The Elf on the Shelf Wept: A Scene from One Black Friday Strike

The Elf on the Shelf Wept: A Scene from One Black Friday Strike:
In Ontario, California, a suburb that's part of the Los Angeles sprawl, warehouse workers for Walmart took part in a national Black Friday strike and protest for a living wage from the mega-retailer. Most of the 150 or so people there marched with signs and chanted their chants. However, some of the strikers blocked an intersection. They were joined by one particularly jolly man in red:

Of course, blocking a road with a sit-in is an arresting offense, so as expected, those sitting in were arrested. Either way, you wouldn't want to be this police officer when he gets home to his kids:

The sad part is all that Santa and the workers nationwide want is a guarantee that Walmart will pay its employees $25,000 a year. A mere bag of shells to a company that made $17 billion in profit.

So the question here is the inevitable: Who is naughty in this scenario? Who is nice?


A Thanksgiving Poem from the Conquered

A Thanksgiving Poem from the Conquered:
Kopis'taya (A Gathering of Spirits)
by Pueblo and Sioux writer Paula Gunn Allen

Because we live in the browning season
the heavy air blocking our breath,
and in this time when living
is only survival, we doubt the voices
that come shadowed on the air,
that weave within our brains
certain thoughts, a motion that is soft,
imperceptible, a twilight rain,
soft feather's fall, a small body dropping
into its next, rustling, murmuring, settling
in for the night.

Because we live in the hardedged season
where plastic brittle and gleaming shine,
and in this space that is cornered and angled,
we do not notice wet, moist, the significant
drops falling in perfect spheres that are certain measures
of our minds;
almost invisible, those tears,
soft as dew, fragile, that cling to leaves,
petals, roots, gentle and sure,
every morning.

We are the women of the daylight, of clocks
and steel foundries, of drugstores
and streetlights, of superhighways
that slice our days in two. Wrapped around
in plastic and steel we ride our lives;
behind dark glasses we hide our eyes;
our thoughts, shaded, seem obscure.
Smoke fills our minds, whiskey husks our songs,
polyester cuts our bodies from our breath,
our feet from the welcoming stones of earth.
Our dreams are pale memories of themselves
and nagging doubt is the false measure
of our days.

Even so, the spirit voices are singing,
their thoughts are dancing in the dirty air.
Their feet touch the cement, the asphalt
delighting, still they weave dreams upon our
shadowed skulls, if we could listen.
If we could hear.

Let's go then. Let's find them.
Let's listen for the water, the careful
gleaming drops that glisten on the leaves,
the flowers. Let's ride
the midnight, the early dawn.
Feel the wind striding though our hair.
Let's dance the dance of feathers,
the dance of birds.


Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Spike the Cranberry Sauce with Vodka and Roofies

Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Spike the Cranberry Sauce with Vodka and Roofies:

That's just part of the arsenal that Sandy Hook Elementary shooter Adam Lanza had on him. It doesn't include the Bushmaster. It doesn't include the shotgun he had in the trunk of his car.

While hindsight is perfect and all that nonsense, if you want to rattle yourself to the bones on this rainy, awful day here in the Northeast, check out the report on Lanza's fifth-grade work, "The Big Book of Granny," featuring a homicidal Granny and her sadistic grandson. Oh, it's also got a character called Dora the Berserker who says, "I like hurting people...especially children." And then Granny shoots and kills an entire troop of Marines.

The Rude Pundit will be driving past Newtown today on his way to a Thanksgiving feast. Chances are that he won't slow down. It'll be night. It might still be raining. As we do with every massacre, we will all eventually do the same. We will push Sandy Hook into the white noise of violence past, our national state of denial that wears us down and wears us down.


The Rude Pundit's Blatantly Racist Names to Call Dinesh D'Souza

The Rude Pundit's Blatantly Racist Names to Call Dinesh D'Souza:
Obama-hating pusbag Dinesh D'Souza, he of the shitty documentary film, 2016: Obama's America, and a fuckload of shitty books spouting his shitty right-wing politics, including supporting colonialism, which, as an Indian-American (born in Mumbai), seems just fucking insane, tweeted this today: "I am thankful this week when I remember that America is big enough and great enough to survive Grown-Up Trayvon in the White House!" Out of the blue. Apropos of nothing other than D'Souza's lousy sense of humor. Needless to say, some people were upset that D'Souza essentially said that Obama was nothing more than a hoodie-wearing thug who ought to be shot for looking black and suspicious.

Of course, D'Souza took to Twitter to defend himself: "Feigned outrage on the left over me calling Obama 'grown up Trayvon' except that Obama likened himself to Trayvon!" Yeah, yeah, President Obama did say that "Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago." That takes nothing away from the assholish racism of D'Souza's tweet or that teenage Trayvon needed help surviving, not the rest of the world. (By the way, could someone tell D'Souza that exclamation points are the douchiest form of punctuation?)

Of course, D'Souza completely pussed out and deleted the tweets. Ahh, but the internet never forgets, and, hell, the left doesn't even have a Twitchy to get the virtual torches and pitchforks out.

You know, if you're gonna make a racist joke, at least make it funny. To wit, here's a list of things someone could call Dinesh D'Souza, with full awareness that this is totally racist and inappropriate and you should probably stop reading here if you are easily offended by such things, even if it is done with a sense of ironic self-awareness of the implicit racism contained in the eff...okay, here they are:

1. Grown-up Hadji

2. Anti-Gandhi

3. Dumbdog Millionaire

4. Sri Dickna

5. Gunga Dim

That's enough. Racist jokes are easy and worthless. Also, basically, fuck that guy.

Late Post Today

Late Post Today:
Yeah, obviously.

Back later with more turkey week reacharounds.


Pleasures in Everyday Life, Part 1: Restaurant Impossible and Mainstreaming LGBT Couples

Pleasures in Everyday Life, Part 1: Restaurant Impossible and Mainstreaming LGBT Couples:
(The Rude Pundit would beat someone to death with a turkey leg if he had to write one more Obamacare defense or talk about what bastards Republicans are being about the Iran nuke agreement. So, in the lead up to Black Friday, he's gonna stick to some good news, or at least things that might make you feel good to be alive, just for a little while. Think of it as an extended reacharound.)

Everybody's got their guilty pleasures, those things that they are just a little ashamed to say they enjoy. For the Rude Pundit, who lets his freak flag fly proudly and unzipped, the pleasures are many and the guilty ones are few. The drugs? The whiskey? This libertine life? No guilt there. But the fact that he enjoys the show Restaurant Impossible on the Food Network? Oh, that makes him squeamish to admit.

The show is one of those where an abrasive jerk-off tells people who have no business running a bar or hotel or, in this case, a restaurant what they're doing wrong and how to fix it before he rips their arms off and beats them to death with them. Or before they go out of business from mismanagement. Robert Irvine, a cross between Gordon Ramsay and Richard Kiel, is the host who, for completely arbitrary reasons, has 2 days and $10,000 to fix the restaurants. He does this by going into an obvious 'roid rage (his arms simply can't touch his sides and his buzz cut head too small for his upper body), butting heads with the owners and tearing up the joint to redesign it, fixing the menus, the employees, and the spaces, all in 2 days. A good many of the restaurants he rescues end up failing anyways because, as a wise man once said, you can't cure stupid.

Obviously, subtlety is not the strong suit of this show. It's manipulative to a fault, with the relationship between the families and couples put under Irvine's gaze and subject to his unbelievably deep concern for the well-being of the people he met a few hours ago whose restaurants he's fixing. What the Rude Pundit has gotten out of it is that most restaurants are filthy messes run by nincompoops.

Now, there's no real reason to share this guilty pleasure with you, dear, dear readers. Except for what happened last week on Restaurant Impossible and the extraordinary thing it says about where we are in this nation at this extraordinary moment.

Irvine and crew went to the Georgia Boy Cafe in Hagerstown, Maryland, which is close to the Pennsylvania border, in that Alabama-like section of central Pennsylvania. It's over an hour from DC and a little more than two from West Virginia. Let's put aside that the restaurant was disgustingly dirty. Let's put aside the quality of the food. Let's put aside the actual intervention into the business, and instead talk about the fact that the Georgia Boy Cafe is owned by Chuck Holman and Montez Dorsey, a black, gay couple who, at the time of filming, had been together for eight years.

Without every mentioning the fact that they are gay (or African American, for that matter), the episode centered around the pair, whose work at the restaurant had, by their own admission, caused a great deal of stress on their home life together. The Rude Pundit sat watching, a bit dumbfounded, at how Irvine did his usual dime store couples therapy on Holman and Dorsey. Throughout the hour, the two men talked about how much they love each other, how much they mean to each other, how much they love who each one is. We saw them hug, hold hands, kiss (on the cheek, but still, it was more than in over four seasons of Cam and Mitchell on Modern Family). We saw their down-to-earth mothers, who work at the Georgia Boy Cafe, talk about how much they wanted their sons to stay a couple because they love each other so much.

What struck the Rude Pundit was how a relationship that, not very long ago, would have been ignored, condemned, treated as a freakish aberration in our heteronormatizing culture was presented as simply a relationship, one subject to the same stresses as any couple. Yet - and here's where it was more complex than usual - Irvine and the show never shied away from the fact that this was two black gay males. It was always present. Restaurant Impossible wasn't saying, "Look, they are just like you." It was saying, "They are you. They are us." A damn food show was more honest and less sensationalistic and patronizing about how a nonwhite LGBT couple exists than pretty much anything the Rude Pundit's seen on American television.

Despite homophobic assholes like Guy Fieri and Paula Deen (who is friends with Irvine), the Food Network has, as much as any network not Logo, mainstreamed the LGBT community. Chopped regularly features chefs who talk about their same sex partners or spouses. Nobody cares. That's the most progressive thing you can say, no? "Be with who you love. Who cares?" For so many in this nation, for so many so-called leaders, that's still a big damn deal. Yet here is the Food Network treating the queer community as not something separate, but as a fact of existence. Since gay-bashers are so fond of analogies, how about this: It's like talking about people's eye color.

While there's no telling how much Restaurant Impossible achieved its perspective through editing, this episode was worth noting not for how it presented a different kind of couple, but for how it didn't present them as such. At the end, when the remodeled Georgia Boy Cafe was reopened, the guests were black, white, young, old, straight, gay.  And no one commented on how cool that was. Which made it even cooler.


Murdering Hope

Murdering Hope:
Days like this are always ripe for wondering "What if?" It is natural, of course, in the scheme of things, to imagine that, but for a particular event, the world would be a much different place. That kind of magical thinking excludes all kinds of other exigencies if circumstances had been different. Butterfly effect and all that, you know. Dead baby Hitler might have led to nuclear apocalypse. No one knows. But still, but still, we dream our what-ifs and extrapolate vaguely meaningful things out of them.

The Rude Pundit isn't talking about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the 50th anniversary of which is today, pretty much right now, actually. Perhaps a better way to put it is that he's not directly talking about it.

No, what the Rude Pundit has been pondering in the run-up to today is the inauguration of Barack Obama back in 2009. The what-if is more prosaic than what would have been had JFK avoided Dallas or if Lee Harvey Oswald was a worse shot. It's only a bit more useful than that fantasy. See, the Rude Pundit wonders what would have happened if, after the inauguration of President Obama, his opposition had reached out to work with him, hadn't immediately attempted to shiv him, had heeded the vote of the nation, aching for transformation, aching for change.

What if instead of immediately seeking to discredit the new president, his opponents, in both parties, had harnessed the energy that existed in the nation then and forged a path that led definitively away from the destructiveness of the Bush administration?

Nearly every day, on his way to work, the Rude Pundit ends up driving behind a particular truck that has several bumper stickers of the usual nonsense: "Don't trust the liberal media," "NObama," and the like. Only one has made him think anything more than "Numbnuts." It reads, "How's that hope and change working out for you?" What galls him is not the playground mocking. What gets him is the idea that you would point at someone and laugh at them for having hope, especially when you're part of a group that has done everything possible to crush that hope.

The people we invest with nebulous ideas like "hope" are only human. A JFK, a Barack Obama, they never can live up to the concept. But it's so touchingly human that we do want someone to embody hope. And it's tragically human that someone will always be there to gun hope down.

What has happened to Barack Obama, an imperfect vessel for the hopes of a large part of the nation, and his presidency has not been done with an assassin's bullet. But just as those who hated Kennedy with passionate irrationality laid the groundwork for his death, so do the very same type of people murder hope, gleefully, slowly this time, by paper cuts instead of hot metal. Like the driver of the pickup, they want hope to disappear. For hope means the possibility of change. And political and social change wrought from hope is something that ultimately ends up in assuring that those who have power must give some up to those without it.

When he's read remembrances today, when he's heard from those who were around then, the most striking thing for the Rude Pundit is how everyone talks about the end of Camelot, the end of a period when hope was possible, before we descended into the necessary anarchy of the rest of the 1960s, which some dare believe Kennedy would have been able to prevent (he wouldn't have). The Rude Pundit figures one day he'll be an old man telling children what it was like to feel great about the nation electing the first black president and what it felt like for the same nation to let hope dribble away like a fistful of sand. Open your hand after a moment. Some grains remain, but it's so little compared to what you thought you had.

Yes, Obama bears some blame. But, in its way, that's like saying that Kennedy shouldn't have gone to Dallas, shouldn't have had the top down on the car.

The bastards murdered hope. It's what they do. The bastards will do it every time.


In Brief: Oh, Shut the Fuck Up on the Filibuster, GOP

In Brief: Oh, Shut the Fuck Up on the Filibuster, GOP:
Dear GOP,

You reap what you have sown, motherfuckers. And now you get at least a year of eating shit on judges and executive branch appointees. Why? Because you were such unbelievable dickheads for the last three years and the government can't function when a minority of one house of one branch can stall everything. Frankly, this should have been done all the way in January 2009, with no exception for bills and Supreme Court justices, and then we'd have real heath care reform, Gitmo closed, and more.

Just fucking stop with the outrage and the promise that you're gonna do even more evil cuntery if you ever get the majority and the presidency again. C'mon. You know and so does everyone else that, no matter if Reid went nuclear or not, you were gonna change the filibuster the first chance you got. And that's because you're dishonorable scumfuckers who won't stand to let the black man president have his way.

But, no, really, go ahead and pretend that you give a shit about anything. Go ahead and pretend, as your priggish tortoise leader says, that this was about distracting from the fuck-ups of the Affordable Care Act rollout. Please, motherfuckers, please. After filibustering hundreds of bills in Obama's first couple of years, after filibustering nominee after nominee for the last five, you have the stones to act like you're the aggrieved victims here?

You screwed the pooch. No, wait, you screwed the pooch in every orifice you could find in the pooch and then, when you had shoved your syphilitic cocks into all of them, you cut a few extra holes in the pooch so you could add more cocks and screw it some more.

Let's just hope Obama tees up a shit-ton of liberal judges to correct the rightward tilt of the judiciary in this country. You know how it got so conservative, GOP? Because Democrats weren't complete and utter pricks. Like you. So even some fuckin' perverse animals got through to lifetime appointments on the bench.

You got what you deserved. Now, really, go out and try to sell America on how much majority rule sucks as you try to get the majority.

Kisses in Hell,
The Rude Pundit

Late Post Today

Late Post Today:
The Rude Pundit is pretty sure those spicy fish tacos are passing a nuclear option in his stomach.

Back later with more filibuster-free rudeness.


Albuquerque, Anti-Choice Forces, and the Diminished Power of Dead Fetus Photos

Albuquerque, Anti-Choice Forces, and the Diminished Power of Dead Fetus Photos:
One of the the anti-choice's favorite tactics in our neverending abortion war in the United States is to display placards with photos of grotesque fetus corpses, presumably real and presumably the end result of one or another abortion procedure (although some have been shown to be miscarriages). The Rude Pundit won't link to these pictures because, fuck you, this is a family blog. In Texas recently, a cadre of worthless sacks of crazy used the photos on signs outside of high schools. In Albuquerque, some of the groups who just failed to get a ban on abortions after 20 weeks used the graphic images as part of their campaign.

In both cases, the bloody fetus photos ended up backfiring. In Albuquerque, the losers included a group with the charming name "Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust" (that's awesome - it means that if we're born, we're "survivors") protested with mutilated fetus signs outside the New Mexico Holocaust and Intolerance Museum. Perhaps not understanding the meaning of the word "intolerance," the protesters were demanding that the museum add a section on how abortion and the Holocaust are just alike, which is totally true, except for that part about the enormous state-sponsored program of the genocide of various groups of people who had no choice at all in the matter. But, hey, bodies is bodies, no? A starved, gassed adult is the same as a dead fetus. Still, in Albuquerque, the gory photos ended up turning people off to the anti-choicers.

Or maybe what's happened is simple because, in Texas, the pictures just ended up pissing off the students.  Let's explain it in a couple of cool video game images:

Do you see that fuckin' thing? Holy shit, it's disturbing. It's a Crawler, an infected, reanimated baby corpse with an explosive stomach in Dead Space 2, a popular game in 2011. One of your jobs in the game is to kill as many of these as you can without causing them to blow up into bits of bloody viscera. If you kill 30, you get an award. You become a "Nanny." This is all absolutely true. You entertain yourself by shooting the faces off fucked-up babies.

And what in fuck's name is that? It's literary, motherfuckers. That's an unbaptized baby from the game Dante's Inferno. It's got knives for hands and guts spilling out above its diaper. And it wants to slice you to pieces, so you better cut it up before it gets to.

So, dear, vicious, inbred-brained anti-choicers, you can put your bloody fetus porn away. That shit may have worked twenty, thirty years ago. But it's the 21st century and the kids are watching beheading videos on Live Leak and playing games that realistically portray the disemboweling of children and babies. You ain't gonna shock 'em anymore with a crushed skull or dismembered limbs.

And, if Albuquerque is any example, with its 55% to 45% defeat of the abortion ban, you better come up with a new tactic pretty damn fast.


GOP Gov. Scott Walker: Obamacare Sucks Except When It Doesn't

GOP Gov. Scott Walker: Obamacare Sucks Except When It Doesn't:
Okay, kids, let's all follow the bouncing ball of fuckery, this time starring Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a Republican and a man who looks like he just huffed spray paint fumes while rubbing a dead possum against his face:

So Walker has been hatin' on the Affordable Care Act for a while now. No way, no how was he gonna allow his state to set up an evil state exchange of evil heath insurance because fuck Obama and the care that bears his name. And no way, no how was he gonna expand Medicaid in his state because a man can't have helping the poor on his conscience if he's set his narrow, child molester eyes on a presidential run.

Indeed, Walker hates Obamacare so very much that he has been on TV touting his book that not a fucking person will read by choice and saying he hates him some Obamacare. He told the conservative shithouse Newsmax, "[I]f I had a direct line into the president, and he was listening, I'd tell him that you need to back off on Obamacare. It's not just a failure in terms of the rollout, it's not just a failure in terms of getting people signed up, it has had an abysmal impact on our nation's economy."

Man, that dude is a drippy pustule of anti-Obamacare rhetoric. You can bet that he'll have not a goddamn thing to do with the president's health care folly. Except one thing.

See, Walker announced in February that the income level to get Wisconsin's Medicaid program, stupidly named "Badgercare," a previously "generous" 200% of the poverty rate, would be rolled back to 100%. What that would do is allow 83,000 childless adults to get health care by kicking 77,000 people, including families, off the badger teat.

Remember, kids, this is a bouncing ball of fuckery, so it's gotta go somewhere next.

So those 77,000 people are getting the dreaded cancellation notice - not from a company that's becoming Obamacare-compliant with its policies, but from Badgercare. Hopefully, the letters have some cartoon badger giving a thumbs-down to ease the hit.

Now, this is where it gets fun. What Walker expects is that the now-uninsured will get their health care coverage from...wait for it...the federal exchanges. Or, you know, Obamacare. According to NPR, "Walker says everyone losing coverage will be able to buy subsidized plans under the Affordable Care Act, and many will find monthly premiums under $20." Walker said that the federal subsidies bring down the cost a great deal. And then he added, "But Obamacare still sucks dog balls and I hate it. Really, really."

Do you get it? A Republican governor has proudly refused to legitimize the Affordable Care Act because it's just terrible, but he feels free to cancel insurance for tens of thousands under the pretense that the Affordable Care Act will get them the coverage they need because it's so good and affordable and saves the state money it can use to get others on Medicaid.

To go further, every person who has had their policy canceled because of the ACA is expected to get insurance through exchanges, federal or state. For that, President Obama is getting raked over the coals of a gross media narrative. Scott Walker does the exact same thing (no, really, it's the exact same thing, except that it involves poor people), and you hear not a whisper of anger from conservatives.

And that's your right-wing fuckery for the day.


Note to Republicans: Repealing Obamacare Is Murder

Note to Republicans: Repealing Obamacare Is Murder:

Everything you need to know about the delusional, lying, cold-hearted motherfuckers that we call "the Republican Party" is in that snapshot up there. It's from the House GOP website. The promise is that the House will "Repeal and Replace the Job Destroying Health Care Law." Under that, it reads, "Because the new health care law kills jobs, raises taxes, and increases the cost of health care, we will immediately take action to repeal this law." Under that, there's a green box with a check mark, along with "This promise was fulfilled on January 19, 2011 with the passage of H.R. 2. President Obama's Job Destroying Health Care Law was repealed by the House of Representatives."

Now, you being a person who believes that "words" have "meaning," you might think, "Huh. I thought the Affordable Care Act was still the law." In fact, shockingly, it wasn't repealed at all. The House passed a mighty bill (well, a bunch of 'em, really) repealing it, but without the Senate agreeing and the President signing, it would more accurately be described as "an act of mass bullshittery." So the House GOP is claiming a promise has been fulfilled that has not, in fact, been fulfilled. We might even call that a lie. It's like saying that you and your wife had sex when, in reality, you jacked off on her while she was sleeping.

One thing that's not in the picture is that, while repeal has been achieved (even though it, you know, hasn't), under "Replacement Status," the website says that "The fight continues." That's right. The House GOP hasn't passed a single fucking bill saying what the hell they'd replace Obamacare with (usually it's some worthless shitpile of medical savings accounts, liability lawsuit "reform," and a regulation or two without protecting consumers from predatory insurers jacking up rates). See, if the House says it's mission accomplished if it passes a repeal bill, then why can't it pass replacement legislation, even if the Senate won't take it up?

It's simple really. There's a reason why any Republican who is asked, "Well, what the fuck would you do?" goes into "Hominah-hominah" mode. The GOP is so infested with Tea Party shit-eaters, evangelical self-fellaters, and Gohmerts that it's got nothing, not a goddamn thing, that it can pass to help people who don't have access to health insurance. Even when they ran the joint a few years back, they didn't do anything to help the fucked beyond fucked American health care system.

If the Rude Pundit were the Democrats' Karl Rove, he'd hit GOP members of Congress with this fact. And then he'd push it further. He'd point out, as Joe Conason does, that insurance companies were canceling over 40,000 health policies a week pre-ACA, and Republicans (and most of the media) didn't give a happy monkey fuck about it. And those millions who had policies canceled or were facing cancellation couldn't just go and buy another policy, perhaps even a better one with lower costs for care (as the people who have had policies canceled under Obamacare can). No, they would have pre-existing conditions, perhaps even terminal illness, and no insurer would touch them or would charge them an arm, a leg, their firstborn, and a prostate massage a week.

But the Rude Pundit would go even further. He'd figure out how many people in the district of Congressperson Doucheface had gotten health insurance under the ACA, including the young people who got on their parents' insurance. Then he'd say that Doucheface wants to take it away from them. And he'd state a certainty: If Doucheface gets his way and repeals Obamacare, people will die. Your neighbors will die. Doucheface will be responsible, as will everyone who votes Doucheface into office.

That picture from the GOP website says it all, man. They don't do a goddamn thing but pretend like they are leading. You wanna say, "Job Destroying"? Go ahead. We'll cry, "Murder."


Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Down a Handful of Xanax with a Can of Tecate

Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Down a Handful of Xanax with a Can of Tecate:

A couple of years ago, President Obama said, "Hey, let's spend more time worrying about arresting the undocumented immigrants who commit crimes instead of the ones who do our shit jobs." Thus a mighty directive of direction went out to Homeland Security and law enforcement and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Down in New Orleans, "local [ICE] agents are not following those orders." Yep, ignoring the president, they're busting into homes, pulling over brown people, and basically creating teabagger wet dreams.

For instance, Jennifer Rosenbaum of the Center for Racial Justice says, "People have been arrested in parking lots after coming out of the grocery store and then they're driven around Kenner in a van while other people are stopped and arrested for looking Latino until the van fills up. Then they're taken to the detention center." She suspects a quota-driven arrest system. The Rude Pundit suspects utter and complete dickishness.

And because no story is truly a story unless it contains a pregnant woman, here ya go: "In March, ICE agents arrested Denis Avila while he was driving with his pregnant wife from New Orleans to Kenner to look for a new apartment. They apprehended him as he was walking out of the apartment, fingerprinted him in the van, discovered he has a previous deportation order and took him away, leaving his eight-month pregnant wife stranded."

So yesterday afternoon, a few hundred people blocked traffic and protested by blocking one of the busiest downtown intersections in New Orleans. And that led to 22 arrests, including 18 immigrants. And that's what the photo up there shows.

On the New Orleans Times-Picayune website today, Bill Quigley, a lawyer for the detained immigrants, writes why he's defending them. It's very simple, really. It's the usual stuff: compassion, human rights, dignity. The usual bleeding heart liberal things that we bleeding heart liberals say. Except Quigley adds a Crescent City twist to it.

"These workers simply ask for the right to remain in the city they helped rebuild," he says. "Like many readers of The Times-Picayune, I was here during and after Katrina. Thousands of immigrant workers arrived and labored to help us rebuild our communities. They often did the dirty work, the unsafe work, for minimal wages. They stood with us in our time of need. Now it is our time to stand with them."

If there was ever a cut-and-dried case for, oh, hell, compassion, human rights, and dignity, maybe it could be for the very people who dragged the pieces of your Humpty-Dumpty city out of the mud and water and put that fucker back together again.


Obama to Nation: Keep Your Fuckin' Plans, You Stupid Cowards

Obama to Nation: Keep Your Fuckin' Plans, You Stupid Cowards:
In a sane era, not an ideal one, but a sane one, the President would have gone to congressional leaders and said, "Hey, what are some things we can do to make the Affordable Care Act work better?" Now, in the fantasy sane era - and, again, we're not saying it's some fuckin' "Kumbaya" era of holding hands, but just a time when people in the government actually want the government to, you know, function like a government - members of both parties would offer things that they would like to see in the law. Democrats might have said something about outreach. Republicans might have said something like "Why don't we let people keep their heath care plans?" Things would have been negotiated and the law would have been strengthened or, at least, smoothed up a bit.

Alas, we do not live in such an era. Instead, we must deal with the constant buzzing of our water boatman politicians. The water boatman is an insect that, relative to its size, gives off a mighty sound. It makes this annoying chirp/buzz by constantly rubbing its dick on its belly. There's your picture for the day: Ted Cruz grabbing his tumescent cock and scraping it back and forth across his hairy stomach as it emits a call for perverse teabaggers to mate with his narrow, self-serving ideology.

Instead of Barack Obama and the House GOP agreeing that the law is the law and making it function for Americans, we get the sight of Obama appearing before the press corps and saying, more or less, "Goddamn, I'm sick of you motherfuckers whining about your shitty ass health insurance getting canceled because your provider is just a bunch of sick, greedy dickheads who would murder you where you sit if it would squeeze one more cent of profit out of your useless bodies. You wanna cling to your high deductible, low benefit policy for another year because you're scared that the black man president might be right and all that Fox 'news' noise might be wrong? Fine. Fuck it. Kiss my ass and keep your shit plan. Don't come whining to me when it turns out that your insurer drops your sorry ass when you get too sick for it. You asked to be grandfathered in, so lick grandpa's balls and tell me how tasty they are now. Now, can we please talk about the fact that Republicans want to kick over 100,000 people who just got insurance off it?"

Imagine for a moment, just one clear moment, what would have happened if, after the law passed, Republicans hadn't been such total pricks about the ACA, if just a quarter of the votes to repeal Obamacare had been on things that make the law stronger (or even more Republican). No, they couldn't. That would legitimize the law and Barack Obama as president. They have to keep hitting at the ACA as if it's the last windmill in Spain. Just think, though, what would have happened if all states had set up their own exchanges, if they had accepted the Medicaid expansion, if, if, if. It wouldn't have been perfect, but at least it would have worked as it was created to work instead of the horrific Frankenstein monster of a thing it was forced to become. The only way not having a public option for insurance works is if the states acted responsibly. They did not, in a way calculated to undermine the President and a Congress from just a few years ago. Democrats got suckered, again, into thinking that Republicans would behave honorably.

If President Obama seems frustrated, it's because he should be. Used to be people gave a damn when a law was passed. They shifted their perspective and acted in concert with the law. If they disagreed with it, they elected new people who overturned it (if the courts wouldn't). The tactics used by the right on Obamacare would have made Abbie Hoffman at his most radical say, "Goddamn, that'll lead to anarchy." On January 1, there's probably gonna be hospital sit-ins or some such shit. And it's hilarious that the GOP is acting as if, pre-ACA, it was all free gold and pussy for people with health insurance, not that it was (and is) a cruel, callous, capitalist system that saw people routinely kicked off their policies for taking one too many pills or being a little late with a payment.

So can we move forward now? Is it possible to get to that place where we simply try to, for fuck's sake, get people some health care and not act like it's a privilege for the few?


Need a Personal Day, Boss

Need a Personal Day, Boss:
So, yeah, wow, shit, that day sort of fucked off quickly.

Halfway through a post on anal probing in New Mexico, the Rude Pundit was called away on a rescue mission. "Suit up...for reals," said the voice on telecom. "And gas up the Rudeplane."

Maybe a late nighter, if we're feelin' frisky. If not, many happy returns tomorrow.

Late Post Today

Late Post Today:
The Rude Pundit's gonna get high with Pope Francis. That dude really is totally liberal.

Back later with more holy rudeness.


In Brief: Other Things That Are Like Slavery to the GOP

In Brief: Other Things That Are Like Slavery to the GOP:
Next year's most famous meth addict, Sarah Palin, says that the national debt is "like slavery" (prefacing it with a charming "this isn't racist" because white Alaskans get to judge such things). Republicans all over the place say that the insurance mandate under the Affordable Care Act is "like slavery." Right-wingers compare abortion rights to slavery (when they're not comparing it to the Holocaust). And they're right. All of those are exactly like being owned as property by a master who can force you to work and rape you and sell you or your children to others and torture you on a whim.

Here's a list of some other things that Palin, the GOP, and company must consider to be just like slavery:

1. 2-Year cell phone agreements

2. State-mandated car insurance

3. Frequent flier mileage usage restrictions

4. Hotel mini-bar prices

5. Sharing a cab

6. Finishing one's four-year term as an elected official (Palin only)

7. Waiting in line for a cronut

8. Having to appeal to voters who aren't white, conservative, and/or rich

9. The minimum wage

10. Having a black president


Honor Veterans by Listening to Them About Gun Laws

Honor Veterans by Listening to Them About Gun Laws:
Back in April, when there was actually a chance that the nation might pass one or two immensely sane gun laws, a survey by Vote Vets and the Center for American Progress found that 91% of veterans polled supported universal background checks for gun purchases. Yep, the people who handled guns to, you know, defend the country thought that there was no problem in having that law. Shit, 74% volunteered that they "strongly support" it. Also, 61% favored banning high-capacity magazines and 58% said that we should ban military-style assault weapons like the kind they used when they were in the, well, shit, military.

So it makes sense that former representative and shooting victim Gabby Giffords and her veteran/astronaut/basic superhero husband Mark Kelly would reach out to veterans in their pursuit of strengthening gun laws in the United States. They have founded Veterans for Responsible Solutions, part of the the Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC. The list of founding members includes three brigadier generals, a major general, and the dreaded rear admiral. It is an organization whose existence seems entirely logical, entirely in line with what vets appear to believe about guns.

Of course, then, it's already being attacked by the savage dogfuckers of the right. The always charming Truth About Guns mocks, "[It] is especially heinous considering all enlisted men and women must swear an oath to uphold and defend the United States Constitution, whose Second Amendment prohibits any and all infringement on Americans’ individual, natural and civil right to keep and bear arms. Oh wait, wasn’t Kelly in the Navy? And didn’t Giffords swear the same oath before taking office?" Obviously, minimal gun restrictions are "heinous," a word one would think would be confined to gory gun massacres.

Over at Breitbart, writer and person who needs to buy a vowel, Awr Hawkins, does the usual thing for the glory whores trying to keep the dying light of Andrew from completely snuffing out: he says that Giffords and Kelly should address something published at Breitbart.

And while mostly you should never give a happy monkeyfuck what is said in the comment threads anywhere, this one in the New York Daily News just is amazing: "Enough already from that fraud Giffords, who was pro-NRA until she got shot." The Rude Pundit assumes that's supposed to be an insult instead of a "no shit" kind of statement. And then he assumes that the writer of it is a goddamned idiot.

Don't worry. There will be more bile and spit in the coming days because obviously these veterans are delusional, possibly suffering from PTSD or something that makes them susceptible to liberal ideas.

Oh, by the way, the NRA is practically fisting its own ass in honor of Veterans Day. Did anyone mention to them that the vets want the laws the NRA spends all its time and money fighting? That maybe one way for a gun owners' association to "honor" them is to listen to them?


The Massacres That Aren't Worth Covering

The Massacres That Aren't Worth Covering:

The Rude Pundit might be old-fashioned, but he remembers a day not so long ago when, if the bodies of a murdered family of three were discovered in a Mississippi shack, it would be big news. Especially if one of the dead was a 7-year old boy. Perhaps those were more innocent times when the nation would be appalled as a whole at such carnage. We might have been asked to join in mourning them. We might have wondered why such horrible things happen.

Now, we don't blink. You can add "especially if the family's black" in there if you like. You wouldn't be wrong.

The same thing goes for the barbershop gambling room shooting yesterday in Detroit. Three men were killed. The murderer fired through the windows and then went in through a back door to shoot up the place.

If you're thinking, "Poor, Detroit, black," you can easily make your case.

This is the nation we live in. These are the times we are damned to exist in. If anyone suggests any kind of change, whether in gun laws or our treatment of inner city poverty, they are laughed at as traitors to a country that betrays its citizens a bullet or two at a time.


Guns and Ammo Magazine Firing Shows Conservatism Is Fucked

Guns and Ammo Magazine Firing Shows Conservatism Is Fucked:
You know, "shit for brains" is something people sometimes say to denote the stupidity of their opponent, jokingly or seriously. But instead of just being a substitute for "dummy" or "fucktard" or "backwards ass country fuck," the Rude Pundit prefers to think of some people actually having a pile of shit inside their heads where their brains ought to be; that whenever they try to form a thought or parse out some logic, all they can  do is rock the shit back and forth until their necks get tired and they end up slouched over, mouth agape, thin drool thread heading south to their laps.

If you want to know exactly who fits this description, head on over to the Facebook page for Guns and Ammo magazine. There, under the "Recent Posts by Others," you will have your American soul taken out of you, ass raped by hillbillies, and tossed into a garbage dump that's probably some shit-for-brains' backyard. "I've cancelled my subscription WHY !!!!! Guns and ammo is for gun control? Unsubscribed!!!!!where is our Second Amendment....." writes one knuckle-dragger who apparently thinks that multiple punctuation shows he really means it.

Whatever happened? Did Guns and Ammo magazine tell its readers to turn in their sniper rifles and machine guns and maybe eat a fuckin' salad every now and then? Did it go full Brady? What in the world could cause such a vomiting of hate and bile?

It was an editorial by one of the magazine's longtime contributors. Well, obviously it must have been so blatantly offensive, like calling people who own big guns with giant-ass magazines "little-dicked, paranoid, racist fuckheads who are ruining the nation"? "Selfish cunts who have no real use to the world and pretend to be tough because they live such meaningless, degraded lives"? So the Rude Pundit read this liberal screed.

Here's a transcript of the Rude Pundit's brain as he read the offending column, "Let's Talk Limits" by Dick Metcalf:

"Uh-huh. Yes, good, 'well-regulated militia' means, you know, 'regulated.' Whiskey. Whiskey. Reasonable discussion of how rights in other areas are limited. Crush Adderall. Bump. Whiskey. Statement of worry about unsafe gun practices. Rational support of a 16-hour training course for concealed carry license in Illinois. Whiskey. Let's click on this Norwegian porn site. No...no...too much feces...Zip up pants. This is a Starbucks, for chrissake. Article. Search for anything that remotely limits gun owners' 'rights' beyond a little bit of training. Whiskey. Nope, nothing. What the fuck is wrong with these people?"

Truly, the only thing that Metcalf called for was the training for concealed carry licenses. That's all. And not only was there an orgy of hatred for him and threats of canceled subscriptions, but editor Jim Bequette apologized by fellating a Glock and firing Metcalf. Because, apparently, the rest of the Bill of Rights is only good enough to polish a pistol after wiping the sweat off your ass crack.

And here is where the Rude Pundit will extrapolate for your pleasure and amusement. What this whole episode demonstrates is how unbelievably fucked the conservative movement is. The rigid ideology, the demand for adherence to dogma, and the condemnation of anyone who varies even slightly are all going to squeeze out the few remaining rational people like the last dingleberries of a dry shit. What does Dick Metcalf learn? That gun owners can have a calm discussion about an utterly reasonable and non-controversial effort to make guns even a little safer? Or that he may as well have called for the execution of AR-15 owners, considering the hatred that poured out at him?

They not only eat their own. They demand that you must eat yourself in the process.

(To be as fair as possible, on that Facebook page, there are more than a few people who are posting that they are pissed off about Metcalf's firing. Like this guy - who the Rude Pundit won't name because assholes will be assholes - who wrote: "I'm an NRA member and a competition pistol shooter. Too bad you had the guts to be reasonable and then turned into cowards because of all the thugs in our gun culture that bullied you. 74 percent of our members support more extensive background checks but Loopy Lapierre wants us to believe checks will lead to confiscations. Well there are those of us who consider the greater good. I for one will not be bullied!")

Late Post Today

Late Post Today:
Looks like Chopper's gotten back into the game. Time to hop on the Lawmaster and hunt him down.

Back later with more guns-a-blazin' rudeness.


Chris Christie Ain't Shit

Chris Christie Ain't Shit:
Post-Sandy, there was never any doubt that New Jersey would reelect America's angriest yoga ball, Chris Christie, as governor. He could have been caught fucking a calzone while smoking crack, and he still would have been reelected. Why? Because New Jersey likes assholes? Because he reminds Jersey residents of their psychologically abusive fathers, always screaming at you and pointing his fat fucking finger in your face? Because New Jersey really hates abortion, teachers' unions, and large, job-creating public works projects? Yes, yes, and no. Why "no" on the third question? Ah, there is the more important story of the New Jersey evening.

The results of the referendum on a minimum wage hike in New Jersey are a bit confounding. What passed was not just a $1 raise, from a brutal $7.25 an hour to a slightly less ass-reaming $8.25. No, it was an amendment to the state's constitution that ties the hourly rate to the cost of living, with hikes possible every September, depending on inflation. Here's the fun part. Christie beat Democrat Barbara "Ignored by Everyone" Buono 60.5% to 38%. The minimum wage referendum passed 61% to 39%. That means that at over a third of Christie's voters supported it.

The real fun is that Christie himself opposed tying the minimum wage to the cost of living index. He vetoed a bill to raise the stagnant wage this year and mocked those who would bring it to the voters to amend the state constitution in that charming Christie way: "[It's] a truly ridiculous idea. That is just a stupid way to do it." He actively campaigned against the amendment. And yet, well, shit, we know how it all turned out.

Let's add one more fun fact to the supposed Christie anointment last night. Dude's got no coattails, no juice, no big mo, nothing. The legislature remained firmly in Democratic hands, with no seats lost in the Senate and just two lost in the Assembly. That includes counties where Christie won handily.

You can read that two ways: the kind way is that Christie cuts across party lines and is the moderate Obama-hugging god everyone wants to worship today. The unkind way is that Chris Christie ain't shit but an image, a cartoon character, a bulbous joke like a certain mayor of a certain Canadian city. He's a myth (or a Republican bedtime story, as John Dickerson calls him - maybe Goodnight, Goon?), and a myth will always top reality. The only way Democrats were going to beat him was to offer an alternative myth. Buono is a fine politician, but you can't take down the Hindenburg without a spark. In Jersey, that possibility dried up as soon as Cory Booker went Senate instead of Governor.

Or perhaps the other path was to puncture the myth. That was gonna take someone a fuck of a lot sharper than Buono to pop a yoga ball. Those things are thick. It'll take, say, Hillary Clinton, a myth in her own right.

Christie was never forced to answer for his extreme right-wing views on most things in any way that overcame all those fuckin' bear hugs he gave out after Sandy. His victory speech last night was bullshit. He said absolutely nothing specific about what he was going to do as governor other than some vague nonsense about "the completion of my mission." He may as well have eaten the calzone he fucked. The speech was meaningless and devoid of anything that might identify what Christie actually believes beyond "smaller government" and "lower taxes."

That's Chris Christie, though. He ain't shit but bluster and a tough guy pose. People will vote for such things when given no viable alternative. What the New Jersey election results actually prove is that people want higher wages enshrined in the constitution and they want a Democratic government. That ought to be the spin.


In Brief: A Personal Take on Cuts in Food Stamps

In Brief: A Personal Take on Cuts in Food Stamps:
A little dose of the real life of real people really on public assistance, from rude reader SMV in Wisconsin:

"I am on SNAP [the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] for the first time. I'm am a very educated, working person who lost the equivalent of my mortgage when the economy tanked in 2008-2009. That is, when the lying weasels and vampires in the banking/financial industries poisoned the country's economic circulatory system. I was OK before Lehman Bros. died. Then--POOF. Not OK.

"My work [as an editor] has nearly disappeared. I cashed in my IRA to pay for basics. I'm nearly out of that, living on 103% of poverty level, which actually doesn't allow me to buy both food and heat."

"So I applied. I got the most a single adult can get in Wisconsin:$200/month. That's less than $6.50/day. I was notified that the amount for November would be reduced by 11.00 because of the stupidity in Congress. That is, Congress took away two days of my food budget. The monthly amount only lasts about two weeks and I use it to buy protein, so I at least have that every day.

"I got energy assistance for heat. I was lucky to find info and an appointment before it was all gone. My house is very small, so the grant will actually heat it. I won't have to keep the thermostat at 50 and wear snowpants in my house for the next 4 months(as I did one winter).

"I'm not a lazy stupid slacker. I'm not a 'taker,' not a moocher. I'm a person who can't find a job, who can't make enough money to make it anymore. I'm 57 and have realized, after more than 100 applications and even 12 interviews, that no matter how talented or educated or motivated I am, no one will hire me because I am 57.

"So I try to put together a living any way I can. (I can sell scrap steel for 10 cents a pound, I discovered last week.) I'm taking graduate courses (with tuition grants from the feds) for ESL certification. Maybe I'll have a job by the end of 2014. In the meantime, life's a SNAP: a kind of government weight and self-esteem loss plan.

"I think the Republican Hate-the-Poor cohort should try to live on $6.50/day for a week or so. Wouldn't even cover two visits to Starbucks."

When you are spit out of the middle class by the capitalist monster, it's a short trip to America's garbage heap of the disempowered.


Speechwriter for George W. Bush Is Worried That Barack Obama Is Telling Lies

Speechwriter for George W. Bush Is Worried That Barack Obama Is Telling Lies:
Washington Post writer Marc Thiessen wrote speeches from 2001-2004 for then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld during the buildup to and the initial debacle of the Iraq "war." In 2004, he shifted over to writing for George W. Bush. That means that he was at least in some way responsible for speeches Rumsfeld and Bush gave where they said that Saddam Hussein was absolutely, definitely hiding weapons of mass destruction when they knew, at the very least, there were doubts. And he was at least in some way responsible for speeches where Bush said no-how, no-way is the United States torturing the fuck out of detainees. He was in some responsible for speeches where Bush said that Guantanamo Bay's prison contained only the worst of the worst when, really, it contained mostly the innocent of the innocent.

So you'll have to excuse the Rude Pundit if he reacts to Thiessen clutching his pearls and saying that President Barack Obama "lied" about people getting to keep their insurance, as he does in his latest "column" (if by "column," you mean, "abattoir of logic"). The thing is filled with lines that have the effect of pointing three fingers back at Thiessen even as he points one at Obama and his speechwriters. For instance, "Every president faces the challenge of explaining complex policies in simple terms. But the quest for simplicity is no excuse for dishonesty."

The Rude Pundit read that line, and he pretty much wished for Thiessen to get plague-carrying genital lice. If there was a God and a Devil, the moment Thiessen hit "send" to his editor, he should have been struck by lightning and dragged into the earth by clawed hands to prep him for a face-fucking by the decaying corpse of Richard Nixon.

Look, this is not to judge what Obama said. Frankly, the Rude Pundit's so disgusted by the fact that Republican are acting as if the ultra-capitalist Obamacare is a Marxist takeover of the nation that he doesn't think the GOP should get a place at the table for any argument about the Affordable Care Act. And any political party that talked up "death panels" as if they were real should be told to go fuck itself with its whining.

As should Thiessen. How soulless does he have to be, how self-delusional, in order to write, without any hint of irony, "This whole episode is a window into a fundamentally dishonest presidency"? There's enough dishonesty to go around, motherfucker, more than enough lies and insurance fuckery.

And at the end of the day, even if President Obama actually outright fucking lied, knowingly, about people keeping their individual policies, it pales in comparison to the murderous lies that Thiessen aided, abetted, and wrote.


Family Research Council: Obamacare Website Problems Are God's Answer to Prayers

Family Research Council: Obamacare Website Problems Are God's Answer to Prayers:
This week's missive for the Super-Duper Prayer Team of the nutzoid evangelical conservative Family Research Council (motto: "No, we don't have anything better to do, like helping the poor and sick. Why do you ask?") very clearly places the blame for the glitches on the healthcare.gov website where it belongs: on a supernatural manifestation. No, not Mercury retrograde. Want a hint? It's God.

The Rude Pundit joined the SDPT under a nom de rude too many years ago to count, and each Wednesday (except when it's Thursday) he gets a holy email that tells him whofor and whatfor to prayfor. Usually it's about stopping abortion and the gays from marrying or acting all gay in their gay way. But sometimes the issue that needs some prayturbation is more precise.

Obamacare is the obamination (that clever pun took all the effort of reversing two letters) that everyone knew it would be, we're told. And that shit's complicated, yo: "More and more Americans are seeing that the Obamacare website rollout problems are just the tip of the iceberg. The complicated law, like computer code, has 2,500 pages (381,517 words) and even more administrative regulations (11,588,500 words) written by unelected bureaucrats led by political appointees." Because conservatives never pass laws written by lobbyists from ALEC.

Should we try to fix the problems or make an even stronger effort to get health care for everyone? Fuck that pussy Jesus shit. This is asskicker Jesus doing the job we prayed for: "God is hearing our prayers!" the FRC exults. And what's more, shit's about to get real: "Who knows if the threat of Obamacare, together with other things big government is doing, will lead to a new receptivity to the gospel, a new turning to God and a spiritual awakening that leads to all kinds of godly change?"

Yes, who knows? Wait. The Rude Pundit knows. The answer is "No." The more precise answer is "Go fuck yourself with a crucifix."

But it's good to know that whenever there's a problem with the code and function of a website, the programmer can just say, "Well, fuck, guess someone prayed for this to be all fucked up. Oh, God, you scamp."