthy with Assholes:
So it was that Jan Brewer, Governor of Arizona (motto: "We'll shoot your Democratic ass right out of the Congress") and ill-prepared debater, met President Barack Obama on the tarmac at the Phoenix Airport after Air Force One landed. Instead of greeting him with a gift basket of iguana jerky, cactus liquor, and rocks with googly-eyes on them, as is the custom there, Brewer handed Obama a handwritten letter that she said was about immigration policy. One might imagine the crayon-scrawled note says something like "Mexicans is bad, except for tacos. Help us get rid of Mexicans, but leave the tacos. Give us money?" At the bottom, there were probably "yes" and "no" boxes for Obama to check.

Brewer also asked for a meeting with Obama, and she invited him to return to the state when his schedule allowed. The President apparently mentioned that her description of a previous meeting in her book Scorpions for Breakfast was, to paraphrase, kind of cunty. This made for a tense face-off between Brewer and Obama, where the Governor probably said, "I write good. Sarah Palin said so," with Brewer thrusting her finger at the President, which should have made the Secret Service tackle her and drag her off to Gitmo, until Obama, realizing that talking to a crazy person was a waste of time, walked away from Brewer as she was in mid-sentence.

And what exactly did Brewer write that seemed to bear mentioning by the President? Well, we'll never know the trigger, but Brewer's book reads like it was ghostwritten by Sean Hannity while he was taking a dump, so it's filled with the usual nonsensical, huffy, snarky, insulting asides that conservative "writers" seem to think bring depth to a topic. Here's a hint to politicians: Leave that shit to idiot bloggers.

So not only did Brewer describe Obama as "patronizing" in the 2010 Oval Office discussion, not only did she say that, in their talk about immigration policy, "It was though President Obama thought he could lecture me, and I would learn at his knee," but Brewer dissed the Secret Service and the security measures around the Oval Office, where, you know, the President works:

"When we got to the White House, we were sent to a holding room outside the Oval Office. One of my staffers took pictures. This was apparently a no-no. The Secret Service confiscated all of our cell phones and cameras. Too bad we weren't illegal aliens, or we could have sued them."

You got that? Brewer, who, in the name of security, wants her state's cops to be able, on a whim, to ask you to prove you're a citizen or you'll get thrown in jail until you can, is mocking what's done for the safety of the President. And she's pissing on the people who enforce those laws because they briefly inconvenienced her and her staff. Whether or not that's what Obama was reacting to, fuck her. Here's another tip: Don't write books like that until you're no longer governor.

What really happened on the tarmac? Brewer probably invited Obama to meet, Obama probably said something sarcastic about how it might end up in another book, Brewer probably went off, and Obama probably thought "Fuck this" and walked away. And it's not outside the realm of possibility that Brewer was surprised to hear what was in "her" book. Because she's a dolt.

Why was Obama even stepping foot in Arizona? He was there to visit a massive new Intel semiconductor manufacturing plant that's being built in Chandler. Anticipating what Obama might say about the factory, Vice Mayor Jeff Weninger went on the insidious Twitter machine to say, "So @BarackObama is coming 2 @intel in chandler on Wed 2 take credit 4 a 1000 new #jobs & a 5 billion $ investment that he had 0% to do with." If you decode that, it seems that Weninger is mad that the President might say he's personally responsible for single-handedly building the joint. Also, buried deep within the code is the phrase "And I really am just a total asshole, like all elected Republicans in Arizona."

Weninger might have had a point if he hadn't been completely wrong. President Obama was there to give all props to Intel: "Let’s stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas. Let’s reward companies like Intel that are investing and creating jobs right here in the United States of America," he said. "I want to thank Intel for leading the way, because they're investing in startups, they're supporting science and math education, they're helping to train new engineers." Yep. Obama was there to praise a corporation for creating jobs in the United States, in Arizona, in Chandler, rather than sending them to death camps in China.

Oh, by the way, just to make Weninger that much more of an ignorant, knee-jerk, right-wing dickbag, he sent tweets to Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, and Newt Gingrich informing them of Obama's egotistical intent: "Pres coming 2 Chandler AZ 2take credit 4 jobs that a conserv city council& a republican state leg got done." Someone was angling for a big-time Fox "news" or radio appearance. Which, ironically enough, would only be possible because of Barack Obama.


The State of the Union Is "Can We Just Start the Campaign Already?" (Random Observations):
President Obama's State of the Union speech last night (aka "Shit What I'm Proposin' That You Bastards Ain't Gonna Pass") was fine, dull, whatever. But a few things stuck in the Rude Pundit's craw and brain that he didn't really discuss while he was a-tweetin' it.

1. The use of the Osama bin Laden raid and killing as an analogy for how Republicans and Democrats can come together for a common purpose was just really weird. At first, it seemed like Obama was going to give his most obvious foreign policy achievement a subtle, almost in-passing reference at the top of the speech. But at the end, he dove in head first: "Some may be Democrats. Some may be Republicans. But that doesn’t matter. Just like it didn’t matter that day in the Situation Room, when I sat next to Bob Gates -- a man who was George Bush’s defense secretary -- and Hillary Clinton -- a woman who ran against me for president. All that mattered that day was the mission. No one thought about politics." How does this transform into tax policy or immigration reform? It's something about getting each other's backs or being stitched together human centipede-style or something. It was hard to tell, really. And coming from the President who regularly orders murder without trial, it probably might have been better to just toss bin Laden's rotting head in John McCain's lap and say, "That's what you get when you're not afraid to go into Pakistan, bitch."

2. But the positive outweighed the negative (a sentence that ought to be the Obama campaign slogan) in the speech. He seemed to indicate he was going to go after a couple of people in the financial industry. He said he was going to do some green stuff. He made a pitch for infrastructure spending. He said the word "unionized." He made another pitch (albeit with less commitment) for more bipartisanship. He didn't come at Republicans nearly as hard as he could have, although he did call out their rhetoric, as he has before, and he did say that they were big fucking hypocrites: "Even my Republican friends who complain the most about government spending have supported federally financed roads, and clean energy projects, and federal offices for the folks back home."

3. The thing that Obama does best, when he's not in "Fired up, ready to go" mode, is to present himself as this eminently calm and reasonable guy who is pretty much the polar opposite of the caricature that is tossed around by Republicans and the right-wing media every day. The speech was for the fence-sitters and for people who may not like Obama (primarily because they don't hear about the reality of what he's doing) but think the GOP is wacky. You'd have to be pretty nutzoid conservative, like licking-Gingrich's-taint crazy, to think that the rational man speaking of how make moderate changes to the tax code to save the economy is the Bolshevik Kenyan cartoon monster who is forcing people to take his goddamn food stamps and act European or risk being put in Sharia law concentration camps. Of course, Gingrich's taint is probably pretty clean these days.

4. Ultimately, what President Obama did last night was give a template for his campaign for reelection. And you can see that, in taking on Mitt Romney (which he will), all he needs to do is keep emphasizing that rich fucks can afford to pay more. He also spoke in a squishy, non-committal way about being open to war with Iran and being willing to negotiate on Medicare and Medicaid spending, leaving himself plenty of wiggle room. In other words, other than taxes, immigration, and a few other domestic issues, he's leaving Republicans with precious, precious little to run on.

5. Regarding creepy ass Mitch Daniels, staring at us like a mellow version of the screaming dude from the Munch painting, and his Republican response, the Rude Pundit didn't know what country he was talking about. When he said that "The late Steve Jobs -- what a fitting name he had -- created more [jobs] than all those stimulus dollars the president borrowed and blew," it wasn't just notable for the dumbass aside. No, it was an outright lie, by a factor of 20. And what the hell does "We must always be a nation of haves and soon-to-haves" mean? "Soon-to-have" sounds like a guarantee of economic comfort and stability. The only way you can do that is with, you know, socialism.


Newt Gingrich: It Depends on What the Meaning of "Lobbyist" Is:
Here's a September 19, 2007 UPI headline: "Gingrich lobbies for health insurance plan." The first line of the article: "Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich Wednesday lobbied Congress to support a health insurance measure he said would aid children." UPI was never asked to retract the story.

The only moment worth a damn in last night's endless, dull, repetitive, pathetic, bullshit debate in Tampa, Florida, was when Mitt Romney finally put down the juice box, grabbed a bottle of caffeine-free root beer, and went at Newt Gingrich like he wanted to start a bar fight. Gingrich kept insisting that he was not a lobbyist. That may be true in the technical sense that he was never given that title. But if you get paid for fixing people's pipes, you sure as shit are a plumber, even if you're not licensed.

Romney changed it up with the phrase "influence-peddler," attacking Gingrich for his work with the Center for Health Transformation, a "think tank" that Gingrich founded. Gingrich tried to play his tired "I'm just a citizen" routine to respond, but Romney pounced, saying, in essence, "No, you lying shitball, you're not just an ordinary citizen. You're the former Speaker of the House. If Johnny Underwater Homeowner calls up Congressman Dickbag's office, he'll be told to come to a townhall meeting. You dial Dickbag's cell phone directly."

CHT, for instance, has corporate members paying specifically for access to Gingrich. Is that because he's such a fucking genius? Is that worth $200,000 a year in dues? Or is it because he's got access? (By the way, the awesomest membership "benefit" you can have as a CHT member? "Discounts on Gingrich Group workshops and products." That's like saying, "Not only do you have to talk to Newt Gingrich, but he'll punch you in the tit, too.")

It's like they don't even understand what lobbying is, according to this October 22, 2007, Atlanta Journal-Constitution article: "[Wayne] Oliver, the project director in Atlanta, said the center's officials appear before lawmakers or other decision-makers but do not advocate specific legislation. Rather, he said, they expound on 'big ideas' to solve complicated problems. Likewise, he said, meetings that bring together members and public officials are 'solution-driven.'

"'We're really not lobbying,' Oliver said. 'We do play in the political sandbox, if you will, because that's where you can have an impact.'"

That's fucking called "lobbying." Companies that hired Gingrich or his "groups" did because his influence carried weight: "Gingrich's consulting firm, a precursor to the center, had a client, Millennium Plastics, that expected the firm would help it break into the lucrative government contracting business, according to a 2001 news release by the company."

How much more evidence do you want? Howzabout this from 2004, when CHT was started: "'Gingrich's center is a 'brilliantly packaged way of offering his services as former speaker and a man who can open doors to push along what he calls health transformation,' said Joseph Antos, a health policy expert at the American Enterprise Institute. 'In other words, lobbying.'"

But, you know, in a way that avoids scrutiny because of pesky ethics laws. "'He's making more money than he ever thought possible and doesn't have to tell everybody where it's coming from,' marveled former adviser Rich Galen. 'He has the amount of influence he chooses to have. I suspect there is virtually no one in this town of either party who will not take a call from Newt Gingrich, if only to hear what he has to say.'"

Everyone knows it's lobbying. And why does that matter? Because that means that Gingrich is a bought and paid for corporate whore. He's just one of those chatty whores who wants to talk about his kids before he sucks your cock. You listen only because he sucks it so good.

It was essentially a money fight on the stage in Tampa last night. The really rich fuck versus the really, really rich fuck. But, and the Rude Pundit's not proud about this, Romney landing a blow that actually rattled Gingrich gave him a momentary thrill, a bit of wood, even. It was fleeting, yes, but goddamn, it's sweet to see someone punch that white-domed phlegm globule right in his cash sack.

Oh, one last thing: Here's how the crazy conservative Weekly Standard mocked Gingrich's launching of the Committee for New American Leadership back on January 31, 2000: "Yet another anti-Beltway K Street lobby group run by people who've lived in Washington for 25 years." Everyone knows what Gingrich has been doing for the last dozen years. He doesn't even bother to wipe the semen off his upper lip.


Gingrich Wins South Carolina as the GOP Embraces the Devil:
You want to know what a lying shitsack Newt Gingrich is? It's easy. Choose anything that he repeatedly asserts and look at the truth. Chances are that he's bending the truth. Chances are better that he's just outright lying to your face.

For instance, here's something that Gingrich said to David Gregory on NBC's Meet the Wimpy Press, a line that he repeats whenever anyone dares to ask him about his time working for despised government-backed mortgage bank Freddie Mac: "David, you know better than that. I was not a lobbyist, I was never a lobbyist, I never did any lobbying. Don't try to mix these things up. The fact is I was an adviser strategically and if you look at the only thing ever published by Freddie Mac I said, 'You need more regulations.' If you look at the only article ever written about my talking to the Congress it was in The New York Times in July of 2008 and I said, 'Do not give them any money.'" He said pretty much the exact same thing in the last debate.

See, here's the thing: No, officially, Gingrich was not a registered lobbyist. He was hired by Freddie Mac in 1999 as a "consultant" for his expertise in dealing with Congress. The only reason Gingrich was not a lobbyist is that the law actually prevented him from being one. Here's how AP described Gingrich's role in 2008: "Gingrich talked and wrote about what he saw as the benefits of the Freddie Mac business model." He was hired, with other conservatives, in order to push back against any regulation that might end up "scaling back" Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae as they were being hit by the subprime mortgage crisis. In other words, Gingrich wasn't a lobbyist by title. He just wrote about and talked to members of Congress about what Freddie Mac needed. That's like the difference between apples and...ummm...smaller apples?

Gingrich's other claim there, that New York Times article? Yeah, that's a lie. The article he's referring to is from July 26, 2008. It's about why congressional Republicans voted against the bank bailout, even though it was going to pass. The bottom line: it was a politically easy decision. And who helped them see it was a politically easy decision? "Former Speaker Newt Gingrich spoke at a private party meeting before the vote and joined Mr. Boehner in encouraging Republicans to oppose the measure." You got that? That line he quotes, "Do not give them any money"? Nowhere in the article. Gingrich was advising members of Congress how they could be weasels and not actually displease their banking masters.

The thing about the Devil is that he tells his lies with such utter confidence that the unquestioning listener hears them as truth. And the Devil wins when his lies begin to supplant the truth until there is nothing but lies left.

The idea that Newt Gingrich is positioning himself as some kind of Washington outsider is so laughable that it's pathetic. He has physically lived in the DC area for over 30 years. That meeting with members of Congress in 2008 wasn't some kind of anomaly: it's what he's been doing since he was whipped out of Congress by the members of his own party, not by Democrats, not by the elite media he so derides and uses as a safe foil for his own arrogance. The idea that a multimillionaire can position himself as the poor man against Romney is mind-boggling. The idea that he can keep berating the press without anyone in the press calling him on it is just depressing.

Gingrich is like a pimple you get on your forehead that you can't get rid of it. Sure, you can squeeze it, you can put creams on it, you can try alcohol or toothpaste or warm or cold compresses, but that fucker just won't go away. And it just gets bigger so that every time you look in the mirror, it's the only thing you see. You are your zit.

There's gonna be a war in the GOP between the Tea Party monster that was cravenly embraced and co-opted by the right and the old school Republicans, who just want their satisfactory corporate lackey who is easily controlled to be the nominee. It's more than likely going to be a civil war, with southern states going Gingrich and northern ones going Romney, thus making it an insurgency by evangelicals, people who have given a pass to the serial adulterer, but won't vote for a Mormon because it sounds almost like "Muslim." They wouldn't know the real Devil if he stabbed them in the ass with his pitchfork. If Gingrich wins Florida, it's gonna be wonderfully messy. (And if he gave a shit about Romney as a human being, the Rude Pundit would be advising him, "Dude, just tell everyone 'Kiss my rich white ass' and go home.")

The whole thing is chaos now. And having been a Democrat his entire adult life, so used to political chaos, the Rude Pundit can only sit back and enjoy watching Republicans tear themselves asunder.

In his victory speech on Saturday night, Gingrich continued with the lies, his ego inflated like a hot air balloon that's about to go up where the loss of pressure will make it collapse. He will fall again. It is natural. That's what the Devil must do.
Hey, Stephanie Miller Show Listeners, Order the Book:
Show the bastards at OR Books that they can't hold back the 2012 Rude Pundit's Almanack. We gotta get to 500 bought in the next month or so (and we're well on the way). Order it for the eBook (that's just ten bucks, fer chrissake) or, you know, the paper one.


Moments in the Life of Newt Gingrich from the 1990s:
On September 8, 1995, then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich told a crowd of 4,000 believers at the Christian Coalition's "Road to Victory" conference in Washington, D.C. that he "got married when I was very young. And we have two wonderful daughters by that marriage. And I got divorced. Later on, I got remarried. And we have a marriage which has a fair amount of stress, and it's difficult. And I think that's fairly typical of a lot of families. It takes a lot of work, a lot of prayer."

The "stress" he was talking about was that, for two years, he had been putting his penis into the vagina and possibly the mouth and anus of Callista Bisek, a woman who is 23 years younger than him and 14 years younger than his then-wife Marianne.

Gingrich continued, justifying his sexual betrayal as fitting in perfectly with one way of looking at family values. He told his daughters that "we know precisely because it's been hard why you should emphasize family values. Because even when you're emphasizing them, it's hard."

The audience, who by then must have known the whispers about Gingrich's relationship with Bisek, which had been swirling, applauded and cheered. Ralph Reed, head of the Christian Coalition, later said, "[O]ur members are not looking for someone who is perfect...They are looking for someone who will stand up for what they believe in."

The audience also knew that a British woman had said she had given him a blow job during his first marriage, back in 1976. If you ever wanted to know why Gingrich didn't run for president before, it's because he needed plausible distance from his affairs as a demonstration of his redemption.

In talking about marriage, Gingrich told the gathered Christians, "I start with the premise that all of us are sinful and that's why we need to seek salvation through faith because we're never going to earn it because we're inadequate." See, when it comes to marriage, the Rude Pundit starts with the premise that, if you're a man and you get married, you shouldn't be shoving your dick in the orifices of others, especially if you asked your wife for an open marriage so you could do so without a scintilla of conscience and she said, "No." But he's old-fashioned that way.

That's the brilliance of Gingrich, by the way, shining even brighter than the delusional hypocrisy of anyone who ever bought the "family values" bullshit lie. See, where others heard "marriage" and "family values" and thought, "Oh, he means 'fidelity' and 'being good to kids,'" what Gingrich really meant was "Families and marriages are fucked up and, boy, so am I." Really, the entire course of the 1990s would have been changed if the right had been clear on that.

And that doesn't even get into the Clinton impeachment matter, where Gingrich was actually as smart as possible and refused to talk about it as being about sex precisely because everyone knew it was about sex. He demanded that no one in the House Republican caucus speak about it in terms other than as "obstruction of justice." Still, everyone knew it was about hummers in the Oval Office and jizz on a dress.

But also, back in the 1990s, Gingrich used to rail against the "liberal elite media" who he believed sought to downplay President Clinton's transgressions.

So when Gingrich went all angry chimp on CNN's John King at last night's GOP South Carolina debate over a question about Marianne Gingrich's interview with ABC, it wasn't only unexpected. It's what he does. He's always the victim. When he said, "I am tired of the elite media protecting Barack Obama by attacking Republicans," you could have put Bill Clinton in there.

Oh, wait. Here's Gingrich in June 1996 in the Washington Times: "[T]here is no president in modern times more systematically protected by the elite media." (Indeed, one could go through much of the way Gingrich has attacked Obama and find almost verbatim antecedents in his attacks on Clinton, Gore, and Kerry.)

In December 1994, Gingrich was congratulating the House Republicans for their victory in the midterms. After talking about his family, he said, "I want to ask all of you to join me in -- (pauses) -- I'm trying to think. It's a little difficult to say. In thanking the person who has endured more from the media and more from the process than anybody should have to for me to be here, my wife Marianne." Callista Bisek, who was a House staffer, was probably there for that rally. Maybe she was a little uncomfortable as Gingrich introduced his wife since the Speaker had been fucking Callista for a year already.

No, there's no issue about a sociopathic character flaw here that might be of interest to the voters.


The Rude Pundit on Monday's Stephanie Miller Show:
The Rude Pundit and Stephanie Miller said all kinds of mean things about Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, but especially Mitt Romney:

If you want the Rude Pundit to canoodle with your digital music player, then subscribe to the free podcast, where pods of this and Cheater and the Rude are cast.
Random Thoughts on the Latest From the GOP Primary Season:
1. Marianne Gingrich's interview with ABC News, revealing, among other things, that Newt wanted an open marriage so he could bang Callista and not suffer any political or financial consequences, won't matter. Nor will her re-assertion that Newt left her shortly after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Because Newt Gingrich voters are divided between two groups: the Who-Gives-a-Fuck group and the Jesus-Forgave-Him-So-Can-I group. The former group's members are so deluded that they will tell you that the Clinton impeachment was about perjury. The latter group's members are so desperate for a candidate that, as long as he said he believes he's made peace with God, they wouldn't care if Newt had strangled his second wife with his first wife's intestines.

2. When Rick Perry first announced that he was running for President, do you remember how people were saying on the left and right that the nomination race, if not the whole election, was over? That a masterful manly man politician like Rick Perry, a George W. Bush who could ride a horse (yet, bizarrely, both were college cheerleaders), would fuck the asses of every other candidate like a horny hillbilly in a room of Ned Beattys? Yeah, that was awesome. Honestly, who'd've thought that Bush would turn out to be the articulate governor from Texas. The phrase "epic fail" gets tossed around and used too much, but in terms of success versus expectations, it's more than appropriate here.

3. Rick Perry endorsing Newt Gingrich was a no-brainer. After all, you can bet that Gingrich has an open marriage with Callista, so the man-love can be fulfilled. The real fun developing now is watching how visceral the hate for Romney is among the movement conservatives. For Perry and Gingrich, this shit is personal. Romney made Perry his bitch in the debates. And Romney's SuperPAC has been tearing into Gingrich with a savagery that Obama's ad people better be taking notes on. They want to destroy the fancier-pants Mormon who believes he's better than everyone else.

4. Oh, hey, looks like wee little Ricky Santorum might have won Iowa. And? The real story is that eight precincts lost their votes and can never be recounted. If that had happened during a Democratic caucus, Fox "news" would already be screeching about voter fraud and produced scary black people who did it.

5. So, just to get this straight, Mitt Romney says he paid his taxes at a 15% rate, which is the capital gains tax. And Newt Gingrich is running on eliminating the capital gains tax (with Romney running on some reductions). So they are both running for president to make themselves richer.

Christ. Just take your Romney pill already, GOP. You deserve nothing less and nothing more.
Late Post Today:
Just waking up from a SOPA/PIPA blackout. Back in a bit with more justifiable rudeness.


No SOPA/PIPA Blackout Here, But Christopher Dodd Is a Goddamned Tool:
The Rude Pundit didn't go dark to protest the Stop Online Piracy and the Protect IP Acts because, well, it just seemed like a lazy way to avoid blogging for a day. Go read about the acts, if you haven't, because it's pretty insidious stuff, not just because of the governmental control, but because of the corporate power behind it.

Besides, why go dark when you can point out something stupid said by the most powerful lobbyist supporting the bills? Former Senator Chris Dodd, now head of the Motion Picture Association of America (motto: "You can only be our leader if you're a male with a full head of white hair"), issued a statement attacking the websites that are participating in today's strike/blackout. It says, in part, "It’s a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests."

You got that? The whore who fronts for an industry owned by multinational megacorporations like NewsCorp, Sony, and Viacom is actually attacking BoingBoing.net owners Happy Mutants LLC for using the internet for some evil agenda to steal Chipmunk movies just because they went on a one-day strike. That's a bit like Ted Bundy accusing a student nurse of having a messy dorm room just before bludgeoning her to death.

Here's the deal, entertainment industry: your old model for making money is dying, and you haven't figured out how to deal with it yet. You're still in the Anger phase when you need to move on to Acceptance. It sucks, yeah, but right now you're the brontosaurus in the room, and the little critters that don't need so much to survive are evolving and changing. Sure, you can stomp all the monkeys and aardvarks and panthers you want, but eventually you're just gonna keel over and die.

When he appeared on a panel on the future of book publishing at the Words and Music festival in New Orleans in November, the Rude Pundit told the audience that we haven't yet figured out how to adapt to new technology. "We're the missing link," he said. "We're the mutation that won't survive but is necessary to evolution."

In other words, instead of trying to rage against a future that one can't stop without resorting to draconian measures that will eventually fail, the MPAA and the RIAA and other "trade organizations" better spend more time figuring out how to co-opt and use the constant stream of innovation in digital entertainment delivery instead of wasting time suing and shutting down and lobbying. Even if it puts douchebags like Chris Dodd out of a job.


Newt Gingrich's Inner Redneck Appears:
There wasn't a safe goat ass anywhere in eastern South Carolina last night. After the Republican presidential debate in Myrtle Beach, the whooping, hooting, cheering white people, whipped into a frenzied state by the race-baiting rhetoric of Newt Gingrich, headed out to the backyards and barns of the Gamecock state to take out their throbbing desires on goats, fucking the goats from behind, getting ass-reamed by the goats, the women glazed by goat semen, the men plastered with goat shit on their dicks, none of them caring because, with Newt leading them against that uppity nigger, Juan Williams, the evening's surrogate Obama, the South would rise again, so they may as well do what they do best: wallow around naked in a mud pit, coated with goat feces and cum, staring up at the stars, remembering the glory of the evening they had witnessed, the confused goat, feeling both satisfied and violated, heading into a corner to sleep.

The Fox "news"/Wall Street Journal/Murdoch's Taint debate was only notable because of the moment when Newt Gingrich decided to double down on the racism on Martin Luther King Day when questioned by Juan Williams about his remarks on black youths and food stamps, as well as his call for poor kids to become janitors at their high school. When Gingrich refused to modify or sugarcoat what he had said, the audience at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center exploded.

Of course they did. There was a group of crackers, having been forced to go through an entire day hearing about how a great black man fought for the rights of black people so that now, not only do you have to share water fountains with 'em, but you can't even call 'em "boy" at work without someone getting all upset, and, besides, what are you gonna do with all these unburned crosses? And once the cork was off the crowd, it turned viciously on Williams, booing him loudly when he attempted to get Gingrich to explain because "It sounds as if you are seeking to belittle [poor and nonwhite] people."

Watch the video of the event. You can pinpoint the moment that Gingrich saw that he had the audience eating out of his hand like trained pigs lining up at the garbage trough. His hand movements get more forceful. His voice rises. He is surfing the wave of adoration like a California teenager on his board, hitting that sweet spot in the barrel. And he just goes to town with the lies: "[T]he fact is that more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history." (Not a fact at all. In fact, it was George W. Bush who is responsible for more people getting on food stamps; oh, and isn't that a good thing so that kids can eat?) "There’s — the area that ought to be I-73 was called by Barack Obama 'a corridor of shame' because of unemployment." (Nope. The "Corridor of Shame" is because of the condition of the rural schools in the area. Oh, and Obama didn't name it that; the people from there did. Oh, and it's along I-95.)

But who the fuck cares if Newt Gingrich is a venal, lying shitsack, an angry hippopotamus destroying anything it can and dragging the half-dead into the river to drown? The audience lapped it up as he jacked off in their faces, using his dick to slap the black guy who dared to question the rightness of his Newtness. He is a walking, talking infection, and every time we think we've gotten rid of him, he comes back stronger and more resistant to the drugs that can kill him.

However, big thanks to the people of South Carolina for revealing, as ever, that racist pricks will always and forever be racist pricks and that redneck assholes will always be easily manipulated into thinking that the rich motherfucker up on stage who calls out the "elitists" is one of them.

(Fun true story: Myrtle Beach is cracker vacation paradise. As the man who was repairing his air conditioner once told the Rude Pundit while living in Tennessee, he loved going to Myrtle Beach because he could drive his pick-up truck on the beach. "It don't get no better than that," he said. Having never driven a pick-up on a beach, the Rude Pundit could neither agree nor disagree.)


Martin Luther King Would Still Fuck Your Shit Up (99% Edition):
Here's something relevant to our current debate over whether or not it's okay to raise the marginal income tax rate on millionaires by 4%. It's from the sermon "Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution," delivered at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, on March 31, 1968, after King had finished discussing racial injustice:

"We are challenged to rid our nation and the world of poverty. Like a monstrous octopus, poverty spreads its nagging, prehensile tentacles into hamlets and villages all over our world. Two-thirds of the people of the world go to bed hungry tonight. They are ill-housed; they are ill-nourished; they are shabbily clad. I’ve seen it in Latin America; I’ve seen it in Africa; I’ve seen this poverty in Asia."

King then described a trip that he and his wife took to India, coming to the conclusion that "maybe we spend far too much of our national budget establishing military bases around the world rather than bases of genuine concern and understanding."

He continued, "Not only do we see poverty abroad, I would remind you that in our own nation there are about forty million people who are poverty-stricken. I have seen them here and there. I have seen them in the ghettos of the North; I have seen them in the rural areas of the South; I have seen them in Appalachia. I have just been in the process of touring many areas of our country and I must confess that in some situations I have literally found myself crying.

"I was in Marks, Mississippi, the other day, which is in Whitman County, the poorest county in the United States. I tell you, I saw hundreds of little black boys and black girls walking the streets with no shoes to wear. I saw their mothers and fathers trying to carry on a little Head Start program, but they had no money. The federal government hadn’t funded them, but they were trying to carry on. They raised a little money here and there; trying to get a little food to feed the children; trying to teach them a little something.

"And I saw mothers and fathers who said to me not only were they unemployed, they didn’t get any kind of income—no old-age pension, no welfare check, no anything. I said, 'How do you live?' And they say, 'Well, we go around, go around to the neighbors and ask them for a little something. When the berry season comes, we pick berries. When the rabbit season comes, we hunt and catch a few rabbits. And that’s about it.'

"And I was in Newark and Harlem just this week. And I walked into the homes of welfare mothers. I saw them in conditions—no, not with wall-to-wall carpet, but wall-to-wall rats and roaches. I stood in an apartment and this welfare mother said to me, 'The landlord will not repair this place. I’ve been here two years and he hasn’t made a single repair.' She pointed out the walls with all the ceiling falling through. She showed me the holes where the rats came in. She said night after night we have to stay awake to keep the rats and roaches from getting to the children. I said, 'How much do you pay for this apartment?' She said, 'A hundred and twenty-five dollars.' I looked, and I thought, and said to myself, 'It isn’t worth sixty dollars.' Poor people are forced to pay more for less. Living in conditions day in and day out where the whole area is constantly drained without being replenished. It becomes a kind of domestic colony. And the tragedy is, so often these forty million people are invisible because America is so affluent, so rich. Because our expressways carry us from the ghetto, we don’t see the poor.

"Jesus told a parable one day, and he reminded us that a man went to hell because he didn’t see the poor. His name was Dives. He was a rich man. And there was a man by the name of Lazarus who was a poor man, but not only was he poor, he was sick. Sores were all over his body, and he was so weak that he could hardly move. But he managed to get to the gate of Dives every day, wanting just to have the crumbs that would fall from his table. And Dives did nothing about it. And the parable ends saying, 'Dives went to hell, and there were a fixed gulf now between Lazarus and Dives.'

"There is nothing in that parable that said Dives went to hell because he was rich. Jesus never made a universal indictment against all wealth. It is true that one day a rich young ruler came to him, and he advised him to sell all, but in that instance Jesus was prescribing individual surgery and not setting forth a universal diagnosis. And if you will look at that parable with all of its symbolism, you will remember that a conversation took place between heaven and hell, and on the other end of that long-distance call between heaven and hell was Abraham in heaven talking to Dives in hell.

"Now Abraham was a very rich man. If you go back to the Old Testament, you see that he was the richest man of his day, so it was not a rich man in hell talking with a poor man in heaven; it was a little millionaire in hell talking with a multimillionaire in heaven. Dives didn’t go to hell because he was rich; Dives didn’t realize that his wealth was his opportunity. It was his opportunity to bridge the gulf that separated him from his brother Lazarus. Dives went to hell because he was passed by Lazarus every day and he never really saw him. He went to hell because he allowed his brother to become invisible. Dives went to hell because he maximized the minimum and minimized the maximum. Indeed, Dives went to hell because he sought to be a conscientious objector in the war against poverty.

"And this can happen to America, the richest nation in the world — and nothing’s wrong with that — this is America’s opportunity to help bridge the gulf between the haves and the have-nots. The question is whether America will do it. There is nothing new about poverty. What is new is that we now have the techniques and the resources to get rid of poverty. The real question is whether we have the will."

That this sermon could be delivered today, 44 years later, with some adjustments for inflation and with "billionaire" in there, speaks to a shame that should scar us as deeply as any mark of Cain. That it doesn't and that we speak of helping the poor with the crumbs that fall from the table of the rich as "wealth redistribution," as if that's wrong and evil, demonstrates that we are, indeed, damned as Dives.


Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Smoke a Poisoned Cigar:

Yes, that is Marxist revolutionary/t-shirt glamor boy Che Guevara. Yes, that is a Mercedes-Benz symbol on his beret. Yes, that is a presentation about new cars. Yes, it says, "Viva la Revolucion" up there, as if remodeled Benzes are akin to the overthrow of Batista in Cuba.

There's so many things wrong with that image that it's enough to make your brain explode, no matter what side of the Che worship/condemnation or hero/mass murderer lines you come down on. Daimler, Mercedes' parent company, said that Che was chosen to show "the revolution in automobility enabled by new technologies, in particular those associated with connectivity." Because nothing says, "Hey, cool, my car will tell me if someone liked my Facebook status update" more than the dude who said, "We are fighting against misery, but we are also fighting against alienation." Still, high-priced rolling connectivity fighting alienation aside, are you motherfucking serious? (Oh, and is "automobility" a word now?)

Capitalism eats everything eventually. Even Communists.


Gitmo Ten Years On: Our Untreated, Open Wound:
Yesterday marked the tenth anniversary of the first prisoners arriving at the detention camp at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The fact that the camp still exists to keep 171 detainees in a legal limbo is a stain on our nation. And it matters, desperately so. How can we act outraged and self-righteous about Marines allegedly pissing on Taliban fighter corpses when Gitmo exists? And the Gitmo-ization of our entire legal system continues, with the barest outrage at the militarization of local police forces. Over at Guantanamo Bay, as reported in the Washington Post today, the prisoners are still treated as imminent threats. Their written communications with their military lawyers are subject to scrutiny, in violation of attorney-client privilege, and the lawyers, who, again, are members of the military with security clearance, are outraged.

Mostly, though, the United States couldn't give a shit less about Gitmo. But it's an infection that has eaten away at us in ways that we can't even comprehend, ignoring it like a wound that is left untreated.

The Rude Pundit's Almanack includes this takedown of our detention policies (posted here with some revisions and updates):

When it comes to some principles, like those enshrined in things like the Magna Carta or the Constitution, you shouldn’t care who the hell is in the White House. Here’s a basic one: A president should not have the power to detain people without charge. On the left, we screamed like banshees who had stubbed our toes during the Bush administration over the imprisonment without charge or trial of hundreds of people at the Guantánamo Naval Base. But that noise has died down considerably since the election of Barack Obama, even though the policy has not really changed, and, in fact, Obama has embraced most of the imperial presidency powers that Bush got a prone-and-willing Congress to give him. Both presidents want you to believe that they should have such sweeping authority simply because you can trust them.

The Bush administration demonstrated, on a nearly monthly basis, why such trust is about as valuable as the information gotten from nearly every person ever kept at Gitmo:

On January 27, 2002, Vice President Dick Cheney said on ABC’s This Week with Sam Donaldson: “These are bad people. I mean, they’ve already been screened before they get to Guantánamo.”

By October 28, 2002, the first four detainees were released.

On July 17, 2003, in a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, President George W. Bush claimed, “[T]he only thing I know for certain is that these are bad people.”

On July 18, 2003, twenty-seven of those bad people were sent back to their home countries.

(You can see the pattern, here, no? It pretty much continued like that, even into the second term of our Bush/Cheney nightmare.)

On June 13, 2005, Vice President Dick Cheney informed Sean Hannity on Fox "news," “The important thing here to understand is that the people that are at Guantánamo are bad people. I mean, these are terrorists for the most part. These are people that were captured in the battlefield of Afghanistan or rounded up as part of the Al Qaeda network. We’ve already screened the detainees there and released a number, sent them back to their home countries. But what’s left is hardcore.”

On July 20, 2005, eight hardcore detainees were released or sent to their home countries.

Even at the end of their years in office, they were insisting that “oh, hey, now it’s just really, really bad awful worst o’ the worstest people that ever walked the earth.”

During a December 15, 2008 interview with Jonathan Karl, Vice President Dick Cheney offered, “Guantánamo has been the repository, if you will, of hundreds of terrorists, or suspected terrorists, that we’ve captured since 9/11. They—many of them, hundreds, have been released back to their home countries. What we have left is the hardcore. Their cases are reviewed on an annual basis to see whether or not they’re still a threat, whether or not they’re still intelligence value in terms of continuing to hold them. But—and we're down now to some 200 being held at Guantánamo. But that includes the core group, the really high-value targets like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.” Despite his self-correction in the first sentence there, he also called them “200 al-Qaeda terrorists” later in the interview.

On December 16, 2008, three al-Qaeda terrorists were sent back to their home countries.

On January 13, 2009, Cheney told radio host and gambling man Bill Bennett, regarding the detainees at Gitmo, “Now what’s left, that is the hardcore.” Which, if you’re paying attention, is almost exactly what he said to Sean Hannity in 2005, which was over a hundred released detainees ago.

On January 17, 2009, six more of the hardcore were sent back to their home countries. That was just a couple of days before Barack Obama was inaugurated, so did they intentionally release criminals just to fuck with the new administration?

After 9/11, the White House fed us this line about the terrible people we held in a place where they couldn’t harm us. Anyone who questioned these actions was called an anti-American terrorist-enabler by the right. Until Hurricane Katrina blew the ski masks off the entire bunch of thugs who ran the country, the mainstream media mostly just went along with the White House line when, right in front of them, was the trickle of released detainees, which demonstrated, conclusively, that George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, and others were lying. And no one of any authority, like, say, Congress or even just the Democrats, held them to account for it.

Now, not only do we still have Gitmo and Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan but, in Congress, both Democrats and Republicans blocked the closing of Guantanamo by voting to deny funds for that purpose, including any funds for bringing detainees to the United States for trial. If this had been the Bush White House, that would have been seen as something akin to treason for not allowing the Commander-in-Chief to command.

By the way, on May 12, 2009, talking about Gitmo again, Dick Cheney told Fox "news" host Neil Cavuto, “The ones that are remaining, about 245, are the hardcore, the worst of the worst.” At least someone in this world is consistent until the bitter end.

Oh, on May 15, 2009, Lakhdar Boumedienne was freed.


Mitt Romney, the Dickhead in Full:
There's nothing to talk about regarding last night's New Hampshire primary, just as there will be nothing to talk about in South Carolina, etc. The forced march to Mittdom for the GOP has all the excitement of a line of dutiful Soviet citizens waiting in line for bread back in the day. When the best the news networks could do last night was talk about how amazing it was that Jon Huntsman was in third and then wait breathlessly to see if Gingrich or Santorum came in fourth, then there is truly no story. More than once, on MSNBC, Ed Schultz looked like he was going to blow his brains out just to create some excitement. Over on CNN, the life slowly drained out of John King as he described the variances between Manchester precinct votes until his zombie form kept hitting the video wall repeatedly. And, on Fox "news," Megyn Kelly could barely contain her contempt at having to interview the horrible Sarah Palin puppet that keeps appearing despite the fact that it's now threadbare with one of its button eyes is dangling.

Yeah, yeah, Ron Paul came in 2nd. And?

What the Rude Pundit wants to talk about is the breathtaking dickishness of Mitt Romney, on full, glorious display in his victory speech/acceptance speech preview last night. We've been treated to that barely repressed assholery at the debates, that patrician look of "How dare you" when someone attacked him, the punk-ass need to invoke time rules, the floundering denial of anything other than the utter rightness of his Mittosity, the disgust that these people, some of them barely millionaires, would be allowed even on the same stage as him.

But last night was an even grander display. It was a full-on face fuck of conservative paranoia and lies. His attack on Barack Obama had nothing to do with, you know, Barack Obama, but was instead a deep-throat cock thrust into the mouth of the Republican base's image of Obama: "Yeah, take that chowder, you simpering yahoos. You know you like it. And now lick me clean after 5 years of campaigning."

It would take pages to try to enumerate the number and breadth of lies in Romney's speech, but let's take one: "[Obama] wants to turn America into a European-style social welfare state. We want to insure we remain a free and prosperous land of opportunity. This president takes his inspiration from the capitals of Europe." First off, why the hating on Europe? The countries that are nose-diving are the ones that got fucked by the same kinds of bullshit investment schemes that fucked the United States. But what part of Europe is he talking about? Because, like, according to the mega-conservative Heritage Foundation's 2011 "Index of Economic Freedom," not only is the United States the ninth most free out of 183 countries, but Ireland, Denmark, and Switzerland are ranked higher. And they provide socialized health care to their citizens (as do all the others ranked higher). So, in other words, we should be so lucky to be like some European nations. But nothing is going to stop Romney from using "Europe" as shorthand for "socialist pussies," so he added at the end, "I want you to remember when our White House reflected the best of who we are, not the worst of what Europe has become."

Romney needs to paint Obama as a radical extremist who "apologizes for America" and is "a leader who divides us with the bitter politics of envy" because he needs to distract from just how extreme his own ideas are. When Romney says he wants to "repeal Obamacare," he's saying he wants adults under 26 to lose health insurance, if they have it with their parents. He's saying he wants insurance companies to be able to decline you for a pre-existing condition and that caps should be reinstated so that you go bankrupt or die if you get badly sick or injured. His social agenda would break up marriages and families. His tax policy would drive the nation further into debt while he raises the military budget and probably starts a war with Iran.

In other words, everything Mitt Romney wants to do would harm Americans. Everything. So of course he's gotta get out there and be the total dickhead he always was and always will be.

Here's the question someone needs to ask, repeatedly, of Romney: "If you had been elected in 2008, what would you have done to clear the wreckage left behind by George W. Bush?"


A Brief List of Conservative Men Who Need to Be Punched in the Balls:
1. Fox "news" Radio reporter Todd Starnes, who, waxing patriotic to Sean Hannity about the white people of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, voting in their primary this morning, really said, "I love this, this is what America is all about. Like you said, no hanging chads, we didn’t see any Black Panthers with baseball bats. These were good, American folks going to do their patriotic duty." Remember: Black Panthers are not good Americans. And that toad-faced fuck needs to be socked in the sack. (Side note: "Dixville Notch" sounds like a cute name for "vagina.")

2. New York Times columnist David Brooks, who twists history like a pair of contortionists trying to have sex in a tiny box. In today's version of "No, Really, I'm Not a Smug Elitist Cockmonger," Brooks tries to figure out "Where Are the Liberals?" His answer, strangely, is not that a prolonged period of demonization by the American right, stretching back to at least Reagan, if not Nixon, echoed by the corporate media with little or no actual dissent being allowed a fair hearing for at least three decades (and possible four), gave the self-identifier "liberal" the same connotation as "Communist traitor piece of shit who'll stab Uncle Sam with an American flag and beat Lady Liberty to death with a bald eagle corpse," compounded by a raping of the remnants of liberalism in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. No, strangely, Brooks does not mention any of that. Instead, he blames mistrust of the federal government and the way that both Democrats and Republicans work for the benefit of the wealthy, although sometimes for people that average white people don't like. Oddly, Brooks doesn't mention that it was Republicans who worked to turn Americans against believing that the government could make their lives easier and, in doing so, made it so that government could make corporate lives easier, lying that making corporate lives easier makes the average citizen's life easier, thus making the average citizen's life harder and, with the aforementioned demonization of anything even vaguely liberal under the hated (and wrong) banner of socialism, Americans had nowhere to turn but to ignorance, God and guns, don't you know, which is easily manipulated by the aforementioned media and the aforementioned politicians, and that, if Brooks were honest, which he is most emphatically not, he would say that individual liberal beliefs actually poll quite well, but because the only organizing philosophy is hated liberalism, which is...and, oh, hell, it'd just be easier to kick Brooks in the nads and walk away.

3. Presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who said yesterday that it's snobby to think that all kids should go to college. No, really: "Who are you? Who are you to say that every child in America go...I mean the hubris of this president to think that he knows what’s best for you. I...you know there is...I have seven kids. Maybe they’ll all go to college. But, if one of my kids wants to go and be an auto mechanic, good for him. That’s a good-paying job – using your hands and using your mind. This is the kind of, the kind of snobbery that we see from those who think they know how to run our lives. Rise up America. Defend your own freedoms."

First off, a starting auto mechanic makes around $30,000 a year in New Hampshire, so, hey, Rick Santorum's kids, your Dad wants you to live at less than 1.5 times the poverty level for a family of four (and you will breed, being Rick Santorum's kids).

Second off, what the motherfuck is Santorum talking about? As Charles Blow points out, President Obama has never said that: "The president has consistently framed the discussion as one of making high school graduates both college- and career-ready. And even when speaking about learning after high school, he has often included both higher education and vocational training."

And, third off, when did it stop being the dream of Americans to want their kids to go to school so they could get an education? And how does it require rising up to defend freedom? Wasn't the point of Santorum's "my grandpa was a filthy coal miner" story about how generations of Americans get opportunities because of the work of their parents?

Jesus, on the list of things a conservative could attack Obama on, the hope that children get educated should probably be below "choice of dog breed" and "that weird mole."


Hey, Media: It's Not About Romney; It's About Money:
On June 13, 2011, the Rude Pundit took to the Twitter machine and tapped out the following: "Christ, do we really have to live through the next 17 months until Obama beats Romney? Do we have to go through this?" The reason he brings this up is not to say that, on a bad day, when he's at the end of a three-day tequila and ecstasy binge, and he's not sure what city he's in, whose vomit is on the pillow, and whether that naked guy in the corner is breathing, he's smarter than every mainstream political prognosticator. True as that might be, that's not the point here (and, hey, he might turn out to be wrong in November [he won't be]). No, there's another reason the Rude Pundit is shamelessly touting his tweet - yeah, he's gonna punch himself in the balls for writing that phrase - and it's got less to do with the candidates than with the mighty media itself.

This morning, on MSNBC's Goatee-Flaunting with Chuck Todd, the significantly bewhiskered host declared former Governor Mitt Romney as the frontrunner by far in the New Hampshire primary and then talked about the battle for second place, sighing, "because we have to make a story about something here" (or words to that effect).

See, it's not that the Rude Pundit was so fucking prescient in his June declaration that he's never wavered from, not when Rick Perry jumped into the race, not when Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul had their surges. It's that everyone has known all along that it was gonna be Romney. Members of the media (and a good many people in Blogsylvania) have kept alive a narrative of competition where none exists, hoping beyond hope that this will become another Obama/Clinton slog through the winter and spring instead of the tedious wait on the inevitable occurring.

In doing so, nearly every reporter has missed the opportunity to cover the real story of this primary (and, truly, of almost every election in this country): the reason that Mitt Romney is winning is because there is no one who can touch him on money. Whether it's campaign contributions or PACs, this nomination process was over before it began because the very, very rich Romney is Wall Street's pick. This is not news. But with the rise of Super PACs in the wake of the Citizens United decision and the no-ceiling spending they can engage in under the guise of "free speech" (remember: if money equals speech, then some people have more speech than others, no?), we've moved into a new realm of crazy. That's news. Big-time fucking news. But it's pathetic when Stephen Colbert is one of the only media figures making the effort to expose how corrupting Super PACs are.

In other words, the real story of this primary process, the first presidential election since Citizens United, has been consciously ignored when, indeed, it is more significant than who Republicans pick to lose to President Obama. On the Meet the Press debate yesterday, host David Gregory came precariously close to making it a real topic. Asking Romney about the tidal wave of Super PAC ads that destroyed Newt Gingrich, Gregory brought up Gingrich's strategy to destroy Romney: "Are you consistent now as you're preparing to launch against Governor Romney?" Gingrich said he was. Gregory asked them, "Would you both agree to take these Super PAC ads down?" They would not agree. Dangerously close to actually talking about something important, Gregory moved on.

A more interesting moment occurred after the debate on MSNBC, when Chris Matthews spoke to Romney lackey John Sununu (who is strangely still alive) over the Super PAC spending. After defending Romney and the ads, Sununu said, "The law should be changed. Everybody, every candidate agrees the law should be changed. Nobody likes that law, but unfortunately, bad legislation put the Supreme Court in a position where [it] had to make that decision." Sununu was referring, of course, to the McCain-Feingold campaign spending law as the "bad legislation." But you got that? Nobody likes the law. But it is the law. And the Super PAC ads are a legal abrogation of an open, fair electoral process. There are others, but it is certainly the most egregious. Like Gregory, Matthews touched on it and backed away.

During the debate, Gingrich pushed Romney: "Governor, I wish you would calmly and directly state it is your former staff running the PAC, it is your millionaire friends giving to the PAC." Romney wouldn't deny it. Gingrich could have used that as a leaping off point to attack the campaign laws and Super PACs, but he couldn't because not only does Gingrich have one supporting him, not only is it about to launch a campaign attacking Romney for being a heartless capitalist (an odd strategy in a Republican primary), but one of Newt Gingrich's billionaire friends just donated $5 million to the pro-Gingrich Super PAC.

Of Republicans, only Buddy Roemer is speaking out against the current campaign finance laws. Roemer has more experience in government than Romney. Of course, he doesn't have the cash. And, of course, almost no one in the media gives a shit what he has to say.


Buy the Book, Listen to the Podcast, Make It a Rude Weekend:
Hey, look: Emmy-winning Daily Show writer Jo Miller says the 2011 edition of The Rude Pundit's Almanack was "a joy—deeply intelligent, pants-wettingly funny and impossible to put down." There's a good chance that the 2012 edition would make her laugh until she vomits.

But there will only be a 2012 edition, with updates and new material, if rude readers pre-order 500 copies. Ten bucks for the e-book, 17 for the print. From New Yorker-approved publisher OR Books. (Note: No, the Rude Pundit has no idea what a pre-order is. He does know that if you do order, and we don't reach the magic number, you'll get all yer cash or credit card space back.)

So pony up, good people and bad motherfuckers. Order now. You know you wanna read dirty limericks about Herman Cain (teaser: "smirk" rhymes with both "jerk" and "lurk").

Oh, and here's this week's episode of Cheater and the Rude, where Jeff Kreisler keeps making Santorum jokes, much to the Rude Pundit's chagrin, anger, and disgust at the lack of originality.


A Scene from Radical Christianity's Ongoing War on Women:

This burnt-out part of a building used to be the American Family Planning Clinic in Pensacola, Florida. Because abortions were performed there, it had been the flashpoint for anti-choice nutzoids for decades, including bombings in 1984 and other violence. Pensacola is also where two doctors who performed abortions were gunned down in the 1990s. In the early hours of 2012, a redneck, criminal homeless puke who should have met the L.A. serial killer tossed a Molotov cocktail at the place and burned it down because he didn't like abortions being done safely.

According to an affidavit in the arrest of Bobby Joe Rogers, the cracker arsonist had been spending time with anti-choice protesters who were regularly chanting, singing, holding signs, and occasionally blocking the way outside the clinic. The actual violence had died down since the shootings. Rogers was influenced by them. By groups devoted to ending a Supreme Court-approved liberty, as allowed by the founding document of our nation. Indeed, one could say of these groups, with little argument, that they hate us for our freedom and wish to impose a radical religious doctrine on the nation.

In other words, Bobby Joe Rogers is as much a terrorist as any mythical al-Qaeda sleeper agent. But because he was deluded by radical Christianity instead of radical Islam, he probably won't be treated as such. The groups that cheer on Rogers won't be investigated. Their assets won't be seized. Their members won't be demonized for the things they wrote and spoke that led directly to violence. They will be treated as anomalies, not the mainstream of a virulent, anti-American ideology. We will be told by anti-choice politicians that they don't advocate violence and that we shouldn't think that all anti-choice protesters are like Rogers. We will be expected to believe them.

There is a war, yes, in this country that has nothing to do with the utterly minor threat of Islamic terrorism occurring here. It is a war on women that is waged by state legislatures, with more restrictions on abortion access passed than ever, and it is a war waged by the very random, violent psychopaths that the government is supposed to have been granted wide power to protect us from.

Now, we can argue about whether or not the government should have those powers. But, surely, more women (and men) in this nation have been intimidated by Christian fundamentalists than have ever even thought they were threatened by Muslims. Imagine if it had been a Muslim man who tossed a bottle bomb at, say, an army recruiting office in a strip mall because he opposes American foreign policy. Imagine the wrath that would have been brought down on him.

How is Rogers any different? Oh, that's right. We're supposed to be furious about the larger implications of fantasy Muslims and we're supposed to ignore the very real implications of the very real Christian terrorists.


Right-Wingers and Obama's Recess Appointments: Now It's Imperial to Just Execute the Laws:
Man, the Nancies of the right have their panties all bunched up into their ass cracks over President Obama's recess appointments of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Bureau and of three members of the National Labor Relations Board, just so those agencies can actually function. They're screeching like Real Housewives being told that surgery to remove their melanoma might leave scars.

The New York Post, in an editorial charmingly titled "King Barack's Power Grab," wept, "President Obama yesterday played a violent game of kickball with the US Constitution, making a number of high-level “recess” appointments — even though the Senate isn’t actually in recess." Ahh, there's the outrage. See, the Senate is doing the pro forma dance, making sure that someone walks into the chamber and bangs a gavel every three days so that it's never actually "in recess." That's in the Constitution, Article 1, Section 5: "Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days."

But, see, Obama, with approval from his lawyers, said, "You know what? Fuck that shit. Let's play." The Wall Street Journal sniffled, "In this case, the House of Representatives had not formally consented to Senate adjournment. It's true the House did this to block the President from making recess appointments, but it is following the Constitution in doing so...Democrats had used a similar process to try to thwart Mr. Bush's recess appointments late in his term when they controlled both the House and the Senate...Majority Leader Harry Reid kept the Senate in pro forma session. Some advisers urged Mr. Bush to ignore the Senate and make recess appointments anyway, but he declined."

Ahh, now there's the ass-kick. Bush didn't try it. In other words, Republicans and their right-wing media lackeys are pissed because they're jealous. Oh, sure, it's totally okay for Senate Republicans to have used the filibuster in an unprecedented way to change the very process of bills have to be voted on. That's kosher. But this? Well, that's just way too dickish only because they didn't get to do it first. Harry Reid must be laughing his glasses off.

Oh, and then there's this from Article 2, Section 3 of the Constitution: "[The President] may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper." And a disagreement is exactly what happened: the Democratic Senate asked the Republican House to adjourn. The House declined and thus the cycle of pro forma sessions started. Thus the President can invoke this power. It exists in case Congress becomes too dysfunctional, like, you know, it is, thanks to the GOP. (Right now, this section is not the legal reasoning being put forth by the White House, which is simply asserting that the pro forma sessions do not mean Congress is in session.)

And if Obama is feeling particularly pissy, the Constitution actually says that he can keep the Congress adjourned as long as he damn well pleases.

The sad part is that Obama is doing this just because he wants to fulfill another clause of Article 2, Section 3. That says the President "shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed." Republicans were blocking nominees in these specific positions because it didn't want the laws that previous congresses had passed to be executed. Instead of attempting to overturn the laws through the, you know, legislative process, they were just obstructionist cocks. Once again, to get the merest of things done, President Obama had to slap those erect pricks out of his face and tell their owners that he was done sucking them off, and that the Republicans can go fuck themselves.

(For extra fun, check out torture-enabler John Yoo being a total douchebomb about the recess appointments.)


Favorite Out-of-Context Quotes From Last Night's Media Coverage of the Iowa Caucus:
Because, really, in the end, the only significance of the whole goddamn, bullshit exercise will be that it ends the candidacy of Michele Bachmann and forces us to deal with another couple of months of Santorum jokes and Ron Paul cult members desperately trying to get us to stop misunderstanding their leader and more until Mitt Romney is the nominee and he loses badly to Barack Obama, let's just have some fun with the endless coverage of the non-event that was the Iowa Caucus (Caucuses?). Essentially, for CNNMSNBCFox, the evening had all the drama of masturbation: you know that, no matter what freaky porn you decide to use to get off, the end result is gonna be the same. So, instead, here's stupid shit that people said last night:

1. "South Carolina is historically ugly." - Totally not-ugly blogger Erick "Erick" Erickson on CNN.

2. "I will have your back in Washington, D.C." - Totally not-gay candidate Rick Perry during his rape threat/speech saying, more or less, "Fuck all y'all. I'm goin' home." (Note: his campaign says he's making a last stand in ugly ass South Carolina.)

3. "We're in a prolonged bust." - Totally not-boobie-centric candidate Ron Paul in a speech to caucusers (Caucasians?) in Ankeny, Iowa.

4. "It could be a pig pile in South Carolina." - Bret Baier on Fox "news." Man, South Carolina must be filled with disgusting people. Or maybe that's just a Myrtle Beach orgy during spring break.

5. "I said the other night of The Godfather...I'm sorry. It must have been The Untouchables with De Niro attending the opera enjoying Pagliacci while his guy was gunning down Jimmy the police officer. I mean it's become that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." - Chris Matthews on MSNBC, talking about Mitt Romney's upbeat speeches and the negative ads his PAC put out. Maybe. Perhaps. Who the fuck knows, really.

6. "Going back to the time of William Penn who came to this country to bring the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, to the time of the pilgrims who came here also to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, who stated that they willingly laid down their lives, literally as stepping stones, so that the next generation would prosper and know religious liberty." - Michele Bachmann, speaking to caucusuckers in Black Hawk County, pretty much saying why she came in last. Because Jesus hates her.

7. "I was a Fred Thompson girl last turnaround." - Totally not-incompetent pundit Dina Loesch on CNN.

8. "[I]t's where my grandfather came, back in 1925. He came by himself, even though he was married." - Candidate Rick Santorum, telling us way too much about his family and a spot you should perhaps avoid in Pennsylvania.


Iowa Is Your Nation:
Let's face it: those of us who live in large urban areas on the various edges of the United States are smug fuckers. We see ourselves as more sophisticated, more intelligent, more in touch than the yahoos who fill the rest of the nation and fuck it up for us. Sure, we have our problems; sure, we have our fights; sure, we have our assholes. In other words, mostly, we're wrong and jerks about it.

But the thing is that we're less wrong about our self-image than people in the middle-sized cities and small towns that fill the nation. For every moment of a town coming together to help out each other after a fire or flood, there's another instance of intolerance or ignorance that poisons the good will. (Note: go ahead, cite shit about NYC, the Ground Zero "mosque," the racism of the cops, we know, we know. Here's the difference: most of us are ashamed of that ignorance, not proud of it, as other places are. Oh, and our crime rate is lower than most of yours.)

The Rude Pundit is not talking out of his overeducated ass here. He's walked the motherfuckin' walk. He lived for a few years in a barn on a corn farm in the Midwest where the nearest neighbor was literally (he odometered it) a mile away. The couple hundred acre place was owned and planted and harvested by a farmer named Joe who didn't have his cats neutered because, as he said, "The road fixes 'em." The Rude Pundit's lived in the middle of a small, depressed, awful Midwest city. He's lived in the Deep South, the Deep, Deep South, and the Not-As-Deep South. And he wasn't staying in his towers of ivory, looking down on the rabble. Oh, no. He was out and about, going native, doing all those things that seem oh-so-exotic to the Yankees and San Frans. You ever been to a combine demolition derby? You ever cut sugar cane and chewed it out in the field? You ever sat on a porch in the mountains while musicians who worked factory day jobs had a bluegrass jam? You ever been to a snake-handling church? Yeah. Suck it. This blogger's got country cred to go with his big city ways.

When University of Iowa journalism professor Stephen Bloom wrote in The Atlantic his take on what "Iowa" really is, he created an uproar in the state. But put aside Bloom's douchebaggery in his description, the kind of pure dickishness that should be left to blogs. Put aside that Bloom is an academic who obviously feels like he's better than where he lives and deserved to get a job in a big city instead of being stranded in the hellhole of the tenure-line gig he accepted because he thought, surely, it would just be temporary, and, oh, fuck, he got tenure and realized he was gonna die in motherfuckin' Iowa.

And, instead, look at what he actually describes (before he gets all snotty about the cultural shit): a place afflicted by an economy that had its union manufacturing plant jobs shifted overseas, that is left with a low-wage positions, like slaughterhouse and farm work, done by immigrants legal and illegal, a place where evangelical Christians pray for a better life beyond because this one sucks so hard. "Those who stay in rural Iowa are often the elderly waiting to die, those too timid (or lacking in educated) to peer around the bend for better opportunities, an assortment of waste-toids and meth addicts with pale skin and rotted teeth," Bloom writes (and, yes, all of this has been disputed and argued with and threats have been made on Bloom and his family). "Suicides in Iowa's rural counties are 13.55 per 100,000 residents; New York's suicide rate is 5.4 residents per 100,000." Depression is high and the number of mental health clinics is low.

Here is the gut-churning thing that most of us here in the concrete jungle don't want to admit about Iowa. Put racial demographics aside for a moment. The reality is that, whether we like it or not, Iowa is the nation. It's a fucked-up place of desperate people seeking escape in drugs or gambling or fatty food or liquor or the internet, attempting to exist in a harsh landscape that promises so much constantly but fails far more often than it succeeds, deranged with religion and bludgeoned by a constant barrage of political information that is overkill to such an extent that it makes Iowa native John Wayne Gacy seem subtle by comparison, eking out moments of pleasure and communing with family or neighbors or friends that, like that hit of the pipe or the hope of the slot machine button push, give moments of release. Bloom's article could have been written about Kansas or Montana or New Hampshire or South Carolina or Oregon or Washington or New York or California or Illinois or Texas or Tennessee or, or, or, or.

Yes, like the fact that Senators from Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah, states that, together, don't have the population of New York City, can halt the progress of the nation, Iowa has no business having such importance in the calendar of our quadrennial national punishment known as our presidential election season. The Rude Pundit stands by what he wrote four years ago. It's the vote of 20% of registered Republicans. Who the fuck cares? And, please, media, stop trying to make us care. Stop trying to make us think that anything is going to happen other than Mitt Romney winning the nomination. It's not.

But what we can't deny is that Iowa works as a representation of a nation on the edge of falling into its own shitpile. We are living on the brink. And our politicians have proposed that we inch away from the cliff rather than run. While people are scrambling to make a living in Iowa and elsewhere, the Republican candidates are talking about who hates abortions more.

(You want to end on a note of hope? Fine: right now, Des Moines doesn't suck, and the state is going urban. Meth usage has actually gone down in the last couple of years, probably out of incarceration and death. And Omaha, Nebraska, is just across the river, and that place rocked the last time the Rude Pundit visited.)

(Oh, one last thing: Farmer Joe's farm wife left him and their two sons for a man who worked at the local tanning salon. Farmer Joe's farm, which had been in his family for generations, was failing. Farmer Joe sat at the kitchen table and told the Rude Pundit that he had stalked his wife and seen him with the guy. Farmer Joe said that he wanted to take his shotgun and kill himself. The Rude Pundit reminded him of his boys. The Rude Pundit gave him a few names so he could get help. And then the Rude Pundit moved out of the barn and into the small city down the road.)