Oh, Thank Heaven For September 11:
Let us say, and why not, that in the year 2000, the Supreme Court of the United States, in all its infinite wisdom, installed a six-foot high steaming pile of shit as President of this country. Oh, sure, some might say that a six-foot high steaming pile of shit is unqualified to be President, but the Supreme Court said so and Al Gore walked away, saying, "For the good of the nation, I will not challenge the right of a six-foot high steaming pile of shit to take office." In the first few months of the six-foot high steaming pile of shit's tenure, things in the nation would have gone down the toilet, much as they actually did, since, you know, a six-foot high steaming pile of shit is not noted for its decision-making abilities. Then September 11, 2001 happened, and at that moment of deep shock and hurt and violence (remember: we originally thought there might be as many as 10,000 people dead), in the confusion and anger, a six-foot high steaming pile of shit could have been propped on top of the ruins of the World Trade Center on September 14 and the nation would have rallied around that six-foot high steaming pile of shit because we needed something to comfort us. A six-foot high steaming pile of shit would have been what was available, and, thus, a six-foot high steaming pile of shit would have been our hero.

Goddamn, the Republicans must be thrilled that 9/11 happened, because what the fuck else would they have to talk about? Yesterday, the Republican Convention was all war, all the time, with Rudy Giuliani, whose post-mayoral speaker fees went through the roof because 3000 people died on 9/11, mentioned September 11 no less than 10 times in his speech. John McCain consigned (at least) hundreds of more Americans to screaming, horrible death and injury in Iraq with his strange, mad rantings about how we have to demonstrate we love freedom by killing those who don't. (This is not to mention the pressure valve release moment of McCain dissing Michael Moore, which allowed the crowd to boo, hiss, and scream at Moore, as well as begin a bizarre chant of "Four Moore years." It was one of the only times during the day that we saw the true face of Republican hate.)

Since George Bush's "leadership" after September 11 is what's being touted as his great strength, let us remember not only the infamous seven-minute slow burn of "Oh, fuck, I'm gonna shit myself in front of schoolchildren" in Florida, but let us remember that the President was on the run, hopping around the country like a jackrabbit on acid, thinking it sees wolves everywhere. The "leadership" of Bush ain't about standing on the rubble three days later. It's about a man who chose to run away. At least a six-foot high steaming pile of shit would have stayed put. And in the days after we finally found out that we still had a President? Why, we know, we know now that he and his administration immediately set about trying to bomb Iraq, no matter what. Yeah, man, that's leadership. Take advantage when everyone's distracted. Sweep up later.

What the Republicans promise America on their first night is terror and fear, terror and fear. The problem with the Democrats and their nauseatingly repetitive invocation of Kerry's 'Nam experience is that the Dems were trusting the public to make the connection: Oh, yeah, Kerry served, Bush didn't. Instead, the connection needs to be made explicit, otherwise the whole emphasis on 'Nam is useless: when push came to shove, who ran? Who kept on running scared every chance he had to show he was tough?

September 11, 2001 is just a tool. One doesn't need to wrap oneself in the flag anymore. One just needs to coat oneself in the ashes of the towers, ashes filled with burnt flesh and bone. Bush is attempting to make a great tragedy into his greatest asset: just think, if it hadn't been for 9/11, we'd have never known what a "great" leader our President is. Thank Jesus we've had that opportunity.


Sunday Nowhere Near the Park Without George:
So the Rude Pundit marched. Along with, depending on your news source, 500,000 others, 200,000 others, or 120,000 others. Either way, it was a hot motherfucker of a day, and if the march had been on the West Side Highway, where there's even less shade than the precious little on 7th Avenue, there would have surely been riots. Either way, there were too many vendors in the streets, from the obvious non-believers trying to score a buck to the desperately cash-free groups like the Revolutionary Workers Party and whatever variation on Socialists happens to be hawking buttons and bumper stickers. Either way, everyone was exploiting the massive crowd to the fullest extent allowed by socialists engaged in a capitalist enterprise. Either way, it was still disconcerting to see vanloads of cops ride through Union Square, many of them carrying rifles, all of them with billy clubs. Either way, it was either a great day or completely worthless (the protest is already off the front page of MSNBC's website) or some combination of the two, with the protesters just reminding themselves how much they give a shit. Either way, the Rude Pundit did not get laid at the end of the day - he won't say getting fucked was his first purpose in marching, but he will not say it was his last.

Yes, it was fun, with the great street theatre of Billionaires for Bush (who are getting lots of media time without the media understanding how radical they are, sort of like Dave Chappelle, where everyone thinks it's so cute and funny and thus de-fangs them) and the best counterprotest group, Communists for Kerry, running through the crowd dressed as Che Guevara and Trotsky (the Rude Pundit thinks they're a bunch of misguided tools who are doomed to Swift Boat Vet like bouts of self-recrimination, but, c'mon, it's funnier than Dennis Miller). And, yeah, the costumes were fun, with the dancing penis (who doesn't love a dancing penis? Oh, sorry, "Dick" for those not getting the Cheney joke), the giant dragon, the Code Pink ladies. The most transgressive may have been the group of women and male cross dressers who were decked out in fifties garb, chanting pro-choice slogans, one of whom was outfitted as a waitress holding a bent coathanger as she yelled. However none of these women would agree to leave the march in order to have a quick suck and fuck on a side street with the Rude Pundit. He thinks he could have gotten one of the cross-dressers, who was giving the Rude Pundit the winky eye, but men sweat so much in that kind of sun.

Along with the pro-choicers, there were those whose tangential issues just made one want to shout, "Focus, people, focus." "Free Mumia" is a fine (if a bit outdated) sentiment. Sure, maybe Aristide oughta be allowed back in Haiti. But, you know, we're kinda marchin' for a pretty big purpose, no? Oh, and sure, there were the sad, small group of Greens, promising us that our grandkids would thank us if we voted for . . . who? And the previously mentioned Revolutionary Workers Party, who threw Bush, Kerry, and Nader into the same trashbin of leadership. And, oh, the stacks of paper thrown at us, pamphlets and newspapers and guides, so much of it useless and badly written, so much of it trampled. The Rude Pundit tried to convince a young woman hawking The Militant that he would love to buy her a beer after the march and they could express their outrage at the capitalist imperialists, who wouldn't allow a Socialist candidate to debate Bush and Kerry, by roughly balling in an alley with a full view of the Stock Exchange, but such was her laser focus on getting subscriptions that she did not have time for such discourse.

So the march went on. And on. And on. Maybe a half a million people. Some with signs listing the others who wanted to be there but couldn't. Many with cell phones, calling friends and relatives to say, "Hey, watch C-SPAN, I'm passin' by cameras. You see me wavin'? You see me? You Tivo it? Cool." Many, many others who were watching on the sidelines who, for one reason or another, were inspired to grab some bit of corrugated cardboard to scrawl a "Fuck Bush" sign and join in the march. Many, many more of us who talked about how the real work was still to be done, up until and especially on Election Day. Many, many of us spoke to each other, in between chants and songs (if the Rude Pundit is forced to say, "Hey, Ho, George Bush has got to go" one more time, he will go batshit insane), about how this was all about the energy of the moment, about how things had gotten so bad so quickly in so many ways, that we could actually focus in on one man, one election. Had Bill Clinton ever inspired this energy against him in the streets?

Oh, how pissed Fox "News" must have been that there were no riots, relatively few arrests. Oh, how the cameras of the RNC must have been focused crazily all over the place looking for something they could use in ads. But, shockingly, horrifyingly for Fox, for the GOP, most, most of the maybe half a million were a spectrum of America. They're gonna have their party, they're gonna go up in the polls, but at some point, one way or another they're gonna have to deal with that maybe half a million.


Hey, Take Your Miscalculation and Shove It Up Your Lying Ass:
Here's why George Bush is such a pussy, a prison punk, a bitch: In what must be the least interesting interview ever done in the New York Times, Bush admits he made a "miscalculation of what the conditions would be" in Iraq. Now, see, usually a "miscalculation" is something like this: "Dear, you forgot to carry the one when you were balancing the checkbook. Looks like we'll have to tighten our belts this month" or "Gee, bud, she didn't say she was your girlfriend, but I guess it was hard for her to talk with my cock in her mouth." See that? Those are miscalculations. You might bounce a check or get bounced on the pavement, but your "miscalculations" don't end up in hundreds of Americans being blown up and shot. Bush may as well have said, "Ooops. My bad."

Bush's miscalculations used to just cause companies to go belly up. Once one has killed a few corporations, one needs to move on to other kinds of killing, no? Of course, the word "miscalculation" assumes that there were some "calculations" going on. And of course there were, but they had nothing to do with Iraq or the Iraqis. They only had to do with the election.

When pressed to "analyze" and "think" about other "mistakes" made in the occupation of Iraq, Bush demonstrated his usual erudition in saying that he would leave it to "historians" to analyze that. Ahh, now that was calculated because it allows Bush to say, "Not my fault. It's all up for interpretation." And with the very real possibility of taking on Iran as the 52nd state of the U.S., one might imagine that reflecting on "errors" in Iraq might be worthwhile. But then again, you're not President of the United States.

Isn't it wonderful to have an administration that's such a mass of contradictions. Like opposing declaring that global warming is occurring because of industrial emissions, yet having the administration put out a report saying that humans are causing global warming. Or opposing campaign finance reform until the middle of an election when, suddenly, you want to radically alter the finance laws you, ya know, opposed to ban ads from political action groups. One supposes that that indicates complexity, not confusion. Depth, not refusal to acknowledge reality. Leadership, not political convenience.

Goddamn, it must be nice to never have to actually be right about anything and to still have legions of believers. It's so pathetic. It's like watching all the doomsday cult leaders at the end of the last millenium, screaming and screaming about the end of the world, fucking all of their hot male and female followers because it doesn't matter who gets fucked anymore when the world is ending. And then watching the sad, sorry ass sight of all of those believers, so soundly fucked, when the world doesn't end. What do you do if you're one of them? Do you make the horrifying leap to, "Oh, shit, I just got conned and fucked? I'm outta here"? Or do you take the easy route and keep on following dear leader as he promises you more doomsdays to come?

Sweet Jesus, we can't wait for the GOP Convention.


Swift Boat Vets -- Sooo Five Minutes Ago:
'Scuse us, but are we done here? Are we finished? Can we move this thing along? It was a nice distraction, a little turn off the main highway and all, but, really, and c'mon, isn't it time we got back on the map?

Let's see where we stand here:
Benjamin Ginsberg, who sports a head so shiny that small planets revolve around it, an attorney for Bush, resigned from the campaign because he was also "advising" the Swift Boat Vets for "Truth." On CNN this morning, Ginsberg brought it home, using every chance he had to say how fucking wonderful George Bush and "his" agenda are, taking the President's cock out of his mouth only to praise the "decorated veterans" who he represents.

John O'Neill, one of the authors of Unfit to Command, the bestseller devoted to the monomaniacal rantings of the Swift Boat vets, claimed he was never in Cambodia and that Kerry had to be lying because the border couldn't be crossed by the river, was caught on tape telling Richard Nixon, "I was in Cambodia." And, in what surely must be one of the great "hominah, homninah" moments, Alan Colmes, on Fox "News," revealing a heretofore unseen spine, drilled O'Neill with his own words, with O'Neill trying to deny he had said what, well, he had said.

And then there's the bizarre, seemingly self-destructive behavior of the Swift Boat Vets. There's the Oregon prosecutor, Alfred French, who may have committed ethics violations for signing an affidavit stating that he witnessed events involving Kerry that he had, in fact, only heard about. There's Larry Thurlow, the Swift Boat Vet who, in essence, says his own Bronze Star must be based on a lie because it's the same report that says the boats came under fire.

All that and not a single contemporaneous document that proves anything but the official reports on Kerry's service record. Why are we wasting time here?

It's simple. It's the Republican modus operandi. Find some nutcase or nutcases screaming on the corner. Clean 'em up and make 'em presentable. Give 'em a ton of money and exposure (it helps if your movement owns a well-financed "publishing" house that's one notch above a vanity press). And let your attack nutzoids in the media do the rest. It's the same reason that Paula Jones received any notice whatsoever. It's the same reason that anyone even thought twice that Vince Foster might have been murdered. If the Rude Pundit had the money, he could finance a book and tour for someone like Robin Lowman, who, it has been claimed, was forced to have an illegal abortion by George W. Bush in 1971. See? Isn't this game fun? Doesn't it help us progress as a society? Doncha love talkin' about the issues?

The Swift Boat Vets are a group of sad, deluded old men, deserving of pity as surely as they are deserving of contempt. Instead of getting the help they so critically need, they have been exploited by the supporters of the President (and, now, the President himself). Their madness has become mainstream; their mass hysteria allowed to spread. Can we call it done now? Can the Vets go back to simmering in their paneled dens, calling each other in the desperate dark of night, whispering in whiskey hushes about how they and only they know the truth?


For Protesting the GOP Convention:
As New York City girds its loins for the protests at the Republican Convention (Motto: "Look, we found some black people to show you"), with thousands of cops, Secret Service and others readying for violence, the reasons to protest multiply, even as many on the left are saying that protesting plays right into the hands of the Republicans, who claim they will attempt to portray any civil disobedience as connected to the Democratic Party. In fact, these reasons have little to do with what will be protested. To wit:

Protest because they don't want us to protest. The FBI is questioning potential protesters under the wonderful, warm blanket excuse of seeking information on "plots" to disrupt the convention, which, you know, and c'mon, means "protests." As John Ashcroft prepares to shove the Patriot Act up the assholes of every leftist he can, with the preacher-like promise of protecting the public from "terror," we can be assured that "terror" has now become equated with "dissent," just like, so long ago, anyone who protested the Vietnam War was a "pinko" and a "Commie." Add to this reports that the NYPD "is sending young, scruffy-looking officers to infiltrate protest groups" at the convention. Add to this New York City's discriminatory efforts to prevent any kind of demonstration on the Great Lawn in Central Park because the fucking grass might get bent. Everything is being done by those in power to try to squelch protest. Don't let the fuckers win.

Protest because it'll piss off the right-wing media, who are already condemning the protests. Last night, on Fox "News", Bill O'Reilly had New York Democrat Jerrold Nadler on to talk about Nadler's opposition to the FBI's interviews of "radicals." O'Reilly was dismissive of the protests, with video playing that showed violent WTO demonstrations and riots, and O'Reilly said that the protesters are "guys wanting to hurt people," adding a caveat of "potential" violence. Also on Fox, Michelle "I Could Not Look More Like a Cartoon Gook If I Tried" Malkin said, "We know that a lot of these anti-war groups and anti-Bush groups are tied to guerrilla movements, guerrilla tactics."

Protest because it'll show the country how much hatred George Bush has engendered. Here's Bill "I Couldn't Look More Like Elmer Fudd If I Tried" Schneider on CNN: "The conventional wisdom is that if Americans see disruptions at the convention, they'll get furious at the protesters and that may lead them to vote for President Bush. I don't think so, because I remember the 1968 convention with Hubert Humphrey and the Democrats, where there were disruptions. The voters certainly condemned the protesters, but at the same time they looked at Hubert Humphrey and the Democrats and said if we reelect the Democrats, we're asking for four more years of trouble. I think that disruptions and protests at the Republican convention could lead to the same conclusion. It would reinforce President Bush's image as a divider and Americans would begin to ask wouldn't it be very risky to reelect him for four years?"

Protest to show 'em all that all the fear and intimidation and hate has not worked. Goddamn, how the Bush administration has tried to scare us into staying in our houses, shutting up, and watching Fox "News" like good little demi-citizens. Goddamn, how they've waved the threat of terrorism in our faces, like fundamentalist preachers wave the threat of hell and damnation. Goddamn, how they've tried to suppress our voices, our bodies, our libidoes, our hearts. Fuck 'em. Show 'em that you are a goddamn member of a goddamn democracy and somehow, you are going to be heard.

And as for those who would commit violence, here's what the plan oughta be: have people assigned to gather others to surround and stop anyone who might bring out the bricks and bats. Get dozens of other demonstrators to disarm them, calm them, bring them into the rest of the crowd. Or eject 'em.

The Rude Pundit has been invited to no less than three different protests in NYC. Let's open it up: someone convince the Rude Pundit why he should avoid them.


Against Protesting the GOP Convention:
The Rude Pundit is not opposed to protesting. He has marched too many times to count - he marched for divestment in South Africa during the days of apartheid; he marched with Sister Helen Prejean, pre-Dead Man Walking, against the death penalty; he has chanted at rallies calling for an end to racism after the L.A. riots; he was featured on local news holding a "No Blood For Oil" sign at a Persian Gulf War protest back in the day; he has stood with pro-choice protesters, making sure family planning clinics stayed open against a tide of Randall Terry's Operation Rescue nutcases; he once yelled, pithily, "You're stupid" right into the face of Dan Quayle; and he's marched against this Iraq War. Not that the Rude Pundit gives a shit whether you believe him or not, but he's got the cred to say this: he believes protesting the GOP convention is useless at best, and, at worst, dangerous to the cause of getting rid of George Bush.

The Republicans are salivating at the prospect of all the giant puppets, idiotically dressed attention-needers, and the lefty thugs beggin' for a fight. The vast, vast majority of the tens of thousands of demonstrators will be the "average" people, silenced by four years of Bush's hegemonic control of political discourse, people who want, for chrissake, to finally show that they deserve to be heard. Goddamn, it's a beautiful thing, a giant protest, when the tides of people keep flowing as a unified whole, when everyone you meet has the same beliefs as you, when there is an instant bond. Sure, it can be goddamned hot (or cold), your feet get sore, and your voice gets hoarse, and the speakers can get repetitious, but ultimately you are there to say that you have a voice that counts, that you are part of the democracy. Fuckin A, man, it's so fuckin' beautiful.

And all it takes is one fucked up group of anarchists with a giant papier-mache George Bush with a giant papier-mache cock fucking a giant papier-mache Statue of Liberty in her giant papier-mache ass to fuck up the whole vibe. Oh, sure, it's lots of fun when you're out there and the street theatre group comes out to perform its latest play, Cheney Wants To Shock Your Dick, complete with rubber masks and a guy in the Abu Ghraib hood and rags (although, c'mon, you roll your eyes at how literal and didactic the whole production is). But then some asshole decides to burn Donald Rumsfeld in effigy or something. And you know what makes the news: not you and your kids, out there, saying they're afraid they're gonna be drafted; not your neighbor, out there because he can't find a job that has health insurance; nope, none of that. What makes the news is the papier-mache fuck puppet, the burning Rumsfeld, the Cheney mask.

Oh, how the Republicans want there to be violence, how they want the Starbuckseses near Madison Square Garden to have their windows broken, how they want flags to be incinerated in the steets. You know, you know in your heart of hearts, dear hippie-wannabes (sorry, that time's over, gang), that groups have been infiltrated or entire groups created, just so someone can light the spark that makes the explosion. And if you haven't made your Lyndie England bondage costume, complete with a prisoner on a leash, that some COINTELPRO-type has decided to do it. Or some Fox "News" exec who needs good images. And then, how deliciously will the GOP tie Kerry, who was a protester, as we all know, to these protests. See the Democrats? Do you wanna be with the fuck puppets and the flag burners or do you wanna be with the nice guys? they'd be saying.

If the Rude Pundit was some kind of magician, he'd halt all the marches and protests in New York. He's take all the money that's being spent on travel, on legal challenges to the obvious discriminatory actions of the city of New York, on the organizing of the protests, and he'd put out TV ads and flyers that say something like, "Silence=Contempt". Yep, he'd start a campaign of silence. Of ignoring the hate spewing from the Garden. Ignore the bullies. Of denying them the chance to portray us as a bunch of lunatics who would dare protest a "sitting President." Make the press coverage about how all these groups are protesting with their absence. Have petitions signed by thousands and thousands of people stating that they are expressing their opposition to the GOP by refusing to acknowledge their presence. Yes, some will try to spin the lack of protest as a sign of support. But the message can be controlled. And empty streets filled with hundreds of cops is a pretty frightening little image, no? Also, it's a way of telling Mayor Bloomberg to go fuck himself with his protester discount buttons.

When the convention is over, stage the largest, loudest goddamn protest march ever fuckin' seen.

The Rude Pundit has been invited to no less than three different protests in NYC. Let's open it up: someone convince the Rude Pundit why he should attend.


Next Stop Is Vietnam (And a Brief Note About Why Bob Dole Oughta Be Sodomized With an Ink Pen):
The Rude Pundit has said that the true goal of the Swift Boat Vets for Truth has nothing to do with Kerry's war record; it's actually about the psyche of the vets themselves, suppressing the horrible knowledge that their government betrayed them as surely as a lover you catch fucking the houseboy. And, therefore, what they really want to attack is John Kerry, the "wild-eyed" hippie activist, and not Kerry, the soldier. Check out their new ad, titled "Sellout.".

In "Sellout," Kerry's testimony about war crimes in Vietnam before the Senate Armed Services Committee in 1971 is quoted out of context. Where Kerry is talking about testimony already given about atrocities, "Sellout" gives only the part of the quote that makes it seem as if Kerry is speaking these things for the first time. (Kerry didn't only say, "They had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads," but had attributed the stories to "honorably discharged" vets who had testified at previous hearings.) But that fact's been argued about over and over.

The ad also features other vets, today, saying things like, "It hurt me . . . He betrayed us in the past . . . It demoralized us." They make reference to torture in 'Cong prison camps. But they do not in any way refute what Kerry testified. And this time, in this ad, they do not say Kerry is lying. And that's because the facts are that atrocities occurred - all of the things Kerry spoke out about - and are part of the history of the Vietnam war. So what galls these Swift Boat Vets and others about Kerry's testimony? It's that he told the truth, that he was a whistleblower, that he told those in power, "Here's this fucked-up, awful, disgusting piece of shit war you are forcing us to fight and here's the fucked-up, awful, disgusting things we've been doing in your name."

Put it this way: let's suppose that Joseph Darby, the soldier who blew the whistle on the torture at Abu Ghraib (and now hiding from death threats), decided to run for office. Let's say that a group called "Iraq Prison Guards for Truth" ran an ad with all kinds of sinister music, with former Abu Ghraib guards saying shit like "Joseph Darby betrayed us." The Rude Pundit would hope beyond hope that the majority of people would decide the "Iraq Prison Guards for Truth" was a bunch of batshit insane, crazed monkeys who should be locked up for the public good.

What the Swift Boat Vets are saying is that John Kerry was supposed to shut up, that Kerry and the hundreds of vets who testified the truth about what was going on in 'Nam had no right to out the horrors that many (good pundit caveat: not all) soldiers perpetrated. And why did Kerry speak out? Because he wanted the motherfucking useless goddamned war to end. He wanted to save lives from being wasted in a war that ripped America apart. But, like every whistleblower before and after, like every cop who ever turned in cops on the take, like every FBI agent who said that the FBI was negligent on 9/11, Kerry was treated like a pariah by those who feared what he had to say.

So, in total, Kerry stands accused by the Swift Boat Vets and their toadies in the media of not being injured too badly, of not being heroic enough, and of telling the truth to the American public. God, what a pussy Kerry must be. (Can you imagine how vast the conspiracy must be to cover up for Kerry since every goddamn extant record supports him?)

Side note: Oh, how we were all suckered by Bob Dole, thinking he was just that delightful old guy who is so fuckin' funny on The Daily Show and alluding to jackin' off to Britney Spears in Pepsi ads. But we forget, oh, how we forget, what a vicious, belittling, egomanical gimp he is. All shaky and shit, quivering hand clinging to that goddamn pen for sweet life, Dole says Kerry should "apologize" for whistleblowing and that Kerry only had "superficial wounds" which got him the Purple Hearts. Alright, motherfuckers who support Dole on this, are you ready to open it all up? Take back every Purple Heart ever given to less-than-gimp-creating wounds? Next time we see lovable Bob Dole making us think about his withered cock getting all half-stiff from a double dose of Viagra so he can lamely fuck Libby in her "Red Cross," let's remember that he really gets it up, high and hard, when he's spreading the hate.


George Bush, You Just Got Served:
Aww, yeah. It’s on now, motherfuckers, it's on now. Deciding that it was time to treat the Bush campaign like he treated whores in Saigon, John Kerry went to town on the President and the Swift Boat Vets for "Truth" in a speech yesterday to the International Association of Fire Fighters. In so many words, Kerry said, in essence, "Bitch, you talk smack about me, I'm gonna fuck you in the ass until you bleed. You wanna fuck with me? Don't send your attack poodles out - come at me like a man so I can turn you into the little bitch you are, you fuckin' deserter." Of course, nothing else Kerry said in that speech was reported, including promises to make up for the cuts in funding for new equipment that Bush has inflicted on fire fighters.

This has been a heady week for those who believe that Bush should be locked into his compound in Crawford for the rest of his life, forced to play cowboy until he actually develops a callous or two on his hands or until he learns to ride a friggin' bike. There's the Washington Post article that said one of the Swift Boat Vets is contradicting his official records from the war when he says there was no enemy fire on the day Kerry saved a fellow soldier. There's the New York Times article today that pretty much takes apart the whole group and its motives. And there's the delicious other tidbits, like the fact that the Iraqi soccer team, doing so well at the Olympics, is angry at being used as a tool by the Bush campaign, like the retiring GOP House Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman calling the Iraq war a "mess" that wasn't justified. Whee, what fun, what fun.

Of course, this morning, Fox "News" spent an hour on the Swift Boat Vets' ad, interviewing their leader, John O'Neill, about Kerry's criticism and the Times article, and asking him such fair and balanced questions as, "What's the truth?" Because, you know, the way to get at the truth is simple: you just ask the person being accused of lying what the truth is. During the "interview," the ad itself played repeatedly on the screen - one guesses to avoid being disturbed by the strange, evil grin and too-squinty eyes of blonde E.D. "Murdoch's Spoogebag #15" Hill. However, what was fascinating about the interview was the spin being given: that Kerry said the ads should be taken off the air (Kerry has not said that). And the question of the origins of the group - whether it was a Republican creation or not. What Kerry said was that the group was "funded" by Republicans, and even O'Neill admitted that they would not have been able to get their message out without that influx of cash. In other words, Bob Perry found a fringe group he thought would damage Kerry and help Bush and gave them oodles of money because otherwise they'd have been ignored. Fox's spin, however, was that Kerry accused the group of being created by Republicans.

But Kerry watched Dukakis get fucked by Lee Atwater and the Bushes, and he ain't gonna pretend he ain't bein' attacked. He watched Gore ignore all the lies being spouted about him and watched the media roll over and let its balls be licked by the Republicans. Kerry ain't gonna play that game. Ain’t gonna be no punk ass smile and wave and brush-off from Kerry – motherfucker is actin’ like the country’s at stake. And he ain’t gonna pretend that politics makes everything fair – he knows that he’s gotta answer the message, and he's gotta answer it by showin' he's got the biggest balls.

Karl Rove must be havin' a seance to get advice from the dessicated corpse of Lee Atwater on a break from its regular pitchfork sodomizings and shit-eating in hell. And what a pussy Bush is being, as Josh Marshall points out, not even letting his press Robocop answer a direct question about the ads. (By the way, scroll down for Josh learning a little from the Rude Pundit, talking about the "bitch slap" theory of political rhetoric.)

Man, it's gonna be a vicious, drunken bar fight to the finish, ain't it? Let's hope the electorate doesn't get hit in the eye by shards of glass from the broken bottles.


Why Bill O'Reilly Ought To Be Sodomized With a Microphone (Part 72):
Bill O'Reilly, Fox "News" commentator and fuck fantasy of every beaten housewife in America, is obsessed with his confrontation with New York Times columnist and Princeton economist Paul Krugman on CNBC over a week ago. O'Reilly has been playing clips of the interview, showing him presumably beating up on Krugman, and roaring like a lion over the body of a gazelle. God, it's so pathetic because what's going on here is good old class warfare: "Look, folks," O'Reilly is saying, "you fantasy working class that I believe I represent, look at your hero open a six-pack of whoop-ass up on the tweedy Ivy-Leaguer from the New York Times." Last night, substitute host John Gibson played it again (with part two to air tonight).

The biggest problem here, and the thing that makes O'Reilly so sad that if he were a dog, we'd be makin' that long drive to the pound with him, is that Krugman kicked O'Reilly's fuckin' loudmouthed ass and then pissed on him while O'Reilly was lying on the ground, flailing like a 1950s gang member with a cut jugular, even in the excerpts O'Reilly plays on his show. It takes a genuinely tyrannical evil to dupe people into thinking your failures are victories.

But don't take O'Reilly's or the Rude Pundit's word for it. Read the entire one-hour show from CNBC's transcripts. Sure, you may have heard excerpts on Al Franken's Air America radio show. But only the full hour does the obnoxiousness any kind of justice. Click over to it here. (This entry used to contain the full transcript, but it was cluttering things up.)


Voyage of the Damned:
As CNN's Aaron "These Spectacles Make Me Look Real Smart" Brown, in one of his faux insightful commentaries, intoned last night, "We can't seem to escape Vietnam." Brown and, later, Jeff Greenfield were discussing Moveon.org's ad calling on the Bush campaign to condemn the Swift Boat Vets for Truth's ad about John Kerry. At the beginning of Moveon.org's ad, an announcer gives a thumbnail version of Bush's missing service in the Texas Air National Guard, and it also includes the words of John McCain, that all-purpose hawk who is used for propaganda purposes like so many prisoners of the Hanoi Hilton, calling on Bush to condemn the Swift Boat ad. McCain also called on Kerry to condemn the Moveon.org ad, which Kerry did.

First off, it needs to be said that Moveon.org's ad sucks. Its copy sucks. Its production sucks. Its methods suck. Its rhetoric sucks. Its just a great huge sack of suck. If you wanna make an ad attacking Bush's Vietnam "service," then make that ad. Bush's war "record" is fair game. If you wanna make an ad exploiting poor, gimpy John McCain one more time to say that the President should condemn the Swift Boat Vets (piece of shit) ad, then make that one. This current one is just potshots and confusing bullshit, and it's final call, of "George Bush: Take the ad off the air," smacks of censorship. Would Moveon.org listen if John Kerry (or John McCain) told them to take their ad off the air? In fact, has John Kerry said that the Swift Boat Vets ad should be censored? And it gives the Swift Boat Vets far more credit than they deserve.

But let's get back to the issue at hand: why Vietnam? Well, the unspoken anxiety beneath all of this is the gut-wrenching, bowel-clenching fear and knowledge that, once more, we're into the breach with Iraq. That same horror is rising, a lot faster this time because of the "lessons" of Vietnam, that we are fighting for no good reason, and it's the nature of Americans to cling to their leaders like the starved children Ignorance and Want at the feet of the Ghost of Christmas Present. The violence against protesters during 'Nam was, in large measure, out of fear that they were right, that the government had lied and that thousands of soldiers died for that lie. In order to believe that, one had to overturn everything one had been taught about the innate goodness of America. Fuck, it's just easier to ignore it and spit on the protesters and say they deserve Kent State. Just like it's easier to beat up a homosexual than admit that you yourself are a fag.

We have to keep fighting over Vietnam because it's a way of projecting our fears about Iraq away from our current selves. Vietnam was a fucked-up, shitty goddamned war, a useless, murderous, maniacal policy pursuit that accomplished nothing but death, destruction, and dissent. People who volunteered to fight were suckered by the lies of the Johnson and Nixon administrations, that we were fighting some ultimate evil there before it made its way to our shores. The soldiers there committed atrocities, slaughtered innocents, and, yeah, all you John Fuckin' Waynes, shot people in the back. It was that kind of war, like every other kind of war, a degradation to humanity. The Swift Boat Vets have to condemn John Kerry because, in the end, he resisted that existential nausea of doing nothing when there is so much you can do. The Swift Boat Vets and the cowards in the Bush administration, many of whom supported the Vietnam war without firing a goddamn shot, have to cling to the myth that there was some good in fighting Vietnam because they have to cling to the myth that there's some good in fighting in Iraq. They have to believe it's good because America says it's good. Kerry embodies our national ambivalence about Vietnam and, indeed, about Iraq.

We are damned, yes we are, we are the condemned, because we forget the past, because we demand that the past be re-written, because if we don't fight the past, we have to justify our existence in the here and now. What horror that would be.

(And let's be clear here, Fox "News" fuckfaces who want to propagate the myth that John Kerry only served for 4 months in 'Nam: if Kerry was in the shit, facing down fire for one fucking day, it was one day longer than your man.)

(Oh, and let's be doubly clear: there's a vast world of difference between people who dodged the draft because they opposed the war - that's called principle; supporting the war but refusing to fight when you could? That's called being a little bitch.)


And Then, As If To Prove the Rude Pundit Correct . . .:
So yesterday, after an entry in which the Rude Pundit talked about how shamelessly the Bush Administration merges the campaign with policy, how clear the script is, how cheerily it sees no distinction between serving the "public" and serving themselves, like a dog that figures out people will look away when it licks its own anus, President Bush made a major policy announcement on the redeployment of troops from Europe and Asia. But he did it in the context of what seems to be a campaign speech to the cranky old fuckers of the VFW (motto: "We were soldiers once, bitches; now change our Depends"). Bush went through the usual litany of lies and spin connecting Iraq and September 11 without actually connecting them and stated flatly that "America and the world are safer because Saddam Hussein sits in a prison cell" without actually offering any evidence to support that assertion (and, really, and c'mon, we could use something to show us we're safer - one goddamn thing, motherfuckers). Then, just before announcing that over the next 10 years Bush wants to bring home 60-70 thousand troops, Bush mocked John Kerry's vote on the supplemental funding request that Bush himself threatened to veto: "When pressed, he explained his vote -- 'I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.' (Laughter.) He went on to say he was proud of the vote, and the whole thing is a 'complicated' matter. There's nothing complicated about supporting our troops in combat."

On Inside Politics, CNN's Dana Bash said, "This is a major policy announcement from the sitting commander-in-chief. But this event was paid for not by the White House or the taxpayers but the president's reelection campaign. And it came at the end of a very intensely political speech by the president." (This was followed by Bill Schneider stating that there was a good chance the troops would be re-deployed to Iraq.) The administration's defense of its announcement is that this was something that was in the works for "years." Yet, seriously, if you make a policy announcement in the middle of a campaign speech, how can you be surprised when some might think you were playing politics with the troops? It'd be like if you went to a whorehouse, made yourself the meat in a hooker sandwich, and then had a drink on the way out. Sure, you could say you were at the whorehouse to grab a shot of whiskey, but ultimately you went there to do some fucking.

Again, the Rude Pundit will say: the White House website should not contain a speech on the "compassionate conservative" agenda Bush made to the Knights of Columbus. "Compassionate conservatism" is a crude political phrase; it is not the official policy of the government. (Oh, and by the fuckin' way, the speech, which received very little coverage, is pretty fuckin' scary, what with its constant discussion about the interaction between "God" and humanity: "The Almighty God is good at changing hearts . . . Human life is a creation of God" and the like. God, too busy looking on, appalled and sickened, at Najaf, had no comment.) And the speech should not be mentioned on the same page as the President's signing of a treaty. Link to the shit if you want, but don't give Bush's mindless campaign blathers the same weight as policy.

It ain't that fuckin' complicated. The White House website, and, indeed, the White House should not simply be an arm of a presidential campaign. The Rude Pundit is not an idiot: he knows that all Presidents campaign through the office. But the business of the people of America is not the campaign of the president. Check out John Kerry's Senate website. Nothing about his campaign or campaign stops. Kerry understands that the office and the man are two separate entities. Bush, frighteningly, wants us to believe otherwise.

P.S. At a Traverse City, Michigan rally, the crowd said "Booo" (with three o's) at the exact same point as they did in Sioux City and Panama City, according to the White House transcript of Bush's speech there.


Of Monkey Balls and Blow Jobs:
Listen: Dick Cheney sucks monkey balls in that he takes monkeys, places their balls in his mouth, and sucks and sucks them. If you go to a zoo and see monkeys with no hair on their balls, it’s because Dick Cheney sucked it all off. Here's Cheney, sucking monkey balls in front of an Elko, Nevada crowd that had given stool samples to make sure they didn't eat any Democratic foods, like sushi and quiche: "Senator Kerry has also said that if he were in charge he would fight a 'more sensitive' war on terror. (Laughter.) America has been in too many wars for any of our wishes, but not a one of them was ever won by being 'sensitive.' (Applause.) . . . Those who threaten us and kill innocents around the world do not need to be treated more sensitively. They need to be destroyed. (Applause.)" And then Cheney took out a monkey and said, "Now, watch me suck these balls hairless. Doncha love the way I suck monkey balls?"

Before we deal with the whole "sensitive" issue (which has been dealt with extensively by Atrios, Media Matters, and the Center for American Progress), let us look a bit more closely at the "remarks" page on the White House website, which is paid for by our tax dollars, Republican, Democratic, Nutzoids-for-Jeebus, all of us. First of all, is it necessary to mention every place that the crowd applauded and laughed? And is it necessary to mention the crowd chanting, "Four more years"? More interestingly, according to the Elko Daily Free Press, the rally was scheduled to start at 2:30. According to the White House, Cheney started speaking at 2:31. In his remarks, Cheney mentions that Lynne introduced him. So the chances of Cheney actually starting at that time are minimal. Is this picking nits, like so many monkeys with no hair on their balls? Yeah, it is, but it's also this: the transcript makes it so much more clear that the "applause," "laughter," and chants are part of the script. It's the crowd equivalent of Bush's "Ask President Bush" sessions, as described by Elisabeth "I-Can't-Suck-Enough-Dubya-Cock" Bumiller in the New York Times.

And since we're streaming the consciousness on this Monday, Bumiller describes the questions as not all being "softballs": "There have been a number of times when audience members asked substantive questions, like the woman in Florida with a brother on his way to Iraq who wanted to know if Mr. Bush had a plan for the American mission there." Seriously, and, c'mon, a substantive questions is not "Will you tell us what your campaign platform is?" That's a Miss America pageant question. A substantive question is "Why are Americans dying to prevent the majority population of Iraq from creating the kind of government it wants?" But, then again, Bumiller's "White House Blow Jobs" are amazing for their complete lack of substance beyond Bumiller saying, "Look at what a great blow job I give. Watch me blow the President some more. Notice the care with which I lick the tip of his cock. God, Mr. President, doncha love my cocksucking?"

The questions here are so, so many: Why, for instance, does a transcript of the President's Panama City rally have people "Booo" at the same point in the speech as a crowd in Sioux City? They're not even trying to hide it, that the "Booo" (spelled with three o's in both transcripts) was planned.

Why does the White House website give the script of the speech of every campaign appearance? The implications are that the remarks in front of a rally in Sioux City carry the executive weight of, say, the nomination of Porter Goss to be CIA chief. Kind of a frightening prospect, no?

Maybe that's the point, innit? That with George W. Bush we've reached a point where every decision is the equivalent of a campaign promise, calculated, scripted, focus-grouped, a leader who, on the nation's website, is unafraid to say that there is no agenda, no direction, except re-election.


The Air Quality Ain't the Only Thing That Sucks in New Jersey:
Sure, sure, there's lots of significant things about New Jersey Governor James McGreevey's announcement yesterday that essentially said, "Oh, sweet Christ, I have a good thirty-five years of cock-sucking to make up for. Fuck all of you, I'm headin' to Fire Island." Yeah, yeah, it was shocking when McGreevey announced he was gay and, by the way, resigning. Yeah, yeah, McGreevey wouldn't have done it if a sexual harassment lawsuit wasn't pending. Yeah, yeah, there's the whole thrilling story of liaisons in Israel, stuff that would make a great first movie for the new Logo network. And yeah, yeah, it's a great/pathetic day for the gay community in America - great for what he said, pathetic for the circumstances under which he said it.

Imagine a different story: that this wasn't about possible harassment and unethical hiring and misappropriation of state money, that it was just that McGreevey stepped up to the mike and said, "Man, I love cock. I love cock so goddamn much. I love it in my face and my ass. I couldn't be happier if right now I had a cock in each hand while some leather queen slapped my face with his cock. But my deep desire for cock in no way changes my ability to govern. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have an appointment for a rimming, a reaming, and a Rotary dinner." But, sadly, no. It was actually just a twist on the usual.

What's significant about McGreevey's announcement was the last part, that he resigned. Here was a state leader, a politician, actually acknowledging wrong and taking responsibility for his actions. The most honorable thing a leader can do sometimes is fall on his/her own sword. Compare McGreevey's action, of taking responsibility and following through on it, to President Bush last night on CNN. Larry "Vampires Need Young Poontang" King was asking Bush about the war not going "perfect":
KING: Does the buck, though, stop with you?

G. BUSH: Absolutely.

KING: President Kennedy was told the Bay of Pigs would go smoothly and then he took the rap. He said...

G. BUSH: I'm taking the rap, too, of course.

KING: So the buck does stop...

G. BUSH: Absolutely. That's what elections are about.

In other words, the buck stops with the voters - the leader is not responsible, the voters are. It's like McGreevey saying, "Society forced me into the closet and forced me to have an extramarital affair." Part of that is true. The other part, not so true. Bush is, in essence, saying that he has the biggest dick and dares you to knock that stick off his shoulder.

Lastly about McGreevey doing the honorable thing: by coming out, he has opened up a shitstorm in his life. There is no way he would be able to govern effectively. Imagine if Bill Clinton had done that. Sure, sure, Clinton was fighting people who turned the smallest lie into the hugest crime just because it was under oath, but in the end Clinton got fucked by Monica and in the end he did lie and in the end the battle with Congress was as much about ego as it was Constitutional issues. And, in the end, there's a chance that Clinton's big blow job allowed Osama Bin Laden to live and thrive another day.

True men of honor know when the state is more important than the cock.


Giggin' John Kerry:
A few weeks ago, the Rude Pundit offered John Kerry advice on how to handle the question of how he would have voted on the Iraq resolution ifheknewthenwhatheknowsnow. Unfortunately, Kerry gave the worst possible answer, an answer so bad that, even if it's true, sounds so blatantly political, that he voted for a resolution that gave Bush "the right authority to have" so Bush could go to war on his whim. Standing at the Grand Canyon, Kerry then "challenged" Bush on a few real, substantive issues dealing with the war, but the damage was done. The right wing media had all it needed to start screaming that Kerry would have gone to war, so he agrees with Bush, blah, blah, blah. Kerry apologists were stuck in the bent over positions of either trying to re-focus the question or trying to explain/re-state that Kerry meant he would have voted "yes" for the resolution to give a President the power but he would not have gone to war, which was a fucked-up way to answer, since he was playing Senator and President. Yes, like a good frog gigger, the Bush campaign shined the flashlight in Kerry's eyes and Kerry froze while Bush speared him with the gig. Now there's nothin' left to do but laugh like little boys at how the frog dances on the gig.

The story's already out there, no matter what Kerry actually said, he "agrees it was the right decision to go into Iraq." Bush is smiling at this like a group of mongoloids discovering it's pudding day at the home. It takes focus away from the fucked-up economic news. And it allows that smug fucker to say things like, "After months of questioning my motives and my credibility, Senator Kerry agrees with me that, even though we have not found the stockpile of weapons we all believe were there, knowing everything we know today, he would have voted to go into Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein from power." The spin, baby, is like the hammer thwack to the back of the frog's head to stop that pathetic fucker from squirming. (And goddamn Bush a little extra for the anti-intellectualism of saying that Kerry has found "a new nuance" - once again deriding the act of engaged thinking.)

Fuck and motherfuck, there was such an easy answer to the President, one that would have forced Bush to crawfish his way out of the whole question. Again, it's so simple that it's sublime. Follow the President's logic. He's making all kinds of idiotic "what-if" assumptions. (Really, and c'mon, the whole question is like asking, "Would you have fucked that hot-ass dude from the bar if you knew he had herpes?" The circumstances were different then: you were drunk, it was close to last call, and, diseased or not, the guy was cut.) So Kerry was asked what he would have done ifheknewthenwhatheknowsnow, that Saddam had no WMDs, no al-Qaeda ties. But here's the deal: if the President wants you to time travel with your current knowledge, take it all, in its totality. It ain't only a "what-if" on Saddam - it's a "what-if" on Bush, too. If you knew then that at this point, August 2004, that there were no WMDs, no al-Qaeda ties, and that it would cost over a hundred billion dollars and that the Pentagon had no plan for dealing with significant indigenous resistance and that the White House condoned the torture of prisoners and that we'd be looking at breaking the 1000 mark on American soldier deaths, then of course you would not have voted to give Bush the power to, in your own words, fuck things up so badly. And if you put it that way, who could disagree with you?

It's a simple, straightforward, vivid answer that takes the question and turns it back on the idiots asking it. It makes the question about trusting Bush as a leader. It makes the voters have to deal with the reality of the war instead of the fantasy of what might have been.


Race Traitors:
You know how you can instantly tell that running Alan Keyes against Barack Obama for the Senate in Illinois is nothing more than a cynical ploy to siphon a couple of black votes away from the juggernaut that is Obama (other than the obvious "he's from fucking Maryland")? Check out Keyes' alleged website. These days, any campaign worth its weight in gold-covered shit can quickly throw up a grand, link-filled site in a couple of hours. Keyes' site, as of now, days after his announcement, is the Internet equivalent of the old Cabrini-Green. But the Illinois Republican Party done found themselves a lawn jockey, a porter, a pimp, and a house negro, all rolled up in one batshit insane package. Keyes will throw a few bombs, but Obama is too smart to step close to the explosion. And, fuck, the debates will be interesting as Keyes shucks and jives for his conservative massas, showin' them that he be a good nigga, and smilin' that shine smile as he spouts the same hate the Republicans spout, only with a minstrel face.

But that's the way it is with blacks on the right. Sometimes, though, all the kowtowing to the man destroys them. Did you see the zombie of Condoleeza Rice on the Sunday talk shows? Zombie Condi was a depressing sight on Meet the Press, her hands clenched, her jaw tight, her face a barely moving mask of beyond-the-grave lifelessness as Dr. "Jesus-Christ-I-Was-the-Provost-of-Stanford" Rice spouted the administration's talking points over and over: "Saddam bad," "Bush comfort children, not scared," and "terrorists coming." Only once did the sad, self-aware visage of human Condi attempt to rear itself when the increasingly tomato-shaped-headed Russert asked Zombie Condi if she would stay on if Bush was re-elected. With a quaver in her voice, and a glint of hope in her eye, she said, "Tim, I'm trying to get through the next few weeks. I think we'll cross those bridges when we come to them," which really means, "No fuckin' way. It's gonna take the rest of my life to get over the post-traumatic stress of all the sodomizings I've been subject to." Such is the state of mind of those who are forced to lie for the sins of the masters.

Like Zombie Condi, every once in a while Colin Powell, the Mr. Bojangles of foreign affairs, demonstrates that he still possesses a soul. When he declared that he would not attend (meaning: speak at) the Republican Convention of Doom in New York City this month, it was the slightest bit of payback for being forced to go out and tap dance in front of the U.N. so long ago. Powell's excuse may as well have been, "My dog up and died. He up and died" for all the truth there was to his statements that a secretary should not attend such events. It ain't stoppin' Secretary of Education Rod Paige, the most loyal of the house negros, from speaking in primetime.

Sure, if you wanna be all diplomatic and PC and shit, you could blab on that "Isn't it great that we've come so far on race in this country that black Americans can be loyal Republicans? Isn't it demeaning and cynical to suggest that these African Americans only do this in order to maintain some kind of semblance of power in a system that is geared against them?" Yeah, and back in the plantation days, the massas loved it when some slave from the fields would tell massa about a planned escape or revolt by other slaves. Oh, how massa lavished extra salt pork and beans on that turncoat slave; oh, how massa beat down the ones who would turn against massa.


For decades now, the vicious attack weasels of the Republican party have successfully been able to exploit the hatred of their constituencies in order to make ideological driven "issues" into major campaign themes. These are called, of course, "wedge issues," meant to divide the electorate on pretty dogmatic issues. Or drive a sledgehammer a wedge in-between voters' prejudice and their good sense. A good wedge issue is something that has nothing to do with the day-to-day lives of most Americans, but can be argued about passionately, loudly, and with a good degree of potential violence.

The Rude Pundit's favorite wedge issue, the most irrelevant issue ever to make it to mainstream popularity, is the flag-burning amendment. In the "outrage" over a couple of dying-for-attention protesters burning the American flag and an "activist" Supreme Court in 1989 that essentially said, "You gotta be fuckin' kiddin' me?" and protected flag burning as free speech, members of Congress and President Bush I decided that the flag needed its own language to protect it in the Consitution. Never mind that every post-9/11 yahoo that has flown a shredded flag on his SUV, desecrating the flag vividly. But non-support of a flag-burning amendment meant you were not a patriot. In fact, you must hate America. Cooler heads prevailed, and even though flag-burning rears its viscous visage every time Republicans are looking down the barrel of the electoral cannon, most people in the country now realize that, really, and c'mon, who gives a fuck if someone burns a flag. (At the time, the Rude Pundit said that as long as companies that make flags earn a profit when he buys one, he's free to burn as many as he wants.)

From race-mixing to capital punishment to gay marriage, Republicans are so fuckin' good at shoving the wedge up the ass of the voters, doing an in-your-face endzone dance at their Democratic opponents. It goes back, at least, to red-baiting in the 1920s and beyond, when all you had to do was allude to the possible "Communist" or "socialist" connections of your opponent and then Upton Sinclair was as depraved as Lenin after a vodka binge (to be fair, Democrats were guilty red-baiters, too). Divde and you shall conquer, motherfuckers. Wedge issues are amazing because they appeal to our basest instincts.

Except now. Democrats have a barnburner of a wedge issue. A motherfucker so strong that they can destroy Bush with it because more than flag burning or gay marriage ever was, it's about life and death. Sure, stem cells may not be the miracle Ron Reagan and others believe it could be. Remember interferon? It was supposed to cure all kinds of cancers. It didn't, but now it is the most effective treatment for hepatitis C. Let us not get into the medical viability issue here. Instead, let us deal with the cut-and-dried, oh so giddily wedge-filled politics.

It's so simple: Bush says no new stem cells with federal money. Kerry says lots of federal money for it. Laura Bush stepped into the political cow shit yesterday by saying that her husband doesn't support a "ban" on the research. But if Kerry decides to make this a major issue in the campaign, it could be the mother of all wedge issues. Can you imagine the commercials? With quotes from Trent Lott and Orrin Hatch?

Now, imagine those mythical undecided voters in the booth, staring at the names, deciding between the promise of a better life of possible miracles and wonder or only the continued descent into the dark ages.


The Very Model of a Modern Nation-State:
Man, it's just so fuckin' awesome that now that we've handed Iraq back to the "Iraqis" and given them "sovereignty," the country the size of California is runnin' so fuckin' well. According to House Negro Condi Rice, we're only still in Iraq at the invitation of Iraqi "Prime Minister" Iyad Allawi: "He's asked the multinational forces to stay there and to help him." See? It's like a gala event and we're the caterers. Oooh, let's hope they like the crudite' platter.

And nothin' rings the chimes of freedom like a little capital punishment. See, Iraq is free now to reinstate the death penalty. It's an original thought, 'cause nearly every country that has ever gotten out from under the murderous thumb of a brutal dictatorship has eliminated the death penalty completely because, well, the citizens of those country know how arbitrary a thing "justice" can be. Like, say, Germany after Hitler, Italy after Mussolini, and pretty much the entire former Soviet Bloc in the late 1980s.

A modern nation-state values its free press, no doubt. But the truly responsible new nation wants its press to be "responsible," and how else to assure that than enforce a little bit of censorship? See, al-Jazeera, the Arab news network, has been banned from operating in Iraq for thirty days (renewable, like a library book) because it has "failed to show the reality of Iraqi political life" and showing the kidnappers' statements, Osama Bin Laden's messages, and no pieces at all on happy Iraqi children playing with puppies (it's hard to get footage without either American troops or crumbled buildings in the background).

Imagine for yourself a nation the size of California, as the WMD optimists routinely stated (in fact, the State Department website makes that comparison on its Iraq facts page). In fact, imagine California, a state about the size of Iraq. Now, imagine if in California, there were sections of the state not controlled by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Imagine that people who visited California were getting kidnapped on a daily basis and threatened with beheading. Imagine car bombings on a daily basis. Imagine regular outages of electricity (okay, that's not that hard to imagine) and water. Ask yourself: would you give a happy monkey fuck if the schools opened on time in Sacramento?

We who pay attention to the news coming out of Iraq, beyond the mounting American body count and the so-inevitable-it's-pathetic battle with Muqtada al-Sadr, have to deal with this horrific story about Americans told to back off on Iraqis brutalizing prisoners, which has echoes of the film Three Kings (however, that film took place during Saddam's reign). We have to deal with this editorial by Robert Fisk about what life really, really is like in Iraq, and wonder, "Christ, what if even half of this is true?"

Unlike our President, who still apparently believes that we'll find WMDs in Iraq, and Condi, who bleats on like so many lambs waiting for the wolves about Saddam being reallly bad, we have to live in reality, not in some batshit insane fantasy realm where good is simply good, evil is simply evil, and ne'er the twain shall meet.


Swift Boat Vets for Truth Suck Gook Cock
TheSwift Boat Vets for Truth has got to be one of the most pathetic excuses for a special interest group in existence. It has one purpose: to attack one man on one issue . Its members are insane, the sad kind of Vietnam vets that will one day end up in a nut house, babbling on about the "injustice" they see in John Kerry not being "worthy" of his medals, unable to face the truth about their own hate. God, such sad fuckers usually are locked and loaded and tasting gun oil long before they sink to this kind of madness.

And they're really not being honest about anything, especially their own maniacal obsession. Look at their low-rent bullshit ad. Most of the images are of Kerry at protests and hearings after the war. The Swift Boat Vets don't give a mouse fuck about whether or not Kerry "earned" his medals through the correct amount of wounds and enemy gunfire. They are demented sons of bitches who have to justify their own time out in the shit, or they have to believe their government betrayed them. And they are too full of their own self-loathing to think that they have lived believing a big lie all these decades.

Fuck, on CNN this morning, Bill Hemmer, in that "Look at me, I'm not a bland automaton" way of his, interviewed one of the SBVs, Bob Elder, who said of Kerry, "We have sat silent in actual visceral contempt of this man for so many years." Visceral contempt? Sat silent for three decades? Man, keep these guys away from post offices. Of course, when Elder said that Kerry is not "fit to be commander in chief," Hemmer did not follow up with, "Do you think President Bush is?"

But "journalism" and John McCain aside, let us deal with the SBVs as we should deal with the insane - let us presume for a moment they are telling the truth and that John Kerry wasn't sufficiently wounded or sufficiently heroic to deserve either his first Purple Heart or his Silver Star. What are the consequences of that?

See, there's a debate going on in education about grade inflation. That is, teachers at all levels are too willing to give undeserved high marks to students. But the argument about grade inflation is not about the problems of the students - they can't inflate their own grades. It's about teachers and administrators - the ones actually responsible for the awarding of grades.

In order to receive a medal in the military, especially three decades ago, one had to go through an application process that involved letters and recommendations and approvals up through the ranks. If the SBVs are right about Kerry, then what they're really saying is that, well, the military is filled with incompetents and liars.

But does that matter to them? No. What matters is destroying John Kerry. And, like at My Lai and a hundred other places in 'Nam, it doesn't matter what they must wreck in order to do it.


Welcome to the Party, Bitch (With a Side Note on the Necessity to Sodomize Bill O'Reilly With a Microphone):
Some days, Laura Bush is worthy of our pity. Imagine being married to one of the most despised men in the world, someone who has done nothing short of wreck centuries of American progress and grace, someone who knows he's in over his head. Imagine all the weeping and praying she has to deal with, all the times she has to say, like a mantra, "Jesus will show us the way" as she conspires with the Secret Service to lock the sweet liquor in the basement, as she disconnects the phones so her husband can't call old contacts to get him some blow. Pity her for all the times she has had to place the President's cock in her mouth, sucking for all she's worth, reciting the Dewey Decimal system in her head as she mindlessly bobs until her husband's polluted, oily seed infects her mouth once more. Pity her for laying on the French linen on her stomach after having been roughly fucked in the ass one more time, with the President shouting, "Say you're Saddam" as he smacks her ass, with Laura thinking, "At least I didn't have to wear the moustache this time," while George calls his mother after it's over to weep to Babs that he did another bad thing, a habit he's had since he fucked passed out sorority girls at Yale. Well, at least Laura's along on the big ride, livin' the big pay-off.

For so long, we hoped that Laura was a quietly subversive wife, the conscience of the President. We harbored in her our desires that someone teach George that civilizations perish because of the hubris of the few. Laura was a librarian, we all fuckin' know, and it's appropriate because if you remember The Music Man, Marian the Librarian was snookered, as was everyone else in the town of River City, by con man Harold Hill. Laura's promoted reading and literacy, but any hopes we might have had about her were forever dashed when, last year, she cancelled a conference on poetry and "American Voices" when it seemed that some of the attendees might actually use their American voices to speak out against the war.

And then, two nights ago, Laura appears on The O'Reilly Fucktor, and she uses the occasion to demonstrate that she's a good automaton, programmed to keep her opinions to herself, only once actually stating a real opinion, when she said, in answer to one of O'Reilly's long-winded pseudo-questions, "You gave me a really great idea. Maybe it is the media that has us divided." Otherwise, the interview was one talking point after another, one scripted reference to how she doesn't like people attacking hubby, how the sit-on-my-face twins are just so giddy and great and super-duper, how she and hubby never really "debate" issues, how her work day is like so many let-them-eat-cake wives, bland and information-free, until it was time to go back into the bubble of the domestic sphere once again (except, of course, whenever hubby needs to show that the world is safe by sending Laura to the Citicorp building, which was, supposedly, the target of a terrorist attack that could occur at any moment).

Side note: O'Reilly's "interview" was just another occasion where the saggy, ratings-hungry, embittered buffoon could use another human head as a sounding board for his own bleats of insignificance. 'Cause, you know, with all the death and destruction being wrought by her husband, what could be more fuckin' important than asking the First Lady if she was mad at Hollywood for dissin' George? Because what O'Reilly's pointless little gab session showed us more than anything else is this: who cares what the fuck Laura Bush has to say about anything. She has decided that she is irrelevant. And O'Reilly enabled her irrelevance.

And O'Reilly is such a sanctimonious, smug motherfucker. He says on his show, in his "Talking Points" last night, that he treated Condoleeza Rice and DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe with similar tactics, the "respectful challenge." But, you know, transcripts are a bitch: Check out the Condi interview and check out the McAuliffe interview. What's extra pathetic is that you don't even have to read the words - just look at how often McAuliffe was interrupted versus the unimpeded speechifying of Condi and you'll know that "No-Spin" is more spin than just shutting the fuck up.


The Ghost of Chandra Levy:
Holy shit, it's so cool that Mary Kay Letourneau was released from prison this morning. The fantasy teacher of frantically masturbating adolescents from coast to coast is free to fuck again, and it's the front of the Fox "News" website as of 9:45 here in the east.

And, goddamn, just like a good beach read, we've got ourselves a summertime mystery a solved pregnant woman murder. And could it be any more convenient that the killer's (and victim's) name is "Hacking"? Especially considering that the murder was probably done with a knife? And the guy's a scary-lookin' bald fucker.

And the Rude Pundit just can't get enough of Scott Peterson's trial. Motherfucker ordered hardcore porn channels on his cable service the day after Laci went missing. 'Cause what else would you do after offing your wife than jack off to Anal Sluts V: The Italian Rim Job?

And, oh, merciful fuck, if the Kobe case doesn't get more interesting each and every day. Kobe groped a woman? Imagine a sports megastar doing such a thing. And the alleged rape victim? Bitch might have had sex the next day. Sweet semen-stained panties, this is only gonna get better.

Thank God and Roger Ailes for the low drone, the white noise of nonsense news that blocks out the bad thoughts, blocks out the bad thoughts, blocks out all the bad, bad thoughts.


The Terrors:
Goddamn, if we weren't played again. Less than two days after Tom Ridge cried "Wolf" one more time, we now learn that all the hysteria this time was about information that was pre-9/11. The Administration claims it took that info and added it to the vague notion that al-Qaeda was "planning" an attack and thus we have the new panic, same as the old panic. And, really, and c'mon, isn't al-Qaeda always planning an attack? Isn't that what terrorists do? It's sort of like after smoking a bong, you want to hit the Shakey's buffet, but you inevitably settle for the leftover tuna casserole.

So here's the all-you-can-eat pizza: "One federal law enforcement source said his understanding from reviewing the reports was that the material predated Sept. 11 and included photos that can be obtained from brochures and some actual snapshots. There also were some interior diagrams that appear to be publicly available." Dude, they have pepperoni, Hawaiian, barbecued chicken, fuckin' cheese. Any kind of pizza you want. All. You. Can. Motherfuckin'. Eat.

Would it have fuckin' killed them to be honest with us? Ridge alluded to an honest answer when he said, in answer to a reporter, "I mean given the specificity of the information, you've got to appreciate that and consider that in light of the broader general threat to try to disrupt the democratic process, but I don't think you could conclude that it's framed in that fashion." Why couldn't they just say, "Look, we arrested this guy who had all this shit that we didn't know about. We don't wanna freak you out, 'cause it's all old shit, but we thought you oughta know." Or maybe, just maybe, they could't say anything at all.

Goddamnit, we so desperately wanna believe we're not being fucked with. Even Paul Krugman says in his column today, "This one may be based on real information." But it's almost impossible to believe them when Ridge says in his prepared remarks, "We must understand that the kind of information available to us today is the result of the President's leadership in the war against terror. The reports that have led to this alert are the result of offensive intelligence and military operations overseas, as well as strong partnerships with our allies around the world, such as Pakistan." How about just shutting up about the President's leadership on this? Because every time Bush's "leadership" is invoked, all we can think about is how often he has failed to lead.

And that empty shell of a leader was on display yesterday in his announcement that he was going to do the absolute minimum so he can say he listened to the 9/11 Commission: he'll create a National Intelligence Director, but not one with any budgetary or hiring power or any control over the CIA. But, like declaring that Iraq is now sovereign, like saying that the U.N. and NATO now have roles in Iraq, all of this is show. You may put a rolled-up sock in your pants so everyone can admire your bulge, but in the end, you've gotta drop your drawers in front of someone, and then your tiny dick will be revealed.

Still, you've got to admire Bush - he's a man who respects a good, long vacation. When asked if Congress should be called back for a special session, Bush said, "Congress has been thinking about some of these ideas. They can think about them over August and come back and act on them in September."

So while New York is placed under a minor lockdown because of a years-old threat of terrorism, the President would like Congress to go fuck itself for a month. Meanwhile, Howard Dean is treated like he's ranting on a box on a street corner. Somewhere, the ghost of Benjamin Franklin is wishing he'd just stayed in France.


An Oath Is as Good as the Paper It's Written On:
Here's another tale of the Rude Pundit: Back in the days after the Gulf War, in 1992, there was another election going on, another George Bush, an elder one, up for re-election. The President was making a campaign stop at the airport in the city where the Rude Pundit lived in that fateful year. The Rude Pundit, who believes one needs to face the darkness in order to defeat it, decided to go to this rally. The runway where Bush was speaking was divided between those who could be on the inside section where they could actually see the stage and podium and those on the outside of a fence, who still had to go through metal detectors but could listen to the President, bask in his proximity, one presumes. No tickets were required; the only limit on entry was the capacity of the area. But you did have to be invited to be in the pit near the stage. The Rude Pundit, knowing members of the media, was able to get into the inner section, within yards of the President.

The Rude Pundit was (and is) no fan of Bush, Sr. But this is not about his dislike for that skinny bastard who helped lay the groundwork for much of the evil now committed in the name of "security." This is about how no one questioned that an American citizen had the right to see his President speak, whether or not that citizen disagreed with the President (and the Rude Pundit was in print with his feelings under his real name). It was not easy for the Rude Pundit, listening to the President yammer on, a wayward Judd by his side, but not because of what Bush said, which was the same blah, blah, blah we're hearing now about defense and strength and Democrats are pussies. It was the crowd, filled with young white people, cheering him on.

The Rude Pundit did not cheer and he was confronted by a (no exaggeration) six-and-a-half foot tall, muscle bound, buzz cut young man who put his cucumber-sized finger in the Rude Pundit's face and said, "Why aren't you clapping? You should be clapping." The Rude Pundit faced Gigantor and said, Because that man has helped wreck this country. Gigantor was not happy. "Why are you here?" Because he's the President. "Why aren't you cheering?" Because he's an idiot. Oh, the questions continued, his face got red, the Rude Pundit was glad there were enough Secret Service around not to get beaten. Badly. And he would have picked up the Rude Pundit and snapped him like King Kong with a train.

The point here is, of course, that at least Bush the First did not openly, obviously prevent dissent, even within the confines of the insider area (the Rude Pundit, while he believes in protesting, also believes in letting people speak). When the Bush/Satan campaign didn't allow Democrats to enter a New Mexico rally for Dick "You Heard My Name, Motherfuckers" Cheney because they wouldn't sign an oath pledging to support the President, when the campaign officials are asking people picking up tickets where they stand on issues, when they ask for American citizens' fucking license numbers, we've entered a fucked-up land where the government now decides who it leads, who it cares about, who is allowed to hear their leaders.

But one last thing about oaths such as the one the Bush/Satan campaign wants anyone who deigns to be in its presence: the Rude Pundit was once hired for a job where he was required to sign an oath of loyalty to the Constitution. A friend hired with him refused to sign and declined the job. The friend was principled, but wrong: if you are truly subversive, you sign the fuckin' oath. You can only be subversive from the inside.

You wanna fuck with a Bush/Cheney rally? Sign the goddamn oath. Just fuckin' lie. Christ, when George W. Bush took an oath to uphold the Constitution, he may as well have been saying "I love you" to a woman he just wanted to fuck that night.

Check out this dialogue: Republican "volunteer" dog: "Are you pro-life?"
The Rude Pundit: "Yeah, sure, why the fuck not?"
See? It's easy. Now you can attend the rally and chant, "Go fuck yourself, Cheney" all you want. No one's gonna show you your loyalty oath come election day.

Until, of course, those pretty, shiny, glowing electronic voting machines record who you are when you vote.