The Rude Pundit Can Be All Up in Your Ears During Tonight's Debate

You're thinking, "Huh. I wanna watch the Democratic debate tonight because of some misguided sense of civic duty, but I need someone to cut to the chase and make lots of filthy jokes during it." Your prayers are answered.

Like he did with the Republican debate a couple of weeks ago, the Rude Pundit will be live-commenting with words you can hear during tonight's Debate of Hillary, Bernie, and others-who-we-don't-give-a-shit-about. Head over to Rabble.tv and you can have the overstimulation of a two-screen experience. Or two audio track experience.

Anyone can listen in, but if you wanna be able to send messages to the Rude Pundit during the big show, you need to sign up. That's free. It's all free, motherfuckers, so do it.

Last time, 4000 people tuned in to hear one man speak for three hours as he got drunker and drunker and imagined Ben Carson having sex with a unicorn made of butterflies (you kind of had to be there). Tonight, the Rude Pundit will be joined by his occasional partner in crime, Jeff Kreisler, the funny man who is one of the brains behind The Final Edition. Which one of us will be the first to get sick of democracy? Which one will pass out from the whiskey? Tune in to find out.

It all starts at 8:30 p.m. And this time around, we'll be watching TV, not doing the delayed internet feed like last time.  Sign up, comment, and we'll read some of your snarky remarks on the air, if they pleasure us.

So snuggle in between the Rude Pundit and Jeff Kreisler tonight.


Columbus Day for the Conquered: Obama Administration Is Making Amends for History

Last week, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced a settlement of a lawsuit with the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indian nations to the tune of $186 million.  The tribes had sued back in 2005 over land claims that had gone unaddressed since the early 20th century. See, the government dicked over the Indians, in that charming way the government so often had, by removing them from their land in places like Mississippi, all the way to Oklahoma, a process that had begun in the 1830s Trail of Tears.

Then the government sold the ancestral home of the tribes to timber companies, money which would have gone to the Native Americans if they had not been forced out. Of course, the companies made billions of dollars and the government violated the law, but, hey, $186 million is what the Choctaw and Chickasaw accepted.  The Choctaw Chief himself called it "a great, historic day."

Since part of the job of the Obama administration has been to clean up the fuck-ups of the past, it has settled cases with 86 different tribes in similar cases since 2009. Another dozen or so are still being negotiated. This means that President Obama isn't just mopping up the blood after the Bush presidency. He's trying to right wrongs that go a long way back in our history.

Choctaw Chief Gary Barton also said, "We plan for the proceeds to be invested in our people – expanding education, creating jobs, promoting economic development and culture, as well as a portion to be invested in a sustainability fund for the future of our citizens." The governor of the Chickasaw nation said much the same. So far, the total paid out to all tribes is $2.8 billion, a paltry sum to regain a little of our national soul.

These actions have flown under the radar since they amount to unacknowledged reparations for the cruel actions of the white men against the indigenous peoples of America. But on this Columbus Day, as we distance ourselves more and more from the genocidal maniac who never landed here, it's good to know that an effort is being made to say that, while we didn't start the fire, someone's gotta put it out.


The House GOP: The Clusterfuck Quorum

Not to put too fine a point on it, but if you're gonna participate, you should probably be clear about what kind of blood orgy you're going to. Oh, sure, sure, you might think it's a run-of-the-mill, "here's some pig's blood to pour on our naked bodies" blood orgy. Or it could be a little more hardcore, the let's-sacrifice-this-goat-to-Baal thing where you end up balling in warm blood and viscera with more than a few people who are incredibly serious about this whole thing bringing one dark lord or another into being.

You wanna be clear about what the hosts are up to because you don't wanna find yourself in the middle of a human sacrifice because, let's face it, it's just awkward. As some poor virgin's throat is slit, you realize that you didn't sign up for this, but what the hell are you gonna do? Leave? You're surrounded by murderers. You gotta either risk your own life to flee or you gotta suck it up, rub your nipples with virgin blood, and start fucking.

So it was that the House Republicans gathered in conference yesterday to anoint a new Speaker. Most were expecting a basic goat killing before the blood orgy, but what they got was a full-on human sacrifice. And none of them knew what the hell to do once Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy decided to tell everyone to fuck off with their ungovernable caucus and drop out of running for Speaker.

There is a significant percentage of the Rude Pundit's brain that wants to think that this was John Boehner's strategy all along. In this scenario (which Josh Marshall also thinks is plausible) Boehner decided to ratfuck the conservatives in his party, especially the stupidly named "Freedom Caucus." It's no secret that Boehner fucking hates the crazies who are opposed to the act of governing, but they were causing him to lose control of the House. So he announced he was stepping down, a moment that led to no tears from the notoriously over-emotional Ohio congressman, but it was just a gambit. He knew that McCarthy had skeletons that would prevent him from being able to ascend to the Speaker's chair.  He knew that Paul Ryan had no interest in running. And he knew that far right conservatives like weasel-puss Jason Chaffetz could not put together enough votes.

So Boehner remains speaker for up to another 18 months, this time as the savior of a party that is imploding under the weight of its own bullshit. Now, who is gonna be able to rationally fuck with him?  Boehner could have a Corleone-like purge of ultra-conservatives in key committee positions.  He could make deals with Democrats to hike the debt ceiling and pass a transportation bill. Until the House Republicans can come up with a plausible new Speaker, Boehner has said he will stay. As Marshall says, "Boehner 2.0 would be basically the Man of Steel and indestructible for almost 18 months."

Of course, the other thing this debacle reveals is, once again, the true dysfunction in Congress belongs to Republicans. They are divided between the people who want to get shit done, even if it means compromising, and the nutzoids who love the chaos and just want to watch the world burn.  The dishonesty required to say that there are such problems in both parties is stunning, so, obviously, some idiot is going to say that "extremists" in both parties are to blame for the failures of governance.

Goddamn, the Rude Pundit hopes that Boehner was the host of the blood orgy who put the goat and the pig's blood away and said, "Let's make this one special." It'd be such an old school power play, the kind of thing that the deranged mutants of the Tea Party couldn't even begin to comprehend, like sending the Hills Have Eyes family to Yale.

By the way, it's always better to be a voyeur rather than a participant at a blood orgy. You stay cleaner, and you get to touch yourself while you watch the filthy, heaving supplicants attempt to fuck like their lives depend on it but mostly just slipping in the blood.


Koch Cashcapades: Dig in the Shit, Pigs

If you're ever in the mood for a dark 1960s British comedy that tries a little too hard to be veddy, veddy British, check out Peter Sellers as a mad billionaire in the 1969 flick The Magic Christian. Having determined that he can do whatever the fuck he wants because he's so rich, Sellers, with his adopted son, played, for some reason, by Ringo Starr, fills a vat with pig shit, piss, and blood and tosses wads of cash into it, announcing, "Free money." Well-dressed, proper British men (mostly) come rushing to the vat and hold their noses to get in and gather the bills.

The Rude Pundit thought about this scene when he read the headlines: "Carly Fiorina Added to Koch Brothers' Short List" or "Carly Fiorina Gains Blessing of the Koch Brothers' Dark Money Network" or even "Koch brothers eyeing Marco Rubio for nearly $1B campaign contribution." But he didn't think of it for the reason you might be thinking. Sure, sure, you can easily say that the candidates are the idiots leaping into the piss pool for befouled cash.

But what should bother all of us is the blithe, passive way this information has been given to us, the voting public. We should read something like "Carly Fiorina...has tacitly been acknowledged by multi-billionaires Charles and David Koch through their extended network of political organizations. This means that not only could the big bucks begin flowing from the Koch coffers into Carly’s lightly funded campaign, but it could also attract other heavyweight GOP donors who are still on the fence" and feel blind outrage. It is a flat-out, plain statement that rich fucks are trying to buy the election. It's not that we didn't know already that rich fucks try to buy elections - that's what rich fucks do. But the fact that it's said out in the open, reported, even, by media outlets, without an acknowledgment that something is really, truly, on a basic level fucked up about it says more about the slow death of our democracy than perhaps the act itself.

In other words, like gun massacres, we've become numb to what is truly dangerous in our brain damaged nation simply because it just happens all the goddamn time.

In the Rubio article, the New York Daily News notes, "The big prize — aside from the presidency itself — is still the nearly $1 billion contribution the kingmaking Koch brothers, Charles and David, will reportedly throw behind the conservative agenda next year." And it was not followed with "What a disgusting sham our electoral system has become when two assholes can toss a billion bucks into the pot and get senators and governors and whatever the fuck Fiorina is to lick the waxy folds of their balls clean."

Seriously, no one gives a shit. And that's where The Magic Christian comes back into play. "A bit literal," says Ringo Starr about the money in the feces and urine pool. But maybe not. Because, see, maybe the point here isn't that candidates will wallow around in wretched effluvia to scrape campaign funds together. That is quite on the nose. Maybe, instead, we voters are the ones in the pool because, ultimately, we're the people who are content to dip into the shit pond to choose our candidates. It's especially true of Republicans this time around, but Hillary ain't clean.

We should read those headlines and the many, many more like them and not just shrug. The oligarchy wins when the masses are taught not to care.

Late Post Today

Awaiting the call to become Speaker of the House because why the hell not. 

Back later with more chaotic rudeness. 


Your State Sucks: Alabama Sucks Because It Dishonors Its Own African American Heritage

So you might have heard that the fine state of Alabama (motto: "Our capitol has been Confederate flag-free for nearly four months") is saving money by getting rid of the driver's license service in a bunch of counties in the state. Yeah, of the 31, 8 are counties with large majority black registered voters in a state where you are required to have a government-issued photo i.d. to vote. Sure, you can renew your license online, but now license bureaus will be nearly 50 miles away for many people who need them, especially, you know, African Americans in poverty.

One of those offices is in Macon County, Alabama. Check it out on a map:

You see what town that is there? It's Tuskegee, Alabama, the place where Tuskegee University is. That would be the same Tuskegee University that was the Tuskegee Institute, led by Booker T. Washington from 1881 to 1915, a place where blacks in the South could get higher education post-Reconstruction. It's where George Washington Carver did some of his most important research. It's where the Tuskegee Airmen were trained to go fight in World War II. It's also the place where poor black sharecroppers were deliberately infected with syphilis to study its effects. And to this day, it remains one of the best universities in the south. In other words, important chapters in African American history are bound up with Tuskegee.

And that's one of the places where Alabama's state government decided to take steps that would end up disenfranchising African American voters. Classy.


Why We Barely Talk About the Terrible Policy Ideas of the GOP Candidates

It's funny, innit? Every time you see an attack on Hillary Clinton, it's about whether or not she's been honest about something related to her job as Secretary of State, whether or not she's given us the facts, or, most importantly, whether or not her proposals as a candidate are sensible. The same goes for Bernie Sanders: the media spends more time talking about his proposals for economic justice than the economic or any plans of the entire slate of all the Republican candidates combined. And, if you've paid attention to the coverage, Sanders doesn't get a hell of a lot of air.

One of the reasons for that is because who gives a slow turtle fuck what the Republicans stand for when they say such stupid shit constantly. Honestly, not a day goes by without one candidate or another putting out some appalling statement or speaking some idiotic blathering that is calculated to appeal to the simpletons.

In the last couple of days:

1. Ben Carson, a man who looks like he's injecting horse tranquilizers right into his jugular, did a quick Q&A on Facebook yesterday. The dude who isn't sure about how gravity works (it's Jesus semen sticking us to the Earth, Dr. Carson) was asked about his position on the 2nd Amendment, the one that says God wants you to be able to kill on a whim. Carson replied, really, "As a Doctor, I spent many a night pulling bullets out of bodies. There is no doubt that this senseless violence is breathtaking – but I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away."

How the fuck do you respond to that? You wanna show him that 8 year-old girl who was shot dead in Tennessee and ask him? He won't care. One of the leading Republican candidates said that guns are more important than people. So what do you ask next? "Gee, and how about your tariff policy and South Asia?" There aren't enough dicks on enough donkeys to tell Ben Carson to get fucked with.

2. This afternoon, on the right-wing blog RedState, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (campaign slogan: "Stop laughing!") decided the best use of his time was to attack the father of the Oregon shooter because he dared to say that guns suck. About the man whose son killed himself after murdering nine other people, Jindal said (quoted extensively so you can get the full blast of motherfuckering going on here), "This killer’s father is now lecturing us on the need for gun control and he says he has no idea how or where his son got the guns. Of course he doesn’t know. You know why he doesn’t know? Because he is not, and has never been in his son’s life. He’s a complete failure as a father, he should be embarrassed to even show his face in public. He’s the problem here. He brags that he has never held a gun in his life and that he had no idea that his son had any guns. Why didn’t he know? Because he failed to raise his son. He should be ashamed of himself, and he owes us all an apology. When he was asked what his relationship was with his son, he said he hadn’t seen him in a while because he lived with his mother. Case Closed."

If you have anything like a moral compass, you read that and thought, "There must not be a God because a demon hand didn't burst out of the ground, reach into Jindal's anus, and pull him inside out before dragging him into the shit-filled sodomy pits of Hades." If you read that and thought, "Well, this is a reasonable person who should be treated with respect," then perhaps it is your anus that needs a hellclawing.

3. Away from the deranged gun fellating that seems to be one of the prime activities of the Republican Party, Carly Fiorina (campaign motto: "Failure has a name") said Sunday that she'd be able to handle the terrorist armies of ISIS because "my degree in medieval history and philosophy has come in handy because what ISIS wants to do is drive us back to the Middle Ages, literally." Yes, and when ISIS wants to use trebuchets to launch anti-aircraft rockets, we can talk. Until then, let's keep the Crusades references to a minimum.

Who has time to discuss anything of substance with these drooling numbskulls and skeevy con artists  masturbating in public?


Post-Massacre, Conservative America Reacts Like It Got a Head Wound

Sure, Jeb Bush saying, "Stuff happens" as a response to last week's mass shooting in Oregon was pretty fucking dumb. Bush compounded the dumb by clarifying himself when pressed by a reporter, "Things happen all the time...Things. Is that better?" Dude, just say, "Shit happens." Stop with the polite debasement of a horror.

Then, proving once and for all that George W. might have been the smart one, Bush added, "A child drowned in a pool and the impulse is to pass a law that puts fencing around pools. Well it may not change it. Or you have a car accident and the impulse is to pass a law that deals with that unique event." Except that we have all kinds of laws because of car accidents. Except that one guy once failed at blowing up a plane with his shoes, so now, even 14 years later, we have to take off our damn shoes at the airport. Except, oh, right, Governor Jeb Bush once fucking signed a law that required people to do something to prevent children from drowning in their pools.

Yet this was not the lamest thing said by a GOP presidential candidate in the wake of the Umpqua Community College massacre. That would go to America's angriest red balloon, Chris Christie, who was on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulous's hair and was asked about the fact (notice the word there) that New Jersey, the state Christie occasionally is governor of, has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation and one of the lowest rates of gun deaths. Was there any correlation? Christie said, "I don’t — George, I don’t think there is" before doing the usual Republican bullshit dance of mental health needs

To say that there is no causal relationship between strictness of gun laws and numbers of gun deaths is to bizarrely ignore the overwhelming evidence that plainly shows that, in nearly every state, that is true. This is the madness of Republicanism in the 21st century. Virtually every scientist says climate change is caused by human activity, and the Republican says they're wrong and liars. Supply-side tax policy has failed every time it's been tried, and the Republican says that we need to keep trying. Nearly every state with tight gun laws has a smaller number of gun deaths by murder, suicide, and accident than states with little regulation, and the Republican says that gun control will only help criminals. Anyone who says any of these things should be whipped out of the public sphere like a rabid dog for fear that they will infect everyone.

But the quiescent media just raises its haunches and tells the flatly lying Republicans, "Take me." A report this morning on NPR, you know, that bastion of liberal elitism, was about Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the chair of the House Oversight Committee who looks like a shaved rabbit with its ears pinned back. The reporter said, "Planned Parenthood criticized Chaffetz for using what they believed to be inaccurate data about the number of abortions they provide." It's not that Planned Parenthood "believed" the data was inaccurate. The chart that presented the data was inaccurate. Period. That's not an opinion. It's not something that needs to be attributed to anyone. If someone says, "One plus one equals twenty," you don't need to say that it's wrong according to someone. Things can just be wrong.

When people are wrong on the demonstrable facts, the media fails when it doesn't treat them like they are wrong. For instance, three candidates running for the GOP nomination, including two of the top, said that Umpqua is a gun-free zone, implying that only pussies without guns die like pigs in a slaughterhouse.

But Umpqua isn't a gun-free zone. If you have a conceal carry permit in Oregon, you can take your gun with you on campus. In fact, students with guns were talked out of going after the asshole shooter because they would have been in a shitload of danger and the cops on the scene wouldn't have known who not to shoot. One of the good guys with a gun, an Army vet, said, "If we would have run across the field, we would have been targets. We made a good choice at the time." You got that? They had guns and decided that trying to be a superhero was fucking dumb. That makes those gun owners smarter than every fucknut wannabe who thinks life is a game of Call of Duty.

And if gun owners aren't the X-Men, the NRA sure as fuck isn't Magneto. It's beyond time to take them on in a real, concerted way, like Hillary Clinton is proposing (and Martin O'Malley proposed before). Ideological purity needs to go out the window. Anti-gun liberals need to ally with the sane gun owners, the ones who believe that you need to, you know, well-regulate arms. That'd probably end up being the vast majority of the nation, which means that maybe Congress would listen.

Well, if Bloomberg's money is involved. Let's not be naive.