Adam Lanza Fired Over 150 of These in Less Than Five Minutes:

If you think that's okay and should remain legal, then there is something deeply, disturbingly fucked-up about you. And if you think it's okay and should remain legal and you're spending time today remembering the crucifixion of your god, then you are an ignorant piece of shit. Have a good Good Friday, you prick.


The Defense of Marriage Act Was Always Discrimination With a States' Rights Mask:
At yesterday's Supreme Court hearing on the challenge to the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, a couple of the justices seemed shocked, just shocked, that the members of Congress who voted for it might have been anti-gay bigots. Indeed, much of the discussion, after an endless back and forth about legal standing, seemed centered on states' rights and federalism rather than DOMA just being wrong because, well, it's wrong. When Justice Elena Kagan read from the House Judiciary Committee Report on DOMA, which said, "Congress decided to reflect and honor of collective moral judgment and to express moral disapproval of homosexuality," it was a clarifying moment. She then asked, "Is that what happened in 1996?" Lawyer Paul Clement, seeming stunned, fumbled around and then sidestepped the question.

So let the Rude Pundit answer it with quotes from Republicans on July 11, 1996, during the debate in the House of Representatives over DOMA, and July 12, from press releases after it passed the House: "Yes, Justice Kagan, that is exactly what happened in 1996."

"Our law should embody an unequivocal recognition of that fundamental fact. Our law should not treat homosexual relationships as the moral equivalent of the heterosexual relationships on which the family is based." - Florida Rep. Charles Canady, one of the DOMA's sponsors, on July 11, 1996

"All this rhetoric is simply designed to divert attention from the fundamental issue involved here. It is an attempt to evade the basic question of whether the law of this country should treat homosexual relationships as morally equivalent to heterosexual relationships. That is what is at stake here: Should the law express its neutrality between homosexual and heterosexual relationships? Should the law elevate homosexual unions to the same status as the heterosexual relationships on which the traditional family is based, a status which has been reserved from time immemorial for the union between a man and a woman? Should we tell the children of America that it is a matter of indifference whether they establish families with a partner of the opposite sex or cohabit with someone of the same sex? Should we tell the children of America that we a society believe there is no moral difference between homosexual relationships and heterosexual relationships? Shall we tell the children of America that in the eyes of the law, the parties to a homosexual union are entitled to all the rights and privileges and benefits that have always been reserved for a man and woman united in marriage?" - Canady, later in the debate

"There is, as I said, a radical element, a homosexual agenda that wants to redefine what marriage is. They want to say that a marriage not only is one man and one woman but it is two men or it is two women. What logical reason is there to keep us from stopping expansion of that definition to include three people or an adult and a child, or any other odd combination that we want to have?" - Oklahoma Rep. Steve Largent

"I come from a district in Oklahoma who has very profound beliefs that homosexuality is wrong. I represent that district. They base that belief on what they believe God says about homosexuality. It is what they believe God says about it. What they believe is, is that homosexuality is immoral, that it is based on perversion, that it is based on lust...We hear about diversity, but we do not hear about perversity, and I think that we should not be afraid to talk about the very issues that are at the core of this. This is a great debate that we are going to have in our country, and it is not going to end with the debate on this bill. The fact is, no society that has lived through the transition to homosexuality and the perversion which it lives and what it brought forth." - Oklahoma Rep. Tom Coburn  (Yep, that's the dude who is a senator now.)

"My bill, which the President has said he will sign, draws the line with the vast majority of the American people and says No! My bill says states will not be forced to accept same sex marriage, and the federal government will take the straightforward step of defining marriage so no one may abuse a 2,000 year old understanding of what marriage is, and open the U.S. Treasury to raid by homosexual extremists determined to grant the whole range of federal benefits, including social security, or veterans' survivor benefits." - Georgia Rep. Bob Barr, July 12, 1996

"A union between two men or two women is no more a marriage than a union between three women and a man, a man and his car, or a cat and its yarn." - Texas Rep. Steve Stockman (He's still in the House.)

(Note: yes, a number of Democrats voted for the bill, but none of them are on the record being such assholes.)


SCOTUS and Gay Marriage: Cowards on the Bench:
The best way to think about Supreme Court proceedings is metaphorically: Picture a cat sitting on a dock on a lake. Someone has caught a fish and it's bouncing around, trying to get back to the water. The cat, left to its devices, might play with that fish, bat it around, try to pin it it down, for no good reason, just because it wants to test the limitations of the fish. And at the end, the cat might eat the fish, might just let it die in the air, or maybe help it jump back in the lake to swim away.

So of course a great deal of time was spent yesterday on the Hollingsworth v. Perry case regarding the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, outlawing same-sex marriage, on issues like standing to bring the case to court and whether gays were a class that deserves equal protection. That can seem like the justices were trying to figure out a way to wimp out on any decision on the overall issue of whether or not the 14th Amendment's guarantees of equal protection under the law extend to the right for dudes to marry dudes and chicks to marry chicks. And it might turn out to be that way. But it could also be that they're just batting around fish just to see how high they flop around until they decide to give the big thumbs up to gay marriage. Look at John Roberts on the Obamacare case. He played with that fish until its scales were falling off, and all the predictions about that outcome were just wrong.

The most fascinating thing about the case yesterday was the way in which same sex marriage was treated as an "experiment," in the words of Charles Cooper, the lawyer for supporters of Prop 8, who said voters in California might have decided "to hit the pause button and await additional information from the jurisdictions where this experiment is still maturing." But, really, every marriage is an experiment, one that starts anew from the moment the deal is sealed when the license is approved. It's two adults getting hitched. Why does where their genitals are positioned during sex have anything to do with an adult decision?

Still, even Justice Sonia Sotomayor wondered, "If the issue is letting the states experiment and letting the society have more time to figure out its direction, why is taking a case now the answer?" Christ, should the South have experimented state by state with freeing slaves? Justice Anthony "Swinger" Kennedy offered, unhelpfully, "We have five years of information to weigh against 2,000 years of history or more."

That information would be the varying studies of how same sex marriage affects children adopted or had by the couple. To that end, let's take a look back at the words of  R.D. McIlwaine, assistant Attorney General of Virgina in the Loving v. Virginia case, as argued on April 10, 1967. McIlwaine was defending his state's law that made it a felony for whites and blacks to marry (although anyone of any other race could marry anyone they wanted). Read this and see if it's not pretty much the exact same goddamn thing Cooper is arguing now:

"We start with the proposition, on this connection, that it is the family which constitutes the structural element of society and that marriage is the legal basis upon which families are formed.

"Consequently, this Court has held, in a numerous decisions over the years, that society is structured on the institution of marriage that it has more to do with a welfare and civilizations of the people that any other institutions and that out of the fruits of marriage spring relationships and responsibilities with which the state is necessarily required the deal.

"Text writers and judicial writers agree that the state has a natural direct and vital interest in maximizing the number of successful marriages, which lead to stable homes and families and in minimizing those which do not. It is clear from the most recent available evidence on the psycho-sociological aspect of this question that intermarried families are subjected to much greater pressures and problems then those of the intramarried and that the state's prohibition of interracial marriage for this reason stands on the same footing as the prohibition of polygamous marriage, or incestuous marriage or the prescription of minimum ages at which people may marry and the prevention of the marriage of people who are mentally incompetent."

Then McIlaine brought out the science, a book he read by a real professor: "It is a statistical study of over 5000 marriages which was aided by the computers of the Harvard Laboratory of Social Relations and the MIT Computation Center. This book has been given statistical form and basis to the proposition that from the psycho-sociological point of view, interracial marriages are detrimental to the individual, to the family, and to society. I do not say that the author of this book would advocate the prohibition of such marriages by law but we do say that he personally and clearly expresses his view as a social scientist that interracial marriages are definitely undesirable that they hold no promise for a bright and happy future for mankind."

Stated flatly, McIlaine was saying that "interracial marriages bequeath to the progeny of those marriages, more psychological problems than parents have a right to bequeath to them."

If there were any difficulties with children of interracial parents at the time, it was probably mostly because the society around them was filled with racist assholes who wouldn't let them just live their lives. One of the things that ended the reign of racist assholes was the Loving decision. But that took courage by the nine justices (and Loving was unanimous, with conservatives and liberals calling "bullshit" on Virginia). Courage was in short supply on the court yesterday by any of the right-wing justices.

Kennedy did say, "There are some 40,000 children in California, according to the Red Brief, that live with same-sex parents, and they want their parents to have full recognition and full status. The voice of those children is important in this case, don't you think?" By the way, the whole "Think of the children" discussion is tiresome, and it demeans the gay couples who want to get married and don't want any fuckin' kids. Cooper's argument on the "procreative" responsibilities to society of married people was almost literally laughed out of the court by Justices Scalia and Sotomayor, albeit for different reasons.

Chief Justice John Roberts invited his lesbian cousin from San Francisco to sit in court yesterday. She wishes to get married to her longtime partner. Roberts engaged in some of the most aggressive questioning of Ted Olsen, who was representing those challenging Prop 8, even going so insultingly far as to say the whole case came down to what you call a committed relationship that's been granted the same rights as a married couple: "[A]ll you're interested in is the label and you insist on changing the definition of the label."

If Roberts doesn't vote to overturn Prop 8, after having his cousin watch, then he's just a sadistic, preening dickhead.


They're Losing Their Fucking Minds Again (Gay Marriage at SCOTUS Edition):
So the Rude Pundit decided today that, in lieu of lamely predicting what will happen at the Supreme Court as it considers two cases that may decide the constitutionality of gay marriage, he would look up some of the ways in which the right wing is freaking the fuck out over the possibility that one of their last brutish but legal prejudices might be consigned to the shitpile of history. "How to search," the Rude Pundit wondered. If he had had a pencil, he would have placed its eraser lightly on his tongue and stared off in deep thought. But instead, since he doesn't live in the 1930, he realized that he could just google "homosexual marriage" instead of "gay marriage."

For, see, gay marriage opponents like to use the word "homosexual" because it denotes "sex." In other words, if you hear "gay," you'll just think about that sweet, nonthreatening couple on Modern Family. But if you hear "homosexual," you'll think about Cam just sucking Mitchell's dick before Mitchell pumps Cam's ass, Cam aching, begging for a reacharound, Mitchell naughtily teasing it before grabbing hold of Cam's cock and yanking away, thrusting, yanking, both of them coming to orgasm together...Sorry, what were we talking about? Oh, yeah, repressed homophobes who want you to think that gay relationships are only about fucking and not about loving and caring and raising children and making lives together and growing old and one partner dying before the other, all in a bond that is no different than the bonds that straight people can have.

Like, for instance, Erick "Erick" Erickson, late of CNN, recent of Fox "news," editor and writer of the blood-colored conservative and Christian, by God's grace, RedState blog. In his post today, "'Gay Marriage’ and Religious Freedom Are Not Compatible," Erickson makes the fundamentalist argument that individual rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness aren't allowed to impede on his belief that an invisible sky wizard says gays getting married is icky. After quoting Matthew 19:4-6 (where Jesus says something about marriage between men and women), he writes, "As long as there are still Christians who actually follow Christ and uphold his word, a vast amount of people around the world — never mind Islam — will never ever see gay marriage as anything other than a legal encroachment of God’s intent." The battle will now be, he says, to fight for religious exceptions to accepting gay marriage. For instance, "We will see private businesses shut down because they refuse to treat as legitimate that which perverts God’s own established plan," which is actually the way most businesses operate, but, still, it depends on what's being perverted.

We can suppose that Erickson agrees with Matthew 19:8, where Jesus offers, "I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery." But does he go along with Matthew 19:21, where Jesus says, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven"? See, quoting the Bible is fun. Anyone can do it. That's why the law shouldn't give a fuck about your Bible or Koran or whatever Big Book of Mumbo-Jumbo you delude yourself into believing.

At least give Erickson points for honesty. Others try to hide their intolerance behind fake science. The Family Research Council (motto: "Man, we are fucked when all the old people who hate the queers die") tries to logic this out: "The greatest tragedy resulting from the legalization of homosexual marriage would not be its effect on adults, but its effect on children. For the first time in history, society would be placing its highest stamp of official government approval on the deliberate creation of permanently motherless or fatherless households for children." Umm, no one is going to take children away from opposite sex couples and hand them over to same-sex ones. Is the FRC seriously arguing that it would be better for orphaned or abandoned children to be raised by the state than by gay couples? Or are they just afraid of the competition? And if there are any differences in parenting by same-sex couples, then perhaps it's because groups like the Family Research Council are dedicated to making their lives miserable.

There are other approaches in defending what will hopefully (but probably not) prove to be the last gasps of state-approved bigotry. Gary Bauer, who is, in fact, still alive, writes about how, if the GOP embraces gay marriage, it will fuck up any chance of party unity. At the conservative toilet Townhall, editor Kevin Glass says that the cases will fail based on their legal merits (not for, you know, morality).

But kicking out the old school jams is Mario Diaz, the male legal counsel for the Concerned Women for America (motto: "Yes, I will make you a drink and get you your slippers"). Writing in the Washington Times, Diaz compares a potential decision broadly in favor of marriage equality as the same kind of court usurpation of the will of the people as Roe v. Wade: "[R]adical homosexual marriage supporters are asking the court to once again interject itself into the debate and cut it short. They want the nine justices to impose their will on the entire country by judicial fiat."

He goes on, "In the Defense of Marriage Act case, the court is also being asked to take the extraordinary step of invalidating the findings of our elected officials, who are accountable to 'we the people.'" You got that? The court shouldn't take the "extraordinary step of invalidating" a law passed by Congress. Hmm, how easy is this going to be? Oh, hey, why, Mario Diaz wrote about his support of the Citizens United decision, which, oh, hey, invalidated a law passed by Congress.

The CWFA gets extra points in this little parade of atrocities for its truly creepy ass ad "We Don't Need Another Roe," which is not about fish birth control, but about these cases. Check out this image out of your nighmares:

The ad, like Diaz's little scribble shit, blames the Supreme Court for "55 million dead babies." How many babies will die if gays are allowed to marry? It doesn't say. But it does ask us the scary question: "Should 9 people in black robes impose their views on marriage on the entire country?" And, except for the Constitution of the United States saying they can, it is a frightening thought.

Man, the next couple of days are gonna be filled with bugfuck insanity.

(Note: Yesterday on The Stephanie Miller Show, the Rude Pundit predicted that the Supreme Court would rule on only the narrowest grounds, like the standing of the defendants in the DOMA case, for instance. It looks like that's how it's gonna go.)


The NRA Reaps Its Own Whirlwind in Facing Bloomberg:
Wayne LaPierre, the bespectacled goblin of gun "rights," appeared on Meet the Press with Bowl-Cut Grayhair yesterday. The face of the National Rifle Association since roughly 1901 (note: Yesterday's Sunday talk shows featured Gary Bauer, Ralph Reed, and Wayne LaPierre. It could have been the Sunday conservative line-up from 1988), LaPierre was on to respond to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's pledge to "fuck the NRA's ass so hard that shit is driven out of its mouth." Or words to that effect. Bloomberg's a billionaire, you know, and he's spending hard to defeat members of Congress who don't support stronger gun control laws.

LaPierre huffed, "[H]e's going to find out this is a country of the people, by the people, and for the people. And he can't spend enough of his $27 billion to try to impose his will on the American public...We have people all over, millions of people, sending us $5, $10, $15, $20 checks saying, 'Stand up to this guy that says we can only have three bullets,' which is what he said." Of course, LaPierre doesn't mention the millions the NRA gets from gun manufacturers, and he doesn't have to, thanks to the Supreme Court and, well, hey, the NRA.

Yeah, see, other than making sure that every "sane" American has a right to buy enough guns and ammo to take down a small army (that doesn't have things like missiles and rocket launchers, which would pretty much make one's guns a minimal threat), the NRA's other big legislative effort is to take on anything that smells like campaign finance reform. Here's LaPierre back in 1998: "What's at stake is what type of political society we live under in the 21st century -- whether we live in a society where men and women can get together and express a point of view or whether we're going to turn over the keys to the national media conglomerates." See, "media conglomerates" means news organizations, which might report how much guns are fucking things up without having to kowtow to the well-financed savages of the NRA.

And McCain-Feingold was a poison to democracy, according to the NRA in 2001, because it would "silence all of the voices of all of the individuals who support virtually every cause during elections through organized 'issue advocacy.'" Like, perhaps, Michael Bloomberg?

But that would have taken some foresight. And the only foresight the NRA has is the strange ability to see a future where "jack-booted thugs" from the guv'mint will take away your Chinese-made AR-15 and not a future where people keep shooting each other and themselves because that's what guns do. So when the Citizens United decision opened the cash floodgates for groups and corporations, the NRA reacted with predictable self-fellatio: "[F]or now, we can savor a tremendous victory for our First Amendment rights, a victory for which much of the credit belongs to those loyal defenders of our Constitution—the members of the National Rifle Association of America."

The attempt to demonize Michael Bloomberg is going to be amazing and, more than likely, anti-Semitic, with a good dose of Northern liberal resentment mixed in, something that's gonna be kind of hard to pin on the guy who is responsible for the odious, racist "Stop and Frisk" program. The fun part is going to be the class warfare part, about how a billionaire is trying to buy an election against the will of all these little people. Now that'd be irony.

Perhaps what politicians who have suckled at that NRA teat like man-sized babies in David Vitter's most avid fantasies are going to learn is that they'll have to turn to Bloomberg's cash-engorged dugs and drink anew. How can the NRA, and, indeed, many on the right, oppose Bloomberg making it rain for his cause after their opposition to anything that smells like campaign finance reform? They'd look like hypocritical tools. But, you know, they're conservatives, so they won't care. And their followers won't even notice.


The Birth Defects We Caused in Iraq:
Let us end this week where so many have looked back with regret on the Iraq War on the 10th anniversary of its start. But as we move into history, we can be assured that the story of how we stumblefucked our way into war will be looked at as one of the epically misguided and just downright stupid decisions a nation has ever made. How do we know this already? Because of the state of the nation we were supposed to be saving. Iraq is now a divided country with a pitiless regime (now Shia instead of Sunni, so that's different) that uses rape, torture, and execution to punish its internal enemies; a place where terrorist bombings occur with frightening regularity; and a place where they haven't even gotten the electrical grid back to where it was before the war. But, hey, at least Saddam Hussein isn't running the joint, right?

Of course, we still haven't discussed the birth defects and cancer.

Yeah, see, during the war, the coalition (or, you know, the United States) used depleted uranium munitions, including, literally, billions of bullets (or, as one Pakistan newspaper put it, "That is 250,000 bullets per 'insurgent' killed in Iraq and Afghanistan." So, you know, no points for accuracy there). And that's not to mention the bombs used this time or the DU left behind after the Persian Gulf War in 1991.

This has created a legacy for the people of Iraq that will long, long outlive whatever good or other ill the war might have done. In Fallujah, the city that we bombed back to the pre-Stone Age, the number of birth defects is staggering: "the incident rates of congenital malformations remained around 14 percent." That includes "babies born with cleft pallets, elongated heads, a baby born with one eye in the centre of its face, overgrown limbs, short limbs, and malformed ears, noses and spines." And this is not to mention the birth defects to the heart at a rate 13 times that of Europe and to the nervous system at 33 times Europe. Parents in Fallujah are reported to be afraid to have children. And if you had a better than 1 in 10 chance of giving birth to a cyclops, you'd be scared, too. In Basra, the rate of birth defects increased by seven times between 1993 and 2004. And then there's the cancer. Between 1993 and 2007, the rate of leukemia in children increased fivefold in Basra.

Essentially, we turned large areas of Iraq into Hiroshima and Nagasaki when it comes to the long-term effects of our bombardments. And, remember, we're just a decade from the start of the war, not the end. The peak of the effects occurring won't be for another few years. Happy anniversary.


Judge in Louisiana Says People Convicted of Violent Crimes Can Own and Carry Guns:
Follow the bouncing ball of fucktardation in the Rude Pundit's home state of Louisiana. It's a short little trip:

Late last year, the God-fearin', gun-ownin' citizens of Louisiana passed by an overwhelming margin an amendment to the state's constitution. 74% of voters agreed that "the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right and any restriction of that right requires the highest standard of review by a court." Now, unlike the U.S. Constitution, people generally don't give a rat's tight sphincter over changing a state constitution on a whim and a shitload of Super PAC money, led by the avatars of assholery, the NRA. Thus, Wayne LaPierre's bidding was done. And he saw it was good.

At the time, the funny-lookin' governor with the dark and skinny name, Bobby Jindal, editorialized in favor of the amendment, offering up the scary image of law enforcement confiscating guns after Katrina and of a Second Amendment that could have its interpretation changed by the whim of a single Supreme Court Justice. Jindal was also appalled at Louisiana's own courts' application of the "rational basis" legal standard for gun rights. Said the governor, "In reality, that means that the state has almost unlimited authority to confiscate, prohibit, or infringe on this fundamental right." He wanted the irrational basis of "strict scrutiny" for the application of gun laws. Of course, Jindal, being a good conservative taint-licking dog, doesn't mention the fact that any Louisiana law can go fuck itself if the federal laws change by court or Congress.

The DA of Orleans Parish, where, well, New Orleans is, said that it was a bad idea because "This amendment will place in extreme constitutional jeopardy criminal laws that require a permit to carry a concealed weapon, prohibit violent felons from possessing firearms and prohibit the possession of firearms on elementary and high school campuses." Oh, and it also deleted language from the state constitution that said the Legislature could regulate concealed firearms.

Guess who was right?

This morning, a judge in Orleans Parish ruled that the entire statute that said violent felons couldn't carry guns was now illegal because of the new state amendment. And that was not the first case where a judge said that the law too broadly defined "violent" felons and it violated the amendment. (Bonus Walking Dead points: an earlier case involved a burglar named "Darrell Dixon."[It's close enough to count.])

There's a phrase for this whole circle of utterly unnecessary bullshit: shooting yourself in the foot.


Richard Perle Doesn't Understand What Regret Is:
The Rude Pundit was not going to write another "Boy, that Iraq War sure sucked" anniversary piece today. But then this morning, his alarm radio went off and there, through the whiskey haze, was a voice from the past: the soft, reasonable, firm tones of Richard Perle on NPR. He feared he had awakened in 2003 and he was going to have to suffer the Bush presidency in an awful, endless Groundhog's Day loop. But, no. Renee Montagne was talking to the former chair of George W. Bush's Defense Policy Board, and that cocksucker was lying as if Death was beating on his door and he had five minutes to make everyone believe that his sins were acts of grace.

Oh, dear, sweet children, you who have known war for most of your lives, listen: there was a time, not long ago, when truly evil men were running the country. Yes, yes, your worries about the current administration's use of drones are justified, but, no, no, sorry, dear children, it is not the same as the President of the United States lying and sending others to lie in order to go to a completely unnecessary war. And one of the chief liars was Richard Perle, who was a policy adviser who burned with a desire to go to war with Iraq, whispering in the ears of the powerful that it could be done with little cost in terms of troops and time for the United States, appearing on TV constantly to divide the public into warmongers or traitors.

He believed with the fervent intensity of the most devout cult member that Saddam Hussein had chemical and biological, possibly even nuclear, weapons, and he condemned anyone who would say otherwise, including the chief U.N. weapons inspector, Hans Blix. He called Blix "a fool... Blix doesn't have a clue that he's talking to a bloodthirsty thug as if he were in a Bloomsbury salon. In fact the whole approach of the weapons inspectors has been wrong." So savage was Perle, an official of the U.S. government when he wrote this editorial for the News of the World in January 2003, that he didn't care who was degraded in the lunatic march to war: "[French President] Jacques Chirac is quite happy for Saddam to stay in power. He thinks it serves French purposes. I suspect there is even a personal relationship there."

Richard Perle is a craven, hideous worm-beast whose only role in the world is securing Richard Perle. When the war spiraled out of control, he blamed the Bush administration and absolved himself nearly completely. Like a worm, he should be forced to roll around in mud and shit for the rest of his terrible life.

In his interview this morning, Perle listed all the intelligence agencies he says were "all in agreement that Saddam possessed" WMDs. Except they were actively ignoring evidence that Saddam didn't have any. The lie that "everyone said so" has become so ubiquitous it threatens to become the accepted wisdom on the war.

When Montagne asked Perle about Iraq's connection to al Qaeda and how, you know, there was none, the bastard shifted the reasoning. He now says that after 9/11, "You do the obvious thing" and that the administration made a list of potential threats." Since WMDs were the #1 threat, Perle said that they looked at who might attack and "Iraq was clearly on that list." Of course, in January 2003, Perle said this to PBS's Frontline: "[W]e now have clearly established links between Al Qaeda and Iraqi intelligence, links that are beyond dispute." In other words, Perle is saying, "Yeah, all that shit we said back then? Lies."

For Perle though, now, he dismisses it with a shrug: "It's easy to say a decade later [that we were wrong]. At the time, you have to deal with the information that is available to you." For big fun, check out this quote from Perle on John Gibson's Fox "news" show on April 15, 2005, when Gibson asked him if he ever felt like saying "we were right": "Well, I feel like saying that to the president. He was right." No room for doubt, motherfuckers, no room at all.

Asked if the war was worth it today, Perle said, "I've got to say that I think that is not a reasonable question. What we did was done with a belief in protecting the nation. You can't go back a decade later and say that we shouldn't have done that."

That is the answer of someone who knows, in his heart and mind and balls, not that he caused so much death and despair and destruction for what were ludicrous reasons (to "transform the region," according to some conservative fantasy fiction) that change madness into actual, active evil. No, let us not give Richard Perle that much of a soul. Those words are merely the pitiful whimpers of a man who fears he's been caught doing those things.

Frankly, you'd get more useful insights from the decaying head of Uday Hussein.


Eight Haiku for the Iraq War's 10th Anniversary:

We Were Right, They Were Wrong

Hindsight is perfect.
But when millions marched, their clear
Foresight was condemned.

Population Comparison

Imagine if (at
Least) two hundred thousand died
In California.

Youth Is Wasted
People 50 and
Older believe by far that
It was a mistake.

Legacy I
Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush,
Et al, got away with it.
We failed history.

Legacy II
Lost limbs. Coffin flags.
Suicide. Torture rooms. Debt.
The costs never cease.

 Idiotic Query
"Should Saddam have stayed?"
Real question: "Why did we put
Him there long ago?"

Those who sold the war
Still are respected voices.
Our blinders are dark.

10th Anniversary (Traditional)
Let us buy presents
Of tin. An urn perhaps to
Hold all the ashes. 


New Republican Plan: Try to Fool All of the People All of the Time:
The Republican autopsy of What Went Wrong in 2012 is out today, and it is quite a document. Titled Growth & Opportunity Project (Wait, those initials are G...O...holy shit, that's clever), it's an analysis of the recent past and a whole bunch of ideas for how the Republican Party can be improve its image, expand its message, and win more elections in the future. In other words, how to lie better and how to get more people to believe the lies, a new and improved motherfuckery.

Check out the awesome ideas on reaching out to Hispanics, Asians/Pacific Islanders, and African Americans. The first one is: "The RNC should hire Hispanic communications directors and political directors for key states and communities across the country." Change "Hispanic" to "APA" or "African American," and it's the same first recommendation in all cases for how to get more of the browns, yellows, and blacks on their side. Why? Because they're all the fuck the same, right?

See, the big problem is perception, you know. Yeah, it took massive polling and surveying and phone calling and a shit ton of money paid to someone to find out that when people are "[a]sked to describe Republicans, they said that the Party is 'scary,' 'narrow minded,' and 'out of touch' and that we were a Party of 'stuffy old men.'" Honestly, it sounds like they're describing a cabal of creepy child molesters or the Catholic Church (or, you know, both at the same time). And it ain't helped by shit like Mitch McConnell's white staff doing the "Harlem Shake."

The problem here isn't that people see the GOP as a bunch of cigar-smoking bankers. It's that people know what they are: a bunch of jerk-offs who believe appalling things who do nothing but block the efforts of the President they elected twice and who are supported by an assortment of Obama-deranged racists, gun-toting idiots, sexist and homophobic assholes, and Rush Limbaugh, along with the cigar-smoking bankers.

No matter how many non-white faces you put out there, no matter how many women you get on talk shows, you're not gonna change who you are at your core. If you're out on a date with a woman and all you talk about is how you don't like Mexican food, make fun of the waiter for being gay, and ask your date if she's having "lady problems," then it doesn't matter how nice your shoes are. You're a jerk, not even a charming jerk, just a fuckin' jerk, and there's a very narrow swath of sad, self-loathing people who might find that attractive.

How hilariously does this document miss as a self-examination? Well, it's as if it grabbed its balls, felt a strange lump on one, and decided that all that it needed to do to make that go away is to masturbate more. It highlights GOPers who are supposedly successful: "Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal transformed education in his state by enacting parental choice and teacher accountability measures into law," it says. That'd be the same Bobby Jindal who currently enjoys a 37% favorable rating in his own state. It cites Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, who also has a 37% approval rating. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal? 36%. If that's what you hold up as examples for the national party, then you are well and truly fucked. The only thing those last two have going for them is that Democrats have no one to run against them.

It's all about talk and money, with lots of suggestions for raising more campaign cash. It's all about image, with a better use of social media and "an RNC Celebrity Task Force of personalities in the entertainment industry to host events for the RNC and allow donors to participate in entertainment events as a way to attract younger voters" (because nothing says "youth" like Clint Eastwood and Janine Turner). It's all about stats and exposure, with a greater use of "data analytics" and a shortened primary and debate season so that, as Josh Marshall points out, the crazy isn't on display for too long.

To be as fair as possible, it's encouraging to see any wing of the GOP talking about things like immigration reform and banking reform and minority/gay/women inclusiveness and attention to the middle-class. But it's all seems like window dressing. "Immigration reform" is a broad concept. Sure, the report thinks the phrase "self-deportation" was a turn-off because it made Hispanics "perceive" they're not welcome in the country. What about the thought behind the phrase? What do the Republicans actually mean? What do they want? It says to counter the war on women rhetoric of the Democratic Party, but it says nothing more than to do that with a "Nuh-uhh," preferably said by a lady.

Here's a solution the Rude Pundit has proposed a number of times to Republicans: Stop being dicks. It's really that simple. You're a bunch of dicks. When you look in the mirror, that's a dick looking back at you. Honestly, if you want to have any relevance at all, it's all you gotta do. We see through the smoke screen, no matter who is blowing it.

This report is really just a blueprint for higher walls made of bullshit.


Random CPAC Observations: Rand Paul and Marco Rubio Are Two Sides of a Double-Tailed Coin:
1. If you're going to be so anti-GLBT that your chair doesn't even want to hear about anything pro, then perhaps you don't want to hold your Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort. Just sayin' that you maybe want to avoid the easy jokes. Like simply mentioning "CPAC" and "Gaylord" in the same sentence. It's beneath all of us to make that joke.

2. All of the supposedly profound things that Senator Marco Rubio said at CPAC are utterly illogical bullshit. For instance:

-- "Just because I believe that states should have the right to define marriage in a traditional way does not make me a bigot." Um, the Rude Pundit is pretty sure that the according-to-Webster definition of "bigot" would be someone who wants to prevent some people from having the same rights as others just because that someone is intolerant of those people.

-- "[T]he people who are actually close-minded in American politics are the people that love to preach about the certainty of science in regards to our climate but ignore the absolute fact that science has proven that life begins at conception." We can argue science and ethics, but, fuck, why bother when you can demolish this argument by inverting it: "People who say that science has proven life begins at conception are close-minded if they don't believe the absolute facts of climate change." Good for the gander, motherfuckers.

-- "[W]e need a health care reform, but not a health care reform that injects the federal government in a takeover of the world's highest- quality health care industry, but a health care reform that empowers Americans so they can buy health insurance from any company in America that's willing to sell it to them." That last phrase there is the key, no? "Any company...that's willing to sell it to them"? What the fuck does that mean? Sell it to them at an extraordinary price, if at all, because of a pre-existing condition?

3. Rubio is the shittiest storyteller. He regaled the crowd thusly: "There's this couple that I know. They're on my son's tackle football team. He's 7 years old. Their son is 8 years old. This is a couple. They're married. She works as a receptionist, at a dental office, I think, a medical office. He loads boxes from trucks at a warehouse. I don't have to tell you they're struggling. They live in a little small apartment. They share one car. They want -- they're not freeloaders. They're not liberals." Yeah, yeah, ha-ha, on that last line, boy, you got us. Anyways, what is the point of this story? Rubio doesn't say if they're receiving any government assistance (although one can assume that the son goes to public school and that Mom's medical office gets more than a little of its income from Medicare, but, you know, put that aside because, if you're conservative, you have to forget that or your tiny little brains will explode).

You know what the moral is? That only conservatives can help them through the magic of capitalism: "And they're desperate. And sometimes when you're like that -- let me tell you know, no matter how much your principles may be, you're susceptible to this argument that maybe government is the only thing that can help. And that's where we have to come in and explain that that's not true." What the fuck? Rubio never tells us another real thing about the family other than that they exist and he has proximity to them. It's like if Aesop told the story of the tortoise and the hare, stopped when the race started, and said, "Well, that slow-ass tortoise is fucked unless something happens."

4. Everything Rand Paul says sounds like the rantings of a heavy peyote user: "So what I ask the president, if he wants to let the school children back in the White House, what about the $3 million that we spend studying monkeys on meth? Does it really take $3 million to discover that monkeys, like humans, act crazy on meth?" Of course the CPACers laughed. Monkeys on meth? Hilarious. Imagine the possibilities: monkey meth whores offering to blow bonobos for some rock, jungle meth labs blowing up in the trees, Breaking Bananas, awesomeness.

This is an old story; we're years into the conservative glee over the monkey/meth study, which actually has produced actionable research in how to help humans get over drug addiction. But don't let that get in the way of a great anecdote. Meth monkeys. That's hysterical.

5. Later in his speech, Paul offered a line that is so completely wrong that it's breathtaking: "The only stimulus ever proven to work is leaving more money in the hands of those who earned it." So, um, World War II, just as one big, shiny obvious example of the wrong wrongness of this lie of a statement? Of course, it was received with massive cheers and applause because if there's one thing conservative politicians know it's that their followers love to receive heaping, steaming piles of shit served to them on silver platters.

6. Mostly, though, fuck both these guys, the alleged saviors of the Republican Party. The party is beyond saving and the flagging efforts of tools like Rubio and Paul are pathetic in that "oh, fuck, just shoot the lame horse" way. Somewhere in the depths of the Gaylord Resort, you know that a corpulent guy in a tri-corner hat was sitting pantsless, weeping as he tried to yank and will his little dick into an erection while listening to Rubio or Paul, finally getting it to reach a semi-boner before it wilted away, like his movement has.


Conservatives Say Destruction Will Come to the Boy Scouts If Gay Ban Is Changed:
You wanna read some chilling shit? Check out this letter from the nutzoid right-wing organization The Liberty Institute (motto: "Shoving Christian symbols up your ass with glee for 40 years"). It's to the national leadership of the Boy Scouts of America, which is contemplating some kind of change to the ban on gay scouts and scout leaders, including allowing local chapters to decide what to do: "Delegating that decision to local subsidiaries necessarily means that BSA no longer has a national, organization-wide position on the morality of homosexuality. As such, those local affiliates would be beyond the limits of the Supreme Court’s holding in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, and each would be subject to new lawsuits under antidiscrimination laws and policies in whatever city and state each troop and pack is situated in.

"While it is possible many of those local units would prevail in their lawsuits, many others might not, and the costs of litigation in either event would be nothing short of crippling for BSA. The legal safe harbor you currently enjoy could only be restored by a second victory at the Supreme Court, if this matter reaches the justices a second time and if the Court again sides with you, during which process you will again incur very significant legal costs.

"There are other implications that could entail a tremendous financial impact, far exceeding the threatened loss of financial support BSA is currently facing from organizations that support the gay agenda. As one example, hundreds of churches that currently sponsor scouting units and permit those troops and packs to meet in their facilities would be compelled to withdraw their sponsorship and rescind the privilege of allowing your scouts to meet in those churches. This would displace countless troops and packs."

You got that? Unless you keep up your total ban on gays and lesbians, you will be destroyed, either by people suing to open up individual troops or loss of meeting space. You must remain one of the last great bastions of homophobia or the nasty queers will take you apart. As will the churches. It's confusing, yes, but, to be sure, it's like Armageddon stuffed in a pita made of apocalypse with Rapture sauce on top. Of course, the real solution would be that the Boy Scouts of America could stop being such nancies about this and just end the ban. Then someone else can start the Totally Not-Gay Rangers or some such shit.

What the BSA has decided so far is to conduct a great and mighty poll of scouts and their families. And the "situational" questions read like the set-up to the safest gay porn ever. For instance, "Bob is 15 years old, and the only openly gay Scout in a Boy Scout troop. Is it acceptable or unacceptable for the troop leader to allow Bob to tent with a heterosexual boy on an overnight camping trip?" You can choose from a range between "Totally Acceptable" to "Totally Unacceptable."

Obviously, "Totally Gay" to "Totally Straight" would have been more fun. And when you have a question like "A gay male troop leader, along with another adult leader, is taking a group of boys on a camping trip following the youth protection guidelines of two-deep leadership. Is it acceptable or unacceptable for the gay adult leader to take adolescent boys on an overnight camping trip?" you gotta wonder why "Totally Hot" is not in the list of scenario judgments. (Note: The "two-deep leadership" is the hot part, not the adolescent boys, pervy fuckers.)

The crazy-as-a-rabid-weasel evangelical Family Research Council (motto: "Making straight and gay singles feel shame is what God wants") would like the members of its Super-Duper Prayer Team to put on the kneepads and give some word head to the Lord about this. Yep, the Rude Pundit joined the SDPT years ago under a nom de rude, and every week he receives his missives what tell 'em what evils need to be loofahed away by our prayerification.

Last week, we were directed to "Pray for God's mercy upon the BSA Council, the Boy Scouts of America and their families, future Scouts, and our nation. May He enable these leaders and our boys to 'be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.'" Now, you may think that means they should be innocent of the existence of the FRC, but no, you sinning suckers of cock. It's gay people and their desire to be allowed to do things that normal people can do that's evil. Why? Who the fuck knows? Let's just say, "Because Jesus or whatever."

It's as good an answer as any.


Why You Don't Need to Give a Shit About Paul Ryan's Budget:
Representative Paul Ryan released the latest version of his grand and mighty budget yesterday, and Left Blogsylvania was in a tizzy about it, about how "cruel," "unrealistic," and "other words in quotation marks" it was. The Rude Pundit can boil the whole endless, shittily-written document down to a simple analogy: Imagine you're a married guy, and you and your stay-at-home husband are looking over your massive credit card debt. You tell your husband that there ain't no way, no how he's getting a job and you're sure as hell not gonna get a second job and that the best way to solve your problems is "We'll just eat out less and maybe go on one less vacation this year. Oh, and we'll have to stop paying for your mother's really nice nursing home. She can make do with the shabby one down the road. Problem solved." Now imagine that it's the third or fourth time you've said this is your solution, even though your husband has rejected it each time. Is there any reason to take you seriously at all?

When you read responses to Ryan's new budget, they say, like Jonathan Cohn at New Republic does, "Just go back and read what I wrote before; it's pretty much the same fuckin' thing." Gutting social welfare programs while boosting the military and cutting taxes for the rich? That's the best you've got? Really? And then you're gonna be all weaselly by using the Medicare savings you fucking ran against in 2012? Oh, blow us, Paul Ryan, each and every one of us.

The Rude Pundit is sick of Paul Ryan. He's sick of Ryan's goofy fuckin' face, he's sick of Ryan's slickly sincere voice, he's sick of Ryan rolling into town with donkey piss in a bottle and sellin' it to us like it's the key to eternal life. That cart's been here before, we heard everything he's had to say, and we chased his yowling ass away, tarred and feathered, back to Wisconsin.

Sure, sure, it'll pass the House of Representatives because they have to do something with their time than try to actually negotiate with Senate Democrats and the White House. But it won't even get voted on in the Senate. It's a dead document. It's boring to even give it this much consideration, and it's a waste of time to repeat the same arguments as last year. It pretty much proves that Republicans don't give a happy monkey fuck about getting anything done.

Lately, President Obama has been very publicly inviting GOP leaders to dine with him. Outreach, they call it. Even Obama is ready to admit it's just a waste of time (and probably some pretty good wine). Republicans won't even negotiate on any budget deals unless revenue increases are completely off the table. Can you imagine what would happen if Obama said he wouldn't talk unless Republicans gave up on any spending cuts? The heaving uproar in the media? John McCain's little head would pop like a squeezed pimple all over David Gregory one Sunday.

The proper way to think about Paul Ryan's latest iteration of his budget, a budget that helped the GOP to lose in 2012, a budget that was rejected by the majority of voters through the election, is that it's a proposal of punishment for a nation that rejected the Republican way of doing things. It's Ryan's and the GOP's way of saying to 99% of America, "Fuck you." Ryan may as well have put a picture of himself flipping us off on the cover.


Your State Sucks: Fat Fucks in Mississippi Will Stay Fat Fucks, Says Your Legislature:
So Mississippi is a state filthy with fat people. Generally, your poorer states are your fatter states because you can buy tasty shit by the bucket load on the cheap thanks to corporate America. Mississippi pretty much is the widescreen picture evidence of this: it's got the highest poverty rate, the lowest income, and the highest rate of obesity (or, according to another survey, nearly the highest). The legislature there, seeing that the mighty Jewish mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, was trying to limit the amount of sugary drinks people could have to a mere pint at a time, decided that no way, no how were they gonna let their localities do the same. In fact, the legislature, House and Senate, overwhelmingly voted to ban any "political subdivision" not the state (or federal government) from enacting any regulation on its own. They even nicknamed it the "Anti-Bloomberg Law."

A political subdivision, in case you wondered, is "any county, municipality, town, district, instrumentality of the state, public corporation, body corporate, commission, board, agency, authority, public body, politic or other public entity responsible for governmental activities in geographic areas smaller than that of the state." The bill says that such subdivisions can do jack shit about anything to do with food, whether it's banning toys at McDonald's or requiring restaurants to post the calories of its food. One of the bill's sections says, "Where food service operations are permitted to operate, [no political subdivision shall] ban, prohibit, or otherwise restrict a food service operation based upon the existence or nonexistence of food-based health disparities as recognized by the department of health, the institute of health, or the centers for disease control."

So, like, for instance, the Harrison County School District, which serves the Gulfport area, says on its website, "Based on the Obesity Epidemic in our country, we are gearing up on healthy choices in the school cafeterias. We will be offering more fruit/vegetable choices and less fried foods. Many foods that have been fried in the past will now be baked." Programs such as this one, as well as nutrition education, have actually lowered the rate of obesity among teenagers in Mississippi, 18% to 16% from 2009 to 2011.

"Fuck you, fatty-hating mini-Bloombergs," the legislation says. "Dip that shit in lard and fry it up. How dare you declare there's an obesity epidemic? One-third of the citizens of Mississippi are 30 pounds or more overweight. You want the kids to think they're better 'n their parents? You thin 'em out, they might realize they can do more with their lives than try to walk from the bedroom to the bathroom before shitting themselves."

What paragon of health decided that Mississippians don't need the nanny state looking after them? The principle author of the bill is Senator Tony Smith. He's this svelte dreamboat:

Smith, a Republican, represents - oh, hey, look, Harrison County. He believes that "the push for healthier food choices in schools might not be doing much to promote better eating." And he is unafraid of presenting us with the horrors that await us should the state not halt the insanity that might reign if localities went unchecked: "Can you imagine if all of a sudden one of the cities said you can't have buffets, that's killing the obesity fight. So then they go in and ban the buffet." No one is going to tell Tony Smith that he is not allowed to eat all he can (and, from that picture up there, apparently no one has). By the way, Smith's district also has a lot of casinos, which feed the starving gamblers with, you know, buffets.

Mississippi has some of the highest rates of diabetes and heart disease, along with one of the lowest life expectancies, in the United States. When that's the case you try to do something to help people, as some in Mississippi have. But God help the community that wants food nutrition information made available. And may Christ have mercy on the soul of anyone who wants to stop the gravy train at Country Buffet.


"Deserves" Has Nothing to Do With Rape:
The Rude Pundit went to the theater in New York City recently with a group of college students, men and women. The play, which was about college students, ends with the terrible, manipulative female character getting raped onstage by a man she had sex with the night before. While the title of the play doesn't really matter, it kind of does matter that the play was written by a male.

That's because of the discussion the Rude Pundit had with the students the next day, which is one of the more disturbing ones he's had in a while. Their minds were blown by the end, they said. And then one student proclaimed that the female character "deserved" to get raped. This student was a woman, and it prompted several of the men to join in, agreeing that the rape was merely just desserts for the character because she might have lied about a previous rape.

Trying to bring the discussion back from this flat declaration, the Rude Pundit wondered aloud if the playwright was actually trying to elicit this response and that he was leading us to question why certain of them felt that way. No, they said, pretty much as a group. The character deserved to be raped because she was such a "bitch." When asked if they felt this was true in real life, if sometimes women "deserved" to be raped, they did not draw a line. If a woman acted like the character in the play, they said, then yes, it would essentially be karma raping her through an angry man.

The Rude Pundit thought about this conversation as he followed the story of Zerlina Maxwell this weekend. Maxwell is a writer and activist who was on Sean Hannity's Fox "news" program on Tuesday last week. The subject was about getting women to buy guns in order to prevent rape. Maxwell took the position that this was the wrong message, that we shouldn't put the onus for rape prevention on the victims, but on, you know, the male rapists through education and a shift in cultural attitudes. In a great line, Maxwell said, "If firearms were the answer, then the military would be the safest place for women, and it’s not." Guns are not society's pacifier, but, man, the right desperately believes they are.

Whenever you dare to question anything about almighty gun ownership, you will shake the monkey cage and you will have shit tossed at you by the monkeys. The Rude Pundit knows this, having once been on the receiving end of a barrage of hate-tweets from people whose guns are their wubbies, their teddy bears, their security blankets. He received threats of violence, even a promise or two to kill him, but no one threatened to rape him. Not once.

Now, to be as fair as one can be to the debased cowards - the people who masturbate in glee at their anonymity and to the level and quality of their viciousness - who attacked Maxwell, she was talking about rape, even talking about the fact the she herself was a victim of rape, so the subject was germane. But, you know, saying, as one Twitter asshole did, "You need to be gang raped to get you some common sense. You stupid bitch," is an example of how scared the writer actually is, not of having his guns taken away, but of losing his power, his former privilege of sex and of race (which used to make up in part for the lack of economic power), to a smart black woman. Indeed, the mentality of the respondents to Zerlina Maxwell (and to Amanda Marcotte before her) is pretty much what we've learned is the mentality of rapists.

It's kind of sadly expected, as so many things are, that conservatives, like Sean Hannity, even (who Maxwell said was compassionate and kind off-screen), who preach personal responsibility as the solution to society's ills can't seem to get their heads around the idea that teaching young men things like "women are not either whores or your mom" falls into that category. For them, the personal responsibility here is buying a gun. The notion that guns are the solution makes it so that an unarmed woman who is attacked is more or less being told that she is at fault for not carrying a gun. That's pretty much the same as saying she deserved it.

The attitudes of the college students are not really that different than they were 15 years ago, when the Rude Pundit was talking about A Streetcar Named Desire with another group in another city. Young men and women there all agreed: Blanche DuBois was asking for it when she was raped by Stanley Kowalski. The Rude Pundit desperately tried, as he did a couple of weeks ago, to convince them that there is no such thing. They didn't believe him then. They don't believe him now.

Zerlina Maxwell is a public figure who won't be silenced by lunkheads tossing crap at her on Facebook, although it's right to be appalled and perhaps a little scared. But you gotta wonder: how many of the women in those groups of students were silenced by the threat of deserving a rape?


Your State Sucks: Arkansas Sucks Because Your Legislature Hates Women:
Just to wrap your mind around this: Arkansas' legislature, overriding the governor's veto, has not just banned most abortions after 12 weeks in a dickish attempt to get the Supreme Court to revisit Roe v. Wade by, you know, completely violating Roe v. Wade, and this in a state with exactly one clinic that performs surgical abortions up to 21 weeks (although they are done for medical reasons at some hospitals). Now, the charmingly-named Representative Jason Rapert wants to defund Planned Parenthood completely, including "federal grants disbursed by the state to the group for education programs in Little Rock schools on sexually transmitted diseases," because abortion.

By the way, Arkansas ranks in the top ten in the United States for number of cases of syphilis, chlamydia, and gonnorhea, as of 2009, so, hey, why educate kids on STDs while you're on top?

Here's the part to see if you can grasp how backwards and fucked up this is: There are two Planned Parenthood Health Centers in all of Arkansas, one in Little Rock and one in Fayetteville. Neither of them offers surgical abortions, although both offer the abortion pill. Otherwise, they have "abortion services," which includes counseling on things like adoption, too. Two places to serve Arkansas. And it's a crisis.

Ask Texas how that whole "stopping abortion" thing is working out for them.

Hey, Arkansas, enjoy how much you're going to spend on the court challenges to the new abortion law. And if it goes into effect, enjoy how much you're going to spend on all the unwanted kids - you're #5 in teen pregnancy, but surely you can kick Nevada's ass to move up. But most especially, enjoy the syphilis.

Oh, by the way, your state ranked #4 for incidents of domestic violence, but, look here, all four of your congressional representatives and one of your senators voted against the Violence Against Women Act. So you get points for consistency of fuckery.
Late Post Today:
The Rude Pundit is hiding under a table because there's a terrorist being treated like a real human in a real courtroom in New York City. Don't they know he must have superpowers?

Back later with more rudeness.


Random Observations on Rand Paul's Filibuster:
1. Fine, fine, fuck it, fine, yeah, it's groovy that Sen. Rand Paul started and led a talking, real filibuster on the Senate floor yesterday for 13 hours. Yeah, sure, cool, it's even groovier that it was over Attorney General Eric Holder's letter stating that President Obama can kill the fuck out of you with a drone on U.S. soil in extraordinary" circumstances, which always seem to get less "extra" and more "ordinary" as time goes by. We need to be talking about this more, a lot more. Oh, and Paul was holding up a vote, which will happen, confirming John "Loves Drones Like They're Dildos" Brennan as CIA director.

But, you know, mostly, fuck Rand Paul with a polar bear's dick. Watching people support that odious bastard, who always looks like he just smoked a bong after fucking the facehole of a midget blow-up doll in his office, because this one time he was on the right side of things is like listening to someone say how cool it is when the Westboro Baptist Church shows up to protest stuff you hate, too. (Hey, they're gonna be protesting a Catholic church in Kansas on Monday because they're against child rape. Can you overlook the "God Hates Fags" signs to join them?)

2. It's hard to pick the worst moment of the entire thing. Was it when Sen. Ted Cruz did the whitest Def Poetry Jam performance by reading a long, long series of tweets worshiping Paul ("Today Rand Paul is my hero"), the rhetorical equivalent of an epic blow job, the opening of the Paul/Cruz 2016 presidential campaign to Hell? Or was it when Sen. Marco Rubio quoted Wiz Khalifa, Jay-Z, and The Godfather around midnight, thus securing the votes of all the cool kids at the next CPAC, although one might imagine that Wiz Khalifa and Jay-Z might not appreciate all of Rubio's Obama dissing? Or was it Cruz fingering Paul's prostate by praising him with "And I'm pretty certain--for the record, I can confirm that no teleprompter was in front of the senator from Kentucky's desk"?

3. Gotta say this; Rand Paul did more to justify the efforts of the actual liberal media than the mainstream media has in a long time. Look at the people he referenced: Conor Friedersdorf, Spencer Ackerman, Eugene Robinson, Charles Pierce, and Glenn Greenwald, just to name a few. Granted, he often used them as examples of liberals who slam other supposed liberals over their excusing of drone warfare, but, still, Paul gave street cred to many writers that the GOP usually ignores because, like so much of our political agenda and rhetoric, it's only valid when the right makes it valid.

4. Sadly, it wasn't the subject of the filibuster that people were thrilled about. It was the fact that a talking filibuster was occurring. The meta-action was more important than what was being acted on. To that end, Sen. Jeff Merkley was right when he said, "If a person’s going to make a stand on a nomination, this is the way to do it—the way Sen. Paul is doing it. The American people can watch this and weigh in on whether he’s a hero or a bum. That’s reasonable. That honors the traditions of the Senate." He was contrasting this with the bullshit use of the filibuster that has stopped the work of the Senate and that some Democrats would like to get rid of. Yeah, it was striking and kind of great to see a real filibuster, but not if we treat it like Bob Hope walking onto The Tonight Show unannounced. (Look it up, kids.)

5. The real effect of Paul's effort will be if, in the next few weeks, the Senate actually does something about the President's power to kill Americans, at least, with drones. You know, like take some fucking responsibility and pass legislation that limits it since Bush and Obama have based their imperial presidential powers on the vague wording of the Authorization for the Use of Military Force that started the Afghanistan war. But that means that someone might have had to listen to the words, not just the fact that the noise was being made.


Yes, We Still Give Federal Contracts to Companies That Screw Us:
One of the truly soul-sapping things about bathing every day in the latrine hole of American politics is how sadly predictable it all becomes. They came up with the sequester to force them to make a grand bargain to avoid the sequester and now we have the sequester? Yeah, sadly predictable. The Attorney General says that the President can drone murder Americans within the United States? Sadly predictable.

So the Rude Pundit read with interest the spanking new report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction about the titanic clusterfuck of fraud, abuse, and incompetence in "rebuilding" the nation we took from being a shitpile with a dictator to a shitpile with "freedom." Titled Learning From Iraq, it very specifically and clearly lays out all the things that we won't learn from Iraq, that we haven't learned from Iraq, and that we never will learn from Iraq. We're just damned to do the same thing in Afghanistan and await that report.

For instance, in 2007, the Defense Department awarded Anham, LLC, a contract worth $300 million "to operate and maintain two warehouse and distribution facilities" in Iraq. Anham describes itself as a "contracting company" that was created by a Saudi supply and trading corporation, a Jordan holding company, and a Virginia finance company. It strictly adheres, it says, to "business norms and regulations," which really ought to be the baseline for any business.

According to the SIGIR (Special Inspect...it's up there), Anham dicked over the U.S. government in pretty breathtaking ways. For instance, it charged the government "$900 for a control switch valued at $7.05 (a 12,666% markup)" and "$75 for a different piece of plumbing equipment also valued at $1.41 (a 5,219% markup," among other things. Out of that $300 million contract, the SIGIR found $113 million questionable.

Huh, the Rude Pundit thought upon reading this. "Surely, in the face of such obvious, blatant overcharging, with an insouciant taste of fraud in there, we would have, you know, learned from Iraq." But the report notes, "SIGIR questioned the entire contract and recommended that the U.S. military initiate a systematic review of billing practices on all Anham contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the time of SIGIR’s review in 2011, Anham held about $3.9 billion in U.S. government contracts. That number has since increased."

Indeed, right on the front of Anham's website is a press release trumpeting the news that "Anham awarded contract to support United States troops in Afghanistan." It may as well have said, "Suck on this, inspector." Yeah, in June, they were given the contract "to provide full-line food and non-food distribution and support to Department of Defense customers in Afghanistan." Can't wait for those $600 french fries.

And there's more, like a drainage system and a utilities infrastructure project in Bagram, awarded by the Army Corps of Engineers. That's okay, though. Because Anham also participates in events, like a gala for Hillary Clinton and the Kennedy Center gala. It's like the company is run by Gus Fring of Breaking Bad.

The Rude Pundit imagines he could go through the report and find example after example of the same thing: big contractors who fuck the American taxpayers over a rusty barrel and then get paid to do the same thing all over again. And he bets he could find out whose campaigns those contractors and corporations - or at least the American partners of the contractors and corporations - contributed to.

But, as he said, it's soul-sapping and sadly predictable. And just as predictable is how little will come from this report, which will be filed away under "Shit We Refuse To Learn From" like so many others.


The Quickest, Easiest Destruction of a Conservative Pundit You'll See Today:
Tucker Carlson - that bow-tie wearing cockhole, one of the most purely stupid "thinkers" the right has produced in the last twenty years, belonging to the decent-face, dim-brain species that includes S.E. Cupp and Ben Domenech - now prances and preens with his internet concern, The Daily Caller, which is sort of like Huffington Post except with less side-boob and more full-on boob obsession.

Lately, The DC (see? Isn't that clever?) has been hawking the "story" of how Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez might have hired prostitutes in the Dominican Republic. The Washington Post did some, you know, reporting and discovered that one of the prostitutes was hired to read a script on video and lie to incriminate Menendez. The DC accused the Post of talking to "the wrong prostitute." Carlson himself spoke to the Post's Erik Wemple to say that the newspaper was wrong and Carlson's website's story was right. Wemple helpfully points out another part of the Post's story: "FBI agents conducting interviews in the Dominican Republic have found no evidence to back up the tipster’s allegations."

Today, we are not concerned with Menendez. No, today we are concerned with Tucker Carlson and the way that conservative allegations on anything skeevy that a Democrat may or may not have done automatically become articles of faith around the right-wing biosphere.

For we can take Carlson apart so easily on this matter it barely requires more than a Google search of "Tucker Carlson" and "David Vitter." In case the kids out there don't remember, Vitter is the Republicans senator from Louisiana who frequented prostitutes in New Orleans. He got reelected in 2010, post-scandal, precisely because conservatives like Carlson decided that, when it comes to their own, who gives a happy monkey fuck what they do, as long as they toe the ideological line.

In fact, let's let Carlson speak for himself, as he did on his then-MSNBC show Tucker, on July 11, 2007. It is an object lesson in how repulsive this bottom-feeding scum worm actually is. Remember: Vitter wasn't "accused" of whoring it up. He did it. And, believe it or not, even in New Orleans, that's illegal. Carlson, talking to Michael Rectenwald, the head of some fucking organization that released the names of public figures who visited the brothel of a certain madam, actually said, "How could you justify doing something like this? Why is it your business?"

Remember, again: Vitter, a Senator, broke the law. "I don‘t remember David Vitter making any case that people who frequent prostitutes ought to be punished more severely than they are," Carlson offered.

Remember, one more time: Carlson acknowledges that Vitter had sex with prostitutes, which is against the law. But still he could say, "I don‘t know anything about you other than you are holding up this guy‘s sex life to public ridicule. And you ought to be ashamed of yourself."

Now, all that is fine and dandy. We could stop there, having shown that Carlson is a hypocrite, of course, of course. But let's nail this coffin shut and toss it in the ocean with Carlson still alive inside. Let's show the true depths of delusion, the miasma of hypocrisy in which the right wallows.

Tucker Carlson, whose internet news outlet is unrelentingly pursuing Bob Menendez on whether or not he had sex with prostitutes, who proclaimed that David Vitter's actual sex with prostitutes was off-limits for discussion, said on July 11, 2007, on a program that bore his first name, "If this were [Democrat] Russ Feingold...I would be up there making the same argument that Russ Feingold's personal [life] ought to be off limits from creeps and scandal mongers like you...who profit from digging into other people's sex lives."



Mitt Romney Is a Blithering Dick:
Let us say, and why not, that you are a Republican male, white, probably a lobbyist or Super PAC fundraiser, one of those positions that pretty much guarantee that you are a terrible person. And it's Sunday morning. You've successfully avoided church once again, but the wife has taken your kids to pretend to worship God or Mammon or something. You've got your mug of coffee, the kind that you know for sure is harvested by slave labor in Africa, "Unfair Trade," you joke. You've already jacked off to burn victim snuff porn, using matches and a paperclips to get it up, and, wiping off your singed and weary dick, you turn on the ol' Fox "news" to see what Mike Wallace's urine dribble of a son, Chris, is up to. And there, filling your TV, is the image of your defeat, your failure, your pathetic dream now faded. Mitt Romney is on the show, and he's being spoken to as if his opinion on anything other than hair gel matters in the least.

Smiling, laughing that uncomfortable "heh," horrid Ann attached at the hip, Christ al-fucking-mighty, there he was, mocking you, reminding you of the insane mistake of nominating him to be your standard bearer. "Is this a cruel joke?" you would be right to wonder.

For, indeed, Mitt Romney was every inch Mitt Romney yesterday on Fox "news" Sunday; he was the blithering dick, the elitist prick, the ignorant cock.

Asked about the "47% of you can suck my balls" line that seemed to sink his campaign, Romney said, "ObamaCare was very attractive, particularly to those without health insurance. And they came out in large numbers to vote." Is this a surprise, that people without health insurance might want health insurance? That people might have been turned off by Romney's own "plan," which involved letting states do whatever they wanted or nothing and that everyone can just go to the emergency room if they're so fucking sick?

When Wallace brought up Romney refusing, like every other GOP nutzoid, to accept a deal with $10 in spending cuts for every $1 in revenue, Romney's answer was a profile in the kind of courage that didn't get him elected: "[B]ecause if you've said that you're not going to raise taxes, then they'd say Romney's changed his position. He said he wouldn't raise taxes, now he's saying he will. He's changed his position." But fuck that anyways, because Romney said such a deal is a "fairy tale."

And then there was Romney's belief that the president can work some kind of magic hoodoo on the Republicans in Congress. You want a fairy tale? Romney said, "He's the only one that can say to his own party, 'Look, you guys, I need you on this' and get some Republicans aside and say -- pull them off one by one." Yes, you can be sure that Obama hasn't tried at all to pull Republicans off one by one (which sounds like individual hand jobs, but whatever gets a deal done).

Finally, Romney got around to blaming the browns for his defeat. "The weakness that our campaign had and that I had is we weren't effective in taking my message primarily to minority voters, to Hispanic-Americans, African-Americans, other minorities. That was a real weakness," he said. "We did very well with the majority population, but not with minority populations. And that was a -- that was a failing. That was a real mistake." Majority population would be white people.

And the browns hated him because the minorities likes to get paid, mothafuckas: "I think the ObamaCare attractiveness and feature was something we underestimated in a -- particularly among lower incomes." Because, see, the minorities are just too fuckin' dark and dumb to understand that Romney was an awful human being who would make an awful president.

In one of the least helpful pieces of advice ever, Romney counsels the GOP on minority outreach: "We've got to do a better job taking our message to them to help them understand why we're the party with the ideas that will make their life better." That's pretty much the same as saying, "You know, if I keep hurting my ass by kicking it constantly, I should probably stop kicking my own ass."

Ah, fantasy Republican, how you must have felt yesterday. How many Scotches did it take before the regret and disappointment tilted into a haze that you could handle, assuring the hangover that you can't seem to shake?
Late Post Today:
The Rude Pundit has to send out his vestments for dry cleaning so he can get ready for the big conclave/wiener roast coming up.

Back later with more tubular rudeness.


Acclaimed Artist Who Made a Ceramic Hitler Head Teapot Turns Out to Be White Supremacist:

That up there is the artwork "Hitler Idaho" by ceramicist Charles Wing Krafft. In a catalog, the teapot was described as "These blind-looking eyes also evoke associations with...the world turning a blind eye to the horrors of the Holocaust." Funny thing about that: turns out that Charles Krafft is actually a white supremacist who doesn't believe the Holocaust happened. In other words, and, truly, this is one of those moments where you just shake your head, it's a tribute to Hitler that was owned by a Jewish art collector who thought it was a commentary on that blind eye. Nope. Indeed, it's actually one of several Hitler teapots Krafft made. He really wanted people to pour out the contents of Hitler's head and ingest them.

Until recently, Krafft kept in check expressions of his belief that "I don't doubt that Hitler's regime killed a lot of Jews in WWII, but I don't believe they were ever frog marched into homicidal gas chambers and dispatched," had his work, including a ceramic AK-47. Here's how his work has been described by various members of the art world commentariat:

"Krafft's insidiously clever juxtapositions of traditional ceramic technologies with his darkly humorous commentary on world events and media manipulation have brought him significant international acclaim."

"Krafft’s fascination with totalitarianism and its trappings is one of those risky odysseys that artists sometimes make so that the rest of us can safely view the results of their intellectual inquiries under the illumination of track lighting in a clean white gallery."

"In a brilliant conceptual choice, Charles Krafft uses and subverts the inherent ethnocentricity and traditionalism of craft objects to comment on 'resurgent regionalism', war, politics and disaster.

It would be easy to point fingers and say, "Ha-ha, stupid, pretentious pricks got played." (Although, truth be told, appalling views or not, Krafft's work is pretty cool.) But after hearing about Krafft today on WNYC, where our maven of pretension, Kurt Anderson, reported on it, the Rude Pundit thought about another bunch of fools: the right-wing pundiphiliacs who got all giddy when reporter Bob Woodward implied that he had been threatened by a White House economic aide. It turned out to be nothing more than a mild suggestion in the midst of an apology, about as far from a threat as one could get without offering Woodward coffee and a hand job. Some on the right acknowledged their initial Obama rage was bullshit and realized that their new white knight was just another shit-coated DC reporter. Of course, Sean Hannity wasn't among them.

The issues here are content and intention. For both Woodward and Krafft, their seeming intentions now changes the nature of their content. They're both assholes. Now what we do with that knowledge, whether we ignore Woodward or smash Krafft's work, is what's important.

Note: You wanna be creeped the fuck out? Check out Krafft's soap sculpture with a swastika and the word "Forgiveness" on it.