The GOP Fever Dream Delusions:
Because the fever from a virus that made him puke and shit until he's pretty sure his stomach lining came off was so intense, the Rude Pundit's not sure what he saw and heard actually existed or was just some series of nightmares. Drenched in sweat and watching the Republican National Convention, he saw wave upon wave of whiteness, stretched like an albino ocean, speckled with an occasional black or brown floater. He saw people worshiping at an altar for a fake idol. He saw images and words appear and disappear in the ether above the podium. It was, for lack of a better word, weird.

He thought he saw Clint Eastwood on the stage, looking like an ancient, effete waiter, the tough guy roles never seeming so much an act, saying things like about election night 2008, "And it was dark and outdoors and it was nice. And people were lighting candles. And they were saying candles -- I just thought, this is great. Everybody's crying. Oprah was crying. I was even crying." Dirty Harry is another little weepy bitch? No, this can't be true, he thought. And then the Man with No Name talked to an empty chair, as if his speech was some kind of exercise in an improv class. "You're giving a speech at the RNC and you have to talk to the President, who's not there. Aaaand...go" The delegates, hand to God, looked as if they were coming and shitting on themselves at the same time.

Then, he thought he saw one of those floaters drift onto the stage to talk about how his father had been a bartender, about he had been raised by dirt poor parents who escaped Cuba, about how people like him and people like Mitt Romney were essentially the same. That can't be, the Rude Pundit thought. No one could actually say such a thing and be believed. But believed he was, and cheered, as if his injection of a phrase in Spanish was all the coloration needed in, all the coloration desired, a flourish of orange in a field of sun-bleached red, white, and blue. Marco Rubio offered, "A few years ago, during a speech, I noticed a bartender behind a portable bar in the back of the ballroom. I remembered my father who worked for many years as a banquet bartender." Did he get to know the bartender? Did he give him an extra big tip? We don't know because he didn't tell us. The Rude Pundit's father was a semi driver, but if he thought about the old man every time he passed a big rig, he'd go insane.

Finally, the main event, after Clint Eastwood asked if the food was okay and Marco Rubio asked if his drink needed refreshing. He saw Mitt Romney, his hair perfectly sculpted, his eyes given just the right amount of moisture to look on the verge of tears, his vague, patronizing smile positioned in a way that said, "I am trying so hard to hide how vastly superior to you I am."

He thought it was the fever, for sure, because such things cannot be real. Indeed, such monsters with such huge foreheads are usually chased into windmills with torches and pitchforks. But he's checked the transcript and the video, and it was, dear God, it was. And the Rude Pundit doesn't understand how anyone could speak these words and still be seen as trustworthy.

Romney tried, goddamn he tried, to make himself into more than a money-generating monster, more than a robot. He told the crowd about his dead mother and then asked, "Don't you wish she could have been here at this convention and heard leaders like Governor Mary Fallon and Governor Nikki Haley, Governor Susana Martinez, Senator Kelly Ayotte, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice?" Strange, the Rude Pundit thought. We don't know your mom, Mitt. She might have been a total bitch. If we were given such a wish, it would have nothing to do with reanimating your mother's corpse.

On and on it went, with lie after lie, with absence after absence. "[E]very president since the Great Depression who came before the American people asking for a second term could look back at the last four years and say with satisfaction, 'You're better off than you were four years ago,' except Jimmy Carter. And except this president," and ignore George H.W. Bush, or George W. Bush, who got reelected even though things were worse off. In fact, the word "bush" was not uttered once last night, not even in reference to shrubbery, the depilation of the Republican Party being completed.

Romney spoke to us, the Obama voters, in soothing tones, cooing to us, seducing us gently, whispering, "The black man didn't fuck you the way you hoped he would. Come back to me and I'll fuck you so sweetly that you'll forget that we cock-blocked him every chance we got." But when you ask him how he'll fuck you, he only says, "Don't worry. It's just a fucking you'll love. Trust me."

That people are actually considering doing so has to be a fever dream.


In Brief: Why the Entire RNC and the GOP Campaign Don't Deserve Coverage Anymore:
One quote from a pollster for Mitt Romney on why they're going to keep running ads saying that Obama is gutting work requirements for welfare, an assertion that is a demonstrable lie: "Fact checkers come to this with their own sets of thoughts and beliefs, and we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers." And even though Romney himself has cited fact checkers when they have said Obama is not telling the truth, the pollster said that fact checkers have "jumped the shark."

And, so, fuck Paul Ryan's speech last night. He went out and told so many lies that, if you were actually a Christian who believed in things like the Bible, you'd pretty much have to declare him "the Antichrist."

So, since facts don't matter to the Romney campaign, what they say is irrelevant and unworthy of anything that approaches analysis or even mild consideration. To do so would mean that you have to contemplate the ideas of someone whose plans include riding unicorns and demanding that Bigfoot be captured.

(And, besides, the Rude Pundit feels like shit from this stomach virus and doesn't want to cause himself to vomit any more than necessary.)


Random Observations on Last Night's RNC Funfest:
Note: This will only be about Chris Christie because his speech was the only one the Rude Pundit bothered watching. The Rude Pundit ate something that has attacked his insides like a pair of weasels in a burlap bag. Most of the night was spent in unspeakable acts of anal and oral toilet assault. Yet, strangely, he didn't sweat as much as Chris Christie undulating onto the imperial dais. Oh, and don't fucking complain about Chris Christie fat jokes. Complain that he's an obscenity shaped like a beach ball.

1. Here's one thing that bugged the shit out of the Rude Pundit from Christie's speech: His mother "was raised by a single mother who took three different buses every day to get to work." This may have impressed people from the south and west who hop in their cars to go to the mailbox. But Christie's family is from up here in the northeast, and everybody knows people of most economic levels who take multiple modes of transportation a day to get to work. Many of the Rude Pundit's professorial colleagues take a train, a ferry, and a bus to go poison the minds of America's youth. Does that count as a speech-worthy hardship?

2. Imagine you have a friend who a few years back heard that if you feed poodles money they will shit out gold bricks. So your friend starts feeding his hard-earned cash to all the pampered poodles he can find, and they gobble those bills down. But, surprise, surprise, despite what he heard, the dogs end up shitting shit. Still, he clings to this bizarre, completely disproven idea: poodles shit gold. Now, after some time, he's low on cash. You tell your friend to stop putting out plates of money for the goddamned poodles. No, your friend says. Instead, he must cut back on other things, like doctor visits and food and more, just so he'll have the spare money to give the fucking dogs. "One day, these little bitches are gonna pay off," he tells you, sounding completely crazy, "and I'll be on easy street." But until then, he's just got hands that stink like dog shit. And there's your lesson in Republican economics.

So Christie said, "We believe in telling hard-working families the truth about our country's fiscal realities, telling them what they already know: the math of federal spending does not add up. With $5 trillion in debt added up over to the last four years, we have no option but to make the hard choices: cut federal spending and fundamentally reduce the size of this government." It's not just that it's forgetting history (and facts) to act like the government has been on some big ass spending spree since Obama came into office, ignoring tax cuts and unnecessary wars. It's that Christie is saying he's telling the truth while telling lies, telling people to face reality when he's giving them a fantasy version of the last four years.

3. Who the fuck does this fat fuck think he is, this man-beast poster boy for the sins of gluttony and avarice, telling the poor that they have to tighten their loose belts? Talk to us about cutting back when you can see your penis without the aid of a mirror, Governor Bubble. And maybe stop talking about how great you are and actually govern, fucker.

4. And this whole thing about Obama doing stuff just to be popular? You remember how pathetic you sounded in high school, complaining about the popular kids winning student council? It sounds just as pathetic now. And considering the "popularity" of health care reform, even when it was being drafted and debated, you really think Obama took the polls into consideration?

5. Oh, fuck this. The Rude Pundit doesn't want to tell you what you already know, that this is a masturbatory exercise, a circle jerk of epic proportions (as the DNC will be). It's all making the bile and salmonella build up into one more vomit.

So instead, enjoy this picture of Ann Romney pleasuring herself for the delight of the delegates:


Our Fading Planet:
Once more, we face an August end with a storm bearing down on New Orleans. This one isn’t too bad, even though the media is hyping this like they’ve been hyping the election. The better to keep you glued to the TV. The better to be able to talk about anything but the huff and puff of hot airborne hatred emanating from Florida’s mid-urethra region.

No, this hurricane is not in and of itself a product of climate change. But all things are connected, you know, and Isaac is not not influenced by the accelerating heating of the earth. It is not not influenced by things like the melting Arctic ice, which, by the way, was just revealed as being at the smallest point in summer since scientists have been recording such things. Alas, poor Santa. Pity the elves.

By this point, climate change “skeptics” should be treated like Holocaust deniers. They should have no place in our discourse. They should not be invited onto news programs except as circus freaks to boost ratings. To act otherwise, to behave as if they have any credibility at all is to contribute to our doom.

This summer, the Rude Pundit saw the film Chasing Ice, and if you have any climate change deniers in your life, you should get them to check it out. It's about the journey the nature photographer James Balog takes from skeptic to true believer due to the simplest of reasons: he saw it happening with his eyes and with his cameras.

See, Balog is obsessed with photographing ice in nature - its curves and forms, its layers and depths. And upon visiting a glacier he had visited several years before, he noticed that it had receded at a much faster pace than he had seen. Balog set up the Extreme Ice Survey to document the melting of glaciers around the world through real, actual pictures, thousands upon thousands of them. And it turned Balog into an activist.

The movie reaches a sickening apex when, at the end, we simply, silently review the evidence, as photo after photo shows us that these glacier fields are disappearing and not returning.

Of course, over the next two weeks, from both parties, we will hear endlessly about oil and pipelines. We may hear a passing reference to "responsibility" or a plan or two about saving the earth. But mostly they will be talking about a fantasy where this coming cataclysm is solvable with a tweak or two to how we do things.

They will talk about getting rid of a gangrenous leg with a bandage and a little Neosporin when you really need to cut the limb off to survive.


The Republican Strategy: The Niggerization of the Democratic Party:
Let's cut through the bullshit here, much like Chris Matthews did on Morning Starbucks with Joe today. The GOP strategy right now is simple: The Democratic Party is a bunch of niggers, with a nigger leading them. Do you want to be a nigger lover or, even worse, a nigger yourself?

See, it's not enough that Mitt Romney and his filthy minions marginalize the President by turning him into an angry black foreigner through idiotic jokes, heh-heh. No, they have to turn one of the coolest, mellowest men of any race and transform him into the vicious, rage-filled child of Malcolm X and Frantz Fanon. They have to go after his likability, his perceived strength, as Rove would want, and make us look at Barack Obama and only see the seething native, waiting to spear the poor, misunderstood colonizers and take their money to give to the rest of the Hottentots.

But they need to go further. It's not enough to make it seem like Democrats follow a cannibal bastard. Instead, the strategy has become to make simply being a Democrat associated with the dirty, poverty, hands-out part of humanity. The niggers, if you will. Romney told USA Today (motto: "Every once in a while, news gets in here"), regarding the waivers on welfare reform, that the President was just trying to "shore up his base" by, in essence, sending the word that the niggers won't have to work for that welfare check and can keep stealing from the rest of us. Even if the truth is the exact opposite, Romney keeps repeating it and flogging that lie like it's a ... well, you know.

With recent polls showing that the GOP couldn't get a black vote even if Romney took Rihanna as a sister-wife and the Hispanic vote limited mostly to a few Cuban-Americans, apparently they've more or less said, "Oh, fuck it" and not only played the race card but an entire race hand. That's the game now. How many whites, especially white males, feel so uncomfortable in a room with non-whites that they would vote for whatever white guys are running against Obama?

Once again, it demonstrates how little the Republicans have to actually campaign on. And how many parts of the nation they have alienated. But there's something else going on here, and it gets back to that notion that's part of that fucking idiotic documentary that Dinesh D'Souza shat out about Obama trying to get vengeance against the colonizers for his father.

With this being an incredibly white ticket of an incredibly white political party (90% of Republicans are white), what the GOP is doing in this election is to make a last stand for the innate good of the white male, the white patriarchy, if you will, as knowing best how everyone should behave. When they say, as Romney has, that they are what's best for women and non-whites, the not-so-subtle message is the same as every pasty European who ever confronted the natives after walking off a boat: "We may want to strip you of all your natural resources and enslave you, but you can put your trust in us. As long as you don't try to stop us, we won't hurt you."

In other words, it's not the rage of Barack Obama that's driving this election. It's the rage of the white colonizers who are afraid of losing any of their power over the colonized.


Reacharound Friday: Guns Don't Accidentally Shoot Their Idiot Owners:
Just an observation: Doesn't it seem like every time Mitt Romney is in deep shit over something (tax returns, abortion craziness) somebody ends up shooting the shit out of a place, thus pushing Romney out of the headlines for some breathing space? That motherfucker will do anything to change the subject.

Today, the unending thrum of mass shooting after mass shooting continued, the long hot summer of murder (ask Chicago, man) going out with a bang with a big damn shootout on one of the busiest corners in the United States, right near the Empire State Building. How disgusting we must look to other countries, cowering behind our guns, like simpering little inarticulate bitches, unable to express ourselves except through bullets. What's a shocking anomaly elsewhere is merely par for the course here, the price for the imprisoning "freedom" of gun ownership.

But it's Friday. So let's laugh at stupid assholes.

Zombie Darwin must be chortling his bearded bony ass at this 18-year old in Port St. Lucie, Florida, just across the state from Tampa, who was "cleaning his .357 Magnum revolver when he 'somehow accidentally shot himself in the groin and leg area.'" Yep, the gun just went off, and he shot his fucking nuts off. And perhaps we can all breathe a little easier knowing that he'll probably never pollute the gene pool with his brainless seed. Where did he get that dick substitute to carry around? "He bought the handgun from someone at a party more than a month ago," which doesn't sound like a legal gun sale, but, fuck, it's Florida. He's not facing any charges, except the echoing sounds of giggling cops.

Need more to feel vastly superior to gun nuts? How about the Indiana man who modified his Ruger and shot off his fingertip? The South Carolina man who shot his hand with a .40 Smith and Wesson at a gun show? The North Carolina man who shot himself while showing off a pistol at a gun show? The rural Washington man who had MacGyvered a mole trap using a 12-gauge shotgun and shot out his knee (to the everlasting delight of the moles who had an orgy in his blood while he rolled around screaming)? The Nevada man who shot himself in the ass in a movie theatre (he was deemed responsible enough to have a conceal carry permit)? The New Hampshire man who shot himself in the ass while watching TV? The Nebraska man who shot himself in the foot (holy true-life aphorisms) while unloading his Glock? The Oklahoma man who accidentally shot himself in the chest?

That's just in the last couple of weeks. And this list is by no means exhaustive.

What the Rude Pundit would like to know is how many of the men up there used that excuse, "The gun just went off"? And he wonders how many of those who said that have also used the worthless canard that "guns don't kill people..."


Grappling with Obama's Un-Liberal Actions: A Voter's Conscience (Part 2):
So perhaps you are pro-Obama and you've come to terms with the drone war being waged in nations we are not at, you know, war with. You figure that it's a distant thing, and, yes, any Americans targeted in, say, Yemen deserved what they got. You know, you want everyone to know that you may be a liberal, but you're not a pussy. But what about your own rights? You're supposedly not a terrorist. And your neighbors are more than likely not.

We have to wrestle with this shit, we who say we're voting for the President. We have to have an answer or at least an understanding. And you have to be willing to accept the consequences of those actions.

In this case, a vote for President Obama means a vote for indefinite detention for Americans who are suspected of having any link to al-Qaeda. In this case a vote for President Obama means a vote to expand the surveillance of all communications of Americans, inside and outside the United States. All of these powers do or would exist without judicial oversight (other than kangaroo military tribunals).

The indefinite detention section of the National Defense Authorization Act, passed by Congress in 2011, says that the U.S. can hold a suspect "without trial, until the end of the hostilities." It was met with a mighty signing statement by President Obama where he pledged to never use his superpower for evil and that no Americans would be treated like filthy foreigners (except, you know, for the whole blowing them up with missiles overseas). But a group of activists and writers sued the administration over indefinite military detention, saying it was unconstitutional, and a judge agreed, putting a preliminary injunction on it.

Considering the signing statement, you'd think, "Well, guess that's game over." But you know how sometimes you're drunk and someone tries to stop you from taking that next shot for your own good? How many times do you say, "You know what? You're right. I should stop"? No, you say, "Fuck you, asshole, gimme the shot. I'm not nearly drunk enough. I haven't puked on myself yet." Now replace liquor with power and you pretty much know what happened.

The Obama administration, just a couple of weeks ago, appealed the ruling, saying that, since it's never happened, it doesn't need to be halted. It's not unlike a company selling a toy for toddlers that's made of razors and nails and refusing to recall it until a child gets hurt.

Where else do you want to go? You want to talk how the administration refuses to say how extensive its surveillance program of Americans is? You wanna head over to Gitmo (remember Gitmo? It got lost somewhere along the way once Republicans blocked any funding to close it)? You wanna talk about how the military is now limiting the detainees' access to their lawyers? You wanna come back home and talk about the brutalizing of any whistleblowers?

You can't ignore this shit. You just look like a fool if you do. Again, this is not just an extension of the very things we took to the streets to protest George W. Bush for, it's an expansion. And it's fucking scary shit. Because instead of reducing the power of the imperial president, an idea he criticized while running, Obama has embraced it. And, no matter how much you trust him, Obama ain't gonna be there some day and all these powers and laws will be.

Coming up in Part 3: Well, what the fuck are you gonna do?


In Brief: No, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan Won't Tell You a Goddamn Thing:
So yesterday Mitt Romney, sadistic Mormon hair-cutter and ostensible GOP nominee for president, had a fundraiser with evil motherfuckers in the energy industry. He has a big energy policy speech coming up and, by god, he told the people- well, why be coy? - men there that "Your input is something I wanted to retain before we actually cross the t's and dot the i's on those policies." Yes, because no one could predict what oil executives would say. When is Romney's meeting with environmentalists and scientists going to be, just so he can get those t's and i's all crossed and dotted? Let's play Carnac here and say that Romney's speech will say, "Drill, frack, Keystone, clean coal, nuclear, and go fuck yourself with a windmill on top of a solar panel."

There's something else Romney said while he wasn't licking sweet crude off the assholes of his donors. About his possible energy plan, he smarmed, "I know that we have members of the media here right now, so I’m not going to go through that in great detail."

Last week, in his big coming out party on Fox "news," vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan talked about the shiny tax loopholes they will get rid of in order to magically balance the budget at some indeterminate time in the future. What loopholes? Hey, fuck you with your specifics. Or, as Ryan said, "[T]hat is something that we think we should do in the light of day, through Congress, unlike how Obamacare was passed. We don't want a back-room deal, what the Ways and Means Committee did, what the House passed, is to have a process for tax reform so that we do this in the front of the public...So, no, the point I'm trying to say is we want to get feedback from Americans about what priorities in the tax code should be kept and what special-interest loopholes we want to get rid of." Or, you know, he could have just said, "No, Brit, I'm not giving up my loophole cherry to you."

It is, at the end, of the day, the strategy for Romney. You can't know much about him or his policies. He will reveal nothing. His advisers have said, flat-out, that they will not campaign on specifics. You have to invest with Romney based on your faith in Romney.

It's held as gospel on right that, despite constant media scrutiny and unending digging, Barack Obama has not been properly "vetted" and has therefore gotten away with something. But Romney presents himself as completely inscrutable, existing only in the present, with his past hidden and his future plans deliberately obscured. That's just the way he wants it, though. It's the only way he can hope to win: to be the empty suit that can be filled with whatever figure you want - crazy social conservative, fiscal disciplinarian, whatever.

It's not really what one would call "leadership." It's not really what one can call anything.


Has One CNN Commentator Lost His Fucking Mind Over Akin?:
While other Republicans were throwing Senate candidate Todd Akin under the bus for revealing a bit too clearly what the GOP actually believes about abortion rights for rape victims, some on the right were there to offer a comforting nipple for Akin to suckle at. CNN contributor and Redstate blogger Erick "Erick" Erickson practically ripped off his shirt and yelled to Akin, "Nurse at these man-boobs, misunderstood sir."

There's a couple of camps of Akin apologists: the "let's move on, nothing to see here" camp and the moral equivalency camp. Erickson is firmly in the latter, and his blog post yesterday was the kind of straw-grasping you see an especially desperate defense attorney take in the trial of his serial disemboweler client. "Well, he may have ripped out his victims' intestines and swung them around like lassos, but, really, is that so bad compared to the Holocaust?" he might say. Or perhaps "Yes, but the prosecutor once jaywalked."

See, however smugly doughy he might look on CNN, Erickson allows his freak flag to fly proudly in Redstate. How does he defend Akin? By bringing up a widely discredited allegation about President Obama: "The people horrid (sic) by Todd Akin’s remarks are, I’m sure, thrilled to have a President who defended infanticide...President Obama was the only member of the Illinois State Senate to speak in favor of the position that a child who survives an abortion and fully exits the womb can still be killed by the abortionist."

And that'd be awful if it was true, and Erickson can take quotes out of context all he wants and condemn Politifact, but, fuck him, it's not true.

Erickson concludes, having compared Akin's "legitimate rape" remark to Biden's "chains," with this bit of despairing: "The media barely spent any time on the shooter at the Family Research Council. I bet they’ll spent a whole lot more time on this than either the FRC shooting or even Ted Kennedy killing Mary Joe." The Rude Pundit has to admit that he doesn't get the right's obsession, even postmortem, with Chappaquiddick. It's as if Ted Kennedy's auto accident is the most important event of the last fifty years. And if that's all you've got to give as an example of liberal hypocrisy or whatever, then you've got a pretty empty quiver there.

And as for the shooting at the FRC, well, sorry, but we had already had two shooting sprees with multiple victims in the two weeks before. How much coverage did the Wisconsin Sikh shooting get compared with the Colorado one? Tell you what: you give us that that was racist, we'll give you that the FRC coverage was liberal bias. But what the fuck does this have to do with Akin? It's like comparing apples and ducks.

See, Erickson and others on the right are shit-scared right now, which is pretty much what he said today in asking Akin to heroically put his country ahead of himself and step down. (Dude, he's a Republican. Did you really think he'd act honorably?)

They're scared because Akin opened the door for a discussion of abortion rights and the GOP's attitude towards women, especially as it affects a certain running mate. Oh, how they wanted to concentrate on the economy and ignore shit like the Republican campaign platform that takes Akin and Paul Ryan's pre-VP selection stance, calling for a ban on all abortions with no rape exception.

That part doesn't actually bother Erickson. Writes this CNN contributor, who is given a nationally televised platform on a regular basis, "Congressman Akin said something dumb and inarticulate. But God bless him for trying to explain why so many Christians do not believe in an exception for rape and believe that to have one could see an increase in the number of claims of rape that are not actual rapes ('legitimate' rapes in his words), but are claims of rape used to justify an abortion when abortion is otherwise prohibited." Are clinics overrun with false rape charges in order to secure free abortions? Is this a thing? No, it's hysteria replacing reason.

So, yes, God bless Todd Akin. He did speak the truth. Now let's see where that argument gets the GOP.


What Todd Akin Meant to Say (Updated):
So completely bugnuts cocktard Todd Akin, who really has been elected repeatedly to the House of Representatives by idiots in Missouri and really is the Republican candidate for Senate against incumbent Claire McCaskill, really winning a primary in Missouri, the "Show-You-How-Fucking-Dumb-We-Are" state, really said in an interview yesterday regarding pregnancy from rape, "First of all, from what I understand from doctors it is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." He also said that, even if the pussy's laser beam of justice misses and the woman gets pregnant, she should not be allowed to get an abortion.

When everyone picked their jaws off the floor, Akin's profoundly, demonstrably, scientifically wrong statement was met with a DefCon Katrina level of outrage. At what point is low too low? At a time that demanded true leadership, Mitt Romney's campaign's response was so milquetoast that Fire Island twinks would tell him to butch up. And, like a good little conservative spoogebucket, Akin didn't apologize for his beliefs. He merely said he "misspoke."

So it seems to leave us with a question: What the fuck did Akin mean to say?

1. "I meant to say that rape sperm is too angry to inseminate an egg."

2. "I meant to say that vaginas are like snapping turtles that will bite off a rapist's penis."

3. "I meant to say 'forcible rape.' You know, like Paul Ryan believes."

4. "I didn't mean 'legitimate rape.' Everyone know that a child from a rape is probably going to end up illegitimate."

5. "By 'legitimate rape," I meant a rape that happens because of Obamacare, which is raping the future for our children...That probably didn't help, did it?"

6. "Wait, the penis has to go in the vagina? Eww, gross."

7. "I truly thought I was on the 'Jackoff Report.'"

8. "I meant to say 'from what I understand from my ass,' not 'doctors.' Easy mistake."

9. "I can pretty much guarantee that I'm infertile and that my balls have shrunk to the size of raisins. Yes, that's what I meant to say."

10. "I meant to say that I support a personhood amendment, you know, like Paul Ryan does. It's pretty much just as evil and ignorant, but it sounds less assholish."

Update: Apparently, Mitt Romney discovered that the wind was blowing in a safe enough direction, and his condemnation of Akin has become stronger.


Reacharound Friday: In the Words of Pussy Riot:
First, off check out what exactly Pussy Riot did (and here's the raw footage used for the music video). It's pretty fucking hilarious, seeing masked punk rockers dancing like mad inside a Russian Orthodox cathedral as a protest against the reelection of Vladimir Putin. It's got upset nuns trying to stop photographers. It's got confused and delighted and agitated onlookers. "Our Lady," Pussy Riot chanted to the Virgin Mary, "Chase Putin out." And the song rocks with a great, rap-infused rock tune.

Was it obnoxious? Fuck, yeah. Is it deserving of two years of prison time for the band members who were caught? Because that's the sentence they were just given for "hooliganism against the church." The prosecution had been asking for three years, but, perhaps realizing that crushing the band made him look like, well, a pussy, Putin asked for leniency. Look into his eyes. See his soul. He's a mensch.

The members of Pussy Riot know that their trial has done more to energize the free speech and protest movement in Russia, against the power-hungry Putin, in alliance with the church, than their music and performances alone. And the closing statements of the three women in their trial are ass-kicking acts of defiance against a government that seeks to silence dissent.

Yekatarina Semutsevich talked about Putin's manipulation of people by using the church: "Why did Putin feel the need to exploit the Orthodox religion and its aesthetic? After all, he could have employed his own, far more secular tools of power—for example, the state-controlled corporations, or his menacing police system, or his obedient judicial system. It may be that the harsh, failed policies of Putin’s government, the incident with the submarine Kursk, the bombings of civilians in broad daylight, and other unpleasant moments in his political career forced him to ponder the fact that it was high time to resign; that otherwise, the citizens of Russia would help him do this. Apparently, it was then that he felt the need for more persuasive, transcendent guarantees of his long tenure at the pinnacle of power. It was then that it became necessary to make use of the aesthetic of the Orthodox religion, which is historically associated with the heyday of Imperial Russia, where power came not from earthly manifestations such as democratic elections and civil society, but from God Himself."

Maria Alyokhina attacked Russian society, particularly the conformist approach of her schooling: "And right here, in this closing statement, I would like to describe my firsthand experience of running afoul of this system. Our schooling, which is where the personality begins to form in a social context, effectively ignores any particularities of the individual. There is no 'individual approach,' no study of culture, of philosophy, of basic knowledge about civic society. Officially, these subjects do exist, but they are still taught according to the Soviet model. And as a result, we see the marginalization of contemporary art in the public consciousness, a lack of motivation for philosophical thought, and gender stereotyping. The concept of the human being as a citizen gets swept away into a distant corner. Today’s educational institutions teach people, from childhood, to live as automatons. Not to pose the crucial questions consistent with their age. They inculcate cruelty and intolerance of nonconformity. Beginning in childhood, we forget our freedom."

And finally, and perhaps most eloquently, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova took sympathy on the prosecutors: "Despite the fact that we are physically here, we are freer than everyone sitting across from us on the side of the prosecution. We can say anything we want and we say everything we want. The prosecution can only say what they are permitted to by political censorship. They can’t say 'punk prayer,' 'Our Lady, Chase Putin Out,' they can’t utter a single line of our punk prayer that deals with the political system. Perhaps they think that it would be good to put us in prison because we speak out against Putin and his regime. They don’t say so, because they aren’t allowed to. Their mouths are sewn shut. Unfortunately, they are only here as dummies. But I hope they realize this and ultimately pursue the path of freedom, truth, and sincerity, because this path is superior to the path of complete stagnation, false modesty, and hypocrisy. Stagnation and the search for truth are always opposites, and in this case, in the course of this trial, we see on the one side people who attempt to know the truth, and on the other side people who are trying to fetter them."

The fact that the words of Pussy Riot could be used, with very few changes, about our own political and social systems and level of civic engagement, that we are no longer a nation that can hear something about oppression from other countries and think, "That's not us," is sad beyond words. The biggest difference? In Russia, there have been protests and riots against the treatment of the band. If it had happened here, we'd just roll over and figure that they deserved what was coming.

(Note: The Rude Pundit will get back to his voter's conscience series next week. And thanks to rude reader Alyson B. for the link to the statements.)


Grappling with Obama's Un-Liberal Actions: A Voter's Conscience (Part 1):
The Rude Pundit remembers the moment in 1996, standing in the curtained voting booth in a church hall in the middle of nowhere in godforsaken Indiana. He stared at his choices: the incumbent Democrat, Bill Clinton; Republican Bob Dole; and the jug-eared crazy Texan, Ross Perot. There wasn't a force in heaven or earth, no promise of sex or cocaine, no amount of money, really, that could have made him vote for the despicable Dole or the bug-eyed Perot. And, sorry, historical revisionists who have given Clinton the same buff and glow as Reagan apologists on the right, many of us on the left were pretty pissed at Clinton. Just a couple of months earlier, caving to election year pressure, he had signed into law "welfare reform," which took away the guaranteed safety net for the poor. There were other things: the way Clinton had handled the gays in the military issue, the complete bollixing of the health care debate, the fact that, no, he wasn't the liberal we had fantasized he would be. Ultimately, his stomach legitimately churning, even though he was in a state that was going to go for Dole, he realized he couldn't just walk away without voting. So he voted for Clinton, reasoning that, in the long-term, Clinton might be able to nominate Supreme Court justices who would make up in legacy what damage had been done in governing. He wasn't proud or happy or relieved. He just hoped he hadn't fucked up his karma. He hoped he had made a decision he could live with.

You gotta know what you're doing when you vote. And you gotta accept the consequences of that vote. For instance, here's a consequence of voting for Barack Obama:

That's what's left behind in a town in Pakistan, a country that we are supposedly not at war with, after a U.S. missile drone attack, presumptively launched to take out a "terrorist." Or a "militant." Or something. About 85% of the drone attacks since 9/11 have occurred during the Obama administration, with at least a couple of Americans targeted and killed. The most recent attack in Pakistan killed at least 5 people. According to a Pakistani Senate Committee report, at least 20% of all those killed are civilians (and that's not to mention the damage done to the property of civilians when, you know, a fucking missile blows their shit up).

Just last week, we killed at least 10, in strikes in Yemen, where we are supposedly not at war. And, yes, this is complicated by the fact that, apparently, we do kill those who belong to al-Qaeda, although that's relying on information by the people doing the killing, which is, well, the Obama administration.

Want to complicate it further? Howzabout the rest of that Pakistani Senate study, which says that the drone attacks are destabilizing the nation? Or that the hundreds of air strikes have led to a "generation of resentment" in the Middle East towards the United States? Or that Pakistan's ambassador, in demanding an end to the invasion of his country's air space, has said the actions are creating more militants? Yeah, the United States could be reaping what we've sown under the next President, who might be a Christie or a Bush, not a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Sorry to piss on you while you're having a nice "Boy, Paul Ryan sucks" buzz. But you gotta grapple with this, with what's being done by the man we voted for, what's being done in our name. And it's not just what's done in the name of war against our "enemies." No, we've also got to wrestle with the executive powers that Obama is defending and expanding, the very kinds of powers we screamed and stomped about Bush having.

More on that tomorrow.


Mitt Romney's Cringe-Inducing Desperation:
At some point in the near future, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will be standing in front of a crowd, probably in one of those mythical swing states, like maybe Colorado or Pennsylvania, and, his moussed-hair tousling impossibly perfectly in the breeze, he'll be in the middle of a stump speech when it'll happen. He'll raise his fist at the end of his focus group-tested rolled sleeve arm, and he'll say, "You wanna see how much I want to be president?" And then he'll punch himself in the balls. "Is that enough for you to love me?" he'll say through clenched teeth, and then he'll punch his balls again. He'll stagger a moment, but he'll wave off his assistants and guard. "No," he'll cough, "These people need to know how far I'm willing to go." He'll punch himself again, even harder, and again. He'll double over and vomit from the pain. People in the crowd, who might have laughed at first, will instead become appalled, screaming for him to stop. But, oh, no, he won't. "Is Obama willing to punch his balls bloody for you?" he'll ask before he punches his nuts one last time and passes out.

The press release from the Romney campaign that follows will explain that the governor was demonstrating his deep love for the American people and how he hoped his self-induced testicle pain would unify the country as much as President Obama's hateful rhetoric has divided it.

Absurd, no? Ludicrous, huh? But we have truly reached a point in this increasingly idiotic and meaningless campaign where you can only expect the ridiculous from the Romney/Ryan side. There is a desperation for some kind of traction, which you would expect from a man who couldn't manage more than 30% of the motherfucking crazy base of the GOP in many primaries and almost never broke 50%.

For what is left from Romney that can stick? He's spent the better part of the last few months just outright lying about shit. When you say, for instance, that President Obama ended work requirements for welfare recipients in a memo that clearly says that states can have waivers only if they improve employment outcomes, or, as some might put it, the total opposite of what you claim, then you have lost any credibility. Look at the most recent Romney ad, which features serious-looking old people who are going to be stone cold fucking murdered by Medicare cuts that, even in the most generous, Norquistian definition of "cuts," are not occurring under the Affordable Care Act. (Let's not even get into the fact that Paul Ryan's voucherpalooza would cut the hell out of Medicare. And let's all stop talking about benefits not changing for "people over 55," 'cause that's just bribery.)

Yet, with a straight face, Romney told CBS this morning that it was Obama who was running ads with "divisiveness based upon income, age, ethnicity and so forth."

Now that his pick of the magnificently-nosed Paul Ryan has been about as successful in getting squirrely independents to move their fickle votes to him as his dog-transporting abilities, Romney's campaign has gone total fucking nutzoid. In a speech yesterday that stopped just short of those ball-blows, Romney lost his shit, in a scripted way, when he said, in about as self-reflective statement as he could make, "This is what an angry and desperate Presidency looks like." He was referring to Vice President Joe Biden's remarks that "They're going to put ya'll back in chains," which was probably a reference to Wall Street, which he had just mentioned, or perhaps the Republicans. (At this point, Obama and Biden should just avoid off-the-cuff pronouns so no one can misunderstand them.)

RNC Chair Reince Priebus, who previously had said that Obama "has blood on his hands" for "stealing" from Medicare, said that Biden's words were "shameful." Could we just call a moratorium on attacking each other's metaphors?

Romney continued yesterday, "So, Mr. President, take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago and let us get about rebuilding and reuniting America." The undercurrent of rage, or, you know, "anger," in that statement is kind of stunning, a childish level of petulance. Stomp your feet more, motherfucker, and maybe Sheldon Adelson will buy you a nice White House.

Of course, if it wasn't for super PAC spending, we probably wouldn't even be dealing with Mitt Romney as the nominee. And, as much as the campaigns try to, wink-wink, distance themselves from their super PACs, we know, we know, we all know. Still, it's kind of hysterical that Romney released an ad directly accusing Obama of making that Priorities USA video that says Bain Capital is responsible for a man's wife's death. Okay, so does that make Romney responsible now for every insane anti-Obama super PAC? Or for whatever Americans With - sorry, For Prosperity pulls from Karl Rove's ass?

There's things we could debate and will about Obama's presidency. There's things that Romney could, but won't. Ultimately, people may agree with Romney that Obama doesn't deserve reelection. But what they seem to agree on more is that Mitt Romney ain't who they want in his place. And no amount of desperate flailing is going to convince them that the unlikeable dick is suddenly their best friend.


In Brief: And Then There Was That Time Paul Ryan Said Romneycare Could Be a Model for the U.S.:
This is from an editorial by Rep. Paul Ryan in the conservative magazine The American Spectator, from July 23, 2009, when Republicans feared that Democrats were going to include a "public option," a government-run health insurance program. In the midst of a fainting-couch-needed tirade on how health care reform would make Baby Liberty cry, Ryan wrote: "If President Obama and his party are serious about establishing a radical new government-driven health care program, rather than force an untested program on the whole nation, why not follow federalism by encouraging one or two states to adopt such a plan as a pilot program? Former Governor Romney of Massachusetts, a Republican, led in the creation of a state universal health care program three years ago...The benefits, costs, and satisfaction in these state health care 'labs' would be useful information before we decide on a federal role."

Ultimately, the Democrats and the Obama administration did not go with the "radical" plan (which would have been cheaper and more effective, but, hey, socialism). Instead, they went with Mitt, whose plan's benefits and costs have led to high satisfaction in Massachusetts, an approach that Paul Ryan seems to have, at least in the bad ol' pre-2010 election days, endorsed.

(Note: Regular scheduled rudeness, as in dick jokes and sodomy references, to return tomorrow.)


Paul Ryan's Family Is Rich Because of the Federal Government (Updated):
The Rude Pundit was going to write a snarky, expletive-filled little rant about Rep. Paul Ryan today until he was listening to NPR talk about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's selection for his running mate. The report mentioned how Ryan's family has deep roots in southern Wisconsin, and that his family made its fortune with a construction business, Ryan Incorporated, which was once "Ryan Brothers." And that it "built roads."

"Huh," the Rude Pundit thought. "Roads aren't generally built by private funding." So he did a little bit of googling, and what do you know?

The Ryan Incorporated Central webpage on the company's history says, "By the 1940's the Company had become a full-service grading contractor serving both private industrial and public transportation customers, including some of the original work at what would become O'Hare Airport."

But on the website for Ryan Incorporated Southern, headquartered in Florida (there are various divisions of Ryan and, yes, still from the company founded by his great-grandfather that's run by Ryan's cousins), it's a bit more explicit: "The Ryan workload from 1910 until the rural interstate Highway System was completed 60 years later, was mostly Highway construction."

And whose money built the interstate highway system? That'd be ours.

In other words, you know how Barack Obama talked about how your business didn't build the roads that allow you to do business? Well, if you are in the Midwest, chances are that Paul Ryan's family did build some of the roads. And they got to be amazingly successful because the federal government gave them six decades of contracts and millions upon millions of dollars to build them.

Are we clear here? We're talking about Paul Ryan, who, with his wife, is worth as much as $7.7 million and "much of the Ryans’ wealth is in the form of trusts and inheritances." For Rep. Ryan, those trusts and inheritances are a result of money that the federal government spent on infrastructure.

You wanna go further? Here's a list of defense contracts from the 1990s that went to Ryan Incorporated in its various forms. One of them, from 1996, is worth $5.6 million and went to Ryan Incorporated Central.

So, just to get this right, Paul Ryan and his family are beneficiaries of expanded government spending to improve infrastructure. They continue to benefit from government contracts, including state and local ones. That's Paul Ryan, whose budget would inevitably gut most infrastructure spending and who, with Mitt Romney, wants to shrink federal spending to the point where, if the federal government had felt that way throughout a good chunk of the 20th century, his family would not have made a dime and, well, then we would have never heard about Paul Ryan.

That's the depth of hypocrisy in play here.

Of course, now, Ryan Incorporated builds a lot of golf courses. So who needs improved roads when you've got that?

Update: As others have pointed out, like many conservatives who got where they are thanks to government programs, Ryan is all about biting the hands that fed him. 

And sharp-eyed rude reader David C. points out that, if his family was involved in building O'Hare airport, wouldn't the Ryans have been involved in evil Chicago politics?


Friday Reacharound: Mars, Motherfuckers:

Hey, Mars. It's been a while. Nice to see you again.

One of the Rude Pundit's earliest memories is of sitting in his grandparents' living room and watching the first moon landing (note: he can't be sure if it was the first one, but everyone else in that room is dead now, so, okay, sure, why not just say it was Neil Armstrong). He has a latent space travel geekiness that leaps out when things happen like, you know, landing a rover on fucking Mars, which happened on Monday. That's fuckin' Mars up there. We did that, with three other countries. You're allowed to get a patriotic boner every now and then, like NASA administrator Charles Bolden, who said, "It's a huge day for all of our partners, it's a huge day for the nation. It's a huge day for the American people. Everybody in the morning should be sticking their chest out, saying 'that's our rover on Mars'."

And if you can't appreciate the almost inexpressible magnitude of that, then take a moment or two to get your face out of the computer or your nose out of the sandy asses of the beach volleyball players, get outside, and look at those beautiful stars and glistening planets, man.


The Real Reason Mitt Romney Is Losing and Will Lose:
If he were a better man, Mitt Romney would have one of those dark mornings of the soul. He would wake up after a bender on virgin appletinis (known as "apple juice in a fancy glass" to the rest of us), unshaven, viciously moussed hair disheveled, and stagger into the bathroom in only his magic underwear. He'd tiredly root around for his penis and take a sputtering leak, as befits a man of his years. Then he'd look in the mirror, trying to remember what he did the previous night. He'd think about all the conflicting promises he made to donors, all the people he pretended to like. As he stared deeper into his bloodshot, sinking eyes, no longer assisted by copious amounts of highlighter, he might think about the past, think about how he made his money, how he spent it, how he didn't care about all the people who fell by the wayside in his march to demonstrate that he was the king of profiting from the ruins of others, a fancy junkyard salesman who occasionally repurposed the heaps of metal into a working mousetrap, but was just as likely to merely polish the garbage and sell it. Yes, if Mitt Romney were another kind of man, an honestly self-reflective man, he might stare in the mirror, think about why most predictions were that he would lose the election that he had spent over half a decade running for, ponder the situation he found himself in, question his very existence, and conclude, "I am really a dick."

As people begin to write pre-mortem postmortems of Mitt Romney's campaign, you're going to see many question why and how, how in the world, indeed, could a candidate of Romney's vintage be losing. There will be conservatives who are smug about Romney having never been a true crazy right-winger. There will be conservatives who try to throw him a life preserver, like bald demon Reihad Salam at CNN, whose "Why Mitt Romney Is Losing" editorial is full of floaties. For instance, Salam posits a fantasy Romney, one who actually comes up with plans to, say, regulate banks once the weak Dodd-Frank bill is burned by some fantasy Congress. On the left, Charles Blow in the New York Times says of the one-term governor's strategy of just plain, fucking lying about what Barack Obama is doing, "Romney has to find a line of attack that works because there is a creeping feeling beginning to overtake part of the electorate that his candidacy is in trouble. The problem is that these sorts of desperate, baseless attacks only amplify the sense of panic."

But there's one overriding reason that Romney's candidacy was doomed: he is a completely unlikeable prick. And, unlike the fake self-aware Romney above, he doesn't give a shit that he's an unlikeable prick. In the world he existed in before running for president, one can be admired for dealing with others as an unfeeling asshole. That might be how cutthroat investment schemers work, but Romney is fast learning that people are not corporations. We give a damn who we're dealing with and who's fucking us over, and anyone who isn't so deluded by swallowing the Rush Limbaugh chowder on Obama or just being plain racist can see that Mitt Romney is not only not someone you'd want to have a beer with, but he's someone who, given the right circumstances and the right bar, you'd want to punch in the nose for being such a self-righteous cock.

Now, how do you, if you are Mitt Romney, overcome that? Well, short answer is "You don't."

The long answer is that you need to have something that mitigates your innate dickishness. A compelling back story? Um, "privileged son of a politician who bullied his classmates at prep school and who, while Americans his age were bleeding out on rice paddies in Vietnam, spent over two years living in a lovely mansion in France and trying to cajole Parisians into becoming Mormons" doesn't work.

You could have a demonstrated record of doing something other than making money for rich people. Sure, you could push the Olympics experience, but that just makes you look like an asshole for placing yourself above the athletes. A better man, which you are not, could say that providing health insurance for most everyone in Massachusetts is a pretty awesome accomplishment, but your weaselly refusal to say it's a generally good thing just reconfirms that you are a craven, power hungry dickhead.

You could offer a real reason why you want to be president. But other than "That Obama sure sucks," you have offered no reason other than an inferred "Boy, I'd make a great president, for sure." And, again, that seeming expectation, that feeling of inevitability, of both your nomination and your win? That just makes you seem like the awful human being you really are.

A secret source of the Rude Pundit's (yeah, fuck you, Politico, the Rude Pundit's got those, too) said they recently spoke to a bunch of Republican officials who are genuinely embarrassed that they have to support Mitt Romney. One can only imagine the pain of having to grit one's teeth and say that the giant peckerwood next to you should lead the nation. Christ, Romney is such a stiff tool that he makes Bob Dole look like a charmer.

No, this isn't the most sophisticated analysis. But why bother when the conclusion is so obvious? The fact is that most of you reading this, on the left or right, are coming up with another dozen ways that demonstrate Romney is an unbelievable putz. If nothing else, Romney's pricktastic ego and endless supply of money will make the next few months amusing, as he degrades himself and his party further and further with such unsubtle, obvious lies that at some point the word "liar" sticks even more than "dick."


In Brief: Bobby Jindal Gives School Money to Self-Proclaimed Prophet:
So, last week, the Rude Pundit wrote about Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's scheme to make church-related schools richer. It's a voucher program, by gum. And it means that any meth trailer with desks can call itself a school, and, if it can convince meth-addicted parents to sent their kids there, it can get state money per student. It's a conservative edumacation miracle.

And, it seems, one of the places that over $350,000 of Louisiana residents' tax and lottery dollars is going is the Light City Christian Academy in New Orleans. It's run by Leonard Lucas, Jr. On the webpage for the adult education school he also leads, he is "Apostle Leonard Lucas, Jr., who walks in the fullness of his calling and wears the mantle of an Apostle and Prophet." That would be his "School of the Prophets." Students there must "yield" to his teachings.

Yes, education in Louisiana is fucked beyond fucked. There's Delhi Charter School, which is finally getting sued for its seven year-old policy of forcing female students to take pregnancy tests and then making pregnant students receive schooling at home. There's the insanity that's being taught at the many evangelical schools that have received state money. So your child can learn such useful information as "But instead of this world unification ushering in an age of prosperity and peace, as most globalists believe it will, it will be a time of unimaginable human suffering as recorded in God's Word. The Anti-christ will tightly regulate who may buy and sell."

It wasn't ever a great education system, but the Rude Pundit and all of his friends went to public schools in Louisiana, and they're professors and lawyers and writers and more. In other words, it didn't damage us. And he had some fine, fine teachers (and some shitty ones, as we all did, everywhere).

A couple of weeks ago, Mitt Romney praised Jindal's edumacation policies; he has said they are models for the rest of the nation. When the Rude Pundit was home in Louisiana, he mentioned that he thought that Jindal would be Romney's vice-president nominee. "Romney can have him," said a Republican relative, who had voted twice for Jindal. "He's ruining this state."

Note: One other follow-up to something the Rude Pundit wrote about last week. He discussed Rep. Jeff Landry and his opposition to the University of Louisiana creating a minor in LGBT studies. ULL's dean of the College of Liberal Arts noted that it cost no money to add the program, as the classes in it already existed. As rude reader Shane B. pointed out, Landry's response was truly, classically ignorant and insulting (and available only in the print edition of the local paper): "It's just like some intelligentsia or some academia to believe that no resources were used to put this together." At this point, Louisiana deserves such a man representing it.


The Case for More Allegations and Lies:
The Rude Pundit does not give a happy monkey fuck if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is lying when he says that someone told him that Mitt Romney paid no income taxes for about a decade. What? You think Romney did? You think deferred compensation packages, offshore accounts, and historically low capital gains tax rates didn't give him a tax burden of "too fucking low for a rich dude"? At best, Reid was slightly exaggerating.

And the best parry the right has to Reid's allegations? To demand that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid release their tax returns, ignoring the fact that neither is running for president (and Reid is probably in his last term in the Senate). Or, on the only slightly fringier right, to demand that President Obama release his college records, as if whatever grades Obama made in the 1980s is analogous to knowing how the man who wants to be president made money in 2009. Otherwise, what the GOP is left with is to merely assert that Reid's a liar (as scummy little weasel fucker Reince Priebus and unmarried effeminate-but-no-not-gay-at-all Southern gentleman Lindsey Graham called him).

Politics is not an ethical game. Governing should be, but isn't. However, politics is a wallow in filth that'd make farm hogs say, "Whoa, save some shit-filled mud for the rest of us." For years, we on the left have had to sputter and suffer as Republican after Republican has lied willfully and consciously about the records and lives of Democrats. We have tut-tutted and demanded retractions and corrections. We have slapped our foreheads bloody as we've seen the lies become what many, many people believe is the truth, whether it's Dukakis being soft on crime or Clinton having Vince Foster killed or Gore saying things he simply never said or Swift-boating or birthering. Outrageous, easily proven lies, and we have been told to suck on them like they're a candy cane sticking out of the pants of Uncle Sam.

So you know what? What's good for the motherfuckin' goose is good for the motherfuckin' gander. How's it feel, conservatives, to be helpless in the face of both the allegation about Romney's taxes and your candidate's smug refusal to release any information that would disprove the allegation? Pretty sickening, isn't it? Hey, that candy cane actually tastes like cock when you have to put it in your own mouth.

Whatever Reid's motives are (probably boiled down to "God, I hate that fucking Mitt Romney jerk"), it doesn't matter. What matters is that the story, true or not, is alive. The Rude Pundit has advocated that we tell better lies than the right because lies (whether as scurrilous accusations or the creation of a mythology) are what win elections.  Now, you can get all self-righteous and say that we shouldn't sink to the level of Karl Rove, but the ends justify the means, man.

And here's the deal: Chances are that Reid ain't lying. He's playing chicken, and he ain't gonna turn first.  Reid first asserted on the Senate floor, during a "debate" over the Disclose Act on July 12, that Romney "basically paid no taxes in the prior 12 years." No Republican senators rose up in a huff to defend Romney. You know why? Because they all know it's true. And they know that the dirty secret is that they all use the same loopholes and breaks and tax shelters and creative accounting that Romney uses.

So let's stop fanning ourselves and decrying Reid's methods. You're not getting into a polite game of cribbage. You're getting into a bloody-knuckled brawl. And the ex-boxer is who you want to tell to punch hard.


Random Observations on the Day After Another Mass Shooting in America:
1. The other day the Rude Pundit was on the Trash floor of the East Village store Trash and Vaudeville, and he saw a man of about fifty or older, fully decked out in punk gear, spiked leather collar and wristbands, leather pants that only came up to the pubic hair that poked out on top, leather vest wide open. If he had been 20, it might have been so cool it'd be ridiculous. But he wasn't. He was over 50. It wasn't a costume. And he looked like a fucking idiot. Skinny, saggy flesh. And the face tattoo - a spider's web over his whole stupid face. It might as well have said, "I give up."

The Rude Pundit felt the same amount of disgust when he heard that Sikh gurdwara (or temple) shooter Wade Michael Page was a 40 year-old skinhead who played white supremacist music with bands that had other middle-aged skinheads. Really? How pathetic. Next thing you'll find out is that he collected action figures but left them in the packages. Grow the fuck up, you tools.

2. Of course the gun was purchased legally. For years, the mantra of the NRA and its lackeys in government and the media has been "enforce the laws we have." Maybe we need to say that the laws we have are so weak that enforcing them doesn't really help the problem.

3. There is no reasoning with the NRA. It exists solely to advocate for reckless policies that are demonstrably harmful to the nation. If it was run by Muslims, calling for more firepower and ease with which to buy and carry guns and ammo, it would have been designated a terrorist organization. Their power needs to be stripped and they need to be crushed politically. President Obama should state, flat out, that he believes the NRA hurts America and that, while he supports the right to bear arms (because you have to say that), he won't negotiate with terrorists. (Note: He won't say this.)

4. Don't believe it? This is from an article in the latest issue of the NRA magazine My Big Gun Makes Up for My Small Penis advocating for "campus carry," where guns are allowed on college campuses: "What has made the public more receptive to allowing guns on campus five years after the worst mass shooting in American history? Maybe it’s because the public sees the violence continuing and no longer accepts status quo solutions. Maybe it’s that Virginia Tech taught us we’re living in a new world where text alerts, video cameras and stickers on the doors are absurdly insufficient means of securing the lives of our sons and daughters. Or maybe it can be attributed to that peculiar kind of novelty that only liberty can bring." You got that? Guns equal liberty. Otherwise, we are slaves. That's fucked up. That's psychotic.

5. Is it okay now to talk about right-wing violence in this country? Is it okay to label these white people "terrorists"? Is it okay to monitor them without being accused of wanting to put conservatives in concentration camps? They've been on the rise since we elected the first black president, which only confirmed for them that the race war is coming because they're goddamned fucktards with guns who jack off to Glenn Beck while shitty grindcore music roars in their ears, telling them destroy and revolt and most of them are too dumb to actually realize that it's the rich white people who have made them broke and dumb and redneck and hateful and disempowered in any way except cowardly shooting up unarmed people.

6. Here's how the Times of India described the incident: "[T]he gun-rich, trigger-happy country cringed in embarrassment at a what appeared to be a white supremacist hate crime against Sikhs." Although, you know, we're American. We tend to embrace our ignorance, not get embarrassed by it.

7. Jasjit Singh Kang, the head of the Punjabi American Heritage Society in Yuba City, California, where one of the largest Sikh communities in the U.S. exists, said about the shootings, "Although we have relative safety here in our town, we recognize that these are troubling times where violence and death are present everywhere...All Gurdwaras (Sikh temples) are open to everyone without reservation or discrimination and they exist to serve as a sanctuary of peace and meditation for those of the Sikh faith and for anyone else who chooses to enter and attend."

The webpage for the organization celebrates an exhibit, "Becoming American: The Story of Pioneering Punjabis and South Asians." Now, more than ever, with their gun victims still warm, they are indeed Americans.


The Chick-fil-A Thing Gets Even Stupider:
If you sat there slack-jawed, watching this whole Chick-fil-A debacle get stupider and stupider and you thought, "Huh, what could make everyone involved seem that much worse?" Well, you could say that your prayers have been answered.

Yes, you might have seen the lines of cars and people trying to get the tasty chicken sandwich that is dressed with a urine-tasting pickle slice and, in celebration of Mitt Romney's political positions, waffle fries on V Fil-A Day. That was on Wednesday, when Mike Huckabee, who once wrote a book on eating healthy and losing weight, encouraged everyone who hates gay marriage and loves free speech to gorge on deep-fried food. You might have seen last night's hilarious cock-filled take on the whole episode on The Daily Show. But you might not have seen the prayer circles:

In the restaurants and in the parking lots, all over this great nation of ours, people held hands and prayed, not for the souls of the many, many fallen chickens, but for, well, fuck, who cares?

But lest you think that the non-haters have clean hands, here's Adam Smith, who, when not writing economic treatises, harassed the fuck out of some poor low-wage fast food jockey at a Tucson, Arizona, Chick-fil-A. In a move that obvious dickbag Smith hilariously thought of as his effort to "Stand up" to a corporation, he harangues a woman for not confronting her employer about its stand on gay marriage. Smith does not leave his car to, you know, enter the restaurant. In another glorious twist on free speech, his employer fired him.

Look, the Rude Pundit has boycotted products because of who is associated with them. He has never bought a Snapple because, when it was a small company not owned by Dr. Pepper, it advertised extensively on Rush Limbaugh's radio colonoscopy. He won't buy gas at BP because it ruined the Gulf of Mexico.

But you know what? We lost this one because we did everything that the right often does to publicize something and make it more popular. Chick-fil-A and its homophobic, Christ-fellating CEO made a shit-ton of money and will continue to for a while. And you know what they might do with that shit-ton of money? Perhaps fund more anti-gay rights efforts?

No one is clean here. You like going to the Coachella Music Festival, good West Coast activist hippies? Fuck you. It's owned and promoted by the Anschutz Corporation, whose CEO and founder gives millions to anti-gay marriage forces, far more than Chick-fil-A.

Why waste an ounce of energy kissing and marching outside Chick-fil-A? It's been an ultra-Christian joint since before most of the protesters were born. Instead, worry about changing the laws. Make out in front of members of Congress and state legislatures. And fuck the chicken.


Did You Know That Contraception Coverage Is Like Terrorism and War?:
Apparently, yesterday was the "Day Religious Freedom Died," or so said Representative Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, who is, what do you know, Republican. August 1 is when several provisions of the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare," aka "Stalin's Ghost Dick Fucking You in the Night") went into effect, making sure health insurance plans cover such horrors as breastfeeding support services and HIV screening.

Oh, and contraceptives. Yes, health insurance plans must now cover contraceptives for women, essentially codifying a Bush-era rule. But because religious employers, like, you know, DePaul University and St. Lickataint Hospital, must have health insurance that does so, it's the Day Religious Freedom Died. In a complete misunderstanding of how contraception works, Kelly said that such employers' heath care coverage "includes abortion-inducing drugs or else pay a steep tax."

(By the way, Mike Kelly totally supports voucher education, so it's okay that that your atheist tax money goes to religious schools and that's not anti-freedom at all, so go fuck yourself with your logical extensions.)

Oh, and Kelly also said this: "I know in your mind you can think of times when America was attacked. One is December 7th, that's Pearl Harbor day. The other is September 11th, and that's the day of the terrorist attack...I want you to remember August the 1st, 2012, the attack on our religious freedom. That is a day that will live in infamy, along with those other dates." It's like hitting your thumb with a hammer and saying it's your personal Hiroshima.

Man, Rep. Kelly, who once called President Obama "the Pontius Pilate of politics," has such a big mouth that he can teabag two sets of balls at once.

Kelly was pimp-slapped by Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, who offered, "I witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor and had the privilege of serving in the United States Army during World War II and I find the comments made by the Congressman from Pennsylvania to be misguided and insulting. It is complete nonsense to suggest that a matter discussed, debated, and approved by the Congress and the President is akin to a surprise attack that killed nearly 2,500 people and launched our nation into the second World War." Then he challenged Kelly to tell wounded soldiers from Afghanistan that contraception coverage is the same as 9/11. That's the rhetorical equivalent of shoving a pineapple up Kelly's tight ass.

This is who your GOP is right now. Barack Obama can be called a foreigner by sitting members of Congress, but a Canadian-born Ivy Leaguer, with a Cuban father, who believes that George Soros and the United Nations are conspiring to take away golf courses can win a primary and be praised by George Will as positively "Madisonian."And his victory is seen as a warning to Mitt Romney, who has done everything to tack right short of cutting off his left arm and wearing Paul Ryan's skin as a suit, that he better get with the Tea Party program.

Contraception coverage is like Pearl Harbor? Really? What's next? Medicaid expansion is like Auschwitz? Gay marriage is like the Bosnian genocide? Oh, wait, that was about killing Muslims, so it wasn't that bad, right? History is so confusing, probably because it's about facts, which have nothing to do with reality for today's Republicans.


Very Brief: A Single Question for Mitt Romney Based on His National Review Editorial:
The Rude Pundit is traveling today, but he has one question for Romney, as suggested by his sloppy blow job to Israel in William F. Buckley's drool bucket: If Israel is a "world leader" in terms of all the shit you mention because of its culture of promoting awesome freedomness, why is government-mandated health insurance good for them but bad for us?

But, really, the question is: Why don't you go fuck yourself?