Kerry Alive:
At what point in John Kerry's speech last night do you think Dick Cheney and Karl Rove looked at each other and said, "Oh, fuck"? Do you think it was when they realized that Kerry was going to hit them harder than virtually any other speaker at the convention: "I will be a commander in chief who will never mislead us into war. I will have a Vice President who will not conduct secret meetings with polluters to rewrite our environmental laws. I will have a Secretary of Defense who will listen to the best advice of our military leaders. And I will appoint an Attorney General who actually upholds the Constitution of the United States"? Do you think Cheney and Rove thought, "We're fucked" when they heard Kerry say, "Now I know there are those who criticize me for seeing complexities – and I do – because some issues just aren't all that simple. Saying there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq doesn't make it so. Saying we can fight a war on the cheap doesn’t make it so. And proclaiming mission accomplished certainly doesn't make it so"? Do you think Rove said, "We'd better hide the keys to the White House liquor cabinet" when Kerry said, "Before you go to battle, you have to be able to look a parent in the eye and truthfully say: 'I tried everything possible to avoid sending your son or daughter into harm's way'"? Do you think Dick Cheney had to lower the charge on his pacemaker to keep his blood pressure from blowing the top of his bald head when Kerry said, "That flag doesn't belong to any president. It doesn't belong to any ideology and it doesn't belong to any political party. It belongs to all the American people"? Or when Kerry said, "It is time for those who talk about family values to start valuing families" (an obvious and almost sublimely simple turn of phrase that magnificently fucks with the original phrase)? Do you think Rove and Cheney looked at each other as if they were going to vomit at the end, as commentator after commentator, all the ones who had lined up so dutifully behind the White House's talking points for all these years, praised Kerry to the hilt? (And this morning on Fox, National Review editor Rich Lowry had almost nothing but praise for Kerry)? Do you think they asked each other, "What will we tell the President?"

The GOP website is fuckin' hilarious about Kerry. Sure, the whole "flip-flop" thing has stuck more than it ought to. But here's this page with photos of Kerry with Michael Dukakis, when Kerry was the Duke's Lt. Governor from 1982-1984. The whole revision of Michael Dukakis's career to a failed presidential run (which was less about that photo of him in a tank and more about the considerable power of Lee Atwater to get people to believe lies) is ludicrous. Dukakis was elected governor three times in Massachusetts. He presided, in his second and third terms, over a huge expansion of Massachusetts' economy, hitching the state to the wagon of high tech, what was deemed by Dukakis as "the Massachusetts Miracle". In 1986, he was voted the most effective governor in the country by his fellow governors. Indeed, Dukakis was far more qualified to be president than, say, this George Bush. Sure, maybe it'd be naive to expect Kerry to embrace Dukakis, considering how successful the GOP has been in portraying the man as a loser liberal, but it's also pretty fucked up to imply that Kerry somehow did something wrong by being lieutenant to an incredibly powerful governor.

By the way, one of the main reasons the Massachusetts Miracle ended was that the defense budget was slashed to deal with deficits left over from the Reagan engorgement. The President who agreed to those cuts? Why, Poppy himself, George H.W. Bush. The Secretary of Defense? Why, Dick "You Heard My Name, Motherfuckers" Cheney. Now, who needs to be embarassed by photos when facts do just fine.

Oh, the Right will be hysterical the next few weeks, attacking Kerry for attacking Bush's record as president at the same time the GOP posts bullshit like this, which simply points out that Kerry is rich while never mentioning how much Bush is worth. The GOP will get personal. Kerry will stay political. The GOP will try to make Kerry's attacks on Bush's record look personal.

Now, if Kerry said, "Tell that motherfucking dry drunk, slack jawed yokel-wannabe to step off or I'll bitch slap him back to sweet Mama Babs saggy teats," then, you know, he'd be gettin' personal.


Sharpton Says, "Gimme That Fuckin' Limelight":
Last night, Rev. Al Sharpton fucked up the shit of the Democratic stage show going on in Boston. Going off script, going longer than his allotted six minutes, Sharpton spoke with a passion and rage that distilled so much of what people wanted to hear, especially the people in that convention hall who, if they heard one more fuckin' time about Kerry's Vietnam War experience, they were gonna drown themselves in the Mekong. Sharpton delineated, incisively, the differences between the Bush world of violence and fear and a vision of an all-encompassing nation devoted to truth, justice, creating a real American way: "I have come here tonight to say, that the only choice we have to preserve our freedoms at this point in history is to elect John Kerry the president of the United States," he said, reminding voters that if they want to keep civil liberties safe, they'd better elect someone who won't appoint more Scalias and Thomases to the Supreme Court. (Said Sharpton, "I suggest to you tonight that if George Bush had selected the court in '54, Clarence Thomas would have never got to law school," thus giving the runny shits to the bowels of Kerry's campaign team.)

Sharpton offered a nation that includes immigrants ("We cannot welcome those to come [to America] and then try and act as though any culture will not be respected or treated inferior. We cannot look at the Latino community and preach one language. No one gave them an English test before they sent them to Iraq to fight for America"), non-whites ("Mr. President, in all due respect, Mr. President, read my lips: Our vote is not for sale"), and homosexuals ("The promise of America is that government does not seek to regulate your behavior in the bedroom, but to guarantee your right to provide food in the kitchen").

And, in a "fuck you" to the Republicans, Sharpton offered how "family values" are not the exclusive property of the wealthy and the white: "Family values is not just those with two-car garages and a retirement plan. Retirement plans are good. But family values also are those who had to make nothing stretch into something happening, who had to make ends meet." Sharpton received seven standing ovations, driving the conventioneers into a frenzy, making white people raise their hands as if they felt the power.

Over on MSNBC, Chris Matthews, who always looks as if he's just been fucked in the ass and has to take a giant dump, interrupted Sharpton's speech (not even carried by Fox, of course, but carried in full on CNN) to puncture everyone's balloon by saying that Sharpton "began" his career on "a lie," before bringing up the ever-lingering Tawana Brawely debacle: "You have to remember that this man basically began his career, as charming as he is, on a lie. He said that a young woman in New York had been raped and beat up by police. It turns out there was no truth to that story." Then he got Howard Fineman and Doris Kearns Goodwin to get all white and upper middle class on Sharpton. Said Goodwin, "In fact, the yelling in the rally right now is like chalk on a board, a blackboard. It's grating." Aaah, so sweet when the patricians speak. Earlier, it was almost as fun when the only speakers they could think to compare Sharpton to were Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama.

Now, do you think when George Bush speaks, Matthews has ever said, "You have to remember that this man began his career, as charming as he is, on business failures. He's had to get bailed out of every business venture he's ever stuck his fingers into"? Sure, Sharpton's a grandstander, a self-aggrandizer, unafraid of sleeping with the enemy, and, yeah, Brawley was a fuck-up (even though one way to read the events of that long hot summer in the late 1980s was "Jesus Christ, have race relations in New York City really devolved to this point?"). But Sharpton's also been a passionate advocate for civil rights, and, shit, he's a mesmerizing speaker. If we're gonna hold people accountable for their pasts any time they speak, then let's rumble, motherfuckers. Chris Matthews better have a big fuckin' list when Jerry Falwell gets up at the GOP Convention next month.


A Love Letter To Teresa Heinz Kerry:
Dear, darling Teresa,
Oh, how, if the stars were aligned differently, if time could fly backwards, how the Rude Pundit would love you. He would love your smile, somewhere between the gentle grin of a mother bunny and the disemboweling sneer of a tiger; he would love your sultry voice, all post-coital and absinthe-infused, with that vaguely European accent that makes you sound like nothing less than a latter-day Marlene Dietrich. Ahh, how the Rude Pundit would love you for your rudeness, your inability to take shit from anyone, your fire. When you gave your speech last night, the Rude Pundit, alone in a hotel room, couldn't help himself. He knows you won't mind if he says that he touched himself, delicately at first, but then, thinking about the idea of you sitting on his lap, whispering for him to "Shove it, oh, please, shove it," he manhandled his member a great deal more violently, for which he is paid this morning with an ice bag and a Vicodin.

But ejaculatory glee aside (and the Rude Pundit left a very nice tip for the maid's discretion), you spoke at times with the foresight of a visionary, of someone who has seen the city on a hill, of someone who believes that dreams writ large can be fulfilled: "It is the America the world wants to see, shining, hopeful and bright once again." But you, as always in the Rude Pundit's dreams, held the peacock feather in one hand and the leather glove in the other, when you proclaimed, "In America, the true patriots are those who dare speak truth to power. And the truth that we must speak now is that America has responsibilities that it is time for us to accept again." Oh, yes, how everyone will focus on your rebuke to that stooge editor and then on your lines about speaking your mind, but to the Rude Pundit, nothing is sexier than a woman (or man - the Rude Pundit does keep his options open) who would dare tell us all that we need to take responsibility. Goddamn, it's like a spanking, like if you asked the Rude Pundit to bend over while you lash that ruler across his ass, you sexy MILF, you.

Oh, forgive the occasional bursting forth of desire, Teresa. The Rude Pundit knows, he knows, god, how he knows, you are a happily married woman. He knows that your work as the chair of the Heinz Endowments is purposeful and noble in a way few can understand. He loves your words about America after 9/11 on the Endowments' website. Your line, "As long as America continues to build strong communities—diverse places that dignify people and their varied aspirations as human beings—the terrorists will fail," is a stunningly simple rebuke to right wing attempts to separate the country through fear and intimidation.

The Rude Pundit pledges his love. As long as he can sometimes hear your voice in five different languages, see your lips move, he will remain happy. He will defend your right to speak your mind as rudely as you like. He will smack down anyone who says you are a liability to the campaign of your husband. He will let you be the woman you are, the one unafraid to say what Hillary must have wanted to say a dozen years ago: "My only hope is that, one day soon, women — who have all earned their right to their opinions — instead of being called opinionated, will be called smart and well-informed, just like me."

Oh, god, since we cannot turn back time so that we might meet, the Rude Pundit had better sign off now. Farewell, lovely, lovely, deliciously lovely Teresa.

Lovingly and with love,
The Rude Pundit

P.S. Isn't Ann Coulter such a cunt?


Kicking Ass and Taking Names:
Teresa Heinz Kerry - So let's get this straight: the Vice President of the United States can tell an elected Senator to "Go fuck yourself" and there's a mild ripple, as if this is all just old boy's club bullshit. But if the wife of the nominee tells a vicious attack dog lackey of the right wing to "Shove it" after he tries to corner her into saying something she did not say, it's a crisis in the management of the campaign. Here's an entry from Colin McNickle's badly written blog: "Saturday's Boston weather dawned rainy and unseasonally cool -- fall-like. Oh, Democrats are in town. Sunday, it was still cool with sun but with sometimes-threatening skies. Kind of like those Democrat programs that offer sun but, and as the Law of Unintended Consequences dictates, usually rain on just about everybody's parade." You know what? This tool can shove it up his ass. And anyone who treats him as a victim is a sexist asshole who can't stand honesty in politics, especially when it comes from a woman.

Bill Clinton - Sometimes you just wanna tell Bill Clinton, "Fuck it. I'd've blown you, too." 'Cause after his speech last night eviscerated the Republicans and their agenda. Putting out there simply: you judge a man by the choices he has made in his life. Here's the choices John Kerry made. Here's the choices George Bush made. And Clinton, using hard numbers and facts, took apart the record of the Republican Congress and administration. Doing so, Clinton did something incredibly empowering to anyone listening: you have the power to choose - use it. He used historical references to say that Americans have chosen to right wrongs in the past, so now is the time to do it gain. Goddamn, what a motherfucker of a speech. Sure, his repeated message of Kerry saying "Send me" echoed with the resonance that a vote for Kerry is a vote for Clinton, but isn't that the point? And when he said of Republicans, "They need a divided America; we don't," it was a summation of everything wrong in a succinct, Fahrenheit 9/11-like line. Jesus, the Rude Pundit is so hot for that Clinton cock right now that he needs to go smoke a cigar to sublimate, sweetly, sweetly sublimate. It's the flush of the moment, sure, but, fuck, why not enjoy it like a fine Cuban on a sultry night?

Three speeches in three lines:
Al Sharpton's speech to the Black Caucus about George Bush proposing Republicans as a viable alternative for black voters: Niggah, please.

The speech by the ghost of Al Gorelast night: Remember meeeee, booo, remember meeee.

Jimmy Carter's "Who Spiked the Geritol?" speech: Don't piss off the peaceful man, motherfucking George Bush, or he will fuck your shit up, you goddamn lying sack of shit deserter.

Later today: and over on the right . . .
Life Beckons:
Posting will be later than usual today. The Rude Pundit has to take care of something that involves his mild-mannered alter-ego. But he will be back to write about Teresa, the Al's, the Old Man, and the Big Dog. Oh, and how batshit insane Fox "News" has become.

But, briefly, did Scarborough really say that he'd "sleep well at night knowing that John Kerry was in the White House"?

And best media line of the evening- Jon Stewart on Teresa Kerry's "Shove it" line: "She's killed a hobo with her bare hands."


Commission Punks:
So, like, when you hear the words "bipartisan" and "unanimous" in reference to the 9/11 Commission report, are you just ready to beat your head against the wall until you fall into the sweet sleep of concussion?  Are you ready to try to gnaw off your own arm, held, as you are, in the teeth of a bear trap of logical fallacy?  'Cause, like, when you read articles like this one, which discusses how the commission avoided making any judgements about the "wisdom" of invading Iraq in order to have a "unanimous" report, you know what the real truth is: the Democrats on the committee punked out - they rolled over and let the Republicans have their way with them.   Good prison punks always know that most of the time it's best to just bite the pillow and hope all the anal fucking is over quickly.  If you fight, you might end up getting beaten and fucked.  So just get fucked and deal with the sore rectum rather than the broken bones.

But that mystical, magical report appeared out of the blue, seemingly without extensive vetting from the White House, which is odd, since, back in April, the White House promised to vet the report "line by line," potentially delaying the release of the report until after the election.  Now, that report is over 500 pages long.   One might imagine that a "line by line" vetting would take some time, one might imagine that in order for the vetting to go that fast that the White House might have read a draft (perhaps), or one might imagine that in the name of "bipartisan unanimity" the report was scrubbed by its own commission members beforehand.  The Rude Pundit is no "journalist," but isn't this at least a semi-valid issue - when did the vetting happen and how?

However, let us deal with the substance, which can be boiled down to this: Clinton did some good, but not enough, but he didn't "wag the dog."  Bush is a shit-throwing chimp who, with his cabinet, ignored repeated warnings and fucked up the nation. (Ironically, Bush "read" the report on a trip to the ranch this weekend.)  Congress abdicated its role as overseer of the White House.  The media's a bunch of bullshit-mongers.  Richard Clarke was right.  There's no truth to Iraq/al-Qaeda; there's no truth to Atta in Prague.  (In fact, we can now use the word "lie" whenever we refer to Bush, Cheney, or anyone making statements about "knowing" that Iraq was getting blown by al-Qaeda or that Mohammed Atta likes black light puppet shows.) And how the "immediate response" to 9/11 was to figure out how to bomb the living shit out of Iraq.

But mostly, sadly, all we truly understand from the 9/11 Commission report is just how cowed Democrats on the panel were by the Republicans, how they huddled to themselves in a corner while the Republicans laughed and tossed lit cigar butts at them, how, if they threatened a minority report, the Republicans would make the Democrats run around the Mall with their pants around their ankles.  Imagine what would have happened if Gore had been president.  Imagine that report.  Imagine, gut-churningly, how the Democrats would have gone along to be as vicious as possible to Gore so that they looked "strong."  But, ahh, a different time, a different time. 

Strangely, one might have thought the job of the commission was to tell the truth.  One might have thought that responsible citizens would have told that truth no matter who it ruined, no matter who it discredited, no matter which administration it brought down.


Welcome to the Party, Bitches:
Goddamn and holy shit, the Rude Pundit wants to fuck the Bush twins.  He wants a Jenna and Babs sandwich.  He wants Babs sittin' on his face while Jenna bobs on his crank.  He wants to fuck them hard.  He wants to fuck them ugly.  He loves that their names sound like porno names without even playing the porno name game.  The Rude Pundit just gets hotter about the Bush twins now that they're out on the campaign trail , talking up the policies of their father, offering heartwarming stories of what a "good" Dad he is, smiling, smiling like a couple of twenty dollar a fuck hookers who just love their pimp 'cause he treats them soooo much better than other pimps treat their whores.  

Oh, Jesus, the Rude Pundit just wants to jack off in the twins' faces as they tell him all about Daddy's policies, all the fuckin' talkin' points, about Daddy's desire to destroy Roe v. Wade (but you can bet that if little Jenna gets knocked up by the Rude Pundit, legal or not, Jenna's gettin' an abortion), his manipulation of science in order to keep contraceptives off the market, his deep wish to keep women enslaved by wrecking programs that don't teach the foolish "abstinence only" (and the Rude Pundit knows that Daddy's girls ain't been listenin' to the preachin'), the gag rule on pro-choice words that affects international programs on women's health, the vicious and irresponsible cuts in women's health and child care programs, and, aww, fuck, just about everything short of having rape rooms and enforcing burqas.  Yeah, shit, goddamn, when Jenna and Babs sit next to Daddy on the dais and smile and giggle when he introduces one or the other at a speech, say, on sex trafficking (which, by the way, what the fuck?), it's almost as good as watching them finger fuck each other. (Sweet lil' Jenna's gonna teach fouth grade in the fall.  We'd better all hope Daddy never visits the classroom.)

And, oh, sweet blow job images, when Jenna stuck her tongue out at the media, ahh, Christ, he could fondle himself for hours looking at that overprivileged tongue that has only licked the finest cock in the country, that tongue that said, "This is all just a fuckin' game," that little sneer that said, "You can't fuckin' touch me," that face that said everything you need to know about this family, the father,  the daughter.

Yeah, and at night, after a hard day of campaignin', Daddy, martini glass of tonic water in his hand, can turn on the Fox News and watch video of his little girls talkin' about how much they love their Daddy, and, like so many men in America, he can stick his hand in his unzipped pants and think, "And Daddy loves his little girls, oh, how Daddy loves his little girls."


A Murder of Bullies:
The Rude Pundit fucking hates bullies.  He fondly remembers high school, when the seniors would wander around with their brand new class rings and smack freshmen on the head with open, ringed hands.  The Rude Pundit grabbed the hand of the first asshole who tried to do that to him and said, "We're not playing this game."  The Rude Pundit is very protective of his skull and, as he said before, he fucking hates bullies.

And let's get our definitions straight here: a bully is someone who is bigger or more powerful and picks on those weaker than him or herself.   In other words, cranky puss Pete Townshend aside, Michael Moore is not a bully.  Sure, he may get as obnoxious as hell, but ultimately his goal is to stand up to those with power.  And when he beats up poor, hunched-over Charlton Heston in Bowling for Columbine (usually given as Moore's greatest "bullying"), well, you know, people used to have sympathy for poor, sick Nazi guards put on trial thirty, forty years after the fact.  You bear the weight of your sins, motherfucker, throughout your life. 

So let's talk about some real bullying here:
Speaking of Nazis, what a punk ass little bitch Arnold Schwarzenegger is.  Pissed off over not being able to get his budget passed, in the way he wants it, he calls Democrats "girlie men," which is extra pathetic since the phrase actually comes from a bad Saturday Night Live sketch parodying Schwarzenegger.  Here's exactly what Arnie said: "If they don't have the guts to come up here in front of you and say, 'I don't want to represent you, I want to represent those special interests, the unions, the trial lawyers, and I want them to make the millions of dollars - if they don't have the guts, I call them girlie men."  So what was Herr Governor upset about?  Why that the Democrats didn't want to back the bullies.  They want to keep the right for employees to sue their employers for labor violations.  And as for the unions being represented by "girlie men," let's get a few Teamsters to meet Arnie in his cigar tent outside the Statehouse in Sacremento and we'll see who ends up being the bitch begging for mercy. 

In Las Vegas, Linda Ronstadt dedicated the song "Desperado" to Michael Moore and some of the moralistic patrons at the Aladdin, filled with free drinks and exhausted from the Bill Bennett approved slots, rioted, throwing free drinks, tearing down posters, showing that, Moore and Ronstadt be damned, they were going to support useless violence in all its forms.  The enlightened people at the Aladdin, already nervous because they are the main "Arabian"-themed hotel on the strip and they can't figure out how to put on a suicide bomber show once an hour for the tourists, ejected Ronstadt, erstwhile Jerry Brown paramour and No Nukes singer, from the hotel and casino.  Ronstadt's reaction has been fuckin' wonderful - essentially it's "kiss my asno."  She's in semi-retirement and doesn't give a fuck: "Clear Channel can't threaten to not play my records because they are not going to play them anyway."  The Aladdin officials, demonstrating how far Vegas has come since its mobster beginnings, puffed up their chests and declared how they had Ronstadt "escorted" from the building, without letting her go back to her "luxury suite."  Oh, if only they could have announced that they sent Joe Pesci, desperately in need of work, to rough her up. 

Bullies are everywhere, defaming Joseph Wilson, Sandy Berger, and more and more.  Remember this though: one cannot bully the powerful.  One can only attempt to assert oneself against the awful might of those who wish to crush them.   To finish with today's California-ish theme: A surfer can ride a giant wave, man, but at some point, the surfer's gotta get out, ride it out, or wipe out.  The water always wins.


Final Pre-Convention Advice To John Kerry - Fuck Iraq:
That's right. You heard it. Fuck Iraq. Say it out loud. Feel how it rolls around in your mouth like a well-placed clitoris. Say it again, slowly, "FFuuuck IIIIrrraaaaq." Feels good, huh? Say it loud and fast now, "Fuck Iraq." Fuck it. Fuck it with a big hard vibrating strap-on. We all fucking hate the war. We think it was shitty idea. We fucking hate with bile in our stomachs when Bush or Cheney compare it to World War II. Remember this one fucking fact about World War II: there was a chance we could lose - there was a chance the Nazis would win in Europe. There was never any doubt we'd crush the shit out of Iraq. So fuck George Bush when he talks about Iraq as some great fuckin' victory. There's only one fuckin' thing that matters on Iraq: when are you gonna bring home the troops? Everything else is bullshit. Bush keeps talking about "this man, Zarqawi" like Clinton saying "that woman, Miss Lewinsky," using Zarqawi as a shield against all his bullshit rhetoric and failures as a man, a leader, a speaker, a father, a son, a husband.

So when people keep hammering Kerry with questions about Iraq - would you vote now knowing what we now know which we did kind of know except no one would say what they knew when you were bullied into voting how you voted so that your vote wouldn't be held against you except now it is so stop being such a fucking pussy about it and say one of two things:
1. Go back and read the resolution you voted for. It states as fact things which we know were never fucking established as facts. You did not see the "same intelligence" as the President. You know that. The President and his cabinet decided what intelligence you would see. They saw a whole fuckin' lot more. The Iraq War Resolution states, as fact, that Iraq continues "to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability" and that al-Qaeda is "known to be in Iraq." The overly legalistic fact of the matter is that you didn't vote for this war. You voted for a war against an Iraq with WMDs (not programs, not program materials or notes - actual goddamn weapons ready to be fired at the U.S. or given to shady men with swarthy skin color) and an Iraq that was fuckin' around with those responsible for 9/11.

That Iraq is a fantasy Iraq. In fantasy Iraq, Saddam Hussein was sitting around, sucking on a Cuban cigar, giggling madly as he fondled missles loaded with sarin or ebola or the common cold or whatever the fuck. In fantasy Iraq, Osama and Saddam made Chinese fingercuffs out of white women shipped in from Turkey for their horrible pleasures, high fiving each other over the milky white back of the white slave they called "America." Yeah, fantasy Iraq sucked. Real Iraq sucked (and sucks) but in far different ways. Who wouldn't want to bomb the living shit out of fantasy Iraq?

You voted to go to war with fantasy Iraq. Unfortunately, Bush went to war with real Iraq, and he fucking knew what he was saying were facts were, at the very fucking least, not facts in the traditional definition of the word. Or, shorthand version, he just lied.

That's a complicated answer. It's a worthy one. It puts the onus for the war on the President. You can say, "I trusted the President that he would not send troops into harm's way unless the facts were solid." But instead . . .

2. Let's just do the short answer: just fucking say, "No. If I knew Iraq had no ties to al-Qaeda and no WMDs, I would not have authorized sending young American men and women to fight an enemy that did not threaten us. No American soldier should be killed fighting phantoms of the mind of a dry drunk President." (Okay, that last part might make Larry King's overly-Grecianed hair catch on fire, but you get the point.)

Don't be a legislator about this. Don't finesse it. You voted for the war. But, like the majority of the country that supported the war and now despises it, you were another sucker in the Bush tent of freaks and illusions.


A Rude Pundit Fuck-Up:
The Rude Pundit fucked it up. Yeah, yeah, the state capital of Massachusetts is in Boston, not Springfield. Springfield is where Kerry's home office is, but, unlike George W. Bush, who couldn't admit a mistake if it bit off his nuts and spit them in his face - oh, yeah, that's right, mistakes have already done that - the Rude Pundit will admit error.
And Those Pesky Media Questions For John Kerry:
Yesterday, the Rude Pundit offered John Kerry and, indeed, the American Left a way to excite people about its policies. A roundtable discussion in Harper's magazine this month features Eric Foner, Ralph Nader, Kevin Phillips and others practically begging for a way to communicate progressive goals to a larger portion of the electorate. Since the Kerry campaign took the Rude Pundit's advice and chose Edwards as VP, maybe Kerry will look at using the tough-guy stance of "homeland security" to get across his domestic agenda.

But that said, you still have to deal with the media. And they are motherfuckers. They are trying to define you as a flip-floppy liberal from Massachusetts, which, if one understands one's Massachusetts history, one might think that executing witches back in the day would automatically exempt one from the "liberal" label.

However, once again, the path to enlightenment is often simple: You want an answer to the questions about the "liberal" population that elected you? Let's check the numbers: In 2002, Kerry was re-elected to the Senate in a landslide; without a Republican opponent, Kerry got 81% of the vote, about 1.6 million votes of 2 million cast. That same year, the liberal populace of Massachusetts also elected, by a nose, a Republican, Mitt Romney. He got about 1.1 million votes of 2.2 million cast. Now, the Rude Pundit is no statistician, but even simple math would seem to indicate a large number of clam-eaters who voted for both Kerry and Romney. Oooh, complicated. That doesn't fit into the easy talking points, does it? In fact, Bill O'Reilly's head would explode, leaving viscous goo, but surprisingly little brain matter, around the Fox "News" studio if he tried to comprehend the grey world we live in.

Hey, that's the big picture of Massachusetts. Get all microcosmic and shit, and go county by county, and you'll see that every county in Massachusetts that went for Romney also went for Kerry by huge margins. Again, no Republican running, but you didn't have to vote if you didn't want to for Senate. So all these people chose to vote for both. Fuckin' complicated, right? Even moreso? Rush Limbaugh would have a stroke on the air, drooling burger-greased slime on the mike, trying to explain this.

In fact, the Rude Pundit is right now on a brief trip to Massachusetts (really). And, even though the Rude Pundit is not a journalist, he has interviewed people who live in the middle of the state, and the first three people who he interviewed voted, proudly, they say, for both Romney and Kerry. And out of ten people, eight had done the same. Oh, and none of those ten people are going to vote for Bush.

Goddamn liberals. Pollutin' the fine statehouse in Boston with their tree-huggin', sushi-eatin' ilk like Mitt "Queers Are Not Folk" Romney.

Now, unless the media and the Bush campaign want to say that the hundreds of thousands of people who crossed party lines and voted for Mitt and Johnny K are all "liberals," then either shut the fuck up or admit that "liberal" is not the same thing as "soul sucking demon."

Tomorrow: How to answer the "How would you vote now on the war" question


Advice to John Kerry:
It's nearly convention time, Johnny K.  It's time to start a fire, burn this trail up all the way to the election.  It's time to pull up a stool at the bar next to the Rude Pundit, whose father took him to auto races and professional wrestling, who lived in a trailer in the South, who has traveled nearly everywhere in this America, and listen. 
First, it's time to change the subject:  Here’s the thing that will drive everyone nuts – stop talking about Bush.  He is done.   You are falling into a well-worn trap, Johnny K.  You are answering everything that is thrown at you.  You are playing defense too much.  It reduces you; it demeans you. Here's the deal: we know what a son of a bitch George Bush is.  We know about his unmitigated desire for power.  We know about his failures. We're livin' in them, man.  We know what Bush is like.  And we know we don't like him.  We want to know why we should like you, as you, not as the anti-Bush.  Leave the D to someone like Mary Beth Cahill, your campaign manager, whose response to GOP requests for the Whoopi Goldberg video is witheringly brutal and perfect.  
The Vision Thing: Now, pay attention.  And if the Center for American Progress is reading, check this shit out – here’s how Kerry wins and how the Left becomes relevant again:
Homeland security is about making the homeland more secure, right?  How do you make the country more secure?  It's obvious that it's not by going to war in Iraq.  You do it by giving people hope here, in America.  How do you do that?  Through strong public education, health care, environmental, and jobs programs (including support for unions).  Take those traditional liberal ideas – and they are liberal, you know – and put them under the label of “homeland security.”  Steal that Orwellian label back from Bush.  Make it mean something different.  Make it mean more than “our borders are secure.”  Make it mean our homes are secure.  The domestic front needs its care, you know?  That’s what’ll make the people in those homes more secure.  It is almost Zen simplicity, you know?  Take the meat and potatoes issues that the Left has been pushing for decades and do what Bush does with every attempt to devastate the country: it's for security.  Steal the language and make it mean something new.  
This is a huge leap in rhetoric, but if you get people agreeing with you, then you've achieved an ideological shift.  If someone, say a certain Vice-President, disagrees with you, then you can simply imply that the critic doesn't want a safer nation. Again, it's a stark, implicit contrast: you can vote for the man who thinks that children having health care makes the country stronger or you can vote for the man who thinks sending kids to war is the only way to make the country stronger.  You can vote for the man who believes a billion dollars spent at home is more valuable than a billion dollars given to Halliburton in a no-bid contract.  Remember: Bush no longer has the Republican cover of "fiscal responsibility."  The money's gettin' spent, baby.  It's a question of where.
See, you’ve already got the mojo going on these issues.  Your healthcare policies kick major ass.  When you talk about raising taxes on the wealthiest, be straight: tell audiences how much more you and Theresa will have to pay.  Tell them that you don’t mind paying it because you can afford it.  Tell them that you don’t mind paying it because you feel it is your duty to make people more secure in their lives.  Don’t run from being rich.  Theresa’s got the right idea: it's silly to be blanket prejudiced against the rich.  The prejudice in this country isn’t against the rich, per se.  It’s against the idle rich, the ones who don’t contribute to society, the ones who see government as only a chance for them to get richer. 
You don’t need to worry that much about Iraq.  Everyone knows that Bush has fucked it up.  All you need to do is offer a way to bring the troops back home.  You can make it clear that we have to clean up our own mess in Iraq.  As for terrorism, how could Bush do any worse?  When we hear that the terror warnings are at their highest since 9/11, all we can think is, “Goddamn, what the fuck have we been doing for the last three years?”  (And the implication there is “We’ve been jackin’ off in Iraq when we should have been spending $100 billion at home.”) 
Look, really, most of America ain't gonna make up its mind until the debates, when, unless the press treats Bush like a baby with a shit-filled diaper again, you will crush the President.  It's like sports: sure, some people go to a bunch of games and know all the stats.  But most of us just sit at home, watch a couple of games, and wait for the playoffs.  Until then, you need to project the air of a winner.
Tomorrow: How to answer pesky media perceptions.



And Don't Get Him Started On the Niggers:
Oh, the many slights one must endure as President of the United States.  The slings and arrows one must dodge.    Sure, sure, if it's from a really, really popular member of your own party, like say, John McCain, who put the smackdown on the "We Hate Fags" amendment, which Bush "supported," well, we can all rise above politics, can we not?  But if it's the niggers, well, that's another story.
Showing once again that if you have no power and you don't kiss his white ass, George W. Bush will have nothing to do with you. The President, who ostensibly leads all the people of this nation, including those who didn't vote for him, at first lied about why he couldn't speak at the NAACP convention this week, citing scheduling conflicts.  Then, in one of those moments that must give Karl Rove major wood, Bush said, "I would describe my relationship with the current leadership as basically non-existent . . . You've heard the rhetoric and the names they've called me."
Yep, the niggers only gave Bush 9% of the vote in 2000, the Clarence Thomas factor, if you will.   And then the niggers were insultin' to Bush, accusing Republicans, who have opposed affirmative action, destroyed the public education system, slashed programs for urban youth, approved judges who seek to wreck civil rights, and supported myriad more destructive policies, of being racist.  Oh, and let's not forget Brother Jeb's disenfranchisement of thousands of African Americans back in the day.  Racist?  Go figure.  Bush has got Condi and Colin.  Ain't that enough for the niggers?  (Here's the rumor to start for the day: during the sequences of Fahrenheit 9/11 where Powell and Rice are being made up for the camera, doesn't it seem that Rice is having her skin color lightened?  Just an observation . . .)
Yeah, it's a shame when the niggers insult you.  You don't need to come down from your White House to deign to get the soles of your shoes dirty on the same ground we all walk on.  Now, imagine if you will what would happen if African Americans had decided that they shouldn't talk to everyone who has insulted them.  Yeah, man, dialogue is a two-way street.  Unless it's the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.


Rude Pundit Rerun:
The Rude Pundit is returning from a vacation to the flyover states today. But as Ralph Nader is abused by Republicans like the last fresh boy at Abu Ghraib, and while Nader just smiles and takes it as if it's all just so fuckin' subversive, here's one from the archives (links not guaranteed to be working). Back tomorrow with fresh rudeness.
Nader Agonistes:
What is it about great people that when they get old they do shit that casts a pall on everything they've done before? The great leftist author John Dos Passos should have been shot in the California desert before he wrote his final works, when he repudiated all of the pro-worker, socialist, anti-authoritarian, kick you in your nuts novels of his early career. The Romantic poet William Wordsworth found his young self foolish and believed his suck-ass later poems superior to his exultant verse. Shit, from the other side, what the fuck happened to George Wallace? Here's a guy who spent his entire life defying federal law, sowing racism and hate, and generally being a huge asshole, even getting shot for his hatred, and then, in the last part of his life, he says, oh, motherfuck, I gotta get into heaven, so I better hug me some negroes. Just like socialists with Dos Passos, you can bet more than one old-time lynchin' racist wondered if George Wallace had lost his mind.

Now, Ralph Nader hasn't abandoned his principles, totally, but what the fuck? His run was relevant last time because many people believed the bullshit that Bush was spouting about "compassion," not realizing that in Bushspeak, "compassion" equals "cruelty with a pretty name" (naming a program that seeks to destroy the atmosphere "Clear Skies" is a little like calling a "paddle spanking" an "ass rub"). And Nader's 2000 run was relevant because if we took Bush at his word (as many people did, not realizing that "honesty" actually means "lie but look like you're telling the truth"), then, no, there was no qualitative difference between Gore and Bush, and someone needed to stand up and say, "Look over here, at the rest of America, we count, too." You don't believe it? Look at the transcript of the second Gore/Bush debate. The Rude Pundit lost count after Gore agreed with Bush over seven times on different issues. So, by Gore's own admission, Nader was right. (And, again, the Rude Pundit believes that Gore defeated Gore by not embracing the Clinton legacy, and Nader was a slight factor, but all those who think that Gore would have won if he had gotten all of Nader's votes ought to factor in the idea that some of those Nader voters would have just stayed home without Nader in the race.)

Goddamn, Nader is a kickass son of a bitch. Look at this Salon profile of him from 1996. The littany of things Nader has accomplished has become legend in America: seat belts, air bags, the Consumer Protection Agency (fuck, even thinking that consumers had voices that industry and politicians would listen to is something we can thank Nader for), Freedom of Information Act, and the Clean Air Act all are in some way directly linked to Nader's activism. Here is someone who decided that the Constitution really meant what it said, and he actually believed that a private citizen has a voice in this country. Motherfuck, we need that more than ever now, you know?

But instead, Nader has squandered that legacy in a run at the White House. This was said in 2000, when he wouldn't drop out at the last minute, but now, like Gore in the debates, we have proof of what is being done to America by the Republicans. And a great deal of it involves dismantling everything Nader has worked for. FOIA? Access reduced or limited to the words of those who the citizens elect and pay. Clean Air Act? See above. Everything this administration does is to wreck those things that Nader has worked his whole life to achieve.

Oh, what Nader has lost. He could have gotten back in the good graces of those who have supported him his whole career. Even he knows that single activists need compatriots, otherwise they are consigned to the street corners, ranting madly into the din of the traffic. Instead, under the cover of activism, saying that "Washington is corporate-occupied territory, and the two parties are ferociously competing to see who is going to go to the White House and take orders from their corporate paymasters," Nader has rendered himself irrelevant. Fuck, sure they're all beholden to interests, but you know what? The Rude Pundit would rather have the guy who at least attempts to do some good and, oh, fuck, maybe doesn't want to isolate America from the rest of the world. Nader could have gone the Howard Dean route and exited the stage to start a movement that the Democrats would have to respond to. But, no, no, sorrowfully no.

George Washington knew how to do it. His time in office done, he walked away. Bill Clinton seems to be doing the same. It's twilight for Nader, and let's hope he doesn't drag the rest of us into his deluded darkness.


Burning Down the House:
Here's the thing about the Bush administration's tactic of grabbing the Senate Intelligence Committee report and dancing around with it like Walter Huston over a gold claim: it is, like so many aspects of Bush's life, crass, opportunistic, and ultimately short-sighted. The report ain't exoneration, but the Bushkoviks are spinning it like it is because, you know, after they tell us it wasn't their fault, anyone who says it is is just "playin' politics." But, like, if at no point Bush is willing to say, "Ummm, I fucked it up" and take his spanking, he will have destroyed America's and the world's faith in our intelligence gathering.

But Bush doesn't give a shit. He's a steamroller, baby, ready to destroy the country, leave a killing field of skulls in his wake, in his monomaniacal attempt to cling to power. We're just gettin' started here, gang, and our motherfucker of a President isn't above trotting out the corpse of a 9/11 victim and using it as a puppet, making it say, "Remember meeeee." And he sure as shit ain't above telling the world, "American intelligence is bullshit, only I am right, now lick my fuckin' cowboy boots." In other words, Bush will burn down the house rather than put in a new foundation.

Bush has admitted error, but only in saying that, given a choice, he would err on the side of "protecting the American people." Of course, that's mighty high-falutin' and noble talk for killing tens of thousands of Iraqis, wiping out nearly a thousand American troops, and injuring another ten thousand.


The Dance of the Wicked:
For some reason, the end of the 1857 Grimms' version of "Snow White" has been floating around in the Rude Pundit's head:

"Snow-White's godless stepmother was also invited to the feast. After putting on her beautiful clothes she stepped before her mirror and said:
Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who in this land is fairest of all?

"The mirror answered:
You, my queen, are fair; it is true.
But the young queen is a thousand times fairer than you.

"The wicked woman uttered a curse, and she became so frightened, so frightened, that she did not know what to do. At first she did not want to go to the wedding, but she found no peace. She had to go and see the young queen. When she arrived she recognized Snow-White, and terrorized, she could only stand there without moving.

"Then they put a pair of iron shoes into burning coals. They were brought forth with tongs and placed before her. She was forced to step into the red-hot shoes and dance until she fell down dead."

And so it was that President Bush went to Oak Ridge National Laboratory yesterday and spoke on how the war with Iraq was justified without weapons of mass destruction: "Three years ago, the ruler of Iraq was a sworn enemy of America, who provided safe haven for terrorists, used weapons of mass destruction, and turned his nation into a prison. Saddam Hussein was not just a dictator; he was a proven mass murderer who refused to account for weapons of mass murder . . . Although we have not found stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, we were right to go into Iraq. We removed a declared enemy of America, who had the capability of producing weapons of mass murder, and could have passed that capability to terrorists bent on acquiring them."

As the Senate Intelligence Committee report demonstrates how reckless the policy of pre-emptive war is, as the upcoming 9/11 commission report re-affirms the lack of an Iraq/al-Qaeda connection, all Bush can do is bring on the fear: "I had a choice to make: Either take the word of a madman, or defend America. Given that choice, I will defend America every time." But more and more, it seems that the madman was telling the truth. And what does that say about America under the "leadership" of George W. Bush?

All the Rude Pundit can say is, "Put on these fucking shoes, and dance, motherfucker, dance."


Boobies All Around:
Sometimes you've got yourself a hot fuckin' girlfriend who fucks you over left and right. She treats you like shit, country music-style, fucks around with all your friends, takes your money. But you're easily distracted from all of this because she likes to show you her tits. Whenever you start to get wind of all her betrayals, she just shows you her tits and you forget all about it. Goddamn, those're some pretty titties. (If you're a gay guy or a straight woman, replace "tits" with "giant cock" and you've got the idea.)

And so it is with the Bush administration, who, just when you think the tide is finally turning, they strip off the bra and say, "But look at these tits? Don't you love the boobies?"

Check out this rack: The President's radio address about the gay marriage amendment is full of indignation against judges who impose their "arbitrary will" on the country. And Bush gets all faux preachy: "[B]ecause families pass along values and shape character, traditional marriage is also critical to the health of society. Our policies should aim to strengthen families, not undermine them. And changing the definition of traditional marriage will undermine the family structure." Except, as always with this debate, Bush never shows us how that definition change would undermine anything. As the Rude Pundit has said, this whole debate comes down to this: Conservatives fear the cock. And they fear the idea that two women could be perfectly happy with no cock involved. It's complicated.

But do you see what just happened there? Bush said, "Look at these titties" and all we thought about was nuzzlin' those nipples, forgetting about how many times we've been dicked over since the last time the titties were trotted out.


Fearful Friday:
As you toddle off into your weekend, try to maintain some sense of decorum, goddamnit. Don't run around in a panic, trying to get fucked by the last drunk in the bar because it might be your last fuck on earth. Oh, it's tempting to act like this is the end of days, considering the mindnumbing stream of threats, threats, threats emanating from "unnamed senior administration officials."

The Rude Pundit just watched Tom "Where's Your Fucking Neck?" Ridge on CNN this morning, doing the Bush balancing act of saying, "Go about your business" but "Keep vigilant" because there are terrorists who want to blow your shit up, especially if you try to vote this year. Ridge pooh-poohed the idea that this announcement of a threat was in any way politically motivated, despite the fact that Ridge could offer nothing specific about, well, fuck, anything. Just live with a vague sense of anxiety, a little nausea in the pit of your stomach, and a bit of suspicion of anyone looking a little Middle-Eastern. Along those lines, Ridge said that the Department of Homeland Security gets tips from citizens that leads to action against people "every week."

In essence by saying, "We are actively working to gain that knowledge" of the alleged upcoming attack, Ridge was announcing that the Department of Homeland Security was doing its job. It's not unlike the manager of McDonald's announcing, "We're actively working to make your Happy Meal." How about this as administration policy: Shut the fuck up. Shut your fucking mouths unless we need to evacuate. It's hurricane season right now, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a 50% chance of an "above normal" amount of hurricane activity. If NOAA acted like the Department of Homeland Security, every couple of weeks, they'd be telling us to bend over and kiss our asses goodbye 'cause sometime, somewhere a big ol' storm is coming.

Fear is a narcotic, man. It makes us wanna curl up in the laps of the ones who would comfort us and make all the monsters go away. But, as children from time immemorial would tell you, sometimes the monsters are the ones with the open arms.


Back in 2000, What Did Dick Cheney Bring To the Game?:
Today is a Rude Pundit travel day, so just a quick one:
Remember the days of yesteryear, when choosing a Vice-Presidential candidate wasn't greeted with bowel-evacuating panic by the opposition? Here's Time magazine on Bush's choice of Dick Cheney back in the day: "The choice of Cheney strengthens the argument that even though George W. himself may not be widely experienced or knowledgeable, he has the good judgment to select sound people to work with him. . . Cheney, an unflashy choice, is, first of all, a grownup. He adds maturity to the Republican ticket without making George W. Bush himself seem immature. " Damn, now that's some spin on saying, "Bush doesn't know jackshit about leading, but he sure can pick people who do." In fact, check out this headline from AP: Cheney "adds experience to the ticket." The article goes on to say, "Cheney, 59, brings the ticket a wealth of foreign policy experience and political stature -- traits that Bush, a two-term Texas governor, lacks himself."

Interestingly, Bush had promised an "electrifying" choice. One assumes we all should have read into that the future President's propensity for overstating the case.


Experience, Schmexperience:
Let's memorize this together so we can keep repeating it.

Prior to his election to the Presidency, Grover Cleveland had been Governor of New York for three years, 1883-1885. Cleveland was 48.

Before being elected Vice-President to William McKinley in 1900, Theodore Roosevelt had been governor of New York for two years. He had spent one year as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. When McKinley was assasinated eight months after taking office, Roosevelt became President at age 43.

Woodrow Wilson was elected President at age 56 after serving only two years as governor of New Jersey, from 1911-1913.

When he was elected Vice-President to Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge had been governor of Massachusetts for two years. At age 48, he had also served as lieutenant governor for three years. When Harding died in 1923, Coolidge took over and the Roarin' Twenties were on their way.

In 1920, at the age of 38, Franklin Roosevelt was nominated for the Vice-Presidency, having been, well, Assistant Secretary of the Navy. At age 50, when he was elected President in 1932, his only additional experience was four years as Governor of New York.

When he became President at age 54, George W. Bush's political experience consisted of 6 years as Governor of Texas. He had never held a previous elected or appointed office when he became Governor.

If elected Vice-President, John Edwards will have served a full six-year term as a senator. He will be 51.

Now, can we all please shut the fuck up and talk about issues. Or do we have to trot out the slavering Republican support of Arnold Schwarzenegger, that doyen of leadership.

Note: Advice to John Kerry, promised for today, is still incubating. It will be readily available for consumption in a couple of days. But, please, take a chair, and enjoy the rudeness. And if you get to this entry through a direct link and you wish to read more, click on "Current Rudeness" to get back to the main page.


John Edwards Will Fuck Your Shit Up:
Here's what the Rude Pundit said a couple of months ago about John Edwards:
"It’s gotta be Edwards – the exuberance to balance your severe gravitas. In fact, having Edwards out there would allow you the freedom to be yourself: serious, thoughtful, considered. In the last generation, we've learned that a good Prez/VP combo is a yin and yang thing. Clinton was all party guy and Gore was the fused spine. Bush and Cheney are a natural combo. Gore/Lieberman lost because, rightly or wrongly, it was impossible to perceive them as anything other than a couple of stiffs. Bush Sr. was, ironically, the smart, experienced one to the facade of Ronald Reagan. Putting Edwards on the ticket is only a positive. It gives you a chance in a couple of Southern states. It makes everyone look forward to the Edwards presidency. And an Edwards/Cheney debate would just be more joy than one should be allowed in a lifetime. Edwards puts you over the top. Edwards makes people leave Nader behind. Edwards makes you hip. He makes you win the college girl vote by gettin' their panties all wet and sticky. And you win the college guys because they love drinkin' with a redneck. Fuck, just put him on the goddamn ticket and don’t listen to the wonks."

The savage dogs of the Bush/Cheney campaign already have their talking points posted so Republicans, scared shitless by this duo, can have stock phrases like "most divisive" ticket and "out of the mainstream." The best line of this great mountain of fly-ridden horseshit is this: "Senator Edwards delivers his pessimism with a southern drawl and a smile, but his message of a divided America rings hollow in the ears of an optimistic America that is united in meeting the tests of our times with strength and hope." So, let's see if we've got this straight: on fucking Independence Day, Bush said, "There's no such thing as perfect security in a country as big as ours. And the threats to our homeland are very real. We know the terrorists want to strike the United States again. They do because they want to disrupt our way of life. They want to spread fear." And he said it in such a cornpone accent that immediately banjos started dueling and tourists started being sodomized by hillbillies.

There will be time, there will be time to parse out such words about Edwards by comparing them to the actions by Dick Cheney and George Bush. Much will be made by the GOP about how Kerry's "first choice" was John McCain. But howzabout we spin it like this: McCain thought about it. And even though he's gotten back in line, he thought about it, enough to talk to Kerry at least a few times. What's that say about Kerry? What's that say about Bush? As this is being written, the link to the "Goddamn, We're So Fucking Scared of a Kerry/Edwards Ticket" List of Fun Facts is being overwhelmed, so we'll get to more of that later.

Here's the things about Edwards the trial lawyer: he was on the side of the good guys against corporations, as he writes in his autobiography, including the case of "Valerie Lakey, the 5-year-old injured by a swimming pool drain [that had sucked out her intestines] whose manufacturers had not only ignored previous injuries caused by the drain but had also failed to warn purchasers that tiny errors in installing it could prove deadly." A good trial lawyer is a son of a bitch on behalf of the little person; he's a mean, vicious motherfucker who will rip out the spinal cords of corporate lackeys and their whore attorneys and leave them paralyzed, immobile, unable to do anything but weep and pay damages. And Edwards brings the noise even when he's questioning a judge. Here's the National Review, appalled, appalled, at how Edwards went after Charles Pickering in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. The article concludes with, "A man willing to do what he did to Pickering might not be quite the good guy he says he is." And the answer to that is that you don't want your trial lawyer to be a good guy when he's in court. You want him to be an eviscerating monster, prepared to lay waste to those who think they are entitled to crush you.

Finally, on the personal story front, Edwards is hard to beat: poor kid made good, son of a mill worker now a millionaire. And a man who lost his 16 year-old son. That kind of tragedy makes a politician even more frightening to his opponents: Edward's faced the darkness, man, and come out the other side. Anything Bush/Cheney wanna throw at him is gonna be meaningless.

Tomorrow: Since John Kerry took the Rude Pundit's advice for Veep, he'll give Kerry free advice for his nomination speech.


They have everything for you men to enjoy/ You can hang out with all the boys:
Secretary of State Colin Powell, having been the regular bottom for the Bush Administration cabinet sodomizing sessions, has finally given in to his inner homosexual. At the end of the ASEAN conference, a security meeting of ministers from around the world, the state officials "loosen up" with an evening of performances. Powell, in a blatant effort to reach out to wayward Log Cabin Republicans, put on a construction worker's uniform and sang a re-worded version of the Village People's disco hit "YMCA." No, really, he put on the costume and sang. Even better, other American diplomats sported the outfits of other members of the 70s and 80s band: the Indian chief, the cowboy, etc.

Let us pause here to remember the Village People, essentially a group of gay Monkees who became one of the great subversive bands in recent music history. They were put together by a producer to appeal to gay audiences during the disco era. And let's be direct here: the costumes were part of gay iconography. Check out a gallery or book of Tom of Finland's art. There, you'll see all kinds of ripped, muscular, hung guys fucking and getting fucked by, well, construction workers, Navy men, leather-clad biker guys. The lyrics to the Village People's popular songs masked their gay male love intent just enough to make them huge hits in a mainstream audience. And none more than "YMCA."

See, "YMCA" is a song that is about how, for a long, long time of its history, young gay men could come out of the closet and enjoy the anal and oral pleasures of other men at the YMCA. See, when the song says, "You can stay there, and I'm sure you will find/Many ways to have a good time," it meant, "You can go to the YMCA and get fucked in the ass and get blow jobs and maybe a good reach-around." So the next time you see the Secretary of State or your grandmother prancing around to the song, know that what they are celebrating is queer liberation, the freedom of gay men to finally have a place to fuck around. Oh, and perhaps find love.

And, incredibly, the Village People were fucking beloved in their time. And that's because to most people they were just funny guys. Some in the gay community saw them as minstrels of a sort, shuckin' and jivin' for the straights.

Which brings us back to Colin Powell. God, it's good when someone finally embraces who he is.


The Necessity of Michael Moore:
The Rude Pundit saw Fahrenheit 9/11 a couple of nights ago, a 7pm feature at a big-ass multiplex with three screens showing Spiderman 2, all sold out, and still Fahrenheit 9/11 was packed. Seven o'clock on a Wednesday night. During the film, a few people walked out, many people made sounds of astonishment, a couple of little old ladies (literally - they were small, they were really old, and they were, in fact, female) kept talking about how much they hated George W. Bush. "Why doesn't he do something?" one asked the other during the seven-minute stare in Florida on 9/11. "Because he doesn't know how to do anything," came the reply.

It is a messy, rambling, disjointed film, to be sure, but that's not meant as a criticism. It has to be that way, because what Moore has done is try to cram it all in -all the betrayal, hatred, evil, death, and destruction wrought by this administration. It's as if he knows he's got one shot: get the asses in the seats and throw it all at them. Something's gonna stick, whether it's the seven minutes or the story of Lila Lipscomb. Moore, the passionate citizen, is saying, "This is how passionate we should all be about our democracy." And that makes Michael Moore a dangerous man.

What's really impressive is how Moore has fucked with the right wing. Think about it this way: O'Reilly and Limbaugh call Moore "extreme," or "un-American," or "loony." Now, let's say O'Reilly and Limbaugh fans go to see the film and they end up agreeing with at least part of the movie. The right's constant attack can't stand up to that image of Bush in the classroom. When you stare into that scared, nauseous face - really, the man looked like he was about to barf - you see the Emperor's New Clothes, you see the hidden reality of the White House, you see the lie that we've been asked to feed on for the last three years. You see the kind of unadulterated fear that makes you go slack in the sphincter. That face makes you realize that all the fearmongering done by Bush and his administration is just a projection of his own mortal panic. You see that. And maybe, just maybe, you turn against the O'Reilly's and the oh-so-many Scarboroughs and the sad, pathetic Hitchenseseses.

This is not to mention some on the left who are trying to gain street cred by dismissing the film or not thinking it radical enough. The answer to them is this: here's why you stupid fuckers have failed to get anything meaningful done for the last thirty fucking years and you've been ridden like whores working the rodeo room at the Chicken Ranch. You have a rallying point now; it's time to take your head out of your dogma-stained asses and fucking rally.

The other way Moore has fucked with the establishment is that the more time some members of the media spend on their jihad against the film, the further it demonstrates what Moore has said in all of his interviews on his press junkets: why didn't you question the Bush administration like you're questioning this film? Those who would give the powerful a pass at the risk of the lives of the populace have no validity in questioning the facts behind the film. You have cannot re-gain your credibility by attacking a movie when people are dying because of you.

So, for Independence Day, let's remember that the Founders of this nation faced execution if they signed the Declaraion and the Revolution failed. To the British, that simple affirmation of rights was intensely, incredibly dangerous. And let us celebrate those who truly want to live up to that legacy. Michael Moore, at risk to his family, has jammed a fist up the complacent ass of the electorate who have awakened in prostate-massaged ecstasy at the ejaculatory possibility of taking back the country.

At that 7pm showing, just five minutes before the end, the lights came up and the film stopped as a voice called out, "Leave the theatre." As we were ushered to the exits and told to go across the street, we wondered if a bomb threat had been called in. It turned out that someone had pulled the fire alarm. The Spiderman crowd was pissed. They didn't know if Spidey would beat Doc Ock. The Fahrenheit 9/11 crowd just stood around each other and talked and talked, about how appropriate it was to be ordered away, but we knew that the film would give us no catharsis, that that would only be found in the parking lots outside the theatre.


Callin' 'Em Like We See 'Em:
Do you think Paul Wolfowitz was thinking about Evelyn Waugh's book Scoop when he opined before Congress that reporters in Iraq are whiny little pussies: "A lot of the press are afraid to travel very much, so they sit in Baghdad and they publish rumors." In Scoop, a British nature reporter is mistakenly sent to cover an upcoming revolution in a mythical African country. He loathes being there so much that he does, indeed, sit at the cafe' and simply reports what he hears. Wolfowitz was bitch-slapped by the media into apologizing. See, Wolfman Paul has a problem with numbers - he was 200 short on the number of casualties back in April, he neglected to consider the 34 dead Iraq war journalists in his little pissing match with Congress.

One journalist/essayist who will never be accused of being afraid to travel is Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times. Badass motherfucker has balls of steel. Unlike so many of us nattering nabobs of the net, Kristof goes there. Check out his articles on the genocide in the Sudan. He met with Sudanese officials and entered the huts of starving people. Unlike Wolfman Paul, who is so smothered by military when he travels that he has a Special Ops unit assigned to him just to make sure he shits in comfort, Kristof gets down and dirty.

But in his latest column, Kristof shakes his finger at those who would call the President a "liar." Says Kristof, "I'm against the 'liar' label for two reasons. First, it further polarizes the political cesspool, and this polarization is making America increasingly difficult to govern. Second, insults and rage impede understanding." He makes comparisons to those on the right who accused the Clintons of rape and murder, and to those on the left who dwell in "conspiracy" theories.

But Kristof ignores an enormous difference between the Clinton bashers and the Bush name-callers: one can factually prove Bush is a liar from Bush's own statements and actions. See, in order to be a murderer, one must murder another person. One might like to believe that one is being factually correct in one's opinion that someone is a murderer with no proof, but then one would be batshit insane, which, when that phrase comes up, we must turn to Ann Coulter, who on May 20 made the statement that: "I think [calling Clinton a scumbag] is factually correct." "Scumbag," colorful word though it may be, doesn't really have an objective definition, does it? Sure, you can call someone who cheats on his wife and fucks around with the help a "scumbag," but is one's bag not filled with scum if one makes one's living degrading others for fun and profit?

However, all one has to do to earn the label "liar" is to lie. It is, in this world of relativity, one of those few objective truths: if you lie, you are a liar. An example: the Rude Pundit was at a bar in Kentucky once. He had placed quarters on the pool table to indicate that he was going to play the next game of pool. No one was around at the time, no one showing interest in taking the pool table from the Rude Pundit and his Pundit Posse. However, a man walked over from the bar and put his quarters ahead of the Rude Pundit's. The Rude Pundit, politely, as is his way, pointed out that he had the next game. "Nuh-uh," the man intoned. "My dollar was there first." No, it wasn't, the Rude Pundit replied. "Are you calling me a 'liar'?" the man quizzed. As a matter of fact, yes, you're a liar, the Rude Pundit replied. This did not sit well with the man, who looked to his friends and said, "This fucker called me a 'liar.'" The Rude Pundit looked at the man's friends and said, "Your buddy's a motherfucking lying sack of shit, and if he doesn't take his shit-ridden quarters off this pool table, he's gonna get his lying ass kicked. And that's the truth." Oh, the posturing, the two of us, like a couple of roosters kicking up our own shit in the coop. Perhaps it would have been best to simply leave at that point, tell the liar not to worry about it, beat a hasty retreat because one shouldn't offend. However, the Rude Pundit preferred to stand and fight.

But that's because "liar" is so clear, so simple. Look at the word. Listen to it. It even has its raison d'etre in the word itself. Kristof would call Bush "overzealous and self-deluded" about Iraq, that Bush "stretched the truth" with "exaggerations." Why contort oneself so when the path is so clear? George W. Bush has lied with the intention of lying. These are demonstrable truths. Not hyperbole. And the "all politicians lie" defense is nonsense. A lie is stating something as a fact that is not a fact. Promising something that you can't deliver on is for, well, scumbags.

Oh, sure, those of us who go around saying that "George W. Bush is a barely sentient lapdog of the neocons who would fuck his own saggy-titted mother if he thought Jesus came to him in a vision and told him to do so," sure, we're a bit more hateful. But those who say he lies? That's like saying George Bush breathes air (albeit with his mouth open).