A Brief Note to Republicans Regarding Last Night's Michigan Primary:
Oh, dear, sweet Republicans, cuddle up close and listen to the Rude Pundit. He was right nearly a year ago, he was right on the radio yesterday, and he'll be right up until the last vote is counted in November: this plays out in the most boring, expected way possible. Mitt Romney is your nominee. He was never not going to be your nominee. And then he's going to lose to Barack Obama. The only real question is will it be a soul-crushing loss or a five-state-murder-suicide-spree loss.

Give up now. Put all of your efforts into congressional races (even though Mitt Romney will be a drag on all of your tickets). And, for Chrissake, stop waiting for a white knight to come riding in to save your quivering ass from being fucked raw by the Obama dragon. Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and whatever other faux saviors you have aren't idiots. They're biding their time until 2016.

It's funny, in that "Ha-ha, look how silly you look while you're drowning" kind of way, watching all the conservative pundits come around to accepting the inevitable, hoping that the Romney candidacy and this whole poisonous primary season doesn't kill the whole GOP.

Here's sad Red State blogger (and CNN chin-fat displayer) Erick "Erick" Erickson being sad: "Seriously, putting it bluntly, conservatives may not like Barack Obama, but most other people do. And when faced with a guy you like and a guy you don’t like who says he can fix an economy that no longer needs fixing, you’re going to go with the guy you like...I suspect he will be the nominee. At least we can be rid of him and, hopefully, his most ardent cheerleaders on November 7th when what the rest of us know will happen unless an economic catastrophe happens."

Here's the New York Times's Ross "C'mon, You Can Come Up With a Better Joke Than 'Douchehat'" Douthat: "This is not where Romney expected to find himself at this point in the campaign, with months and months of careful positioning undone by several weeks of gaffes and defensive political maneuverings. But between his verbal miscues and his clumsy attempts to defend his right flank on policy, the likely Republican nominee is suddenly headed for the kind of political and ideological cul-de-sac that losing presidential candidates often end up occupying."

Oh, there's some adorable ones, like John Podhoretz of the New York Post, who think that Democrats might get over-confident about winning. But, really, unless the elder elders of the GOP, like, say, Dick Cheney or Poppy Bush, decide to take Romney out for a walk and tell him to look at the rabbits while they pop three in the back of his skull, anything other than bitter acceptance of loss and desperate bandaging to stave off bleeding out is pure fantasy.

Alas, dying GOP, fighting for relevance in a nation that has passed you by, heading the way of the Shakers, perhaps clinging, like the Amish, to your ways in communities small and sparse, did you see President Obama at the United Auto Workers conference yesterday? You remember what he was like on the campaign trail when he wanted to be? Even without the novelty of that early enthusiasm, even with many on the left angry at him, he's gonna get us all riled up and ready to go again. You can look in the mirror now and say, "We are so fucked," if you haven't already.

Yeah, this is a cocky blog post. It's an "I told you so" blog post. And it's a hope that the degrading display that the Republicans have put on for the last year has made most Americans feel filthy enough to reject you outright.


When Rick Santorum Was a Snob:
The proper response to former Senator Rick Santorum calling Barack Obama "a snob" over the President's desire for every American to get further education (although Santorum seemed to think Obama just wanted everyone to get cultural studies degrees from Ivy League universities or, perhaps, as safety schools, small liberal arts colleges) is, truly, "Why aren't your hands filthy from work, Mr. Coal Miner's Grandson? And who the fuck are you to say what's elitist, Mr. BA/MBA/JD?" (Please note that Santorum has more degrees than Obama. Please also note that it did not turn Santorum into a progressive drone.)

What galled Santorum is the idea that "everyone" should go to college, which is not what Obama said, but, hey, "facts" never get in the way of a good applause line to the yahoos. However, Santorum himself has had no issue in proposing shit that he thinks would be right for "every American." To wit:

1. Santorum in The Hill, July 28, 2005: "The ASPIRE Act...will create a Kids Investment and Development Savings (KIDS) account for every American child at birth, providing a new opportunity for the children of low-income Americans to build assets and wealth." He wanted to give away "an initial deposit of $500" and allow "for additional, voluntary donations to grow tax-free." What a snob. The goal here is to indoctrinate children and families into materialist capitalism. (And, holy shit, why hasn't Romney brought up this heaping pile of big government spending that never passed?)

2. Santorum in The Hill, February 2, 2006: "First, every American must have access to affordable healthcare. The physical and emotional problems caused by inadequate healthcare are too great for any of our citizens to endure...Congress must make long-term-care insurance accessible and affordable for every American. We must pass a long-term care bill this session. Additionally, every American deserves patient-centered health care that they can control." What a snob. Some families don't want to control their health care. They just want to have it. In fact, having it without worrying about controlling it is even better.

3. Santorum in the Washington Times, November 6, 2000: "By protecting the current mortgage finance system, fostering a strong economy, and supporting targeted initiatives, we can make the dream of home ownership a reality for every American." What a snob. The Rude Pundit isn't interested in owning a home. He likes renting. So screw everyone else's ambitions. Bonus points: the editorial praises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (Once again: Paging the apparently incompetent oppo people in the Romney campaign.)

The Rude Pundit's gonna pull rank again here. He's a professor at a college where most of the students come from working and lower-middle-class backgrounds. He's been there at graduation and met their parents who never had the chance to get an education beyond high school. They don't ask if what their kids learned was liberal or conservative. They were just glad that, now, all those jobs out there that have a college degree as a minimum requirement were open to their kids. They were just glad that they learned something about the world.

Rick Santorum actually is guilty of the rankest kind of elitism: the kind that says you shouldn't aspire to something more than what you were born into. But, then again, his economic policies pretty much assure that some people, like, you know, the Santorums, stay on top while everyone else takes jobs fixing his cars or plumbing.

One other thing: a motherfucker who says he believes that the government of the nation should be following the morality of a certain church really has no business talking about who is indoctrinating whom.


Greed, Rage, and Woman-Battering at Mardi Gras:
It all started simply: In April 2011, the local weekly newspaper Lafayette, Louisiana, The Independent, did an investigative story on how messed up the area's property tax laws are, so bad that they allowed a wealthy developer, Dr. Glenn Stewart, a radiation oncologist, to get a tax break because he could get a single bale of hay out of the land and so pay a special, low agriculture rate meant to give a break to farmers. He paid $42 on land that might have been taxed at 1000 times that. (That's not a misprint.) The article was fair, with the law itself being blamed, not the individuals merely following it.

One of the publishers of the newspaper is Cherry Fisher May. The Rude Pundit worked for May, and her husband, Steve May, a long, long time ago, when she ran another weekly, the Times of Acadiana. He also went to high school and college and partied back in the day with her stepdaughter, Erin May, who is now Erin Fitzgerald, an elementary school teacher. He liked all of them, and he maintains the tenuous tie that Facebook provides with Erin.

Stewart was upset by the article. Wait. That's an understatement. Stewart went totally batshit insane and apparently believed that May was out to destroy the upscale strip mall he was building on the land. He rented out four billboards around Lafayette calling attention to Cherry Fisher May's August 2010 arrest for drunk driving. Well, again, that's perhaps being too subtle. Check it out:

Yep, that's her mugshot. And, yep, it's wondering why the same newspaper that questioned the tax laws didn't see fit to do a story on May. It's the logic of madness: Because you like oranges and hate apples, you must be an orange, even if you're obviously a person.

Flash forward to Mardi Gras last week. Now, Lafayette has nothing on New Orleans when it comes to the yearly bacchanalia, but it's the second biggest celebration in the United States, and it's a big, drunk time for everyone. The final parade is the Independent Parade (not affiliated with the newspaper). Anyone can apply to put together a float. Glenn Stewart said that his float would be related to his new development, Parc Lafayette.

What Stewart instead did was this:

It reads, "Caution: Float driven by Cherry Fisher May." That's right. An entire float, to ride past the drunken throngs, probably carrying drunken people, devoted to smearing a woman because her newspaper thought a tax loophole was unfair.

Erin May Fitzgerald, not wanting to see her stepmother degraded once again, did something she now admits was a mistake (and for which she has apologized). She tried to cut down and tear the banners off the side of the float.

Seeing Fitzgerald, Stewart, classy as ever, first hit her with a jello shot from on high. Then the 6'4" 240-pound Stewart climbed off the float and, apparently, punched Fitzgerald in the face, knocking her unconscious. Being a 53 year-old doctor, you might think he'd realize his mistake and then help her. Or at least be a coward and run. No, because it seems that Stewart is a special kind of dickhead. He stood over Fitzgerald and took photos of her:

You can see other photos, including Fitzgerald's injuries, at the paper's website.

Then he got back on the float and rode the rest of the parade. He was arrested seven hours later on a charge of second degree battery. He faces the possibilities of prison time and the loss of his medical license. Fitzgerald was issued citations for disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct. She just wants to put this behind her and get back to teaching 3rd grade. Most of the public reaction has been extraordinarily negative for Stewart, with some calling for a boycott of Parc Lafayette (which sucks for those who just leased space there). Other repercussions, such as changes in the Independent Parade, will surely follow. It's the South. And this big fucker allegedly cold-cocked a woman. People don't take too kindly to that.

Rage-filled sociopath Stewart sought to bully and silence people. No, let's get even more specific. Rage-filled misogynist Stewart sought to bully and silence women. He didn't attack Steve May, who is also a publisher of the Independent, in so public a manner. And you can sure as hell bet that Stewart would not have taken a swing at a man.
Late Post Today:
Still trying to figure out just what the hell was so special about The Artist.

Back later with more rude conundrums.


Yep, Media Matters Is Right: Iran Has Always Been a Year or Two Away From Having Nukes:
This week, Media Matters came out with an article that detailed how, since 2005, conservatives have been predicting imminent death by Iranian nuclear bombs, always conveniently a year or two away from coming to full, frightening fruition. But Media Matters could have gone back even further. Because, see, pretty much as long as many of us can remember, despite the IAEA saying it's not true and, at times, despite the U.S. government denying it, Iran has been within a couple of years to a decade from having nukes. Think of this as a supplement to what is probably the most convincing argument you'll read about how irrational our media and politicians are about Iran right now:

Iran will have nukes by 1986, says AP article, April 25, 1984: "Iran is likely to have its own nuclear bomb within two years, according to press reports cited by Jane's Defense Weekly. The magazine, part of the authoritative Jane's Publications on weapons systems, said Tuesday that reports from the Persian Gulf region last week indicated the bomb was being produced at a nuclear power plant in Boushahar, southern Iran."

Or maybe 2000, says AFP, December 4, 1991: "Iran will be able to build a nuclear bomb by the year 2000 if it keeps up its present military activities, German intelligence chief Konrad Porzner said."

Or sometime between 1995 and 2000, says the Washington Post, October 18, 1992: "Gen. Uri Saguy, the head of Israel's military intelligence, estimates that Iran will have a nuclear capability by the end of the decade; British and French intelligence officials predict that Iran might join the nuclear club even earlier. Mohammed Mohaddessin, an adviser to the National Council of Resistance of Iran, said during a recent visit to Washington that he believes Iran will have nuclear devices within three to five years."

Or perhaps in 1999, according to AP, February 12, 1993: "Iran now poses the greatest threat to Israel's security, a leading Israeli newspaper said today, quoting experts who predicted Tehran would have an atomic bomb within six years."

No, more likely 2000, according to the Guardian, January 6, 1995: "Iran is much closer to producing nuclear weapons than previously thought, and could be less than five years from having an atomic bomb, several senior American and Israeli officials say. 'The date by which Iran will have nuclear weapons is no longer 10 years from now,' a senior official said recently, referring to previous estimates. 'If the Iranians maintain this intensive effort to get everything they need, they could have all their components in two years. Then it will be just a matter of technology and research. If Iran is not interrupted in this program by some foreign power, it will have the device in more or less five years.'"

Or, holy crap, they already have them, says AFP, April 9, 1998: "Iran obtained several nuclear warheads from a former Soviet republic in the early 1990s, according to Iranian documents obtained by Israel and revealed in The Jerusalem Post newspaper Thursday."

You get the idea. Hmmm. There's a common thread here that the Rude Pundit can't quite figure out, a nation involved in this fearmongering that has controlled a great deal of U.S. foreign policy in the region for decades. It's on the tip of his tongue. Gosh, he really wishes he could connect the dots. Of course, if one does ever connect 'em, one will automatically be accused of being anti...well, something or other.


Contraception Debate and Koran Burning Riots: Difference of Degree, Not Kind:
1. At last night's Republican presidential debate (or, more properly, "Night of the Fucktards XX"), when the issue of contraception came up, Mitt Romney said it wasn't about anything but religion: "I don't think we've seen in the history of this country the kind of attack on religious conscience, religious freedom, religious tolerance that we've seen under Barack Obama. Most recently, of course...requiring the Catholic Church to provide for its employees and its various enterprises health care insurance that would include birth control, sterilization and the morning-after pill. Unbelievable... But don't forget the decision just before this, where he said the government -- not a church, but the government should have the right to determine who a church's ministers are for the purposes of determining whether they're exempt from EEOC or from workforce laws or labor laws."

(Note: Newt Gingrich said something similar, but his candidacy's dead, so fuck whatever he had to say.)

2. In addition to the outrage by Catholic leaders over the contraception requirement in health insurance, presidents of Protestant-affiliated colleges said that they are considering dropping student health care coverage over the rule because it violates their religious beliefs.

3. People who don't have health insurance are more likely to die than people with health insurance. Thus the reaction of religious institutions is to consign some people to death in order to abide by their religious beliefs.

3.5. You could make the same statement about the limiting of access to abortion services for women.

4. In Afghanistan, riots and violence erupted because Korans happened to be burned in a pile of things by NATO troops. The burning was an error, as was quickly acknowledged. But some Muslims who saw this as a violation of their religious beliefs have killed people in the riots, and two American soldiers were shot and killed over it.

5. Conclusion? Ignorant fucking zealots are everywhere. Killing people because you think someone pissed off your god is wrong. And it doesn't matter if it's done with bricks and bullets or with long-term, untreated illnesses that could have been cured with access to health care.


Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Drop Acid and Wander Midtown:

Oh, ho, oh, ha, how giddy the right-wing spoogebuckets all over are giddy, just giddy, that the Media Research Center (motto: "Conservatives conveniently forget we've existed for 25 years when they're bitching about Media Matters") has put up this billboard in Times Square, which is in New York City, which is where liberal media people work and snort coke off Girl Scouts before they skip off to have gay abortions and worship Satan/Obama. Said MRC President Brent Bozell (as in "Jesus Christ, is Brent Bozell still stirring shit up?"), "There is no better location for this billboard than the liberal media's own backyard," and then he giggled like a schoolgirl before skipping away for a tea party with his dollies.

Because nothing will distract the tourists from the shiny video screens and twinkling lights and people dressed as Elmo and Puss in Boots and Mickey Mouse, desperate to be given a buck or two for a photo opp (hint: the raggedy Elmo will blow you for a ten-spot) like a block-lettered sign about politics next to the Disney Store.

It cost $180,000. That's a shit-ton of deluded freak donation cash well-spent, MRC.


In Brief: Pat Buchanan Demonstrates Why You Shouldn't Give a Shit About His Firing:
Pat Buchanan, the pudgy, Catholic white supremacist who, until recently, was paid by MSNBC to represent everyone's old, racist uncle who visits at the holidays, shows us all in his most recent newspaper "column" (if by "column," you mean, "the unexpectedly slow death of an old order that should have been buried 50 years ago") why it's okay to not give a happy monkey fuck that he was fired.

In praising presidential candidate (and fellow Jesus-fellating Catholic) Rick Santorum's reliance on the bible and Christianity to attack the President, Buchanan jabbers, "What Santorum is saying is that in the struggle for the soul of America, though Obama may profess to be, and may be, a Christian, he is leading the anti-Christian forces of what Pope Benedict XVI has called 'radical secularism.'" Obama "may be" Christian? If one's public professions of faith and church attendance are all we have to go on, then is anyone ever not possibly secretly someone else? Holy shit, what levels of epistemological fallibility is Pat Buchanan operating on? How can someone believe, despite no evidence, that an invisible sky wizard created the earth out of nothing, but wonder if President Obama is definitely Christian? (And, of course, why should it matter?)

Oh, and who the fuck cares what the Pope thinks? Apparently, isolationist Buchanan believes America should follow the dictates of a foreign power.

Further, Buchanan bemoans the secularizin' of our decent, Christian country, pullin' out the history card: "An early triumph of secularism came with the Scopes trial in 1923 in Dayton, Tenn. Clarence Darrow, defending a teacher who had violated state law by introducing Darwin's theory of evolution into the classroom, mocked the Old Testament teachings of the Evangelical Christians, to the merriment of the establishment. From that day on, Darwinism was taught in our schools."

Let's see: Scopes was found guilty of violating a Tennessee state law banning the teaching of evolution, a conviction that was later overturned on a technicality, while the law was declared constitutional and stayed in effect until 1967. And "from that day on" is utter and complete bullshit.

So, no, at the end of the day, you shouldn't give a shit that this openly hateful and ignorant man (who, by all accounts, is a mensch in person) was fired. One less bit of poison in the air can only be good.

But, you know, the bad part is that Buchanan's hate stands unchallenged now. On the air, he could be shown to be the racist fuck he is. The Rude Pundit understands the decision and doesn't really care, but, in the abstract, the cure for hate speech is always more speech, not less.
Late Post Today:
Doctor Doom's being a motherfucker this morning. Gotta get the suit from the cleaners and wake the Storms.

Back later with more elastic rudeness.


Abraham Lincoln Would Fuck Up the Shit of Today's Republicans:
Yeah, today's GOP loves to call themselves "the Party of Lincoln," but Honest Abe would be more likely to use a walking stick to crack some motherfuckin' skulls than deal with the mindless idiots and brainless drones of the 2012 Republican Party. Here's a little speech he made on August 18, 1864 to the 164th Ohio Regiment, in which he brings up how people should be taxed:

"SOLDIERS:--You are about to return to your homes and your friends, after having, as I learn, performed in camp a comparatively short term of duty in this great contest. I am greatly obliged to you, and to all who have come forward at the call of their country. I wish it might be more generally and universally understood what the country is now engaged in. We have, as all will agree, a free government, where every man has a right to be equal with every other man. In this great struggle, this form of government and every form of human right is endangered if our enemies succeed. There is more involved in this contest than is realized by every one. There is involved in this struggle, the question whether your children and my children shall enjoy the privileges we have enjoyed. I say this, in order to impress upon you, if you are not already so impressed, that no small matter should divert us from our great purpose.

"There may be some inequalities in the practical application of our system. It is fair that each man shall pay taxes in exact proportion to the value of his property; but if we should wait, before collecting a tax, to adjust the taxes upon each man in exact proportion with every other man, we should never collect any tax at all. There may be mistakes made sometimes; and things may be done wrong, while the officers of the Government do all they can to prevent mistakes. But I beg of you, as citizens of this great Republic, not to let your minds be carried off from the great work we have before us. This struggle is too large for you to be diverted from it by any small matter. When you return to your homes, rise up to the height of a generation of men worthy of a free government, and we will carry out the great work we have commenced. I return to you my sincere thanks, soldiers, for the honor you have done me this afternoon."

You got that? Tax people according to their wealth, he told returning soldiers. Abe Lincoln, 99%er?

Oh, and he thought that, during war, taxes have to be raised to pay for it. This is from his Fourth Annual Message to Congress on December 6, 1864: "I concur with [the Treasury Secretary] in the opinion that the proportion of moneys required to meet the expenses consequent upon the war derived from taxation should be still further increased; and I earnestly invite your attention to this subject, to the end that there may be such additional legislation as shall be required to meet the just expectations of the Secretary."

Abraham Lincoln, a man who knew what insane was, would have found today's Republicans completely fucking crazy.


Weekend Book Pimpin' (and This Week's Pork-Filled Episode of Cheater and the Rude):
In a month or so, we're all gonna have to watch as OR Books shoots the 2012 edition of The Rude Pundit's Almanack three times in the back of the head in an alley and declare it dead. That's because 500 copies need to be pre-sold before it can be published in Kindle, Nook, or...what's that other stuff...paper.

We're about halfway there, but that means, if you have awesome math powers, we still have halfway to go. You can order the damn thing, and, swear to God, if it doesn't publish, if its ass gets capped, you get your money back.

(Note: the 2011 edition is still available and still pretty damn relevant, with info about Rick Santorum you might not know and history that'll drive your conservative relatives crazy. You can also get it from Amazon.)

You want to hear the Rude Pundit give a dramatic reading of some of the Parable of the Kosher Deli? You know you do, and you can in this week's very vaginal episode of Cheater and the Rude:


A Bishop and His Pork: An Exegesis on Fuck This Guy:

That is Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Despite the unfortunate photo, which looks like the last thing an altar boy sees before being taken into a booth for some private confessin', Lori actually co-wrote the zero tolerance policy for child-fucking priests or, as it's known everywhere else, "Wait, You Mean There Wasn't a Zero Tolerance Policy for Child-Fucking in the Catholic Church Already?". He's also a warrior for all things churchy in this vile, depraved secular nation.

Now, the Rude Pundit didn't realize he'd be talking for two days in a row about Jews and pork, but yesterday Bishop Lori testified, as part of an all-male panel, before the House Oversight Committee during its hearing on the Obama administration's continuation of a Bush-era policy, already passed in 28 states, including being signed into law by Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee when they were governors, that employers who provide health insurance for their employees, including businesses and institutions run by religious groups, with the exception of houses of worship, must include female contraceptive coverage.

But then Bishop Lori had to go and offer this as his opening statement: "For my testimony today, I would like to tell a story. Let’s call it, 'The Parable of the Kosher Deli.'"

You really should read the whole thing. It's like something that Woody Allen might have written. No, really, it's totally hilarious. One of the top religious leaders in the country sat before a congressional committee and went on for, like, twenty minutes about, shit you not, a mythical America where kosher delis are forced to serve pork: "Once upon a time, a new law is proposed, so that any business that serves food must serve pork. There is a narrow exception for kosher catering halls attached to synagogues, since they serve mostly members of that synagogue, but kosher delicatessens are still subject to the mandate."

You'd really think a bishop might not want to associate Catholicism with porking, but there you go.

And Lori pounds this analogy like a weeping monk savagely masturbating to punish himself for evil urges: "[T]he question generated by a government mandate is whether the government will impose its belief that eating pork is good on objecting Orthodox Jews. Meanwhile, there is no imposition at all on the freedom of those who want to eat pork. That is, they are subject to no government interference at all in their choice to eat pork, and pork is ubiquitous and cheap,
available at the overwhelming majority of restaurants and grocers. Indeed, some pork producers and retailers, and even the government itself, are so eager to promote the eating of pork, that they sometimes give pork away for free." "Pork" is mentioned 18 times in the whole thing.

Of course, then it gets even more porcine and awful, with ham making its malevolent appearance when talking about the recent compromise the Obama administration made on the issue (of birth control, not pork): "You are free to call yourself a kosher deli; you are free not to place ham sandwiches on your menu; you are free not to be the person to prepare the sandwich and hand it over the counter to the customer. But we will force your meat supplier to set up a kiosk on your premises, and to offer, prepare, and serve ham sandwiches to all of your customers, free of charge to them. And when you get your monthly bill from your meat supplier, it will include the cost of any of the 'free' ham sandwiches that your customers may accept. And you will, of course, be required to pay that bill." Seriously, this shit would kill at a comedy club.

But never fear: "This story has a happy ending. The government recognized that it is absurd for someone to come into a kosher deli and demand a ham sandwich." Thus the parable ends, with the recognition that the government cannot compel delis to serve ham. And that's cool. But what the fuck does that have to do with contraception coverage for employees at St. Joesph's Hospital?

By the way, someone should point out to all the pork-tossers that whether or not to eat pig meat is a thing some Jews believe, but they're not bugfuck insane about it. The Rude Pundit gets the feeling that Lori would have loved to drag Muslims into the equation, but was too much of a wimp to do so because this is the rhetorical equivalent of someone running pigs near a mosque.

The deep desire of Lori and other religious and political leaders is to divorce the discussion of contraceptive coverage from the rights of women and make it about "religious freedom." They want to say they're drawing a line in the sand against a church-hating president, and, hey, first they came for the Catholics and some such shit. But, at the end of the day, all these men, and it has been mostly men, have done is show how much some religions want to control the bodies of women, women who decided long ago that they don't want that control.


Of Birth Control and Pork:
Someone put out a memo:

On February 6, on the Fox "news" show The Five (tagline: "We're not thinking and neither are you"), Dana Perino, the former press secretary for George W. Bush, said of the "controversy" over the Obama administration's clarification for religious institutions of a Bush-era policy requiring employers who provide health insurance to pay for women's contraception, "You could put any other scenario in here. Say something about the Jewish religion or Muslims, and there would be a bigger outcry."

To which "comedian" Greg Gutfeld responded, "If there was a Muslim hospital in America, and you ask that they serve pork."

On February 7, on the dying show Freedom Watch, Judge Andrew Napolitano asked, "Does the Constitution let the government compel Jews to eat pork?" It was an analogy he repeated on Tuesday on the big gay orgy known as Fox and Friends.

On February 8, on Bill O'Reilly's House of Falafel and Pain, Fox "news" analyst and very sexy priest, Father Johnathan Morris, offered, "[W]hat happens next? When the -- when the -- the government comes out and says you know what, white meat is actually very healthy for people and we want to mandate all institutions to provide white meat including pork...Now what happens when a Muslim hospital, if there is a Muslim hospital and they think you know what? Even if it's healthy, it goes against our religious freedom we're not going to provide it."

On February 10, on Sean Hannity Television Self-Sodmizing, fascist lawyer and Israel fellater Jay Sekulow said of the contraception rule, "[T]hat would be like saying...that if the government decided that pork was the appropriate meat for healthy living, requiring [businesses to serve it]...That's exactly the same thing."

On February 13, over on Fox Business whatever, Eric Bolling, whose show's audience consists of 1. Eric Bolling's mom, 2. Eric Bolling's cat, and 3. Media Matters, said, "[I]s there any question that if this were anyone else besides the Catholic Church that the outcry would be a little bit different? If there were, I don't know, a requirement by Muslim churches, mosques, to supply pork? I think the left would be up in arms right now." Radio host and vicious little shit Mike Gallagher added, in case you forgot who else doesn't like pork, "Or Jewish hospitals."

This bizarro talking point started with the Catholic bishops and other Catholic organizations. On January 29, the president of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities told the New York Times, "No one would go to a Jewish barbecue and expect pork chops to be served." To which one can only say, "First off, Jewish barbecue? And second off, if you're going to a Jewish barbecue, of course you'd eat the brisket."

It's been all over the place, with Catholic groups repeating the line, some even making "pork sandwiches" from the fantasy meat. Christ, USA Today mentioned it in a pro-Catholic editorial. It's even made it to Congress, with one of the all-male witnesses at Darrell Issa's Obama Hates Your Jesus hearing saying that it's like forcing an orthodox Jewish deli to serve pork.

Okay, mostly the Rude Pundit just thinks, "Hey, fuck all your stupid religious rules about what you can and can't ingest." But you wanna know the difference without getting into which god's hoodoo voodoo is more potent than another's? It's that the alternative to lack of pork access is to eat something else. And the alternative to safe, effective birth control is?

Yeah, contraceptive coverage is exactly nothing like the phantom pork rules. But talking about it sure lets some Catholic leaders and the other pigs of the right treat women like chopped liver.


Marc Thiessen's Nunsense:
Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen (motto: "If torture was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for people we say are terrorists") believes that some people's access to contraception should be left up to this fucking Mother:

That's Mother Angelica, founder of the Eternal Word Television Network (motto: "If torture was good enough for Jesus, watching this shitty station is good enough for your sinning ass"). According to Thiessen, President Obama's recent compromise on employers covering contraception is gonna piss off that nun. See, EWTN is now suing the federal government to make sure that businesses and institutions that make shitloads of money from the secular world don't have to follow the law.

And Obama ain't gonna compel them to do anything that violates "deeply held religious beliefs." Or, as Thiessen overstates it, "That is not going to happen at a network founded by Mother Angelica. Mother has retired from public life — but her fighting spirit continues to animate the network she built from a monastery garage into a religious broadcasting empire that spreads the Gospel to over 123 million households worldwide."

Now, you may think, "Whoa, wait a goddamn second. This is an 'empire'?" Well, yes, howdy. And it's a tax-exempt empire. In fact, according to its most recent IRS filing, its 2010 Form 990, the empire that the nun built made $47 million last year And it has nearly 400 employees.

In other words, only suckers render up to Caesar what is Caesar's, which, unlike contraception, is something Jesus talks about in the, you know, Bible.

(By the way, the Rude Pundit can remember watching with fascination as the vicious visage of this stereotyped habit-wearer would be there while flipping through the channels. Oh, how she condemned the Rude Pundit. He tried once to hate masturbate to her, but that ended with frustration and a visit to unholy porn websites featuring transgender midgets dressed as priests and nuns. Sweet release.)


A Texas Judge Reams Newt Gingrich's Vicious Ass:
Here is what Newt Gingrich said about Judge Fred Biery on Bill O'Reilly's Carnival of Oddities and Freaks on December 20, 2011: "Why do the American people have to tolerate an anti-religious bigot sitting on the bench?" Gingrich's big head of doom was a-quiverin' in anger because Biery, a Texas federal judge in San Antonio, ruled that a local public high school could not have an organized prayer to start a graduation ceremony. The decision was later overturned, but the parties involved were told to work it out. And they did, with a 27-page decision on what could and could not be said at the graduation.

In other words, the court system worked as it should. And for that, Gingrich used Biery as Exhibit A for why judges should be impeached or hauled before Congress for decisions that he didn't like. Or, as Newt put it in a December 5 "news" conference, "I'm prepared to call for abolishing the office of Judge Biery in San Antonio, because he is such a bigoted, anti-religious judge, who, I think, violates the American tradition and the American system."

In his opinion this week, Biery decided to kick Newt Gingrich in his tiny balls. The first part is almost poetry:

"What This Case Is Not About
The right to pray."

Biery goes on, "Any American can pray, silently or verbally, seven days a week, twenty four hours a day, in private as Jesus taught or in large public events as Mohammed instructed." He offers footnotes from the Bible and the Quran to back him up.

And then he lays out exactly what "The Real Issue" is: "Does the United States Constitution allow a government entity elected by the majority to use its power to tax and its agents and employees to support and promote a particular religious viewpoint not held by a minority?" That seems pretty damn, umm, what's the word? Noncontroversial?

He ends with a personal statement:
"To those Christians who have venomously and vomitously cursed the Court family and threatened bodily harm and assassination: In His name, I forgive you.

"To those who have prayed for my death: Your prayers will someday be answered, as inevitably trumps probability.

"To those in the executive and legislative branches of government who have demagogued this case for their own political goals: You should be ashamed of yourselves."

For big time fun, though, check out Appendix II, which, swear to God, will make you come with joy, as Biery fucks conservatives with a rhetorical strap-on by recounting the history of religion in a succinct, sarcastic, and utterly exhilarating way. After saying that Homo sapiens are the only creatures that know they're going to die, Biery writes, "Not wanting their existence to end, Homo sapiens developed a multitude of theories and hopes, encompassed in thousands of religions, of how they can avoid simply returning to the Earth from when they and other species came." Oh, yes, it does go on like that, talking about torture and war and the Constitution. It's the best judicial porn of the year.

On page 4, Biery has an intentional misspelling that should be the death knell of the career of one politician: "While religious institutions bestow many blessings and try to alleviate suffering, those acts of Grace are newtralized by religious Homo sapiens who exhibit an historical and continuing pernicious and pervasive tendency to kill other humans and confiscate the property of those, sometimes even within the same religion, who do not believe as they do."

Fuck, the Rude Pundit needs a cigarette.

(Tip o' the hat to rude reader Craig D. for the last link.)
Late Post Today:
But check out this kick in the right-wing's balls decision on prayer in school. It's some kind of awesome.

Back later with more unholy rudeness.


The Government That the Right Needs to Hate Is Not the Government That Exists:
Up here in NYC, our cleverly lettered NPR station is WNYC. The Brian Lehrer Show, a local program that often features national guests who talk to locals, had on Karen Mills of the Small Business Administration, answering questions about, you guessed it, small businesses and Obama administration policies. One of the callers was Michael from Jamaica, Queens, and his concern was the rising cost of health insurance for his business of "less than 10 employees." Michael said that it went up at least 20% a year, and his insurance costs "would blow your mind." Lehrer asked Michael how his costs would be affected by the Affordable Care Act. Instead of answering that, Michael said, "I worry about other things with Obamacare. In that I worry about the quality of care more than I worry about our bottom line." He thought that insurance companies were just going to dick him over more with the ACA. Essentially, Michael parroted the same line that every conservative says who watches Fox "news" and has Limbaugh jacked directly into his brain stem.

Mills then, very politely, bitch slapped Michael out of his Hannitardation and set the record straight: "Actually, I want to make sure you do know about the Affordable Care Act...Small businesses pay 18% more for insurance than big businesses." She went on to explain how the ACA creates marketplaces where insurance companies bid for his business. And then she asked him if he had looked into the small business tax credit that's in the ACA. Michael had not. Mills informed Michael that he probably qualified for a big tax break.

One might hope that Michael would leave the conversation thinking perhaps he was wrong, that this "Obamacare" thingy might not be so bad. That maybe his business could be more profitable. More than likely, he'll just take the money and still hate Obama.

See, conservative politicians and their media mouthpieces have gathered around a cauldron in the middle of an oil patch and they've filled it with Kenyan dirt and pelican blood and Muslim eyeballs and a whisker from Karl Marx's beard. They've danced nude around the giant pot, with flames licking its sides from the fire beneath it, Grover Norquist and Andrew Breitbart and one Koch or another and Karl Rove and others, adding their own spit and semen to the potion. They madly chanted to gods and ghosts of their crazed conservative forefathers, Reagan and McCarthy and Goldwater and Thurmond, willing into existence a horror, a phantom Obama that fulfills all their rhetorical needs. Oh, no, it doesn't look like the real Barack Obama in any way, but that's not the point. Surely, the creature that emerged from the viscous liquid of the cauldron, contorted and grotesque, bears enough of a resemblance that those who merely glance at it will be convinced that it is the same as the real President.

We see it constantly, the hatefulness without cause, the fear without reason, and, as a New York Times article from this weekend shows, so very much of it is caused a shocking amount of self-loathing. The article looks at self-proclaimed government-hating conservatives who live in small towns near Minneapolis. And however much they hate the debt and the president, nearly all of them receive some sort of federal assistance. There's Ki Gulbranson, the shop owner who "is counting on a payment of several thousand dollars from the federal government, a subsidy for working families called the earned-income tax credit. He has signed up his three school-age children to eat free breakfast and lunch at federal expense. And Medicare paid for his mother, 88, to have hip surgery twice."

Gulbranson can't see giving any of this up, but he doesn't think the government should raise taxes. And he can't stand the idea of debt being passed down to the next generations. "I don’t demand that the government does this for me. I don’t feel like I need the government," he said. But neither does he turn it down.

Some conservatives see the social safety net as a calculated plot by liberals to make people dependent on the federal government, a way of controlling them. Of course, since the states where people receive more in government assistance than they pay in taxes vote Republican, that's pretty much demonstrably false.

Perhaps one day people like Gulbranson and Michael will understand that the Americans who harmed them and continue to harm them are the politicians they have supported. And that the people they have spurned are the ones who actually want them to survive and give them help to get by, if they need it. Either way, though, self-loathing, Obama-hating or not, you can bet they'll still keep the cash.


Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Fellate Pastry:
Here's a recent Macy's catalog, which features a car for a just-married couple parked near a vineyard. It's romantic, with the implication that they might be wine-tasting, picnicking, or roughly boning among the grapes. And, aww, look how sweet: they brought the wedding cake, which has remained strangely intact.

If you're a regular, shopping human being who wonders if there's a sale on socks, you move on. If you're a gay-hating wad of jerk, you then notice the cake topper. Oh, sweet Jesus, you might think, it's two guys in tuxes.

In case that so-blurry-it-could-be-Bigfoot photo doesn't work, here's a clear version:

This assault on the sensibilities of yahoos has made the stupidly named group One Million Moms (or the meditative "OMM," which goes nicely when chanted with "NOM"), an inflamed growth on the ass cheek that is the American Family Association, call for people to write to Macy's to have them pull the catalog. OMM, which, despite its numerical name, has about a 1100 Twitter followers (and 45,000 or so Facebookers), is best-known for failing to get JC Penney to drop Ellen Degeneres as a spokesperson because she's, shhh, gay, and we don't want the kids to think that it's okay to have a job if you're gay. Also, One Million Moms (motto: "Making sure you know what innocuous shit you need to be outraged about") bizarrely claims victories for things like the cancellation of the TV show The Playboy Club. Surely, it had nothing to do with the thing sucking and no one watching it. It was these nutzoid Christians that made it happen.

Meanwhile, instead of such visceral, irrational hatred running rampant and wasting time and energy (MIA's middle finger? We're really gonna bother with that?), end your week with Washington State Representative Maureen Walsh, a Republican from Walla-Walla, and her compassionate, thoughtful, and humorous floor speech supporting gay marriage legislation. It'll give you a feather-tickle of hope.


Catholics Want to Force Non-Catholics to Do as They Do:
You know, the Rude Pundit could understand why Catholics and other religious groups (and opportunistic politicians) would be upset about the Obama administration's HHS decision, which require that all employers who provide health insurance ensure that the policy covers women's contraception, if, say, it required all women working at a Catholic Church-affiliated business or institution to take birth control pills. He could understand if the new rule required that all pills be shaped like Jesus or Mary or eucharists. He could understand (but not sympathize) if the rule also said, "And abortions for all Catholics." But it doesn't. It merely says that, with exceptions like churches, if you provide health insurance, you gotta cover contraception. The rule itself is devoid of any mention of religion. This uproar is over a clarification of the law about how it applies to religion-based employers, like, say DePaul University.

Essentially, if Catholic bishops and others get their way, if you're an atheist or agnostic woman who works cleaning bedpans at a Catholic hospital, where, in all likelihood, a significant percentage of the staff is not Catholic, the hell with you and your contraception (unless you work in one of the 28 states that already have a similar rule or work for one of the many, many Catholic-run hospitals and colleges that have contraception in their insurance policies...because, really, most Catholics, like most Americans, support contraceptive coverage and are against the religion exemption, and the Pope can shove an IUD up his Nazi ass).

Now, unlike so many others who are going around screaming, "Freedom of religion" or "First Amendment rights violation" or some such overdramatic shit that they didn't shout when, you know, the Bush administration enforced a similar rule, the Rude Pundit's not gonna pretend to be a constitutional scholar. But he's pretty fucking sure that if you impose your religious beliefs on your employees, and the government allows you to do so, that's more or less establishing religion. You have the right to practice your faith. You don't have the right to infringe on someone's right not to, especially if your ass receives money from the federal government, like, say Catholic University.

This is one of those situations that drive batshit crazy those of us who believe that government shouldn't be carving out any exceptions for religious groups (save for cases where it affects no one except the practitioner, like peyote-downing). You don't let your sick kid get medical care? Fuck you, you go to jail. Your conscience won't let you dole out certain drugs to women at your pharmacy? Fuck you, get another profession. You've been told you have to keep your hair or face covered at all times? That's just fucking sad. But, no, you can't enter government buildings.

'Cause, see, to a growing number of us, this all comes down to whether or not the law is offending your particular invisible sky wizard. And if we have to take everyone's personal invisible sky wizard into account when putting together laws, then we'll get a Swiss cheese of wildly different enforcements, rendering certain laws null and void, except, of course, for those that all religions agree on. The ghost of Benjamin Franklin should be kicking all our asses right now.

Of course, none of this current anger really has much to do with upholding the moral code of the Catholic Church. Otherwise, we'd be seeing John Boehner and Mitch McConnell out there demanding the end of capital punishment and the beginning of a fuck of a lot more programs to assist the poor.

No, as usual, this is about how the right-wing outrage machine can be cranked up to 11, especially in the wake of the Planned Parenthood triumph in the Susan G. Komen Foundation funding affair, and how poll numbers and money can be raised on the bodies of women. It's about who controls those bodies: the women, who can choose whether or not they use contraception, or their employers, who can make the expensive drugs impossible for their female employees to afford. Or right-wing religious leaders, who have been trying so hard to wrangle the unruly female body back into the maternity ward and the house. Or the GOP, who must just no longer give a damn about women voting for them.


Quotes From the Prop 8 Decision That Prove Judge Stephen Reinhardt Was Fucking with Homophobes:
Yes, the 9th Circuit Court decision declaring that anti-gay marriage Proposition 8 is unconstitutional is a narrow one, meant to only apply to California, one that the Supreme Court might not even touch. But Judge Stephen Reinhardt, writing for the two of three judges on the panel who overturned Prop 8, was obviously fucking with the evangelicals and Mormons who tried to strip away the designation of "marriage" from gays and lesbians.

In the decision, Reinhardt quietly, subtly mocks the proponents of Prop 8 as idiots and fucktards who have their faith shoved so far up their asses it's tickling their brains and they can't understand the basic ways that societies (and rights) progress. At times, the sarcasm is layered on so thick that you can just hear him laughing at the gaybashing rubes:

1. "[M]arriage is the name that society gives to the relationship that matters most between two adults. A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but to the couple desiring to enter into a committed lifelong relationship, a marriage by the name 'registered domestic partnership' does not."

2. "We are regularly given forms to complete that ask us whether we are 'single' or 'married.' Newspapers run announcements of births, deaths, and marriages. We are excited to see someone ask, 'Will you marry me?', whether on bended knee in a restaurant or in text splashed across a stadium Jumbotron. Certainly it would not have the same effect to see 'Will you enter into a registered domestic partnership with me?'. Groucho Marx's one-liner, 'Marriage is a wonderful institution...but who wants to live in an institution?' would lack its punch if the word 'marriage' were replaced with the alternative phrase. So too with Shakespeare's 'A young man married a man that's marr'd,' Lincoln's 'Marriage is neither heaven nor hell, it is simply purgatory,' and Sinatra's 'A man doesn't know what happiness is until he's married. By then it's too late.'"

3. "Had Marilyn Monroe's film been called How to Register a Domestic Partnership with a Millionaire, it would not have conveyed the same meaning as did her famous movie."

4. "In order to explain how rescinding access to the designation of 'marriage' is rationally related to the State's interest in responsible procreation, Proponents would have had to argue that opposite-sex couples were more likely to procreate accidentally or irresponsibly when same-sex couples were allowed access to the designation of 'marriage.' We are aware of no basis on which this argument would even be conceivably plausible."

5. "There is a limited sense in which the extension of the designation 'marriage' to same-sex partnerships might alter the content of the lessons that schools choose to teach. Schools teach about the world as it is; when the world changes, lessons change. A shift in the State's marriage law may therefore affect the content of classroom instruction just as would the election of a new governor, the discovery of a new chemical element, or the adoption of a new law permitting no-fault divorce: students learn about these as empirical facts of the world around them. But to protest the teaching of these facts is little different from protesting their very existence; it is like opposing the election of a particular governor on the ground that students would learn about his holding office."

That last one is an in-yer-fookin'-gob spitball at the entire fantasy world of the evangelical right. You can't change what's real, no matter how hard you try.
Late Post Today, But a Question Looms:
The Rude Pundit's brain can't get beyond this: if the government carves out religious exceptions for laws, isn't that essentially establishing religion, especially if that exception affects large numbers of people who do not belong to that religion? Hmm. This needs to be worked out. Anyways...

Back later with more capacious rudeness.


Quickies: Gay Marriage, Susan Komen Debacle, and Dirty Harry:
Man, it's just Tuesday, and it's already been a shit week for conservatives:

1. Proposition 8, the Mormon-licious California law that banned gay marriage, was declared unconstitutional by a 3-judge panel (or a "justice-a'-trois") from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Right now, that sound you're hearing is several million evangelical heads exploding and the clicks of computer keyboards as assloads of money pour into homophobic candidates and organizations and the dropping of pants, licking of lips, and moans, moans, moans of joy all over California. The Rude Pundit will have more on this tomorrow, but what's amazingly wonderful is that the decision itself is such an utter pimp-slapping that a sane hooker wouldn't even think of crossing Judge Reinhardt again.

2. Karen Handel, the anti-choice Republican who was senior vice president for public policy of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and was, for all intents and purposes, the driving force behind the debacle of Komen dropping its funding of breast exams and education programs at Planned Parenthood, which was later reversed when everyone realized that it was a fucking crazy decision, resigned today. In her resignation letter, Handel said, more or less, "No way, no how was this about politics, uh-uh. And because it wasn't about politics, it would have been so sweet not to fund Planned Parenthood. But that wasn't a political decision," thus creating one more in the series of excuses from Komen. Seriously, it would have been easier just to say, "Yeah, fine, we did it because we're big damn conservatives and we hate Planned Parenthood because conservatives are fucking crazy now."

3. Speaking of conservatives being fucking crazy, the outrage on the right over the Clint Eastwood-narrated Chrysler ad is beyond bizarre. Yes, there was an image from the protests at the Wisconsin capital, but that was timed with the word "discord," not "freedom" or "heroic." Otherwise, the script is a locker room pep talk, one that is inclusive as can be. One part in particular seems to grate on the right: Detroit "almost lost everything. But we all pulled together, now Motor City is fighting again." At some point, someone needs to say to Republicans that it's okay to have been wrong about the auto bailout. Now let's move on.

But they can't. They just can't. Karl Rove pranced onto Fox "news" to announce his displeasure, saying that the ad was "a sign of what happens when you have Chicago-style politics, and the president of the United States and his political minions are, in essence, using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising." The man who helped demonize a legless Vietnam vet said he was "offended."

What this reaction says is something deeper. See, Clint Eastwood, who voted for John McCain and opposed the bank and car bailouts, thinks the whole controversy is bullshit. He rewrote the script, and he's donating his pay to charity. What Rove and the rest of the right's negative reaction really means is that they are divorced from the nation as a whole. In the ad, Eastwood says that, during tough times, "we all rallied around what was right, and acted as one." We acted, in essence, like Americans.

Conservatives are saying that it's offensive to expect them to do so. And if Dirty Harry wants to wallow around with the dirty hippies, then fuck him, too.


Your Republican Senate Candidates Suck Hard: Pete Hoekstra, He So Funny:
Former Republican Representative Pete Hoekstra from Michigan is running for Senate against current Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow. It's bad enough that his campaign thinks it's oh-so-clever to rename her "Debbie Spent-It-Now" (Get it? Ha-ha. You can do it, too. Like "Pete Porkstra." Now you can get big bucks as a political message consultant.)

But then he had to release an ad, run during last night's Super Bowl featuring a young Asian woman wearing a coolie hat and biking across a rice paddy in, presumably, China, stopping and telling us, in a voice filled with "Me so horny" resonances, "Thank you, Michigan Senator Debbie Spenditnow. Debbie spends so much American money. You borrow more and more from us. Your economy get very weak. Ours get very good. We take your jobs. Thank you, Debbie Spenditnow." The kicker is that it ends with Hoekstra really saying, "I think this race is between Debbie Spenditnow and Pete Spenditnot," as if the voters of Michigan are goddamned first graders. And then Hoekstra (or "Spenditnot") says that he approves of the message.

Apparently, some people think this is racist. Hoekstra doesn't think so. He thinks it's just fine, as he told Fox "news" today: "There’s nothing in here that has a racial tint at all. But the bottom line is, when Debbie Stabenow and them can’t defend their record, what they’ll typically move to is they’ll move to the race card."

And that'd be valid, except that the ad couldn't be more racist if it had the woman shooting ping-pong balls out of her snatch while yelling, "Ching-chong-cheng." It couldn't be more racist if it featured a white actress with slanted eyes drawn on her face working at a laundry.

As if to underline just how horribly racist it is, Hoekstra has created a website that quotes the ad and uses a Chinese restaurant font to highlight the insidious yellow menace (and the Stabenow menace). They're inscrutable, you know.

Oh, and Hoekstra features it on the front of his own campaign website:

A Hoekstra spokesdouche said that the ad was meant to be "satirical" and show how "You have a Chinese girl speaking English - I want to hit on the education system, essentially. The fact that a Chinese girl is speaking English is a testament to how they can compete with us, when an American boy of the same age speaking Mandarin is absolutely insane, or unthinkable right now."

Yes, subtle suggestions like that really must be the point, not the thunderously dumb demonization of a huge voting bloc. Hoekstra, who wrote an editorial for Newsmax (motto: "All the non-news that's fit to shit out") titled, "Radical Muslims Murdering Christians," is noted for his sensitivity on these things.
Late Post Today:
Oh, Mister Mxyzptlk is up to his usual dimension-ripping pranks, and the Rude Pundit's gotta take that little bastard down.

Back later with more impish rudeness.


Photos That Just Don't Make Sense If You're an Anti-Choice Conservative:
(Big update: Komen just announced it will reverse its decision and continue to give grants to Planned Parenthood. Expect a conservative orgasm of rage in 3...2...1)

Here's a picture of award-winning actress and breast cancer survivor Cynthia Nixon speaking at the Susan G. Komen Foundation's Race for the Cure in 2008:

Here's a picture of award-winning actress and breast cancer survivor Cynthia Nixon attending a celebration/fundraiser for Planned Parenthood (with Julianne Moore):

However could she do that? Was she tricked into supporting two organizations who now are opposed to each other? And whatever will she do now, especially since she's playing a cancer patient on Broadway?

Oh, right, Cynthia Nixon is a major supporter of Planned Parenthood because, you know, why the hell wouldn't you be? See, Planned Parenthood does nothing to harm women while the Komen Foundation just did, even if right-wingers want to make it seem as if Nixon herself wants to abort bunches of babies.

(Note: The comments at the Komen Foundations's own message board are totally fascinating - and massively opposed to the charity's decision to end its grant-giving to Planned Parenthood, with many women who feel betrayed raging against the once-beloved Komen for the Cure. One suspects that Nixon feels much the same.)


Our Unending Abortion War: A Selective History of Komen Foundation Funding of Planned Parenthood:
The first mention the Rude Pundit can find about the Susan G. Komen Foundation giving money to Planned Parenthood is back in June 1996 after $35,000 was raised from the organization's first Albany Race for the Cure: "A $10,000 grant was awarded to Bellevue Hospital in Niskayuna, Samaritan Hospital in Troy, the Albany County Health Department and Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood to encourage cooperation among breast health service providers." Oddly, there was no rage or protest reported in the Times-Union newspaper because, well, that would be dumb.

Even if you are viscerally anti-choice, wanting to defund Planned Parenthood for performing abortions is like wanting to defund the entire military because of waterboarding. And it's ultimately, obviously self-defeating: if your goal is to reduce the number of abortions, then you want Planned Parenthood operational and fully-funded because, see, Planned Parenthood has prevented more abortions than every anti-choice group ever.

But that hasn't stopped the yawping chimps of the right from doing a chest-thump of victory over the Susan G. Komen Foundation cutting off its funding for Planned Parenthood. Komen had seemingly overcome its origins as an organization of wealthy, Republican women and became a force in research, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer, and it had been giving grants on the national level to Planned Parenthood directly for the last five years. By its own June 2011 document, "During the past five years, Komen Affiliate grants to Planned Parenthood have paid for the following: Breast cancer and breast health education for nearly 160,000 women, 139,000 clinical breast exams, 4,866 mammograms, detection of 177 breast cancers."

But because that occurred through an organization that also provides abortion services, it is evil breast cancer detection.

Apparently, these ungodly breast exams have been going for at least a decade and a half. For a long time, Komen donated money through its local affiliates to local Planned Parenthood offices. In Lubbock, Texas, in 1999, according to Texas Monthly from October of that year, "The Komen Lubbock Affiliate channels its funds raised by the Komen Race for the Cure and other programs to an especially innovative trio of outreach groups that serve disadvantaged and minority women. In collective efforts, the South Plains Food Bank, Planned Parenthood Association of Lubbock, and YWCA of Lubbock provide breast cancer education to minority women over 40, offer interactive training classes on nutrition as it relates to cancer, and screens and pays for mammograms for women aged 40 to 50." In September 2000, the Salt Lake City Komen affiliate gave a grant to Planned Parenthood of Utah. According to the October 15, 2000 Palm Beach Post, the South Florida Komen affiliate awarded a $32,000 grant to Planned Parenthood of the Palm Beach and Treasure Coast Area "to teach middle and high school age teens about the disease." Wyoming, Arkansas, Oklahoma, in red states all around the nation, Planned Parenthood received Komen grants in order to help poor women get breast exams or to educate them.

It wasn't until around 2002 (as far as the Rude Pundit can tell by using the Nexis machine) that a small bunch of anti-choice nutzoids started squawking about Komen funding of Planned Parenthood. A St. Louis group, charmingly named, "Defenders of the Unborn," called for a boycott of that year's Race for the Cure, the huge national event put on by the Komen Foundation. As an editorial in the June 21, 2002 St. Louis Dispatch concluded, "Breast cancer is a national epidemic. Supporting survivors and their families, and funding research for a cure, is a wonderful reason for this positive community event. No doubt the thousands marching in the streets of downtown tomorrow will not allow it to be hijacked by fear-mongers in the abortion wars."

Yeah, but they just had to wait for a decade to win.

Next week: What does Ronald McDonald have to do with this?


Late Post Today:
The Rude Pundit is recovering from what he's sure was an acid flashback of watching Newt Gingrich on the TV say the same shit he was saying in the 1990s. That can't be real, can it?

Back later with more psychedelic rudeness.
Things Mitt Romney Said Last Night That Make Him Sound Like the Prick He Is (And a Breakdown):
1. "Leadership is about taking responsibility, not making excuses. In another era of American crisis, Thomas Paine is reported to have said, 'Lead, follow or get out of the way.'" Yeah, chances are that's an urban myth. It appears in none of Paine's writings, hence Romney's hedging just for a chance to invoke the Beck-beloved Paine. And Paine, who said, among other things, "My country is the world," would have taken a shit on Romney for his rabid nationalism.

2. "I know what it's like to start a business. I know how extra ordinarily difficult it is to build something from nothing." And then ten seconds later: "My leadership helped build businesses from scratch." Yeah, he never built jackshit from scratch. He financed things and offered advice (perhaps, when he wasn't destroying already built businesses), but he was more a cheerleader than a construction worker.

3. "We balanced the budget every single year." Yeah, see, Romney was required to do that by the Massachusetts state constitution (under "General Provisions," Article 107, Section 2). So he was just following the law, much of which comes from the original 1780 language of the document. It'd be like proudly proclaiming, "And I never murdered anyone." (For real fun, read how the Massachusetts governor's office contorts itself to define "balanced.")

4. "This campaign is about more than replacing a president. It's about saving the soul of America." Coming from a man whose religion baptizes dead Holocaust victims into their faith, it's pretty fuckin' creepy.

5. "The path I lay out is not one paved with ever increasing government checks and cradle to grave assurance that government will always be the solution." And if you don't see what's cruel and dickish about that, then you're a prick, too.

Last night, when Newt Gingrich said that he was going to stay in the race just to fuck with Romney (it's not what he said, but it's why he's doing it), the Rude Pundit was thrilled at the idea of having Gingrich to kick around some more, to write a few more eulogies for the death of the career of one of the biggest cancerous tumors in modern political history. But then, in the cold light of day, he thought, "Fuck this nomination race. Fuck Romney. Fuck Gingrich."

The Rude Pundit's taking a break from talking about them (unless they do something interesting, like shoot up a daycare or gut Ron Paul and wear his skin like a robe). They simply don't matter. Romney's gonna win the nomination. He's gonna lose to Obama. Badly. Period. What the Republican candidates believe and what they promise and what it means that they're fighting and all of it is fake shit from a disgraced media that needs a storyline better than "Jesus Christ, these are dangerous bastards who would drag the nation back to the Stone Age, and we can't pretend their ideas have any validity."

So, for the next month, at least, he's not gonna play along for a while and pretend that they matter in any way. There's more important shit to talk about. There's people who actually have an impact on our lives who need to be taken down or fluffed up. There's congressional races that Democrats have a stake in that ought to be understood.

Mitt Romney just said that he's "not concerned about the very poor." And we're supposed to take him seriously? Not this blog.