(Not So) Wild Conjecture About What Dennis Hastert Did That Was Worth Blackmailing Him Over

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, the corpulent cocksucker who gave us the Patriot Act and the unwritten rule that a majority of the majority must support something in order for it to even come to a vote and who shepherded through the worst of George W. Bush's America-wrecking agenda, was indicted yesterday on the relatively benign charges of not reporting certain financial transactions properly and of lying to the FBI about what those transactions were for. However, as the indictment reveals, Hastert was using the money, $3.5 million, to pay off someone for their silence on something. In other words, he was being blackmailed.

What was worth blackmailing Hastert over isn't named. But the indictment itself begins, beguilingly, with facts that are "material to this indictment." The first of those material items is "From approximately 1965 to 1981, defendant John Dennis Hastert was a high school teacher and [wrestling] coach in Yorkville, Illinois." The presumptive blackmailer, Individual A (for now), is from Yorkville, Illinois.

According to the documents, "In or about 2010, Individual A met with defendant John Dennis Hastert multiple times. During at least one of the meetings, Individual A and defendant discussed past misconduct by defendant against Individual A that had occurred years earlier." Several times, the indictment refers to an effort by Hastert "to cover up his past misconduct."

Of course, barring further information, the first thing that pops into one's mind is "He totally fucked some kid." Or "He totally fondled some kid." Or "He totally had some kid fuck him." Or "He totally jacked off while some kid watched him." Or "He totally fucked some kid's dog." Or "He totally watched some kid shower and told him to jack off." Or "He totally was fingering his own asshole while making some kid fuck a dog."

As the Rude Pundit was writing this, the Los Angeles Times came out with a story quoting a source saying, "It's about sex" during Hastert's time at the high school. So now we just need to see what flavor of harmful sex it was.

The only truly funny thing about what looks to be another sad, sordid tale is how utterly shocked Hastert's former colleagues are, the lying shits. They called him "Coach" for a friendly nickname that now sounds skeevy and sinister. He was supposed to be the clean guy in the wake of foulness that was Gingrich. Hastert was Bush's bottom for six years, until Democrats took back the House. It makes sense, in its way, that the allegedly honorable heart of the Republican destruction of the nation belonged to someone who was dark and depraved.

(By the way, not for nothing, but blackmail is a crime, too, even if the blackmailer was sexually abused by the blackmailed person. Can we assume that Hastert's recipient will be arrested?)


Other Things That Are "Cool" If You're Not Forced to Do Them (Scott Walker Edition)

The conservative media is all upset because, they claim, everyone is just simply misquoting Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. While on Dana Loesch's radio show (motto: "Who the fuck let Dana Loesch on my Pep Boys waiting room radio?"), Walker was talking about "gotcha" media moments when, unprompted, he veered into abortion laws:

"I'll give you an example. I'm pro-life, I've passed pro-life legislation. We defunded Planned Parenthood, we signed a law that requires an ultrasound. Which, the thing about that, the media tried to make that sound like that was a crazy idea. Most people I talk to, whether they're pro-life or not, I find people all the time who'll get out their iPhone and show me a picture of their grandkids' ultrasound and how excited they are, so that's a lovely thing. I think about my sons are 19 and 20, you know we still have their first ultrasound picture. It's just a cool thing out there. We just knew if we signed that law, if we provided the information, that more people if they saw that unborn child would, would make a decision to protect and keep the life of that unborn child."

That's the full quote. Now, Politico and other places went with "Scott Walker says forced ultrasounds are 'cool.'" That's obviously not what he was saying, as Glenn Beck's Blazing Ass huffed and puffed.

And they're right. Walker wasn't saying that the law itself was cool. However, what Walker was really saying is far more sinister. Or fucking dumb. It's hard to tell with Walker, a man who looks like he's just spread peanut butter on his balls and sat down in the puppy pen. The future Republican presidential candidate was actually saying, "Ultrasounds are cool. Why wouldn't everyone want one, even if the state is forcing you to do it?"

Actually, there are a lot of things that are cool when you volunteer to do them that aren't all that cool when it's against your will. For example:

1. Sex with someone you just met.

2. Sewing clothes and selling them.

3. Taking drugs with other people around.

4. Growing fruits and vegetables. Harvesting them.

5. Having children.

It's all about context. Not context for whatever bullshit Walker is spouting about, but context for every new cruelty Scott Walker and Wisconsin Republicans want to inflict on women who want to have an abortion.


Times Writer Is Stupid, Says Democrats Have Gone Too Far Left

Oh, listen, dear, sweet American children. Come and gather close to the Rude Pundit while he explains a little recent history that, like so much of our history, is being revised by conservatives like mad Stalinists scrubbing Soviet classroom lessons of any mention of Trotsky. The latest, but certainly not the last, salvo is an op-ed in the New York Times by Peter Wehner, whose bio may as well read, "Republican ballsack washer." He was in the Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II administrations, becoming one of W's speechwriters. He also advised Mitt Romney's doomed 2012 presidential campaign. So he has tasted the testes of many a powerful Republican who wanted to dip their nutbuckets in Wehner's well.

Wehner's column (if by "column," you mean, "a list of bullshit talking points you'll hear every goddamned Fox 'news' commentator parrot for the next 18 months") posits that the problem of political stasis in the United States isn't that the Republican Party has been taken over by the deranged, the cruel, and the ignorant. No, sir: "[I]n the last two decades the Democratic Party has moved substantially further to the left than the Republican Party has shifted to the right." And Wehner uses the presidency of Bill Clinton to demonstrate his point.

Kids, you may think of Bill Clinton as that creepy old dude who once got a blow job in the Oval Office and who Republicans despised so much that they tried to get him booted out of office. You might have heard that Clinton was a wild and woolly liberal who jizzed all over the nation when he wasn't snorting coke off the bouncy titties of Daisy Mae or some other trailer park maiden. But did you know that Clinton was actually a "centrist Democrat" who "governed as one as well"? That's what Wehner tells us. He's correct, but he's totally rewriting not just the history of Republicans now, but Republicans then, who wanted the Clintons both exiled for their fantasy crimes.

Wehner gets to these conclusions through lies and obfuscation or, you know, the GOP way: "One of the crowning legislative achievements under Mr. Clinton was welfare reform. Mr. Obama, on the other hand, loosened welfare-to-work requirements. Mr. Obama is more liberal than Mr. Clinton was on gay rights, religious liberties, abortion rights, drug legalization and climate change." And on the economy, "Mr. Clinton lowered the capital-gains tax rate; Mr. Obama has proposed raising it. Mr. Clinton cut spending and produced a surplus. Under Mr. Obama, spending and the deficit reached record levels."

Does the Rude Pundit have to go through all of this? Does he have to explain that times change in two decades? Does he have to say that Al Gore, Clinton's Vice President, was Mr. Climate Change? Does he need to explain that one of the reasons that Clinton went further right was because he was chastened by the defeat of his health care reform proposal, which had far more government control over the market than the Affordable Care Act does and was thus more "liberal," that Democrats were routed in 1994 and Clinton decided that the only way to get anything done was to give in on some Republican ideas? That any Democrat on a national level who dared to appear liberal was going to be tarred with Jimmy Carter and then feathered with Walter Mondale so many Democrats tried to be tough bastards to the poor and disenfranchised?

Or maybe, just maybe, it's important to note that when Bill Clinton cut the capital gains tax rate in 1997, it was part of a negotiation with Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, the leaders of a Republican Congress. And one of the things that Republicans compromised on was a reduction in military spending, a definite liberal goal in the post-Soviet era. Oh, and the deal also established the Children's Health Insurance Program, which brought health care to five million children, paid for by the government. And many conservatives hated the budget deal, tax cuts and all, precisely because it spent some money and didn't cut taxes enough.

Clinton was working with Republicans who were willing to bargain. It wasn't perfect by any stretch, and even Bill Clinton says some of what he did was too conservative, like mandatory sentencing. Gingrich and Lott may have been motherfuckers, but they were motherfuckers who wanted to legislate. Rich people got to keep money and kids got insurance. That's the way this shit is supposed to work.

Instead of recognizing that, Wehner is happy to just shit on Obama and call it insight: "The Democratic Party, then, has moved steadily to the left since the Clinton presidency. In fact, since his re-election, Mr. Obama’s inner progressive has been liberated...Other examples are his executive action granting temporary legal status to millions of illegal immigrants, his claim that gay marriage is a constitutional right, and his veto of legislation authorizing construction of the Keystone XL pipeline." Which is fine, if you ignore all the very un-liberal things Obama has done when it comes to drones and surveillance, and if you ignore all the things Obama has done that Republicans used to support, like the Dream Act and the Massachusetts model of health insurance, that they abandoned as they veered into nutsy conservative-ville.

As for Clinton, Wehner says, "Mr. Clinton acted on a lesson Democrats learned the hard way, and moved his party more to the center on fiscal policy, welfare, crime, the culture and foreign policy." And that's totally true if you ignore all the liberal shit that Clinton did.

Of course, it might have been more fair to compare Democrats not named Clinton or Obama, since the vicissitudes of the presidency are different than those of a member of Congress or a governor. That 1997 budget deal? Yeah, three-quarters of the Democrats in the House, led by Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, were against it. It passed primarily with Republican votes.

But, no, really, go on about how Democrats have become more liberal.

That is the lesson for today. History will fuck up your nice little propagandistic statement every time.


Conservative Silence on Ireland Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage (Updated)

After Ireland voted by a feckin' landslide to legalize same-sex marriage, the Rude Pundit thought, "Huh. Now that a nation that eats Eucharist wafers and shits family has said that they don't give a damn if two men marry, I wonder what our doyennes of morality will have to say." And, for the most part, the response is...not a goddamn thing.

If anyone was going to stroke out over it, you'd think that Bill Donahue of the Catholic League - hell, Bill Donahue is the Catholic League - would be everywhere condemning the living fuck out of the Irish. Except he hasn't. That corn kernel-toothed motherfucker can't wait to send out his press releases of the damned on anything slightly Catholicish. Charlie Hebdo artist leaving his job? Donahue is practically dancing on the graves of Renald Luzier's dead colleagues. Today, Marco Rubio said some fucking thing and Donahue was praising the shit out of it. The Irish referendum was last Friday. Oh, angry old bastard, where is your rage?

It's really kind of remarkable how much the right is just ignoring the vote so far. Maybe they're regrouping? Trying to figure out how to wrestle with this without offending the large number of religious people who did vote "Yes"? Perhaps they don't want to go down the rabbit hole of Irish anger at the Catholic church for, you know, fucking children and abusing women?

On Shakey the Deaf Clown's Masturbatorium of Hate, Rush Limbaugh said not a word today, even though he regularly uses his bully pulpit to bully people over LGBT rights. The blog Redstate, led by Jesus's sandal huffer, Erick "Erick" Erickson, has not peeped a peep. Other than some Twitter hate, and saying there's hate on Twitter is like saying, "We breathe air," the nets and waves are blissfully free of attacks, not even a good "oh, they were drunk when they voted" bit of stereotyping.

Of course, it's not totally silent. The National Organization for Marriage (motto: "One man, one woman, like God intended except for all the polygamy in the Bible") said, "This is a reflection on the increasingly secularized nature of Ireland, together with the utter abandonment of principle by every political party in the nation, all of whom endorsed the referendum. This, combined with intense harassment of any group or individual who spoke out in opposition to the referendum, made it difficult for opponents." You know, when groups that harass LGBT people complain about harassment, you gotta almost laugh at the lack of self-reflection.

And the Vatican weighed in today, with Cardinal Pietro Parolin exclaiming, "I believe that we are talking here not just about a defeat for Christian principles but also about a defeat for humanity." A bit drama queeny, but pretty much what you'd expect for a church that's grappling with its outdated beliefs in a world that, more and more, tells it to go fuck itself. That's a sin, by the way.

Surely, this silence will not last. Surely, the hate machine will churn out its incoherent blatherings as a kind of crude response, the cavemen telling the evolved humans how much God hates them for walking upright.

Update: Rude reader Greg M. pointed out that the National Review has yet to chime in about the Irish marriage vote, with not even a word from their array of angry bloggery practitioners.


A Poem for Memorial Day

The War After the War
by Debora Greger

for Greg Greger


Where were the neighbors? Out of town?
In my pajamas, I sat at my father’s feet
in front of their squat, myopic television,
the first in our neighborhood.

On a screen the size of a salad plate,
toy airplanes droned over quilted fields.
Bouquets of jellyfish fell: parachutes abloom,
gray toy soldiers drifting together, drifting apart—

the way families do, but I didn’t know that yet.
I was six or seven. The tv was an aquarium:
steely fish fell from the belly of a plane,
then burst into flame when they hit bottom.

A dollhouse surrendered a wall, the way such houses do.
Furniture hung onto wallpaper for dear life.
Down in the crumble of what had been a street,
women tore brick from brick, filling a baby carriage.


What was my young father,
just a few years back from that war,
looking for? The farm boy from Nebraska
he’d been before he’d seen Dachau?

Next door, my brother and sister fought
the Battle of Bedtime, bath by bath.
Next door, in the living room,
a two-tone cowboy lay where he fell,
too bowlegged to stand. Where was his horse?
And the Indian who’d come apart at the waist—
where were his legs to be found?
A fireman, licorice-red from helmet to boot,

a coil of white rope slung over his arm
like a mint Lifesaver, tried to help.
A few inches of ladder crawled under a cushion,
looking for crumbs. Between the sag of couch

and the slump of rocker, past a pickle-green soldier,
a plastic foxhole, cocoa brown, dug itself
into the rug of no man’s land
and waited to trip my mother.


Am I the oldest one here? In the theater,
the air of expectation soured by mouse and mold—
in the dark, a constellation of postage stamps:
the screens of cell phones glow.

And then we were in Algiers, we were in Marseille.
On foot, we fell in behind a ragged file
of North African infantry. Farther north
than they’d ever been, we trudged

straight into the arms of the enemy:
winter, 1944. Why did the French want to live in France,
the youngest wondered while they hid,
waiting capture by the cold.

They relieved a dead German soldier
of greatcoat and boots. Village by muddy village,
they stole, shadow to shadow, trying to last
until the Americans arrived—

as if, just out of range of the lens,
the open trucks of my father’s unit
would rumble over the rutted horizon.
Good with a rifle, a farsighted farm boy

made company clerk because he’d learned to type
in high school—how young he would look,
not half my age, and no one to tell him
he’ll survive those months in Europe,

he’ll be spared the Pacific by Hiroshima.
Fifty years from then, one evening,
from the drawer where he kept
the tv remote, next to his flint-knapping tools,

he’d take out a small gray notebook
and show his eldest daughter
how, in pencil, in tiny hurried script,
he kept the names of those who died around him.


Things That Are Even Creepier Now That We Know Josh Duggar Molested Minors

How many times do we have to go through this before we understand that the entire industry built around supposedly good Christian families who condemn the rest of us is like a balsa wood dildo? You can enjoy the pleasure for a little while, but that fucker is gonna snap off inside you. Now we have Joshua Duggar, eldest son of Jim Bob Duggar, part of the now-canceled 19 Kids and Counting clan on TLC, which used to stand for "The Learning Channel," but now pretty much means "Totally Lying Criminals." In a joke that is barely worth writing, it was InTouch magazine that discovered that Duggar fondled kids when he was a teenager. We don't know the ages of the girls whose breasts and genitals he fingered, but we know it wasn't consensual. And we know that the Duggar family hid it for at least a year.

Josh Duggar was the executive director of the nutzoid evangelical Family Research Council's Action division, which meant that he was out there in public, meeting politicians and speaking against allowing same-sex couples to marry, among other issues.

Of course, one of the things that such revelations force us to do is to place Duggar's life in another context (see early Bill Cosby routines and writings for how that works). And it makes a lot of what he did creepy - no, creepier - than hell.

1. The Twitter hashtag "#theyfeelpain," which Duggar promoted to lobby for an anti-abortion bill:

2. This quote, which puts a frightening spin on the past:

3. The name of the event "ProLifeCon," which seems more appropriate than ever since Josh Duggar spoke multiple times.

4. This tweet, which begins with what now seems like a reason to call the cops:

5. Let's just face it: Going through Duggar's bizarrely still-available Twitter feed is a parade of horrors, from the "He is risen" proclamations to "Got milk?" to "Once God shows us His will -- we must obey Him instantly and fully! #TotalSurrender."

The point here is not merely schadenfreude for the fall of another family values hypocrite. Christ, we could build bridges with all their bones at this point.

No, the reason this is relevant to our political discourse is because of how many craven politicians and anti-women, anti-LGBT groups hitched their wagons to the Duggars' star. "These people are a real family," we're told. "This is who you should want to be." It's always a lie because it has to be. But so many people believe the lie or weave its web so that it appears to be real. Yet webs can always be destroyed by plucking one strand.

The FRC (motto: "A safe haven for criminals and closet cases") issued a tentative statement that was careful not to condemn Duggar, who had made the FRC a shit-ton of cash: "Today Josh Duggar made the decision to resign his position as a result of previously unknown information becoming public concerning events that occurred during his teenage years." And there's the defense: Oh, he was a dumb, horny teenager.

And, hey, at least he didn't want to marry a dude.


In Brief: Louisiana's Rape Problem Is Also a Cop Problem

"You performed oral sex on him the night before. So the thing is this: What motive would he have to put a date rape drug in your drink?"

That's what East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office Sgt. Jacques Jackson told Lyndsi Lambert. Lambert had asked the police officer why he didn't take a urine sample or do a toxicology test on her blood to determine whether or not she had been drugged the night she said she was raped. The New Orleans Times-Picayune is publishing a series of stories by Diana Samuels about Lambert's case, and it will make you feel skeevy.

That quote up top from Jackson is from a recording Lambert made of her October 15, 2014 interaction with the cop when she was following up to see what he was doing to arrest the man she accused of rape. Unlike other fucked-up things Jackson said while initially interviewing Lambert at Woman's Hospital of Baton Rouge on September 26, this is not Lambert relating what Jackson said. It's Jackson. It's a cop telling a possible rape victim that she couldn't have been raped. You can hear the recording at the newspaper's website.

Lambert angrily tells Jackson that she gave him a motive in their first meeting: "She said she had told the [alleged rapist] after the one time they had sexual intercourse, about a week and a half before the alleged rape, that the sex wasn't good."

On the recording, Jackson argues, "You didn't tell me that." The report that Jackson filed on the case on September 27 reads, "She indicated that a possible motive...was because he was upset that she told him that he was not good in bed."

Let's put aside whether or not the rape took place. Ask yourself: Should Lambert have been treated like this? Should she have been accused, as she was, of lying because she had exchanged sexy texts with the man? Should it have taken five months to test her blood for potential drugs that would have impaired Lambert? And, really, what the fuck is wrong with Louisiana?

As columnist Jarvis DeBerry points out, to say that this was a case of police doing their jobs in the course of an investigation is bullshit at best, insidious at worst: "If police routinely did their jobs, we wouldn't have seen the story last year about five New Orleans police officers who failed to even write reports for 86 percent of the almost 1,300 sexual assault or child-abuse calls they were assigned.

Lambert says that, in the hospital that first day, she broke down crying while talking to Jackson. "Are you done? Can we move on?" she says Jackson asked her. Obviously, that's what the cops around Baton Rouge want to do.

Check out the series so far. Tomorrow, Samuels writes about how arrests for rapes have declined in East Baton Rouge parish. It wouldn't be wrong to wonder if it's because women know how they'll be treated by the cops.


The Deeply Subversive Genius of David Letterman

If you weren't around or weren't old enough to watch David Letterman's Late Night on NBC in the 1980s, there's a good chance that you have no idea why people are genuinely mournful over Letterman's departure tonight from the airwaves after 33 years in late night broadcasting. You don't know what it means when people in their 40s, 50s, 60s, even, talk wistfully about the Guy Under the Seats, Larry "Bud" Melman, Bookmobile Lady, Pea Boy, the Velcro Suit, the Alka-Seltzer Suit, and so very much more. If you want to understand why Jay Leno was a thing, watch his early appearances on Late Night. Prior to YouTube, we traded these moments on VHS tapes and watched them over and over.

Many of the encomiums to Letterman emphasize how he nearly single-handedly radically transformed comedy, popular culture, and television itself. But what was more important to my younger self was that, in his ironic yet sincere, smug yet self-deprecating way, Letterman was subverting the Reagan era itself, and, goddamn, that was a rush.

See, what we were sold at the beginning of the presidency of Ronald Reagan was that the older generation, the "Greatest Generation" (if you ignore all that racism, sexism, and homophobia), had all the answers. The nation had indulged itself by electing allegedly squishy liberal Jimmy Carter and we were all supposed to believe Carter's presidency was a long, national nightmare, a dragon that was vanquished by the rise of Reagan and the return of hegemonic patriarchal power.

"Your culture is worthless," the Reaganites told the youth of the nation. "You need to go back to the wholesome times of old." This is not hyperbole. Many books and articles were written that specifically degraded the rising Generation X's power over pop culture and social ideology. "Listen to the old men who know better," we were told, even as MTV, hip-hop, hell, even Madonna, with her connections to queer culture, told us otherwise. What David Letterman did was to step into a void and say, "Yeah, screw those old guys."

For me, the moment I knew that Letterman was on my wavelength happened during Letterman's brief stint as a morning talk show host. If I'm recalling it right, Letterman was sitting at his desk, talking, when a mannequin fell from above and onto the desk, like a dead man had just dropped from above. It was startling, hilarious, and completely out of place. I remember thinking, "Oh, the old people sitting at home watching this are gonna be confused." And that was it.

The stunts on Late Night were Letterman's way of calling "bullshit" on the old paradigms of television, of pop culture itself. "This is dumb, right?" he was saying (sometimes actually saying). "So let's do dumb stuff." But that dumb stuff was a specific critique of the way in which the older generation revered their rigid formats and identities. You couldn't call Letterman's stunts "stupid" because he already did. But, damn, wasn't it funny? And wasn't that reason enough to drop things off of 5-story building? That bit, which morphed into crushing things under a steamroller or in a hydraulic press, showed us that things don't need a reason or logic. Against the divisive gender, racial, and class roles the Reagan administration presented, against the rising religious right, which was attacking music, film, and TV with a renewed vigor that hearkened to the 1950s, Letterman tossed two six-packs, light beer and regular beer, as a reenactment of Galileo's experiments with gravity, off that building.

But the thing that I thought was most fascinating was Letterman's celebration of not just the average American, but of the weirdness of America. "Stupid Pet Tricks" and "Stupid Human Tricks" were more than gimmicks. They were honestly, forthrightly celebratory of the things people do to occupy their time. Letterman's devotion to the quotidian was always on display. He began hosting the annual champion grocery bagger for a showdown with him, since he had bagged groceries as a teenager. Of course, the first thing you thought was "There's a grocery bagging championship?" And then you got into the competition. If you were weaned on Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin, Dinah Shore, and Johnny Carson, that was an incredible thing for a TV host to do: to get in the trenches in a serious, not jokey, way with everyday people.

This extended even more to the guests he would bring on with regularity. The misanthropic comic book writer Harvey Pekar appeared numerous times just to be taunted by Letterman into poetic heights of rage. The bizarro stand-up comic Brother Theodore was also a regular, with Letterman pushing him to the edge with a nearly villainous antagonism. This isn't even to get into Andy Kaufman; he and Letterman used each other to create media firestorms long before Jimmy Kimmel ever made a viral video that turned out to be fake. Regular Larry "Bud" Melman was like a character out of Glengarry Glen Ross forced to do pitches on a street corner.

Even more to the point, Letterman was not above screwing with his corporate masters. While you might know him for needling CBS and Les Moonves, watch Letterman try to deliver a fruit basket to GE headquarters when that company bought NBC. Imagine a good-natured Michael Moore nearly getting beaten by a pissed-off security guard. It said everything you could want about the soulless center of capitalism. (Pekar would make Letterman cringe in an appearance attacking GE shortly after.)

And it can't go without saying that in those early years Letterman's head writer was Merrill Markoe and that having a female head writer was an extraordinary, embarrassing rarity then (and it hasn't changed a whole lot since then). Markoe helped invent Letterman's schtick: "What we were also consciously aware of was a dislike for the standard kind of closed-club superficial show business demeanor that had dominated the entertainment of the generation before us," she said recently about Late Night. "So what you might say we did was open the door and invite the rest of the world in."

Writing this, I keep remembering things that I loved from early Letterman: "Small Town News," Jay Leno's appearances where Dave would start each sit-down with "What's your beef?", musical performances from bands like X to annual appearances by Darlene Love to sing, "Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)," cameras on monkeys and dogs, the 360 degree episode, the episode where Letterman broadcast from home because he was waiting for the cable company to show up, the times when Letterman honestly disliked a guest and didn't care if they knew it.

The best show to compare Late Night with is All in the Family. Norman Lear's sitcom came in and blew away the stale 1960s format, saying that mainstream comedy could be socially-relevant while murdering The Beverly Hillbillies and the like. It was a revolutionary show that had effects on everything that came after it in television and pop culture. And it forced viewers to confront those in power with greater suspicion.

In its absurdist way, Late Night showed us that we don't need to abide by the old ways of doing things, that the act of dropping a beautifully decorated wedding cake off a building just to see what happens is its own kind of subversion. Letterman would become more specifically political later in his CBS show, but to those of us who were feeling broken by the cultural and social oppressiveness of the Reagan era and didn't have access to the music scene in L.A. or the performance art scene in New York City, Letterman was sticking it to the man for us.


On Foreign Policy, Chris Christie Will Suck All the Dicks Before He Announces He's Running for President

Following up Lindsey Graham's call for more American blood to be spilled while trying to unfuck Iraq, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie declared yesterday, "Line up all the dicks. I'm gonna suck 'em one by one." The occasion was an address in New Hampshire on American foreign policy, generally not something a governor from another state does unless he's gonna run for president because, otherwise, who the fuck cares what you have to say about military interventions. In a speech that ranged from idiotic shit we tried already and failed to even more idiotic shit that isn't working, Christie's simple message was "If you present me with a dick, I will suck it."

So, with all the dicks on display, Christie went to work, right on down the line, putting one dick after another into his jowls and sucking them like the sweetest popsicles on the hottest summer day. "American power is in retreat and we’ve backed away from the principles that made us a source of strength and stability," Christie said, deep-throating one throbbing meat stick, "No one understands any longer whom America stands with or whom we stand against. No one understands exactly what we stand for and what we’re willing to sacrifice to stand up for it."

Then the man who never once sacrificed for his country said that what the United States needs is a bigger military with more soldiers, more warships, more warplanes, more shit we don't need, more intelligence funding, more money we don't have to spend, more roads that won't get rebuilt because we're too busy buying fucking aircraft carriers, but, goddamn, he grabbed that dick and vigorously jacked it off into his mouth. That expansion will help America "keep its edge," he said, swallowing with a satisfied moan, adding that America should intervene even more in overseas conflicts. Whose fault is it? Not George W. Bush for fucking the pooch of the U.S.'s international status. "[President Obama] has damaged the credibility of the American presidency," Christie said, slobberingly knob-bobbing.

Then he moved on, declaring that anyone who doesn't want the government to get constant fecal samples from your toilets in order to see if you've been eating too much terrorist hummus is just a pussy who is waiting for ISIS to behead your dog: "They want you to think that there's a government spook listening in every time you pick up the phone or Skype with your grandkids. They want you to think of our intelligence community as the bad guys, straight out of The Bourne Identity or a Hollywood thriller. And they want you to think that if we weakened our capabilities, the rest of the world would love us more."

Jesus, this dick was so tasty he didn't want to stop sucking it, ignoring the fact that there is a government spook logging every time you pick up the phone or Skype with your grandkids, especially if they're overseas, ignoring that the House of Representatives just voted to limit the collection of data precisely because this was going on, ignoring that bulk collection of data hasn't done a damn thing to make us safer. Christie didn't care. It's hard to hear over all the grunts of pleasure, murmured from a mouth filled with dick.

He saved the biggest dick for last, a monumental cock that made his cheeks puff out from the effort, looking like Dizzy Gillespie on the trumpet. "President Reagan once said that 'above all, we must realize that no arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have. It is a weapon that we as Americans do have,'" Christie fellated. "He was right. And that will and courage will lead us forward." Yes, Ronnie was right, except for the fact that he was wrong about so many things, but that doesn't matter, not when you're cupping those balls and taking that flesh pole to mouth town.

Of course, as a kind of after-dinner treat, Christie couldn't resist sucking one more dick for the road. At a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, Christie played the skin flute: "There are going to be some who are going to come before you and are going to say, ‘Oh, no, no, no. This is not what the Founders intended.’ The Founders made sure that the first obligation of the American government was to protect the lives of the American people, and we can do this in a way that’s smart and cost-effective and protects civil liberties. But you know, you can’t enjoy your civil liberties if you’re in a coffin."

Wait, that wasn't sucking a dick. That was just Christie jacking off.


Lindsey Graham: "When I'm President, I'll Send Phallic Murder Missiles to Penetrate Your Thoughts"

Senator Lindsey Graham, the prettiest Scarlett O'Hara wannabe in DC, is running for president because "I think the world is falling apart." That's the kind of drama queen stuff that'd make the contestants on RuPaul's Drag Race say, "Oh, butch it up a little, Mary."

In Iowa this weekend at the Lincoln Day Dinner, where candidates and potential candidates do a brief sashay to debut their new dresses for election season for the pleasure of 1400 gathered Republicans who have an inflated sense of their value in picking a new president, Graham had harsh words for Americans who might not be thinking very American thoughts, "If I'm president of the United States and you're thinking about joining Al Qaeda or ISIL — anybody thinking about that? — I'm not going to call a judge, I'm going to call a drone and we will kill you."

Call a drone? Was he gonna pick up the phone and say, "Hey, there, Drone. We had such a good time last week when we blew up that wedding in Yemen. Mmm-hmmm. What are you wearing? Oh, baby, say, 'Hellfire' again. It makes me so hard. Not as hard or big as you. Listen, I just want to grab you and aim you and make you fire, make you fire so good, this time at an American in Detroit who tweeted that he supported al-Shabaab. It's Detroit, so no one will notice a little ol'...sorry, I mean a big ol' missile explosion. Do you want me to aim you at his ass or mouth? Oh, you so dirty, Drone. Remember to send me pictures."

Now, of course, you can say Graham was trafficking in rhetorical hyperbole for a bunch of people with shit on their shoes and in their heads, but the blind acceptance of drone murdering American citizens without charge or trial, without even action beyond a Google search and a couple of emails, speaks to how far we've fallen in what we consider freedom. Someone does need to ask Graham if he'd drone kill the fuck out of bad thinkers in Europe. Or Texas.

The other thing that Graham is promising us (as are many of the Republicans) is everlasting war. He wants at least 10,000 American soldiers in Iraq to fight Isis, the rise of which he totally blames on Obama because what the fuck else is Graham gonna say? He wants to keep a fuck of a lot of troops in Afghanistan. "How many of you think the Iranians want to build a peaceful nuclear power plant and how many think they want to build a weapon?" he asked the slavering, dining horde. And if you think Iraq wants to build a power plant? Well, motherfucker, you "shouldn’t be allowed to drive in Iowa." Man, Lindsey Graham is a total dickhead to people who disagree with him.

So that makes it weird that he would say, "I've been accused of working with Democrats too much. In my view Democrats and Republicans work together too little and I would try to change that if I got to be president." Bitch, how many filibusters did you vote to uphold? Who threatened to block all Obama administration nominees unless he got the answers he wanted on Benghazi? Lindsey Graham professing a desire to be bipartisan is like a dog professing a desire to shit in a toilet. We all know the dog's just gonna shit on the ground, no matter how much he says he wants to do otherwise.

But welcome to the race to lose to Hillary Clinton, Senator Graham. And when you do, well, hell, maybe you'll be lucky enough to impeach another Clinton since you're so very open to working across the aisle.


Republicans Killed the Amtrak Derailment Victims

Speaker of the House John Boehner, who increasingly looks like he's made of smoky phlegm coughed up by Mad Men characters, was asked yesterday if lack of federal funding for rail safety contributed to the deadly derailment of the Amtrak train in Philadelphia on Tuesday. With a look of the kind of contempt one gives a cat who just figured out how to get the fish out of the aquarium, he said, "Are you really going to ask such a stupid question?"

Of course, it's not a stupid question. It is, in fact, the only question. Because, see, the last time Amtrak was funded through a reauthorization of funds by Congress was in 2008. That bill expired in 2013, and Congress hasn't been able to do dick since then. The previous reauthorization of funding expired in 2002. It took Congress six years to pass something that wasn't bare bones funding by tacked-on amendment to another bill. And that's when Congress was a functioning body, approving worthless wars and shit.

Also in 2008, Congress said that all railroads needed to install technology that would detect speeding, out-of-control trains and slow them down. It is supposed to be completed by the end of this year. Of course, Congress hasn't provided near enough funding. If that system had been running, the wreck would have been prevented.

Who is responsible for spending bills getting out of Congress in the last couple of years? Right: John Boehner and Republicans. So was it really a stupid question?

Actually, the level of fuckery of Amtrak goes further, and it tells you everything you need to know about why nothing will ever be done to save the infrastructure of this country (seriously, the Rude Pundit drives on major highways in the Northeast that are worse than some dirt roads). Listen: "because lawmakers failed to provide the railroads access to the wireless frequencies required to make [Positive Train Control] work, Amtrak was forced to negotiate for airwaves owned by private companies that are often used in mobile broadband."

You might think, "Wait, what the fuck?" Yeah, as David Sirota reports, "[W]hen Congress in 2008 mandated that rail companies like Amtrak install PTC on their tracks, lawmakers did not require the FCC to set aside any of those airwaves for this exclusive function."

You might still be thinking, "Okay, this sounds like something bad, but I really don't fucking understand and I'm about to tune you out." Okay, okay, fuck, hold on.

See, Congress said, "Yeah, Amtrak, we cut the fuck out of your budget, but you go with your hat in your hand to broadband companies and buy some bandwidth." Of course, the PTC system itself could have operated...

You might think, "It's Friday. Can you just shut up about this hard stuff and say something mean about Republicans?"

Fine. Republican spoogebuckets were busy this week, post-crash, cutting funding for Amtrak because fuck those yankees and their Northern Corridor public transportation. A House committee voted to cut 15% from Amtrak's budget. When Democrats brought up the derailment during the debate, Idaho Republican Mike Simpson said, "You have no idea, no idea, what caused this accident. Don’t use this tragedy in that way. It was beneath you." Because Republicans would never use a tragedy to advance their agendas, oh, no, they are as pure as yellow snow.

Republicans will say, "We're not cutting the budget on safety for passengers." Which is technically true, but if the budget is shit to begin with, then it's pretty hard to make the case that you are standing up for the railroads. If you are responsible for making sure that safety systems are funded to help save lives and you don't fund them properly, then you bear blame for the deaths that occur due to your failure. Of course Boehner wants to shut up questions about it. He has blood on his nicotine-dyed hands.

Let's give the last quote to Florida Republican John Mica: "There's no question the United States has a third-world rail system. It's a monopoly run in a Soviet-style operation. Amtrak."

Unpack that statement: Amtrak is run by the federal government. If it's a third-world level system, who the fuck made it that way?


Other Things Jade Helm Could Be

1. Porn store specializing in the sex toys of the Far East, like the Dragon's Tail vibrator and marble ben-wah balls with bells in them, perfect for conservatives to go fuck themselves with.

2. A jaunty, green pith helmet so you can play soldier or explorer on weekends.

3. A Chinese restaurant that is decorated like a temple in the mountains of Shaanxi Province that offers Americanized versions of Asian food. It is located in Beaumont.

4. A steering wheel made of pure jade that can only steer ships from the Song Dynasty.

5. Marvel's latest attempt at a female superhero. Her superpower? An ability to guide people anywhere using her tits as a GPS. Marvel will say how feminist this is.

6. Or superspy Matt Helm's illegitimate daughter whose mother was played by Stella Stevens. (That's a joke for the oldsters.)

7. A perfectly legitimate military exercise by U.S. Special Operations Forces.

One thing it sure as shit ain't is a plot to take over Texas. Really, get the fuck over yourselves.

Actually, at this point, a whole bunch of people need to get the fuck over their idiot conspiracy theories, since a Rasmussen poll said that "45% of voters are concerned that the government will use U.S. military training operations to impose greater control over some states."

And we wonder why we can't get voters to take things like infrastructure and income equality seriously when they believe utter and complete bullshit about the government. Thank goodness we make sure all the stupid people have guns.

Late Post Today

Savitar is zipping around like crazy today. Gotta lace up and chase him down. 

Back later with more speedy rudeness. 


In Brief: British Conservatives Really Want to Prosecute You For Thoughtcrimes

It's really one of the baldest assertions of thought control any politician in an ostensibly "free" country has uttered in the last, oh, hell, don't want to get too hyperbolic, let's say couple of years. Re-minted British Prime Minister David Cameron told his national security council today that he was proposing new laws (actually, he's re-proposing them in the freshly-elected, more Conservative parliament) to crack down on "extremist" speech and activities. "For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone," he reportedly said.

In a grave in Oxfordshire, George Orwell could be heard yelling, "Told you so! Hello? I'm reanimated! A little help?"

Now you, dear American obesely engorging a sack of fries and a bucket of Coke, may think to yourself, "Um, if someone's obeying the law, you should leave them the fuck alone. Well, God bless the USA, right?" before you make a phone call that's logged by the NSA and send an email that's collected and use your Costco card to get more fries and more Coke by the pallet, the information all uploaded to a profile of you that says whether or not you're getting a little too cozy with some Muslim or other.

If nothing else, at least Cameron is being honest. "We want you to only believe in the right things," he's saying. Actually, the laws themselves really do pretty much say that. As Home Secretary Theresa May explained about the proposed laws, one of the things that they target is anyone who is "vocally or actively opposed to fundamental British values." Now, the Rude Pundit knows a thing or three about British history, and he's pretty damn sure that fundamental British values have changed a great deal, even in his lifetime. Who knows? Maybe they'll return to abusing the Wogs. Either way, it sounds like squelching minority viewpoints when necessary.

Not all Conservatives support Cameron on this. For one thing, the definition of extremism is squishy not just when it comes to Muslims. The idea is to limit the "harmful activities" of extremists. "Harmful" includes a risk of public disorder, a risk of harassment, alarm or distress or creating a “threat to the functioning of democracy." So, basically, anyone not jolly well delighted with the state of things. Some even believe that the new laws could be used to prosecute "monarchists, communists and even Christians objecting to gay marriage," as Justice Minister Dominic Raab said. Ah, we're not that different.

Perhaps the police can start by shutting down these extremists who gathered for an unholy cabal yesterday:


Random Thoughts While Reading the Seymour Hersh Article on Bin Laden's Death (Part 2)

To reaffirm what he said yesterday, the Rude Pundit isn't assessing whether or not Seymour Hersh's potential revising of recent history with his epic article in the London Review of Books on the "real" story of the "capture" of Osama bin Laden. The Rude Pundit merely wants to figure out if it matters. Should you give a shit beyond "Well, goddamn, guess everything our leaders tell us isn't true"? Let's hold hands and find out together. Picking up where we left off:

"A former Seal commander, who has led and participated in dozens of similar missions over the past decade, assured me that ‘we were not going to keep bin Laden alive – to allow the terrorist to live. By law, we know what we’re doing inside Pakistan is a homicide.'" Hersh says that "it was clear to all at this point...that bin Laden would not survive." Two things here: The former SEAL commander didn't participate in the bin Laden raid or Hersh would have said so. More importantly, does anyone seriously think that the orders were not "Go in there and shoot the fuck out of bin Laden"? As a nation, we've wrestled with this question and we've decided, rightly or wrongly, "Yeah, don't care. Fuck that guy in Hell."

That also goes for "according to the retired official, it wasn’t clear from the Seals’ early reports whether all of bin Laden’s body, or any of it, made it back to Afghanistan." The United States wouldn't care if the SEALs barbecued bin Laden and fed him to his children. We are psychotic murderers here. We just don't care, even if we should.

Retired CIA officers helped concoct a cover story for how the United States got its information on where bin Laden was, says Hersh's anonymous "retired official." It wasn't from a walk-in source looking for a reward, as Hersh reports is the truth. It was from tracking a courier for al-Qaeda, the Obama administration said. How did they find out about the courier? "[T]he old-timers come in and say why not admit that we got some of the information about bin Laden from enhanced interrogation?"

And there it is. There is the significance of Hersh's story, if true. It's why you don't see every Republican holding up the London Review of Books and shaking it at any Fox "news" reporter who will listen. If Hersh has it right (and it's looking like some of his reporting is getting confirmed by other reporters), then there is nothing left to show that torturing detainees did a fucking thing other than damage the United States in the world. Zero Dark Thirty is an even bigger lie than we knew it was.

That potential revelation alone turns anyone who defended "enhanced interrogation techniques" like waterboarding into pathetic, ass-covering cowards. (Looking at you, Cheney, you heartless motherfucker.) And maybe, if it ever comes up again, in a fantasy Bush III administration, anyone who attempts to justify torture with the bin Laden story will be smacked down.

And that's about it.

"High-level lying nevertheless remains the modus operandi of US policy." Where Hersh goes wrong (and what everyone attacking the article follows) is pretending that his conclusion about President Obama and his administration making up a story about the bin Laden raid is earth-shattering. Christ, we just expect the president to lie to our faces. Hersh is living in a pre-Nixon era if he thinks we have that outrage gene anymore.

This is a nation that reelected the man who lied them into war. We are so apathetic that we just want to believe whatever story makes us sleep better at night. If we pull at the threads, if we start saying what the lies are in our "war on terror," there's a mighty big, comfy blanket that will fall apart. We will never allow that to happen.

Truth carries a trigger-warning for Americans, so we choose to ignore it. Whether or not the real story is Hersh's, it sure as hell isn't the official one. It never is.


Random Thoughts While Reading the Seymour Hersh Article on Bin Laden's Death (Part 1)

The Rude Pundit is working his way through Seymour Hersh's alleged bombshell of an article in the London Review of Books about how the official story on the death of Osama bin Laden is full of holes and lies and lieholes. It's a long slog and time is short today (hence the "Part 1"). The Rude Pundit neither believes nor disbelieves Hersh. He's agnostic. What he's trying to figure out is if it's actually significant whether or not it's true. In other words, should you bother caring?  Here we go:

"The killing [of Osama bin Laden] was the high point of Obama’s first term, and a major factor in his re-election." That's the second sentence of the 10,000 word article, and it's utter bullshit. The high point of Obama's first term was probably getting the Affordable Care Act passed. And the reason for his reelection? Well, who the fuck else was there? Fuckin' Romney? At best, the bin Laden raid was an inoculation against anyone saying a Democrat couldn't be a tough guy.

"[A] retired [Pakistani] general, Asad Durrani, who was head of the ISI in the early 1990s..." Sorry, what? One of Hersh's primary sources was done in his job in the early 1990s, which, by the Rude Pundit's awesome calendar-reading abilities, was way before September 11, 2001, and we're supposed to trust what Durrani says about where bin Laden was in 2006? And that info is second or third or fourth hand? "As a former ISI head, he said, he had been told shortly after the raid by ‘people in the “strategic community” who would know’ that there had been an informant who had alerted the US to bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad." No. Bad reporter. Bad.

"Saudi Arabia...had been financing bin Laden’s upkeep since his seizure by the Pakistanis." Well, that actually makes a helluva lot of sense, since the bin Laden family is from Saudi fuckin' Arabia.

"The risks for Obama were high at this early stage, especially because there was a troubling precedent: the failed 1980 attempt to rescue the American hostages in Tehran...After all, as the retired [American] official said, ‘If the mission fails, Obama’s just a black Jimmy Carter and it’s all over for re-election.’" Really? Do these old guys understand anything about recent political history? The bin Laden raid was in May 2011. Carter's failed hostage rescue was in April 1980. One was a fuck of a lot closer to an election. George H.W. Bush was supposed to sail to victory in 1992 after the Persian Gulf War in 1991. How'd that go? People have the attention spans of cats on meth. And "black Jimmy Carter"? No. Bad source. Bad.

"There was a deal with your top guys. We were very reluctant, but it had to be done – not because of personal enrichment, but because all of the American aid programmes would be cut off. Your guys said we will starve you out if you don’t do it," says an anonymous Pakistani "with close ties to the senior leadership" of Pakistan's intelligence service. The Rude Pundit is not involved with international diplomacy or skullduggery, but it seems like shit like this is said all the time between nations where one is economically dependent on the other. To portray it as insidious in some way is to act naive.

More tomorrow.


The Neverending Abortion War: To Anti-Choicers, Women Are So Dumb

On Wednesday, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, who is, obviously, Republican, signed into law a tripling of Oklahoma's waiting period before a woman can get an abortion, from 24 to 72 hours. There are only three clinics left in Oklahoma where women can get surgical abortions. Two of those would have closed had the Oklahoma Supreme Court not blocked the implementation of a law Fallin signed in 2014 that required clinics to have a physician on staff with admitting privileges at a local hospital.

The new Oklahoma law is a delightful infantilization of women, essentially saying that women are idiots who haven't considered anything prior to getting an abortion. While not as cruel as other states (ultrasounds are "available," but not forced), it requires any patient to sign an "informed consent" form. They can get the information from a website that all clinics must link to (and have printed versions of): "A Woman's Right to Know." There, they can get a list of all the services available, including those "pregnancy crisis centers" run by churches and more adoption agencies than you thought existed. You know what's really hard to find on the website? Where to get an abortion. It's pretty much buried in a "Resource Directory."

Florida's legislature just passed a 24-hour "reflection period." Senator Arthenia Joyner who is, obviously, a Democrat, put it best: "No woman wakes up and says, ‘Hey, I’ll have an abortion tomorrow.’ They’ve thought about it. Stop chipping away at our rights and throwing these stumbling blocks in front of these women who have decided to do what they want to do." See, this legislation says, all women really need is one or two or three more days to contemplate abortion. All they need is to see photos of fetal development. All they need is to be raped by an ultrasound wand. All they need is to make sure it happens before 20 weeks into the pregnancy. All they need, all they need is decided for them despite the fact that the women have decided what they need. It's such a goddamned insult to women to say the waiting period is for imposed reflection. Be honest. Just say you think women are too stupid to make a decision.

But on and on it goes, this mowing down of abortion rights in the states until they barely poke above the surface, as anti-choice forces hope that a President Cruz will appoint a Scalia to take the place of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and undo Roe v. Wade, all foreplay before consummation.

Over in Texas, the state's Senate voted to ban private insurance plans from covering abortions under the idea that if you pay into a group plan, you are helping to supplement abortion and baby Jesus weeps. In amazing rhetorical colonization, Texas Republican Sen. Larry Taylor said, "This really is a choice bill...People who are opposed to abortion do not like having to pay for it for others."

That's some fine logic there. So the Rude Pundit hopes that those legislators never buy anything that was made in China because a tiny piece of that money is going to support abortion there.


Family Research Council: Pray That God Smites Anyone Who Wants to Gay Marry

Oh, we members of the Super-Duper Prayer Team have our work cut out for us now. The Rude Pundit joined the Super-Duper Prayer Team of the nutzoid evangelical Family Research Council (motto: "Jesus's beard didn't have any fecal matter in it") many moons ago under a nom de rude, and each and every week he receives his prayer movement orders from on high, telling him what-for and why-for he should slap his hands together, get on his knees, and squeeze out a prayer loaf. It's like if Moses walked down with a new tablet every Wednesday.

Now, with the Supreme Court all but assured to make it legal for the queers to get queer married all queerly, we are on high alert. "Thanks to all who joined us in prayer and fasting over the past 21 days," the holy email starts, and the Rude Pundit hoped God didn't see the cheeseburger he was holding. Then it goes on to tell us that "If this case is ruled wrongly, the freedoms of millions of Americans will be put into jeopardy and this will have grave consequences for the future of our nation."

Holy shitballs, our freedom? Will we have to gay marry? If we do, can the Rude Pundit have dibs on Nicholas Hoult? No, no, we gotta pray to make sure it doesn't happen. And, luckily for the SDPT, we are told exactly what to tell Jesus: "May God's people continue to cry out to Him! May we yet see miracles of restraint by our Justices and a ruling that upholds God-ordained marriage as between a man and woman!" Yessir, that's a bunch of exclamation points, so we gotta whoop and holler.

And we get verses o' the Bible to help us along. Like James 3:14-18, which says, "But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work." Wait, wait, wait, who is envious of whom? Are we supposed to envy gay weddings because they're so well decorated?

The next prayer is a little clearer. It's for a poor pair of very straight bakers who were fined for refusing to bake a gay cake for a gay wedding. So we gotta cry out, "May God awaken the American people and the Supreme Court to see what they would be doing by redefining marriage!" Yeah, no gay cake. No one wants a cake that wants to fuck other cakes. The Bible verse here is a whole lot clearer. It's 2 Kings 16-22, which says, in part, "Elisha prayed unto the Lord, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha."

Goddamn, that Elisha has some major pull with the Lord. Of course, it was just blindness, which God reverses when Elisha asks him to. Still, that's kind of fucked up. What the FRC is telling the SDPT to pray for is that gays and lesbians will be smited blind until they no longer want to get gay married. Well, shit, better get prayin'.

The things we gotta do on our knees to make the world a better place.


Conservatives Really Need You to Care About the Garland Thing

Honestly, conservatives, most of us on the left look at Pamela Geller's stupid ass Mohammed cartoon thing, which was attended by a handful of Fox "news" zombies and more media than it deserved, and think, "Well, if that's what you wanna do." 'Cause, see, we all knew that images of Mohammed piss off loser jihadi-wannabes who need to prove their street cred. So, oh, gee, you mean the deliberately provocative act provoked someone to violence? Well, fuck us all with a surprise stick. Shit, considering the nonsensical conspiracy theories floating around Texas right now, why not say that the two idiot gunmen were promised cash and seven minutes in paradise with Geller to come shoot up the joint in order to justify the whole goddamned effort?

But the right really, really needs us to give a shit. They need us to condemn Geller's show. Look at what Erick "Erick" Erickson of the Red State blarg had to say right after the shooting: "Over the next twenty-four hours, we can expect the media to wring its hands about 'Texas gun culture,' the unnecessary provocations of Pamela Gellar [sic], and a host of other issues. They will work very hard to suggest Muslims were somehow the victims and try to distance the story from Islam." Look at that list. One of those things has come true - about Geller being an attention whore who makes real whores think, "Fuck it. I should retire and give her the whole block" - and the rest? No one of any note has said shit about guns in this case (except maybe how the bad guys got the guns). No one has said Muslims were victims, except to say that a bunch of needy fucknuts tried their hardest to get a reaction from Muslims.

Later, Erickson says, "[T]he most telling thing to me is how quickly prominent leftists placed blame on the event organizers for holding than event instead of on a group of Muslims for deciding they can kill because they are offended." No, sweet, pudgy Christ fellater, we are all blaming the dudes with the guns. We can also say, without contradiction, that the event wouldn't have taken place if the threat of violence wasn't built into it, and that shit's reckless. By the way, aren't you the people who think that the problem with rape on college campuses isn't that rapists do it, but that sexy coeds get drunk and are easy targets?

Anyway, you know who some of the loudest voices against Geller are right now? Other conservatives who think Geller's full of shit, which, of course, made Geller screech even louder than usual. (That last link has all the cartoons from the event, and you will forever regret clicking on it.) Skeevier attention whore Donald Trump even said that Geller was "dumb."

Still, people like Rush Limbaugh blubber on about how much eeevil liberals don't give a goddamn about free speech. Meanwhile, most of us real lefties, not the fantasy flesh-eating gorgons conjured by the deranged minds of conservatives, feel about the cartoon display the same way we feel about flag burning: You have the right to do it, but you sure as shit aren't doing it to make people believe in your cause.

It's your right to fuck with people's core beliefs. And it's our right to think your point is worthless.


Republican Exhibitionists Are Ready to Open Their Trench Coats

The second that Ted Cruz walked out on a stage at Liberty University, dropped his pants, stretched out his dick to a mighty two inches, and jacked off furiously, yelping, "Teddy's running! Who wants to pet Little Teddy?" the other future losers for the Republican nomination for president thought, "I need to get some of that action." So in quick succession, just this week, we've had a parade of compulsive masturbators, none of whom will get close to the nomination, who only have gotten into the game to show their junk off to a bigger audience than the yokels and inbreds who make up the base of the Republican Party.

Former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who has never been elected to any public office, who is the new favorite of people on the right who can point at him and say, "Look, a black guy. See?" was in front of an audience at the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts in Detroit, meandering the stage with his head mike, like Tony Robbins on quaaludes. His fly was open, and his cock was hanging out. He pretended not to notice until he looked down, said, "You see what I see?" winked at the audience, and started yanking on it and gripping it like he was using his dick to rappel down a sheer rock face. He announced his doomed run for the White House while standing straight, penis erect, and blathering nonsense like "I am not a politician. I don't want to be a politician" and, talking about anti-poverty programs, "We are not doing people a favor when we pat them on the head and say, 'You poor little thing, we are going to take care of all your needs. You don't have to worry about anything.' You know who else says stuff like that? Socialists." He didn't jizz, but he sure was looking forward to the next event where he could do the same "Oops, That's My Dick" act. Of course, there are already articles about how Carson could win, which he can't.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who has never been elected to any public office, who is the new favorite of people on the right who can point at her and say, "Look, a woman. See?" was on Good Morning America when she announced she was starting her campaign to lose the nomination. Clearly this meant she had to attack the other female candidate by putting everything bad about Hillary Clinton into a single, breathless sentence: ""She peddled a fiction about [Benghazi] for a month, she hasn't been transparent about her server and her emails, and now we see now all of these foreign government donations to the Clinton Global Initiative." Then she said to George Stephanopoulos's Hair, "And, you know, I'm not wearing any underwear. If you want to see more about that, visit my website." And there, on her campaign page, is a video of Fiorina in a chair, skirt hiked up, vagina on display as she delicately rubs her clit and says things like "America's founders never intended for us to have a professional political class," ignoring the fact that most of the founders were part of a professional political class. Then she shows a glass dildo filled with the tears of HP workers Fiorina laid off and promises to use it if she gets enough campaign donations. Of course, there are already articles about how Fiorina could win, which she can't.

Former governor Mike Huckabee is a man who hasn't put his pants back on since he left the Arkansas governor's mansion in 2007. He is so used to people staring at his naked groin that masturbating in public is just another way to say, "Hello." He stood on a stage in Hope, Arkansas, today to say that, yes, once again, he is running to fail at his ambition of being president but to succeed in continuing to do just what he's been doing for years: choking that little chicken to whoever will watch. Huckabee has done it so many times that he's worn a groove in his right hand, and it takes him days to finally come. But he knows who's watching him closely. "The Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being," he said, slapping his calloused, tiny cock against the lectern, "Check it out. Check out my peter, everyone. You can never get enough of my grits and gravy." Of course, there are already articles about how Huckabee could win, which he can't.

While Cruz and Rand Paul run around and show everyone who'll look their balls and assholes, Jeb Bush and Scott Walker are determined to keep their belts tight and pricks covered. Marco Rubio has been tempted, but he hasn't felt the full urge yet, that moment when you realize you have no chance to win so you may as well just enjoy the thrill of everyone applauding your merry genitalia display.


Pamela Geller's Dream Come True

Let's get this out of the way up top so that any right-wing dog fuckers reading this don't have to go through too many words to find it: The shooting at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas, was absolutely the fault of the two gunmen. They had the AK-47s, they fired at the security officer, and they were presumably driven by their belief in both radical interpretations of Islam and the violence of ISIS. They were shot by other security officers hired by the organizers of the event. Simply put, there would not have been deaths at the CCC yesterday without the actions of two amped up idiot assholes, Elton Simpson and his companion. The 200 people inside, however deluded and dumb they may have been, were fortunate that it didn't end up worse.

The Culwell Center, named after a former school superintendent, is a facility owned by the town's Independent School District to host graduations, reunions, sporting events, and other school and non-school functions. An AP test was supposed to take place there today, but, as you might imagine, it's been postponed.
The American Freedom Defense Initiative, which goes by the initials DICKS, sponsored the event yesterday, the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest, and it was organized by DICKS founder Pamela Geller. Geller, you might remember, has made a career of being the craziest Muslim-hater of them all. If you say you hate Muslims so much you'd cut off your finger to prove it, she'd've already cut off her arm to one-up you. The "art" show was, she said, a celebration of the First Amendment right to free expression, with a $10,000 prize going to the person who drew the bestest Muhammad cartoon of all.

Obviously, Geller saw how people loved French magazine Charlie Hebdo after its staff got brutally attacked by Muslim extremists for their cartoon depictions of Muhammad and thought, "I can do that, too, but stupidly and with bullshit justification for myself." Actually, at a meeting to discuss if the CCC should be used for the event, Garland resident Mary Ehlenfeldt said, "So some lady wants to be stupid and say, ‘I’m going to show everybody what hate is.’ That is what our Constitution says she has a right to do." The CCC had to allow the event by the ISD's nondiscrimination policy, just as it had a previous event, "Stand With the Prophet in Honor and Respect," as well as a DICKS event in January. The two are not remotely analogous, despite Geller and DICKS' attempts to make them so. It'd be like saying a KKK rally is a rational response to a gospel concert.

Geller took to her website, "Pamela's Islamophobic Vomitorium of Batshittery," to declare that the shooting outside the event was a battle in a war: "This is a war. This is war on free speech. What are we going to do? Are we going to surrender to these monsters?" Well, if it was war, chances are the entire center would have been blown up by a missile or a rocket launcher, perhaps while the people being told to stay inside were singing, "God Bless America," because, yeah, irony. (Note: They really were singing inside the CCC.)

Ultimately, the shooting, which is being called an act of terrorism or proof that ISIS is starting to attack here, did exactly what Geller wanted, a dream come true. It was dangerous and deadly, yes, but not so bad that Geller herself was at risk at any time. Besides, she had spent good money on a big security force outside the center. Geller got to prove that all the money people give her is spent on a worthy cause: her nutzoid take on Islam. She got to provoke and propagate. She got the media to talk to her as if she's a serious person. She got Right Blogsylvania to blow itself in support. Christ, that's enough to convince the rubes to donate a shit-ton more to her. On CNN today, Geller insisted over and over that she is not anti-Islam, that the Muhammad Art event was some kind of free speech festival, and that we all are dumb if we don't agree that many Muslims want Sharia law here: "[P]eople need to wake up and we need to take a firm stance on freedom of speech, and we will not abridge our freedoms so as not to offend savages. And this is really, I think, the battle between freedom and slavery. It is that basic."

Don't forget our 2nd Amendment rights to arm ourselves, which is probably what the attackers used.

By the way, the cartoons at the exhibit were just terrible and obvious. A poor use of the First Amendment, frankly.

Here's what the Rude Pundit would have drawn in an attempt to win that prize and use his God-given right to free speech: Muhammad fucking Pamela Geller in the ass on a bed made of the Israeli, ISIS, and American flags. Muhammad would have had the most stereotyped vicious A-Rab face you've ever seen, bearded, big-nosed, brownish, brow furrowed, concentrating hard on savagely pumping Geller's asshole between her lily-white ass cheeks. And Geller wouldn't have been in pain or crying or anything that would denote that she is being raped. Oh, no. She'd be depicted with a dollar sign-shaped dildo peeking out of her pussy and her collagen-injected lips parted in pleasure and nearing orgasm, loving the reaming that Muhammad is giving her, with a word bubble coming out of her mouth as she's panting, saying, as the most fundamentalist of Muslims would, "Without you I'm nothing, without you I'm nothing."


Back in the Saddle

The Rude Pundit is honest-to-Christ tan and rested and ready for action after his vacation. 

So nothing happened while he was gone, right?