Famly Research Council: God's Gonna Get Pissed Because of LGBT Pride Month

This week, the Super-Duper Prayer Team of the nutzoid evangelical Christian group, the Family Research Council (motto: "If we can find a way to awkwardly wedge God into something, you can be sure we will"), was told to be careful. Something's coming and who the fuck knows how pissed off the Big G is gonna get over it. The Rude Pundit joined the Super-Duper Prayer Team years ago under a nom de rude, and each week he receives Bible porn in his inbox informing him of what we should be obsessing about while working that prayer bone like we're strangling it.

The latest missive to the SDPT warns us of an upcoming event: LGBT Pride Month and LGBT Pride Day. Of course, the email writes those with quotation marks around them, as if they are the so-called "LGBT Pride" day and month. Apparently, LGBT people are "those who self-identify as homosexuals," as if gaydar is totally not a thing. And LGBT Pride Day - sorry - "LGBT Pride Day" is being held on the same day as the FRC's "Call 2 Fall," June 29, "the very day believers and churches across America will fall to their knees to pray for our nation." Seriously, a lot of ink could be saved if they just joined forces and called it "Get On Your Knees" Day. It's a shame that the "Call 2 Fall" changed its fellatiorific logo, though.

Anyway, when it comes to Big, Gay Day, "President Obama will announce the observance and the White House, federal agencies, the Pentagon, many state agencies, many businesses and like-minded organizations across America will join the celebration," which is gonna get us all f'ed in the a by an angry Lord. "Only heaven knows exactly how this brazen departure from the moral law of God will impact our nation," we're told. But, ah, wait, there's a team of heroes ready to fall on our knees at the drop of a pink hat: "[W]e are called to intercede with an Almighty God."

And whatever shall we pray? What could we say to an invisible sky wizard? Send us some fire and shit? Should we ask for his wrath to be a bit more selective than the Flood or at Sodom and its suburb, Gomorrah? Here's what we should pray: "May the Lord hear out intercessions stop the advance of this official celebration of sin!" Yeah, stop the advance! It's advanced enough! No more advancing, you hear?

Gotta tell ya. That's a pretty lame-ass prayer. It's the beseeching equivalent of saying, "Please stop hitting me" while curled on the ground. Can we get some smiting up in this motherfucker?

As always, we are provided with Bible verses to assist us in prayturbation. Let's see. We've got Hebrews 13:4: "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." The Rude Pundit's not really sure how that applies to LGBT Pride. In fact, read one way, it seems to say, "Hey, everyone get married and stay away from them whores." And the previous verse says, "Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body," so instead of condemning people, maybe we should be nice to them? And then it says a few verse later to burn the bodies of beasts you sacrifice for blood outside the temple. The fuck?

Oh, the ways of God and all that shit...


Grappling with Edward Snowden, Part 1: Thoreau Would Be Proud

Goddamn, how it must have pissed off the people who want, who need Edward Snowden, who stole and leaked reams of documents on the mass surveillance activities of the National Security Agency, to be a shit-tossing crazy beast. When Snowden appeared on NBC last night with the giant head of newsdom, Brian Williams, he was calm, rational, doubtlessly well-rehearsed, and very, very American, like "Golly-gee-whiz-Middle-American-someone-get-this-kid-a-bike" American. He wasn't wild-eyed or wooly-haired. He sounded more sane than anyone on any news network. He didn't come across as a craven weasel, nor did he come across as a utopian ideologue. He was American, part of a long tradition of Americans, who thought that his job as an American was not to prop up those in power, but to prop up and save, if necessary, the ideals of the nation, as, yes, he saw them.

You could easily see Snowden's rhetoric crossing ideological lines. He said that, in the wake of September 11, 2001, "I think it's really disingenuous for — for the government to invoke — and sort of scandalize our memories, to sort of exploit the — the national trauma that we all suffered together and worked so hard to come through to justify programs that have never been shown to keep us safe, but cost us liberties and freedoms that we don't need to give up and our Constitution says we should not give up." Those words sound for all the world like a teabagger talking about Obamacare, and that's what's fucking dangerous about Snowden. What he revealed about how wide a net the NSA has cast causes disgust on the liberal, civil liberties side of things and on the conservative, government-encroachment side, too.

The Snowden on NBC was not some dupe or naif. He merely exists in a long line of Americans who had enough of what their government was doing and decided to behave accordingly. Lacking the ability to revolt (like those law-breaking traitors, the Founders), he broke the law and engaged in civil disobedience, like unionized workers on an illegal strike, like civil rights lunch counter sitters, like bootleggers, like Vietnam War rioting protesters, like so many, right and wrong, in American history.

When the Rude Pundit thinks about Snowden, he doesn't automatically leap to Martin Luther King, Jr. for comparison. Instead, he thinks about the canonized American writer Henry David Thoreau and his essay, "Civil Disobedience." Snowden asserts the phrase in his interview, saying, "I think the most important idea is to remember that there have been times throughout American history where what is right is not the same as what is legal. Sometimes to do the right thing, you have to break a law. And the key there is in terms of civil disobedience." He says, quite rightly, that the idea of coming back to the United States from Russia to "face the music" is ludicrous since he wouldn't be afforded the opportunity to plead his actual case. The rules have changed in the post-9/11 world. Imagine what Daniel Ellsberg would go through if he revealed the Pentagon Papers today.

It sounds like what Thoreau describes: "Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse."

Snowden also sounds like Thoreau when he talks about the need for spying and the good that intelligence gathering can do, but that he chafes at the massive expansion of that gathering. Wrote Thoreau, "If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go; perchance it will wear smooth — certainly the machine will wear out. If the injustice has a spring, or a pulley, or a rope, or a crank, exclusively for itself, then perhaps you may consider whether the remedy will not be worse than the evil; but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine." Snowden threw his body into the gears.

And even if you're not in a position to stop the machine, Thoreau offers this bit of advice, "What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn." It's the least we can do.


Justice Alito Sure Wants to Kill the "Mentally Retarded"

Yesterday, the Supreme Court, by a 5-4 margin, decided that if a prisoner's IQ is within a margin of error of "mentally retarded," the prisoner should not be executed. That's pretty much it. Just a touch more humanity, if you can use that word, when it comes to capital punishment. It's significant in that the majority, led by Anthony Kennedy, said that individual states should not get to decide, arbitrarily and rigidly, what "retarded" is for people convicted of crimes punishable by the death penalty. It makes sense, if you think about it. If you're "retarded" in Massachusetts, you should be "retarded" in Florida (make your own Florida joke there).

All in all, the decision reaffirmed the 2002 judgment in Atkins v. Virginia, which was 6-3 against the state killing people with the IQ of a particularly well-trained schnauzer. Yesterday's Hall v. Florida ruling also affirmed that more than IQ should be taken into consideration when determining the relative "retardation" of the "retarded." (Note: "Retard" and its variations are used dozens of times in the opinion and the dissent, always in quotation marks.)

Of course, there's the four who disagreed, and, in a dissent written by Justice Samuel "You better not talk shit about SCOTUS" Alito, the conservative members of the court said, more or less, "C'mon. Let us kill us some motherfuckin' retards."

The biggest point of contention for the dissenters is that the majority wants to rely on "experts" and "science" to determine who is mentally challenged and who is not. Alito says that the unwashed mob should get to say who is or isn't: "Under our modern Eighth Amendment [no cruel and unusual punishment] cases, what counts are our society's standards-which is to say, the standards of the American people-not the standards of professional associations, which at best represent the views of a small professional elite." That's a line that could have been written by a Tea Party politician in his sleep. Oh, we certainly don't want the elite (or, you know, "the best") making decisions that are better settled by people scratching their nuts while watching Fox "news." We don't want scientist losers telling us all what the science says.

Alito lists the reasons this is bad. That includes: "because the views of professional associations often change, tying Eighth Amendment law to these views will lead to instability and continue to fuel protracted litigation." Yes, and the whims of society are fixed and immutable. It's not like we ever executed people for idiotic reasons in the past, like being an escaped slave or a witch or gay. Alito wants state legislators to make a determination based on the going rate of "retardation." In that case, sure, maybe Massachusetts stupid isn't quite as stupid as Florida stupid. "Practical problems like these call for legislative judgments, not judicial resolution," Alito writes.

Even more disturbing, Alito says, "[T]he Court binds Eighth Amendment law to definitions of intellectual disability that are promulgated for use in making a variety of decisions that are quite different from the decision whether the imposition of a death sentence in a particular case would serve a valid penological end." So now, for Alito, there's "smart enough to kill" versus "smart enough to get a job." The former would be a much lower threshold than the latter. That's some fine jurisprudence there.

What's bizarre is just how badly Alito, Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas want to ensure that the most people possible are executed by state governments. The majority is saying, "Hey, what the fuck? Just take a fuckin' breath and let's make sure we're doing our barbaric punishment in the best way possible." That's not enough for the conservative justices. They want blood, goddamnit. They want to bathe in blood, get drunk on blood, pass blood around for all to enjoy.

Remember, too, that Scalia and Thomas were part of the losing side in 2002. They don't fuckin' care who is murdered by the state. In his dissent on that case, Scalia, pretending to be an originalist, really wrote, "The Court makes no pretense that execution of the mildly mentally retarded would have been considered 'cruel and unusual' in 1791. Only the severely or profoundly mentally retarded, commonly known as 'idiots,' enjoyed any special status under the law at that time." (Note: In that decision, "retard" and its variations were used without quotation marks. Times change.) Ten years ago, Scalia said that we should execute the same people that the founders would have executed.

Of course, Scalia would probably want them hanged on public gallows, old-school style, "retarded" or not. Hell, he'd probably pull the lever and then hump the corpse.


Random Observations in the Wake of the Isla Vista Shooting Spree

1. Before YouTube took them down, the Rude Pundit watched a few of Elliot Rodger's non-"Day of Reckoning" videos. Rodger, who, as we know, went on a shooting rampage in Isla Vista, near the University of California-Santa Barbara, on Saturday, was fond of filming from his car. With what we know now, it's as if Son of Sam had been able to tweet updates on his stalking. Context is everything, of course. What was once an innocuous, if odd, video of the view through the windshield while Rodger drives down the highway, "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves playing on the radio, becomes a tense, wordless journey into a deranged mind straight out of a horror film.

More genuinely disturbing is Rodger parked at the beach, staring at a couple who are kissing, commenting on how supremely jealous he is of them. Actually, more precisely, he was jealous of the man because he was going to kiss a "beautiful woman" and have sex with her while Rodger talked about how he was denied it. It's a preview of his longer video that he recorded a couple of days later just before he killed six people and himself. Once again, Rodger's view of the world was framed and distant, his understanding of men and women so juvenile and yet so culturally mainstream. The man "has" the woman. Rodger does not. The woman wants to be had by men, just not by Rodger. It's that simple.

1a. Of course, he was driving a BMW.

2. Once, the Rude Pundit was sitting around with male friends, and one of them said how his brother had hit his girlfriend. All of us thought that was messed up. "There should be a 'guy squad,'" the Rude Pundit said, "a group of men who show up whenever a man does something that makes men in general look bad and just beat the shit out of him for fucking it up for the rest of us." We all agreed: when a man acts violently to women, he makes all men look bad.  Still, we should shut the fuck up and take our lumps and not try to weasel our way out by saying dumb shit, like #NotAllMen, because you just look like a desperate tool.

Instead, we should ask, with great despondency and self-reflection, "Oh, white straight American men, what has gone so deeply wrong with you? Are you that scared of losing your power that you feel you must lash out with vicious words and acts against women in order to exert control? Do you feel you are owed sex and must punish the bodies of the women if they refuse? And, if so, how the fuck can you stop yourselves before you kill again?"

3. Of course, Elliot Rodger was mentally ill. Of course, we should do more for the mentally ill. Sure, fine, let's have this debate again. So, conservatives, how about boosting mental health coverage under Obamacare and changing laws to make it harder for people with psychological issues to even buy guns? No? Then why are you even talking?

4. The Rude Pundit has discussed before his complicated relationship with guns. The short version is that he pointed a loaded pistol at a door that an intruder was attempting to open; he threatened to shoot, making the intruder run away. (If you want to know the full story, you can buy his book.) He knows someone who carries a gun on him who went on a weekend to his small office building. There, a man who was robbing the place came charging at him with a metal pipe. He shot the guy in the leg. In both these cases, having a gun may have saved the life of the gun holder.

Today, Samuel Wurzelbacher, the idiot loser once known as "Joe the Plumber," wrote that while he is sorry for the losses of the loved ones of the deceased, "[Y]our dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights," before going on to explain to those parents why he needs to protect his family.

Listen: while numbers are hard to come by on the number of people "saved" by guns, as well as the total number of gun-related injuries, it's not a stretch to think that a whole fuck of a lot more people are harmed by guns than helped by them. Last year, over 30 people a day were killed by guns in the United States. If 30 people a day were saved by waving their guns around, you can bet we'd hear about it. Shit, we hear about it whenever someone does so (the Rude Pundit didn't make the newspaper, but the other person mentioned above did).

Here's the rudest thing this writer can say: If guns hadn't been legal, the Rude Pundit wouldn't have had a gun that night very long ago. He doesn't know what would have happened. He might have lived, he might have died, no one can tell. But if his death or injury would have meant that 10 kids wouldn't have died because their irresponsible asshole parents couldn't keep guns in the home, well, what's so fucking special about him? If the Rude Pundit may have died because people didn't have access to guns, but a dozen, two dozen, a hundred other people would be alive, he would gladly have taken on the intruder.

See, the NRA and all the gun fellaters across the political spectrum have it wrong (and Richard Martinez, who spoke so heartbreakingly about his son who was gunned down by Elliot Rodger, has it right): Your guns are far more likely to harm someone innocent than to ever protect you from the bad guys. You are more likely to be a bad guy than you are to stop one. You are more likely to kill yourself with your gun than kill someone else. Your fantasy need for defense shouldn't trump everyone else's need to live safely in the real world.

That we don't believe that as a nation demonstrates how fucked up we are.


For Memorial Day, A Poem from a Vet

This is "You Have No Fucking Clue" by Vietnam War veteran Joe Depaoli

A bunch of young men in their late teens riding a bus to MCRD San Diego; “Get the hell out of the bus and on those yellow footprints you fucking Maggots”.
You have no fucking idea

Congratulations Marine, the pride one has.
You have no fucking idea

On our way by ship to Vietnam, riding out a two day typhoon on an old WWII troop transport,
You have no fucking idea

Off the coast of Vietnam, watching flairs, tracer rounds flying, shell bursts,
You have no fucking idea

Getting on a Mike boat and setting foot on enemy land locked and loaded,
You have no fucking idea

An officer comes and says we can’t fire on the enemy until they fire first,
You have no fucking idea

The first night in enemy country,
You have no fucking idea

Short round, several Marines wounded; Cpl. Take those two new Marines out about 3 clicks and set up an LP. Night, dark as hell, seeing movement, fire M16 full auto, hear yells of I’m hit, I’m hit; cease fire, we just fired on or own ambush.
You have no fucking idea

Not on point today, why am I flying in the air, trip wire and a grenade;
You have no fucking idea

Scraping my wounds and the wounds of guys next to me out with a brush, no anesthetic until they are clean and bleeding,
You have no fucking idea

On the hospital ship USS Sanctuary, standing on the railing, watching a CH46 attempting to land on the flight deck, it suddenly pitches right and 19 folks are in the water… only 5 survivors.
You have no fucking idea

Alfa Co. is gridded in by the NVA, only 26 non casualties out of 115 marines, rescue effort to pick up the dead and wounded, place dead and wounded on tanks.
You have no fucking idea

Take the wounded and dead off the tanks, some flesh remains on the tank exhaust, the burning flesh of Marines, so hastily loaded aboard,
You have no fucking idea

Back at Con Thien, only a couple of hundred incoming today; buddy hit twice by shrapnel, blew my radio away and part of one of my fingers, got to get him to the chopper,
You have no fucking idea

Med evac buddy, he lost one eye, at the hospital in Da Nang, someone yells, everyone that can get under your beds, incoming,
You have no fucking idea

On a C130 flying over the South China sea, finally feel a little safe,
You have no fucking idea

One month later landing at Travis AFB the cheers of all aboard resound as we touchdown back in the world,
You have no fucking idea

Seeing my mother and father, round eyes, no smell of cordite, no smell of burning 55 gallon drums of shit, no orders to lock and load, no sound of incoming, no dead bloated maggot infested bodies of the enemy on the ground, no one screaming I’m hit medic up, no more shredded jungle fatigues, no more dumping of enemy bodies in town squares,
You have no fucking idea

I look at my mother and father, dad has a fucking idea because he was in WWII, and my mother has a fucking idea because of being in an occupied country in WWII, nothing is said or needs to be said other than “Glad you are home son.”

My wife, my children my grand children most of my family and friends,
You have no fucking idea

Dear Lord, Dear Ancient ones, how I wish I had no fucking idea.


A Few Quick Comments on Coates, Greenwald/Kinsley, and Brooks

The Rude Pundit doesn't write on weekends, generally, but he didn't want to let this week go by before commenting on a couple of things before we are immersed in a fresh vat of shit on Tuesday, after we consume our burgers and fancy-ass grilled corn on the cob on Monday. Besides, he felt leaving you with a beefcake photo was a lame way to end the week.

1. Regarding Ta-Nehisi Coates' article, "The Case for Reparations," just read it. Stop listening to everyone talking about it and just fuckin' read it. The Rude Pundit isn't a drooling Coates fan, but it's rare these days when a writer so succinctly, so admirably lays waste to virtually all conventional thinking. It provides white liberals all the ammunition they could ever want when their backwards ass racist fuck relatives show up at the barbecue and talk about African Americans. For non-conservative African Americans, goddamn, it's gotta be almost cathartic to have someone say what they've known from their life experience. Any time someone wants to pretend to argue that white privilege doesn't exist, they should be forced to eat every page of the printed copy of "The Case for Reparations." It's that good and that important.

2. The Rude Pundit hasn't read Glenn Greenwald's book, No Place to Hide, the story of how National Security Agency classified documents were given to Greenwald by Edward Snowden, so he can't comment on whether or not it's any good. But he thinks that if he wrote about it, he'd be able to separate the book from the importance of the events, as it seems Michael Kinsley was unable to do in his New York Times "review." Greenwald has already ripped Kinsley a new asshole (which would give him about twenty).

But let's just get this straight (again): Whether or not Greenwald is the biggest egotistical prickhole in the world has nothing to do with the story. The story is the story. Kinsley can go crazy on how much he hates Greenwald; that's fair game in a review of book that's ostensibly part-memoir, even if "self-righteous sourpuss" is one of the lamest, most priggish insults the Rude Pundit's come across in a while. It's when Kinsley expands to criticize the very act of leaking classified documents that he becomes a craven coward.

When Kinsley writes, "There are laws against government eavesdropping on American citizens, and there are laws against leaking official government documents. You can’t just choose the laws you like and ignore the ones you don’t like," he is essentially taking a shit on the American tradition of civil disobedience. Of course you can choose to ignore the laws you don't like. Sometimes the effect of that is to change the laws, like, oh, fuck, the Civil Rights Movement? And one of the things that happens when you ignore laws you don't like is that you are subject to punishment, which used to be arrest and a trial. What would happen if Edward Snowden came back to face charges? Would he even be allowed to present the evidence against him in court? Would he get the Manning treatment? Not for nothing, but exile is a pretty harsh punishment.

Kinsley and others who decry the revelation of the NSA's all-encompassing spying seem to subscribe to the incredibly fascistic idea that citizens shouldn't be kept informed about what the government they elected happens to be doing to them. That's more frightening than however self-righteous Glenn Greenwald might or might not be.

3. This blog didn't get around to commenting on this, but, holy fuck, did David Brooks really write in the Times this week that the United States should consider becoming more autocratic and less democratic? Well, at least that's being a great deal more honest than most conservatives.


For Memorial Day, Here Are Some Shirtless, Oily Navy Cadets Rolling All Over Each Other

This is a yearly activity at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. They use lard to lube up the phallic Herndon Monument, and then the first year students (or "plebes") rip off their shirts (the women still have sports bras on) and writhe around, forming a human wall, in order to replace one hat with another. It's all symbolic and shit.

It's been a thing for decades at Annapolis. The Rude Pundit could make easy jokes about the putatively straight guys who rubbed their sweaty nipples and groins in each other's faces for all those years when gays were not "allowed" in the military. Or the fact that they're all, gay, straight, male, female, worshiping a giant stone cock.

But it's Memorial Day weekend. Put some tube meat in your gob and shut the fuck up. For the troops.


A Countdown of What the Lousiana Legislature Has Done to Harm Women in the Last Six Weeks

1. The Louisiana House voted yesterday in favor of a bill that "requires physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility or medical office where it took place. It also imposes the same restrictions -- including a 24-hour waiting period -- on abortions induced by medication as those carried out through surgery." This means that at least three, perhaps four, of the remaining five family planning clinics that provide abortions will be forced to close, leaving only one in Shreveport, in the northwest corner of the state. There will not be an abortion provider in New Orleans or Baton Rouge.

The vote was 88-5. Think about how overwhelming that vote is, how gut-wrenchingly overwhelming and pathetically regressive. The bill has already passed the state Senate, and Gov. Bobby "These Flames of Presidential Ambition Ain't Gonna Fan Themselves" Jindal tweeted that he will sign it.

2. The Louisiana Senate Health and Welfare Committee advanced three bills. The first would prohibit "abortion providers and their affiliates from speaking in public or charter schools on health issues." It's part of a continued assault on sex education in the state because why would you want your sex ed teacher to be someone who deals with the consequences of STDs and unwanted pregnancy? The target of the bill is Planned Parenthood and their Satan-trained instructors. By the way, Louisiana has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation.

The other two bills: One would force hospitals to keep pregnant women on life support, no matter what her family says. The other would force the one or two remaining abortion clinics to hand out a pamphlet on the "psychological effects" of abortion. The psychological effects of forcing a family to watch as a brain-dead woman they love is turned into an incubator are not covered by the bill.

3. The House Health and Welfare Committee, ignoring its name, voted down a bill to accept Medicaid expansion funds in order to get health care to the 250,000 adults who would qualify for it. The Senate committee had already killed its version of the bill. Confronted with the story of a homeless woman who might have lived had she been able to get coverage, Sen. Dan Claitor, a Republican, moved to kill the bill, saying, yeah, "We can do better...I disagree that this is the answer." That was a month ago. He has not offered an alternative.

4. The House voted down a bill that would have allowed the state Department of Education to survey teenagers about sexual practices and knowledge. It's part of a larger CDC survey to help determine policy towards the nation's youth. Said one Republican legislator, "Won’t we desensitize children when asking them about sexual activity?" The only question that Louisiana will allow its tender students to be asked is whether or not they learned about HIV and AIDS in school. 25% said that they had not, which is way above the 16% national average.

5. That might be because sex ed is optional for Louisiana students. Yeah, a bill making it mandatory was killed in committee last week.

Why bother? Why not let them have the Rude Pundit's Louisiana public school sex education? That was when our nervous high school biology teacher shut the classroom door and said, "Okay, I'm not supposed to teach you this - I could lose my job - but you need to know it" before spending approximately one hour teaching 15 and 16 year-olds the birds and the bees. Tee-hee. It felt so dirty and forbidden.

By senior year, half a dozen young women were pregnant. They dropped out of school. Obviously, that one hour of sex ed had turned them into whores. Surely, it had nothing to do with the fact that all they ever heard in church was how contraception and abortion make Jesus weep bloody tears.

It's so goddamned depressing that things have actually moved backwards for women in Louisiana from where it was a couple of decades ago.


Judge to State of Pennsylvania in Same-Sex Marriage Ruling: "It's Time to Stop Being Dicks About This"

Sometimes you read a ruling in a court case and you just wanna sit back and smoke after you're done, like it was a good steak dinner or an awesome night of alternately rough and tender sex. The ruling by the alliteratively-named Judge John Jones that declared Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional is just such a document. As Charlie Pierce says, it's "remarkable for the sheer humanity of its language."

To be sure, there is an embrace of the tapestry of his state's citizens. Describing the eleven couples who were the plaintiffs in the case, Jones writes, "As a group, they represent the great diversity of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. They hail from across the state, making their homes in Allegheny, Dauphin, Centre, Northampton, Delaware, Chester, and Philadelphia Counties. They come from all walks of life; they include a nurse, state employees, lawyers, doctors, an artist, a newspaper delivery person, a corporate executive, a dog trainer, university professors, and a stay-at-home parent. They have served our country in the Army and Navy. Plaintiffs’ personal backgrounds reflect a richness and diversity: they are African-American, Caucasian, Latino, and Asian; they are Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Jewish, Quaker, Buddhist, and secular. In terms of age, they range from a couple in their 30s with young children, to retirees in their 60s. Many of the couples have been together for decades."

The Rude Pundit detects something else here, too. Why bother going through the quotidian credentials of the plaintiffs? Just to demonstrate that the gay and lesbian couples are normals, too? Or is it to say to those who oppose their right to marriage, "You know what? Just shut the fuck up already"?

Jones goes on to list the ways that not being married or having their out-of-state marriages recognized by Pennsylvania has affected the day-to-day lives of the plaintiffs in very tangible ways. There's the unfair application of taxes, something that should appeal to even closeted conservatives: "In terms of property ownership, all of the couples face the payment of Pennsylvania’s inheritance tax – including on half of the value of jointly-owned homes and bank accounts – at 15 percent, the highest rate," and "the married couples must still identify themselves as single in Pennsylvania, for example, on their state income taxes."

There's the parental rights: "For those couples who have had children, like Dawn Plummer and Diana Polson, the non-biological parent has had to apply for a second-parent adoption. Dawn expresses that she and Diana are presently saving money so that she can legally adopt their second son, J.P. Until the adoption is complete, she has no legal ties to J.P., despite that, together, she and Diana dreamed of welcoming him to their family, prepared for his birth, and functioned as a married couple long before having him."

In an awesome kick to the balls of the defendants, Jones titles the subsections of this part of the decision with quotes from wedding vows, "For richer, for poorer" and "In sickness and in health."

And then Jones gets around to gutting the state's defense. Pennsylvania had asserted that gays and lesbians had not suffered the historical discrimination necessary to grant them relief. After laying out exactly how the United States has mistreated LGBT people in the 20th and 21st centuries, he throws this into a footnote: "[W]e pause to note that Pennsylvania’s treatment of homosexuals also evidences long-term discrimination. For example, in the 1950s, the Philadelphia police formed a 'morals squad,' arresting some 200 gay men per month. In 1986, a Pennsylvania appellate court upheld an order heavily restricting a father’s custody rights based on his sexuality, endorsing that his daughters were 'innocent and impressionable' and that exposure to his homosexual relationship would inevitably result in 'emotional disturbance, perhaps severe.' Also, state legislators have sponsored bills in every session since 2006 proposing to amend the Constitution to enshrine the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. During debate, elected officials remarked that failing to exclude same-sex couples from marriage could lead to the legalization of incest and bestiality, and one senator called homosexual relationships 'dysfunctional,' comparing same-sex marriage to pedophilia...Pennsylvania lacks statutory anti-discrimination legislation protecting gay and lesbian persons, thereby permitting discrimination, e.g., in the work place, housing, and public accommodation."

The Rude Pundit loves that Jones uses the ignorance and fear of the homophobes as a crowbar to the knees of their argument. He awesomely concludes the note, "In view of this recitation, we would not find that Pennsylvania lacks a history of discrimination toward gay people" and then drops the mic.

Jones eviscerates the state of Pennsylvania's defense of the law. Read the whole thing, and see if you don't get the image of a dude looking at a bunch of asshole politicians and citizens and saying, "Stop being dicks. This discussion is over." Or, as Jones puts it, "We are better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history."

Of course, dicks will be dicks will be dicks, usually in the most predictable way. In response, they pouted about "God's design" and say marriage shouldn't be "redefined." Or, as the reliably bugfuck insane American Family Association offers, "Homosexual activists have found allies in unelected federal judges who circumvent the will of the people."

Does it even need to be noted at this point that John Jones is a Republican? And that he was nominated for the U.S. District Court bench by George W. Bush?

Or how about this from Republican Congressman Charlie Dent from Allentown: "To all the individuals who will now be able to marry as a result of today's ruling – Congratulations!"

Yeah, we're almost done here.


In Brief: When Can We Call These "Patriots" By Their Real Name: "Traitors"?

"And last but not least, there is always the Lone-Ranger approach. This is perhaps the most dangerous method and could result in complete total chaos. It would most certainly not end well for the Lone-Ranger and could actually result in bringing in the United Nations 'peace-keeping-forces'. Even an unsuccessful attempt would again result in exactly what the administration has been hoping for, chaos and Martial law." (sic to all the errors there)

This paragraph of hopeful doom comes straight from the Operation American Spring website. Yeah, you didn't see that when you were chortling at what losers these losers are. It's part of an essay on how Barack Obama has committed treason by doing all the conspiracies that freedom lovers think he's done, like the purchase of billions of rounds of ammunition, which is kind of true, except that it's in order to get the best price for the ammo and not to kill the freedom lovers.

Operation American Spring was the totally well-planned attempt to overthrow the federal government, if only the organizers hadn't been betrayed by Glenn Beck. OAS (which seems to be one guy, Harry Riley) estimated it would need "5 to 30 million people...to stop any type of resistance by rogue agencies." The overwhelming force of dozens of people who did turn out blamed the morning rain for preventing the other, well, 4.999999 million people from showing up. Needless to say, Barack Obama is still president.

The quote up there is the ultimate AOS strategy to take down DC. It comes after the failure of mass protests, Occupy Wall Street/Arab Spring tactics, and attempts to get state governments to more or less demand Congress impeach Obama and then disband (or something like that). If that's not successful, the writer says, what's left is "the Lone-Ranger approach," which, while not defined, it's probably not a stretch to say that the writer is alluding to either assassination or other kinds of violence, especially if it would result in a UN intervention and martial law, as well as a bad ending for the Lone Ranger. The death and chaos brought to the United States is "last but not least," which means it is preferable to other things.

At what point do we stop pretending these sullen losers are anything other than what they actually are: traitors. Not because they want to protest, not because they want to change the government, but because they assert that violent overthrow is not a bad plan. Their active numbers are small, but so are al-Qaeda's, but they are more of a threat to people than Islamic terrorists. Oh, we laugh at them as they wander aimlessly on their Hitler sign-bedecked Scout scooters. Aren't they just delightful, wallowing in their toilets of ignorance? Can we mock them a little more? A group of Americans gathered in DC to stage a coup. Their pathetic numbers and utter failure doesn't absolve them of their intention.

The Rude Pundit is weary of these armed, angry yokels acting as if their belief in violent revolution is patriotic.  No, they shouldn't be arrested for marching. But a visit from the FBI just for the opening paragraph sure seems justified, if only because if it were a group of Muslims posting that on the internet, there would be a whole sting operation devoted to catching them.

Late Post Today

Egghead has concocted a new nefarious device. Gotta get the mask on and stretch out for the fight.

Back later with more formic rudeness.


Karl Rove's Repulsive Allegation About Hillary Clinton Shows His Dark Genius Again

Fox "news" consultant and former (and probably current) political guru Karl Rove sucks at math. That can be said without fear of contradiction. When it comes to numbers, he's sitting hunched in a corner with his filthy fingers jabbing at an abacus while the rest of the world has moved on to iPad apps. We saw that in 2006, when he predicted on NPR that Republicans would hold the House and Senate. He was very clear to host Robert Siegel that it all added up to a win: "You may end up with a different math but you are entitled to your math and I'm entitled to THE math." He repeated, "I said THE math" when Siegel disputed him. And the Republicans lost both the Congress. His inability to do math was on view again in 2012 when he insisted on election night that he had the math that showed Romney was going to win Ohio and the presidency, even after Fox had called it for Obama. In 2011, he had written in the Wall Street Journal that "2012 Electoral Math Looks Good For the GOP."

Basically, the motherfucker shouldn't be allowed near a number.

However, when it comes to smearing a candidate until his lies morph into the general public's "truth," Karl Rove is some kind of mad genius, as if he's cackling while sitting and sweating at a computer in his filthy tighty-whities, insanely masturbating his festering herpes sore-coated dick while trawling the grimy corners of right-wing message boards, yanking each time he sees some bit of mental detritus from another professional onanist, yowling into the air and jizzing onto his belly when he discovers a demented conspiracy or shitball of an allegation that will become his newest tale to tell to the slavering whores of the 24-hour news cycle. Karl Rove's belly is very smooth.

Oh, children who know Rove only as that big-headed jerk on Fox, look him up and you will discover that Rove's stock-in-trade is to paint opposing candidates as gay, miscegenous, traitorous, or whatever the voters in a particular race demand as dirt, ensuring that the narrative tilts in the direction he desires. He is a jolly ambassador of dirty tricks, perfecting what his dead mentor, Lee Atwater, taught him. Politics is pornography to Rove, the dirtier the better.

Of course, of course, he would come up with the perfect attack on Hillary Clinton, the presumptive leading Democratic candidate for president. Rove can keep spouting the Benghazi line, but he knows that, barring the smoking corpse of Christopher Stevens walking into a House hearing room and saying, "Hillary burned down the compound," the public doesn't give a shit. There's gotta be something else, something that merges hate and love, something that would make even people who care about a pretty beloved figure pause and wonder if everything is okay.

So Rove's assertion that Clinton might have suffered a "traumatic brain injury" is goddamn, motherfucking, cunt-punting, cocksucking genius. It's breathtaking in its abject evil. It is awe-inspiring in its immorality. Rove first made the comment at a conference a little over a week ago, saying that when Clinton fell and hit her head in 2012, she might have given herself permanent brain damage. Now, so soon after, CNN is already asking, "How strong is Hillary?" From lie to permanent storyline, lickety-split.

Rove did not back down, despite being condemned across the political spectrum for what he said. On Fox "news" Sunday with Mike Wallace's litter runt, Rove explained that he didn't think she was physically unable to run for president. He just cares so fucking much: "But it would not be human if you were sitting there to say, I had a serious brain injury and I had a -- I had a -- her husband the other day told us something we didn't know. Took her six months, he said, to get back."

A couple of amazing moments happened in that panel discussion. Rove said, "I did not say she had brain damage, which is what the headline writers said."

Juan Williams responded, "Karl, I hate to break this to you, but what you said and what the people heard may be different," which is pretty much a description of Rove's modus operandi. "Hey, I just said she wore glasses that people with a brain injury wear," he can respond. "Maybe it was a fashion statement."

Except what Rove really said was absolutely direct: "I said she had a traumatic brain injury." Which is somehow totally different from brain damage in the nuance-ready public's imagination.

At another moment, Chris Wallace was giving examples of whisper campaigns and he said, "I remember John McCain's opponents raising the issue as whether or not he had gone a little bit nuts when he was in that Vietnam prison." Guess who did that? He was sitting across the fuckin' table from Wallace, who didn't call him by name because if you name the Devil, he will drag you down to Hell and rape you while wearing a skin mask of your father's face.

A good lie creates a narrative. Rove is well aware of this, too, and he's proud of his work. Williams said, "Karl, doesn't this remind everybody that you, your past as a very effective political operative, have gone after people with swift boating of John Kerry."

Obviously, Rove said, "Which was entirely legitimate" because what the fuck else was he gonna say? That he was wrong?

No, he's only wrong when it comes to math. When it comes to knowing the ugly hearts of huddled masses, he knows that they want a story that, to them, makes sense and allows them to vote against someone. So now, whenever Hillary Clinton stumbles over words, takes too long to answer a question, wobbles slightly when she walks, nods off during a speech, smiles too big, smiles too little, becomes agitated, stays too calm, whenever she does anything that is not exactly right, the first thing those masses, especially those on the fence, will think is "Oh, that might be the brain damage. Do I want someone who is brain damaged as president?"

Karl Rove, that giddy ghoul of garish gossip, is back in his element. We should all be afraid because if you think it won't work, you haven't paid attention.


Things Totally Not Caused by Climate Change

Here's wildfires outside San Diego. They're going on right now, destroying homes, scorching land. That is a fact. It is happening.

Three dozen fires were or are burning. It's so bad that some nutzoids are saying that the fires were started as "an act of Muslim terrorism." We live in a country where it's easier for some people to believe terrorists committed coordinated arson than that climate change is occurring. Gov. Jerry Brown pointed out that the last three years have been the driest ever for California. The fires are being fanned by Santa Ana winds, which simply aren't seen in May. There used to be a fire season. Not anymore. It's always fire season.

Here's flooding that's drowning Serbia and Bosnia, with Croatia also possibly being hit. Eighteen cities, including the Serbian capital of Belgrade, have had states of emergency declared.

This is the worst flooding in Serbia's history. Today, the whole country will be declared an emergency area. It is the "worst rainfall" in Bosnia since records started being kept in 1894.

Here's a map of Antarctica. The light blue parts are the massive ice sheets that are in the process of melting and collapsing. It will take a couple of centuries, but it will happen, and it will raise sea levels enough to make large parts of currently inhabited land into oceans. Those oceans, by the way, will suffer severe desalination because the glaciers are made of fresh water.

Let's not even talk about what's happening to Greenland.

Every day, we see weather events that have never been seen before. You'd think the cumulative effect would be to think something has shifted. But remember: According to many politicians on the right, people who block any effort to slow things down, climate change is a myth. Besides, humans can do nothing because the climate is always changing, they say. And then they tell us about how an invisible sky wizard will take care of the planet because he's totally real.

If every day, miracles were occurring that lacked any rational explanation. If water was turned to wine and the dead were rising and angels were guarding people, the Rude Pundit would say, "Well, you know what? There's a god. I've been horribly wrong." Climate change deniers will stand on the burnt earth, overlooking the floods rushing towards them, and demand that we frack and drill more.


Ann Coulter Is Called a Bad Word Regarding Her Views on Our Neverending Abortion Battle

In the old days, the Rude Pundit would have just titled this "Why Ann Coulter Is a Cunt (Part 120,749)" and been done with it. But since the title of these here posts appear on people's home pages on their work computers, well, perhaps a bit of decorum is called for. "Cunt" is still "The Word That Dare Not Be Spoken or Seen Unless You're from Great Britain or Ireland, Where Everyone Calls Everyone Else 'Cunt' and No One Cares." For what it's worth, the following people are total cunts: Cliven Bundy, Donald Sterling, the entire prime time line-up of Fox "news," and Ted Cruz. That is not a complete list.

But Ann Coulter is a cunt because in her latest "column" (if by "column," you mean, "rabbit hole of razor blades"), she says something so easily disproven that it took the Rude Pundit about one second to do so. She stays obsessed with the way that death penalty opponents are making a legitimate big deal about the bad execution of Clayton Lockett. As the Rude Pundit pointed out last week, she seems to use the description of Lockett's terrible crimes as foreplay for a savage self-pleasuring. Then she goes off on how perhaps "liberals" (quotation marks since Coulter's fantasy liberals have as much to do with real liberals as Mickey Mouse has to do with real rodents) would be cool if prisoners on death row were executed by the same methods used for abortion.

Oh, ho, she's challenging us there, saying, "Maybe they -- and MSNBC's similarly high-minded Rachel Maddow -- should comfort themselves by thinking of Lockett's execution as a very, very, very late-term abortion. You know, the kind that liberal darling Wendy Davis filibustered for 11 hours to keep legal."

Then she asks, "Would the Times ever give as detailed a description of an abortion as it does for the execution of a remorseless killer?"

And that took about one second to answer in about ten different ways.

Here's the New York Times in 1995, describing so-called "partial-birth abortion": "[A] fetus at 20 weeks of gestation or more is partly delivered, feet first, and then to make it easier for the fetus to pass through the birth canal, the skull is collapsed." Talking about a bill banning the practice, the article says that it doesn't define "the specifics of inserting scissors into the neck to create a hole through which the brains can be suctioned out to collapse the skull."

Not graphic enough? Then check out this 2000 article by Linda Greenhouse on the debate over dilation and evacuation (D&E) and dilation and extraction (D&X) methods of late-term abortion: "In a D & E, the fetus is dismembered before being removed. By contrast, the 'intact D & X' collapses the fetal skull, minimizing possible damage to the woman's uterus and cervix." Oh, sorry. Does that one not work because it cares too much about the health of the woman?

How about we go Gosnell? In the Times' much-maligned-by-the-right coverage of the trial of killer Kermit Gosnell last year, his crime was described as "the murder of a baby born alive in a botched abortion, who prosecutors said would have survived if the doctor had not 'snipped' its neck with scissors."

What makes this notable cuntistry for Coulter is that she asks her question rhetorically, with the same dismissive rage with which she always writes, attitude that is a beard for ignorance. She pretends to be an expert. She pretends to have knowledge. Lots of people hear her and parrot what she says, and thus, once again, a lie becomes the truth no matter how many facts you throw in its path. (Oh, and, obviously, despite the best efforts of some of us, Coulter ain't going away).

There's this attitude towards pro-choice supporters and towards women who have decided to get abortions that we just don't understand what's happening. Missouri's legislature just passed a 72-hour waiting period on abortions. That means an adult woman, making a perfectly legal decision on her pregnancy and her body, has to go home or, if the clinic isn't in her hometown, go to another person's house or a motel, and wait three fucking days because...why? Because she hasn't thought about it? How patronizing can our legislatures get?

But the right wants us to focus on the gory details. For the vast majority of women ending pregnancies in clinics, they're not using third trimester or even late second trimester methods. They are using methods that don't have scissors or forceps or anything. After family planning counselor Emily Letts filmed her abortion, which showed Letts from the waist up and, yes, her smile during the procedure, conservatives were blowing up with rage. Christine Sisto at the National Review said that Letts didn't show us an "abortion." Some don't believe she actually had the procedure.

Sorry, anti-abortion activists, but unless what you wanted to see was a small metal tube inserted in Letts's vagina, most abortion procedures are clean and easy and safe. They don't involve dismembered body parts. They don't involve induced delivery. Most abortion is as simple as a quick procedure or a pill, with perhaps some residual bleeding after.

There's a sick desire from anti-abortion forces to make something grotesque out of something that isn't. It's to add to make women feel shame and stigmatizing them. They so desire to force women back to the era of abortion in the shadows.

Oh, by the way, the New York Times also described those procedures, too.


Your State Sucks: Nebraska Sucks Because It's Gonna Make the Senate Even Crazier

Everything you need to know about Republican nominee for the Senate from Nebraska, Ben Sasse, you can get from a glance at his "Issues" page on his campaign website. There, the Palin and Cruz-approved evangelical college president gives you a list of stuff he's gonna do something about, and, truly, it is a teabagger's wet dream:

Based on the Rude Pundit's awesome ability to count, there's 11 issues. We got your Obamacare, of course, up top, and your guns, your abortion, your gay marriage. And then, way down at number 9, Sasse gets around to "Jobs and the Economy." What's his program there to help Americans? Less regulation and approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.  But you can keep your guns. Then he gets to Agriculture and Immigration, two issues that might matter a bit more to a farm state than 10th and 11th.

And what's the only thing Sasse has a comprehensive plan about? Farm policy? Oh, no. Getting rid of the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with something...else that's not Obamacare. Yeah, all those early 20somethings would get kicked off their parents' plans and pre-existing conditions would be a bar to affordable coverage once again, but, hey, it's not Obamacare, and that's what matters in this filthy Kenyan socialist world. And you'd get a tax deduction, too. So there's that. Plus, guns, right?

Sasse is fairly obsessed with Obamacare. It is like Obamacare is a Muslim prison guard at a FEMA camp just raping the ass of every good Christian. Constitutional worries? Caused by Obamacare problems. Abortion bug you? You know the deal: "Under ObamaCare, this President has forced people who respect life to pay for the deaths of innocent children." Seriously, this motherfucker has ACA OCD. During this campaign, he put out an ad featuring his creepy-ass kids talking about it. On his website, he mentions "Obamacare" when it comes to Agriculture, Immigration, National Security, and Religious Liberty.

It's that last one there, Religious Liberty, where Sasse goes over the rainbow, man. First, he kicks out the jams on abortion and, yes, that other thing: "Thanks to ObamaCare, this President has placed the liberal abortion agenda over the religious obligations of millions of Americans. Those who believe in the sanctity of life are now required to finance the death of unborn children." Which is pretty much just plagiarizing what he said in the abortion section.

But then...well...just read it: "Ben Sasse believes that our right to the free exercise of religion is co-equal to our right to life. This is not a negotiable issue. Government cannot force citizens to violate their religious beliefs under any circumstances. He will fight for the right of all Americans to act in accordance with their conscience." That's some fucked-up shit right there. Government can't make citizens "violate their religious beliefs"? "Under any circumstances"? Huh.

Dude, the Rude Pundit is starting the Holy Church of Wanton Cock and Pussy where our sacraments include ingesting liquor and Molly and smoking shit-tons of pot while fucking freely on the altar. Don't violate our First Amendment rights, assholes.

To go another way, if Democratic nominee (and there is one) David Domina wanted to really fuck with Sasse, he should put out an ad saying that Sasse supports Shariah law because, well, Sasse kind of said he does. Muslims get to have their religious beliefs held sacrosanct against the government, too.

It doesn't matter though. In a race to replace a Republican senator, the Democratic Party has decided to throw the towel in here and not give Domina much support in order to concentrate on defending other seats. So congratulations, Nebraska. Unless he's caught blowing a bull, Ben Sasse will be your new senator. Aren't you proud to know that he's approved by FreedomWorks, the Club for Growth, Tea Party Patriots...


Two Dead Miners Are More Important Than 1000 Donald Sterlings

Yes, yes, we're all having such fun laughing at pathetic, old, self-deluded, old, racist old Donald Sterling, who proved last night on CNN that having billions of dollars does not, in fact, give you any insight into yourself or the world around you. What? You mean great-grandpa never got used to the Negros being able to talk back? It also proved that 80something rich white guys should just shut the fuck up and go live with their human playthings on an island they bought. But the circus goes on. So we get the to be entertained by the sight of rich guys acting all upset that Sterling said mean things about other rich guys, including rich black guys. Truly, honestly, and the Rude Pundit says this with all due contempt for the amount of time we've spent on this bullshit, "Whatever." Seriously, Sterling'll be dead soon, as will his entire generation, and, with them, just a little bit of evil in this world will go into the ground with them.

What you should actually give a shit about is that two coal miners died in a mine in West Virginia last night. No, it's not as glamorous as Sterling not knowing the different between having HIV and "the AIDS" when it comes to Magic Johnson. But it's more important by order of degrees.

Brody Mine Number 1 is owned by Patriot Coal, which has that name because of course it does. They are such patriots at Patriot Coal that, last year, when the U.S. Mine Safety and Health administration said that Brody No. 1 had a Pattern of Violations (an official designation for especially unsafe mines), they did their patriotic duty and made everything safe. Nah, just kidding. They issued a press release blaming the company they bought the mine from and said they're fixing the problems: "During the period of time it has operated as a Patriot subsidiary, the Brody mine has made considerable and measurable progress toward improved safety and compliance." They bought the mine in December 2012. The report was issued in October 2013. Patriot is suing to get the POV designation removed. That might be a harder case to make today.

Eric Legg and Gary Hensley died in what is called a "coal outburst." What that means is that the walls of the mine burst, ejecting coal and gas into the area where the men worked. It's a nasty way to die, hot and violent. It means that the gas wasn't drained out of the area to relieve pressure, which is a significant safety violation, which is what Brody No. 1 was already cited for: "MSHA said that its inspectors had cited more than 250 'significant and substantial' violations during the 12-month period that ended Aug. 31. An MSHA audit of the mine’s records found that injuries resulted in nearly 1,800 lost-work days at the mine, 367 of which were from eight injuries that the company did not report to MSHA. A separate audit in 2012 found 29 injuries that were not reported." To do the math, Patriot owned the mine for 8 of those 12 months.

As always with mining companies, Patriot has been on the forefront of doing vile shit to workers. The United Mine Workers of America was already pissed off at Patriot for using bankruptcy to dick over miners and retirees. Yeah, when it sought bankruptcy protection last year, a judge approved allowing the company to cut health benefits and pensions to union workers and retirees. It shitcanned a contract it had with the union and renegotiated one that cost the company far less. The workers got dicked, but it was with a smaller dildo. The deal allowed Patriot to emerge from bankruptcy in December 2013.

To celebrate, in February, Patriot spilled 108,000 gallons of slurry waste into a creek feeding the Kanawha River, the same river that was polluted by Freedom Industries. Don't worry, though. It wasn't supposed to significantly impact the drinking water, which could be another way of saying that things couldn't get worse. (You can make your own joke about how Patriot and Liberty have fucked the people of West Virginia.)

Conservatives are fond of talking about a "war on coal" by the Obama Administration. The blithering fucksacks at Freedomworks are especially into blaming any bad stuff that happens in the coal industry on this supposed war. What are the tactics of those waging war? Requiring pollution controls and increased safety oversight in the wake of the Massey mine disaster, where 29 workers died in 2010. Man, what evil motherfuckers those Obamabots are. Oddly, the war on coal miners by profit-gouging corporations doesn't seem to get as much play in the conservative media.

Maybe you're just a patriot when the government leaves you alone to do what you want.


GOP Senator Marco Rubio Is a Frighteningly Stupid Man Who Thinks He's Ready to Be President

One-time Savior of the Republican Party, Senator Marco Rubio, he of the muy beneficial Cuban background (although, you know, Hispanics aren't idiots - believe it or not, they can tell a Mexican from a Puerto Rican from a Cuban), he of the parched lips, he of the allegedly once-reasonable side of the GOP, thinks he's all grown up and ready to be president of these here United States. Oh, sure, he was a bit coy during his Sunday interview, saying that his party of lunatics, whores, and lepers is just filled to the brim with potential candidates. But, yeah, he's ready.

And how can you tell he's ready? Because Marco Rubio talked about complex issues like a brain-damaged Twitchy commenter. "I think a president has to have a clear vision of where the country needs to go and clear ideas about how to get it there," he told ABC combover Jonathan Karl. And part of his clear vision is that you can go fuck yourself with your climate change.

When Karl asked him about it on Sunday, Rubio answered, "I don’t agree with the notion that some are putting out there, including scientists, that somehow, there are actions we can take today that would actually have an impact on what’s happening in our climate." Here's the fuckin' deal: unless you are a scientist and you have slam-dunk evidence in your hand, you don't get to disagree with the "notion" that nearly every climate scientist is wrong. It's like when a fan thinks he can tell the coaches of a pro football team what plays to run by screaming at them from the stands. You know, Senator, a law degree from the University of Miami entitles you to a lot of things. Ignorantly questioning climatologists with statements like "I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it" is not one of them. "These scientists" will kick your ass all over your soon-to-be drowned state.

But let's put aside the usual blah-blah-blah climate change denialism. We're pretty much fucked there, and we're not gonna do a goddamned thing about it until we're having Road Warrior-esque drinking water battles.

Instead, have a read of Rubio's erudite statements on how Democrats want to keep people working at Burger King: "I want people to look at the Republican Party as the party that shows them the way to a new American century versus a Democratic Party that shows us how this is the new normal and we just have to get used to it, that the cashier at Burger King will always be a cashier, and all he or she can hope for is an increase in the minimum wage...And what we say is: No, the cashier at Burger King might be a cashier today, but he or she will be a manager tomorrow, and maybe they're paying for school so she can be a doctor in 10 years."

In order to understand that mindbogglingly stupid paragraph, picture this: The skeleton of Ayn Rand has Marco Rubio sitting on her lap. She's got her bony hand up his ass, operating his mouth like the meat puppet he is. Got it?

What is the magical path by which that Burger King worker becomes a doctor, something that is totally within the realm of possibility? So let's use our brain TVs and imagine that Burger King worker. Let's call her "Claudette." Claudette maybe has her high school diploma, so let's say she's around 20. Chances are that, as a full-time worker at Burger King, she'll make somewhere around $7.40 an hour. Even after working a second job, she might make under $15,000 a year with no benefits. If you can imagine someone like that, she might inform you that, after three years at BK, "I still live at home with my mother and try to go to school on the side. I do dream of something more, but it's really hard to get jobs right now."

Oh, wait. We don't have to imagine Claudette because she's a totally fucking real Burger King employee.

How the fuck is she becoming a doctor, Senator Rubio? Only through the government helping through programs like student loans, health care, and, yes, a higher minimum wage so that she can actually save something and not just exist to serve your kids Whopper, Jrs. And Claudette's a best case scenario (other than middle class kids in high school, the GOP fantasy minimum wage workers). What if she had kids? A sick parent? No place to live? That's where government is supposed to step up and says, "Hey, you wanna be a doctor? Let us help you try to achieve that dream." Not "It's your fault you can't make more than $7.40 an hour after 3 years at Burger King."

Show us the way to the "new American century"? Motherfucker, it's 2014, not 2000. We're in the century, the real century. Deal with what's happening, to the climate, to the people, now, not in some fake future constructed in the cash-stuffed offices of think tanks and SuperPACs.


Pity the Bullied White, Straight, Conservative Christians

Back in March, the GOP's soon-to-be exiled idiot duchess, Michele Bachmann, said at some conservative conference of yahoodom, "[T]he thing that I think is getting a little tiresome is the gay community have so bullied the American people and they have so intimidated politicians that politicians fear them and they think they get to dictate the agenda everywhere."

Gay bullies are everywhere, it seems, making the poor, poor homophobes feel bad. Hell, a couple of years ago, Dan "It Gets Better" Savage was accused of bullying Christian kids because he said he's sick of hearing the Bible used to justify hate. In Iowa last year, religious leaders said Christian kids were being bullied into going to a conference on LGBTQ issues. In fact, some conservatives believe that anti-bullying programs are promoting bullying of bullies by telling them to stop bullying. "We are beginning to see Christians, Christian ideals, and Christian values become the most bullied things in all of this nation," said this one guy who you'll never hear about again. Yeah, Christians should be allowed to freely express themselves and vote to prevent certain groups from having rights because otherwise you're bullying them.

It goes further than the gay bullies bullying the people who think that gays should stop being all gay. On CNN's hairless runt of a show, Crossfire, during a "debate" over climate change, dimwitted talktrix S.E. Cupp said of Bill Nye and others who follow the, you know, science and facts on global warming, "Isn’t it a problem when ‘science guys’ attempt to bully other people?"

So the nerds and the queers are now the bullies? Up is down, people. Up is down.

It goes on: The Washington Times's Rusty Humphries (which sounds like a sexual position in Nebraska) declares a "Liberal Bully of the Week." This week it's "climate-change con artists" who are the "government bureaucrats and academia bullying people into feeling ashamed of their productivity and prosperity, making us feel frightened enough to accept more government control over our lives and our wallets." Last week it was John Kerry. A couple of weeks ago it was the Bureau of Land Management for daring to enforce the law against Cliven Bundy and his armed rednecks.

The bullies are coming for rich people by wanting them to pay a slightly higher marginal tax rate and hike in the minimum wage. They're coming for white people by making them understand that being white still gives them a huge advantage in life in America over non-whites. The victims of the bullies say they won't apologize. They won't change. They won't give in, no matter how many wedgies or purple nurples they get. Ben Shapiro wrote an entire book on how liberals are such mean meanies.

Let's get this right, okay? When someone tells you that the things you believe are wrong, it's not bullying. When someone says that facts clearly demonstrate that your opinion is false, it's not bullying. According to conservatives, teachers are bullying students if they point out that Reagan wasn't a demi-god who never did anything bad.

What's actually happening is that for decades, for centuries, the white, straight, conservative Christians have gotten to dictate the terms of the argument. They were used to being the home team. Now, with changes in demographics and changes in beliefs, they're increasingly playing an away game. Everyone loves it when the hometown crowd chants for you. Of course, you don't like it when you're the visitors and they boo.

For a bunch of people who were and, to a great extent, still are bullies, you really are just wimps who are begging for a swirlie.


Clayton Lockett's Bad Execution Is Not About Him

Recently executed murderer/rapist Clayton Lockett was a motherfucking piece of shit who did horrific things to people. Frankly, if his victims and their families had set him on fire, pissed on him to put it out, and then set him on fire again, the Rude Pundit would have a hard time saying that that was a bad end for him. But that's different than a state government being empowered to kill prisoners. And it's very different than a state government using a secret method to torture someone to death, unintentionally or not, which is what happened to Lockett when Oklahoma attempted to execute him.

To those of us who think that capital punishment is wrong and that Lockett's suffering was despicable, conservatives would like to remind us that Lockett was a motherfucking piece of shit, as if somehow we're too stupid to think that human beings can do horrific things to people.

Over at Fox "news," Erick "Erick" Erickson wants to make sure we remember Stephanie Neiman, the woman that Lockett beat, raped, shot, and had buried alive. He goes a bit less subtle on his right-wing shithole, Redstate, describing the crime and then telling liberals to "Just remember that while you are posturing over how Clayton Lockett died." God, how Erickson must have whipped himself to weeping before grabbing his semi-tumescent two-incher and jacking off to his own words.

Ann Coulter, in her latest "column" (if by "column," you mean, "the cravenly cruel pandering of a cup of yogurt way past its expiration date"), goes into pornographic detail about what Lockett and his accomplices did: "One of Lockett's crew orally sodomized her, then vaginally raped her. Lockett raped her vaginally, anally and orally." You can imagine Coulter sitting back, smug, spike-covered vibrator ready for action, turning herself on as she really told us pussy lefties, typing, "This is the murderer whose recent execution has thrown liberals into deep despair" with one hand as the other plunged the fuck toy into her anxious snatch.

All over Right Blogsylvania and the right-wing commentariat, the savages are looking to pump up their street cred by telling us just how terrible a terrible man was and how they shed no tears, except those that come out of their genitals before orgasm. Dallas Morning News columnist Mike Hashimoto says, "I’m sorry that his execution changes nothing, big picture or small. He ended up where he should have, just 43 minutes late." Christine Flowers wants us to put ourselves in Stephanie Neiman's shoes and confesses that "if the ability to empathize with an innocent, dying woman over the justified final reckoning of a murderer makes me a sadist, I will wear that label with no small pride." You get the idea, no?

A bit less masturbatory but no less wrong, Jonah Goldberg offers, "As far as I'm concerned, Lockett deserved to die for what he did. Everything else amounts to changing the subject, and it won't convince me otherwise."

Ah, but, dear, dear Spawn of Lucianne, everything else is the subject. Listen: it's not that most of us on the left are mourning for Clayton Lockett. We are mourning for ourselves, for our justice system, for our national soul. 'Cause, see, Locektt's execution ain't about him. It's about us and who we want to be. Saying Lockett's 43-minutes of state-sanctioned torture is better than he gave his victims is to say that we should judge ourselves by the standards set by a monstrous bastard.

And, to trot out a well-worn but always useful argument, we have come close to executing a number of people who were later proved innocent. We have executed a few innocent people. The Rude Pundit has a problem with that because, if we continue like this, it means that, at some point in the future, we (yes, we) will torture an innocent person to death under the banner of "Justice." That's fucked up.

What else is fucked up is that Erickson and Coulter wear their deep Christian convictions like armor. So what did Jesus think of the death penalty? Or maybe when he said, as the Bible you allege to be so fucking important to you relates, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me"?

Or maybe you break out the Jesus jams when it's easy, not when it's really fucking hard to not give in to the orgiastic bloodlust that juices up the right. Unlike those of us on the left, who have the courage and strength not to say, "Fuck it. Let 'em hang."


SD Legislator Who Knows Little About Anal Sex Has More on His Mind Than Assholes

Oh, ha, ha, yes, let us mock South Dakota Rep. Steve Hickey (R-no shit...oh, wait...) for his hilarious discomfort and disgust for anal sex between men, all of which you know is masking a clear lust to have some cock in his sphincter. How can you not laugh when he proudly wrote on his Facebook page (in something that was submitted to but not published by the Argus Leader newspaper), "Pardon a crude comparison but regarding men with men, we are talking about a one-way alley meant only for the garbage truck to go down."

How can you not laugh when you read that and say, "Wait, he's got a truck in his ass? And if so, how did it get up the one-way alley? Is he admitting that he sodomized himself with a Tonka toy?" Or when you read his plea for doctors or others to stand up to Big Anal and end the rear end madness? How can you not guffaw at the lack of self-awareness of someone who writes that some people who support gay rights think "those of us in the legislature should butt out"? That is comedy gold.

And Hickey went further in an interview with the Argus Leader's managing editor. After saying that he perhaps is not the best at crafting analogies, he described the man-on-man ass pumping as the same as being cool with "eight of your friends that you're in love with [taking] a dump in your bed and then you can sleep in it all year long." Which, if you think about it, probably comes from Rep. Steve Hickey's greatest fantasy, where eight of his buddies come over after a day of fly-fishing and eating deer jerky and Pringles and downing Coors, and they drop their pants while squatting on his bed so they can just spray loads of shit all over his sheets, his down comforter, his pillows so he can roll around nude in it later, affirming to himself that this is way better than being gay.

By the way, if you're a friend of Steve Hickey, he loves you and wants you to defecate on his bed.

Oddly, Hickey never discusses whether or not it's cool for a husband to assfuck his wife. Is the anus not a "One Way Alley for the Garbage Truck" in that case, too? And, shhh, we probably shouldn't tell him about analingus. Hell, we probably shouldn't mention lesbians, either. (Note: He does discuss it on his blog, in a post titled, "Does excrement defile the Christian marriage bed?" No, but you should probably change your sheets.)

Yes, it's all so very funny. But if you read past the scat play, what Hickey is really about is keeping those icky trans kids away from the other children when it comes to sports. No, really: "The South Dakota High School Activities Association is presently considering changing the rules to accommodate transgender kids. Forty-one percent of those who struggle with Gender Dysphoria attempt suicide, that's twenty-five times the rate of the general population– certainly tragic and urgent but not a word from the medical and psychological communities?" It's only for one high school, but, hey, life is a series of domino topples, is it not?

His stat from 2010 may be correct, but he sure doesn't think that his inability to understand why doctors aren't speaking out about butt fucking might be a cause. Hickey continues, "Letting boys play girl sports is not the starting place to fix the suicide problem or the very real daily struggle these students face dealing with something they have been handed in life. Society is broken and people have broken identities. Is it really best for us to break down the one remaining thing that has been working in society to try to fix the broken in our midst? And does it really even do that, or does it merely put them in more places exposing them to additional painful ostracization all the while transferring serious anxieties to other innocent and impressionable ones in those locker rooms?"

You got that? Hickey, who is seeking consensus on stigmatizing gay sex, feels bad because some people might tease trans kids. It's just pathetically sad when someone thinks they're acting like they're caring when, in reality, they are the problem. Hickey probably never thinks that he's helping to drive people to attempt suicide.

So while we generally shouldn't look at stray nutzoid legislators as proving anything, sometimes they are the avatars of a new approach to an issue. Is this the new line of attack? "C'mon, doctors, line up to say that men might get poop on their peters if they penetrate a pal's pooter"? That Hickey is just trying to save them from e coli or other shit-borne bugs?

It's telling that Hickey doesn't want to outlaw buggery. It's also telling that he's willing to meet with a gay former aide to President Obama. But he's sticking to his guns on blowing a load inside another man's ass.

(Note: This is a confusing guy. He's against the death penalty, having just come around on that issue, and he thinks Leonard Peltier should be freed. But he wants to repeal Obamacare.)


The Supreme Court Is Wrong: Public Prayer Is Always Coercion

This is a story that the Rude Pundit has told before, but, heck, that was probably years ago, so let's tell it again: It was the Rude Pundit's sophomore year of high school, an October day, possibly... probably... hard to remember. But this public school always started the day the same way: we were in homeroom, we got the announcements through the speakers, and then the announcer said, "Please rise for the Pledge of Allegiance." We took our oath to the fabric on a stick on the wall. Then the announcer said, "Please remain standing for a moment of silent prayer."

Now, south Louisiana being mainly Catholic, it would inevitably involve most of the students bowing their heads, muttering the Lord's Prayer or some such shit, and then crossing themselves. Most mornings, the Rude Pundit would stand there, wondering why the fuck he had to remain standing since he had no intention of praying. Sometimes, when he saw he was getting the stink eye from one person or another, he'd try to cross himself, although no one had ever taught him, so it looked like Jesus was more stoned to death than crucified.

But once, just once, he had a big biology test the next period, and he wanted to squeeze in just a little more studying. So he pledged his allegiance and then, thinking that he couldn't be compelled to pray, he sat down and got out his science notebook. A sharp voice came from the front of the classroom saying his full name. It was the homeroom teacher, who's probably dead now, but, hell, let's call her "Ms. Shithead" to protect her identity. She shout-whispered, "You stand up right now!" The Rude Pundit jumped up as everyone looked on at his heathen ass. (Note: The Rude Pundit hadn't fully committed to atheism at this point. If asked his religion, he'd say, "I'm guess I'm an agnostic because I don't care." When didn't feel like a discussion, he'd say, "Jewish." Either way, making the sign of the cross was not on his radar.)

After the prayer, Ms. Shithead asked the Rude Pundit to come to her desk. She explained that it was disrespectful for him to sit down while everyone was praying. "But I thought it was voluntary," he said. It is, she said, but even so, it's just good manners to stay on his feet. If he had thought that causing trouble was worth the effort, he might have responded, "So it's not voluntary." But, fuck it, he figured. He'd just fuckin' stand if it meant so goddamn much to everyone.

In other words, he was coerced into participating, whether he liked it or not.

The Supreme Court decision in Town of Greece v. Galloway certainly doesn't apply to morning prayers at public schools, but it's a step closer to making it possible, as Elena Kagan implies in her dissent. "Pray away at your town meetings, motherfuckers," said the majority. There's nothing wrong with it. In fact, according to Anthony Kennedy's opinion, it's as American as apple pie that you're forced to eat, even if you're allergic to apples.

Look at the wistful way Kennedy frames why a prayer at the top of a meeting of the town's legislative body is cool, even if those prayers are 99% Christian and often mention Jesus:

"In the town of Greece, the prayer is delivered during the ceremonial portion of the town's meeting. Board members are not engaged in policymaking at this time, but in more general functions, such as swearing in new police officers, inducting high school athletes into the town hall of fame, and presenting proclamations to volunteers, civic groups, and senior citizens. It is a moment for town leaders to recognize the achievements of their constituents and the aspects of community life that are worth celebrating." And, surely, you can't just honor someone without making sure they understand that Jesus is the reason for, well, Christ on a cracker, everything.

Kennedy goes on, "By inviting ministers to serve as chaplain for the month, and welcoming them to the front of the room alongside civic leaders, the town is acknowledging the central place that religion, and religious institutions, hold in the lives of those present. Indeed, some congregations are not simply spiritual homes for town residents but also the provider of social services for citizens regardless of their beliefs." No one doubts that everyone's gotta have their hoodoo to get 'em through this brutalizing world - some drink, some jack-off to midget porn, some worship Jesus - but Kennedy himself quotes several prayers spoken at the Greece, New York, town meetings that specifically reference God, Jr. or Christianity. Kennedy's solution: "Chill out, dudes. It's just a prayer." (That's not an exact quote.)

Justice Alito concurs that it's not an inconvenience to hear someone say a Christian prayer. What is an inconvenience is to tell chaplains and other prayer leaders to be non-denominational and inclusive in their praying: "[A]s our country has become more diverse, composing a prayer that is acceptable to all members of the community who hold religious beliefs has become harder and harder. It was one thing to compose a prayer that is acceptable to both Christians and Jews; it is much harder to compose a prayer that is also acceptable to followers of Eastern religions that are now well represented in this country. Many local clergy may find the project daunting, if not impossible, and some may feel that they cannot in good faith deliver such a vague prayer." Yeah, we wouldn't wanna put them out, now, would we?

Alito also cites the lack of non-Christians in Greece, which is a suburb, more or less, of Rochester, which is filthy with heathen Jews and Muslims, as a reason not to bother. So we can presume that Alito, a Catholic, would have no problem if an imam offered a prayer to Allah to start every town meeting in Lackawanna, New York.

Kennedy, Alito, and Clarence Thomas, writing his usual "You think that's crazy? Lemme show you crazy" concurrence, all seem to believe that because the Founders did it, it's cool. Do we need to break out the slavery argument here? The justices also believe that, as long as no one is forcing you to pray or trying to convert you directly, it's all good.

Public prayer is not a blithe, harmless, almost passive activity. It separates the believers from the non-believers, and it always implies that one should be behaving in a certain way. It forces you to conform or resist in settings where such pressures need not exist. Yeah, it's a fuck of a lot easier to say, "Kiss my ass. I'm sittin' out your prayer" in a large city. But in a small town, like Greece, or, perhaps, in the future, in a Southern classroom, it's an imposition on the freedom of others who want to go to secular things without having someone slap you in the face with their Christ butt plug.

The Rude Pundit has said it before and will say it again: "Freedom of religion" also means "freedom from religion."

Quick P.S. here: You know who offered an amicus brief in support of the praying rights of the Grecian people? The Obama administration. Yeah, the Solicitor General pretty much laid out everything Kennedy needed to say, so, you know, obviously the next State of the Union will start with an Islamic call to prayer.