What Laura Bush Should Have Said on Larry King Live (Rude Version):
When she was interviewed by the zombie corpse of Larry King, Laura Bush talked about women and heart disease, red dresses, how hard it is to be in the White House, and her views on Iraq, Iran, and more. She was a dolt. Here's what she should have said:

"Larry, I'm so fuckin' stoned right now. Seriously, I'm totally trippin' balls. I watch the TV all the time when my handlers don't drag me out to one luncheon or another so I can hug a Negro who had a heart attack. Or a Chica. Chica, that's a funny fuckin' word. Chica-chica-boom-boom-boom. Boom. That's all I see on the CNN or the NBC or wherever while I'm watchin' TV while rollin' my blunts. My husband makes shit go boom. And when you see shit go boom all the time in Iraq, well, fuck, no wonder people think it's all goin' to hell in a handiwipe over there. 'Cause, see, I was taken to this one luncheon the other day where I met all these military parents whose children died over there and they said to me that they love the President and they know that their kids died so that Iraqi could have democracy and...

"Goddamn, I'm so fuckin' hungry. Pass me those fuckin' Cheetos, Larry.

"What was I sayin'? I was wearing this Donna Karan number when I met those parents. It wasn't too fancy 'cause most of them got their clothes at the JC Penny or the Wal-Mart, and I didn't want them to feel too bad, being that their children were dead. That makes me so sad. I'm gonna do another bong hit. You wanna do one, too, Larry?

"Yeah, Larry, it's hard bein' the President and First Lady. It's a 24/7 job. Jenna and I were sittin' around snortin' coke off the hard cock of her favorite Secret Service agent and she said how it's a shame that she can't go down to Senor Frog's in Cancun anymore with her titties hangin' out 'cause she's gotta act respectable. I told her, 'You think that's bad? The only man in this house I can get to go down on me is Barney 'cause I don't have to worry about him blabbin' to Larry King about it.' Oh, present company excepted, Larry.

"That's right, Larry. The President of the United States won't eat out his wife's pussy. You know Hillary never had that problem. Sure, George did it a few times back in the old days, when he'd come home after gettin' hammered with Karl and that fat fuck'd watch as George gave a few sloppy licks while Karl jacked off 'cause, see, I wouldn't let Karl fuck me. No, George won't do oral. Says my cootchie reminds him of his mother's face. But just between you and me, Larry, I think it's 'cause my cootchie reminds him of his mama's cootchie. It's why he always has to fuck me in the ass. Says my booty is Syria - or my 'Assad' - and then he just reams away.

"Dude, those glasses make you look fucked up.

"I gotta say, though, George can make me laugh. Like after injured soldiers leave from a White House visit, he starts to limp around like he's only got one leg or he'll pull his arm into his shirt so that his sleeve just hangs there and he'll say, 'Look at me, Laura, I'm at Walter Reed.' Or he'll just stand there and drool like he's got a head injury. Actually, he does that one a lot. Sometimes not even after the soldiers visit.

"He understands that the American people aren't with him on this war. And if they hate this one, oh, shit, they're gonna freak after we start blowin' shit up in Iran.

"Fuck, did I just say that? Well, shit goes boom. Chica-chica-boom.

"Did you know there's gonna be a George W. Bush library? That's really fuckin' funny. I should know, you know.

"Damn, I'm hungry. Pass me that beef jerky."


Say Something Nice For Steve Gilliard:
Steve Gilliard of the News Blog is a good guy, a mensch, as some of the old ones would say. He's having heart surgery, so let him know you love him (and say a kind word or two to Jen).
Welcome to Combat, Dick Cheney:
Oh, Dick Cheney, you finally, at long last got to feel at least a modicum of what war is actually like. What was it like for you? When you heard the explosions outside the main gate of Bagram Air Base, where you allowed so many Afghanis and others to be tortured, did you feel fear? Is that possible? Even though we're told you were "far away" from the Taliban suicide bomber, did you smell the acrid burn of gasoline, sweet roast of human flesh, did it waft to your area of the base? Did you feel that agony in the pit of your stomach when the sirens went off, wondering, at least for a moment, how intense the attack was going to be, wondering if this was an everyday explosion or an invasion to get you, hoping that the area around you was fortified enough to fend off whatever might be coming?

Did you see the body parts rain down, pieces of perhaps 23 others who did die? Did you think about the arc of torn limbs in the wake of the blast? The rending of organs with shrapnel? The pouring down of gore, American and Iraqi, mixed like the leftover cuts of steak in butcher shop ground meat? Did you think about blood, Dick Cheney? Perhaps even your own?

When your delayed plane took off, did you notice the panic in your chest that your pacemaker had to regulate? Not knowing if the Taliban had your plane in the sites of their RPG launchers? Did you think about calling Lynne, telling her that it might be the last time you speak? Did you feel doom all around you, not knowing where it might come from, not knowing how to defend against it?

Multiply those feelings by every day for four years, Dick Cheney. Multiply them by thousands and thousands of soldiers. And you'll get the idea.

After standing on the sidelines for so long, after five draft deferments, after cheerleading destruction in war after war, after making money off Middle East conflict, is it possible that this one closer-than-comfortable moment might have some impact?

Nah. Chances are, for you, Dick Cheney, it all just gave you a massive erection and you wondered if Hamid Karzai could spare a boy or two for the afternoon.


Monday Housekeeping:
The Rude Pundit's got a cross-post over at Music For America, where you can comment after you sign up. Nothing new - but they did photoshop a picture of Alberto Gonzales with a dirty Sanchez moustache.
If John Negroponte's the Good Guy, We Are So Fucked:
How fucked do we have to be here in America in order to read something by Seymour Hersh, about nefarious plots, illegal fund streams to al-Qaeda associated groups, and the fomenting of an enormous war in the Middle East, and fuckin' John Negroponte comes across looking like the most honorable man? What twisted trip into a sphincter-like rabbit hole do we have to be on in order to be able to put those words together, that the depraved motherfucker who turned a blind eye to (and ensured funding for) Honduran death squads that plagued Central America back in the Reagan era (known these days to liberals as "Jesus, who'd've thought it could get worse?"), who was at the center of Iran-Contra, would sound, in the screwed up context of the players in Hersh's article, like the good guy? It's not unlike saying that Charle Manson is the most likeable serial killer because at least he surrounded himself with buddies.

Leaving Congress out of the loop on how the Bush adminstration is funneling money through intermediaries in order to divide the Middle East on along Sunni-Shiite lines has the Bush administration dancing to Dexy's Midnight Runners. But, unlike, you know, Cheney, Elliot Abrams, and others, Negroponte seems to be feeling the cold breath of final judgment on his neck. Says Hersh, A "former senior intelligence official also told me that Negroponte did not want a repeat of his experience in the Reagan Administration, when he served as Ambassador to Honduras. 'Negroponte said, "No way. I’m not going down that road again, with the N.S.C. running operations off the books, with no finding."' (In the case of covert C.I.A. operations, the President must issue a written finding and inform Congress.) Negroponte stayed on as Deputy Secretary of State, he added, because 'he believes he can influence the government in a positive way.'

"The government consultant said that Negroponte shared the White House’s policy goals but 'wanted to do it by the book.' The Pentagon consultant also told me that 'there was a sense at the senior-ranks level that he wasn’t fully on board with the more adventurous clandestine initiatives.' It was also true, he said, that Negroponte 'had problems with this Rube Goldberg policy contraption for fixing the Middle East.'"

And there you have everything you need to know about just how fucked we are, fucked like a household tabby in heat that wanders under the fence at a tomcat convention: If the man who justified the groups that raped and killed nuns as just part of the fight in the Cold War is worried about the legality of something, it's gotta be a bloodcurdling monstrosity, like the moment in the film Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (to continue a theme) when Henry catches Otis, his serial killing apprentice, trying to rape his own sister. Some things are beyond the pale. Everyone's got a line in the sand, you know. If we've reached Negroponte's, then, god, what nightmares are we on the verge of?

How about this for our upcoming political elections: new paradigms, not people trying to finish the jobs that they had to wait a decade or more to finish.


Fucked New Orleans (Post-Mardi Gras Edition):
Fat Tuesday's long past now. The shown tits have been tucked back into t-shirts. The remaining beads have been washed from the streets or hang from the trees, like rotting Christmas ornaments. The floats are dry docked, ready to be broken down and remade, a process that starts almost immediately at places like Blaine Kern. The French Quarter smells less conspicuously of vomit without the tourists flooding it with the viscous stuff.

To live in New Orleans is to await each coming event as a distraction, or perhaps to read it as a sign of better days to come. Yes, the Saints almost reached the Superbowl. Yes, Mardi Gras went off with only a few murders in the crime-ridden ruins of the city, even if the routes of some of the parades were changed so that they didn't lurch past the endless ruins of Mid-City, or, as Chief of Police Warren Riley put it, "The Mid-City area, with the blight, with those abandoned houses, makes it much tougher for us to control what's going on. So, we certainly wouldn’t want to see some kid pulled into some abandoned building." Next up is the Jazz Fest, and, per usual with these events, the announcement of how it represents the comeback of New Orleans. But, of course, these are facades, pretty wrapping paper on a box that's got a broken toy in it.

Here's Mayor Ray Nagin yesterday at a Congressional hearing held in New Orleans on the issue of public housing: "We have patched it up, but it is with bubble gum and tape that the system is put together right now." Nagin was referring to New Orleans in general and the extraordinarily tentative state in which the city remains. Nagin wants to take over the New Orleans portion of that massive boondoggle of government outsourcing known as the "Road Home" program, which is supposed to provide grants to homeowners to rebuild. As Nagin put it, "Why in America would we be struggling 18 months later? All the dollars you have been talking about, $110 billion, almost none of it has gotten to the local level."

Mostly, the meeting was a venting point for public housing advocates and those who used to live in the projects of New Orleans, with much arguing about whether or not to just level the places and build anew, or to rebuild with what's there.

Of course, even if one rebuilds, there's so goddamn much to face. The Army Corps of Engineers needs triple the money it was given to fix the pumps and other flood control infrastructure. Not to mention the crime. Not to mention the oil and chemical spill that may have gotten into the New Orleans drainage system.

The street cleaners may have gotten rid of the bums, the dirt, the passed-out frat guys, but New Orleans is fucked, as sure as you're reading this, for so many reasons that even if it does rebuild, it will never recover.


Alberto Gonzales Is a Scary Man (Religion Edition):
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, a man who never met a nutsack electrode he didn't like, spoke this week before Southern Baptist Convention executive committee to announce a new Department of Justice initiative to combat religious discrimination. Called "First Freedom" (with its own shiny website), it's a clearinghouse for Civil Rights division of the DOJ to commit watchdoggery on any secular entity that dares question the right of someone to worship GodJesusAllahWhoever in his or her own way. They've even released a report about how the DOJ has enforced the law under George Bush. If you search the document, you find not one instance of discrimination against atheists or the non-religious (indeed, the words "atheist" and "atheism" do not appear in the report); just bunches and bunches of cases where the government has used your tax dollars to defend one church or another.

Whatever you think about such a focus on enforcement of such laws or the laws themselves or the hypocritical application of the laws, what distinguishes Gonzales here, and makes him such a scary Bush-created automaton, is his speech to the SBC. He starts by giving a mighty fluffing to his boss:

"Perhaps because of our frailties, most of us yearn for heroes, we are attracted to and inspired by leaders who perform extraordinary deeds or at least inspire others in worthy causes. I believe this is why many Americans share a natural curiosity—a fascination—about the President of the United States, the leader of the most powerful nation in the world. There may be some here who know the President as well or better than I do, but for those who do not, let me just say that there are very few individuals as strong in their faith as George W. Bush."

You read that right. The Attorney General of the United States just called the President an inspiration and a hero. Let's do the old Clinton Test: what would the reaction have been if Janet Reno had said that about Bill Clinton? 'Cause, like, even though this question is moot when it comes to an obsequious little fuck like Gonzales, ain't the Attorney General supposed to maintain some modicum of objectivity since he or she might be called upon to investigate the boss?

Then, after more elevation of Bush to the status of, well, shit, a god, Gonzales says that religious freedom protection is actually connected to 9/11: "September 11th gave all of us – especially those of us in public service – a common purpose. Since the first plane crashed into the North Tower, we have struggled with an enemy of violent extremists; an enemy that is unafraid to use terror to try to intimidate and threaten the United States. I do not believe they intended merely to kill Americans that day. I believe they also intended to kill our spirit; to change the story of America from one of hope to one of fear…from one of openness to one of suspicion…from one of faith to one of despair." See? 9/11 wasn't just a tragedy - it was an opportunity. One that calls for Gonzales to put together his super-duper Religious Liberties Task Force.

But it's at the end of the speech, after enumerating the great and glorious ways the Bush administration is protecting Churchy that Gonzales goes down the road to Creepyville:

"I do not often talk publicly about my faith…but it is important to me…it is part of who I am as a person. Many here have reached an age when you think about your own mortality more and more. I for one believe I will be held to account for my life. Was I the best husband I could be? The best father? The best neighbor? The best public servant? Did I make a positive difference in the lives of others…did I truly live a life worth living? Ultimately God will be the judge and history will tell the story. Whatever the final outcome, I will do my best to work with you and other people of faith to protect our religious freedoms."

Alberto Gonzales is working hard to be a good man and certainly Jesus loves the waterboarding, but Gonzales must await the final outcome - can he possibly be allowed through the gates of heaven on the backs of Gitmo detainees? Or can he just go to hell?


Michael Medved Wants To Get Fucked By Tim Hardaway (and Chances Are That Hardaway Wants To Do It):
To parse the layers of sexual repression and self-loathing in Michael Medved's latest "column" is to confront the horrible rage of the unfulfilled libido, the unmitigated hatred of hidden desire. See, Medved, who has long been the standard bearer for the "Stop the Fucking" brand of moral conservatism, writes that "Tim Hardaway was right" for when the ex-basketball player spoke of his sad longing to get fucked in the showers by his teammates by talking about how much he hated gay people, calling himself "homophobic." Which means that Hardaway's a man who's spent a lot of time naked in showers wondering if other men were looking at his johnson.

The very idea of this skeeves the fuck out of Medved, a man whose balls are so filled with unejaculated semen that it looks like he has cantaloupes in his pants. Medved says, "[M]any (if not most) Americans no doubt share his instinctive reluctance to share showers and locker rooms with open homosexuals." If this led to a larger discussion about sexual desire and irrational fears that lead to prejudice, it'd be fine. But, no, Medved wants to stay in the dripping wet shower room with the large, nude men, many of whom so tower over Medved that they could use his head as a nutrest.

After dismissing those who would compare such prejudice to racism, Medved unleashes this paragraph, which must be read in full to entirely grasp the strange visions that Medved must have while masturbating on a statue of the Virgin Mary and then licking it clean:

"Tim Hardaway (and most of his former NBA teammates) wouldn’t welcome openly gay players into the locker room any more than they’d welcome profoundly unattractive, morbidly obese women. I specify unattractive females because if a young lady is attractive (or, even better, downright 'hot') most guys, very much including the notorious love machines of the National Basketball Association, would probably welcome her joining their showers. The ill-favored, grossly overweight female is the right counterpart to a gay male because, like the homosexual, she causes discomfort due to the fact that attraction can only operate in one direction. She might well feel drawn to the straight guys with whom she’s grouped, while they feel downright repulsed at the very idea of sex with her."

So let's follow the bouncing ball of logic here: fat chicks are like openly gay dudes because they make straight dudes uncomfortable with their stares, and the problem is not the straight dudes and how they want to fuck, but the fat chicks and the gay dudes. Now, Hardaway, though, didn't just say he had a problem with the locker room. He said that he has a problem with the existence of homosexuality: "It shouldn't be in the world, or in the United States."

Medved excuses this, attributing deep-thinking to Hardaway: "When Hardaway says 'I hate gay people' what he suggests at the deepest level is that he feels revolted by the very notion of same-sex eroticism and that he’d prefer not to face the distraction of such thoughts in the locker room or on the court." Now, the Rude Pundit may not be as keen an observer of the basketball player's psyche as Medved, but he's pretty sure that what Hardaway is suggesting is that he hates gay people. Medved continues, "In this sense, the reluctance to team (in athletics or the military) with announced homosexuals isn’t bigotry, it’s common sense."

We could easily go down the tautological road that Medved has paved for us. We could argue that Hardaway certainly showered with closeted gay guys, that he had no problem standing there nude when female reporters, fat or not, interviewed him in the locker room. Sure, sure, that'd be a fine rhetorical strategy.

Instead, Medved's creepy concentration on the shower and locker rooms of the NBA (devoting almost his entire column to making us imagine glistening nude men rubbing themselves) bespeaks a desire that Medved dare not name, Haggard-esque in its implications for himself, his career, and his family. In fact, one might imagine that, after reading this, NBA players might feel uncomfortable showering with Michael Medved. Except perhaps Hardaway, who, c'mon, protests way too much, cowboy. And his apology was totally gay, all about examining his feelings and shit.

Hell, at least he didn't say "faggot."

Medved ends with these steamy images, that "a guy could shower with young female athletes...or that a gay guy could shower with young male athletes." Goddamn, who would've thought a Michael Medved column would make you wanna rub one out?

(Medved's scrawling was also covered by 100 Monkeys Typing.)

Update: Pre-Medved, Jon Swift made much mock of Hardaway.


John McCain Happily Dances For the Religious Right:
Oh, how John McCain's North Vietnamese captors loved it when he danced for them. McCain had been wounded repeatedly in combat, and his halting, pained twists and turns provided no end in delight for the interrogators at the Hanoi Hilton. It was his version of Martha Graham's solo piece "Lamentation" that brought the most applause. Surely, for McCain, the performance was a mourning of the loss of American prestige in an ill-run war, but for his jailers, it was a funny white man limping in circles. Covered with a blanket. Of course, dance was not enough, though, to keep his audience pleased. And when another prisoner came along with fancy Bob Fosse moves, well, how could a purer example of art compete with such showmanship. In the end, McCain's failure to shift his dance into more of a pop culture mode got him regular beatings. McCain knew he had to come up with another way to keep the NV happy.

So McCain decided to take it to the lowest of the low denominators in dance: stripping. He worked furiously at a routine that would end with him thrusting his scarred groin in the faces of the gooks. Unfortunately, that wasn't degrading enough. McCain's fellow prisoner/dance rival soon added lap dances to the mix. Sighing, not wanting to get beaten more, McCain started giving blow jobs to the eager guards. The other guy then let the NV and visiting VC fuck him in the ass. Then it was on. Both McCain and the other guy now working it like the skankiest Shanghai hooker, seeing who could be the biggest cum whores in the Hanoi Hilton.

There came a point where McCain had to admit that this was no longer about survival in horrible prison conditions. It was about winning for the sake of winning, no matter how much cock he had to gobble, no matter how many ruptured capillaries in his anus. He was happy to do it, telling his fellow American POWs that he was essentially taking semen-stained bullets for them. But at some point, performance becomes reality, no? What you act is who you are, no matter how much you protest otherwise. When McCain finally faced this hard truth, a pair of VC dicks in his hands like ski poles, and he decided to give up all the favors he had been giving, god, how he was beaten and tortured, how he was starved and raped.

Yes, John McCain's learned behavior was to please those who could do him harm, and he experienced the harsh lesson that no matter how much he tries, once he grants power to those who could harm him, he has to keep letting them have their way with him or they will turn on him with all the viciousness of, well, a torturer on a victim who actually has information worth a limb or two.

McCain was never Johnny Maverick. And the dance he's doing now to please the religious right is not sad, but inevitable, although they nutzoid fundies aren't about to let him merely dance for their pleasure. He's gonna end up back on his wobbling knees, ready to show his captors once again that he's worthier of their attention than their other willing prisoners.


Monday Housekeeping:
The Rude Pundit's got a cross-post up over at Music For America, and he's been promised that the cumbersome sign-up process has been streamlined so that you don't have to give a stool sample if you wanna comment.

And if you wanna hear a lengthy radio interview with the Rude Pundit, check it out over at Brainshrub.com.
In Brief: What Would George Washington Think of Walter Reed Hospital?:
Here's part of the proclamation signed by the President this weekend honoring the birth of George Washington: Americans can "take pride in our stewardship of the Republic he forged. Today, he would see in America the world's foremost champion of liberty -- a Nation that stands for freedom for all, a Nation that stands with democratic reformers, and a Nation that stands up to tyranny and terror. On his 275th birthday, George Washington would see an America fulfilling the promise of her Founders, honoring the durable wisdom of our Constitution, and moving forward in the world with confidence, compassion, and strength."

Bush's proclamation speaks with almost muted admiration of Washington's under-equipped, exhausted soldiers: "Washington led his often ragged forces beyond incredible hardships into battle and on to victory." It is, of course, salve to the festering wound of Bush's treatment of soldiers now, in an America where every soldier isn't in danger of being hanged for treason if they are caught.

What would George Washington think, in this country that "stands up to tyranny and terror," with its president who evokes Washington to say that things have gotten better for the military since, say, Valley Forge? Would Washington think that the nation had advanced so far beyond frost-bitten toes if it can't even provide the most basic armor for its soldiers, if all it has to offer its wounded and maimed are vermin-infested medical centers and ill-funded and -supplied recovery programs? And let's not even get started on the whole "durable wisdom of the Constitution" part of things.

The Rude Pundit is shocked that at the moment Bush signed the proclamation, the tomb at Mount Vernon didn't burst open, allowing the zombie skeleton of the first President to hobble the fifteen miles or so to the White House, where Washington could have ripped off his left arm, smacked Bush across the face with it, and said, "You fuckin' suck," before turning around and heading back to his beloved plantation. Hell, Cheney would have probably broken Washinton's skeleton up and boiled it for a President' Day Soup, tossin' in yummy Lincoln bits for color.


Obama and the Bloody Toilets of the Right (All Women Edition):
Conservatives are shitting blood over the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama. Once he announced his official status last weekend, right-wingers everywhere vomited into their martini shakers before running to their porcelain thrones to bleed out of their rectums like they were Scooter Libby on "Let's-All-Fuck-Scooter-Libby" Day at the federal pen. Just a quick trip around the latest from all our nutzoid right-wing faves over at Townhall.com (motto: "Crazier Than a Bagful of Rabid Weasels, and Proud of It") reveals all.

Ann Coulter practices her cuntistry par excellence in her latest "column" (if by "column," you mean, "a wallow at the slop trough by a self-hating sow"), wherein she makes the bizarre complaint that a politician speaks in platitudes, saying that Obama's announcement "included this gem: 'I know that I haven't spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I've been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change.'" To which Coulter added, in that c'mon-can't-you-jigaboos-take-a-joke way of hers, "As long as Obama insists on using Hallmark card greetings in his speeches, he could at least get Jesse Jackson to help him with the rhyming." See? If you don't laugh at her "wit," you must be some overly earnest mutant combination of Dennis Kucinich and Ralph Nader.

And, as usual, Coulter sets the gold standard for inane bullshit that'll be picked up by her legions of barely human acolytes by calling the Senator "B. Hussein Obama," thus making Obama seem like he's not only Arab, but the enemy.

Of course, where Coulter wanders, Michelle Malkin will sure to tread. She goes after Obama for saying that America's "wasted" money and lives in Iraq. Breaking out the great big thesaurus o' doom, Malkin says, "Yes, 'wasted.' Squandered. Pointless. Down the drain. Meaningless. Video footage of the speech shows Sen. Obama delivering his scripted words carefully and confidently. No umms or ahhs or pauses as he argued that each and every member of the military who volunteered to serve and died in Iraq 'wasted' his/her life." She then quotes one dead soldier and the father of another dead soldier saying that the dead soldiers believed they were doing "the right thing" by fighting in Iraq. Which, of course, you pretty much gotta believe if you're gonna drive around in an unarmored military vehicle over streets filled with IEDs.

No, for Malkin, Obama is beyond the pale in his remarks, which he took back very quickly as misspeaking. Because, see, that means she doesn't have to bother addressing whether or not Obama is right. (One can be sure that every Bosnian Serb who was pillaging a Muslim's home and killing the entire family there thought it was "the right thing" to do. But just because the soldiers believe it doesn't make it so.)

The right is scared to death of Obama. He opposed the war from the beginning. He's photogenic in ways that no skeevy Republican is. He's a best-selling author. They're gonna come after him, but they have precious little ammunition, as Linda Chavez proves in her desperate "Hail Mary" pass of a column on Obama's broken family life. But all over the nation, the sewer systems near conservatives' houses are filling with bloody stools because Obama's in. The attacks are gonna keep coming, subtly reminding white people that he's black, trying to neuter him like they did so much more obviously in the past.

Next week: The men on the right shit blood, too.


Things the Rude Pundit Learned at the President's Latest Press Conference:
-- George W. Bush is way too concerned with what's on TV. For about the ten thousandth time, he said, "[P]eople are concerned when they turn on the TV screens and see this violence." Prior to that, he said, "We saw on our TV screens the terrorists will send car bombs into crowded markets." What the fuck's next? Trying to explain how cool things look when they blow up real good on 24?

-- "Quds force" is the new "U.N. Resolution 1441." That is, shit that sounds like the people saying it know what they're talking about. Bush mentioned it no less than a dozen times in the course of the press conference. It gave him power, man, to repeat "Quds force" like he understands the intricacies of the hierarchy of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. It's one of those "what the fuck?" things that we'll all learn because of how the White House defines it, rather than, say, people who don't want a pretext to start a war with Iran.

-- We're allowed to debate the war as much as we want as long as Bush's side wins. This is Bush in dominatrix mode - you can jack off all day, but don't you let yourself come until he says you can. Bush said of the ongoing debate in the House of Representatives, "They have every right to express their opinion, and it is a non-binding resolution. Soon Congress is going to be able to vote on a piece of legislation that is binding, a bill providing emergency funding for our troops." Yeah, bitches can fondle themselves all they want, but if they jizz, it's the horsewhip for 'em.

-- CNN allowed Ed Henry to use his balls for the day. When he questioned Bush about the apparent contradiction (or, here in Realityville, "lie") that the administration had put forth just a day before that the "highest levels" of the Iranian government were supplying "insurgents" in Iraq while Bush was pulling back on the idea, he actually tried to get Bush to answer. Bush did his dodge - which is asserting a vague notion forcefully, saying a few factoidal words (like, you know, "Quds force"), and trying to squirm out. Henry stayed there until a visibly irritated Bush moved on, ignoring him. Someone put viagra in Henry's latte yesterday morning.

-- The White House is so nice that it renders its occupant unable to see ugly things. When Bush was asked if Iraq is in a "civil war," he said, really, "[I]t's hard for me, living in this beautiful White House, to give you an assessment, firsthand assessment." So, like, if we trashed the White House, like unleashed Cheney to go on a rampage of shooting buckshot holes all the portraits and shitting on the carpet of the Presidential Seal, letting him spray paint his tag, "Big Dic," on the wallpaper, chewing up all the copies of the Constitution like a human shredding machine, jackhammering the noses off the marble busts, spitting in the soup, you know, what's known as "Saturday night" at the Cheney residence (usually followed by a round of loud, mad fucking by Dick and Lynne that leaves their Secret Service detail curled into fetal balls, weeping in the hallway outside the bedroom, wondering if it would be better to kill themselves than go on), if that happens, then could Bush decide whether or not it's civil war? Maybe he should have some more TVs in there.

-- Along those lines, apparently Bush has never actually been to Iraq. He said, "I haven't been there; you have, I haven't." So was his 2003 Thanksgiving trip as fake as the turkey he was holding? Good times, good times.

-- No matter how many times his plans have failed, you have to give his latest Iraq plan a chance to work. It's sort of like having your mom insist that you hire your just-released-from-prison pyromaniac brother to work in your fireworks factory. See, just because he burned down three houses and two giant warehouses doesn't mean he'll do it again. Give him a chance.

-- But if he thinks an idea won't work, Bush won't give it a try. (See diplomacy with Iran, about which he said, "[I]f I thought we could achieve success, I would sit down.")

-- And don't you fuckin' ask him about the Scooter Libby trial. He said three times, in a voice reminiscent of Daddy, "Not gonna talk about it."

-- When all else fails, laugh, clown, laugh. Bush had more of a campaign mode goofiness about him yesterday, getting off an honestly good line or two, like, "I remember a member of Congress came to me before one of my speeches -- I think it was the Iraq speech, as opposed to the State of the Union speech, and said, you'd better be eloquent in order to convince the American people to support this plan. He didn't say 'articulate,' he said, 'eloquent.'" Oooh, funny and au courant. Most of it was toward the end of the press conference, when the meds had probably kicked in, when the time was short, when he had already given his talking points so many times he had them down and didn't have to think so hard, when, really, he just didn't give a shit anymore.

Unfortunately, the rest of us have to.


No Press Conference Post Today:
The Rude Pundit was going to live blog the President's press conference today (going on as he types), but Bush's voice is actually making the Rude Pundit's skull feel like it's going to leap out of his face.

So he'll try to make sense of it all tomorrow.
No, This Is Catholic Bashing:
Since self-proclaimed spokesperson for Catholics and a man whose ass is so tight he shits dental floss, William Donohue, took it upon himself and his faux organization, the "Catholic League," to drive Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan to resign from John Edwards' presidential campaign for being, in his words, "anti-Catholic vulgar trash-talking bigots," the Rude Pundit thought, "Huh, they're writing pointed, occasionally obscene, criticisms of specific Catholic doctrines, especially those that affect women. Perhaps people would like to see some real anti-Catholic vulgar trash-talking." Thus:

See, the Rude Pundit grew up partly in a heavily-Catholic area of red state America, and he was subjected to every variation of hypocrisy, condemnation, and outright fucktardery from so-called religious people. They fall into two camps: liar Catholics and Pope-up-the-ass Catholics. Your liar Catholics are the kind who proclaim themselves Catholic while fucking anyone they want, using condoms and pills and sponges, with men sucking cock and women licking cunts like crazed mongrels with itchy balls, having abortions, but not eating fish on Fridays, and then saying stupid shit like, "Well, I'm a Catholic because I was raised a Catholic," or "I'm a Catholic, but I don't have to follow what the Pope says," which is a little like saying, "I'm a ten buck a fuck crack whore, but I don't like it when my pimp beats me," pathetic losers who show up every now and then for church because the guilt that's been fucked into them by their male-only priests gets the better of them. You could add a variation of the liar Catholic, which would be the bullet-dodging Catholics, who do whatever the fuck they want and then go to confession to feel cleansed of their sins - yeah, Jesus has forgiven them after they stumblefuck recited a few prayers, but the wives they've beaten are still bruised.

Your Pope-up-the-ass Catholics are the ones who believe it all, anything that a man selected by men for political reasons, tells them, no matter how batshit Alzheimer's-ridden insane or Nazi-related that man might have been, married women who, after raising all their kids, get pregnant in their forties and keep that baby even if it's gonna kill them, literally, to do it, who so batter their kids with dogma that they're assuring the world a new generation of serial killers and alcholics, who pray all the fuckin' time, to God, to Jesus, to the Holy Fuckin' Ghost, whatever the fuck that is, to Mary, to saints, thinking their faith is just soooo fucking superior to the pagans of old and their array of mad gods; god, the Rude Pundit knows people whose priest had fucked the altar boys and the hierarchy kept it hidden for fuckin' years because pedophilia and Catholicism go together like punch and cookies, and those people still went to church and gobbled eucharists like an Iowa farm boy gobbles cum on his first trip to Saugatuck, praying on their rosaries for all they're worth, donating money for more gold crosses, more whiskey for the Father, more diapers for the Pope.

Catholicism is a sickness, a derangement, a pseudo-cult that lets its members wander freely until it needs to make them feel that nausea in the pit of their guts to drag them back to repent, beg forgiveness, and hope for absolution. He knows criminals, people who have hurt others so goddamn bad that they'll never recover, who have been been granted absolution. It's a fuckin' joke, a farce, a well-fed hog engorged on the guilt of its parishioners.

No wonder some of 'em are making death threats against Marcotte and McEwan. They exist in a realm of barely repressed violence. You can see it seething every time Bill Donohue shows up on television to spout all about God's hatred. Fuck, how he must weep as he masturbates, jacking off on a picture of the two bloggers as he calculates with each yank how many "Hail Mary" and "Our Father" prayers his orgasm is worth.

(Full disclosure: Melissa McEwan has guest-blogged here. So you do not get to fuck with her.)


"Evidence" of Iranian Involvement in Iraq - Are They Even Trying Anymore?:
They're fuckin' kidding, right? A couple dozen tin can-sized pieces of debris might be enough to send the entire Middle East down the flaming road of apocalypse now? The biggest problem with the entire Operation "Let's-Prove-Iran-Is-Sending-Weapons-To-Iraq" PR push is that Americans don't give a fuck about Iraq anymore. The vast majority of this nation doesn't give a shit if Sunnis kill Shiites and vice-versa, with a Kurd or two thrown in to make it seem like that region's even part of Iraq. And Americans ain't gonna care as long as American troops are over there.

So the Defense Department can be all cloak and dagger about these Iranian tin cans killing 170 Americans in four years in Iraq, and the response is not gonna be, "Oh, goddamn those cocksucking Iranians and their support for certain Shiite factions within the larger conflict in Iraq. Let's bomb 'em." No, Americans are gonna say, "Yeah, hey, what do you know? How about we get the fuck out of there?"

America wants war with Iran about as much as it wants Anna Nicole Smith's corpse to get its own reality TV show. Check out the recent polls: CBS News says 71% of those polled want diplomacy or don't see Iran as a threat. CNN says 68% would oppose military action in Iran. That same CBS poll says 87% believe things in Iraq are the same or worse, 51% believe that we should decrease or remove all troops from that country, 92% think that President Bush should "take into account the views of most Americans" some or "a lot," 93% say the same about Bush taking into account the views of Congress, and, oh, yeah, 68% disapprove of Bush's handling of the war, post-surge policy announcement.

So, really, and c'mon, are bomb parts all ya got? 'Cause last time there were at least full aluminum tubes and a couple of trailers. But they're not trying anymore. The White House doesn't fuckin' care what America or Congress thinks. Still, shit, a bunch of things that look like they oughta be holding government-issued baked beans?

No, no, not good enough for any goddamned thing. If they wanna bomb Iran (a notion that's soooo 1980), then here's the evidence the Rude Pundit wants to see: he wants to see the Mullahs dry-humping nuclear warheads that read, "Hey, infidels, suck on this"; he wants to see a video of motherfuckin' Ahmadinejad actually shoving an IED into a drugged, tied down Dick Cheney's asshole, saying, "We're gonna blow up Dick Cheney's ass, America, if you don't back the fuck up on our nukes," with the President of Iran ordering his guards to fuck Condoleezza Rice's disembodied head. And even then, there should be a referendum in this country on whether or not we actually care if Dick Cheney's ass gets exploded. Hell, they'd probably just give the Vice President a mechanical sphincter and let him keep on lying and sending people to die for him.


One Day We'll All Have Purple Hearts, Part 1:
An e-mail the Rude Pundit received from a self-proclaimed red-state American:

"As a state employee, part of my job is updating the web-page list of Iraq/Afghanistan casualties from my state. We have 53 so far - not many in the great scheme of the total, but every one more horrible for that reason. None my personal acquaintances, thank the Goddess, not even my wingnut brother-in-law, who as a National Guardsmen was in Iraq for four months 2003-2004.

"Almost all of them are young - at 19 or 20, they could be my own sons. They're so handsome in their senior pictures or military photos in uniform. They just got married, or were about to get married, or have pregnant wives. The few older Reservists of course have long marriages and several children.

"I get the emails from the DoD every day, and have to read every one to find dead soldiers/Marines/Guardsmen from my state. I add each one to the list - first rank, then name, age, and hometown. Almost all from small towns, which couldn't afford to lose them. Then place of death, date and circumstances. Last is unit and unit home.

"Then I email about 10 people in the Governor's office, who then send out a press release noting the death and ordering the lowering of flags to half-staff.

"Then I call the soldier's hometown paper and ask to be informed about funeral arrangements. It usually takes about a week. When I get the funeral information, I send that along to the Governor's office, which sends out another press release noting that flags will go back up to full staff at sundown on the day of the funeral. That doesn't last long. Then I find out who in my office is going to attend. At least two retired military officers from our office usually do.

"I've attended several services myself, and the military honors are breathtaking, not to mention heartbreaking.

"I love my job, but this is the most horrible thing I've ever had to do - and I've been a hotel maid and a fast-food counter-person.

"It drives me absolutely insane to hear and read the wingnuts rave about how liberals are rooting for our troops to die. I just want to scream at them that we're the only ones who care."

When George W. Bush told Jim Lehrer that Americans are giving up something for the war effort because they "sacrifice peace of mind when they see the terrible images of violence on TV every night," it wasn't just demeaning to the families and friends of the soldiers. It was demeaning to the legions of people who have to confront this goddamned war every day in the most seemingly mundane ways. The bureaucracy of war is still about dealing with the dead and wounded. And it ain't about watching things go boom on TV.

So now that the floor's been opened, let's keep it that way: if you have a job that connects in some way to the incomprehensible loss of this war, tell the Rude Pundit about it. You can reach him, as ever, at rudepundit at yahoo dot com.

If any others make the Rude Pundit want to break out the morning sipping whiskey, he'll post them here.
Housekeeping: A Place to Comment and a New Rude Quiz:
Wanna Start a Rude Comment Thread?: The Rude Pundit, now that he's been de-Kos'd, is cross-posting at the activist site Music For America. For now, it'll just be the same bloggy goodness, with the potential for new shit coming. And, damn it all, they allow the kids to comment over there. (Although you gotta sign up.)

New Scary Fan Quiz
: Himself over at the blog Only In America has put up his second Rude Pundit quiz.


Family Research Council: "Muslims and Gays Will Silence American Christians" (Part of the "Christ Weary" Series):
Sweet tender fucking mercies, the Rude Pundit's received his latest bunch of prayin' orders from the Family Research Council, and, Lordy, Lordy, oh, Lordy-Lord-Lord, is it a big ol' list. The Rude Pundit belongs to the FRC's Super-Duper Prayer Team, and once a week, we superprayifiers get our prayerification lists from FRC President Tony "No, Not the Gay One, Although These Days, Who Knows?" Perkins for all kinds o' shit we gotta be implorin' Jeeeezus about.

This week, we gotta give God the high, hard holler about America's Spiritual Health. See, it seems that 43% of Democrats and 41% of Republicans (and 13% of godless independents) believe that spirituality is at least a smidgen important to the national health. So we gotta, gotta pray, good people, and get that number bigger: "May America's churches grow in their fidelity to Christ and His Word. May they arise to disciple the multitude of Americans who profess faith. May God stir a great army of believers to live, pray, vote and exercise their rights and responsibilities as citizens to help bring a godly transformation of American culture." A goddamn godly army of godlovers. Glory Halle-fuckin'-lujah.

There's more, as there oughta be: "May America return wholeheartedly to God so that our homes, churches, schools, public agencies and other culture-shaping institutions can again labor together to keep us 'one nation under God,' lest, as President Reagan declared, we become a nation 'gone under.'" Man, we superprayifiers sure do love it when words like "lest" are put in the prayers; makes it sound motherfuckin' old school. And if dead Reagan said it, it's gotta be true.

Now, just in case you're all liberal and open-minded about what God we're talkin' about prayifyin' to, well, the FRC's got some clarification. See, the Muslims (shit, let's be polite - the radical Muslims, you know) are infiltratin' our Christ-lickin' America and usin' our secular-progressive heathenistic laws to take us over from the inside: "[I]f the United States does not face reality, Islamists will advance their quest for dominion even in the U.S., just as they have in Western Europe...The strategy in each free country has been the same: public relation campaigns, interfaith dialogues, visits to Christian pulpits to spread the message of Islam as a religion of peace, the establishment of Islamic organizations that preach moderation without but extremism within, gaining access and influence with high government officials, running for political office, building huge imposing mosques that dominate the landscape in strategically important locations, aggressively using anti-discrimination laws against groups and individuals...to intimidate those who would dare to criticize Islam, while privately and openly preaching hate against Christians, Jews and other 'infidels.'"

Oh, if you think interfaith dialogue is fuckin' nightmare, wait - there's more: "Proposed federal 'hate crimes' will create unconstitutional thought crimes, then evolve into 'hate speech' laws, the kind both Muslims and radical homosexuals have used to silence Christians elsewhere." Sheee-it. That's fuckin' scary. Muslims and homosexuals are gettin' together to stuff a cock and Koran down the throats of Jeeeezus lovers everywhere. And there's just not enough room in there for both.

So we got to pray, motherfuckers, pray hard and loud: "Pray that our leaders and rank and file Americans will awaken, study and understand the war being waged against us. May the Lord help us to distinguish between peace-hungry people from the Muslim nations and radical Islamists who are our enemies, sworn either to subject or destroy us and our children." May the Lord lead us away from harsh whippings of Sharia law and towards the merciful graces of the Bible.

Let us bow down to receive a good thrustin' of God's love.


Poor Contractors Maligned By Big Bad Henry Waxman:
At a hearing at the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the opening statement by members of four families of those Blackwater USA "contractors" (or "mercenaries" in Realityville), who were shot, ripped up, and displayed on a bridge in Fallujah, Iraq back in 2004, was not extraordinary. It was a simple, straightforward expression of grief and outrage against a company that, as demonstrated by its own internal e-mails, literally left its employees to hang out to dry. The families are suing Blackwater for negligence, among other things, or, as Kathryn Helvenston-Wettengel, whose son was one of the four, read to the committee, "When the decision was made to save millions of dollars by not buying armored vehicles, our husbands, fathers and sons were killed. Blackwater gets paid for the number of warm bodies it can put on the ground in certain locations throughout the world. If some are killed, it replaces them at a moment’s notice. What Blackwater fails to realize is that the commodity it trades in is human life."

Democrat Henry Waxman's committee was meeting for one of the first hearings of what will be a mighty anal probe of the Bush administrations reliance on security contractors like Blackwater (motto: "Read this Tom Clancy novel and then hide it in the slit-open corpse of a local"), as well as the cash-gobbling layers of subcontractors and sub-subcontractors (known in here in Realityville as "money laundering").

Apparently, California Republican Darrell Issa, remembered by most people for weeping like a little bitch when he was forced to ditch his governor ambitions so Arnold could hulk into office, seemed to be under some kind of threat from Blackwater, probably involving an Emerson Commander knife and his tiny balls. What other reason would there have been for Issa to go after the four women sitting in front of him, offended, nay, pissed off that they would dare talk about their family members' corpses in a statement that might have been goosed by an attorney.

Issa said to the four women, "Although I do not think that your testimony today is particularly germane to the oversight of this committee, I am deeply sorry for the losses that you’ve had." And then he asked, "One question I have is, the opening statement, who wrote it?" Boo-yah, Issa must have thought. Classic gotcha, no? Fuck their pain - tell the Republican that a lawyer wrote their lines of misery and woe so we can say it's pretend.

It turned into a little slap fight among the House members on the committee, as well as Democratic Representative Jan Schakowsky, who was attending the hearing in support of the families. At one point, Democrat Stephen Lynch pointed out, "That is the first time that a member of Congress asked [witnesses] who prepared their statements." He wondered how many Congress members read statements prepared by others.

But Issa was there to get Blackwater's back. He wanted to know if they were trying the case in Congress and kept harping on the testimony, prompting Helvenston-Wettengel to ask, "Why are you dwelling on this?"

Indeed, why? Because otherwise you have to dwell on the orgy of profit reaped by corporations that were erect and lubricated and ready to start fuckin' as soon as the invasion of Iraq was a go. Because otherwise you have to dwell on all the people, good and bad, smart and stupid, who were suckered into the dream of profiteering, too, only to discover that they were just appetizers on the banquet the piggy executives were devouring.

And Issa is ever willing to play the good Republican corporate whore, saying, "It's absolutely clear that things have not gone perfectly well in Iraq, but to victimize a particular company, especially a company undergoing a lawsuit, is something we should be extraordinarily careful about." Yep, that's right. Blackwater (which had been subcontracted by the Kuwaiti company Regency, which had been subcontracted by ESS Support Services, which had been subcontracted by Fluor Corporation and KBR, which is a subsidiary of Halliburton, and therein lies the root of all evil), not the families, not the American people, is the victim here, according to Republicans.


Hey, Connecticut, Thanks For Lieberman:
Really, if you think about it, Connecticut's usefulness to the nation at large was probably sealed back in September of 1781. That'd be when Benedict Arnold led British forces into New London and burned that town down, seizing Fort Griswold and it supplies. Oh, and then Arnold's men slaughtered dozens of the soldiers who had defended the fort. When a man turns on his own nation, his own state (for, indeed, Arnold was born in Norwich), the son of a bitch is gonna turn with all the viciousness and self-righteousness of a drunk preacher at a whorehouse.

Right now, there's only one thing that's stopping Democrats in the Senate from attempting to cut off funding for even an escalation of the war in Iraq, and that thing is named Lieberman. In his goddamned scary article in the New Yorker, Jeffrey Goldberg shows us, through Joe Lieberman's own words and actions, how much depraved power the Independent from Connecticut holds by agreeing to caucus with the Democrats, thus giving them the Senate. Goldberg writes that Lieberman "told me recently that his attachment to the Party is based in some measure on sentiment, and should not necessarily be thought of as eternal...Lieberman was not willing to say whether he would remain a Democrat if the Party cut off funding for the war. 'That would be stunning to me,' he said. 'And very hurtful. And I’d be deeply affected by it. Let’s put it that way.'"

That's code right there, you know, for something along these lines: "Harry Reid can lick my balls while Carl Levin gives me the rim job of his life. One fuckin' step away from what I want and I'm bailin', bitches, so line up, Teddy, Joe, Barack, Pat and the rest of you, 'cause my dick ain't gonna suck itself."

Being an "independent Democrat" apparently gives Lieberman license to cozy up to the President, who himself spent a good deal of time in Connecticut: "So why do I trust President Bush in spite of the mistakes that were made, consequential mistakes? Because having watched him, having talked to him, I believe that he understands the life-and-death struggle we are in with the most deadly and unconventional enemy, Islamic extremism. And that he has shown himself, notwithstanding all these mistakes, willing to go forward with what he believes is right for the security of the country, regardless of what it has done to his popularity." It's sad, in a "let's-unplug-comatose-Grandpa" way, to watch a man debase himself so before fools, to be idolatrous of idiots. But Lieberman goes even a bit further now, musing about a "war-on-terrorism" tax. Which, considering the way Americans feel about the waging of the "war," is kind of like making it official government policy to ass rape you and then give you a bill for the rapist's nice lunch after he's done fucking you. Rapists gotta eat, motherfuckers.

In his floor speech about not allowing debate on the non-binding resolutions in the Senate, Lieberman rightly pointed out, "This resolution is not about Congress taking responsibility. It is the opposite. It is a resolution of irresolution." And while there's no guarantee, of course, that the Senate would actually consider voting to defund or get specific with the funding for the war, the reason actual action isn't even on the table in the Senate is because of the guy who has threatened to give the majority to the Republicans if Democrats want to start "taking responsibility."

So, hey, thanks, Connecticut, for so fearing Ned Lamont and change that you went with the guy who thinks it's worth more blood and bone of the sons and daughters of your state to "stabilize" Iraq, who thinks that George Bush is a fine Commander-in-Chief of those sons and daughters, who thinks you oughta pay more for the privilege of waging this clusterfucked conflict. Lieberman's on the warpath, man; New London oughta be quaking in fear.

(Good blogger etiquette: Digby's also covered the New Yorker article.)


In Brief: Why Michelle Malkin Ought To Be Caged Like a Rabid Shih-Tzu (Pandagon Edition):
Let us say, and why not, that you are Michelle Malkin (unless you really are Michelle Malkin, in which case the Rude Pundit says, "No, Michelle, not in your wildest vibrator-shaken dreams") and that you have a weekly "column" in which you entertain thousands upon thousands of your "readers" with your insanely entertaining "opinions" about "events" in the world, even some of your own creation. You have a blog on which you regularly insinuate or outright say that people are traitors or terrorists or both. You appear weekly on Bill O'Reilly's lunatic asylum to fling your shit at the camera with the other nutzoids. You even do a shitty vlog on Hot Air, which is essentially you reading your blog for the more-illiterate Malkin fan, or the ones that just like lookin' at yer boobies while they get their hate on, kind of like those pictures of chicks in bikinis holding AKs.

In other words, you have an audience, a big one. You can say all kinds of things and your minions will listen and expand and try to prove you right even when you are explicitly wrong. And what do you decide to waste your time doing?

You try to discredit the presidential campaign of John Edwards by attacking and quoting dirty things that his blogger said on her non-Edwards blog, Pandagon. You go after Amanda Marcotte like she's any kind of issue at all, except in that you and your slavering hordes of demi-bloggers have made it one.

Is that what we've actually sunk to here? Or is that all you got?

The question isn't how much profanity Amanda Marcotte has used (and you might want to read one or two of her many, many "fuck" free posts). It's why, when dealing with the rank idiocy of the self-fellating chode drinkers and crazed harridans on the right, she didn't use more.

(Full disclosure: the Rude Pundit has never met Amanda Marcotte, but has a huge writer crush on her.)


Understanding the NIE and the Global Warming Report in a Single Handy Image:
1. According to the declassified key judgments of the National Intelligence Estimate, the position of the United States in Iraq is roughly analogous to, say, a guy who's had his dick nailed to a dinner table in a room that's been set on fire. Motherfucker's only got a few choices, none of them good. And, really, what you'd choose pretty much says where you stand on the war. If you're the Bush administration and its enablers, you try to pick up the table and get out of the door; of course, the table's not gonna fit, but you'll just keep trying to get out with your dick until the whole place burns up, taking you with it. If you're opposed to the war, you say, "Fuck it," rip your dick off, and get the fuck out of there, hoping that maybe medical science'll one day be able to fashion you a peter out of your ass muscles.

If you're a soldier or an Iraqi citizen, well, you're just standing there, hoping someone rescues you before you're a crisp.

2. According to the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the position of the United States in the global warming crisis is roughly analogous to, say, a guy who's had his dick nailed to a dinner table in a room that's been set on fire. Motherfucker's only got a few choices, none of them good. And, really, what you'd choose pretty much says where you stand on global warming. If you're the Bush administration and its enablers, you try to pick up the table and get out of the door; of course, the table's not gonna fit, but you'll just keep trying to get out with your dick until the whole place burns up, taking you with it. If you think that it's way past time to do what the report recommends, you say, "Fuck it," rip your dick off, and get the fuck out of there, hoping that maybe medical science'll one day be able to fashion you a peter out of your ass muscles.

If you're an American - hell, a human being, well, you're just standing there, hoping someone rescues you before you're a crisp.

And if you're a global warming denier, you tell yourself over and over that it's not getting so hot in here.

As we gear up for an Iran-tastic spring, can't we just ask that we leave the room before our dicks are nailed down again?

Meanwhile, in the Senate, they're debating about debating about using a garden hose to stop the wildfires from engulfing the house.


Mary Cheney's Vagina, Briefly:
Let us contemplate, for a moment, the vagina of Mary Cheney, lesbian daughter of the Vice President. Let us think about its ridges and folds, let us think about the size of her clitoris, about whether it's secretly pierced, about the things that only Mary, Heather Poe, and perhaps a few others might know. For, indeed, Mary Cheney's vagina - in fact, her genitals and reproductive organs - have become our newest site of contention in the war between reality and religious fundamentalists, between the blatant hypocrisy of the Cheney family and the people who their followers would condemn.

When Mary Cheney was asked about her pregnancy in Manhattan this week, she responded, "This is a baby. This is a blessing from God. It is not a political statement. It is not a prop to be used in a debate by people on either side of an issue. It is my child." Now, the Rude Pundit's not sure how Mary Cheney conceived, but he's pretty sure that "blessing from God" would not be high on the list, unless, of course by "God" you mean "medical science."

Indeed, we should contemplate Mary Cheney's pregnancy because so much of it is revolting to a large constituency of the Republican Party, to which Mary Cheney belongs. Since chances are Mary did not get heterosexually fucked in order to get pregnant, she had to be artificially inseminated. So that means some man, maybe someone she knows, maybe a stranger, had to masturbate into a cup or tube. Was this man given pornography to inspire his yanking it? Did he get to look at a stiff Hustler, a crispy Chicks With Dicks, a faded Man Meat Monthly in order to produce the sperm that would be used to impregnate the Vice President's daughter?

Mary Cheney's eggs, whose production was stimulated by drugs, were fertilized by this sperm in a lab dish. Then a doctor used a tube to go through Mary Cheney's cervix and implant embryos in Mary Cheney's uterus. One presumes that Heather was with Mary during this procedure, and not the aforementioned male masturbator.

How many embryos are now frozen that are from the donor sperm and Mary Cheney's eggs? What will happen to those embryos? How many potential babies will be destroyed or held in suspended animation so Mary Cheney can have a baby?

Yeah, there's lots of things that Mary Cheney's pregnancy and discussion of it are relevant to, despite Dick Cheney's pig grunts of protest to Wolf Blitzer. But God ain't one of those things, save for the political reasons of even invoking God, a line tossed out there like a deflowered virgin for the yahoo masses to endlessly ravish.


Alas, Sweet Meatwad:
We weep for thee, dear Frylock.

Somewhere, Orson Welles is giggling his fat ass off.
Molly Ivins. Art Buchwald just a couple of weeks ago. Living spiritual parents are getting awfully hard to come by these days.

Just a few paragraphs to remember how eloquently brutal Ivins could be, like this one from her January 21, 1999 column, about what was obviously her least favorite topic, the entire Lewinsky/Clinton tale:

"My other favorite argument is that Clinton mustn't be allowed to 'get away with it.' Get away with what? Did you ever in your life see anyone more caught, more ruthlessly exposed in relentless detail? It is mind-boggling enough that this pathetic, sordid episode is the subject of an impeachment trial; now comes the question of whether the Senate has so lost all sense of seemliness as to bring Monica Lewinsky and Company into the U.S. Senate to tell once more the tawdry tale of the 10 oral encounters that shook the world."

In her writings, Ivins despised those things that were distractions from the real work of government, of doing the work of and for the people of the nation. And the impeachment of Clinton was the right wing engaging in Caligula-like decadence for the sake of itself. Ivins ripped into the conservative machine, only to see it take things to the next level of ignorance and depravity with the Iraq war.

Prescient (and right) as ever, Ivins said in a February 11, 1998 column about the crazed House of Representatives speaking in session: "Next up, several members decide to demand that if we use air strikes against Iraq, we take out Saddam Hussein. In the first place, murdering foreign leaders is not a proper tool of foreign policy, for the sensible reason that you never know what you'll get if you do. One of the most famous hypothetical questions of history is: What if someone had managed to murder Adolf Hitler early on? Suppose someone did, and then the Nazi movement had been taken over by, say, Albert Speer, who was a lot better organized than Hitler?"

Ivins never became the regular TV pundit that so many other alleged columnists became. Perhaps it was because of moments like this, being interviewed about the brewing Clinton "scandal" on some Fox "news" program in March 1998: "If we had devoted this much time and this much space in the newspapers to the single most important problem in American politics today, which is the money that finances campaigns and the way the people that get elected respond to that money, we would have solved the problem by now. We would have the people of this country so outraged, they would be demanding campaign finance reform. What are we doing? We're talking about the president's dick. It's ridiculous."

In that same interview, she said this: "I actually have a fair amount of respect for good politicians. And by 'good politicians,' I mean people who really try to move the ball in such a way that people can get helped. And they do deserve respect and they do deserve credit." But she believed all politicians, good and bad, need to be held to account, not for fucking around or drinking after work. But for what they did that affected you and everyone else in the country while on the job. If they're not dicking us over, who gives a shit about their dicks? Because of this, she reserved special scorn for the Washington press corps.

On CNN's Reliable Sources on July 14, 2001, in those heady Chandra-riffic days before everythingchangedon911, responding to Howard Kurtz's question on the press's behavior on the "Did Gary Condit kill that woman?" story, Ivins said, "It's a disgraceful performance. Look, part of what happens is that in journalism there is a contest for the limited time and space we have available to try to present what is going on to people's attention. And we had the same problem during the Monica Lewinsky scandal; two-thirds of the world's economy collapsed while the press was simply obsessed with Ms. Lewinsky."

She said, often, that the sins of omission were the real crimes of contemporary journalism. Her columns so often filled that gap, talking about labor and working people and countries like the Congo and Indonesia. She refused in the last few years to get drawn into the false debate of "would you rather Saddam still be in power," turning that around to say that the left never wanted him in power in the first place.

She was goddamned smart, so smart she didn't have to flaunt it. So smart that she could use the down to earth side to say what she meant so all of us could understand it. She didn't suffer bullies. She loved Texas like a parent loves her child even after that child has gone on a three-state killing spree. She was unfailingly polite. And she could eviscerate anyone who was failing all of us with just an image or two. Those guttings will be desperately missed. That sense and celebration of the decency of the average American will be missed even more.

We've lost one of our defenders.